Corpse Lance Necromancer BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your Corpse Lance Necromancer in Diablo 3 and why. We also list your paragon points and Kanai's Cube items. Updated for Patch 2.7.6 and Season 29.
Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
The build incorporates the complete Pestilence Master's Shroud set bonuses, taking five of the six available Pestilence set pieces, and then adding two pieces of the craftable Captain Crimson's Trimmings set — Captain Crimson's Silk Girdle and one more of your choosing, according to your weakest Pestilence set roll (either Captain Crimson's Thrust or Captain Crimson's Waders). This set provides CDR as well as RCR bonuses, and then scales your damage dealt and damage reduced according to both stats, respectively — bringing a massive boon to the build. You will attain the complete set bonuses of this two-set amalgamation via Ring of Royal Grandeur in the Cube. Rolls-wise, this is a Corpse Lance and Cooldown-centric build, making good use of both rolls across gear. Corpse Lance % damage is a possible roll on Pestilence Robe and Pestilence Defense, and Cooldown Reduction — on the Pestilence Defense and Pestilence Gloves. The remainder of your set armor slots ( Pestilence Mask, Pestilence Incantations and Pestilence Battle Boots) can be dedicated entirely to toughness rolls. While Crit stats that are fixed on your gear due to circumstance are not necessarily lost (they still augment your initial burst as you stack), their value is greatly diminished.
When talking about Corpse Lance builds, the topic of balancing Attack Speed and Cooldown Reduction cannot be ignored. For the sake of simplicity, you will be trying to strike a good balance between the two stats, one that will lead to the highest Land of the Dead uptime (affected by CDR) to Corpses consumed for Lance shots (affected by IAS) ratio. A split with proven top tier results is reaching the 65%+ CDR breakpoint (with Cpt. Crimson bonuses factored in) and then picking the highest possible IAS range possible with your gear between (1.5 to 1.71), (1.72 to 2.0), and (2.0 to 2.4). Note that while a Trag'Oul build has to be a lot more careful with that balance in order not to sacrifice too many other valuable stats (Crit and Elemental DPS), a Pestilence build can sacrifice many (if not all) Crit Chance rolls due to the Brittle Touch stacking mechanic. The rune is able to take you to the Crit Chance cap in mere seconds.
The cubed RoRG leaves space for a potent combo in the jewelry: Convention of Elements and Krysbin's Sentence. Convention of Elements will provide a massive damage increase during the Cold cycle of its rotation, with an improved uptime compared to other classes due to the Necromancer's three element rotation. Krysbin's Sentence is a Necromancer-specific item that amplifies damage as long as you have a hard crowd control active; it is a major driving force behind the inclusion of Land of the Dead Frozen Lands. Finish off the jewelry with Squirt's Necklace; rewarding high-range and evasive builds that demolish their enemies from afar, this legendary piece greatly amplifies both damage dealt and damage taken.
The build has no particular bracer to occupy the wrist slot, so you can use the additive damage increase from Strongarm Bracers; note that you have to roll Chance to Knockback in their secondary stats, as you have no other feasible way of proccing their bonus. The previous favorite for the slot, Nemesis Bracers, are still useful to the build — but can now be equipped on the follower and their power transferred to you via the Emanate mechanic.
The preferred weapon and offhand combination for the build is the Jesseth set, Jesseth Skullscythe and Jesseth Skullshield. The set's revised powers now amplify your overall damage while Command Skeletons are attacking a target. Note the ability of Jesseth Skullscythe to roll a bonus to maximum Essence in its secondary stats, and strive to obtain it to gain the most from Reilena's Shadowhook.
* — Crit Chance is denoted with "lower priority" due to Brittle Touch stacking. Read gearing section above.
To help you with farming the gear you need for your builds, we have two very useful guides that you can access by clicking the links below: a Salvage Guide to help you quickly check whether or not you can safely salvage a piece of gear and a Legendary Farming Guide to help you efficiently farm legendaries and set items.
Season 29: Paragon Cap
Season 29 introduces a season-specific cap to stat benefits from Paragon levels, all while updating how Paragon point distribution is handled. For the duration of this Season, you can only assign 800 Paragon stat points to your character, removing the long-standing practice of main-stat stacking (with some gearing implications — see below) after you reach Paragon 800.
On top of that, you could only allocate 50 Paragon stat points to each of the four stats in a given Paragon category (Core, Offense, Defense, and Utility). In Season 29, you can allocate up to the full 200 points per category into any attribute, allowing you to more easily reach necessary build breakpoints (as outlined in the Gear page of the guide) for Cooldown Reduction, Resource Cost Reduction, etc.
With the changes to Paragon in mind, we recommend using the following Paragon distribution for this build:
- Core: Max Essence: 200 points.
- Offense: Critical Hit Chance and Critical Hit Damage: Allocate points so they are as close to the desirable 1:10 ratio between the two stats, as displayed in your Character Details sheet. For weapon-and-offhand builds, this is usually achieved with the full 200 points spent into Critical Hit Damage.
- Defense: Life and All Resistance: Allocate points to maximize survivability; for Necromancers, this is usually achieved by evenly splitting 100 points into Life (directly increasing your Health pool) and Armor (to complement the naturally high All Resistance stat of Intelligence-based characters).
- Utility: Area Damage: 200 points.
