Diablo® III

James' Archon Guide: Low MP - High MP- Ubers

James’ Archon Specs with Video Guide - EDITED 1/13/2013

A few reasons for this post and for the videos. There have been multiple Archon guide threads over the past months, but it’s been awhile. I’ve been running Archon forever, and figured it’s time to make a short spec guide with some vid examples of how to effectively run them. Here are the Archon specs.

1. Speed Archon: Many people who run Archon on lower MP’s do so very inefficiently, either with poor skill choices, poor playing, or choosing the wrong MP level for their DPS/survivabilty.

2. High MP Archon: For the longest time I’ve read and heard that Archon is only a low MP farming/exp build, and CM/WW is the only way real spec for the wiz. This is not the case. Archon is a fantastic higher MP farming build with certain skill/rune choices.

3. Uber Archon: Recommended only with CM/WW.

DISCLAIMER:
I DO NOT HAVE A LIFESTEAL WEAPON. Contrary to popular belief, a lifesteal weapon is not required to run archon. Life-on-kill is a fantastic stat for wizards, and I (used to) get 2700 from my amulet. The only lifesteal I use is 1.5% from blood magic, and it works great if you have enought DPS. If you require a lifesteal weapon, you are either going to shell out a TON of gold, or lose a TON of DPS, neither of which is ideal. (Also, reflect damage is getting nerfed in 1.07, which will make RD a great bit easier)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Build 1: Speed/EXP Archon
This popular spec is great for farming lower MP’s while gaining EXP at the same time. For this Archon spec, choose the MP level that offers you the ability to run Storm Armor: Scramble and Archon: Teleport. I have 445K DPS when I use storm armor, and I find MP3 to be the best. Usually, players try to farm to high of an MP level then their DPS warrants. Generally speaking, choose the MP where you can basically insta-kill all white mobs, and kill elites in 5 seconds or less.

Here is a rough video I made which shows the skills for the build at the beginning, and speed you should aim for when running the Archon Speed/EXP build on lower MP’s. There is even a reflect damage pack or two in there that I kill without a LS weapon. Take note of how fast I progress, and use that to choose what MP level you would use.

Left Click: Living Lightning (LL)
Right Click: Archon: Teleport
1. Magic Weapon: Blood Magic
2. Familiar: Sparkflint
3. Diamond Skin: Crystal Shell (Keeps you alive when spamming LL to refresh Archon)
4. Storm Armor: Scramble - (Get hit intentionally sometimes to move quick)

Passives
Critical Mass, Glass Cannon, Galvanizing Ward (Can change GW to Evocation if you prefer)

Video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pI4nsVgtuDk

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Build 2: High MP Archon Farming
Many players are unaware that Archon can be so successful at higher MP levels. Lately, this has been my primary build. The loot on high MP levels is a definite upgrade if you can kill mobs at a decent rate. There is an excellent forum post by Schenko7 detailing some of the “Hybrid Archon” specs out there which I was inspired by, and I’ve fiddled around with a few. http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7004698743 Here is my usual high MP build.

Left Click: Living Lightning (LL)
Right Click: Archon: Improved Archon
1. Magic Weapon: Blood Magic
2. Familiar: Sparkflint (Switch to frost nova: cold snap if you want to do MP9-MP10)
3. Diamond Skin: Crystal Shell (Keeps you alive when spamming LL to refresh Archon)
4. Energy Armor: Pinpoint Barrier (Switch to prismatic if you are dying, or if on MP9-MP10)

Passives
Critical Mass (living lightning: excellent refresher with high attack speed)
Evocation
Glass Cannon/Cold Blooded (Generally I run Glass Cannon, but on MP9 and MP10 I drop it. Cold Blooded is amazing when farming with a CM/WW, but also beneficial if you use the scoundrel with a Buriza. If you run MP7 and die only once or less, think about substituting Glass Cannon in for Evocation or Cold Blooded)

