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Diablo 3 Necromancer guide: Primary skills

Skills centered around generating your main resource, Essence

Blizzard Entertainment/Activision Blizzard
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

For the Necromancer, Primary skills are centered around generating your main resource, Essence. These skills are not necessarily the most powerful in Diablo 3: The Rise of the Necromancer, but they are all but necessary to ensure that your Essence pool is filled. Sprinkle these in between your spenders to stay as efficient as possible.

Bone Spikes

Blizzard Entertainment/Activision Blizzard

Bone Spikes pierce up from the ground, dealing physical damage in a small area. Generates 24 Essence per-cast.


  • Sudden Impact: Bone Spikes now briefly stuns enemies.
  • Bone Pillars: Turns Bone Spikes into one spike that can hit a primary target and up to two other enemies. Does poison damage.
  • Frost Spikes: Bone Spikes leave behind a slowing field. Does cold damage.
  • Path of Bones: Releases spikes in a long line. Enemies that are farther away from you take more damage.
  • Blood Spikes: Bone Spikes cause enemies you hit to bleed for a couple of seconds. As enemies bleed, part of the damage dealt heals you.

Grim Scythe

Blizzard Entertainment/Activision Blizzard

Summon a Scythe to cut through your close range foes. Generates 12 Essence per cast.


  • Execution: Has a small chance to instantly kill enemies below 20 percent health.
  • Dual Scythes: Hits with two scythes instead of one. Pushes enemies together.
  • Cursed Scythe: Has a small chance to inflict enemies hit with a random curse. Does poison damage.
  • Frost Scythe: Every time you strike an enemy, your attack speed increases (up to 15 times). Does cold damage.
  • Blood Scythe: Heal for a small percent of health every time you damage an enemy.

Blood Siphon

Blizzard Entertainment/Activision Blizzard

Siphon blood from the target, dealing damage and healing you for a percentage of your total life. Generate 15 Essence.


  • Blood Sucker: You draw all health globes within a small range to you while siphoning blood.
  • Suppress: While siphoning from them, enemies are slowed. Does cold damage.
  • Power Shift: Damage is increased each time Siphon Blood is used (up to 10 times). Does poison damage.
  • Purity of Essence: Gain additional Essence per hit if you are at full health.
  • Drain Life: Health regain is greatly increased but Essence is no longer generated.

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