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Skeleton Summon Necromancer D2R Build

Skeleton Summon Necromancer D2R Build

Build Guide on the most popular early Ladder build for Necromancer

Early Ladder MF
Corpse Explosion Skelemancer Build

For Diablo 2 Resurrected

Build notes:
July 29, 2021
-Build created


Build Overview

Summon Necromancer Builds are among the most popular Diablo 2 build archetypes of all time - we've all played with them and some of us definitely consider rolling one in Resurrected. Their main strength comes from the ability to create an army of minions that fights for the player keeps them safe. Another great thing about them is the fact that they don't require amazing gear to work - they are great starter options. 

The featured "Skelemancer" Necro build is a variation of the standard Summon Skeleton Necromancer that employs Corpse Explosion, in addition to the standard Summon and Curse toolkits, as a source of additional AoE Damage. It offers a laid-back playstyle and above-average clear speeds which makes it ideal for those of you who like to play it safe. 

You can also check our other  Diablo 2 Resurrected Builds


 Pros  Cons
 Easy to play and very effective  Clear Speeds are not amazing 
 Very safe - you have the summons and Bone Prison to protect yourself   Can get very boring if you prefer more active builds 
 A lot of flex points - you can modify the build to your liking   AI... 



  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 - Same as Strength - you only need enough Dexterity to meet gear requirements. 
  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 is the core Skill Tree of this Build. It will provide you with your own undead army. 


  1. Raise Skeleton [20/20] - Raise a Skeleton Warrior from a corpse of a fallen enemy to fight at your side. The number of Skeletons scales with Skill Level - you will reach the max of 8 Skeletons at Skill Level 18 (subsequent points will only improve Skeletons' stats). This Spell, especially combined with Skeleton Mastery is very powerful as Skeletons not only fight for you but also protect you from enemies very well. You should max out Raise Skeleton First (after spending 1 point on Skeleton Mastery and Amplify Damage). 
  2. Skeleton Mastery [20/20] - Improves the quality of your raised Skeleton Warriors, Skeleton Magi, and Revived. Each point spent here improves the Life and Damage of your undead minions, making them more powerful and durable. Skeleton Mastery also affects the physical appearance of your Minions - at higher levels, new equipment will appear on them (Axes, Flails, Armor, Helmets, and Shields). Max this out after Raise Skeleton. 
  3. Clay Golem [1/20] - Raises a Golem from the earth to fight for you. Clay Golem is much more durable than your Skeletons and will act as your personal tank. Also, it works great in combination with the Iron Maiden (normal mode bosses will kill themselves on your Clay Golem if you keep re-summoning it and applying the Iron Maiden on them). 
  4. Golem Mastery [1/20] - A passive skill increases the Speed, Attack Rating, and Life of all your Golems. 1 point here is enough, especially when you have some soft points from gear. 
  5. Raise Skeletal Mage [1/20] - Prerequisite. Raise a Skeleton Mage from a corpse of a fallen enemy to fight at your side. 
  6. Summon Resist [1/20] - Increases the Resists of your Summoned Minions. This makes your summons rare much better against elemental attacks, traps, or even simple fires. 
  7. Revive [X/20] - Resurrects a monster to fight for you. The maximum number of revived monsters scales with the Skill level in a 1:1 ratio (1 point - 1 monster, 5 points - 5 monsters, etc.). The best thing to do is invest ~5-8 points here and re-spec after getting enough +Skills from gear. 


This build utilizes Curses to break the physical resistance of enemies and reflect the damage they deal back at them. 


