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Diablo 4 Corpse Explosion Necromancer build: Best Corpse Explosion Necromancer skills

Learn how to make the best Corpse Explosion Necromancer build in Diablo 4

Diablo 4 image showing a Necromancer in the character creator screen.
Image Credit: Rock Paper Shotgun/Blizzard Entertainment

Looking for the best Diablo 4 Necromancer build? The Corpse Explosion Necromancer build in Diablo 4 got some buffs in the recent 1.0.2 patch, and it feels great to play. It's a delightfully simple build, leaving skeletal minions to do a lot of the dirty work while you sit back, relax, and spam Corpse Explosion to keep up a steady stream of massive damage on the biggest enemies around. Once you reach endgame, packs of enemies will rapidly melt thanks to your powerful Shadow damage over time effects.

If you're excited to try out our powerful Diablo 4 Necromancer build, you're in the right place! In this guide, we'll break down the best skills, Paragon Boards and Glyphs, Minions, Aspects, Stats, and Gems for the Corpse Explosion Necromancer.

We have updated this build to include everything you need to know from level 1-100, including how to spend all of those precious Paragon Points. The Paragon section is found below the normal skills section, and includes info on each Paragon Board and Glyph that you should use!

If you're after some different Necromancer builds, check out our Diablo 4 Bone Necromancer build and Blood Necromancer build!

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Best Necromancer build in Diablo 4

Our Diablo 4 Necromancer build is all about summoning minions to cut through baddies while you explode corpses for massive damage. No surprise there, really, as it's all in the name, but we've got a bunch of skills here that should both litter the battlefield with juicy corpses, and help you get the most damage out of each and every explosion.

Diablo 4 Necromancer build skills

Below, you'll find a full list of the skills that you should acquire for our Diablo 4 Necromancer build, in order:

Level Skill Cluster
2 Decompose level 1 1 (Basic)
3 Enhanced Decompose 1 (Basic)
4 Acolyte's Decompose 1 (Basic)
5 Blight level 1 2 (Core)
6 Enhanced Blight 2 (Core)
7 Paranormal Blight 2 (Core)
8 Corpse Explosion level 1 3 (Macabre)
9 Enhanced Corpse Explosion 3 (Macabre)
10 Blighted Corpse Explosion 3 (Macabre)
11 Hewed Flesh level 1 2 (Core)
12 Hewed Flesh level 2 2 (Core)
13 Hewed Flesh level 3 2 (Core)
14 Corpse Explosion level 2 3 (Macabre)
15 Corpse Explosion level 3 3 (Macabre)
16 Corpse Explosion level 4 3 (Macabre)
17 Corpse Explosion level 5 3 (Macabre)
18 Grim Harvest level 1 3 (Macabre)
19 Grim Harvest level 2 3 (Macabre)
20 Grim Harvest level 3 3 (Macabre)
21 Fueled By Death level 1 3 (Macabre)
22 Fueled By Death level 2 3 (Macabre)
23 Fueled By Death level 3 3 (Macabre)
24 Corpse Tendrils level 1 5 (Summoning)
25 Enhanced Corpse Tendrils 5 (Summoning)
26 Plagued Corpse Tendrils 5 (Summoning)
27 Army of the Dead 6 (Ultimate)
28 Prime Army of the Dead 6 (Ultimate)
29 Supreme Army of the Dead 6 (Ultimate)
30 Corpse Tendrils level 2 5 (Summoning)
31 Corpse Tendrils level 3 5 (Summoning)
32 Corpse Tendrils level 4 5 (Summoning)
33 Corpse Tendrils level 5 5 (Summoning)
34 Skeletal Mage Mastery level 1 4 (Corruption)
35 Skeletal Mage Mastery level 2 4 (Corruption)
36 Skeletal Mage Mastery level 3 4 (Corruption)
37 Shadowblight 7 (Key Passive)
38 Bonded in Essence level 1 6 (Ultimate)
39 Bonded in Essence level 2 6 (Ultimate)
40 Bonded in Essence level 3 6 (Ultimate)
41 Reaper's Pursuit level 1 5 (Summoning)
42 Reaper's Pursuit level 2 5 (Summoning)
43 Reaper's Pursuit level 3 5 (Summoning)
44 Crippling Darkness level 1 5 (Summoning)
45 Crippling Darkness level 2 5 (Summoning)
46 Crippling Darkness level 3 5 (Summoning)
47 Gloom level 1 5 (Summoning)
48 Gloom level 2 5 (Summoning)
49 Gloom level 3 5 (Summoning)
Renown point 1 Terror level 1 5 (Summoning)
Renown point 2 Terror level 2 5 (Summoning)
Renown point 3 Terror level 3 5 (Summoning)
Renown point 4 Skeletal Warrior Mastery level 1 3 (Macabre)
Renown point 5 Skeletal Warrior Mastery level 2 3 (Macabre)
Renown point 6 Skeletal Warrior Mastery level 3 3 (Macabre)
Renown point 7 Blight level 2 2 (Core)
Renown point 8 Blight level 3 2 (Core)
Renown point 9 Blight level 4 2 (Core)
Renown point 10 Blight level 5 2 (Core)


Decompose makes a corpse every 2.5 seconds and generates Essence, making it an important builder for the Necromancer.

