LoD Corpse Explosion Necromancer Guide

LoD Corpse Explosion Solo Push

Introduction

When Necromancers got released in Season 11, they instantly became the top dog on leaderboards using Corpse Lance, overshadowing pretty much every other skill the class had at its disposal. However, Necromancers have a wide panoply of skills with a strong identity, including other skills based around corpses, and among them the iconic Corpse Explosion!

When Season 21 introduced the new Masquerade of the Burning Carnival Set, players finally got a chance to play this skill at a competitive level, with Grasps of Essence being buffed. 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!

These days, the build is a strong contender to the LoD Poison Scythe for the No Set leaderboards. Anyways, 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!





Super Tanky ✔
Simple Rotation ✔
Insane AOE Damage ✔
Top Tier in Solo & Groups ✔

❌ Lacks Speed
❌ Requires Ancients
❌ Low Single Target Damage
Downtime on Land of The Dead


Core Setup

Core Item Build

Items

  • 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.



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 slightly reduce the cast animation from Corpse Explosion from the guaranteed Krysbin's Sentence roll and the Enchantress' Focused Mind.

We're aiming for at least 50% 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.

Assembling the Build

1. Do the Challenge Rift for the materials to cube Legendary Powers. You can complete this once a week for additional resources and we always update the guide for you!

2. This is a Legacy of Dreams build whose success is heavily dependent on this gem's rank. The first order of business is to equip a Legendary or Set item in every slot to take advantage of its power. Make sure to not have any Set Bonuses equipped or the gem will be nullified and you will deal no damage! Farm speed Greater Rifts (in under 5 minute clears) to find the items and get this gem as high as possible. Above Rank 25 ancient pieces of gear will give you even greater power.

3. Gamble from Kadala in this order:

  1. Create a level 1 Necromancer and gamble for Grasps of Essence
  2. Goldwrap and Dayntee's Binding
  3. Aquila Cuirass
  4. Steuart's Greaves and Ice Climbers
  5. Stone Gauntlets
  6. Razeth's Volition and Homing Pads
  7. Nemesis Bracers and Ancient Parthan Defenders
  8. Any Legendary Phylactery, preferably Lost Time
  9. Krysbin's Sentence, Briggs' Wrath and Convention of Elements
  10. Leoric's Crown
  11. Blackthorne's Jousting Mail

4. Craft using Recipe 3 in Kanai's Cube in this order:

  1. Two-Handed Axes to get Messerschmidt's Reaver
  2. Create a level 1 Demon Hunter and upgrade Swords to get In-Geom
  3. Two-Handed Scythes to get Nayr's Black Death
  4. Scythes to get Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang
  5. Amulets to get The Johnstone, Squirt's Necklace and The Flavor of Time
  6. Anything from the Gamble list in Step 3 that you haven't already acquired.

5. Do Bounties to acquire several important items for this build:

  • Act 1: Ring of Royal Grandeur (for your follower)
  • Act 2: Illusory Boots and Gloves of Worship
  • Act 3: Avarice Band
  • Act 4: Can drop any bounty item from any act
  • Bounty Turn In: Recipes for Sage's Journey and Cain's Destiny (for your follower)

6. At this point you can somewhat comfortably farm Nephalem or Speed Greater Rifts where you can find all the remaining items you need for different variants of the build. Spend your materials getting items with better rolls and/or ancient quality.

Item Stat Priorities

SLOT ITEMSTAT PRIORITY
Main-HandTrag'Oul's Corroded Fang
In-geom
Nayr's Black Death (Cubed)
Messerschmidt's Reaver (Cubed)
1. Damage Range
2. Socket Ramaladni's Gift
3. Area Damage
4. Damage %
5. Attack Speed
Off-HandLost Time
Any Legendary Phylactery
1. Critical Hit Chance
2. Area Damage
3. Corpse Explosion Damage
4. Cooldown Reduction
HelmLeoric's Crown1. Socket Flawless Royal Diamond
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Intelligence
4. Vitality
GlovesGrasps of Essence
Stone Gauntlets (Cubed)
1. Cooldown Reduction
2. Area Damage
3. Critical Hit Chance
4. Critical Hit Damage
ShouldersRazeth's Volition
Mantle of Channeling
1. Cooldown Reduction
2. Area Damage
3. Corpse Explosion Damage
4. Intelligence
Chest Aquila Cuirass1. Corpse Explosion Damage
2. Sockets Flawless Royal Ruby
3. Intelligence
4. Elite Damage Reduction
PantsBlackthorne's Jousting Mail1. Poison Damage
2. Intelligence
3. Armor
4. Sockets Flawless Royal Ruby
BootsIce Climbers
Illusory Boots (A2 Bounties)
Steuart's Greaves
1. Intelligence
2. Armor
3. Vitality
4. All Resistance
Ring 1Krysbin's Sentence
Avarice Band (A3 Bounties)
1. Socket
2. Area Damage
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Attack Speed
Ring 2Convention of Elements
Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac (Cubed)
Brigg's Wrath (Cubed)
1. Socket
2. Area Damage
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Critical Hit Chance
BracersNemesis Bracers
Warzechian Armguards (Cubed)
1. Poison Damage
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Intelligence
4. Armor
AmuletThe Flavor of Time
The Johnstone
1. Socket
2. Poison Damage
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Critical Hit Chance
BeltDayntee's Binding
Goldwrap
Krelm's Buff Belt (Cubed)
1. Intelligence
2. Armor
3. Vitality
4. Life %

