Blight Shadowmancer Necromancer Endgame Build for Diablo 4 (Season 1)

Destroy the demons with the power of darkness.




Minion Overlord

Updated: Posted:

BlightDecrepifyCorpse TendrilsCorpse ExplosionBlood MistIron Maiden

Build Introduction

The BlightBlight Shadowmancer Necromancer build is a very relaxing build, providing lots of layers of control over your enemies and the comfortability of safety behind your darkness skills as your enemies die to your damage over time effects.

It’s very similar to the Sever Shadowmancer build, but instead of aiming for Critical Strike, we are fully focusing on damage over time scaling modifiers. This makes the build an excellent choice to use before you have the required gear and/or Unique items to transition to the end-game variant, the Exploding Shadow Mist Necromancer build.

Despite having no mandatory Unique items to function, the build has the possibility to utilize a large variety of them should you find yourself lucky enough to get one or more!

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Build Requirements

There are a lot of variations and cool items one can use for this build, however, none of them are mandatory. So, you can start a season with this build, or start with the suggested leveling build and simply transition to this build as soon as you feel like it!

Video Guide

Note that the video will eventually become outdated and that this written guide will always feature the latest version of the build.

Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Great season starter
  • Safe & comfortable to play
  • Doesn’t require heavy gear investment or Uniques
  • Falls off in the end-game; you’ll want to transition to the Exploding Shadow Mist build
  • Lacks single-target damage
  • Somewhat slow

To see how this build compares to the other builds on our site, you can check out our build tier lists.

Season of the Malignant

Season 1 Patch Updates

The following list details the changes in the Season 1 Patch Update that are specific to this build. Check the Changelog for all the other guide updates.

Patch 1.1

  • Aspect of Disobedience maximum stacks reduced from 100 to 60, reducing maximum Bonus Armor % from 25%-50% to 15%-30%.
  • Raise Skeleton, Corpse Explosion, and Corpse Tendrils range for auto-targeting Corpses on mouse and keyboard increased by 50%.
  • Amplify Damage increased from 3/6/9% to 4/8/12%.
  • Aspect of the Damned damage bonus increased from 30-40% to 40-50%.
  • Bloodless Scream Essence gained increased from 2-5 to 7-10.

Patch 1.1.1

  • Aspect of Decay: Damage increased from 20-40% to 25-45%.
  • Wither Legendary Board
    • Willpower requirement for bonuses reduced from 50 to 40.
    • Bonus damage per 40 Willpower increased from 2.5% to 4%.

Outside of the armor nerf from Aspect of DisobedienceAspect of Disobedience, Necromancer received some quality of life with corpse targeting and a significant damage buff, from both our passive Amplify DamageAmplify Damage and the Aspect of the DamnedAspect of the Damned, as well as a small Essence gain buff to the Unique weapon, should you find one.

The 1.1.1 patch brought us nothing but power which we’ll gladly accept!

Malignant Hearts

The Season 1 theme introduces Malignant Hearts that provide build-altering bonuses. The hearts are divided into 4 categories, each with a color that needs to be socketed in the corresponding colored Malignant Socket on equipped jewelry. Wrathful Hearts are a special case due to their rarity, and can be placed in any Socket.

Listed below are the Malignant Hearts that are useful for this build, ranked by importance. Stats displayed reflect what a Level 20 character would receive as a drop.

  • Caged Heart of Creeping DeathCaged Heart of Creeping Death (Wrathful, Super): Your damage over time effects are increased by 30-40% for each different Crowd Control effect on the target. Unstoppable monsters and Staggered bosses instead take 110-130% increased damage from your damage over time effects.
  • Caged Heart of the Great FeastCaged Heart of the Great Feast (Wrathful, Super-World Tier IV): Each Minion drains 1.0-2.0 Essence per second but deals 50-75% increased damage. With no Minions, this bonus applies to you and drains 5 Essence per second. Do note that this heart should only be used if combined with the Determination heart.
  • Caged Heart of DeterminationCaged Heart of Determination (Devious, Utility): Resource draining effects are 40-50% less effective. In addition, gain 3.0-8.0% increased Resource Generation.
  • Caged Heart of the Prudent HeartCaged Heart of the Prudent Heart (Brutal, Defensive-World Tier III): You become Immune for 2.0-4.0 seconds after you lose more than 20% Life in a single hit. This effect can only occur once every 110 seconds.

