Disclaimer: This thread has not been updated for 2.1 yet. First of all because I'm not playing wizard anymore (I might come back at some point, and update the thread then), but more importantly the wizard right now is a one-way street in endgame. The gearing advice in this thread might still be viable to players who do not seek for the absolute endgame cookie cutter spec. For a thread that explains almost everything about the Firebird wizard in 2.1, check Jaetch's Fire Wizard 101.
Déjà-vu anyone? Yes! This is nothing but a remake of my old D3V Wizard Gear Guide. I was hesitant to make this at first, but when I wrote this post I figured that we have actually come to a point in RoS where we can make general gear statements, and therefore it's time to remake my guide. Maybe it helps one or two people. I will try to keep this updated from time to time, especially when major patches hit, so please make this a community effort - reply when you think something is missing or wrong.
In this guide, I will first explain some of the basic terms and abbreviations that will be used later, introduce some of the main builds and summarize some of the main points to consider when gearing up by categorizing stats into different types. The main part consists of a list of all useful items (which will of course be growing as it's difficult to make such a list ever "complete") and explains for each item why and in which situations it will be helpful for your wizard. For those who prefer a TL;DR I've added a picture of preferred affixes per slot. There's also a section about paragon point distribution, "getting started" to let you know what to do next to improve your wizard, a short word on followers, and a list of useful links in the end.
I'm also well aware that much of this guide might change with 2.1 - but that patch is still far away, and I will just update it for 2.1. For some items I'll foreshadow 2.1, but since all of that is subject to change and we know as much about 2.1 as Jon Snow (i.e., nothing) it is too early to draw any final, comprehensive conclusion.
There are many terms and abbreviations that have developed in the past. For a full list please check Jaetch's D3 Urban Dictionary. I'll just try to cover most of the terms that will be used in this guide.
CHC – Critical hit chance (sometimes CC, but could be confused with crowd control)
CHD – Critical hit damage (sometimes CD, but could be confused with cooldown reduction)
CC - Crowd control
CDR - Cooldown reduction
RCR - Resource cost reduction
IAS – Increased attack speed
APS – Attacks per second (displayed in detailed character screen)
AP - Arcane Power, the wizard resource that we turn into damage spells
APoC – Arcane Power on Crit
AR/Allres – "All resistance" (resistance to all elements)
MS – Movement speed
MF – Magic find
GF – Gold find
LS – Life steal
LoH – Life on hit
LaK – Life after each kill
DPS – Damage per second (displayed in character screen)
BiS – Best in slot item
XP – Experience points
HP – Health points
BoA - Binds on Account (i.e., non-tradable items)
T# - Refers to Torment difficulty setting, e.g., T6 = Torment 6 difficulty
WoW - The Wand of Woh, a very powerful endgame weapon
RoRG - The Royal Ring of Grandeur, a very powerful ring
SoJ - Stone of Jordan, another very powerful ring
AT - The wizard spell Arcane Torrent
EB - The wizard spell Explosive Blast
D3V - Diablo 3 Vanilla, refers to Diablo 3 before Reaper of Souls
It is a bit more difficult to define the endgame builds right now as compared to D3V. There are a few dominating builds, but we see lots of variants of those - especially due to the fact that the "cookie cutter build" for your character very much depends on the gear you have.
Probably the most popular build is Chainpocalypse, using Explosive Blast as main damage spell. However, it also the one that is most difficult to realize because of the elusive Wand of Woh. If you get this item consider yourself very lucky and make sure to give this build a try! The main knowledge repository for this build is Melkor's thread on the official forums.
The other very popular spec is based on Archon; it requires the Vyr's set and is oftentimes combined with the Tal's set as well. Since 2.0.5 Archon automatically turns into the damage type of which you have the highest elemental damage bonus, so it is in theory viable to create an Archon build for each of the four wizard elements. The popular ones right now (2.0.6) are fire and arcane, though.
The third very common build revolves around a signature spell: Magic Missile. It requires one specific item though: The Mirrorball. Note that it can roll with 1 or 2 additional missiles; 2 is better but even a Mirrorball with +1 missile can make the build work.
There are other interesting builds, for example based on Arcane Torrent, Ray of Frost, Arcane Orb (usually with "Frozen Orb" rune), or Meteor (in particular with the "Lightning Bind" rune). It is also very common to see combinations of all those builds; you can even combine the top three builds and run all three spells - Archon, Explosive Blast, and Magic Missile - to take full advantage of all those items if you're lucky enough to have all of them.
However, in the end the most important thing is that your items define your build! You can try to get a specific item through Kadala in return for your Blood Shards, in particular the Vyr set is a realistic goal to complete through gambling and to gain access to this endgame build. However, select the build based on what gear you have and which spells you like. Jaetch made a very nice guide about how to create a build - if you do not have a specific build in mind right now stop reading right here and read his guide first.
Diablo 3 has many different affixes on items. I'll loosely categorize them into four different categories: offensive, defensive, life recovery, and utility. These should be self-explanatory: offensive stats help to increase your pew-pew, defensive stats protect yourself against pew-pew, life recovery helps to clean up the mess if your pew-pew protection wasn't good enough, and utility... well, they're like the cousin you don't care about, who keeps eating all the cookies on your birthday party, but you hold on to him because he might be useful one day.
