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Wizard Vyr Archon Build (Patch 2.4.2 / Season 8)

Last updated on Oct 21, 2016 at 09:00 by Deadset 50 comments

Table of Contents

The vanilla classic Archon Wizard playstyle is brought back to viability with the dedicated Vyr’s Amazing Arcana set. This high burst playstyle is available in both solo progression and speedfarming variations, explained in that order.

1. About the Author

This build is presented to you by Deadset, one of the very few professional Diablo 3 players. Deadset regularly publishes video guides on Youtube, where you can see how this and other builds play out in practice.

2. Video Guide

The following video guide was created to accompany the present written guide and demonstrate how to play the build in-game.

3. Builds

Solo Progression Speedruns
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Arcane Torrent Icon Arcane Torrent Static Discharge Static Discharge Right Mouse Button Teleport Icon Teleport Safe Passage Safe Passage 1 Archon Icon Archon No rune chosen 2 Magic Weapon Icon Magic Weapon Deflection Deflection 3 Ice Armor Icon Ice Armor Crystallize Crystallize 4 Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova Bone Chill Bone Chill
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Arcane Torrent Icon Arcane Torrent Static Discharge Static Discharge Right Mouse Button Teleport Icon Teleport Wormhole Wormhole 1 Archon Icon Archon No rune chosen 2 Magic Weapon Icon Magic Weapon Force Weapon Force Weapon 3 Storm Armor Icon Storm Armor Scramble Scramble 4 Familiar Icon Familiar Sparkflint Sparkflint
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)

4. Rotation

The strategy of this build revolves around the in- and out- of Archon Archon dynamic, trying to conserve and increase power as much as you can outside your alternate form and unleashing the built up damage potential during the Archon Archon uptime.

Once you return to regular form, The Swami The Swami helm in the Cube will ensure you keep the positive effects of your Archon Archon stacks up to 20 seconds; this enables you to survive and efficiently reset your Archon Archon cooldown through Arcane Torrent Arcane Torrent and Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac. You have another important task in regular form: each of your attacks will increase Chantodo's Resolve set pulse power, stacking up to 20 times — a stack that needs to be maxed out before the next Archon Archon activation. Besides Archon Archon and Arcane Torrent Arcane Torrent, your normal form abilities comprise of passive buffs (Magic Weapon Magic Weapon and an Armor spell — to be kept up permanently) and utility skills (Teleport Teleport, Frost Nova Frost Nova — used defensively). Regardless of your current survivability and defensive cooldowns at your disposal, always strive to build bigger fights and find new enemies, as the interaction between your Halo of Arlyse Halo of Arlyse and Ancient Parthan Defenders Ancient Parthan Defenders depends on the number of frozen enemies, and ones you have already frozen get progressively resistant to it.

5. Skills, Runes and Passives

Its presence in the build is pretty self-explanatory, but Archon Archon should be on your skill bar. You have a degree of freedom with your element of choice, as you receive the benefits of all the runes through the Vyr 2-piece set bonus. You should however match the Archon Archon rune elementally with the elemental damage you stack on gear, as the Wave of Destruction AoE from Chantodo's set and the explosion upon transforming (coming from the Combustion Combustion rune) use your Archon Archon rune to determine their own elemental damage. It goes without saying, but pop this form as soon as your Chantodo set is stacked and stay in it as long and as frequently as you can.

Your trusty tool for cooldown resets, Arcane Torrent Arcane Torrent will be used with the projectile splitting Static Discharge Static Discharge rune to bring you fast and reliable Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac procs and Chantodo set stacks. Depending on your positioning, confidence and leftover Archon Archon stacks, you can either remain stationary and channel it for optimal damage output, or kite and hope for a fast enough reset.

Your biggest moment of weakness comes when Archon Archon falls off, and immediate repositioning will often be in order — evading a bad situation, engaging fresh enemies for Ancient Parthan Defenders Ancient Parthan Defenders procs, or simply moving ahead to a new area. Teleport Teleport will be instrumental for all these purposes, along with the damage reduction of the Safe Passage Safe Passage rune. When running Torment rifts, you can find a minor benefit in switching to the more mobile Wormhole Wormhole rune.

