Whats the better choice max block w/ dr or ES

uacs

Diabloii.Net Member
Whats the better choice max block w/ dr or ES

I'm coming back to d2 after a solid 2 year break, so I am going to make a new sorc on the new ladder. It's going to be a light sorc, but Im contiplating whether or not to go ES.

The last sorc I made was max block yielding a storm shield. She was a bad *** "tank", PVM teleing and mfing was a breeze especially when BOed with a cta. I can honestly say it was a pleasure to play with her.

My question is, will a ES light build be as effective and enjoyable? Especially for PVM teleing, mfing, and doing key runs. I have never tried ES before, and im scared I'm gonna have to carry around 16 mana pots just to tele through a key run. Is more vita worth losing max block and 35%dr???

Tell me whatcha guys think :whistling:
 

penco

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Whats the better choice max block w/ dr or ES

Well, first, what kind of light sorc do you plan on making? If you go with Lightning/Chain Lightning, maxing ES and TK would significantly reduce your damage output.

A "Pure" Chain Lightning sorc with a very basic +15 skills and all synergies maxed does 5-9599 CL and 5 - 23690 Lightning.
An Energy-Shield Chain Lightning sorc would lose about 40 pts maxing ES and TK, bringing damage down to 5 - 5308 CL and 5 - 11273 Lightning. That's about half the damage as the "pure" build. (If you go this route, don't max nova or charged bolt, but make sure to keep the mastery as it adds the biggest damage buff.)

Would the ES build be viable? Certainly. I am currently beating P8 Hell with a Werebear doing only ~4000 damage per hit, with no area-effect attacks. However, if you're going to be MFing, the loss in kill power would be a major setback. For MF, you want to kill as quickly as possible because it is EXTREMELY tedious and boring.

Here are some alternative ideas:

Charged Boltress:
Charged bolt has only 1 synergy: Lightning. So, you could max CB, Lightning, Mastery, ES, and TK. Charged Bolt seems silly, but each bolt at max level and max synergy (with the assumed +15 skills) does 472 - 497 damage, times 24 bolts. That means of you get in a boss's face and spam it, you can do 11640 damage, and it spreads out well for group killing. This would be a good alternative if you insist on having max ES.

"Impure" Lightning Sorc:
I think this would be your best option. Max Lightning, Mastery, Chain Lightning, Nova/Charged Bolt (only one of them), and Telekenesis. Put just one point into Energy Shield. With just one point and +15 skills, ES absorbs 71% damage, WAY more than having max %DR would accomplish and nearly eliminating the need to have high resistances. If you do a prebuff for ES with a +3 ES "Memory" staff, you get 77% damage absorb. Wear Gerke's Sanctuary shield with a Sol rune for nice DR goodness, and don't worry much about maxing block (unless you're playing hardcore, and only MAYBE). This build would do a nifty 5 - 7453 CL damage and 5 - 17481 Lightning damage. This should be quite sufficient for decent MF. If you want, put less points into TK. Having only 10 or so won't kill you. The point here is that you don't have to go crazy and max ES for it to be useful; spending just a handful of points on it still outclasses most DR items in the game.

Also, don't worry too much about running out of mana (except around Mana Burners). Just put a point into Warmth and give your merc an "Insight" polearm and you will pretty much never run out. Having enough +skills will also make teleporting very cheap, so the insane mana regen ought to cover it. Spamming CL like crazy might drain you a little, but you should be able to clear a whole screen of baddies without losing all your mana.

Of course, if you wanna do PvP, it's a whole different story, and I am not the person to ask.
 

uacs

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Whats the better choice max block w/ dr or ES

Awesome, great explanation of the lighting sorc builds penco! I figure that the "impure" lightning sorc is the best at balancing survivability, killing power and magic find. It doesnt seem super gear dependant in order to be effective, especially for the early couple of weeks of the new ladder season.

I figured that a huge problem I would have with a max block sorc is not having a stormshield, I tend to consider it a basic neccessity in order to survive in hell. (I'm not a fan of whistands)

So for stats thats going to leave base dex, and min str for equipment. What about energy? Do I pump points there for more mana?
 

penco

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Whats the better choice max block w/ dr or ES

Well, points into energy depends on how much you pump TK. If you max it, then your mana is more useful than your life. I think it's around lvl 16 TK that the damage you take is taken from manaat a 1:1 ratio. If you have less than 16 hard points in TK, go for more vitality. If you have more than 16, go for more energy. At lvl 20 TK damage goes to mana at a 4:3 ratio. This means that 25% of the 77% of the damage going to your mana disappears. This is equivalent to increasing your mana bulb by roughly 25% overall.

Points in energy are more useful overall for a standard-gear build. Normally, points in vitality and energy both yield 2 points in life and mana respectively for a sorc. If you use SoJ or Frostburns, points in energy are more useful than points in vit.
1 SoJ ring: +25% max mana; 1 pt energy = 2.5 pts mana
2 SoJ rings: +50% max mana; 1 pt energy = 3 pts mana
2 SoJ and Frostburn gauntlets: +90% max mana; 1 pt energy = 3.8 pts mana
Overall, these items are very useful, but remember that Frostburn gauntlets will cost you some FCR that could be gained from Magefist gloves, and dual SoJ means no CBF mod from Ravenfrost.

If you don't want to worry about the math, just go about even with mana and life. Remember: Poison damage does NOT get absorbed by ES, so you need to have enough life to stay alive long enough to portal back to town if you get bad poison.

By the way, the standard +skill gear (in case you didn't know) is Shako, Tal Rasha's ammy, 1 or 2 SoJ (you might want a Ravenfrost instead), Arachnid Mesh, Skin of Vipermagi (cheap like me) or Chains of Honor/Enigma (rich and like to use duped runes), +3 Eschuta's Temper (or Oculus, but not as good). That's +10. Fill up on +Lightning Skills grand charms, as much as you care to waste inventory space with. Use a +3 ES-base staff with "Memory" runeword on switch to prebuff your ES (This kind of staff is ridiculously hard to find). I play Single Player, so no Annihilus Charm or Hellfire Torch for me :( but use 'em if you've got 'em.

Yeah, max block for a sorc is not very useful for PvM, especially if you use energy shield. Max Block = 75% chance to block physical damage (only a few times per second, though). ES blocks 77% damage already. That means max block would only effectively reduce damage by an additional 18-ish% on top of the 77% ES, and ONLY for physical attacks, and ONLY a few times a second, which is not too useful if you have 15 guys hacking at you. Not to mention the huge loss of points wasted in dex and str.

The best DR option you have on top of ES is #DR. Skin of Vipermagi has this, which is quite nice. So does Gerke's. You can socket your helm, armor, and shield with cheap Sol runes to add more #DR, too. It adds up pretty well. Don't bother with %DR at all.
 

penco

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Whats the better choice max block w/ dr or ES

I forgot, you said you had CTA for a previous sorc build. CTA completely pwns with ES, so use it over the Memory staff for your prebuff weapon, unless you want to put in the extra effort and use both.
 

uacs

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Whats the better choice max block w/ dr or ES

Thanksss!! You have been very insightful! I figure I'm going to feel the sorc out when I start leveling her, and decide how to balance out TK and nova as well as figure out the vit/energy allocations.

Yeah +3 ES staff is gonna be tough to find, I'll prolly end up making a crappy 1. :p

penco you should hop on bnet and give it a run at the ladder wit us! XD
 

penco

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Whats the better choice max block w/ dr or ES

Nah, I typically avoid Bnet and do SP/LAN only. Plus, I don't have the time for it anymore. Stupid real life, stupid job. Thanks anyway, though.
 
Top