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D2R Fire Vs Cold Bowazons: Is Fire Or Cold Bowazon Build Better in Diablo 2 Resurrected
1/18/2023 5:27:17 PM

In this guide, we bring you a detailed comparison between Fire Bowazon builds and Cold Bowazon builds in Diablo 2 Resurrected and answer any questions that you would expect that would come along with comparing these two types of Bowazon builds such as what are their strengths and weaknesses, which areas are they best to farm in, which of them have an easier gearing road map and which build type is better overall. 

D2R Fire Vs Cold Bowazons: Is Fire Or Cold Bowazon Build Better in Diablo 2 Resurrected 

We're looking at builds that use the core skills of exploding error and immolation arrow for the Fire Bowazons on and freezing arrow for the Cold Bowazons was on. Each build type will use a gear for their respective build such as the right sunder charms if they're on ladder, bows like Ice, Phoenix, Kuko Shakaku, Melody or Mist, and then a series of bow skiller grand charms along with plague infinity on a mercenary depending on the budget level. Now let’s jump into this comparison between Fire & Cold Bowazon builds guide. 

The Main Fire and Cold Bow Skills

Fire Skills:

  • Exploding Arrow

  • Immolation Arrow

Cold Skills:

  • Freezing Arrow

Fire Damage Sources:

  • Rubies

  • Ral Runes

  • Fire Facets

  • Charms

  • Bow/Gear

  • Skills

Cold Damage Sources:

  • Sapphires

  • Thul Runes

  • Cold Facets

  • Charms

  • Bow/Gear

  • Skills

They behave in similar ways in that they all shoot one arrow that explodes on impact, dealing area of effect damage. However, each of these skills have their own workings. For the case of exploding, an immolation arrow versus freezing arrow, different damage types being fire and cold. Both fire and cold damage deal instantaneous damage to their targets though for cold in addition, it also applies a chill or freeze effect on the monsters depending on the skill. For freezing arrow, both cold damage and a freezing effect is delivered to any monsters that are within its explosion impact, whereas for exploding arrow only fire damage is delivered with no other effects. Being able to freeze multiple monsters with a single arrow means that those group of monsters will no longer try to swing at you or shoot at you, making surviving an easier task. And in areas where you're fighting against monsters that can be revived, monsters that are frozen always shadow when they are killed which is a huge tactical advantage where without this you could be fighting against an endless revived army.

However, there are monsters that can only be chilled and therefore can still attack you, those are champions, unique, super uniques and bosses such as Bale or Nihlathak. Then there are sort of monsters that can't even be chilled at all such as monster that are cold immune on monsters such as ghosts, dolls, gloms and death lords. Shattering monsters also has its own drawbacks as well particularly if you're playing in a party as shattering monsters will prevent skeleton summons revives corpse explosion or find item being used by your party members. In that respect, fire bowazons can be more friendly for your party even though the freezing effect can also be helpful at times as well. 

Last, both fire and cold bow skills benefit from Flat Elemental damage, so cold damage increases freezing Arrow damage and fire damage increases both the exploding arrow and immolation Arrow damage. However, the fire skills have a distinct advantage here as flat fire damage from gear is almost universally higher. And if you have an enchantress on your team so that is the Sorceress that maxes out the enchant skill, then this will dramatically increase your exploding and immolation arrow damage. For the cold and fire bow skills themselves, exploding arrow has the lowest damage out of the three skills, racing arrow then has considerably more damage than exploding arrow. 

Here is result of the top fire baowazon and cold bowazon builds that perform the best in player 1 and in players 8 in the secret cow level.

D2R Fire vs Cold Bowazons Which one is better

D2R Fire Vs Cold Damage Takeways

For anyone looking to make an elemental bowazon build, the main things to take away from this are the phrasing effect from:

Freezing Arrow has nice crowd controlling effect to keep you safe.

Monsters can’t revive monsters shattered by Freezing Arrow.

Your Allies can’t revive, use corpse explosion, fnd item or redemption on those shattered monsters either.

Freezing Arrow slows or prevents monsters from clumping up to make it deliver its maximum potential damage.

It's about recognizing the differences between the skills and a cold and fire damage types.

D2R Fire Bowazon Vs Cold Bowazon Gear Progression 

  • Early Game: No ability to deal with immunes

During the early game, both fire and cold bowazons have similar options as each other with two notable bows that are element specific. Wizendraw and Kuko Shakaku with a slight advantage going to cold bowzons for how early Wizendraw can be found. And for how potent that minus enemy cold resistance can become going into Nightmare hell difficulties, as well as when you eventually start to stack plus skill gear or bowskiller grand charms. Into hell, the M’avina’s set is a very solid option for cold bowazons specifically and while all the pieces are very hard to find solo, they can be traded for quite cheaply if you're playing online. Both fire and cold bowazons can stack mana after each kill flat elemental damage and increase attack speed from their items at this early stage, as well as give them mercenary and insight weapon for that meditation aura. So although freezing error can consume in a lot of mana, there are ways to mitigate this at this early stage with items or by placing points into energy for these builds. So the main barriers for fire and cold bowazons are their ability to take out immunes. And although cold bowzons have a slight natural disadvantage with immunes, both build types can take advantage of harmony as the damage fallback anyway.

