LoD Hydra Wizard Guide

S22 LoD Hydra Solo Push

Introduction

LoD Hydra is one of the most recent additions to the wizard repertoire; its items were originally designed for the The Typhon's Veil set, which unfortunately is very cumbersome to play especially due to its (4) Bonus. Hence, Legacy of Dreams became the Hydra build with the newly introduced items Serpents Sparker and The Magistrate.

As of the current Patch 2.6.10 this build constitutes one of the strongest Wizard builds, and is definitely the most comfortable one for pushing Solo Greater Rifts. The build, or any variation of it, is not viable for Nephalem Rifts, Bounties nor Solo Greater Rift Speeds; it is purely teched out as a "pushing the leaderboards" build. If you are looking for a generic allrounder to get multiple objectives done with, then I'd recommend the Vyr-Chantodo Archon WoD Wizard Guide.

The build at hand is an Area Damage (AD) build, since self-casted Hydra can and will proc it. In its most recent update Fragment of Destiny was updated to incorporate a separate multiplier for Hydras; therefore Spectral Blade is incorporated, which greatly speeds up the Rift Guardian kill time for the build at hand due to faster Bane of the Stricken stack application.

Easy to Execute ✔
Beginner Friendly ✔

Crowd Control Immune ✔
Straight Forward Mechanics ✔
Most Tanky Wizard Build Ever ✔
Good Rift Guardian Matchups ✔

❌ Bad Season Starter
❌ Only usable for Pushing
❌ Rarely gets an Oculus Proc
❌ ResidentSleeper Gameplay

❌ Hydra Attack Direction RNG
❌ Very Fishing-Sensitive in GRs


Core Setup

Core Item Build

Items
Here is a quick overview of the items selected for this build. Explicit Global Stat Priorities as well as Item Stat Priorities can be found below.

  • Fragment of Destiny grants us an amazing speed-coefficient for Spectral Blade, which greatly increases our Bane of the Stricken stack application rate. Additionally, we receive separate 4.0 multiplier for our Hydra.
  • Deathwish is a global and separate multipliers granting us an 4.25 damage increase when channeling Arcane Torrent.
  • The Magistrate and Serpents Sparker are both separate multipliers for Hydra providing an overall 15.0 damage multiplier. For the Kanai's Cube Weapon Slot either weapon can be cubed.
  • Tasker and Theo grant your Hydra a separate speed-coefficient for their attack speed. Depending on the Variant you are playing you must either have a minimum value of 48% or 41% on the legendary affix to hit the 30 FPA Breakpoint on your Hydras.
  • Stone Gauntlets provide an outrageous amount of mitigation and their negative effect can be fully negated by Ice Climbers.
  • 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.
  • 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. Depending on the Variant you are playing you will either hire the Enchantress or the Templar.
  • Convention of Elements buffs our Hydra Mammoth Hydra by a beefy 3.0 multiplier in its Fire cycle.
  • Squirts Necklace gives us a separate and global 2.0 damage multiplier while also increasing our damage taken by 50% as a trade-off. For that reasoning we are utilizing shielding mechanics via Magic Weapon Deflection and Galvanizing Ward to protect our hit points.
  • Ashnagarr's Blood Bracer doubles our aforementioned shield buffs to ensure that our Squirts Necklace does not drop.
  • Aquila Cuirass grants us 50% damage reduction, while we have at least 90% of our maximum Arcane Power. Since we rarely spend any Arcane Power, we will have perma uptime on its buff.
  • Ice Climbers negate the negative effect of Stone Gauntlets meaning you'll only receive the armor bonus from them.
  • The Shame of Delsere grants us an amazing speed-coefficient for Spectral Blade, which greatly increases our Bane of the Stricken stack application rate. A different choice can be The Witching Hour instead, which, due to the additional Attack Speed roll, allows you to play a non-trifecta rolled Main-Hand.
  • Mantle of Channeling grants a separate and global damage multiplier of 1.25 if and only if we channel Arcane Torrent. Additionally our damage taken is reduced by 25%.


Global Stat Priorities
You must reach the 30 FPA Breakpoint on your Hydra, which is a 20% damage increase over the previous 36 FPA Breakpoint. There are two different recommended setups, with which you can reach said Breakpoint:

  • 10% IAS from Paragon Points
  • minimum 48% Tasker and Theo
  • 7% IAS from any Item
  • 3% IAS Attack Speed from Focused Mind

This setup requires you to hire the Enchantress.

