Moving on with our Human Wizard, Heroic Tier:
Level 2(Utility+Feat)--We are a close range Wizard, so the only real choice here is the excellent Shield spell. Shield can give you +4 AC and Reflex as an interrupt, turning a hit into a miss. Its effects like this that give us our durability, and this gives us two with the Staff of Defense effect. We can put a second Utility in our Spellbook that we'll probably never use, and for this we choose Phantasmal Terrain. Some of the other Utilities are better and more useful, but none of those would ever be traded out for Shield. Phantasmal Terrain can be phenomenally useful in very specific and rare situations, situations that can sometimes be seen ahead of time. For our feat, we choose Reaper's Touch which I will explain in its own section.
Reapers Touch--This feat is currently legal in Character Builder, but due to its new wording in Dragon Magazine Annual(changed to Shadar-Kai prerequisite) this is likely to change next month. I am a big fan of this feat, and it rubs me the wrong way to see it changed like this. While Melee Training(Intelligence) can allow a Wizard(or Sorcerer/Invoker/Warlock) a reasonable melee attack, it generally provides a below average melee attack that can at least hit instead of an option on par with your primary spellcasting, which is what Reaper's Touch provides. Reaper's touch also synergizes with boosts to your spellcasting, such as Staff of Ruin, Dual Implement Spellcasting, and such, while Melee Training does not. What Reaper's Touch does for this character is open up the ability to fight in melee if the battlefield situation demands it. Melee basic attack gives us the option to charge, flank, and hold territory with opportunity attacks. Against high defense enemies, flanking with Magic Missile is often the best way to hit consistently, and flanking also sets up the ally on the other side. In addition, as a fight winds down and the focus becomes finishing off weakened and outnumbered enemies, higher damage(Magic Missile outdamages other At-Wills) and accuracy(from charge/flank) become much more valuable. Melee isn't at the core of what you do, but it is part of your arsenal. Melee Training can give a less crappy attack than you would have otherwise, but doesn't give you melee as a strong option. As this feat is likely to be illegal starting next month, consult with your DM on its availability. You can use the houserule buttons on Character Builder to give yourself an illegal feat.
Level 3(Encounter)--We are a Wizard focused on control with a minor focus on blasting, and level 3 has the premier blasting spell of heroic tier and that is Fire Shroud. Fire Shroud has a huge area of effect, with close burst 3 giving a 7x7 area centered on you, and it only affects enemies. 1d8+ongoing 5(you'll get it at least once) is very respectable damage. The downsides of this spell are it being fire, targetting Fortitude, and having to get close to a lot of enemies, though this Wizard doesn't really worry about the last one. Color Spray(close blast 5 daze) and Icy Rays(2 target ranged immobilize) are solid control spells that deal damage, but I prefer having at least one big nuke.
Level 4(Stats+Feat)--For our stats, we'll be raising Intelligence(now 19) and Constitution(now 15). Intelligence is our main stat, and Constitution raises the effectiveness of our Staff of Defense. For the most part, stats that aren't Intelligence don't have a major influence on this character, and since Constitution raises Fortitude, which would otherwise be weak, I don't see much reason to do anything other than raise it from here on out. For our Level 4 feat, we take Enlarge Spell. -2 damage per die is a small price to pay for hitting larger areas, particularly when we start doing the piles of damage we'll be doing later.
Level 5(Daily)--We're going to break with tradition here and pick a spell that doesn't deal damage, and that spell is Visions of Avarice. This spell eats up two of your actions per turn, but against a medium to large group of enemies without strong Will defense, this power is almost an I Win button. It pulls enemies towards an illusionary treasure and then immobilizes them. I've seen it in action, and cast in the right situation it can singlehandedly win an encounter. For our Spellbook power, we'll be looking for a change of pace, which is the Bigby's Icy Grasp spell. Our Reflex and Fortitude are both respectable, so this is a grab we can sustain, and this is a nasty bit of control against one enemy, instead of groups.
Level 6(Utility+Feat)--We get our third interrupt defensive spell here, and the best one in Wizard's Escape. Its an interrupt that teleports us away when we get attacked in melee. This gives us three effects that turn hits into misses per encounter, which in practice makes us more survivable than most Strikers and Leaders. As is the usual, there is little we would ever trade this out for, so for our Spellbook power we take Disguise Self which can be useful in non-combat situations that need a little guile. For our feat we take Implement Expertise: Staff, which is a must have at some point. Accuracy=good.
