Diablo® III

Inferno Melee Wizard Build

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http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/5813011444

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DISCLAIMER: No, I don't think the 1.0.3 nerf on Attack Speed will hurt this spec. I am somewhat sure that 1.0.3 will be a buff for us, actually (thanks to the other changes, specially the nerf on co-op damage (already LIVE) and the nerfs to Act 2-4);

When I wrote this thread I was still progressing through Act 3, so keep that in mind. There is plenty of useful information written on the thread itself, if you're willing to build a Melee Wizard and are willing to spend a lot of gold on gear then you might as well do some reading! Some questions you might have may already be answered.

Viability: I have long cleared Inferno using this very same build. I now currently farm Ponyland (solo and co-op); this build is amazing for Whimsy and I hardly ever have trouble (no suicide bombing, ever). It has plenty of utility for co-op and is not slow at all for Soloing. Gear might be expensive, but this should work for every single spec in the game. In fact, as long as this build is not the mainstream build, perfectly rolled stats for it will still be cheaper than perfectly rolled stats for the mainstream (DPS with no Resists) Wizard build.

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So I've been tinkering with a Critical Mass + Diamond Skin/nova build that revolves around healing while DS/Nova is up by stacking Life Per Hit.

I've had a lot of success with it and I'll, therefore, share it for anyone out there to try out:

MOUSE 1 - Spectral Blade (Deep Cuts):

Well, this is the reason this build works. It has an 88% coefficient on life per hit per cast (so almost 30% per blade). It is amazing for cleave and heals a lot when there are multiple targets in front of you;

IMPORTANT: Spectral Blades does elemental damage based on your weapon. If your weapon has Cold Damage, Spectral Blades WILL apply the on-hit slow. If you're wearing a weapon with poison damage, you WILL do less damage against Plagued mobs (and along with Venom Hydra being poison damage, plagued can take longer to kill than Extra Health).

MOUSE 2 - Meteor (Star Pact):

Also mandatory, with a 50% coefficient on life per hit per target on initial cast and another 25% per tick on the dot, this is too good to pass on. Another reason this is so important is that the dot crits have a 100% chance to proc Critical Mass, which leads to Diamond Skin/Nova Spam with enough crit;

Force Armor (Prismatic, Force or Pinpoint):

The bonus armor is too good, so are all of the rune bonuses this skill can provide. More crit helps on Diamond Skin/Nova uptime as well as increases DPS, I would choose pinpoint if my crit rate was too low. Force is amazing for a build that focuses on resists and not so much on vitality, it scales amazingly well with life per hit and Diamond Armor. Prismatic is the one I use the most, still, the increased resists (specially physical and fire, since molten/fire chains are one of the hardest packs for me) are simply amazing.

Diamond Skin (Crystal Shell):

This one is easy, with the cooldown reduction thanks to Critical Mass this thing is spammable, along with a lot of armor/resists it gets impossible to even measure how much effective health (healing) this is. Also, 50% life -> Diamond Skin and you're full after a few Meteor Ticks/Spectral Blade hits.

Frost Nova (Cold Snap):

Well, another easy one, build is based around keeping things CC'd for a long time. This makes you virtually immune to infinite normal adds (since you can perma-freeze them, pretty much) and helps kiting/healing on champion packs.

Some other runes are also viable, specially the Crit and Increased Damage one (specially good for Co-op, along with Slow Time (Time Warp)).

Last Skill:

Depends on the situation, really. There are several options for different purposes, here's some of them:

Venom Hydra: amazing dps increase as well as good range ability for Zoltun Kulle runs. Unfortunately it doesn't crit nor does it heal with life per hit, but it's still my favorite pick for soloing;

Magic Weapon (Force): well, another flat DPS increase, it's good but I don't think this beats Venom Hydra for the sheer fact that Hydra can DPS while you run.


Archon: gets you ton of resistances while it's up, the coefficient on the melee attack isn't too bad (50% per target), the cooldown runs fast thanks to Critical Mass. and the spike DPS is good for a lot of packs.

Slow Time: Good for a more tank'ish/co-op build. Increases the damage you and your party deal as well as decreases incoming damage. Can use either the bonus attack speed one or the increased damage one. This slow all animations, not just attacks, so it decreases the damage done by bosses by a lot, too.

Passives:

Blur - Critical Mass - X

The third passive really depends on your gear/playstyle, I am currently using Prodigy over Evocation because I believe the extra meteor casts end up decreasing my CDs a lot more than just 15%.

- Conflagration (for even more co-op damage increase goodies);
- Prodigy;
- Evocation;
- Astral Presence;

And some people even theory-crafted Paralysis/Cold-Blooded with Lightning/Cold damage weapons, but I can't say I've tried those.




Follower:


Enchantress, no contest. 15% armor is amazing, 3% attack speed is great and she hurts. Give her a lot of intelligence gear along with a decent DPS weapon and she'll be almost as strong as a venom hydra ;).

