Diablo® III

The Definitive Sustained-Archon Guide

So i've still yet to understand from this thread on why I need Life Steal instead of LoH?

My newbie archon build is basically one i use for fun and since i'm not really all that well geared (and Blizz/Hydra is boring and slow, and the CM/WW build just wasn't cutting it speed wise).

E.g. I've got LoH that I thought was more or less essential but realize that the paltry amounts I have likely don't do much even when i've got to resort to Electrocute and Arcane Orb.

I've been looking for a better weapon with the same DPS, a socket, IAS and Life Steal but i'm being cautious as i don't have much gold these days (sub 20mil) and that will help....but should I be ditching items with LoH and stack more say crit instead?
I just recorded a couple quick examples of this hybrid archon/cm freeze vs. reflect dmg elites in MP1 to show the effectiveness. Obviously since there are only 1-3 mobs the cooldowns don't refresh as fast as vs. a large pack, but it does the job while getting Archon back up.

Group 1 vs: Reflect Damage / Vortex / Mortar / Frozen -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnGaKjmtH-A&feature=youtu.be

Group 2 vs: Reflect Damage / Electrified / Extra Health / Knockback - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCZzNZkh9P0&feature=youtu.be

Note how fast the Archon cooldown refreshes in the 2nd video and it's only vs. 3 mobs. Get a large pack of mobs and CM procs for a super quick Archon refresh.
Edited by couchy#1938 on 10/31/2012 1:07 PM PDT
I just recorded a couple quick examples of this hybrid archon/cm freeze vs. reflect dmg elites in MP1 to show the effectiveness. Obviously since there are only 1-3 mobs the cooldowns don't refresh as fast as vs. a large pack, but it does the job while getting Archon back up.

Group 1 vs: Reflect Damage / Vortex / Mortar / Frozen -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnGaKjmtH-A&feature=youtu.be

Group 2 vs: Reflect Damage / Electrified / Extra Health / Knockback - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCZzNZkh9P0&feature=youtu.be

Note how fast the Archon cooldown refreshes in the 2nd video and it's only vs. 3 mobs. Get a large pack of mobs and CM procs for a super quick Archon refresh.


I love this build for multiplayer where archon is constantly dropping.

When solo my archon downtime is almost nonexistent, so I prefer disintegrate, as it allows me to put familiar back on my bar. (No apoc needed.)

I guess some links would be good for people browsing the thread.
Multiplayer:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#bmYSXT!gYb!ccYcab
Solo:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#RmjSXT!gYf!ZcacZZ
Edited by Shelendil#1520 on 11/1/2012 10:30 AM PDT


I like the freeze build in both 1.0.4 and 1.0.5 in multiplayer games where archon is constantly dropping off due to not getting all the kills. When solo my archon downtime is almost nonexistent, so I prefer disintegrate, as it allows me to put familiar back on my bar. (No apoc needed.)


Yea when I do my MP1 / MP2 runs I rarely use LL/Freeze but it doesn't really hinder me either because I have enough DPS to do a 12 minute run.

When you go higher MP it comes in more handy. Before I had my CM/WW gear I actually tanked MP5 ubers using it.
More dps is really all about boosting the damage storm armor does.
So i've still yet to understand from this thread on why I need Life Steal instead of LoH?

My newbie archon build is basically one i use for fun and since i'm not really all that well geared (and Blizz/Hydra is boring and slow, and the CM/WW build just wasn't cutting it speed wise).

E.g. I've got LoH that I thought was more or less essential but realize that the paltry amounts I have likely don't do much even when i've got to resort to Electrocute and Arcane Orb.

I've been looking for a better weapon with the same DPS, a socket, IAS and Life Steal but i'm being cautious as i don't have much gold these days (sub 20mil) and that will help....but should I be ditching items with LoH and stack more say crit instead?


LoH is not as effective in Archon because the life gained via LoH is small due to the lowered coefficient.

Here's a test I just ran vs single mob:
With ~1000 LoH i gain about 500 per tick.
with 3.0 LS I gain about 1500 per tick.
I just recorded a couple quick examples of this hybrid archon/cm freeze vs. reflect dmg elites in MP1 to show the effectiveness. Obviously since there are only 1-3 mobs the cooldowns don't refresh as fast as vs. a large pack, but it does the job while getting Archon back up.

