Of late I've been playing an archon, and have no critical mass gear worth talking about. I know all the shiny CM wizards are freezing the ubers and having a jolly time of it, while archons are feeling left out in the cold. Archon is just about the worst possible spec for the Infernal Machine, but we're not about to completely re-gear just to farm up a single ring - not when archon serves so well as a general purpose farming spec.
Force armor is back with a vengeance. Back in 1.02 the damage flying around made force armor awesome, but in 1.03+ it all but disappeared, replaced by prismatic armor, as stuff just wasn't hitting hard enough to trigger force. Well high MP Infernal Machine definitely has enough damage flying around to trigger force armor, and it is so very very nice again.
Evocation + Crystal Shell + Wormhole instead of Illusionist + Duplicates + Wormhole. This switch is obvious - boss abilities mostly don't care about duplicates. They won't soak much of anything for you, and most especially they won't soak reflect damage on Siegebreaker. Diamond skin, on the other hand, is great for Siegebreaker. Between that, potions, and your weapon's LL, the reflect damage is manageable.
Forked lightning is used as the primary attack mostly because it is good vs the elites when you're building the 5 stack beforehand, but it is also nice because it isn't a missile so isn't slowed by ZK's slow time bubbles, and because it does good damage to all the adds in with Skeleton King and Maghda in the Realm of Discord.
Blizzard is mostly there for the elites as well, but it is handy with all the adds in the Realm of Discord as well, and the extra damage from cold blooded against the bosses never hurts.
For illustrative purposes, I have made a video, which shows me contributing a good amount of damage to the group, while not dying (unlike a similarly geared DH, who dies a lot, because he doesn't have force armor):
Arcane hydra is because it is good vs elites, mostly, but also because two of the fights have trash spawns that it helps with, and also the bosses move around quite a bit so venom doesn't give its full payoff.
Did an MP5 run with exactly the spec that you suggest, very nice survivability and the Arcane Hydra worked fine. Was 3/3 for organs as well!
With regards to forked lightning, have you considered chain lightning as an alternate? My reasoning is that as we are not crit-chance-oriented with this build, the "forks" don't proc constantly, and when they do, I find the bolts often don't hit anything. With chain lightning against elites and adds during the uber fights, at least one has a guarantee that the "chains" will hit the additional mobs.
The only thing I'm not sure about with forked lightning: can the bolts hit and damage the original target from which they proc? In this case, it would obviously be much better than chain lightning, because it would give added damage to single targets, but I'm not sure about that.
I don't know that forked lightning is necessarily the best choice for ubers, but i know it is the best choice for 5 stacking the elites beforehand, and it isn't bad for ubers. Both abilities will hit the boss for the same amount of damage, it is just a matter of which will do more to the adds.
I think the answer is almost certainly forked lightning. Against SK/magdha the adds tend to come in nice little clumps, just the sort of thing forked lightning works the best against. Against ghom/rak the adds only spawn 2 at a time, so the extra chains from chain lightning aren't really going to help you there. Against siege/zk you don't gain anything from either rune, but since electrocute isn't a missile and thus isn't effected by the slow time bubbles, it is still great.
if there was cold damage provided by any other member in the group, you could do more DPS with meteor instead of blizzard. in that video you are almost always at full AP, and you don/t have a big AP spender to turn that AP into damage done.
multiple blizzards cast in the same area do not stack their damage, however other spells do, so meteor molten impact or energy twister gale force would increase overall DPS done.
but in your group there is no other form of mass slow/chill.
if there was cold damage provided by any other member in the group, you could do more DPS with meteor instead of blizzard.
Theoretically yes, but the problem with meteor is that when it misses (against moving targets), it really misses, doing zero damage and draining your AP pool. In this sense, I think Blizzard is a bit more consistant and user friendly, in that it pretty much always does what it is supposed to do (slow enemies and chill them for Cold Blooded passive to work) and lets you concentrate on movement and survival.
TL;DR- Your build seems awesome and can't wait to try it. I completely have faith in your conclusion that wormhole works best and will not be changing the delicate recipe only to learn the hard way you were right. I do however, take issue with some of your listed short-comings of Fracture, even in regard to ubers.
Very cool idea ("instead find a build that USES archon gear"). While I had lofty hopes that the video would be solo, your build does seem to be quite a large part of the team dynamic and not just some "distant, periodic boss-health drainer." I think this idea has a ton of potential and hope your original post is not the last we see from your development with it.
One assertion I must take issue with is your REASONS for having an aversion to teleport-fracture. Now I'm sure fracture is just not going to work with your idea, because I can tell you put work into this and that's not the problem i have. It's your (imho) inaccurate and unfair criticisms of fracture (which i believe to be one of the best skills in the entire game due to how many amazing finesse/manipulation moves and dare I say "secrets" you can use with it). Firstly, it can be very helpful against ubers, most notably confusing projectiles like Magda's wasps. It can also be a damage reduction. I know it may feel like they always target you, but many times I've see siegebreaker make a stutter-move towards my doppelganger, and unfortunately that's where he spent his "high cc reduction" second and now he's stunned again. It does this also for any of your teammates potentially too. Again, not saying it's a good choice, just take issue with some of your gripes listed. I obviously recognize that fracture's greatest uses are not even needed in ubers [e.g. confusing fire chains, creating a "false corner" to trap elites, tricking those pesky "kiter packs" to instead follow you not run away (only works in solo >.<), making your character COMPLETELY immune and unaffected by any number of and ALL exploding frozen orbs without moving or tele'ing away at all (amazingly helpful for windups, as they never have to "re-wind" after orbs go off), more leeway with playing "hop scotch" over arcane sentries because of the .5 second of complete immunity given only to fracture teleports upon arrival, ability to tp to town in the midst of enemies which helps efficiency with farming, yes most are useless for ubers I agree]. I'll also concede that I've long thought of wormhole to be completely overrated. It does not help with farming efficiency as much as people FEEL like it does over SP or fracture. It does help escape vortex and the like more effectively than safe passage, but so does fracture (66% chance of not being targeted). But I will take your word for it (genuinely) that wormhole is definitely the best choice and use it when trying this. My pet peeve are people who criticize/try-to-fix/give-helpful-advice-for your build set even without ever trying it beforehand ("because mine's basically the same!" they always say -_- ). Truly cool builds are always a genuis and delicate mixture of just the right skills/passives/gear. I will not be changing your recipe. I'm sure I'd just learn the hard way what you're suggesting.
Fantastic thread tho, will follow intently.
Last edited by DickScotchfist; 10-11-2012 at 16:47.