Diablo® III

[Guide] Arcane Mines

Since group play is gaining in popularity, I figured I'd post a little about my current favorite group build. It's based around Arcane Mines and boasts a 10x effective dps multiplier without CB and 12x with CB if you have someone to provide cold damage (like follower or freeze wizard). You can also use a SoJ for ridiculous damage against elites and Ubers.

Disclaimer: I take no credit for creating the build since it was mostly pillaged from other threads I have seen in the past on the official forums. I did make it out of memory for an uber runa few days ago, and only recently modified it to include blizzard for solo play.

I also have a parallel thread on diablofans. You can find that thread here:

Demo Videos - MP10 solo


My gear and the build used are shown at the end. It's just Leoric's Courtyard and KW, plus some trash mobs in Fields to show you how it works in general. I turned off normal attacks so you can see how big the crits are with my gear. MP10 is a little tough with my stats so I recommend extra armor and/or resists for solo play, or just stick to group play with it.


Warrior's Rest, CotA, and Leoric's Manor plus courtyard, running with turco2. Gear and build are again shown at the end.


Solo play or group play without freezing wizard

Group play with freezing wiz

Skill Breakdown

Arcane Mines (AM) - This is the staple dps spell in the build. It does 340% damage per mine, but you cast mines at about 1.5x your APS, so it effectively does 510% weapon damage per second when you spam it. It only costs 16 AP per attack turn. It does have a small aoe radius but it can go over walls and around obstacles .

Arcane Dynamo (AD) - This increases the damage of AM by 75% for as long as you channel the spell. It just requires a sig spell to build up 5 stacks, which is easily done with 1-2 LL casts with a couple mobs around you.

Living Lightning (LL) - The other staple spell in the build. You use this to build up dynamo stacks. It usually just takes 1-2 LLs with 1-3 elite mobs around to build up the stacks.

Magic Weapon - Blood Magic (BM) - Extra Life Steal is very useful, especially against RD mobs, since you do a tremendous amount of dps. The extra 10% damage is additive with the 75% from Dynamo.

Cold Blooded - 20% damage boost, multiplicative with AD and other damage buffs. The passive works on any frozen or chilled mob, regardless of how the mob got that way. You can have a follower with a cold weapon chilling your mobs, or a blizzard you cast, or your wizard friend spamming FN.

Teleport - Safe Passage - extra 30% damage reduction is great against all sorts of situations and teleport itself gets you away from Jailer, around Walls, away from Frozen or molten explosions, or just lets you get to safety if things are looking grim.

Illusionist - best way to refresh teleport for the build. It also helps you get out of sticky situations when needed. It doesn't proc very well on aoe effects like Plague and Desecrator. If you have a ton of HP and/or extremely high mitigation there might be some issues with having it refreshed.

Blur - optional skill to raise survivability, if needed.

Sparkflint - random dps buff, mainly for play with a freezing wiz when you won't need to apply cold debuff yourself.

Energy Armor - Prismatic Armor (PA) - Best EHP armor spell for me. Feel free to replace with your favorite armor spell if your mitigation permits.

Blizzard - I used Frozen Solid rune, but the other runes work well too. I like the FS rune because of the chance to freeze is great in solo play, and helps survivability. Drop this skill for Sparkflint if you already have someone providing freeze effect on mobs.

The first build is the MP10 version I used today, but you can swap Blur for Cold Blooded if you want more dps. For group play use the second build if you have an SNS wiz in group. Also feel free to use whatever armor you are comfortable with. Otherwise Ice Armor is a good option, with Frozen Storm, Crystalize or Ice Reflect. Wormhole can be swapped for Safe Passage if you have sufficient survivability.

Playing the Build

The basic idea of soloing is you cast safe passage, drop a blizzard between you and the mobs, and start spamming Arcane Mines on your current location. The mobs will move through the blizzard and be slowed long enough for your mines to arm. They'll blow up when the mobs get close and if there's still mobs left you can either keep spamming on your location or slowly move your curser away from your location. You can drop a LL before the mines if you want to power up your mines, or you can ignore that and just use it for Elites.

Against elites you want to charge your 5 stacks with 1-2 LL casts, then hold the mines button as long as you can. Teleport out if needed but if you have a SNS wiz in group you can probably just spam til the mobs are dead. For solo play just spam as long as you can. If you have to move you can drop a blizzard and LL again to power your mines, or just skip the LL if the mob has annoying affixes and you have to go kite mode.

Keep in mind that blizzard, if you're using it, does about the same damage as 1 mine cast if you didn't power it with AD, so feel free to use a cast to refresh Blizzard as needed. It also adds to survivability if you use the rune that can freeze mobs. Also feel free to power blizzard with AD if you find yourself kiting elites.

