ShockNadoShards(SNS), a CM/WW build [guide]P2

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ShockNadoShards (SNS), a CM/WW build

I. Intro
II. Active Skills
III. Passive Skills
IV. How the build works
V. Wicked Wind and Tickrates
VI. Attribute and Stat Suggestions
VII. Type of gear
VIII. Playstyle and dealing with affixes

Appendices (appear as the first and second comments after the guide)
Appendix A: 100M gearset (AH prices as of first week of April, 2013)
Appendix B: Typical gear setups for 2.73 (and a few for 3.01)


I. Intro

This build represents the basic foundation upon which many CM/WW variants are based on. Like the basic CM/WW build, it uses twisters to restore arcane power and proc CM to reduce cooldowns, and frost nova to freeze enemies. The addition of Diamond Skin, Explosive Blast, and Shocking Aspect was the big leap forward to make the build so popular and powerful. The combination of abilities results in increased survivability, (perma)freezing of enemies, and a large multiplier for DPS. However, since Prismatic Armor is not used in this build (unlike traditional CM/WW) a higher degree of damage mitigation (armor and resist all) is required.

The damage multiplier for this build is about 7-8 times your paper DPS against one or two targets (think: Ubers, Gohm, single elite after all whites are toast). It is alot more than that (over 10x+?) against large groups and mobs!! This means if your paper DPS is 85k, you're really doing like 600k or more!!! So when you join a group asking for a freeze wiz to do Uber runs, and they laugh at your DPS (which they did at me last night)...just tell them to wait and see. You'll have 3 new friend requests at the end of night (which I did). The build is really just that good. Hands down awesome. Its one of the few wizard builds (and certainly the most popular) capable of tackling the highest MP’s.

When gearing a SNS wizard, it is crucial to stack CC and IAS on most of your items (see gear section below). General consensus is an attack speed of 2.73 and CC of 50 are a good place to be eventually. Armor and all resist and equally crucial - since you are a tank (and not kiting), you will be spending all of your time right in the middle of the can sometimes get ugly positioning yourself properly. Gearing defensively is absolutely critical. The last thing to worry about is DPS...the damage multiplier helps to take care of a low sheet DPS number...DO NOT SPEND TIME WORRYING ABOUT DPS WHEN YOU ARE INITIALLY GEARING YOUR SNS WIZARD. Once you can tank and survive then you can begin to add DPS into your gear. Basically, here is the order of importance for gearing: CC=IAS=Armor=All Resist>>>DPS

Which breakpoint to hit? 2.3, 2.5, 2.73, or 3.0??

2.31 - This AS is considered to be extremely suboptimal for this build. The freeze strength is low, LoH return is undesirable, and APOC return will be slow. While you will be able to stack alot of DPS, your survivability will be very low...and it's not alot of fun.

2.5001 - Some people consider this the best breakpoint for farming (especially with respect to different gearing options). The freeze strength is reasonable as long as you stack over 50CC (which makes the freezing better), and you'll need some extra LoH (maybe 1000) and extra mitigation. Since the freeze isn't as great, the enemies will get off more attacks. You can reach this AS easily with OS or IAS Chant Will, Sloraks's Madness, or even a fast dagger. Lower breakpoints actually result in higher damage multipliers (extra ~1x). Target 55+CC for better freezing and higher damage multipliers (probably an extra ~1x as well).

2.7273 - This is what the guide mostly focuses on as it is considered the "sweet spot" for both gearing, cost, and results. It is capable farming efficiently and is also the entry level breakpoint for doing Ubers. The build really sings and comes to life at this attack speed. By far the most common gearing options include either an IAS or OS Chant Will, though gearing gets much more challenging with an OS setup (requiring 2 extra IAS pieces of armor). This breakpoint is recommended if you have latency of 200 ms or less. If you are at higher breakpoints with high latency then keystrokes for DS and FN are not immediately registered and are is all of the gear to get you there.

3.0001 - This breakpoint is great for doing Ubers, but is also great for farming. It allows you to drop some mitigation since LoH returns are increased (about 20% more) and enemies are locked down like statues. Gearing gets really difficult and expensive once you hit 3.01 since nearly every piece of armor needs IAS (especially with an OS Will). However, since IAS increases DPS, this is one way to push DPS to its maximum! This breakpoint is NOT recommended if you have latency around or above 200 ms.

If you're are sick of reading through text guides (I've tried to not make it a dreaded wall of text!) and would enjoy a visual presentation of the CM and SNS build, check out Boozor's excellent instructional video series.

II. Active Skills (this is stright-up, standard, base "SNS"):
(1) Diamond Skin(DS)/Diamond shards - Adds DPS when refreshed....which is alot
(2) Explosive Blast(EB)/Chain reaction - bulk of the DPS
(3) Frost Nova(FN)/Bone Chill - adds 15% damage (and is a party buff as well)
(4) Storm Armor(SA)/Shocking Aspect - Huge DPS boost, esp w/ large groups of enemies
(LMouse) Energy Twister(ET)/Wicked Wind - procs CM and triggers LoH
(RMouse) Teleport(TP)/Wormhole or Safe Passasge or Fracture. Useful for adjusting position, jumping arcane beams, avoiding explosions, avoiding damage, etc.
Skill Rune Variations:
- Diamond Skin/Crystal Shell - increased survivability. DPS drops to about 6x. This is probably the first switch you should make if you are dying too often (other than get better gear!)
- Frost Nova/Deep Freeze - +15% to CC after freezing 5 enemies for 4 seconds....which is most of the time when doing fast farming runs. Helps when your CC is low but should not be a permanent solution since it's a big looser though for single elites and ubers. For farming, it can lead to multipliers of 15x for crowds of 5 or more!!
- Frost Nova/Cold Snap - depending on your attack speed and CC, this can be very useful for freezing ubers. With 2.73 AS and 45 CC I freeze Ubers better using cold snap. Can be used as a crutch for ubers if you don't have 3.0 AS or 50+ CC. It does a ridiculous job of freezing ubers at the 3.01 breakpoint. However, your group looses the 15% damage bonus.
- Teleport/Wormhole is a desirable skill for when you desire fast movement for farming and can handle teleporting into the middle of a pack and have the AS/mitigation to survive until the freeze windeup gets going. Teleport/Safe Passage or Fracture is used where the damage reduction or decoys is handy. Also good for playing in slower groups.
Variations for active skills:
- Magic Weapon/Electrify instead of TP - adds great boost to multiplier for large mobs
- Slow Time/Stretch Time instead or TP - party buff, great for high MP and Ubers etc. Stacks with addt'l Stretch time from another wiz
- Slow Time/Time Warp instead or TP - party buff, great for 20% damage increase. Does not stack with another wiz.
- Meteor instead of TP: Check the Wiz Compendium sticky for these builds.
- Energy Armor instead of Storm Armor - well, then it's not SNS, is it?!! No, it is not...but a close cousin....the DPS modifier drops to about 4.5-5x. This has utility against Ubers when you need the extra damage mitigation at high MP (Prismatic)....or to keep from getting one-shot against Magda's attacks (Force Armor).

