Magic Missile (BlizzCon 2008)

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Magic Missile is a Tier 1 skill from the Wizard's Arcane skill tree, invoking a bolt of arcane magic thrown against an opponent.

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Magic Missile (BlizzCon 2008) is an archived article about material previously included in Diablo 3. However, it has currently been removed or the article contains outdated facts. The information is stored in Diablo Wiki for posterity. Please note: Links in this article lead to both updated and archived material.

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Diablo III Skill [e]
Magic Missile

Active, 1 ranks

Used by: Wizard
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.
Skill Details:
Type: Damage
Quantity: None
Effect: Bolt
School: Arcane
Mana cost: 8
Cast time: Instant
Duration: 4 sec
Cooldown: Unknown
Synergies: Arcane Damage, Arcane Distortion, Arcane Speed, Arcane Weakness, Efficient Magics, Improved Magic Missile, Mana Burst, Penetrating Spells
Requires: N/A
Prereq of: N/A

The Magic Missile is a bolt-type spell much like the classical Firebolt but using Arcane energies instead of Elemental damage like Fire.

Skill Design

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 D2 Necromancer's Teeth. When an enemy dies at the hands of an Arcane spell, a purple glow is left on the corpses.

Hands on Report

Flux offered a detailed description of the utility of Magic Missile in his BlizzCon Wizard report.

Magic Missile is basically a Firebolt that deals Arcane Damage. Using this skill fires a small purple projectile that moves across the screen in a straight line and at a fairly fast pace, and it can be cast repeatedly without any cool down time. It deals 7-15 damage, which seems like a lot compared to Spectral Blade’s 1-5, but not when you realize that Spectral can hit up to 3 times, that it costs 1 less mana, that it’s very unlikely to miss entirely, that it can hit multiple targets at once, and that it’s got a slower casting rate, thus making it less mana expensive, whether you like it or not.
Magic Missile impact on Zombie.
At low levels against basic monsters, MM is just a simple projectile. It’s got some interesting properties later on though, since each point you place in the Tier 3 skill Improved Magic Missile adds 1 to the number of missiles fired, and increases the damage of each by 8%. (You can also add to the number of shots, their damage, and more, with Skill Runes.) Improved Magic Missile was too high level to be used at BlizzCon, but Wizards have been seen firing multiple Magic Missiles in screenshots and gameplay movies, and the projectiles seem to be aimed like Multishot, or the Necromancer's Teeth; they spread out more or less, depending on how far away from your character you aim when you click them. Furthermore, it looks like multiple Magic Missiles can hit a single target, which could keep this one useful even late in the game, if fired at point blank range.
A last property of Magic Missile comes from its damage type. Arcane is a new type of damage in D3, and critical hits scored with Arcane Damage "silence" monsters for 4 seconds. This property hasn't been explained yet, but the consensus is that a silenced monster will be unable to use some of its spells, such as Skeletal Mages losing the ability to resurrect their slain minions.

Skill Rank Table

  • 1 Missile, 7-13 arcane damage, 8 mana


Corpses made from Magic Missile glows eerily.

Skill Rune Effects

  • Hydra rune increases the number of missiles fired with each use of the skill.


Magic Missile was first shown at BlizzCon 2008 in Anaheim as one of the first skills for the Wizard. It was designed as a base level ranged skill. This was the only information originally available about the skill:

  • 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

At BlizzCon 2009 visitors again got a chance to try it out, but with a slight nerf, down to 3-5 damage ad a slightly lower mana cost. You can see the new version here.

Double missiles.


In Diablo III, Blizzard seems to have gone back to games like Dungeons & Dragons for inspiration. A spell called Magic Missile is a staple low-to-mid level magic bolt in the traditional pen & paper RPG. The Magic Missile also increases number of missiles, as does the original. Wikipedia describes D&D Magic Missile like this: [1]

A bolt of pure energy from the caster's fingertips, which in most editions of the game never misses its target unless prevented by magical means. The number of bolts one can cast increases with practice.


You can find pictures in the Diablo 3 screenshot and picture gallery:

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