Diablo® III

Critical Mass at its best

This thread will be continued here:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/6146478198

I want to clarify that I'm not trying to say that I have personally made CM its best. I made this thread to show what I've found and try to perfect it with the input of others, as well as spread the idea.

The original build:

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#VQXYhO!agb!YYaZcc

The original video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GI8oC5bNmbo

Since this first version of the build, I have modified it for significantly more damage at the cost of some defenses. Here is my new build:

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#VQXYhO!gbW!YYaccc

Current build/gear/stats:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fF-YfPNoepo

For those of you that are new to level 60 or are just broke, I put together a sample gear setup for cheap in the video below:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYN1sYm2I6Q

Common questions:
Q: Why Chain Reaction instead of Short Fuse?
A: Even though CR has an annoying delay, the overall damage output of this rune goes well beyond what it looks like on paper. On paper it ends up totaling 291% weapon dmg as opposed to SF 225%, however SF is instant cast which is very appealing. Where CR starts to shine is in longer fights vs bosses or champ packs when you can either have them frozen constantly or at the very least staying next to you. Essentially what happens is since CR is 3 hits, it has 3x the chance of procing AP on crit and since it can be cast without interrupting your other casting (and it stacks), the explosions stacking literally as fast as you can possibly cast them, which builds and builds into a streaming frenzy of explosions. The end result is multiple explosions per second (at 97% weapon dmg each), each procing LoH & AP on crit. Each cast of CR pays for itself 1-2x even on a single target, which means any surplus can cast another WW (not to mention whatever you're getting from WW already). SF is better for trash mobs, CR is better for bosses and champs.

Q: Teleport? Really dude?
A: Hell yes! Teleport is totally awesome, gets refreshed constantly with this build, and basically costs nothing because you regen AP so fast. Teleport into packs of mobs, away from death traps, reposition yourself without having to run and stop casting, etc. There are way to many benefits to consider anything else IMO.

I made a short video showing some of the usefulness of teleport with this build:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4d7CLNWJng

Q: Cold Blooded? Erm?
A: The tooltip is wrong, it actually increases all damage to frozen or chilled enemies. Need I say more?

There are questions about other runes and possibly evocation, and for those all I can say is experiment with them for your gear and playstyle and figure it out. For me and my gear, this is the best way to go. If you have lower defenses you might want safe passage, blur, or cold snap. Higher defenses you might want diamond shards. The key is finding that sweet spot with your build and your gear tweaked perfectly.

Feedback/thoughts = good

EDIT: Swapping out blur for cold blooded resulted in this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsHgftg-NUQ

EDIT: Swapping out the above, plus cold snap for bone chill resulted in this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1G3nTfnbqk
In this video I pwned Cydaea so hard I broke her and she bugged out. Things got weird :o

EDIT: Some more boss kills:

Iskatu in 18 secs:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk9_3IUH-ig

Rakanoth in 28 seconds:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89wXTWEG0Ug

Zoltun Kulle:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8w8ZErSEuU

Ghom in 43 seconds:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wXrqpyRUzw

Azmodan in 45 sec:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yuwGwyaFcrY

Siegebreaker in 1.5 mins:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X18YvnuH9h4

Belial in 2 mins:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nO5oZD6WJjY

Diablo in 5 mins:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zspMB-fbiRc

Higher DPS potential build (but harder to play due to less survivability):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5c-GrFZrfWA

I've gotten some haters of my videos, which I'm assuming is from people that are afraid that CM will get nerfed. However, this takes pretty good gear plus playing it properly to actually pull off this build, so I don't think a nerf is necessary. How many witch doctor videos are out there using zombie bears to kill bosses in 10 seconds? ZB hasn't been nerfed, and I don't think this build should be either. Some previous CM builds needed to be nerfed because you could have total crap gear yet still stunlock everything and kill bosses easily. This build was already nerfed and brought back to life in 1.0.3 so I can only assume that Blizz only nerfed it in the first place to deal with super high atk spd + CM builds that were totally over the top, so hopefully since it's back they meant it to work like it does now.

