Diablo® III

~ CM/WW HC Wizard Guide ~

Now, before some people come in here (you know who you are) calling me arrogant for posting a guide, please be informed - I am not doing this out of arrogance... I am trying to help people out by posting an honest guide in an attempt to revive a slowly dying class - Wizards.

Now, as we all know, wizards got a slight nerf in 1.05 (yes, it was a net "buff", but in reality it wasn't, because other classes were nerfed LESS than wizards, so we were nerfed overall in comparison to the options), and this nerf lead to a vast majority of wizards taking their entire caster sets, rolling a WD, throwing their gear on there, and just buying WD helms/weps/mojos.

I hope this guide helps to interest players in a type of wizard that I would argue is the most exciting and thrilling HC build to run.

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~! Warning !~

Keep in mind that at higher difficulties, 1-2 slip ups on an elite pack with this build and you WILL die [major slip ups, not minor little miss-steps]. But, I feel that can be said about any wizard build.
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Table of Contents
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1 - Introduction (Reading)
2 - Basics + Just Hitting 60
3 - Progression to GG Gear (Play-Style)
4 - Uber Strategies + Viewer Questions
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I will be checking in on this thread often, so if you guys have any more specific questions that I didn't touch on, please ask away and they will be posted on page 4
Edited by TheDutchMan#1443 on 11/16/2012 8:31 AM PST
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~~ The Basics of the Build ~~

The entire idea of this build is to control large mobs and elite packs as best you can.

I will start by showing you my build specs and my gear, so you can get an idea of where the rest of this thread will be going.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/profile/TheDutchMan-1443/hero/27675488

Note: This isn't an "Archon CM" guide, sorry if that is what you're looking for.

This build is really only viable at 60+, so that is where the guide will begin.

~~ Just Hit 60 ~~

___ Build Hotkeys/Passives ___

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#VOYhXQ!ZXg!YcZcaZ

Explanation for the hotkeys/passives:

Energy Twister - Wicked Wind --> Now that Blizzard finally nerfed all the Twisters to the same proc rates, this is the optimal Rune choice for the build (in my opinion). The twisters will sit in one spot, meaning you can focus them on high density sections of mobs to maximize your critical hit numbers

Energy Armor - Prismatic Armor --> Although it did see a substantial nerf in 1.05, this should still be used for the build because the more EHP you have, the safer you are, and the more effective you become (less fear of death while using this build will lead to more effective positioning)

Frost Nova - Cold Snap --> At the early stages of this build, the more you can cast this spell, the better. A reduced cooldown will help beginners get comfortable with how often you're going to have to be rolling your fingers over your primary attacks, and also will help keep enemies frozen more often and let you really get in a grove without having to focus as much on managing positioning.

Explosive Blast - Chain Reaction --> Really the only Rune option for this build. You want to be blowing up as much as possible without having to press any one key more than the others. This will explode you 3 times per button press, and overall will allow for maximized crit hits and damage.

Diamond Skin - Crystal Shell --> Again, great Rune for a beginner. Allows you to keep Diamond Skin up for longer, reducing the demand on your finger speed, crit chance, and understanding of the build. Will save you in the early stages.

Teleport - Wormhole --> Only option, in my opinion. You're going to have teleport up and off cooldown at almost every opportunity because of your CM build. This is the only way to panic teleport out of 30-40 yards worth of frozen dropped by an elite pack. I would not recommend any other rune.

Blur --> Reduction of incoming damage will help you survive better if you're making mistakes while learning

Astral Presence --> A larger Arcane pool will let you cast spells more often as Arcane Power is flowing in from your crit hits.

