Introduced with Season 20, The Typhon's Veil is the latest Wizard set added to the game. Well-known as an iconic skill from Diablo II, Wizards have the ability to summon Hydras that attacks nearby enemies.
They behave unlike most other pets that move and attack enemies independently and resemble more the Demon Hunter's Sentry in the way they are invincible and always attack the closest target.
Apart from a short time in the spotlight during the very early seasons, Hydra Wizards had not really been very useful until the introduction of the new The Typhon’s Veil set during Season 20. With it, Frost Hydra build has emerged as very solid farming and pushing option for Wizards.
In addition to the set version, it's also possible to play a similar build using Legacy of Dreams and the Mammoth Hydra rune, which revolves around Fire damage instead (see Guide).
With Season 27, the build gained some potential due to being able to build in Guardian's Jeopardy for almost no cost. Once again in Season 28 the set got some love, with its damage being straight up doubled!
This is an Area Damage (AD) build, since Hydras can proc it. This build holds good potential and is a comfortable one to push Solo Greater Rifts with while also being one of the top Bounty farmers in the game, making this build a good choice for any kind of activity.
Super Tanky ✔
Great for Farming ✔
Unique Pet Playstyle ✔
Can Damage while Moving ✔
❌ Frustrating Pet AI
❌ Many Buttons to Press
❌ Requires Good Positioning
❌ ResidentSleeper Gameplay
- The Typhon's Veil provides a 4,000% damage increase to Hydra for every Hydra head alive, maxing out at 40,000% with 10 heads.
- Serpent's Sparker is one of the core damage increasing items, providing a 300% damage increase and a second Hydra that can stay active at the same time for even more The Typhon's Veil (6) Bonus damage.
- Winter Flurry adds synergy between the set and Blizzard by giving you a another 150% damage increase.
- Fragment of Destiny adds synergy between the set and Signature spells for another 300% damage increase.
- The Magistrate gives another 300% damage increase to Hydra and makes them continuously freeze nearby enemies.
- Tasker and Theo adds a huge bonus to Hydra Attack Speed. Because it's quite difficult to reach the right Attack Speed breakpoints and the affix roll on this legendary plays a huge factor in that, it's best cubed while The Magistrate is worn.
- Ring of Royal Grandeur allows us to complement our Typhon's Veil Set with Guardian's Jeopardy.
- Squirt’s Necklace is an almost indispensable item for every Wizard build due to the extraordinary shielding mechanics available to the class, effectively doubling your damage output as long as you don’t take damage yourself. This will generally be combined with Ashnagarr’s Blood Bracer, the Galvanizing Ward and Spectral Blade Barrier Blades to make sure that even during damage spikes you remain shielded.
- The Shame of Delsere helps by increasing your attack speed and resource generation of your Signature Spells, giving more shields and Bane of the Stricken stacks.
- Halo of Karini is the core Wizard defensive item and combined with Storm Armor to trigger the effect, giving you 80% damage reduction.
Season 29 Paragon Cap
Season 29 brings several features, first the brand new Visions of Enmity mechanic. They are an optional and rewarding mini dungeon system where players slay monsters in quick succession of portals. These portals have a chance to spawn upon killing any monster in the open world and they hide many rewards for you to reap! Read the full guide on the Visions of Enmity Mechanics by Chewingnom to learn everything about this fantastic feature!
As if it wasn't enough, Season 29 also shakes things up with a Paragon Cap and a Paragon Distribution Twist! You can only assign a total of 800 Paragon Points to your character. Previously, you were only able to assign a total of 50 Paragon Points to each attribute within the Core, Defense, Offense and Utility categories, but now you can assign up to 200 in each attribute. Each category can only have 200 Paragon Points placed into them.
This forces you to make choices while also enabling crazy possibilities such as 200% Area Damage or 40% Cooldown Reduction! Note that Movement Speed now only grants 0.125% per point but can also go above the 25% Movement Speed cap from items. With that in mind, here is the Paragon Distribution you should follow for the build described in the main sections of the guide. Variants may differ, see below.
