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pooor neglected hydra sorces

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by Artagas, May 23, 2005.

  1. Artagas

    Artagas IncGamers Member

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    pooor neglected hydra sorces

    what is up with these girls? are they that bad under 1.1? I thought of it as a not too high damage skill with considerable tactical aspects so i tought i would try one hc with frozen orb as a complimentary skill. (the only issue with that is that orb is such a strong skill i might end up using the sorc as an orber with hydras against CIs).
    so anyhow, i tought i'd check some guides, to see what vets have to say about playing this char, and i found _none_. zero. null. am i blind/crippled/st00pid, or is there indeed no guide on playing hydra-sorces? (kind of a shock, considering even ranged-enchantresses have their own guide in the forums)
     
  2. bill_n_opus

    bill_n_opus IncGamers Member

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    The last time I check the Sorc library of guides there was some commentary iirc about using hydras as a backup skill ... or maybe it was on another site. Anyways, no matter.

    Basically:

    Hydras, fully synergized would be viable in Hell. Frozen Orb, maxed, with maybe 8 hard points into Cold Mastery, is a great skill. Methinks you can almost fully synergize Hydra by the late 80's or so.

    = give it a go!

    I think that it would work because FO owns from when you get it 'til you start Hell from when Cold Immunes become commonplace. By that time you can use Hydra to finish of CI's as well as your trusty merc. One point in Static will work wonders too and cut down the time in killing CI/FI monsters, if any.
     
  3. Artagas

    Artagas IncGamers Member

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    Well, yeah. I could build it like a meteorb with hydra instead of meteor (same synergies iirc, except that hydra won't synergize fb, but that is okay, since we want to use hydra for damage anyhow, and not some silly cookie cutter skill). i have 2 issues with that:
    1) same as a standard meteorb build it either lacks ES or has it at a very low level (and imho, not havint it all is better than having 1 point in it. it has 3 prereqs at least and dual-tree builds scarcely have spare points) this is acceptable for an SC sorc (who cares about the occasional instakill...:p ) but as stated, i want to play her HC
    2) as i said above i kinda' don't want it to be an orber with a backup skill...i want her to rely on hydra except against FIs. of course i could try forcing myself not to use orb all the time but that is silly. And as you sad, and telling from my first hand experience, i wouldn't even use anything aside of orb prior to hitting hell. early/mid game that is a true killer, and even useful later.
    maybe i should do a Hydra/Thunder Storm sorc and name her "Neglected".
    I wouldnt make it too far though probably.
     
  4. Cormallon

    Cormallon IncGamers Member

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    Hi,

    I have a matriarch hydra sorc, with chain lightning as backup skill :) She's my main hell meph runner now. Search for a mat thread about Ro-Mura here in the forum to learn more :thumbsup:
     
  5. Darkwell

    Darkwell IncGamers Member

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    My fisrt Mat was a Hydra Bowsorc, no secondary skills except shiver armor. A very fun character to play, but she was sc and died frequently. I've just started a hc bowsorc using only hydra and sf. I plan to twink her like crazy, I mean twink twink and twink, just to see if she makes it past nm. I'll even give her 'stone' for the golem charges and another tank. Don't be discouraged, hydra can be a very good spell if you max enough synergies. As a secondary skill, I'd recommend 'run'.

    Darkwell
     
  6. skunkbelly

    skunkbelly IncGamers Member

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    The problem with Hydra is that really, you kind of have to go with Orb as a back-up... there's not really another viable skill, once you take into account the number of synergies you need for Hydra to be effective. I suppose you could try a barely-synergized Blizzard, but Orb would be much more effective. The only other thing that you might try, for laughs, would be Nova... but I emphasize, that'd probably have to be for laughs ;)

    The other thing to think about is a spammable skill... working with two timered skills can be both rough and annoying.
     
  7. Artagas

    Artagas IncGamers Member

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    FB is spammable. And with Mastery maxed and some points in Bolt it will do okay damage. Note as good as for a meteorb (since meteor is a synergy of it and hydra isn't) but i plan to play it as a slow-going, cowardish tactical-warfare-can-kill-you-from-several-corners-distance sorc, so it is not a big concern.
     
  8. Mordalles

    Mordalles IncGamers Member

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    well, i have guardian sorc that uses frozen orb and hydra as backup. and since there are so many cold immunes in hell, she had to use hydra a lot. but its definitely viable. plus, its a great warning system.
     
