The Executress - an approach of Enchant sorceresses

Diabolic Apom

Diabloii.Net Member
The Executress - an approach of Enchant sorceresses

The Executress – an approach of Enchant sorceresses, by Apom
A printable version, in Word format, can be found here.

update: 15th, November, 2004 21:15 CET, meli



Foreword:

This guide is designed essentially to present my vision of Enchant sorceresses, and is based on personal experience with one I made. So, what is an “Executress� Perhaps you’ll be surprised, but it is not a support character. It is not a spell casting sorceress with additional points in Enchant either. An Executress is an entirely functional and battle-ready melee sorceress, who can prove very efficient against any monster type if you play her skilfully. You have been warned.



Concept:

You could theoretically build an Executress with any weapon type, since she has no masteries like the Barbarian or dedicated skills like the Amazon. However, I will focus entirely on two-handed axes. Why two-handed axes? First, they are by far the best melee weapons a Sorceress can use. Indeed, Sorceresses have a kind of hidden speed bonus for two-handed axes, mauls and polearms. However, the best runeword you can use with an Executress is axe and sword only, so we’re stuck with axes. Without much effort, you can reach high attack speeds, and I mean really high – only multiple-attack skills, such as Zeal or Fury, can hit faster without sacrificing efficiency. Second, Sorceresses look cool with big axes. Third, and that should already be enough, no one uses axes, so you can have some great ones for almost nothing.



Skill points:

This is where you decide what path your Executress will take. First, the mandatory skills:

20 Enchant (else you’re reading the wrong guide)
20 Fire Mastery (did I mention Enchant is a fire skill?)
20 Warmth (this is the one and only synergy to Enchant)
20 Lightning Mastery (more in the equipment part)
1 Cold Mastery (same as above)
1 Static Field (only used in melee, so you don’t need more than one point)
1 Teleport (unless you are going to equip her with an Enigma armor)
1 Fire Bolt, 1 Fire Ball, 1 Telekinesis (prerequisites)

You should get all of these before doing anything else, which brings you to around level 75. Once it is done, you essentially have three choices, and I think they are all interesting. Let’s see what your options are.

The Offender path: complete your offensive abilities by maxing Cold Mastery. This will render the cold part of your attacks even more efficient and is the one that makes the Executress the most distant from a spell caster, since Enchant and Static Field will be your only spell (prerequisites aside). Complete by level 94.

The Defender path: this uses the cold tree armor spells to increase your defense. Pick one and max it (the synergies aren’t worth it). Chilling Armor is basically useless, so you can chose Shiver Armor for best defense or Frozen Armor to save three skill points. The freezing effect is practically unexisting in Hell difficulty, so don’t worry about improving it. You are done by level 95 or 98 (depending on the armor you chose).

The Heavens path: if you want to add extra punch to your attack, using Thunder Storm is another way. This is the path I have personally chosen. Since your Lightning Mastery is already at its maximum, your Thunder Storm will be at its highest potential. Nova, Charged Bolt, Lightning and Chain Lightning are prerequisites (Static Field as well, but you need it regardless), so this path achieves completion at level 99. The ultimate challenge.



Stat points:

How you will spend you stat points is relatively up to you, and highly depends on your play style. Here are some guidelines.

Strength: basically, just what you need to use your equipment. However, since this build has little to no damage bonus, putting extra points in Strength is a possibility, up to 250 for example.
Dexterity: you generally do not need much, since Enchant provides a huge attack bonus and you will probably use a Raven Frost. Staying at the minimum requirements for your gear is not recommended though, unless you can compensate through bonuses from your equipment.
Vitality: anything left.
Energy: nothing. Remember, the Executress is a melee fighter.



Equipment:

This is where the interesting part begins. So, you have decided to play an Executress, chosen a path and are now wondering, “What do I equip her with?†Well, I have some answers, but first let me give a precision: this part will be cut in two. I will first give some general advice, and then focus on what equipment you should use around a particular weapon.



Equipment – generalities:


Primary weapon:

Low-end: while you are still levelling, all unique two-handed axes are decent, and even a magical one bought in a shop can prove efficient.

Mid-end: once you’ve reached sufficient level and stats, you can use elite axes, and even the rarest ones are worth nearly nothing for the reason I stated in the foreword.
Hellslayer has insane max damage, but ridiculously low speed.
Messerchmidt’s Reaver, Executioner’s Justice and Ethereal Edge are all good choices.
If you can’t find any of these, try to find a cruel elite weapon, you shouldn’t need much more if you play in parties.
If you’re into runewords, Passion is relatively interesting, allows you to use Berserk or Zeal (though these skills are quite useless at level one) and is cheap (it is written DolOrtEldLem), but its “makes monsters flee†mod is severely annoying.

