Tags: retired

Wizard Energy Twister Build with the Tal Rasha Set (Patch 2.4.1)

Last updated on Apr 29, 2016 at 16:00 by Deadset 15 comments

Tal Rasha's Elements takes on the mantle as the reigning Energy Twister build of Patch 2.4.1, taking advantage of its improved damage multiplication bonuses. Note that many of the skill, item and cube choices in the build are exclusively made for a party composition with supports and will not work for soloing.

This group-oriented, devastating AoE build is attained through the following set pieces:

This build is no longer competitive and we are leaving it on the website for documentation purposes and in case it becomes viable again.


About the Author

This build is presented to you by Deadset, one of the very few professional Diablo 3 players. Deadset regularly publishes video guides on Youtube and streams on Twitch, where you can see how this and other builds play out in practice.



Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Electrocute Icon Electrocute Surge of Power Surge of Power Right Mouse Button Energy Twister Icon Energy Twister Raging Storm Raging Storm 1 Frost Nova Icon Frost Nova Frozen Mist Frozen Mist 2 Explosive Blast Icon Explosive Blast Chain Reaction Chain Reaction 3 Magic Weapon Icon Magic Weapon Conduit Conduit 4 Energy Armor Icon Energy Armor Force Armor Force Armor
Passive Skills

Strategy, Skills, and Runes

The majority of the DPS in the build comes from the interaction between Energy Twister Energy Twister and The Twisted Sword The Twisted Sword legendary power, increasing the skill's damage for every Energy Twister Energy Twister out on the battlefield. The Raging Storm Raging Storm merging mechanics encourage you to not simply spam Energy Twister Energy Twister, but to position enemies in such a way as to make the merging of twisters instantaneous and deny them as much random movement as you can. Common tactics include luring enemies next to a wall and casting against it for a bounce back, as well as using close quarters and tight corridors to funnel the twister's pattern. Fairly standard for Tal Rasha setups, the ET Tal Wiz also has to rotate between spells of different elements at least once every eight seconds to keep up his 6-piece set bonus; Energy Twister Energy Twister Raging Storm Raging Storm will account for Arcane, Explosive Blast Explosive Blast Chain Reaction Chain Reaction will proc Fire, Frost Nova Frost Nova Frozen Mist Frozen Mist — Cold, and Electrocute Electrocute Surge of Power Surge of Power will fulfill the Lightning proc. Finally, two background buffs play a quiet, but very impactful role in the ET Tal Wizard build; Magic Weapon Magic Weapon Conduit Conduit will assist in Arcane Power management, while Energy Armor Energy Armor will serve as a general layer of protection against burst. Do not forget to keep up both throughout the duration of the run.

Your primary source of damage is Energy Twister Energy Twister — an exotic spender that saw little use from RoS onward and the removal of CM Wizard builds. With the addition of a build-defining weapon in the face of The Twisted Sword The Twisted Sword, it came back stronger than ever. You will be taking the rune with the most damage potential, Raging Storm Raging Storm; when two of its twisters collide, they more than double the total damage and AoE. Coupled with the random movement of Energy Twister Energy Twister, this forces the unique playstyle of the build that prefers tight spaces, casts against corners, and abuses corridors.

To streamline the build, you will use a primary that will count towards one of the Tal Rasha elements — in this case, lightning with Electrocute Electrocute. You will be taking the rune Surge of Power Surge of Power, which in conjunction with the cubed The Shame of Delsere The Shame of Delsere will form a powerful Arcane Power restoration combo to counteract the gluttonous Energy Twister Energy Twister spender.

Explosive Blast Explosive Blast will be introduced to the build simply as means of protection rather than damage. You will be taking the multiple explosions of the Chain Reaction Chain Reaction rune, quickly maximizing the damage reduction benefits from the Orb of Infinite Depth Orb of Infinite Depth source, discussed in the gearing section. As a further bonus, this skill will also account for the Fire proc of Tal Rasha's elemental requirements.

Usually perceived as a utility cooldown or part of Halo of Arlyse Halo of Arlyse, Frost Nova Frost Nova takes a firm damage spot in the ET Tal Wizard spec. Frost Nova Frost Nova brings a Tal proc of its own, counting as a Cold damage dealing skill with the Frozen Mist Frozen Mist rune. Similarly to Explosive Blast Explosive Blast, its effect is centered on the hero, bringing the need to aim to a minimum and allowing you to focus on Energy Twister Energy Twister placement.

