The Pure Blizzard PvM/PvP/MF Sorceress Guide If you care to skip the story, feel free. It is really just a chunk of fiction thrown in. The real guide starts about five paragraphs below - the title is hopefully evident. Story Legend tells of a time long ago. When evil reigned across the lands and touched such locales as Lut Golein, Kurast and Harrogath. In that long ago time, six heroes were called forth to rid the land of evil. One, a holy paladin, another, a fierce barbarian. A deadly amazon and a mystical necromancer, a bold druid and a cunning assasin. All were summoned to cleanse the land of the prevailing evil. Upon arriving in the land of evil, it was clear to these heroes that another was needed. When no other was found, and just when all seemed lost, there was a flash in the middle of a rogue encampment. Through the land rushed a wave of light, destroying all evil in its path. The light finally took rest in a local healers hut. In pursuit of the light, the six other heroes rushed in to the hut, brusied and battered from the long haul through hell. Before them, unscathed from her travels through hell, sat a woman clad in green and gold. She was a sorceress hailing from the east. She learned the secret ways of veteran male sorcerors, and followed the path of magic with grace and understanding. She had heard the cries for help, and had arrived to lend aid to the heroes. After the evil was vanquished, the sorceress took leave from the other heroes, hoping someday to return. Many years after her first brush with destiny, she heard that the lands she had once saved were in need of her help again. A new evil ravaged the lands. Diablo himself walked the Earth, the prime evils and all of their minions became stronger, faster and more wreckless. The six heroes who had remained could not deal with the evil, so they once again called for help. The sorceress, who was older and weaker than before, found that the power of all the heroes was needed to redeem the lands. After her trek through hell, she realized that she was to old to be a hero, and hung up her cloak. The once great, warrior sorceress began to instruct others in the ways of sorcery. Some of the pupils followed her every step, while others crafted their own path. Many followers of the great sorceress were powerful mages, when others were not. Few seemed to be able to cope with the resistance of Diablo's minions. New hybrid mages were trained in an attempt to deal with the evil. Fire met cold, cold met lightning, some mages even struck with a weapon. Many hybrids were powerful, some were not. It was here when a mage proposed that the fires of hell needed to be battled with the cold of winter. Few followed the path of the cold sorceress, but for those who did, victory was assured in some parts of hell. The first of these pure sorceresses reached hell. Just like the legendary sorceress before her, she could travel as light. Beside this light dark storm clouds were brewing and a cold shiver hung in the air. History was rewritten when the light rushed through a mausoleum. It passed through ancient tunnels under the desert sands. Under the green of kurast, the hiss of a prime evil was heard. In the cold temple of a traitor, a menacing guard fell with a crash. Others saw this pure mage, with arms of frost and feet of light, and urged her to teach her ways to the world. She did. The Pure Blizzard PVP/MF Sorc Blizzard. Is it vain that the game creator name a skill after themselves? Of course not, it's their game, they can do what they want with it, and I am grateful that a simple sorceress is bound to such a skill. I know that this is probably one of the more frequently posted guides, but each of the previous ones seemed to focus on different things. One for Pindle, one for Meph, one for just kicking it in Baal runs. This guide will bring together all aspects of the Blizzard sorc. That includes MFing, PvP, and Baal running. Also featured is a leveling guide, for use by those already having one high level character and looking to make another. The pure blizzard build is one of those that first became noticable when the 1.10 patch was released. It never really struck hard with 1.09 players, and is not the most popular build, even in 1.10. Like any pure build, this sorceress will hit walls - it is expected of a single element sorceress. But where she does not hit walls, she excels. The other high damage pure sorc build is the Meteor sorc. It is often assumed that the meteor sorc has a higher damage than the cold sorceress. While this may be true for many spots in normal, the cold sorceress often has the upper hand in situations where resistances come into play. We are using Hell Diablo (50 Fire Resist/50 Cold Resist) for an example with resistances. Level 28 Meteor with Maxed Synergies and Level 28 Fire Mastery 14832 average impact damage and 1913 average burning damage/s Casting Delay: 1.2s Time from Cast until Impact: 5s Burning time: 15s Time from Click to Finish: 20s Unresisted Damage