Skill Tree Points

Suggested Skill Bar
Blight Blight Blood Mist Blood Mist Corpse Explosion Corpse Explosion Iron Maiden Iron Maiden Decrepify Decrepify Corpse Tendrils Corpse Tendrils
Priority SkillsCluster
HemorrhageHemorrhage Level 2Basic SkillBasic Skill
BlightBlight Level 5, Enhanced BlightEnhanced Blight, Supernatural BlightSupernatural Blight, Hewed FleshHewed Flesh Level 3Core SkillCore Skill
Blood MistBlood Mist, Corpse ExplosionCorpse Explosion Level 5, Enhanced Corpse ExplosionEnhanced Corpse Explosion, Blighted Corpse ExplosionBlighted Corpse Explosion, Grim HarvestGrim Harvest Level 3, Fueled by DeathFueled by Death Level 3Corpse & Macabre SkillCorpse & Macabre Skill
Iron MaidenIron Maiden, Enhanced Iron MaidenEnhanced Iron Maiden, Abhorrent Iron MaidenAbhorrent Iron Maiden, Amplify DamageAmplify Damage Level 2, DecrepifyDecrepify, Enhanced DecrepifyEnhanced Decrepify, Abhorrent DecrepifyAbhorrent DecrepifyCurse SkillCurse Skill
Corpse TendrilsCorpse Tendrils, Enhanced Corpse TendrilsEnhanced Corpse Tendrils, Plagued Corpse TendrilsPlagued Corpse Tendrils, Reaper's PursuitReaper’s Pursuit Level 3, Crippling DarknessCrippling Darkness, GloomGloom Level 3, TerrorTerror Level 3Summoning SkillSummoning Skill
ShadowblightShadowblightKey PassivesKey Passives

Remaining Renown PointsCluster
Death's EmbraceDeath’s Embrace Level 3, Amplify DamageAmplify Damage Level 3Curse SkillCurse Skill
Stand AloneStand Alone Level 3, Memento MoriMemento Mori Level 3Ultimate SkillUltimate Skill

Book of the Dead

Since we are focusing entirely on dealing brutal damage with our shadow skills, we have no interest in bothering our minions, so they will all be sacrificed in the name of Lilith.

  • Melee Skeletons: Reapers; by sacrificing these you get tons of extra Shadow damage.
  • Mage Skeletons: Cold Mages; these provide increased damage to Vulnerable enemies.
  • Golem: Blood; this gives us more Life.

Paragon Board

The Paragon progression system unlocks at Level 50 and provides a vast amount of character power. On the Paragon Board, bonuses range from minor stats on Magic Nodes to more powerful Rare Glyphs and Legendary Nodes.

As you path towards Glyph Sockets and Legendary Nodes, you should prioritize Damage, Intelligence, Resistance, and Life for Normal and Magic Nodes. Glyph radius increases as you level them up. Therefore, if you cannot fulfill Additional Bonus requirements early on, skip allocating extra nodes for now. It’s also important to point out that you might not have the Glyph you want when you reach your first socket; if that’s the case, simply slot in any Glyph providing any beneficial stats for you until you get the correct one.

Listed below are images of the pathing you should take along with the locations of the Glyphs and order you should choose your Paragon Boards past the initial starter board.

Starting Board

The Starter Board is very straight forward, we will rush the socket through the right-hand side to put a ControlControl Glyph in. Do keep in mind that we will only ever take the extra attribute nodes if the level of the Glyph is high enough to have enough attributes within radius to provide the bonus modifier; any extra attributes outside of that are only ever taken after every Magic and Rare node is taken on our entire Paragon Board!

Wither (2nd Board)

The Wither Board is our second one, in which you’ll need to rotate it to fit the image above. We want to start by rushing the Legendary node due to how incredible it is for this build. After this, we’ll ignore the Magic and Rare node just above it and instead go through the Magic and Rare nodes to the right rushing up to the socket, in which we put in the ScourgeScourge Glyph. Similar to the Starter Board, we only take the surrounding attributes if the level of the Glyph allows the radius to include that much Willpower. We will still ignore the first Magic and Rare nodes above the Legendary node, as we move out on the right-hand side. We’ll circle back to those once we have picked up every other important Paragon Board in the very end.

