Diablo® III

Sleet Storm FAQ and Checklist

I've noticed there's a lot of people who are having trouble understanding/gearing for the Sleet Storm build. In order to rectify this problem, I've put together a FAQ to answer some of the most frequent questions regarding the build. In addition, there's a checklist of things to look for if you're finding your runs to be less than successful.

FAQ

  • Will my SNS gear work for Sleet Storm?
    In short, no. Some of it may, but the requirements for SNS and Sleet Storm are diametrically opposed. Sleet Storm builds need you to drop as much Attack Speed as possible for your target break point to be optimal. SNS benefits greatly from higher Attack Speed. Sleet Storm does not. Due to this, no, your SNS gear will not work.
  • Will my Archon gear work for Sleet Storm?
    Typically, no. Archon doesn't really hurt from attack speed because the channeling spell it casts doesn't cost Arcane Power. Sleet Storm, on the other hand, does cost Arcane Power. The number of ticks per second that Sleet Storm casts is dependent on Attack Speed, but not in a way that is proportional with APoC. As a result, your typical Archon build will not be compatible with Sleet Storm.
  • Why does attack speed hurt a Sleet Storm build so much?
    Well it does and it doesn't. Sleet Storm is a channeled spell. Channeled spells work on a "ticks per second" basis. Each tick consumes 1 AP cost of the spell divided by the number of ticks per second on 1.0 APS. The AP cost for Sleet Storm is 16. This means that Sleet storm will consume 16 AP per second at 1 APS. Since it ticks twice per second at the 1.0 APS breakpoint, that's 16 AP per second or 8 AP per tick. This is the universal tick cost of Sleet Storm, 8 AP per tick. Of course, there's mitigating costs in there. Namely, natural AP regen and APoC. If your REGEN + APoC per second is less than AP cost per second, then you lose AP.

    Attack speed, however, increases the number of ticks per second. Below is a chart of those break points:

    Ray of Frost breakpoints:

    0.5s Channel Duration
    MinAtkSpeed TicksPerSecond
    1.0000 4.0000
    2.0000 6.0000
    3.0000 8.0000
    3.7500 10.0000

    1.0s Channel Duration
    MinAtkSpeed TicksPerSecond
    0.5000 2.0000
    1.0000 3.0000
    1.5000 4.0000
    2.0000 5.0000
    2.5000 6.0000
    3.0000 7.0000
    3.3333 8.0000
    3.7500 9.0000

    Source: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/9309641410?page=6#114

    So as you can see, you tick more per second with higher attack speed. Why is this important? Say you have 2.5 attacks per second. You tick sleet storm 6 times in a second. That's 8 * 6, or 48 AP. That's a half an AP bar for some people!!! Bad! Bad bad bad!

    The idea is to spread the damage out as much as you can. That's why you actually want to attack slowly. Slower attacks means you spread the damage out longer and allow yourself to constantly cast Sleet Storm without running out of AP. This is better because casting Sleet Storm is what keeps you alive, but I'll get into that in the lifesteal and defense sections.
  • What is the best attack speed I should have for Sleet Storm?

    Hah! Good question. I guess it depends on your APoC more than anything else.

    If you're running a 2h build, honestly, stay as close to 1.00 attack speed as possible (actually 1.08 because a good Witching Hour is what you want to wear).

    If you're running a 1h+src build, you can have more APoC. For 20 APoC I'd say go for 1.5, possibly 2.0. For 30 APoC, you can go up to 2.5, but that's kinda pushing it really.
  • Besides attack speed, what other damage stats should I worry about.
    In this order:

    Critical Chance (including Ray of Frost CC from items)
    Critical Damage
    Average Damage
    Int
  • What about defense?
    You want at least 89% mit for MP10. If you want to know your mit and how defense stats effect your character, please go to d3up.com and register. The topic of mit is not covered in this FAQ.
  • What about Life on Hit?
    Almost useless. Go with Lifesteal instead.
  • How much Lifesteal should I have?
    Loaded question. Honestly, my feeling is to have as much as you can get. Better to be safe than sorry.

    Lifesteal is your life line. You deal a lot of damage very fast, so lifesteal provides that constant stream of healing to keep you up. Top end Sleet Storm wizards can almost heal through anything so long as they are touching one mob with their Sleet Storm. That's the way you stay alive.

    DO NOT NEGLECT TO INCLUDE LIFESTEAL IN YOUR GEAR!!

