That's right, folks. Don't panic.
The Storm Spell nerf obviously hits a big damage ability in this build, but it in no way makes the build obsolete. Storm Spell was just one part of an otherwise extremely powerful build, and one that is still very viable. You'll be doing less damage (obviously), but you'll still be doing a lot of damage, with no impact to your ability to control mobs and buff your group.
The only recommendation are likely to change from Vorpal being a clear favorite as an enchantment to focus on a more group friendly enchantment like Plaugefire or Terror. There's also some strong evidence to support greater parity in builds with the Master of Flame paragon, and I'll add those updates to the guide once I collect more data this week.
----Don't be fooled by the name "Control Wizard". There are many definitions of the word control, but don't ever forget that the single most important status you can inflict on an enemy in Dungeons and Dragons is death. That's right. Death is the best form of Crowd Control.
So if this is the type of control you're looking for, you've come to the right place.
This guide is aimed at the novice to intermediate Control Wizard. It's kept simple, and light on the math. At the end, I'll list some "required reading" for those that want to get more crunchy. But the beauty of this guide is the build works from the start of your career to the end. You can start leveling with it, and get to 60 with no need to respec. The build is also viable for fresh 60's and can grow as you increase in power and gear. The group buffs scale to each player's ability, giving big damage boosts to new players and well as those in top gear. It's also incredibly competitive for the top 1%, who are trying to burn content as fast as possible. In fact, I would argue that a Spellstorm Renegade is an integral part of any group that wants to maximize their damage and efficiency.
Contents:Some sections are still a work in progress as I learn more and fully update for Mod 6. If you have a question on something that isn't quite up to date, just ask.1: Why choose the Spellstorm Renegade path?2: Creating your first CW3: Level 70 - Death is STILL the Best Crowd Control4: Stats5: Boons6: Powers7: Leveling to 60 8: Gearing up for the Level from 61 to 709: CompanionsSpecial Bonus Section: Xbox One1: WHY CHOOSE THE SPELLSTORM RENEGADE PATH?
The Spellstorm Renegade brings a lot to the table, both in solo and group play. Specific to the path, Renegades bring two very powerful buffs to groups. Here's some of the key features of a Spellstorm Renegade:Nightmare Wizardry
is a feat that gives you a chance to grant combat advantage against a target when you critically hit, granting players a substantial damage boost against that target. The combined AOE and high crit rate of the Renegade path gives this buff virtually 100% uptime.Chaos Magic
is a buff that is randomly applied to all players within 50' when the Renegade CW damages a target. Each buff lasts 10 seconds, and can only apply once per CW. Chaotic Nexus gives a flat bonus of 30% Armor Penetration and 30% Critical Hit rate. Chaotic Fury gives a flat 30% damage boost and 10% Lifesteal boost. Chaotic Growth gives a large Heal over Time to all group members equal to 250% of your weapon damage every 0.5 seconds. Chaos Magic is incredibly powerful in that it affects all players within 50'...so just imagine how powerful giving 24 other players a 30% damage boost is in fights like Tiamat.Storm Spell
is a class feature that gives you a 30% chance when you crit to strike the target for additional damage. Unfortunately, this ability just took a bit of a nerf. It has a 0.5 second internal cooldown and can no longer critically hit. It may very well still be a great source of damage for CW's, but the devs are aiming to see this be more like 18% of your damage instead of 30-40%. Special note that the offhand power for Storm Spell gives you a 5% chance to proc it on ANY hit, so these bonus hits may or may not be critical hits.Chilling Advantage
is a feat that gives you an additional 2/4/6/8/10% chance to crit when Chilling Presence is slotted. Chilling Presence itself was buffed in Module 5, and now with Rank 4 available in Mod 6, we get an extra 8% damage per stack of Chill on a target, which is doubled to 16% if the target is frozen(48/96% total bonus at 6 stacks). This buff gives Renegades a compelling reason to NOT use Eye of the Storm, which has been mandatory since the class was introduced.
In addition to some very powerful buffs and damage features, Spellstorm Renegades also utilize the usual control + damage spells typical of any CW: Steal Time, Conduit of Ice, Icy Terrain, Oppressive Force, etc, bring to the table just as much CC as any other build.
So you have it all in one neat package with amazing group synergy: Buffs, Damage and CC. Everything a dungeon group needs to blow through content with ease.2: Creating your first CW
There's really no secret to creating your first CW.
As far as race, pick what you like. Obviously bonuses to CHA and INT are cool, but at the end of the day, it'll only make a 2-3% difference on your toon, so pick something you like the looks of. If you have to min/max, Tieflings, Dragonborn and Humans make statistically great CWs.
