This is the first of five class specific guides to Reaper of Souls. I started with the Wizard because most Wizards currently hinge on some form of Archon or Critical Mass build. Both of these builds are no longer viable in the Reaper of Souls Beta. Critical Mass has been removed from the game. Archon no longer gains time when killing an enemy. While the other classes, like the Barbarian, are getting similar nerfs in Reaper of Souls, in my opinion the Wizard is the most changed class in the new game. This guide will go through EVERY change to EVERY skill for the Wizard in the current version of the Beta. I would use it as a reference but keep in mind everything in the Beta is subject to change. If you see a tooltip that you recognized has changed since the initial posting of this guide, please leave a comment and we will update the post. You can use the skill calculator to see what the current skills and runes are. Another thing to consider when thinking about new builds for Reaper of Souls is that the paragon system allows you to add .5 max arcane power per paragon point. Max Arcane Power is found in the utility section so you’ll get a point in it at level 4,8,12,16,… At level 50 you’ll have +6 max arcane power. At level 100 you’ll have +12.5 max arcane power.
In the Reaper of Souls Beta, 7 of the 15 original passive skills remained the same: Blur, Glass Cannon, Prodigy, Astral Power, Temporal Flux, Arcane Dynamo, and Unstable Anomaly. Critical Mass has been replaced by the new passive skill, Dominance. The other 7 passive skills have received some sort of modification.
Power Hungry has received a complete overhaul. In Diablo 3, Power Hungry simply provides 30 Arcane Power every time a health globe heals you. The new Power Hungry in the Reaper of Souls Beta reads: “Being healed by a health globe causes the next Arcane Power Spender you cast to be cast for free. You can have up to 5 charges of Power Hungry.”
Evocation now provides a 20% reduction to all cooldowns, a 5% boost from its current effect in Diablo 3.
Illusionist still has the same base effect but has a second effect in the Reaper of Souls Beta. On top of the original illusionist passive, the new effect is “When you use Mirror Image, Slow Time, or Teleport, your movement speed is increased by 30% for 3 seconds.”
Cold Blooded has had its effect halved. Instead of increasing damage to frozen or chilled enemies by 20%, it now only provides a 10% increase.
Paralysis now increases your chance to stun enemies with Lightning damage by 20% instead of 8%. The stun effect still only lasts 1.5 seconds.
Conflagration has a new effect. In Diablo 3, Conflagration causes a 10% damage increased to burned enemies for 3 seconds. Now it increases the chance of to critically hit a burned enemy by 6% for 3 seconds.
Galvanizing Ward is an entirely new passive. In the Reaper of Souls Beta the skill reads, “As long as you have not taken damage in the last 5 seconds you gain a protective shield that absorbs the next 20185 damage.
The first new passive skill (in place of Critical Mass) is Dominance. When Dominance is your passive skill, killing an enemy grants a shield that absorbs 13279 damage for 5 seconds.
The effect can stack up to 10 times. “Refreshing Dominance will the set the shield to its maximum possible potency and each stack will increase its total duration by 1 second.”
Unwavering Will: “Standing still for 2 seconds increases the following attributes: Armor: 20%, All Resistances: 20%, Damage: 10%. The three new passives that you get between level 61 and 70 are Unwavering Will, Audacity, and Elemental Exposure.
Audacity: “You deal 20% additional damage to enemies within 15 yards.” Audacity works great with Spectral Blades as its built in cast range in Reaper of Souls is 15 yards.
Elemental Exposure: “Damaging enemies with Arcane, Cold, Fire or Lightning will cause them to take 5% more damage from all sources for 5 seconds. Each different damage applies a stack, stacking up to 4 times. Elemental damage from weapons contributes to Elemental Exposure.”
Magic missile, Shock Pulse, Spectral Blade, and Electrocute all see large damage increases in Reaper of Souls. All runes for the primary skills are also buffed. Magic Missile and Spectral Blades both have a few entirely new runes.
