Where's the love for Arcane Torrent?

I consistently see one of my favorite spells shoved under the rug for Disintegrate or RoF, even when discussing Arcane Dynamo! I get the feeling that people just aren't willing to give it a try because of how initially strange the mechanic feels ... but I urge those folks to give it a shot.

Why? What's good about Arcane Torrent?


1) Despite also being an AoE, it is more single-target damage than Disintegrate. Even with the lvl 59 runed Disintegrate after ramp-up... Disintegrate only ties ArTor & it's lvl 18 rune @ 202%.

2) It hits ~3-4 times per unit time and unlike Disintigrate it can CRIT! This not only means it can do more damage, but that it makes extremely good use of AP-on-Crit items. Especially on AoE. The missiles hitting ~5 times a second means that even a low crit-rate will still see plenty of crits. Combined with a little passive AP regen, a Wizard Hat with ArTor AP cost reduction, and a dash of 'AP-on-Crit' stats ... you can cast this indefinitely. Something you can't say about Disintegrate. (note: you could feasibly replace your Sig slot with this if geared right, however I don't recommend it because of Arcane Dynamo)

3) Critical Mass passive. See above. More crits = more AP and more cooldown reduction. Way more than Evocation. (Try combining a high-crit ArTor spec with Critical Mass ... and Archon!)

4) The AoE radius is respectable and much easier to hit groups of mobs than 'Ray' spells. Also, the missiles are cursor-based homing missiles... meaning they will change direction mid flight to your cursor, and subsequent missiles travel shorter paths resulting in a barrage-type burst mechanic when changing target locations (e.g. target just die? quickly changing targets will allow previously fired missiles en route to be redirected to your new target).

5) The missiles can travel over walls! That's right ... no more pain-in-the-!@# dirtforts blocking your spells. No more "you can't shoot a laserbeam at that angle, or over that ledge, or through that staircase". This alone is extremely satisfying.

6) The runed +15 Arcane Damage applies to Arcane Hydra, bring it a mere 1.8% damage from Lightning Hydra aka the highest DPS hydra. Also, it can bring the damage of a 'Charged Blast' Magic Missile to a damn-powerful 165%.

7) Arcane Dynamo, Arcane Dynamo, Arcane Dynamo. Using this passive's charge on ArTor means it will do 250% * 1.15 = 288% damage as long as the spell is channeled ... and because of the AP refunded from crits, this is as long as you can stand in one place. Paired with (a working) Force Armor and some lifesteal, you will rarely need to move during most boss fights while dishing out 96% as much damage as an Archon Disintegrate.

8) Excellent for taking out ranged mobs. The arcing missile pathing combined with the "can't-miss" homing mechanic makes ArTor 2nd in ease-of-use only to Electrocute at bringing down ranged mobs.... but at 2.5x the DPS.

Now, of course the spell isn't perfect. So what's bad about it?

1) A brief delay in damage due to missile travel time. This won't make them miss as I said they are homing missiles... but they won't hit immediately like some other spells. ArTor is a "plant your feet it's time to melt some faces" spell, meaning less mobility.

2) Very localized AoE with a similar radius to a base Arcane Orb. Compared to linear Disintegrate/Piercing Orb, explosions, and Meteor/Blizzard ... the radius is inferior. But while you won't bring down large groups together, the higher damage output and strafing barrage will melt them all the same.

3) One of the worst spells for breaking barrels and jugs.

That's about it.


So give it a try (especially in a group with a tank), you may be surprised.

Here's a build I recommend, along with the following items: [a 1.4+ spd MH+OH; ~15%+ crit rate; a WizardHat with 2-3 ArTor AP cost reduction; and about 10 AP-per-Crit. 3-4% lifesteal would be a cherry on top]


Swap nova for DiamondSkin if facing insta-gibbing range.
Basically, it doesn't melt hallways of demons the way Disintegrate does. The AoE on the deathray is much larger.
05/22/2012 12:39 PMPosted by Polaritie
Basically, it doesn't melt hallways of demons the way Disintegrate does. The AoE on the deathray is much larger.

No it won't quite have that effect, but when have those hallways ever been a problem anyways? and focusing ArTor at the front of the pack can melt them before they even get into Disintegrate range.

