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Crit / meteor build
06-29-2012, 02:35 AM (This post was last modified: 06-29-2012 02:57 AM by Concillian.)
Post: #1
Crit / meteor build
discussion in one of the general discussion threads kind of branched into a discussion of this build. I thought I'd consolidate my experiences here. I know Quark is playing a similar build at a higher level and I'm sure others are interested too.

My interest in this started with an interest in a melee wizard. Variant type material, I thought. I was wrong. It starts out slow, but with gearing it becomes a very powerful, high DPS build with good soloing and group options.

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Spec
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The lynchpins of the spec:
Passive -- Critical Mass
Skill -- Diamond Skin - Crystal Shell or Prism rune
Skill -- Frost Nova - Cold Snap, Deep Freeze, or Bone Chill are all usable
Skill -- Meteor - Star Pact rune is a must
Skill -- Energy armor - Pinpoint rune initially when leveling, prismatic or force armor once you're geared into enough crit.
Skill -- Spectral blades (mandatory when leveling, but you can outgear the need for this skill) - Deep cuts rune seems to work the best.


Optional skills:
- Slow Time (usually used in place of spectral blades when adequately geared with high enough crit and adequate Arcane Power per crit)
- Familiar / Ancient Guardian for added defense
- Magic Weapon for added offense
- Venom Hydra or Blizzard for faster moving / erratic movement ranged monsters.
Note that I don't think Hydra crits count towards critical mass.
- Teleport is useful to get out of tight spots. A good defensive alternative to buffing your damage with magic weapon. However, you can't use it often, because when you teleport, everything runs out of your meteor puddles, and you start losing your cooldown reductions, which kills your defensive options. This becomes a skill of last resort when you're in a tight spot. Most runes have good uses, but wormhole or fracture are probably the best. You can use this some offensively, but the AP cost usually means one less meteor on your frontloaded damage. I think it's best left as your Oh Crap! skill if you choose to take it.
 - Explosive Blast gets an honorable mention. It's usable but you may as well just go with magic weapon and buff your other skills. If there were some form of utility on one of the runes, it might be a real option, but it's only really usable on the initial frontload if you pick it up.


Optional Passives:
- Evocation (absolutely necessary when leveling, since Critical Mass isn't available until 50)
- Blur (soloing when undergeared)
- Glass Cannon (grouped or soloing in areas you outgear defensively)
- Galvanizing Ward (some health regen)
- Power Hungry (decent AP regen in groups, especially at lower levels)
- Prodigy (decent soloing AP regen)
- Astral Presence (again, AP regen)
- Unstable anomoly can work to get you out of a tight spot if you don't have teleport, but has a LOOOONG cooldown.

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Play
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Basic concept:
Meteor puddles stack and can crit. Critical mass lowers cooldowns per crit, more meteors = more cooldown usage.
Diamond Skin and Frost nova appear to be able to cast without triggering the cast animation, so these can be spammed. Large groups of whites will never come out of frost nova. You can Diamond skin, cast a meteor, run in, frost nova, and continue meteor spam / spectral blades and Frost nova will be up again well before they're out of it if your crit is high enough.
Meteor targeting is difficult due to the delay between cast and landing. The frost nova helps IMMENSELY with actually hitting stuff when you have to wait for the meteor to land. It's also a huge help on keeping you alive, since you're gonna be near the melee monsters.
To help with meteor targeting, you will often be getting hit. This is why energy armor and defensive gearing is necessary unless in a group with a class who is able to group monsters for you.


Advantagees:
- Melee mobs of any kind.
- Large groups MELT. Not only that, you are in no danger when you are presented with a large group. There are so many crits, you can keep most boss packs in Hell 100% frost nova frozen until the minions are dead (unless invulnerable minions, but what spec deals well with invulnerable minions?)
- At high levels of gearing, DPS skyrockets. High crit with high crit damage and +AP on crit can result in virtual chain cast of meteor. at 200% weapon damage + Puddle damage ticks.
- REALLY high frontload of damage. As I mentioned, 1 meteor in place where you think they'll be when it lands, frost nova, 2 more meteors. 600+% weapon damage (plus big crits) before they're even out of the first frost nova. If you have Prism, you may have enough AP for 4 early meteors. Nice frontload really helps clear stuff out when you're playing with other people.

