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Stormcryer's Tanking Tri-Elementalist - The Archmage Revealed der=

Discussion in 'Sorceress' started by Stormcryer, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. Stormcryer

    Stormcryer IncGamers Member

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    Stormcryer's Tanking Tri-Elementalist - The Archmage Revealed

    It has been asked enough, both in forums (of the group in general), online and via email (of me personally) to produce my build guide for the Archmage.

    Before we start I welcome suggestion that could lead to a better build, but please no flames like "Archmage sucks, or Archmage isn't viable".

    I have proven its viablity with hours of in-game play (Questing, MFing andrushing) and although it doesn't kill as fast as a single elemental cookie cutter, it is, in my opinion, a more well rounded, and enjoyable build for PVM against single/dual immunes and act bosses.

    THIS IS NOT A PVP Build.

    I will admit up front to you all, that my build may be even more viable if skills are switched to FO/CL/Meteor as FO may be better than Blizzard in a build that CANNOT leverage synergies.

    Also in order to create this build, you will have to devote some time just leveling, during your questing, especially earlier on, as filing prerequisite skills reduces your killing capability until about level 40.

    I selected Blizz/CL/meteor as the primary attacks and at lvl 83 she seems to be working quite well.

    The only drawbacks to the Archmage is the dependancy on the following;

    1) Good (+ Skills and res) equipment
    2) Max block, and a very good shield (Mosers/upgraded Viscer)
    3) A defiance merc raised from Act 2 Normal and equiped and maintained through out the game.

    Before we get to the build, you will need to set up your keyboard for fast skill switching. This is very important as you will want to be able to stand firm against dual immunes, but still be able stack other elemental attacks at the same time. Playing this build requires you to adapt your playing style a bit. No more single mouse only attacking/ and teleporting arround immunes.

    Being right handed I set the following on the left hand side of the keyboard and tied these to my right mouse button.

    R = Shiver Armor
    E = Thunder Storm
    W =Telekenisis
    Q = Chain Lightning
    G = Weapong Switch
    F = Meteor
    D = Blizzard
    S = Static Field
    A = Teleport
    Caps Lock = Show Items
    Shift = Stand Still
    Space = Map toggle
    Z,X,C,V I have assigned to non timered skills for fill in attack but use them rarely.

    The typical boss kill goes like this.
    D,D,S,S,S,D,D,F,F,F,F
    At the same time in between right clicks I alternate with left clicks with is set to CL

    Dual Imunes are obvious...use the element that they are not immune to. Special note for FI/CIs Set right mouse to Static, hit continuosly alternate with CL on Left mouse and use merc to deleiver physical damage.

    Now on to the build.

    DISCLAIMER....This build is based on LADDER PLAY, and finding/trading for a particlar set up of items that fill + skills. (some substitutions could be made, but so far it has been tested with the items listed in the Items section.

    Can be of either of the following, depending on play style.
    CL/FO/Meteor
    or
    CL/Blizz/Meteor

    I built the following;
    CL/Blizz/Meteor

    The Stats
    ---------------

    Stats
    Str 103
    Dex 203 (more or less depending on Shield selection)
    Vitality 90
    Energy 118 (everything else goes in here after Max block achieved.)


    The Skills
    ----------------

    Put 0 points in the following
    Hydra, Enchant, Chilling armor, Frozen Orb, Energy Shield

    27 Points in Pre-req for Blizz, CL, and Meteor, including 1 in each mastery
    3 Thunder Storm
    20 Chain Lightning
    7 Lightning Mastery
    20 Meteor
    7 Fire Mastery
    20 Blizzard
    7 Cold Mastery

    Items
    Full Tals Set (Stacked + Skills)
    -- Um in Armor and pTopazed in Mask
    Magefists
    Upgraded Vicser Shield (pDiamond) w 203 dex at lvl 90 Max Block.
    2 x Soj
    Wartravelers

    2nd Slot
    Isted Occy (can be dual isted ali as well)
    Rhymed trolls Nest

    Misc Charms carried at all times
    6 + skill charms (3 each)
    1 Annihilus (Beg borrow, trade, Kill DC but get one)
    1 Gheeds
    4 + 20 Life (preferabley with a good second mod like MF or mana)
    4 7% SMFC with decent 2nd mod.

