Diablo 3 Crafting Strategy: The New Archon Items

There’s been a lot of excitement about the new Archon crafting recipes in v1.07, and many players have crafted themselves item upgrades by now, generally for a lot less than the millions it would have cost to buy a similar upgrade on the Auction House. You can even make items better than anything otherwise available in the game, with some luck on your roll… assuming you know which items to create. Whether you’re enjoying the gambling-like experience of making your own gear, or you don’t care and have already added Demonic Essence to your (long) list of, “Rare drops to ignore,” it’s worth knowing which crafting recipes are the best, or give the best odds of an upgrade.

There are a lot of factors to consider when planning your crafting. Some of the biggest include:

  • What item slot does your class/character most need to upgrade?
  • How do the potential Crafted items compare to the best rares/legendaries?
  • What’s your budget?
  • How do you value DPS vs. EHP?
Moonie's new shoulders make your Vile Wards sob like a schoolgirl.
Moonie’s new shoulders make your Vile Wards sob like a schoolgirl.

The last point there deserves some more conversation, since it varies a lot by player and character. In theory, especially for Monks and Barbs (and all classes Hardcore) survival stats, including Vitality, matter. You can largely blow off Vit and Resistance with a Demon Hunter, but those stats are much more important for melee fighters, so when you’re looking at gear for those classes, you should be adding up the total mainstat + vitality when you’re considering the value. Obviously other mods matter, especially offensive ones like DiabloWikiAttack Speed (AS), DiabloWikiCritical hit chance (CC), DiabloWikiCritical hit damage (CD), and so on, but all things being equal (which they never are) an item with +150 DiabloWikimainstat and +130 vit *should* be more valuable than one with 180 mainstat and 50 vitality. (Since it’s 280 vs 230 in total stat bonus, which is basically like adding a free socket to your gear.)

That said, it’s not illogical to value Mainstat more than Vit, for most characters. Your average softcore end game character has something like 2000-2500 mainstat vs. 800-1200 vitality, and that’s perfectly sensible in most Diablo 3 situations. The best defense is a good offense. Killing monsters before they can hurt you is almost always a sound strategy. Just don’t get so hypnotized by the DiabloWikie-peen nature of higher DPS that you overvalue mainstat at the expense of vit or resistance or other survival stats. Upgrading your bracers to let you kill .4% faster is nice, but adding 5k hps and never dying again is even better, even if you’re softcore.


Diablo 3 Item Affix Info

To value the items, you need to know something about how item affixes are generated in Diablo 3. Since the game is online only fans haven’t been able to crack open the code and understand every nuance and bug (as we did in Diablo 2), but you don’t need to know everything for this study, which is good since I’m writing it and I certainly don’t. The key info is knowing which affixes are most useful, which affixes can appear on which item types, and the maximum values possible from them. This varies by item and class, and an illustrative example comes from the Shoulders slot.

Rare shoulders work like most item types in Diablo 3; there are affixes that add to a single stat, and affixes that add to two stats at once. Both can roll on the same Rare (or sometimes in the random affixes on a Legendary) adding up to a nice big total bonus. Every affix varies by item type and item level, but to keep things simple look at Dexterity on armor, which is easy with the DiabloNut affixes calculator.

The highest value affixes are “Valiant,” which adds +[30-100] Dex AND Vit, and “of pain” which adds +[90-100] Dexterity. You can get *both* of those stats on most types of armor, which is why the highest possible Dexterity on *Rare* Shoulders, Chest, Pants, Bracers, etc, is 200. (Individual +dex affixes go up to 200 on boots and gloves, hence 300 Dex is the max there.) You can find legendaries with higher values, but they generally work the way the new Crafted Archon items work; some inherent affix that’s higher than any single +stat modifier on a Rare, which can be added to by the “Valiant” type affix that adds [30-100] Vit + Mainstat, but *not* by the +single attribute affix. (There are exceptions, as covered below.)

So, Shoulders. The highest possible Dex or Int on Rare shoulders is 200, from a single affix that adds +100 Dex or Int, and another affix that adds +100 to Vit + Int/Dex. (Some items also have affixes that add Str+Dex, Dex+Int, and Str+Int also, but I’ll just mention Vit ones in this article since those are desirable.) The highest possible Str on shoulders is 300, since there’s a +200 Strength affix on shoulders which adds to the +100 Vit + Str affix. Why? Barbs have strong shoulders, apparently, and the Diablo 3 designers did put some variety/interest into the items game. (There are other examples; Rare gloves go up to 300 Dex/Int but only 200 Str, Rare Boots go up to 300 Dex but only 200 Str/Int, etc.)

Generally with Legendaries and always with the new Crafted items, it’s impossible to roll a +mainstat that’s the same as a single inherent mainstat bonus. Which is why you don’t see Vile Wards with 500 Strength, or 400 Dex/Int. The +170-200 Mainstat affix usually precludes an affix with a bonus to just that same attribute rolling on the same item. (This rule applies to most types of mods, which is why you never see double rolls of Res All or Critical Chance, etc, on items with those affixes inherently.)

