Lightning guide PvM/PvP (repost)


Diabloii.Net Member
Lightning guide PvM/PvP (repost)

Lightning sorceress guide:

1. Introduction
2.a Skills
2.b Stats
3. Equipment
4.a Mercenaries
4.b Leveling up
4.c PvM strategies
5 Dueling

1. Introduction.

This is a guide to a lightning sorceress. The build uses offensive skills from only one tree; the lightning tree. This is both for PvM and PvP, and in both I found her to be very cool to play, and also pretty effective. Sure, other builds can beat it in certain areas, but over-all it is a very powerful build, even for solo-play. First I’ll list some ad- and disadvantages of this build to get rid of the “fire ball is betterâ€-feeling:


- High damage. In fact there is no skill that does more maximum damage than lightning.
- You’ll use lightning skill charms, this also means a 1-point wonder teleport.
- Oh and thunderstorm. One point and it’s at about 1000 damage.
- And an optional energy shield!
- And high level static field, it doesn’t end…
- Skills that suit well for each situation, chain lightning for groups, lightning for dangerous bosses, charged bolt for bosses you can get close to.
- People say something like “lol a lightning sorc†when you’re going to duel them. They won’t talk so tough once you’ve wasted them.


- Slower casting for lightning & chain lightning. This is the main disadvantage. I’m still not sure how much slower than other spells it is, but I guess it’s about 4-5 frames.
- High mana costs on (chain) lightning. This is in particular annoying for PvM since in PvP you’ll be mostly casting teleport.
- No static field to help with immune monsters, since they’re immune to lightning on which static will not help, where you can static half the health away from immunes when using cold-tree or fire-tree sorceresses.
- Low minimum damage.
- One element which means you need to rely on your mercenary for lightning immunes. This is only an issue in PvM of course.

If you’ve read this, and you really can’t stand the disadvantages such as the minimum damage of 5, stop reading now and find another build that suits you better. My good old friend HardyZ comes to mind.

2.a Skills.

These are actually pretty obvious. You’re either aiming for the highest damaging lightning possible since that’s your main PvP skill or you make sure you can take a punch but end up with less damage. That would mean we obviously max lightning, and lightning mastery. Then as much in the synergies as you can spare without forgetting the essential skills such as warmth & teleport. That makes for this allocation:

1 warmth
1 telekinesis
1 teleport
1 thunder storm
20 charged bolt
20 lightning
20 chain lightning
20 lightning mastery
1-20 nova (whatever you can spare)

Or if you go Energy shield route:

1 warmth
20 telekinesis
8-20 energy shield (depending on your pre-casting equipment)
20 lightning
20 lightning mastery
1 thunder storm
20 chain lightning
Rest in charged bolt/nova

That’s right, no cold armor. Grab an orb with (ultimately) +3 shiver armor +3 cold skills for casting your PvP armor (your weapon switch is good for this if you’re poor and cannot afford call to arms like me). In PvM frozen armor might be more useful, decide which you want yourself. Shiver has the best defense & duration where frozen armor freezes, but the freeze length is very minor in hell where it’s cut to ¼ of its original length.

Telekinesis does –6,25% mana drained when using energy shield for each point you spend in it (note that +skills do not count). This is pretty essential since in version 1.10 energy shield gets damaged before resistances and damage reduction, making you lose insane amounts of mana without it. In PvP, where you take the highest damage in the whole game, you will absolutely need the synergy to make energy shield of any use. One hit and you’ll likely be out of mana without it.

Since giving up 27+ points that would synergize lightning it means giving up over a third of your damage, I chose not to use energy shield, and rely completely on teleport for my defense. If you do intend to use energy shield, you’ll want to “pre-buff†it. This means that you find as much +to energy shield or +lightning skills as you can, use that equipment, cast energy shield & put on your better setup for dueling. You don’t need to worry about energy shields duration, it starts at 144 seconds (roughly 2½ a minute) and increases with 60 seconds, 1 minute, for each point. I also strongly recommend going for maximum energy shield if you go for it at all, since 95% is 10 times better than 50%. This limit is at level 40, any points after that are wasted since only the duration increases, but it’s already forty minutes so that’s plenty.

Lastly, the reason why I’d only put one point into thunderstorm rather then 20, is because the increase of thunderstorm is only about 1500 damage, where you lose a third of your main damaging skills damage. Since the PvP penalty is now 1/6 where it was ¼ before, and the double hit bug with thunderstorm is gone, and thunderstorm got no increase in damage since 1.09, it results in a pretty weak skill for both PvM and PvP. It’s worth the single point, but nothing more.

The total of this package requires 105-106 skill points meaning you’ll have to level up 93 times if you’ve done all the skill-quests. Level 94 is what you should shoot for, after that the minor increase of life isn’t worth the pain of leveling to me. With an energy shield build there’s still stuff to synergize after level 94 of course. Obviously you’ll be slightly better at level 99 but nothing extreme. Perhaps you need level 95 for a really nice crafted amulet, too. Any skill points left after level 94 should be put in warmth, a cold armor, teleport or energy shield. Of course you can get by with lower levels than 94, but your damage will suffer from it. If you skip 10 points of nova and only get to level 84, you lose about 4000 damage. Simple as that.

Finally some damage figures to get you warmed up (assuming +20 to lightning skills & completely synergized skills)

- 16,6 yard static field
- 659-686 charged bolt #24 bolts
- 129-135 telekinesis (if only the stun improved with more points…)
- 1983-2583 nova (sweet rushing tool! Also nice for naked killing annoying people in pubby games, hehe)
- 6-32689 lightning (the big killer!)
- 6-12207 chain lightning (nice in PvM, really nice)
- 4 mana cost teleport (with 1 point, may I remind you)
- 1273-1884 thunderstorm (1 point only, sweet)

That’s not counting %lightning skill damage, but those increases aren’t that huge because your mastery already gives loads of %.

