The True Magus: A Wizard's Handbook

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*cheer*


Congrats on your second guide ! No easy task with a bunch as diverse as like wizards.  Finally they get their well deserved attention Laughing !


I will read it more in depth tomorrow (its already 4am here in europe), but i have 2 small addons:


Item: Opal Ring of Remembrance (lvl29, av) : +2 item bonus to intelligence attacks


Race: Half-Elf. They can be worth it under exceptional circumstances. Con is obviously secondary, and int 18 pre racial (and unfortunately, post racial). Two powers can imo be worth it: magic weapon (artificier, con) and swordburst (swordmage).


I'm currently working on a (even worse) wisdom based half elf swordmage|wizard with sword burst, magic weapon and thunderweave, using the zulaat as an implement (resounding thunder, enlarge spell, admixture thunder, mark of thunder, polearm momentum...)


Thanks for your work on this, ill write more tomorrow! Smile


Edit: Oh, and i'll have to edit the wizard feycharger back in now somehow. Thank you  for linking to it. He fell prey to the "edit post:who needs carriage returns"-problem...


Edit2: Post added to Charop Wiki

1) Nice job!


2) I don't think cantrips should be red. If you are creative you can at least get a black rating out of them.

3) The link for the Feycharger doesn't work for me.

Peace,
Necro

A few things from the top of my head:
Level 5 Daily, Grasp of the Grave from Dragon #372.  Area burst 2 that creates an encounter-long zone that deals 5 necrotic damage and dazes enemies starting their turn in it autmomatically.  More than likely worth a mention.


Ankhmon's Bracers from AV2.  When hitting an enemy and having combat advantage, do +1d10 damage and heal an equal amount to the roll.

Ah, another week, another wizards guide    Still, this one is quite a lot better than most of the others I've seen on the forum, so good job!


 


Here's my feedback on some of the powers. All imho of course, but I've been playing wizards for awhile.


* Illusory Ambush is pretty much obsoleted by Chilling Cloud. Regardless, with the many excellent (and enlargeable) area effects wizards get, it is hard to justify using a single-target spell. See also this recent thread which discusses that a -2 to-hit doesn't actually do anything most of the time. I'd rank this one blue at best, probably black.


* Ray of Frost: slow isn't a very useful debuff, and the enemies that most need slowing (i.e. heavy-hitting melee guys) tend to have a high fort. That makes it black, in my view. Also, you need to explain how it slows two people


* Storm Pillar: it's a good power, but highly situational so that makes it less than sky blue. Also, there is a regular debate on these boards on whether it's allowed to place it in mid-air (see also: the Book of Heavily Debated Topics). Regardless of how you would rule it, I think the guide should point out that there is substantial disagreement here.


* Icy Terrain: it's an area effect, and enlargeable. That alone makes it a better power than Chill Strike and Ray of Enfeeblement. It was the best L1 encounter in the PHB, and deserves blue.


* Empowering Lightning: it's overrated. Inflicting a good status condition is generally more effective than +5 damage to one target, once. Should be purple.


* Flaming Sphere: this really deserves sky blue, given how much it can mess up the battlefield even if you aren't a blaster. It's your first sustainable conjuration, for starters, and it autohits.


* Horrid Whispers: slowed is not an impressive enough debuff for a daily power. This really isn't better than phantom chasm, and just an average power.


* Fire Warrior: this is pretty bad even for a summons; it doesn't deserve average rating.


* Daunting Presence: wizards don't have intimidate on their skill list, and intimidate isn't really worth spending a power on. Note that e.g. in RPGA campaigns, intimidating tends to backfire. I'd call this one purple.


* Jump: you're missing the main application of this little gem (that really deserves a full blue rating). It is a leader power, like Knight's Move. You are a ranged attacker that will frequently not use your move action, and this spell lets you give it to one of your allies. That they get to jump is a nice bonus, but trading your move action to allies is very useful.


* Shield: probably sky blue, it is one of the most common L2 utility powers for wizards and quite frustrating for the DM.


* Color Spray: given how effective dazing is, a huge area effect will-targeting daze definitely deserves sky blue.


* Maze of Mirrors: it's not as good as it seems. Sure, it's nice on anything without a ranged attack, but the odds are still pretty good that something in that burst is going to hit you anyway. It's not bad, but other L3s are better.


* Stinking Cloud: another contender for Best Power In The Game, this should be sky blue all the way. It is amazing how much damage the autohit does, plus it blocks line of sight, and is movable. This is one of those spells that wins encounters all by itself.


* Emerald Eye: if you do the math on this, it's not nearly as good as it seems.


* Visions of Ruin: it doesn't just nullify artillery, it also nullifies everything else (even on a miss). Just place your melee guys just outside the spell's effect, and they can still hit the enemy but the enemy can't see them! This spell is amazing and should be sky blue.


* Wall of Fire: huge amounts of damage, and it autohits, and you can push people through with thunderwave. Another sky blue one.


* Arcane Gate: it's heavily situational; you'll only very rarely be on a battlefield that makes it useful.


* Mass resistance: can turn a TPK into an easy victory, by making the entire party immune to whatever attacks you're facing at the moment. Deserves sky blue.

Woot!  I am thrilled to see this and cannot imagine anyone better suited than Ytterbium_Dragon!


I did want to pipe in about the attributes briefly:


STR - In some cases, a 12 will work since it is generally hard to work Hide into the first 8 levels.   You might want to take it at 10, but by then you can always wait till 11, get bumped to 13STR, retrain whatever level 10 feat to Hide.


DEX - Many wizards will want a 13 DEX to qualify for Dual Implement Spellcasting to boost their damage significantly. Some might go with a 12 and then wait till 11 to get DIS, when they take Second Mastery or whatever.

