Firebird Wizard Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Firebird Wizard in Diablo 3. Updated for patch 2.6.8 and Season 20.
|Spectral Blade Flame Blades Archon Combustion 1 Frost Nova Bone Chill 2 Magic Weapon Force Weapon 3 Teleport Safe Passage 4 Ice Armor Crystallize|
Skill Rotation and Firebird Explanation
The Firebird Archon Wizard strategy is to lure enemies, dragging them along to form the biggest fight possible. Notice that the 6-piece set bonus will scale your damage and protection for each burning enemy, and will automatically max out if an elite enemy is burning — contributing to the elite hunting playstyle of the build. Similarly to other Archon specs, this build revolves around the in- and out- of 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 uptime.
Once you return to regular form, you have an important task: 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 activation. Besides Archon and Spectral Blade, your normal form abilities comprise of passive buffs ( Magic Weapon and Ice Armor — to be kept up permanently) and utility skills ( Teleport, Frost Nova — used defensively).
To clarify the Firebird set bonus, dealing Fire damage with any character skill (weapon damage and item procs are excluded) cause the enemy to burn for 1000% weapon damage over a 3-second period. Doing fire damage with any other skill will add to the DoT damage in 1000% increments, and reset its duration. Once the enemy is burning from three separate fire skills, he will ignite with an indefinite 3000% weapon damage per second DoT — which does not imply, of course, that you should stop attacking that enemy. There is an accompanying visual over the head of the monster in the shape of a flame, once the permanent DoT is applied. The DoT will not crit (similarly to other DoTs in the game), but will factor in your crit stats into an average number. The DoT will display every 0.8 seconds and will not interact with attack speed in any way. Moving more than two screens away from the burning enemy will make the DoT fall off, but coming back in range will resume it.
Skills and Runes
Its presence in the build is pretty self-explanatory, but Archon should be on your skill bar. With the latest changes to the Firebird set the recommended rune becomes Combustion, as its Fire element will enable the three Archon damage abilities (Arcane Blast, Arcane Strike and Disintegration Wave) to proc the Firebird set. Since the scaling of Chantodo's Wave of Destruction is also determined by your Archon rune, it makes more sense to be able to Ignite enemies at will while in Archon form and stack purely into Fire damage.
During your Archon downtime, you will be using Spectral Blade to ramp up the damage of your fire spells (which your Archon abilities count for, due to the fire rune Combustion) by using the rune Flame Blades. Following a similar logic, but acting as a passive DPS increase with a generous 10 minute duration, you will be using the additive damage buff of Magic Weapon Force Weapon.
Your time of relative weakness comes when Archon falls off, and immediate repositioning will often be in order — evading a bad situation, engaging fresh enemies for Ancient Parthan Defenders procs, or simply moving ahead to a new area. Teleport will be instrumental for all these purposes, along with the damage reduction of the Safe Passage rune.
The independence of Halo of Arlyse procs might discourage you to take Frost Nova at first — after all, the ring will cast a generic Frost Nova regardless of you slotting the skill or not. The reason to include it in the build is that the Halo of Arlyse spam will inherit the rune from your skill bar (see this build's gear page for more information), and Bone Chill will essentially provide you with a permanent 33% additive damage increase.
For additional protection, we will be using Ice Armor with the massive bulwark of 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 will bring excellent crowd control on top of the mitigation, solidifying Ice Armor as the defensive spell of choice for soloing Greater Rifts.
This concludes the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.
Two utility picks provide the foundation of the passive choices. Evocation offers a simple, but powerful effect: 20% additional cooldown reduction. Illusionist is a passive with a lot of depth and nuance; it serves this build specifically by resetting the Teleport cooldown when receiving a damage spike in your non-Archon form, and working with a pre-mitigation calculation it gives you near infinite mobility. The additional 30% movement speed after Teleporting makes the passive attractive even when doing non-threatening content.
Reworked into a comparable function to other cheat deaths, 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.
Finally, Audacity gets a chance to shine in this dominantly melee range build by bringing an impressive 30% multiplicative damage increase against enemies within 15 yards.
- 12 Mar. 2020: No changes necessary for Season 20.
- 22 Nov. 2019: Reviewed for Season 19.
- 23 Aug. 2019: Reviewed and approved for Season 18.
- 17 May 2019: Guide was reviewed and approved for Season 17.
- 18 Jan. 2019: Information was reviewed and approved for Season 16 with no changes required.
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