ESO Necromancer Build Guide – The Best Starter Necromancer Builds

If you have been wanting to try out an ESO Necromancer build or two, then don’t worry we have you covered. This guide will outline the best builds that you should definitely consider using when starting as a Necromancer in Elder Scrolls Online. Even if you’ve played the class before, it’s still worth checking these out.

So let’s take a deeper look at the class that represents the masters of life and death, and what skillsets should accompany them.

In this guide, we will discuss the following builds:

  • The Defiler Build
  • The Goliath Build
  • The Shaper Build

ESO Necromancer Build Options

There is a variety of options for whichever build you decide to go with, whether its DPS, Tank or Healer. Whichever one you choose, you are bound to be a force to be reckoned with. Let’s start by taking a look at the Defiler Build for Necromancers in Elder Scrolls Online.

The Defiler – DPS Build

This ESO Necromancer option serves as your DPS choice of build. If you’re a player who likes to get the most out of your damage output, then this is definitely the build for you. Your focus will need to be purely based on Magicka here, so that’s where you should distribute your stats to.

Weapons wise you will have two fire staffs, which will give you access to a second bar of skills. The good thing about this is that it will take away the need for having a different type of weapon equipped.

As for the skills, you have the grenade-like Stalking Blastbones, in which an explosive is attached to a corpse from the dead, which can be effective against multiple targets. Then there’s Skeletal Arcanist, which will deliver you a mage of the undead to hit your opponents with AoE damage. Meanwhile, Ricochet Skull offers a projectile attack for every third time its cast, and it can be very useful whilst waiting for the rest of your skills to cooldown. You will also have Shocking Siphon at your disposal, which acts as a buff that not only gives out heavy damage, but will also restore your Magicka as well.

Then you have the two ultimates, which are Glacial Colossus and Shooting Star. The former summons a colossal character to hand out high AoE damage and debuffs and stuns those who dare come near. The latter meanwhile has similar traits in dealing area stuns, and it leaves a debuff on the ground.

For your Champion Constellations, try and put your points into The Lady, and switch to The Steed, The Atronach, and The Ritual as you hit higher levels.

The Goliath – The Tank Necromancer Build

For all you tanks out there, you will want to choose the Goliath build. Here you will find high survivability and very useful ultimates, and a variety of debuffs. This time for your stat distribution, you should divide it up more, opting for around 10 Magicka, then putting up to 40 in Health and around 15 in Stamina.

The weapons for the Goliath include a one-handed weapon and a shield, as well as a staff as an off-handed weapon. You can choose between either Frost and Lightning, which both have their advantages. Your lightning can boost damage for your party which can come in very handy.

Skills-wise, you have a variety of helpful choices. Necrotic Potency gives you health and ultimate regeneration for surrounding corpses, and Beckoning Armor gives you the chance to drag ranged enemies in to get up close and personal. Then there’s Agony Totem to apply party buffs and reduce the damage that you take, as well as increasing the damage that your opponents will take. You can use some of these skills for good use when using Spirit Guardian for the corpse it creates when dropped, plus it also heals and prevents incoming damage where possible.

The ultimates for this build are great for buffs, especially where Aggressive Warhorn is concerned. This will generate resources for your party, but Ravenous Goliath is the more intense ultimate, as it generates a bony goliath with mass health and a leeching trait that affects foes nearby.

For your Champion Constellations, you should again focus on The Lady to improve survivability, though further healing buffs can be found with The Shadow and The Apprentice.

The Shaper – The Healer Necromancer Build

Our final Necromancer build for ESO is the Shaper. This will be your Healer build, and will work in the same fashion as other healers in ESO. The slight difference and advantage here is the additional debuffs that the Necromancer offers. As you do with The Defiler, put your stats into Magicka for The Shaper. Staffs are the order of the day for weaponry, with the Restoration or Destruction staff being very useful to help your party with, before having a Lightning Destruction staff as the off-hand weapon.

Skills for The Shaper include Resistant Flesh, which buffs your targets. Then you can add further healing with Spirit Guardian, and then reduce its cooldown using Summoner’s Armor. You can help your party even more with Unnerving Boneyard, which not only has decent DPS, but it also gives your party the chance to give out more damage with the Grave Robber synergy.

Aggressive Warhorn is another ultimate here, which is great for buffing your party. Renewing Animation is a great ultimate because it can bring back three perished party members, as well as restoring your own health and your party’s Magicka.

Finally, the Champion Constellations can buff your healing with The Apprentice and The Lover. As with the other classes, you can give yourself a better chance of surviving with The Lady as well.


Those are the best options for the ESO Necromancer build. With the information above, you should be able to get an idea of what the best method going forward for your desired build.

The Necromancer is certainly an entertaining way to play ESO, and can be very handy for helping out you and your party. So if you are looking to cast high DPS spells, use the undead to your advantage, and make sure that you are able to support your party at the same time. There is plenty of variety for you to check out with this class, so you are bound to make yourself into a formidable force as a Necromancer in ESO.  

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