Blova Sorceress Guide (v1.0) by Liquid Circus

Liquid_Evil

Diabloii.Net Member
Blova Sorceress Guide (v1.0) by Liquid Circus

1.12 Blova Sorceress Guide (Version 1.0)
by Liquid Circus

Table of Contents
I. Introduction
II. Stat Placement
III. Skill Placement
IV. Playing Techniques
V. Gear Selection
VI. About -eLR
VII. Mercenaries
VIII. Comparison and Analysis of MF Areas
IX. Character Examples
X. Thanks


I. Introduction
Blova is the term used to denote a PvM Blizzard/Nova hybrid sorceress (originally coined by maareek). Using these two attacks, a Blova handles very well throughout the progression of the game and makes a very formidable and competitive MF’er in several Hell areas. Like many hybrids, however, this build requires higher end items to effectively power dual skill trees. Still, if you like a lot of diversity in your MF targets, this build is exceptionally flexible, wonderful in Baal runs, and very enjoyable. It’s definitely a diamond in the rough and a welcome relief to more conventional, mainstream MF’ers.

Word about the authors
Far from a solo effort, this guide was the product of several minds. Having built one of these characters for myself, I found it odd that there wasn’t an established guide for what I perceived to be a topnotch build. To remedy this, I enlisted the help of the Blova pioneers—maareek, BobTheWarrior, and bcoe—to assist in this endeavor. I learned a lot during this collaboration as they all provided valuable insight and were instrumental in creating this finished product. I tried hard to incorporate their research and perspectives, many times completely verbatim, into this body of work, so it seemed fitting to credit them properly as coauthors. However, because all of our names in the title looked more than a bit awkward, I—as the project’s ringleader—thought it fitting to brand our group as “Liquid Circus” for the sake of reducing the clutter.

II. Stat Placement
Blova stats require little more than enough strength and dexterity to equip end game wares; the rest should be spent in vitality. Max block is gratuitous and the character handles better with no emphasis on block/dexterity.
*156 final strength is strongly recommended as the necessary power to properly play the build will be very tough to achieve without a “Spirit” shield.

III. Skill Placement
-1 Warmth
-1 Telekinesis
-1 Static Field
-1 Teleport
-1 Frost Nova
-1 Glacial Spike
-20 Nova
-20 Lightning Mastery
-20 Blizzard
-20 Ice Blast (this build shines as a Baal/boss runner where Ice Blast greatly outpaces Glacial Spike for overall effectiveness)
-1+ Cold Mastery (typically enough to net -125% enemy cold resists) *See below for explanation on Cold Mastery
-Remaining points should be spent in Ice Bolt to increase damage of Blizzard, GS and Ice Blast

*The math regarding synergy versus CM gets tricky when there are many different variables that change between players (clvl, quality of cold % enh. items, etc), however, with a typical setup, we determined that for both Blizzard and Ice Blast, -125% cold resistance provides the best damage versus a 50% resistant monster (like Baal). And just to be clear, the additional points pulled from CM were placed in Ice Bolt to synergize Ice Blast. CM that offered -125% had a 400+ damage advantage for Blizzard damage and a 300+ damage advantage for Ice Blast. However, with better gear and higher levels, -150% enemy resistance can eventually beat out -125%. If you plan on utilizing the highest quality gear or getting to obscenely high levels, then more hard points into CM is something to consider.

Here’s a more in depth analysis of the testing courtesy of maareek for those that are curious:
For Blizzard, -150% provides better damage versus a 50% resistant monster than -100%, but for Ice Blast -150% provides the worst overall
damage (~200 less than -100%; -125% does ~300 more than -100%). Since Ice Blast is the main killer for bosses, the difference should definitely be noticeable.

For a comparison, I did +12 skills with no -res or + res gear, and -150% was better across the board (barely better for Ice Blast - ~20 damage - but ~150 better for Blizz). With +15 skills and no - or +res gear -150% was better for Blizzard (by ~200 damage over -125%), but -125% was better for Ice Blast (only by ~40 damage, though, over
150%). -100% was significantly worse in both cases.

