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Everything We Know About Diablo 4's Necromancer Class

Players have been waiting for the next proper installment in the "Diablo" series for quite some time now. Plus, after the recent outrage directed at the pay-to-win structure baked into the critically enjoyed and player lamented "Diablo Immortal," fans likely feel that they could use a win. Thankfully, it seems Blizzard is at least somewhat aware of the players' widespread disappointment with "Diablo Immortal," already distancing "Diablo 4" from the mobile-first entry and making sure to show off lots of "Diablo 4" content during June's Xbox showcase and its own quarterly update.

Recent "Diablo 4" news has been heavily focused around the fifth and final playable class: the Necromancer. Fans have already had a chance to see what some of the other classes can do in-game, like the Rogue's stealthy mix of ranged and up-close potential — but the Necromancer aims to deliver an entirely different gameplay experience. From summoned skeleton helpers to blood magic tidal waves, the Necromancer has more than a few tricks up their sleeve.

Essence and enemy corpses fuel Necromancer spells

Players taking up the despoiled robe and tome of the Necromancer in "Diablo 4" will have to master the foul arts of the realm's darkest magics — and doing that requires a little more than your simple run-of-the-mill mana. As explained in the June 2022 Quarterly Update, Necromancers have two resources they consume when casting spells: Essence and corpses. Essence works similar to the mana resource used by sorcerers or sorceresses, restoring automatically at a slow rate and able to additionally be generated with Basic skills. The majority of the Necromancer's powers will use Essence as the primary fuel, but some other, darker spells call for corpses.

Using corpses as a resource is as simple as ensuring the Necromancer is standing in close proximity to the remains of defeated enemies or otherwise indisposed characters. Of course, in situations where players find the environment lacking, Blizzard promises the Necromancer will have ways to generate additional corpses. 

When it comes to the tools Necromancers can bring into battle, the class has access to swords, shields, daggers, wands and focuses, in addition to being the only characters able to wield scythes (naturally). Beyond the basics, Necromancers can also pursue four different playstyles, each focusing on a different aspect of the dark arts.

Bone Necromancers deal massive damage for lots of Essence

The Bone specialization and playstyle has the potential for tons of damage, so long as players have a wealth of Essence and critical strike at their disposal. Many of the skills are physical attacks, which makes the critical strike stat a worthwhile focus for any Necromancer considering walking down the Bone path. Additionally, many Bone skills are scaled by how much Essence is spent on them. This means that if players have lots of Essence to burn, they'll be doing massive damage with their Bone abilities. 

Blizzard has shown off a few Bone skills so far, including the Bone Spirit and Bone Prison. Bone Spirit consumes all of the Necromancer's essence and summons an enemy-seeking spirit that explodes on impact. The strength of this explosion is increased depending on the amount of Essence consumed to cast the skill, and it can be upgraded to benefit from a reduced cooldown. Generating lots of Essence and stacking a respectable Critical Strike can make this skill a devastating tool in a Necromancer's arsenal. Bone Prison, on the other hand, adds some utility to the Bone Necromancer, allowing a bone barrier to be summoned to trap or block enemies on a whim.

Darkness Necromancers overwhelm foes with DoTs and debuffs

Darkness skills offer Necromancers a wide array of tools to chip away at their enemies while also inflicting them with debilitating effects. These abilities use Shadow magic to lock foes in place, create new weaknesses and lead endless assaults of magical damage. Darkness skills have plenty of merit on their own, but they'll see the best results when supported by a few other picks from other disciplines. 

Two Darkness skills in particular have been highlighted by Blizzard: Decompose and Blight. Decompose is a basic skill that's channeled to continuously damage an enemy while also generating Essence. What makes it all the better is the fact that the skill also occasionally spawns corpses, ensuring Necromancers always have a ready supply should they need to summon more allies. Blight is a ball of dark energy that can be fired in a single direction, exploding upon making contact with an enemy or reaching its maximum distance. When a Blight ball explodes, it leaves behind a nasty area of effect that damages over time. It's particularly useful against enemies with restricted movement — perhaps those that've been contained in a Bone Prison?

Blood Necromancers' best defense is a good offense

Blood Necromancers have plenty of skills that help keep them in the fight (and offer some defenses) while they bring down unholy might against enemies. Some Blood skills will allow players to siphon precious life force from enemies for themselves, while others offer some much-needed protection to the Necromancer and any potential allies. Blood Necromancers will value large Health pools and ought to do their best to keep themselves topped off whenever possible.

Two Blood skills have been shown off: Blood Surge and Blood Mist. Blood Surge incentives players to be in the heart of the action and surrounded by foes, drawing in some precious crimson from all nearby enemies and then expelling the blood in a violent explosion. The damage done by the explosion is magnified based on the number of enemies caught by the initial drain, so the best results will come from the situations that appear the most dire. Blood Mist offers Necromancers a brief respite of invulnerability while ensuring some damage output and healing. The skill transforms the Necromancer into a literal mist of blood that can't take damage and drains health from enemies they pass through.

Necromancers have an army of friends

Of course, as any dark-minded apostle knows, summoning the undead is the bread and butter of a Necromancer. To this end, "Diablo 4" will ensure players have plenty of opportunity to tweak how their undead will function. While Blizzard hasn't gotten into the nitty gritty of what specific alterations and upgrades will be available for the summoned undead, it has been confirmed that all summons will be accessible through a maximum of two buttons: one for various skeletons and one for golems. This simplification ensures a player's action bar isn't completely filled with the undead they can summon, and makes it easier to work in skills from other disciples that offer the perfect synergy.

Backing up undead allies (regardless of playstyle) is the Book of the Dead. This new feature is a one-stop shop for all things summons and acts as the Necromancer's unique class feature. Here, players can decide what kind of undead minions they want to bring into battle and will have options to choose between different versions of their diabolical force. Additionally, there are options that allow players to sacrifice the ability to summon an unwanted ally in exchange for powerful character buffs.