Pestilence Ice Spear Build

Necromancer
So I was bored with all of the usual builds and put this together to see if I could get something workable with the much maligned Pestilence set. There is much room for improvement, but it's a fun build to play for me and I thought I'd share it.

Diablo Fans link is here (putting in what I wrote there below as well):
http://www.diablofans.com/builds/92223-pestilence-ice-spear-build

Use Topaz gems for torso, pants and also for the helm (for resource cost reduction, as Bone Spear is resource hungry)

I wanted to create a build that was kind of a chill build, and different from the usual builds I've been seeing. This is not designed for pushing. It is a lot of fun to play though and can easily handle GR 45, and probably up to 55-60 (at a guess, I haven't really pushed, but 45 was a breeze with this build).

Build mainly centers around the Bone Spear skill set, and I've concentrated on chill effects, to utilize the synergy between the Iceblink gem and Krysbin's Sentence, along with Frostburn gloves.

For resource management, I opted for Devour - Ruthless rune, which provides additional Essence per corpse consumed. I also added in the Requiem Cereplate in the cube for additional Essence restoration per corpse devoured. You could add in Reaper's Wraps if you find you're running out of Essence, but I was fine without. I prefer Nemesis Bracers whenever possible, as it gives you more bosses per rift, and more bosses means more loot. :-)

For damage mitigation, I decided to use the Moratorium gem along with a Unity Ring (add a Unity ring to your follower, along with the "do not die" relic, for additional damage mitigation). Bone Armor and Wisdom of Kalan's additional 5 stacks of armor also help with damage mitigation.

Main gameplay strategy is to apply Decrepify to instantly stun/slow down mobs, then use Blood Rush to dash in, pop bone armor to get up to 15 stacks (and maintain as you go through the rift), use Grim Scythe to start killing stuff to create corpses, and then pop back out of the mob with Blood Rush and use Bone Spear and Devour. With the Pestilence set, each corpse you Devour sends a Corpse Lance at a nearby enemy, and along with the Bone Spear, you're just flinging all kinds of damage at mobs/bosses, which is further enhanced by Zei's Stone of Vengeance (which is why you want pop back out of the mob, to increase distance and take advantage of Zei's affix)

I think there is a lot of flexibility with the build, you could swap out gear and gems as you see fit. One option could be to use Maltorius' Petrified Spike, which increases the damage of Bone Spear, but costs more Essence to cast. I found that Scythe of the Cycle was fine for my purposes, and not as resource hungry.
Pestilence Build has much time from the distance. Why Grim Scythe? Why not use long distance Bone Spikes as it's being buffed by Serration skill?

You can refer to my previous thread:
https://us.battle.net/forums/en/d3/topic/20757556505#post-1

Edit: Nevermind. I didn't use Bone Spikes on me. To resupply essence, I just use Devour. The Golem is my Essence Generator thru Corpses.
I originally tried Bone Spikes, but I didn't like how it impeded my movement. When I wanted to move, if there was a monster anywhere near the point of my cursor, the Bone Spikes would trigger, which ended up frustrating me when I tried to move around outside of using Blood Rush. So I settled on Grim Scythe for close encounters damage when I jump into the mobs, etc.

It may work better for others, though, to use Bone Spikes. It's a pretty flexible setup.
Pestilence suffers too much to be useful in T13+. The two piece bonus is fun when you have both Land of the Dead and Simulacrum up while consuming corpses. Problem is that the two piece isn't buffed by the set at all -- it is just a bonus!

Okay so what does that leave us? Well, same scenario: simulacrum + LoTD + Bone Spears = free bone spears (since bone spear is a secondary skill). But the damage is kind of meh even when empowered. Worse yet, if you die (which is super easy to do in this set) you LOSE all empowered bone spears! Oh man, what the heck? And this was the intended speed set? LOL.

Adding insult to injury you have ZERO mitigation from bone spears ready to go when you respawn creating a potential die repeatedly situation -- NOT fun. If Blizzard addresses these issues with something similar (but better) as they're going to do with Rathma's set, Pestilence will be in a better spot. Until then whenever I read a new build on it or keep trying something new hoping I was missing some magical combo, it just turns out the be an exercise in frustration.
07/09/2017 05:06 PMPosted by Taoru
Pestilence suffers too much to be useful in T13+. The two piece bonus is fun when you have both Land of the Dead and Simulacrum up while consuming corpses. Problem is that the two piece isn't buffed by the set at all -- it is just a bonus!

Okay so what does that leave us? Well, same scenario: simulacrum + LoTD + Bone Spears = free bone spears (since bone spear is a secondary skill). But the damage is kind of meh even when empowered. Worse yet, if you die (which is super easy to do in this set) you LOSE all empowered bone spears! Oh man, what the heck? And this was the intended speed set? LOL.

Adding insult to injury you have ZERO mitigation from bone spears ready to go when you respawn creating a potential die repeatedly situation -- NOT fun. If Blizzard addresses these issues with something similar (but better) as they're going to do with Rathma's set, Pestilence will be in a better spot. Until then whenever I read a new build on it or keep trying something new hoping I was missing some magical combo, it just turns out the be an exercise in frustration.


