I got motivated to write this guide because people have been asking me about my build and friend requesting me a lot in pub games. I’ve now got lots of experience with this build, and I can say with confidence, it rocks! So, figured I’d share! All suggestions are welcome.
I have put together some tips from my accumulated D3 experience under the “FAQ/Advanced Tactics” section that may be relevant even for those not running this build.
This is a strictly 2H build. It is a party build, the best I’ve found in terms of efficient party farming for 1.08. It’s not for ubers. A solo variant is included in 2nd post. This first post is devoted to the party build.
In summary, the build provides:
1) Cyclone Strike Implosion (increased range rune)
2) 68% Dmg buff
3) Very high mobility, even when no mobs around
4) Lots of defensive capabilities and options to cover gear deficiencies, even save buddies.
5) A solo version with high DPS using same gear and a few different skills
With the multiplayer changes in 1.08 (xp/mf bonus for coop; decreased mob hp in coop compared with earlier patches), the age of the solo farm has quite possibly come to an end. It is unlikely that a solo player, no matter how high their dps, can solo-farm items or xp faster than if they paired with a capable player running this cyclone strike 2h build. This is mostly because of the mobility and mob positioning that this build offers.
--Cost to gear—
Hesitant to put a cost out there, but I’d guess roughly 200m or so minimum for MP 8-10. Better personal DPS and survivability at 1b gear levels. Lifesteal dex skorn (or Druin hammer, curse him) mandatory.
Crippling Wave, Rising Tide
Sweeping Winds: Inner Storm
Mantra of Conviction: Overawe
Cyclone Strike: Implosion
Mantra of Healing: Time of Need
Tempest Rush: Tailwind
Exalted Soul--CoR, STI, OWE, NDE, Fleet Footed, Pacifism, etc., can be here, too.
As much CC as possible to maximize spirit gain from Crip Wave. Lifesteal dex skorn mandatory. Natalya boot/crit ring and 4-set Inna’s highly recommended.
--Recommended minimum stats for MP 10--
500+ all res
8+ spirit regen between gear/skills
Weapon—Lifesteal (5.0+) dex skorn. Higher paper dps the better. Don’t skimp here. This is the bulk of your personal DPS and sustain/survivability.
Helm—Inna’s w 2.2+ spirit regen + all res, armor, vit (SW, Cyclone Strike, Crip Wave bonus ok)
Chest—Inna’s w all res, armor, or dex/vit
Belt—Inna’s w all res or dex/vit
Legs—Inna’s w all res or dex/ vit
Shoulders—Dex/vit Vile Ward or crafted
Blistered Feet (from too much Tempest Rush)—Nat boot w dex/vit
Gloves—Crafted 8+cc, defensive stats big plus
Bracers—Crafted 5+cc, defensive stats big plus
Amulet—Crafted 8+cc, defensive stats big plus, high CC/SR Xephirian, -5 Cyclone Strike CC/CD Maras
Ring 1—Nat ring with CC
Ring2—SoJ with 2.2+ SR. I recommend -5Cyclone Strike, although SW, Crip Wave bonuses aren’t horrible. % Elites does not matter for this build really.
Cyclone striker/buffer. Performs exceptionally well as ‘puller’ or ‘leader’ grouping mobs in front of party. This section is just general guidance. You will have to figure out what works best for you and/or your party!
Typical game play sequence is as follows:
1. Activate Sweeping Winds, Tempest Rush to mobs in front of party, then return to a central point to which the mobs will go and/or be vortexed, ideally just in front of party. The location you stop at is important. You do not want mobs to get stuck on corners during vortex. Thus, park in open areas or at open intersections in dungeons. You want mobs to be predictably located for party. This allows DPS skills to hit their mark. Thus, try not to move much once you pick a spot.
2. Cyclone strike mobs. The 24-yard range on implosion is quite large.
3. Swing Crip Wave to regain some spirit (also debuffs mob movespeed and attackspeed).
4. By this time party is near or on top of you. You may need to spam cyclone strike at this time as mobs will try to leave to attack approaching party members.