Season 29: Gearing Considerations
In terms of gear, keeping the Paragon cap in mind is paramount, as it stymies the traditional endless supply of main stat after Paragon 800. This means re-rolling mainstat off your gear is no longer desirable, and full equipment augmentation with your main stat is even more critical. Additionally, you should take a careful look at your build and consider if you can fit the following changes to strengthen your damage and survivability:
- Guardian's Jeopardy: This is a craftable armor set, and the recipe for its creation drops from Bounty farming. Guardian's 2-piece provides a decent damage reduction bonus, but the true powerhouse of the set is the 3-piece bonus, which nets you an additional 100% of your main stats from equipped items. This is a tremendous benefit in an 800 Paragon capped Season. If the Guardian set can fit into the build with minimal sacrifices (other craftable sets, tertiary damage multipliers, etc.), consider its implementation. The available pieces are Guardian's Aversion (Wrists), Guardian's Case (Waist), and Guardian's Gaze (Head). Of course, you can wear 2 pieces of the set and complete the full 3-piece bonus with a Ring of Royal Grandeur (found from Act I bounty caches).
- Endless Walk:This is a jewelry set consisting of The Traveler's Pledge (Amulet) and The Compass Rose (Ring), and is randomly found through farming, gambling Blood Shards, and/or Kanai's Cube recipes. The Endless Walk set is a nice compromise between damage bonuses (building up while stationary) and defensive bonuses (building up while moving). It can replace glass cannon choices like the Bastions of Will set ( Focus and Restraint) and Squirt's Necklace with acceptable losses to DPS.
- Unity: A character wearing this ring, along with another Unity on their follower plus an immortality relic for them (i.e., Enchanting Favor), will reduce their damage taken by 50%. Unity can roll excellent offense-oriented stats and has an innate Extra Damage to Elites roll, which somewhat offsets losing all-out offense jewelry.
Gogok of Swiftness indirectly provides you with more damage and survivability by increasing Cooldown Reduction for Land of the Dead, Attack Speed for faster Corpse Lance output, as well as scaling Dodge chance.
Bane of the Trapped is a potent source of additional damage, as it is its own multiplier in your total damage calculation. You will be proccing this gem whenever the Frozen Lands stun is up (your major damage burst cycle).
Zei's Stone of Vengeance is another independent multiplier, whose range-dependent amplification can be easily maxed out by the long reach of Corpse Lance. The level 25 property will add some minor control and safety to the build, as well as another proc for Bane of the Trapped.
|Torso and Pants|
For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.
Your weapon slot in Kanai's Cube should be taken by the two-handed scythe Reilena's Shadowhook, whose power scales your damage multiplicatively based on your maximum Essence. This places a strong emphasis on expanding your resource pool via Simulacrum Reservoir and Overwhelming Essence, maxing resource in Paragons and attaining a high max Essence in the weapon and offhand's secondary stats.
With the strong emphasis on Corpse Lance damage, it is only natural to include Corpsewhisper Pauldrons in the armor Cube slot. These shoulders scale Corpse Lance damage per Corpse consumed, a bonus you easily max out during Land of the Dead.
In the Pestilence / Captain Crimson mixture, you will need a Ring of Royal Grandeur: a cache legendary ring from Act I bounties, to tie the two sets together. The ability to run with one full 6-piece set bonus and an additional 3-piece bonus, dodging the undesirable guaranteed stats on the Grandeur by cubing its power, is a tremendous boost to the build.
The Kanai's Cube can be used for much more than simply extracting Legendary powers from items. Please refer to our Kanai's Cube guide for more information.
The recommended follower for this build during solo GR progression is the Enchantress, due to her increased attack speed bonuses (helpful for the attack speed breakpoint-reliant methods of dealing damage in this build) via Focused Mind, as well as the cooldown reduction bonus from Prophetic Harmony and damage reduction from Powered Shield.
For more information regarding followers, we advise you to read our Follower Guide, which contains detailed advice for choosing the skills and the gear of your follower.
Your recommended potion is Bottomless Potion of the Unfettered, which renders you immune to Crowd Control effects for a brief time after consuming it — valuable bonus to a build that lacks means to break away from CC outside of straight up evasion via Blood Rush.
- 13 Sep. 2023: Added Season 29 Paragon Cap and Gearing recommendations.
- 22 Feb. 2023: Added Season 28 Altar of Rites recommendations.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Added Season 27 Angelic Crucible recommendations.
- 14 Apr. 2022: Guide reviewed for Season 26.
- 08 Dec. 2021: Added Season 25 Soul Shard recommendations.
- 22 Jul. 2021: Added S24 Ethereal recommendation.
- 01 Apr. 2021: Added follower recommendation.
- 19 Nov. 2020: Added 4th Cube slot recommendation for Season 22.
- 02 Jul. 2020: Guide was revised with respect to the changes to the Jesseth set in Season 21.
- 12 Mar. 2020: No changes necessary for Season 20.
- 22 Nov. 2019: Reviewed for Season 19.
- 23 Aug. 2019: Reviewed and approved for Season 18.
- 12 May 2019: Guide was reviewed and approved for Season 17.
- 18 Jan. 2019: Added suggestions for the baseline Ring of Royal Grandeur for Seasonal characters.
- 26 Nov. 2017: Expanded the gearing explanations to clarify proper item rolls.
- 27 Oct. 2017: The Pestilence set is now the main setup (and Trag'Oul is a variation).
- 12 Jul. 2017: Guide updated to reflect the meta shift to Simulacrum.
- 07 Jul. 2017: Gear recommendations updated.
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