Grim Dawn: Necromancer Build Guides for Beginners

Updated on May 21, 2018
geekinbluejeans profile image

Is a Resource Speaker, AI Ethicist, Linux System Administrator, Computer Programmer, and Appreneur.

Copyright Crate Entertainment
Copyright Crate Entertainment

Necromancers have always been epic in any RPG games. Since Crate Entertainment announced this class, it has been the most awaited mastery in Grim Dawn, just like the necromancer class in Diablo 3.

Most builds that you will encounter in this article focus on pets since necromancers have always been known to summon allies. As a general rule in playing a pet build. The pets will take care of dealing damage to enemies. Your primary job is to keep yourself alive and to re-summon any pets that have fallen in battle.

By the way, in case you don’t prefer pet builds, this article also contains references for non-pet types of build.

Here are the builds that will be discussed in this article:

  1. Pet Cabalist Variant 1
  2. Pet Cabalist Variant 2
  3. Dark Mage Cabalist
  4. Grim Reaper
  5. Range Blade Reaper
  6. Pet Death Night
  7. Grim Death Night
  8. Pet Ritualist
  9. Life Drainer Ritualist

Note: Recommended Devotions are not in order, meaning, it is up to you what constellation you should learn first. Just in case you don’t know, devotion points can also be re-assigned in order to meet certain requirements.

When it comes to gear components, resistance to different damage types should be the priority for your character to survive on higher difficulties.

1. Pet Cabalist Variant 1 (Necromancer + Occultist)

Our first pet build focuses on full power of necromancer’s pets, plus buffing it with Blood of Dreeg.

Attributes

Defense is your main priority here. Since your pets will deal damage for you, 90% or 95% of your attributes should be placed on physique.

You should still put points on spirit to be able to equip high-level enchanted items.

Don’t bother putting attributes on cunning, unless you are planning to equip something that requires cunning.

Necromancer Skills

  • Mastery Bar (50 points)
  • Raise Skeletons (16 points) – Undead Legion (12 points) – Will of the Crypt (12 points)
  • Summon Blight Fiend (16 points) – Rotting Fumes (12 points) – Blight Burst (12 points)
  • Reap Spirit (16 points)
  • Master of Death (12 points)
  • Call of the Grave (10 points)
  • Mark of Torment (3 points)
  • Bone Harvest (1 point) – Soul Harvest (12 points)

Occultist Skills

  • Mastery Bar (32 points)
  • Blood of Dreeg (16 points) – Aspect of Guardian (12 points)

Devotion

  • Jackal
  • Eel
  • Panther
  • Lion
  • Raven
  • Shepherd’s Crook
  • Empty Throne
  • Bysmiel’s Bonds
  • Staff of Rattosh
  • Typhos, the Jailor of Souls
  • Behemoth
  • Rattosh, the Veilwarden

Equipment Priorities

Use equipment that grant bonuses to your pets, especially the one with add to a pet’s All Damage. Equipping items that let you summon more pets is also a good idea.

It all comes down to personal preference whether you want to equip caster’s off-hand for cooldown reduction or shield for better defense.

How to Play?

Follow the general rule in playing a pet build.

Also, never forget that you have Blood of Dreeg to buff and heal the whole group.

2. Pet Cabalist Variant 2 (Necromancer + Occultist)

This build variant lets you summon pets from both necromancer and occultist mastery and buff them with multiple toggled skills that increase their damage.

Attributes

Same as Pet Cabalist Variant 1.