III. Passive Skills:
Critical Mass - reset cooldowns
Evocation - reset cooldowns
Cold Blooded - adds 20% damage.
Variations for passive skills:
- Blur, Glass Cannon, Unstable Anomoly, and Conflagration (procs with Fire Walkers and is a party buff) instead of Evo or Cold-Blooded

note: CM is the largest driver of reducing cooldowns. Evocation plays a role also, but mostly for one or two targets (example: Ubers). At higher Attack Speeds and CC (55+CC), it may not be completely necessary if you don't mind a "stutter" lock instead of a "freeze" lock. You can try dropping Evo if this is the case.

note: Cold Blooded is great for the DPS buff, but if you are looking for survivability this is what I'd drop first. You'll likely want to keep both CM and Evo for the best possible freeze since this is your first line of defense. I guess you could use cold snap to help the freeze and drop Evo instead of cold-blooded (Bone chill is only +15% damage whereas Cold blooded is +20, so you come out 5% ahead....but Bone Chill is a group buff, and Cold Blooded is keep that in mind).
IV. How the build works:
Bind your active skills to the keys noted above (DS=1, EB=2, FN=3, or whatever works for you). Hit 4 to enable SA (and refresh as necessary). Approach a group of monsters and mash the {-123-} keys as quick as you can while holding down your LMouse button (ET) to spam tornadoes. Enjoy the carpel tunnel! Some people use macros on their mouse or keyboards to continuously spam {-123-}. Debate rages as to whether this violates the Blizard TOS agreement. As far as I know, no one has been banned for doing this. I also use [TAB] instead of [SHIFT] to hold my toon in's just more comfortable that way to hit all the keys.

You ought to be able to teleport into the middle of a group and mash away. Sometimes it is useful to throw a few twisters into the fray first (so they begin proc’ing) and then approach or TP into the group. Frost nova keeps the enemies frozen while EB, SA, and DS do the damage. Be sure the place twisters directly on top of enemies….stray twisters are useless. The twisters are proc’ing CM which will quickly reduce the cooldowns. With FN this results in a “perma” freeze of the enemies. This really is a perma freeze for normal white enemies and most elites. It breaks down some with single elites, and even more with ubers. Attack speed plays a large part in how well enemies are frozen (below). The reduced cooldowns result in fresh DS at a rapid pace….restoring the 10,853 hit point shell as well as releasing the 210% shard damage. With EB, the blasts begin to build up and explode at a rapid pace, after the 1.5 second wait. LoH procs with the twisters….and quickly refills you health….which is handy for standing in desecrator pools or poison gas or arcane beams or whatever else the game throws at you.

V. Wicked Wind Tick Rate, Breakpoints, and Windeup:

Shandlar's Brekpoint post:

You can read the link above for a more thorough understanding of the nuances of tick rates, proc’s, and breakpoints. Basically, as your attack speed increases there is a corresponding increase in the proc rate of the twisters….but it is not a linear relationship. There are hard stops, or breakpoints, which you must get past in order to realize the benefits. Higher attack speed = faster twisters, more CM proc’s, faster cooldowns, more LoH, better freezing, etc.

An attack speed of 2.73 is commonly accepted as the optimal balance of gearing (i.e. cost of gear) and freezing (i.e. proc’ing CM). Coming up short of a breakpoint (i.e. 2.72) gives you no advantage over being at the lower breakpoint (i.e. 2.50)… don’t waste time, effort, and gold with being in-between breakpoints. Carefully make purchases which put you at or just over the next breakpoint.

As you hit each breakpoint you should observe a noticeable difference in how well the enemies are frozen and how well your life refills. As you increase AS you will also have a more efficient windup, i.e. the time it takes for you to cast your first FN, lay down twisters to proc CM, and cast FN again. At lower attack speeds you may find your FN wearing off before the next one casts….and the enemies can get off some attacks before they are frozen again. This doesn’t happen (as often) as your AS increases.

AS ~2.31 - 30 ticks
AS =2.5001 - 33 ticks
AS =2.7273 - 36 ticks
AS =3.0001 - 40 ticks
AS ~3.33 - 45 ticks

i.e. ticks refer to the number of attacks/procs over the 6-second casting period of a single Wicked Wind twister. Thus, going from the 2.5 to 2.73 breakpoint would result in about 10% more ticks...This (through some convoluted math) results in about 20% more LoH, APOC recovery, cooldowns, etc.

Windeup - The refers to the first few (harrowing, but crucial) seconds of an encounter. What we are looking for is the ability to freeze, and keep frozen, and enemy or group of enemies. This works best at high attack speeds (2.73 or more) and crit chance (50%): it maximizes APOC return (to cast more twisters) and CM (to reduce cooldown on Frost Nova. An efficient windeup can also freeze, and keep frozen, single elites....especially at 3.01 AS (think succubusses, shamans, etc). "But Pie, the build works even with lower CC and low AS. You suck." True,....if you survive the first few seconds, then at "full" windup the build can largely work the same at low and high CC & AS (your AP stays full and you keep things frozen)....but how often do you die at the beginning of an encounter...and can you keep 1 or 2 fast elites frozen? And can you stand in a plagued pool with the lower LoH returns? TL;DR....stick to the higher AS and CC recommendations.

VI. Attributes and Stat Suggestions:

Here are some milestones to shoot for as you develop your CM/CW wizard. The most difficult task as you begin gearing for mid-level and end-game is damage mitigation....and DPS to a lesser extent. While it is actually rather easy to reach high attack speed and CC, it becomes exceedingly difficult to keep those same stats while adding All Resist and Armor (and DPS). Add it in little by little as the opportunity arises.

Entry Level
Attack Speed: 2.31-2.50
Crit Chance: 40-45
Armor: 3,500
All resist: 500
Hit points: 25,000
DPS: 50-75k
Suggested MP: 2-4
LoH: 80 for every 10,000 DPS
18-20 APOC
Gear cost: less than 10M

Mid Level
Attack Speed: 2.73
Crit Chance: 45-50
Armor: 4,000
All resist: 650
Hit points: 35,000+
DPS: 75-100K
Suggested MP: 5-7
LoH: 800 to 1,200 for 100,000 DPS
18-20 APOC
Gear cost: between 50M and 100M)
Note: This is a very good place to get to; Gearing gets very difficult and expensive after this.

