Black Hole Firestorm Wizard Challenge Rift Pushing Guide

Introduction

Black Hole Firestorm is a Wizard build designed to clear the highest possible Challenge Rifts. Black Hole is used to group enemies up before hitting them with the Meteor and Arcane Wind Firestorm combo. The more enemies, the merrier, for this devastating Area of Effect (AoE) build. Let's go over the optimal setup for both Solo and Group play so you can climb the leaderboards and earn rewards!

This build guide assumes you have a Character at Level 60. Check out the Wizard 1-60 Leveling Guide and Complete Leveling Guide if you're not there yet!

Tons of AoE and CC
Satisfying Skill Synergies
Fights at Range
Good Mobility Skill

Long Skill Cooldowns
Relies on Skill Combos
Requires Skillshot Aim
Takes Significant Damage


Wizard Challenge Rift Build - Black Hole Firestorm

Magic Missile (Primary) - Single target damage that is mainly used against Rift Guardians when other damage skills are on cooldown.

Black Hole - Amazing AoE skill that groups and Crowd Controls (CC) enemies.

Meteor - A staple Wizard skill due to its powerful AoE impact and moderate cooldown. Learn to aim and time the delay while dragging enemies.

Arcane Wind - Hungering Wind deals the highest total damage over time. Cast it on the burning ground left by Meteor to create a Firestorm, dealing 50% more damage.

Teleport - The Wizard's strongest movement skill that can jump over obstacles. Manage your charges well, using some to move quickly but always save one in case you get stuck.

Set Items

Feasting Baron's Pack set bonuses synergize well with the stun from Meteor to clear density, but doesn't help against bosses.

Grace of the Flagellant works well with burning ground from Meteor and continual damage from Hungering Wind (Arcane Wind). Remains useful even if you only have access to 2 or 4 piece bonuses.

War Rags of Shal'baas is an alternate option if you are prioritizing Magic Missile spam to kill bosses.

Check out our Set Item Guide and Equipment Guide for more information.

Alternative Setups

There are a few changes you can make depending on your preferred playstyle:

  • If you already have a teammate with a grouping/cc skill, you can drop Black Hole for another damaging AoE skill like Scorch or Ice Crystal. Make sure to coordinate your damage combo after they have signaled with their grouping/cc skill.
  • Teleport can be dropped for another damaging AoE skill like Scorch or Ice Crystal. This setup is extremely difficult to play without getting stuck and dying, but your DPS is higher. Having teammates with abilities to move enemies out of you way will help. Only attempt when trying to push the highest possible Challenge Rifts.

Gameplay

In high level Challenge Rifts, enemies need to be dragged in groups and killed together with AoE skills. Here are the mechanics to manage:

  1. Keep moving forward while dragging enemies. Save at least one Teleport charge in case you get stuck on enemies or terrain. If you are in a party, communicate the plan to drag enemies together instead of fighting them in small batches.
  2. When you have a sizable group of enemies, cast Black Hole to suck them up (or have a teammate group/CC). Follow up with Meteor for additional CC and damage. Finally, cast Hungering Wind on the burning ground.
  3. Repeat steps 1 & 2, dragging enemies until your Black Hole cooldown (20 seconds) is ready again.
  4. On the Rift Guardian, use all your damaging skills. Be sure to spam Magic Missile when your other skills are on cooldown for extra single target damage.

Check out our Challenge Rift guides for more information.


Challenge Rift Tips

Use a build for Challenge Rifts that specializes in clearing groups of enemies and killing Rift Guardians. Bosses can take multiple minutes to kill at high levels. You need enough single target damage to kill them in time. Primary attacks are important for dealing additional damage while your other skills are on cooldown, so choose them wisely. Fervant Fang is one of the best Legendary Gems for single target damage.


Legendary and Normal Gems

Legendary Gems provide incredible attribute bonuses and unique effects. They are found as a reward after completing an Elder Rift that is enhanced with a Legendary Crest. Many of them are also crafted using Runes and Platinum at the Jeweler in Westmarch.

Read our Legendary Gems Guide for more information.

Starter Legendary Gems
  1. Berserker's Eye provides a global damage increase, if you're willing to take more damage.
  2. Bloody Reach provides a global damage increase at range that is easy for this build to utilize.
  3. Fervant Fang damage stacks can be quickly built up with continual damage from Meteor and Hungering Wind (Arcane Wind). Especially helpful against bosses.
  4. Ca'arsen's Invigoration helps boost single target damage with Magic Missile spam.
  5. Chained Death gives a solid damage boost in high density situations.
  6. Pain of Subjugation provides a damage increase while enemies are stunned by Meteor.
  7. Lightning Core does direct damage to an enemy group, often wiping them out in the process. While the damage is infrequent, it's useful for taking down larger targets.
  8. Seled's Weakening gives a frequent damage boost anytime you kill elites.
  9. Power & Command requires a proper skill cycle to optimize, but can buff overall damage even if you don't pay attention to it.
Best in Slot Legendary Gems
  1. Blood-Soaked Jade is the best Legendary Gem in the game. It provides massive damage and movement speed.
  2. Seeping Bile helps clear out trash mobs during a dungeon run.
  3. Howler's Call adds a damage proc that complements Magic Missile spam.
  4. Chip of Stone Flesh activates on Meteor stun.
  5. Zwenson's Haunting helps clear remaining trash mobs with a low cooldown damage proc.
  6. Echoing Shade summons clones that can provide extra single target damage.

