Diablo® III

[Guide] Archon Rebirth (GR87+ PTR)


12/16/2013 06:54 AMPosted by nitrocan
Also, get the new arcane whatever set that gives you all archon runes at once, total destruction!

Yes, that's a must. It's actually mentioned under Archon skill slot.

It's about time Wizard sets are getting some buffs from the devs :)
The new archon set, is nice, can someone post it here?
Now that PTR and Closed Beta are closing down and the patch is just around the corner, it's time for another bump and to show the latest stage of this build progress. If there's still others looking forwards to playing with Archon, then this is something that could help you with it.

This "project" originally started with the first datamined info when I was still very optimistic about the future of Archon from day 1 so I made a post about it claiming that Archon may still work in the end. Well, since then I got ever more excited about Archon as more information came along and I've been updating this with new information as it has been coming along and it has been going through all kinds of changes.

Unfortunately I was never able to get access to the beta, but I did some testing on the PTR and was able to test many things to that extent.

01/11/2014 05:46 AMPosted by SuperFreak
The new archon set, is nice, can someone post it here?

This is for everyone. The Archon set and many other items for this build can be found in this video. Thanks Moses! :)


Here's some of the more recent thoughts also since then summarized in the build. http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/8181828412?page=2#31
So I hear Vyr's set doesn't grant every archon rune. Could you offer anything in that line? I heard the improved and pure power aren't included. I'd really like to know. We could always use archon with one of the 2 that dont work with it.
04/09/2014 07:32 AMPosted by CptNinjetty
So I hear Vyr's set doesn't grant every archon rune. Could you offer anything in that line? I heard the improved and pure power aren't included. I'd really like to know. We could always use archon with one of the 2 that dont work with it.

After making the previous update I was able to get 3+1 to test it out myself. And this is still the case.

It must be a bug that's probably intended to be fixed soon(tm), at least I hope so. While we wait for that using Pure Power is probably in general the best solution for rifting and such. However if doing fast runs such as T6 Hell Rift with Vyr's, then the damage could be more useful and cooldown less relevant. I was able to reach up to 2677m xp and 12.5m gold with a full hour timed best run with the Teleport rune before reaching 3+1 Vyr's.

I'm still looking for Vyr's boots but have finally found Gloves of Worship.

I've made some additions to the build. Spellsteal could be replaced with one of the (preferably) Arcane runes for EB after finding Wand of Woh.

Also after doing more testing I'm leaning towards using Unstable Anomaly instead of Illusionist as the cooldown is so low that Teleport can be used all the time and the additional MS isn't really that necessary. It will also help keep the shrines up. UA is what I used for T6 Hell Rift as well to maintain Pools of Reflection.

Also corrected a few bits of outdated information.
Edited by dominatus#2534 on 4/19/2014 4:01 AM PDT
Much has been refined in the guide since my last post. I've now gained sufficient gear to display the Arcane Archon build in action in all it's glory so I've added two Path I videos to the guide. It's so good that I'd rather not even touch Path II. :)

Path I T6 Speed Rift: http://youtu.be/bxuxGFAdCyU
Path I T6 Bounties & Rift: http://youtu.be/BUYVTFnsWKI
Edited by dominatus#2534 on 5/20/2014 5:51 AM PDT
Vid of 1 hour of Empowered Express T6 Rifting with 78.12% CDR.


I'm using the Born's optional gear setup for easy % CDR and life bonus. Safe Passage and Spellsteal further increase my survival. A balanced setup prevents you from dying and losing the Emp shrine. It's part of the reason why I've been able to reach over 50b pool in the latest video.


I had very good RNG with Empowered shrines found within an ~hour during T6 Rifts.

In the case of an Emp shrine found within a Rift. Here's how to do it.

1. Save additional Emp shrine for after the Rift Guardian is dead.
2. Go back to the Emp shrine spot using the shortest route and portal to town next to it.
3. Complete Rift to initiate the Rift shutdown countdown.
4. Enter back to the Rift from your portal and wait until 6 seconds or so to take the shrine just to be safe.
5. Portal out and Teleport back to the stone to open a new one.

You can save 2-3 minutes of buffing time with this.

I tried to appromixate each rift clear time from clicking to enter the opened portal to looting the essentials from the Rift Guardian and entering back to town despite if I actually spent more time inside the rift after that. I excluded everything else.
I can normally clear under 10 mins more consistently without the significant recording lag, which on top of everything else also increases loading times significantly. Normally there's less Empowered shrines per hour and it takes several more seconds to open the Rift after buffing a shrine in GoH.

1st Rift (9:50) Used GoH Prebuffed Empowered shrine
2nd Rift (10:00) Used Empowered shrine found within 1st Rift
3rd Rift (8:20) Used GoH Prebuffed Empowered shrine
4th Rift (9:50) Used Empowered shrine found within 3rd Rift
5th Rift (6:40) Used Empowered shrine found within 4th Rift
6th Rift (7:20) Used Empowered shrine found within 5th Rift

Close to having enough time to complete the sixth T6 Rift. Lost time to all the lag related things and during one Rift I stayed a bit longer after completion. I also had to stop to salvage some stuff due to the Rift shard cap.
It's more realistic to say that 5 completed Rifts in an hour is sustainable without the lag and with normal Empowered shrine availability.

Theoretical average time to buff Emp in GoH is 3.5 mins without recording loading lag and normal server lag conditions. I've had it take as many as 16 games once. But that was then followed by 1-3 games several times. The average buff game amount is now at 5.4 games for me, which is actually lower but still consistent with the 1/6 equal shrines theory in 2.0.5.

It took 8.666 minutes for average clear here. Let's guesstimate at least lowered time to 8.5 minutes guaranteed average clear time without recording lag or other latency issues.

8.5*5 rifts is 42.5 minutes.
3.5*5 Emp shrine GoH buffs is 17.5 minutes.

