DMO Frozen Orb Wizard Guide

Introduction

Frozen Orb Solo Push

The Delsere’s Magnum Opus is a staple Wizard set with a distinct playstyle. While it can be used with a variety of skills, by far the most popular and useful one is Arcane Orb Frozen Orb. With the newest Patch for Season 22, this build has come into the spotlight for Wizard players once again. With the iconic Frozen Orb known and loved by many from Diablo 2 times, this build can be played once again on a competitive level. It’s quick, impactful and the explosions are very satisfying when played correctly. Very few builds incorporate the fantasy of a spell-slinging Wizard as well as this one. It's also possible to play this build as a Legacy of Dreams version, which frees up one skill slot and allows to include a lot of utility choices.

While it’s not the best in very fast speedfarming content such as Nephalem Rifts, it can be quite successful in Greater Rifts farming and especially pushing. The basic idea is to trap enemies inside your Slow Time bubble, stack them up by kiting and the use of Black Hole or the Energy Twister + Ranslor’s Folly combo and unleash devastating icy explosions onto them from the right distance.

Although it is not really one of the fastest in movement, the build's high damage makes it a great choice for pushing in solo Greater Rifts, while the AoE coverage is decent for farming. Throwing Frozen Orbs into a tightly stacked pull of monsters feels great while you get some supplementary damage from the shards flying in all directions. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to make it a more viable speedfarming alternative as you always have to rely on the Slow Time setup to activate your damage bonuses and can't just start blasting right away like other builds.

Rewards good Gameplay ✔
Not channeling Playstyle ✔
Frozen Orb is super Iconic ✔
Feels like an actual Wizard ✔
Fun and satisfying Explosions ✔

❌ Needs Setup Time
❌ Struggles to kill Elites
❌ Difficult to execute perfectly

❌ Vulnerable to Crowd Control
❌ Shields can't be tracked in UI


Core Setup

Core Item Build

Items

  • Delsere’s Magnum Opus provides a 12,500% damage increase to your Signature Spells and a selection of other Wizard spells including Arcane Orb. In addition, it provides faster cooldown recovery for and extra 60% damage reduction from Slow Time.
  • Unstable Scepter is one of the core damage increasing items, providing a 450% damage increase and a second explosion for your Orbs, again almost doubling our total damage.
  • Triumvirate adds synergy between the set and Signature Spells by giving you a stacking 400% damage increase for a total of 1200% bonus.
  • Wizardspike has been newly buffed in patch 2.6.10 (Season 22) and provides another 350% increased damage on top of a 25% chance to cast an extra Frozen Orb when attacking.
  • 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 as long as you don’t take damage. This will generally be combined with Ashnagarr’s Blood Bracer, the Galvanizing Ward and Magic Weapon Deflection 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.
  • Halo of Karini is the core Wizard defensive item and combined with Storm Armor to trigger the effect, giving you a x5 toughness boost.

During Season 22, you will be able to use one additional Kanai's Cube power of your choosing. This can be any one item in the Weapon, Armor or Jewelry slot. As with any Wizard build, by far the best option here is Deathwish, which can be used with a stutter-stepping playstyle where you tap a channeling skill (Arcane Torrent) for the shortest possible time, cast another spell quickly (Arcane Orb) right after and repeat. You will gain the damage buff for a short moment right during the explosion. If you do not enjoy that playstyle very much your best alternatives are The Furnace, Aether Walker or Echoing Fury. The overall buff to the build from the season theme is around 5-7 Greater Rift Tiers using Deathwish. With any of the other options, it will be between 1-3 Tiers.

Global Stat Priorities
Stack the typical damage stats such as Critical Hit Chance, Critical Hit Damage and Cold Damage on every piece possible. Next you want to add Arcane Orb damage rolls to your Helm, Boots and Offhand slots. In addition, the build relies on heavy Area Damage by stacking up monsters tightly. We want to have it on as many pieces as possible, especially Shoulders, Gloves, Offhands and Rings. The remaining options go to Resource Cost Reduction, Attack Speed, Damage Range (Rings) and Defense whenever you can fit it in. One roll with Arcane Power on Crit on Offhand can be useful especially for farming but is not required.

