Tal Rasha Frozen Orb Wizard Guide

Introduction

Tal Rasha Frozen Orb Solo Push

The Tal Rasha's Elements Set is probably the most iconic Wizard set in the Diablo franchise, originating from Diablo II where it was the Sorceress set. Over the years, Tal Rasha's Elements dictated the META multiple times. First in Season 3 with Mammoth Hydra using Pain Enhancer to get an obscene amount of Flame Blades stacks, uncapped back then. It returned in Season 6 with Vyr's Amazing Arcana (4) Bonus during the glory days of the Archon Twister zET META.

One of the most popular and useful one these days besides Energy Twister is Arcane Orb Frozen Orb. Season 22 brought this build into the spotlight for Wizard players once again, able to play once again the iconic Frozen Orb from Diablo II.

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 LoD variant, which frees up skill slots and allows lots of utility choices.

While it’s not the best in fast content such as Nephalem Rifts, it can be quite successful in Greater Rifts push on the Tal Rasha's Elements leaderboard. The basic idea is to trap enemies and stack them up by using of Black Hole and unleash devastating icy explosions onto them from the right distance.

Iconic Frozen Orb ✔
Rewards Good Gameplay ✔
Not Channeling Playstyle ✔
Fun and Satisfying Explosions ✔

❌ Needs Setup Time
❌ Struggles to Kill Elites
❌ Vulnerable to Crowd Control

❌ Difficult to Execute Perfectly


Core Setup

Core Item Build

Items

  • Tal Rasha's Elements provides us with a 8,000% separate global damage multiplier but requires us to juggle four abilities with four different elements Arcane, Cold, Lightning and Fire.
  • Unstable Scepter is our core weapon, providing a 450% separate damage multiplier and a second explosion for Frozen Orbs, nearly doubling our total damage.
  • Triumvirate grants us a stacking 400% damage buff for a total 1,200% separate damage multiplier to Frozen Orb when using Signature Spells.
  • Wizardspike was buffed in Season 22 to grant another 350% separate damage multiplier on top of a 25% chance to cast an extra Frozen Orb when attacking.
  • Aquila Cuirass grants us a welcomed 50% damage reduction for Greater Rift push.
  • Halo of Karini is a core Wizard defensive item, providing us with a tremendous 80% damage reduction at the cost of using Storm Armor.
  • Ring of Royal Grandeur allows us to complement our Tal Rasha's Elements Set with Captain Crimson's Trimmings.


Global Stat Priorities

You want to stack damage stats wherever possible, especially Critical Hit Chance and Damage, Area Damage as well as Cold Damage and Arcane Orb Damage. The remaining options go to Attack Speed or Damage Range (Rings) and Defense or Resource Cost Reduction whenever you can fit it in. It is required to get Arcane Power on Critical Hit (APoC) on your Off-Hand in order to keep shooting Frozen Orbs, especially for Rift Guardian fights.

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. Gather the full Tal Rasha's Elements set. Each piece can be gambled from Kadala for Bloodshards. Do not salvage any duplicate pieces you find! Instead convert them to another part of the set with Recipe 4 in Kanai's Cube. If your last missing set piece is Tal Rasha's Allegiance - don't gamble for it! Instead gamble for a cheap and easy item, like the Pants, and once again convert it with Recipe 4. If you have extra materials you can use Recipe 3 to craft the remaining pieces, but this is expensive and not recommended for new players.

3. Gamble from Kadala in this order:

  1. The full Tal Rasha's Elements set
  2. Triumvirate
  3. Aquila Cuirass
  4. Halo of Karini and Convention of Elements
  5. Goldwrap
  6. Ranslor's Folly and Nemesis Bracers
  7. The Shame of Delsere

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

  1. Wands to get Unstable Scepter and Aether Walker
  2. Daggers to get Wizardspike
  3. Anything from the Gamble list in Step 3 that you haven't already acquired.

