d4EndgameGuideMinionsseason 4

Shadow Summoner Endgame Necromancer Build for Diablo 4 (Season 4)

Raise the dead and destroy endgame content with an army!




Minion Overlord

Updated: Posted:

Raise SkeletonBone StormCorpse TendrilsDecrepifyCorpse Explosion

Build Introduction

The beloved playstyle of having an army of Skeletal Minions destroying everything for you is the main focus of this build guide. The build will require certain Legendary Powers to be a performing character, which is covered in this guide. Outside of letting our minions do our damage, we will be Cursing enemies with DecrepifyDecrepify and Slowing them down on top of consistent cooldown recovery allowing for high up-time of our Bone StormBone Storm. We combine this with a massive spam of Corpse ExplosionCorpse Explosion ramping up tons of Shadow damage to trigger the ShadowblightShadowblight Key Passive for insane damage output! This specific version of the summoner build is referred to as a Shadow Minion build, and since we are using both Skeletons and Golems, Zoomancer is often a common name for the build!

You are able to level with this build; however, if you are new to the game, we would strongly recommend checking out the Necromancer Leveling guide for the smoothest experience going through the campaign before switching to this build.

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Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Truly a pure minion Necromancer build
  • Safe build, thanks to our meat shield army
  • High end-game version is incredibly strong
  • Relies on minion AI
  • Most legendary powers comes from drops

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

Build Requirements

This build has no mandatory items or Aspects to function, meaning you can play it right from the start!

Build Variants

A build variant is a modified version of an existing build that changes some aspects of it, such as the damage type, specific skills or passives, and even certain items like different Uniques or Legendary Aspects.

Below, you will find any variant that relates to the Shadow Summoner / Zoomancer Necromancer:

Skill Bar and Skill Tree Points

Suggested Skill Bar
Bone Storm Bone Storm Summoning Skill Summoning Skill Summoning Skill Summoning Skill Corpse Explosion Corpse Explosion Decrepify Decrepify Corpse Tendrils Corpse Tendrils

Follow the points allocated in the Skill Tree above for the complete 58-point build. The additional 10 skill points are completed using the Renown system.

Book of the Dead

Since we are focusing on dealing damage with our minions, we will be keeping all our minions alive for this build, and not sacrificing any of them.

  • Melee Skeletons; Reaper Skeletons We grab the corpse generating upgrade here.
  • Mage Skeletons; Shadow Skeletons Having more multiplicative damage per active Shadow Mage will directly scale our minions damage output.
  • Golem; Bone Golem provides extra layers of defense by being able to taunt enemies for us and shed corpses on demand with the ability.

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 reduction for your Minions, Minion Attack Speed, 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. Also, note that the Glyph radius is based on level 21 Glyphs.

1. Starting Board

The Starting Board will be focused on picking getting to the socket slot, and we will want the AmplifyAmplify Glyph. Depending on the level and radius, you should pick up the extra Intelligence Nodes if you can enable the Additional Bonus for it. Then, we proceed by pathing upward for our next board, Cult Leader, by taking all Magic Nodes and the Rare Node on the left side.

2. Cult Leader

Cult Leader should be rushed through by taking the socket and the Legendary Node. Pick up the Rare and Magic nodes, when you reach the socket, you’ll want to use the DeadraiserDeadraiser Glyph. Similarly to our starting board, if the radius is big enough to get the bonus modifier, you should take the extra Intelligence. Once done, we’ll path out to the south side for our third board, Wither.

3. Wither

Similarly to our previous board, we’ll be rushing towards the Legendary Node and picking up the Rare and Magic Nodes as shown in the image above on the way. Once you reach the socket, you’ll slot in the GolemGolem Glyph and the extra Nodes around for damage mitigation for our minions. Make sure you grab the displayed Rare and Magic nodes before you move to the right for the fourth board, Flesh-Eater.

4. Flesh-Eater

For Flesh-Eater, we will rotate to get the socket slot first, in which we want to use the EssenceEssence Glyph. Similarly to our previous boards, we’ll take the extra attributes if the radius allows for us to benefit from the bonus modifier. After this, we will finish our progression by getting the remaining Rare and Magic nodes and head to our next board.

