Diablo® III

The Definitive Sustained-Archon Guide

Hello. First off, great read. I've been running a somewhat same build as yours for quite some time now and I'm doing the Alkaizer run with relative ease compared to other builds I've tried. Although I admit I still die about 5 times per run.

I just need your input on which should I improve the most with my gears. Don't mind the accessories as I'm planning to sell those before the new patch comes out. I have around 50M to spend. I was thinking of buying a decent wand with LS/LOH (which one is better?). How about Lacuni/Inna's pants?


1) definitely go for LS, not LOH.
2)Either lacuni or inna pants is fine, but you need one of them.
50m for above upgrades is close, but definitely doable.

I started like where you're at now also. with enough practice and gear upgrades, you'll be able to breeze through act3 with no deaths and in record time. You're almost there, keep at it!


Thanks man! I'm currently looking for wands in AH. Hard to find cheap but decent ones with CD+OS.

Btw, do you think Archon build is still viable in the next patch? I heard most wiz are either gearing up for Meteor or WW/CM melee build. Are we going to be able to solo say MP6 with a mediocre Archon build? What do you think?
^ Hey Shad, where did u get that 'bottle cloud' dye ?
They're saying MP2-3 is roughly what we've got right now. MP0 will be nerfed in comparison, and the damage/HP rises as you go.

I'm hoping to be able to farm MP4-6, but I have no idea how realistic a hope that is (I haven't had the spare hours to play on the PTR). My plan is to test things out and just play the highest I can farm with perma-archon, stepping it up as gear improves.

The CM guys probably have a leg up as of this patch. They'll be able to take on harder levels, but the speed is what will prove out in the end. Until I hit PL100, XP > Loot.


1) definitely go for LS, not LOH.
2)Either lacuni or inna pants is fine, but you need one of them.
50m for above upgrades is close, but definitely doable.

I started like where you're at now also. with enough practice and gear upgrades, you'll be able to breeze through act3 with no deaths and in record time. You're almost there, keep at it!


Thanks man! I'm currently looking for wands in AH. Hard to find cheap but decent ones with CD+OS.

Btw, do you think Archon build is still viable in the next patch? I heard most wiz are either gearing up for Meteor or WW/CM melee build. Are we going to be able to solo say MP6 with a mediocre Archon build? What do you think?


1.05 is actually a good training ground for fledging archons. Lets say you dont quite meet the gear-check requirements yet, you can simply lower monster power to get a feel of what the build is like. And as you improve your gear, you ramp up the monster level to a level that you feel comfortable with.

I dont think anyone will be doing MP10 on archon mode anytime soon, MP6 is a reasonable goal.

I believe Archon mode will remain a viable build for 1.05 in terms of xp efficiency. So think of this as a transition build, until you get to paragon 100. Then you transition into cm builds to farm MP10, in which you shift your focus on loot efficiency.
09/26/2012 09:46 AMPosted by Inspy
^ Hey Shad, where did u get that 'bottle cloud' dye ?


I have the CE version.

They're saying MP2-3 is roughly what we've got right now. MP0 will be nerfed in comparison, and the damage/HP rises as you go.

I'm hoping to be able to farm MP4-6, but I have no idea how realistic a hope that is (I haven't had the spare hours to play on the PTR). My plan is to test things out and just play the highest I can farm with perma-archon, stepping it up as gear improves.

The CM guys probably have a leg up as of this patch. They'll be able to take on harder levels, but the speed is what will prove out in the end. Until I hit PL100, XP > Loot.


Dang. I was hoping we could do at least 5. I find it tempting to switch to CM build upon reading posts about them owning MP10. But then I remembered how I had to continuously smash my keys every freaking time just to perma-freeze everything on sight. I heard some use macros but not sure if that's legal. Anyway it's fun at first but in the end it gets exhausting. And I have to agree with you. For now, it's xp > loot.
First hand Archon build PTR Report:

Started with Monster Power 6 - prompt got my !@#$ handed to me. OK this isnt going to be a faceroll anytime soon. :)

Tried Monster Power 4 next - Everything felt the same as current 1.04, maybe slightly easier. A reflect pack gave me little bit trouble, I have 3% lifesteal, reflect use to be easy faceroll, but i actually saw my health going down as I lasered it down, perhaps due to Prismatic Armor nerf. More on that later.

Let's kick it up a notch, Monster Power 5 - things were not that much harder, but mobs have noticeably more health. I had trouble killing... a treasure goblin... in archon form. This is not a good sign. Packs just took a lot longer to kill, and of course that took a toll on Sustaining Archon. I was barely able to sustain Archon in Skycrown battlement and Keep Depths 2, two of the easiest areas. Other areas I imagine would not sustain archon. A reflect pack killed me as I attempted to take it down, but next attempt the reflect seem to be doing less dmg. This could be a bug... or maybe it's because i'm not hitting 6 reflect things at once anymore. Reflect Dmg, definitely something to be feared in 1.05. Most packs were easily handled, just took a long time, but the last PhaseBeast pack wiped the floor with me. The combination of more health and more dmg was just too much for me to handle. Gave up on it after 3 attempts to kill it. I imagine it'd taken me 10 corpse runs to kill that pack.