    Secondary gear (left in stash for NM MF runs only (Andy, Countess, Meph, Big D, and Baal in particule)

    Perfect Chance Guards
    2 x Perfect Nagels
    Goldwrap (could be replaced with Arachnid if + skills still needed...but I haven't exprienced this need so far.)

    The Merc
    Act 2 Normal Defiance
    Always start your merc with your build as you get more out of him.
    His equip.
    Crown of Theives (eth)
    Leviathan (Needs to be swapped with a templar)
    Reapers Toll (needs be swapped with a tomb if 3 socket suggest Mal,Ohm, Ber -- minimum Mal for 1 socket)

    With this set up you get a whopping +13 to all skills, 75 to Lightning/Fire/Cold res. 65 to poison res. Not to mention increases in str/dex/man life. Merc and Shiver armor take your def to 7600+ and with PMH your killing time is greatly reduced.

    Some will argue the choice of the Tal Set vs building from Elite Uniques but the stacking of added bounuses See Below.


    These are the Stacked attributes for the Set Only. There also some stacking from the 2 Soj, wartravs, and Magefists but I don't think that many would argue about the inclusion of these items.

    50% Faster Cast Rate (taken ove teh 65% break point my magefist)

    +20 To Dexterity
    +179 To Mana
    +317 To Life
    Replenish Life +10
    +10 To Energy

    Requirements -80%

    All Resistances +65
    Cold Resist +40%
    Lightning Resist +40%
    Lightning Resist +33%
    Fire Resist +40%


    +655 Defense
    +50 Defense vs. Missile
    25% Faster Hit Recovery
    Magic Damage Reduced By 15
    37% Damage Taken Goes To Mana


    +1-2 To Lightning Mastery
    +1-2 To Fire Mastery
    +1-2 To Cold Mastery
    +6 To Sorceress Skill Levels
    Adds 3-32 Lightning Damage
    -15% To Enemy Fire Resistance (3 Items)
    -15% To Enemy Lightning Resistance (4 Items)
    +15% To Cold Skills Damage (Complete Set)

    168% Better Chance Of Magic Items (varies)

    Cheers!

    I have been using this build for MF running, questing, and rushing with very good sucess. If you have suggestions that would improve teh build pleae let me know.


    Storm
     
  2. mistiquo

    mistiquo IncGamers Member

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    call me old school, but I think FO would be better for low skill point investments instead of blizzard...
    anywayzzz, great guide!
     
  3. melianor

    melianor D3 Wizard Moderator

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    I'd like to hear more about how you lvled and how you madeit throughall the difficulties.
    From 1.09 i have a Tri-Elementalist left who's build like this, and she can stand her gorund in 1.10 Hell and do MF-Runs etc.:

    20 Meteor
    1 Fire Mastery
    20 Charged Bolt
    20 Lightning Mastery
    20 Frozen Orb
    1 Cold Mastery

    Lots of +skills items. Does fine.
    I never thought of splitting up the masteries though and i am not sure if that would workout fine with CB ;)
     
  4. Stormcryer

    Stormcryer IncGamers Member

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    Mistiquo,

    I'm not anti old-school (me like FO too), but when I fisrt started experimenting with the build I used a few my "retired" 1.09 sorcs (all low to mid 90s) that had several different primary attacks. One was and FO/Nova/Hydra, the other was a FO/Nova/Meteor, and one was a Blizzard/Nova/Meteor. (Been tinkering with the Archmage build for a long time now.)

    FO has advantages, and can be argued that in a build that does not leverage synergies, may even, on a per shard basis deal out slightly more damage. (The book stats do not reflect this as they deal mostly with the primary orb and not secondary off shoots from it.)

    However there are limitations with a targeted elemental attack attack that is launched from ground level (FO) when compared to an area elemental attack that is dropped from the sky (Bliz).

    FO limitations are in range and obsticle avoidance. Take the Lost city fo example. There are several "screen decorations" crumbling walls for one, in which FO cannot shoot through. Blizzard can shoot over as log as you have even the most modeset line of sight. Narrow doorways in tunnels, (Lost City, Maggot Lair, Flayer Dungeon, most areas of Act V) limit the effectiveness of FO but not Blizzard.

    And finally there's the range issue. Try to use FO, for example, with the moat method of running meph and you'll see that Blizzard has a better ranged attack and ranged attacking while using your merc for close in physical damage/meat shielding is one of the playing style modifications that and Archmage runner will have to adopt.