My Sorc Guide Link: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19649162/Joes_Sorcerer_Guide_AP_update_51509 My Genesi Wizard Blaster Link: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/25082729/Miniguide_to_Genesi_LightningThunder_Blaster_Wizard_%2806-2010%29

Very nice, its been a while since someone has done a wizard's handbook, I think. Good on you, Ytterbium.


My thanks, as I was wanting to looking into orbizard builds.


prototype00

Comments:


- You might want to add a section about the viability of going with an 18/12/12/12 array vs a more standard 16/14/14/whatever one.  Since INT determines AB, damage, and AC, there is more of a case to be made for it.   It does cause feat-qualification issues though.


- Dwarf.  Special mention for Blood Mage.  Their second wind is pretty potent as they can take 2d10, use Blood Pulse, which puts an effect on enemies, then second wind all in one turn.  This blows away all minions in an area (CON dmg to all within 10 squares), and also deals INT-mod additional damage and 5 ongoing fire damage to anything hit by the Pulse.


- I dont understand the Gravity of Moment combo.  Its a level 19 daily to punt the foe 10 or 20 spaces.  I mean, 10-60 damage or 20-120 is pretty strong!  But wizard dailys are so good that it seems like a real shame to spend several feats to swap it out for Gravity, which is a 1/day thing. If it were an encounter power, I could see it.


- I love the swordmage/warlock info you have.  I know little about either and was excited to read about it!


- Special mention about lightning bolt.  It is a rare multi-hit power that does NOT require a clump!  As such, blasters will probably like having it for its versatility.   Since most will be Genesi with Promise of Storm, this power can effectively add 1 or 2d8 to its damage per person.   This is why I like Force Volley and Chain Lighting also.


- LOL on Mordenkainen's Lucubration (AP) - NOT LUBRICATION! Takes the fun out of the lube jokes...


- You don't like Elemental Maw?  Man, I loved that spell!  Big AoE, damage twice over, pick the appropriate damage type, then teleport the enemies dazed anywhere within 20?   Possible cheese: Teleport the foes 20 spaces in the air to tack on 10d10 falling damage and prone condition.  Super nasty for Blood Mages!  At the very least, forces foes to leave 3 squares for 3d6 extra.  With teleport cheese adds 20d6 more.


 

My Sorc Guide Link: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19649162/Joes_Sorcerer_Guide_AP_update_51509 My Genesi Wizard Blaster Link: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/25082729/Miniguide_to_Genesi_LightningThunder_Blaster_Wizard_%2806-2010%29

There's a level 10 utility called Repelling Shield from a Hero's Mini Set.  It's like the level 2 Shield except it can only be used vs. melee and it pushes 1 after anyone melee attacks you.  It's in the compendium, and my vote is for it to be sky blue.


[color=Blue]Ray of Frost (PHB)[/color] - Slowing two enemies isn't bad for an at-will.




If only it could do that


But it only targets one creature Surprised

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.


*cheer*


Congrats on your second guide ! No easy task with a bunch as diverse as like wizards.  Finally they get their well deserved attention !


I will read it more in depth tomorrow (its already 4am here in europe), but i have 2 small addons:



Thanks!



Item: Opal Ring of Remembrance (lvl29, av) : +2 item bonus to intelligence attacks



Added.



Race: Half-Elf. They can be worth it under exceptional circumstances. Con is obviously secondary, and int 18 pre racial (and unfortunately, post racial). Two powers can imo be worth it: magic weapon (artificier, con) and swordburst (swordmage).


I'm currently working on a (even worse) wisdom based half elf swordmage|wizard with sword burst, magic weapon and thunderweave, using the zulaat as an implement (resounding thunder, enlarge spell, admixture thunder, mark of thunder, polearm momentum...)



Half-elves are really good when their dilettante power synergizes well with the class, such as an Avenger with Twin Strike. There aren't any at-wills that do that well for Wizards. Magic Weapon is good, but it's a leader power, which none of the Wizard builds try to emulate. It also loses some luster because Wizards are unlikely to have a weapon that is both ranged and melee.



Thanks for your work on this, ill write more tomorrow!

Edit: Oh, and i'll have to edit the wizard feycharger back in now somehow. Thank you  for linking to it. He fell prey to the "edit post:who needs carriage returns"-problem...


Edit2: Post added to Charop Wiki




Thanks; appreciated.



1) Nice job!


2) I don't think cantrips should be red. If you are creative you can at least get a black rating out of them.

3) The link for the Feycharger doesn't work for me.

Peace,
Necro




1.) Thanks


2.) For the rating to go higher, there needs to be some kind of mechanical benefit. As of now, it's mostly a DM interpretation/RPing thing. The only trick I could find was the healing to bloodied thing, which isn't amazing.



A few things from the top of my head:
Level 5 Daily, Grasp of the Grave from Dragon #372.  Area burst 2 that creates an encounter-long zone that deals 5 necrotic damage and dazes enemies starting their turn in it autmomatically.  More than likely worth a mention.


Ankhmon's Bracers from AV2.  When hitting an enemy and having combat advantage, do +1d10 damage and heal an equal amount to the roll.




1.) Looks like a great power. I'll add it.


2.) Those bracers don't seem to do anything particularly amazing for Wizards. Wizards aren't horribly likely to have combat advantage unless they specifically cause a creature to grant it with a power. Those that do are heavily controller oriented and care less about a bit more damage. The Wizards that do care about damage don't have a reliable way of getting combat advantage. You could take distant advantage for it to work on an enemy or two, but Wizards have much higher priority feats to take.



Woot!  I am thrilled to see this and cannot imagine anyone better suited than Ytterbium_Dragon!



Thanks. I'm glad you approve.