    As far as how much you need? For 1h I would say that you'll want to cross 4.0 lifesteal. I am sure this fluctuates with mit, and you will probably need less lifesteal for higher mitigation, but if you are in the position where you have that much mitigation, then you probably do not need this FAQ much anyway to figure out how much lifesteal you need.

    For 2h I would go for 5.5 lifesteal. Can you get by with 5.0? Yes. Should you? Well you're honestly missing the big draw of using a 2h if you're not using more lifesteal. I'd splurge and get as much lifesteal as reasonable for your character on 2h. Why not? It heals you better and it might save your life a few times.
  • What are RoF items and should I be using them?

    RoF is short for "Ray of Frost". There is an affix available on Wizard Hats, the Stone of Jordan, Skull Grasp, and Mara's amulet which will pump your Ray of Frost critical hit chance higher.

    Should you use them? That's a case-by-case thing. If your RoF item's net RoF cc is more than 2% higher than base (regular-old) cc%, I would say it's something to consider... but it really needs to factor in what you lose more than what you gain, right?

    Sleet Storm is by far the higher damage dealer of this build. Its crits are high with the right gear. It has the highest weapon damage multiplier.
  • What is the Sleet Storm template build?

    This, my friend, is the beauty of Sleet Storm. It's not a build. It's a spell. There are many many many variations of builds which revolve around using Sleet Storm. Many of them viable with the correct gear to keep Sleet Storm going.

    Here's just a few:

    CM + EB build, great with Skorn
    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#ZQhjST!XgW!YaaaZa

    CM + EB + DS build, not as damaging but a bit more defense
    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#ZQhXST!XgW!YaacZa

    CM + EB + Prism build, awesome to help with AP management
    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#ZQhXST!XgW!YaaZZa

    Illusionist + Time Warp, probably second in standard damage. Not so hot in low MP and Groups.
    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#ZQgjST!XdW!YaZaZa

    Illusionist + Mocking Demise, does not do as much damage as you'd expect. Good for ubers though.
    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#ZQkjST!XdW!YabaZa

    Archon Destruction, and boom goes the dynamite.
    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#ZmShTQ!YWg!YaZaaa

    So as you can see, your options are pretty open to have fun and experiment what works for you.

    For the love of all that is good in this world, do not claim you have the best Sleet Storm build. You're just asking for others to argue with you that theirs is the best. Fact is... it's all situational, based on your gear, skill, play style, and epeen.
  • So what makes a build a "Sleet Storm" build?
    Great question... well obviously Sleet Storm. And Sleet Storm is your main damage and healing source, of course. Which means Cold Blooded is flat out the most obvious choice...but...
    ...
    ...besides that nothing. Yup... congratulations, we got a sandbox build. Enjoy. Now go build me some castles!
  • Do I need X skill?
    Nine times out of ten the answer is "No, but don't complain if it doesn't work!"
  • Do I need Reactive Armor?
    No, but don't complain if your build doesn't work without it!

    Look Reactive Armor synergies really well with this build. Because you're rocking Lifesteal and because you're actually getting hit, this armor actually could be the difference between a functional build and a not-so-functional build.

    Reactive Armor retaliates every time you get hit by melee or ranged attacks, dealing 70% weapon damage as lightning. Why is this cool? With sufficient damage, you actually get healed when trash mobs hit you. Badass? Yeah well it also means that you're doing that much more damage, and trust, it makes a difference.

    In addition, as Malakai did the research on, Reactive Armor does a lot more than expected:

    If you're using a Skorn, use Reactive Armor. It procs off of things like electrify, fire chains, mortars, molten trails, and any and all ranged and melee attacks. And when it procs, it hits them for 70% weapon damage, which in turn heals you since you have Lifesteal. With the big LS and weapon damage from Skorn, you can sometimes get healed back for more than you got hit for if your dps is high enough and it crits.


    You don't need it, though. In fact, in groups, it may not be desirable as you don't get hit as much. You could try Pinpoint Armor then, or maybe something else.

    It's a good spell, though. Please consider testing with it.
  • My sheet damage dropped so much!!! How do I know what's good sheet damage for MP10?

    Try it. If it doesn't work, you need more damage. Mind you not SHEET damage, just more damage. Sheet damage calculates attack speed into its equation. Since you're getting rid of a lot of attack speed, you're losing sheet damage.

    YOU MUST REALIZE THAT SHEET DAMAGE IS MERELY AN INDICATOR, NOT A ACTUAL STAT!