Intelligence (int) is your main stat. For every wizard build it is very important and you want to get as much as possible. You want this stat on every single item - with one exception: sometimes it might be an option to skip this on jewelry. However, this is only for absolute endgame players who are min/maxing every single stat on every item - and those people know everything about gearing. Unless you have reached that level of ultimate wizard wisdom and you have several stashes full of perfect wizard gear, do not equip any item that has no int on it. Also keep in mind that int is a defensive stat as well: 10 int provide you with 1 AR; endgame wizards usually have about 9000 int, which translates to 900 AR!
Critical hit chance (CHC) and critical hit damage (CHD) are again very important for all builds. CHC not only contributes to damage, but in case you decide to run with APoC on your helmet and/or orb it will generate Arcane Power and therefore further increase your damage. Note that a perfect balance of CHC and CHD is roughly 1:10, therefore try to keep it balance. CHC is a must-have stat on helmet, bracers, and orb; similarly, an emerald in your weapon's socket is an absolut must. Furthermore, three types of items can roll both CHC and CHD: gloves, amulets, and rings. In a perfect world you want to get both, but it's not often possible, therefore the rule of thumb is: CHC > CHD on gloves and CHD > CHC on amulet and rings. (The maximum CHC, including paragon points and excluding the 2% on Vyr's chest, is 64% - maximum CHD is 530%; even if you switch to a staff in 2.1 for some reason the maximum CHC is still 54% and therefore still exceeds the 1:10 ratio. Therefore, do yourself a favor and prioritize CHD over CHC on rings for int classes, always.)
Elemental skill bonus increases, as the term says, all damage dealt by your skills (of that elemental skill type). Stacking this bonus is absolutely important, therefore it's a must-have on bracers and amulets. It also rolls on many slots for legendary items - more on that in the list down below. Elemental skill bonus are simply added; so two items of 20% increased fire damage increase your fire damage by 40%. Note that there's a sanity limit though - if you already have 100% increased elemental skill damage, adding another item with 20% will only increase your damage by 10%, therefore don't sacrifice too much to get this. Example: A Magic Missile deals 1 million damage; with 100% increased fire damage it deals 2 million damage, add another item with 20% to it and the damage is 2.2 million, thus just a 10% increase. Too complicated? Don't despair, you can see your elemental DPS under "details" on your character screen, at the end of the first (offense) section. Note that most item effects (e.g., Thunderfury's lightning damage proc) do not benefit from elemental damage bonus. This seems to be a bug and might get fixed. For a list of which items do and which don't benefit, see this thread.
Skill damage bonus works exactly the same as the elemental skill damage bonus - but obviously only for one skill. Signature spells (AP generators) roll on belt and pants; main damage spells (AP spenders) roll on helmet and boots; all damage spells that are considered to be utility/support roll on shoulders and chest. Orb can roll all those skills combined, so for any of those spells the maximum bonus is 45%. Getting the right skill damage bonus on an item is very difficult as it's not top priority and locks an item to a specific spec. Nevertheless, try to keep an eye out for such bonuses, especially on boots and orb. The following table highlights which spells can roll on which slots:
Elite damage bonus is a very useful stat for endgame wizards. It naturally only rolls on weapons and orbs but is not very desirable there as it is too low (up to 8%) compared to other stats; similarly, a diamond in your weapon is a clear loser to an emerald. However, elite damage is the reason why three particular items are endgame material: The Sun Keeper, Unity, and Stone of Jordan. More on that later.
Improved attack speed (IAS) gives a nice damage boost, but is not as important as in D3V anymore. If you use channelling spells (Arcane Torrent, Disintegrate, Ray of Frost) you might want to keep your IAS low - it increases your damage, but also increases your resource cost consumption. Endgame wizards usually don't have too much IAS; if you don't need cooldown reduction on gloves it's the fourth priority stat, and it comes naturally on The Witching Hour, The Royal Ring of Grandeur, and many amulets. The only reason to stack up lots of IAS is if you are relying on procs, for example, with a frost or lightning build and high proc coefficient spells.
Cooldown reduction (CDR) is a very important stat if you use Explosive Blast (with the Wand of Woh) or Archon (with the Vyr's set), and can be useful for many other spells that have a cooldown. Depending on how important the cooldown spells are for your build, you want it in a helmet's socket (up to 12.5% with a Flawless Royal Diamond), shoulders, gloves, and orb (up to 8% each). If your main damage spell is Archon or Explosive blast, it is also worth considering to get CDR on your weapon (up to 10%) and rings (up to 8%). There are only few cases where you'd want to get CDR on an amulet (up to 8%), but I will mention it here just for the sake of completeness. Last but not least, there are two sets that yield 10% CDR: Born's Command and Captain Crimson's Waders. They are especially great for starters, in particular if you don't have many of the class set items or endgame legendaries yet.
