Before I show my rationale for what moves to use, you have to understand the way a higher lvl fight goes for a wizard: over 90% of the fights are basically a rush of easily killed aoeable monsters coming at you, which you can dispatch with whatever AOE moves you have on hand. After dispatching this main zerg, there are usually either a few stragglers left behind or a few gimmicky mobs who avoided your wrath and are causing trouble (usually ranged) for you to clean up. If you cannot kill simple packs like this, you are not going to solo anything. This is the easy trash of the game, just get through this and keep going.
The main problem are when ANY champion or rare packs come: These beasts are usually 3-6 in a pack (or 1 main guy and minions), sport ridiculous modifiers, and cannot be exploded with AOE. you have to KITE LIKE CRAZY, backtracking several hundred yards or in large circles (and particularly around corners) to get these packs to seperate enough to take out 1 minion at a time. You simply cannot AOE down these packs, as most sport over 60k hp per mob (thats without "extra health") and can flatten you a lot faster than vice versa. Your main strategy here is to flee like hell, and when you see a good opportunity (minion vortex is down, they wont run to you before u can cast and run) unload as much arcane power as you can, then flee again. This is the strategy you will use in virtually all difficult D3 encounters, even the bosses (works great on diablo).
Which primary skill you use is borderline irrelevant. They all deal mediocre damage, and you are very unlikely to have enough time to do more than use it as a quick ranged auto attack every once in a while in between fleeing like crazy.
Electrocute : This is likely the best of the best primaries for most encounters. If you are looking for speed most of the time, nothing works greater than this + the 6 chained rune to help out your main AOE spell. However, in most cases your main AOE will wipe out such a signifant chunk of mobs that the chain lightning rune will do nothing for yoy, not to mention how useless that rune is once you are down to a few rare / champion mobs. As a result, my favorite rune to use here is surge of power, as it will allow you to get back enough AP to use your main AOEs and nukes again as fast as possible.
Arcane Missile: If you can GUARANTEE you will not need aoe to any degree on a fight, swap out for arcane missile, which will of course deal more damage to single target mobs. In fact, this spell is how to kill most of the act bosses in between rounds of dodging whatever fireball they are throwing. The viable options for runes are either charged arcane missile, or the one that makes it return 4 AP per cast. The 4 ap will let you spam your harder hitting moves more, but if you are using this you are likely in a 1v1 fight where you are dodging too much to let your AP bottom out all the time. I prefer charged missile. All other variations of the runes are weak AOE substitues for electrocute.
Hard to use: Spell blade,Shock pulse. Low range, unable to "click on mobs" means you will miss pot shots if you are fleeing from champions, inadvisable to use.
Main AOE damage: (right click):
There are 2 main AP dumps you can use, disintegrate or arcane orb. If you are dealing with a huge aoe pack of mobs, disintegrate will very likely deal more damage than arcane orb. HOWEVER, the entire time you use this you STAND STILL and let the mobs get close to you. On several champion packs, boss fights, or etc, this is simply unacceptable and will get you killed. My main skill swaps during my time soloing have been swapping this skill around depending on how hard I need to run during a fight.
Example: fighting versus FAST VORTEX WALL minions, dont use disintegrate. you will channel it for 3 seconds and then get your face caved in. Instead, fire all your aps worth of arcane orb and run like hell!
Alternatively, if you find yourself against mobs that are not that fast and not as dangerous (but plentiful) disintegrate will clear them out faster than any other move if you can stand safely for 5 sec.
For disintegrate, Chaos Nexus is hands down the best rune. If you are using disintegrate, you are likely able to stand near mobs safely, and this will increase the damage of the spell by a shocking amount.
For arcane orb, you have several options I cant decide between: Obliterate, Tap the Source, and Celestial Orb are all very good. I would play around with the 3 and decide which you prefer. I think all in all Celestial Orb is far and away the best for hitting 6 super high HP champions chasing you, as with the other 2 it will likely crash into the front minion and will not deal as impressive damage as you'd hoped. Agaim, this is only for champion/unqiue fights, as in a normal AOE scenario it doesnt matter what rune you use you will destroy the whole pack spamming any arcane orb.
AVOID: blizzard, Meteor. Have not been able to use these effectively at all. Champions and elties RUN FAST, and will dodge meteors left and right. Blizzard is a nice snare until you realize that they just left the root with as much hp as they entered it with, and you now have a slightly slower mob bearing down on you with only electrocute to DPS it. If you want a cheap powerful snare, blizzard can be used as one of your 4 bonus skills, but I never have myself and would advice against it.