The numbers:
+15 with DF:
Blizzard, -150%: 8374; Ice Blast, -150%: 5284
Blizzard, -125%: 8792; Ice Blast, -125%: 5766
Blizzard, -100%: 7956; Ice Blast, -100%: 5486

+15, no +/- gear:
Blizzard, -150%: 7089; Ice Blast, -150%: 4540
Blizzard, -125%: 6850; Ice Blast, -125%: 4576
Blizzard, -100%: 6425; Ice Blast, -100%: 4268

+12, no +/- gear:
Blizzard, -150%: 5761; Ice Blast, -150%: 3578
Blizzard, -125%: 5602; Ice Blast, -125%: 3560
Blizzard, -100%: 5282; Ice Blast, -100%: 3419
In order for this build to do enough damage to be really viable, a lot of +skills are required. A total of +12 skills is a good benchmark, though if you have -res gear (or + damage gear for cold) then you may be able to get by with less. The reason for such a focus on +skills lies with the main attacks: both Blizzard and Nova scale up massively in damage with each increased skill point. Adding to that is the fact that being within Nova range of a monster is very dangerous if they aren’t in hit recovery, so the whole aim of a successful Blova is a powerful enough Nova to inflict hit recovery while casting as powerful a Blizzard as possible. With more people in the game, this becomes more difficult, but that issue typically lies with b.net chars, who will have access to the Annihilus and Hellfire Torch, which makes it much easier to ramp up the damage.

IV. Playing Techniques
The Blova sorceress requires quick shifting from the stand back caster mindset of a Blizzard sorceress as well as the aggressive, dive-in mindset of the Nova sorceress. A successful combination of those opposite concepts relies both on confidence in your attacks (i.e. knowing that your Nova does enough damage to put monsters in hit recovery) and proper layout of skill hotkeys for rapid switching. The first of those largely depends on your wealth, but the second depends entirely on you. Place your keys so that you can immediately switch between Teleport, Blizzard, Static, Ice Blast, Nova and Glacial Spike (if applicable). To accomplish this, hotkeys may be assigned thusly:

Teleport on “R”
Ice Blast on “E”
Glacial Spike on “Q”
Static Field on “A”
Nova on “D”
Blizzard on “F”

This is another example:
Blizzard on “A”
Static Field on “S”
Teleport on “D”
Nova on “F”
Ice Blast as default left click

There’s obviously more than a few good hotkey setups, but the two outlined above represent a good thought behind the placement: skills that are used in tandem should be bound to keys that are close together.

**Because of Nova’s massive mana requirements, using Static Field first tends to be very beneficial.

V. Gear Selection
The aim of your gear is to get you the following:
  • +Skills
  • 105 FCR (this is essential for a good application of Nova)
  • Resistances (you’ll be in range for Death Cold Novas, LE bolts, sometimes even FE explosions, so good resistances will make your life much easier)
  • FHR (we recommend 60% for an 8 frame hit recovery, which you can get with “Spirit” and a Small Charm of Balance).
  • MF (once the above safety and kill speed issues have been addressed, you are free to pile on the MF)
Helm: If you don’t have a Griffon’s Eye for this slot, you should be using full Tal’s set. The -eLR makes a huge difference in damage output and without it you won’t be putting most monsters in hit recovery with your Nova. Nightwing’s Veil is a distant third option to the two former candidates, but has its place if you want a better area runner.

Weapon: Obviously Death’s Fathom should be your end game aspiration, but a “Heart of the Oak” or an Oculus will work just fine. Eschuta’s is a poor choice because the mods on the other options greatly outweigh Eschuta’s pitiful increase to Nova damage. A "Spirit" weapon is also an option, and Tal Rasha’s Lidless Eye works if you’re going with the full set.

Amulet: Tal Rasha’s Adjudication. Even if you aren’t going full Tal’s, wearing the amulet, armor and belt makes a great combo for a build aiming towards MF. If, however, Magic Finding is not your purpose, whatever your best option is should work fine: Mara’s Kaleidoscope, rares, or crafts.