Gems

  • Legacy of Dreams is the Legacy of Nightmares set on a gem, which frees up two ring slots for the cost of removing a legendary gem. Due to the rings available to us this is a great trade-off to take.
  • Bane of the Trapped is a staple that grants us a 60% separate damage multiplier.
  • Bane of the Stricken helps us killing the Rift Guardian. As long as you don't need more than 2 minutes to kill it you can equip Bane of the Powerful instead.
  • For Nephalem Rifts, Boon of the Hoarder is always a default include specifically due to its amazing synergy with Avarice Band and Goldwrap.
  • Pain Enhancer gives us 3% Attack Speed for all bleeding enemies within 20 yards.

Skills

  • Grim Scythe Cursed Scythe applies curses for our Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang and Dayntee's Binding bonuses as well as counting as a stack for Nayr's Black Death.
  • Corpse Explosion Close Quarters is our primary damage dealing skill, we will take the Poison rune for even more damage from Nayr's Black Death.
  • Bone Armor Dislocation provides 30% damage reduction and activates our Krysbin's Sentence on our Poison Convention of Elements cycle.
  • Blood Rush Potency can be taken for mobility and increased armor.
  • Land of the Dead Frozen Lands allows us to cast our Corpse Explosion at will, while also freezing enemies on our screen.

Passives

  • Spreading Malediction gives 1% additive damage for every cursed enemy.
  • Blood is Power helps reduce our Land of the Dead Cooldown by 20% based off damage taken.
  • Stand Alone gives 100% additive armor with the 250% from Stone Gauntlets and the 25% from Paragon points.
  • Eternal Torment makes curses cost 50% less and last forever.
  • Final Service allows us to cheat death.
  • For speed content you can drop Eternal Torment for Fueled by Death.

Paragon Points

CoreOffensiveDefensiveUtility
1. Movement Speed1. Cooldown Reduction1. Armor1. Area Damage
2. Intelligence2. Critical Hit Chance2. Life %2. Life per Hit
3. Vitality13. Critical Hit Damage3. All Resistance3. Resource Cost Reduction
4. Maximum Essence24. Attack Speed4. Life Regeneration4. Pickup Radius

1 Add a bit of Vitality if you feel too squishy (a total of 750,000 Life is recommended).
2 You do not need Maximum Essence for this build.

Follower

Patch 2.7.0 revamped the follower system giving all 3 hirelings new powers and the emanate system. The first thing you should do is read our complete follower guide and remember the key takeaways:

  1. The emanation system allows followers to share certain legendary and set powers with you. The most important ones are: The Flavor of Time, Nemesis Bracers, Avarice Band, Sage’s Journey and Cain’s Destiny. Click the guide above for the full list.
  2. Follower’s powers are based on their mainstat (maxed at 25,000, but they have a 2.5x multiplier so you only need 10,000). This means we stack Intelligence on the Enchantress, Dexterity on the Scoundrel and Strength on the Templar.
  3. Followers share 20% of their Experience, Magic and Gold Find stats with you.
  4. Legendary gems do not work on followers, except Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard.
  5. Cooldown Reduction does not work for any follower skill except the Templar’s Heal.
  6. Followers never deal significant damage; you’re on your own to clear the content.

With these in mind, let’s get into our recommendations for this build.

