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:
The Detonate Dead Necromancer is a caster that detonates corpses in order to deal massive amounts of Fire damage. The Detonate Dead skill itself deals a flat amount of Fire damage along with a percent of the maximum amount of Life of the corpse, which means the damage of the build is heavily dependent on the levels of the Detonate Dead gem along with the maximum Life of the corpse (which is mainly determined by the level of your Desecrate gem).
The Necromancer ascendancy synergizes very well with the main idea behind the build, which is dealing tons of Fire damage with the Hit portion of the skill. We do not scale Ignites or Burning damage in any way; we only rely on the instant damage we deal with Detonate 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 Nycta's Lantern or 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.
Pros & Cons
+ Hardcore viable
+ Fun and active playstyle
- Cannot do Elemental Reflect
- Requires the use of multiple skills
Offensively, you should spawn corpses beneath the feet of monster packs with Desecrate and then detonate them with Detonate Dead. Against tougher enemies you can utilize Vaal Detonate Dead. Intensify Support will allow you to deal great amounts of single target damage without having to gem-swap between clearing and single target.
Defensively, the build can make a great use of Vaal Molten Shell. The Detonate Dead Necromancer reaches respectable amount of survivability via Block, Spell Block, and Life Regeneration.
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 Detonate Dead works.
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|
|Belt||Rare Stygian Vise|
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 Detonate Dead Necromancer can be leveled with its signature skill as soon as you are able to equip Desecrate at level 16.
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 and Arctic Armour for the additional damage and defense. At this point you are able to transition from Freezing Pulse to your signature skill – Detonate Dead. You should start using the following two links.
What map mods are impossible to do?
You will one-shot yourself to Elemental Reflect. No Regeneration should also be avoided.
What anoint should we go for?
Arcane Expanse is a good AoE notable to anoint. You can also look at Life notables like Blood Siphon, Herbalism and Bravery.
The Detonate Dead Necromancer allows you to detonate corpses of the dead in order to deal great amounts of Fire damage. The character is able to clear high level content on a budget and requires active playstyle.