This brings it to an hour for 5 Rifts. But it's not that simple.
It's become apparent to me that I pretty much always, at least on average find a minimum of 1 Emp shrine during 1 hour of T6 Rifting. The 4 shrines found here are the most ever. So even 1 Emp shrine found during rifting lowers the time it takes to buff shrines by up to 2-3 minutes. The more, the better.
This imo makes it almost guaranteed that 5 Rifts can be completed within an hour with this setup.

Of course things can be slowed down by looting and salvaging more things. Clearing Hell Rift with the remaining shrine duration is what I've often done. I just wanted to see how much I can do in an hour without that here.

It takes the right level of gear for right Torment and the right way of clearing to be able to do it within 10 minutes. I've been able to do it by clearing all non Emp shrines with Nemesis Bracers unless I missclicked. A large part is also the RNG for the type of Rift that you get stuck with.

In 2.1.0 they're likely to make it so that Rift progress is based on monster health. This should make elites even more preferable. Without really knowing much at this point, I think this method may be useful for speed Tiered Rifts.

In 2.1.0 they may also be adding legendary gems as rewards from tiered Rifts, and it's possible that one of the gems has cooldown reduction, which would be interesting for this build.

I've heard claims of very high efficiency of the too OP Wand of Woh, but I've yet to acquire it myself or test how efficient it really would be with Archon in filling the Archon downtime and whether it would be more efficient without the shrine prebuffing, than normal or very good Emp shrine conditions with shrine buffing as shown on this video. In any case Wand of Woh could be excellent for groups, when the Emp shrine is unavailable. For example with Aughild's Helm & Shoulders and Strongarm Bracers.

I'm also adding this here, as I think people would want to know about it.

This is what I found using 4 Vyr's.

In 2.0.5 I recently carried out some testing of Combustion damage and Archon elements with 4 Vyr's with the help of legacy +min damage testing gear.

In order to get your highest gear element damage bonus to the damage of Combustion you need the corresponding element Archon rune for it to work.

I've only tested the following runes with Arcane and Fire elements. It's reasonable to assume the same goes for other elements as well.

Improved Archon with 20% Arcane Element
Combustion did 171049 damage

Combustion with 20% Arcane Element
Combustion did 142541 damage


Then I tried the same with fire.

Improved Archon with 20% Fire Element
Combustion did 143488 damage

Combustion with 20% Fire Element
Combustion did 172185 damage


The numbers vary slightly because the items I used didn't have the exact same amount of int, but you get the picture.
I like your guide. Certainly something I'm striving towards. Just wish the game would actually give me the Vyr pieces. Only have boots thus far after hours and hours and hours of playing.
Updated build guide for 2.1 PTRv3.

Note that Path I is becoming history with 2.1 and Path II is not testable on PTR as it requires the significant grind for a Rank 50 Gogok.

Path I was born out of desperation due to bad itemization and was my chosen way to play until the upcoming changes. However now there will be new items for Path II Archon. Also shrines are removed when entering a GR, and wouldn't have lasted long enough for higher GR anyway.

Path II is looking much more viable with 2.1 and is what I'll be switching to most likely.

The combined effect of Leoric's Crown up to doubles gem effect with a perfect roll and Gogok of Swiftness legendary gem explained in the build will do wonders.

I was calling for some kind of buff to Archon cooldown, among the suggestions was adding a legendary affix for a Wizard hat. Leoric's and Gogok do just that.

They also added "The Swami", but I won't be including that as part of an Archon build. Basically the item is designed (in PTRv3) for a zero % CDR build that also has the skill Archon on the bar, but doesn't count as a dedicated Archon build.

All in all Archon looks to be fun with 2.1, but will it be able to reach high GR? A lot of issues with "melee" classes survival and Archon is pretty much a "melee" class in order to do decent dps.

I did some Archon testing with PTRv1 before CC immunity, before the LoH buffs, before the addition of legendary gems, and before shrines were removed on entering a GR and when I reached GR29, things started to become very difficult to tank. I was forced to take distance in order to have a chance at surviving some of the elite packs. So you can expect something similar with Path II and it's close but not quite comparably low cooldown as my Path I early PTRv1 Empowered testing of GR.

Here's some of the other promising gems in addition to Gogok of Swiftness for Path II.

Bane of the Powerful
Requires high rank in general to be useful.
Gain 30% increased damage for 20 seconds after killing an elite pack.
Upgrade rank grants: +1 second buff duration.
Rank 50 unlocks: Gain 20% bonus damage to elites.

Bane of the Trapped
This Rank 50 unlock isn't actually needed due to Slow Time, so it would be easy to leave this gem for last in upgrades based on that.
Increase damage against enemies under control-impairing effects by 20%.
Upgrade rank grants: +0.5% damage.
Rank 50 unlocks: Gain an aura that reduces the movement speed of enemies within 15 yards by 30%.

Needs high rank as well. Only used when needed.
30% of all damage taken is instead staggered and dealt to you over 3 seconds.
Upgrade rank grants: +0.1 second to the stagger duration.
Rank 50 unlocks: 10% chance on kill to clear all staggered damage.

I looked up what Vigilante can do with RoRG and Vyr's.

If you use Vigilante you lose from the Crimson's set bonus 2000 life regen and 50 all res and *2% CDR (this translates to about 0.5 second extra Archon cooldown wait or extra time to given to buff Gogok)

Using Vigilante and thus dropping Crimson's allows to drop any Vyr's piece.

So since I was going to use Born's anyway and normally use Strongarms as well I was going through what Vigilante would allow me to do.

Born's Sword&Shoulders + Aughild's Chest&Bracers
Born's Sword&Chest + Aughild's Shoulders&Bracers
Born's Chest&Shoulders + Random 1H weapon + Strongarms.