  1. Amplify Damage [1/20] - Lowers the Physical Resistance of enemies by 100%, making them much more susceptible to attacks. You should spend 1 point here (the earlier the better) and never invest any additional ones as doing so will only increase the range and the duration. 
  2. Weaken [1/20] - Prerequisite. Decreases the damage dealt by enemies caught inside the curse. You can use this curse to increase your survivability, but relying on the Bone Prison is a much safer option. 
  3. Iron Maiden [1/20] - A curse that makes enemies receive whatever pain they inflict upon others. At level 1, this Curse reflects 200% of damage dealt back to the affected enemy. This is especially effective in the early game, so you should invest a point in it early. 
  4. Terror [1/20] - Causes monsters to run away in fear. Monsters run in the opposite direction of where Terror was cast. This can help you escape difficult situations. 
  5. Decrepify [1/20] - A crippling curse that halves enemy units' speed, damage, and physical resistances. Decrepify will help you to neutralize and effectively deal with though enemies by combining the effects of Weaken and Amplify Damage. 

This skill tree contains your main utility/defensive skill - Bone Prison and your main offensive skill - Corpse explosion. 


  1. Teeth [1/20] - Prerequisite. A spell that makes you summon multiple magical projectiles that damage enemies. 
  2. Bone Armor [1/20] - Prerequisite. Surrounds the caster with a protective shield that absorbs incoming damage. With just 1 point, this won't do much, but it will become a bit better once you get some +Skills from gear. 
  3. Corpse Explosion [20/20] - Fills a corpse with energy causing it to explode violently. Max this one out after getting/maxing out all other recommended skills. When maxed out, Corpse Explosion has a very large radius of 9 yards, which makes it very powerful at dealing with groups of enemies (you just need your summons to kill a single enemy. After that, you can simply blow up the rest). Alternatively, you can spend these points elsewhere. 
  4. Bone Wall [1/20] - Prerequisite. Creates a barrier of bone. You can think of the Bone Wall as a less reliable Bone Prison - you'll surely find uses for it. 
  5. Bone Spear [1/20] - Prerequisite. Summons a bone missile that can damage and pass through multiple enemies. 
  6. Bone Prison [1/20] - Summons a ring of bone to surround a target. A great utility skill that will allow you to trap enemies (just remember that it can't trap wraith monsters and that enemies with ranged weapons can still attack you). If you're in a pinch, you can spam Bone Prisons around you to ensure that enemies can't get to you. 



You want to get as many Skill Levels (Necromancer/Summoning Spells) 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, especially if you go for the Corpse Explosion. Defensive stats, like faster hit recovery and life on each kill, are a nice addition but you should not choose gear for them specifically. 


[Early] Lore (Runeword) - As far as early game Runewords go, Lore is definitely one of the most powerful. It will give you +1 to All Skills, and take care of your mana problems to some extent. 



  • Defense: Depends on base Helmet 
  • Required Level: 27 
  • Required Strength: Depends on base Helmet 
  • Durability: Depends on base Helmet 
  • Ort + Sol
    • +1 to All Skills 
    • +10 to Energy 
    • Lightning Resist +30% 
    • Damage Reduced by 7 
    • +2 to Mana After Each Kill 
    • +2 to Light Radius 

[Late] Harlequin Crest (Shako) - Harlequin Crest is a great pick for this slot, especially if you want some extra Magic Find without sacrificing offensive power. You'll get +2 to All Skills, +50% Magic Find, and a lot of Attributes from it. 

Harlequin Crest

  • Defense: 98 to 141 
  • Required Level: 62
  • Required Strength: 50
  • Durability: 20
    • +2 to All Skills 
    • +1-148 to Life (+1.5 per Character Level) 
    • +1-148 to Mana (+1.5 per Character Level) 
    • Damage Reduced By 10% 
    • 50% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items 
    • +2 to All Attributes 


[Early/Late] Spirit Weapon (Runeword) - This amazing Runeword is ideal for a Summon Necro (in both weapon and shield). It gives you everything you might need - Skill Levels, Faster Cast Rate, Life Leech, Bonus Mana, Extra Life, and Faster Hit Recovery. 