High-end: other than an impossible rare with massive damage and speed bonuses, only runewords are left.
Kingslayer: this is my absolute favourite, more on it in the second part.
Breath of the Dying: not for the poor man. Nothing can beat it on pure physical damage and speed, although you will only be able to count on your fire damage (and possibly Thunder Storm) to defeat physical immunes. And come on, that Poison Nova thing is pathetic.
Beast: one more highly expensive word. Its massive damage, Fanaticism aura, and ability to turn you into a bear (which is almost as good as giving you an attack skill), make it the most powerful weapon available for this build. Now, it is your problem if you want to forsake your graceful brunette looks for those of a stupid bear.


Weapon switch: you should normally use it for pre-buffing, which means casting a spell with long duration and then returning to your main weapon. A simple choice is a staff (or orb coupled with a shield giving +1 to all skills) with extra Enchant and/or Fire Mastery (which can be improved with the Leaf or Memory runewords), but you can also have one of the ice armors, especially if you don’t naturally have these skills (the duration will be quite short however).
Having Thunder Storm on weapon switch is absolutely useless if you don’t naturally have the skill (both damage and duration are close to zero), and Energy Shield will cause more harm than anything else.
If you can afford it, the Call to Arms runeword is the perfect weapon switch. Use a shield with +1 to all skills along to get the most out of it.
Armor: anything useful for a melee character. Nothing beats Shaftstop if you have limited means (if you are utterly poor, try Corpsemourn, Griswold’s Heart or the Lionheart or Smoke runewords). If you’re richer, any unique/set elite armor (except Ormus…) will fit, as well as the Stone or Prudence runewords (the latter should of course be used in an ethereal armor). For those who have items to spare, Enigma is nice and will save you two skill points, but Chains of Honor is even better. The Executress is also one of the rare builds who can make good use of Tyrael’s Might.


Helm: once again, anything useful for a melee character. This includes life leech (Crown of Thieves…), damage reduction (Vampire Gaze…), increased attack speed (Stealskull…), or simply good defense and resistances (Veil of Steel…). The rich ones will appreciate the power of Andariel’s Visage. In any case, you should put jewels with attack speed and/or % damage bonuses on these helms.
Two helms are worth a special note: Kira’s Guardian, which is definitely impossible to beat on the looks part. A Sorceress with her hair free, especially when it jumps around while you’re fighting, is a beautiful sight. What’s more, the colossal resistance bonus on it is far from useless.
Another interesting helm is the Delirium runeword. This is a very powerful item, alas with a major counterpart which makes it almost always unusable: the Bone Puppet transformation. However, if you do not use Kingslayer or Passion and hence don’t have an attack skill, this is not a problem for you. There’s also a hidden bonus on it: people will think you’re a H4X0R when you’re transformed.


Gloves: classic choices again. The set gloves with 20%IAS are all nice, pick whichever you prefer (Magnus’ Skin, Laying of Hands, Sander’s Taboo). Your powerful Enchant can not be overridden by the one from Lava Gout, so you can use these, but the set gloves are more powerful and you can cost infinitely less. You could also go for Sigon’s Gage or the Immortal King’s Forge, but you will need another piece of the set to complement them (preferably boots).
If you don’t need the extra attack speed, Dracul’s Grasp (for life leech) or Steelrend (for extra damage) are interesting choices, though they are costlier.
A middle-ground choice is Bloodfist. These give life, much-needed faster hit recovery (30 %!), some +5 minimum damage, and 10%IAS. IF you don’t need the extra IAS from set gloves, you shouldn’t hesitate to use these.
Overall, the best gloves for an Executress are probably rare ones with 20%IAS and +3% life leech – plus any other mod that adds some spice.


Belt: the basic choice is a belt with good defense properties. An upgraded Nightsmoke will give you +10 to all resistances, but nothing else. If you have other items from the set, Immortal King’s Detail is attractive too. Finally, Verdungo’s Hearty Cord will considerably boost vitality, defense and damage reduction.
While you may find these good enough, I think you really should use a belt with life leech. A String of Ears gives damage reduction, but Nosferatu’s Coil adds attack speed, so the choice is entirely yours.


Boots: not much to say. You can go for set boots (Immortal King’s Pillar is nice, especially if you have the gauntlets too, and Aldur’s advance is almost as good), or virtually any unique ones (Threads of Cthon, Goblin Toe, Waterwalk, War Travelers, Sandstorm Trek are worth noting). The best choice is probably Tearhaunch for resistance bonuses or Gore Riders for extra punch.


Amulet: if you want attack speed, try Cat’s Eye. If you want life leech, then an Eye of Etlich is what you need. For resistances, your options are the Mahim-Oak Curio, Saracen’s Chance or even Mara’s Kaleidoscope. You could also use Angelic Wings if you lack attack rating (you will need the ring from the set in this case).
If you can pay the price, the absolute best choices here are Highlord’s Wrath, Metalgrid or a powerful rare/crafted amulet with life leech, resistance bonuses, etc.


