Wizard skill archive

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This page archives original versions of Wizard skills that were changed during development. These are archived for future curiosity and reference. This page is not to be updated with current info; see the Wizard skills article for the latest information about this classes' skills.


The Wizard's skills were first revealed in October 2008, at Blizzcon. They were shown again, in much-expanded form, at Blizzcon 2009. The biggest changes occurred at Blizzcon 2010, after all the passive skills had been moved to the Wizard traits, this removing all passive skills while freeing up space for more active skills.

Note that the Wizard's resource has changed greatly during development. From mana, to Instability, to Arcane Power, and perhaps back to mana. Skill costs have varied wildly as the different resources changed, and skills have changed as well, with early skills to generate mana globes, or to gain mana from health globes, all removed with the change to Instability and then Arcane Power.

See the skill article for further details on how the tier systems evolved, and the skill system in general.


Blizzcon 2010 Skills to Traits[edit]

The biggest change to the skills came in Blizzcon 2010, when the new non-tree skill tree was debuted, with all of the passive skills modified into various traits.

3 skills were added:

9 skills were removed entirely between 2009 and 2010. Many of these were turned into Wizard Traits.

Here's how the Wizard skill navigation looked prior to Blizzcon 2010. Many of these skills remain in the game, though most have been modified in various ways.


Pre-BlizzCon 2009 Arcane Tree[edit]

The Arcane tree was first seen at BlizzCon in October 2008. At that time the tree had a very different layout, with more skills concentrated into the top tiers, and maximum one rank per skill available to use. Skill runes could only be socketed in active skills, in this build. Expect further changes during ongoing development.



Tier I Skills[edit]

Magic Missile - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009

Magic missiles impact.
  • Active Skill
  • Description: Fire 1 missile(s) of energy at your enemies causing 7-13 arcane damage to them. Critical hits from arcane damage silence targets for 4 secs.
  • Rank: 0/1
  • Mana cost: 8

In early levels, Magic Missile might be the Wizard's bread and butter. In later levels, it might prove invaluable as a cheap and direct means of silencing a monster for 4 seconds -- plenty of time to dispatch of them before they can cast a nasty spell on you, or raise the fallen to fight again. The difficulty will be in hitting the shaman behind the minions, since Magic Missile will strike another monster if it's between the Wizard and the targeted boss.

Magic Missile's effectiveness is increased by a variety of spells, the most noteworthy of which is Improved Magic Missile, which increases both the damage and number of missiles released on a cast. The range and spread of higher levels of Magic Missile is reminiscent of the DII Necromancer's Teeth. When an enemy dies at the hands of an Arcane spell, a purple glow is left on the corpses.



Arcane Power - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Increases all arcane damage.
  • Max Rank: 15
    • Rank 1: Increases arcane damage by 12%.
    • Rank 2: Increases arcane damage by 24%.
    • Rank 3: Increases arcane damage by 36%.

This mastery boosts the arcane spell damages by a much higher % than similar masteries for other types of damage, and it's unclear why. Possibilities include: arcane spells generally do less damage, their critical hit bonus might be less useful, or the spell just might be overpowered in this early, still-under-testing build.



Efficient Magics - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Lowers the mana cost of spells by a %.
  • Max Rank: 15
    • Rank 1: Lowers mana cost by 3%.
    • Rank 2: Lowers mana cost by 6%.
    • Rank 3: Lowers mana cost by by 9%.
    • Rank 4: Lowers mana cost by by 12%.

It looks like a Wizard will be able to greatly customize his or her spells in D3, with passive skills that cut mana cost, increase casting speed, and boost individual damage types. It's not yet known how much equipment will overlap with these abilities; a spell to boost casting speed wouldn't be much good in D2, with so many items that could convey the same bonus.



Penetrating Spells - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Reduces the resistance of your targets to your spells by x%. Targets with negative resistance take additional damage from spells.
  • Rank 1: Reduces resistance by 8%.

Another of the highly-useful passive skills possessed by the Wizard. Sort of a full time Lower Resistance aura, that seems to work with all types of magic.


Tier II[edit]

Disintegrate - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009

Disintegrating from within Slow Time.
  • Active Skill
  • Description: Emanate a beam of pure energy dealing 10 arcane damage per second. Damage is modified to 80% each time the beam passes through the target. Critical hits from Arcane damage silence targets for 4 secs.
  • Rank: 1
  • Mana cost: 12 per sec.

