Vyr Cold Chantodo will be one of the top Wizard builds for solo push next season, and possibly seasons thereafter, so I thought a deep dive into how everything works was worth putting together.
I like that this build is simple enough to pick up and play, but still has enough nuance to make it interesting on a high end push. It's easy enough to clear fairly high with, but to excel you will need to configure the build correctly, approach the rift with a certain mindset / playstyle, and of course, get that godlike rift spawn. =)
The build can also take on many RGs, getting some mean sub 2 minute RG kill times, making RG RNG less of an issue. I think this will make the build more appealing for many wizards as compared to other high clearing builds.
On top of this, the build also has many other variations that support other styles of play: Nephalem rifting, Bounties, Solo GR speeds, Group GR speeds. The potential is nigh endless.
One of the only negatives is that this build now outshines many other builds that were previously competitive with the Season of Grandeur bonus. My hope is that these other builds will be rebalanced to make them more competitive.
I hope you enjoy this guide. A big shout out to anyone who tested on the PTR, assisted with tuning builds, or added to the ongoing discussion. Thank you!
Builds Spreadsheet, D3planner, Video
(GR128+) Vyr Cold Chantodo Solo Push:
GR131 PTR clear:
Cratic Builds + Posts Spreadsheet:
Solo Push D3planner includes several build variants, described below:
- Low Paragon CoE: This listing will fit most players. Great config for earlier in the season. Zodiac Worn. Life per hit weapon.
- High Paragon CoE LoH: For those that want to optimize and push the build to it's limits. For use later in the season. More recovery allocated. Also happens to be my preferred config.
- High Paragon CoE +Avg Dmg: For those that want to optimize and push the build to the extreme. For use later in the season, and recommended only for players of advanced skill. Less recovery allocated.
- Low Paragon Karini LoH or INT: Karini is a great option for players that want a more defensible playstyle. Drops Teleport for Time Warp. The 15% additive debuff damage from Time Warp can stack twice for a total of 30% by casting outside of archon, entering archon, and then activating archon slow time.
- High Paragon Karini +Avg Dmg: Average damage ancient ring would be much easier to fit in for Karini at higher paragon, though an adequate alternate would be INT on weapon with the standard CDR on ring.
- Hardore Karini w/ Safe Passage: This variation uses Teleport: Safe Passage to ensure higher mobility and toughness, while keeping Karini for a safer hardcore push.
Vyr Cold Chantodo's will be a very versatile combination next season, allowing for Nephalem rifting, Speed GR, Bounties, and even GR Push as seen here. Check out the builds spreadsheet for more listings if interested.
Archon: Slow Time:
- +Can opt for Black Hole: Absolute Zero.
- +Wave of Destruction Chills, and applies chill before damage instance, so we benefit from Trapped up to 30 yards out.
- +Extra gear slots over Lightning MH.
- +It's just cool. =)
Note: Early season any element should work without too much difference. Just make sure your archon rune element matches the element you are using. See the bugs section for more detail.
Magic Weapon: Deflection (MW:D):
Combined with high attack speed and ABBs, the shielding from this ability provides large shield stacks (650k+) that get replenished constantly. In this sense, it increases toughness, but acts like recovery when attacking, which is pretty much all the time with this build.
Also, there isn't a lot of additive or skill damage in the damage increased by skills and damage debuff category. The 10% from MW:D is worth more as compared to many other builds in this case.
Teleport: Safe Passage (TP:SP):
Extra toughness and mobility, especially when outside of archon. This also helps the Wizard dodge attacks, continue to kite, and allows extra toughness upon entering archon, when the Vyr archon stack count is at it's lowest.
Black Hole: Absolute Zero (BH:AZ):
The pull from Black Hole is amazing to both group enemies and keep them crowd controlled while cycling archon.
On top of that, the cold rune allows extra Cold elemental % damage that scales with density, and lasts well into archon.
Black hole can both stack up Chantodo's and also can proc your Obsidian ring of the Zodiac, so it's a very efficient pick for cycling archon as well.
