need help with ray of frost tank build

  • #1
    I'm trying to build a ray of frost sleet storm build. Check out my gear and see where I can improve. Also with this build you don't want fast attack speed. The reason i went this spec cause the damage output is huge. I'm doing near 850k too 900k crits non stop. I tank ubers 8-10mp all the time. It's not a perafreeze build like ww/cm but the damage is crazy. Does anyone know if the 4 peice tals would be it for 3% more cold damage.

    Skills: ray of frost/sleet storm
    Slow time/time wrap 20% more damage
    Diamond skin/crystal skin
    Frost nova/bone chill 15% more damage
    Frost armor/ the one that adds 30% more defense per hit
    Force weapon 15% more weapon damage

    Passives
    Critical mass
    Glass cannon
    Cold blood

    Notes: I use soj 29% damage with 7% crit with ray of frost. Thinking skull grasp 7% ray with a roll of 4.5% crit. Looking for wand with life steal open stocket with arcane back per crit. Helmet with 6% crit 8% ray crit with huge int. Looking for tals ammy with colds damage with crit, or Mara ammy with 10% crit with 7% ray crit with huge int. If there's anything else you all might see they could help me plz do.

    Moola#1891
  • #2
    this looks pretty interesting, but is there some reason you're doing all of this instead of archon?

    Archon should beat this out in terms of pure damage, especially when you can ditch some of these skills for Storm Armor and the sparkflint rune on familiar. This build seems like it benefits greatly from specific specialized equipment, but isn't that more expensive for the damage? I think improved archon is something like 300% damage, so that's going to beat your 20% slow time, 15% chill, and 15% cold blood. Archon increases your armor and resist by 40% too, which may not be as high as ice armor with some stacks, but it is a lot less damage for the first hit or two.

    As to your equipment itself, why are you avoiding IAS exactly? IF ray of frost works anything like the archon beam, IAS will increase your damage and proc your CM more. I can see that coming in handy if you have some APoC in addition to freeing up frost nova. From my experience with frost nova (cm and not cm) the 15% damage isn't really reliable unless you can spam it. Monsters build up a quick resistance to it.

    This looks very interesting tho; I will take a look and see if I can try this out later to give you some more specific feedback. These kinds of builds are hard to test properly tho because I don't want to waste a ton of money on very build specific gear and have it not pan out...

    In any case, THANK YOU FOR POSTING. You're gonna get a lot of grief over efficiency vs fun, but I appreciate the time you put into not only putting this together, but posting it here to share.
  • #3
    Did you try Frostburn Gauntlets with max roll on this build? Might be better then other gloves because you have so much cold damage. They're pretty cheap to try it.
  • #4
    Reason I don't do archon cause it sucks at high level mp. I farm mp 6-10 with this build fast and not dying. Also my archon does 550 to 600 k. This build does more. Frost nova diamond skin and slow time always up. The reason I use slow attack speed is cause sleet storm cast 16 arcane per second. More attack speed more arcane I use per second and not get my arcane back per crit. 2% attack speed = 36 arcane per second. I have frostburn 6% and 30%. Isn't worth high crit/crit damage. Tried it didn't like it. Any other ideas would love.
    Also sometimes I drop ice armor for lighting armor, the one that reduce spells by 3.
    Ray of frost sleet storm 280% + 15% frost nova + 20% slow time, +20% cold blood. That's 335%
    damage to anything in 5yds of you. Also this spell is great with life steal not life on hit.
  • #5
    A couple things.

    Gear:
    First, don't go for a Tal's amulet with Cold damage just because it has cold damage. When something adds "X% Damage as (insert element here)", that doesn't mean it boosts skills or weapons that also have that elemental property. What it does is it increases your total damage by X% of your "black damage", in the form of the specified element. Your "black damage" is the non-elemental damage of your weapon (base weapon damage plus non-elemental bonuses if any) plus any min/max damage on jewelry, plus the damage from your offhand. This affix on some legendary/set items (Tal's amulet, Zuni boots, Triumvirate, etc.) has no impact on what skills you use or what element those skills are. Tal's amulet is still an option, but it doesn't have to have "cold" damage to be good.

