Diablo® III

*Guide/Videos* Frozen Furor Wizard

Also, streaming MP 10, using my frosties right now Chang :)
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Guide updated.
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If you can get your hands on a really good Skorn, it would suit the build much better since nothing really benefits from attack speed except for SS in your setup. With a good enough Skorn, though, it will hit just as hard as your 1H + source. Plus you get more LS, and can drop BM for FW for even more dps. And Reactive Armor is just ridiculous healing when teamed with LS Skorn.

Only problem I see is that a lot of Vit is from your Spear and Source combined. You'd probably have to make some of that up elsewhere, even with the superior survivability of 6% LS Skorn (if you can find a really good one with high dps and CHD).

AD will stack a little slower, but I always found it sufficient with LL and a Skorn in the past.

I'm also going to assume you don't want to mash any buttons, hence why you didn't go with EB over Blizzard.

Also, curious as to why you're using CM over Illusionist since Teleport is the only cooldown you have.

EDIT: Forgot to ask if you had an MP10 video to share, or if not if you could make one. I really don't like using LL+AD on MP10 with builds because it's too "off and on" for me. But maybe someone like you can show a better way of using it that will make me change my mind.
Edited by Malakai#1265 on 10/29/2013 3:38 PM PDT
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Sure Malakai, I can do that no problem. I do happen to have a really good Skorn on hand.

http://imgur.com/wSDwxdW

I can make a video with a 2 Hand build variation, and the 1 hand/off-hand.

I like the feel of 20 APOC over 10. The extra life steal from Skorn is nice, and I can always put back on my zuni chest for more life (roughly 9k). Something about the extra crit from the oculus, the extended duration on blizzard, and bonus vs elites feels more damaging than Skorn.

With living lighting and sleet storm, I'm recovering the cooldown on teleport much faster. It feels more consistent than Illusionist and I know for sure that it will be up when I need to travel quickly or get out of nasty stuff.
Edited by Saythe#1826 on 10/29/2013 3:47 PM PDT
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Nice Skorn.

10/29/2013 03:44 PMPosted by Saythe
I can make a video with a 2 Hand build variation, and the 1 hand/off-hand.


Awesome. If you can, can you do MP10 VotA, maybe skipping most/all of the trash if possible? I'd like to compare it to my version using EB:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDcfNSnWC2g

With living lighting and sleet storm, I'm recovering the cooldown on teleport much faster. It feels more consistent than Illusionist and I know for sure that it will be up when I need to travel quickly or get out of nasty stuff.


Is your mitigation that high that one big hit won't reset the cooldown? I notice that you're using Crystallize now, is that why? What about with Reactive Armor?
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I've been switching between the two, testing to see how much reactive armor really improves kill speed or not. Crystallize makes the build insanely tanky. I will play around with illusionist in the video as well. Will skip trash.
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I like the feel of 20 APOC over 10.


I forgot that you can't just use Power Hungry like I do with 2H SS since you have AD and can't drop CM/Illusionist. But blipping an LL every so often should keep you going, no?


The extra life steal from Skorn is nice, and I can always put back on my zuni chest for more life (roughly 9k). Something about the extra crit from the oculus, the extended duration on blizzard, and bonus vs elites feels more damaging than Skorn.


Depends on the dps difference between your 1H setup and your 2H setup. If you have equal or more dps using the Skorn, you're going to be doing more overall damage, especially if you use Reactive Armor. If you have less dps when using your Skorn, then it gets a little trickier determining if you're actually doing more dps or not.
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I've been switching between the two, testing to see how much reactive armor really improves kill speed or not.


It should improve it noticeably, especially on Elites since it procs off of a bunch of stuff. Like if you can stand in the middle of an elite pack that has Molten, Fast, Electrify, and Fire Chains, you'll rip them to shreds with Reactive, especially if you use Skorn with it. Blazing Guardian fire patches proc the ever loving crap out of it, too, so if you can stand in their patches and dps them through it they just get annihilated.

This older video of mine shows a lot of what I just talked about above:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bguT-GlovU

Reactive + Skorn just works so well there that any time I go in without them it just feels so much scarier.


Crystallize makes the build insanely tanky.


No doubt. But I think that if you can get sufficient mitigation without relying on it and enough 2H dps that's not contingent on IAS that Reactive is just the way to go in the end. It's more dps, and it's going to be more survivability than anything else except for Frost Nova + CM as long as you can take the hits in the first place.

Basically what my goal was, was to be able to have enough mitigation, HP, and LS to be able to stand in the most damaging of circumstances (within reason, so no standing right on top of the pivot point of Arcane beams for example) and still be able to heal through it all on MP10 without moving. That usually meant Blazing Guardians with Fire Chains + Electrify + Molten + Plague + RD, or something like Copperfang Lurkers with Fast + other nasty affixes since those guys hit for a TON and Fast makes it so much harder to keep up on healing, especially if they also have Health Link.