End Game
Attack Speed: 2.73 or 3.01
Crit Chance: 50+
Armor: 4,500+
All resist: 800
Hit points: 35-40,000+
DPS: over 200k, or more. It's sick, just sick.
Suggested MP: 8+
LoH: 800 to 1000*
18-20 APOC
Gear cost: don't ask. It is not easy to achieve and should be considered end game gearing.
* with the 1.07 RD nerf, scaling LoH with DPS isn't necessary. Since increasing amounts of DPS are not reflected back, you just need enough LoH to survive common affixes. Since you no longer need over 1000 LoH, you can focus more on DPS. Enjoy.

Some of these goals may seem somewhat unattainable,….and may be for quite a while as you begin building your wizard. Just start slow, and add IAS, CC, AR, and armor as you get to each breakpoint. Do not be discouraged if you do not reach these frontier stats. It is always advocated to gear towards defense, and add offensive stats later when you are comfortable with the setup. As you increase MP you will need more and more All Resist, Armor, and DPS…..which gets expensive.

** Loophole?: as soon as you reach 2.73 AS and 45-50 CC you can freeze ubers at MP10 even if you are offensively and (somewhat) defensively undergeared. It would take half a day to DPS them to death while they are frozen....but I could do it (until they enrage). Typically I join a group which has a few high DPS members. I freeze the Ubers....and they kill them. Everybody's happy.

VII. What type of Gear:

How to think about and calculate your total attack speed:

You will need to be stacking as much IAS and CC as you can….both on the same item when possible. On a 1M budget you can get to about the 2.31 breakpoint and do MP3 or 4!!
The 100M range will get you to the 2.73 breakpoint with pretty good damage mitigation, capable of higher MP's with some squishyness (and usually more deaths than you’d like to admit) but a lack of DPS (takes forever and a day to kill things). It is comfortable for farming at MP5-7. You can spend billions getting the best damage mitigation as possible…..or reaching an AS of 3.00 or 3.33, laughing at each and every enemy the game throws at you. But it’s the most common wizard build (and regardless, one of very few) capable of doing MP10.

** Warning (math ahead!!)
Formula for planning gear purchases:
(desired AS) = (Weapon attacks per second)(X), where X = total IAS needed.
Example 1: Hitting the 2.73 breakpoint with a 1.63 AS Chantnodo's Will:
2.73 = 1.63x ..... thus, 2.73/1.63 = 1.6748 or, 68% total IAS (round up).
Take 68/"9" = 7.5, round up to 8. Thus, you'd need eight "9" IAS items to reach 2.73
Take 68/"8" = 8.5, round up to 9. Thus, you'd need nine "8" IAS items to reach 2.73
Playing with the numbers, you could reach exactly 68% with four "9" IAS and four "8" IAS items
** see exception below for Chantnodo's Will.
Example 2: Hitting the 2.73 breakpoint with 1.73 AS Chantnodo's Will (+.22 ApS/8% IAS) and other items:
2.73 = 1.73x ..... thus, 2.73/1.73= 1.578 or, 58% total IAS (round up).
Already have Lacunis, Chantnodo's Force, rare gloves, and Inna's Temperence for 35 IAS.
Thus, 58-35=23. You'd need 23 IAS from 3 items. ex, 9+9+5, 8+8+7, 9+8+6. in fact, I have a large variety of rings and amulets with a variety of IAS and CC and other affixes (CD, All Resist, damage, INT) depending on the situation (solo (with help from followers), group, ubers, etc).

Note about DPS: don’t concentrate on your sheet DPS to begin with….the SNS multiplier takes care of a low DPS. CD is one of the last things that you should be adding.

Basic Gear Theorycrafting

All of the IAS armor stacking that you will do is based off of the speed of your Chant Will. There are three basic categories that you can gear around. So here's the deal to reach a 2.73 AS:
Fast IAS Chantodo's Will
1.79 AS Will - you will need 5 pieces of 9 IAS and 1 piece of 8 IAS gear (53 total IAS)
1.78 AS Will - you will need 6 pieces of 9 IAS gear (54 total IAS)
Slow IAS Chantodo's Will
1.77 AS Will - you will need 7 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (55 total IAS)
1.76 AS Will - you will need 7 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (55 total IAS)
1.75 AS Will - you will need 7 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (56 total IAS)
1.74 AS Will - you will need 7 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (57 total IAS)
1.73 AS Will - you will need 7 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (58 total IAS)
1.72 AS Will - you will need 7 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (59 total IAS)
1.71 AS Will - you will need 7 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (60 total IAS)
1.70 AS Will - you will need 7 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (61 total IAS)
1.69 AS Will - you will need 7 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (62 total IAS)
1.68 AS Will - you will need 7 pieces of IAS gear (63 total IAS)
OS or CD Chantodo's Will
1.65 AS Will - you will need 8 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (66 total IAS)
1.64 AS Will - you will need 8 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (67 total IAS)
1.63 AS Will - you will need 8 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (68 total IAS)
1.62 AS Will - you will need 8 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (69 total IAS)
1.61 AS Will - you will need 8 pieces of IAS gear, any combination (70 total IAS)

You have 10 slots where you can stack IAS. Assuming you are wearing Vial Ward and Blackthorne's Jousting Mail (typical) and add IAS gear as suggested above, that leaves you with:
- Fast IAS Chantodo's Will: two open non-IAS slots
- Slow IAS Chantodo's Will: one open non-IAS slot
- OS or CD Chantodo's Will: no open non-IAS slots

This valuable "open" non-IAS slot can be used in a variety of ways: Rare bracers (for EHP), Amulet (for DPS, etc), gloves (DPS or EHP), or ring (Legendary).

An example of a typical ~100M build is detailed in the first post after the end of this guide.

Here is a link to a thread with gg gear suggestions. Aspire to these goals. I give my own suggestions below as well.

Common items to increase attack speed include:

Chantnodo’s Will and non-APOC Force: Chant's Will has an incredible base AS as well as the opportunity to roll +IAS, OS, CD, etc. While the OS/CD is nice, it is much more expensive and harder to gear to 2.73 with. Likewise, a non-APOC Will with Storm Crow gives you the 18-20 APOC you need. If you go APOC Force and Mempo (below) its gets suiper expensive fast. I'd suggest starting with an IAS Chant Will and non-APOC Force. That combo can take you up to and over 200K DPS.
-bad: anything with AS below 1.71 really
-good: 1.72 AS, 1000+ DPS
-better: 1.75 AS, 1150+ DPS
-better: 1.78+ AS, 1000+ DPS
-best: 1.78+ AS, 1100+ DPS
-God-mode: 1.79 AS, 1200+ DPS
[Note: the +IAS is applied to base wand attack speed (1.4) followed by adding the +attacks per second. i.e. the +IAS in this special case is worth slightly less than typical +IAS....and can interfere with the formula above. Plan accordingly.] Chants Force rolls automatically with additional IAS. The +130 INT for the set is certainly welcome.
Rare gloves: Needs IAS (8-9) and CC (8+). Add in All res, INT, VIT, armor, armor, or CD (in order of importance) when you can afford it. If you have IAS covered elsewhere, then CC, All Res, and CD can be your first options.
- good: 8/9 IAS, 7.5+ CC, 50+ All Res
- better: 8/9 IAS, 8.5+ CC, 50+ All Res, 50+ INT
- best: 8/9 IAS, 9.5+ CC, 50+ All Res, 25+ CD, INT, vit/armor
Tal Rasha’s Relentless Pursuit: hard to pass up the +IAS here. Solid chest armor since it comes with INT and VIT. Recommendation: Buy some with (at least) alot of armor (since adding All Res is quite expensive).
-good: 8/9 IAS, 750 armor, 150+ INT/50+ VIT
-better: 8/9 IAS, 65+ All Res, 150+ INT, 80+ VIT
-best: 8/9 IAS, 65+ All Res, 650+ armor, high INT and VIT
-best: 8/9 IAS, 150+ INT, Armor or All Res
Lacuni Prowlers: good place for +IAS, bad place for all other stats, for the cost. Adding Resist All, armor, INT, CC (which is critical to the build) or anything else is very expensive, especially when starting out on a budget. Rare bracers (crafted with 200+ INT) with 5.0+ CC and good defensive stats (all resist, armor, probably VIT) are really optimal here. You can choose to use Lacuni’s, but your damage mitigation will certainly suffer, and probably isn't worth it.
-bad: 8/9 IAS, 3.0 CC, no other stats
-good: 8/9 IAS, 3.5 CC, 450+ armor
-better: 8/9 IAS, 4.0 CC, 50+ All Res
-best: 8/9 IAS, 5.0+ CC, 50+ All Res, INT, VIT, and or Armor (good luck) . Recommendation: If you do go this route...make sure they at least have some +CC and armor.
Witching hour: expensive, but good source of IAS and CD. Even a cheap one is good: IAS and CD rolls where you can't get either in a rare. One of the last basic items to add (simply because if its cost for a "better" one).
-good: 8/9 IAS, single resist, >40 CD.
-better: 8/9 IAS, 50+ All Res
-best: 8/9 IAS, 50+ All Res, and armor, vit, or extra INT roll.
Inna’s Temperence: One option for pants. Has IAS, MS, and open sockets. Not usually seen as the first choice for reaching 2.73, maybe because it's too tempting to have LoH/VIT/%life found in the Blackthorne's Pants (below).
Rings: should try to max out IAS (8 or 9) and CC (at least 4). Other stats are an afterthought in the beginning. As you upgrade look for +damage, VIT, AR, INT, CD, etc.
Amulet: There are alot of options here, depending on your setup: Typically (if you already have 800 LoH from Storm Crow and Blackthorne's pants), I try to max out CC (9 +) and CD (90+.....just because this is the only piece of armor where you can roll up to 100 CD). This is not the place for IAS/CC/CD trifecta (to begin with).....there are too many other things that you want the flexibility to stick here to round out your build: All Res, Armor, +min/max, VIT, INT, etc. Trifecta is expensive and reduces selection. This is also a common place to add LoH if you are running with Mempo and APOC Force). It’s cheaper and you can get more of it here than on a ring (even all 800+ if you want!). Upgrade to one with more INT or AR or damage.
Slorak's Madness (w/+CC to ET): This is an alternate wand which rolls with CD and IAS, but no additional attacks per second like Chant's Will does. It is great for damage and twister crits. Its pretty impossible to get to the 2.73 breakpoint, but with your CC and twister crit your total crit can be over 65....and can feel like the 2.73 breakpoint. The OS gives a nice DPS boost too.
Andariel's Visage: While a little off the beaten path, this helm does come standard with 8-9 IAS and 4.5 CC.....but I've really never seen a CM wiz use one. It has no LoH, you take extra fire damage, and since it's a non-APOC helm, you'll need APOC on your wand. And if you can afford a good APOC wand, you can probably afford a CC Mempo. If you switch from a non APOC Chant's Force to an APOC source (Oculus or Tal Rasha's Glare) then you lose your +130 INT Chant's set bonus. See where I'm going with this? You can think about it.....just not for very long.
Tasker and Theo: Great gloves for starting CM's. They come with IAS, OS, armor, up to 50 of each of the 4 stats, and 2 random of which you will use for CC. The other one could be All Res, double VIT (cheap!) or INT roll, or CD). All Res and CD tend to increase the price quite a bit. Can't beat them for mitigation! Once you have enough armor elsewhere, you can move on to rare gloves with no armor (where you can more easily go trifecta with All Res or whatever you happen to need).
Common items to increase Armor and All Resist:

Zunimassa's Marrow & Pox: Actually, a great starting set for CM. Chest comes with All Res and can get armor, INT, and VIT rolls that are ALOT higher than anything you could afford with a Tal's Chest. It just means you need to have IAS on another one of your armor pieces (IAS ammy or Lacuni). The ring will have to be 8/9 IAS with other supporting stats - and includes a 130 INT bonus.
Vile Ward: Comes with high armor and high all resist. While adding VIT and % life are nice, consider also adding STR. Remember that STR=Armor. The better your defenses are the less you'll be dipping into your life pool
-good: 180+ INT, 100+ STR, 75+ All Res
-better: 180+ INT, 100+ STR, 70+ VIT, 75+ All Res
-better: 180+ INT, 180+ STR, 75+ All Res
-best: 230+ INT, 150+ STR, 75+ VIT, 75+ All Res
Ice Climbers: Comes with high Resist All, %life, and OS. Look for one with high INT and Armor/STR or VIT. Great place to increase both EHP and DPS
Blackthorne’s Jousting Mail: Great source of LoH, VIT, and %life. You generally pick up two LoH items with about 400 each...this is one good place to get some. Recommendation: No IAS here, but you should add at least some Armor and/or All Resist.
-good: 700+ armor, 65 All res, 350 LoH
-best: 700+ armor, 70 All res, 450 LoH
-best: 70 All Res, 250 VIT or INT
Storm Crow: great helm with APOC and LoH. Can get ones with 3-4 CC dirt cheap. Problem is that it can only roll one of these stats: All Res, CC, OS, or double INT roll. Good supporting stats as well, ~100 of each main stat.
-passable: 400+ armor, 425+ LoH, 70+ All Res
-good: 400+ armor, 400+ LoH, 4 CC
-better: 400+ armor, 400+ LoH, 5.5 CC
* if you go with the All Res option, as I do, really try to max out all the stats. Since its not contributing to CC, you better make it worthwhile for armor, All Res, and LoH.
Rings and Amulet: These should first be stacked with appropriate IAS and/or CC. After that, this can be a budget place to add in Armor and All Resist. As you gear up, and can afford to stack more All Res and armor on your......armor.......(WH, Tal's Chest, BT pants, Boots, bracers/gloves) then you can replace those mitigation stats with DPS (INT, CD, min/max, etc). This is where end-game gearing gets really challenging.
Natalya’s Reflection & Natalya's Bloody Footprints: This ring and boot set gets you +7 CC bonus, essentially netting a +8/9 IAS & 7 CC ring. Find a ring with Resist All, INT, or VIT for starters. The boots is a perfect place to add VIT (though expensive) since they have little contribution to DPS. This is also an easy place to add DEX (up to 200). Buying a ring that has CC (and INT, etc) is expensive and clearly an end game buy - but has the possibility to really jack up that stat.
Advanced and End Game Items include:
Mempo of Twilight and Chantnodo’s Force with APOC: These generally go hand in hand. With APOC on the off-hand you can get a Mempo (a non-APOC helm), which has high INT as well as %life, All Resist, and an OS. Enough gold can buy you one with CC. Since Mepho is also a source of IAS, this allows you more flexibility in getting to an AS of 3.00 or itemization possibilities in general.
Chantnodo’s Will with OS or CD: Pricy, but a common way to obtain the highest DPS’s. With an OS you lose IAS. Plan accordingly.
Zuni Chest/Pox/Trail: These can clearly be end-game pieces. Since there is not IAS on the chest, the two random rolls can be used to make a monster All Res/INT/VIT/Armor monster. The two set can be completed with a ring or boots. The "TriPox" clear rocks as a trifecta, but can only roll 22-34CD. Zuni Trail needs both random rolls for Armor and All Res (unless you're after something else)...but the 7-8 poison damage is clearly a big deal.
Ice Climbers and rare ring: Ice Climbers can clearly be end game if you have plenty of CC elsewhere. The advantage of Zuni set is 130 Intel and 7-8% poison, but you are limited to TriPox, which is expensive and has a CD cap of 34. Ice Climbers can roll 300+ Intel, so if you have 80 Intel Trifecta Ring, set bonus advantage from Zuni is eliminated. The 8% Poison then can be made up by a higher CD roll or simply higher IAS/CC combination with decent CD roll. The Ice Climbers also have higher Life and/or Armor and Rare Rings are "cheaper" (compare to those godly TriPox).