5. Scent of Death

With Scent of Death, we’ll fit it so we can rush the socket, in which we use the ControlControl Glyph which will provide a ton of extra damage against crowd controlled enemies. This board is exclusively used to get another Glyph and benefit from a lot of extra damage multipliers.

6. Hulking Monstrosity

With Hulking Monstrosity is here to fit the DarknessDarkness Glyph and rush the legendary node to finish our paragon board.

Paragon board images courtesy of d4builds.gg.

For an in-depth analysis of each board and our particular node choices, please see the detailed Paragon section here.

Gear, Gems, Elixirs, and Stats

The Season of Loot Reborn brings us an incredible shift in how gear and itemization are done. It is a major and will affect the game beyond Season 4’s confines. For further details, make sure to read our Tempering and Masterworking section below.

Legendary Aspects

Each aspect is listed with its matching gear slot. Do your best to keep each aspect in the assigned slot. Additionally, if you are trying to farm a specific item, we recommend using your Obols to target farm them!

Gear SlotGemsAspect / UniqueLegendary Aspect / Unique Power
HelmRoyal RubyRoyal RubyJuggernaut's AspectJuggernaut’s AspectGain x Armor, but your Evade has 100% increased Cooldown.
ChestRoyal RubyRoyal RubyAspect of Hardened BonesAspect of Hardened BonesYou and your Minions gain 15-20% increased Damage Reduction.
GlovesN/AAphotic AspectAphotic AspectSkeletal Priests empower your Skeletal Warriors’ attacks to deal Shadow Damage and have a 5-20% chance to Stun enemies fort 1.5 seconds.
PantsRoyal RubyRoyal RubyAspect 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.
BootsN/AAspect of Occult DominionAspect of Occult DominionYour maximum number of Skeletal Warriors and Skeletal Mages is increased by 2.
Weapon 1H (Sword)Royal EmeraldRoyal EmeraldOsseous Gale AspectOsseous Gale AspectBone Storm consumes up to 8 Corpses to increase its duration by up to 5-10 seconds.
Off-hand (Focus)
Royal EmeraldRoyal Emerald
Aspect of ReanimationAspect of ReanimationYour Minions gain increased damage while alive, up to 30-40% after 10 seconds.
Amulet (50% Scaling)Any Resistance GemAspect of Grasping VeinsAspect of Grasping VeinsGain 10-20% increased Critical Strike Chance for 6 seconds when you cast Corpse Tendrils. You deal 20-40% bonus Critical Strike Damage to enemies damaged by Corpse Tendrils.
RingAny Resistance GemAspect of Frenzied DeadAspect of Frenzied DeadEach time one of your Summoning Minions damages an enemy, they gain 10-14% Attack Speed for 3 seconds, up to 30-42%.
RingAny Resistance GemBlighted AspectBlighted AspectYou deal 50-120% increased damage for 6 seconds after the Shadowblight Key Passive damages enemies 10 times.


See below for a more detailed explanation of the best Gems to socket into your gear for each category.

Weapon GemsArmor GemsJewelry Gems
Royal EmeraldRoyal Emerald
For Crit Damage.
Royal RubyRoyal Ruby
For increased Maximum Life.
Royal AmethystRoyal Amethyst
Royal SapphireRoyal Sapphire
Royal RubyRoyal Ruby
Make sure you cap your elemental resistances with the gems in your Jewelry, use whichever you need the most!

Which Elixirs Should You Use?

Visit the Alchemist and craft an Elixir providing any Resistance you need most, or the Elixir of AdvantageElixir of Advantage to increase Attack Speed. Some Elixirs cannot be crafted and only drop from things like Helltides or Nightmare Dungeons. Additionally, make sure to keep your health potion upgraded!

Stat Priority and Tempering Affixes

Affixes on the same line are considered to be equally important. Bolded affixes are the most important targets for Masterworking upgrades.

