The War Mage: A Wizard Handbook

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The War Mage: A Wizard's Handbook

(I will be waiting for Wizards to fix the formatting issues before adding new content. in the mean time, feel free to comment on what i've written already.)


The Basics


Hello you. Yes you who want to learn to be a wizard. Being a wizard allows you to blast and control your enemies with Arcane elements. (Formatting shamelessly stolen from lordduskblade's fine handbooks) I will be using the following colors for ratings:


Sky Blue: Made of win. This option is great and should be given serious consideration.


Blue: Good option, but not as good as Sky Blue


Black: You could do worse than this


Purple: These options are highly situational or just not very good


Red: EPIC FAIL!! Dont choose this option. My sources are as follows:


AP: Arcane Power


DXXX: Dragon Magazine #XXX


EPG: Ebberon Player's Guide


FRPG: Forgotten Realms Players Guide


MotP: Manual of the Planes


PHB: Player's handbook


PHB 2: Player's Handbook 2

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Basic Mechanics: Arcane Preschool
Hit Points: You get very few hit points, and fall quickly if the BBEG hits you.

Healing Surges: You get 6+Con Modifier surges, but if you're a summoner this is Blue.

Proficencies: You're a WIZARD, stupid. If you wanted weapons, go to the fighter school!

How You Cast Your Spells; Implement Mastery
Wand of Accuracy
Pros: Allows a higher chance to hit with Damaging wizard powers. Good for Blast Mages.
Cons: If your not a Blast mage, you have much better options.

Staff of Defense
Pros: Close Combat Wizards will like this
Cons: It isn't focused towards any specific Wizard build

Orb of Imposition
Pros: Control Wizards will Love this for save penalties
Cons: Sometimes, you will want Wand of Accuracy for actually hitting a monster

Tome of Readiness
Pros: Allows wizards more flexibility in combat
Cons: Doesn't provide any actual Increase in power effectiveness

Tome of Binding
Pros: Gives Summoned Creatures More Damage in combat.
Cons: Only Summoners need apply

Orb of Deception
Pros: Gives Illusionists a second chance with their powers.
Cons: Only Illusionists need apply

Weapon Groups?
Nothing to see here, folks



PHB Races
Humans: Humans are good at any class

Half-Elf: Only Summoners need to take this

Tiefling: Take this for the Int Bonus and Infernal Wrath

Dwarf: Like Half-Elf, only worse

Halfling: Dex Wizards can take this

Eladrin: This Race is Made of Win

Elf: This is good for Dex-Based wizards for the Dex bonus

Dragonborn: Your Strong and Pretty. not very good wizard material.

PHB 2 Races
Longtooth Shifter: You get a bonus to your secondary stat, but others are better.

Razorclaw Shifters: You can be an effective Allarounder Wizard.

Gnome: Great for the Int bonus and Fade Away

Deva: 2 stat bonuses make this a great choice

Goliath: Only Summoners can make use of this

Half-Orc: This is suprisingly decent for a wizard with a Dex bonus

Forgotten Realms and Ebberon Races


Drow: Meh, you have better options.

Genasi: Great for the Int bonus and Elemental Empowerment.

Warforged: Summoners will love this race.

Changling: Always choose the Int bonus.

Kalashtar: Kind of like the Drow.

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Heroic Tier Powers: Arcane Basics


Level 1 At-Will:


Illusory Ambush (AP) The Illusionist's bread and butter. 1d6 damage, and the debuff is just extra.


Phantom Bolt: (AP) It does more damage than Illusory Ambush, but a slide is a bit worse than an attack debuff.


Storm Pillar: (AP) The Summoner's Scorching Burst. If your DM allows you to conjure it above a creature, this is Sky Blue


Chilling Cloud: (PBH1) This is like Illusory Ambush except it deals less damage and is an Area Burst 1


Cloud of Daggers: (PHB) Great for Control Wizards, but all Wizards can make use of this


Magic Missile: (PHB) Nothing Controllery about it, but it does decent damage and can be augmented to Sky Blue.


Ray of Frost: (PHB) Good damage, and the only Wizard At-Will that imposes a status condition.


Scorching Burst: (PHB) A Blast Mage's Best Friend.


Thunderwave (PHB) Great for taking a Wizard in close combat out of close combat.


Level 1 Encounter


Astral Wasp: (AP) Does decent damage and forces the opponent to move or take additional damage.


Empowering Lightning: (AP) A basic attack power with not much damage, but if you use wand of accuracy, this is Blue


Grasping Shadows: (AP) Does 1d8 damage and creates a hurtful zone. Plus, you can use Orb of Deception with it


Orbmaster's Incendiary Detonation: (AP) This is basically scorching burst that leaves behind ongoing damage. If you use Orb of Imposition, this is Sky Blue.


Staffstrike Corrosion: (AP) Horrible Damage, and the Debuff isn't that good either. Even if you use Staff of Defense, you should cloose something else.


Burning Hands: (PHB) A Blast Mage's Encounter of choice at this level. Great damage over a Blast 5 is good in my book.


Chill Strike: (PHB) Ray of Frost on steroids. great damage and a Daze make this a serious consideration.


Force Orb: (PHB) Great damage to a single target and secondary damage to adjacent targets is just the start. it is Force damage, so it is hard to resist, and it targets Reflex.


Icy Terrain: (PHB) Bad damage over an Burst 1, and knock the target prone, which actually increases its defenses against your attacks. choose something else.


Ray of Enfeeblement: (PHB) Strikes Against this: It targets Fort, it is Necrotic damage, and Weakened isn't as good as Dazed. Choose Chill Strike instead.


Level 1 Daily


Summon Fire Warrior: (AP) Your First Summon. Opportunity Attack does decent damage, and it can flank with the defender for CA. Summoners should Definetly take this.


Wizard's Fury: (D374) This just allows you to cast Magic Missile as a Minor Action. If you have augmented magic missle, then this is Blue.


Grease: (AP) Creates a zone of Diffucult Terrain for the Encounter, plus you can send any creature that enters the burst for a slide 2 or knock it prone.


Horrid Whispers: (AP) Damages enemies and gives them 2 great debuffs, knocking them prone as an afteraffect. Plus, you can use Orb of Deception with it.


Phantom Chasm: (AP) Greater Damage than Horrid Whispers, and an Auto-Immoblize plus Prone on a hit make this a great power.


Rolling Thunder: (AP) Great Damage, Plus more if the enemies move, and it targets 2 enemies within 10. Take this with Echos of Thunder to make this Sky Blue.


Acid Arrow: (PHB) Amazing Damage and Ongoing Damage are the only good things about this power, because it has nothing Controllery about it. Take this if you are a Blast Mage.