2.b Stats

I’ll get sttp (straight to the point)

Strength: As much as needed for your equipment. Preferably none.
Dexterity: Base, enough for wizardspike, or enough for max block.
Vitality: The rest. You can’t have enough life.
Energy: Shu, shu. Get away. Nothing. (exception is for energy shield builds, you have to figure out yourself how much energy you might need)

Yea dexterity, should you go for blocking or not? I’ll list a couple of advantages and disadvantages for you. I’m not going to say what you should do, just giving some objective advice so you can make the decision yourself.


- 75% block means 75% chance to completely negate any physical attack. On average damage taken this means 75% physical resistance.
- Some elemental attacks can be blocked. Mephisto’s cold ball, blizzard (so I’ve heard) are two examples. Those are the only two advantages, but they shouldn’t be overlooked.


- Investing in dexterity means you’ll have less life. About 300 usually. This means you’re risking 1-hit kills a little more as well.
- Blocking sort of limits your shield choice, since you’ll be needing a shield with high block % to not lose too much of your precious life.
- Block-lock. Every time you block you go through the block animation. This means you’re toast against a quick attacking enemy without a good block rate. This is in particular annoying in PvM once you’re surrounded. Even though hit recovery is usually slower than block recovery, you need to have at least 1/12 of your life taken away in one hit for any effect at all. This usually shouldn’t happen, in PvM at least. More details on FHR/FBR later.

I went for block myself, with charged bolt & PvM in mind, and got a little disappointed. I’ll never make a sorceress with block again unless the build asks for it. Sure, block helps, but for me it wasn’t worth the loss of life. I also used stormshield, together I wasted about 250 points that could’ve gone into vitality. That’s 500 life! I found that my mercenary could do the tanking and that I could use charged bolt safely most of the time without getting hit badly. Mostly if I got hit it was by elemental. Sure when I wasn’t careful while mephisto running and my life had dropped below 100 I was grateful for hearing that “ping†indicating that I just blocked the cold ball. On the other hand I was begging for more life when facing off against a boss-pack of black souls (lightning immune, yikes!)

It’s up to you.

3. Equipment

Probably the hardest part of the guide, people might start yelling “I can’t afford this, I can’t afford that†but I can’t help that. You need to have a little wealth to play PvP effectively. If you’re going PvM-only you should simply aim for these stats on your items mainly:

+lightning skills
+faster cast rate
-enemy lightning resistance (this is extremely nice for magic finding at mephisto for example, a mere 25% decrease will double your actual damage on mephisto)

Onto the more wealthy equipment part. Before we pick this, there’s a couple of things you need to know. One second is 25 frames, this means that if you’re at 10fpc, you can cast at the very most 5 attacks every 2 seconds.

Faster cast rate:

0-8% - 13fpc (frames per cast)
9-19% - 12fpc
20-36% - 11fpc
37-62% - 10fpc
63-104% - 9fpc
105-199% - 8fpc
200+% - 7fpc

Faster hit recovery:

0-4% - 15fph (frames per hit)
5-8% - 14fph
9-13% - 13fph
14-19% - 12fph
20-29% - 11fph
30-41% - 10fph
42-59% - 9fph
60-85% - 8fph
86-141% - 7fph
142-279% - 6fph
280+ - 5fph

Seeing this, it’s a huge increase to get to at least 30 fhr for a 10fph hit recovery. As a wise person once said: “You don’t want to spend time reeling from your opponents attacks, you’ll want to strike back if you get hitâ€. More hit recovery helps versus stunlock. Every time 1/12 of your hp is taken away (this means 100+ damage in 1 hit if you have 1200 life for example) you go into your hit recovery animation. So both more life and faster hit recovery help. But if you get stunned (smite, mind blast, berserk do this for example) you get the famous “swirley thing†above your head, and any attack, no matter the damage, puts you into your hit recovery animation. So especially against trappers, and also smiters, you’ll want that faster hit recovery.

Faster cast rate is even more essential than faster hit recovery, I’d recommend hitting at least the 63 fcr breakpoint. The breakpoint after that is slightly bugged, you’ll start double teleporting from time to time with 105-114 faster cast rate. If you get that sometimes, 63-104 is actually better than 105-114. After 115% faster cast rate this problem is gone though, so I would either aim for 63+ or 115+.

Of course other things you’ll want from your equipment is as much mana and life as possible. Plusses to strength can be count as 2 life per strength, if you go max block you can count dexterity as 2 life too. If you go block, you’ll want a good blocking shield. You’ll also want resistance’s from your equipment, and as many +skills as possible. Damage is king, don’t sacrifice too much if you lose damage. You haven’t got enough damage until you take out your opponent with one hit.

Something good to use is to have a few special things in your stash when fighting other opponents. It allows you to optimize your equipment against virtually any opponent. I’ll list some equipment now (including socketing advice).

Weapon: Eschuta’s temper (lightning facet jewel). A wizardspike in stash if stacking resistances is needed.

Shield: Lidless wall for non-block, for block you should go with either an upgraded visceraunt’s, whistans guard or stormshield. The latter makes you practically invisible versus anything that does melee damage. You can tank any melee opponent removing any challenge for those duels. Not my favorite for those reasons. Socket your shield with an um rune if you lack resistance’s, with a jah rune for +50 life or with a lightning facet jewel for more damage.

Weapon-switch: “Call to arms†crystal sword. Battle orders boosts your life & mana significantly, if you can afford it and are allowed to use it, use it! No socket needed.

Shield-switch: Any +1 skills shield (lidless wall, sigon shield) to boost your battle orders by another level.

Rings: 2 stones of jordan. Unbeatable, you’ll like the mana. If you really have enough mana, you can use a bul-kathos instead which gives life which is good.

Amulet: A crafted caster amulet. The faster cast rate on it doesn’t matter if you’re shooting for 63% since you’ll have 60 without it and it starts at 5. If you’re shooting for 115+ you’ll want more on the amulet. If you go no-block you’ll have lidless wall and be at 80% fcr already.