SlotTargeted Gear AffixesTempering Affixes
Helm1. Cooldown Reduction
2. Maximum Life
3. Intelligence
Profane InnovationProfane Innovation #% Corpse Tendril Size
Profane CageProfane Cage Ranks to Crippling Darkness
Chest1. Resistance to all elements or Golem Mastery (if res isn’t needed)
2. Maximum Life
3. Intelligence
Profane CageProfane Cage Ranks to Crippling Darkness
Profane InnovationProfane Innovation: x% Corpse Tendrils Size
Gloves1. Attack Speed
2. Maximum Life
3. Critical Strike Damage
Natural SchemesNatural Schemes #% Crowd Control Duration
Profane FinesseProfane Finesse: x% Damage against Cursed Enemies
Pants1. Ranks to Skeletal Mage Mastery
2. Maximum Life
3. Intelligence
Profane CageProfane Cage Ranks to Crippling Darkness
Natural SchemesNatural Schemes #% Crowd Control Duration
Boots1. Maximum Life
2. Movement Speed
3. Intelligence
Natural MotionNatural Motion: Movement Speed
Natural SchemesNatural Schemes #% Crowd Control Duration
Amulet1. Ranks to Hellbent Commander
2. Movement Speed
3. Cooldown Reduction
Necromancer EfficiencyNecromancer Efficiency: x% Ultimate Cooldown Reduction
Profane FinesseProfane Finesse: x% Damage against Cursed Enemies
Ring1. Critical Strike Damage
2. Attack Speed
3. Intelligence
Necromancer EfficiencyNecromancer Efficiency: x% Ultimate Cooldown Reduction
Profane FinesseProfane Finesse: x% Damage against Cursed Enemies
Ring1. Lucky Hit: Chance to Make Enemies Vulnerable for 2 seconds.
2. Critical Strike Damage
3. Intelligence
Necromancer EfficiencyNecromancer Efficiency: x% Ultimate Cooldown Reduction
Profane FinesseProfane Finesse: x% Damage against Cursed Enemies
1H-Weapon1. Critical Strike Damage
2. Intelligence
3. Maximum Life
Summoning AugmentsSummoning Augments: x% Chance for Skeletal Mage Attacks to Cast Twice
Profane FinesseProfane Finesse: x% Damage against Cursed Enemies
Off-hand (Focus)1. Critical Strike Chance
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Intelligence
Summoning AugmentsSummoning Augments: x% Chance for Skeletal Mage Attacks to Cast Twice
Profane FinesseProfane Finesse: x% Damage against Cursed Enemies

Keep in mind that the maximum Resistance is 70% by default for each element and can be increased to 85% by various sources.

Rotation and Playstyle

The main focus is to make sure all your minions are alive and well. Ensure to use the Raise Skeleton skill every 5 seconds, keeping the damage buff and heal up on your Minions. Outside of this, it’s important you keep enemies Cursed with DecrepifyDecrepify and spam Corpse ExplosionCorpse Explosion for damage output. Using our Golem (Bone)Golem (Bone) skill will render us Unstoppable and lets our Golem taunt nearby enemies to keep us safe. Whenever you run out of Essence, spamming the Corpse ExplosionCorpse Explosion skill will generate more Essence back thanks to Grim HarvestGrim Harvest.

Make sure to check out the advanced Build Mechanics section for a more in-depth description of how the build works, what synergies exist, and what to look out for.

Uniques and Uber Uniques

Below you will find information on Uniques and Uber Uniques that are useful for this build. Moreover, if you are interested in target farming Uber Uniques, check out our How to Farm Uber Uniques guide.

Uniques & Uber Uniques

Listed below are the recommended and optional Unique Items for this build. This build thrives of the legendary aspect powers so we would prefer not to involve any uniques to have the build function the best. This doesn’t mean you can’t play around with some changes and test it out yourself though!

  • Harlequin CrestHarlequin Crest: Amazing helmet but comes at the cost of removing one of our Legendary Aspect powers. Should only really be considered if the content you’re farming doesn’t require heavy investments in keeping you or your minions alive as you will have to remove 1 of your defensive aspects (free choice) to fit it.

Season 4: Loot Reborn

The following list details the changes in the Season 4 Update (Patch 1.4.0) that may pertain to the Shadow Summoner / Zoomancer Necromancer build. Check the Changelog for all the other guide updates.

  • Necromancer minions now inherit 100% of the players stats.
  • Minion AI improvements across the board making them more aggressive.
  • Generic minor damage buffs for all minions

Advanced Information

Below, you will find every additional piece of information you need to know for a more in-depth look at this build.

