Diablo 4 – Necromancer Gameplay FAQ (Season 4)

Season 4: Useful Tips & Tricks for Necromancers

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths:

  • Versatile Damage – Great choice between AoE (Area of Effect) and Single Target Damage
  • Tons of Crowd Control
  • Blood Orbs
  • Specific to Necromancer that offers life and essence regeneration
  • Tanky
  • Corpse Explosion

Weaknesses:

  • Low Mobility
  • A lot of different Core Skill options
  • Most builds will always use Corpse Tendril, Corpse Explosion, and Blood Mist
  • Complex Skill Rotation

General FAQ

What is the Book of the Dead?

The Book of the Dead is a system that enhances summoned creatures for the Necromancer class. You can customize Skeletal Warriors, Mages, and Golems to suit your character build. You can also sacrifice these summons, preventing you from summoning them again, but granting powerful bonuses based on your choices. As you level up your Necromancer, you unlock more summonable minion types to add to your army. The Book of the Dead menu becomes available at Level 5.

What are the types of Necromancer Minions?

Skeletal Warriors:

  • Front-line fighters
  • Variants focused on high damage, tanking, or heavy damage

Skeletal Mages:

  • Back-line ranged attackers
  • Variants focused on shadow damage, physical damage, or crowd control effects

Golems:

  • Front-line tanks and disruptors
  • Variants focused on high defense, area damage, or area crowd control

Sacrificing each minion type grants bonuses related to their roles, like increased damage, survivability, or resource management for the Necromancer.

What attributes do minions inherit?

Minions inherit all of your stats. 100% of your stats as of Season 4

How do I use my skeletons and golem?

To harness the power of your skeletons and golem, you need to add them to your hotbar. While golems spawn autonomously, you’ll have to summon skeletons by using them on a corpse.

How do I summon my Golem?

You will gain the ability to summon a golem upon reaching level 25 and completing a specific necromancer quest. Remember to put the Golem skill on your hotbar!

Does the Exposed Flesh aspect actually exist?

Yes, Exposed Flesh does exist but is exceedingly rare. If you’re keen on farming it, it’s wise to visit the Obol vendor and focus exclusively on rings.

Advanced FAQ

What stats should I be looking for on gear?

  • Intelligence: Increases skill damage and elemental resistances. This is the main stat for boosting damage output.
  • Willpower: Increases resource generation, healing received, and overpower damage. Useful for sustaining resources and survivability.
  • Dexterity: Increases critical strike chance and dodge chance. Provides offensive and defensive bonuses.
  • Strength: Increases armor, but provides minimal benefit compared to other stats.

In summary, prioritize Intelligence for damage, and consider Willpower and Dexterity for resource management, healing, and avoidance. Strength is generally not as valuable for Necromancers.

How does Army of the Dead Spawning and Targeting work?

Army of the Dead will target enemies and objects (destructible terrain) up to 2 screens away from you, by spawning skeletons half a screen outside of your viewing radius. If there are no other valid targets within a 2 screen radius (valid targets include destructible terrain), Army of the dead WILL focus fire single target (making it an excellent boss/elite killer). Army of the Dead summons 3 skeletons per second for 7 seconds, for a total of 21 skeletons and 945% weapon damage. If you are playing using a Controller, using Lock Target will also help in targeting enemies.

Boss Target Farming

Click to enlarge…

Useful Info

Rota Definition

What does ROTA mean for Boss Farming

It means a group is going to rotate though each user in the group providing the mats. A single “rota/rotation” for a group of 4 would do 4x boss runs, with each one in the group providing 1 set of mats. So 10x rota would be 40 runs, for a group of 4, with each user bringing 10x mats worth of runs.

Armor, Resistances, and DR

Meat Pie DR

Now imagine if there was a friend that could always eat up to 50% of your pie that is “exposed”. Without pie protection, he will eat your pie in 2 bites. Shady friend indeed.

You start by having 100% pie, but you put a lid (Armor) on the pie (health + barrier) that covers 85% of the pie, leaving 15% exposed. Once he eats all available pie, not covered by the lid, he gets sneaky and can move the lid around and eat another 15% (DMG Effective Rate/Pie at Risk) not covered by the lid.

So now instead of it taking 2 bites, its going to take him over 6 bites to finish off your pie. Your pie survives longer, giving you time to yeet your friend out of the party for pie theft. This is your Meat Pie Armor!

But what happens if you have 2 friends that can both eat 50% of your pie?!?! Get new friends, I know! But since they wont leave you alone you have no other choice but to protect your pie! You have to buy the latest in Meat Pie Protection: Pie Pants (Gear with DR stats). These magical Pie Pants deal only in percentages% (weird), and have 1 main stat that protects 50% of any pie that ISN’T already covered by a lid.