Stats:

Weapon: find one with a lot of life per hit and make it a fast one. DPS is good but there is no use to 40k+ dps if you still die, hitting fast with good LPH is the key for this to work.

Armor and Resistances: look for these whenever possible, these are the key for higher Inferno tiers (Act 3 and 4, specially). Stacking these makes Diamond Skin a lot stronger as well as your healing. Ideally you should look for Resist All wherever you can find.

(Normally 10 armor would equal 1 resist all. That's not entirely true since we get 65% more armor and only 40% more resists, but this should be a good guideline for when you are choosing between different pieces of gear)[/i]

Attack Speed: Your best DPS stat will be attack speed, since it increases not only your DPS but also your Healing per second (thanks to life per hit).

Critical Hit: Get something close to 15 at least, shouldn't be too hard, just look for an intellect shield with crit (which shouldn't be too expensive since not a lot of Int users wear shields). Critical Mass + Meteor Ticks = Win.

Try to find Life per hit on rings and amulets, if you get LPH + IAS you're set.

Intellect is still amazing! DPS is good and so are the resists it gives you.

GAMEPLAY:

Depends on your gear, if you outgear content you are unkillable, I can kill 50 Inferno Act 1 mobs without even needing Diamond Skin and Nova, even champion packs. The stronger the mobs are the more perfectly you'll have to execute your rotation, if they are too strong you might have to kite a little.

Use meteor whenever able, the passive healing/cd reduction thanks to the dot is amazing, the initial damage is great and so is the healing. Try to get mobs to stack in front of you, the more mobs you hit, the faster you heal and the faster your cds refresh. Diamond Skin is off of the "Global Cooldown", use this whenever yours goes down (it refreshes FAST, sometimes you'll even overlap it). Keep normal minions nova'd 100% of the time.

On Champion Packs that are too strong to straight up tank do the following:

Get them to chase you, throw a couple meteors at your feet -> Diamond Skin -> hit them with Spectral blade until Diamond Skin wears off -> Frost Nova -> Run -> Repeat;

ALERT:

The meteor dot + Critical Mass thing is something that might be hotfixed/changed, so don't blame me if you use gold and get nerfed.

I am not saying this is the best spec of all, what I'm saying is: this build is fun, it's steady, I can take a lot of hits, I don't need potions to heal, I use Spectral Blades (it looks awesome), I use Star Pact meteors (also looks awesome, I love it) and I wear a Shield + Sword (come on, wizards with shields are badass.
Edited by sme#1797 on 6/14/2012 9:02 AM PDT
Wizard.. Tanking.. Inferno!?

I thought I was done being able to tank 1/2 through Hell.. I'll try this tonight for sure. Thanks
Wizard.. Tanking.. Inferno!?

I thought I was done being able to tank 1/2 through Hell.. I'll try this tonight for sure. Thanks


Might stream later or record something to put in this thread, it's pretty funny. My barb friends on act 2 got mad at me.
OMG... they are going to nerf wiz again because of you!!!
meteor nerf incoming uh uo guys! better start using energy twister because that will never get nerfed!

star pact is amazing. that's what I use for party runs. blizz/meteor =)
05/31/2012 02:30 PMPosted by Buaya
OMG... they are going to nerf wiz again because of you!!!


This build would still work perfectly fine with a nerfed meteor, would just require a little more gear (as in crit rate).
90 Dwarf Paladin
15550
This build is a lot of fun. I've been running a similar setup with Arcane Orb (20AP rune) and Explosive Blast (Chain Reaction) with the Crit rune on Frost Nova. I have experimented with Meteor, but not from a leech perspective -- might have to try it again. Do multiple meteor fires in the same spot stack?

In my experience, Deep Cuts is the biggest source of CM procs and given the melee requirement, it's unlikely to get nerfed. It's a lot easier to gear a glass cannon kiter.

Explosive Blast is quite powerful because you can use it on CD during other attack animations. In a thick AoE scenario it drains all my AP by itself.

Also worth noting: if you don't mind taking forever to kill anything, replace your AP dump with Mirror Image (Mocking Demise) and mash buttons. It's hilarious, although the self-knockback gets annoying.
"You're so good you're breaking the game!"
This build is a lot of fun. I've been running a similar setup with Arcane Orb (20AP rune) and Explosive Blast (Chain Reaction) with the Crit rune on Frost Nova. I have experimented with Meteor, but not from a leech perspective -- might have to try it again. Do multiple meteor fires in the same spot stack?

In my experience, Deep Cuts is the biggest source of CM procs and given the melee requirement, it's unlikely to get nerfed. It's a lot easier to gear a glass cannon kiter.

Explosive Blast is quite powerful because you can use it on CD during other attack animations. In a thick AoE scenario it drains all my AP by itself.

