Table of Contents
1.1 DPS vs Control
1.2 Strength and Weaknesses of Master of Flame vs Spellstorm
2. Ability scores, stats and boons
2.1 Ability scores
2.4 Gear and Companions
3. Power skill and feats
3.1 Powers- at will, encounters, class features, dailys
3.2 Heroic feats
3.3 Paragon feats
4.1 MoF Thaumaturge build
4.2 MoF Oppressor build
4.3 Comparison between thaumaturge and oppressor
4.4 MoF Renegade build (not recommended)
In Module 4 you need to consider what you want your CW to be strongest at, there is some give and take in where you want to position yourself according to this continuum.
I’m not going to repeat myself about CW class roles, but in a party the Control Wizard has these priorities
Primary role is control
Secondary role is AoE DPS and AoE debuffs
Third role is single target DPS and debuffs
If you are new to the CW class, got to 60 and start running dungeons, you must realise the demands and playstyle changes significantly. When playing solo many players favoured a ranged approach, keeping your distance and use entangling force to disable, Ice Storm and Shield to knock adds away from them and kill things one by one. This is not helpful in a group situation. You need to be comfortable with adds in close range, focus on AoE control and DPS skills, learn how to survive without shield and rely on your party.
Module 4 forces you to make more deliberate decisions about which of these aspects you want to excel at, and this imparts significant changes to the fluidity, playstyle and optimal ways of speccing a MoF. The MoF build is still very viable and competitive in module 4 for both DPS and control roles and still very useful in a party. I'll update with info and builds as any significant changes occur.
1.1 DPS vs Control
What is control? Control covers mob positioning- placing and grouping mobs on advantageous locations, or getting them knocked off cliffs, or temporarily freezing, stunning and disabling them to minimise their attacks and abilities.
Every party member is there to help ensure the run goes smoothly and easily. In my opinion it is always a continuum between DPS and control depending on your GS, the content you're doing and your group composition and competency. If the group needs control/stunlocks, use those. If the group needs your DPS, bring the DPS, don't be stuck with one and not the other. In most cases they are not mutually exclusive, but a matter of balance.
When joining a new group you need to quickly establish how much AoE DPS the party is doing. The best form of control is death. Control isn't bad but bear in mind most of the elite and boss mobs are immune to control and freezes.
Firstly, work out if you are going to be able to burn adds down in 1-2 rotations. If yes, you should do things to maximise party DPS such as grouping them together, adding debuffs. If not, you should work out how to best keep mobs controlled while the party chips away.
Are you the strongest DPSer relative to the rest of the group? If say you are doing 30% or more of the party’s damage, the party should help you DPS by grabbing aggro, helping group mobs and buffing. If no, for example if there are 2 GWFs doing the same damage you do or more you can help debuff and group stuff together for them to kill even faster. If you're finding there's lots of leftovers sticking around you need a combination of control and DPS to keep the party safe while you whittle them down collectively. Like all my builds and guides, I always write with the party in mind, so know your limits and capabilities, and then weigh it against the options the party is offering.
Right now a geared 15k+ CW is very powerful and can easily do a significant amount of AoE damage and control in T2 dungeons, even solo. You have the clutching and MVP job, make sure you do it well. The test of how good a CW is not in how much DPS he is able to do, but how well he can carry and support a weak party if they wouldn’t have otherwise finished the dungeon. If you don’t know your encounters, abilities and synergies well, you’re not going to be able to optimise for the best results.
Module 4 shifts the dynamic back from individuals carrying the team to offering each team player a chance to shine. Know what the strengths and weaknesses of the party are and try to take advantage of each other.
DC brings incoming healing, damage mitigation and DPS buff. Righteousness increases all your incoming healing (lifesteal/regen) by 70-100%. Damage mitigation 24% via Astral shield, 5-11% via Foresight. Damage buff/ damage mitigation 30% when Hallowed ground is up. Damage buff by 20-35% with divine glow.
TR brings 5% crit chance (executioner build), smoke bomb helps extend control duration and shut down mobs, high single target damage.
GF mark grants combat advantage to party and places 8% debuff on targets. Threat and positioning control allows them to group mobs around them. Tide of iron brings 20% debuff. Knight's Valor halves your incoming damage, into the fray buffs your damage and runspeed. Knight Captain/Valiant Warrior sets buff your damage. Tactician builds buffs your AP gain.
GWF mark mechanic as above and AoE DPS capabilties. Also hold threat on high priority target and often initiate combat.
HR aspect of pack grants up to 100% combat advantage uptime (if they are within 15 feet), but grasping roots are inferior to CW control. Brings high DPS (the good ones) especially on controlled targets.
CW brings party positioning and control tools and DPS.
SW brings single target/AoE DPS and depending on playstyle minor buffs to party and lifesteal healing
CW is a ranged class, but I do not advocate standing far at the back slinging spells. You should stick with the party close to the clerics in medium range to the center of action. Move in with your GFs and GWFs, but don't cast until they've engaged and got the mob's attention. You should keep mobs all to one side of you rather than surrounding you. In combat I tend to dodge clockwise or anticlockwise continually around the center of action so that I stay in proximity to the party and the mobs and keep them together rather than separate the ones chasing me from the main pack.
1.2 Strengths and weaknesses of Master of Flame vs Spellstorm
The greatest difference between the paragons is burst damage vs damage over time (DoT). Both excel at clearing trash. SS CWs control EoTS procs and timing of their debuffs to get very hard hitting shard/Sudden Storm/ Oppressive Force crits which can clear the room. Master of Flame CWs have superior AP gain and smoulder/rimfire mechanic which can put very strong DoTs on many targets dealing damage while kiting and using other abilities. They can still burst very hard, and can slow walk from the explosion knowing whatever survived is living on borrowed time. MoFs in particular are boss killers, and DoTs add up and damage bosses while working on adds. They are also better party supporters, having access to an extra debuff (+15% party DPS from Swath of Destruction) and much faster AP gain than SS for singularity/Oppressive Force. MoFs also have slightly more control potential due to the faster AP gain and aggro mechanic via smoulder.
I’ve played the SS CW decently for a long time and did my research before switching to MoF. I was worried I’d be useless or underperforming and have to switch back but so far I haven’t looked back. The good thing about SS is with enough GS and burst you can kill a room even before the rest of the party gets there. Your raw damage potential is unparalleled and your encounters can decimate foes. With a MoF you can do as much damage, but you're doing maybe 70% of it upfront and 30% of it over time. For me SS was at a point where it was starting to get boring and MoF made it a lot of fun again. MoF is also a lot more forgiving on lag spikes which plague me (300ms + ping) because you don’t need to be right at point blank range for sudden storm and thus has slightly greater survivability. The DoT mechanic makes you very powerful as a solo CW in parties and more synergistic with SS CW than double SS. In Icewind Dale I’ve been able to clear 3-6 man medium encounters solo on my MoF build due to better sustained damage and healing over time where as I would have definitely struggled as a SS (the most dangerous things are double bear riders or double/triple Deathlock Wights). Also at a lower gearscore, or in a weaker party where encounters will generally take longer a the DoTs that MoFs bring will mean they deal overall more damage overall than SS.
DPS wise a lot of CWs will prefer SS because they like big numbers over and over again. When equally geared SS does have an edge over the MoF especially due to EoTS giving 15-20% extra crit average and storm spell being buffed significantly in module 4. Head to head in a party the SS will win DPS wise over MoF due to 3 reasons. Firstly you do about 70% of your damage upfront and 30% over time. SS does 100% upfront. They can double dip into your damage even if your DoTs were going to kill them anyway. Secondly their chill stacks convert your smolder to rimefire and it gets credited to them. Thirdly your swath of Destruction buffs their damage by 15%. Don't play a MoF if you must be the guy at the top because you won't have the right mentality. MoF deal awesome damage but they also equip and help others do better damage. For me I see MoFs to be a great party player and works well in any party composition regardless of how many other CWs there are, whereas the effectiveness and utility of multiple SS drops off fast.
Some stats for Module 4 damage for those interested (and I know you are)
I ran a number of CNs in multi CW party, usually there's 2 other spellstorm and I'm the only MoF. Our GS is 15k+ and within +/- 500 of each other and we play well together, as a group (ie nobody running ahead and trying to pad DPS meters). I've tracked Damage via ACT for a couple of runs with different parties and it generally looks similar to that below:
You can see the SS have about 15% damage ahead of me. However about 900k of that damage each is from Rimefire Smolder. Subtracting that bumps me to 24.8 and the SS to 26.6. Also I'm debuffing mobs 15% with SoD so party wise damage increases by up to 15%. If you take both those factors into account, you can see that MoFs not only does excellent DPS even with the broken storm spell, but we also contribute significantly to overall party damage. This is particularly so for large, add heavy and kiting heavy dungeons like CN where it takes several rotations to kill things. All your DoTs really add up, whereas if you're in something like ToS where adds die much faster the spellstorm will outdamage MoFs by a fair margin simply because they die before your DoTs kick in. Overall point is, our DPS is strong, and we work very well with Spellstorms to boost everyone's damage.