Disintegrate's main AoE source is the explosion rune. But that requires you to kill a target to do it ... so if you're able to kill part of the minion pack quickly, then there is no threat. If they're beefy and take a bit longer before even having the chance to explode, ArTor will be better.
it's a fantastic 'primer' for other arcane abilities with the +15%, but its arcane cost seems quite high.
05/22/2012 12:43 PMPosted by NickBrah
it's a fantastic 'primer' for other arcane abilities with the +15%, but its arcane cost seems quite high.

Read #2. Geared with a bit of crit and AP-on-Crit items, you can easily reach the point where you can cast it forever without running out of AP. It's actually one of the most efficient nukes there is.
I've tried using it for group play but Dis always seems more effective. I do love Arcane Torrent for bosses though. I'll drop an arcane hydra then torrent til I'm almost out of AP then pop Archon. That 15%, even if only for 3 seconds, makes a huge difference in boss battles and other 1v1 instances.

On a side note, does anyone know why RoF, Dis, and Blizz seem unable to get critical hits? Is this intended? Critical hits are portrayed by yellow text, correct? I see the numbers of damage range pretty widely from these spells when I use them, but never any yellow figures. :(
Disruption arcane torrent+arcane hydra+ temporal flux=inferno kiting.
They aren't a problem because of disintegrate.

The channel cost of torrent is higher and the AOE area is much smaller. The likelihood of running out of AP before all the mobs are is higher for torrent when the pack size is large.
They aren't a problem because of disintegrate.

The channel cost of torrent is higher and the AOE area is much smaller. The likelihood of running out of AP before all the mobs are is higher for torrent when the pack size is large.

The channel cost is identical, with any Ap-on-Crit stats its less. And the AoE of ArTor is radial and wider than Disintegrate, easier to hit single targets, just won't hit a long line of them... but who cares about killing a line of mobs all at once as long as the front of the line never reaches you?

There are definitely advantages to Disintegrate, but mostly the one that hasn't been mentioned: it can kill a ranged mob while still hitting the melee.
Arcane Mines are fun.
I have tried to use Arcane Torrent at multiple different times in my play. Thing is, I hate the loss of mobility, and the missiles often miss moving targets. It also chews through AP like crazy. Disintegrate says it does less damage, but usually it is hitting at least 4 targets, whereas torrent hits 2-3 and sometimes outright misses.

I'm only at level 35, but I can't find a way to use this skill without sacrificing a lot of survivability. Maybe it's good in a group? But for solo, it just doesn't work for me. I can't stand still long enough to get the missiles out.

I'm using this: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#bidYlX!acb!baaZ.Z

Start with Blizzard to slow a group as it approaches, then blast away with disintegrate, weaving in electrocute orb when low on AP. When the monsters get close, wave of force to send them back. Frost nova and diamond skin are there for when wave of force is on CD or when getting swarmed.
How viable is it on harder difficulties i.e. hell/inferno?
Disintegrate CAN crit it was ninja fixed some time ago
Cascade is delicious.

It's been my go-to spell for a while now.
05/22/2012 01:25 PMPosted by V0latility
How viable is it on harder difficulties i.e. hell/inferno?

Not very viable on hell. Neither is disintegrate for that matter though.
Once you get to hell act two you can't use channeled spells anymore. At lest not on champ packs.
channelling on hell and nightmare will get you killed without proper tanks.

did an A4nm run with 2 wizzies last night. they died so many times. I ran arouind with hydra nd teleport and resed them a few times
I'm only level 18 but I was playing around with Torrent last night (just unlocked the "Disruption" rune). It was better than expected against large groups. As you said, you need to switch targets as they die. If you can get a rhythm going, the initial delay is the only delay and packs start dropping pretty quickly. Kinda like "hit, hit, switch target, hit, hit, switch target".

Due to my low level I don't have that much Arcane generation, so I do face a problem with large packs where I run out of Arcane before they are all dead. It is pretty easy to pick off the stragglers with a Primary though, or just goof around with some defensive skill I'm playing with. They are usually pretty low health because of AOE too.

All in all, I do like it better than when I first unlocked the spell. It just takes a little while to get used to the mechanics.
1. lag time before it hits
2. channeling spell makes it undesirably just like disintegrate
Does AS affect Arcane Torrent or should I go with a big 2H for max damage?

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