So you've chosen to play the Wizard, master of the
elements and arcanics. You may seem weak and frail to
the untrained eye, but lo and behold you are a powerful
torrent of magical destruction. Massive fireballs come
wizzing by your head but you simply feign interest and
destroy the one who cast it. You bend the very fabric of
space and time to your will making your enemies crawl.
You are, the Wizard.
The Wizard is an extremely rewarding class to play.
Playing a wizard will hone your ability to micro manage
and avoid damage at all cost while raining chaos upon
The lords of hell are no match for your power.
If you're up the the challenge. Come play!
- Spell Types -
The wizard utilizes 4 different schools of magic. These
schools are as follows:
Fire - These spells are meant to wreak havoc on your
Frost - These spells are meant to snare your enemies
Arcane - These spells are meant to slow your enemies
Lightning - These spells are meant to paralyze your
- Creating Builds -
I'm not going to go into detail about every single spell
and its benefits, rather, I will try to show you how to
make your build shine.
Now when you're building your skills it's beneficial for
you to rely on synergy. What is synergy you might ask?
Well, you can't just simply throw together all of your
hardest nukes and expect to win at the game. Employing
that kind of strategy will likely end up with a dead
Wizard. And a dead DPS is no DPS. Instead, a synergistic
build may be in order.
Here are a couple of examples of effective use of
I have used every single one of these builds and I can
tell you that they work wonderfully in the situations I
designed them for.
Keep in mind that you are still required to gear your
toon. I will not advocate "cheesing" the game. Learn how
to play. Also keep in mind all 4 of these example builds
involve the same basic theory. Create a debuff with your
hydra to either give you a better chance of kiting or
help you do more damage. I do not expect the fire and
frost builds to do well without gear but the arcane
build is amazing for solo play. As for lightning... just
try it! I am trying to demonstrate synergy, not give you
- Builds that Demonstrate Build Synergy -
If you like a challenge and want to just utterly destroy
things, this build is for you! Keep in mind this build
requires a high amount of gear to be successful and a
very hard hitting 2h weapon will make this build sing!
This build is simple. Cast Disintegrate for a hard
hitting nuke and Meteors / Firebolts for massive fire
damage while keeping your armor spells active. Not
really much else to say other than you will just destroy
everything. This is a very effective nuke build for
farming. If you really want a challenge, try playing
Hell / Inferno with it... you will die though! This
build is nothing short of amazing for co-op play and I
would highly recommend it if you have someone to "tank"
For example, this frost build is tuned to slow enemies
to a crawl while nuking with a reduced Ray of Frost and
using Blizzard / Frost Hydra to debuff mobs with Cold
Blooded. This effect is further enhanced by Magic Weapon
/ Force Weapon. This build is a powerful nuke that works
well in multiplayer situations giving it an effective
slow as well. Melee classes will be overjoyed by your
ability to slow enemy attack speed giving them a higher
chance to survive. Works quite well in solo as well!
This is a very easy build to play solo. This build is
designed to slow your enemies down to a crawl giving you
plenty of kiting ability and a hard nuke. This build
really shines with a slow hard hitting 2h weapon as your
Arcane Orb is a hard hitting nuke. Of the 3 example
builds, this is the one build that is viable without
much gear. You can expect to easily solo Hell or higher
content with this build. The effect is simple, your
hydra slows the enemies to 30% while you cast Blizzard
to slow them even more. Blizzard will pretty much act as
a DoT spell while you nuke them with Arcane Orbs. I
recommend placing 2 or so blizzards in a row and kite
the enemies through them. This build also does not
utilize a signature spell. However, you won't need one
when you utilize Astral Presence and Familiar / Arcanot.
You don't need much DPS to play this build either. 3k
DPS will get you through hell.
Out of all the builds I have created this one is by far
my favorite! This build is based around speed! The
purpose is to try and take a single hit while Diamond
Skin is active then use Wave of Force to throw the
enemies around. You will now be buffed with immense
speed from your Storm Armor. Summon a Lightning Hydra in
your kite path and throw out some Living Lightnings and
Electrocute when you gain some distance. Everything will
literally just die on their way to you. Rinse and repeat
when all cooldowns are up. I would recommend use a
shield and fast hitting wand / dagger for this build as
you'll want to be able to cast as fast as possible! Have
fun, Speedy Gonzales! This is extremely effective in Act
- Notes on Difficulty and Things to Keep in Mind -
Now that you see what I mean by synergy it's time to
talk about the game and its difficulty.
