After studying up on the wizards forums and reading the class 'handbooks' there (as well as getting pummeled to near death in the last few combat encounters in my group), I've begun to consider using the powers I have that have debilitating effects on enemies to give me a possible edge against them, versus the 'blaster' approach I've been using of going for high damage each turn. I've avoided using them so far as they don't do lots of damage compared to my fire attacks.
For a little background, I'm using a Level 7 Tiefling Mage (Pyromancer-style) with 20 Intelligence, and focusing on max accuracy by way of a +2 Accurate staff with the Accurate Staff and Staff Expertise feats, as well as the Infernal Prince theme and Hellfire Blood feat for my fire attacks, giving me +12/+14 atk roll bonuses. The powers I took that are status-inflicting are: Phantasmal Assault (At-Will), Charm of Misplaced Wrath, Grim Shadow and Fire Sea Travel (Encounter), Horrid Whispers, Sleep and Bigby's Icy Grasp [Immobilizes] (Daily Attack). I also Have a +2 Amulet of Elegy and am thinking of getting an Accurate Earthroot Staff.
I'm currently using a +2 Accurate Defensive Staff to help my defenses. I'm considering getting a Hellfire Staff to boost my melee (just in case), or an Earthroot Staff to complement my Amulet of Elegy to make Sleep and Horrid Whispers that much harder to shrug off. As for DPR, I have Wizard's Fury and want to get Melf's Minute Meteors at Lv. 9 so I can attack 3 times per turn. the damage is not the best, but I like the idea of using an AP to hit 4 times in a single turn.
I'm MC-ing into Sorcerer and want the Sorcerer MC feat to add my +4 DEX mod as extra damage at Paragon, so that will address the increase to damage. I also want to Arcane Admixture Dazzling Ray into a Fire spell for the boosts to accuracy and damage, as well as switch in Deep Shroud for extra defense.
The Mage Wizard can select 2 Encounter powers per level, so that offers some variety. It helps that the DM lets us waive the restrictions on the number of powers we can use per day. I think that's why he makes the monsters so strong in each encounter, so they don't get wiped out easily. The battles have been pretty challenging for my team, hence my interest in status-inflicting powers to hinder them.
We're playing mostly within the Eberron setting, and the DM has a 'I just want everyone to have fun' approach to gaming and rulings, so he's pretty flexible. During the last two battles, we faced an evil Gnome bio-engineer using a giant brutish guy he could ride inside of like a battle-suit, and that guy hit me with a variation of Sleep that targeted my Fortitude. I got the kill shot, but only just before he put me to sleep.
Then we had to fight a pair of assassins who planted a bomb on our airship, and the stronger bugbear one kept trying to kill me with strong melee attacks while I was trying to get the bomb out of the cargo hold so I could throw it overboard (I did, making me the hero :D ), and I stood on the deck and shot down through a cargo hatch at him while the rest of the team (2 rangers - 1 twin sword melee and one archer, and our other wizard - general high damage attacks, our cleric could attend that session) fought the monsters in the hold.
Basically, I want to be able to mess up the monsters using status effects to hinder them and make it harder for them to come after me. The DM has discovered that due to my max accuracy and high-damage fire spells, I'm the strongest attacker, thanks to my high DPR, so I think he's decided to try to take me out of action first, then pick on the rest of the party. He's not really singling me out, but seems to be beginning to prefer to give me a serious challenge in battle. As he said, laughing, when I successfully defended myself with Shield, "Damn. I really hoped that would've killed you."
My question is: Are status-inflicting powers actually worth using, or would it be better to stick with the max damage approach?