CDR suffers from diminishing returns, the formula is like this: 1-(1-cdr1)*(1-cdr2)*(1-cdr3) and so on. If you have 8% CDR from paragon, 20% CDR from skills, and 6% CDR from an item, your entire CDR is not 34% but 1-(1-0.08)*(1-0.2)*(1-0.06) = 1-0.69184 = 0.30816 (or 30.816%). However, note that this doesn't mean higher CDR is useless - quite the contrary, it is desirable to get to 50% for some builds. The maximum possible CDR for a wizard right now is 72.15% (with patch 2.1 this is going to be 74.378% as the Vigilante Belt will roll CDR as well). Check out this great website to calculate your cooldown reduction or see what the maxmimum amount is.
Resource cost reduction (RCR) is another affix that can make certain builds work; it is especially useful for builds with channelling spells (Arcane Torrent, Disintegrate, Ray of Frost). It can roll on the same slots as CDR and the same rules apply in terms of calculation. There is already a legendary belt that can roll RCR, the Sash of Knives. Usually, most wizards don't stack as much RCR as anyone would stack CDR, so don't sacrifice too many stats for it.
Average damage comes on weapon, orb, and jewelry. Obviously we want those values to be as high as possible on weapons and orb. On amulets and rings the average damage roll is a stat that is usually subpar to any of the other damage affixes - it doesn't hurt if you can't re-roll it, but in the end you want to change it to be something else.
Area damage is an affix that is not really used by many wizards right now. It's not because it's bad - but simply because other affixes are better. Maybe it will be improved in the future, but right now it seems like you don't want to keep this (or even re-roll this) on any item.
Resistance to all elements (AR) is one of the most important stats. Luckily, we get a huge chunk of it through intelligence, and up to 250 through paragon. In RoS we don't get AR on as many slots as we used to do in D3V: it is a must-have on shoulders, belt, pants, and boots, and an optional stat on bracers - that's it. The key is maximizing it through buffs, paragon, getting high values on all the aforementioned items, getting max topaz gems in all armor slots, and stacking some single resistances on secondaries.
Armor is a stat that is heavily underrated by many wizards. There are two different rolls: the lower armor roll (up to 397) and the higher armor roll (up to 595). The latter can be found on chest, pants, helmet, and amulet, and is an absolute must on the first two (on helmet and amulet we want other stats). The lower armor roll is desirable on shoulders, belt, and boots if possible. Just like AR, it is an option on bracers.
A common topic is the "armor-AR 10-1 ratio". What does this mean? Essentially, this rule of thumb says that 1 AR is worth about 10 armor. However, this is only true if you are already at a 10:1 ratio, e.g., if your wizard has 4000 armor and 400 AR. This is usually not the case, because we get AR through int and AR comes in as much as 80 on a single slot, while we try to avoid strength (which gives 1 armor per 1 strength) and armor can't roll higher than 595 (chest, pants, helm, amulet) or 397 (other slots). Therefore, wizards have a natural imbalance of AR and armor. Try to get some armor and not go AR only – both ways of damage reduction work multiplicatively and it's inefficient to boost one to infinity while neglecting the other stat. In order to find out which stat is better for your, you can use this quick mitigation calculator.
Vitality is obviously another important stat. Each point in vitality awards you 80 HP, and your goal should be about 250k-350k HP. This is very subjective – some people prefer to have much more (although it's highly advised to not go over 500k), while some people manage to get along with much less (e.g., 200k). See what works for you, but aiming at around 300k seems to be a good idea. To give you an idea, if you get max vitality in helmet (750), orb (750), boots (500), and pants (500) you're already at 252k. Keep in mind that you can always tweak your life with paragon points in vitality or amethysts in armor sockets.
Life % is another way of raising your HP, however, it's only useful if you have already a considerably amount of HP. Since it is very advisable to not stack your HP too high, life% is in general considered to be almost useless. Never sacrifice any other affix for it. Wizards don't want life%, period. To read more about the mistake of hoarding too much life read this thread on the official forums (a developer even stopped by to agree on that matter, so I'm not making that up).
Elite/ranged/melee reduction offer another great way of improving your defense. Elite damage reduction rolls on chests, and it is not a bad idea to get this (after 3 sockets, int, and a 500+ armor roll). Melee and ranged damage reduction roll on bracers, chest, and amulet as secondaries and it is worth to keep an eye on them; in endgame it's all about perfecting your secondaries. Since melee damage is probably the more frequent (and more dangerous) type of damage, the String of Ears is a great item to consider. Note that many elite affixes that are considered melee or ranged currently can't be mitigated by that stat; for a comprehensive list check out this thread.
Since the removal of life steal (which doesn't work anymore at level 70) there are other, new measures of recovering life. Two things are important to consider: 1) Your best way to survive is not to recover as much life as possible but to avoid losing too much. Improve your mitigation as much as possible. 2) As of now, none of the primary affixes on any endgame wizard's equipment contributes to life recovery. This might change with patch 2.1 when life on hit and life regeneration are getting buffed - retroactively! That means, if you find an item with such a stat it might be worth considering to keep it, unless you desperately need it right now. The amount of life on hit or life regeneration on this item will be about tripled (!) when patch 2.1 hits the live servers. I'll go over those really quick, because there's not too much to say:
Life regeneration is the #1 priority on your "defense" tab for paragon points because it gets really high (over 8000 at paragon level 200) but not worth getting on gear, since it occupies a primary stat.
Life on hit (LoH) is a good way to recover life, but 1) it's enough to get it through paragon and 2) it's only worth to be considered on an item if you're using a high proc coefficient spell.