I did want to pipe in about the attributes briefly:


STR - In some cases, a 12 will work since it is generally hard to work Hide into the first 8 levels.   You might want to take it at 10, but by then you can always wait till 11, get bumped to 13STR, retrain whatever level 10 feat to Hide.



I'll make a note of it.



DEX - Many wizards will want a 13 DEX to qualify for Dual Implement Spellcasting to boost their damage significantly. Some might go with a 12 and then wait till 11 to get DIS, when they take Second Mastery or whatever.




I'll note that too.



There's a level 10 utility called Repelling Shield from a Hero's Mini Set.  It's like the level 2 Shield except it can only be used vs. melee and it pushes 1 after anyone melee attacks you.  It's in the compendium, and my vote is for it to be sky blue.




Is it an encounter power and does it also grant a +4 bonus to AC and Ref?



If only it could do that


But it only targets one creature



Fixed. Thank you for pointing out that error.

Repelling shield is encounter and +4 AC and reflex.


Effect: You gain a +4 power bonus to AC and Rflex until the end of your next turn. If any creaure makes a melee attack against you while this effect lasts, you can push it 1 square after the attack resolves.


Don't forget sibery's shard of the mage. It is the new hotness.


My blaster wizard is an unseen mage with Shadowdancer's gloves and blur and he will one day get Akhmon's bracers.


This means he is more accurate than most wizards, since he almost always has combat advantage and does more damage since he has Shadowdancer's and Akhmon's and his class feature of Unseen Advantage (+1d6 when hidden).


His methods of becoming hidden are:


Blur: minor action daily invis if 5 squares away


Guillame's Veil: minor action daily, me and allies within 2 are invis, sustain minor.


Unseen Action: When I action point I go invis until the end of my next turn.


Vanishing Act: Invis which I never use.


Hide in Plain Sight: I am not high enough for this yet but in theory I could build toward it.


Based on this blaster build I think you should make Unseen Mage blue, as it is the best blaster path I could find without going blood mage.


My level 11 wizard with this build is typically: +18 attack, +23.5 damage.


Here is my RPGA character incase it helps:


====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Ferno Fendelstick!, level 11
Tiefling, Wizard, Unseen Mage
Build: War Wizard
Arcane Implement Mastery: Staff of Defense
Background: Thay (Thay Benefit)


FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 9, Con 11, Dex 16, Int 23, Wis 14, Cha 13.


STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 8, Con 10, Dex 13, Int 18, Wis 13, Cha 10.



AC: 24 Fort: 17 Reflex: 23 Will: 21
HP: 73 Surges: 6 Surge Value: 18


TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +16, Diplomacy +11, Religion +16, History +16


UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +8, Bluff +8, Dungeoneering +7, Endurance +5, Heal +7, Insight +7, Intimidate +6, Nature +7, Perception +7, Stealth +10, Streetwise +6, Thievery +8, Athletics +4


FEATS
Wizard: Ritual Caster
Level 1: Hellfire Blood
Level 2: Focused Expertise (Quarterstaff)
Level 4: Dual Implement Spellcaster
Level 6: Enlarge Spell
Level 8: Destructive Wizardry
Level 10: Two-Weapon Fighting
Level 11: Weapon Focus (Staff)


POWERS
Wizard at-will 1: Scorching Burst
Wizard at-will 1: Thunderwave
Wizard encounter 1: Orbmaster's Incendiary Detonation
Wizard daily 1: Summon Fire Warrior
Wizard daily 1 Spellbook: Flaming Sphere
Wizard utility 2: Shield
Wizard utility 2 Spellbook: Jump
Wizard encounter 3: Fire Shroud
Wizard daily 5: Summon Abyssal Maw
Wizard daily 5 Spellbook: Fireball
Wizard utility 6: Wizard's Escape
Wizard utility 6 Spellbook: Fire Shield
Wizard encounter 7: Fire Burst
Wizard daily 9: Wall of Fire
Wizard daily 9 Spellbook: Visions of Ruin
Wizard utility 10: Blur
Wizard utility 10 Spellbook: Mass Resistance


ITEMS
Spellbook, Adventurer's Kit, Amulet of Protection +2, Potion of Healing (heroic tier), Dagger w/Light on it, Veteran's Cloth Armor (Basic Clothing) +2, Gloves of Piercing (heroic tier), Siberys Shard of the Mage (heroic tier), Circlet of Second Chances (heroic tier), Magic Staff +3, Staff of Ruin +3, Ebony Fly (heroic tier), Shadowdancer's Gloves (paragon tier)
RITUALS
Tenser's Floating Disk, Make Whole
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


 

Mike Donais. Cryptozoic R&D


Comments:


- You might want to add a section about the viability of going with an 18/12/12/12 array vs a more standard 16/14/14/whatever one.  Since INT determines AB, damage, and AC, there is more of a case to be made for it.   It does cause feat-qualification issues though.



I'm afraid of array specifically because it can cause new players to mess up and miss out on good feats. I'll make a note of it, though, because Wizards' secondary stats aren't nearly as important as they are to many other classes.



- Dwarf.  Special mention for Blood Mage.  Their second wind is pretty potent as they can take 2d10, use Blood Pulse, which puts an effect on enemies, then second wind all in one turn.  This blows away all minions in an area (CON dmg to all within 10 squares), and also deals INT-mod additional damage and 5 ongoing fire damage to anything hit by the Pulse.



It seems somewhat cool, but I'm not sure if that's enough to elevate dwarves up a level. Let me think about it a bit more.



- I dont understand the Gravity of Moment combo.  Its a level 19 daily to punt the foe 10 or 20 spaces.  I mean, 10-60 damage or 20-120 is pretty strong!  But wizard dailys are so good that it seems like a real shame to spend several feats to swap it out for Gravity, which is a 1/day thing. If it were an encounter power, I could see it.



