Diablo® III

Hybrid Archon Guide

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#bmXYOS!Zgb!ccaYcc

Video: shine#1756

http://youtu.be/7khrwv3kHoo

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After much thought I am going to attempt to do the write up for the Hybrid Archon. To note, this is not a build I created, but have taken and used to great success....it is just a build that I have been running since 1.0.5 came out.

Gear requirements for Mp 6-7

600 Resist unbuffed
200k dps unbuffed
3700-4500 Armor
300k EHP
40%+ crit chance
High attack speed, but not nearly as important here as in other builds. A weapon with 1.4+ Attack speed though seems spot on. Target attack speed should be 2+, but again not totally needed to be successful. I've seen it run at a success of 1.8.
LS weapon
24% MS

Gear requirements for mp 8+

700-800 Resist unbuffed
275k dps unbuffed
4300+ Armor
370k EHP
45% Crit
2+ IAS
LS weapon
24% MS

NO APoC needed!

This build is really the only build that I feel comfortable with running Archon past mp 6. Sustained Archon can easily steamroll Mp 5 and lower, but if you want to run our true *Barney* form past mp 6 this is the build that is required to progress at a great pace.

Even though many believe that Archon in group play is not a viable option, I have run this on mp 9-10 with four players and I am able to sustain it quite well. The gear is required, but it is possible to run it effectively at higher mp levels. The higher health of the mobs make it so you can constantly be in Archon form.

Skill #1

Living Lightning-Shock Pulse:

This is a must, no other skill can get Archon recharge up as quick as this skill without having to go towards an APoC items to run WW. The damage is subpar at best and when you are out of Archon any creature that is moving away from you may pose slight issues. This skill is especially useful when you pair it with high crit chance, which means as I will discuss later with using Deep Freeze/Nova becomes almost instant recharge in groups of 5+. Again, right now there is no other skill like this one and this is absolutely required to run this build.

Skill #2

Archon

I just list Archon mainly because there are two different options here moving forward.

Improved Archon- This one is the choice I make due to being able to sustain it and just not the quick burst damage vs the other viable option. The longer you can stay in Archon the better you are going to progress. There isn't really much to talk about here other than trying to constantly keep moving and killing mobs to keep Archon timer up.

Arcane Destruction- I am not fond of this skill as many others are, because all it really serves is a quite burst of damage at the beginning and then you deal with subpar damage from Archon after that. Higher crit chance makes it viable as the ability to regain Archon form becomes easier, but still I think Improved Archon is more viable.

Skill #3

Crystal Shell-Diamond Skin

When Archon is down, you will need to be able to be up close to fight and use Living Lightning and Nova/DS make that possible. Try to time it so you are using it when you are freezing and not freezing because there will be periods of time when the creature is not frozen from Nova. This skill by now should come natural to most players as you typically run it in almost any build these days. Self explanatory.....when in trouble throw it on.

Note:

You can use diamond shards on mp 6-7, but I've found that it isn't quite as effective in Archon downtime as Crystal Shell. If you're looking for slightly more damage than yes it can be viable....just not recommended.

Skill #4

Frost Nova

Deep Freeze- For mob farming this is the most ideal skill we Hybrid Archons have. Don't attempt to take on Elites of 3-4....you can....but why? Drag them to a large mob and pop DS/Nova on and get that extra 15% crit chance for more damage towards Archon. This is the biggest pro-tip I can offer Archons out there struggling trying to run this. Group up mobs and drop Deep Freeze on them and it's game over.

Cold Snap
Bone Chill - I use these skills for uber bosses as they are more viable. If I am running with a cm/wiz I run Bone Chill, but if I am running without one I use Cold Snap to try and freeze more frequently for the group.

UBERS:

I found that removing Nova and placing Wicked Wind in can really take advantage of regaining Archon back quickly. The reason you replace Nova is simple....you really don't need to keep the foe frozen as that isn't your main goal in this build especially for ubers. For ubers, you want to get that 5 stack of Arcane Dynamo w/Archon beam quick. Subbing out Nova for Wicked Wind while keeping DS to absorb the small amount of damage you are dealt not in Archon is the better fit.