Life steal (LS) doesn't work anymore at level 70.
Life after kill (LaK) sounds nice and is only a secondary affix, but the value is not high enough to make it a high priority. On chest and amulet (melee/damage reduction) as well as rings (health globe bonus/CC reduction) other stats are better. It's only worthwhile on pants and weapon.
Extra health from health globes is the most useful health recovery affix right now. It's the most desirable secondary affix on shoulders, boots, orb, and rings, and an alternative to melee/ranged damage reduction on chest and amulet.
Movement speed (MS) is something we don't want on gear in endgame. WHAT? You might ask if you stopped playing in D3V. Well, once you are paragon level 200 you can get the maximum 25% MS from your first paragon tab. Everything you get through paragon you don't need to get on gear: 50 paragon points in MS save you two primary slots (2x 12% MS) on gear (technically even a bit more). All you sacrifice for that are 250 int - which is half a primary stat (or even one third for some slots). As soon as you are above paragon ~150 get rid of movement speed on gear if possible. Many items come with movement speed as fixed roll now - which will thankfully be removed in patch 2.1, stay tuned.
Crowd control (CC) reduction is a secondary stat on helmet and jewelry. It rolls up to 40% and although it's calculated multiplicatively it's awesome - you totally want this on 2-3 of these items if possible! With 3 items of 35% CC reduction each, you get 1-(1-0.35)(1-0.35)(1-0.35) = 1-(0.65)^3 = 1-0.275 = 0.745% CC reduction. It means that frozen, jailer, and all similar effects only last for one fourth of their initial time - which renders most of them harmless!
Pickup radius got nerfed to roll only 1-2 yard radius. It is not worth it and although it doesn't hurt to get some, it's totally underwhelming right now.
Arcane power on crit (APoC) also got nerfed to roll only 3-4 and only on orb and helmet. Especially on helmet there are too many other affixes that are too important to give up (int, CHC, vitality/skill damage/socket). It is an option for some builds, especially if you don't need CDR (and can give up the socket on helmet and CDR on orb), such as with channelling spells. But most builds get by without any APoC these days.
Sockets – on weapon (1 socket), pants (2 sockets), and chest (3 sockets) they are absolutely mandatory. On helmet you only want a socket if you need CDR. On an orb a socket can be a placeholder but ultimately other stats are more important (int, vit, CHC, skill damage). Since it is difficult to re-roll orbs, however, it's okay to keep it sometimes if the re-roll costs get too high. Two things to keep in mind for patch 2.1: There will be a new item, Ramaladni's Gift, that allows to add a socket to a weapon. Therefore, sockets on a weapon switch from becoming the most desirable to the least desirable affix. If you have a weapon that you haven't enchanted yet, wait until 2.1 - you might regret re-rolling it later on! Second, sockets will be added to jewelry, and new legendary gems will drop in Greater Rifts.
Bonus experience is not very useful. Not from the secondary affix, not from a ruby in helmet (41%), and not from the legendary items like Hellfire Ring (45%). The reason simply being that the bonus XP one gets on higher levels, especially in groups, is so high that the relative increase of XP by those items is not worth the loss of other stats (see XP calculator). There are exceptions - especially if you play sub-Torment, bonus experience might be an option - but in endgame it is absolutely useless.
Magic find (MF)/gold find (GF) are not important and should not be prioritized too high. Magic find only applies to legendary items with 10% of its value; so a perfect Nagelring with 50% will only yield 5% higher legendary drop rate. Feel free to wear it until you find something else, but don't go crazy on MF. Goldfind, on the other hand, can be very useful as it recently got changed to be multiplicative; a Goldskin helps a lot to simply double all your gold income and Goldwrap offers a considerable toughness boost if your killspeed is high enough. Don't hunt for GF items specifically - but if you are low on gold you might decide to keep it on some items as secondary affix.
Chance to freeze is a secondary stat that can roll on weapon, orb (up to 2.6%) and belt (up to 5.1%). It is not a bad idea to look out for that stat, especially if you ever consider to go for a cold build!
For each slot, I'll list the items to consider, why they're good and in which situations it might be good to aim for them. Those who know the old D3V guide know my style - I like to point out not only why the item is good and what it's good for, but also what the drawbacks are (if any). The difference to my D3V guide is that there are so many sets right now and there will be lots of redundancy - therefore I'll keep it shorter.
Note that there are maaaaaany set items for almost every slot; I just copy/paste the description - which of those items you use to get the set bonuses is totally up to you! There are simply too many variations to go into detail for each of them. Keep in mind that the most important item in order to acquire as many set items as possible is the Ring of Royal Grandeur. No matter how many bounties you have to do in act 1 to get one - some people had to do as many as 1500 to finally get there - it's totally worth it and opens up dozens of different combination of gearing.
There is also no ranking for any slot - the items are just put there in arbitrary order. There is no "BiS ranking" of items since there are quite a few builds; and even for one specific builds players might argue about which sets to combine. Therefore: embrace the options and pick a gear set of your liking!