With Blood Pulse and Bolstering Blood, you do 15d6 + 30d10, which is 217.5. If you have a Storm Pillar down, that's another 15d6+(15*INT). Gravity of Moment lets you slide the enemy 10 squares all encounter as well. If you have ways to regain Blood Pulse (and by virtue of you being a Blood Mage, you have at least one), then you can repeat the trick every time you get the power back, with 10 as the multiplier instead of 15. Seems powerful enough to warrant taking to me.



- I love the swordmage/warlock info you have.  I know little about either and was excited to read about it!



Thanks again.



- Special mention about lightning bolt.  It is a rare multi-hit power that does NOT require a clump!  As such, blasters will probably like having it for its versatility.   Since most will be Genesi with Promise of Storm, this power can effectively add 1 or 2d8 to its damage per person.   This is why I like Force Volley and Chain Lighting also.



I mainly don't like Force Volley and Lightning Bolt because they aren't enlargable. Just as Fighters get the most out of melee powers, Wizards get the most out of AoEs due to feat support. Chain Lightning is great because it definitely hits everyone, though.



- You don't like Elemental Maw?  Man, I loved that spell!  Big AoE, damage twice over, pick the appropriate damage type, then teleport the enemies dazed anywhere within 20?   Possible cheese: Teleport the foes 20 spaces in the air to tack on 10d10 falling damage and prone condition.  Super nasty for Blood Mages!  At the very least, forces foes to leave 3 squares for 3d6 extra.  With teleport cheese adds 20d6 more.



I don't like Elemental Maw compared to other powers at its level. At level 25, you have a handful of stun powers and some really great multiattack powers (Prismatic Spray and Summon Abyssal Horde). I may have been a bit too harsh on it, though. The Bloodmage combo is nice, but many DMs rule against teleporting into the air and I'd like to keep the guide as general as possible.



Ah, another week, another wizards guide    Still, this one is quite a lot better than most of the others I've seen on the forum, so good job!



The last Wizard guide is pretty old and outdated, so I felt that it was warranted. Thanks for the compliment, though.


Here's my feedback on some of the powers. All imho of course, but I've been playing wizards for awhile.



* Illusory Ambush is pretty much obsoleted by Chilling Cloud. Regardless, with the many excellent (and enlargeable) area effects wizards get, it is hard to justify using a single-target spell.



Where's Chilling Cloud? I've never seen it, but it sounds good. Even with its existence, it's still quite justifiable because it interacts with Psychic Lock and has the Illusion keyword for Orb of Deception users. Chilling Cloud sounds like it has pretty bad keywords.



See also this recent thread which discusses that a -2 to-hit doesn't actually do anything most of the time. I'd rank this one blue at best, probably black.



Either the OP of that thread doesn't understand statistics very well or is intentionally mischaracterizing the numbers. We use the Law of Averages on the charop boards. That means that a -2 to hit reduces the enemy attack effectiveness by 10%. With Psychic Lock, that's -20%. In most cases, that's a third to half of their hit percentage, meaning they hit a third to half as often as they usually do. That's potent.



* Ray of Frost: slow isn't a very useful debuff, and the enemies that most need slowing (i.e. heavy-hitting melee guys) tend to have a high fort. That makes it black, in my view. Also, you need to explain how it slows two people



It doesn't; that was my mistake. I fixed it.



* Storm Pillar: it's a good power, but highly situational so that makes it less than sky blue. Also, there is a regular debate on these boards on whether it's allowed to place it in mid-air (see also: the Book of Heavily Debated Topics). Regardless of how you would rule it, I think the guide should point out that there is substantial disagreement here.



There's no rule prohibiting as such, so I see absolutely no reason to disallow putting it in the air by RAW. Even if you do disallow that, it's still nice as it forces the enemy to either stand still or eat some decent damage. It can also be abused with forced movement.



* Icy Terrain: it's an area effect, and enlargeable. That alone makes it a better power than Chill Strike and Ray of Enfeeblement. It was the best L1 encounter in the PHB, and deserves blue.



I explained that the best use of this power, placing it around the defender to keep enemies from escaping, can also mess up the defender as well. Also, best doesn't necessarily equal good, and historical accounts don't really matter for current ratings.



* Empowering Lightning: it's overrated. Inflicting a good status condition is generally more effective than +5 damage to one target, once. Should be purple.



I mentioned that it's for Blasters, and it really is a good power for them if they have Wand of Accuracy.



* Flaming Sphere: this really deserves sky blue, given how much it can mess up the battlefield even if you aren't a blaster. It's your first sustainable conjuration, for starters, and it autohits.



I mentioned that it's sky blue for Blasters, but pretty much every other Wizard will want a control effect and will almost always take Sleep instead. Without a solid control effect, I can't rate it higher than blue for the rest of the builds.



* Horrid Whispers: slowed is not an impressive enough debuff for a daily power. This really isn't better than phantom chasm, and just an average power.



Slowed is great when melee enemies aren't in position yet, and it messes up lurkers who rely on big shifts. It has another debuff on top of that and is party-friendly.



* Fire Warrior: this is pretty bad even for a summons; it doesn't deserve average rating.



I was between Magenta and Black for this one, and it very well may go down. The thing is, Summoners just don't care and will load up on summons anyway.



* Daunting Presence: wizards don't have intimidate on their skill list, and intimidate isn't really worth spending a power on. Note that e.g. in RPGA campaigns, intimidating tends to backfire. I'd call this one purple.



It's rated black because of its penalty to attack. I agree that the intimidate bonus is fairly useless.



* Jump: you're missing the main application of this little gem (that really deserves a full blue rating). It is a leader power, like Knight's Move. You are a ranged attacker that will frequently not use your move action, and this spell lets you give it to one of your allies. That they get to jump is a nice bonus, but trading your move action to allies is very useful.



