Necromancer Bone Spear PvP Build Guide
Being primarily a ranged class in Diablo Immortal, this build for the Necromancer in PvP takes advantage of clever use of crowd control and devious tricks as you harass your opponents with Bone Spear and Bone Spikes.
This build is molded by the needs of ranged combatants during PvP in Diablo Immortal, while taking advantage of the complete crowd control lockdown Necromancers are capable of. This build can alternate between a Bone Wall-centric crowd control devastator and an elusive, DoT-spreading, Bone Spikes-centric trickster with relative ease.
If you are interested in approaching a different type of content, please see our other Necromancer builds below.
When playing around Bone Wall as your crowd control centerpiece, you need to play more carefully and use your cooldowns deliberately. Start out by scouting around the battlefield, looking for a suitable opening to start spreading your barricades. When you get a sense of the enemy team's movements, try to lock them down with strategically placed Bone Walls (turned into Bone Pillars via Exhumant's Backbone), and ignite them with Soulfire. This will wreak havoc to enemy formations and ideally, you will find unsuspecting targets to stun with Bone Spikes. As they are rendered helpless, place a Dark Curse underneath their feet and blast them down with Bone Spear. Needless to say, but for your own protection, Bone Armor should be re-applied as soon as it comes up.
When playing around Bone Spikes as your damage-dealing centerpiece, you should play a lot more proactively. You should still use Bone Wall strategically to best disrupt the enemy team's movement — but once you lock them down and ignite the pillars, dive into the fray with Wraith Form (fearing enemies with Proximal Fear), and mow them down with Hideous Dawning-enhanced Bone Spikes and a Bone Spear barrage.
In both playstyles, it will always be to your advantage to keep one Bone Wall in your reserve for emergency situations — be it to finish off fleeing enemies, or to cover your own escape.
Skills and Alterations
Primary Skill: Bone Spear is a long-range, precisely targeted Primary Skill whose piercing projectile and additional knockback properties (inherent to its Ultimate) make it suitable mostly to PvP environments. Bone Spear has great synergy with Bone Wall enhanced by Pyre's Allure, which — despite the legendary effect wording — does ignite the bones, resulting in a potent DoT combo that controls PvP arenas very efficiently.
Buff: Bone Armor provides an excellent survivability boost as a baseline, and its group-wide effect make you a welcome addition to any party — especially during progression-oriented content like Challenge Rifts or Raids, as well as nuke-prone PvP matches. Bone Armor can be further tailored to your needs, most notably with crowd control immunity enhancement from Gravedirt's Weight (used in the Bone Wall variant of this build). In a Bone Spikes-centric version of this build, you can benefit from the additional damage of Corpse Lance in this slot instead. While large quantities of Corpses are hard to come by in PvP, you can accrue them slowly and bide your time with their use through the carried Ten-Thorn shield.
Control / Damage: Bone Wall requires precise positioning and understanding of its mechanics, as it is able to hamper the progress of your allies just as much as you enemies. Once mastered however, it can be the deadliest skills to add to a Necromancer's PvP arsenal, with some PvE applications to boot. Bone Wall has a vast array of supporting legendaries and can be adapted for numerous situations — from pure support and crowd control, to a devastatingly effective DPS skill. In this particular build, you will enhance both its CC effectiveness (through Exhumant's Backbone) and its DPS potential (through Pyre's Allure).
Control / Damage: Bone Spikes is a hard-hitting damage dealer with an equally respectable crowd control element, and you can choose to enhance one or the other of the skill's aspects. It's a solid addition to most PvP setups, either as a main damage dealer with an enhancement from Hideous Dawning (Spikes-centric version of the build), or as a crowd control tool with a boon from No-mouth Face (Wall-centric version of the build).
Control: Dark Curse has a somewhat underwhelming power at first glance, although it can be quite annoying in PvP situations even as-is. When loaded up with legendary powers however, the solitary curse of Immortal's Necromancers becomes a fearsome tool to behold — ranging from the DoT of Mournful Destroyer, to the Corpse Explosion replica of Soulchime, to the frenzied effect of Guided by Maggots — coveted by all summoners.