Armor: Tal Rasha’s Guardianship for MF or budget, otherwise “Chains of Honor” or Skin of Vipermagi.

Shield: “Spirit” Monarch. There is virtually no reason to use anything else and this was a main staple of all our Blova characters for good reason; the mods are simply too useful to go with any other option. Max block does not equate to max safety for this build.

Gloves: Trang-Oul’s Claws or Magefist if you need the FCR, Chance Guards or Frostburns if you don’t.

Belt: Tal Rasha’s Fine-Spun Cloth for MF or budget, otherwise Arachnid’s Mesh.

Rings: Stone of Jordan x2. If you don’t have them, then we recommend that you make up FCR with the rings and wear Frostburns or Chance Guards.

Boots: War Traveler’s for MF, otherwise wear whatever fills your needs. Aldur’s shores up your Fire Resists, Sandstorm Trek’s shores up Poison Res and, with “Spirit”, puts you 11% FHR short of 7 frame recovery; rare boots can also supply a variety of neat mods.

Charms: A combination of Sparking and Chilling supplemented with a Gheed’s and various smalls to fill holes in your setup. Sprinkle the rest of the inventory with MF smalls (as well as the obvious Hellfire Torch and Annihilus if on realm).

VI. About –eLR
Why is wearing Griffon’s or going with Full Tal’s so important? Simply put, it’s because most monsters in Hell have resistances. That means that you’re only getting through a percentage of your listed damage to the monster. You can, theoretically, add enough skill points to power through those resistances, but reducing the resistances themselves with typically give much better results, especially if they have fairly high resistances. For instance, if you have a listed average of 1700 damage and you’re attacking a monster with 75% lightning resistance, you will actually be dealing a mere 425 damage per hit. On the other hand, if you have 1200 average damage and -15% lightning damage (which is the -eLR you get from Full Tal’s or lowest roll Griffon’s) you would do 480 damage per hit. Most monsters have a mere 50% resistance, or lower, but even then the -eLR will tend to be a better option.

VII. Mercenaries
Because Nova is such a mana hog, it’s very difficult to suggest anything but an Act 2 Merc wielding an “Insight” polearm unless you want to be reliant on potions. Which type you choose largely depends on personal preference. Might mercs have the benefit of added power against dual immunes and bosses; Prayer mercs up the ante in terms keeping your character alive via replenish life; and Holy Freeze mercs increase the safety margin by slowing enemies. The writers of this guide have had success with all three types.

VIII. Comparison and Analysis of MF Areas
We independently ranked each MF area on a scale of 1-10 (1 being the worst and 10 being the best) to give readers perspective; the average of our scores is also supplied to give an overall impression of the areas. The average ranking is set aside in highlights and brackets.

Countess: 9, 9, 8, 9 [8.75]
Very easy with the hit recovery supplied with Nova. Blizzard allows you to deal with archers, if necessary as well. Use Glacial Spike to keep them still while you grab the runes/key and bolt. As good as any runner for this target.

Summoner: 9, 10, 8, 10 [9.25]
Blizzard him from far away or Nova him from directly on top. The dual elements allow you to deal with surrounding monsters if need be. As good as any runner for this target.

Nihlathak: 8, 6.5, 2, 5 [5.375]
Admittedly not the best build here. Because Nihlathak's a bit on the tougher side, swap a SoJ for Nature’s Peace to combat his Corpse Explosion. When Nihlathak spawns only CI, things are easy: teleport on top and Nova away, though a potion may be required. LI is a little tougher, since it can be tough to kill him with Blizzard depending on the spawn and the monster density. Be careful about letting the merc engage monsters or you may be hit with an unexpected CE. We’ve also noticed that if he casts CE on the corpse just as it dies it still goes off even if you kill it, but if he doesn’t then it’s not available so RIP is definitely not foolproof. CI/LI Nihlathak is quite the pain, but sort of rare. We advise teleporting on top of him and using Nova on the boars. Be prepared to use a few potions, and then let the merc get the kill. Our most experienced Nihlathak runner suggested a second Nature’s Peace for the PDR, a “Sol”ed Tal’s Armor, and ~40 integer PDR (to nullify the viper’s poison cloud damage) for those dedicated to Destruction Key runs.

