This build guide is split over multiple pages, both to prevent it from getting too long, as well as to help you better find the information you are looking for. In addition to the current page, which presents general information about the build and also contains a Leveling and FAQ section, we have the following pages:
We choose to build the character as a Hybrid, meaning that we scale both Life and Energy Shield in order to build a decent Life-pool. The build’s main idea synergizes extremely well with the Necromancer’s ascendancy nodes. We do not scale Ignites or Burning damage in any way; we only rely on the instant damage we deal with Incinerate and Volatile Dead. The build can become surprisingly tanky in the endgame while also maintaining respectable damage output even on a low budget.
The build does not require any initial investment, but scales well with gear. A simple Tabula Rasa can carry you up to red maps. With some currency investment you will be able to reach high levels of Detonate Dead via things like level 4 Empower Support and Weapons/Shield that provide additional levels to the gem. Ideally, you would want a Shaper-based Staff with “Socketed Gems are Supported by Level # Cast While Channelling”, which will essentially result in a 7-Link. The build is also able to stack a large amount of Chance to Block Spells and Attacks, which is why Rumi's Concoction is a great flask choice.
Pros & Cons
+ Hardcore viable
+ Very easy to play, can stay in place and face-tank even some endgame bosses
- Cannot do Elemental Reflect
- Requires the use of multiple skills
Defensively, the Detonate Dead Necromancer reaches respectable amount of survivability via Block, Spell Block, and Life Regeneration. Since we are using Necromancer’s Mistress of Sacrifice we are able to benefit from Bone Offering, which should be casted every so often to keep up the buff.
For playstyle, you will have a lot of buttons to press depending on the situation you are in. Bone Offering will give you a great amount of defense in tough situations, and in combination with Vaal Molten Shell these skills can make you very hard to kill. Dealing with higher levels of content will result in more damage output because of how Volatile Dead works. Leap Slam is a great mobility skill that will get you out of sticky situations.
This is the endgame version of the passive tree.
For more information, be sure to check out the passive skill tree page.
Ascendancy, Bandits, and Pantheons
Our Ascendancy, Bandit, and Pantheon Power page goes into detail about all the choices you need to make in these regards.
We go over all of the gem links this build uses in the end-game on our Gem Link page.
Gear Summary / TL;DR
These items provide a good balance between offense and defense and are enough to deal with the endgame, although there is definitely a room for improvement. Please ensure you read the Gear, Jewels and Flasks page in its entirety.
|Item Slot||Item Name|
|Chest||Rare Body Armour|
|Belt||Rare Stygian Vise|
|Rings||Rare Opal Rings|
|Weapon||Rare Shaper-based Staff|
As a reminder, we have several guides to help you level up a character.
- Our step-by-step leveling walkthrough, which allows even more experienced players to save time and speed through the leveling process.
- Our guide to Unique Items for leveling, which helps you gear up your characters for the leveling process.
- Our beginner leveling guide, which answers many of the questions new players might have and will set you on the right path.
The Cast While Channelling Volatile Dead Necromancer can be leveled with its signature skill as soon as you are able to start using Cast while Channelling Support at level 38.
This is the early passive skill tree for the build, which will allow for smooth leveling experience.
Useful Leveling Unique Items
As you begin a new character, there are few unique items that can boost your power exponentially. Tabula Rasa allows you to have a 6-Linked skill as early as you get the gems. Wanderlust gives a decent movement speed, which will make your leveling that much more efficient. Goldrim provides a lot of elemental resistances, this will let you worry less about gearing when approaching certain Act encounters.
If you are a new player (or if this is your first character for the league), then note that obtaining these items will be very difficult, if not impossible. They are rare drops, which you can otherwise only acquire if you have saved up currency, so do not focus on them too much, and instead simply look for items that match the affix priorities listed in the gearing section above.
Using Tabula Rasa will allow you to have 6-Link gem setups early on, which is why we show such examples below. If you cannot get Tabula Rasa (or another item with a 6-Link), then simply prioritize the first gems in each link provided below.
In order to acquire gems that are not available to your class as a quest reward, simply ask a friend to buy them off vendors for you, or buy them yourself from Sioasa in The Library in Act III Library.
From level 1, you should use the following link.
At level 16, you should add Herald of Ash for the additional damage. At this point you are able to transition from Freezing Pulse to a self-casting Volatile Dead. You should start using the following two links.
- Cast while Channelling Support
- Volatile Dead
- Concentrated Effect Support
- Combustion Support
- Immolate Support
What map mods are impossible to do?
You will one-shot yourself to Elemental Reflect. No Regeneration should also be avoided.
The Cast While Channelling Volatile Dead Necromancer allows you channel a wave of Fire while being stationary and consume corpses in order to create heat-seaking balls of fire that deal tons of Fire damage. The character is essentially a Fire caster that stacks up a lot of Life, Energy Shield and Block chance while also doing percent of corpses’ maximum Life, which scales extremely well into the late game.