PTR Elite Sniping Archon Build

Wizard
First of all, the build described in this post is more in the direction of a proof-of-concept. I'm not advocating you play this in 2.6.1... and I have to say, the playstyle described below is not fun. It really tests my patience. But my goal is to make a point. I'm also reaching out to Archon/Corpse Lance players as well as Wizard veterans to critique this hypothetical build and/or playstyle.

I've been watching and casually testing PTR 2.6.1. They've buffed a lot of Wizard items to try to make other builds more similar to Archon in performance. However, there has been a history of clever Wizard players who have figured out how to use Archon directly or indirectly to buff their builds via Fazulas Improbable Chain and/or The Swami. These were probably not builds contemplated by the developers (because who in their right mind would want to play some of these builds?). The earliest example I can think of is an Energy Twister+Archon where Archon was used to buff Energy Twister damage (I can't remember if this used Swami or if ETs were cast and then Archon popped). Then we saw Firebirds Archon for a couple seasons, and then we saw the more recent Tal Rasha + Vyrs + Manald Heal Archon.

My goal is to try to demonstrate that all the PTR buffs, channeling, Dels/Frozen Orb, etc... can still be successfully used with Archon with the right strategy. This would imply that, as before, Archon would have the edge over non-Archon variants which would partly defeat the purpose of the 2.6.1 patch.

Inspired by the horrid Corpse Lance builds, the theme of this build is to use Wizard's most powerful form as a little more than a taxi service to the nearest elite. Then I drop out of Archon and get 50+ Archon stacks on Swami for 20 seconds to kill some elites and more. This should be enough time to do some damage considering LotD is 10 seconds and those Corpse Lance players can seem to pull it off... Then I pop Archon and taxi over to the next elite, completely ignoring anything in my path. But there is a method to it! I promise.

So for some prototyping freedom with legendaries, I made an LoN build that follows this theme. It can be sketchy outside of Archon, but I've managed GR96. I think I can push well past up to at least GR98 with some rift fishing. I'm not an Archon expert, so any feedback is appreciated on how to improve the build. I'm interested in how to fit this theme into Delsere (unlikely), Firebirds, Tal Rasha, or Vyrs (or a combo of these).

Skills (WIP)
https://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#meSTQP!afbh!ZacZac

Gear (WIP)
Head: Leoric's Crown (Diamond, Int/Vit/CHC)
Shoulders: Mantle of Channeling (Int/Vit/Armor|%Life/CDR)
Neck: Eye of Etlich (Fire%|CHC|CHD) or Ess of Johan (CHC/CHD/CDR)
Torso: Cindercoat (Int/Vit)
Hands: Mage Fist (Int/Vit/CHC/CHD ... you can try to fit CDR)
Wrists: Ashnagaar's Blood Bracers (Fire%/Int/Vit/CHC)
Waist: Fazula's Improbable Chain (Int/Vit/%Life/Armor)
Fingers: LoN (CDR/CHC/CHD ... I realize this is a tall order, do your best).
Pants: Swamp Land Waders (Fire%/Int/Vit/Armor)
Weapon: Death Wish (Int/Vit/CDR ... at least this is what I found)
Offhand: Etched Sigil (Int/CHC/CDR/Meteor% ... well, if you have Vit on your Death Wish like me...)
Feet: Nilfur's Boast (Int/Vit/Res|Armor/Meteor%)

NOTE: I'm not sure if Meteor% is additive with The Grand Vizier orange text damage or not. If it is additive, it makes Meteor% darn near worthless.

Cube (WIP)
Weapon/Offhand: The Grand Vizier
Armor: The Swami
Jewelry: Halo of Karini

So you want around 66% CDR for a smooth transition in and out of Archon. Otherwise, it gets even more difficult to survive.

Legendary Gems (WIP)
Taeguks
Bane of the Striken
Zeis

Playstyle
So when you first enter a rift, aside of casting Magic Weapon and Storm Armor, you immediately pop Archon. The Teleport rune and your 66% CDR will act like a makeshift Aether Walker. Now you just teleport in any direction until you notice that Archon is about to expire or when you see an elite or very large pack of high progression monsters.