Skill #5

Armor Skill

Energy Armor:

Prismatic- This is the go to armor skill for anything past mp 7. You'll need it to be able to stand toe to toe with the most fearsome foes. The increase to Resists even though nerfed is still the best skill to offer the largest support you can gain.

Pinpoint- If you are not quite where you need to be with crit chance, but you have more Resists/Armor than the requirement then you can easily run Pinpoint to give you that extra burst in recharging Archon. Anything past mp 8 though will still net you some issues.

Storm Armor

Thunderstorm- Increases the amount of lightning damage from the base dmg on Storm Armor. This can be very effective if you have life leech as it heals you if for whatever reason you get frozen or incapable of moving for a short time or applying damage. It is comparable to Pinpoint in a sense that past mp 8 you will find yourself more of a target for those tougher affix elites.

Shocking Aspect- This can be a viable setup as well, and I have had some success with it on Mp 5-7 the only issue is that it seems to kill white mobs faster than I really want to get my Archon recharge back up to the correct speed. Really helps out with LL low damage output problems however.

Skill #6

Magic Weapon

Blood Magic- My personal choice as when you pair it with a LS weapon then you will no longer have to worry over reflect mobs. Most damage you can overcome in Archon with the two LS options in your weapon and this skill. Also the bonus to damage really adds up and makes it more viable.

Force Weapon- For those that feel they are comfortable with their LS on their weapon to progress. I would say this would be viable with a 2H weapon with 5+ LS. The extra damage is nice, but Blood Magic gives you the ultimate ability to survive damage at the higher mp lvls.

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Passives:

#1

Critical Mass

For clear reasons here, the more you can get this working the faster you can get Archon/Nova/DS back.

#2

Evocation

Works well in regards to syncing with Critical Mass to allow shorter recharge times on all skills.

#3

Blur

For really a lack of a better passive....I am not fond with this passive like many of our other passives. I hate that I have to use a slot for this as it's just another tiny safety net that really only comes into play vs Tremor/Phasebeast pack....sometimes a few annoying skull cleaver elite/champion groups too.

Optional change of pace passive:

Arcane Dynamo- (Quoted by samll#1924)

"I mainly use arcane dynamo when needed(facing elites, for example). As long as you don't release your right click/get interrupted, the 75% boost is there. And It takes no time to kill trash mobs anyway(dynamo or not).

One thing needs attention is your frost nova. It actually resets your dynamo. Your LL can get your 5 dynamo back very quickly, but it's just something you will have to pay attention to if you use dynamo passive."

Cold Blooded- (Quoted by James1v12)

"I will always run cold-blooded with a cm/ww, whether farming or ubers. However, I've also noticed its highly beneficial when using a scoundrel with buriza. Obviously, the scoundrel doesn't "chill" everything, but when you get down to those pesky elites they are always chilled and it definitely helps. Not required though."
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I found that this works extremely well when mixed with a CM wiz for Ubers, and decided to add it to the build for an optional set. Remove Blur, the reason I may still use Blur if I play with people that I feel may struggle vs SK so I can maintain being alive for rez.

Some notes:

LL/Archon/DS/Nova are all required skills to use.....I have used a few other skills along the way, but always go towards the build that I have suggested.

Stretch time- This skill works exceptionally well in group play, but you replace Blood Magic with it, so during Archon time reflect mobs poise a serious issue to you and I always found myself having to take Archon down and rely on LL damage to help the group which as you know isn't the best approach.

Wizards passives are putrid.....I don't really know another way of saying it. The fact that we throw Blur on because we don't have another viable option is sad. Galvanizing Wind would be the ideal choice, but the 310 hp/sec is a slap in the face. Our passives need the biggest look in any changes come to our class. Wouldn't it be nice for a passive that prevents us from being jailed or frozen?

Reminder that this is what I've found in my constant testing of this build. It is the only thing that I've been running since 1.0.5 and I like to think that I am a top advocate of the entire build. This build is for people that want to farm mp 7+ effectively and efficiently.