If you can optimize a build to synergize with good gear to the point of being able to do this, why shouldn't you be able to?
Edited by Pwn#1595 on 7/25/2012 1:46 AM PDT
With enough crit chance, like 30% or more, you could easily drop the Evocation passive from this build and change your Frost Nova rune to something else like the damage one.

Once you have enough crit chance, CM procs so much off of Wicked Wind that there's really nothing needed to lower CD's on your abilities because they'll pretty much be up all the time.
So can instant, and you dont have the 1.5 seconds of downtime in between casts. Its off the GCD, so you can continue your WW spam while blowing up basically non-stop for more damage then chain reaction. The only reason to take chain reaction over Short Fuse is to go for more crits and on hit effects like LoH and arcane power. If you already have a really high crit chance and your LoH is high enough with WW spam, then Short Fuse should do more damage hands down.

Not sure why people like Chain Reaction over Short Fuse.
Glad to see another person favoring high dps high crit over defenses! Kudos dude.

This is original text. And proven wrong later in the thread. Disregard.
Also: ALL EB runes can be cast without interrupting WW spam.

Shoryoken: They're interchangeable. Chain Reaction will do more damage over time while short fuse is better for quick bursts of damage. It's up to personal preference.
Edited by epicol#1228 on 6/29/2012 12:10 AM PDT
Do you just throw out a few twisters for the ap and loh then use explosive blast for more dps? Is that how/why you weave those two together?
Glad to see another person favoring high dps high crit over defenses! Kudos dude.

Also: ALL EB runes can be cast without interrupting WW spam.

Shoryoken: They're interchangeable. Chain Reaction will do more damage over time while short fuse is better for quick bursts of damage. It's up to personal preference.


I'd like to see some numbers drawn out on it. It just seems like in a given amount of time you can dump out more high dps Short Fuses over Chain Reactions. But I see the why. Short Fuse is more burst damage, Chain Reaction is more LoH, CM procs, sustained DPS.

Still like Short Fuse for that massive dps you can put out.
90 Draenei Mage
13650
I thought they nerf CM to the point where it is useless.
Glad to see another person favoring high dps high crit over defenses! Kudos dude.

Also: ALL EB runes can be cast without interrupting WW spam.

Shoryoken: They're interchangeable. Chain Reaction will do more damage over time while short fuse is better for quick bursts of damage. It's up to personal preference.


I'd like to see some numbers drawn out on it. It just seems like in a given amount of time you can dump out more high dps Short Fuses over Chain Reactions. But I see the why. Short Fuse is more burst damage, Chain Reaction is more LoH, CM procs, sustained DPS.

Still like Short Fuse for that massive dps you can put out.


Actually, chain reaction has 1/3 the loh coefficient of explosive blast, so they come out equal in terms of loh. In addition, the proc rate of CM is 1/3 that ofshort fuse, so those come out equal as well. The ONLY difference is damage. Chain reaction casts STACKS on top of one another, even with the wind up time, you can stack multiple Chain Reaction wind up times on top of each other. So effectively, it will deal more dps. This is assuming however all 3 blasts land on your target -- THIS is why I prefer short fuse... I get to determine when and where my blast goes off.
Edited by epicol#1228 on 6/28/2012 11:36 PM PDT
So can instant, and you dont have the 1.5 seconds of downtime in between casts. Its off the GCD, so you can continue your WW spam while blowing up basically non-stop for more damage then chain reaction. The only reason to take chain reaction over Short Fuse is to go for more crits and on hit effects like LoH and arcane power. If you already have a really high crit chance and your LoH is high enough with WW spam, then Short Fuse should do more damage hands down.

Not sure why people like Chain Reaction over Short Fuse.


I've tried both, and chain basically seems to not have a cast delay where instant does. Also chain does more dmg, so in sustained fights where that actually matters, it's going to put out more dps
With enough crit chance, like 30% or more, you could easily drop the Evocation passive from this build and change your Frost Nova rune to something else like the damage one.

Once you have enough crit chance, CM procs so much off of Wicked Wind that there's really nothing needed to lower CD's on your abilities because they'll pretty much be up all the time.


It depends on how quickly you want to be able to spam nova. my crit chance is 45% with the scoundrel buff and I notice a difference with a different rune. Personal preference I guess.

