scroll down

Diablo 3 Wizard Builds Guide


The wizard is the recreation of the classic Sorceress hero from Diablo II. Unlike the Sorceress however, the wizard has a few additional tricks up his/her sleeve, as they are the masters of crowd control and long ranged damage.

Pros:

  • Fantastic range
  • Lots of crowd control abilities
  • Very strong at higher levels
  • Has the largest number Active Skills and Skill Runes in the game
  • Extremely fun to play with
  • Arcane Power regenerates faster than other types of fuels
  • Has the capability to deal with any type of situation

Cons:

  • Extremely weak in earlier levels
  • Lacks movement speed
  • Very squishy
  • Requires high risk play-style

Note:
I highly recommend that you refer to our essential Character Development Basics guide before reading this guide for familiarization with various terminologies and concepts.

For more help on Diablo 3 builds, read our Demon Hunter, Witch Doctor, Barbarian and Monk guides.

Build #1 – Dat Damage!

Tier 1 (Level 1-10)
The major problem with the Wizard comes only in the earlier tiers, as the character lacks the wide expanse of Active Skills that make the class so amazingly powerful. Though you unlock multiple primary abilities, Magic Missile (which is available from scratch) will remain your primary Signature spell.

Note that Signature spells are free-to-cast, meaning they take no Arcane Power whatsoever and kind of your ranged DPS spells. The reason we’re sticking with Magic Missile is because Shock Pulse is too short-ranged and too random to rely on.

Then comes the secondary skill, which should always be Ray of Frost for tier 1. Though it is a channeling ability and consumes a lot of Arcane Power, it is naturally preferable over Arcane Orb since it deals much more damage.

The rest of the abilities are just those that you have unlocked – not much to it. Do note that we’ll almost always be taking the Blur passive, as the Wizard is severely squishy and you’ll need the 20% damage reduction.

Tier 2 (Level 11-20)
Tier 2 is insufficient for this high damage build, and you’ll once again see yourself choosing from a limited set of active skills. But that doesn’t mean you are ineffective; the Wizard grows in power as more abilities are unlocked.

You’ll swap your Signature spell to Spectral Blades for now, though this won’t be your final Signature spell – not for this build at least. We’re still using Ray of Frost (but with a newer Rune) because its trustworthy as ever.

Now, the rest of the abilities once again are just mere fills for now, except for Slow Time. Slow Time is a fairly useful defensive ability, and since the Wizard doesn’t have too many, it can really be a life-saver, especially against those super-fast and super-tough enemies.

Tier 3 (Level 21-30)
Ever wanted to shoot laser from your hands? Well, now is the right time. Disintegrate is one of the coolest abilities in the game. Firstly, it does some insane damage. Secondly, it completely disintegrates enemies, and thirdly, its beam-width can be increased to do more damage.

While it will be your main channeling move, your Signature Spell from here onwards for this build is Electrocute. Electrocute is much more stable than Shock Pulse and targets multiple enemies at once. Next are Meteor and Blizzard, two heavy-hitting AoE damage skills.

Blizzard will ensure that enemies are slowed and severely crippled, while Meteor can create sheer havoc. I prefer using these abilities in conjunction, but the real fun isn’t from them.

Perhaps the Wizard’s best ability is Archon. Not only does it transform your character into some magical floating entity, it also gives a massive buff to your defenses and transforms your abilities so they deal out much more damage.

Final Build:
This build compliments the most basic traits of the Wizard: fragility, insane damage, and high-risk high-reward play. In the right hands, there is nothing that can stand in a Wizard’s way, especially one with this kind of an offensive build.

While the abilities remain the same, the key changes come from some of the Runes. What is most essential though is to understand the rotation of this build. The Wizard is more or less a nuker, and for a nuker you need to know skill priority and rotations.

For this build I recommend:

Start of with Electrocute>Blizzard>Meteor>Archon>Spam Disintegrate, Electrocute and everything else>Repeat

The only issue is the CD on Archon. You’ll get a decent reduction from Evocation, but it is essential to be aware of both your Arcane Power and the CD on Archon.

It’s best to use Archon whenever it’s available most of the times, but be careful not to waste it on weaker foes only to journey slightly ahead and find strong opponents for which you would need it off CD.

Build #2 – Arcane Walker

Tier 1 (Level 1-10), Tier 2 (Level 11-20)
In this build you’ll be focusing on transforming your Wizard for high defenses and damage buffs. This obviously means that two abilities are the heart of this build: Diamond Skin and Archon. Sadly the latter is available much later, so you’ll have to make-do with what you have.

The other important defensive ability here is Storm Armor. This is more of an offensive-defensive ability as attackers get shocked regularly every time.

Tier 3 (Level 21-30)
Your build will nearly be complete when you touch level 30. This is relatively a more defensive build, but it still has enough to get you to do significant damage. Once again the main focus is on Diamond Skin and Archon.

Teleport is another essential ability. Though it is primarily defensive, it can be a great offensive ability later on with one of its Runes.

Archon along with your two primarily skills (Electrocute and Disintegrate) is your main source of damage, and though they may seem only a handful of skills, they are sufficient enough to deal massive amounts of damage.

Final Build:
The final build will transform all of your defensive abilities i.e. Diamond Skin, Teleport, and Storm Armor into offensive-defensive types, hence allowing you to deal considerable damage despite having a mainly defensive build.

