Mephista update. *STOMP* And stay down Meph!

Zarhrezz

Diabloii.Net Member
Mephista update. *STOMP* And stay down Meph!

I guess it's about time for an update. For those unfamiliar with Mephista, head over to the forum seach page, punch in "mephista" and posted by me and you should be able to find all of the background (yes, I forgot to put down the link to the last update somewhere and I'm also lazy).

Mephista just defeated hell Mephiso (doing hell at players 3...she could handle a high player setting, but it'd cost some speed). Up untill Act II, I was able to kill anything that I came across (I didn't do full clears, but pretty close to it). Today I had to leave the first 2 unique monsters behind since they simply wouldn't die on me:
- Good old Stormtree (CI/LI). I couldn't hurt him and he regenerated faster than my merc. He was also Mana Burn, so I couldn't tank him for my merc (which I sometimes do, I'll get back on that later).
- The first council member in Mephisto's Lair (forgot his name). His Conviction made sure the merc couldn't stand up to him for longer than 3 seconds and his Mana Burn made sure I couldn't tank him either. CI/LI again. You get the picture.

Up to this point, Mephista died 3 times in hell. The first time was in the Act I Barracks, a death which I would call a fair death (well, Mana Burn again, some comment on that later). I was just going about, an Extra Fast/Mana Burn rogue ran in and hit me, taking my Energy Shield down. Normally that's not that big a deal, since I regen a Teleport in about 1-2 frames, but this time I was standing in a crossfire of a minion group of Fire Bolts lobbing Skeleton Mages. So I was taking about 5-10 Bolts a second when the ES went down. At times like that -80% all resists and 300 hps isn't good enough.
The seconds death seems buggy. It was the the entry of Travincial fighting 4 Champion Cantor-types. I was just standing in the middle of 3-4 Blizzards (blasting away with Chain Lightning) when after about 30-40 seconds of doing so, my mana was drained and ES went down, quite quickly followed by my death. Those first 30-40 seconds, the drain on my mana was steady but far from something to worry about and then all of a sudden over 1k mana drained. If anyone could explain that one, I'd like to hear it.
The third death was due a solid mix of Mana Burn and stupidity. I was fighting Voidbringer who had company of a Mana Burn pack of Vampires. Now normally that is no problem, Mana Burn doesn't occur from Fireballs and Meteors. However, mixed with stupidity, it's quite effective. Read: I ran into a corner for a better position to shoot Chain Lightning about, ignoring the Vampire that had fled into that corner. Guess when Vampires do use their melee attack? Guess how many Meteors were on their way down when that happened?

Now you might have noticed that all deaths had Mana Burn involved. Now seeing the build, that wouldn't seem too strange. But still I'm getting the feeling that Mana Burn is much stronger than The Arreat Summit is leading us to believe. From the Summit:
Mana Burn:

Mana Minimum Damage: +(Minimum Damage x 4)
Mana Maximum Damage: +(Maximum Damage x 4)
Chance to Hit: x2
Magic Resistance: +75%
Now if you look up Vampires in the Monster Section on the Summit, you'll note their maximum physical damage being 94. Which means that physical hit my them shouldn't be able to drain more than 500 mana (unless they're Extra Strong/Might/Fanatism, which wasn't the case in my last death). Yet it took well over 1500 mana. The same goes for the Corrupt Rogue that took my ES down with 1 hit in my first death...she shouldn't have been able to take more than about 1/3rd of my mana. My conclusion is that Mana Burn is doing at least 3 times more mana damage than what the Summit would lead us to believe. What does this mean? Treat any monster in a Mana Burn pack as a FE melee unique. The plus side is that in general, you'll be able to Teleport out quickly enough to live...but it's definitely a hazard.

Now Mana Burn aside, how well is this build at taking damage?
In one word: awesome.
Mephista has been swarmed by Stygian Dolls and killed them standing next to them. Cost in life: about 20. Note that I'm still 2 levels short to wear a Gladiator's Bane and I've been too lazy to socket my gear with 2 Sols like I planned...I do not have any PDR at this time. When I get to level 85, Stygian Doll death blasts will no take any life at all.
I've tanked CI/LI uniques for my merc more than once. Just walk up to them and let them beat on you, so they don't interrupt the mercs jabs with their attacks. The last one I tanked like that was a Extra Strong Blunderbore. The +12 replenish life easilly countered the life loss due to his beating on my ES.