Also worth noting: if you don't mind taking forever to kill anything, replace your AP dump with Mirror Image (Mocking Demise) and mash buttons. It's hilarious, although the self-knockback gets annoying.


Yes, the meteor fires stack.

I agree with you, I doubt Deep Cuts would get nerfed, but I think the Meteor Dot crit might be. With several mobs around me and dots from two meteors on the ground I can have 100% diamond skin uptime, rendering me virtually immune to even Act 3 mobs.
Edited by sme#1797 on 5/31/2012 2:48 PM PDT
I've been playing around with this same basic thing but my gear isn't good enough to support it. Still glad i finally found a way to make wizard fun post-nerf. Explosive Blast - Chain Reaction is really good in this kind of build though I think Meteor is a better fit.
Additionally Frost Armor - Frozen Storm procs a lot and would be amazing if Frost Armor offered survivability... if it's theoretically possible to not need EA it I think it would be the ideal armor for this build.
Edited by plasmat#1875 on 5/31/2012 2:49 PM PDT
90 Blood Elf Mage
17150
Curious what sort of attack per second and life per hit you need to run to make this effective?
05/31/2012 02:51 PMPosted by Magechick
Curious what sort of attack per second and life per hit you need to run to make this effective?


Well, to be honest it's less than I expected and it's 90% on the weapon. If you find a fast sword with tons of LPH (600+) you'll already be on the track (and probably able to run Act 1 just fine).

Since DPS isn't quite the most needed thing here (as opposed to kite builds) it wasn't too expensive for me to find a sword with those stats (was lucky enough to find one with a lot of int, too, so more DPS/Resists).

I currently run with "only" 1100LPH, with a better rolled weapon with a slot you can get a lot higher (since LPH scales absurdly well on upper amethysts and I can't stress this enough!). My total attack speed is 1.95 using enchantress as partner for her aura.

I want to get higher and the easiest mean to do so is finding IAS/LPH rings, but those are too specific and probably expensive right now.

If I was to start buying items for a build like this I'd definitely buy Sword and Shield first. Go for high defense/critical hit/resist all/intellect/vitality are all good stats.

Make sure the weapon base is fast, wands are amazing since they are 1.4 and +to arcane power is also very good so you can lay a third meteor instead of 2.
Edited by sme#1797 on 5/31/2012 3:13 PM PDT
lol wizards tanking inferno, and barbarians going ranged in inferno.... its so messed up its hilarious... yay for skill customization!
Edited by Muchisimo#1867 on 5/31/2012 3:14 PM PDT
this is an old build. I've been using for 2 days farming inferno.
works like a charm.

attacks per sec 1.98
crit chance 22
crit damage bonus 90%
I heard the proc rate for Critical Mass was changed recently to be much lower. Has this affected your build and made you re-consider some skills?

If I read correctly, you're relying on fast attack speed and DoT crits from Meteor for the bulk of your CM procs.
90 Dwarf Paladin
15550
Yeah, the biggest hurdle for me has been finding the gear. Jewelry with IAS and high LPH is extremely rare and if it has any other stats, likely costs in the millions. Weapons with good DPS and LPH are even worse.

Right now I'm running with about 800 LPH at 2.1 APS with 64%/62%ish DR and 35k life, but under 10k damage, which is not enough to beat Butcher's enrage timer. I had to buy an alternate weapon with high DPS but no stats just for him.
Curious, what is the DPS rating on your wand?

I actually am using a ~600 dps wand right now but it has over 100 int and ~900 Life on hit (which is the sole reason I use it). Also happens to have 2.60% damage converted to life deal as well (which I think is kinda useless as it scales back with difficulty).

Yeah the DPS is kinda pathetic but I'm hard pressed to find a high DPS wand with those life on hit numbers that don't break the bank (and I prefer not to break the bank on this one, as this build has a good chance of being nerfed).
I have a Sword with 757 dps, 650 lph, 1,67 attacks/s and a wand of 818 dps, 638 lph, 1,4 lph and a socket (with 190 lph).

I use the sword since it has 160~ int/more attacks per second.

My DPS is 23k without any buffs, I have a lot of intelligence. I, however, only have IAS on gloves and weapons. Could jump to the 30+ if I find good jewelry even with a weapon with "low" DPS.

So, yes, I would advise speed + lph over DPS on weapon. I would take a 750 dps 1,7 attacks per second with 800 LPH over a 1k dps 1,4 aps and 600 LPH.

About the build being nerfed, I hardly doubt it. This is intentional in every way, the gearing is linear and the build doesn't revolve around the meteor dot, it just benefits from it.
Edited by sme#1797 on 5/31/2012 3:44 PM PDT
Awesome. I'm really trying to make a melee wizard work and it sounds like it's going pretty well for you! I might swap some skills around for personal preference, but can't wait to get home and try it!
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