I felt like I was missing something when I rated this. That's definitely true and I'll change it.



* Shield: probably sky blue, it is one of the most common L2 utility powers for wizards and quite frustrating for the DM.



It's really good for a lot of Wizards, but it isn't so amazing that it's sky blue. Remember that there isn't necessarily a sky blue power at each level.



* Color Spray: given how effective dazing is, a huge area effect will-targeting daze definitely deserves sky blue.



Still hurts allies and isn't ranged. Dazing is good, but it's important to think quantitatively and not be so extreme.



* Maze of Mirrors: it's not as good as it seems. Sure, it's nice on anything without a ranged attack, but the odds are still pretty good that something in that burst is going to hit you anyway. It's not bad, but other L3s are better.



It's a debuff based on your primary stat. That's huge. It also has a solid status condition on top of it. You're bringing every enemy in the burst's accuracy down by 20-25% at level 3, and it only goes up from there. You're practically guaranteed to make at least one attack miss.



* Stinking Cloud: another contender for Best Power In The Game, this should be sky blue all the way. It is amazing how much damage the autohit does, plus it blocks line of sight, and is movable. This is one of those spells that wins encounters all by itself.



Definitely far from the best power in the game. It has some nice perks, but you're being a bit extreme in its rating.



* Emerald Eye: if you do the math on this, it's not nearly as good as it seems.



It's a +2 to hit, every encounter, whenever you want. It's good.



* Visions of Ruin: it doesn't just nullify artillery, it also nullifies everything else (even on a miss). Just place your melee guys just outside the spell's effect, and they can still hit the enemy but the enemy can't see them! This spell is amazing and should be sky blue.



It's a good power for sure, but there's a safe spot in the middle, it doesn't block line of effect (AoEs can still work), and it doesn't stop them from taking actions, including buffs and the like. You're a bit too quick to rate things sky blue.



* Wall of Fire: huge amounts of damage, and it autohits, and you can push people through with thunderwave. Another sky blue one.



It takes three squares of forced movement to get them through. Again, it's good, but you're far too quick to rate things sky blue.



* Arcane Gate: it's heavily situational; you'll only very rarely be on a battlefield that makes it useful.



It completely changes combat dynamics because you can easily go from the enemy's back line to your back line. That works no matter what battlefield you're on.



* Mass resistance: can turn a TPK into an easy victory, by making the entire party immune to whatever attacks you're facing at the moment. Deserves sky blue.




It's only useful for encounter that focus on a single damage type. That depends completely on your DM. Again, you're way too quick to rate things sky blue; half of the Wizard's powers would be sky blue.

 


Ankhmon's Bracers from AV2.  When hitting an enemy and having combat advantage, do +1d10 damage and heal an equal amount to the roll.

2.) Those bracers don't seem to do anything particularly amazing for Wizards. Wizards aren't horribly likely to have combat advantage unless they specifically cause a creature to grant it with a power. Those that do are heavily controller oriented and care less about a bit more damage. The Wizards that do care about damage don't have a reliable way of getting combat advantage. You could take distant advantage for it to work on an enemy or two, but Wizards have much higher priority feats to take.


The bracers aren't a huge benefit, but they are a unique one.  It is an easy way to get surgeless healing and do additional damage with just your arm slot and combat advantage, no leader involved.  If your party members regularly toss around abilities that grant combat advantage, or you hit people that you've dazed or stunned yourself, you get the bonus without needing flanking.
I don't think it's sky blue or anything, but potentially getting bonus damage and healing on every power you have is at least worth a mention, IMO.  Even if it's just to say they suck and give the reasons why.



* Visions of Ruin: it doesn't just nullify artillery, it also nullifies everything else (even on a miss). Just place your melee guys just outside the spell's effect, and they can still hit the enemy but the enemy can't see them! This spell is amazing and should be sky blue.



It's a good power for sure, but there's a safe spot in the middle, it doesn't block line of effect (AoEs can still work), and it doesn't stop them from taking actions, including buffs and the like. You're a bit too quick to rate things sky blue.



Unless they're a leader role they probably don't have buffs to take.  More than likely, they'll use total defense, which will just counteract the combat advantage they give to foes they can't see.
It works even better vs. non-artillery roles without ranged attacks because they will have nothing to do if your melee party members go for whomever you didn't get with your burst 1.  For the ranged attackers, it's fish in a barrel.
At worst, you miss and whichever guys you target will be pretty close to immobile for a turn, grant combat advantage and be forced into using area or burst attacks to avoid the -5 for total concealment.  More than likely, you'll cripple an area burst 1 for a few rounds while you can pepper them with as many zones that they can't escape from as you like.  It's like a smaller save-ends Illusory Wall that the foe can't run away from a level earlier that doesn't need to be sustained.

Also, the epic destiny Archspell's nearly permanent resist 15 to all damage is worth a mention as pretty much the primary draw of that destiny over Archmage.

Thanks for adding Repelling Shield!  But, you should note that it's only effective vs. melee.  I don't think this is too bad though, especially if you also have regular Shield.


Also, I don't know if anyone mentioned Reaper's Touch is now a Shadar Kai only feat (Dragon Annual).  The character builder has not been updated with this, though.  So, I guess many people can still get away with this.


EDIT: chilling cloud is another hero's minis power.  it's in the compendium


Fixed. Thank you for pointing out that error.




Highly reactive !

Monsieur Moustache thinks you're the man for this job.

If you think my english is bad, just wait until you see my spanish and my italian. Defiling languages is an art.


Also, I don't know if anyone mentioned Reaper's Touch is now a Shadar Kai only feat (Dragon Annual).  The character builder has not been updated with this, though.  So, I guess many people can still get away with this.





