Diablo® III

ShockNadoShards (SNS), a CM/WW build [guide]

- Diablo III (Wizard)
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***** please see Part 3 of this guide, linked below. It's not really "part 3" so much as a continuation of this guide so I could open up the comments section again. This one was locked after 500 replies and is not being updated. Thanks!!
-----> http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/8728753771?page=1#5
*****

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THE INFORMATION below IS OUTDATED...AND NOT BEING UPDATED.
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ShockNadoShards (SNS), a CM/WW build
Build: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#VQTYXh!bWg!YZcccc

I. Intro
II. Active Skills
III. Passive Skills
IV. How the build works
V. Wicked Wind and Tickrates
VI. Attribute and Stat Suggestions
VII. Type of gear
VIII. Playstyle and dealing with affixes

I. Intro

This build represents the basic foundation upon which many CM/WW variants are based on. Like the basic CM/WW build, it uses twisters to restore arcane power and proc CM to reduce cooldowns, and frost nova to freeze enemies. The addition of Diamond Skin, Explosive Blast, and Shocking Aspect was the big leap forward to make the build so popular and powerful. The combination of abilities results in increased survivability, (perma)freezing of enemies, and a large multiplier for DPS. However, since Prismatic Armor is not used in this build (unlike traditional CM/WW) a higher degree of damage mitigation (armor and resist all) is required.

The damage multiplier for this build is about 7-8 times your paper DPS against one or two targets (think: Ubers, Gohm, single elite after all whites are toast). It is alot more than that (up to 15x+?) against large groups and mobs!! This means if your paper DPS is 85k, you're really doing like 600k or more!!! So when you join a group asking for a freeze wiz to do Uber runs, and they laugh at your DPS (which they did at me last night)...just tell them to wait and see. You'll have 3 new friend requests at the end of night (which I did). The build is really just that good. Hands down awesome. And the only wizard build capable of the highest MP’s.

When gearing a SNS wizard, it is crucial to stack CC and IAS on most of your items (see gear section below). Armor and all resist and equally crucial - since you are a tank (and not kiting), you will be spending all of your time right in the middle of the fray...it can sometimes get ugly positioning yourself properly. Gearing defensively is absolutely critical. The last thing to worry about is DPS...the damage multiplier helps to take care of a low sheet DPS number...DO NOT SPEND TIME WORRYING ABOUT DPS WHEN YOU ARE INITIALLY GEARING YOUR SNS WIZARD. Once you can tank and survive then you can begin to add DPS into your gear. Basically, here is the order of importance for gearing:

CC=IAS=Armor=All Resist>>>DPS

If your are sick of reading through text guides (I've tried to not make it a dreaded wall of text!) and would enjoy a visual presentation of the CM and SNS build, check out Boozor's excellent instructional video series. http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7811541492?page=1

II. Active Skills:
  • (1) Diamond Skin(DS)/Diamond shards - Adds DPS when refreshed....which is alot
  • (2) Explosive Blast(EB)/Chain reaction - bulk of the DPS
  • (3) Frost Nova(FN)/Bone Chill - adds 15% damage (and is a party buff as well)
  • (4) Storm Armor(SA)/Shocking Aspect - Huge DPS boost, esp w/ large groups of enemies
  • (LMouse) Energy Twister(ET)/Wicked Wind - procs CM and triggers LoH
  • (RMouse) Teleport(TP)/Wormhole or Safe Passasge or Fracture. Useful for adjusting position, jumping arcane beams, avoiding explosions, avoiding damage, etc.
  • .
    Other possibilities for (RMouse) include Magic Weapon/Electrify and Slow Time/Time Warp (party buff, great for high MP and Ubers) etc. Other sections of the compendium page address other variants, such as the Meteor build ......the first 5 skills are largely locked in....it's the one place to modify the build.

    III. Passive Skills:
  • Critical Mass - reset cooldowns
  • Evocation - reset cooldowns
  • Cold Blooded - adds 20% damage.
  • .
    Slight variations for skills:
  • Diamond Skin/Crystal Shell - increased survivability. DPS drops to about 6x. This is probably the first switch you should make if you are dying too often (other than get better gear!)
  • Frost Nova/Deep Freeze - +15% to CC after freezing 5 enemies....which is most of the time when doing fast farming runs. Helps when your CC is low. I don't know what the quantitative outcome this has on DPS...it might be a push. It's a big looser though for single elites and ubers.
  • Frost Nova/Cold Snap - depending on your attack speed and CC, this can be very useful for freezing ubers. With 2.73 AS and 45 CC I freeze Ubers better using cold snap. Can be used as a crutch for ubers if you don't have 3.0 AS or 50+ CC. It does an amazing job at freezing but your group looses the 15% damage bonus.
  • Energy Armor instead of Storm Armor - well, then it's not SNS, is it?!! No, it is not...but a close cousin....the DPS modifier drops to about 4.5-5x. This has utility against Ubers when you need the extra damage mitigation at high MP (Prismatic)....or to keep from getting one-shot against Magda's attacks (Force Armor).
  • Teleport/Wormhole is a desirable skill for lower MP levels where you desire fast movement for farming and can handle teleporting into the middle of a pack and have the AS/mitigation to survive until the freeze windeup gets going. Teleport/Safe Passage or Fracture is used at higher MP levels where the damage reduction or decoys is handy. Also good for playing in slower groups.
  • Swap Evocation for....your choice. CM is the largest driver of reducing cooldowns. Evocation plays a role also, but at higher Attack Speed and CC, may not be completely necessary if you don't mind a "stutter" lock instead of a "freeze" lock. Blur, Glass Cannon, and Conflagration (procs with Fire Walkers and is a party buff) are some possibilities
  • .
    IV. How the build works:
    Bind your active skills to the keys noted above (DS=1, EB=2, FN=3, or whatever works for you). Hit 4 to enable SA (and refresh as necessary). Approach a group of monsters and mash the {-123-} keys as quick as you can while holding down your LMouse button (ET) to spam tornadoes. Enjoy the carpel tunnel! Some people use macros on their mouse or keyboards to continuously spam {-123-}. Debate rages as to whether this violates the Blizard TOS agreement. As far as I know, no one has been banned for doing this. I also use [TAB] instead of [SHIFT] to hold my toon in place....it's just more comfortable that way to hit all the keys.