A laser beam of molten pwnage, Disintegrate is at its best raking through a line of ranged attackers. It'll cut through targets without mercy; however, each target the beam passes through lowers its power to 80% for the next target. (It's not clear if the description means 20% less per target, in a 100%, 80%, 60%, 40%, 20%, 0% sequence, or if it's 80% of the current amount, which would yield 100%, 80%, 64%, 51%, 41%, 33%, etc.) It would be very difficult to hit more than 4 or 5 monsters at once with this spell anyway, since it's pencil thin, monsters don't stand in neat rows, and monsters die fairly quickly once they're being cooked by the Disintegrate beam.

Damage ticks every second of use, and critical strikes (as with any Arcane Spell) will silence the target for 4 seconds. This might be the best use of this skill late game; even if the damage doesn't scale up to keep it a killer, it could hit anything on the screen, instantly "silencing" enemy mages and summoners.

In the Blizzcon demo build (October 2008), this spell wasn't very useful against large enemies, but was devastating against smaller enemies, especially ranged attackers such as Skeletal Archers. The disintegrate ray hits anything on the screen more or less instantaneously, so nothing is out of reach and there's no delay between clicking the mouse and hitting the enemy with the spell. This one will surely be nerfed somewhat before the final game, since it was just so useful in the Blizzcon build.

Although resembling fire it is in fact pure energy and classified as arcane damage and not fire.



Wave of Force - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009

Wave of Force.
  • Active Skill
  • Description: Project a wave of force outwards, repelling enemies and projectiles.
  • Max Rank: 1
    • Rank 1: 1-8 damage.
  • Mana cost: 25

This defensive spell casts a nova-like blast of light that deals just minor damage, but that shoves back enemies and projectiles.

Wave of Force is used twice in the Wizard Trailer released at Blizzcon 2008. The first is used in a room of skeletons -- it does little damage to the skeletons, but blasts all the destructibles in the room to glorious pieces. In the second example, the Wizard uses it while slowing down time, waiting for a group of skeletons' projectiles to come close, and then reflecting them back toward them.

It's hard to know how many scenarios in a fast-paced game like this where you could really benefit from using Slow Time and then Wave of Force to repel projectiles -- Out of the 8 projectiles in the above screenshot, only one or two actually came back to strike their targets. It will be interesting to see what practical uses there are for this spell as more gameplay videos unfold.



Arcane Armor Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: While your Storm Armor, Stone Armor, Stone Skin or Temporal Armor spells are active, your armor is increased by 20%.
  • Rank: 0/15

Another interesting mastery; this one boosts the wizard's total armor bonus, but only while one (or more) of the other protective spells are active.



Arcane Weakness - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Enemies damaged by your arcane spells are affected with arcane weakness, increasing damage taken by 10% for 5 sec.
  • Rank: 0/15

This would presumably stack with other passives that increase the damage and critical hit % of individual spell types, or all spells in general.



Arcane Speed - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Reduces the cooldown of all arcane spells by 5%.
  • Rank: 0/15

Arcane spell damage seems to be limited by a cooldown time on most of the spells, hence this spell.


Tier III[edit]

Arcane Orb - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009

Wiz-arcane-orb1.jpg
  • Active Skill
  • Description: An orb of pure energy explodes on contact dealing 12-16 arcane damage to all enemies in the blast area. Critical hits from arcane damage silence targets for 4 sec.
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Mana cost: 18

A glowing orb of energy travels about 10 yards, before bursting in a nova of destruction. The spell looks something like the D2 Sorc's Frozen Orb, but without the spray of ice spears as it flies across the room. The spell only allowed one point in the BlizzCon demo, but the final game will surely allow more than 1 level (rank) to be added to it.

Sequence of Arcane Orb, cast from within the protective bubble created by a Slow Time spell.



Slow Time - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009

Slow Time
  • Active Skill
  • Description: Warp space and time, slowing nearby monsters and projectiles. Enemy attack cooldown increase: 1 sec.
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Mana cost: 20

Slow time creates a bubble that surrounds the Wizard. Any enemies or enemy projectiles that enter the bubble are greatly slowed. The wizard, her spell projectiles, and her allies are not affected by the slow time bubble, giving them a huge advantage over the greatly slowed enemies. The bubble remains where it was cast, persisting for several seconds, but the Wizard can move as soon as the spell is cast, though if she moves outside the bubble monsters may again target her without their shots or attacks being slowed.

It's assumed that some boss monsters (and their projectiles?) will be immune to the slowing effect, but this is not yet known, and is subject to further balancing anyway.

