Exploding Shadow Mist Necromancer Endgame Build for Diablo 4 (Season 1)

Fastest and safest Necromancer build in the game for Nightmare dungeon push




Minion Overlord

Updated: Posted:

Blood MistCorpse TendrilsBone StormDecrepifyBlightCorpse Explosion

Build Introduction

The first build to finish Tier 100 Nightmare Dungeons in the game just got better! This build guide will take you through the optimized version of the Exploding Shadow Mist Necromancer, also known as “Infinimist” or “Shadowblight Stacker”.

Keep in mind that this build is gear-sensitive and therefore has a small list of mandatory items to function properly. This build requires the Howl from BelowHowl from Below Unique gloves and a combination of Cooldown Reduction modifiers on your Amulet, Helmet, and Focus, together with % Increased Lucky Hit Chance on every single piece you can get it on.

Playing the build without the Unique gloves is theoretically possible, but it causes a lot of frustrating moments, as we will be using Corpse ExplosionCorpse Explosion and this requires corpses to be underneath your enemies, and the gloves allows us to blow up corpses further away that will then run to your target and explode on top of them instead.

If you do not have access to this type of gearing, or the Howl from BelowHowl from Below gloves, we would strongly recommend checking out the Blight Shadowmancer Necromancer build, which lets you work your way up towards playing this build.

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Video Guide

Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Incredibly safe
  • Capable of Tier 100 Nightmare Dungeons
  • High ceiling of upgrades
  • Lacking single-target boss damage
  • Relies on Lucky Hit & Cooldown Reduction to function properly
  • Requires unique items to be played properly

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

Build Requirements

Required Uniques

This build requires Howl from BelowHowl from Below Unique Gloves to work properly. Despite the great efficiency the build brings to the table, it does lack a bit of single-target damage output, and these Gloves fix that problem.

While you could try to improvise with a set of Rare gloves, it is not something we can really recommend.

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.

Patch 1.1

  • Amplify Damage increased from 3/6/9% to 4/8/12%.
  • Raise Skeleton, Corpse Explosion, and Corpse Tendrils range for auto-targeting Corpses on mouse and keyboard increased by 50%.
  • Aspect of Ultimate Shadow damage increased from .16-.22 to .43-.48.
  • Aspect of Disobedience maximum stacks reduced from 100 to 60, reducing maximum Bonus Armor % from 25-50% to 15-30%.

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%.

Simply put, the changes straight up buffed the build when it comes to the Necromancer specific updates. However, on the generic changes we did receive a nerf to our armor through the Aspect of DisobedienceAspect of Disobedience nerf.

The 1.1.1 patch brought us a ton more damage output which we will 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 SacrilegiousCaged 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 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.
  • Caged Heart of RevengeCaged Heart of Revenge (Brutal, Defensive-World Tier III): 10-20% of incoming damage is instead suppressed. When you use a Defensive, Subterfuge or a Macabre skill, all suppressed damage is amplified by 250% and explodes, dealing up to 1360-2040 Fire damage to Nearby enemies.

Skill Tree Points

Suggested Skill Bar
Blood Mist Blood Mist Blight Blight Decrepify Decrepify Corpse Tendrils Corpse Tendrils Bone Storm Bone Storm Corpse Explosion Corpse Explosion
Priority SkillsCluster
ReapReap, Enhanced ReapEnhanced ReapBasic SkillBasic Skill
BlightBlight, Enhanced BlightEnhanced Blight, Paranormal BlightParanormal Blight, Hewed FleshHewed Flesh Level 3Core SkillCore Skill
Corpse ExplosionCorpse Explosion, Enhanced Corpse ExplosionEnhanced Corpse Explosion, Blighted Corpse ExplosionBlighted Corpse Explosion, Blood MistBlood Mist, Enhanced Blood MistEnhanced Blood Mist, Ghastly Blood MistGhastly Blood Mist, Grim HarvestGrim Harvest, Fueled by DeathFueled by Death Level 3Corpse & Macabre SkillCorpse & Macabre Skill
Death's EmbraceDeath’s Embrace Level 3, Amplify DamageAmplify Damage Level 3, 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
Bone StormBone Storm, Prime Bone StormPrime Bone Storm, Supreme Bone StormSupreme Bone Storm, Stand AloneStand Alone Level 3, Memento MoriMemento MoriUltimate SkillUltimate Skill
ShadowblightShadowblightKey PassivesKey Passives

Remaining Renown PointsCluster
Corpse ExplosionCorpse Explosion Level 5, Blood MistBlood Mist Level 5Corpse & Macabre SkillCorpse & Macabre Skill
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 with using our minions, so they will all be sacrificed in the name of Lilith.

