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Wizard Build: Safety Lock

Discussion in 'Wizard' started by Jedouard, Mar 28, 2012. | Replies: 5 | Views: 1426

  1. Jedouard

    Jedouard IncGamers Member

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    Wizard Build: Safety Lock

    Below is my Wiz build idea. It has no signature skills, but before I get lambasted for being the reason Blizz created the default skill selection system, let me explain how it works.

    SKILLS:

    http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/wizard#ikTXgQ!ZUX!bYZZZb

    If they change the calculator URL again, here are the skills written out with some alternatives:

    Passives:
    (1) Power Hungry
    (2) Temporal Flux
    (3) Astral Presence

    Actives/Runes:
    (1) Disintegrate/Volatility (or perhaps Convergence if Volatility does not work with Temporal Flux or if Convergence is just better at dealing damage and/or slowing enemies with Temporal Flux).
    (2) Slow Time\Time Warp (or, if you need CC more than the damage increase, Perpetuity or Miasma, depending on which ever give you more movement control).
    (3) Meteor/Comet
    (4) Teleport/Reversal (or Calamity if Reversal ends up redundant or I need \Calamity’s protection).
    (5) Storm Armor\Power of the Storm.
    (6) Diamond Skin\Prism.

    MAX AP AND AP REGEN:

    The build starts out with 120 AP, 12 AP regen and -3 AP cost thanks to Storm Armor and Astral Presence. I will describe what I'd imagine is a pretty normal play scenario for this build, but before I do, I should explain that I use the word "free” to mean that AP cost and AP regen cancel each other out, and “costless” to meant that the spell has no effect on the 12 AP/sec regen.

    STRATEGY:

    Disintegrate costs you 5 AP/sec after regen and slows enemies 30% for 2 sec. thanks to Temporal Flux. Given Disintegrate’s pierce, this will hopefully mean a lot of slowed enemies, particularly if the slow applies to Volatility bursts. So, you spam Disintegrate for 4-5 seconds until enemies start to surround you, particularly trying to kill ranged enemies, but also sweeping incoming melee to slow them down. Hopefully, you will get a health globe to drop somewhere among these ranged enemies across the screen.

    That brings you down to 95 AP.

    When enemies get close, flip diamond skin, which is costless, and get another 15 AP cost reduction for 6 seconds. Run forward through the enemies for up to a second to get them chasing from behind. Your Diamond Skin should protect you. You gain 12 AP over this second to get you back to 107 AP.

    Cast Slow Time, also costless, sticking them inside it and slowing them 30%.

    Use teleport - which is free for you without Diamond Skin, but costless thanks to Diamond Skin - to instantly get all the way forward across the screen to safety before your Diamond Skin bursts. If you did get one of those health globes to drop across the screen, try to land near it. Don't use the globe yet.

    By now, another second should have passed and you are at 119 AP.

    Since you had them chasing behind you and you teleported further in the same direction, the enemies should have a good trip to get through the bubble. So turn around and cast Meteor/Comet on them, locking the enemies in the bubble. It costs you 42 AP per pop thanks to your active discounts, bringing you down to 77 AP. It also slows everything 60% for 3 sec., which means you should have a good movement lock going on in the bubble. And the Comet will benefit from the 20% damage increase from Slow Time.

    Another second should pass brining you up to 89 AP.

    Here the strategy can take a number of routes.
    (1) If there is a pack of enemies outside the bubble, drop Comet on them to keep them put. Then return to Disintegrate for the bubblers for a little under 3 seconds.
    (2) If there are only one or two enemies outside the bubble, Disintegrate them for a little under 3 seconds or until dead, then drop a Comet on the bubblers.
    (3) If all the enemies are in or near the bubble, which will be likely thanks to your getting them to chase you in the beginning, then Disintegrate them for a little under 3 seconds and then drop another comet on them to renew the slow and get another Comet+20% damage.

    All three of these routes will leave you with 32 AP. (99 AP - (42 AP from Comet + (5 AP/sec * 3 sec from Disintegrate)).

    If you did originally teleport near a health globe, grab it now.