Rings: if you don’t have the “can not be frozen†mod on your armor (Tyrael’s Might or Gladiator’s Bane), playing without a Raven Frost is unthinkable.
If you lack attack rating, Angelic Halo gives massive amounts of it, but requires you to use the amulet, which isn’t extremely useful in itself (though it certainly isn’t useless) – a Raven Frost won’t give you as much, but will save your amulet slot, so using two Raven Frosts is a possibility.
If you don’t have Tyrael’s Might (which is probable…), the “slain monsters rest in peace†mod from Nature’s Peace can be useful.
In most cases however, what you will want on your ring is life leech. Bul Kathos’ Wedding band is not a good idea, since the skill bonus is almost useless to you, the relatively low life leech isn’t compensated by the life bonus, and its price is outrageous. A Carrion Wind is really better, if you can bear the poison novas. If you can’t find one, Cathan’s Seal is fine anyway.
The best ring you could use would be a rare/crafted one with life leech, resistance bonuses, and other useful mods (life, strength, dexterity…).



Equipment – around Kingslayer

You have finally listened to the voice of reason (me :D) and decided to make yourself a Kingslayer axe. What do you gain from it? First and foremost, +1 to Vengeance, which will provide you with an attack skill – and a good one. This is why you need to max Fire Mastery (used for Enchant anyway), Lightning Mastery, and possibly Cold Mastery (if you follow the Offender path): because these masteries apply to Vengeance’s elemental damage. In addition, Vengeance gives some extra attack rating bonus (though 20% aren’t of much use since you already have 200% from Enchant), as well as -25% target defense, which is quite interesting. Crushing blow, open wounds and prevent monster heal are of use too.

So, you have all the required runes (Mal Um Gul Fal), and your first question should be, “what do I stick them in?†Obviously, you are going to use a four-socket elite axe. Any of them can have four sockets, and none is absolutely better than the others, so I’ll give some indications to help you decide.
  • Feral axe: highest strength requirements, but no dexterity requirements at all. Its max damage is good, but the min damage is pathetic. It is the fastest of all two-handed axes, and obviously the one with lowest average damage.
  • Silver-Edged Axe: highest total requirements and highest min damage, with average speed. Probably the most balanced of all. This is the one I chose.
  • Decapitator: high strength requirements, but low dexterity. It has highest max damage and highest average damage, but is slow.
  • Champion axe: another well-balanced weapon, with good speed and correct damage.
  • Glorious axe: lowest requirements overall. It is a slow weapon: its speed is the same as the Decapitator, but its average damage is just one point under (there is less spread however). This one has unique looks, with an enormous white blade that looks cool on Druids or Barbarians but which I find excessive on a Sorceress.
We’ll now get into technicalities. If you’re not much into them, just make Kingslayer in a Silver-Edged Axe and skip the part below.

What you should know before we continue is the concept of breakpoints. Depending on the weapon, there will be different breakpoints at which you will reach a higher attack speed. For example, if the 10FPA breakpoint is reached for 63%IAS (one FPA = one Frame Per Attack, the lower the better; there are 25 frames in one second so one frame is 0.04 second; IAS = Increased Attack Speed), it means that you will hit at 11FPA if you have 62%IAS or below and 10FPA if you have 63%IAS or above.

First, let’s see a table of speed breakpoints for all of these axes, which I created with data from DiabloII.ingame.de (note the IAS indicated in this table is the IAS you have outside of your weapon, so your actual IAS is 30 + indicated IAS).


Code:
Base weapon	                14 FPA	13 FPA	12 FPA	11 FPA	10 FPA	9 FPA
Feral axe			                        base	12%	45%
Champion axe			                 	base	22%	59%
Silver-Edged axe			        base	18%	45%	95%
Decapitator / Glorious axe	base	2%	18%	40%	75%	144%
Note that it is impossible, under any circumstances, to get under 9FPA with a normal attack (Vengeance has the same speed as a normal attack). You can notice that most of these breakpoints are easily attainable, with only three of them which you may chose not to reach in order not to sacrifice your other abilities: 75% and 95% will require a bit of effort, but not that much, and 144% is a special one which can prove very interesting.


Now that we’ve seen this, let’s see what you should use with different axes. For each combination, I will propose optimal equipment depending on your budgetary restrictions, though I assume you aren’t utterly poor either (Kingslayer, while not really expensive, isn’t really cheap either).


Feral Axe: this is pointless. You will need 45% IAS, but with 45% IAS, a Silver-Edged Axe deals more damage over time, has better single-hit average damage and a much higher min damage (which I find slightly more important than max damage).


Champion Axe: this is pointless again. A Silver-Edged Axe with 45% IAS will deal more damage over time than a Champion Axe with 59% IAS, with also more damage per hit.


Silver-Edged Axe: as I mentioned earlier, this is probably the most balanced weapon, in particular if you use it with 45% IAS.

