LoD Mammoth Hydra Wizard BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your LoD Mammoth Hydra Wizard in Diablo 3 and why. We also list your paragon points and Kanai's Cube items. Updated for Patch 2.7.5 and Season 28.
Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
This Mammoth Hydra Wizard build is based on the Legacy of Dreams power, which offers significant flexibility when it comes to item choice. Stat-wise, focus on pieces where Hydra skill damage is a possible roll — shoulders, chest and source, as well as spreading Increased Attack Speed and especially Area Damage wherever possible.
The Legacy of Dreams power allows you to run any legendary item combination while not losing out on the damage amplification and reduction associated with the traditional 6-piece sets. You can obtain this power in two ways; the older way is equipping the two rings — The Wailing Host and Litany of the Undaunted — as your only active set bonus. The newer (and more powerful, since it also opens your ring slots for legendary jewelry) method is the Legacy of Dreams legendary gem.
In a setup with Legacy of Dreams, you will be wearing your two best rolled rings and cubing the third between Convention of Elements, Unity, and Halo of Karini. Convention of Elements simply provides a massive damage increase during the Fire cycle of its rotation. Halo of Karini will greatly supplement your defenses, providing a massive damage reduction bonus for the modest requirement of keeping your Storm Armor active. Unity further reduces incoming damage when paired with another on the follower, along with an immortality relic for them (i.e. Enchanting Favor). Note that if you are confident in your survivability, you can viably alternate this slot to a Fire damage Stone of Jordan.
Aside from Halo of Karini, Squirt's Necklace will also incentivize you to keep your distance from enemies — it rewards the evasive playstyle of a Hydra summoner with a massive damage bonus, but also punishes the unwary with an amplification of damage taken. To encase you in at least a measure of protection before you lose that valuable DPS buff, you will be wearing the Ashnagarr's Blood Bracer for the doubled shield potency (consult this build's skills page to see where the shields should come from).
Two legendary items will be aimed squarely at amplifying the damage and usefulness of your Hydra summons. Tasker and Theo is a valuable addition to summoner-based builds due to its attack speed increase for pets, which acts as a separate multiplier for their damage calculation. The Magistrate on the other hand is a dedicated Hydra wizard hat, which adds a straightforward damage multiplier to them and makes them periodically cast Frost Nova, adding some welcome safety to the build. Note that you can cube The Magistrate and use a Fire damage Andariel's Visage with comparable success.
Blackthorne's Jousting Mail provide an elemental damage increase, which is fairly unique for the slot — as long as it does not form its set bonus with another Blackthorne item, thus breaking the LoD bonus, this will be your best-in-slot item.
There is another dedicated Hydra legendary in the build — the Serpent's Sparker. This wand doubles the number of Hydras you can have active at any time, and provides a massive skill damage increase on top. As for your offhand, you will be using the dedicated Winter Flurry source, now reworked into a Hydra-related piece; it retains its base Frost Nova casting powers, but now has a sizable damage multiplier for Hydras against enemies affected by Blizzard.
Three more armor slots will be occupied by protective legendary powers, with the combo of Ice Climbers, Pauldrons of the Skeleton King and Aquila Cuirass each bringing their own angle of value to the build. Note that your armor Cube slot will be occupied by Stone Gauntlets — one of the most effective protective pieces in the game, bumping your armor in 50% increments as you get hit, but with a similarly stacking mobility penalty — and that downside you will be completely negating with the unique property of Ice Climbers, which make you immune to immobilization effects. Pauldrons of the Skeleton King offer a free cheat death proc, albeit with an unreliably low proc chance. Aquila Cuirass is simply a defensive cornerstone, cutting incoming damage in half if you maintain above 90% of your resource. There is a possible alteration to the chest slot if you are confident in your survivability; Cindercoat is a respectable contender with its guaranteed Fire elemental damage increase.
Introduced in Patch 2.4, The Shame of Delsere belt is an Arcane Power regeneration powerhouse that speeds up your signature spells by 50% (a multiplicative attack speed increase), and restores up to 12 AP per hit. This bonus will be extremely helpful in Greater Rift pushes in order to maintain the damage reduction of a worn Aquila Cuirass, as well as to stack up the Arcane Dynamo buff as quickly as possible. Another viable option exists for the slot in the face of The Witching Hour, whose innate attack speed roll can help you reach Hydra attack speed breakpoints, as outlined below.
Desired Stats, Breakpoints and Other Notes
For Offense stats, try to obtain Hydra % bonus on the shoulders, offhand and chest (maximum of 45%), Fire elemental damage on both the amulet and wrists (maximum of 40%), Crit Chance and Crit Damage within a 1:10 ratio (ideally over 60% and 450%, respectively), and Area Damage of 150%+ (pretty much every gear piece possible).
Hydra is an Attack Speed-dependent pet skill that requires reaching specific breakpoints in order to improve its damage. The two most important sources of Increased Attack Speed on your gear will be the Tasker and Theo gloves with their unique property (up to 50% Increased Attack Speed for your pets), and the Attack Speed roll on your weapon (which multiplies with the base Attack Speed of your weapon and affects all other sources of Attack Speed on gear). In practice, this means that you will need 1.73+ Attacks per Second in your character sheet to reach the 30 Frames per Attack breakpoint on your Mammoth Hydras. In a perfect case scenario, this will be reached with a 50% bonus on Tasker and Theo and 7% Increased Attack Speed on your weapon. Any imperfection on these important IAS rolls will require one additional IAS roll on items (on any reasonable, 43%+ Tasker roll).