  • Damage:  Depends on base Weapon
  • Required Level: 25
  • Required Dexterity: Depends on base Weapon
  • Required Strength: Depends on base Weapon
  • Durability: Depends on base Weapon 
  • Tal + Thul + Ort + Amn  
    • +2 To All Skills 
    • +25-35% Faster Cast Rate (varies) 
    • +55% Faster Hit Recovery 
    • Adds 1-50 Lightning Damage 
    • Adds 3-14 Cold Damage 3 Second Duration (Normal) 
    • +75 Poison Damage Over 5 Seconds 
    • 7% Life Stolen Per Hit 
    • +250 Defense Vs. Missile 
    • +22 To Vitality 
    • +89-112 To Mana (varies) 
    • +3-8 Magic Absorb (varies)

[Late] Beast (Runeword) - A very solid Weapon Choice for a Summon Necro. This gives 9 levels of Fanaticism Aura when equipped which greatly increases the damage output of your summons. The downside is its extortionate price. It can be inscribed into Axes, Scepters, and Hammers that have 5 sockets. 


  • Damage: Depends on base Weapon
  • Required Level: 63 
  • Required Dexterity: Depends on base Weapon
  • Required Strength: Depends on base Weapon
  • Durability: Depends on base Weapon
  • Ber + Tir + Um + Mal + Lum 
    • Level 9 Fanaticism Aura When Equipped
    • +40% Increased Attack Speed 
    • +240-270% Enhanced Damage (varies) 
    • 20% Chance Of Crushing Blow 
    • 25% Chance Of Open Wounds 
    • Prevent Monster Heal 
    • +3 To Werebear 
    • +3 To Lycanthropy 
    • +25-40 To Strength (varies) 
    • +10 To Energy 
    • +2 To Mana After Each Kill 
    • Level 13 Summon Grizzly (5 Charges)

[Late] Heart of the Oak (Runeword) - If you don't like Beast or prefer to invest in a more universal Weapon, HOTO would be a great alternative. It provides +3 to all Skills and a 30% Faster Cast Rate. Moreover, it has a very high Mana Steal and gives a whopping +30-40 to All Resistances. 

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 
    • +40% 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 +30-40 (varies) 
    • Level 4 Oak Sage (25 Charges) 
    • Level 14 Raven (60 Charges) 

[Early] Ancient's Pledge (Runeword) - An easy-to-assemble Shield Runeword (you get all the required runes from act V quest) that will take care of your Resistance-related problems. Very powerful early. 

Ancient's Pledge

  • Defense: Depends on base Shield 
  • Required Level: 21 
  • Required Strength: Depends on base Shield 
  • Durability: Depends on base Armor 
  • Ral + Ort + Tal
    • +50% Enhanced Defense 
    • Cold Resist +43%  
    • Fire Resist +48% 
    • Lightning Resist +48% 
    • Poison Resist +48% 
    • 10% Damage Goes To Mana 

[Early/Late] Spirit Shield (Runeword) - This Runeword offers a great balance of offensive and defensive power. You will need a 4 open socket Monarch for it, though. 

Spirit Shield

  • Defense: Depends on base Shield 
  • Required Level: 25 
  • Required Strength: Depends on base Shield 
  • Durability: Depends on base Shield 
  • Tal + Thul + Ort + Amn 
    • +1 To All Skills 
    • +25-35% Faster Cast Rate (varies) 
    • +55% Faster Hit Recovery 
    • +250 Defense Vs. Missile 
    • +22 To Vitality 
    • +89-112 To Mana (varies) 
    • Cold Resist +35% 
    • Lightning Resist +35% 
    • Poison Resist +35% 
    • +3-8 Magic Absorb (varies) 
    • Attacker Takes Damage of 14 


[Early] Rare/Magic Amulet with + Necromancer/Summoning Spells would be ideal, but chances of finding these are extremely low. Most likely, you will end up with a Magic Amulet with Magic Find and/or Resistances. 