Poor man’s gear: Lionheart runeword in any elite armor (try finding one with 450+ defense), Rockstopper helm with a Shael, perfect ruby or jewel with resistances or %enhanced damage, Immortal King’s Pillar (boots) and Immortal King’s Forge (gauntlets), any String of Ears, Cat’s Eye, any Raven Frost, Cathan’s Seal.

If you are richer, things can become quite interesting. You should get all the IAS you need from your gloves, helm and amulet. The first way is to use any of the set gloves with 20% IAS (or better yet, rare gloves with 20% IAS and some life leech) and a Stealskull socketed with a 15% IAS jewel (if possible with some %ED), which you can complement with an Eye of Etlich or Saracen’s Chance. The second way is to use Immortal King’s Forge (you must also use the boots in that case) with Cat’s Eye or Highlord’s Wrath; two very good helms to use with these is Vampire Gaze or Kira’s Guardian (Crown of Thieves or Rockstopper are good choices too).
The rest of your equipment is pretty straightforward. Have a good String of Ears, Tearhaunch or Gore Riders as boots (Immortal King’s Pillar, Waterwalk or Sandstorm Trek are almost as good), a Raven Frost with a Carrion Wind (two Raven Frosts if you really lack attack rating, but remember that Kingslayer gives -25% target defense so you shouldn’t need much), and any decent armor such as the Stone runeword or a good Shaftstop (if you are going to use Shaftstop on the long term, socket it with a jewel with at least 20% ED).

If you have virtually unlimited means, the following equipment will allow you to bring the Executress to maximum efficiency within this weapon/IAS combination: Andariel’s Visage and Tyrael’s Might (both socketed with a 15% IAS jewel with extra %ED), Dracul’s Grasp or Steelrend, upgraded String of Ears, upgraded Tearhaunch or Gore Riders, Metalgrid, two Carrion Winds (better yet, rare/crafted rings with life leech and + to all resists). If you find Tyrael’s Might is for losers (which is false), you can use a Leviathan.


Silver-Edged Axe, part two: the other possibility is to try and reach 95% IAS. This effectively increases your speed by 11%, without sacrificing much power, and is probably the best combination available without overexpensive gear.

The standard gear for this includes Stealskull with a 15% IAS jewel, Cat’s Eye or Highlord’s Wrath, Shaftstop with a 15% IAS jewel, Immortal King’s Forge and Pillar, Nosferatu’s Coil (if you are poor, Goldwrap will provide you with the required 10% IAS but lacks the life leech), a Raven Frost and a Carrion Wind (or second Raven Frost).

If you are richer, you will only use Highlord’s Wrath (not Cat’s Eye), use Andariel’s Visage instead of Stealskull (which will allow you to replace Nosferatu’s Coil with a String of Ears) and use some elite armor instead of Shafstop (Leviathan, Tyrael’s Might, Templar’s Might come to mind).


Decapitator / Glorious Axe: I won’t detail the 40% IAS breakpoint, it is basically the same as the 45% one with Silver-Edged axes (except that you can replace the Immortal King boots and gauntlets with 20% IAS gloves and boots of your choice). It deals a bit less damage over time, but achieves better damage per hit.

The same roughly goes for the 75% IAS breakpoint. Once you have Immortal King’s Forge and Pillar, plus two 15% IAS jewels on your helm and armor, the only real difference you can make with the Silver-Edged Axe comes from your belt, amulet and helm: since you only need 20% IAS from them and not 40%, your choice is wider. Essentially, you can use Vampire Gaze, Rockstopper or Kira’s Guardian with String of Ears and Cat’s Eye or Highlord’s Wrath; Stealskull with Nosferatu’s Coil and the Eye of Etlich, Saracen’s Chance or Metalgrid; or finally Andariel’s Visage with a String of Ears and any of the three previous amulets. In this case, while you will deal a bit less damage than with the Silver-Edged Axe, your gear will be slightly better.



Decapitator / Glorious Axe, final: this is where we get interested into the 144% IAS Breakpoint. You will need godly gear if you want to survive with such a high IAS, so there won’t be a poor man’s part here – you have been warned.

First of all, you will need a magical four-socket armor with a big health bonus, and if possible massive defense (since there are no defense mods allowed, 400 is already massive). You must buy an armor that naturally has four sockets (Jeweler’s prefix), since Larzuk can not put more than two sockets in magical items.
You can buy these from Charsi in Hell act one: they are easily recognisable due to their intense red color. Be warned that an armor with 400 defense and the desired mods will easily cost one million gold, so you shouldn’t try to find one with a character that doesn’t have a maxed gold stash. Just open a cow level portal next to Charsi, so you can quickly force Charsi to respawn her items by going through the portal and returning. Depending on the time you’re willing to spend, you will find an armor between 90 defense +31 HP (worse Light Plate of the Mammoth) and 600 defense +100 HP (best Sacred Armor of the Whale).
Once you have the desired armor, you will need to put 15% IAS jewels in it. If your jewels don’t all have at least 25% enhanced damage in addition, don’t even bother – you will need the big damage, and subsequent big life leech, to stay alive with such a useless armor.