Weaknesses:
- Fast moving / erratic moving ranged monsters (bees, fallen shaman, spear throwers, etc...) -- These are where hydra or blizzard can come in handy instead of magic weapon.
- It sucks to see treasure goblins. If you can reliably target meteor on treasure goblins, my hat is off to you, because I cannot. They get away 90+% of the time when soloing.
- Getting boxed in on bad melee affixes. You give up a lot to get teleport, and you can get surrounded without it. Usually getting surrounded is good, you are activating diamond skin multiple at least once every 1-2 seconds, but if you are stuck in multiple desecrates or have some arcane beams comin' at you, you have no tempest rush / charge / leap / dashing strike like a monk or barb does. If you're stuck, you're stuck unless you pick up teleport.
- Single monsters are a small problem, but not a big deal if they can sit still. If they're in the puddle, you can keep your cooldowns rolling. If they move a lot, then you have real problems.

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Gearing:
------

This build is not possible without twink gear or AH gear. The spec depends on a reasonably high level of +crit% on gear.

Fast weapon seems to be better to me than slow, but I suppose there is some debate on this, especially once you gear enough AP on crit to not absolutely need spectral blades.

Early gearing pre-50 is typical melee gearing:
- Life on Hit
- Primary stat
- Defense (usually 1H + shield)
- Increased Attack speed
- (minor, if you can get it) life per second

Below level 50, this plays like a melee character that has good cooldowns, but NO escape / mobility. You rely very heavily on Life on Hit and even potions at this level.

Once you hit 50, gearing switches towards crit
- Crit % adds safety by reducing your cooldowns more reliably. It adds flexibility in allowing you to rune into more interesting options on frost nova and potentially prism on diamond skin for more DPS. It's your everything stat. Offense and defense and utility all rolled into one. This becomes your #1 priority. 15% is workable at 50, but you really want to be shooting for at least 25% crit. There's no "magic number" but the whole build revolves around critting reliably, you need this number as high as reasonably possible.

- - - Crit% can show on:
Rings
Amulets
Off-hands (including shields)
Helm
Bracers
Gloves

Rings and amulets with high crit% are EXPENSIVE. Shields with high crit are relatively cheap, and this is the slot where you want to start looking for very near the top range crit% numbers.
I think these are the top ranges for crits for a given shield level. I'm not 100% on these numbers, but they're close:
lvl 50 req. = +4.5%
lvl 54 req. = +5.5%
lvl 58 req. = +6.5%
lvl 59 req. and higher = +10%

Shields with good defensive bonuses are expensive, but without great defense, a high INT, high Crit% shield can be a cheap way to get your crit % up quick.


- +Crit Damage%
With so much crit%, crit damage% becomes your best offensive stat.
at 25% crit, +50% crit damage is worth about 7-11% total damage increase (returns diminish some, 11% is going from +50% to +100%, 7% is going from +300% to +350%)
- - - +Crit damage% can show on:
Pretty much anything except for off-hands / shields.


- +Arcane Power on Crit
You want at least one item with +Arcane Power on Crit. This adds a lot of synergy and flexibility. Even only 5-7 AP on crit helps a LOT.
I am not 100% on this, but I think AP on Crit can only show on Wizard specific items (Wiz hats, off-hand sources, wands).
Since limiting yourself to wands and sources can be restricting, you really want this to be from a Hat.

- CC duration reduction
Your offense is your defense. Being stunned or frozen leaves you VERY vulnerable. You can activate diamond skin, but if you're not casting, you're not critting and your cooldowns will end up going too long. Consider this as a defensive alternative to +crit damage%, because you can get really screwed when you're CCed (stunners in Act IV, frozen any boss / champ pack.)

- Life on Hit
Some baseline level of Life on hit is good, but not strictly necessary. Weapons with Life on Hit command a premium, even if they have INT and no VIT. There is the option of using a socket for Life on Hit instead of +Crit Damage%. Diamond skin absorbs much of the damage done, and health globes heal most of what you take, however, Life on Hit is still an excellent stat.

- Life steal%
This is one spec where it may be possible to make good use of life steal. However, when you're doing the most damage (large groups), you're the safest. I haven't done too much testing on this.