Group 1 vs: Reflect Damage / Vortex / Mortar / Frozen -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnGaKjmtH-A&feature=youtu.be

Group 2 vs: Reflect Damage / Electrified / Extra Health / Knockback - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCZzNZkh9P0&feature=youtu.be

Note how fast the Archon cooldown refreshes in the 2nd video and it's only vs. 3 mobs. Get a large pack of mobs and CM procs for a super quick Archon refresh.


i'm really trying to understand why you keep insisting this is efficient build.
1st video shows taking down a pack in 20 secs
2nd video shows taking down a pack in 28 secs.
and both videos are sped up i think.

This cant be considered efficient...

Reason why we moved away from cm to archon is because there's an inherent windup time to cm. So anytime you're doing your cm windup means you're not being efficient in your run.

I think you should work on maintaining archon as much as possible instead of relying on cm to bring it back online faster.

shelendil does bring up a good point where this could be superior build in group play, where sustained-archon is at its weakest form.
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I just recorded a couple quick examples of this hybrid archon/cm freeze vs. reflect dmg elites in MP1 to show the effectiveness. Obviously since there are only 1-3 mobs the cooldowns don't refresh as fast as vs. a large pack, but it does the job while getting Archon back up.

Group 1 vs: Reflect Damage / Vortex / Mortar / Frozen -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnGaKjmtH-A&feature=youtu.be

Group 2 vs: Reflect Damage / Electrified / Extra Health / Knockback - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCZzNZkh9P0&feature=youtu.be

Note how fast the Archon cooldown refreshes in the 2nd video and it's only vs. 3 mobs. Get a large pack of mobs and CM procs for a super quick Archon refresh.


Awesome build. Just wondering... do I have the required stats for this build?
I just recorded a couple quick examples of this hybrid archon/cm freeze vs. reflect dmg elites in MP1 to show the effectiveness. Obviously since there are only 1-3 mobs the cooldowns don't refresh as fast as vs. a large pack, but it does the job while getting Archon back up.

Group 1 vs: Reflect Damage / Vortex / Mortar / Frozen -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnGaKjmtH-A&feature=youtu.be

Group 2 vs: Reflect Damage / Electrified / Extra Health / Knockback - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCZzNZkh9P0&feature=youtu.be

Note how fast the Archon cooldown refreshes in the 2nd video and it's only vs. 3 mobs. Get a large pack of mobs and CM procs for a super quick Archon refresh.


i'm really trying to understand why you keep insisting this is efficient build.
1st video shows taking down a pack in 20 secs
2nd video shows taking down a pack in 28 secs.
and both videos are sped up i think.

This cant be considered efficient...

Reason why we moved away from cm to archon is because there's an inherent windup time to cm. So anytime you're doing your cm windup means you're not being efficient in your run.

I think you should work on maintaining archon as much as possible instead of relying on cm to bring it back online faster.

shelendil does bring up a good point where this could be superior build in group play, where sustained-archon is at its weakest form.


I dunno why you would think video is sped up, that would be a waste of time trying to do all that and make an argument that isn't true.

The reason I keep bringing it up is due to a question someone asked and your response to that from a couple days ago:

[quote]
I have a question for Eliminator and any other archon expert here. When archon drops for whatever reason and you encounter an elite pack, do you pop archon, burning them down, hoping there would be a pack of trash mobs in the next room? Or you use regular spells to kill the elites and only pop archon again when you see enough trash mobs? I'm currently choosing the second way but feel a bit lame. It happened to me so many times that I cannot find enough trash after I beam down the elites and then lose archon again.

in most situations, the correct choice is to use your regular spells to burn down elite packs. because like u said, if u pop archon, chances are you'll lose it after u take down the pack, and u end up with huge downtime.

your 2 optional spells should enable you to take a pack headon without much trouble.

Yeah, the tradeoff is that I'm much weaker off archon form. Some seemingly easy combo with Jailer/Waller/Frozen/Desec can be deadly if I don't have teleport, while reflect is a pain if I don't have DS... Recently I have been trying to run past the elites and kite them into the next pack of trash and finish them all together. It worked perfectly sometimes but not always possible though.


I was simply providing a viable option for A. taking down elite packs without Archon B. Taking down reflect damage packs for those that find them troublesome and C. An alternative method to refreshing your Archon cooldown.

