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mephiztophelez' guide to Fire Sorks

maxicek

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Dec 24, 2019
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mephiztophelez' guide to Fire Sorks, v1.1
Originally posted Nov 24, 2008

Note: This was written for BNet over 12 years ago. Things have changed since then, but much of the guide remains very useful

Table of Contents:
Part One:
1: Synopsis
2: The Build
Basic Build Goals, PvM & PvP
Advanced build goals
Stat Spend
Energy Shield Or Not?
Max-Block vs No-Block?
Essential Skill Selection
Utility Skills​
3: Gear, bits of kit to help us reach our goals
PvM gear
PvP gear​
4: Socketing Suggestions
5: Inventory & charms
6: Switch Gear
7: Stash​

Part Two:
8: Basic duelling tactics and strategies.
Aiming fireballs
Spammage 101
Cloud Of Fire
Strafing Run
Hydra Trap
The Telebomb
Meteor Trap
Mobility is Key
Desynch Fireballs​
9: Tactics vs specific opponents
Sorceress
Amazons
Necromancers
Paladins
Druids
Barbarians
Assassins​
10: Appendixes
Super-200%fcr sosa shopping list
Mercenaries
Know thy PvM nemesis
Where can a fire-sorc go PvM?​


Synopsis:
This guide is a general overview for sorceress' choosing to invest almost exclusivly in the Fire skill tree. I will try and include information for all the different variations such as ES vs Vita, max-block vs no-block etc.

The fire sorc is a great general character that can solo most of hell with the aid of a decently equipped mercenary and some utility skills. If playing through the game, only once you reach the Nightmare Chaos Sanctuary & NM Ancients will you find things a little difficult, after there, it's basically a free run through to the Hell Travincal Council.

Fire sorc's can be equipped for Magic Finding and general PvM duties, or be kitted out for duelling.

The vast bulk of current PvP builds require one to be either A: a dupewhore, or B: very lucky or very dedicated to the cubeing of Gul's.

The advantage of a Fire Sorceress is they can be effective without using a single runeword. While having access to a Legit Call To Arms will improve your pubby-game strike rate considerably, it isn't completely necessary and there are plenty of viable workarounds. while i will discuss Two High Runeword items in this guide (one of them, CtA duh, is already mentioned), neither of them require huge investments in time/effort to cube up from Gul's for a dedicated Ladder player.

If you havn't realised yet, this is a build that can be made on the super cheap, or tweaked with however much e-wealth you choose to devote to it.

It's also a great character for those new to PvP. it's relatively easy to kill people with Fireballs, and if your anything like me, you'll turn into a complete pirate with one of these under your control.

Please Note: This is not a "do things my way or suffer instant death" kind of guide. I am trying to include various bits of information to help you, the reader, make decisions about how you might choose to build your sorceress.

"But hang on, your an assassin nut, why are you writing a sorceress guide?"
because i also happen to have a pvp fire sorcy. i like my fire sorcy. she was a lot easier to put together than any of my 'sins and is generally easier to win with. this is also a build that can be done on the cheap. lower damage can be offset by better play skills a lot easier with a sorc than with a 'sin. besides, i can't write a BB guide for my current assassin, but i have some general notes somewhere i'll get around to publishing soon.

Part One: The Build

Basic Build Goals, PvM & PvP:
105% FCR: This gives us an 8-frame cast time for both our teleport and our attack spells. a pvm-only sorc could get away with a 9-frame cast, but it lowers our general capabilities by a lot.

86% FHR: by and large, sorcs are fairly fragile creatures, if you get hit, you want to get back up again and start cracking again as fast as possible. Thankfully, if we use a Spirit shield, 55% of this is taken care of.

Max res with an overstack: the overstack takes care of the Anya Bug and makes Fist of the Heavens pallys and cold sorc's sting a little less.

~14k'ish fireball damage should be enough to get you started for PvP, a PvM only sorc can live with lower damage.

