[Build Idea] Tetramentalist (Hydra/Meteor)

Wizard
Greetings fellow wizards! I'm here to share what I think is a very cool alternative build that makes use of some of the synergies of the wizard class. I realize that this build will not smash through elites like some other more popular builds, but if you'd like to give it a try please continue to read.

Before I begin, I would like to assure you that the build is viable and tested in solo Torment V in my at-best mediocre gear. I believe that it will be capable of solo T6 once I improve my existing items and find a few more pieces of coveted loot!

Without further ado, here's the build: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#NikOSl!RWed!bcZcaY

Summary:
The basic idea behind this build is that the wizard will use skills of all four elements, each with a specific purpose, while benefiting from the plethora of elemental wizard passives - especially Elemental Affinity. At its core, the Tetramentalist is a kiting wizard, meaning that you should be avoiding taking hits by staying as far away from your enemies as possible while your hydra(s) do the damage. As far as gear is concerned, players should be looking for items boasting fire bonus damage, Tal's set, and Serpent Sparker.

An interesting feature of this build is that it lacks a generator, meaning that each ability must be aimed carefully, spamming doesn't really work here.

Combat
Most of the skills in our build are not intended to dish out damage. Instead, we focus on keeping as many yards between us and the enemy as possible while Hydra: Mammoth and the free meteors from Tal'Rasha do our dirty work for us. The first spell in our kiting rotation is Blizzard: Grasping Chill, which will slow our enemies advance to a crawl, making it much easier to land our other disruptive spells. Black Hole: Event Horizon will stop the enemies that make it past, and also free us from elite walls, frozen-pulses, etc. Mirror Images get us out of really hairy situations, and can further CC the enemy by taunting and casting black holes of their own.

Gear:
Our most valuable item for this build is, of course, Serpent Sparker. Beyond that, we would like to collect enough pieces of the Tal'Rasha set to enable the four-piece bonus with Ring of Royal Grandeur. Here are some suggestions for each slot.

Helm: Tal'Rasha's, Fire Andarial's.
Amulet: Tal'Rasha's (Fire)
Chest: Cindercoat, Tal'Rasha's.
Gloves: Magefists.
Shoulder: Aughuild's Power
Bracers: Aughilud's Search
Source: Firebird's Eye, Tal'Rasha's

Besides fire damage and other generally-good stats (int/crit chance/crit damage), try to find pieces with Meteor Damage bonuses to keep your free meteors hitting hard, even if they aren't fire.

Anyway, let me know what you think.

[Edit]: Updated the build after some experimentation.
I definitely like the idea. If I can finish my Tal'sRasha's set I may give it a try. Do you happen to have a video of it in action? I would like to get a feel for the killing speed.
07/02/2014 07:57 PMPosted by Elec
I definitely like the idea. If I can finish my Tal'sRasha's set I may give it a try. Do you happen to have a video of it in action? I would like to get a feel for the killing speed.


I'm afraid the laptop that I play on can barely run the game at 30 FPS, much less run recording software. Right now, with mediocre gear in Torment V I'm killing elites packs in roughly twenty to thirty seconds, executed properly. It's very important to keep the pack locked in the Hydra's firing range, as re-positioning and recasting can really slow down your clear time.

Once my character copy is off CD, I'll try it out in the Greater Rifts and tell you how far I get. I'm predicting that I'll get to 25-26 with my current gear.
I went ahead and tried it on T4 which is what I had been doing my Meteor build on. I really miss teleport, I feel naked with out it.

I am also not a fan of Meteor -> Lightning Bind in the build. I am sure it works well in the play style you described but I found it a hard adjustment. Instead, I equipped my Velvet Camaral and Myken's Ball of Hate and swapped in Electrocute and Paralysis. That worked much better for me. Definitely an interesting build, thanks for sharing.
Ya I ran it kind of like Elec. Only I don't have Velvet Camaral yet so I used Ball of Hate with Chain Lighting mainly for the stuns it addes.

I should say I love Metors and Lighting Blind is one of my favorits.

But I like it best when I can bunch up alot with Suppermassive and drop 3-4 of them on top and then use AP reg like above.

And just keep repeating till death. :)

Come on Velvet Camaral your going to drop tonight :)

But other then that change to Electrocut and Ball of Hate from Lighting Bind I think you got a sold build here.

