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For the last couple days I have been playing a wizard to see if I could figure out any decent PvP builds for Wizards. I came away feeling that Wizard's currently have no shot at PvP for multiple reasons.
1) Complete lack of Bleed Damage
One of the strongest skills for all classes is something that can be casted on an opponent and continue to do damage by itself. Every other class has an example of it. Witch Doctors have Haunt, Barbs have Rend, DH's have Impale - Chemical Burn, and Monk's have Exploding Palm. Wizard's strongest bleed dmg skill is Spectral Blades - Deep Cuts that does 45% Weapon Dmg over 3 seconds. All of Wizard's skill that do dmg set over time are based around the fact that opponent/monster will stay in the same place.
2) Lack of Burst dmg
PvP main attacks are based around single target damage skills. Let's see Wizards burst dmg skills. Arcane Orb does a straight pathetic amount at 200% WD. Meteor is better at 260% WD but it has a very long animation that becomes obvious to avoid. Orb is also very easy to dodge. Explosive Blast - Short Fuse at least does instant dmg. Wizards have no skills that can compete with WD's Spirit Barrage, Monk's Bells or Dashing Strike, Barbs HOTA, or DH's Impale. They do less dmg and are harder to hit opponents with. They also don't have any dmg skills they can really spam without running out of AP quickly.
3) Arcane Dynamo and Signature Spells
I really hoped to be able to figure out some combo of Arcane Dynamo and Signature Spells to pull of a sick dmg burst. But alas all of Wizard's Signature Spells are pathetic. It became obvious very quickly that pretty much all the Signature spells proc rates have been nerfed into the ground because of critical mass. It became nearly impossible to get 5 stacks of Arcane Dynamo quickly. The only skills of any possible use is Magic Missile - Seeker. One of the few Wizard skills to have 100% proc rate. But it has a long animation and a short range.
Honestly though Wizards's have only one skill even worthy of the effort of Arcane Dynamo. Archon - Arcane Destruction. 1600% WD times 1.75 works out to a one shot move if it crits against almost all characters. But with a 120s timer and awkward mechanics it makes it nearly impossible to pull off.
4) Be able to cast over or through walls
Wizards complete lack of attacking through a wall or over one severely hurts any chance at survival. One of the reasons WD Spirit Barrage is so good is that it goes over walls. The only skill that seems to be able to cast through a wall is Hydra. Maybe it is just me but any spell that is coming from the sky should be able go through a fountain or a wall. A Meteor or a blizzard can't penetrate a wall? Give me a break.
5) The Good
Only a couple skills Wizard's have that can compete with with other classes. Ray of Frost is the only skill that does good dmg and provides some kind of CC effect. Combined with it's dmg boost in 1.08 and Cold Blooded it is a must for any Wizard. Storm Armor vs Energy Armor. Energy Armor is the best defensive boost a Wizard has but Storm Armor's strong attack with it's long range with auto attack is to much for any defensive boost a Wizard can have. Storm Armor is another must for Wizard's. Teleport - Calamity is an excellent damage attack that will see a boost in 1.08 with Teleport being fixed.
6) Reasonable fixes
- Fix slow time so it actually works in PvP. Currently it does nothing against any ranged attack.
- Be able to cast Meteor/Blizzard though/over a wall. I think Arcane Orb - Celestial Orb should be able to go through walls also. Arcane Torrent over walls would be a good boost also.
- HP regen needs to be addressed. WD's Blood Ritual does 2% HP regen in 1.08. Galvanizing Ward should at least be able to do that. Without any regen from Skills or passives Wizards are forced to get it from gear and that takes up valuable gear slots.
- Signature skills also deserve dmg boosts. They are all very rarely used by any Wizard's in Inferno.
Critical Mass is probably the single best PvE passive in the game for any class. Because of this all Wizard's PvP skills suffer. So any skills with a timer on it can be reduced by CM and AP is regened by APOC so all proc skills are nerfed. Wizard's are built around high IAS and CC%. But in PvP where CD% is king and IAS has much less use against moving targets it puts Wizard's at a huge disadvantage. Even with the fixes I recommend I don't think it would be enough to help Wizards to be competitive in PvP.
