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Necromancer (Diablo III)

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For general class lore, see Necromancer.

"Death...has ravaged our world. And the Balance that sustained us...has been lost. We feared this day would come. When the lands are ruined, and the champions of the Light can no longer save those in need. But I will. For I wield the power they cannot. And a new army of the dead shall rise at my command. All who threaten the Balance... beware."

The Necromancer(src)

The Necromancer

The Necromancer is an upcoming playable class of Diablo III, revealed at BlizzCon 2016. It is based on the original class of the same name.


Main article: Priests of Rathma

A nephalem,[1] this young, enigmatic Necromancer[2] was the student of Master Necromancer Ordan.[3] The Necromancer sensed a need for their unique power, answering the call on behalf of their order[2] despite leaving with their training incomplete.[3] With a strong, dark personality, the Necromancer is able to see things which other mortals cannot.[4] He/she holds the rank of acolyte.[5]

He/she possesses no relation to the Necromancer who defeated Diablo two decades prior.[6]


"As a master of the dark arts, you wield the powers of life and death necessary to restore the Balance! Necromancers are powerful spell casters who lay waste to their enemies using curses and reanimation—along with an obedient cadre of pets. This new class employs a controlled gameplay style using the raw materials of life: blood and bone."

Class description(src)
D3 Necromancers


Necromancers in Diablo III are very similar to the Diablo II class, and retain most of their skills. In combat, they rely on bone and blood spells, Curses, Golems and undead minions. The three Elemental Damage types will be Poison (blight), Physical (blood and bone) and Cold (chill of the grave). As such, Convention of Elements will be especially effective for Necromancers.[7]

The Necromancer's core stat is Intelligence[8].


Female Necromancer model

The Necromancer will be available in the Rise of the Necromancer pack, at the same time as patch 2.6.0 comes out. The pack will release some time in the second half of 2017, it will not be free, though the price is unknown as of yet. To use the pack, one needs to have Reaper of Souls installed for PC or have the Ultimate Evil Edition for console.[1] New achievements will be implemented along with the Necromancer.[9]

The Necromancer is playable in both Campaign and Adventure Mode. For the former, the Necromancer will be fully voiced, and will have new tomes to flesh out their backstory.[4] New technology has been developed for the Necromancer, as it's an effects-heavy class. The player using the Necromancer will see the full effects of skill-use, while players in a party will see a more basic visual display.[10]

