Diablo 3's Wizard is about as satisfying a glass-cannon character as you could hope for in an RPG. It's somewhat vulnerable, yet its damage output is vicious. It takes in all of the magical schools you'd expect for the character archetype - fire, ice and lightning - yet there are less traditional avenues to explore too. When you've tired of dropping fiery meteors on your enemy's head, perhaps you'd prefer to transform in a spectral disco machine, firing laser beams out of your face. If so, the Wizard has you covered.
Levelling a Wizard
The Wizard's primary stat is Intelligence, and so all of the items you equip should be positively dripping in this damage-buffing stat. As you level up, try to socket a good Ruby into your weapon for the damage boost, and another one in your Head slot for a minor buff to your experience gains. If you've unlocked the Mystic, you'll be able to get those slots rolled in, otherwise you'll have to get lucky with your drops.
Levelling a Wizard isn't necessarily any more challenging than levelling the other classes in Softcore mode, but in Hardcore - where death is permanent - you need to be much more on your toes. You're squishier than other classes, and so you need more life and armour buffers to avoid falling foul of any poorly-picked fights. With that said - and certainly if you're not playing with permadeath switched on - you should try to play at as high a difficulty level as you can comfortably stand and clear efficiently, so that you receive the maximum XP and gem bonuses.
There are plenty of build guides available on the internet, but Blizzard's system is flexible enough that you really shouldn't feel tied to a spec that's been optimised by the community. Instead, shift combat tools around to suit your present circumstances and gear. At Level 70, you may want to seek out some tried and tested builds that have been proven to be efficient for the end-game grind. Noxxic has some good pointers if you're looking for inspiration.
Choosing the right Wizard Follower
If you're playing on Hardcore, you might want to choose the Templar for his preservation skills, but you'll find it much easier to gear up the Enchantress, as she benefits the most from the same Intelligence stat that you yourself seek out. Keep her equipped with your very best hand-me-downs, and you'll soon find yourself with a powerful ally at your side.
Gearing a Wizard for Torment difficulty
All of your gear should have the highest possible Intelligence rating, as this core stat drives so much of your damage output. Make sure that the Chest and Legs gear you equip have three and two sockets respectively. Stuff them with the very best Topaz gems you either own or can afford to craft.
Your build will likely be focused around a specific elemental damage, such as fire or ice. The best Bracers and Amulets will not only have a high Intelligence rating, but will also give a fixed percentage boost to your elemental damage. It won't show up on your DPS stats in-game, but do not discount the importance of incorporating this bonus damage when evaluating your gear.
Next, aim to get a damage percentage boost to whichever core spell you use for the majority of your damage - Disintegrate, Arcane Orb, and so on. Look for it on your Head item, your Boots and your off-hand Source. Use the Mystic to roll this bonus damage onto your gear if necessary. In every other slot, you really can't go wrong with focusing on your two critical hit stats. Look to achieve a ratio of 1:10 of Critical Hit Chance versus your Critical Hit Damage across your gear.
Gemming a Wizard
At Level 70 you'll want to be cramming the most powerful Topaz gems you can craft into just about every available socket you have on your equipment. There's one important exception, however, that will apply to the vast majority of Wizards. When you've chanced across the best weapon you can use, visit the Mystic and re-roll a weak stat into a socket. Once you've done this, put the most powerful Emerald you own inside it - the boost to your Critical Hit Damage will have the biggest overall impact on your performance on the battlefied.
Wizard gear to aim for
Just like every class, equipping your Wizard with a Ring of Royal Grandeur from an Act 1 Horadric Cache is extremely useful, although try to make it a long-term goal - you can burn out quickly by grinding the same content over and over. Once you do have this fantastic ring, you'll be able to get the benefit of any armour set's third bonus with just two pieces equipped.
Other popular items include the shoulders and wrists from the Aughild's armour set, along with a Stone of Jordan ring. Two pieces of Tal Rasha's collection will help you get yet another useful third bonus for free if you have that elusive ring equipped.
Vyr's armour set also has some extremely useful tricks that will help boost your combat prowess. If you can complement these items with a nicely-rolled Magefist Glove item, a Mirrorball off-hand, and a Thunderfury weapon, then you're very close to the end-game of this class as far as gear is concerned.
Need more Diablo 3 help? Learn how to unlock Zelda outfits like Ganondorf in Diablo 3 Switch, get some Diablo 3 boss strategies, and learn how use the Mystic, Blacksmith, Gambling and Horadric Caches. We also have advice for every class, from the Barbarian to the Crusader, Demon Hunter, Monk, Witch Doctor and Wizard.
Allocating Paragon points for Wizards
Movement speed is incredibly useful in all areas of the game, from getting yourself out of a pinch as quickly as possible, to simply clearing out Bounties and Rifts more quickly. For the most part, you'll want to clear out Bounties by charging straight to the objective, and anything that cuts out travelling time without robbing your gear of stats is a worthy investment. After that, you probably want to start focusing on Intelligence, as this is the main driver of all your damage output.
From the Offense category you should start off by feeding points into Critical Hit Chance and Critical Hit Damage, maintaining the 1:10 ratio we mentioned a little further up the page. As for your Defense Paragon points, pile into the Resist All category first, then fill out the others to suit your particular circumstances.
Finally, there's the Utility category which offers much more flexibility. As a Wizard, Area Damage will likely be of huge benefit in any build you're using, but if you find yourself resource-starved under heavy fire, Resource Cost Reduction is a perfectly valid alternative to focus on.
Head back to the first page of this article if you need help gearing up for Torment difficulty. We've got guides for every class.