I was thinking about a build with just the 2-pc for speed runs. Interested in your critique. https://www.d3planner.com/243582413
07/09/2017 05:39 PMPosted by Mormegil
I was thinking about a build with just the 2-pc for speed runs. Interested in your critique. https://www.d3planner.com/243582413


That's very close to what I'm working on right now. What I'm looking to do different is Pestilence boots & pants, Leoric's Crown, Aquila Cuirass, with Frostburn & Unity cubed and Invigorating Gemstone instead of Esoteric Alteration.
I'm doing an ice/pestilence build too, but the equipment and skills I'm using vary a bit from yours.

If you're using Scythe of the Cycle and Reilena's Shadowhook, and if you find decent versions of the items, why not cube the Shadowhook and equip the Scythe of the Cycle? Then you're free to also use the Lost Time phylactery.
07/09/2017 05:39 PMPosted by Mormegil
07/09/2017 05:06 PMPosted by Taoru
Pestilence suffers too much to be useful in T13+. The two piece bonus is fun when you have both Land of the Dead and Simulacrum up while consuming corpses. Problem is that the two piece isn't buffed by the set at all -- it is just a bonus!

Okay so what does that leave us? Well, same scenario: simulacrum + LoTD + Bone Spears = free bone spears (since bone spear is a secondary skill). But the damage is kind of meh even when empowered. Worse yet, if you die (which is super easy to do in this set) you LOSE all empowered bone spears! Oh man, what the heck? And this was the intended speed set? LOL.

Adding insult to injury you have ZERO mitigation from bone spears ready to go when you respawn creating a potential die repeatedly situation -- NOT fun. If Blizzard addresses these issues with something similar (but better) as they're going to do with Rathma's set, Pestilence will be in a better spot. Until then whenever I read a new build on it or keep trying something new hoping I was missing some magical combo, it just turns out the be an exercise in frustration.


I was thinking about a build with just the 2-pc for speed runs. Interested in your critique. https://www.d3planner.com/243582413


Cool, you're not using bone spear which is great! One problem I see is that you're going to miss out on the multipliers that either LoN (blah, those rings) or the Trag'Ouls set would have provided your corpse lance.

Curious: how does it feel to run with this setup? Are you able to take T13 on easily enough? I suspect your CL damage is probably a bit weak but I haven't tried this out.
07/10/2017 06:48 AMPosted by Taoru
Cool, you're not using bone spear which is great! One problem I see is that you're going to miss out on the multipliers that either LoN (blah, those rings) or the Trag'Ouls set would have provided your corpse lance.

Curious: how does it feel to run with this setup? Are you able to take T13 on easily enough? I suspect your CL damage is probably a bit weak but I haven't tried this out.


Sadly this is theory, which is the main reason I'm asking for input. My computer's PSU died just prior to Necro release and my laptop is atrocious. I've leveled a necro to 70 but haven't been able to play as much as I'd like. I've been reading through the forums here and reddit as well as watching Rhykker's (sp?) channel and the Icy-Veins builds to educate myself on how the Necro is running while my PC is out of commission. I came up with this build specifically to do something with Pestilence because one of my favorite things is "free" damage/casts so I love the 2-pc (though I agree it should be better/buffed). Wanting that effect removes the option of either LoN or Trag'Ouls unfortunately.

I know these types of effects usually work by casting either the runeless version (if it's not assigned) or the runed version on your bar, so I went about this as an attempt to see how powerful I could make those free lances while making them a consistently usable damage source. The trigger for the free lances being corpse usage makes for an adaptable style because you can trigger it from devour for healing+damage or from corpse lance for extra damage if you don't need to heal.

In theory, this would be more for speedruns at lower difficulties, but should hopefully have a place in a team run at higher difficulties/GRs since ally kills can generate more corpses for you (unless I missed something huge while playing with my friend to 70). It's got a decently sustainable DR (if the numbers on d3planner are accurate) and the damage from the free lances (assuming they're buffed like the actually cast ones) should make for some awesome chaos. Playstyle...I was going for high mobility and mostly damage from devour triggering the free lances to sweep away trash mobs while the golem is used to keep you supplied with corpses. LotD is mainly used for bosses/RGs/tough elites and to keep your Johnstone stacks rolling.

Do you think it would work how I'm thinking?
You run through gr 60, 65 with Inarius without pressing your attack a single time.
Bone armor with mirinae, pain enhancer and wreath of lightning kills everything close to you. All you need to do is run faster.

My point is, as much as its fun with this build of pestilance. I dont think people think its fun to play something extremly underpowered.

If I want to do this I use Hack on a wizard without thorns and run around auto attacking mobs in normal. Its about as effective.
I also use the ice spear for ias with 50% cdr + zodiac and gogok. The build is fun, T13 is easy but past gr70, it's becoming difficult... Damage is lacking.

Anyway, you can check my profile if your curious :

https://eu.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Kusanagi-2892/hero/95124501
The devour chest plate is actually a good way to counter the resource hunger without sacrifice too much on RCR. You just have to kill fast enough before the execessing devour stacks completely depleted. I'm also using devour plus Land of the Dead to sustain spear spamming during long elite fight. The problem is still lack of damage. Bone Spear damage is just subpar compare to Corpse Lance.

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