- Alternative: In the Bone Spikes-centric version of the build, you should consider using Wraith Form in this slot. This is the solitary movement ability available to Necromancers, but it has some unwieldy mechanics that greatly diminish its usefulness. Its invulnerability aspect can be useful for dodging Raid mechanics or getting nuked down in PvP (especially in combo with Proximal Fear, which is the usecase for this alteration), but is otherwise hard to recommend. Contrary to the ability tooltip, you are able to attack while in Wraith form; it will simply cancel its effect prematurely, so you need to be careful with skill spam throughout its duration.
Equipment is split into Primary (right side of character screen) and Secondary (left side).
Primary equipment includes the Main-hand, Off-hand, Head, Shoulders, Chest, and Legs slots of your character sheet. These slots can — and should — be filled by Legendary items, since their legendary powers and ability to be socketed with Legendary gems vastly overpowers lower tier gear. Of course, these slots will be temporarily filled with Common (Grey), then Magic (Blue), and then Rare (Yellow) gear, before graduating into Legendaries (Golden).
The suggested Legendaries for Command Skeletons Solo Necromancers are:
- Main-hand: Blight Maw — This legendary main-hand dagger adds a deadly Poisonous DoT to the base effect of Bone Spear, greatly enhancing its viability — especially in the sustain-starved environments of PvP combat. In a Soulfire-using version of this build, simply use your best-rolled main hand weapon.
- Off-hand: Pyre's Allure — This legendary off-hand shield offers a PvP-defining power to Bone Wall, making it ignite-able through Soulfire. Once ignited, it deals heavy damage-over-time to nearby enemies; with properly spread Bone Walls, this will turn into a supreme annoyance on the battlefield. In a Spikes-centric version of this build (and especially if you followed the skill section advice and use Corpse Lance for additional damage), you should use Ten-Thorn in this slot — giving you a precise, targeted nuke to unleash in just the right moment!
- Head: No-mouth Face — This legendary helm removes the unwieldy charge-up requirement of Bone Spikes and both enhances its range and crowd control capabilities, solidifying the skill as an excellent disruption tool. In the Spikes-centric version of this build, you should use Hideous Dawning instead; its legendary power adds the deadly Bleeding DoT that turns the skill from a supplement into a main damage dealer.
- Shoulders: Gravedirt's Weight — These legendary shoulders add knockback immunity to the active effect of Bone Armor, making it an even better party buff and allowing the whole group to (occasionally) ignore CC mechanics. In a Spikes-centric version of this build, you should use Chasm-Crosser instead for the added range of Bone Spikes.
- Chest: Exhumant's Backbone — This legendary chest alters the base effect of Bone Wall from a barricades to a pillars, while also adding a potent crowd control aspect that debilitates enemies in their proximity. An alternative for the Spikes-centric version of this build is found in Ever-grasping Vestments, which focuses on the damaging potential of this skill, and helps keep enemies at bay.
- Legs: Sacral Chausses — These legendary pants have a simple, yet undeniable effect: they increase Bone Wall's duration by 25%. They can be further Awakened to cut the skill's cooldown by 10%. If you alternate to a Bone Spikes variation of this build, you should run Proximal Fear in this slot instead — as it allows you to use Wraith Form as an opener in battle.
Secondary equipment includes the Amulet, Rings, Hands, Waist, and Feet slots of your character sheet. These slots can — and should — be filled with Set items, since the bonuses they form once completed vastly overpowers lower tier gear. Of course, these slots will be temporarily filled with Common (Grey), then Magic (Blue), and then Rare (Yellow) gear, before graduating into Sets (Green). Secondary equipment can only be socketed with Normal gems.
The recommended set for PvP Bone Spear Necromancers depends on their build variation of choice. In a purely control-centric setup based around Bone Wall, the recommended set is Feasting Baron's Pack for its CC-enhancing properties. The set consists of:
- The Gaoler (Waist) — Farmed at Temple of Namari in difficulty Hell I and above.
- The Tyrant (Feet) — Farmed at Cavern of Echoes in difficulty Hell I and above.
- The Mailed Fist (Hands) — Farmed at Kikuras Rapids in difficulty Hell II and above.
- The Subjugator (Neck) — Farmed at Destruction's End in difficulty Hell II and above.
- The Turnkey (Ring 1) — Farmed at Tomb of Fahir in difficulty Hell IV and above.
