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Diablo 3 Necromancer guide: Secondary skills

Spending your Essence in large chunks to deal massive damage

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.

Secondary skills are some of your most damaging skills in Diablo 3: The Rise of the Necromancer. These do not provide much utility, like slows or sustain, instead focusing on spending your Essence in large chunks to deal massive damage to your foes.

Bone Spear

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Fires a spear made of bone that pierces all enemies it passes through.


  • Blighted Marrow: Damage is increased whenever the spear passes through an enemy. Does poison damage.
  • Teeth: Instead fires a barrage of teeth in a short range in front of you.
  • Crystallization: Enemies hit have their attack speed reduced. Your attack speed grows for every enemy hit (stacking up to 10 times). Does cold damage.
  • Shatter: Spears no longer pierce. Instead, they explode, dealing damage to all enemies in an area.
  • Blood Spear: Damage is increased, but using Blood Spear costs part of your life to cast.

Skeletal Mage

Blizzard Entertainment/Activision Blizzard

Raises an undead ally to your side. The Skeletal Mage will follow you around for a few seconds, dealing damage to enemies that it comes across.


  • Gift of Death: When Skeletal Mages expire, they will drop a corpse.
  • Contamination: The Skeletal Mage no longer follows you, instead channeling a a small aura of poison At the location they were places. Does poison damage.
  • Skeleton Archer: Raises an archer instead of a mage. Each hit increases your personal attack speed (stacks up to 10 times).
  • Singularity: Spends all Essence at once to summon a very powerful Skeletal Mage. The mage’s damage is increased by every Essence spent.
  • Life Support: Skeletal Mages cost health as well as Essence but last longer.

Death Nova

Blizzard Entertainment/Activision Blizzard

An aura of poison explodes out from your body, dealing damage to all enemies close to you. Does poison damage.


  • Unstable Compound: Casting Death Nova in rapid succession increases the range. Does poison damage.
  • Tendril Nova: Reduces the damage that Death Nova deals, but you are now healed each time you strike an enemy.
  • Blight: Death Nova leaves behind a patch on the ground. Enemies in the patch deal less damage and are slowed. Does poison damage.
  • Bone Nova: Spines explode from the ground, dealing additional damage in a smaller range.
  • Blood Nova: Deals additional damage in exchange for part of your health.

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