  • 10% IAS from Paragon Points
  • minimum 41% Tasker and Theo
  • 7% IAS from the Main-Hand
  • 7% IAS from the Gloves

This setup allows you to hire any Follower.

I'd recommend going for the right hand side setup, which allows you to hire the Templar. He is much easier to utilize and place both within the Rift as well as on the Rift Guardian.

Assembling the Build

1. Do the Challenge Rift for the materials to cube Legendary Powers. You can complete this once a week for additional resources and we always update the guide for you!

2. (Pick one, erase the others, then delete this text) This is a Legacy of Dreams build whose success is heavily dependent on this gem's rank. The first order of business is to equip a Legendary or Set item in every slot to take advantage of its power. Make sure to not have any Set Bonuses equipped or the gem will be nullified and you will deal no damage! Farm speed Greater Rifts (in under 5 minute clears) to find the items and get this gem as high as possible. Above Rank 25 ancient pieces of gear will give you even greater power.


3. Gamble from Kadala in this order:

  1. The Magistrate
  2. Winter Flurry
  3. Tasker and Theo
  4. Nemesis Bracers
  5. Goldwrap
  6. Aquila Cuirass
  7. Mantle of Channeling
  8. Ice Climbers
  9. Ashnagarr's Blood Bracer
  10. Stone Gauntlets

4. Craft using Recipe 3 in Kanai's Cube in this order:

  1. Wands to get Serpent's Sparker, Fragment of Destiny and Aether Walker
  2. Rings to get Halo of Karini, Convention of Elements and Unity
  3. Anything from the Gamble list in Step 3 that you haven't already acquired.

5. At this point you can somewhat comfortably farm Nephalem Rifts or low GRs where you can find all the remaining items you need for different variants of the build. Spend your mats getting items with better rolls and/or ancient quality. Later on create a Witch Doctor to Upgrade (at level 1) or Gamble (at level 70) Swamp Land Waders.

Item Stat Priorities

SLOTITEMSTAT PRIORITY
Main-HandFragment of Destiny
Serpents Sparker
Deathwish
1. Damage Range1
2. Socket Ramaladnis Gift
3. Area Damage
4. Damage %
5. Attack Speed
6. Intelligence
1 Bonus if you get Lightning Damage Range
Off HandWinter Flurry1. Critical Hit Chance
2. Hydra Damage
3. Area Damage
4. Intelligence
HelmThe Magistrate
The Swami
1. Socket Flawless Royal Amethyst
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Intelligence
4. Vitality
GlovesTasker and Theo
Stone Gauntlets (Cubed)
1. Critical Hit Chance
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Area Damage
4. Attack Speed
5. Intelligence
ShouldersMantle of Channeling1. Hydra Damage
2. Area Damage
3. Intelligence
4. Armor
5. All Resistance
Chest Aquila Cuirass1. Hydra Damage
2. Sockets Flawless Royal Topaz
3. Intelligence
4. Vitality
5. Elite Damage Reduction
6. Armor
7. All Resistance
PantsSwamp Land Waders1. Fire Damage
2. Sockets Flawless Royal Topaz
3. Intelligence
4. Vitality
5. Armor
6. All Resistance
BootsIce Climbers
Illusory Boots (Bounties A2)
1. Intelligence
2. Vitality
3. Armor
4. All Resistance
Ring 1Convention of Elements
Halo of Karini (Cubed)
1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Area Damage
4. Critical Hit Chance
5. Intelligence
6. Attack Speed
Ring 2Unity1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Area Damage
4. Elite Damage
5. Intelligence
BracersAshnagarr's Blood Bracer1. Fire Damage
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Intelligence
4. Vitality
5. Armor
AmuletSquirt's Necklace
The Flavor of Time
1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Fire Damage
4. Critical Hit Chance
5. Intelligence
BeltThe Shame of Delsere
The Witching Hour
Fazulas Improbable Chain
1. Attack Speed
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Intelligence
4. Vitality
5. Armor
6. Life %

Gems

  • Legacy of Dreams is the Legacy of Nightmares set on a gem, which frees up two ring slots for the cost of removing Bane of the Trapped. Due to the rings available to us this is a great trade-off to take.
  • Bane of the Stricken helps us in killing the boss. As long as you don't need more than 2 minutes on the boss you can equip Bane of the Trapped.
  • Enforcer is strictly better than Bane of the Trapped since its damage multiplier is unconditional.

