When Season 21 introduced the new Masquerade of the Burning Carnival Set, based on both Simulacrums and Bone Spear, Haunted Visions witnessed a rework that allowed Simulacrum to last indefinitely as well as enabling Grim Scythe as a duplicated skill. This change paved the way for the LoD Grim Scythe Necromancer to shred everything in sight with the amazing power of Grim Scythe Cursed Scythe, which you'll regularly hear referred to as "Poison Scythe" as this build is all about stacking Poison Skills and Nayr's Black Death.
The build however took quite a hit in Season 22 as a bug allowing Simulacrums to benefit twice from Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang got fixed. Yet, in conjunction with Leger's Disdain and its special interaction with Simulacrums (see Mechanics), the Grim Scythe Necromancer still scales its damage a lot with density and stays an absolute beast when surrounded by hordes of monsters! Season 23 allows this build to pick up Krelm's Buff Bracers without having to lose the benefits of using Nemesis Bracers since your follower now emanates the power!
With the nerf to Masquerade of the Burning Carnival in Season 24, this setup has become the Necromancer's strongest group trash killer build and advanced as one of the most powerful in the game.
The gameplay of the build is pretty straightforward and easy to engage with at first glance, it turns out that mastering the playstyle of perfectly positioning your Simulacrums to maximize their damage with the small AoE of Grim Scythe is actually challenging and requires some practice. With the ability to flatten an entire room of monsters in Greater Rift 150 while being relatively tanky and providing Curses, it is a very potent Trash Killer in group play. Pair that with its ability to perform at the top of the solo leaderboards and you have one of the best Necromancer builds. Let's dive in and learn what makes it so great!
Simple Rotation ✔
Insane AOE Damage ✔
Top Tier in Solo & Groups ✔
❌ Lacks Speed
❌ Sims Dying Can Hurt
❌ Positioning is Critical
❌ Low Single Target Damage
- Haunted Visions allows Simulacrums to cast Grim Scythe when you do.
- Leger's Disdain is the core damaging item of the build, providing us with a stacking 80% separate damage multiplier per point of Essence generated to Grim Scythe.
- Nayr's Black Death for up to a 500% separate damage multiplier to Grim Scythe.
- Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang for its 200% separate damage multiplier and to easily apply Curses for Dayntee's Binding and Decrepify damage reduction, Leech sustain and obviously Frailty.
- Krysbin's Sentence grants us a 300% separate damage multiplier to stunned enemies, coming from Bone Armor Dislocation.
- Convention of Elements is a staple because of its 200% separate damage multiplier during our Poison cycle.
- Depth Diggers provides us with a 100% separate damage multiplier to Grim Scythe.
- Razeth's Volition grants 50% damage reduction as long as Essence is not full.
- Aquila Cuirass for further 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 by far the best Ethereal for solo pushing as this build is very bad against bosses. The Stacking Damage effects helps a lot here.
- Soul Harvest - This is the second best option in solo and the best in groups as the attack speed has great value and the stacking damage buff from Blackbog's Sharp does next to nothing in large monster density.
- Blackhand Key - This weapon can be used but is not recommended due to the fear effect.
- 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: Poison Damage > Critical Hit Chance & Critical Hit Damage > Area Damage, along with as much Grim Scythe damage as possible. Attack Speed is helpful, especially for faster Bane of the Stricken stacking in solo, but you don't need to aim for any specific Attack Speed Breakpoint. Cooldown Reduction is useless for this build as you only cast Simulacrum at the beginning of a Greater Rift and if they die along the way.
For defensive rolls always take Armor > All Resistance, since we get All Resistance by default from Intelligence in our Paragon points. Crowd Control Reduction is an incredibly valuable secondary Affix to roll on both Rings, Amulet and Helmet as we are very sensitive to Hard Crowd Control effects and mitigating these will ease up our gameplay significantly. Make sure to get the Primary Affixes locked in before attempting to get CCR though.
- Level your Legacy of Dreams to 99 immediately and hunt for ancient items.
- Learn to position your Simulacrum in density, activate your Poison skills in order, and stun with Bone Armor Dislocation on your Poison Convention of Elements cycle to activate Krysbin's Sentence.
- Gather large groups of enemies with Bone Spear Blighted Marrow to mow them down with Area Damage.
- Enjoy one of the strongest builds Diablo III has ever seen!
Town Is Lava!
Guide by Raxxanterax. Updated by wudijo and Chewingnom.