Considered by many to be among one of the more powerful classes in Diablo III, the Wizard sports a play style designed for ranged attack lovers. Getting the right build to succeed in the game, especially on the intense Inferno difficulty, requires a build that will rapidly strike down opponents while quickly regenerating health due to the strength that your opponents gain at level 60. Fortunately for Wizards, such a build exists; in fact, there are three top builds to try and aim for in Diablo III.
Top Wizard Builds
High Damage, High Regeneration
The first build Wizards can try focuses on ranged attacks while retaining rapid health regeneration.
For your first active mouse skill, use Shock Pulse with the Piercing Orb rune. Though you’re putting it right on the oft-used slot, it is best to consider this as a bonus to use whenever you’re at full health not taking damage. Avoid it with speedy mobs but spam it when you want to nuke a group of slow crawlers so you can remain mobile.
For the second mouse skill, go with Teleport with the Fracture rune. This is your go-to action if you get stuck with some fast enemies, and it’ll be the best way to get out of immediate danger before dropping a blizzard on the group, which will be in action slot 3.
Action Bar Skills
Action slot 1 should contain Hydra with Venom Hydra to not only damage enemies but also drop stacks of DoT damage over an area of effect that rapidly deal damage across an entire group of enemies.
Meanwhile, action slot 2 will contain Energy Armor with the Force Armor rune attached. This is one of the most important parts of surviving Inferno and successfully farming for items to sell in the real money auction house. This ability knocks down the would-be damage from being a one-hit kill to taking off only a 35 percent chunk of your life instead. Considering how hard those Inferno hellions hit, that’s an impressive form of protection to have.
As previously mentioned, action slot 3 will have Blizzard, and this should be paired with the Snowbound rune. The action cost decreases with Snowbound, which enables you to snare enemies, transport off and hold them at bay with the Shock Pulse before they can catch back up to your position.
Action slot 4 must contain Diamond Skin with the Crystal Shell rune affixed to it. Ideally used for quick defense, you can couple this with the Energy Armor ability to take a few hits without losing any health at all.
As for passive skills, you can piece Blur, Illusionist and Galvanizing Ward together. With Blur, you should already have been using this to ease your way around Hell difficulty, and it continues to be just as useful when stepping into Inferno. Illusionist refreshes the cooldown on Teleport just about every time since Inferno attacks typically always deals more than 15 percent of your total life, so it’s an excellent means of kiting. Finally, Galvanizing Ward is important to revitalize yourself when you’re hit for 35 percent of your health.
For a standard pack of enemies from afar with this build, drop a hydra in front of you to create a damaging flood as they will run to attack you. To lure them over, drop a blizzard on their heads followed by one between the two of you, chilling the group as they walk through the damaging pile of venom. If they’re slow enemies, you should also be able to use the Shock Pulse the entire time, or else you’ll want to teleport off and blizzard where you land.
Attacking elites requires holding onto the Teleport and Diamond Skin abilities for when you’re jailed and need a desperate escape. The best way to attack elites and a heroic’s minions is to follow the same pattern of dropping hydras and blizzards.
Wizards interested in trying a new tactic may be interested in a melee build instead. This setup will also help you get through the demons of Inferno difficulty, changing just a few of the skills to give your Wizard a completely different sense of attack:
Melee Wizard Mouse Skills
- The first attack slot should have Spectral Blade with the Deep Cuts rune, enabling you to heal when casting against multiple targets.
- The second slot should have Meteor with Molten Impact, giving back some life per hit.
Melee Wizard Action Bar Skills
- The first action slot must contain Slow Time with Time Warp, which gives you a very powerful edge when you’re meeting up with a group since—as the name suggests—slows down time and projectiles considerably.
- For action slot 2, use Frost Nova with the Bone Chill rune to freeze enemies in a group.
- Action slot 3 should also use Energy Armor but with the Pinpoint Barrier instead to get extra crit.
- Action slot 4 will also contain Diamond Skin with Crystal Shell.
Melee Wizard Passive Skills
- Your three passive skills include Blur and Galvanizing Ward as with the previous build, but choose Critical Mass for the third to reduce your spell cooldown by 1 percent whenever you crit. This will naturally work well with the Pinpoint Barrier rune affixed to your Energy Armor ability.
The idea to go with for this rotation is to constantly have Spectral Blade up and running while using Frost Nova with Meteor at the same time for absolute damage up close. When you need the added DPS, opt for Slow Time or Diamond Skin if you are struggling against the enemy attacks.
Power Demon, Lower Health
If you’re more interested in a build that allows you to see incredibly high damage numbers, you can attempt this build with a word of caution; while you could get through Inferno difficulty with it, you will need to be extra careful about not getting attacked since you have little defense to work with. Piece together the following set of skills:
- Electrocute using the Forked Lightning rune
- Disintegrate with the Volatility rune
Action Bar Skills
- Frost Nova with the Deep Freeze rune
- Meteor with the Liquefy rune
- Storm Armor using the Shocking Aspect rune
- Explosive Blast with the Time Bomb rune
- Critical Mass passive
- Arcane Dynamo passive
- Glass Canon passive
In this setup, the Critical Mass passive will reduce spell cooldown after crits while your other abilities are essentially designed to ensure you do nothing but crit on enemies. Putting together these abilities at the same time can let a Volatile explosion reach 800 percent prior to crits and 1200 percent afterward.
Naturally, much like the Glass Cannon passive suggests, you’re going to fall quickly if you let the enemies reach you, so always keep mobile while you rotate using your basic attacks.
With these skills, you’ll want to focus on gear that increases your crit chance, crit damage, weapon damage and your intelligence as well.
Wizard Builds Aplenty
At the end of the day, it’s clear that there are plenty of options no matter what kind of Wizard you want to build for yourself. In addition to these three, there also exists several builds that allow you to serve as a tank in a group as well as become a powerful laser Wizard that can utilize the Magic Missile ability to disintegrate your enemies in the blink of an eye.