Armor: “Enigma†breast plate for 63 fcr’ers (faster cast raters). Yes in a breast plate, screw defense, go for the lowest strength requirement. You need to be checked if you think 40 vitality outweighs a few hundreds of defense. 1 strength = 2 life. Like this you don’t need to put any strength at all if you have a perfect anihilus small charm. If you’re going 115 fcr, vipermagi is the best choice in my opinion. Don’t overlook Que-hagens if you can get by with 10 fcr and 20-35% resistance less, it has this nice 20 FHR. I feel that the vitality bonus from arkaine’s valor is outweighed by the insane strength requirement. The faster hit recovery is nice, but you can get it elsewhere for less strength. Chains of honor has +2 skills and lots of resistance which is nice too. Ormus robe’s with +3 lightning shouldn’t be overlooked either. The 15% lightning damage acts like a little better than +1 lightning mastery, so with the 20 FCR this might be cheaper than enigma and the likes. The last option is a “stealth†runeword, but it’s just not as good as the other options. Socket with lightning facet jewel if it’s not a runeword.

Gloves: Bloodfists are unbeatable for me. 40 life & 30 faster hit recovery, lovely! Since %mana doesn’t multiply any mana that already comes from gear (mainly pointing at shako) frostburn gloves aren’t as useful as they used to be. If you keep running out of mana you might want them but you’re losing 30 fhr. If you need fcr from your gloves, go with magefist (adding 37% mana regeneration rate too) or trang-oul gloves (adding 30% cold resistance).

Belt: Arachnid’s mesh without a doubt. +1 skills & 20 fcr, hardly a replacement for this.

Helmet: Shako. +2 skills & insane life/mana. What’s not to like about this helmet? Might wanna try griffon’s eye but you’ll lose all that mana and life, not what I’d do. Socket with a lightning facet. In PvM the –resistances are really nice since mephisto won’t simply place 2 more lightning resist charms in his inventory to make up for the lost resistance.

Boots: Waterwalks add max fire resistance and just a lot of hit points for a low strength requirement. Another option are the new unique scarabshell boots, offering 15 strength & vitality with 20 fhr. But probably the best are crafted blood boots, with 15 life replenish, dexterity, life and 10 fhr. Maybe some resistances.

Charms: 1 anihilus, 10 lightning charms with as much life and/or fhr as possible, 9 life/(mana or resist) small charms.


“Jewelers gothic shield of the colossus†with 3 perfect topazes and one with 3 perfect saphires. For stacking resistances. Of course you can use a plain 3-socketed one since I realize jewelers is hard to get. But that’s a pretty cool shield if you can get it. Stack your cold resistance against cold sorceresses. Stack your lightning resistance against paladins. It might be nice to keep more life/resist charms in your stash to stack a little more if needed. Remember the cap on conviction is now –150% so you’ll “only†ever need as much as 325% lightning resistance in hell to get the full deal. That’s 120+75+10~20 what you already should have from anihilus + stash shield + wizardspike. Guardian angel for upping your maximum resistance is an option as well, but the requirements are so high…

Another idea is to have a set of resistance drain equipment in your stash (griffon’s eye + 4 facet armor + 6 facet crystal sword + 3 facet bone shield or something).

4.a Mercenaries

First off, which mercenary to use? For me the answer is pretty clear, but again, I’ll give an objective view on mercenaries and list their advantages (if any) and disadvantages.

Act 1 - Rogues do low damage and don’t tank. They don’t die a lot but you might want to look elsewhere. The main goal of your mercenary is taking out lightning immunes for you. They’re cool for public games though.

Act 3 - Either cold or fire obviously. Cold has this nice freeze and gets high defense, the most passive mercenary out there really. It’ll take ages to slaughter lightning immunes in hell though. Fire dies a lot, still does bad damage. I don’t recommend him.

Act 5 - Barbarians are nice, they stun a little. However when taking out lightning immunes you’ve got telekinesis to stun for you so that doesn’t really help. I hear they survive pretty decently, so they’re not a bad choice. No aura though…

Act 2 - These aura babies are what most players use and there’s a reason for that. Time to go more into detail:

Normal/hell (you should always hire them from normal for the best stats):

Defensive - Defiance. Nice for extra defense, survives best of all of them given a random situation.
Combat - Prayer. Don't bother with this one, the regeneration rate is ok but you can just use a potion every once in a while instead. He doesn't add anything you can't do yourself that's useful compared to other mercenaries.
Offensive - Blessed aim. Probably an even worse choice since mercenaries pretty much seem to hit anyway. You don't use attack rating so this one's out of the question.


Defensive - Holy freeze. Slows everything except act bosses down including cold immunes. Nicer than defiance against elemental attackers, not as nice against physical ones.
Combat - Thorns. Monsters have no damage compared to their hit points & regeneration rate so I'd call this one next to useless too.
Offensive - Might. Kills immunes the quickest, my personal favorite for any 1-tree sorceress including this build.

4.b Leveling up

I’ll basically give a leveling up guide + some low level items that are worth looking into. I’m not going to list every exceptional unique and its uses, just browse through if you want to see some mid-level items. I find that by doing baalruns mostly, only the lower and higher levels can be a pain. This describes the pure-damage build for leveling up, if you’re going energy shield you’ll want to max that out later so you can do some serious damage early on where it’s easy to survive anyways.

Level 1-5 - Start out just doing quests etc. That’ll level you up quickly. Assign one to warmth and the other four points (three levels + one quest skill point) into charged bolt. Place all your stats into vitality after you’ve gotten the total strength you’re going to need. That shouldn’t be more than adding about 30 points anyway. Depending on whether you’re going to use enigma. Making 2 saphire helms/armors to fight your low mana is nice.

Level 6-11 - Put one point into telekinesis and static field, keep working on charged bolt all those other levels. It should start to really kill smoothly by now. By this time you’ll have saved cain or be on your way doing it. From level 9 and onwards you can start using bloodfists.