Farmable Level 85 Areas: If you're not quite Terror Zone farming yet, then it's easy enough to target from specific level 85 areas that do not contain monsters that are immune to your element, such as ancient tunnels and arachnid layer for cold or stony tombs for both fire and cold. Lastly, if you're not at a too high of a character level, both in mercenary and Valkyrie might not be super tanky especially with budget gear. So that freezing effect from freezing Arrow will be quite valuable at this stage. So with those things considered, the cold bowazon has an edge in the early game.

  • Mid Game: New ways to break immunities and reduce resistance

During the mid game is where options for sunder charms and some of the mid to high tier runeword to open up. Specifically here, we're talking about firing cold sunder charms, plague, flickering flame runewords, fire and cold rainbow facets and specific gears such as Nightwing's Veil for cold bowzons. Most of these items are only available in ladder and these items sunder charms and plague runeword are the only items that unlock a practical option to break monster immunities. If you're playing on non-letter, then there's not much new for you in a mid-game stage other than rainbow facets or a Nightwing's Veil for a cold bowazon to further boost damage. If you're playing on ladder, then you get some convenient options open up to you to break monster immunities with sunder charms. As well as a variety of other options to further reduce enemy resistances with the plague runeword for its lower resist proc that you can equip 1 or 2 of on an act 5 mercenary, and a flickering flame rune word for +5 skills and up to -15% enemy fire resistance if you're running a fire bowazon. For a fire bowazon, a fire sunder charm flickering flame in plague together provide a viable option for dealing with fire immune monsters effectively. For a cold bowazon using Wizendraw adding just 1 cold sunder charm will allow them to deal with cold immune monsters effectively as well, so the barrier of entry for dealing with immunities is much lower for a cold bowazon and can also be complemented with a plague as well, but that is more optional. If you are considering going with a plague on a cold bowazon mercenary, keep in mind that your freezing arrow shuttle freeze enemies and therefore prevent most monsters from attacking your mercenary. So that lowers this proc on Plague will not trigger very often. Whereas for a fire bowazon, you should expect a low resist prop from plague took off more reliably, just make sure your mercenary is tanky enough to withstand all those hits.

So with those additional item options, the fire bowazon’s able to equalize things a bit and although cold bowazon is on using a cold sunder charm who have a harder time making up the loss of cold resistance, it's still give a very slight edge to cold bowazons for that lower barrier of entry to dealing with immune monsters, as well as that damage boost from Nightwing's Veil.

  • End Game: More ways to break immunities and reduce resistance

During the late game where all other item options open up, this is where we start to talk about your enigmas, infinity, rainbow facets and all the high-end bow options. If you're playing non-ladder, infinity grants a viable option for breaking some monster immunities and with that fire bowazons have an advantage as Morpher immunities are broken with infinity, then cold immunities are broken. If you're playing on ladder and already using a plague in sunder charm, infinity provides a solid upgrade for lowering resistances that is both stronger and more reliable than a plague runeword. In any case, late game opens up a lot of high-end bow options such as Ice, Phoenix and Matriarchal socketed with perfect facets. From a cost perspective, all of the high-end bow options require either high runes or perfectly rolled rainbow facets to make and therefore expensive or very hard to obtain. Both Phoenix are nice require jar and low runes. 

In summary, both the fire and cold bowazon builds gear progression road maps are similar but have their differences. With cold bowazons having an upper hand in the early parts of this journey, on the high end getting a perfect fire facets and the GG circlet for three of those is certainly a daunting task. So to fire bowazon has a high gear ceiling in the end game but at the same time higher clear speed potential in high density areas or in high players difficulties. So the verdict fire bowazons and cold bowazons are two different flavors of an elemental bowazon that share a lot of similarities. For party play, fire bowazons state the cake easily as a better option for playing together with others, while cold bolsons can be more useful in certain team setups. 

D2R Fire Vs Cold Bowazon Enjoyment and Gameplay Factors

Fire Bowazons:

  • Coordinate between exploding and immolation arrow

  • Less aiming as monsters herd towards you more

  • Less crowd control so need to stay alert

  • Faster clear speed than cold bowazons

  • Phoenix: Balance of life sustain and damage output

  • 5x Faced Bow: Higher risk but faster clear speed

Cold Bowazons:

  • Use freezing arrow as your one and only attack skill

  • More aiming and shooting as monsters stay spread apart

  • Crowd control keeps you safe

  • Clear things at a slightly slower pace

  • That satisfaction of shattering monsters

  • Ice: Forst nova procs look really cool too


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