Key Running: [7.79]
Overall, very good at the task and definitely capable of all three runs.

Pindle: 9, 10, 7, 10 [9]
Like most builds that get to Pindleskin, a Blova can run him just fine. However, Barbarians and pure Blizz sorceresses can pack more MF while killing just as fast or faster. The advantage of being able to take down CI Pindle, as well, does help to alleviate that difference some.

LCS shots of Nihlathak/Pindle runs: Blizz, Nova, Glacial Spike, Ice Blast

Andariel: 8, 8, 8, 8 [8]
Very good at running her, but much slower than a sorc with a powerful Fireball or a synergized Blizzard.

Mephisto: 9, 9, 8, 8 [8.5]
Solid power with a decent backup to deal with nearby vampires if necessary makes this a great runner for Meph. There are a few characters that can potentially perform better, but a Blova can do very well and keep your running options open for other targets at the same time. Other chars can pile on more MF and more power, but with nice enough charms to make up for the MF this is as good an option as any.

Pits: 9, 8, 6, N/A [7.67]
Because of immunes, a Blova plays more like a Nova sorc with a Blizzard backup, but she’s still extremely capable. Griffon’s is very highly recommended for these runs, with Nova being the main attack, to ensure hit recovery and, thereby, assure safety. Rogues can spawn CI/LI, which can be annoying, and archers can spawn CI/LI, as well, which can be dangerous. Definitely a good Pit Runner candidate if you are lacking “Enigma,” though a switch to “Crescent Moon” might prove more beneficial to a Blova dedicated to this type of run.

AT: 9, 9, 9, 8 [8.75]
Excellent runner. As with other targets, a pure Blizzard sorceress can pile on more MF with a little more power, but I think the ability to deal with most CIs raises the Blizz/Nova’s rating here. Swapping items for a greater emphasis on the cold damage half of the build is advisable for prolonged AT sessions.

Baal (p1/p8/p3): 9, 9, 10, 10 [9.5]
A Blova handles these runs like a dream and two of the collaborators noted that this was the main reason they built this character. Clearing the throne shouldn’t be an issue. Look to take out ranged attackers (OK’s, Gloams, Witches, Vampires) first, then address the melee enemies. Wave two can be a bit tedious, with being poisoned forcing a retreat to town or an Antidote, but no dangers besides. For Baal, remember not to neglect Static and Ice Blast. One of the coauthors noted that this is perhaps the best non high rune dependent Baal runner in existence. That sentiment is supported in that several of our solo /p8 Baal times averaged right around 4 minutes a run. This is because the Blova sorc has a counter to the normally problematic monsters. For example, Gloams succumb to Blizzard and Dolls are kept at bay with Nova. Blizzard is great against tightly-packed minion waves and Nova is terrific against the second wave cold immunes. A coauthor proposed the notion that a Blova is second only to a Lightning Sorceress with “Infinity” as a level 99 runner and second to none in relation to balancing power, MF, and the ability to kill, as a Baal-running Magic Finder.

IX. Character Examples
The collaborators of this guide have included stat screenshots from each of their characters (all built in SP, so no access to Annihilus and Hellfire Torch) to give you a ballpark number of what you can expect out of your own Blova.

LCS numbers for BobTheBlizznova: Blizz, Nova.

LCS numbers for Sturnella_Magna: Blizz, Nova.

LCS numbers for Blova: Blizz, Nova, Ice Blast.

LCS numbers for Beacon: Blizz, Nova.

Here is also a YouTube VIDEO highlighting a Blova during a series of average MF runs.
*Quick video disclaimer- I’m traditionally a Druid player so if my sorc skills look somewhat subpar, it’s because they are. ;)

Here’s another VIDEO, this time from the perspective of maareek’s Blova sorceress fighting her way through a Baal run (complete with CI Lister).