Swap the rune to Spellsteal if attempting an early season push with an element other than Cold. Spellsteal's bonus is additive with the damage, skill damage, and damage debuff category, and lasts 6s.
Energy Armor: Force Armor (EA:FA):
Providing a passive 35% armor bonus to a class that struggles with gearing armor is huge. You don't have to manage it like you would Crystallize either, which is a nice plus.
The Force Armor rune is best here because of how variable our defense is with the build. Especially when Vyr archon stack count is lower, you will be more likely to take large amounts of incoming damage.
Of note: The damage is reduced before it is applied to shield stack, so your Deflection stacks have great synergy with this rune.
Arcane Torrent: Static Discharge (AT:SD):
There are many reasons to want Static Discharge as our main spender:
- High proc coefficient, at .2
- Speed coefficent of 3 (3 ticks / s at 1 APS)
- Combined with high APS Vyr, Zodiac procs come very reliably, and arcane power returns are very consistent.
We choose this rune because it spawns two extra side bolts per tick, and these side bolts also can return APoC. Both the main attack and the side bolts can assist with proccing Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac, and stacking Chantodo's Resolve.
The projectile nature of this skill is great when coming into contact with Missile Dampeners, as the projectiles get stuck in the Missile Dampenening and can assist with Chantodo's stacking and proccing Zodiac even while inside archon.
Note: Activating archon will consume all Chantodo's stacks but there will be some that stack up after. This is from any attack that was still in transit or had duration remaining after entering archon. These still count as attacks, and we still get the benefit from using them (as we should).
Damage up close fits well with Chantodos, since the Wave of Destruction emanates from the character. Keep in mind that the most damage dealt will typically be to enemies within this 15 yard range.
This is build requires Cooldown Reduction, and this is a hefty amount.
Best option for both damage and defense. As mentioned previously, additive damage is of large impact here. On top of that, this much toughess from one passive is hard to pass up, considering we stand still so often when focusing down enemies.
Dying means not only lost time from the death timer, but also with having to re-stack both Vyr archon stacks and Chantodo's. It's hugely detrimental, setting the build back at least some 40 seconds to a minute each death. In an ultimate push, you might sacrifice this cheat death bonus in trade for good positioning with a Power or Conduit pylon, but you NEVER want to die. This passive is also great for getting going at the beginning of the rift. Should any enemy tap you before entering archon, usually it's an insta-proc. This is necessary at times to get started.
Archon Strike (also known as Archon Punch):
Attack Rate is dynamic. As you gain stacks and therefore attack speed, you will hit higher breakpoints. Generally this skill will stack up Vyr Archon better than or equal to the Disintegration Wave.
Disintegration Wave (also known as Archon Beam):
Archon Beam (right click) snapshots tickrate upon entering archon. Speed coefficient is 3. This means the beam is less efficient at stacking stricken as compared to the punch, but can stack Vyr archon faster than punch in certain situations.
Stacks one Vyr archon stack per activation. 15 yard radius. .5 second cooldown. It will be advantageous to be nearby at least one enemy to increase Vyr archon stack count per attack. Freezes enemies due to the Cold rune and Vyr 2 piece. Pivotal for control and survival with this build. See configurations section for other related recommendations.
Archon Slow Time:
Activate after entering archon. Slows projectiles and the movement of enemies. Used mainly to avoid projectile damage. 21 yard radius.
Essential for mobility while in archon form. 2s base cooldown. 50 yard range. At 64.7% CDR, this leaves ~.7s cooldown on this ability.
Vyr's Amazing Arcana 6 piece set:
Damage, Toughness, and Attack speed vary with Vyr archon stack count. Acquiring archon stacks will be a major focus of the build. We will make use of both the on hit stacking mechanic with Vyr6 and on kill stacking mechanic with archon.
"Gaining more Archon stacks early in the Archon cycle has a snowball effect for late in the cycle. If you have more stacks by mid-cycle, then you have both more IAS to gain stacks via Vyr6 and more damage to gain stacks via the on-kill mechanic."
I'll add that the toughness gained from stack count really helps with survival as well, enabling us to take advantage of Oculus Ring spawns, challenge more elites, and position for optimal damage.