MP7 Archon Farming – My Personal Go-To Farming MP
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lf_2C0aYjdA

MP9 Archon Short Vid Example (Frost Nova replaces sparkflint, cold blooded replaces glass cannon)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8t4_yxiZ0g4

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Build 3: Archon Uber Strategy and Build (requires CM/WW wiz in group)
1. Pop Slow Time
2. Get 5 stacks of Arcane Dynamo using LL
3. Pop Slow Time
4. Pop Archon: DO NOT stop with the beam attack and you will reap the dynamo bonus
5. Archon done, start over with #1

Left Click: Living Lightning (LL)
Right Click: Archon: Improved Archon
1. Magic Weapon: Blood Magic
2. Slow Time: Time Warp or Familiar: Sparkflint (If you are skilled, time warp is probably the better choice as it will increase the entire groups DPS)
3. Diamond Skin: Crystal Shell
4. Energy Armor: Prismatic

Passives
Critical Mass
Arcane Dynamo (Get 5 stacks, pop Archon, and don’t stop beaming until Archon is in cooldown)
Cold-Blooded (Assuming CM/WW wiz is in group)

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Random Notes
1. I would love to test the speed of farming MP7 with some of the better CM/WW builds out there - EDIT: In process.
2. Attack speed is of HUGE importance when refreshing Archon with living lightning. Aim for an Echoing Fury weapon, and enough attack speed to get over 2.0, and it will serve you well.
3. The life-on-kill and Archon group mechanics are rumored to be getting tweaked in 1.07, which would make life-on-kill stat much better in groups, and Archon an even more phenomenal group farm build.

Feel free to leave comments below. I’d love to hear from the community. Hopefully this helps some of you who are thinking about going Archon, or improve your skill choices, etc.
Edited by James1v12#1875 on 1/30/2013 2:45 PM PST
Reply Quote
Just wanted to know, I added your cold clooded passive to my optional set in my guide. Good luck with your guide.

Archons forever!
Reply Quote
Nice write-up and awesome use of archon, however your selection of the background music on your vids is just depressing...
Edited by Jobewan#1365 on 1/10/2013 8:23 AM PST
Reply Quote
I have been having a rough time keeping archon up... any ideas/tips would be greatly appretiated, I have been running at mp0 but recently changed to mp-1 and havnt noticed a difference in kill speed and i have about 200k dps with current passives/scoundrel
Edited by Shroomyman#1666 on 1/10/2013 8:30 AM PST
Reply Quote
01/10/2013 08:13 AMPosted by Schenko7
Just wanted to know, I added your cold clooded passive to my optional set in my guide. Good luck with your guide.


Awesome! Hopefully with 1.07 we will get the Archon kill extension to apply to groups and all farm together. 3 Archon's plus 1 CM/WW running SNS. Sounds awesome to me!
Reply Quote
01/10/2013 08:23 AMPosted by Jobewan
Nice write-up and awesome use of archon, however your selection of the background music on your vids is just depressing...


First of all, thanks!

And I totally agree about the horrendous music. This was my first time using this screen recorder and I didn't even listen to the music it automatically puts on. I apologize for the atrocious music.
Reply Quote
If the Life on Kill rumour has some truth to it my hellfire ring just got a whole lot sweeter :0

James re: Buriza and Cold Blooded with the scoundrel, try using Hyseria instead of Anatomy and let me know how you feel, in MP5 I feel a huge difference with it, and I don't think it's my imagination
Reply Quote
Nice idea, nice post.
I will sure try this out. Did you tested a minimum DPS vs MPlvl chart?
Reply Quote
Nice guide.

I am also a big fan of archon .. and for quite a while now. This and Schenko7's guide really brings out the potential of archon.












