To find out more general information about leveling as a Necromancer in Diablo 4, you can check out our main Necromancer Leveling guide. Or you can go to our Necromancer Builds page for a list of other leveling and endgame Necromancer builds for you to choose from.
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The Blood Surge Necromancer leveling build is a high damaging build that brings high consistency to the battlefield, ensuring the damage output is kept high even when you’re building up your Essence to continue casting Blood Surge. This makes it an incredibly smooth build to level your Necromancer with!
Due to the high damage output, this build will take you from the start of the game all the way through the campaign with ease, as well as being capable of soloing the Cathedral of Light Capstone dungeon.
Solo play can be fun and playing with friends can be great, if you have the right spec! The high damage output makes the build very attractive to have in a party with friends. Most importantly the build is designed to be extremely resilient making yourself become more than a high damage dealer, but also a front-lining tank.
Season of the Malignant
This page is updated for Season 1 of Diablo 4. That said, there are only two Malignant Hearts that are especially useful, and they are as follows.
- Caged Heart of the Sacrilegious (Vicious, Offensive): Walking near a Corpse automatically activates an equipped Corpse Skill every second, dealing 40-30% reduced damage.
- Caged 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.
- Caged Heart of the Decrepit Aura (Brutal, Defensive): When at least 5 enemies are near you, gain an aura that automatically curses surrounding enemies with Decrepify for 5-15 seconds.
Skill Tree Points and Skill Bar
Mechanics and Playstyle
The build starts off with casting Blood Surge as your main source of damage output coupled with Hemorrhage. Combined with the blood passive nodes from your skill-tree the build stacks up a lot of life leech & inherit defenses making yourself a proper tank with higher damage output, but most importantly high area coverage with your damage.
When fighting bosses you essentially want to dump all your Essence by casting Blood Surge. Thanks to Hemorrhage combined with Acolyte’s Hemorrhage we can very easily & extremely fast build our Essence back up to go back to casting Blood Surge. This makes the build very easy to play. Utility wise we do have access to corpses via Hewed Flesh which will be used with our Corpse Tendrils.
Book of the Dead
Necromancer’s class specific ability is the Book of the Dead, which provides three different type of minions that unlock by leveling up. Some of these choices comes down to personal preference, so we will outline our preferred setup for leveling this build. Early stage leveling you can absolutely use some of the minions if you prefer, though after Level 25+ you’ll 100% want to sacrifice them all.
- Melee Skeletons – Skirmisher will be our choice of sacrificing here as it provides us with 5% base critical strike chance.
- Mage Skeletons – Bone will be sacrificed for an insane amount of bonus Overpower damage which is the bread & butter of this build. In the early stages of leveling you could opt for using the Cold mages that generates Essence for you if you want.
- Golem – Blood sacrifice provides us with increased Life which is what our Overpower damage scales from.
Legendary Item Aspects
To unlock Aspects in the Codex of Power, you must complete the corresponding Dungeon where the specific Aspect drops. Visit the Occultist to imprint this Aspect onto an item. Aspects from the Codex of Power can be used often on weapons.
There is really only one Legendary Aspect that is truly powerful and worth mentioning for this build, which is the Blood-bathed Aspect , unlocked by completing the Hoarfrost Demise dungeon in Act 1, Fractured Peaks.
This Aspect allows us to have our Blood Surge echo hitting twice, this vastly makes us clear enemies faster & increase our single target damage output.
Aspects found on dropped Legendary Items have stronger effects than those applied from the Codex of Power. Additionally, it is important to know that certain Aspects can only be obtained by finding them on a legendary item, and are not accessible through the Codex of Power. Extract Aspects from unusable Legendary Items to imprint them onto well-rolled Rare Items. Avoid imprinting valuable extracted Aspects onto weapons, because weapons they get replaced often while leveling. We recommend strongly that you apply this to one of your Rings; this will allow you to have more free room to equip upgrades (in case of a great Ring drop, you can replace the Ring without the Aspect) without wasting precious materials re-applying the Aspect every time you find an upgrade.
We have a dedicated in-depth Aspect and Codex of Power guide that you can check out for more information.
Gear Choice and Stat Priority while Leveling
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, 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%!
Outside of this, you’ll be on the look out for the following modifiers, in no particular order:
- Attack Speed
- + Ranks of Blood Surge
Listed below are the best Gems to socket into gear for each slot type.
- Weapon: Emerald for +#% Critical Strike Damage to Vulnerable Enemies.
- Armor: Ruby for +#% Maximum Life.
- Jewelry: Diamond for all Resistance or any gem that provides you with the resistance type you lack the most.
Elixirs and Health Potions
To gain an edge in your adventures, head to the Alchemist in any major town, 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 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.
- August 5th, 2023: Build added.