LoD Poison Scythe Necromancer BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your LoD Poison Scythe Necromancer in Diablo 3 and why. We also list your paragon points and Kanai's Cube items. Updated for Patch 2.7.6 and Season 29.
Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
This Poison Scythe 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 Grim Scythe skill damage is a possible roll — belt, pants and phylactery, as well as spreading Crit-based stats, Increased Attack Speed 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 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, your jewelry will be dedicated to the DPS staples Convention of Elements and Krysbin's Sentence. 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 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).
Haunted Visions offers a build-defining legendary power that makes your Simulacrum summons last forever at the cost of a negligible life drain effect. It also allows them to duplicate Grim Scythe instead of Skeletal Mage, shifting the focus of Simulacrums from Secondary to Primary skills and allowing this build to exist.
Two of your armor legendary slots will be filled by damage boosting items. For your helm, Andariel's Visage will provide you with a triple damage boost by increasing your Crit Chance, Attack Speed and Poison elemental damage. Note that due to the limitations of the primary rolls on this helm, as well as the lack of need for CDR, RCR or extra Toughness in this build, you will not be using the usual socket in this slot. With the 2.4 reworks to its mechanics, Depth Diggers now include all Primary resource generating attacks, opening up more viable builds. The LoD Poison Scythe is one of them, taking advantage of the up to 100% damage increase to the primary attack, the Essence-generating Grim Scythe.
A trio of utility legendaries form a good chunk of your legendary lineup.
- Krelm's Buff Bracers will render you immune to Knockback and Stun CC effects, which can be quite deadly in a non-CC immune build like this one.
- 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. This slot is interchangeable with the suggested Cube item, Illusory Boots.
- Razeth's Volition is less necessary, but its effect is still helpful: if you choose to run Skeletal Mage, it will grant both the Gift of Death and Singularity runes for free, resulting both in extra Corpses for your consumption needs as well as a stronger summon, all the while allowing you run an extra Poison skill for your Nayr's Black Death stack needs. More importantly, it grants you 50% damage reduction while your Essence is not full, balancing the downsides of Aquila Cuirass.
The remainder of your armor pieces is dedicated entirely to protection.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. Note that Stone Gauntlets only drop on Strength-based classes (Barbarian, Crusader) — this means you will have to farm or gamble for them on a Strength class alt.
Your weapon and offhand best-in-slots are locked down by the necessities of the build. Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang is a dedicated Grim Scythe Cursed Scythe legendary item that guarantees the curse application of your primary attack, and greatly amplifies your damage against afflicted targets. Leger's Disdain is a phylactery that dictates the entire dynamic of the build, providing a substantial damage increase for every point of Essence restored by Grim Scythe. While it might seem counter-intuitive at first — after all, in a (mostly) generator-spamming spec, you will be at or near max Essence at all times — it has been tested and proven that while your character might miss out on that benefit at times, your Simulacrums will constantly benefit from it.
Desired Stats, Breakpoints and Other Notes
For Offense stats, try to obtain Grim Scythe % bonus on the belt, pants and phylactery (maximum of 45%), Poison elemental damage on the amulet, helm 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 150%+ AD with a decently equipped character.
For Defense stats, aim for a life pool of about 400-500k; 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.
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. 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, Attack Speed and CDR 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.
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: Movement Speed: 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 (Wrists), Guardian's Case (Waist), and 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 (found from Act I bounty caches).
- Endless Walk:This is a jewelry set consisting of The Traveler's Pledge (Amulet) and 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 and Restraint) and Squirt's Necklace with acceptable losses to DPS.
- Unity: A character wearing this ring, along with another Unity on their follower plus an immortality relic for them (i.e., Enchanting Favor), will reduce their damage taken by 50%. Unity can roll excellent offense-oriented stats and has an innate Extra Damage to Elites roll, which somewhat offsets losing all-out offense jewelry.
Bane of the Trapped is a potent source of additional damage, as it is its own multiplier in your total damage calculation.
Simplicity's Strength is one of the best DPS gems you can take for the build, as it was changed into a separate damage multiplication source to primary skills in Patch 2.4.1. Upgrading with a steady pace of half a percent per gem level, it quickly becomes a priority and a fixture in your gem choices. Its buffed healing secondary effect is also a great boon to the build, as it is one of its few steady sources of health sustain.
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 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 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. This is a fairly cooldown- and resource independent build, so you will skip the helm socket (consult the gear section above). 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 Cube slot should be taken by the two-handed scythe 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.
Illusory Boots greatly assist with repositioning as they remove enemy collision, which is crucial since you rely on getting into the thick of the fight and then weaving out when necessary, and you have no other mobility options available. Note that these boots only drop in Act II bounties.
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- and increased attack speed bonuses, both of which are helpful to the needs of an attack speed- and CDR-heavy build such as this one.
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.
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.
- 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: Minor gear revision and added follower recommendation.
- 19 Nov. 2020: Added S22 Cube recommendation.
- 02 Jul. 2020: Overhauled the guide into a Poison Scythe version.
- 10 Mar. 2020: Guide added.
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