T16 Enchantress

T16 Enchantress

For T16 we recommend this Enchantress setup because she is the only follower that gives Cooldown Reduction, allowing you to spam your abilities more. Since this is T16 content, she’ll stay alive with Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard and use Hand of the Prophet to gain all skills. This will give us Cooldown Reduction, Elemental Damage, Reduced Damage from Ranged Attacks, Armor, Attack Speed, and a Cheat Death. Ideally, you want a Cold Damage Range on her Weapon as it procs your Lost Time effect.

Stat Priorities:

Since we do not have the immortality focus, we need to stack survivability on our Enchantress.

Intelligence > Vitality > Life % > Armor > All Resistance > Life Per Hit > Attack Speed.

Key Items:

  • The Flavor of Time: For double duration on Pylons.
  • Nemesis Bracers: For extra Elites, Death’s Breaths and In-geom procs.
  • Avarice Band: For the insane pickup radius.
  • Ring of Royal Grandeur: To complete our sets.
  • Gloves of Worship: For 10 Minute Shrine Buffs.
  • Sage’s Journey: For double Death’s Breaths.
  • Cain’s Destiny: For 25% more Greater Rift Keystones.
Speed GR Enchantress

Speed GR Enchantress

For speed Greater Rifts we recommend this Enchantress setup because she is the only follower that gives Cooldown Reduction, allowing you to spam your abilities more. Since this is speed content, she’ll stay alive with Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard and use Hand of the Prophet to gain all skills. This will give us Cooldown Reduction, Elemental Damage, Reduced Damage from Ranged Attacks, Armor, Attack Speed, and a Cheat Death. Ideally, you want a Cold Damage Range on her Weapon as it procs your Lost Time effect.

Stat Priorities:

Since we do not have the immortality focus, we need to stack survivability on our Enchantress.

Intelligence > Vitality > Life % > Armor > All Resistance > Life Per Hit > Attack Speed.

Key Items:

  • The Flavor of Time: For double duration on Pylons.
  • Nemesis Bracers: For more progression from Elites.
  • Oculus Ring: For 85% increased damage.
  • Ice Climbers: To make your follower immune to Freeze and Immobilize effects.
  • Hellfire Ring, Leoric's Crown and Cain's Destiny: For more Experience and Attack Speed.

GR Pushing Enchantress

GR Pushing Enchantress

For Greater Rift Pushing we recommend this Enchantress setup for the Slow from Temporal Pulse, Cooldown Reduction from Prophetic Harmony, Damage Reduction and Armor from Powered Shield, and the Attack Speed from Focused Mind. Ideally, you want a Cold Damage Range on her Weapon as it procs your Lost Time effect.

Stat Priorities:

Since we have the immortality relic, we do not need to stack survivability on our Enchantress.

Intelligence > Attack Speed.

Key Items:

  • The Flavor of Time: For double duration on Pylons.
  • Nemesis Bracers: For more progression from Elites.
  • Oculus Ring: For 85% increased damage.
  • Unity: For 50% damage reduction if you're also wearing one.
  • Ice Climbers: To make your follower immune to Freeze and Immobilize effects.
  • Mempo of Twilight and Cain's Destiny: For more Attack Speed.

Gameplay

While the rotation is fairly easy to perform with practice, it requires you to understand the multipliers in play. First with Nayr's Black Death in the cube we need to rotate our Poison skills before the Poison Convention of Elements cycle arrives. You'll finish by casting Land of the Dead Frozen Lands and Bone Armor Dislocation at the start of Poison to get infinite corpses and to activate your Krysbin's Sentence before unleashing with Corpse Explosion Close Quarters to blow everything up.

Make sure to stop spamming Corpse Explosion 1 second before Land of the Dead ends to avoid consuming The Johnstone stacks. Drag the Elites forward to another big pack, and when your Land of the Dead is back up, repeat the rotation.

Hardcore

This build has a lot of toughness which makes it great for Hardcore. To become more tanky, put more Paragon points into Vitality and drop Eternal Torment for Final Service.


Variants

Nephalem Rifts
LoD Corpse Explosion Solo T16

Concept
For speed content we're pumping up our Movement Speed with Steuart's Greaves, Warzechian Armguards, Blood Rush Metabolism and Fueled by Death. The combination of Goldwrap + Avarice Band + Boon of the Hoarder will make us invincible once we kill an enemy and pick up some gold.

Gameplay
Speed content is easy to play as we don't have to time anything with Convention of Elements. Use Blood Rush Metabolism to move, cast Decrepify Borrowed Time often to get our Cooldown back. Activating Land of the Dead Frozen Lands will let you use Corpse Explosion infinitely and will freeze the elites activating our Krysbin's Sentence.

