The Diablo 4 Open Beta is here and has given us brief access to the game. Necromancers are one of the core 5 Classes in Diablo 4 and they have a lot to offer from Skeletal Minions that roam the battlefield and do all of your work for you, to spells of Blood and Darkness that tear apart your foes. One of the most interesting parts of the Necromancer is the Corpse mechanic and how they can use it to either raise the dead or turn the dead into volatile explosives.
Named after the devastating power of the [PROTOTYPE] games, the Bio-Bomb Necromancer is a build that utilises the Corpses the Necromancer creates to wreak havoc. You will rest the battlefield asunder with bloody explosions and tendrils that seize and debuff your opponents, creating openings and opportunities for your other spells. Whether in large mobs of enemies or against tough solo bosses, the Bio-Bomb build can confidently tackle any part of the game.
Here’s how to create a Corpse Explosion Necromancer in Diablo 4.
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Bio-Bomb Build Overview
The Bio-Bomb Necromancer build (more simply known as the Corpse Explosion build) utilises a lot of what makes the Necromancer special to wreak havoc on the battlefield: raising Skeletons, spawning tons of Corpses and slinging spells around the battlefield. This build exemplifies one-half of the Necromancer fantasy.
Here are the Skills you will want to invest in up to level 20:
- Basic Skills: Decompose
- Core Skills: Hewed Flesh
- Corpse and Macabre Skills: Corpse Explosion + Enhanced Corpse Explosion + Plagued Corpse Explosion | Grim Harvest | Fueled by Death
- Curse Skills: Decrepify
- Corpse and Macabre Skills 2: Corpse Tendrils + Enhanced Corpse Tendrils + Plagued Corpse Tendrils
Additionally, the Necromancer class revolves around the Book of the Dead. This determines what kind of bonuses their skeletal warriors receive. You can pick and choose the majority of these bonuses as you please (depending on whether you plan on including additional Blood or Shadow skills). However, the main skill from the Skeleton Warriors you need to choose is the Reaper Variant of the Skeletal Warriors.
With all these tools in your arsenal, you’ll be a Corpse bursting, Bio-Bomb forming machine that would make even James Heller or Alex Mercer jealous.
Skill Deep Dive
Decompose is the main attacking skill in this build and it will be the skill you use most often. This is a Basic Darkness spell that generates 7 Essence per second. Decompose tears the flesh from any enemy, dealing damage per second and forming a usable Corpse with that flesh every 2.5 seconds.
Corpses are usually formed upon killing an enemy, but Decompose gives you access to a basic skill which has a good chance of forming a bunch of additional Corpses that can be later used for other Skills like Corpse Explosion or Corpse Tendrils. You’ll need to have as many Corpses on the field as possible so that the Bio-Bomb build can work, and Decompose fills the role of a good Basic skill which deals good damage and provides utility to the rest of the build.
The additional Decompose modifiers aren’t the most important for this build, as the Basic skill does most of the work we need. However, if you are inclined and wish to increase the potency of Decompose, Enhanced Decompose is a good way of generating a good deal of Essence and both Initiate’s Decompose and Acolyte’s Decompose work in different, but useful ways: the former will work well to prime Plagued Corpse Explosion whereas the latter will make killing targets with your Minions an easier feat.
Hewed Flesh is a passive skill based on Lucky Hit. With this skill, your damage has up to a 12% chance to create a Corpse at the target’s location, with this percentage being doubled against Bosses.
Like with Decompose, Hewed Flesh is here to substantially increase the number of Corpses you have access to without needing to actually kill anything. If you’re only relying on Corpses made from slain enemies, you won’t get very far when you have to enter Boss fights or duels against tanky enemies. Hewed Flesh paired with Decompose is a sustainable way to create consistent Corpses to fuel your more powerful Skills without the need for any Essence.
You’ll want to take all 3 levels in Hewed Flesh as it will greatly increase the chances of these additional Corpses spawning (from 4% up to 12%).
Here we have the crux of the entire build: Corpse Explosion. This is what makes the Bio-Bomb build tick and function, serving as a high-damage option that can consistently rely upon and pairs with plenty of your other skills.
Corpse Explosion detonates an available Corpse, dealing a large chunk of damage to surrounding enemies. This damage is very high and will be your primary way of clearing out waves of minor enemies: one Corpse detonation will likely kill at least a few smaller foes, who in turn will create their own Corpses, allowing you to use Corpse Explosion once again, once again creating more Corpses and round and round the cycle goes.
It isn’t restricted to add-clearing builds, either. With the ready supply of additional Corpses from Decompose and Hewed Flesh, you can even chain Corpse Explosions onto bosses, dealing massive damage several times in a row without needing the need to kill anything.
As for the modifiers, you’ll want to pick up Enhanced Corpse Explosion first to increase the radius of your explosions by 15%, allowing you to catch more opponents in your deadly Bio-Bombs. The other modifier you’ll want to pick up is the Plagued Corpse Explosion. This bonus will allow Corpse Explosions to deal 10% more damage to enemies that are Slowed, Stunned or Vulnerable: this damage can even stack, allowing you to deal 30% more damage to targets inflicted with all 3 debuffs. These work in harmony with the rest of the build to make your Corpse Explosions powerful, reliable sources of damage that can carry you through the game.
