Lords of Hell – Top 3 classes to begin your next adventure
This is my personal list of favorite classes to begin the new Season 30 – The Lords of Hell, based on the Patch notes (2.7.7) and Haedrig’s gift rewards. This guide is not intended for the mid-end season and only aims for the fresh day one/level 1 start.
Season 30 Start Date is January 12, 2024. (Confirmed post here)
In case you are new to seasonal themes, you can check out my old video here where I show one little trick on how to get free bounty materials to ease your fresh start with a level 1 character.
Lords of Hell – What’s New
Diablo 3 is now in maintenance mode and the devs won’t add any new content to the game, but that doesn’t mean that this game is dead. Absolutely not. Instead, we have some seasonal themes from the previous seasons.
Since the Altar of Rite and Visions of Enmity are now permanent features, the actual theme is about Soul shards, which first appeared in Season 25 The Lords of Hell. In my opinion, this was the best seasonal theme ever created, because these soul shards with all different multipliers and effects had massively improved every single build, and shook the meta.
And considering, that we’ll also have no paragon limitation, and Altar of Rite with additional passive effects, such as auto pickup, auto salvaging, double Primals, this season is going to be insane. Even if you are a casual player who has never seen Greater Rift level 150, there’s a high chance for you to reach new heights.
Rank 7 – Necromancer
This set is possibly the weakest among all even after the recent tweaks from the Patch 2.7.7.
Despite its high mobility with Blood Rush, it is underperforming in toughness and output damage compared to other sets such as Rathma, Inarius and even Trag’Oul. Plus it’s heavily dependant on Land of the Dead which lasts only 10 seconds. So to make things work as intended, you will have to find an appropriate gear with the maximum possible cooldown reduction.
Once you equip all the required items like Krysbin, Reilena’s Shadowhook, Aquilla’s cuirass, Corpsewhisper pauldrons, Zodiac ring and Jesseth, it is still struggling to reach high greater rifts, and by high I mean at least greater rift 140. While it’s not very efficient for paragon farming, it can definitely be used for speedfarming rifts and bounties since we already have plenty of cooldown reduction.
But still, it’s not very beginner-friendly in my opinion. There’s plenty of work to take and in the end it doesn’t pay off much. However, if you plan to switch for the meta play, specifically 4-man group with Rathma, then Pestilence would be a good start for you.
Rank 6 – Witch Doctor
Zunimassa is another underperforming set that you can choose during Season 30. This set hasn’t received any notable changes, except now it deals even less damage with mana spenders than in the previous patch.
Although this starter set is quite squishy at first, you’ll be able to stand straight in the medium-level greater rifts and rifts. Your pets, specifically Fetish Army will tank and kill most of the enemies when you apply any mana spenders to them.
Zunimassa features 7 set pieces, and you don’t need many legendaries to start dealing the actual damage. All you need is Dagger of Darts and two helms – Carnevil and Mask of Jeram. The rest is up to you. And since this set heavily relies on pets, you have to pray that they attack specific targets you want.
Might be especially annoying when you want to kill the boss, but your army decides to slay someone else. Pets AI and Mana spenders will slow you down, but if you just want to have some fun, or you are a die-hard Witch Doctor, then this starter set is for you.
If your main goal is to push high-tier greater rifts, then consider switching to Jade Harvester or Helltooth, as both of them have been drastically buffed in patch 2.7.7.
Rank 5 – Wizard
This starter set has also been buffed, and it performs quite well in the Greater Rifts. What’s more important is that it has enough toughness to survive any elites and bosses thanks to Slow Time ability.
However, this set is not the most beginner-friendly as you have to maintain plenty of buffs, control your resource generation and spawn Slow Time in the right spots to deal the maximum damage.
I’ll tell you right away, this set is not good for regular rifts, and other sets like Firebird or Tal’Rasha require fewer buttons to press and provide a straightforward experience. If you prefer to play solo and push the leaderboards, then Delsere is quite ok for that.
However, before you go down this path, consider finding several legendary items like Crown of Primus, Unstable Scepter, Triumvirate, the Shame of Delsere and Wizardspike. For more toughness, you’ll definitely need Halo of Karini, and Guardian’s Jeopardy craftable pieces. Quite a lot isn’t it?
So if you still want to choose this class for some reason, I’d recommend you to switch Delsere to something else, like Firebird or Tal’Rasha as they have much more output damage and mobility than this starter set.
Rank 4 – Demon Hunter
There are several reasons why this set is in this position. First – Marauder’s damage has been halved in patch 2.7.7. And second – it’s slow-paced, if compared with other sets.
This starter set is fun for pushing mid to high Greater Rifts, plus Sentries can cast your Hatred spenders on their own. Since this set has been drastically nerfed, it’s no longer a Top 1, but that’s fine, because we still have Soul Shards to compensate that loss.