This is why Vile Ward shoulders are almost always the DiabloWikiBiS for Int or Dex classes, but might not be for Barbs. Vile Wards get +[170-200] to one Mainstat, which can add to the +[30-100] Vit+Mainstat affix for up to 300 to Str/Dex/Int, which is 100 more than Rares can get for Int or Dex, but equivalent to the Str on rare shoulders.

So, bearing those rules in mind, look at the new Crafted Archon shoulders.

You can craft them with an inherent bonus of +[201-230] to any stat, and hope to also roll the Mainstat+Vit affix, or a bonus to another individual attribute. The inherent affix replaces the +Mainstat random affix, which is 200 for Str but only 100 for Vit/Int/Dex. Thus, to quote CrazyJim’s wise observation from comments on our recent Crafted Item Strategy post:

Since Rare shoulders can roll 300 Str, crafting the Vitality ones for a Barb is actually better. The best Str crafted Archon shoulders would roll 330 str/200 vit. Best Vit archon would roll 300 str/330 vit.

Note that this is *not* true for Dex or Int shoulders, since they can only roll up to 100 to a single affix + another 100 Vit+Str for 200 total. Of course you might roll Vitality shoulders all day without ever getting any with a huge bonus to Strength (or Dex or Int), while you can guarantee ever single one has huge Strength if you craft that recipe… but if you’re looking for a potential BiS type item, you want the most possible value from your mainstat + vitality, and that makes the Vitality Archon crafts a good idea in several instances.

So, let’s consider each item slot individually. Click through for that.

(TLDR: Shoulders are a spectacular opportunity and Bracers are very good as well, if you can use other gear to offset Lacuni’s dual faster. Chest, Amulet, and Gloves can also upgrade any character, but you’ll need a really good roll to make them work.)

Read the rest of the Diablo 3 Crafting Strategy after the break.

Chest Armor

We’ll start with Chest Armor, since it’s the hardest to evaluate. It’s not that crafted chest armor sucks — it’s that there are so many alternatives.

There are six Item Set chest pieces with great stats in Diablo 3. My Barb wears an IK chest, my WD wears a Zuni’s, my DH wears a Nat’s, my Monk wears an Inna’s, and my Wizard is wearing a Cindercoat, but would go for a Tal’s armor to match her hat and amulet if Tal’s partial set bonuses weren’t worthless. And I didn’t even mention the BK chest.

All of those Set chest armors have 3 sockets inherently, plus other good stats, plus partial set bonuses if you’ve got other items from the set equipped. Thus it’s really hard to compare them vs. Rares vs. the new Crafted Archon chest pieces, since it’s so dependent on the other gear on your character. But just to get it done, here are the maximum potential mainstat and vitality values for the new Crafted armors vs. existing armors.

  • Dexterity: Up to 300 from Tyrael’s Might. You see some Cindercoats in the 230 range, before Rares and Inna’s come in at 200.
  • Intelligence: Up to 300 from Tyrael’s Might, with Cindercoats in the 230 range and then Tal’s, Zunimassa’s, and Rares at 200.
  • Strength: Up to 300 from Tyrael’s Might, Cindercoats in the 230 range, and then IK and Rares at 200.
  • Vitality: Up to 300 from Rares, plus all five Item Set chest armors (but not Natalya’s).
  • So, rares and various of the Set chest armors can get up to 200 to Str/Dex/Int, and all of them and Rares can get up to 300 Vitality. So that’s basically 200 Mainstat + 300 Vit = 500 total stat. Pretty good, but that’s theoretical. Items with these rolls don’t actually exist and if they did you couldn’t afford them. For instance, the highest stat value of any Immortal Kings Eternal Reign right now in the Americas GAH is 193 Str/ 285 Vit, and it’s selling for 2 trillion gold.

    So what can the crafted Archon Armors do?

    Archon Armor of Vit/Dex/Str/Int: 150,000 gold + 1 Demonic Essence + 2 Tomes of Secret

  • Archon Armor of Dexterity: Max stats = +[201-230] Dex, +100 Dex & Vit + 200 Vit = 330 Dex/300 Vit = 630.
  • Archon Armor of Intelligence: Max stats = +[201-230] Int, +100 Int & Vit + 200 Vit = 330 Int/300 Vit = 630.
  • Archon Armor of Strength: Max stats = +[201-230] Str, +100 Str & Vit + 300 Vit = 330 Str/300 Vit = 630.
  • Archon Armor of Vitality: Max stats = +[201-230] Vit, +100 Mainstat, + 100 Mainstat/Vit = 200 Mainstat / 330 Vit = 530.
  • Like I said in the intro, you really have to factor in the other mods on the Set and Legendary armors, partial set bonuses, etc. But just on raw potential stats, the Archon Dex/Str/Int armors look pretty interesting. You need 2 affixes with fantastic seeds to get anything near the max stats, and then you’d probably need sockets and All Res from the other random properties to match up to the Item Set armors, but that’s not out of the question. It would take a lot of rolls, but when you consider that any of the Item Set chests with even 400 total stat (and 3 sockets) are going to cost you 100,000,000 or more, possibly rolling 500 or 600 on a Crafted chest, with other good mods, is intriguing.

