Season 17 in Diablo III is upon us. As always, completing Chapters II through IV of the Seasonal Journey will grant you three of Haedrig’s Gifts, containing all the set pieces needed to start pushing Greater Rifts. Here is a summary of each set and what to expect in the Season of Nightmares.
There is no way of knowing how strong the new Legacy of Nightmares (LoN) permanent effect is going to be, but comparing it to Season 16, it may be underwhelming. Blizzard has said that this is a good occasion to make use of the free Ring slots we now have, but that is likely not going to be enough due to the Ring of Royal Grandeur effect we have become used to. On the upside, there are a lot of creative builds using the buff, such as a LoN HOTA build for Barbarians and a LoN Death Nova necromancer build. Though this is fun, it probably isn't top-tier competitive on the Seasonal Ladder.
At the same time, there is no current tier list for the class sets. Season 16 brought with it outstanding balance changes that made all sets feel relevant again, but the Grandeur buff allowed for certain combinations of 4/6 set splits that are not available this season without the actual use of the ring, which may knock those previous builds down a notch or two in terms of late-game viability.
Our friendly berserkers will be awarded Might of the Earth, which is one of the stronger sets in the game. The initial two and four pieces will allow you to breeze through the level 20 Greater rift, which is a necessary part of the Seasonal Journey. By leaping to activate an earthquake and pulling enemies in with Seismic Slam, it is easy to group enemies together to take large amounts of AoE damage. You will need to be patient on initial Rift Guardians, however, as true damage will be available with the full six-piece set. Below, you can find a guide from Bluddshed on how to both level and prepare for the endgame.
The Monkey King’s Garb set has always felt like one of the safer choices for farming and pushing rifts, as the set bonus creates clones that both draw nearby enemies away from you and explode with a powerful multiplier. The only real challenge with using this set lies in maintaining your stacks up for Sweeping Winds in low-density rifts. If you are playing solo on either normal or hardcore mode, the Monkey King's Garb will allow you to easily complete the Greater Rift level 20 requirement to advance in your seasonal journey.
The Grace of Inarius set awaits the Necromancer class. With it, you are able to place your character among a number of enemies to maximize the initial activation of the Bone Armor skill. That said, you can also play with a number of undead minions by your side to help keep enemies away from you. Some players who use hardcore mode have some reservations about this set, as the constant visualization of your health pool dropping at such close range can be unnerving.
While it is still too early to know for sure, The Shadow’s Mantle set is likely to be among the very best for pushing the highest levels of Greater Rifts, so receiving it as a starter set is a great start to the season. With that said, hardcover players should be wary, as you will likely be in the middle of a group of enemies often. Players who are looking for a set that is both strong and safe in terms of positioning should aim to farm an Unhallowed Essence set for a Multishot build.
Raiment of the Jade Harvester is a great starting set for those who love Voodoo. It has the dual effect of using Haunt, which can last a long time with the right build and can also be triggered by Soul Harvest to devastating effect. Combined with Soul Vessel, this build can focus on close-range combat when it comes to eliminating elite packs. However, it also provides some safety so that you can run away in the Spirit World if things become too dicey.
Firebird’s Finery has always been a polarizing set in some ways. The two-piece bonus you first receive does nothing to help with damage, only survivability. However, the four-piece bonus suddenly makes your enemies melt around you. Hardcore players often find that they are in greater danger compared to other sets at higher Greater Rift levels because the sustained damage of the Ignited ticks demands you to stay within a relatively close range. Venturing away often makes the effect drop off, which means that you need to start over and are constantly in the line of fire.
Those who enjoy playing as the tank will be getting Thorns of the Invoker as their starting set. Much like the Demon Hunter, this is likely going to gunning for the top spot in terms of pushing the highest Great Rift levels. Unlike Demon Hunter, though, Crusaders feel right at home in the thick of it. This might be one of the more popular classes in the game this season for these reasons.
Diablo III Season 17 goes live today at 5:00 pm PST, 5:00 pm CEST, and 5:00 pm KST.