  9. farting bob

    farting bob Banned

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    I was sure that was about me when i first read it.
    Ive never made a hydra sorc, but i think with another suitable ranged skill or weapon it could be viable. I sometiems use them to scout in dangerous areas such as the chaos sanctuary.
    Darkwell's bowhydratress sounds like a good fun build probably not that safe in hell with no shield or quick kill skill.
     
  10. HBeachBabe

    HBeachBabe IncGamers Member

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    "spammable" not "spammer"

    unless you want us to chop you into little pieces and throw you at our screens :lol:
     
  11. cft

    cft IncGamers Member

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    While a Hydra build should be viable, especially with Orb as a backup, I have to say hydra is not my favorite skill.

    It is nice to have an "auto" power which hunts down the annoying monsters for you, and there are some neat tactics with being able to place the hydra to be able to shoot a monster around a corner, etc.

    But I think the downsides outweight the advantages:

    - Hydras are easily distracted, usually spreading their damage out to several critters. It's very annoying when they target the fire immune monster next to the one you WANT it to hurt...

    - Hydras can miss moving targets a lot. You'll want your merc to tank, or you'll need to practice running "at" your hydras so that the monsters chasing you run straight at them and so they get hit most often.

    - Hydras are on a timer, so there's a limit to how fast you can lay em out.

    - Not sure about this one, but I think I once read that Hydras count as traps, not as a direct spell, and that because of that, the Hydra doesn't get a boost from Fire Mastery. Or maybe it was from Minus Fire Resist gear.

    Someone who knows more should correct me on this...

    Anyways, for my 2 cents, I'd prefer a lightning trapper assassin instead.
     
  12. Asmodeous

    Asmodeous IncGamers Member

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    Guess my hydra guide has disapeared into oblivion. Not surprising these days I guess.

    This is a pretty old guide written from in game play in early v1.10 so I doesnt take into account any of the new realms only rune words.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A guide to the Hydra using Sorceress.
    Written for Diablo II/LOD V1.10

    Introduction.


    Hydra. For a level 30 Spell, Hydra has always come last in the "mostest" damage spell contest amongst the Sorceress's many spells. And for this reason, few players will choose this spell in v1.10. This, I can't understand why. Is it just too hard to create, to play, Or maybe people don't truly understand this spells potential? I think, Its time for a guide to help blow all the myths about this spell away, and replace them with Hot, firey Facts. Sit back, and enjoy this guide. At the end of it, Decide if the Hydress is for you. Believe me, after I wrote it, I said yes to that very question.

    How does Hydra work?

    Hydra, is a three headed firey dragon, that appears from the ground where you cast it.
    from the three heads, it fires bolts of fire at any monster or target with in range.

    Duration 10 seconds.
    Active Duration 8 seconds.
    Casting Delay 2 seconds.
    Maximum number of fire bolts fired 24 in total, 8 from each head.
    Total rate of Fire 3 fire bolts per second.
    Range Approximately 9 yards (3/4 of screen at 800 x 600 res)

    Basically, when you cast a Hydra, it takes one second to animate and begin working. It then begins firing at any available targets. It then will fire at any targets for 8 seconds, before taking one second to disappear. Combined with the casting delay, this means that you can have up to 5 Hydra’s on screen at any one time, but only 4 of them will be active at any one time.

    The Hydra will fire up to a total of 24 bolts of fire, each bolt does fire damage at the listed damage for the spells level. As all fire spells do, the damage is increased with Fire mastery. Hydra also has two Synergy spells to further increase its damage, but more of these later.
    The spell will not fire unless is has a target, so its possible to cast the spell, and have it fire less than 24 bolts, this is a maximum that is only fired if the spell does not run out of targets.

    Damage.

    I highly recommend that the spell be used with Fire mastery and if you plan to utilize this spell and at least 10 skill points in any one synergy. You will need to spend a total of 20 points both on Hydra and Fire mastery in order for the spell to be useful though out the game. So, im going to assume that this is what you will do when using this spell. Its pretty much useless any other way. The Initial Damage figures include 1 point in Fire Bolt and Fire Ball as these are Pre requisites.
    In the Brackets, We have the damage figures for the synergy skills, Fire Bolt and Fire Ball. Both grant a damage bonus of a lousy 3%, so you can mix these any way you feel fit. The number represents the total amount of either synergy skill.

