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Comprehensive Diablo III Guide

Everything you need--from the basics to theory crafting--to help take you from Noob to Nephalem.

Wizard Guide

The masters of the elements, Wizards unleash a fury of strong elemental attacks in conjunction with powerful shields that make them a worthy adversary for any foe. Much like the other ranged classes in Diablo 3, the Wizard is most effective at range unleashing havoc upon their foes. Thus, we’ll focus on a Build that allows the Wizard to do what he does best: sit back, relax, and unleash the Hell that is his ‘Arcane Ambush’.

The Wizard’s resource is Arcane Power; it acts in a similar fashion to Mana, regenerating quickly to allow the Wizard to cast spells continuously throughout battles.

Primary Stats: Intelligence, Vitality, Arcane Regeneration or Plus Arcane Power Pool

Secondary Stats: Armor and Resistances (needs to be a focal point at higher levels)

Weapon: Just like the Witch Doctor, don’t be sucked in by a spellcaster weapon. Remember your first priority is to find a weapon that offers solid damage output as it will affect the potency of your spells, but if you’re able to find the best of both worlds in weapon the offers Arcane Power Regen and solid DPS go for it.

The Turn and Burn (Freeze) Build – This build focuses on using the Wizard’s strong Crowd Control abilities in conjunction with his insane amounts of burst damage. The goal is to group enemies up and then devastate them with insane bursts of DPS. We like to call that strategy the old ‘turn and burn’. However, the best part about this build is the irony it represents, even though this build is deemed ‘turn and burn’ most of the damage will be coming from frost attacks.

Skills (Runes):

Magical Missile (Attunement) – Here’s our standard attack for the Wizard. It deals 110% weapon damage as arcane damage, but the real kicker comes from Attunement, which replenishes 4 points of Arcane Power for every attack. The Arcane Power boost is a nice addition to our build as it allows us to store up AP faster and cast more spells.

Ray of Frost (Snow Blast) – For some reason this ability does not get a lot of love and it should, because it’s unbelievable. A frozen beam of ice is unleashed, dealing 215% weapon damage as cold damage to the first enemy it hits and slows the target by 30% for 3 seconds. The strong damage output and slow makes this ability ideal for targeting Elite units, not only dealing significant damage, but keeping them at a safe distance. Snow Blast makes Ray of Frost even more potent, increasing the damage over 1.5 seconds to inflict a maximum of 280% weapon damage as cold. Again this is great for Boss and Elite units dealing insane damage and doing so safely from a distance. Just be aware that this spell will drain your AP rapidly, so only use it when necessary (i.e. for Champion Packs, Unique Monsters, etc.).

Arcane Orb (Obliteration) – We have ourselves geared up to take on the Elite units, but we don’t want the ordinary every day monsters to feel left out, and that’s where this ability comes in. Your all-in-one ball of destruction Arcane Orb does not discriminate. It kills everyone equally, dealing a massive 175% weapon damage as arcane damage to all enemies within 10 yards. Obliteration increases the potency of this ability, dealing 228% weapon damage as arcane damage. The high damage output to reasonable 35 AP cost makes this the perfect minion killer. Use this ability against your average foot soldiers and they’ll drop like flies.

Blizzard (Grasping Chill) – One of my favorite abilities for the Wizard, Blizzard is a visual spectacle which calls down shards of ice that deal 210% damage to enemies in the area over 6 seconds. Grasping Chill turns Blizzard into our number one utility spell of choice, covering the ground with a mist that slows enemies’ movement speed by 60% for 3 seconds. Great damage and great crowd control--this is the Wizard's go-to kiting move. Cast this ability to initiate fights and perpetually throughout the fight to keep enemies slowed and at a safe distance.

Diamond Skin (Crystal) – Sometimes you’ll get caught off guard by enemy advances and that’s where Diamond Skin shines. Casting a protective shield over the Wizard that lasts for 6 seconds and absorbs up to 10853 damage from incoming attacks, Diamond Skin is the perfect ability to give the Wizard that extra bit of survivability. Crystal increases the utility of Diamond Skin, effectively doubling the amount of damage that the shield can absorb to 21707 damage. The fact that this ability is free of AP costs means that it will always be available when needed.

Teleport (Wormhole) – While Diamond Skin is a great ability it won’t always be enough to tank the incoming damage. No, sometimes you just need to get the hell out of there, and for that we have Teleport. This ability allows the player to blink to a selected location up to 35 yards away. Additionally Wormhole gives players a 1 sec reprieve where they may cast the ability again before it goes on cool down. Teleport is the perfect ability to round out this build providing the Wizard with a reliable escape that can be used to avoid a number of lethal situations. Remember being able to tank or heal damage is great, but avoiding damage altogether is ideal.


Cold Blooded – This is the perfect passive for this build as it increases the cold damaged dealt to all chilled and frozen targets by 20%. This will both greatly increase our single target damage with Ray of Frost and our AOE damage with Blizzard.

Prodigy – Because the Wizard will inevitably find himself AP hungry throughout fights, this ability will allow the Wizard to gain an additional 4 AP per hit from Magic Missile, greatly increasing our AP regeneration. For me, this is a no-brainer as more AP equals a greater ability to cast spells, which equals both greater sustain with Teleport and damage with the remaining abilities.

Astral Presence – Again similar to Prodigy this gives the Wizard an additional 20 AP and increases AP regeneration by 2 per second. The same logic that is used for Prodigy can be applied directly here as well. Both Astral Presence and Prodigy complement each other, ensuring that the Wizard is able to continually cast Blizzard, keeping enemies at a distance, as well as taking advantage of the Cold Blooded passive.

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06/02/2012 at 12:36 AM

Good guide. I learned quite a bit.

I'm still skeptical on the AH. Seems any item worth getting is way overpriced; how can anyone afford the million plus gold some of these items go for? Maybe I'm doing it wrong... I wouldn't be surprised if they tweak the Blacksmith in a future patch, so that they remain competitive with the auction house.

Since we don't have a centralized forum, I'll go ahead and shamelessly plug my battletag.  Its Mongoose#1546. You'll know its me if I have a monk named GoldenArms and demon hunter named Desdemona as of this writing. Hit me up if you want smash/farm whatever.

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