The PVP Control Wizard (Mod 11.5)
Good Damage Output
Firstly I would like to make a shout out to Sly@SomeOneSly. Sly has adopted and tested this build, adapting it to his own play-style and in doing so bettering it from the original. Thank you Sly! I am sure that if you wish to know the changes he has made you can contact him in game.
What this build is and what it is not?
More often than not I enter Domination alone, and so the goal with this Control Wizard was to be the best it can be in this type of situation.
My Control Wizard cannot afford to sacrifice damage, control or survivability to a point where one becomes a glaring weakness for my opponents to capitalize on.
When entering Domination alone I do not want to assume someone will be there to buff my damage, control my opponents or be my meat shield. Also I cannot assume what role my team will need me to fulfil to aid us in winning the match.
This is a Jack-of -all-trades Control Wizard Build, and IMO the best kind.
I built this character to have great damage, great survivability and capable control. There are other CW builds that do one of these things more effectively, and that funnily enough our greatest strength and their weakness.
What can this build do?
Absorb the spike damage of a max item level DPS focused Guardian Fighter or Combat HR, and then some.
Tank multiple enemy’s for a prolonged time or depending on the difference in player skill/class composition, stalemate them indefinitely.
Negate a DPS focused Control Wizards damage, yet maintain a similar damage output. Ultimately positioning this build as a nightmare match up for another Control Wizard.
Maintain enough damage output to assist comrades in clearing a node.
Maintain high survivability to defend a node indefinitely or for a good deal of time in a 1v1 situation vs all classes.
Can this build be used in Pre-mades?
Yes and to great effectiveness. One thing to consider however is the role that you play is harder to determine with this build. Good Pre-mades pick teams based on the role they can play. A pure DPS Control Wizards role for example is to dish out maximum damage. This build I think falls into the category of versatile, and sometimes having someone who can play multiple roles can make a big difference in a domination match.
Halfling, Tiefling or Human (I chose human for aesthetics and 3 extra heroic points) Max Intelligence and Charisma or Max Intelligence and Wisdom (for slightly more control). Experiment with this, Sly likes more control and I like more damage.
Situationally you may want to use an Elven Battle Enchantment but you lose a lot of survivability and we do have other means of escaping control. Slap this on vs an Oppressor or Trapper if they are pestering you.
Feytouched assists with our survivability, causing our enemies to deal less damage. Any Artifact Weapon is good and I personally chose Stronghold weapons to skip the grind. Relic and Mirage are equally as good and if you are yet to get any of these, Drowned weapons worked for me for a long time.
This will be replaced with the Rubellite Duelist Ring for a slight stat increase.
This will be replaced with the Rubellite Duelist Ring for a slight stat increase.
Will be replaced with Greater Everfrost Tunic when I get a chance, to capitalise on the set bonus with our high Deflect.
Will be replaced with Greater Everfrost Tights when I get a chance, to capitalise on the set bonus with our high Deflect.
The Valhalla set bonus is a key ingredient to boosting this builds survivability, this will be further explained below.
If I had the AD I would replace this with the Forge Hammer of Gond. If I had the time to level another character I would also replace this with the Sigil of the Scorge. What we are looking to achieve with at least 2 of our artifacts, is to get the deflect stat which we need to work for as it does not come on our armour.
I use this as my active 90% of the time. The stats are just ok, however it is the 30% damage buff and Healing/Shield buff that makes it a no brainer.
Oghma’s has the deflect that we need and as a bonus it has a great active use. If you are being pestered occasionally and find it more advantageous for you to keep your negation slotted during the match instead of an Elven Battle, use this as your active artifact to break control powers.
Mount Powers and Insignias
Although not accessible easily, the Swift Golden Lions combat power provides a lot of survivabilty for both you and your team. I see a lot of people save the use of this power as a last resort, however it provides a far smaller shield because it is based on your remaining hit points. If you have this power, don’t be shy and use this power sooner rather than later.
I use the Dominant Force Equip Power for additional burst damage. The Lion’s Equip Power is a balance between Offence and Defence and is also good depending on which department you feel your character is lacking. A mount offering Deflect will give you even greater survivability. Please experiment, choose based on whether you feel like you need more damage or more survivability.
These are what I consider to be the best Insignia Bonuses for this build. I encourage everyone to experiment, however if you choose to, I would suggest that Vampire’s Craving is swappable and the others are too good to swap out. The Insignias are a mix of power, lifesteal, deflect and Hit Points. The variance is key to reaching certain thresholds with your stats which I will explain further below.
If I can ask one thing of those who choose to follow this build guide, it would be to experiment and not take my choices as gospel. Part of releasing this guide is to get it out there to a community of great minds, so that it can be tweaked and improved.
That said, let me explain some of my choices.
Controlling Action and Fight On are great sounding Heroic Feats, however I do not notice the difference in AP gain with Controlling Action, and I feel Fight On is not required with Spell Twisting. This is why I did not choose them.
In the Oppressor Tree, I have placed 1 point in Severe Reaction. When struck you have a 15% chance to repel your attacker 1/2/3/4/5 feet and restore 2/4/6/8/10% of your Stamina. This only works within 20 feet. This proc’s a lot and you get a 15% chance to be protected for only 1 point invested. It’s utility is too good to miss.
