Echoing Nightmare Mechanics in Diablo 3 Season 26

Last updated on Apr 14, 2022 at 01:00 by Deadset

Season 26 introduces a brand new game mode called Echoing Nightmare. In them, players face an intense, densely packed, increasingly challenging event that stretches their ability to stay in the fight as long as possible.


Season 26 Theme: Echoing Nightmare

Season 26 introduces a brand new game mode called Echoing Nightmare. In them, players face an intense, densely packed, increasingly challenging event that stretches their ability to stay in the fight as long as possible.


How do you enter Echoing Nightmares in Season 26?

Echoing Nightmares are opened by transmuting a Petrified Scream consumable item at Kanai's Cube. Petrified Screams are acquired from Rift Guardians inside Greater Rifts (non-guaranteed drop), meaning you cannot acquire them pre-Level 70 and reaching GR progression. The portal to an Echoing Nightmare can be shared with a group, and it is highly encouraged to do so to maximize the farming potential of this new game mode, while minimizing the downtime of farming Petrified Screams.


What are Echoing Nightmares in Season 26?

Echoing Nightmares are a wave-based endgame activity that places players inside a randomly rolled area between six variants. Some are more preferable to others (open spaces with pits are preferable to walled off ones), but they all sport familiar features:

  • A singular space — no entrances, exits, or subsequent levels;
  • Various obstacles that break up its structure — walls, columns, pits, etc.;
  • Four guaranteed Pylons: Conduit Pylon, Power Pylon, Channeling Pylon, and Speed Pylon. The strategic usage of Pylons is vital for the success of your Echoing Nightmare runs. Read up in the dedicated 'Tactics' section below to find out more.

Once inside an Echoing Nightmare, a player cannot teleport out. Monsters will start spawning in waves and will not cease until you are either overwhelmed (as tracked by a progress bar on the right of the screen) or dead. Dying inside Echoing Nightmares is lethal to Hardcore characters, so be extra careful if you are playing in that game mode.

  • For Hardcore players — if you feel you are reaching a threatening point, the suggested tactic is to stop fighting and dodge monsters for a few seconds, waiting for the 'Overwhelmed' bar to fill up. Once you "fail" to advance, finish off the stragglers — and you can safely end the Echoing Nightmare and leave.

At completion, Echoing Nightmares reward you with Experience (by far their strongest benefit), up to 575 Blood Shards, up to 12 legendary items, a bunch of standard gems and materials, and the new Whisper of Atonement legendary gem. The rewards are based on the tier of Echoing Nightmare you achieve, up to a cap of tier 150 (see the 'Progression' section below).


How to farm the Whispers of Atonement Legendary Gem in Season 26?

Whisper of Atonement is a brand new legendary gem that drops exclusively as a reward for Echoing Nightmare completion. It drops once per completed Echoing Nightmare, and has the following notable features:

  • Its sole purpose is to be used for augmentation of Ancient Legendary items.
  • The legendary gem drops pre-leveled to the tier of the Echoing Nightmare you achieve, up to a maximum of gem level 125. This makes the basic goal of your every Echoing Nightmare to reach at least tier 125, though you will ideally reach the reward cap at tier 150.
  • Note that the Whisper of Atonement's level cap is actually 150, and you can finish its leveling the regular way — by completing (suitably high) Greater Rifts.

What monsters do you face in Echoing Nightmares?

Monster types are chosen at random when starting the Echoing Nightmare, which can be to your benefit or detriment; some monster compositions will be more aggressive and/or favor ranged combat, making that particular Echoing Nightmare more difficult. Otherwise, the wave difficulty inside Echoing Nightmare scales somewhat similarly to Greater Rift tiers.

Note that monsters inside Echoing Nightmares cannot be crowd-controlled with hard effects (Frozen, Stunned, Rooted or Knocked Back), invalidating certain builds (i.e., Krysbin's Sentence Krysbin's Sentence-reliant Necromancer builds). Soft crowd control effects (i.e., Slowed, Chilled) still apply.

Monsters inside Echoing Nightmares do not drop items and, more importantly, do not drop gold. This invalidates cheesy tactics like equipping Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder and Goldwrap Goldwrap to ensure invulnerability while doing them.


What is the progression like inside an Echoing Nightmares?

Similarly to how fast Greater Rift completion unlocks GR progression in bulk, you can progress your Echoing Nightmare tiers faster based upon your wave kill speed.

  • You can skip all the way up to 12 tiers ahead when you kill enemies near instantaneously after they spawn.
  • Skip 8 tiers ahead if you kill enemies soon after they spawn.
  • Skip 6 tiers if you kill all enemies currently spawned.
  • Skip 3 tiers if you kill a large number of current enemies.
  • Skip 2 tiers if you kill a bunch of currently spawned enemies.
  • Progress 1 tier every few seconds of not being overwhelmed.

