Spellcraft 101 - Diablo Wiki

Spellcraft 101

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This comprehensive guide offers basic and advanced strategy advice for every spell in the game, with specific tips about class-specific utility.


Spellcraft 101[edit]

Greetings and good morning students! Sit down and cut the... well, you know that by now...

From the scars on your faces and the dents in your armor, I gather you all more or less survived your first couple of ventures to the dungeons. Well, I hope my beginner's lecture might have been of a lil' help for some of ya.

Today I'm talking spellcraft. The science that's the heart of our trade. I'll try to give some pointers about the finer points of using magic, that go a lot beyond your basic "Shoot everything that moves or looks as if it may move". And yes, some may forget from time to time, there's more to our trade than Fireball and Chain Lightning.

Note that when I talk about spells, I'm talking sorcerers here. If appropriate, I'll add my comments about the uses of a given spell for the other classes. I will deal with the spells as you all have them noted in your spellbooks. I will not deal at length with those that are only available on scrolls or staves. While some of them might have their uses, access to them is usually too limited to build any lengthy science or strategy around them. Also, there is not much strategy involved in using a bountiful staff of Apocalypse.. ;) Infravision is nice, too. If you have one that is. But we deal with what's our every day biz here...

You should remember, as well, that what I tell you here is heavily biased. I am a Beyond Naked Mage. The utter extreme of the Artillery Mage style of play. Even my other incarnations who used "normal" items have NEVER felt the need to disguise as a Battle Tank and brawl it out with the critters... And, I also think that the finer points of spell use are the domain of Arti mages. Battle Mages can afford to be sloppy, to use the second best approach to a situation. We can't.


Page One Spells[edit]

Let us thus start with page one of your spellbook.

FIREBOLT[edit]

Your basic method of attack at lower levels.

Damage depends on spell level and your magic skill. Formula:

  • (1+slvl+[MAG/8]) to (10+slvl+[MAG/8])}

Minimum casting cost: 3, reached at slvl 7.

The speed of the bolts increases with spell level. So at high levels, damage will usually be around 60-70. Seems ridiculous, compared to the 1000+ of a high-level Fireball. And a Fireball also has Splash Damage... Most folks stop using this spell once they know Fireball. (Though one might reconsider: a high level Firebolt is faster, deals good damage and might actually in many situations be better than a LOW level Fireball...) Why should one bother? Well, IMO, because Fireball also has splash damage. If you wanna join the battle in a coop fight, many Warriors get _a bit_ upset when you shoot Fireballs at a critter standing next to them... So if you want to help with the kill {trans: gain some exp ;)}, a good old, lowly Firebolt (or 10... or 20...) can come in handy.

  • Rogues: forget this spell. You hit better (and faster) with an arrow, deal more damage (your magic skill is much too low) and no critter resists them :)
  • Warriors: forget it... almost. You cast too slow and hit too bad to be effective with it. Damage with your magic skill stinks. BUT: It _can_ be a last resort to bring down some weak enemies that have ranged attacks. But doesn't work well in higher difficulties any more.


CHARGED BOLT[edit]

Your first lightning-based spell. Cherish the staff you carry until you learn this spell for yourself.

Damage depends on your magic skill {1 to (1+{[MAG/4])}, number of bolts per cast on the spell's level {4+slvl/2}.

Minimum casting cost: 6, reached at slvl 1.

This spell is very efficient at the beginning. Again, many forget it when advancing, because in most cases, Lightning and CL seem more effective. True to a point. But: at high levels, you'd be surprised how much damage this spell really deals, for lousy 6 mana. Roughly 1-40 damage, times 20+ bolts, I call that a deal! Even in hell/hell this spell can be used to flood rooms with it and severely weaken lightning-susceptible enemies. Not to mention, filtering them out of a mixed pack. Rooms full of Balrog-type baddies can actually be KILLED with it, as their erratic movement does NOT protect very well from charged bolts crisscrossing between them. And a side note, though I'm not into dueling myself: I've heard of inexperienced people falling to this spell in duels, as they neglected their lightning resistance and found that it is really hard to dodge a room full of 'em :)

  • Rogues: Useful in the beginning, as a "front-runner", to weaken enemies for your arrows and flood small rooms. Low magic skill makes it less useful later.
  • Warriors: See rogues and add even slower casting speed and lower magic skill...

