Rathma Army of the Dead Necromancer Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Rathma Army of the Dead Necromancer in Diablo 3. Updated for Patch 2.7.5 and Season 28.
|Siphon Blood Power Shift Command Skeletons Frenzy 1 Bone Armor Dislocation 2 Army of the Dead Death Valley 3 Blood Rush Potency 4 Revive Personal Army|
The build should start out runs by getting Revive minions up as soon as possible, ideally the maximum 10 per cast right out of the gate; naturally, this is necessary to maximize the 2-, 4- and 6-piece bonuses of the Rathma set, which at least partially hinges on reanimating the corpses of the fallen. The other half of the set mechanic can comfortably fall on Command Skeletons which should also be up at all times. With your set fully amplified by minions, you should be able to nuke and shortly thereafter reset your main damage dealer — Army of the Dead.
With proper Cooldown Reduction optimization, you should have two activations of Army of the Dead within a single Convention of Elements rotation. One of them needs to be during the Physical cycle in order to burst enemies down, while the other will be auxiliary damage, mopping up stragglers and setting up Oculus Ring spawns.
Due to the ample range of Siphon Blood, you can maintain a considerable distance from the enemy — letting the minions tank and distract your enemies. As your Physical rotation of Convention of Elements approaches, you will need to move in closer to the fight and stun the pull with Bone Armor Dislocation to get the maximum Krysbin's Sentence damage bonus. Then, immediately teleport away with Blood Rush to maximize your Zei's Stone of Vengeance bonus, which is based on distance. With both bonuses taken care of, you can unleash the Army of the Dead Death Valley nuke and enjoy the devastation.
Skills and Runes
The main damage dealer and centerpiece of the build is Army of the Dead, one of the Necromancer skills targeted by the Rathma set for damage multiplication. Its massive, 120-second base cooldown is reduced by attacks of your permanent minions in 0.25 second increments. With deep investments in Cooldown Reduction on gear, once you have 17 minions out in the battlefield (the 10 Revives and 7 Command Skeletons) you should be able to cast Army of the Dead twice per Convention of Elements cycle. The preferred rune is the pulling effect of Death Valley, bringing some excellent battlefield manipulation.
Revive is an integral part of a Rathma setup, as the attacks of its minions will be responsible for roughly half of the cooldown reduction necessary to make Army of the Dead a reliable nuke. Take the Personal Army rune to add some much needed damage reduction to your build.
Command Skeletons is the other source of minion summons necessary to maximize th Rathma armor set bonus; on top of that, its active effect is a trigger for the Jesseth set weapon and offhand. Take the Frenzy to hasten the cooldown reset from the 2-piece set bonus and ensure the stability of the 6-piece multiplier.
While its base Essence generation and healing aspects are decent, Siphon Blood receives a massive boon from the Cubed effects of the Funerary Pick. That power alone places this generator skill firmly in the build, greatly scaling your damage against targets affected by the siphoning, and further empowering the effect of your preferred rune — Power Shift.
The base effect of Bone Armor simply acts as a damage reduction buffer, easily maximized in densely packed rifts. The more important half of the skill comes from the chosen rune, Dislocation — its 2-second stun will provide a moment of respite in the thick of battle, as well as an additional source of Krysbin's Sentence procs.
Last but not least, Blood Rush will be necessary for both mobility throughout the rift, and for a valuable layer of protection from the Armor-boosting rune Potency.
Synergizing with the frequent use of Army of the Dead in this build, Rathma's Shield provides a brief moment of invulnerability once every 60 seconds. You can time the use of this passive for some daredevil pulls and engagements, or simply have another backup for tanking hard-to-dodge Elite affixes.
You have two Poisonous skill runes that can reliably affect an entire pull — Bone Armor Dislocation's AoE effect plus Siphon Blood Power Shift's multi-target capability from Funerary Pick. With that in mind, you can efficiently proc the Rigor Mortis passive, along with all the crowd control and safety it provides.
Since this spec falls into the category of heavy summoners (albeit not reliant on the summons' damage to perform), Grisly Tribute is a great inclusion to make up for the lackluster sustain inherent to your skill and gear choices. In a 17-minion setup, this passive will be a major factor in your healing.
Lastly, Final Service provides you with a cheat death proc and a safety net against bursty elite affixes.
- 22 Feb. 2023: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 28.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Guide revised to reflect Funerary Pick changes, and added Season 27 Angelic Crucible recommendations.
- 14 Apr. 2022: Guide reviewed for Season 26.
- 08 Dec. 2021: No changes required for Season 25.
- 22 Jul. 2021: No changes required for Season 24.
- 29 Mar. 2021: Guide added.
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