Line ’em up, break ’em down: Pestilence made viable!

Hi folks!
The new season started an some of us start getting curious on how to make a build viable. Well me that is. No idea about other. But I had the curiosity to look at what the Pestilence Master’s set is capable of, and with joy I can announce, that the first tests look promising.

Keep in mind that this won’t be anything near as strong as the Rathma skeleton setup or the Trag’Oul’s corpse lance build. It won’t be fast either. But it works, and I believe, with the right amount of good gear, this build can be made good for T13 rifting.

Without further ado, let’s talk the build.




The skills

The build revolves around making the best out of the cubed weapon, Nayr’s Black death. This amplifies poison skill damage with every different poison skill used. Keep in mind that the buffs run out individually, and is not reset to it’s initial duration by rebuffing.

Keep up bone armor (or even use it on CD). It’s nice to stun the demons spawned by the shrines to avoid being insta-gibbed.

The skeletons consist a bit of a meat shield against stray projectiles when engaging. The active skill suicide bombs them into another stack of Nayr’s buff.

The decay golem is a bit awry. He consumes corpses, and is therefore quite clunky to use. But as a poison skill, another buff stack. Other than that, due to the gauntlets in the cube, your golem poops some corpses, which help you getting started.

Devour can be used either permanently (via the numlock trick) or as an aura. Keep in mind that the aura does not heal you.

As for the generator, I chose bone spikes, because of the possibility to stay at range. Grim scythe could be interesting but is in melee range, and siphon blood is channeled (which I don’t like).

We use the poison bone spear, which amplifies it’s damage, the more enemies it hits. This goes ideally with the talent serration and Zei’s stone of vengeance. Both of them increase damage with the distance to the enemy. This is a cool way to kill stuff that isn’t on your screen yet. Or in other words, make hipsters out of the demons. “I was killed before I was on screen”.

The range of the bone spear isn’t infinite though. It travels a bit farther than 1 full screen.

Note: If you choose to sub the skeletons or the bone armour with corpse lance ricochet, you still have to cast the skill manually to profit from Nayd’s bonus. It is not applied automatically.

Krysbin’s Sentence, Bane of the trapped and the talent Rigor mortis combined are another powerful damage multiplyer. While we don’t profit fully from Krysbin’s debuff, the double damage is nice to have. Since we try to stay at range due to fragility and Zei’s/serration, this is the essential talent to take.

Final service is a Talent I have on my Hellfire amulet, but it is a nice to have cheat death, to avoid losing all your buffs and stacks.

Other than that, I chose Dark reaping for health and essence gains and fueled by death to compensate for the lacking mobility. I heard though that the talend seems bugged… No idea if that is correct. Both of these seem to be quite optional. If you prefer another, use that one instead.

The equipment

Basically it is the 6-piece Pestilence Master’s set.

Adding to this, a Hellfire amulet (I was kinda lucky, I admit) with a talent of your choice.

As a weapon, Maltorius Petrified Spike gives another damage boost to bone spear, but making it more costly. Thanks to our devour on autocast, this isn’t an issue though. Keep in mind that you cans switch the weapon you use and the weapon in the cube, in case one is better=)

Goldwrap for obvious reasons. This is the only piece of defense we have. Without a steady income, it will suck, believe me. (just like real life πŸ˜‰ )

Focus and restraint are used for the 2 50% damage buffs. While the endless walk also provides this buff, F&R were my choice, between it frees up one passive slot. Also, having your damage boost while being able to move is quite useful. And finally, your toughness comes from the belt.

Nemesis bracers go without explanation. Just make sure to stun the elites when you summon them πŸ™‚

Remember to try to roll as much Area damage as possible. The bone spear has a limited width, and with area damage, you can spread the joy left and right.

The gems

As you can see in the video, I don’t have put in Zei’s yet. Mainly because I haven’t levelled it yet. So I run with BotP. Still, the plan is to put Zei’s in next.

Boon of the hoarder is mandatory, because of the Goldwrap. Furthrmore, it makes you run faster. Since this build lacks good mobility, each ounce of running speed is appreciated.

Bane of the trapped is a baseline gem in most builds, and synergizes very well with Krysbin’s Sentence. Rigor mortis enables this gem.

The verdict

My current gear is crap, as you can see. Not much ancient stuff going on and thus, damage is a bit lacking. But I still manage to clear T13 without too much trouble. If density is low, gold spawn also is low, and then you risk to die. But in high density, you just become the ultimate spear throwing tank.

Some disadvantages:

  • Low mobility. Not good for the speed kind of rifts.
  • Unusable in greater rifts after 50. Goldwrap is your only source of damage reduction (besides the 4set bonus)
  • You may encounter problems if there are no corpses near. Since you need to use them for bone spear buffs, you rely on your golem poop at the start of a rift.
  • Minions die way to fast…

Some advantages:

  • Fun to play. It is not cooldown reliant, and does not require a continous “setup” to do the damage (as opposed to Rathma’s Mages). Once you got some Bone spear stacks, you’re good to go.
  • It uses the set and weapons that are gathering dust in your chest.
  • It is a true ranged dps playstyle
  • Quite useful in 4-man T13’s, as you aren’t that reliant on your golem for corpses, and monsters tend to attack other stuff. You can sit back and relax.
  • The bone spear damage ranges from basically nothing, to twoshot a pack of elites. Watch out for juggernauts and other beefy elites. They may still be running around with some spears sticking out.
  • Highest crit I saw: 85 billion.

I will add some gameplay moments later on, if I manage to gear a bit better. Until now, any attempt to record, ended with me being killed pathetically… πŸ˜‰


This build serves as a pass-time incremental change of pace. If you just want to relax, try it out. This build is not intended for super efficient use. But on the bright side, it might underline some baseline faults with the set as is, or line out some missing items, which would make this set a good choice. Gather feedback and send it to blizzard. And if you have feedback for me, let me know πŸ˜‰



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