Critical Mass --> Required for the build

___ Gear Suggestions ___
(I will state what affix is most important, in order, and what values to look for)

Jewellery
1-Maximum Crit chance on each (6.0, 6.0, 10.0) or as close to this as you can get.
2- Attack Speed (higher the better)
3- All Resist
4- Vitality
5- Life on Hit
6- Life %
7- Int

Chest / Pants / Belt / Shoulders
1- Vitality [with sockets] - (300+ chest, 250+ pants, 150+ belt, 150+ shoulders)
2- All Resist - 60-80
3- Life % (belt/chest/shoulders only)
4- Armor
5- Int
6- Str/dex

Gloves / Bracers
1- Crit Chance (10.0 glove max, 6.0 bracer max)
2- Vitality - 100+
3- All Res - 60-80
4- Attack Speed (gloves only)
5- Int
6- Armor

Boots
1- Vitality - 150+
2- All Res - 60-80
3. Armor
4. int
5. Move Speed (not key to the build, but makes for quicker farming)

Helmet
1. Arcane Power on Crit (10 max)
2. Socket
3. All Res - 60-80
4. Vitality - 100+
5. Armor / Int
6. Life on Hit
** I would suggest using a StormCrow. They are cheap (socket ones are now less than 5M, the regular non-socket ones are 100k) and provide APoC, Life on Hit, int/vit, and cast a fire orb that deals nice damage (especially against packs that are bunched up, it acts like an Arcane orb - hitting all monsters within a certain radius)

Weapon
1. Arcane Power on Crit (10 max)
2. Socket
3. Int / Vit
4. Max Arcane
** I would suggest using a Chantodo wand, as the all roll quite nice DPS (900-1200), all have APoC (9-10), and all have high attack speed (1.61-1.65). In my opinion, this wand is a MUST for the build!

Off Hand Source
1. Arcane Power on Crit (10 max)
2. Crit Chance (10.0 max)
3. Nice Damage (look for 100-400, or as close to that as possible)
4. Int / Vit
** A decent Oculus or Tal Rasha's source are your best bet as they both roll high Crit chance and always roll APoC.
Edited by TheDutchMan#1443 on 11/16/2012 7:12 AM PST
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~~ Progression ~~

By this point (from post on page 2) your skills should hopefully look something like this:

500-1,000 Int
1,200-2,000 Vit
500-600 All Resist (with Int)
2,800-4,000 armor
38.0-45.0 Crit Chance
450-800 Life on Hit
25-30 APoC

~10-25k DPS
~60-75K Life

~~ Play Style ~~

For this build, the goal is to surround yourself with as many enemies as possible.

Basic Concept:
1-Cast Diamond Skin
2-Teleport into a large white pack***
3-Immediately cast Frost Nova
4-Then begin spamming your left mouse on the enemies (dropping tornados)
5-While spamming your left mouse, roll your fingers as quickly as you can along buttons 1, 2, 3 in order to cast them as often as you can
6-Repeat this until the pack is dead

** For elites, keep an eye out for molten/fire chain/frozen/arcane beams/Desc pools. At a higher quality of gear you will be able to stand in these with less issue, but for now do NOT stand in them. When you see frozen dropped, teleport away from the striking radius, when they have blown up, proceed back in and start freezing/exploding again
*** It is not recommended to teleport INTO an elite pack in the same way that you teleport INTO whites. An elite can cast frozen right as you get near them and now you will have no teleport to get out of them. This can kill you pretty quickly

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~~ Progressing Your gear ~~

The most important thing to remember while progressing your gear is that you must start stacking DPS, without giving up much of your vitality, Crit Chance, or APoC.

A good rule of thumb is to be gaining 3x more intelligence than you are giving up vitality.

Meaning if you own bracers that are:

150 vit
60 res all
6.0 CC

You should only be giving up 20 vit to gain 60 int

130 vit
60 int
60 res all
6.0 CC

would be a good example of an upgrade you will be looking for.

**it is never recommended to drop Crit Chance, but if you must, try to only lose 0.5%-1.5% at the very most while upgrading to a more powerful armor piece.