    This was not apparent in 1.09, but with the increase of monster resilience (more damage needed to kill, imunities, etc) sorc "tank" builds are not really "tanks" as much as they are "armored cars", better defenses than a non block build, but certainly not as strong as a pure tank sorc from 1.09.

    I know -- I got one. Def is through the roof, blocking with SS also, DR as maxed as you can get with the equipment available. She stood like a pally in cow runs (swarmed to the point where you couldn't see the avatar) dropping meteors until they all died, and took virtually no damage, and no life loss.) She can't do the same in 1.09

    If every level was like the Tamoe Highlands (wide open spaces) then FO strategical limitations would be, for the most part, nullified(with the exception of range) and could then make FO superior to Blizzard for this build.

    To be totally fair, once I'm done playing arround with my current build, I'll make a 1.10 FO/CL/Meteor archmage and see how she plays.

    Thanks for the input.

    Storm
     
  5. Andrew

    Andrew IncGamers Member

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    Actually, If i were to build a tri elementalist, I'd go:

    20 Orb
    10 Fireball
    10 Meteor
    20 Lightning
    5 Cold master
    7 Fire mastery
    7 Lightning mastery

    CI LI = Park monster using teleport leet skillz and spam fireball (or Meteor)at it (Works best with a strong merc.. lol)
    CI FI = Static till half life (referring to hell here) then park monster again and finish off with lightning
    FI LI = Orb... duh =D

    Assuming +10 to all skills, and +2 to each element (6 grand charms, 2 each), damage :

    Frozen Orb slvl 32
    Cold Damage: 445-466

    Lightning slvl 32
    Lightning Damage: 4-2649

    Meteor slvl 22
    Fire Damage: 4075-4321
    Average Fire Damage: 713-771 per second

    Fire Ball slvl 22
    Fire Damage: 1479-1667
     
  6. Stormcryer

    Stormcryer IncGamers Member

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    Melianor,

    First off let me say that I was constantly tweaking the weapons I carried. I generally carried what ever good orb I could find/buy with a shield (blocking was started right from the get go) in weapon one, and kept the better weapon for a sorc (in normal) some + individual skills staff in weapon two. I would then to the weapon switch for really tough situations. So this is outside of the box????--Hardly.
    I also maintained a stock of these staffs, as I found them, and would, if necessary retreat from a fight to switch off to these should the one I was carrying not give me the hit power that I needed at the time.

    Also, once Blood Raven went down you get your first merc. She is probably the most useless one you can have for this build, but after I got her, I would use her as a distraction. Run in tight to crowds, which she would follow, run like heck back to a decent range, while the nasties were hammering on her, and then let go with the ranged attack. (Ice Bolt followed by fire bolt.) Had to revive her a bit, but I didn't get killed and gold can always be obtained.

    Here's how I built her.

    Skills
    -------

    As you level up while questing in act 1, you concentrate on filling in all the pre-reqs. This gives you some variety of attacks, but not one or two "really strong" attacks. Static becomes a necessity to take out the quest bosses, and Andy. One finer point to remember, especially in the early stages of the game; this is a questing build.... so quest fully. After I completed act one and act two, you could walk through the screens and all you would see would be corpses. Every killable creature was eliminated. Every chest opened (its content used or taken back to town and sold potions aside). Not only did I build up my cash reserve this way, but also found better equipment that went to help increase blocking, def, and even some decent (for the level) + skills.

    Remember that CL is available from lv 18, where Blizz and Meteor are lvl 24, so you can see where, as far as the primary skills are concerned the build starts off as a CL build with CL being the primary attack and using a variety of the pre-reqs as a secondary attack. (Ice Bolt, Fire Bolt, etc). Once you hit lvl 24, the other primary skill have to be brought up to the same level as your current CL, and then they're balanced from that point on.

    Everyone talks about how Blizzard, the company, introduced synergies to compensate for the increase in monster strength. The idea was that you didn't have to save up skill points in the early stages of the game as you could place the points into synergy skills for the target primary skill and keep your build viable. Normal monsters have not been beefed up greatly. This means that the whole idea of beefing up your sorc in Normal by applying points into synergy skills for your primary skill is actually wrong. All you end up doing is placing points into inferior skills early on, and denying those needed points at level 24, and lvl 30 (masteries). So to sum this up, don't use synergies for the Archmage build. Adapt your play in Normal mode to allow you to "set" your base build up and then stock the heck out of them from lvl 24 on. Once they're maxed worth on Masteries.

