LoD Corpse Explosion Necromancer BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points

Last updated on Jan 10, 2024 at 09:00 by Deadset 25 comments

Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your LoD Corpse Explosion Necromancer in Diablo 3 and why. We also list your paragon points and Kanai's Cube items. Updated for Patch 2.7.7 and Season 30.


Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives

This Corpse Explosion Necromancer build is based on the Legacy of Dreams power, which offers significant flexibility when it comes to item choice. Stat-wise, focus on pieces where Corpse Explosion skill damage is a possible roll — shoulders, chest and phylactery, as well as spreading Crit-based stats, Cooldown Reduction and especially Area Damage wherever possible.

The Legacy of Dreams power allows you to run any legendary item combination while not losing out on the damage amplification and reduction associated with the traditional 6-piece sets. You can obtain this power in two ways; the older way is equipping the two rings — The Wailing Host The Wailing Host and Litany of the Undaunted Litany of the Undaunted — as your only active set bonus. The newer (and more powerful, since it also opens your ring slots for legendary jewelry) method is the Legacy of Dreams Legacy of Dreams legendary gem.

In a setup with Legacy of Dreams Legacy of Dreams, your jewelry will be dedicated to the DPS staples Convention of Elements Convention of Elements and Krysbin's Sentence Krysbin's Sentence. Convention of Elements Convention of Elements will provide a massive damage increase during the Poison cycle of its rotation, with an improved uptime compared to other classes, due to the Necromancer's three element rotation. Krysbin's Sentence Krysbin's Sentence is a Necromancer-specific item that amplifies damage as long as your enemies are afflicted by a crowd control effect (ideally hard CC for the maximum damage multiplication).

Rounding out the jewelry, you have two viable rounds when it comes to the amulet. When starting out with the build, it is recommended that you equip The Johnstone The Johnstone, a legendary Necromancer piece that grants you 50 buffed uses of Corpse Explosion Corpse Explosion once Land of the Dead Land of the Dead expires, or in other words — greatly extends your burst period and allows you to finish off fights effectively. Having this amulet equipped allows you to run Unity Unity in the cube for additional protection, but once you get used to the build, it is advisable to cube The Johnstone The Johnstone and equip Squirt's Necklace Squirt's Necklace instead. The latter's additional damage multiplier will result in the strongest possible version of the build.

Three damage increasing legendaries will be equipped to elevate the burst potential of this build.

  • You will be wearing Grasps of Essence Grasps of Essence simply for the massive damage increase it brings to the focal point of this build — Corpse Explosion Corpse Explosion. Note that this slot is theoretically interchangeable with Stone Gauntlets Stone Gauntlets, depending on your better rolled item.
  • Blackthorne's Jousting Mail Blackthorne's Jousting Mail provide an elemental damage increase, which is fairly unique for the slot — as long as it does not form its set bonus with another Blackthorne item, thus breaking the LoD bonus, this will be your best-in-slot item.
  • For your shoulders, Razeth's Volition Razeth's Volition grants you 50% damage reduction while your Essence is not full, balancing the downsides of Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass.

The second equipment trio consists of utility legendaries, which help you in various ways throughout the rift clear.

  • Krelm's Buff Bracers Krelm's Buff Bracers will render you immune to Knockbacks and Stuns, which is a great boon to a build that struggles with hard CCs.
  • Ice Climbers Ice Climbers provide protection against Freeze and Immobilization effects, which not only comes in handy against aggravating CC elite affixes, but also the effects of your own worn Stone Gauntlets Stone Gauntlets.
  • Your best-in-slot helmet is the Leoric's Crown Leoric's Crown, which has the potential to double the potency of the gem socketed in it. Naturally, in a cooldown-reliant build such as this one, cutting the downtime of Land of the Dead Land of the Dead with a Flawless Royal Diamond Flawless Royal Diamond is the way to go. Note that with high enough cooldown reduction to hit the desired LotD cycles (described below), you can alternate this slot to a Poison damage Andariel's Visage Andariel's Visage.

The remainder of your armor pieces is dedicated entirely to protection.

  • Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass is a staple defensive piece which reduces incoming damage by half, as long as you remain near your resource cap; this is kept up relatively easily with the use of Grim Scythe Grim Scythe.
  • Dayntee's Binding Dayntee's Binding is the solitary Necromancer-specific belt, which compensates its lack of flashy offensive powers with a mighty defensive bulwark — 50% extra damage reduction as long as there is an enemy afflicted by your curses.

Your weapon and offhand best-in-slots are locked down by the necessities of the build. Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang is a dedicated Grim Scythe Grim Scythe Cursed Scythe Cursed Scythe legendary item that guarantees the curse application of your primary attack, and greatly amplifies your damage against afflicted targets. There is no particular offhand that you absolutely need to wear — any high damage range phylactery with the appropriate stats will do.


