Diablo® III

Bow Wizard: the BoWiz Build (1.8)

(note this is for D3 1.8, but I've been able to make a very successful transition to 2.0 and now 2.1, so I'll be making a new guide when I find time)

I finally got my DPS up to 100k (after buff) and I can easily solo in MP4 and do reasonably well in an MP5 group. So I thought to celebrate, I'd finally write a guide for this build that is so rare, I've never seen another one (and have completely figured out on my own). I have 7 lvl 60 characters, but this build is my favorite. I hope I see another one soon: http://youtu.be/rfI9W0UG08g


BoWiz Description:
Do damage from a distance; no cool downs (to worry about), running out of Arcane Power is your goal-not a problem, just do a 2+3+4 key buff, hold down your right mouse button, aim like a machine gun, and fire while slowing/freezing/knocking back mobs who can rarely touch you.

You actually have to AIM, unlike the DH who can 'fire-and-forget' with most attacks. But in the long run, this can actually make the BoWiz more fun, like driving a manual shift instead of an automatic.

What actually happens as you hold down your right mouse button, is all kinds of skills and crowd control get triggered. In your lower levels, you're just buffing armor (with your keyboard) and shooting arrows, but as you gain more skills and crowd control, they start to trigger: EG: Electrify will damage the monster you hit and two more near by; Spark Flint will fire a 'tracer' bolt along with each arrow; Blizzard will launch while you have enough Arcane Power and when you don't, your arrows will fly (your wizard will constantly complain about needing more AP for the first 5 minutes of each game, and then will just shut up about it); Windforce will constantly knock back monsters; your other crowd control items will freeze, slow, and bewilder; not to mention all of the DPS bonuses that add up from the passives and Legendary gear.

A quick note about co-op etiquette for this build: When you play co-op, try really hard not to shoot arrows at monsters who are fighting with melee builds. If it's an EP that is running around too much, maybe tele to the opposite side of the Pack and use KB to Knock strays back inside the fray of Molten and Plague. I've got 2 Barbs and 1 Monk also, and I know how infuriating (and deadly) it is to get your kills stolen. Unless you're trying to be a troll, be courteous about where you aim.

There are a lot of combinations that work, but I'm going to cover what's worked best for me (please post if you find something that works better for you), and split this guide into two categories: clvl 1-59, and clvl 60.

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Leveling up 1-59:
-----------------
I tried a lot of low builds leveling up my wizards, but the BoWiz build seemed to be easiest. Just leave your right click skill empty (or open the skills page and drag off what ever BS skill you might have thought would work), put a bow in your hands and start right clicking on monsters. As you level up, here's the type of gear and skills to go for:

Gear:
(left to right in order of importance)
  • Bow- high DPS, high Intelligence, Crit Damage, Crowd Control, ASI, Vit, Life Steal.
  • (Cluckeye is nice when you hit clvl 51)
  • Other gear- high Intelligence, Crowd Control, ASI, Vit, Crit Chance, Move Speed, etc.
  • (as always, look for +Exp, and once you hit lvl50- Res All, Armor doesn't hurt)

    Skills:
    (left to right in order of leveling up)
  • Right-Click- empty 1-26, blizzard 27-53, blizzard-stark winter 54-60.
  • Left-Click- empty 1-3, frost nova 4-15, slow time 16-28, slow time-time warp 29-60.
  • Slot- empty 1-7, diamond skin 8-21, teleport 22-30, teleport-wormhole 31-60.
  • Slot- empty 1-13, ice armor 14-21, familiar 22-29, familiar-spark flint 30-60.
  • Slot- empty 1-19, magic weapon 20-26, magic weapon-electrify 27-60.
  • Slot- empty 1-27, energy armor 28-53, energy armor-force armor 54-60.
  • Passive- Blur 10-15, Glass Canon 16-29, Cold Blooded 30-60.
  • Passive- Evocation 20-26, Illusionist 27-39, Galvanizing Ward 40-49, Critical Mass 50-60.
  • Passive- Evocation 30-44, Temporal Flux 45-59, Unstable Anomaly 60.
  • Follower:
    While you're working up to clvl60, the Templar and Enchantress seem to be the most helpful:
  • Templar for tanking- Intervene, Intimidate, Charge, empty.
  • Enchantress for crowd control- Charm, Power Armor, Disorient, Mass Control.
  • -----------------
    Level 60 and Beyond:
    -----------------
    The feel of this build changes dramatically between clvl 59 and 60, and this is due to The Windforce. This bow might have been marginalized in DIII, but it's been THE legendary bow to have since DI. In DIII, it's on par with the highest level rare bows, and some of the Leg xbows, but what makes it THE go to bow for the BoWiz build is, surprisingly, it's defensive stat: Knockback. Now that your DPS growth is slowing down, you need more time to kill monsters. With knockback, Blizzard, and all of the other crowd control items you can get, monsters are sitting ducks. Here's the type of gear and skills to go for at 60:

    Gear:
    (left to right in order of importance)
  • The Windfore Bow- high DPS, high Intelligence (or a socket for Crit Dmg), high knockback, Vit, high Life Steal.
  • Gear in General- high ASI, high Intelligence, Crowd Control, Res All, Vit, Crit Chance, Crit Dmg, Move Speed, etc.
  • (Dex is nice for dodging, and Armor doesn't hurt)
    Examples:
  • Mempo or Tal helm with Chance to Fear
  • Vile Ward or Int Crafted Shoulders
  • 3x sock rare or Tal Torso
  • Tal, Legendary, or Rare Ammu with General stats (with blind if you can get it)
  • Trifecta Gloves (with stun if you can get it)
  • Lacuni Prowlers
  • Tal, rare, or Witching Hour belt with Freeze on hit
  • Inna's pants
  • Zumma's boots or Fire Walkers (with Immobilize if you can get it)
  • Rings- Lighting&Blizzard SoJ, General rare, etc.
  • Skills:
  • Right-Click- blizzard-stark winter -Damages and slows monsters, and empties your AP so you can shoot arrows.
  • Left-Click- slow time-time warp -Protects from projectiles, and increases your Dmg by 20%.
  • Slot- teleport-wormhole -Dodge monsters and hold down for up to 4 teles in a row.
  • Slot- familiar-spark flint -Shoots bolts with your arrows, and increases your Dmg by 12%.
  • Slot- magic weapon-electrify -Shocks up to 3 monsters when you hit, and increases your Dmg by 10%.
  • Slot- energy armor-force armor -Increases your armor by 35%, caps the Dmg you take by 35%, and dumps some of your AP.
  • Passive- Cold Blooded -Increases your Dmg by 20%.
  • Passive- Critical Mass -Reduces your cool down for slow time and tele.
  • Passive- Unstable Anomaly -Gives you back half of your life and Knocks Back monsters when you loose all of your life.
  • Follower:
    Now that you can use a Windforce, give one to your Scoundrel too. The most important attribute for his Windforce is getting as close to 50% chance of knockback as you can. Dex, Life steal, and DPS are nice but not dire. Like the other two, his job is crowd control, and he's really good at it. For the rest of his gear (in order of importance): ASI, Vit, Crit Chance, Res All, Dex, etc.
  • Scoundrel- Crippling Shot, Dirty Fighting, Multishot, [your choice]
  • BoWiz demo video:
    http://youtu.be/rfI9W0UG08g
    Edited by Azmuth#1785 on 8/28/2014 12:59 AM PDT
    Reply Quote
    Good to see some new concepts, but i doubt it works as intended. How often does knockback effect trigger for you as i am pretty sure its on-attack (not on hit) effect so it should trigger only if you cast blizzard.
    I bet cheapest skorn with high grade ruby (better for you as you have low critical chance) will do way better for you.
    Also not sure if blizzard triggers electrify, i think it doesnt and even if it does it will not trigger very often due to blizzard proc coeff.
    Edited by Orrie#2203 on 8/5/2013 4:34 AM PDT
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    Does blizzard still proc MW/E, or was that part of the undocumented change to the rune?
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    Need YouTube video!
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    While it is nice to see new builds... Why would you want to purposefully run out of arcane power, and then do the pitiful damage of base attack with a bow? Aside from a neat visual effect, I would scrap this build.

    I ran around with this build for 5 minutes, and while it was different, you would double your killing speed by simply switching out one skill for a skill that dealt damage, such as electrocute, and running a more basic blizzard/kiting build. Orrie is correct, blizzard does not proc knockback, this build functions by using the bow's basic attack to deal minimal damage and knockback foes, which is really never a good idea for killing quickly.

    That said, if you just wanna run around with a bow for the sake or running around with a bow, this is the build for you.
    Reply Quote
    ...you would double your killing speed by simply switching out one skill for a skill that dealt damage, such as electrocute, and running a more basic blizzard/kiting build. ...


