Vyr Archon Wizard Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Vyr Archon Wizard in Diablo 3. Updated for Patch 2.7.5 and Season 28.
|Arcane Torrent Static Discharge Magic Weapon Deflection 1 Archon Slow Time 2 Black Hole Absolute Zero 3 Storm Armor Shocking Aspect 4 Slow Time Time Warp|
The strategy of this build revolves around the in- and out- of Archon dynamic, trying to conserve and increase power as much as you can outside your alternate form and unleashing the built up damage potential during the Archon uptime.
Both Magic Weapon Deflection and Storm Armor should be activated as soon as you enter the Greater Rift, and you should be cognizant that your first Archon activation will not be at a 20-stack capped Chantodo bonus; build up as many Chantodo stacks as you can before endangering your survivability too much, and enter Archon form. Focus on building up Archon stacks during your initial rotations via the left click melee attack (Archon Strike), as the right click ranged attack (Disintegration Wave) is much slower at stack buildup — use it for long distance monster aggro at most. Disintegration Wave snapshots attack speed upon entering Archon form, and subsequent AS fluctuations (positive or negative) during Archon will not affect its tick rate. This is in stark contrast with Archon Strike, which scales dynamically with Attack Speed at all times.
Once you return to regular form, The Swami helm in the Cube will ensure you keep the positive effects of your Archon stacks up to 20 seconds; this enables you to survive and either reset (if you are using Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac), or simply wait out your Archon cooldown. During this downtime, get Chantodo's Resolve up to its 20 stack maximum by attacking, and use Black Hole and Slow Time to control incoming monsters and keep yourself safe. Make sure to cast a Black Hole just prior entering Archon to reapply the Cold damage buff from the rune Absolute Zero.
Skills and Runes
Its presence in the build is pretty self-explanatory, but Archon should be on your skill bar. You have a degree of freedom with your element of choice, as you receive the benefits of all the runes through the Vyr 2-piece set bonus. For the general version of this build that we recommend, we will be using the Cold rune Slow Time, but if you experiment with the Double Element variant, it will be swapped out for Combustion due to its superior burst damage as you enter your Archon form.
In the general, cold-based version of the Archon build you will be using Arcane Torrent with the Static Discharge rune for its superior Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac proc potential. If you dabble in the multi-element version of the build outlined below, this skill should be swapped into Spectral Blade Flame Blades rune for its element-boosting properties.
Slow Time Time Warp is another straightforward addition to the build, as its additive damage buff also applies to the Slow Time that is available in Archon form. Archon's Slow Time is also centered on your Wizard at all times, making it more convenient and streamlined to use. Note that Slow Time can benefit from other Slow Time runes, such as Exhaustion and Stretch Time, and will also benefit from Crown of the Primus.
Black Hole is an excellent utility inclusion for numerous reasons. First, it brings a monster grouping skill to the setup, which is always welcome prior to entering your burst phase with Archon. Second, the skill ticks add to Chantodo stacks even after you re-enter Archon, making it an efficient pick in-between cycles. And third, you add a nice Cold damage buff that scales with density through the rune Absolute Zero. Note that in the Double Element variation, this rune slot is swapped out into Spellsteal.
Fighting at a closer range than most Wizard builds can afford, the Archon build exposes itself to regular danger; thus, a source of defense and minor damage amplification will be found in Magic Weapon Deflection. This long lasting steroid remains quietly in the background and procs consistently off your Arcane Blasts and Arcane Strikes, bringing a nice damage buffer on top of your health and mitigation.
Storm Armor will round skills out, taken either with the more consistent procs of the Shocking Aspect rune, or the additional movement speed value of Scramble. With a fire-and-forget duration of 10 minutes and a negligible damage proc (which still counts for Elemental Exposure!), it can be easily overlooked if not for the massive damage reduction bonuses of Halo of Karini. If you dabble in the multi-element version of the build outlined below, this skill should be swapped into Explosive Blast Chain Reaction rune for its valuable interaction with Orb of Infinite Depth.
