2H Weapon Inferno Wizard- Farming Inferno For Cheap Guide submitted by Lok.
Most of the builds I have been looking at recently gear for 1H weapons and an offhand, putting a premium on increased attack speed. Since there are so many people out there looking for this sort of thing, you pay a premium to gear up this way. The philosophy is to minimize cast animation to minimize time lost on the kite, and to fire out a massive burst of arcane orbs or piercing orbs or magic missiles when things are not chasing you or you have enough distance. To realize the full DPS in such builds, you must be able to burst down your arcane power in a volley of death.
The other basic approach is to take a massive base damage 2 hand weapon and lay down big hits, slowly spaced. This works very well with spells like Blizzard and Venom Hydra, both of which care not one little bit how fast you can cast them, and both of which will do a lot more with a 2 hander. Gearing for this build is much relaxed. You can go out and bid on a massive damage 2H weapon and probably get it cheap since not many people are into that sort of thing now. Instead of scouring the market for increased attack speed items, you can load up on magic find or gold find.
Where Blizzard and Hydra are not enough damage by themselves in a 1H build, in a 2H build they hit hard and are sufficient. Reducing the base damage by going one handed renders them insufficient. I think many people dismiss the power of these two spells because they mistakenly conclude its crummy dps with a 1H weapon is intrinsic to the spell. It is not. If you modify your play to maximize enemy time standing still, this build shines. You think about where you want them to stand, then move to achieve that.
Here is the build I am using in A2 Inferno
Hydra/Venom Hydra is a given. Those puddles stack for massive damage to things which stay stationary.
Blizzard/Stark Winter - This is a bit of a departure from the usual quick cast 1H weapon builds. Since your animation time is longer, you want to have a wider area so you do not need to recast it as frequently, and you minimize the time lost to slow animations. The increased area is important for the build, and the full AP cost is not as much of an issue as you might think.
Mirror Image/Duplicates - Diamond skin starts to really fade in Inferno. I like this spell for 2 reasons: (1) anything that is on me now has 5 other targets, and (2) anything that is chasing me now stops to dispatch the duplicates. When things stand still, my Blizzard and Hydra do max damage, so these guys are there to keep things stationary.
Teleport/Fracture - I suppose wormhole as a reset is good (since you can spam it and cross a map to end a chase), but I use this in a manner similar to mirror image. Those duplicates force things chasing me to stand still and take Hydra/Blizzard damage. I tend to reserve this for when the brown stuff is hitting the fan and use Mirror Image on cooldown.
Magic Weapon/Force Weapon - Boost that Blizzard/Hydra damage
Energy Armor/Force Armor - A must have for Inferno. One would think Blizzard would notice that 99.99999% of all Inferno wizards have to take this, and rework Ice and Storm armor. A fun alternative (more glass cannon) is to take Ice Armor with the Frozen Storm run. Tapping the Ice Armor then generates for 3s a wide swath of cold damage, amplified by your passives.
I was enjoying the game of trying to get this to stack with blizzard and hydra...it is risky and fun. The other nice thing about this is you can mow down every single stupid vase for negligable AP using this armor. The area on this Ice armor is big enough to be slightly out of melee range when it is hitting your target, but the margin of error is pretty small.
Cold Blooded - Even more amplification for Blizzard. Hydra really doesn't need a lot of amplification.
Glass Cannon - Even more boost to Blizzard.
Gavanizing Ward - Change this if you want, but I like the heal per second. It really helps me survive those fights with damage shield champion packs.
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Your pattern is to dump hydra, then blizzard, wait for AP to return, then repeat. AP power return is fast enough such that by the time the last blizzard expires, you can go again, and you have a bit left over to teleport or mirror image as needed.
This build fundamentally differs from a build with a signature spell in that when you are running a signature spell, you are looking to pump out that spell after you have hydra and blizzard down. In this build your damage comes from hydra and blizzard so instead of spamming a signature spell, you maneuver in a fashion to maximize damage.
Take for instance mortar types. If you are at range, they stand still and lob mortars. If you run in cirlces around them, and plant a hydra on top of them, together with a blizzard, they stand in your DPS for long periods of time and die quickly while all of their lobbed mortars fall behind you.
