The PVP Control Wizard (Mod 11.5)

by liesofjames on July 11, 2017
Control Wizard
Item Reviewed

The PVP Control Wizard (Mod 11.5)

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Positives

Good Damage Output
High Durability
Easily Adaptable
Strategic Play-style

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Hard to kill

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Build Update

Hello all,

This update will be less visual and more text heavy.

Since this build was posted Sly and I have had a lot of positive encouragement and feedback from the PS4 CW PVP community, and I am thrilled to see many CW’s utilizing all or parts of the build in Domination.

We have been able to increase our survivability by changing a few boons and enchantments, and our DPS by doing something which seems pretty crazy which I will cover further down.

Now I have to say that the “doing something pretty crazy thing below” alone will improve on the existing build. The enchantments, class change, race change, that I have made and explain in more detail below do make it even better IMO, however they are not going to make or break the build.

That said, I’ll talk about what we have changed and I’ll do my best to explain why. Keep in mind that our testing is all based on real time observation during 1v1’s and 100’s of Domination matches. Since the last Mod I am sitting on 4.2k kills and 500 and change deaths @ just over 12k Gear Score. The deaths could easily be in the 10’s if I cared about these stats or chose to stand in the spawn when pugging vs Pre-Mades, which I do not. I mention these stats not to brag but to emphasize on the fact that I am always actively testing the build in Domination and it is very effective.

I cannot support how good this build is with ACT or mathematical charts. I do not understand most of the mechanics of the game and can only ask people who follow this build to trust our findings based on being very active PVP players.

Also please note, Sly and I use the same concepts however we run different versions all the time to experiment continuously. We are both doing the “something pretty crazy thing below”, the rest is what I am currently running with.

Crazy Thing

*Hides under a rock from the Control Wizard Shield  Association

No I am not going crazy! Hell no I am not recommending this to just any PVP CW! However if you are above average in your teleporting prowess, are following this build guide and are above 12k item level say goodbye to that pink bubble.

After many 1v1’s with Sly both using the same build Shield/No Shield we have come to the conclusion that an extra offensive encounter power outweighs and overcomes Shield on R1/Mastery. In a CW vs CW scenario especially.

I find this particularly amusing and confusing because we have focused on survivability to gain an advantage over a DPS focused Control Wizard, only to drop an Encounter that provides great survivability to add more DPS, yet still manage to overcome a DPS focused Control Wizards DPS and survivability. OK did I lose you? I lost myself there.

With the extra encounter we have increased our DPS, but losing our Shield changes a few things.

Firstly we will be more prone to burst damage like a Guardian Fighters Bull Charge and a Trickster Rogues Shocking Execution, however we can avoid these easily by mastering one technique, our teleport. Please do not underestimate how good you need to be at timing your teleport, before you will be at an advantage without the Shield, and instead an encounter in its place. Keep in mind however that at my teleporting skill level, which I consider very high, I can stand against any BIS class from the best PVP players for very long periods or indefinitely with no shield.

My Race Change

I have changed my race from Human to Halfling for the extra deflect which dropped with my recent enchantment change. I have to admit the control resistance is a plus, and that I feel as though because I am so small I am harder to hit. I myself took a while to adjust to being smaller and my targeting was all over the place for at least a couple of days.

My Enchantment changes

I have replaced all of my Silvery enchantments with Demonic enchantments, currently all R10.

This dropped my Deflect quite a bit however I have even more health and the 3% deflect from being Halfling is almost equal to a Rank 12 and 11 Silvery enchantment. I will still aim for 30-35% Deflect however having a mix of HP, Deflect and Life Steal from Demonic’s makes everything a little more customizable from Insignias to Boons to Armor Kits.

I still have Radiant Enchantments in all of my offence slots and will not change them until testing Mod 12 or the Mod after to see which double stat enchantment would be best. Also I just don’t have the AD.

Armor Enchantment Change

I was very, very hesitant to change my Negation Enchantment. Partly because the benefit was easy to see and understand, and partly because even though I dislike the look of it, I dislike the look of Shadowclad more.

I did change to Shadowclad though and do think it is better than Negation for this build.

There are 2 reasons why I think that it is better. The first being that you can gain invisibility every 30 seconds for 4 seconds, basically one of the best survival mechanics for a Trickster Rogue become yours for a limited time. There are some occasions where it is wasted and I go invisible on my mount, however it has helped me stay in the danger zone for longer periods of time.