- The Prisoner (Ring 2) — Farmed at Forgotten Tower in difficulty Hell IV and above.
The set bonuses of Feasting Baron's Pack are as follows:
- 2-piece Set Bonus: Increases the duration of your abilities that cause loss of control by 30%.
- 4-piece Set Bonus: Increases damage done from all sources by 15% to enemies suffering under your loss of control effects.
- 6-piece Set Bonus: Unleash a nova of ice each time you defeat an enemy afflicted by your loss of control effects, dealing X damage to nearby enemies and Freezing them for 4 seconds. Cannot occur more often than once every 40 seconds.
In a Bone Spikes-centric version of this build however, the recommended set is War Rags of Shal'baas instead. This set greatly enhances Primary Attack Speed and helps Bone Spear catch up in terms of damage relevance — giving you two strong sources of DPS on top of your considerable crowd control.
Improving your attributes in Diablo Immortal generally revolves around increasing the total amount of Combat Rating, or CR. Every primary attribute point (Strength, Fortitude, Vitality, Willpower, and Intelligence) grants you 1 point of CR.
The priority attribute for Necromancers is Intelligence, which gives +0.3 Damage per point; given otherwise identical options, use the one with higher Intelligence to increase your DPS. Second in the priority order is Fortitude, which adds to your Armor Penetration — indirectly increasing damage dealt by also improving your crit chance. This attribute suffers from diminishing returns due to crit caps, but is still quite valuable. Third in the priority order is Vitality, which simply increases your Life total; the longer you can stave off death, the better.
Stat priority order and stat benefits for Necromancers are as follows:
- 1. Intelligence — Grants +0.3 Damage to Necromancers, and +1 to your total CR.
- 2. Fortitude — Grants +0.1 Armor Penetration, which affects your crit chance. It also grants +0.1 Armor; Armor increases your Block chance, and blocking attacks mitigates 20% of the damage dealt. More mitigation is never amiss, and even more so when dealing with riskier content like the Helliquary. It also adds +1 to your total CR.
- 3. Vitality — Grants +3 Life; the more you can add to your total health pool, the better. With a reasonable investment in Vitality, an alrady durable class like the Necromancer can become unstoppable. This attribute also adds +1 to your total CR.
- 4. Willpower — Grants +0.1 Potency and 0.1 Resistance. Potency increases the duration of harmful effects that you inflict on your foes. Resistance lowers the duration of harmful effects inflicted by your enemies on you. This attribute also adds +1 to your total CR.
- 5. Strength — Grants +1 CR. This attribute does nothing else for Necromancers, and should be avoided as much as possible.
Secondary (Special) Attributes
You should not put an emphasis on Special Attributes when considering between gear pieces. This is due to the overpowering importance of Primary Attributes and your CR total. That being said, the better Special Attributes are the two Crit Stats (Critical Hit Chance and Critical Hit Damage), Cooldown Reduction, Beneficiary Effect Duration, and Movement Speed. You can also consider Increased Damage to Players for PvP gear.
Pieces of Primary Gear that you upgrade at the Blacksmith attain up to three additional Bonus Attributes for Reforging at Ranks 6, 11, and 16. These Bonus Attributes belong to "families" (outlined and ranked below); a Family Bonus can be unlocked if all three Bonus Attributes are from the same family. Multiple Primary Gear pieces can have the same Family Bonus to improve your proc chance. The process of Reforging is done with the Reforge Stone consumable. Note that only Primary Gear pieces can be reforged; Secondary Gear pieces cannot. For Necromancers, priority Bonus Attributes are:
- 1. Ravager Stone offers summoner-oriented innate attributes that are of great use to a minion-oriented class like the Necromancer. Its Family Bonus requires enemies to be slain to proc, significantly diminishing its usefulness when doing progression content like Challenge Rift bosses and Helliquary.
- 2. Wildfire Stone is mostly valuable due to its innate attributes, as it brings valuable Critical Hit Chance to the table. The Hydra summon from the Family Bonus is mostly an extra minion to soak up damage.
- 3. Vengeance Stone brings a single target-oriented Family Bonus that becomes increasingly important as you push the difficulty of the content you are doing, i.e. Challenge Rifts. Its ability to enhance all damage dealt with a Primary Attack proc is an excellent boon to any build.
