Patch 2.1.2 for Diablo 3 dropped yesterday and I gave it a quick spin with the Demon Hunter and Monk. Fortunately, I had the prescience to hoard various legendaries that I felt would eventually make a comeback in the future, thus allowing myself to quickly swap some gear for both my Demon Hunter and Monk and dive right into the patch. I want to explore my experience thus far in this patch along with some ideas I have for gearing and farming ancient legendaries.
So far I only had the opportunity to check out the Demon Hunter and Monk with the patch. The Demon Hunter’s change with M6 to be honest feels like absolute shit. I’m not talking about the nerf itself but the play style. You do get a lot more power as a Demon Hunter once you have your sentries up, which is a great thing. However, we’re back to the resource management meta and the build no longer has any special feel.
My main issue with the new build is that it doesn’t feel as responsive. Like I often felt that Cluster Arrow wasn’t being triggered in time when I was firing it. Instead, I felt like I was running a gimped out build of the pre-Marauder Cluster Arrow build minus Vengeance and using the Spines of Seething Hatred for Chakram as my generator. Also, with all the Chakrams flying around, the screen becomes a huge clusterfuck whereas before the style was more planning, which I felt was smoother.
I gave a few Greater Rifts a try and only had issues in the first one due to forgetting to wear my Unity ring. However, I managed to pull through the subsequent turns because I just nuked everything. The only part that truly sucked was the Trials aspect. Sentries made the Trials part tolerable but in general that part just needs to be tossed out.
Fortunately, I had been hoarding my old Cindercoat, a good Fire based Reaper’s Wraps, Spines of Seething Hatred and spare well rolled Marauder’s Gloves in my bank. Also, like many others, I attempted to craft a few ancients (namely the Arcane Barb and a new Reaper’s Wraps). So my build ended up going towards Fire with my Multishot being replaced with Preparation: Punishment, Chakram: Twin Chakrams, Cluster Arrow: Loaded for Bear and Nightstalker in place of Steady Aim for the increased resource generation.
The net effect is that I can clear out T6 pretty decently because of the overall higher damage. Chakram becomes my resource generator while Cluster Arrow gives me a lot of good burst damage. Greater Rifts between 30-32 are cleared with a lot of time remaining. So the only pain point becomes the Trial.
So one thing I’ve read is this debate about using Chakram with the quiver vs Bombadier’s Rucksack. Here’s my take: use whichever one you where you have the appropriate gear. I use Chakram and the Spines of Seething Hatred because it’s an awesome generator prior to finding a well rolled Kridershot. Also, as I implied I don’t have a Kridershot for Elemental Arrow. If you don’t have a Spines of Seething Hatred but have a Bombadier’s Rucksack, you definitely should use that as your quiver. For a generator, you can switch back to Entangling Shot: Justice is Served (which will help proc your Bane of the Trapped gem and Cull of the Weak passive for boosted damage) or even Evasive Fire: Focus as I’ve seen some Demon Hunters use.
What happens if you own both but lack a Kridershot? The obvious answer is use whichever one you prefer as your play style. But here’s my take on the two. Chakram will be fired from your sentries as well as generate hatred whereas Evasive Fire and Entangling Shot do not with regards to firing from your sentries. With a Bombadiers Rucksack, you can put more sentries down but you won’t be able to place all 5 down at once. Also, you will be moving constantly so it’s impractical putting all 5 down at once, except for big fights. If you run out of Hatred, then Cluster Arrow won’t mean a thing and you’ll lose damage trying to rebuild your Hatred since your sentries won’t have any spenders to fire. In the end, your burst might go down for large fights, but your sustained DPS overall will be a lot better.
Moving on, the next guy I gave a try with is the Monk. Again, I was pretty fortunate to keep an Incense of the Grand Temple lying around (actually, I have two) as well as a few Innes set pieces. The changes make the play style less spammy as you can now select the method of generating the clones. So with the Incense of the Grand Template daibo, you can switch to a no-generator build by choosing Wave of Light as your spender to activate your clones.
The Innes 3 piece set bonus along with The Crudest Boots become important here for continuous generation of spirit. You will take Mystic Ally: Air Ally to help increase your spirit generation and insta-fill your spirit on cooldown. Also, you want to take Sweeping Wind: Inner Storm to help maintain your spirit generation. I’ve seen a few builds do Explosive Palm but for myself, I use Mantra of Healing: Circular Breath for yet even more passive spirit regeneration. Lastly, Guardian’s Path and Exalted Soul work to help your spirit generation and overall spirit amount.
