I asked a question very similar to this about a month ago with 1.03, but now that my friend and I are bordering on Inferno (Act 3 Hell atm) I need to know what the hell I'm doing. XD
So, let me break it down.
A majority of the build threads are very solo-based and I only ever play with my friend. She still hasn't decided between her Witch Doctor her Barb for her main yet, so I don't know who I'll be playing with, but I'm using my Wizard for sure. (She loves the new buffs for pets on WD, but her Barb has leap XD)
Now, here's what I want to specify.
A lot of builds are all Critical Mass/Storm Chaser. But this is something Blizzard will nerf - if you don't think that will happen you're very naive. And I really don't want to play off the bugs of the system - I'd rather enjoy my rotation and not have to make this same 1.05 thread in another month. So Storm Chaser for crits - not interested. That being said, if CM is useful for other things, I would totally take that up. XD
I also don't want a melee wizard. I just like ranged classes. Personal preference.
I probably need Teleport of some kind, I'm sure. You know. To not die.
Beyond that, I really really love Archon and Disintegrate. I don't know why, but everyone hates Dis. But that and Chaos Nexus has only done me justice since I got it. So I'd like to know what's up with that.
Passives elude me. They all seem so incredibly subpar that I can't decide.
And if at all possible, a build for both bosses and standard mobs would be lovely.
One of the bad points about the Wizard is that as a class they don't really have many 'party buffs' like some of the other classes, a very good AOE slow and the Slow Time: Stretch Time skill are the only 2 I can really think of. It is possible to base builds around these, but not as effective as 'co-op builds' for other classes.
That said I've played a fair amount of Co-op with both WD and Barb and so here are my recommendations (also taking into account somewhat your preferences):
This build would work best paired with the Barbarian. While Temporal Flux means the mobs are slowed and you have teleport for 'oh #@1¬' moments having a tank/melee partner really lets this build shine. Use Missile to get 5 stacks, then blast away with disintigrate until Archon is off CD, get another 5-stack then do more face melting. Hydra could be replaced with another defensive skill but it's wonderful for extra DPS and keeping Temporal Flux on lots of mobs. If your really good at your timing Meteor:Star Pact would also be an interesting option.
This is the build I use most often either solo or Co-op. Good damage, easy to gear for with the fantastic AOE slow of Blizzard and the great AOE damage of Electrocute: Lightning Blast. Works very well when paired with another ranged class with the AOE slow helping both of you and mirror images soaking up missile fire from mobs. Illusionist passive is excellent when you have both teleport and mirror image in a build while cold blooded and glass cannon really help boost your dps. Could optionally replace Mirror Image with Slow Time: Stretch Time for an AOE DPS boost.
You could also have a look at the cold build I posted about in this Topic.
While most specs will work with whatever gear, some are better than others depending on your weapon type. Specs using an AP burner (Disintigrate/Arcane Orb/Arcane Torrent) are going to be more efficent with a slow weapon and plenty of AP on Crit stats. Specs using a signature spell more often are better with a faster weapon.
I really dig the Archon/Arcane Slow model, actually. I find Blizzard/Hydra a little too kite-ish for a co-op game (especially with teleport), but the Arcane one seems great. I thought, actually, about having things like Temporal Flux and keeping my rotation very Arcane based. I've just been so into Electrocute as a Signature. Missile seems so slow. @_@ Is it really as viable as something with more spread like Electrocute? That being said, would the Arcane Dynamo "next time you use a non-signature" apply to Archon or a consistant stream of Dis? Just questions I'm having. XD
I hate Meteor. I don't know - too slow for me, and too much AP. But on the other hand, I find Arcane Hydra to be a God.
Just noticed things were clickable. @_@ Wow, Peachie. Smart girl...
Only question on the Archon/Arcane Slow one is Dis. Is Volatility really the route to go over Chaos Nexus? I only ask because Chaos Nexus has saved my butt in situations where an enemy is coming up from behind. Then again, I suppose that's my own carelessness and I should be focusing forward... >.
I guess one other question. Improved Archon was always my way to go. But after the huge buff to Arcane Destruction, it makes a great oh shit button. And even a suicide bombing button against yellows and blues. XD Opinions?
