Diablo® III

My opinions about wizard skills (Inferno)

Posts: 19
Primary:

Magic Missile:
My main offensive skill, with seeker it's my only real spammable skill in inferno.

Shock pulse:
Outside of Piercing Orb or Living Lightning, is absolutely useless.

Spectral Blades.
Useless on inferno. You are forced to kite and you have no room to use this skill.

Electrocute.
I do like this skill, though on inferno I do not see enough damage come from this.

Secondary:

Ice Beam:
It's a nice skill, but it's only good for single targets, the 280% damage rune is good, however the build I use does not let me use it to its full potential. Also, it's a channeled spell, so it's useless outside of boss fights.

Arcane Orb:
The only real skill I can use for inferno. Alternating between magic Missile and this skill is worked for me pretty well in act 1

Arcane Torrent:
Useless imho, standing still in inferno is a death sentence. this skill is slow and does not do any damage to be a worthy investment.

Disintegrate:
A good skill for hallways of enemies, however is useless for boss fights and elites on inferno. Chaos Nexus is the main rune i'll ever use as it ticks away at everything around you. I like this skill, but useless in inferno also.

Defensive

Frost Nova:
A great CC skill, however I've noticed elites mobs get out of it faster, and cold snap is the only rune I could really use. My build does not allow me to use this skill. That being said, the stun is a bit on the short side.

Diamond Skin:
Crystal Shell. Hands down. Everything else doesn't work as good as it.

Slow Time:
As a defensive skill, it's useless at inferno. Some damage reduction would be nice, but mobs move way too quickly to be able to count the movement speed reduction on this skill. Attacks are slower, yes, but still hurt like hell.

Teleport:
A great defensive skill, wormhole and fracture are both amazing in terms of saving your !@# in a bad situation.

Force:

Wave of Force:
I love this skill, it has potential, however I don't have room for this skill because of how bogged down to prioritize defensive skills.

Energy Twister:
This skill would be good if you could control where the twisters could go. Other than that, the damage is okay, but ticks too slowly.

Hydra:
A great skill for kiting, arcane, lighting and venomous are great runes for this skill.

Meteor:
Absolute Crap. At first I was excited about this skill, but when I used it, it didn't really impress me. Too long of a delay and bad damage/ap ratio to boot (All flash, no substance)

Blizzard:
An okay skill, but doesn't do enough damage. Damage ticks too slowly and in inferno, the slow is okay, but won't save your $%^.

Conjuration:

Ice Armor:
In inferno, it's just not worth it as you risk getting 1 shot by elites and bosses.

Storm Armor:
See above.

Magic Weapon:
I love this buff, but my build does not let me use it.

Familiar:
A little pixie that flies next to you and does only 40% weapon damage. Skip.

Energy Armor:
A great defensive skill, Force Armor is a controversial skill but is what I rely on to keep myself alive on inferno. For farming I use Energy Tap.

Mastery:

Explosive Blast:
For what it's worth, I don't like it. Too much risk for reward, and is just not worth it imo.

Mirror Image:
I use Teleport's Fracture so I don't really use this skill. But is great to distract mobs as you pick away at them.

Archon:
Useless in Inferno unless it's a boss but it's not recommended.

My Wizard's Build:

Magic Missile - Seeker.
Arcane Orb - Tap The Source.
Energy Armor - Force Armor
Teleport - Fracture
Hydra - Arcane

Passives: Glass Cannon, Illusionist, Temporal Flux

Why? I built this character centered around kiting as arcane slows with temporal flux, it works but isn't as noticeable as other slows. Illusionist for teleport and Glass cannon for extra damage.
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Pretty much the same build as mine with Diamond Skin, but I use Prodigy (+4 mana per hit) instead of Glass Cannon. Every time I use GC, I seem to die alot, and I burn through mana.

I also use Celestial Orb for mainly two reasons - one it make trash mobs trivial, and it works wonders on elites with minion immunity or some form of that... even though they may be bunched up, I'm still hitting the boss elite with every orb.

Hydra I tend to use venom, because the Fracture mirror images do take aggro off of you, and elites will stand still for up to 5 seconds fighting them. The dot is pretty substantial, and my orbs and missiles slow enemies anyway.