Diablo 3 is difficult (at least past normal difficulty). It's meant to be. You're not
meant to just waltz through it and be able to complete
inferno in a day. In fact, it makes me sad to see so
many players with this zerg mentality. Think of the game
as dungeon tiers. You can't expect to proceed to the
next tier wearing gear that you got 2 tiers ago? So why
do you expect to do that with Inferno?
Your focus with this game should not be "How much damage
can I pump out?" and rather "How can I avoid damage and
survive?" I see so many people talking about their
massive DPS and I look at them with an inquisitive look
on my face. How can a player that is dead do any DPS?
A dead DPS, is no DPS...
With that in mind, here are a few tips to make you a
#1 If you die on normal packs, it's your fault.
Simple enough. Don't assume that since the content is
hard that the game is broken. You're broken as a player.
Cry about how hard the game is all you want but you
won't appreciate it until you can master it. If you die
it's because you did something wrong that allowed you to
die. You either didn't play defensively, got careless,
or just didn't have the right build for the situation.
You're only going to stack Nephalem Valor bonuses if you
#2 Bosses are easy, champions are not.
The bread and butter of the Nephalem Valor system is the
fact that bosses are pointless for gear. Cry all you
want about it, but I personally don't think you should
just kill Diablo 23092834098 times to get the gear you
want. Diablo is easy. Hell, every boss is easy (except
maybe Belial because he can be cheap) Once you've
learned how to kill a boss you don't have to relearn
anything. The game is static and dull. Once you can
overcome a Vampiric | Shielding | Molten | Mortar pack
then you have finally mastered your class. If you can't
get it the first time don't fret. It's not meant to be
#3 Stop trying to max your DPS in favor of maxing your
A dead DPS doesn't do DPS. However, one who lives will
surely win the encounter. If you see a piece of gear
that has + Vitality on it that will net you 2k HP but
lowers your DPS by 50... take it. Who cares if you do 50
less DPS. That's 2,000 more damage you can take. Better
chance of survival = more champions killed in a row =
better loot. Plain and simple. It's like running around
out in the open with a grenade launcher wearing nothing
but what you came into the world with. A single bullet
will take you out even though you have the capability to
level an entire building.
#4 Learn how to kite
Kiting is the act of keeping distance between you and
your enemies. Try to always keep a gap between you and
what you're killing. If enemies get too close use a
defensive ability to get away. Just because you have
Diamond Skin doesn't mean you can take 2982739487234
#5 Stay out of the fire
It burns... kinda goes with tip #1. If you die to
something because you're standing in it it's your fault.
Learn how to move away. Learn when an enemy is going to
strike and when you should get the hell out of their
path. Don't stand in pools of acid... Don't get hit by
- Spell Types -
The first act of the game is basically to teach you how
to play. Try out different combinations of spells and
see which playstyle fits you best. Your spells can be
categorized the following way.
These spells are designed to do damage and not really
much of anything else. These spells include Magic
Missile, Disintegrate, Arcane Orb ect. The whole goal
with a nuke spell is to inflict damage. Doing damage to
enemies is the only effective way of killing them after
Snares / Slows
These spells are meant to slow your enemy down giving
you time to gain distance or in other words "kite".
These include such spells as Blizzard, Ray of Frost,
Frost Nova, Slow Time ect. Using these spells
defensively will allow you to avoid taking damage which
is the heart of the Wizard class.
You are in effect a very powerful piece of paper. If
you're not careful you can be torn to shreds. You are
given spells to increase your defensive power. These
include such spells as Diamond Skin, Ice / Storm /
Energy Armors, Teleport, Wave of Force, Mirror Images
ect. These spells are designed to give you a fighting
chance in the event that you are actually hit by
something. Do not forget to include these as they are
very important to living.
Buffs and Debuffs
These usually show up in the form of runes and Passive
Skills. These include such spells as Magic Weapon,
Certain Hydras in combination with Passive Skills,
Passive Skills such as Cold Blooded, Conflagration, and
Temporal Flux. Using an Arcane Hydra with Temporal Flux
will give you a free 30% slow to enemies for little AP
cost and will effectively keep up debuff when you're
unable to cast your arcane nukes.
These spells require special situations to really shine.
