Guide:Blizzballer v1.10, by Miladys-Knight
- Patch: v1.10
- Gametype: PvE/PvM and PvP
- Class: Sorceress
- Specialisation: Fireball/Blizzard Sorceress
- Author: Miladys-Knight
This guide generated much more discussion and debate than usual, with numerous players suggesting viable modifications to the build. See the original forum thread for more details.
Chill ‘em and Kill ‘em
The Blizzard Fireball Sorceress
All Sorceresses’ will want to have gear that increases skill pluses. As many plusses as you can possibly get.
The best sorceress builds, as far as I am concerned, are builds that use a delay spell coupled with a fast cast spell. This build does exactly that in 2 different elements.
92 skills at level 81 including Den, Radament, and Izual in all 3 difficulties up to act 4 hell.
- Ice Bolt (1) point. Prerequisite for Ice Blast.
- Ice Blast (1) point. Prerequisite for Glacial Spike.
- Glacial Spike (20) points. Prerequisite for Blizzard, secondary fast cast skill.
- Frost Nova (1) point. Prerequisite for Blizzard.
- Blizzard (20) points. Main Delay Spell.
- Cold Mastery (1) point. Reduces the cold resistances of monsters effectively increasing the damage done by your cold spells to most monsters.
- Inferno – (1) point. Prerequisite for Blaze.
- Blaze – (1) point. Prerequisite for FireWall.
- Fire Wall – (1) point. Pre-requisite for Meteor.
- Fire Bolt – (1) point. Adds synergies to Fireball and Meteor for each natural level.
- Fire Ball – (20) points. Main fast cast spell. Adds synergies to Meteor and receives synergies from Fire Bolt and Meteor.
- Meteor – (20) points. Secondary delay spell. Receives synergies from Fire Bolt and Fireball.
- Fire Mastery – (1) point. Increases damage caused by all Fire spells.
- Warmth (1) point. Increases the rate at which mana is regenerated.
- Telekinesis (1) point. Prerequisite for Teleport.
- Teleport (1) point.
- Strength – Just enough to use your gear. My sorc has a base strength of 88.
- Dexterity – nothing.
- Vitality – all the rest.
- Energy – nothing. You only need enough mana to cast your spells with out constantly guzzling blues.
First thing is my play style…… She’s a SORCERESS, not a sorcbarian, not a sorcazon, not a sorcadin, a SORCERESS! A shield is not a defense it’s a tool and should add FCR / mana / life / resists / skills. Your defense is staying away from the monsters, letting your merc tank, and teleporting out of any ranged attack (or monster swarm) that should come your way (which also has the added advantage of having your mercenary rejoin you at your destination). Too many of us in the USA are impatient and rush to kill the monsters. Those of us that played the original Diablo game (especially the warrior) learned how to separate packs of monsters and take on each group (and their weaknesses / strengths) one at a time. Don’t worry. The monsters WILL come to you and, those that don’t, will get killed at your leisure, on your terms.
In my opinion, this is the most versatile sorceress build in the 1.10 patch. Use Blizzard as your main Delay spell to slow and damage monsters then switch to Fireball to rain fiery death upon the chilled monsters (chill ‘em and kill ‘em). Against Fire immune monsters use Blizzard as the delay spell and Glacial spike as the fast cast spell. Against Cold immune monsters use Meteor as your delay spell and then blast away with Fireball as the fast cast. A few monsters are fire and cold immune (The Countess in hell difficulty comes to mind) but that’s what your mercenary is for……
Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute! Only one point in warmth? Yes you don’t really need to afford more here on this build. Add Mana from charms to increase your mana supply (and the rate of regeneration).
Hunh? Mana regeneration is stated in strict percentages. If you regenerate 20% of mana in X time, the more mana you have, the more you regenerate. 20% of 500 mana is 100 mana regained in X time. 20% of 1000 mana is 200 mana regained in the same amount (X) of time.
Use P skull instead of Um rune in armor and helm if you have enough resistances from other sources, and drink potions when you need them. If you have all the high level items your warmth should be at least level 11. You can increase this by adding a Fire Skills Grand Charm (Cold skills grand charm is not as good an option) if the fire charm has +to mana on it so much the better.
Why only one point in the masteries? Because the masteries aren’t synergies and gain bonuses from +skills. This is the fastest way I have been able to get a sorceress to deal significant damage and be viable in all areas and difficulties of the game.
The Synergies on the fire spells add +14% damage per level to your Fireball. Each point after the first in Fire Mastery only adds 7% to damage EXCEPT the first one, which adds 30%. The synergies get no bonuses from +skill items but Fire Mastery does. So this single point is worth it but any more would not be. After the build is maxed out you can start increasing the Fire Mastery and the Cold Mastery. I will alternate 2 levels of Fire Mastery followed by 1 level of Cold Mastery. I use Fire Mastery because it increases the damage of both Fire Ball and Meteor by a larger margin than the synergy from Fire Bolt.
I like Blizzard better than Frozen Orb for a few reasons. First , Blizzard synergizes with Glacial Spike by 5% as opposed to the 2% that Frozen Orb gets from Ice Bolt. All of the cold spells gain the same benefits from Cold Mastery so that’s a wash. Glacial Spike is a 2 yard radius spell that freezes it’s target as opposed to Ice Bolt which hits a single target and only chills it. This makes Glacial Spike a much better secondary (fast cast) spell than Ice Bolt. Second, Blizzard does more base damage and has a 1.8 second casting delay as opposed to a 1 second casting delay for Frozen Orb, so I can get in more fast cast spells before having to renew blizzard. Third, Blizzard’s duration is 4 seconds so I can effectively have 2 going at the same time. Fourth, I can hit the edge of the screen immediately with Blizzard (and so slow the monsters). Frozen Orb has a short range and the shards have to travel to the edge of the screen before it effects the monsters there (takes about hmmm 1 second), so range and speed for Blizzard are both better. Fifth, in PVP the Amazon’s Slow Missile has no effect on Blizzard. Sixth, Snow clash adds 2 to Blizzard, 3 to Glacial Spike and incidentally gives me chilling armor so I get that cold skill for free. No other belt adds to spell skills except for Arachnids mesh, which adds 1 to all, and fat chance of finding one of those.