    You ought to be able to teleport into the middle of a group and mash away. Sometimes it is useful to throw a few twisters into the fray first (so they begin proc’ing) and then approach or TP into the group. Frost nova keeps the enemies frozen while EB, SA, and DS do the damage. Be sure the place twisters directly on top of enemies….stray twisters are useless. The twisters are proc’ing CM which will quickly reduce the cooldowns. With FN this results in a “perma” freeze of the enemies. This really is a perma freeze for normal white enemies and most elites. It breaks down some with single elites, and even more with ubers. Attack speed plays a large part in how well enemies are frozen (below). The reduced cooldowns result in fresh DS at a rapid pace….restoring the 10,853 hit point shell as well as releasing the 210% shard damage. With EB, the blasts begin to build up and explode at a rapid pace, after the 1.5 second wait. LoH procs with the twisters….and quickly refills you health….which is handy for standing in desecrator pools or poison gas or arcane beams or whatever else the game throws at you.

    V. Wicked Wind Tick Rate, Breakpoints, and Windeup:

    Shandlar's Brekpoint post: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/6794871641

    You can read the link above for a more thorough understanding of the nuances of tick rates, proc’s, and breakpoints. Basically, as your attack speed increases there is a corresponding increase in the proc rate of the twisters….but it is not a linear relationship. There are hard stops, or breakpoints, which you must get past in order to realize the benefits. Higher attack speed = faster twisters, more CM proc’s, faster cooldowns, more LoH, better freezing, etc.

    An attack speed of 2.73 is commonly accepted as the optimal balance of gearing (i.e. cost of gear) and freezing (i.e. proc’ing CM). Coming up short of a breakpoint (i.e. 2.72) gives you no advantage over being at the lower breakpoint (i.e. 2.50)…..so don’t waste time, effort, and gold with being in-between breakpoints. Carefully make purchases which put you at or just over the next breakpoint.

    As you hit each breakpoint you should observe a noticeable difference in how well the enemies are frozen and how well your life refills. As you increase AS you will also have a more efficient windup, i.e. the time it takes for you to cast your first FN, lay down twisters to proc CM, and cast FN again. At lower attack speeds you may find your FN wearing off before the next one casts….and the enemies can get off some attacks before they are frozen again. This doesn’t happen (as often) as your AS increases.

    AS ~2.00 - 26 ticks
    AS ~2.15 - 28 ticks
    AS ~2.31 - 30 ticks
    AS =2.5001 - 33 ticks
    AS =2.7273 - 36 ticks
    AS =3.0001 - 40 ticks
    AS ~3.33 - 45 ticks

    i.e. ticks refer to the number of attacks/procs over the 6-second casting period of a single Wicked Wind twister. Thus, going from the 2.5 to 2.73 breakpoint would result in about 10% more ticks...resultsing in about 10% more LoH, APOC recovery, cooldowns, etc.

    Windeup - The refers to the first few (harrowing, but crucial) seconds of an encounter. What we are looking for is the ability to freeze, and keep frozen, and enemy or group of enemies. This works best at high attack speeds (2.73 or more) and crit chance (50%): it maximizes APOC return (to cast more twisters) and CM (to reduce cooldown on Frost Nova. An efficient windeup can also freeze, and keep frozen, single elites....especially at 3.01 AS (think succubusses, shamans, etc). "But Pie, the build works even with lower CC and low AS. You suck." True,....if you survive the first few seconds, then at "full" windeup the build largely works the same at low and high CC & AS (your AP stays full and you keep things frozen)....but how often do you die at the beginning of an encounter...and can you keep 1 or 2 fast elites frozen? TL;DR....stick to the higher AS and CC recommendations.

    VI. Attributes and Stat Suggestions:

    Here are some milestones to shoot for as you develop your CM/CW wizard. The most difficult task as you begin gearing for mid-level and end-game is damage mitigation....and DPS to a lesser extent. While it is actually rather easy to reach high attack speed and CC, it becomes exceedingly difficult to keep those same stats while adding All Resist and Armor. Add it in little by little as the opportunity arises.

    Entry Level
    Attack Speed: 2.31-2.50
    Crit Chance: 40-45
    Armor: 3,500
    All resist: 400
    Hit points: 25,000
    DPS: 50-75k
    Suggested MP: 2-4
    LoH: 80 for every 10,000 DPS
    18-20 APOC
    Gear cost: less than 5M

    Mid Level
    Attack Speed: 2.73
    Crit Chance: 45-50
    Armor: 4,500
    All resist: 600
    Hit points: 30,000
    DPS: 75-100K
    Suggested MP: 5-7
    LoH: 800 to 1,200 for 100,000 DPS
    18-20 APOC
    Gear cost: around 200M
    Note: This is a very good place to get to; however, one tends to push the limits of the build by doing higher MP's without proper mitigation (more All Resist and Armor). Extra LoH tends to help survivability (while you look for gear upgrades, of course!)