5. As spirit allows, refresh MOH and MOC, in that order, in rapid succession. This allows for full up-time of MOC. Ideally this is done once most of party shows up so that most benefit from the Guiding Light buff and overawe 48%. (See note below re: “100% buff uptime is probably not optimal”).
6. Swing Crip Wave to regain spirit/Cyclone Strike as needed. You want to leave the scene with near full spirit so that you can both TR a long way and Cyclone Strike as soon as you decide to stop for next slaughter.
FAQ / Advanced Tactics
1. How much spirit regen required?
Roughly 8+ spirit per second during play for best results (~4.5 from gear). This build relies quite a bit on passive spirit regen+Guardian’s Path. The advantage of passive spirit regen is that it works even when no mobs are around and it fuels tempest rush. This is particularly useful in high dps groups when it can be hard to even hit a mob with a spirit generator before it dies.
2. What builds are good to run with this one?
Any and all DPS builds. Barbs love it, archon love it, DH, WD, everyone. But, the synergy with CM freeze wiz is pretty insane. For efficiency’s sake, I highly recommend max movespeed and mobility skills for party. You are moving at tempest rush speed, after all. When a wiz drops teleport for bubble, that does not help the party.
3. ‘Suck to the fat.’
Certain mobs cannot be vortexed (e.g., bat-makers) or have a very, very low chance to be vortexed (yellow elites, purple mobs--more on this below). Park on these if possible and vortex other mobs to them.
4. 100% dps buff uptime is probably not optimal.
This one is not intuitive and yet very important for efficiency. Priority should be proper mob positioning (i.e., Cyclone Strike) over dps buffs. A mob next to CM wizard or bats/0dog WD takes a lot of damage and will continue to fuel their DPS. A mob out of range takes 0 dmg and does not provide fuel. Thus, because spirit is limited, do not try to keep 100% uptime of MOC Overawe at the expense of cyclone strikes.
5. Despite #4, sometimes vortexing = bad.
A CM wiz wants you to cyclone strike. An important exception would be during blue elite encounters. You just need to vortex two of the blue elites on top of each other early on during the encounter. Doing this first thing is helpful since mob CC immunity has not ramped up, and it’s easier for CM wiz to adjust. After two blue elites are stacked, then DO NOT Cyclone Strike again until they are dead. CM wiz will thank you for this.
6. MOH can save you and your party’s butts.
When several Grotesques are vortexed and die at the same time, you can expect a large spike in damage. Mitigate it with a timely MOH activation for 25% resistances and mini protective shield. A CM wiz relying on LOH (as most do) may want MOH spam during ramp up vs. reflect damage elites, or if ground effects stack up. I've saved a lot of CM wiz against reflect mobs with MOH.
7. No palm?
Just no. Especially if you are running high dps group. The most the palm does in 4-player party is approximately 20% of mob max health, small range, one time. If you let MOC Overawe drop in order to cast palm, mobs take 24% less damage. MOC travels with you and continues to apply to mobs newly vortexed. Just trust me. No palm for groups with this build.
8. Cyclone Strike: Soothing Breeze?
Don’t recommend for this build. Range of vortex matters a lot because it allows dps to be stacked at predictable location and clears a larger area in same amount of time. For triggering guiding light, soothing breeze works well, but this build has that covered by MOH, which also comes with enormous range. Recently tried soothing breeze again and came again to the conclusion that it's not nearly as good as implosion. The range is way too small, especially when it comes to feared mobs, runners, ranged mobs, etc.
9. Tempest Rush vs. Dashing Strike?
Dashing Strike is ok, but for highest efficiency, you need the long distance movement, and movement without mobs that TR provides. In my opinion, TR provides more precision when parking as well. You have the spirit (or nearly the spirit) to run infinite TR in this build.