The second reason is because you gain 10% to your deflect rating every time you get hit. This combined with the Insignia Bonus Survivors Blessing (which heals 3% of your HP every time you deflect) allows you to receive a ton of passive healing. In my testing with Sly (I had my character sheet open and watched my deflect % jump all over the place for a very long time) I was deflecting a stupid amount of times. I know a “stupid amount of times” is not very specific and the testing not very scientific however it was very, very noticeable that I was deflecting a lot.

With 215k HP, and taking healing depression into account, every deflect would provide 806 HP every second for 4 seconds. This maybe even higher due to Incoming Healing Bonus and Regeneration, however I don’t know how they are all factored in.

In the case you don’t deflect an attack you still gain 4% damage resistance which stacks up to 8 times. This is great however I think it is the fact that you deflect and you deflect often that makes this enchantment better.

In any case the only other evidence I can provide that to me proves Shadowclad is better for this build is in Sly and my duels in Ice Wind Pass. With the same set ups and the same skill level (I am actually better than him at stealing kills in Domination though) the Shadowclad wearing counterpart was always the victor.

Disclaimer: I have no shares in Shadowclad Inc. and will not profit from their sales.

Boon Changes

There are still 4 Campaigns I do not have boons for and am very excited to get them in Mod 12.

The boons I do have were switched a bit from the guide below. The main difference is that every “chance to gain damage” has been changed to a “chance gain healing”.

Armor Changes

I have transmuted all of my gear to look like the Burning PVP gear and have dyed it black. This makes me look intimidating and there are rumors that it has even caused onlookers to retreat from nodes and give them to me.

I have no evidence to support this.

Stat changes

When changing class I rerolled my stats. The focus is still on having Intelligence and Charisma as high as possible. Because I think every stat is important to our build I did not try to get these 2 stats super high but instead took the roll which gives a total of 77 points which is the maximum.

It looks like this, INT 15, WIS 14, CHA 13 (+2 for a total of 15), DEX 12, CON 12, STR 11.

My Paragon Change

I have now changed from Spellstorm to Master of Flame. Fanning the Flame (an encounter only available to Master of Flame) is IMO on par with Shield and Repel when it comes to receiving the biggest benefit from being on R1/Mastery (from a PVP perspective). A mechanic that Master of Flame offers is a debuff to your opponent for both you and your team to capitalize on by the way of Smolder/Rimefire. As an added bonus, a Thaumaturge Master of Flame can produce a great amount of DoT which offers a steadier stream of Life Steal increasing survivability.

What is replacing my Shield?

Yes you guessed it… Fanning the Flame is.

There are various ways Smolder can be applied to an opponent, however some ways are inconvenient, some take time to master and some cause you to sacrifice a DPS class feature. By far the easiest way is using Fanning the Flame on R1/Mastery which applies it to your target and targets close to them automatically. It’s just that easy.

If you already have experience and always remember to spam an at-will in your rotation, you can opt to apply Smolder with an At-Will called Scorching Burst. This opens up the option to use, for instance, Ray of Enfeeblement on R1/Mastery which combined with Smoulder/Rimefire make for a very strong debuff combo.

If you choose to stay Spellstorm, I think Ray of Enfeeblement would be the best encounter to use on R1/Mastery, however have some fun and experiment.

A little more on Fanning the Flame, Scorching Burst and Smolder/Rimefire

I just love these 3 things. Here is a scenario that shows how good they can be in a common situation in Domination.

The Rush to Node 2.

More often than not when 2 experienced teams are in Domination the battle starts on Node 2.

Let’s say you pick your target, and cast Fanning the Flame at them. You engulf your target in flame which applies a DoT and debuff. While FtF is on your target, your target attracts flame from nearby targets who are affected by Smolder causing them to take additional damage (the other targets will be affected by Smolder automatically if they are in close proximity to your target when you cast FTF. If not, you can do a long charge of Scorching Burst to apply smolder to all targets if their bunched together, or my favorite, in a machine gun like fashion spam it fast while targeting every enemy you can see.

If any of the other enemies affected by Smolder die before your main target, they deal an additional burst of damage to your FtF target.

