Diablo 4: Every Necromancer Minion, Ranked – TheFantasyTimes

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By Nikita Gambhir

Diablo 4: Every Necromancer Minion, Ranked

The Necromancer class in Diablo 4 may not be the sturdiest, but their ability to summon an army of undead makes up for it. These minions act as meat shields and deal significant damage while also providing the Necromancer with buffs. With access to nine types of minions, including Skeletal Warriors, Skeletal Mages, and Golems, it can be difficult to determine which variant is the best. In this article, we will rank each variant and their specializations.

Coming in at number nine are the Skeletal Defender Warriors. These minions may have increased health and a shield, but their specializations are lackluster and don’t provide much defense for the Necromancer.

The Skeletal Skirmisher Warriors rank at number eight due to their increased damage output at the cost of decreased health. While they can be useful for a minion-heavy build, they become increasingly unreliable in the mid-game.

At number seven are the Skeletal Shadow Mages. These ranged minions deal shadow damage but are situational and depend on the Necromancer’s build. Their specializations are weak, with a low proc chance for stunning enemies and a minor increase in damage.

The Skeletal Bone Mages come in at number six. While they deal significant damage, they also lose health with each attack and require constant healing. Their first specialization can prolong their lifespan and increase damage output, but their second specialization is not worth considering.

Ranking at number five are the Skeletal Reaper Warriors. These minions deal heavy damage with their special wind-up attack, making them a solid choice for any build. Both specializations are viable, but the first is recommended for corpse generation.

The Skeletal Cold Mages rank at number four due to their ability to inflict cold damage and freeze enemies. Their second specialization is recommended for the debuff Vulnerable, which causes targets to take extra damage.

At number three is the Bone Golem. This variant can taunt enemies, making them the go-to tank for the Necromancer. However, their specializations are underwhelming and don’t provide much value.

The Skeletal Blood Mages rank at number two due to their ability to heal the Necromancer while dealing damage to enemies. Both specializations are viable, but the first is recommended for an increase in healing.

Finally, the best variant is the Skeletal Poison Mages. These minions deal poison damage and can apply a powerful damage-over-time effect. Their specializations are also strong, with the first increasing their damage output and the second providing the Necromancer with a poison aura.


In conclusion, while some variants may be better than others, the Necromancer’s army of undead minions provides significant support and damage for the class. It is up to the player to determine which minions and specializations fit their playstyle and build.

The Necromancer isn’t the most resilient class in Diablo 4 but, as it turns out, you don’t need to be tanky when you have an entire army of undead soaking up all the damage for you. In addition to acting as meat shields (well, mostly bone), minions can also dish out quite a lot of punishment while also providing their master with a variety of buffs.

Related: Diablo 4: 10 Tips & Tricks For Necromancer

Necromancers in Diablo 4 gain access to a grand total of nine types of minions. Three are only three primary types in the form of Skeletal Warriors, Skeletal Mages, and Golems, but each of them has three distinct variants. As it’s often the case with these things, some variants are better than others. But which one of them is the best? Let’s find out.

Updated by Jason Moth on June 26, 2023: This article has been updated to include additional links to articles that may be of interest to Necromancer players.

9 Skeletal Defender Warriors

Diablo 4 Skeletal Defender Warriors

While not necessarily terrible overall, Defenders are pretty bad at their job. Despite what their name might suggest, these minions don’t actually defend the Necromancer. Instead, they get a shield and 15% increased health, which allows them to stick around for longer than other types of skeletal minions. The bad news is that they don’t deal a lot of damage and their specializations are some of the worst out there.

The default specialization allows Defenders to completely shrug off one attack every 6 seconds. This increases their survivability even more but, once again, it doesn’t do much for the Necromancer. That’s because unless a minion has a taunting ability, most enemies will focus their attacks on the Necromancer instead. The second specialization only increases the amount of Thorns Defenders inherit from the Necromancer from 30% to 40%. This upgrade is arguably better than the first one, but it’s still pretty bad since it requires the Necromancer to have a lot of Thorns to begin with.