Flaming Sphere: (PHB) Does decent damage. and more to any enemy that starts adjacent to it. Move and Sustain until the end of the Encounter for maximum effect.


Sleep: (PHB) There is a reason Sleep is by far the best wizard Daily. Use OoI to knock them out, then finish them.


 Level 2 Utility:


Arcane Insight (D366) Reroll an Arcana Check as an Encounter? You could do worse.


Feather Fall: (PHB) Can make the difference between Life and Death at this level.


Shield: (PHB) Use this in preperation for a Thunderwave to get you out of trouble.


Daunting Presense: (AP) Intimidate doesn't use any of your abilities, but the debuff saves this from Red.


Float: (AP) Gives you lots of freedom on the battlefield. This is a great power.


Guardian Blades: (AP) A Close Combat Wizard will love this power.


Summon Shadow Serpent: (AP) Your Rouge will love you for this power.


Expedious Retreat: (PHB) There are much better options at this level for getting out of close combat, and this is a Daily. Bleh.


Jump: (PHB) Good for going over long chasms and pit traps.


Phantasmal Terrain: (AP) EXTEREMELY Situational power, and it is a Daily.


Level 3 Encounter


Chill Claws (AP) Illusory Ambush on steroids, but nothing stellar at this level


Hypnotic Pattern: (AP) Good for mabye a few pulls over a turn, and does NO damage at all.


Maze of Mirrors: (AP) Great for locking down tough enemies for a turn. Use OoD with this.


Pinioning Vortex: (AP) Great damage, and it allows you to take an enemy out of the fight for a round and focus fire damage on it.


Shock Beetle Swarm: (AP) This is a MUCH better choice for Summoners than Hypnotic Pattern.


Color Spray: (PHB) Does Meh damage, but Dazes everyone in Blast 5. This is middle of the road.


Fire Shroud: (PHB) Does Decent damage and Ongoing damage. A Blast Mage's Choice at this level.


Icy Rays: (PHB) Ray of Frost for 2. Plus it Immobilizes.


Shock Sphere: (PHB) Does the same amount of damage over the same area as Burning Hands.


Level 5 Daily


Summon Abyssal Maw: (AP) One of the best wizard summons. Even non-summoners should consider this.


Acid Mire: (AP) Great damage, plus Auto-damage, and more if the target falls prone. Use with OID for maximum affect.


Glitterdust: (AP) Very situational power only useful in places with concealment.


Phantasmal Assailment: (AP) I just can't say enough good things about this power. Great damage, Ongoing damage, and CA for everyone make this a stellar option.


Visions of Avarice: (AP) Basically Hypnotic Pattern tries again and fails miserably. However, with some blast mages, this allows them to hit more targets on they're next turn and is Blue.


Grasp of the Grave: (D372) Decent damage, and a debuff that stays in a zone for the whole encounter.


Bigby's Icy Hand: (PHB) Locks Down an enemy and deals damage with Sustain minor.


Fireball: (PHB) One of the Blast Mage's Large-Area, High Damage powers.


Stinking Cloud: (PHB) Creates a big Hurtful Zone that you can move and Sustain.


Web: (PHB) This would be great execpt for the fact that it does NO damage whatsoever.


Level 6 Utility


Wizards Escape: (PHB) Helps you get back to the Defender for protection.


Emerald Eye: (AP) There are much better options at this level.


Fire Shield: (AP) This power is the absoulute best at this level, and not only for Close combat wizards. Keeps you safe for the entire encounter.


Summon Iron Cohort: (AP) Quite overshadowed by Fire shield, but Good for Summoners.


Disguise Self: (PHB) A highly situational power that only lasts for an hour. This depends on your DM and campaign.


Dimension Door: (PHB) If you want Close Combat protection, take Wizard's Escape or Fire Shield.


Levitate: (PHB) Allows you to escape most Brutes and Soldiers, and some Lurkers and Skirmishers.


Spectral Hound: (AP) The main use of this power is for Flanking.


Dispel Magic: (PHB) Most Monsters that create conjurations (and that isn't many) have a high Will defense.


Invisibility: (PHB) Any party with a Rouge or a Ranger will love you for this power.


Wall of Fog: (PHB) The thing is, this thing blocks LOS for your allies too.


Level 7 Encounter Concussive Echo: (AP) Decent damage, plus Auto-damage if the enemy makes an attack. With Echoes of Thunder, this is Great.


Enemies Abound: (AP) Good damage and sets up flanks quickly. The only problem is the Burst size.


Tomebound Ooze: (AP) Astral Wasp all grown up, plus a nice rider for Summoners.


Twist Space: (AP) The only problem with this power is the horrible damage.


Worms of Minauros: (AP) Completely overshadowed by Tomebound Ooze.


Thunder Cage: (D375) Great damage, and the extra damage can be triggered by forced movement;) .


Fire Burst: (PHB) Worse in every respect than Winter's Wrath.


Lightning Bolt: (PHB) The thing that saves this from a lower rating is the flexibility of targets. If you take this, take it with Tome of Readiness.


Spectral Ram: (PHB) This power does great damage, but suffers from knocking the target prone, which increases it's defenses against some of your attacks.


Winter's Wrath: (PHB) Does better damage than Fire Burst, and leaves behind a damaging blizzard.


Level 9 Daily:


Summon Arrowhawk: (AP) Not quite as good as Abyssal Maw, but it is the first summon to Mark.


Animate Dead: (D372) Not nearly as good as Summon Arrowhawk. Face of Death: The only problem with this power is that it makes the enemy Helpless. Not Uncounsious.


Mordenkainen's Guardian Hound: (AP) Great for any wizard, but Summon Arrowhawk is better for summoners.


Taunting Phantoms: (AP) It's fun to make enemies attack themselves.:D


Visions of Ruin: (AP) Great control-oriented power. use with OoD for maximum effect.


Ice Storm: (PHB) I'm not a huge fan of creating diffucult terrain, but the damage is good and so is the debuff.


Lightning Serpent: (PHB) Great damage, and Slowing the target is just extra.


Mordenkainen's Sword: (PHB) Does Meh damage, and it has to be Sustained for more attacks.


Wall of Fire: (PHB) This is one of the powers that screams I AM WIZARD, HEAR ME ROAR!


Level 10 Utility


Feywild Spell Surge: (D366) Barf. This is horrendous for a daily, even if you are an Eladrin.


Repelling Shield: (PBH1) Basically Shield with a small Push. And that was 8 levels ago...


Mass Resistance: (AP) More Leaderish than Controllery, but Resistance can save your sometimes.


Summon Hammerfist Crusher: If you don't care about getting into somewhere Stealthily, use this to blast your way through.


True Seeing: (AP) Nothing Escapes your sight. Reveals Invisible and gives Insight bonuses for you.