Setups
This setup gives up a lot of damage for more speed but it should work well with how powerful Corpse Explosion is. If you need more damage throw back on the Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang and things should be just fine. If you are running this in groups, cube Nemesis Bracers instead of Krelm's Buff Belt.

Solo Push
LoD Corpse Explosion Solo Push

Concept
This is the standard set up we covered above in the items section. Bane of the Stricken is needed as the third gem to kill the Rift Guardian, and we will take Ice Climbers to negate the slow from Stone Gauntlets.

Gameplay
Solo is the most challenging version of this build as we have to pull everything, stay alive, and kill everything all on our own. Use the 48 second downtime on Land of the Dead to gather up gigantic groups of monsters to burn down. Cast each Poison skill once every 15 seconds to build your Nayr's Black Death up, and use Bone Armor Dislocation on your Poison cycle of Convention of Elements. Save your Land of the Dead for when you have a big pack together to get the most from your Area Damage. Try to save a Pylon for the Boss so you can use Nemesis Bracers (from your follower) to proc Area Damage.

Setups
For more survivability, replace Krelm's Buff Bracers with Ancient Parthan Defenders. On the contrary if you feel comfortable, you can swap Unity for Squirt's Necklace for more damage.

Another option is Briggs' Wrath with either Decrepify Borrowed Time for more cooldown or Enfeeblement for amazing pixel stacking. In this case swap Krelm's Buff Bracers with Strongarm Bracers to make up for the lost Nayr's Black Death stack. Another way to proc Strongarm Bracers is to cube The Johnstone and equip Halcyon's Ascent.

Group Trash Killer
LoD Corpse Explosion Trash Killer

Concept
In groups we can be far more offensive with our itemization because we have supports keeping us alive. We will drop Ice Climbers and wearing Illusory Boots, this is possible because the support Barbarian will give us Ignore Pain which makes us immune to the slow from Stone Gauntlets. We'll wear The Johnstone and cube Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac so we can cast Land of the Dead every 36 seconds. Finally we'll take Ancient Parthan Defenders instead of Nemesis Bracers for more survivability from the zBarb's Furious Charge and the zMonk's Crippling Wave Tsunami.

Gameplay
Similar to the solo version, except we don't have to gather the monsters and staying alive is much easier thanks to the zBarb's pulling and stomping and the zMonk's healing. In a group always move into the zBarb's Ground Stomp and any Oculus Ring near the pack for 85% increased damage. We are now taking five Poison skills to gain an insane buff from our Nayr's Black Death, make sure you have all five stacks before your Poison cycle on Convention of Elements and you will obliterate everything in sight. You'll want to pop Land of the Dead immediately when entering the rift to get your The Johnstone stacks, and be ready to hit 36 seconds later on our Poison Convention of Elements cycle. Remember that you need to reset your Land of the Dead by casting Death Nova thanks to Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac. You also want to stop spamming Corpse Explosion 1 second before Land of the Dead ends so you don't waste any macabre stacks from The Johnstone on the wrong element of Convention of Elements.

Setups
You can drop Frailty for a 6th Poison skill, but you will have to communicate with your zMonk to stop spamming shields so you can proc your Blood is Power. If you want to do a 36 second rotation you'll drop Frailty or one of the Poison skills for Decrepify Borrowed Time along with picking up 1 additional Cooldown roll.


Video Guide

Guide Video

Mechanics

Corpse Explosion

  • Corpse Explosion costs no essence and has no Cooldown - if you have corpses, you can keep firing it.
  • Corpse Explosion triggers 5 corpses in a quick chain reaction over 45 frames, one every 9 frames.
  • The Close Quarters rune makes corpses explode next to the Necromancer instead of where your mouse cursor is, so it is important to stand in the middle of the monsters.

Nayr's Black Death

  • Give 100% damage bonus for each Poison skill you've used in the last 15 seconds. Each skill has its own timer, meaning you have to hit each Poison skill once every 15 seconds to keep maximum stacks.

Blood Is Power

  • As you spend life with your skills or take damage from enemies, you stack up a hidden counter towards 100% life spent.
  • Each skill has a separate counter. Blood Is Power counter is reset when the skill has fully cooled down or when you die.
  • After you reach the threshold, a skill's cooldown will be cut by 20% flat of its base cooldown (after Cooldown Reduction has been applied).

Summary

  • 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!
Introduction by Chewingnom.
Guide by Raxxanterax with input from wudijo.