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~~ Progressing Your Build ~~

As you become more comfortable and efficient with the build, and your gear starts to progress nicely, you can think about switching up some key runes to improve productivity.

Going back to my build ( http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#VOYhXQ!WXg!YcccZZ ) you can see that as I've progressed, I've swapped out Blur for Cold Blooded, changed the Frost Nova rune to an overall damage rune, and changed the Diamond Skin rune to a rune that reduces Arcane Power costs.

Reasoning:

Blur for Cold Blooded - At a certain point, melee damage will be non-existent (Meaning you will have Diamond Skin up so often that the only thing that will even break the Diamond Skin will be elite affixes). It is at this point that giving up blur for Cold Blooded is suggested. It will improve your damage overall by 20% (as most of your enemies should be frozen for almost entire fights).

Frost Nova Rune - Again, at a certain point you will be critting so often that a slight cooldown reduction Rune is a waste of a Rune. At this point it is suggested to switch to Bone Chill to gain an additional 15% Damage to all enemies frozen by frost nova (which should be almost the entire fight)

Diamond Skin Rune - Once again, as a certain point you will have Diamond Skin off cooldown so quickly that you will not need the additional life protection Rune from it. Switching to a reduction of Arcane Power Rune will allow you to reduce the risk of running out of arcane power and having to flee a battle.

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~~ Recommendations ~~

1- Stay out of Act 2 - It is a waste of time to farm Act 2. Not only are the monsters anti-range to begin with, but many will have immunity (temporarily) from your freeze locks (snakes, leapers). It is in no way worth the risk, and if you're farming Act 2 by choice with this build, death will be coming for you.

2- Farm Act 3 over Act 1 - Once you get out of MP0 and into the MP1+ runs, where all elites are i63 regardless of what Act, Act 3 is your home. Higher mob density, more helpful landscapes, and better farming routes make this the optimal act to farm on with this class/build.

3- Never out farm your comfort zone. This isn't like a barbarian where you can accidentally go one MP level too high, realize your mistake, and then run away and go back down. If you go to MP 3 when you aren't ready and bump into a nasty elite pack you WILL die. There is no escape from phasebeasts that you aren't geared for. Don't go up from one MP level to another until you feel really really REALLY comfortable in your current MP.

4- I will reiterate the importance of a Storm Crow helmet, a Chantodo wand, and a Tal Rasha's/Oculus source/APoC Chantodo Force

These are absolutely Godly items for the build
Edited by TheDutchMan#1443 on 1/21/2013 10:17 AM PST
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~~ Extra Details / Important Questions ~~

~~ Ubers ~~

1- With this build you will be KEY to not only the survival of yourself, but your teammates.
--> You will need to really play well and focus on freezing the most dangerous Uber boss in each run. This will allow your teammates to better coordinate themselves, as well as letting them maximize their DPS (by preventing the uber bosses from knocking them around or forcing them to watch their health, etc)

2. Suggested Techniques

Zolten Kulle + Siege --> The tank should take Siege and distract it, while the 3 other players focus on ZK. You will want to freeze him as often as you can to limit his roof collapses/time slows/fire balls/tornados. Always watch where you're standing and your surroundings. Do NOT try to sit there and tank a tornado while the roof is falling. It will HURT

Ghom + Rakanoth --> Again, Tank should take Rakanoth and get him out of the picture. 3 other players pile Ghom and take him down ASAP to avoid him gassing up the entire map. Your job will be the same as always - Freeze him and prevent him from casting his gas spew. With this build should should be able to comfortably stand in his gas (comparably as well as a monk or barb could) as long as you are really working your tornados and hotkeys.