When you see an Elite Or Very Large Pack of High Progression Monsters
When you see an elite or very large pack of high progression monsters, keep teleporting and opening doors and exploring to see if any other elites/monsters are nearby. You want to get everyone's attention. If you're using Ess of Johan, repeatedly hit the elite(s) and/or other monsters with the Archon beam to proc Ess of Johan. The Archon form may be a taxi service, but it can still be used to group monsters together tightly for your upcoming meteors and channeling. Ess of Johan is a bit frustrating to proc, but do I get it to proc one or two times while in Archon. If you're using Eye of Etlich, you can still hit the elites and hope to get some Stricken stacks in at least and build some Deflection shielding. Other than that there's not much point in hitting anything in your Archon form (but do hit the RG to help build Stricken stacks!).

When Archon is about to Expire
It's very important to pick where you land when Archon expires. Ideal locations to land are vacant and short dead end passages. In your herding efforts, you may need to strategically vacate a location as described for your own upcoming safety! If you land just anywhere, you open yourself up to fighting on multiple fronts. Stuff behind you, stuff to the sides of you, in front of you. The GRs seem to be fairly highly dense these days. If you're too cautious, you may be too far from the elites you need to snipe.

When I first wrote this post, I had survivability issues. I've since solved this problem by changing Slow Time out with Halo of Karini+Storm Armor along with Ashnagaars Blood Bracers+Galvanizing Ward+Magic Weapon/Deflection. You will probably tank anything in the GR90s like it were nothing! For me, the Archon form has about 800 million toughness, and non-Archon form with Swami stacks (which actually don't affect toughness) has about ~200 million toughness. The latter is enough toughness to survive some hits, but you'll have to move around more with Cindercoat instead of Aquilas Cuirass.

Snipe the Elites
Slow Time no longer needed. Just channel Static Discharge into your Ess-of-Johan-bunched (if you're using Ess of Johan) mixture of elites and monsters. The Molten Impact will come down hard and it does one or two shot almost everything (at least in GR96 for non-elites). You should also manually cast Meteor/Molten Impact yourself to get a second one. Be sure to channel when you cast it! I've been having trouble manually casting Meteor while channeling. You might have to take your finger off channeling and mash the meteor button and continue channeling afterward.

Rinse and Repeat
You may or may not kill the elites before your Archon comes off cooldown. If you kill the elites, you should focus on surviving or killing some high progress trash monsters until Archon comes off cooldown after which you would continue your exploration as above. On the other hand, If you do not kill the elites before Archon comes off cooldown, you should immediately jump back into Archon again and do some more herding and try again. Keep trying to search for more monsters/elites to herd into your existing pack.

Key Bindings
You'll likely be casting Archon's Beam prior to Archon expiring. When that happens, you'll probably want it to smoothly transition to Arcane Torrent. I recommend putting Arcane Torrent on Right Mouse Button. You may be tempted to Meteor/Molten Impact on Left Mouse Button. But this obviously has issues. Namely, you don't want to cast this by accident when left clicking to evade! Thus, I recommend moving Archon to Left Mouse Button (which will not activate if you attack a monster with left click and conveniently does nothing more than command a move!) and Meteor/Molten Impact as one of the numeric keys. You'll have to get used to Shift+Left Click to get into Archon. No biggie... I do it with Land of the Dead on Necromancer all the time. You might also find it convenient to put Teleport on numeric key 3 since Archon puts it there too. I usually put it on numeric key 1... I had to run like 10+ normal rifts to re-train muscles! And I still press 1 sometimes...

Follower
I was using Templar for a while but I changed to Eirena with Sultan of the Blinding Sand sword and Ess of Johan. I use Eirena is to cast lots of CC to distract (charm) or temporarily disable large packs of monsters (blind,disorient,hex) giving me a fair chance to channel with less interruption. Added bonus, 6% ranged damage reduction!

Rift Fishing
It's tough to play this way in many constrained maps like tunnels/sewers or some of the Act 3 or Act 5 maps. The open maps make it much easier to herd (very large herds too!) and give you more room to evade. It's a double-edged sword though since you still want a vacant nook to hide in when Archon expires and these are not always available on more open maps.

EDIT:
Add legendary gems.

EDIT2:
Update guide for GR92 run.

