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DiabloNov 20, 2019 4:00 pm CT

Rip the elemental world asunder with our Diablo 3 Wizard 101 Guide

Are you just dying to play the Sorceress coming in Diablo 4? Well, the newest addition to the Diablo franchise sadly isn’t due out for a hot minute.  But with Season 19 is coming this Friday, perhaps you can whet your caster-lust as a master the elements — the Wizard.

What is a Wizard?

The Wizard is your classic elemental caster, harnessing the power of lightning, flame, wind, and ice and unique gear like wands and sources (also referred to as orbs) to burn through the demonic invaders of Sanctuary. As Diablo 3‘s stereotypical “glass cannon,” Wizards are squishy but make up for that with massive overall DPS output, area attacks, and a measure of crowd control. They are a popular choice for trash clearing in end-game play.

As casters, Wizards rely on Intelligence as their primary stat, and Arcane Power acts as their spell resource. Arcane Power self-regenerates, and fairly quickly at the base rate with various options for boosting that regen rate. The Wizard can lay into masses of demons with ease, alternating between high-cost/high damage abilities, cooldown-based buffs, and Arcane Power regenerating Primary skills.

The Wizard’s strongest abilities

As an elemental caster, the Wizard’s skills span arcane, cold, fire, and lightning damage types with arcane being unique to the class. Your spell choices will be informed a lot by your gear, but here are some reliable contenders to start with:

  • One of the most fun abilities is Disintegrate, channeling an energy beam with the damage output increasing over time. It’s effectively a Wizard laser.
  • Meteor delivers a dual-damage whammy, with both an initial spike of damage and damage over time in the scorched ground burned by the meteor.  The trade-off is that the Meteor does not smash down immediately when the spell is cast, so it can require some planning and maneuvering to ensure maximum impact (get it? Meteor, impact… ok, moving on).
  • Freeze attackers in place with Frost Nova. Unlock additional flexibility through its skill runes: reduce cast time, increase target damage taken, or even trigger another Frost Nova when a target dies.
  • Teleport is the Wizard’s mobility skill, jumping the caster up to 50 yards away with various options to improve it through gear, skill runes, and passive skills. A popular combination is the Calamity skill rune (casting a Wave of Force at the caster’s destination) and the Cosmic Strand source, which adds the Wormhole rune (making a second cast available within a short period after the first).
  • The Conjuration skill category is pretty much a universal draw, and at least one skill from here merits inclusion in your buildout. Try Storm Armor and Magic Weapon to buff damage output, as they synergize well with Wizard gear options.
  • Archon is a whopper of an ability to consider. On cast, it changes the caster “into a being of pure arcane energy” with different skills, boosted damage, and increased resistances.  Your kills in Archon form continually increase your damage output for the duration of the ability. Imagine bringing that to a cursed chest encounter!

Wizard armor sets

As with other classes, the Wizard’s armor sets will inform your build to some extent. However, the Wizard has the opportunity for powerful builds with all four available, so there are many opportunities for blowing things up regardless of the set:

  • Delsere’s Magnum Opus: This set can result in some pretty unique builds, boosting the utility of Slow Time by reducing its cooldown with the use of other spells, and subsequently boosting the damage of those spells on enemies affected by Slow Time. The spells listed for this set to improve Slow Time are Arcane Orb, Energy Twister, Explosive Blast, Magic Missile, Shock Pulse, Spectral Blade, and Wave of Force. Make sure you have at least one of these on your toolbar when equipping DMO, or it’s effectively pointless.
  • Firebird’s Finery: Do you like fire? Dealing out fire damage, having fire fall from the sky, and generally burning down the (virtual) world? Firebird’s is the set for you. Combine with the Convention of the Elements ring, and the world will be your burning oyster.
  • Tal Rasha’s Elements: This set allows for the most flexibility with your build with a focus on overall boosts based on combining the four types of damage available to the Wizard. Get creative with having one skill of each type (Arcane, Cold, Fire, and Lightning) available to you — and remember, skill runes can modify the damage type of a spell! Meteor made of lightning, anyone?
    • Note: Haedrig’s Gift will grant this set to seasonal players in Season 19.
  • Vyr’s Amazing Arcana: The Diablo community lauds the Vyr’s set for endgame content. It focuses entirely around boosting Archon and is considered a top choice for soloing or groups, especially combined with Chantodo’s Resolve.
  • Chantodo’s Resolve: The Wizard’s weapon set, comprised of a wand and source. Chantodo’s provides a substantial damage boost to Archon builds, both when the Wizard is in Archon form as a Wave of Destruction, and then building up Wave of Destruction’s damage when outside Archon.

Why you should play a Wizard

Wizards can be such a fun caster to play, slinging storms and tornados, blizzards and explosions, meteors, and (the classic) magic missile. It may take some practice to build up the kill streaks triggering Season 19’s Pandemonium buff, but you should never be bored with so many ways to melt faces.

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