Counter Attack Wizard: 1.0.6 Build/Guide

Wizard
Preface
Since the beginning of time, Blizzard has beat the wizard class with the nerf stick again and again. However, like a phoenix, the wizard has always seemed to emerge from the ashes as one of the top classes, in the context of endgame content. With a new patch looming, and inevitable nerfs incoming, though, I find myself worried that the amount of time and gold spent on perfecting WW/CM will be in vein.

It is in this context that I attempt to showcase a new(ish) build, which utilizes skills that are slightly under the radar, meaning they will hopefully escape the nerf stick. However, this build still uses the same basic tenants as CM/WW, meaning massive re-gearing will not be necessary. I have only done a small amount of testing thus far (up to MP5) and my gear is by no means top-end, but I have not encountered any real issues . Please post your thoughts and comments, and feel free to troll, since it acts as a free bump.

Counter Attack Wizard
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#WQXekT!gdZ!acbZba

<Edit: 12-19-12>
Counter Attack Wizard v2.0
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#aQXekT!gdU!accZba
- With this variant you have slightly more single target dps and a lot more range

Baisc Ideas
1. Avoid the normal CM skills due to likely nerfs to proc coeffs.
2. Utilize return damage skills along with Illusionist
3. Two of the three main sources of damage- Calamity and Mocking Demise- are reset via Illusionist NOT CM.
4. Utilize Death Blossom's 0.60 and Mocking Demise's 0.50 proc coefficients to trigger APOC, LOH, and CM.

Possible Issues
1. May require abnormally high EHP to be effective at high MP
2. Lacks reliable single target damage, accept for Spectral Blades
3. Unreliable Mirror Image creation can lead to positioning issues

Basic Skill Progression:
1. Teleport onto target
2. Use Mirror Images
3. Use Diamond Skin
4. Channel Death Blossom until hit or out of AP
a. If hit-
i. Use Mirror Images
ii. Use Calamity
b. If out of AP
i. Use Spectral Blades until cool downs reset
5. Return to 1

Notes
- In essence you never move during a fight, except when being re-positioned by Mirror Images or by using teleport. You simply blink in and channel Death Blossom until your skills reset, which happens quite often.

- I really need to test this more to see if the damage output of Mirror skin is high enough to be worth it. Could possibly sub it our for another run, but I do not think Diamond Skin resets enough for shards to be viable.

- The really nice thing about this build is that it benefits greatly from all the same things as CM- i.e. you need good CC and EHP along with APOC to continually cast Death Blossom- but, it doesnt rely on mechanics like perma freeze.


Short Gameplay Video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvWsjyPkY4g&feature=youtu.be
Please note this is literally the first time I have filmed/uploaded to youtube. Also, the free version of Fraps only allows for 30 sec.
-In the video, I switched to a shield, which dropped my dps to less than 100k, but put my EHP over 350K.
-I know the video doesnt show a whole lot, but I think it at least gives a good sense of how the combat works.

Thank you all for reading and please give it a shot before you flame me. If you do try it, and think it sucks, I would love to know why. Lastly, if you try it, like it, and think you can improve on it let me know.
y mirror skin over crystal shell? I would assume from a theory standpt that shell would be better for survivability especially against hard hitting affixes/ubers
12/17/2012 02:24 PMPosted by SteelPhantom
y mirror skin over crystal shell? I would assume from a theory standpt that shell would be better for survivability especially against hard hitting affixes/ubers


The whole idea of the build is that you want to get hit to reset Mirror Images and Calamity, which is why I added a another return damage skill. I definitely think this is the weakest skill on the bar, but it fits the theme. My hypothesis is that with enough EHP this rune could be quite viable, in the same way that Shards is viable with CM/WW if your EHP is high enough.
Did some more testing and found RD to be a problem in higher MP's.
but rd is getting nerfed so, that issue might be mitigated by the nerf,
Vids vids vids vids!

I would be super stoked if this were viable. I assume the "have to stay still" combat style keeps it from being a good low-MP speed farming build, so it's gotta cut it in high MP to be viable. How does it fare in the uber fights? I know Death Blossom is good against them. Might be a nice way to hack it on uber runs without sucking so hard while farming stacks.

*edit* What do gear requirements look like? Can you transition into this from Archon, or have to be CM/WW geared?
12/17/2012 04:28 PMPosted by AS00
Might be a nice way to hack it on uber runs without sucking so hard while farming stacks.