    Damage for Hydra/Fire mastery c/w 1 Point Fire Bolt & Fire Ball.

    Level 20 = 361 - 427. (15 = 493 - 585 / 20 = 624 - 711 / 25 = 596 - 706 / 30 = 647 - 767)
    Level 25 = 562 - 653. (15 = 769 - 894 / 20 = 848 - 986 / 25 = 912 - 1060 / 30 = 1007 - 1172)
    Level 30 = 827 - 947. (15 = 1132 - 1296 / 20 = 1249 - 1430 / 25 = 1366 - 1564 / 30 = 1483 / 1698)
    Level 32 = 954 - 1086. (15 = 1305 - 1486 / 20 = 1440 - 1640 / 25 = 1575 - 1794 / 30 = 1710 - 1948)[/color]
    Level 34 = 1088 - 1234. (15 = 1489 - 1688 / 20 = 1643 - 1862 / 25 = 1797 - 2037 / 30 = 1951 - 2212)
    Level 35 = 1158 - 1310.(15 = 1584 - 1791 / 20 = 1748 - 1978 / 25 = 1912 - 2163 / 30 = 2076 - 2349)
    Level 36 = 1230 - 1389. (15 = 1682 - 1900 / 20 = 1856 - 2096 / 25 = 2031 - 2293 / 30 = 2205 - 2490)

    Level 37 = 1303 - 1469. (15 = 1783 - 2010 / 20 = 1968 - 2218 / 25 = 2152 - 2426 / 30 = 2337 - 2634)
    Level 38 = 1379 - 1552. (15 = 1886 - 2123 / 20 = 2081 - 2343 / 25 = 2277 - 2563 / 30 = 2472 - 2782)

    And if you Manage to spend 80 skill points on Hydra, Fire Mastery and both synergies?

    Level 38 = 1379 - 1552.(40 = 2862 - 3222)

    As you can see, Hydra really needs those Synergy Skills. And, It needs those Items that Boost your Skill levels. 18 to Fire skills is a very hard ask but it is possible.

    Damage per second.

    Simple maths. 24 fire bolts over 8 seconds is 3 bolts per second. At level 35 with 30 synergy skills points this is about 6,637 points of fire damage per second. When compared to spells such as Firewall and Meteor the damage seems very low. But keep in mind how this spell works. You can have up to four Hydra's working. It also actively targets where as Firewall and Meteor are dumb, area effect spells that work only when a monster runs/walks or hopefully stands in these spells.
    If a monster runs through a 7,000 point firewall, only spending ¼ of a second actually in the firewall, that’s not a great deal of damage. Like most spells available to the Sorceress, there will always be times when one spell is more effective than another, and Hydra is no different. We will look at some strategies useful for Hydra later on, and see how versatile this spell can be.

    The Fifth Hydra.

    You can have five Hydra's on screen, But only four of them will be active. Can you have a Fifth active Hydra? Well, Yes. Its called Fire Ball. You've spent the skill points on the skill as well as Fire Mastery. With poorly selected synergies for Fire Ball, the damage isn't great, about the same as Hydra's actually. Equip some fast cast Items, hot key the skill and spam while waiting for those casting timers. You are the Fifth Hydra.

    The Second Element.

    Ok, You have spend the skill points in buying and building Hydra, Fire Mastery and 20 points on Fireball as a nice synergy/Fifth Hydra. That's just cost you 63 skill points. Assuming a level 85 Sorceress in the heavily XP nerfed V1.10, you have 33 skill points left. Not a lot is it?
    For this reason, You really only have one choice of Elements for your Second. And only three viable choices of spells for those few skill points left over.
    But first, Lets have a look at a couple of other must have choices we need.

    Static Field. No Sorceress can do with out her Static Field. Or can she? Consider even this single point expenditure. Why? Act Two Mercenary, Pole arm weapon, Three sockets, Shael, Um and Tir Runes for the Cresent Moon rune word. Consider very carefully.

    Warmth. One pointer. Our huge boosts from items will make up for the short fall of any mana regeneration we need.

    Teleport.Another expenditure of skill to consider here. Teleport needs two skill points to aquire and this skill is better to get another way. Three socket armor with the runes Jah, Ith and Ber.
    This is the Enigma rune work which grants +1 to teleport as well as +2 to skills and many other useful attributes. Its going to be tough levelling with out Teleport untill you can equip the Enigma Rune Word, so you might buckle and spend the two skill points. Its your choice. If you really want the meanest Hydress around, you will make the sacrifice. Hey, other classes make do with out Teleporting. Some use item charges and so can you.

