Matriarch Hera


New member
Oct 7, 2004
Matriarch Hera


I have a bit time on my hands although I'm rather busy, but I want to use this time to write a mat thread.

Since ~2 years I have wanted to make a strong char to run /p8 baal runs with and get lvl 99. The problem was that I didn't have good enough items at first. When I had better ones after endless hours of MFing, the next problem was that I couldn't decide on what build to use, by all means. It was so bad that I gave up on the quest in general. I could've made a hammerdin or a blizzard sorc or a javazon, but I didn't want to use this standard baal runners. They're powerful, but they're not what I like to play. I think it's important to have a build you like, if you want to level it that high. And of course it is also important that the build you choose is strong enough to do the runs quickly. Finding a build that includes both characteristics was kinda hard for me, but there are some builds that are also powerful, but not used by that many people, for example:

A lightning sorc. Yes, this isn't really innovative or anything, but it's something different from the chars everybody uses to run baal. It's also a quite underestimated build imho. At least I did underestimate it at first. My first 1.10 character was a pure lightning sorc which I enjoyed very much. The problem was the lack of damage because I had very bad equipment. I blamed the low minimum damage for my problems and ended up being frustrated and deleting her. Nevertheless I know that the lightning skill tree is my favourite one of the sorceress. Therefore I later made a FO/CL sorc which was quite cool, but not strong enough to run /p8 baal. With this sorc I made MANY LK runs in the last 2 months. I found a Sur and a Lo rune, but more important: I cubed many skillers. With this skillers I could finally make a pretty cool lightning sorc this thread is about. I chose the element lightning because there are no lightning immune monsters in baal's waves.

So, now to the more interesting stuff:

Hera, the lightning Sorc

That's her. I'm pretty satisfied with her. You can maybe guess most of her equipment, but here it is in detail:

Griffon's Eye w/ lightning facet
The Oculus w/ 15 allres jewel
Skin of the Vipermagi w/ lightning facet
Mosar's Blessed Circle w/ 2 x lightning facet
Mara's Caleidoscope
Arachnid Mesh
2 x SoJ

and these boots:

Spirit Stalker
Light Plated Boots
Defense: 10
Durability: 16 of 18
Required Strength: 50
Required Level: 29
Item Version: 1.10 Expansion
Item Level: 86
Fingerprint: 0xa0bca8c1
Fire Resist +30%
Lightning Resist +20%
Cold Resist +13%
11% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
30% Faster Run/Walk
Half Freeze Duration

On switch she has:

+2 CtA
Lidless Wall w/ Ort Rune

The inventory holds:

7 x Sparking GC
40% MF Gheeds
Life/Mana SCs (17/14, 18/15, 20/16, 13/17, 14/15)
20 Life SCs
Horadrim Cube

Mercenary: Act 2 Defiance Aura:

Kira's Guardian
Guardian Angel

The equipment is rather standard I guess, except maybe The Oculus and Moser's Circle. I chose the Oculus over Eschuta's because the +light damage is very insignificant and Oculus has nice resistances/mf/life/mana... Moser's Circle was handy because I needed resistances and I could put facets in there for more dmg. I'm non-RWM, so 30k is pretty good imho. No spirit and so on...
Moser's also has a low strength requirement which was helpful when going vita only. It was a tough decision between this way and maxblock, but I thought that I just might not have enough life for all the elemental attacks. Maxblock makes you more durable, but if you have a CtA you lose a real chunk of life and that's not worth it imho. And it works. My merc can take most of the damage for me and the ctc teleport of the Oculus often saves me when Lister's pack or something hits me hard. In fact the ctc has been more helpful than annoying to me so far.

So... the Gheeds is used because I only had 7 and not 8 skillers. But I'm glad I did so, now she has at least 101 MF (thanks Corrupted!). She has already found a grailer, Ravenlore.