Born's Sword&Shoulders + Magefist + Strongarms
Born's Sword&Shoulders + Cindercoat + Strongarms
Born's Sword&Shoulders + Firebird chest/gloves/pants/boots + Firebird source (+500 int) if not using Seeker and Mirrorball to buff Gogok + Strongarms

Born's Sword&Shoulders + Frostburn + Winter Flurry if not using Seeker and Mirrorball to buff Gogok + Strongarms

As you can see there's some possibilities with Vigilante and I'm sure there's more than this.

For Arcane I'm also thinking of AT:Disruption instead of Seeker to buff Gogok. If there's enough mobs it shouldn't be too difficult combined with BH and would give a short damage buff. And I could drop Mirrorball for something else provided I'd have something else with 8% CDR. This would still likely translate to a loss in vita.

Leg boots and pants may not give that much of a boost as weapon element or weapon procs. Pox Faulds ain't bad though.

These procs will also scale with element as well. If using element other than Arcane, then the other element through scaling weapon procs could give some competition for MLW.

Going through some ideas that increase survival. LoH seems to work very well on PTRv3 with increased LoH amounts on gear and LoH giving the full effect once per any attack now.

High % CDR and APS, which is increased by Gogok as well, will further improve this. So using Arcane Blast and Arcane Strike at the same time can generate significant LoH.

Potential items to use LoH on with Path II would be Unity base LoH roll (2.0.6) while rerolling int to socket. RoRG with 8% CDR or OS and base LoH roll with (2.0.6) while rerolling mainstat to 8% CDR or OS. 1H weapon such as crafted Born's sword. LoH on weapon removes the possibility of a simultaneous Life per Kill roll. So get that from Chest+Belt+Pants.

For gloves it's not possible to get LoH because 8% CDR takes precedence. For the perfect bracers roll you can replace the usual vita/ar roll with LoH.

Amulet is not doable. It's possible to get LoH on helm with equal roll as on bracers, but it would come at a much larger vita cost than on a bracers.

Path I can also use 2.0.6 version of String of Ears with it's inherent LoH roll (removed in 2.1).

So Path II potential slots for LoH would be in rings: RoRG & Unity. Bracers: Strongarms/Aughild's. And 1H weapon (any but more easily achieved with Born's).

Update: LoH has been normalized and now procs at 100% effect once per attack without regard for proc coefficients. Did some LoH (Life per attack) calculations for Path II (CDR on everything else except one ring and amulet) based on PTRv3 LoH values.

I used these items with "LoH" max values:
Born's Furious Wrath 10% CDR, 14742 LoH (Ramaladni's Gift)
RoRG with OS, mainstat rerolled to 8% CDR, 7370 LoH
Unity with mainstat rerolled to OS, 7370 LoH
Paragon IAS and CDR maxed and 6189.5 LoH
Bracer Vita/Allres rerolled to 7370 LoH

Total 43041.5 LoH

Rank 50 Gogok maxed: It starts ramping up and only when the target doesn't move and has enough health can it be expected to be maxed. The more targets there are the easier it will be to max.
1.4 APS (Sword) +7% IAS (RoRG) +10% IAS (Paragon) +20% IAS (Gogok 10 stacks)
1.918 APS

Arcane Blast ~95266 LoH per second
Arcane Strike ~82553 LoH per second
Total: 177.8k LoH (Life per attack) healing per second

Rank 50 Gogok at zero stacks.
1.638 APS and less % CDR

Arcane Blast ~76233 LoH per second
Arcane Strike ~70502 LoH per second
Total: 146.7k LoH (Life per attack) healing per second

These numbers don't include server lag.

Healing can still be increased further by adding some life regen from Paragon + Templar and maybe boots/pants.

Note that Arcane Blast values are theoretical and are based on perfectly timed spamming in order to not lose any healing, whereas Arcane Strike can simply be spammed by holding down the button. DW was bugged and didn't give any LoH during testing.

I think this could be a promising way to give Archon some additional tanking ability in higher GR than it was previously possible as long as dps output will be enough to reach even that high. LoH won't however help that much when going too high in GR as incoming damage will simply be too much to handle.

This sounds interesting.

"Star Pact has also been redesigned, and is now a little reminiscent of the Barbarian's Ancient Spear (Boulder Toss) rune. You'll be able to expend all remaining Arcane Power for a massive amount of Arcane damage, with each point of additional Arcane Power spent granting a 20% damage increase."

Tal Rasha: "When you proc it it'll give you extra damage based on how much Arcane Power you have. Won't spend any."

If not using MM to proc Gogok and still managing with AT:Disruption+BH somehow it would be possible to use 3 of the Tal's source/chest/amulet/belt. Both amulet/belt with different setups would cost either 8%/10% CDR or MLWs extra arcane element + proc.

Did some Tal Rasha's 4 bonus testing on PTRv3.

I'm not sure if Familiar is bugged as it doesn't proc the meteor. Heard MW doesn't proc it either.

But I found a way to proc all 4 meteor types with just doing arcane Archon.

Equip legacy lvl30 Eye of Etlich "adds 2% to cold damage" on your follower.
Equip legacy lvl60 SoJ "adds 6% to fire/lightning damage" on your follower.
Equip any weapon with lightning/fire damage roll on your follower.

Your follower now procs the 3 meteor types with full damage and if it's the Templar it should proc them next to your target as Archon is melee pretty much as well. There may be other ways to proc but item damage procs generally don't proc the meteors unless bugged.

Guide updated to PTRv4.

Furnace nerfed and removed from guide.

Familiar procs Tal Meteor again. Weapon procs don't as I think is intended. Legacy Eye of Etlich no longer needed on follower. Just use Azurewrath for cold, Legacy SoJ for lightning, and Sparkflint gives fire.

MLW damage scaled back to 25% max roll. This makes Tal seem better than previously.

