Bone Spikes Necromancer PvP Guide

Introduction

The Embalmer Necromancer PvP build takes a more aggressive approach to Battlegrounds. Hideous Dawning removes the stun from Bone Spikes and instead gives it 3 charges of MASSIVE STACKING Area of Effect (AoE) bleed damage! You have a Bone Wall that knocks back and provides you with 5 corpses to launch with Bone Pillars with Corpse Lance. You also get some crowd control and survivability with Wraith Form coupled with Proximal Fear. This allows to dive at a group of enemies, deal massive damage and force them to flee!

This build guide assumes you have a Character at Level 60. Check out the Necromancer 1-60 Leveling Guide and Complete Leveling Guide if you're not there yet!

Gets Kills ✔
Decent Survivability ✔
Poisons and Bleeds
Long Range Abilities
Excellent Space Control ✔

Cooldown Reliant
Requires Corpses
Requires Patience
Relies on Skill Shots
Not Much Crowd Control


Necromancer PvP Build - Embalmer

Build inspired by TheKert and eclypse

Bone Spear (Primary) gets some extra poison damage from Blight Maw.

Bone Wall launches 5 skeletons forward to knockback and block your opponent before falling over into 5 corpses. All thanks to iEver-Grasping Vestments!

Bone Spikes is your main damage ability that gets stacking bleed damage from Hideous Dawning.

Corpse Lance is your secondary damage ability, as it can be difficult to find corpses in PvP. But that's what we have Ever-Grasping Vestments for!

Wraith Form gives you some mobility, crowd control, AND extra damage while wearing Proximal Fear.

Windloft Perfection is the best PvP Set for this build by far! It gives you movement speed, extra damage, and survivability.

Check out our Set Item Guide and Equipment Guide for more information.


Gameplay

Play this build aggressively and fight around behind Bone Wall while casting Bone Spikes on as many enemy players as possible. Then pickup the corpses left behind by the Bone Wall and launch them at your enemies with Corpse Lance.

  1. As the enemy approaches, start aiming your Bone Wall and launch it toward them.
  2. Aim Bone Spikes and wait until you can hit 3 or more people with it if possible.
  3. Position yourself close enough to the Bone Wall so you can still hit enemies with Bone Spear as they approach it. When the Wall falls, pickup all surrounding corpses with Corpse Lance. You have 15 seconds to launch these lances if you are wearing Ten-Thorn. Use them wisely.
  4. Start throwing your Bone Spears at approaching enemies while weaving in Bone Spikes. Keep one charge of Bone Spikes to cast on enemies as they attempt to retreat for healing.
  5. Activate Wraith Form and run on top of any enemies to damage/fear them.

Legendary and Normal Gems

Legendary Gems provide incredible attribute bonuses and unique effects. They are found as a reward after completing an Elder Rift that is enhanced with a Legendary Crest. Many of them are also crafted using Runes and Platinum at the Jeweler in Westmarch.

Read our Legendary Gems Guide for more information.

Starter Legendary Gems
  1. Berserker's Eye provides increased damage in all cases, and increases your damage taken slightly. It's a good trade-off.
  2. Everlasting Torment deals incredible damage over time after a Critical Hit. For a simple 1 star Legendary Gem, this packs a punch.
  3. Fervent Fang does fantastic single target damage. It can easily be acquired from the Battlepass, without relying on luck from crests.
  4. Ca'arsen's Invigoration combines well with the Necromancer's strong primary attack and ultimate ability.
  5. The Black Rose a life saving gem for PvP. In a pinch, this has a chance to peel your opponent off of you while you retreat to a safe distance.
  6. Cutthroat's Grin can be useful in PvP as it's quite common for your enemy to have their back to you. They'll regret it when you start dealing extra damage from behind.
Best in Slot Legendary Gems
  1. Echoing Shade is a gem that is AMAZING once ranked up. At rank 1 it's a bit weak as it only summons one Shadow Clone, but at later ranks it can summon up to three clones.
  2. Blood-Soaked Jade is one of the best Legendary Gems in the game. It provides some much MUCH needed movement speed for the Necromancer.
  3. Howler's Call has a chance to call a Spirit Wolf while Primary Attacking, which we do a lot of as a Necromancer. It also has a chance to stun enemies when ranked up.
  4. Blessing of the Worthy provides some extra survivability. Another must have for our slow mid-range Necromancer.
  5. Chip of Stone Flesh does some excellent burst damage after stunning and/or fearing your enemies.
  6. Bottled Hope buffs the damage and movement speed for both you and your allies when you use Bone Armor. It also reduces all of your cooldowns at later ranks. Amazing for PvP!

Normal Gems

  1. Tourmaline is better than Ruby, since Damage is better than Life.
  2. Sapphire is better than Aquamarine, since Armor Penetration (Critical Hit Damage) is better than Armor (Increased Damage Reduction On Block).
  3. Topaz is slightly better than Citrine, but All Resistance and Potency are both underwhelming attributes. Prefer Topaz over Citrine since you will be hit by crowd controlling effects more often than you will be using them.

Attribute Priorities

Primary Attributes

The Necromancer's main attribute is Intelligence, giving +0.3 Damage per point. All other things equal, use gear with Intelligence to maximize the damage you deal. Vitality is also important for the boosts to your Life pool.

Necromancer's worst attribute is Strength because it only gives +1 OR/DR. If possible, don't use it.

