[GUIDE] Black Ice, guide and videos

  • #1
    The build:


    My profile:


    This is basically your standard WW/CM build with Black Ice slotted in place of Wicked Wind.

    How and why it works:

    Every time you kill something while channeling Black Ice -- even if Black Ice isn't what dealt the killing blow -- a patch of Black Ice will go out for each mob killed as long as you continue to hold down the Black Ice button. Each patch ticks internally 12 times in 3 seconds (game displays 2 ticks per second), each of the 12 ticks has a proc coefficient of .333, and the patches stack (meaning a mob can be getting hit by multiple patches at once). This means that it synergizes extremely well with Shocking Aspect, as well as Critical Mass + Explosive Blast + Diamond Shards for some absolutely ridiculous damage once you get going with it.

    How to gear for it:

    You can easily get away with just 1 source of APoC if you stick to only killing big groups of mobs at once. You also need Lifesteal on weapon, decently high mitigation/eHP, and enough dps to get that first killing blow right away. IAS will only increase the damage of the Ray of Frost beam itself, so it's not a super important stat to chase after. High Crit Chance is very much recommended since it means more CM and Shocking Aspect procs, and since you're going for high CC it simply follows that you also chase after high Crit Damage. Basically if you gear like a high eHP Archon that uses 1 or 2 sources of APoC you're good to go.

    How to play it:

    Use Blizzard to round up huge packs of mobs. The snare and healing will help keep you alive until you're ready to start killing. Once you get a good sized pack of mobs rounded up, cast a Frost Nova (I recommend Deep Freeze for the extra Crit Chance) to freeze them in place for a few seconds to buy you time to get that first killing blow, stand your ground and hold down your Black Ice button (try to aim at a low HP mob to start), and start mashing the ever loving crap out of Chain Reaction and Diamond Shards. As soon as one mob dies, watch as the magic happens.

    As soon as the first mob dies and other mobs walk into the Black Ice patch, Shocking Aspect and Critcal Mass start going nuts, giving Chain Reaction and Diamond Shards basically ZERO cooldown. Every time a mob dies, another Black Ice patch will go out, causing this insane chain reaction.

    Remember to try and stand your ground the entire time (or as much as you can) while never letting up off of Black Ice, Chain Reaction, and Diamond Shards. Also, try to make sure you position close to the elites in a pack when you cast your Frost Nova so that Shocking Aspect procs hit them. If they're too far way, they'll be out of range of Shocking Aspect (or SA will mostly be hitting trash mobs) and it'll take longer to kill them.

    This is NOT a perma-freeze build. As a matter of fact, trying to mash Frost Nova along with everything else will cause you to not achieve the desired results. Why? Because Frost Nova takes an attack animation. So if things die from Chain Reaction, Diamond Shards, or Shocking Aspect while you're in the middle of casting Frost Nova, you'll lose out on Black Ice patches. Remember that although it doesn't matter which ability of yours lands the killing blow, you MUST be holding down Black Ice in order for a patch to go out when a mob dies.

    Here are a couple of recent videos of mine showing it in action on MP10 in Fields of Misery:

    Using Blizzard to round up mobs:

    Using Teleport: Wormhole for mobility:

    In the second video, around the 8 minute mark, you can see me kill an Extra Health yellow Elite that has about 49 million HP in about 6 seconds.

    Note how you're able to kite elite packs into huge packs of trash mobs and blow them up in no time. If needed, don't be afraid to re-kite the elites to another pack of trash mobs if you weren't able to kill them right away. Your aim is to kill everything anyhow, so you're not really losing time doing this. If you think about it in terms of just kiting yet another pack of trash to other packs, it makes it easier to stomach.

    This spec works best in places that don't have any ranged mobs. As such, Fields of Misery is by far the best place to use it. Oasis in Act 2 is also a pretty good place to use it since only one mob type there is ranged. The Spider cave in Act 1 is also a good place that doesn't have any ranged mobs. I don't really recommend it for Weeping Hollow because the zombies move way too slow, especially when snared with Blizzard, so it's more difficult to round up huge packs of mobs there. If you don't mind killing small groups at a time, though, then go for it. Just remember that it also means Elite packs there will take a lot more time to kill.

    VERY IMPORTANT! This spec DOES NOT work well in groups! Reason is because YOU have to land the killing blow in order for a Black Ice patch to go out. When you have other people around stealing KBs, everything about the build just falls apart.

    If your computer and/or internet connection aren't very good, you can and will experience lockups and latency issues if you try to pull too many mobs at once.

    Enjoy the build (before they decide to nerf it). And if you have any questions, feel free to ask me here or on the official Diablo 3 forums. I have a thread over there about the build:


    And feel free to check out my YouTube channel for more Diablo 3 Wizard videos. Most of them are Sleet Storm related, since that's my main build, but there are a bunch of others as well (Meteor, Disintegrate, Arcane Mines, Forked Lightning, etc).


    Take care, and thanks for your time. :)
  • #2
    Hey thanks, interesting build. I'll give it a shot later.

    Only problem I see is it would be horrible against elites without trash mobs around. If you're farming, you'd want to get the 5 stacks first before heading to FoM so I can see that being a problem.
  • #3
    Quote from RasAlgethi24

    Hey thanks, interesting build. I'll give it a shot later.

    Only problem I see is it would be horrible against elites without trash mobs around. If you're farming, you'd want to get the 5 stacks first before heading to FoM so I can see that being a problem.

    Most people stack to 5 in Festering Woods. The two crypts there with the elite in them both have trash mobs inside to help. And outside of those crypts there are plenty of trash mobs to help with the elites in the general Festering Woods area.

    However, I do see your concern, because sometimes you're not able to kill the elite pack before all the trash is dead. Out in the game world you can always re-kite to more trash, but inside of a cave or crypt you don't always have that option. To help remedy this, you can always replace Blizzard or Teleport with something better suited for elite fights without trash mobs around. What I used to do was use Arcane Mines in place of Blizzard. AM can be used to pull mobs like Blizzard (not as effective, but it does work), and it works extremely well for taking out elite packs, especially when combined with CM + EB + DS + SA due to it's very high proc coefficient.

    Another good thing about using Arcane Mines in the build is for the initial "wind up". What you'd do is cast Frost Nova, then cast a couple of Arcane Mines at the mobs, then start holding down Black Ice and mashing Chain Reaction and Diamond Shards. The Mines will help with getting that initial killing blow, and since they do a lot of damage the healing helps keep you up a little bit once Frost Nova wears off. If all the trash dies and the elites are still around, then you just swap over to AM + EB + DS + SA. My older Black Ice video shows this:


    Another idea I'm mulling over is to use Archon: Arcane Destruction in place of Frost Nova. This is to be used only after the dust settles and elites are still alive. You'd just pop Arcane Destruction to finish the elites off. The explosion + the 15 second Archon duration should be enough to mop them up. And because you get soooo many CM procs from the trash, it should always be available for every elite pack should you need it. The only problem with this is that you'd need to run with really high eHP because you won't have that "free" 2-3 second window that Frost Nova provides when going for the initial killing blow(s). If this is a problem, you can always replace Blizzard or Teleport instead.

    I hope that helps address some of your concerns. The build and its variations take a bit of getting used to in order to truely maximize because they play a bit differently than what most of us are used to. Once you get it down, though, it can be quite devastating.
  • #4
    Very nice and innovative build. +1

    I loved the "old" iteration of Black Ice too, and this one seems more flexible and faster. Regarding Elites, you can always kite them with blizzard :P and nowadays there is nearly always trash around.
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