Dimensional Rift: (PHB) Allows your whole party to cross that 500 foot deep chasm easily.


Blur: (PHB) Another option for getting out of a sticky situation.


Mirror Image: (PHB) Take Blur instead. Resistance: (PHB) Not as good as Mass Resistance.


Illusory Wall: (AP) Your allies can see through it, but not your enemies. Add that to the attack, and you have a great power.

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Paragon Tier Powers: Arcane Secrets

Level 13 Encounter
Show
Earth Brute: (AP) Not so good damage for this level, but the Conjuration can easily push enemies onto the fighter.

Entangling Force: (AP) A bit redundant if you have a fighter in the party, but OAs for shifts are nothing to scoff at.

Illusory Assailant: (AP) Amazing damage, and it counts for Flanking. Who could ask for more?

Mirror Sphere: (AP) Great Debuff, but Illusory Assailant is usually better for Illusionists.

Orbmaster's Umbral Assault: (AP) Horrid damage at this level, and the darkness affects your allies. If you use OoI, this all the sudden becomes Blue.

Frostburn: (PHB) Creates a Zone, and does decent damage. Good for any Wizard.

Mesmeric Hold: (PHB) Black for 2 enemies and 1 enemy.

Prismatic Burst: (PHB) Overshadowed by Frostburn.

Thunderlance: (PHB) Wow. Thunderwave just became absolutly Evil.


Level 15 Daily
Show
Summon Chainbearer: (AP) Wow. This could be THE BEST Wizard summon.

Ball Lightning: (AP) For Summoners, Choose Chainbearer. If you aren't a Summoner, this is OK.

Evard's Dreadful Mist: (AP) Hold them there and hurt them. Great for me.

Stonewrack: (AP) You have better options at this level.

Vertigo: (AP) Bleh. Avoid this like the plague.

Shunt Between Worlds: (D366) Meh, not so good, and you cant teleport them off cliffs or other falls.

Soul Puppets: (D372) Good either for Undead or Non-Undead.

Bigby's Grasping Hands: (PHB) Amazing Power, and can be Sustained. Purple if you only have 1 target.

Blast of Cold: (PHB) So-So power, but the Immobilize is nice.

Otiluke's Resilient Sphere: (PHB) Does No damage, has to be sustained, and can be penetrated. And that is a Daily at this level?

Prismatic Beams: (PHB) Great Power and almost garunteed to hit something.

Wall of Ice: (PHB) The fact that is Vulnerable 25 Fire kicks this power down a couple tiers.


Level 16 Utility:
Show
Displacement: (PHB) This can save your backside against Solos

Clever Escape: (AP) The latest way for Wizards to get out of close combat

Phantom Mask: (AP) How this can be useful I don't know.

Phase Shift: (AP) This power is quite situational, but can get you through a locked door easily;) .

Spectral Vision: (AP) Basically Phantom Mask for objects.

Summon Diamond Falcon: (AP) Lets you take other squishies out of danger.

Spatial Lock: (D375) Keeps teleporting foes locked down.

Fly: (PHB) Finally! You can fly.

Greater Invisibility: (PHB) Invisibility that can be sustained. Great for your Rouge.

Stoneskin: (PHB) Make the Defender shrug off attacks like feathers.


Level 17 Encounter
Show
Dancing Bolts: (AP) If used right, could hit every enemy in the encounter.

Furnace of Sand: (AP) Not very much damage, and the zone isn't that good either.

Gripping Chains: (AP) Just Entangling Force with a larger area.

Phantasmal Horror: (AP) This power screams CONTROL!

Shard of the Endless Avalanche: (AP) The best part about this power is that you control where the boulder moves.

Combust: (PHB) Basically a bigger Fire Burst.

Titan's Hold: (PHB) Immobilizes, and is basically impassable.

Force Volley: (PHB) 3 supersized magic missiles to throw around? Please, give me something better.

Ice Tomb: (PHB) Great damage, and this is the first Wizard power to Stun. A serious choice for any wizard.


Level 19 Daily
Show
Summon Black Devourer: (AP) Not as good as Summon Chainbearer.

Evard's Ebon Bindings: (AP) Wow. This power just screams to have OoI used with it.

Oppressive Force: (AP) This is the sort of damage you should had 10 levels ago for a daily.

Plague of Illusions: (AP) The enemy cannot use attack powers. The enemy cannot use attack powers. This is just great.

Entombing Earth: (D372) The very fact that this has a Save Ends Stun gives this a good rating.

Acid Wave: (PHB) Designed for Blast Mages at this level.

Cloudkill: (PHB) Area Burst 5 and a hurtful zone. the only problem is that it hurts your allies.

Disintegrate: (PHB) You might be a controller, but this power is great.

Evards Black Tentacles: (PHB) Overshadowed by Cloudkill at this level.
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Epic Tier Powers: Arcane Mastery

Level 22 Utility
Show
Globe of Invulnerability: (AP) Great for protection and healing time.

Mordenkianen's Lubrication: (AP) You have a lot of Sustainable powers, and this makes them MUCH better.

Phantom Legion: (AP) Can sometimes confuse enemies.

Time Stop: (PHB) Amazing Utility for this power and this can be used for almost any reason.

Wall of Force: (AP) Can keep the bad guys away while you can heal, and breaking through the wall does damage.

Mass Fly: (PHB) Flying is great, and it can be sustained as a Minor Action.

Mordenkainen's Mansion: (PHB) An Extended Rest? At this level? You have better options at this level.


Level 23 Encounter:
Show
Astral Claw: (AP) It targets Fort and knocks the enemy prone. Not so good for you.

Deceptive Shadows: (AP) Normally, the creature nearest to the target is the Defender.

Frezzing Bolts: (AP) This power is great on it's own, but with Wand of Accuracy, this becomes Amazingly Sky Blue.

Orbmaster's Insuperable Lethargy: (AP) You have MUCH better choices at this level. Even with OoI, this is only Black.

Staffstrike Shock: (AP) This is the Blandest Vanilla, but with the Rider, this is Blue.

Acid Storm: (PHB) Great Damage over Burst 4, and more Auto-Damage.

Chain Lightning: (PHB) This can Hit every enemy in the encounter. And the other targets take good damage.

Thunderclap: (PHB) This Stuns. Repeat, THIS STUNS!


Level 25 Daily
Show
Summon Abyssal Horde: (AP) Wow. THE best wizard summon out there. Even Non-Summoners should consider this.

Bubbling Acid: (AP) Would be Great, but there are so many good options at this level.

Cinder Storm: (AP) Wow. This is better than Bubbling Acid.

Orbmaster's Prismatic Sphere: (AP) The Best Orbmaster's spell in the game. The Rider makes this Sky Blue.

