Season 19 is the Season of Eternal Conflict and with it come an awesome array of killstreak rewards! Inspired by the war waged between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells, you‘ll earn increasingly powerful effects as you unleash destruction upon your foes. So rack up those kills and clear the battlefields in the name of Sanctuary!
All players will benefit from the Pandemonium buff during Season 19. For each stack of this buff, you’ll receive a small boost to movement speed and bonus damage, ultimately capping out at 50% movement speed and 100% damage at 1000 stacks. In addition, reaching certain Killstreak goals will trigger a special effect and cause even more mayhem on the battlefield:
15 Kills: Exploding Chickens seek and destroy
30 Kills: A wide Frost Nova freezes enemies
50 Kills: Corpses rain from the sky
100 Kills: Five massive Energy Twisters are unleashed
150 Kills: Dark Geysers form beneath enemies
200 Kills: Treasure chests fall from the sky
300 Kills: A ring of fire engulfs everything
400 Kills: Meteors hail from above
500 Kills: Angels descend upon the battlefield to fight for your cause
1000 Kills: ?????
The Season 19 Theme has been the strongest and most impactful one so far. Not only did players benefit from the great damage and movement speed buffs, but the procs were devastating, even oneshotting elites and Rift Guardians. With their release at certain kill streak thresholds, you were able to build insane chain reactions that would decimate entire screens of monsters.
Preparing for and playing around these procs were the key to success during Season 19, and lead to ridiculous clear speeds of GR150, with solo players clearing them as fast as 6 minutes and groups as fast as 2:22.
Pandemonium Proc Details
Release at: 15 stacks Strength: weak
The first in line, this is usually what got your chain reaction rolling. You just need to somehow kill 15 very small enemies and could release the Chickens, which would then get a few more kills for you on your way to 50.
The Frost Nova is typically more of an annoyance or "necessary evil" and didn't help you much with anything, it would freeze everything on the screen for a few seconds, which prevented you from making a better pull for a little while.
Release at: 50 stacks Strength: medium
The Corpse Rain is the first really useful effect. It was able to kill medium-sized trash and bring even bigger monsters close to death. If you prepared a big pull before this, you were able to chain into the Twisters quite easily.
Release at: 100 stacks Strength: strong
The Twisters are the first proc to be impactful enough to carry you through a run. If you released them in a corner where they wouldn't spin off into the distance easily, they could just melt elites within seconds. With multiple Twisters in a very narrow place, it was even possible to finish off Rift Guardians from 100% to 0%, which was one of the strategies used to push without Bane of the Stricken.
Release at: 150 stacks Strength: oneshot anything
The Geysers are one of the key procs. They would typically spawn under your feet (at least in normal situations) and immediately explode anything standing there. They damage was so high, it could oneshot Rift Guardians with an overkill damage by a factor for 100 or more. Having just under 150 stacks and then hoping for a Rift Guardian with add spawns (or using Nemesis Bracers) was a key element to solo pushing.
Release at: 200 stacks Strength: heavy AoE burst
The Treasure Chests are really useful to clean up large packs of monsters and damage elites in the process, as they dropped all around you. Under certain conditions (in very narrow corners, or when stuck between walls from Waller elites), it was possible to let them all drop on the same spot, which was typically enough to kill even yellow Elite packs.
Release at: 300 stacks Strength: mediocre
The Fire Nova is really weak, typically barely able to kill off medium-sized trash. On top of it, it comes a whole 100 kills after the Treasure Chests, so typically you had to get very close to 300 after that proc or else you would be facing a long streak of nothing on your way to 400.
Release at: 400 stacks Strength: epic
This is one of the key procs, as it would annihilate anything with just a few hits and you had full control over the impacts by moving around and letting them fall in your wake. You can pull together a whole map on one screen and potentially get up to 60% progression just from the proc, which should usually be setup so that you can get the Angels immediately after.
The Angels are the main way (especially in group pushing) to defeat the Rift Guardian. With just a few hits of each of them, they would melt them away in seconds. However, they were also incredibly squishy against any elemental damage, and could die from just a split second of standing in Elite affixes such as Plagued, Poison Enchanted, or pretty much anything that hit them with non-physical damage. Because of that, it was crucial to chain the Meteor Shower into the Angels and into the Rift Guardian spawn all in one go, to minimize the risk of the Angels dying (which could still happen on bosses like Raiziel or Voracity for instance).
Release at: 1,000 stacks Strength: fluff
The secret proc at 1000 stacks turned out to be the summoning of a special version of Diablo, which behaved much like the one you fight in the Chaos Sanctuary in Diablo II. It was effectively a negative reward for reaching 1,000 stacks, as he was very dangerous (oneshotting anyone no matter how much toughness you had) and he was also incredible tanky. If you summoned him in Greater Rifts, you wouldn't get any rewards for killing him. Outside of those, he dropped a few consolation prizes like some Hellfire Materials, Bounty Materials and a few items.
You had to keep attacking (or have your follower attack something) to keep the stacks. After a few seconds of no fighting, you would lose them.
Dropping stacks on purpose was common to adjust to the rift you were in. Some monster types spawn a lot of small monsters that would otherwise give you too many stacks until you reach the Rift Guardian, which you would try to kill with the procs at 150 or 500.
You were able to get other procs while the previous ones were still going on, leading to a lot of effects going on at the same time once you released it.
In groups, it was possible to share the stacks between party members. All it took was one member to run away a few screens until they were outside of range for sharing. After a successful release of a proc (typically done at 400 for the Meteor Shower), all other party members would drop their stacks on purpose and the one who previously ran away will rejoin them with his stack count (just below 400) to share it back to the party members through one kill, as the highest value always took precedence. Like this, it was possible to fine-tune the stack count and release devastating effects over and over and almost guarantee a perfect Angel spawn at 500 for the boss every single time.
Season 19 has been the craziest Season Theme so far.
High-end pushing typically involved no Bane of the Stricken due to the power of Twisters, Geysers and Angels killing the Rift Guardian for you.
The other procs were really strong both while farming and while pushing.
The theme alone could carry you up to +15-20 tiers higher than normal if managed properly in the right Rift.
Every single class managed to clear solo Greater Rift Tier 150 as a result.