Double Element Variation
The Double Element version of this build is significantly harder to pull off mechanically, but rewards you with a higher damage potential. The necessary skill alterations are as follows: Arcane Torrent gets swapped out for Spectral Blade Flame Blades; Archon switches from Slow Time to Combustion; Black Hole switches from Absolute Zero to Spellsteal; and Storm Armor is replaced by Explosive Blast Chain Reaction.
|Spectral Blade Flame Blades Magic Weapon Deflection 1 Archon Combustion 2 Black Hole Spellsteal 3 Explosive Blast Chain Reaction 4 Slow Time Time Warp|
In a Double Element variation of the Archon build, you have 32-second Archon cycles, as dictated by the 16-second cycles of Convention of Elements and the 20-second duration of Archon itself. This allows for an 8-second nuke period upon Archon activation.
The Double Element variation is enabled due to the mechanics of Chantodo's set, which will always pick your highest elemental damage to base its damage off of. This necessitates that you roll one piece (i.e. amulet) with the maximum 20% Lightning elemental damage roll, and the other (i.e. bracer) — with 19% or less Fire elemental damage. This way, by using Spectral Blade Flame Blades you will temporarily boost your Fire elemental damage to a higher point than the Lightning just as you pop Archon form, giving you 4 seconds of Fire Chantodo waves, and then 4 seconds of Lightning Chantodo waves in perfect sync with your Convention of Elements cycles.
Needless to say, this variation playstyle is quite timing sensitive, albeit very powerful. You have to be very aware of your CoE rotation and be very strict with your CDR rolls on gear, as the Double Element variation requires absolutely perfected CDR on nearly all pieces that can attain it (shoulders, hands, both rings, weapon and offhand). Even with all these pieces in place, your Archon downtime will be 31.76 seconds, leaving you less than a second to sync with CoE.
Audacity gets a chance to shine in this dominantly melee range build by bringing an impressive 30% multiplicative damage increase against enemies within 15 yards.
Evocation offers a solid chunk of 20% Cooldown Reduction. With the overarching goal of the playstyle to bring your Archon downtime as low as possible, Evocation becomes a natural fit.
Galvanizing Ward brings excellent defensive value to the build, as it works with the shield buff from Ashnagarr's Blood Bracer.
You have some flexibility in your final passive slot; in general, we recommend Unstable Anomaly, since its cheat death effect saves you from a lethal situation once every 60 seconds. If you are pushing the build to its limits with a double element variation however, we recommend the passive Elemental Exposure as it will bring slightly more damage — with some prerequisites. Notice that the passive bumps damage in 5% increments per element used; you fulfill the arcane portion of the requirement with Spellsteal, and fire with Flame Blades and Chain Reaction. The final bump will come from the damage type of your weapon, Chantodo's Will — a lucky roll (or reroll) of the base damage type will squeeze out an extra 5% of the damage buff (reroll into cold or lightning, in this case).
- 22 Feb. 2023: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 28.
- 23 Sep. 2022: Enriched the guide with additional information.
- 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.
- 14 Sep. 2021: Enriched the guide with additional information.
- 22 Jul. 2021: No changes necessary for Season 24.
- 02 Apr. 2021: No changes required for Season 23.
- 16 Jan. 2021: Revised skill and rune recommendations.
- 20 Nov. 2020: No changes necessary for Season 22.
- 01 Jul. 2020: Revised skill selection away from channeling skills and into utility. Added notes on double element version.
- 12 Mar. 2020: Minor revision to passive recommendations.
- 22 Nov. 2019: Added additional skill and passive alteration information for high-end GRs.
- 23 Aug. 2019: Skill recommendations are revised for Season 18.
- 17 May 2019: Guide was revised with additional recommendations for Season 17.
- 18 Jan. 2019: Information was reviewed and approved for Season 16 with no changes required.
- 26 Nov. 2017: Significant revision to skill selection.
- 27 Oct. 2017: Revised skills to reflect its Patch 2.6.1 buffs.
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