Amulet Amulet

  • Required Level: varies. 
  • In Magic Amulets, look for:
    • + to Cold Spells. 
    • Magic Find. 
    • Resistances. 
  • In Rare Amulets, look for:
    • + to Sorceress Skills 
    • Magic Find 
    • Resistances 
    • Attributes 

[Late] Mara's Kaleidoscope - This powerful Amulet will give you +2 to all Skills and a lot of Resistances. It's expensive but worth its price. 

Mara's Kaleidoscope

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


[Early] Stealth (Runeword) - This is an item everybody wants to equip once they reach level 17. It's extremely easy to farm and insanely powerful early on - just look at the bonuses it gives. 


  • Defense: Depends on base Armor 
  • Required Level: 17 
  • Required Strength: Depends on base Armor 
  • Durability: Depends on base Armor 
  • Tal + Eth  
    • +25% Faster Run/Walk 
    • +25% Faster Casting Rate 
    • +25% Faster Hit Recovery 
    • +6 to Dexterity 
    • Regenerate Mana 15% 
    • +15 Maximum Stamina 
    • Poison Resist +30% 
    • Magic Damage Reduced by 3 

[Mid/Late] Skin of the Vipermagi (Serpentskin Armor) - A nice upgrade over Stealth, especially if you're after extra Skill Levels. 

Skin of the Vipermagi

  • Defense: 279
  • Required Strength: 43
  • Durability: 24
  • Required Level: 29
    • +120% Defense
    • +1 to All Skills
    • 30% Faster Cast Rate
    • Magic Damage Reduced By 9-13 (varies) 
    • All Resistances +20-35 (varies) 

[Late] Enigma (Runeword) -  This powerful Runeword gives you access to Teleport, which is amazing for mobility. On top of that, it increases your Skill Levels and gives you a lot of bonus Magic Find. If you can afford it, get it - it's worth the price. 


  • 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 
    • +45% Faster Run/Walk 
    • +1 To Teleport 
    • +750-775 Defense (varies) 
    • +(0.75*Clvl) To Strength (Based On Character Level) 
    • Increase Maximum Life 5% 
    • Damage Reduced By 8% 
    • +14 Life After Each Kill 
    • 15% Damage Taken Goes To Mana 
    • (1*Clvl)% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items (Based On Character Level)


[Early] Rare/Magic Rings with Faster Cast Rate, Resistances, Magic Find, and Bonuses to Life are what you should be looking for early. 

Magic Rings Rare Rings

  • Required Level: varies. 
  • In Magic Rings, look for:
    • Magic Find 
    • Attributes 
    • Magic Find 
  • In Rare Rings, look for:
    • Faster Cast Rate
    • Magic Find 
    • Resistances 
    • Attributes 
    • Life Leech 

[Late] Raven Frost - You should get this Ring as it's one of just a few items in the game that give Freeze Immunity. 

Raven Frost

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

[Late] The Stone of Jordan - (or another +1 all Skills Ring) - A great late-game ring that will make you more powerful in almost all respects. 

The Stone of Jordan 

  • Required Level: 29
    • +1 to All Skills
    • Increase Maximum Mana by 25% 
    • Adds 1-12 Lightning Damage 
    • +20 to Mana


[Early] Rare Gloves are what you're looking for early. You can get these with Life Leech, Magic Find, increased Gold from Monsters, or Half Freeze Duration if you get lucky. 

Rare Gloves

  • Required Level: varies. 
  • In Rare Gloves, look for:
    • Life Leech 
    • Extra Gold From Monsters
    • Half Freeze Duration 
    • Magic Find 

[Late] Trang'Ouls Claws (Heavy Bracers) - (You can also use Magefist or Chance Guards for some additional Magic Find. Also, Magefist's +Fire Skills affects Corpse Explosion) From these, you will get a 20% Increased Faster Cast Rate, a nice boost to Cold resistance, and +2 to Curses which is nice. 

