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Necromancer attack ranged.png
Enemy Type Unholy/Eldritch
Size Average (1)
Actions per round Turnticker.png
Variation Necromancer
Necromancer Necromancer
HP 105 158 215
HP (Stygian/Bloodmoon) 126 190 258
Dodge 0 8.75 22.5
Protection 0 0 0
Speed 8 9 10
Tray stealth.png Stealth None None None
Poptext stun.png Stun 75% 95% 115%
Poptext poison.png Blight 20% 40% 60%
Poptext bleed.png Bleed 20% 40% 60%
Poptext debuff.png Debuff 40% 60% 80%
Poptext move.png Move 25% 45% 65%

Mastery over life and death was chief among my early pursuits. I began in humility, but my ambition was limitless. Who could have divined the prophetic import of something as unremarkable... as a twitch in the leg of a dead rat?

I entertained a delegation of experts from overseas, eager to plumb the depths of their knowledge and share with them certain techniques and alchemical processes I had found to yield wondrous and terrifying results. Having learned all I could from my visiting guests, I murdered them as they slept.

I brought my colleagues back with much of their intellect intact - a remarkable triumph for even the most experienced necromancer. Freed from the trappings of their humanity, they plied their terrible trade anew: the dead reviving the dead, on and on, down the years. Forever.

~ The Ancestor

The Necromancer is an Unholy/Eldritch boss that appears in the Ruins. He is one of the reanimated scholars that collaborated with the Ancestor, murdered and then brought back with much of his intellect intact, but with little to no humanity remaining. After the Ancestor's death, the Necromancer and his Apprentices took over the Ruins, using their magic to bring the corpses buried there back to life as their servants, continuing their unholy experiments with necromancy.


The Necromancer will always start in position 1. Each time he uses an attack, he creates a Skeleton enemy in rank 1, steadily pushing himself back until he is in position 4, where his attacks no longer spawn anything. His attacks do not have to hit a hero in order to trigger this ability - therefore the only way to stop him summoning a minion in a turn is either to stun him, or for there to be 3 of them existing already. Corpses do not block this ability either, they will simply be replaced by newly summoned Skeletons.

The Necromancer notably has no weighted skill selection or targeting, making his series of attacks effectively random.

On higher difficulties, the Bone Soldiers summoned by the Necromancer have Stealth for 2 rounds. As of The Color of Madness patch, all of the Necromancer's summoned minions are life-linked to him and will expire when he does.


Unlike most undead, the Necromancer can easily bleed (perhaps because he is also eldritch). The skeletons he spawns however still have high bleed resist, along with regular enemies in the ruins. This means that bleed skills are still less ideal to bring than blight. Regardless of the dot type used, he only has 1 action per round, which limits their effectiveness vs other bosses with 2-3 actions per round. Stuns would be more effective for the same reason, but he has a fairly high stun resist to protect this potential weakness. For a boss, he is quite susceptible to being moved, although his constant retreats limit their effectiveness too. Marks and debuffs persist for a long time however, making them quite effective. Since he has no PROT, he is left totally vulnerable if his dodge is stripped off. What's most effective is simply being able to hit the 4th slot, since this is where he prefers to stay.

The Crusader is by far one of the best heroes to take on the Necromancer, as he deals extra damage to undead. The Hellion can easily reach the Necromancer anywhere, but her bleed skills are ineffective in the ruins. Other classes such as the Leper and Abomination have no trouble smashing undead, but will be unable to target the Necromancer in the backline. The Occultist has a damage bonus vs the Necromancer (eldritch), but is ineffective vs all the other undead, making the Vestal a better choice.

The Shieldbreaker excels at this fight, especially on higher levels. Her Pierce can reach the Necromancer in any rank, while Expose can be used to deal with the Stealth on the summoned Bone Soldiers. Impale will ignore Stealth altogether, and Puncture can be used to break Guard on the Necromancer. She can also apply Blight damage (especially with trinkets like Venomous Vial or Obsidian Dagger) with Captivate.

If you prefer dots, it would be better to bring blight skills. The plague doctor and grave robber can quickly drown the Necromancer in blight at any position. Either would combine well with the abomination. Alternately, you could use marks. With only 1 action per round, marks are highly effective. The arbalest in particular can snipe the backline with a big damage bonus to marked targets.