Alterations for Group Pushing

The build requires only minor alterations and can pretty much be taken as-is in high GR group pushing attempts as the Trash Killer role. You simply need to:


Desired Stats, Breakpoints and Other Notes

For Offense stats, try to obtain Corpse Explosion % bonus on the shoulders, chest and phylactery (maximum of 45%), Poison elemental damage on the amulet, pants and wrists (maximum of 60%) and Crit Chance and Crit Damage within a 1:10 ratio (ideally over 50% and 500%, respectively). This build invests heavily into Area Damage, prioritizing it in Paragons and obtaining it on pretty much any gear piece that can roll the stat sans the amulet. This should result in at least 130%+ AD with a decently equipped character. Cooldown Reduction is a massive focus in this build, with a breakpoint of 53% CDR for the 48 second cycle of Land of the Dead Land of the Dead (burst on every 4th Convention of Elements Convention of Elements Poison cycle). At 61%+ CDR (with Gogok of Swiftness Gogok of Swiftness), you will be able to reach a 36 second cycle (burst every 3rd Convention of Elements Convention of Elements Poison cycle). The former breakpoint gives you more time to form pulls and frees up space for Area Damage stats, while the latter offers more straight burst.

Attack Speed improves the frames per animation spent on Corpse Explosion Corpse Explosion, allowing you to fit more The Johnstone The Johnstone-empowered detonations while inside the effects of the Poison CoE cycle (240 frames). The highest reasonable breakpoint you can aim for in this build is 1.71 (IAS on weapon and Krysbin, Paragons and Enchantress IAS buff). This will get you to ~7 Corpse Explosion Corpse Explosions empowered by The Johnstone The Johnstone while the Poison cycle is still active.

It should be noted that competitive results are more than achievable without focus on increasing Attack Speed at all. This is simply an endgame consideration to keep in mind.

For Defense stats, aim for a life pool of about 700-800k; dropping as much as you can for offense as you grow accustomed to the build.

All augmentations on gear should be done with your main stat, Intelligence.

Note that the stat suggestions below portray an ideally rolled item with stats listed in relative order of importance. The first four of them are main stats, and the latter two — secondary stats. If your item lacks and is unable to be rerolled into the primary stats outlined below, especially for a stat higher on the list, strongly consider its replacement. Perfecting Secondary stats is mostly a case of hyper-optimization and is not a case for discarding an item, except where noted.

Slot Pieces Stat Priority
  1. Intelligence
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Vitality
  4. Pickup Radius (Secondary Stat)
  1. Intelligence
  2. Corpse Explosion %
  3. Area Damage
  4. Cooldown Reduction
  5. Health Globe Healing Bonus (Secondary Stat)
  1. Intelligence
  2. 3 Sockets
  3. Corpse Explosion %
  4. Armor
  5. Melee or Missile Damage Reduction (Secondary Stat)
  1. Intelligence
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Poison Damage %
  4. Vitality
  5. Melee or Missile Damage Reduction (Secondary Stat)
  1. Critical Hit Damage
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Area Damage
  4. Intelligence (or Cooldown Reduction at high Paragon)
  5. Physical or Lightning Resistance (Secondary Stat)
  1. Intelligence
  2. Vitality
  3. Armor
  4. Life %
  5. Freeze on Hit % (Secondary Stat)
  1. Intelligence
  2. 2 Sockets
  3. Poison Damage %
  4. Armor
  5. Life per Kill (Secondary Stat)
  6. Pickup Radius (Secondary Stat)
  1. Intelligence
  2. Vitality
  3. Armor
  4. All Resistance
  5. Health Globe Healing Bonus (Secondary Stat)
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Poison Damage %
  5. Cooldown Reduction
Ring #1
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Area Damage or Cooldown Reduction
Ring #2
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Area Damage or Cooldown Reduction
  1. High Damage Range
  2. Intelligence
  3. Socket (preferably from Ramaladni's Gift Ramaladni's Gift)
  4. Area Damage
  5. Cooldown Reduction
  6. Life per Kill (Secondary Stat)
  1. High Damage Range
  2. Intelligence
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Corpse Explosion %
  5. Area Damage
  6. Cooldown Reduction

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.


Paragon Points

In the Core section, max out Movement Speed to the 25% cap. Normally, this is done by dumping the first 50 Core Paragon points into Movement Speed, but if your boots have an imperfect roll with Movement Speed as a stat that you cannot replace, adjust the necessary point investment accordingly by simply subtracting your roll from the 25% max. After that, dump as much as you comfortably can into Intelligence, but feel free to invest into Vitality if you feel yourself lacking in toughness. Investing points into Maximum Essence is not necessary in this build.

In the Offense section, max out Crit Chance, Crit Damage, CDR and Attack Speed in that order. In Defense, prioritize Armor, then Life %, then All Resistance, and finish off with Life Regeneration. In Utility, build up Area Damage and Life on Hit first, then finish off with Resource Cost Reduction and Globe Radius.

