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Can someone give me a crash course on the latest wizard builds?

Discussion in 'Wizard' started by sequoia, Mar 21, 2013.

  1. sequoia

    sequoia IncGamers Member

    Sep 26, 2004
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    Hi, so I'm coming from a DH player and I'm interested in trying a wizard. I know *nothing*. I'm not asking for in-depth builds, but at least the broad strokes on what are the most widely accepted cookie cutter build(s). For example, for a DH I'd say - "look into ball lightning or multishot builds depending on your gold for paragon leveling. Standard skills usually include vault, preparation, shadow power, and bat companion."

    I have literally no idea what is still viable or is now newly viable, or what farms well for leveling paragon vs doing higher MPs and/or ubers.

    Thanks for anyones help!

    (I am looking through the stickies right now ! :) )
  2. Frostlion

    Frostlion IncGamers Member

    Jul 4, 2003
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    I am not super up-to-date, but I believe the two main popular builds are still critical mass wizard and archon wizard. Below you will find and quick and rough overview of those, with some tips at the bottom for skills if you're just getting started.

    Critical Mass is extremely gear dependent and requires gear that gives you crit chance, IAS and AP on crit. (I'd say at least 30% Crit, over 2 Attacks per second and 16 AP on crit as an absolute minimum, but more for it to really work well)
    You spam Energy Twister (Wicked Wind) to recharge your skills and your AP.
    You use Explosive Blast (Chain Reaction) for damage.

    The rest of your active skills are optional defensive/offensive skills depending on your survivability and play style and may include:
    Very Defensive
    Teleport (wormhole)
    Diamond Skin (Crystal shell)
    Frost Nova (Cold Snap)
    Energy Armor (Prismatic Armor/Force Armor)

    Frost Nova (Bone Chill/Deep Freeze)
    Energy Armor (Pinpoint Barrier)
    Magic Weapon (Blood Magic)

    Familiar (sparkflint)
    Magic Weapon (Force Weapon)
    Storm Armor (Shocking Aspect)

    For your passive skills you need Critical Mass. Good extras include Evocation, Glass Canon and if you use frost nova, Cold Blooded. You can also use Blur for survivability or Astral Pressence if you have trouble keeping your AP up.

    There is a more complete guide here, that also discusses a number of good alternatives.

    For the archon build, you want to kill quickly to keep archon up. You need decently high damage for this, but it is less gear dependent than Critical Mass - unless you want to play on higher monster powers.
    You basically have Archon (improved Archon or sometimes Teleport) with Familiar (Sparkflint) and Magic Weapon (Force weapon/Blood Magic) to deal enough damage.
    You usually throw in Energy Armor (Pinpoint barrier/prismatic armor) as protection.
    Your last two active skills are to keep you going when you are occasionally out of Archon form and when you start up. Popular choices include Diamond Skin (Crystal Shell) and an offensive signature skill like Spectral Blades (Healing blades) or Shock Pulse (Living Lightning/Piercing Orb), or Energy Twister(Wicked Wind) if you have Critical Mass, to burn through your cooldown quickly

    For your passive skills, Critical Mass helps a lot to cut down your cooldown time, but only if you have a decent crit chance and attack speed.
    Glass Canon is also highly recommended because of the importance of killing speed.
    The other passives are fairly flexible, but Galvanizing Ward is a popular choice because you can neither wait to regenerate, nor recast your magical armor in Archon form. However, some go for Evocation or Blur for example, to decrease archon-downtime or to increase survivability respectively.

    Finally, for builds that don't fall into either of these categories, the following are skills that pop up again and again for wizards that are not geared up enough for the above builds yet:
    - Diamond Skin (Crystal Shell) is by far the strongest wizard defensive ability.
    - Teleport (Wormhole) is useful both for speed and to escape tough spots.
    - Energy Armor (Prismatic Armor) is the biggest passive boost to defenses.
    - Hydra (Arcane Hydra) is great with crappy gear, but it cannot crit, so it is only great until you get geared up.

    If you don't have high crit yet, your choices are basically:
    - Glass Canon for more damage, or Cold Bloodied if you freeze enemies.
    - Blur, Galvanizing Ward or Unstable Anomaly for more survivability
    - Evocation for shorter cooldowns.
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2013

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