With Reaper of Souls there is a new way of distributing stats: paragon points. While paragon points are not absolutely mandatory to be successful (as opposed to the high magic find buff from paragon in D3V), having a high level of paragon makes a huge difference. You have 13 slots on gear with 4 primary stats each, which means there are about 52 primary stats you can get from gear. A level 600 paragon player will have 25% MS, 500 int, 10% CDR, 10% CHC, 50% CHD, 250 all resist, 10% RCR, and 50% area damage from paragon - which equates to about 10-11 additional affixes! And we are not even taking into consideration the 25% armor bonus, over 8250 life regeneration, and 4126 LoH. Therefore: try to get as high paragon as possible. 200 should be your minimum goal!
On the core tab, the first 25% go into MS. The exception is if we can't get any better stat on an item (e.g., Blackthorne's Spurs always roll with life regeneration and MS, so we will keep the MS). After that, ask yourself: are you using a resource-heavy spell, in particular a channelling spell? If yes, maximize Arcane Power. Otherwise, every point goes into intelligence unless we are starving for HP (less than 200k). Here, the paragon points allows us to balance missing points on gear.
For offense, the first question is if we use a cooldown spell as a major skill in our build (Archon or Explosive Blast). If yes: maximize CDR first. If no: whatever gives most DPS. Usually it's CHD > IAS > CHC (if we don't need CDR, otherwise CDR is number 1).
Defense is very simple: fill it up from bottom to top. Done. Start with life regeneration, after that resist all, and then armor. Life %, as usual, is the most useless stats for us.
The utility tab again depends on our spec: do we need RCR, yes or no? If yes, maximize RCR first; if no, go for LoH (and RCR second). Area damage is almost always only the third option, and gold find is for those that are going towards paragon 800 (if you need gold, equip Goldskin - don't waste your points here).
Too much text? Not interested in all the details? You have the items and just want to know the stats? Well, then this is what you might be looking for: a (relatively) simple cheat sheet that tells you which affixes on which slots you want.
"So..., thanks for all the info, but where should I start?" If you are a bit overwhelmed by all the info and don't know where to start, I'll try to outline what (I think) is the quickest way to get into "wizard endgame", i.e., have a decent enough gear to try out several builds and play on Torment level difficulty. Note that these are only my subjective recommendations - this is not the only way to do this, and over all those activities your primary motivation should always be FUN. Do whatever you like to do - don't force yourself into anything you don't like, just because "maybe it will make my wizard better if I do 10 hours of this". In the end you'll get bored after a few hours, stop playing, and never get anywhere!
The first thing you should do are bounties. Specifically act 1 bounties. There are two reasons why:
Bounties will yield Rift Keystone Fragments that allow you to play Nephalem Rifts. You will get 1 fragment for each bounty - except for the first one. If you play in group, you will only get the fragment if you are in the specific area while the bounty is completed.
If you complete all bounties in one act, and talk to Tyrael in town afterwards, he will award you a Horadric Cache. The cache contains a few of items, crafting materials, 2 Rift Keystone Fragments, Blood Shards, and has the potential to drop special legendary items: items that you can only obtain from those bounty caches. The The Royal Ring of Grandeur is one of these items and the main reason why you should do bounties. Never stop doing bounties (at least from time to time) until you have this ring!
There are other "bounty only legendaries", you can find a full list here. The legendaries from act 1 are by far the most important ones; act 4 can drop legendaries from all other four acts as well - you might add this to your bounty hunt, but if you really desperately need the ring I recommend staying on act 1 only.
Bounty caches roll when you open them - this means you can farm them on any character and open them on your wizard to get intelligence items (although you can get unlucky and still roll, for example, a strength ring). The cache loot is subject to the game's difficulty, however, it is still by far the fastest way to get as many caches and fragments by doing bounties on Normal difficulty - and in groups. There are in-game communities you can join to find other people to run with - just search for some keywords like "bounties" and you'll find them, or ask in any clan/community/general chat for "LFG act 1 normal bounties".
Since you can pretty much one-shot everything on Normal this requires almost no gear, but a build that is focused on running really fast. Here's one build that does accomplish that (just one of many variations, pick whatever damage spells you like). Important: pick up as much as you can when doing bounties and salvage everything - you will need all materials you can get! See next section.
The Aughild's set is by far the most important one as it is worn by almost all classes and specs even in endgame (on fully geared Torment 6 characters). It is never wrong to craft any of those set items (specifically shoulders; they are simply "best in slot" as of now). Some people wear Captain Crimson's and Born's for quite a while for Archon builds due to their high CDR. Asheara's and Cain's are good starter sets but will definitely be replaced as you find more loot.
If you have no The Royal Ring of Grandeur but all sets, I suggest to craft helmet, bracers, and chest of Aughild's, and all four items of the Asheara's set. They complement each other best. If you have the ring, you could craft Aughild's bracers and helmet, Born's chest and weapon, Captain Crimson's belt and pants, and Asheara's gloves, boots, and shoulders. That way you get all set bonuses of four sets! If you get decent rolls on those items, simply crafting them might enable you to jump right into Torment 2/3 (or even higher, depending on rolls on gear, gems, and jewelry)!
As for your off-hand, the Cosmic Strand is a very decent starter orb. You see, crafting can get you fully decked out with legendary armor right from the start - you only need to make sure you pick up as much crafting materials along the way as possible. Crafting all those items and re-rolling them into useful stats might cost you anywhere between 2k and 5k of each material, so start stockpiling them now!
