How to make the best use of Diablo 3 Season 19’s Pandemonium buff
Season 19 has begun in Diablo 3, and with it comes the Seasonal Pandemonium buff . You may be wondering how to best make use of this, quite possibly the best stacking buff in the history of the game and certainly the most fun Season buff since they debuted these themed Seasons.
In short, it’s a kill streak buff. All you have to do is keep hitting monsters and the buff will stack and stack and stack, up to a thousand stacks, which will increase your movement speed by up to 50% and your damage by up to 100%. In fact, when I first started writing this post, I had no idea what I could even add to it to help you make better use of it. It just stacks whenever you kill something, and it persists as long as you’ve hit something within five seconds.
Here are the basics, as explained by Nevalistis:
- For the duration of the Season, all players will have a stacking buff that that persists as long as you have hit or killed a monster within the last 5 seconds
- Each stack gives 0.05% movement speed and 0.1% bonus damage. This bonus caps at 50% movement and 100% damage (1000 stacks).
- In addition, after reaching a certain number of kills in a row, a power is unleashed, dealing an amount of scaling damage based on player level and difficulty or Greater Rift level.
But my fellows here at Blizzard Watch convinced me that there’s more to it. Specifically, that there are things you can do to preserve that bonus and keep dishing out more damage, as well as getting weird things to happen all around you as the buff’s more unusual affects kick in. So let’s talk about that.
How to maximize Season 19’s Pandemonium buff
To keep it rolling on you must hit it Yes, that’s a Devo reference. Anyway, here are a few suggestions for how to maximize Pandemonium.
Make the most of movement speed buffs. Whatever class you’re playing, you’ll get the most out of Pandemonium if you have some form of movement speed buff so you can get to more targets before the five second window is over. You want to keep hitting as many mobs as possible in order to ensure the stacking buff doesn’t fall off. Abilities like the Barbarian’s Leap or the Crusader’s Steed Charge come to mind here, anything that allows you to get in range fast enough to tag some enemies.
The buff stays up as long as you hit things. Remember also that you don’t have to kill anything to keep the buff stacked. As long as you hit something every five seconds, the buff won’t fall off — but you will need to kill things to earn another stack. If you have a reliable AOE ability, one tactic is to run into a group, hit as many as you can, and then run to find another group, using the AOE to keep hitting as many targets as possible to keep the buff stacked up. If you can arrange to drag as many mobs as possible around in your wake in this way, you can essentially extend the buff’s duration indefinitely. Diablo 3 mobs aren’t as fast as most characters, even without movement speed buffs, however, so you’ll have to be careful you don’t utterly outpace them.
Survivability is key. Also, when making a build for exploiting this buff, remember that your own survival is more important than you basic damage — since you’re hoping to have the buff at 100% or as close to it as you can arrange, it’s okay to take some active and passive skills that help keep you upright even if they cost you a little in damage. A dead Witch Doctor summons no Firebats. You want to be summoning Firebats, so make sure not to die — the Pandemonium buff doesn’t reduce damage taken.
Pandemonium does more than just boost speed and damage
Pandemonium is more than just a kill streak buff , however — at certain milestones, you’ll get specific effects like massive energy twisters or a Frost Nova that freezes all enemies. Here’s what you can expect at each level:
- 15 Kills: Five massive energy twisters are unleashed
- 30 Kills: Dark Geysers form beneath enemies
- 50 Kills: Exploding Chickens seek and destroy
- 100 Kills: Corpses rain from the sky
- 150 Kills: A wide Frost Nova freezes enemies
- 200 Kills: Treasure chests fall from the sky
- 300 Kills: A ring of fire engulfs everything
- 400 Kills: Meteors hail from above
- 500 Kills: Angels descend upon the battlefield to fight for your cause
- 1000 Kills: ???
This means, paradoxically, you may want to let the buff fall off sometimes so you can stack it up to the specific number of kills that will trigger the effect you want. I mean, getting Pandemonium up to 1000 stacks is awesome and fun, but you may be surrounded and in trouble before you hit 150 kills.
Sometimes letting the buff drop will be unavoidable anyway — you’ll reach a point where the battleground simply doesn’t have any more demons or undead for you to hit and the buff is going to fall off. One way to avoid that is to be as vigilant as possible and be prepared to drop any ability that hits at range or multiple targets as soon as you see anything — remember you don’t have to kill them to keep the buff on, just to stack it up.
Hopefully this helps you get your murderous rampage up for this season, as there’s something absolutely amazing about getting to that 1000 kill buff and seeing that fire chain pentagram thing.
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