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For the Diablo II spell, see Raise Skeleton.
Command Skeletons

Class: Necromancer (Diablo III)
Required Level: 9
Skill Category: Reanimation
Active / Passive
Cost: 50 Essence

Passive: Raises skeletons from the ground every 2 seconds to a maximum of 7 skeletons. Skeletal minions deal 50% damage as Physical per attack.

Active: Commands the skeletal minions to attack the target and increase their damage by 50% against the designated target.

Damage Type: Physical
Other Stats: Summon; Cannot be cast without a target

Command Skeletons is a Reanimation Necromancer skill in Diablo III.


The skill passively summons up to 7 Skeletons that follow the Necromancer. If any of them die, a new one will be summoned every few seconds. The Skeletons attack the target of their choice like most pets, and have the same Toughness as their master.

The skill can only be activated (Commanded) against a specific target (enemy or object). Upon activation, the Skeletons break any Crowd Control effects on themselves, gain increased damage and focus their attacks on the targeted enemy. Damage buff from multiple casts does not stack. Command lasts until the target dies or another foe is designated; Skeletons summoned after issuing the Command will also attack the target, and also gain the buff. Note that increased damage only applies against the current Commanded target.

Visually, skeletons glow brighter while Commanded, the target will have a runic circle beneath it, and the icon on the UI will glow with a golden outline. The skeletons will also rush to their target when Commanded, effectively teleporting up to 60 yards to reach their mark.


  • Enforcer: Reduces the active Essence cost to 25.
  • Frenzy: Commanded skeletons go into a frenzy, gaining 25% increased attack speed as long as they attacked the Commanded target (in addition to damage bonus).
  • Dark Mending: Skeletal minions will heal the Necromancer for 0.5% of total Life per hit while being Commanded (i.e. as long as the skill is activated).
  • Freezing Grasp: Damage type is changed to Cold, and the target of Command is frozen for 3 seconds.
  • Kill Command: Damage type changes to Poison, and Command activation will instead make each Skeleton explode, killing them and dealing 215% damage as Poison to enemies within 15 yards each. They will still rush to their target before exploding.

Non-rune enhancements[]

  • Bone Ringer (Legendary Phylactery): damage bonus of Command Skeletons is increased by 25-30% each second while active, stacking up to 60 times until the target dies or until Skeletons switch to another victim.
  • Bloodsong Mail (Legendary Chest Armor): while in Land of the Dead, Command Skeletons gains the effect of Enforcer, Frenzy, Dark Mending and Freezing Grasp runes and deals 100-125% increased damage.
  • Tasker and Theo (Legendary Gloves): Skeletons attack 40-50% faster.
  • Enforcer (Legendary Gem): increases damage by 15% (+0.3% per rank) and reduces damage taken by 90% (rank 25 bonus).
  • Bones of Rathma Set (Set Bonus for 2 items): Skeletons reduce the remaining cooldown of Army of the Dead by 0.5 second each time they deal damage.
  • Bones of Rathma Set (Set Bonus for 4 items): Skeletons become immune to damage. The Necromancer gains 1% damage reduction for 15 seconds each time their minions deal damage, stacking up to 75 times.
  • Bones of Rathma Set (Set Bonus for 6 items): each active permanent minion increases the damage of Bone Spirit and Army of the Dead by 500%, up to 9000%.
  • Trag'Oul's Avatar Set (Set Bonus for 4 items): while at full Life, healing from Dark Mending is added to maximum Life for 45 seconds, up to 100% additional Life.
  • Trag'Oul's Avatar Set (Set Bonus for 6 items): healing from Dark Mending is increased by 100%.
  • Jesseth Arms Set (Set Bonus for 2 items): when the target of Command Skeletons dies, Skeletons are automatically commanded to attack a nearby target.
  • Jesseth Arms Set (Set Bonus for 2 items): while Skeletons are commanded to attack a target, all attacks deal 400% increased damage.
  • Bonds of C'Lena (Legendary Bracers): Army of the Dead deals 75% to 100% increased damage or double this bonus against an active target of Command Skeletons.



Command Skeletons 3

Command Skeletons

Originally, this spell included several Skeletal Mages in addition to normal Skeletons. However, developers decided that the Raise Skeletal Mage ability from Diablo II needs reworking, and so Skeleton Mage skill was reworked to act differently.[1][2]

The original design of Raising Skeletons from dead enemies meant one had to kill enemies before having skeletons, which led to gameplay problems. The team wanted to relieve players from the burden of having to raise the skeletons themselves, but having them all at once made it not seem fun to use as a skill. This led to the current design: the skeletons summoned slowly over time which feels like they are being raised from bodies, but no actual need for corpses to do it.[3]