Rathma Army of the Dead Necromancer Physical Army of the Dead Rathma Variant Variation
Physical Damage Army of the Dead Rathma Variation
Another option for solo Greater Rift pushing, which is safer and plays at a greater range, is to alter the build into Physical runes and drop the usual Nayr's Black Death Poison damage scaling in favor of other multipliers, i.e. Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang or Reilena's Shadowhook. This build variation guide will give you an outline for both approaches, which will achieve a similar result in terms of endgame viability.
|Decrepify Borrowed Time Command Skeletons Frenzy 1 Bone Armor Dislocation 2 Army of the Dead Death Valley 3 Blood Rush Potency 4 Revive Personal Army|
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 proper Cooldown Reduction optimization, you should have two activations of Army of the Dead within a single Convention of Elements rotation. One of them needs to be during the Physical cycle in order to burst enemies down, while the other will be auxiliary damage, mopping up stragglers and setting up Oculus Ring spawns.
Unlike the base build, you will be at a considerable distance from the enemy — letting the minions tank and distract your enemies, and judiciously applying Decrepify (mind your Essence!) for the Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang damage bonus. As your Physical rotation of Convention of Elements approaches, you will need to move in closer to the fight, stun the pull with Bone Armor Dislocation to get the maximum Krysbin's Sentence damage bonus and then teleport away with Blood Rush to maximize your Zei's Stone of Vengeance bonus, which is based on distance. With both bonuses taken care of, you can unleash the Army of the Dead Death Valley nuke and enjoy the devastation.
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 pulling effect of Death Valley for some excellent battlefield manipulation.
- 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, but you can drop the annoying fear of the Poison rune in favor of the much more pleasant damage reduction aspect of Personal Army. Note that this rune should be changed to Oblation if you opt to use Reilena's Shadowhook-based damage amplification, since this rune will help proc Blood is Power more reliably — in fact, you will need to use the skill quite often to assist the process yourself!
- Bone Armor Dislocation stays for both the additional defenses and the Krysbin's Sentence proc with the active stun effect.
- Blood Rush Potency remains in the build as a vital repositioning and movement tool throughout the Greater Rift.
- Instead of rushing into the fray to apply curses manually via Cursed Scythe, you can do it from the safety of your minion backline with sparing use of Decrepify Borrowed Time. If you opt to use Reilena's Shadowhook-based damage amplification, this slot should be swapped to Simulacrum Reservoir, and its use should be timed to the Physical rotation of CoE every 3 cycles.
- Taking cues from the main build, you will maintain Spreading Malediction for the damage bonus, as well as Grisly Tribute for the minion-based healing effect, in your passive lineup. In a Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang setup, adapt the remaining two passives to Dark Reaping for Essence sustain and Final Service for safety. In a Reilena's Shadowhook setup, change Spreading Malediction to Overwhelming Essence (for the Essence gain, scaling your damage) and swap Final Service to Blood is Power to mitigate the massive Simulacrum CD.
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. Generally, even the jewelry choices will remain the same — all out offensive powers with Squirt's Necklace, Krysbin's Sentence and Convention of Elements boosting your DPS. You can make a minor alteration in a Reilena's Shadowhook-reliant build by swapping the amulet to Haunted Visions, which will greatly reduce the strain on your cooldown management, but will lose you a damage multiplier — a convenience change with significant tradeoffs. In a Reilena's Shadowhook-leaning variation, you will also have to take Maximum Essence in your Paragons, as well as the secondary stats of your weapon and offhand.
In Season 24, your ideal weapon during Greater Rift solo pushing will be Blackbog's Sharp, which provides a unique and massive damage stacking mechanic on top of unrivaled skill and pure stat bonuses that will outperform any other alternatives. It needs to be rolled with the weapon power of either Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang or Reilena's Shadowhook and will ideally have the Final Service passive. Learn more about Ethereal weapons in our Ethereal mechanics guide, and read up on how to farm them in the Ethereal farming guide. Pair this Ethereal weapon with your best legendary phylactery — Lost Time is simply used as a placeholder here.
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.
Both Bane of the Trapped and Zei's Stone of Vengeance remain valuable, independent damage multiplication gems for the setup. Your third slot can be altered to Bane of the Powerful in a Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang setup, since it is safer and less CD-reliant than its sister build variations.
|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.
The weapon Cube slot is the reason for this variation's existence, and you can either go for a Trag'Oul's Corroded Fang setup (safer, more consistent, harder Essence management) or a Reilena's Shadowhook setup (higher burst during Simulacrum uptime and easier Essence management, but requires Max Essence rolls on gear and has less CC). Both sub-variants perform comparably, so it is up to your preferences how you build your Physical Army of the Dead Necro.
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.
- 22 Jul. 2021: Added S24 Ethereal recommendation.
- 29 Mar. 2021: Guide added.
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