Sunday 1 July 2012

[Wizard] Bored of your melee build? Try out the Wicked Wind build!

Just kidding, I know you aren't bored of your melee build. But if you are, seriously, give Wicked Wind a serious shot. I've been doing the melee wiz for about a month, and only now have I felt an urge to mix things up. I saw a video two days ago of someone doing this, but felt inhibited by the fact that I needed AP on crit to make it work.

So I put my near-perfect Helm of Command on the bench and purchased a Dark Mage's Shade for 100k (as a test-piece) and a source with crit and AP on crit (lowish damage, because I didn't want to spend too much). So with 16 AP on crit, I tried out the build.

Holy, mother of god. Without Helm of Command and a great shield (mine was 24% block, 1500 armor, and tons of good stats), I was definitely much more squishy, but once you get those tornadoes out there, it's game over. I'm not sure if it's life on hit (I have 800) or life steal (I have 2.8%), but unless you are one-shotted, your life is self-healing at an absurdly fast rate. You are generating so many crits that you can actually perma-freeze elite packs. I made my melee wiz build with such ambitions, but even reaching as high as 48% crit and 2.4 APS (before patch), I was never able to do so, and settled with simply stunning them every so often.

But not anymore. I've fought frozen/arcane elites without them ever having placed a single arcane sentry/frozen orb simply because they are frozen the entire time.

Might it get nerfed later on? Possibly. Hopefully not. It's the only use I've seen for Energy Twister, and Blizz likes to encourage build diversity. And before you place those energy twisters down, you're extremely vulnerable (as you'll see, you pretty much have to give up spectral blades for this, so you lack any "instant" attack). But as I said, the style becomes straight-up god mode once you've created your momentum.

Since then, I emptied my 10m gold I've been saving up for a weapon and instead bought a "perfect" Dark Mage's Shade (10 AP on crit, 5% crit chance to explosive blast, etc) and a source which I can see myself using for a while.

Here's the build I'm using right now, but it's not the only variation.

You can swap out short-fuse for chain reaction, because your cooldowns quite literally reset in a fraction of a second. So instead of letting off 3 explosions in 2-3 seconds from chain reaction for 97% weapon damage each, you can constantly emit one powerful one in shortfuse for 225% damage at an equally constant rate.

Venom Hydra is purely there for a DPS supplement. Teleport might be a wiser choice to get out of dangerous elite abilities, but since you can now deploy the Twisters from afar, there isn't as much of a reason to use teleport, imo (which before, I considered it almost an essential skill for melee wizes).

As for explosive blast: there are many skills one might argue should be used instead of this. But this skill is rather unique in that there is no casting animation. You can simply hold down the hotkeys for Explosive blast, diamond skin, and frost nova, while spam clicking energy twisters, and all three of them will "cast when ready." This is pretty huge, since if even one of those skills have a casting animation, it messed up everything as the other two won't cast when ready because your character attempts to "queue" up the casting spell before casting the others.

Anyway, I take no credit for this. I got the idea from this, but I've read about it before as well. I just never trusted it/felt like it was something I'm willing to invest gold into (and thereby give up some pieces of gear which I consider very valuable). But man... it is FUN.

I'm not going to sell my HoC/shield for now, so that I won't get screwed by a nerf-hammer, but the coversion really doesn't need more than 1 mill gold for a source and a Dark Mage's Shade to work (I spent more simply because I don't mind committing).