Dark Lord Diablo IV Necromancer Build

Dark Lord Necromancer BUILD for Diablo IV

(the Dark Lord and his Mages emerge from the shadows to engulf the battlefield in darkness)

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Diablo IV launches on June 6th, 2023 for PC (Battle.Net), XBOX, & PlayStation with a 4 days Early Access (no wipe) for pre-orders (so kind of really launching June 2nd).

Diablo IV’s Open Beta Tests are almost here and I felt motivated to make some Pre-Launch theorycrafted semi-builds that should be good for ‘fresh-into-endgame’ characters when the game launches. I also plan to evolve them into FULL builds when the game is released & keep them updated when we get rebalance updates. This is one such build for the Necromancer Class called Dark Lord.

The Beta tests will only let us reach lvl 25 and only let us play in the first Act/Zone (Fractured Peaks) so those builds will be more useful for the actual game launch and ideally for characters around lvl 50+ or 60+. I’ve used 50+ and 60+ skill points when making the builds instead of the full 100 so that they can be used to jumpstart a player’s post-story endgame grind.

I’ve also made spreadsheets for those builds (see the links below) that have shortlisted the active and passive skills + legendary aspect that work well with the build so one can spend the extra skill points on the way to lvl 100 into those other skills.

This build will be updated post-launch to a new & expanded version when I have actual in-game information as reference.

Video Version:

Skill Trees

Below you’ll see ONLY the Active & Passive skills that were selected for this build. For additional skills that can be taken on the way to lvl 100 + alternative skill options, you can check my pre-launch builds spreadsheet on this link. This build (Reaping Army) is one of the builds on that spreadsheet.

The images you see are PLACEHOLDERS due to lack of any real skill icons leaks for the Necromancer class. I will replace them once the Beta starts and I can screenshot the actual icons.

Basic Skill (Resource Generator/Builder) (Required Points: 0 )

  • (active) Reap Sweep an ethereal scythe in front of you, dealing 12.00% (X-?) damage. Hitting an enemy with Reap increases your damage Reduction by 15% for 2 seconds. Generates: 4 Essence per enemy hit Damage: Shadow
    • (1st upgrade) Enhanced Reap If an enemy hit by Reap dies within 2 seconds, you gain 30% attack speed for 3 seconds.
    • (2nd upgrade – my pick of the 2) Initiate’s Reap Reap instantly executes non-Bosses below 5% Life.

Core Skill(s) (Resource Spender) (Required Points: 2 )

  • (active) Blight Unleash concentrated blight that deals 30.00% (X-?) damage and leaves behind a defiled area, dealing 80% (X) damage over 6 seconds. Essence Cost: 25 Damage: Shadow
  • (1st upgrade) Enhanced Blight Blight Slows enemies by 25%
  • (2nd upgrade – my pick of the 2) Paranormal Blight Blight has a 10% (multiplicative) chance to Stun for 2 seconds each time it deals damage.
  • (passive) Unliving Energy – Your maximum Essence is increased by 3.
    • (1st upgrade) did not pick to save points
  • (passive) Reconstitution Your damage has up to a 4% chance to create a corpse at the target’s location.

Macabre Skills (Required Points: 6 )

  • (active) Corpse Explosion – Release a vile miasma from a Corpse, dealing 75.00% (X-?) Shadow Damage over X seconds. Detonate a Corpse, dealing X damage to nearby enemies. Cooldown: ? Seconds.
  • (1st upgrade) Enhanced Corpse – Explosion Corpse Explosion’s radius is increased by 15%.
  • (2nd upgrade – my pick of the 2) Horrid Corpse Explosion – Corpse Explosion deals 15% (multiplicative) increased damage to enemies that are Slowed, Stunned or Vulnerable.
  • (passive) did not invest into the Macabre passives yet to save points

Corruption Skills (Required Points: 11 ) here we’re taking both Curses

  • (active 1) Iron Maiden Curse the target area. Enemies afflicted by Iron Maiden take 10.00% (X-XX) damage each time they deal direct damage. Lasts 10 seconds. Essence Cost: 10 Damage: Physical
  • (1st upgrade) Enhanced Iron Maiden Iron Maiden no longer costs Essence. Instead, gain 5 Essence for each enemy Cursed. Does not work with enemies already cursed with Iron Maiden.
  • (2nd upgrade – my pick of the 2) Abhorrent Iron Maiden Heal for 5% of your maximum Life when an enemy dies while afflicted with Iron Maiden.
  • (active) Decrepify – Curse the target area. Enemies afflicted by Decrepify are Slowed by 50% and deal 25% less damage for 10 seconds. Essence Cost: 10 Damage: Physical
  • (1st upgrade) Enhanced Decrepify – Enemies hit while afflicted with Decrepify have up to a 10% chance to be Stunned for 2 seconds.
  • (2nd upgrade – my pick of the 2) Abhorent Decrepify Enemies hit while afflicted with Decrepify have up to a 15% chance to reduce your active cooldowns by 1.0 seconds.
  • (passive) Skeletal Mage Mastery – Increase the damage and Health of your Skeletal Mages by 15%.
  • (passive) did not invest into other Corruption passives to save points

