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Poison Nova Necromancer PD2 Build

Poison Nova Necromancer PD2 Build

One of the best Necromancer builds that utilize the Poison Skill Tree to deal massive AOE DoT

Poison Nova
Necromancer Build

Updated for Season 4

Build notes:

June 4, 2021
-Build created

January 04, 2022
-Build updated for Season 4 


Build Overview

When we think of high mobility builds, the first few that come to mind are all Sorc builds. This is not a coincidence as Sorc's Teleport is simply the best when it comes to moving around rapidly. It's not without competition, however, as Necro's Blood Warp can provide comparable levels of mobility. When we combine Blood Warp with Necro's Poison Skills we receive one of the deadliest high mobility builds available in Project Diablo 2, in fact; The Build utilizes Poison Nova as its main offensive ability and supplements it with Blood Warp to deliver death with extreme precision and to escape in the blink of an eye afterward. 

The featured version of the Poison Nova Necromancer is fully capable of solo clearing maps at insane speeds. It offers unbelievably high AoE Damage output and almost unparalleled mobility. Quite a few points were invested into Summons which, combined with the build's mobility, ensure that the featured Necro is very hard to crack and can escape from even the direst of situations. 

Season 4 Note: Even after all the scaling nerfs introduced in Season 3 and 4, Poison Nova remains one of the strongest skills in Project Diablo 2 (and it got a bit better in the early game, actually). Because of this, Poison Nova Necro keeps his position among the most powerful PD2 builds. Also, Desecrate is unbelievably powerful now. 

You can also check our other Best Project Diablo 2 Builds


 Pros  Cons
 Great Mobility with Blood Warp  Relies on a single damage type - Poison which makes it unsuited for some maps 
 Extremely high AoE and Single-Target Damage   Very low utility for a Necro build 
 Multiple Summons to distract enemies   
 Extremely fast map clear speeds - the fastest build for clearing River of Blood   



  1. Strength - All you want, in terms of Strength, is enough of it to equip everything you will want to use on your character. 
  2. Dexterity - Get enough Dex for your gear unless you can achieve max block by spending some more points on it (this will mostly depend on your gear, however). 
  3. Vitality - You should put all your remaining points here - main stat. 
  4. Energy - Adding points to Energy is an extreme waste - don't do it. 

This skill tree is the main focus of this build and will be the source of your offensive power. Desecrate will be your main source of single-target damage and the Poison Nova will prove to be irreplaceable when clearing groups of monsters. 


  1. Poison Dagger [20/20] - A skill that adds poison damage to a dagger and leaves a poison cloud on the attack. Poison Dagger synergizes with the Poison Nova and thus we're maxing it. 
  2. Corpse Explosion [1/20] - Allows you to blow up a nearby corpse, dealing damage to all nearby enemies. Prerequisite. 
  3. Desecrate [20/20] - A skill that makes you summon a pile of poisonous corpses. This adds some concentrated Damage option, and it synergizes with Poison Nova which makes it perfect for the build. As a poison skill, Desecrate deals its damage over a period of time - 3 seconds in this case. Unlike Poison Nova, this skill was actually buffed and deals extremely high damage. 
  4. Poison Nova [20/20] - A ring of poison explodes from the Necromancer. Just like every other nova-type skill, Poison Nova is extremely strong for clearing, especially when combined with the mobility offered by Blood Warp. As a poison skill, Poison Nova deals its damage over time (over 2 seconds) - keep this in mind and be prepared to escape as tougher enemies might close in on you before the poison puts them down. 


Curses can be handy for breaking the enemy resistances, slowing down faster foes, and they provide solid utility in general. Lower Resist is especially useful as the bulk of our damage comes from Poisons. However, you can play without investing any points into Curses and still do perfectly fine with this Build. If you decide to invest some points into Curses, you should take a closer look at the following three especially: 


  1. Amplify Damage [1/20] - Prerequisite. A Curse that lowers the monster's physical resistances, making it take more damage from physical attacks. Also, handy to have while playing in a group with physical damage dealers. 
  2. Life Tap [1/20] - Prerequisite. Curses a group of monsters so that damaging them gives the attacker life. 
  3. Weaken [1/20] - Prerequisite. A Curse that makes groups of enemies deal much less Damage which is life-saving, to say the least. This Skill is handy to have as it increases your overall survivability. Also, it's very nice for group play. 
  4. Lower Resist [X/20] - A Curse that lowers the monster's elemental resistances making it take more damage from elemental attacks. This can make the build more versatile - poison-immune monsters are much, much easier to deal with when they are cursed with this skill. You should spend all your remaining points here. 