You won’t need any recovery stats such as Life Regeneration or Life per Hit, as you strive to be permanently at full HP by being protected behind your shields. Instead, you can stack Vitality as much as you feel is necessary to ensure consistent survival and Squirt’s Necklace uptime. Your toughness (and “recovery” through shields) scales linearly with your Vitality, so compared to most other classes it’s very effective to build a large life pool on a Wizard.

Item Stat Priorities

SLOTITEMSTAT PRIORITY
Main-HandUnstable Scepter
Wizardspike (Cubed)
Deathwish (Cubed)
Aether Walker (Cubed)
Echoing Fury (Cubed)
The Furnace (Cubed)
1. Damage Range (Fire/Lightning preferred*)
2. Damage %
3. Area Damage
4. Attack Speed
5. Intelligence
* Benefits Elemental Exposure.
Off HandTriumvirate1. Damage Range
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Arcane Orb Damage
4. Area Damage
5. Arcane Power on Crit
HelmShrouded Mask
Crown of the Primus (Cubed)
1. Arcane Orb Damage
2. Intelligence
3. Critical Hit Chance
4. Socket Flawless Royal Topaz
5. Vitality
GlovesFierce Gauntlets1. Critical Hit Chance
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Area Damage
4. Intelligence
5. Attack Speed
ShouldersDashing Pauldrons of Despair1. Area Damage
2. Intelligence
3. Vitality
4. Life %
5. Resource Cost Reduction
6. Cooldown Reduction
Chest Harness of Truth1. Sockets Flawless Royal Amethyst
2. Intelligence
3. Vitality
4. Armor
5. Elite Damage Reduction
PantsLeg Guards of Mystery1. Intelligence
2. Vitality
3. Sockets Flawless Royal Amethyst
4. Armor
BootsStriders of Destiny
Illusory Boots (Cubed)
1. Arcane Orb Damage
2. Intelligence
3. Vitality
4. Armor
5. All Resistance
Ring 1Halo of Karini1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Critical Hit Chance
4. Area Damage
5. Damage Range
6. Attack Speed
Ring 2Convention of Elements
Avarice Band (Bounties A3)
Unity
Stone of Jordan
1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Cold Damage (SoJ)
4. Elite Damage (Unity, SoJ)
5. Critical Hit Chance
6. Area Damage
7. Damage Range
BracersAshnagarr’s Blood Bracer
Nemesis Bracers
Ranslor’s Folly (Cubed)
1. Cold Damage
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Intelligence
4. Vitality
AmuletSquirt’s Necklace1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Cold Damage
4. Critical Hit Chance
5. Intelligence
BeltThe Shame of Delsere1. Intelligence
2. Vitality
3. Life %
4. Armor
5. All Resistance

Gems

  • Bane of the Trapped is procced by default from our main damage skill and a very strong DPS choice, providing up to 60% multiplicative damage increase.
  • Zei’s Stone of Vengeance is another huge damage increase for ranged builds, giving up to 80% multiplicative damage increase. Frozen Orbs will explode at 40 yards distance and thus provide most of the benefit by default.
  • The third slot will be taken up by different gems depending on your needs and activities. Boon of the Hoarder is strong in Nephalem Rifts, Bane of the Stricken is necessary for solo pushing in higher Greater Rifts and Bane of the Powerful or Esoteric Alteration are useful in Speed Greater Rifts.

Skills

  • Arcane Orb Frozen Orb is our main damage dealer.
  • Slow Time Time Warp will activate our set bonuses and keep monsters contained while adding 15% additive damage done.
  • Spectral Blade Barrier Blades is necessary for our 2-piece bonus and the synergy with Triumvirate. It also adds additional shields for survival.
  • Storm Armor is the activator for Halo of Karini. Without this buff you will be squashed like a fly, so make sure to keep it up. Typically you want to use the Shocking Aspect rune for pushing and Scramble for farming.
  • One of two abilities for grouping enemies must be used to be effective: 1) Energy Twister Wicked Wind combined with Ranslor’s Folly or 2) Black Hole Absolute Zero. This is very important to give you enough time to throw Orbs from exactly the right distance and benefit from Area Damage.
  • The last skill slot will be filled with Arcane Torrent Flame Ward to serve as an activator for Deathwish. You tap it once before you throw a Frozen Orb to gain the damage buff for the explosion. For speedier setups, you can take Teleport Wormhole or Safe Passage for mobility.