I will play around with illusionist in the video as well. Will skip trash.


Thanks again, I really appreciate it. I just want to love LL+AD with SS so badly but so far I haven't been able to change my mind about it for various reasons. Hoping you might be able to do that.
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I did a quick video but running out to a birthday party, I'll upload it to youtube when I get home tonight. The spec I used should be current!
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Here you are Malakai:

http://youtu.be/Sb2RGnMMvgc

I also switched back to my Zuni 3 piece and added an Act 1 MP 10 video to my guide. With my mitigation in that gear, Illusionist wasn't popping as much as I wish it would, which makes me enjoy Critical Mass much more, as it's reliable to be back up quickly with Living Lightning, Blizzard, and Sleet Storm.
Edited by Saythe#1826 on 10/29/2013 8:43 PM PDT
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I've been running this build to get my second wiz to plvl 100 and it works great imo.

I've used sns and archon mostly, till I was suggested to give this build a try by Saythe. I was just amazed at how effective it was. I don't have good gear compared to lot of people out there but I was able to run faster and more efficiently. Some elite affixes are a pain but I never really thought having elites perma frozen was all that fun either.

I'm just going to add some of my personal experience from running this build.

1. Basic game play - Run around and cast blizzard and kill trash mobs as you run into them or try to collect trash mobs in small/large area. I say this is all up to your play style. I personally kill as I go but in high density area such as field/weeping, I try to collect larger mobs. You might find yourself running little low on AP at times but just throw couple LL and you'll fill up your AP pretty quickly.

2. Elites - Cast blizzard, use LL to stack 5 arcane dynamo, SS. If SS channeling gets interrupted, repeat.

3. Teleport - Great for mobility but I rather get more dps so I ran familiar. But I don't have good gear so I thought I needed additional dps to kill little faster. Teleport does helpt get out from sticky situations for sure.

4. Storm armor/reactive armor - This works great and Saythe suggested couple other armor spells you can use but I personally used pinpoint for added armor and cc. Again, probably due to my crappy gear. :)

5. CM passive - if you don't need to use this to lower your cool down for teleport, might as use something that fits your play style.

6. OH - I personally used Trium with Apoc. Added blizzard time from Oculus was great, but for poor people, decent Trium with Apoc might give more dps.

7. Frosty - It seems like Frosty performed better if you were able to obtain close to 50% cc while using a frosty. Again, my gear bad = rare gloves performed better.

8. SoJ - same thing as frosty imo. great for elites, low cc bad, higher cc good. Personally, I love Soj so I used it.

Overall, I thought only archon, cm/ww was viable for high mp but I was surprised how effective this build can be. Give it a try!

p.s. Just want to say thanks to forum people. You guys share your knowledge and helped me get better experience from D3
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Here you are Malakai:

http://youtu.be/Sb2RGnMMvgc


Nice video. You play it well.

Although I'm a little more optimistic about the LL+AD variation of SS, I'm still not convinced it's better than, say, a 2H variation using Sparkflint, EB, and Power Hungry instead of LL, AD, and Blizzard.

I've gotten into quite a few lengthy discussions with both Milesian and Loroese in the past about my aversion to LL+AD in SS builds. My argument is that since LL takes the place of something like Sparkflint, you're doing less damage compared to an AD variation during times when you can't or haven't stacked AD. Also, the time you spend restacking AD is time you're not casting SS, so you lose damage and healing during those times. While you can make up that lost damage (and then some, at times) once AD is stacked, you have to constantly restack it everytime you move, get knocked back, and feared on Elite fights, which cuts into the uptime of AD and thus the overall contribution of the ability. I think Loroese told me that it takes 3-4 seconds of channeling an AD boosted SS in order to recoup the lost dps from the act of casting LL until 5 stacks, so if you have to move more often than every 3 or 4 seconds, you're actually doing less damage than a Sparkflint variation that doesn't have to restack AD, and it's more effort. Also, once you get to a certain dps level, stacking AD for trash is useless since pretty much everything is already dying in a few seconds or less without it, making Sparkflint better there, especially if you like to stutter-step and/or Teleport around to mobs to speed things up instead of waiting for them to come to you.

Also, if you're able to build to not need LL for AP management, which is doable in several different ways, it leads to higher dps because you don't have to ever let up. For 2H SS with 10 APoC on helm, Unleashed, Power Hungry and high enough dps and using SoJ, you can kill even single target elites without really letting up. Since you're always close to things that die (or that you're hitting in the cast of elites that pop globes at random) given that SS is a melee range ability, you can easily stutter step to globes while only losing fractions of uptime on SS. Compare that to LL where it takes almost full attack turns at lower APS levels per LL cast and you're losing a lot of dps during refill periods.