You see that she has the Horadrim Cube in her inventory. This is because she needs a means against gloams. Those are the only LIs that sometimes show up in the throne room. In the cube there's a rare sorc wand with +2 to firewall and +2 to fire mastery. With +all skills she gets a firewall dmg of ~1171 which is enough to kill gloams at /p1 because they have 0 fire resistance and only 2-5k life...
I've tried a wand with lvl 2 lower resist charges as well. It can break the immunity, but I couldn't do it fluently. Nevertheless, when there're many gloams it's most of the time quickest to abort the run anyway...

Apart from that the runs are very quick and easy. The average run time comes close to that of a blizzballer or hammerdin. I wouldn't have thought that it works so well. Depending on the number of monsters in the throne before the waves spawn I can sometimes do runs in ~3:00 minutes... o_O Pretty cool, I don't want to know how this owns with an infinity...

It doesn't happen really often that one of the uniques of the waves is LI. Colenzo was ONCE immune in all my runs from 83-93. Then Bartuc and Lister are sometimes LI, but not really often either. They're guided to the bottom of the throne room then, so that baal casts the next waves.

Baal himself is the easiest part of the run: Tele right on top of him, cast static, namelock him, kill him offscreen (so that his manaburn doesn't hit me). With the Kelpie Snare of the merc he rarely does anything (thanks grogs, even a non-eth, non-upped one works wonders).

Btw, what I like about her too is that thanks to static field and teleport being lightning skills they are of a pretty high level. My mana regenerates while teleporting and my static field reaches the whole screen... That's so cool!

Well well, in the end I have to say that this character is much fun for me. I must have forgotten something of what I wanted to say because I have so much to say about this char. I might add somethin later, but that's it for now.
She's lvl 93 for a few days now and has maxed all her important skills (standard lightning sorc skills). I plan to level her at least to lvl 95 because that would be my personal level record in 1.10+ (I have two lvl 94 chars who I don't want to level further because they're not too good and not enough fun for longtime play...). Maybe I'll get even further... The problem is that I'm rather short of time. Right now I'm in Christmas stress. I'll have holidays from next week on, but then there's also my girlfriend who means more to me than D2. And after the holidays the final exams of my Abitur are near (in 3 months).

However, thanks for listening (if you did :p). Feel free to ask questions or post suggestions on how to improve my character.

congrats on your mat
why not a Crescent Moon RW in a normal sword for -35% light?
How long does it take to do a run on average without trying to rush too much?

What about your skills?

Does your merc die often with that setup? or do you mainly take care of the monsters before they can do too much?
Simple: Because a CM has only -35% ELR and nothing else. Oculus has resistances which I need, skills, MF and more. It's the better allround packet.
Nevertheless the dmg difference isn't big. You loose quite a chunk of screen damage with the CM and the -ELR isn't good enough to compensate this. I calculated it while planning the sorc and the result was that with the CM I'd have even less damage than with the Oculus. The only time the CM is better is against Bartuc's pack which has 75 LR, but the dmg difference is only ~1-2k average damage which really doesn't help much in damage regions of 15k average damage. Also the CM doesn't have FCR and with my equipment I perfectly reach the 105% FCR breakpoint (for teleport). I could've gotten it from magefists, but then I'd have less mana...

Nevertheless I have to say that CM is a good choice if your equipment isn't that highend. CM will help your damage a lot then. It's the same with CtA: I'd go maxblock without CtA and with a CtA I prefer vita only above maxblock because you are protected against elemental attacks as well as against physical ones (with maxblock you are protected against physical attacks well [and that only while standing still], but you have less life against elemental attacks than with vita.). Vitality helps against elemental AND physical attacks, maxblock only against physical ones.
Just out of curiosity, 103 skills gets u maxed lightning dmg... what'd you do with 104? or had you in the beginning put it in warmth?
How long does it take to do a run on average without trying to rush too much?
Well, until now I always tried to do the runs as fast as possible. It'd maybe take up to 30 seconds longer or something... dunno.
What about your skills?
As I said, standard:

Lightning 20
Chain Lightning 20
Charged Bolt 20
Nova 20
Lightning Mastery 20
Static Field 1
Teleport 1
Warmth 1
Does your merc die often with that setup? or do you mainly take care of the monsters before they can do too much?
Yes, kinda. With 90 res he has no problem against elemental attacks. The only serious physical attacks come from the fifth wave and these beasts are so fat that only one of them at a time can attack my merc who is standing on the stairs right before baal. They smite him, so his defense doesn't work, but he slows them by 75%. Situations are rare where they still hit him dangerously with his 3,6k life.
gg Reborn. Very innovative.
Haha, yeah, I know! ^^ It's just that the really powerful builds are pretty simple and known to everyone. It's very hard to create something new and especially if it is supposed to be this powerful... :wink3:

Too true mate, it's a curse. Anyway I hope you'll make it. I sincerely doubt that I ever will, even though I'm looking forward to try out three new puppies of mine (once I get out of 1.07 with my eths).
Hi Reborn2k,
I used slightly different merc gear when playing my pure-light sorceress, which I also suggest you to try out. Since the elemental resistances of the mercenary increase with his lvl, his Kira will (or maybe already has) become redundant.

Andariel's Visage is a great choice with +2 Skills, 20% IAS, 8-10% LL, huge defense and bonus to Max poison resist- the second most important when running Baal. I didn't find the CBF essential.

Kelpia, imo a must to prevent Baal from teleporting, provides 50% FR to make up for the AV's penalty. I ultimately UMed the Guardian Angel, because I got the perfect roll on defense.

Also, since you went the vita route and didn't spent a point in Frozen Armor, the defiance aura isn't that useful for you, and you might be better off with a HF merc.
Hey, thanks for your tips, Ugla!

I like to have my merc at max res with GA, but that can also be achieved by socketing the helm and armor with resist all jewels (he now has 59 base res, so it would pretty much be enough). Andariel's would be good for the poison res because it still hurts my merc. 20 Ias are also good... Unfortunately the 10% LL won't help him much with his un-upped un-eth Kelpie... Therefore I'm leaning towards giving him a Rockstopper for res, FHR and a bit DR or even better a Vampire Gaze for it's chunk of DR and MDR. What do you think?
Vampire Gaze is most likely the best merc headgear in terms of survival. But since Hera is that powerful, there is no real need for it. The monsters in WSK dealing physical damage are slaughtered at distance, thus resistances are superior to DR.

Just for comparison, my sorcie retired at clvl91 and haven't even maxed Nova by then (1 pt in Warmth, FA, ES, Thunderstorm). She used Harley instead of the Griffon's and had only one light skiller. Hence, she had much lower damage than Hera. Still, the mercenary died scarcely having reached the 90's. He used AMNed Kelpie, ethereal but non-upgraded with an average roll (159%). I gave him a potion or two, if the concils or Lister's pack spawned with some nasty mods. He was an ordinary HF merc with no life-boost from CtA.

I think, just one UM/resist jewel in GA is enough. With the base of 59, the total values should be 85 for fire, 74 for cold and lightning and 95 for poison (maybe the top limit si 90, i don't remember). Anyway the AV setup provides excellent resist vs poison (no teleport needed to purge after the 2nd wave), increased attack speed and maybe even higher lvl aura (not sure). The IAS/light resist jewel should be the perfect candidate for socketing the mask :cool:

Again, HF>defiance, since melee hitters are easily destroyed, before they reach your merc, and defense doesn't help against elements. You can eventually upgrade your Kelpie, as you look very rich :smiley:

Just two more hints:
1. while using the Griffon's with its -%LR, the good old LR wand should be stronger than the FW switch against Souls. If you spawn them on P8, restart is the most efficient solution as you said.

2. I found it better to stand in the hall rather than on the altar to make better use of more powerful lightning when fighting the waves. Also Charged Bolt seems a bit faster against Baal himself.
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