X. Thanks
-bcoe, maareek, and BobTheWarrior for being so helpful and enthusiastic about the project—I literally couldn’t have done it without you guys (and I hope you don’t mind being jugglers and clowns with the odd name selection I chose for our group)
-skunkbelly for his Guardian thread that helped inspire Bob’s original Blizz/Nova sorc
-sirpoopsalot for his triple Matriarch thread that brought the Nova-using Baal runner out of the dark and into the spotlight
-Anyone that’s ever dreamt of something different
 
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Tubba Blubba

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Blova Sorceress Guide (v1.0) by Liquid Circus

Looks great, but I'd like to know how it performs versus a NovaOrber.
 

BobTheWarrior

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Blova Sorceress Guide (v1.0) by Liquid Circus

@Tubba- Better in some cases, worse in others, it depends on the circumstances. Generically, FO is better at taking down bosses if you can sweet spot it. Blizzard can take out masses of enemies from a distance, but can suffer against slender enemies. So, depending on the fight, FO or Blizz will be "better".

I have both, and my NovaOrber is retired, my Blova is still in use as a solo baal runner, if that tells you anything. I use a CL/FO sorc to run Baal in MP games as I like FO's baal takedown better and don't need the raw power of blizzard for the waves if I have companions to help, and CL lets me stay put to clean up the stragglers/help clear some of the nastier random spawns as the /player setting can ramp up quickly in MP games outside of the comfort zone for Nova.
 

San

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Blova Sorceress Guide (v1.0) by Liquid Circus

Nice one Liq. I'll definitely read this one more thoroughly tomorrow, my eyes aren't working too well at this time.

@Tubba:
Frozen orb is out of league. It is not an appropriate skill for high p/setting Baal runs. See this thread. With complete devotion of the build, Forb reaches 1/4 of the damage Blizzard does. Yes, one might argue that Forb releases lots and lots of shards, but most of them miss, and Blizzard is truly _the_ skill for bosspacks, ie. the 5 waves (pity those Mummies don't move though).
 

bcoe

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Blova Sorceress Guide (v1.0) by Liquid Circus

@Tubba - I think FO/Nova is a bit faster running baal on /p1, and a Blova is faster on /p1/8/3. They are very close. I think FO is better at clearing the throne and killing baal, and Blizzard is faster at the waves. When you are all at /p1, the most dangerous part of the run is clearing the throne. When running at /p1/8/3, the most dangerous part is the minion waves. So if I am running all at /p1 (just for MF), I like my FO/Nova (with emphasis on Nova). For /p1/8/3, my Blova is my favorite.
 

smilts

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Blova Sorceress Guide (v1.0) by Liquid Circus

Really nice guide. was looking at the LCS of novas and noticed that Beacon is lower than the others was that to strengthen some other erea? Maybe I missed it in the guide in any case congrats on the guide to all of you in the Liquid Circus!!
 

maareek

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Blova Sorceress Guide (v1.0) by Liquid Circus

Thanks again, L_E, for putting all this together, and to Bob and bcoe for their efforts. I'm well pleased with the guide, and this is not the first time someone has hinted at me being a clown.

I agree completely with bcoe's statements about FO versus Blizzard. My FO/Nova was parked after just a few Baal runs because of how ridiculously difficult it was to use against the last 2 waves. However, FO drops Baal faster than Blizz/IB can even dream about, so you do gain a little time there. People looking just for item drops should be fine with a FO/Nova at p1, but those looking for the extra experience and challenge for p1/p8/p3 runs will appreciate the Blizz/Nova's scalable damage.

For the numbers, I based them on a level 91 sorc (what mine was at the time), finding that with her gear -125% CM was superior to -150 or -100. As Liq alluded, when I ran the numbers at 99, it showed that -150% would definitely edge out -125% there. My advice would be to get to -125% fairly early, then get her up to -150% if/when you take her into her 90's. That's assuming some +cold damage gear (facets, Tal's, Death's Fathom), if you don't have any +cold damage gear, you should get to -150 straight off (if you expect gear upgrades, you can leave a little cushion room).