There's also that bug with AD where if you, say, throw out a couple of LLs and then start channeling a spell before you see 5 stacks and then you hit 5 stacks in the middle of a channel, it'll eat the 5 stack but you won't get the benefit of AD. That means you're forced into "over casting" LL and waiting until you visually see 5 stacks on your buff bar before being able to resuming channeling SS just to ensure that you're not wasting stacks. This cuts into full dps uptime as well, making the Sparkflint variation less "accident prone".

There are indeed times when you can stack AD right off the bat and sit and spin and never have to move until the Elites are dead, and that's when AD truly shines. And it's absolutely devastating under those circumstances.

I also have issue with Blizzard over Explosive Blast in SS builds past MP8. On MP8 and lower, Blizzard is quite an amazing ability when using high weapon damage gear setups. It can clear entire packs of trash mobs in 1 cast most of the time. But past MP8 the effectiveness of a single Blizzard is greatly diminished because the HP scaling of mobs goes way up from there. For example, I think the mobs have twice as much HP on MP10 as on MP8 (might just be Elites, can't remember exactly how the scaling functions).

Also, when you're surrounded by mobs, EB is going to do a ton more damage than Blizzard. Even on Elite packs when there are at least 3 of them at once, EB is going to contribute a lot more damage, and you don't have to stop casting SS to use it like you do with Blizzard. This is especially advantageous when using LL+AD because you don't have to stop to recast Blizzard and then restack AD again. Bonus Blizzard Duration (like on your Source) can lessen this impact, though.

Plus EB is less strain on your AP if you use Unleashed, and the proc coefficient is much better than Blizzard (so Teleport gets reset faster, and EB itself). I think it only takes like 2 Unleashed casts in 6 seconds (base duration of Blizzard) to do more damage than Blizzard when you factor in the attack turn you lose on SS from the act of casting Blizzard, and for 20 less AP, and that's very doable, even on single targets. With Bonus +2 Blizzard Duration on your Source, you're getting an extra 170% weapon damage from each Blizzard, but even in 8 seconds you should be able to cast enough Unleashed to outdps it (should need 3 casts) and still save 10 AP in the process.

The AoE of Blizzard is big if you use Stark Winter, so it hits stuff on the fringes when you're SS'ing. But you also have to remember that Blizzard applies a snare, so it takes mobs longer to get into range of your SS if you're just standing and spinning, so it's not really an advantage. Probably more of a wash than anything, because while they'll be lower on HP when they get to you, they take longer to get to you.

That's not to say that Blizzard is horrible. It's great for tagging mobs at range so that you can round them up a bit with other packs. Plus if you have to move or Teleport away, it's still doing damage. And if you're not concerned about picking up loot, you can drop a Blizzard when the mobs are at low HP after SS'ing them for a bit and just Wormhole to the next pack, knowing that Blizzard will finish the job for you while you're offscreen.


I also switched back to my Zuni 3 piece and added an Act 1 MP 10 video to my guide. With my mitigation in that gear, Illusionist wasn't popping as much as I wish it would, which makes me enjoy Critical Mass much more, as it's reliable to be back up quickly with Living Lightning, Blizzard, and Sleet Storm.


For sure. With your other gear setup in the VotA video, it looked like Illusionist was going off quite a bit, though. Less mitigation there, plus mostly elites that hit harder.

Sorry for the long post. As you can tell I'm quite passionate about SS builds. Would enjoy hearing your thoughts and experiences on things, and maybe see you try some of the things I mention if you haven't yet. Like maybe do a video using Unleashed instead of Blizzard in VotA while using an SoJ, keeping the LL+AD thing going. That would be great to see from your perspective and with your gear setup.
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Malakai, I'll respond tomorrow with some feedback based on that lengthy post.

For now, I'm streaming! Drinking some great craft beers, come join me!

http://www.twitch.tv/saythe/
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Awesome post, Malakai! I always enjoy reading up on the finer aspects of RoF builds. There is no such thing as too much detail. :P
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Nice video. You play it well.


Thanks!


Although I'm a little more optimistic about the LL+AD variation of SS, I'm still not convinced it's better than, say, a 2H variation using Sparkflint, EB, and Power Hungry instead of LL, AD, and Blizzard.


