Category Archives: Specs

Wizard PVP Build: Highly Modified Damage

Now that the skill calculator has been updated, we can once again post some theorycrafted PVP builds for all of the classes. To get it started, here is a Wizard PVP build that is focused around damage increase modifiers and getting the most out of them. The breakdown of this build goes like this:

Talent Skill Calculator

Diablo 3 Wizard Ability with Charged Blast Rune



Magic Missiles is your most used spell in this build for two reasons. First, it will provide the highest single-target damage without spending your Arcane Power (saving it for more important spells). Secondly, and even more importantly, is that you will be constantly using it to build up Arcane Dynamo stacks for a 75% damage bonus to Meteor or your first Archon ability.

Diablo 3 Wizard Ability with Molten Impact Rune




Meteor acts as an incredible damaging spell with good burst and damage over time but it can be difficult to use efficiently with its delay and impending graphic on the targeted area. In this build it is runed with Molten Impact to further increase its damage. Since timing with Meteor is difficult, pairing this spell with the Bone Chill-runed Frost Nova will not only make it easier to hit your target but it will also be devastating when it lands (timing the cast with roots/stuns from your arena partners will also be important). If you wait until you have 5 stacks of Arcane Dynamo, have your Familiar active, and hit a Nova’d target, that equals a 120% damage bonus with Glass Cannon- just imagine the crits.

Diablo 3 Wizard Ability with Bone Chill Rune




Frost Nova’s use in this build is twofold. First, it will need to be used defensively to buy time/escape when the pressure is on you. However, with the Bone Chill rune, it will also be used offensively to further stack increased damage percentages- adding another 15% during the 3 second duration (time enough to land a very painful Meteor).

Diablo 3 Wizard Ability with Wormhole Rune




Teleport is another “Defensive” ability, like Frost Nova, that can also be used offensively to quickly freeze enemies without putting yourself in harm’s way for long. Also, since there are no snaring abilities in this build, proper usage of Teleport and Frost Nova will be key to escaping/kiting melee. With the Wormhole rune, you can cover quite a bit of ground before running out of Arcane Power. Additionally, Teleport should be used to grab health orbs as this build does not have any healing or absorption abilities.

Diablo 3 Wizard Ability with Sparkflint Rune




Familiar should be kept up at all times, especially when casting any offensive abilities. With the Sparkflint rune, the Familiar becomes a big damage increase while also adding a little extra damage of its own. It is also important that you ensure there is plenty of time left on Familiar before casting Archon as you will not be able to cast it during the duration and need to get the most out of that long cooldown.


Diablo 3 Wizard Ability with Improved Archon Rune



Archon is a baseline ability for any PVP build. The damage output Archon form is capable of, with the added defensive bonuses as well, instantly instills fear into the hearts of your enemies. Since this build is about stacking damage modifiers, it is runed with Improved Archon. Archon only lasts 15 seconds (without any killing blows extending the duration) and has a 1 minute 42 second cooldown (with the Evocation Passive) so you always  want to wait until you have 5 stacks of Arcane Dynamo to make that first, more powerful Archon ability hit 75% harder- not counting the extra 25% from the Improved Archon rune and 30% combined from Familiar and Glass Cannon. You can use Archon defensively, but it is not recommended due to the length of the cooldown.

Diablo 3 Wizard Passive Ability

Glass Cannon is must for this build even though it makes you more susceptible to being gibbed. The static 15% damage increase definitely outweighs the decreased armor and resistances and you don’t have to think about how/when to use this passive ability. Instead, turning that focus to survival and raising your kill count.

Diablo 3 Wizard Passive Ability

Evocation is another great PVP ability and works in this build to allow the repeated use of Archon 18 seconds sooner, Frost Nova 1.8 seconds sooner, and Teleport 2.4 seconds sooner (if not spamming with the Wormhole rune).

Diablo 3 Wizard Passive Ability

Arcane Dynamo is the single biggest damage increase in this build- and it’s huge. From the sounds of the tooltip, the bonus is all or nothing. If you have 4 stacks and cast a non-signature spell, it’s just casts the spell normally and does not clear the accumulated charges.  Once the fifth charge is acquired, however, big numbers are on the way- even in Archon form.


*Please note that much of this build and the reasoning behind it is speculation/theorycrafting. Additionally, abilities, skills, and runes are always subject to change- even after release. However, please feel free to post your thoughts and comments on this build or builds of your own as well!