Diamond Skin: Since aquiring this spell at level 10 or w/e, I have NEVER EVER EVER unbound it from my skillbar. Simply amazing. every 15 seconds you get an amazing divine shield that will prevent any collossal attack from killing you or from a pack of champions that just vortexed you from destroying you. Use this every single time the CD is up, simply amazing (especially with Force armor.. more on that later). One very powerful combo is to use this with disintegrate to tank mobs for the 4-5 seconds you need to completely wipe out an entire pack of them, then simply kiting the rest around another 10 seconds before you get your CD back and can do it again. WIth force armor you will be able to eat 6 extra attacks while you unload your AP into enemies.
Teleport: Teleport is insane for getting out of the myriad situations in which you will find yourself getting 1 shot as a wizard: any time you get vorterxed, jailed, rooted, blinked on, caught in aoe, it doesnt matter, Teleport will get you out of there. Along with diamond skin I would not trade this spell from my bar for anything unless you can guarantee me nothing is going to run anywhere near me during any part of the fight. If you can somehow persuade yourself that you are so good at running you will never be caught in a bad situation then swap this off your skill bar by all means, but remember the skill every time you get gang banged by some elites thereafter. Before Hell, when non-boss fights (even champions) were still pretty much "burn them down before they get close" I could justify not taking TP, but for the elites in hell that you HAVE to kite theres no getting around not using this.
For runes Worm Hole will give you 2 more chances at TP if you mess up the first time (or let you TP past a pack and then away from them), or if you are in very tight corridors Fracture will actually decieve champion mobs away from you giving you a second to get away.
Energy armor after you get force rune is always on, never take it off. This skill is PERFECT for avoiding getting 1 shot by the elite champions after they vortex you. Combine this with illusionist passive and every unique boss becomes a total joke to escape from,especially if Diamond armor is off cd as well.
Last slot: HYDRA.
In the first difficulties, when everything dies instantly and you are always moving forward through a stage, hydra blows. It can get maybe 1 or 2 shots off before youve already finished the pack off anyway. In fights where 90% of the time you are running from a very aggresive pack of high hp mosnters, the Hydra is going to go to town on them for you while you do all the leg work of kiting them. Great spell, deals more damage than it seems (3 heads fire), and if you can guarantee a mob is going to stick around an area a while (such as on a boss) this skill is absolutely amazing for killing things offscreen.
Rune for Arcane for fights with even minor aoe, lightning hydra for primarily 1v1 fights.
Temporal Flux is amazing. As you can see from above, you will be using arcane orb or disintegrate, neither of which slow normally. With this passive you will be able to dish out the DPS as well as keeping all enemies away from you during your kiting spree. It even works on the Arcane Hydra (really really cool for kiting around elites in a circle).
Glass Cannon: After I resigned myself to the fact that I will be getting 1-3 shot by anything from hell difficulty on, this was a clear choice in my arsenal. With force armor, it doesnt matter how much +% damage you have, the monster could hit for 5000000000, you will only take 35% of your life in dmg. But, considering ANY swing from ANYTHING will take you down 35%, this passive is basically "15% free damage".
Illusionist: This passive, + force armor to guarantee not getting 1 shot, is the secret for killing any bosses or exceptionally tough champions. with this teleport is ALWAYS up, and you always have a way to run away if things get dicey. I only use this for when I KNOW a hard enemy is ahead (so mostly bosses), but if you are having trouble surviving I would consider using this all the time until you learn to position yourself better.
If not using illusionist, There are several passives which all basically increase your dps in indirect ways. for levels 1-54 I mostly used Astral Presence for more DPS, but have been playing with arcane dynamo since I got it. This doesnt really matter, experiment with diffierent ones.
For large packs of low dmg monsters: Swap glass cannon for blur, as if a monster hits you for <35% GC hurts you and blur protects you. If the mob hits harder than 35%, blur does nothing for you.
All other moves are too situtional/ have too high a CD to really help you out: Any move that does anything "around you in an area" (force pulse, frost nova, etc) is garbage, as if you are surrounded youre either dead or teleporting away with no time to do anything else. All your other moves dont need you to be within melee range to use them, dont gimp yourself by getting 1 and then insisting on using it. Sure Frost nova will root the elite champions for a few seconds while you run, but teleport would do the exact same thing in that situation.
The take home message here is really(TLDR): Force Armor, Diamond Skin, Teleport will keep you alive FAR LONGER than the other options., especially when rocking illusionist.
if anyone has any questions for me please feel free to ask!