- Beyond this, it's the typical wanting primary stats of VIT and INT plus defensive stats like +resist and + armor. Inferno will likely force you into prismatic armor unless you have extremely deep pockets. Force armor may be required in later acts, but you have high enough usage of diamond skin that prismatic armor works reasonably well in Act I Inferno.

In general, watch the AH before reaching your level to scan for deals on important upgrades (crit% shields and weapons). There seem to be AH bots that pick up cheap +crit% jewelry VERY quickly (literally... seconds after being posting), don't even bother looking for cheap jewelry with high crit%, it doesn't exist. You can get some with like 1-1.5% without too much difficulty, but looking for 3% or more will quickly send you into 6, 7 and 8 figure territory on gold prices, depending on other stats.

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My opinion
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This is a very spammy build. It feels a lot like playing a prot warrior in WoW, where you're constantly pressing and releasing that hitting heroic strike button... except you're doing it to three buttons ( nova, Diamond Skin and Meteor or spectral blades)

I'm having fun with it in public games, where you can run straight into a big pack and keep them frozen until you only have a few left. This is a little bit Banzai style of play, and not suited to hardcore, I do die sometimes doing this on champ packs. But it's exceptionally fun on white packs where you can jump in and spam and they stay frozen until they die.

Hardcore play would take a different approach. I haven't put a lot of thought into how I'd approach it. The issue with very mobile ranged monsters is a real problem in Act III and IV, and probably requires a partner to handle with complete safety. IMO it's way too fun to play this guy banzai. I don't see myself playing this build hardcore. Especially given the gearing necessary and questionable escape mechanisms.

Good complementary partners are:
- barbs and monks built to move monsters around (for the ranged ones)
- high single target piercing / DPS builds to complement the strong AoE by focusing on the most dangerous monsters (ranged and bosses)
- buff / debuff builds to amplify already high damage.

D3 Chars:
Concillian SC Wizard (Crit / Meteor) - Conc SC Warrior (Tornado) - Conkymonky HC Monk
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06-29-2012, 11:24 AM (This post was last modified: 07-02-2012 11:31 AM by Quark.)
Post: #2
RE: Crit / meteor build
A good summary overall. Here's a few points I'll add in.

(06-29-2012 02:35 AM)Concillian Wrote:  - +Arcane Power on Crit
You want at least one item with +Arcane Power on Crit. This adds a lot of synergy and flexibility. Even only 5-7 AP on crit helps a LOT.
I am not 100% on this, but I think AP on Crit can only show on Wizard specific items (Wiz hats, off-hand sources, wands).
Since limiting yourself to wands and sources can be restricting, you really want this to be from a Hat.

Class specific affixes can show up on any item in a slot that has class specific gear. IE a shield can have +AP on crit, a non-Wizard help can have -AP cost on Disintegrate, shield can have +% Damage on Spectral Blade, etc.

I've heard of people not only outgearing Spectral Blade with +AP on crit, but replacing it with Energy Twister / Wicked Wind. Just like Meteor it's a build enhanced by you being stuck in melee range. I don't have the gear to try this out yet.

Quote:Hardcore play would take a different approach. I haven't put a lot of thought into how I'd approach it. The issue with very mobile ranged monsters is a real problem in Act III and IV, and probably requires a partner to handle with complete safety. IMO it's way too fun to play this guy banzai. I don't see myself playing this build hardcore. Especially given the gearing necessary and questionable escape mechanisms.

This is somewhat the build I've been forced into on Hardcore Tourney Wizard, which is why I was amenable to it when I heard people were doing it for real. That char won't last because of the defensive skills I'll lose eventually (and I can't AH snipe +LoH and +Crit%), but I saw the viability of it.

Quote:Good complementary partners are:
- barbs and monks built to move monsters around (for the ranged ones)
- high single target piercing / DPS builds to complement the strong AoE by focusing on the most dangerous monsters (ranged and bosses)
- buff / debuff builds to amplify already high damage.

Rolling Energy Armor / Prismatic Armor + Barb War Cry / Impunity + Monk Mantra of Healing / Time of Need is an amazing amount of defense. I find the build to be more survivable, and more fun, in coop with normal melees since they're usually using group buffs that boost defense.

