Firebird Explosive Blast Wizard Skills and Runes
|Disintegrate Chaos Nexus Magic Weapon Deflection 1 Explosive Blast Chain Reaction 2 Frost Nova Bone Chill 3 Teleport Safe Passage 4 Diamond Skin Prism|
As you begin your run, a crucially important step is to ensure your survivability as soon as possible — firstly, with Combustion stack upkeep via Disintegrate channeling and the 4-piece bonus of Firebirds, but also by stacking up your Orb of Infinite Depth damage reduction through hitting enemies with Explosive Blast. Disintegrate channeling is also vital for its set-based ignition aspect, as your damage is multiplied by your Combustion stacks against enemies that are Ignited. As you spread the ignition effect, never stop casting Explosive Blast; its lack of casting animation ensures Disintegrate remains uninterrupted. Late into the Cold Convention of Elements cycle, you should make your current monster pull more susceptible to damage with Frost Nova Bone Chill; this will ensure their devastation during the upcoming Fire cycle. The remainder of your skillset is dedicated to utility, with Magic Weapon Deflection bolstering your defenses, Diamond Skin improving your Squirt's Necklace uptime, and Teleport Safe Passage adding strategic mobility to the build.
Skills and Runes
As you might have surmised from the Firebird set bonus, the inclusion of Disintegrate is mandatory due to the skill-specific trigger of the 2- and 4-piece bonuses. Note that despite the "ignition" wording of the set power, the selection of a Fire rune is not mandatory to achieve this effect; as a consequence, the preferred rune is Chaos Nexus — its splitting beam spreads the ignition very efficiently, and its Arcane nature adds a stack to the Elemental Exposure damage bonus. Channeling also buffs up your overall damage with Deathwish, and provides the balanced bonuses of Mantle of Channeling.
Despite its short range, Explosive Blast offers a reliable source of a non-channeling Fire spell to deliver Combusted damage with. Of course, you will be taking the Fire-based Chain Reaction rune, whose multiple explosions tie closely with the mechanics of Orb of Infinite Depth for a utility-laden combo that buffs up your own damage, while also greatly reducing damage taken.
One of the staples of the Wizard arsenal, Magic Weapon is taken with the protective rune Deflection for a nice defensive layer that is easily kept up with your constant channeling and Explosive Blast spam. While it has a relaxing 10-minute duration, do not neglect to refresh its bonuses, as you need its protective powers to keep up the Squirt's Necklace bonus.
Frost Nova brings decent crowd control to the build, but CC's diminishing returns with successive applications make the base Freeze of the skill less meaningful than the rune effect; Bone Chill makes enemies more susceptible to damage, and serves as a Cold proc for Elemental Exposure. Similarly to Explosive Blast, its effect is centered on the hero and has no casting animation, making it a great fit in a build that depends on constant channeling to strengthen its damage.
With one more skill slot to play with over its Flame Blades-based counterpart, the Explosive Blast Firebird Wiz can fit extra utility in the build. You have two competing options for the slot. We generally recommend to use Diamond Skin Prism in this slot for a combination of a Life-based shield (to assist your Squirt's Necklace uptime) and quality-of-life Resource Cost Reduction. A high Paragon option is to alter to Familiar Sparkflint for another passive damage boost.
Last but not least, Teleport will round out your skill selection with valuable maneuverability across the battlefield; either to engage, reposition, or simply move away from an unfavorable fight. The preferred rune is the protective Safe Passage, which — coupled with the cooldown-resetting powers of the 4-piece set bonus — allows you to spam the damage reduction effect with permanent uptime.
Matching closely with the close-range fighting style of this build, the Audacity passive nets you a valuable 1.3x damage multiplier against enemies within 15 yards — completely covering the detonation range of Explosive Blast.
One of the strongest protective passives in the game, Galvanizing Ward brings a duration-less absorption barrier that soaks 60% of your maximum (not current!) life in damage and refreshes every 5 seconds after not taking damage. This passive is a major protective layer for the upkeep of the Squirt's Necklace damage bonus. 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.
A unique take on damage buffing, Elemental Exposure increases your damage in 5% increments for 5 seconds, based on each source of elemental damage you bring to the build. The Explosive Blast Firebird Wiz can take advantage of up to four sources of elemental damage in this base build, with sources of Fire, Cold and Arcane damage baked into the skillset, along with our recommendation to try and roll for a Lightning damage weapon — this passive uniquely takes weapon damage type into account.
You have a measure of flexibility in your final passive slot. We generally recommend Evocation, which cuts the downtime of Frost Nova and Diamond Skin a more readily available utility arsenal. Another option, especially attractive during early character progression, is to use Blur for its massive, percentage-based damage reduction bonus.
- 28 Dec. 2021: Guide added.
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