Rathma Army of the Dead Necromancer Nephalem Rift Speed Farming Variation
Nephalem Rift Speed Farming
The Rathma Army of the Dead Necromancer can deal reasonably well with Nephalem Rift Speed Farming, with reliable AoE damage and great mobility offered by the combination of Blood Rush and cooldown resetting items. We have solo speed GR rankings and solo speed T16 rankings if you want to know more about which builds are best for speed farming.
Within the limited scope of regular difficulties, the necessary damage and toughness to triumph over the enemy is significantly smaller. Thus, your best course of action is to improve utility and speed.
|Frailty Aura of Frailty Command Skeletons Frenzy 1 Bone Armor Harvest of Anguish 2 Army of the Dead Dead Storm 3 Blood Rush Potency 4 Revive Personal Army|
When you are speed farming regular rifts, parts of your playstyle will adapt to the lowered challenge and focus more on speed and utility.
This build alteration uses the Dead Storm rune on Army of the Dead for a consistent destructive force centered on the character, allowing for precise obliteration of priority targets and jumping from pack to pack with close to zero downtime.
Similarly to the base build, you should call upon your summons and maximize their numbers as soon as possible — all 7 Command Skeletons and the 10 Revives — so you get the most out of your Rathma set bonus and chunk the massive Army of the Dead cooldown. With the additional help of Messerschmidt's Reaver, your main source of damage — Army of the Dead Dead Storm — should be up at all times, feeding kills into its cooldown resetting powers and forcing you to jump from pack to pack with Blood Rush as quickly as possible to maintain the streak. To facilitate that, you will be running two additional low maintenance skills — the passive curse of Frailty Aura of Frailty and the occasional pop of Bone Armor Harvest of Anguish for the speed boost.
Most of the skill and passive selection will overlap with the base Greater Rift progression build, with minor adaptations to accommodate the purposes of a Physical damage-centric build.
- Army of the Dead is still the centerpiece of the build, but you should alter its rune to the character-centric, destructive AoE circle of Dead Storm, which fits the lightning-fast destruction in standard rifts very well.
- Command Skeletons stays in the build as one half of the summoned army necessary for the Rathma set bonuses. The preferred rune continues to be Frenzy, for the hastened resets of Army of the Dead.
- Revive is also a mandatory inclusion in a Rathma build, and you should run the helpful damage reduction aspect of Personal Army.
- Bone Armor stays in the build for its damage reduction aspects, and you should add a movement speed angle to it with the rune Harvest of Anguish for the purposes of rift speed farming.
- Blood Rush Potency remains in the build as a vital movement tool, taking you quickly from one pack to the next to maintain the Messerschmidt's Reaver kill bonuses.
- In order to allow you to focus on simple movement from pack to pack, your final skill slot will be dedicated to the passive culling powers of Frailty Aura of Frailty.
- Your passive lineup will be spread evenly between sources of utility ( Fueled by Death for the additional speed and Blood is Power for the Cooldown Reduction) and defense ( Dark Reaping for the reliable source of health and resources and Final Service for a cheat death failsafe.)
The build remains firmly rooted in the combination of the Bones of Rathma set (5 pieces) and the craftable Cpt. Crimson set (2 pieces), their full set bonuses attained via a Ring of Royal Grandeur in the Cube. You will also maintain the weapon and offhand combo from the main build — the Jesseth Arms set, Jesseth Skullscythe and Jesseth Skullshield. Most of the jewelry choices will remain the same, with Squirt's Necklace and Krysbin's Sentence providing valuable damage multipliers. Your final jewelry slot will vary between solo and group play, with the pulling powers of Briggs' Wrath in solo play, and the pickup radius enhancing powers of Avarice Band when partied up (you attain the Avarice Band worn by your follower in solo play due to the Emanate mechanics).
Note that while you might have Nemesis Bracers on your follower and attain their powers from the Emanate mechanics in solo play, you might want to have them on your character during group play. In order to do so, you can place them in the armor slot of the Cube and wear Fate's Vow on your character, and wear the Goldwrap belt for additional protection. Of course, this means that you drop the Cpt. Crimson set.
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.
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.
Keep Bane of the Trapped for its valuable damage multiplication powers, and add the consistent, speed farming-oriented damage increasing and damage reducing properties of Bane of the Powerful in your second jewelry socket. Finish the legendary gem setup with Boon of the Hoarder, which — in conjunction with Avarice Band, and potentially Goldwrap as well — will keep your pockets full and your speed boosted as you clear the rift.
|Torso and Pants||
For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.
Adapting Kanai's Cube
Both Fate's Vow and Ring of Royal Grandeur remain cornerstone pieces of the build and are firmly affixed to your Cube setup. Fate's Vow brings a massive additive damage increase (hence the incentive to exclude skill damage rolls on gear, as it falls in the same category) to Army of the Dead, plus granting you the highest base damage rune, Unconventional Warfare, for free. Ring of Royal Grandeur grants you the full bonuses of the Rathma and Cpt. Crimson sets mixture.
For Standard (T16) Rift Speed Farming, few other items bring as much value as the cooldown reduction staples in the game. Place Messerschmidt's Reaver in the weapon Cube slot to enjoy a snowballing effect as you mow down monsters around you, feeding into the instantaneous resets of the Army of the Dead cooldown.
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 standard rift farming for keys is the Enchantress due to her numerous utility bonuses, allowing you to smooth out your speed runs even further.
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: Guide revised to reflect Funerary Pick changes, and 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.
- 29 Mar. 2021: Guide added.
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