Wizard Fire Build with The Tal Rasha Set (Patch 2.3)
The Tal Rasha Wizard rains devastation on his enemies, using all four elements at his disposal to deliver Meteors of the respective type. This powerful bonus is attained through the following Tal Rasha pieces:
In Patch 2.4, this build is not competitive enough, so we decided to remove it from the menus. We are leaving it on the website for documentation purposes.
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.
The following video guide was created to accompany the present written guide and demonstrate how to play the build in-game.
|Shock Pulse Piercing Orb Hydra Mammoth Hydra 1 Energy Twister Wicked Wind 2 Blizzard Frozen Solid 3 Magic Weapon Force Weapon 4 Energy Armor Force Armor|
Strategy, Skills, and Runes
The basic strategy of the build involves the rotation between spells of different elements, which in turn delivers a Meteor of the corresponding damage type. The individual spells also deliver utility of their own; while Hydra is strictly a damage dealer, Energy Twister is used as means to group up enemies, and Blizzard is a strong crowd controller of its own. Shock Pulse is a signature ability chosen for its excellent range and safety, bringing you the potent proc of the Focus and Restraint rings. The Wizard mainstays Magic Weapon and Force Armor remain as steady buffs in the background, helping your character survive and deliver to his maximum potential.
To obtain the damage bonus of the Bastions of Will set ( Focus and Restraint), it is necessary to use a primary ability in the build. The skill of choice for that purpose is Shock Pulse, which also grants you a screen-long range through the Piercing Orb rune. While the oscillation might seem unreliable at first, the big hitbox of the orb brings consistency to your lightning Tal Rasha procs.
The primary damage dealer of the build, and your source of fire Tal Rasha procs, comes in the form of Hydra with the AoE-oriented Mammoth Hydra. Doubled by the Serpent's Sparker and sped up by Tasker and Theo, your summons will bring fiery devastation in abundance. At a cheap 15 Arcane Power cost, and with excellent 15 second uptime, Hydra brings you the best balance between damage and resource efficiency, allowing you to freely cast your crowd controllers. Don't be afraid to refresh the Hydras accordingly as the Rift layout demands.
The Season 3 bracer Ranslor's Folly brings a new source of crowd control to Wizards, drawing enemies toward your Energy Twister casts. The spender nature of Energy Twister frees you from the cooldown reduction requirements of the traditional pulling tool, Black Hole — but at the cost of not affecting elites. Even so, the utility of drawing entire trash packs on a single spot for the incoming Meteor devastation is a highly recommended option. It is made even easier with the static Wicked Wind rune, which will be the source of your arcane Tal Rasha proc.
A second crowd controller, and your source of the cold Tal Rasha proc, is found in Blizzard. At a hefty 40 Arcane Power cost, it is the most gluttonous skill in the build, but is well worth it for the strong freezing effect of the Frozen Solid rune. It is an excellent follow up to a Wicked Wind pull, and will be your solitary source of control over elites; do not hesitate to use it, as none of your other spenders needs recasting with the same frequency.
Magic Weapon sneaks its way into yet another Wizard build; being a strong steroid of 20% damage bonus, unconditional and with no drawbacks, and with excellent uptime to boot, Force Weapon is hard to pass up.
The protective spell of choice for long-range casters is Energy Armor, and for good reason. Shielding you from the inevitable spike damage in high Greater Rifting environments like no other armor spell does, Force Armor is even more necessary in this glass cannon setup with Focus and Restraint.
This concludes the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.
While it is less reliable than its cheat death counterparts for other classes, Unstable Anomaly is still another chance at not facing the defeat screen. At an agreeable 60 second cooldown, it will become a constant companion to your Greater Rift pushes, preventing the occasional misstep.
Blur stands as another protective layer in this generally glassy Wizard setup. Offering a sizable 17% decrease in damage taken, it is a solid choice if you want to minimize death timer frustrations.
With few stable options for on-gear resource gain, Wizards usually devote a passive or two for Arcane Power management. This resource-intensive setup is no exception, and it is highly recommended that you include Astral Presence in the setup to offset the Energy Armor AP loss, and add passive regeneration.
Finally, Elemental Exposure makes a natural fit with the multi-element nature of the build; you will constantly benefit from the full 4 stacks as you rotate through the elements at your disposal.
Serpent's Sparker, the recommended weapon for the build, can be sometimes troublesome to find. In such cases, or if you do not enjoy the summoner gameplay in general, you can temporarily replace Hydra with Meteor Meteor Shower and use Sun Keeper, or the crafted Devastator instead. This also necessitates that you switch to Tal Rasha's Grasp and Cindercoat in the gear.
If you hurt for mobility, you can swap Energy Twister for Teleport Calamity, and replace Ranslor's Folly for Ancient Parthan Defenders. If you go this route, it is also recommended that you switch to the Unity and Halo of Arlyse rings, and replace Force Armor with Ice Armor Crystallize. This tankier setup is better at engaging and disengaging the enemy, but demands better density than the regular spec.
