Best Diablo 4 Corpse Explosion Necromancer build – endgame skills and gear in Season 3

Best Diablo 4 Corpse Explosion Necromancer build – endgame skills and gear in Season 3
Marloes Valentina Stella Updated on by

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The best Diablo 4 Necromancer build in Season 3 is without a doubt the Corpse Explosion Necromancer – or to be more precise, the ‘never-ending chain of exploding corpses, deadly bones, and Blood Mist’ Necromancer build. Time to become less of a skeleton army commander and more of a detonation expert.

If you want to get the best Diablo 4 Necromancer build in Season 3 for yourself, here’s how to do it – no minions required. We’ve played the game extensively as part of our review process – you can check out our full Diablo 4 review here. If you’re looking for another class, we also have a lethal Diablo 4 Barbarian build and Diablo 4 Rogue build guide. Check out our updated Diablo 4 gems guide to take on the Season of the Construct. It also brings a new Diablo 4 Seneschal companion. Now, let’s get to our Necromancer build guide.

Diablo 4 best Necromancer build: An image of a player who is fighting enemies as the Necromancer.
An image of a player who is fighting enemies as the Necromancer. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Best Diablo 4 Corpse Explosion Necromancer build explained

The best Diablo 4 Necromancer build is called the ‘Corpse Explosion Necromancer’, after its most essential skill. Simply put, the idea is to quickly create a ton of corpses, then explode those corpses to deal extra damage. We’ll be using bone attacks to cast debuffs on opponents, which in turn makes them more vulnerable to Corpse Explosion damage.

Best Diablo 4 Corpse Explosion Necromancer build endgame skills

  • Bone Splinters (basic, bone): fires three bone splinters. This skill has a lucky hit rate of 17% and generates six essence, plus one more essence each subsequent time an enemy is hit by the same cast of Bone Splinter. 
  • Bone Spear (core skill, bone): conjure up a bone spear that deals damage and pierces through enemies. This skill costs 25 essence and has a lucky hit rate of 50%.
  • Corpse Explosion (corpse): detonate nearby corpses, dealing damage to all nearby enemies. This skill has a 40% lucky hit rate. 
  • Blood Mist (macabre, blood): grants immunity for three seconds, thereby reducing movement speed by 20% and periodically dealing 2% damage to enemies. Blood Mist also heals you for a small percentage (depending on upgrades) of your max HP.
  • Corpse Tendrils (corpse): veins burst from a corpse, pulling in enemies, dealing damage, and stunning them for three seconds. The corpse will not be consumed. This skill has a 20% lucky hit chance. 
  • Bone Storm (ultimate, bone): conjures a swirling storm of bones, dealing damage for ten seconds.

This is the list of active skills needed for our best Diablo 4 Necromancer build, in the same order as they appear on the skill tree. Bone Splinters is mainly used to generate essence, while Bone Spear is your go-to damage skill. As the ultimate ability is also a bone skill, we’ll be able to take full advantage of any bone skill buffs.

It won’t take long before the ground is littered with usable corpses, but before you get to the detonation part, make sure you first use Corpse Tendrils to pull enemies together and cast negative effects on them. 

Diablo 4 best Necromancer build: An image of the in-game skill tree for the Necromancer with the Bone Splinters skill highlighted.
An image of the in-game skill tree for the Necromancer with the Bone Splinters skill highlighted. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Best Diablo 4 Corpse Explosion Necromancer skill point distribution

  • Bone Splinters: rank 1. Unlock Enhanced Bone Splinters for a 25% chance to fire two additional Bone Splinters (only works if you have 50 or more essence). 
  • Bone Spear: rank 5. Use Enhanced Bone Spear for extra damage, and Supernatural Bone Spear to cast the vulnerable debuff on the first enemy hit (lasts three seconds).
  • Hewed Flesh: rank 3. This passive skill grants a lucky hit effect: dealing damage has a 12% chance (when fully upgraded) to spawn a corpse. This chance is doubled when fighting a boss.
  • Corpse Explosion: rank 5. Unlock the Enhanced Corpse Explosion to increase the skill’s radius, and the Plagued upgrade to deal 8% increased damage against slowed, vulnerable, or stunned opponents. 
  • Blood Mist: rank 5. Unlock Enhanced and Ghastly Blood Mist too. The first will decrease the skill’s cooldown by two seconds whenever you trigger the overpowered effect, while the latter spawns one corpse per second while the skill is active. Skill points in an AoE damage (area of effect) ability are always well spent.
  • Grim Harvest: rank 3. Fully upgraded, this passive generates 6 essence per consumed corpse, so it’s an amazing source of essence for this build. Unlock the Fueled by Death enhancement as well (rank 3) to deal 9% increased damage after consuming a corpse. 
  • Corpse Tendrils: rank 5. Unlock Enhanced Corpse Tendrils to slow enemies by 50% before pulling them in. Unlock Plagued Corpse Tendrils to make enemies vulnerable for three seconds if they’re hit by this skill.
  • Serration: rank 3. This increases critical hit rate for all your bone skills, based on the amount of essence you have. The following Compound Fracture and Evulsion upgrades are incredibly strong, but beware that they only work well if you have a high critical strike chance. 
  • Bone Storm: rank 1. Make sure you unlock the two upgrades, Prime and Supreme Bone Storm, to receive damage reduction and an increased critical strike chance while Bone Storm is active.
  • Ossified Essence: rank 1. Your bone skills deal 1% extra damage for every point of essence you possess above 50. 
  • Book of the Dead – Iron Golem: sacrifice the Iron Golem to gain a 30% critical strike damage increase. 
  • Book of the Dead – Skirmisher Skeleton Warriors: sacrifice the Skirmisher Skeletons for a 5% critical strike chance. Optional: combine this with the passive skills ‘Stand Alone’ (rank 1) and ‘Memento Mori’ (rank 3) to increase this effect by 60%.
  • Book of the Dead – Cold Mages: sacrifice them for 15% more damage against vulnerable enemies.
  • Unliving Energy (optional): your maximum essence is increased. At the cost of additional essence, your core skills deal more damage.
  • Necrotic Carapace (optional): fortify a certain percentage of your base life whenever a corpse is formed by your skills or minions.