    Just don’t forget that it’s only for you; no trading or selling (or recouping production costs) of these crafted items because they’re all DiabloWikiBoA.



    The Gloves are an interesting case, since Rare gloves can roll up to 300 Dex/Int, but only up to 200 Str. What can you find on Rares and Legendaries currently?

  • Dexterity: Up to 350 from Tasker & Theo (325 now on the US GAH.) Up to 300 on Rares or IK gloves.
  • Intelligence: Up to 350 from Tasker & Theo. Up to 300 on Rares or IK gloves.
  • Strength: Up to 300 on IK gloves. 250 on Tasker & Theo and up to 200 on Rares.
  • Vitality: Up to 250 on a Tasker and Theo. Rares and IK gloves top out at 200.
  • It’s both difficult and pointless to figure the highest possible attributes from gloves since none of the Legendary gloves can get their highest roll to Mainstat and Vit at the same time (not enough random modifier slots), and you don’t really want that anyway since you’d rather spend the random modifier slots on on affixes like Attack Speed, Critical hit Chance, and Critical hit Damage.

    That said, Tasker and Theo roll 40-50 to all Attributes inherently, to which you could add up to 200 Dex/Int, + another 100 Dex/Int for a total of 350 Dex/Int + 150 Vit = 500 total stat, plus a socket. (There’s a pair in the US GAH now with 318 Int/144 Vit for 100m gold, so the theory seems to match reality. But realize that there’s no CC or CD on those gloves, so they are far from the best gloves by performance.)

    So what’s the best Archon Gauntlet to craft?

    Archon Gauntlets of Vit/Str/Int/Dex: 50k gold + 20 Iridescent Tears (yellow) + 5 Tomes of Secret + 1 Demonic Essence

  • Archon Gauntlets of Dexterity: Max stats = +[201-230] Dex, + 100 Dex & Vit + 100 Vit = 330 Dex/200 Vit = 530.
  • Archon Gauntlets of Intelligence: Max stats = +[201-230] Int, + 100 Int & Vit + 100 Vit = 330 Int/200 Vit = 530.
  • Archon Gauntlets of Strength: Max stats = +[201-230] Str, + 100 Str & Vit + 100 Vit = 330 Str/200 Vit = 530.
  • Archon Gauntlets of Vitality: Max stats = +[201-230] Vit, +200 Dex/Int (or +100 Str) + 100 Dex/Int/Str % Vit = 300 Dex/Int + 330 Vit = 630 Dex/Int. (530 for Str.)
  • Those max totals all spend 3 of the 5 random modifiers just to build stats, which means these are already *not* the best gloves, since every class wants the DiabloWikiTrifecta stats on a pair of gloves. Furthemore, while you can get decent vitality on gloves, it’s not really on many player’s wishlist since there are much more valuable offensive stats to be had. For this reason I’d advise against crafting Vitality gloves, since that only leaves you 5 random modifiers to get the DiabloWikiquadfecta affixes you really want, Mainstat, AS, CC, and CD. If you got it though, you could get (arguably) the best glove possible:

  • Archon Gauntlet of Vit: +[201-230] Vit + AS + CD + CC + 200 Dex/Int + 100 Dex/Int & Vit = 330 Vit, 300 Dex/Int, Trifecta.
  • So yeah, a trifecta with 630 stat would be pretty nice. The biggest stats I see on gloves with a trifecta on the US GAH right now has 201 Dex/132 Vit, which isn’t even 350 total stat.

    Str vs. Int/Dex? Gauntlets
    In theory you’re getting 100 points more value rolling Strength Gauntlets than Dex/Int. That calculation is skewed by the IK Gloves though, since they roll up to 200 Str inherently (and big CC) and can thus roll up to 300 Str. (But not with a trifecta since you need to stick CD and AS on the two random modifiers, rather than +strength.)

    Gloves Advice

    On the whole I’d say roll Str/Dex/Int gloves depending on which of your chars needs them the most. Or you can roll Vit gloves and hope for miraculous luck on the random modifiers? That’s obviously a better idea if you have characters of every class, or at least of all three mainstats, so you can use your miracle Vitality Gauntlet roll whether it comes up Str, Dex, or Int. Or maybe you’ll get a trifecta without any mainstat, and be able to use them on any class? (There are 8 pairs of gloves on the US GAH right now with a trifecta and at least 140 Vit, and all of them cost at least 80m, and all of them have at least something to a mainstat.)



    I mentioned Shoulders in the intro so I’ll try to be briefer here. Shoulders are an unusual item slot since there’s really only one Legendary and no Sets of any use, and Vile Wards don’t have any stats that can’t appear on Rare shoulders such as AS, CC, CD, etc. (Though the Int/Dex values can go a lot higher.)

    BTW, did you know that the original patch tease said we’d get new crafted items for Amulet, Chest Armor, Gloves, Bracers, and Pants. Yes, Pants. Not Shoulders. Wonder why they changed that? Possibly since there are a lot of good Set/Legendary options for pants, but only Vile Ward for shoulders?