AT: Disruption was replaced with fire rune. So I replaced that and added 2 new ways to proc Gogok with AT: Static Discharge and SP: Power Affinity when gear setup doesn't allow the use of Mirrorball and MM: Seeker.

Tal Rasha's seems promising with the Star Pact meteor buff, so I looked into it and included it in both Path I and Path II as additional gear setup choices.

The Swami was redone on PTR as well. It no longer has an internal cooldown. You can get 2 different Archon damage stacks going simultaneously now with low enough cooldown.

I included The Swami in Path I with Empowered shrine, but atm I don't see any room for it in Path II, the GR build. I actually find Path I interesting again for T6 in 2.1 due to The Swami. It's a good Archon item, only if you can have enough % CDR without it. The Swami needs to be made into 50% Archon CDR or another helm with 50% Archon CDR needs to be added.

Gogok gained more IAS to 30% and buff duration to 4 seconds, so it's more likely to stay up with Archon on high ranks. New % CDR unlock at Rank 200.

PTRv5 updated. Some seem to refer to this as PTRv4.

I've added a viable The Swami setup to Path II. I'm expecting to use either AT: Cascade (Arcane) or Static Discharge (Lightning) with this setup to actually do some dps during Archon cooldown now with the higher cooldown this helm and the Gogok change causes. The AP pool probably lasts long enough. Most of The Swami buff duration will still be available during the next Archon. But this level of cooldown requires a 2.1 Unity drop. Which I assume (based on leaderboard inspection) now rolls with a random affix. This affix would thus have to be either open socket or 8% CDR.

SP: Power Affinity was removed from guide for now.

Gogok of Swiftness nerfed. But is much easier to upgrade with Rank 25 unlocking % CDR. Now gives 1% IAS & CDR per stack. Up to 15 stacks. It now takes longer to proc, and it also gives less total CDR.

You can easily get this to a minimum of Rank 33. Upgrade chance is linked to the GR level and gem rank now. If you can reach GR31, but fail it, you get 3 chances to upgrade your gem.

Gogok starts with 50% proc chance, so we can expect to get reasonably effortlessly at least 83% proc chance if one of your classes can reach GR31, even if failing it.

edit, got the base chance wrong: "If you attempt to upgrade a rank 1 Legendary Gem in a level 30 Greater Rift the chance for success is 100%; however a rank 31 Legendary Gem will only have a 30% chance for success in a level 30 Greater Rift and a level 32 Legendary Gem will have a 15% chance of success"

This change has resulted in higher Archon cooldowns across the board on all of my Path II setups. I now estimate that it will take 4 seconds or less with MM: Seeker and Mirrorball to fully proc a Rank 33 Gogok. This is in line with the new cooldown of these new build setups as well.

Paragon LoH and LPS boosted a little.

Here's an important thread regarding the future of Archon:
Edited by dominatus#2534 on 8/13/2014 7:46 AM PDT
This is the first live 2.1 update with actual play testing.

I've done a few changes to the builds, and both my ability to test these builds and setups have been limited by the lack of availability of new 2.1 gear.

I'm now favoring as before only Arcane for Path I but what's new is that I now think that Lightning is superior for Path II. It's all because of AT: Static Discharge. It seems to be doing decent dps and seems to proc Gogok of Swiftness more easily than AT: Cascade (it's more a feeling than anything at this point), which is my Arcane setup Archon cooldown damage dealer. My Star Pact does less damage with this however, but it may still be worth it to use Lightning and AT:SD instead.

There's still the MM: Seeker with MB setup as well, with which I was able to clear GR29 as well. The lack of % CDR with my current gear was really frustrating with it, though. I originally made it just to quickly buff GoS, then they nerfed GoS and the minimum cooldown went up. It's still at a good level, but I haven't been able to get the gear for it. Basically the more cooldown you have, I think the better AT becomes in comparison to MM. Mine was double that which I wanted to test.

I've only tried a few of the top setups in that order so far with limited gear.

So I've made considerable progress, and Archon seems to be shaping up for T6 and up to at least GR30 just about how I imagined it for 2.1.

Basically I've beaten GR29 twice and I've attempted GR30 with Vyr's Archon twice and the better run came out 2 minutes short (time ran out during RG). That was done before I had any leg gems and a worse Swami than the one I got now. I still need more than a few things. So I'm confident that at least GR30 is doable with Archon. But it's clear that Vyr's is a far cry from Firebird. The issues with Archon were stated in the above thread link. Basically Archon damage dries out at high GR due to lack of stacks resulting from flawed "on kill" mechanic. Also The Swami does nothing at all on the majority of rift guardian on GR. Other issues mentioned there exist as well. The lack of Black Hole on the 4th empty skill slot for one. There's also some substantial survival issues on "high" for Archon GR levels. I've attempted to stack LoH to help that. Doesn't help that DW is completely bugged with LoH atm. The direction with Swami would be good for Archon, if they'd just fix the other issues in the future.

Anyway the Swami has quite grown on me and thanks to it T6 for both Path I and Path II is now even more ownage than it was before. This is the level where Archon still has the required dps to gain tens of kill stacks continuously.

With Swami I seem to now be able to consistently clear T6 with Path I in 6½ minutes + shrine buffing with 4 rift level depth.
T6 with Swami and Path II with AT: Static Discharge I have been able to clear in 8 minutes at best so far with 2 rift level depth. This basically means that buffing shrines may no longer be worth it, though that play style while constant risks to losing shrines is clearly superior to this with TP and Combustion positioning especially. But it's the total time of clear+buffing or just clear that counts.


AT - T6 - GR30: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#eNjSmO!hSbi!Ybabbc

For up to T6/GR24 you can swap UA with either Illusionist or EE and Event Horizon with Spellsteal.

MM(MB) - T6 - GR30: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#aNjSmO!hSbi!YbaZcc

Same conditions as above apply.