AP gain- MoF have superior AP gain due to combustive action. My SS CW was specced for AP gain rather than DPS but it’s nothing compared to what I have as a DPS specced MoF. From parses with combatlog I have anywhere from 10-25% more AP compared to good SS CWs in the party. Adds are great! Killing lots of trash grants your very fast AP cycles. However when dealing with a single target boss you won't have that advantage.
Crit- MoFs lose Eye of the Storm, which means they need to build some crit and you can’t guarantee crits, not a big deal, every other class has to deal with that. Most SS have around 40-50% crit due to EoTS, MoFs have around 30-40%. I wouldn't go more than 33%. Crit up to 2600 or so is plenty and you should stack power instead.
Healing- All CWs rely on lifesteal healing to keep you up between encounters. SS have great burst damage that can heal themselves to full each encounter. MoF have burst and dots, and as a result you not only get good upfront healing but also good heal over time. Lifesteal from smoulder is wonderful to help deal damage and keep you alive when you kite especially for IWD.
Survivability- You’re not at melee range because you don’t need to use sudden storm, which gives you more room to manoeuvre in medium range. MoF is thus more lag friendly and slightly less position dependent, but you still need to be good at lining up shards and getting close with icy terrain and steal time.
PvP- While not an expert in PvP at all, you don’t lose as much as a MoF. Smoulder/Rimefire chill DoTs greatly reduce opponent mobility and keep heailng depression up making you a better harasser and kiter. RoF is your bread and butter and combined with smoulder you can keep dots on multiple targets without doing too much. Keep you distance and fire away.
Ability scores- Same base roles for SS works for MoF. For PvE CWs you want to maximise INT, WIS and CHA. Most DPS CWs would maximise INT and CHA. Generally try to have at least 16 INT in your starting roll (excl racial bonuses) and high WIS/CHA. WIS is arguably more important than CHA for SS and vice versa for MoFs. In reality almost everyone goes INT CHA anyway.
Gear sets- HV is still going to best for personal and party damage boost. MoF get more mileage out of SW set if there are multiple CWs. You should probably get more crit than SS but even with minimal crit I'm having good success with my respecced SS mage.
Ease of Use- If you already gained all the experience and survivability tips from playing SS well MoF is easier to learn and play. It is also more complementary to different parties and other CWs in the party. For newcomers and lower geared chars I would say it allows you to be more useful even at a lower gearscore. Regardless of gear a well played CW will be a force of destruction in the right hands.
2. Ability score, stats and boons
Not going to cover this in great detail, whatever makes a good SS still makes a good MoF and vice versa.
With the nerf to many heroic feats and rework to focused wizardry Human has lost their DPS competitiveness, unless you're built for single target damage (then it's the best race). Tiefling and Dragonborn are probably the strongest races with Sun Elf a bit behind. Dragonborns and Tiefling have INT and CHA bonus which are essential to any CW build. Tieflings have on average a 2.5% DPS increase. Dragonborn have 5% extra healing is great, and with all your DoTs and AoE you have fairly high chances to trigger the 3% power and crit bonus and get good uptime.
2.1 Ability scores
INT gives recharge speed increase and 1% damage, max it.
WIS helps AP gain, which is significant for CWs because you have the fastest AP gain and your dailys are the most powerful. However most CWs get by with a minimal investment beyond 15 due to high recovery. The control bonus seems nice but effects are minimal. For MoFs since you have high AP gain via class features you don't need WIS.
CHA improves your crit chance and combat advantage bonus, both of which are relevant and strong multipliers of your base damage. Most CWs will max CHA. The companions stat bonus is very weak.
TL;DR: max INT and CHA and ignore the rest
2.2.1 Offensive stats
Recovery- whatever is on gear, usually you get 3k without trying.
Crit- 1500-1800 (no vorpal), 3000-3500 with Pvorp. If using shadow weavers you get plenty but as solo CW HV is still better so a catch 22. Still works fine under 2k crit. Power trumps crit at the cutoffs mentioned.
ArP- 2000-2200 to maximise buffs from HV. You need high ArP for high damage. If you're built as a single target boss killer get 2540. For PvP you might want even more.
Power- 5k+, put the rest of your stat points here once you have enough investment in the others. CW damage get appreciably more powerful as your power increases. If you're really stuck between power and crit, go with power.
2.2.2 Defensive stats
Max HP- get to 24k+ before boosting defense as buffer
Lifesteal- 1000-1200, very important for survivability as you DPS
Regen- HV gives you some already, don't worry about building more
Deflect- whatever is on your gear and don't bother getting more for PvE
If you're unhappy with your boons you can respec by respeccing feats under feat menu cost about 78k AD and much cheaper than respec token.
1. Dark Fey Warder +250 defense. You can take power if you have no issues dying, but for me I like the survivability boost due to my ping. Power is a dump stat while defense is a core stat.
2. Fey Precision +250 crit, don’t need deflect in PvE
3. Either is fine, but I took AP gain because it’s more valuable statwise
4. Either is fine, I took Elven Ferocity because you get some healing off it via lifesteal too
5. Elven resolve- you will need to dodge a lot and 10% is very noticeable. Other bonuses are rather minor at best.
1. Reliquary keeper’s Strength for power unless you want to up your crit just that little bit more
2. Evoker’s thirst, lifeteal > regen for CWs
3. Forbidden Piercing no question.
4. Shadowtouch for extra damage and you get some of the damage back via lifesteal
5. Endless consumption for more lifesteal. You have lots of ticks of DoT damage so this increases on average your lifesteal return by a fair bit. Others like Rampaging madness which will have very high uptime due to your DoTs, but with high DimR you won’t see much gain from 300 regen/lifesteal. The 600 power is approx 0.4*6 = 2.4% damage increase (depending on your current power) which is solid, so if you're all out DPS pick madness.
1. Encroaching Tactics for CA damage
2. Appreciation of warmth for more lifesteal/regen/DC healing
3. Sleet skills as we already have too much recovery
4. Cool resolve. If you have spare stamina you can always just dodge before unloading OF. Cold shoulder is a very very small chance to proc, and 200 damage is tiny when it's one mob out of 20 or so whacking on you.
5. Winter's Bounty. You get 10% AP every 90s or so and can add up to be 5-10% of your overall AP gain. Since MoF builds shine when regularly building and using AP I think it's a winner.
Tyranny of Dragon
1. Dragon's Claws +200 Power
2. Dragon's Gaze +200 Crit
3. Draconic Armorbreaker +200 ArP
4. Dragon's Greed +200 lifesteal
5. Everything is useful for CW. DPS builds get Dragon's Fury for 5% crit severity, controllers get Dragon's Grip for 10% control strength. Others go Dragon's Revival for 10% more incoming healing.
2.4 Gear and companions
2.4.1 Weapon set
Fabled Formorian or Fallen Dragon set. Highest damage. Fabled offer higher power while FD offers more lifesteal, either way you need both and you have to reshuffle stats anyway. Since we don't have as many defensive slots FD offers an easier way of getting lifesteal.
The IWD corrupt set procs once every 40 seconds, and the damage is fixed at 2500, not modified by DR/ArP/debuffs. It has lower weapon damage and some crit which is nice but the lower weapon damage means almost a lost of 300 power. Unless the Black Ice Shard damage does more than 1.2% of your DPS, it's not better than Fabled.
Mod 4 have a chance to drop artifact weapons. You lose the set bonus but they give a bonus to each of your 3 core at-wills. Ranked up they're probably your BIS, but will be very expensive to do so. Even at green rank it's equivalent to CN weapon, so it's a good starter weapon. Get the magic missile/ chilling cloud one depending on your build.
Artifact weapon: Chilling Eye is the best for MoFs because the chill stacks help keep smoulder alive. Arcane eye has better stats and does make MM viable in single target applications or if that is in your main playstyle. MoF does benefit more from arcane stacks than SS so it's also not a bad choice. The ray of Frost one is more for PvP.
For Spellstorm paragon you don't care about the chill stacks from chilling eye as much and I feel Arcane Eye is better overall, very minor difference.
2.4.2 Armor set
High Vizier (HV) should be your primary set. If nobody else in the party is wearing High Vizier you should wear HV as your overall damage is still highest with HV and it benefits the entire party (up to 30% extra damage on targets).