One important note about dynamo and how the stacks work with a channeled spell. If you start channeling a skill without 5 stacks, then get to 5 stacks while channeling, the 5 stacks will be consumed but your damage will not increase. Instead you have to wait for 5 stacks to build, then start channeling to get the bonus damage.

Very high dps potential (12x multiplier to unbuffed dps with just AD+MW+Sparkflint+CB)
Can seamlessly transfer from facetank mode to kiting mode thanks to blizzard and teleport
Awsome for Ubers with a CMWW wizard in group for freezing
Can use SoJ for even more damage against elites/Ubers
Doesn't use CM if you want a build that skips it
Great for group play

AoE radius is small, though still large enough to hit a couple mobs at a time. Not an issue for Ubers
Total APS is limited to 1.904 or less, so at really high gear levels (trifecta everything), the build might not work.
2s delay before mines go off can take some getting used to
Slow/inefficient for solo play

Gearing and Stats

For gearing I recommend around 50% CC and 20 APoC. A -5AP reduction SoJ helps too, and with that combo I can sustain against 2 targets. Life Steal is very useful, LoH less so, because the build does a lot of damage. You'll also want high armor and mitigation so you can face tank trash and elites, as well as not kill yourself against RD.

Theory crafting

Some math behind why the build can do so much damage...

Arcane Mines does 340% weapon damage per mine. You cast mines at about 1.5x your APS value, though it does use breakpoints, but that's not hugely important since you want to stay under 1.9 APS or so. That means it effectively does 510% weapon damage per second as long as you can spam it, but only costs 16 AP per attack turn. With no other buffs that's 5.1x multiplier, compared to the 6-8x for SNS wiz (or ~10x for those with super low ping or high WW CC) or 3.75 for unbuffed Archon multiplier, or 5.1x for Archon buffed multiplier.

Arcane Dynamo adds 75% to the damage, not 75% to the weapon damage but multiplies the damage by 1.75. Magic Weapon, Sparkflint, and Glass Cannon are both additive with that 75%, so with BM it does 85% extra damage. If you add Sparkflint it's 97% extra. Time Warp and Bone Chill also add with this bonus. Cold Blooded then multiples that by 1.2 since it is multiplicative. With the version I was using on Ubers I had Sparkflint, BM, and CB. That means my effective multiplier was 5.1*1.97*1.2 = 12x my unbuffed char sheet dps. With 230k unbuffed dps (before MW or sparkflint), that is an effective dps of around 2.78 million dps. For comparison, a 150k dps sns wiz can do as much as 1 mil dps, so I was doing about as much damage as a 350k SNS wiz. Plus I had a SoJ for an extra 30% that I didn't include there, which totally blows SNS damage out of the water. The only problem, again, is it basically requires an SNS wiz to work, since that relies on you not having to move much. A cyclone strike monk also works very well with the build, at least I think that's the ability that drags nearby mobs to you.

Math for Break Even against 1 mob:
APS = Base / (16-0.75*APoC*CC)
CC = (16APS-Base) / (0.75*APoC*APS)
Edited by Loroese#1415 on 1/29/2014 2:08 PM PST
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- Diablo III (Wizard)
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I've largely ignored all other builds,...other than SNS. I did one of aimless's non-freeze meteor builds...and that's about it.

Maybe its time to try something else....

With the 12x multiplier...its seems like that calculated or theoretical? Do you have an actual ingame number (kill gohm or pack and do the math)?
Edited by PieHole#1628 on 5/28/2013 3:04 PM PDT
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Thanks. All fixed. It's because I mostly just copied and pasted from the other thread which shortens the URL.
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arcane mine, wizard's forgotten friend:
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I just want to add a few things:

- Blizzard provides great healing with LS weapon + Blood Magic on a large pack of mobs. This helps preventing you from getting killed while being kb'd by a random white trash when farming. I found this out when I was so frustrated from dying to random kb trash, and I've incorporated Blizzard to all my builds ever since.
- You can do ubers with a WW barb friend as well, especially good if he use SoJ with % cold damage. He can keep bosses distracted while you channel away.
- I can't stress this enough, that I recommend reaching 1.8182 breakpoint (the last breakpoint before 1.9047 which is our cap). It's because you can refresh Living Lightning rather quickly to recover from any interruption, which should happen a lot when you're farming.
- I found that with 55% ish cc, -4 AP cost, 20APoC, I can sustain well vs 1 target. At times when god of RNG is not on my side, or the elite / boss moves, I simply stop channeling and refresh my AD which is pretty quick due to my decent APS. The way Arcane Mines proc work make it that the APoC you get is very "jaggered", and a few RNG miss or the elite moves you may reach the end of your AP (hence the interruption). Fear not if you have Living Lightning though!
- Oh one more thing: You can use Blizzard for your CB bonus, or when you have 2 - 3 elites left on your face your follower should be able to provide you with cold debuff. So if you find a way to fit that into your passive then it's worth it I think.