Over 20 Seconds: 386851 Fire Damage Meteor Damage x Fire Resistance 14 832 x 0.50 = 7416 Resisted Fire Damage Over 20 Seconds: 193425 Fire Damage/20s Level 28 Blizzard with Maxed Synergies and Level 17 Cold Mastery 4074 average damage/s Casting Delay: 1.8s Time from click until blizzard: Instant Blizzard running time: 4s Negative Enemy Resistance from Cold Mastery: 100 Unresisted Damage Over 20 Seconds: 180885 Cold Damage Blizzard Damage x Cold Resistance 4074 x 0.50 = 2037 Resisted Cold Damage Damage Adjusted for Cold Mastery: 6111 Adjusted Cold Damage Over 20 Seconds: 271327 Cold Damage/20s The above is of course only one example. But Blizzard will always have higher end damage over time than Meteor when a monster resists both elements by an equal amount above positive 15. Even in cases when resistances do not allow Blizzard to overtake Meteor in damage, the difference is not immense. Damage is not the only great thing about blizzard - its freezing powers are extremely useful in large battles. The Blizzard sorceress is effective in both PvM and PvP combat. Magic-Finding locations that work well for this sorc are most places where cold immunity is not present. The unique dropping act bosses Andariel and Mephisto are favourites. Immunity free level 85 areas such as the Act I Monastery and the Act II Ancient Tunnels are easily navigated through by this Blizzard sorc. The always popular Pindleskin is another who provides fast and easy runs. All is covered below. The Build My first intent with my Blizzard sorc was to make her an MF only character. I soon discovered that even with MF equipment she could defeat Enigma-Hammerdins, other element sorceresses among others. I also found that she had little trouble teleporting through the worldstone in search of the throne. My entire build is really focused around her shield - the stormshield, all other equipment could be subbed out depending on what I was doing. Skills  Blizzard  Ice Bolt  Ice Blast  Glacial Spike  A Cold Armour [1+] Cold Mastery  Static Field  Teleport  Warmth  Pre-requisites Total: 86-89 Skill points, depending on which cold armour you choose (if you choose any) This can be attained between levels 74-77. After having all your points in, invest the rest to cold mastery Choosing a Cold Armour Frozen armour freezes a melee attackers who hits you but offers the lowest defense bonus Shiver armour does cold damage to a melee attacker who hits you and has the highest defense bonus Chilling armour shoots an ice bolt at a ranged attacker who hits you, and offers a high defense bonus My choice is shiver armour. Chilling armour only works against ranged attackers, and I am not threatened by them. Frozen armour freezes for such a short period of time in hell that I find it useless. Shiver offers cold damage and high defense, worthwhile for a Blizzard sorc. Stats Strength - This sorceress needs no more strength than her most strength demanding equipment. In the case of this build, I highly suggest 156 (to be able to use Stormshield). Dexterity - I highly suggest enough dexterity for 75 chance to block using whichever shield you choose. To find out how much dexterity is needed at your level and with your equipment use the below formula. dex = ((cLvl x 2) x (75) / Base Chance to Block) + 15 Base chance to block is your chance to block from equipment cLvl is your character level You can replace 75 with your desired final chance to block if you wish OR use the below table (Thanks goes to Chem) Code: Dexterity required for max block (75%) for a sorceress [B]shield str block dex/lv LV30 LV50 LV80 LV99[/B] ------------------- --- ----- ------ ---- ---- ---- ---- Lidless Eye 58 40% 3.75 128 203 315 387 Lidless Eye + Eld 58 47% 3.19 111 175 271 331 Moser's Circle 53 57% 2.63 94 147 226 276 Grim Shield + Rhyme 58 60% 2.50 90 140 215 263 Sigon's Tower 75 64% 2.34 86 133 203 248 Stormshield 156 67% 2.24 83 127 195 237 Sigon's Tower + Eld 75 71% 2.11 79 121 185 225 Visceratuant Heater 77 72% 2.08 78 120 182 222 Gerke's Sanctuary 133 74% 2.03 76 117 178 216 75% blocking shield 75% 2.00 75 115 175 213 Whistan's Guard 53 87% 1.72 67 102 153 186 Whistan's + Eld 53 94% 1.60 63 95 143 173 If you decide against going for the 75% CTB you will find that many things become harder, or impossible for you. Mephisto can still be done using the moat trick. Assuming pindle or any monsters you run into in the level 85 areas are not extra fast, you may be able to scrape by. Dueling becomes near impossible, but if you feel confident in your teleporting ablities, you may be up for it. Baal runs are still possible, but you will not be as active in the action. You can instead invest the points to vitality, where they will be appreciated. After everything I find that full block makes for a better experience. Vitality - Vitality is over rated when it comes to the sorceress, just another reason to invest points to dexterity. Each vitality point only gives two life. Now, at a high level, I ensure I have 75CTB, then invest