Trade yourself in for the perfect one. No one needs to know that you feel you've been ruined!
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07-02-2012, 03:46 AM (This post was last modified: 07-02-2012 03:47 AM by MonTy.)
Post: #3
RE: Crit / meteor build
I really like the build, thanks for the write-up. I went ahead and created a hardcore wizard today who is based on the build. Got him to 35 so I'm just able to get a taste of the core skill Meteor with the skill rune Star Pact.

I'm currently using this skill set. Really like having Hydra for many of the obvious reasons. Also enjoy having the passive skill Astral Presence due to being able to cast three meteors in quick succession. You outlined the difficulties the build may come across quite well, and it's really apparent in play. I certainly foresee some issues with fast or champion packs with quirky movement. But I feel with correct play the build will be doable throughout hell at least.

If I'm able to survive and gear up for the Critical Mass talent, what are your thoughts on having it along with Evocation so I can have access to frost nova and diamond skin very frequently? Since I've unlocked the main skills I plan to take this guy slow throughout Nightmare. I've also been keeping an eye out for cheap AH items with +AP on crit and crit % items. Already have snagged a few so now I just have to survive ;)

Thanks again and I'll let you know if I'm able to progress further.
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07-02-2012, 05:17 AM (This post was last modified: 07-02-2012 05:18 AM by ViralSpiral.)
Post: #4
RE: Crit / meteor build
I had something similar to this, based on Temporal Flux. It worked well up until the end of NM, but then again 1) at the time I was testing it, I was around L47-48 and didn't have Critical Mass and 2) I didn't meet the gear requirements. Even in that case, the build worked fairly well. Although I ended up using Magic Missile w/Attunement over Spectral Blades, because Blades seems to have a hitbox 1/3rd smaller than the area it actually graphically hits.

Basically http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wi...bU!YZaZaZ.
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07-02-2012, 04:55 PM
Post: #5
RE: Crit / meteor build
Okay, update. I am running this build at L55 in A2 Hell right now. I am pretty well undergeared damage wise, but nearly invincible just the same with this spec. Some numbers (with Galvanic Ward up/Energy Armour up) using the build from last post, except I swapped out Temporal Flux for Galvanic Ward because I no longer care about snaring:

Str 152 Dex 368 Int 1173 Vit 940
17% to crit at +72% damage
Base DPS 3618 - this build solves this.
16% to block 544-819 damage
16.7% chance to dodge
60.96% DR
Resists:
Fire/Poison/Arcane 140
Physical 184
Lightning 186
Cold 210
Life 31,871
healing 358.25 per second
Bonus 3562 from globes
4,294 armour

I've stood in the middle of several boss packs while snickering at their inability to do me the slightest harm, where before I was kiting like mad in circles for 5-10 minutes to Blizzard them to death. It's a little intense and takes some getting used to - you're almost constantly trying to Nova, DSkin, Meteor, and/or Magic Missile all at once while occasionally refreshing Hydra, but once you get used to it, even with my subpar 17% crit, DSkin and Nova are often coming off CD before they've even worn off. Belial traditionally gives me a lot of trouble, so I'll see how this fares there.

(Also, I don't expect this build to work in Inferno because the numbers I'm hearing for damage per hit well overwhelm what DSkin would protect me from, but it should be sufficient to farming A3/4 Hell to gear up for Inferno as another spec.)
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07-03-2012, 09:26 AM
Post: #6
RE: Crit / meteor build
(06-29-2012 02:35 AM)Concillian Wrote:  the good stuff

Grooming my wizard to try this out once she hits 50. It sure sounds like a ton of fun, thanks for the writeup.

take care
Tarabulus

"I'm a cynical optimistic realist. I have hopes. I suspect they are all in vain. I find a lot of humor in that." -Pete

I'll remember you.
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07-03-2012, 04:32 PM
Post: #7
RE: Crit / meteor build
(07-02-2012 03:46 AM)MonTy Wrote:  If I'm able to survive and gear up for the Critical Mass talent, what are your thoughts on having it along with Evocation so I can have access to frost nova and diamond skin very frequently? Since I've unlocked the main skills I plan to take this guy slow throughout Nightmare. I've also been keeping an eye out for cheap AH items with +AP on crit and crit % items. Already have snagged a few so now I just have to survive Wink

Try it with and without evocation, I'd say. You don't really need evocation most of the time. Even on single target, FN and DS are coming off cooldown very rapidly if something is in the puddles. If more than one thing is in the puddles, you're cooldowns are 1-2 seconds even without evocation.