Phantom Reality: This power does no damage, but the debuff just screams CONTROL!

Elemental Maw: (PHB) A great blast mage choice.

Maze: (PHB) This is completely Obsoleted by the AP Powers

Necrotic Web: (PHB) Take Elemental Maw instead.


Level 27 Encounter:
Show
Lost in the Mists: (AP) Meh. Dominated might be good, but this does no damage.

Sequestering Force: (AP) The Debuff on this isn't that good.

Soul Fire: (AP) Weakened is weak at this level.

Steal Time: (AP) Finally, a good power. Who would have thought that?

Tomebound Bloodbeast: (AP) This power is decent for non-summoners, but for Summoners, this is Sky Blue.

Black Fire: (AP) This is a Vanilla Blast Mage power.

Confusion: (AP) Great damage, and it has a nice debuff.

Forcecage: (AP) Yeah. Lock down an enemy and give out CA Candy.


Level 29 Daily
Show
Summon Living Mountain: (AP) Abyssal Horde was better.

Miasma of Enfeeblement: (AP) THIS? For a Capstone. *Barf*.

Prismatic Wall: (AP) At Least it's better than the previous 2 powers.

Visions of Wrath: (AP) A decent capstone power that can do a whole lot of damage through the Dominated.

Greater Ice Storm: (PHB) Not good compared to Legion's Hold.

Legion's Hold. (PHB) This is a power that says I SHALL HAVE MY WAY!!!

Meteor Storm: Just a Pure Damage power.
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Paragon Paths: Casting In Your Own Special Way

Wizard Paragon Paths
Show
Arcane Wayfarer: (AP)
Pros: Makes Teleports common for you and your allies.
Cons: The 2 Dailies aren't stellar.

Bonded Summoner: (AP)
Pros: Gives Summoners Great options, and Regeneration 10 on summons is nothing to write off.
Cons: Non-Summoners won't get much out of this.

Hermetic Sabotuer: (AP)
Pros: Allows Great control on the battlefield, and have very synergistic features and powers.
Cons: Powers don't do so much damage.

Unseen Mage: (AP)
Pros: Invisibility is always good, and the powers are high damage and contribute to invisibility.
Cons: The only aspect of control in this path is Invisibility.

Weaver of Chance: (AP)
Pros: If you are lucky, you can do HUGE damage and Nova extremely well.
Cons: If you aren't lucky, you can hurt yourself real bad.

Rimetounge Caller: (AP)
Pros: Abilities are very synergistic, and Cold is rather hard to resist.
Cons: In some campaigns, Cold is resisted very easily.

Draconic Antithesis: (D369)
Pros: Dragon enemies are some of the most annoying enemies out there.
Cons: Very limited path, recommended to be avoided.

Simbarch of Aglarond: (FRPG)
Pros: Has some synergy with summoners, and the powers are more defender and leader oriented.
Cons: Overshadowed by the summoner paths in AP.

Spellguard Wizard: (FRPG)
Pros: Allows Close Combat wizards to really shine.
Cons: The powers are rather lackluster.

War Wizard of Cormyr: (FRPG)
Pros: Blast Mages using this path can Blast even better.
Cons: Not much Control in this path.

Planeshifter: (MotP)
Pros: Allows Control of Movement on the battlefield with ease.
Cons: The Path's Powers are Lackluster and the features are only OK.

Battle Mage: (PHB)
Pros: Great Level 20 spell, and the damage this path can do is incredible.
Cons: Nothing really controllery about this.

Blood Mage: (PHB)
Pros: Great control and damage combined, and the powers are good.
Cons: Hurting yourself isn't very good.

Spellstorm Mage: (PHB)
Pros: Good balance between Control and Damage, but without the Blood Mage con of Hurting yourself.
Cons: Quite focused towards Lightning and Thunder damage.

Wizard of the Spiral Tower: (PHB)
Pros: Allows a wizard to effectively fight in melee.
Cons: There is this arcane class that fights in melee called the SWORDMAGE.
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Reserved 6
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OK, you can post now.
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
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change the light blue color to something that looks nicer. the neon color is giving me a headache

You overview of the options for wizards seem quite biased, especially when mentioning paths other than orb of imposition. A pure war mage who is good at the orb, is usually dependable in paragon, thus taking up a secondary implement. Thus he can easily take a path that is best for heroic, then take the second implement feat and pick up orb of imposition then and walk with the best of them.

Magic missile is one of the most damaging at-wills known to the wizard arsenal through arcane admixture(thunder), echoes of thunder, and wizard's fury. I'd say to color it both purple if unaugmented, and skyblue if augmented

Honorable mention should go to genasi due to elemental empowerment. Even though strength isn't used anywhere else, getting this second stat to almost all damage rolls (easily all) is tasty.
DPR King Candidates 3.0
How much damage should I shoot for?
You're fired : 1 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .2 KPR Fair Striker : 2 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .4 KPR Highly Optimized : 3 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .6 KPR Nerfbat please : 4 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .8 KPR It's OVER 9000!!!!!: 5 Kills Per 5 Rounds = 1+ KPR
DPR? KPR? KP4R? Bless you
DPR = Damage Per round ~= Chance to hit * damage on a hit KPR = Kills Per Round. 1 Kill = 8*Level+24 damage = DPR/(8*level+24) KPNR = Kills Per N Rounds. How many standards can you kill in N rounds?
Looking forward to it. Really hope this handbook will go all the way to epic tier ;)

Some comments;
Why is Cloud of daggers Sky Blue? It only does some extra damage (wis mod). Only real advantage it have is that it autokill minions, and minions shouldn't be that of a problem anyway. At least not with you in the group.

Also I believe you are overrating Ray of Frost. Slowing creatures is best done at the beginning of an encounter and you probably got some encounter/daily spells to do this job for you. Once you start using Will Powers slowing a creature isn't that good as it usually is. I would in such a case prefer Illusory Ambush for single target spell.
change the light blue color to something that looks nicer.

Changed.

Some comments;
Why is Cloud of daggers Sky Blue? It only does some extra damage (wis mod). Only real advantage it have is that it autokill minions, and minions shouldn't be that of a problem anyway. At least not with you in the group.

Also I believe you are overrating Ray of Frost. Slowing creatures is best done at the beginning of an encounter and you probably got some encounter/daily spells to do this job for you. Once you start using Will Powers slowing a creature isn't that good as it usually is. I would in such a case prefer Illusory Ambush for single target spell.

I Agree, Cloud of Daggers isn't Sky Blue, however, it is Blue because of it's extra damage and minion killing.

