LoD Corpse Lance Necromancer BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your LoD Corpse Lance Necromancer in Diablo 3 and why. We also list your paragon points and Kanai's Cube items. Updated for patch 2.6.9 and Season 21.
Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
As this is a Legacy of Dreams setup, you have considerable freedom in picking out your gear slots. As a rule of thumb, focus on Corpse Lance skill damage increases across gear and Cooldown Reduction, and remember the setup's requirements for ancient items, as well as their restriction on other set bonuses. You can run individual set pieces with beneficial stats, as long as they do not form any set bonus. As a final note, due to the build's use of Brittle Touch on Corpse Lance (see this build's skills page for more information), you can drop your Crit Chance rolls significantly across gear, especially as you reach higher attack speed breakpoints. For quick reference, your baseline Attack Speed recommendation for solo pushing is 1.72 in your sheet, attainable from Paragon points, a max attack speed roll on the weapon and a single other max attack speed roll on gear.
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 50% CDR breakpoint (prior to Borrowed Time application) 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). Always keep in mind that due to the Brittle Touch Crit Chance stacking mechanic, you will be taken to the Crit Chance cap in mere seconds.
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 and 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 legendary gem.
In a setup with Legacy of Dreams, you will be wearing a Cold damage Stone of Jordan and wearing your better ring between Convention of Elements and Krysbin's Sentence, while cubing the other. 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. Finally, the Stone of Jordan provides a smattering of both elemental and elite damage, for a decent overall damage increase.
Rounding out the jewelry, your best-in-slot is a class-specific amulet: The Johnstone, whose unique property briefly extends your damage dealing capabilities even when Land of the Dead expires, allowing you to finish off valuable stragglers after a massive pull.
Two powerful options are present in your helm slot. You can opt to boost your damage directly (as well as scale your Attack Speed with the innate roll on the item, and reach a breakpoint more easily) with a Cold damage Andariel's Visage. Alternatively, you can lower your massive and vital cooldowns with a Leoric's Crown, gemmed with a Flawless Royal Diamond for CDR. Both options are seen as viable for the slot, but our general recommendation is Leoric's Crown, since its generic CDR bonus slightly reduces your reliance on Rift composition and the precise timing requirements of the build.
Aside from the potential Andariel's Visage, you have a mandatory duo of elemental damage boosting items in your gloves and pants slots. Both Frostburn and Swamp Land Waders are taken in this build for their Cold elemental damage increases. Note that while Frostburn's Cold damage roll is innate, the one on Swamp Land Waders is not guaranteed. Swamp Land Waders need to be gambled on a Witch Doctor alt, as they are a class-specific item for WDs.
Two class-specific items occupy your shoulder and boots slots by necessity, but for vastly different reasons. Corpsewhisper Pauldrons are a cornerstone item in the build, as they scale Corpse Lance damage as you consume Corpses, directly playing into the rotation of the build. On the other hand, Steuart's Greaves are included strictly for utility, as their massive speed increase after you use Blood Rush greatly improves the build's scouting and monster aggroing capabilities. This slot can be viably altered to the Act II cache legendary Illusory Boots, which allow you ignore enemy collision, depending on your playstyle of preference.
A trio of generic, cross-class items round out your armor slots. The Witching Hour occupies your belt slot and provides unique, albeit glass cannon-esque properties — both Crit Damage and Increased Attack Speed. Aquila Cuirass provides a virtually permanent reduction of incoming damage, as its requirement for >90% resource reserve is trivial to maintain in a build where you have a solitary, minor Essence spender in the form of Decrepify. Lastly, Nemesis Bracers complement the Elite hunting playstyle of the build, by spawning an extra Champion pack at every Pylon in the GR, conveniently syncing with the spike of power that usually comes from the Pylon's bonuses.
Your required weapon is Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang, a powerful legendary scythe that triples your damage against cursed enemies; a bonus that is trivial to maintain with a few well-spread Decrepify casts in every battle. Due to the lack of directly synergistic legendaries, you should pair it with any well-rolled phylactery, but ideally that would be a Lost Time for the synergy with the Cold-based Brittle Touch. Notice the importance of extra Essence in the secondary stats of both the weapon and offhand in order to synergize with the powers of Reilena's Shadowhook.
As a final note, if you are not running Brittle Touch but Ricochet (for example, during early progression or lower tier farming), the Crit Chance omitted from the stat tables below should be re-introduced to the build on any piece that can attain it: helm, gloves, bracers, amulet, rings and offhand. The elemental rolls on gear should also be adjusted accordingly to Poison.
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.
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. Then, maximize Essence due to the interaction with Reilena's Shadowhook. 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.
In the Offense section, max out Cooldown Reduction, Crit Damage and Attack Speed; spend points in Crit Chance last (it doesn't hinder, but it doesn't help the build much either due to Brittle Touch). 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 Gold Find.
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 consistently with a combination of the Frozen Lands stun and the strong Decrepify slow.
Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard is a Life Regeneration-specific legendary gem that almost single-handedly takes care of the lacking sustain in this build.
Your final slot is best occupied by the 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 and 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 gem slot; in the older LoN setup, this socket would be occupied by Zei's Stone of Vengeance.
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 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, 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 in your helm. In your weapon, use a Flawless Royal Emerald for the Crit Damage boost.
|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.
Unlike set-based Corpse Lance builds, which are forced into storing Corpsewhisper Pauldrons in this slot, you are able to wear those shoulders and store the powerful protective Dayntee's Binding in the Cube instead. Its damage reduction bonuses are trivial to maintain as you naturally spread your Decrepify curse around the battlefield.
As mentioned in the gearing section, your jewelry Cube slot will be taken by your worse rolled ring between Krysbin's Sentence and Convention of Elements. There is minor advantage to be gained from cubing CoE, because due to its innate Crit rolls it cannot feature the perfect Attack Speed - CDR - Crit Damage roll of Krysbin's Sentence.
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.
Your recommended potion is 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.
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.
- 04 Jul. 2020: Slightly updated the item tables and introduced gear clarifications.
- 02 Jul. 2020: No changes required for Season 21.
- 12 Mar. 2020: No changes necessary for Season 20.
- 22 Nov. 2019: Adjusted legendary gem recommendations, enriched information and improved stat tables.
- 23 Aug. 2018: Item recommendations have been revised for Season 18.
- 11 May 2019: Guide added.
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