Reaper's touch will be updated in the october 6 version of CB to match Dragon Annual.

 

Mike Donais. Cryptozoic R&D

Thank Goodness someone has taken the burden of finishing a wizard handbook from me. If you want to take any of my opinions from my wizafrd handbook, so long as you say where you got them from.

It's not a matter of Right vs. Left, it's a matter of right vs. wrong My Charop Works Who Am I Really? The Theme Handbook I'm an
D&D Home Page - What Class Are You? - Build A Character - D&D Compendium

This is a great guide. Thanks for taking the time to do it. It would be cool if you included Genasi.

Storm Pillar does not work with forced movement.


Items:
Long Battle Tattoo - good for summoners
Curse Eye Tattoo - good for stunlocker/illusionist


 

Wizards are one of the few character classes that may want to retrain at-wills as they go up levels.  For instance, Storm Pillar is probably only Black until your party gets some forced movement powers (assuming your DM allows the damage to occur from forced movement).


I personally like Cloud of Daggers in Heroic, when you need to use at-wills a lot; with Enlarge Spell, it's the only at-will in the game that can be either a single target or an burst 1 AOE.  Yeah, it doesn't do much damage as an AOE, but at that level you're mostly using AOEs to kill minions anyway.  And you can extend the damage zone with your Orb; and it does extra damage vs. swarms; etc.


On a separate note, a cool combo is Icy Terrain + Thunderwave.  Knock a bunch of targets prone in up to a 5x5 area, Action Point, and push them back into a single square (since you can have more than one prone creature in a square).  If you have one creature standing in that square, the rest of the prone targets cannot stand up (since they'd have to use a free shift, and you can't shift in difficult terrain).  Then next turn Cloud of Daggers the square for extra fun Laughing.

I don't think Enlarge Spell works on Cloud of Daggers, as it's not a burst. It simply desigates "1 square." :\

"Area Burst 0"?


"Area Blast 1"?


...yeah, no. Enlarging a Cloud of Daggers would definitely require the DMs approval.

I think that they made it an area power intending for stuff like that to work on it in the future, but they messed up.

Thanks for the replies. I have a busy weekend ahead of me (and possibly a busy begining of the week as well), but when I make changes I'll start converting things due to the new restriction on Reaper's Touch (*sad*). Mdonais, I'll take a closer look at your build as well.

Thanks,


Also, on jump, when my wizard was using jump he was occasionally casting it to get someone out of the way for an AOE since it is a move action to cast.


This only comes up occasionally since it would provoke OA but it did come up.


 

Mike Donais. Cryptozoic R&D

You talk about summons breifly, well my blaster wizard that I play in RPGA uses both fire warrior and abyssal maw as his level 1 and level 5 dailys.


It turns out if you assume I am going to cast an enlarged AOE fire spell every round, the best way to maximize my DPS is to choose minor action spells to add on top of that. So I tried out the summons and they turned out to be much more useful than I expected.


They were better in weird trap situations (carrying an immobilized character to safety once) and they also increased my DPS when placed carefully in the middle of some enemies. Using either OA or the abyssal maw's special combat challenge attacks.


Anyways, I would never build a summoner but I was quite surprised how good they were for my blaster.


 

Mike Donais. Cryptozoic R&D

Hmmm, I think the guide is missing the level 15 daily power Soul puppets from dragon 372. Its quite a decent one for a stunlocker (and even better if you're going to be facing undead).


I'm curious to know what you think of it.


prototype00

First, thanks for putting this together.


Second, nitpicks:


At-wills:


Illusory ambush: only skyblue if combined with psychic lock. Throughout heroic, by taking this over magic missile or phantom bolt, you are trading damage and a statistical advantage for a tactical advantage. That's not necessarily a good trade. (And it is a significant amount of damage--base vs. magic missile, it's 1.5 damage but will most likely be expanded to 3.5 by the addition of bracers of the perfect shot. That's quite a bit--enough that you can start comparing the attacks missed due to the -2 penalty to attacks not taken due to an early application of the dead condition).


Storm pillar: this one is an entry in the "heavily debated topics" department and even then it absolutely needs a forced movement combo in order to work. There is no way that is sky blue.


Thunderwave: This is a good spell, but only if you have a high wisdom or are a genasi who likes thunder/lightning powers. For other wizards, it is heavily overrated. A definite choice for some wizards, but definitely not sky blue.


Ecounter 1:


Icy terrain: largely obsoleted by orbmaster's incindiary detonation. Now it is only for cold-theme wizards and those without arcane power.


Orbmaster's incindiary detonation: The kicker for orb mastery is nifty but doesn't put much more win in it than it had to start with. Since the orb power can only be applied to an effect that would end at the end of your current turn, it does not enlarge the initial area of effect, only the zone. And 2 damage, enemies only in a larger zone is nifty but it is not what puts the win in the spell. Dual damage keyword and knocking prone in an enlargeable area with autodamage to kill minions is what puts the win in it.


Force orb: Probably still purple--certainly no better than black, but the case for it is this: it is one of a very few wizard powers that only target enemies. Also has good single target damage for a wizard spell.


Daily 1:


Sleep: Most overrated spell in the game. Admittedly, it is still a contender for the "best spell in the game" title when in the hands of stunlockers, but for non-orb wizards (and especially in heroic), it is often ineffective. First you have to hit, then the enemy has to fail a save otherwise it was a wasted action. If you don't have a way to make the failed save more likely, it's not a good choice.


Encounter 2:


Jump: Probably blue. Especially at higher levels, this will result in more movement than knight's move.


Shield: Put another count in the skyblue category. Once per encounter, make an attack vs. reflex or AC miss.