Deviating into the stun rune of Teleport will bring more crowd control and stability to your Arcane Power, in which case you can replace Unstable Anomaly for Illusionist and Astral Presence for Arcane Dynamo. The constant use of a primary skill will bring you Flashes of Insight at a steady rate, and you will enjoy some additional damage.
A fine option for a primary if you spec into Arcane Dynamo is Electrocute Arc Lightning; while it brings you to melee range and will demand a tankier setup, the speed at which it builds up Dynamo stacks is unparalleled.
Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
The heart and soul of this Meteor-centric build is the Tal Rasha set, whose full bonuses are best obtained by wearing six of the seven available pieces, leaving your ring slots open for powerful jewelry combinations. While this guide will not delve into the issues of specific breakpoint chasing, Attack Speed is an important stat for Hydra damage and a general recommendation on gear is to have three sources of 7% IAS (Gloves, Weapon and Chest); this way, even with a mediocre Tasker and Theo, you will reach a comfortable 2 attacks per second from the Hydras, without sacrificing other main stats.
The suggested set pieces to wear are Tal Rasha's Allegiance, Tal Rasha's Brace, Tal Rasha's Guise of Wisdom, Tal Rasha's Relentless Pursuit, Tal Rasha's Stride and Tal Rasha's Unwavering Glare, leaving your glove slot open for Tasker and Theo gloves. Rolls-wise, it is recommended that you obtain Meteor skill % on the helm, and seek out Hydra skill % on the chest. Since this a purely spender-based spec with mostly moderate resource costs, cooldown and resource cost reduction are not in demand, and you can devote your other stats to crit bonuses and toughness. Note that the 4 piece Tal Rasha doubles your protection against elements, with the exception of poison and physical; as such, these single resistances are recommended in the secondary stats of your gear.
Taking the aforementioned Tal Rasha pieces allows you to drop Tal Rasha's Grasp for the Tasker and Theo gloves. Since Hydras count as pets, you will enjoy an immense boost to their attack speed and — as they benefit from the Tal Rasha 6 piece damage buff — a significant increase in overall damage as well. As previously mentioned, seek out a glove with high Attack Speed, alongside Crit Chance and Crit Damage.
Introduced in Patch 2.2, the new best friend of the Tal Rasha set are the Nilfur's Boast boots. Doubling the damage of Meteors by default, and with the potential to triple your Meteor damage against three or less enemies, these boots are non-negotiable for a Tal Rasha Wizard. Naturally, seek out Meteor % bonus alongside the usual primary stats.
The Season 3 bracer Ranslor's Folly transform the often overlooked Energy Twister skill into a potent source of crowd control, pulling enemies up to 30 yards away on top of the Wicked Wind cast. Preparing a pack for control through Blizzard and paving the way for the Meteor onslaught, these bracers are an excellent new asset, even if their pull does not affect elites.
The shoulder slot lacks a necessary legendary or set piece, and is free for experimentation as you see fit. You can add a bonus damage source on top by including the freshly buffed Death Watch Mantle; alternatively, take another cheat death (however unreliable with its low proc rate) from the Pauldrons of the Skeleton King, found in Act I bounty caches. Whatever your choice is, aim to roll Hydra % damage alongside toughness stats.
As previously mentioned, Patch 2.2 improves upon the Bastions of Will set by transforming Focus and Restraint into a powerful and consistent source of damage. As long as you alternate between a primary and spender attacks, you will boost your damage with two separate 50% damage multipliers. Dropping the Unity ring, while noticeable, is somewhat offset by the 4 piece mitigation bonus of Tal Rasha; even so, keep the newfound frailty of your character in mind and always maintain distance and crowd control.
To complete the Hydra aspect of the build, Serpent's Sparker will double the number of Hydras you can have active at any time. With their damage boosted by the Tal Rasha six piece bonus, your trusty summons will hold a devastating AoE frontline. If you have troubles finding a Serpent's Sparker, switching to the Meteor variation outlined above and using a good Sun Keeper or crafted Devastator is your next best option.
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.
Your three jewelry sockets will be taken up by the legendary gems Zei's Stone of Vengeance, Bane of the Trapped and Gem of Efficacious Toxin. The first two are extremely powerful as they are their own multipliers in your total damage calculation. Gem of Efficacious Toxin makes up for its comparatively smaller damage boost by being present all the time — unlike Bane of the Powerful which, while still a viable choice, tends to run out during long and important fights (i.e. the Rift Guardian). Bane of the Powerful also implies high clearing speed of elites, which slows down significantly in higher Greater Rifts.
A replacement for Toxin in the melee fighting, Teleport variation of the build is Pain Enhancer. You will often be within the 20 yard gem requirement, gaining the Attack Speed bonuses from which your Hydras benefit.
|Torso and Pants||
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.
- 14 Jan. 2016: With Patch 2.4, this build is no longer viable.
- 25 Aug. 2015: Added Kanai's Cube recommendations for Patch 2.3.
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