Skill Calculator Updated

As promised, the skill calculator on the community site has been updated and should be a fairly accurate reflection of what the skills and runes will be like at release, aside from minor tweaks here and there.

With this update, we’re going to once again get the theorycrafting gears grinding and start posting PVP builds for all of the classes. As always, we encourage you to post your own builds in the comments or on the forums. To begin playing with the skill calculator, click on the specific class portraits below.

Though I’m sure they won’t be able to join you in the arena, you can also play with builds for the Followers as well.


Monk PVP Build: 1 – Mantra Twisting

For the first Monk PVP build, I wanted to showcase how much support this class can add to your arena composition. I call this build “Mantra Twisting” as much of the gameplay will be focused on timing the use of and swapping mantras depending on the situation of the match.

Here is the build.

Active Slot 1:

Skill: Crippling Wave
Runestone: Breaking Wave (Alabaster)
Explanation: This is your Spirit-generator for this build but it also serves as a debuffing ability, snaring your target while increasing the damage they take from you and your team. This is a great skill for adding pressure or switching targets for a kill.

Active Slot 2:

Skill: Lashing Tail Kick
Runestone: Scorpion Sting (Alabaster)
Explanation: This should be used as your main Spirit spending ability when you don’t need to worry about mobility. The stun from the alabaster runestone allows this skill to be useful both offensively and defensively.

Active Slot 3:

Skill: Dashing Strike
Runestone: Way of the Falling Star (Indigo)
Explanation: This is your mobility skill and will be used to keep your Crippling Wave debuffs or Lashing Tail Kick stuns on your targets. Pairing this ability with the indigo runestone not only lets you stay on top of your target should they use a gap-creating skill (Teleport, Leap Attack, etc), but it can also be used to quickly escape around a pillar if you get focused.

Active Slot 4:

Skill: Mantra of Evasion
Runestone: Divine Protection (Alabaster)
Explanation: This is your main defensive mantra. You will likely want to keep this mantra active if you aren’t able to keep up the damage from the other team or if one of your teammates starts getting low on health.

Active Slot 5:

Skill: Mantra of Healing
Runestone: Boon of Protection (Obsidian)
Explanation: This mantra is the one you will ‘twist’ the most, as you will likely be using it on cooldown- provided the shield is allowable every 30 seconds.

Active Slot 6:

Skill: Mantra of Conviction
Runestone: Overawe (Crimson)
Explanation: This is your offensive mantra. With the crimson runestone and your Crippling Wave debuff, your abilities alone will cause your target to be taking 135% additional damage from all sources. Use this mantra when you’re ahead to keep the pressure on your opponents or switch to it when going for a kill.
Passive Skills:

First Slot: Fleet Footed – Increase base movement speed by 10%.”
Explanation: As this passive can be used both offensively and defensively, it is a great choice for ensuring you can stay within melee range of your opponents as well as being in range of your teammates for the mantras.

Second Slot: Pacifism – “While stunned, feared or charmed, all damage taken is reduced by 75%.”
Explanation: Since this build uses half your active skill slots on mantras, the extra survivability will help you avoid needing to use your mantra twisting on yourself.

Third Slot: Near Death Experience – “When receiving fatal damage, you are instead restored to 35% of maximum Life and 35% Spirit.”
Explanation: When all else fails, this gives you a second chance. An amazing PVP choice for any build- including this one.
*Disclaimer: Keep in mind this build is based on beta skills that are subject to change and until we step foot in the arena this is all merely theorycrafting. As always, give us your builds and let us know your thoughts in the comments!

Skill Calculator: Witch Doctor PVP Build

As stated previously, we’re going to be posting PvP builds using the talent calculator and the most up-to-date information there is. And what better way to kick off this segment than with a build from what appears to be the most underrated class in PvP at the moment. Working to disavow that notion, I present to you a Witch Doctor PvP build that I feel shows some great potential and explain my logic.

Here we go!:!ZWf!bbaaYc

First Slot:

Skill: Wall of Zombies
Runestone: Unrelenting Grip (Golden)
Explanation: This is your general crowd control ability, setting up walls to block your opponent’s movement, while the golden runestone adds a slowing effect on top of the movement blocking. This should make kiting a breeze.
Possible substitutions:
Skill: Grasp of the Dead – Cost: 53 Mana, Cooldown: 8 seconds – “Hands reach out from the ground slowing enemy movement by 50% and dealing 50% weapon damage per second as Physical for 8 seconds.
Runestone: Desperate Grasp (Golden) – “Reduces the cooldown to 4.5 seconds.” Or: Unbreakable Grasp (Obsidian) – “Increase the slow amount to 64%.”
Explanation: About the same idea, but I feel the movement blocking of the wall will be more beneficial in most situations.

