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Author Topic: OMG LASERS PEW PEW (Wizard Thread)  (Read 24553 times)
Rendakor
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on: May 15, 2012, 11:03:06 PM

So I figure we need threads for the individual classes, so here's one for Wizzy. I've got mine up to ~23 so far and loving it. Until recently just getting meteor, I was using the following build:

Actives:
Electrocute (Chain Lightning)
Disintegrate
Frost Nova (the one that makes additional frost novas when things die)
Wave of Force (Stun instead of snare)
Diamond Skin (Prism, reduced AP cost of skills while it's up)
Explosive Blast

Passives:
Power Hungry
Prodigy

I generally cast Explosive Blast as I run into a pack, put up Diamond Skin then Frost Nova. Wait a second, then hit Wave of Force so it goes off right when EB does. Then Disintegrate anything still moving, using Electrocute to regain mana as needed. I'm not sure which skill to drop for Meteor, or if I should rearrange my build around it (instead of focusing on PBAoEs). How's everyone else playing the Wizzy?

Yes, I just made this thread because the servers are down and I'm bored. Sue me.

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Merusk
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Reply #1 on: May 16, 2012, 07:36:49 AM

I'm always grouping so I'm going for the 'glass cannon' (even took the passive)

At 22, here's my current build:

Electrocute (Chain lighting)
Disintegrate
Frost Nova (Cooldown reduction)
Hydra
Familiar
Explosive Blast

Passives:
Glass Cannon
CD Reduction

I can toss frost novas every few seconds now, which helps mitigate a lot of damage if I do a stick & weave on the melee chars.  Electrocute is my primary and then disintegrate once they're packed-together.    I'll drop Hydra if there's a bigger pack or a yellow/ purple mob.  I haven't found much use for EB in this build so I'm debating changing to the 'pick your build' option and putting Wave of Force w/ stun in to it or a defensive spell so I don't assplode so quick.  Or perhaps whirlwind.. which was fun for big packs but kid of useless on bosses.


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Reply #2 on: May 16, 2012, 11:51:48 AM

I'm playing solo, level 25:

Damage:

Magic Missile (Charged Blast)
Arcane Orb (Obliteration)
Hydra (Arcane Hydra)

Defense/Utility:

Frost Nova (Shatter)
Diamond Skin (Crystal Shell)
Ice Armour (Chilling Armour)

Passives:

Evocation (-cooldowns)
Astral Mind (++ Arcane Power and Regen)

Setting up a hydra at the start of fight and then using Arcane Orb when I have the power, and missile when I don't seems to work best for me. I like the range on magic missile and it's high speed. Diamond skin is too useful as an 'oh shit' button for me to give up, and the frost nova with shatter is just fantastic when combined with arcane orb. I have managed to chain novas 3 or 4 times with this, which is usually ample time to finish off most packs. Ice Armour is useful since you seem to invariably end up stuck in the middle of things paying solo, and survivability is a win.

I'm using the templar as a companion, with most of the tanky abilities (charge, intervene, etc). I haven't really tried either of the others, but I don't see how they would synergise as well.

I like the variety of abilities, but there's a bunch I haven't found much use for:

Mirror Image - Seems less useful than Diamond Skin as an escape, and the images don't do any damage.
Magic Weapon - Could replace Ice armour in groups where you are getting focused less, solo it's less good I feel. Pretty boring too.
Shock Pulse - Just seems inferior to Magic Missile and Electrocute in every way.
Arcane Torrent - Aiming this seems to be a pain,

Perhaps as I get runes some other abilities will become more appealing. In general, given the constraints of arcane power, I think you want something like this:

1) Signature spell (Either Magic Missile, or Electrocute depending on preference)
2) Arcane Power DPS ability (and AoE ability (Orb, Twister, Blast) if you took Missile, a single-target ability (Ray of Frost, Disintergrate) if you took electrocute).
3) CC - Frost Nova
4)

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Reply #3 on: May 16, 2012, 11:53:25 AM

Played a little with the Wizard last night. Meh. Missile is ok...but slower than I like (and I play a WD with Frogs slotted...so yeah). Frost Ray Gun thing was also a bit jarring, but interesting. I might play that character down the road, but right now there is nothing that makes me say MUST use this charcter.