I got a pretty nice Swami with LoH on it and 15 sec, so I'm now thinking I might keep that for some time. Swami is a pita to roll good. They're almost all ruined by the APoC roll, so this was quite good. LoH seems quite useful.

Basically I'm using Tal Source+Chest+Amulet and Vyr Gloves+Pants+Boots. Haven't even seen Vigilante or Leoric's yet. I also have a Pre 2.1 LoH String of Ears, which seems nice.

Tag'Oul Coils seem to be very nice for Trials. It's possible to chain 4 or more wells. Though it's possible that it may be necessary to use other builds or classes to get a higher key to upgrade gems further as Archon seems to cap out earlier for 2.1.

I may make some vids later with better gear and GR30 and so on to get a better view on 2.1.

Update: Added to Path I MLW and to Path II Tal+Swami+Vigilante(or other belt) setup the Goldwrap: Gain armor for 5 sec equal to the amount gold picked up together with the legendary gem Boon of the Hoarder. 25.0% chance on killing an enemy to cause an explosion of gold. Increase per Rank: +1.5%. Rank 25 bonus: Gain 30% increased movement speed for 2 seconds after picking up gold.

Note: Boon of the Hoarder was hotfixed and no longer works in GR. It's particularly good due to the community gold buff, especially for collecting gold now even if it isn't necessary for T6 difficulty level. Still allows to drop survival related skills/passives or affixes for T6.

This gem only drops in the goblin realm and it seems quite promising in increasing survival.

Added also for Lightning AT: Wreath of Lightning
15% chance on hit to gain a Wreath of Lightning, dealing 600.0% weapon damage as Lightning every second to nearby enemies for 3 seconds.
Increase per Rank: +10.0%.
Rank 25 bonus: While under the effect of the Wreath of Lightning, gain 25% increased movement speed. Had success with it as a Rank 0 gem in both GR Trial and T6.

One nice thing about Lightning AT/Archon and the top choice of BH Event Horizon being Arcane, is that when properly executed, this allows you to proc the corrupted angels shielding type to Arcane damage type, and then allowing you to do full damage with Lightning.

Also found a way to increase dps with follower. This should be especially useful on higher GR RG.

Bul-Kathos's Wedding Band scales with follower dps and eventually with mob hp when it's low enough. I'm not entirely sure how exactly it works, but that's how I've seen it behave. Start high and stay there long, at low mob hp it goes lower. Seems to be a bit different than it used to be when it scaled much lower, especially when using on character itself. But follower seems to do well with it. I'm seeing the possibility of up to hundreds of millions of damage on higher GR RG with follower from it. With Tal's set perhaps the best way to equip it is to use the Lightning AT setup with Legacy Eye of Etlich to proc Cold Meteor (however this is very rare, but not the only way to do it) and by rerolling Azurewrath element to Arcane in order to keep the freeze from it. Familiar for fire and AT/Archon for Lightning.

There's some possibilities with MM: Conflagrate and fire similar to Seeker. The debuff could for example last through Archon increasing dps. It's worth testing out, but I'm trying to keep this away from fire element due to Firebird. I've left out Disintegrate as well entirely from the build, though it used to be there. I could look into Disintegrate at some later time when I get enough Ramaladni's Gifts. Atm it just seems that the base damage on it doesn't scale as high as it does with good use of BH and AT and it also uses up more AP, which is finally good now due to MW: Conduit when using AT: Static Discharge.
Edited by dominatus#2534 on 8/30/2014 8:27 AM PDT
I like all the work you've done and may play around with this on my alt...but I just cannot see using a Born's sword in an endgame build. I think a Sunkeeper could be amazing, however.
08/28/2014 09:55 AMPosted by Ossian
I like all the work you've done and may play around with this on my alt...but I just cannot see using a Born's sword in an endgame build. I think a Sunkeeper could be amazing, however.

I'd love to not use it if I could get more % CDR or Archon duration was increased/base cooldown lowered and so on. But in addition I also need that 15% life now much more than I used to.

You can basically see how "end game" the build is, if you take my word for the testing so far.
I'm using a Lightening/Archon build and find the biggest problem with higher grift levels is that it doesn't do enough damage.
08/28/2014 10:01 AMPosted by LuckyDog
I'm using a Lightening/Archon build and find the biggest problem with higher grift levels is that it doesn't do enough damage.

The devs are probably aware of the on kill mechanic issue needing changing and that Archon builds weren't doing well either on PTR or live that I'm aware of. It just doesn't scale well with higher mob hp. I'm hopeful that they will look into that in the future. That alone would probably up Archon GR levels considerably.

They can either keep Archon as a bridge to buff other skills with Swami and change the on kill mechanic to once per attack cycle, add Black Hole and maybe lower the cooldown and do some other additional buffs for Archon. If you could get damage by hitting the enemy, you'd do a great deal of it even on high GR RGs.. The Swami would be going all the time as well, even more so with lowered cooldown on Archon or increased duration.


They could change Archon to some kind of Epiphany skill. I would prefer buffing the current Archon itself.
Added MM: Conflagrate and AT: Flame Ward as fire options to Path II.
Also added Thundergod's Vigor as option for Path II lightning setup.

First 2.1 video added of first GR31 "clear" with Path II Lightning/AT setup. Gear and build and other setup are shown in detail at the end of video.

Video: http://youtu.be/c2_4YcQz5Dw

LoH was bugged with DW, but it still had to be used at times.

I had between 66.36 and 71.39% CDR depending on the amount of GoS stacks at any given time. I attempted to activate Archon when close to high stacks, but sometimes you just need to do it earlier for various reasons.

This video proves that Vyr's Archon can clear at least GR31 with the right gear (not the right or completed gear on video) and decent GR rng.

RG kill was roughly 53 seconds short and it seems to take at least 3 minutes to kill RG on this GR level because The Swami does nothing thanks to the on kill mechanic unless you get lucky with Saxtris or some such RG with adds.

