Diablo 4 is a beast of a game. That’s offered as a compliment — we gave Blizzard‘s latest isometric role-playing game four stars in our review — and a warning. A lengthy campaign and generous endgame means Diablo 4 can be a hefty undertaking for even the best class, and if you’re over 20, organising four players’ schedules to tear through Sanctuary together is a Prime Evil in itself.
- READ MORE: ‘Diablo 4’ review: diary of a necromancer
Luckily, banding up to save Sanctuary is entirely optional. With the right skills, Diablo 4‘s six-act campaign and loot-laden dungeons can be tackled on your lonesome — especially if you choose the Necromancer class when creating your character.
For a number of reasons, the Necromancer is a fantastic class for players who prefer to tackle Diablo 4‘s content alone. My own ghoulish goth breezed through Diablo 4‘s six-act campaign at World Tier 2: Veteran difficulty, and by the time Diablo 4‘s endgame offerings rolled around, was cutting through demons and clearing dungeons with ease. If the thought of playing as a delicate glass cannon or treacle-paced tank doesn’t appeal to you, take solace: the Necromancer is the gloomy jack-of-all-trades you’re looking for.
What makes Necromancer the best class for lone players?
It all comes down to corpses. As a Necromancer, each enemy you kill leaves behind a corpse, which can either be reanimated with Raise Skeleton or turned into a grisly bomb with Corpse Explosion. The latter makes clearing large crowds a breeze, as each mob it kills turns into another corpse to explode — which is incredibly powerful for handling dungeons and world events that seek to overwhelm lone players by throwing a bunch of baddies at once.
Corpse Explosion is arguably one of the strongest area-based damage skills in Diablo 4‘s early game, but its potential falls off in later levels. Beefier Elite-tier monsters eventually become far more common, and even Hell’s lowlier fodder benefits from ballooning health pools that can’t be dismissed with a quick game of poppy-corpse.
When that point hits, the Necromancer’s strengths shift from quick clear times to embracing a durability of their own. While other classes can be built for high damage at the cost of being massively vulnerable to damage — or the reverse, more survivability with less damage — Raise Skeleton makes Necromancer the most flexible class for players who don’t have party members to round out those deficiencies.
Summoning Skeletal Warriors provide a bony frontline to soak up damage, while the Skeletal Mages you later unlock help dish out some pain of their own. When you’ve fielded your maximum amount of minions —which can be bumped up with certain gear modifiers — Raise Skeleton allows you to summon a Skeletal Priest, which provides healing and damage buffs to your shambling army before disappearing. Hitting level 25 and completing a quick quest invites Golems to that arsenal, hulking monsters that can soak up incredible amounts of damage and make surviving combat even easier.
Besides being incredibly fun to watch your horde at work, the Necromancer’s minions are a much-needed safety net for lone players, removing the need to dance perfectly around enemies as a glass cannon or battle at a treacle’s pace with a tankier build.
That versatility is what it all comes down to. Thanks to the Necromancer’s hordes, you’re free to play around with a wider build that suits you — whether that’s utilising Blood skills to stay healthy, skewering foes with Bone spears, or going all-in with even stronger summons. With the Necromancer appearing in every Diablo entry since 2, it’s become something of a flagship class for the series — and thanks to this iteration’s impressive build diversity, it’s easy to see why.