Slow Time only affects enemies. The Wizard can use her spells from within it without hindrance.



Arcane Distortion - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Enemies damaged by your arcane spells are slowed by 35% for 3 sec.
  • Rank: 0/15

There are a lot of interesting ways to slow or freeze or stun monsters in D3. Types of damage, critical hits, spells, masteries to spells, and more.



Mana Recovery - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Enemies have a 7% chance to drop a mana globe that return 25% of maximum mana when picked up.
  • Rank: 0/15

No mana globes were dropping during the BlizzCon 2008 demo. It's not clear if they were not enabled, if they don't drop early in the game, or if they never drop at all, unless this spell (or others with a similar effect, or perhaps the bonus comes from equipment as well?) is active.



Improved Magic Missile - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Increases the number of missiles launched by your magic missile spell by 1 and increases their damage by 8%.
  • Rank: 0/15

Boosts the number and damage of magic missiles. It's not known how this spell interacts with the basic magic missile spell. That one seems to set the base damage, which this one enhances.


Tier IV[edit]

Temporal Armor - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Active Skill
  • Description: Surrounds the wizard in a protective shell that stops all damage from an attack every 6 sec. The shell dissipates after absorbing 12 attacks
  • Rank: 0/1

An interesting variation on spell shields. Rather than absorbing X amount of damage, or some % of damage, this one takes out 100% of the damage, but only works every 6 seconds.



Teleport Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Active Skill
  • Description: Teleport to the selected location up to 40 feet away.
  • Rank: 0/1
  • Mana cost: 23

Teleport has been modified somewhat in Diablo 3. Rather than blinking instantly between locations, the Wizard leaps several yards straight up into the air, then falls back down when she arrives at her target point. This makes the movement considerably slower, though it's still very fast.

In one of the BlizzCon 2008 panels, Teleport was demonstrated with a striking skill rune socketed in it, and the spell added damage to all monsters in the area, each time the Wizard teleported. Socketing in a Hydra Rune (form. name: multi strike) will instead cause the Wizard to split into images of herself when teleporting, making the skill useful to distract monsters.



Greater Mana - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Increases maximum mana by 12%.
  • Rank: 0/15

A straight forward skill that increases your mana, useful throughout the game, especially at early levels.



Mana Burst - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Increases the damage of any spell cast from full mana by 25%.
  • Rank: 0/15

Another creative spell. This one basically lets the Wizard deal substantial extra damage, but with just one spell, once in a while. A wizard who invested in this spell would have to modify her play style considerably; trying to use spells sparingly to remain full of mana, in order to score the huge damage hit possible with points in this skill.



Runic Might - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Increases the effects of all runes.
  • Rank: 0/5

A mysterious, all purpose skill description for this one. It sounds like it exists only in concept at this point, and hasn't been balanced at all, yet.



Pre-BlizzCon 2009 Conjuring Tree[edit]

Tier I Skills[edit]

Spectral Blade - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009

Spectral Blades in action.
  • Active Skill
  • Rank: 0/1
    • Description: Summons a spectral blade that strikes each enemy in front of the wizard 3 times causing 1-5 physical damage with each hit.
    • Mana cost: 7

This skill was the default left click attack at the Blizzcon build, and it worked quite nicely. It was a melee+ spell, hitting anything up close with all 3 slashes, but extending the slashes far enough that targets out of melee range would be hit by one or perhaps two of the attacks. Each slash could also strike multiple targets, making this one potentially quite damaging against multiple, close-range enemies.



Spell Speed - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Ranks: 15
  • Description: Increases the speed of your magic missile projectiles.
    • Rank 1: Increases speed by 8%.
    • Rank 2: Increases speed by 16%.
    • Rank 3: Increases speed by 24%.



Damage Resistance - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Ranks: 15
  • Description: Increases armor and resistances.
    • Rank 1: Increases armor by X% and all resistances by Y%.
    • Rank 2: Increases armor by 10% and all resistances by 8%.
    • Rank 3: Increase armor by 15% and all resistances by 12%.

This seems like a tremendously powerful passive, if the increase per skill point remains constant.



Weapon Mastery - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Ranks: 15
  • Description: Increases physical damage done by all weapons by 15.

This skill is something of a mystery, since there's little else to indicate that the Wizard would be using weapons for damage. It is known that the Wizard's equipment will have some bearing on his spell damage, so perhaps some skills derive their damage from the weapon damage, and this skill would boost that damage?

Either that or it's a harbinger of more melee/weapon type skills, or just something the D3 team was playing around with in their character development.