Consider Shadowblight to inflict more damage on enemies. Here’s a handy skill point distribution table for the Diablo 4 Corpse Explosion Necromancer build:

SkillPoints Spent
Bone Splinters1
Bone Spear5
Hewed Flesh3
Corpse Explosion5
Blood Mist5
Grim Harvest3
Corpse Tendrils5
Serration3
Bone Storm1
Ossified Essence1
Book of the Dead – Iron GolemSacrifice
Book of the Dead – Skirmisher Skeleton WarriorsSacrifice
Book of the Dead – Cold MagesSacrifice
Unliving EnergyOptional
Necrotic CarapaceOptional
Diablo 4 best Necromancer build: An image of the player using a Necromancer in Diablo 4. Image captured by VideoGamer.
An image of the player using a Necromancer in Diablo 4. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Most of the active skills in this Corpse Explosion Necromancer build should be fully upgraded. The enhanced Bone Splinters, Bone Spear, and Corpse Tendrils skills cast debuffs on our opponents. This triggers the extra damage from the Plagued Corpse Explosion upgrade. 

Remember the two things you absolutely don’t want to be without: corpses and essence. Blood Mist and Hewed Flesh will help you out with the first part. And Grim Harvest is an incredibly helpful way to instantly regain essence after every Corpse Explosion. If you’re having trouble regaining essence, try the Unliving Energy skill. Likewise, if your Necromancer has trouble staying alive, you should use the Necrotic Carapace passive. Take points from Blood Mist or Serration if needed.

Finally, you might be wondering where the minions are. Since this Diablo 4 Necromancer build doesn’t use skeletal warriors, skeletal mages, or golem minions at all, it’s best to sacrifice them in return for a good combat bonus. Skeletal mage mastery and skeletal warrior mastery (including reapers) aren’t considered in this build. However, it can be very helpful to use minions as a buffer between you and your opponents. Pairing it with the Supreme Army of the Dead ultimate skill for a prime army is a good choice. If you feel like you need that extra protection, don’t be in a rush to get rid of them.

Diablo 4 best Necromancer build: An image of the in-game Book of the Dead for the Necromancer.
An image of the in-game Book of the Dead for the Necromancer. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Best Diablo 4 Corpse Explosion Necromancer armor and gear

As it improves skill damage, we can’t have too much intelligence for this Diablo 4 Necromancer build. However, be sure to get a decent amount of willpower too, as it helps you regain essence. We’ll keep our weapon advice simple: go for the highest possible damage (probably a two-handed weapon).

As for the bonuses, look out for a critical strike boost and extra bonus damage based on status effects in particular. Cooldown reduction is also a welcome perk. Any additional improvements to your core skills, corpse skills, and bone skills are very welcome. Finally, always consider gems. The main consideration here for the Necromancer is bulking out the class’s damage profile. We advise always using Rubies in armor gem sockets to give the class as much maximum life as possible. Diamonds are also a good pick as they offer resistance bonuses against multiple elements. The skull is a good option for jewelry.

Remember to keep upgrading your gems as you level up

Better gems will allow you to get even more benefits from slotting them into equipment.

If you’re wondering which Unique items go well with this build, here are the best unique items for the Corpse Explosion Necromancer:

  • Black River – Explosion consumes up to four additional corpses around the initial corpse. This deals 122-130% more damage with a 21-25% larger radius per additional corpse.
  • Blood Artisan’s Cuirass – When you pick up 5-10 blood orbs, a free bone spirit is spawned. This deals bonus damage based on your current Life total.
  • Howl From Below – Instead of detonating immediately, Corpse Explosion summons a volatile skeleton that charges at a random enemy and explodes. Corpse Explosion’s damage is increased by 30-40%.
Diablo 4 best Necromancer build: An image of the in-game skill tree for the Necromancer with the Bone Spear skill highlighted.
An image of the in-game skill tree for the Necromancer with the Bone Spear skill highlighted. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Best Diablo 4 Corpse Explosion Necromancer build Legendary Aspects

