LoD Corpse Explosion Necromancer Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing LoD Corpse Explosion Necromancer in Diablo 3. Updated for patch 2.6.10 and Season 22.
|Grim Scythe Cursed Scythe Blood Rush Potency 1 Land of the Dead Frozen Lands 2 Siphon Blood Power Shift 3 Corpse Explosion Close Quarters 4 Bone Armor Dislocation|
This build thrives in density and works best when you hunt down elites and organize fights around them, clumping up as many enemies around them as you possibly can before executing your burst. Your first task on any given rift level is to scout around with Blood Rush, gathering monster aggro as you go, and finding priority targets — elites and champions — to start an actual fight with. Once you do, start your Poison stacking rotation for the Nayr's Black Death buff — starting out with Bone Armor, cursing the enemy with a swing of Grim Scythe, and finally using Siphon Blood just as the Physical rotation of Convention of Elements is about to run out to trigger the effects of the worn Mantle of Channeling. At the start of the Poison rotation, activate Land of the Dead and demolish everything around you with Corpse Explosion. You can finish off any stragglers using any remaining nearby Corpses and the empowered post-LotD Corpse Explosions due to The Johnstone effect. After that, scout around some more, rinse and repeat.
Skills and Runes
Corpse Explosion is the primary damage dealer of the build; it emits a powerful AoE explosion around a targeted area at the expense of consuming a Corpse — a precious resource generated from fallen enemies and hard-to-achieve passive means (discussed below). To take advantage of the poisonous synergies of Nayr's Black Death, you will conveniently use the strongest, melee range Close Quarters rune, which you further amplify with the dedicated Grasps of Essence legendary and the skill-agnostic Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang.
Land of the Dead will grant you the single most important source of Corpses in the build during GR progression, as you gain unlimited use of your Corpse-related skills during its uptime, in turn allowing you massive spam of Corpse Explosion and producing the build's signature burst. The recommended rune is Frozen Lands, as it grants reliable crowd control — useful both for your survivability, as well as proccing the full bonus of Krysbin's Sentence. As stated before, use this just as your Poison Convention of Elements cycle comes up for maximum devastation. Note that in group play, the rune should be swapped out for Plaguelands for the extra stack of Nayr's Black Death.
You will be using a duo of primary skills in the build, and unlike its sister Poison Scythe build, this time both of them are used simply for utility and the invaluable stacks of Nayr's Black Death. Siphon Blood Power Shift is taken as a twofold power amplifier, as it both brings a Nayr stack and also triggers the effects of Mantle of Channeling; always use Siphon Blood just prior to your Land of the Dead and subsequent Corpse Explosion devastation. It can also bring a nice Blood Nova proc if you choose to wear an Iron Rose. and should simply be channeled for a second to refresh its duration. Grim Scythe Cursed Scythe is one of the most utility-loaded skills in the Necromancer arsenal. By default, it has a chance to apply the base effect of all three curses — Decrepify, Leech and Frailty — without the need to slot them on your bar. This primary gets boosted further by the worn Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang, ensuring the curse application and amplifying damage against affected targets.
In a LoD build, Bone Armor simply acts as a damage reduction buffer, easily maximized in densely packed rifts. The more important half of the skill comes from the chosen rune, Dislocation — its 2-second stun will provide a moment of respite in the thick of battle, as well as an additional source of Nayr's Black Death, Krysbin's Sentence and Ancient Parthan Defenders (in the group version of the build) procs.
Last but not least, Blood Rush brings mobility to the build — which is vital, since you spend the vast majority of your time in the rift drawing monster attention, evading dangerous affixes and projectiles, and building up the next clump to unleash your cooldowns on. You have some freedom in your rune choice; the default recommendation is the extra defense of Potency, but you can also opt for the double charges of Metabolism, or Molting for the extra Corpse. Note that in group play, this slot will be swapped out for Death Nova Blight for the extra stack of Nayr's Black Death.
This concludes the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.
Blood is Power is the Necromancer's take on passives such as Evocation and Beacon of Ytar—along with the significant drawback of needing to lose your health reserve equivalent to trigger it. Since it counts off pre-mitigation values however, this passive will trigger from the very flow of gameplay (constant, high damage hits) in any meaningful Greater Rift progression difficulty. With an overarching goal of reducing Land of the Dead downtime, Blood is Power finds a deserving place in your passive selection.
Two interconnected passives — Eternal Torment and Spreading Malediction — will work off each other, with the former making curses applied by Cursed Scythe last indefinitely, and the latter — increasing your damage for each afflicted enemy with no apparent cap.
Lastly, since this spec falls into the category of zero minions builds, you can make full use of the Stand Alone passive and its massive Armor bonuses.
Season 22 Modification
Due to the 4th Kanai's Cube slot in Season 22 and the ability to include an extra damage multiplier in the form of Reilena's Shadowhook, you will focus on expanding your Essence reserve alongside the usual recommendations for this build. Skill-wise, this means changing the base recommendation for the passive Eternal Torment for Overwhelming Essence.
- 19 Nov. 2020: Passives changed to accommodate S22-specific changes.
- 02 Jul. 2020: Guide added.
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