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For the monster of the same name, see Skeleton Mage.
Skeletal Mage

Class: Necromancer (Diablo III)
Required Level: 5
Skill Category: Secondary
Cost: 40 Essence

Raise a skeleton from the ground to attack your foes dealing 400% damage as Physical over 2 attacks. Lasts 6 seconds.

Damage Type: Physical
Other Stats: Summon

Skeletal Mage (formerly Raise Dead) is a Secondary Necromancer skill in Diablo III. Unlike its previous incarnation in Diablo II, it serves more as a direct damage spell than a summoning skill.



Risen Mage portrait

When cast, summons a Skeletal Mage for a brief period to attack the designated target (unless it is out of reach, dies, or is unattackable, in which case the skeleton retargets to another random foe, like a normal pet). Throughout the duration, the Mage follows its master.

The Necromancer can have a total of 10 Mages at any given time; excess Mages will despawn the previously summoned minions. Mages are summoned right next to the Necromancer. The buff icon displays the duration for the oldest summoned Mage to help keep track on them, while the total number of Mages is displayed at the portrait.

The damage in the tooltip does not represent the total damage of the Skeletal Mage, but rather the damage each summoned Mage deals per attack. The number of attacks it can make is only limited by its duration and attack speed. Each attack consists of two energy bolts released in quick succession, normally dealing 200% damage per bolt.



Skeletal Mage attacking



  • Gift of Death: Risen Skeletal Mages leave a corpse behind when they die or expire.
  • Contamination: Damage type changes to Poison, and summons a contaminated Mage at the targeted location. It will not attack and will not follow its master, but instead will channel an aura of decay for 100% damage as Poison per tick for the duration. An aura is roughly 20 yards in radius and hits all enemies in vicinity.
  • Skeleton Archer: Damage type changes to Cold, and raises Skeleton Archers instead of Mages. Skeleton Archers increase the Necromancer's attack speed by 3% for 5 seconds each time they deal damage, stacking up to 10 times.
  • Singularity: Consumes all Essence when cast, but raises a more powerful skeleton. For each additional point of Essence consumed (in addition to the base cost), the skeleton's damage increases by 3%. Can raise up to 10 empowered Mages, each having its own damage buff for the duration.
  • Life Support: Risen Skeletal Mages cost 10% of maximum Life to cast, but duration is increased by an additional 2 seconds.

Non-rune enhancements[]

  • Haunted Visions (Legendary Amulet): Simulacrums will replicate Grim Scythe instead of Skeletal Mage.
  • Scythe of the Cycle (Legendary Scythe): deals 350–400% additional damage while Bone Armor is active but each cast reduces the remaining duration of Bone Armor by 4 seconds.
  • Razeth's Volition (Legendary Pauldrons): Skeletal Mage gains the effect of the Gift of Death and Singularity runes (in addition to any other). While Essence is not full, gain 35-50% damage reduction.
  • Circle of Nailuj's Evol (Legendary Ring): each cast raises an additional Skeletal Mage, and duration increases by 2-4 seconds. The limit of 10 Skeletal Mages does not increase.
  • Tasker and Theo (Legendary Gloves): Mage attacks 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 4 items): Skeletal Magi are immune to damage. The Necromancer gains 1% damage reduction for 15 seconds each time their minions deal damage, stacking up to 75 times.
  • Trag'Oul's Avatar Set (Set Bonus for 6 items): Life Support Skeletal Mages deal 3800% increased damage. Healing from skills is increased by 100%.



When developing the ability, it seemed straight forward at first, but it took a long time to find its spot in the Necromancer kit. Pets have "an unspoken cool factor," and if they don't immediately feel awesome then it doesn't matter what the pet actually does. Once the team received really cool art from a character artist, it set the tone for the skill.[1] The development period lasted three months.[2]


  1. 2017-04-11, Visual Effects of the Necromancer Panel Overview. Diablo Fans, accessed on 2017-05-11
  2. 2017-04-11, DIABLO 3 VISUAL EFFECTS OF THE NECROMANCER Q&A PANEL. Blizzpro, accessed on 2017-11-05