Level 12-17 - Put one in lightning and one in nova. Again keep pushing charged bolt. After you’ve defeated the countess you can skip the rest of act 1 and join a “Kill andy†game and go to act 2. You should be about level 14 before resuming to act 2. Hire a defiance mercenary until nightmare. You’ll want a might mercenary eventually to quickly dispose of any lightning immunes. Do the sewers and earn another skill point.

Level 18-23 - Place one point in chain lightning, and teleport. Spire of lazarus is a real nice staff here. Keep working on charged bolt. Leveling in 8player games in act 2 still goes really fast here. Your mercenary is an awesome help here and will kill once you’re out of mana. Try getting the staff in act 2 while leveling, I hate that part personally.

Level 24-29 - One point of thunderstorm now. Max out charged bolt and put the remaining points into lightning. At level 29 you can twink quite a bit. Vipermagi, sojs, frostburns, peasant crown and more becomes available in this period. Level in act 2 up to level 24, do the ancients to get 25, then do baal runs. This is probably the most effective method.

Level 30-49 - Max lightning mastery. Your main attack will be charged bolt until mid-sixties. You can tweak further, a very nice staff is the memory runeword or any of the unique exceptional staffs really, except ribcracker of course. At level 42 you can switch to oculus + lidless wall. Make up for any lacking strength with charms and rings etc. but don’t invest in strength because you don’t have enough yet, you’ll regret it later. You can level in normal up to level 50-ish, but going to nightmare after level 42 (with oculus/lidless) works out fine. The +7-10 mana per kill is extremely nice! Find a nice place to level to about 45, then you can start doing nightmare baalruns. Hire a might mercenary in act 2 nightmare.

Level 50-60’s- Max lightning to synergize charged bolt. Charged bolt is awesome throughout nightmare. You can start doing baalruns in nightmare.

Level 65-75 - Work on chain lightning. Nightmare baalruns, up to level 80 is well possible, but I got bored quickly and entered hell at level 74. No problems for me, your mercenary might die a couple of times if he isn’t tweaked too well. By now you can wear most of your equipment and you’re really kicking *** on nightmare baalruns.

Level 76+ - Start hell baal runs, act 4 runs, shenk/pindle/eldtrich runs, whatever you like doing. Any of those places levels quick until about level 86, then diablo & baalruns are the quickest. Max chain lightning and start working on your final synergy, nova. You can now wear any equipment except for perhaps a few crafted amulets. After level 90-ish everything goes slowly, but baalruns are the fastest.

4.c PvM strategies

You’ve got four viable attacks at your disposal for PvM, plus one skill that’s more defensive through stun (telekinesis). Here’s how to use them effectively.

First I’d like to mention that you should always cast thunderstorm & shiver/frozen armor before you engage into battles. They can be lifesavers, thunderstorm just might hold off one more enemy by stunning/killing it. Even if it does pathetic damage, which it will do in hell, every little bit helps. It’s passive, so why not have it up? Also pre-buff your energy shield if you have it. Now onto the attacks:

Charged bolt:
Don’t let the description fool you, despite the fact that it gets more and more bolts, this is not a multi-target skill. You’re going to have to hit more than one bolt to be effective. It’s an excellent skill early on though, and in general for taking out large bosses that your mercenary or you can tank. Mephisto comes to mind. Just get as close as you can and start spamming it. It makes quick work of any boss, quicker than any other of the lightning attacks. It’s also your only lightning spell with stable damage that you work with. Yes static field has more stable damage but it can’t actually kill anything.

I didn’t use this in hell for general PvM a whole lot, since you have to get close to the monsters in order to make it more effective than lightning/chain lightning. I don’t like doing that in hell. Throughout normal and nightmare this is the skill to use though.

This is your safe boss/few creatures killer. You can keep a lot more distance than with charged bolt which is nice. It also requires a lot less mana than chain lightning and a little less than charged bolt. If you can’t handle mephisto you can use the moat trick with lightning. Sure it takes a while, but it’s safe. At the higher levels it will kill most creatures in 1-3 hits (depending on how lucky you are).

Chain lightning:
Here we have our crowd control skill. Eldtrich is down in 1-2 chain lightnings once you get it very high for example. Pindle and his minions also drop like flies. It’s pretty safe to use. In general, when facing a group of enemies, you send a few chain lightnings at them and finish off the last few with lightning.

Static field:
I love using static and have an act boss like diablo down to half his hp in no-time. Even better in nightmare/normal. On anything else it’s usually not worth using static field though, charged bolt or lightning damages quicker on normal bosses. In more player games it becomes more useful again, even for regular monsters.

Yes, it’s more than a pre-requisite. It’s oh-so-useful on those lightning immunes, especially against a whole group. It simply takes the heat off your mercenary a little by stunning one creature. Simple as that. Very effective, what else should you do anyway if you encounter an immune creature?

Another thing is to use your mercenary wisely. Most of your rejuvies go to him, teleport smart so you let him dodge attacks as well. Teleporting right on top of monsters and taking a few steps back makes sure he attacks. The times mine died was mostly when he wasn’t attacking anything. If he gets poisoned by a strong attack (andariel, achmel the cursed come to mind), quickly finish the monster causing the poison and go to town, or feed him an antidote if you’ve got any lying on the ground. I doubt you actually carry any for those rare occasions but you can do that too. Once your mercenary runs into a bosspack of fanaticism & cursed archers, he’s toast. You pick up three crappy elite armors and you paid for him twice though, with cash to spare.

Browse through for uniques that suit your mercenary. Since items don’t lose durability on mercenaries the ethereal versions are always better since they grant 50% more defense / damage. Beware of the ethereal-armor upgrade bug. What my mercenary uses is quite cheap though effective:

Bonehew (shael/amn)
Crown of Thieves (12%, 15%ias jewel)
Duriel’s shell (nothing)

It gives 19% life leech, roughly a 900-3200 damaging 6fpa jab & cannot be frozen with 2500 defense. That’s all he needs for most situations! Pay attention to your mercenary, solo-hell becomes practically impossible without him. With him however, I managed to take down a bosspack of lightning immune black souls in a 2player game.