HOLY BOLT[edit]

This affects only undead and Diablo himself. BUT: it is neither magic, nor lightning, nor fire. Resistance is futile!

Damage depends on clvl alone {(9+clvl) to (18+clvl)}, but spell level affects the speed of the bolts.

Min casting cost: 3, reached at slvl 5.

As a mage: don't tackle King Leo without it :) The spell is incredibly useful against all types of undead (no resists!) and Mr. D. Note that it is impossible to stunlock Diablo in hell difficulty with that spell (You'd have to be lvl 54 to be sure :). In norm it's a sure kill if you're lvl 24, in nite you'd need to be 39 to stun him with every hit.

  • Rogues: Test for yourself what kills those pesky skeletons faster: your arrows or HB (depends on bow quality etc.). Leo is A LOT easier with HB, even though you're not as fast with it.
  • Warrior: For skeleton archers and Black Deaths (!), this spell can come in VERY handy, even at your slow casting speed.


HEALING[edit]

Well, ok, I consider this spell a necessity until one finds a Book of Mana Shield. After that - forget about it ;)

Efficiency depends on your level, the spell level and a hidden bonus {([clvl+slvl]*bonus] to ([4*clvl+6*slvl]*bonus)} (The bonus is 2 for Warriors, 1.5 for rogues and 1 for sorcerers)

Mana cost INCREASES with your level and DECREASES with the spell level. {8+2*clvl-3*slvl}

In emergencies I prefer to heal with potions from my belt, and continue to cast offensive spells while doing so ;)

  • Rogues: Depending on your style of play and equipment, decide for yourself if you go with Mana shield, or healing with spell, or gulping big yellow pots...
  • Warriors: Get this spell up. Get it up some more. And then some. You get much more life from one big blue pot and a high lvl heal than one red pot ;)


HEAL OTHER[edit]

Your basic spell for being nice. But outside of a quiet corner, to conserve resources, not very useful, IMHO.

Efficiency and casting cost go along the table for healing, with a 10 point "being nice" bonus, it seems ;)

Never use this in a tight spot. In the heat of battle, your comrades are MUCH better off if they heal themselves with pots while you kill some monsters. Timing is too difficult to master in the midst of combat, so it's much safer to use pots. In a quiet corner, casting a heal other spell can be much cheaper, but not really that much, as to worry about it, IMHO.

  • Rogues: If you know nothing better to do with your mana, be nice to the Warrior...
  • Warrior: Your bonus can make casting this worthwhile, staves of heal other, if actually in use early in the game, are best given to the warrior thus.


INFERNO[edit]

At least a close runner-up, if not glorious winner in the "most useless spell of'em all" competition...

Damage depends on clvl { 3 to (6+ 3/2*clvl)}, contrary to belief, area of effect seems NOT to increase with slvl.

Min casting cost: 6, reached at slvl 6

Hmm... it's fire based, it's slow, it requires the enemies to be close. Do I have to say more? It can hit several enemies at once, but only if you give them time to accumulate. Right in front of ya... A fireball also hurts several critters, and does so at range. Damage isn't great either. IMHO, this spell is a no-no...

  • Rogue: Can you say "Bow"? :)
  • Warrior: Can you say "Sword"?...


Page Two Spells[edit]

Now, let us advance to page 2 of the spell book. Some of the most important spells here...

FIRE WALL[edit]

The #1 support spell at low levels, and the most net damage for your mana.

Damage depends on character level {(4+2*clvl) to (40+2*clvl)}; Duration depends on spell level {8+8*slvl seconds}

Min casting cost: 16, reached at slvl 7.

Early on, Fire Wall is simply THE best spell that kills the most enemies. In church and cats it can slaughter rooms full of monsters. Learning to position it asap is a must. The wall will always "try" to appear at a right angle to the line between yourself and the point where you aim. It's 11 squares wide, unless it hits a wall. So learn to position it carefully. Stand in a straight line to the point where you want it, and aim along the dungeon's axis. If the line between you and the target point is not along the axis, the wall might appear diagonally and hit you, your comrades, or miss the monsters.

