When Necromancers got released in Season 11, they instantly became the top dog on the leaderboards using Corpse Lance with the Trag'Oul's Avatar Set, overshadowing pretty much every other skill the class had at its disposal. However, Necromancers have many skills with a strong identity, including the iconic Corpse Explosion!
When Season 21 introduced the new Masquerade of the Burning Carnival Set and buffed Grasps of Essence, players finally got a chance to play this skill at a competitive level. These days with the addition of Set leaderboards in Season 23, it is one of the best setup to compete with on the No Set leaderboards, sharing the crown with LoD Scythe.
Due to Diablo III corpse mechanics (16 corpses limitation), this build revolves around Land of the Dead rotations to unleash devastating chain reactions on its opponents!
This build is an Area Damage (AD) build, since Corpse Explosion can proc it. This is further enhanced by The Johnstone in conjunction with other cooldown and rotation based damage multipliers, allowing for a disgusting damage burst under specific circumstances (see Mechanics). If you like powerful all-around builds, massive explosions and seeing monsters' HP instantly drop from 100 to 0, you're in the right place. Let's go through how it works and show those demons who's boss!
Very Tanky ✔
Simple Rotation ✔
Crazy Burst Damage ✔
❌ Low Mobility
❌ Gearing Difficulty
❌ Low Single Target Damage
❌ Heavy Cooldown Dependency
- The Johnstone makes our next 50 Corpse Explosion casts do 200% increased damage after Land of the Dead expires.
- Grasps of Essence is our core item providing us with 1,000% increased damage to Corpse Explosion.
- Nayr's Black Death for up to 500% damage to Corpse Explosion when we use other Poison skills.
- Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang for another 200% separate damage multiplier and to apply Curses for Dayntee's Binding.
- Krysbin's Sentence grants us a 300% separate damage multiplier against enemies under Hard Crowd Controls like Freezes from Frozen Lands.
- Convention of Elements for 200% damage during our Poison cycle.
- Stone Gauntlets provide an outrageous amount of mitigation and their negative effect can be fully negated by Ice Climbers.
- Leoric's Crown helps us reaching our 48 second CDR Breakpoint on Land of the Dead with massive Cooldown Reduction.
- Aquila Cuirass for 50% damage reduction.
Season 24 Ethereals
Ethereals are powerful rare weapons that can only be found during Season 24. They have incredible stats, a random Legendary power, and a free passive for your class. Read our Ethereal Mechanics Guide for full details on how they work and our Ethereal Farming Guide to learn how to acquire them. What you should prioritize on them is the following:
- The Legendary Power
This build requires Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang and Nayr's Black Death to be functional. We need our Ethereal to roll one of these powers so we can cube the other. We also want a good roll on our Legendary power if it has a range. For speed content it is always helpful to have Ethereals with In-geom or Messerschmidt's Reaver powers, so keep those if you find them.
- The Ethereal Itself
There are 3 different weapons available to us, each with its own benefits:
- Blackbog's Sharp - This is the best Ethereal by a long shot for this build due to its Damage Stacking special affix and its high Attack Speed, especially in Greater Rift push. It allows us to reach the 33 frames Breakpoint on Corpse Explosion with 1.87 Attack Speed.
- Soul Harvest - This is a decent Ethereal for T16 farming and speed content but also in groups as Trash Killer, where the Damage Stacking mechanic from Blackbog's Sharp is not important.
- Blackhand Key - This is not a great Ethereal in most situations due to its Fear special affix which is detrimental in higher Greater Rifts but it is still a good Weapon for T16 farming.
- The Ethereal Stat Rolls
Each Ethereal comes with its own fixed set of powerful affixes. While some have a static value, many have a wide stat range. This means the difference between good and bad rolls is significant and something you should look for.
- A Useful Passive
This is just icing on the cake because a fifth passive is not going to make or break your build. You're better off hunting for the things above. Check out the Passives section down below to see which ones you're looking for.
Global Stat Priorities
Our offensive priorities are: Cooldown Reduction > Poison Damage > Area Damage > Critical Hit Chance & Critical Hit Damage, along with as much Corpse Explosion Damage as possible. We get all the Attack Speed we need to get a decent Corpse Explosion FPA Breakpoint from the guaranteed Krysbin's Sentence roll and the Enchantress' Focused Mind.
We're aiming for at least 53% Cooldown Reduction which allows us in conjunction with Blood is Power to reach the 48 second Breakpoint on Land of the Dead. This way we can detonate every fourth Convention of Elements Poison cycle.
- Level your Legacy of Dreams to 99 immediately and hunt for ancient items.
- Activate your Poison skills in order, stun with Bone Armor Dislocation on your Poison Convention of Elements cycle to activate Krysbin's Sentence and use Land of the Dead to cast Corpse Explosion to flatten enemies.
- Gather large groups of enemies and use Area Damage to climb the Leaderboards.
- Enjoy killing enemies with the corpses of their fallen comrades!
Town Is Lava!
Original guide by Raxxanterax. Introduction & contributions by Chewingnom. Revisions & updates by wudijo.