    What does this mean? You have an SoJ on. Your sheet damage drops 35k. Uh oh! But no, white mobs are still dying fast and the +30% from the SoJ is higher than 35k, so you do more damage against elites. In addition, you've lost 6% CC from your old ring, but you gained 7% RoF CC from the SoJ. Did you really lose or are you gaining from this "lost sheet damage"?

    Ignore sheet damage. Think "Real Damage".
  • This build doesn't work! It's not viable!
    Ok, look. Plenty of people are using this build by now to say, without a doubt, it is viable. Is it better than SNS? No. Frankly SNS is like shooting fish in a barrel made out of fish. You can't get much easier than that. This, however, is like fishing with dynamite. You'll catch a lot of fish, but be careful not to blow up your own boat.

    If you've read this FAQ and you're still having problems, please see the checklist below.
  • Checklist
    • I'm dying a lot on MP 10
      • Is your mit 89%?
      • Are you running with sufficient lifesteal?
      • Have you tried reactive armor?
      • Is your damage (NOT SHEET DAMAGE) high enough for MP10?
    • I keep running out of AP?
      • What's your APoC? For 2h do you have at least 10 APoC? For 1h is it at least 20?
      • What AP skills do you have? Have you tried Power Hungry or Astral Presence?
      • What kinda attacks per second do you have?
        • Are you between 1.0 and 1.5 for a 2h build?
        • between 1.5 and 2.0 for 20 APoC?
        • 1.5 and 2.5 for 30 APoC?
    • Monsters get away from me too much.
      • Teleport?
      • Frost Nova?
      • Blizzard?
      • Slow Time -- Time Warp?


    Threads of Interest

    The original Sleet Storm Guide by Heroscraper (this post is irreplaceable, good work!)
    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/8196601612

    Malakai's SS Build Update Thread (lots of good build ideas here!)
    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/8178678115

    "Where to find the Sleet Storm build?" by Yodatoy (great question with lots of answers)
    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/9309641410

    "Super Sexy Sleet Storm" by Bukizzle (also lots of info here)
    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/9309441384
    Edited by Rafazafar#1562 on 6/20/2013 2:47 PM PDT
    @OP Nicely put together.

    I posted a Sleet Storm build couple of weeks ago: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/9165876935

    It is a pure cold wizard build that also adds a lot of DPS boost to party.

    I have been using this build to level my wizard from level 20 to level 80+ and she is on her way to p100 and it is really fun.

    For mitigation, to add on to your post, this is what I have found out.

    If I have 900 all resist (unbuffed), I can tank through most reflect damage elite at MP10 with just 3% lifesteal.
    nicely done OP and thanks for the private tutor.
    Thanks for this. Good concept, good info, good style, captures the spirit of Sleet Storm and has a pulse on progress made to date.

    What is the Sleet Storm template build?

    This, my friend, is the beauty of Sleet Storm. It's not a build. It's a spell. There are many many many variations of builds which revolve around using Sleet Storm. Many of them viable with the correct gear to keep Sleet Storm going.

    Well said. And forward we go from here. Fun times ahead.
    Will my Archon gear work for Sleet Storm?
    Typically, no. Archon doesn't really hurt from attack speed because the channeling spell it casts doesn't cost Arcane Power. Sleet Storm, on the other hand, does cost Arcane Power. The number of ticks per second that Sleet Storm casts is dependent on Attack Speed, but not in a way that is proportional with APoC. As a result, your typical Archon build will not be compatible with Sleet Storm.


    :D

    From archon gear to making a Sleet Storm set, I have to admit that dropping attack speed made me wince a few times, and I still don't have everything right. I have the worst time giving up my Mempo in my set, so should I continue to find a way to make 10 APOC work or . . . ???

    (Yes, I did buy a Storm Crow, but my vit/% life plummeted.)

    Coming from archon I stuck with my one-handed weapon by the way.
    Will my Archon gear work for Sleet Storm?
    Typically, no. Archon doesn't really hurt from attack speed because the channeling spell it casts doesn't cost Arcane Power. Sleet Storm, on the other hand, does cost Arcane Power. The number of ticks per second that Sleet Storm casts is dependent on Attack Speed, but not in a way that is proportional with APoC. As a result, your typical Archon build will not be compatible with Sleet Storm.


    :D

    From archon gear to making a Sleet Storm set, I have to admit that dropping attack speed made me wince a few times, and I still don't have everything right. I have the worst time giving up my Mempo in my set, so should I continue to find a way to make 10 APOC work or . . . ???

    (Yes, I did buy a Storm Crow, but my vit/% life plummeted.)

    Coming from archon I stuck with my one-handed weapon by the way.


