Revisiting Diablo’s Necromancer

Written by Louis

November 5, 2016

In lieu of Diablo’s 20th Anniversary, the latest installment to the franchise, Diablo III reveals that they will be adding the Diablo II inspired Necromancer class to their character list, one of the sought out characters in the long running series.

Master of the undead, leader of the warriors of the dark, and wielding the power that is the stuff of nightmares the Necromancer class was one of the original available character classes of Diablo II. Themed after Death and Darkness, the Necromancer’s skill set is divided into 3 categories, namely Summoning, Poison and Bone Spells, and Curses, granting multiple possible playstyles, albeit most players put a lot of focus on the Summoning abilities.

Character Lore (Diablo II)

Necromancers are Sorcerers whose spells deal with the raising of the dead and the summoning and control of various creatures for their purposes. None doubt the power of Necromancers, for it is the stuff of nightmares.

The word “Necromancer” is actually an outsider’s term for the Priests of Rathma, as per their ability to raise the dead. Necromancy is an ability possessed by the minions of the Burning Hells, but among mortals, it is only Necromancers that possess it. Yet Necromancers are pragmatists, and are above temptation. Their knowledge of the unknown allows them to face death without fear. Additionally, Necromancers possess the use of prime magic


Skills (Diablo II)

Character Lore (Diablo II)

 Summoning  Poison and Bone  Curses
 Raise Skeleton  Teeth  Amplify Damage
 Skeleton Mastery  Bone Armor  Dim Vision
 Clay Golem  Poison Dagger  Weaken
 Golem Mastery  Corpse Explosion  Iron Maiden
 Raise Skeletal Mage  Bone Wall  Terror
 Blood Golem  Poison Explosion  Confuse
 Summon Resist  Bone Spear  Life Tap
 Iron Golem  Bone Prison  Attract
 Fire Golem  Posion Nova  Decrepify
 Revive  Bone Spirit  Lower Resist

The Diablo III Version

The Diablo III Necromancer obviously draws a lot of inspiration from the Diablo II version especially from the design, as it uses the same pale skin, long white hair figure, albeit Diablo III’s looks more of a heavy metal trope with a lot of “rock star” references on the design concept.

Concept art or heavy metal album cover design?

While inspired by Diablo II, Blizzard iterates that they will not be doing a complete port, rather it will be taking a whole new direction with more its Blood themed abilities.  Still players who are already familiar with the character since Diablo II can expect some of its old skills being ported into the Diablo III version such as the central one, Summon Skeleton.

Diablo III Necromancer revealed skills and Diablo II similarities

 Ability  Diablo II Equivalent
 Summon Skeletons  Raise Sekeletons
 Corpse Explosion  Corpse Explosion
 Bone Spear  Bone Spear
 Siphon Blood
 Blood Rush

Differences with the Witch Doctor

While the Witch Doctor was initially thought to have been the replacement of the Necromancer Class, Blizzard’s Necromancer FAQ stresses that it was never the plan, rather the Witch Doctor will serve as the opposite end the Necromancer’s death and darkness theme with the former’s abilities utilizing spiritual, nature and voodoo magic despite being able to also utilize the undead through skills like Summon Zombie Dogs.

Still similarities between the 2 classes are not that hard to point out as the Witch Doctor has its own curse-esque abilities or those that deal effects such as Damage per second, lowered defense although in contrast to Necromancer curses, these skills deal damage together with applying such unit debuffs.

Release and reception

The Necromancer class for Diablo III is expected to release early next year with the PTR update for players to test it out to arrive more sooner. As of the moment, there is no information yet as to how much the update would cost though players expect it to be not as too harsh as the cost for expansion updates. Additionally, while many have been awaiting the arrival of the Necromancer class, many have shared their negative sentiments to the overall update as they are expecting a full blown expansion together with its reveal and release.



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