Following the recent patch release yesterday, there has been a considerable commotion surrounding the adjustments made to balance each class. Apart from the widespread nerfs to Damage and Defenses, numerous top builds have suffered significant setbacks. Among those affected, the Necromancers' Bone Spear build has particularly taken a blow. However, they have received certain enhancements to alternative builds that might ultimately dominate the endgame meta throughout this patch.
One of the biggest nerfs of the patch was on the Bone Spear Necromancer build. We saw a 40% damage nerf on the Splintering Aspect. On top of this, Aspect of Grasping Veins and Evulsion were nerfed as well. With the nerfs to Critical Strike Damage and Vulnerable Damage, everything this build utilized took some heavy hits.
There were some buffs to Sever which we expect to be a great build for leveling. The addition of a new Unique and Legendary Aspect will likely shift the meta toward a Blood Lance build. Minions have also received some small buffs that may make summon builds feel a bit better.
Notable Balance Changes
Bone Spear Necromancer
- The nerf to Splintering Aspect is where the build took its hardest hit. ‘Splintering Aspect Bone Shard damage bonus reduced from 50-100% to 30-60%’. For a perfect roll, this is a 40% damage decrease. For people running this on a Two-Handed weapon, this is going to hurt quite a bit. Instead of getting up to a 200% damage bonus, you are only getting up to 120% now.
- On top of all of the nerfs to Critical Strike Damage, Aspect of Grasping Veins Critical Strike Damage bonus has been reduced from 30-60% to 20-40%. Since this build relied heavily on nuking screens and bosses with massive crits, this is really going to hurt the build.
- The nerf to the Evulsion bonus damage to Vulnerable from 6/12/18% to 5/10/15% is also a pretty big nerf considering all of the other nerfs to Critical Strike Damage. The Evulsion Passive increases Critical Strike Damage to Vulnerable targets and works as its own multiplier. This was yet another big source of damage to the build.
- The only buff to Sever Necromancer is to Paranormal Sever, reducing the casts required to make the enemy Vulnerable from 4 to 3. This build struggled to have high Vulnerability uptime, but this should help a lot. Due to the nerfs to Vulnerable Damage across the board, this is not a crazy buff, but will definitely increase it’s power in the early/mid-late game. This will probably be one of if not the best build for leveling.
Blood Lance Necromancer
- Blood Lance received quite a bit of love in this patch, with a buff to the piercing damage as well as a new Aspect. The new Aspect, Gore Quills, causes Blood Lance to consume Blood Orbs and conjure lances from them. Each additional Blood Lance deals 20-50% of normal damage and prioritizes targeting un-lanced enemies. Using Blood Wave to spawn Blood Orbs will create a nice source of burst damage for the build. Supreme Blood Wave leaves now leaves behind Blood Orbs earlier in its path as of this patch.
- Since this build does not rely on Vulnerable or Critical Strike Damage, this build is going to be incredibly strong late game. It takes quite a bit of time to scale, but expect to see this build ripping enemies apart in the mid-late endgame.
With the addition to the new Unique Shield, Lidless Wall, we will likely see builds that utilize this ability see a massive increase in power. Likely builds that use Shadowblight and Aspect of Ultimate Shadow will see a nice increase.
These balance changes are going to cause quite a meta-change in Necromancer Builds. Sever is probably going to be the best option while leveling to 50. Many people will likely stick with Bone Spear while leveling from 50-100 since it will still be quite strong early on. The build just no longer scales into a late-game monster like it used to. For Nightmare Dungeon pushing, Blood Lance Necromancer will likely be incredibly strong. Another build that surprisingly didn’t see any changes was the Infinimist Necromancer. Both of these builds will likely be very popular in the endgame.