    End Game
    Attack Speed: 2.73+
    Crit Chance: 50+
    Armor: 5,000+
    All resist: 800
    Hit points: 35,000
    DPS: up to 200k, or more. It's sick, just sick.
    Suggested MP: 8+
    LoH: 800 to 1000*
    18-20 APOC
    Gear cost: don't ask. It is not easy to achieve and should be considered end game gearing.
    * with the 1.07 RD nerf, scaling LoH with DPS isn't necessary. Since increasing amounts of DPS are not reflected back, you just need enough LoH to survive common affixes. Since you no longer need over 1000 LoH, you can focus more on DPS. Enjoy.

    Some of these goals may seem somewhat unattainable,….and may be for quite a while as you begin building your wizard. Just start slow, and add IAS, CC, AR, and armor as you get to each breakpoint. Do not be discouraged if you do not reach these frontier stats. It is always advocated to gear towards defense, and add offensive stats later when you are comfortable with the setup. As you increase MP you will need more and more All Resist, Armor, and DPS…..which gets expensive.

    ** Loophole?: as soon as you reach 2.73 AS and 45-50 CC you can freeze ubers at MP10 even if you are offensively and defensively undergeared. I do it all the time. It would take me half a day to DPS them to death while they are frozen....but I could do it. Typically I join a group which has a few high DPS members. I freeze the Ubers....and they kill them. Everybody's happy.

    VII. What type of Gear:

    How to think about and calculate your total attack speed:

    You will need to be stacking as much IAS and CC as you can….both on the same item when possible. On a 1M budget you can get to about the 2.31 breakpoint and do MP3 or 4!! http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7178978511
    The 100M range might get you to the 2.73 breakpoint with pretty good damage mitigation, capable of MP9-10 with some squishyness (and usually more deaths than you’d like to admit) but a lack of DPS (takes forever and a day to kill things). It is comfortable for farming at MP5-7. You can spend billions getting the best damage mitigation as possible…..or reaching an AS of 3.00 or 3.33, laughing at each and every enemy the game throws at you. But it’s the most common wizard build (and regardless, one of very few) capable of doing MP10.

    ** Warning (math ahead!!)
    Formula for planning gear purchases:
    (desired AS) = (Weapon attacks per second)(X), where X = total IAS needed.
    .
    Example 1: Hitting the 2.73 breakpoint with a 1.63 AS Chantnodo's Will:
    2.73 = 1.63x ..... thus, 2.73/1.63 = 1.6748 or, 68% total IAS (round up).
    Take 68/"9" = 7.5, round up to 8. Thus, you'd need eight "9" IAS items to reach 2.73
    or
    Take 68/"8" = 8.5, round up to 9. Thus, you'd need nine "8" IAS items to reach 2.73
    or
    Playing with the numbers, you could reach exactly 68% with four "9" IAS and four "8" IAS items
    ** see exception below for Chantnodo's Will.
    .
    Example 2: Hitting the 2.73 breakpoint with 1.73 AS Chantnodo's Will (+.22 ApS/8% IAS) and other items:
    2.73 = 1.73x ..... thus, 2.73/1.73= 1.578 or, 58% total IAS (round up).
    Already have Lacunis, Chantnodo's Force, rare gloves, and Inna's Temperence for 35 IAS.
    Thus, 58-35=23. You'd need 23 IAS from 3 items. ex, 9+9+5, 8+8+7, 9+8+6. in fact, I have a large variety of rings and amulets with a variety of IAS and CC and other affixes (CD, All Resist, damage, INT) depending on the situation (solo (with help from followers), group, ubers, etc).

    Note about DPS: don’t concentrate on your sheet DPS to begin with….the SNS multiplier takes care of a low DPS. CD is one of the last things that you should be adding.

    Basic Gear Theorycrafting

    All of the IAS armor stacking that you will do is based off of the speed of your Chant Will. There are three basic categories that you can gear around. So here's the deal to reach a 2.73 AS:
    Fast IAS Chantodo's Will
    1.79 AS Will - you will need 5 pieces of 9 IAS and 1 piece of 8 IAS gear (53 total IAS)
    1.78 AS Will - you will need 6 pieces of 9 IAS gear (54 total IAS)
    .
    Slow IAS Chantodo's Will
    1.77 AS Will - you will need 7 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (55 total IAS)
    1.76 AS Will - you will need 7 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (55 total IAS)
    1.75 AS Will - you will need 7 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (56 total IAS)
    1.74 AS Will - you will need 7 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (57 total IAS)
    1.73 AS Will - you will need 7 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (58 total IAS)
    1.72 AS Will - you will need 7 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (59 total IAS)
    1.71 AS Will - you will need 7 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (60 total IAS)
    1.70 AS Will - you will need 7 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (61 total IAS)
    1.69 AS Will - you will need 7 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (62 total IAS)
    1.68 AS Will - you will need 7 pieces of IAS gear (63 total IAS)
    .
    OS or CD Chantodo's Will
    1.65 AS Will - you will need 8 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (66 total IAS)
    1.64 AS Will - you will need 8 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (67 total IAS)
    1.63 AS Will - you will need 8 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (68 total IAS)
    1.62 AS Will - you will need 8 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (69 total IAS)
    1.61 AS Will - you will need 8 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (70 total IAS)

    You have 10 slots where you can stack IAS. Assuming you are wearing Vial Ward and Blackthorne's Jousting Mail (typical) and add IAS gear as suggested above, that leaves you with:
    - Fast IAS Chantodo's Will: two open non-IAS slots
    - Slow IAS Chantodo's Will: one open non-IAS slot
    - OS or CD Chantodo's Will: no open non-IAS slots

    This valuable "open" non-IAS slot can be used in a variety of ways: Rare bracers (for EHP), Amulet (for DPS, etc), gloves (DPS or EHP), or ring (Legendary).