At current rate, I'm estimating to run Sustained Archon in each Monster Power level you need:
MP 4 - 100k dps
MP 5 - 200k dps
MP 6 - 300k dps
MP 7 - 400k dps.

So a current godlike maxed out char will only be able to do MP7 efficiently in Archon mode.

Drops were all crap, as usual. my mf was ~250 on 1.04, 350 mf at MP 4
Edited by eLINminator#1776 on 9/26/2012 7:28 PM PDT
Hello there.

I need a piece of advice myself. I got bored with my skills and wanted to switch for an archon build for some time. I played with it a couple of times but it just gets frustrating as hell. I can't keep it up long enough, keep getting killed by random mobs and reflect dmg gives me a kick in the nuts. I guess that my resistances are to low atm.

Please give me some feedback on gear pieces that I could swap for some resistance, even if it would mean loosing 30-40kdps.
I will use the skills listed by you at the start of this thread and try to customize them to my liking.

Here is my profile.
http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Sym-1160/hero/1130252

Thanks in advance for help.

Your friendly wizard,
Sym.

PS: I forgot to say: the budget for all changes would be around 20mil. You can suggest pieces that would take me over this value but don't tell me only about ice climbers level of upgrades :-).
Edited by Sym#1160 on 10/4/2012 2:57 AM PDT
@Sym - It's your weapon that's killing you. Nice DPS and all, but you can't survive without some real life-gaining. LoK is weak but works. LS is where it's at.

Get at least 2.5% LS on your weapon, even if it's a kick in the DPS. Once 1.05 hits, you might even want Blood Magic for your MW rune.

Also, your resistances are non-existent. I'd upgrade pants and shoulders with as much AR as possible. You're going to want to run prismatic with archon, because you're ideally going to take lots of hits as you charge forward with reckless abandon to melt stuff as fast as possible (nice to see the 24% MS already, it's often the first advice a new archon needs).

These are my 3 specific recommendations for 20m:
-Spend 14m on the best weapon you can find with 2.5% LS or better
-3m each on shoulders and pants with 70+ AR apiece
---shoulders should have INT and VIT, and ideally +armor as well
---pants should have VIT and INT, 2 sockets, and preferably +armor
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I actually use Arcane Blast with the Blood Magic rune on my magic weapon. Blood magic actually works w/ the arcane blast. It's fun to melee Soul Ripper mobs and steal all their life :D
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- dont waste time opening chests and breaking objects. i only open resplendent chests, and that i feel is a waste of time also.


The last 4 Legendary items and 1 set piece that have dropped for me, have come from barrels and a armor rack.

Ill advised suggestion to skip them.
Maysrill, thank you very much for your advices. They were extremely useful, I can say I have a quite successful archon build right now.

I got the dps down to 124k unbuffed(with glass cannon though). I run Core-Damned 1-AC2-Rakkis Crossing to Fields and finish with Keeps 1+2.

My big issue is at the beginning of the run, when I build up the NV stacks. If I keep getting elite groups(which is the idea btw :-) ), my archon timer runs out and I'm left with Electrocute(Forked Lightning) and Blizzard to kill them. It usually ends with me dying 2-3 times. In Core of Areat you're prone to get Phase Beast elites and they hurt. Alot. Maybe someone could throw other ideas around, another route, start zone.

Thanks again for your help.

Your friendly wizard,
Sym.
im surprised that no one mentioned to use a Life steal Sever. It's probably an Archon's best friend.
For anyone on a budget, I cannot stress how good 2handers are right now. They are severely undervalued. I've seen several very good ones going for 10-15m, with lifesteal, ~1300 dps and either crit damage or a socket. New 2h have a minimum 4.4% lifesteal (at least that's the lowest I've seen it go). I've never had a problem with reflect since I picked mine up.

Not only do I rip through mobs with archon, I've been doing it for awhile now. I'd say 80k dps is the minimum (although more definitely makes it easier). Out of archon, my arcane orbs can 1 shot any white mob, and have 2-3 shot champs. Slow speed/high damage attacks make your AP use much more efficient; I run without a signature.

Another thing to mention is that reflect damage will get EASIER for many archon-based builds after 1.0.5. The reason is the blood magic rune, which will work with archon beam.

Teleport is hands-down the best rune for archon if your dps is okay. Combination of re-positioning (less dps downtime than running) and increased movement speed (which can be a big time saver with some layouts like crater) makes it the single most efficient rune for archon.

Next, with gearing, I cannot stress enough how good SoJ is; the bonus damage to elites is very noticeable. You can get a lower rolled one with a crappy skill (like hydra) for a few mil. You'll probably take a hit on your on-paper dps, but your actual effectiveness will go way up. Think about it this way: is it white mobs or elites that delay you?