This Skill Tree is essential for us because it contains the Blood Warp that's simply mandatory for the build. As for the rest of its contents, Clay Golems are great because they will stand between you and your enemies. 


  1. Clay Golem [5/20] - Putting even a 1 point here is the best investment you can make. This one point, when combined with 20 points in the Golem Mastery will provide you with quite sturdy 5 Clay Golems. Put 1 point here and once you're done with other Skills, add another ~4 to it. 
  2. Golem Mastery [20/20] - Putting 20 points here gives us 4 additional Clay Golems (for a total of 5) which improves our survivability by a lot - with this and Clay Golem Skill, we have 5 meat shields instead of one! 
  3. Blood Warp [X/20] - Necromancer's equivalent of Sorceress' Teleport. It has a mana cost of 10 and will drain 2% of our current HP each cast. Additional Points only reduce its Cooldown. This Skill is essential for our survival - being able to teleport out of trouble is unbelievably strong. Blood Warp's Cooldown decreases with every subsequent Skill Point - You should aim to get it down to a no Cooldown which is achieved at skill level 30 (the more +Skills you have from gear, the fewer points you have to spend on it). 



As per usual with PD2 Builds, you want to get as many Skill levels (Necromancer/Poison and Bone Skills in this case) as possible to increase the build's overall power level. Resistances are also important, but they should never come before the offensive power. A faster cast rate is nice to have (the higher the breakpoint, you can achieve, the better - 56 FHR and 75 FCR breakpoints are rather easy to achieve and you should aim, at least, for them). Defensive stats, like faster hit recovery and life leech/life on each kill, are a nice addition but you should not choose gear for them specifically. 


Steel Shade (Armet) - A very strong Helmet that adds +2 to All Skills, provides a 30% Faster Cast Rate, takes care of our mana problems, and offers a solid defensive boost on top. Moreover, it has high Magic Find bonus which makes it a great choice for farming. 

Steel Shade

  • Defense: 300 to 345 
  • Required Level: 62
  • Required Strength: 109
  • Durability: 24
    • +100-130% Enhanced Defense (varies) 
    • +4-8% Mana Stolen per Hit (varies) 
    • +5-11 Fire Absorb (varies) 
    • Replenish Life +30-48 (varies) 
    • +1-2 to All Skills (varies) 
    • 20% Increased Chance of Blocking 
    • 30% Faster Block Rate 
    • [60-80]% Extra Gold from Monsters (varies)

Harlequin Crest (Shako) - A staple of most PD2 Builds. This helmet gives you everything you might want for your Necromancer - Skill levels, Mana, Health, Damage taken reduction, attributes, and magic find. 

Harlequin Crest

  • Defense: 98 to 141 
  • Required Level: 62
  • Required Strength: 50
  • Durability: 20
    • +2 to All Skills 
    • +1-99 to Life(1 per character level) 
    • +1-99 to Mana(1 per character level) 
    • Damage Reduced By 3-5% (varies) 
    • 50% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items 
    • +2 to All Attributes 

Trang-Oul's Guise (Bone Visage) - While this helmet is not as good as the alternatives by itself, wearing a whole Trang-Oul's Set will more than make up for it. 

Trang-Oul's Guise

Note: If you plan on using Trang'Oul's set pieces, you should go for the whole set. 

  • Defense: 180 to 257 
  • Required Level: 62
  • Required Strength: 106
  • Durability: 40
    • +25% Faster Hit Recovery 
    • +[80-100] Defense (varies) 
    • Replenish Life +[20-30] (varies) 
    • +150 to Mana 
    • Attacker Takes Damage of [420-620] (varies) 


Death's Web (Unearthed Wand) - This is the single best item you can have on a Poison Nova Necromancer. It gives up to +4 to Poison and Bone  Skills AND provides a solid enemy poison resistance reduction (up to -20% - this was nerfed, sadly). With this Wand, adding points into Lower Resist is a waste. 

