Typhon Frost Hydra Wizard Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Typhon Frost Hydra Wizard in Diablo 3. Updated for patch 2.6.8 and Season 20.
|Arcane Torrent Flame Ward Hydra Frost Hydra 1 Black Hole Absolute Zero 2 Teleport Safe Passage 3 Storm Armor Power of the Storm 4 Magic Weapon Deflection|
You will start runs with an activation of Magic Weapon and Storm Armor, both of which are to be kept up throughout the rift. Make sure to summon Hydra (manually, if need be) and maxing out your Typhon 6-piece set bonus prior to making your first engagement with enemies. Once you come across a decent pack of monsters, close the distance — either by walking or engaging with Teleport — in order to trigger the bonuses of the Audacity passive, and start channeling away. Your next, Etched Sigil-induced, Hydra summons and Black Hole casts should follow promptly.
Skills and Runes
Your primary damage dealing skill and namesake of the build is, of course, Hydra. You have some freedom in your rune selection, but the highlighted version in this guide is the Cold damage variation based on the rune Frost Hydra due to the cone-shape of its damage output.
As previously noted however, you will be summoning the Hydras not through manual casting, but through channeling and the powers of the Etched Sigil. The preferred skill to channel is the Wizard staple Arcane Torrent, coupled with the Flame Ward rune for additional protection — remember that this skill is not taken for its damage, but as a means of summonning and damage amplification from Deathwish.
Black Hole is an excellent utility inclusion for two reasons. First, it brings a monster grouping skill to the setup, which is always welcome before you start your channeling barrage; and second, it adds a nice damage buff to Cold skills (such as your Frost Hydras) that scales with density through the rune Absolute Zero. Since this skill is a spender, it will also be activated for free from the powers of Etched Sigil while channeling.
Magic Weapon offers an attractive, long-lasting damage buff by default, which branches our even more nicely into defense via the rune Deflection — highly desirable in order to safeguard your Squirt's Necklace damage buff. Note that, this protective effect is doubled via the worn Ashnagarr's Blood Bracer.
Sometimes immediate repositioning will be required — evading a bad affix, engaging a larger pack of enemies to maximize the Frost Hydra AoE, or simply to gain a temporary Toughness buff in a rough fight. Teleport will cover you for all these purposes, along with the damage reduction of the Safe Passage rune.
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 potent flat resource cost reduction of the Power of the Storm rune and the massive damage reduction properties of Halo of Karini (see this build's gear page for more information).
This concludes the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.
Illusionist is one of the strongest utility picks in the Wizard's arsenal, offering an immediate reset to the vital Teleport upon sustaining a hit that takes 15% of your max life (which is basically every hit in a GR progression attempt). On top of that, the passive grants a 30% movement speed increase upon the use of Teleport, making for very consistent speed buff throughout the Rift.
Added with similar reasoning to Magic Weapon Deflection (mainly Squirt's Necklace buff maintenance), Galvanizing Ward introduces a solid damage buffer that benefits from the doubled effectiveness via Ashnagarr's Blood Bracer.
Audacity brings a sizable 30% multiplicative damage increase against enemies within 15 yards — a near-melee range prerequisite that you fulfill naturally through the playstyle of the build, as enemies close in on you while you channel.
You have some flexibility in your final passive slot; our general recommendation when starting out is the balanced benefit of Unwavering Will, which brings a smattering of damage and survivability at once. Another option you can consider is swapping this slot out for Unstable Anomaly, which gives you one shot at dodging a lethal situation every 60 seconds. With an added 3-second stun to nearby enemies plus a solid, 400% max life shield for 5 seconds, it will become a constant companion to your high-end Greater Rift pushes.
- 10 Mar. 2020: Guide added.
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