    An example of a typical ~100M build is detailed in the first post after the end of this guide.

    Here is a link to a thread with gg gear suggestions. Aspire to these goals. I give my own suggestions below as well. http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7593740666

    Common items to increase attack speed include:

  • Chantnodo’s Will and Force: Chant's will has an incredible base AS as well as the opportunity to roll +IAS, OS, CD, etc. While the OS/CD is nice, it is much more expensive - I'd start with +IAS.
    -bad: anything with AS below 1.71 really
    -good: 1.72 AS, 1000+ DPS
    -better: 1.75 AS, 1150+ DPS
    -better: 1.78+ AS, 1000+ DPS
    -best: 1.78+ AS, 1100+ DPS
    [Note: the +IAS is applied to base wand attack speed (1.4) followed by adding the +attacks per second. i.e. the +IAS in this special case is worth slightly less than typical +IAS....and can interfere with the formula above. Plan accordingly.] Chants Force rolls automatically with additional IAS. The +130 INT for the set is certainly welcome.
  • .
  • Rare gloves: Needs IAS (8-9) and CC (9+). Add in All res, INT, CD, VIT, or Armor when you can afford it....probably in that order.
    - good: 8/9 IAS, 7.5+ CC, 100+ INT
    - better: 8/9 IAS, 8.5+ CC, 50+ All Res, 50+ INT
    - best: 8/9 IAS, 9.5+ CC, 50+ All Res, 25+ CD, INT, vit/armor
  • .
  • Tal Rasha’s Relentless Pursuit: hard to pass up the +IAS here. Solid chest armor since it comes with INT and VIT. Recommendation: Buy some with (at least) alot of armor (since adding All Resist is quite expensive).
    -good: 8/9 IAS, 750 armor, 150+ INT/50+ VIT
    -better: 8/9 IAS, 65+ All Res, 150+ INT, 125+ VIT
    -best: 8/9 IAS, 65+ All Res, 650+ armor, high INT and VIT
  • .
  • Lacuni Prowlers: good place for +IAS, bad place for all other stats, for the cost. Adding Resist All, armor, INT, CC (which is critical to the build) or anything else is very expensive, especially when starting out or on a budget. Rare bracers with 5.0+ CC and good defensive stats (all resist, armor) are really optimal here. You can choose to use Lacuni’s, but your damage mitigation will certainly suffer, and probably isn't worth it.
    -bad: 8/9 IAS, 3.0 CC, no other stats
    -good: 8/9 IAS, 3.5 CC, 450+ armor
    -better: 8/9 IAS, 4.0 CC, 50+ All Res
    -best: 8/9 IAS, 5.0+ CC, 50+ All Res, INT, VIT, and or Armor (good luck) . Recommendation: If you do go this route...make sure they at least have some +CC and armor.
  • .
  • Witching hour: expensive, but good source of IAS and CD. Even a cheap one is good: IAS and CD rolls where you can't get either in a rare. One of the last basic items to add (simply because if its cost for a "better" one).
    -good: 8/9 IAS, single resist, >40 CD.
    -better: 8/9 IAS, 50+ All Res
    -best: 8/9 IAS, 50+ All Res, and armor, vit, or extra INT roll.
  • .
  • Inna’s Temperence: One option for pants. Has IAS, MS, and open sockets. Not usually seen as the first choice for reaching 2.73, maybe because it's too tempting to have LoH/VIT/%life found in the Blackthorne's Pants (below).
  • .
  • Rings: should try to max out IAS (8 or 9) and CC (at least 4). Other stats are an afterthought in the beginning. As you upgrade look for +damage, AR, INT, CD, etc.
  • .
  • Amulet: try to max out IAS (8 or 9) and CC (9 +). This is usually a common place add LoH. It’s cheaper and you can get more of it here than on a ring. Upgrade to one with more INT or AR or damage.
  • .
  • Slorak's Madness (w/+CC to ET): This is an alternate wand which rolls with CD and IAS, but no additional attacks per second like Chant's Will does. It is great for damage and twister crits. Its pretty impossible to get to the 2.73 breakpoint, but with your CC and twister crit your total crit can be over 65....and can feel like the 2.73 breakpoint. The OS gives a nice DPS boost too.
  • .
  • Andariel's Visage: While a little off the beaten path, this helm does come standard with 8-9 IAS and 4.5 CC.....but I've really never seen a CM wiz use one. It has no LoH, you take extra fire damage, and since it's a non-APOC helm, you'll need APOC on your wand. And if you can afford a good APOC wand, you can probably afford a CC Mempo. If you switch from a non APOC Chant's Force to an APOC source (Oculus or Tal Rasha's Glare) then you lose your +130 INT Chant's set bonus. See where I'm going with this? You can think about it.....just not for very long.
  • .
  • Tasker and Theo: gloves come with IAS, OS, armor, up to 50 of each of the 4 stats, and 2 random properties....one of which you will use for CC. The other one should be Res All (or CD), making for a pricey pair of mittens. An alternative for the last roll is a useful single resist or extra INT/VIT.
  • .
    Common items to increase Armor and All Resist:

  • Vile Ward: Comes with high armor and high all resist. While adding VIT and % life are nice, consider also adding STR. Remember that STR=Armor. The better your defenses are the less you'll be dipping into your life pool
    -good: 180+ INT, 100+ STR, 75+ All Res
    -better: 180+ INT, 100+ STR, 70+ VIT, 75+ All Res
    -better: 180+ INT, 180+ STR, 75+ All Res
    -best: 230+ INT, 150+ STR, 75+ VIT, 75+ All Res
  • Ice Climbers: Comes with high Resist All, %life, and OS. Look for one with high INT and Armor/STR. Great place to increase EHP.
  • .
  • Blackthorne’s Jousting Mail: Good source of LoH, VIT, and %life. You generally pick up two LoH items with about 400 each...this one good place to get some. Recommendation: No IAS here, but you should add at least some Armor and/or All Resist here.
  • .

  • Storm Crow: great helm with APOC and LoH. Can get a relatively cheap one with 3-4 CC. Problem is that it can only roll one of these stats: All Res, CC, OS, or double INT roll. Good supporting stats as well, ~100 of each main stat.
    -passable: 400+ armor, 425+ LoH, 70+ All Res
    -good: 400+ armor, 400+ LoH, 4 CC
    -better: 400+ armor, 400+ LoH, 5.5 CC
    * if you go with the All Res option, as I do, really try to max out all the stats. Since its not contributing to CC, you better make it worthwhile for armor, All Res, and LoH.
  • .
  • Rings and Amulet: These should first be stacked with appropriate IAS and/or CC. After that, this can be somewhat of a budget place to add in Armor and All Resist. The Ammy and Rings slots also become the last place to add Armor/All Resist as you march toward end game defensive stats.
  • .
    Advanced and End Game Items include:

  • Natalya’s Reflection & Natalya's Bloody Footprints: This ring and boot set gets you +7 CC bonus, essentially netting a +8/9 IAS & 7 CC ring. Find a ring with Resist All or INT, and with a good set of boots, is a very decent investment....though usually with a loss of EHP. Buying a ring that has CC is expensive and clearly an end game buy - but has the possibility to really jack up your CC.
  • .
  • Mempo of Twilight and Chantnodo’s Force with APOC: These generally go hand in hand. With APOC on the off-hand you can get a Mempo (a non-APOC helm), which has high INT as well as %life, All Resist, and an OS. Enough gold can buy you one with CC. Since Mepho is also a source of IAS, this allows you more flexibility in getting to an AS of 3.00 or itemization possibilities in general.
  • .
  • Chantnodo’s Will with OS or CD: Pricy, but the only way to obtain the highest DPS’s. With an OS you lose IAS. Plan accordingly.
  • .
  • Legendary Ammy’s: Blackthorn’s Duncraig Cross and Tal Rasha’s Allegiance. Also Blackthorn Medal (legacy) and Ouroboros to a lesser extent (max IAS and CC are 7). Each have different combinations of LoH, CC, IAS, and CD. Set bonuses can be nice too. Great for maxing out stats for DPS, but usually expensive to get with both IAS and CC (especially Tal Rasha’s). Great to chase when you have the gold and/or room to play within IAS and CC goals.
  • .
    VIII. Playstyle and dealing with affixes
    .
    When approaching a group of monsters you can either teleport into the middle of them or approach them slowly and begin to freeze. You need to have good armor and all resist so you can take some pain.....before you bring the pain! Typically when playing solo I use teleport....it just increases survivability. It works well for teleporting away from explosions, jumping over arcane beams, and tracking down enemies that are kiting you.

    Position adjustment with this build is key. You might think that you just teleport into the middle of a pack, freeze, kill them, rinse, and repeat. It's not that easy. You'll want to adjust your position and find a happy place as quickly as you can. If not, you have to move away a bit....and you might miss an attack (freeze) turn and that may give the monster a chance to attack (physical, or launch more arcane, desecrate, etc). If you can handle standing in the pain and not adjust (high armor and all resist), then you'll keep them frozen better and kill them faster.

    Each encounter should be something like this:
    a) teleport into the middle of a group
    b) mash {-13-} (i.e. FN & DS) while holding down [LMouse] to lay down tornadoes.
    c) quickly reposition while still mashing {-13-}
    d) mash {-123-} (i.e. FN, DS, and EB) while holding down [LMouse] still
    ---repeat until done

    I usually try to hold off on casting EB for a few seconds. Since it costs AP, it's taking away from casting tornadoes for the first few seconds. It's more important to get as many tornadoes proc'cing and recovering AP as you can before you start casting alot of AP spenders. Once you have alot of tornadoes proc'cing then start casting EB as fast as you can. Depending on the situation (i.e. elite affix, large hoard) it can be invaluable to cast a few tornadoes first, so you get them proc'ing ahead of time....this can help get some enemies under control easier (phase beasts, other fast enemies, etc.