Vyr 2 piece also gives every rune of archon, which is beneficial for the reduced cooldown, archon teleport, archon slow time, and the freeze effect on archon blast.
Chantodo's Resolve 2 piece set:
Bonus stacks up to 20 times, and increases Wave of Destruction (WoD) damage per stack acquired. Acquire stacks by hitting enemies with skills cast outside of archon. In this build, both Static Discharge (AT:SD) and Absolute Zero (BH:AZ) are used to acquire Chantodo stacks. Stacks can still be acquired while inside archon if skills cast were cast outside of archon. These will be applied to the next rotation (pre-stacked). WoD interval is set at once per second (60 frames).
Damage now scales with attack speed. Damage scaling caps out at the equivalent of 5 APS. Tested by sVr & Rob.
The damage scaling is dynamic in nature, and does not require a snapshot. It will adjust as your attack speed changes.
With the Chantodos damage increasing from 1000% per stack to 4000% per stack, and the AS damage scaling capping out at 5 APS, we can expect a total of 20 times increase in damage vs. Chantodos in .
This is an estimated ~19.08 GRs increase over the same Vyr Chantodos build in . For more info, click here.
Endless Walk 2 piece set:
Standing still gives multiplier, moving transitions this multiplier to Damage Reduction (and vice versa) at a rate of 20% per second. Usually we will be standing still as much as possible with this build. There are certain situations where if you are under duress, you might stutter step channel while cycling archon, in order to survive.
Fazula's Improbable Chain:
Gives up to 50 Stacks upon entering archon. You want to have as close to 50 as possible. 48-49 is acceptable, 50 preferred. Any less than that in ancient I would say is not worth equipping, as this would lower your attack speed stack requirement too much, and also reduce starting damage and toughness, very detrimental for a build that has such a steep domino effect.
Allows for overlapping archon stacks. Considering we cycle archon so quickly with this build, Swami is integral here. Damage will generally be highest a few seconds prior to the end of the archon rotation, right before the double stack (overlapping) swami bonus ends, though BH:AZ, CoE, and Oculus ring spawns can boost the damage earlier in the rotation as well.
Ashnagarr's Blood Bracer (ABBs):
Doubles shielding from Deflection. Increases toughness significantly, given the high attack speed. This is required for survival considering we are not opting for defensive jewelry.
Convention of Elements (CoE):
Every 4s out of 16s we get a 3x multiplier for Cold damage. Prepare for the increase during arcane. We can't optimize CDR for CoE with this build because we are using Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac to reset archon as quickly as possible. Time required to cycle archon will vary.
CoE Cycles the following elements for Wizard, in rotation:
Arcane → Cold ↓
↑ Lightning ← Fire
Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac (Zodiac / ORotZ):
Spenders AT:SD and BH:AZ will proc this bonus and reset archon, Safe Passage, and Absolute Zero. Higher attack speed will allow you to proc this bonus more quickly.
No other weapon bonus gives as much as the constant 50% elite damage here. It's a bonus that's always active, including when your damage is at it's peak.
Provides an area of power. Standing in the area (or along the edge) provides a multiplier to any damage. Dynamic in nature. Duration and ICD of 7s. Radius of 11 yards. Equipped on Follower.
This area of power is pivotal for faster stack building via the on kill bonus, and also assiting in damage throughout the rift.
Maximum damage output will require a well positioned Oculus ring spawn such as to overlap with your Swami, CoE, and Audacity bonuses. However, not all of these are required to warrant moving position to the oculus ring spawn.
The condition for moving to oculus with this build is generally:
- Are enough enemies within 30 yards of oculus, or close enough that they will be within 30 yards very soon? If yes, then take up position there, if no, then ignore it.
A well spawned oculus ring will allow you to both position within, and still hit as many enemies as possible. Another strategy is to take position and have enemies come towards your character. This works best with mob types that follow well. However, there are other factors.
If you are kiting forward, and have repositioned your follower (via follower teleport), an oculus ring spawn that appears behind could set you back from kiting the enemies together, and result in a loss progress if you were to go after it. In this situation, it may be best to ignore the oculus ring.