In a spam-heavy setup like this one, Magic Weapon Magic Weapon is taken not only as a passive Wizard damage buff; it is also incorporated for the additional utility of the Conduit Conduit rune, whose AP restoration will be a major contributor to resource stability in big fights. Still providing the baseline 10% damage increase, unconditional in nature (no crit dependency) and sporting excellent 10-minute uptime, Magic Weapon Magic Weapon Conduit Conduit is hard to pass up.

Your protective spell of choice is Energy Armor Energy Armor, taken for the burst damage protection of Force Armor Force Armor. While support teammates taking care of sustained damage and minor hits overall through healing, mitigation and crowd control, the factor of burst remains. To counteract it, you will be taking Energy Armor Energy Armor as your protective spell of choice, along with the burst damage protection of the Force Armor Force Armor rune.

This concludes the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.

Reworked into a comparable function to other cheat deaths, Unstable Anomaly Unstable Anomaly gives you one shot at dodging a lethal situation. Operating on a standard 60-second cooldown and adding a 3-second stun to nearby enemies — plus a solid 400% max life shield for 5 seconds — it will become a constant companion to your Greater Rift pushes.

Audacity Audacity is a natural inclusion in melee range spellcasting builds like this one, bringing an impressive 30% multiplicative damage increase against enemies within 15 yards.

The third recommended passive is Unwavering Will Unwavering Will, synergizing with the static fighting style of the build and the Endless Walk set, as well as adding significant Toughness with the 20% Armor buff.

There is a degree of freedom in your last passive choice: when looking to add DPS to the build, you can opt for the slight damage increase of Conflagration Conflagration; when seeking Toughness, you can go with the straight mitigation of Blur Blur instead.


Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives

This build incorporates the complete Tal Rasha set bonuses, taking five of the six available pieces and cubing a Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur to reduce the required number of items for set bonus completion by one. This also allows you to include the craftable Aughild's Authority set, obtaining its full set bonuses just by getting two items — Aughild's Power Aughild's Power and Aughild's Search Aughild's Search. Area Damage is important for the Energy Twister Wizard and is a recommended roll on Tal Rasha's Grasp Tal Rasha's Grasp (along with both Crit stats and Intelligence) and Aughild's Power Aughild's Power (along with Intelligence, Vitality and Resource Cost Reduction). Finishing Aughild's set for its damage reduction and bonuses vs. elites, you will be trying to roll Aughild's Search Aughild's Search with high main stats, Crit Chance and Arcane % damage. Tal Rasha's Relentless Pursuit Tal Rasha's Relentless Pursuit, Tal Rasha's Brace Tal Rasha's Brace and Tal Rasha's Stride Tal Rasha's Stride should remain pure Toughness slots. Tal Rasha's Guise of Wisdom Tal Rasha's Guise of Wisdom and Illusory Boots Illusory Boots can roll Energy Twister % bonus, and it is mandatory to seek the skill bonus at least on the boots. Note that stacking Armor benefits you because of the balancing of sources of mitigation, as All Resistance is already abundant on an Intelligence-based character.

Using the Cube to obtain the powers of the full Tal Rasha's Elements set allows you to split between offense and defense in the jewelry slots. One of the 2.4 reworks, the Endless Walk set — The Compass Rose The Compass Rose ring and The Traveler's Pledge The Traveler's Pledge amulet — adds a unique mechanic that slowly increases your damage by up to a 100% if you remain stationary, and drains it away and increases your damage reduction while moving. This is identical to the Energy Twister playstyle, which travels long distances in pursuit of party members, and then transitions into a stationary cross-element rotation.

Your other ring slot will be taken by the pure damage boost of Convention of Elements Convention of Elements, whose cycling of elemental bonuses you will need to learn and time to maximize the benefits of the short-lived Arcane proc. The ideal stats are Crit Chance, Crit Damage, an open Socket and Area Damage.

Contrary to initial expectations of the flashy, Meteor-heavy Tal Rasha set, there is zero focus on empowering the actual Meteor Meteors through Nilfur's Boast Nilfur's Boast and relevant skill rolls. Due to its pure focus on Energy Twister Energy Twister, this Wizard build can run a utility legendary in the Tal-free feet slot. The recommendation are Illusory Boots Illusory Boots, a mobility powerhouse that allows you to ignore enemy collision and keep up with support teammates in this non-Teleport Teleport spec.

The build's defining item is its weapon, The Twisted Sword The Twisted Sword. Added in Patch 2.4, this unique one hander increases Energy Twister Energy Twister damage by up to 150% for each Energy Twister Energy Twister you have out on the battlefield, a bonus you can easily cap to its 8 maximum with proper gear optimization. The desired stats include high Damage range, Intelligence, Area Damage and Attack Speed.

