Summoner Necromancer Solo Guide

Introduction

The Summoner Necromancer is a classic in Diablo games. This build deals an insane amount of single target damage and decent Area of Effect (AoE) damage. You will have nearly 100% uptime on Command Skeletons, Command Golem, Skeletal Mage, and Dark Curse! As the commander on the battlefield, you are able to move freely and safely as your minions do your bidding.

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!

Great Buffs ✔
Minions For All Situations
Best Ultimate In The Game
Rewards Tactical Play in PvP
Great AoE and Single Target Damage

❌ Lacks Mobility
Long Cooldowns
❌ Can Be Corpse Reliant
❌ Many Short-Mid Range Abilities
❌ Worst Class Item (From Bestiary)


Solo Build - Summoner Necromancer

Soulfire (Primary) is an amazing source of damage and the Ultimate ability, Hungering Soulfire, is great for both burning down large groups of enemies as well as bosses. Baleful Trinity gives extra Area of Effect (AoE) damage for Soulfire.

Dark Curse combined with Guided by Maggots gives you access to an AMAZING buff for your summons. Use Linger-Mantle to make it last even longer!

Skeletal Mage offers some solid piercing damage with a nice short cooldown.

Command Golem in its Molten Golem form via Desolatoria is a great tank and source of AoE damage. Use Visitant's Sign so it lasts a bit longer.

Command Skeletons are a great source of single target damage while being quite tanky at the same time.

Shepherd's Call to Wolves is the best Set for a Summoner Necromancer by far! Since your summons are amazing for PvE and increase your Critical Strike Chance!

There isn't a Chest Legendary Item that synergizes with the Summoner Necromancer build, but we recommend using Parting Gift or Exhumant's Backbone as they are great in other builds.

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

Alternative Setups

There are a few changes you can make as a Summoner Necromancer, depending on your preferred playstyle:

  • If you want more tankiness out of your summons, use Crown of the Gilded Leash to summon a Skeletal Captain. Avoid this if you have the 6 piece Shepherd's Call to Wolves.
  • The survivability of the Skeletal Mage can be problematic in some cases. If you find they are dying too quickly to be worth it, replace them with an ability of your choosing. Bone Armor with Flickering Warmth is my preferred option.

Gameplay

With the Summoner Necromancer build, you want to stutter step while constantly using your primary attack. Drop your Skeletal Mage in key positions to keep a kill streak going, or on top of the boss to focus their attacks. Keep your Golem and Skeletons in the fight by moving them from one pack to the next.

  1. Summon your Molten Golem via Command Golem.
  2. Summon your Skeletal Mage, if you are in a good position to do so.
  3. Activate Command Skeletons and Command Golem to order your Skeletal Champions and Molten Golem to leap/charge close to the Skeletal Mage.
  4. Cast Dark Curse on top of all of your summons to increase their attack and movement speed. Pay attention to your Skeletal Mage cooldown, and delay your Dark Curse cast if you can summon another Skeletal Mage in the next 3 seconds.
  5. Use Command Skeletons to buff your Skeletal Champions as soon as it comes off cooldown.
  6. Use Command Golem on cooldown to have the Molten Golem leap wherever there are 5 or more enemies. Using this ability against bosses is a DPS loss.
  7. Use your Soulfire primary attack to fill in all gaps between these other steps.

Check out our Dungeons guide for more information.


Dungeon Tips

Players fill certain roles when doing Dungeons, whether that be clearing out all the enemies, buffing the team or being the ultimate boss killer. The more you diversify your group the more successful your farming will be. The Summoner Necromancer is all about the damage. Save your Ultimate for the final boss in each dungeon. Getting through Dungeons quickly is essential to accumulate Set Items in mass. Keep an eye on the Codex to see which Dungeons are offering bonus rewards so you can get the most out of your time farming 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. Follower's Burden increases both your damage and your summons' damage for each summon you have active. A must for this build!
  3. Everlasting Torment deals incredible damage over time after a Critical Hit. For a simple 1 star Legendary Gem, this packs a punch.
  4. Bloody Reach increases the damage both your and your summons deal the further you are from your enemy. Perfect for a Summoner Necromancer.
  5. Freedom and Devotion lengthens the amount of time both your Command Golem and Skeletal Mage decide to hang around with you. Lovely.
  6. Ca'arsen's Invigoration combines well with the Necromancer's strong primary attack and ultimate ability.
Best in Slot Legendary Gems
  1. Bottled Hope further buffs the damage and movement speed for your summons when you use Dark Curse. Perfect synergy for this build!
  2. 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.
  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. Seeping Bile has poison that is devastating in large densities, like in Elder and Challenge Rifts. It also slows enemies affected at higher ranks. Currently summons cannot directly trigger this effect, but if you are using Everlasting Torment your summons can trigger the Torment effect, which then can trigger the Bile effect.
  5. Zwenson's Haunting does some decent burst damage when your enemies perish.
  6. Blessing of the Worthy provides some extra survivability. Another must have for our slow mid-range Necromancer.

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 Attributes Mechanics 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. Damage done by your summons increased to slay even faster!
  3. Damage taken by your summons decreased to increase your summons' survivability.

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%).
  2. Vengeance's Family Bonus is AMAZING for classes that heavily use their Primary Attack, each said attack has a chance to increase All Damage by 100% for 1s. Its Family Bonus Attributes are not ideal though.

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. Vanquisher is the best for damage, and Treasure Hunter can be used for a small Experience boost. Avoid activating the Gladiator Tree since its active nodes only work in PvP.

Note: This path is used for all PvE content, but is subject to change on launch as we achieve higher Paragon and see the finalized trees.

Use the Slider to see Paragon 1-150 progression

Once you hit Paragon 150 respec your Paragon Points so you can utilize the more powerful Mastermind tree. Remember to activate the Paragon Tree! From here continue to pick up Life and Damage nodes in the other Paragon Trees.

With this setup you can also activate the Gladiator tree when you PvP. Once you have Mastermind filled in and active you can prioritize picking up the Gladiator tree sooner or later, depending on how much PvP you plan to do.

Use the Slider to see Paragon 150-200 progression

Check out our Paragon Guide for more information.


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Summary

  • Dominate Bounties, Elder Rifts, Lairs and Tasks with this build.
  • Watch your minions destroy everything using the Command Skeletons, Skeletal Mage, and Command Golem. Watch them do it even faster with Dark Curse.
  • Equip Guided by Maggots, Desolatoria, Visitant's Sign, Linger-Mantle and the Shepherd's Call to Wolves for maximum power.
  • Rank up Normal and Legendary Gems for huge bonuses while hunting for a Ravager Family Bonus.
  • Seek out Critical Hit Chance and Damage Special Attributes with Intelligence and Fortitude Primary Attributes.
  • Awaken gear slots to boost your Command Golem and Command Skeletons to another level.
  • Accumulate Paragon and invest in all the Damage nodes you can find while picking up key active nodes.
  • The way is shut. It was made by those who are Dead, and the Dead keep it, until the time comes. The way is shut.

Credits

Written by Gregg2G
Contributions by Facefoot
Reviewed by Facefoot, Raxxanterax


Changelog

Jun 14th 2022
Updated from Beta recommendations to Release recommendations.

Apr 11th 2022
Published Guide.