Normal Gems

  1. Tourmaline is better than Ruby, since Damage is better than Life.
  2. Sapphire is better than Aquamarine, since Armor Penetration (Critical Hit Damage) is better than Armor (Increased Damage Reduction On Block).
  3. Topaz is slightly better than Citrine, but All Resistance and Potency are both underwhelming stats. Prefer Topaz over Citrine since you will be hit by crowd controlling effects more often than you will be using them.

Attribute Priorities

Primary Attributes

The Wizard's main Primary Attribute is Intelligence, giving +0.3 Damage per point. All other things equal, use gear with Intelligence to maximize the damage you deal. Fortitude is also important early on because it gives you Armor Penetration (Critical Hit Damage), but becomes less important later due to diminishing returns.

The Wizard's worst Primary Attribute is Strength because it only gives +1 Combat Rating. If possible, don't use it.

  1. Intelligence +1 Combat Rating and +0.3 Damage.
  2. Fortitude +1 Combat Rating, +0.1 Armor, and +0.1 Armor Penetration. Armor increases your chance to Block, which mitigates 20% of incoming damage. This is a nice defensive boost, especially when fighting Dungeon Bosses or large packs of enemies. Armor Penetration gives Critical Hit Damage, which is nice if you already have a high Critical Hit Chance.
  3. Vitality +1 Combat Rating and +3 Life. It never hurts to have more life, especially for end game pushes and PvP. Vitality is the best attribute after the damage-dealing ones.
  4. Willpower +1 Combat Rating, +0.1 Potency, and +0.1 Resistance. Potency increases the duration of harmful effects on enemies, while Resistance lowers the duration of harmful effects on you from enemies. Willpower may play a larger role in the future, but currently it is never prioritized.
  5. Strength +1 Combat Rating. Gives nothing extra and is therefore the worst attribute.

Check out our Attributes Mechanics Guide for more information.

Special Attributes

Because the total amount of primary attributes is so important, you rarely prioritize special attributes on gear. Still, several special attributes can make a difference, here are some of the best ones you can find:

  1. Critical Hit Chance to proc Everlasting Torment attack speed effect at Rank 6.
  2. Critical Hit Damage to increase damage.
  3. Primary Attack Damage Increase to boost Magic Missile for much needed single target damage.

Check out our full Attribute and Magic Affix Guide and Upgrading and Reforging Guide for more information.

Bonus Attributes, Family Bonus, and Reforging

Family bonuses are hard to change so picking a powerful option is important. Here are some of the best Family Bonuses available for the Wizard:

  1. Wildfire Stone rolls Critical Hit Chance, which is one of the strongest offensive attributes in the game. The Hydra isn't all that useful, though, unless you desperately need something to soak damage.
  2. Vengeance Stone is a great option for the extra single target damage. Focus on the Attack Speed rolls here for even more overall DPS and Vengeance Stone procs.

For more details, see our Upgrading and Reforging Guide.


Awakening

Coming Soon.

Check out our Awakening Guide for more information.


Paragon

For Paragon Points, always prioritize Damage and Life. Remember to activate the Paragon Tree that you want to use. Vanquisher is the best for damage, and Treasure Hunter can be used for a small Experience boost. Avoid activating the Gladiator Tree since its active nodes only work in PvP.

Note: This path is used for all PvE content, but is subject to change on launch as we achieve higher Paragon and see the finalized trees.

Use the Slider to see Paragon 1-150 progression

Once you hit Paragon 150 respec your Paragon Points so you can utilize the more powerful Mastermind tree. Remember to activate the Paragon Tree! From here continue to pick up Life and Damage nodes in the other Paragon Trees.

With this setup you can also activate the Gladiator tree when you PvP. Once you have Mastermind filled in and active you can prioritize picking up the Gladiator tree sooner or later, depending on how much PvP you plan to do.

Use the Slider to see Paragon 150-200 progression

Check out our Paragon Guide for more information.


Video Guide


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Summary

  • Dominate Challenge Rifts, solo or in a group using this Black Hole Firestorm build.
  • Use Teleport to travel through Challenge Rifts and avoid getting stuck by enemies/terrain.
  • Group and CC enemies with Black Hole or a similar skill from your teammates.
  • Unleash 2 casts of Arcane Wind on burning ground created by Meteor for Firestorm synergy, which deals 50% more damage.
  • For party play, communicate a plan to drag enemies into a large group before unleashing everyone's damage combos.
  • Rank up Normal and Legendary Gems for huge bonuses while hunting for a Wildfire Stone Family Bonus.
  • Seek out Critical Hit Chance and Damage Special Attributes with Intelligence and Fortitude Primary Attributes.
  • Accumulate Paragon and invest in all the Damage nodes you can find while picking up key active nodes.
  • Decimate everything, leave no survivors!

Credits

Written by Lexyu
Reviewed by Dredscythe


Changelog

May 13th 2022
Published guide.

Jun 16th 2022
Updated Set Item and Legendary Gem rankings.