Note that it is possible to walk through a diagonal wall (in respect to dungeon tiles) without taking damage more often than not. Same can apply to walking diagonally through a straight wall - sometimes one simply won't be hit. This applies to critters, too - so watch out, cast along the dungeon axis ;-) Casting one behind you can cover your retreat, casting one right in front of you will make attackers (Like Mr. Diablo) stand in it while hacking at you. Several Fire Walls can be "stacked" on top of each other for ADDED damage. Cast along corners it can force enemies to walk through a lot of fire till they reach you... But watch out: if you cast too many of 'em, you might find you cannot cast another spell anymore. The world can only handle as much magic at a time. (The sprite limit Diablo has is easily used up by multiple Fire Walls. Don't overdo it, or your Fireballs will not come anymore ;)

At higher difficulties, as the monsters become tougher and more resistant, damage will not quite keep up, and the usefulness will somewhat decline. But it can still be used to fry some witches :) One more nice thing is: it keeps burning, even after you had a little accident... So it can be useful as an avenger after you die or in item recovery: Some suicide firewalls placed right in front (or even below) you might fry enough members of a large mob even after your demise. (Thanks to Layil for the reminder... ;)

  • Rogues: The main reason this spell is incredibly useful: it burns while you do something else (like shoot arrows). As aiming and casting time are no major concern, this spell is one of the best for rogues.
  • Warriors:' See rogues (and replace "shoot arrows" with "swing a sword"...


TELEKINESIS[edit]

The spell has three uses: open doors/chests/etc from afar, pushing away enemies and picking up items from a distance... only one of 'em is really useful.

Min casting cost: 8, reached at slvl 5. (No need to ever go higher...)

Well, opening chests from afar to avoid traps is something most people don't ever bother... Pushing away enemies? I'd rather kill them... But for retrieving items from a safe distance, get this baby asap! Especially after an untimely demise in the dungeon, after the word of recall has brought you back from the dead and left naked in town... Nothing beats tk'ing your gear back from right below the noses of the guys who killed you... Oh, and an oddity to mention (thx Rand'al): TK "cures" stone curse... Cast it on a statue and the monster will unstone. I have NO idea how this could be used to one's advantage (apart from playing mean tricks with Artillery mages who are standing next to a stoned monster).... but it's a nice gimmick... ;^)

  • Rogues: Same as sorcerer, perhaps more so
  • Warrior: As they have the most difficult time retrieving items naked, TK is actually MOST important for them...


LIGHTNING[edit]

The mage's prime lightning based attack before Chain Lightning goes up in lvl, and in coop fights.

Damage depends on character level alone. {2 to (2+clvl)}, but the length of the bolts increases with spell level. {4 +slvl/3} (Caveat: the single lightning tiles actually deal the damage, thus a longer bolt does MORE, and the effective damage done is always a multiple of the number given in the spellbook.)

Min casting cost: 6, reached at slvl 5

What can I say? NEVER forget about this spell. Even once you have Chain Lightning. It pays to have mastered plain Lightning well. Your teammates will thank you. Learn to cast it along walls, after you rounded the corners. Line up enemies in a row to maximum effect. Even in hell/hell this spell, combined with stone curse and good timing, drops rows of Balrogs and Hellspawn quick enough, without frying your buddies. AND: in situations where the sprite limit gets ugly, it can be more efficient than CL - just think of fighting magistrates, when their Charged Bolts eat a lot of sprites (thanks, Cat, for reminding me ;)

  • Rogues: Hmm, rogues might reconsider, and use Chain lightning for mobs and arrows in coop situations.
  • Warriors: ...kill MUCH faster with a good sword at higher difficulties...


TOWN PORTAL[edit]

Not much to say about this spell... Everyone who's not a marathon man should learn it asap ;)

Min casting cost: 18, reached at slvl 7. No need to go higher.

Well, it shortens trips to town and saves time... The only thing to mention apart from that is: It creates an alternate entrance to the level you're on, should you die close to the stairs and not be able to retrieve your stuff. Always cast a TP in the first safe corner of a new level, away from the stairs. Try never to flee towards it.

  • Nothing to change for rogues or Warriors ;)


FLASH[edit]

For a long time I wasn't sure if this or Inferno wins the "most useless spell of all" crown... BUT this actually has uses.. ;) Flash is, in fact, the second most damaging spell there is, right after Fireball. A double cast of Flash CAN be devastating if used right... and if one knows that there are 3 spots (to your top and right) where it only does about 1/9th of it's normal damage.

Damage depends on spell AND char level{Formula too complex to bother ;)}

Min casting cost: 16, reached at slvl 8.