5. Dueling

Note that any damage you’re doing is cut into 1/6 when doing PvP. That makes your lightning drop from about 6-38 000 to 1-6300. That’s not too shabby, 3150 avarage damage per strike. Factor in that any decent player has maxed lightning resistance, so another 75% goes off of it. You’ll be taking away nearly 800 actual hit points on average each time you hit! That’s simply amazing…

Say somebody uses thundergods + guardian angel. 95% resistance and +20 absorb. You’ll still take away (3150*(1-0,95)) – 40 = 115 hit points per hit on avarage.

First, remove the horadric cube from your inventory if you’re coming from PvM. Any charm is better than no charm. Remove tomes of identify and town portal too. If you wish to use town portals mid-duels in public games, use a belt slot. Here are some strategies for each specific opponent I’ve encountered.

These come in three variants. The javazon, hybrid and bowazon. I haven’t encountered any bowazons yet in 1.10. They play like hybrid’s anyway since those usually have their bow out against sorceresses. When they’ve summoned a valkerie you can even use chain lightning for funny effects.

They run fast, generally have ok-life with low resistances. A good one however will have his lightning resistance maxed. Make sure you keep teleporting, they’ll chase you and run into your lightnings occasionally. Once they do they’re probably stunned so you can spawn another one. Then it’s over quickly. If they walk to you in a straight line you can probably kill them before they can get to you too. I haven’t tried tanking them but I assume that’s easily done if you have max block and might also be possible without block.

Also a good strategy is to teleport a little behind them. They’ll usually turn around but you’ll be spamming lightnings at them and then it’s over again already!

These are a bit tougher since it’s much harder to avoid guided arrow or multishot. Since multishot does rather low damage and is attack-rating dependant however it’s not as dangerous. You can probably take 2-3 guided arrows too. A fine strategy is to quickly teleport on top of the amazon once the bow is out and spam lightning. They’ll likely have low resistances in bow-mode so the duel is often finished in 1-2 lightnings.

If they play smart & defensively you still have teleport. Keep teleporting around and don’t repeat your pattern. Cast an occasional lightning in their direction, you can push them in a corner like that. Once you can get close to hit them it’s quickly over. Thunderstorm might even stun them if either their lightning resistance or life is crappy. If you’ve got max block you can always tank guided arrow and spam them to death with lightning.


These come in three variants too, pure melee, trappers and hybrids. I’ll start with the relatively easy people:

If they’re claw/shield that’s good. Claw/claw can actually block your spells and attacks faster. Watch out for dragon flight too. The key here is to keep teleporting. They can’t catch you like that. If they run up to you, you can lightning them to death. If they’re more than a screen away but their shadow is in range, use chain lightning and hope they’re not paying attention since you’re off-screen anyway. It’s a great thing to keep the shadow master dead. Especially the first kill is essential since good assassins summon shadow masters with lots of +skills. I can’t stress enough that you should be teleporting if you’re not casting lightning. It should cost 4 or less mana making you able to teleport infinitely. They’ll likely wear thundergods meaning they have 85% resistance & +20 absorb. This means if they have 2000 hit points, you’ll need about 5 hits on average to take them out. Try to keep the upper-hand and not be the one who’s being chased.

These are really nasty. Use the same tactics when starting out. These might use enigma if you’re in a public game, but they can never teleport as good as you since you cast at least as fast and they run out of mana sooner or later because they can’t really get teleport much below 15 mana and they don’t have warmth. It’s a nasty addition though since it already takes lots of careful playing to beat a non-teleporting assassin that only uses dragon flight. Their traps are stronger than ever, maxing lightning resistance is essential. Wouldn’t bother too much with fire resistance. If they use fire traps at all, you’re dead anyway since they’ll only hit you if they can mind blast you, and then you’re dead anyway unless you load up on absorb.

A fine idea against trapsins might be to use oculus for its chance to cast teleport. It sounds strange but it can save your butt. There’s no way you’re going to survive a good stunlock without something drastic. Once you’re not completely stunned however (when the assassin is only mind-blasting you and there’s no traps near) you can try to teleport away or cast lightning in his/her direction. No matter how you do it, against a skilled assassin this is a tough duel.

Their trap damage is lower, but they can dragon-flight in once you’re stunned and melee you to death. Treat them the same as trapsins only play even more defensively. Keep teleporting and try to out-power them once you get stunlocked with your lightning if you get a chance to cast any at all.

General note with assassins: Walking out of traps usually works better than trying to teleport out of them. Teleport away once you’re not getting hit by all the traps anymore.


I have yet to meet one that I couldn’t tank. Silly enough, but casting lightning while he whirls through you (if he gets that far) is a quick win. Barbarians have to get close to do any damage. Easiest is to just tank them, they’re probably the under-powered class of 1.10. This might not work on every barbarian, but a bit of teleporting shouldn’t be too hard. Once they’re whirling through you don’t run or teleport out of there though, then they’ll get many more hits in then you want and you might actually lose this duel. Look out for berserk.


These are divided into elemental and melee builds. You’ve got some wicked crossed builds like summoners etc but you can use chain lightning on those.

Melee builds:
Generally you’ll want to make the druid run up to you while you cast 1-2 lightnings. You finish them off if they get stunned by them, otherwise you teleport away. Repeat. They’ll start dodging when they notice the pain of lightning so aim in the direction you think they’re going to walk. Any pets means a quick death to chain lightning. You can also use it on the spirit of the druid. The key in this duel is, do not get hit. They have to be very close to you to hit you, but when they do they hurt. Don’t let them have any chance and don’t let them hit you. These should be a peace of cake like barbarians.

Elemental druids:
In particular the wind druid is hard, since he’ll have high hit points, high cyclone armor and high damaging attacks. Fortunately hurricane is rather low damage and tornadoes are dodge-able if you’re far away. You’ll probably have to shoot a few lightnings to actually do damage since their cyclone armor absorb a lot. Keep your distance and try hitting in pairs of lightnings, otherwise the druid simply recasts cyclone armor and your efforts are for nothing. You might end up in a win-win (or lose-lose) situation, he can’t hit you and you can’t damage him. If they have enigma you should keep teleporting so that they can’t hit you, ever. Then you can lure them into teleporting into your lightning. A hard match-up not so much because they easily kill you but because of cyclone armor.