You should only craft rings and amulets though if you really have nothing (not even yellow) for those slots at all, and if you can spare the gems (upgrading gems for your gear is way too important in the beginning). If you decide to craft rare rings and amulets, set yourself a fixed limit and absolutely do not go over it. I suggest to not craft more than 10 rings and 10 amulets unless you have close to (or more than) a thousand Marquise gems of all types. You need lots of gems for your gear, but also upgrading legendary rings and amulets!
We haven't talked about gems yet, so let's do this real quick:
In a weapon, use an emerald. The emerald is way more powerful than any other gem in weapon; this will be fixed with a future patch, but for now there's no choice.
In helmet, the only gem worth wearing is a diamond if cooldown spells as a main part of your build (e.g., Archon or Explosive Blast). If you don't need CDR, get a helmet with no socket!
In all other armor slots, use either topaz or diamond. As a rule of thumb, use diamonds until you have enough money to create Royal (or even Flawless Royal) topazes; until then, diamonds are simply better (diamonds scale more evenly from low-level to high-level gems, topaz only pick up at the end). If you start crafting from Marquise, a Flawless Royal costs 9.8 million gold, so upgrading all 6 required gems to max level will cost you almost 60 million gold! (It is not as much as it used to be though; especially in 2.1, there are ways to get that much gold in a few seconds.)
With 2.1 we will see new legendary gems for amulets and rings and hopefully more diversity for the weapon slot, so stay tuned!
So, you have done lots of bounties, the ring, many rift key fragments, and all the crafted gear, but you really want to get the real loot? Then it's time to do some rifts. You can do rifts on your own, using your follower (see next section); you can rifts in groups, with your friends and clan mates; but there's also a different way, called "Rift it Forward". The concept is that there are two groups: runners and openers. Runners clear the rift up to the Rift Guardian and then invite others by posting it in the Rift it Forward community channels. Openers send party invite requests to runners, join for the kill, one of the openers opens the next rift (hence the name) and then leave. This works because the runners get to do lots of rifts without paying any rift key fragments, and openers get lots and lots of Rift Guardian kills.
Join any of the communities (there are several of them, but they all start with "Rift it Forward", so search for that). Whenever you do rifts and your group isn't full, consider doing this to save rift key fragments (disadvantage: you can't clear the rift after the Rift Guardian is killed). If you have plenty of rift key fragments from your bounties, consider RiF as opener - because it will yield an insane amount of blood shards. Blood shards can be turned in at Kadala to gamble for legendary and set items. You can gamble anything from Kadala (even class set items) except for legendary potions, Legendary follower items, and bounty cache items. I highly recommend start gambling orbs, as you might get a Mirrorball - and this one item enables you to run lots of different builds that don't have high gear requirements. After that, gamble all armor slots to get the wizard sets; do not gamble for weapons or jewelry, it is too expensive. Here's a thread that can help you find out about the "expected blood shards" to get a specific item. Note that this is gambling - you might get your desired item after spending 5 blood shards, or you might not get it after spending 12,000 shards. On average, getting a specific set item takes roughly about 3,000 blood shards, so hang in there and don't give up!
For endgame gearing, there are three wizard sets: Tal's, Firebird's, and Vyr's. Vyr's is only worn by those that run Archon in their build - and obviously Vyr's is also almost a must-have when you want to run Archon. Tal's is a decent set that gives about 20% extra damage with its 4 piece set bonus plus an additional primary on the chest, but it's optional and not necessary for any build. Firebird's is currently considered to be useless and will be buffed in 2.1 - so keep it, but don't wear it. The 4 piece bonus might be helpful for those who play hardcore, though.
Two weapons are considered to be endgame: the Wand of Woh, which is extremely rare, and Thunderfury - especially for those who don't like the visual craziness of the WoW build (your screen is constantly exploding). For rings, everyone is wearing the Ring of Royal Grandeur and the Stone of Jordan as soon as you have both - there are some exceptions though, for example for those who play solo (see below, follower section). As mentioned earlier, Mirrorball is used by most wizards in endgame.
At some points in this guide I already mentioned - at the end of this summer or beginning of fall we will see the patch 2.1 that will change everything. It will make the Firebird's set viable, it makes items such as Rimeheart and Serpent's Sparker highly desirable, and it will change a lot of things, hopefully also further increase diversity and choice. Many many legendary items will get new affixes, such as Depth Diggers (+100% damage to signature spells). There will be a new item that allows to add a socket to any weapon - Ramaladni's Gift - which essentially means you should not re-roll an affix on any weapon that has a socket right now. As soon as 2.1 hits, you want to re-roll that socket into a different stat and add the socket using Ramaladni's Gift! Similarly, if an weapon doesn't have a socket think twice before re-rolling it now - rather than, for example, rolling vitality into a socket you might want to keep the weapon and re-roll the damage (and again add the socket using Ramaladni's Gift).
Furthermore, some items will get changed retroactively (Moonlight Ward will get the damage ranged changed from 30%-40%, up from 20%-25%; if you have a 20% MLW right now it might have a perfect 40% MLW in 2.1, so definitely keep it! Some other items, like Depth Diggers or Vigilante Belt, will not get rolled retroactively - you have to find new ones. Also not that jewelry seems to be able to roll 5 primary affixes - so eventually you want to find new SoJs and amulets to have a socket on them (for the new legendary gem).