Skills

  • Blizzard Unrelenting Storm is purely a catalyst to activate the damage buff of Winter Flurry. We need to cast it twice during one full cycle of Convention of Elements.
  • Arcane Torrent Flame Ward activates our channeling items Deathwish and Mantle of Channeling while granting us decent 25% Damage Reduction buff.
  • Teleport Safe Passage provides us with a nice defensive buff each time we use it. We are not using Illusory Boots, which is why we need at least one source of movability.
  • Storm Armor Shocking Aspect is needed to proc the defensive capabilities of Halo of Karini. Shocking Aspect has the best overall uptime while Scramble grants a nice Movement Speed buff.
  • Hydra Mammoth Hydra is the best rune for Area Damage. Hence, we play it!
  • Spectral Blade Barrier Blades is our main ability to stack Bane of the Stricken on the Rift Guardian; due to The Shame of Delsere and Fragment of Destiny, which are both separate speed-coefficients, our total Attack Speed will be 2.25 faster than what our sheet depicts. Additionally, Spectral Blade provides us with some much needed shielding to preserve our Squirts Necklace.

Passives

  • Elemental Exposure is a separate and global multiplier debuffing each target once for each element (Fire, Cold, Arcane, Lighting) for up to 5 seconds when you hit it with said target. The elemental type of the Damage Range on your equipped weapon will also be applied with each ability that you hit with.
  • Audacity provides us with a separate 1.3 multiplier if and only if our target is within 15 yards.
  • Galvanizing Ward grants a massive shield leading to better Squirt's Necklace uptime in conjunction with Ashnagarr's Blood Bracer.
  • Arcane Dynamo grants us a separate multiplier of 1.6 to our Hydra Mammoth Hydra. However, it requires us to cast our skills in a specific sequence since both Black Hole as well as Blizzard can consume this passive.

Paragon Points

CoreOffensiveDefensiveUtility
1. Movement Speed1. Attack Speed1. Armor1. Area Damage
2. Intelligence2. Critical Hit Damage2. Life %2. Resource Cost Reduction
3. Vitality3. Critical Hit Chance3. All Resistance3. Pickup Radius
4. Maximum Arcane Power4. Cooldown Reduction4. Life per Second4. Life per Hit

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, Cooldown Reduction for more Heals and Block Chance for more on-block procs. The Items are:

  • Enchanting Favor to make the Follower immortal
  • Oculus Ring for 85% multiplicative damage boost
  • Justice Lantern for additional Block Chance
  • The Ess of Johan to pull mobs together
  • Eun-jang-do to freeze the Rift Guardian
  • Freeze of Deflection for extra freeze chance on the Rift Guardian

Gameplay

The general playstyle is very straight forward, which is why LoD Hydra is one of the most beginner Wizard builds out there.

  • When you enter the Greater Rift you want to cast Storm Armor; make sure that this buff won't time out on you.
  • Afterwards you must cast Spectral Blade five times to receive the Arcane Dynamo buff, which you must consume with casting Hydras every 16 seconds. You place two Hydras this way.You cast Blizzard every 8 Seconds. Each time right at the beginning of your Convention of Elements Cold and Lightning cycle.
  • You should cast Black Hole Spellsteal three seconds before your Convention of Elements goes into its Fire cycle.
  • One second before your Convention of Elements goes into its Fire cycle you start channeling Arcane Torrent until your Blizzard times out.
  • The rest of the time, you simply hold down Spectral Blade. You can occasionally use Teleport to jump into an Oculus Ring.

Hardcore

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


Variants

The three presented solo variants play the exact same skills and passives and only differ in the belt slot with Hergbrashs Binding and The Shame of Delsere. In all three setups the main requirement is to hit the 30 FPA Breakpoint on Hydra; these variants only differ in how they achieve to hit said Breakpoint.

Solo 0 ApoC + Enchantress
This variant requires you to hire the Enchantress for her attack speed buff Focused Mind, which saves an primary affix roll on your gear. Additionally you must either have a quadfecta rolled Tasker and Theo with minimum legendary affix of 48% or a quadfecta rolled weapon with Attack Speed.