D3 Chars:
Concillian SC Wizard (Crit / Meteor) - Conc SC Warrior (Tornado) - Conkymonky HC Monk
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07-03-2012, 05:13 PM (This post was last modified: 07-03-2012 05:19 PM by Concillian.)
Post: #8
RE: Crit / meteor build
(07-02-2012 04:55 PM)ViralSpiral Wrote:  (Also, I don't expect this build to work in Inferno because the numbers I'm hearing for damage per hit well overwhelm what DSkin would protect me from, but it should be sufficient to farming A3/4 Hell to gear up for Inferno as another spec.)

It works fine in inferno, but you gear fairly defensively. Absorbs are the last in the chain (resist / armor --> block --> absorbs) so your gear determines how effective diamond skin is.

I think you're coming from the DH world of low mitigation. Gear for armor and resists and this build survives fine.

The offense of the build comes from AP on crit and chain casting meteors. You character sheet DPS numbers can be lower than a traditional wizards are, as your offensive stats will be more moderate due to the need for a beefed up defense. This is made up by less kiting than a typical "ranged" character and using AP on crit to utilize casting time on higher %Weapon Damage skills than signature skills.

I actually like it for this reason, you end up more well rounded and aren't running from everything. The annoying erratic ranged guys are the only annoying monsters. Dark Berserkers can be rough too, due to some lack of mobility.

I've been doing lots of farming Act III / IV hell right now, and I've been doing that with a full offense build:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wi...YXg!bZaaZc

Waiting for meteors to fall can take time when you're overgeared and just clearing stuff quick. I see the crit / meteor build as a significantly better spec for tougher content, and this is a farming spec that translates very well to the crit / AP on crit / defensive gearing.

D3 Chars:
Concillian SC Wizard (Crit / Meteor) - Conc SC Warrior (Tornado) - Conkymonky HC Monk
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07-03-2012, 08:28 PM
Post: #9
RE: Crit / meteor build
Well, I gear from "what drops" and "what I can afford on the AH based off of what drops that I can sell on the AH" and as I think we all know, neither of those are especially good for the unlucky. I'm close to brick walling, I think. Some boss packs just paste me - normally the various "I make bad places to stand" mods, since I usually have 250-500ms with my awful internet. Generally I've taken a few thousand damage before it's even been displayed on my end that where I am standing is unsafe, if DSkin wasn't already up and running. Sometimes even when it is, between being in a bad place and other incoming hits, my DSkin gets overwhelmed. (I also haven't played a DH, heh.)

Basically I REALLY need to get a better weapon. I can tank for awhile, but my not-quite-there-yet crit rate with my low base damage means my crits are barely clearing five digits (not yet seen 11K) so I'm having to maintain the micro-kite/DSkin/Nova routine for a longer period of time and keep hoping my crits kick in regularly. Still, I think it's better than I was doing before with having to loop for 10 minutes while things race through my Blizzards in 2 seconds taking 1/3rd of the expected damage.
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07-03-2012, 10:50 PM (This post was last modified: 07-03-2012 11:04 PM by Concillian.)
Post: #10
RE: Crit / meteor build
What is your total damage reduction?

I run around 70% on armor and ~57% on resists right now. Invert them and multiply together for average damage intake...I'm around 13-13.5% damage intake, which is equivalent to about 5250 / 525 armor / resists.

I chose high armor / lower resists just due to AH pricing and what mix of stats I could get for reasonable outlay. I've farmed gold for star emerald and will farm some more for some more gear. Current stats are around 6.5k armor / 400 resists (with prismatic armor) / ~30ish crit / +178% crit damage / ~1k INT / ~350 Life on Hit.

Typicallly, when I spot something, I'll cast a meteor where they might intercept me, or will run into the puddle. I cast DS running in, let myself get hit once or twice casting another meteor, then frost nova. This gets the puddles going and generally cooldowns are up again before I'm hurt much. I can't stand in a desecration forever, but I do alright in (single) plagued pools if enough crits are going out.