I don't know what your gear level is, but I would really recommend against using an archon build with less than at least 90k DPS, and probably you want more than that. Until the patch, I was running at 75k DPS because I was saving gold for the new legendaries etc that I knew the patch would bring and wasn't buying any upgrades. I kept trying to make an archon spec work at that point and could never pull it off, because it just wasn't killing things fast enough to give up all the survivability/tools you get from your other spells when not in archon. After the patch, I bought upgrades and boosted my dps up to 120k and now archon is incredibly efficient. So it really is a spec that requires good gear.
I would recommend something more like the typical blizzard/hydra spec. Arcane hydra is very strong now. If you have a crit chance of about 40%+ or higher, Forked Lightning is amazing. If not, use piercing orb or lightning blast.
Archon isn't a requirement for me. It's just one of the spells I like a lot. If I can implement things I like in my rotation, all the better.
That being said, I don't want a basic kiting rotation like Blizzard/Hydra. I will probably use Arcane Hydra regardless because I love it, but my kiting will be very minimal when I'm in co op. And as long as I can keep the mobs at bay long enough for aggro to go away on me, I'd be fine. Hence Fracture.
I've used Forked Lightning a lot, and I really really like it. My only worry is that it doesn't give the slow from Temporal Flux. Though I guess I /do/ have my Hydra for that.
Keep the ideas coming, guys. Everything is helpful.
(Gear level is crap, btw. Still finishing up Hell atm. But I want a rotation I can stick with for a while.)
Wizard actualy has ways to buff his entire party...
Blizzard - mass aoe snare
Slow time - Stretch Time - faster atacks for party
Cold Blooded - all enemies chilled/frozen by your frost spells take additional 20% dmg from ALL sources
Conflogration - all enemies recently atacked by your fire spells take additional 10% dmg from ALL sources
Temporal Flux - another snare...
Good thing about party wizard is you dont have to do anything special beside atacking to help your party. Just take blizzard and disintegrate and you got snare + nuke beam + 30% dmg bonus to entire party
Or take frost hydra and meteors for same bonus...
Or act as a tank immobilizing entire army with frost novas, slow time and waves of force...
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Rencol - Diablo fan since 1996 and walking encyclopedia of Diablo lore.
I use a crit mass build with Archon (improved), Shock Pulse (living lightning) and Frost Nova (deep freeze). Between cooldown reducing passives and a base crit of 27% right now I'm able to stay in Archon quite a bit. There's no room in my build for disintegrate but the Archon's disintegrate more than makes up for it. Living Lightning, in my experience, procs CM more than anything besides twister, and I enjoy that it frees me from having to worry about managing my mana.
I also miss Teleport, which I don't have in my build. I use diamond skin so I can stand in the middle of large groups of mobs and just spam LL & refresh diamond skin. I run into problems with heavy CC mobs that I can't melt quick and/or whose damage output exceeds my ability to mitigate. I can clear most any pack I hit in Inferno A2, but struggle in A3 solo. A3 public I do just fine in so long as there's a semi-decent tank around to buy me those precious extra seconds I sometimes need. I haven't tried A4 yet.
The problem with Archon:
Actually there are two problems with Archon. The most obvious is that you lose your defensive abilities, and any mobility spells you have. This means that while Archon is active you can't Teleport out of a waller, desecrated, fire chains trifecta of death. You also can't use Diamond Skin, if that is something you have on your bar.
The second problem is that you shouldn't need Archon active to kill anything. If you do, then you get ~20 seconds of killing followed by 100 seconds of waiting. Archon is most used in Inferno for when you overgear the content (the 90k dps comment made above) and you can move from room to room mowing down enemies while you're safe with your bonuses to armor and resistance. When you are in a group, you don't actually get the killing blow on every single monster, which means that you can't refresh the duration of Archon and end up only getting 15-20 seconds out of it. That basically translates into a wasted slot on your bar.
The problem with Disintegrate:
You have to channel. That's pretty much the biggest problem with Disintegrate. When you get to Inferno, you will find that stuff kills you very fast. You can't hope to pop Diamond Skin and stand in one place very long. While I feel that the Chaos Nexus rune is still the best, you don't really want to stand still when monsters get that close to you. Similarly, you need to be significantly more aware of your environment in Inferno, so nothing should be able to sneak up behind you.
You might ask yourself why Archon gets to channel but Disintegrate is death. The answer is due to the previously recommended overgearing content, but Archon also gives some defense boosts that you don't get with Disintegrate.
Before I get into my recommended build, I have a few hints for co-op Inferno. First of all, a tank makes things much easier as a squishy caster. If you want to run with a Wizard and a Witch Doctor, it can work, but you have to have a lot of coordination. If your friend decides on Barbarian, you're golden. Have them build defensively, and basically block paths for you to rain hell from afar.