The same goes for the helm. You will need a helm with 3 natural sockets, life bonus, and if possible big defense, obtained the same way as the armor. Put jewels in it, with the same conditions as the armor (another option is Andariel’s Visage with a similar jewel, I’ll discuss it later).
Once this is done, you have your amulet, belt and gloves left to give you 40% more IAS. Nosferatu’s Coil (with maximum life leech of course) and Sigon’s Gage (with Sigon’s Sabot) will allow you to use Metalgrid. Highlord’s Wrath will allow you to use a String of Ears (you obviously need a perfect one), Gore Riders (your resistances are dramatically low anyway, so don’t bother with Tearhaunch; besides, Gore Riders will add even more deadly strike to Highlord’s Wrath) and 20% IAS gloves (rare or crafted ones with life leech, please).
Both of these options are viable. You will anyways need a Raven Frost (a good one, if not perfect) and a Carrion Wind with at least 8% life leech (9% is better, and a crafted ring can have up to 12% life leech with up to 15% resist all, 60 life and another mod).

If you prefer an Andariel’s Visage with a 15% IAS jewel (with at least +20% damage too), you will need 50% IAS from your amulet, belt and gloves. This means Highlord’s Wrath is mandatory. To complete this, you could use Sigon’s Gage and Sabot, plus a String of Ears, but Gore Riders with Nosferatu’s Coil and a pair of gloves similar to the above-stated ones is doubtlessly a better choice.

In any case, having a Call to Arms weapon (coupled with a shield giving +1 to all skills) on weapon switch is even more necessary than with any other combination.


To summarize all of this, three combinations are particularly attractive. 95% IAS with a Silver-Edged Axe and 75% IAS with a Decapitator or Glorious Axe are easily accessible, and will allow you to enjoy your Executress in multiplayer play, as well as solo play if you are careful enough. On the other hand, reaching 144% IAS with a Decapitator or Glorious Axe will allow you to deal really big damage at a really big rate, but should be reserved to the dedicated and wealthy player. Playing Hardcore with this combination would certainly be a serious challenge.



Tactics and gameplay:

Enough about your I key, let’s see how the Executress can fight!

While you’re still in town, cast your pre-buff skills. Energy Shield, the various ice armors and Enchant all have long durations; only Thunder Storm needs relatively frequent recasting (especially in the low levels).

Your left mouse button must stay assigned to your attack skill (base attack or anything you’ve learned through your weapon: Zeal, Berserk, Vengeance). Your right mouse button should allow you to have access to your buffing skills so you can re-cast them easily when they are over (also, you must know that Enchant can be cast on party members or your mercenary), as well as Static Field and Teleport.

Early on, your tactics will be a mix of melee and spellcasting. Fire Dart and Fire Ball (as well as other prerequisites) are quite efficient when you’re still low level, and you won’t be risking your life, since your life leech will be quite inefficient before you have a good weapon. However, you should have entirely stopped casting them by level 20, and entered a more Executress-like battle style.

Unlike what you may think, the Executress has three attack skills (not counting the possible Thunder Storm). Let’s start with the basic one: run at your enemy and hit him hard with your big axe. This is what you will be doing in most of normal difficulty mode, and you won’t need more. This is also what you will be doing when you’ve engaged melee fight with a pack of monsters, no matter what the difficulty level.

Your second attack skill is Static Field. While it is mainly of use against unique monsters, it can prove very efficient when the number of players in the game makes monsters spawn with relatively high life (it isn’t of much use before you’re in nightmare difficulty though). If you only use Static Field against Diablo and Baal, you’ve missed the point.
Tactical note: don’t run at monsters and cast Static Field, or you’ll get hurt. You should cast Static Field between two axe hits; that is, once you’re already engaged in melee fight. Why? Because if you don’t, monsters will hit you before you hit them, and that isn’t good. I know this seems strange and hardly understandable, but I can’t explain it better, and I suppose you’ll get what I mean when you start using Static Field regularly.

Your third attack skill is the most vital one. It is Teleport. You shouldn’t think of Teleport as a support skill: since you have absolutely no items with faster cast rate, teleporting around is extremely slow, and attempts to get to the Throne of Destruction (for example) by teleporting will almost always suffer a brutal ending. What’s more, your mana regeneration rate might well be high, but it won’t compensate for the mana cost of Teleport at level one (unless you have chosen the Spirit path), so you really shouldn’t try this.
Back to the attack skill. You may have noticed that the equipment I proposed gives only little magic resistances (though it does give physical resistance), so magic ranged attacks such as the Doom Knights’ ones will be your worst fear, since they could kill you before you can reach your target. This is what Teleport is used to. When you see ranged attackers, instead of running at them, Teleport by their side, raise your axe, and crush them. The Teleport ability gives you an impressively increased “survivabilityâ€. As long as you will try to run to your enemies, you will die. Once you get the catch, and only use Teleport to reach them, they will be the ones to die.
Finally, Teleport will sometimes allow you to get out of difficult situations, and provides an escape route even safer than the Barbarian’s leaps.