Shadow weavers: A lot of MoFs like SW and on paper it looks good but in reality it decreases your overall damage compared to HV solo. Many of us, including myself have tested and parsed and even with 1k crit HV outdamages SW consistently in both burst and sustained damage. In a party if someone is wearing HV then you can either keep your HV to extend uptime or switch to Shadow Weavers set. The extra crit helps a bit more proccing smoulder and the crit severity and lifesteal is a party buff making you very complementary to the party. However in most cases you are gaining only 7-10% crit, which realistically isn't that much difference in the scheme of things if you already have 30% base. Be aware that the set has a 90 second internal cooldown, so the bonus will be active for 90s, then the set bonus cannot proc until another 90s is up. This is another reason why the set is not as good as it looks.
Champion Mage/PvP Grim Thaumaturge:
Set bonus is decent to reduce cooldown of your tab skill, which is probably going to be CoI or FtF. If you're going for Grim/Profound set the Thaumaturge has much more balanced stat distribution compared to the others.
2+2 (Fabled Illiyabruen and Dread Legion):
You might see a lot of players going 2+2, IMO that works better for SS than MoF build because they frontload damage better. Having a very high power build (8-9k) can allow them to one shot clear the room if they get their positioning well. I don't recommend it if you don't have 16k+ gearscore to make up for it, but when you do, raw power trumps everything else. Don't need debuff when things are gonna die anyway. Probably should switch back for bosses though
Module 3 sets have lower weapon damage and proc rate. The armor sets have scattered sets and a mediocre bonus. The corrupt set is more useful than the purified set.
Draconic set (Module 4)
Itemisation wise the stat distribution of this set is much better than High Viziers. You gain some base ArP as well as more HP and defense for protection. You lose some deflect and regen but those are not important stats for CW anyway. With this set you do lose a lot of recovery, BUT the set bonus makes up for this. Compared to HV at 3.8k recovery I have about 1.2k with Draconic set, but my overall recharge speed is almost identical (+/- 0.1s) because of the set bonus which also helps the party.
Personal DPS wise because of overload slots and decent glyphs (red/black) they can and do make up for personal DPS. Your sustained personal damage with glyphs is comparable between HV and Draconic with red glyphs. This is because your DoTs can and do proc the glyphs per tick. For party buffs, the RSI bonus is still good but not as strong as the HV bonus. Overall this is a good alternative set to HV especially for newer players because it's very cheap and effective. It's also a 'fun' set when you're not worried about getting every ounce of DPS out. Of course, for party support HV is still better, especially if you're the only CW.
2.4.3 Other items
Go for other gear to help build your stats to the right cutoffs then round off with enchants.
Module 4 artifact belts are best in slot (get the ones with +1 INT or +1 CHA). Check my Power vs Crit guide to consult table on which gives more DPS. You need to know your average crit chance from ACT (especially for SS with EoTS). Generally for MoFs INT is better, especially if you don't plan on using a Vorpal.
2.4.4 Weapon and armor enchant
Vorpal: Arguably better for Spellstorms than MoF, but we do get +15% crit severity from CrC so it's not bad at all for DPS. Perfect Vorpal is more of a requisite if you're going full renegade build to take advantage of the extra crits. Still works well for a MoF build and can still add the most personal DPS. Vorpal offers the strongest boost for single for few targets.
Lighting: My personal favourite. Again, works well for both SS (use storm spell) and MoFs, proccing off primary damage as well as your dots and smoulder ticks. Overall damage depends a lot on your loadout. Primary lighting accounts for about 5-9% overall DPS output, and secondary Arcs about 3-6% more depending on rank. Icy Terrain in particular can proc a lot of lighting strikes. However Lightning is not as effective when fighting lone bosses such as VT/MC or in PvP because you lose the chains.
Plague Fire and Terror are decent as usual for debuffs because you hit many targets at once. A gearing MoF makes good use of PF as an entry enchant to help party damage and play a more support/debuff role. Works great with Swath of destruction and you can give party up to 24% bonus
Frost is a decent control enchant, with you high target/AoE limit you can stun mobs even more with Frost but DPS not as high as vorpal/lighting. With frost as soon as you damage a mob it cannot use any attacks or abilities for 4 seconds (16 second cooldown). Given that usually mobs are only dangerous at the start of a fight where they lay red and attack you before your AoE kills them, frost is a decent control enchant.
Soulforged- you will die pulling aggro of entire rooms and SF allows you to get the rest of your rotation off.
Barkshield is good substitute if you never actually die but ootherwise probably not as good as SF
Augment pet Ioun Stone of Allure (cheaper) or Radiance (slightly better because of extra offensive slot)
Erinyes of Belial adds +5/10% crit severity, great for any build.
Fire Archon for that extra bit of damage to kill mobs or trash, and to make last phase of bosses that much faster
Will-o-Wisp control resist and control bonus makes it great for PvE and oPvP
Wild Hunt Rider at purple can proc 3-6 times a minute which further improves your burst damage.
Renegade Evoker/Dancing Blade/Cantankerous Mage all good options
Active slot: GWF/ DC /Eye of Lathander/ Kessel's Sphere of Annihilation
For other slots CW/ Valindra's Crown / Vanguard's banner/ Lantern / Waters all good options
3. Power, Skills and Feats
Abaddon523 has compiled a list of module 4 changes here: http://nw-forum.perf...d-s-in-Module-4
You can now theoretically max all powers by levelling, so points here are more a guide while levelling getting to 60 showing which are the good powers and which you can avoid. I’m not going to cover info already in abaddon’s guide so please read those for details about what skills do and mechanics.
Class Mechanic: Smoulder
Your flaming abilities and class features can put smoulder on targets. Smoulder is a DoT and ticks 4 times over 6 seconds. You can only have 1 smoulder tic running per target (potentially per CW). If the original hit that proc smoulder is a crit then smoulder damage also crits on that target. Overwriting the smoulder does not change the tick rate or place additional ticks but just extends the duration. The crit status of DoTs are preserved when the effect is refreshed. For example, if smoulder crits on a target, all ticks will continue to crit when refreshed, even if the proccing skill didn't crit. The reverse is also true. Smoulder damage is increased with arcane stacks. In most cases, smoulder is converted to rimefire pretty quickly in combat.
When smoulder is ticking on a target, placing chill stacks will convert smoulder to rimefire. Rimefire is refreshed as long as the target has chill. Rimefire will not revert back to smoulder unless it drops off. Rimefire crit status can be overwritten unlike smoulder.
3.1.1 At- Wills
Magic Missile (MM, 3/3)- Used to be highest single target sustained damage at will, but post mod 4 this is only true if you use the Arcane Eye artifact weapon. Third MM will proc 2 extra hits. Builds 1 arcane stack per ‘rotation’ which helps increase damage of your arcane, fire and smoulder damage. Your go to for single target damage and arcane stacks combo.
Ray of Frost (RoF, 1/3, 3/3 for PvP)- fastest way of stacking chill or debuffs like plaguefire on targets but damage is low compared to other at-wills. If you’re not using any chill inducing encounters this could be handy to get rimefire. Ticks 2 times per second. When CrC is slotted you can maintain chill and rimefire indefinitely using RoF. Go to PvP ability and amazing when feated to freeze opponents.
Chilling Cloud (CC, 3/3)- This now cycles slightly faster than MM. Third hit adds chill stack can be AoE up to 3 targets. When feated with Frozen Power Transfer CC adds a substantial boost to your base damage which is why it’s so popular. If you're using chilling eye this is your best at will for normal spamming, even in single target situations.
Scorching Burst (MoF paragon only, SB, 3/3)- MoF Paragon at-will, holding down the button charges initial damage and size of AoE (up to 20 feet radius). Charged SB can hit multiple targets in AoE and put smoulder on each. Takes about 1.9 seconds to fully charge. When charged it does quite a bit more damage to targets. You can also tap MM when you release and cast both together. AP gain is related to charge speed up to ~4% (same as storm pillar). Good way of getting smoulder when FtF is on cooldown or something is about to die and you want that 3% AP. If you tap cast SB (no charging) it still deals damage and smoulder but cannot generate AP. You can tap cast SB twice a second. This is usually on the bar during a run to keep smoulder up. SB is my preferred at will during a run. I tap cast on a target about to die for AP gain, and I hold where I have time to charge for multiple targets.
Storm Pillar (Spellstorm paragon only, SP, 3/3)- Similar to SB. Single target if you spam cast. If you charge it creates a pillar which does AoE DoT to surrounding enemies. You don't rely so much for its damage as for proccing destructive Wizardry, especially now that we don't singularity as often.
