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Masquerade Bone Spear Necromancer Guide

Last Updated: July 8th 2024

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Introduction

Masquerade Solo Push
w/ Aughild's Authority
View all variants

The Masquerade of the Burning Carnival was first introduced in Season 21. Despite its initial outrageous (6) Bonus, it didn't see a lot of play back then due to being overshadowed by other Necromancer builds.

Season 22 buffed the build by adding Gelmindor's Marrow Guards. This was enough to make it the strongest Necromancer build in Diablo III, able to clear all the way up to GR150 in solo while being the Trash Killer of choice and having a spot in Greater Rift Speeds.

After overperforming heavily for two seasons in a row, it has been brought back in line in Season 24 with a heavy nerf to the (6) Bonus removing the triple damage bonus for Simulacrum and reduced the overall damage multiplier. In Season 28, that same bonus has been added again and the original multiplier almost restored, bringing the build back to its former glory!

Unlike many other Necromancer builds, Bone Spear doesn't hide any nasty surprises like having to wait a minute for a crucial cooldown. It is a fairly simple but fun and powerful build with a very active, fast-paced playstyle.

For solo pushing, there are several variations, each with their own pros and cons. Most high-end clears are done with Aughild's Authority which is described in the main sections of the guide. This is especially recommended after Paragon 2,500 as Elites and Rift Guardians die much more easily. Before that, Guardian's Jeopardy is a better choice for more damage and toughness. A more mobile version is the Captain Crimson's Trimmings setup, which is overall more consistent at lower tiers. You can also play around Briggs' Wrath to pixelpull enemies, creating a unique and challenging playstyle.

Easy to gear ✔
Active playstyle ✔
Great AoE damage ✔
No cooldown dependency ✔

❌ Relies on Sims
❌ Hard to master
❌ Positioning is critical
❌ Low single target damage

Core Setup

Core Item Build

Items

  • Masquerade of the Burning Carnival is the centerpiece of this build. It effectively provides you with 83% damage reduction while Simulacrum is active and 5,500% increased Bone Spear damage for you and triple that your Simulacrums.
  • Haunted Visions makes Simulacrum last forever.
  • Maltorius' Petrified Spike doubles Bone Spear cost to give it 700% increased damage.
  • Scythe of the Cycle for 400% increased damage to Bone Spear as long as Bone Armor is active.
  • Krysbin's Sentence gives 300% damage to enemies affected by hard Crowd Control (e.g. stun from Bone Armor Dislocation) and 100% bonus against slowed enemies.
  • Gelmindor's Marrow Guards gives 400% increased damage to Bone Spears fired by your Simulacrums.
  • Typically all of this will be combined with either Captain Crimson's Trimmings or Aughild's Authority to gain more damage and defense. The former also improves mobility and damage against trash monsters while the latter has a greater emphasis on fighting elites and makes pulling easier.

Global Stat Priorities

Our offensive priorities are: Poison Damage > Critical Hit Chance/Critical Hit Damage > Area Damage > Attack Speed, along with as much Bone Spear damage as possible (on Boots, Helm and Off-Hand). Generally, no Cooldown Reduction is needed for this build as you only cast Simulacrum at the beginning of a rift, but especially in Nephalem Rifts or for the Captain Crimson's Trimmings variation that stat becomes more valuable to spam Blood Rush and Bone Armor and gain extra damage.

Assembling the Build

Item Stat Priorities

Gems

Skills

Passives

Paragon Points

Follower

Gameplay

Hardcore

Variants

Nephalem Rifts
GR Solo Speeds
GR Solo Push
GR Group Speeds
Group TK
T16 Nephalem Rifts

Concept
For speed content we want to go as fast as possible and can sacrifice a lot of damage to do it. You can play around with your favorite rune for Bone Spear as many of them can work and have different playstyles. Here we're showcasing Bone Spear Teeth to bring back memories of the good ol' Diablo 2 days. Just make sure the rune you take aligns with the elemental damage rolls on your character and set up your follower with the right items for Nephalem Rifts: Avarice Band, Nemesis Bracers, Sage's Journey and Cain's Destiny.