5. Do Bounties to acquire several important items for this build:

  • Act 1: Ring of Royal Grandeur and Pauldrons of the Skeleton King
  • Act 2: Gloves of Worship
  • Act 3: Avarice Band
  • Act 4: Can drop any bounty item from any act
  • Bounty Turn In: Recipes for Captain Crimson's Trimmings, Aughild's Authority, Sage's Journey and Cain's Destiny

6. At this point you can somewhat comfortably farm Nephalem or Speed Greater Rifts where you can find all the remaining items you need for different variants of the build. It's better to spend your materials improving your set pieces, getting ancient weapon etc.

Item Stat Priorities

SLOTITEMSTAT PRIORITY
Main-HandUnstable Scepter
Aether Walker
Wizardspike (Cubed)
1. Damage Range
2. Damage %
3. Area Damage
4. Attack Speed
5. Cooldown Reduction
6. Intelligence
Ideally, you want an Arcane Damage Range in order to get an additional stack of Elemental Exposure.
Off-HandTriumvirate1. Critical Hit Chance
2. Arcane Power on Critical Hit
3. Arcane Orb Damage
4. Area Damage
HelmTal Rasha's Guise of Wisdom1. Arcane Orb Damage
2. Intelligence
3. Critical Hit Chance
4. Socket Flawless Royal Diamond
5. Vitality
GlovesTal Rasha's Grasp1. Critical Hit Chance
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Area Damage
4. Cooldown Reduction
5. Intelligence
ShouldersAughild's Power (Crafted)
Pauldrons of the Skeleton King (Bounties A1)
1. Area Damage
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Intelligence
4. Resource Cost Reduction
5. Vitality
Chest Tal Rasha's Relentless Pursuit
Aquila Cuirass (Cubed)
1. Sockets Flawless Royal Topaz
2. Attack Speed
3. Intelligence
4. Vitality
5. Elite Damage Reduction
6. Armor
PantsCaptain Crimson's Thrust (Crafted)
Tal Rasha's Stride
1. Intelligence
2. Vitality
3. Sockets Flawless Royal Topaz
4. Armor
BootsCaptain Crimson's Waders (Crafted)1. Arcane Orb Damage
2. Intelligence
3. Vitality
4. Armor
5. All Resistance
Ring 1Halo of Karini
Avarice Band (Bounties A3)
1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Critical Hit Chance
4. Area Damage
5. Cooldown Reduction
Ring 2Convention of Elements
Ring of Royal Grandeur (Bounties A1)
1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Critical Hit Chance
4. Area Damage
5. Cooldown Reduction
BracersAughild's Search (Crafted)
Ranslor's Folly
Nemesis Bracers
1. Cold Damage
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Intelligence
4. Vitality
AmuletTal Rasha's Allegiance
Squirt's Necklace (Cubed)
1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Cold Damage
4. Critical Hit Chance
5. Intelligence
BeltTal Rasha's Brace
Captain Crimson's Silk Girdle (Crafted)
The Shame of Delsere (Cubed)
1. Intelligence
2. Vitality
3. Life %
4. Armor
5. All Resistance
PotionBottomless Potion of Kulle-AidFor breaking walls to pull
enemies and increase DPS

Gems

  • Bane of the Trapped is procced by default from our main damage skill and a very strong DPS choice, providing us with a 60% separate damage multiplier.
  • Zei’s Stone of Vengeance is another huge damage increase for ranged builds, giving us up to 80% separate damage multiplier. Frozen Orbs explode at 40 yards distance and thus fully benefit from it 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 dealing ability.
  • Shock Pulse Piercing Orb and Magic Missile Conflagrate are necessary to proc and maintain our Lightning and Fire Tal Rasha's Elements stacks, get the damage multiplier from Triumvirate and pull monsters from far away.
  • 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 or Power of the Storm for farming.
  • One of two abilities for grouping enemies must be used to be effective:
    • Black Hole Absolute Zero is used in push to group and lock monsters while granting us a huge elemental damage buff.
    • Energy Twister combined with Ranslor’s Folly is used in speeds and T16, mainly to avoid the Black Hole Cooldown.
  • Teleport Calamity is our mobility skill and our way to proc the Arcane stack of Tal Rasha's Elements.
  • Magic Weapon Deflection is used in T16 and speeds to protect our Galvanizing Ward shield and thus the Squirt's Necklace 100% damage multiplier.