Just did some solo MP5 and MP6 key farming in Act I, seemed fine expect for RD. As for ubers, may have to convince my crew to let me run this build in our uber runs, but I am the only CM/WW wiz, so I dont know how well that will go over. I have been theory crafting some things, and I would probably change out some skills for ubers. I am NOT a big fan of blur and could definitely change it out for something.

Keep in mind that I do not expect this build to work as well as CM/WW; I just want to keep something in my back pocket in case they make standard CM nonviable.

What do gear requirements look like? Can you transition into this from Archon, or have to be CM/WW geared?


It seems to me that it is slight a combo of both. DB has a big proc coeff currently, which means with the proper mob density and two APOC sources, you can spam forever. I do think that the key is 400K+ EHP, since a lot of damage comes from return, both getting hit and proc'ing Illusionist. LS might also be good investment since DB hits fro so much weapon damage.

Also, there could be some pretty interesting things you can do with the Arcane Torrent items. I am not sure what items give what affixes with repsect to arcane torrent, but any bonus could be a huge buff.
12/17/2012 04:28 PMPosted by AS00
Vids vids vids vids!


I suck at this, but I will try my best.
Only problem is you are dealing 11k per diamond skin spread out over everything that helped break your skin. I'd rather deal 210% weapon damage to every sum!@#$% near me. Other than that, cool idea!
12/17/2012 06:08 PMPosted by EigenVector
Also, there could be some pretty interesting things you can do with the Arcane Torrent items. I am not sure what items give what affixes with repsect to arcane torrent, but any bonus could be a huge buff.

Only Torrent affix is -AP. Nice (get two items' worth and you don't need APoC), but not as much potential as +cc. It comes on helms and legendaries (SoJ, Mara's, Skull Grasp).

My CM/WW gear is pretty awful (not enough EHP to go SNS), but I think I can more-or-less permafreeze. I might be able to fake it well enough to let you try out your build, at least on a slightly lower MP. Add me if you wanna try it out, AS00#1295. I don't have 3 machines right now, though, so might be a couple days. Oh, and if you haven't figured out the vid thing by then, I can record.
12/17/2012 08:31 PMPosted by AS00
Oh, and if you haven't figured out the vid thing by then, I can record.


Added a video. It's only 30 sec. because of the free version of Fraps. Once my crew gets back from vacation I will try to make some better videos.
12/17/2012 04:16 PMPosted by SteelPhantom
but rd is getting nerfed so, that issue might be mitigated by the nerf,


the rd nerf is only in terms of visibility. ie: you know it is rd.
You could always just use my build(standard cm/ww but with meteor shower) and kill stuff on mp10 really quickly.
12/17/2012 09:38 PMPosted by chrisloup
but rd is getting nerfed so, that issue might be mitigated by the nerf,


the rd nerf is only in terms of visibility. ie: you know it is rd.


is that official, i thought they were still investigating how to change it
So after doing some MP7 key farming, I found something very interesting about this build. the act II key warden is by far the easiest. I will post a video asap.
Looks cool op kinda like ninja. if you want to record longer, free, download playclaw. Then compress it with handbreak.
Not bad, not as good as classic cm/sns build, but funny.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#WQXekO!gdU!acaZbc

tested 9 MP..it works.
12/17/2012 11:19 PMPosted by SteelPhantom


the rd nerf is only in terms of visibility. ie: you know it is rd.


is that official, i thought they were still investigating how to change it


read the blue posts. the gist of the matter, rd is still essentially the same.

a) they are going to make it more visible: eg: red shielding effect perhaps
b) a LOW but in discussion possibility to make it timed. ie: not always on.
c) bug fix for SOME affixes (eg: health link) that was causing higher than normal rd damage (via lower than normal lifesteal returns)

-
so fundamentally its not going to change anything if you get 1 shot from rd from a stray attack.
Take a look at my profile if you want to see a top end variant of this build been using for months very effective up to mp 6 after that I get bored and cannot be bothered but can survive mp 10
Not bad, not as good as classic cm/sns build, but funny.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#WQXekO!gdU!acaZbc

tested 9 MP..it works.


Thank you for doing some high MP tests. My gear is not quite there, from an EHP standpoint to be able to run MP 9. I switched to using a shield, which makes massively increases my survivability, but dropped my DPS.

I did toy with the use of force armor, but really liked the extra damage from reactive armor. I am assuming that at MP9 and MP10 force armor is probably necessary. My ultimate goal is test whether this build is viable on ubers. I am currently stacking machines.

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