Making use of oculus spawns while buffed via a power pylon and against the RG (if applicable) will be important as well.
Legendary Gems Overview
Bane of the Trapped:
Best gem multiplier, both considering the close up nature of the build, and the fact that
the Wave of Destruction Chills. This chill also applies before the damage instance. Thanks to
u/sVr90 for testing this second point.
In addition we also have a freeze from the blast attack and punch, and the 21 yard slow from the archon slow time. These would only matter in regards to Trapped if you are trying to push early season with an element that is not Cold.
Gogok of Swiftness:
Provides Attack speed (AS) and Cooldown Reduction (CDR). Both of which this build makes significant use of.
The benefit via dodge (toughness) cannot be overlooked either. You should definitely be leveling this gem, but it is third on the priority list after unlocking the level 25 portion of the bonus.
Since we attack quite often with the build, Gogok is up quite a bit. The only questionable down times are:
- Level Transitions
- Upon RG Spawn
If Gogok does go down, always use the archon punch to restack, if possible, as this will get this bonus up and running much quicker than the beam.
Bane of the Stricken:
Reduced RG kill time. Also great for focusing down elites in certain cases. The archon strike (punch) will be a more consistent stricken stacker than the archon Disintegration Wave (beam) will.
Stricken has an ICD (internal cooldown) that applies in a 1/APS fashion. This is to normalize spells that have higher speed coefficients with those that do not.
Spells that have a speed coefficient = 3, such as Disintegration Wave, will stack stricken slower because they will desync with the ICD. In other words, the stricken ICD will likely come off cooldown in between attacks, rather than as attacks become available.
You can read more on how Stricken works from u/Raz9r.
Item Affixes Overview + Zodiac worn vs. CoE worn
Cooldown Reduction (CDR):
Highly valued for quick archon resets. However, there is a limit to the value of CDR, given that we need time to stack the Chantodo's bonus up to maximum. The key to gearing then will be optimizing CDR so that we reset archon right as we typically hit 20 stacks of chantodos.
I recommend a base of 64.7% CDR (58.48% without Gogok included). This is from every gear piece excepting weapon and amulet, plus paragon, diamond in helm, and including gogok. However, you can miss up to 3% CDR from any CDR affix (or combination thereof) and still get by fairly readily. For example, on my PTR push I had 7% CDR on two pieces that could have been a max of 8%, for a total of 63.94% CDR, and the rotation still felt really smoothe, so there is some wiggle room here.
I tested at 61.94% CDR (one less 8% affix as compared to the above), and while at this level it is possible for highly skilled players to manage, it is not optimal in my opinion for resetting archon as quickly, and it also makes surviving at low stack count surprisingly difficult. My advice is to avoid this level of CDR.
Attack Speed (AS):
Attack speed gearing is key. Yes, AS on weapon is required. This is because the attack speed on weapon is multiplied into base AS of the weapon separately from other sources. A 7% AS weapon on a 1.4 AS base gives 9.8% AS in total. You'll also want to make sure you have AS from paragon and Gogok, at a minimum. Optimal AS Gearing reference.
- Weapon, Paragon, Gogok, Zodiac worn (+7% AS), Templar (0% AS, healing, AP regen).
- To hit 5 APS, 202 Stacks are required total, or 152 upon entering archon, assuming 50 stack Fazula.
- Weapon, Paragon, Gogok, Enchantress (+3% AS), CoE worn (No AS Affix, CHD instead).
- To hit 5 APS, 206 Stacks are required total, or 156 upon entering archon, assuming 50 stack Fazula.
Zodiac worn vs. CoE worn:
You should only wear the CoE once you get a really good one. It can be a very well rolled, near perfect, non-ancient if going after the CDR variant, though +Average Damage requires ancient.
Especially at lower paragons, say, about 1200 and below, the effect of having the augment on the Zodiac is more pronounced. A well rolled ancient Zodiac is much easier to get in season. On my PTR push, I even wore an ancient Zodiac that had only 7% CDR, because it came with +Physical resist secondary.
