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Necromancer Minion Health and The Goated Test

Necromancer Minion Health and The Goated Test

Nate McKay
Necromancer Minion Health and The Goated Test

DiabloBuilds.com is in the process of putting together a calculator which performs certain simulator functions. In our efforts to ensure that our calculator produces the most accurate damage numbers possible we have to consider countless variables to accurately simulate damage. Things like AOE DPS, resource generation, Talent, Aspect, and Affix modeling/contribution, armor, max life, and class specializations all need to be accounted for. Some things are easier to calculate than others and one variable that is giving us particular trouble is determining the life of a Necromancer Minion. We recently got to testing Necro minion life and ended up going toe to toe with a single goatman for hours on end.

This data is incredibly valuable as we continue to improve our build calculator. Learning how different abilities and specializations scale in Diablo IV allows us to accurately simulate damage in a way that is simply not possible anywhere else.

The Question

We started with a single question for our calculator; what is the effective uptime for a Necromancer minion? While seemingly insignificant, it plays an important role in calculating damage. Simply put, if you are running a summon Necromancer a large portion of your damage and resource generation is determined by how many minions you can keep alive at any given time.

So we set out to understand roughly how long a minion lives, our initial logic was that if we could determine as a function of time how long minions usually lasted, we could then configure the calculator to account for minion uptime. It was at this point that we hit our first roadblock, after countless Nightmare Dungeons, on summon Necros of all kinds, we effectively discovered that there was no consistent way of measuring uptime without reference to minion life.

We then decided on a new course of action. Our calculator is being built to simulate effective health by determining max life, armor, damage mitigation, resistances, etc… If we could determine how much life a minion has we could make run similar calculations to determine minion uptime (with number of minions and their configuration a configurable variable in our calculator).

Unfortunately, Blizzard does not provide an easy way to determine minion life. We are only able to see an unlabeled bar above a minion’s head which slowly drains as they take damage. The more we looked the more we discovered just how little we knew about minion health.

We began with a theory, based on info from the community, that minions gained some percentage health based on the player’s base life, one of our Necro experts guessed that it was roughly 40%. We knew that certain stats transferred from the player and that minion damage was directly tied to your weapon (a useful tidbit to help with our test see below).


We had a little info and a theory, and so we needed some way to test it. Our proposed test was to find a pack of goatmen northeast of Kyovishad, reduce the pack to one goatman, and determine how much damage it does to the player character per hit. Next, we could then allow the goatman to hit our minion, knowing how much damage each hit does and, after factoring in damage mitigation (which we try to normalize to 0), we’d know how much total health the minion had by accounting for the number of times the minion was hit.

Now all sources of damage in Diablo IV have some form of variance. This meant that, in order to get an accurate estimate, we needed to test both damage to the player, and damage to the minion, a number of times, averaging them out, in order to get an accurate figure. The goat also has two unique attacks, slash dealing moderate damage and a combo attack, striking a number of times in quick succession. We treated the entire combo attack as one attack. Each attack had to be accounted for and averaged out. So, we recorded the goat attacking our character a number of times, hovering over our health bar as we did it, to see how much damage we took. We then dropped our minion in to test the same, swapping between reapers and defenders in order to test for life, since the defenders have slightly more health and the variance helped further test the accuracy of our procedure.

How You Can Help!

We need more data to ensure the accuracy of our findings. This brings us to how you can take part in the Goated Test, and further increase the K/D of Kyovishad’s most lethal goatman. Below we’ve linked a Google sheet template, copy this over to your own blank Google sheet and run the test yourself, sending a viewable share link to OP on Reddit (Link will be posted once the post is live!).

The Test Conditions that must be followed are

  1. Take off all armor, jewelry, and offhand items ensuring that your Damage reduction from close, distant, while injured, and while fortified are all 0
  2. Remove any skills, passives, or paragon glyphs and nodes that increase your or a minion’s life or decrease damage taken in any way.
  3. Record your base life, not max life.
  4. Go to World Tier 1

How to Conduct the Test

  1. Find any enemy and get a bunch of data on its basic attacks and special attacks. Insert those into our spreadsheet. We were using a goatman axe wielder northeast of Kyovishad but feel free to use whichever one you want.
  2. Create an average damage figure for both the basic attacks and the special attacks.
  3. Spawn one skeletal reaper, defender, or skirmisher, and make a note in the sheet which one you are using.
  4. Allow the goatman to hit your minion.
  5. Tip: to make the enemy aggro on your minion stand outside its aggro range and spawn a minion from a corpse that sits within its aggro range, it should automatically target the minion and not your character. Take hewed flesh to spawn more corpses as your minion hits the enemy, which can happen even if the minion does 0 damage to it. If you are finding that the minion is killing the goat too quickly, remove your weapon after spawning the minion. Minions cannot deal damage if you don’t have a weapon on.
  6. Record how many hits it takes to kill the minion and what kind of attack each hit was. Estimate what percentage your minion was at prior to the killing blow. We did this by recording all of our tests and then pasting the health of the minion prior to death into Microsoft Paint. We then examined the number of green pixels versus the number of black pixels.
  7. Use the average for each attack value (accounting for different types of attacks) times the number of hits absorbed by the minion prior to death, to determine how much health your minion roughly had. By way of example, if your minion absorbed 10 basic attacks, each dealing on average 30 damage to a player, before landing at 5%, we would estimate that your minion had roughly 315 health.
  8. Divide the projected health of your minion by your base life then multiply by 100 to determine as a percent how much base life your minion inherits from you.
  9. Drop a screenshot of you and the enemy alongside the google sheet link in your email to us for a chance to be featured during our Race to World First broadcast/on our site!

Google Sheets Template Link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hSyaKGFju6v49gHaeWTiRo2at-dpl-vow0SbGvNM5Xo/edit?usp=sharing

We’d like to thank all those that submit data for our Goated Test! Every little bit of data will help us provide the most powerful Diablo IV build calculator and accurately simulate damage for players!

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