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Anybody that has variations of this build or wants something tested out please post below and I will run whatever you are suggesting to see the viability of it with the Hybrid build. If your idea is solid, then I will add it with your name to the above guide.

Thank you
Edited by Schenko7#1939 on 1/10/2013 8:12 AM PST
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I've tried LL before, but ultimately still went back to FL.

The procs might be better for LL but I seem to hold my ground better with FL when I'm out of archon. I might be wrong, but the additional forks seem to also proc lifesteal. I can't maintain that level of lifesteal even with the way better procs from LL.
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Been using this for a long time. I can attest to it's awesomeness. I think one of the biggest benefits for me is not having to rely on decent APoC gear. I can get far superior gear without that stat and Living Lightning refreshes so quick with a high crit chance. The build is really great for low to mid level farming and I've even done Ubers on MP8, with a group mind you. It's just not going to take you into MP9 - 10 very well unless you have incredible dps.
Edited by shine#1756 on 11/15/2012 6:43 AM PST
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Also, taking any suggestions or modifications. I am working off of my personal experiences.
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I constantly waffle on the 1h/2h build for archon as to which to aim for end-game.

With 2h (1260 DPS Skorn, 5.6% LS):
I have toyed with this with both DS and with FN/DF, but never dropped Sparkflint to try both at once. Obviously you're better off with a 1h for both CM procs and a harder freeze, but the LS allows you to be sloppy and still survive. I may try using both to see how I like it, but I'm usually comfortable with either FL/TP (fast farming) or FL/Meteor (kiting a bit and blasting at higher MP)

1h (1180 DPS, 2.9% LS EF ; 5/5/5, 8%CC Trium)
I've been floating that EF on the AH a bit (no CD = tons lower pice, not in a hurry to sell though) and pulling it down and pairing it with a low-end Trium I've got in my stash. So far, none of the IAS-based Archon build has won me over, but I am sure I am biased by the 30-40k DPS hit I take going to clearly inferior gear (losing LS, to boot). I may give the LL/Hybrid a try tonight though, if my EF didn't sell again.

Honestly, whichever way I go depends heavily on drops and AH deals I get in the near future. If I stumble onto a godly 1h, I'll make the switch and may well go with a build like this (came pretty close last night with a 2.7% LS wand with 82% CD and socket, but not black and only 9xx DPS; worth a fair bit, but not top end)

Edit: any thought of using TP on archon?
Edited by Maysrill#1190 on 11/15/2012 7:20 AM PST
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I have been trying hybrid archon lately and came to the conclusion that nothing come close to ww when you are out of archon. I'm playing an hybrid SNS/archon build and it works very well for me, can easily farm mp8 with it.

I know using ww recquire some Apoc and high ASP but i think its worth it : it gives fatser archon refresh, better dps out of archon and you can still permafreeze anoying packs.

LL is somehow fine but ww is just better.

Here is the build i'm using right now :
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#VmXYST!Wgb!Yacccc

My profile for reference (i know i have to work a bit on my resists and dps) :
http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Fus-2319/hero/15999682
Edited by Fus#2319 on 11/15/2012 7:26 AM PST
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The whole purpose of this build is for mp 7+ farming really. Anything below that you should be running the sustained Archon build. TP doesn't really help out in groups due to the lower damage.

Basically with what I've explained above I can safely say on mp 9-10 with my gear I feel like a heavy contributor and can maintain Archon fairly easily. Only a few minor hiccups are possible.....but those hiccups are a lot of problems other classes have as well.
Edited by Schenko7#1939 on 11/15/2012 7:29 AM PST
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There is another build floating around that is pretty viable with only 150k dps....it involves Healing Blades/WW/Archon. I have yet to fully test it out on the higher mp levels, but it could become more viable.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#WVYXOm!XgZ!YYYacc

Attached is the link of the build.....from what I've seen the build is very viable in group play. It's slower at trying to recharge Archon in my opinion, but it is a variation of the Hybrid Archon. I just prefer the build i have as I've experienced what it can do first hand.
Edited by Schenko7#1939 on 11/15/2012 7:34 AM PST
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Have you noticed if faster IAS = more procs with LL? (like the ww breakpoints?)