I've tried many times to utilize a build with a a two handed weapon, and while it is possible, it doesn't feel nearly as smooth, and I'm usually feeling AP starved, which is a frustrating feeling


I've gotten into quite a few lengthy discussions with both Milesian and Loroese in the past about my aversion to LL+AD in SS builds. My argument is that since LL takes the place of something like Sparkflint, you're doing less damage compared to an AD variation during times when you can't or haven't stacked AD. Also, the time you spend restacking AD is time you're not casting SS, so you lose damage and healing during those times. While you can make up that lost damage (and then some, at times) once AD is stacked, you have to constantly restack it everytime you move, get knocked back, and feared on Elite fights, which cuts into the uptime of AD and thus the overall contribution of the ability. I think Loroese told me that it takes 3-4 seconds of channeling an AD boosted SS in order to recoup the lost dps from the act of casting LL until 5 stacks, so if you have to move more often than every 3 or 4 seconds, you're actually doing less damage than a Sparkflint variation that doesn't have to restack AD, and it's more effort. Also, once you get to a certain dps level, stacking AD for trash is useless since pretty much everything is already dying in a few seconds or less without it, making Sparkflint better there, especially if you like to stutter-step and/or Teleport around to mobs to speed things up instead of waiting for them to come to you.


Wouldn't time spent vs. the elite packs you face that you don't need to move/lose a 5 stack charge of AD, make up for the situations in which you do? There's many situations in which I can cast a 75% boosted Blizzard, and while moving in with my living lightning, have a 75% boosted Sleet Storm going. Like you mention above, fear, knock-back, or move, while unfortunate, you don't HAVE to restack to 5 charges immediately, Sleet Storm without say, 12% more damage from sparkflint, is still going to dish out respectable damage, especially with damage multipliers from items like Frostburns, SoJ, Tyrael's, Stormcrow, and Oculus. Not to mention with my build, blizzard is/should still be pummeling away (4 ticks per second, with a Per Tick Crit range of 214058 - 362663 over 8 seconds). and it's not as if living lightning doesn't do damage too.


Also, if you're able to build to not need LL for AP management, which is doable in several different ways, it leads to higher dps because you don't have to ever let up. For 2H SS with 10 APoC on helm, Unleashed, Power Hungry and high enough dps and using SoJ, you can kill even single target elites without really letting up. Since you're always close to things that die (or that you're hitting in the cast of elites that pop globes at random) given that SS is a melee range ability, you can easily stutter step to globes while only losing fractions of uptime on SS. Compare that to LL where it takes almost full attack turns at lower APS levels per LL cast and you're losing a lot of dps during refill periods.


I don't know if this is an entirely true statement, but your argument is valid for debate. There also aren't many situations in which I myself, need to stutter step. Which is why I favor pickup radius, you can simply mouse over a health globe if you need it while channeling. But, with 20 APoC, I also don't have a huge need to grab those globes without the need of Power Hungry.


There's also that bug with AD where if you, say, throw out a couple of LLs and then start channeling a spell before you see 5 stacks and then you hit 5 stacks in the middle of a channel, it'll eat the 5 stack but you won't get the benefit of AD. That means you're forced into "over casting" LL and waiting until you visually see 5 stacks on your buff bar before being able to resuming channeling SS just to ensure that you're not wasting stacks. This cuts into full dps uptime as well, making the Sparkflint variation less "accident prone".


Yes, that is certainly an annoying aspect of Arcane Dynamo, but something that you can learn to overcome, or welcome as a challenge to your game play. You can also use this to your advantage, by over casting Living Lightning, have 5 stacks for Blizzard, and another 5 stacks for your Sleet Storm.


There are indeed times when you can stack AD right off the bat and sit and spin and never have to move until the Elites are dead, and that's when AD truly shines. And it's absolutely devastating under those circumstances.


And it's those times, in which I think it makes up in kill speed for times in which you don't get that opportunity


I also have issue with Blizzard over Explosive Blast in SS builds past MP8. On MP8 and lower, Blizzard is quite an amazing ability when using high weapon damage gear setups. It can clear entire packs of trash mobs in 1 cast most of the time. But past MP8 the effectiveness of a single Blizzard is greatly diminished because the HP scaling of mobs goes way up from there. For example, I think the mobs have twice as much HP on MP10 as on MP8 (might just be Elites, can't remember exactly how the scaling functions).


This is where extended duration in blizzard and/or Frostburn gauntlets really shine. But honestly, in solo play, MP 8 is, at least in my experience, the most efficient way to farm through the game. Especially because mob health doubles, and the reward differences are so small. At MP 10 vs MP 8 you have 100% more effective health you need to diminish, for 50% more magic find/gold find, 45% bonus exp, and only 29% difference in obtaining a bonus item. (http://www.diablowiki.net/images/4/41/Monster-power-bonuses2.jpg)


Also, when you're surrounded by mobs, EB is going to do a ton more damage than Blizzard. Even on Elite packs when there are at least 3 of them at once, EB is going to contribute a lot more damage, and you don't have to stop casting SS to use it like you do with Blizzard. This is especially advantageous when using LL+AD because you don't have to stop to recast Blizzard and then restack AD again. Bonus Blizzard Duration (like on your Source) can lessen this impact, though.