Or lets say you face a charger/melee type. They want line of sight on you to melee and charge. If you lob a blizzard on top of a pillar, and keep that pillar between you and the melee type, they never have line of sight on you, and spend all their time in the blizzard. Lightning shield damage dumps into the pillar and you take nothing. So in this build you pole dance, but in a 1h build you would try to peek out and lob a few signature spells or arcane orbs.
If you are in a dungeon area with doors, you can cast hydra through the closed door as long as you can see the floor on the other side. Because your hydra hits hard, it is enough to kill them. Because they are stupid they never open the door. They die on the other side exposing you to zero risk.
Wallers are very easy in this build. The blizzard dumps damage on them, wherever they are. If you can place the hydra well, it will add to it. They are constrained by their own walls and suffer big damage from your spells.
If you ever face something that sits on one spot, its cake. Lob keep blizzard and hydra up, and dodge whatever junk they are doing to you, and it will die.
Leapers were particularly hard for me until I realized that if I stand in my max area blizzard near the hydra, and move slightly as they jump in to stay just out of melee range, you force them to take damage in your blizzard/hydra. Mirror image helps here, giving them other targets to chew on. Your force armor lets you take a hit or two, so this can work well. Those sand burrower also work the same way...instead of running from them, bait your blizzard/hydra with your body and react quickly to them when they arrive.
Arcane enchanteds can be easy in this build because the only spells you need to cast are hydra (15s) and blizzard (6s), and while they tick away, you can maneuver around those rotating beams. If it gets too thick, just step back out of the radius, and that forces them to stand stil and recast, and that blizzard and hydra keeps ticking.
Occasionally you get door ambushed, where as you zone in, there is a champion pack chewing on you. This is where the real fun enters in, and the adrenaline starts pumping. Hit mirror image, port beyond them, and begin the kite into the populated dungeon. Because the only thing you are worrying about is recasting hydra and blizzard, you can play running back for the NFL and find the holes in the lines to squeeze on by. There is nothing quite like the rush of having the whole level howling for your blood and dying in droves from your blizzards.
I use a tactic I call "arcing" in which I lay a blizzard and hydra down, then run on a perimeter arc to make whatever is chasing me run back into the blizzard. Think of it like a running back faking left, then right to freeze someone in place...being frozen in place=standing in venom spit. Instead of recasting the blizzard, I move in a manner to make chasers spend the full duration in the blizzard. If you face stuff with slow attack animations, you can literally stand in the blizzard inviting them to hit you, then dance off at the last second before the swing lands.
I usually look for a loop to kite. Outdoors this is pretty easy as you just find some mountain to run circles around. Indoors you have to find those floor plans where there is a square you can run around. But sometimes you can find no pillar or object, and you have to run a straight line cooridor. I will kite towards a large room, then in the large room run around the perimeter to make a turn back and go all the way back down the same hall I just ran down.
This is a figure 8 pattern, where if you put the hydra at the cross of the 8, things take a pounding, and you can increase their uptime through the venom stack. I used to play a blaze babe in HC Diablo 2, and that was all about creating a blaze stack and trying to get things to stand in it. You can get similar play in this build by realizing the venom does stack, and thats why it hits so hard, and the only way to get it to stack is to have things remain stationary.
One thing you do need to do is plan for casts. You need a bit of space to lay down a new blizzard or hydra.
I have sat through a number of videos of guys who farm A1/Inferno, and my gear sucks compared to them. Yes I have a big 2h weapon dishing out 1200dps, but I got it "for cheap" because nobody else wanted it and that guy in act 2 got it of their corpse. I go for intellect/vit gear and magic find. I am running around in A2/Inferno with maybe 150 resist, 21K damage, 30K health and am doing fine. I have 180% magic find on, and when you get your valor stacks up on top of that, the yellows rain down. I was doing a Warden run last night and had 9 yellows before I even hit the Warden level. It seems somewhat counter productive to say your build is aimed at farming, yet be so dependent upon IAS that you can not stack magic find and get more stuff from the run. I have 12% movement speed boots. No I dont have some green leggings with run speed. 12% is enough. I would sell those leggings if I got them to people who pay a premium for them.