EDIT3:
Update guide for GR96 run.
09/19/2017 09:55 PMPosted by nslay
Inspired by the horrid Corpse Lance builds, the theme of this build is to use Wizard's most powerful form as a little more than a taxi service to the nearest elite. Then I drop out of Archon and get 50+ Archon stacks on Swami for 20 seconds to kill some elites and more.


Was about to remark that If by dropping out of Archon you mean actively cancelling the skill you will not get any Swami stacks so you will have to ride out your Archon, but in your playstyle you let it expire.

I'm mediocre at best I think, but I tried to pull something off like this with DMO Achon Twisters, but I think I was overreaching as I tried to do damage in Archon form also by using Manald Heal and the Lightning rune of Archon. As you can't get the 2P VYR in not having teleport is, well, virtually unplayable.

Think I will have another go at this, but just concentrate on DMO and the Twisters and see where that leads me.
I don't see how using Archon is that advantageous with this setup. You're wasting 20 seconds to group up mobs a little for a 300% damage bonus and sacrificing a lot of damage to get your CDR up high. I know it's more of a proof of concept for you but taking the inverse, minimum benefit of Archon with Swami...you're playing a super gimped playstyle version of Firebirds for free 20 second teleports.

Now if you could kill things or at least get the stacks up to 150+ in Archon, it seems like it would be a cool hybrid build of sorts that takes advantage of cooldown abilities you're melding. I just don't see that happening without the 4p Vyr's bonus though with this build. I would try this with Vyr 6p and you would probably be a lot more successful than LoN and the build might actually be fun. Throw in Zodiac and Karini (storm armor for Slow Time), you're a lot tankier and you can practically spam molten impact outside of Archon.
09/20/2017 12:52 AMPosted by Sardaukar
Was about to remark that If by dropping out of Archon you mean actively cancelling the skill you will not get any Swami stacks so you will have to ride out your Archon, but in your playstyle you let it expire.


That's right. You have to wait.

09/20/2017 04:15 AMPosted by Toclmi
I don't see how using Archon is that advantageous with this setup. You're wasting 20 seconds to group up mobs a little for a 300% damage bonus and sacrificing a lot of damage to get your CDR up high. I know it's more of a proof of concept for you but taking the inverse, minimum benefit of Archon with Swami...you're playing a super gimped playstyle version of Firebirds for free 20 second teleports.


You say that like it's tiny. Yes, that's a 4x multiplier on top of whatever buffs we get in 2.6.1. What is 4x damage? That is a 9 GR difference my friend. But 2.6.1 is supposed to try to even the playing field with Archon for Wizard. However, lots of Wizard players have repeatedly pointed out that the fundamental problem with Wizard currently is that you can throw on a belt and a helmet and get a 4x damage increase provided you tie it to Archon. But we're tired of Archon infecting every set or fun build we have because someone wonders to themselves How can I push just a little further? and slaps on a belt and helmet, and voila.

Now how exactly am I wasting 20 seconds grouping mobs? It's in the title... I'm spending the time looking for elites. Once you find them, then you want to try to ball them together so that, for example, Meteor/Molten Impact gives you a bigger bang for your buck.

Great, gimped Firebirds build! Something to look at. I'll try to fit this ultra-buffed channeling+meteor elite hunting theme into Firebirds.

And lastly, which slots sacrifice damage to CDR? Which ones did I prescribe above where CDR takes the place of something like CHC/CHD? I guess the passive Evocation takes up, say, Power Hungry... but I get 4x damage versus 30% more damage. That's a pretty significant benefit over Power Hungry in my particular setup. It probably becomes more of an issue when you try to stuff this into a 6 piece set.
I love how you ignored my suggestion and tried to pick apart the rest. I have played Tal/Vyr, Lon Bombs for a significant amount of time and know that you indeed sacrifice to get 65+% CDR. Regardless, it's still a gimped out elite hunting setup. Use the V6 and reap the benefits of stacks outside of Archon, you'll play similarly and it will probably outperform your LoN version significantly.
You're right. I missed your second paragraph entirely! Sorry about that.

I'll have a look at 2.6.1 Vyrs as well.
I am at loss at what you are trying to do here.

I assume you wanna play meteor as you mentioned it and it has, by far, the highest multiplier.

But meteor does damage 1.75s after cast, and I am not sure when the damage is calculated; the point of impact or the point of cast. I assume at impact, just like bombardment.