The Glacial Spike synergy on the Blizzard adds the same amount of damage % as the resistance reduction % from Cold Mastery but, Cold Mastery can’t be used as an offensive spell, and Glacial Spike can. Blizzard doesn’t increase the damage done by Glacial Spike but the synergy from this spell increases the duration of time that monsters are FROZEN (not chilled like blizzard). Used on a small group of fire immunes with enough fast cast it is possible to kill them with out them ever getting a chance to move. (At skill 20 = 4.2 sec frozen * 1.6 for the (20) Blizzard synergy / 4 for hell diff = minimum of 1.68 seconds frozen and unable to move.) A single point into cold mastery, to capture the 20% initial cold resistance reduction and the increased damage gained therein, and the bonus provided by skill plusses produces the most damage possible for this skill tab at the earliest level. (Remember that this happens because we are using delay spells in combination with fast cast spells)
I prefer the Barbarian mercenary to the Act 2 Mercenary for a couple of reasons. First, all the auras that are available do not really significantly help my build except Holy Freeze, but since I can do cold damage all the way off the screen, that’s not really needed either. Second, the barbarian seems to me to attack and walk faster. Act 2 mercenary is kind of slothful. Third, the Barbarian can absorb more punishment before dying. Fourth, the Barbarian maxes out his resistances earlier.
I load my mercenaries up on life leech a little extra resists and decent damage.
Why do I build the mercenaries this way? Well put simply, I kind of like the fire and forget nature of this build. Lots of leech keeps me from wasting potions on the mercenary and the only monsters they really have to kill on their own is a monster that is both fire and cold immune. Even those boss monster’s minions aren’t resistant to both elements so I can usually trim all the extraneous foliage and leave the double immune to the mercenary. Physical immune monsters are mine any way and are pretty easy since they aren’t immune to at least one of my elements. I started using Hwannins armor on my mercenaries because of the triggered static field and the +100 to life, but after the first few times a cold using monster turned my mercenary into ice cubes I rethought my strategy and got an armor that prevents being frozen.
I’m not a rich player and I rarely trade. Most of the stuff I use I found myself. I got the Viper Magi from norm Baal. I got lucky horking stuff with my barbarian character and got an Ist (the only one I’ve ever found ever since the game came out). The Um I got from nightmare hell forge. Got lucky in a hell game (thank you who ever it was that made him pop) and Milady and I killed Uber Diablo to get the Annihilus charm.
I used Hel WizardSpike, Tal's Belt, and a few dex charms for a while but didn’t like it.
My switch set at high level is a wand that has level 2 lower resist charges and the old Ancients Pledge. When I find a Moser’s I’ll stick 2 p diamonds in it and put it in my switch set instead.
The only monster I ever had any real trouble with was gloams. Their lightening passed through my barb and still hit me, which sucked down my mana way too fast even guzzling blues. (Poor old Torkel isn’t smart enough to serpentine. He charges the gloams in a straight line.) My Barb died shortly there after as he no longer had my support. My mana regenerated fast enough to teleport out and town portal but it was still ugly. My Barbarian stops all (or most all, if I play it right) the other elemental casting monster’s projectiles. Doom knights and a few of the witches suck a little when they hit my barb with Iron Maiden. I have to keep teleporting and casting damage spells to keep poor old Torkel from killing himself.
Here’s the gear I actually used to complete my build….
- Hat-P topaz Harlequin Crest
- Amulet-25 Maras Kaleidoscope
- Weapon-Ist Oculus
- Armor-Um 12/33 Viper Magi
- Shield-P diamond Lidless Wall
- Gloves-Mage Fists
- Ring-Bahamuts of the apprentice (106 mana, 10 FCR)
- Belt-Snow clash
- Ring-Shimmering of the apprentice (+7 resist all, 10 FCR)
- Boots-Silk Weave
- Charms-113/12/32 Gheeds fortune, 3 - 50+ mana grand charms, +1 Fire skills grand charm of greed, 12/15/7 anhilus, with a few small resist charms and a few small mf charms
Tempest-Knight’s stats at level 82
- Strength – 107
- Dex – 49
- Vitality – 381/ Life – 1006
- Energy – 84/Mana – 629
When I play with Milady’s frenzy Barb and she uses her battle orders I have over 2 k life and over 1.3 k mana.
Resists in hell diff
- Resistance/Normal/Switch Set
Cold is a little low but the snow clash has absorb.
- Glacial Spike-33
- Hat-Tal Rasha’s Horadric Crest
- Weapon-Ethereal cruel executioners sword of butchery. I got lucky and got 2 sockets and put Amn in both.
- Armor-Ethereal Duriel’s Shell with 33% ED jewel socketed.
When I find a decent Steel Skull I’ll P topaz it and try that instead.
I’m not much into dueling but this should work fairly well as a dueler. I used a very similar build in 1.09 as a dueler and did fairly well against every thing except amazons that had dueled me previously. I had the most trouble with amazons of course, but I could cast Blizzard off the edge of my screen (slightly longer range than Guided) and could Fire Ball them out of existence before they got close enough to Slow Missile me.