Gameplay
In speeds this build is easy to play as we don't have to time anything and just blast. Summon your Simulacrums at the start, keep Bone Armor active, use Blood Rush Metabolism to move and cast Bone Spear Teeth everywhere.

Setups
When playing in groups, you should have Nemesis Bracers ready to swap in your inventory or cube them over Steuart's Greaves. Also replace Rechel's Ring of Larceny with Avarice Band. If you feel like your damage is way higher than it has to be, In-geom is great for for faster cooldowns on Bloodrush to keep us flying.

Solo XP

Concept
This is similar to the Solo Push setup, except we're trying to clear everything quickly and won't have any trouble dispatching the Rift Guardian. The differences are we'll take Devour instead of Grim Scythe as we want to be constantly moving, and we'll cube Steuart's Greaves to fly after using Blood Rush.

Gameplay
The gameplay here feels similar to T16, we're flying forward trying to destroy Greater Rifts as fast as possible. Use your curse for pixeling monsters via Briggs' Wrath, while Devour give us Essence back to cast more Bone Spears. Once you've got a nice pixel, hit them with Bone Armor and destroy them with Bone Spear.

Pay extra attention to your Essence. You only have Devour to regain it, so you need to be constantly killing stuff and not waste your precious resources on nothing, especially when you are fighting Waller or Juggernaut elites. Don't hesitate to skip them when you are low on Essence. In case that you do run out, you have 3 options:

  1. Recasting Simulacrum will double your current Essence. You can get up to half of your total essence back if you use it right. However, you have to foresee that you will be running out of Essence soon, because if you use it when you're already dry it will do nothing.
  2. You can try using Bottomless Potion of Rejuvenation, but you need to lose more than 50% of your life for it to work, which can be tricky to do without dying.
  3. If all else fails and your Simulacrum cooldown is long, then you can just die intentionally and you will respawn with full Essence and Simulacrum ready.

Setups
You can also try other runes of Bone Spear like Teeth for larger Area of Effect or Crystallization for more attack speed if Bone Spear Shatter doesn't fit your playstyle.

Aughild's Authority Solo Push

Concept
This is the version described in the main section of the guide. The extra elite damage helps a great deal to ensure fast boss kills and finish off elites that would otherwise be almost unkillable.

Gameplay
Instead of surrounding elites with trash and trying to kill them with Area Damage, we let them sit outside the pull and shoot them from the opposite side of it. This way we maximize Blighted Marrow, Zei's Stone of Vengeance and Serration damage bonuses on the elites and the trash will die fairly fast anyway even without pixels and big Area Damage procs. Make sure to stun with Bone Armor Dislocation on your Poison Convention of Elements cycle to activate Krysbin's Sentence. Try to be as mobile as possible between your Convention of Elements cycles and use your Bone Spear to aggro enemies from a distance.

During the Rift Guardian fight, stay in melee and attack the boss with your Grim Scythe to replenish your Essence and to stack Bane of the Stricken. One second before Convention of Elements Poison cycle, activate Bone Armor and Blood Rush far away to maximize Zei's Stone of Vengeance (and possibly Serration) bonuses. Hold down Bone Spear until your Poison cycle is over, then return back to the boss.

Setups
For extra toughness, you can slot in Esoteric Alteration instead of Zei's Stone of Vengeance or add more Vitality either through Paragons or by stacking Flawless Royal Amethyst in your armor sockets. If you want to have a cheat death passive, remove Serration.

Below 2000 Paragon, you can also play this setup with Guardian's Jeopardy instead of Aughild's Authority.

4man Speed GRs

Concept
This build is utilizing both Squirt's Necklace and Captain Crimson's Trimmings at the same time for the highest possible consistent damage output. We drop Convention of Elements because in speedruns we don't have time to wait for the right element to come up. This setup also has more Cooldown Reduction and Resource Cost Reduction, which help out immensely by letting us spam Bone Spear, Bone Armor and Blood Rush more.