According to D3up, my Blizzard's Total Damage/Cast in my gear is around 1,327,776. I don't think that takes in consideration when it hits for critical damage, nor if the mob is elite, or a demon. Also, if blizzard does stop, but I'm still able to channel my Arcane Dynamo charged Sleet Storm, I'm not going to stop that channel to cast blizzard again, that's a definite loss in damage, when Sleet Storm is critting upwards of 2.5 - 3.5 million damage.


Plus EB is less strain on your AP if you use Unleashed, and the proc coefficient is much better than Blizzard (so Teleport gets reset faster, and EB itself). I think it only takes like 2 Unleashed casts in 6 seconds (base duration of Blizzard) to do more damage than Blizzard when you factor in the attack turn you lose on SS from the act of casting Blizzard, and for 20 less AP, and that's very doable, even on single targets. With Bonus +2 Blizzard Duration on your Source, you're getting an extra 170% weapon damage from each Blizzard, but even in 8 seconds you should be able to cast enough Unleashed to outdps it (should need 3 casts) and still save 10 AP in the process.


I don't have much of a strain on AP having 20 APoC available to me. I'm also able to maintain a much higher critical hit change by using the source, if I'm using Frostburns/SOJ, which is helpful for my Blizzard. I also am attacking faster per second with my 1h/source, vs a 2 hand, and am able to maintain it well, which is more effective dps.


The AoE of Blizzard is big if you use Stark Winter, so it hits stuff on the fringes when you're SS'ing. But you also have to remember that Blizzard applies a snare, so it takes mobs longer to get into range of your SS if you're just standing and spinning, so it's not really an advantage. Probably more of a wash than anything, because while they'll be lower on HP when they get to you, they take longer to get to you.


Which is the reason I use Stark Winter, but if you do want to save Arcane power, feel free to use the rune Snowbound, as that will lower the cost to 20 AP. I welcome the snare on blizzard, at least for my play style, Plus, the beauty of blizzard, you can let it do damage in one spot, while you do damage in another spot. Can Explosive Blast do that?


Sorry for the long post. As you can tell I'm quite passionate about SS builds. Would enjoy hearing your thoughts and experiences on things, and maybe see you try some of the things I mention if you haven't yet. Like maybe do a video using Unleashed instead of Blizzard in VotA while using an SoJ, keeping the LL+AD thing going. That would be great to see from your perspective and with your gear setup.


No apology needed! I welcome it. It's great to flesh out conversations like these, especially since these forums are highly dominated by the popular Archon and CMWW posts. I too am passionate about it, which is why I decided to write this guide and show off some videos.

I will say, I tried the two handed variation of your build, as well as using unleashed, and I just could not get it to work well for me. The life sustain for blizzard is just too good (15,000+ life a second), and unleashed was not refreshing quickly enough for my liking. I would have made a video of it, but quite frankly, it wasn't anything worth showcasing, as it didn't gel with my style of play. I did give it a few runs though, but my death count was really high with it.

I find that Frozen Armor - Crystallize with Frostburns/SOJ/Tyrael's works extremely well for overall damage. Maybe because I am able to stand in everything the game throws at me. This is especially true in Act 2, which has a great number of Demons available where I can take advantage of Tyrael's.

I find that Storm Armor - Reactive Armor using Rare Gloves, any other ring of choice, and 3 piece Zuni work really well, especially in Act 1. Honestly, I like that I have the options available to me to switch between.

I ran several speed tests in VOTA on MP 10 with the above two setups (5 runs with FA- Crystallize, 5 runs with SA - Reactive Armor). The kill speed difference wasn't very noticeable, but here were my results:

I averaged 5 minutes 37 seconds per run with the Frozen Armor setup with Frosties, SOJ, Tyraels at 200K Sheet Damage.

I averaged 5 minutes 53 seconds with Storm Armor Reactive Armor and 3 Piece Zuni, rare gloves, and Litany Ring at 300K Sheet Damage.

The only difference possible making my run a little faster with Frozen Armor is the movement speed and bonus vs elites and demons. Both gear variants offered nice mitigation. I don't think my test sample is large enough to officially call out which is optimal. But this is what I have in response to your post Malakai! :)

Cheers.
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11/01/2013 03:52 PMPosted by Saythe
I've tried many times to utilize a build with a a two handed weapon, and while it is possible, it doesn't feel nearly as smooth, and I'm usually feeling AP starved, which is a frustrating feeling


I logged out in my 2H SS setup so you can see what I'm working with for comparison's sake. Sometimes I switch Force Weapon over to Blood Magic when I'm feeling especially lazy.