Still it is too much trouble to only do higher damage for 2 secs after casting archon. Back then, your twister is up for 6 secs or so.

Since you dont deal much damage during archon, you are stuck at 50 stacks. Youd want vyr 4p or something to buff your damage (ias), so you either take an underwhelming vyr6 or sacrifice a lot of slots for vyr4tal6. If you do, you will be losing so much damage from missing slots and cube options.

Gonna keep watching this but i doubt archon works with neither orb nor meteor, nor twister.
09/20/2017 05:16 AMPosted by dejuvenate
I am at loss at what you are trying to do here.

I am trying to demonstrate to Blizzard that Fazulas/Swami+Archon will still be a problem in 2.6.1. My approach is to use Archon purely to seek elites, then kill the elites in 20 seconds of Swami time. I believe this could be a successful strategy since Corpse Lance builds can do similar (and in 10 seconds, not 20 seconds). The only major difference is that Land of the Dead/Frozen Lands really helps with mitigation. When you drop out of Archon to snipe the elites, you have a lot of stuff to dodge... So survivability is tough.

But if I can't manage to do that, then I'll be more convinced that they fixed the Archon issue. But I'm very skeptical.

We all want our other/classic builds to be more balanced with Archon. We really need to try use Archon creatively to see what we can do with it. For Blizzard and for our beloved class.
Just beat GR92 with a minute+ to spare. I think with some optimization, I can just touch GR100. I updated the build above to reflect what I changed since I wrote the original post.

So, LoN is the weakest set for Wizard. If I do manage to reach GR100 by abusing Fazulas/Swami+Archon in an LoN build... Well, what does that tell you about Fazulas/Swami?

So if I use another set like Tal Rasha, Firebirds, Vyrs or Delseres, sufficient mitigation withstanding (LoN gives LOTS of mitigation), it should be a CAKE WALK to push much higher.

Now, this may be presumptuous of me... But take the current best Tal Rasha or Firebirds or whatever Channel+Meteor build and give it 4x+ times more damage. What do you honestly think will happen on Live 2.6.1? Archon could very well be 10+ GRs above everything else (again). It's possible that this is too simplistic a conclusion owing to having to make more restricted item choices with 6 piece sets. But I'm slowly working my way up to GR100 with LoN ... with a measly 1200% multiplier (my amulet is not ancient). Firebirds and Tal Rasha are what? 3000%+?

EDIT:
Past tense now. Swami also does not end with 's'.
09/20/2017 06:57 PMPosted by nslay
with a measly 1200% multiplier (my amulet is not ancient). Firebirds and Tal Rasha are what? 3000%+?


3000/1200 = 2.5 = ~6 GR levels.

You're getting a bit caught up in the numbers rather than their relation. I'd be more concerned about how certain set mechanics might influence it.

09/20/2017 06:57 PMPosted by nslay
So if I use another set like Tal Rasha, Firebirds, Vyrs or Delseres, sufficient mitigation withstanding (LoN gives LOTS of mitigation), it should be a CAKE WALK to push much higher.


You can gain all of the LoN DR or more with one of the two ring slots you get back by leaving LoN. LoN's only real advantage in DR is the ease of slotting Aquila's, and even that's not as rare on 2.6.1 non-LoN builds lately either. I'm not so sure that LoN can claim the "tanky" ground anymore.

Just beat GR92 with a minute+ to spare. I think with some optimization, I can just touch GR100. I will update the build above to reflect what I changed since I wrote the original post.

So, LoN is the weakest set for Wizard. If I do manage to reach GR100 by abusing Fazulas/Swamis+Archon in an LoN build... Well, what does that tell you about Fazulas/Swamis?


GR 92 w/1 minute is a long, long way from GR 100. You'll have to about triple your damage. That and deal with the increased damage incoming as well (possibly less of an issue).

Not that I don't think that Fazula/Swami has been the root of the "Archon problem" for the wizard for some time now. I have been thinking about if Deathwish is going to really buff Archon build just as much or not. I was hoping itemization would be a roadblock to that.

The current MH Archon can drop Starfire for DW but they have no room for Hergbrash's. That might be a problem with Conduit+Static Discharge but that may not going to cut it at Archon boosted attack speeds so I suspect they might run into AP problems that get in the way.