Solo 4 ApoC + Enchantress
This variant incorporates The Shame of Delsere, which allows for significantly faster stacking of Bane of the Stricken. However, as a trade-off for dropping Hergbrashs Binding legendaries affix, you must include one primary affix of 4 Arcane Power on Critical Hit on either your The Magistrate or Winter Flurry. You still must hire the Enchantress for her attack speed buff Focused Mind to hit aforementioned 30 FPA Breakpoint.

0 ApoC + Ench
LoD Hydra Solo + 0 ApoC + Enchantress + TnT 48
4 ApoC + Ench
LoD Hydra Solo + 4 ApoC + Enchantress + TnT 48
4 ApoC + Temp
LoD Hydra Solo + 4 ApoC + Templar + TnT 41

Solo 4 ApoC + Templar
This variant is getting rid of the requirement to hire with the Enchantress since a lot of players prefer Templar for his superior capability of being positioned, however, you must have a quadfecta rolled weapon with IAS in that case. The minimum legendary affix requirement for Tasker and Theo is lowered to 41%, but it's still required to be a quadfecta roll. Additionally, as a trade-off for dropping Hergbrashs Binding legendaries affix, you must include one primary affix of 4 Arcane Power on Critical Hit on either your The Magistrate or Winter Flurry.

Group Non-Archon
In both Group Variants Pain Enhancer (PE) is being used to reach low FPA Breakpoints on Hydra. In group play the supporting classes, usually a zBarb and a zMonk, will both apply a bleed (for PE) as well as create pixelpulls for us to damage. We play the same exact rotation as in any Solo Variant with the exception that we now utilize Black Hole Spellsteal for additional additive damage.

Group Archon
This Variant is a reversed Archon iteration, where all your damage is done outside of Archon; we simply abuse Fazulas Improbable Chain to gain 50 Archon stacks and utilize these via The Swami. You are clicking Archon every 48 seconds at the beginning of your Arcane cycle of Convention of Elements. Pain Enhancer (PE) helps to reset the significant cooldown of Archon via Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac while additionally allowing you to reach low FPA Breakpoints on Hydra. When in Archon there is nothing for you to do but wait, meaning it's a good moment for the group to move to a new position.

Group Push Non-Archon
LoD Hydra Group
Group Push Archon
LoD Archon Hydra Group

Due to the excessive amount of Shielding the Wizard class receives from various sources and the incredible amount of tankiness each Legacy of Dreams variant comes with, you'll see a few players on the very high-end of the Leaderboards play a variant incorporating Shi Mizus Haori instead of Aquila Cuirass. This specific variant is under no circumstances recommended for the average player due to its inherent cut-throat and high risk playstyle. You can try this variant by making the mentioned trade and afterwards rolling all Critical Hit Chance (CHC) rolls into other accommodating primary affixes (Area Damage, Resource Cost Reduction, Elite Damage, Physical Damage Range, etc.).


Mechanics

Hydra Mammoth Hydra

  • Hydra Mammoth Hydra only has one head, hence it does not work with The Typhon's Veil. This is why this rune is best used with the Legacy of Dreams setup presented at hand.
  • Hydras does benefit from Pet damage bonuses but Attack Speed is not a damage multiplier for them. Unlike most pets, Attack Speed increases the rate of their attacks upon reaching breakpoints instead.
  • Mammoth Hydras targets the closest monster and start to cast expanding fire pools (the layers), dealing damage and expanding by 10 yards every 0.3 seconds, up to 50 yards.
  • These layers spawn in front of the Hydras and take about 1.8 seconds to expand to their full length of 50 yards. Layers lasts for 3 seconds after they fully expanded, for a total duration of 4.8 seconds. This means one layer ticks 16 times, once every 0.3 seconds.
  • This mechanic creates a ramp-up period to reach maximum damage potential. This is why positioning Mammoth Hydras less than 5 yards in front of the monsters is extremely important because the layers will reach the monsters and damage them instantly. If the monster is more than 5 yards away, you will lose one tick per layer (6.25% damage), two ticks (12.5% damage) if the monster is more than 15 yards away… and so on.
  • When the Mammoth Hydra expires after 15 seconds, or is replaced by a new one (in which case the oldest instance is replaced), its remaining layers are orphaned, meaning they do not benefit from your damage multipliers anymore.