I'm not sure what you mean by "smooth", though. If you mean fluidity of casting things, well, with my setup nothing benefits from casting speed at all. Teleport has a static casting animation of .333 seconds no matter your APS, so it doesn't help there. IAS will only increase the damage of SS (at the cost of higher AP consumption obviously), but I'm pretty much at my comfort limit with IAS in this 2H setup already. Adding 1 more source of IAS is ok, but I can't really fit it anywhere without giving up something more important.

As for AP issues, I have zero problem there due to Power Hungry. As long as I don't pick up a globe when I don't need it, I'm fine. And what I usually do is wait until I can get the full 30 AP out of it before picking it up. If you've tried Power Hungry before, I suspect that your Pickup Radius is the problem, which might be causing you to pickup globes when you don't need them yet, thus causing AP starvation because they're not there when you do need them.

Wouldn't time spent vs. the elite packs you face that you don't need to move/lose a 5 stack charge of AD, make up for the situations in which you do? There's many situations in which I can cast a 75% boosted Blizzard, and while moving in with my living lightning, have a 75% boosted Sleet Storm going.


That depends on what you're fighting/where you're farming mostly. For example, my preferred farming spots are VotA + Oasis. Oasis has 2 annoying mob types there: Fallen Masters and the Mages. Fallen Masters have a knockback attack which makes LL+AD annoying to use, and the Mages move away from you after a couple of seconds when you get close. The elite versions of these things can be a PITA sometimes, especially if they spawn with Knockback, Nightmare, and/or Frozen. VotA has Blazing and Shock Guardians which like to move a lot as well, but they're a lot more manageable.

Most other zones in the game have mobs with similar base attributes to them (annoying knockbacks, mobs that run away a lot, or really big hits that you can't really face-tank like those hammer guys in Halls of Agony or the big guys in Act 4, etc) which make LL+AD kind of a chore to utilize to the fullest. If you mostly farm FoM (which a lot of folks do), you don't really encounter all of this because those Bulls don't really charge very often at all. This makes the Sparkflint variation better suited for more areas IMO, while LL+AD mostly shines in Festering + FoM sessions.


Like you mention above, fear, knock-back, or move, while unfortunate, you don't HAVE to restack to 5 charges immediately, Sleet Storm without say, 12% more damage from sparkflint, is still going to dish out respectable damage, especially with damage multipliers from items like Frostburns, SoJ, Tyrael's, Stormcrow, and Oculus.


That was my point, though, that if you're not able to utilize LL+AD for whatever reason (farming outside of Festering+FoM, getting bad RNG with Elites always having Knockback, Nightmare, Frozen, etc), then the Sparkflint variation is going to be a better overall build.

Not to mention with my build, blizzard is/should still be pummeling away (4 ticks per second, with a Per Tick Crit range of 214058 - 362663 over 8 seconds). and it's not as if living lightning doesn't do damage too.


It's 4 "internal" ticks per second, the game displays 2 ticks per second, each displayed tick is 42.5% weapon damage. Right now, d3up.com shows your Blizzard at 1,517,456 average damage per cast on non-elites with all your buffs active (including Scoundrel 3% CC). This factors in your bonus cold damage from gloves and factors CC into the equation already. Your per-tick crit range doesn't really matter. You should be looking at your average damage per displayed tick. In your case with your current gear it's 190k per second, or 95k per displayed tick. With 8 second Blizzard that's 16 displayed ticks over the duration. 16 x 95k = 1.52m, which about lines up with what it says the average damage per cast of your Blizzard is.

As a side note, the LPS that d3up.com shows for Blizzard isn't correct. I'm pretty sure that's average healing over the entire duration, because there's no way you're healing 17k per second with Blizzard.

11/01/2013 03:52 PMPosted by Saythe
I don't know if this is an entirely true statement, but your argument is valid for debate.


Which part? That you can build without needing LL for AP management? Or that you're losing dps during refill periods? Or that you can go full-bore on elites without ever letting up? Because all 3 of those are entirely true. Or maybe I just misunderstood what you were referring to with your statement.

There also aren't many situations in which I myself, need to stutter step. Which is why I favor pickup radius, you can simply mouse over a health globe if you need it while channeling. But, with 20 APoC, I also don't have a huge need to grab those globes without the need of Power Hungry.


I was drawing a comparison between the dps loss between the 2 specs when 2H needs to grab a globe and 1H needs to cast LL. SS is always close to the elite(s), so you're always close to globes when they drop. What I'm saying is that the dps loss from smart and effective stutter-stepping to them only causes you to lose very small fractions of SS uptime (maybe about a half seconds worth in total), whereas casting LL a couple of times at low APS levels causes you to lose over an entire attack turn. At your APS level, I believe it takes you .77 seconds to cast 1 LL, so 2 of them is a tad over a second a half. The DPS of your SS on non-elites is almost 1.2m, so 1.8m damage over 1.5 seconds. LL does do damage itself, but you're still losing about 1.5-1.6m damage from casting 2 LLs. A half-seconds worth of stutter-stepping would have you losing only 600k in comparison (if you used Power Hungry and no PUR, of course).