In a party I drop prismatic for pinpoint for more LL procs and dps if theres free shout.

Nice tip about the deep freeze, more procs for cm too! Have been just blindly using cold snap
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view my build,i use energy twister to reset anchorn,need about 20 monters and 15 sec to reset.
P/s:Distinger change to energy twister/wicked wind.i think if you use energy twister reset anchorn, acttack speed is not necessary, APOC is about 9+.That's all
Edited by DevilHunter#6873 on 11/15/2012 7:51 AM PST
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@Sky

I was running Stretch time in place of Magic Weapon for a long time there(Maybe 2 weeks?) and didn't notice that I was regaining Archon any faster than I was with say pinpoint. I think for this build it's more CC dependent, but i would love to be proved wrong. I think as long as you are walking around with 2+ Attack speed base you'll be fine.
Edited by Schenko7#1939 on 11/15/2012 7:46 AM PST
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11/15/2012 07:44 AMPosted by DevilHunter
view my build,i use energy twister to reset anchorn,need about 20 monters and 15 sec to reset.


Remember....the whole purpose of this entire Hybrid Build is to be non-depedent on APoC items. I'm not arguing that WW tic rates are better than LL because they are. LL is free though and no Arcane Power to use.
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Have you noticed if faster IAS = more procs with LL? (like the ww breakpoints?)

In a party I drop prismatic for pinpoint for more LL procs and dps if theres free shout.

Nice tip about the deep freeze, more procs for cm too! Have been just blindly using cold snap


IAS doesnt affect proc rate of LL, all it does is allow you to cast more LLs. I've been running this spec for group too (MP7-9), I can perma freeze a group with LL alone if its a large group (6+), the amount of CM procs you get from LL is insane because its AoE and it hits a target multiple times.

And yea cc is the most important stat for this spec.
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I used to run a similar build to this except that I used WW instead of DS and used Prodigy instead of Evocation. Hold LL button and tap WW button as AP allows. Definitely works better than LL alone on smaller groups, though LL alone can be superior if you get a huge pack of trash (10+). Also gives you a little more range, which helps somewhat with the loss of DS.

Have you noticed if faster IAS = more procs with LL? (like the ww breakpoints?)snap


Only in the sense that you can get more LL out faster (and to a lesser extent, more on the screen at one time). But each LL is pretty consistently around 5-7 "hits" per mob in ideal conditions before it gets out of range. Sometimes much worse if it hits terrain or the mob is moving away. LL against a Missile Dampening elite is funny.
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Updated with passives
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If I may:
Hybrid archon has two purposes: to maintain survivability outside of archon and minimize archon downtime. Thus it is also useful for multiplayer at low monster power. This may be one of the only non-APoC builds that still packs a punch when kills are being divided. Low MP is where damaging runes over defense runes become more useful, including Glass Cannon.

Gear requirements for low MP are essentially whatever is needed for solo archon, but the more crit the better.

In addition, if using WW with minimal APoC, consider Diamond Skin - Prism.
Edited by Shelendil#1520 on 11/15/2012 8:05 AM PST
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I think Archons can be players on higher Mp levels, just the gear required is a little bit insanely to achieve.
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There is another build floating around that is pretty viable with only 150k dps....it involves Healing Blades/WW/Archon


I just use Healing Blades, no wicked wind, when not in archon. You can easily do mp7-8 with it for keys, especially if you have lifesteal, but if you use slow time, you don't need it.
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I just tried it out with my semi-junky EF/Trium, just as in the top post. Despite taking a sizable DPS hit (some due to losing sparkflint and GC, some due to inferior gear), I was ok running with 4.4% LS (2.9% + BM). Archon came back up right away when I lost it, and the freeze-lock was actually fairly useful...

...especially when with LL, it would have taken me hours to kill tremor demon packs if archon didn't cool down so quick.
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What Mp did you do? Higher than you typically do?
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