8 Skeletal Skirmisher Warriors

Diablo 4 Skeletal Skirmisher Warriors

Skirmishers are a step above Defenders in terms of usefulness thanks to their ability to deal 30% increased damage. However, in exchange for dealing bonus damage, Skirmishers lose 15% of their health, making them the squishiest minions in the Necromancer’s retinue. This isn’t a huge problem in the early game when you first unlock them, but once you start tackling the mid-game it becomes increasingly more difficult to rely on them.

Related: Diablo 4: 20 Best Necromancer Aspects, Ranked

Having said all that, Skirmishers can still provide some decent value if you’re going for a build that incorporates as many minions as possible. That’s because you can raise more Skirmishers than other types of minions when choosing their first specialization. The second specialization isn’t quite as good since it requires your character to land a lot of Critical Strikes, which isn’t necessarily a top priority for the Necromancer.

7 Skeletal Shadow Mages

Diablo 4 Skeletal Shadow Mages

Just as their name suggests, Shadow Mages are ranged minions that inflict Shadow damage with all their attacks. The usefulness of these minions largely depends on your build. If you’re using spells like Decompose and Corpse Explosion that already deal a good amount of Shadow damage, you’ll probably want to go with Bone or Cold Mages instead. However, if you’re not, or if you’re using a Shadow build that incorporates Shadowblight, these minions are absolutely essential.

Shadow Mages have fairly weak specializations compared to some of the other minions in Diablo 4. The first specialization allows them to Stun enemies for a couple of seconds, but the proc chance is only 10%, and it can only trigger once every 5 seconds on the same enemy. Unfortunately, you can’t reliably use this to stunlock powerful enemies, and most bosses are straight-up immune. Meanwhile, the second specialization allows Shadow Mages to fire an extra bolt with every 5th attack. A bit of extra DPS certainly doesn’t hurt, but it’s nothing to write home about either.

6 Skeletal Bone Mages

Diablo 4 Skeletal Shadow Mages

Bone Mages are your quintessential glass cannons. They deal more damage than most other types of minions, but they also end up dying the fastest. Whenever a Bone Mage attacks an enemy, it loses 15% of its life. Unless you constantly babysit and heal them, they’ll eventually die after a handful of hits and will have to be summoned again. While it’s hard to argue with the Bone Mage’s damage output, a minion that routinely deals damage to itself isn’t exactly reliable.

If you intend to go with Bone Mages over the other variants, you’ll definitely want to pick their first specialization. Doing so will allow the minions to kill themselves at a slightly slower rate while also gaining a significant damage boost if they manage to stay alive for at least 5 seconds. They’ll still die eventually, but at least now they’ll deal more damage before they do. Don’t even bother with the second specialization. Pretty much every Blood skill does a better job at Fortifying the Necromancer.

5 Skeletal Reaper Warriors

Diablo 4 Skeletal Reaper Warriors

Reapers are easily the best Skeletal Warrior variant and work well with pretty much any build thanks to their special wind-up attack that deals heavy damage. The bad news is that this attack can only occur once every 10 seconds. The good news is that there are no downsides to using Reapers over Skirmishers or Defenders. While the other two variants can come in handy in specific situations, Reapers are always a solid choice.

Related: Diablo 4: 10 Best Weapons For Necromancer, Ranked

You can’t go wrong with either specialization here, although you shouldn’t pick the second one if you already have other ways of generating corpses. For instance, if you’re using Decompose or the first upgrade for Army of the Dead, you should generally stick to the other specialization. Doing so will enable the Reapers to use their special wind-up attacks more often, which will cause them to deal quite a bit more damage.