The independence of Halo of Arlyse Halo of Arlyse procs might discourage you to take Frost Nova Frost Nova at first — after all, the ring will cast a generic Frost Nova Frost Nova regardless of you slotting the skill or not. The reason to include it in the build is that the Halo of Arlyse Halo of Arlyse spam will inherit the rune from your skill bar, and Bone Chill Bone Chill will essentially provide you with a permanent 33% additive damage increase. Note that using Frost Nova Frost Nova yourself in normal form is not only redundant, but also hurtful to your Archon Archon reset, because Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac will have more downtimes to go through — so keep it for emergencies and generally stick to the Halo of Arlyse Halo of Arlyse proc. In normal rifts this protective cooldown will not be necessary, so you will do well to swap it out for the minor passive damage increase of Familiar Familiar Sparkflint Sparkflint.

Fighting at a closer range than most Wizard builds can afford, the Archon build exposes itself to regular danger; thus, a source of defense and minor damage amplification will be found in Magic Weapon Magic Weapon Deflection Deflection. This long lasting steroid remains quietly in the background and procs consistently off your Frost Nova Frost Novas, Arcane Blasts and Arcane Strikes, bringing a nice damage buffer on top of your health and mitigation.

For additional protection, we will be using Ice Armor Ice Armor with the massive bulwark of Crystallize Crystallize. The short reach of the build will inevitably put you in melee brawls, refreshing your Crystallize stacks constantly. The added value from Halo of Arlyse Halo of Arlyse will bring excellent crowd control on top of the mitigation, solidifying Ice Armor Ice Armor as the defensive spell of choice for Greater Rifts. As a final adjustment for speed farming, you should replace this spell with Storm Armor Storm Armor Scramble Scramble for its reliable movement speed proc.

This concludes the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.

Reworked into a comparable function to other cheat deaths, Unstable Anomaly Unstable Anomaly gives you one shot at dodging a lethal situation. Operating on a standard 60-second cooldown and adding a 3-second stun to nearby enemies — plus a solid, 400% max life shield for 5 seconds — it will become a constant companion to your Greater Rift pushes. It is less necessary in speed farming content, and can be shifted out so you can take the mobility staple Illusionist Illusionist instead.

Audacity Audacity gets a rare chance to shine in this dominantly melee range build by bringing an impressive 30% multiplicative damage increase against enemies within 15 yards.

Evocation Evocation rounds out the passive choices with its solid chunk of 20% Cooldown Reduction. With the overarching goal of the playstyle to bring your Archon downtime as low as possible, Evocation becomes a natural fit.

Your final passive slot is flexible between offense and defense. To focus on the former (likely necessary in high-end pushing, especially for Softcore characters), take Power Hungry Power Hungry — it is the mirror of Audacity Audacity, reworked into a multiplicative damage increase against enemies further than 30 yards. This allows the ranged half of the build (Arcane Torrent Arcane Torrent, Disintegration Wave) to catch up damage-wise to the melee range potential. Alternatively, Blur Blur can be included if you feel you are lacking Toughness; the passive brings a sizable, unconditional 17% decrease in damage taken.

6. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives

The build incorporates the complete Vyr's Amazing Arcana set, taking all six available pieces and leaving the jewelry to balance offense (with the Endless Walk set) and defense (with Halo of Arlyse Halo of Arlyse). Rolls-wise, this Archon Archon-centric playstyle takes good advantage of Cooldown Reduction affixes. Vyr's Sightless Skull Vyr's Sightless Skull, Vyr's Astonishing Aura Vyr's Astonishing Aura, Vyr's Fantastic Finery Vyr's Fantastic Finery and Vyr's Swaggering Stance Vyr's Swaggering Stance can all be dedicated to Toughness, as Archon abilities are not possible skill damage rolls on gear. Cooldown Reduction should be the fourth primary alongside Toughness stats on the Vyr's Proud Pauldrons Vyr's Proud Pauldrons, and is also taken on Vyr's Grasping Gauntlets Vyr's Grasping Gauntlets alongside the traditional Intelligence, Crit Chance and Crit Damage recommendations.

You will adjust jewelry and bracers according to the content you clear — a defensive setup for Greater Rifts and a glass cannon variation for speed farming.