Magic Missile now deals 170% weapon damage rather than only 125%. Charged Blast has been buffed from 162% weapon damage to 240% weapon damage. Each of the three missiles in Split deal 80% damage in RoS increased from 56%. Seeker now deals 211% weapon damage up from 138% in Diablo 3. The first new rune for Magic Missile is the Glacial Spike Rune: “Cast out a shard of ice that explodes on impact, causing enemies within 4.5 yards to take 175% weapon damage as Cold and be frozen for 1 second. Enemies cannot be frozen by Glacial Spike more than once every 5 seconds.” The Conflagrate rune causes the missiles to pierce through enemies and causes them to take 371% weapon damage as Fire over 3 seconds.
Shock Pulse deals 204% weapon damage in the Reaper of Souls Beta. There are no runes however all five existing runes have been modified. The explosive bolts rune has been drastically buffed to now deal 252% damage vs. 105% in the current game. The fire bolts rune now specifically states that 3 bolts will be expelled and has increased its damage to 288% weapon damage per bolt (up from 195%). Piercing Orb now deals 214% weapon damage, Lightning Affinity grants 5 Arcane Power on hit (up from 3), and Living Lightning now deal 165% weapon damage.
Spectral Blades got the most changes out of the Primary Skills. I’m not sure of the exact range of the skill in Diablo 3, but the new Spectral Blades hits at up to 15 yards. The damage is barely increased from 165% weapon damage to 168%. Say goodbye to the Deep Cuts rune, Impactful Blades, and Healing Blades. Siphoning Blades now grants 5 Arcane Power instead of 3. Thrown Blades still have a 20 yard range, but now increases the damage of the blades to 231% weapon damage. The new rune Flame Blades increases the damage of your Fire spells by 1% for 3 seconds for every enemy hit.
Every time you cast Spectral Blades, the new Barrier Blades rune provides a protective shield that lasts 3 seconds and absorbs 2656 damage.
The last new rune is Ice Blades: “Chilled enemies have a 5% chance to be frozen and frozen enemies have a 5% increased chance to be critically hit by Spectral Blade.”
Electrocute did not get any new runes in the Reaper of Souls Beta but has received damage buffs as did all the primary skills. The skill deals 138% weapon damage instead of 90%. Chain lightning can now hit up to 10 enemies (up from 6). The forked lightning rune is one of the few runes that is having its damage reduced, it now only deals 44% weapon damage. Lightning Blast now deals 280% weapon damage, a drastic increase from its current value of 86%. Surge of Power now grants 3 Arcane Power per hit. Arc Lightning also deals a drastically increased 310% weapon damage.
The only secondary skill to get some new runes is Arcane Orb. The other three skills all received damage buffs. Most of the Wizard’s skills receive a damage boost in Reaper of Souls.
Ray of Frost now deals 360% weapon damage to all enemies within 5 yards of the first enemy hit. The duration of the slow effect has been reduced to 3 seconds. The Cold Blood rune used to reduce the casting cost to 10 arcane power but now only reduces the cost to 11 arcane power. The upgraded Numb rune now has a 10% chance to freeze enemies for 1 second. The slow effect on the numb rune is also reduced to 3 seconds. The Black Ice rune has been doubled in power, it now deals 1104% weapon damage. The swirling storm created via the Sleet Storm rune can now grow to 22 yards. The damage has been ever so slightly boosted from 364% to 375%. The Snow Blast rune has been completely changed. Now, any enemy hit by Ray of Frost while the Snow Blast rune is active takes 15% more cold damage for 4 seconds.
Arcane Orb is an underused skill in Diablo 3 (due to high casting cost and low damage) and in Reaper of Souls this has been thoroughly addressed. Each orb now does 381% weapon damage. The casting cost is reduced to 30 arcane power (down from 35) and the radius of the effect has been increased from 10 to 15 yards. 3 out of the 5 current runes have been entirely replaced leaving only Obliteration and Arcane Orbit from Diablo 3. Obliteration deals a whopping 509% weapon damage but now reduces the radius of the effect to 8 yards. Arcane Orbit now deals 221% weapon damage.
The three new runes for Arcane Orb are Spark, Scorch, and Frozen Orb. Spark deals 349% damage as Lightning and increases the damage of your next lightning skill by 2% per enemy hit. Scorch deals 335% weapon damage as Fire and leaves a wall of fire that does 379% weapon damage over 5 seconds. Frozen Orb is back from Diablo 2 and does 393% weapon damage as Cold.