    That being said, the only items that would specifically play into this sort of build are Frostburn Gauntlets and the Fragment of Destiny wand. We all know how sub-par these items are, and even with a build like yours these two items can be easily out-classed by the basic gear everyone wants: trifecta gloves and high dps+socket weapons. Tal's 4-peice also plays into your build, and could actually be pretty good with the AP regen. The problem is, you lose Witching hour, your 12% Ray crit helm, a shot at an amazing Mara's, and it's likely Zuni Marrow is a better armor for you than Tal's (see below). Overall, it seems like a loss (as usual for Tal's set bonuses).

    On the other hand, Mara's and/or Skull Grasp with Ray bonus could do well for you, but if you're intent on no IAS, you might want to forego the Skull Grasp. Another suggestion for you is Zuni's Marrow. Tal's Armor is great but it has IAS, and with your Zuni boots the Marrow would give about the same dps because of the +130 more INT, plus better survivability from the AR.

    You look like you could use more AR and armor overall, actually. Look for INT, Crit, AR, Armor, vit rare bracers (INT, crit and 1 other of those stats will beat what you have now) and possibly AR or armor on your boots, gloves and even helm (or APoC). A Mara's plays well into this too with its natural Vit and AR. Your amulet is good, but as you've already stated you can get up to 17% Ray crit on a Mara's, plus INT, Vit, AR, STR (armor) and 2 more random rolls. Finally, a Zuni Pox with CC would be just awesome if you also got the Marrow- INT, CC, CD and double rolls of AR? Awesome. (Your rare ring is pretty awesome too. Might save this one for last.)

    Skills:
    Do you really have Frost Nova "always up"? Seems a little too good to be true even with your very high crit chance on Ray, mostly due to your low APS (there's that IAS deficiency again). I don't know how well you take hits with this setup, but you could consider the Prism rune for Diamond Skin, and adding EB in the place of Frost Nova.

    The biggest gain here is that EB doesn't force a casting animation and Frost Nova does, so you would no longer be interrupting your Ray channeling. Re-casting Ray costs more AP than channeling it, so even though you're spending AP on EB, you're netting some back from a lessened cost of Ray and switching to the Prism rune. Plus EB has a decent coefficient and should trigger some CM and APoC procs too. (This could get even better if you found a helm with APoC. Another thing this can do is give you more options for a good Mara's in that you can consider EB Mara's as well as RoF.)

    You could argue that Frost Nova adds damage too through Bone Chill, but that's only during Nova's duration. If you get some pretty decent up-time on Nova then the damage comparison to EB may come out as a draw, but still, EB doesn't interrupt Ray, and Nova does. This is highly dependent on your up-time of Nova though, and whether you can still survive without that CC.

    You could try getting Evocation over Glass Cannon. You'd get some additional up-time on DS-Prism so your spells stay low and you'd get more EB casts for additional damage, plus the survivability "boost" of not taking a 10% penalty to damage reduction. It'd be a net dps loss though.