10. Tempest Rush knock back?
Tempest rush has a very small knockback. he knockback is actually good when hunting in Fields of Misery since it can disrupt the charge of savage beasts (Cyclone Strike also interrupts and can be used to retrieve mobs knocked back). The knockback can be inconvenient during disengage when heading to get more mobs. Advanced players (particularly CM wiz) have bound ‘force move’ to a convenient key. Use force move to get out of mobs, and then tempest rush away. This will prevent knocking mobs out of other player’s twisters, etc. In addition, force move will allow you to move to a CM wiz or COB WD without unintentionally attacking mobs.
11. Tempest Rush rubber band?
Yes, this seriously, seriously stinks. Borken beerond bereif. The more you need to get out of ground effects, poison trees, etc., the more likely you will be to rubberband. Learn to reposition earlier, reposition with ‘force move’ which won’t rubberband, and be ready to potion.
12. FOT Quickening?
FOT Quickening works in this build just fine, but Crip Wave generates more spirit consistently (my experience), does more damage to more mobs, and debuffs them!
13. Attack speed hurt or help?
Attack speed is good to neutral in this build. You get more, it helps DPS and spirit generated from Crip Wave, but increases consumption from TR.
14. Halp, I’m dying a lot!
You will be exposed to a lot of damage running this build. I’d say a higher LS skorn, higher EHP, and higher DPS to fuel LS are the best things to work towards to boost survivability. Craft vit items for lots of EHP. They can be used by other classes, too! The 3rd passive can also be STI/OWE over Exalted Soul. Substituting these passives in this slot will increase your survivability, but have a small negative effect on spirit and therefore dps buff uptime. Much more important to stay alive! Don’t forget about MOH and potion.
15. Ride the Wave.
Crip Wave hits a 90 degree cone in front of you on 1st attack, 180 degree 'cone' in front of you on 2nd attack, and 360 degrees on 3rd attack (source = Druin spirit generator review). In a crowd, spirit returned will be much greater from 3rd attack due to more mobs hit. Cyclone Strike resets the sequence while spamming mantras does not. Just something to consider that may help spirit management during play.
16. Move that yellow butt
You can 100% move yellow elites and purple nurples with Implosion. They just need to be on the outer edge of the pull radius. I could not reproduce this on short-range runes. Working theory is that there are at least three separate radii in Cyclone Strike and at least three types of mobs. The mobs are 1) entirely immobile (e.g., trees), 2) partly immobile (e.g., yellow elites), and 3) entirely mobile (most trash with no apparent immunity to cyclone strike). The radii are taken into account on partly immobile mobs. The innermost radius is closest to your character; partly immobile mobs cannot be vortexed from here. The medium-distance radius is located just beyond the inner; partly immobile mobs can sometimes be vortexed. The outermost radius always affects partly immobile mobs; it is located at the edge of the implosion radius. I can vortex yellow elites around a map 20 times in succession with 100% accuracy with some practice and precision (much easier on less mobile ones!). The principal use of this knowledge is to be able to move the yellow butt off of plagued laser fields during solo play. In coop, the mob is probably dead before the field becomes nasty.
17. Mobs melting too fast!
Ugh, is this a problem? With good DPS party, it really can be. This is because you won't be able to regain enough spirit from Crip Wave to keep Cyclone Striking. This can drop group efficiency noticeably. This really is a spirit management issue. In highest DPS groups, I'd cautiously recommend running MOH: Circular Breathing as your main mantra (GASP) and MOC: Overawe as your second mantra to spam as needed on elites. Mob positioning is that important. Top end Xephirian amulet (8+CC and 2.0+SR) could also help in high DPS groups where spirit for Cyclone Strike could become an issue.
Guiding Light was buffed to 20% in 1.08. With MOC: Overawe's 48%, that is a 68% dmg buff. Versus elites, it's easy to keep 100% buff uptime for all party members when they need it most. If you tried to put a number on the increased damage offered by properly positioning mobs with cyclone strike, you'd get something over 100% (just my feeling). The build is insane with even a decent DPS group. The build magnifies any other class/build that seems efficient/over-powered.
Suggestions very welcome and encouraged. Good luck, have fun!