Passives

  • Power Hungry grants us a 30% separate damage multiplier, one of the best damage passives in the game.
  • Elemental Exposure is a great passive for Tal Rasha's Elements builds, as you need abilities from the four different elements to get full benefit from the set anyway.
  • Illusionist is a great mobility passive to reset our Teleport Cooldown while getting a short Movement Speed buff.
  • Evocation grants us 20% Cooldown Reduction for more damage with Captain Crimson's Trimmings (3) Bonus.
  • Galvanizing Ward and Dominance are used in T16 and speeds to maintain our Squirt's Necklace 100% separate damage multiplier.
  • Unwavering Will, Cold Blooded or Blur can be used as fifth passive for slightly more damage or mitigation.

Paragon Points

CoreOffensiveDefensiveUtility
1. Movement Speed1. Critical Hit Damage1. Armor1. Area Damage
2. Vitality2. 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 Maximum Arcane Power is only advised if you are really struggling in resource to cast during your nuke.

Follower

Patch 2.7.0 revamped the follower system giving all 3 hirelings new powers and the emanate system. The first thing you should do is read our complete follower guide and remember the key takeaways:

  1. The emanation system allows followers to share certain legendary and set powers with you. The most important ones are: The Flavor of Time, Nemesis Bracers, Avarice Band, Sage’s Journey and Cain’s Destiny. Click the guide above for the full list.
  2. Follower’s powers are based on their mainstat (maxed at 25,000, but they have a 2.5x multiplier so you only need 10,000). This means we stack Intelligence on the Enchantress, Dexterity on the Scoundrel and Strength on the Templar.
  3. Followers share 20% of their Experience, Magic and Gold Find stats with you.
  4. Legendary gems do not work on followers, except Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard.
  5. Cooldown Reduction does not work for any follower skill except the Templar’s Heal.
  6. Followers never deal significant damage; you’re on your own to clear the content.

With these in mind, let’s get into our recommendations for this build.

T16 Enchantress

T16 Enchantress

For T16 we recommend this Enchantress setup because she is the only follower that gives Cooldown Reduction, allowing you to spam your abilities more. Since this is T16 content, she’ll stay alive with Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard and use Hand of the Prophet to gain all skills. This will give us Cooldown Reduction, Elemental Damage, Reduced Damage from Ranged Attacks, Armor, Attack Speed, and a Cheat Death.

Stat Priorities:

Since we do not have the immortality focus, we need to stack survivability on our Enchantress.

Intelligence > Vitality > Life % > Armor > All Resistance > Life Per Hit > Attack Speed.

Key Items:

  • The Flavor of Time: For double duration on Pylons.
  • Nemesis Bracers: For extra Elites, Death’s Breaths and In-geom procs.
  • Avarice Band: For the insane pickup radius.
  • Ring of Royal Grandeur: To complete our sets.
  • Gloves of Worship: For 10 Minute Shrine Buffs.
  • Sage’s Journey: For double Death’s Breaths.
  • Cain’s Destiny: For 25% more Greater Rift Keystones.

Speed GR Enchantress

Speed GR Enchantress

For speed Greater Rifts we recommend this Enchantress setup because she is the only follower that gives Cooldown Reduction, allowing you to spam your abilities more. Since this is speed content, she’ll stay alive with Esoteric Alteration and Mutilation Guard and use Hand of the Prophet to gain all skills. This will give us Cooldown Reduction, Elemental Damage, Reduced Damage from Ranged Attacks, Armor, Attack Speed, and a Cheat Death.

Stat Priorities:

Since we do not have the immortality focus, we need to stack survivability on our Enchantress.

Intelligence > Vitality > Life % > Armor > All Resistance > Life Per Hit > Attack Speed.

Key Items:

  • The Flavor of Time: For double duration on Pylons.
  • Nemesis Bracers: For more progression from Elites.
  • Oculus Ring: For 85% increased damage.
  • Ice Climbers: To make your follower immune to Freeze and Immobilize effects.
  • Hellfire Ring, Leoric's Crown and Cain's Destiny: For more Experience and Attack Speed.