Legendary Ammy’s: Blackthorn’s Duncraig Cross and Tal Rasha’s Allegiance. Also Blackthorn Medal (legacy) and Ouroboros to a lesser extent (max IAS and CC are 7). Each have different combinations of LoH, CC, IAS, and CD. Set bonuses can be nice too. Great for maxing out stats for DPS, but usually expensive to get with both IAS and CC (especially Tal Rasha’s). Great to chase when you have the gold and/or room to play within IAS and CC goals. The Duncraig cross (in my opinion) really only works in an end game setting with Mempo and APOC Chant Will. You don't need it for LoH if you are using Blackthorne pants and Storm Crow (which already give you all the LoH that you need). If you get one with CC, then you are dumping a slot where I'd suggest maxing CD. If you max CD, then you are dumping CC (on one of the few slots that can roll up to 10...and you'll never hit 45+ CC). And if you can afford a tri-Cross (IAS, CC, and CD) then it'll work great....but they are quite rare and extremely expensive.
VIII. Playstyle and dealing with affixes
When approaching a group of monsters you can either teleport into the middle of them or approach them slowly and begin to freeze. You need to have good armor and all resist so you can take some pain.....before you bring the pain! Typically when playing solo I use just increases survivability. It works well for teleporting away from explosions, jumping over arcane beams, and tracking down enemies that are kiting you.

Position adjustment with this build is key. You might think that you just teleport into the middle of a pack, freeze, kill them, rinse, and repeat. It's not that easy. You'll want to adjust your position and find a happy place as quickly as you can. If not, you have to move away a bit....and you might miss an attack (freeze) turn and that may give the monster a chance to attack (physical, or launch more arcane, desecrate, etc). If you can handle standing in the pain and not adjust (high armor and all resist), then you'll keep them frozen better and kill them faster.

Each encounter should be something like this:
a) teleport into the middle of a group
b) mash {-13-} (i.e. FN & DS) while holding down [LMouse] to lay down tornadoes.
c) quickly reposition while still mashing {-13-}
d) mash {-123-} (i.e. FN, DS, and EB) while holding down [LMouse] still
---repeat until done

I usually try to hold off on casting EB for a few seconds. Since it costs AP, it's taking away from casting tornadoes for the first few seconds. It's more important to get as many tornadoes proc'cing and recovering AP as you can before you start casting alot of AP spenders. Once you have alot of tornadoes proc'cing then start casting EB as fast as you can. Depending on the situation (i.e. elite affix, large hoard) it can be invaluable to cast a few tornadoes first, so you get them proc'ing ahead of time....this can help get some enemies under control easier (phase beasts, other fast enemies, etc.

Trash enemies are a great benefit if you use them properly. If you are having a tough time with a group of elites (teleporter, fast, succubusses, any single elite, etc) and can't freeze them because you are always low on AP, try to drag them to a group of trash enemies. Once you drop a few tornadoes on the trash enemies you'll be proc'cing a ton of AP and should help freeze them down. This trick is to not kill the trash enemies too quickly!! If you're playing in a group, be sure to tell your fellow friends to leave the trash enemies alone (you need them to proc!!) and focus on the elites.
There are some differences in playstyles that you can use depending on the situation that you are in:

Playing solo: At low MP I use wormhole, since you can hold down the teleport button and teleport 4 times. It allows you to move through a map quickly....especially when you're killing monsters quickly as well. At high MP I use safe passage for survivability (you could also use fracture). Since killing enemies is the big time sink here, moving through the map quickly with wormhole doesn't yield a huge time savings. The survivability is also important because the last thing you want to do is die in the middle of a map and have to retrace your steps,...which is a waste. You CAN use wormhole at high MP, it just hurts alot when you "accidentally" teleport into the middle of a hoard of need to have alot of armor/resists and high CC to get the freeze windup going - its not for the faint of heart.
Playing in groups: Alot of it depends on the group and is the same for playing solo. The exception is usually at high MP. Since monster health is so much higher, and you have a group to distract monsters - I tend to use Magic Weapon/Electrify instead of teleport. It has some exponential twister multiplier that deals more damage than traditional SNS alone when facing large groups of enemies (>3). Since the monsters sick around longer in high MP (MP 8-10) this can be a big time saver.