The FB Archon sitting at GR 110 in PTR could do it by trading out Furnace for DW and CoE for RRoG. He's already not using the Swami though, in favor of Aquila's -
which he'd also have to give up if he wanted to take advantage of DW (unless I'm mistaken and DW does apply to Archon Beam as well now). CoE + Furnace is already a x2.25 multiplier loss, plus I'm thinking he ran into toughness problems in the first place at 110 if he moved to Aquila's.

Straight Vyr's does not appear to be a real threat in this scenario. Not sure about a Tal Archon w/ Chant's.

It's hard to say. We're not currently seeing it on the PTR leaderboard so it may not be an issue because of things like the above. My concern is that there is some sandbagging going on in the PTR and those who are interested in DW Archon are purposely not ranking with it.

-dolynick
Archon players shouldn't need Hergbrash's binding that badly. Although, you're right that if AS is high, then AP will be strained a lot more with channeling. But you're out of Archon, for what, 20 seconds? With just APoC on my source, so long as I cast AT/Static Discharge on large groups (small groups would be a waste of Molten Impact!), I can surprisingly keep the Aquilas buff without any thought or concern. No Magic Weapon/Conduit or RCR (aside of paragon) or anything like that...

The testing on PTR is done over a relatively short period and not as well used as Live. I would not put it past some of these Wizard players to invent some crazy build that exploits Fazulas and/or Swami somehow. I remember the Tal Rasha ET+Archon build when Delseres ET was the build. It was some European guy who topped the leaderboards with it. That build came toward the end of a season if I remember correctly.

Until this season, I never played the PTR (the queues were too long). Were unusual builds like Firebirds Archon or Tals+Vyrs+MH developed on PTR? I would suspect not because nobody probably had the kind of gear needed to play those builds until they farmed/rolled them after the roll-out.

As for tripling damage, if I pay more attention to Occulus Ring, replace Aquilas with Cinder Coat, change out Illusionist for Power Hungry, change out Molten Wilderbeest Gizzard for Zeis... I think I should be able to triple my damage...

1.85 * 1.125 * 1.3 * 1.5=4.0584375

It's optimistic. But let's say I can get the Occulus Ring 25% of the time:
(0.25*1.85 + 0.75*1) * 1.125 * 1.3 * 1.5=2.659921875

Not exactly 3... but it's getting there.

Without Aquilas, I guess I'll have to be able to survive with 200 million toughness out of Archon, and 800 million toughness in Archon. The former is not as tough as it might sound.

I have a Fire% Eye of Etlich. If I equip that, the 1.125 factor becomes 1.25 (these numbers are relative to the 60% fire I already have). But then my herds may be more distributed and I'll make poor use of Molten Impact.

1.85 * 1.25 * 1.3 * 1.5=4.509375
(0.25*1.85 + 0.75) * 1.25 * 1.3 * 1.5=2.95546875

Anyway, I'm going to try for GR100... To do it with LoN on Wizard could be something I could brag about (not that I would, ha).

Then I have quite some suggestions to follow up in this thread, particularly from @Toclmi.
09/20/2017 08:22 PMPosted by nslay
Without Aquilas, I guess I'll have to be able to survive with 200 million toughness out of Archon, and 800 million toughness in Archon. The former is not as tough as it might sound.


Neither is the latter really. Not in GR 90+. Even less so over 100.

09/20/2017 08:22 PMPosted by nslay
The testing on PTR is done over a relatively short period and not as well used as Live. I would not put it past some of these Wizard players to invent some crazy build that exploits Fazulas and/or Swami somehow. I remember the Tal Rasha ET+Archon build when Delseres ET was the build. It was some European guy who topped the leaderboards with it. That build came toward the end of a season if I remember correctly.


Sure. Some builds take some time to show up. Adding DW to Archon is, in my opinion, more-or-less a no-brainer to at least look at though. PTR players may or may not be the most capable but I'd think it would occur to at least some of them. If you are right and it's not showing up, it's more likely because it's being "hidden".

09/20/2017 08:22 PMPosted by nslay
Not exactly 3... but it's getting there.