Necromancer Skills

  • Mastery Bar (50 points)
  • Raise Skeletons (16 points) – Undead Legion (12 points) – Will of the Crypt (4 points)
  • Summon Blight Fiend (16 points)
  • Bone Harvest (1 point) – Soul Harvest (12 points)
  • Reap Spirit (16 points)
  • Master of Death (12 points)
  • Call of the Grave (10 points)

Occultist Skills

  • Mastery Bar (50 points)
  • Summon Familiar (16 points)
  • Summon Hellhound (16 points)
  • Bonds of Bysmiel (1 point) – Manipulation (12 points)

Devotion

  • Jackal
  • Lion
  • Raven
  • Shepherd’s Crook
  • Sailor’s Guide
  • Eel
  • Panther
  • Empty Throne
  • Bysmiel’s Bond
  • Staff of Ratosh
  • Behemoth
  • Dying God

Equipment Priorities

Same as Pet Cabalist Variant 1.

How to Play?

Follow the general rule in playing a pet build.

3. Dark Mage Cabalist (Necromancer + Occultist)

A non-pet cabalist build that deals major vitality damage with some chaos damage. This build also has great survival capabilities because it converts a lot of attack damage to health.

Attributes

Spend 60% or 75% of your points on spirit and the rest on physique. You may also put some points on cunning if you want more offensive ability.

Necromancer Skills

  • Mastery Bar (50 points)
  • Bone Harvest (16 points) – Dread (12 points) – Soul Harvest (12 points)
  • Siphon Souls (12 points) – Blood Boil (12 points)
  • Harbinger of Souls (12 points)
  • Reap Spirit (16 points)
  • Reaping Strike (10 points)
  • Mark of Torment (1 point)

Occultist Skills

  • Mastery Bar (40 points)
  • Solael’s Witchfire (12 points) – Consecrated Blade (3 points) – Second Rite (12 points)
  • Sigil of Consumption (12 points)
  • Doom Bolt (12 points)

Devotion

  • Gallows
  • Sailor’s Guide
  • Eel
  • Jackal
  • Bat
  • Empty Throne
  • Toad
  • Wendigo
  • Affliction
  • Typhos, Jailor of Souls
  • Dying God

Equipment Priorities

Get gear with bonuses affixed to Vitality damage and Chaos damage.

How to Play?

Use Sigil of Consumption and Doom Bolt on long-range enemies.

Use Siphon of Souls when surrounded by melee to midrange.

Use Bone Harvest for dealing damage to multiple enemies in a straight line.

4. Grim Reaper (Necromancer + Nightblade)

For those who want to play like a Grim Reaper, I believe this is one of the closest builds that you can get. Grim Reaper is a melee type build that can deal heavy amounts of damage while converting a percentage of it to health.

Tip: To look exactly like a Grim Reaper, refer to an illusionist to transform your two-hand weapon into a scythe of your choice, your head armor into a hoodie of your choice, and finally, your chest armor into a robe of your choice.

Attributes

Since this build is a melee type, having high amounts of physique is your main priority. Spirit is your next priority because your main attacks are magical damage. Getting some cunning is also a good idea for better offensive ability.

Necromancer Skills

  • Mastery Bar (50 points)
  • Bone Harvest (16 points) – Harvester of Death (1 point) – Dread (12 points) – Soul Harvest (12 points)
  • Siphon Souls (12 points) – Blood Boil (10 points)
  • Reap Spirit (16 points)
  • Harbringer of Souls (12 points)
  • Spectral Binding (12 points) – Spectral Wrath (10 points)
  • Reaping Strike (10 points)
  • Necrotic Edge (10 points)
  • Mark of Torment (2 points)

Nightblade Skills

  • Mastery Bar (20 points)
  • Shadow Strike (1 point)
  • Pneumatic Burst (12 points)
  • Blade Barrier (10 points)
  • Anatomy of Murder (12 points)

Devotion

  • Lion
  • Gallows
  • Bat
  • Toad
  • Wendigo
  • Behemoth
  • Typhos, the Jailor of Souls
  • Kraken
  • Affliction
  • Rattosh, the Veilwarden

Equipment Priorities

For damage types, vitality, vitality decay, and aether are your top priorities. Cold and physical are secondary choices.

How to Play?

To survive in melee, don’t stop attacking enemies so that you can continuously recover your lost health.

