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Melee Wizard Build

Discussion in 'Wizard' started by AngryEddie, Apr 28, 2012. | Replies: 38 | Views: 8748

  1. AngryEddie

    AngryEddie IncGamers Member

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    Melee Wizard Build

    Been toying around with a melee wizard build. Gear required for the build is high vitality, int, health regeneration, and damage reflection.

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#WYXjTS!YTf!aZbaba

    You'll be up and close to monsters dealing damage with spectral blade with bleed rune.

    However, a significant damage source will be diamond skill (mirror skin rune +50% reflect damage) and storm armor (enhanced by strike back rune and Galvanizing Ward passive skill, +91% damage on hit). I included Arcane Dynamo in the build, assuming it will increase storm armor or diamond skin for +75% damage for the duration.

    Magic weapon with rune grants +15% weapon damage. Glass Canon passive +15% damage and Familiar w/ sparkflint rune give another +12% damage for +27% total total. Again, assuming these enhance the damage reflection of storm armor and diamond skin.

    Frost Nova will decreased cool down rune rounds out the abilities.

    With a high amount of health, regeneration from Galvanizing Ward and items, and high damage reflection spells like diamond skin and storm armor, the idea is to let monsters pretty much kill themselves if you don't hack them to death with melee and frost nova.

    Couple alterations that you can consider: Swap Arcane Dynamo for Paralysis. With 8% chance to stun on lightning damage, this complements storm armor well, especially against fast attackers.
  2. galzohar

    galzohar IncGamers Member

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    Re: Melee Wizard Build

    I still don't get what a "melee wizard" is, since you never really want to use a normal attack anymore and wizard has no real melee skills (though he has a few short-range ones). Gameplay-wise, there is no real difference between a wizard with a 1h or 2h melee weapon and a wizard with a wand+orb, bow or staff.

    I'm still not sure what's up with magic weapon and familiar. If they only increase melee attack damage ("normal" attack that nobody uses) then they're pointless. If they increase all spell damage (as it is supposedly based on weapon damage) then they seem quite powerful and the magic weapon effects then don't make a lot of sense.

    I'm waiting to see Blizzard explaining what the hell they meant when they said "melee wizard will be a viable option".
  3. Snerra

    Snerra IncGamers Member

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    Re: Melee Wizard Build

    Spectral Blade is as melee as it gets. It's almost identical to the barbarian's cleave. As for magic weapon and familiar, it's the latter: they increase weapon damage and the damage of your skills are based on your weapon damage.

    As for the OP, there are unfortunately a few false assumptions in your build AngryEddie..

    To me it sounds like Arcane Dynamo only works on a single direct attack. If so, this seems like a pretty useless passive for the build.

    Yeah, they don't enhance the damage of diamond skin, sorry. They should work with storm armor, though. Diamond skin only returns 50% of the damage monsters deal to you. It isn't affected by your weapon damage.

    I think that could be worth a try. Sounds pretty cool. I doubt it works with Electrify (magic weapon rune), sadly. Could've been sweet.

    Finally a few suggestions:

    • I think your build is WAY too squishy for a melee wizard. And since you plan on getting hit a lot, glass Cannon just wont be a good idea on higher difficulties.
    • I think you should take these three passives: Blur, Paralysis, Critical Mass (so you can keep frost nova/diamond skin up)
    • Frost Nova seems counter to your idea, since you are planning on using thorns damage. I'd pick Slow Time(Time Warp) instead. Engage with slow time, and once it ends, put on diamond skin.
    • I'm not a fan of the familiar. It's all right, but I think Explosive Blast would deal more damage. You have nothing else to spend AP on, so you can spam it in-between Spectral Blade.

    That would give you something like this: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#WgXhTS!aVg!aZbYba

    Overall, I'm not sure how much I like thorns-based damage on wizards, considering how squishy they are. That's just my opinion, but you should try it, of course! It's all about trying for yourself. Experimentation is the biggest benefit of this skill system.


  4. Blitu

    Blitu IncGamers Member

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    Re: Melee Wizard Build

    Hi, interesting post, here's my idea of a wizard melee build:
    http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#WgXQfS21aVaaaaaZbY!faT!aZbabZ


    I think Teleport is important in melee build in order to reach ranged mobs fast enough and evade critical situations.


    The build has 4 defensive skills but they are combined with offensive runes:


    • Slow time has Time warp that increases 20% the damage dealed to mobs in the bubble.
    • Diamond skin has Mirror skin that reflects 50% of the damage absorbed.
    • Ice armor has Jagged ice that deals 100% weapon cold damage to attackers.
    • Teleport has Safe passage but it could be changed to Calamity if the damage taken is not too high.

    Two passive skills are defensive and one offensive to improve the signature spell mechanic of the main skill Spectral blade.


    The lvl needed to use this build is quite high…55, but can be reduced to 42 by changing the passive skill Arcane dynamo. Good options are Illusionist or Evocation.