Death's Web

  • Damage:  22-28
  • Required Level: 66 
  • Required Strength: 25
  • Durability: 18
  • Fast Attack Speed  
    • +50% Damage to Undead 
    • +2 To All Skills 
    • +1-2 To Poison and Bone Spells (Necromancer Only) (varies) 
    • -[10-20]% to Enemy Poison Resistance (varies) 
    • +[4-6] to Mana after each Kill (varies) 
    • +[4-6] Life after each Kill (varies) 

Heart of the Oak (Runeword) - This is a solid alternative to the Boneshade that gives +3 to All Skills, provides a nice cast rate boost, and some resistances. Place it in a Flail for the lowest attribute requirements. 

Heart of the Oak

  • Damage:  Depends on base Weapon
  • Required Level: 55
  • Required Dexterity: Depends on base Weapon
  • Required Strength: Depends on base Weapon
  • Durability: Depends on base Weapon 
  • Ko + Vex + Pul + Thul 
    • +3 To All Skills 
    • +30% Faster Cast Rate 
    • +75% Damage To Demons 
    • +100 To Attack Rating Against Demons 
    • Adds 3-14 Cold Damage, 3 sec. Duration (Normal) 
    • 7% Mana Stolen Per Hit 
    • +10 To Dexterity 
    • Replenish Life +20 
    • Increase Maximum Mana 15% 
    • All Resistances +20-30 (varies) 
    • Level 14 Raven (60 Charges) 

Boneflame (Succubus Skull) - An extremely powerful off-hand that provides high life gain on each kill which will help you survive. Moreover, it gives you up to 3 Necromancer Skill Levels and high amounts of resistances. 


  • Defense:  323-367
  • Required Level: 72 
  • Required Strength: 95
  • Durability: 20
  • Block: 30% 
    • 5% Chance to Cast Level 3 Terror when Struck
    • +[2-3] to Necromancer Skill Levels (varies) 
    • +20% Faster Run/Walk 
    • +[120-150]% Enhanced Defense (varies) 
    • All Resistances +[20-30] (varies) 
    • Physical Damage Taken Reduced by [10-20]% (varies) 
    • +[4-8] Life after each Kill (varies) 

Homonculus (Hierophant Trophy) - An extremely powerful Class item that increases Necromancer's Skills by 2, and provides some much-needed bonuses to mana. If you have sustain problems, you can't go wrong with Homonculus. 


  • Defense:  177-213
  • Required Level: 42 
  • Required Strength: 58
  • Durability: 20
  • Block: 72% 
    • +150-200% Enhanced Defense (varies) 
    • 3-5 Mana After Each Kill (varies) 
    • 40% Increased Chance of Blocking 
    • 30% Faster Block Rate 
    • +2 To Necromancer Skill Levels 
    • +20 To Energy 
    • Regenerate Mana 33% 
    • All Resistances +25-35 (varies) 

Trang-Oul's Wing (Cantor Trophy) - You can't go wrong with this one, especially if you have at least 3 Trang'Oul's set pieces in total for that amazing -25% Enemy Poison Resistance reduction. 

Trang-Oul's Wing

  • Defense:  175-189 
  • Required Level: 54 
  • Required Strength: 50
  • Durability: 10 
    • +2 to Poison and Bone Skills (Necromancer Only) 
    • 30% Increased Chance of Blocking 
    • +125 Defense 
    • +[20-28] to Strength (varies) 
    • +[10-18] to Dexterity (varies) 
    • Fire Resist +[38-45]% (varies) 
    • Poison Resist +40% 
    • -25% to Enemy Poison Resistance (3 Items) 
    • +30% Faster Cast Rate (4 Items) 

Call to Arms (Rune Word) - This powerful Runeword will allow you to pre-buff yourself up with Warcries (buffs persist through weapon swap). 


Call to Arms

  • Defense: Depends on base Weapon 
  • Required Level: 57
  • Required Strength: Depends on base Weapon ​​​​​
  • Durability: Depends on base Weapon 
  • Amn • Ral • Mal • Ist
    • +1 to All Skills 
    • +40% Increased Attack Speed 
    • +250-290% Enhanced Damage 
    • Adds 5-30 Fire Damage 
    • 7% Life Stolen Per Hit 
    • +2-6 To Battle Command 
    • +1-6 To Battle Orders 
    • +1-4 To Battle Cry 
    • Prevent Monster Heal 
    • Replenish Life +12 
    • 30% Better Chance Of Getting Magic Items 

Lidless Wall (Grim Shield) - A very powerful Shield that grants up to +2 Skills and high FCR. Good to have on swap for that additional Skill Levels. 