188.8.131.52 At will comparisons (outdated module 3 stats, module 4 below)
I've done some tests comparing CW at will damage. Each at will was cast back to back for 120 seconds using 2+2 set. I have frozen power transfer active so chilling cloud damage is boosted by 5%. For scorching burst I tested in 3 modes- zero charge, which means just tapping the button as fast as I can to spam cast, half charge, which charges the bar to halfway point and releasing, and full charge, which charges the bar fully then immediately releasing. Results were logged in ACT and data exported to excel to calculate things like cast time and DPS. Results are shown here. Table represents raw data. Info in the graph is generated using magic missile as the control (100%) for relative comparisons. Cast time and AP gain is averaged for MM and CC over the 3 hits. (I'll recheck cast time of MM because it should be the same as CC).
Magic Missile has by far the highest single target DPS, followed by Chilling cloud (feated with FPT). Spamming SB has higher single target damage per second than both RoF and casting SB when fully charged. If there are 4 or more targets then fully charging it with SB can potentially deal more damage with MM (3 targets for CC).
MM and CC have the same rate of AP gain per second. Fully charging SB has the highest AP gain rate followed by RoF.
Smoulder damage from each of the at wills are comparable (time based), however MM builds arcane stacks so the smoulder is about 25% stronger. If the first tick crits and you can keep it up then you add a lot more damage.
Overall you should be using MM or CC as your main at wills. Tapping SB is great for putting smoulder on targets about to die or for clustered targets, eg mobs going into singularity or if you just need a burst of AP till your daily.
Update At will comparison for module 4
Redone tests for module 4. Build is using the Thaumaturge feats below. I have bitter cold (+5% when chilled, boost RoF and chilling cloud) and Frozen Power Transfer (boost chilling cloud) active. Combustive action and Swath of Destruction slotted (boosts Scorching burst by 15%). I kept the feats for 'in combat' performance. Done using High Vizier set, but HV is not procced on at wills.
Damage total column shows DPS including procs from smolder/warped magics/ creeping frost, while single target DPS column show DPS from at will only.
Results are overall similar. Major point to note is that now Chilling cloud surpasses Magic missile in single target damage when feated with bitter cold and FPT by about 10%. It is also slightly quicker to cast and have the same AP gain.
In comparison SB fully charged has highest AP gain rate. It has about half of CC's DPS but in multiple target situations may prove advantageous.
Ray of Frost has decent AP gain and is the fastest to tick and overall damage is comparable to spamming scorching burst.
Basically in this incantation and feat setup Chilling Cloud is the preferred at will for both single target and AoE situations. Charge use SB if you're close to a daily or if mobs are tightly packed. Spam use SB to put smoulder on stuff.
With Arcane Eye Magic Missile will surpass CC damage on single target.
3.1.2 Class Features
Orb of Imposition (1/3) Bugged in Mod 3, in mod 4 adds 25% control bonus (ie duration) per rank up to 75%. Can be useful if you need the extra control but in my NW experience I've never felt the need (maybe in PvP?).
Arcane Presence (0/3) Confusing name but basically means your cold spells also benefit from arcane stacks. At 3 ranks that’s 15% boost from 5 arcane stacks. Weak and situational for MoFs. Skip
Chilling Presence (3/3) You gain 3% damage per stack of chill, straightforward. Good for boss fights as you can keep 6 stacks up if you have CoI on tab. Bosses don’t freeze so stacks don’t drop. For clearing however it’s too variable to be used reliably. If you're not using CoI or chilling cloud/RoF this is useless.
Evocation (0/3) Alternative to CP. You gain 15% damage on AoE targets. However many spells are not labelled correctly for this to work eg CoI. Most Spellstorms use this along with EoTS in mod 3 but for MoF but reworked SoD kicks this out of the water.
Combustive Action (CA, 3/3) When targets with smoulder die (you don’t need to land killing blow) you gain a straight 3% AP per target. All daily powers add smoulder on target and makes them take slightly more damage from all damage at 6% per rank (bugged). Even without the damage boost it's a great mechanic for MoF to keep smoulder on many targets and get lots of AP
Critical Conflagration (CrC 3/3) You crit with +15% severity and your arcane/cold powers add smoulder if they crit. Another good way to keep smoulder on targets especially with CoI and Steal time which count as multiple encounters. However SoD adds a much more tangible DPS bonus and I feel it's way more powerful in mod 4.
Swath of Destruction (SoD, 3/3) Add 5% debuff per rank to targets and your smoulder increases by 15% per rank. Decent debuff and more smoulder damage = more DPS to party. Basically your assailing force debuff replacement and probably should never leave your bar.
Storm Spell (3/3) In module 4 this is a major source of your outgoing damage- accounts for 25-40%+ of overall damage and is way overpowered. Take this for easy mode. Otherwise Evocation is a distant 2nd for DPS.
Storm Fury (0/3) A very situational and weak ability. As a CW you will either have little HP or lots due to lifesteal after each encounter. You can't really control or maintain it and the proc is weak. There's many better options PvE and PvP.
Eye of the Storm (EoTS, 3/3) Adds on average a 15-20% crit chance to your abilities. Lasts for 4s and cooldowns every 20s and reprocs in battle when off cooldown. Always save oppressive force for an EoTS proc if you can, but if you really need to get it off to save yourself that takes priority of course.
3.1.3 Encounter Powers
Chill Strike (CS, 3/3) Decent solo power for AoE and freeze. In parties personally it doesn’t see a lot of use because CoI is more powerful. Post mod 4 they are about on par damage wise and is now slightly faster to cast. Instantly freezes main target on tab, which is especially useful for soloing and for Mod 4 content, especially since pack sizes are 5 or less.
Conduit of Ice (CoI, 3/3) Ticks 6 times off tab and has a small AoE. In mastery the AoE increases, gains an extra tic and also places a chill stack per tic. It does not benefit from most abilities that improve AoE damage (eg Evocation).
Entangling Force (EF, 3/3) Great power when levelling and can disable most bosses or elites keeping you safe while you whack them. Very limited use at lv 60 as it sees very limited usage in dungeons after mod 2 nerf. On Mastery it does pull nearby adds together which can be useful in melee heavy parties or where you can support high DPS GWFs or other CWs doing most of the damage dealing. Is more preferred in PvP play as a temporary disable to ensure your Ice Knife hits.
Repel (3/3) Repel should only be slotted for specific situations, for example in Spellplague final fight pushing Plaguegazers into the acid. It used to be more popular previously for clearing spellplague and parts of ToS, Pirate King but unless you’re very good at it generally it’s just as fast DPSing them down. Has some uses as a PvP power.
Shield (3/3) Shield is again useful when levelling but at lv 60 get used to playing without it as soon as you can. Practice taking hits, dodging and using your crowd control to prevent damage rather than shield. Shield just hurts your damage otherwise. In laggy situations, PvP or some boss fights where otherwise self preservation is important it can be worth running shield. Normal shield blocks 50% damage on first hit. Shield on tab blocks 80% of damage on first hit. Shield summon and push both counts as encounters (either can proc EoTS). Even a weakened shield can absorb 25% incoming damage on mastery.
Icy Terrain (IT, 3/3)- Icy terrain is a small AoE centered on you when cast, has no target limits and places a 7 tick dot and a chill stack per tick (1s per tick). In combination of CoI it’s the best way of freezing multiple enemies quickly and is a great control encounter in add heavy dungeons such as Pirate King and CN because it has no target limits. You need to have good positing with IT and want to cast it where mobs are or when you’re about to be surrounded to get the most out of it. On mastery you can target where IT is to e cast but brings no other appreciable benefit. Also great for proccing lightning enchant, storm spell, rimefire.
Fanning the Flame (MoF paragon, FtF, 3/3)- the exclusive MoF paragon encounter and this is a fun ability. Quick to cast almost like a fireball and does good damage to a target and places smoulder. On tab it becomes an AoE power and has 3 parts- gathering flame, where it deals damage to primary target when surrounded by other targets with smoulder, gathered flame, where surrounding targets take damage from main target, and final flame, where a last burst of damage is dealt as targets die. FtF has low AP gain by itself but places smoulder on many targets. Damage benefits from Arcane Stacks.
Sudden Storm (Spellstorm paragon, 3/3)- Small AoE but extremely large damage and uncapped target limit. Useful for AoE fights and even single target compared to things like chill strike if you're safe being up close. Learn the AoE, get used to being up close and will make you more effective in fights.