Advanced build goals:
200FCR: gives us a 7 frame cast, so we spit out our fireballs as fast as a tweaked zon can fire off Guided Arrows. Unlike a zon, we can also teleport at the same rate. The downside is extremely limited wiggle-room in our gear selection. a 200%fcr sorc will rarely have shield block.
142FHR
20k fireball damage
a Legit CtA.​

Stat Spend:
Strength: STR: enough for gear. For most sorcs, this will mean a Spirit Monarch with it's thumping great str-req of 156.

Dex: minimum needed to pick up a Wizardspike Bone knife, OR, enough for max-block with the endgame shield of your choice

Energy: either BASE (vita sorc) or pumped heavily for Energy Shield users

Vitality: again, this depends on if you're an ES sorc or not.


Energy Shield Or Not?
This is one of those personal decisions that you will need to make before building your sorceress. ES can increase your survivability by a huge amount, but is offset by a lower damage output and either no Hydra or a very weak Hydra.

ES is NOT a one-point-wonder. to be effective, it needs to be carefully planned both in Gear selections and one's vitality/energy stat spend.

It's worth noting that damage from poison or from Open Wounds bypasses the ES altogether. ES sorcs are going to HATE ww-sins.

While it is possible to get away without using a single hard point in the Energy Shield skill itself (getting ES from a Memory Staff or similar and using a large amount of Pre-Buff gear), you will need to max Telekinesis to get a benefit from it.

RenegadeMaster has a nice guide on How To Make ES work for You which is well worth a read if ES appeals to you.

Max-Block vs No-Block?
Max-block can help a LOT against some opponents (BvC's, Bowa'zons & Chargers most especially), but against any opponent who can ignore blocking it's essentially a huge sacrifice in life.

If you're going to go with a max-block option, I would advise a 105%FCR build and the use of a good blocking shield (which I'll discuss later) and possibly even a Guardian Angel armour and/or a crafted Safety amulet.

If you are using a spirit shield, do NOT try for max-block. Spirit has no blocking bonus on it and combined with the 156 strength requirement for monarchs, the whopping amount of dex you'll need will leave you feeling rather squishy

Essential Skill Selection:
Fire Tree:
Warmth: 1
Fireball: 20
Firebolt: 20
Meteor: 20
Fire Mastery: 20
Hydra: 1+ (Hydra is a good place to dump spare skill points on a Vita Sorc, an ES model would probably have better things to do with the pre-req skill points and may not have Hydra at all)​

Notes on Fire Skills:
Fireball vs Firebolt: with enough +skills, both these spells will deal comparable damage. For the ES sorcs amongst us, Firebolt is the preferred spell with it's miserly mana cost of 2.5 per shot. Fireball, with it's AoE splash, is better against minion stackers (druids & necros mostly). Fireball's also have a wider 'path' meaning aiming is a touch more forgiving.
Warmth: a base-point at least is mandatory for pretty much all sorcs. i'd advise against pumping it more than that as there are better things to put points into.

Hydra: this is pretty much the preserve of Vitality sorcs. an ES sorc is unlikely to have enough 'spare' skill points for the pre-reqs and getting a semi-decent hydra. It would be perfectly acceptable to max Hydra and skrimp a little elsewhere if you find you really like Hydra. i reckon Hydra is a fantastic PvP skill on my vit-sosa, even at a "measly" 3k damage. extra chaos & confusion on the blood-moor is always nice to be able to spread around.

Fire Mastery: points into fireball synergies > points in Mastery. if you must skrimp on points in the Fire Tree, this is where you can sacrifice a few and not totally nerf your damage output.

Meteor: a fabulous PvM spell of dubious value PvP. while it is possible to kill opponents with Meteor, generally you only do it with luck or a particularly well planned and executed meteor-trap. Nothing says "wtfpwnt" quite like a 40k+ meteor. about the only build that can knock Hell Baal down faster than a meteor sorc is a tricked out CS zon.