D3 Chars:
Concillian SC Wizard (Crit / Meteor) - Conc SC Warrior (Tornado) - Conkymonky HC Monk
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07-04-2012, 05:44 PM
Post: #11
RE: Crit / meteor build
DR is 60.96%, as per above.
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07-05-2012, 05:52 PM
Post: #12
RE: Crit / meteor build
Upgraded from 230 DPS weapon to 751 and went from 3.8K damage to 11.6K. Now approaching near-total faceroll territory with this build and that damage. I think I can make it to Inferno after a bit more farming/hitting 60.
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07-06-2012, 06:42 PM (This post was last modified: 07-06-2012 06:51 PM by Concillian.)
Post: #13
RE: Crit / meteor build
751 DPS weapon sounds like almost too much for Hell. You'd kill stuff before they get your cooldowns ticking down. I guess if you have so much DPS you don't need your cooldowns. That's when I use my Disintigrate / Ray of Frost / Diamond skin / glass cannon farming build I linked earlier. AP on crit and the +20 AP / 2AP per sec passive mitigates a lot of the AP drain when you have high crit. That much DPS kills stuff dead in Hell diff with a glass cannon build.

Inferno Act I is feeling fine with my 495 DPS weapon (with ~400 life on hit and about +120% crit damage from affix + gem). My character screen DPS is lower than 10k, but damage for inferno Act I feels fine to me. Currently at 71% DR from armor and 422 lowest resist with energy armor / prismatic.

I died twice to (and parked) a pack of fire chains / shielding leapers lastnight and retired for the night when I met some invuln minion / arcane / something spiderlings. It was late and I was not up to that task, so I just went to bed. Nothing else really gave me any trouble. I did find a 650+ DPS weapon with no Life on Hit or +crit damage (but a socket). Moved my gem over and the character screen DPS only went up 200 DPS. I would have had to use an Amethyst in there for the Life on Hit, so the overall DPS would have been significantly lower than my 495 DPS weapon.

Having the native +crit damage and native +life on hit, so I can use the +70% crit damage gem, is worth a TON of base DPS when crit is 25+%. It seems to be about equivalent to a 650 DPS weapon with Life on Hit or close to an 800 DPS 1H without either LoH or +crit damage. Since it's DPS number is low relative to what's out there, a weapon like that is CHEAP for some initial gear up to get ready for inferno. Goes back to my philosophy of using gold for some gems first. I bought this weapon for <30k and used my first large chunk of gold to craft up a star emerald for +70% crit damage and an Amethyst for flexibility later in case I end up with a good weapon without LoH (and I can use it for VIT in the meantime.)

I'm gonna try to do upgrades on a drop by drop basis for now. In other words, something really good drops, if it's not great for this build, sell it and buy a similarly priced item that does suit the build, then use the regularly dropped gold + small GAH sales for the truly insane high level gem upgrades. For example, I got a ring in Act III hell that was all resist + phys resist + dex + vit. Not super high on any of them, but a decent all resist number.... like 45 / 20 / 60 / 70 or something like that. I sold it for a few bucks on the RMAH and will buy something with the Blizz balance that is comparably priced, but suited for a wiz when the transaction clears.

It was fun finding stuff that was potentially an upgrade (that ring plus the 650 DPS 1H weapon). It looked like those kinds of things were not too expensive on the AH, like 250k-ish. I could easily spend gold and end up in much better gear, as I have a couple mill from farming Act III in gold find gear, but I'm not going to, as it's way more fun identifying rares when theres actually a decent chance they're an upgrade.

D3 Chars:
Concillian SC Wizard (Crit / Meteor) - Conc SC Warrior (Tornado) - Conkymonky HC Monk
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07-09-2012, 04:16 AM
Post: #14
RE: Crit / meteor build
I'm really enjoying the build. Got my hardcore wizard to 60 tonight who used it the whole time. Now the item hunt begins for high end crit gear. Thanks to Frag and the AH I've got some decent starting crit gear, so I should be able to farm act 3 hell with it. Currently have 56k HP, 8k dmg, 180 resists, and 18 crit chance, but only 9 AP on return.
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07-09-2012, 06:21 PM (This post was last modified: 07-09-2012 06:32 PM by Concillian.)
Post: #15
RE: Crit / meteor build
One AP on crit item is all I can really fit in.

