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Diablo 4 Necromancer Book of the Dead: Upgrades, Sacrifice & More

Awaken the dead with our guide explaining the Necromancers Book of the Dead in Diablo 4, including its upgrades and sacrifice system.
Diablo 4 Necromancer Book of the Dead: Upgrades, Sacrifice & More

With Diablo 4 now in full swing, one aspect that many players are combing through is the new abilities in the game. One of the new abilities that span the entire game is the unique "class ability" that each class will have in the game. 

For the Necromancer class, this unique ability is called the Book of the Dead, and if you want to know more about it, then we have you covered. Below we'll cover everything you need to know about the Necromancers Book of the Dead ability, including how it works, the upgrades it has available, the sacrifice mechanic, and much more. 

Update on 25 July 2023: We've updated this article with the latest Necromancer Book of the Dead details in Diablo 4.

Diablo 4 Necromancer Book of the Dead

Similar to past Diablo titles, the Necromancer can still summon undead to aid them in battle. However, this time they are channeled through the Necromancer's unique class skill, the Book of the Dead. This allows the Necromancer to summon three kinds of undead to aid them, the Skeletal Warriors, Skeletal Mages, and the Golem. 

Diablo 4 Necromancer Book Of The Dead Description and summoning
The Necromancers Book of the Dead allows you to summon three kinds of Skeletal warriors to fight on your side. (Picture: Blizzard)

Each of the undead summons types can then be subdivided into three of their distinct types, which makes it far more flexible than before. Furthermore, each undead summons also offers a Sacrifice perk. By choosing this perk, the Necromancer gains a passive advantage, but it comes at the cost of being unable to summon a minion from that particular category anymore (for example, gaining the X effect but losing the ability to summon Golems).

To restore the ability to summon those specific minions, you will need to switch to the other available perks, as an example. So below are the Specifications for each of the summoned creatures that the Necromancer can access thanks to its Book of the Dead ability. 

Skeletal Warriors

  • Skirmishers - Fast-attacking and have increased damage but reduced Life.
  • Defenders - Sword and board wielders that have bonus Life.
  • Reapers - Scythe-wielding creatures that have a slower attack, deals AoE in front of them, and have a wind-up attack that deals a high amount of damage.

Skeletal Mages  

  • Shadow - Shadow magic
  • Cold - Cold magic
  • Bone (Sacrificial magic)


  • Bone Golems - Tanks hits
  • Blood Golems - Health-stealing abilities
  • Iron Golems - Charging abilities

However, it doesn't stop there because the Book of the Dead gives you the ability to customize these summoned creatures more than ever before. You can now upgrade each sub-class of summon, letting you customize them to suit your play style and battle needs. 

Diablo 4 Necromancer Book of the Dead Upgrades

Each of the Skeletal summons that the Necromancer uses will have two upgrades that will boost its main battle specialty. So, for instance, the Cold Skeletal Mage will have upgrades that grant you essence when enemies are damaged, or its second upgrade, which states that enemies who get attacked while frozen are made vulnerable for a short time. So below, we've broken down the full list of upgrades that each summon has to help you see the bigger picture: 

Diablo 4 Necromancer Book Of The Dead Upgrades
Each type of Skeleton summons can be upgraded to suit your needs and play style. (Picture: Blizzard)

Skeletal Warrior

  • Skeletal Skirmishers
    • Upgrade 1 - You can raise one additional Skirmisher Warrior.
    • Upgrade 2 - Each time you Critically Strike, your Skirmishers Warriors' next attack Critically Strikes as well. It can only happen every 3 seconds. 
  • Skeletal Defenders
    • Upgrade 1 - Every 8 seconds, your defenders negate the next instance of direct damage they are dealt.
    • Upgrade 2 - Increase the number of thorns that Defenders inherit from you to 50%.
  • Skeletal Reapers
    • Upgrade 1 - Reaper attacks against enemies who are immobilized, Slowed, Stunned or vulnerable reduce the cooldown of their powerful wind-up attack by 2 seconds. 
    • Upgrade 2 - Reapers have a 10% chance to carve flesh off enemies, forming a corpse. This can only happen every 5 seconds.  