Playing with another CM/WW wiz: Wow. This opens the door for all sorts of variations. Since two wizards together can freeze better an one on their own you can actually dumb down your freezing ability a bit and the combination is still awesome for freezing. Maybe you use firewalker boots and Conflag instead of evocation for the extra 10% damage. Maybe you use a Meteor build and Conflag instead of evocation for extra DPS. You could probably (though I've never tried it) drop down to the 2.5 breakpoint and stack alot of CD and INT for extra damage. Also, since bone chill does not stack, just one wiz needs to use it...the one with the highest DPS can use Deep Freeze instead. It basically lets you break out of the strict SNS build and have a little different type of fun. Just remember....don't let the other CM wiz hang out to still need to be in there freezing as well!
Ubers: the WW/CM guide has a good section at the end with how to deal with Ubers
Affixes. Here are some of the affixes that you most need to be worried about and some strategies to tackle them:

- Plagued: standing in the middle of a pool just takes high enough Res All, armor, and/or LoH. If you can't do it....gear up. This is now one of the tougher pools that you have to stand in...worse the desecrator.
- Desecrator: Maybe its just me, but it's never a good idea to stand in a desecrator pool, though its a little easier than standing in plagued. High mitigation gives you a much larger window to readjust your positioning, and find a happier place.
- Molten: Watch out for the explosion afterwards.....its pretty much insta-death. If you can survive a molton blast then you're doing really well for that MP level.
- Arcane: Standing toward the center of an arcane beam is never advisable....but its doable in the middle of the beam, and out toward the end should never be a problem. Try to stay put and survive the beam if you can. If you're going to take two hits (back to back (scissor style), from two beams) just be sure that your LoH refills before the second one hits.
- Eletrified: Pretty tough to stand in the middle of a pack where you're getting electrified by everyone. Also, standing on top of an electrified deals ALOT more damage than standing a little farther away. I find it best to stand where you can take it from two of them, and let the rest come close enough to get frozen, but not electrify you....then deal with the rest when the first two are dead. Learn to recognize electrify before you teleport into the middle of them....its insta-death if you're not geared well enough.
- Fire Chains: Similar to electrified. Getting into the middle of all the chains is near insta-death, even if well geared. Try to freeze two if you can, and hope the third one come near enough to freeze. Staying against a wall usually works well too, or up against a door frame - since you can't get surrounded on all sides. In the middle of a field is the worst place to encounter this affix.
- Frozen: hopefully you have teleport. Enough said.
- Jailed: hopefully you have teleport. Actually, this usually isn't that bad. You can continue your attacks afterward without missing too much. Or teleport.
- Knockback: extremely annoying, since it pushes you away (and the monsters follow) from your tornadoes which are proc'cing all your abilities. The best strategy is to teleport back to the same area you left ASAP. Since its a quick attack, you can usually get back there before the enemies unfreeze and move too far....and you still get a few seconds (and procs) out of the tornadoes. Wait too long, and you're starting all over again.
- Nightmare: similar to knockback. Since you're nightmared for several seconds its likely the monsters have unfroze and moved from the tornadoes. Too bad.
Reflect Damage: Since the 1.07 nerf this affix isn't that big of a problem. The RD works for the first few seconds, but after frozen the reflect shields turn off. Also, meteors could be a problem since they deliver a single large amount of damage vs. standard SNS, which it more gradual damage.
- Vortex: could actually be a good thing! It depends on what the other affixes are. Be prepared to move or teleport away if you need to.
- Shielding: Adjust your positioning so that you're attacking several monsters that are not shielded. If and when the shielding moves to one that you were freezing, the move so you're freezing several again.
- Waller: This is tough because your tornadoes cannot cast on the other side of a wall. You'll have to re-position yourself so you are on the same side of the wall with the monsters.
Teleporter: any slight break in freezing gives them a chance to teleport away. This usually happens when you are down to just the elites (i.e. not enough proc's). Try to move then into some trash enemies so you can get more proc's....and freeze them better. Otherwise you'll just have to chase them down.
Feel free to leave comments and suggestions below. I'll be monitoring the comments and altering the page as necessary.
Appendix A: Example of a 100M gearset

Here's an example of a freshly rolled ~10 paragon wiz. This ought to be a decent model to gear by for about a 100M budget and getting very nice mitigation at 2.73. There are plenty of other variations, this is just a common one that I suggest.

(gear and cost are actual examples found on the AH on April 4th, 2013)

StormCrow: 400 armor, 4 CC, 442 LoH (990k)
Vile Ward: 184 STR, 187 INT, 99 VIT, 626 armor, 72 AR (cost: 5M)
Tal's Chest: 324 INT (inc 3 gems), 138 VIT, 690 Armor, 8 IAS (cost: 14.5M)
Tasker and Theo: 7.5 CC, 8 IAS, 124 VIT, 179 INT (inc gem), 599 armor (cost: 5.7M)
Witching Hour: 71 AR, 35 CD, 8 IAS, 289 Armor (12M)
Ammy: (rare) 9 IAS, 7.5 CC, 70 AR, +30 max, 45 VIT, 112 INT (10M)
Bracers: (rare) 465 Armor, 78 AR, 6 CC, 97 VIT, 88 INT (6M)
Blackthorne's Jousting Mail: 709 Armor, 58 AR, 10% life, 471 LoH (cost: 12M)
Ring: (rare): 7 IAS, 4 CC, 135 INT (OS + gem), 68 AR, 4% life (cost: 5.7M)
Nat's Ring: 8 IAS, 97I, 70 AR, 28 max (cost: 8M)
Nat's Boots: 602 Armor, 70 INT, 165 DEX, 78 AR (2M)
Chant Will: 1132 DPS, 1.74 AS, 189 INT (15M)
Chant Force: 254 Avg Damage, 9 IAS, 9.5 CC, 188 INT, 151 STR (7.5M)

This should get you to something like:
Armor: 5031
AR: 786
DPS: 88k
CC: 50.5
AS: 2.74
Health: 34.4k
LoH: 893
EHP: 313k (Kieble)
Cost: 104.4M (edit: math error...Was shooting for 100M, but actually spent 104.4M)

Ammy: trifecta with CD, but no INT/VIT/AR. Less EHP, more DPS
Rare ring and Ice climbers: probably more EHP and DPS, but less CC
Lacunis and non-IAS ammy (with CD): more DPS but less EHP

Future Upgrades:
- 1.78 or 1.79 Chant Will....then you can drop IAS from Ammy
- OS Chant Will....but you'd need to add lacunis
- faster Chant Will, but less than 1.78. Could then get right ring and ammy with less IAS...and more of other affixes (i.e. more options)
Appendix B: Typical gear setups for 2.73 (and a few for 3.01)

(please proofread...I just recently put this together. If there are mistakes, or think there are mistakes, or have questions....please post in the comments. Thanks!!)

Typical Gear Setups:

Setup A: 2.73 with Storm Crow, "Slow" IAS Chant Will, Zuni Chest, and 7 IAS gear pieces.
(suggested for any build, really, beginner to advanced)
- Extremely common beginner setup. Easy to gear, inexpensive, and very forgiving. Zuni chest adds easy EHP, DPS suffers.
* Chant Will with 1.68-1.77 AS and non-APOC Chant Force (Will and Storm Crow provide the 2 sources of APOC)
* Storm Crow and Blackthorne Pants (provide the 800+ LoH needed)
* Zuni Chest - provides AR, and easy to stack Armor/INT/VIT at a low cost
* Remaining IAS items are gloves, Nat's ring, Zuni Pox (below), Witching Hour, ammy, and Lacuni
* Zuni Pox for the 130 INT bonus. Must use the IAS version. Adding CC much later will be difficult (TriPox)
* Nat's Boots for the 7CC Set bonus
* Witching Hour, of course.