Mephista's stats at this time:
Strength: 110 (116)
Dexterity: 25 (27)
Vitality: 10 (22)
Energy: 360 (387)
Life: 182 (363)
Mana: 849 (1712)

Warmth 1 (10)
Frozen Orb 20 (30
Cold Mastery 1 (13)
Chilling Armor 1 (11)
Telekinesis 20 (36)
Energy Shield 20 (42) Yes, overkill, I know. Equipment isn't perfect yet.
Static Field 1 (19)
Chain Lightning 15 (31)
Thunder Storm 1 (17)
Lightning Mastery 1 (17)

Equipment can be improved still: Swap the Powered Amulet with an Arch-Angel's one, this will improve Frozen Orb, Armor and Warmth at a slight loss of Chain Lightning power. Frozen Orb is the main killer though.
Swap the Manald Heal for a 2nd Stone of Jordan. Still need to find someone who'll trade me one at a reasonable price.
At level 85, switch from Que-Hegan's Wisdom to The Gladiator's Bane. This will cost +1 to skills, but prevent any damage to life before the ES goes down. It will also add CBF (which is just handy) and boost Defense a great deal.
 

wildjinn

Diabloii.Net Member
Just a thought on those pesky bosses that mercs can't hack it for: I just found that you can stunlock them with telekinesis so that your merc can hit them without worrying about hit recovery, which is usually what slows mine down when my sorc can't touch the enemies. Does that work on lightning immunes? If so, it might be worthwhile. Plus, you've got enough points in Telekinesis. :p

edit: i need to go to sleep. 6 hours ago. :p clarity edits.
 

Zarhrezz

Diabloii.Net Member
wildjinn said:
Just a thought on those pesky bosses that mercs can't hack it for: I just found that you can stunlock them with telekinesis so that your merc can hit them without worrying about hit recovery, which is usually what slows mine down when my sorc can't touch the enemies. Does that work on lightning immunes? If so, it might be worthwhile. Plus, you've got enough points in Telekinesis. :p

edit: i need to go to sleep. 6 hours ago. :p clarity edits.
Good one....you know..I knew that, but never even thought about actually using it :lol: Telekinesis does indeed work on immune monsters. That would the damage Dragonhand can deal...hmm...maybe I should go back and waste him.
 

factotum

Diabloii.Net Member
I've been looking back at some of the earlier posts here, and you've given me an idea. Normally Inferno would be an unusable skill because you have to stand still in order to use it, allowing monsters time to beat heavily on your poor carcass, but if Energy Shield is as good as you say then this isn't an issue anymore--and since Inferno synergises with Warmth (also useful to keep up that all-important Shield, I would imagine) it should be possible to get something pretty nice going!

Only problem would be finding enough skill points for the crucial secondary elemental attack skill to use against Fire Immunes.

Anyone got any ideas on this, or am I being totally batty here?
 

Zarhrezz

Diabloii.Net Member
20 ES, 20 TK, 20 FO, 1 CM, 1 FA, 1 SF, 20 Warmth, 1 FM, rest into Inferno is a setup that I have considered and I think will be viable. I went with CL on Mephista because of the fact that the Lightning tree was getting a major +skills as it was, so why not let your second elemental attack use that?
However going with +11 to all skills from equipment, +3 lightning skill charms and a +3 ES Memory staff (for slvl 40 ES) and 4-6 fire skillers will give you +15-17 on the fire branch...should be sufficient.
 

Zarhrezz

Diabloii.Net Member
And a little update.

You know that fun little bug where monsters start to totally ignore your merc? Well, guess who totally ignored my merc...let's here it for Hephasto the Armorer! So I had to tank him...while he was FE. And since he was also CE and thus CI, I didn't have Frozen Orb to deal with him (if I had, I would have taken him out by hit and run...no such luck this time).
I have to say, I was fully expecting to die...but in the end, the death explosion only took about 700 mana. Total cost: 2 full rejuvs (both taken at 1/2 to 1/3rd mana to be on the safe side) and an adrenaline rush.
The hellforge dropped me a Fal...bleh...the last 3 hell hellforge drops were all Ums, and now that I could use an extra Um I don't get one (next project is going to deplete my stash of runes over Dol...only high runes that will be left are 2 Fals).
 

Vorbiss

Diabloii.Net Member
Good job on the build, very interesting build too I might say! ;)
I really want to see what will happen when you meet Gloam type monsters(mana burn)...With theyr bugged attack I think you'll drink blue pots like crazy, hope I'm not right. ;)
 

Zarhrezz

Diabloii.Net Member
Vorbiss said:
Good job on the build, very interesting build too I might say! ;)
I really want to see what will happen when you meet Gloam type monsters(mana burn)...With theyr bugged attack I think you'll drink blue pots like crazy, hope I'm not right. ;)
Well, I did run into regular Gloams in act IV earlier. I can't say I can straight tank them, not by a long shot, but if I stand still, I can take around 4 full lightning strokes before getting dangerously low on mana. If I keep moving and Orbing, they're not all that big an issue. I'll have to see about the Burning Souls/Dark Souls in Act V though, they're probably beefed up somewhat.

Edit:
Update: Well, Oblivion Knight are a pest and will always be I guess. Didn't care to count how often I had to TP either to get poison off, or to resurrect my merc. Definitely not one of the faster parts of the game this far. Then for big D...well, he was nice enough to drop me this:

Horizon's Tornado
Scourge
One-Hand Damage: 10 to 285
Durability: 65 of 65
Required Dexterity: 62
Required Strength: 100
Required Level: 64
Mace Class - Fastest Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10 Expansion
Item Level: 94
Fingerprint: 0xb82b8042
+257% Enhanced Damage
Requirements -20%
50% Increased Attack Speed
150% Damage to Undead
Slows Target by 20%
20% Chance to cast Level 15 Tornado on striking

I guess for all the effort I put into killing him. All 15 seconds of it.
 
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