When it comes to his minions, Bone Soldiers and Bone Defenders should be killed quickly to mitigate damage, or to prevent the Necromancer from being guarded. Minions that apply guard are difficult to ignore as they will redirect attacks to themselves. You may safely ignore any Bone Rabble as they are weak enemies. Leaving up weaker undead may be ideal because the Necromancer could replace them with more threatening undead after they're killed. If you wish to ignore all the skeletons, consider bringing the Man At Arms, which excels at soaking enemy attacks. With his guard/prot combo, he will help control incoming damage while the rest of your party can focus on dealing with the Necromancer.

Team Selection[]

Preferred Heroes[]

  • Crusader - Bonus damage against Unholy lets him cleave through the Necromancer's HP and the undead horde he summons.
  • Plague Doctor, Grave Robber - Blight-based synergy that can shred the undead.
  • Vestal - Healing to keep the party fresh; combat-based Vestals also shine in this fight.
  • Shieldbreaker - Wide-area Blight and long reach to keep pressure on the Necromancer.

Reasonable Choices[]

  • Arbalest/Musketeer - Good long-range damage to snipe the Necromancer once he's hit the back. Can also repeatedly clear Stealth from his minions at higher difficulties.
  • Occultist - Bonus damage against the Necromancer, and can also pull him forward for your melee classes to hit.
  • Abomination - Good stuns and area Blight when untransformed; if transformed he can tear through enemy front ranks or shove units until the Necromancer's in range.

Discouraged Heroes[]

  • Houndmaster - His bleeds are less useful against the undead horde, and the Necromancer eventually slips out of Blackjack range. Cry Havoc can, however, counter the effects of its wide-range Stress.
  • Flagellant - Although he boasts some powerful stress heals and speed buffs, a more optimal choice would be the Jester for his buffs and his stress heals. The Flagellant specializes in Bleed and while the Necromancer has low Bleed resistance, he won't be too useful against the skeletons that the Necromancer spawns. In general, Bleed is ineffective in the ruins.


After completing the Necromancer's champion quest, he will drop his collar as a Trophy.

Necromancer's Collar
Necromancer Trinket.png
  • +20% DMG vs Unholy
  • +8% CRIT vs Unholy


Apprentice Level
Skill Name Range Rank Target Accuracy Crit
Damage Effect
The Flesh Is Willing Melee 1,2,3,4 1+2 102.5% 6% 4-8
Summon Summon 1 Skeleton
Back Back 1
The Clawing Dead Ranged 1,2,3,4 3+4 102.5% 6% 3-5
Summon Summon 1 Skeleton
Back Back 1
Six Feet Under Ranged 1,2,3,4 1+2+3+4 102.5% 0% 0
Summon Summon 1 Skeleton

Stress Stress +15
Back Back 1

Veteran Level
Skill Name Range Rank Target Accuracy Crit
Damage Effect
The Flesh Is Willing Melee 1,2,3,4 1+2 108.75% 12% 5-11
Summon Summon 1 Skeleton
Back Back 1
The Clawing Dead Ranged 1,2,3,4 3+4 108.75% 12% 4-7
Summon Summon 1 Skeleton
Back Back 1
Six Feet Under Ranged 1,2,3,4 1+2+3+4 108.75% 0% 0
Summon Summon 1 Skeleton

Stress Stress +15
Back Back 1

Champion Level
Skill Name Range Rank Target Accuracy Crit
Damage Effect
The Flesh Is Willing Melee 1,2,3,4 1+2 122.5% 14% 7-15
Summon Summon 1 Skeleton
Back Back 1
The Clawing Dead Ranged 1,2,3,4 3+4 122.5% 14% 5-10
Summon Summon 1 Skeleton
Back Back 1
Six Feet Under Ranged 1,2,3,4 1+2+3+4 122.5% 0% 0
Summon Summon 1 Skeleton

Stress Stress +15
Back Back 1

The Necromancer's summoning will occur regardless of if the attack hits a hero or not. The exact enemies summoned vary and depend on the boss's difficulty:

Difficulty Bone
Apprentice 33.3% 66.7%
Veteran 20% 60% 20%
Champion 57% 29% 14%


Every base game hero (and Musketeer) has a unique bark as a reaction on each of Necromancer's attacks. The two DLC heroes—FlagellantThe Crimson Court DLC and ShieldbreakerExclusive to The Shieldbreaker DLC—don't have unique reactions and can use only generic barks. Some heroes share their unique and generic barks.

