Echoing Nightmare META

Introduction

In this article we will talk about the most effective tactic available (META) to clear Echoing Nightmare as high and as fast as possible, covering both group and solo play.

Disclaimer: During the PTR the XP rewards for completing Echoing Nightmare were capped at tier 150, which was quite easy to reach. Since then both the difficulty and the rewards of the event were changed. In this article we still consider getting to tier 150 asap to be the main goal, but also cover the strategies to get to the highest possible tier.


General Strategy

This event can be divided in two parts: early waves (up to wave 70-110 depending on your build and character), where you instantly kill all enemies just by looking at them and later waves where you actually need to stop and deal damage. Early waves play out exactly the same way regardless of your build or number of players in game, you just run around the map and kill every monster as soon as they spawn. There's just a couple of things you need to pay attention to:

  • Discover the entire map before the event starts. This way you can see the skull icons on the minimap for every monster that spawns.
  • Don't let bosses and Hellish Machinations survive for long, as that will prevent you from skipping more than 2 waves at once. Hellish Machinations stay dormant if they have no enemies in line of sight so you need to walk up to them before you can kill them if they spawn behind walls.

After the early waves your strategy changes a bit depending on what exactly you are trying to do. If you want to reach as high wave as possible (e.g. it's early season or you are playing a weak build or you are going for max XP per Petrified Scream):

  1. Reach wave 100 and click Speed Pylon to dodge green meteors easier.
  2. When you are 40%+ Overwhelmed click Power Pylon.
  3. When you are 60%+ Overwhelmed click Conduit Pylon and Channeling Pylon.
  4. After all the Pylons expire, run away from monsters and dodge everything to squeeze out extra 3-5 tiers.

The idea here is to buff yourself up with Speed and Power pylons when you start struggling and then when even those pylons are not enough you let Conduit do the work, while Channeling lets you spam defensive and mobility skills and stay alive. Some builds use cooldown skills to deal damage so Channeling Pylon is a major DPS boost for them, in that case you click Channeling earlier together with Power.

The alternative way to approach Echoing Nightmare is speedrunning to a specific tier (e.g. tier 125 for max rank Whisper of Atonement or tier 150 which was the XP cap on PTR). In that case you use your pylons a bit differently, trying to maximize your power and spend most of the run oneshotting all enemies:

  1. Click Speed Pylon at around wave 50 (or as soon as event starts if your runs take 2 minutes or less).
  2. Click Conduit Pylon, Channeling Pylon and Power Pylon at wave 90-100.
  3. If you are playing Softcore and don't have pools of reflections stacked, walk into a meteor as soon as you reach your goal tier.
  4. If you want to stay alive, then stop fighting about 7 tiers before your goal and run away from mobs to get overwhelmed .

Solo META - Marauder Multishot DH

Concept
In order to excel at Echoing Nightmare clearing a build needs several things:

  • Large AoE to kill all monsters as soon as trey spawn. (bonus points for lingering damage or auto-aiming pets and projectiles)
  • Some mobility to freely click Pylons and to hunt down Hellish Machinations.
  • High damage to stay in "early waves" stage as long as possible.

The Embodiment of Marauder Demon Hunter comes out a clear winner here as is main weakness - the fact that you need to cast Sentry 5 times before you can deal damage - is completely negated by the nature of this game mode.

Still, almost any build that's good for Greater Rift speedfarming will also be pretty decent for Echoing Nightmare. Check out or Echoing Nightmare Tier List to see how different builds stack up against each other.

Marauder DH
Multishot DH

Group META - Double Marauder DH

Concept
All the same considerations from solo apply to group play, so Marauder DH stays the best. But since you now have at least two DPS that can each cover half the map, other builds with smaller AoE become almost as good as the Demon Hunter (for example LoD or Inna Monk).

zBarb is included in the team for his ability to provide massive toughness buffs and even ressurect fallen DPS players.

The last spot in the team is a wildcard. It can be a zDH to provide the damage buff on the later waves, or it can be the third DPS to kill early waves a bit faster, or it can even be a paragon level 400 Witch Doctor, whose only job is to insert Petrified Screams into the cube.

Gameplay
There's an extra quirk in group Echoing Nightmare gameplay that comes from The Flavor of Time. Unlike solo you don't get this effect for free from your follower so you need to swap it. Luckily it's quite easy to do and doesn't require any communication. Typically you will click the Speed Pylon very early and then the other three pylons some 30-40 seconds later. Since you don't need extra damage during the early waves, you can just start the game with The Flavor of Time equipped and swap to Squirt's Necklace once you see all the pylons active on your buff bar.

Marauder DH
Multishot DH
WoL Monk (alt)
Wave of Light Monk
zBarb
zBarb

 









Conclusion

Overall, if you care about optimizing your XP/hour you have two choices: play Marauder DH or leech from Marauder DH. If you don't care about it too much, then playing any other build from S or A tier is good enough. And if you don't care at all, you can play any build under the sun and just let Conduit Pylon do all the heavy lifting. Enjoy Season 26 and good luck on your Leaderboard rank, May RNGesus be with you!


Credits

Written by Northwar
Reviewed by Rob


Changelog

Mar 21st 2022
Post created for Season 26 / Patch 2.7.3