Skeletal Mages

  • Shadow Mage
    • Upgrade 1 - Shadow Mage attacks have a 10% chance to Stun for 2.13 seconds. This cannot happen on the same enemy more than once every 5 seconds. 
    • Upgrade 2 - Shadow Mages fire an additional shadow bolt every 6th attack.
  • Cold Mage
    • Upgrade 1 - Each time your Cold Mage damages enemies with their primary attack, you gain x2 essence.
    • Upgrade 2 - Enemies who are frozen by or damaged while frozen by your Cold MAges primary attack will be made Vulnerable for 3 seconds.
  • Bone Mage
    • Upgrade 1 - Reduce the life cost of your Bone Mages attacks from 15% to 10%. After being alive for 5 seconds, Bone mages deal 40% increased damage. 
    • Upgrade 2 - Each time a Bone Mage dies from its attack, they leave behind a corpse and Fortify you for #.


  • Bone Golem
    • Upgrade 1 - Each time your Goelm takes up to 20% of its max life as damage, it sheds a corpse.
    • Upgrade 2 - Your Golem gains 10% maximum Life, and the amount of thorns they inherit from you is increased to 50%.
  • Blood Golem
    • Upgrade 1 - Your Golem absorbs 15% of the damage you would take.
    • Upgrade 2 - While healthy, your Golem gains 25% damage reduction and x25% increased damage.
  • Iron Golem
    • Upgrade 1 - Every 5th Golem attack causes a shockwave, dealing 16% damage to the primary enemy and the enemies behind them.
    • Upgrade 2 - Your Golem Slam attack also makes enemies Vulnerable for 3 seconds. 

Diablo 4 Necromancer Book of the Dead Sacrifice Mechanic

Last but not least, we come to the final ability that the Book of the Dead employs, which is the sacrifice mechanic. Simply put, instead of upgrading your summoned creature with one of the abilities shown above, you have a third option, to sacrifice the creature/the ability to summon it for a powerful and permanent buff as long as the creature remains sacrificed. 

Diablo 4 Necromancer Book Of The Dead Sacrifices for permanent buffs
You can also sacrifice the ability to summon one or more of your Skeletal warriors for a permanent stat buff. (Picture: Blizzard)

Below is the full list of buffs that you get when you sacrifice any of the Skeletal Summons:

Skeletal Warrior

  • Skeletal Skirmishers Sacrifice 
    • Your Critical Strike Chance is increased by 5%, but you can no longer raise Skeletal Warriors.
  • Skeletal Defenders Sacrifice 
    • You gain 15% Non-Physical Resistance, but you can no longer raise Skeletal Warriors.
  • Skeletal Reapers Sacrifice 
    • You deal X10% increased Shadow Damage, but you can no longer raise Skeletal Warriors.

Skeletal Mages

  • Shadow Mage Sacrifice 
    • Your maximum Essence is increased by 15%, but you can no longer raise Skeletal Mages.
  • Cold Mage Sacrifice 
    • You deal X15% increased damage to Vulnerable enemies, but you can no longer raise Skeletal Mages.
  • Bone Mage Sacrifice 
    • Your Overpower damage is increased by 30%, but you can no longer raise Skeletal Mages.


  • Bone Golem Sacrifice 
    • You gain a 10% increased Attack Speed, but you lose the ability to summon a Golem.
  • Blood Golem Sacrifice 
    • Your Maximum Life is increased by 10%, but you lose the ability to summon a Golem.
  • Iron Golem Sacrifice 
    • You deal x30% increased Critical Strike Damage, but you lose the ability to summon a Golem.

And that's everything you need to know about the Book of the Dead class mechanic for the Necromancer in Diablo 4. Be sure to check back here soon, as we'll be keeping this article up to date with the latest information as soon as we learn more and more about the Necromancer's abilities in Diablo 4. 


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