The scaling difficulty of Greater Rifts forces you to split between offense and defense in the jewelry slots. One of the 2.4 reworks, the Endless Walk set — The Compass Rose The Compass Rose ring and The Traveler's Pledge The Traveler's Pledge amulet — adds a unique mechanic that slowly increases your damage by up to a 100% if you remain stationary, and drains it away and increases your damage reduction while moving. This mimics the Archon playstyle, alternating long distance movement to favorable monster density with periods of stationary Arcane Blast and Arcane Strike spam.

A socketed Halo of Arlyse Halo of Arlyse will occupy the second ring slot. Halo of Arlyse Halo of Arlyse will multiply the effectiveness of your Ice Armor Ice Armor mitigation, and provide additional crowd control. As long as the requirements of the ring are met, it will release a constant streak of Frost Nova Frost Novas, unhindered by internal cooldowns.

The Halo of Arlyse Halo of Arlyse finds a synergistic companion in the Ancient Parthan Defenders Ancient Parthan Defenders, whose unique property triggers off Freeze effects as well (inexplicably missing from the item tooltip). With the chain triggers of Frost Nova Frost Nova from the ring, diving into massive fights turns from a suicide tactic into a survival tool through the numerous damage reduction procs of the bracer. An important playstyle tip to remember is that crowd control on the same monster diminishes with each successive application — so always seek out fresh enemies to reduce damage with.

As for the Torment rifting variation — if you comfortably outscale your opponents, you can consider switching away from the Endless Walk set and the Halo of Arlyse Halo of ArlyseAncient Parthan Defenders Ancient Parthan Defenders combo, as that entire setup will be too slow if you are smashing the difficulty. The suggested ring alternatives are: Avarice Band Avarice Band for its Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder synergy, speeding up your clear speed immensely and feeding you infinite gold; and a Stone of Jordan Stone of Jordan, taken as a consistent and situation-independent damage increase. You can complete the speedrunning jewelry with any well rolled amulet, the high-end luxury option being a Hellfire Amulet Hellfire Amulet with a synergistic fifth passive like Glass Cannon Glass Cannon. Ancient Parthan Defenders Ancient Parthan Defenders should be replaced by Nemesis Bracers Nemesis Bracers, cutting down clear times by spawning you additional elites at shrines and pylons.

Fazula's Improbable Chain Fazula's Improbable Chain belt is tailored after Archon builds, with a BiS roll giving you 50 automatic Archon Archon stacks when entering Archon Archon form. Aiding you in your most vulnerable moments, this belt gets your damage and Toughness off the ground quicker, making it vital for the playstyle.

The mandatory weapon and offhand for the build are the Chantodo's Resolve set, Chantodo's Will Chantodo's Will and Chantodo's Force Chantodo's Force. Essential to the playstyle by providing the stacking Wave of Destruction effect, this set will be responsible for a 7000% weapon damage chunk in your DPS. Rolls-wise, aim for Cooldown Reduction and either % Damage Increase or Life per Hit on Chantodo's Will Chantodo's Will, and high damage range, Crit Chance and Arcane Power on Crit on Chantodo's Force Chantodo's Force.

Slot Pieces Stat Priority
Head
  1. Intelligence
  2. Socket
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Vitality
Shoulders
  1. Intelligence
  2. Vitality
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Life %
Torso
  1. Intelligence
  2. 3 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. Reduced damage from Elites
  5. Armor
Wrists
  1. Intelligence
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Elemental Damage
  4. Vitality
  5. Armor
Hands
  1. Intelligence
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Cooldown Reduction
  5. Vitality
Waist
  1. Intelligence
  2. Vitality
  3. Armor
  4. Life %
Legs
  1. Intelligence
  2. 2 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. Armor
Feet
  1. Intelligence
  2. Vitality
  3. Armor
  4. All Resistance
  5. Movement Speed
Amulet
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Elemental Damage
  5. Intelligence
Ring #1
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Cooldown Reduction
  5. Intelligence
Ring #2
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Cooldown Reduction
  5. Intelligence
Weapon
  1. High Damage Range
  2. Intelligence
  3. Socket (preferably from Ramaladni's Gift Ramaladni's Gift)
  4. Cooldown Reduction
  5. Life per Hit
  6. % Weapon Damage
Off-hand
  1. High Damage Range
  2. Intelligence
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Arcane Power on Crit
  5. Increased Damage Against Elites