Class Bark
(All) "...unearthly cold!"
"What can one do against such reckless hate?"
Abomination "My mind's pillars crumble beneath the weight of my fate!"
Antiquarian "I feel his evil pouring forth from the censer!"
Arbalest "My heart burns with regret!"
Bounty Hunter "Unearthly cold!"
Crusader "It wields evil like fire!"
Grave Robber "Agh! How dare you touch me!"
Hellion "It grasps at my soul!"
Highwayman "Reanimated bones...how can such a thing exist!?"
Houndmaster "We are alone in our empty pursuit of justice!"
Jester "It reflects our hatred back at us!"
Leper "I can hear its soul! Screaming out in pain!"
Man-at-Arms "Its evil nature defies my tactics!"
Musketeer "There is no courage inside me! None!"
Occultist "It conjures a fell energy!"
Plague Doctor "Aah! It raises blisters with a touch!"
Vestal "(gasp) It steals my breath!"

Class Bark
(All) "Anchor me, friends! Don't let them pull me down!"
"Fiends from the Pit, you shall not have me!"
Abomination "For all of my other's sins, I am beyond forgiveness!"
Antiquarian "I am still corrupted by the will of my long-dead master!"
Arbalest "All of my regrets! My misdeeds!"
Bounty Hunter "Brace yourselves! Stand your ground!"
Crusader "Fiends from the Pit, you shall not have me!"
Grave Robber "Anchor me, friends! Don't let them pull me down!"
Hellion "It has enslaved the spirits of dead warriors!"
Highwayman "Gods! The earth crawls with these bastards!"
Houndmaster "No comrade would see to our backs!"
Jester "You think you know evil. And then..."
Leper "Helpless souls! It binds them to its will!"
Man-at-Arms "I can hear the screams of my brothers!"
Musketeer "It is a mirror showing me my infinite flaws!"
Occultist "These black arts... Fascinating and terrifying..."
Plague Doctor "Even putting bones in the ground is no defense!"
Vestal "Fiends from the Pit, you shall not have me!"

Class Bark
(All) "I see my doom!"
"Must it all end in such blackness?!"
Abomination "I fear I am merely a figment of its unholy imagination!"
Antiquarian "I killed him... please let him stay dead!"
Arbalest "Why did I run away?!"
Bounty Hunter "Grim visions... But they are mere tricks."
Crusader "I see... I see an old man, alone on his death bed!"
Grave Robber "One tomb too far... My final resting place?"
Hellion "It speaks of my death. And I am unafraid!"
Highwayman "I... I see my death! Stabbed in the back by an ally!"
Houndmaster "This world is for the cold and hard, not the idealist!"
Jester "It shows me my death! Pain... such horrible pain!"
Leper "It whispers of my death. But I know it well."
Man-at-Arms "Is it to be my death? At long last?"
Musketeer "Why did I feel I had to prove myself to the club?!"
Occultist "What is this vision? Torn apart from the inside??!"
Plague Doctor "It whispers my doom. We are all but dust."
Vestal "Must it all end in such blackness?!"


Regional Necromancer Prophet Hag Brigand Pounder Swine Prince Flesh Siren Drowned Crew
Roaming / Event Shambler Collector FanaticThe Crimson Court DLC Thing from the StarsExclusive to The Color of Madness DLC Shrieker Brigand Vvulf
Boss Minions Cauldron Brigand Matchman Shambler Wilbur Drowned Anchorman Shrieker's Nest Barrel O' Bombs
CourtyardThe Crimson Court DLC Baron Viscount Countess Crocodilian Garden Guardian
FarmsteadExclusive to The Color of Madness DLC Miller Fracture Sleeper
Darkest DungeonContains spoilers for the Darkest Dungeon
Shuffling Horror Templar Impaler Templar Warlord Mammoth Cyst Ancestor Heart of Darkness