the remainder of my points for that level into vitality. You should find that with your equipment and after having done the life quests (Jade Figurine), you will have sufficient life. Energy - With my MF setup, I still have not found the need for a point here. Sure, it really hurts at low levels, but as long as you chug mana potions like crazy, you can save these points for dexterity. Equipment You can really play around with most of the equipment in this build. The setup shown below works quite well for doing baal runs. MF and PvP variants are shown further below. There are not a great many mods to look for in equipment. Recommended are Skills, Faster Cast Rate (for teleport), Resists ,+Cold Damage, -Enemy Cold Resistance, Life/Vitality, and Dexterity. Facets are quite useful, don't be afraid to invest in a couple. Helm Best Shako for life, mana and skills. Nightwing's Veil for cold damage, skills and dexterity. These are best socketed with Cold Facets, Um runes, unless you want an all around sorc available for MFing (read MF variant below) Other Tarnhelm, Lore runeword (OrtSol), Peasant Crown. Look for any recommended mods in rares/magics. Weapon Best Facet Death's Fathom is great for skills and cold damage. The Oculus is more affordable and provides great mods such as life, cast rate, and resists, alongside the +3 skills. Heart of The Oak runeword (KoVexPulThul) in a flail for resists, cast rate, skills, dexterity and mana. Socket with a Facet, unless you want to indulge in MFing (read MF variant below). Other Eschuta's Temper, Suicide Branch, Wizardspike. Look for any recommended mods in rares/magics. Shield Best Stormshield, hands down. The %DR, resists, and high block bring this build together. I highly suggest this shield, it really makes the build more fun. Socket with an Um or Hel rune. Other Whistan's or the Sanctuary runeword (KoKoMal) are not bad, but I could not compare them to Stormshield. Rhyme (ShaelEth) is a choice that provides some CTB and the cannot be frozen mod. Try to get a shield with over 60% base CTB if you are going for max blocking. If you aren't going with the max block build, there are more options. Lidless offers a skill and cast rate, and the Visceratuant offers a skill with some decent block. Armour Best I really like Facet Blizzard Ormus Robes with max cold damage, but that isn't an easy find. Neither are Chains of Honour (DolUmBerIst) or Enigma (JahIthBer), which were my next suggestions. All armours are great because they provide skills. Ormus robes provide +cold damage, +skills and faster cast rate. Chains of Honour provides 2 skills, resists, and %DR. Enigma provides the same skills, DR, lacks resists, but adds huge strength and faster run walk. Other Skin of the Vipermagi is a fine choice. It is affordable, provides resists, cast rate and a skill. Don't think of it as a lowly armour. Que-Hegans will also work here, but lacks the resists of the Vipermagi. Belt Best Arachnid Mesh for the skill and cast rate. Other These other belts aren't bad, they just don't fit up there. Verdungo's is helpful if you need %DR and life. Snowclash provides +2 Blizzard which can be a help. Gloom's Trap provides mana and life if you need that. Gloves Best Not that you can really categorize gloves, Magefists and Frosties sit side by side, and the one you pick depends on how you are dealing with things. If you need mana go with frostburns, if you don't grab magefists. Other All that really fits here are bloodfist. If you really cannot afford/find either of the above, these provide life, which should help. Boots Best I like War Travelers for the strength and life they provide, MF is just a side dish. Waterwalks provide dex and life, making reaching 75CTB easier. If you find you cannot control your mana, use Silkweaves to augment your pool. All have good FR/W Other Threads of Cthon are great starter boots, and can carry you until you aquire the above. Amulets and Rings Best Tal's Amulet or Mara's Kaleidescope and SOJs or low BK rings are the top choices because all provide skills. Maras is sometimes taken over tals because it provides to all resists, just as SOJs are better than BK rings because of the mana they add. The +3 to cold skills amulet is great for those die hard damage builds, but not necessarily required Other Rare or magic amulets providing skills and rings providing life, mana or faster cast rate are the cheap alternatives to those listed above. Charms Life charms are excellent, especially if you went with the maxed block build. Mana charms may be required by some. The Annihilus is great for making those dexterity and strength levels easier to attain. Skill charms are great as well, they will sufficiently boost your damage. For charms, use what you need. Save for annihilus and skill charms there are few charms to aspire to. Mercenary The mercenary you choose depends on what you will be doing. I find act2 mercenaries are the best. If you plan to solo alot in hell, a well-equipped Might merc (NM Offensive) is