11/01/2013 03:52 PMPosted by Saythe
And it's those times, in which I think it makes up in kill speed for times in which you don't get that opportunity


I mentioned it earlier in this post, but again I strongly think that it all depends on what area you're farming. For places without annoying knockback mobs and/or ranged mobs that move a lot, yea... you're probably going to average better runs with LL+AD. But in other places I strongly feel that you'll average better run times with Sparkflint + PH.

But honestly, in solo play, MP 8 is, at least in my experience, the most efficient way to farm through the game. Especially because mob health doubles, and the reward differences are so small. At MP 10 vs MP 8 you have 100% more effective health you need to diminish, for 50% more magic find/gold find, 45% bonus exp, and only 29% difference in obtaining a bonus item.


I agree for the most part that MP8 is most efficient for solo. But the way I look at things is that MP10 efficiency should be what every build aims for. Might be an epeen thing, I'll freely admit that, but I still think it's an important aspect of build viability.

According to D3up, my Blizzard's Total Damage/Cast in my gear is around 1,327,776. I don't think that takes in consideration when it hits for critical damage, nor if the mob is elite, or a demon.


It's factoring CC into the equation, as well as any bonus cold damage (like from Frosties) but not bonus to elites or demons. I hope they add that to the site in the future. Would be very handy.

11/01/2013 03:52 PMPosted by Saythe
Also, if blizzard does stop, but I'm still able to channel my Arcane Dynamo charged Sleet Storm, I'm not going to stop that channel to cast blizzard again, that's a definite loss in damage, when Sleet Storm is critting upwards of 2.5 - 3.5 million damage.


Yea, what I meant to say was that with Unleashed you don't have to worry about Blizzard ending and losing dps as a result since Unleashed doesn't take an attack turn. Sorry about that.

I don't have much of a strain on AP having 20 APoC available to me. I'm also able to maintain a much higher critical hit change by using the source, if I'm using Frostburns/SOJ, which is helpful for my Blizzard. I also am attacking faster per second with my 1h/source, vs a 2 hand, and am able to maintain it well, which is more effective dps.


20 APoC is fine on groups, and so is 10. It's when you get down to 1 or 2 targets that AP starts to become a factor really. Sustainability on singles is important to me personally, but I know that not everyone is overly concerned with it.

Just to note, your APS isn't all that much faster than mine in my 2H setup. I'm at 1.18 APS, you're at 1.3 with your Frosties on.

Also, CC doesn't have as big of an impact on APoC for SS as one might think. For example, at your CC level (45% with Scoundrel) and 20 APoC, SS is only returning 2.5 AP per second per target through APoC returns. If we take away 10% CC from you, that only goes down to 2 AP per second per target.

I welcome the snare on blizzard, at least for my play style, Plus, the beauty of blizzard, you can let it do damage in one spot, while you do damage in another spot. Can Explosive Blast do that?


That was kind of my point, though; that it's good that you can do damage to other areas away from you with Blizzard. But also that while you're doing that, you're slowing their advance toward you and your SS range, so it might not actually be a net gain in damage considering how hard SS hits. Let's put it this way. Say a mob is 2 seconds away from being in range of your SS. With a Blizzard snare that increases to, say, 3 seconds. The dps of your Blizzard is 190k, so you're doing about 570k damage to them before they get to you. But the dps your SS is 1.2m, and it's taking them 1 second longer to get into range of it. So you're actually losing 630k damage in the process.

No apology needed! I welcome it. It's great to flesh out conversations like these, especially since these forums are highly dominated by the popular Archon and CMWW posts. I too am passionate about it, which is why I decided to write this guide and show off some videos.


Glad you feel that way.

I will say, I tried the two handed variation of your build, as well as using unleashed, and I just could not get it to work well for me. The life sustain for blizzard is just too good (15,000+ life a second), and unleashed was not refreshing quickly enough for my liking. I would have made a video of it, but quite frankly, it wasn't anything worth showcasing, as it didn't gel with my style of play. I did give it a few runs though, but my death count was really high with it.


Would you mind maybe posting a d3up.com profile of the setup (gear and abilities) you used, or maybe just log out in it some day so I can see what you were working with? Because we're not that far off from each other stat-wise, and I can faceroll just about everything in my sleep with 2H SS. It's my go-to spec when I'm feeling super lazy and just want to kill stuff without thinking about it.

