Wizard Leveling Build Guide (Patch 2.6.8 / Season 20)
Welcome to our Wizard leveling guide, where we give you an efficient build for easily leveling to Level 70, with plenty of explanations.
This guide is part of our Wizard Seasonal Progress Guide, which also includes early builds for fresh 70 characters.
|Disintegrate Convergence Teleport Wormhole 1 Explosive Blast Flash 2 Magic Weapon Force Weapon 3 Familiar Sparkflint 4 Storm Armor Power of the Storm|
Note that while the skills and runes recommended in the build are specifically chosen to be available at an early level and remain a solid pick throughout the leveling and early character progression, you will have to temporarily work with other skills as the build gradually unlocks. To familiarize yourself with the class, experimentation is strongly encouraged.
The following video guide was created to accompany the present written guide and demonstrate how to play the build in-game.
Activate all your passive bonuses ( Magic Weapon, Familiar, Storm Armor), and be mindful of their duration — they all expire after 10 minutes, so make a point to refresh them in between runs. Use Teleport to reach, reposition in, or simply avoid fights. Channel you main damage ability (either Ray of Frost, Disintegrate or Arcane Torrent — read below). Use your utility skill ( Frost Nova or Explosive Blast) when monsters get within reach.
Skills, Runes, and Passives
The basis of every build lies in its chosen damage dealing skills. As they invariably require resource or cooldown management mechanics of some sort, and such are scarce for low level and less geared characters, you will focus on one damage dealing ability early on. The typical early game build will feature a dominant damage dealer, a mobility skill, buffs and/or shields, and resource generators (either active or passive). The recommended split is:
- Slot 1 — Damage dealing ability: Without specific legendaries or sets to support his costly nukes, and armed with mostly sub-par primary abilities, the Wizard does best with channeled DPS skills. You acquire Ray of Frost at level 2 and can further reduce its channeling cost with the Cold Blood rune at level 7. Once you hit level 21, immediately switch over to Disintegrate, as it pierces through enemies (an effect Ray of Frost can only acquire from Light of Grace.) At level 26, you will unlock Convergence, whose wider beam will serve you better than any higher level rune (except for Entropy, which sadly puts you in melee range — dangerous for unequipped heroes). You can stay on Convergence for the remainder of your leveling, or deviate into Arcane Torrent at level 49, when you acquire the Static Discharge rune; an amazing tool for AoE destruction, whose missiles explode into additional bolts, covering a wide area.
- Slot 2 — Mobility skill: Wizards' bread and butter mobility skill is Teleport; slot it immediately upon reaching level 22. For additional safety, you can add the Safe Passage rune to it at level 26, but it is advisable to switch to the Wormhole rune at level 31 and stick to it for the remainder of your leveling due to its superior mobility.
- Slots 3 and 4 — Buffs: As mentioned before, a significant portion of your build is meant to support your damage dealing ability. At first, you will do so with Magic Weapon, whose 10% additive damage increase will be absorbed into the build at level 20 (you will bump it up to 20% at level 35 with the Force Weapon rune). At level 22, you will be able to summon a Familiar, bringing some negligible DPS of his own, but also boosting your DPS from the rune Sparkflint at level 30. Note that if you struggle with Arcane Power management (which you should not), you can consider swapping to the Arcanot rune at level 50.
- Slot 5 — Shield: While Ice Armor unlocks as early as level 14, it is deemed too defensive for leveling and low difficulties, and you should switch to Storm Armor at first opportunity, level 17. Not only will it bring a small damage proc of its own, but it will also reduce your Arcane Power costs through the Power of the Storm rune, unlocked at level 33.
- Slot 6 — Utility: Your sixth and final slot is less clearly defined than the rest, and you are free to experiment and find something to your liking. The general recommendation is to take something that does not interrupt Disintegrate channeling. Frost Nova is one of your options and offers defensive utility, with some great late runes like Bone Chill at level 51. Explosive Blast is the offensive option, adding some some melee range DPS if anything gets close. As early game characters often lack elemental bonuses on gear, Flash will offer the best damage per second. Finally, you can take Archon for a taste of ultimate power — you are guaranteed to decimate everything while it is up, but be prepared to wait close to its full 2-minute downtime on an early game character.
- Passives: Power Hungry is a multiplicative damage increase for long range builds, which an early Disintegrate Wizard should strive to be. Astral Presence will ease your Arcane Power management in this generator-less build. Illusionist is a utility-packed passive that will speed you up and reset your Teleports. Late during leveling, you should add Unwavering Will due to its synergy with channeling builds. At any point that you feel threatened, feel free to replace Illusionist with the cheat death passive Unstable Anomaly.
Gear and Stats Priorities
As the leveling process in Diablo 3 is relatively quick, specific legendary recommendations are impossible. During leveling finding upgrades is frequent, so your gear will be swapped in and out within the span of a few minutes. Following the in-game comparison system and the stat priorities outlined in the tables below will result in a solid character throughout the leveling journey.
Note that skill damage and elemental damage recommendations only apply if the majority of your damage is done through that skill or element. For alt characters however, sockets take priority above all other attributes, since you can slot high level gems and benefit massively from their stat increase. For the purposes of an alt character, leveling a Gem of Ease to level 25 and socketing it in a level 70 weapon will be the single biggest boost you can provide to the leveling process.
- 13 Mar. 2020: Reviewed for Season 20.
- 22 Nov. 2019: Page added.
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