The mana cost of Teleport, albeit high, is easily compensated by the regeneration that will occur while you fight. However, Zeal costs 2 mana per attack, while Berserk and Vengeance cost 4 (Vengeance will cost more if you have equipment with skill bonuses). I never found myself in lack of mana when using Vengeance, but it is true that I have always used equipment with mana leech (I currently use a Vampire Gaze), and I realize that the equipment I proposed never made use of items with mana leech, which might well be a mistake.
Once you have Kingslayer, you will always have one of the following helms (or at least, you should): Stealskull, Vampire Gaze, Andariel’s Visage, Kira’s Guardian, Rockstopper. Only if you have one of the latter three you won’t have mana leech. In this case, try replacing a Carrion Wind with a dual-leech ring, or if you have 20% IAS gloves, try to find some with added mana leech. Another solution is to use Gorefoot: while not very powerful on the whole, they have a 2% mana leech that is unique on boots, and 2% is certainly enough to replenish 4 mana per hit.



Mercenary:

Rogues are rendered useless by the fact that you will teleport to your enemies. Barbarians are useless for melee fighters. I personally use an Iron Wolf with cold attacks, who nicely complements my Fire and Physical damage.
I am however aware that most people will want a mercenary from Lut Gholein. There are six of them. Thorns is only useful to summoners, so forget it. Blessed Aim is quite useful, since it only adds a percentage of your attack rating, which is exactly what Enchant already does. Since base+200%+200% is only base+400%, and not base+800%, you will only get half benefit from this mercenary, so you shouldn’t select that one. Prayer is somewhat useful, but not that much if you have life leech (and you do have some). Holy Freeze and Defiance will increase your “survivabilityâ€, which is indeed good.
Actually, Might is the best choice: since you have almost no +%damage on your gear, and absolutely none with your skills, its effect on the physical part of your attacks will be drastic. What’s more, since the physical part only is used for life leech calculations, this will strongly increase your life leech – the effect is double: your power and survivability are both increased. What else do you need?



Conclusion:


Playing the Executress requires some skill if you don’t want to be killed, but she can stand her name in almost any situation. Don’t try her if you are looking for a cookie-cutter, you would be disappointed. But if you appreciate some challenge, and love a melee character without brute looks, she is the one you need.
 

Diabolic Apom

Diabloii.Net Member
This is a guide I made this week-end about a character I particularly appreciate. I realize it is quite long, but I tried using a clear disposition with aerated paragraphs so the information is easily sorted.

I didn't see a pure melee enchantress guide around here (forums or strategy compendium), so I decided I would propose mine. Feel free to comment ;)
 

jordy666

Diabloii.Net Member
:drool:
this is gonna be my next char.
well, after my giant poleaxe ES bezercorceress :D
:clap: for this guide.

-jordy :king:
 

Sartok

Diabloii.Net Member
Nice job man, looks good. Not that I have a Melee Sorc... but I am always on the edge of consideration...

Very specific in parts... I like it.
 

Diabolic Apom

Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks to both ;)

I'm wondering Jordy, how is it possible that a sorceress uses Whirlwind ? I know there is that Chaos runeword, but it is Claws only, right ? Perhaps there's something I've missed ?
 

melianor

D3 Wizard Moderator
Diabolic Apom said:
Thanks to both ;)

I'm wondering Jordy, how is it possible that a sorceress uses Whirlwind ? I know there is that Chaos runeword, but it is Claws only, right ? Perhaps there's something I've missed ?
Chaos is Claws only, right.
This is the type of guide i like to see popping up around here.
Good that i still have soem GULs lying around to make a 2nd Kingslayer weapon. One of those axes you mentioned will get some runes stuck in them :drool:
Makes me want to build 2 types of Enchantresses now. First for the one with Cryptic Sword Kingslayer and then Silver Edge Axe Executetress. There is the word "cute" in that build name. I think she will look far from cute with that BIG axe!

Btw, guide gets stickied and i will add it immediatly to the Sorceress Guide Library :thumbsup:
 

Diabolic Apom

Diabloii.Net Member
An Executress is cute actually, unless you use Vampire Gaze (too bad it is so useful... they could have mad it blue !). The axes suit her nicely, except the wide-blade ones (Giant Axe, Ancient Axe, Glorious Axe) which are really enormous.
 

melianor

D3 Wizard Moderator
Pucho said:
Where did you read this?
Very easily just look at the Speed descriptions of Elite Axes.

Feral Axe already has [-15] and for S (Sorceress) its additionally Very Fast.
 