Contrary to Quark's post, You can get class specific skill damage increases on shields, but resource generation only happens on class specific items. I've done enough AH searching that this is pretty defnite.

This limits you to Wiz hat as your staple AP on return. Wand if you get lucky.

I've been using this build for Inferno Act I:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wi...aXg!aZaZac

I initially had Evocation passive, but I found that the Astral Presence passive was superior in every way. More meteors = more DPS = more crits = faster cooldowns, especially on single target.
With Evocation I barely made the DPS check of the Butcher. I died several times at 9600 DPS, then I swapped in some more offensive gear and killed him during the full floor enrage at 10600. With astral presence, there is so much more meteor usage that enrage is not a problem at 10k DPS, and cooldown usage is better.

Wave of force + stun helps in three ways,
- It provides an out in most situations... helps clear a path for a mobility limited build
- It helps with ranged who run, it's a ranged stun that can be used in addition to frost nova to keep them stationary long enough. Pre-cast meteor where they look to be going, stun them when they're in the path, cast a meteor, FN them again.
- It provides an additional interrupt (for act I, this is primarily dark berserkers)

Overall, the monster types in act I are pretty easy.
Gearing wise I've found a couple upgrades that put me about 6700 / 500 on armor and resists physical, fire, and arcane are over 550. Got a nice pair of pants with 40+ fire / 50+ all resists. Pretty moderate INT, but 86 VIT.
Crit is 31% with Lyndon,
Crit damage is +199% and INT is 1250ish.
Life on hit is around 490.
Still using a plain blue shield that's 9% crit + armor.

Affixes I die to regularly:
Arcane enchanted + anything mobility limiting (waller, vortex)
Fast + fire chains alone is bad
Fast + molten can give issues if there's no choke point.
Invuln minions usually hurt too much to survive, not enough cooldown ticking, though if I can get somewhere where only 1-2 are hitting me and they don't have anything else too crazy, I can usually kill the boss.

D3 Chars:
Concillian SC Wizard (Crit / Meteor) - Conc SC Warrior (Tornado) - Conkymonky HC Monk
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07-09-2012, 07:42 PM (This post was last modified: 07-09-2012 07:46 PM by MonTy.)
Post: #16
RE: Crit / meteor build
(07-09-2012 06:21 PM)Concillian Wrote:  Wave of force + stun

Good idea on Wave of Force, I'll be sure to try it out. While leveling to 60 I've been going back and forth between Hydra and Magic Weapon. Hydra is beyond useful for Act 2 & 3 in Hardcore, especially Act 3 for baiting out lunatics into meteors. Although once I got my DPS high enough I felt Magic Weapon provided significant damage output to have it over hydra in some zones.

But in Hardcore I've never felt truly threatened due to lack of dps or lack of hydra, so they feel more like bonus skills. What makes me so intrigued with Wave of Force is that the only situations where I have been truly threatened is champion packs with waller/vortex/jailer combined with Arcane Orb or fast/fire chain on already fast mobs. When fighting them I was always in the most open area possible but there was still a split second where I was vulnerable due to frost nova and diamond skin on cooldown. One time in particular was a dark berserker pack that had jailer/waller/arcane. Wave of Force would give me a third skill in those rare situations when I'm tapped out (which has only happened once, but in hardcore inferno those champion packs will be more common and my only real danger). My concern for using it in Inferno would be the lack of dps and enrage timers. You had said with Astral Presence and 10k DPS it was doable against the Butcher, but can you confirm if you switched out Wave of Force (thus giving up Valor)? BTW I completely agree about Astral Presence, the only time I see myself giving this up is if I get lucky with finding gear with perfect rolls for AP on Crit, +Max Arcane Power, and +crit chance.

I foresee the next week or so being dedicated to Act 3 hell runs. I'm extremely limited on hardcore resources so my gear is pretty poor to take advantage of the build. Although I'm giving it a try for a bit while paying close attention to my cooldowns to see if Critical Mass is triggering enough. For reference, here is my current gear and current stats.

Thanks for all the information so far. Hopefully I'll find some better gear and report back with my hardcore progression.

