Tal Frozen Orb Wizard Nephalem Rift Speed Farming Variation
Nephalem Rift Speed Farming
The Tal Frozen Orb Wizard can deal reasonably well with Nephalem Rift Speed Farming, mostly thanks to overwhelming damage potential offered by Frozen Orb that allows you to include Aether Walker in the build, and the monster pulling capabilities of Ranslor's Folly. We have solo speed GR rankings and solo speed T16 rankings if you want to know more about which builds are best for speed farming.
Within the limited scope of regular difficulties, the necessary damage and toughness to triumph over the enemy is significantly smaller. Thus, your best course of action is to improve utility and speed.
|Shock Pulse Piercing Orb Arcane Orb Frozen Orb 1 Energy Twister Gale Force 2 Magic Weapon Deflection 3 Teleport Calamity 4 Storm Armor Power of the Storm|
When you are speed farming regular rifts, parts of your playstyle will adapt to the lowered challenge and focus more on speed and utility.
The T16 key farming build will mimic the GR speed farming rotation, but sped up one step further: with extremely aggressive Teleports into fights, using Energy Twister right on top of the nearest Elite pack to cluster enemies in one spot and decimating them with Frozen Orbs — ideally still using the optimal 40 yard range for the peak detonation damage, but not nearly as important as in GRs. Of course, you should not forget to stack up Triumvirate with Shock Pulse Piercing Orb, but this will come naturally through gameplay as you draw monster aggro prior to the Ranslor's Folly pull. Storm Armor Power of the Storm and Magic Weapon Deflection will keep you safe as you recklessly port around the rift in search of the next big fight; just do not let their 10-minute duration distract you from refreshing them in between runs.
Parts of the skill and passive selection will overlap with the base Greater Rift progression build, but others will have to change according to the task at hand. Ability to cross over great distances faster and more efficiently take precedence.
- The Cold proc for Tal Rasha and your main damage dealer remains the namesake of the build: Arcane Orb, taken with strongest Frozen Orb rune.
- The Lightning proc for Tal Rasha is consistent throughout the variants: Shock Pulse Piercing Orb for its massive range and AoE aggroing potential. Its Primary Skill nature is also important for Triumvirate stacking.
- The Fire proc for Tal Rasha should come from Energy Twister Gale Force; while the rune is strictly taken for its element and its properties are lost on the build, the skill itself brings massive Crowd Control value through Ranslor's Folly.
- The Arcane proc for Tal Rasha comes from your mobility skill, Teleport due to the rune Calamity. In T16 keyfarm, it will be completely spammable due to the cubed Aether Walker.
- You will take two shields in the build: Storm Armor (combined with Halo of Karini) and Magic Weapon Deflection. Their powers combined will allow you to throw yourself from fight to fight with reckless abandon.
- Passive-wise, the distance-based damage multiplication of Power Hungry and mobility value of Illusionist remain core to the setup. Supplement them with the protective powers of Galvanizing Ward and Dominance, which safeguard the Squirt's Necklace bonuses.
The Tal Rasha's Elements set remains gloriously adaptable in T16 farming, and you should largely keep the same split between pieces as you do in Greater Rift speed farming: 5 pieces of Tal's, plus utility inclusions. It is recommended that you keep wearing the 2 pieces of the craftable Cpt. Crimson set ( Captain Crimson's Silk Girdle and Captain Crimson's Waders) when you farm on your own, since your follower can wear the craftable sets Sage's Journey (doubled Death's Breath drops) and Cain's Destiny (chance for extra Greater Rift Keystones) and emanate their power as if you were wearing them yourself. When you farm in groups however, drop the Cpt. Crimson's pieces for Sage's Ribbon and Sage's Passage, as you will have no follower and have to take care of the extra Death's Breath drops yourself. Ideally, you will also carry 2 pieces of Cain's set (i.e., Cain's Habit and Cain's Insight) in your inventory and right before the Rift Guardian kill, you will swap to them for the chance of additional GR keystone drops.
Utility slots also vary according to solo or group play, as you have to take care of certain bonuses that are usually relegated to the follower yourself when partying up. The bracer and shoulder slots that are occupied by Aughild pieces in the GR speedfarm variant are better taken by Ranslor's Folly (for supremely strong, pixel-tight pulling effect you can exert over trash mobs), and either the Act I bounty cache legendary Pauldrons of the Skeleton King (for the extra cheat death proc in solo play), or Homing Pads (for the safety during town portal when partying up). When partying up, you might want to be able to proc the extra elite spawn at Pylons yourself (usually done by the follower in solo play); this means either cubing Nemesis Bracers, or equipping them over Ranslor's to keep the Goldwrap toughness in the Cube. If you choose the latter, swap Energy Twister for Black Hole Blazar to maintain some form of Crowd Control in the build.
From the base GR progression setup, Halo of Karini maintains its massive defensive relevance, but the timing-based damage boost of Convention of Elements does not. Replace it with Ring of Royal Grandeur to maintain your full Tal Rasha and Cpt. Crimson set powers, allowing you to adapt either Squirt's Necklace (in solo) or Avarice Band (in groups) in the jewelry Cube slot.