And about Ray of Frost, it is the only Wizard At-Will that imposes a status condition. I Agree Illusory Ambush is better, but I rated it higher;) .
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It's cool that you're still working on substance; these things take time. However, before you do any more work, I'd recommend bolding every work that has a color rating associated with it (it makes it look much nicer), and I'd recommend using sblocks to section off chunks of posts just to make it neater. The earlier you start doing that, the less work you'll have later. Good luck!
Illusory Ambush (AP) The Illusionist's bread and butter. 1d6 damage, and the debuff is just extra.

Phantom Bolt: (AP) It does more damage than Illusory Ambush, but a slide is much worse than an attack debuff.

I prefer Phantom Bolt - at least for low level. To me the slide is just a bonus, which can push critters into extra damage via my zones, or other battlefield hindrances (pits, traps, walls of fire, etc). You can also use the slide to stick an enemy back into a position granting combat advantage to your allies, thus gaining +2 to hit, just as good as Ambush debuff. Or push an enemy out of combat advantage so that others going after it cannot flank. Again, gaining the -2 to hit right back. Push them next to your fighter where they otherwise would not be and watch them either fight him or try to walk away and get whacked and marked (adding -2 to hit again).

For every 20 attacks you hit with Phantom Bolt it will on average deal 20 more damage than Illusory Ambush. For every 20 attacks you hit with Ambush it will cause 2 enemies to miss when they otherwise would have hit. To this point, with my character playing in low heroic (level 1-6) those 2 hits on average will equal about 20 damage according to the DM guide recommendations on monster damage for level 4-6. So at least at low level, the Phantom Bolt is giving you equal damage to what you are canceling with your Illusory Ambush debuff. And you get a slide as well, which occasionally can really screw over a monster and also up your damage for that round nicely.

Phantom Bolt is a really nice choice for a non-human Wizard because it gives you a forced movement option when you otherwise might not be able to afford Thunderwave, if you want both a ranged AOE (esp for minions) and a single target spell.

Illusory Ambush is good for elites and solos though because it is generally debuffing larger damage attacks then, or several attacks in one round. Though how often you face them will vary by DM.

Bolt definitely requires more tactical thinking to get the most of, whereas Ambush you can just slap on anyone and the -2 should be helpful. Anyhow, I would consider moving Bolt up to at least Dark Blue.
I think Illusionary Ambush vs. Magic Missile isnt a fair rating at all.

Magic Missile does more damage, has greater range and works as a basic ranged attack, allowing for nice synergy with Warlords.

Will vs. Reflex is a matter of your DM, naturally, so I dont really know which one is better. BBEG tend to have high Will Saves as many are spellcasters in my experience, so maybe thats a minor nudge towards Magic Missile.

Then Energy Admixture etc., the ways to buff it are quite nice.

On the other hand, there is the nice pretty debuff on IA, but that one again is somewhat hard to rate as it neither lasts that long, even with Orb Implement, nor is it all that powerful when you look at the to-hit numbers of BBEGs.

While I ll readily admit there is nothing controllery about MM, its really a decent damage at-will, and not the atrocity its so often considered simply because people are disappointed by the break in fluff of auto-hit.

I think MM is a good pick at start, and later retrain into a more controllery option to flesh out your range of effects, but the added range and damage are a big help in staying alive and getting stuff actually, you know, dead.
You overview of the options for wizards seem quite biased, especially when mentioning paths other than orb of imposition.

You're right, I am biased towards OoI and other control options. The Wizard is defined as a Controller, not a Striker. AoE Strikers are Sorcerers.

I have heard a lot of complaints about Magic Missile, and I Agree, Magic Missile can be very good with Arcane Admixture (Thunder), Echos of Thunder, and Wizards Fury. However, Unaugmented I will change it to Black and Augmented to Sky Blue.

I prefer Phantom Bolt - at least for low level. To me the slide is just a bonus, which can push critters into extra damage via my zones, or other battlefield hindrances (pits, traps, walls of fire, etc). You can also use the slide to stick an enemy back into a position granting combat advantage to your allies, thus gaining +2 to hit, just as good as Ambush debuff. Or push an enemy out of combat advantage so that others going after it cannot flank. Again, gaining the -2 to hit right back. Push them next to your fighter where they otherwise would not be and watch them either fight him or try to walk away and get whacked and marked (adding -2 to hit again).

For every 20 attacks you hit with Phantom Bolt it will on average deal 20 more damage than Illusory Ambush. For every 20 attacks you hit with Ambush it will cause 2 enemies to miss when they otherwise would have hit. To this point, with my character playing in low heroic (level 1-6) those 2 hits on average will equal about 20 damage according to the DM guide recommendations on monster damage for level 4-6. So at least at low level, the Phantom Bolt is giving you equal damage to what you are canceling with your Illusory Ambush debuff. And you get a slide as well, which occasionally can really screw over a monster and also up your damage for that round nicely.

Phantom Bolt is a really nice choice for a non-human Wizard because it gives you a forced movement option when you otherwise might not be able to afford Thunderwave, if you want both a ranged AOE (esp for minions) and a single target spell.

Illusory Ambush is good for elites and solos though because it is generally debuffing larger damage attacks then, or several attacks in one round. Though how often you face them will vary by DM.

Bolt definitely requires more tactical thinking to get the most of, whereas Ambush you can just slap on anyone and the -2 should be helpful. Anyhow, I would consider moving Bolt up to at least Dark Blue.

I see your point, And I will move up Phantom Bolt to Blue. However, an illusionist will benefit from Illusory Ambush because it is MUCH Less Situational. If you are A Human Illusionist, I would choose Phantom Bolt as my 3rd At-Will, but otherwise I would go with Illusory Ambush and Thunderwave.
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I think you are underestimating a few things:

1. Wand of accuracy for non-blasters. Wand of accuracy generally makes a miss into a hit. It doesn't add extra damage or anything like that. This does not just enable you to apply damage that would otherwise not be applied; it also enables you to apply a status condition that would otherwise not be applied. That, in itself makes it very useful for control wizards who have a decent dexterity or who are not focusing on save ends effects. (And you can focus on zones, immobilization, etc rather than orb of imposition cheese as a control wizard). Even then, the only reason that it would not be useful for control wizards who are focusing on the orb of imposition save penalty is because they typically focus on wisdom too much to have a useful dexterity. Hitting rather than missing is still a very good thing for such wizards and would allow the archetypical sleep, for instance, to be helpless (save doesn't end) rather than slowed (save doesn't end).

