The Grillmistress: A Pure Fire, Full-Game Cow Sorc As next ladder season gets older and older, many players will start looking to build characters specialized for one specific task...boss MFing, area MFing, keyrunning, GF, Ubers, etc. This is one such build. What this build is The Grillmistress is a pure fire sorc that's extremely affordable by the time you're looking to build such a specialist character. She performs her task exceedingly well. That task is cowing in full games, such as the ubiquitous Chaos-Baal runs, that afford you a good 5-10 minutes of full game goodness. Why full game cows? Cows offer the highest monster density of anywhere in the game. Full games offers you the lowest nodrop chance for each kill. Killing effectively in full game Cows will give you the best return on all items - jewels, runes, charms, and of course MF targets. The only things Cows cant drop are the TC87 uniques that you have to hunt for from Pindle etc. Why a fire sorc? They're super cheap, for one. And they're more scalable than other pure builds that are unviable without certain items. You dont need Griffons or Enigma or Infinity or any of the other expensive runewords or uniques required for an effective Lightning Sorc, Javazon, or other effective full game cow builds. The mechanics of Fireball also maximize its potential when you can group large amounts of high-hitpoint monsters in a small area, ie when you get a bunch of full game Cows swarming your merc. How specialized is she? Very. Aside from the fact that she's pure Fire and Fire Immunes are all but unbreakable, and ubiquitous outside Cows - even in low-player Cows, the mechanics of a Fireball sorc vs other Cowing builds means that other builds are going to be more efficient. She's really only good for the one thing (and probably MFing bosses, as all sorcs are), but damn she's good ===================== The Stats and Skills Max FB, FBolt, Meteor, FM 1 pt Warmth, Cold Armor, TP-TK 1 pt in Glacial Spike and prereqs Rest of points in Static Field STR for gear. DEX for max block (yes!). Rest in VIT. We get enough Life/VIT from gear to have a comfortable total (especially if you add a CtA), with regen from our merc. The main danger in Cows is their swarming physical attack, for which 75% block is your best defense. Think about it this way...75% block takes over 3.5x less damage from blockable attacks than base-dex block. You arent going to triple your base life after gear if you dump Vit. And, really, physical (blockable) attacks are the only major danger in Cows. The Gear Italicized gear is optional/ideal, if you want to spend the extra for it Tal Orb, Amulet (Fire Facet) 35FCR Spirit Shako (Fire Facet) Magefists War Travs 2x Nagel, 2x SoJ gives up some MF for power Tal Armor (Fire Facet) Tal Belt, Arachnid Mesh gives up some MF for power Switch: CtA+Spirit Gheeds Anni Torch Fire Skillers MFSCs bleh bleh A2 Prayer Merc: eth elite Insight, (eth elite Infinity, obviously greatly increases your damage but also costs more than the rest put together), Shaftstop, Vgaze. %DR is your merc's friend in Cows. We hit the golden 105 FCR BP with any combination of the above. Our unorthodox 3 (or 4) piece Tal's gives us -15% Enemy Fire Resistance, a huge boon in Cows, as well as the usual big MF bonus you use 3-piece Tal's for. 3 -5 Facets will double that bonus. And, you're looking at at least ~250 MF, with the possibility going much higher. Why not full Tals? 210 Life and +3 skills are the only extra mods of interest for using Tal's helm and belt vs Shako+Arach. Shako+Arach give us the same +3 skills and a good bit of life and mana anyway, plus 50MF and 10%DR. Full Tals is definitely viable as well, but you're not really gaining anything offensively, and you're giving up a few useful other mods in the process. The Playstyle Find a nice, young Chaos-Baal game or other full game you expect to be up long enough to be worthwhile. You should have your leg+tome already in your cube when you join. Join, open up, enter portal, buff your buffs. TP around until you have a good-sized pack of cows all swarming towards your merc. Static them to half life (this is where the extra points in SF are nice). Fireball to death. If you have a really big pack of beef headed your way, a Meteor may be indicated. If necessary, use your Glacial Spike right on top of your merc to freeze the cows for about a second and help keep him alive. Sift through the pinata-fall for goodies Try not to waste your time on small packs or singles; Fireball works best when there's a big swarm to spam it towards, and you're always on the clock in full games. Fire Immune boss cows can be skipped, or your merc can handle them - but of course that takes precious time away before the game empties. Once the game empties, you can continue to clear Cows in solo mode, or you can TP back to town immediately, sell up as necessary (and buy a tome), and head towards Tristram to grab a leg for your next game. Hopefully the game maker finished the Cain quest, but maddeningly most bot-created games wont have a Tristram portal open, meaning you'll have to make a new game for your next leg. It goes without saying that if you see the King's corral, you turn tail and run the other way. This build absolutely must maintain its Cow Portal-opening ability.