Necromancerm pose armored tf 00

Necromancer armor

  • The Necromancer originally had less than four Sets at release, to leave room for the community to come up with new playstyles and have those added onto new sets[8]. Eventually, a total of 4 sets was given, each complete with a Set Dungeon. These do not count towards Wings of the Dedicated and Wings of Mastery, instead rewarding their own two pennants.
  • Playstyles will be extremely varied for the class. The four Necromancer sets will be: a ranged caster set, a pet-focused set, a blood-focused set, and a melee set (already dubbed Meleemancer by the community).[7]
  • One-handed and two-handed Scythes will be the Necromancer's class weapon type, and Phylacteries will be the class off-hand items (replacing Shrunken Heads).[8]. They can also use shields and all other weapon types except other class-specific items.
  • The Necromancer's resource is called Essence and caps out at 200. It seems to not regenerate automatically, but is only gained from skills[8].
  • There are several visual themes to the Necromancer's armor sets: Sacrifice, Aristocratic, Reanimation, Blood, and Bone[8].
    • The aesthetics for these sets are currently a "Plague Doctor"-esque set, a bone-themed set, a Dracula-esque set, and an Aztec-inspired set with over-the-top gold elements.
    • The sets are still being finalized, but the Aztec-inspired set will be the melee set.
    • The Necromancer was designed with three themes: Blood and Bone, Frost, and Blight. Blood skills are more powerful, but cost health; Frost isn't about blizzards or frostbolts, but more about the cold and isolation surrounding graves and death; Blight, similar to a death and decay theme, encompasses debuffs, snares, and the idea of things withering away.
    • Some obvious Necromancer themes are better represented in items, sets, or animations rather than skills. For instance, Priest of Rathma themes will be present in items.
    • The developers tried to avoid too many class-specific items for the Necromancer.[7]
  • Witch Doctors vs. Necromancers: The Witch Doctor is more lighthearted, while the Necromancer will be more dark and grim with Curses, Blood, and Bone[8]. Necromancer will have little Poison spells, and no damage over time attacks, as that is the prerogative of Witch Doctor; to compensate, all pets will be controllable to some degree, unlike those of Witch Doctor. The Necromancer will avoid the slapstick humor of the Witch Doctor; this class is not meant to be funny.[7]
  • Necromancer Pets will all be Active/Passive, like the Monk's Mantras, letting the player command them[8]. There will be no pet command interface different from the standard UI.
  • Monster Corpses in the world serve as a secondary resource for some skills. They are only visible to Necromancers, and appear regardless of whether or not an actual monster corpse was destroyed[8]. There is a whole category of skills called Corpses, devoted to different ways of utilizing them, such as detonating them for area of effect damage, using them to create deadly missiles, consuming them for Essence, or reanimating them as minions.[8] Because many Necromancer skills are focused on corpses being available, one should anticipate swapping skills based on current situation.
    • For group play, each Necromancer will see their own corpses. For same screen co-op on consoles, corpses may have two charges. Corpses will eventually despawn when off screen.[7]
    • There are skills and skill runes that can create corpses so that player always has access to some even if there are no lesser enemies around.
  • A lot of Necromancer Blood skills cost Life along with Essence, so there are a lot of mechanics built in to recoup lost health.
  • There is no special Shapeshift spell, just like with Witch Doctors.[11]
  • Most Necromancer skills feature an optional Poison Skill Rune, however, as the Witch Doctor is heavily based on poison, the developers don't want the Necromancer to be too similar in this regard.[9]
  • Sacrificing health to benefit pets isn't currently being considered.[7]


"There’s a certain appeal for a lot of people in playing the anti-hero. And that’s what the Necromancer represents, the darkest of the classes in that world, but one that is also doing good everywhere they go. There’s a kind of juxtaposition between good and evil, and from there a grey line where the Necromancer lives."

Julian Love(src)

Female Necromancer artwork


In Diablo III, the Witch Doctor bears many elements of the Necromancer class. However, the Witch Doctor was not designed to be a replacement for the Necromancer, and the game's developers stated in 2008 that if there was ever to be a playable Necromancer class for Diablo III, the presence of the Witch Doctor would not prevent them from implementing it.[12] According to Jay Wilson, a key difference between the classes is that the Witch Doctor is more inclined to deal direct damage than the Necromancer, which aside from specific builds, was pet heavy.[13] There was a desire to implement the Necromancer post-release, so the skills of the Witch Doctor were designed to avoid overlap with a possible future necromancer class.[14]

Active DevelopmentEdit

The Necromancer's implementation in Diablo III came out of a "game jam session"; a practice Blizzard employs where members of a team get a few days, or even up to a week, to "go wild" in regards to generating ideas. Out of one such session came the idea of bringing the Necromancer into Diablo III.[15] The Diablo II Necromancer was the jumping off point for the Diablo III version.[6] The idea was to see if the developers could take the original class, and adapt it for the faster-paced, more skill-orientated Diablo III. The concept was well received, and the game jam session became the "create the Necromancer exercise." This was around the time when Blizzard was looking at the upcoming 20th anniversary of the Diablo series, so it seemed appropriate in their eyes to bring the Necromancer back.[15] When implementing the class various ideas were pitched from various departments within Blizzard. This included a "king of the dead," "the cryptkeeper," and "the hunter" concepts, reflected in the Necromancer's armor design. What was settled on was the "commander" concept and by extension, the "rock star" idea, of leading an entourage of skeletons.[16]

Thematically, the Diablo III Necromancer is based around blood. As part of the development process, the developers looked at the classes of Diablo II, opinioning that the themes of the previous classes were not as well fleshed out as they could have been. Specifically, the Diablo II Necromancer had little blood interaction, but did have a strong necromancy theme. Hence, it was decided to attempt a blood-themed Necromancer for Diablo III.

In an early build, the Necromancer had the ability to teleport.[15] It has been replaced with Blood Rush since.