When comparing an ancient well rolled Zodiac to an ancient CoE with middle of the pack affixes (say, <=40% CHD, <=5% CHC), the ancient Zodiac wins out, especially if the Legendary % mod on the Convention is <=195%.
Aside from sheet value, the attack speed from the Zodiac is in the least very nice, more consistent.
- Can challenge slightly worse rifts and still clear, since you can risk moving a bit more and still maintain 5 APS.
- Can stack up quicker at the beginning of the rift, after bad level transitions, or after a death.
- As mentioned, you can more easily opt for Templar.
These reasons alone make wearing the Zodiac worth going after vs a non-ancient CoE for many players.
On an ultimate push, and near perfect gearing, it's only:
- ~8.75% increase in dps (~.51 GR) for the perfect ancient CoE worn (CDR build).
- ~14.7% increase in dps (~.86 GR) for the perfect ancient CoE worn (+Avg Dmg build).
- ~5.5% increase in dps (~.32 GR) for perfect non-ancient CoE worn.
as compared to an ancient Zodiac worn (Original Posting).
+Average Damage Option:
There is enough room in the build to drop a CDR affix, and pick up +Avg Dmg on an ancient ring instead. This has the possibility of increasing DPS, and is more of an option for higher paragons (2500+), as higher paragon would have more room to allocate paragon to VIT to make up for any lost recovery or increased time outside of archon.
My opinion is that the trade off is too much to warrant placement of +Avg Dmg for most players, as you either have to swap out the Life per Hit affix or a CDR affix, both of which make the build more difficult to clear with.
Life Per Hit (LpH or LoH):
Recommended third weapon affix. LoH works really well with the high APS of Vyr archon. Keeps you alive even when taking heavy damage. An alternate high paragon variation of the build can use +Avg Damage on a ring and can drop this affix if preferred. Karini based builds (as an alternate to CoE) can also opt to drop this affix.
Best placement for LoH is on the weapon. LoH bracer here would just lower toughness (or damage if you supplement VIT with paragon) and allow for less recovery outside of shielding.
The Ashnagarr's necessitates not trading off VIT IMO. Either you opt for the LoH affix on weapon, or you don't (and possibly supplement VIT to increase the effectiveness of Ashnagarr's instead). (Reference)
Of note, Vyr shoulder piece rolls with +All Resist (+AR) by default. While +AR is adequate for lower paragon clears, high paragon players will most definitely want to go for +Life% in this affix slot instead.
A balance of single resistances is preferred, excepting Physical. Getting higher physical resistance will be preferred.
Crowd Control (CC) Resistance:
At least one CC resist affix on either helm or amulet is preferred. This helps in those situations outside of archon when Nightmared, Frozen, Jailed, etc.
Life per Kill (LpK):
Great if you can fit it in. Pants for certain, Weapon also if your config doesn't make use of life per hit.
Missing orbs costs time, or progression. Dying attempting to pick up orbs is even worse. Having some level of pickup is great in this sense. Recommended minimum of +4, though +6 would be better.
+Maximum Arcane Power (+Max AP):
From Paragon (+25), Wand (+14), Source (+14). Note also Energy Armor (-20). We spend a lot of resource with this build, and being able to channel AT:SD is very important.
Other affixes can be viewed on the d3planner listing. If you have any questions on those I'll be happy to answer.
Templar is recommended for configurations with Zodiac worn, for the extra healing, life regen, and some arcane power regen.
Enchantress is recommended for configurations with Convention of Elements worn. Her bonus of 3% attack speed will help maintain stack counts as required to meet our attack speed and damage breakpoint.
Follower gearing requires: Cannot die enchanting favor or token, and Oculus Ring. Ensure items do not hard CC (freeze, blind, charm, fear, etc.). This is because those CC effects will cause monsters to become immune to CC earlier than expected. Recall that we use the archon blast attack to freeze enemies and survive. Impeding this can be detrimental.
When gearing out an Enchantress I advise not selecting Charm, Forceful Push, or Disorient. I also prefer not to select Erosion, because I don't like the spell effect, but that one is more of an option.