I estimate the corpse runs to have lasted roughly 80 seconds, so this would have been a clear otherwise.

It may even be possible to do GR32, but I'm not sure yet. GR31 is for sure. First thing is a Unity with open socket or 8% CDR roll on it for additional gems.

Still haven't found Leoric's btw. Got one Vigilante belt but not a perfect roll, and Tgods seems quite good now that I'm focused on Lightning.
Here's the best GR31 yet with ~11:58 time.

Video: http://youtu.be/Itdt-8Xr9nc

RNG very good with one level of Keep Depths filled with zombies/skeletons/grotesques. In addition RG didn't require much movement and spawned some adds, and that buffed even the Swami this time a little. As a result compared to previous video RG I saved about half a minute on the RG alone.

Setup is identical to before. Going to try not using paragon AP with Static Discharge to see if I could get some more dps that way, because it's better at proccing AP through Conduit than the other AT runes.

First try at GR32 suggests that it will be possible to at least reach RG. Survival was pretty tough, but had no problems at RG, as I had one of the easy ones. But at this point it seems to me that in order to beat GR32 it would require the bug fix on DW LoH. And 2-3 legendary gems with very good rng on the GR itself. It might be necessary to use the Moratorium gem to increase survival. I haven't tested it yet, but heard it's quite good at reducing spiky incoming damage. Another gem would be to increase damage. Maybe Bane of the Trapped. I've looted at least a dozen Int RoRG without open socket or CDR though, so getting 3rd leg gem may require dropping 8% CDR and I don't know how that would play out with efficiency.

It still seems like there's too many issues with gearing for enough % CDR. I could basically use Vigilante belt and a socket RoRG to gain the same % CDR as now, but then is it worth it to lose 15% Lightning, the proc and imo very useful high lightning res roll especially when considering that GR32 is the goal? Is the gain from Bane of the Trapped for example ultimately worth it?

It may be possible to clear GR32 eventually, but I think that GR32 will be the cap for Vyr's Archon without changes.

Also fastest AT/Lightning T6 clear with UA replaced by EE is now at exactly 6 minutes with 1 Conduit and Gogok as the only leg gem. Still can't reach the best Path I times without shrines but taking shrine buffing time into account there's not much point in Path I anymore other than for the different play style of breezing through everything. It's best used now if Emp shrine pops up during T6.


Guide restructured.

Path I has been renamed as Emp Rebirth and moved to the end of the guide as it's no longer important in 2.1.
Path II has been renamed as AT/MM Rebirth and moved to the front of the guide.

I also refined the setups AT/MM with my findings.

Finally I have looted and tested Leoric's @96% and I was afraid that this would happen.

Leoric's might actually be better for T6 than Swami. Way to go, and I've already also beaten GR30 with it and MM. However, it may be that Swami is better for the highest GR even in its current 2.1 state, in part due to how good AT:SD is and in general due to the need for more damage. More testing would be required to tell for sure.

Anyway my new T6 record is 5:57 without pylons with Leoric's and MM: Seeker. These times make it completely pointless to continue with the old Emp Rebirth, though the playstyle is still more fun, if you don't take the shrine buffing into account. Imo it's not worth it to continue with Emp Rebirth with these cooldown levels and this efficiency.

I also modified the MM setups and they're now all with lower cooldown than before. Just as I previously thought, the lower the cooldown, the better MM becomes in relation to AT.

My 96% Leoric's brought my Archon cooldown down to 2.22 seconds (~2.07 with 100%) with Crimson's bonus, and 2.71 seconds (~2.56 with 100%) with Vigilante belt.

The 2.22 second cooldown enabled me to more often than not, reactivate Archon with 15 GoS stacks before GoS expired, leaving me the entire Archon duration to restack GoS. It's surprisingly difficult to pull off even with 2.71 seconds, because you can't guarantee that the last GoS stack happened exactly when Archon expired. So I'd definitely want a 100% Leoric's still.

Also there's bug that I found and already reported with Tal's set. It has to do with Homing Pads and Follower.

It only happens under the following conditions 100% of the time. If your follower procs Tal Meteor on a mob while you're town portaling with Homing Pads and a mob hits you during this time, you're always interrupted. This may seem like a rare event, but it actually happens almost every time when for example doing bounties.

So they buffed the leg drop to 100% from T6 caches and this finally enabled me to get a temporary open socket RoRG so it seems like a natural item to the build now. The real difficulty now is getting an open socket Unity.

If you're doing the AT:SD setup with ~15% AT damage on boots, note that if you have Tal's 3 bonus, Templar regen skill with Conduit and Paragon RCR, you can channel it infinitely on an RG (depends on RG size and movement on whether enough bolts hit it) and if you can tank it with just AT:SD, it doesn't spawn adds for Swami stacks, and it doesn't use CC on you, interrupting channeling, then under these conditions (without damage procs) your AT:SD will do more damage than your Archon, so activating Archon may actually slightly lower your dps. This is potentially further affected by procs such as Mirinae.

Also added the following gems to the build:

Mirinae, Teardrop of the Starweaver
15% chance on hit to smite a nearby enemy for 2000% weapon damage as Holy.
Increase per Rank: +40%.

This seems good somewhat well Archon high CDR AB and high APS AS proc rates and also with MM: Seeker proc rates with MB and AT:SD during Archon CD.

Gem of Efficacious Toxin
Poison all enemies hit for 2000% weapon damage over 10 seconds.
Increase per Rank: +50%.
All enemies you poison take 10% increased damage from all sources.
Rank 25 bonus: Smite a nearby enemy every 5 seconds.

This is a gem with a more balanced damage output without care for proc coefficients, so it may work well with skills that have a lower proc. It's also said to help with Corrupted Angels shielding.

The problem with Bane of the Powerful for example is that you need to kill all rare minions in order for it to proc. This doesn't always happen with Archon in high GR.