I don't so much kite anymore, as teleport around my hydra. Elites coming, drop a hydra by your feet, and when they get near, teleport to the area they came from. About 1/2 the time, the elites will stop right by the hydra and attack the fracture images. I try to teleport all around the hydra so elites get ticks of dmg in the venom pools also. Kiting far distances isn't efficient.
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Posts: 116
Do you ever think there's a place for an illusion-heavy build? Something like...

Magic Missile
Arcane Orb
Venom Hydra

Force Armor
Mirror Image
Teleport/Fracture

Glass Cannon/Illusionist/Temporal Flux?
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Do you ever think there's a place for an illusion-heavy build? Something like...

Magic Missile
Arcane Orb
Venom Hydra

Force Armor
Mirror Image
Teleport/Fracture

Glass Cannon/Illusionist/Temporal Flux?


I thought about trying both Teleport/Fracture and Mirror Image(the 2 with increased health) in a build. If they both instantly cooldown from Illusion, then you could literally have mirror images up always during a fight.

If I could figure out how to make the images always take aggro off me (when being chased by a fast elite pack for example), then I'd do it in an instant.
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Posts: 116
I might even think about replacing Illusions with that Critical Mass one (-1s cooldown when you crit). If I'm kiting correctly, then I should be critting more than I'm getting hit. A short cooldown would help keep me mobile and an army of mirrors running about.
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Posts: 1,772
Couple things:

1) IMO Obliteration is better than Tap the Source. The latter is slightly more AP efficient but only assuming you stay in 1 spot. For quick AP dumps while kiting (which is what you do more of than standing still) Obliteration is superior.

2) Don't bash Familiar, it's extra dps (20% on same target as you) and a combination of either 2AP/s regen or 12% extra damage (like Magic Weapon). With Glass Cannon + runed Magic Weapon + runed Familiar you're looking at +42% extra damage after all modifiers. Sick.
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Posts: 116
05/22/2012 02:40 PMPosted by Mikhail
2) Don't bash Familiar, it's extra dps (20% on same target as you) and a combination of either 2AP/s regen or 12% extra damage (like Magic Weapon). With Glass Cannon + runed Magic Weapon + runed Familiar you're looking at +42% extra damage after all modifiers. Sick.


This would be AWESOME for group play where someone else can be on the front line, but I get the feeling a lot of Inferno is about balancing survivability with damage. I would really worry about dedicating 2 whole skill slots to damage boosts.

What kind of a solo build would you run with all those puppies up, or were you thinking group play only?
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Thank you OP for taking the time to provide a clean opinion on all of the available skills. This was very helpful. +1
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The problem with Mirror Images is that they only have 25% of your health and I haven't used the skill long enough but I don't think your Mirror Images get Energy Armor when you use Armor with it on.

On a side note, is there a note with Mirror Images when Teleport with Fracture does essentially the same thing unless you use Mirror Images with Duplicate Rune.
Edited by Karock#1451 on 5/22/2012 4:30 PM PDT
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Different play style than mine, I like it and I'll give a try. Thank you OP :)
Edited by JLP#1301 on 5/22/2012 4:17 PM PDT
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illusions dispells any stun, so you would rather take illusionist to make it happen more often.
Prison + mortar will change your mind.
Very good for kite allso. You can reset cooldown while being hit with diamond skin activated.
It's for me MANDATORY.

Nice guide btw
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Posts: 96
Agree with most of what you've said. I'm disappointed that even under normal circumstances in hell or nightmare there are just so many useless skills and runes for the Wizard (for every class really).

Frost Beam is awful in almost every situation with every rune. I never found a use for it. It should have been a base skill with no arcane cost for as poor as it is. Shame there isn't a rune for any signature spell to turn it to frost so you could use cold blooded and make a true frost mage in some fashion.

I'm also not a fan of mirror image or blink at all. They're both awful skills overall. Blink is great on inferno but only to get out of effects and for fracture.

I'm between blizzard and cold blooded and arcane orb and flux with diamond skin, teleport with fracture, and venom hydra.

Inferno is such a pain. Just got to act 2 and can't even make it out of the pass the majority of the time because of a pack or something else. I think I'm just going to farm up the cow level till I'm at 20k and 20k or something
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90 Human Mage
11415
Posts: 396
Just wanted to mention that Familiar with Ancient Guardian rune can also be used to prevent death every 6 seconds when your life is low. May not be much but sometimes that one extra hit being prevented is all you need to survive. Besides, with teleport/MI and Illusionist, you should have no problem surviving for 6 seconds after proccing the familiar ability.
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