Decompose deals damage over time, and Enhanced Decompose grants you 10 Essence whenever an enemy dies while affected by Decompose. You can then grab Acolyte's Decompose, granting you and your minions a 10% damage boost against Decomposed enemies.


Blight fires out a blast of Shadow magic that deals damage to enemies on impact and leaves behind an AoE in which enemies will take massive damage over the following six seconds.

For the upgrades, we've opted for Enhanced Blight and Paranormal Blight to leave enemies with some pesky status effects. The former Slows enemies by 25% while they're inflicted with Blight, while the latter gives Blight a 30% chance to Immobilize enemies for 1.5 seconds on impact.

This is just one of many ways in which you'll inflict status effects with this build, which helps trigger the Terror passive. Terror makes all Darkness skills deal bonus damage to enemies who are Slowed, Stunned, or Immobilized. The bonus stacks for each status effect, and also applies to Shadow damage dealt by your minions, giving a huge boost to your DPS output in the late-game.

Corpse Explosion

Corpse Explosion is the key to this build, allowing you to... explode corpses. It's simple, but hugely effective, making it a staple skill for all Necromancers across the Diablo franchise. It turns all corpses that you generate into bombs, which you can detonate at will to deal massive damage to nearby enemies.

The main caveat here, early on at least, is that Corpse Explosion doesn't start as a Darkness/Shadow skill. Luckily, we can change that with the Blighted Corpse Explosion upgrade, which turns it into a Darkness skill and causes any triggered corpses to deal huge amounts of Shadow damage for six seconds. To unlock this upgrade, you'll also need to pick up Enhanced Corpse Explosion, which increases the radius of its effects by 15%.

Corpse Tendrils

Corpse Tendrils is incredibly important for getting the most out of those Corpse Explosions, as it allows you to pull enemies towards corpses and Stun them for 3 seconds. Crucially, this does not consume the corpse, so you can then trigger the Corpse Explosion to all enemies that were pulled by the tendrils.

Since we're trying to inflict status effects to maximise the effectiveness of the Terror passive, we've then opted for the Enhanced Corpse Tendril and Plagued Corpse Tendril upgrades. Enhanced Corpse Tendril Slows all enemies before they are pulled by the tendrils, and Plagued Corpse Tendril also applies Vulnerable to enemies for 3 seconds.

Army of the Dead

Army of the Dead is a handy way of overwhelming tougher enemies. When triggered, it makes explosive skeletons burst out of the ground and charge at enemies, and with the Prime Army of the Dead upgrade, they also have a 15% chance to leave behind a corpse. More corpses means more Corpse Explosions!

Supreme Army of the Dead is the final upgrade here, making your Ultimate also raise all of your skeletal minions. It does so without consuming any corpses, meaning you can use it when all of your minions are dead, raise a full army of skeletons, and then use any nearby corpses to keep the damage coming as your army charges into the fray.

If you're not sure how to use these skills effectively, follow the attack pattern below:

  1. Use Decompose and Blight to build/spend Essence and generate corpses.
  2. Use corpses to cast Raise Skeleton.
  3. Let your minions deal with enemies and generate more corpses.
  4. Use Corpse Tendril to pull enemies towards a corpse.
  5. Spam Corpse Explosion when enemies are grouped together.
The Necromancer class in Diablo IV, surrounded by skeletons animated by glowing blue fire in a screenshot from the cinematic

Diablo 4 Necromancer build: Best Paragon Boards and Glyphs

As promised, we've got a full breakdown here of how to spend all 225 Paragon Points that you can get from reaching level 100, earning all of your Renown rewards across the Diablo 4 map, and finding all Altars of Lilith. Diablo 4's Paragon system is where builds get a huge power boost, so that they can tackle high-tier Nightmare Dungeons, the tough Fallen Temple Capstone Dungeon, and even the level 100 boss.

Below, we'll cover which Paragon Boards you should take, which Glyphs you should insert, and how to move through each board efficiently for our Diablo 4 Necromancer build. You can also head to this Lothrik page that we've saved, showing the exact path that we took through each Paragon Board.

