Group Experience META

The content of the article

  1. Rat Runs with LoD Necromancer
  2. Bone Spear Necromancer Speeds
  3. Bone Spear Necromancer 150s
  4. GoD Demon Hunter Speeds
  5. WW Rend Barbarian Speeds

General Strategy

We already have a guide on how experience works and how to generally farm it most effectively here. In this article we will talk about the 4-Player most effective tactic available (META) for experience (exp) farming. There are different ways to farm experience efficiently in groups but they all have one thing in common: Playing Greater Rifts as high as you can as fast as you can! This method yields the most exp points in a given time window by far as you can see in our Greater Rift Scaling Guide. We do farm in a group because we are generally much stronger with more players and get nice group experience bonus.
Group experience META's generally include some kind of group synergies exceeding normal support buffs, like Movement Speed buffs with Standoff for Furious Charge META or Land of the Dead combined with Life from Death & Reaper's Wraps for Rat runs. Here is a list of experience META's we had in past patches:

PatchSeasonMETA
2.6.415 (Boon of the Horadrim)RATS / LoN SB WD / Star Pact Wiz
2.6.416 (Season of Grandeur)Charge Barb / RATS / Bazooka Wiz
2.6.517 (Season of Nightmares)Vyr Wiz / RATS
2.6.618 (Season of Triune)Vyr Wiz / RATS
2.6.719 (Season of Eternal Conflict)WW Rend Barb / RATS / HF Sader
2.6.820 (Season of the Forbidden Archives)RATS / Spirit Barrage WD
2.6.921 (Trials of the Tempests)GoD DH / RATS / 150 LoD PSN Scythe
2.6.1022 (Shadows of the Past + 4th Cube)RATS / Bone Spear


As you can see above there has been one constant META since the Rise of the Necromancer release: The Rat Runs! Let us start with these.


1. Rat Runs with LoD Necromancer

Concept
This is the most figured out META with 2 LoD Mage Necromancers as Damage Dealers, a zNec and a zBarb. There have been a lot of variations in the past with Bones of Rathma (which gave the name to this META) Legacy of Nightmares, Legacy of Dreams (LoD) and many more. Rats have been the top tier experience farming META since its introduction in 2.6.0 with the Necromancer as a new class. This META is extremely fast and relatively easy to play once you reach decent Paragon levels! Especially during Season 22 with the extra Kanai's Cube slot this META is stronger than ever as we gain yet another multiplier in the Weapon Slot with Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang.

Gameplay
The zNec leads the group cursing every monster with Briggs' Wrath and applies the Critical Hit Chance debuffs from Brittle Touch on the enemies. He also freezes everything with Land of the Dead Frozen Lands. The zBarb adds buffs, scouts and picks up the Health and Progression Globes as soon as possible! The most important buff to keep up is the crowd control immunity from Ignore Pain Mob Rule. The damage Necromancers make sure to stay close to enemies that have been slain to get Essence back from Devouring Aura. Furthermore they summon fully powered Skeletal Mage Singularity onto the Elites by hovering the cursor over them for focused damage output.

Rat Nec x2
zNec
zBarb

2. Bone Spear Necromancer Speeds
(20% less exp than Rat Runs)

Concept
The Masquerade of the Burning Carnival Bone Spear Necromancer is particularly strong as well during Season 22 as we gain yet another damage multiplier from Reilena's Shadowhook. We add a zBarb, a zDH and zMonk to further buff the Necromancer's power and play speed runs with a triple Support setup. Greater Rift tiers in the 120-130 range can be cleared with this combination in around 3 minutes for massive experience gain!

Gameplay
Focus and group up monsters quickly with Cyclone Strike and Ground Stomp Wrenching Smash. As the Necromancer, always pay attention to where you shoot as you do not have infinite resources nor a Generator here. We depend on monster kills to produce corpses for Devour in order to gain back our Essence. Keep up Bone Armor and Simulacrum for optimal damage and toughness. Feel free to time attacks and buffs with Convention of Elements Poison rotation for an insane burst with Bone Spear Blighted Marrow, but that is not necessary in lower Greater Rifts. On the Rift Guardian however you really want to time your Bone Spear with the according Convention of Elements element and a Ground Stomp from the zBarb to gain the full Krysbin's Sentence damage multiplier. This is mandatory! If you just keep attacking you will run out of Essence and you will have to either die or remake the game to gain it back!

Bone Spear

zBarb
zDH
zMonk

Setups
Feel free to play the Physical version with Bone Spear Shatter for improved Area of Effect damage. Do not forget to switch your Element % roll on Amulet and the Bracers! In the end it is hard to say which of the 2 element types is better in a long session. Just play with whatever feels more comfortable to you!


3. Bone Spear Necromancer 150's
(30% less exp than Rat Runs)

Concept
Another good experience farm setup is basically the 4-Player Push META setup with Masquerade of the Burning Carnival Bone Spear Necromancer Trash Killer, a zBarb, a zDH and a AoV Heaven's Fury RGK. Especially at higher Paragons this combination will blast through Greater Rift 150's yielding massive experience while spending very few Greater Rift Keystones. The Bone Spear Necromancer destroys Trash that is pulled and controlled by the zBarb while the zDH increases damage done significantly. The Necromancer has a natural high toughness with the Masquerade of the Burning Carnival (4) Piece Bonus making it relatively easy to keep up Squirt's Necklace with just Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard and no zMonk.
To kill the Rift Guardian and to finish the Rift off for the juicily closing experience, the AoV Crusader is the best choice by far in Season 22. This build has the highest single Target damage in the game with the new Norvald's Fervor set buff and the 4th Cube slot.

