Explosive Bolts is a skillrune effect of the Wizard's Shock Pulse skill.
The basic bolt damage or behavior does not improve with this rune, but with the rune active, monsters killed by the bolts explode in a dome-shaped electrical effect that deals 70% weapon damage to every enemy within 10 yards. (Additional monsters killed by the dome bonus do not also explode into a dome effect.)
While this effect does nothing to boost overall damage against single targets, it greatly improves the effectiveness against large groups, as the domes add considerable AoE damage. This rune is hugely useful when it first becomes available, as low level enemies can be killed by one or two Bolts, and will then explode, causing a chain reaction of death throughout the group. Low hit point monsters that attack in bunches are especially vulnerable to this rune.
The rune becomes useless at higher levels, when enemies have greatly increased hit points, do not die quickly, and hardly flinch at a 70% bonus damage splash.
Skill Rune Effects
Refer to the Shock Pulse rune effects article for thorough descriptions of all five rune effects in this skill, including screenshots, videos, strategy tips, and other related information.
|| Shock Pulse
|| This is a Signature spell. Signature spells are free to cast.|
Release a medium range pulse of 3 unpredictable charges of electricity that deal 194% weapon damage as Lightning.
|| Explosive Bolts
|| Slain enemies explode, dealing 184% weapon damage as Cold to every enemy within 10 yards.|
Shock Pulse's damage turns into Cold.
A corpse is blasted by the dome.
This skill creates impressive domes of lightning when it triggers, blasting enemy corpses high into the air. Watching blackened zombie corpses rain back down several seconds later is one of the overlooked joys of this rune effect.
Prior to the skill revision in February 2012, this rune effect was enabled by the Alabaster Rune, granting the following effect with a level 7 runestone:
|| Explosive Bolts
Slain enemies have a 100% chance to explode dealing 450% weapon damage as Lightning to every enemy within 10 yards.