Passives

  • Galvanizing Ward is a must-have for any Wizard build and synergizes with Squirt’s Necklace and Ashnagarr’s Blood Bracer.
  • Power Hungry boosts our damage by 30% multiplicatively, one of the best DPS passives in the game.
  • The other passives are situational depending on activity. For most purposes Blur and Elemental Exposure are recommended. For farming, Illusionist and Dominance are good utility or defensive choices. Glass Cannon could be used when combined with Goldwrap. Unstable Anomaly will allow you to survive death when you get trapped.

Paragon Points

CoreOffensiveDefensiveUtility
1. Movement Speed1. Critical Hit Damage1. Armor1. Area Damage
2. Vitality up to 800.000 Life2. Critical Hit Chance2. Life %2. Resource Cost Reduction
3. Intelligence3. Cooldown Reduction3. All Resistance3. Life per Hit
4. Maximum Arcane Power¹4. Attack Speed4. Life Regeneration4. Pickup Radius

¹ Only spend points here if you are really struggling to cast during your nuke.

Follower

The Templar is recommended for this build due to his melee range and aggressive AI. When there's a monster in range he will always stand still and fight it, making him very predictable and easy to play around.

For the Skills pick Heal, Loyalty, Onslaught and Inspire. All the alternatives, except Intimidate, include AoE hard-CC, which makes mobs harder to manipulate.

Follower's damage is completely irrelevant, so we stack Attack Speed for more on-hit procs and Cooldown Reduction for more Heals. The Items are:

  • Enchanting Favor to make follower immortal
  • Oculus Ring for 85% multiplicative damage boost
  • Unity for 50% damage reduction
  • The Ess of Johan to pull mobs together
  • Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker for the Attack Speed slow
  • Any Shield with Cooldown Reduction

Gameplay

  • At the start of a run, buff yourself with Storm Armor to enable the 80% damage reduction from Halo of Karini. Make sure you keep this buff up at all times. In most situations it will not require much attention, but be careful when there are only very few or one enemy as you need to hit something that is at least 15 yards away from you. When fighting single target Rift Guardians especially, make sure to walk away a few steps regularly. The damage reduction can be tracked on your buff bar. Don’t forget to re-apply this skill after 10 minutes when pushing.
  • Set up Slow Time bubbles on top of your enemies. Only those inside a bubble will take extra damage provided by the set.
  • Stack up Triumvirate and keep it up by using Spectral Blade at least once every 6 seconds. It also resets the cooldown on Slow Time and helps to stack up shields and Bane of the Stricken quickly on Rift Guardians.
  • Pull enemies and then group them up at a safe distance before your nuke using Black Hole or Energy Twister.
  • Position yourself exactly 40 yards away from the center of the pull to cast Arcane Orb. This will maximize the value of Zei’s Stone of Vengeance and most importantly unleash the final explosion of Frozen Orb exactly on top of the enemies, dealing devastating damage. The Orb will shoot out shards in all directions as it travels, but by far the biggest portion is included in the explosion at the end of its path (which is also doubled by Unstable Scepter).
  • Tap Arcane Torrent once before using Arcane Orb Frozen Orb. This way you activate the 325% damage buff from Deathwish just in time for the orb's explosion. If you are not using that weapon, use Teleport for mobility and survival as necessary. With the Wormhole rune, generally try to make sure to use both charges before the cooldown begins.
  • When possible, try to kill one small enemy before your big nuke during your Convention of Elements Cold damage cycle to spawn Oculus Ring. When it appears in the right spot, you can dramatically increase your damage by teleporting into one.

Hardcore

By default, Wizards are not really great for Hardcore as they don't have a proper cheat death immunity mechanic like most other classes. Regardless, the build is overall relatively mobile and very tanky, so you should not have much trouble once your setup is complete. You should use Unstable Anomaly at all times, but don’t rely on it as it does not make you invincible, only protect you with a certain amount of shield based on your life pool! If you forget your buffs or your damage reduction from the Delsere's Magnum Opus (4) Bonus or Halo of Karini drops, you are almost guaranteed dead. Make sure to pay special attention to your defensive buffs and you will be fine.