Ray of Enfeeblement (RoE, 3/3)- Single target DoT and debuff power, you gain 15% bonus damage vs target per ray per CW. The damage was nerfed significantly in mod 4 but gives arcane and HV stack and also boost party damage. On Tab you gain an extra charge but the cooldown time is increased significantly. I don’t generally recommend it on tab except in some PvP situations. The 2 rays and their debuff stack but the DoT is refreshed rather than stacked so you lose damage.
Icy Rays (IR, 0/3)- Single or two target power. Icy Rays has high damage per cast but long cooldown therefore its sustained damage is significantly lower than CoI, RoE and chill strike. While SS use IR for single targets, MoF already have FtF and thus don’t need it. The good thing about IR though is it has one of the highest AP gain encounters per cast, and sustained AP gain is superior to the skills listed above. Use it if you need AP fast, but if you’re chasing damage chill strike is probably better (need to retest in mod 4).
Steal Time (ST, 3/3)- Very useful CW power and should be in your rotation when fighting AoE. Deals damage to 5 targets and stuns them and I think even other targets in the area are slowed/dazed for a short duration. Procs 3 HV stacks. On tab it grants guaranteed combat advantage against all targets and boosts party run speed significantly for about 2s. It’s a great effect but because most party members might walk too fast into red we try to avoid it, but there are some great potential builds and synergies with this, particularly in renegade line. Damage is boosted significantly in mod 4 and provides but solid control, decent AP gain, procs Elemental Empowerment and freeze them for easy bowling with SoTEA. In PvP ST can reveal stealthed TRs based on AoE effects. Steal time damage is very strong even in single target situations if you don't mind being in close range.
Shard of the Endless Avalanche (SotEA or shard, 3/3) previously the best AoE and control power, from mod 4 the damage from shard is reduced significantly while the prone duration is increased significantly. For a DPS loadout shard is no longer competitive with the other damage options , but for a hybrid loadout the prone can help keep the party safe while you continue DPSing. When cast summons a boulder in front of you that prones any target they hit (shard slam), you can then tap the key to push the boulder in front of you. If the boulder hits 2 targets or more (or the same one twice) it will explode dealing AoE damage and proning targets. You need to practice dropping and positioning yourself to push for explosion. Watch for GWFs and GFs using roar or frontline surge which will knock mobs and stuff up your positioning. Shard disappears when you get controlled (eg prone/push/dragon fear).
3.1.4 Daily Powers
Ice Storm (1/3) Ice storm is a fairly disastrous party skill. The only place where it can conceivably be used is ToS boss fight. In every other situation there’s always another daily that is better. Nothing else screams noob as using this in parties.
Arcane Singularity (ASing, 1/3) The CW defining daily, great positioning tool bunching stuff together for party to whack. Only use ASing if things need to be brought together. If stuff is already together use OF instead. In multiple CW party please watch and coordinate sings so you don’t duet or screw up their OF. Location is very important. Try putting this next to a wall or edge so enemies have limited degrees of freedom in their movement. Post Module 4 nerf this now has a 8 target limit and is a lot slower to activate. FI is better, higher damage and if feated the stun is much better.
Oppressive Force (OP or OF, 3/3). Your highest damaging AoE daily. Large AoE and uncapped targets, daze/stun for decent duration afterwards. When it crits usually room gets cleared. Main dungeon daily. I feel that MoF get a lot more mileage out of OF than ASing and I use it a lot more. If you feel enough trash will die in the daily you don't really need to sing, just faster overall, less damage taken during the daily and higher DPS uptime.
Ice Knife (3/3). Highest single target damage skill and adds 3 chill stacks and prone. However can be somewhat easy to dodge in PvP if enemy isn't frozen.
Furious Immolation (MoF paragon, FI, 3/3). Post Mod 4 this is the singularity killer. Same target cap, more damage and when feated the stun is much better for control.
Maelstrom of Chaos (Spellstorm paragon, 0/3). Buffed in Mod 4 but still has an identity crisis. Damage is lower than Ice storm and OF and is slow to charge up. Some uses in PvP if you master it but mostly fluff.
3.2 Heroic Feats
Ranked from A to E, A= awesome E = eww. There's a lot of reworking in Module 4 so pick carefully.
Controlling Action (C rank) adds a multiplicative 2-10% AP bonus when using control abilities. Trap feat. Limited abilities are labelled as control in a standard dungeon loadout and you won’t feel the AP gain from those, especially as a MoF which has high AP gain. Skip.
Weapon Mastery (A rank) 3% crit for 3 feat points, yes please.
Toughness (A rank) You need every bit of HP you can get as a CW. Worth at least 2 but usually 3 points.
Fight On (C rank) you have generally high enough recovery, INT and WIS. Due to the way the cooldown reduction formula works, you're looking at 0.1-0.2 seconds cooldown per point. It's not bad but not the most important either.
Battlewise (E rank) you will get aggro, and this won’t help you deal with it one bit.
Wizard’s Wrath (B rank) +1/2/3% AoE damage. Not all AoEs are correctly labelled as AoEs, but a decent boost otherwise. A good pick given in dungeons you care only about AoE damage. Some reports that this is bugged for almost everything except steal time.
Blighting Power (B rank) +2/4/6% damage to cold powers. Usefulness depends directly on how many cold encounters you take. Most people only use one of CoI, Icy Terrain and Chill Strike. In mod 4 there is greater synergy using cold powers so I'd go with blighting and skip arcane.
Lightning Teleport (D rank) sounds nice in theory but when you’re killing you’re having fun DPSing and not going anywhere, when you’re running for your life you have no time to stop and kill. If you want to solo a lot of dungeons might be worth considering.
Arcane Enhancement (C rank) +1/2/3% arcane damage. For a DPS setup only steal time would regularly benefit form this so Blighting power is preferred. Shard damage is nerfed so you are only going to get mileage out of steal time.
Learned Spellcaster (A rank) great boost and multiplicative with INT bonus
Prestidigitation (B rank) +1/2/3% to every stat (exclude augment/bonuses) very minor bonus and other feats are simply too good. Boost base stats only, not those from augment pets or other feats/boons. Doesn’t boost tenacity. At 6k power gives about 180 extra which is about a 0.5% DPS boost.
Focused Wizardry (B rank) changed in module 4 to increase single target damage by 10/20/30% but with an AoE damage drop of 30/20/10%. Worth it for PvP builds but you would generally prefer maximising AoE damage in dungeon situations and should skip this. Ten percent loss is huge.
3.3 Paragon Feats (Mod 4)
The Oppressor tree has undergone drastic transformation in mod 4 and is the go to tree for maximum control, party buffs and PvP utility.
Severe reaction (B rank) much more useful in PvP than PvE, not needed in PvE though it can be userful
Bitter Cold (A rank) targets now take 1-5% more damage for 6 s after afflicted with chill. Going from self buff to enemy debuff means other party members can benefit from the debuff
Brisk Transport- (E rank) teleport boosts runspeed by 2-10% for 3 s. Just useless.
Twisting Immolation- (MoF paragon, A rank) With the nerf to ASing FI is now a better power. The feat makes it even better with a 4s stun. The boost to CA would have been great except it's bugged and doesn't stay.
Chilling Control- (Spellstorm paragon, C rank) Sudden storm applies 1-5 stacks of chill to targets hit by primary arc. Decent in oppressor spec but not necessary for Thaum.
Cold Infusion (C rank) foes now do 10% less damage after afflicted with chill for 10s, doesn't stack. Not bad as a party damage mitigation skill but realistically won't be felt, but better than nothing.
Glacial Movement (B rank) RoF now has 50% chance to apply an extra chill stack. Potentially mean you can freeze in half the time, great for PvP. However in dungeons stuff you can freeze is not dangerous and you don't get much using RoF on stuff you can't so it's meh.
Alacrity (D rank) When you deal damage to foes afflicted by chill you have a chance to reduce cooldown of IT and EF by up to 2.5 s. IT is great but cooldown is already very low anyway. EF is hardly used in PvE. Somewhat ok for PvP or if you're using Archmage set to good cooldowns but otherwise meh.
Controlled Momentum- (A rank) After using a control power nearby allies do up to 5% more damage for 6s, doesn't stack. Much better and a decent group buff because almost all your encounters are control encounters. At present i think it affects party + self.
Shatter Strike- (A rank) Significantly reworked. When you freeze mobs they are afflicted by shatter for 10s. When shattered foes have a chance when taking damage to be stunned for 5s (2.5s on players) and take up to 5% of max HP in damage (max 300% weapon damage). This effect consumes shatter. Additionally your control powers deal 100% of weapon damage as cold damage against control immune targets and chill lasts 2.5 s longer. This is now a very impressive feat boosting both your DPS and control prowess in all situations. The stun is invaluable in PvE and can keep mobs almost perma locked down. Especially good for soloing and buys you time to DPS while locking stuff down.