Skeleton King + Magda --> HARD MODE. This is going to be your greatest challenge. It may be different for other classes, but you will likely have your roughest fights here. ENTIRE TEAM should be piling Skeleton King. You may not think much of him, being an A1 mini boss, but this guy WILL mess you up. I myself have 600k EHP unbuffed on my wizard (in the top 80 overall for the class) and he can basically 2 hit you if you are half-@$$ing it. Kill him ASAP, and watch out for Magda. Her swarm of locust does a fair bit of damage and is mighty good as removing your Diamond Skin at inopportune times. There are certain moments where SK cannot be frozen. When he stands up and arrogantly points in a direction, step back. You cannot freeze him and his next series of swings will be more powerful then his "teleport-swing".

~~ Important Questions from You ~~

Why not use a shield if you're going to be so close up with enemies? - For this build, APoC is a must. Even if you get 10 on the Helm and 10 on your weapon, you will need the APoC that a source can offer. I would never suggest running this with 20 APoC, not after the nerfs they've done to the build

What is the lowest crit chance you would ever suggest using? - 40.0% Crit chance. Anything lower than that is risky. You can afford to go below it a tad if you're running the max (30) APoC, but if you ever dip below 35.0% you're asking for death

(Via PM from different site) How much would it cost to get a CM wiz up and running? - To get the general mechanics going [aka the pop-lock] and farm MP0 it'd probably cost 3-5M for a very basic set. To get to a point where you are running ubers at MP5, farming MP3+, that sort of stuff (my gear) it can cost upwards of 200M-1B depending on how serious you are about it

What is the minimum APoC you would use? - I would suggest using 25-30 at all times. There are moments during your runs that you are going to only be able to hit 1-2 monsters (or elites) as all the white mobs are dead. It's these moments that using 25+ APoC is going to be crucial. It's simply not worth the risk of dropping 9-10 APoC to get a more powerful weapon. This build is not about maximizing DPS. Not until you've reached near "end-game" gear.

Note: After reaching over 2.52 Attacks per second, it is possible to drop comfortably from 25-30 APoC to 18-20 APoC, but if you are lower attack speed than that it remains a dangerous choice to make
Edited by TheDutchMan#1443 on 1/21/2013 10:18 AM PST
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Interrupting cow

MOOOOOO

...

Damn it, I'm too late.
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Interrupting cow

MOOOOOO

...

Damn it, I'm too late.


Thanks for unintentionally waiting ;)

Editing the posts now guys, hopefully have everything up with 15-20 minutes so I can go get my coffee
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pass ww =p
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Page 2 is up
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i personally wouldn't use a source as cm in hc
just sayin
dropping my shield in sc was a huge chore
don't think i'll ever do it in hc
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^shield seems kinda dumb considering CM wiz kinda relies on APoC

good guide. i used a CM wiz in SC back in 1.0.3 for a while for the novelty.

was wondering what the breaking point is for crit chance. i think i found under 40 to be difficult (and i would still die from time to time). would be a good build for hardcore but it seems since 1.0.3 the requirements have been severely beefed up.

in 1.0.3 i was nearly godly, keeping everything mass frozen. waltzed right through inferno. 1.0.4 was pretty much the last i played it, since i had my demon hunter and i got into hardcore as well.
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Page 3 is up

i personally wouldn't use a source as cm in hc
just sayin
dropping my shield in sc was a huge chore
don't think i'll ever do it in hc


Normally, I would agree. But this build needs Arcane Power on Crit more than you could imagine. I would rather let my lifepool drop from 80k to 40k, then to lose out on 10 APoC by using a shield.
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^shield seems kinda dumb considering CM wiz kinda relies on APoC

good guide. i used a CM wiz in SC back in 1.0.3 for a while for the novelty.

was wondering what the breaking point is for crit chance. i think i found under 40 to be difficult (and i would still die from time to time). would be a good build for hardcore but it seems since 1.0.3 the requirements have been severely beefed up.

in 1.0.3 i was nearly godly, keeping everything mass frozen. waltzed right through inferno. 1.0.4 was pretty much the last i played it, since i had my demon hunter and i got into hardcore as well.


Thank you, and yes I agree 100% that APoC is probably THE most important stat for this build, well put.