7. Paragon Points

Slot Paragon Points
Core
  1. Movement Speed up to 25% cap
  2. Intelligence
  3. Vitality
  4. Maximum Arcane Power
Offense
  1. Critical Hit Damage
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Attack Speed
Defense
  1. Armor
  2. Life %
  3. All Resistance
  4. Life Regeneration
Utility
  1. Area Damage
  2. Life on Hit
  3. Resource Cost Reduction
  4. Gold Find

8. Gems

Your three jewelry sockets will be taken up by the legendary gems Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped, Bane of the Powerful Bane of the Powerful and either Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken (for GRs) or Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder (Torments).

  • Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped is a potent source of additional damage, as it is its own multiplier in your total damage calculation. You will benefit from it naturally, as Archon Wizards tend to fight in melee range to maximize the Wave of Destruction — Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped procs itself with the level 25 property, along with the constant Frost Nova Frost Nova triggers.
  • Bane of the Powerful Bane of the Powerful has been reworked into a multiplicative damage increase, further enticing you to focus on chaining and bursting down elite fights, at which the Archon Wizard excels in the first place. This is reinforced by the gem’s level 25 bonus now increasing AND reducing elite damage by 15%, making it a well-rounded choice for the Vyr setup.
  • Introduced in Season 4, Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken occupies the third and final jewelry socket during Greater Rift progression. Building up your damage multiplicatively in prolonged fights and with a level 25 bonus specifically targeting Rift Guardians, this gem is designed to assist AoE heavy builds in their struggle against single target, high HP enemies. The Archon Wizard is not an exception, and Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken is considered a great addition to the setup.
  • In Torments Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken will build up too slowly to matter, and is best replaced by a speed run oriented gem like Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder. The gem nets you an average of 20-30 million gold per TX run, with no particular focus on Gold Find stats, and it gives you a massive short-term speed boost while picking up gold. With the use of Avarice Band Avarice Band and its massive Pickup Radius bonuses, this will be done automatically, allowing you to focus on the clear.
Slot Gems
Jewelry
Helm
Torso and Pants
Weapon

9. Kanai's Cube

The Kanai's Cube recommendations are as follows: The Furnace The Furnace (GRs) and In-geom In-geom (Speedfarm) for the weapon slot, The Swami The Swami for the armor slot, and Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac for the jewelry slot.

  • The Furnace The Furnace provides 50% additional elite damage which speeds up GR clear times greatly, as Champion and Rift Guardian fights are the usual bottleneck. That obstacle is gone in normal rifts, and In-geom In-geom shines by reducing 10 seconds flat off the cooldown of all of your skills after you burst an elite. In a normal rift, the 15-second duration of the effect is plenty of time to find a new elite and refresh the In-geom In-geom bonus. This will allow you to chain Archon Archon with very minimal downtime, and you will almost rival the reliability of Flashfire Wizard builds for 2 minute Torment clears.
  • The Swami The Swami is an essential addition to the cube for the armor slot, as the power of this wizard hat allows you to maintain the Archon Archon stack benefits for 20 seconds in your normal form. That window of opportunity allows you to survive and safely reset your damage form.
  • Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac is another key item to cube, as this jewelry slot will enable the lightning-fast recharge of your Archon. Benefiting greatly from the attack speed increase of the Archon Archon stacks, it allows for re-entry into your damage form long before The Swami The Swami-sustained stacks expire, leading to stack overlapping.

10. Follower

For more information regarding followers, we advise you to read our Follower Guide, which contains detailed advice for choosing the skills and the gear of your follower.

11. ChangeLog

  • 21 Oct. 2016: Season 8 update. Replaced Deep Freeze rune for Frost Nova with Bone Chill.
  • 30 Jul. 2016: Slight revision to the guide to make it strictly Vyr-oriented.
  • 25 Apr. 2016: Revised the guide for 2.4.1, including alternative itemization, gemming changes and speedrun setups.
  • 14 Jan. 2016: Patch 2.4 update. The build remains the same and is still viable.
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