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. But it is only with Season 23 adding the Set leaderboards that the Trag'Oul Corpse Explosion setup really got a chance to shine. These days, this is the go-to build to push on the Trag'Oul leaderboard.
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!
Simple Rotation ✔
Crazy Burst Damage ✔
Homing Missile Spiders! ✔
❌ Very Squishy :(
❌ Rotation Playstyle
❌ Low Single Target Damage
❌ Heavy Cooldown Dependency
- Trag'Oul's Avatar grants us every rune on our Blood Rush as well as a 3,800% damage buff to our life-spending skills. We also get 100% healing from these skills and our healing can double our maximum life.
- Grasps of Essence is our core item providing us with a 1,000% separate damage multiplier to Corpse Explosion.
- The Johnstone makes our next 50 Corpse Explosions do 200% more damage after our Land of the Dead ends.
- Jesseth Arms gives a 400% damage buff as long as our Skeletons are commanded to attack a target.
- Krysbin's Sentence for the 300% damage increase against enemies under a Hard Crowd Control effect.
- Convention of Elements for 200% damage during our Physical cycle.
- Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang provides us with a 200% separate damage multiplier to Cursed enemies and procs our Dayntee's Binding.
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 uses Jesseth Arms and Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang to be functional. To equip an Ethereal, we replace this set with Reilena's Shadowhook and any Legendary Off-Hand. This means we need to take Maximum Essence on our gear and replace Command Skeletons by Simulacrum Reservoir. 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 26 frames Breakpoint on Corpse Explosion with at least 2.31 Attack Speed.
- Soul Harvest - This is a decent Ethereal for T16 farming and speed content, 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
You want to stack damage stats wherever possible, especially Cooldown Reduction, Attack Speed, Critical Hit Chance and Damage, Physical Damage along with as much Area Damage and Corpse Explosion Damage as possible.
Our first priority is to aim for at least 53% Cooldown Reduction which allow 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 Physical cycle.
Attack Speed is very important in order to maximize The Johnstone stacks efficiency, by reaching an appropriate Corpse Explosion Breakpoint (see Mechanics). We focus on at least 2.31 Attack Speed to reach the 26 frames Breakpoint which allow us to cast up to 9 Corpse Explosions during our Convention of Elements Physical cycle. We get that Attack Speed from Blackbog's Sharp, the guaranteed Krysbin's Sentence roll, Skeleton Archers and the Enchantress' Focused Mind.
- Focus on obtaining the Trag'Oul's Avatar set as well as the Jesseth Arms pieces first, then dive into some bounties so you can obtain your Ring of Royal Grandeur as well as getting the necessary materials to craft your Aughild's Authority set.
- Pull and gather large groups of enemies when Land of the Dead is on cooldown.
- When ready, use Land of the Dead to spam Corpse Explosion to flatten enemies!
- Enjoy killing enemies with the corpses of their fallen comrades!
Guide by Chewingnom.