In trying to gear up a new seasonal wizard recently, I found myself with the Vyr’s/Archon set. To say that this set sucks is an understatement. I know there are those that managed to make it work and did well with it. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the set/skill is any good.
My primary issue with Vyr’s is how it’s used to work with the Archon skill. Outside of giving you all Archon runes and boosting damage/resistance/attack speed, the set doesn’t make Archon anymore pleasant to play. The gist of the build is to build stacks while in Archon form. Once Archon ends, you lose everything. You can retain some stacks with the Swami hat as well as starting with stacks from Fazula’s Improbable Chain. Yet the key to making the set work outside of these items and the Chantodo’s set is Obsidian Ring of the Zodaic because you’re trying to ensure Archon stays up.
In some ways, the build reminds me a bit of the Crusdader Akkhan’s set where you try to maintain near 100% uptime on Akarat’s Prophet. However, Akarat’s Prophet doesn’t make a Crusader suffer from a severe problem centered around their skill. On the other hand, Archon violates a simple UI principal which makes the set/build punishing in that you swap between one UI to another. Worse yet, the UI you receive from Archon is set in stone and there’s no way to customize it, which makes the play style unbearable.
Essentially, in this scenario what you’re getting are two separate sets of keybindings. Depending on your non-Archon setup, your abilities might not neatly lineup with your Archon ones. Most wizards for instance will probably use Teleport for movement so that lines up. However, the keybinding for teleport will always be 3 for Archon (I believe). If you’re like me where you set your teleport up for 1, then you’re screwed because your mapping now is messed up.
Well, you might argue that the easy solution here is to just remap your teleport to 3. But in my case, I use all movements boosts for my characters on 1. Also, my fingers are mapped to 1 when it comes to movement boosts. Why should I rebind and relearn a movement boost for a build that sucks? It’s just better to ditch the build/gear and find a better set.
Also, you have the useless Slow Time ability which follows you around upon activation. This ability makes no sense. Why not just automatically invoke the Slow Time rather than force the user to turn it on/off? Why wouldn’t the user want Slow Time most of the time 99% of the time? Wouldn’t it be far better to just keep Slow Time up the entire time and remove the keybinding to not confuse the user further?
Some people might just believe that I’m “bad” because I’m unable to re-learn a few keys in a game. That’s not the point. The point I’m trying to make is that the goal of the set in making Archon the centerpiece in a build is self-neutralizing due to both poor UI and bad item synergy. If Archon is the centerpiece of the build, then why not just make Archon permanent? By this point, permanent Archon doesn’t make the wizard over powered since there’s enough gear and builds to share the spotlight. Having permanent Archon at least would resolve the issue of poor UI in having to constantly switch between one set of keybindings to another while avoiding being driven to a narrow corridor of gearing.
An alternative to this situation is simply redesigning Archon to have a similar effect of Akarat’s Prophet, where Archon simply buffs the skills on the wizard’s toolbar. You could get a similar effect where you just buff up certain popular skills or skills that resemble what Archon uses to retain the Archon metaphor. In this manner, all you’re really doing as a wizard is trying to keep Archon up rather than going through a schizophrenic mindset of one style of play to another in an awkward fashion.
Now, I want to point out that the Witch Doctor’s chicken build via Manajuma’s isn’t really the same. The chicken build works because you only have two ideas to worry about when switching into the chicken. Most people just opt for blowing things up so the switch isn’t as mentally taxing as Archon. Also, the cooldown on Hex isn’t as punishing as Archon.
At any rate, I’m just going to junk my Vyr’s gear once I find DMO or Tal Rasha. I might give Vyr’s another go once I get better gear, but I still think that Archon or Vyr’s need to be redesigned for the reasons stated.