Disintegrate (July 2011)


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Disintegrate is an Offensive Wizard skill unlocked at Level 12, doing damage to opponents in an AoE line.

The skill works like a laser beam, firing a straight line of Arcane damage that moves instantly from the Wizard's hand to the edge of the screen. This makes the spell reach the enemies faster than any other spell in the game, and its ability to pass through as many targets as are in the way gives it impressive piercing ability.

The drawbacks are fairly low damage, especially to targets behind the front row, and the fact that the Wizard is stuck in place while casting it.

Disintegrate is a signature skill of the Wizard.


Disintegrate in action

A Wizard can call forth a torrent of Arcane energies to make matter simply vanish.

Skill Effects[edit]

The following is a very quick list. See the Disintegrate rune effects page for a more thorough summary of rune effects, or any of the individual rune pages for numbers, screenshots, blue quotes, and much more.

Icon Skill Description
{{{icon}}} [[{{{name}}}]]
21 {{{desc}}}


Enemies killed by the beam have a 35% chance to explode causing 170% weapon damage as Arcane to all enemies within 8 yards.



Damage increases slowly over time to inflict a maximum of 236% weapon damage per second as Arcane.

Chaos Nexus


When casting the beam you become charged with energy that spits out at nearby enemies doing 50% weapon damage as Arcane.



Increase the width of the beam allowing it to hit more enemies for 135% weapon damage per second as Arcane.



The beam fractures into a short ranged cone causing 189% weapon damage per second as Arcane.

Note: Information is based on a level 60 character and rank 7 runestones.

Disintegrate Video[edit]

A video of Disintegrate can be seen below, courtesy of the DiabloInc You Tube channel.

Skill Design[edit]

Disintegrating Leoric while the Templar tanks.

Disintegrate fires a red, ruler-straight laser beam of arcane damage, striking everything in a line AoE right to the edge of the screen. The beam remains active as long as the mouse button is depressed (Arcane Power permitting), and can be moved around in all directions, emanating out from the stationary Wizard like a spike from a hub.

The spell does bonus damage (apparently doubling with critical hits) after it locks onto a target for more than about half a second. The beam turns from red to purple to give a visual indication of this; see the tutorial screenshots below.

Disintegrate is visually-impressive, but it's best used for a sort of crowd control. It's great to hit multiple enemies in a straight line, especially large or stationary targets, but not very good against fast enemies or large mobs of spread out attackers. The resource drain is considerable, and it doesn't deal very high damage per second, so it's not great as a boss killer. It's best used to take out a few ranged attackers, as the light-speed beam hits them instantly, long before their arrows or other projectiles can reach the Wizard.

The damage decreases by 20% on each additional monster it hits, making the killing power quite weak by the third or fourth enemy in a row.

Double Damage Upon Target Lock[edit]

Disintegrate critical hit tutorial.

As pointed out by Madmaxio and Arkadier in a forum thread[1], Disintegrate kicks into a higher level of damage once it's been locked onto the same target for more than about half a second. This is usually indicated by the red beam turning purple, but in some sequences the double damage kicks in without the beam changing color at all. It's unclear if this is a graphical bug, or if there are two mechanisms to deal double damage with Disintegrate: critical hit AND longer time locked onto target.

A few hits have been seen that seem to jump to quadruple damage, which might be a rare bonus from a lengthy lock on as well as a critical hit. This is still a subject of much debate, as contradictory evidence can be found in screenshot sequences taken from gameplay movies. See the Wizard forum thread on Diii.net for more details and images. Even more images and discussion can be found in this thread.

That Disintegrate deals extra (double?) damage when it's locked has not yet been listed in the skill's in-game description, but it is an original feature of the skill, discussed by the developers since their earliest comments on the skill.[2]

The next spell, Disintegrate, was described as the ultimate face melting skill, and introduces a new mechanic. When you use Disintegrate, you will begin to emit a jet of searing red heat for as long as you hold down the mouse button. By sweeping the mouse around, you'll change the direction of the beam. The longer the beam holds on a specific enemy, the more damage it will do to that enemy.


Spell Colour Feedback[edit]

Disintegrate, recolored Arcane style.

Not as bad as the art controversy, but some fans complained Disintegrate looks too much like a fire spell. Bashiok replied to this feedback by saying:[3]

It doesn’t actually feel anything like fire in-game. The screenshots don't really give a good impression of the way it looks and acts. In a screenshot you may think… well it has a lot of colors of fire, but in motion you just don’t get that impression. It comes across as a red-dominated skill. And the sound of the ability actually plays a huge part in how it feels, and it feels like a very focused and powerful energy beam.


Disintegrate was first shown at BlizzCon 2008 when the Wizard debuted, at that point located at Tier II in the Arcane Skill Tree. Flux described using it:[1]

That’s one of the most interesting things about using Disintegrate; that it’s more effective if you’re not moving. But Wizards seldom have that luxury, at least not when they’re playing alone. A solo wizard is a hit and run machine, throwing magical projectiles, rushing back or to the sides to dodge returned fire, darting in to land a few Spectral Blade strikes, etc. Disintegrate looks like it’ll be very useful against weak, ranged attackers, or else will be best used in a multiplayer game, when some other character is up front tanking, giving the Wizard the freedom to pour this one on non-stop.
Dueling Wizard action.

It was slightly changed in the BlizzCon 2009 demo, where it received a small boost in damage and mana cost. It was also boosted up to Tier IV, unfortunately putting it out of reach of players.

By BlizzCon 2010, with skill trees gone, Disintegrate was at Tier 5 and one of the Wizard's preset skills in the PvP demo. Flux spoke about using it in the Battle Arena:[2]

Very useful blasting, instant speed to the edge of the level, but it requires a clear line or sight, and it holds the Wizard in place while using it. Smart Wizards I saw used it a lot, but in bursts. Any time they had a clear shot they’d cook someone from a distance, ideally over one of the openings in the ground. The damage per second wasn’t huge, but it added up and was very easy to hit with.

Skill tiers were removed for the July 2011 Press Event, and Disintegrate became a level 12 skill.

Previous Versions[edit]

See the Wizard skill archive for more details on previous versions of Disintegrate and other Wizard skills.
Or see Disintegrate (BlizzCon 2008) for the original version of this skill.


With Diablo III, Blizzard have looked more at the traditional Dungeons & Dragons pen & paper RPG for inspiration. The Disintegrate spell is one of the "trademark" D&D spells, which name is likely taken in tribute to the pen & paper RPG.


Disintegrate can be seen in action on video here:

You can find pictures in the Diablo III screenshot and picture gallery:

Disintegrate in character artwork by Blizzard artist Josh Tallman.


  1. Diii.net forum thread -- IncGamers 4th Nov 2010
  2. Blizzcon 2008 Panel Notes -- Big Download, October 10, 2008
  3. Bashiok Forum post -- IncGamers 8th July 2009