Trang'Ouls Claws


  • Defense: 37-44 
  • Required Level: 45
  • Required Strength: - 58
  • Durability: 16
    • +20% Faster Cast Rate 
    • Cold Resist +30% 
    • +30 Defense 
    • +25% Poison Skill Damage 
    • +2 To Curses (Necromancer Only) 


[Early] You can get amazing bonuses on Rare and Magic Boots - look for Faster Run/Walk, Magic Find, increased Gold from Monsters, and extra Attributes. 

Rare Boots Magic Boots

  • Required Level: varies. 
  • In Magic Belts look for:
    • Faster Run/Walk and Slower Stamina Drain 
    • Faster Run/Walk 
    • Magic Find 
    • Attributes 
  • In Rare Belts, look for:
    • Resistances 
    • Faster Run/Walk 
    • Extra Gold From Monsters
    • Magic Find 
    • Attributes 

[Late] War Traveler (Battle Boots) -There are quite a few great late-game pairs of boots, but these ones are notable for giving a nice Magic Find boost in addition to other useful bonuses. 

War Traveler's

  • Defense: 120-139 
  • Required Level: 42
  • Required Strength: 95
  • Kick Damage: 37-64 
  • Durability: 48
    • +150-190% Enhanced Defense 
    • 25% Faster Run/Walk 
    • +10 to Vitality 
    • +10 to Strength 
    • Adds 15-25 Damage 
    • +40% Slower Stamina Drain 
    • Attacker Takes Damage Of 5-10 
    • 30-50% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items 


[Early] Rare/Magic Rings with Faster Hit Recovery, bonuses to Life, and increased Gold from Monsters are a good early-game option until you find something better

Rare Belt Magic Belt

  • Required Level: varies. 
  • In Magic Belts look for:
    • Bonuses to Life 
    • Faster Hit Recovery 
  • In Rare Belts, look for:
    • Faster Hit Recovery 
    • Extra Gold from Monsters 
    • Replenish Life 
    • Bonuses to Life 
    • Resistances 

[Late] Arachnid Mesh (Spiderweb Sash) - This belt is ideal for a summon Necromancer as it gives +1 to All Skills, which is its most important stat by far. 

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 
    • 20% Faster Cast Rate 
    • Maximum Mana 5% 
    • Level 3 Venom (11 Charges) 


  1. Grand Charms -  If you're lucky and you find Grand Charms with +Summoning Spells early, consider yourself lucky. Otherwise, use any of these that offer useful bonuses - Magic Find, Resistances, Life, etc.
  2. Large Charms -  You can find Magic Find, Resistances and bonuses to Life on these which makes them useful early on - if you find these, you should definitely use them. 
  3. Small Charms - With these, you should get your desired Resistances, bonuses to Life, or bonuses to Magic Find - whatever suits your needs, basically. 
  4. As for Unique Charms; if you can afford them - use them. 


Equipping a mercenary early on can be extremely difficult, as finding a 4-Socket Polearm (for Insight Runeword) can take a lot of time, however, if you manage to do that, you should definitely employ a Merc as it will help you on your ventures. Please note that the below-mentioned recommendations can turn out to be quite expensive, especially early on. 

We recommend picking up Act 2 Defiance Mercenary for extra damage mitigation bonuses. He should be equipped with: 

  1. Insight Rune Word in Ethereal Spear - This provides a Meditation Aura that increases our Mana Recovery Rate which is extremely helpful. 
  2. Fortitude Rune Word in Armor - This Runeword gives solid defenses that are necessary to keep your merc alive. 
  3. Vampire Gaze - An extremely solid and versatile headgear that will make your merc much more durable. 
  4. The rest of the Merc's equipment will mainly depend on your budget and drops - focusing on items with extra defense, life/vitality, life leech, or offensive mods (like crushing blow) is generally a good idea. 



This is our premiere Diablo 2 Resurrected 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. 


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