GR Pushing Templar

GR Pushing Templar

For Greater Rift pushing we recommend this Templar setup for the sustain from Heal, 10% increased damage from Onslaught, and the very powerful cheat death mechanic from Guardian. This is the only follower build that stacks Cooldown Reduction because it works with Heal. Since we take the immortality relic, we do not need any survivability stats.

Stat Priorities:

Since we have the immortality relic, we do not need to stack survivability on our Templar.

Strength > Cooldown Reduction > Attack Speed.

Key Items:

  • The Flavor of Time: For double duration on Pylons.
  • Nemesis Bracers: For more progression from Elites.
  • Oculus Ring: For 85% increased damage.
  • Unity: For 50% damage reduction if you're also wearing one.
  • Ice Climbers: To make your follower immune to Freeze and Immobilize effects.
  • Leoric's Crown and Captain Crimson's Trimmings: For more Cooldown Reduction on Heal.

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 few enemies 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 a few steps away regularly. The damage reduction can be tracked on your buff bar. Don't forget to re-apply this skill after 10 minutes when pushing.
  • Make sure to keep up your four Tal Rasha's Elements stacks.
  • Use Shock Pulse Piercing Orb and Magic Missile Conflagrate to pull enemies from distance and maintain your Triumvirate and Tal Rasha's Elements stacks.
  • Group enemies at a safe distance before your nuke using Black Hole.
  • Position yourself exactly 40 yards away from the center of the pull using Teleport to cast Frozen Orb. This will maximize the value of Zei’s Stone of Vengeance and most importantly unleash the final explosion of Frozen Orb directly 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 damage comes from the explosion at the end of its path (which is also doubled by Unstable Scepter).
  • 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

This build is relatively mobile but unfornately Tal Rasha's Elements does not provide us a decent damage reduction Bonus. You should use Unstable Anomaly at all times, but don't rely on it as it only protects you with a shield of 400% of your HP pool. If you lose the damage reduction from Halo of Karini, you will probably die. Make sure to be really careful with your defensive buffs uptime and you will be fine.


Variants

Nephalem Rifts
Tal Frozen Orb Solo 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. The damage is good enough to destroy enemies with just the shards.

We swap our items to replace Convention of Elements with Squirt's Necklace and replace Black Hole by Energy Twister with Ranslor's Folly, which allow for a smoother fast-paced playstyle.

Gameplay
Be fast, use your Teleport to move around quickly, cast an Energy Twister on large pulls and Elites, then throw your Frozen Orbs from far away and move on. It is not the smoothest T16 build, but it does the job.

Setups
In solo if you dislike Ranslor's Folly, you can equip back Aughild's Authority and drop Energy Twister Gale Force to use Black Hole Blazar or even Explosive Blast Chain Reaction.

When farming Nephalem Rifts in groups, rotate out Captain Crimson's Trimmings for Sage's Journey and swap to Cain's Destiny for the Rift Guardian. You also need to cube Avarice Band instead of Squirt's Necklace and Nemesis Bracers instead of Goldwrap. If you feel too squishy, you can swap out Ranslor's Folly for Nemesis Bracers and use Black Hole Blazar instead of Energy Twister Gale Force, which allows you to keep Goldwrap in the cube.

GR Solo Speeds
Tal Frozen Orb Speeds

Concept
In Speed Greater Rifts we try to combine a great mixture of damage, toughness and utility. Ultimately the build plays similarly as in solo pushing, but is more fast-paced. Bane of the Stricken is not necessary, so we can take Bane of the Powerful instead.

Gameplay
We swap our items to replace Convention of Elements with Squirt's Necklace and replace Black Hole by Energy Twister with Ranslor's Folly, which allow for a smoother fast-paced playstyle.

Focus on Elite Packs and big pulls of monsters, cast an Energy Twister on top of Elites if there is one, and nuke them from a safe distance before moving onto the next one.