Setup B: 2.73 with Storm Crow, "slow" IAS Chant Will, Tal's Chest, and 7 IAS gear pieces.
(can be tough for a starter build)
- Extremely common beginner setup. Easy to gear, inexpensive, and very forgiving. Tal chest adds easy DPS, EHP suffers.
* Chant Will with 1.68-1.77 AS and non-APOC Chant Force (Will and Storm Crow provide the 2 sources of APOC)
* Storm Crow and Blackthorne Pants (provide the 800+ LoH needed)
* Tal's Chest - provides IAS, but difficult to stack AR/Armor/INT/VIT at a low cost
* Remaining IAS items are gloves, rare ring, Nat's ring, Witching Hour and
a) IAS ammy and rare bracers: rare or crafted bracers can be gg and BIS vs Lacunis. Means a trifecta ammy if you want CD
b) non-IAS ammy and Lacuni: CC/CD Ammy is great, but you're suck with Lacuni's...which are the (stat) killers of budget builds
* Nat's Boots for the 7CC Set bonus
* Witching Hour, of course.

Setup C: 2.73 with Storm Crow, "fast" IAS Chant Will, and 6 IAS gear pieces.
(suggested for an intermediate/advanced build)
* This setup is the same as A&B, but necessitates 9 IAS on only six items with a 1.78 Chant Will (or five 9 IAS and one 8 IAS items with a 1.79 Will)
* The cost can be steep for 9 IAS items and the "fast" Will, but it allows you to use one less IAS piece, typically:
a) rare/crafted bracers and non-IAS ammy if using Tal's Chest
b) non-IAS ammy and Zuni Chest if using Zuni Chest

Setup D: 2.73 with Storm Crow, OS (or CD) Chant Will, and 8 IAS gear pieces.
(suggested for an intermediate/advanced build)
* This setup is difficult/expensive to do since nearly every piece of armor needs IAS, but can lead to higher DPS overall
* The 8 pieces of IAS gear typically are: Nat's ring, gloves, Tal's Chest, WH, Ammy, Lacunis, rare ring, and Chant Force.

Setup E: 2.73 with Mempo and APOC Force (as above, but with one less IAS gear piece)
* This setup is an advanced setup simply becaue of the cost of the items involved. APOC Forces and CC Mempos are premium items, and are very expensive. If you buy a budget Chant Will (low avg damage) you will be sacrificing alot of DPS and if you buy a non-CC Mempo you will be stuck with low(er) CC. Be aware and plan accordingly
* The setup is bacically the same as A-D with the following exceptions
a) with no LoH from the Storm Crow you will have to pick up ~400 on an ammy or ring.
b) since Mempo has IAS you can drop IAS from one of your other items
note: since Mempo has OS, CC, AR, and up to 200 INT it is really GG/BIS. With Storm Crow you only get one of these. But CC will cost you alot.

Setup F: 3.01 with Storm Crow, "slow" IAS Chant Will, Tal's Chest, and 8 IAS gear pieces.
(suggested for an intermediate/advanced build)
* pretty much the same setup as Setup B, but using at least a 1.75 Chant Will and eight 9 IAS pieces (ring, gloves, chest, belt, source, ring bracers, ammy)

Setup G: 3.01 with Storm Crow, "fast" IAS Chant Will, Tal's Chest, and (still) 8 IAS gear pieces
(suggested for an intermediate/advanced build)
* If you have a "fast" Will, its allows you to use six 9 IAS pices to hit the 2.73 breakpoint, but adding 15 additional IAS will get you to the 3.01 breakpoint. Obviously, a 1.79 Chant WIll gives you on extra IAS point to play with in your gear (versus a 1.78 Will).

Setup H: 3.01 with Mempo, APOC Force, OS/CD Chant Will, and 10 IAS pieces
(suggested for an advanced build)
* not recommended for the faint at heart.
* No much to descrive here....10 IAS pieces (everywhere but boots and shoulders)
* requires trifecta and quadfecta's on rings, ammy, and gloves to work well (esp at higher DPS).

***** If you have sufficient mitigation already, Inna's pants can be substituted for any other IAS pice. Since it only has one random roll you typically have to choose between AR, armor, INT, or VIT. Unless you find a split INT/VIT or VIT/VIT roll, something like that.
Open for business! again.

First edition: 500 replies and 17,943 views (and counting, since its still linked though the Wiz Compendium) for the first edition of the guide, not that anyone's counting!

Feel free to leave comments, questions, QQ's, rants, gold donations, suggestions, musings, and gold donations below.


Thanks for continuing to do this guide, PieHole!

You may want to update some of the prices post 1.0.7, because prices have been tanking lately on lower end items.

I built my wizard for a total of 55mil, about 120k dps and 310k EHP now. and I'm keeping an eye out for small upgrades. My goal is not to spend more than 10mil on any one item. So far the most expensive piece has been the wand at 10mil.

I should probably upgrade my vile ward, but I don't want to give up pickup radius! I should probably also get a witching hour with better mitigation. Right now my mitigation is right at 85%. Do you think I should concentrate on DPS now, or keep trying for both?
Why do i feel like there should be a point between mid level and high level.
Thanks for the comments Hope! I updated quite a few other things in the guide, as I have more of an understanding of how things work I gear up. I looked at the second section (the 100M build) and did notice that some prices were hopelessly off. Its amazing what a month or so can do. I really hesitated adding that section just because of the fluidity of pricing...but though it would help more than hurt in the end.
Best guide ever imo, had a ton of problems gearing when i started out and this guide helped me a lot to look at my gear as a whole instead of single pieces and the results were pretty amazing for me.

I wouldn't worry too much about the prices since it'll probably take a lot of effort continuously updating them but if you feel you have the time for it then by all means go ahead. Again, awesome job with this guide!
I am new to the wizard class, and decided to give the CM wizard a shot. I got basic gear and i am able to do MP 5-6 without too much issue. I would like to start making upgrades to my gear and was hoping to get some advice as to what i should upgrade first. I understand i have a lot to upgrade just looking for some direction. Also, if you could let me know what type of stats i should be looking for on the new piece of equipment that would also help me out. Thanks.

I think as you keep increasing MP you will find it difficult with your All Res as low as it is (<600). I think you've added alot of VIT to increase your survivability. You'd be better off replacing that VIT with All Res instead....its better to decrease the incoming damage before it gets to your life.....than try to have your life soak up a higher amount of damage? Make sense? And, since the incoming damage will be can get by with lower life (just stick between 35 and 40k).