- 4. Barrier Stone has a Family Bonus that brings some much needed mitigation to Necromancers, as they fight at a much closer range than other ranged classes. The absorption shield is paired with some excellent innate attributes like Damage Taken Decreased and Block Chance, which further reduce incoming hurt.
- 5. Jolt Stone offers situationally valuable bonuses; it has Beneficial Effect Duration Increased as an innate attribute, which is decent for groups, and a Cheat Death proc which is never amiss when soloing content. Its Family Bonus brings soft CC to attackers, which is decent mostly for PvP.
- 6. Tremor Stone offers some marginally useful bonuses when doing PvP, but since its (otherwise excellent) Family Bonus only functions in melee range, it is all but lost on Necromancers.
Normal and Legendary Gems
As per tradition for Diablo games, socketed gear allows you to insert beneficial gems according to your needs. In Diablo Immortal, gems are divided between Normal Gems (socketable in Secondary Gear) and Legendary Gems (socketable in Primary Gear).
Normal Gems can only be socketed in Secondary Gear. Normal gems are divided into Red, Blue and Yellow sockets, and their priority is listed below. Priority-wise, gems are decent power increases to your character, but should never come at the cost of Primary Attributes and your CR score. Go for Red and Blue gems over Yellow if possible, as they provide a stronger bonus overall.
- Red Sockets: Prioritize Tourmaline as it provides a straight Damage increase. Ruby is also decent for the Life increase, but only if you lack Tourmalines.
- Blue Sockets: Prioritize Sapphire, which increases your Armor Penetration, and your Critical Hit Chance stat as a result. Note that Crit Chance provided from Sapphires has diminishing returns, capping out at 33%; when benefits from ArPen get too insignificant, swap to Aquamarine. Aquamarine provides Armor, which is a decent source of damage mitigation.
- Yellow Sockets: Prioritize Citrine for the Potency gains, increasing the duration of harmful effects you inflict on enemies; however small its benefits, they trump the Resistance effects provided from Topaz.
Legendary Gems can only be socketed in Primary Gear. They provide unique and very powerful bonuses on top of a robust stack of stat increases. Legendary Gems are found in Elder Rifts enhanced by the Crest consumables, as well as through crafting at the Jeweler in Westmarch.
Early on in Necromancer character progression, you should use common, 1- and 2-Star Legendary Gems like:
- Fervent Fang — Can be obtained from the Battle Pass, saving you some Crests. Provides a stacking damage increase against a target with successive attacks; great for single target damage.
- Ca'arsen's Invigoration — This legendary gem increases the speed and damage of Primary Attacks, getting you back quickly to spamming the supremely powerful Hungering Soulfire.
- Zod Stone — The other half of the Primary Attack-Ultimate combo, this gem increases the duration and damage of Ultimate skills, allowing for unparalleled uptime of Hungering Soulfire. An alternative for this slot in the Spikes-centric version of the build is Cutthroat's Grin, which enhances your damage against (foolhardy) fleeing foes.
- Everlasting Torment — For the mere cost of a critical hit, this gem inflicts a considerable DoT and an Attack Speed increase to boot. Even at a low quality, this gem starts off with incredible stats and fits nicely from the get-go.
- The Black Rose — This gem gives you a solid chance at a crowd control proc against your attackers. This is a useful addition to ranged characters in PvP, since you will frequently need to delay or evade incoming attackers.
- Berserker's Eye — This gem increases damage dealt at the cost of an increase in damage taken. For most of the farming PvE content, this is a reasonable trade-off that you can feasibly mitigate with the Necromancer's ample sources of mitigation.
When perfecting your character for endgame content, the 5-Star Best-in-Slot Legendary Gems for Necromancers include:
- Blood-Soaked Jade — With its Damage and Movement Speed increases, it is largely considered to be the best legendary gem in the game for pretty much all forms of content.
- Seeping Bile — The value of this gem scales with the number of attacks you inflict, fitting well into Rotspur-enhanced Corpse Explosion builds. With a considerable damage proc and a spreading effect, it is one of the best additions to your legendary gem lineup.
- Frozen Hearth — With percentage-based mitigation against ranged damage, this is one of the strongest defensive legendary gems you can support your character with.
