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Echoing Nightmare Explained

Last Updated: August 20th 2023

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A Petrified Scream used to
access the Echoing Nightmare

Season 26 brings us the Echoing Nightmare, the first Seasonal Theme that introduces a brand new activity to the game! While it was initially a Seasonal Theme, the mechanic made it into the core game in Season 27. However, the experience granted by them got heavily nerfed in the process.

Today’s Nephalem must stand their ground until they are inevitably overwhelmed or defeated. Players must collect a Petrified Scream from defeated Greater Rift Guardians to gain entry to the Echoing Nightmare. Transmuting a Petrified Scream in Kanai's Cube summons a portal that players can enter to face the horrors of the Nephalem's past.

General Overview

In the Echoing Nightmare, players will experience an intense, densely packed, increasingly challenging event that stretches their ability to stay in the fight as long as possible. We found inspiration in Orek's warning, "Many nephalem have stood where you are now, but few succeeded in overcoming the trials." The Echoing Nightmare explores what happened to those Nephalem who did not succeed.

Season 26 introduces the Echoing Nightmare, an optional and rewarding end-game challenge where players fight within the memories of Nephalem who fell in Greater Rifts. Here is a few key points about this game mode:

  • You can get Petrified Screams from Greater Rift Guardians. The droprate is around 5%.
  • An endless wave of monsters spawns once the Echoing Nightmare has started. There is a progress bar on your UI that fills based on how many monsters there are in the area. If the bar is full, you are considered overwhelmed and the event stops.
  • It is not possible to open an Echoing Nightmare in a game that is not level 70.
  • Unlike Greater Rifts, you can swap your gear during Echoing Nightmare encounters.
  • Each Echoing Nightmare has a randomly chosen monster type. Some monster types might favor the player more depending on their aggressiveness or how many ranged monsters they have.
  • Monsters from the Echoing Nightmares do not drop gold, items or health globes.
  • The difficulty scales similarly to Greater Rift Levels as players progress throughout the waves.
  • You are overwhelmed when there are about 10 waves of monsters out on the battlefield.
  • Every few seconds, a new wave of monsters spawns. Players can progress faster by defeating monsters quickly:
    • +1 wave every few seconds by default.
    • +2 waves if you kill a lot of freshly spawned monsters.
    • +3 waves if you kill most of the monsters.
    • +6 waves if you kill all monsters on the battlefield.
    • +8 waves if you kill all monsters quickly after a spawn.
    • +12 waves if you clear the area almost instantly after a spawn.
  • 4 Pylons are spread within the area, one in each corner: Conduit Pylon, Power Pylon, Channeling Pylon and Speed Pylon. Using them strategically for the latest waves is the key to victory! More on this in the Tips section below.
  • Monsters cannot be affected by most Hard Crowd Controls (Stun, Freeze, Knockback, Blind). Fear and Charm do work even though they're not that useful. This means pulling abilities are useless and it also heavily nerfs builds relying on Hard CC to deal damage (like Necromancers with Krysbin's Sentence). However the monsters can still be slowed.
  • Monsters' HP and damage stop scaling after Wave 150. Above that monsters instead get damage reduction scaling every wave like Monsters' HP and damage before Wave 150. The scaling is similar to Greater Rifts until Wave 100, then it goes up.
  • Unfortunately there are no leaderboards either so there is no real incentive to try reaching the highest wave.
  • Rewards only scale up to Wave 150, there is no additional reward for going higher. Players receive the following rewards upon completing an Echoing Nightmare
    • A few Normal Gems and Crafting Materials.
    • Experience: Up to 435b scaling exponentially.
    • Blood Shards: Up to 575 scaling linearly.
    • Legendary Items: Up to 12 legendaries like Greater Rifts.
    • The new Legendary Gem, Whisper of Atonement, meant for Augmenting gear.
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In order to spice up Echoing Nightmares, there are special enemies as well as some random events that can occur:

  • Rare Monsters can spawn, but not Champion Packs.
  • Hellish Machinations appear and spawn streams of Exploding Lunatics, which run towards the player to explode and proc a deadly Molten Explosion dealing Physical damage afterwards. Hellish Machinations spawn a lot of monsters which count towards the overwhelmed cap, pay attention to them!
  • A Fallen Nephalem can spawn randomly. Killing him triggers an AoE that one shots every monster within ~25 yards when it detonates after a few seconds.
  • A random Rift Guardian spawns every 30 Waves. In the mayhem of the battlefield, some of them can be deadly like Perdition and its Blink Teleport ability.
  • A Bandit Shrine can randomly spawn anywhere in the area after Wave 125 and disappear after a few seconds if not clicked. Goblins drop their normal rewards but their HP scales with the current wave, making them nearly invulnerable at higher waves without a Conduit Pylon.
  • Green Meteors fall from the sky after Wave 100. There is a 3 second delay between the visual effect on the ground and the actual impact. They deal an extreme amount of Physical damage.

Fallen Nephalem Heroes

During Echoing Nightmares, you will encounter special unique enemies; the Fallen Nephalem. They can spawn multiple times after Wave 75 approximately during a single Echoing Nightmare encounter. The one that spawns is chosen randomly between all classes present in the encounter.

