Given its vampiric themes and generally spooky vibes, it probably shouldn’t shock you to learn that the Necromancers have quickly become the breakout stars of Diablo 4‘s Season 2 update. Even still, the overall power level of the recently buffed class is really something to see. That’s especially true during the 1-50 leveling process when Necromancers are uniquely capable of just obliterating everything in their way.
Before we get into the best Necromancer build for leveling, though, please note that this is indeed a leveling build. That means it is designed to get you from Level 1 to Level 50 as quickly and smoothly as possible. While you can continue to utilize a version of this build beyond that point, you will likely need to modify it to take advantage of additional resources that become available to you at higher World Tiers. Along those same lines, I’m only recommending Legendary Aspects that will be available to you via the Codex in this build. That will (hopefully) help ensure that you don’t need to rely on a random drop during the leveling process.
Diablo 4 Season 2: Best Necromancer Leveling Build – Blood Surge Minions
Skills: Reap, Blood Surge, Raise Skeletons, Corpse Explosion, Iron Maiden, Corpse Tendrils
Key Legendary Aspects: Aspect of Grasping Veins, Blood-bathed Aspect, Torturous Aspect, Blood Getter’s Aspect
Full Build Skill Tree
The first thing I tried to create in Diablo 4: Season 2 was a leveling Necromancer build that took advantage of all (or most of) the buffs the class received. That ultimately meant creating a Necromancer build that utilized minions as well as Overpower-based Blood attacks.
I worried that such a build would fall apart from simply trying to do too much. Truth be told, there are times when that is very much the case. Funnily enough, though, the core of this build is so absurdly powerful that its awkwardness tends not to matter very much.
Like many minion-based Necromancer builds, this build’s first goal is to “pollute” the ground in a way that enhances our minions’ damage output. That’s where Iron Maiden and Corpse Explosion come in. Iron Maiden not only deals direct damage to enemies when they damage your minions (or you), but this version of the ability grants you additional Essence and Health. We’ll discuss why that last part is so important in a bit. Meanwhile, this version of Corpse Explosion toxifies the ground around you with a damage-over-time Shadow effect. Although this ability isn’t quite as good for Minions as it used to be, it’s still quite powerful on its own given the recent global buff to DoT abilities.
Both of those abilities synergize with the incredibly powerful Corpse Tendrils skill. Even in its most basic form, Corpse Tendrils ensures that enemies can not escape your Iron Maiden and Corpse Explosion damage zones. With the bonuses that we’ll be taking, though, it also Slows those enemies and grants us additional Health. Again, we’ll explain why that last part is important in just a bit.
So, the minion part of this package is rather simple. Summon a full army of minions, use Iron Maiden on the ground around them, generate a corpse, pull in enemies using Corpse Tendrils, and then blow up the corpse. This simple, easily repeatable rotation draws enemies into a danger zone and lets your minions go to work on them from there. Because your minions are significantly tougher than they used to be, those enemies will also take even more damage from Iron Maiden’s damage-increasing effect as they’re wailing away on your summoned allies. Add in the Passives we’re picking up that increase our damage against both Cursed and close enemies (as well as our minions’ survivability and overall damage output) and…well, you get the picture.
Believe it or not, though, that’s not where most of our damage comes from in this build. That honor belongs to the recently “buffed” Blood Surge ability.
See, this version of Blood Surge deals a guaranteed Overpower strike once you’ve hit enough enemies while your character is Healthy. Interestingly enough, Rathma’s Vigor Key Passive also grants guaranteed Overpower strikes while your character remains Healthy. Crucially, that Passive was also recently modified to reduce the guaranteed Overpower Strike timer whenever you acquire Blood Orbs or Overheal beyond your base Life (two things this build is designed to constantly do). More importantly, Overpower attacks have been reworked to scale more effectively based on your current total Life percentage.
Put it all together, and Blood Surge becomes a nuclear weapon that regularly unleashes devastating Overpower strikes on all nearby enemies who are already cursed, dealing with your buffed minions, and enduring various damage multipliers. There is nothing that can stand in its way for long. Mind you, the factors that increase our Overpower damage and proc chances also regularly ensure your Necromancer is constantly being healed beyond their maximum Life total.
It’s all quite a sight when it comes together. The whole thing is really pretty busted when it comes to leveling. Do you like not using life while exploding everything around you and almost never slowing down? You’re going to love what this build does for you.
What’s the downside? Well, there is a lot of micromanaging required for these kinds of builds, and it’s not as effective against the sturdiest single targets. Beyond that, you’re pretty much set.
It’s also worth noting that Corpse Explosion is the most obvious flex spot in this build. I prefer it for its raw damage output and natural synergies, but you can replace it with Decripfy or an Ultimate (either Blood Wave or Army of the Dead) if you’d like. In terms of consistency, though, it’s hard to do much better.
Finally, don’t sweat finding the perfect Legendary Affixes for this build. Blood-bathed Aspect is the only one you 100% need to have ASAP. The rest are obviously helpful, but the core of this build works just fine on its own. Go for these Codex options if you’d like (and obviously pick up anything incredibly useful you happen to loot along the way), but you’re not going to miss out on that much if you don’t go gear hunting right away.