2. Icy terrain and orbmaster's incindiary detonation. Now, it's hard to defend Icy terrain when there is orbmaster's incindiary detonation on the field, but these are both very good powers. Knocking the targets prone is a big deal.
A. It is one of the better ways to deal with flying creatures. Is the dragon blasting your party from out of range? Knock it to the ground with either one of these spells.
B. It can prevent artillery monsters from escaping from a striker or defender. If it is prone next to the paladin or barbarian, it can't just shift away and make a ranged attack.
C. It combines very nicely with other powers. For instance, combine it with color spray and the target is prone and dazed (and with OID, in a zone that will hurt it at the start of its turn). It can stand, but that's it. Or it can make an attack at -2 and stay prone. Either way, it's not liking life.
D. Orbmaster's incindiary detonation autokills minions. Not a big deal, certainly, but something worth thinking about--especially with enlarge spell.

The orb of imposition rider for orbmaster's incidiary detonation is mostly for show. The big deal is what the power does for every wizard.

As for icy terrain, some people seem to like creating difficult terrain. For my part, I think it's pretty useless and OID straight-up obsoletes the PH spell. But it's still better than you're rating it.
Regarding the Shifter race: Now, both are not ideal choices, but I think Razorclaw is substantially better than Longtooth, especially in light of the Feats in Arcane Power.

Razorclaw Shifters are decent allrounder Wizards, able to re-train or switch from blasting (higher dex) to control (also higher WIS), their bloodied power is one actually worth using when you actually get blooded, as it allows you to avoid further damage a bit better, and their race-specific feat in AP is pretty excellent. They make great close-range/melee wizards with these abilities, which while being niche is quite good when coupled with Thunderwave or other close-range powers that my leave you open to catch a hit or two.

As I said, Shifters are not ideal, but at least Razorclaw dont waste their stat bonuses, skill bonuses and feats/encounter power into truly useless stuff. Its not INT, but its the next-best-thing. I would give Longtooth the purple treatment, and kick Razorclaw up one step.
Some comments;
Why is Cloud of daggers Sky Blue? It only does some extra damage (wis mod). Only real advantage it have is that it autokill minions, and minions shouldn't be that of a problem anyway. At least not with you in the group.

Actually, clearing minions is usually not the best use of Cloud of Daggers -- usually you'll want to use a larger area spell for that to zap more minions at a time. Still, when you've got a narrow doorway or bridge with a crowd of minions behind it, CoD effectively says "You shall not pass!" That's *control*.

However, Cloud of Daggers has loads of utility above and beyond that:

* Single hard-to-hit solo. Your other area spells aren't worth using, and probably would hit your allies with friendly fire. Illusory Ambush is probably your first try in this scenario if you've got it (-2 attack penalty on a solo that probably has multi-attacks is awesome), but if you can't land it switching over to CoD for some automatic damage will help shorten a long fight.

* Swarms. CoD is an area spell, so it does bonus damage against a swarm, rather than half from a ranged attack.

* Invisible unstealthed opponent. You know where he is, but a ranged attack still takes a -5 penalty. Not so CoD -- it's an area spell.

* Mounted opponent. Two for one -- attack both mount and rider.

In short, that little one-square area of effect that at first blush appears to be a defect is such a huge plus in dropping in an area spell that doesn't have friendly fire issues. And as far as I know, it is still the only power in the game that does that! For any wizard that has a decent to good Wisdom, Cloud of Daggers is positively hands down the skyest of sky blue.
The ratings look very Orb of Imposition slanted to me.

Wizard's Fury is very strong, blue normally, sky blue when built for it. It doubles your damage against a single opponent for an entire encounter.

Ray of Frost is black or purple because the opponents you will want to slow (melee guys) will typically have a high Fortitude.
The ratings look very Orb of Imposition slanted to me.

I will try to change that.

Wizard's Fury is very strong, blue normally, sky blue when built for it. It doubles your damage against a single opponent for an entire encounter.

I think you're missing the point. Magic Missile isn't a very good power. I don't believe that you would be better off sacrificing a better at-will (Thunderwave, Cloud of Daggers, Illusory Ambush) for Magic Missile. However, if you are going down the path of Arcane Admixture(Thunder) and Echos of Thunder, this is MUCH better.

@Tonus: Thank you for defending my high rating of cloud of daggers.

Regarding the Shifter race: Now, both are not ideal choices, but I think Razorclaw is substantially better than Longtooth, especially in light of the Feats in Arcane Power.

Thank you, I will change that.

@Elder Basilisk: The thing that cinches the rider on OID is that It doesn't target allies. And Icy Terrain is not popular with me because with AP, there are so many better options.
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Nice to see another Wizard guide starting up.

I think you're being a bit rough on Expeditious Retreat. I'm in a campaign where I'm running a five-member party through the Scales of War Adventure Path (online--no other players), and my level 3 deva wizard found herself isolated and bloodied on one side of a large cave in a very nasty encounter with an orc soldier breathing down her neck while her teammates engaged the boss. She popped off Expeditious Retreat and wound up on the other side of the battlefield, where she was able to pop a healing potion and stand guard over a badly wounded prisoner while providing cover fire for her teammates until the battle was reduced to the boss monster and it was time to move in for the kill. There are arguably several better level 2 utilities--but the option for a squishy to double move without fear of OAs is not to be sneezed at. I'd lobby for a black type rating, at least.
I think you're being a bit rough on Expeditious Retreat. I'm in a campaign where I'm running a five-member party through the Scales of War Adventure Path (online--no other players), and my level 3 deva wizard found herself isolated and bloodied on one side of a large cave in a very nasty encounter with an orc soldier breathing down her neck while her teammates engaged the boss. She popped off Expeditious Retreat and wound up on the other side of the battlefield, where she was able to pop a healing potion and stand guard over a badly wounded prisoner while providing cover fire for her teammates until the battle was reduced to the boss monster and it was time to move in for the kill. There are arguably several better level 2 utilities--but the option for a squishy to double move without fear of OAs is not to be sneezed at. I'd lobby for a black type rating, at least.

The thing about Expedious Retreat is that it is situational and overshadowed by other options at that level. However, I will change it to black.
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If someone could put this handbook in the stickied character build index, that would be most appreciated.
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If someone could put this handbook in the stickied character build index, that would be most appreciated.

You can do it. Instructions on how to are right at the beginning of the thread. You might want to wait until it's closer to completion though.
Woah woah woah.

Mordenkainen's Guardian Hound deserves AT LEAST blue for a Summoner. Hell, I'd go with sky blue.

3d4+int mod vs reflex as a MINOR action and the target takes -2 to its next attack roll vs you.

The minor for the attack instead of a standard is what seals it for me.
Woah woah woah.

Mordenkainen's Guardian Hound deserves AT LEAST blue for a Summoner. Hell, I'd go with sky blue.

3d4+int mod vs reflex as a MINOR action and the target takes -2 to its next attack roll vs you.

The minor for the attack instead of a standard is what seals it for me.

