Matriarch GIEB_VEX, 1.09 Nova/Orb/Meteor Countess Runner i


Diabloii.Net Member
Matriarch GIEB_VEX, 1.09 Nova/Orb/Meteor Countess Runner

I would like to present Matriarch GIEB_VEX, a Nova/Frozen Orb/Meteor Sorceress in 1.09 that was specifically created to run 1.09 Hell Countess for the Vex rune. She was successful in that calling, but I had invested enough gear and planning into her that I needed to Mat her before moving on. GIEB_VEX is my 8th Mat/Pat and my first Nova Sorc.

So, without futher ado, I present GIEB_VEX's Stats, Skills, and Gear:

LCS - GIEB_VEX - Sorceress
Level 82

Stats: (naked/main gear)

Unallocated: 26 (I was keeping the option to equip Stormshield)
Strength: 110/130 (to wear Thundergod's Vigor)
Dexterity: 177/179
Vitality: 156/178
Energy: 35/47 (over 1500 mana with main setup)

Resists: 75/75/85/75

Skills: (hard points/main gear)

Cold Spells:
Frozen Orb: 20/27 (prereqs: 5)
Cold Mastery: 1/8

Lightning Spells:
Nova: 20/33 (prereq: 1)
Teleport: 1/14 (prereq: 1)
Lightning Mastery: 20/33

Fire Spells:
Warmth: 1/8
Enchant: 1/8 (I like this for the merc)
Meteor: 13/20 (prereqs: 5)
Fire Mastery: 4/11

Final Gear: (105 FCR)

Helm: Harlequin Crest (pTopaz)
Ammy: Caster Crafted - 45/19/19/19, +1 Sorc, 9%FCR, 4% Mana Regen, etc.
Armor: Skin of the Vipermagi - [email protected], 10MDR (pTopaz)
Weapon/Shield 1: Wizardspike (Ist)/Lidless Wall - 5MPK (pDiamond)
Weapon 2 (for casting): 'Memory' Gothic Staff (+5 ES, +2 Chilling Armor)
Rings: SoJ/SoJ
Gloves: Frostburn
Boots: Rare Greaves - 0/37/33/0, 30% FRW, 19% MF, etc.

Charms: 6x Sparking GCs (1 of Sustenance), 2x Serpent's (of Life and of Sust), Serpent/Snake's SCs of Balance, SCs of Good Luck (7% MF)

***Note - I pumped Dex for listed blocking, and I switched to the Occy/'Rhyme' Hyperion for Ancients***

Merc End-Game Gear:
NM Act 2 Holy Freeze Merc "Razan"
Helm: Blackhorn's Face
Weapon: Hone Sundan (197% ED, AmnAmnShael)
Armor: 'Smoke' Loricated Mail


Early Game:
I tested some of my twinking advice with this character. She's the first character to wield the 5 JoE Long Bow from the beginning (she needed a Cap and Leather armor with 2x chipped Amethysts each to do it, since a Sorc starts the game with the lowest Str of all characters), and it was a very effective twinking weapon. The bugged poison stacking really makes this overpowered for the early game.

She ran Normal Coldcrow for my 2 missing TC3s until Level 18 (didn't have any other waypoints until then) - she found 3x Hand of Broc, but did not produce a Torch of Iro. Oh well.

I used my Set-based twinking to make her well-nigh invulnerable in the early game:

Arctic/Hsarus' at level 3 (in 1.09, the Arctic Gloves have req lvl 3)
She bypassed the Death's at 6
Angelic Armor + ammy + 2x rings at level 12
At level 13, I added my newest twinking item, the Cow King's Hooves. These are fantastic twinking boots and added a lot to the bow damage.
She did switch Arctic Belt + Gloves for Death's before taking on Andariel.

Perfect Tarnhelm at level 15.

At Level 18, while Nova was available, she had nowhere near the mana to use it for any duration, so I stuck the 6x pEmerald Long Battle Bow on her, and it was plenty effective until she got to level 30 and could start using Frozen Orb. This bow is 1.09's answer to the converted Raven Claw.

Gear Breakpoint - Level 30:
In Act 3, she got to level 30 and started using Frozen Orb with a single point in Cold Mastery. This was an effective skill throughout the game.

She dropped the mix of sets for uniques at this point: Skin of the Vipermagi, SoJs, Peasant Crown, Frostburn, String of Ears, and she went with Infernostrides just for Big D. I had some nice rare orbs to play with, and she had a decent Orb until level 42. I also went with the 'Rhyme' Grim Shield. A nice rare ammy with +1 Sorc skills, 13/13/13/13 rounded out the gear setup.

Gear Breakpoint - Level 42:
Well, Occy and Skillers got added here, a new ammy with +14 Str and +17 Ene and 21/32/0/0, a 'Rhyme' Heater added at level 43.

Gear Breakpoint - Level 62:
Engame gear became available here - Wizardspike and Harlequin Crest, and to reach the 105 FCR breakpoint, I popped a pDiamond in a Lidless Wall and replaced the 'Rhyme'. This is the setup that allowed for the telestomping that is the best way to play a Nova Sorc.

Normal and Nightmare were done on P8, Hell done on P3 (except for Ancients for all difficulties, which was P1).

I found that the best defense for a Nova Sorc is an aggressive offense - aggressive telestomping Nova keeps her MUCH safer (especially in places like CS) than approaching monster packs on the ground. You have to mind your blue bulb, and she never got over her mana pot/mana shrine/spring habit, but that approach generally kept her safe.

I switched to Occy/'Rhyme' Hyperion for Hell Ancients - it was the fastest, easiest Hell Ancients fight I can remember. Minions + Baal weren't too bad either. The worst was the Blood Mana areas - she was so unbalanced in mana/life that there was no way to escape Blood Mana.

One death in NM Flayer Dungeon was it (accidentally hit a Fire Shrine, then staggered into the middle of a Shaman pack).

Hell Countess Running:

Yep, she's good at it - very good. My fastest, most efficient Countess runner. Chilling armor on the 'Memory' switch helped a lot with the Archers (and there was indeed an Archer pack when the Vex drop happened), but otherwise Nova destroyed everything. Countess is VERY often LE, so Thundergod's Vigor helped a lot, as did Blackhorn's Face on the merc.

She actually got the Vex quite a bit faster than I expected. She got to Countess at level 73, and ran her on P3 until level 76, when dropped to P1 for faster Countess kills.


Well, Vex

Some other notables:
Ist (went in the Wizzy since I was feeling rich)

Shako, Shako, SHAKO

Also this Blackhorn's Face got put to immediate use on the Merc.

HFs were awful: NM: Sol, Hell: Hel


This concludes my 1.09 goals, so, at least for now, I'm setting up to move ClimateChange, my other Sorc, to 1.10a for Andy running and planning my 1.13 Teslot to use the 1.10s Crescent Moon and Call to Arms I plan to make.


D3 Monk Moderator
Re: Matriarch GIEB_VEX, 1.09 Nova/Orb/Meteor Countess Runner

Nice write-up and congrats on completing your 1.09 goals! She had some VERY nice gear and looks very powerful and fun to play. And of course some very nice finds. GL on your 1.10s RW rolls.


Diabloii.Net Member
I admire your goals in 1.09d... Restarting myself this time in HC. Nice Ist and Vex-find. Remember my Vex at countness and one in the pit. :)