Why CHA and INT? Intelligence is obvious. It increases your damage. More damage is more good. People might argue back and forth about CHA vs WIS. For the sake of this build, CHA is the obvious choice for more critical chance and combat advantage damage. But I would recommend it for any CW build. The problem with WIS is that the value of the stat is very low. Plus 1% to control strength and resist isn't very good. There's a boon for +10% control strength, two pets that offer +15% and +25%, and a new Artifact set (Valindra's) that will give +15%. So you're looking at options to get up to a 65% bonus. Unfortunately, the same can't be said about damage, critical strike or combat advantage bonuses. Hence any CW is going to get substantially more millage out of CHA/INT combo than anything using WIS.
The only thing you'll want to do is roll until you get two 16's in your main stats, adjusted to 18's with your racial bonuses. If you only have a +2 to INT or CHA, max that. For example, I'm a Renegade Drow, so I started with 16 INT and 18 CHA.
Once you get into the game, it's going to take a few levels for your CW to blossom into a death machine, so be patient. It gets better every level, but it won't be until the early 20's that you start getting a nice load out of spells. You'll have to trudge through to mid 30's before you become a walking conflagration of lighting, eldritch and frozen death, so please be patient. Every level a CW gains makes him stronger.
At level 10, you unlock your Spell Mastery slot, which allows you to slot an additional encounter spell, and improve that effect. Pay special attention to these. Some spells, such as Chill Strike and Conduit of Ice are substantially more powerful in master, while other spells aren't really worth it (like Ray of Enfeeblement). For now, just drop Chill Strike into your mastery slot.
You'll see that it turns Chill Strike in a <font color="orange">HAMSTER</font> AOE. It stays <font color="orange">HAMSTER</font> most of the way to 60. At some point, you may wish to stick Conduit of Ice in Mastery, once you get access to more AOE spells, but honestly you can keep Chill Strike in there all the way up to 60 if it tickles your fancy.
As you look over the stats, powers and abilities, you'll notice a couple consistencies. In order to maximize damage, Renegades are looking for a few key things: Critical Strike, Power, Critical Severity and Combat Advantage Damage. The entire build revolves around maximizing those strengths, and filling in the rest around it.3: Level 70 - Death is STILL the Best Crowd Control
Raising the level cap to 70 has brought some new and exciting feats for the Control Wizards to play with, so the build is changing a bit from the level 60 version to take advantage of this. If you're starting a new Control Wizard, you can still level from 1 - 70 with the feat choices below. If you're currently using this build, you'll unfortunately need to use your free respec to adjust to the new powers.Feats
The core of the build is very familiar for those already playing it. The big changes come by working in two new and very powerful feats.
There's always going to be a lot of debate about this versus that. Is 1% here better than 1% there? Sometimes it comes down to personal preference. Place points where you like in the Heroic Tier, but there are a few feats I consider mandatory: 3/3 Weapon Master, 3/3 Toughness, 3/3 Wizard's Wrath, 3/3 Focused Wizardry and 2/5 Learned Spellcaster.
As for the Paragon Tier, I recommend you go as written. These feats are going to maximize your damage output, as well as synergize best with a high crit/high severity/combat advantage build, which is what Renegades are all about.
I opted to go with Uncertain Allegiance
over Abyss of Chaos for two reason. One, critical strike is extremely important to the build, and an extra 5% is huge. Second, we're a team player and being able to share that 5% critical strike with our group is double huge. Unfortunately as the module was tested, Abyss of Chaos got nerfed from unbelievable to pretty good to lackluster.
Second, I went with the Thaumaturge feats instead of Oppressor. After testing a few runs at level 70, the minor control boosts just did not help much. Unfortunately, level 73 mobs have so much control resistance, increasing the duration of control effects didn't have much practical effect. I decided that the substantial cooldown reduction from Spell Twisting
was substantially more powerful that Icy Veins. And the very cool thing about Spell Twisting is the faster your powers come off cooldown, the faster you can use them...which builds stacks of Spell Twisting even faster. This allows us to do two things we can't do with Icy Veins. One, more encounter powers equals more damage. Two, more encounter powers equals more control thanks to higher up times on CoI, ST, and IT.
My other big qualm with Icy Veins is the range. Fifteen feet is very, very close...too close if you ask me. The feat works fantastic outside of T1/T2 dungeons where the mobs are slightly less lethal, but I found that getting close enough to make Icy Veins effective in dungeons put me way to close to the danger zone.
My power selections keep CoI on tab, Icy Terrain and Chilling Cloud (plus the Artifact power to stack chills) so chills still stack up very fast without Icy Veins.
If you absolutely feel like you need to sacrifice a DPS for more control, you can opt to put those 15 points into the Oppressor Tree. I would pick Bitter Cold, Severe Reaction and then Icy Veins.