Necromancer Leveling and Fresh 70 Guide (Patch 2.6.7 / Season 19)

Last updated on Nov 22, 2019 at 22:12 by Deadset 24 comments

The purpose of the beginner Necromancer guide is to provide you with a build and item recommendations that will reliably carry you from leveling, through the pre-Torment difficulties and get you into low Torment farming, without requiring specific legendary or set bonuses. The guide also includes a page for Seasonal Necromancers, explaining how best to take advantage of the free set from Haedrig's Gifts.

1.

Why choose the Necromancer?

Choose the Necromancer if you relish in the practice of dark arts — crushing bone with your grim will and sharpening it against your enemies, spilling blood in calculated dosage to empower your spells, and all the while raising massive hordes of the dead from their very graves. With debilitating curses and ample ways to control the battlefield, you are the embodiment of the commander in Diablo 3.

2.

Progression (Seasonal or Not Seasonal)

2.1.

Leveling Build

Your progression on a given character always start with leveling to 70. To help you with that, we have a beginner leveling build that you can access using the link below.

2.2.

Haedrig Gifts' Season 19 Starter Build

After reaching Level 70, the easiest way to start gearing up and progressing towards the end-game is by using the set given by the Haedrig's Gifts. Haedrig's Gifts are cache-like rewards that drop 2 pieces of a fixed class-specific set after completing chapters II, III, and IV of the Seasonal Journey. Having a full 6-piece set bonus available to you will skyrocket your character's power well in the mid-to-high Torments. This makes the early portion of the Seasonal Journey your first priority upon reaching Level 70.

In Season 19, Necromancers will find the Bones of Rathma set in their Haedrig's Gifts. We have an early progression build for this set, which you can find by clicking the link below.

2.3.

Other Starter Builds

While you get a fixed free set at the start of every Season, it is not unreasonable to assume you will attain other sets in quick succession. If you are interested in switching around your playstyle, take a look at the beginner points for other sets below, and note to which endgame builds they point you after.

3.

Gear To Look For

To learn how to gear up quickly and approach a character's progression in general, check out our Beginner Seasonal Guide. It includes advice and tactics related to gambling Blood Shards, doing Bounties, Regular, Greater and Challenge Rifts, and using Kanai's Cube for easy upgrades.

Certain items can be targeted through the completion of bounties or boss kills. The following is a list of such items, in order of importance for the class.

  • Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur is a legendary from Act I caches that reduces the number of set items required for set bonuses by one. While it might not be immediately useful, obtaining powerful bonuses (such as the 4- and 6-piece set bonuses of the Bones of Rathma set) as early as possible for a huge spike in character power is an opportunity you should not pass up. Doing bounties will be inevitable for crafting materials anyway, so optimize your farming time and get this ring as soon as possible.
  • Avarice Band Avarice Band is an Act III cache legendary ring that extends your pickup radius by up to 30 yards as you pick up gold. This unassuming bonus has the potential to turn in the strongest source of defense during normal rifts due to its synergy with Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder and Goldwrap Goldwrap. Their powers combined, they can render your character practically invulnerable even in the highest of Torment difficulties.
  • Reaper's Wraps Reaper's Wraps are a good bracer option for beginner Necromancers, as the spenders of this class tend to be Essence-heavy, you have means to generate globes (i.e. Life from Death Life from Death), and the class has no other access to passive resource regeneration. These bracers restore up to 30% of your Essence reserves when you get healed by a health globe — an easy trigger if you keep an eye on the battlefield. Note that these bracers are craftable, and the plan for their creation drops when you kill the Act V boss Malthael on any difficulty.
  • Gloves of Worship Gloves of Worship are an Act II cache legendary that extends the duration of Shrines to 10 minutes, a very decent farming effect that is usually stored in Kanai's Cube. The combined power of Empowered Shrines (doubled resource gain, halved cooldowns), Frenzied Shrines (25% Attack Speed) and Fleeting Shrines (25% increase to Movement Speed and 20 yard pickup radius), often refreshing before their 10-minute duration, is a huge buff during normal rifts. Necromancers are among the classes that can benefit from Gloves of Worship Gloves of Worship, as the armor Cube slots of their most common farming specs are flexible enough to fit the item in.
  • Illusory Boots Illusory Boots are an Act II cache legendary item that removes enemy collision — a staple of support builds in Greater Rifts, as their precise positioning for party-wide buffs and enemy disables dictates the course of Greater Rift progress. Necromancers have no known viable support build, lowering (but not negating, especially if you plan on alts) the importance of obtaining Illusory Boots Illusory Boots.
  • Envious Blade Envious Blade is an Act II cache dagger with one of the most powerful speedfarming bonuses in the game — a guaranteed Critical Hit against enemies at full health. A well equipped character using this dagger can oneshot entire screens of enemies in a suitable farming difficulty. Since Necromancers can not dual wield and their weapon slots are frequently taken by more important legendaries, Envious Blade Envious Blade is not considered a cache priority.
  • As previously mentioned, Necromancer spenders can be harsh on your Essence reserves when no set bonuses are available to skyrocket your damage. Another cache item can be added to your setup to ease the strain on your resources: the Pride's Fall Pride's Fall helm. Obtained through Act III cache bounties, the helm reduces your resource costs by 30% after not taking damage for 5 seconds, which is easily achievable with proper positioning.