    At any rate, the highest possible stat values for shoulders are:

  • Dexterity: Up to 300 from Vile Ward. Up to 200 on Rares.
  • Intelligence: Up to 300 from Vile Ward. Up to 200 on Rares.
  • Strength: Up to 300 Vile Ward or Rares.
  • Vitality: Up to 200 on Vile Ward or Rares.
  • A pretty boring list, and note that you can not get very much Vitality on any of these, and that it costs a fricking fortune if you do. The cheapest Vile Ward in the Americas GAH right now, with 250 Mainstat and 90 Vitality, is 45m for Int, 75m for Dex, and 60m for Str. You can save some gold going with a Rare shoulders, but not much. 250 Str, 150 Vit, 60 All Res will cost you at least 40m. Even a pretty good Vile Ward, with say 220 Dex/Int and 80 Vit, will cost you at least 20-30m on the US GAH, and much more elsewhere.

    Given those prices, I’m going to say that crafting Archon Shoulders is a fantastic opportunity. Check out the kind of stats you can get:

    Archon Shoulders of Vit/Str/Int/Dex: 75k gold + 10 Tomes of Secret + 1 Demonic Essence

  • Archon Shoulders of Dexterity: Max stats = +[201-230] Dex, + 100 Dex & Vit + 100 Vit = 330 Dex/200 Vit = 530.
  • Archon Shoulders of Intelligence: Max stats = +[201-230] Int, + 100 Int & Vit + 100 Vit = 330 Int/200 Vit = 530.
  • Archon Shoulders of Strength: Max stats = +[201-230] Str, + 100 Str & Vit + 100 Vit = 330 Str/200 Vit = 530.
  • Archon Shoulders of Vitality: Max stats = +[201-230] Vit, +100 Str & Vit + 200 Str = 300 Str 330 Vit = 630 Dex/Int. (530 for Int/Dex.)
  • Shoulders Advice

    Make them. Make them now.

    crafted-archon-shoulders4Note the prices I quoted on Vile Wards. It’ll cost you at least 50m for a Vile Ward with 350 total stat (Mainstat + Vit), and these crafted recipes can easily roll 500+ total stats, and still have 3 other random modifiers. Better yet, Vile Wards don’t have any stats you can’t get on these. How many crafts would it take you to create some shoulders with 250 mainstat, 280 vit, 70 All Res, +Armor, and life regen? Basically a rare Vile Ward with VASTLY higher vitality? I don’t know, but I bet the materials would run you a fraction of the 1 trillion gold it would cost to buy a Vile Ward with less than half that much Vitality.

    Still not convinced? I made 10 Archon Shoulders of Vitality last night, none rolled with more than 2 good mods, and several of them were *still* almost upgrades over the 5-8m Vile Wards most of my chars are wearing. The best can be seen to the right, equipped on my Barb, with a comparison to current GAH prices (17-40m) for the highest Str/Vit possible on rare shoulders, which is considerably less than the crafted ones. The ones I made, with 262 Str/298 Vit and nothing else, would be worth a fortune now if they weren’t BoA. If those had even a decent amount of Res All they’d already be arguably better than a 500m Vile Ward, and like I just said… they’re not even a good roll!

    Seriously, roll your own and be quick to sell off your Vile Wards before everyone realizes how obsolete those formerly BiS Legendary shoulders have become.

    Below you can see a few others I made last night below. None are upgrades, but you can see how they compare (pretty well) to the Vile Wards my Monk is wearing.



    Bracers are an interesting debate since while they’ve got vastly higher stat potential than any current Bracers, they can’t do the Faster Run and Attack Speed that you get with Lacuni Prowlers. Lacunis don’t fare well on the highest possible stats where Strongarm Bracers dominate:

  • Dexterity: Up to 270 on Strongarm Bracers. Rares go up to 200.
  • Intelligence: Up to 270 on Strongarm Bracers. Rares go up to 200.
  • Strength: Up to 270 on Strongarm Bracers. Rares go up to 200.
  • Vitality: Up to 200 on Rares or Lacuni Prowlers. (Only 100 on Strongarms since they only get one random modifier.)
  • And here’s what you can make with the new Archon Razorspikes crafting options:

    Archon Bracers of Vit/Str/Int/Dex: 50k gold + 30 Exquisite Essence (blue) + 5 Tomes of Secret + 1 Demonic Essence

  • Archon Razorspikes of Dexterity: Max stats = +[201-230] Dex, + 100 Dex & Vit + 100 Vit = 330 Dex/200 Vit = 530.
  • Archon Razorspikes of Intelligence: Max stats = +[201-230] Int, + 100 Int & Vit + 100 Vit = 330 Int/200 Vit = 530.
  • Archon Razorspikes of Strength: Max stats = +[201-230] Str, + 100 Str & Vit + 100 Vit = 330 Str/200 Vit = 530.
  • Archon Razorspikes of Vitality: Max stats = +[201-230] Vit, +100 Str & Vit + 200 Str = 300 Str 330 Vit = 630 Dex/Int. (530 for Int/Dex.)
  • The biggest total stats on any current Rare bracers are a fraction of that. Strongarms can go up to 270 mainstat + 100 Vit, Rares can get up to 200 mainstat + 200 Vit, and so can Lacunis in theory, though you’d never want that since it would spend all 3 random mods and preclude rolling CC on them.