The real Q: how long do you have to yeet these “friends” out of your party before your Meat Pie is all gone?!?! Well if you had no lid, your pants would cover 50% … but is that enough? Each of the 2 would each eat 1/2 of the exposed pie… move the lid and each eat 1/2 of the exposed pie. 4 total bites and your pie is GONE. You need both your lid& your pants! With the 15% exposed pie, after the lid, is partially covered by pants, your 15% was reduced by 50% to be 7.5% “exposed” pie.

Your shady friends now have to each take 1/2 of 7.5% each time they take a bite (3.75%/bite). Out of your 100% pie, that’s 26.6 bites till your pie is gone

Armor vs Resists

For S2 Diablo is finally reverting back to their roots on resists, where Armor will only protect against physical dmg and Resists protect against elemental dmg. So now you have to decide if which type of spoon your friends are using to eat your pie with.

  • For physical spoons – the TENANTIVE (to be tested) armor cap for PVE will be effectively 85% DR, the DR to Armor ratio is based on the level of spoon (monster) attacking you.
  • For elemental spoons – the resists soft cap for PVE will be effectively 75% DR, with the ability to push it up to its hard cap of 85% DR using elix & incense (or other powers). There are two types of resists stats in the game “All Resist” & “X Resist” (where X is the elemental type: Fire, Cold, Lightning, Shadow, & Poison). “X Resist” stats on gear have a much higher % range than All resists

Armor, Barrier, Fortify

Armor & Resists > DR > Barrier > Life > Fortify > Dodge

  • Armor provides DR for physical attacks only now.
    • Armor has a PVE Soft Cap of 85% DR
    • Armor’s effectiveness is based on the enemy lvl hitting you, not your lvl. So while 9200 may be 85% for lvl 100 Monsters (what shows on your stat sheet), against Lvl 154 monsters that wont be enough Armor and you need 13400 to reach that same soft cap.
  • Resists provide DR for elemental attacks only now, with 5 elemental types to defend against (Fire, Cold, Lightning, Shadow, and Poison)
    • Resists have a PVE Soft Cap of 75% DR for each type
    • Resists can reach their PVE Hard Cap of 85% DR through elixers, incense, and potentially aspects/powers

Key Things to Note:

  • DMG to your barrier is done before health, and is based on total (1-DR%) [DER]. This makes barrier extremely strong now that it can go up to max health.
  • DR.Fortify DOES NOT provide DR to your Barrier
  • DR.Injured DOES provide DR to your Barrier, as long as you are below 35% Max Health
  • DMG to Fortify (default 10% DR) will happen the same time as the fortified health and reduce accordingly. Fortify also reduces after no damage is taken for a period of time
  • Fortify protects your HP from the ‘bottom up’. With 50% Fortify, the first 50% of damage you take will not have the Fortify DR applied.
  • Fortify takes the DR dmg that would of applied to your health and applies it to your Fortify value. Essentially, Fortify is the last calculated DR in the equation
  • Both Barrier & Fortify values cant exceed current Max health.
  • +Armor% changes your raw armor, not your effective Armor%, multiple stats of +Armor% are additive together before being multiplied.
  • The more DR stats you have, the less viable each one becomes. 1x 40% DR > 2x 20% DR stats

Cool Downs & Cool Down Reduction (CDR)

Cooldowns work almost identical to Armor & DR, in that they are by nature diminishing returns as you stack them up. Each additional stat of CDR is reducing a % of a %, so the actual value reduced becomes less. You do not add up the CDR together to work out your final CDR, Bliz does this to ensure you cant get over 100% CDR.

Think of your cooldown value as a %, or your Effective Cool Down Rate (ECDR), which starts at 100%. Each time you put on a CDR stat (gear, paragon, aspects, etc) it reduces that ECDR by multiplying your ECDR with the CDR’s inverse value. Once you figure out your ECDR, then you can apply it to your cool downs and work out the rest from there based on each cool down respective length of time.

For example:

  • 1x 40% CDR would be more valuable than 4x 10% CDR
  • 10 second cooldown with 40% CDR would become 6 seconds
  • 10 second cooldown with 4x 10% CDR, each 10% CDR doesn’t reduce the cool down by 1 second. Instead it would be would be 6.56 seconds

Note: There are some skills which will reduce a cooldown by a flat time value, this is obviously build dependent on if its ‘valuable’ to you or not, but from a “min/max” standpoint a 1 sec reduction on a 4 sec cooldown is essentially a single 25% CDR.

Volodymyr Azimoff
About Volodymyr Azimoff 13579 Articles
I love games and I live games. Video games are my passion, my hobby and my job. My experience with games started back in 1994 with the Metal Mutant game on ZX Spectrum computer. And since then, I’ve been playing on anything from consoles, to mobile devices. My first official job in the game industry started back in 2005, and I'm still doing what I love to do.

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