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Merusk
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Reply #4 on: May 16, 2012, 12:05:23 PM

Arcane Torrent is pretty powerful but just not as fun as Disintegrate.  It's as easy to aim as any other spell, easier if you have problems aiming at monsters themselves since it does aoe damage.  If you pair it with the Disruption rune you're doing 201% weapon damage. Woo.

I'm rethinking evocation.  I don't see that I have as many CDs as I'd originally thought, so it's probably not all that useful right now.

Mirror Image doesn't seem like it would be useful at all until level 58 when they do damage.. but even then it's only 10% weapon damage.  Uninspiring to say the least.  This 4th active slot is what will get me to turn off 'suggested' skill layouts because Archon is the only one I can see making decent use of and that doesn't happen until level 30.

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Reply #5 on: May 16, 2012, 12:07:37 PM

I can't work out if Prodigy or Astral Mind is better for power regen, but you could try those.

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Reply #6 on: May 16, 2012, 12:15:54 PM

Good question.  Instinct says Prodigy but I don't have the math to back that up. I'm sure someone's already done it on one of the D3 sites.

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Rendakor
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Reply #7 on: May 16, 2012, 03:53:46 PM

Wow, Archon is awesome. Dropped Diamond Skin for it, although I'm not sure if that's the best call. Still using a PBAoE build like in the OP while solo, using the Enchantress follower because she stays back and CCs for me.

In groups I was using something like the following when we finished Act 4:
Electrocute (Chain Lightning)
Disintegrate (Chaos Nexus)
Archon
Blizzard (Grasping Chill)
Diamond Skin (Prism)
Meteor (Molten Impact)

Let the melee pack the mobs up and rain death from above!

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Zane0
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Reply #8 on: May 16, 2012, 04:13:44 PM

1) Shock Pulse (explosive bolts)
2) Arcane Orb (damage)
3) Explosive Blast
4) Hydra

Utility:

1) Frost Nova (shatter)
2) Magic Weapon

Passive:

1) Power Hungry
2) Glass Cannon

There's a pretty well honed risk/reward here: comparative safety at long range vs. quick results at short range. Shock pulse is pretty close quarters but can tear through packs of weak mobs with explosion rune (try this out). I play close. Shock pulse / arcane orb chains frost nova, which allows for easy explosive blast, which creates more mana through health orbs that are virtually at my feet (via power hungry), which I can then feed into more arcane orbs for anything left standing. If things go wrong things get hairy; if things go right everything dies very fast. This might not work in the long run but it's fun enough going through act 2 and 3.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2012, 04:20:07 PM by Zane0 »
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Reply #9 on: May 16, 2012, 06:06:30 PM

Blizzard is pretty awesome.

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calapine
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Reply #10 on: May 16, 2012, 09:01:03 PM

So, I just got

Disintegrate, Beam of 155 weapon damage arcane

which is similar to

Ray of Frost, Beam of 215 weapon damage frost on first enemy + 30% slow


So Ray of Frost seems to be the better single target spell while Disintegrate is good for more than one enemy (if standing in a line^^)

Is that correct or did I miss anything?

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Reply #11 on: May 17, 2012, 03:28:20 AM

Disntegrate also looks freaking amazing!

(and has synergies with other arcane boosting stuff whereas you don't seem to get frost boosting stuff until later on).
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Reply #12 on: May 17, 2012, 06:38:25 AM

Yeah, Ray is the best single-target but costs arcane.  When I hit 28 I'm seriously considering picking it with the cold blood rune.  It's listed as reducing casting cost to 0.  If it really does cost nothing, it'll be fantastic for bosses while I'm recharging Arcane Torrent.

