Diablo 3 Melee Wizard Build
If you want to play a melee Wizard in Diablo 3, you should first know that no matter what build you pick up, things are going to get a little dicey as compared to playing a regular Wizard. If you are still okay with these risks, then read on to discover the perfect Diablo 3 Melee Wizard build.
As your free Signature Skill, you are going to want to use Spectral Blade. This is the melee-ranged skill which basically attacks like a Cleave in front of you and deals 135% weapon damage. Not a bad skill at all to use as a Wizard.
For defense, you are going to want to use Energy Armor (with the max damage taken rune), Diamond Skin, and maybe even Frost Nova. Using 3 defensive skills might sound like overkill, but you will definitely want Energy Armor and Diamond Skin. I think you will end up wanting Frost Nova too in order to stun your opponents, which makes taking them out much easier.
Energy Armor is really important because it contains a rune that prevents you from taking more than 35% damage in 1 strike. As a melee Wizard, you are going to need this so you do not get surprised by a Rare or Boss enemy that hits particularly hard or has a skill that is tough for melee classes to dodge. You have to remember Barbarians and Monks get a natural 30% damage reduction that you do not as a Wizard and encounters are tuned for this.
Diamond Skin helps you absorb huge amounts of damage and is 100% necessary to make a melee Wizard work. The problem with Diamond Skin is that it will never be up 100% of the time. This is where Frost Nova comes in handy – you can use Frost Nova to stun enemies in between Diamond Skin cooldowns.
Your 5th and 6th skills are where you are going to have to make some tough decisions. I would definitely use Explosive Blast, since this ability is pretty powerful but usually not very viable to the Wizard due to its range. As a melee Wizard though, range is not an issue so Explosive Blast is pretty good
For your sixth slot, you can pretty much take whatever skill you like. I think Arcane Orb makes a good choice since at melee range it blows up right away and tends to hit a lot of targets with its splash damage. This also gives you a good outlet for dumping your Arcane Power when it is maxed out.
If you chose to skip over Frost Nova, you probably want to add on Archon in your 6th slot. Archon is very useful to take out Champion and Rare packs that might be hard counters to a melee Wizard.
The only downside to this build is that it does not contain Teleport. If you are having trouble staying alive and need some sort of escape, I would likely switch Explosive Blast for Wave of Force before adding in Teleport, just because as a melee Wizard you are not going to get nearly as much use out of Teleport as a ranged character would.