    By the way, as this build doesn’t use arcane power (only for buffing and teleport), Slow time could be changed to a ranged skill, could be very usefull in some situations.
  5. galzohar

    galzohar IncGamers Member

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    Re: Melee Wizard Build

    So really the only thing your "melee" wizard is doing different than a "normal" wizard is that it uses spectral blade for a signature skill, and maybe tries to make up for it with some defensive skills? Since most of your damage should come from arcane power spenders anyway, I really don't see what's so special about "melee" wizard.

    Not that I'm saying spectral blade is bad (though tbh I wasn't impressed by it), but that this really is the same as any other build that uses short range spells.

    If magic weapon an familiar work the way you say they do, they're just as good for the "melee" wizard as they are for any other wizard.
  6. jjmalove

    jjmalove IncGamers Member

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    Re: Melee Wizard Build

    http://diablo.incgamers.com/forums/showthread.php?827432-Magetank-Build

    That is my idea for a melee wizard. It is much more focused on survivability and crowd control over damage, but is also meant for group play not solo.

    As for your build, I would be a little worried about the higher difficulties. Diamond Skin w/ Crystal Shield WILL still fall off before 6 seconds, that is how much damage monsters do in inferno. The thorns is, imo, much less important than the extra shield. YMMV =)

    Magic Weapon is kind of hard to justify, I had to give it up after thinking about it. Not only is it a pretty small improvement, it makes your gameplay even more stale. I know for me I'm already using an armor, so using weapon puts me down to a whopping 4 active skills, which is a little lame (especially since 1 of those 4 is diamond armor).

    Familiar is kind of the same way. Its a little boring and isn't really that strong.

    I'm not saying copy my build, but perhaps try more active skills than weapon and familiar.
  7. Friedrich Halbarenz

    Friedrich Halbarenz IncGamers Member

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    Re: Melee Wizard Build

    Since we're playing a little show and tell, here's my battlemage -

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#WcjOgd!aXf!abaZZb

    The primary design philosophy is "kill everything stone dead." Oh, and Energy Armor + Blur + Galvanizing Ward as my defense. The skill layout was designed so that my active attacks would be on my mouse buttons, Force Wave/Slow Time are on my index and middle fingers, and my support skills are on my ring and pinky. My fool-proof battle plan:

    1. Walk up to mobs and slap them around with Spectral Blade
    2. Pop Force Wave and Arcane Nova for crowd control
    3. When needed, do the Neo and slow time for more damage/mob gimping
    4. ???
    5. Profit!

    On a more serious note, I am questioning of some of the choices taken by OP, and others. I'd rather not take the path of "let the bad guys hit me and kill themselves with thorns damage." Taking Glass Cannon (when you're expecting mobs to pound on you to do some or a good deal of your damage) seems rather counterintuitive. And on top of that, I'm not really sure if flashes of insight would interact with reactive armor spells the way you are hoping. I'd rather kill the monsters at Step 1 and never progress to Step 2 and allow them to get damage on me.

    Anyway, everyone's build is their own. Report back on D3 Day if the build is any good.
  8. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Melee Wizard Build

    A Wizard that uses many short ranged PBAoE attacks. A skill doesn't actually have to use your weapon in its animation to be considered a melee skill in my opinion. Skills like Hammer of the Ancients and Spectral Blade or Rend and the Cloud of Bats rune of Firebats are fundamentally the same and have similar gameplay.

    The weapon may be irrelevant, but skill and gear selection in general definitely isn't. I'm fairly sure that you'll have to adjust your playstyle if you want to stay in melee range with a class that doesn't have an innate 30% damage reduction and wasn't really designed to be optimal for this role.


    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  9. galzohar

    galzohar IncGamers Member

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    Re: Melee Wizard Build

    Except all wizard skills have at least some range. None require you to be in melee range. Sure, if you want to use those short-range skills you'll likely need more survivability, but in that case you'd better make sure those short-range skills actually make up for it in damage, or else the whole concept is pointless. And again, in any case, it's not really "melee".

    Also, using only spectral blade (strongest of signature skills due to being very short range) doesn't make sense, since the spenders are still way more powerful - Even the ranged ones. There is a reason some spells actually cost arcane power. Use at least one of them that you can spam - It'll be worth it almost no matter which one you pick.
  10. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Melee Wizard Build

    Sure, everything has at a short range. The melee range is a fixed 8 yards with any weapon. There are many skills that have a similar range with certain rune effects. Just look at Arcane Orbit, Sleet Storm, Reactive Armor or any of the runes for Explosive Blast. It's seems perfectly viable to me to build a melee Wizard. Some of these skills have a slightly larger reach than your melee range, but you won't notice a 4 yard difference.

    I agree, although I don't know why you bring this up. I never said that you should spam only Spectral Blade. SB is logical choice, when you're building your Wizard with close quarters combat in mind and the rest of your skills will have a short range as well.


