Diablo 3 Advanced Guide: Mastering The Wizard


Posted May 15, 2012 - By Leah Jackson

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We've put together this Diablo 3 Wizard guide to get you up to speed on the most magical class in Blizzard’s action role playing game. This handy guide gives you all the most important info on the Wizard class in Diablo 3 at a glance.

You Should Play A Wizard If:
If you love standing far away from enemies and blowing them up from a distance, then the Wizard will be perfect for you. Wizards are generally described as a glass canon class, meaning they deal tons of destructive damage but can't take too much direct fire from enemies as they're rather low on health compared to some other classes.

Background: Officially, Wizards are renegade spell casters who "use their bodies as vessels for arcane energy, forsaking the more careful path favored by other magic users." They don't care about the caution and safety that mages and sorcerers learn in the academies throughout Sanctuary. Instead, they use arcane power to disintegrate, burn, and freeze their foes while also having the ability to manipulate light and time to teleport, create illusions, and deflect oncoming attacks.

Some of the key features of a Wizard include area attacks, protective spells, elemental mastery, and endless energy. Area attacks are spells that can hit large groups of enemies at once and punish them for standing close together. In Diablo 3 many of the enemies come in packs, and the Wizard excels at taking these large packs out quickly. Protective spells are basically what the Wizard uses as defense. They can encase themselves in ice or diamonds to absorb damage, or they can create mirror images to confuse their enemies. Protective spells also allow Wizards to snare and slow down enemies if a hasty retreat is in order.

The main feature that you'll be using when it comes to the Wizard is their ability to master the elements; Wizards have power over flames, lightning, ice, and wind. They can use these elements to target their foes' weaknesses and destroy them. Finally, with the Wizard's endless energy and ability to quickly regenerate their Arcane Power, they can almost always cast their weaker spells if they find themselves in a pinch.

Diablo 3 Beta Wizard Guide: Grab Your Robe And Hat, It's Time To Cast Some Spells

How You Play A Wizard: There are quite a few ways to utilize your Wizard to his/her maximum potential. In order to do so you need to keep in mind two main things: equipment and spells. I'm not going to break down every piece of equipment nor go over each spell for the Wizard. Instead, I'm going to give you a basic breakdown of the unique equipment for Wizards and point out some staple spells that you'll be using during Diablo 3.

Wizard Equipment: Wizards have a few pieces of unique equipment that they can use including wands, orbs, and wizard hats. Wands are rather traditional and Wizards use these enchanted sticks to direct their force at their targets. Orbs on the other hand are what Wizards use in their off-hand to provide themselves with extra damage and power. Wizard hats, aside from being extremely stylish, add damage and come with other random enchantments and properties that add to a Wizard's abilities.

Wizard Skills: In order to use their spells, Wizards use a resource called Arcane Power rather than Mana. Arcane Power regenerates very quickly in D3 and is described as an intense energy. Wizards direct it as if it's an extension of their own bodies.

Wizards have 25 available skills in total in Diablo 3 and they're divided in to three different types: Signature, Offensive, and Utility skills. Signature skills include those like Magic Missile and Electrocute. They cost one less Arcane Power every time you gain a level. Offensive spells are heavy damage dealing abilities like Disintegrate and Arcane Orb that can take out many foes with a single blast but they cost more Arcane Power. Utility skills don't deal much damage but instead they keep a Wizard alive longer with skills like Diamond Skin and Mirror Image.

Only six active skills can be active at a time. You start out with one active skill at level one and unlock the ability to use extra skills at levels 2, 6, 12, 18, and 24. Wizards also get to choose which of a variety of passive skills they would like to utilize at levels 10, 20, and 30.

Diablo 3 Beta Wizard Guide: Grab Your Robe And Hat, It's Time To Cast Some Spells

As you're making your way through Diablo 3, there are a few spells to keep in mind. These are some of the most useful skills, and are a bit more potent than others.

Magic Missile: Unlocked at level 1, this Signature skill launches a missile of magic energy causing 110% weapon damage. It's your classic Wizard spell that you can use early on to easily take one enemy out at a time. Sure it's basic, but sometimes the best answer is the simplest.

Energy Twister: Unlocked at level 13 and costing 35 Arcane Power, this one can be a little spendy. But when you've got a horde of demons barreling down on you and they're unfortunate enough to place themselves in a cluster or line, the reward is well worth it. The twister levels everything and everyone it touches, causing 360% weapon damage over 6 seconds.

Archon: So being a wizard isn't quite cutting it for you anymore at level 30? Well that's okay, because Archon will let you become pure energy for 15 seconds at the cost of just 25 Arcane Power. You'll gain totally new abilities, armor and resistances increase by 40%, and every enemy killed while in this form adds an extra second to the transformation's length. With uber death ray beams and explosions that knock back enemies, this is basically what happens when a Wizard goes Super Saiyan.

Passive Wizard Skills: In Diablo 3 you can also equip one passive skill at level 10. Your choices are Blur or Power Hungry, and at level 13 you can equip Evocation. Glass Cannon comes at level 16, and Prodigy at level 20. There are plenty more, but these will set you well on your way. Passive Skills are just that: abilities that you don't have to cast but grant passive advantages to your Wizard.

Blur decreases the melee damage your Wizard will take by 20%, while Power Hungry allows you to gain 30 arcane power whenever you are healed by a health globe. Evocation reduces all cooldowns by 15%, Glass Cannon increases damage by 15% at the cost of a 10% reduction to armor, and Prodigy will help your Wizard rebuild Arcane Power even faster by granting them 4 Arcane Power every time damage is dealt by a Signature skill.

Use Power Hungry if you plan to sweep up rooms full of weaker enemies that give up yummy health orbs and fuel more spells against them. If you're taking on just one big bad, consider Glass Cannon to maximize damage, unless you frequently find yourself cornered or without the space to escape melee attacks. In such cases, consider Blur to increase survivability.

Diablo 3 Beta Wizard Guide: Grab Your Robe And Hat, It's Time To Cast Some Spells

At the moment the Wizard is one of my favorite classes to play in Diablo 3 (followed very closely by the Monk if you were wondering). I love how much damage they do and how fast their Arcane Power regenerates. On top of that, I find that their passive and offensive skills to be quite an interesting evolution of the Sorceress from Diablo 2. If distance spellcasters are your bag, the Wizard is waiting.

What do you think about the Wizard in Diablo 3? Let us know in the comments below, and tell me how you set up your Wizard's skills!

Diablo 3 Advanced Guide: Mastering The Wizard


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