Variants

Nephalem Rifts
DMO FO T16

Concept
In T16 we don’t need a lot of damage and also won’t care about throwing Frozen Orb from the right distance all the time. The damage is good enough to destroy enemies with just the shards. We shouldn't need Convention of Elements and Unity here, so Stone of Jordan and Avarice Band combined with Boon of the Hoarder are great replacements.

Gameplay
Be fast, use your Teleport to move around quickly and set up bubbles on large pulls, then throw your Frozen Orb and move on. It’s not really the smoothest T16 build but it does the job.

Setups
Black Hole is not really needed or very strong in Nephalem Rifts. You could replace it for Familiar Arcanot for extra resources or Magic Weapon Deflection for more shields. Goldwrap can be great to become invincible when you feel too squishy or just want to not care about any incoming damage at all. Unstable Anomaly is great if you want to avoid deaths when the toughness buffs might drop. If you feel like you don't need any more damage, Echoing Fury or In-Geom can be great additions in the cube to speed up your farming. Additionally, you could swap out some stats such as Damage Range or Crit Hit Chance/Damage on Rings for more Cooldown Reduction.

GR Solo Speeds
DMO FO Speeds

Concept
In Speed Greater Rifts we try to combine a great mix of damage, toughness and utility. Ultimately, the build plays similarly as in solo pushing, but is much more fast-paced. Bane of the Stricken should not be necessary at all, so we can take Bane of the Powerful, Gogok of Swiftness or Esoteric Alteration.

Gameplay
Similar to pushing, try to make big pulls and destroy them either with your Convention of Elements cycle active (on elites) or without (most trash monsters). Don’t waste too much time on stray enemies, Waller elites, burrowers, wasps or similar and just move on towards the next pull.

Setups
If you feel tanky enough, you can consider replacing Unity with Stone of Jordan for extra Elite Damage. Nemesis Bracers is also a great option to speed up your runs on lower Tiers.

GR Solo Pus
DMO FO Push

Concept
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.

Gameplay
The basic gameplay revolves around making large pulls of monsters, stacking them up before your Convention of Elements Cold cycle using Black Hole or the Energy Twister + Ranslor’s Folly combo and obliterating them with your Frozen Orb. Playing around this is the most important part as most of your damage comes from Area Damage procs and the explosion of the Orb. The shards do almost nothing on higher Greater Rift Tiers. Since the Bracers can’t pull in elites, you should generally either try to pull them on top / next to them, or just ignore and skip them entirely until you find some that you can kite and kill easily. Just be swift and go for the juicy big pulls. To deal most damage, make sure to tap Arcane Torrent once before casting Frozen Orb.

Setups
Instead of Black Hole you can use Energy Twister Wicked Wind + Ranslor's Folly to pull enemies. You will have to give up the benefits of Illusory Boots and the Cold damage bonuses from Absolute Zero, but gain a much larger pulling radius with a pixel-stacking ability (which however doesn't work with elites). Since you have no Teleport, you can get stuck in enemies really easily. The Black Hole variant is recommended for most purposes and pushes during Season 22.


Video Guide

Updated Video Guide for Season 22 coming soon!


Mechanics

Wizard Shields

  • In order to keep up your shields, you need to learn to judge the incoming damage and how fast you build them yourself, which can require some practice.
  • Shields have no direct UI indicator unless you mouse-over your health globe.
  • You can see that you have any shield up when you see a transparent blue bubble around your character (not the size of the shield, however).
  • Galvanizing Ward is the main shielding mechanic used for most Wizard builds, which combined with Ashnagarr's Blood Bracer adds more than your total life as a shield. This shield will reset to maximum every 5 seconds if this shield in particular doesn't take any hits in the meantime.
  • Spectral Blade Barrier Blades or Magic Weapon Deflection is usually the second shielding mechanic and can be stacked as much and whenever you like, but only covers a very small portion of your total life and lasts 3 seconds in total. The duration is counted for each stack individually.
  • While your Barrier Blades or Deflection protect your Galvanizing Ward, it is possible to reset the shield gained from the Galvanizing Ward to full even while taking hits.
  • All of these mechanics make it so that when your shields start breaking or your Galvanizing Ward doesn't find enough time to reset sometimes, the whole setup will fall apart really quickly. Make sure you understand your limits and learn how you can survive in different situations.