  11. galzohar

    galzohar IncGamers Member

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    Re: Melee Wizard Build

    I brought up "spectral blade only is bad" because at least one of the builds mentioned in this thread seemed to be made by someone who thinks otherwise :)

    In any case, I'm really not impressed by any of the "melee" builds posted here, compared to what you could have done if you didn't restrict yourself to short range. The only spell that really seems to have a big benefit to compensate for its short range is spectral blade, and as a signature spell we all know it's going to compose a relatively small % of your total damage.
  12. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Melee Wizard Build

    You should use the quote feature next time. :)

    Relying on skills that have a short range definitely has it's drawbacks and losing damage may be one of them.

    As for Spectral Blade, boosting AP regen may make it completely worthless, but I think with the base regen signature skills will improve our DPS significantly. We'll see.


  13. galzohar

    galzohar IncGamers Member

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    Re: Melee Wizard Build

    Improve DPS definitely, but be a big portion of your DPS? Probably not, considering how often you can cast spenders and how much damage over how big of an AOE they're capable of. If you cast 1-2 signature spells for each spender (or even more for the bigger spenders like meteor), quite a bit more than 1/2 of your damage will still come from the spender.

    This is very different from a barb/monk where it seems like most damage will come from the generator since you have to cast it a few times to get a single spender cast which isn't all that much more damage (at least with some AOE generator). For DH I'm not sure, it seems more equal, at least with bola and rapid fire in beta. For WD it seems similar to wizard, but we'll have to see how mana works later on in the game (might be the same, yet it also might change, since it's the only resource that actually changes with level in some way).


    Short-range spells have the downside of vulnerability and wasting time on movement, so at the very least they should have the advantage of damage and/or helping your defenses in some way. Currently the only skill that seems to make up for its range by a good measure is spectral blade, and again, that's a signature skill so it's not a very significant one to warrant gearing yourself towards short-ranged combat.
  14. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Melee Wizard Build

    To honest, I'll be perfectly fine with taking certain penalties for playing a melee Wizard. In my opinion a Wizard can make short ranged combat look even more epic than a Barb or a Monk. :)

    Does anyone have the link for the video, where a high-level melee Wizard was shown off by Jay Wilson? That was seriously one of the best videos released of D3 in my opinion.
  15. djxput

    djxput IncGamers Member

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    Re: Melee Wizard Build

    I had a barb build I was eyeing upon release; but not overly impressed with the barbs aoe skills - and realized the wizard has may skills similar to a barb;
    spectal blade - cleave
    igonore pain - diamond skin
    war cry - energy armor
    threatening shout - slow time
    leap - teleport

    you get the picture ... so this lead me to wonder if the wizard would actually be better then a barb for upclose melee combat. Leap appears better then teleport when you look at the effects and the cooldown; but diamon skin looks like it could be used 2x as often as ignore pain. Energy armor looks better then warcry (although for a group warcry is obviously better); and threatening shout and slow time is a toss up ...

    the last skill for a barb and wizard could be interchangable - some kind of aoe up close skill ... eg whirlwind, explosive blast ...

    last but not least the barb has a 30% overall damage reduction (is this all damage then? or just melee?) - and the barb can have more skills with life regen or steal, the barb has a few various options with life steal or regen; from blood thirst to revenge or inspiring presence or even overpower. So its quite easy to implement a health regen/steal with the barb. More of a challenge with the wizard; he has only a couple options; either choosing to do so via the passive armor buff; or the spectral blade rune or the magic weapon rune. Not many options - I like the magic weapon route but consider slow time a better skill; and group friendly.

    The 30% damage reduction - well the wizard has a 20% melee resistance passive that is decent and a better armor skill energy armor ... but is this enough? ... diamond skin can come on 2x as much as ignore pain. Im tempted to say its a wash here or maybe even in favor of the wizard.

    Might have to roll both to start and to actually see which one works out better; tough to theorize and get a accurate picture.
  16. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Melee Wizard Build

    It's all damage.


  17. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Melee Wizard Build

    I've found it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-Zd7YD3uuM&t=9m24s


  18. Blitu

    Blitu IncGamers Member

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  19. galzohar

    galzohar IncGamers Member

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    Re: Melee Wizard Build

    So, slow time, wave of force, spectral blade, explosive blast and diamond skin. Normal attack instead of a real AP spender. With explosive blast being unimpressive and wave of force having big enough AOE to not require defensive abilities, again the biggest perk of this build is spectral blade really, which again as I said seem not enough to justify requiring extra defenses.

    A short range wizard would be cool, sure (though again I wouldn't call him "melee"), but it really feels like the short-range abilities (other than spectral blade which is not enough since it's still just a weak signature skill) are simply underwhelming.



  20. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Melee Wizard Build

    I think Diamond Shards and Time Warp provide enough offensive advantage for the Wizard in short range that will help to justify that you have to take defensive skills to get them. Also, Explosive Blast is absolutely beastly with any of its runes (I prefer Chain Reaction or Obliterate) for a Wizard like this. The Reversal rune of Teleport could be used to do neat tricks with a melee Wizard as well.

    As for the name, it's a build that's most effective in melee range, just like a Barb or a Monk. For me it's a melee Wizard. :)
    Last edited: May 2, 2012

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