Season 26 Compendium for Diablo 3
Season 26 introduces a new endgame mode called Echoing Nightmare, along with a slew of set and legendary item changes, as well as new rewards to be earned by completing the Season Journey.
Diablo Season 26 Start and End Dates
Patch 2.7.3 will arrive on Non-Seasonal servers on April 12th, and Season 26 will start on April 15th, 2022 at 5PM (PDT/CEST/KST).
Season 26 ended on August 21, 2022 at 5PM (PDT/CEST/KST). To see what the following season, Season 27, contains, visit its seasonal hub below.
Season 26 Theme: Echoing Nightmare — All You Need to Know
Season 26 introduces a brand new game mode to Diablo 3 called Echoing Nightmare, where players face an intense, densely packed, increasingly challenging event that stretches their ability to stay in the fight as long as possible. Beyond the quick overview in this article, we also have a dedicated Echoing Nightmare Mechanics article, where we go in-depth over the effects of this seasonal addition. If you are interested in the particulars of this new game mode and how it can affect your playstyle, delve right in!
In short, the Echoing Nightmare is a wave-based endgame activity with several fixed, single-room layouts. They include a guaranteed Conduit, Power, Channeling and Speed Pylons, whose strategic use will determine your overall success in your journey to Echoing Nightmare (henceforth shortened to EN) tier 150. While EN tiers will continue beyond that number, rewards cap out at tier 150, making it highly desirable to end a run then and there.
Echoing Nightmares reward massive amounts of Experience, making them especially suitable for Paragon farming. They also reward with the Whisper of Atonement legendary gem, which is used exclusively for gear augmentation. Last but not least, it will also reward you with standard gems, Blood Shards, and legendary items.
Monsters inside Echoing Nightmares are immune to hard crowd control and will not drop gold, disabling cheesing tactics.
Personal Thoughts on Echoing Nightmares
While certainly less game-changing — especially when compared to Ethereals from S24 and Soul Shards from S25 — Echoing Nightmares present a unique new direction for the Diablo 3 endgame. In a way, they inherit one of the better-received traits of the Soul Shard mechanic; the ability to consume them for augmentations, cutting out some of the blander Seasonal grind. However, the lack of flashy, gameplay- and build-altering additions in Season 26 makes the introduction of ENs as a core theme somewhat duller than previous seasons. Moreover, their lethal outcome for a Hardcore character's failure, coupled with the inability to escape from the EN via conventional means, make them a conflicting proposition to Hardcore players — one whose ramifications are hard to judge at the moment. Regardless, if Echoing Nightmares persist in future Seasons, they can definitely be iterated upon with an added incentive to strive beyond tier 150, suitably scaling rewards and having a leaderboard of their own.
Season 26 Item Changes — All You Need To Know
The 4-piece bonus of the Legacy of Raekor set now grants all the runes of Furious Charge and increases the damage of Ancient Spear by 2% for every 1% Life missing. The 6-piece bonus of the Legacy of Raekor set now increases the damage of your next Ancient Spear against enemies hit by Furious Charge or Weapon Throw (stacking effect; thrown Spears consume up to 5 stacks). Targets struck release multiple Spears.
Arreat's Law increases the damage of Weapon Throw and Ancient Spear by up to 200%. Weapon Throw generates up to 50 additional Fury based on the distance of the enemy hit, up to a cap of 200 Fury. Ancient Spear refunds up to 50 Fury based on the distance of the enemy hit and resets Fury cap to its base maximum.
- Personal Thoughts: This is a fairly interesting twist on the elderly Raekor set, which was stuck into its Furious Charge ways for the better part of its existence. While charging around is still central to the playstyle, you now have a very viable Ancient Spear-centric ranged build. The set still lacks innate damage reduction, and with the 4-piece bonus leaning into that aspect, it seems to be intentional — but I find it to be misguided and counter-intuitive to how the game is played.
Changes have been made to the Thorns of the Invoker set that add AoE damage to this previously single-target focused setup.
- Personal Thoughts: This is meant to compensate for the nerf to... (See below.)
- Personal Thoughts: Personally, I never liked the way Norvald has been shoe-horned into every Crusader build under the sun, and its original speedfarming intention had been long lost. Still, this is a uniform nerf across many Crusader builds, without anything to compensate except for Invoker players. Not particularly exciting for Crusader play.
Changes have been made to the Mystic Ally skill that fix some of its previously unwieldy mechanics.
- Mystic Ally spawned by Inna's Mantra set 6-piece bonus now refresh their duration with each attack.
- Fire Ally now has Passability (it ignores collision with enemy units).
- Earth Ally has its boulder speed increased, and their leashing to the player location has been improved. They are also no longer affected by the Missile Dampening affix.
- Personal Thoughts: These are some very nice quality-of-life changes for a skill that had more than enough quirky mechanics and clunky AI behavior to wrangle.
- Personal Thoughts: This nerf is meant to take down the overperforming Fire Ally setup with Inna, establishing Earth Ally as the de-facto best rune for the skill. Inna Monks remain a force to be reckoned with, and one of (if not the) best builds in the game for practically any conceivable purpose.
Season 26 — Best Builds
This section mixes freshness, fun and performance to highlight the most interesting builds to play in Season 26.
Barbarian — Raekor Ancient Spear
Monk — Inna Mystic Ally
While it has undoubtedly been nerfed, the Inna's Mantra set-based Mystic Ally Monk remains a supremely strong and versatile build. It is still considered to be the best build for solo farming, progression, and is a great inclusion to group progression comps. It also does great at the new endgame activity, Echoing Nightmares, making it the game's best all-rounder.
Demon Hunter — Marauder Multishot
Based on the pet-reliant playstyle of the Embodiment of the Marauder set, this Multishot-oriented build is a great all-rounder for the Demon Hunter class, and is by far the strongest build to take into Echoing Nightmares. Because it is able to set up its turret nest for an efficient spread across the enclosed areas of Echoing Nightmares, this build will grind out the new content with unparalleled speed and efficiency.
- 14 Apr. 2022: Guide added.
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