handy for quick disposition of immunes. If you plan on quick, immune-free MF runs, a Defiance merc (Norm/Hell Defensive) or a Holy Freeze merc (NM Defensive) are useful choices. Of course you should always make attempts at ethereal gear for your mercenary as he can benefit from the bonuses without durability loss The Act 2 Merc Setup Helm - Um'd/Ber'd Shako or Vampire Gaze Armour - Um'd/Ber'd Shaftstop or Leviathan Weapon - Shael Reapers Toll, AmnShael Bonehew, Tomb Reaver If you dislike the idea of an act2 mercenary, or prefer one from another act be sure to suit them up with favourable gear. If they have a skill useful to you, give them +All Skills gear. If they are tanking give them %DR gear and resists. And always be sure to equip them with a powerful weapon, or one that benefits you. The Levels If this is your second character, and don't feel like progressing through the entire game again but would rather baal run for speedy levels, there is a helpful guide below. It is not a solo guide and a good friend is helpful. First, skill and stat point allocation. Stat Point Allocation This is simple. If you are going for the Stormshield max block build, every two levels place four points to strength until you get 156 strength (with equipment). Every two levels you should place 5 points to dexterity, aiming for 179 dexterity at level 73 (level to equip Stormshield). Place the last point to vitality. Save the Lam Esen's Tome stat points in case you miscalculate something, they are handy if you need some quick strength or dex. After you have sufficient strength and are investing in dexterity each level to keep your 75% CTB present, you can put points the available points to vitality. If you are not going for the Stormshield max block build, one point to strength each level should suffice. Dexterity should not be needed except for wearing equipment. The unspent points each level can go to vitality. Skill Point Allocation Some may will disagree here, but if you are going solo for leveling, this provides the most effective killing at a low level. It revolves around Ice Blast. I recommend having 100-200k so you can buy mana potions, you really have to gulp them with this skill. Level 1 - Ice Bolt Level 2 - Warmth Level 3 - Save Level 4 - Save Level 5 - Save Level 6 - Ice Blast and Frost Nova Level 7-17 - Ice Blast or Ice Bolt (if you cannot cope with the mana it functions as a synergy) Level 18 - Glacial Spike Level 19-23 - Ice Blast or Ice Bolt (for reasons listed above) Level 24 - Blizzard Now that you have reached Blizzard, max that. All saved points can go to synergies, but save one. Used that saved point at level 30 and place it to Cold Mastery. After maxing Blizzard I find it most useful to max synergies in this fashion. Finish maxing either of Ice Blast or Ice Bolt, then max Glacial Spike, then max the last synergy. At this time, or if you need it earlier, place a point to the cold armour of your choice. After maxing blizzard, its synergies and placing a point to a cold armour, start placing points to Cold Mastery. Take this as high as you can, it will continue to add damage to your blizzard. Where to Level This is my method, I'm sure you've seen many others but this seems to work quickly and painlessly. You will notice that the first 12 or so levels flow quite nicely, and those after take some abrupt turns. Stamina potions and mana potions were very useful and helped the whole process move along quickly. Levels 1-3 Start on the path that heads out of town into the Blood Moor. Make your way down the path, and try not to stray too far off it. Kill every thing that comes within site on the path until you arrive at the Den of Evil. For me, i took the wrong split and ended up backtracking both times - this may account for the number of levels I got. Levels 3-5 Kill everything in the Den. If you are partied don't get more than 2 screens apart or no experience will be gained. Make your way out of the Den and travel to the cold plains. Grab the waypoint, head back to town and get the extra skill from Akara. Levels 5-7 Take the cold plains waypoint and take the path to the burial grounds. Remember to kill everything on and around the path. Clear out the burial grounds, then the mausoleum, then the crypt. Levels 7-9 Make your way back to where the path split to go to the burial grounds and head to the stoney field - again killing everything in sight. At this point, if you are not quite at the level, move off the path and kill everything in the cold plains and stoney field until you get close to level 9. Levels 9-11 Descend down into the Underground Passage. Clear out the first level, and the second if you feel you need more levels. You may then emerge in the dark wood. Get on the path and head to the Black Marsh. Still killing everything you come across, continue on the path until you reach the Forgotten Tower. Levels 11-12 Drop into the Forgotten Tower and start clearing. You only need to kill until you hit 12, but if you want to keep