I would post some vids here but that's like... err... hijacking your thread? Like I haven't hijacked enough already :p So I won't.

Anywho, great job writing this up! I've enjoyed my variation of this build and I hope many more will enjoy the power of this build too!
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- Blizzard provides great healing with LS weapon + Blood Magic on a large pack of mobs. This helps preventing you from getting killed while being kb'd by a random white trash when farming. I found this out when I was so frustrated from dying to random kb trash, and I've incorporated Blizzard to all my builds ever since.

Totally agree. I tried a few other skills but blizzard worked the best. I like the freezing rune too for extra survivability during windup. I tend to still use Blur over CB though because my resists aren't as high as yours. Otherwise CB all the way for solo play. If you use blizzard over sparkflint for group play then I'd keep CB too, unless you have a partner that provides the debuff like you said. Then I'd probably just drop blizzard entirely.
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Very nice guide. I'd love to see a video or two of this in group play if you're able to someday.
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If anyone is free today I can find some time to run it in a group. I mainly solo so I don't have any people I party with on a regular basis. In fact I've only really played group play a couple times outside of Ubers groups. I guess I could try finding an Ubers group if all else fails.
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Add me and i will run with ya when i get home. But gonna tell u the same i told to pichapie (great guy).
I suck at micro and die often¦)
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What sort of group are you looking for? Could add me if you want, cuz I'm always afk check AH or read forum or read news and stuffs. I can freeze for you cuz I have the gear.

I can't freeze ubers though. As you know I have bad latency and currently I don't have 3.33 AS gear to freeze ZK.
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Group vid added. It'll take about half an hour to finish uploading though.
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Seems very nice will try it. But think you guys must try LL + SA + electrify. crazy dps right there. I think LL process both SA and electrify every-time.
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Group vid added.

Yea, wow... the dps is indeed pretty nuts when you have SNS freezing. Those 3m crits were sexy.

This is probably the go-to spec for Wizard dps in groups if it already has SNS. You can fit Time Warp in there for Blizzard, too, for some group utility. And then swap out Illusionist for CM so you can have it up full time. Personal dps might dip a bit having to restack AD every time you recast bubble, but should be worth it for the group. At least for ubers and such.

Thanks for sharing.
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I'll add this somewhere in my guide but I found out a little something about dynamo today. If you start channeling a skill without 5 stacks, then gain 5 stacks while channeling, the 5 stacks will be consumed but your damage will not increase. Instead you have to wait for 5 stacks to build, then start channeling to get the bonus damage. I tested it today on zombies in Act 1 with my low damage weapon and +min damage.
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Gotta testify my brothers.
The dmg is huge. As long as someone keep the mobs frozen.
Could be better if my brother wasnt being scolded by his wife and actually played with us yesterday( cs monk), instead of constantly going afk.
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So what is the prime number in terms of resists and HP for this build?

I just want a number to shoot for before I really try it.
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I currently run with about 1100 AR and 4600 armor buffed, and 55k hp. Including my physical resistances that's about 92% mitigation buffed, with prismatic armor. The stats I played with are shown in game at the end, including buffed armor and resists and hp.

I can still die on elites at times but it gives pretty reasonable survivability on MP10 with 226k dps+SoJ which puts me just over 305k dps vs elites. If you have less dps you might need more mitigation. Extra hp doesn't hurt either. I have zuni chest gemmed with vit and rare EHP pants with vit gems too to get my hp that high.
Edited by Loroese#1415 on 7/17/2013 10:50 PM PDT
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Thanks a ton.

I found I am happy running MP7 with a group, even though I only have ~37k health and 8-% mitigation.

I am definitely in need of DPS upgrades though, but I am really happy with this build.

I can absolutely manhandle trash mobs in groups, and provide a lot of damage towards elites and junk, once the mines actually explode.
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05/28/2013 04:15 PMPosted by Loroese
If anyone is free today I can find some time to run it in a group.

Loroese...it's been a long time since I gave away ALL of my gems to you. may be it's time for you to hit me and play with me in a group? I do like to see it.
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07/18/2013 01:07 PMPosted by yodatoy
If anyone is free today I can find some time to run it in a group.

Loroese...it's been a long time since I gave away ALL of my gems to you. may be it's time for you to hit me and play with me in a group? I do like to see it.

I would, but I think my total play time for the past 2 weeks is about an hour, total. Until I finish my thesis I won't have much time to play. It's kind of annoying because I'm at paragon 91 and really would like to hit 100.
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