Another one of the 2.4 additions, Orb of Infinite Depth Orb of Infinite Depth is a Wizard offhand that twists the damage role of Explosive Blast Explosive Blast into a source of additional buffs. These buffs build up every time Explosive Blast Explosive Blast hits an enemy, with an end result of 20% multiplicative damage increase and the substantial 60% Damage Reduction at the maximum 4 Orb of Infinite Depth Orb of Infinite Depth stacks. Getting these bonuses up as soon as possible (as well as the Fire Tal proc) dictate the choice of the Chain Reaction Chain Reaction rune. The ideal rolls include high Damage range, Crit Chance, Energy Twister % and Arcane Power on Crit.


Stat Priorities per Gear Slot

Slot Pieces Stat Priority
  1. Socket
  2. Intelligence
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Vitality
  5. Energy Twister %
  1. Intelligence
  2. Vitality
  3. Area Damage
  4. Resource Cost Reduction
  5. Life %
  1. 3 Sockets
  2. Intelligence
  3. Vitality
  4. Armor
  5. Reduced damage from Elites
  1. Arcane Damage
  2. Intelligence
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Vitality
  5. Armor
  1. Intelligence
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Area Damage
  5. Resource Cost Reduction
  1. Intelligence
  2. Vitality
  3. Life %
  4. All Resistance (guaranteed)
  1. 2 Sockets
  2. Intelligence
  3. Vitality
  4. Armor
  5. Single Elemental Resistance
  1. Intelligence
  2. Vitality
  3. Energy Twister %
  4. Armor
  5. Movement Speed
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Arcane Damage
  5. Intelligence
Ring #1
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Area Damage
  5. Intelligence
Ring #2
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Area Damage
  5. Intelligence
  1. Socket (preferably from Ramaladni's Gift Ramaladni's Gift)
  2. High Damage Range
  3. Intelligence
  4. Attack Speed
  5. Area Damage
  6. % Damage
  1. High Damage Range
  2. Intelligence
  3. Crit Chance
  4. Area Damage
  5. Energy Twister %

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.


Paragon Points

Slot Paragon Points
  1. Movement Speed up to 25% cap
  2. Maximum Arcane Power
  3. Intelligence
  4. Vitality
  1. Critical Hit Damage
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Attack Speed
  4. Cooldown Reduction
  1. Armor
  2. Life %
  3. All Resistance
  4. Life Regeneration
  1. Resource Cost Reduction
  2. Area Damage
  3. Life on Hit
  4. Gold Find


Your three jewelry sockets will be taken up by the legendary gems Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped, Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken and Pain Enhancer Pain Enhancer.

  • Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped is a potent source of additional damage, as it is its own multiplier in your total damage calculation. While the gem procs itself with its level 25 property in melee range, it will be consistently procced by your crowd controlling support teammates.
  • Introduced in Season 4, Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken takes a firm spot in your second 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. Energy Twister Wizards fall neatly in that category, and it is in your best interest to get the fight done as quickly as possible.
  • Finally, Pain Enhancer Pain Enhancer might not seem like an obvious fit as a Physical gem — but its damage proc is unimportant compared to its level 25 power, the Blood Frenzy. Big fights will skyrocket your Attack Speed, resulting in a faster casting animation and in turn maximizing the number of Energy Twister Energy Twisters you have going at once.
Slot Gems
Torso and Pants

Kanai's Cube

The Kanai's Cube recommendations are as follows: The Furnace The Furnace for the weapon slot, The Shame of Delsere The Shame of Delsere for the armor slot, and Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur for the jewelry slot.

  • To improve your damage, the best choice for the weapon slot in the Cube is The Furnace The Furnace, the strongest generic two-handed weapon in the game. With its 50% additional elite damage affix it speeds up clear times greatly, as Champion and Rift Guardian fights are the usual GR bottleneck.
  • Introduced in Patch 2.4, The Shame of Delsere The Shame of Delsere belt is an Arcane Power regeneration powerhouse that speeds up your signature spells by 50% and restores up to 12 AP per hit. This will skyrocket your Electrocute Electrocute Surge of Power Surge of Power regenerative potential, and makes up for the demolished globe generation meta.
  • The final item to tie the sets together is the Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur, a cache legendary ring from Act I bounties. The ability to run with 6-piece Tal bonuses and 3-piece Aughild bonuses on top of better rings, dodging the undesirable guaranteed stats on the Grandeur by cubing its power, is a tremendous boost to the build.