The Poorman's Guide to Inferno Wizard

The Poorman's Guide to Inferno Wizard submitted by N00bius.


Hey guys, I'm N00bius Maximus and I'm having some fun clearing inferno atm. I noticed a lot of people are talking about gear checks and the difficulty they are having progressing through inferno. I'm here to provide a bit of help for those struggling through act 2 since I am currently progressing through act 3 (I know, I'm slow).

This guide is for the following individuals:
  • Don't have 100k dps
  • Don't have 900 resist
  • Have no gold
  • Hate Blizzard/Hydra specs
  • Struggling with inferno difficulty

This guide is not for the following individuals:
  • Suffering from massive lag issues
  • Low APM players
  • Enjoys blizzard/hydra specs

I'm willing to give many more details on the spec/playstyle/fears/ect if people are interested, but to keep things relatively "short," I'll only detail a few important factors.

The Build

This is my primary farming spec for act 1, 2 and 3 so far. (Updated for recent patches)!ZWd!cbaYZY

There are additional variants of this build that are possible, particularly if you do not possess a 'cold damage' type weapon. Using Temporal Flux with an arcane weapon and Disintegrate+Chaos Nexus/Arcane Torrent+Disruption is also possible. However, these builds will produce vastly less damage output than the above spec.

The reason is they lack the unlisted 20% damage bonus provided by Cold Blooded. Furthermore, Disintegrate often produces comparable damage to Spectral Blades due to base damage being low and requiring 40% damage lasers to proc on the desired target. Intensify 202% damage ramp-up is not realistic in solo play. Arcane Torrent is comparable to Ray of Frost at 201.2% damage before passives, but misses out on the "free" +20% passive.

Note: Cold damage type weapons are supposed to have lower maximum damage than other damage types. I assume the passive helps alleviate some of that difference.

*It appears that Arcane and Cold snare effects stack. If you need even more slow, mix and match skills with Temporal Flux

*Don't like the spec? Having a hard time using this? Try out some other version by users here: 

Killing bosses for the first time required a bit of experimentation until I possessed better gear and solid understanding of mechanics for 100% reliable kills in this spec. I still only used slight variations of the above spec to clear the first time. If you're interested, I can post those as well.

Kiting with Blizzard vs Spectral Blades

I find that kiting with Spectral Blades is significantly easier to perform than with Blizzard for multiple reasons and one speculation.

  • Mob AI behaves differently depending on distance to the mob. This means mortar mobs are easily defeated as you whittle the group down. Vortex mobs pull you in significantly less when you are around 20 yards. The list goes on... (Think hunters from vanilla WoW 8-10 yards for you blizzard gamers)
  • Blizzard's cast animation is very long. I cant tell you how many times I've been chain casting blizzard only to get smacked from fast mob types or fast affix mobs. This defeats the purpose of kiting... (Note: I only have 12% move speed and 1.25 AS atm and could be the reason for this issue... maybe when I get those epic items...)
  • Contrary to Blizzard, Spectral Blades cast animation is very very short. It's so short, you can actually move while the blades are still hitting the enemies. Furthermore, you dont need alot of AS to chain-kite the mobs.
  • Cold / Arcane(+Temporal Flux) damage weapons provides a slow on hit with Spectral Blades (the only "melee attack" mage ability).
  • Damage on Spectral Blades is significantly higher than Blizzard (135% vs 35% per second on a 1 second AS weapon). You can cut fight times significantly if you're hitting enrage timers or want to reduce the time frame for user input errors or lag.

Guide continued after the page break..


-The snare effect from a melee weapon's cold damage appears to be greater than 30% (the value for Blizzard). It seems like mobs move slower than when they are hit by Spectral Blades than Ray of Frost, Blizzard or Spectral Blades+Temporal Flux... Any confirmation on this somewhere would be cool!


-Blizzard is long range
-Cold-damage slow is only 0.5 seconds while Temporal Flux is 2 seconds

If you can get past the fact you are standing within 20 yards of a mob to do significant damage, Spectral Blades can be a great alternative to Blizzard.

The Gear/Stats

I'm currently running the following stats in act 3. I play the 2 different sets depending on how I'm feeling atm. I rely on set 1 for everything prior to act 3, since the second set provides a little more wiggle room from incoming damage types. I can tank a Belial fist hit or elites in act 3 using Set 2 without diamond skin.

I find hp/s and hp/hit to be rather valuable stats on gear, since it allows this gear/spec to get alot of mileage (read: not dying).

Set 1 (Damage?):
274 Str
941 Dex
1244 Int
330 Vit
4090 Armor
17361.73 Dps
239 All resist
357 Phys resist

That's 11826 HP...

Set 2 (Tank?):
293 Str
888 Dex
1090 Int
495 Vit
4189 Armor
15246.61 Dps
321 All resist
449 Phys resist

That's 17601 HP...

All of this gear is attainable within act 1 and act 2. I have not purchased items on the AH that were outside of my act's difficulty. I also did not spend more than 100k on any individual item. I've only purchased around 30% of my gear from the AH purely as a method to speed up random rolls. To drive the point home, I got my primary weapon I used through all of act 1 and act 2 (700dps) for just 160g on the AH!! Yes, one hundred and sixty gold... You could get a comparable one for just 30k or so easily.

Act 3+

Obviously I haven't beaten Diablo yet. This spec, geared the way I'm currently adding stats, should have no realistic issue defeating anything along the way. The hits are getting stronger, but even now I'm only taking ~4-5k damage on hit from white mobs, which is exactly where I want it to be. Using Set 2, I can take hits from elite mobs without any issues. Adding resist/armor goes a long way to keeping this medium before sacrificing much from the vitality stat. Vitality is a cheap way to improve your effective hp and Force Armor 's maximum effect, but it reduces your survivability with hp/s, hp/hit and Diamond Skin.

I also realize that they are going to buff drops in 1.0.3. This means that you might not need to try this spec to progress. Until then, I hope this helps.