Lidless Wall

  • Defense: 271 - 347
  • Required Level: 41
  • Required Strength: 58
  • Durability: 70
    • +80-130% Enhanced Defense (varies) 
    • +1-2 to All Skills (varies) 
    • Increase Maximum Mana 10% 
    • 20% Faster Cast Rate 
    • +4-6 to Mana After Each Kill (varies) 
    • +10 to Energy 
    • +1 to Light Radius 


Mara's Kaleidoscope - This is one of the best Amulets in PD2 overall and it fits most of the builds, which makes it a good investment. It provides a great combination of offensive (+2 to all skills) and defensive (+20-30 to all resistances) properties.

Mara's Kaleidoscope

  • Required Level: 67
    • +2 To All Skills 
    • All Resistances +20-30 (varies) 
    • +5 To All Attributes 

[Alternative] Rare/Magic Amulets with + Necromancer/Poison and Bone Spells are great budget choices and solid fillers before you are able to get Mara's Kaleidoscope. 

Amulet Amulet

  • Required Level: varies. 
  • In Magic Amulets, look for:
    • +3 to Poison and Bone Spells 
  • In Rare Amulets, look for:
    • +2 Necromancer Skills 
    • Magic Find 
    • Resistances 
    • Attributes 


Bramble (Runeword) - A definite top choice for the build (the trade-off is, you won't benefit from the full Trang's set). This armor gives us an insane Poison Damage Boost, some good resistances, and a quite good mana regen increase. Without Bramble, your Damage output won't be anywhere near as high as it could be. 



  • Defense: Depends on base Armor 
  • Required Level: 63 
  • Required Strength: Depends on base Armor 
  • Durability: Depends on base Armor 
  • Ral + Ohm + Sur + Eth  
    • Level 15-21 Thorns Aura When Equipped (varies) 
    • +50% Faster Hit Recovery 
    • +30-50% To Poison Skill Damage (varies) 
    • +300 Defense 
    • Increase Maximum Mana 5% 
    • Regenerate Mana 15% 
    • +4% To Maximum Cold Resist 
    • Fire Resist +30% 
    • Poison Resist +100% 
    • +[5-10] Life after each Kill (varies) 
    • Level 13 Spirit of Barbs (33 Charges) 

Enigma (Runeword) - A solid all-around choice that takes care of your defense and offense. Blink Charges it gives you are less relevant because of Blood Warp, but still handy to have in some situations. Because of the Jah • Ith • Ber runes required to complete it, it is very expensive, however. 


  • Defense: Depends on base Armor 
  • Required Level: 65 
  • Required Strength: Depends on base Armor 
  • Durability: Depends on base Armor 
  • Jah + Ith + Ber  
    • +2 To All Skills 
    • +25% Faster Run/Walk 
    • Level 1 Blink* (5/5 Charges)
      Replenish 1 Charge in 3 Seconds
    • +500-775 Defense (varies) 
    • +[0-74] to Strength (+[0.5-0.75] per Character Level) (varies)
    • Increase Maximum Life 5%
    • Damage Reduced By 4%
    • 15% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
    • [0-74]% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items ([0.5-0.75]% per Character Level) (varies)

Trang-Oul's Scales (Chaos Armor) - This is a solid defensively-oriented armor that will make you (almost) impervious to physical damage if you combine it with the rest of the set. Sadly, it can't even compare with something like Bramble when it comes to offensive bonuses. 

Trang-Oul's Scales

  • Defense: 857
  • Required Strength: 84
  • Durability: 70
  • Required Level: 49
    • +2 to Summoning Skills (Necromancer Only) 
    • +40% Faster Run/Walk 
    • +150% Enhanced Defense 
    • +100 Defense vs. Missile 
    • Poison Resist +40% 
    • Requirements -40% 
    • +[1-2] to Blood Warp (Necromancer Only) (varies)
    • Lightning Resist +50% (3 Items) 
    • Physical Damage Taken Reduced by 25% (Complete Set) 


The Stone of Jordan - A solid offensive choice that increases your Skills by +1. It is one of the most recognizable rings in Diablo2 (and for a good reason). 