Echoing Nightmare rewards, monster health and damage cap at wave 150. You can continue past that point, but there is no incentive to do so.

Regular waves consist of a variety of standard monsters, but certain predetermined and random events will occur to pose a specific challenge and add variety to your run:

  • Spawning Yellow (Rare) Monsters and their minions. Note that Blue (Champion) Packs cannot occur.
  • Summoning a random Rift Guardian every 30 waves.
  • Casting highly damaging green Meteors (similar to Belial's) after the 100th wave.
  • The appearance of Hellish Machination contraptions, which spawn endless waves of Lunatics that charge at the player and detonate upon impact, leaving a Molten explosion as an additional threat. Due to their ceaselessly spawning mechanic they can slow down your progression and tier skipping a great deal, so prioritize their destruction as soon as possible!
  • Spawning a Shadow Clone of a random class; once taken down, it will leave an AoE effect that kills all enemies caught within its radius once it detonates after a 3-second windup. You can use this to your advantage with clever positioning.
  • Popping a Bandit Shrine (summoning various Treasure Goblins once triggered) at a random nearby location. Note that their health scales with the Echoing Nightmare tier, making them quite hard to take down at a higher tier without an active Conduit Pylon.

Tactics for Pylon use inside Echoing Nightmares

The proper use of Pylons inside Echoing Nightmares will maximize your performance in them; when timed correctly, they will carry you to the tier 150 cap on just about any well-optimized and capable build. Always remember to equip your Follower (or at least one of your party members) with The Flavor of Time The Flavor of Time to lengthen the duration of Pylon pickups. Otherwise, note the following steps, along with benchmark times for builds that are well-suited for the task:

  • 00:00-00:30 seconds — Blast down the initial few waves without any Pylons; most builds, especially ones with a high ranking according to our class tier lists, will be able to do so with ease.
  • 00:30-1:30 — Use Speed Pylon along with Power Pylon around tier 100 or so, for a massive burst of pure power and mobility. This will carry you easily to about tier 130 based on raw damage and maneuverability around the battlefield.
  • 1:30 — The use of Channeling Pylon should complement your chosen build. On resource- and cooldown-intensive builds, you can use it earlier, in conjunction with Speed and Power — for carefree spam and maximized progression through the mid tiers of Echoing Nightmares. Otherwise, pick it up along with Power (see below) to minimize the downtime of defensive cooldowns that will carry you through to the end.
  • 1:30-2:30+ — Conduit Pylon is the most important Pylon to consider when doing an Echoing Nightmare, as its powers can carry you through more than 20 tiers on its own. While it cannot whittle down Rift Guardian spawns (just like in GRs), it will melt through Yellow (Rare) Monster spawns and trash. Taken around the ~130th tier — or otherwise timed right as the previous Pylon pickups expire — it will all but guarantee that you reach the Echoing Nightmare reward cap of tier 150.

What are the general tactics inside Echoing Nightmares?

  • Choose builds whose projectiles and general damage dealing deals well with obstacles, and is not reliant on skillshots. The wider and the more fire-and-forget your AoE, the better.
  • Try to do Echoing Nightmares in a group if possible, pooling all of your Petrified Screams to minimize the downtime of farming them. A single Petrified Scream will open a portal for an entire group.
  • While you will face Rift Guardians, their challenge is not nearly the same as in Greater Rifts, rendering Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken useless for this content. Conversely, the consistent waves of incoming trash and Elite monsters makes trash and Elite kill-reliant bonuses — such as Bane of the Powerful Bane of the Powerful, Messerschmidt's Reaver Messerschmidt's Reaver, Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac, and In-geom In-geom — quite valuable.
  • Always keep in mind that monsters inside Echoing Nightmares cannot be hard crowd-controlled, which also includes Pulling abilities. You can still use Strongarm Bracers Strongarm Bracers for damage amplification, as they only require that a Pull ability is used, not that it takes effect.

What are the best builds for Echoing Nightmares?

The following list assumes solo play. Always keep in mind the minor skill and itemization adjustments suggested above.

For group play, we strongly suggest playing a team of Support Barbarian (for the toughness), and stacking as many Marauder Sentry/Multishot Demon Hunters as you can. A somewhat acceptable alternative is to have a LoD Wave of Light Monk or Sunwuko Wave of Light Monk as DPS instead. Always keep in mind the minor skill and itemization adjustments suggested above.



  • 14 Apr. 2022: Guide added.
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