In Season 29, the build can reach the 24 FPA Breakpoint on Hydra by applying 200 points to Attack Speed in Paragon with only equipping a 7% Attack Speed Serpent's Sparker and two 7% Attack Speed rolls on the rest of your gear for a nice spike of power! This gives you more steady consistent damge and better Bane of the Stricken stacking but it is also very viable to stick to the 30 FPA Breakpoint and using Paragon Points for Crit Stats instead.
Global Stat Priorities
Offensively stack Critical Hit Chance, Critical Hit Damage and Cold Damage on every piece possible. Next you want to add Hydra damage rolls to your Chest, Shoulders and Offhand slots. In addition, the build relies on heavy Area Damage by stacking up monsters tightly through Black Hole Absolute Zero. We want to have it on as many pieces as possible, especially Shoulders, Gloves, Offhands and Rings.
Additionally, unlike most other skills in the game, Hydra adheres to very specific Attack Speed breakpoints. Since these breakpoints cover large ranges of different Attacks per Second values, reaching one can provide you a huge boost in DPS for only very little investment in some cases, and barely failing to reach one could mean you waste a few primary affix rolls for nothing. Keep this in mind when taking a look at the stat priorities below. Breakpoints are explained in more detail in the mechanics section further down in the guide.
Assembling the Build
Item Stat Priorities
Select Build Version
We stack up as much damage as possible while getting just enough toughness to keep up our shields at all times. Squirt’s Necklace is a considerable damage boost you don’t want to lose when pushing.
The basic gameplay revolves around making large pulls of monsters, getting your full setup ready and then obliterating everything during your Convention of Elements Cold cycle. Make sure to snapshot Arcane Dynamo by casting Hydra with 5 stacks, and keep up both Fragment of Destiny and Winter Flurry. With your very high Attack Speed, it's possible to stack Bane of the Stricken on yellow Elites using Spectral Blade when there are not many other enemies around. Otherwise just try to go for the big pulls and leave stray enemies aside, especially when they happen to be out of range of your Hydra.
If you feel like you are too squishy and want to go for some extra Toughness, Unity is a good replacement for Convention of Elements, especially on lower Paragon levels. For the ultra tanky version, Orb of Infinite Depth with Explosive Blast Chain Reaction (instead of Blizzard/Winter Flurry) is an option.
There is an additional endgame push version using Ranslor's Folly and Energy Twister Wicked Wind to pixelpull enemies (instead of Black Hole). This version is very squishy and a ranged playstyle using Electrocute without Teleport, which is dropped for Magic Weapon Deflection. To improve the damage even further, Audacity is replaced with Power Hungry and Bane of the Stricken with Zei's Stone of Vengeance. With the right amount of fishing and very good execution this setup can clear a few levels higher than the standard version.
The basic gameplay revolves around making large pulls of monsters, getting your full setup ready and then obliterating everything during your Convention of Elements Cold cycle. Make sure to snapshot Arcane Dynamo and keep up both Fragment of Destiny and Winter Flurry. Ignore elite enemies, just try to go for the big pulls and leave stray enemies aside.
For a bit of extra survivability, Elemental Exposure can be replaced with either Blur or Unstable Anomaly.
Attack Speed Breakpoints
The Typhon's Veil + Serpent's Sparker
The Shame of Delsere & Fragment of Destiny
Halo of Karini
Black Hole Absolute Zero
- Keep up your Storm Armor and Halo of Karini buffs at all times.
- Use Spectral Blade to build shields and stacks for Fragment of Destiny as well as Arcane Dynamo.
- Set up Frost Hydra when you reach maximum stacks if possible. Stay near them and kite enemies around so that they will attack the highest number of targets.
- After the setup is complete, cast Blizzard to gain the damage bonus of Winter Flurry. Refresh this continuously on enemies that live longer than its duration.
- Use Black Hole to snapshot the Cold damage from Absolute Zero before setting up a Frost Hydra and try to proc Oculus Ring by catching an enemy during its death animation.
- Play around the Convention of Elements Cold cycle to maximize your damage.
- Avoid ever losing any hitpoints to keep up your Squirt’s Necklace and all Hydra heads at all times. Try to learn to feel the incoming damage as there is no UI indicator of how much shield you have.
I hope you enjoyed this guide! Hydra can be a fun and engaging build to play.
Written by wudijo.
Thanks to Rob for help!
Updated by Chewingnom.