Bloodbath (3rd Board)

The third board, Bloodbath, is a very important one. We will be ignoring the Legendary node here, but despite that, this board is going to be our main defensive board thanks to us rushing to the socket and putting in the Blood-drinkerBlood-drinker Glyph. The reason why this is so important is that with enough Intelligence in radius of that Glyph you are able to gain Fortify from picking up Blood Orbs, which makes it very important to getting this as soon as you gain access to this board. Thanks to our Aspect of the EmbalmerAspect of the Embalmer, we are going to be consistently generating Blood Orbs and this provides not just heals but direct damage reduction and the magical nodes will get increased efficiency that scales our damage output by being Fortified as well! After this, we’ll move on out up top to our next board.

Flesh-Eater (4th Board)

Our fourth board is Flesh-eater; make sure to rotate it to fit the image above. We are not going to spend a lot of time nor points in here, instead we rush the socket in which we use the GravekeeperGravekeeper Glyph. Make sure you grab the attributes within radius if possible to gain the bonus modifier from it as well! However, only do so after picking up the Legendary node.

Scent of Death (5th Board)

Next up is us circling back to our Bloodbath board and connecting out on the right-hand side, in which we put the Scent of Death board. As you can see in the image above, we are literally taking a straight line in to the socket to enable the DarknessDarkness Glyph and then off to the Legendary node which finishes our Paragon Board. Now, you’ll want to go back to any appropriate attributes within radius of your Glyphs and any skipped Magic and Rare nodes in previous boards.

Paragon board images courtesy of d4builds.gg.

Mechanics and Playstyle

We are looking to slow enemies down, then keeping them inside our massive pools of Damage over Time effects, which is achieved by stacking Lucky Hit Chance on our gear and using our skills in a specific order.

Most importantly, we are making sure enemies are cursed by DecrepifyDecrepify followed by BlightBlight. This is our baseline damage output, and we also want to make sure enemies are cursed by Iron MaidenIron Maiden, as this makes us deal a lot more damage with the proper Aspect Powers. It also replenishes a lot of Essence if used against a big pack of enemies that have not been cursed by it yet, so we can cast more Blights.

Blood MistBlood Mist serves as a panic button to get out of crowd control or dicey situations. Once our Lucky Hit Chance and/or enemies dying spawns corpses on the ground, we are now going to utilize both Corpse TendrilsCorpse Tendrils and Corpse ExplosionCorpse Explosion for even more damage output as well as crowd controlling our enemies. Always use BlightBlight to dump your Essence, as your highest damage output ability.

Gear Choice and Stat Priority

Prioritize a higher total damage output when it comes to your weapon, as the higher it is, the better. It should be kept in mind that if you find a higher Item Power 1-Handed weapon that it could very well be better than a 2-Handed weapon if coupled with an Off-Hand or even a Shield, as Shields scale your main-hand weapon by 80%!

Listed below are the affixes to prioritize on gear for BlightBlight Shadow Necromancers. Affixes for each gear slot are listed in order of importance. Bolded stats are the most important and sometimes vital for the build to function properly.

Gear SlotImportant Affixes
2H Scythe+ Vulnerable Damage
+ Intelligence
+ Willpower

+ Damage to Close Enemies
+ Damage Over Time
Helm+ Armor
+ Intelligence
+ Willpower
+ Life
Chest+ Armor
+ Damage reduction from Close Enemies
+ Damage reduction from Affected by Shadow Damage Over Time Enemies
+ Life
+ Damage reduction
Gloves+ Ranks of Blight
+ Lucky Hit Chance
+ Affected By Shadow Damage Over Time Damage Over Time
+ Intelligence
+ Willpower
Pants+ Ranks of Corpse Explosion
+ Damage reduction from Close Enemies
+ Damage reduction from Affected by Shadow Damage Over Time Enemies
+ Armor
+ Damage Reduction
Boots+ Movement Speed
+ Movement Speed for X Seconds After Killing an Elite
+ Intelligence
+ Willpower
Amulet+ Movement Speed
+ Movement Speed for X Seconds After Killing an Elite
+ Ranks of either; Fueled By Death, Amplify, Gloom or Terror
+ Ranks of all Corpse Skills
Rings+ Lucky Hit Chance
+ Life
+ Shadow Damage
+ Damage to Close Enemies
+ Intelligence
+ Willpower

Legendary Aspects and Unique Items

Listed below are all the recommended Legendary Aspects from the Codex of Power or found on Legendary Items that are important for the Shadow Necromancer build. Aspects from the Codex of Power can be used if you cannot find the proper Legendary drops, but they have weaker effects.