The Lighting is just there for the stuns but you can get both Metor% dmg inc and Electrocut becouse there on differnt pieces of gear. So this still keeps your metor's hitting hard and keep using the Fire gear.

This set up only uses the Lighting for CC not dmg so Stack Fire dmg% and Let the Hydra's do there work.

It's going to work even better in 2.1 if they keep the dmg on Hydra's too. Not to mention you could possabley work Deth Diggers into your gear for 80-100% Electrocut dmg inc too lol.

Edit: I did change the passives around too. I dropped Cold Blooded for blurr and Conflag for Paralysis.

Edit2: I also like how strong and how much CC control I get with both Lighting stuns and that Blizzard rune. Very strong combo of CC there. The build also plays like a Dot build it works at it's best when stuff is stuck on your Hydra's fire stacks as well as taking more Dot dmg from Blizzard and your Electrocut all at once is just Dot Dot Dot eating them alive. Realy fun :)
07/02/2014 09:02 PMPosted by Elec
I went ahead and tried it on T4 which is what I had been doing my Meteor build on. I really miss teleport, I feel naked with out it.

I am also not a fan of Meteor -> Lightning Bind in the build. I am sure it works well in the play style you described but I found it a hard adjustment. Instead, I equipped my Velvet Camaral and Myken's Ball of Hate and swapped in Electrocute and Paralysis. That worked much better for me. Definitely an interesting build, thanks for sharing.


When I started working on this build, I originally used electrocute as my lightning spell, instead of Meteor. The adjustment to Meteor was difficult, but I felt that it better suited the build, especially once you get your crit chance high enough for the bind to be reliable. Here are some reasons why I made the switch.

1) Electrocute requires you to be relatively close to your enemy, and requires you to stand still to cast. I found this to be particularly troubling with Jailer elites. With Meteor as a substitute, I find that I'm always far away enough to wait out a jailer debuff while the enemies try to slough through my Blizzard / Binding combos.

2) Electrocute requires the passive Paralysis in order to do crowd control. Lightning bind only requires high crit. That extra passive slot could be used for Conflag for group buffs or Blur if you're having trouble surviving solo.

3) Electrocute does hardly any damage by itself. It's also too ambitious, in my opinion, to go for bonus affixes for meteor, hydra, AND electrocute. I generally use my belt and pants slot for the little bit of toughness that this build needs.

Its possible that I didn't illustrate my combo well enough - it definately takes some practice. Imagine that there is an elite pack about fifty yards away from you. Here's what you do:


  • Stand still for 1.5 seconds to increase your dps with Unwavering Will.
  • Drop your hydras 25-30 yards away from the pack (close to max range on them)
  • Move in and drop a blizzard on the other side of the hydra to slow the enemy advance
  • Kite backwards and drop 1-2 meteors slightly in front of the pack,
  • Save your Black Hole for nasty elite affixes or for when a few of them start to break away from the pack.
  • Refresh Blizzard and drop more meteors as you're able.
  • If the elite is still alive by the time it makes it out of range of your hydra, back up and repeat.


On a side note, I'd been thinking about trading in the Unwavering Will passive for Hexing Pants of Yan and Blur, as you should never really be standing still for long in this build. The extra resource regeneration would allow you to feel more comfortable casting meteors.
Meteor shower is the highest damage meteor rune. I suggest using a thunderfury to work in the electric element. Lightning meteor is really weak. It's only good if you're going full crowd control.

Also, try using a pride's fall. Along with cindercoat's 30% reduction to fire skill cost you'd have about 60%. Then add in diamond armor prism for an additional 9ap per cast and you'll recharge AP while spamming meteors.

I also like to use teleport: reversal. It has a very low cooldown and allows you to bounce back and forth between two spots. Makes it easier to keep mobs under your meteors.
07/03/2014 09:33 AMPosted by squarcle
Meteor shower is the highest damage meteor rune. I suggest using a thunderfury to work in the electric element. Lightning meteor is really weak. It's only good if you're going full crowd control.

Also, try using a pride's fall. Along with cindercoat's 30% reduction to fire skill cost you'd have about 60%. Then add in diamond armor prism for an additional 9ap per cast and you'll recharge AP while spamming meteors.