Edited by Ender#11423 on 4/28/2013 11:40 AM PDT
It is a accurate and honest analysis. Wizard has no chance in PvP duels against top classes since they suffer in either burst damage/ or bleed damage. And their escape mechanism is mediocre at best.
However, the stronger wizard attack skills including blizzard, storm armor, hydras, and etc. would really benefit if there is team mode deathmatch. Due to the large range of blizzard, and storm armor, wizards can have the possibility to deal damage to multiple people within range.
Also, with a decent tank, wizards would be able to use channel spells better and deal damage too.
Escape mediocre at best?
What about diamond skin, mirror image and teleport?
Wizards do just fine in PVP but you can't use easy mode PVE skills.
Ray of frost, blizzard, and hydra do just fine (before getting buffs).
I had zero problems killing a barb friend or two with 100k plus damage on my 50k dps wizard alt. I also completely thrashed a similarly geared monk.
Stick with Energy armor (prismatic armor) for PVP because that is one hell of a buff.
Escape mediocre at best?
man.... do you even d3?? o_O
Yeah, as of the moment Wizard's are garbage in PVP.
There are a few exceptions that can counter tank barbs, but they are extremely hard to use/gear and such builds are severely limited to who they can kill.
Hydra's, Blizzard, Ray of Frost, etc. lack the damage to punch a whole through seasoned players. I'm hoping that the increase in Ray of Frost damage will be enough to compensate for this in the next patch.
I wish they also included a 1 second invulnerability after casting Mirror Images though. I think it is a good step in making Wizard's more PVP capable.
Edited by ZRaiyne#6337 on 5/2/2013 9:57 AM PDT
Here is a link to suggestions for wiz PvP made on the PTR feedback forum:
But I think the 3 largest problems for wizs right now are
1. not being able to break fear
2. recasted DoTs
3. 1-shots from spirit barrage and impale
I am going to assume you are not being sarcastic and tell you that diamond skin in not good for PvP. It only provides you with 10-20 k extra hp, which is nothing when a spirit barrage crits for 70-100 k. While other classes have skills that provide invulnerability and cc breaking, like smoke screen or serenity, we have a flat value shielding and no cc break from diamond skin. Even the WD's wicker man has better shielding then diamond skin, at least those hp scale with the WD's gear.
Edited by Weasel765#1161 on 5/12/2013 11:14 PM PDT
I am going to assume you are not being sarcastic and tell you that diamond skin in not good for PvP. It only provides you with 10-20 k extra hp, which is nothing when a spirit barrage crits for 70-100 k. While other classes have skills that provide invulnerability and cc breaking, like smoke screen or serenity, we have a flat value shielding and no cc break from diamond skin
Firstly your looking at it backwards, yes, diamond skin provides 20k hp, but what you fail to acknowledge is that diamond skin benefits from mitigation like regular hp and can be reset very quickly with CM if you gear right.
If a wizard has 95% mitigation, diamond skin becomes 400k ehp, and since wizards can comfortably stack to 98% diamond skin can provide up to (and in some case more then) 1mil ehp.
But if you insist on being addicted to storm armor, for the random one shots you will never see this benefit as it requires prismatic armor to achieve.
Skills that are good for the farming system do not provide the same benefits in PvP.
Mitigation does not help the same way it does in PvP as in farming, you will notice negligible difference in damage reduction if you have 650 all resistance when compared to having 900 all resistance. It is more important to stack hp then mitigation whenever the minimum damage for attacks crit at 70 k. All good wizards in PvP will have at least 100 k hp, an extra 20 k will not help much, even if you have 1000 all resistance.
Even though cm builds are becoming more popular in PvP, you will never be able to refresh diamond skin to the point where it will be beneficial like it is in farming. This is because the maximum targets you can hit in PvP are much lower then the average targets you hit in farming. It would be different if diamond skin reset with illusionist, because then you would have a little extra hp when you need it; but an extra 20 k hp will still get destroyed in fractions of a second by corpse spiders even if you have 98% mitigation.
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