Decrepify. Enemies afflicted by Decrepify are Slowed and deal less damage for at least 10 seconds.
This Skill is mainly used as a way of debuffing enemies and preparing them for Corpse Explosion. Decrepify’s Slow is easy to apply and widespread, and Corpse Explosion’s Plagued modifier relies on Slow to deal increased damage. There are other parts of the build that apply the Vulnerable debuff, but Decrepify is the main way of applying Slowing enemies.
If you want to take a few additional points and modifiers, Enhanced Decrepify will also give you a small chance of Stunning enemies. This only adds to your Corpse Explosion damage bonus, letting you hit harder and faster. Then, you could pick up Horrid Decrepify if you want to secure some easy kills on lower-health targets.
There are two components to the [PROTOTYPE] Bio-Bomb: the explosion itself, and the all-consuming tendrils that pull unsuspecting foes to their doom. Corpse Tendrils is what gives you access to the latter, allowing you to pull in foes and get them within range of your deadlier skills.
When you cast Corpse Tendrils on an available Corpse, veins burst out of it and pull in surrounding enemies. This will stun them for at least 3 seconds and deal a small amount of damage to them.
Corpse Explosion is undeniably a powerful skill, but in wide arenas or on single targets, getting enemies to align with where the Corpses are can sometimes be an issue. The Corpse Tendrils cover multiple facets of the Bio-Bomb build, sucking in smaller foes so you can rip them to shreds with Explosions and afflicting them with Stun for higher damage potential. This Skill is on a short ten-second cooldown, so you won’t be able to use it on every single Corpse you encounter. However, on the ones you can use it on, you’ll be sure to wipe the field with your foes in mere instants.
In terms of modifiers, you’ll want to pick up everything you can. Enhanced Corpse Tendrils lets the Skill Slow enemies in range by 50% before they are pulled into the Corpse. This will obviously stack alongside the Stun to increase the damage of the Plagued Corpse Explosion. Then, to go all in on the debuffing nature of Corpse Tendrils, Plagued Corpse Tendrils will add Vulnerable to that list, letting you hit any enemy caught in the Tendrils for 30% more Corpse Explosion damage.
Book of the Dead
The Book of the Dead is the Necromancer’s way of augmenting and upgrading their Skeletal Minions. There are three types – Skeletal Warriors, Skeletal Mages and Golems – which you can spawn simultaneously and they are an invaluable part of the Necromancer’s playstyle. Using the Book of the Dead, you can either upgrade each of the sects of Minions with one additional bonus or sacrifice them for bonuses directly to your Necromancer.
For the Bio-Bomb build, the only thing you need to focus on is the Skeletal Warriors tree. Of the three types of Skeletal Warriors, choose the Reaper classification of warriors: these are heavy damage dealers who attack every 10 seconds. However, the main thing we need for the build is the second Reaper upgrade, which gives your Reaper Minions a 15% chance to carve the flesh off enemies, creating a ready Corpse for your needs.
In this way, your Minions not only provide additional damage and additional targets for enemies to attack, but they also serve to better your own build. No matter what, spawning more Corpses is always going to be to your benefit. Reapers can spawn plenty more Corpses for your Corpse Tendrils and your Corpse Explosions, without needing to sacrifice any of your Minions in the process.
As for your Skeletal Mages and your Golems, you can make of them what you will. They each provide an additional source of damage, but you do have the option of sacrificing them. This will leave you with only the Skeletal Reapers at your disposal, but your Necromancer will be much stronger for it. The choice is up to you, at the end of the day, as the Reapers are the only required part of the Book of the Dead.
The Bio-Bomb Necromancer is an interesting play style. It allows you to dip your toe into the Minion creating Overload fantasy that many Necromancers are built off, while still having enough agency and power to tear through any enemy yourself. You have a wide range of Skills and abilities that increase your damage output, inflict debuffs onto your foes and then blast them apart with deadly explosions.
You’ll want to begin any battle by using Decompose as your Skeletal Minions rush headlong into the fray. This skill does good damage, but the main reason to utilise it is for the additional Corpses it will produce. As you slay enemies and produce Corpses, you will have a veritable minefield to use for either Corpse Explosion or Corpse Tendril. Using Tendril first will suck in your enemies and then weaken them with debuffs, allowing you to deal incredible damage with the Corpse Explosion thanks to your other skills. This works very well against large waves of enemies, as you chain Corpse Explosion after Corpse Explosion to wipe the Demons off the face of Sanctuary.
If you’re battling a tankier target or a Boss, the same strategy can be employed. Decompose will steadily create a stream of Corpses at the Boss’ feet, as will the attacks from your Reaper Skeletal Minions, giving you ample amounts to use for your Explosions. Decrepify can work as a way of Slowing the target down, letting you focus purely on attacking without much worry for defence (as Necromancers are generally pretty squishy).
That was how to make a Bio-Bomb Necromancer Build in Diablo 4.