The Stone of Jordan 

  • Required Level: 29
    • +1 to All Skills
    • Maximum Mana to 15-20% 
    • Adds 1-120 Lightning Damage 
    • +20-40 to Mana (varies) 

Bul-Kathos Wedding Band - A  great ring that adds +1 to Skills. It also increases stamina and gives some nice life steal. 

Bul-Kathos Wedding Band

  • Required Level: 58
    • +1 To All Skills 
    • + (0.5 Per Character Level) 0-49 To Life) 
    • 3-5% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies) 
    • +50 Maximum Stamina 

Raven Frost - This ring provides Freeze immunity which is extremely important to have. If you have freeze immunity from another item, you can choose a different ring. 

Raven Frost

  • Required Level: 76
    • +150-250 Attack Rating (varies) 
    • 15-45 Cold Damage 
    • +15-20 Dexterity (varies) 
    • +40 Mana 
    • Cold Absorb 5-10% (varies) 
    • Cannot be Frozen 

Wisp Projector - Even though it's a Druid Ring, it is very solid for every Class. Also, the Lightning Absorb is a great addition to your defenses. Plenty of your deaths will be caused by Lightning Damage, so this one is definitely worth picking up. 

Wisp Projector

  • Required Level: 76
    • Lightning Absorb 4-6% (varies)
    • 8-15% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items 
    • +1-3 to Spirit of Barbs 
    • +1-3 to Heart of the Wolverine 
    • +1 To All Skills 


Trang-Oul's Claws (Heavy Bracers) - These gloves offer an amazing faster cast rate boost (for gloves, that is). However, the best thing about them is a respectable bonus to Poison Skill Damage - up to 15%. Bonus to Curses is not important for this build but can come in handy if you decide to invest a few points into the tree. 

Trang-Oul's Claws

  • Defense: 67 - 74
  • Required Level: 45
  • Required Strength: - 58
  • Durability: 16
    • +20% Faster Cast Rate 
    • Cold Resist +30% 
    • +30 Defense 
    • +10-15% Poison Skill Damage (varies) 
    • +2 To Curses (Necromancer Only) 


Waterwalk (Sharkskin Boots) - You can't go wrong with these boots - they are an extremely solid all-around choice. The most important thing about them is the very high, up to +65, Life bonus. However, you will appreciate their amazing +40% faster Run/Walk and almost infinite Stamina as well. 


  • Defense: 112-124
  • Required Level: 32
  • Required Strength: 47
  • Kick Damage: 28-50
  • Durability: 14  
    • +180-210% Enhanced Defense (varies) 
    • 40% Faster Run/Walk 
    • 20% Faster Block Rate 
    • +15 to Dexterity 
    • +5% to Maximum Fire Resist 
    • Heal Stamina Plus 50% 
    • +40 to Maximum Stamina 
    • +45-65 to Life (varies) 

Aldur's Advance (Battle Boots) - This pair of Boots offers very high bonus Movement Speed and Life. Also, they have a very high bonus to Fire Resistance, which is handy if you don't have fire resistance charms or want your charms to have other bonuses. 

Aldur's Advance

  • Defense: 39-47
  • Required Level: 45
  • Required Strength: 95
  • Kick Damage: 37-64
  • Durability: Indestructible  
    • Indestructible 
    • 40% Faster Run/Walk 
    • 10% Damage Taken Goes To Mana 
    • +180 Maximum Stamina 
    • Heal Stamina Plus +32% 
    • +50 To Life 
    • Set Bonuses: 
      • +15 To Dexterity (2 Item) 
      • +15 To Dexterity (3 Items) 
      • +15 To Dexterity (Completed Set) 


Arachnid Mesh (Spiderweb Sash) - Definitely a Best in Slot Belt for this build. Arachnid Mesh gives +1 to all Skills in addition to increasing your Cast Rate. This belt is a must-have in a wide range of caster builds, so purchasing it is a good investment. 