Encounter 3:


Hypnotic pattern: Instead of setting enemies up for an AoE, you could have actually used an AoE on them. You can work with an ally to make it work or spend an action point to take advantage of a clump, but it's a power that is only situationally useful and then requires finesse. Black at best.


Icy rays: You are dramatically underestimating this power. With the potential to hit three targets, and immobilizing rather than merely slowing, it is vastly better than ray of frost. Immobilize is an great condition that allows you to shut down skirmishers and ground many fliers. (It also makes enemies stick around in your zones or your allies' zones). Blue.


Maze of mirrors: Overrated. Blue at best--probably black. Sure, you inflict a large penalty that probably halves the chances of any enemies you hit hitting your party. So, if you hit two enemies, you negate one hit. But you also did no damage which will almost certainly cost your party at least one action vis a vis a damaging spell.


Shock sphere: Deserves a note for genasi blasters. With promise of storm and elemental empowerment, it's a lot of damage in a big area.


Encounter 7:


Enemies abound: Overrated, should be black or purple. It does mediocre damage with a side effect that only marginally increases how much CA your allies can get. It does little for range attacking allies and even melee allies will frequently be able to get CA anyway or will not be helped.


Lightning bolt: Again, stormsoul genasi blasters might choose this over fireburst because it works with promise of storm. Also, wizards should have some multitarget powers that don't require a clump of enemies and won't hurt allies.


Daily 9:


Face of Death: How is this worse than sleep again? It has the unfortunate fear keyword, but the miss effect and the save effect are significantly better. Even for stunlockers, sleep will sometimes fail completely. Face of Death always immobilizes.


Utility 10:


Another vote for mass resistance being sky blue. It is quite possible that there will be levels with no sky blue powers. But it is also possible to have multiple sky-blue powers at the same level. Mass resistance is still a power that will often take an encounter from challenging to pushover. Even if there are multiple damage types in play, shutting down aura damage and possibly eliminating minions and neutering area damage is worth its weight in gold.


Encounter 13:


Mesmeric hold: blue. Rather than losing its luster, immobilization is starting to become more essential. Lurkers, skirmishers, artillery, and worst of all, flying versions of those monsters have annoying habits of moving to places they can't be attacked. Immobilize sticks them right where you want them (and if you have zones, multiple immobilization powers enable you to keep them in the zone).


Orbmaster's Umbral Assault: No better than blue, even for orb wizards. The problem is the same as orbmaster's incindiary detonation. The initial area does not expand--you expand the zone on your second turn. And, while it does blind, the enemies are only blinded while they are in the zone. So, on their turn, they will probably just leave it and attack as normal.


Level 23:


Freezing bolts: black, possibly blue for wand of accuracy wizards. Yes, you were able to immobilize a long time ago, but you still want to be able to immobilize and you will be retraining some of those powers. Also, being able to reroll any missed attacks makes it a very accurate power which counts for a lot.


 


Feats:


Arcane implement proficiency: Blue at best. Obviously if you are a non-eladrin who wants a weapon as an implement, you take this feat, but a weapon implement is not an obvious advantage unless you are going for a cunning weapon and save penalty cheese. Otherwise ordinary, implements are usually available and have at least similarly useful properties and powers.


Eladrin sword wizardry is missing from your list. If you are an eladrin, the ability to use the sword with wand mastery, etc makes it clearly better than arcane implement proficiency.


Dual implement spellcaster: Outclassed by weapon focus? How? Once you hit level 5 or so, you almost certainly have outgrown one implement. At that point, it is equal to weapon focus. It may not overtake weapon focus until level 15 or so (when you have a +3 implement for your off-hand). Also, not all characters will have weapon implements (which cost wizards a feat, just by themselves remember) and they stack.


Eladrin swordmage advance: Essential for feychargers (which may not be a valid build anymore if reaper's touch is shadar kai only since fey charge is eladrin only and it's hard to be both eladrin and shadar kai) does not mean sky blue.


Paragon feats:


hide specialization and spell focus: color coding is broken on both of these entries.


Second Implement: This deserves a sky-blue rating, especially now that there are multiple options that share the same secondary stat. A summoner who takes staff specialization, for instance, gets +1 to AC (see hide mastery) and an immediate interrupt to make one attack per combat miss him (which is more than paragon defenses will usually accomplish). I can tell that you are a fan of tome of readiness--this let's any wizard build add that to their repertoire. And that opens up Improved Tome of Readiness.


Spell Focus: Undoubtedly a good feat for control wizards, but how useful is it for other wizards. As far as I can see, a lot of blasters and summoners will have few, if any, save-ends effects making this blue for wizards in general and sky blue for control wizards.


Paragon paths:


Battle Mage. This path was bad when it was only the PHB and definitely deserves red.


Spellstorm mage. I'd argue blue for this one--it may be blaster wizard only, but it's still blue for them. Extra damage action is quite nice when you have as many multi-attack powers as wizards do. Storm cage is also an extremely good encounter 11 power for elemental empowerment mages. Surprisingly, storm spell is good even for wizards who never put anything into wisdom. At +1/2 level, most wizards will generally at least recover an encounter spell with it.


Wizard of the spiral tower. The feature is somewhat outdated (not completely though--you can use any mastery on spells cast through the sword but not on spells cast through an arcane implement proficiency weapon implement--and with the number of sky blue and blue feats in your list, freeing up a feat slot is not a worthless feature). The powers, however, are still worthwhile. A highly accurate, melee range, recharging daze is still a good encounter 11 and a close burst 1 at weapon+4 vs will "gone for one round" is still a decent daily 20. I'd probably still rate this black.


Weaver of Chance. Entropy points are a little better than they look at first because you can't go below zero. Thus, if you spend them as soon as you get them, you will wind up ahead. No change to the rating 'cause I still can't see much to do with it other than play the "how many sessions can I go without rolling a 20?" game, but I thought the text should mention that.

