Altar of Rites Mechanics in Diablo 3

Last updated on Jan 08, 2024 at 09:00 by Deadset

Season 30 restored and transformed the Altar of Rites from a one-time to a permanent seasonal mechanic for character progression. Home to power thought to be extinct from Sanctuary, the Altar of Rites will bestow powers upon worthy Nephalem... after a sacrifice is offered.


Permanent Seasonal Addition: Rites of Sanctuary Effects and Mechanics

Starting from Season 30, every Diablo season going forward will feature the formerly S28-exclusive character progression mechanic, Altar of Rites. When you interact with the Altar, you will see an interconnected web of 26 powers called Seals, culminating in three Legendary Potion Powers. These powers will be gradually unlocked throughout the Season in an order of your own choosing.

The Rites of Sanctuary theme has the following traits:

  • The Altar is accessible from level 1.
  • To unlock a Seal or a Potion, you must gather the materials listed in the Altar of Rites menu and sacrifice them. Note that, in order to unlock a Seal, the Seal preceding it must first be unlocked. Also note that going backwards up a branch is not possible if you don't have the "parent" (preceding) node unlocked. The exceptions to this rule are the "+5% Damage" Seal, the "Crowd Control Immunity" Seal, and the "Gain Passability" Seal, because of how they’re positioned within the Altar (they have both preceding and lateral powers connected to them, and any one of them will suffice).
  • Unlocking a power (both Seals and Legendary Potion Powers) is a permanent, non-reversible choice.
  • While your choices are permanent, over time you will be able to unlock all of the Altar's powers and won't be locked off from any potential upgrades. They will simply cost more.
  • Once unlocked, the Altar's powers are shared between all the characters you create in the Season.

Where do I find the Altar of Rites in the Season?

The Altar of Rites is found in Act I, in New Tristram. From the town waypoint, head left near Tyrael, follow the road down past Arghus the Collector, and you will run into the Altar right before you descend to the lower area where Radek the Fence is. The Altar's location is also marked on the minimap with a massive, golden circular icon.


Suggested Path for Seal and Legendary Potion Powers

There are many viable paths through the Altar of Rites tree; and while your choices on the tree are permanent and irreversible, you will eventually obtain all the nodes — and the costs for upgrading are not especially cumbersome.

The path below is merely a suggestion that is optimizes for the needs of most players, especially if you plan on opening your Challenge Rift cache at the Season start (more on that below). If you save your CR Cache for an early unlock of your 15th Seal, go for the Permanent XP pools first, and then head to the "Items have no level requirement" power (swap No2 and No3, basically).

The suggested path is geared towards maximum quality of life first, then amplifying damage, and then mopping up the tree with defensive and edge case utility nodes. Depending on the resource needs of your build, you can consider the "Critical hits grant resource" node slightly earlier than suggested here.

Unlocking a Legendary Potion Power requires that you unlock one of the Seals directly preceding it. Note however that the cost of unlocking a Potion Legendary Power is different from the cost of unlocking Seals. Potions unlock independently, with a resource called Primordial Ashes - obtained from salvaging Legendary or Set items of Primal (red bordered) quality. Primal quality items start dropping once you finish a level 70 solo Greater Rift. We suggest you unlock potion powers in the order shown below (courtesy of Caleko's Altar of Rites planner), from strongest to weakest effect.

Altar of Rites Planner

Seal and Legendary Potion Powers

In the paragraphs below, we will go over the particular effects of the Seals and Legendary Potion Powers, with some additional commentary on particularly interesting or effective tiers.

