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Max Block Shields for Sorceress

Discussion in 'Sorceress' started by Knarlfist, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. Knarlfist

    Knarlfist Diabloii.Net Member

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    Max Block Shields for Sorceress

    My first love, first made character for new ladder seasons, and favorite character to play even after I build a few others, is my "Tank Sorc". It's a variation of a classic Max Block/ES/TK Sorc - but I use very specific gear that most might not use on this build, and I depart from most other theorycrafters by keeping my life and mana about equal so I never am endangered by Blood Curse. (My theory on that is: not only does Blood Curse wound the very heart of what a Sorc does, namely casting, but also with Mana Burn being bugged I like to have some Life and Block/PDR as a backup if ES falls, and in practice this method has worked out flawlessly for me).

    My main question involves shield choices, and this is relevant now more than usual because with the new ladder reset I will most likely have to consider other gear options to start off with, until enough wealth is gathered in the community that I can find/trade for the items I am comfortable with.

    I am a junkie for going thru old ES sorc posts, and also Max Block and Shield selection posts... but one annoying thing I've noticed is how repetitive and narrow the shield choices seems to be. Sadly I am also pretty darn bad at Math :(


    So I was hoping someone could tell me why the Sorc shields discussion always seems to revolve around Whitstan's vs Upped Visc vs Stormshield? I mean, they open the door with Upping, but then they never talk about Moser's Upped, both with Diamonds in the 2os, and alternatively Elds in the 2os. Also Gerke's Sanctuary... both of these shields in my opinion would be worth including in the tables, compared in various versions of socketed and Upped - especially since they are putting ridiculous options in the comparison table like shields with under 60% block.

    I know part of this exclusion is the classic belief that shields providing resist aren't worth looking at because an ES build shouldn't need resists. But my Tank Sorc always has capped resists along with absorb items... I just don't see the point of a build that is suppose to be tough if you have such glaring weaknesses, and my Sorc doesn't even blink in full Hell Baal runs if her ES falls. So in light of the fact that I want to consider Resist stats as part of the opportunity cost when considering gear/charms/stat allocation, does anyone smarter than me have an opinion on which shield at it's best stage, will provide the best anchor to this build?

    In my heart I really like Gerke's, but even this last ladder season I hadn't gotten a chance to obtain one to experiment with. Since Moser's drops A LOT, for the start of next season I was considering Upping when I can get my hands on one, and testing the flexibility with the 2 open sockets. As a last resort I will of course grab a trusty Whitstan's, since it does save tons of points on Dex, and can be socketed with an Eld for even more Dex savings.

    Any opinions? You math gurus could probably point out whether an Upped Moser's with Elds would help enough on resists to allow more Life/Mana charms, or if it wouldn't provide enough blocking in comparison to a Eld'd Whitstan's to save enough Dex points to make it worth it for your Life/Mana pool. The only thing I know for sure is how bad the return is on Vitality, but it gets murky for me trying to weigh all the opportunity costs of the various stats :(
     
  2. hubb

    hubb Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Max Block Shields for Sorceress

    For a lvl 90 sorc:

    Upped Moser's (25 res, 30% fbr - 6 frames)
    223 dex
    203 dex (eld)
    186 dex (eld-eld)
    100 str

    Whitstan's (40% fbr - 6 frames)
    171 dex (um) (22 res)
    159 dex (eld)
    53 str

    Gerke's (20-30 res, 11-16 DR, 14-18 MDR, 0% fbr - 9 frames)
    198 dex
    182 dex (eld)
    133 str

    War travs puts you at 105 str. When choosing Whitstan's over Gerke's(eld) you'll have 51 more points in vit so 102 more life. If the Gerke's res allows you to free up 6 inventory slots you'll gain 120 life back. Considering the DR and MDR on it then that seems to be the best option... if you can handle the 9 frame block. Otherwise I'd go for eld-eld upped Moser's because it's a little cheaper and has a smidge more res than Um'd Whitstan's. I'd only use Eld-Whitstan's if you've already got max res as you only get 24 hp from the points saved in dex. All of this will of course vary depending on your character level.
     
  3. krischan

    krischan Europe Trade Moderator

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    Re: Max Block Shields for Sorceress

    You need 47 more str for upped Moser's while it gives only 7% more base blocking. Are xyou sure that it saves more than 47 dex?

    Visceratuant adds +1 to sorc skills and 30% blocking, that might be an alternative as well. With respect to blocking it's better than Moser's. Upping will increase the str req by 39 and it improves base blocking by 12%, that even makes the difference greater. It doesn't add resists, however.

    The question is how to adjucate the skill bonus in comparison to what other shields offer. Maybe a facet in Moser's while Visceratuant receives an Um rune? Facets don't improve ES at all, however.
     
  4. Krupa

    Krupa Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Max Block Shields for Sorceress

    storm is THE shield of choice in hc, cuz of 35 dr!, res and u´ll want enough str to get a spirit on switch either way for bo. also u can bug it to only need 146 str for eth bo spirit

    i find sanctuary a nice option too, cuz it has awesome res and slow missiles (if u´r going for lidless on bo switch). also very cheap with the new patch

    for a start i´d go with whatever drops first and end for such a build with storm. they are usually obtained by the cost of upping one of the shields. i had a similar one in 1.12 and it worked like a charm. 43% dr, max res, max block and TG for light absorb, 95% ES - my light bulb never got below half, not even in the middle of some fana things with glooms around them
     
  5. hubb

    hubb Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Max Block Shields for Sorceress

    I probably shouldn't have, but in that example I assumed you were using war travs and already at 105 strength, I guess there are plenty of setups where Whitstan's will be the heaviest. I like the faceted Moser's idea. What build is this we're talking about Knarl? Just ES/TK/block sorcs in general?
     