Skills for Enchantress: Powered Armor, Focused Mind.
Skills for Templar: Heal, Loyalty, Inspire. Optional is to select Charge, as it's the least disruptive of the CC abilities.
Ess of Johan on follower is optional. This will reduce enemy CC resistance, but will pull enemies together nicely while inside your damage cycle. Try it out, see whether you like it or not.
Affixes should include CDR and attack speed for your Templar and Attack speed for the enchantress. I usually prefer Thunderfury as a weapon.
I advise using some method of autocast. Whether this is Numlock or a Macro (timer on a toggle) is your choice. Set up archon on the first skill slot so that your blast attack will be spammed whilst inside archon, and outside, your archon skill will be automatically be cast when it comes available.
While the build can be played without an autocast, I feel it is both more fluid with one, and it saves your hand and wrist much wear and tear by doing so.
Place teleport on the third skill slot. This is so it will align with your Archon Teleport skill (which cannot be reconfigured). Keeping your mobility skill on a consistent slot is imperative for optimizing muscle memory and reflex. This ensures mobility throughout the rift is as swift and purposeful as possible.
Assign the Force Stand Still key to be accessible. For example, my current key assignment uses 1-4 for keyboard bound skills. I assign the 'e' key (standard QWERTY configuration). Force Stand will be used any time you use the archon punch ability to prevent unwanted movement, loss of stack count, and undesired loss of the Unwavering Will buff.
Assign Force move to be handy. While we do have teleport for both inside and outside archon, there are some situations, such as when cycling archon, that side or stutter step channeling can save your wizard's life via the DR from Endless Walk.
I still view any movement required as a negative, as this can take away from our primary focus of resetting archon. If it's necessary though, Endless walk aiding works out well here. My current key assignment for Force move is 'r'.
Vyr Chantodo Rune Mismatch Elemental% Damage Bug
Vyr Chantodo Rune selection mismatch with max elemental% on gear causes your Chantodo's damage to not benefit from that elemental% damage. The Vyr 2 piece bonus gives all archon runes but doesn't provide the same damage for Chantodo's if you select the wrong rune.
I prioritize entering archon and stacking up Vyr and archon rather than ensuring an absolute 20 Chantodos stacked. Archon stacks are so crucial to maintaining attack speed, defense, and damage. We stack quickly and every second counts. I feel that waiting around outside archon usually isn't very much worth doing, both because we are more vulnerable in that state, but also because we lose out on stacks.
That said, if you are approaching archon reset too fast, you might recast one of your other cooldown based abilities (Safe Passage or Absolute Zero) to soak Zodiac a tad more. This will refresh the duration, and allow you to enter archon closer to 20 Chantodo's. Zodiac applies randomly, and sometimes will heavily favor Archon instead of other abilities. One of the challenges of the build is recognizing this and adjusting to optimize archon resets.
As your Attack speed increases with Vyr4+Swami, your attacks will both proc Zodiac faster (resetting archon quicker) and stack Chantodo's more within that shorter amount of time.
Assuming we enter archon as soon as possible, a build configuration with proper CDR and attack speed will have 19-20 Chantodo's stacks applied in density, and 14-17 or so versus single target.
Upon entering the rift, if enemies are nearby, I might cast Absolute zero before entering archon. If no enemies are nearby, I simply enter archon. This is to avoid wasting an Unstable Anomaly proc.
First 1-2 rotations stack using punch. Stay close to enemies. After that you can opt for the beam while mobile, and when your double stack ends (about 2-4s at the end of each rotation).
This is because the beam is snapshot upon entering archon, but your punch is dynamic, increasing attack rate as your AS hits higher breakpoints.
The safest first rotation is simply using the punch and cycling against a healthy sized pull consisting of trash only. The most risky is using the beam to pull in possibly 1-2 elites and lots of trash. This situation is more challenging with having lower toughness, damage, and higher incoming damage.