  • A: "Your Kill Streak timer duration and reward bonus are doubled." — This bonus is the (mandatory) first one and is quite self-explanatory. The doubled rewards and duration of Kill Streaks will be a massive boon throughout your 1-70 leveling process.
  • B: "Pools of Reflection last for the entire Season and are not removed by death." — This bonus makes the increased Experience gain granted by Pools of Reflection (the golden wells you will randomly find during farming) effectively infinite, as it refreshes their duration whenever their countdown reaches zero. Pools of Reflection effectively grant +41% experience gain while active, and not the 25% stated in the tooltip, since the bonus double-dips (due to a bug, but still).
  • C: "Items have no level requirement." — This bonus removes the level requirement of items you find. In an optimized leveling strategy, you won't make use of this power on your "main" (the first character you level in a Season), but you can make great use of it on your alts - equipping endgame items for the duration of your leveling journey.
  • D: "+100 Damage." — This bonus is applied in the same way as rolling average damage values on your weapon, offhand, or jewelry. It adds a considerable amount of flat damage to your overall damage calculation.
  • E: "+5% Missile Damage Reduction." — The damage you take from attacks dealt by ranged monsters is reduced by this considerable, percentage-based amount.
  • F: "+10% Movement Speed (Uncapped)." — This bonus is added to your total Movement Speed bonus and, as noted, will not be affected by the base 25% additional Movement Speed cap that limits items and Paragon points.
  • G: "Increase damage against elites by 5%." — This bonus functions identically to Elite Damage Increase stats obtainable on gear, such as The Furnace The Furnace or Unity Unity. It will stack additively with other sources of the same stat.
  • H: "Picking up Health Globes grants a shield for 5% of your maximum health for 7 seconds. Max stacks 5." — This bonus is a nifty boon for speed farming, allowing glass cannon builds to snowball their defenses early in a run (especially group speeds with 'Rat' Necro and zDPS Necro setups), where Support characters greatly assist with Health Globe generation and Pickup Radius).
  • I: "+5% Melee Damage Reduction." — The damage you take from attacks dealt by melee monsters is reduced by this considerable, percentage-based amount.
  • J: "Increases your highest elemental skill damage bonus by 5%." — Straightforward damage multiplication bonus to your overall elemental damage stat.
  • K: "Increase damage against elites by 5%." — This bonus functions identically to Elite Damage Increase stats obtainable on gear, such as The Furnace The Furnace or Unity Unity. It will stack additively with other sources of the same stat.
  • L: "+5% Damage." — Straightforward damage multiplication bonus to your overall DPS calculation.
  • M: "Double the amount of Death's Breaths that drop." — This bonus all but eliminates the need to incorporate the craftable Sage's set in Nephalem Rift farming builds, unless you are hard pressed for DBs.
  • N: "Critical hits grant resource: Mana: 15, Hatred: 5, Wrath: 5, Arcane Power: 3, Fury: 3, Spirit: 5, Essence: 5". — This bonus functions identically to the Arcane Power on Crit stat on Wizard gear, and will scale their effect off the proc coefficient of the skill you use. (In general, the more AoE-oriented a skill is, the lower its proc coefficient, and vice-versa.)
  • O: "Double the amount of Bounty Caches that drop from completing bounties." — Incredible utility bonus for crafting throughout a Season, and one of the nodes you pick up as early as possible.
  • P: "Progress orbs from Nephalem and Greater Rifts are picked up automatically." — This bonus functions like a second, massive layer of Increased Pickup Radius. It is, however, restricted to progression orbs, and cannot be abused for other Radius-reliant mechanics, i.e. Grave Injustice Grave Injustice.