And you've done such a good job stacking main stat/split rolls everywhere (Lacinis, Tal's, BT pants, WH) that its hard for me to suggest where to drop VIT...cause you'll also lose the corresponding INT! One thing I did when in your position was to use an All Res Storm Crow...they are dirt cheap to find one with 400+ Armor, 70+ All Res, 10 APOC, and 400+ LoH. That'll still leave you with 48 CC...which is respectable...and give you a feeling for how the extra All Res will help you. That'll give you the chance to plan your next gear move without making any rash moves...wait for the right deals to come along.

You can push all the stats up on your VW (if you can find one with PUR) so that you have 80+ VIT (and if you can do 150 STR and 630+ armor then that's a bit of a Armor pickup for you,...never hurts!).

so, after thinking about it:
WH - keep it. 9/49 is nice....and you don't want to lose 108V (and the STR) for 70 All Res.
Lacunis - mmm,...keep it. It is 9/3.5, which is alright. And its 133 combined stats between INT and VIT
Tal Ches - keep it....its alot of INT/VIT for that chest....and the armor is pretty good
Blackthorne's Mail - I guess i'd ditch this. Yeah, you'd be losing about 110 combined VIT/INT stats....but its probably the most cost effective piece to add All Res and Armor to. You can probably find some with 650 Armor and 65 All Res for a good price....esp on auction.

Something has to give, lol!

Good luck!
How much LoH is necessary for mp10 after the nerf of RD packs?
I would change my amulet with a trifecta rare but I'll lose the LoH on it. With 450 LoH can I survive at mp10?

Any reason for the firewalkers? Other than the cheap MS? I find I don't really miss it too much (I only run with 12)...esp when using TP. Sometimes I can be a little slow in groups...just depends on who I'm runnning with. I'd suggest ice climbers with 500 Armor, 150 INT, And I think even VIT, if you can.

The left ring is pretty weak...have 6CC there is costly and gives you a bad selection of rings. Look for something similar with 4.5 or 5 CC, 9 IAS, INT and some all res. Those should be cheap...i have one on the AH with 4CC for like 2M that wont even sell....4.5 will be a little more expensive, but not bad. If you can keep your CC to 48 or 49 (while adding extra All Res...I think that's a good tradeoff).

Nats set takes care of boots and ring. Boots are cheap with 80+ INT, 150DEX, 600 Armor, and 75 All Res (~5M)...and the ring should have 80 INT, 60 All Res.

Adding STR to your vile wards is also an easy way to boost your Armor. Adding 150 STR instead of DEX (while keeping the base armor above 630 and INT above 180 should be pretty easy to find for uner 10M.

Good luck!!

Any reason for the firewalkers? Other than the cheap MS? I find I don't really miss it too much (I only run with 12)...esp when using TP. Sometimes I can be a little slow in groups...just depends on who I'm runnning with. I'd suggest ice climbers with 500 Armor, 150 INT, And I think even VIT, if you can.

The left ring is pretty weak...have 6CC there is costly and gives you a bad selection of rings. Look for something similar with 4.5 or 5 CC, 9 IAS, INT and some all res. Those should be cheap...i have one on the AH with 4CC for like 2M that wont even sell....4.5 will be a little more expensive, but not bad. If you can keep your CC to 48 or 49 (while adding extra All Res...I think that's a good tradeoff).

Nats set takes care of boots and ring. Boots are cheap with 80+ INT, 150DEX, 600 Armor, and 75 All Res (~5M)...and the ring should have 80 INT, 60 All Res.

Adding STR to your vile wards is also an easy way to boost your Armor. Adding 150 STR instead of DEX (while keeping the base armor above 630 and INT above 180 should be pretty easy to find for uner 10M.

Good luck!!

thanks for the advice!

would it be a good idea to get a storm crow instead of the mempo?

No. 400 is not enough. For a few days I tried the 10 APOC build just to see how the APOC return was. I swapped my StormCrow for Mempo (thus, dropping to 400 LoH). Even running on MP6 or 7 (typical farming for me) I noticed a huge decrease in survivability (and it wasn't due to the APOC change)....couldn't stand in any bad pools, electrify and fire chains were terrible, etc.

What the nerf DOES allow to do to though is to add DPS above 150k without having a corresponding amount of LoH to combat it. But you still need the base 800 or so to deal with affixes.

Best bet is to add 350+ LoH to one of your rings if you intend to get rid of the Cross. The Cross works great until you need DPS from it! Then you are faces with a TriCross....and good luck with that.
Great write up piehole, thanks for putting in the time to help future sns wizzes!

saves me a lot of time helping people gear, now i can just direct them here and tell them to do their homework :-)
03/13/2013 09:03 AMPosted by PieHole
Best bet is to add 350+ LoH to one of your rings if you intend to get rid of the Cross. The Cross works great until you need DPS from it! Then you are faces with a TriCross....and good luck with that.

I'm kinda in the same boat. I picked up a pretty nice unity and have my BT pants which give me about a total of 711 LoH. I did this in preparation for inevitably losing LoH on my neck with a crafted trifecta (crosses fingers for the last 100 ammys lol still no luck).

I don't know really where I'm going to go with my build. I could try and get a TriCross, but the stats on those things just tick me off. I'm not sure where to pick any more LoH at this point. I might ultimately just be stuck looking for a trifecta with LoH or crafting one. I get depressed just thinking about how many crafts that is going to take to achieve. lol.

that opens up another can of worms. You are stuck with low DPS (and presumably will be for awhile) because you went the APOC Force and mempo route. And APOC forces are expensive. its not really recommended to do that until you have a several hundred million gold budget.

If you do (an All Res) storm crow:
- that will give you LoH, APOC, and 100 STR (i.e. armor).....but you will lose some life, IAS, and INT.
- You can drop LoH from your ammy and will have to add IAS and VIT or % life
- you can then add a big Chant Force for damage....get one with some sort of useful main stat (over 200 INT, VIT, STR)

Yeah, LoH on rings is tough....esp if you want to get to 800+. You need to have 450+ LoH BT Pants to have a chance. I would think running with 700 would feel really thin. Some of that depends on your mitigation though. Boozor runs MP10 with 780 LoH between his 2 rings.......but has 850+ resists - and that's got to make a big difference. The other is his bank account to be able to afford two ~400 LoH rings!
Thanks GrizZ! Thanks for the comments. That's why I made the guide to begin with - was tired of dishing out the same basic advice over and over. It's more fun to answer specific questions in here.

Though...sometimes, it seems like some people post questions here without reading the guide!

- Q: "Why can't I survive MP8 with my gear"
- I check their profile....and they're running with like 3200 armor. Duh. Start at the top...and read the guide!
quick reread, noticed:
* section 3: should mention unstable anomoly as alternative passive
* section 8: plagued is worse than desecrator now

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