How to make the most of Diablo 3 Season 23’s follower gear
While Diablo 3‘s Season 23 does not have a theme, it does have updates to the follower system that will apply to both Seasonal and non-Seasonal play. This rework of the follower system in patch 2.7.0 includes the ability to kit out your followers with gear in every slot that you can currently equip gear on your actual character — fourteen item slots in all, including Follower Relic Item, Helm, Shoulders, Chest, Gloves, Bracers, Belt, 2 Rings, Neck, Pants, Boots, main-hand weapon, and off-hand.
This gives your followers significantly more stats than the current system, and likely will help them with their fragility — anyone who’s ever done a high-level Greater Rift and watched Kormac die over and over again will know that the followers can tend to be somewhat disposable. However, there are other perks and items that provide a bit more utility beyond extra stats.
Emanate gear benefits both follower and player
The real standout ability is Emanate, which allows your follower to wear specific items and have the powers of those items transfer to your character. Now, the items that work with Emanate are fairly limited — you can’t just slap on any legendary or set piece item on your follower and get the benefits on your character, it has to be one of the items designed to work with the system. So far it’s a reasonably small list.
- Broken Crown
- Homing Pads
- Spaulders of Zakara
- Custerian Wristguards
- Nemesis Bracers
- Gladiator Gauntlets
- Gloves of Worship
- Dovu Energy Trap
- Rakoff’s Glass of Life
- Avarice Band
- Krede’s Flame
- The Flavor of Time
- Sage’s Journey (3-piece set bonus)
- Cain’s Destiny (3-piece set bonus)
Some of these are interesting but not especially powerful. For example, the Broken Crown just means that whenever a gem drops, you’ll get another gem that matches the one socketed in said Broken Crown. Which is nice, but hardly particularly powerful, especially as you progress in the game and are swimming in gems. Similarly, the Homing Pads, Spaulders of Zakara and Goldskin provide no combat benefit whatsoever. The Flavor of Time and the two sets included, the Sage’s Journey and Cain’s Destiny, are probably the best examples of items that will grant the player some actual power — the Flavor of Time extending the duration of pylon and shrine effects by 100%, while the Sage’s Journey gives 250 of the core stats (strength, dexterity, intelligence and vitality) and the Cain’s Destiny set bonus provides +8% attack speed. You could theoretically put both sets on your follower, since both are three piece set bonuses and you’ve got Helm, Shoulders, Chest, Gloves, Bracers, Belt, Pants and Boots to work with.
Other contenders would be the Dovu Energy Trap, if you wanted to emphasize stuns, Rakoff’s Glass of Life for additional health globes in combat, and the Nemesis Bracers for farming elite mobs by spawning them at pylons and shrines. But the fact is, pretty much all of the items included in Emanate as of the current build of the ability are utility items, not raw power additives. Still, getting a free ability to spawn elites on pylons or bonus set items without having to wear those sets is still pretty excellent and brings a lot more utility to those followers you’re going to have following you around anyway.
For now, experiment — and try different gear for different purposes
In general, approach the gearing of followers in Season 23 as a cool way to make them stronger and to give yourself nice bonuses that are good for utility — bonuses to XP, for example — are good while leveling, while items that provide a damage reduction shield while using Town Portal are decent for running away. Not something you’ll use much in a Greater Rift, but there’s utility there.
Hopefully Emanate will expand after it debuts and we’ll see some more potent legendary items be included.
Originally posted March 10, 2021. Updated April 1, 2021.
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