    Note about warmth. Many sorc items found have a + to this skill. I found many staff and orbs that had multiple + to individual skills, and leveraged these as much as possible.

    It takes 27 points to set the pre-req base. Which means that by lvl 24, you should have be through Act 4 Normal, have base established, and are starting into maxing your primary skills.

    After lvl 24, I basically tried to keep the skill evenly distributed, but I found that it Blizz, and Meteor developed faster as the need for a more powerful punch was realized. Also by this time my merc was strong enough to do most of the hard tanking and that allowed me to distribute more into the timed skills. All three skills were evened out (Maxed) by lvl82.

    Stat Points

    I early allocation of stat points required a little research on the items I was going to use; both intermittent, and final. As I did not need to fill in strength until I was to use the Tal Set, and Trolls Nest (lvl 65 - 70), the item that required the most strength (107), I concentrated on Energy, Vit, Dex then Strength. The first two sets of 5 went directly into Energy to get the mana built up a bit. The next set went into Strength for equipment, the next set into Vit; the next set went into Dex.

    Being an experienced player, I knew that the first five levels are not difficult to obtain, nor are you really pressured enough to warrant distributing points over all stats.

    After this, I allocated based on the next set item I wanted to use, the target for blocking, and the manpower I would need. So it went kind of like this.

    Strength 1
    Dexterity 2
    Vitality 1
    Energy 1

    Once vit was at lvl 90, its point went into strength.
    Once strength was at 107, its points went into either Dex or energy depending on where max block was. This was just a guideline though.

    If I found a particular item that needed more strength, for example), I would distribute toward it and make up for the change in the next set. (TIP - I kept a print out of the build including item requirements as it progressed so I could manage the build better.)

    Leveling was done as per a level up guide found in the Diablii.net Strategy compendium. It details which act, in which mode, based on char level that you should use to level and get 99% of the exp points possible from each kill.

    After Act 3 NM was completed, I found that I was able to run Norm and NM MF runs. (NM being the Act 1, and 2 areas only.) These areas also allowed me to level up a bit while trying to find some decent items.)

    After completing NM, I hung around in Act 4 and 5 leveling for a few levels, and also MF ran NM meph, and Andy, Countess.

    By the time I hit hell I was lvl 68 or so. I have dug deep into some of my non-ladder mules and chars, to trade for ladder items. (Won't go into this. The cost was high, and I'm still in denial, but I did finally get the base set of items I needed)

    Once outfitted with the Tal Set, and my viscer, I started to take on Hell. Stopping at the end of each act to do MF runs, and level at least one extra level per Act.

    On MF runs
    -------------
    You will never find the type of unique items that you need in Normal. But there are plenty of yellow, and blue items. I found a 2-socketed yellow chain mail, which at lvl 18 I sank 2 ptopazes into. This with a few yellow and blue rings, gloves, belt, gave me 100% mf by lvl 18. This equipment was not used during questing, but rather on specific low level MF runs through Normal and NM.

    Theses runs yielded a vipermaji, soj, magefist, that ended up being a major key to overall success of the build.

    MFing was also done for a wile after the completion of each act, and each mode. I had stopped the questing to do NM and Hell MF runs (pits meph, andy, countess) to see if she could handle basic MFing. This was to done to ensure that even of she couldn't finish the solo run in Hell, she would still be a useful char, Otherwise...delete. She worked out well...no delete.


    That’s basically how she was built.

    I am sure there were tones of places that I could have done better, but I was also enjoying this as it was my first ladder build, and really the first time I've on-line quested since the 1.10 patch. Building was slow compared to the cookie cutters, but I was doing this for enjoyment and to prove that it could be done, so I was in no real rush to finish. The building to me is as enjoyable as the end product.


    Cheers!

    Storm
     
  7. Stormcryer

    Stormcryer IncGamers Member

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    Fireball may be a bit of a waste as maxing Meteor gets more powerful punch(than synergy bonus), and FB is only really useful for lower levels. This can be worked around by adapting playing style.

    Good points though. And yes the merc is a key element to the build. Junk merc = less tanking ability = sorc death. death very bad...LOL

    Storm
     
  8. melianor

    melianor D3 Wizard Moderator

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    Just for the sake of optimizing the damage of your build Stormcryer, since i am tempted to try it out.