    All of this is just my thoughts and suggestions of course. I've considered a build almost identical to this myself (with all the variations I've talked about here) but never got around to trying it out. In the end, just go with whatever is the most fun. This is a game after all.
  • #6
    I know how black weapon works I got a black weapon and a bit of elemental damage. I have tried frostburn and Fragment of Destiny wand but I just lose too much crit/crit damage or just flat out damage in game, (I dont go by paper damage cause its all fucked up). As you were talking about the Zuni set. I have 3 peices of it, Chest,Ring (with CC) and boots. I use that set only when tanking Ubers mp8-10. I sit near 400-500 AR when farming mp6-8. When I do ubers I get all my resistance gear on and Sit near 1040 AR. Also the reason i use frost nova is not because of the extra damage (which is nice), but its a form of CC. And yes frost nova is up A LOT. But I will try EB and Prism. I dont have a issue with arcane if theres 2 or more mobs sitting on me. (I do have a storm crow helmet with 5 crit). But that extra 6% ray of frost is just too nice to pass over.I dont want to drop glass cannon for evocation due to my timers are normally always up, plus i like the extra damage glass cannon gives.
    Also been looking at tal rashs 4 peice, and I found how the tal helmet cant roll Ray of frost crit nor Arcane back per second (which is stupid I think). So yea fuck that 4 peice. Im thinking just find a better helmet with 14% total crit + arcane back + high int. and 17% crit ammy. Should put me over 77% crit.
    Thank you for your thoughts.
  • #7

    this looks pretty interesting, but is there some reason you're doing all of this instead of archon?


    Let's do a calculation. Sleet storm is 280%. The only dmg add that you probably use here, and not in archon is the slow time 20%, and the 15% on bonechill. That is 280%*(1+0.2+0.15) = 378%.

    Archon is 300% without improved archon and 375% (300 * 1.25) with. So the raw damage is quite close, but you have to use 3 slots to achieve it. So improve archon + sparkflint will be more dps just by doing the numbers.

    However, note that archon also buffs defense, and that its beam can hit more mobs at the same time, and also at range. That makes archon safer to use, and potentially also higher AOE dps because it can melt everything on screen in the same direction.

    Now it does have a CD but there are builds (like the perma archon for low MP, and hybrid for high) that minimize the down-time. The trade off of course is while this sleetstorm build has no CD, it is using AP so either you may have to sacrifice some gear for APOC, which will lower the DPS.

    Having said all these, this is an interesting build, and i would try it out tonight.
  • #8


    this looks pretty interesting, but is there some reason you're doing all of this instead of archon?


    Let's do a calculation. Sleet storm is 280%. The only dmg add that you probably use here, and not in archon is the slow time 20%, and the 15% on bonechill. That is 280%*(1+0.2+0.15) = 378%.

    Archon is 300% without improved archon and 375% (300 * 1.25) with. So the raw damage is quite close, but you have to use 3 slots to achieve it. So improve archon + sparkflint will be more dps just by doing the numbers.

    However, note that archon also buffs defense, and that its beam can hit more mobs at the same time, and also at range. That makes archon safer to use, and potentially also higher AOE dps because it can melt everything on screen in the same direction.

    Now it does have a CD but there are builds (like the perma archon for low MP, and hybrid for high) that minimize the down-time. The trade off of course is while this sleetstorm build has no CD, it is using AP so either you may have to sacrifice some gear for APOC, which will lower the DPS.

    Having said all these, this is an interesting build, and i would try it out tonight.


    Don't forget the 20% from cold blooded passive. That's multiplicative with the rest.

    Seems to me it's basically better single target dps than Archon, assuming you don't run out of AP, but not as good at aoe. Still behind SNS in both cases, but without the button mashing, so that's not too bad. If you can fit in EB or Wave of Force (I think WoF doesn't use an attack animation, but I'm not completely sure), that'd raise the aoe potential and increase the single target dps to make it more competetive. The knockback might actually help survivability a tad too, if that's an issue.

    Overall seems like an iteresting build that has good promise.
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  • #9
    I would consider this more of a "fun" build rather than an effective/efficient build, simply because you have to hunt down very, very specific stats to make it work as well as other cookie-cutter builds.