  • Q: "Reduces the damage taken from elites by 5%." — The damage you take from attacks dealt by Elite monsters is reduced by this considerable, percentage-based amount. Note that this bonus applies to all their attacks, including the (considerably harder hitting) elemental attacks from their affixes.
  • R: "+5% Damage." — Straightforward damage multiplication bonus to your overall DPS calculation.
  • S: "Gain immunity to crowd-controlling effects." — Very straightforward, this bonus will disable the effects of stuns, slows, and displacement of any kind on your character. This bonus is incredibly useful for classes without easily accessible CC immunity skills, such as Witch Doctors and Wizards.
  • T: "Gain passability." — This bonus functions identically to Illusory Boots Illusory Boots, allowing you to move unhindered through enemies.
  • U: "Pets pick up Death's Breath." — Quality-of-life filler bonus, only really useful for dedicated, Season-long farmers.
  • V: "Elite packs drop one additional progress orb." — The progress spawn on a per-player basis, and drop next to the character once the elite is slain (and not from the pack itself, like the default progression orbs).
  • W: "Increase damage done to Bosses by 5%." — This hefty bonus stacks on top of Elite damage bonuses and results in very efficient Greater Rift Guardian takedowns.
  • X: "Pets pick up and salvage common, magic, and rare items." — Quality-of-life filler bonus, only really useful for dedicated, Season-long farmers.
  • Y: "Increase your chance to Dodge by 5%." — Decent survivability buff, albeit RNG-based.
  • Z: "Double the chance to find a legendary item purchased from Kadala." — For reference, the base chance to gamble a legendary item from Kadala is 10%.
  • Potion AA: "When you drink your health potion, you manifest one of three runic circles on the ground that grant increased damage, increased cooldown reduction, or increased resource cost reduction." — This bonus is identical to the Season 18 theme from a few years ago. When you drink the potion, one of three possible circles spawns on the ground near you (similarly to how Oculus Ring Oculus Ring functions). The purple ring grants the damage increase, the orange ring grants cooldown reduction, and the teal ring grants resource cost reduction. You will (usually) have to reposition in order to make use of it.
  • Potion AB: "When you drink your health potion, all enemies within 25 yards deal 25% less damage." — This bonus manifests itself as a white "splash" around your character, allowing you to gauge the extent of affected enemies. The damage you take from attacks dealt by all affected monsters is reduced by this considerable, percentage-based amount.
  • Potion AC: "When you drink your health potion, gain a random shrine effect." — The consumption of this potion power will net you a helpful Shrine effect: either the increased attack speed of Frenzied, the damage reduction of Blessed, the increased movement speed and pickup radius of Fleeting, or the increased experience from monster kills of Enlightened. Note that unlike the Altar's introduction in Season 28, this power cannot yield the damage multiplication from a Power pylon, or the halved cooldowns and doubled resource gain of the Empowered shrine. The Shrine powers spawned by this potion are still affected by Gloves of Worship Gloves of Worship. Note that Shrine effects are applied to your whole party. Shrine effects do not carry over successive Greater Rift floors.
  • Effect AD: "When a primal item drops, a second random primal item drops as well." — This power unlocks on its own once you fill the entire Altar of Rites. Note that the additional primal drop is not a duplicate (neither in stats, nor item type); it's an entirely different item.