    Ok, so assuming you want a skill point in Static field, we have 32 skill points left to spend for a final character level of 85. Here is how we spend these.

    Frozen Orb.No surprise this one. Needs 26 skill points for the typical level 20 forb/1 Cold Mastery. 6 points left to use either to boost Cold Mastery, Hydra synergy, or perhaps a bit of both. It is a good partner spell for Hydra, except that it too is timered.

    Blizzard. Now this could be a better choice. 25 skill points, 7 to spare, but the reason to choose this skill over the much loved Forb is the way this spell works. Its a Blizzard. A big area full of chilling, Slowing cold damage. Park a couple of Hydra's amongst all those poor, slowed monsters and watch the body count grow!

    Glacial Spike. 23 skill points, 10 to spare. Not a great choice because its a real mana chewing spammer. You dont really have the mana nor the regeneration to really support this, well, you do. Just don't use it all the time. Its great here and there. Spike a monster and freeze it. Park a firey three headed buddy next door. Can it get any easier?

    Stat Points for Hydra.

    The usual just enough Strength for Items applies here. Consider building your Dexterity up to 75% shield blocking levels. It's not that you really need it given the range of Hydra. You can keep out of the action quite well. But, for the same reason, you dont need a huge amount of Vitality. The spells you will probably be using are mostly Timered so you wont need a huge amount of Mana either. for these reasons, Dexterity for Shield blocking is a good idea. Base dexterity if you want to use a Staff.

    Formula for working out blocking rates.

    Required Dexterity = 15 + (required block %) * (level x2)/(listed shield block).

    [b}Equipping for Hydra.[/b]

    As you can see from the Damage tables, this spell loves levels. Just compare the damage between level 32 to level 38. If you plan to use this spell, your main item requirement is items that add to the Fire tree Skills as well as items that add to Skill levels in general.
    I consider a level of 32 in total to be the absolute minimum, and the spell begins to get very nasty at level 36+.
    Apart from that, there is little else that the spell requires. Its cheap to cast mana wise and is timed, so no special amount of mana or regeneration is required. Pretty much any sorceress will be able to cast hydra continuously.
    Some fast cast is a good idea for the "Fifth Hydra" Fire Ball spamming and this set up provides this as well.

    Suggested Set Up.

    Heart of the Oak Rune Word (Flail), Echuta's Temper or Mang Song's Lesson.
    Enigma Rune Word (Archon Plate).
    Upgraded Visceratuant Shield (heater).
    Harlequin Crest.
    Mara’s Kaliedascope or Tal Rasha’s Adjudication or Rare Amulet.
    Mage Fist.
    Stone of Jordan. (1 or 2)
    Arachnid Mesh Belt.
    Silk Weaves or Boots of Your Choice.
    Sprinkle liberally with fire rainbow facet jewels.

    This set up will give you 13 -15 to fire skills assuming one Stone Of Jordan. You should be able to gain another 1-3 to fire skills from various skill charms in the back pack which is going to make a rather nasty pet Hydra. You can increase your Hydra damage even further with a good Echuta's Temper. with an extra 20% fire damage please. Or, grab a Mang Song's Lesson. The negative to monsters fire resistances works much the same way, in that increases the amount of damage monsters will take from your Elemental attacks.

    Hydra Strategies.

    Here are a few techniques to get the most of your Hydra spells!