Oops, missed the Minor Action part. I will upgrade it to Blue, but Summon Arrowhawk is still better for summoners for ToB and Marking.
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Just an FYI, ths is the order I will be putting content into the guide:

1: Finish Powers
2: PPs, EDs, MC
3: Hybrid?
4: Feats

Also, if someone could find a good pic for the top page of the handook and PM it to me, that would be appreciated.
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FYI Face of Death is inferior to Sleep, by a lot. Why? The Helpless condition does not prevent the effected creature from taking actions. Unconscious and Helpless are very different and Helpless should have been called Defenseless.

Dumb? Yes. RAW? Yes.
FYI Face of Death is inferior to Sleep, by a lot. Why? The Helpless condition does not prevent the effected creature from taking actions. Unconscious and Helpless are very different and Helpless should have been called Defenseless.

Dumb? Yes. RAW? Yes.

I don't know that RAW you would be able to move if you were helpless. However, even if it is RAW, It would make sense for the DM to say that if the enemy can't defend itself, then it couldn't move or attack. If you want to debate this further, you should go to the Rules Forums.
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*pant* Powers Finished. *pant* PPs, EDs and MCs Coming Soon *pant* *pant*
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Feather Fall: (PHB) Can make the difference between Life and Death at this level.

Shield: (PHB) Use this in preperation for a Thunderwave to get you out of trouble.

Shield as just black? SHIELD? The spell that 2 out of 3 players choose at this level? You have it ranked below FEATHER FALL? Crazy.

If "difference between life and death at this level" is a justification, Shield should be sky blue.
Shield as just black? SHIELD? The spell that 2 out of 3 players choose at this level? You have it ranked below FEATHER FALL? Crazy.

If "difference between life and death at this level" is a justification, Shield should be sky blue.

Oops, I must have lost that in the editing. Sorry, I will change that.
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I don't know that RAW you would be able to move if you were helpless. However, even if it is RAW, It would make sense for the DM to say that if the enemy can't defend itself, then it couldn't move or attack. If you want to debate this further, you should go to the Rules Forums.

I was just trying to point out quirks of the system. If you want to ignore the rules of the game feel free. It's a dumb ruling anyway I admit.
I don't know that RAW you would be able to move if you were helpless. However, even if it is RAW, It would make sense for the DM to say that if the enemy can't defend itself, then it couldn't move or attack. If you want to debate this further, you should go to the Rules Forums.

There is nothing to debate. RAW helpless is a much lesser condition then unconcious (which includes helpless). Do I think its stupid? Yes. Do I think someone screwed up and this power needs errata? YES! However this is not a houserules forum and powers need to be rated on RAW.
There is nothing to debate. RAW helpless is a much lesser condition then unconcious (which includes helpless). Do I think its stupid? Yes. Do I think someone screwed up and this power needs errata? YES! However this is not a houserules forum and powers need to be rated on RAW.

Okay, I will change this to Black.
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PPs Finished.
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Will you be adding the feats, or is this handbook dead?


 


Cheers,


 


Daniel.

Ah, I hadn't seen this guide before. As an avid wizard player, here's my feedback on the heroic powers. Overall you're giving too much importance to damage, and not enough to powerful status effects like daze. Also, you're underestimating the power of huge area effects that cover the entire battlefield - a heroic wizard can easily cover 7x7 with Enlarge Spell and a Warmage Staff.


 


Illusory ambush - should be regular blue at best, since it's not an area effect. Wizards have such awesome area effects that single-target spells have a hard time competing - why would you want to hit one target when you can hit a 5x5 area with Enlarge Spell? Also, a -2 on one target isn't that great.


Phantom bolt - in many situations, sliding one is much much better than a -2 to hit.


Storm pillar - situationally great because (1) it combos with thunderwave, and (2) it can block off small passages. But even if the DM lets you conjure it over someone's head, it's still not sky blue (as automatic but low damage on one creature is good but not awesome)


Chilling cloud - should be sky blue because it's an area debuff


Cloud of daggers - purple, as it's eclipsed by storm pillar. Effectively, the only thing this spell does is kill one minion automatically, and that's not worth one of your At Wills. The damage is too low for other uses; enemies can simply ignore its so-called control.


Magic missile - sucks. Unless you make your build especially for this spell, it's one of the worst at-wills for a wizard.


Ray of frost - should be black at best, because the enemies you really want to weaken are precisely those with high fort. Also, it's not an area effect.


Scorching burst - even though it only does damage, it does it well. With enlarge spell, this is how you clear out minions (making cloud of daggers irrelevant again). Arguably it's still blue, considering how rare area at-wills are.


Astral wasp - no, just no. It doesn't do decent damage, even - that's pretty poor damage, This is one of the worst wizard encounter powers and deserves red rating.


Grasping shadows - should be sky blue. Throwing up a 5x5 zone that auto-hits and auto-slows anyone that enters is very awesome for a L1 spell


Incendiary detonation - the other sky blue one, for its large area and persistent damage zone that doesn't affect allies.


Burning hands - damage isn't that great, actually, plus it's close range and hits allies. Should be black.


Force orb - one of the worst wizard-1 spells, actually. It's mediocre damage and only really works if your enemies clump up next to an ally, and it doesn't Enlarge; in virtually every situation, any other blast-y power is better. Should be purple.


Icy terrain - the best L1 encounter in the PHB, it really deserves blue rating, because being prone costs it its next move.


Summon fire warrior - the fact that it's good for a summon doesn't change the fact that summoning is pretty bad at heroic. Take flaming sphere, it's much better. Black.


Horrid whispers - it's good but it's no match for sleep or flaming sphere. Blue.


Acid arrow - pretty bad considering it's a one-target spell and you have so many area effects it's not even funny.


Feather fall - it won't actually make difference between life and death at this level unless your DM is really mean; what it will do is go unused pretty much every day and clog up your utility slot. Purple.


Float - highly situational, like feather fall it will be unused most of the time (but unlike feather fall, it's pretty awesome when it works). But note that many terrain effects are primarily a hindrance for melee types, which you're not. Black.


Shadow serpent - sucks. Take a familiar instead. Purple.


Exp retreat - you should probably retrain it at level 6, but until then it's excellent mobility if you're not an eladrin. Blue.


Jump - many people overlook this excellent leader-ish power: you can use it to give your move action to somebody else. That alone makes it blue. Its terrain-ignoring powers come into play more often than Float, and you can use it to jump down from places to sub for Feather Fall.


Hypno pattern - can take several enemies out of the fight entirely, that makes it at least black and probably blue.


Maze of mirrors - not nearly as good as it sounds, actually, given how many enemies have ranged attacks. Daze is much better than immobilize.


Pinioning vortex - it's a pretty bad spell because it's one target and doesn't last very long. Certainly not sky blue, probably only black.