Thaumaturge tree is the primary damage dealing tree. A lot of the damage is toned down in mod 4.
Tempest magic (B rank) grants 1.5 - 5% bonus damage when targets are below 30% HP. Decent feat but a lot weaker after nerf. Allows you higher chance to kill dying adds to proc Malevolent surge, and also very useful for boss encounters as the last 30% is the most dangerous.
Malevolent Surge (B rank) grants 1-5% to outgoing damage for 15s after you kill a foe and no longer stacks. Half decent feat in dungeons with lots of adds and since you will get a lot of kills this will be up a lot of the time. If you're fighting lone bosses though this does nothing for you.
Snap Freeze (D rank) Grants 2-10% bonus damage to cold powers against foes without chill. Not synergistic with MoF builds especially since chill stacks are the thing now and useless in parties if there's another CW.
Drifting Embers (C rank) Has 8-40% chance to spread smoulder to targets when FtF is in effect. FtF uptime is too low, and MoFs have other, much better ways of getting smoulder on targets that they don’t need this
Destructive Wizardry- (Spellstorm paragon, A rank) When fuly charged storm pillar deals damage to an enemy you gain 1-5% damage for 20 s. Easy to keep up and decent DPS boost.
Far Spell (E rank) All single target powers have max range increased by up to 10 feet. Some uses in PvP but otherwise not worth it unless you're using the hunting hawk bonus and built for single target sniping.
Frozen Power Transfer (A rank) Third strike of CC grants a stack of FPT per target hit and is refreshed when you gain a new stack. Each stack grants +5% damage and lasts up to 20s. Decent bonus and the reason to use Chilling Cloud. Just get a round in when you’re able, no need to try to get it all at the start of the fight.
Transcended Master (C rank) Shard now gains 5-25% bonus damage. Icy rays gains 5-25% bonus damage when cast on same target and 1-5 s shorter cooldown when cast on different targets. Great boost for shard and Icy rays, however more geared towards PvP play.
Elemental Empowerment (EE, A rank) Cold damage has 3-15% chance to apply creeping frost DoT, dealing 170A% of weapon damage as cold damage every 2 s for 12 s. Arcane damage has a 3-15% chance to apply warped magics, dealing 100% of weapon damage as arcane damage every 2 s for 12 s and ignore half of a target's resistance. Effects do not stack. You'll generally only see creeping frost stacks but it's quite potent and worth the points. Warped magics is quite useless really. Adds up to 10% overall damage
Assailing Force (A rank)- Now a passive power that has a chance to proc when you deal damage, dealing 800% weapon damage or 15% of target max HP. Only affects 1 target in AoE, half as effective on players. This is your main source of outgoing damage and the point of going Thaumaturge. Assailant can tick over 20k for dragon fights and proc multiple times a min (5-8). It has a 5-6s cooldown and reprocs once the cooldown is over.
The renegade tree makes use of more chance based damage boosting feats for higher crit damage. It is highly crit dependent and works best with perfect vorpal. Now has some abilities to help allies. However I feel the tree is significantly weakened due to nerfs to Nightmare Wizardry and Phantasmal Destruction.
Critical power (A rank) I love Critical power, it’s around 10-15% of your overall AP gain and I still find it handy to have in a lot of builds. The lower your GS the better this feat is. Good for any tree.
Reaper’s Touch (C rank) Grants 10% bonus damage to at wills to targets within 30 feet. You’re not that dependent on At wills to do damage outside of single target situations, and it is relevant to Renegade builds, but in that situation the first 2 Thaumaturge feats are more bang for buck simply because at will is only a minor component of your overall damage.
Energy Recovery (E rank) Grants 1-5% of max HP as temp HP and additional 0.2-1% temp HP for additonal target hit with third hit of chilling cloud. This is just bad. Renegades rarely use Chilling Cloud and your lifesteal heals for far more that that.
Arcane Burst (MoF only, C rank) each target hit by SB has a 6-30% chamce to add a stack of arcane mastery. If you’re using Arcane/Fire only this means Arcane stacks buffs everything. I find I tend to have some stacks from encounters anyway. Depends on how often your stacks stay on and how you work SB into your rotation but it's generally in the nice but no thanks category.
Unrestrained Chaos- (Spellstorm paragon, D rank) MoC has a chance to apply 6 stacks of chill to nearby target or full arcane stacks to you every second for 5 s. MoC by itself cannot freeze foes. Given only steal time and magic missile will benefit in a regular DPS loadout, and you have many ways of getting chill weak feat for a weak daily doesn't make either better.
Phantasmal Destruction (A rank) this is probably the definitive renegade feat. With CA you’re having 15% more severity for some truly hard hitting hits. Because combat advantage is currently additive with crit severity the bonus it’s basically a 30% crit severity boost, more if you slot CrC.
Nightmare Wizardry (B rank) Has a chance to grant you and allies CA for 12s. Decent boost to party damage but somewhat redundant as GF and HR are better at granting CA and this requires 15 points investment. Its repositioning to 3rd tier though means you need to commit 25 points in renegade.
Masterful Arcane Theft (A rank) Steal time is a staple, and with the recent buff it's the major component of a renegade build's damage. RoE can definitely use the boost as it’s already a high damage skill. In single target you’ll almost always have chill on targets and some arcane stacks so you’re getting mileage out of the feat. Chilling Advantage (D rank) However for a final tier feat 5% more crit for encounters only is useless. 5% crit is not even a 3% DPS boost. Really should be like 15% to be competitive
Chaos Magic (A rank) reworked. You now have a chance to apply CM buff to yourself and allies within 50'. Only 1 effect at a time. Chaotic growth- heal yourself for 200% weapon damage per s for 10s/ chaotic Nexus- gain 10% additonal ArP and crit chance for 10s/ Chaotic Fury- gain 10% additional damage and 5% direct lifesteal for 10s. All effects are not bad, but nothing you really need or feel the difference from.
In module 4 I recommend either the Thaumaturge (DPS) or Oppressor build (Party buff/control/support) for MoFs. Renegade can work but they are a shadow of their former self.
If you want to change your build around just click 'respec feats' in your feat window. Costs 78k AD and much cheaper than respec token, which should only be used to change paragon paths or your stat allocation if you really stuffed it up. For power you'll eventually get enough points to get them all anyway.
4.1 MoF Thaumaturge build
Combines the best of Oppressor and Thaumaturge tree for best damage/control
If human you can either spend 3 extra points in Presdigitization or Arcane Enhancement, but humans lost a lot of punch with reworks to focused wizardry
Standard Thaumaturge feats, both first tier are important and synergistic with each other to grant you a high base damage boost. Frozen power transfer is a useful DPS buff in add heavy fights where as you don’t need to worry about it in easier encounters. Snap freeze is not useful because you want chill stacks on targets and I don’t think it works with CoI at all, or if so, just the first tick (not personally tested, forum info only). Elemental Empowerment over Transcended master because it adds significantly more DPS for an AoE loadout. Assailing Force is great.
Last 10 points I took bitter cold and Twisted immolation to make FI viable and replace ASing. You are welcome to swap 5 points to critical power instead for a solid AP boost..
Dungeon clearing Loadout
At-Wills: Chilling Cloud, Scorching Burst
Class Features: Combustive Action (definitely) and Swath of Destruction
Encounters: CoI on Tab, Icy Terrain, Fanning the Flame, Steal Time, if there are other Thaumaturge swap FtF on tab and pull CoI off tab
Daily: Furious Immolation and Oppressive Force
Single Target Loadout
At-wills: Magic Missile, Scorching Burst
Class Features: Chilling Presence and Swath of Destruction
Encounters: CoI on Tab, Icy Rays for AP (or Chill Strike for damage), Fanning the Flame, Ray of Enfeeblement
Daily: Ice Knife, Oppressive Force
All 4 at wills has their place in MoF builds. I use chilling cloud because of FPT and chill stacks for proccing rimefire. MM is an alternative if you use arcane eye and the arcane stacks do help but is slow to build. Scorching burst is decent damage and AoE wise. You need to charge it slightly for AP gain (up to 4%). I don’t spam it but it has it uses between encounters to help maintain smoulder. Also if something is about to die and doesn't have smoulder I quickly tag it with SB to gain extra AP. MM is good damage for single target, some prefer to use it for clearing which is also fine as it keeps arcane stacks up for stronger arcane and fire damage. RoF is good for fast chill stacks on some targets to get rimefire effect and also useful in PvP but arguably the weakest and most situational of them all.