    Before this build became my goto character, (and I had spent less than 1mil gold, on it-- Int WF's are super cheap), I had worried about this being a possible reality, so I did put a medium-low Skorn in her hand, switched to a faster killing skill than Blizzard (though I'll try electrocute now just to be sure), and tried it out. The killing speed was about the same, but without the KB proc'ing, I couldn't stay alive nearly as well.

    I will admit that this is not a fast killer in MP4. For the money, I'm sure there are faster killing builds out there. But it is a safe build while soloing, and seems to really help the team (with the Chill from Blizzard, and sniping down stray monsters) in multi-player. I should also mention that both Blizzard and arrows hit really far away, like well beyond the screen, so they are really good for antagonizing and killing mobs in big open areas.

    At the point I'm at now, I've got massive amounts of IAS (to shoot arrows faster), and I've been leaning heavy on Crit Chance (to increase the arrows' Dmg, and shorten cool-downs for Time and Tele). I've probably spent ~20mil on her current gear, so I don't think that's bad at all for an MP4 killer.
    Reply Quote
    you know what instantly came to my mind with this build? running a nats helm as it has fear effect on it as standard. what this opens up is a tripple zuni set adn double nats set! omg awesome.

    i'll have a play around with this bow idea, sounds cool. Cheerz for the build Azmuth
    Reply Quote
    i doubt the kb is gonna get tis build much love in co op, especially when done by a wiz, but i like weird stuffs, gonna try tis sometime, in solo, of cos :D
    Reply Quote
    cool idea
    Reply Quote
    08/04/2013 06:56 AMPosted by crrazzycat
    i doubt the kb is gonna get tis build much love in co op, especially when done by a wiz, but i like weird stuffs, gonna try tis sometime, in solo, of cos :D


    I hate anyone that uses WF bow in pubs. The knockback is annoying as hell, and knocks everything out of my freeze. I've died b/c of people in pub using knockback while I was taking elites inside molten and plague, relying on my LoH to sustain.
    Reply Quote
    08/03/2013 02:44 PMPosted by RobertVarga
    Need YouTube video!


    done!
    http://youtu.be/rfI9W0UG08g
    Reply Quote
    08/05/2013 09:21 AMPosted by GoSuPanda
    i doubt the kb is gonna get tis build much love in co op, especially when done by a wiz, but i like weird stuffs, gonna try tis sometime, in solo, of cos :D


    I hate anyone that uses WF bow in pubs. The knockback is annoying as hell, and knocks everything out of my freeze. I've died b/c of people in pub using knockback while I was taking elites inside molten and plague, relying on my LoH to sustain.


    lol, why's KB gotta be especially bad when done by a wizard? XD

    Good point, though. Although, without your Scoundrel's multi-shot, you're only doing 1/4 of the KB... in the wrong hands, this could be the most obnoxious build of all time to play along side with.

    I edited in a note about co-op ettiquitte with this build:
    A quick note about co-op etiquette for this build: When you play co-op, try really hard not to shoot arrows at monsters who are fighting with mele builds. If it's an EP that is running around too much, maybe tele to the opposite side of the Pack and use KB to Knock strays back inside the fray of Molten and Plague. I've got 2 Barbs and 1 Monk also, and I know how infuriating (and deadly) it is to get your kills stolen. Unless you're trying to be a troll, be courteous about where you aim.
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    No need to edit out the boring parts (like the last 2 minutes of kiting vs. the elite) we're big boys and girls and can skip ahead if we are bored. Magic missile will knockback enemies just as well as a bow attack (both have proc coefficient of 1). Our signature spells are bad, but not as bad as a bow attack. I believe this build will be a little too slow for most people's tastes. It is a cool idea though.
    Reply Quote
    No need to edit out the boring parts (like the last 2 minutes of kiting vs. the elite) we're big boys and girls and can skip ahead if we are bored...


    True, I should probably either pay the $ for Fraps to record longer than 30sec or record another demo on MP4 so I can kill an EP in less time... probably both. This really isn't supposed to be a kiting build.

    ...Magic missile will knockback enemies just as well as a bow attack (both have proc coefficient of 1). Our signature spells are bad, but not as bad as a bow attack...


    ... I don't know, our sig spells are pretty darn bad. I just did a test with all of the sig spell runes I hadn't tried before, and none of them were much better than arrows. They were a little better than arrows, so why don't I just switch to a sig spell? A sig spell can't pair up on the same mouse click as a fire&forget (like blizzard). What this build does is it puts all of the offense it can, onto one mouse button. Everything else is either a passive, a defense, or a buff. If I wanted to alternate attacks with, let's say blizzard and MM, then that would take up two skill slots. This way, I've got arrow and blizzard sharing a slot, saving an extra slot for another defense or buff spell.
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    Other software is out there other than FRAPS.