    You probably still have a second of Diamond Skin left, so the strategy again has a couple of routes:
    (1) If you killed everything in the bubble, Teleport/Reversal back, which is still costless under your Diamond Skin, and pick up the health globes to top off your AP.
    (2) If you didn’t kill everything in the bubble, but you did get that original health globe I mentioned above, then you are at 62 AP, you cast comet in that last second of Diamond Skin bringing you to 20 AP. You regenerate 12 AP at the end of that second to bring you back to 32. You then have 6 seconds of Disintegrate (8 if you managed to start while in Diamond Skin) and a free Teleport/Reversal somewhere in there.
    (3) If you didn't get a health globe and you didn't kill everything, then you are at 32 AP. You cast Disintegrate during that remaining second of Diamond Skin, bringing you up to 44 AP since it is costless under Diamond Skin. You now have another 8 seconds of Disintegrate and a free Teleport/Reversal somewhere in there.

    By then, hopefully, you should have cleared the screen enough and had enough health globes drop to get a good amount of AP back and probably even to top off your AP in a second or two.

    You should then be able to start the whole drill over with the 5 seconds of Disintegrate in the beginning, which will cover most of your cooldowns.

    FAIL-SAFES:

    That is the ideal way that the build works while soloing. But, there are plenty of failsafes in there if things go unexpectedly thanks to (1) the 3 different sources of slowing from Disintegrate (30%, 2 sec), Slow Time (30%, 8 sec) and Comet (60%, 3 sec); (2) the free damage mitigation from Diamond Skin, which also makes Disintegrate free; (3) the free CC and damage increase from Slow Time; (4) the free teleport; (5) the free and automatic lightning damage; (6) the CC and DoT from Comet, and (6) the three damage types in case you run up against any resists.

    And there a plenty of ways to switch up the order and still be fine. For example, if you see a pack coming, you teleporting in first, casting Slow Time, then teleporting back out, which is all free and leaves you topped off at 120 AP. Then hit diamond skin and you can cast Disintegrate for free and Comet four times over the next 6 seconds. You ought to get some health globes by then.

    And in multiplayer you would just be covering the ground with Comets and Disintegrate thanks to melee players getting globes.

    VARIATIONS EXAMINED:

    The one thing I would like to have in this build is another DoT besides Comet and Storm Armor. However nothing really matched the build as well as the skills I chose here. Here are a few options that failed the litmus test:

    I thought of trying to get Hydra in there somewhere instead of teleport due its long duration, but I am not sure that the Frost Hydra actually chills or the Arcane Hydra actually synergizes with Temporal Flux. The lack of CC and low damage just doesn’t go with a build designed to group enemies, lock them down, exit stage left and turn around and blast them. The ability to quickly exit stage quickly seems more important. If it turns out the hydra can chill or benefit from Temporal Flux, I might change my mind.

    I also thought of Familiar instead of Teleport, but came to the same conclusion as above for all of its rune options.

    Knockback spells were ruled out in favour of Diamond Skin because I don’t want the enemies to get knocked out of the bubble and I want to be able to safely lure them into a group before casting the bubble.

    Lastly, I thought of Blizzard instead of Comet or Slow Time. In comparison to Comet, Blizzard is cheaper and its range is larger and it has a long duration, but the disadvantages far outweigh these things. It doesn’t pack a good punch and it does not stack. Dividing okay damage over 6 seconds doesn’t work for a build that needs to pack one or two or three hard punches on enemies stuck in a bubble. Also, it doesn’t look like Blizzard automatically chills either, so the CC is limited to either 20% chance to freeze or a slowing mist that only takes effect after its duration is up. Neither of these is good enough for locking enemies in the bubble or elsewhere on the screen since it doesn’t Freeze all the enemies and 6 seconds is too long to wait for chill to set in. Comet and Slow Time are thus better CC options for me, particularly if they stack, and Comet's DoT is of more use in my strategy.

    CONCLUSION:

    Thanks for reading all this. Constructive comments and criticism are gladly welcomed.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  2. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Wizard Build: Safety Lock

    Wow, that's way more thinking than what I usually do for my builds.

    In theory I think it will work, I can't really find anything wrong with it, but the part where you herd up the enemies with Diamond Skin could be really tricky. A 10k damage absorb may not be enough to do that, so you'll have to be really quick. Since you rely on its cost reduction, if DS falls off then that could mean that you run out of AP. I didn't do the math on that though.

    I don't know for sure if the attack of Frost Hydras slows enemies or not, but I'm willing to bet that all cold damage skills will slow (Blizzard as well), even if it's not mentioned in their tooltips.

    I think there's a good chance, that Temporal Flux will work with Arcane Hydras and Familiar, since the Templar's HP regen from Loyalty works with WD pets as well, despite the tooltip saying that it only affects the player and the Templar.

    As for the stacking of slow effects, they don't stack at all. A target can be affected by slows from multiple source, but only the strongest will apply at any given time. I tested this with a DH using Caltrops with Hooked Spines and Entangling Shot.

