I'm rolling with the standard archon vyr/tal with mandal and lightning damage but I'm curious if I've understood the basics of this build. When do I do damage? It feel so inconsistent. Most of the time I do zero damage, things with 10% hp (gr75) just won't go down if I don't channel lightning right at them for several seconds. Then I come to an elite and they get oneshoted. Is this how the build works? Is it only in the paralysis window I do any and all my damage?
I'm also curious if the channel lightning beam when in archon is hard to hit with? At least it feels as if the reach is WAY longer than it's animation. Would be grateful for any help to understand basics
Damage of the build is always ramping. So at the start you get your 3 tals stacks, then pop archon for the 4th stack. Depending on belt you should already have 50 archon stacks. At higher greater rifts this ill go up slow, say you end archon with 80 stacks. The swammi helps carry them stacks out of archon.
You then spend you time out of archon trying to get back in, so channeling abilities and staying alive. There should be very little down time, when in archon the strength is the over lapping archon stacks and due to this you 'should' be able to get more stacks, say 100. Then process starts again but make sure you are going archon when you have 3 tals stacks (4 when you pop archon) and really try to keep 15 stacks on goguks.
Of course the ring is vital with its procs but so is your positioning. You have to maximize the potential of the build (skills, passives, items). You are 100% correct in your assumption, the damage of the beam extends abit more than the animation of it. Its this area you will do you most damage and its always this area or the tip of the beam you should be aiming for, so as a player you need to be always looking for the best position. It also helps to have a follow with ess to group enemies. The beam as such a wide range its imposible to miss with it unless you are intentionally trying.
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Archon beam deals 700% weapon damage, MH procs deal 14000%, so yeah. The MH procs make up most of your damage.
The spikes you see are related to you either proccing a lot of MH damage or you having or not having tal rasha stacks (remember that the difference between 1 stack and 4 stacks of TR is the difference between multiplying your damage with 8 vs multiplaying it with 31)