Flash damage is bugged in 3 spots.

Downside still is, this spell is magic-based, and magic is monsters' most common immunity. BUT, if you know your enemies there are some that get slaughtered by it. Azure Drakes on norm and nightmare for instance... (they don't even resist magic...). Yet still, it works only on spots surrounding you, and letting yourself get surrounded by SEVERAL enemies is not the best idea for low AC sorcerers... so that would mean you have to stone the critters first - a killer for mana efficiency IF the monsters are also susceptible to CL or Fireballs and can be killed by them without stoning.. As Flash efficiency depends very much on a high spell level - see for yourself if CL or Flash shatters Balrog statues faster ;^) Just keep in mind:

The spots 1,2,3 only get 1/9th of damage. Keep enemies in 4-8 ;-) Kudos has to go to my snobbish colleague Niriel [aka Dr. Disaster] - only someone who looks down upon the common spells could have discovered the true potential of this spell. Read his treatise on Teleflash for the finer points.

  • Rogues: Similar to sorcerer, with slower casting speed and the need to rise spell level by enchanted shrines...
  • Warriors: If you have AC 280+ and just happen to have forgotten your sword... But then again, at levels where this spell is interesting you'll probably deal more damage with your bare fists... Try on some drakes for fun :)


STONE CURSE[edit]

The single most powerful spell in the game. Period.

Duration is based on spell level {4+slvl sec; maximum: 12}

Min casting cost: 40, reached at slvl 8 (and thus, no need to have it higher)

This spell works on all monsters but Diablo himself. It effectively neutralizes them for up to 12 seconds. It stops them from hitting you, from advancing, from freeing a blocked passageway and makes them almost impossible to miss with weapons or spells. Do I need to say more? Master this spell at all costs. It's your best armor. Your turbo switch for killing moving monsters quickly. Your best friend in teamwork. Learn to switch between SC and offensive spell in the blink of an eye. With SC-lightning-SC-lightning you can drop even those dancing Balrogs in no time. Killing an Azure Drake with one SC and ONE Fireball (or two on hell difficulty) is faster, safer and thus more mana-efficient (you take less hits on your Mana shield!) than killing it by casting 3-5 Fireballs and missing a lot. Not to mention the misses might end up hitting someone else... ;)

In teamwork, don't succumb to the #1 beginners mistake: Don't SC someone elses' enemies. The Warrior can handle them alone. So can the rogue. Stone curse enemies that are still some squares away from them. Kill them with appropriate spell before they unstone. That way you gather more experience and help them more (they have less enemies threatening to surround them) than by making them shatter statues. Only if they shout for help should you ever Stone Curse their foes for them. But do this quickly then :) And stone curse is your best friend against triple immune monsters. Stone Curse and Golem, or Stone curse and (bleaagch!!) a weapon will kill them. A master of this spell will aim and time it so that the enemies end up arranged in rows (for lightning) or packs (for fireballs)...

  • Rogues: Stone curse and arrows can be VERY effective ;). AND it's the best spell against those tough boss monsters.
  • Warriors: Next to teleport the best bet against witches, though MUCH more expensive. But it's aiming-aid-function can be nice: A Warriors Fireball does as much damage at the same spell level as a sorc's. BUT: in hell difficulty you miss a lot (due to low magic skill)... So: If you face a pack of snow witches try this: Stone the center one, throw a fireball at this "marked target"... watch them die ;)


Page Three Spells[edit]

Now we advance to page three of your books... Your main offense and defense at higher levels all are here... And MY favorite spell as well...


PHASING[edit]


The poor man's Teleport. And a poor Teleport, IMHO. I almost never used it.

Min casting cost: 4, reached at slvl 5.

I never bother with this random invitation to a screaming death. It takes you away from point A and teleports you to a kinda random point B (in one of 4 directions). Point B can be safety, point B can be in the middle of 6 Lava maws... Decide for yourself. Some consider this spell an emergency Bail-Out possibility (casting it is faster than Teleport, thus more likely to work in stunlock)... I say, walking a few steps and casting Teleport to a point _I_ choose, or avoiding the emergency in the first place is much preferable. One use for this one might however be: If you died close to the stairs or town portal, and have NO way to recover your gear, this _might_ be the spell you cast fast enough to get a bit away from the enemies and raise your Mana Shield or cast something else... Just cast phasing the very moment you enter the level, and: good luck ;)(Thanks, Cormac, for this addition:)

  • Rogue: I once managed to kill the Warlord of Blood in single Player by phasing/pincushion/phasing/pincushion etc... Took a long time, but worked. I haven't found another use for it since ;)
  • Warrior: Pha..WHAT??? Are you kidding? ;)


MANA SHIELD[edit]

In Hell you'll probably die without it. Any more questions? Ok... ;)

Min casting cost: 33 at lvl 1 and ever beyond.