Schenko7
Reply Quote
01/10/2013 08:24 AMPosted by Shroomyman
I have been having a rough time keeping archon up... any ideas/tips would be greatly appretiated, I have been running at mp0 but recently changed to mp-1 and havnt noticed a difference in kill speed and i have about 200k dps with current passives/scoundrel


Couple of points

1) You don't have CM in your build? In my experience, LL refreshes archon the faster. When there is a big group of mobs, like in Act 3 .. you can get archon back in seconds.

2) Where do you farm? You need a route that have constant mobs with high density. There are quite a few good places in act 3: bridge, crossing, keep 1-3.

3) do some kiting. In general, i found that archon is the most likely to drop off during of after boss fight (i do MP5 or 6 .. this may be less of an issue in low MP) because you are taking more time to kill one to 3 mobs. One thing i do ... is to kite the boss to the next group of mobs, and try to kill them together.

4) You use archon teleport .. you are using teleport when trying to move to the next group right?

5) use your down-time for somethign you have to do anyway .. like i would id items already in the bag. You have to do that anyway .. and better to do it when archon is down, then when it is up.

6) Lastly, i think the important idea in the LL archon build is not that you want to keep archon as long as possible (opposed to the perma archon build), but that you can get archon back very fast. Because of LL, i won't hesitate to use archon to kill a boss, or even a small group of mobs, knowing that it will run out after, since i can get it back fast.
Reply Quote
1. I Dont but it looks like I should try it out.. the couple of archons I know in game dont use it and always are in Archon so I was going for this.

2 I do Core, then Tower 1 for stacks if i dont have 5 then do keep 3 if i do have 5 then do keep 1-2, arreat 2, bridge, then sky.

3 since im in such a low mp takes me no more then 3 seconds to melt elites

4 Trying to get to next group faster

5-

6 Iv never tryed this skill Forked lighting just rips up the mobs but will tonight thank you for getting back to me
Reply Quote
01/10/2013 08:39 AMPosted by couchy
James re: Buriza and Cold Blooded with the scoundrel, try using Hyseria instead of Anatomy and let me know how you feel, in MP5 I feel a huge difference with it, and I don't think it's my imagination


Hmm...I will try it out. I remember running through the calculations of which would be better and figured that Anatomy bests Hysteria on DPS do to Hysteria's not always being active. Not to mention 3% more CC is helpful to refresh Archon with CM. I'll look into it again though. Good idea.

Nice idea, nice post.
I will sure try this out. Did you tested a minimum DPS vs MPlvl chart?


I've seen the various DPS charts and have tended to agree with the higher end of those posted. For example, with storm armor and archon teleport I do 445K DPS, and feel like MP3 is the best for speed archon farming.

Rough guess: 200K MP1, 275K MP2, 350K MP3, etc. Something like that, again that's not for survival, but if you want to optimize your loot quality by speed kills yet gaining max MP level.
Edited by James1v12#1875 on 1/10/2013 9:50 AM PST
Reply Quote
01/10/2013 09:02 AMPosted by Narius
1) You don't have CM in your build? In my experience, LL refreshes archon the faster. When there is a big group of mobs, like in Act 3 .. you can get archon back in seconds.


Critical Mass is an absolute necessity and in every one of my builds above. You must have glanced over it.

01/10/2013 09:02 AMPosted by Narius
2) Where do you farm? You need a route that have constant mobs with high density. There are quite a few good places in act 3: bridge, crossing, keep 1-3.


Video shows the start of my route. I usually farm act III, or run act II vault with friends. Act III is by far the best with loot, speed, and everything else taken into equation.

01/10/2013 09:02 AMPosted by Narius
Because of LL, i won't hesitate to use archon to kill a boss, or even a small group of mobs, knowing that it will run out after, since i can get it back fast.


Exactly. Pop Archon every time its ready if you are on higher MP's.
Reply Quote
Good post and info.

So I run Archon for farming and CM/WW for ubers. Currently my profile is setup for Archon MP1 loot runs and I have a question regarding my black staff. I bought this for only 380k, so I knew I was going to upgrade down the road.