    1). Hydra in a Box. I love this trick. Used in dungeons with rooms such as the Jail in act 1, or the tombs of Radament in act 2. Teleport into a closed room. Cast a Hydra. If there isn’t too many monsters in the room, you might want to stick around to cast another, otherwise, simply teleport out of the room, leaving any monsters, to play with a 3 headed firey Hydra. I’m sure they will appreciate it!
    2). Hydra scout. If your running through open fields, such as the cow farm, cast a Hydra at max range in the direction you are going. If the Hydra begins firing, you know you have monsters ahead. By the time you arrive close to the first Hydra, your ready to create a friend for it. In another 4 seconds, you have 4 Hydra’s blasting away at the monsters and odds are, few of them you will ever get to meet you in person.
    3). Corners. Now, this is a good reason for this spell alone. Got a bunch of monsters
    just around the next corner? Yeah, simple isn’t it? Cast your hydra in the corner and let the first thing the monsters see of you, is your pet three headed friend.
    4). Casting thru walls. If you know that there are monsters on the other side of the wall or door, then cast a Hydra on the wall or door. Usually, the hydra will be split by the wall, with 1 or 2 heads appearing on the other side. Continue casting Hydra’s to your hearts content. This might be a game bug, It might not. matters not. Reap this quirk for all its worth.
    5). Hydra Path. On the run from a particularly nasty beastie? Well, as you run away from the monster, assuming it will follow you, simply cast Hydra’s ahead of you.
    By the time the Hydra activates, the monster is in range and runs head on into its bolts.
    6).Ring Around the Hydra. Simply run circles around an area, casting Hydra’s where ever you please. As the monsters follow you, the Hydra’s will spit fire at their sorry butts as they try to catch you.
    7). LEB Toast. Ouch! Just encountered a LEB? Well, let the range of Hydra do the dirty work. Beat a retreat until the LEB is of screen and cast Hydra’s at range in its direction. By the time the lightning bolts reach you, they will be so far apart, it will be child’s play for you to avoid.

    When Hydra is not so hot.

    1).
    Very fast monsters. For example, Stygian dolls. The bolts from Hydra are fairly slow, and are fired at the location the beastie is at the time. Odds are, the beastie won’t be there by the time the bolt arrives. even head on, when these dolls “retreatâ€, the little buggers are so fast, they outrun the Hydra’s bolts. Not the best way to deal with such monsters.
    2). Solitary Hydra. One hydra is not so hot. Two is ok, three is good and four is an Aussie summer bar-b-que. Enough Burnt meat to feed an army. It takes 9 seconds before you have 4 Hydra’s actively blasting away. When you are in the thick of things, that’s going to seem an eternity.
    3). PvP. Worth a mention. Pretty much any fire spell is useless versus a decent PvP player. Granted, that Hydra is better than the rest, as an opponent has to keep moving
    to avoid the bolts, but the skill is pre requisite heavy and there are far better ways to spend 60 odd skill points for PvP. watch out for PK murders, Low life’s love to stack this spell on way points for you to appear right in the middle of. Cheap, real cheap.

    Mercenary.

    Just about everybody will tell you the best Mercenary for a Hydress is the Holy Freeze Act Two Town Guard. Well, this is a pretty good suggestion. But, there is another worthy of your consideration.
    The Cold Iron Wolf from Act Three. Why? Glacial Spike. You cast the Hydra's, Mercenary casts the Glacial Spikes to freeze monsters solid giving your Hydra's a nice easy target.
    Ok, it isn't that great an idea because the mercenary isn't smart enough to change targets once the monster is frozen and Hydra's is having it for lunch. Pity. Just for once, I would love to endorse a mercenary for any character build instead of an act two town guard.

    Conclusion.

    The Hydress really demonstrates how important item selection can be in V1.10. The bulk of these toys are rather hard to get and therefore expensive. Even then, The Hydress isn't the true uber killing machine Sorceress we all miss from V1.09. No. To Build a Hydress is to build a character to have fun with. It's a bit like building a melee Sorceress, Beastmancer, Singer Barb or Ranger. Its fun. A challenge is always fun. This is where the Hydress is. A fun, challenging Build. Veteran players will cherish her for that alone. Playing one is a bit like a Trapasin or Zoo keeper. Avid Sorceress fan die hards should all have a Hydress in their stable. It just seems right. Can you brag that you have a Matriarch Hydress? Time you got started then.
     
  13. atigdng

    atigdng IncGamers Member

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    Nice guide... I had looked for a Hydra guide a few times, everytime nothing...
    AE this should go with the other char. guides I think!
     
  14. HBeachBabe

    HBeachBabe IncGamers Member

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    I've been planning to make a hydra sorc, so thanks for the guide. of course it reads like a Bnet guide what with saying "grab an Enigma and Mang Songs" like we all have 2 or 3 just lying around. Other than that, I hope to have fun with her
     
  15. Asmodeous

    Asmodeous IncGamers Member

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    HBeachBabe

    Yeah I know. That was deliberate. When I wrote this guide, a long time ago before the real values and drop rates of these toys was really known and before the realms only rune words.

    Im in the middle of updating the guide which ill send to Alterego. But it will still have to include the uber items and rune words because it is probably best for a guide like this to appeal to both SP and realms players.
     

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