Thursday
Jun282012

Melee Critical Mass / Explosive Blast / Energy Twister Build for Diablo 3

The Build

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#VOYXhQ!aXg!YcYacY

How it works

The passive Critical Mass gives a chance for a one second cooldown reduction each time you make a critical hit. With Wicked Wind you can proc critical hits consistently, giving huge cooldown reductions to Frost Nova, Explosive Blast and Teleport.

Why Windup? 

As you battle increasing numbers of enemies, the tempo of your casting accelerates or "winds up" with this build. You'll hear this in the sound effects for Explosive Blast and Energy Twister that increase in frequency as more creatures join. It's also a play on words. The first step in every battle is casting Wicked Wind and your main priority throughout battle is keeping the Wind up for cooldown reductions, +Arcane Power on crit hits and Life on Hit.

The 650k Inferno Act 1 Build



EHP Calculator

http://rubensayshi.github.com/d3-ehp-calculator/#calculator/81fc3db8-9525-8118-aced-325aab92148a

Necessary Gear

The minimum essential stats for this build in Inferno Act 1 are around 30% crit rate, 1.65 attack speed, +25 Arcane Power on Crit and 150 Life on Hit. You can trade lower AP on crit and slower attack speed for a higher crit rate, offering a wide range of gear choices.

Playstyle

Groups

You can  tank, crowd control and DPS with one build. Two huge groups hitting from different sides? With this build take control of both simultenously. Teleport between them as you alternate freezes on each, and your explosive blasts follows you around as you land. Is a DH or Wiz glass cannon in your group in trouble with a runaway mob? Port to them, freeze the straggler and teleport back to the main tanking group.

Solo Speed Runs

The tempo accelerates as long as you keep damage constant, encouraging chaining between groups of mobs instead of stopping to pick up loot. Shred through mobs by using teleport offensively like a Barbarian would use Leap to close the gap to the next group.  You can prep the next group with remote Wicked Wind casts while working on the current group. There is no downtime if you focus on winding up the next group while freezing and blasting the current.  You can aim for huge chains of kills this way. Five to six groups in a row with 100+ kills is not unusaul, with practice this could go sky high as long as more mobs are always within casting range of the current group.

Optimal Damage Output

You'll get the most damage from explosive blast if you teleport directly into the center of a big monster. For a group of smaller mobs that are frozen, teleport/run into the frozen pack and re-freeze/blast after the first Frost Nova has set them up.

A Wizard Build that Actually Feels Like a Wizard Build

The playstle is akin to an aggressive blue control deck in Magic: The Gathering because you focus on neutralizing the largest threat first and exerting board control on the rest while pegging for consistent damage throughout. Most of the time you'll completely lock down your enemies but you're always on the thrilling precipice of huge kills or massive failure while standing in the thick of a crowd.  If you get in trouble, teleport defensively instead of pushing forward. It's an exciting and versatile build that plays much differently than DPS/kiting or Spectral Blade and Meteor melee builds.

Smashing Elites, and the Downsides

Most elite groups are a cakewalk. The ones that will give you problems in ascending order of annoyance are Fire Chains, Frozen, Invunerable Minions, Knockback, Nightmarish and Shielding. But who doesn't have problems with those? Elemental affixes are trivial as you can teleport away or continue damage by popping diamond skin under the arcane laser/jailer-molten. Your Teleport, Diamond Skin and Frost Nova will be ready every 2s or quicker. 

Optimal Weapon or "Wizardspike: Finally, a Real Legendary!"

You can save gold on gear by using a Wand instead of a Wizardspike dagger, but the 1.58 speed versus 1.4 for wands lets you react faster to threats and increases the tempo, utility and fun. Wizardspike is the only non-Wand in the game with the essential +AP on crit stat.  You're not aiming for huge burst damage, your goal is to push out consistent damage while exerting board control. This is particularly important for affixes like frozen, shielding and nightmare when the windup process doesn't accelerate as normal but instead speeds up and slows down as your Twisters dissipate before you are able to recast them due to control impairing effects, or they stop proccing critical mass because of no damage in the case of shielding. A slow wand makes this worse. You want to cast as many Twisters as possible before control impairing effects kick back in.  This becomes more important as you progress through Acts II, III and IV when those affixes pop up more frequently on elite mobs.

As such, CC reduction is an important stat and it should be one of the first upgrades to the 650k gear example. CC reduction is even more important with a wand since you'll have less chances to cast when you return from being feared or frozen. With a socketed Wizardspike you can increase your damage output substantially as you farm through the acts by upgrading the Emerald for bonus critical hit damage due to the huge number of critical hits. For a more defensive/cheaper build, Wizardspikes can roll up to ~1500 Life After Kill rather than a socket. 

Optimal Helm or "Wait, Another Useful Legendary?"

On the CC reduction note, the level 59 Dark Mage's Shade works better than the godliest ilvl 63 helm in Act III and Act IV. It is the only helm in the game with a mix of int, vit, crit %, +AP on crit, CC reduction and socket. What's more, all six of those are stats are available alongside a bonus to the critical hit chance of Explosive Blast.

Gear Upgrades from Act 1 to 4

The build starts in Inferno Act 1 with a mixture of medium range stats on all gear, meaning upgrades throughout Inferno can be choosen from a wide range of categories with a very measured approach rather than paying ridiculous amounts to specialize in one stat.

Damage Increase

To output more damage look for upgrades to crit damage, crit %, IAS, +AP on crit and int.

Defensive Increase

If you have trouble staying alive focus on vit, AR, crit %, LOH and IAS.

Godly Engame Gear

 

 

Windup scales perfectly through all acts of Inferno. Here's endgame gear plowing through Act 3 Siegebreaker with Teleport replaced with Force Weapon:



UPDATE: There is some great additional feedback on Reddit. I'm working on an updated post with info on weapon and build variations for both the beginner and endgame build after I finish playtesting them.

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