  • Melee Skeletons: Reapers; these are sacrificed for a great amount of extra Shadow damage dealt.
  • Mage Skeletons: Cold Mages; this provides increased damage against Vulnerable targets.
  • 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 starting board.

Starting Board

The Starting Board is very straightforward: we want all Magic nodes in the end, except for that scrappy resistance one on the left. You’ll want to focus on picking up the Rare nodes and only taking the extra pathing to fulfill the desired attributes required to benefit from the Additional Bonus modifier of the TerritorialTerritorial Glyph when it’s high enough level to achieve that. Any extra attribute nodes should be ignored unless they serve the purpose of that.

Wither (2nd Board)

The second board should be the Wither board. Make sure to rotate it to fit the image above. The first thing we’ll want to do here is grab the socket and put in the ScourgeScourge Glyph. Similar to our Starting Board, we’ll only take the extra attributes if they are within radius and can fulfill the Additional Bonus requirement of the Glyph. Before heading north, we’ll want to rush the Wither Legendary Node.

Flesh-Eater (3rd Board)

Our third board is the Flesh-Eater board. In here we want to rush the Legendary node. Once that’s achieved, you’ll head towards the socket and put in the ControlControl Glyph. Same story as per usual, don’t take the extra attributes unless the Glyph level is high enough to cover the required attributes within range! Next up we skip the Rare and Magic nodes on the top left-corner and instead save them for our last paragon points, as it is more important to head down south for our fourth and final board.

Scent of Death (4th Board)

The fourth and final board is Scent of Death. This one is slightly different compared to our previous boards, as we will first want to rush to the socket and put in a DarknessDarkness Glyph and as per usual only take the extra attributes if the Glyph level allows for it within its radius. However, by rushing down to the socket like that you are now pathing “incorrectly”; this is solved by heading straight to the Legendary node and then connect your pathing up north so you can safely remove the 5 points you invested to rush to the socket in the first place. Once this is completed, you’ll fill out any attributes nodes across your boards as well as getting the remaining Magic and Rare nodes!

Paragon board images courtesy of d4builds.gg.

Mechanics and Playstyle

This build is all about Lucky Hits. Depending on the tier of content and what level you are and the gear you are, using you’ll play the build a bit differently, so let’s start with the initial end-game approach.

When enemies are not straight up just 1-shotting you (around Tier 50-60 Nightmare dungeons being the highest where this is expected to work smoothly), you will follow the priority list below in your rotation:

  1. Use DecrepifyDecrepify
  2. Are you forced to use Blood MistBlood Mist, because you are taking too much damage?
  3. Use Blood MistBlood Mist

The rotation displayed above is used for bigger packs of enemies. If you encounter smaller packs that you do not need to kill to progress your dungeon, you just want to bring them with you to the next pack and only kill if they pose a direct threat to you. This build is not a great for single-target, but rather a speed-clearing god and does so with ease and grace.

For single-target the rotation gets much easier, you are essentially doing the exact same thing but instead of always diving in to Blood MistBlood Mist you can weave in manually casted Corpse ExplosionCorpse Explosion and simply run around the target until it is dead.

When you start pushing the super high-end Tiers of Nightmare dungeons at Level 60-100, the rotation becomes very easy but still tricky to pull off as enemies are now posing a huge direct threat. Kiting smaller packs of enemies into a big one is not as easy, if doable at all in some cases.

Your main priority is to always make sure your DecrepifyDecrepify is up and then jump straight in to Blood MistBlood Mist as often as you possibly can.