Wizard Shields

  • In order to keep up your shields to survive but also maintaining Squirt's Necklace damage multiplier, you need to learn to judge the incoming damage and how fast you can build those shields 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).
  • Because Wizard Shields value scales with your total life, Vitality and Life % stats become substantially better for toughness scaling when using this mechanic in comparison to other builds.
  • Galvanizing Ward is the main shielding mechanic used for most Wizard builds, which combined with Ashnagarr's Blood Bracer adds up to 120% of your total life as a shield. This shield will reset to its maximum value every 5 seconds if this shield in particular doesn't take any hit in the meantime.
  • Spectral Blade Barrier Blades and Magic Weapon Deflection represent the secondary shielding mechanic of the Wizard and can be stacked as much as you like, but their shield value is set at 4% (up to 8% with Ashnagarr's Blood Bracer) of your total life and they only lasts for 3 seconds. The duration is counted for each stack individually.
  • While Barrier Blades or Deflection (or any other shield in that matter) protect the Galvanizing Ward shield, it is possible to reset the shield gained from the passive 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.

The Shame of Delsere & Fragment of Destiny

  • The Attack Speed bonus of The Shame of Delsere and Fragment of Destiny are multiplicative with each other and with other bonuses. This means using both will grant you a 1.5 * 1.5 = 2.25 Attack Speed multiplier. With the solo setup presented in this guide, using both these items will effectively drop your Spectral Blade breakpoint from 31FPA to 14FPA.
  • This can be used to stack Bane of the Stricken faster on longer boss fights or even on Rare Elites because you can avoid hitting too many different enemies at a time using Spectral Blade. 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!
  • The damage bonus stacks from Fragment of Destiny are additive with each other, combining into a 300% separate damage multiplier at 10 stacks. To gain and keep the stacks, you need to actually hit enemies. Each enemy hit adds another stack, so you won't have to attack 10 times in AoE situations.

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.

Deathwish

  • The description of Deathwish is misleading as it implies its damage multiplier immediately drops off when the player stops to channel but it is delayed by 1 second, meaning the buff is lost 1 second after the player stops channeling.
  • When channeling Ray of Frost or Disintegrate, Deathwish damage multiplier is activated after 60 frames of channeling (1 second) and lasts for as long as you channel, delayed by 1 second.
  • When using Arcane Torrent, a single tap of the skill is enough to trigger a 1 second Deathwish damage multiplier buff 1 second after the tap. This allows for spell-weaving, which means moving or casting another skill between two Arcane Torrent taps to keep the Deathwish damage multiplier.
  • If you keep channeling with Arcane Torrent, Deathwish activates after 1 second and lasts for as long as you channel but with 60 frames less your Arcane Torrent FPA on top of this duration (because one tick is enough to trigger the activation).
  • Deathwish buff is not removed when entering Archon but the player cannot gain the buff while in Archon form. This means if you perform a tap of Arcane Torrent, you need to wait a split second for Deathwish to activate before using Archon, in order to benefit from a devastating split second of damage.

Elemental Exposure

  • Each stack is a debuff for one of the following elements: Arcane, Cold, Fire or Lightning.
  • Each stack is unique and will refresh its own duration when re-applied.
  • Any ability with a proc coefficient greater than zero will apply a stack of its respective element. This inherently means that only self-casted abilities will grant stacks.
  • The elemental range on the Weapon applies its respective stack with all abilities if the elemental range is of the type: Arcane, Cold, Fire or Lightning. The only exception to this is Hydra, which only applies the stack of the Hydra element itself. This is why in Item Stat Priorities it's mentioned that you want a weapon with Lightning Damage Range.
  • The Magistrate has a special interaction. Hydra applies the stack of the Hydra element itself. The Frost Nova casted by your Hydras will, however, apply the Cold stack as well as the stack for the elemental range of your weapon. This is why in Item Stat Priorities it is mentioned that you want a weapon with Lightning Damage Range.
  • The 5% damage from each stack is additive to each other adding up to a total of 20% extra damage. The multiplier is a separate multiplicative global multiplier.

Arcane Dynamo

  • This is one of the strongest DPS passives in the game, giving up to 60% multiplicative damage bonus for your Hydra.
  • Maximum stack count is 5, which stacks once per attack of your Signature Spells (Spectral Blade).
  • Stacks will be consumed by any damaging Arcane Power Spender, including non-Hydra spells.
  • The effect will only activate and consume stacks after reaching the maximum.

Summary

  • LoD Hydra is a tanky boy.
  • One of the few builds that can actually pull off to play Shi Mizus Haori.
  • Try not to cry, but cry a lot because you never see Oculus Ring rings :-/

Cheers
—sVr