What can I say? It makes you use your mana pool as your life, and thus allows you to survive more hits than even the sturdiest Warrior. And not only that - it also reduces ALL damage received by 33% at any spell level. [Note: in versions prior to 1.07 this reduction actually DECREASED with higher spell levels due to a now "fixed" bug... it was supposed to get BETTER with higher spell levels once ;)] Well, as casting cost and effect is the same between lvl 1 and 20 - the only reason to even get it to level 2 would be the fear of an enchanted shrine lowering it to level zero. Raising the shield should become a reflex upon entering a new level. Never let it drop! If it drops, you're dead! For emergencies, carry a Big Yellow pot in Belt#1 and a Scroll of Mana Shield in Belt#2 - I mentioned that already, didn't I?

Hotkeying MS is a waste, IMO. Learning NOT to let it drop and using the "Oh my god I'm gonna die!" - keys for emergencies is MUCH better :) And if you seek the final challenge: try conquering hell/hell without it. It CAN be done.. but you'll notice what huge a difference this spell REALLY makes ;-)

  • Rogues: It's a matter of your personal style and preferences if you go with or without MS. Depends on equipment, too. With lotsa mana and low life you might want to go WITH MS. Otherwise, mana might be too valuable, and healing more efficient...
  • Warrior: Don't bother. Your pitiful amount of mana is way too valuable.

ELEMENTAL[edit]


The masses eschew this spell, for no reason I can imagine. Think of it as a Fireball that can GO AROUND CORNERS and hits on its own...

Damage depends on spell AND character level {Given damage is the same as Fireball at equal levels, but it actually does less, and seems to do less splash damage}

Min casting cost: 20, reached at slvl 9.

Ok, it deals less damage than a Fireball and costs twice as much. BUT: I don't have to aim and I can fire it from a safe position. Have you ever killed a huge pack of Advocates, by standing around the corner, whistling a merry tune and sending Elemental after Elemental in?? Without getting hit ONCE while, had you gone in and Fireballed away, you'd have become TOASTED? Have you ever drawn out one enemy after the other from a huge room, without even showing your face at the door? Have you ever, while on the run, casted spells IN FRONT of you, that turned around and fried the pursuing Blood Knights? No? Learn to use Elemental ;) Sometimes it even runs right through a weak enemy, killing him, and continues to hit another one... And it can be a nice surprise in a duel, too. Running around corners and such ;)

  • Rogue: A spell that doesn't have to be aimed comes in handy.. Especially in combo with a bow.
  • Warrior: Still a nice spell to draw out the Blood Knights on lvl 16 - just for example ;-)


FIREBALL[edit]

Yep that's it. Everyone's favorite... Raw dumb firepower. The most damaging spell in the game...

Damage depends on Char AND spell level {formula is kinda... complicated ;)} Note that it also does "Splash Damage", i.e. all squares adjacent to the target receive about the same damage as well. So does the target square, so the immediate targets actually receive TWICE what you read in the info... [Technical tidbit that affects gameplay: splash damage is removed if Fireball passes over an obstacle like lava, barrels or grates - thanks for reminding me, Zamal]

Min casting cost: 10, reached at slvl 7.

Right. Yep. Heavy Artillery... At high level it kills everything that is not IMMUNE to fire in a few shots. Kills everything that is not RESISTANT to fire in one... Plain and simple ;) It still pays to master it's use, though. Learn to shoot at straight lines. Learn to aim. Learn to cast it while dodging the enemies spells... (Ever killed a room full of witches without getting hit, just by running up and down in front of them and throwing Fireballs? Learn "Happy Feet" ;) And combine it with other spells to best effect. Stone curse to aim better. Guardian (or Elemental) to draw them out to a good "shooting gallery".