Gear Choice and Stat Priority

Since we are strictly looking for as much Lucky Hit Chance as possible combined with Cooldown Reduction modifiers there is a handful of unique items we can utilize and the list below are the recommended slots and below you’ll find a list of suggested powers to use in place of the unique items recommended.

Listed below are the affixes to prioritize on gear for the Exploding Shadow Mist Necromancer. 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
1H Wand+ Vulnerable Damage
+ Critical Strike Damage
+ Intelligence

+ Willpower
+ Damage to affected by Shadow Damage over Time Enemies
+ Damage to Close Enemies
+ Damage Over Time
Focus (Offhand)+ Lucky Hit Chance
+ Cooldown Reduction
+ Intelligence
+ Willpower
Helm+ Cooldown Reduction
+ Armor
+ Intelligence
+ Willpower
+ Life
Chest+ Armor
+ Damage reduction from Close Enemies
+ Damage reduction from Affected by Shadow Damage Over Time Enemies
+ Damage reduction
+ Life
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
+ All Attributes
Amulet+ Cooldown Reduction
+ Movement Speed
+ 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 Uniques

Listed below are all the recommended Legendary Aspects, whether from the Codex of Power or found on Legendary Items, that are important for the Exploding Shadow Mist 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 Explosive MistAspect of Explosive MistBlood Mist triggers Corpse Explosion on surrounding Corpses. When Blood Mist detonates a Corpse, its Cooldown is reduced by 0.2-0.5 seconds.
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%
PantsAspect of Shielding StormAspect of Shielding StormEach time that Bone Storm damages an enemy, gain a Barrier equal to 2-5% of your Base Life for 10 seconds.
BootsGhostwalker AspectGhostwalker AspectWhile Unstoppable and for 4 seconds after, you gain 10-25% increased Movement Speed and can move freely through enemies.
WeaponConceited AspectConceited AspectDeal 15-25% increased damage while you have a Barrier active.
Amulet (50% scaling)Blighted AspectBlighted AspectYou deal 50-120% increased damage for 6 seconds after the Shadowblight Key Passive damages enemies 10 times.
RingBlood-soaked AspectBlood-soaked AspectBlood Mist leaves a trail that lasts for 4 seconds and deals X Shadow damage per second to enemies who stand in it. Your Movement Speed is no longer reduced while Blood Mist is active.
RingAspect of Ultimate ShadowAspect of Ultimate ShadowBone Storm and Blood Wave are also Darkness Skills, deal Shadow damage, and gain additional effects: Enemies damaged by Bone Storm take X Shadow Damage over 2 seconds. Blood Wave desecrates the ground it travels over, dealing X Shadow damage over 4 seconds.
OffhandAspect 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.

Unique Items

While perhaps not strictly mandatory, we firmly believe that without Howl from BelowHowl from Below gloves you will have an inferior experience with this specific version of the build. There’s a handful of other options that do VERY well for this build and would even be considered “Best in Slot”. Below you’ll find a list of these items:

  • DoombringerDoombringer: this weapon is by far the most insane piece you can get, it will skyrocket your damage output. The problem is that it’s hilariously rare, hence why it’s not listed in the base of this guide.
  • Black RiverBlack River: very effective damage increase for your build, however a Rare wand would do just as well and some would say even better. It comes down to a preferential decision. Do keep in mind that a Rare wand offers the possibility of another Aspect Power.
  • Greaves of the Empty TombGreaves of the Empty Tomb: a Rare pair of boots is the best option for speed-clearing Nightmare dungeons below Tier 60, however if you’re looking to push the higher tiers, these Unique boots will provide tons of extra Lucky Hit Chance, making them a great choice for that purpose.
  • TemerityTemerity: a good layer of defense comes from having a Barrier, which is provided by our Bone StormBone Storm thanks to the Aspect Power. These Unique pants works best in combination with DoombringerDoombringer, and it’s very hard to determine if a Rare pair is better or worse before you get that weapon.


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 in Kyovashad 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.
  • August 3rd, 2023: Updated Season 1 Heart list for better performance.
  • July 19th, 2023: Guide updated for Season 1 including Malignant Hearts.
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