Gear SlotAspect NameAspect Power
HelmAspect of the EmbalmerAspect of the EmbalmerConsuming a Corpse has a 20-30% chance to spawn a Blood Orb.
ChestAspect of DisobedienceAspect of DisobedienceYou gain 0.25-0.5% increased Armor for 4 seconds when you deal any form of damage, stacking up to 25-50%.
GlovesCadaverous AspectCadaverous AspectConsuming a Corpse increases the damage of your next Core Skill by 5-10%, up to 25-50%.
PantsProtecting AspectProtecting AspectWhen hit while not Healthy, a magical bubble is summoned around you for 3-5 seconds. While standing in the bubble players are Immune. Can only occur once every 90 seconds.
BootsAspect of the VoidAspect of the VoidBlight’s defiled arean, when spawned, Pulls in enemies around the effected area.
WeaponBlighted AspectBlighted AspectYou deal 50-120% increased damage for 6 seconds after the Shadowblight Key Passive damages enemies 10 times.
Amulet (50% scaling)Aspect of the DamnedAspect of the DamnedYou deal 30-40% increased Shadow Damage to enemies afflicted by both Decrepify and Iron Maiden.
RingAspect of DecayAspect of DecayEach time the Shadowblight Key Passive deals damage to enemies, it increases the next Shadowblight’s damage within 10 seconds by 20-40%, stacking up to 5 times.
RingAspect of the UmbralAspect of the UmbralRestore 1-4 of your Primary Resource when you Crowd Control an enemy.

Unique Items

This build features no mandatory unique items but offers the availability to equip a variety of them, should you be lucky enough to find any in the list below.

This build excels on being an initial starter, allowing you to work your way up to high end-game performing builds such as the Exploding Shadow Mist Necromancer build. That build utilizes similar Unique items as this build, which further increases the efficiency of this duo of builds.

  • Howl from BelowHowl from Below: these gloves makes the build significantly smoother to play, as you are no longer required to have the corpses for your Corpse ExplosionCorpse Explosion underneath your enemies; instead this will spawn a skeleton that will rush at your enemies and explode on top of them!
  • TemerityTemerity: since we are stacking Lucky Hit Chance on our gear, this will help sustain a Barrier to excel our defensive layers.
  • Bloodless ScreamBloodless Scream: out of all the Unique weapons you can use for this build, this is the most common one. It makes our Darkness Skills Chill enemies, making them even slower than they already are, which also triggers our Aspect of the UmbralAspect of the Umbral to replenish more Essence to cast more BlightBlights.
  • DoombringerDoombringer: the most insane and rare weapon for any sort of Luck Hit stacking builds. Should you be lucky enough to find one of these bad boys, we would strongly recommend looking at the Exploding Shadow Mist build guide listed above.


Listed below are the best Gems to socket into gear for each slot type.

  • Weapon: Royal AmethystRoyal Amethyst for +#% Increased damage over time.
  • Armor: Royal RubyRoyal Ruby for +#% Maximum Life.
  • Jewelry: Royal SkullRoyal Skull to help increase our armor for more damage mitigation.

Elixirs and Health Potions

To gain an edge in your adventures, head to the Alchemist and craft Elixirs that enhance your stats and experience gain for 30 minutes. Remember to gather the necessary crafting materials by foraging plants. Select an Elixir that provides the resistance you need most, or try the Assault ElixirAssault Elixir to boost your Attack Speed.

Return to the Alchemist again when you reach Level 20 and 30 to upgrade your potion. The extra healing is essential to survival.

For the endgame, it’s important to make sure you have the highest level health potion as well as an active Elixir as it provides increased experience gained and can either compensate low resistances or increase your damage output in the form of attack speed.


  • August 7th, 2023: Guide updated for Patch 1.1.1.
  • July 19th, 2023: Guide updated for Season 1 including Malignant Hearts.
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