The original leaked artwork

Necromancer artwork leaked ahead of BlizzCon 2016, showing a male and female Necromancer, mirroring Diablo III's gender selection.[17] The Necromancer was confirmed as a class at BlizzCon 2016.[18]

By the event, the Necromancer was still in development, with only the male model finalized.[1] As of December 2016, the Necromancer's skills were still being developed.[9]

The Necromancer's skills are designed to be "grounded and visceral." They are based on the visual identity of the Necromancer, with the intention of reflecting the dark and sinister nature of the Diablo II Necromancer.[19]

A beta test will be held for the Necromancer. Legendary and set items will be added to the game for the Necromancer's use over time.[20]

The developers practiced "DoT avoidance" - meaning they wanted to focus on more hard-hitting, visceral skills. Travis Day wanted to avoid runes that were straightforward, obvious choices (for example, simply dealing more damage for that particular skill), instead, Necromancer runes are intended to be more focused on trade offs, such as lowering a skill's radius for increased damage.

The developers learned a lot about cheat death passives with the Crusader, and they realized all of the passives should be on the Crusader's level.

Poison skills, such as Poison Nova, Poison Dagger, and Poison Explosion won't be carried over from Diablo II, as the Witch Doctor covers a lot of potential Poison skills that could be used in the Diablo III Necromancer. The developers didn't want to force Poison skills if they weren't viable. Poison will be represented in the "Blight" theme.

The Necromancer wasn't designed for the group meta or with a support role in mind. Instead, it was designed around sets and playstyles. However, the Necromancer does seem viable in a support role thanks to pets and curses.[7]




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 2016-11-04, Restoring the Balance—Necromancer Overview. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2016-11-07
  2. 2.0 2.1 2016-11-04, BlizzCon Recap: Day 1. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2016-11-07
  3. 3.0 3.1 Diablo III, Act V
  4. 4.0 4.1 2017-03-14, PAX East 2017 Diablo III Rise of the Necromancer Hands-On Preview. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2017-03-15
  5. 2017-03-14, Necromancer Update: The Meleemancer. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2017-03-16
  6. 6.0 6.1 2017-01-28, The Diablo 3 Necromancer Q&A Video and Summary. accessed on 2017-03-12
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 2017-04-07, Necromancer Influencer Summit 2017: New Information on Skills, Sets, and More. Diablo Fans, accessed on 2017-04-08
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 8.7 8.8 BlizzCon 2016 Recap by, 11/7/2016
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 2016-12-15, JOE SHELY ANSWERS COMMUNITY QUESTIONS IN LIVE Q&A SESSION. Blizzpro, accessed on 2016-12-16
  10. 2017-04-05, THE NECROMANCER SUMMIT: PART II - CLASS DESIGN, SETS, & THEMES. Blizzpro, accessed on 2017-04-06
  11. Diablo III: Necromancer Facebook Q&A with Nevalistis, Travis Day & Julian Love 26.01.2017 (HQ)
  12. WWI 2008: D3 Design Fundamentals Panel. Diablo Wiki, accessed on 2013-11-03
  13. 2008-12-23, Exclusive Diablo 3 Developer Interview., accessed on 2013-11-03
  14. 2017-01-25, Diablo 3 Post-mortem with Jay Wilson Part 3., accessed on 2017-02-19
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 2017-04-04, DIABLO 3 AND THE GLORIOUS RETURN OF THE NECROMANCER. IGN, accessed on 2017-04-06
  16. 2016-11-07, Diablo III: Diablo 20th Anniversary Panel (BlizzCon 2016). YouTube, accessed on 2016-11-07
  17. 2016-11-01, BACK FROM THE DEAD: NECROMANCER HYPE LEADING INTO BLIZZCON X. Blizzpro, accessed on 2016-03-11
  18. 2016-11-04, Diablo III: Rise of the Necromancer Pack Reveal – BlizzCon 2016. YouTube, accessed on 2016-11-05
  19. 2017-01-04, Developer Insights: 20 years of Diablo. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2017-01-23
  20. 2017-04-05, Necromancer Beta Test Coming Soon. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2017-04-06

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