I find that Frozen Armor - Crystallize with Frostburns/SOJ/Tyrael's works extremely well for overall damage. Maybe because I am able to stand in everything the game throws at me. This is especially true in Act 2, which has a great number of Demons available where I can take advantage of Tyrael's.

I find that Storm Armor - Reactive Armor using Rare Gloves, any other ring of choice, and 3 piece Zuni work really well, especially in Act 1. Honestly, I like that I have the options available to me to switch between.


I've always found Reactive good for everything honestly. It's still VERY underrated because I don't think a lot of folks realize exactly what it does and how much stuff procs it, and how LS interacts with it so well.

I ran several speed tests in VOTA on MP 10 with the above two setups (5 runs with FA- Crystallize, 5 runs with SA - Reactive Armor). The kill speed difference wasn't very noticeable, but here were my results:

I averaged 5 minutes 37 seconds per run with the Frozen Armor setup with Frosties, SOJ, Tyraels at 200K Sheet Damage.

I averaged 5 minutes 53 seconds with Storm Armor Reactive Armor and 3 Piece Zuni, rare gloves, and Litany Ring at 300K Sheet Damage.

The only difference possible making my run a little faster with Frozen Armor is the movement speed and bonus vs elites and demons. Both gear variants offered nice mitigation. I don't think my test sample is large enough to officially call out which is optimal. But this is what I have in response to your post Malakai! :)


Why wouldn't you use SoJ with the Reactive Armor setup? I think that's the bigger factor between the 2. But basically, if you want to compare two different abilities, you really should be using the exact same gear for both or the comparisons aren't going to be fair at all.

With the 2H setup in my profile that uses Reactive and SoJ, I average 4 and half minute VotA runs if I use Wormhole instead of Safe Passage, skipping all trash obviously. A little over 5 mins if there are 9-10 elite packs there.

Thanks for the good discussion thus far. Looking forward to more of it, as well as more videos and whatnot. :)
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I wonder if Archon Wizards should be running reactive?

After reading your guys post I really want to try this out looks like tons of fun. Anyone got a good Skorn for sale ;)
Edited by TheWolf140#1927 on 11/1/2013 8:44 PM PDT
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I have a nice Skorn for sale, not sure if you saw the link in my post, it's just collecting dust right now, add me in game and we can discuss. Also, reactive armor for archon is really really nice.

Here's the Skorn in case you missed it before:

http://imgur.com/2XGtVkQ

@Malakai - I logged out with your build/gear setup, I will also record this in vault MP 10
Edited by Saythe#1826 on 11/2/2013 5:09 AM PDT
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11/01/2013 08:40 PMPosted by TheWolf140
I wonder if Archon Wizards should be running reactive?

I haven't tried Reactive Armor in Archon builds, but my gut feeling says no:
1) You do so much damage that if your LS doesn't save you, Reactive won't either.
2) Your exposure to enemies should be much lower than with SS builds, because Disintegration Wave has much higher range.
3) Archon requires that your enemies die relatively quickly, so by the time enemies reach you, you've been firing at them for a few seconds, in which case they should already be dead. If they're not, you wouldn't be able to sustain Archon in the first place.
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Malakai,

Stupid long video for you to review, easy to scrub through. Upload started at 11:00 AM EST, should be fully ready by 1:00 EST.

http://youtu.be/CkdN2IzW5Oc

Heading out of town for the weekend.

I will add, I really like safe passage paired with illusionist.

One thing that was eerily familiar with your suggested build, is that it acts more like a high damage close ranged Archon build. Use of Explosive Blast is the same as Arcane Blast, but twice the weapon damage, the standard buffs are there, sparkflint, magic weapon, and armor of choice. You then have access to teleport, which, you can spec as in archon, and of course, your channeled spell, sleet storm. It makes sense and it works, but I couldn't get it to behave well, nor did I enjoy it that much.


With the 2H setup in my profile that uses Reactive and SoJ, I average 4 and half minute VotA runs if I use Wormhole instead of Safe Passage, skipping all trash obviously. A little over 5 mins if there are 9-10 elite packs there.


We're on par when it comes to damage/gear, and with your build, I can't even come close to hitting that speed with your build. Especially 10 elites, and if there are any nightmarish/extra health. In my perfect/undying runs that were especially fast, I could do under 6. I should note that in order to even hit the times I was able to, I had to skip looting and did not start my timer until I hit my first elite pack.

It's highly likely you're just a far more skilled player than my old drunken self. ;)

UPDATE: 1:23 PM EST, video got stuck on processing at 95%, not sure it will go through. I'll make a new one if it fails when I return from my travels Sunday evening.

Cheers.
Edited by Saythe#1826 on 11/2/2013 10:24 AM PDT
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