Summoning Skills (Required Points: 16 )

  • (active DID NOT TAKE IT BUT YOU CAN REMOVE A CURSE FOR IT) Corpse Tendrils – Veins burst out of a Corpse, pulling in enemies, Stunning them for 3 seconds, and dealing 20.00% (X-?) damage to them. Cooldown: 11.0 Seconds. Damage: Physical
  • (1st upgrade) Enhanced Corpse – Tendrils Enemies who are in range of Corpse Tendrils are Slowed by 50% before being pulled.
  • (2nd upgrade – my pick of the 2) Horrid Corpse Tendrils – Enemies Stunned by Corpse Tendrils take 40% (multiplicative) more damage from Corpse Explosion.
  • (passive) Reaper’s Pursuit – Damaging enemies with Darkness Skills increases your Movement Speed by 5% for 3 seconds.
    • (upgrade) Crippling Darkness – DID NOT INVEST in this to save points
    • (upgrade) Gloom – When you damage enemies with Darkness Skills, they take 2% (multiplicative) increased Shadow Damage for 2 seconds, stacking up to 3 times.
    • (upgrade) Terror – Darkness Skills deal 5% increased damage against Immobilized, Slowed, or Stunned enemies. This also applies to Shadow Damage dealt by your Minions.

Ultimate Skills (Required Points: 23 )

  • (active) Blood Wave Conjure a tidal wave of blood that deals 90.00% (X-XX) damage and knocks enemies back. Cooldown: 50.0 Seconds. Damage: Physical
  • (1st upgrade) Prime Blood Wave Blood Wave Slows enemies by 50% for 4 seconds.
  • (2nd upgrade) Supreme Blood Wave Blood Wave leaves behind 3 Blood Orbs as it travels.
  • (passive) Hellbent Commander – Your Minions deal 10% (multiplicative) increased damage while you are near them.
    • (upgrade) Inspiring Command – DID NOT INVEST in this to save points
  • (passive) Bonded in Essence – Your Minions gain 15% of your Resistances.
    • (upgrade) Death’s Defense – DID NOT INVEST in this to save points

Specializations (Required Points: 33 )

  • (passive) Shadowblight – Darkness Skills infect enemies with Shadowblight for 2 seconds. Every 10th time an enemy receives Shadow Damage from you or your Minions while they are affected by Shadowblight, they burst for 20.00% (X-XX) Shadow Damage.

Book of the Dead (Class Mechanic):

This build is all about doing as much shadow dmg hits as possible and focuses on ranged DPS. Sacrificing our melee minions might make it hard by not having a “tank” but it also boosts our dps in a lovely way. As for the types I picked, I’d recommend as follows:

  • Skeletal Reapers + Sacrifice is what we take for the bonus dps
    • Description: Your critical strike chance is increased by 5%, but you can no longer raise Skeletal Warriors.
  • Shadow Mages + Upgrade 2 is a good build synergy
    • Description: Shadow Mages fire an additional shadow bolt every 6th attack.
  • Iron Golem + Sacrifice is what we take for the bonus dps
    • Description: You deal 30% (multiplicative) increased critical strike damage, but you lose the ability to summon a Golem.

Legendary Aspects / Powers

I will only list the Legendary Aspects that have been selected for the build and the slots in which I advise putting those. For in-depth information you can check my pre-launch builds spreadsheet on this link. This build (Dark Lord) is one of the builds on that spreadsheet.

  • Helm: Aspect of The Umbral
  • Amulet: Blighted Aspect
  • Chest: Sacrificial Aspect
  • Pants: Aspect of Disobedience
  • Gloves: Aspect of Shared Misery
  • Boots: Aspect of The Void
  • Ring 1: Aspect of Pummeling
  • Ring 2: Aspect of Retribution
  • 1H Weapon: Aspect of The Damned
  • Off-hand: Aspect of The Expectant
  • 2-H Weapon (if you decide to use one): Aspect of The Damned

Useful Links (Spreadsheets & more):

For all of my Diablo IV Pre-Launch Theorycrafts/Builds: This Spreadsheet

For my Diablo IV Pre-Launch Class Skill Trees (can be used as mini-calculator): This Spreadsheet

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This concludes the Dark Lord Necromancer Build for Diablo IV. If you’re interested in the game below are links to the various platforms where one can buy it (you can just click the links to open a new tab):

PC (Battle.Net)



Official Website

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