Fire druids have volcano which is hard to avoid with teleport so stay away from it. Other than that they’re not too hard to beat, you can take a few hits and they have a weak or no cyclone armor.


Tough match-up. Their bone spirits have gotten synergies. A good one who is abusing marrowwalk boots will do well over 5000 damage. That’s nearly 1000 of your life taken away meaning that you must never get hit! Nobody seems to have discovered the poison nova build yet. Less damage, but much easier to hit somebody with. Anyway, bone spirit. It travels slow, but becomes invisible if you teleport away and return. If the necromancer casts a few that follow you, I recommend running until you hear them go poof. Once you’re getting decrepified you should teleport away. Teleport behind them and try to get a lightning in before they get a chance to cast Bone spirit at you. Keep your distance, listen closely to your speakers if you hear any spirits approaching. Bone spear flies faster and is harder to dodge but at least you can always see it.

Ah, the most versatile duelers out there. There’s so many builds, I’ll describe per skill what you can do against it.

Get faster hit recovery. Really. Don’t play near walls either, once you’re down to a wall you’re most likely dead. Fortunately smite knocks back so you get a split second to escape. Faster hit recovery slightly increases this time. Best thing is not to get hit by it of course, which is doable since the paladin has to be very close.

Extreme speed in 1.10 and deadlier than ever. They don’t even need to use fanaticism to get a lot of damage with this, even with vigor they’ll often have near or above 10 000 damage. That hurts, don’t let them get you. Once they’re charging at you, you can try to tank them and keep on casting lightnings though. Hope you can take a hit. Otherwise keep teleporting and casting lightnings in the paladins direction. Get closer step by step and teleport in circles. Teleport a few screens away if you notice he’s namelocked you so that he loses this. Or teleport over a small mud-pool thingie so they’re stuck and quickly cast a few lightnings. This is a neat trick that will end the duel quickly.

Fist of heavens:
Grab your topaz-shield for this skill. You can let this become a shoot-out since your lightning damage is superior. If you have the strength an (ethereal) thundergods might come in handy.

Blessed hammer:
Such a close-range skill, it doesn’t really matter since it’s fairly easy to avoid. Keep your eyes open though, one hit should kill you if it’s well-synergized. Keep teleporting if they use enigma.

Holy freeze:
Doesn’t affect your cast rate and the damage is so minor, you can forget about this skill.

Kills you quickly, act like melee-druids on this. Don’t get hit.

It might be hard to duel a paladin using a combination of these skills (FoH + smite & charge is a hard combo to fight) but remember your awesome damage and the fact that you can keep on teleporting where any paladin that doesn’t use mediation will run out of mana sooner or later.


Ah SvS duels, probably my favorite. Since they’ve got many skills that potentially hurt, like the paladin, I describe skill – per – skill what you can do against it.

Stack on cold resistance so you can survive one hit. But most important of all: keep teleporting. This sorceress does ok damage with tons of –resistance. You’re going to need about 500% cold resistance to nullify all that. Blizzard is escapable though, it usually takes a while before the first spike hits you, and by then you’re long gone. Try to lure them into a lightning, or teleport on top of them and cast lightning like mad. Nova might be a skill that comes in handy in this duel too. Hard match-up!

Frozen orb:
These are more defensively, probably have energy shield and lots in teleport and telekinesis, with a good level of warmth too. Their attack is significantly weaker than blizzard but it’s harder to dodge. You can probably out-damage these people though. Never get hit by a full orb, then you’re in trouble.

Ice blast:
Travels slower than lightning and does less damage if you have stacked resistance. Plus it’s smaller. Lightning is superior to this. Don’t underestimate this thing though, it might hurt.

Haven’t dueled anybody with this skill. The best combination of equipment & skill wins here. Should be you since you’ve read my guide.

The double-hit bug is gone and the pvp-penalty has gone from ¼ to 1/6. Yet thunderstorm’s damage has remained the same. No need to worry too much about this with maximized resistances. It does around 500 damage after the pvp-penalty resulting in 125 with full resistance. That’s not even enough to put you into faster hit recovery if you have over 1500 life which you should.

Your lightning is superior. Show them once they get close which they have to with nova.

Fire ball/bolt:
Yea watch out for fire bolt. At higher levels it does almost equal damage as fire ball. Both of these skills are hard to duel against. They can cast a little faster while your lightning has a little range making it harder to dodge. If you’re lucky you’ll win a shoot-out if you’re unlucky you won’t. Their damage is your average damage but much more consistent. You have thunderstorm though, and unless they’ve maxed teleport you have more mana. If they use energy shield make sure one thunderstorm hit connects. They’ll have low mana since they usually don’t have the points to max both teleport & telekinesis. Their mana should drop really fast.

Play offensive. If you play defensive you’re constantly dodging hydra’s and you’re not getting anywhere. Hydra’s react kind of slow. Plus they take a whole second to start firing after they’re summoned. This is enough time to have casten a lightning and be gone. Once they’ve placed five hydra’s you’ve lost a significant advantage.

Fire wall:
Shouldn’t scratch you since you’re constantly teleporting.

Special thanks to melianor for the inspiration to this build, and to mule for the energy shield idea.