I also like to use teleport: reversal. It has a very low cooldown and allows you to bounce back and forth between two spots. Makes it easier to keep mobs under your meteors.


Interesting feedback. I don't know if I like Thunderfury enough to lose out on a second Mammoth Hydra. The purpose of the lightning meteor is to lock down elites in the fire trail from our Hydras. Using Diamond Skin and Teleport (assuming we're keeping Magic Weapon and Energy Armor) doesn't leave us any room for our other elemental spenders. It seems like this would leave us with a pure fire build, more or less unable to benefit from Tal's set and Elemental Affinity.
Does anyone know if the Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan will boost the damage of meteor and hydra as long as you stay mostly mobile while casting them, or does it only work for abilities that you can use while moving (ie: Strafe, Whirlwind, etc)?
07/04/2014 07:39 AMPosted by Orangutantrm
Does anyone know if the Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan will boost the damage of meteor and hydra as long as you stay mostly mobile while casting them, or does it only work for abilities that you can use while moving (ie: Strafe, Whirlwind, etc)?


There's a slight delay before the damage boost from hexing pants is lost so you can definitely stutter step and cast.

Also, in reply to your above post... I actually had 3 elements going in my build, 4 if I used ice armor (frozen storm). Arcane comes from black hole, ice from armor, fire from meteor, and lightning from TF proc. I always run it with a tal set. I haven't tried a meteor build with serpent sparker though. The last couple I got rolled like crap.
@Orangutantrm#1853 Hey man from my experiences with my meteor build, your really not in one spot for long periods of time depending what your going up against in higher torment levels, I would switch Unwavering will passive to paralysis Since your main meteor lighting, Or could replace Conflagration for paralysis, Conflagration Only really gives 6% to crit not big deal to lose, That's if you really wanted to keep Unwavering will, either or it could make your survivability much better, Just a tip man My Wizard was rushed in d3 vanilla I Basically have 1092 hours in meteor play only lol no lie :-p

07/04/2014 07:39 AMPosted by Orangutantrm
Does anyone know if the Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan will boost the damage of meteor and hydra as long as you stay mostly mobile while casting them, or does it only work for abilities that you can use while moving (ie: Strafe, Whirlwind, etc)?


Yes it works if you shutter cast with meteors, How i shutter cast i put force stand still on space bar, Just hold first mouse bottom and keep tapping space bar very easy way to do it and feels comfortable
After doing some more experimentation, I've decided that while Lightning Bind has great synergy with the build in terms of keeping enemies in place, it is ultimately too tricky to land every time. Besides that, it is very possible to get a long string of no crits, making it harder for kite in T6 situations where a few hits could cost your life.

After looking through possible lighting alternatives, it became clear that the only way I was going to be able to apply the lightning-type debuff of Elemental Affinity without sacrificing crowd control was to change Magic Weapon from Force Weapon to Electrify.

Obviously this is a DPS downgrade in solo play, but I believe that switching weapon elements in group play will make up the difference. What's more, the lightning-type meteors are still activated from Tal's Set, so you get some more disruption for "free".

Getting rid of Lightning Bind, I opened a slot for a different primary skill. The options of MM/Conflag and Meteor Shower immediately came to mind as good damage alternatives, MM/Conflag, however, would require us to stand still while spamming it and I didn't feel like that fit the kiting feel of the build. Meteor Shower would certainly be a heavy hitter for us, especially with the reduced casting cost of fire spells with Cindercoat. This didn't provide any CC for the build, however, and I felt like using it made the spec too fragile.

On a whim, I decided to switch Black Hole - Event Horizon into the primary slot (left-click) and replace it on the hotbar with Mirror Images - Duplicates. I'm not sure if putting BH as my primary skill caused this, but whenever I would summon my duplicates to get out of a tough situation, the screen would light up with 3-4 black holes and blizzards, making near-death situations easy to escape without teleport. After seeing this, I decided to switch my Unwavering Will passive that I had been using for snapshotting hydra damage to Illusionist for the extra movement speed and cooldown reset. So far I've been quite pleased with the results.

Here's the updated build while I continue to experiment.
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#NikSOl!RWed!bcZaZY
I'm raising this thread from the grave for Patch 2.2.0. It works even better with the newly buffed Tal Rasha's set.

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