Firebird Explosive Blast Wizard BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
The build incorporates the complete Firebird's Finery set bonuses, taking five of the seven available pieces and completing the bonuses with a Ring of Royal Grandeur in the Cube. Rolls-wise, this is a uniquely set-based damage focused build that benefits from a good spread of Attack Speed and Crit-based affixes, but does not require any particular skill damage rolls to thrive. Firebird's Breast and Firebird's Down can be dedicated entirely to Toughness stats. Firebird's Plume is also an immense source of Toughness with its massive Intelligence and Vitality rolls, but it should also feature Crit Chance; Firebird's Talons should be stocked up on both Crit Chance and Crit Damage, as well as Cooldown Reduction. Lastly, it is vital to have Arcane Power on Crit on the Firebird's Eye, alongside high damage, Fire % bonus, and Crit Chance — APoC will ensure your ability to continuously channel Disintegrate.
This setup also takes an amalgamation of craftable sets in the equipment, with both the Cpt. Crimson set ( Captain Crimson's Silk Girdle and Captain Crimson's Waders) and the Aughild set ( Aughild's Power and Aughild's Search). Note that the listed craftable pieces are just examples; you can achieve identical results as long as you maintain the 5 Firebird — 2 Cpt. Crimson — 2 Aughild pieces split. The Cpt. Crimson set scales with both your damage dealt and reduces your damage taken based on your Cooldown Reduction and Resource Cost Reduction stats respectively, adding a considerable boon to this cooldown-centric build. The Aughild set contributes additional damage against, and reduced damage from elite enemies.
There is little room for legendary pieces in this set-dominated build; most notably, in the jewelry. Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac greatly assists with Explosive Blast spam, cutting its cooldown short as you hit with resource-spending attacks. Convention of Elements and Squirt's Necklace are taken for their damage increase; CoE provides a cyclical boost that skyrockets your DPS during the Fire part of the rotation, while Squirt's offers a massive and consistent damage multiplier with one condition — do not take damage. It has the added drawback of increasing damage taken, but considering the shield-based nature of Wizard protection, these negatives can be actively mitigated with a combination of Magic Weapon Deflection and Galvanizing Ward.
Last but certainly not least, you will make space for a legendary weapon: the archetype staple Deathwish, which provides a separate damage multiplier while using channeling spells. Its damage buff is applied 1 second after you start channeling, and drops off immediately upon stopping; the delay in its damage multiplication effect is something you have to account for when you track your Convention of Elements Fire cycle.
Desired Stats, Breakpoints and Other Notes
In your Offense stats, strive to obtain Cooldown Reduction on all the gear pieces that are able to roll it (Shoulders, Gloves, Off-Hand, Weapon, and at least the Zodiac ring) with the exception of the Amulet, as you will lose other, more valuable stats. With added bonuses from the Flawless Royal Diamond in your helm, the Cpt. Crimson CDR bonus, the Evocation passive, Paragon points, and your Enchantress' Prophetic Harmony buff, you should comfortably surpass the 67% CDR breakpoint necessary to reduce your Explosive Blast cooldown below 2 seconds, making it spammable every half a second via Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac procs. Conversely, due to the dominantly set-based nature of the damage you inflict, Area Damage is excluded from the build as a useless roll.
In order to maximize the benefits of the Elemental Exposure passive, your ideal Deathwish roll will have Lightning damage as its base damage type (the damage type is denoted next to the big numbers that define the DPS of your weapon). Elemental Exposure is one of the rare instances where weapon damage type comes into effect, and will count as a stack towards the damage bonuses of the passive. Keep in mind that this is a high-end optimization roll and should not take precedence over other, more important stats.
For Defense stats, aim for a life pool 900k and above, which should be trivial with the minor stat requirements for other aspects of the build. Note that both Galvanizing Ward and Magic Weapon Deflection scale off total life, making Vitality and Life % much better for overall Toughness compared to many other classes in the game. Sustain should be done through Life per Hit on at least one, but ideally two pieces; we recommend bracers and weapon as the ideal spots.
All augmentations on gear should be done with your main stat, Intelligence.
Note that the stat suggestions below portray an ideally rolled item with stats listed in relative order of importance. The first four of them are main stats, and the latter two — secondary stats. If your item lacks and is unable to be rerolled into the primary stats outlined below, especially for a stat higher on the list, strongly consider its replacement. Perfecting Secondary stats is mostly a case of hyper-optimization and is not a case for discarding an item, except where noted.
To help you with farming the gear you need for your builds, we have two very useful guides that you can access by clicking the links below: a Salvage Guide to help you quickly check whether or not you can safely salvage a piece of gear and a Legendary Farming Guide to help you efficiently farm legendaries and set items.