Lightning Tree:
Teleport + it's prerequisite of Telekinesis should both get a point. for ES sorcs, Telekinesis should be Maxed (not the 16points some people advise for the 1:1 damage:mana ratio but MAXED with a full 20 hard points)

Cold Tree:
one into Chilling Armour. Chilling armour can block the occasional missile from our opponents in PvP, most notably, Guided Arrows. you can either spend the points for chilling armour, or get it as a free-skill from an Orb, staff or a Snowclash belt

Utility Skills:
If you want your sorc to have some general PvM ability too, then a point in Static Charge is hard to beat.
Some method of holding Fire Immunes steady while your merc pounds 'em is nice. Glacial Spike is expensive to get with it's two pre-reqs, but I feel (with a rebuild under my belt) that it's well worth it. If you like, you can try with a single point in Frost Nova and have a beefier Hydra later on but for my mind, glacial is the way to go. For the fetishists amongst us, it is perfectly viable to get your Static and Glacial from an Orb and one could even make a legit CtA in a staff with +Chilling Armour on it to save on skill points.


Gear, bits of kit to help us reach our goals:

PvM gear:
Full Tal Rasha's Wrappings: the completed Tal's Set offers a complete package for the PvM sorc. for the cost it's almost impossible to go past the huge range of GG mods it offers. The armour and amulet may cost a little, but the rest you'll probably find yourself or can trade for a handful of pgems. While some people feel that using only a "partial tals" setup is superior, I firmly disagree. for a full rundown on the benefits of Tal's, read The Truth about Tal's Set

That's about all I want to say on PvM gear for a fire sorc.

PvP gear:
for the 200fcr speed-demons, we want FCR, lots of FCR, we basically need FCR on EVERY bit of gear that can give it to us. so, that's basically everything bar our boots.
For the 105fcr builds out there, there's a little more leeway in our gear selections. in this case, we're probably chasing extra damage (+skills) or survival mods (%DR, %res, +% blocking, FHR, etc)

Hat:

FCR comes in two flavours on rare and magic hats: 10% and 20%. 10% is going to put some serious strain on other gear to hit 200%, but can be viable. 20% is much preferred. Other nice mods to have are: +skills (boosts our damage), sockets, res, FRW, FHR and +Strength.

The other hat option is a Griffon's Eye. These things are not cheap, nor are they ideal for a Fire sorc, they DO however have 25% FCR, the highest available on a helm for a legit player. this can help us hit that magic 200%. a nice rare would serve you better i feel.

105%fcr sorcs have a much easier time shopping for a helm. That good old standby the Harlequin Crest Shako is a pretty sexy sorc helm.

Belt:
only two options here for the 200%fcr crew
1: Arachnid Sash: +1 skills and 20% FCR, sign me up. These are one of the more highly sought after items on West Ladder currently. i advise you to be careful when trading for one, and do NOT trade for a "perfect" 120 ed model.
2: a caster crafted belt can give us 10%. again, this will put stress on other areas of the build, but if you can't acquire an Arach, this is pretty much your only other choice.

a 105% sorc might choose a %DR belt (dungo's, string of ears), a sorb belt (t-gods) or some kind of rare resis/fhr/stats job.

Gloves:
1: Magefists, give us the all important 20% FCR and an always handy +1 Fire Skills.
2: Trang Oul's gloves. Trangs give us 20% FCR and some Cold Res. magefists are the preferred glove.

ES sorc might like to investigate Frostburns gauntlets. The huge +Max Mana boost is a massive boost to the strength of an ES.

Rings:
One ring will probably need to have 10% fcr on it, quite possibly both for 200fcr sorcs.
Try and swing some splendid mods to go along with the fcr on a "built-in-ring". +20str, 10% resist all would be nice.

If you can get away with only one FCR ring and still hit your fcr goals, the other ring can be used for sorb on demand.

for ES sorcs, the Stone of Jordan is pretty swish, extra +skills for damage and a handy mana boost. Beware of trading for an SoJ, there are insane numbers of unperm duped SoJ's out there.

Ammy:
We're firmly into the highly variable world of Rares, Magics and Crafts here.
Rares and Magics can get 10% from the Of The Apprentice suffix, but we're placing strain on hitting that magic 200%.

Crafted Caster Amulets (Ral+PAmethyst+junk jewel+magic ammy in the cube) get from 5-10% as a craft-mod and also have a shot at scoring another 10% as a suffix for a total of 20% FCR. This is probably your best bet for an Amulet. My ammy is a plain 20% FCR with some minor resists on it. I would advise AGAINST trading for a +2skills/20FCR amulet with anyone you don't know. if you get into crafting, keep ALL amulets with 15%+ FCR on them, regardless of other mods. sometimes, a buyer for one just falls in your lap.

