This hour-long Diablo 3 Guide will teach you everything you need to know about running high level greater rifts. You will be able to run higher level rifts (Speeds) more effeciently and also push even higher if you follow our tips.
This written section is meant to compliment the video if, you want to scroll through each section as we talk about them. We do not go over gearing in this video, but we do have gearing and playstyle guides for every class in the meta here:
- Barbarian Gearing and Playstyle Videos & Barb Guide Writeup
- Wizard Gearing and Playstyle Videos & Wizard Guide Writeup
- Witch Doctor Gearing and Playstyle Videos
- ZMonk & DPS Monk Gearing and Playstyle Videos
- Demon Hunter Gearing and Playstyle Videos
- Crusader Gearing and Playstyle Videos (even though they aren’t in the meta 😛 )
Without further ado, please enjoy our video guide and reference the writeup below:
Gogok of Swiftness: Support classes use this gem whenever possible. It brings less Survivability than Esoteric Alteration, but the cooldown and attack speed bring a major upside.
Gem of Efficacious Toxin: This gem is required on all support classes. Single-handedly the best Support gem in the game. Free damage and damage reduction? Yes please.
Iceblink: Only one Support Player in the group needs to wear this gem as it does not stack. Never level this gem past 25, as slowing monsters in a group setting is usually detrimental in grouping, rather than helping the group.
Esoteric Alteration: By far the single most defensive gem in the game. Starting out, this is the go-to gem for getting your toughness up. Eventually this is often replaced with Gogok or Wreath.
Wreath of Lightning: This gem is often overlooked but has become a very popular choice for Support Barbarians. When you reach a point of toughness where you aren’t dying, definitely swap this in the build.
Bane of the Stricken: This is the core gem required for killing high-tier bosses. It is unparalleled in how much damage it adds for a boss kill.
Bane of the Trapped: Often times this is the go to gem for DPS classes, as it adds the highest raw damage with no wind up, second only to Taeguk. This gem is utilized by Witch Doctor, Demon Hunter, & Monk. Unfortunately, Wizard can only use trapped for the Non-COE speed version.,
Gogok of Swiftness: Not only is this a great support gem, several classes use this to dps. The Lightning Hydra COE Wizard and Impale Demon Hunter use it to hit their CDR Breakpoints.
Taeguk: This is a fantastic gem, but only the Witch Doctor is able to fit it in the group build for DPS. The numbers on it are a vital part of the build.
Pain Enhancer: This is what makes Witch Doctor dps insane. Similar to Taeguk, only the Witch Doctor is able to utilize this gem as part of their build.
Bane of the Powerful: This gem is often overlooked, but can be used in a couple of speed builds. It is potentially viable on the DH for speeds, as well as maybe replacing WD’s Pain Enhancer for faster pops in Speeds. You can experiment with this, but remember it won’t be used in final pushes.
Basic Formula: 1% Chance + [3% * Rift Progress Since Last Pylon] up to a 95% chance. (You can always fail to spawn a pylon at a specific location.) This formula is what we observed over 9+ seasons collectively, but is not perfectly accurate.
Pylons spawn in set locations on every map, they are not random. You can absolutely control when pylons spawn, or even remove spawn locations by scouting ahead early to remove the chance at that location.
Use this mechanic to your advantage: as soon as you enter a floor decide to RIP it or RUN through it based on if you can even spawn pylons correctly.
Maps with lots of pylons: Eternal Woods and Battlefields of Eternity (new maps) have a ton of spawns.
Maps with very few pylons: Plague Tunnels, Sewers*, Crypts*
*These maps also have spawns right before the exit/entrances so be careful.
When to spawn pylons: Pylons can be critical to a good rift clear, you want to spawn them using the formula above, at around 33/66/99%. Make sure if the end of the rift floor is approaching that you have a pylon game plan. In the cases where you don’t want a pylon, simply despawn pylons ahead by revealing their potential locations before you’ve killed enough to earn one.
When to use pylons: Pylon use can be tricky, every situation will be different, but there are some general rules:
- Power is generally pretty bad in a rift, but amazing on the boss kill. Sometimes it can be used with a massive pull, but often times it will be saved for an attempt on the boss. For the boss kill, Power will be popped when you reach enough stricken stacks, usually around 70%, to kill it within those 30 seconds. Specific bosses have varying strategies: for instance, with Saxtris and COE Wizard you have to wait as long as possible stacking Stricken to kill her in 1 cycle before her adds spawn past 75% hp.