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 29: Paragon Cap
Season 29 introduces a season-specific cap to stat benefits from Paragon levels, all while updating how Paragon point distribution is handled. For the duration of this Season, you can only assign 800 Paragon stat points to your character, removing the long-standing practice of main-stat stacking (with some gearing implications — see below) after you reach Paragon 800.
On top of that, you could only allocate 50 Paragon stat points to each of the four stats in a given Paragon category (Core, Offense, Defense, and Utility). In Season 29, you can allocate up to the full 200 points per category into any attribute, allowing you to more easily reach necessary build breakpoints (as outlined in the Gear page of the guide) for Cooldown Reduction, Resource Cost Reduction, etc.
With the changes to Paragon in mind, we recommend using the following Paragon distribution for this build:
- Core: Movement Speed: 200 points.
- Offense: Critical Hit Chance and Critical Hit Damage: Allocate points so they are as close to the desirable 1:10 ratio between the two stats, as displayed in your Character Details sheet. For weapon-and-offhand builds, this is usually achieved with the full 200 points spent into Critical Hit Damage.
- Defense: Life and All Resistance: Allocate points to maximize survivability; for Wizards, this is usually achieved by evenly splitting 100 points into Life (directly increasing your Health pool) and Armor (to complement the naturally high All Resistance stat of Intelligence-based characters).
- Utility: Area Damage: 200 points.
Season 29: Gearing Considerations
In terms of gear, keeping the Paragon cap in mind is paramount, as it stymies the traditional endless supply of main stat after Paragon 800. This means re-rolling mainstat off your gear is no longer desirable, and full equipment augmentation with your main stat is even more critical. Additionally, you should take a careful look at your build and consider if you can fit the following changes to strengthen your damage and survivability:
- Guardian's Jeopardy: This is a craftable armor set, and the recipe for its creation drops from Bounty farming. Guardian's 2-piece provides a decent damage reduction bonus, but the true powerhouse of the set is the 3-piece bonus, which nets you an additional 100% of your main stats from equipped items. This is a tremendous benefit in an 800 Paragon capped Season. If the Guardian set can fit into the build with minimal sacrifices (other craftable sets, tertiary damage multipliers, etc.), consider its implementation. The available pieces are Guardian's Aversion (Wrists), Guardian's Case (Waist), and Guardian's Gaze (Head). Of course, you can wear 2 pieces of the set and complete the full 3-piece bonus with a Ring of Royal Grandeur (found from Act I bounty caches).
- Endless Walk:This is a jewelry set consisting of The Traveler's Pledge (Amulet) and The Compass Rose (Ring), and is randomly found through farming, gambling Blood Shards, and/or Kanai's Cube recipes. The Endless Walk set is a nice compromise between damage bonuses (building up while stationary) and defensive bonuses (building up while moving). It can replace glass cannon choices like the Bastions of Will set ( Focus and Restraint) and Squirt's Necklace with acceptable losses to DPS.
- Unity: A character wearing this ring, along with another Unity on their follower plus an immortality relic for them (i.e., Enchanting Favor), will reduce their damage taken by 50%. Unity can roll excellent offense-oriented stats and has an innate Extra Damage to Elites roll, which somewhat offsets losing all-out offense jewelry.
Both Zei's Stone of Vengeance and Bane of the Trapped still bring excellent damage multiplication value to the build in T16 keyfarm. Within the limited challenges of T16 rifts, Bane of the Stricken should be replaced by Boon of the Hoarder. This gem increases your movement speed and provides near-infinite Toughness through its interaction with Avarice Band (either slotted in the Cube during group play, or worn by your follower in solo play), and the cubed Goldwrap.
|Torso and Pants||
For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.
Adapting Kanai's Cube
In the limited challenges of T16 keyfarm, one legendary weapon damage multiplier should be enough; thus, we advise you to stick to an equipped Unstable Scepter and replace Wizardspike in the Cube with an Aether Walker. This legendary wand turns your Teleport from a cooldown to a spender, and allows for near limitless mobility.
When you solo T16s for keystones, no other source of damage mitigation will be quite as effective as the triumvirate of Boon of the Hoarder, Avarice Band (worn by the follower and emanated), and Goldwrap in the armor slot of the Cube. In groups, you might want to take Nemesis Bracers in this slot to allow you to proc extra elites, but wanting to Goldwrap is understandable — if so, equip the Nemesis on yourself and swap Energy Twister for Black Hole Blazar.
Due to the neck slot occupation of the Tal Rasha amulet, you are forced to slot Squirt's Necklace in the Cube and equip the Ring of Royal Grandeur. Despite the tradeoff, this necklace more than makes up for it with a massive doubling of your damage; you will offset its "damage taken increased" drawback with a plethora of shields in your skill and passive selection.
The recommended follower for this build during T16 rift farming is the Enchantress, due to her cooldown reduction bonus (cutting down Teleport downtime) and elemental damage increase. Note that this requires that you run Hand of the Prophet and optimize her survivability, as per our guide.
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.
- 13 Sep. 2023: Added Season 29 Paragon Cap and Gearing recommendations.
- 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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