Galvanizing ward is very good for this build if your archon uptime is high. Being able to sustain an archon for 4 min instead of 2 makes a real difference in handling dry spells.

I genuinely believe that my build is the most optimal for 1.0.4 farming. I still bounce back and forth between evocation and CM (I'm not particularly happy with either), but otherwise I farm very fast.
Edited by akcrono#1954 on 10/5/2012 6:00 PM PDT
10/04/2012 06:05 AMPosted by Nemokie
- dont waste time opening chests and breaking objects. i only open resplendent chests, and that i feel is a waste of time also.


The last 4 Legendary items and 1 set piece that have dropped for me, have come from barrels and a armor rack.

Ill advised suggestion to skip them.


I'd like to reiterate my point to SKIP chest/objects. Yes, you can get legends/set items from them, but it doesn't take your MF into consideration. It's called Opportunity Cost, your time is much better spent kill rather than opening chest/corpses, and waiting for 1 sec for stuff to pop out. Every second is precious in Archon form, there's absolutely no room for chest/objects.

Here's an example, numbers are not exact, just to illustrate a concept.
You spend your 1 second to open chest.
Chance to drop stuff = 1%, MF has no affect, final = 1%
I spend my 1 second to kill an extra white mob.
Chance to drop stuff = 1% x + 300MF , final = 4%
Maysrill, thank you very much for your advices. They were extremely useful, I can say I have a quite successful archon build right now.

I got the dps down to 124k unbuffed(with glass cannon though). I run Core-Damned 1-AC2-Rakkis Crossing to Fields and finish with Keeps 1+2.

My big issue is at the beginning of the run, when I build up the NV stacks. If I keep getting elite groups(which is the idea btw :-) ), my archon timer runs out and I'm left with Electrocute(Forked Lightning) and Blizzard to kill them. It usually ends with me dying 2-3 times. In Core of Areat you're prone to get Phase Beast elites and they hurt. Alot. Maybe someone could throw other ideas around, another route, start zone.

Thanks again for your help.

Your friendly wizard,
Sym.


One of the worst thing to do is to pop Archon on first pack you see. Because once you're done with pack, your archon is probably out. Instead , you should tackle it head on using your native skills. Pop Archon only when you see lots of trash available, so that you get a jumpstart on the timer. You should be able to kill packs just by your regular non archon skills. Dont be afraid to die, because you're near respawn point anyway. If far from spawn pt, do a little kiting. You should be able to take packs down with your high dps.
Posts: 244
Eliminator do you think I can use your Archon build with my current gear?

Only thing I think I'm lacking is the life steal...
I don't know if it's been mentioned yet, but knowing how long it takes to kill all of the different trash mobs is the difference between losing archon during droughts, and making it to the next pack by a couple of seconds. Since the beam is a dot, you do not need to have the beam on them for them to die. It's an odd concept to get, but you will start being able to sweep your beam more efficiently by not holding it on every monster until they die. As long as a mob was in your beam between the last damage tick and the next one, it will take damage.

As another example, have you ever died to desicrators even though you are clearly 6 feet off of the fire? That's because you were on the fire between the ticks. Use it to your advantage. Its the difference between continuing archon or having to cool it down.

For cool downs, I like to gear swap for low dps, high EHP, apoc, and LOH. That way I can spend half a minute fighting a junk mob while cm is procing without insta gibbing them.
For 1.04, U can try my build to refresh archon very quickly, less stressful also
I keep hearing everyone say that a 1 hander and source is better for an archon build than a 2 hander. However, I got pretty lucky a while back and got a rather monster specced Skorn. 1407 DPS, 236 total crit hit damage including 90% gem, 5.9 life steal, 307 intelligence. That one drop pretty much made up for all the rubbishy loot I'd ever had before that point!

I'm interested to know if it's worth me looking to eventually switch this to a 1 hander in the long run, or if the stats on this one are so good, that it wont be worth it.

As specced now, I have about 145k paper DPS, but with 6% arcane damage bonus and 26% vs elites damage bonus. About 7k armour and 800 resists when buffed. I pretty much mow through the best areas of act 3 in about 25 minutes, get about 240k gold per hour and about 2-3 legendaries a day, so it's working pretty well so far. I'm just wondering if a 1 hander and source combo would ultimately make me even stronger or if my Skorn is a bit freakishly good to ever make it worth it?
Actually, sorry for the double post, but I just spotted the talk about the archon beam being a DoT. One little tip I have for those hard hitting elites (I'm thinking phase beasts). I tend to flail the mouse about like a mad man and I swear it does more damage and more lifesteal than it normally would because multiple enemies are being hit per tick. If I kept the beam focused in one direction only, I suspect it wouldn't be healing or damaging as much.

Also, I kind of wish they would base archon uptime regeneration on damage done rather than kills. This way, it could be used equally well in groups. Mobs with larger hitpoint pools would add more archon uptime, so as the hitpoints scale, so would the uptime.

I probably have a few more tips for archon builds that haven't been posted as well. I'll try and compile a list of them and get something posted soon.
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