Gameplay
The gameplay is quite similar regardless of your group composition. You rush forward through the rift and shoot Bone Spears at everything, preferably staying at a distance to maximize the bonuses from Serration and Zei's Stone of Vengeance.

Pay extra attention to your Bone Armor: make sure to only use it when there's at least 1 monster in range. Missing it will completely stop your damage for a few seconds, which is a big loss in a run that lasts only 2 or 3 minutes. This is especially important in Bat Runs, because LoD Rat Necro's Skeletal Mages have a tendency to snatch your Bone Armor targets from right under your nose.

Another thing you have to pay attention to is your Essence. You only have Devour to regain it, so you need to be constantly killing stuff. This is especially problematic with Juggernauts, which require plenty of Bone Spears to kill, but still leave behind only one corpse. Don't hesitate to skip them, when you are low on Essence. In case that you do run out, you have 4 options:

  1. Recasting Simulacrum will double your current Essence. You can get up to half of your total essence back if you use it right. However you have to foresee that you will be running out of Essence soon, because if you use it when you're already dry it will do nothing.
  2. Land of the Dead Invigoration will let you spam Bone Spear for its entire duration and leave you with full Essence afterwards. In triple support runs you need to make sure to have it up for the Rift Guardian fight.
  3. You can try using Bottomless Potion of Rejuvenation, but you need to lose more than 50% of your life for it to work, which can be tricky to do without dying.
  4. If all else fails and your cooldowns are long, then you can just die intentionally and you will respawn with full Essence and Simulacrum ready.

Setups
You can choose between Blighted Marrow and Shatter runes on your Bone Spear. The former has the highest damage potential, while the latter is more convenient to use and produces more consistent results. Try them out and see which you like best.

When playing in a triple support group, you can drop Captain Crimson's Trimmings for either Dayntee's Binding or The Witching Hour and Convention of Elements. This will let you drop Land of the Dead for Aura of Frailty (which works a lot better in speedruns than The Executioner), although you will have to be even more careful with your Essence. To kill the Rift Guardian without Land of the Dead you need to only attack when your Convention of Elements is active. If the Rift Guardian is still alive after 2 rotations, you are going too high and you should lower the tier!

4man Trash Killer

Concept
Trash Killer's (TK) job is to kill all the small monsters and sometimes also elites to bring the progress bar to 100%. To give the best chances at finishing elites, this variant used Aughild's Authority because at some point killing just trash will not be a huge issue if the group plays the setup properly. In groups the Support Barbarian will pixel and stun the monsters for us, so our job is to just perform the DPS rotation correctly for maximum damage.

Gameplay
The gameplay here is slightly different than the other set ups. We will run around swinging Grim Scythe and cursing mobs until just before our Poison Convention of Elements cycle comes up. Couple of seconds before it hits we'll throw a few Bone Spears to try and spawn an Oculus Ring. One second before Poison, refresh Bone Armor, then Blood Rush to the furthest Oculus Ring to take advantage of Serration and Zei's Stone of Vengeance. Finally throw as many spears as possible at the center of the mobs and watch them fall to pieces!

Setups
If you're having trouble staying alive, you can run with Esoteric Alteration instead of Bane of the Powerful. If you're playing a triple support setup, the zMonk will provide you with shields, allowing you to run with Squirt's Necklace cubed instead of the Aughild's Authority setup. In that case your third gem has to be Bane of the Stricken so you can kill the boss.

Video Guide

Mechanics

Simulacrum

Brigg's Wrath

Lost Time

Bone Spear Blighted Marrow

Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard + Draw Life

Summary

  • Put together the core items and acquire the full Masquerade of the Burning Carnival set.
  • Position your Simulacrum and control where they are to maximize your damage.
  • Stun monsters with Bone Armor Dislocation on your Poison Convention of Elements cycle to activate Krysbin's Sentence.
  • Stay mobile, survive, and burn down large packs of enemies with Area Damage.

Credits

Written by Northwar & wudijo
Contributions by Raxxanterax, Rob & sVr
Updated by wudijo

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