You will want a Hydra. If you have a tank, the Venom Hydra can stack up its pools in one spot and do huge amounts of damage. If you have to kite, the Arcane Hydra can snare (with Temporal Flux) and make life easier on both of you.
For starting out in Inferno, you will want to hit the AH and get a decent set of lvl 60 gear. At this point you can get good starting gear for cheap. The lvl 60 gear is such a huge jump in damage and defense, you will be surprised.
Here's my build http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/Zeyn-1153/hero/3275686
You can see that I don't need to build for crit because I don't have a CM build. However, it still boosts my damage and once I build more gear I can try out different builds. The Magic Missile-Seeker rune is incredible for co-op because you can keep firing wildly even when there is a ton of explosions and graphic effects going off and you can't see where you're aiming. Arcane Orb- Celetial Orb means that I can shoot "through" enemies and hit the elite in the back where I want to deal the most damage to. No minions blocking my shots!
Although, you might want to start out with Force Armor, until you get better gear.
Rencol - Dis is Arcane, not fire. But I still see your point. I'll try to incorporate those "% damage" bonuses in my build.
wyllder - I like that CM build a lot more than what other people are doing, but I'm still not entirely sure what my plan is with CM. Thing is, I find CM a little useless unless you're using Archon or a ton of those low cooldown things. But the fact of the matter is, with Wizard, you'll likely spend 2-3 of your slots simply on passives or things without cooldowns. Hydra has no cooldown, and you'll probably have an armor active at all times. Teleport is the only thing I could think it very useful for (or Frost Nova or Diamond Skin) but you usually only use one of those and Illusionist really fixes the teleport issue. And Frost Nova, I believe.
You make very valid points on Archon. I actually find myself on bosses in Hell and thinking "Oh damn, no Diamond Skin..." which usually results in my impending death. And with the earlier points made in regard to Archon, I think I probably /will/ drop it from my list. Until I can go into farm mode, anyway. But I see the relevance in how it would sort of suck in 2 player.
Your Dis argument is also very valid, which bothers me tremendously. ;_; You use Arcane Orb, but I find it /sooooo/ slow. It burns through your AP like gasoline, it fires slowly, and it /moves/ slowly. And while I'm sure it's very strong, it seems so very lackluster to me. Like I'm waiting instead of killing. Beyond that, I take into account what you say about knowing my environment and I wonder if maybe volatility would be better than Chaos Nexus in that situation. Or whatever that rune is that makes your beam do more damage. I'm not against switching my Secondary, I'm not! I just haven't found anything beyond Dis in the secondary slot that feels nice. But I'll give anything a shot.
I relayed what you said about WD and Barb to my friend. She thanks you. She'll likely just pick whatever class she finds more fun, though.
So, without CM, the idea of stacking crit chance is bad? Seems to me, CM or not, that crit chance would be where you get a lot of your damage either way... but I might be reading into that too much. I'm not sure how much of you other stats you'd have to give up to get 40% crit.
Not specified to a single person -
What I've learned mostly from the above posts is that I might be wanting to think about something other than Arcane. My original intent was to grab as many decent arcane moves as possible, add Temporal Flux, and that's that. But with Blizzard and Cold Blooded, I'm wondering if that's a better route. Though ray of Frost is pretty lackluster. Or is there a proper way to combine the two worthy of giving up two passive spots?
Okay - I've been thinking a bit. This is just what I've been playing over and over in my head, and it's what I've come up with. If at any point my math is wrong or I misinterpreted something, someone please tell me. Also, this is a template. Criticism welcome.
I think I should build crit chance way up. 40%ish range. And I think this should be the first thing I do. The second thing I should do is get an AP on Crit helm (or whatever the hell that comes on). That way, my AP regen is golden.
This'll be interesting, though, because I'm going to do a crit build without CM.
My signature - and yes, I'll have a signature - would be Electrocute, Forked Lightning. The only reason I'd have this is my "just in case". I'm not going to be kiting a lot, which means I /will/ run out of AP at some point. And Elec, FL is based on crit chance. Not only would it hit three enemies, but with a high crit chance you are pretty much guaranteed 200% additional weapon damage (with luck).
My secondary I am still debating, but if I can get over the huge AP and slowness of Arcane Orb, Celestial Orb, I will probably use that. It has the same benefits of Dis without the channelling. And with the AP regen, it should be fine. Still, I'll experiment.