    Trash enemies are a great benefit if you use them properly. If you are having a tough time with a group of elites (teleporter, fast, succubusses, any single elite, etc) and can't freeze them because you are always low on AP, try to drag them to a group of trash enemies. Once you drop a few tornadoes on the trash enemies you'll be proc'cing a ton of AP and should help freeze them down. This trick is to not kill the trash enemies too quickly!! If you're playing in a group, be sure to tell your fellow friends to leave the trash enemies alone (you need them to proc!!) and focus on the elites.
    .
    There are some differences in playstyles that you can use depending on the situation that you are in:

  • Playing solo: At low MP I use wormhole, since you can hold down the teleport button and teleport 4 times. It allows you to move through a map quickly....especially when you're killing monsters quickly as well. At high MP I use safe passage for survivability (you could also use fracture). Since killing enemies is the big time sink here, moving through the map quickly with wormhole doesn't yield a huge time savings. The survivability is also important because the last thing you want to do is die in the middle of a map and have to retrace your steps,...which is a waste. You CAN use wormhole at high MP, it just hurts alot when you "accidentally" teleport into the middle of a hoard of monsters....you need to have alot of armor/resists and high CC to get the freeze windup going - its not for the faint of heart.
  • .
  • Playing in groups: Alot of it depends on the group and is the same for playing solo. The exception is usually at high MP. Since monster health is so much higher, and you have a group to distract monsters - I tend to use Magic Weapon/Electrify instead of teleport. It has some exponential twister multiplier that deals more damage than traditional SNS alone when facing large groups of enemies (>3). Since the monsters sick around longer in high MP (MP 8-10) this can be a big time saver.

  • Playing with another CM/WW wiz: Wow. This opens the door for all sorts of variations. Since two wizards together can freeze better an one on their own you can actually dumb down your freezing ability a bit and the combination is still awesome for freezing. Maybe you use firewalker boots and Conflag instead of evocation for the extra 10% damage. Maybe you use a Meteor build and Conflag instead of evocation for extra DPS. You could probably (though I've never tried it) drop down to the 2.5 breakpoint and stack alot of CD and INT for extra damage. It basically lets you break out of the strict SNS build and have a little different type of fun. Just remember....don't let the other CM wiz hang out to dry...you still need to be in there freezing as well!
  • .
  • Ubers: the WW/CM guide has a good section at the end with how to deal with Ubers
    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7350715501
  • .
    Affixes. Here are some of the affixes that you most need to be worried about and some strategies to tackle them:

  • Plagued: standing in the middle of a pool just takes high enough Res All, armor, and/or LoH. If you can't do it....gear up. This is probably the easiest affix to deal with....i.e. a pretty low bar for your gear to pass.
  • Desecrator: Maybe its just me, but it's never a good idea to stand in a desecrator pool. Its alot tougher than plagued. High mitigation gives you a much larger window to readjust your positioning, and find a happier place.
  • Molten: Watch out for the explosion afterwards.....its pretty much insta-death.
  • Arcane: Standing toward the center of an arcane beam is never advisable....but its doable in the middle of the beam, and out toward the end should never be a problem. Try to stay put and survive the beam if you can. If you're going to take two hits (back to back, from two beams) just be sure that your LoH refills before the second one hits.
  • Eletrified: Pretty tough to stand in the middle of a pack where you're getting electrified by everyone. I find it best to stand where you can take it from two of them, and let the rest come close enough to get frozen, but not electrify you....then deal with the rest when the first two are dead. Learn to recognize electrify before you teleport into the middle of them....its insta-death if you're not geared well enough.
  • Fire Chains: Similar to electrified. Getting into the middle of all the chains is near insta-death, even if well geared. Try to freeze two if you can, and hope the third one come near enough to freeze. Staying against a wall usually works well too, or up against a door frame - since you can't get surrounded on all sides. In the middle of a field is the worst place to encounter this affix.
  • Frozen: hopefully you have teleport. Enough said.
  • Jailed: hopefully you have teleport. Actually, this usually isn't that bad. You can continue your attacks afterward without missing too much. Or teleport.
  • Knockback: extremely annoying, since it pushes you away (and the monsters follow) from your tornadoes which are proc'cing all your abilities. The best strategy is to teleport back to the same area you left ASAP. Since its a quick attack, you can usually get back there before the enemies unfreeze and move too far....and you still get a few seconds (and procs) out of the tornadoes. Wait too long, and you're starting all over again.
  • Nightmare: similar to knockback. Since you're nightmared for several seconds its likely the monsters have unfroze and moved from the tornadoes. Too bad.
  • Reflect Damage: controversial, and will likely be nerfed. It's mostly a function of DPS vs LoH. Keep 0.8 LoH per 100 DPS and you should be alright. Also, meteors can be a problem since they deliver a single large amount of damage vs. standard SNS, which it more gradual damage.
  • Vortex: could actually be a good thing! It depends on what the other affixes are. Be prepared to move or teleport away if you need to.
  • Shielding: Adjust your positioning so that you're attacking several monsters that are not shielded. If and when the shielding moves to one that you were freezing, the move so you're freezing several again.
  • Waller: This is tough because your tornadoes cannot cast on the other side of a wall. You'll have to re-position yourself so you are on the same side of the wall with the monsters.
  • Teleporter: any slight break in freezing gives them a chance to teleport away. This usually happens when you are down to just the elites (i.e. not enough proc's). Try to move then into some trash enemies so you can get more proc's....and freeze them better. Otherwise you'll just have to chase them down.
  • --------------
    Feel free to leave comments and suggestions below. I'll be monitoring the comments and altering the page as necessary.
    Edited by PieHole#1628 on 4/30/2013 2:32 PM PDT
    - Diablo III (Wizard)
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    Here's an example of a freshly rolled ~10 paragon wiz. This ought to be a decent model to gear by for about a 100M budget and getting good mitigation at 2.73. There are plenty of other variations, this is just a common one that I suggest (and similar to what I did while gearing up)