Arachnid Mesh

  • Defense: 119-138 
  • Potion Slots: 16 
  • Required Level: 80
  • Required Strength: 50
  • Durability: 12
    • +90-120% Enhanced Defense  
    • Slows Target by 20% 
    • +1 To All Skills 
    • +10-20% Faster Cast Rate 
    • Maximum Mana 5-10% 
    • Level 3 Venom (31 Charges) 

String of Ears (Demonhide Sash) - A great option if you're after some additional survivability. The String of Ears provides up to a 15% damage reduction bonus which is just amazing for this Item slot. 

String of Ears

  • Defense: 102-113
  • Potion Slots: 16 
  • Required Level: 29
  • Required Strength: 20
  • Durability: 22
    • +150-180% Enhanced Defense 
    • +15 Defense 
    • 6-8% Life Stolen Per Hit 
    • Damage Reduced By 10-15% 
    • Magic Damage Reduced 10-15 

Trang-Oul's Girth (Troll Belt) - A solid defensively-oriented belt that provides you with the "Cannot be Frozen" affix which lets you swap Ravenfrost for another +Skills ring. 

Trang-Oul's Girth

  • Defense: 134-166 
  • Potion Slots: 16 
  • Required Level: 62
  • Required Strength: 91
  • Durability: 18
    • +[75-100] Defense (varies) 
    • +[56-76] to Life (varies) 
    • eplenish Life +[5-10] (varies) 
    • +[25-50] to Mana (varies) 
    • +30 Maximum Stamina 
    • Cannot Be Frozen 
    • Requirements -40% 
    • Cold Resist +40% (3 Items) 
Wearing full Trang-Oul's Set will also give you: 
  • +18 to Fire Ball (2 Items) 
  • Regenerate Mana 20% (2 Items) 
  • +26 to Fire Wall (3 Items) 
  • Regenerate Mana 15% (3 Items) 
  • +10 to Fire Ball (4 Items) 
  • Regenerate Mana 15% (Complete Set) 
  • +3 to Necromancer Skill Levels (Complete Set) 
  • 20% Life Stolen per Hit (Complete Set) 
  • +6 to Fire Mastery (Complete Set) 
  • Replenish Life +10 (Complete Set) 
  • +100 to Mana (Complete Set) 
  • All Resistances +50 (Complete Set) 
  • Display Aura (Complete Set) 


  1. Annihilus - This fabled Charm boosts your Skills, Stats, and Resistances. It's the best Unique Small Charm, and it's limited to just 1 in your equipment. 
  2. Gheed's Fortune - The secret to Gheed's wealth and prosperity. Pretty much a must-have if you're after the best available charms. It adds 80-160% extra gold from monsters, reduces vendor prices by up to 15%, and gives up to 40% better magic find. 
  3. Hellfire Torch - The BiS Unique Large Charm that increases your Vitality, Skills, and more. You should, of course, go for one that gives +1 to Necromancer Skills. 
  4. Grand Charms - These should have +Poison and Bone Spells (mandatory) and +Life/+Faster Run/Walk Speed. 
  5. Small Charms - With these, you should get your desired Resistances, bonuses to Life, or bonuses to Magic Find - whatever suits your needs, basically. 


We recommend picking up Act 1 Cold Mercenary for extra utility. She should be equipped with: 

  1. Harmony Rune Word in A 4-socket Bow. This Runeword boosts your mana regen and gives you and your minions Vigor aura which makes you move faster - this makes your Golems much more effective, especially with the recent AI upgrade. 
  2. Fortitude Rune Word in Armor - This will ensure that your merc doesn't die (it will make him almost immortal). 
  3. Dracul's Grasp - For a great mix of survivability and offensive power. 
  4. Vampire's Gaze - For high Life Leech and damage reduction. 
  5. String of Ears - Very high damage reduction and excellent survivability boost. 
  6. War Traveler - For extra defenses and some MF. 



This is our premiere Project Diablo 2 build where we tried to include all of the important information on how to set up this character while keeping the guide as compact as possible. If we've missed something of importance, please let us know! 

If you have any Build requests, please post them in the Comments section below. We will be happy to cover your most requested builds in the future! Also, we hope that you have found this guide useful and informative. Also, we will be happy to receive constructive criticism that will help us improve our future work, so don't hesitate to give us your feedback.