I'm not about to record 12 minutes of me doing an Alkaiser run with this build, if you don't think 45 mil xp/hour is efficient than you must be doing some crazy XP runs.
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I just recorded a couple quick examples of this hybrid archon/cm freeze vs. reflect dmg elites in MP1 to show the effectiveness. Obviously since there are only 1-3 mobs the cooldowns don't refresh as fast as vs. a large pack, but it does the job while getting Archon back up.

Group 1 vs: Reflect Damage / Vortex / Mortar / Frozen -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnGaKjmtH-A&feature=youtu.be

Group 2 vs: Reflect Damage / Electrified / Extra Health / Knockback - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCZzNZkh9P0&feature=youtu.be

Note how fast the Archon cooldown refreshes in the 2nd video and it's only vs. 3 mobs. Get a large pack of mobs and CM procs for a super quick Archon refresh.


i'm really trying to understand why you keep insisting this is efficient build.
1st video shows taking down a pack in 20 secs
2nd video shows taking down a pack in 28 secs.
and both videos are sped up i think.

This cant be considered efficient...

Reason why we moved away from cm to archon is because there's an inherent windup time to cm. So anytime you're doing your cm windup means you're not being efficient in your run.

I think you should work on maintaining archon as much as possible instead of relying on cm to bring it back online faster.

shelendil does bring up a good point where this could be superior build in group play, where sustained-archon is at its weakest form.

Agreed but yeah I run archon and maintain it 90% of the time or more. I miss playing in groups though :(
Scramble > all other runes of shocking since you should be melting most things before they get close.

Shocking is for cm since they need high cc and get up front and personal


i went back to try scramble and didnt like the results.
flametower boost is nice and all, but that's a small portion of the zones.
something that works 10% of the time or something that works 100% of the time.

the choice is clear, thunderstorm.
Edited by eLINminator#1776 on 10/31/2012 2:38 PM PDT
Haha every one has their own favorite and it's next to impossible to persuade others "mine is the best!"

Tried Scramble/Thunderstorm/Living Lightning again yesterday and they do work in some situations but still not satisfatory to me.

1) Scramble only works like 10% of the time, true.

2) Thunderstorm is nice DPS boost, but I even died to a pack of white heralds which is a shame to mention... Diamond Skin is easily penetrated with unbuffed 3K armor 600 AR, so I will stick to Prismatic in the future.

3) In the long run, Living Lightning refreshes Archon CD in a good pace, but within a toe-to-toe fight it's not enough to refresh Diamond Skin in a timely fashion, plus it has abysmal DPS...

I have tested every rune of all of our primary and secondary spells for the 2 free slots in archon build, and the three spells I like the best are, Piercing Orb, Healing Blades, and Disruption.

1) Piercing Orb is AP-free with super long range and large AOE

2) Healing Blades is AP-free with massive DPS within medium range and massive life leech (bonus: waller is a joke:))

3) Disruption has the highest single target and AOE DPS with acceptable AP cost (almost the cheapest AP per DPS)

All of the three above have almost the highest CM proc coeffients among the primary and secondary spells.
Last couple day's I've been playing LL+FN/Deep Freeze. That 15% CC bonus really speeds up the CM procs. It's the best combo I've found to-date for Archon refresh post-1.05.

I'll still go FL for actual fighting prowess though, combining it with AD and meteor if you want the max damage output while out of archon. I don't farm a dangerous MP level (working MP4 currently), so I don't need to worry much about utility or armor spells.

I will say that I'm taking a liking to Scramble though. The trick is training yourself to run away before the last trash mob dies, letting the bolt finish it off behind you. You'll get your 3 second boost after most trash fights if you do it consistently.

Other good sources of Scramble:
-Leftover succubus motes (or whatever you want to all their ammo)
-Desecrator pools (they last even past looting of elites most times)
-Molten explosions (use with caution)
-Anything that dies in A2 (they all leave a patch of poison, I swear...every last mob in the act)
3) In the long run, Living Lightning refreshes Archon CD in a good pace, but within a toe-to-toe fight it's not enough to refresh Diamond Skin in a timely fashion, plus it has abysmal DPS...


