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 and 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.
Unlike many other Necromancer builds, Bone Spear doesn't hide any nasty surprises like having to wait a minute for a crucial cooldown, or fighting the Rift Guardian for 6 minutes straight. It is a fairly simple but fun and powerful build with a very active, fast-paced playstyle.
For solo push, there are 3 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 to push beyond GR130 as Elites and Rift Guardians die much more easily. However it is less mobile and more squishy than the Captain Crimson's Trimmings setup, which is overall more consistent at lower tiers and Paragon. 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 Pets
❌ Hard to Master
❌ Positioning is Critical
❌ Low Single Target Damage
- Masquerade of the Burning Carnival is the centerpiece of this build. It effectively provides you with 83% damage reduction while Simulacrum is active and 6,000% increased Bone Spear damage for you and 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.
- 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.
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 Scythe of the Cycle and Maltorius' Petrified Spike 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 push. It has good stats and a Stacking Damage affix that helps tremendously against Elites and Rift Guardians.
- Soul Harvest - This is a great option in groups and speed content due to the Attack Speed buff.
- Blackhand Key - This is a back-up option when you haven't acquired any of the other two and can also be used for farming 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 > 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 will only cast Simulacrum at the beginning of a rift, but especially in Nephalem Rifts or for the Captain Crimson's Trimmings variation that stat become more valuable to spam Blood Rush and Bone Armor and gain extra damage. As RGK you'll want to prioritize Attack Speed over Area Damage to stack Bane of the Stricken as fast as possible and deal most single target damage.
- Obtain the Masquerade of the Burning Carnival set with the core items shown in the beginning.
- 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.
Guide by Northwar & wudijo with contributions from Raxxanterax, Rob & sVr. Updated by wudijo.