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D2R 2.6 Class Changes (Skills & Runewords) - Which Builds Will Be New Meta in Diablo 3 Resurrected Ladder Season 3?
2/14/2023 7:02:43 PM

We analyze what changes and effects D2R 2.6 patch will bring to our build, involving class skill changes, new ladder-only runewords, and terror zone and sunder charms. So that, you will get know which builds will be meta in the Ladder Season 3 of Diablo 2 Resurrected!

D2R 2.6 Class Changes - Which Builds Will Be Meta in Diablo 3 Resurrected Ladder Season 3?

Initially, when the Rune words dropped for the 2.6 PTR, we were completely unimpressed we got an upgrade for harmony for mid-tier and swap bows in the form of Hustle and a somewhat interesting Druid helmet that only gave a small improvement. With the updated D2R 2.6 patch notes though, we got a few more interesting overlaps and a big buff to the assassin on several fronts which while not making her Queen of the Hill, definitely brings up a nice set of options for new likely High tier play styles for her, especially when combined with other End Game Gear, this along with some bug fixes and a handful of changes to the new Runewords, definitely improves our opinion of the patch overall, even if there are still some issues to be addressed.

Namely the change of Cold Mastery to the one-fifth functionality on sundered enemies and the fix to the Druid Shockwave bug with some hopes that it will get buffed in 2.7 by how they phrased it . Let's get the Nerfs out of the way first and how they change Class skills. 

1 - Skill Changes To Sorceress Builds

The Cold Mastery Nerf, brings the progress of the cold sorceress more in line with the rest of the sorcerer's builds, letting them ramp up about the same into their D2R End Game Gear. The Sorceress is still going to be the go-to for early farmer builds for people looking to make JSB bucks early on, as well as people racing to just be the first to finish Hell. This is not going to change, but it does bring back the arguments for builds like Hydro Orb that let you pretty much farm anywhere with or without Sunder Charms or even high-end gear. Though Blizzard Orb will still be the ultimate boss hunter on a budget just because of how it works and how ACT bosses will never be immune.

2 - Skill Changes To Druid Builds

Now with the Shockwave bug being fixed, the developer's note specifically states that they wanted to Implement targeted changes and Buffs for the Druid instead of having a particular Druid build be strong because of a bug, which makes it sound like they heard the positive response to the bug. And maybe looking at implementing a buff to the skill specifically in 2.7 which would be very welcome, as it made the bear Druid much more competitive especially after they nerfed its attack speed in last year's updates. 

3 - Builds Improved by the New D2R 2.6 Runewords 

On the other end of the spectrum though we have the Buffs, namely improvements to some of the new Runewords a handful of important bug fixes, especially for the Amazon, and an overall Improvement to the Assassin skills that previously had been less impressive due to gear not benefiting from them, nearly as much as other Elemental damage classes. All this combined with bringing Terror zones over to single-player and a handful of bug fixes makes for some nice changes.

Cure Runeword on Mercenary

On the D2R Runewords, there are four noteworthy changes with most of the Shael IO runes remaining basic and Elemental themed but cure specifically getting something fun in the form of cleansing Aura, which will allow you to triple dip on prayer. On the Act 2 mercenary, now by using Insight and Cure on the prayer mercenary gives you triple raid healing which is handy for a few builds. But the most popular will still be the Nova Shield sorceress thanks to it essentially completely negating how weak she is to poison while keeping her Mana topped off nicely.


Level 1 Cleansing Aura when Equipped
+20% Faster Hit Recovery
+75-100% Enhanced Defense(varies)
+10 to Vitality
Increase Maximum Life 5%
Poison Resist +40-60%(varies)
Poison Length Reduced by 50%

Hustle Runeword on Amazon Builds 

Hustle also got some pretty big changes with the armor version being made even more of a direct upgrade to stealth and placing itself in a little closer spot to Treachery, but not quite beating it for most builds. While the weapon version has a much lower level burst of speed but gains a persistent fanaticism Aura and a higher percent damage than before, meaning it's not going to really change in the position, it has bumping out Harmony for a lot of options, but it will change its Dynamic a bit making it even more likely to be a main mid-tier weapon for boazons, but now slightly more viable as a mid-tier weapon itself for melee characters as well.