Arcane Torrent has no new runes. In fact, the Disruption and Power Stone runes are completely unchanged. The skill has seen an overall damage increase up to 441%. Death Blossom now deals 1117% weapon damage (up from 670%). Arcane Mines reduce movement speed by 60% instead of only 30% in the current version of Diablo 3. Arcane Mines as well as Cascade now deal 441% weapon damage. Cascade currently has a 100% to fire a new missile every time an enemy is killed with arcane torrent. In the Reaper of Souls Beta, it has a 12.5% chance every time an enemy is hit.
Disintegrate is buffed up to 393% weapon damage. There are no new runes for disintegrate and the Convergence rune remains unchanged. Volatility still functions the same but now deals 562% weapon damage. Entropy deals 499% weapon damage now. The small rays that branch off of Disintegrate when using the Chaos Nexus room now deal twice the damage, 88% weapon damage. The Intensify rune has a new effect: “Enemies hit by Disintegrate take 15% increased damage from Arcane for 4 seconds.”
The defensive skills have all received big upgrades. Frost Nova’s Shatter Rune and Bone Chill Rune both got significant upgrades. Slow Time has gotten a 50% boost to duration and has two new runes. But most importantly, Teleport no longer costs arcane power.
Frost Nova now has a 13 second cooldown. With the upgraded Shatter rune, any frozen enemy that dies has a 100% chance of releasing another Frost Nova. The Cold Snap rune reduces the cooldown to 8 seconds and has the new effect of reducing of increasing the Freeze duration to 4 seconds. The Frozen Mist rune deals a drastically boosted 1019% weapon damage (up from 160%). Deep Freeze has had its Crit Chance bonus decreased to 10% but is now over 13 seconds. Bone Chill now causes enemies to take 60% more damage while frozen or chilled by Frost Nova.
Diamond Skin still has a 15 second cooldown but in Reaper of Souls, the length of the effect has been halved to 3 seconds. The damage reduction has been increased to 28684. Crystal Shell now absorbs 57367 damage. Prism and Mirror Skin are unchanged in the Reaper of Souls beta. Enduring Skin still adds 3 seconds to the duration of Diamond skin, but now that the base duration is only 3 seconds, enduring skin causes the effect to last for 6 seconds. Diamond Shards now deals 863% weapon damage.
Slow Time now lasts 12 seconds (instead of 8 seconds) but the effect of the skill in RoS does not differ from the current version. The Time Shell rune now reduces the cooldown of Slow Time to 12 seconds and still increases movement speed reduction to 80%. Time Warp now only increases the damage taken by enemies in the bubble by 12.5% (down from 20%). The Stretch Time rune now increases attack speed by 12.5% (up from 10%). Two new runes have replaced the Miasma and Perpetuity runes: “Time and Space” and “Point of No Return”. Time and Space allows Slow Time to be cast up to 60 yards away. Point of No Return causes enemies that enter or leave the bubble to be stunned for 3.5 seconds.
Teleport no longer costs arcane power! The cooldown and skill range remain unchanged but say goodbye to AP spending on teleporting. The Safe Passage rune now causes you to take 46% less damage for 5 seconds (up from 30% for 4 seconds). The Wormhole, Reversal, and Fracture runes have not received any changes in the Reaper of Souls Beta. Calamity now deals 422% weapon damage as Arcane (currently deals Physical damage) and has the new effect of stunning enemies for 1.5 seconds.
All the force skills have received damage increases in the Reaper of Souls Beta. Wave of force does not have a cooldown. Energy Twister can now deal Cold damage via the Mistral Breeze rune. Hydra does significantly more damage. Meteor has had its casting cost reduced by 20% and Blizzard (with the Snowbound rune) only costs 10 arcane power to cast.
Wave of Force no longer has a cooldown, but also does not slow enemies. Its damage has been increased to 351% weapon damage. Impactful Wave is the only rune to remain in Reaper of Souls and its effect is entirely different. Instead of stunning enemies, it slows them by 60% for 5 seconds and adds a 5 second cooldown to the skill. The other four runes are new to Diablo 3.