  6. jiansonz

    jiansonz Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Max Block Shields for Sorceress

    How well does a Rhyme Tower Shield stand up in this discussion? I´m always been happy with those because of the good blocking, decent resists, MF and CBF.
     
  7. Knarlfist

    Knarlfist Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Max Block Shields for Sorceress

    Well, as far as the build goes, you have to remember my interpretation of "Tri-Elementalist" might be more broad than that of others. I see it argued quite often in forum posts, that a Sorc isn't really Tri because of "this" and "that" and "yada yada".

    I really don't care about all that... if the skills I use are listed in one of the three Skills Trees, and I have a main skill I use from each Tree to insure mobs die, then I consider it a Tri-Elementalist build. At the very least a Tri-Skill Tree build =p

    So what are my main three skills in each tree? Normally Orb, Static, and either Fire Wall or Enchant. People can nit-pick all they want, but the fact is my build really shines with the proper merc setup and since I need him anyways, I can handle any and all immunities in the game without having to rely on super expensive gear/runes (runes I might add, that I never even had a chance to build up to last ladder season, about all I got made was Lawbringer/Stone/Treach/CtA/Obediance/Insight/Spirit). Infinity for me, and my playtime, isn't gonna happen.

    If you want a detailed picture of how my last Tank Sorc went, it was post-gear:
    156 Str (I originally was using Spirit Monarch on switch, planned on re-speccing since I had changed to +9 ES Memory on switch)
    142 Dex
    240 Vit
    176 Ene

    Life and Mana were equal with Life having a few more points to avoid Blood Curse. Exact stats could be adjusted with charms as I needed.

    Maxed FO, 17 CM after skills, Maxed ES and TK and Warmth, and whichever way you choose to go with your Fire backup skills.

    Wizzy(IO'd for time being),Kira's,Whitstan's,Mages,Tgods,Raven+Dwarf,Rising Sun,Guardian Angel, Treks, Memory on Switch. As I remember, I still had 1-2 sockets to consider, and I really didn't wanna socket shield yet because shield was very likely gonna change to Gerke's, and that might have left open a change to the helm as well.
     
  8. Krupa

    Krupa Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Max Block Shields for Sorceress

    for the same price and purpose i´d change the equip a bit:

    occu + viper + shako + storm (-15 req | maybe with some add) + tgods + mages/trangs + aldur boots

    - 1-2 sorc skills 5 fcr amu + 2 fcr rings - 105 fcr
    - tal amu + raven + dwarf (2 stat rings or what ever u like) - 80 fcr (68 is the break point)

    merc:
    tal mask, shaftstop, insight

    with 1 hard point and a 9es memory that would bring u to 14-15 es (67-69%) 45% dr and ~ 35 50 25 -10 res in hell without using rings, amu, trangs claws, um'ing the shako/viper or any charms
    if u up the viper and use a defiance merc, u´ll also have decent def with one of the cold armors
     
  9. Knarlfist

    Knarlfist Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: Max Block Shields for Sorceress

    I have all that equipment and have tried it, it just doesn't provide the needed results. % DR is almost worthless on a full ES build, since dmg against your ES is calculated first. If the total dmg taken after all calcs is 20, then even capped 50% dmg reduction from gear would only reduce that by 10 dmg.

    PDR is the common stat to go for with full ES builds, and the reason many choose max resists is because on the rare occasion ES does fall, especially with max block it isn't normal phys hits you are worried about, it is Elemental attacks. A couple of pieces with PDR on them along with a Sol or 2 socketed in your gear, will combine excellently with a synergized Prayer Merc using Insight in an Elite Pole.

    The gear choices for the most part aren't what I was questioning, I've used this setup across multiple ladders and it is hands down the most resilient and fun build I have ever played. My question had more to do with the stat opp cost from switching shields, and I think Hubb's great detailed breakdown of the stats answered it for me. ;-)

    Assuming I don't end up finding a Gerke's in this next ladder season either, I will most likely use Whistan's again and Eld it, and keep the rest of my gear as is. And I will also pray to find an insane +9 ES Memory staff again this season, and that will allow me to drop my str down quite a bit. In the meantime, while the ladder is still new I will just make do with what I can MF for I guess.



    Edit: I should explain further why I am unsure about Gerke's after Hubb's analysis... The PDR on it is HOT, along with resists and decent blocking. But the total Dex and Str costs vs Whitstan's starts to muddy it a little, and then you notice the huge dip in FBR frames, and I think that seals it. Seeing as I was already 90/95/90/90 resists in Hell with current equipment, the resistance from a shield isn't needed, it just presented an opportunity to maybe change helms. And while the PDR is awesome, I had one Sol socketed in Armor with a chance for another in Helm, and to be honest on the rare occasion that ES fell even the small amounts of dmg that made it past PDR and Max Block were almost instantly overwritten by my merc's synergized Prayer. Any other time, when ES was still up, dmg making it past my shield was so small it was unnoticeable to the naked eye =p
     

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