I put a single point on Shadow Strike so that I have the ability to dash quickly from one enemy to another.

5. Range Blade Reaper (Necromancer + Nightblade)

This range build’s damage balances physical and magical while converting a portion of it to health.

Attributes

For this hybrid build, spend 25 or 30 points on cunning, and another 25 or 30 points on spirit, and the remaining points on physique.

Necromancer Skills

  • Mastery Bar (50 points)
  • Bone Harvest (16 points) – Dread (12 points) – Soul Harvest (12 points)
  • Harbinger of Souls (12 points)

Nightblade Skills

  • Mastery Bar (40 points)
  • Phantasmal Blade (16 points) – Frenetic Throw (1 point) – Heart Seeker (12 points)
  • Blade Trap (12 points) – Devouring Blades (12 points)
  • Pneumatic Burst (12 points) – Breath of Belgothian (1 point) – Shadow Dance (12 points)
  • Blade Barrier (12 points)
  • Anatomy of Murder (12 points)

Devotion

  • Assassin’s Blade
  • Gallows
  • Bat
  • Empty Throne
  • Toad
  • Crane
  • Blades of Nadaan
  • Wendigo
  • Affliction
  • Unknown Soldier

Equipment Priorities

Equip gear that increases damage to vitality, pierce, or bleeding. It is also advisable to equip a caster’s off-hand for energy regeneration and cooldown reduction.

How to Play?

Your primary damage dealing skill is Phantasmal Blades. Use it like your normal attack. Then cast your blade trap whenever available, especially to hold off melee enemies.

6. Pet Death Knight (Necromancer + Soldier)

Having Soldier’s Field Command provides good damage and defense buff to both your pets and party.

Attributes

Refer to Pet Cabalist Build.

Necromancer Skills

  • Mastery Bar (50 points)
  • Raise Skeletons (16 points) – Undead Legion (12 points) – Will of the Crypt (12 points)
  • Summon Blight Fiend (16 points) – Rotting Fumes (12 points) – Blight Burst (12 points)
  • Reap Spirit (16 points)
  • Master of Death (12 points)
  • Call of the Grave (10 points)
  • Bone Harvest (1 point) – Soul Harvest (12 points)

Soldier Skills

  • Mastery Bar (32 points)
  • Field Command (12 points) – Squad Tactics (12 points)
  • Menhir’s Will (4 points)
  • Military Conditioning (3 points)

Devotion

Refer to Pet Cabalist Build.

Equipment Priorities

Refer to Pet Cabalist Build.

How to Play?

Follow the general rule in playing a pet build.

7. Grim Death Knight (Necromancer + Soldier)

This is a variant of the Grim Reaper build. Grim Death Knight is a good choice for those who prefer better toughness.

Attributes

Refer to Grim Reaper build.

Necromancer Skills

  • Mastery Bar (50 points)
  • Bone Harvest (16 points) – Dread (12 points) – Soul Harvest (12 points)
  • Reap Spirit (16 points)
  • Harbinger of Souls (12 points)
  • Spectral Binding (12 points) – Spectral Wrath (10 points)
  • Reaping Strike (10 points)

Soldier Skills

  • Mastery Bar (32 points)
  • Blade Arc (16 points) – Clean Sweep (1 point) – Laceration (12 points)
  • Field Command (12 points) – Squad Tactics (12 points)
  • Menhir’s Will (9 points)

Devotion

Refer to Grim Reaper build.

Equipment Priorities

Your main damage type priority for this build are vitality, vitality decay, then aether.

Once you reach level 94, it is mandatory to equip Howl of the Wendigo. It converts your Blade Arc’s physical damage into vitality damage making it suitable for this build.

How to Play?

Refer to Grim Reaper build.

Regarding what skill to learn last, choose Blade Arc as last priority since it won’t deal that much damage for this build until you get How of the Wendigo.