I recommend using the punch first rotation, aggroing at most one elite. This is to get as many enemies grouped up as possible, while stacking up as much as possible. Look for the small, easy to kill trash mobs. These are critical in that first rotation for spawning the oculus ring (via follower). An early oculus gets you more on kill bonus archon stacks in the first few rotations, resulting in quicker ramp up.
If you ever lose archon stack count on rift level transitions or from dying, use the punch, as it will ramp up faster within an archon cycle than a poorly snapshot beam.
After double stack ends, and assuming your beam is snapshot high enough (likely any time other than the first or second rotation), beam will stack Vyr archon quicker than punch whilst only having single stacked swami. This also happens to be the best time to kite and group with the build while in archon form, because damage is also lowest at this point.
Try not to kite or move too much as this usually translates to lost stacks. That said, if you can find a nice rhythm during the rift to group up efficiently and quickly, you can really make some wicked progress.
Follower positioning is also key as they can aggro, help you kite, and possibly pull enemies. Deciding where they need to be, espeically if you've opted for the Ess of Johan, can be very important.
Throughout, always use the archon blast attack. It will freeze enemies, keeping them from dealing damage to you. It also helps stack up Vyr archon stacks.
I usually will take one of two casting patterns outside of archon, if possible:
- Absolute Zero → Safe Passage → Enter Archon
- Safe Passage → Absolute Zero → Safe Passage → Enter Archon
all the while channeling AT:SD as much as possible.
This ensures high uptime on the toughness from Safe Passage, even after entering archon and beginning to stack up. Black hole's duration is two seconds. This will extend your total duration on the absolute zero bonus some, as it hits more enemies.
This is not a hard rule though. It can also be worth re-casting Absolute Zero to gain higher stack count with the skill, and / or refresh before entering archon if you've let the duration on Absolute Zero run too long.
And, as mentioned prior, there will be wide variance in this rotation due to how randomly Zodiac applies it's cooldown reset mechanic to skills.
Fighting the RG: I will typically only opt for the beam in the last few seconds of archon, when double stack ends, to ensure continued archon stacking, and stack faster than I would with the punch at that point in the cycle. This is also when we are vulnerable, and very likely repositioning or dodging attacks, in preparation for non-archon form.
Using the Archon Blast attack at close range to be able to maintain Vyr archon stack counts is even more crucial to maintain against the RG.
Elite Affixes and Elite Types to Avoid
Missile Dampening and Illusionist are great elite affixes to encounter. Missile dampening allows for quick archon resets and Chantodo's stacking. Illusionist provides more on kill stacks.
A really good rift would provide Maggot Brood or Rat Caller Illusionist packs, with a missile dampener mixed in with otherwise non-threatening elite affixes. Maggot Brood and Rat Caller Illusionist packs are especially good because the illusions can also spawn tiny, easy to kill trash mobs that feed you even more stacks. I've seen wizards stack up 275+ stacks in a single archon rotation on such packs if played right.
Health link of course is always very helpful.
Bad elite affixes include Reflects Damage, Electrified, Fire Chains, and Shielding. The former three because they incur so much incoming damage, the latter because we have a build with bursty and cyclical damage: CoE and a rotation that peaks damage.
Of note: Dune Dervish / Bladed Magewraith (also known as spinners) and Sand Dwellers have a reflect mechanic that is activated by the monster. When these reflect mechanics are active, your projectiles from AT:SD can reflect and insta-proc and even one-shot kill the Wizard.
Our attacks are mostly cold, so this reflect mechanic won't matter most of the time, but when cycling archon, it is imperative to spot these. I recommend either skipping these packs if possible, or taking great care when cycling archon to channel Static Discharge at targets that are not close to these mob types.
We kill RGs very quick with this build. We apply stricken so fast, that there are fewer bad RGs to get. This is an insanely nice aspect of the build. Compare this to a build such as LoN Star Pact, which stacks stricken slow, has a really hard time vs single target and surviving RG attacks in general. I'm sure many players will love the Vyr setup for this alone.