    If you're using a 1h weapon you want to make 20 APoC work, not 10 APoC.
    06/19/2013 10:24 PMPosted by Rafazafar
    If you're using a 1h weapon you want to make 20 APoC work, not 10 APoC.


    Gah. That means I have to lose my Memps.
    - Diablo III
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    06/19/2013 11:25 PMPosted by jenpeezey
    If you're using a 1h weapon you want to make 20 APoC work, not 10 APoC.


    Gah. That means I have to lose my Memps.


    Pick up a cheap 8-9 APoC Triumvirate!
    06/19/2013 11:42 PMPosted by Jaetch
    Pick up a cheap 8-9 APoC Triumvirate!


    Already did that. My 10 is on there, now I have to wear Storm Crow to make 20.
    Great post, thanks for putting it together.
    Thanks for all the info Raf. It's been a lot of fun putting this set together. I think I've a setup with Skorn and 1H that works pretty good now. Best part is, with a few changes, I think I can roll a WD and run with most of this gear.

    This build even handles mp10 poison trees =)

    Wondering if I should try inna's or lacuni's tho to get a bit more movement speed. I'll try it tomorrow.
    I don´t understand the breakpoints/channel duration you mention.

    You should clearly state that in case of Ray of Frost, your damage output scales linearly with aps and damage is dealt every frame = (aps * tooltip / 60) weapon damage per frame.

    Breakpoints are only applicable for LoH and APoC tick frequency. While LoH ticks will always occur on the given frame, APoC depends on whether you roll a crit on that particular frame. We haven´t yet figured out how exactly CM works so I wouldn´t mention it for the moment.

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/8770117237?page=6#101

    attacks per second - LoH/APoC tick length - frequency/sec - cost/sec
    0.88236-0.90909 aps - 33 frames - 1.82 ticks - 14.55 AP
    0.90910-0.93750 aps - 32 frames - 1.88 ticks - 15.00 AP
    0.93751-0.96774 aps - 31 frames - 1.94 ticks - 15.48 AP
    0.96775-1.00000 aps - 30 frames - 2.00 ticks - 16.00 AP
    1.00001-1.03448 aps - 29 frames - 2.07 ticks - 16.55 AP
    1.03449-1.07142 aps - 28 frames - 2.14 ticks - 17.14 AP
    1.07143-1.11111 aps - 27 frames - 2.22 ticks - 17.78 AP
    1.11112-1.15384 aps - 26 frames - 2.31 ticks - 18.46 AP
    1.15385-1.20000 aps - 25 frames - 2.40 ticks - 19.20 AP
    1.20001-1.25000 aps - 24 frames - 2.50 ticks - 20.00 AP
    1.25001-1.30434 aps - 23 frames - 2.61 ticks - 20.87 AP
    1.30435-1.36363 aps - 22 frames - 2.73 ticks - 21.82 AP
    1.36364-1.42857 aps - 21 frames - 2.86 ticks - 22.86 AP
    1.42858-1.50000 aps - 20 frames - 3.00 ticks - 24.00 AP
    1.50001-1.57894 aps - 19 frames - 3.16 ticks - 25.26 AP
    1.57895-1.66666 aps - 18 frames - 3.33 ticks - 26.67 AP
    1.66667-1.76470 aps - 17 frames - 3.53 ticks - 28.24 AP
    1.76471-1.87500 aps - 16 frames - 3.75 ticks - 30.00 AP
    1.87501-2.00000 aps - 15 frames - 4.00 ticks - 32.00 AP
    2.00001-2.14285 aps - 14 frames - 4.29 ticks - 34.29 AP
    2.14286-2.30769 aps - 13 frames - 4.62 ticks - 36.92 AP
    2.30770-2.50000 aps - 12 frames - 5.00 ticks - 40.00 AP
    2.50001-2.72727 aps - 11 frames - 5.45 ticks - 43.64 AP
    2.72728-3.00000 aps - 10 frames - 6.00 ticks - 48.00 AP
    3.00001-3.33333 aps - 09 frames - 6.67 ticks - 53.33 AP
    3.33334-3.75000 aps - 08 frames - 7.50 ticks - 60.00 AP
    3.75001-4.28571 aps - 07 frames - 8.57 ticks - 68.57 AP

    Also, the following:
    APoC with Ray of Frost
    -> game applies AP cost of the skill each (floor(30/aps)) frames
    -> on the same frame, the game also:
    a) heals you for (proc coefficient * total LoH) health
    b) checks for a critical hit; if you roll a crit
    - all subsequent frames will crit until the next "check" (AP tick)
    - you gain (proc coefficient * APoC) arcane power on the frame
    Edited by Nubtro#2147 on 6/20/2013 2:34 AM PDT
    Posts: 5,817
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    I don´t understand the breakpoints/channel duration you mention.