For encounters steal time and FtF are key. SotEA is ok also depending on preferences. IT for great for freezing and proccing lightning chains, plus it's good damage/heal/AP gain over time. The other 2 are CoI and FtF. For Tab slot I have parsed many runs with CoI tabbed and many with FtF tabbed. The end damage is about the same although proportions are different. FtF tabbed adds more smoulder damage particularly to secondary targets and ends up out damaging non tabbed CoI (which is still an AoE, but no chill stacks). However tabbed CoI has a greater AoE and it gains an extra damage tick. Tabbed CoI end up increasing your rimefire damage significantly also because of the constant chill stacks on more targets. Basically, if nobody else is using IT or CoI on tab, use CoI on tab, otherwise go with FtF on tab because you don’t need double CoI. FtF off tab is still a great skill for smoulder mechanic. If you are solo CW in an add heavy dungeon (PK, CN) I would put CoI on tab and slot Icy Terrain for more control. IT has no target limits and SB you still put smoulder frequently so it’s ok not having FtF.
The same applies in single target situations- CoI in tab if nobody else will be otherwise FtF. CoI tabbed is your highest damage single target encounter and for chill stacks. FtF is also decent and you will always get chill on boss regardless so not as much as a concern. Icy Rays or RoE on tab is not as effective and in the latter case even less effective. Icy Rays gives higher AP gain but chill strike has higher damage so go with what you need.
The class features are the most important part of the build. CoA is a must when clearing trash. You get 3% AP each time a target with smoulder dies (even if it wasn’t you who killed it). In addition all your daily powers put smoulder on targets. SoD is an amazing party buff granting 15% more damage to targets with smoulder and also increases your smoulder by 45%. Together both features allows you to burn mobs quickly an maximise everyone's DPS. Ideally you crit and OF, everything dies and your AP meter is almost back to full and you can repeat. This is what I really like about MoFs, the AP generation is vastly superior to SS so long as you are controlling the kills. It does also mean you’re more crit dependent. SoD is preferred in a geared and high DPS party because everything is going to die too fast so you want to boost everyone's damage. As our crit is fairly low (say 35%), The severity bonus of CrC only gives about 15*0.35 = 5.35% personal damage where as the 15% damage boost is to everyone in the party if you have smoulder ticking, plus smoulder hits harder too. If you really like CrC replace CoA with CrC, especially in single target situations if you rather not rely on chilling presence.
For Daily you are going to want to use OF if things are relatively bunched up already or after sing by another CW otherwise you should sing/FI. If a CW sings during your OF though that hurts you the most because you don’t get any smoulder. You get your daily back very fast in a trash fight so don’t be afraid to use it to kill faster. Generally I feel too many CWs use Asing at the wrong time, but with nerf in mod 4 maybe people can start to live without sings. Sing really slows your clear speed because you can't shard through it. Sing when stuff needs to be grouped, otherwise if there's going to be a lot of incoming damage, stuff is relatively bunched and there's lots of adds that will die with OF anyway use OF for instant stun. Don't sing when there's like 3 targets left. If you have aggro and position yourself wisely you can bunch them anyway.
For single target situations you should replace CoA with Chilling Presence for more damage if you can keep chill stacks up (CoI/CC). For bosses they can't freeze so chill stacks are always up. 18% damage is more than the CrC crit severity boost.
Single target spells all have their damage significantly reduced. I'm yet to do a re-analysis but you probably want CoI on tab, FtF, RoE and Chill strike. Icy Rays has lower damage but the highest AP gain of these encounters so I tend to run with that if dailys are important. Go with what you like. Generally fire off RoE first then CoI for max debuff then FtF and IR. MM does decent damage between encounters, and arcane stacks boost RoE, Scorching burst and FtF damage so good to have them up. Also don't forget steal time. It does very good damage on single target also if you're comfortable being in close range.
4.2 MoF Oppressor Build
Dungeon clearing Loadout
At-Wills: Magic Missile, Scorching Burst
Class Features: Combustive Action (preferred) or Orb of imposition (extra control) and Swath of Destruction
Encounters: CoI on Tab, Icy Terrain, Fanning the Flame, Steal Time, if there are other Thaumaturge swap FtF on tab and pull CoI off tab
Daily: Furious Immolation and Oppressive Force
Single Target Loadout
At-wills: Magic Missile, Scorching Burst
Class Features: Chilling Presence and Swath of Destruction
Encounters: CoI on Tab, Icy Rays for AP (or Chill Strike for damage), Fanning the Flame, Ray of Enfeeblement
Daily: Ice Knife, Oppressive Force
This build maximises control and party synergy. Bitter Cold and Controlled Momentum boost party damage by as much as 15% with very high uptime and Cold Infusion grants some protection. When stuff freezes with Shatter strike you can sit back and relax as things stay perma stunned. When not using encounters you should prioritise charging and using AoE SB to do damage and keep arcane stacks up. Build and keep a lot of arcane stacks with scorching burst and MM and combining that with Swath of Destruction will keep your FtF and smoulder/rimefire DPS deadly. You will have a lot of chill stacks and freezes from IT and CoI to keep things stunlocked. For extra fun switch to Archmage set and swap CoI for Chill strike and FtF for Entangling force and you'll have insanely short cooldowns.
Of course, you're free to substitute the 2 renegade feats for the first 2 Thaumaturge feats if you're happy with current AP gain.
4.3 Comparisons between Thaumaturge and Oppressor
Basically Oppressor is the ultimate party support build. You lower incoming damage from chilled targets by 10%, then as you freeze them they don't attack so nobody takes damage. As for damage boost you have 5% bitter cold, 5% controlled momentum, 15% swath of destruction and if you use a GPF +9% and you get a 34% damage boost. That's fairly massive. Your DPS is excellent also. Shatter can grant you about 15% of overall DPS which is really good.
Thaumaturge get about 10% damage boost from elemental empowerment and about 15-22% from Assailing force. You get about 1.5% from tempest magic and maybe 2-3% on average from malevolent surge, and for FPT probably around 8-10%. Overall you probably get 40-45% damage from thaumaturge feats.
Now taking away common feats oppressor grants 5% more party damage, 10% less incoming damage and longer freezes while thaumaturge grants about 20 to 25% more personal damage. Oppressor is a great entry setup as a fresh 60 and I'd say at higher GS thaumaturge is probably better because your DPS capability will have matured to the point where you don't need to freeze for longer than 1-2 rotations. In a weak party oppressor is more useful to keep party protected and mobs frozen.
4.4 MoF Renegade Build
I've played around with renegade but in the current meta it just doens't offer anything interesting compared to Oppressor or Thaum. Your DPS is low and you have no control bonuses. You can't do anything well, jack of all trades, master of none. Also because they moved Nightmare Wizardry you usually have to commit 25 points in Renegade tree and it's just not enough utility. Until they rehash stuff renegade is pretty much inferior to other builds.
Playing a MoF is more relaxed than SS. In SS you are always watching for EoTS, cooldowns and getting your rotations perfectly to boost your shard and SS. Since you lose EoTS with MoF you just cast your daily and pray you get a crit.
Playstyle has changed a bit in mod 4 and the rotation isn't as important as it used to be. You want to get chill up so if you have CoI tab you should cast that first to proc bitter cold and creeping frost. Then you should start moving into melee for icy terrain and FtF. Cast steal time when mobs are around you to cancel red, proc HV and mobs are nicely stunned for you to clean up. You should be close to a daily by then for the next pack. If things to well you should have 80% of your daily meter charged after unloading a rotation on adds.
Don't try to sing too much. I guess with Furious Immolation it doesn't matter, but mod 3 CWs tend to over sing in bad situations rather than good ones. You only want to gather mobs if they are really far apart and won't move (esp ranged ones) or have a lot of melee/HR in your party. Most mobs will come and get you anyway as you DPS so you don't even need to sing. Worse is if you double sing or someone sings during your OF (cancels your damage and you gain zero AP). If mobs don’t die and you need to kite dodge sideways in a small circle around the mobs so you are still close to both party and mobs (dodging backwards is bad because a lot of red is cone shaped, dodging forward can be ok but generally that’s where the red is). Dodging sideways usually allow for shard to line up targets very well. If things are bad cast steal time and dodge to cancel it. Mobs will still slow and you can recast rather than take the hit. As you have smoulder ticking away, you are still DPSing and more importantly lifestealing while you kite, which makes you much tougher survivability wise than SS when waiting for cooldowns. I usually spam a few quick scotching bursts to keep smoulder up while I kite. CoI and FtF are both fast casting spells so you shouldn’t have too many issues getting AP to next daily. Both also are DoTs which means a good heal over time rather than SS’s burst heal. This is the main reason I go with endless consumption, makes you very self sufficient. Madness nerf means uptime is very low now.