Saxtris and Binder will be top tier, with RGs like Hammelin, Eskandiel, Stone Singer, Crusader King, Perendi, and Bone Warlock close behind. This is because these RGs spawn adds that increase your Vyr archon stack count during the fight. Even if they detract from Stricken stacking, they generally make up for this with oculus ring spawns.
The following RGs are single target and don't move around a lot. They are still good spawns to get:
- Man Carver
- Infernal Maiden
The following RGs are single target, but either move around a bit more or have attacks that force you to move. They are adequate:
You can opt to keep slow time bubble disabled when fighting both Orlash and Eskandiel, as the slow time will trap their attacks, making it more likely that you take more damage when you do get hit with those attacks.
If you can survive their attacks, The Choker and Blighter are also pretty fairly good to get. However, if you can't survive their attacks, then they can be really bad.
Bloodmaw's leap makes him more difficult of an RG, as you will have a harder time stacking stricken and Vyr Archon consistently. The archon teleport makes this an easier task, however, getting stuck outside of archon while his leap attack is ongoing can be detrimental, as you will not be able to cycle archon as quickly.
Voracity is pretty difficult to challenge, with spawning the poison gas, but still doable by kiting in small increments. Continue punching and stacking Vyr archon whilst also kiting out of the gas, minimizing damage taken. However, this is still bad due to stacking stricken slower, missing CoE cycles, and lower stack counts.
Any RG that teleports away is bad for this build, as this will result in lost stack count. This includes Rime, Ember, Vesalius, and Sand Shaper. While Perendi also Teleports, it is easier to dodge his attacks, and stack stricken, while also benefitting from oculus ring spawns. Perdition will always Teleport towards, and you can generally survive his attacks, so still a good RG to get. Crusader king, Bone Warlock, and Orlash have a teleport that is annoying only because it takes time away from attacking, not because they teleport too far away.
Sand Shaper not only Teleports, but also puts down an enhanced slow time bubble, hugely detrimental to attack speed and stack counts with this build. It also forces you to move away, making him the worst RG to get.
Pylons and Pylon Usage
With the preference for Illusionist packs, and the fact that the build cannot kite very far or fast without losing Vyr Archon stack count, effectively using a Conduit pylon is much harder to do with this build as compared to many other builds. However, it is still very beneficial to see a Conduit, as conduit will also feed on kill stacks. The best method is to tap the conduit near the end of the archon cycle (single stacked swami), or when cycling archon. Try not to slack too much on your normal dps rotation while the conduit is ongoing, as you will be acquiring quite a nice short term boost in damage.
Very useful for this build, as aligning a good oculus ring spawn with a Cold CoE cycle can be very advantageous. Wait until your current oculus ring spawn ends before tapping the power. This will ensure your next kill will spawn an Oculus nearby the intended targets. Wait until you are outside archon, but ready to enter, then tap the power pylon, as this will ensure your CoE cold cycles will line up with periods of time that you are inside archon. Try also to tap the power on middle of lightning or arcane phase, as this will ensure two cold CoE rotations while buffed with Power.
Power near the RG spawn can be useful as well. Notably, we cannot save a power pylon that spawns on the first rift level, like we can with some other builds, as we will be stripped of our stack count and this will cost us time and make us extremely vulnerable to RG attacks.
Great for survival, especially if you've run into a string of elites with nasty elite affixes. Can also be used to skip a map with a bad mob type (would not be ultimate push, but still useful in that situation).
Causes knockback to enemies. This causes them to become immune to crowd control earlier than if you were freezing them. There will be more attacks incoming. However, can be a nice boost to attack speed if you are at lower stack count, when transitioning rift levels soon, or facing the rift guardian. Can also be used to skip levels quicker, similar to Shield pylon.
Only use is reducing the cooldown of your archon teleport, allowing for faster mobility to possibly skip a rift level. I would only click in this situation, as we need to stack up Chantodos outside of archon anyway, and this is already optimized for without the channeling bonus.
Wow, that was a lot. Good to get down though, I suppose. Thank you for reading. Hope this helps.
To all Wizards discussing Chantodo's in this thread, and to those that tested PTR, thank you!
Feel free to check out the below:
- (5/10/2019): Initial Version.
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