    Bracers seem like another excellent place to roll new Crafted recipes, especially since Critical hit Chance is the only really mandatory affix for the slot. The Archon Razorspikes can *easily* go as high or higher on Str/Dex/Int than any existing Bracer, and when you pair that with 2 or 3 other good random affixes you’ve got quite an improvement.

    The only real debate is how much you’ll miss the AS and MS of a good Lacuni. The AS can be offset by sheer volume; 150 more mainstat would probably add more to your DPS than +[8-9] Attack Speed, and you only benefit from up to 25% movement speed from equipment, so faster run boots paired with Inna’s Pants or any of the other Movement Speed boosting legendary or set items (I compiled a full list in an article back in December.) can make up for that. And since Lacunis with good offensive rolls don’t add any resistance or vitality or other survival stats, a good crafted Archon Razorspikes will probably do you more good on the whole than any current Bracer in the game.



    The last item type to consider is another one for much debate. I was most interested in making Amulets when the recipes were first revealed, but now that I’ve given them all consideration, this one looks like a fairly long shot. Yes, a good amulet is incredibly costly (I recently found a great upgrade for my Monk that’s far from perfect but still worth 150-200m to replace/upgrade.) but it’s also incredibly hard to produce with multiple affixes required, and there are a LOT of possible modifiers on amulets, making the odds very long that you’ll roll 3 or 4 good ones in the 5 random.

    Here are the max stats on current amulets:

  • Dexterity: Up to 439 on a Mara’s Kaleidoscope. Up to 350 on Rares.
  • Intelligence: Up to 439 on a Mara’s Kaleidoscope. Up to 350 on Rares.
  • Strength: Up to 439 on a Mara’s Kaleidoscope. Up to 350 on Rares.
  • Vitality: Up to 439 on a Mara’s Kaleidoscope. Up to 350 on Rares.
  • Here’s the new recipe and what it can produce.

    Amulet of Vit/Str/Int/Dex: 100k gold + 1 Fiery Brimstone + 1 Demonic Essence + 1 Perfect Square gem (type corresponds to the stat)

  • Amulet of Dexterity: Max stats = +[201-230] Dex, + 150 Dex & Vit + 200 Vit = 380 Dex/350 Vit = 530.
  • Amulet of Intelligence: Max stats = +[201-230] Dex, + 150 Dex & Vit + 200 Vit = 380 Dex/350 Vit = 530.
  • Amulet of Strength: Max stats = +[201-230] Dex, + 150 Dex & Vit + 200 Vit = 380 Dex/350 Vit = 530.
  • Amulet of Vitality: Max stats = +[201-230] Dex, + 150 Dex & Vit + 200 Vit = 380 Dex/350 Vit = 530.
  • Mara’s rolls with inherent +[84-89] to all 4 attributes and it’s possible to get both types of affix to boost the stats on top of that, which means that the biggest possible stats on a Mara’s would be enormous: up to 439 to any of the two stats, not just mainstat and Vit. That’s 878 in total stat, plus up to 89 to the other two stats. Or for the biggest possible I guess you’d want the 150 to 2 stats twice, plus another 200 to one stat, which would give you um… 89 + 150 to all, + 200 to a 4th = 239 + 239 + 239 + 439 = 1156 in total stat bonus. (Assuming all 3 of those affixes can all spawn on the same Mara’s, which might not be possible.)

    No such amulet exists! The biggest two stat Mara’s I see US GAH right now is a 342 Dex/378 Str, which had to cause the guy who found it to curse for a solid minute. There’s also a 393 Dex/321 Vit, which at least sort of works. That said, these are all intellectual exercises since since the trifecta stats are generally more valuable than higher attributes. (And Mara’s doesn’t get any of those inherently, though it does have All Res at least.)

    Other Legendary amulet options are the BK Amulet and Tal’s Amulet, both of which have good stats, 2 random modifiers, and 1 one part of the trifecta inherently.

    Beyond that, most players are using Rares with as many offensive stats as possible, especially Critical hit Chance (1-10%) and Critical Hit Damage (1-100%), since those roll huge on amulets. Mainstat and Vit are nice on Amulets, but the trifecta stats are the really sought mods, and none of the Crafted Amulets offer those.

    JCdXEZnSo should you craft amulets? You could try it, but these are almost pure gambles. Your results are likely to be indistinguishable from a Rare amulet, aside from being Account Bound, and there’s no weighting towards or away from any of the Int/Dex/Str attributes. As most players want offensive stats on their amulet maybe you want to roll your attribute of choice, but since you can get up to 200 in a single affix bonus to any stat, it’s kind of a waste to spend your inherent bonus to add +[201-230] when you might almost get that much anyway. (Bit like rolling the Strength Shoulders, except that Barbs *really* want Str on shoulders, while +mainstat isn’t at the top of anyone’s list on an Amulet.)

    I’m open to counter arguments about Amulet crafting, but at this point I wouldn’t really recommend it unless you’re feeling very lucky, or you’ve already upgraded your Bracers and Shoulders, since those seem much better bets to improve with Crafting. (On the other hand, check out that sample to the right. Trillion gold item there… but just because someone else wins the lottery does that mean you should go play?