4 Skeletal Cold Mages

Diablo 4 Skeletal Cold Mages

Every Necromancer spell deals either Physical or Shadow damage, so having a way to inflict a third type of damage on top is very valuable indeed. That’s where Cold Mages come in. These minions provide the Necromancer with a reliable way of dealing Cold damage and – even more importantly – completely freezing their enemies. If you’ve ever been frozen solid by an enemy in the middle of combat, you know just how crippling and annoying it can be. Thanks to Cold Mages, you can be the one doing the freezing for a change.

The second specialization is generally your best bet here, but the first one shouldn’t be ignored either. The first specialization gives the Necromancer a bit of Essence every time a Cold Mage damages a target with their primary attack. This comes in handy in the early stages of the game, but loses its usefulness later on once you secure other means of quickly generating Essence. As far as the second specialization is concerned, it allows Cold Mages to inflict an additional status effect in the form of Vulnerable. Vulnerable is a strong debuff that causes targets to take 20% extra damage from all sources.

3 Bone Golem

Diablo 4 Bone Golem

Unsurprisingly, Golems are quite a bit stronger than Skeletal minions. The Bone variant is the weakest of the bunch, but this Golem is a powerful ally regardless. While a lot of enemies tend to ignore minions and go straight for the Necromancer, that’s unlikely to happen while you’re accompanied by a Bone Golem. Unlike Defenders, Bone Golems come with a special ability that allows them to taunt enemies. In other words, this is your go-to tank while playing as Necromancer in Diablo 4.

The Bone Golem could have been slightly higher up on this list but, unfortunately, both of its specializations are underwhelming. The first one causes the minion to generate a corpse whenever it loses 20% of its maximum health. As mentioned earlier, there are plenty of other ways of generating corpses, so you won’t get much value out of this ability. The second specialization is a bit better since it gives the Bone Golem a 10% health buff along with 20% extra Thorns. But, once again, Thorns are inherited from the Necromancer, so if your character doesn’t have any, your minions won’t have them either.

2 Iron Golem

Diablo 4 Iron Golem

Iron is the best Golem variant to pick if you’re going for a heavy CC build. This variant comes with a special ability that allows it to slam the ground and Stun enemies in a pretty large radius. You can run an Iron Golem alongside Shadow Mages or even Cold Mages for even better crowd control. And, of course, you can then take things to the next level with Bone Prison in order to achieve full control of the battlefield. But even without any extra help, the Iron Golem is extremely handy in combat.

Related: Diablo 4: Guide To Necromancer Paragon Glyphs

In order to get even more out of the Iron Golem’s slam attack you’ll want to go with the second specialization. Doing so will upgrade the attack and cause it to inflict Vulnerable in addition to Stun. While Cold Mages can also inflict the status effect, the Iron Golem’s slam is more effective since it’s an AoE attack. If you’re not looking for extra ways of inflicting Vulnerable, you’ll want to go with the first specialization instead for that extra bit of DPS.

1 Blood Golem

Diablo 4 Blood Golem

The Blood Golem is overall the best Necromancer minion in Diablo 4. Despite not being a tank per se, the Blood Golem is harder to kill than other minions and can mitigate a portion of the damage taken by the Necromancer. In addition, this bad boy can heal itself while also dealing a fair amount of damage to enemies in the process. This minion is truly a beast and is an integral part of most of the best Necromancer builds. Unless you’re going for a very specific build that requires the abilities of the other two variants, the Blood Golem is a Necromancer’s best friend.

The Blood Golem is a powerful ally regardless of which specialization you choose. The first one allows the minion to absorb 15% of the damage you would take and should be prioritized during World Boss battles or other difficult encounters. Meanwhile, the second specialization gives the Blood Golem a whopping 25% damage reduction and 50% increased damage. The caveat is that these bonuses remain active only as long as the Blood Golem is at 80% health or higher. Both specializations are very powerful, so you can’t go wrong with either of them.

Next: Diablo 4: How To Unlock Necromancer Specialization

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