Build Mechanics

Needless to say, your minions are doing most of the heavy lifting. Mechanically, you have your entire toolkit doing Shadow damage to consistently trigger your Shadowblight Key Passive for not just high damage numbers but also to further increase your damage output via your Legendary Aspects. Ultimately, you’re looking at staying behind your minion army, filling the screen with destructive powers of shadow.


Your golem will not just taunt nearby enemies but also make you unstoppable to prevent being crowd-controlled. Besides that and the army of skeletons protecting you, the build itself features extremely good defensive layers in the form of damage reduction, resistance caps, and armor.


The damage output is all about ramping hard and fast-hitting shadow damage from a variety of skills. These shadow hits are coming from your minions as well as your damage over time effects from Corpse Explosion, all ramping up and triggering your ShadowblightShadowblight Key Passive often and hard!


The recommended Paragon boards for this build are listed above, and further down below, you can find a more thorough route for allocating the Paragon points, as well as some notes on why specific nodes were chosen and why they are essential for this build.

Glyphs & Legendary NodesEffect
AmplifyAmplify– Grants +150% bonus to all Magic Nodes within range.
– Additional Bonus is unlocked with 40 intelligence in radius making enemies affected by your Curses take an additional x10% increased damage from you and your minions.
DeadraiserDeadraiser– Paragon nodes within range gain +100% bonus to their Minion damage and damage reduction modifiers.
– Additional Bonus is unlocked with 40 intelligence in radius causing every hit made by your minions make enemies take 1% increased damage up to 15% for 10 seconds.
GolemGolem– For every 5 Willpower purchased within range, Golems gain +19,8% increased damage.
– Additional Bonus is unlocked with 25 Willpower in radius making your Golem deal an additional x25% increased damage.
EssenceEssence– For every 5 Dexterity purchased within range, you deal 20% increased Critical Strike Damage.
– Additional Bonus is unlocked with 25 Dexterity in radius causing Critical Strikes to deal x22% increased damage to enemies that are not Healthy.
ControlControl– For every 5 Intelligence purchased within range, you deal 10% increased damage to Crowd Controlled Targets.
– Additional Bonus is unlocked with 40 Intelligence in radius making you and minions deal x20% increased damage to Crowd Controlled targets.
DarknessDarkness– For every 5 Intelligence purchased within range, you deal 6.6% increased Shadow Damage.
– Additional Bonus is unlocked with 40 Intelligence in radius causing you and your minions Shadow damage to reduce the enemies damage output by 2% per stack up to 10% for 5 seconds.
Cult LeaderCult LeaderYour minions deal x30% increased damage for each x20% of Attack Speed Bonus they have, up to a maximum of 100% Attack Speed Bonus.
WitherWitherYour Shadow damage over time effects have x5% chance to deal x50% bonus damage each time they deal damage. This chance is increased by x1% and bonus damage is increased by x4% for each 60 Intelligence you have.
Flesh-eaterFlesh-eaterConsuming 5 Corpses grants x40% increased damage for 6 seconds.
Scent of DeathScent of DeathWith at least 2 Corpses Nearby, you gain 15% Damage Reduction. With no Corpses Nearby, you deal x15% increased damage.
Hulking MonstrosityHulking MonstrosityYou Golem has x40% increased Maximum Life and deals x100% increased damage.

Let’s take it one step further and break down each of the beneficial nodes we spend our Paragon Points on:

Starting Board

  1. PrimePrime and ResilienceResilience as well as PreservationPreservation are all there to increase your defensive layers
  2. KnowledgeKnowledge purely a damage increasing node.
  3. AmplifyAmplify is the Glyph choice on this board simply because it will scale all the surrounding magic nodes, however, we don’t take many of these and are instead focusing on the additional bonus effect from the Glyph exclusively.

Cult Leader

  1. CustodyCustody combined with the Glyph choice DeadraiserDeadraiser provides a crazy amount of defensive stats for your minions. This is combined with the other rare node in range: OverlordOverlord.
  2. Cult LeaderCult Leader is picked up on this board as our attack speed is directly inherited by the minions making this a super strong node scaling our damage output by a lot!