    If you want more crafting, check out the Crafting item show off thread. It’s where the Amulet you see to the right came from, courtesy of Katniss, and there are plenty of other excellent results to drool over.

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    38 thoughts on “Diablo 3 Crafting Strategy: The New Archon Items

    1. Nice article! I really like the crafting. It adds a bit to the slot machine effect already in the game. First, you’ll get excited when you see a demonic essense on the ground. And then the excitement when you craft the rare.

      Wonder what will happen with the prices on vile ward and lacunis and some other items once every hardcore player have perfect crafts. A casual player cant sped 50+ millions on any item and the hardcore players wont be interested anymore. Maybe except for perfectly rolled lacunis, idk.

      • I was very negative about these new crafts until the patch was out. The system is actually very good, though it does not fundamentally change itemization.

        1 – provides a short term goal in game. I actually now get excited to kill elites at higher monster power for the essences. I can aim for 50 essences to do a craft binge. At high mp, trash monsters are more rewarding than elites. This change shifts the balance back toward elites.

        2 – extra slot machine pulls as you say, but are targeted on one item

        3 – ingredients are mostly one type of item per slot. This means I don’t need a little of everything which I found annoying with the other crafts. I can always craft something. Amulet are a bit more intensive, but that’s ok.

        4 – shakes up the item game. For barb, bis for pants/bracer/chest/boots was considered to be inna/lacuni/ik/iceclimber. The new chest armor/bracers shakes this up a bit, making more boots competitive indirectly. These items can be best in slot.

        5 – depreciation. These items have no external value. This is awesome because I don’t have to worry about the value of gear on my alts. Value that sits wasted when I am not playing them. Value that nags, wanting me to sell now on the ah before the items further depreciate. Boa items have no value to anyone but me, so I can have good gear on alts that stays there.

    2. I’d say (depending on one’s wealth obviously) that amulets are a great choice for crafting. I’ll admit that I’ve become a casual player as of late and don’t spend as much time on D3 as I have on D2, but both me and the few people on my friend’s list all rolled substantial upgrades in the amulet department in the first couple of attempts. It’s obviously very difficult for the newly crafted amulets to beat amazing rares, but for people with mediocre gear it seems that even a few rolls tend to produce quite substantial gains. My opinion is obviously based on a very small sample.

      I haven’t tried tried any other recipies yet so I can’t comment any further :).

    3. Good article.

      One point I’d like to make about crafting amulets is that it lets you get around their inherently low drop rates, which in of itself could be a good reason to craft them. Granted, my standards and perspective probably differ quite a bit from someone who uses the AH, but a guaranteed high mainstat roll and 5 random affixes seem well worth it. It’s not like you can use that brimstone for anything else anyway.

      On a less positive note, what I don’t like about the new crafted items is that they’re all Archon items, which kind of kills the aesthetical diversity the devs sought to introduce by allowing lower ilvl items to roll higher ilvl affixes. Given their potential of becoming BiS, it’s not hard to picture them becoming one of the dominant item types in the near future. Not that Archon stuff looks bad or anything, it’s just that it’s dull when that’s all you see.

      • Yeah, the ability to just craft whatever item type you want is definitely a plus. I’ve had pretty good luck on finding amulets and spent 15m on a nice quadfecta (for my Monk, but I soon after found a 150m value amy that was better for him, so my DH got the bought one), so they’re not really calling to me, but I’d definitely craft some equivalent rings since I’ve done less well acquiring those.

        Obviously, one’s personal luck and current gear factors large in which crafts are most desirable.

        Speaking of jewelry, I’ve taken to picking it up and not IDing it for games at a time. It’s much more fun to store up 15 or 20 rares and then go through them all at once; reminds me of the D2 jewelry gambling days and with that many at once found via high MF I almost always get at least 1 or 2 worth selling, if not actually using myself.

    4. Nice article. I guess playing HC and having A WD, a Barb and a DH makes things easier for me anyways, I just craft Vit items. I have crafted around 100 items I suppose, around 40 of them were amulets and I must agree that they are all shabby. I guess the expectations from an amulet is just too high 🙂

      Shoulders are deffo the way to go, then the gloves I guess.

    5. cool article, 2 minor mentions tho. (yes i’m nit picking sorry.)

      “The highest value affixes are “Valiant,” which adds +[30-100] Dex AND Vit, and “of pain” which adds +[90-100] Dexterity.” …
      ” some inherent affix that’s higher than any single +stat modifier on a Rare, which can be added to by the “of pain” type affix that adds [30-100] Vit + Mainstat, but *not* by the +single attribute affix.”
      End quote.

      1: By “of pain” in the later part of that qoute I assume you ment “Valiant” since that has the double bonus and not the “of pain”?

      2: In the shoulders part of the article it says “Gloves advice” again.

      Anyway thanks for the great article & advice and I will certainly review this again when upgrading gear.

      • Thanks for the notes and I fixed those, along with a few other typos. I’m sure I messed up the math somewhere as well, so if someone sees an error feel free to note it and I’ll fix it, since I’d like the article to be a useful resource, and as close to error-free as possible.

