My melee sorc build revealed and dissected!!! since im stripping her to make a new class (shh its a secret) i'll tell everyone my build if you're interested. I've recieved a lot of compliments from some really good players who dueled with me / saw my build, and many who wanted to know just how exactly i killed their botd enig exile zeal pally with a melee sorc . This guide was first posted in the trade us east ladder trading forum, it recieved some really positive feedback there so i thought i'd share it with more people, hope you guys like it. Before you go on any further, know that this build is very expensive, it's very frustrating to collect some of this char's items because well nobody has it But this is a trade forum so who am i kidding? you guys trade like 24/7 hehe. first of all some stats: -8k def -10k AR -1k mana -3k life -22k fire dmg -5k fire dmg on enchant for OTHERS now for some general information: -everyone loves you in parties, especially level 1's, enchant lasts 20 min so it's probably the only power leveling class in d2. -5 frames attack speed - about 5 hits a second kills most elite melee classes and casters, trouble with smite dins (will lose probably 2 out of 3 times) and bone necros - this is excluding people who wear a rising sun that's just cheap hehe. -Can rush just fine, can tele of course, i kill andariel in 1-2 seconds (not exaggerating at all), this is definately an act boss killer, trouble with mana burn monsters, even though you kill so fast it rarely matters. disadvantage: Everytime you want to duel it takes a lot of gear switching and boosting, but from personal experience,i dont die too much so i dont have to do that too many times a game, annoying at first, you get used to it later. And bear = slow run speed. Stat point distribution: enough str to wear stormshield (taken into account all your +str items) enough dex to block at 75% (crucial) rest into vit base energy (trust me, you'll have enough) Now, some basics about the class itself that you should understand before we talk about the gear and skills distribution. The 22k fire damage comes straight from enchant, nothing else. And here's how that WONDERFUL skill works: - every time you enchant, the effect stays on you even if your gear changes, so this means that if you enchant with gear that gives you +27 fire skills, and then switch to a set of gear that gives you no +skills, you'll keep all the dmg from the previous enchant! and it lasts 20 minutes so you don't have to worry about enchanting again unless you die. - However, using a melee weapon, there is a MAJOR advantage to keeping at least some +skill items even after the enchant. This is because enchant damage for when you enchant others as well as when you enchant yourself wearing a ranged weapon is calculated as such: base enchant damage (with +skills taken into effect) * warmth synergy * fire mastery, which gets you a little over 5k with the optimal build, not nearly enough dmg to kill in pvp. But if you use a melee weapon, ONE MORE factor of fire mastery gets multiplied by your fire dmg....so that 5k will become 25k with a high level fire mastery!!! -AR, def, life, as well as skills that help you stay alive are also crucuial, this being a melee build and all. Just keep this in mind as i go through the skills distributions / gear part of the guide. The gear: I will first list all my sorc's items, followed by either E to indicate enchanting gear, B to indicate boosting gear, and F to indicate fighting ger. Helm: Cham'd Shako(B,F), +3 fire skills circlet with two 5/5 facets(E) Ammies: perf maras(B), +3 fire skills ammy(E), perf metalgrid(F) Armor: 912 def COH archon(B,F,E) Weapons: 6/5/3 CTA(B), Beast(B), perf fire eschutas with 5/5 facet(E), 6 sock phase blade with five IAS / ar jewels, 1 shael (F, PAIN TO GET) shields: lidless with 5/5 facet (E,B), stormshield with shael (F) rings: two sojs(E,B,F) gloves: magefists (E), frostburns(B,F) boots: Shadow dancers (B,E,F) belt: arachnids(B,E), nightsmoke(F) Charms: 10x fire charms, fill bottom with vita/resist/run walk charms, TWO fire charms with 12 FHR is crucial. Now, explanations for why I used some items (some are obvious and i wont explain). THIS SECTION IS OPTIONAL IF EVERYTHING I USE MAKES SENSE TO YOU. -I used cham'd shako because I did not want to sacrifice sojs (+1 skill and lots of mana, and i need mana) for raven frosts, and you canNOT afford to be frozen in battle, also an UM rune in the shako would've been a waste since i had max res already. -BEAST! Not many people have heard of this runeword, but it is SO good for the melee sorc. Why? Aside from the fact that wearbear form gives you more life and more defense, the most important part is that wearbears can attack CRAZY fast. A sorc turned into wearbear can get a 5 frame attack! that's a zeal speed attack! -Shael in stormshield is kinda obviously, 35% faster block rate in bear form - 8 frames recovery, with shael - 7 frames. Dont ignore that one frame, it can mean life or death in duels. -Metalgrid, i said AR and def were really important right? And why wouldn't it be? Try hitting an exile pally with your 2k ar =) -CTA, eschutas are pretty obviously, but why the phase blade? Well just in case you forgot, this sorc does not rely on physical damage *at all*, this means what you want is as much AR and attack speed as possible! So why 5 ias jewels and one shael instead of 6 ias/ar jewels? Because 6 IAS jewels = 90 IAS, which is 5 away from the 5 frames attack breakpoint, that last shael takes care of the attack speed. -nightsmoke - for the resistances, and % dmg goes to mana, +1 on arachnids is not that for the 5-7 seconds of dueling you'll be doing, and with my build you'll have capped DR, and enough FHR to make you not want to go up another frame rate, so the only good thing about verdugons is the +40 vit, and that's not worth what nightsmoke gives. -Frostburns, for mana, with base energy, you need this, why not bloodfist? because as i said, it will require a lot more than 30 FHR to go up a frame with my build, the 10% ias does not affect bear attack frame at all, since it's ONLY affected by IAS on the weapon, and the +40 life isn't worth the +hundreds of mana. -Shadowdancers and the two FHR fire charms: JUST enough FHR for 7 frame recovery (you got 54, breakpoint is 50), need 90 for just one more frame - not worth it. Also, shadow gives +25 dex and 30% faster run/walk. Phew!! Worst part's over, all that's left is a skill distro guide and a "how to use" guide, HANG IN THERE, IT'S WORTH IT!!! Skill distributions: max warmth, fire mastery, enchant, 1 point in es (+skills will take care of the rest), max telekinesis (in case you don't know, telekinesis increases ES effectiveness by 6.25% per level, read arreat summit for a detailed explanation) Rest of your points into shiver armor. How to use this class right: Preperation phase: First, wear all the gear labeled E, enchant Wear all the gear labeled B, cast bo and beast Wear all the gear labeled F, fight! and dont die! Easy enough? One last tip about pvp: against casters, since you dont run fast, play defense, you can outrun just about every spell (except being prison'd and bs'd, no chance vs necros because of thos), wait for them to tele next to you, and whack whack kill. Thats it!!! I don't know how many people had the patience to finish reading, but if you did, i hope i've convinced you that this build is unique, fun, party-oriented, AND effective! I know i loved this build, the only reason im stripping her is because i wanted to try one more build b4 i quit d2 (no time due to college). I was close to completeling that build too until i fudged my doom (socketed all the runes into a caddy, which is not a mace). But enough of my ranting, I hope you liked the guide, and i hope you enjoy playing this class as much as i did! P.S. i typed this up quickly, sry for typos. And sorry this build's formatting isn't up to par with some of the "pretty" guides in this forum, hehe, i didn't have time to add pictures and format it, sry.