I'm sure this has something to do with proportionality, as with other mastery v synergy choices, but I don't have a formula to work with. If you want to be sure, a little work with the skill calculator should give you a solid idea of what you're looking at.
 

sirpoopsalot

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Blova Sorceress Guide (v1.0) by Liquid Circus

Great guide guys!
alliteration, ftw

I've already added it to Hrus' Build Guides Compilation (in the stickies).


I also agree that for lower player settings FO > Blizz, and for higher settings Blizz > FO. At least for WSK/Baal runs. I suspect that's also true for other areas like Pits too, but the lower monster life in the first act might offset Blizz's scalability a little bit in favour of FO. Maybe. In my opinion you can't really go wrong with either choice though.


My question is, have any of you tried a blizzballer on higher settings Baal runs? I'm wondering how Nova's superior area of effect compares to Fireball's higher-scaling damage in WSK. On lower settings I like Nova for sure, but higher settings... it should be close, me thinks.

I'd probably pick the Blova simply because Lister will never be immune to both of your attacks, but I'm thinking that 2nd wave might be somewhat better with higher-damage Fireballs, which may outweigh the Blova's advantages.
 

frozzzen

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Blova Sorceress Guide (v1.0) by Liquid Circus

I was never fan of hybrids, but since I need Baalruner this sorc may come in handy, but I'm realy concerned about mana counsumption since I don't have 2 SoJs like recomended.

Griffon and Fathom are worse rolls possible ( :p ) but it seems like less importand thing right now. Im realy amazed how fast Lister and gang were down. :thumbup: Seems like only real problem is killing Baal.
Would 1 pt FO be better that other options?

What kind of skillers are you using? Since I have only 2 cold and 7 sparkling, balance is not realy great...

This sorceress is definitly flashy :)
gg guys

EDIT: What gear is using mercenary in that video? He is very durable I must say and It would be useful to know what kind of merc can survive wave 2...
 

bcoe

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Blova Sorceress Guide (v1.0) by Liquid Circus

@Frozzen - if you've got full tal rasha's set, I'd use that. Its phenomenal for this build. I also think that for baal-running, a mix of lite and cold skillers is ideal. Here's some data on my Blova, including some different skiller mixes with full Tal's.

I’ve done ~2-3k Baal-runs with a full tal’s Blova. Her skill layout is:

1 Warmth
1 telekinesis
1 teleport
1 Static Field
20 Nova
20 Lightning Mastery
1 Frost nova
1 Glacial Spike
20 blizzard
20 Ice blast
17 Ice bolt
3 Cold Mastery

She wears a 35-FCR spirit, magefists, and 2x SoJ. She varies her boots depending on what she’s running, but generally a FRes/PRes/MF rare. She has spirit/CtA on switch. She keeps a cube, 2 tomes, 7 skillers, Gheeds, and various resists/FHR/life/MF/Mana small charms.

She has 2108 life, and 1428 mana (after BO). She has 75/75/75/72 resists, and 252 MF.

Some damage numbers:

With 3 cold facets (total +15/-14) and 7 cold skillers, her damage (after CtA) is:
Ice Blast: 4186-4301
Blizzard: 6182-6435
Nova: 1233-1655

With 3 lightning facets (total +11/-14) and 7 light skillers, her damage (after CtA) is:
Ice Blast: 2586-2673
Blizzard: 3951-4152
Nova: 1893-2478

With 2 cold facets (total +10/-10) and 1 lightning (+4/-5) and 3 cold/ 4 light skillers, her damage (after CtA) is:
Ice Blast: 3331-3432
Blizzard: 5002-5230
Nova: 1588-2097

For baal-running, I prefer the mixed-damage set up best, especially if running at p1/8/3. This is the rig used for the screenshots (Sturnella_Magna).

