Army of the Dead

Class: Necromancer (Diablo III)
Required Level: 22
Skill Category: Reanimation
Cooldown: 120 seconds

Raise a massive skeletal army to pummel the targeted location dealing 12000% damage as Physical in a 15 yard radius.

Damage Type: Physical

Army of the Dead is a Necromancer skill in Diablo III.


This ability revolves around summoning a horde of skeletons to attack the designated targeted area, dealing massive damage to every enemy they reach over a brief time period (roughly 4 seconds).

Skeletons are not actual Pets: they are animated as such, but do not have separate attacks, ignore the terrain and do not block enemy pathing.



Frozen Army


Dead Storm

  • Blighted Grasp: Damage type changes to Poison, and damage and duration increase to 14000% over 5 seconds. Visually, the skeletons no longer mass up, but reach out from the ground.
  • Death Valley: The skeletal army knocks all affected enemies towards the center of the area when activated; deals damage over 1 second instead of 4. Counts as Knockback.
  • Unconventional Warfare: Skeletons will rise from the ground and attack up to 5 random targets for 4 seconds, increasing total damage done to 50000% over 10 hits. No longer hits the entire area. Each skeleton will try to find a different target (distributing hits as evenly as possible), but if not enough enemies are in the area, these strikes can all go towards the same enemy.
  • Frozen Army: Damage type changes to Cold, and instead of a circular area, skeletons will march onward as a long wave, hitting all all enemies in a 15 yards wide, 40 yards long line over 4 seconds.
  • Dead Storm: Instead of summoning the Army, surrounds the Necromancer with a blood storm that follows them, damaging enemies within 15 yards for 15500% damage as Physical over 5 seconds. Adds a 20% total Life cost.

Non-rune enhancementsEdit

P6 necro AotD F aoe rune blend2

Army of the Dead summoning circle

  • Fate's Vow (Legendary Helm): Army of the Dead deals 200-250% increased damage and gains the effect of the Unconventional Warfare rune, in addition to its normal effect (with Unconventional Warfare rune, summons twice as many skeletal strikes).
  • Bones of Rathma Set (Set Bonus for 2 items): Necromancer's minions have a chance to reduce the remaining cooldown of Army of the Dead by 1 second each time they deal damage.
  • Bones of Rathma Set (Set Bonus for 6 items): each active Skeletal Mage increases the damage of all minions and Army of the Dead by 1000%, up to 4000%.
  • Trag'Oul's Avatar Set (Set Bonus for 6 items): Dead Storm deals 3800% increased damage but costs twice as much Life to cast. Healing from skills is increased by 100%.


  • Rathma's Shield: for 4 seconds after casting Army of the Dead, the Necromancer will lose no Life, both from attacks and from their own Blood skills.
  • Blood for Blood: removes the Life cost of Dead Storm rune when picking up a Health Globe, storing up to 3 charges.
  • Blood is Power: every 100% of maximum Life drained by the Dead Storm rune will reduce all remaining cooldowns by 20%.


"For Army of the Dead, we knew we wanted a long cooldown, flashy spell, and I knew we needed a spell to show people how we were going to bring the Necromancer to the next level. We gave it a name from a skill which also exists in World of Warcraft, and people just assumed, "oh, okay, they're just going to copy-paste that." Then we got to show it at BlizzCon, and there were literally over one hundred skeletons on the screen. Is this a world record? It has to be. Seeing the reaction from the crowd at BlizzCon was really satisfying. I'm always looking forward to those moments."

Julian Love(src)

Army of the Dead in early version

At BlizzCon 2016, the ability summoned over 100 skeletons.[1] As of March 2017, the developers were toying with the idea of a 50 limit, and even this was planned to be reduced, as multiple Necromancers in the same game could result in hundreds of skeletons on-screen.[2]

This spell is named "Skelebomb" in game files.


  1. 2017-04-01, Developer Insights: 20 years of Diablo. Blizzard Entertainment, accessed on 2017-03-15
  2. 2017-03-14, PAX East 2017 Diablo III Rise of the Necromancer Hands-On Preview. Blizzplanet, accessed on 2017-03-15
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