    You would be better of doing the skill distribution this way:
    Then you will get optimum damage! Calculation is based on +12 skills, which should fit on your build if added all the +skills right or was that +9 skillercharms (3 each) ? You wrote 6 which would make 2 each alas +12 skills and not +13
    Mind you this is just the perfectionist mind speaking!


    with +12(fire +13) skills:
    --------------------------------
    7 Fireball
    20 Meteor
    1 Fire Mastery (gives highest possible damage Meteor that way)

    Meteor damage
    5752.1-6002.8 opposed to
    5324.1-5556.1

    +450 dam is not bad i think ;)
    --------------------------------
    Lightning
    20 Chain Lightning
    Lightning Mastery

    Chain Lighting dam:
    3.9-1888.3 opposed to
    3.9-1871.2

    ok this is not a big winner, but still a wee bit more. again just the perfectionist mind speaking :teeth:
    --------------------------------
    20 Frozen Orb
    7 CM

    Nothing much to change here ;)
    Though personally i would move the +6 points from CM to LM or FM to give either of those some extra damage. Since you have 2 backup spells CM is nice but more than +1 would be overkill. You are not single or dual tree.
    So i gather that CM can be neglected a bit since you have +12 skills already which is close to the -100% res of lvl18 CM.

    So you might gain +450 damage on Meteor with a different skill distribution!

    P.S.: Used this nice tool for damage calculation -> http://stud4.tuwien.ac.at/~e9325732/skillcalc.html
     
  9. Stormcryer

    Stormcryer IncGamers Member

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    Melianor,

    I did a review of the build, and forgot to mention that the first build was based on taking the char to lvl 93 (skill points 104). If you invest the time to go to full 99, then there are 110 points.

    Your notes help quite abit

    Revamped Cold tree
    7 Glacial Spike
    20 Blizz
    4 CM
    5 in Pre reqs
    0 in Chilling Armor and FO
    = Blizz Damage 1906 - 1996
    -100 % Monster Cold resist


    Revamped Fire tree
    9 Fire Ball
    20 Meteor
    1 in prereqs
    0 in Hydra
    = Meteor Damage 6391-6669

    Revamped Lightning Tree
    20 CL
    9 in LM
    3 TS for early game assistance while soloing
    1 in pre-reqs
    0 in Eshield
    = CL Damage 4 -2143

    Here's the calc that I used but maybe I screwed it up at the beginning. I found this one a little more intuative than the one you posted.

    http://66.98.154.13/skills.html

    Thanks for the FB. There's not too many of us Archmage builders out there so hearing from someone who actuallt builds them vs the other that just cry "it won't work" is very helpful to finalizing the build.

    Thanks again

    Storm
     
  10. melianor

    melianor D3 Wizard Moderator

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    Welcome Stormcryer, likely returned :D

    I guess there is always a way. A Tri-Elementalist is certainly no cooki-cutter, but it can survive Hell with the right gear. +skills mainly and maybe also some nice facets :D to add more to the effectiveness of Tal's Orb.

    Maybe also using Death Fathom and other gear that adds -xx% res and +xx% dam will help.

    I think i will rebuild my

    Meteor/CB/FO sorc maybe with your suggestion of CL.

    Maximising effectiveness of your spells to the highest possible damage is just aswellimportant in that build. You could get more +skills with a different setup but you would lack, life, res and the -/+ extras then.

    my 1.09 trielementalist uses shako, occy and the lot with rather low res and ES still from way back, but i used to lvl her in 1.10 without much problem.

    I rebuild will do fine :D Thx to you too for posting yoyur thoughts!
     
  11. travismcgee

    travismcgee IncGamers Member

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    I am currently experimenting with a FO/CL/FW build...everything said on equipment will fit her as well, but i chose FW as 3rd attack because i think the tradeoff in damage for the invested skillpoints is quite satisfying (fire is only a backup for the CI/LI, main dmg is CL).

    She handles quite well in act5 hell now at lvl83, although she really has to be careful - i would think it is definately a viable tri-elementalist build.

    just my 2 c.
     
  12. Stormcryer

    Stormcryer IncGamers Member

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    The main variants that I have noticed since posting the build, are

    FO/CL/FW
    FO/CL/FB
    FO/Cl/Meteor
    Blizz/CL/FW
    Blizz/CL/FB
    Blizz/CL/Meteor (my build)

    Stats points don't seemd to be a big debate.
    Max Block appears to be a requirement.
    + skills from items (no brainer here)

    So I guess I've got my work cut out for me for teh next littel while testing variants, that is unless some other Archmage buolder wants to take on one of these, post teh skills build and let me know the viability....

