Corpse Lance Necromancer Group Progression Variation

Last updated on Apr 10, 2024 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.


Altar of Rites

The former Season 28 theme, the Altar of Rites, has been revised and re-added to Diablo 3 as a permanent character progression mechanic. — For virtually all builds and players of all skill levels — from casual to advanced — we recommend progressing through the Altar tree using the path outlined below. 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.

Note that while they require reaching them with a Seal, Legendary Potion Powers are not part of the Seal cost system; Potions unlock with a separate resource called Primordial Ashes, obtained from salvaging Legendary or Set items of Primal (red bordered) quality. Upgrade them as soon as possible, and in the order shown below (courtesy of Caleko's Altar of Rites planner).

Altar of Rites Planner

You can read more on the Altar of Rites, Seals and Legendary Potion Powers in our dedicated Altar of Rites Mechanics guide.


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.



  • 10 Apr. 2024: Guide reviewed for Season 31.
  • 10 Jan. 2024: Revised guide for the permanent addition of the Altar of Rites, and added Season-specific Soul Shard recommendations.
  • 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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