8. Pet Ritualist (Necromancer + Shaman)

This build contains the full force and abilities of the necromancer’s pets in addition to having Summon Briarthorn with its Ground Slam. One thing I like about this build is that both Briarthorn’s and Blight Fiend’s area of effect skill can easily wipe out mobs.

Attributes

Same as Pet Cabalist Variant 1.

Necromancer Skills

  • Mastery Bar (50 points)
  • Raise Skeletons (16 points) – Undead Legion (12 points) – Will of the Crypt (12 points)
  • Summon Blight Fiend (16 points) – Rotting Fumes (12 points) – Blight Burst (12 points)
  • Reap Spirit (16 points)
  • Master of Death (12 points)
  • Call of the Grave (10 points)
  • Bone Harvest (16 points) – Soul Harvest (12 points)

Shaman Skills

  • Mastery Bar (20 points)
  • Summon Briarthorn (16 points) – Ground Slam (12 points)

Devotion

Same as Pet Cabalist Variant 1.

Equipment Priorities

Same as Pet Cabalist Variant 1.

How to Play?

Follow the general rule in playing a pet build.

9. Life Drainer Ritualist (Necromancer + Shaman)

This is a midrange mage type build that wields multiple attack damage converted to health skills.

Attributes

Same as Dark Mage Cabalist.

Necromancer Skills

  • Mastery Bar (50 points)
  • Drain Essence (16 points) – Hungering Reach (12 points) – Decomposition (12 points)
  • Siphon Souls (12 points) – Blood Boil (12 points)
  • Harbinger of Souls (12 points)
  • Spectral Binding (12 points) – Spectral Wrath (10 points)
  • Mark of Torment (4 points)

Shaman Skills

  • Mastery Bar (40 points)
  • Devouring Swarm (16 points)
  • Wendigo Totem (12 points) – Blood Pact (12 points)
  • Mogdrogen’s Pact (12 points)

Devotion

Same as Dark Mage Cabalist.

Equipment Priorities

Choose gear that increases vitality damage.

How to play?

Learn Devouring Swarm first. It’s the best skills to choose for leveling up on early game.

This build is generally a midrange build, but you don’t have to worry about taking some damage because all of this build’s offensive skills can convert attack damage to health.

Are you using Necromancer?

See results

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Arc Sosangyo

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Philippe Moser profile image

        Philippe 

        2 months ago from Fribourg

        No worries :)

      • geekinbluejeans profile imageAUTHOR

        Arc Sosangyo 

        2 months ago

        Thank you for being active here Philippe. I appreciate that.

      • profile image

        :) 

        2 months ago

        Hehe, thank you for responding. I probably never even gonna achieve this high level xD, so don't need to worry ^^

      • Philippe Moser profile image

        Philippe 

        2 months ago from Fribourg

        @:) Well there is 4 missing points. Put them on the Necrotic Edge that is 10/12 and the Blade Barrier 10/12. It was a mistake what he did there :) And stats are ok i guess

      • Philippe Moser profile image

        Philippe 

        3 months ago from Fribourg

        OwO. Playing multiplayer ? I ain't that good tho :p I always check the grim dawn wikia to see where is the nearest shrine to do haha. But yes why not.I might slow you down but i'm open to play multiplayer. The problem is our timezone difference. I guess you have like +8hours from my timezone so :B Hard to know when you play and when i play :D. But yeah why not. Message me in private if you can if you want to know my steam name :=)

      • geekinbluejeans profile imageAUTHOR

        Arc Sosangyo 

        3 months ago

        @Philippe - I appreciate that. Thank you too. Looking forward to play multiplayer with you.

      • Philippe Moser profile image

        Philippe 

        3 months ago from Fribourg

        Okay. Thanks again ! By far your guide are the most easy to understand. Others builds guide i saw on Grim dawn compendium had a lack of explaining. Thanks again ;) I'm trying the Pet Cabalist Variant 2 since i feel very squishy with my old Grim Reaper that i played. ( He was lvl 46 at act 5 keep dieying lol)

      • geekinbluejeans profile imageAUTHOR

        Arc Sosangyo 

        3 months ago

        @Philippe - For starters, I recommend the one that I put in this guide. But of course, feel free to make some changes and play around according to your style.

