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Set to release in early April, Diablo 3’s patch 2.2 is just around the corner, and with it, the awesome new and improved class sets. The patch is poised to add some variety to the current end-game content, so here are some tips for every class on how you can prepare to take advantage of the new strategies as soon as possible.

Most of your prep work will go into farming for pieces of certain sets that will be useful to your class. While changes to legendary items in patch 2.2 will not be retroactive – that is to say, if you have a legendary item that is being changed in 2.2, the item you already possess in your inventory will not change at all – changes to set bonuses are retroactive, meaning you will not have to search for the set pieces all over again when the patch goes live. Of course, you will ideally want ancient versions of every item and set we go over.

Note: The patch has not yet been finalized, so everything is still subject to change. This information is based on how the patch is looking right now, but given we are getting very close to the release window, we likely will not be seeing massive changes.

Barbarian

The 2.2 Barbarian is all about bringing whirlwind back, thanks to a new set, as well as the improved Immortal King’s set. A combination of these two sets seems to be what may be best for the 2.2 barbarian.

Start by working on acquiring your IK set pieces, as well as gear that adds to your whirlwind damage. If you’re currently running the standard Raekor barb build with physical damage, you’ll be able to hold onto a lot of your gear that adds to physical damage, because it seems physical will remain the element of choice for barbarians in 2.2.

Lamentation, the barbarian belt that allows the Rend skill to stack twice, is something that may be worth holding onto as well, because the new 2.2 barbarian set focuses on both whirlwind and rend. The Bul-Kathos set of one-handed barbarian weapons has also been buffed, and while the set is not currently best for pushing the Greater Rift leaderboards, they may still make their way into the game, so hold onto them just in case.

The legendary gems you’ll want to have leveled are Pain Enhancer due to its physical damage, Taeguk because whirlwind will allow you to easily generate and maintain all your stacks, and Bane of the Trapped since as a melee character, its level 25 effect will affect all enemies you are hitting.

Crusader

The 2.2 Crusader is all about the buffed Roland’s set and Shield Bash. Roland’s is focused on Shield Bash and Sweep Attack, but the latter is still underperforming as a skill, so focus on getting gear that will buff your Shield Bash damage. Craft yourself a really good Piro Marella shield, which cuts the Wrath cost of Shield Bash in half. Pick up the Focus and Restraint rings, because the Bastion of Will set has been buffed and it may make its way into Crusader builds. The skill Punish is being buffed, so it may be worthwhile to hold onto the Angel Hair Braid belt, which grants Punish the effect of every rune. This skill may make its way into builds.

The fire rune on Shield Bash is looking to be really strong thanks to its greater area-of-effect damage, so start stacking up on gear that adds to fire damage. It’s not clear which supplemental items will be best, but getting a Cindercoat and Magefist gauntlets isn’t a bad idea – in fact, some variants of the Roland’s build only use the four-piece set bonus, forgoing the six-piece bonus, allowing you to use multiple pieces of supplemental gear.

Legendary gems you should look into leveling include Bane of the Trapped, which will always grant you increased damage at level 25, and Esoteric Alteration and Molten Wildebeest’s Gizzard will help tremendously with survivability. The Gogok of Swiftness could also be useful.

Demon Hunter

(Note: The following information differs somewhat from what the first video on the previous page presents. The Natalya Cold build was not operating as intended due to a bug that was causing it to be more powerful than it should have been. This bug has been fixed, and Natalya’s is no longer as relevant to Greater Rifts. Instead, the new Demon Hunter set is looking to be the new best for Greater Rifts.)

2.2 sees buffs to the Natalya set which make it competitive with Marauder’s for Torment 6 speed rifting, but it is the new set, Unhallowed Essence, which is the real hero. This new set buffs the damage of Multishot and your hatred generators. The leaderboard-topping build in Season 3 may be a fire multishot Unhallowed Essence build with the Dead Man’s Legacy quiver which makes multishot strike enemies under roughly half health twice. However, that quiver is a Season 3-exclusive item, meaning this is not a build you can prepare for in advance.

Instead, it’s looking like the old lightning elemental arrow build with the Meticulous Bolts quiver is coming back into style for non-season Greater Rifts, but with the Unhallowed Essence set instead of Marauder’s. Work on getting gear that adds to lightning damage and elemental arrow damage, as well as the aforementioned quiver, and a Kridershot bow is needed to complete this build with the Unhallowed Essence set, because it turns elemental arrow into a generator and thus makes it capable of being buffed by Unhallowed Essence.

If you will run with Natalya’s set, get a Calamity or other powerful one-handed crossbow to use in tandem with your Natalya crossbow. The updated Focus and Restraint rings may also make it into Demon Hunter 2.2 builds, so hold onto those.

Legendary gems to level up include Zei’s Stone of Vengeance, Bane of the Trapped, Bane of the Powerful, and Taeguk.

Monk

2.2 seems to be all about the ping-pong Monk: the revised Raiment of a Thousand Storms set is dominating the Monk Greater Rift leaderboards, and you can start farming it now. Cold seems to be the element of the month, so pick up gear that adds to cold damage, and the Flying Dragon two-handed weapon that was the best for monks in 2.1 but fell out of favor in 2.1.2 is making a comeback as the best weapon. Also grab the Focus and Restraint rings and items that buff your Dashing Strike damage.

The Inna’s set is seeing buffs, so you can collect this set, but the build is not making it onto the leaderboards.
The top legendary gems we’re seeing on the leaderboards include Esoteric Alteration, Gogok of Swiftness, Bane of the Tapped, Moratorium, and Molten Wildebeest’s Gizzard, so you can focus on leveling those up.

Witch Doctor

2.2 will see the rise of the pet doctor thanks to a combination of buffs to fetish army damage and the proc coefficient (how often it triggers effects) of fetish sycophants, as well as a nerf to Spirit Walk, which heavily reduces the survivability of the standard Jade Harvester build.

In particular, the dart build is looking very strong, so here’s a quick rundown on what items you’ll want for this build:

  • Zunimassa’s set
  • Poison gear
  • Dagger of Darts (weapon)
  • Carnevil (helm)
  • Aughild’s shoulders and bracers (both crafted)
  • Witching Hour (belt)

Legendary gems you’ll want to level include: Gogok of Swiftness, Enforcer, Simplicity’s Strength, and perhaps Bane of the Trapped.

Wizard

The 2.2 Wizard looks to be all about the improved Tal Rasha’s set, so start farming for your Tal Rasha pieces. While the set revolves around combining multiple elemental damage types, fire remains a dominant element to gear towards, so if you are already a Firebird wizard, you can hold onto your fire gear – specifically, a Cindercoat will help thanks to its resource cost reduction. Tal Rasha’s greatest strength is its hard-hitting meteors, so grab gear that adds to your meteor damage.

Other gear to look into finding includes the Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan, the Aether Walker wand which allows you to teleport far more often and serves as a great tool for bounty farming, as well as the Focus and Restraint set rings, because they have been buffed tremendously in patch 2.2.

Legendary gems that you’ll want to have leveled up and ready to use include Zei’s Stone of Vengeance, the Gem of Efficacious Toxin, Bane of the Trapped, Molten Wildebeest’s Gizzard, and Esoteric Alteration.


CJ Miozzi is a Senior Editor at The Escapist and is also known as Rhykker on Youtube. You can follow his livestreams on Twitch and Tweet to him @Rhykker.

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