In the Thaumaturge tree I have invested in Destructive Wizardry. When you cast a fully charged Storm Pillar, you gain 1/2/3/4/5% additional damage for 20 seconds. Most Control Wizards will overlook Storm Pillar as an At-Will due to its mediocre damage and therefore skip this feat. We are going to be using Storm Pillar for its utility however and this feat synergises with it. Also, a 20 second buff is very respectable compared to other buffs. I will explain why we use Storm Pillar in the At-Wills section.
In the Thaumaturge tree I have invested in Far Spell. This feat is highly underestimated and I always get flak for telling other Control Wizards to use it in PVP. Let me explain with some pictures.
Without the Far Spell feat this is the distance to a target dummy (to the left of the screen out of view) in the trade of blades.
With the Far Spell feat this is the distance to the same target dummy above. I cannot get these pictures to align however you can see the distance based on the 3 vertical steps in both pictures.
From a tactical viewpoint Far Spell puts you within striking range against ranged enemies first. This gives you the advantage of establishing your distance first, and thus the ability to control the fight.
In the real world, a fighter who not only has a reach advantage but can control the distance against their opponent, is in a very, very good position. Every good PVP’r learns their own striking distance and their enemies over time, this feat is the curve ball they won’t expect and will have to deal with on the fly.
Also, it is worth noting that we are not the most mobile class, and the extra range is helpful for sniping retreating enemies.
In the Thaumaturge tree I have selected Transcended Master. Shard of Endless Avalanche deals an additional 5/10/15/20/25% damage. Icy Rays deals an additional 5/10/15/20/25% damage if cast on the same target twice. Icy Rays has its cooldown reduced by 1/2/3/4/5 seconds if used on two different targets.
Shard of the Avalanche is terrible. The sole purpose for this choice is that the added burst damage from Icy Rays. I do feel however that the 25% increase is not correct and is maybe half that, but I have no way of testing it. I may use these points elsewhere in my next respec. I have Icy Rays on my bar 95%of the time.
Although this build does not focus on Critical Strike whatsoever, Storm Spell hits often and hits hard. I use the Artifact Class Feature for this also. Sly uses Orb of Imposition for more control.
Chilling Presence is our best DPS Class Feature. I can’t show you the math but it is out there. I use the Artifact Class Feature for this.
This is always in my mastery slot (R1 on PS4)
I switch between this, Ray of Enfeeblement and Repel depending on the situation.
Use Repel to keep distance and positioning in your favour. The perfect time to land an Ice Knife Daily is straight after you cast Repel.
I only ever slot this when helping to burst down a tank.
My most favourite Encounter is Icy Rays. This Encounter can be activated twice, the first press of the button gives you a mark (you can see this in the picture below) and it works like a homing missile. This mark is still visible on a target in stealth, so you can use this to track a Trickster Rogues movement. When sight is lost you can still activate the second strike within 5 seconds to hit them and reveal their position. The second strike can also be used to hit another target however it deals less damage.
Icy Rays also has a stun mechanic that allows you to land followup encounters more easily, halt an attacker in there tracks or buy you a second to create yourself some breathing space.
Disintegrate is our highest damaging Encounter and there is never a case to not use it.
Ray of Frost gives us the ability to add chill stacks and freeze our enemies. While frozen our enemies take the most damage, so this should be your go to At-Will. If you jump and cast this At-Will you can cast faster and wont be rooted. Jump casting is not very easy on the PS4 though as we need to press 3 buttons simultaneously.
Further up in my feat selection I started to make a case for taking a relatively small gain of 5% damage for 20 seconds using an At-will that does mediocre damage.
A fully charged Storm Pillar like the one above acts as a stationary, motion detecting lightening rod for a few seconds. Imagine that the 2 target dummies were Trickster Rogues. Imagine they are in stealth. This thing can see them for you, it is your eyes and ears, and has saved me from many Shocking Executions.
Another fun fact is that it can hit a Guardian Fighter from behind their shield.
Pretty straight forward.
Ice Knife is our hardest hitting Daily. Use it after Repel for a guaranteed hit.
Oppressive Force is good for using on a node vs multiple targets and the push back stun is good in a 1v1 vs heavy hitters like the Guardian Fighter and Combat Ranger.
Massively overlooked because of the long casting time and small radius, this daily has amazing utility more than anything else.
Upon casting you will break all Control Effects much like using Oghma’s Token of Free Movement. The key thing to note however is that the animation can be cancelled immediately with a quick teleport and you will only use 50% of your AP.
With regards to boon selection again I ask you to experiment. I do not have all the boons unlocked as I struggle to enjoy PVE, however these are what I would choose. There is no right or wrong choice, all the boons can be seen as additional fillers to areas you feel you may be lacking. Obviously there are boons that synergise with our high deflect which are worth choosing, however you will notice most of the on-chance type boons, I have opted for more damage output as I think the core fundamentals of the build make us tanky enough.
What stats to aim for?
As of now I am working towards all the power I can stack while maintaining, 10k Armor Penetration, 10-15% Life Steal, 30-35% Deflect, 200K + HP.
I PVP every day and would feel confident fighting any Control Wizard or Guardian Fighter (the only classes I have) with like for like stats and be a formidable opponent. There is nothing I can write in this guide that is equivalent to the knowledge gained from practice.
Look at the concept of the build and try to understand why it works the way that it does. Then get out there and practice.
Enjoy the build and I look forward to seeing you in Domination.