Setups
If you feel too squishy, you can use Esoteric Alteration instead of Bane of the Powerful. You can also swap Pauldrons of the Skeleton King and Ranslor's Folly for Aughild's Authority, and use Black Hole Blazar instead of Energy Twister Gale Force. The resulting gameplay is slower due to the Black Hole Cooldown but you gain some damage and damage reduction in the process!

GR Solo Push
Tal Frozen Orb Push

Concept
We stack up as much damage as possible and take advantage of Teleport for mobility as well as Black Hole Absolute Zero to stack up enemies just before our damage nuke.

Gameplay

  • Make large pulls of monsters using your Signature Spells.
  • Before your Convention of Elements Cold cycle, use Black Hole to trap and stack them up.
  • After casting Teleport to position yourself 40 yards away from monsters, obliterate them with your Frozen Orbs.

Playing around Black Hole and maintaining the right distance are your most important tasks as most of your damage comes from Area Damage procs and the explosion of Frozen Orb. Shards do almost nothing on higher Greater Rift Tiers. Tal Rasha's Elements stacks should be maintained pretty smoothly with this build.

Setups
If you feel too squishy, swap Magic Missile Conflagrate for Magic Weapon Deflection which should help a bit at the cost of some damage since you'll only play with 3 Tal Rasha's Elements stacks. If this is not enough, you can instead equip Unity by dropping Convention of Elements. You'll lose a few tiers worth of damage but you will definitely be tanky enough.


Video Guide


Mechanics

Tal Rashas Elements

  • Each element (Arcane, Cold, Fire, Lightning) has its own unique stack with a 8 second duration.
  • Once you have 4 stacks, refreshing any stack will additionally add 2 seconds to the duration of the three other stacks. This means by alternating two abilities of a different element (after hitting 4 stacks) you'll be able to continuously refresh the set buff.
  • The 2,000% damage buff per stack is self-additive, for a total 8,000% separate damage multiplier.

Arcane Orb Frozen Orb

  • This skill fires in a straight line from your character towards your cursor position and explodes precisely 40 yards away.
  • The final explosion deals the most damage by far but its AoE is really small. It deals 950% weapon damage twice in succession because of Unstable Scepter, for a total of 1900% weapon damage.
  • The main orb deals 635% weapon damage to enemies it passes through.
  • The shards deal 315% weapon damage to enemies along the path.

Wizardspike

  • Frozen 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 overlap so well that it is only noticeable from the higher amount of frost shards emitted by the two stacked orbs.

Black Hole Absolute Zero

  • The damage bonus from Black Hole Absolute Zero is additive with your Cold Elemental damage. As a consequence, "Cold skills deal X% more damage" affixes (Mainly found on Bracers and Amulet slots), grants a lower relative damage increase to builds using Absolute Zero.

Elemental Exposure

  • Each stack is a debuff for one of the following elements: Arcane, Cold, Fire or Lightning.
  • Each stack is unique and refreshes its own duration when reapplied.
  • Any ability with a proc coefficient greater than zero applies a stack of its respective element. This inherently means that only selfcasted abilities 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.
  • Since the build already deals Cold damage with Frozen Orb, Lightning damage with Shock Pulse Piercing Orb and Fire damage with Magic Missile Conflagrate by default, having an Arcane damage roll on your weapon is the most optimal choice as Teleport Calamity is not a reliable source.
  • The 5% damage from each stack is additive to each other adding up to a total of 20% separate damage multiplier.


Summary

  • Keep up your Storm Armor for Halo of Karini buff at all times.
  • Don't forget to use your abilities to keep up your four Tal Rasha's Elements stacks.
  • Activate your Triumvirate bonus by using your Signature Spells regularly.
  • Pull enemies together with Black Hole to stack them tightly and prevent them from moving.
  • Position yourself at the right distance to explode Arcane Orb Frozen Orb directly on top of the enemies.
  • Play around the Convention of Elements cycle to maximize your damage.

I hope you enjoyed this guide! Frozen Orb is one of the core Wizard skills, and Tal Rasha Elements the most iconic Wizard set in Diablo. It can be very fun and rewarding setting up the correct pulls and destroying them with your icy explosions. Good luck!

Guide by Chewingnom with insights from LouLou.