  • Rogues: Depending on situation, see what kills faster: A Fireball or some Arrows. But you'll need some enchanted shrines to raise the spell level.
  • Warrior: Even more shrine hunting necessary to make it useful. You'll have a lot trouble hitting something at higher difficulties. Use the Stone curse targeting marker mentioned above if nothing works...


FLAME WAVE[edit]

Basically, a fire wall that moves away from you and toasts everything in its path. Or not everything it seems...

Damage depends on char level {(6+6*clvl) to (60+6*clvl)}, number of flames on spell level {5+slvl/2}

Min casting cost: 20, reached at slvl 6.

This spell is nice, but it also has some major drawbacks. First, it's expensive to cast, the damage seems to be split among the flames, thus it needs LOTS to kill something in higher difficulties. And: moving targets tend to get hit less often. Like a firewall, one can walk through w/o taking damage. Apart from that, it can be nice to sterilize a whole corridor without having to aim, to draw out non-fire-immunes out of a mixed pack - like Blood Knights in hell/hell lvl 16 (watch out! sometimes it draws out more than you bargained for! ;) or to have it as a front-runner... If you hear some ouches, consider a switch to Fireball...

  • Rogues: The cost makes it a bit less interesting here... Only really useful as a filter to draw out fire susceptibles - too expensive to kill with.
  • Warriors: The casting cost kills it, IMHO. Not much worth using for a Warrior. (And I know what I'm talkin about, my buddy Archibald{SNOB} uses it a lot... and still thinks it sucks at higher difficulties...)


CHAIN LIGHTNING[edit]

The most mixed blessing in your books. One of the most powerful AND one of the most dangerous spells. Learn to control THIS and you've mastered the art.

Damage depends on character level ALONE {4 to (4+2*clvl)}. RANGE depends on spell level {2+slvl}. Number of bolts fired: 1 plus 1 more at EVERY monster in range. Length of bolts (aka damage multiplier!) also depends on spell level.

Min casting cost: 18, reached at lvl 13.

Raw stopping power. Self-targeting. Awesome damage at reasonable cost. What could possibly be wrong with this spell, you'd ask? Three things: At high levels, it targets monsters you can't even see. So if you are not close to a dungeon corner, it's very likely that bolts go to unexpected directions (and your buddies might stand there...;). Note: On the other hand, this can act as a kind of "sonar system".. It shows the presence of large numbers of enemies behind walls... It also targets every monster in a large room. If you stand in the center, every monster gets only one bolt. That won't kill, but will make 'em VERY angry... And as they come close you might discover the major drawback: There can be only as much magic in the world.

If too many bolts start at once, they get gaps. Loopholes. Points where there IS no lightning. Monsters will slip through, and possibly swarm and kill you. (The sprite limit makes me want CL at lvl 11, never above. ;) But if you learn to channel your foes, make them follow you around corners, through narrow passages, or if you master the art of arranging them with Stone Curses, this spell will be devastating. If the main force of enemies is in the same direction, multiple bolts will stream as one towards them, killing everything with one cast. Learn to control CL. And, if you are REALLY good at that, go ahead and try it in coop situations ;) Otherwise, better stick with plain lightning. Check my valued colleague Moriah's lengthy and excellent treatise if you want to master all the finer points. Then you might even get to the point of mastering the control of a HIGH level CL. It can be done... with a lot of practice and discipline. I personally gladly sacrifice a little bit of added firepower for a LOT of added comfort, safety and positioning options.

  • Rogues: A good CL can help a lot to weaken groups of enemies... Don't let the level raise too much, gaps might kill... And personally, as a bow-only rogue, I don't want CL to dictate my positioning too much. More options at lower spell levels =)
  • Warrior: Two words: ranged attackers and crowd control ;-) As aiming is automatic, even warriors can use CL to good effect. Skeleton and goat archers, even in hell, are simply faster to dispatch.. same goes for all the lava demons, and basically everything that doesn't resist lightning. Lightning resistant monsters in hell/hell are killed faster with swords, for the others you'd have to swing a lot of times for the raw damage a single CL delivers to a crowd ;-)


GUARDIAN[edit]

Finally. My favorite spell of all. Incredibly useful as a sniffer, a filter, a shooter... Even as an avenging angel should you die...

Damage displayed depends on char AND spell level {too complicated to bother ;)}, duration on both, too {max: 24 sec}. (Note: speed and damage of the bolts actually follow your FIREBOLT spell level. But that one will usually be higher anyway.)

Min casting cost: 30 reached at slvl 11.