For the 105%fcr crew who can get by without FCR on their amulet, a Mara's is a solid option, or some more esoteric kit like +3fire/100 life ammy's can be used. a crafted Safety Amulet with its +% blocking mod could be a boon for a max-block sosa'.

Armour:
four viable choices here for the 200fcr crew, i'll list them in my own order of desirability
1: Skin of the Vipermagi. 30% FCR is the highest available on armour, and only available on a Viper, it also comes with a useful +1 skills, from 25-35% res-all and a splash of MDR which is nice for PvM. a low viper will cost you perhaps a pgem or two, personally i reckon get the best one you can and up it (on ladder only obviously) then get Larzuk to drill a hole in it for you (i'll get to socketing suggestions later).

2: Ormus Robes with +3 Fireball (or +3 Fire Bolt if you're that way inclined). this armour packs a serious punch, but with only 20% fcr on it, it's sib par for a 200% FCR sorc imho.

3: Stealth. Tal + Eth gives us 25% FCR, some FHR and some FRW. it's lacking just about everywhere else, but if you can win consistently wearing this armour, you are earning MAJOR style points, please be sure to mercilessly rub it in to your pubby dupewhore opponents.

4: Que Hagens Wisdom: +1 skill, 20% FCR is the only reason it gets a mention at all. surely you can come up with a couple of pgems for a low'ish viper.

Max Block sorcs might like to investigate the potential offered by a Guardian Angel. Personally, I have yet to build such a sorc, but I have dueled a few in my time and can safely say that Guardian Angel is a FABULOUS armour for the block-sosa.

Another option for the 105'ers is a Chains of Honor. I don't have this armour and probably never will, but the combination of +2skills, huge resists and a nice splash of %DR is nice if you don't need fcr on your armour.

Shield:
99.99% of legit 200% FCR sorcs will use a Spirit Monarch. with up to 35% FCR and a juicy +2 skills, it's tough to go past. The 'other' option is a Lidless with +1 skill and 20% fcr. I would advise a good spirit shield.

the 105% Max-Block crew has a huge variety of options:
Whistans Guard: huge +% blocking saves a lot of points in dex
Stormshield: a heavy beast of a shield, but it comes with a nice 35%dr some res and blocking
Moser's Blessed Circle: huge res, decent blocking and a handy two sockets. you'll probably want an up'd one.
Visceratuant: some +% blocking and a handy +1 skill, can be worth up'ing.
Lidless Wall: +1skill, some blocking and 20%fcr. upped to a trolls nest, these have long been a good option for a block sorc.
Sanctuary runeword (Ko+Ko+Mal) in a 3os Tower shield: huge resist bonus, good blocking, a handy splash of FHR and a nice dex boost all make for a handy combination.

Weapons:
Rare & Magic orbs
200fcr speed queens unfortunately kinda need a minimum of 35% FCR on our weapon. so the glittering world of Magic & Rare orbs with it's promise of +5/+6 FB and our utility skills built in is, sadly, a closed book for 200FCR sorcs. Not so for the 105'ers. a slick rare or magic orb can easily outdamage an eschuta's.

Uniques (in no particular order):
1: Eschuta's Temper. up to +3 skills and some nice boost to fire skill damage make Eshcuta's the hardest hitting weapon a 200fcr sosa can pick up. but only marginally. 40% FCR is nice to have and helps us hit our goals. My own opinion is that eschuta's is highly overrated and outclassed by other options.

2: Suicide Branch wand. if Eschuta's is highly overrated, then 'Branch is seriously under appreciated. with a staggering 50% FCR, if you have to use less than optimal FCR equipment elsewhere, this is where you can make up a bit of it at least. 'Branch also has a handy +1 skills and a modest res boost to go with it. a fine choice all round.

3: Wizardspike Bone Knife. 50% fcr, a massive 75%res-all and a handy life & mana boost make for a tempting combination. the downside is the lack of +skills. i'd advise against using this as your primary weapon, but keeping one of these on hand is useful when you need some massive res-stack (eg: cold sorcs & conviction users). beware the dexterity requirement, vit sorcs may like to socket a Hel rune or -15% requirements jewel into their wizknife.