With Wreath of Lightning the problem becomes the GR. While sometimes it seems to be up the entire Archon duration, it isn't always the case. It's not a balanced proc and sometimes it can proc on top of itself just refreshing the duration and then no proc after it runs out. For this reason Mirinae seems better. It seems nice enough for clearing trash on lower difficulties though, just because it hits so many mobs and the high amount of mobs ensures many procs as well.


I've been 50 seconds short on a 3 level GR32 clear with just 2 legendary gems and before some additional follower optimizations. Third gem and GR32 is guaranteed with good rng. And even without it I think it's doable. So I mostly need a socket Unity now. I could also do with a Arcane/Cold Born's sword to help with EE further, but it's almost impossible to craft with very good LoH level.

Still favoring AT:SD and Lightning Archon and Swami at least for GR31+.

Now using TF instead of Azurewrath for Templar. Same as before, damage rerolled to Arcane. It brings some additional dps with the proc. In addition TF procs the slow CC effect (50% chance for each Templar swing and comes with 1/APS internal cooldown) meaning it's almost perma uptime on RG.

This means that you can get permaish Bane of the Trapped proc even with AT:SD outside of the secondary unlock range. When you move too far, the Templar disengages however, but generally you don't need to do that. And sometimes it's enough to just move somewhat away yet still be in secondary proc range anyway. Anyway it's very useful.

Mostly looking forward to using Mirinae and Bane of the Trapped with Gogok simultaneously, if I can get a socket Unity. Could try with less % CDR as well with another Unity though, if I could afford to reroll one. Haven't tested some gems still.

I'm favoring EE over Audacity now and have been for a while.

Bane of the Trapped also seemed to increase the damage of Bul Kathos's ring on follower.

Just deck out the Templar with lots of str/sockets/rubies to increase the damage of the proc. ChD is capped. Mine with about 283k sheet does roughly up to about 500 million damage per minute in total with decent TF+BK and this doesn't yet include the additional Meteor damage or the EE procs it gives me from the additional Tal's meteor procs.

BK ring on Templar does full damage until mob hits 800m or less hp.

UPDATE: I recently hit 2.03 APS with new Vyr's gloves. It seems better for trash and a little bit worse for some RGs as AT:SD is as a result no longer perma channelable for me on a single target.

I previously listed some AT speed coefficient around the usual APS levels, copied directly from this mechanics thread: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/8770117237

However after further testing it seems to me that the information is at least partially outdated.

It listed the following numbers just to pick a few examples from the thread at the top end of realistically reachable APS levels.

Outdated info:

APS min-max = the same, and ticks per second
1.81819 - 2.00000 / 6.00000
2.00001 - 2.22222 / 6.66667

From my Ghom testing I'm certain that the above is no longer accurate in 2.1.0. When I'm using a Sword with the base 1.4 APS and 45% IAS total with 15 stacks of Gogok, I can observe a very noticeable change in both my dps (kill time) and AP consumption.

44.8% IAS with 49/50 paragon IAS gives a completely different result than 50/50 with 45% IAS does. There's no other way to explain these results than that instead of 2.00001, the current breaking point for AT is actually between 2.0272 and 2.03 APS or Sword base APS (1.4) + 45% IAS.

UPDATE: Also added Overwhelming Desire (Act 3 cache) item and Ess of Johan as follower amulets. Legacy Eye of Etlich was always problematic, because people simply couldn't get one anymore, so I managed to find a nice way around it imo. As previously mentioned I was attempting to get a Born's Sword with rerolled element. So I got one, though not as good as I'd like it to be. I rerolled it to decent Cold element and it now procs EE. Follower no longer needs to proc EE so it becomes a contest between a low damage amulet and Cold Meteor proc on a lightning Archon setup and increased amulet damage for all follower dps sources and any additional legendary affixes the amulet might have. Both of these new amulets have promise.

Templar sheet went up from 283.7k to 384k and I think this alone translating into higher TF damage procs and melee damage already fills a nice portion of the damage of the lost Cold meteor. Add the increased damage to BK ring and that alone destroys the Cold meteor damage on targets with high health. The greater the GR the better BK scales and the better this trade becomes. I'm not sure how good the actual proc is on Odesire, but I have a decent roll for that, but it should definitely help a little bit as well. It doesn't work on Act bosses/Act minibosses or RGs though. The Ess of Johan proccing Strongarms can be useful, but sometimes the mobs can be pulled to the wrong place, and I don't have a good roll on that.
Edited by dominatus#2534 on 9/23/2014 6:14 AM PDT
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Added to Wizard Guides sticky
Finally beat GR32 and it's with 3 levels without shrines or pylons!


Just to note that in 2.1.1 Dwave LoH is still bugged as before. Follower Tal's meteors still interrupt your town portal if they proc the meteor while you're porting out with Homing Pads and a mob happens to hit you simultaneously. Combustion is still bugged as well. So use the rune element for Archon that corresponds with your highest gear element. Pure Power = Lightning.

The only change to Archon that I've seen in this patch is that it's now easier to reach GR32 on trials with Vyr's Archon.

As for the video. Many changes to gear/follower gear and even some skills from the previous GR31 video. All as usual shown at the end of the video. And pretty much covered in the above posts anyway.

Not a particularly easy run except for the first level so this was pretty good. Still looking to get that 3rd leg gem.

At times I'm using AT:SD more than necessary, because of the added survival it brings or because of the added dps it brings over Archon (I'm not joking) on some single targets until going oom. Started going oom on single targets only since I reached 2.03 APS (15 GoS), but still prefer that due to trash and not even all RGs are about SD over Archon.

