The Necromancer in Diablo IV is one of the strongest classes in the game, with the ability to summon undead minions at your side, you are quite literally a one-man/woman-army.
The summoning mechanic is called, the Book of the Dead which provides you with an overview of the type of minions you can summon as well as the alternative bonus you would get if you decide to run it alone without undead minions.
Your undead hordes are categorized as, Skeletal Warriors, Skeletal Mages and Golems all of which have their own creature variation and perks.
It is important to take note that the you can only summon one variant of each category at a time.
Variant 1: Skirmishers – Deal 30% increased damage but have 15% reduced life
- Perk 1 – Raise additional Skirmisher by 1
- Perk 2 – Critical strike causes Skirmishers to deal criticals with bonus 50% crit damage; happens once every three seconds
- Sacrifice- +5% crit rate; unable to summon all types of Skeletal Warriors
Variant 2: Defenders – Shieldbearers with 15% increase life
- Perk 1 – Defenders negate one instance of direct damage that they take every 8 seconds
- Perk 2 – Defenders gain 50% of your Thorns value
- Sacrifice – +15% physical resistance; unable to summon all types of Skeletal Warriors
Variant 3: Reapers – Scythe-wielders that do a high-damage wind-up attack every 10 seconds
- Perk 1 – Reaper attacks against immobilized, slowed, stunned, or vulnerable enemies reduce the cooldown of their wind-up attacks by two seconds
- Perk 2 – +15% chance to create a corpse via their attacks
- Sacrifice – +10% shadow damage; unable to summon all types of Skeletal Warriors.
The first category here mainly focuses on mainline units, they are numerous as well as relatively weak compared to the other variants, best used as a screening shield for your character and soak up as much aggro/damage as possible.
Variant 1: Shadow – Spirit casters that deal shadow damage
- Perk 1 – +10% chance to stun for two seconds; can only happen to the same enemy once every five seconds
- Perk 2 – Fire an additional bolt of shadow after every 6th attack
- Sacrifice -+15 maximum essence; unable to summon all types of Skeletal Mages
Variant 2: Cold – Spirits that chill, then freeze targets
- Perk 1 – Gain +2 essence when Cold Mages deal damage with their normal attack
- Perk 2 – Enemies frozen or damaged while frozen by your Cold Mages become vulnerable for three seconds
- Sacrifice – +15% damage against vulnerable enemies; unable to summon all types of Skeletal Mages
Variant 3: Bone – Mages that deal damage by using a part of their own HP
- Perk 1 – The HP lost per attack is reduced by 5%; +40% damage if the Bone Mage is still alive after five seconds
- Perk 2 – Gain a percentage of fortify and leave behind a corpse whenever a Bone Mage dies
- Sacrifice – +30% overpower damage; unable to summon all types of Skeletal Mages
This particular category is where the real significant trade-off and build directions start, on one hand, the Cold Mages offer an abundance of utility with their chill and freeze capabilities, however the Sacrificial bonuses such as the +30% overpower damage can lead to some very favorable results if you are going for an overpower type build.
Variant 1: Bone – Taunts enemies while also being very tanky
- Perk 1 – Gain a corpse whenever a Bone Golem loses 20% of its max HP
- Perk 2 – The Bone Golem gains +10% max HP and 50% of your Thorns value
- Sacrifice – +10% attack speed; unable to summon all types of Golems
Variant 2: Blood – Used mainly as a tank through its perks
- Perk 1 – The Blood Golem absorbs 15% of the damage you take
- Perk 2 – 25% damage reduction and 25% increase in damage when the Golem is healthy
- Sacrifice – +10% max HP, unable to summon all types of Golems
Variant 3: Iron – Strong utility and good Sacrifice bonus
- Perk 1 – Every 5th attack will create a frontal shockwave
- Perk 2 – Slam will make enemies vulnerable for 3 seconds
- Sacrifice – +30% Critical damage; unable to all types of Golems
While this category could not be explored further ( due to level restrictions from the open beta ) the Golem represents one of the most powerful minions the Necromancer can summon, it has a huge presence and can tank damage relatively well which could definitely get you through content quick enough.
Not only that, Legendaries will sometimes have skills that also affect your minion stats and buffs so if you are going for a purely minion-based build, gear with those type of beneficial effects are the ones that you want to get.
Diablo IV is scheduled to release on 6th June 2023 and is releasing for PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Series S and Microsoft Windows and you can find more details on the official website.
You can also check out our First Impressions during the Open Beta.