The best Necromancer aspects for this build are typically the ones that improve critical rate, essence regeneration, and damage output. Avoid aspects with minion-based buffs. Here are the best Necromancer Aspects in Diablo 4:

  • Aspect of Explosive Mist (offensive): using Blood Mist causes Corpse Explosion. Whenever Blood Mist detonates a corpse, its cooldown is reduced. Found via random drops.
  • Aspect of Serration (offensive): Ossified Essence increases your bone skills’ critical strike damage based on your essence. Found from a random drop.
  • Aspect of Torment (utility): critical strikes with bone skills increase your essence regeneration. Found in Black Asylum dungeon in Fractured Peaks.
  • Aspect of Grasping Veins (utility): gain an increased critical strike chance after casting Corpse Tendrils. And deal extra critical strike damage to enemies hit by Corpse Tendrils. Found in Corrupted Grotto dungeon in Kehjistan.
  • Aspect of Exposed Flesh (resource): Adds a lucky hit effect with a 10% chance to generate essence whenever you hit an enemy with a bone skill. Random drops are your best bet.

Best Diablo 4 Corpse Explosion Necromancer Paragon Board distribution

As for what Glyphs to slot into the Paragon board, here are the ones that make the most sense for the Corpse Explosion Necromancer build in Diablo 4:

  • Exploit – For every 5 Dexterity purchased within range, you deal +0.9% increased damage to Vuhierable targets. Bonus – Dealing damage to a Vulnerable enemy increases your damage by 1%[x] for 6 seconds, up to 10%[x].
  • Darkness – For every 5 Willpower purchased within range, you deal +1.9% increased Shadow damage. Bonus – Whenever you or your Minions deal Shadow damage to an enemy, that enemy deals 2% reduced damage, up to 10%, for 5 seconds.
  • Grave Keeper – Grants +25.0% bonus to all Rare nodes within range. Bonus – You deal 2%[x] increased damage, up to 12%[x], for every Close Corpse.
  • Scourge – For every 5 Willpower purchased within range, you deal +1.9% increased Shadow damage over time. Bonus – You and your Minions deal 10%[x] increased damage to enemies affected by Shadow damage over time effects.
Diablo 4 best Necromancer build: An image of the in-game skill tree for the Necromancer with the Blood Mist skill highlighted.
An image of the in-game skill tree for the Necromancer with the Blood Mist skill highlighted. Image captured by VideoGamer.

Best Diablo 4 Corpse Explosion Necromancer Seneschal stones in Season 3

While Season of Blood brought players back with vampiric powers, Season of the Construct’s Seneschal companion is the big draw of the season. And in Season 3, you gain access to Governing Stones and Tuning Stones to build out this Seneschal companion. This construct can deal damage and heal you by itself, making it a valuable ally. Here’s how to spec your Seneschal companion for a Corpse Explosion Necromancer in Diablo 4 Season 3:

  • Governing Stones – Opt for Autodefense and Gyrate. Autodefense blocks enemy projectiles while Gyrate spins the construct around to hit all surrounding enemies. These are offensive options that can be augmented with Tuning Stones.
  • Tuning Stones – For Autodefense, we recommend pairing it with Voluminous, Safeguard, and Tactical Tuning Stones. These provide bonus effect size, damage reduction, and cooldown reduction. As for Gyrate, opt for Dusk, Mockery, and Gripping. These provide shadow damage, skill taunt hits, and can pull distant enemies to you. These pair incredibly well with a Necromancer adept at taking out mobs.

Is the Necromancer good in Diablo 4

To achieve the truly overpowered version of this Diablo 4 Necromancer build, you need the Aspect of Explosive Mist. Not only does it create extra Corpse Explosions, but its own cooldown is dramatically increased whenever you do.

Remember the Ghastly Blood Mist upgrade? The explosion will even result in free corpses, setting you up for a pretty heated corpse-blasting streak. This makes the Corpse Explosion Necromancer a deadly wave of death in the latest Season of Diablo 4.

Once you get to the endgame, slotting Paragon Glyphs into the Paragon Board is essential. Use the Codex of Power to determine the best Aspects for your character’s Legendary or Unique armour, amulet, boots, pants, and gloves. Remember that Seasonal characters no longer have to work through Altars of Lilith and exploration to earn back renown. This will grant you extra Diablo 4 healing potion charges, Paragon Points, and skill points in the Seasonal Realm right from the start.

There are other valid builds for the Necromancer like the Bone Spear Necromancer that focus on other skills to deal damage against Lilith’s minions.

That covers the Diablo 4 best Necromancer build. If you’re after easy XP, check out the best dungeons to farm in Diablo 4. Diablo 4 Nightmare dungeons are also a good option to level up. If you’re considering another class, we strongly recommend checking out our best Barbarian build in Diablo 4.

Diablo 4 Corpse Explosion Necromancer build FAQ

How does Corpse Explosion work Diablo 4?

Corpse Explosion allows Necromancers to detonate corpses, dealing damage to all surrounding enemies in Diablo 4.

How good is Corpse Explosion?

Corpse Explosion is an exceptionally strong skill when fighting multiple enemies in Diablo 4.