    I get what you are saying about the auto attack not using a skill slot but, I dunno man, it's not like you're getting the full potential out of slow time anyway seeing as you're trying to knock stuff away.

    For MM, charged blast or seeker would make up for a lot of what you lose by dropping slow time or sparkflint as the bow attack actually deals more DPS than blizzard anyway...you'd be replacing the bow attack with a harder hitting spell.

    Fire bolts hits pretty hard and would give you the option of using conflag instead of UA (this wouldn't synergize well with the windforce but would be okay if you switched to a 1h + source combo.

    Piercing orb has 0.5 proc coefficient so although your chance to knockback would be cut in half on a per mob basis, you'd be hitting 2x, 3x, 6x the number of mobs per cast so you would get a net increase in total knockbacks while fighting a horde.
    Reply Quote
    Other software is out there other than FRAPS.


    Fraps was the first free one out of the 5 I installed that actually looked decent and had sound. I used to use a great $400 one at work, for training films, but that one was outside of my budget...


    I get what you are saying about the auto attack not using a skill slot but, I dunno man, it's not like you're getting the full potential out of slow time anyway seeing as you're trying to knock stuff away.


    I use Slow Time with mobs mostly as a defensive so I don't have to kite as much against ranged attackers (the goal is to kill them all and move on to the next mob before the ranged attack gets to me). But Time Warp's +20% Dmg really helps a lot with EPs, I'll either tank them to keep them in the area, or stand back and use KB, or I'll kite around the area while letting Blizzard do most of the work (depending on what kind of EP they are).


    For MM, charged blast or seeker would make up for a lot of what you lose by dropping slow time or sparkflint as the bow attack actually deals more DPS than blizzard anyway...you'd be replacing the bow attack with a harder hitting spell.

    Fire bolts hits pretty hard and would give you the option of using conflag instead of UA (this wouldn't synergize well with the windforce but would be okay if you switched to a 1h + source combo.

    Piercing orb has 0.5 proc coefficient so although your chance to knockback would be cut in half on a per mob basis, you'd be hitting 2x, 3x, 6x the number of mobs per cast so you would get a net increase in total knockbacks while fighting a horde.


    I tried all of these suggestions, but while every one of them is viable, I can't get any of them to kill small mobs THAT much faster than this arrow build (even when I swap out the WF with a higher DPS Skorn), and when I hit large mobs and EPs, these sig builds just turn into kiting, as I can't control large groups the way I can with aimed KB and constant Blizzard's chill effect. I've also tried combinations of those sig spells and this bow build, but the best I can do there is revert to one of those "piano" builds were I'm drumming the keys for alternating Blizzard and whatever sig.

    Honestly, I don't understand why these arrows are working as well as they are. Maybe they're getting major Crit Hits from the vastness of near constant Blizzard... or maybe they're synergizing better from the "black" (non elemental) Dmg that a WF does...

    You should get a cheap Int WF from AH and try this build out. It won't be anywhere near as good as the build your Wiz is currently geared for, but it might give us both a better insight into what's happening with this BoWiz build... and no, it's not for everyone, but I've tried a lot of builds with my other lvl60 wiz, and this is still my favorite build after over a year of running her.
    Reply Quote
    Good news from the 2.0 patch! This build is just as viable as before! Some of the synergies were reduced (eg: slow time warp went from 20% to 10% extra dmg), and CM is of course gone (not that important to this build anyway) so I replaced it with Glass Canon, but otherwise, just as potent. I went from MP4-5 to T2-3.

    I also noticed the Witch Doctor got the same ability added- to shoot arrows from a bow when the right-click skill is out of mana or in cool-down. I haven't found many good synergies yet though.

    Once RoS drops, and I see what level 70 is like, I'll update this guide. The level 70 WindForce looks promising (I hope it comes in Intelligence).
    http://i.imgur.com/RsvCHsZ.png
    Reply Quote
    What really needs testing is Buriza 2.0 + AO Obliteration.

    Having single orbs blow for 2000+ weapon dmg because they pierce/explode 4 times would be an exceptionally fun/powerful ranged build.
    Reply Quote
    kudos to OP for this. Although it may not be as effective as a full-blown wiz build, its good to see people trying stuff. I miss this about d2 and the crazy builds people could make
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    you'd probably be better off using the cannon rune for familiar just for some extra aoe on the bow shots :)
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