There is also a feat I have chosen called Drifting Embers which helps the spreading of Smolder from your main target to other enemies by giving a 40% chance (at max rank) when damaged by other attacks to spread Smolder to them.

I love seeing this all play out perfectly, and when it does it can be very effective to the FtF target.

Encounters I’m Using

FtF on R1/Mastery, Repel, Disintegrate and depending on the situation Icy Rays, RoE, Entanglement.

At Wills

Ray of Frost and Scorching Burst.

Class Features and Offhand Features

Chilling Presence and Swath of Destruction, with the off-hand feat for SoD and RoF for the main hand.

Feats

Still playing with these and will update in the future. I have dropped Transcended Master however and I suggest those points be distributed elsewhere. I have them in the first Oppressor feats, top and bottom.

Well, that’s about it so far.

I hope you try and enjoy the changes. I look forward to seeing you all in Domination and will provide future updates next Mod.

 

 

 

 

 

Credit

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.

 

Build

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.

 

Artifacts

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.

Feats

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.

Class Features

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.

Encounters

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.

At-Wills

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.

Daily’s

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.

Boons

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.

Final Notes

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.

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  • Govou
    July 18, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Tyvm for that build 🙂 so is ur “normal” rotation this? e.g. double tap icy rays –> disintegrate –> repel?

    And how do u handle a gf in a 1v1 situation? They seem to be the hardest to beat 1v1…

    Greets and out

    • Liesofjames
      July 19, 2017 at 10:15 am

      Heya Govou,

      Your very welcome 😄

      To be honest I have been experimenting a lot with Sly, and I will update the guide with our findings soon. They make the overall build much stronger.

      The Guardian Fighter @ equal item level will be very hard if not impossible to kill. To combat them specifically I have a Loadout called “Close Quarters”. With this Loadout I have taken Icy Veins from the Oppressor tree and dropped Far Spell and Transended Master from the Thaumataurge tree.

      Now if you have close to the same gear that I have, or are a higher item level don’t use Shield. I know that sounds crazy, however it will not make much of a defensive difference vs a GF and the extra offensive encounter can make all the difference. As the GF is at the top of the food chain, I find most of them leave you alone if you threaten their immortality complex.

      You have to be the aggressor and time your dodges well. When I fight a GF I use the “Close Quarters” Loadout, with Icy Terrain, Entangling Force, Icy Rays and Disintergrate.

      Get in their face, and always get Icy Terrain down as soon as it comes off cooldown. I find that when Icy Terrain is down they usually freeze before they can get to you for a follow up Griphons Wrath, after they Bull Charge you.

      Use Storm Pillar when you can because for some reason the Pillar counts as an entity and therefore if it hits the GF from behind while you attack from the front it gives you Combat Advantage.

      I hope this helps!

  • Liesofjames
    July 19, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Oh and sorry I did not answer your first question.

    I tend to use Repel>Disintergrate first cause you outrange them and when they come into range Icy Rays double tap.

  • Luca
    July 30, 2017 at 8:43 am

    What’s your initial ability score roll and what buffs do you have to them in the picture?

    • Luca
      August 5, 2017 at 12:56 am

      Also where did you spend your points, I assumed all intelligence and charisma.

      • James
        August 5, 2017 at 4:45 am

        Hi, yes Int and Charisma. The ability score roll is explained in the update, and in the original build pictures I may have had the campfire bonus or Elixer of Fate by is skewing my stats.

  • August 7, 2017 at 1:04 am

    Ever try a full recovery build cw for PvP to spam icy terrain an repel ? To keep everything off the node ?

    • James
      August 14, 2017 at 6:35 pm

      Hi, yes. There is a really good build just for that purpose on the offical forums in the CW class section. If I remember correctly it is called “How to be an Icehole”.

      I myself have dabbled with an Oppressor build in the past however I prefer DPS over Control.

  • Affiliated
    August 24, 2017 at 6:06 am

    i dont want to be that guy but it looks like you might need help building a good cw… for pvp

  • James
    August 29, 2017 at 11:16 am

    Yeah, that is not true. What is true though, is that you are “that guy”, and that your comment adds no value to this comment section.

    This build is unbeatable in a 1v1 vs any other CW build, except a full recovery focused Oppressor. However, if a Trans Elven Battle is equipped in place of the Trans Shadowclad or Trans Negation, this build will then destroy the Oppressor also.

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