Always tap cast scorching burst on something that's dying but doesn't have smoulder to collect 3% AP. If there's a group of mobs charged SB is more damaging than CC if you don't need the FPT stack (eg at end of a fight).
If you’re working with other SS CWs even better, you can outsource the chill stacks to them and use FtF on tab, aiming to smoulder everything and get back to back dailys. Pay attention to the rate of daily gain of other CWs in the party and either call or stagger dailys so it doesn’t get wasted. In most cases you should get your daily back long before they do. Of course, if the SS burst too hard they’ll kill everything before you even light them up, but then you can relax and enjoy a speedy run and try to help them kill even faster with SoD and focus on bosses/elites while they work on trash.
Working with another MoF is fine also, have SoD slotted, one with CoI mastery and the other FtF mastery and you can both smoulder/rimefire everything and sip cups of tea while the world burns around you.
For those concerned about damage, I can significantly outDPS a lot of parties on a MoF setup (module 3, might change module 4), although in an equally geared and skilled party it’ll be more even. Of course, a well geared and built SS CW can double my DPS but that's not because I was useless but because of synergy. If anything the MoF shines more in a weak party because of the stronger sustained damage, faster dailys and self heals. The SS is very vulnerable when everything is on cooldown but the MoF not so much. If partying with a good SS they will probably pull ahead in damage because if their chill stacks convert your smoulder the rimefire damage is credited to them as well as final flame. That's just how the mechanics are. Doesn’t bother me though, stuff dies fast, everyone is happy. You can play a very supportive role in daily uptime either singing and letting them OF or having emergency sings up your sleeve if they screwed up.
All in all, hope this has helped give some perspective to MoFs, they're definitely fun and powerful and worth checking out. You can always respec on preview shard and have a play first and see for yourself.
4.6 Spellstorm Thaumaturge build
Spellstorm was the original (default) paragon path for CWs. If you're going Spellstorm I feel you really should go Thaumaturge for damage. This is a DPS spec and should do well from 10k+. Your job is to stay alive, murder everything and freeze them until they die. You bring good DPS, but work with the party and not against them if they also bring good DPS. Only place for 'selfish' DPS is when your damage is clearly superior to what the others can bring.
3/3 Weapon mastery 3% crit is best choice of the tier.
3/3 Toughness you will pull a lot of aggro and the extra HP helps as buffer so you don't die while casting.
3/5 Fight On this is just a point dump to get to final tier
3/3 Wizard's Wrath nerfed but still helps with DPSing
3/3 Blighting Power as you're using a chill based loadout
2/3 Learned Spellcaster, 5/5 if Human
3/3 Focused Wizardry 50% of your damage (assailant, storm spell) counts as single target which gets boosted by this and is worth the AoE nerf.
5/5 Malevolent Surge, easy to keep up when clearing dungeons, although not as applicable for boss flghts. You can swap to Tempest magic if you wish, similar.
5/5 Destructive Wizardy longer uptime means easily to maintain buffs
5/5 Frozen Power Transfer makes chilling cloud even better
5/5 Elemental Empowerment adds about 10% DPS to you
1/1 Assailant adds about 20% DPS to you
5/5 Bitter Cold party and self buff- adds 5% extra damage to target
Last 5 points can be in either Chilling control (faster freeze), Transcended master (more shard/Icy Rays damage) and Critical Power (about 10-15% more AP) all are very solid choices depending on playstyle and preferences.
Dungeon clearing Loadout
At-Wills: Chiling Cloud, Storm Pillar
Class Features: Storm Spell, Eye of the storm
Encounters: CoI or Chill Strike on Tab, Icy Terrain, SoTEA/ Sudden Storm, Steal Time
Daily: Arcane Singularity and Oppressive Force
Single Target Loadout
At-wills: Chilling Cloud, Storm Pillar
Class Features: Storm Spell, Eye of the storm
Encounters: Icy Rays or CoI on Tab, Chill Strike, Ray of Enfeeblement, Sudden Storm if you're safe in close range (eg dragons)
Daily: Ice Knife, Oppressive Force
Storm Spell is now 25-35% of your overall damage, and EoTS is around 12-22% extra crit chance. Both of these class features are overpowered and far better than every other option. EoTS now procs on cooldown, so chances are it'll proc as soon as you use your first encounter/at will. If you have low gearscore, and/or the party has low overall damage (takes more than 4 rotations per encounter) you may find it helpful to swap EoTS to Orb of Imposition to extend the duration of prones and freezes for more control and keep everyone safer.
Encounter choices is more situational after the adjustments. Steal time is a no brainer- strong damage, short cooldown, excellent control. Icy Terrain is a great control spell and keeps everything frozen quickly. Its own damage is low but it procs a lot of lightning enchant arcs and storm spell arcs thus overall damage is strong. Conduit of Ice lost its Assailant buff but still a decent AoE and synergistic with Icy Terrain, and together with Chill Strike makes for good Tab options. Chill strike I feel is better damage when pack size are small, for example in MC and Shores Skirmish. The chill is great for instant freezing Green and White Dragonfangs so they don't use the annoying abilities. CoI is better control and DoTs for big packs such as in CN as it also proc storm spell more. Finally Sudden Storm is still great damage, and adds a lot of chill when feated. Shard is a stronger prone and decent damage even after the nerf. They both have their place. The prone is great for the Mod 4 skirmish and dungeon. I won't say there's a fixed rotation so adjust based on group composition and DPS. For example if you have two GWFs who can tank, interrupt and AoE the prone is not as important and I'd use sudden storm. If you are partied with a lot of weaker members then more control can help keep them safer as they DPS.
To open, if you are pulling, open with fully charged Storm Pillar (AoE, dots proc storm spell, procs Destructive Wizardry, EoTS), then CoI on tab (procs bitter cold debuff, starts creeping frost dots and keeps storm spell going), then either drop/throw SotEA or sudden storm things in melee to make the most of EoTS before it expires, then Icy Terrain (1 stack HV, more rapid storm spells, help freeze, refresh bitter cold) when surrounded then steal time (3 stacks HV, proc EoTS) to keep you safe while you cooldown. Use a cycle of Chilling cloud (chill stack, proc FPT). If it's off recharge re-position yourself quickly to land another sudden storm in AoE (max damage). If it's about 20 seconds then charge another Storm Pillar to keep the buff up and repeat. Basically make the most out of EoTS uptime, and try to use Oppressive Force during that time for much higher damage.
If others are pulling you can either charge storm pillar during their pull, or skip it and start unloading encounters like above. Just remember that in general you start from long/medium range (Storm Pillar/ CoI) then move into medium range (shard) and end up at close range (Icy Terrain, Steal time). Don't waste your dodges for this. Save dodge for getting out of red. This means that if you do pull aggro by positioning yourself closer to the frontline you help mobs remain in reach and range for your frontliners. Don't dodge backwards. Usually Steal Time will cancel a lot of red in close range once you get it off and you'll be quite safe. However if you're not going to complete the cast in time you can cancel steal time and it'll cooldown in 4 seconds rather than interrupted which will put it on full cooldown. All the positioning I mentioned before about dodging in circles and positioning is even more important as a SS. You are going to be in the face of enemies a lot. Learn to read animations and know where to put their red to allow you and your party room to manoeuvre.
Singularity lost a lot of punch as it only has 8 max targets. Only use it if you have a lot of non immune mobs who are scattered and are not going to die in the next rotation. Otherwise your DPS will gather them around you anyway. Singularity does help HR, SW and GWF with their DPS however. In some situations to get the most of singularity you need to initiate from distance so mobs don't go into casting animation. This is especially important for Karrundax, MC and mod 4 dailys. If the GWF pulls the mobs go into casting animation and become immune to sing and you can't reposition them. Strategies like these make the difference between an average player and great player (when to pull, when to let others pull and when to daily). Communicate on those pulls.
For single target and dragon hunting again you are reliant on Assailant and Storm spell to do most of your work. Icy Rays and CoI are both good choices on tab. CoI off tab is ok, RoE is weak damage by itself but it does buff party encounters for a brief window plus is a DoT for storm spell procs. Icy Rays off tab is low damage but highest AP gain. Sudden storm depends whether you're safe in melee range or not. If so put it in, if not skip.
For Mod 4 dungeon and skirmish you may find it helpful to use shield on tab or in place of one of the encounters throughout or even just at the boss until you learn the mechanics of the fight. Skirmish boss in particular has a strong untelegraphed one shot attack that can one shot through the shield (350k+ raw damage), but at least shield will absorb some of the other hits.