Season 21 Tier List: Speed Running Build Rankings
What is Speed Farming?
Once you get to a certain point in your build, upgrades become less and less frequent. You will quickly reach a point where random upgrades are no longer likely, and you will need to target upgrades by spending materials and resources to craft or re-roll items. To get these resources, you will need to farm them either through Bounties, Greater Rifts, or Nephalem Rifts. When you are clearing hundreds or even thousands of rifts, efficiency and speed can make a huge difference. Speed farming is when you try to use the most optimal builds designed to clear quickly, with minimal to no downtime. Some builds might be quite powerful in pushing Greater Rifts, but rely on infrequent cooldowns that make them terrible for speed farming when your goal is to clear rifts in 2 minutes, not 15 minutes.
There are three main activities that utilize speed farming: T16 Nephalem Rifts for Greater Rift keys and crafting materials, Greater Rifts for gem levels and Paragon experience, and bounties for the materials needed to re-roll items in Kanai's Cube. The tier list below reflects each class' ability to do all three on average.
- S-Tier: Demon Hunter, Barbarian
- A-Tier: Monk, Necromancer
- B-Tier: Witch Doctor
- C-Tier: Wizard, Crusader
The Unhallowed Essence Multishot build makes Demon Hunters almost equal to Monks for speed farming Nephalem Rifts and bounties. Multishot has the same damage pattern as Wave of Light in that it clears your screen of enemies, making it perfect for low difficulty speed farming content. In Season 21, Demon Hunters also gain access to a new set, which has created the GoD Hungering Arrow build, that has dominated the normal and PTR leader-boards. This build plays like a Whirlwind Barbarian for insane clear speeds, while also having one of the fastest base movement speeds out of any build in the game. Demon Hunters are going to be dominating the speed farming meta in Season 21 at all levels thanks to this new build, bringing them straight to the forefront of the S-tier.
With the addition of the new Barbarian items in Patch 2.6.7, the Rend Barbarian build has become one of the strongest solo-pushing builds in the game. Not only is the build extremely powerful, but it also brings the speed to match. This build is often referenced as "Spin to Win," and for good reason. While keeping up buffs and channeling one ability, you can efficiently and effectively clear any content that you do while moving extremely fast, with no need to ever wait or stop for anything.
While this build is still very strong for bounties and Nephalem Rifts, the real reason that Barbarian sits in the S-Tier is the power that this build brings for Greater Rifts. You can retain 90% of the power that the normal pushing build brings while greatly ramping up your speed, allowing you to speed farm high Greater Rifts for experience, gear, and gem levels at a much more efficient rate than any other class except Demon Hunters.
While not quite as effective as Barbarians at speed farming high Greater Rifts early on, Monks make up for it by bringing arguably the single best build in the game for Nephalem Rifts and bounties: the Wave of Light build. Both the LoD and Sunwuko variants of Wave of Light allow you to quickly teleport around any map, using Wave of Light to clear you screen of enemies without giving a second though. The WoL build specifically has what we would call a perfect damage pattern; Wave of Light has a long enough range that you can kill enemies off screen before even seeing them. This long range damage allows the gear and materials to drop off enemies before you reach them, cutting out the animation time between when enemies die and their loot drops. Not only do Monks have the best damage type for speed clearing this type of content, but they also have the perfect mobility tool. Dashing Strike is the single greatest mobility skill in the game due to its almost non existent animation and the fact that it is a teleport, which allows you to go over walls and ledges, thus making rifts that much faster.
With the rise of the new Demon Hunter speed farming and XP meta that will emerge in Season 21, Monks have been dropped from the S-tier to the A-tier due to the lack of power in their main Greater Rift speed farming builds compared to that of Demon Hunters and Barbarians. While Monks are not weak or slow by any means, they do not bring the insane clear speed and early power spikes that the classes above have.
Necromancers will have no shortage of viable speed farming builds in Season 21, but the Singularity Mage Necromancer will still prove to be the dominant build early in the season. Regardless of whether you choose to play this or the new Masquerade of the Burning Carnival set with Bone Spear, you will be able to fly through early GR levels and T16 with ease, just not quite as fast as the S-tier classes.
With the new patch, Witch Doctor got the new Mundunugu's Regalia set. This set has proven to be one of the strongest solo builds in the game, but lacks the speed that the S and A-tier classes bring to the table. Witch Doctors lack a powerful teleport like monks, but the damage pattern of the Spirit Barrage build is strong for speed farming, with your Manitou rune from Spirit Barrage constantly killing any enemies close by. This allows you quickly run around the map, killing anything you walk by. If Witch Doctors had a better mobility spell, they would easily be in A-Tier, but the lack of a strong mobility spell puts them in the B-Tier.
Vyr's Archon brings the power that you need for Greater Rift farming early on, but falls short in speed compared to the other classes above. Specifically, Wizards are slightly limited by the cooldown reliance of the Archon build, namely when you need to generate Chantodo stacks before re-entering Archon form again. This build is still very solid once it gets going, but does have a ramp time along with patches of downtime. Wizards get put in the C-Tier because of the 1-second cooldown teleport that you get in Archon form, and the relatively high ramp time compared to the classes in the tiers above. The best speed farming builds are continuously getting better and better, but Wizard's ability to speed farm has been stagnant for some time, and is not seeing anything new this patch.
Crusaders have one of the strongest builds in the game for power, but are one of the slowest classes. Steed Charge is arguably the worst mobility spell out of any class, which makes Crusaders inherently slow compared to other classes. This build does make up for that lack of speed with raw power, and while it does fall below most classes when it comes to bounties, it makes up for it by being better at Greater Rift farming early on. Sadly with the nerfs to Aegis of Valor this patch, that relative power difference just is not there anymore, and Crusader is at the bottom of the C-Tier for speed./p>
- 29 Jun. 2020: Updated for Season 21.
- 09 Mar. 2020: Updated for Season 20.
- 01 Dec. 2019: Page added.
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