        • Great article. I think you goofed on the bracer craft – I think all three primary stats roll similarly. I don’t think a 300 str 330 vit roll is possible on bracers.

    6. Really helpful article! I wasn’t aware that different slots have different mainstat ranges, though I probably should’ve been (I had been wondering for a long, long time why my Monk and DH had much better boots than my other characters, but figured it was just luck of the draw…).

      I’m still collecting recipes right now. So far, only the dex and int chest pieces have ever rolled as upgrades for me. One thing I still can’t decide on is whether I should bother crafting the STR chest and bracers, when my Barb is wearing IK Chest and Strongarms (decent, mid-range rolls on both). On the one hand, it seems like a waste of gold relative to easier upgrade slots, but it’s hard to gauge how accurate that perception is.

    7. Thanks for info Flux. I have made 40 str amulets and 50 int shoulders so far. None were godly, but several were very close. Shoulders is kinda no-brainer because of their potential. The problem I’m facing is I need the shoulders to roll high all res and pick up radius to be considered as an upgrade. Now I’m running out of tome of secrets and essences which forces me to go demon-rape. Finally there is a reason to hunt and I think this is one of the best things about the patch. I’m not saying they nailed it, but a small step for mankind.

    8. I’m no expert on, well, anything regarding D3, but I’ll speculate that wizards will stick to Lacuni’s over crafted bracers. Stacking attack speed is very important for the Critical Mass/Frost Nova/Energy Twister build. I suppose if you got enough from other spots you could skimp on one, or maybe if there’s just no way you’ll hit the next break point.

    9. Saw this in my RSS reader as a Diablo Podcast update. Thought this was the podcast finally coming back to life. It isn’t.


      • Next week, hopefully. I want to talk about v1.07 and about the console stuff, but scheduling has been difficult lately, and I’m out of town all this weekend.

    10. Thanks for the advice and the shout out in the article! I spent some time crafting about 40+ gloves yesterday and didn’t find much in the way of things I’d like to use. I will definitely see what I can do with shoulders once I scare up some more DEs.

    11. STR shoulders if you don’t care about 130 vit.

      VIT shoulders if you do.

      you can survive anything mp10 without the 330 vit roll on your shoulders. plenty of people did that before this patch. i’d only recommend vit shoulders to those who are hurting on health, play hardcore, want a pvp set or would like to find cheaper upgrades in other slots by offloading the vit to the shoulders.

      if you’re comfortable with your health and survivability, and you want to see better dps, craft STR shoulders.

      • Concur with you on that. I’ve never liked Vile Wards for barbs because the cost-benefit is very low on strength-based Vile’s. That being said, my barb currently uses shoulders with 245 strength/85 vitality/78 all resistances. Long ago I started arranging my gear so that certain slots are focused on either str or vit to try and mitigate some of the cost of having high dual-stat needs on every item. Shoulders fall into the str category for me, and though I would love to roll vitality shoulders with the lucky double strength mod, the chances of finding an upgrade that way are probably astronomically smaller than if I go the other way – craft strength shoulders and hope for a good vitality roll. At least that way I have a significantly better chance of finding an upgrade as compared to my current strength in that slot.

        Just another example of how your current gearing may play into prioritizing which slots to focus on crafting upgrades for first.

        Thanks for the analysis and article Flux!

    12. Thats some pretty sick shoulders, this moonie has made 😉

      After reading this article, I think I’ll give gloves a try. I made 3 shoulders, before hitting the jackpot on these. Made another 50, because i wanted %life also, but no luck there.

    13. Flux,

      Welldone on the post; it’s some great info.

      But as a fan website, there needs to be at least some criticism in my honest opinion.

      Play this game from scratch without using the AH; simulate a newcomer to d3;

      How is he able to make money from the current state of the economy?
      Money for essentially, very expensive crafts for a newcomer.

      As i recall when i played when mps didn’t exist and it was impossible to get through act 2 inferno i remember having a few hundred thousand gold and was far from compfy; especially with the rng’d itemization which currently still exists.

      I’d assume you’d be playing in mp0 where chances of drops of magic items and gold are far fat lesser then mp5-10.

      How long will the new comer take to catch up to a ‘standard’ where he/she will be able to enjoy the game and progress.

      I know it isn’t meant to be easy mode; but it hell’a didn’t take such a long time to get into the game at the highest level of gameplay in diablo 2

      Just my point of view anyway, i feel for the newbies; i help them ALOT and they constantly talk about how they are meant to make;

      a viable income without using the AH; Remember the non AH user would like to keep their materials for crafts for example.

      a character which reach the level of the mediocore addict.

      • That’ll be a good topic when the console version launches and there’s a big influx of fresh meat.

        Making gold is hard, if you don’t have a good char to start with. I can remember when adding just 1m more seemed like a huge chore. Once you get a pretty high level char with good gear, and you’re farming fast with 400% GF, just the pick ups add up very quickly. Not to mention the potential of GAH’ing some items.

        Picking up every gem and ToS seems to be a good route if you lack MF/GF. There’s real profit in selling upgraded gems, or just the materials themselves (ToS go for over 10k in HC now.) Even in softcore US GAH, star emeralds sell for around 1m, and the production costs are only 500k, if you find the flawless squares and ToS yourself.