For Defense stats, aim for a life pool of 700k+; dropping as much as you can for offense as you grow accustomed to the build. This is a very tanky setup, and you will largely eschew sources of life sustain on gear.
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.
Season 28: Altar of Rites
Season 28 comes with the theme of the Altar of Rites — a powerful new account-wide and Season-specific progression system that brings tremendous offensive and defensive buffs to every seasonal character. For virtually all builds and players of all skill levels — from casual to advanced — we recommend progressing through the Altar tree using the path outlined below. The suggested path is geared towards maximum quality of life first, then amplifying damage, and then mopping up the tree with defensive and edge case utility nodes.
Note that while they require reaching them with a Seal, Legendary Potion Powers are not part of the Seal cost system; Potions unlock with a separate resource called Primordial Ashes, obtained from salvaging Legendary or Set items of Primal (red bordered) quality. Upgrade them as soon as possible, and in the order shown below (courtesy of Caleko's Altar of Rites planner).
You can read more on the Altar of Rites, Seals and Legendary Potion Powers in our dedicated Altar of Rites Mechanics guide.
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. 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. Investing into Max Arcane Power should not be necessary.
In the Offense section, max out Crit Chance, Crit Damage, Attack Speed and Cooldown Reduction in that order. In Defense, prioritize Armor, then Life %, then All Resistance, and finish off with Life Regeneration. In Utility, build up Area Damage and Life on Hit first, then finish off with Resource Cost Reduction and Globe Radius.
Enforcer is the gem meant to aid pet builds, and Hydras fall into this category for the benefits of this scaling, independent damage multiplier.
Introduced in Season 4, Bane of the Stricken occupies a firm spot in your jewelry sockets during GR 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. In lower Greater Rifts, when you are not yet pushing against the very limits of your gear, you can alternate this slot to Bane of the Trapped for the consistent overall damage increase.
Your final slot needs to be taken by the Legacy of Dreams legendary gem, which provides a scaling bonus for each legendary item equipped, as long as you have no set bonuses equipped. This bonus is multiplied for Ancient or Primal quality items, and when the gem is maxed out, it matches the Legacy of Nightmares ( The Wailing Host and Litany of the Undaunted rings) set bonus. This potent bonus allows you to play around with all your gear slots for synergistic legendary powers at the cost of a gem slot.
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 Topazes 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, scaling the lacking Armor of an Intelligence-based character (Intelligence scales Resistances). 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 build is free of CDR concerns, you can pick between Flawless Royal Amethyst for the extra health or Flawless Royal Topaz for the Resource Cost Reduction as befits your needs and playstyle. In your weapon, use a Flawless Royal Emerald for the Crit Damage boost.
|Torso and Pants||
For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.
Tucked away in the cube, you have another Hydra-specific power: the revised Fragment of Destiny, which retains its signature spell attack speed increase (multiplicative in nature), but adds a stacking (up to 10 times) buff for Hydras with each subsequent attack. This plays into the Arcane Dynamo playstyle quite nicely, and forces you into a habit of pre-buffing your Hydras before placing them down.
You have some freedom to adapt to your needs in the armor Cube slot; in general, this is the slot where you would place Stone Gauntlets (or Tasker and Theo, depending on your better rolled item). If you deem the combination of Aquila and Stone Gauntlets too defensive however, and want the utility of, say, equipping Illusory Boots, you can slot Aquila Cuirass here and simply wear a Cindercoat. Another option is to slot The Magistrate here and wear a Fire damage Andariel's Visage. All of these options will produce very viable and GR-push worthy results.
Your jewelry Cube slot will be occupied by your worst rolled item between Halo of Karini, Convention of Elements and Unity.
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 Scoundrel due to his powerful damage and crit buffs: both passive in nature (with Piercing Shot and Anatomy), as well as the brief but battle-turning window of guaranteed crits from Night's Veil.
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.
The preferred potions for this build are Bottomless Potion of Kulle-Aid (allowing you to break down Waller affixes that impede Hydra DPS), Bottomless Potion of the Unfettered (giving you a brief window of CC immunity to counter your lack of CC-breaking or immunity skills), or Bottomless Potion of the Tower (whose Armor-increasing properties complement the naturally high All Resistances stat of Wizards). Pick whichever you feel helps you out the most.
- 22 Feb. 2023: Added Season 28 Altar of Rites recommendations.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Added Season 27 Angelic Crucible recommendations.
- 14 Apr. 2022: Guide reviewed for Season 26.
- 06 Dec. 2021: Added Season 25 Soul Shard recommendations.
- 26 Oct. 2021: Enriched the guide with additional information.
- 22 Jul. 2021: Added S24 Ethereal recommendation.
- 02 Apr. 2021: Revised item recommendations, added follower advice.
- 20 Nov. 2020: Revision of item recommendations, alongside advice for Season 22 changes.
- 01 Jul. 2020: No changes required for Season 21.
- 11 Mar. 2020: Guide added.
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