This would've been useful in Diablo 2, what with all the "unique" builds, including the melee sorceress. The question is if that kind of diversity will exist in Diablo 3, or else this skill seems useless.


Tier II Skills[edit]

Stone Skin - Unchanged prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Active Skill
  • Rank: 0/1
  • Description: Shield yourself with rock and stone absorbing 30 damage.
  • Duration: 8 seconds
  • Mana cost: 12
  • Cooldown: 15 seconds

One of the many shielding skills, all of different types, the Wizard has at her possession.



Mirror Image - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009

Reinforcements!
  • Active Skill
  • Rank: 1
    • Description: Create an illusionary duplicate of yourself.
    • Duration: 8 seconds
    • Mana Cost: 18

This skill is seen in the Blizzcon cinematic, in which the Wizard creates 5 duplicates, all of which have a small white circle over their heads. They are not just decoys either; they join the combat, which makes this seem like a very interesting spell.



Duplicate Conjuring - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Increases the images from your mirror image skill and Hydras from your Hydra skill by 1.
  • Rank: 0/15

A number of the passives in D3 boost two or three other skills, but not every skill in the skill tree. It's an interesting way to add more variety and specialization to the game.



Conjured Armor - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Magical armor surrounds the wizard increasing block chance by 2%.
  • Rank: 0/15



Conjured Health - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Increases total health by 8% and the health of your conjured images by 12%.
  • Rank: 0/15



Duplicate Conjuring - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Increases the images from your mirror image skill and Hydras from your Hydra skill by 1.
  • Rank: 0/15

A number of the passives in D3 boost two or three other skills, but not every skill in the skill tree. It's an interesting way to add more variety and specialization to the game.

Tier III Skills[edit]

Explosive Blast - Unchanged prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Active Skill
  • Rank: 1/5
    • Description: A blast of energy explodes at the target causing 10-16 damage in a small radius.
    • Mana Cost: 5

Works something like a short range hand grenade; hitting for considerable damage, but only striking enemies in the immediate area.



Stone Skin - Unchanged prior to BlizzCon 2009

New Crystalined Stone Skin.
  • Active Skill
  • Rank: 1/5
    • Requires: 1 point(s) in
    • Description: Shield yourself with rock and stone, absorbing 75 damage. Lasts 8 seconds.
    • Mana Cost: 12
    • Cooldown: 19 seconds
  • Prerequisite of: Magic Weapon

One of the many shielding skills, all of different types, the Wizard has at her possession.


Tier IV Skills[edit]

Hydra - Unchanged prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Active Skill
  • Rank: 0/5
    • Description: Creates a hydra that attacks your enemies with bolts of fire. Hydra deals 6-10 damage per attack.
    • Mana Cost: 12



Intensify - Unchanged prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Rank: 0/5
    • Requires: 1 point(s) in Stability Control
    • Description: When you pick up a health globe, your critical hit chance increases by 2%.
    • Duration: 7 seconds

An interesting little bonus, one that would be kicking in all the time during the game. This one should actually be more useful in multiplayer games, since health globes would drop more often and be picked up more often. Watch some of the gameplay footage released this year, and see if you ever count 7 seconds between health globe drops?


Tier V skills[edit]

Magical Impact - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Rank: 0/5
    • Requires: 1 point(s) in Intensify.
    • Description: Increases critical hit damage by 10%.

Critical hits are a major component of damage dealt in Diablo 3. They’re not just for physical damage anymore, and critical hits of all types deal extra damage, as well as creating bonus magical effects. That said, some types seem like better bonuses than others, so certain builds of Wizards would probably benefit more from this spell than other builds.



Magic Weapon - Unchanged prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Active Skill
  • Rank: 0/5
    • Requires: 1 point(s) in Stone Skin.
    • Description: Imbue your weapon with magical energy granting it increased damage.
    • Damage: 25-35
    • Duration: 120 seconds
    • Mana Cost: 10

One of the odder Wizard skills, seemingly designed for a melee fighting Wizard. We don't know enough about weapon damage in general to have any idea if this is a big bonus or not. Nor do we know if this damage is boosted by attributes and +magical damage item modifiers. If so it's possible that some Wizard builds could deal very good weapon damage. On the other hand, there are enough limits on which classes can use which weapons that Wizards might be limited in their melee damage no matter what they tried.