    Melianor, Travismcgee, Andrew, Mistiquo?????

    I'll admit. my goal is to prove to the nay sayers that the Archmage in all of her variants, is viable.

    Just because so many say she isn't...LOL

    Volunteers??
     
  13. melianor

    melianor D3 Wizard Moderator

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    Other variants for more LIghtning damage

    FB/L/FO
    FW/L/FO
    ......
    mainly exchange CL for L
    L is powerful!
    with my pure Lightning sorc i switch alot to Lightning, even for Mobs.

    FB seems rather scary, to get around 5k damage you would have to get synergy from Meteor, which you dont! Otherwise you can just aswell start building a Meteorb. I think the damage of a FB with just some synergies and the rest of damage from +skills in mastery is a bit too low:

    20 Fireball
    7 Meteor
    1 Fire Mastery
    12 +skills

    1705.4-1870.7 damage
    Thats moderate damage and could work out!

    Blizzard builds can definitly work especially with FB, since DB has a slight stun effect , which can keep monsters in place.

    In 8-player Baalruns you get to be more of a supporter, but from my experience, even with my lvl90 Meteorb, all i do in Baalruns is Teleport down to the corner of the Throneroom and then when the minions appear i static them to half for the others and fire inbetween. But after Static i dont think its me doing the most damage :)
    So you playing Archmage in Hell 8-player will really not be noticed too much.

    Having to spammers FB/CL will put a higher drain on your mana aswell, which one should keep in mind. Maybe save some points for energy ;)

    I will try soem of the builds. I am sick of Frozen Orb, so maybe FW/L/BLizzard, since i have been using Meteor for too long aswell.

    Thats very nice damage. Maybe even just put 1 point giving 5666.3-5718.1 damage and then focus more on Lightning Mastery for CL or L.

    Proposed build for the Archmage i have already started.
    20FW
    1 FM
    20 Lightning
    6 CB/Cl +1prereq
    14 LM
    20 Blizzard
    1 CM

    1 Warmth
    1 Static Field
    1 Telekinesis
    1 Teleport

    points needed:
    86 + (just) 7(8) prereqs :D
    93(94) points and the builds is finished at lvl81(82) thats not much, so i usually play til lvl90, which means i can invest more in synergies/masteries afterwards.
    probably CM and even more into CB/CL for synergy.

    I'd socket Fire/Lightning/Cold Facets into Orb/Mask/Armor from Tal's Set and stick with an upg Visceratuant with Pdiamond for extra res.

    Rings: Ravenfrost/SOJ
    Will need to get some Skillers though, i have NONE

    Damage at lvl82 with Masteries from Tal's Orb and -xx%res not calculated:
    FW: 6025.4-6080.5
    L: 7-4377.4
    Blizzard: 1437.5-1507.6
    +13 skills fire/+12 skills elsewhere. So without the Skillers this will drop though... *goes shopping*

    I dont think thats too bad for a Tri-Build at all :)
    I'll report later....
     
  14. travismcgee

    travismcgee IncGamers Member

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    I feel the same way about the issue...the Archmage was my favorite build since I started D2 and I definately believe she is viable in more than one variant...I am at the office now and I have another job to take care of but hopefully I will find time to go through my build on the weekend and give you some detailed information about skill distribution and equipment used on monday.
     
  15. King's Specter

    King's Specter IncGamers Member

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    I'd almost be tempted to trade the visc in on a good old stormy. You can use the +str on the item to keep it equipped, so the str investment wouldn't be terrible.

    Another interesting option that I can't try is the medusa's gaze shield. If you're going to tank, you'll set off that lower resist curse. That should REALLY beef up your damage output!

    Have you considered holy freeze? I've have very good luck with it on my other builds. The defiance would have to cut your chances of being hit in half to match the HF benefit. HF also helps keep you from getting locked when surrounded.

    -KS
     
  16. melianor

    melianor D3 Wizard Moderator

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    Personally i'd never go for Storm. Without Storm i ahve never had a problem at all, that i would say, "oh dear i cannot live without 35%dr". I have used Visceratuant upg. allt he time on my max-block builds and it does just.
    I dunno why people would change this when they have no problem with there current blocking shield?!

    Did you read the str req on Medusa's gaze?!?! -> 219 Str!!!
    10% is rather low, 33% like Decrepify on Reapers would be nice.