Any input is very welcome as long as it's more constructive than "your guide aer teh sucks". Dropping by to say "Nice guide" is appreciated too :flip:



Diabloii.Net Member
For prosperties sake:

Lightning sub guide:
Section 3B PVM Damage analysis

UberCelandro Imaginary Level 99 with 20 Lighting, 20 Lightning Mastery, 60 synergies, all perfect gear
(f) designates lightning facet, (t) designates ptopaz, (j) designates 10% mf jewel (d) designates pdiamond
Option 1: Griffons Eye(f), Tal Orb(f), Tal Bp(f), Tal Amy, Tal Belt, Shield(fx4), 2soj, 10lightGC, AniSC WS:alibaba(ix2), ryhme
Option 2: Shako(f), Occy(f), Enigma, Maras, Arach Belt, Lidless(f), 2soj, 10lightGC, AniSC WS:alibaba(ix2), ryhme
Option 3: Griffons Eye(f), Occy(f), Enigma, Maras, Arach Belt, Lidless(f), 2soj, 10lightGC, AniSC WS:alibaba(ix2), ryhme
Option 4: Griffons Eye(f), Occy(f), Arkaine(f), Maras, Arach Belt, Shield(fx4), 2soj, 10lightGC, AniSC WS:alibaba(ix2), ryhme
Option 5: Griffons Eye(f), Tal Orb(f), Tal Bp(f), Tal Amy, Tal Belt, Lidless(f), 2soj, 10lightGC, AniSC WS:alibaba(ix2), ryhme
Option 6: Shako(f), Tal Orb(f), Tal Bp(f), Tal Amy, Tal Belt, Shield(fx4), 2soj, 10lightGC, AniSC WS:alibaba(ix2), ryhme
Option 7: Griffons Eye(f), Crescent Moon Runeword, Arkaine(f), Maras, Arach Belt, Shield(fx4), 2soj, 10lightGC, AniSC WS:alibaba(ix2), ryhme
Option 8: Tal Helm(f), Tal Orb(f), Tal Bp(f), Tal Amy, Tal Belt, Shield(fx4), 2soj, 10lightGC, AniSC WS:alibaba(ix2), ryhme

Option +skill +mastery +damage -resist Damage MephDmg 0ResistDmg  MF WSMF
     1     17        2    +50%    -70%  15300   14500      26000 168  342
     2     24        0    +15%    -15%  20800    8320      23900 100  199
     3     23        0    +30%    -35%  20400   12200      27500  50  174
     4     22        0    +50%    -55%  19700   15800      30500  50  174
     5     18        2    +35%    -55%  15900   12700      24600  50  174 
     6     18        2    +35%    -50%  15900   11900      23900 218  392
     7     19        0    +30%    -85%  16200   17800      30000   0  174
     8     19        2    +35%    -50%  17200   12900      25800 168  392

Celandro: Actual Level 89 with 20 Lightning, 20 Lightning Mastery, 50 synergies, all actual gear except for imaginary Tal Armor and Crescent Moon
(f) designates lightning facet, (t) designates ptopaz, (j) designates 10% mf jewel (d) designates pdiamond
Option A: Griffons Eye(f), Occy, Vipermagi, TalAmy, Goldwrap, Mosers(dx2), 2x25%mf rings, 3lightGC WS:alibaba(jx2), ryme
Option B: Griffons Eye(f), Tal Orb, Tal Armor(t), TalAmy, Tal Belt, Mosers(dx2), 2x25%mf rings, 3lightGC WS:alibaba(jx2), ryme
Option C: Griffons Eye(f), Occy, Skulders(t), 35%MF Amy, Goldwrap, Mosers(dx2), 2x25%mf rings, 3lightGC WS:alibaba(jx2), ryme
Option D: Shako(t), Occy, Skulders(t), 35%MF Amy, Goldwrap, Mosers(dx2), 2x25%mf rings, 3lightGC WS:alibaba(jx2), ryme
Option E: Shako(t), Occy, Vipermagi, TalAmy, Goldwrap, Mosers(dx2), 2x25%mf rings, 3lightGC WS:alibaba(jx2), ryme
Option F: Griffons Eye(f), Crescent Moon, Vipermagi, TalAmy, Goldwrap, Mosers(dx2), 2x25%mf rings, 3lightGC WS:alibaba(jx2), ryme

Option +skill +mastery +damage -resist Damage MephDmg 0ResistDmg  MF WSMF
     A     10        0    +17%    -24%   7100    3480       8800 130  214
     B      7        2    +17%    -39%   5700    3650       7920 242  376
     C      8        0    +17%    -24%   5900    2890       7320 300  384
     D      9        0     +0%     -0%   6300    1580       6300 374  458
     E     11        0     +0%     -0%   7500    1880       7500 204  288
     F      7        0    +17%    -59%   5400    4540       8600  80  214
Summary: Against high resist mobs, reducing monster resist increases damage significantly. Tals set, Griffons eye, and surprisingly Crescent Moon runeword are excellent damagewise for this reason. MF wise, tals set w/ 4+ items does the best damage while obtaining good mf numbers, especially when using a weapon switch for the kill.

In terms of pure damage, ignoring FCR, item evaluation order is:
Helms: Griffons Eye(f), 5 item tals(f), Shako(f), 4 item tals w/orb(f)
Weapons: Crescent Moon, 4+ item tals(f), Escuta(f), Occy(f), Heart of the Oak
Armor: 4+ item tals(f), +2 armor(f), +1 armor(f), enigma (last 2 order may change depending on how many other -resist items you have)
Belt: 4+item tals, Arach Belt
Shield: Shield(fx4), +1 shield(f)
Amulet: 4+item tals, various +2 amys including tal mara crafted

Section 3C: PVP damage analysis
For PVP damage comparisions assuming competant competition, simple compare the pure damage numbers from Section 3B as lower resist items will be ineffective. Simply get as much +skill as you can.


Diabloii.Net Member
Soepgroente said:
A guide...
your guide aer teh sucks!
Naah just kidding quite well indeed even if I had already made up my mind :) There is an issue with casting frames tho. On another site I read frames are different for lightning attacks, however I don't see you mentioning them but rather goes for the "normal" sorc ones, namely the all important 63% and 105% used in amoung others teleporting. The ones I read for lightning are as follows:
FCR - frames
0 - 19
7 - 18
15 - 17
23 - 16
37 - 15
52 - 14
78 - 13
117 - 12
The next one should be pratically impossible and I don't know it.
So, no one likes double teleport as it spells death all over, 63% is of course needed (and easy to get) for teleporting but I strongly believe you should at least go for 13 fpc lightning, it's not really hard to get 78% fcr, wiz + viper springs to mind, basically it can be achieved with a hoist of different combinations depending on wealth and gear quality.