Starting Board

On the Starting Board, take the right path up to get the Rare Prime node, and then continue to the Glyph socket. Here, use the Exploit Glyph, and then grab any Dexterity nodes within range of the Glyph. Once done, take the left path up through the Rare Knowledge node to reach the Board Attachment Gate.

In total, the Starting Board should use 28 Paragon Points.


Wither is the most important Paragon Board for this Necromancer build. The Legendary node offers a 5% chance to deal 50% bonus damage each time your Shadow damage over time effects deal damage.

When you add this board, rotate it so that the Glyph socket is on the bottom-left side and the Wither Legendary node is in the top-right corner. Then, take the path left from the Board Attachment Gate and climb up to the Glyph socket, where you'll insert the Darkness Glyph. Get any nearby Willpower, while also making your way over to grab the Rare Malediction node and any surrounding Magic nodes.

After grabbing Malediction, go right from the Glyph socket to grab the Rare Gnawing Darkness node and any surrounding Magic nodes. Then, from the Glyph socket once again, path up and do the same with the Rare Lingering Shadows node. After getting Lingering Shadows, you can continue across to the right to reach the Board Attachment Gate, using a few Points to go up and reach Wither.

In total, the Wither board should use 66 Paragon Points.


With Flesh-Eater, the Legendary node grants 40% increased damage for 6 seconds when you consume 5 corpses, which is trivial for this build.

When you add Flesh-Eater, rotate it so that the Glyph and Legendary node are both central. You'll be starting on the left side, so move across until you reach a fork in the path. From here, you'll want to spend a few points heading down to reach the Legendary node. Then, head back to the fork and follow it up and over to the Glyph socket, grabbing the Rare Targeted node on the way for a huge damage boost to Elites.

In the Glyph socket, use the Gravekeeper Glyph to increase damage for every nearby corpse, and then grab the Dexterity nodes around Targeted and the Glyph socket. Then, continue right through the Resistance Magic nodes and continue across until you reach the Board Attachment Gate on the right side.

In total, the Flesh-Eater board should use 36 Paragon Points.

Scent of Death

On the Scent of Death Board, the Legendary node gives you 15% damage reduction when at least 2 corpses are nearby, or 15% extra damage if there are no corpses nearby.

When you add Scent of Death, you want to rotate it until the Glyph socket and Legendary node are both central, with the Glyph higher up. Then, starting on the left, make your way across and down towards the Scent of Death Legendary node.

After reaching the Legendary node, make your way up towards the Glyph socket and use the Scourge Glyph. This gives you +3% increased Shadow damage over time for every 5 Willpower purchased within range, so swoop up any Willpower near the Glyph. We also got the Rare Deathmarked node and all surrounding Magic nodes, before pathing up to the Board Attachment Gate at the top.

In total, the Scent of Death board should use 43 Paragon Points.

Cult Leader

For our final Paragon Board, we opted for Cult Leader to give our Minions +15% increased damage for each Minion type you have active.

When you add the Cult Leader board, rotate it so that the Legendary node is on the lower-left corner and the Glyph socket is in the upper-right corner. Then, starting at the bottom, make your way left and up to grab the Cult Leader Legendary node, before starting again from the bottom and making your way right and up to the Rare Infused Warrior node. Grab all surrounding Magic nodes here too.

Then, continue up to the Rare Puppeteer node, once again getting all surrounding Magic nodes. From there, continue a few points to the right and then head up to reach the Glyph socket, where you should insert Deadraiser for increases to any nearby Minion damage and damage reduction nodes.

Then, get the Rare Overlord and Custody nodes, grabbing and Magic Nodes that offer extra Minion damage and damage reduction. Make sure to also put points into Intelligence here, so that you can activate the Glyph's additional bonus.

In total, the Cult Leader board should use 52 Paragon Points.

Diablo 4 Necromancer build: Best Minions

The Necromancer class also has access to a unique Book of the Dead system, which allows you to raise minions to form a powerful little army. The Book of the Dead screen is split into three parts: Warriors, Mages, and Golems. In this build, we use Skeletal Warriors and Mages, but we've opted to sacrifice the ability to summon Golems for a passive boost instead.

To get Warriors and Mages, you must use the Raise Skeleton skill. This will take up a slot on your skill bar, which is why we have only opted for five other active skills in the section above.

In the Skeletal Warriors tab, we've opted for the Reaper variant. We've selected their second node, which gives Reapers a 15% chance to form a corpse with each attack.

In the Skeletal Mages tab, we've opted for the Shadow variant. We've selected their second node, which lets them fire a second Shadow bolt every fifth attack.