Pre-BlizzCon 2009 Storm Tree[edit]

Tier 1 Skills[edit]

Charged Bolt - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009

Charged Bolts carpet the dungeon floor.
  • Active Skill
  • Description: Launch a volley of electric bolts. Critical hits from lightning damage stun targets for 2 sec.
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Rank 1: 3 bolts. Each deals 1-8 damage.
  • Mana cost 8

When tested in the BlizzCon 2008 build, the bolts seemed to come out with a wider spread than they do in Diablo II. They were useful to hit monsters to the sides as well as straight ahead, but were not as good to land multiple hits to a target straight ahead, either very close or a few yards distant. They did not travel very far, and not at all in a wave ahead of the Wizard.

See more screenshots of Charged Bolt in the Image Gallery.



Thunderstruck - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Increases the critical hit chance of all lightning spells by X%. Critical hits from lightning damage stun targets for 2 seconds.
  • Max Rank: 15
    • Rank 1: Increases critical hit chance of all lightning spells by 5%.
    • Rank 2: Increases critical hit chance of all lightning spells by 10%.
    • Rank 3: Increases critical hit chance of all lightning spells by 15%.

The spells did not display their critical hit % chance in the BlizzCon build, but it's assumed that they will in the final game. It's not known what else will raise critical hit chance; Clvl? Attributes? Equipment bonuses? They seem very likely to occur on items, as part of the D3 Team's effort to provide a variety of valuable mods on weapons for non-combat characters.



Empowered Magic - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Increases the effect of willpower on your spell damage by X%.
  • Max Rank: 15
    • Rank 1: Increases the effect of willpower on your spell damage by 10%.
    • Rank 2: Increases the effect of willpower on your spell damage by 20%.
    • Rank 3: Increases the effect of willpower on your spell damage by 30%.

One of the design goals in Diablo III is to make all of the attributes useful to each character class. As this skill makes clear, Willpower will factor in on the Wizard's spell damage.



Lightning Speed - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Increases casting speed by 3%
  • Rank: 0/15

It's not clear if this skill increases the casting speed for all spells cast by the Wizard, or just ones from this tree. From the wording, it sounds like it affects all of the character's spells, so it seems that most Wizards will put some points into this one, whichever tree they specialize in.

Nothing is yet known about how useful or common spell casting speed boosts will be from items.


Tier II Skills[edit]

Storm Armor - Unchanged prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Active Skill
  • Description: Surround yourself in electrical energy. Electrical bolts are automatically fired at attackers.
  • Max Rank: 1
    • Rank 1: Electrical bolts deal 1-8 damage.
  • Mana cost: 15

This skill does not seem to offer any protection; just a sort of passive offensive attack. It's not known how long it persists for, or how much the damage will scale up. It's quite similar to the thunderstorm skill from Diablo 2.



Frost Nova - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009

Skill icon.
  • Active Skill
  • Description: An explosion of ice pelts nearby enemies. Projectiles have an additional 25% chance of a critical hit. Critical hits from cold damage freeze targets.
  • Max Rank: 1
    • Rank 1: 1-3 damage, 25% chance of critical hit.
  • Mana cost: 25
  • Cool down: 12 seconds

The long cool down on this skill indicates that the D3 Team means it to be used as a sort of "panic button," rather than a killing attack. The boosted % of critical chance is more about potentially freezing enemies than killing them with a lovely explosion of ice. Storm Power and Lethal Energy will both add to this skill's lethality by adding to its critical strike chance and damage.

See more screenshots of Frost Nova in the image gallery.

Chill out!



Deep Freeze - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Increases the critical hit chance of all cold spells. Critical hits from cold damage freeze targets.
  • Max Rank: 15
  • Rank 1: Cold spell critical hit damage increased by 5%.

Rather than giving the Wizard a Glacial Spike-like instant freeze spell, the D3 team seems to be granting that possibility with critical hits on a variety of non-freezing cold spells.



Power Armor - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Increases the damage dealt by your Storm Armor charged bolts.
  • Max Rank: 15
    • Rank 1: Increases damage by 10%.



Static Charge - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Converts a percentage of all damage taken into mana.
  • Max Rank: 15
    • Rank 1: Convert 5% of all damage taken into mana.

An interesting variation on Mana Shield; this sounds like it's only of use to add mana, without any protective properties.