Frisco

Diabloii.Net Member
Some thoughts, questions, and corrections:
A lower-level Enchant can never overwrite a higher-level Enchant so Lava Gouts are OK.
Bloodfists and Magefists are both good glove choices that deserve mention.
War Travs are a consideration for Kingslayer because they increase Vengeance.
Damage-To-Mana is quite worthless with a high level ES.
Beast is a lousy Werebear weapon, at least for one-handers, only use it for prebuff.
Memory is also a very good prebuff staff, especially if you're using ES. The perfect Enchant prebuff weapon is a magic orb with +3Fire/+3Enchant/+3FM, but is somewhat difficult to find.
It's "Fire Bolt" not "Fire Dart".
Charms recommendations/considerations should be a part of any guide.

Why max two Cold Armors, the synergies do not increase the defense bonus? The synergies add length and damage and the length is good enough without the synergy and you don't recommend any mastery because the damage is pathetic.

You seem to have completely missed pumping CM and LM when using Kingslayer. Enchant + Vengeance + LM/CM, IMO is the reason to use Kingslayer. +Skills are more important than usual with a Kingslayer Sorc.
Do you expect your pysical damage to be powerful enough to kill immunes? If so, what kind of physical damage, speed, and leech do you get out of some of these setups?

In your prebuff section you should mention that TS cannot be cast in town. Your character and everybody's minions can be Enchanted while in town, but other characters cannot. Your Sorc must be outside of town to cast Enchant on another character, the other characters can still be inside of town.

Merc equipment recommendations would be nice.

I prefer having my attack skill on the right mouse. If you click without selecting a target she will walk/run and automatically attack monsters when she meets them. This saves a lot of trouble because you don't need to individually click on monsters or auto-target by holding down shift.
 

Pucho

Banned
melianor said:
Very easily just look at the Speed descriptions of Elite Axes.

Feral Axe already has [-15] and for S (Sorceress) its additionally Very Fast.
Actually, the sorceress has the same weapon speed with almost all weapons (excluding 2-handed swords)
Feral axes are the exception, since they are [-15] (and the only other weapons [-15] are 2-handed swords, legend swords in this case)
for example:
Champion axes, base [-10]: 14 fpa
Threshers/Giant Threshers, base [-10]: 14 fpa
Walking Sticks, base [-10]: 14fpa

The same applies to base [0] and base [10] weapons.
And Druids don't have any speed bonus with mauls. Check in the druid forum if you like (for a more detailed answer)
The sorceress do swing 2-handed axes faster that 2-handed swords, but saying that they have a bonus speed with 2-handed axes is wrong.
 

distancepieman

Diabloii.Net Member
Diabolic Apom said:
I'm wondering Jordy, how is it possible that a sorceress uses Whirlwind ? I know there is that Chaos runeword, but it is Claws only, right ? Perhaps there's something I've missed ?
I do believe I remeber another thread where someone asked about this, and I'm pretty sure he answered that it was in single player...how he made it I won't share, as we're not supposed to discuss such things. But shhhh! Don't tell him i told you. :evil:

~Bail

BTW Sounds like a really cool idea, I may have to try it out.
 

alfiepies

Diabloii.Net Member
will this build work with say a war spike axe (base -10) and a shield or is it absolutely necessary to have a 2 hander for the damage?
 

Pucho

Banned
alfiepies said:
will this build work with say a war spike axe (base -10) and a shield or is it absolutely necessary to have a 2 hander for the damage?
Going 1-handed, the best beapon would be a cryptic sword.
 

pAnda_fury

Diabloii.Net Member
Nice work. I haven't read it too deeply coz i dont have time right now but i will later. Could you plz post your life, damage, def, ar, attack speed, stats and actual gear of the character as you have it? If you have already put this info in your guide i apologise for not seeing it. What realm are you on?

Thx
)panda(
 

Liessa Wyrmbane

Diabloii.Net Member
Nice build!! :thumbsup:

This will most likely be my next character (in Hardcore of course). Although I will go with max Lightning Mastery and ~10 Cold Mastery route. I will propably go with 10fpa Glorious Axe for maximum curiosity value :)

ps. Lightning Mastery is quite ideal with Vengeance since it gives much better +ed% to damage than Fire Mastery, because it was designed to go with the whole 1-xxxx lightning damage theme but Vengeance gives xxxx-xxxx instead...
 

Diabolic Apom

Diabloii.Net Member
About the weapon speed question, I had read somewhere that Druids were particularly fast with Mauls, but I might have misunderstood it. I' will correct it as soon as possible.
As for Sorceresses, I just checked, and she indeed can use most two-handed weapons with similar effectiveness. Swords and Spears are an exception. I will correct this in a few hours as well (not much time now), but I will still keep this guide focused on axes, or it wouldn't be an Executress guide ;)

For alfiepies, you can use a one-handed weapon if you desire so, but you will have to chose one (and the equipment along) yourself since I will not detail it in this guide at all. You will be much more resilient (more resistances, defense, parry) but will probably lack the punch to kill - and leech - monsters at a reasonable pace.

Some answers to Frisco now (and some others in the process).

