Season 12 is only two weeks old, but players have already blown away marks and goals that would have taken them nearly an entire season in the past. Yes, the new level of power granted in Patch 2.6.1 is very real and certain builds are showcasing that quite spectacularly on the Leaderboards. Let's take a look at the most popular builds currently topping the charts for each class.
Tal Rasha Meteor Wizard
Taking advantage of the buffs given to items that support channeling skills and Meteor, we currently see the Tal Rasha Meteor build leading the way for Wizards. This setup delivers disgustingly large amounts of damage under the right circumstances. Previously, Tal Rasha's had a place for Wizards when it was mixed with the Vyr's set, but now it truly gets to stand on its own with a high clearing Greater Rift build that should stay competitive deep into Season 12.
Immortal King Hammer of the Ancients Barbarian
Resurfacing as a blast from the Season 4 past, the updates to Immortal Kings and all of the items that support Hammer of the Ancients have seen this fan favorite rise to the top. HOTA once lived a life that was best paired with a support Monk, giving it the healing necessary to survive, but in the current season, this build is tough enough to go it alone and take on high-level Greater Rifts. However, unless you plan to be true to Hammer of the Ancients all season long, make sure you keep an eye on the Furious Charge and Whirlwind setups, as they will also be clearing competitively high Greater Rifts.
Sunwuko Wave of Light Monk
Looking to be simultaneously the most popular and flashiest build currently running around Season 12, the bell tolls for all Monks. Sunwuko Wave of Light has become a devastating way to not only clear the highest of Greater Rifts, but also helps Monks contest the crown of fastest Torment 13 Nephalem rift clearer. With a couple of variations currently existing for this build, it will be interesting to see if any alternatives arise to challenge this ranged destroyer deeper into the season.
Pestilence Corpse Lance Necromancer
We knew that the top Necromancer build would be a Corpse Lance setup; we just didn't know which set it would revolve around. So far, it looks like it's out with the old and in with the new, due to the amazingly high single-target damage output of the Pestilence set. Not only is this the chart topper for solo Necromancer play, but current 4-player Greater Rift Guardian killing also takes up the Pestilence set for its Corpse Lance deliveries. With the highest Greater Rift clear across any class currently belonging to the Pestilence Corpse Lance Necromancer, look for this set to only become more dominant deeper into the season.
Akkhan Condemn Crusader
To celebrate this phenomenon, we need to go even deeper into the seasonal history books. Remember Season 1? Season 2? The Crusader didn't have too many choices back then, so Condemn was overpowered by default. Now with some of the most diverse options ever available to the class, Condemn has finally returned as a decimating AOE powerhouse. Rolling through Greater Rifts is a harrowing affair, as this squishy build lives and dies with one right or wrong move. However, the damage output in high density scenarios is exquisite. We will see whether Condemn stays on top as its damage ceiling is phenomenal, but other builds such as Blessed Shield or even the recently dethroned Blessed Hammers may have something to say about the top spot.
Shadows Impale Demon Hunter
Put a bookmark here to revisit Demon Hunter builds later in the season. Shadows Impale has famously been one of the fastest to start builds due to the addition of the legendary power to Holy Point Shot and the ease with which one can craft a Karlei's Point. When gearing up is that simple and the setup deals enormous amounts of damage with little need for optimization, it makes perfect sense to see this build dominating the Leaderboards early in Season 12. However, Demon Hunters seem to be one of the more evenly balanced classes among their set buffs, so don't be surprised if Multishot, Grenades, or even Natalya's comes knocking in a few weeks for those high rankings.
Arachyr Firebats Witch Doctor
Last but not least. a longtime meta stronghold has reclaimed its spot. For two shining seasons, Legacy of Nightmares Spirit Barrage sent Arachyr Firebats packing, but now, due to the set and item buffs of Patch 2.6.1, it would seem the Witch Doctor is spinning (bats) to win again. Witch Doctors have also continued to secure their placement in the 4-player Greater Rift meta as the trash killer with this same Arachyr Firebats playstyle. Early reports have noted that the server optimizations done for 2.6.1 seem to have eased the laggy woes of groups that utilized the strong area damage output of this build, but we will keep an eye on this as groups push higher and enemies hang around for longer.
That's a wrap for our early look at Season 12's most popular and powerful builds. Don't see a build you're playing up here? Think there's a build that will surprise everyone and take the Leaderboards by storm? We want to hear about it! Hop into the comments and let us know which builds you're enjoying this season.
Leviathan (@LeviathanD3) is a content creator for Diablo Fans and a Hardcore Crusader for life. You can likely catch him streaming high Leaderboard/Conquest rank attempts unless he's out taking photographs or discovering new music.