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Of course pinpoint barrier is naturally part of the "standard" archon build. It increases armor by a whopping 35% and crit chance by 5% making it a good buff for both EHP and DPS and hard to argue against.
But as a skill, it doesn't offer any utility. Scramble, on the other hand, offers a solution for archon's biggest weakness- a lack of mobility. It buffs movement speed by 25%, making a wizard with scramble active faster than a barbarian with wotb active (but not sprint).
Last night, I was doing some a1 mp10 with a party of barbs and a monk and was struggling to keep up, so I gave it a shot. Actually, I was so afraid at what it'd do to my survivability that I was considering not using glass cannon, or using unstable anomaly. Ended up picking blur, which in itself was probably unnecessary.
Survivability wasn't an issue in the slightest. Did a full fw-wh-fom comfortably without ever even coming close to death. My defenses on gear are decent, but they're certainly not anything insane like no-ls Jaetch-level. With 650k EHP buffed, I could survive a molten explosion and a savage beast charge without much trouble.
For an end-game archon wizard, damage output likely won't be the bottleneck in farming efficiency, not even on MP10. And survivability won't be an issue at all either, making pinpoint barrier somewhat moot. I'd contend that the movement speed buff would allow one to ultimately kill things quicker.
The sheet DPS reduction for me in dropping the crit chance from pb is about 6%. Not too shabby, and definitely a much smaller sacrifice than the 25% from using archon:teleport, which I find rather clunky and unreliable. Scramble's uptime in densely packed areas is excellent, and it lasts just long enough in dead space to get you to the next clump, which often isn't the case with teleport.
I'd encourage any archon wizards to give it a shot. Even moderately geared ones will likely find it viable on their MP level of choice, given that they have a solid balance between DPS and EHP on gear. I used to use it ages ago on low MP, but didn't think it was viable at high ones. The movement speed is pretty much changes the game experience, allowing you to zip through the map and dart in and out of danger in a way that isn't possible without it. I'm likely not going back to pinpoint barrier.
I remember that video of yours, it was pretty cool. I just dislike archon tp, but on lower MP even the DPS loss from that is rather inconsequential.
I run Scramble if I'm doing team VotA games and I refuse to be taxied. The survivability drop is noticeable, though. But for mid-high MP levels, Scramble TeleArchon is the way to go. I think I can comfortably say that if you have 94% damage reduction or so without Energy Armor in Archon form and about 700K buffed DPS or so, Scramble TeleArchon is very much viable on MP10.
Diablo III MVP | Forever a Wizard
Archon Wizard Video Guide Series:
94% reduction seems a little excessive, but you do have very high standards for survivability. I'm barely below 91% and act 1 is no problem. For acts 2 and 3 I'd probably want a percent more. But this is precisely why its almost always a good idea to take stacking survivability stats seriously even as an archon wizard rather than take them for granted from buffs.
TeleArchon...I just can't warm up to yet, but that's probably mostly because I'm not at the crazy DPS levels you guys are. Even on MP7-MP8 it feels sluggish, and I wouldn't even attempt it higher than that with my gear level.
But scarily enough, the numbers you listed are possible, and people are starting to hit them. Even for lesser geared players, if they are geared in a balanced way, it makes a lot of sense. If the goal is to "do" the highest MP possible, then pinpoint barrier would likely be a must to stay alive. But if the goal to farm optimally, going as fast as possible at the MP where you can will win, and that's what scramble and teleport give you.
e.g. my DPS puts me at a point where MP10 solo is mostly out of reach, but MP9 is completely faceroll. For me it makes perfect sense to drop pb for scramble, as the former doesn't really give me any benefit. The surprise for me was that it was actually completely viable in group MP10. (Though the group needs to be good)
Keeping it active can be tricky if you're killing stuff before even reaching it. But if you're at this point, it would make sense IMO to either bump the MP and/or to switch to archon:teleport. There's a balance between damage output and mobility that needs to be maintained. If you're taking long enough to kill things that moving faster won't benefit you, then that's a problem. But if you're killing things so fast that you're spending more time moving than killing, then that's an issue, too, and its one that most archons that try to play on their "optimal" MP likely run into without having any mobility skills.
Edited by silverfire#1855 on 9/13/2013 11:26 AM PDT
Jaetch already has and he's not the only one. But its frankly a very silly thing to gear towards when there are hundreds of better ways to kill ubers in this game. A good archon wizard is a good farming (particularly trash killing) machine. An end-game archon wizard is one that farms loot and xp exceptionally well, even if they're useless in ubers.
OK. Archon isn't an uber spec unless you think refreshing archon and lasting 15 seconds is fun. Archon shouldn't be judged by an uber run. Clearing zones and getting loot are more important criteria.
If I had the EHP for it, I'd probably switch to scramble. I could probably still survive reasonably well on MP9 even with scramble, but I prefer to be able to gain life against RD.
DPS-wise, Shocking Aspect is probably more edps than pinpoint for most of Archon farming. Otherwise, just the strike from Storm Armor does about the same damage for me as pinpoint against 2 targets, so for 3+ targets pinpoint effective dps > storm armor effective dps. The added mobility likely outweighs the dps difference though. And it's wicked fun to run fast.
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