For example the Archon requires droves of low HP mobs to
increase its duration but can be very powerful if used
correctly. Energy Twister can take out huge waves of
mobs in small corridors. These spells shouldn't really
be in your "jack of all trades" build but are fun to use
Notes on Hydras
I think hydra is a must for every wizard in inferno, you
will kite a lot and hydra will do constant damage to the
Only two of the hydras are really recommendable, I have
to admit, the hydra rune is the only thing I sometimes
switch. Arcane is great for kiting (with temporal flux
of course) but the venom hydra is really incredibly
insane and actually overpowered in my opinion.
Venom Hydra is fantastic when you get the
opportunity to cheese mobs into standing in the venom
pool, which includes many bosses, and the occasional
slow and/or trapped elite pack. It does not scale at all
with crit from what I have been reading (though it does
scale well with attack speed). Even in optimal
situations, its effectiveness can depend on your
Arcane Hydra scales well with crit and crit bonus
damage, and is vastly superior in many situations for
inferno simply because mobs move way too fast to stand
in venom pools. This is most of what I'd consider the
"real world" of Diablo. And that is totally not even
taking into account the optional passive for a very
mediocre 30% slow (Once you have a decent amount of HP,
the heal from the Templar is garbage, and the Scoundrel
applies a 60% slow in addition to boatloads more dps).
- Leveling from 1 to 60 -
When playing Diablo you should keep in mind that certain
difficulties are meant for certain levels. Here are the
approximate levels for the types of content.
Normal - Beginning to High 20's Early 30's
Nightmare - High 20's Early 30's to High 40's Early 50's
Hell - Early 50's to 60
Inferno - 60
- Normal Mode -
This is the part of the game where you try on the outfit
before you buy it. Pretty much any playstyle will work
here. Try every spell you get. See what it does. If you
haven't already turn on advanced tooltips and read what
each spell does. Try them all on for size! If you can't
figure out how to beat Normal maybe the Wizard isn't
quite for you.
- Nightmare Mode -
Here's where the real game begins! By now you should be
in your 30s and have at least some understanding of how
spells work. So without further ado here are some builds
to try out.
Mage Tank Build
This may seem like a wacky build at first but I assure
you that it works for everything except bosses! The main
goal of the build is to rotate cooldowns between Diamond
Skin and Frost Nova. Spam your Spectral Blade and cast a
lot of Arcane Orbs. This will work for almost anything
except fire chains. As always move out of fire and
plague so you don't get killed. Stack lots of vitality
and use your Energy Armor and Force Weapon to pump lots
of damage to kill mobs before they kill you!
Electrical Beams of Death Build
This build gives you a lot of survivability with a hard
nuke. Use your Electrocute on large packs of mobs with
low health and use disintegrate on the enemies that have
considerably much more health. Freeze and kite the mobs
away. Cast Arcane Hydra for more AoE nukes on the run
and throw in some electrocutes every once and a while.
Frost nova will allow you to keep the mobs stationary
long enough to nuke them. Diamond Skin will allow you to
take hits you know are imminent and give you a little
Feel free to play around with more builds but remember
that nightmare isn't as easy as normal and you can't
just push buttons and win. Take this time to think about
your build as a whole instead of just individual spells.
- Hell Mode -
Hell is considerably harder than Nightmare so you will
have to start thinking about the aforementioned
synergistic builds. During the beginning of act 1 use
the build you had when you killed Diablo until you reach
level 50. It shouldn't take long. I was well into the
50's before I started hell.
This build seems to be the best jack of all trades for
hell. The concept behind this build is to Summon a Hydra
to debuff enemies with slow, cast Blizzard to slow them
even further, then nuke with Arcane Orbs. Be sure to
bring along a templar specced with life regen and AP
regen as he will be invaluable in your conquest. Gear
for Vitality / Intellect usually a 3:2 ratio of Intellect
to Vitality and you will be able to kill almost
anything. I haven't had a single issue with this build
The Flash Build
This build is really helpful in act 2 when there are
tons of fast enemies that you can't quite control.
Summon a Hydra, throw a Living Lightning behind you, use
wave of force when anything comes close and just kite
like your life depends on it. Stack lots of Vitality and
equip a shield with a fast MH weapon. The less damage
you can take the better. While this build doesn't have
quite a high damage output it is pretty easy to get away
from fast enemies.
- Inferno Mode -
This guide isn't yet meant for inferno as it is a level
60 mode already. More to come in this section later.
For more in-depth guides for Wizards I would check out
Diablo 3 Billionaire guide.