No one is using it for dps, though. Living Lightning refreshes diamond skin so fast for me, I can just spam diamond skin and facetank while waiting for archon to come up. Living lightning works really well on big groups, of course, and with fast attack speed, you can just spam it like crazy. The problem with piercing orb is that it kills off mobs quickly, too quickly for me, so not enough crits to proc critical mass whereas I'm spamming LL and it doesn't kill fast, allowing me to grab those crits.
11/01/2012 10:18 AMPosted by jenpeezey
3) In the long run, Living Lightning refreshes Archon CD in a good pace, but within a toe-to-toe fight it's not enough to refresh Diamond Skin in a timely fashion, plus it has abysmal DPS...


No one is using it for dps, though. Living Lightning refreshes diamond skin so fast for me, I can just spam diamond skin and facetank while waiting for archon to come up. Living lightning works really well on big groups, of course, and with fast attack speed, you can just spam it like crazy. The problem with piercing orb is that it kills off mobs quickly, too quickly for me, so not enough crits to proc critical mass whereas I'm spamming LL and it doesn't kill fast, allowing me to grab those crits.


Agree with both of you. CM/living lightning has both a crit and attack speed gear check. Once those are boosted, the spell starts doing acceptable damage as well.
11/01/2012 10:18 AMPosted by jenpeezey
3) In the long run, Living Lightning refreshes Archon CD in a good pace, but within a toe-to-toe fight it's not enough to refresh Diamond Skin in a timely fashion, plus it has abysmal DPS...


No one is using it for dps, though. Living Lightning refreshes diamond skin so fast for me, I can just spam diamond skin and facetank while waiting for archon to come up. Living lightning works really well on big groups, of course, and with fast attack speed, you can just spam it like crazy. The problem with piercing orb is that it kills off mobs quickly, too quickly for me, so not enough crits to proc critical mass whereas I'm spamming LL and it doesn't kill fast, allowing me to grab those crits.


You have much higher cc and atk spd than I do so I think that's the source of discrepancy as Shelendil pointed out. But I do prefer my regular spells off archon mode to have high enough DPS so that I don't need to rely on refreshed archon to finish the elites since I would risk archon starving soon after.
how bout?
CM+WW+Healing Blade+Archon, No Apoc
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7004033085

build: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#WmSOYV!Zbg!YbccZY
gear: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/aw3s0m0-1140/hero/22176129
354k dps, 54k hp, 2.38 aps, 52% cc, 787ar, 4741armor, 4% ls (buffed stats with scoundrel)
basically keep up the blood magic/prismatic and try to stay in archon all the time, and use healing blades/cold snap/wicked wind when you are not in archon.
*ls weapon required.

tested it for ~5hrs and seem to work well on mp7 single player and mp8 multiplayer with another perma freeze wiz.

i have 0 apoc n average ehp but you can probably use glass cannon/cold blooded/pinpoint barrier/scramble/improved archon etc if you have high ehp and apoc.
11/01/2012 11:08 AMPosted by Kobune
You have much higher cc and atk spd than I do so I think that's the source of discrepancy as Shelendil pointed out


You know what is nuts about living lightning? I put on defensive gear for ubers, increasing my attack speed another 9% and a cm wizard is using Stretch Time, and that allows me to spam living lightning on locked-up bosses then refresh archon pretty quickly.

I want to try this with piercing orb next.
11/01/2012 12:22 PMPosted by jenpeezey
You have much higher cc and atk spd than I do so I think that's the source of discrepancy as Shelendil pointed out

You know what is nuts about living lightning? I put on defensive gear for ubers, increasing my attack speed another 9% and a cm wizard is using Stretch Time, and that allows me to spam living lightning on locked-up bosses then refresh archon pretty quickly.

I want to try this with piercing orb next.


I don't know how much IAS I need to pull it off with living lightning. I was still in nightmare when the first wiz use it to perma freeze diablo...

@aw3s0m0
With your DPS I guess you can farm MP5 in the same speed I do in MP2 :) but MP7 or 8 might be a little stretch. The philosophy here is largely keeping archon most if not all the time and oneshot every trash. It would still be sluggish when we have to spend more than a second to beam down a trash pack even if we have reliable way to refresh a 90s archon CD in...like 20s?
archon build here. can't find the right , lemme say comfortable mp or build to run here.

currently doing mp5 and running on 200k dps. but I die a lot on RD. it's frustrating.

and is it just me or blizzard did a ninja nerf on the drops? I tell you, the first week after the patch, legendaries were raining like crazy and now, I rarely get one per run which is mostly trash anyway.
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