Color spray - sky blue all the way. This is by far the best L3 wizard power, probably one of the best in the book. Dazing shuts down enemy movement, minor actions, and opportunity attacks; plus it targets the usually-lowest defense, is a huge area effect, and can be enlarged. Wow!


Summon abyssal maw - it's decent but still not great, probably the only heroic summon worth using but that surely doesn't make it blue.


Grasp of the grave - absolutely sky blue. A persistent huge zone that automatically dazes all enemies is simply a nightmare for your DM, and can frequently win fights all by itself. If you don't think this is sky blue, you have never seen it in play.


Stinking cloud - the other sky blue choice for level 5, because of its auto damage, sight blocking, and movability. This shuts down enemies so hard it's not even funny.


Fireball - not impressive for a daily. It does a bunch of damage, but not even all that much, and that's all it does.


 

Interesting info there. 


Cheers! Smile


Daniel.

Wow. I thought everyone had abandoned my handbook. it's nice to see that someone cares about it. I plan to do feats and EDs, but first I will need to find out what the new formatting guidelines in the new community.


PS: In case you were wondering, I killed the handbook because I thought that no one cared about it, but i'll revive it now with the new communityLaughing.

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Ah, I hadn't seen this guide before. As an avid wizard player, here's my feedback on the heroic powers. Overall you're giving too much importance to damage, and not enough to powerful status effects like daze. Also, you're underestimating the power of huge area effects that cover the entire battlefield - a heroic wizard can easily cover 7x7 with Enlarge Spell and a Warmage Staff.


 


Illusory ambush - should be regular blue at best, since it's not an area effect. Wizards have such awesome area effects that single-target spells have a hard time competing - why would you want to hit one target when you can hit a 5x5 area with Enlarge Spell? Also, a -2 on one target isn't that great.


Phantom bolt - in many situations, sliding one is much much better than a -2 to hit.


Storm pillar - situationally great because (1) it combos with thunderwave, and (2) it can block off small passages. But even if the DM lets you conjure it over someone's head, it's still not sky blue (as automatic but low damage on one creature is good but not awesome)


Chilling cloud - should be sky blue because it's an area debuff


Cloud of daggers - purple, as it's eclipsed by storm pillar. Effectively, the only thing this spell does is kill one minion automatically, and that's not worth one of your At Wills. The damage is too low for other uses; enemies can simply ignore its so-called control.


Magic missile - sucks. Unless you make your build especially for this spell, it's one of the worst at-wills for a wizard.


Ray of frost - should be black at best, because the enemies you really want to weaken are precisely those with high fort. Also, it's not an area effect.


Scorching burst - even though it only does damage, it does it well. With enlarge spell, this is how you clear out minions (making cloud of daggers irrelevant again). Arguably it's still blue, considering how rare area at-wills are.


Astral wasp - no, just no. It doesn't do decent damage, even - that's pretty poor damage, This is one of the worst wizard encounter powers and deserves red rating.


Grasping shadows - should be sky blue. Throwing up a 5x5 zone that auto-hits and auto-slows anyone that enters is very awesome for a L1 spell


Incendiary detonation - the other sky blue one, for its large area and persistent damage zone that doesn't affect allies.


Burning hands - damage isn't that great, actually, plus it's close range and hits allies. Should be black.


Force orb - one of the worst wizard-1 spells, actually. It's mediocre damage and only really works if your enemies clump up next to an ally, and it doesn't Enlarge; in virtually every situation, any other blast-y power is better. Should be purple.


Icy terrain - the best L1 encounter in the PHB, it really deserves blue rating, because being prone costs it its next move.


Summon fire warrior - the fact that it's good for a summon doesn't change the fact that summoning is pretty bad at heroic. Take flaming sphere, it's much better. Black.


Horrid whispers - it's good but it's no match for sleep or flaming sphere. Blue.


Acid arrow - pretty bad considering it's a one-target spell and you have so many area effects it's not even funny.


Feather fall - it won't actually make difference between life and death at this level unless your DM is really mean; what it will do is go unused pretty much every day and clog up your utility slot. Purple.


Float - highly situational, like feather fall it will be unused most of the time (but unlike feather fall, it's pretty awesome when it works). But note that many terrain effects are primarily a hindrance for melee types, which you're not. Black.


Shadow serpent - sucks. Take a familiar instead. Purple.


Exp retreat - you should probably retrain it at level 6, but until then it's excellent mobility if you're not an eladrin. Blue.


Jump - many people overlook this excellent leader-ish power: you can use it to give your move action to somebody else. That alone makes it blue. Its terrain-ignoring powers come into play more often than Float, and you can use it to jump down from places to sub for Feather Fall.


Hypno pattern - can take several enemies out of the fight entirely, that makes it at least black and probably blue.


Maze of mirrors - not nearly as good as it sounds, actually, given how many enemies have ranged attacks. Daze is much better than immobilize.


Pinioning vortex - it's a pretty bad spell because it's one target and doesn't last very long. Certainly not sky blue, probably only black.


Color spray - sky blue all the way. This is by far the best L3 wizard power, probably one of the best in the book. Dazing shuts down enemy movement, minor actions, and opportunity attacks; plus it targets the usually-lowest defense, is a huge area effect, and can be enlarged. Wow!


Summon abyssal maw - it's decent but still not great, probably the only heroic summon worth using but that surely doesn't make it blue.


Grasp of the grave - absolutely sky blue. A persistent huge zone that automatically dazes all enemies is simply a nightmare for your DM, and can frequently win fights all by itself. If you don't think this is sky blue, you have never seen it in play.


Stinking cloud - the other sky blue choice for level 5, because of its auto damage, sight blocking, and movability. This shuts down enemies so hard it's not even funny.


Fireball - not impressive for a daily. It does a bunch of damage, but not even all that much, and that's all it does.


 




Wow. Thanks for the input, I really appreciate it. However, I believe I have found a good balance between Control and Damage, and I consider myself biased towards control. about the At-Wills:


Illusory Ambush: Attack Debuffs are one of the MOST important debuffs you can provide. I'm staying with Sky Blue.


Phantom Bolt: This is the Illusionist's AUTOMATIC second at-will, but Illusory Ambush is still better.


Storm Pillar: In rating this Black, I was mainly comparing it to Scorching Burst, and this trumps that by A lot


Chilling Cloud: OK, you've convinced me. I'll change it to Sky Blue


Cloud of Daggers: There is a post earlier on in the handbook that explains several reasons that cloud of daggers is great. Look over there and I hope you'll agree with me.


Magic missile: Glad you agree this sucks.


Ray of Frost: The only at-will that gives a status condition, and also, lurkers and skirmishers have low Fort, so that redeems this spell


Scorching Burst: Compare this to Storm Pillar.


Thunderwave: You made no comment on this, so i'll assume you agree with me on this.


 

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