5% Chance to cast level 1 Burst of Speed on striking
Level 1 Fanaticism Aura
+30% Increased Attack Speed
+180-200% Enhanced Damage(varies)
+75% Damage to Undead
+50 to Attack Rating against Undead
+10 to Dexterity

+65% Faster Run/Walk
+40% Increased Attack Speed
+20% Faster Hit Recovery
+6 to Evade
+10 to Dexterity
50% Slower Stamina Drain
+All Resistances +10

Metamorphosis Runeword on Druid Builds

On the flip side, Metamorphosis change was fairly minor, moving the crushing blow off of the mark and just onto the helmet in general which brings the two marks more in line with each other. Our opinions from the original Runeword though kind of stay the same. In that, we don't see people generally bothering to juggle between the two forms and overall we do like the Bear Mark more than the Wolf Mark, but it still fits the role they want as a competitor for best in slot and game Druid helmets.


Werewolf strikes grant Mark for 180 seconds
Mark of the Wolf:
+30% Bonus to Attack Rating
Increase Maximum Life 40%

Werebear strikes grant Mark for 180 seconds
Mark of the Bear:
+25% Attack Speed
Physical Damage Received Reduced by 20%

+5 to Shape Shifting Skills (Druid only)
+25% Chance of Crushing Blow
+50-80% Enhanced Defense(varies
+10 to Strength
+10 to Vitality
All Resistances +10
Cannot be Frozen

Mosaic Runeword on Assassin Builds

The big change and one people are sleeping on in communities but slowly waking up to is Mosaic, while not really budget-friendly offline, it will be fairly cheap to get online, but they've specifically made it so the buff to the charges is a lot more appealing, making it so you can dual wield and prevent your charges from being consumed or even expiring, making it an exceptionally valuable tool and they combined it with a percent boost the elemental damage which is extremely welcome with The Changes they're making to the Assassin mechanics, in general, to bring it in line with the other classes. Namely in the case of Mosaic finally letting plus percent Elemental damage work on a neglected Martial Arts Elemental missile effect, meaning if this works how it sounds like it will, you will see multi-charge assassins unleashing massive amounts of melee Elemental damage once fully set up and we could even see certain builds messing around with this and other forms of a finisher and charge up combos outside of Elemental. Though this particular one is definitely geared towards that.


+50% chance for finishing moves to not consume charges
When a finisher is executed this way, it now refreshes the expiration timer of the stack
+2 to Martial Arts (Assassin only)
+20% Increased Attack Speed
+200-250% Enhanced Damage(varies)
+20% Bonus to Attack Rating
7% Life Steal
+8-15% to Cold Skill Damage(varies)
+8-15% to Lightning Skill Damage(varies)
+8-15% to Fire Skill Damage(varies)
Prevent Monster Heal

The other big change for an assassin is minus resistance is finally working for traps, meaning much like how the infinity Nova sorceress is an often neglected nuclear powerhouse. We will likely be seeing assassins starting to adopt similar gearing setups with infinity Trappers and Phoenix Trappers potentially being able to compete with the A-tier builds. If not higher, when previously you were unable to take advantage of these mechanics. Though before people scream about power creep on this, realize the Assassin is only going to be able to achieve most of the power of these really in just late Game Gear only, with the only earlier mid-game option for it being things like Crescent Moon for lightning traps. 

Other Class Skill Changes

As far as the rest of the fixes sure they're not exciting or dramatic or even that major whenever it comes to game-changing things, but they were definitely needed with fewer skills canceling each other out now due to overlaps like blessed aim and penetrate being fixed. Also, a lot of buggy Amazon skills, in general, are being addressed such as strafe which is now looking to be up to the Target power from the previous patches which is a decent buff. As well as fixing a few more attack rating bugs that slip through the cracks with her Elemental skills. 

And we will have to wait and see how the last big change works which are single-player Terror zones, since they're coming offline for everyone wanting Sunder charms though they say they will operate on a different schedule than the online version, so we'll see how it ends up working. We still think there needs to be some tweaking to how they function namely introducing a spawn mechanic or a portal mechanic for them so that players can run Terror zones without game jumping since that would greatly help with server issues in the future, especially should one of the latter patches cause an increased surge in interest. We do also still hope that we'll eventually see stacked runes and gems even if it's just in some form of unique container we can get from a less popular quest like say Anya or Goblin, even that alone would greatly reduce the inventory tax for a lot of players, which is one of the most asked about things in patch comments to this day.

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