Gameplay
The zBarb pulls as many monsters as possible together while providing damage and toughness buffs to the Necromancer. More offensive and defensive buffs are provided constantly by the zDH: Odyssey's End, Wolf Companion and Numbing Traps. The Necromancer curses the monsters to gain the Spreading Malediction damage buff. Once every monster is grouped up, preferably on top of Elites, Necromancer refreshes Bone Armor and hits the pull a couple of times with Bone Spear to create an Oculus Ring damage circle, which he can Blood Rush into. Ideally this is timed with the Convention of Elements Poison rotation for an insane burst with Bone Spear Blighted Marrow.
The team members communicate with each other to pixel and stun the enemies on Poison with Ground Stomp Wrenching Smash to gain the full Krysbin's Sentence damage multiplier. The Rift Guardian is killed by the AoV Crusader Heaven's Fury while the zBarb stuns for every Holy Convention of Elements rotation to activate the Bracer of Fury damage buff.

Setups
Alternatively the AoV Crusader RGK can be dropped to get in a zMonk for more toughness and damage. In this triple Support setup the Bone Spear Necromancer functions both as the Trask Killer and the Rift Guardian Killer by equipping Bane of the Stricken instead of Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard. Squirt's Necklace will be protected by the zMonk's shield. To stack Bane of the Stricken on the Rift Guardian the Bone Spear Necro switches Grim Scythe to Bone Spikes Path of Bones. Now the zBarb has to stun on Poison Convention of Elements cycle when fighting the Boss, just like in the Rift itself, for Krysbin's Sentence, while the Necromancer has to be far away for maximum Zei's Stone of Vengeance and Serration benefit.

Bone Spear
Bone Spear with RGK
zBarb
zDH
AoV




Triple Support Alternative

Bone Spear
Bone Spear alternative with triple Support

zBarb
zDH
zMonk

4. GoD Demon Hunter Speeds
(40% less exp than Rat Runs)

Concept
2.6.9 introduced the Gears of Dreadlands (GoD) set, which can run fast-paced runs usually below the 3 minute mark to farm experience using 2 GoD Demon Hunter as Damage Dealers together with a zBarb and a zDH. This combination works because the GoD DH has the ability to deal massive damage while moving at the same time. Furthermore the single target damage is very decent which makes an extra pure RGK slot unnecessary, just like in the Rat Runs!

Gameplay
The GoD Hungering Arrow Demon Hunter utilizes all the damage multipliers available and relies on toughness buffs from supports to survive. The build cannot directly aim its damage; Strafe is always firing at the closet enemy. For this reason, when playing this build you should be focused almost entirely on your positioning, which can be tougher than expected due to all the Movement Speed you have. You should (in order of importance):

  • Make sure that closest to you enemies are in the pull
  • Stay out of dangerous ground effects
  • Stay inside Oculus Ring zone
  • Stay inside Bait The Trap AoE
  • Stay 10yd away from all monsters for Steady Aim

GoD DH x2
zDH
zBarb

Other than that you just need to keep up your Momentum stacks, spam Smoke Screen and cast Preparation and Vengeance when they come off cooldown.

Setups
Alternatively you can drop one of the GoD DH's to fit in a zMonk for more pulling as well as toughness and Shield buffs to further increase uptime on Squirt's Necklace.
For a more in-depth look into playstyle and setup including all the Support roles click here:


5. WW Rend Barbarian Speeds
(50% less exp than Rat Runs)

Concept & Gameplay
Patch 2.6.7 brought us Ambo's Pride and the Lamentation buffs to make this fan favorite WW Barb META viable. This combination usually consists of a WW Rend Barb, an AoV Crusader, a zBarb and a zMonk and uses the same principle as many speeds META listed here. Move with Whirlwind while dealing damage with Rend in the process!
The WW Rend Barb as trash killer deals good Area of Effect Damage with Rend Bloodbath. This rune together with Lamentation allows the Barb to stack up to 4 Rends on the target (2 normal ones and 2 Bloodbath procs). We usually add an Impale Demon Hunter or a Heaven's Fury Crusader, because they provide very high single target damage to kill Elites and the Rift Guardian, while providing awesome buffs to the group such as Companion and Marked for Death. Add a zMonk to maintain our buff from Squirt's Necklace as much as possible. You can basically say a Monk is like a 2nd Rend Barb as you gain double damage from Squirt's Necklace alone, while zMonk still provides massive toughness and damage buffs by himself. zBarb is the other standard support in this kind of speed runs as it provides the full package of toughness, damage buffs and pulling abilities. A zNec is not very useful because Rend, as all other damage over time skills, does not work with any Critical Hit Chance debuffs on enemies. That means Iceblink does not work with DoT skills either, it is just used to buff the Demon Hunter or Crusader Rift Guardian Killer.

WW Barb
AoV Crus
zBarb
zMonk

Conclusion

Overall there are plenty of options to farm experience in an efficient way in groups. You always want to communicate with your teammates to optimize Greater Rift times, Pool of Reflection uptime and town rotations. Rat Runs have been a consistent part of the exp META for many years and will reach new heights in terms of experience per hour with the additional Kanai's cube slot during Season 22!
Let us hope we get more builds and classes up to speed in the future - Happy farming!
META report by Rob