  1. WitherWither Since the entire build is all about delivering tons of shadow damage hit, this node will help scale that damage output.
  2. Defensive rare nodes as we pass by will come in the form of Dragging ShadowsDragging Shadows and RestorativeRestorative.
  3. Offensive rare nodes are Gnawing DarknessGnawing Darkness and MaledictionMalediction.
  4. We pick the GolemGolem as it is easy for us to unlock the additional bonus effect with Willpower on this board.


  1. Flesh-eaterFlesh-eater works wonders for us as we are consistently consuming corpses with this build.
  2. The only rare node we pick up here is the TargetedTargeted for increased damage against elites.
  3. EssenceEssence Glyph makes it easy for us to unlock the additional bonus effect on this board.

Scent of Death

  1. Before we reach the Legendary node we grab the Shadow ResilienceShadow Resilience for defensive purposes.
  2. Scent of DeathScent of Death is another corpse related node, making perfect sense for the build.
  3. ControlControl Glyph, again due to the ease of access to unlock the additional bonus effect.
  4. The remaining 2 rare nodes are there to give both defenses and offensive power and help enable our Glyph bonus power: DeathmarkedDeathmarked and PreservationPreservation.

Hulking Monstrosity

  1. DarknessDarkness Yet another Glyph specifically chosen to make it easy to unlock the bonus modifier.
  2. The 2 rare nodes are both located within the Glyphs radius, giving your Golem both health and damage output: MutationMutation and MiscreationMiscreation.
  3. Hulking MonstrosityHulking Monstrosity is also picked up here to further skyrocket the Golems performance.

Tempering and Masterworking

The Season 4 update (Patch 1.4.0) introduces a rework for itemization. Tempering and Masterworking bring the biggest change to itemization since the release of Diablo 4, so make sure you understand the new systems explained in this section.

The amount of affixes on items has been changed to reflect its rarity: Normal Items have no affixes, Magic Items have 1 affix, Rare Items have 2 affixes, Legendary Items have 3 affixes, and Unique Items have 4 affixes. Upgrading a Rare Item to a Legendary Item by imprinting a Legendary Aspect from the Codex of Power will not add a third affix. Therefore, Legendary Items are superior to lower rarity items for a min-maxed character.

Greater Affixes are a newly added mechanic that increases the value of an affix by 50%. Ancestral Legendary Items and Unique Items can now drop with up to 4 Greater Affixes! Search for items with your preferred Greater Affixes to upgrade with Tempering and Masterworking.

Tempering and Masterworking is an important system, even mandatory in the endgame, for character progression. You are able to add 2 additional affixes on any Rare Item or Legendary Item, exclusive to the Tempering System. An Ancestral Legendary Item can have up to 5 total affixes! Unfortunately, Unique Items cannot be tempered to add affixes.

Masterworking uses new crafting materials found in The Pit to further enhance the stats of an item. These upgrades can be applied on an Ancestral Legendary Item that has its Tempering Slots filled out. Unique Items can be upgraded with Masterworking right away, as tempering does not apply to them. Each item has 12 upgrade slots. On upgrade Ranks 4, 8, and 12, a random affix is increased in value by 25%. Every other upgrade Rank applies a 5% increase to all affixes on an item. Attempt to apply the bonus 25% upgrade to your preferred affix multiple times by resetting the Masterworking Ranks to repeat the process.

Obol Gambling

Obol gambling is a great way to potentially find item upgrades or items missing from your build. Check out the new tool from Icy Veins for gambling Obols in the link below:

Obol Gambling Optimization Tool


  • May 16th, 2024: Gem updates.
  • May 15th, 2024: Guide finalized with Season 4 gear changes!
  • May 14th, 2024: Minor tweaks on aspects and skill-tree.
  • May 10th, 2024: Guide updated for 1.4.
  • March 5th, 2024: Guide updated for 1.3.3.
  • January 22nd, 2024: Guide updated for Season 3 Season of the Construct.
  • October 28th, 2023: Improved the entire Paragon Board.
  • October 22nd, 2023: Minor Skill-Tree Adjustments.
  • October 15th, 2023: Guide updated for Season 2 Season of Blood, Patch 1.2.
  • 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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