Runewords:
1: a legit Heart of the Oak in a low-req's one handed weapon (a flail being the standard). This runeword requires a Vex rune, and is illegal to trade for here at the Barons Bazaar. however a Vex is merely two Guls and a plain Ruby in the cube, i feel it is easily achievable by a legit player with a modicum of effort. HotO gives us a thumping 40% FCR, a very juicy res-boost and some handy life-replenish.

2: Spirit sword in a low req's one-handed weapon (crystal swords seem to be the standard here). These are rather tricky to fit in. by my calculations, you need perfect FCR everywhere else, AND perfect 35% FCR here too, to hit 200%. That said, spirit also packs a huge 55% FHR on it, which makes getting to that elusive 142% breakpoint a little easier.

Boots:
Well, there's no FCR to be had here from anywhere so the choices are wide open. Ideally we want resistances & FHR on our boots. for a mass-market-easy-to-acquire option, Sandstorm Treks are a solid, if sub-optimal, choice.

Some FRW is very nice to have to help escape from various opponents and for running through town on our way to/from Akara. Aldur's Boots get a mention as being an allround fine piece of footwear. Crafted safety boots are also an option, they can get a huge bonus to fire res and some handy iDR/mDR

The 'super ideal' sorceress boots imho, would be a set of rares with: 40% fire, cold & lightning resis, 30%frw, 10%fhr and some poison length reduction

The only thing i suggest against here is anything with a str req higher than that of our shield.

Socketing Suggestions:
Generally, we'll have a socket in our hat (hopefully, one day, Two), one in our armour and possibly one in our weapon.

I feel it's better to use these to help hit our FHR and Resist breakpoints before doing the knee jerk reaction of stuffing a Fire Facet in any available socket.

I feel that for facets to be noticeably 'effective' you really need to be packing a minimum of three and preferably four or more of the suckers. Against a dueller with marginal resists, facets can help. against one with poor resist, you'll probably beat 'em anyways and against a good dueller who stacks everything to buggery, it a marginal boost to your damage (the +% fire skill gets added in with our Fire Mastery bonus) at the cost of a socket. just all round poor use of a socky in my opinion.
Shaels give 20% FHR while Um's give 15% res-all in armour & helms. use those sockets to give yourself some more survivability rather than some piddling extra damage.

The 'godliest' jewels to socket into your gear would be rares with +30lit res, +30cold res, +10% res-all, +str, +dex jobbies.

Inventory & charms:
if the cost of an Arach didn't scare the bejeezus out of you, filling your inventory with nice charms probably will.

A sorc torch and an Annihilus should be high on your purchase list. for preference, have both of these onhand BEFORE building your sorceress. only once you get to level 75 should you even contemplate picking up your spirit shield. if you're an Arach user, you won't be a 200% FCR sorc until level 80 anyway.

Fire Skill grand charms: we can fit up to nine of these and a torch into our inventory. you DO NOT NEED all nine before starting to go and duel. if you meet my recommended minimum 14k damage target, i reckon get out there and play silly buggers rather than toil through trade channels. having nine is recommended and something you should work towards. Ideally, these GC's will have a useful suffix of Life or FHR on them too. if you're still collecting your GC's, fill your inventory with +life, +mana, res and FHR charms of whatever size/quality you happen to possess.

You also have room for some small charms, these should be 20 lifer sc's with a useful prefix if you're rich. +resists and +mana are generally the prefixes we're looking for.

Some people persist with the mistaken belief that +str charms are good things, look at it this way:
+2 strength is the most available on a small charm, this = +2 stat points. Given that sorceress' get +2 life per point in Vitality, a +20 Life sc = +10 stat points, or five times the bang for your inventory space buck.

Points in Strength + Vita charms > Points in Vitality + Strength charms.

Switch Gear:
If you have a legit CtA & another spirit shield, these should obviously go on switch. If you're making a legit CtA to go with your sorc, choose a base weapon that's visually very different to your main fighting weapon. For this reason I've become a bit of a fan of the Twin Axe for a legit CtA.