    (gear and cost are estimates and generalizations as of late Jan 2013)

    StormCrow: 400 armor, 70 All Res, 450 LoH (2M)
    Vile Ward: 100 STR, 180 INT, 80 VIT, 620 armor, 75 RA (cost: 10M)
    Tal's Chest: 175 INT, 75 VIT, 800 Armor, 9 IAS (cost: 15M)
    Tasker and Theo: 9 CC, 8 IAS, 80 Vit, 600 armor (cost: 5M)
    Witching Hour: 35 RA, 40 CD, 8 IAS, 250 Armor (20M)
    Ammy: (rare) 9 IAS, 9 CC, 50 All Res, +25 min, 40 VIT, 50 INT (7M)
    Bracers: (rare) 450 Armor, 70 RA, 5.5 CC, 40 VIT, 60 INT (<1M)
    Blackthorne's Jousting Mail: 650 Armor, 40 RA, 11% life, 450 LoH (cost: 15M)
    Ring: (rare): 9 IAS, 4.5 CC, 50 INT (cost: 2M)
    Ring: (rare): 8 IAS, 4.0 CC, 40 AR, 50 VIT, 25 STR (cost: 5M)
    Ice Climbers: 500 Armor, 190 INT, 75 VIT, 12% life, 75 RA (10M)
    Chant Will: 1017 DPS, 1.72 AS, 183 INT (10M)
    Chant Force: 200 Avg Damage, 9 IAS, 177 INT, 100 VIT, 50 STR (10M)

    This should get you to something like:
    Armor: 4700
    AR: 620
    DPS: 53k
    CC: 46
    AS: 2.75
    Health: 38k
    EHP: 335k (Kieble, with dodge)
    Cost: 113M

    Future Upgrades:
    - moved toward AR/Armor Blackthorne's JM and Tal's chest
    - add AR to chest, pants, or gloves then get CC Storm Crow
    - move armor/INT/VIT from bracers then get Lacunis (60 AR, IAS, 3.5 CC min) and a DPS Ammy (with CD, CC, no-IAS)
    - start getting trifecta rings and gloves
    - perhaps Nat's set (with AR and CD or INT on ring).
    Edited by PieHole#1628 on 1/29/2013 12:53 PM PST
    Here is the generally accepted parameters for a highly effective CM/WW wizard:

    Attack Speed: 2.73
    Crit Chance: 50
    Armor: 5,000
    All resist: 800
    Hit points: 35,000
    LoH: 0.8 for every 100 DPS
    18-20 APOC


    Are these stats sufficient for perma-freezing ubers?
    For teleport , in high MP lvl i Preferred Fracture , Safe Passage is 30% damage reduction ,but you still take 70% of the dmg ...

    Fracture in another hand give you 60% chance not take any damage form mobs , it's more like give you 60% dodge .... also most CM / WW wiz will add 400+ Dex in the gear in order to get 20% dodge .
    innas isn't an advanced item really, it's a budget item for people who can't afford a mempo/lacuni/etc
    @ lebensform , it's the good perma - freezing break point ,but for Ubers still need use Frost Nova/Cold Snap ....
    I've been getting really interested in trying out CM/WW but I know its so expensive...can you check out my gear and let me know what changes I might want to start out first at the lowest cost? would i be able to do low mp cm/ww build with my current gear?

    I'm currently a kiting/archon wiz doing mp3 without any problems and getting through it fairly quick. But beside that anything higher would be quick slow.

    I would really appreciate some feedbacks on what my current gear looks like and what changes I could start at minimal cost. thank you in advance!
    is there any evidence as to why it is 5k armor? or why 800 resist all?
    - Diablo III (Wizard)
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    11/26/2012 03:34 PMPosted by Apollo
    is there any evidence as to why it is 5k armor? or why 800 resist all?


    I don't have any direct experience since my gear isn't good enough. A thread I was reading earlier today suggested that these benchmarks allow you to take 1 or maybe even 2 of magda's bee attacks on MP 10 while running full SNS - no one-shots. Can also survive arcane beams on MP10. I'm sure the damage mitigation would be very nice to have farming MP9 or 10. It's just kinda the ultimate to shoot for.

    My armor is at like 4k and resists are at ~550. I need help from energy armor to survive magda's bee attacks or farm the highest MP's. but then I'm not running full SNS.....
    Nice guide, and nice effort putting it together. Seems like a wall of a text though, maybe break up the paragraphs a bit, with underlines/bolds etc, so its a little more reader friendly.

    I really like how you pretty much touched on every question anyone can really ask about it including gearing (specifics), skills/runes (specifics with circumstances), play style etc.

    This is a one stop shop for people looking to build it.

    I will mention, that while 5k armor and 800+ AR is balls to the wall top notch damage mitigation, for more people it is a TOUGH balance to get DPS and these stats all in one item package. Not only are they rare, they are extremely expensive to buy with optimal stats for both DPS and have AR/armor. Do not be discouraged if you do not reach these frontier stats. It is always advocated to gear towards defense, and add offensive stats later when you are comfortable with the setup.