The use of Archon over AT:SD depends on many variables in general. Swami in general makes the use of Archon good, it just requires lots of low hp mobs or high mob density. It's about survival as well. Can't sometimes just go directly in the middle of the mobs, despite having lots of LoH. It would be completely different if they added BH to the empty (...) Archon skill slot. That's one of the strong points of AT:SD.
Cleared GR33 as well just barely with 3 levels/wipes, no shrines or pylons but with very good trash rng for Archon&Swami.


What changed here is I stopped waiting for a socket Unity and started using a temporary non CDR Unity, which allowed the use of the third leg gem. Judging from the GR32 clear in particular Archon simply isn't up as much as it could be so it makes sense to make this short cut and use a temporary Unity with a leg gem instead. It simply doesn't drop.

I also got yet another Vyr's gloves with a slight efficiency boost.

So CDR is down from:


I've also been able to reach GR33 and GR34 with trials with the third leg gem as Bane of the Trapped. For trials it's perhaps better to swap UA for Audacity when using EE.

UPDATE: Been interesting to give GR34 a try a few times. I was able to reach GR34 RG just barely before time ran out with 2 levels and about 6 deaths or so lol. Needed 3½ minutes more on yet another Rime. Not sure what to make of GR34. It can either go completely wrong or may seem like there's actually a chance. If there's any chance of beating one it requires some seriously good RNG, little to no deaths and if so in the right place and the right RG. I doubt that happens any time soon unless I come up with something new.

Also added MLW as follower amulet. More balanced damage than ODesire and unlike it, MLW also works on RG.
Edited by dominatus#2534 on 9/28/2014 1:36 PM PDT
Back from a long break due to 2.1.2. First update.

DWave LoH is still bugged..

Nothing was done specifically for Archon. However..

Here's a list of many interesting changes that I have observed/expect to have had a positive impact on Archon efficiency.

Monster density has been increased in several Greater and Nephalem Rifts

The density in particular is very pronounced in some maps. But there are still maps with bad density at least by comparison. So you need the good maps for success.

Monster damage in Greater Rifts level 26 and higher has been reduced
Rime was an unfair opponent for melee players. The fight has been restructured so that his AoE can no longer overlap and the duration of each has been reduced. In addition, his ranged attack should be more threatening to ranged characters.

Extra Health monster affix has been removed from the game
Corrupted Angel Unholy Shield has been removed
Life per Vitality has been increased from level 67 to 70
Base Life at level 70 has been increased

Life on Hit and Life Regeneration have been increased by 25% at all levels

Bottomless Potion of Fear: Fears enemies within 12 yards for 3-4 seconds on use

I got about about 25% buff to HP and about 22% buff to LoH. This combined with the lower mob damage has made things easier.

They also made GR Trials faster. This has resulted in higher key level than previously. I'm now reaching up to GR40 (almost beating it) while beating GR39 a few times and receiving GR37 key in the process, all without ancient gear.

Build for Trials: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#eNjSmO!iSbR!Yaabbc

Here's a new video of GR35 clear @12:31 with AT:SD:
Link: http://youtu.be/ndS1l__ZXZY

Build: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#eNjSmO!iSbR!Ybabbc

I've also nearly beaten GR37 already. Some RG can take as low as 3½ minutes to take down while others can take up to 7 minutes. I had one at the high end here while starting the fight with 4 1/4 minutes remaining. Had it been another it would have been a done deal. So GR37 is confirmed within reach now with RNG without ancient gear. With ancient gear? Who knows? I mostly expect ancient gear to make it easier to reach GR37 keys and to beat GR37 more easily.

Added to guide these new legendary gems. Season 2 only from when it begins and to until it ends.

Esoteric Alteration
Gain 10% non-Physical damage reduction
Upgrade rank grants: +0.5% non-Physical damage reduction
Rank 25 unlocks: While below half Life, your resistances to Cold, Fire, Lightning, Poison, and Arcane are increased by 75%

Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard
Regenerates 10,000 Life per Second
Upgrade rank grants: +1000 Life per Second
Rank 25 unlocks: After not taking damage for 4 seconds, gain an absorb shield for 200% of your total Life per Second

I have also been eyeing this new ring. Season 2 as well.

Halo of Arlyse (ring): Your Ice Armor now provides 50-60% Melee Damage Reduction and automatically casts Frost Nova whenever you take 10% of your Life in damage

Although difficult to equip, it does sound interesting. You'd have to give up for example Born's 3 and Swami to keep 4 Tal's and 4 Vyr's and Unity or drop Tal's. Alternatively you could drop Unity, but is that worth it anymore. There's also some details still unknown about the ring, such as whether it would proc LoH through the proc. It's different from other items procs in that the rune you select for FN decides the proc effect. And FN runes do a tiny bit of damage, which procs LoH. This is why I'm uncertain if LoH would work on it, but time will tell.

Removed EMP Rebirth from guide as I haven't used or needed to use it anymore.
Removed Trag'Oul Coils due to the high speed of new GR Trials.
Removed Efficacious Toxin due to the removal of Corrupted Angel shield.

Update 1: After receiving my first ancient item (Born's sword, not a good roll but still ancient, missing cold EE as well now) I'm now able to get up to GR39 keys. Meaning keys higher than I can actually clear in time. At least I should be able to rank gems higher to about 41 or so now. It's getting difficult to tank again at 38 already. But it's still mostly about RNG. I'm not sure if ancient gear will be able to allow me to clear GR38 in time without some other changes I've not yet tried.

As for T6. I have cleared a few at ~4:22 both before the sword upgrade. Both with Leoric's. One with old Born's and another with 2H ancient Scourge test with considerably less % CDR and as T6 doesn't require that much HP or LoH either. Still that wouldn't work in GR, but it's interesting that 2H seems to get some good times on T6.

Update 2: Specified T6 build for AT:SD. New clear record 3:48 while looting full inventory.

T6 build: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#eNjSmT!iSbR!Yaabbc
Edited by dominatus#2534 on 1/16/2015 11:56 AM PST
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