The majority of the gear will be found by random chance as you farm normally, by killing monsters, opening chests, gambling at Kadala and upgrading rare items at the Cube. While the list below is not exhaustive, these are some of the pieces to seek, spend blood shards on, or upgrade yellows for — in order of priority:

4.

Stat Priorities

Slot Stat Priority
Head
  1. Intelligence
  2. Socket
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Vitality
Shoulders
  1. Intelligence
  2. Vitality
  3. Life %
  4. Cooldown Reduction
Torso
  1. Intelligence
  2. 3 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. Elite Damage Reduction
  5. Life %
Wrists
  1. Intelligence
  2. Elemental Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Vitality
Hands
  1. Intelligence
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Vitality
Waist
  1. Intelligence
  2. Vitality
  3. Life %
  4. Armor
Legs
  1. Intelligence
  2. 2 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. Armor
Feet
  1. Intelligence
  2. Vitality
  3. Armor
  4. Skill Damage
  5. Movement Speed
Amulet
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Elemental Damage
  5. Intelligence
Rings
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Intelligence
Weapon
  1. High Damage Range
  2. Intelligence
  3. Socket (preferably from Ramaladni's Gift Ramaladni's Gift)
  4. % Damage
Off-hand
  1. High Damage Range
  2. Intelligence
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Skill Damage
  5. Vitality
5.

Paragon Points

Slot Paragon Points
Core
  1. Movement Speed up to 25% cap
  2. Maximum Essence (depends on build)
  3. Intelligence
  4. Vitality
Offense
  1. Critical Hit Damage
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Attack Speed
Defense
  1. Armor
  2. Life %
  3. All Resistance
  4. Life Regeneration
Utility
  1. Area Damage
  2. Resource Cost Reduction
  3. Life on Hit
  4. Gold Find
6.

Gems

Your armor sockets should be taken up by the highest tier Topaz gems you can afford at the time, while the helm is usually best filled by a Diamond gem for a boost to Cooldown Reduction. The weapon is best fitted with an Emerald. When you stumble upon jewelry with good primary stats and a socket, you should start dabbling into Legendary Gems. The Legendary Gems to consider for Necromancers are, in order of importance:

  • Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped — staple multiplicative damage increase. Note that the gem is self sufficient, proccing itself when fighting in melee range, and is otherwise easily triggered by the Necromancer's myriad slows.
  • Enforcer Enforcer is a priority gem for Necromancers, a classic summoner archetype in the game. It offers a multiplicative damage increase to your minions, as well as majorly boosting their Toughness (important in Greater Rifts).
  • Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken — almost mandatory gem for Greater Rift progression, as it is designed to whittle down the scaling health numbers of monsters with a percentage-based increase on successive attacks.
  • Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder — synergizing with other farming mainstays like Avarice Band Avarice Band and Goldwrap Goldwrap, this gem will not only keep you rich, but also sped up and safe during normal rift farming.
  • Bane of the Powerful Bane of the Powerful — the speed farming counterpart to Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken, Bane of the Powerful Bane of the Powerful offers a solid overall damage and survivability increase as long as your killing speed does not fall behind the timer of the gem.
  • Situational gems — Gogok of Swiftness Gogok of Swiftness is a vital part of Cooldown-centric builds, which is the majority of Land of the Dead Land of the Dead-centric setups. Moratorium Moratorium and Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard are health-balancing gems that are important to Trag'Oul's set builds. Mirinae, Teardrop of the Starweaver Mirinae, Teardrop of the Starweaver and Pain Enhancer Pain Enhancer proc-based gems that are popular inclusions with the Inarius set.
Slot Gems
Helm
Torso and Pants
Weapon
7.

Kanai's Cube

Kanai's Cube choices are highly build- and content-specific, making them hard to summarize. Generally speaking, Necromancers should store the powers of the following items in the Cube as soon as they have the materials available: Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang, Scythe of the Cycle Scythe of the Cycle, Nayr's Black Death Nayr's Black Death and Reilena's Shadowhook Reilena's Shadowhook, In-geom In-geom, Corpsewhisper Pauldrons Corpsewhisper Pauldrons, Tasker and Theo Tasker and Theo, Grasps of Essence Grasps of Essence, Moribund Gauntlets Moribund Gauntlets, Nemesis Bracers Nemesis Bracers, Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass, Goldwrap Goldwrap, Krysbin's Sentence Krysbin's Sentence, Circle of Nailuj's Evol Circle of Nailuj's Evol, Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac, Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur (outside of Season 16), Avarice Band Avarice Band, Convention of Elements Convention of Elements and Unity Unity.

8.

Follower

For more information regarding followers, we advise you to read our Follower Guide, which contains detailed advice for choosing the skills and the gear of your follower.

9.

Changelog

  • 22 Nov. 2019: Overhauled the guide and updated it for Season 19.
  • 23 Aug. 2019: Updated for Season 18.
  • 16 May 2019: Updated for Season 17.
  • 18 Jan. 2019: Updated for Season 16.
  • 20 Sep. 2018: Updated for Season 15.
  • 14 Jun. 2018: Added the Season 14 Pestilence starter build.
  • 22 Feb. 2018: Added the Season 13 Inarius starter build.
  • 08 Nov. 2017: Added the Season 12 Trag'Oul starter build.
  • 27 Jun. 2017: Added the guide.
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