      • Philippe Moser profile image

        Philippe 

        3 months ago from Fribourg

        Yes i know we must put point in the bar to unlock the skills that is. But my question is. In which order we must pick our skills ? In the order you put in the guide or in the order that they come in the skill tree ? :=)

      • geekinbluejeans profile imageAUTHOR

        Arc Sosangyo 

        3 months ago

        @Mikkel Hansen - You need to get the required devotions for Typhos which is as of this writing; 6 Ascendant, 3 order, and 3 chaos. Then you can unlearn the excess via spiritual guide.

      • geekinbluejeans profile imageAUTHOR

        Arc Sosangyo 

        3 months ago

        @Shiro - You need to put skill points on mastery bar first (the one on lower part) before you can unlock higher level skills. I hope this helps.

      • profile image

        Mikkel Hansen 

        3 months ago

        Hello,

        I currently have 46 devotion points, and can't seem to get the two last constellations for my build, Grim Death Knight, Typhos and Rattosh. I am pretty new to Grim Dawn myself, so I don't quite understand how Devostion points work yet.

        I have specced everything in crossroads currently.

        I am missing two in Order, and one in Ascendant.

      • Philippe Moser profile image

        Philippe 

        3 months ago from Fribourg

        By the way ( Shiro is me). I started Grim dawn recently. That's why those informations of your guide well, they made my brain explode :D That's why i need to know how to put my points at. But if it's just to put 50 mastery point first then take skills.. I think there is a problem ? :) Explain me please.

      • profile image

        Shiro 

        3 months ago

        Hey. I'm asking myself i don't understand the concept^^'. We need to put 50 points on the mastery first then put points on the skills or ? I'm a bit confused. It's like we should put 50 points on mastery only, then step 2 put all points on a skill. I'm so lost :'c. Can you help me :cI'm really interested for the Grim Reaper Necro-Nightblade

      • geekinbluejeans profile imageAUTHOR

        Arc Sosangyo 

        3 months ago

        Hi tomkos, yes I am planning to add more non-necromancer and non-inquisitor build guides in the future. By the way, you can browse my profile for other Grim Dawn build related articles.

        Thank you very much for your support and enjoy playing.

      • profile image

        tomkos 

        4 months ago

        Hi again and sorry, I could write it in 1 comment X) but do you plan to add more builds for other classes ? I mean for example Arcanist-Shaman or Occultist-Nightblade ? I mean builds for other classes non Inquisitor or non Necromancer ? Thanx a lot and continue great job ! ;)

      • profile image

        tomkos 

        4 months ago

        Thank you !!

      • geekinbluejeans profile imageAUTHOR

        Arc Sosangyo 

        4 months ago

        Hi tomkos, Sorry for my late reply. Learn crossroads and lion first. Then once you have enough order from Typhos - Jailor of Souls, you can go to spirit guide to unlearn lion and re-spec it to other devotions.

      • profile image

        tomkos 

        4 months ago

        Hi, Arc Sosangyo, explain me how can I choose a Typhos - Jailor of Souls if I need 3 points of Order ... ? I am playing with your guide as Drain Essence build. I see that the devotion I need is same as the dark mage. How can I get 3 points of Order ? THX !!

      • geekinbluejeans profile imageAUTHOR

        Arc Sosangyo 

        4 months ago

        @Snowskeeper - Typo error is now corrected. Thanks for letting me know. I appreciate that. :)

      • profile image

        Snowskeeper 

        5 months ago

        Hiya! Small typo with Dark Mage Occultist; you need 50 points in the Necromancer Mastery Bar, not 15.

      • profile image

        Killernan 

        6 months ago

        Thanks alot!

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, levelskip.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://levelskip.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)