Making Marauder is relatively easy. There are only 4 essentials to make this set work – Yang’s Bow, Bombardier’s Rucksack, Zoey’s Secret and Manticore. For extra damage you’ll also need Focus and Restraint rings, and craftable Crimson set. Optionally, you can use Elusive ring, which can save you plenty of time while you’re still leveling.
Speaking of regular rifts and bounties, Marauder can’t keep up with Unhallowed Essence or Gears of Dreadlands as it requires constantly spawning new sentries in every new dense spot. But aside from that, you can still choose Marauder and make a proper build in a matter of hours and go straight to Torment 16. Plus, the choice is not limited to Cluster Arrows. You can also use Multishot and annihilate bosses.
At some point, you can switch this set to the Gears of Dreadlands and begin your farming adventure properly, or even make Support ZDH with the pieces you have already found.
Overall, Demon Hunter is still viable in the latest season. Although this starter set isn’t that versatile, it’s still enough to get to the Torment 16 quickly.
Rank 3 – Crusader
This is the best available set for Crusaders that consists of 7 pieces and can be played differently depending on your playstyle. Solo players will definitely like this starter set because there are many different variations for Akkhan. You can use Bombardment, Blessed Shield, Phalanx or Condemn.
No matter what build you choose, you’ll need plenty of cooldown reduction for permanent Akarat’s Champion. Basically, Crusaders are now in the middle spot and you can efficiently farm Nephalem rifts, some bounties, and push top level Greater rifts, especially with the Soul Shards. Some Akkhan builds can even be found in the 4-man leaderboards, so there’s a high chance that you can later participate in pushing top Greater rifts.
As for downsides, you will need to find plenty of essentials, depending on what build you prefer, and lots of cooldown reduction in every single piece of equipment. Once you maximize all that, you’ll become an indestructible machine of holy order.
Rank 2 – Barbarian
This is another top set, which you can get straight from Haedrig’s gift. It’s agile, reliable, and super strong in the Greater Rifts. Even after the damage nerf in patch 2.7.7, Raekor can still destroy anything on its way.
However, it’s not very efficient in the regular rifts and bounties as the Ancient Spear and Furious Charge don’t have a large area of effect and require some preparations to deal the actual damage. To get the most out of Raekor, you’ll need to find several legendary items, such as The Furnace, Three Hundredth Spear, Arreat’s Law, Skular’s Salvation, Band of Might and Stone Gauntlets. Extra items include Endless Walk and craftable Crimson set.
The actual gameplay for this build is pretty straightforward. You charge into enemies, cast Weapon Throw, and use Ancient Spear with the Boulder Toss rune. Even though it’s fast and deadly, the gameplay might not be very exciting, especially for beginners. If you prefer to casually farm Nephalem Rifts and just relax, then Raekor isn’t what you should be looking.
Group and competitive players would certainly pick this set, as it’s viable in the Meta play, and you can get to rank 1 in the solo leaderboards if you fish for the best map layouts.
Rank 1 – Monk
And the final place number 1 is Inna’s Mantra. This set hasn’t received any changes in patch 2.7.7 so Inna still remains on top among other sets regarding speedfarming.
Just like Akkhan and Zunimassa, it has 7 pieces, that also include a Two-handed daibo which is really cool to obtain early on, because this daibo has a built-in Mystic Ally bonus.
Once you get all the set pieces, you become super tanky because of Mantras and your Mystic Allies deal an increased damage for each active minion. To unlock its full potential, you’ll need to find the Crudest Boots and Bindings of the Lesser Gods.
Farming Nephalem Rifts, Echoing Nightmares, and Bounties with this set is going to be relatively easy, especially with In-geom. As for the Greater Rifts, it’s highly recommended to use Shenlong fists but pushing high tiers requires some practice.
Even though this set has plenty of power for any activities, pushing 150 GR with Inna would be challenging. In my opinion, Legacy of Nightmares and Uliana have more chances to get to rank 1 in the leaderboards.
Class table Performance (personal preference)
Time for the summary. I have provided a table below which shows what classes in general are the most efficient in farming and playing certain activities in Season 30. One plus (+) represents the possibility to run a certain activity and up to Three pluses (+++) for strongly capable classes.
This table is just my prediction of certain classes. It is based on their set performance, previous PTR tests, and leaderboards. This table may not reflect the actual S30 capabilities.
Season 30 isn’t bringing anything new to the table. It utilizes seasonal themes from previous seasons, so if you are already familiar with Soul Shards, Enmity portals, and Altar of Rite, then this season isn’t going to surprise you. New players however will be able to enjoy this season more, and it’s a great chance to test a favorite build in high-tier Greater rifts.
Soul shards massively improve the game and provide much more flexibility than before. Thanks to Altar of Rite, seasonal builds are going to be even stronger. As for the seasonal conquests, they don’t pose any challenge. They can be done naturally, by just playing the game, so reaching the Guardian chapter in S30 is not a big deal. If you want to know more about the conquests, feel free to check my Ultimate Seasonal conquests guide for Diablo 3.