There will also be a new amulet - the Hellfire amulet, a level 70 amulet that can be crafted (the design can be bought from the merchant in act 2 for 5 million gold). It will roll one of your class' passives - so if you're lucky, you get a perfect amulet plus an additional fifth passive! It costs 10 Forgotten Souls, 50k gold, and all four organs from the uber event; this means you can already prepare and farm the organs now. For more information on level 70 check the FAQ.
I am going to keep this section really short because simply put, the overwhelming majority of players will use the follower for only one purpose: the Unity survivability boost. What exactly is this and how does it work?
With Reaper of Souls, two legendary items for each follower were introduced - one that enables your follower to access all skills, and one that grants immortality. Soon players found out that the Unity bonus (split damage between all wearers of that item in a party) also works if the follower wears this ring. In other words: if the follower has the immortality token, and you and the follower are both wearing a Unity, 50% of your damage is directed to your follower and he/her will never die - which increases your mitigation by a flat 50%. This bonus is so huge that nothing beats this. Note that this is not an exploit, as some people have said earlier, but was intended by the developers:
This makes gearing of your followers extremely simple: you don't need any toughness stats on them. Also, followers critical hit damage is capped at 150%, and since they gain a native 50% bonus and the follower token itself can roll up to 100%, there is no need to stack neither critical hit damage nor critical hit chance. Altogether, any follower in Reaper of Souls will never even come close to your DPS and it is not worth investing too much into any of them (unless for fun, of course). Choose a follower of your choice; most pick the Templar because he has the best buffs, but if you find any of the other follower tokens first choose those instead. As the followers have some cooldown abilities, it makes sense to give them some items with cooldown reduction - otherwise just equip them with utility stats (magic find, XP bonus, gold find - you get 20% of its value) or other random items: it really doesn't matter much! For example, The Ess of Johan offers CDR and such utility and is therefore always a great choice for your follower. Especially in higher difficulties, Bul-Kathos's Wedding Band might be useful as it drains 0.4% of mobs' maximum HP per second (as of now - this might get changed in 2.1).
Now, if you think there should be more to it and you want to invest more time into gearing your follower, there is a very in-depth and comprehensive guide that contains everything you ever need to know: AshTag's RoS Follower Guide on the official forums.
I'd like to thank my fellow DiabloFans mods MrMonstrosity, overneathe, and Zero(pS) for feedback on early drafts of this guide, especially in terms of spelling mistakes, visual improvements, barrier-free image design (:P), and funny discussions along the way. Also thanks to Diablofans' wizard mod and Blizzard's wizard MVP Jaetch for lots of helpful advice! Furthermore, thanks to the entire wizard community, the DiabloFans (EU) clan, all of DiabloFans (yes, all of you :P). Oh, and screw you, Blizzard, for making this damn game that I can't get away from! ;-)
Okay, I did get some people to proofread a rough early draft, but no one actually sanity-checked the content from an endgame wizard's point of view. I know that there has been a lot of discussion over the past few months, so if anyone feels anything being misrepresented, missing, or clearly wrong, please point it out and I'll do my best to change it (though editing, as you all know as fellow forum posters, is quite a pain in the ass so I might do it in chunks whenever I have time).
One comment though, Blue post said that currentlyRamaladni's Gift! is meant for weapons only, not for all gear options
Oh and while you are right that there is no point stacking dps or toughness on a Unity follower, Ess of Johan and Bul Kathos' Wedding Band (sorry, don't know how to link them) come in handy for their special procs
Just did an initial read and all I can say is fantastic job! Your original guide was my go to guide when I first started to gear out my wizard, and it looks like this will be the guide to go to for wizards looking to learn a bit more about their class. Very nice.
Oh and while you are right that there is no point stacking dps or toughness on a Unity follower, Ess of Johan and Bul Kathos' Wedding Band (sorry, don't know how to link them) come in handy for their special procs
One thing : blackthorne amulet could roll pretty well now (find a int/vit 9X% CHD 10%CHC on PTR !)
I thought about it, but I won't add it just now. It doesn't affect anyone on live yet (other than you should keep an eye out for BT chest+belt right now). There are LOTS of items (20 or 30 or more) that roll crap on live and have potential to roll BiS in 2.1 - and all that is subject to change. I'll update it as we get closer to 2.1 release, but right now it might just confuse people when gearing up. No one should keep the crappy BT ammi right now ;-)
Can you add Storm Crow to the Helm list? It's a great option for Lightning Builds with +15-20% Lightning Damage on a slot which normally doesn't allow +elemental damage.
Thanks, added. I personally don't think as highly of that helmet; Andy's can be even better if you want damage, otherwise you might just go with Tal's. SC also always rolls LoH which is a waste on helmets, and the BiS lightning helmet is Velvet Camaral. But I added it to the list - thanks!
Why is vyr's almost mandatory when running archon?
To just get the bubble and teleport in archon?
As a player mostly gearing for solo purposes I find vyr's highly overrated.