In the Core section, max out Movement Speed to the 25% cap. Normally this is done by dumping the first 50 Core Paragon points into Movement Speed, but if your boots have an imperfect roll with Movement Speed as a stat that you cannot replace, adjust the necessary point investment accordingly by simply subtracting your roll from the 25% max. Then, fill out Maximum Arcane Power to give yourself more leeway for channeling. After that, dump as much as you comfortably can into Intelligence, but feel free to invest into Vitality if you feel yourself lacking in Toughness; remember that Wizard shields scale off maximum health, and try to reach the recommended toughness values outlined above.
In the Offense section, max out Cooldown Reduction, Crit Damage, Crit Chance, and Attack Speed in that order. In Defense, prioritize Life %, then Armor, then All Resistance, and finish off with Life Regeneration. In Utility, build up Resource Cost Reduction and Life on Hit first, then finish off with Globe Radius. Skip Area Damage, as it does nothing for the build except potentially lag out your game.
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 Flame Blade Wizards need to fight within melee range — and Bane of the Trapped procs itself with the level 25 property.
Bane of the Stricken builds up your damage multiplicatively in prolonged fights and has 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. Explosive Blast Wizards are no exception. When you are doing lower Greater Rifts for the purposes of farming however, health values of enemies are significantly smaller and BotS's value drops off. In its place, you should use Bane of the Powerful for the well-rounded damage dealt and damage reduced bonuses.
Taeguk is a natural fit for the build archetype, as it provides an up to 80% additive damage increase as you channel. Its value is only diminished when grouping up, as support Demon Hunters provide a massive source of additive damage increase, which lessens the Taeguk benefits. In its stead, use Zei's Stone of Vengeance. This gem provides a multiplicative damage increase and contrary to its description, provides even the baseline bonus at 0 yards, instead of the listed 10-yard requirement.
When it comes to gear gems, you will start out progression by slotting the highest available level of Topazes in the chest and pants sockets. Ideally, these will all be Flawless Royal Topaz as soon as possible. As you grow in Paragon (bulking up Intelligence in the Core section) and aim for higher tier and more dangerous GRs, you will transition those gems into the defensive Flawless Royal Ruby (Intelligence-based classes such as the Wizard are naturally high in Resistances, so their protection scales better with improving Armor instead). There is no specific breakpoint where you do that; the rule of thumb is to make the change as soon as you feel the lack of toughness impede your progress. Since this is a Cooldown-intensive build, we recommend a Flawless Royal Diamond in the helm. In your weapon, use Flawless Royal Emerald for the Crit Damage boost.
Season 25 Soul Shards
- Helm — Shard of Hatred with "You now deal 10% increased damage for every enemy" as its Rank 3 power. For optimization benefits, aim for Intelligence or Melee/Ranged Damage Reduction on its Rank 2 roll.
- Weapon — Essence of Anguish with "When you kill an enemy, you deal damage done by the death blow to all enemies within 25 yards" as its Rank 3 power. For optimization benefits, aim for Fire Skills % Increase or Weapon Damage Increase on its Rank 2 roll. Note that Essence of Anguish requires dealing Poison damage to trigger its Base Power; in this build, you accomplish this either by re-rolling the weapon damage range (the two numbers displayed just under the big total DPS number; the first Primary stat roll of any weapon) of your own weapon to Poison, or doing the same to your follower's weapon.
|Torso and Pants||
For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.
Orb of Infinite Depth should be placed in the weapon slot of the Cube; its legendary powers turn every Explosive Blast detonation into a multiplicative damage increase and damage reduction bonus. Getting these bonuses maxed out as soon as possible are one of the many benefits of using the Chain Reaction rune.
Mantle of Channeling provides a well-rounded bonus for the build archetype, with a multiplicative increase to damage dealt, as well as an equal reduction in damage taken while channeling.
For the jewelry Cube slot, you will need to use the Ring of Royal Grandeur in order to tie the Firebird, Aughild and Cpt. Crimson sets together. This cache legendary ring from Act I bounties reduces the number of worn items required for set bonus completion by one, allowing for the set amalgamation described above.
The Kanai's Cube can be used for much more than simply extracting Legendary powers from items. Please refer to our Kanai's Cube guide for more information.
The recommended follower for this build during solo GR progression is the Enchantress, due to her cooldown reduction bonus from Prophetic Harmony and damage reduction from Powered Shield. She can also add a free cheat death to the build via Fate's Lapse.
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.
Your recommended potion is Bottomless Potion of the Unfettered, which renders you immune to Crowd Control effects for a brief time after consuming it — valuable bonus to a build that lacks means to break away from CC outside of straight up evasion via teleporting.
- 28 Dec. 2021: Guide added.
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