        Sadly, real riches in D3 requires RMAH, or else finding some jackpot item.

      • I will never understand why people complain about (and in some cases, completely refuse to use!) a system that simply facilitates transactions, something D2 sorely lacked. Would you really rather spam trade chat all day, or deal with idiots and cheapskates in trading games?

        If people would just take off their nostalgia goggles they’d realize that the D2 economy had exactly the same core issues that any other game economy does, it just took more personal effort to make those transactions than it does in D3.

    14. Nice article Flux. I am glad to see you are still playing the game and willing to take the time to write a column. I have been rolling a few things for my wiz, mostly amulets. I had a decent stash of Brimstones so I havent went through them all yet, and probably a few more if I would salvage some of the hoarded gear that I will never use. I have made 1 good amulet that rolled: 211 Int, 60 Cold Resist, 766 Life on Hit, 12% Life, 55% Crit Dmg, and 10% Crit Chance. It gave me more damage, but my equipped amulet had 69% All Resist, which hurt my EHP, but I am still at 700 without prismatic. I really wish that Cold resist would have been all resist or at least Lightning or Fire. I am going to try out CMWW on my Wiz one of these days, and that amulet will let me keep my Mempo instead of using a Storm Crow to get some Life on Hit.

      Keep up the good work Flux.

    15. Flux – great article, much more like the stuff you used to write for D2. It really lines all the information up for people to make an educated decision on where to spend their gambling money 🙂


    16. Good stuff.

      Does the “Valiant” affixes always be main stat + main stat ? Can it be for example : All resis + 12% life ?

      • You can see every affix in the game via the DiabloNut affix pages. Sort them for item type and such. (There are some display errors right now since v1.07 changed the code and it’s not showing right o the page, but that’s on the list to fix for our programmer.)

        AFAIK there aren’t any unlike paired mods. Just min+max damage, and attribute pairings, of which mainstat+vit is obviously the most desired. (I always laugh when I get gloves or amulet or something with like 160 Int and 180 Dex. Perfect for my hybrid necromancer/thief.) D1 and D2 had Kings and other mods that added AR + Damage, but there is no AR or to/hit in D3, so those didn’t make a return.

    17. Writing for the sake of writing…..that should be the title of this article

      this info you present here does not bring any value to the existing knowledge.

      only some stupid blue who doesnt play the game may consider this useful

      let me give u some real knowledge about crafting . it was good when it first got out so if u crafted then u won . now it’s nerfed .

      • I miss the downvote button too, and I like how you sort of roleplayed an example, rather than just asking for it.

      • Curious how it got nerfed as king states in his comment on the bottom of page 2?

        Anyone know?
        Add me petaro#1816

    18. So, for a WD what I got from this is that I should craft vit shoulders, and wrists, and int gloves? Or will int shoulders / wrists have the possibility of as high vit rolls?

    19. in the gloves section you say
      “Those max totals all spend 3 of the 5 random modifiers just to build stats, which means these are already *not* the best gloves, since every class wants the trifecta stats on a pair of gloves. ”
      Am i missing something here? it’s seems to me that only 2 of the 5 random affixes are being used to get those rolls? +100 mainstat & vit +100 vit
      what am i missing?

    20. i like the article, however, i see demon hunters are useless chars now. guess i gonna have to delete a lvl 60/79 dh cause we can’t get vital or resis.

    21. In response to: “150 more mainstat would probably add more to your DPS than +[8-9] Attack Speed”
      This is simply not true, at least for those players who need the crafting recipes to upgrade gear worth more than a couple million. Taken from my own dps:
      10 int = 1062 DPS
      1% IAS – 2287 DPS
      So the 8% minimum IAS roll on Lacuni’s is worth 18,296 DPS to me, while 150 int is worth 15,930 DPS.

      That doesn’t even include mainstats Lacuni’s can roll, or builds that need AIS more (or less).

    22. After reading through the comments, I’m still shocked no one else noticed this. 2,000,000,000 is not 2 trillion, it’s 2 billion. 2 billion is the highest value anything can be sold for on the GAH. A trillion is a thousand billion, or 1,000,000,000,000. So the items you see on the GAH are not worth 2 trillion, but 2 billion.

    23. Great article but your numbers are off in a few places!

      Under shoulders, it says \Vit = 630 Dex/Int. (530 for Int/Dex.)\ where it should read: \Vit = 630 Str. (530 for Int/Dex.)\

      Under bracers it looks like you copied the shoulders info but forgot to alter it:
      \Archon Razorspikes of Vitality: Max stats = +[201-230] Vit, +100 Str & Vit + 200 Str = 300 Str 330 Vit = 630 Dex/Int. (530 for Int/Dex.)\
      should read:
      \Archon Razorspikes of Vitality: Max stats = +[201-230] Vit, +100 Str & Vit + 100 Str = 200 Str 330 Vit = 530 Str/Int/Dex\

      Under amulets, shouldn’t the max stat be 730 for all of them, not 530? (350+380)

      Great article but those small issues were a little confusing.

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