Second Slot:

Skill: Hex
Runestone: Hedge Magic (Golden)
Explanation: Hex is a no-brainer here, a complete disable that actually INCREASES damage taken? Yes please. I picked the golden runestone to add even more utility to the skill, taking them out of commission while healing yourself at the same time, can’t beat it.
Possible substitutions:
Runestone: Jinx (Alabaster) – “Increases the damage taken by hexed targets to 90%.”
Description: Increasing the damage bonus on hex to a whopping 90%, use this if you don’t feel you need the healing.


Third Slot:

Skill: Spirit Walk
Runestone: Healing Journey (Alabaster)
Explanation: Your ‘get the hell out of dodge’ ability for when things are getting too hot for the fragile Witch Doctor. Lets face it, you’re probably in dire straights when you need to pop this ability, so the healing component with the alabaster runestone isn’t going to hurt.
Possible Substitutions:
Runestone: Jaunt (Indigo) – “Increases the duration of Spirit Walk to 10.0 seconds.”
Explanation: You lose the healing component but make Spirit Walk useful for kiting as well as escaping.

Fourth Slot:


Skill: Poison Dart
Runestone: Snake to the Face (Alabaster)
Explanation: Besides having just about the coolest name of any skill in the game, this ability will provide consistent DoT damage with the possibility of a 3 second stun. This combined with Spirit Walk and Zombie Wall should be able to get you much needed distance on those pesky Monks and Barbarians while chipping away at their HP.
Possible substitutions:
Skill: Horrify – Cooldown: 20 seconds – “Don a spectral mask that horrifies all enemies within 12 yards, causing them to run in fear for 5 seconds.”
Runestone: Stalker (Alabaster) – “Gain 50% increased movement speed for 4 seconds after cast.”
Same idea of creating distance from your opponents, but this time by fearing them and giving yourself a speed boost. Possibly more reliable, but no DoT damage.

Fifth Slot:

Skill: Firebats
Runestone: Hungry Bats (Indigo)
Explanation: This will be your bread and butter for dealing damage. The indigo runestone basically turns this ability into Bonespirit from Diablo 2, and we all know how powerful Bonespirit was.
Possible substitutions:
None. You need this.

Sixth Slot:


Skill: Gargantuan
Runestone: Big Stinker (Obsidian)
Explanation: This big guy will be your tank to soak up some homing type spells, along with providing consistent damage from melee and the added poison DoT from the runestone.
Possible substitutions:
I feel this is really your swing slot, if you’re out there shrinking heads and you find your have a weakness to a specific class or build? Slap something in here to help you against them. However if you like the idea of having a pet here, you could try…
Skill: Zombie Dogs – Cost: 176 Mana, Cooldown: 60 seconds – “Summon 3 zombie dogs from the depths to fight by your side.”
Runestone: Life Link (Indigo) – “70% of damage taken is absorbed by your zombie dogs.”


Passive Skills:

First Slot: Vermin – “Your Plague of Toads, Corpse Spiders and Firebats abilities do 20% more damage.”
Ups the damage of your hungry, hungry bats.

Second Slot: Rush of Essence – “Spirit spells return 200% of their Mana cost over 10 seconds.”
Spirit Walk now breaks slows, heals you, and restores your mana. Hell yeah.

Third Slot: Death Trance – “Reduce damage by 20% whenever you are below 50% of your maximum life.”
Damage reduction when you’re under 50% HP. Seems like this one was made for PvP, a safe choice.

Possible substitutions:
Pierce the Veil (“All of your damage is increased by 20% but your Mana costs are increased by 30%.”) and Tribal Rights (“The cooldowns of your Fetish Army, Big Bad Voodoo and Hex abilities are reduced by 25%.”) could slip in this build easily, but watch your mana if you chose Pierce the Veil. If you have Zombie Dogs in your swing slot, Zombie Handler (“You can have 4 Zombie Dogs out at once. The health of your Zombie Dogs and Gargantuan is increased by 60%.”) might be a good idea.

*Remember folks, this is build is based on beta skills that are subject to change, and until we step foot in the arena this is all merely theorycrafting. However if you have your own badass Witch Doctor PvP build feel free to share it in the comments!