    Also, I asked Jay and Bashiok about cold damage and Temporal Flux on Twitter. Maybe we'll get a definitive answer.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  3. Jedouard

    Jedouard IncGamers Member

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    Re: Wizard Build: Safety Lock

    Yeah, I will have to manoeuvre well. The DS should only protect me from a hit or two, so I'll need to be clever about getting the enemies herded behind me.

    I was watching the Blizzard video on Battle.net and also on some youtube clips. I didn't see enemies show the effects of anything like slow from it. There was no blue coloration and they appeared to move the same speed as usual. I was hoping that all cold would chill, but after looking at the skill wording, it looks like the devs went to great detail to specify the chilling effects of skills (i.e., how much chill and the duration). Blizzard and Frost Hydra don't have this, though. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

    And I'm hoping the same for the Temporal Flux-Arcane Hydra combo, but given some other issues regarding how Arcane Orb and Critical Mass work, I am worried that the Hydra's arcane orb might be finicky.

    Man, that stinks. That could really change the build if Jay and Bashiok come back with a negative. On the other hand, given reversal is in the build, after I teleport the first time, I could just slow the enemies movement towards me, albeit less effectively, since it will be 60% or 30% instead of what I imagined to be diminishing returns from three types of slows that would get me around 80% (100%*(100%-60%)*(100%-30%)*(100%-30%). Then when the enemies finally make it to me, I can reverse back. Its kind of like monkey in the middle, but I am on both sides.

    And at least the Comet would keep enemies under the Slow Time/Time Warp damage buff longer. But slow not stacking (even with diminishing returns) might make Slow Time pointless, leaving a spot for Hydra or some other DoT.


  4. Elfik

    Elfik IncGamers Member

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    Re: Wizard Build: Safety Lock

    It's hard to tell from the video but I think Blizzard does and will slow enemies, it's just that 30% movement slow isn't all that much, which is tied for what slow time does. So you might not need slow time then, since you already have temporal flux and comet. You could take frost nova instead to buy more time to run for a health globe, regen AP, etc.
  5. Jaago

    Jaago IncGamers Member

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    Re: Wizard Build: Safety Lock

    This should work in most scenarios, but if you can't clear the screen all at once, you might get exhausted of AP. I would also imagine this build would have difficulties against act-end bosses and some such.

    Then again, DSkin is only off for 9 seconds, and it's not that difficult to run a second, Disintegrate for 2, and repeat. My mystic's senses are starting to see a nerf on Prism in the future, though. But with current information, I could see myself playing this build, definitely.
  6. Jedouard

    Jedouard IncGamers Member

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    Re: Wizard Build: Safety Lock

    Yeah, if that is the case, I might grab Frost Nova with Shatter, Cold Snap or Bone Chill.

    Shatter is probably the best option. It would potentially give me 6 seconds of freeze once every 12 seconds so long as I concentrate damage on the pack. And depending on how successful this is at locking enemies, there's a small possibility for switching out Meteor/Comet for Meteor/Star Pact since the former's chill might be redundant and the latter's lower cost would be a boon. However, Comet's slow is strong and has no cooldown, so that utility might be too strong to give up.

    If I manage to kill enemies in the original teleport departure point quick enough, but tend to face problems at the original destination point, the shorter cooldown of Cold Snap would be the best route.

    And if I am good at both sides in terms of locking down the enemies, Bone Chill would be the way to go.

    Also, I can teleport every 7-8 seconds thanks to Reversal, and its cost is cancelled due to Storm Armor, Astral Presence and native AP regen. Even if I run out of AP, this should give me an opportunity to play monkey in the middle with the boss, running around a bit on one side of the screen, then around some more on the complete opposite side.

    I am beginning to think that Reversal might be one of the best PvE skills for the Wizard just for the fact that taken with pretty much any movement-disrupting cc, you should be able to regularly outrun melee.

    Also, while doing the 2 seconds of Disintegrate, 2 seconds of regen, Storm Armor should be hitting regularly. Given what you said above and Reversal's mobility and auto-damage from Storm Armor, I'm hoping that even if I exhaust AP and no globes drop, this build will be able to keep bosses and such at bay and whittle down their life while offering me enough protection to stay alive.

    As for nerfing Prism, they would have to nerf it significantly to really screw this build up. As long as it is above 10 or so, the build should be fine as long as you gather globes. It won't be as easy, but I don't think it would be a deal breaker.


    Last edited: Mar 29, 2012

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