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DiabloJun 3, 2019 2:00 pm CT

How to make best use of Diablo’s Season 17 Legacy of Nightmares Season bonus

If you’re playing Diablo 3‘s Season 17 you may have noticed the Legacy of Nightmares set bonus has been adapted into a Seasonal power. This power boosts your damage and reduces the damage you take if you don’t have any set bonuses — and it may lead you to believe that set items aren’t worth using this Season. It’s understandable, but ultimately probably not the best way to go about gearing up as you increase your difficulty through various Torment ranks and grow in Paragon levels. Because while you’ll have the Legacy of Nightmares set bonus for free without wearing the Legacy set, it’s contingent on having enough Ancient or Primal Ancient Legendaries to make up for those excellent set bonuses.

Let’s take a look at the Legacy of Nightmares set bonus:

While this is the only item Set Bonus the character has, their damage dealt is increased by 750% and damage taken is reduced by 4% for every Ancient Item they have equipped.

Obviously, this is a great Season bonus if you have Ancient items. But just as obviously, it might not be the right call for you, depending on the gear you have.

Should we avoid set bonuses in Season 17?

To break it down in its simplest terms: if you have the six piece set bonus from Season 17’s Haedrig’s Gift, and you only have 2 Ancient pieces, refusing to wear that set because you want the Legacy bonus, which gives you 1500% bonus damage, is likely a huge mistake. I’ll use the Might of the Earth set as an example. The various bonuses that the set confers — the cooldown reduction on four clutch Barbarian abilities, the combination of Earthquake and Leap, and the massive 20,000% damage bonus to Earthquake, Avalanche, Leap, Ground Stomp, Ancient Spear, and Seismic Slam make this set a powerhouse in pushing Greater Rifts. The sheer volume of abilities it buffs and the huge damage bonus it grants means that it would take a lot of Ancient pieces before you’d be better off with the Legacy bonus than this set.

And that’s fine. The Legacy bonus isn’t intended to make you throw all your set pieces in the garbage. It’s there for you to play around with it — if you want to try out an unconventional build or one based around abilities you don’t have a set bonus for, the Legacy set can buff your damage and more importantly, your damage resistance to make your experimenting more survivable. For myself, the build I’m experimenting with benefits hugely from the Might of the Earth bonus — it heavily involves Leap, Avalanche Earthquake and Seismic Slam for the majority of its damage and damage reduction thanks to having cubed the Band of Might and Lut Socks — and I can’t really foresee switching away from it for a while yet. I would need absolutely amazing Primal Ancient pieces in pretty much every slot to make losing that 20,000% damage to the four abilities I do the most damage with worth it.

So is the Legacy buff bad?

No, not at all. It’s a fun meta-buff that allows you to go for more unconventional builds once you have the gear to support it. Remember, the buff is additive — every Ancient piece you have, as long as you don’t have any set bonuses, you add 750% damage and 4% damage reduction.

You can have between 12 and 13 Ancient pieces (Legendaries or even Set pieces as long as you don’t have a Set bonus, so keep that in mind) which would mean 9750% damage increase and 52% damage reduction. If you wanted to go with a build much more heavily based on, say, Frenzy and Hammer of the Ancients, that build would still benefit from the Gavel of Judgement and Bracers of the First Men bonuses. Since there’s no Barbarian set that directly buffs Hammer of the Ancients, going for the full Legacy buff and stacking 13 Ancient pieces for that additional 9750% damage on top of the Gavel’s 800% and the Bracers’ 500% means that your Hammer will be hitting for 11,050% extra damage, while your Frenzy will still get the benefit of the Legacy bonus and that 9750% bonus damage, and because you’re not using a set you could equip more of these pieces that buff Frenzy damage as well.

In short, don’t be afraid to wear sets

In essence, the Legacy of Nightmares buff for Season 17 is a more complex one than Season 16’s Ring of Royal Grandeur buff, but it’s one that allows you to make your own decisions once you have the gear to sustain it.

So don’t be afraid of set gear this season — instead, use it as long as it provides you with the power to up your Torment and clear Rifts and Bounties, because that’s how you’ll get the better gear you need to make full use of the Legacy of Nightmares bonus to tailor a build for yourself.

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