When running all at /p1, it really doesn’t matter. The full-lite Nova damage set up chews through the minions incredibly fast, and the ~4K Blizz is plenty for Baal. For /p8 minions, though, they hit hard enough that I like to lean on the cold damage a bit more for safety’s sake, and use much more ice blast (and glacial spike) to freeze them while they die. I think that an all-cold emphasis is great, but it makes wave 2 a bit too slow for my tastes. The mixed-damage setup works fine for wave 2, and makes a nice difference for a cold-immune Lister.

For AT running, I use a full-cold setup. For the Pits, I use full-Nova.

I think the strength of this build is really in Baal-running. I don’t think there is a better (non high-rune dependent) baal-runner. With the mixed-damage setup above, I average just under 4 minutes/run. I suppose a lite sorc with infinity (I haven’t tried one) or a hammerdin with enigma (got one of those) might be a tiny bit faster, but not by much, and won’t be nearly as much fun. The big challenges of baal-running (on p1/8/3) are all easily dealt with with the Blova. Gloams are very Blizz-able. Dolls are held at bay by Nova. Blizzard is great against tightly-packed minion waves, and if you can get ~5k-damage (or more), they go down VERY fast. Nova is terrific against wave 2 cold immunes, who tend to spread out in all directions, but usually stay in a tight enough pack for Nova to reach. For Baal himself, Blizz + ice blast is fast enough. Synergized Orb is faster against Baal, but only by a bit, and the benefits of Blizz against the minions makes it the better choice, for me.

Comparing Blova to a Nova-Orb, I think that the Nova-Orb (with Nova emphasis) is preferable on /p1 baal-runs, but the damage just doesn’t cut it on /p8. CB/Orb is a nice set-up for /p1, but the orb damage lags a bit if you fully-synergize charged bolt. CL/Lite/Orb is just annoying with the slow cast rate on CL/Lightning (in my opinion). Fire/Cold or Fire/Lite combos are sub-optimal, in my opinion, given the inherent fire immunity for Lister and his pack.
 

Liquid_Evil

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Blova Sorceress Guide (v1.0) by Liquid Circus

What kind of skillers are you using? Since I have only 2 cold and 7 sparkling, balance is not realy great...
I use 3 of each and a Gheeds.

What gear is using mercenary in that video? He is very durable I must say and It would be useful to know what kind of merc can survive wave 2...
Kira's Guardian, "Fortitude" Archon, and ethereal upped Kelpie Snare s/ Amn (which was why I was trying get the merc to prod Baal with it in the video)

Seems like only real problem is killing Baal.
Baal really isn't that big a deal. He put up more of a fight in the video, but I still thought the run represented a good average and what someone could roughly expect. Chalk it up to a sloppier sorc player.

was looking at the LCS of novas and noticed that Beacon is lower than the others was that to strengthen some other erea?
She's not *that* much lower in that regard, but hopefully she makes up for it with a pretty decent Blizzard.
 
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Albatross

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Blova Sorceress Guide (v1.0) by Liquid Circus

Great guide! I remember the sorc from some Baals and was quite curious about those novas emitting from her. Btw, that video just rounds it up so nicely, its something I always missed in guides, but didn't know it till now :thumbsup:
 

Asmodeous

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Blova Sorceress Guide (v1.0) by Liquid Circus

Well done guys! A good guide here. :yes:

I'm surprised at just how similar the set up is for your "Blova" compared to my current Blizzard/lightning sorceress is, who is nearly complete. The equipment is nearly identical, I used a SoJ + BKWB as I can't spare 2 x SoJ.

The only major thing different I used which would be a good suggestion for your guide, is a +2 skills Arkaine's valor socketed with resists and a resist all/life GC to make up for the lost resists from the armor. Easily to make the required FCR with the arachnids, fathom, griffin, 30% spirit and trang's gloves. I used a defiance merc combined with a weapon switch cold armor buff for some reasonable defence. But probably not as useful with nova as You could rely on triggering hit recovery on targets with the damage range of nova compared to lightning/chain lightning and CB.