I got meteor last night and it's lots of fun, particularly in dungeons with choke points.  Frost nova - Meteor - run back and chain lighting for another meteor.   DRILLING AND MANLINESS

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Reply #13 on: May 17, 2012, 07:42:23 AM

Archon is really fun, but somewhat situational. It's only good when you have a ton of low-hp minions to kill to keep the duration going.

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Reply #14 on: May 17, 2012, 02:39:01 PM

I hit 11 or 12 last night, is there a breakpoint where this class becomes more fun/powerful?
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Reply #15 on: May 17, 2012, 02:41:42 PM

I think you get Disintegrate at 21, which is all kinds of fun. My wiz is still 13 or 14. The Tornado spell thing is pretty amusing, but not sure how powerful it actually is.

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Reply #16 on: May 17, 2012, 02:53:44 PM

It's not an OP class and it's fragile.  If you like getting in melee or playing solo I can't recommend the class.  It works best when someone else is in there corralling the mobs and taking the face hits.

It's definitely felt more powerful as I've leveled-up and gotten more skills.  Arcane Barrage or runed Arcane Orb are the two most powerful spells if you're looking pure throughput. Disintegrate is fun for pure pew-pew lasers and large swaths of monsters.

Definitely see if you're keeping up with the best weapon possible and offhand focus by scouring the AH.  It makes a huge difference when you're upgrading those, as the folks in the AH thread indicate.    I'd say if you're not having fun by 21 the class just isn't for you, give another a go. 

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Reply #17 on: May 17, 2012, 02:59:08 PM

Definitely see if you're keeping up with the best weapon possible and offhand focus by scouring the AH.  It makes a huge difference when you're upgrading those, as the folks in the AH thread indicate.
This, yep yep. I was feeling pretty weak at around 14 until I decked myself out in the AH.

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Reply #18 on: May 17, 2012, 04:02:29 PM

Thirded. I've just turned my wizard from a weak and squishy coward into a near-fearless avenging angel of firey death thanks to 30 mins on the AH.

I switched from Frost Nova to Diamond Skin too and that has greatly increased my survivability. The difference is that you can pop DS just before charging into a pack of mobs, thus preventing the first wave of hits on you. With FN they landed a load of hits on me before I cast it.

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Reply #19 on: May 17, 2012, 04:18:02 PM

I find Diamond Skin to be too useful as an emergency button to ditch it, especially in nightmare. Once you start hitting those rare/elite packs with ability combos that trap and nuke you it is a life saver. I'm not sure I could fit in another Arcane Power ability anyway, since I already have Hydra and one other, so I don't feel like I'm giving much up for it. I find my Wizard pretty punchy, but when I do die it's usually very fast.

I'm pretty set on Diamond Skin, Frost Nova and Hydra as core abilities. I'm alternating between Magic Missile and Electrocute for my signature; spectral blade is too short ranged, and shock pulse is too hard to aim, even with the level33 rune.

I'm mainly using Arcane Orb as my AP dump, it's DPS, aimability, cost and AoE all seem to hit a sweet spot. I have messed around with the others but none of them seem to work so well in general. Twister is too hard to aim, Disintegrate Aiming just feels clunky, Ray of Frost is only single-target DPS, but most of the time I want an AoE, Blizzard I use sometimes but its DPS seems to be a lot lower than Arcane Orb, Meteor is Fun but again, it's hard to aim for maximum effectiveness. Wave of Force has a cooldown, and Explosive Blast is limited by being a PBAoE. Arcane Torrent becomes interesting with the mines rune, but summoning Hydra despawns your mines so...

I dropped Ice Armour for Slow Time with the rune to make mobs take more damage, seems to be nice. I sometimes swap it out for Archon, and I might try Teleport there.

Magic Weapon, Familiar, Mirror Image all seem pretty crap still.

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Reply #20 on: May 17, 2012, 05:22:20 PM

Yeah, Ray is the best single-target but costs arcane.  When I hit 28 I'm seriously considering picking it with the cold blood rune.  It's listed as reducing casting cost to 0.  If it really does cost nothing, it'll be fantastic for bosses while I'm recharging Arcane Torrent.

