Tal Frozen Orb Wizard BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your Tal Frozen Orb 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
With the flexibility afforded by the seven available pieces of the Tal Rasha set and the Ring of Royal Grandeur, you will be able to take five Tal's set pieces, mix two additional sets into the build, and still enjoy their full bonuses. In Greater Rift speed farming, the two additional sets will be Aughild's Authority (via Aughild's Power and Aughild's Search and Captain Crimson's Trimmings (via Captain Crimson's Silk Girdle and Captain Crimson's Waders). Note that both of these are craftable at the Blacksmith, making perfecting their rolls a somewhat easier task. A suggested split between the three sets is listed below, though you can vary the pieces according to your preference and best rolls, as long as you maintain the required 5 Tal's — 2 Aughild's — 2 Cpt. Crimson's set pieces split, along with RoRG in the Cube.
Rolls-wise, this precise, AoE-oriented build will benefit greatly from Skill Damage and Cooldown Reduction affixes, with a recommended CDR baseline of 50%. High Crit Chance and Crit Damage are needed on the gloves, alongside Intelligence and Cooldown Reduction. Arcane Orb % damage can roll on helm and boots, so obtain it on both; the former should also include a Critical Hit Chance roll. The pants, belt and boots should be largely Toughness slots. Cold damage, double Crit stats and an open Socket are BiS on the amulet. Finally, seek high Damage range, Intelligence, Crit Chance, Skill and Area Damage on your source.
With your amulet slot occupied by Tal's, your best way to finish off jewelry is to split between offense and defense in the rings with the combination of Convention of Elements and Halo of Karini. Convention of Elements boosts your elemental damage in cycles according to the elements available to your class, so you need to internalize its rotation and be ready with your pulls for the Cold cycle, when you should burst enemies down. Halo of Karini offers massive damage reduction that is just about non-negotiable, and has the modest requirement of keeping your Storm Armor active and keeping distance from the enemy. Note that if you want to introduce more tankiness to the build, either due to playing Hardcore or inexperience with the playstyle, you can drop CoE for the added safety of Unity, coupled with another on the follower plus an immortality relic for them (i.e. Enchanting Favor). This will cut incoming damage in half. Another option for the Unity is to replace Halo of Karini, if you dislike the proc-based protection of the latter; this will cost you some toughness, but will repay you in reliability. This option is mostly applicable if you want to go heavy on shield-based defenses, by using Magic Weapon Deflection over Storm Armor and running with Ashnagarr's Blood Bracer in the Cube.
The mandatory weapon for the build is the Unstable Scepter, a legendary wand that not only increases Arcane Orb damage, but also has a unique property that detonates Arcane Orbs twice — effectively doubling the spec's damage output. Pair it with the other Arcane Orb-dedicated legendary, the Triumvirate source. Its unique bonus stacks Frozen Orb damage in three increments, achieved by an easy triple cast from your primary attack(s).
Desired Stats, Breakpoints and Other Notes
For Offense stats, try to obtain Arcane Orb % bonus on the helm, boots and off-hand (maximum of 45%), Cold elemental damage on 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%+.
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. You will mostly sustain through your follower, so you will not be focusing on regenerative rolls 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 Damage, Crit Chance, Cooldown Reduction and Attack Speed 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 Resource Cost Reduction first, then finish off with Life on Hit and Globe Radius.
Bane of the Trapped is the staple gem of the build; a potent source of additional damage, as it is its own multiplier in your total damage calculation. The gem procs itself with its level 25 property, as well as various other sources of crowd control in the build — i.e., the Frozen Orb slow, the stun proc of Zei's Stone of Vengeance, and others. The latter is another separate damage multiplier, basing its bonuses off distance from the enemy — a powerful reminder to keep your distance while playing this build.
Introduced in Season 4, Bane of the Stricken occupies the third and final jewelry socket. 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 during Greater Rift progression attempts.
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 both a Cooldown and a Resource-intensive build, we recommend a Flawless Royal Diamond in the helm, but you can also viably take Flawless Royal Topaz here. In your weapon, use Flawless Royal Emerald for the Crit Damage boost.
|Torso and Pants||
For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.
The revised powers of Wizardspike make it a mandatory inclusion in a Frozen Orb build, albeit tucked away in the Cube. This unassuming dagger now provides both a proc-based chance to hurl an additional Frozen Orb (which does not proc Area Damage, but will benefit from all other damage multipliers), as well as a massive damage multiplier for the skill itself.
You have reasonable flexibility in the armor Cube slot during Greater Rift progression. Our default recommendation is Aquila Cuirass, which cuts incoming damage in half as long as you maintain your resource reserves above 90% — usually active in the periods in between your burst window, which is long enough to warrant its inclusion. Another viable alternative is to slot Ashnagarr's Blood Bracer here, if you opt for a shield-heavy variation with Magic Weapon Deflection and Galvanizing Ward.
For the jewelry Cube slot, you will need to use the Ring of Royal Grandeur in order to tie the Tal Rasha, 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.
For Greater Rift progression with this build, we recommend the Templar for his essential heal and cheat death abilities. The Templar is a preferable choice due to the lacking sustain in this build, as well as the overall lackluster cheat death passive that Wizards have.
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 Frozen Orb 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.
- 30 Oct. 2021: Guide added.
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