It's good to see the old nova sorceress make a comeback!
 

maareek

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Blova Sorceress Guide (v1.0) by Liquid Circus

@Liq: I decided to record a Baal running video of my own, showing a CI Lister, just for a little extra demonstration. It's a tad slow, but I think it gets the point across. Hopefully it meets your approval for addition, sorry for being a little late.

@poops: I haven't played my Baal running Blizzballer in quite awhile, but I remember wave 2 being a little tedious because of the skeletons spreading out. That's not a problem for Nova, but it does slow down Fireball. Then again, it only takes 1-2 Fireballs to down those skeletons, even at p8, so the time is probably close. Add to that the fact that Nova is faster at clearing the Throne and against Lister, and I'd go with Nova anytime I had decent gear, but I may use testing the Blizzballer as a weak excuse for acquiring another Hellforge drop -- I mean making another sorc -- since my current one was my second char and definitely a little messed up.

@frozzzen: When I originally made my sorc I didn't have SoJ's, CtA or HotO. Still had over 500 mana thanks to Frostburns and found that to be enough with occassional pots + Insight for most cases even with no Warmth (haven't put a point in that skill on a sorc in a long time). I think you'll be alright. I wouldn't worry too much about having lowest roll DF/Griffon's. The lowest roll still gives you the same bonus as full Tal's, and a facet in each should increase your damage nicely. Or you could just go full tal's, use the rings for FCR, and put on Frostburns for a nice boost to mana, as well. I think that's probably your best bet without SoJs. Personally, I only use 2 skillers of each kind (Balance, Dex for Sparking; Sustenance, Strength for Chilling) plus Gheed's and res/MF and res/life SC's.
 

maxicek

Moderator Single Player
Re: Blova Sorceress Guide (v1.0) by Liquid Circus

A nice guide everyone. It was almost so good it made me want to go and make one, but I have never seemed to get on with dual tree sorcs.
 

TheReadMenace

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Blova Sorceress Guide (v1.0) by Liquid Circus

My first thought when I saw the thread title and topic creator was:

"...What the heck is LE doing writing a sorceress guide?!?" :whistling:

After reading it all, though, I'm highly intrigued. I've never tried to do Baal runs since 1.09 what with all the additional guest monsters. And I'd never had a build that was powerful yet safe enough to get through it all with any remarkable speed. That may all change after reading this guide.

...I've known about the build for a good while now, but to see it all written up in black and white really points out how good it can potentially be.

Excellent work. Thanks a bunch to all the contributors! Let's see if the elusive Tyrael's will show up here... :nod:
 

Jcakes

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Blova Sorceress Guide (v1.0) by Liquid Circus

Very nice guide, but it needs moar stash blocking.

On a slightly more serious note, it was very nice to have the youtube of the build doing runs, interesting to see the way different people play the same character.
 

Outside the Whale

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Blova Sorceress Guide (v1.0) by Liquid Circus

I can personally attest to the incredible efficiency exhibited by this build on baalruns.

I have had the pleasure of experiencing the mighty Blova firsthand in MP games, and I must say, I did the like the suicidal teleporting into monster packs and novaing them.

It's like playing with occulus, but on purpose.
 

Solar Ice

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Blova Sorceress Guide (v1.0) by Liquid Circus

Very good guide. A few comments:

I see you did not add weapon switch options in the equipment section. The best, of course, is a 'Call to Arms'/Spirit switch. If one doesn't have it, perhaps an alternative would be to use Eschuta's for the Cold Immunes.

If one does have a CtA and is not short of runic wealth, perhaps it might better to let the Merc wield an 'Infinity' instad of 'Insight'? Nova is a huge mana hog no doubt about it, but a well-geared Sorc shouldn't be spamming it for long to kill mobs. Max mana/mana per kill items will help alleviate the cost issue. The Conviction aura will give Nova a huge damage boost and ensure that only 1 point is all CM ever needs. Thoughts?

What about a point in Frozen Armor, assuming the end-game belt is not Snowclash? I guess the main reason it is not listed is because the build is very tight, skill point-wise.
 
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