- Speed is also not terribly amazing in the rift, but is also great for stacking stricken on the boss. It can be useful in skipping a floor, or moving to better locations, so this can be a judgement call. For the boss kill, Wizards generally want Speed sooner to stack Stricken faster, while DH & Monk will want to wait until later in the fight to maximize damage.
- Conduit can be essential to a rift clear. The right conduit in the right rift may end up shaving minutes off your clear time. Just make sure to remove as much of the trash as possible before using this on elites, as there are a limited amount of conduit arms. Conduit generally isn’t used on boss, but it could be potentially helpful with adds for a Hydra Wizard.
- Shield is basically useless on the boss, as no one should ever die, but can be pretty useful in the rift. Losing time to deaths in nasty packs, or when moving can be avoided with shield. You will usually pop this soon after seeing it.
- Channeling is one of the more polar pylons, being useless for wizard, decent for monk, and good for Demon Hunter on the boss kill (gives permanent wolf uptime). This pylon can keep people alive in a rift, but certainly isn’t the strongest. There is a caveat that this pylon can be extremely helpful to the Obsidian based Wizard for speed runs, as he can get back into archon even faster. 🙂
Bad Mobs Affixes
Illusionist: Causes lag, drops witch doctor dots
Juggernaut: Cannot drag/group, can’t CC, takes less damage
Shielding: Takes less damage, hard to CC, hard to drag
Teleporter: Takes less damage from not being centered in density
Wormhole: You deal less damage & risk dying often
Bad Mob Types
Any Runners: Goat Shamans, Ghosts, Bees, Porcupines, Diggers, Quill Fiends, Vile Temptress
Large Mobs: Trees, Turkeys, Mallet Lords,
Ranged Mobs: Exorcists, Blazing Constructs, Seraphs
Painful Mobs: Oppressor, Savage Beast, Goat Spearchuckers
Heal/Teleport Mobs: Morlu Legionnaire, Morlu Incinerator
For more information about the different mobs and their progression, damage, type, and movability, check out warpath.eu !
Damage Reduction Abilities
Inner Sanctuary: 55% reduction, multiple runes are viable. Safe Haven is most common, followed by temple of protection and then Intervene for moving fast in Speeds.
Blinding Flash: 30% chance for mobs to miss & 25% reduction for 5 seconds after blind ends. Crippling light is always used with this.
Resolve: Monk Passive that reduces enemy damage by 20% for 4 seconds.
Ignore Pain: 50% reduction as a buff for 11 seconds with 6 second Pride of Cassius belt. Mob rule has to be used for group benefit.
*Threatening Shout: This is optional damage reduction if you don’t run falter you can use Grim Harvest for 15% globe chance and 20% damage reduction.
Key Rift Decisions
- When to move: The group should consider moving when density on the screen thins out, or when it becomes too dangerous/laggy to stay. If there is less than 5% progression on the screen, you should go. There are exceptions to this rule, like low elites, where you are travelling, bad tiles ahead, or end of floor. Use your team to make these calls.
- Where to move: Like I mention in our Barb Guide, you want to be looking for intersections past a bit of density, so that you can pull from multiple directions, and build your sausages. 😉
- What mobs are dangerous: Generally speaking, if you are set in density, nobody should be dying. If you are unable to heal through incoming damage, it’s time to go. It really depends on the rift level, your gear and paragon, and the specific affixes you are facing. As Zhanji would say, if it’s too hot, bounce.
- Is there enough density: Can you kill the elite you are fighting with the density available? If you can’t, you need to go. Don’t spend an extra minute to finish 1 elite, it is never worth it. You can use this same philosophy the second you enter a floor, ask yourself, is there enough density to make any good pops?
- When should the Barb stay in group: Right after you create your sausage is the most dangerous time. Mobs won’t be debuffed, affixes haven’t all gone out, and lag is about to happen. Use your experience to learn when lag will occur, and remain in the group, stunning with charge and stomp to create globes, and disrupt incoming damage even during lag.
Minor Rift Tips
- Bottomless Potion of Kulle-Aid will allow supports to break walls, this can be vital in grouping and pulling, call it out to to try and rotate cooldowns
- Witch doctor needs to save Spirit Walk for crucial moments, this includes when it’s time to move as well as if an elite has wormhole for example
- Keep up all your buffs, whether it be a set bonus, a spell you have to cast for the group, or even your little rogue and slanderer buffs
- Always repair before a rift, seriously, we’ve all had this disaster happen in our Diablo careers
- Remove area damage from paragon on support characters (This only causes lag)
That about sums up the written guide on how to rift. Zhanji, Bear and I go over other aspects in the video, which I encourage and hope all of you had a chance to check out.