My question is: If I switch to a new higher DPS black weapon how important is the % damage bonus versus a Black Weapon with same DPS but does not have % Damage bonus?
Reply Quote
01/10/2013 10:13 AMPosted by ZenZim
My question is: If I switch to a new higher DPS black weapon how important is the % damage bonus versus a Black Weapon with same DPS but does not have % Damage bonus?


If I am understanding you correctly, % damage bonus means absolutely nothing. The only thing you need to look for is a 1.4 attacks/sec or greater black weapon (no elemental damage) and probably a socket or big critical damage. Don't get caught up the % damage added, just look at the raw DPS displayed.
Edited by James1v12#1875 on 1/10/2013 10:22 AM PST
Reply Quote
Thanks for the response.

I have read various posts from some high level dps archons, like yourself, that claim the +%50 weapon damage adds a lot to dps... more so then a black weapon with the same dps...From what D3up showed me there seems to be no difference.
Reply Quote
01/10/2013 09:46 AMPosted by James1v12
James re: Buriza and Cold Blooded with the scoundrel, try using Hyseria instead of Anatomy and let me know how you feel, in MP5 I feel a huge difference with it, and I don't think it's my imagination


Hmm...I will try it out. I remember running through the calculations of which would be better and figured that Anatomy bests Hysteria on DPS do to Hysteria's not always being active. Not to mention 3% more CC is helpful to refresh Archon with CM. I'll look into it again though. Good idea.



Here are my calculations with current gear/setup:

Hysteria:

Buffed DMG - 240,566 x 1.1 = 264,622

It activates once every 5 seconds, so let's say it is:

3 seconds of 264,622
3 seconds of 240,566

= Average of 252,594

Anatomy:

Buffed DMG - 250,013

Now factor in how long it takes you to kill elites (assume white mobs are one shot using either Hysteria or Anatomy)

The longer it takes you to bring down an elite, ie. the higher MP you are playing in, the more benefit Hysteria is to you, since you will see it active every 3 seconds.

If it takes 9 seconds to kill an elite, hysteria will be up for 2/3 of the time (3 seconds on, 3 seconds off, 3 seconds on), giving you an average DMG vs the elite pack of 256,603.

So the longer it takes to kill mobs - the higher MP you play - the more benefit Hysteria is to your overall Damage output.
Reply Quote
Seems like u shown everything in the world except facing RD elites which is probably the only thing archon is weak against. You'll melt against any elites on mp7 with just blood magic. Not to say RD with minions or RD with health link.
Reply Quote
01/10/2013 11:04 AMPosted by wiseutd
Seems like u shown everything in the world except facing RD elites which is probably the only thing archon is weak against. You'll melt against any elites on mp7 with just blood magic. Not to say RD with minions or RD with health link


Definitely the weak point of this build with gear similar to mine (no lifesteal weapon). Reflect Damage Elites really aren't a problem at all until about MP6, with the bugged yellow ones being the worst.

If there are enough mobs around to utilize my life-on-kill then I can handle it, but if its HORDE-REFLECT DAMAGE on MP7 its tough. However, I just switch to my lower damage 6.0 lifesteal skorn and its not a problem, just takes longer.

However, two quick thoughts, number one, RD is getting nerfed/adjusted, and number two, I don't think its worth changing an entire build or gearing for one affix. Just buy a cheapo lifesteal skorn if you don't want to kite them.
Reply Quote
Thank you for posting this James. You have been a TON of help to me in the game and I appreciate it!
Reply Quote

Please report any Code of Conduct violations, including:

Threats of violence. We take these seriously and will alert the proper authorities.

Posts containing personal information about other players. This includes physical addresses, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and inappropriate photos and/or videos.

Harassing or discriminatory language. This will not be tolerated.

Forums Code of Conduct

Report Post # written by

Reason
Explain (256 characters max)
Submit Cancel

Reported!

[Close]