- Echoing Shade — This gem has a percentage-based chance to spawn Shadow Clones that inherit some of your abilities and — perhaps more importantly — will draw some of the enemy's attention away from you, allowing for short periods of uninterrupted slaughter of your foes.
- Howler's Call — Triggered off Primary Attacks — a constantly spammed aspect of Necromancer builds — this legendary gem supplements the mid-range barrage of the class with a hard-hitting, long-ranged proc.
- Chip of Stone Flesh — This is a PvP powerhouse of a gem, inflicting hard CC and increasing damage dealt on affected targets. It also provides decent value for progression content.
Paragon Points are character-specific progression system that allows you to advance in power after you reach maximum level. Each level gives you a Paragon point to spend into currently available nodes on the five Paragon Trees. While Paragon Trees are specialized for certain tasks, you should always keep in mind the tenets of character building — increasing damage and mitigation as much as you can. With that in mind, focus down the Vanquisher tree first, pick up the experience bonus from the Treasure Hunter tree, pick up whatever is useful from the Gladiator tree, and finish off with the group powerhouse of the Soldier tree. Always keep in mind that the (circular) Persistent Attributes are always active once leveled, but the (square) Specialization Skills are only applied when their respective Paragon Tree is active.
- Vanquisher Tree: The offense focus of this tree makes it the best starting point for all characters. It is recommended that you start with the middle row, maxing out Damage and picking up Zeal. Go down the bottom row, maxing out Damage and picking up Wrath. Finally, go along the top row, maxing out Potency, putting the point in Exorcism, and finishing off with Deeper Pockets and Heart of Wrath. This puts you at Paragon level 49.
- Treasure Hunter Tree: This tree unlocks at Paragon 50 and focuses on rewarding you more for your grinding efforts, making it an attractive mid-progression pickup. Go through the middle row, maxing Armor to attain Swift Learner. Then go on straight by maxing out the Damage node. This puts you at Paragon 70.
- Go back to the Vanquisher Tree. Max out the Life nodes in the mid row that follow Zeal, and put one point in Judgment to finish off that row. Then, go to the bottom row and put 3 points into Armor Penetration, which puts you exactly at Paragon 99.
- Right around this point, you have a decision to make. If you focus on PvE content, you should divert your attention back to the Survivor Tree — the other tree unlocked by default. Start out by maxing Life, picking up a point in Unyielding and progressing downwards. Max out Armor, then through the middle row — taking Escape Artist, additional Life, and Precognition along the way. Finish off with the coveted Damage increase. If you focus on PvP content, you should focus on the Gladiator Tree instead; this tree unlocks at Paragon 100, and offers brawling-oriented bonuses. Start off with maxing Armor Penetration, picking Uncontrollable right after it and continuing upwards. Max out Life, attain Quick Witted, and go into maxing Resistance and the second Life node. Get the Cheat Death right above the Life node. Finish with the consistently desirable Damage.
- At this point, you are hovering around the Paragon 180-185 point. One thing to consider is going back to the Vanquisher Tree to finish off the bottom right Armor Penetration node. You can also divert to the Treasure Hunter Tree to grab Gold Find and its subsequent Armor Penetration node. Alternatively, if you group up a lot, you can tab over to the Soldier Tree. This tree unlocks at Paragon 150 and is focused on grouping bonuses and provides tremendous utility for most modes of play. Take Hold Formation and head down to Resistance, then even further down into Damage. Attain the full bottom row — Battle Morale into Armor Penetration into Sacrifice. Then, finish off the middle row with Combat Veteran and Potency. Finally, go through the top row of Life and First Aid.
It is important to reiterate that your utmost priority is picking up all the damage nodes you can, deviating into one tree or another only to further that goal. Secondary valuable pickups are found in Armor Penetration and Life nodes. Once you are done with leveling all the Damage nodes, you are free to fill out Paragon trees as you see fit, as well as to activate specific Trees for the needs of the content you are doing.
When you turn in Bestiary pages, you will receive a class-specific consumable. For Necromancers, this item is the Shining Skull, which summons a Soul Keeper to recharge an empty resurrection stone. This is a very underwhelming consumable; still, it can be occasionally useful, so don't hesitate to use it.
- 30 May 2022: Guide created.
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