Many disdain this spell. Many underrate it. A low level guardian doesn't deal too much damage and is expensive to cast in the beginning. So a lot of people haven't noticed: A high level Guardian is, at 30 mana, a steal and a half!! An average "normal" sorcerer at really high levels has no problem to cast 30 Guardians from one mana ball. Can you imagine what 30 lvl 18 guardians DO to a room full of non-fire-immunes??? ;) A Guardian sees invisible foes. It's the BEST defense against those pesky Illusion weavers. Cast one ahead of you as you walk along, throw in a CL as soon as it fires at empty air - voila... A Guardian rarely misses.

It's a fine spell for coop situations. Just don't let your buddies get between the Guardian and the enemies... (Important: YOU are immune to your own Guardian!!!). A Guardian keeps shooting while YOU do something else (that even includes lying dead on the floor :). EXCELLENT support fire. It even STUNS many enemies! (Makes 'em easier to Fireball ;) A Guardian can recon around a corner. Cast it behind the doorway and wait for what it does. If it fires and you hear screams... get ready to fireball what comes around the corner. If it fires and you hear nothing... break out that CL... That way you can filter a pack of beasties with mixed immunities without showing your face... A Guardian improves your effective range. Cast it (or a lot of them...) at the edge of your vision, and if fires SEVERAL squares farther. Problems with spitter bosses? LOL! :) And if you count the number of shots a high level Guardian fires in 24 secs, the damage it deals is not bad at all :) 8 of them kill hell/hell Blood Knights with only a few salvos...

  • Rogues: Everything remains true, especially the Guardian/Arrow combined fire can be AWESOME at high levels.
  • Warrior: The high mana cost makes it a bit less useful. mainly for drawing out enemies from a group (Knights on 16, for instance) it's still nice, though.

Page Four Spells[edit]

Well, finally, the high honors. The elite. The lvl 4 spells... ;)


GOLEM[edit]

A sorcerer's best friend and "weapon" of choice against triple immunes. Not MUCH more stupid than some Warriors I've met.. ;)

Stats:

  • Hitpoints: 2/3 maxmana + 10*slvl
  • AC: 25
  • To-Hit: 40 + 2*clvl + 5*slvl
  • Damage: (8+2*slvl) to (16+2*slvl)
  • MLvl: 12/27/42
  • Regeneration: 1.9/4.1/6.6 hp/sec on norm/nite/hell
  • Hit time: 0.35 sec

Min casting cost: 60, reached at slvl 8.

Well it seems simple enough. The earth comes to life, walks toward any monster it sees (even opens doors on the way) and bashes away... And, if there is no monster in sight, it walks in the direction you look. Two golems by two casters seek each other and fight to the death. Casting it a second time will destroy the golem. Hmm... Simple? The finer points are tricky enough.

A Golem has a kind of "infinite light radius". All monsters within line of sight "feel" it's presence. They don't wake up fully, but ranged attackers WILL fire at him! This can make walking alongside your Golem EXTREMELY dangerous... If a Golem attacks a monster, it will become fully activated. The Golem doesn't hold well against high-level melee monsters. It's extremely fragile against witches' Blood Stars. Fireballs kill it quickly (your own, too ;). Lightning, OTOH, seem not too devastating. And The flash spell from mages seem not to bother Mr. Golem that much.

The Golem is most effective against stone cursed monsters, smashing the statues quickly. Advocates are killed easily as well, as they do not shoot Fireballs at him, only flash when the Golem hits them. For killing Obsidian Lords: SC and Golem, for killing Advocates: with some patience the Golem can do it alone (stone cursing speeds it, of course ;). Killing Soul Burners on hell/hell is a science in itself. Don't let the Golem advance. He dies in a blink from their Bloodstars. You might catch the ricochet... Advance slowly yourself. Activate A FEW witches. Dodge their attacks and retreat to a safe corner. Stone them all. Cast Golem next to them. Keep them stoned while he finishes the masonry work. Destroy the Golem as soon as he's finished. Rinse and repeat ;)

Another nice use for all classes is as a diversion that takes some monster attention off your back and onto itself. VERY useful against mages that will flash the golem (who also damages them in the meantime) instead of shooting you. Especially when used against whole packs (of Advocates on 16 for instance - AFTER the BK are dead), it can provide a lot of breathing space and be well worth the 60 mana (in fireballs it keeps from coming at you ;-) [Now THAT should satisfy Cat and Thecla *grin*]