  1. Intelligence +1 Combat Rating and +0.3 Damage.
  2. Fortitude +1 Combat Rating, +0.1 Armor, and +0.1 Armor Penetration. Armor increases damage reduced from a Block, which mitigates a base of 20% of incoming damage. Armor Penetration gives Critical Hit Damage, which is nice if you already have a high Critical Hit Chance.
  3. Vitality +1 Combat Rating and +3 Life. It never hurts to have more life, especially for end game pushes and PvP. Vitality is the best attribute after the damage-dealing ones.
  4. Willpower +1 Combat Rating, +0.1 Potency, and +0.1 Resistance. Potency increases the duration of harmful effects on enemies, while Resistance lowers the duration of harmful effects on you from enemies. Maybe one day in Diablo Immortal these durations will play a larger role, but currently they don't seem to matter much and are never prioritized.
  5. Strength +1 Combat Rating but gives nothing more, making it the worst attribute.

Check out our Stats Mechanic Guide for more information.

Special Attributes

Because the total amount of primary attributes is so important, you rarely prioritize special attributes on gear. Still, several special attributes can make a difference, here are some of the best ones you can find:

  1. Critical Hit Chance to proc Everlasting Torment attack speed effect at Rank 6.
  2. Beneficiary Effect Duration to boost uptime of Bone Armor and Wraith Form.
  3. Cooldown Reduction to have constant control of the Battlegrounds.

Check out our full Attribute and Magic Affix Guide and Upgrading and Reforging Guide for more information.

Bonus Attributes, Family Bonus, and Reforging

Family bonuses are hard to change so picking a powerful option is important. Here are some of the best Family Bonuses available for the Necromancer:

  1. Ravager's Family Bonus has a chance to make your enemies corpse explode and deal AoE damage, making it virtually useless in PvP and mediocre at best in PvE. The Family Bonus Attributes on the other hand are great for a Summoner Necromancer, because they have 2 important attribute rolls: Damage done by your summons increased (3.0% - 4.0%) and Damage taken by your summons decreased (3.0% - 4.0%).
    We recommend taking this so you're stronger at farming in PvE, but if you really only care about PvP see below.
  2. Jolt Stone is tremendously strong for PvP! It has a chance to immobilize attackers. Its Family Bonus Attributes are also VERY STRONG. They include Damage taken from players reduced (2.2 - 3.0%), Cheat Death chance increased (3.0% - 4.0%), and Duration of beneficial effects increased (3.0% - 4.0%).

For more details, see our Upgrading and Reforging Guide.


Awakening

Focus on Awakening your gear with 1 star Gems at first (Freedom and Devotion, Berserker's Eye, Everlasting Torment etc.). For the Necromancer, we recommend Awakening your items in this order:

1. Legs

  • Sacral Chausses - Bone Wall cooldown decreased by 10%.
  • Graven Bulwark - Bone Armor cooldown decreased by 10%.

2. Shoulders

  • Gravedirt's Weight - Bone Armor cooldown decreased by 10%.
  • Linger-Mantle - Dark Curse cooldown decreased by 10%.
  • Rotspur - Corpse Explosion damage increased by 10%.

3. Chest

  • Exhumant's Backbone - Bone Wall cooldown decreased by 10%.
  • Parting Gift - Bone Armor cooldown decreased by 10%.

4. Off-Hand

  • Pyre's Allure - Bone Wall cooldown decreased by 10%.
  • Life in Balance - Command Skeletons summons Life increased by 10%.

5. Main-Hand

  • Desolatoria - Command Golem damage increased by 10%.
  • Clotburst - Corpse Explosion damage increased by 10%.

6. Head

  • Visitant's Sign - Command Golem cooldown decreased by 10%.
  • Skullveil - Skeletal Mage cooldown decreased by 10%.

Check out our Awakening Guide for more information.


Paragon

For Paragon Points, always prioritize Damage and Life. Remember to activate the Paragon Tree that you want to use. Use Survivor as your active tree while leveling up your Paragon from 1-99. Its active nodes work in PvP unlike Vanquisher, making it a stronger option for players wanting to focus on PvP. At Paragon 100 you can respec and follow the example below to get a great boost to your PvP bonuses.

Use the Slider to see Paragon progression

Once you hit Paragon 100 respec your Paragon Points so you can utilize the more powerful Gladiator tree. Start picking up some of the the Vanquisher tree as well so you can use it during PvE activities. Even the most PvP focused player needs to do PvE content to stay powerful, so this is worth the investment. For Paragon 100-199 keep filling in Life and Damage nodes across the board and grab some active nodes in the Soldier Tree towards the end.

Use the Slider to see Paragon progression

Check out our Paragon Guide for more information.


Hungry for more Guides?


Video Guide


Summary

  • Dominate Battlegrounds and the Rite of Exile with this Necromancer PvP build.
  • Control space with Bone Wall. Bleed large groups of enemies or single enemies with low health using Bone Spikes. Launch the corpses provided by Bone Wall with Corpse Lance.
  • Equip Ten-Thorn, Hideous Dawning, Ever-Grasping Vestments, Proximal Fear and the Windloft Perfection for maximum power.
  • Rank up Normal and Legendary Gems for huge bonuses while hunting for a Wildfire Family Bonus.
  • Seek out Cooldown Reduction and Beneficial Effect Duration Special Attributes with Intelligence and Fortitude Primary Attributes.
  • Awaken gear slots to reduce cooldowns on your Bone Wall.
  • Accumulate Paragon and invest in all the Damage nodes you can find while picking up key active nodes.
  • Strike fear into the hearts of your enemies!

Credits

Written by Gregg2G
Contributions by Facefoot
Reviewed by Lexyu


Changelog

Apr 12th 2022
Published Guide.

Jun 15th 2022
Updated from Beta recommendations to Release recommendations.