    Aimless/Shandlar/Apharell/Novice to name a few, have these stats are roughly there. The difference is DPS and COST. Shandlar/Aph, have same/better defensive stats then Aim/Novice/etc, but have much more DPS. However, their gear sets costs BILLIONS more. It is not easy to achieve and should be considered end game gearing.

    I would like to mention to OP, you did not add the most important piece of gear that a CM/wiz can have is the Nat's set ring/boots combo. Although rings without CC is not optimal and gains are minimal, higher end rings with high CC and boots offer a HUGE CC boost, otherwise unattainable by conventional means. This cannont be over looked, and with the exception of cost, should be in ALL cm/ww wizards gear sets.

    Good write up op, keep it alive.
    Edited by Boozor#1433 on 11/26/2012 4:23 PM PST
    It might be worth adding the Blackthorn amulet to the amulet portion. It comes with LoH, IAS, and Life% standard, and you can get it with Crit, though they're running 50mil+ for a decent amount of crit. Also, if you use the blackthorn pants you get a nice 100 vit from the 2 pc. I'm not sure what comparable rares cost though.

    Good guide, and my only other suggestion is maybe make a small range of stat goals, like MP5-7, MP7-9, and MP10. I noticed you mentioned it a bit but maybe include armor and resist targets in addition to the 2.5 APS and 40CC intermediate stats.
    11/26/2012 04:23 PMPosted by Boozor
    Nice guide, and nice effort putting it together. Seems like a wall of a text though, maybe break up the paragraphs a bit, with underlines/bolds etc, so its a little more reader friendly.

    An idea: bold all legendaries names in item guide or maybe use list.

    I really like how you pretty much touched on every question anyone can really ask about it including gearing (specifics), skills/runes (specifics with circumstances), play style etc.

    This is a one stop shop for people looking to build it.

    I started using CM/WW not so long ago, so I am still testing different options and ideas. Today I was playing with SA (until now I was running with Energy Armor). Later I was looking for more info, so I googled Shocking Aspect and I was really surprised to notice a guide posted just today. I will definitely refer to this guide in nearest days.

    11/26/2012 04:31 PMPosted by Loroese
    Good guide, and my only other suggestion is maybe make a small range of stat goals, like MP5-7, MP7-9, and MP10. I noticed you mentioned it a bit but maybe include armor and resist targets in addition to the 2.5 APS and 40CC intermediate stats.

    +1

    11/26/2012 04:23 PMPosted by Boozor
    Good write up op, keep it alive.

    +1

    Best regards from over the ocean! =D

    P.S.
    Yeah, I am from Europe =P
    Edited by Shikao#2392 on 11/26/2012 5:41 PM PST
    Would you say that SNS or shocking aspect is more damage by themselves? I tried using both and I tend to die cus i have lower attack speed, so I'm going to use one of these with energy armor. Which would you recommend?
    11/26/2012 08:06 PMPosted by Netherion
    Would you say that SNS or shocking aspect is more damage by themselves? I tried using both and I tend to die cus i have lower attack speed, so I'm going to use one of these with energy armor. Which would you recommend?


    SNS is shocking aspect with diamond shards so your question is a little confusing. If you mean shards vs shocking aspect, shocking aspect gives more damage. You can't use shocking aspect with energy armor though. If you need more survival, first try switching DS to crystal shell but with shocking aspect. Otherwise you have to decrease the MP level until you increase your defensive stats.
    Mempo of Twilight and Chantnodo’s Force with APOC: These generally go hand in hand. With APOC on the off-hand you can get a Mempo (a non-APOC helm), which has high INT as well as both %life and an OS. Enough gold can buy you one with CC and/or Resist All.


    HUH ?? Mempo roll 70+ Allresist naturally...
    11/26/2012 08:13 PMPosted by Loroese
    Would you say that SNS or shocking aspect is more damage by themselves? I tried using both and I tend to die cus i have lower attack speed, so I'm going to use one of these with energy armor. Which would you recommend?


    SNS is shocking aspect with diamond shards so your question is a little confusing. If you mean shards vs shocking aspect, shocking aspect gives more damage. You can't use shocking aspect with energy armor though. If you need more survival, first try switching DS to crystal shell but with shocking aspect. Otherwise you have to decrease the MP level until you increase your defensive stats.


    Yes sorry, I knew that but I'm a bit tired and didn't notice how I worded it, haha. I am trying crystal shell with shocking aspect and liking it so far for mp0 act 3 farming!
    - Diablo III (Wizard)
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    HUH ?? Mempo roll 70+ Allresist naturally...


    Yep...thanks! Fixed above.
    Do not be discouraged if you do not reach these frontier stats. It is always advocated to gear towards defense, and add offensive stats later when you are comfortable with the setup.



    Hey Boozy! Don't be discouraged man :D

    Serious, you can also use LoH to compensate for the lack of mitigation, like this random player Boozor does :3 so for example, instead of going 0.8 LoH per 100 DPS, you can add more LoH at the rate of 1.3/100 and thus mitigation can be lowered. Gameplay is more stressful though because you have to attack continuously to stay alive. But this is outside the scope of this guide I think, more like a tip. But a very useful tip nonetheless.

    +1 Very nice thread :)

    Oh and you know what 800AR/5kArmor/35k Hp can do? Avoid being OHKO'd by Molten explosion in MP 9 so you don't have to reposition. A big plus when farming. And as ppl mentioned, to survive Mag.
    Edited by novice#1750 on 11/26/2012 11:48 PM PST
    Posts: 2,871
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    Nice writeup. Thanks for contributing.
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