*edit - force armor is not active so my crit chance is normally 18.5% with pinpoint barrier and my armor gives me around 61% damage reduction. Before getting to Inferno I hope to have more crit gear so I can switch out pinpoint barrier for prismatic armor. It's really a challenge getting a balance of all the stats needed for this build!
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07-09-2012, 08:10 PM
Post: #17
RE: Crit / meteor build
(07-09-2012 07:42 PM)MonTy Wrote:  You had said with Astral Presence and 10k DPS it was doable against the Butcher, but can you confirm if you switched out Wave of Force (thus giving up Valor)? BTW I completely agree about Astral Presence, the only time I see myself giving this up is if I get lucky with finding gear with perfect rolls for AP on Crit, +Max Arcane Power, and +crit chance.

10k DPS is without any DPS buffing passives, etc... (aside from Astral Presence). They were different times I've faced the Butcher. 1st time I did a lot of trying to maximize DPS uptime and see if 9.6k could cut it. 10.6 cut it but it took several tries. Hardcore you'd probably want 11k + Astral Presence for a guarantee. DPS uptime depends a lot on how the floor fires go. I try to put him against a wall between 2 or three tiles so I can keep him in one place, but it doesn't always work out.

On my kill at 10.6 / no astral presence, I actually survived full floor flare up with diamond skin and the health well for a while before he died.

I don't use pinpoint. I use Prismatic for the resists.
31% crit is 27% on gear with 3% being Lyndon's aura. He's actually probably more damage with the other skill (+10% damage for 3 seconds after crit, can proc every 6 seconds) but I didn't ever re-spec him. Gloves and shield are the big crit % items. Those two are 16.5% alone.

D3 Chars:
Concillian SC Wizard (Crit / Meteor) - Conc SC Warrior (Tornado) - Conkymonky HC Monk
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07-09-2012, 08:16 PM
Post: #18
RE: Crit / meteor build
(07-09-2012 08:10 PM)Concillian Wrote:  Gloves and shield are the big crit % items. Those two are 16.5% alone.

Hrm, I have the following max stats written down, are these incorrect?
Shield: 10%
Gloves: 10%
Amulet: 8.5%
Helm: 6%
Bracer: 6%
Wiz. Hat: 4.5%
Ring: 4.5%

Attack Power on Crit:
Weapon: 10
Wiz. Hat: 10

Max Attack Power:
Weapon: 15
Wiz. Hat: 15

Thanks as always
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07-09-2012, 09:26 PM
Post: #19
RE: Crit / meteor build
Oh, I probably should have mentioned I have 8AP on crit on my hat, and that REALLY helps with the AP, obviously. I recommend in fact during AH shopping to grab a wiz hat with +int, socket, and AP on crit.

Finally satisfied that this, in fact, a game in the Diablo series.
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07-10-2012, 06:27 AM (This post was last modified: 07-10-2012 07:08 AM by MongoJerry.)
Post: #20
RE: Crit / meteor build
(07-09-2012 06:21 PM)Concillian Wrote:  Affixes I die to regularly:
Arcane enchanted + anything mobility limiting (waller, vortex)
Fast + fire chains alone is bad
Fast + molten can give issues if there's no choke point.
Invuln minions usually hurt too much to survive, not enough cooldown ticking, though if I can get somewhere where only 1-2 are hitting me and they don't have anything else too crazy, I can usually kill the boss.

Thanks for including this list, because I've been getting the itch to try this in hardcore. It's a tough connundrum. It seems like you have to have Teleport to get out of tight spots, but then the mobs will stop being in your meteor puddles.

I keep thinking that I want to use Slow Time / Time Warp in the spot where where some people use Magic Weapon or where you are using Wave of Force. It would slow down the fast mobs a little at least, but unfortunately it wouldn't break snares on your own character.

Have you tried using Mirror Images / Duplicates instead? Mirror Images has the unlisted ability to break cc's (jailor and frozen), and the mirror images could potentially keep some of those fire chain and molten mobs away from you a little longer while simultaneously helping to hold down mobs in your puddles. Plus, if you had to run out of a jailor or frozen spot to get away from an arcane sentry, you can break out and your mirror images can keep the mobs in your puddles a couple seconds longer while you make a break for it. This is just theory crafting, of course.
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