[3.9] Herald of Agony (Melee!) Necro--Get in Monsters' Faces Safely (5M Shaper DPS/8.4kLife+Fortify)

Ajji11 wrote:
I'm really enjoying this build so far, I'm level 67 now.

I was wondering why your gear has so much STR on it? I haven't been looking for STR on any of my gear since it makes it more expensive. Maybe cause I'm competing with Baron summoners.

More strength means more life. That's literally all. With none of my strength on gear my life would be almost 300 lower.

If you can replace those strength rolls with higher life rolls then go for it. Or if you can tolerate having less life, go for it. The point of a build guide is to show how a build works and what uniques make it work. The only "totally mandatory" part of this build is 2x cold iron point plus the coming calamity, and everything else is just my own quest to optimize the build. If you're trying to copy the exact text of every rare item you see in a build guide, you are missing the point.
Last edited by codetaku on Feb 29, 2020, 9:10:34 PM
The new notables that got released looks like it will buff this build by abit!
But we will trade off life in exchange for damage though.
With my variation where I went double HoP & HoAg, the 2 nodes below seems pretty good.

Im guessing this is a must

Pure Agony
+1 to maximum number of Sentinels of Purity
+5 to Maximum Virulence
Minions deal 20% increased Damage while you are affected by a Herald

This might be pretty decent,

1% additional Physical Damage Reduction per Summoned Sentinel of Purity
You lose Virulence 30% slower
Minions deal 20% increased Damage while you are affected by a Herald

But if just going HoAg, not sure how good would this be
Lone Messenger
You can only have one Herald
50% more Effect of Herald Buffs on you
100% more Damage with Hits from Herald Skills
50% more Damage Over Time with Herald Skills
Minions from Herald Skills deal 25% more Damage
Your Aura Skills are Disabled

Possibly, but considering how much skill points will be scarce this league, taking this and having 1 jewel socket for golden rule might not be that worth it?

+17% to Chaos Resistance
Unaffected by Poison

(Debuffs you are Unaffected by can still be placed on you, but will not actually apply their effect)
Yep, I just saw the new notables released and actually came here to announce that I am returning to this build for 3.10 :)

Pure Agony and Disciples are both amazing. I spent SO MUCH time optimizing my attack speed to maintain 40 virulence, but with losing virulence 30% slower, even 45 virulence will be much more easily maintainable. And we should be able to get both of those passives with a single well-rolled jewel (since they have the same icon).

The biggest advantage to Lone Messenger is that we no longer would need 4 jewels to have poison chance on them. Two of them could be dropped, because the 50% more herald effect buff would grant us 10% poison chance.

With that said, I'm not sure I can come up with truly good options to replace our aura. 25% more damage is good, but hatred is actually getting us more right now. If Lone Messenger was buffed to like... 45%, then it'd be an easy take, and then we could even drop our mana support because we'd have a nice clean 55% unreserved mana pool to work with. So unfortunately, this seems much more like an autobomber keystone than a minion keystone.

Antivenom with golden rule would be... fine, and maybe necessary if not taking Disciples, in order to support 45 Virulence.

But the hybrid agony/purity build actually becomes really, really attractive (dropping hatred, of course) thanks to the physical damage reduction on Disciples. Of course, this hybrid build would outright not function at all with Lone Messenger :)

Also, Giften, one thing you missed was this:

Minions have 10% chance to deal Double Damage while they are on Full Life

A free 10% more damage node for the agony crawler :) Not to mention the purity sentinels get "refreshed" often enough that they'll often be on full life if I decide to go hybrid (I haven't yet decided though)

I'm going to wait a bit for the full patch notes before editing the OP, but the 5 virulence alone is an insane buff to the build. As the build currently exists, taking that node would get me a 35% more damage upgrade if I could support 45 virulence (math: ((1 + .16*45)*(204.5*45)*(1+.05*45))/((1 + .16*40)*(204.5*40)*(1+.05*40)) = 1.350[...]).

That would take us right up to 6.75 million dps if we change nothing else in the build.

Edit for side note: if this were Diablo 2 and uber bosses had crazy regeneration, then Disease Vector would be awesome. But as it stands, "Enemies Poisoned by you cannot Regenerate Life" seems like the absolute most useless line of text ever.

Second edit: Okay so I just saw confirmation from Bex from a while ago that the new notables stack.

So golden rule becomes an instant top-tier dps jewel for the build when combined with either source of Unaffected by Poison, and we want to try to stack virulence as high as we can physically maintain. We'll also drop pretty much all minion dps on the tree for it, since it's WAY more efficient than any other source of damage, giving our crawler 80% increased damage, 25% increased attack speed, and 1024 added physical damage per node.

Third edit: apparently on Baeclast, Neon and Rory confirmed that Herald of Agony is getting nerfed this patch. So maybe it won't be so great after all? Meh, we'll see.
Last edited by codetaku on Mar 10, 2020, 2:51:45 PM
So realistically, idk how accessible would the cluster jewels be considering they are supposed to be on the outer edges, on a build we maybe can get 2 of it? possibly 3? idk. just throwing some numbers around.
So we can get maybe extra +10-15 extra virulence stacks and an +2-3 HoP Sentinels. But patch notes had some nerfs to agony :c

Herald of Agony
Agony Crawler now deals 5% increased physical damage per Virulence you have at gem level 1 (from 6%), up to 9% at gem level 20 (from 12%).

Anyway lemme know what will your updated variant be I will probably be playing this build again this league :)

edit: with more virulence stacks now, does it makes sense to push for higher HoAg levels?
Last edited by Giften on Mar 11, 2020, 2:34:50 AM
Proportionally speaking, higher agony levels were always going to have the same effect no matter how high the virulence stacks stacked. The only reason to go higher would be if they introduced more attack speed breakpoints, which they aren't doing.

Anyway, the agony crawler nerf seemed bearable but with necromancer's defensive options also getting destroyed, I've decided against coming back to this build. Needing to get a whole additional 30% elemental resistances (switching to commander of darkness is... awful for us) and also having our regen cut a bit is actually a very sizeable nerf for us. Frankly I just don't think a melee version of herald of agony is viable anymore. Maybe mana guardians will still play HoAg cyclone in delve but I'd say a HoAg necro now wants to use winter orb to trigger poison and nothing closer-range than that.

So I'm abandoning this build with its [3.9] tag! I'll edit the OP soon to reflect this.
Last edited by codetaku on Mar 11, 2020, 11:35:16 AM
I've been playing around with this. I'm new and still quite unfamiliar with the game. As it so happened, I dropped a Forbidden Taste flask just as I was checking out Maw of Conquest + Golden Rule. It's an amazing 'ohshi-' button to have in addition to a insta-flask. As long as I'm hitting, my chaos res is between 30 and 75%, Forbidden Taste insta full healths after any hard slap and the downside is mitigated usually by just the massive regen already in the build, otherwise, with a click of the divine instaheal flask. This is currently my staple.

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