    I just have to wonder about survivability in your case. You're sitting on just a few ticks above 200K unbuffed EHP (dodge included) and very low AOE potential. As Loroese pointed out, this looks to be more effective against single targets like ubers rather than high MP farming.
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  • #10
    Been using this spec for a few months now. Great aoe build but the targets have to be close. I tried it with eb, sucked. Going to try wave of force tonight. Yes archon is faster for low mp levels. But this is a tank build. I farm mp8 pretty Damn well. It's pretty fast to. I sir at 160k dps, hitting for 800-900k per half second to everything within 5yds. Also with 3% life steal u shouldn't die. Hard part is arcane back per second. I only use a offhand with arcane per hit, still looking for wand or helmet. Remeber crit on hlmet can get to 14% instead of 6% due to ray of frost. Looking for 3 items. Helmet (high int, ar, arcane back, 6% crit, 8% ray of frost, stocket. Wand crit, ls, stocket, arcane back per crit. Ammy maras, 10% crit, high ar, int, 7% ray of frost. I have 800m to spend so I will buy anything close to those. Also my damage might be 160k but it doesn't add on paper that 7% more crit from soj, or 6% from helmet. I want to sit at 77% crit chance after everything is done. Any more ideas will help. Try out for your self. I can near 40k HP, 850ish ar 160k dps when I farm mp8. Yes I also can solo or tank ubersexual mp8-10 with this spec.
  • #11
    Give this a whirl:

    http://us.battle.net...gXYS!YgW!YcZccZ

    If you're already maintaining a high up-time on Frost Nova, you probably don't need Crystallize and Crystal Shell. You can trade them for Diamond Shards and Frozen Storm, both of which add AoE damage, can crit for CM/APoC and don't interrupt Sleet Storm. This will further increase the spammability of your Frost Nova due to added crits AND net you better healing through LoH or LS as both affect these runes.

    You could go even further and drop Magic Weapon for Explosive Blast at that point as you shouldn't have any trouble maintaining it. Your other abilities will do less damage, but EB could make up for it. It's worth experimenting with even if you didn't like it before.

    Either way, every single ability does damage or increases your damage.
  • #12
    After countless of hours playing with this build I found when I drop slow time for Hydra (arcane) the damage output is greater, also helps against those nasty runners. I tried what you said, frozen armor/frozen storm, the ticks are near 3k-8k per hit which is nothing. Hydra is doing near 70-80k crits on top of my cold blooded it moves it near 90-100k per hit. Also I must have diamond skin/Crystal shell vs reflect mobs. Due to the damage output is so great reflect will fuck you up every time. I sit near 200-230k dps, 4.4% life steal, 800ish LOH 800 res and reflect just blows me away in seconds. Also I switched up force weapon to blood magic, that 1.5% life steal is needed when in mp8 and greater. (or tanking ubers).
    Also you said drop force weapon and go with explosive, I tried and cant. I have problems keeping my arcane up and spamming that explosive will just rape the arcane I have. This spec is based around slow attack speed. 16 arcane per second, 2AS = 36 arcane per second. Im sitting near 1.5ish AS making this spell 25ish per second.
    I have 2B gold I tent on spending on this spec, just cant ever find the damn peices I want. After its all done I should sit at near 80% crit chance +frost nova adding 15% more = 95% chance to crit at all times. This spec can be very nasty if geared right.
    I keep hearing people say this spec is stupid and worthless, until I bring in them game of mp8 or higher and show them what it can do. This spec can be a beast at speed farming higher mps or just tanking (for pvp I have No fucking idea lol). If you have more questions on how to use this spec or whatnot just ask. I think Im one of the top geared players when it comes down to this spec.
  • #13