We aren't using a Golem in this build, as Summon Golem takes a separate skill slot that we didn't want to lose. With that in mind, we've opted to select the Sacrifice node on the Bone Golem variant. This takes away the ability to use Summon Golem, but provides a 10% boost to attack speed for all of your attacks. Of course, if you do want to try out Summon Golem, the option to Sacrifice this ability isn't permanent and can be switched out whenever!

Diablo 4 screenshot showing a Necromancer surrounded by skeletal minions and corpses.

Diablo 4 Necromancer build: Best Aspects

Completing Side Dungeons in Diablo 4 will grant Legendary Aspects as a reward. These are modifiers or improvements to your skills and abilities that will make this build far stronger. Below, we'll list the best Aspects for the Corpse Explosion Necromancer build, alongside the Dungeons you must complete to get them:

  • Aspect of the Void (Legendary - random drop): Blight's defiled area, when spawned, pulls in enemies around the affected area.
  • Aspect of Shared Misery (Oblivion - Hawezar): Lucky Hit: When you hit a crowd-controlled enemy, there is up to a 30% chance for that crowd control effect to spread to another unaffected enemy.
  • Blighted Aspect (Akkhan's Grasp - Hawezar): You deal 50% damage for six seconds after the Shadowblight Key Passive damages enemies 10 times.
  • Aspect of Disobedience (Halls of the Damned - Kehjistan): You gain x0.25-0.5% increased Armor for 4 seconds when you deal any form of damage, stacking up to x25-50%.
  • Blood Getter's Aspect (Legendary - random drop): Your maximum number of Skeletal Warriors is increased by 2.
  • Black River (Unique One-Handed Scythe - random drop): Corpse Explosion consumes up to 4 additional corpses around the initial corpse, dealing x122-130% increased damage and with a 21-25% larger radius per additional corpse.
  • Aspect of Grasping Veins (Corrupted Grotto - Kehjistan): Gain +10-20% increased Critical Strike Chance for 6 seconds when you cast Corpse Tendrils. You deal x30-60% bonus Critical Strike Damage to enemies damaged by Corpse Tendrils.
  • Cadaverous Aspect (Legendary - random drop): Consuming a corpse increases the damage of your next Core Skill by x5-10%, up to x25-50%.
  • Flesh-Rending Aspect (Nostrava Deepwood - Fractured Peaks): After Decompose spawns a corpse, gain 10 Essence.
  • Mother's Embrace (Unique Ring - Campaign reward): If a Core Skill hits 5 or more enemies, 20-40% of the Resource cost is refunded.

You must equip an Aspect to Legendary Gear to gain its effect, but you may also find Legendary Gear as random loot drops that spawn with Aspects already equipped. If you find a Legendary item with one of the above Aspects while exploring, make sure to equip it straight away!

Diablo 4 Necromancer build: Best Stats

As you farm Legendary Gear for the above Aspects, you'll also notice that it spawns with randomly rolled stats, called Affixes. These are also crucial to the build, so you'll want to hunt for gear with the following Affixes:

  • Vulnerable Damage
  • Damage Over Time
  • Intelligence (increases skill damage)
  • Willpower (increases Essence Regeneration)

Diablo 4 Necromancer build: Best Gems

Many Gear items in Diablo 4 will come with Gem Sockets, into which you can insert Gems for more passive bonuses. Gems will have different effects depending on whether they are inserted into Weapons, Armor, or Jewelery.

For your Weapons, we'd recommend using Amethysts to boost your damage over time. Decompose, Blight, and Corpse Explosion all deal damage over time in this build, and using Amethysts in Weapon Gem Sockets could offer up to an 8% increase to that damage.

For your Armor, use Rubies to boost your Maximum Life. Necromancers can feel quite weak when taking enemy hits, and the extra Life offered by Rubies will come in handy if you suddenly find yourself without any minions left standing to soak the hits.

For your Jewelery, find Diamonds to use in empty Gem Sockets. When placed in Jewelery, Diamonds offer increased resistance to all elements, giving you some extra defense against whatever your enemies throw at you.

That wraps up our Diablo 4 Necromancer build guide. If you're eager to try out other classes, take a look at our Diablo 4 Barbarian builds, Rogue builds, Sorcerer builds, and Druid builds.

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About the Author
Hayden Hefford avatar

Hayden Hefford

Guides Writer

Hayden is a guides writer for RPS, having joined the team in September 2021 after a few months of freelancing for TheGamer. They're a big fan of survival games, especially those that focus on the undead. Zombies. Walkers. Shamblers. Whatever you call them, Hayden is definitely a fan.

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