So this might seem like a little bit of clickbait considering that Blizzard has yet to release Season 24’s Haedrig Gift sets. However, based on a chart of past seasons, I believe we can almost accurately predict which sets will be part of Haedrig’s Gift. So from that, I want to review which classes look like good starters based on that chart as well as what we know about patch 2.7.1.
For the Haedrig Gift sets given what season 23 has offered, here are my predictions on season 24’s sets:
- Barbarian – Immortal Kings
- Crusader – Seeker of Light
- Demon Hunter – Natalya’s Vengeance
- Monk – Uliana’s Stratagem
- Necromancer – Trag’Oul’s Avatar
- Witch Doctor – Spirit of Arachyr
- Wizard – Vyr’s Amazing Arcana
From this list, I want to go over each class/set and which one I think will make for a great starter going into season 24.
Barbarian – Immortal Kings
I’ve done Barbarian starters with Immortal Kings in the past but felt that the leveling experience with Barbarians in general is very bad early on because of the limits in trying to generate rage, dealing melee attacks and having poor AoE choices early on. Immortal Kings as a starter is not that bad quite frankly though, which is why I don’t mind using it to get rolling.
Normally, with Immortal Kings, people might use either Seismic Slam or Hammer of the Ancients, depending on what weapons they might obtain along the way. Also, once you get your 2 piece bonus, you will have permanent Call of the Ancients, which isn’t a bad ability to push you towards higher torments early on. However, the 4 piece bonus isn’t that great because it implies getting most of your defense from Wrath of the Berserker, which you’ll need to keep up as much as possible. Then everything becomes very cooldown dependent.
Now, you can use a skill like Whirlwind to try and maintain Wrath of the Berserker until you get the proper gear. But I just feel that the build is going to be lame for a while you’re still in rares or misfitting legendaries. My overall view at this stage is to pass on this as your starter.
Crusader – Seeker of Light
I have yet to do a Crusader starter build. Seeker of Light once was decent but I’ve tried it recently and felt it being too squishy and unreliable in single target situations. The Falling Sword interaction just sucks and you feel very slow. So this is a hard pass for me.
Another reason not to do a Crusader this coming season is the big nerf to the Valor set. Crusaders still have the Invoker 2/Akkhan 6 piece set that they can use but the Valor set will most likely be removed from the leaderboards.
Demon Hunter – Natalya’s Vengeance
I have yet to do a starter with Natalya’s Vengeance. However, the idea is tempting for this season as Rapid Fire has become the new meta as part of Natalya’s Vengeance builds so I might be interested in trying that. Usually, in the past when doing Natalya’s Vengeance, I would use Strafe to help with the cooldown reduction on Rain of Vengeance. However, since Strafe is pretty much associated with the GoD build, I pretty much would prefer to invest in that side.
But I am curious on how Rapid Fire plays with this build. Also, there’s an M4/N6 build that uses Cluster Arrow and plays similarly to a plain Maurader Cluster Arrow build except with the Rain of Vengeance added. So you do have a little flexibility in gear should you find other pieces along the way before collecting the full set.
However, ever since the GoD set nerf in season 23, I just feel that playing a Demon Hunter at the moment isn’t worth it. They are a very fun class to level and fairly easy as a seasonal starter. Also, Natalya’s looks like a reasonable choice trying to get into things. But I feel that the slot will be wasted, especially if you’re like me and simply tired of playing demon hunters for several seasons.
Monk – Uliana’s Stratagem
This might be my real choice here as my starter. Uliana’s isn’t too bad and can be quite satisfying with massive explosions from the multipliers triggered from Seven Sided Strike after applying Exploding Palm, etc. The only problem about Uliana’s in the past has been single target.
Of course, my motivation for using a Monk in the first place is to give the revised Inna’s Mantra set/build a try. Much of my decision will depend upon the upcoming PTR’s outcome. I have tried Inna’s in the past and it can be fun but just no longer competitive. With the various updates, I’m hoping that Inna’s becomes more competitive to really make using a Monk worth it. If that fails, then I still will have Patterns of Justice to fall back upon (which is still a great build that allowed me to do the T13 speed challenge last season)
Also, monks are pretty decent as leveling characters. They have reasonable speed, AoE and unique abilities. An opportunistic find of early Monk specific leveling gear could really make a huge difference, especially if one encounters say Gungdo Gear bracers which will be excellent as a cube choice early on and work nicely with Uliana’s and even Inna’s prior to getting all the pieces.
Necromancer – Trag’Oul’s Avatar
I cannot say that this set makes me excited for anything. I’ve seen people use it in the past but Necromancers are receiving a HUGE nerf with this patch for Masquerade of the Carnival set. So I think that going Necromancer in any form this coming season is a waste outside of attempting to collect Ethereals for the challenge.
Witch Doctor – Spirit of Arachyr
Quite honestly, I am very tempted to do the Witch Doctor as my starter. I have not played a seasonal Witch Doctor in a very long time and it’s something I miss. Witch Doctors are excellent fresh seasonal leveling characters. You get some nice AoE early on as well as having access to a variety of pets/minions to do all the work for you.
One of my favorite builds to make is a Firebomb/Acid Cloud Witch Doctor. Prior to Repear of Souls, the Firebomb/Acid Cloud Witch Doctor was one of my primary characters I would play because you have a good combination of AoE/minions and reasonable single target without requiring any legendaries.
Spirit of Arachyr is not the best meta type of build but as a starter set, I find it to be fun. Usually, I determine a decent starter set for seasons by looking at the 2 and 4 set bonuses. Here, we have a Spider Queen pet for the 2 set bonus that will serve as the primary damage and CC attack. The 4 set bonus is the interesting one because your Hex gains the Toad of Hugeness rune. So there’s a chicken version of this build which makes your Witch Doctor run at ridiculous speeds.
Typically, you want to stack cooldown along with certain items that allow you to use Firebats to help you cast Hex frequently as you go from target to target. It’s a very novel build that I think lends itself well for bounties early on. So it’s not that bad of a starter set especially as you set your eyes on the Mundunugu’s Regalia set (even though that build had been nerfed a while back).
Wizard – Vyr’s Amazing Arcana
Quite frankly, this is my far least favorite build/set. It’s just because I hate Archon and do everything to avoid playing it. While Archon is powerful, I just hate the interface swap which makes this build super awkward for me to play. The rapid context switching just isn’t in my cards.
Now, for others, they might enjoy using this build. After all, Firebirds did not receive a nerf and Mirror Images is getting a quality of life update. So going straight into a wizard which did quite well in Season 23 might be the above average players’ go-to. For me, I’m skipping.
At any rate, my two picks right now are monk and witch doctor. If Inna’s ends up proving to be terrible on the PTR, I might just go straight to Witch Doctor. With three rebirth slots and the hunt for Ethereals, I probably will at least do two additional characters. My picks will certainly be a Crusader at some point just for the Invoker set dungeon to get my next stash tab. And depending on my starter, I will probably go either Witch Doctor or Monk. In some way, I’m leaning more towards Witch Doctor just because I haven’t done one in a while and the fact that they’re so easy to level. However, if I go monk, I might not do a rebirth at all for my Witch Doctor and level another character. Either way, those are my picks.