Typhon Frost Hydra Wizard BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your Typhon Frost Hydra Wizard in Diablo 3 and why. We also list your paragon points and Kanai's Cube items. Updated for Patch 2.7.6 and Season 29.
Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
The build takes advantage of the full 6-piece The Typhon's Veil set bonus, incorporating five of the six available items and completing the requirements via a Ring of Royal Grandeur in the Cube. As far as bonuses go, the 2-piece set bonus is doubles the duration of Hydras (from 15 seconds to 30) and increases the number of heads on multi-headed Hydras by two; the latter part of the bonus locks you out of the Mammoth Hydra option and influences a lot of the following gear choices. The 4-piece bonus offers the usual damage reduction associated with the tier, but flavourfully ties it to the number of active Hydra heads and culls their number as you take damage; thankfully, with an internal 2-second cooldown, so you do not lose all your set-induced toughness in one unfortunate burst. Last, but not least, the 6-piece bonus is a straight damage multiplier for each active Hydra head.
As mentioned above, you will be dropping one of the Typhon set pieces and introducing a synergistic legendary item for the build. Depending on your better rolled legendary, you will either drop Typhon's Claws and replace them with Tasker and Theo, or switch out Typhon's Frons for The Magistrate. 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. Due to the importance of a perfected Tasker and Theo unique property in order to reach important Attack Speed breakpoints (see the section below), we advise that you cube this glove (which perfects the property) and equip The Magistrate early on; if you happen upon a 50% IAS Tasker, swap the items around instead.
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.
Reworked in Patch 2.7.4, the craftable Guardian's Jeopardy set now provides a potent bonus, attractive to builds without strict requirements for the bracer and belt slots. With a 2-piece bonus that amplifies Melee and Missile Damage reduction and a 3-piece bonus that doubles your Primary attributes from equipped items, this set is an early game, low-Paragon powerhouse. For certain builds, such as this one, it remains attractive all the way into endgame progression and comes as our default recommendation. The former favorites for the slots, The Shame of Delsere (defensive belt option), The Witching Hour (offensive belt option) and Ashnagarr's Blood Bracer (defensive bracer) remain viable choices.
When it comes to jewelry, you will be wearing your two best rolled rings and cubing the third between Ring of Royal Grandeur (ideally cubed), Halo of Karini and Convention of Elements. Ring of Royal Grandeur reduces the required number of worn set items for the respective bonuses by one, and allows you to mix the aforementioned legendaries in the build. Halo of Karini will greatly supplement your defenses, providing a massive damage reduction bonus for the modest requirement of keeping your Storm Armor active and keeping distance from the enemy. Finally, Convention of Elements simply provides a massive damage increase during the Cold cycle of its rotation. 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.
Long Range / Ranslor's Folly Variation
There is a notable variation to the Typhon Hydra summoner playstyle for high end Greater Rift pushing, which alters the build from close to long range combat. This build relies on favorable monster composition (high trash density, relatively low aggression enemies) in the Rift and makes the following alterations to gear:
- The protective Ashnagarr's Blood Bracer is replaced by Ranslor's Folly; combined with Energy Twister Wicked Wind, it creates a potent, on-demand pixel pulling tool for the build that functions perfectly for trash-dense Rifts. (Check out the Skills page for the remaining skill alterations.)
- Either Bane of the Trapped (recommended) or Bane of the Stricken gets replaced by the distance-based damage multiplication of Zei's Stone of Vengeance.
Desired Stats, Breakpoints and Other Notes
For Offense stats, try to obtain Hydra % bonus on the shoulders, offhand and chest (maximum of 45%), Cold elemental damage on the amulet, offhand and wrists (maximum of 60%), Crit Chance and Crit Damage within a 1:10 ratio (ideally over 50% and 500%, respectively), and Area Damage of 70%+.
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 the following:
- You will need 1.86 Attacks per Second in your character sheet to reach the 30 Frames per Attack breakpoint on your Hydras. In a perfect case scenario, this will be reached with a 50% bonus on Tasker and Theo, 7% Increased Attack Speed on your weapon and two additional sources of Increased Attack Speed — i.e. your gloves, belt, or rings. Any imperfection on the important IAS rolls will require an additional third IAS roll on items.
- If your current gear simply cannot support the 30 FpA breakpoint, aim for the lower 1.56 ApS / 36 FpA breakpoint — this is much easier to achieve, and will require a single 7% Increased Attack Speed roll on any gear piece even with lower end (42%+) Tasker and Theo rolls.
For Defense stats, aim for a life pool of 800k+; dropping as much as you can for offense as you grow accustomed to the build. You will mostly sustain through Life per Hit on gear, with at least one high roll in your setup (i.e. bracer).
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.
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, 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.
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: Attack Speed: 200 points.
- 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.
Bane of the Trapped is 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 when in range and is otherwise triggered by Frost Novas cast by your The Magistrate-empowered Hydras.
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. 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 Powerful for the dependable overall damage and toughness increase.
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 not a Cooldown or Resource-intensive build, we recommend a Flawless Royal Amethyst in the helm. 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.
Tucked away in the cube, you have another Hydra-specific power: the revised Fragment of Destiny, which retains its signature spell attack speed increase, 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.
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.
Both the Scoundrel and the Enchantress are viable followers for GR progression with this build. Scoundrel can be used for his powerful crit buff, allowing you brief windows of extra damage output. Enchantress offers an attack speed buff that can be useful when reaching for the attack speed breakpoints outlined above.
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.
- 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.
- 22 Oct. 2021: Enriched the guide with additional information.
- 22 Jul. 2021: Added S24 Ethereal recommendation.
- 02 Apr. 2021: Revised gear selection and added follower recommendation.
- 20 Nov. 2020: Revision of item, skill and passive recommendations, alongside advice for Season 22 changes.
- 01 Jul. 2020: No changes required for Season 21.
- 10 Mar. 2020: Guide added.
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