The Debilitating Force rune causes enemies hit to deal 10% less damage for 3 seconds. Arcane Attunement increases the damage of your next arcane spell by 2% per enemy hit. Static Pulse causes all enemies hit to take 15% more damage from Lightning for 4 seconds. Heat Wave simply increases damage to 427% as fire.
Energy Twister still costs 35 arcane power and lasts 6 seconds but each twister now does 769% weapon damage. Mistral Breeze only reduces the arcane power cost to 28 but also changes the damage type to Cold. Gale Force has an entirely new effect: “Enemies hit by Energy Twister take 15% increased damage from Fire for 4 seconds.” Raging storm now does 1575$ weapon damage which is about 5 times as much as the rune does currently in Diablo 3. Wicked Wind now deals 572% weapon damage (up from 252%). Storm Chaser no longer causes a twister to be cast: “Each cast of Energy Twister grants you a Lightning Charge. You can store up to 3 Lightning Charges at a time. Casting a Signature spell releases all the Lightning Charges as a bolt of Lightning that deals 150% weapon damage as Lightning per Lightning Charge. Energy Twister’s damage turns into Lightning.”
Hydra now deals 78% weapon damage per bolt of fire. All runes have had their damage increased (except Venom Hydra which has been replaced by Blazing Hydra.) Arcane Hydra now deals 133% weapon damage. Lightning Hydra now deals 166% weapon damage. Frost Hydra’s cone now deals 136% weapon damage. The river of fire created by the Mammoth hydra now deals 215% weapon damage. The new Hydra rune is Blazing Hydra: “Summon a Blazing Hydra that spits bolts of Fire that burn enemies near the point of impact, dealing 130% weapon damage as Fire over 5 seconds. Burn damage can stack multiple times on the same enemy.”
Meteor has two new runes in Reaper of Souls. It has also had its casting cost reduced to 40 arcane power. The damage of the initial impact has been increased to 506% weapon damage and the scorched ground now deals 169% weapon damage. Star Pact reduces the casting cost to 30 Arcane Power. The Comet rune now deals 596% weapon damage and has a “20% chance to freeze enemies for 1 second on impact.” The mist left behind now deals 199% weapon damage. Each of the 7 meteors in meteor now deal 230% weapon damage. Molten Impact now deals a whopping 1934% weapon damage and 646% damage over 3 seconds. Because of these huge damage boosts, a 15 second cooldown has been added. The new rune is the Lightning Bind rune: “If the initial impact causes a Critical Hit, the electrified Meteor duration is increased to 8 seconds and enemies are rooted for 5 seconds. Meteor’s damage turns to Lightning.
Blizzard now deals 673% weapon damage. In Reaper of Souls it explicitly states that the radius of effect is 12 yards, which is not a part of the current tooltip. Grasping Chill only lasts for 2.5 seconds (down from 3) but now slows enemies by 80% (up from 60%). The Frozen Solid rune now has a 30% chance to freeze enemies for 4 seconds. Snowbound now drastically reduces the casting cost to 10 Arcane Power. Stark Winter deals 818% weapon damage (up from 510%). Unrelenting Storm now deals 1143% weapon damage over 8 seconds.
Ice Armor, Storm Armor, and Energy Armor all last 4 minutes in the Reaper of Souls Beta. The runes of Ice and Storm Armor have been buffed, as have their base effects. Magic Weapon has received a few minor upgrades. Familiar now deals a significant amount of damage. Energy Armor has received no changes.
Ice Armor now causes melee attackers to be chilled or frozen for 3 seconds. The Chilling Aura rune now slows enemies by 80% (up from 30%). The Crystallize rune is exactly the same in RoS as it is currently in D3. Jagged Ice deals an increased 189% weapon damage. Ice Reflect still creates Frost Nova’s that deal 75% weapon damage, but in Reaper of Souls, they have a 40% chance to be created (up from 25%). Frozen Storm seems to now deal damage throughout the entire duration of the Armor spell at the rate of 11% weapon damage as Cold every second.
Storm Armor’s runes Power of the Storm and Scramble remain unchanged in the expansion. The skill now shocks enemies for 147% weapon damage. The Reactive Armor rune deals 189% weapon damage, Thunder Storm deals 194% weapon damage, and Shocking Aspect now deals 51% weapon damage.