Evocation I have considered, but there aren't a lot of better options for this build anyway for passives, and to me the faster everything resets, the better. That's the lifeblood of this build.
Glad to see another person favoring high dps high crit over defenses! Kudos dude.

Also: ALL EB runes can be cast without interrupting WW spam.

Shoryoken: They're interchangeable. Chain Reaction will do more damage over time while short fuse is better for quick bursts of damage. It's up to personal preference.


I could just be imagining things, but it certainly seemed that short fuse interrupted my WW spamming. I tried both ways quite a few times
06/28/2012 11:27 PMPosted by Noid1994
Do you just throw out a few twisters for the ap and loh then use explosive blast for more dps? Is that how/why you weave those two together?


Yeah twister is crappy dmg, but it's the best means of getting AP and CDs back, then once u have the storm going you can spam EB and that's when the real dps starts.
06/28/2012 11:35 PMPosted by Rynglok
I thought they nerf CM to the point where it is useless.


You must not have been paying attention to the massive flood of posts talking about Critical Mass wizard builds over the past week. They nerfed the way Venom Weapon interacted with CM and some of the spells that procced it.

A lot of those spells had the CM procs changed back however in patch 1.03. Other spells came to light and the build has been revitalized and shown to be very effective.

The big nerf was to Venom Weapon which put stacking poison dots on enemies, which could all crit. This generated a massive amount of CM procs (may have had a very high chance to proc CM as well) and I used the build to level up almost exclusively to 60 before the nerfs.

And no, I didn't pick it up as the FOTM build, the reason I rolled a wizard was because after looking at all the abilities the possability for critical mass interactions with the swath of defensive cooldowns just seemed really powerful and the idea of a wizard face tanking with over the top magic spells like calling down meteors and arcane tornados sounded appealing.

I've tried both, and chain basically seems to not have a cast delay where instant does. Also chain does more dmg, so in sustained fights where that actually matters, it's going to put out more dps


Mind = blown.

Just tried it out again using a macro to mash my EB key at ridiculous speeds...

The result? Chain reaction always went the second it was up. Short Fuse stayed greyed out for a tiny period of time (WW cast time)

Thank you for opening my eyes (coming from a 52% WW wiz who swore by short fuse!)
Edited by epicol#1228 on 6/28/2012 11:50 PM PDT
I kind of like it and I kind of don't. With you're crit rating as high as it is I realy don't see why you have a need for both FN and DS. With your crit and CM as it stands you should be able to keep DM up at all times so FN is rather a moot point. Tele is a nice get out of jail free ability as well. The thing I'd miss the most about it is a dps increase ability like enchanted weapon. Right now I'm running a battlemage build mostly utilizing SB and Meteor, but meteor is driving me nuts with it's anability to cast when I want it to since I'm already spamming SB, FN and DS, coupled with it's 3 second arrival time. I tried switching Meteor to WW but it just wasn't criting enough for me. What crit rating do you need for it to work well? I do well with my current set up, but as is, CM relies heavily on me hitting mobs with my SB to keep DM and FN up. Anything that chain fears, freezes or otherwise can keep my from constantly hitting the mobs tears me apart. The thing I like most about this build is that the WWs would negate that as they would continue to work even if CCd.
Edited by Bosephus#1607 on 6/28/2012 11:51 PM PDT
06/28/2012 11:47 PMPosted by Pwn
Do you just throw out a few twisters for the ap and loh then use explosive blast for more dps? Is that how/why you weave those two together?


Yeah twister is crappy dmg, but it's the best means of getting AP and CDs back, then once u have the storm going you can spam EB and that's when the real dps starts.


Short Fuse is off the GCD, I know because I used it before the Critical Mass nerfs in conjunction with Spectral Blades and I could chain cast it while casting Spectral Blades. Make sure you have the arcane power on crit to keep up with costs of chain casting the spell and dropping more twisters, that could be your bottleneck.