The entire set gives you the combined following benefits:
500 intelligence (2 piece bonus)
Combustion - the huge initial explosion is awesome as it might kill some mobs around you and start Archon not with 1, but multiple stacks, so your damage is much higher when you start melting mobs
Teleport as Archon
Decreased cooldown by 10 seconds
Always having the slow time bubble around you, makes it easier to dodge rockets
25% damage bonus
You can choose which element you want WITHOUT having to commit to a certain rune (e.g., if you want cold Archon you have to use what's probably considered to be the most useless rune)
Yes, all these combined things make the Vyr's set almost mandatory. You can't measure it in damage, or percentage, or whatever. It also has nothing to do with solo or in party (at least I don't see how it would make any difference in party). If you're running Archon you want Vyr's, otherwise you're sacrificing a loooooot of DPS, survivability, and utility. Of course - you need to find 3 decently rolled pieces of Vyr's first, that's probably the more difficult thing.
This is definitely a very great and detailed guide but i just want to comment a bit on the 6) stats per slot section. Atleast for a Magic Missile build you would want to in my opinion use MM damage on your belt instead of one of the 2 recommended defensive stats, also i think that %life would be higher valued than all resist on belts. Maybe thats just me though. And also life regen on boots/belt/shoulders might become very useful in patch 2.1 as you mentioned so I would add that to the sheet, unless you are making a new one when 2.1 hits.
Great work once again!
First of all - thanks for your feedback :-)
I thought about this (adding MM to belt and pants) but decided against it because for 99% of players it might get them into the misleading "let's stack damage" thinking. If you're at the gear level where you can afford to start stacking signature spell damage boosts on belt/pants, it's likely that you won't need this guide anymore. I mean, there are probably as many people that would profit from area damage on shoulders instead of an additional toughness stat ;-) At some point I just had to stop including choices for the 1%. But... I'll think about it (also don't want the picture to be too messy, to be honest).
Regarding life%: Just no. You don't want life%, period. If you benefit from life% on any slot it means you stacked too much life which means you've given up too much mitigation in favor of vitality on other slots. You don't want life%. This was discussed a million times - read the link provided in the life% section if you don't believe me, even a developer agreed on this point. Life% is sometimes useful for barbs/crusaders, otherwise a wasted stat that you need to get rid of.
And about life regeneration in 2.1: Yes, I will rewrite all parts of the guide that become invalid with 2.1. This guide will be updated with 2.1. There's no point in saying which gear you might acquire in 3 months if the current version of 2.1 on PTR goes live (which it doesn't, because we still have weeks of PTR development and changes ahead of us). Also... on GR level 50+ life regeneration is so absolutely ridiculously useless, I'm not sure they really made it anymore useful. But again - this will be discussed once 2.1 is about to go life. It's just too early right now.
Do you have any opinion on running both 4 set bonuses on tal and vyr using Ring of Royal Grandeur with head, chest and orb of tal and gloves, pants and boots of vyr. leaving space for The Witching Hour and Moonlight ward as arcane archon?
It's definitely one possible (and oftentimes viable) solution. Some even use Tal's belt or Tal's amulet in favor of Andariel's helmet or String of Ears, Harrington Waistguard, ... there are literally thousands of combinations. And if you run Tal's+Vyr's with fire the question is if you want Magefist or Cindercoat or whatever - some people have preferences but there's really no right or wrong. Whatever works ;-)
What you describe was my favorite arcane Archon spec, yes. But after playing Archon for hundreds of hours in D3V I want to use other spells now ;-)
2.1 is still testing on ptr. but if its does not receive any love. Then he should rewrite the guide.
And as I've said multiple times in the guide and in the comments - I WILL rewrite this guide. There's no point in giving players advice to gear *now* for a game that is not going live in that form. Do not judge the 2.1 wizard based on its performance on PTR right now. They already said that they're not nearly done tweaking and will also change the Firebird's set again. Keep that in mind when discussing about things that are totally subject to change, such as WoW/EB. For the next ~3 months, WoW+EB is still perfectly viable for endgame.
i feel like you undervalue Life on Kill for me its second most sought secondary (after CCreduction since i have 0) my group average killing speed is about 1.5kills/sec that is 7500 life every sec from 5000 Life on Kill. Considering how limited wizards healing is, this is best u get. When u kill pack u get enough globes to fully heal so packs are not problem as long as u kill em fast. But if u get rift with high monster density(low pack density) u wont get enough heal there, with 10k-20K life on kill it gets much easyer
Well, you can argue about HGB vs LaK. The reason I value HGB higher is because if you have *really* fast T6 groups trash dies instantly, so it can't damage you and the LaK is for nothing. Some isolated elite groups or rift guardians might be a threat, and on those LaK helps you nothing - but HGB does. But I disagree that LaK is the second most important affix; 7% melee/ranged reduction is just too good to give up as it works EVERYTIME and not just *on kill*. Well, but like I've said in the guide, it's my subjective ranking ;-) Although it's based on what I've read from many many people (almost all wizard theorycrafters put melee/ranged damage reduction as secondary #1).
Just want to say bravo Bagstone. You've put in a lot of work on this guide and it's great. Too bad I learned that I'm a noob... as I've salvaged *2* Rimeheart which I've found, thinking that the proc is useless....