Magic Weapon is the only one of the wizard’s skills that has the same base effect in Reaper of Souls as it currently does in Diablo 3. The Electrify and Conduit runes both remain unchanged as well. Force Weapon still grants you a 2% chance to knockback but increases damage by 20% (up from 15%) in the Reaper of Souls Beta. Magic Weapon no longer has the Venom and Blood Magic runes. The first new rune for Magic Weapon is Ignite. Ignite causes all attacks to burn enemies for 32% weapon damage over 3 seconds.
Deflection is the second new rune and it grants a shield for 3 seconds that absorbs 2656 damage, every time you perform an attack.
Familiar deals more than 5 times more damage (110%) then it currently does in Diablo 3 (20%). The Ancient Guardian and Arcanot runes are entirely unchanged in Reaper of Souls. The Vigoron rune has been replaced by the Icicle rune. Sparkflint only increases your damage by 10% (down from 12%). The Cannoneer rune deals 203% weapon damage (up from 20%). The new Icicle rune gives the Familiar’s projectiles a 35% of freezing an enemy for 1 second.
Energy Armor has received no changes in the Reaper of Souls Beta other than the duration being increased to 4 minutes. All the runes have remained exactly the same.
The Mastery Skills have all received significant changes but no new runes have been introduced. Most importantly, Archon no longer can add time to its cooldown making most current Archon builds not viable in the expansion.
Explosive Blast now deals 1021% weapon damage but now deals the damage as Arcane. Unleashed has had its effect reduced to only reduce the casting cost to 15 Arcane Power. Time Bomb now deals 1334% weapon damage. Short Fuse now causes the damage dealt to be changed to Fire, and deals 1021% weapon damage. Obliterate does the same damage as the base effect and still increases radius to 18 yards (so technically Obliterate has not been changed at all.) Each blast in Chain Reaction now deals 355% weapon damage and deals the damage as Fire.
Mirror Image now causes your duplicates to taunt enemies for 1 second. Each duplicate now has 50% of your life, and spells cast by the mirror images do 10% of the damage of your own spells. Simulacrum now increases your duplicates life to 200% of your own. Duplicates now summons 4 duplicates rather than 5. Mocking Demise causes duplicates to explode for 309% weapon damage as Arcane. Extension of Will now grants your duplicates 100% of your life while still increasing their duration to 10 seconds. Mirror Mimics now do 20% of the damage you would deal with those spells (up from 10%).
Archon now lasts for 20 seconds, has no arcane power cost, and increases your Armor and resistances by 50% (up from 40%.) Instead of each enemy killed adding a second onto the duration of Archon, every enemy killed increases your damage by 6%. Arcane Destruction now deals 6309% weapon damage. Teleport (the Teleport rune) only has a cooldown of 3 seconds in the Reaper of Souls Beta (down from 10 seconds). Pure Power remains the same in the Beta. The Slow Time rune now casts a Slow Time bubble that follows you. The upgraded Improved Archon rune now increases damage by 60%.
The New Skill: Black Hole
Cooldown: 8 Seconds
“Conjure a Black Hole at the target location that draws enemies to it and deals 376% weapon damage as Arcane over 2 seconds to all enemies within 15 yards.”
Rune 1: Supermassive
“Increases the Black Hole radius to 20 yards and damage to 583% weapon damage as Lightning over 2 seconds.”
Rune 2: Absolute Zero
“Each enemy you hit grants 12% increased damage for the next Cold spell you cast.”
Rune 3: Event Horizon
“The Black Hole also has a chance to absorb enemy projectiles and objects within 15 yards.”
Rune 4: Blazar
“Conjure a Black Hole at the target location that draws enemies to it and deals 376% weapon damage as Fire over 2 seconds to all enemies within 15 yards. After the Black Hole disappears, an explosion occurs that deals 372% weapon damage as Fire to enemies within 15 yards.”
Rune 5: Spellsteal
“Enemies hit by Black Hole deal 10% reduced damage for 3 seconds. Each enemy hit by Black Hole grants you 1% increased damage for 3 seconds.”