    After countless of hours playing with this build I found when I drop slow time for Hydra (arcane) the damage output is greater, also helps against those nasty runners. I tried what you said, frozen armor/frozen storm, the ticks are near 3k-8k per hit which is nothing. Hydra is doing near 70-80k crits on top of my cold blooded it moves it near 90-100k per hit. Also I must have diamond skin/Crystal shell vs reflect mobs. Due to the damage output is so great reflect will fuck you up every time. I sit near 200-230k dps, 4.4% life steal, 800ish LOH 800 res and reflect just blows me away in seconds. Also I switched up force weapon to blood magic, that 1.5% life steal is needed when in mp8 and greater. (or tanking ubers).
    Also you said drop force weapon and go with explosive, I tried and cant. I have problems keeping my arcane up and spamming that explosive will just rape the arcane I have. This spec is based around slow attack speed. 16 arcane per second, 2AS = 36 arcane per second. Im sitting near 1.5ish AS making this spell 25ish per second.
    I have 2B gold I tent on spending on this spec, just cant ever find the damn peices I want. After its all done I should sit at near 80% crit chance +frost nova adding 15% more = 95% chance to crit at all times. This spec can be very nasty if geared right.
    I keep hearing people say this spec is stupid and worthless, until I bring in them game of mp8 or higher and show them what it can do. This spec can be a beast at speed farming higher mps or just tanking (for pvp I have No fucking idea lol). If you have more questions on how to use this spec or whatnot just ask. I think Im one of the top geared players when it comes down to this spec.


    Very interesting stuff, thanks for keeping the thread alive! I have been monitoring this and related threads for a few weeks, and though I dont have the funds to support a build like this, I highly value you guys doing all the hard work :)

    Would you be able to produce a video of your runs? It would be a great addition to your theorycrafting, and a great tool to silence the nay-sayers ;)
  • #14
    Video would be great. I'd settle for an actual guide with what you look for in gear in each slot and what your final skills/runes/passives ended up being, play strategies, things you need to overcome (RD obv, etc)
  • #15
    Items to look for:
    Helmet: storm crow with 8% ray of frost crit, or 150+ int, high ar, 6crit, 8 frost crit, arcane back per crit, stocket.
    Shoulders: vile ward high int and vit
    Chest: zun armor high int/vit
    Neck: maras 10% crit, 7% frost crit, high int
    Gloves: 10% crit, 50 critdamage, high ar, over 200int, vit
    Rings: skull grasp 7% frost crit, 4.5 crit, high int, zun ring max crit for set, or soj 30% damage 7% frost crit
    Weapon: use a ones handed weapon with offhand, must have arcane back per crit on both. Don't get a weapon past 1.5% attack speed.
    Offhand: anything with arcane back per crit so trim is the best here.
    Bracer: high ar,int, 6 crit, vit
    Belt: witching hour or crazy tals rasha belt

    This is the basic run down on how to gear for this.
    If you notice I try to stay away from attack speed items. More attack speed you have the worst this spec is. Try not to go over 1.6% attack speed. I been using twitch.tv to live stream this spec (still new to live stream).
    Talents
    Ray of frost sleet storm
    Time wrap slow time or teleport fracture
    Diamond skin crystal
    Frost nova bone chill or deep freeze (15% more crit, which with this spec can get you near 90% crit chance)
    Magic weapon Blood weapon is a must here (life on hit for some god reason doesn't do SHIT for sleet storm.)
    energy armor Prismatic armor
    Passives: Cold Blooded
    Critical Mass
    Last one theres 3 you can pick from Blur if you need have issues living. Glass cannon for more damage, or unstable anomaly (just in case something bad happens you dont really die).
    The goal with this spec is to get in the middle of the group (teleport fractuce) and just spam frost nova and sleet storm.

    Things to over come. Reflect damage is a working issue, I have yet to find a find around it. I have ran up 1400res (buffed) 5k armor, 45k hp, 900 LOH, 4.5% life steal with 230k dps. I died within seconds of using sleet storm. I think the damage is so great (800-950k) per half second, that my res or LOS/LOH isnt enough to keep my ass alive. But I heard the changes to reflect in the next patch should fix that issue.

    Like I said Im still trying to find gear, I steam at nights under the name moolamoola (Moola was taken). If any of you have any questions or how this works let me know. Also if you find a peice of gear that will make me cry in my pants (I fucking want, I have 2.1B gold to spend)
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