Tier III Skills[edit]

Electrocute - Unchanged prior to BlizzCon 2009

Electrocute chaining some skeletons.
  • Active Skill
  • Description: Lightning arcs from the wizard’s fingertips towards enemies, electrocuting up to two targets. Critical hits from lightning damage stun targets for 2 sec.
  • Rank 1: Deals 4-5 damage to up to 2 targets. Lightning critical hits stun for 2 seconds.
  • Mana cost: 8

This spell works like beam weapons in most FPS games, locking onto a target and bending to keep it in the lightning zone even as the enemy moves around. It can chain to a second target, and during the BlizzCon 2008 demonstration, this spell was seen upgraded with a Hydra Rune (named Multistrike before), enabling it to strike additional targets at once. A Viper Rune (named Lethality Rune before) was also shown in conjunction with Electrocute, which caused some enemies to explode in an electric Nova upon death, dealing damage to nearby monsters. This is the same sort of death monsters suffer when they perish from a lightning critical hit.

See more screenshots of Electrocute in the Image Gallery.



Ray of Frost - Unchanged prior to BlizzCon 2009

Ray of Frost
  • Active Skill
  • Description: Project a beam of cold energy. Critical hits from cold damage freeze targets.
  • Max Rank: 1
    • Rank 1: Deals 6 cold damage/second.
  • Mana cost: 16 mana per sec.

This spell is a sort of cold inferno, reminiscent of the Druid's Arctic Blast skill from Diablo 2. It deals relatively weak damage, but has the chilling effect of all cold skills, and is therefore useful for slowing down nearby attackers.

See more screenshots of Ray of Frost in the image gallery.



Static Residue - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Enemies damaged by your lightning spells discharge additional lightning damage to nearby enemies for 3 seconds.
  • Max Rank: 15
    • Rank 1: Targets discharge 1-3 lightning damage per second to nearby enemies. Lasts for 3 seconds.

An add-on passive, this one does nothing by itself, but adds lightning damage that hits everything nearby, when any other lightning skill is used. With deaths from lightning critical hits and various multi-target lightning skills, the strength of that element in attack seems likely to be the ability to hit many things at once.



Lethal Energy - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Increases the chance to score critical hits with melee and spell attacks.
  • Rank: 0/15
    • Rank 1: Increases critical hit chance 5%.

As with other skills in the Wizard's tree (and those of the other characters), boosting Critical Hits is a very powerful technique in D3.



Improved Charged Bolt - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Increase the number of bolts released by your charged bolt spell.
  • Max Rank: 15
    • Rank 1: Increases the number of bolts by 1.

This one was not seen at Blizzcon 2008, but it sounds like an interesting upgrade. Keep in mind that lightning critical hits stun enemies in D3, so imagine how effective this spell could be with a high level of critical adding damage and stunning the monsters as they bathe in the river of Charged Bolts flowing out from the Wizard.

Tier IV Skills[edit]

Tornado - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009

We're not in Kansas anymore...
  • Active Skill
  • Description: Summon a large tornado that damages everything in its path.
  • Max Rank: 1
  • Mana cost: 15

Akin to the Druid's Twister skill from Diablo II, these tornadoes are formed from pure energy. In the gameplay trailer released at BlizzCon 2008, multiple tornadoes are cast one after another, each lasting for close to 5 seconds. Their path is semi-random, and they bounce off of enemies, heading in another direction when they hit once, instead of passing over targets and dealing multiple hits, as do the Druid's tornadoes in D2.

As in DII with the Druid, the best use of the tornadoes will likely be multiple, concentrated casts in a small area packed with enemies, to ensure the most damage in the shortest period of time. Higher levels of the skill may increase their size or may simply increase raw damage. Epic Storm will increase the number of simultaneous tornadoes you can cast, and Lethal Energy will increase the chance to score critical strikes.

It's not clear what type of damage a tornado deals, so what bonuses the critical hits would deal is not known.



Blizzard - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Active Skill
  • Description: Call down shards of ice to pelt an area dealing X damage per second. Critical hits from cold damage freezes targets.
  • Max Rank: 1
    • Rank 1: Deals 6-10 cold damage per second. Lasts 3 seconds.
  • Mana cost: 70

The spell that had to be in the game, this one is visually improved in D3. There is now a cloud shown above the enemies, from which large chunks of ice crash down to earth.



Storm Power - Changed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Increase damage of all lightning and ice spells.
  • Max Rank: 15



Epic Storms - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Increases size of Blizzard and number of twisters you can have for your energy twister.
  • Max Rank: 15

An interesting mastery skill, this one boosts two different spells (but not everything in the tree), though by now much remains to be seen.



Shattering Ice - Removed prior to BlizzCon 2009

  • Passive Skill
  • Description: Enemies take 2 extra points of damage while frozen.
  • Max Rank: 15