I did not know about the overwriting impossibility. Lava Gouts still are quite uninteresting, since they will essentially give nothing more than set gloves while being much rarer, but I will correct it nonetheless (as well as IK armor).
Bloodfists do indeed deserve mention, I will also propose them in the detailed Kingslayer combinations when they are a good option.
Magefists are useless though, since this build is not a support guide and you consequently will not try to get +skills on your equipment (also, Vengeance gains almost nothing from +skills).
War travelers can be mentionned, but since there damage is not in % and two-handed axes naturally have quite high damage, Gore Riders are better on the offensive part, and generally less expensive. I will put WTs in the "generalities" part though.
I'm not much into energy shield, but 50% still seems relatively interesting (I never said "extremely useful" :p). I believe it's still worth a mention, correct me if I'm wrong.
Beast is supposed to be used as a primary weapon (for this build), with its high damage and fanaticism aura. Using it on switch would be absurd (Call to Arms beats is easily).
Memory is only useful for ES. As my build was intended, you don't switch to cast spells you naturally have, only those you don't (ie not in the path you've chosen), so I wouldn't recommend it. If you naturally have it and still want to pre-buff, the extra enchant from Leaf is more useful than the extra ES from Memory.
"Fire bolt" will be corrected ;)

I have to go now, I'm leaving these answered (I quote them as a note to self) :
Frisco said:
Charms recommendations/considerations should be a part of any guide.

Why max two Cold Armors, the synergies do not increase the defense bonus? The synergies add length and damage and the length is good enough without the synergy and you don't recommend any mastery because the damage is pathetic.

You seem to have completely missed pumping CM and LM when using Kingslayer. Enchant + Vengeance + LM/CM, IMO is the reason to use Kingslayer. +Skills are more important than usual with a Kingslayer Sorc.
Do you expect your pysical damage to be powerful enough to kill immunes? If so, what kind of physical damage, speed, and leech do you get out of some of these setups?

In your prebuff section you should mention that TS cannot be cast in town. Your character and everybody's minions can be Enchanted while in town, but other characters cannot. Your Sorc must be outside of town to cast Enchant on another character, the other characters can still be inside of town.

Merc equipment recommendations would be nice.

I prefer having my attack skill on the right mouse. If you click without selecting a target she will walk/run and automatically attack monsters when she meets them. This saves a lot of trouble because you don't need to individually click on monsters or auto-target by holding down shift.
 

Pucho

Banned
Diabolic Apom said:
About the weapon speed question, I had read somewhere that Druids were particularly fast with Mauls, but I might have misunderstood it. I' will correct it as soon as possible.
As for Sorceresses, I just checked, and she indeed can use most two-handed weapons with similar effectiveness. Swords and Spears are an exception. I will correct this in a few hours as well (not much time now), but I will still keep this guide focused on axes, or it wouldn't be an Executress guide ;)

[....]
You should keep the guide focused on axes...I mean Kingslayer is a sword/axe only runeword... and you focus your guide using 2-handed weapons... And 2-handed swords are slower than axes... You know...
It's a nice guide, don't get me wrong. I was just pointing that sorcs don't have any weapon speed. The rest of the guide seems interesting. I've always liked melee sorcs. I've made a berserk sorc before, and I think I'll try this one as soon as I can get the runes for kingslayer (actually a pair, since the first kingslayer will be a phase blade)
You made a good work comparing damage/time ratio for the weapons. I like it. It may be good to add the damage done, like how much damage/frame or damage/second does every weapon.

Cheers.
 

melianor

D3 Wizard Moderator
Liessa Wyrmbane said:
..... Lightning Mastery is quite ideal with Vengeance since it gives much better +ed% to damage than Fire Mastery, because it was designed to go with the whole 1-xxxx lightning damage theme but Vengeance gives xxxx-xxxx instead...
Oh, i didn't know that! LM maxed all the way then :D
Hm 2 builds to finish, Kingslayer Cryptic Sword and either Glorious Axe/Silveredged Axe

No blocking sounds a bit dangerous, but with good FHR some PDR and maxed resists and all else into Vitality this should be doable.

I would also rather choose an axe that simply looks good, just for the look you will receive from people *smirk*

ABOUT IAS:
Kingslayer already has 30% IAS inherent. So when you say 45% IAS in your table does that mean, that those 45% are the additional IAS you need, or do you just need to reach the 45% by adding up on the 30% IAS from Kingslayer?
I guess for Kingslayer the additional IAS requirement will indeed be alot lower. Just slap on some good gloves and you shold be set.

Right? (I am complete nobrainer when it comes to anything concerning melee. Using only casting skills all my D2 life has made me ignorant to melee means.... :cheesy:)


@Diabolic Apom If the time you can edit your post has expired and you need to update it. Simply send the corrections, or better the whole guide to my email and i will replace the the text in your post, if you like!
Otherwise you will be compelled to start a new thread, which i will gladly sticky again and update the link in the Library...
The correction path would be preferred if possible.

regards, meli
 
Top