Tal Frozen Orb Wizard Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Tal Frozen Orb Wizard in Diablo 3. Updated for Patch 2.7.7 and Season 30.
|Shock Pulse Piercing Orb Arcane Orb Frozen Orb 1 Black Hole Absolute Zero 2 Magic Missile Conflagrate 3 Teleport Calamity 4 Storm Armor Shocking Aspect
There are two basic steps at maintaining the Tal Frozen Orb survivability; the first and obvious one is to maintain the stacks for the Tal Rasha set, which is achieved by casting a skill of each elemental type at the Wizard's disposal at least once every 8 seconds. This procs the 4-piece bonus of the set and enhances your resistances greatly. The second step is to activate Storm Armor, which is to be kept up throughout the rift for the massive damage reduction bonuses it provides from its interaction with Halo of Karini. Note that the damage reduction proc requires a 15-yard distance from the enemy struck by Storm Armor, so in fights with fewer targets (especially Rift Guardians), you need to make sure to create some space on a regular basis to get the proc; otherwise, you will drop the buff and expose yourself to lethal amounts of damage. At all times, you should be able to quickly re-position and stabilize safety with Teleport Calamity, which also acts as a momentary AoE stun at the arrival point, as well as a proc for the Arcane portion of the Tal Rasha requirements.
The remainder of the rotation is fairly straightforward; you will use Shock Pulse Piercing Orb and Magic Missile Conflagrate to lure enemies to your position, as well as to build up stacks for the Tal Rasha set's respective element requirements and the Triumvirate unique bonus. When you deem the pull to be populated enough, bunch up the enemies with Black Hole Absolute Zero and fire away with your main damage dealer, Arcane Orb Frozen Orb.
In order to optimize your damage, try to position yourself at a 40-yard distance range from the enemy. This will grant you the maximum possible benefit from Zei's Stone of Vengeance while also positioning the final Frozen Orb detonation (its most damaging point) exactly on the pull. Ideally, in any given fight you will be able to take down smaller enemy first, which nets you a proc of Oculus Ring to move into for another damage multiplier.
Skills and Runes
Your main damage dealer and primary focus of the build lies in Arcane Orb, taken with the highest damaging (and signature for spellcasting in Diablo games) Frozen Orb rune. This long range skill hurls an orb towards your current cursor position, and detonates 40 yards away from its initial firing point. While it fires off shard projectiles and damages enemies it passes through, its main damage burst comes from the relatively small AoE right at the point of impact (doubled by Unstable Scepter), so learn its exact range and target priority enemies within the end detonation radius.
The Tal Rasha elemental rotation requires four elements to be present in the build, and while there is some wiggle room in how you achieve the full stack of the buff, we recommend the following skills:
- Lightning is procced via Shock Pulse Piercing Orb: a reliable, super high range skill that can off-screen enemies. Note that the skill falls in the Primary Skill category and will also serve to stack Triumvirate. You can use other lightning primary skills here, such as Electrocute Surge of Power.
- Fire can be taken care of by Magic Missile Conflagrate, which is another long range Primary Skill that can stack Triumvirate alongside Tal Rasha, while also serving its tertiary purpose of aggroing monsters into a fight. There are other options for the slot too — Explosive Blast Short Fuse is also viable here, as is shifting the skill choice entirely into a defensive role with Magic Weapon Deflection, and getting your Fire proc elsewhere (see below).
- Cold is already procced by Frozen Orb, but it can be supplemented by Black Hole Absolute Zero; when timed correctly, you can pull monsters into a tight clump right before your major burst period, and also gain a substantial damage buff from the rune. That being said, other options exist; Spellsteal offers a balanced split between an offensive and defensive buff, while Blazar can replace your Fire proc and free up a skill slot (see above).
- Arcane will be taken care of by Teleport, with the minor damage aspect of the rune Calamity taking care of the fourth and final Tal Rasha elemental requirement. The skill obviously retains its immensely helpful mobility aspect, and the 1 second stun at the arrival point is just icing on the cake.
Rounding skills out, you will be adding Storm Armor to the build. With a fire-and-forget duration of 10 minutes and a negligible damage proc, it can be easily overlooked if not for the massive damage reduction properties of Halo of Karini (see this build's gear page for more information). You will be taking the rune Shocking Aspect for the superior uptime of the procs for the Karini buff. Alternatively, you can consider Scramble for the additional movement speed.
Evocation offers a simple, but powerful effect: 20% additional cooldown reduction; helpful when cooldowns like Teleport and Black Hole dictate the flow of fights. Another option for the slot is Galvanizing Ward, which can be useful if you opt for a Ashnagarr's Blood Bracer-based protection in Greater Rift progression (see this build's gear page for more information).
Power Hungry is a rather straightforward inclusion, offering a multiplicative damage increase against enemies farther than 30 yards — a helpful reminder to keep the 40 yard optimal distance from the fight.
Elemental Exposure offers yet another damage increase, tying into the multi-element theme of Tal Rasha nicely. Notice that the passive bumps damage in 5% increments per element used; you fulfill the fire with Conflagrate, cold with Absolute Zero, lightning with Piercing Orb, and arcane with Calamity. In Hardcore, you can consider dropping this passive for Unstable Anomaly.
Illusionist is a passive with a great value for a build that constantly strives to be on the move and in the correct position to the enemy. It resets the Teleport cooldown when receiving a damage spike, and by working with a pre-mitigation calculation, it gives you near infinite mobility. The additional 30% movement speed after Teleporting makes the passive even more attractive.
- 10 Jan. 2024: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 30.
- 13 Sep. 2023: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 29.
- 22 Feb. 2023: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 28.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 27.
- 14 Apr. 2022: Guide reviewed for Season 26.
- 06 Dec. 2021: Reviewed for Season 25.
- 30 Oct. 2021: Guide added.
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