Ok. But you're starting to struggle to find more. But let's assume you do make it to GR 100 with LoN. Even after you switch to Tal's 3,000%, that would put the damage in GR 106 range. It would have to be at 115 or better to show that it's got any advantage over the current PTR leaders.

Not that GR 106 - 110 isn't a solid result. It will certainly demonstrate that it's got some potential, and you are only pLevel 1150. Your goal was to demonstrate that Archon with DW will still be well ahead of other builds though. Simply being roughly on par and in pack for rank 1 along with the other new builds isn't a problem. It would actual be a good result in that it's balanced if that was the case.

Anyways... Keep testing. I'm not really trying to discourage you. I just don't think there is cause for concern yet. I'll admit, I'm rooting for you to fail but don't take that personally. It's more that I want to see Archon's outright dominance broken.

Also... Don't forget that the current version of ES being used in PTR leaderboard builds is bugged and doing as much as 1/3rd less damage than it should be from slower procs. They may pick up another GR level or two once it's fixed.

-dolynick
I wouldn't call that struggling. I'm not talking about augments to get 2-3% more damage from main stat or paragon grinding or anything like that. There's also +skill damage that I don't currently exploit... although I'm not entirely sure if Meteor would be additive with The Grand Vizier orange text (probably).

I can't promise you I can top the PTR leaderboards. There will be a point where paragon level and time will matter more. I can't easily compete with someone with, say, twice the main stat (which would be roughly double my damage). Nor can I really compete with someone with more time to play the PTR.

But here's what I can try. I can take the top performing PTR builds and try to fit Archon into those and see where it takes me. Provided I have all the gear with the right rolls.

With regard to 800 million toughness not being a lot in GR90+ (or even GR100), I respectfully disagree. Not only did GR92 and GR95 tickle the build above out-of-Archon, but I can tank almost anything in GR90+ and even GR100 with 300-400 million toughness on my CE Necro just fine. In the unusual event that I play that character in groups (GR90+, GR100+), I almost never die... or I am the last to die. I'm not suggesting that I stick around for elite affixes to hit me, but I can take hits from jailer, thunder, frozen, frozen pulse, most types of hits from RGs (Raziel can one-shot me with his star attack where he shoots 10 missiles in all directions), spears from goats and so forth... Ironically, just not charging beasts or Shock Towers. Somehow those can one-shot me.

And the top performing Necromancer build (Trag'Ouls Corpse Lance) can do all of this with even less toughness than what I am complaining about. I don't know how they do it... but they do it somehow.
If you want to stack archon stacks, and use them on a skill out side of archon, why not try something like this...

https://ptr.d3planner.com/238591230

Use V6 to stack archon stacks, then use starpact. Most likely wont be worth it, but could be fun.
Hi EigenVector, thanks for your suggestion. I will have a closer look at Star Pact soon. Could be potent with zNecro's globes!

For now, I'm not trying to directly build Archon stacks. I'm just using the 50 I get from the belt since that's a hefty 300% increased damage (for free!).
Alright, I've pushed to GR96. An OK rift and a few minutes to spare until I got a bad pack at the end (I died!). I almost gave up, but I managed to beat Perdition with seconds left (I didn't die somehow!)... I am very surprised.

I made some changes to the build. Halo of Karini is unbelievably powerful damage mitigation. I dropped Aquilas for Cindercoat for a little more fire damage. I also dropped Ess of Johan for Eye of Etlich for ranged damage mitigation. Rifts with lots of ranged monsters require you to tank hits for a couple seconds so you can channel. These are generally very bad rifts for this build. I also took up Power Hungry by dropping Illusionist (sketchy!). Now that I have Cindercoat (30% fire skill cost reduction) and only spend ~20 seconds out of Archon, I changed Arcane Torrent/Static Discharge to Arcane Torrent/Flame Ward for extra mitigation. That means APoC is no longer needed on the source and you can roll Meteor% (see note above). You will not experience any AP problems in ~20 seconds with Cindercoat and The Grandvizier. Lastly, I dropped Molten Wilderbeest Gizzard for Zeis. I hardly notice its absence. I have to use the potion maybe a little more, but very similar to before.