Then there's 105% for super speedy teleport, you say it's still bugged, well, on my ladder sorc it worked just fine with no doubles, so people should just try it out for themselves. Also, once you're already going that high make an effort for the additional lightning frame at 117% fcr. This will usually mean either an amulet with fcr, a ring or even both, but something I noticed is I get more mana with a 100+ mana/10% fcr ring than with a SoJ, of course loosing damage but it might be worth it.

If for PvM ignore anything but teleporting speed, I don't believe it's worth it to chuck out lightning one or two frames faster there compared to the huge mana or life boosters available when using, say, Eschuta's and viper (70% fcr) or maybe wiz and arachnid. In these cases you have all the fcr you need for teleporting and a large number of free slots for whatever floats your boat, be it MF, pure anti-monster power or more PvP oriented gear, huge resist springs to mind.

Lastly, a tiny discussion on +lightning skills vs +all/sorc skills might be in order with the TK/ES variaty. Remember, you won't have more than one point in warmth, adding lightning skills doesn't help here, so +2 sorc skills gives you 24% faster mana regen (FMR) which is the reason for going with TK/ES, mana regenerates much faster than life hence makes you survive.


Diabloii.Net Member
I had no idea there were different breakpoints for casting lightning, thanks for that. I'll edit it in when i get to that computer again

Right now i'm on a bugged comp where i cant't even see what i'm typing :rolleyes:


Diabloii.Net Member
I now had a chance to actually try it out in a game with opponents rather than thought up senarios. Going from 110% to 120% makes a noticable difference for PvP purposes, so it's highly recommended by me at least to do whatever it takes to get there. This includes taking off for instance a SoJ for a caster ring, using another amulet with FCR instead of the ever popular Tal's. Here's a few examples of how it can be done on a budget:

Safty way: Wiz, magefists, viper, 7% caster crafted belt, 10% sorc amulet.
Damage oriented: Eschuta's, magefists, viper, amulet, ring and belt with fcr, at least 7% on belt.
No block but more dmg: Occu, lidless, viper, magefists, ring or amulet and at least 7% belt.

As you can see, there's a hoist of ways to do it depending on what you have available, for instance a 17% caster amulet would be neat stuff :)


Diabloii.Net Member
For 117+ I'd say arachnid + eschuta's + viper + magefist + caster amulet gets you there :) you can wear bloodfists instead if you go lidless wall. Plenty of options indeed :D

Keeping on 2 soj is something i'd really recommend though. You need all the mana you can get if you go ES.

Dark Tyrant

Diabloii.Net Member
For pvp, wouldn't max block be a good idea? Some barbs I faced can kill me in 1 hit even if I went down the vita sorc path.

I read the part about the disadvantages and advantages of lightning vs. fireball but I am still not convinced. Could you give me an example or something that a lightning sorc has over a fireball sorc(PvP wise)?


Diabloii.Net Member
hmm... can a lighting sorc be as deadly as the other sorcs?
Thinking of Fireball/Firebolt and Blizzard and FO...
anyone with experiences..?


Diabloii.Net Member
Dark Tyrant said:
For pvp, wouldn't max block be a good idea? Some barbs I faced can kill me in 1 hit even if I went down the vita sorc path.

I read the part about the disadvantages and advantages of lightning vs. fireball but I am still not convinced. Could you give me an example or something that a lightning sorc has over a fireball sorc(PvP wise)?
- far more maximum damage
- cheap-mana teleport (without investing points)
- decent thunder storm for 1 point
- easier to hit with (there's a tray, meaning it's about 3 times as easy to hit with as fire bolt)

And of course the by far higher maximum damage, so if you get in a lucky hit you have a 1-hit kill. Though the low min dmg offsets this of course. Lightning's also different, you don't see a whole lot of people with it.

@ Cybulski isn't my experience enough? :teeth:


Diabloii.Net Member
Don't sticky it, i'm gonna write a new version. I'd like that one stickied though :teeth:

Yay new smiley :cheesy: i think it's my mother in law.


Diabloii.Net Member
All cool and all but why yellow?! I didn't read it coz it was just plain killing my eyes.

I would advise your updated version be in a different color :uhhuh:


Diabloii.Net Member
UserMathias said:
All cool and all but why yellow?! I didn't read it coz it was just plain killing my eyes.

I would advise your updated version be in a different color :uhhuh:
Click on one of the links down the thread, save the word or txt document onto your computer and use whatever color you like ;)

Gimpy the magic mexican

Diabloii.Net Member
awesome build, i'm havin a lot of fun with it. But the one thing thing i'm having trouble with is killing charging bosses.
(Duriel sometimes...mostly Diablo)

Is there any way to make my life easier when it comes to beating these guys?


Diabloii.Net Member
Cybulski said:
hmm... can a lighting sorc be as deadly as the other sorcs?
Thinking of Fireball/Firebolt and Blizzard and FO...
anyone with experiences..?

Yes, I have met lightning sorcs that can kill most people (cept wind druids :p) in 1-2 lightnings. My 77 sorc is currently doing about 20k light dmg, and even at this lower level, without my last skill (nova) maxed, I can still kill alot of people in 2-3 lightnings. Lockin on is hard to do, but TS's stun helps there.


Diabloii.Net Member
Was wondering, the sorc I'm planning is not a light sorc ( good guide ), but you seem to be the most experienced with ES//Telek

Would you want to go more mana or more life with this build. I plan on getting CTA, so what kind of life should I shoot for after BO.



Diabloii.Net Member
If your energy shield runs at 95% you should entirely focus on mana in my opinion, only poison and open wounds could be a problem. But really, 300 life will make you survive much longer with ES than 2000 without. With base vit you could still probably get 1000-1500 life (depending on charms etc) while getting over 4000 mana.