Arcane Orb Frozen Orb

  • This skill will fire in a straight line from your character towards where you are aiming and explode at precisely 40 yards distance (around 2/3 of a screen).
  • The damage is highest in the final explosion by a large margin and deals damage in a very small radius.
  • The explosion deals 950% weapon damage (x2 because of Unstable Scepter for a total of 1900% weapon damage).
  • The big orb deals 635% weapon damage to enemies it passes through.
  • The shards deal 315% weapon damage to enemies along the path.

Black Hole Absolute Zero

  • The elemental damage added is considered the same as that on your items (Bracers/Amulets/Stone of Jordan). This slightly reduces the impact of these affix rolls if you are using Black Hole.

Elemental Exposure

  • This passive can gain an additional stack from your weapon’s element. This is one of the two main exceptions in the game to the rule of “element on weapon doesn’t matter for your damage”.
  • Since the build already deals Cold damage Frozen Orb and Arcane damage Spectral Blade Barrier Blades by default and sometimes applies Lightning damage with Storm Armor, having a Fire damage roll on your weapon is the most optimal choice (before Lightning, then Arcane, then any other).
  • The damage bonus of this passive is multiplicative (5% per different element, added together).

Ranslor’s Folly

  • Will pull regular enemies (no elites) and pixel-stack them very close together. This is extremely useful to benefit from Area Damage, but makes it hard to kill elites at all.
  • This will usually work best when cast on an empty spot somewhere between all of the monsters you would like to pull. Certain monster types will not stack very well when the spot you cast on is already occupied.
  • Due to the Crowd Control Resistance mechanics, you can’t pull enemies together with this very often. Try to get everything in with a single cast.

Halo of Karini

  • This item provides you a 5 second buff (seen on your buff bar) when you electrocute an enemy at least 15 yards away (around 1/4 to 1/3 of a screen).
  • Keep in mind the range requirement! If you keep standing in melee range without other enemies further away, you will be in trouble.
  • The Shocking Aspect is generally used for high Greater Rifts to guarantee consistent uptime of this buff. When staying too close to enemies - even with a large pull around you - it can happen that a streak of consecutive hits will not activate Halo of Karini and choosing the rune prevents this from happening.

Wizardspike

  • The Orbs spawned by this item benefit from all the damage multipliers but won’t deal Area Damage.
  • When you spawn one from your own Frozen Orb, they will overlap so well that it’s only noticeable from the higher amount of frost shards emitted by the two stacked orbs.

The Shame of Delsere

  • The Attack Speed bonus of this item is multiplicative with other bonuses.
  • This can be used to stack Bane of the Stricken quite fast on longer boss fights. Try to use it a lot especially at the start of a long boss fight and when you are waiting for your Convention of Elements Cold cycle!

Deathwish

  • The damage bonus activates 1 second after starting to channel Arcane Torrent.
  • The buff duration is extremely short but long enough to explode one Frozen Orb just in time when it was cast right after the channeling stopped.

Summary

  • Keep up your Storm Armor and Halo of Karini buffs at all times.
  • Trap enemies in your Slow Time to activate the set bonuses.
  • Activate your Triumvirate bonus by using your Signature Spell (Spectral Blade) regularly.
  • Pull enemies together with Black Hole or Energy Twister to stack them tightly.
  • Position yourself at the right distance to explode Arcane Orb Frozen Orb exactly on top of the enemies.
  • Play around the Convention of Elements cycle to maximize your damage.
  • Avoid ever losing any HP to keep up your Squirt’s Necklace at all times. Try to learn to feel the incoming damage as there is no UI indicator of how much shield you have.

Guide by wudijo with corrections & suggestions by Northwar.

I hope you enjoyed this guide! Frozen Orb is one of the core Wizard builds, and it's making a great return in Season 22. It can be very fun and rewarding setting up the correct pulls and destroying them with your icy explosions.

Good luck!