You stack twisters on top of each other and thne supplament the damage with EB or Meteor. And the twisters actually do a sizeable amount of damage with enough crit, especially considering how many you can stack on top of each other, Im talking like 10 twisters in a consolidated area. Add in 15% more damage from chain casting Frost Nova with Bone Chill/Cold Blooded/Slow Time etc and its very powerful.
06/28/2012 11:51 PMPosted by Shoryoken


Yeah twister is crappy dmg, but it's the best means of getting AP and CDs back, then once u have the storm going you can spam EB and that's when the real dps starts.


Short Fuse is off the GCD, I know because I used it before the Critical Mass nerfs in conjunction with Spectral Blades and I could chain cast it while casting Spectral Blades. Make sure you have the arcane power on crit to keep up with costs of chain casting the spell and dropping more twisters, that could be your bottleneck.

You stack twisters on top of each other and thne supplament the damage with EB or Meteor. And the twisters actually do a sizeable amount of damage with enough crit, especially considering how many you can stack on top of each other, Im talking like 10 twisters in a consolidated area. Add in 15% more damage from chain casting Frost Nova with Bone Chill/Cold Blooded/Slow Time etc and its very powerful.


So I just tested it again, and I can confirm again that chain reaction is definitely better. Maybe short fuse isn't interrupting WW casting, the since it's 1 hit it won't proc AP crits as often and it does less damage. That must be why it seems that short fuse interrupts the WW casting, because it's not proccing AP crits as much and therefore lacks the AP regen to keep WW casting sustained. Yes, the delay is annoying, but sustained fights are where you need that extra dps anyway. If you need EB dps to kill trash mobs u need to rethink your gear lol.

I've tried both, and chain basically seems to not have a cast delay where instant does. Also chain does more dmg, so in sustained fights where that actually matters, it's going to put out more dps


Mind = blown.

Just tried it out again using a macro to mash my EB key at ridiculous speeds...

The result? Chain reaction always went the second it was up. Short Fuse stayed greyed out for a tiny period of time (WW cast time)

Thank you for opening my eyes (coming from a 52% WW wiz who swore by short fuse!)


One more thing, it could be that with Chain Reaction your getting more CM procs and thus the CD is never coming into effect, with Short Fuse, your casting it within the 1sec GCD timer, and thus if you miss a CM mass proc your going to notice a short delay inbetween casts, however if you have stacked Chain Reactions going off, its going to generate more CM procs keeping that baby off CD. Just a thought.

I've tried both, and chain basically seems to not have a cast delay where instant does. Also chain does more dmg, so in sustained fights where that actually matters, it's going to put out more dps


Mind = blown.

Just tried it out again using a macro to mash my EB key at ridiculous speeds...

The result? Chain reaction always went the second it was up. Short Fuse stayed greyed out for a tiny period of time (WW cast time)

Thank you for opening my eyes (coming from a 52% WW wiz who swore by short fuse!)


No prob man, glad I could help :D


Short Fuse is off the GCD, I know because I used it before the Critical Mass nerfs in conjunction with Spectral Blades and I could chain cast it while casting Spectral Blades. Make sure you have the arcane power on crit to keep up with costs of chain casting the spell and dropping more twisters, that could be your bottleneck.

You stack twisters on top of each other and thne supplament the damage with EB or Meteor. And the twisters actually do a sizeable amount of damage with enough crit, especially considering how many you can stack on top of each other, Im talking like 10 twisters in a consolidated area. Add in 15% more damage from chain casting Frost Nova with Bone Chill/Cold Blooded/Slow Time etc and its very powerful.


So I just tested it again, and I can confirm again that chain reaction is definitely better. Maybe short fuse isn't interrupting WW casting, the since it's 1 hit it won't proc AP crits as often and it does less damage. That must be why it seems that short fuse interrupts the WW casting, because it's not proccing AP crits as much and therefore lacks the AP regen to keep WW casting sustained. Yes, the delay is annoying, but sustained fights are where you need that extra dps anyway. If you need EB dps to kill trash mobs u need to rethink your gear lol.


Ah I see we came to to the same conclusion then. Short Fuse might work better for higher crit chance supplemented with a signature spell such as SB, allowing for EB SF to be your only arcane dump.

Thats how I ran it with pre-nerf critical mass Venom Weapon build
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