I might change Power Hungry back to Illusionist when I push to GR98 tomorrow (and hopefully GR100). I think teleport is one of those hard-to-quantify +damage utility skills. In this case, I not only need Teleport to get out of tough situations that I sometimes find myself in, but it's very useful to position yourself in a vacant corner of the map so that you can get a couple seconds to channel and land some meteors!

As another poster indicated, spending 20 seconds doing nothing in Archon form can be costly in time. This build is not very forgiving if you mess up the placement of the meteors! In GR96, I can two/three-shot the entire elite pack in one Archon cycle... but that's tough to do with all the dangerous rabble around you. If you miss, you may be spending another 20 seconds or more to make up for your mistake. Very unforgiving! Moral of the story: Don't miss! I guess this should be a similar moral for the Corpse Lance players too.
3000/1200 = 2.5 = ~6 GR levels.


I had another look at the leaderboards. The top player is sporting 29402 intelligence which is more than twice my intelligence 13731. He/She also uses CoE and Endless Walks with 39% increased fire damage. The player has high level gems BoT (123), Taeguks (110), Stricken (122). Firebirds is also a 5000% damage increase set.

On the other hand, I have 13731 intelligence, no damage rings and obviously no Endless Walk. But I do have 94% increased fire damage which is kind of like Endless Walk. To be fair, we could say that the top player has a 2*1.39 fire damage multiplier versus my 1.94. I also have Zeis (93), Stricken (97), Taeguks (90)... I don't know how much ~20-30 gem levels make a difference for these gems. So I'll ignore them for now.

So let's say I reach GR100 with LoN by abusing Archon. Ignoring the gems and 6 piece set bonus, what could I expect if I only had the same intelligence, elemental damage and Endless Walk+CoE buff?

log(2*1.39/1.94 * 1.5 * (1 + 294.02)/(1 + 137.31))/log(1.17)=9.69896376549

So about 9-10 GR levels. So I can nearly match the top player with just LoN if I had twice the intelligence, Endless Walks, CoE, and 39% fire damage. That would put me at a theoretical GR109-110 with the top player pushing GR114.

If I reached GR100 with just LoN, what could I do if I had twice the intelligence, CoE, Endless Walks and 5000% increased damage versus just 1200% increased damage?

log(2*1.39/1.94 * 1.5 * (1 + 294.02)/(1 + 137.31) * (1 + 50.00)/(1 + 12))/log(1.17)=18.4049741992

18 more GR levels... I pushed GR96 today, so I'm already at a theoretical GR114.

I haven't tried to fit Archon into that Firebirds build. And you may well be right that the item choices will prevent Fazulas/Swami from being used in Firebirds. But the numerical potential to push 9-10+ GRs above 114 is there (9-10 coming from the base 4x multiplier from Fazulas). If the Firebirds Archon can build Archon stacks, then game over. Archon potentially prevails yet again... and uses the channeling buff which was I thought was supposed to be anti-Archon.

If/When I reach GR100 with my weaker LoN build by using abusing Fazulas/Swami+Archon, I might just call it a day. My point would already be theoretically supported.
I see what you're saying for damage potential but it definitely won't translate over quite so easily. The big draw back of Archon Stacks is that they poof when you die, that's a huge disadvantage to the build you're running since dying sets you back up to 40 seconds. A potential 18 more GRs of damage is also 18 GRs of incoming damage you need to survive so even if the damage could push that high I don't think it's a good assumption at this stage.

All things being equal and if you can play both builds equally with very similar gear/stats, then that's how you need to judge the effectiveness more objectively. Another option would be to compare your performance to the GR of the highest performing person with very similar gear in a particular build, which you can't really do on PTR.
Alright, I'll try fitting Archon into the top build for a more objective comparison. And while you do make a very good point about 18 GR levels worth of incoming damage, I again point to top Trag'Ouls Corpse Lance builds that have a similar elite hunting strategy and arguably much less mitigation using a set that rewards using self-harming skills.

I still think pushing unreasonably/unexpectedly high with the worst Wizard set by abusing Archon and using the very buffs that are supposed to be anti-Archon still serves as good evidence that Fazulas/Swami are still a problem.
I don't disagree with you but if it's really just adding build variety then I'm fine with it working. If all of a sudden another archon build is on top competing with other archon builds then it's a problem.

Maybe you are creating an untapped build but obviously it's hard prove until it shows up on ladder.

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