I got meteor last night and it's lots of fun, particularly in dungeons with choke points.  Frost nova - Meteor - run back and chain lighting for another meteor.   DRILLING AND MANLINESS

In-game it says it reduces it to 12.  I still use Ray of Frost with Snow Blast (+damage when on one target) for bosses and such, but the rest of the time in Normal I was running with Disintegrate with Convergence (wider beam).

I think Energy Twister and Meteor are really cool, but they're kind of a hassle to use in a quickly-moving co-op game.  Here's what I was using at the end of Normal (with a Monk/Barb/DH): http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#UiXdjQ!Xcb!aaaaaa

Only thing I'll add is that for my needs Wave of Force with Impactful Wave (stun) was enough on the defensive side to replace Frost Nova, and it does damage.  And yes, I really can't pull myself away from Diamond Skin.

I am looking forward to replacing Sparkflint Famaliar with Force Weapon though, as it's just plain better.  I might run both if I'm solo as I don't need Teleport AS much there.

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Reply #21 on: May 17, 2012, 06:02:55 PM

The level 36 runed version of electrocute is  awesome, for real

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Reply #22 on: May 18, 2012, 03:03:45 AM

I found the best way to use twister was to rune it to cost less arcane power, and the combine it with diamon darin with the rune that reduces arcane power cost. I could happily toss 12 tornadoes into  a room and *nothing* survived that amount of damage.
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Reply #23 on: May 18, 2012, 06:24:56 AM

My (27) wizard is hooked on arcane orb. It blows everything up nice and easy along with the Power Hungry passive.

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Reply #24 on: May 18, 2012, 06:55:39 AM

Archon is really fun, but somewhat situational. It's only good when you have a ton of low-hp minions to kill to keep the duration going.

I'm actually a huge fan of Archon. My plan at 50 is to set the Critical Miss and Evocation passives, stack all +Crit on my gear and see if I can get near 100% uptime (ideally without having to use Archon's CD reduction rune). If I can, I'm probably going to run something like this:

Archon (Arcane Destruction until Imp Archon, unless I need Pure Power)
Magic Weapon (Force Weapon)
Familiar (Sparkflint)
Energy Armor (Pinpoint Barrier)

I'm not sure what I'll use for the last two skills. Probably Diamond Skin in case the stars don't align and I get stuck out of Archon for very long, and a Signature skill so I can do some damage while caught in human form. I'm not sure how well it will work but I'll see in ~10 levels.

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Reply #25 on: May 18, 2012, 07:30:02 AM

Interesting idea; I think you'll get murdered by some of the rare packs without any escapes other than teleport though. I guess it depends on your DPS. In nightmare there are already some combinations of rare/elite mob ability that can instagib you if you are unlucky. Any combo that traps you e.g. Jailer or Frozen, combined with a high DPS ability like Arcane, Mortar or Chains can ruin you very fast.

Currently I'm very comfortable with a kite-build on Nightmare: Diamond Skin (++Absorb), Frost Nova (+Shatter), Poison Hydra, Teleport (+Safe), Electrocute (+pew pew lasors), Blizzard (+Lingering Chill). Keep Blizzard and Hydra between yourself and the mobs and laser them to death. if anything gets too close you can use Frost Nova, Diamond Skin or Teleport to escape. It works well for me, and seems to do well on bosses or packs where you need to kite around a lot.

I'm also playing around with the stun on electric damage, but it doesn't seem to proc very often.

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Reply #26 on: May 18, 2012, 08:42:10 AM

I'm in love with my meteor spam build. Seems okay for nightmare, but watching 5 meteors smack into the ground around me throwing everything up in the air is brilliant fun and surprisingly high damage.
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Reply #27 on: May 18, 2012, 01:06:26 PM

What's the opinion on the two "passive" dps-enhancer spells:

Magic Weapon (+10% flat damage increase)
Familiar (Sparkflint rune +12% flat damage increase)

They seem nice when playing lazy, as they are both 5 minute duration. So turn them on and forget about them, while still gaining benefits from the spell-slot.
But do you think they are worth giving up some of the better AOE spells like metors or other utility stuff?