    You should clearly state that in case of Ray of Frost, your damage output scales linearly with aps and damage is dealt every frame = (aps * tooltip / 60) weapon damage per frame.
    [/quote]

    I got this feeling with WDs Bat build too.

    Attack Speed on items doesn't add just sheet DPS, but also highers real eDPS.

    Didn't tested THAT much tho.
    You should clearly state that in case of Ray of Frost, your damage output scales linearly with aps and damage is dealt every frame = (aps * tooltip / 60) weapon damage per frame.


    This.

    How I would word it would be that Sleet Storm's damage scales linearly with IAS at the cost of higher AP consumption. However, IAS doesn't have an effect on most of the other abilities that typical Sleet Storm builds use. For example, IAS does nothing for Storm Armor strikes, Reactive Armor procs, Explosive Blast damage (it only affects the time between pulses for Chain Reaction), Arcane Destruction, Mocking Demise damage, etc. So you generally want to first add stats that affect all of your damage sources, such as Intelligence, CC, CHD, average damage, and elemental damage (like from Zuni boots or Storm Crow). IAS should be added afterwards, and only if you're able to sustain your AP just fine.

    If your Sleet Storm build relies completely on Sleet Storm, with all of your other abilities just there to prop up its damage, then adding IAS should be ok if you also don't have any other AP spenders in the build. So something like this for example:

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#ZQSgjO!XWd!YaZZaZ

    ... should be ok to add IAS to because SS is the only thing consuming AP. Consider that it takes an attack turn to cast Time Warp, that's time not casting SS, and you gain AP during that attack turn, which helps. The more IAS you have, though, the less AP you'll regen when casting TW since IAS speeds up the cast time, thus it's less time for your natural AP regen to work. I hope that makes sense.

    Anyhow, generally speaking, Sleet Storm builds only really start to have major AP issues when you have other things in the build that consume AP, such as Explosive Blast. That's 10-20 AP depending on which rune you use every couple of seconds (sometimes more with more CM procs against large groups where you're casting it 2-3 times a second) on top of the SS channel cost.

    Losing AP during a fight is perfectly fine. You only start to lose DPS if you run dry before the mobs are dead. So don't start panicking if your AP globe starts to deplete when channeling.
    06/19/2013 10:17 PMPosted by jenpeezey
    From archon gear to making a Sleet Storm set, I have to admit that dropping attack speed made me wince a few times, and I still don't have everything right. I have the worst time giving up my Mempo in my set, so should I continue to find a way to make 10 APOC work or . . . ???


    I got 10 APoC to work with a 1H Sleet Storm build, but the build and gear I used was a little different. Here's the build I used:

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#ZmSQjT!XWg!Yacaaa

    And then I used a 1.2 APS spear with CHD, socket, and LS, and went with 4-piece Tal Rasha set (helm, chest, amulet, source). The only IAS on the gear was from the chest and Witching Hour belt. You'd give up the IAS on your Mempo, but you can get more Int and HP from a good Tal Rasha helm if you get the right rolls (int, int+vit, AR, socket, life %, CC).

    I was testing the gear + build setup it in VoA, so I'm not sure how it would fare elsewhere. Basically when you run out of AP on an elite fight, you just pop Arcane Destruction and dps while in Archon form until you get all your AP back.

    I'm not sure if I'd recommend it, though, since again I'm not sure how it would fare trash farming or whatnot. I'd have to mess around with it some more first.
    Great post OP

    Spread the good word :)
    Hey guys,

    Thanks for the accurate feedback. This FAQ/Checklist was meant as an entry-level way to understand Sleet Storm. I could get into the higher end math, but I think a lot of players just want to understand the basics at this point. Please keep posting more info in this thread, though.
    Sleet Storm has been exploding in the past couple weeks :)

    Loving it! Nice post Raf.

    I didn't know Heroscaper had a Sleet Storm / Blizzard guide, was a good read as well, feel not so alone now with my love for blizzard.
    06/20/2013 06:57 AMPosted by Fallen
    I didn't know Heroscaper had a Sleet Storm / Blizzard guide, was a good read as well, feel not so alone now with my love for blizzard.


    Yea, that thread and this one:

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/8178678115

    ... are where it all started for us. Those were fun days.
    At 1.88 aps I have zero issues with arcane.
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