Level 7(Encounter+Retraining)--We get a new encounter power here, and Twist of Space is one of the most powerful control effects available. Positioning is power, and Twist of Space teleports hit enemies 3 squares. Enemies Abound deals a good deal more damage with less control, and Winter's Wrath is a solid nuke but the choice for this level is Twist of Space. Since we now have three Encounter attack powers, we will be getting much less use out of our Arcane Reserves feat so we train it out for Action Surge, which is among the sexiest toys a Human character gets to play with.
Level 8(Stats+Feat)--We raise Intelligence and Constitution to 20 and 16 here. For our feat we take Dual Implement Spellcasting, since its at this point we are likely to have a second +2 Implement handy. It isn't terribly important which one. This gives us a ridiculous boost to our damage, and this is where we begin to shine as a damage dealer. The Staff can be used as an arcane implement in one hand, though I believe it requires two hands to be used as a melee weapon. Not having Reaper's Touch give us a melee Magic Missile complicates things if Reaper's Touch is not available.
Level 9(Daily)--For our level 9 Daily, we take Ice Storm. Its big, it hits hard, and Immobilize(save ends) is pretty solid, especially if you can get a group of melee enemies who aren't currently engaged with it. It creates a zone of difficult terrain, which can be fun to Thunderwave enemies into. Our Spellbook power is Wall of Fire, which is also fun with Thunderwave, and can be dropped onto enemies for automatic damage. These two are fairly interchangeable, and its less necessary to focus on just one of these.
Level 10(Utility+Feat)--It is rare to see an attack(ish) power in the Utility section, but that is what we have with Illusory Wall. You get an Attack vs. Will against anyone who tries to get through, and it blocks line of sight. This is a powerful control effect you get once per day in addition to your standard attacks. Its also useful outside of combat to escape pursuit or mess with people's heads. For our change of pace utility, there is Arcane Gate which is good for teleporting parties across chasms and rivers, or onto rooftops if you find out you'll be dealing with such ahead of time. For our feat, we further our blaster capabilities by taking Weapon Focus(Staff). For some reason, Character Builder gives this bonus damage with any damage dealt by a Staff, including implement damage. We'll take it. If we can get a Staff of Ruin, that Staff plus Dual Implement Spellcasting plus Weapon Focus leads to even more devastation.
At level 10, we have a strong focus on area control, surprising defensive capabilities, and high damage giving us a versatile and almost inexaustable bag of tricks to deal with most anything that comes up. If we need to lay down control, we lay down control. If we need to deal damage and focus fire, we do so. If we need to wade into melee and hold the line, we can do that too. Next up: Paragon Tier.
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Human Wizard, level 10
Arcane Implement Mastery: Staff of Defense
Background: Society - Noble (+2 to Diplomacy)
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 16, Dex 13, Int 20, Wis 14, Cha 10.
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 14, Dex 13, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 10.
AC: 25 Fort: 21 Reflex: 23 Will: 22
HP: 62 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 15
Insight +12, Arcana +15, Dungeoneering +12, Diplomacy +12, History +15
Acrobatics +6, Bluff +5, Endurance +8, Heal +7, Intimidate +5, Nature +7, Perception +7, Religion +10, Stealth +6, Streetwise +5, Thievery +6, Athletics +4
Wizard: Ritual Caster
Human: Armor Proficiency (Leather)
Level 1: Arcane Reserves (retrained to Action Surge at Level 7)
Level 2: Reaper's Touch
Level 4: Enlarge Spell
Level 6: Implement Expertise (staff)
Level 8: Dual Implement Spellcaster
Level 10: Weapon Focus (Staff)
Bonus At-Will Power: Illusory Ambush
Wizard at-will 1: Magic Missile
Wizard at-will 1: Thunderwave
Wizard encounter 1: Icy Terrain
Wizard daily 1: Flaming Sphere
Wizard daily 1 Spellbook: Sleep
Wizard utility 2: Shield
Wizard utility 2 Spellbook: Phantasmal Terrain
Wizard encounter 3: Fire Shroud
Wizard daily 5: Visions of Avarice
Wizard daily 5 Spellbook: Bigby's Icy Grasp
Wizard utility 6: Wizard's Escape
Wizard utility 6 Spellbook: Disguise Self
Wizard encounter 7: Twist of Space
Wizard daily 9: Ice Storm
Wizard daily 9 Spellbook: Wall of Fire
Wizard utility 10: Illusory Wall
Wizard utility 10 Spellbook: Arcane Gate
Spellbook, Adventurer's Kit, Potion of Healing (heroic tier), Magic Leather Armor +2, Magic Staff +2, Magic Wand +2, Amulet of Protection +2
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