Corpse Lance Necromancer Group Progression Variation

Last updated on Sep 13, 2023 at 09:00 by Deadset 40 comments

Pestilence Corpse Lance Group Variation

In groups, the Pestilence Corpse Lance build assumes the role of an elite hunting, Rift Guardian killing menace. Note that this variation of the build is strictly meant to be played with Support teammates and an accompanying AoE DPS player. This variation is no longer the preferred Rift Guardian Killer for groups, but we leave this page up for archival purposes.


Adapting Skills

Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Grim Scythe Icon Grim Scythe Cursed Scythe Cursed Scythe Right Mouse Button Command Skeletons Icon Command Skeletons Enforcer Enforcer 1 Devour Icon Devour Voracious Voracious 2 Corpse Lance Icon Corpse Lance Brittle Touch Brittle Touch 3 Blood Rush Icon Blood Rush Potency Potency 4 Land of the Dead Icon Land of the Dead Frozen Lands Frozen Lands
Passive Skills

In this group variant you will be scaling off Curse application instead of the solo progression's Essence scaling. Thus, you should drop Simulacrum Simulacrum from the soloing build, and use Grim Scythe Grim Scythe Cursed Scythe Cursed Scythe in its stead. This alteration will allow you to more easily stack Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken, while simultaneously enjoying the benefits of the base effects of all three curses: Decrepify Decrepify, Leech Leech and Frailty Frailty.

Since you will not need the sustain from Dark Mending Dark Mending due to the presence of Support teammates, you should alter your Command Skeletons Command Skeletons rune to the cheaper Enforcer Enforcer. The same logic applies to your Blood Rush Blood Rush rune; you will no longer need the emergency Corpses of Molting Molting, so you can alter to the added safety of Potency Potency.

Final Service Final Service and Blood is Power Blood is Power remain just as useful as they are for soloing Lance builds. Swift Harvesting Swift Harvesting should replace the solo-oriented Fueled by Death Fueled by Death, as faster Grim Scythe Grim Scythe attacks will stack Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken faster. Since you alter your damage scaling from Essence-based to Curse-based, will should alternate Overwhelming Essence Overwhelming Essence from the soloing build into Eternal Torment Eternal Torment, turning your 30 second curses into an indefinite debuff on affected enemies.


Adapting Gear

Taking the easily stacking Crit Chance of the Brittle Touch Brittle Touch rune one step further from the following spec, the group variation eschews all Crit Chance from gear in favor of full investement in Crit Damage, Cooldown Reduction and Increased Attack Speed.

Slot Pieces Stat Priority
  1. Intelligence
  2. Socket
  3. Vitality
  4. Life %
  1. Intelligence
  2. Corpse Lance %
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Vitality
  1. Intelligence
  2. 3 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. Corpse Lance %
  5. Armor
  1. Intelligence
  2. Cold Damage
  3. Vitality
  4. Armor
  1. Intelligence
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Increased Attack Speed
  5. Vitality
  1. Intelligence
  2. Vitality
  3. Armor
  4. Life %
  1. Intelligence
  2. 2 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. Armor
  1. Intelligence
  2. Vitality
  3. Armor
  4. All Resistance
  5. Movement Speed
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Cold Damage
  4. Attack Speed
  5. Intelligence
Ring #1
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Average Damage
  5. Increased Attack Speed
Ring #2
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Average Damage
  5. Increased Attack Speed
  1. High Damage Range
  2. Intelligence
  3. Socket (preferably from Ramaladni's Gift Ramaladni's Gift)
  4. Cooldown Reduction
  5. Max Essence (Secondary Stat)
  6. % Weapon Damage
  1. Intelligence
  2. Cooldown Reduction
  3. Max Essence (Secondary Stat)
  4. Increased Damage vs. Elites

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 Guardian's Aversion (Wrists), Guardian's Case Guardian's Case (Waist), and Guardian's Gaze 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 Ring of Royal Grandeur (found from Act I bounty caches).
  • Endless Walk:This is a jewelry set consisting of The Traveler's Pledge The Traveler's Pledge (Amulet) and The Compass Rose 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 Focus and Restraint Restraint) and Squirt's Necklace Squirt's Necklace with acceptable losses to DPS.
  • Unity Unity: A character wearing this ring, along with another Unity Unity on their follower plus an immortality relic for them (i.e., Enchanting Favor Enchanting Favor), will reduce their damage taken by 50%. Unity Unity can roll excellent offense-oriented stats and has an innate Extra Damage to Elites roll, which somewhat offsets losing all-out offense jewelry.

Adapting Gemming

Relying entirely on Support teammates for his health sustain, the group variant of the Pestilence Lancer spec uses Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken in place of Gogok of Swiftness Gogok of Swiftness. The former is a staple for builds that specialize in taking down the Rift Guardian in groups, which is your exact role in this setup.

Slot Gems
Torso and Pants

For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.


Adapting Kanai's Cube

You will introduce Curse-based damage amplification via Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang, as well as maintain Corpsewhisper Pauldrons Corpsewhisper Pauldrons as a Corpse Lance Corpse Lance-dedicated legendary, and a Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur to tie the bonuses of Pestilence and Cpt. Crimson sets together.


Legendary Potion

Your recommended potion is Bottomless Potion of the Tower Bottomless Potion of the Tower, whose Armor-increasing properties complement the naturally high All Resistances stat of Necromancers (due to Intelligence scaling Resistances) for optimal survivability.



  • 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 potion recommendation.
  • 19 Nov. 2020: Revision of item, skill, and passive recommendations, alongside advice for Season 22 changes.
  • 02 Jul. 2020: Retiring this variation of the build.
  • 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.
  • 26 Nov. 2017: Added the group progression variant.
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