The rotation for this build would be:

Diamond Skin>Storm Armor>Archon>Spam Electrocute and Disintegrate>Teleport when in trouble or when chasing

There is some ambiguity with the passives of the Wizard – the class has the most expansive passives of all, and it can be a little difficult to select a combination of passives that would satisfy all requirements at once.

Either way, I would recommend Blur for almost all cases, as regardless of what type of build you make with the Wizard, you will always need a bit of extra defense and damage reduction.

Build #3 – The Elementalist

Tier 1 (Level 1-10), Tier 2 (Level 11-20)
The Elementalist is a late-game elemental damage focused build. That sadly means that you won’t have much to call yourself an elementalist for the first 20 levels.

The build’s main focus otherwise is to combine the three primary elemental damage types i.e fire, ice and lightning, for doing damage. Since your chances of encountering an enemy immune to all elements is minimum, this ability will work well for almost all kinds of situations.

Tier 3 (Level 21-30)
Now we’re talking. With this build you can easily spam some of the core abilities, of which the two are obviously your Signature skill and Disintegrate.

Meteor is your primary AoE damage and your most trustworthy collateral damage ability; the only issue is understanding when and where to use it.

If used with good timing, you can ensure yourself of easy kills in both PvE and PvP, as this is one of the more powerful casting skills of the Wizard.

Final Build:

For this build, go for the rotation:

Storm Armor>Frost Nova>Blizzard>Meteor>Electrocute and Disintegrate

So why Storm Armor before everything else? Well, because the enhanced Rune of Frost Nova has to be utilized, and the best way to do so is by casting offensive abilities immediately after using it.

Additionally, you can’t afford to not have Storm Armor during the entire time you will be casting these abilities, so it is best to use it beforehand.

Another important thing to look at is the combination of passives used. We’re amplifying our elemental damage sources with the help of Cold Blooded and Conflagration, so that both Blizzard and Meteor do massive amounts of damage.

Build #4 – The Arcane Master

Tier 1 (Level 1-10), Tier 2 (Level 11-20)
Elemental builds are cool and all but if you are looking for a quicker and equally effective way around (but with less CC) then Arcane is the way to go. Arcane skills are pure-energy skills, meaning they have little to no effects associated with them apart from sheer damage.

However, even though it is a relatively faster build, you’ll witness that many Arcane abilities are unavailable until later on. Thankfully though, your two main abilities i.e. Magic Missile and Arcane Orb are present in the first few levels of the Wizard. These shall remain as your primary economical sources of damage throughout the build.

Tier 3 (Level 21-30)
This is how your build should look at level 30. You’ll have access to powerful abilities like Energy Twister, Familiar, and Archon.

Contrary to many beliefes, Energy Twister is much more spammable than Arcane Orb due to its immensely reduced Arcane Power consumption through the Mistral Breeze Rune. Because of this aspect, you could actually use bind this on your right mouse click instead of Arcane Orb.

Once again Archon will be your bread and butter ability for great damage and armor buff, and you should be using it in all essential battles.

Final Build:
The final Arcane build is quite powerful, especially with the following rotation:

Familiar>Magic Missile>Energy Twister>Arcane Orb>Archon>Magic Missile>Energy Twister>Arcane Orb>Teleport when necessary

As you can see, Archon the center of your entire rotation; you will be using the same set of abilities before and after your Archon form, and teleporting out whenever you feel it is necessary. The Familiar should keep you decently fueled (due to Arcanot Rune) to actually spam Energy Twister and Arcane Orb regularly.

Build #5 – Sub-Zero

Tier 1 (Level 1-10), Tier 2 (Level 11-20)
The reason ice damage deserves an entire build dedicated to it is because of the large amount of CC associated to the element. However, there is a major downside to this build: enemies immune to cold will be almost unaffected.

For such enemies, I’d recommend switching to other builds. However, most of the enemies in Diablo III are susceptible to the effects of ice and Cold damage, and that’s why an entire build can be made for it.

Tier 3 (Level 21-30)
Want to know another good reason why you should use this build? Well, how about if I told you that you could use Ray of Frost for free? No, it’s not entirely because of the Cold Blood Rune (there is a bug which displays 0 Arcane Power cost; in reality the cost is reduced to 12 Arcane Power/second), but also because of the Astral Presence passive.

You see, the Cold Blood reduces the cost to 12 Arcane Power. Arcane Power itself has a quick regeneration of 10 per second. If you use Astral Presence, which increases your regeneration by 2, you will get total regeneration of 12 per second.

This will be equal to the cost of Ray of Frost with Cold Blood itself. This means that it can be channeled for free, and that changes everything.

Now that you have two free abilities (your Signature spell and Ray of Frost), you can really start spamming abilities like Blizzard, Archon and Froze Nova whenever possible.

Final Build:
For this build your rotation should be:

Ice Armor> Frost Nova>Blizzard>Spectral Blade + Ray of Frost spam (free!)>Archon>Spectral Blade + Ray of Frost Spam>Blizzard

Just a casual glance at the above rotation will tell you why ice element and Cold damage in this game is considered over-powered. After putting up your Ice Armor and freezing enemies with Frost Nova you can call up a Blizzard, spam your now free Ray of Frost and Spectral Blade, transform into Archon form and spam Spectral Blade, Ray of Frost and Blizzard again.

This will not only create chaos and do mass killing, it will also keep some of the more tanky enemies in check, as long as they are not immune to ice element or Cold damage.

Don’t forget to share your builds, character development tips and skill rotations of choice with us in the comments below. Your feedback will not only improve this guide but also help other readers.