  • Child of Bul'Kathos - The Fallen Barbarian
  • Light's Chosen - The Fallen Crusader
  • Embodiment of Vengeance - The Fallen Demon Hunter
  • The First Patriarch/Matriarch - The Fallen Monk
  • Shadow of Death - The Fallen Necromancer
  • Wisdom of the Umbaru - The Fallen Witch Doctor
  • Esus' Aspiration - The Fallen Wizard

They have a bunch of HP as you would expect from a Unique Monster. When they die, they leave a 25 yards radius AoE on the ground that detonates after 3 seconds, one shotting every monster within its radius. As a result, timing Fallen Nephalem's death and positioning it carefully can be very important in reaching the highest tiers.

Whisper of Atonement

A Rank 125 Whisper of Atonement

During Season 25, Rank 3 Soul Shards could be used as Rank 125 Caldesann's Despair to augment your gear. This feature was so well-received by the community, Echoing Nightmares introduce the new Whisper of Atonement Legendary Gem, whose sole purpose is to augment your gear. Read our full Augment Guide by Raxxanterax for more information!

You loot one Whisper of Atonement per Echoing Nightmare completed. Its level matches the maximum wave you reached, up to a maximum of Level 125. Since it is a normal Legendary Gem, you can level it up higher up to Level 150 the normal way using Urshi in Greater Rifts.

Tips & Tricks

Echoing Nightmares consist of an endless wave of monsters (which includes Elites) that cannot be pulled or crowd controlled. You have 4 static Pylons at your disposal during the event and rewards scaling completely freeze at Wave 150. Here are a few tips and tricks to efficiently perform in this endgame activity:

  • The most efficient way to deal with Echoing Nightmares is to reach Wave 125 as fast as you can to get the maximum amount of rewards (including a Level 125 Whisper of Atonement) with the minimum time invested.
  • Because only one player needs to use a Petrified Scream to open an Echoing Nightmare for the whole group, the best strategy is to bank them and use them in groups to get more value out of them. Groups also have a easier time reaching the highest waves.
  • Since you are fighting a constant stream of monsters with Elites, items such as In-Geom, Bane of the Powerful or Messerschmidt's Reaver are very efficient on some builds.
  • You don't really care about Rift Guardians, they will eventually die from AoE and Area Damage. Bane of the Stricken is completely useless since you will never be able to stack it on the target you want.
  • Since you cannot pull the monsters, grouping and pulling abilities are equally useless, except to proc Strongarm Bracers (which work with most skills even if the monster is immune).
  • You barely need to move so Movement Speed and movement skills in general have less value.
  • Projectiles like Bone Spear are not great because they require you to target somewhat efficiently and they can also be blocked by obstacles. Similarly, single-target abilities are not fit for this activity because there is always massive density. Builds that perform the best are the one with great AoE coverage and little to no need for targeting such as the Marauder Demon Hunter or the Inna Monk.
  • The hints listed above explain why for most builds, the most optimal Echoing Nightmare setup is usually a Greater Rift Pushing build with some tweaks, more rarely closer to a Speed Greater Rift build. As always, the Maxroll team is here to make your life easier so that all of our Build Guides have a dedicated Echoing Nightmare section including a setup recommandation! We also worked hard to bring you a new Echoing Nightmare Solo Tier List that you should check out!
  • You can bring Shrine Buffs (Empowered Shrine, Frenzied Shrine...) from outside into Echoing Nightmare. Thus opening a Cow Level to click all Shrines before going into an Echoing Nightmare can help you tremendously.
  • You can swap gear which can be used at your advantage mainly in 2 situations:
    • In Groups, bring The Flavor of Time to swap before clicking Pylons to get double duration.
    • Towards the end with Conduit Pylon active, swap to a very defensive gear to help you survive: Stone Gauntlets, Ice Climbers, Aquila Cuirass, Esoteric Alteration & Mutilation Guard...
  • Moratorium is a great Legendary Gem to bring in Echoing Nightmare (as gear swap for instance), since Meteors and Lunatics deal a fixed amount of % HP as damage, so staggering 35% of this damage is a huge toughness buff.
  • You can use the 4 Pylons to almost guarantees you to reach at least Wave 125 on any build:
    • Use Speed Pylon around Wave 100-110. This allows you to have an easier time dodging monsters but most importantly Green Meteors that deal a massive amount of damage.
    • Click Power Pylon (and Channeling Pylon if it buffs your build's damage) shortly after to help you clear the screen and not be overwhelmed.
    • When Pylon buffs disappear, this is the moment to use Conduit Pylon to melt the enemies for a full minute, in combination with Channeling Pylon for defensive purposes if you didn't use it earlier, which should allow you to comfortably reach a high wave and hit a bunch of rewards.

Video Guide

Echoing Nightmare Presentation by wudijo


After Season 24 and Season 25 which respectively brought us Ethereals and Soul Shards, Season 26 theme is a complete change of landscape, with absolutely no direct power creep for the players. Instead, we get a completely new endgame activity for players to farm with Echoing Nightmares! This activity, however, indirectly buffs players by granting them fairly easy access to Augments with the new Whisper of Atonement gem, which is a direct response from the developers to the community's interest for the accessible Augments from Soul Shards. Echoing Nightmares are also a great way to farm a massive amount of Experience even in solo gameplay which is very welcome for everyone!


Written by Chewingnom.
Reviewed by Northwar & Raxxanterax.

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