I think you're severely underrating Evard's Dreadful Mist. For a stunlocker, it is basically a death spell for many monsters.


- the primary attack immobilizes (save ends) and creates a zone that blocks line of sight. Monsters that don't have teleport and blindsight/truesight or complete immunity to one of its keywords are trapped.


- the opportunity attack targets monsters that move into the zone or start their turns there. That means the monsters the stunlocker has just perma-immobilized inside the zone.


For a lot of monsters it means the wizard can cast the spell on them and he will eventually kill them as long as he keeps it maintained long enough. With a good tactical setup, the party can then concentrate on the monsters who weren't in the AoE.

With Blood Pulse and Bolstering Blood, you do 15d6 + 30d10, which is 217.5.


Actually, the wording of Blood Pulse is ambiguous and could also be interpreted as a (more balanced) 15d6 + 2d10 in this case. More importantly, errata has since been published that BP triggers only once per creature, so it is officially +2d10 now, not +30d10. This does reduce the desirability of the Blood Mage PP by a lot.


Where's Chilling Cloud? I've never seen it, but it sounds good. Even with its existence, it's still quite justifiable because it interacts with Psychic Lock and has the Illusion keyword for Orb of Deception users. Chilling Cloud sounds like it has pretty bad keywords.


It's a minis card. Notably, it doesn't require a to-hit roll to trigger its attack penalty, and it's an area effect. That makes it significantly better than IA, at least in the heroic tier.


Illusory Ambush is decent (but still not awesome) with psychic lock, but only lackluster without it. This is because it comes at an opportunity cost: sure, you can reduce an enemy's effectivity by 10% (if you hit, that is), but what else could you have done with your one standard action?


There's no rule prohibiting as such, so I see absolutely no reason to disallow putting it in the air by RAW. Even if you do disallow that, it's still nice as it forces the enemy to either stand still or eat some decent damage. It can also be abused with forced movement.


Sure, it's still nice, but it's nowhere near as useful as other at-wills. But see, here's the thing: is a guide supposed to reflect your opinion, or the compiled wisdom of the charop board? Because in the latter case, it's only fair to point out that (regardless of your opinion on the subject) it is a disputed ruling whether you can put pillars in mid-air. True, RAW doesn't say that you can't - but on the other hand, RAW doesn't say that you can either. I just don't think that a guide should "take sides" in such debates.


It's a debuff based on your primary stat. That's huge. It also has a solid status condition on top of it. You're bringing every enemy in the burst's accuracy down by 20-25% at level 3, and it only goes up from there. You're practically guaranteed to make at least one attack miss.


Yes, but "making one attack miss" is a far cry from "nothing in that burst is going to hit you". Color Spray, on the other hand, will make all attacks of opportunity miss, and all minor action attacks miss, because a dazed enemy can't take either. And honestly, if you're hitting allies with Color Spray, you need to discuss teamwork with your party. No, you can't use it every round - but it's an encounter power anyway, and the moment  to use it will come around.


It's only useful for encounter that focus on a single damage type. That depends completely on your DM. Again, you're way too quick to rate things sky blue; half of the Wizard's powers would be sky blue.



Half? Not particularly, just one or two per level. Compare how your list of feats has twelve heroic feats at "the absolute best" rating, don't you think that's a bit much?

Whenever you meet enemies with auras and ongoing effects (and you will), Mass Resistance shuts them down. Hard. The monster deals 10 frost damage if you start within 3 squares? Not any more it doesn't. All that solo's attacks deal ongoing 12 poison? Oh, make that ongoing 1 instead. Sure, it's not useful every combat, but that's why it's a daily - and when it works, it can and does win encounters all by itself.

Some notes on things other than powers.


Sure, your HP are low, but it's easy to remedy this via Born under a Bad Sign, Auspicious Birth, or Thay backgrounds. Incidentally all of that means that wizards need to rely much less on constitution than you suggest. It's simply not true that "many builds" want a constitution of 14-16. For most builds it's much more important to focus on dexterity (for wand of accuracy and arcane reach) or charisma (for orb of illusion and spell focus). Both also offer better skill synergy.


It seems from your first posts that you really like a wizard/warlock/spellscarred/bloodmage combo. However, advice for that particular combo simply doesn't apply for most wizards. For the average wizard, con focus is a waste, githyanki is unimpressive, and warlock hybrid or multiclass is simply a bad idea. Those options only deserve skyblue (or even regular blue) in a "w/w/ss/bm guide".


Also, it's important to realize that the ubercombo with blood mage no longer works because of errata (and that is assuming it worked in the first place, which was a disputed interpretation since the PHB first came out).


Overall, wizards get so many excellent and encounter-winning powers that it's not so effective to hybridize or take power swap MC feats, because very few of those swaps are actually an improvement for a controller. While an MC feat itself is nice for the abilities it nets you, I really see no powers on the artificer, bard, or cleric list that are worth "snagging" at the cost of one of your own powers.


Regarding feats, you have numerous options marked as "sky blue" where they only apply to highly specific builds. For instance, Arcane Implement Prof makes no sense for most wizard builds. The same goes for items.


Aside from that, Armor Prof (leather) is strongly overrated. It was one of the best feats before AP was published, simply because there were so few wizard-worthy feats in the PHB; that is simply no longer the case. With int focus, staff mastery, and shield spell, +2 AC for a feat is surely worth considering, but is nowhere near the "must have" level of enlarge spell or implement focus. That makes it blue at best, probably black. That also means that +1 AC for another feat (i.e. hide armor) is really not worth it except for a genasi, as it requires you to waste precious stat points on strength and constitution.


White lotus riposte is also overrated. It's a decent feat but nothing extraordinary.

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