For elemental damage, you have some flexibility. I didn’t have anything particularly good but ended up with Cold because of my existing gear. You could go lightning or fire as well. In the case of fire, you might be able to swap out Aughild’s chest in favor of a Cindercoat and Aughild’s Search in favor of Reaper’s Wraps. You’ll lose some elite damage reduction and increased damage vs elites, but the build centers more on resource cost reduction. I’m sure this will be critical in the beginning if you do not have an Incense of the Grand Temple.
For myself, I’m still working on the build as my gear isn’t as optimized as I would like. I definitely think that if I can acquire a better amulet (namely the Sunwuko version), I can swap out the Sunwuko’s Crown for Tzo Krin’s Gaze, turning my monk into a ranged one with a nice damage boost for Wave of Light.
I did run him around a little in T6 and found the build to still be spammy, but nowhere near the level as the previous one. Now, I have seen one of the top monks run a similar build except that they focus more on cooldown reduction and take out a few passives in favor of some form of damage reduction or increase. These people use Mystic Ally: Air Ally to handle their resource regeneration and still maintain the zero generator version of their class. Either way, I’ll have to research the subject some more or even perform my own tests before concluding what the optimal build will be going forward in this patch.
The other thing I want to try out is the Serpent Sparkler Firebird Wizard build. With the changes to Hydra, you should be able to attack more frequently even though the damage from Hydra itself was nerfed. But having two Hydras using Serpent Sparkler might make up for this. Currently, I use a Sun Keeper and find that my damage melt everything in T6.
So what about gearing? The first thing I did as a Demon Hunter was craft Arcane Barbs until I hit a reasonably well rolled ancient version. Since I was moving over to Fire anyway, I figured that giving up my Etrayu wasn’t such a bad move, especially with the far higher base DPS. Also, I had a spare Gift sitting in my bank, making the crafting worth the effort. Another item you can craft is Reaper’s Wraps. I did manage to get an Ancient one but certain stats were a little lower (such as Fire % and critical hit). Is it worth the boost in dexterity and vitality? That really depends on what you get in the end. I kept my older one just in case.
For other classes, it really depends on how much crafting materials you can spare as well as what gear your character already has. For instance, my Pet Doctor has a Rhen’Ho Flayer that was decently rolled. The secondary effect is too crucial to my build for crafting an ancient weapon for her. However, I suppose if I had enough materials I could try crafting an Ancient Devastator for my Wizard since the +% fire damage and massive base damage increase might be worth it vs her current Sun Keeper.
The big problem I found wasn’t having enough Forgotten Souls but having enough blue crafting mats. Reaper’s Wraps is just a monstrous cost and I only had two stacks of blues. But in trying to get better Arcane Barbs and Reaper’s Wraps, I pretty much used up everything. So you’ll definitely want to pick up all the blues you can.
Now, the biggest question I’m certain everyone is asking is: where do I farm ancient legendaries? Your choices at the moment are Torment 6 or Greater Rifts. I know one streamer advocates for Greater Rifts in terms of time vs effort. He mentioned that Greater Rifts were buffed slightly with regards to drops but I’m still seeing crappy stuff dropping in the range of 3-4 for anything between 31-33. You will get a fair amount of Blood Shards though so depending on your clear speed, you could just use Kadala to farm your legendaries.
However, Torment 6 still to me is exceptional viable as an excellent source for legendaries and ancient legendaries. However, the real problem is that Torment 6 only works with a full party. So if you have a consistent group, you shouldn’t have issues blasting through Torment 6. If you decide to use the random grouping feature, then you’ll find a lot of stupid people who close rifts early.
So here’s the thing: we must educate these stupid people that full Torment 6 clears is far more efficient than farming Blood Shards from Kadala. Never forget that you will always get bonus experience, gold and magic find in a group whereas Kadala is notoriously stingy. The only thing Kadala provides is a slightly more focused way of trying to obtain legendaries for a particular slot. However, if you ask me, the work-to-reward ratio with Blood Shards is pretty low, whereas killing things in T6 with a group can yield some pretty nice goods.
For myself, when I was doing full clears with groups, I would find anywhere between 6-8 legendaries per run. Some runs might take 20-30 minutes for full clears compared with 10 minute clears up to the Rift Guardian. But 6-8 legendaries is pretty nice compared to unusable yellows. The math is right there but the sense for most people is lacking.
On other subjects, I have not tried the new Raekor barbarian yet. To be honest, I’ve never cared for that play style and felt is a bit awkward. Having two charges does feel better but the overall style really isn’t for me. I would like to farm with as many different class and build types as possible. I do think that the restructuring of bonuses will over time permit more interesting builds (like combining Mauraders as a 4 set bonus using 3 pieces with something else). The main thing is to continue experimenting and sharing what our findings are.