LoD Frozen Orb Wizard Guide

Introduction

Frozen Orb Solo Push

The Legacy of Dreams Arcane Orb Frozen Orb is a staple Wizard build with a distinct playstyle. 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.

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 stack enemies 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.

Very tanky ✔
Rewards good Gameplay ✔
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

  • 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.
  • Swamp Land Waders are Witch Doctor specific pants meaning you can only loot them on that specific class. They are the only pants in the game granting Arcane / Cold / Fire / Lightning / Holy / Physical / Poison increases, which is why we incorporate them.
  • Frost Burn for the Cold damage boost or Stone Gauntlets provide an outrageous amount of mitigation and their negative effect can be fully negated by Ice Climbers.
  • Ice Climbers negate the negative effect of Stone Gauntlets meaning you'll only receive the Armor bonus from them. Illusory Boots can be used to get to Oculus Ring more comfortably.
  • Ashnagarr's Blood Bracer doubles our aforementioned shield buffs to ensure that our Squirts Necklace does not drop.
  • The Shame of Delsere helps by increasing your Attack Speed and resource generation of your Signature Spells.
  • Unity grants us 50% damage reduction, if and only if we have a Follower that has a Unity equipped as well as an immunity token such as Enchanting Favor.
  • Convention of Elements buffs our Frozen Orb by a beefy 3.0 multiplier in its Cold cycle.
  • 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. As we are a channel focused build we incorporate Mantle of Channeling into the build.

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
Deathwish
Aether Walker
Wizardspike (Cubed)
1. Damage Range (Fire/Lightning preferred*)
2. Socket Ramaladnis Gift
3. Damage %
4. Area Damage
5. Attack Speed
6. Intelligence
* Benefits Elemental Exposure.
Off HandTriumvirate1. Damage Range
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Arcane Orb Damage
4. Area Damage
5. Arcane Power on Crit
HelmPride's Fall
The Swami
1. Arcane Orb Damage
2. Intelligence
3. Critical Hit Chance
4. Socket Flawless Royal Topaz
5. Vitality
GlovesFrostburn
Stone Gauntlets
Gloves of Worship
1. Critical Hit Chance
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Area Damage
4. Intelligence
5. Attack Speed
ShouldersMantle of Channeling
Pauldrons of the Skeleton King
1. Area Damage
2. Intelligence
3. Vitality
4. Life %
5. Resource Cost Reduction
6. Cooldown Reduction
Chest Aquila Cuirass
Shi Mizu's Haori
1. Sockets Flawless Royal Topaz
2. Intelligence
3. Vitality
4. Armor
5. Elite Damage Reduction
PantsSwamp Land Waders
Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan
1. Cold Damage
2. Intelligence
3. Vitality
4. Sockets Flawless Royal Topaz
5. Armor
BootsIce Climbers
Illusory Boots
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
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 Delsere
The Witching Hour
Gold Wrap
Krelm's Buff Belt
Fazula's Improbable Chain
1. Intelligence
2. Vitality
3. Life %
4. Armor
5. All Resistance

Gems

  • Legacy of Dreams is the centerpiece of any LoD build, providing up to 9750% damage and 52% damage reduction (with 13 Ancient items)
  • 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.
  • 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. For speed runs 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.

Skills

  • Arcane Orb Frozen Orb is our main damage dealer.
  • Spectral Blade Barrier Blades is necessary for 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.
  • Magic Weapon Deflection to protect our hit points for Squirts Necklace
  • 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.
  • Keep up Magic Weapon Deflection
  • Stack up Triumvirate and keep it up by using Spectral Blade at least once every 6 seconds. It also resets 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

Rotate out Elemental Exposure for Unstable Anomaly. You are already insanely tanky; so technically speaking the switch is not needed.


Variants

Nephalem Rifts
Nephalem Rifts

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 usually won’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 Attack Speed.

Bounties
LoD FO Bounty

Concept
Very similar to the T16 Setup. We also don't need a lot of damage here and focus mainly on Movement Speed increasing items and mobility abilities. A popular choice here is to add items with Fear on Hit in combination with Rechel's Ring of Larceny.

Gameplay
Spam Teleport with Aether Walker to get to the required Bounty Quest as quickly as possible. Cast your Explosive Blast on cooldown to proc Warzechian Armguards and Wreath of Lightning. Keep up your Triumvirate stacks for Boss fights by casting Shock Pulse to instantly kill them. Do not waste to much time looting and keep blasting!

Setups
At higher Paragon levels feel free to switch out Wizardspike to Echoing Fury for even more Fear on Hit and Rechel's Ring of Larceny procs to increase Movement Speed even further. To gain extra toughness change the cubed The Shame of Delsere to Ashnagarr's Blood Bracer for the additional shield potency.

GR Solo 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.

Reverse Archon Frozen Orb Solo Push

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.
Alternatively you can play the reverse Archon setup of the right-side. In this setup we only deal damage while being outside of Archon itself, hence reverse Archon. Stack at least 68% Cooldown Reduction to reach a 32 second rotation with Convention of Elements. We strictly have to to stick to the Ring's Cold cycle and time Archon and The Swami stacks accordingly. It is mandatory to add Fazula's Improbable Chain to start off with 50 Archon stacks. By nature reverse Archon builds barley get any additional Archon Stacks as the full damage is done while being outside of Archon. We use the additional damage gain by The Swami to boost up our Arcane Orb damage even further. When coming out of the Archon we need to follow a strict rotation and time skills perfectly to optimize damage:

  1. Press Archon when you join the Greater Rift in your Convention of Elements Cold rotation
  2. Lure monsters together during the Archon duration. Be careful about incoming damage; you are super tanky but have no way to refresh your shield!
  3. Archon will run out in the middle of the Fire Convention of Elements cycle. You now have 12 seconds to perform the damage rotation before you enter Archon again to remain synchronized
  4. Cast Spectral Blade to gain the shield buff as well as Triumvirate stacks for damage
  5. Cast Black Hole for the damage buff and to control and pull together all enemies
  6. Walk out of the pull immediately making good use of the Illusory Boots effect for the Power Hungry bonus
  7. Once you get 40 yards away from the monsters, start casting Frozen Orbs and tap Flame Ward in-between the casts to gain Deathwish and Mantle of Channeling bonuses.
  8. Keep tapping Flame Ward while casting for Arcane Orbs until the end of your Cold cycle
  9. Enter Archon again on Fire and repeat

This is a very advanced playstyle with a high risk high reward concept! If you die only once you lose a full minute as you cant deal damage without The Swami stacks from a previous Archon rotation. For most people we recommend playing the non Archon variant above!

GR Solo Speeds
Speed Greater Rifts

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 Zei’s Stone of Vengeance for more damage. We also do not need the additional toughness from the Stone Gauntlets + Ice Climbers to take in even more damage with Frostburn + Nemesis Bracers for extra Elite progression.

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. The Shame of Delsere can be switched to The Witching Hour for even more damage gain.


Video Guide

Updated Video Guide for Season 22 coming soon!


Mechanics

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).

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.
  • 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 Rob with special help from wudijo.

We 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!