As for a breaking point for Crit Chance, I would also agree that anything under 40.0% is really going to be pushing your luck.

A nice BARE MINIMUM for the 2 stats that I would ever suggest would be:

40.0 CC
23 APoC

Those would be really pushing it, and only suggested if you're farming MP0 or MP1 really comfortably and want to see about giving up some APoC for a helmet that can beef up your DPS
---> Meaning giving up a storm crow for a helm with 6 APoC and 6.0CC
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Page 4 is up with some key tidbits about ubers. Will be adding your relevant/important questions to it as I go

Thanks guys, hope this helps.
Edited by TheDutchMan#1443 on 11/16/2012 6:48 AM PST
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cool, thanks for the response. im pretty comfortable with my current character so perhaps once i get enough gold for an alt i will try this build in hc :).

i can at least attest to the fact that this build is insanely effective once you break that cc threshold. with a good group of higher dps characters you can concentrate of freezing while they mop up the stragglers. (edit, at least from my 1.0.3 experience, and from what ive read it is still just as good, but the requirements are higher)
Edited by Isolation#1274 on 11/16/2012 6:53 AM PST
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cool, thanks for the response. im pretty comfortable with my current character so perhaps once i get enough gold for an alt i will try this build in hc :).

i can at least attest to the fact that this build is insanely effective once you break that cc threshold. with a good group of higher dps characters you can concentrate of freezing while they mop up the stragglers. (edit, at least from my 1.0.3 experience, and from what ive read it is still just as good, but the requirements are higher)


Exactly. Again, not to toot my own horn because that's not what this is about, but I will say that more often than not a team will be very grateful for what this build brings to a farm run. Often on my first time playing with a new team member they will stop in their tracks after the first or second elite pack, after noticing that the elite didn't even have a chance to cast frozen, and say "holy sh** your build is sick".

It's arguably the best build available for Ubers as well. You literally can reduce the risk of teammate death to zero, even on MP5 or 6, just by freezing the priority uber so often. It also removes the need for a monk to use that stun fist, and everyone can go full out dps without having to stack so much defensive items for the bosses

As for it being as good as 1.03, I would say it is. But like you said, it's changed. What used to be a build that you could stack 150k+ dps and only need 30.0 crit chance to run it with 20 APoC is now really a test of how well you can build a character. But I think if you took a sort of "half-a**ed" cm/ww from 1.03 and put it up next to a properly geared one from now, they would be pretty similarly effective
Edited by TheDutchMan#1443 on 11/16/2012 6:57 AM PST
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^ :)
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Final bump for the day since it's off page 1, incase anyone wants to see it

Going to leave the office soon anyways
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I think you should reply 4 or 5 times in a row everyday to bump your thread that clearly no one cares about. Thats really awesome.
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11/16/2012 11:36 AMPosted by Flip
I think you should reply 4 or 5 times in a row everyday to bump your thread that clearly no one cares about. Thats really awesome.


You should make a thread for how to kill off 45 DHs in a month in a game that is now easy mode. I'm sure it'd be worth a read. GL on your barb. Apparently keeping a WD alive in MP0 wasn't easy mode enough

And I've already had a few people on D2jsp ask for help building a cm/ww, which is why I posted this in the first place. Even if it helps 5 players, it's no harm on my end. I've never met a person who flames someone who is trying to help struggling players understand a foreign build
Edited by TheDutchMan#1443 on 11/16/2012 11:39 AM PST
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Did you start your guide with, "buy a plvl to 60 and then buy your first 10 mill of HC gold with money to get you started."? Haha, man, i crack myself up sometimes.

The only post 1.05 death ive had is the latest DH via dis. WD was Belial in 1.03, maybe 4, i guess. He's that boss your CM Wiz has never fought because you actually never progressed out of Act 1.
Edited by Flip#1217 on 11/16/2012 11:57 AM PST
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