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Key Changes Wizard Diablo 3 Patch

Updated on August 18, 2014

PATCH 2.1.0 What it means for wizards

Please note that at the day I'm writing this, it isn't yet sure all of these changes will be implemented. They were released on the official Blizzard Diablo III site but feedback by users may change the mind of the Diablo team. Before you implement some of the advice after the patch has gone live, make sure to check if the change actually has been implemented. Now let's go into some of the key changes that will affect wizard strategy.

Changes to the Black Hole Wizard Spell

  • Weapon damage increased from 360% to 700% over 2 seconds
  • Skill Rune - Blazar
    • Explosion weapon damage increased from 464% to 725%
  • Skill Rune - Supermassive
    • Weapon damage increased from 570% to 1290% over 2 seconds

The change to the black hole spell are quite interesting. The Black hole spell is already quite interesting because it allows the wizard to gather groups of monsters in one spot or keep them there for a few seconds to hit them with a massive area of effect spell. With the damage increased so much this becomes even more viable. This change also slowly opens up the possibility of a "cooldown" centered build where the wizard relies on a signature damage dealer and various cooldown spells to deal massive damage. Supplemented by ways to reduce cooldown time ofcourse.

Changes to Blizzard are keys to wizard kite builds

  • Skill Rune - Grasping Chill
    • Has been removed
    • Replaced with: "Lightning Storm"
      • Enemies affected by Blizzard take 15% increased Lightning damage
      • Deals Lightning damage
  • Skill Rune - Stark Winter
    • Has been removed
    • Replaced with: "Apocalypse"
      • Increases the damage radius of Blizzard to 30 yards
      • Does Fire damage

For a wizard to deal a lot of damage it usually means he or she has to kite away. Ramping up damage means giving up some survivability and that makes kiting an inevitable part of gameplay. To do this effectively you need to slow down monsters. The wizard can do this through skills and slow monsters with arcane based damage or shock them with lightning damage. The slowing being the more reliable strategy. Alternatively you can use spells to slow enemies but these are usually not the most effective damage dealers and sometimes use a different element than you'd like to.

With a fire wizard its actually quite hard to keep enemies at a distance but this has changed now. Blizzard opens up the possibility of lightning and fire kite builds to rely on blizzard to slow enemies while benefiting from their build oriented gear and not having to give up a skill to do it.

Energy Twister becomes a player

Energy Twister:

  • Weapon damage increased from 1000% to 1525%
  • Twisters now originate from the player's click location

Sure the damage increase is fine but more importantly, twisters originate where you click them. The problem with twisters (although they were occasionally played) is that you aren't that sure you will hit anything except in the most narrow of hallways. Now there is a staff that lets twisters travel in straight lines and you can pick where they originate and the spell is looking much better. The twister already has a great proc rate and may become a cornerstone of many a lightning build.

Star Pact may break the game

  • Skill Rune - Star Pact
    • Has been redesigned
      • Expend all remaining Arcane Power
      • Each point of extra Arcane Power spent increased the damage of Meteor by 20%

This change has the potential to be a game breaker. If this really allows you to add to the already respectable 700% damage of a meteor with another 2000%-3000% of damage, it's going to be huge. I suspect, players will immediately look for ways to expend all their AP and replenish it at a record rate. It would be best if combined with a way to regain AP quickly or in combination with a build that doesn't require (much) AP, like a mirrorball or cooldown build.

Could it be good with arcane dynamo perhaps?

Will storm armor see play?

Storm Armor

  • Weapon damage increased from 147% to 175%
  • Skill Rune - Shocking Aspect
    • Electrocute weapon damage increased from 51% to 425%

The change to shocking aspect is a major one. This ability went from underwhelming to very much empowering lightning wizzies. Already the lightning wizard has spells heavily relying on criticals and a high crit chance just became even more important.

Grand Vizier Gamebreaking Meteor Builds Possible

  • The Grand Vizier
    • Legendary power added
      • Reduces the Arcane Power cost of Meteor by 40%-50%
      • Now rolls +25-30% Meteor damage as a fifth primary affix

This legendary item got a power added that is another game breaker. AP reduction cost of 40%-50% with a meteor build... This is opening up the possibility of endless meteor spam. Did you ever hear of Cinder Coat?


  • Extra Magic Missile hits will now be able to generate procs

Mirror, mirror on the ball, who is the most powerfull wizard of them all? Ok, that doesn't make much sense but boy does this empower mirrorball builds. A proc means a chance an effect will occur and before this chance was divided amongst your magic missiles. Now they all get a chance to proc and it is huge. This is going to make a variety of mirroball based builds viable. It could also mean arcane dynamo will see a little more play.

What do you think?

Do you think wizard has improved in strenght relative to other classes after the patch?

See results


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