  • Rogues: It can be fun to let the Golem run amuck in lower levels (letting him clear church on his own ;), but apart from that: Don't bother too much. His hp are low (due to your max mana) and you have a bow that kills triple immunes faster ;) Main use is thus not for killing things, but keeping things from killing you - by using it as a diversion.
  • Warrior: The Golem walks towards enemies and whacks at them. Remind you of someone? ;) Don't bother with the 60 mana (he'll be even more flimsy than the rogue's ;)... *except* if you use it as diversion (see above)

TELEPORT[edit]

Some colleagues consider this essential. For some, it is the backbone of their strategy. For me, it's a convenience. Nothing more, nothing less.

Min casting cost: 15, reached at lvl 8. (No need to go higher).

It takes you to a spot of choice in the blink of an eye. Even through walls. that's it. It speeds the progress through empty levels and it can take you downstairs in the middle of a pack of enemies... Many mages use this as their main means of transport in the dungeon. Pah! Lazy spoiled brats have forgotten how to walk ;). And never learned Happy feet :) Advancing/retreating by teleport may be faster. It is in no way more safe. (Did I mention I don't disguise as a tank? :) Teleporting into a horde of enemies might kill you. Teleporting out of one might not work in stunlock. I WALK away from enemies. That always works. I walk towards them. Gives me more control over the number I activate. I might use it to hop across a wall (to SAFE territory) from time to time, but I don't waste a hotkey on it against monsters. Well, decide for yourself... A skilled mage teleporting is, of course, LOTS faster... But speed was never my prime concern ;) Against fellow HUMANS, that is another matter. Teleport is essential to surviving the assault of those murdering scum with their demonic powers out in the land named "public Battle.net". And it's the key to honorable duels, too. But I've never been into those that much ;)

  • Rogues: Teleport is a lot MORE useful for a rogue. A rogue with bow kills slower, has to retreat more and ses fewer spells. She can usually spare a hotkey for teleport, too ;-)
  • Warrior: Get the spell UP and read General Bolty's treatise on "Telekill: the great equalizer" in his high-level Warrior Guide! A MUST for Warriors, and one of the three MOST important spells for them :)


BONE SPIRIT[edit]

This spell NEVER kills. That's why most consider it useless. They couldn't be more mistaken :)

Damage: 1/3 of target's hitpoints. That's 1 point out of 3, or 1000 out of 3000!!!

Min casting cost: 12, reached at slvl 13. Note: This spell costs also 6 life to cast (so 6 additional mana with Mana Shield up)

It's a ranged, magic-based attack. It goes around corners and seeks out enemies on its own. I have to admit, magic is the most common immunity. BUT: all non-resistants get severely weakened. And the spell is great for luring out single enemies (even resistant ones who, admittedly won't be hurt much ;) from a safe distance. Try it on Azure Drakes on normal/nightmare... A curiosity: try it on those 10000 hitpoint "miracles" one encounters on public Battle.net... Even though all spells do only 1/2 damage versus other humans - 1/6 of 10000 hp is still be quite a few points... and some duelists "forget" magic resistance... ;-)

  • Rogues/Warriors: Useful as well in luring out single enemies...


BLOOD STAR[edit]

I admit, I rarely use this myself. But it's not COMPLETELY useless ;)

Damage depends on spell level AND magic skill {3*slvl+MAG/2-MAG/8}

Min casting cost: 14, reached at lvl 7. (Also costs 5 life to cast - 5 mana with shields up)

It's ranged, single target magic-based. Damage is not too hot either. Most critters resist magic or are immune (apart from the often mentioned Azure Drakes ;)... But it _can_ be a nice surprise in a duel...sometimes. Most folks dueling mages expect Fireballs and max only their fire resistance... Without ANY magic resistance it can STUN... But truly experienced duelers will only fall for this if the laughing does 'em in ;-)

  • Rogues: Damage depends on magic skill... Arrows do more damage and there's no resistance ;)
  • Warriors: See above. Use a sword :)


Well, this closes my comments on the art of spellcraft. Thanks for staying with me so long. I gotta give credit, where credit is due: look up ALL the reference I used in Prof. Jarulf's Guide.

Percy(BNM) first Beyond Naked loonie to reach level 50 ;^)


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