Costs to Unlock a Seal or Legendary Potion Power

In the paragraphs below, we will explore the costs of unlocking each successive Seal or Legendary Potion Power, with advice on obtaining the trickier resources needed for some of the tiers.

  • 1: "10 Reusable Parts Reusable Partss" — These resources come from salvaging Normal (grey-colored) items at the Blacksmith. A shortcut to gain these materials is to take your follower's starter weapons and salvage them!
  • 2: "1 Flawless Diamond Flawless Diamond (or greater), 15 Arcane Dust Arcane Dust, 20 Reusable Parts Reusable Partss" — Flawless is the second lowest form of regular gems, and with the recipe's added leeway of accepting any higher tiered gems, this requirement is quite trivial. The other two resources come from salvaging Magic (blue-colored) and Rare (yellow-colored) items at the Blacksmith. A shortcut to gain these materials is to do 1-2 Boss bounties in any Act at level 18.
  • 3: "1 Greater Rift Key, 10 Death's Breath Death's Breaths" — Greater Rift Keys start dropping from Standard (Nephalem) Rift Guardians when you reach level 70. Death's Breaths start dropping from Elite enemies when you reach level 61+.
  • 4: "Any Class-Specific Set Helm" — To ease the completion of this tier, keep in mind the "Skill of Nilfur" (Set Item Conversion) recipe in Kanai's Cube. At the cost of 10 Death's Breath Death's Breath and 10 Forgotten Soul Forgotten Souls, you can turn any set item into a random piece from the same set, which should yield a set helm fairly quickly.
  • 5: "20 Forgotten Soul Forgotten Souls, 10 Khanduran Rune Khanduran Rune, 10 Caldeum Nightshade Caldeum Nightshade, 10 Arreat War Tapestry Arreat War Tapestry, 10 Corrupted Angel Flesh Corrupted Angel Flesh, 10 Westmarch Holy Water Westmarch Holy Water" — All these materials drop from the Horadric Caches rewarded upon completion of all bounties in a given Act. To get this objective done faster, do the bounties on the highest difficulty you can handle, as the number of resources scales with difficulty. As a reference point, you get 3 materials in Normal-Master, 6 mats in Torments I-VI, 8 in Torments VII-IX, 10 in Torment X, and scale by 2 for each successive difficulty.
  • 6: "1 Leoric's Regret Leoric's Regret, 1 Vial of Putridness Vial of Putridness, 1 Idol of Terror Idol of Terror, 1 Heart of Fright Heart of Fright" — These items drop from Uber Bosses (for more detail, refer to our handy Hellfire Amulet Crafting Guide. Dropping at least one of each material is guaranteed at Torment I difficulty. You cannot initiate Uber fights in lower difficulties.
  • 7: "Reaper's Wraps Reaper's Wraps" — These bracers are craftable at the Blacksmith. The recipe for their creation is obtained from the Act V final boss, Malthael, on any difficulty.
  • 8: "30 Forgotten Soul Forgotten Souls" — These materials are obtained from salvaging Legendary (orange-colored) items at the Blacksmith.
  • 9: "1,100 BloodShards" — These resources are obtained from killing Rift Guardians in Normal (Nephalem) and Greater Rifts, as well as Horadric Caches from completing bounties in a given act.
  • 10: "1 Flawless Royal Ruby Flawless Royal Ruby, 20 Death's Breath Death's Breaths, Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur" — Flawless Royal gems are the highest tier of normal gems in the game, and require finding a recipe for the Jewelcrafter (found randomly, but quite easily, while farming) before their crafting is unlocked. The Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur is found in Horadric Caches from Act I bounties specifically.
  • 11: "1 Flawless Royal Emerald Flawless Royal Emerald, 30 Khanduran Rune Khanduran Rune, 30 Caldeum Nightshade Caldeum Nightshade, 30 Arreat War Tapestry Arreat War Tapestry, 30 Corrupted Angel Flesh Corrupted Angel Flesh, 30 Westmarch Holy Water Westmarch Holy Water" — Same as previous tiers; the gem requires a recipe to be found (as well as a modest investment of Gold and Death's Breath Death's Breaths in the actual crafting of the gem). The materials come from bounty completion.
  • 12: "20 Greater Rift Keys, 1 Ramaladni's Gift Ramaladni's Gift" — The latter is a legendary consumable item that is found randomly from farming. You cannot influence its drop outside of farming on the highest difficulties you can handle quickly and efficiently.
  • 13: "1,300 BloodShards" — Same as Tier 9.
  • 14: "Petrified Scream" — These are legendary consumable items that are found randomly from killing Greater Rift Guardians, with a drop rate of ~5%.