Normal mode doesn't really seem to give a good idea for later game builds. Right now at lvl 31 gameplay boilds down to  standing there with a wide-beam disintegrate murdering pack after pack. AP cost reduced frost-beam for single bosses and when manas run out, but most of the time everything is dead before that.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2012, 01:12:35 PM by calapine »

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Maledict
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Reply #28 on: May 18, 2012, 01:26:49 PM

Magic weapon is bugged and gives significantly more than 10% dps it seems. I go from 678 to 820 when using it, which is a hell of a lot more than 10%. Seems like its applying itself to the weapon twice or something. Sparkling which should be higher only takes me to 759 for example.

Personally I run with one of the passives tops, because the game is a lot more fun with more spells. I have a friend who is playing pretty much that build (both passives, diamond skin, nova, disintegrate and the chain lightning) and whilst it's probably mathematically a superior build its also dull as hell...
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Reply #29 on: May 18, 2012, 02:04:32 PM

Yeah, magic weapon is AWESOME.  Keep in mind it raises your weapon damage, not a flat damage increase after bonuses like sparkflint.  If you've got a slow weapon with a fast attack speed & good attack speed modifiers it will raise your attack quite a bit more.

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Reply #30 on: May 18, 2012, 02:57:36 PM

I don't have any attack speed modifiers and magic weapon is still giving me +20%. It's something to do with the off-hand because the enchant also affects that, but still not actually sure how it is bugged.
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Reply #31 on: May 18, 2012, 03:24:49 PM

If it's including the offhand I'd guess that's at least one part of the bug. 

I've got an increase from 395 to 475 with vs without so we're seeing the same increase.

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Reply #32 on: May 19, 2012, 11:46:46 AM

Wizards are a horrible, horrible class to try and kill Diablo with.  I still haven't done it and I've hit the fight about 25 times now. Solo, grouped, doesn't matter.  Hell, it's worse solo than grouped because he focuses you the entire time.   I've gotten to phase 3 ONCE.

I'm quite annoyed.

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Reply #33 on: May 19, 2012, 11:57:47 AM

What build are you using? I found it to be a complete arse as a wizard, and remarkably un-fun.

I did it after about 8-10 attempts or so I guess? Pretty much the same build I stated up in the thread earlier. Don't worry too much about signature spells, just kite him around the central bridge keeping hydra up near him and dropping blizzards whenever you have the arcane power. The most important thing to dodge is his conflagration attack, as that killed me a lot. If he teleports to you frost nova him and run away. If you get caught in the bone prison (which ideally you shouldn't if you just keep kiting) pop diamond skin as soon as the stun wears off. You'll get odd windows where he's casting something, or just standing there and you can use that time to whittle his HP down using whatever signature spell you prefer (magic missile is probably best).

Take whichever other utility spell you prefer as your sixth (after MM, hydra, Blizzard, FN and DS). Slow time or teleport would probably be good, you can kite him through slow time bubbles to help put distance between him. Use potions on cooldown and play really conservatively in P2, and otherwise just slowly nibble his HP down.

I tried it on a public game but the two Demon Hunters I got grouped with spent about 90% of the fight dead, but kiting with Hydra and Blizzard worked well enough, it just took ages.

But yes, sucky fight.

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Reply #34 on: May 19, 2012, 12:02:58 PM

Using this build, based off comments inthe D3 forum.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#aZXRSP!WXa!abaaaa

I find it impossible to dodge the conflag attack .. It almost always flares within a few feet of me, so I burn and die.  The AOE flares that trace the ground fuck me up, too.

Unfun is exactly how Id put it.  Particularly the wizard shadow clones, whcih seem to have not been nerfed from beta damage to Arcane orb.  One orb from one clone wiped my entire group one attempt.

The past cannot be changed. The future is yet within your power.
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