going feel free. At level 12 have a friend rush you to act 2. Levels 12-16 Go into the sewers and make your way to Radament, killing everything on the way. Repeat running the sewers until you hit 16 - it should not take many runs. Levels 16-20 Get rushed to the end of act 2 by a friend. Go to the Canyon of the Magi and clear out the tombs until you hit 20. Levels 20-24 At this point most will call in reinforcements. Create the cow level with a character who has beaten normal and have a high level friend clear it out a few times for you. You should reach 24 without a worry. Levels 24-25 Get rushed through to act 5 and kill the ancients, you will get a level. Levels 25-(45-50) At 25 start baal runs. Public games are usually fine as long as they have 8 players. Personally I find killing baal himself a waste of time as he gives significantly less xp than his minions and has such terrible drops in normal. The choice of (45-50) is yours, depending on how able you are to handle NM. Levels (45-50)-(70-80) Have a friend rush you when you decide you've had enough of normal baal. Start NM baal runs and again, the choice of when to move on is yours. Levels (70-80)+ Get rushed, or play though hell. If you are only level 70 you may want to run some of the easy level 85+ hell areas before going to all the way to baal. Start hell baal runs at the earliest convenience. When people reach level 90, many will do Hell Diablo and then Hell Baal one after the other to gain more experience. The Variants You will notice that the variation takes place in the equipment setup, the build does not need to be changed to achieve great results with all three variations. Variant A: Pure Blizzard MF Sorc Helm - Perfect Topaz Shako Weapon - Ist Oculus or Ist Death's Fathom / IstIst Ali Baba or Gull (on switch) Shield - Ist Stormshield / Rhyme (ShaelEth) or 4Ist shield (on switch) Armour - Perfect Topaz Skullder's or Wealth (LemKoTir) Belt - Upgraded Goldwrap Gloves - Chance Guards or Magic/Rare Gloves of Luck Boots - War Travelers or Magic/Rare Boots of Luck Amulet - Rare/Magic MF amulet Rings - Nagelrings or Magic Rings of Luck Charms - Gheeds, 7% Small MF Charms, Annihilus Variant B: Pure Blizzard PvP Sorc Helm - Facet/Um'd Shako or Nightwing's Veil Weapon - Facet Death's Fathom Shield - Um'd Stormshield Armour - Facet Blizzard Ormus Robes Belt - Snowclash or Arachnid Mesh Gloves - Magefist or Frostburns Boots - Magic/Rare Boots with FCR, life, resists Amulet - Mara's or +3 Cold Skills Rings - SOJs or low BK rings Charms - Annihilus, Skill Charms, FHR charms Some Strategies PvM For the non-MFer. Ice blast will freeze enemies, even in hell, for extended periods of time. Use that to your advantage on extra fast packs or when you need to bail out. Let your mercenary tank if he can and continually cast blizzard on the area. If you have a stormshield you can tank some of the early melee characters yourself. Rangers can be a problem, even with maxed CTB. With them, teleport in, cast blizzard and zip out. Rangers are often weak and can be easily taken down. In baal runs, if you decide to teleport, stay close to the wall, and don't approach the Black Souls. Items with lightning absorb such as T-Gods or Wisp Projector are helpful for dealing with the souls. At the minions, just blizzard the spawn spot, monsters will instantly be chilled making it easier for others. Only the skeleton mages are naturally cold immune, but chances are one of the minion bosses spawning with a cold immunity are high. MF The popular areas for the blizzard sorc are those without immunities. There is not much strategy involved in running level 85 areas such as the Ancient Tunnels or the Mausoleum, just blizzard whatever you come across. Pindleskin, although fast, can be tricky. Teleport only as far into the temple as you need to. If you get to close their charge attack is devastating. Again, let blizzard fall and victory will be yours. Mephisto and Andariel take some getting to, but are more rewarding in the long run. Andariel should be a simple static, tank and blizzard, but you may have to take a hit from some of the nearby immunes. Mephisto is most easily slain using the Moat Trick. Simply teleport to him, static and backtrack to lower platform across the moat until he is on the edge of your screen. From there just blizzard until he pops. PvP I never practiced PvP until this sorceress. Cold mastery suffers no PvP penalty, player resists are reduced no matter what, which is great. I find the most effective way to deal with most characters is to get them on the edge of your screen and wail blizzard on them. Just remember - don't get within a hammerdin's circle of hammers, with other sorceresses just dodge their attacks. Melee chars without teleport have little hope, keep them on the edge of the screen and blizzard. Be sure to use standard PvP etiquette, try not to be too cheap, and give Blizzard sorcs a good name. Questions and Comments are welcome as always. I will revise this in the near future.