Slot Paragon Points
  1. Movement Speed up to 25% cap
  2. Intelligence
  3. Vitality (up to personal preference)
  4. Maximum Essence
  1. Critical Hit Damage
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Attack Speed
  1. Armor
  2. Life %
  3. All Resistance
  4. Life Regeneration
  1. Area Damage
  2. Life on Hit
  3. Resource Cost Reduction
  4. Globe Radius


Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped is a potent source of additional damage, as it is its own multiplier in your total damage calculation.

Introduced in Season 4, Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken occupies a firm spot in your jewelry sockets during GR progression. Building up your damage multiplicatively in prolonged fights and with a level 25 bonus specifically targeting Rift Guardians, this gem is tremendously helpful for AoE-oriented builds such as this one.

Your final slot is best occupied by the Legacy of Dreams Legacy of Dreams legendary gem, which provides a scaling bonus for each legendary item equipped, as long as you have no set bonuses equipped. This bonus is multiplied for Ancient or Primal quality items, and when the gem is maxed out, it matches the Legacy of Nightmares (The Wailing Host The Wailing Host and Litany of the Undaunted Litany of the Undaunted rings) set bonus. This potent bonus allows you to play around with all your gear slots for synergistic legendary powers at the cost of a jewelry socket.

When it comes to gear gems, you will start out progression by slotting the highest available level of Topazes in the chest and pants sockets. Ideally, these will all be Flawless Royal Topaz Flawless Royal Topazes as soon as possible. As you grow in Paragon (bulking up Intelligence in the Core section) and aim for higher tier and more dangerous GRs, you will transition those gems into the defensive Flawless Royal Ruby Flawless Royal Ruby, scaling the lacking Armor of an Intelligence-based character (Intelligence scales Resistances). There is no specific breakpoint where you do that; the rule of thumb is to make the change as soon as you feel the lack of toughness impede your progress. Since this is a highly cooldown-dependent build, slot a Flawless Royal Diamond Flawless Royal Diamond in your helm. In your weapon, use a Flawless Royal Emerald Flawless Royal Emerald for the Crit Damage boost.


Season 30 Soul Shards

In Season 30, your helm and weapon sockets will be taken over by the supremely powerful Soul Shards. For this variant, we recommend the following:

  • HelmSliver of Terror with "Your Attack Speed and Critical Hit Chance are increased by 5% for each skill on cooldown" as its Rank 3 power. For optimization benefits, aim for Intelligence or Melee/Ranged Damage Reduction on its Rank 2 roll.
  • WeaponEssence of Anguish with "When you deal Poison damage to an enemy, they receive 50% increased Poison damage from all sources for 10 seconds" as its Rank 3 power. For optimization benefits, aim for Poison Skills % Increase or Weapon Damage Increase on its Rank 2 roll.
Slot Gems
Torso and Pants

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


Kanai's Cube

Your weapon Cube slot should be taken by the two-handed scythe Nayr's Black Death Nayr's Black Death, whose power scales your damage multiplicatively based on the number of Poison skills you use. With your entire skillset built around amplifying this bonus, you will be taking full advantage of this boost.

Stone Gauntlets Stone Gauntlets are one of the most effective protective pieces in the game, bumping your armor by 50% at a significant (and stacking) mobility penalty — one which you will completely negate with the immobilization immunity of Ice Climbers Ice Climbers. Another notable thing is that this slot is interchangeable with Grasps of Essence Grasps of Essence depending on your worse rolled item.

As discussed in the gearing section above, when starting out with this build we advise you to equip Unity Unity in this slot. When paired with a Unity Unity equipped on the follower, along with an immortality relic for them (i.e. Enchanting Favor Enchanting Favor), it will cut incoming damage in half and provide you with a much more relaxed playstyle. When you feel ready, transfer The Johnstone The Johnstone here and equip Squirt's Necklace Squirt's Necklace (or vice versa, depending on your item rolls) to unleash the full damage potential of this 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 cooldown reduction buff from Prophetic Harmony Prophetic Harmony, as well as the Focused Mind Focused Mind attack speed buff.

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.


Legendary Potion

The preferred potions for this build are Bottomless Potion of Kulle-Aid Bottomless Potion of Kulle-Aid (allowing you to break down Waller affixes that impede your positioning) and Bottomless Potion of the Tower Bottomless Potion of the Tower (whose Armor-increasing properties complement the naturally high All Resistances stat of Necromancers). Pick whichever you feel helps you out the most.



  • 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.
  • 01 Feb. 2022: Altered the helm and off-hand recommendations to better fit the S25 meta.
  • 08 Dec. 2021: Minor gear and skill revision; added Season 25 Soul Shard recommendations.
  • 22 Jul. 2021: Added S24 Ethereal recommendation.
  • 01 Apr. 2021: Minor gear adjustments and added a follower recommendation.
  • 19 Nov. 2020: Added S22 Cube recommendation.
  • 02 Jul. 2020: Guide added.
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