Lightning Archon Wizard Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Lightning Archon Wizard in Diablo 3. Updated for Patch 2.6.9 and Season 21.
|Arcane Torrent Static Discharge Magic Weapon Deflection 1 Archon Combustion 2 Frost Nova Frozen Mist 3 Teleport Calamity 4 Energy Armor Force Armor
The strategy of 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, The Swami wizard hat will ensure you keep the positive effects of your Archon stacks up to 20 seconds; this enables you to survive as you reset your next Archon form. While you are in normal form, reposition smartly with Teleport Calamity (this will also net you the Arcane proc of Tal Rasha). From a safe point, channel Arcane Torrent Static Discharge — this will quickly lower the cooldown of Archon with the power of Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac. Right as Archon comes up, cast a quick Frost Nova Frozen Mist to get the Cold Tal Rasha proc, and pop your Archon Combustion for the final Fire proc.
Keeping track of the Tal Rasha stacking mechanic, which requires the use of four skills of different elements, is vital. Your highest point of burst immediately follows the Archon activation — the short term combined power of Tal Rasha's 4 stacks plus the overlapping stacks from your previous Archon form, carried over with The Swami — so make sure you have built a nice clump of enemies to melt down. To further optimize your damage, make a point to synchronize the Archon activation with the Lightning cycle of Convention of Elements; this will ensure you have two full Lightning cycles at your highest damage potential.
Skills and Runes
Its presence in the build is pretty self-explanatory, but Archon should be on your skill bar. While the build focuses on Lightning damage to trigger Manald Heal, note that you receive the benefits of all the runes through the Vyr 2-piece set bonus. Also note that the Combustion rune offers a high damage detonation upon activating Archon — a detonation whose element will always be Fire, regardless of your gear (see this build's gear page for more information). This will count as a Fire skill for the purposes of triggering the Tal Rasha set damage bonuses, and needs to be activated only after getting the other three element buffs; your elemental variety is gone as soon as you enter Archon.
Due to the high variance of incoming damage in an Archon playstyle, a source of passive defense (and minor damage amplification) should be added in the form of Magic Weapon Deflection. This long lasting steroid remains quietly in the background and procs consistently off your spellcasting barrage, bringing a nice damage buffer on top of your health and mitigation.
Right along with Magic Weapon Deflection, you will be taking advantage of a second passive background buff. The protective powers of Energy Armor Force Armor will mitigate damage spikes that do not outright kill you into a manageable 35% life hits. Make a mental note of the shield's 10-minute duration, especially in GRs — with a lot of your time spent in Archon form where the shield timer disappears, it is not uncommon to lose track of the buff and have an unnecessary death 2/3rds into a rift.
During speed farming (all the way through GR85 for this build), your means to lower the cooldown of Archon will be Arcane Torrent. In combination with Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac, the projectile splitting Static Discharge rune will result in the fastest possible reset.
Frost Nova is taken strictly for the Cold proc of Tal Rasha, as it has a damaging rune in the form of Frozen Mist. It requires no aiming, has a short cooldown, and barely creates any visual noise — making it the most convenient speed farming Cold skill available.
Bringing massive amounts of utility for a single skill slot, Teleport takes a firm spot in the build. First of all, it is the Wizard mobility tool, allowing you to reposition into safety or skip unfavorable fights. Second, it offers a stun component with the Calamity rune, which can be a lifesaving tool even during speedfarm. And third, it has a minor damage proc that will trigger the Arcane portion of the Tal Rasha set bonus.
This concludes the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.
Paralysis is a necessary inclusion in a build that relies on Manald Heal procs to deal damage; no other stun will trigger the ring. The Paralysis stun is applied on cast to every enemy affected by the spell at the time of the proc; the passive is unaffected by proc coefficients of the used skill.
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.
Evocation is a simple and straightforward passive — a 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.
Finally, take Power Hungry — it is the mirror of Audacity, reworked into a multiplicative damage increase against enemies further than 30 yards. This passive synergizes excellently with the long range orientation of the build, coming from both Starfire and Zei's Stone of Vengeance.
- 01 Jul. 2020: No changes required for Season 21.
- 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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