Rathma Skeletal Mages Necromancer Skills and Runes

Last updated on Nov 19, 2020 at 09:00 by Deadset 23 comments

On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Rathma Skeletal Mages Necromancer in Diablo 3. Updated for Patch 2.6.10 and Season 22.

Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Grim Scythe Icon Grim Scythe Cursed Scythe Cursed Scythe Right Mouse Button Skeletal Mage Icon Skeletal Mage Singularity Singularity 1 Devour Icon Devour Cannibalize Cannibalize 2 Land of the Dead Icon Land of the Dead Frozen Lands Frozen Lands 3 Command Skeletons Icon Command Skeletons Freezing Grasp Freezing Grasp 4 Simulacrum Icon Simulacrum Reservoir Reservoir
Passive Skills


The basic rotation of this build involves rapidly building up Essence through generator attacks and Devour Devour, doubling it up with Simulacrum Simulacrum Reservoir Reservoir, and then emptying the entire reserve with a summon of Skeletal Mage Skeletal Mage Singularity Singularity. While your resources will constantly shift between full and empty, never neglect to sic your melee minions on a target with Command Skeletons Command Skeletons — this will eat up some Essence, but will be vital for your success. Finally, activate Land of the Dead Land of the Dead whenever it is up for a major fight — this dominant cooldown will all but guarantee your success.


Skills and Runes

The primary damage dealer and focal point of Rathma set builds are the Skeletal Mage Skeletal Mages. Their relatively short 6 second base duration will be nearly doubled with a combination of Extended Servitude Extended Servitude and Circle of Nailuj's Evol Circle of Nailuj's Evol, and their base damage — multiplied by the Circle of Nailuj's Evol Circle of Nailuj's Evol extra summon, Rathma 6-piece and the Jesseth 2-piece. The rune of choice is Singularity Singularity, whose unique property consumes your entire resource reserve for 3% extra damage per Essence spent. This results in 1860% extra damage per full resource dump on a reasonably equipped character — a staggering damage difference to the other Skeletal Mage Skeletal Mage runes.

You will have a secondary damage dealer in the build in the face of Command Skeletons Command Skeletons, but it will not be focused on through gear and its impact on overall DPS will diminish as you increase difficulties. They fulfill an important role as procs of the Jesseth set (Jesseth Skullscythe Jesseth Skullscythe and Jesseth Skullshield Jesseth Skullshield), so do not neglect to set them on a target every fresh fight. You will add some crowd control on top through the Freezing Grasp Freezing Grasp rune, providing you with regular procs of the worn Krysbin's Sentence Krysbin's Sentence.

In order to maintain this massive resource demand, you will devote three active skill choices to Essence upkeep.

Your basic source of Essence will be a generator, and while theoretically all of them will do the job, in Season 22 we recommend Grim Scythe Grim Scythe due to its ability to spread curses for the extra damage multiplication of Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang, which is stored in the season-specific 4th Cube slot. Traditionally, this slot would be occupied by Bone Spikes Bone Spikes; it is safer with its longer range vs. Grim Scythe Grim Scythe's melee, and is a single cast vs. Siphon Blood Siphon Blood's channeling. Add to that its highest base generation augmented even further by Reilena's Shadowhook Reilena's Shadowhook, and it becomes a no-brainer. You have a significant freedom in your choice of runes; our default recommendation is the short stun of Sudden Impact Sudden Impact for another proc of Krysbin's Sentence Krysbin's Sentence (see this build's gear page for more information).

The second source of Essence comes from consuming Corpses — a unique Necromancer resource that is generated largely through combat. You will be using Devour Devour with the Cannibalize Cannibalize rune to double dip on bonuses — Health and Essence restoration. Note that due to the skill's lack of casting animation, you are free to spam as much as you need. While you can keep the rune on Devouring Aura Devouring Aura for convenience, that is best left for the lazier, speed farming variation.

The final source of Essence generation depends on Devour Devour, but empowers it greatly. Land of the Dead Land of the Dead supplies you with an infinite amount of Corpses throughout its short duration, allowing you to replenish Health and Essence almost instantaneously. During its uptime, you will be able to get the maximum number of Skeletal Mage Skeletal Mages, all at their maximum power — for a great boost of damage. Note Land of the Dead Land of the Dead's massive cooldown and try to save it for key fights like Elites and the Rift Guardian. The rune Frozen Lands Frozen Lands will ensure the powerful Krysbin's Sentence Krysbin's Sentence proc on all enemies on the screen for even better damage output.

Your final skill slot will be used for Simulacrum Simulacrum Reservoir Reservoir, another one of the Necromancer's longest cooldowns. The Simulacrum Simulacrum summon will mimic your secondary skill (Skeletal Mage Skeletal Mage, in this case), and will double your Essence reserve through the Reservoir Reservoir rune — an immensely powerful effect with the Singularity Singularity rune in mind.

This concludes the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.



As previously mentioned, this is a Skeletal Mage Skeletal Mage-centric build and everything that augments or extends their power is priority; thus Extended Servitude Extended Servitude takes a firm slot in your passive selection for the 1.5 sec. Mage duration increase.

Following a similar logic, to empower the Singularity Singularity rune you will be taking the flat Essence increase of Overwhelming Essence Overwhelming Essence.

To play to the strengths of your equipped Reaper's Wraps Reaper's Wraps and the constant spam of Devour Devour, Life from Death Life from Death will provide you with a consistent supply of Health Globes. This will greatly improve both the rate and the average power of your Singularity Singularity summons.

Final Service Final Service is the Necromancer's approach to cheat death passives — a chance to evade a lethal outcome once every 60 seconds, along with a 10% healing proc per minion consumed in the process, nicely rounding out your passive selection.



  • 19 Nov. 2020: Revised generator skill recommendation to reflect Season 22-specific options.
  • 02 Jul. 2020: No changes required for Season 21.
  • 12 Mar. 2020: No changes necessary for Season 20.
  • 22 Nov. 2019: Reviewed for Season 19.
  • 23 Aug. 2019: Reviewed and approved for Season 18.
  • 12 May 2019: Guide was reviewed and approved for Season 17.
  • 18 Jan. 2019: Information was reviewed and approved for Season 16 with no changes required.
  • 27 Oct. 2017: Adjusted skill selection according to the buffs in Patch 2.6.1.
  • 17 Jul. 2017: Guide updated with improved skill and gearing recommendations.
  • 07 Jul. 2017: Skill recommendations updated.
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