Arcane Hydra - I love it. I'm not ever getting rid of it because I love it and he's cute and yes.
Blizzard - This is only if my friend plays Barbarian. The way I see it, if she is on WD, she'd already have her Hands snare, and they don't stack. But Blizzard will give me the Cold Blooded boost, which I'll get to in passives. (I've never used Blizzard so I don't know glyphs, but I was thinking just the one that increases radius.)
Teleport, Fracture - Oh shit button. I figure even without the CM or Illusionist passives, I will still be okay. If my friend plays her Barb, she'll have most of the aggro. And Fracture will be 8 seconds of saving, which I can use to try to either get away or kill the mobs. I know this is chance, but it doesn't seem necessary enough to waste a passive on.
Energy Armor, Focus Armor - To not die. It'll probably change to Prismatic once I'm actually strong.
Cold Blooded - The party buff would be pretty awesome. I would only have Blizzard, but with the big radius I don't see it as a very big problem. Question, though. What if someone else used a chilling or frozen attack - maybe another wizard? Would the buff still apply to everyone or would that wizard need Cold Blooded?
Temporal Flux - With Arcane Orb and Arcane Hydra, I don't see why not.
Glass Cannon - I have a moral objection to this, but since I won't be using Magic Weapon and Sparkflint in my rotation, I should probably have /some/ damage boosting thingy. That being said, I could fill this slot with anything. (Btw, my moral objection is that Wizards have to sacrifice armor for their damage boosting passive whereas every other class doesn't. Lame, right?)
So yeah. Critique.
P.S. If my friend plays her WD instead of Barb, I'll probably switch Blizzard and Cold Blooded out for more survivability/defensive things. Probably Diamond Skin or Frost Nova for the move and I don't know with the passive yet.
If my friend uses WD instead of Barb, I'll probably do something like this.
Just thought of something - if we combine Slow Time - Time Warp with Grasp of the Dead, we get the 20% damage boost of Cold Blooded and the damage and snare of Grasp of the Dead. This also frees up my Cold Blooded passive slot for something else, which could be nice. But this means no Blizzard damage. Though it would give me more AP since Slow Time lasts 8 seconds (vs. 6 on Blizzard) and uses no AP. Then I could use my spare passive for CM, allowing me to use Slow Time and Teleport more often?
EDIT: It has also been brought to light that Arcane Torrent Disruption is pretty damn good. XD So would that be a better secondary than Celestial Orb with high crits? Celestial can burn through mobs, though... but Disruption has the 15% bonus and epic damage. I'll have to try them out. Opinions welcome.
I think you're getting ahead of yourself. If you aren't even lvl 60, you can't possibly make informed decisions based on your own play style.
Arcane Orb lets you fire-and-forget. Celestial Orb lets your obliterate large groups of skeletons or illusion or what have you. The cost is high, but with some +AP on crit, you can easily fire off 3 in a row. And that is enough to destroy nearly everything.
Arcane Torrent has a delay before it does damage. The damage is high, but if you miss its a waste.
Blizzard is never used for damage. It is used for the snare and the 20% from Cold Blooded. Don't expect to do much damage with Blizzard, if you use that build about 2/3 of your damage comes from Hydra.
Really though, don't worry about it too much. I spent several runs in Inferno playing around with spells to see what I liked, before finally settling on what I use. Is it the best? It is for me. It fits my play style very well, gives me plenty of damage, and I don't have to do a lot of weird things or keep track of my cooldowns to be effective. It's... relaxing.
I think you're getting ahead of yourself. If you aren't even lvl 60, you can't possibly make informed decisions based on your own play style.
You clearly don't know me. XD
I understand what you are saying, and I am very glad Blizzard has made the class so viable with most every spell. And yeah, I know that a majority of my Inferno play will come down to what I like. I didn't expect this forum post to give me the perfect cookie cutter build. I actually specified at the beginning the kinds of things I enjoy and the kinds of things I don't. What I was mostly hoping for in this thread was a new perspective. And so far it's achieved very good things for me. I learned about Archon and Dis. I learned about Celestial Orb. I learned to try to get Cold Blooded up, or even Temporal Flux. It's been very very helpful. And the build I specified above, though I'll probably go with the WD route with Time Warp and CM, is what I've managed to build accordingly.
And you, Zeyn, have been incredibly helpful. And I thank you very very much! <3
I know it's absurd that I'm planning so far ahead, but it's the way I work.