  • 15: "Challenge Rift Cache"IMPORTANT! You can only get one Challenge Rift Cache per week, and a very dedicated, hardcore player can reach this Altar tier within the first weekend of gameplay (or indeed, the first day). If you play extensive hours in the Season launch weekend and are very experienced with Diablo 3 and its metagame, you can save the Challenge Rift Cache on the weekend of the Season's start, and not open it at the start of the Season as usual! For an experienced player, this is a simple setback for your 1-70 leveling process in the grand scheme of things, and the alternative might slow down your Altar progression by 1-2 days. For the vast majority of players however, and especially if prefer more relaxed, non-tryhard gameplay and are fine with waiting on the Monday reset of the Challenge Rift cache, you can open your first weekend Cache as usual and enjoy a tremendous leveling boost.
  • 16: "250 Forgotten Soul Forgotten Souls" — Same as Tier 8.
  • 17: "1,400 BloodShards" — Same as Tier 9.
  • 18: "Ancient Hellfire Amulet of Strength Hellfire Amulet of Strength" — Not just any Hellfire Amulet will do! It needs to be of Ancient quality (stronger version of the base item, golden border around its tooltip). Obtaining this item will likely require multiple Uber runs.
  • 19: "4 Set Dungeon Pages" — For this requirement, you need 4 classic 6-piece sets for a particular class (which exclude the exact sets in S28's Haedrig's Gift). While wearing one of these sets (even a 5-piece will do, coupled with Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur!), go to Act I, Leoric's Manor, and interact with the Tome in the southern chamber. Repeat this process 4 times for each of the sets/pages, and you will be done with this requirement.
  • 20: "Ancient Puzzle Ring Puzzle Ring, 50 Khanduran Rune Khanduran Rune, 50 Caldeum Nightshade Caldeum Nightshade, 50 Arreat War Tapestry Arreat War Tapestry, 50 Corrupted Angel Flesh Corrupted Angel Flesh, 50 Westmarch Holy Water Westmarch Holy Water" — Just like tier 18, the tricky part is the requirement for an Ancient quality item. Puzzle Ring Puzzle Rings are found randomly through farming, and can be upgraded into with the "Hope of Cain" (Upgrade Rare) recipe. If worst comes to worst, you can reroll a standard Puzzle Ring Puzzle Ring with the "Law of Kulle" (Reforge Legendary) recipe, which can yield an Ancient version of the same item at a hefty bounty material cost. For more detail on Kanai's Cube recipes, refer to our handy Kanai's Cube Guide.
  • 21: "500 Death's Breath Death's Breaths, 300 Forgotten Soul Forgotten Souls" — Obtained through straightforward farming and salvaging of items.
  • 22: "1,500 BloodShards" — Same as Tier 9.
  • 23: "Whisper of Atonement Rank 125"Whisper of Atonement legendary gems drop from the completion of Echoing Nightmare events (opened by transmuting the aforementioned Petrified Screams at Kanai's Cube). You get one Whisper of Atonement per completed Echoing Nightmare event. The gem's level equals the maximum wave you reached, up to a maximum of Level 125 (coincidentally, this tier's requirement).
  • 24: "Any Augmented Weapon" — Weapons are augmented at Kanai's Cube, using "Caldesann's Despair" recipe. Note that only Ancient or Primal quality weapons can be augmented, and they will consume a level 30+ legendary gem in the process. For more detail on Kanai's Cube recipes, refer to our handy Kanai's Cube Guide.
  • 25: "Staff of Herding Staff of Herding" — This item is quite tricky to obtain, mostly because it requires the farming of several mid-to-low drop chance crafting materials. Wirt's Bell Wirt's Bell is sold by Squirt the Peddler, a vendor in the Act II Hidden Camp town. The Black Mushroom is picked off the ground in a specific room in Act I, Cathedral lvl 1. Leoric's Shinbone is found in the fireplace of a chamber in Leoric's Manor accessed via Act I, Leoric's Manor Courtyard waypoint. The Liquid Rainbow Liquid Rainbow is found in a Mysterious Chest in The Mysterious Cave found in Act II, the Dahlgur Oasis. And the worst is the Gibbering Gemstone Gibbering Gemstone, which is looted from the monster Chiltara in the Caverns of Frost level 2 in Act III, the Fields of Slaughter. (Starting from Season 30, Chiltara's previously abysmal drop rate has been increased to 20%.) You also need to farm the Act IV boss Izual, who has a chance to drop the crafting plan for the staff, to be taught at the Blacksmith. For more detail on crafting this elusive item, refer to our handy Staff of Herding Guide.
  • 26: "1,600 BloodShards" — Same as Tier 9.
  • Potion 1: "55 Primordial Ashes" — Items of Primal quality (red border) now salvage into 55 of the Primordial Ashes resource. Note that besides this tier, Primordial Ashes can also be used for a crafting recipe in Kanai's Cube.
  • Potion 2: "110 Primordial Ashes" — Same as Potion 1, just more expensive.
  • Potion 3: "165 Primordial Ashes" — Same as Potion 1, just more expensive.


  • 08 Jan. 2024: Guide revised to account of the permanent addition of the Altar of Rites to the game.
  • 22 Feb. 2023: Guide added.
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