    Which Merc to choose, i have tried Defiance, Holy Freeze and Might and i did fine with any of those. Remeber you are using Block here, and you should not get surrounded and if the escape with a decent FCR (63%+).

    From my experience i did not see to much difference in any of those mercs.
    Defiance can simply tank longer and so draw the crowd.

    HOly Freeze: Same here but different tactic, freezing adn so slowing groups, and so able to tank longer too

    Might: Damage of a Might Merc iis just insane compared to the other 2. He tears through bosses while you stand back and stun/knockback those bosses with Telekinesis.

    I guess choosing your Merc is more a matter of playstyle preference.
     
  17. Hashmalum

    Hashmalum IncGamers Member

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    I had a real pimp 09 Tri-elementalist who was also my very first clvl 99 ever.
    She had max Frozen orb, 1 in cold master, max tstorm and lit master, and the rest were split up between hydra/fire mastery. I think I had like base lvl 16/17 hydra/mastery or something like that. Anyways, with gear I had all these skills at 30+ easily and she worked very good especially cow running. I think my orb was around 500 dmg, hydra around 1k, and tstorm was well over 2k. Orb/storm/hydra work good together. Was a great char, would be nice if they still owned 1.10
     
  18. wangboBW

    wangboBW IncGamers Member

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    cool idea, i think it would be kind of hard in the new hell, since your attacks won't be doing as much damage. but i geuss it should be fun to use.
     
  19. Stormcryer

    Stormcryer IncGamers Member

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    Melianor,
    I agree that playing style can be a derermining factor in merc selection, but IMHO the Defiance merc offers the best bonus to the archmage build. Even as a big fan of the archmage build, I have to admit that the build does have a reduced killing capacity, when compared to a single tree or double tree build.

    Tanking (max block) is the one thing that allows the build to work to its full capacity. The ability to stand tough and afford the extra time for the reduced attack has to kill, IMO is paramount.

    With this in mind, building a dependable Defiance merc gives the sorc so much more def that it outwieghes(sp) slowing (freezing merc,) the monsters or having the merc kill faster (might merc).

    With my current archmage, she sits at 3600 def before defiance is active. ONce4 merc's defianc is active she hits 7K. IMO that def bonus is more important.

    But then again, as you said, it depends on playing style.

    Hashmalum,
    Very interesting, I never really thought of using just TS in the archmage as it is a "start and ignore" skill and cannot be aimed. I have always thogh of the archmage build as "heads up" playing build where targeting and skill switching was factored in. You've given me something new to look. Thanks.
     
  20. WitchCoven

    WitchCoven IncGamers Member

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    I would have to agree with a Defiance merc, if for no other reason than now in 1.10 it is possible to get the runeword that affords the merc Holy Freeze also (DOOM???).

    My favorite Archmage build from 1.09 was a Meteor/FO/TStorm build, with base energy, max block DR with storm, and all spare points into VIT, with tons of + skills. BTW, I only play PvM.

    The reason why I liked TStorm was 1) because of the fire and forget targeting, and 2) it was my back-up spell against FI/CIs. Therefore, once I eliminated their minions, the TStorm would hit 1+ times a second on the FI/CI boss. Everything else besides the FI/CIs I would take out with either Meteor or FO, so I didn't need a strong third attack. At all other times, TStorm did passive damage, picking off strays, while I could concentrate on dropping meteors on the packs or flooding the screen with FO.

    Obviously, I still play her in 1.10, and although I can see decrease in her power, she is still able to take on hell (even in 8 player games). But the delayed one shot TStorm on some of the FI/CI bosses is barely able to counter their regen. In those cases, the merc along with Telekinesis (to help keep them stunned) helps alot.

    After reading some of the posts here, I am beginning to think about the CL route, maybe giving Blizzard a try, and letting my back-up third spell be FW as someone mentioned. Decent damage per second, and you will really only need it against the LI/CI bosses.

    I have also been tinkering with the idea of mixing the Energy Shield, base VIT, max Energy build with an Archmage build... Basically I was thinking about max Meteor, max Fire Mastery, Max FO, CM, 1+ TS, 1(+) LM, 1 ES, 16-20 TK, with 6-10 Light Skill Charms to boost the ES and TS.

    Anyway, looking forward to hearing more ideas from the group as we keep striving for the ultimate Archmage build (if there is such a thing).

    WitchCoven
     

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