Stash
Unlike my assassin and my paladin, both of whom have an extensive collection of knick-knacks, sorb gear, extra res-boost gear and all manner of various other paraphernalia in their stash to mix & match with, my sorcy has her kit, which she wears and generally keeps a bare minimum of switch gear to hand.

The only things I'm swapping around are my weapons. I use a HotO as my primary weapon and keep a hel'd wizknife and a 35%fcr spirit sword on hand for various matchups.

This is one of the things i like most about my sorc actually. very simple to duel with: enter game, go hostile, start lobbing fireballs around.
 

maxicek

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Part Two: Basic Duelling Tactics & Strategies

The first thing to note here is that being an elemental user you will have to deal with mass sorbing noobs on a regular basis. A well built fire sorc should be able to cut through a Dwarfstar or possibly even a pair of Hotspurs. It's next to impossible to beat someone who is using both of these items. That said, you should still score plenty of wins in pubby games, but when you come across someone with 95% fire res, 30% fire absorb (2x dwarfstars) and a big wodge of Integer fire sorb (a rising sun ammy) you are completely screwed. such mass sorbing noobs will tank your Meteor then get healed up by the residual flames.

Fire sorcs don't really hold a clear class-advantage over anyone, except possibly Lightning sorc's (fireballs have greater range than lightning) and javazons (javazons without the FC hack that is). In fact, most classes hold an advantage over us. It is up to our own skills at positioning ourselves and how well we can lure an opponent into a trap to score a win for us.

Aiming fireballs:
Most of the time, we are trying to keep clear of our opponent and most of our duelling is done from a screen or two away. if you fire your fireballs so they pass over our opponents mini-map mark, chances are we are missing our opponent. The reason for this is that the mini-map is set at a slightly different aspect ratio than our screen. to ensure we are actually shooting at them, position your cursor so you are clicking directly on their mini-map marker. Our missiles may "appear" to be passing to one-side of the mini-map marker (depending where exactly they are in relation to us), but by clicking on their marker, we are shooting straight at them (assuming you have 'centered' your mini-map, if in doubt, toggle it off then back on again).

Spammage 101:
a great tactic especially for 200fcr sorc's. the theory here is the more fireballs you pump out, the more chance you have of hitting someone. spamming off an FB is seldom a bad idea, at the very least you could cause someone to have to move. if anyone starts whining about it (spam moer nub!), point out that 99% of Hammerdin duelling tactics is simply mindless spammage too.

Cloud Of Fire (CoF):
this is a technique we can use to build up a big 'cloud' of fireballs in one nice tight group. to practise this, start by shooting off two or three FB's in a narrow arc towards (for example) the North West. once you've shot the third, teleport 3/4 the way up the screen towards the NW, into (or just ahead) the little pack of FB's we just created. Fire off another three FB's in the same kind of tight arc, tele forward, rinse & repeat. FB's have a range of approximatly 3 1/2 screens, using this technique we can build up a tight cloud of 9+ fireballs, all heading in the same direction. I find this a particularly nice technique to use against camping trap'sins.

Strafing Run:
Unlike the Cloud of Fire, the strafing run is about setting up a big line of FB's that are spread out across the screen.
start like with a CoF, but make the arc your shooting in about 60degrees. fire one off just to the West of North, One to the NW and one just West of NW, then tele WEST, rinse and repeat. the Strafing run is generally about getting people to move.

Hydra Trap:
Building up a good Hydra Patch can take a little time. A good Hydra Trap has four Hydra out in an almost square formation. the idea is to have some 'turrets' out to make opponents think twice about either a tele-stomp or about trying to tank the hydra. a surprising number of opponents will try to tank your Hydra.

Hydra traps are particularly useful against desynching paladins when we set up our Hydra around a set of bogs & landscape features that will screw with their desynch.

The Telebomb:
If we right-click namelock our opponent and then teleport, we arrive directly above our opponent. setting your mouse to the south before teleporting means by re-clicking on your RMB after the tele, you will start sending a stream of FB's directly into your opponent.

The reverse is also true, and particularly useful against desynch, throwlock/telebomb hammerdins. a hammerdin will tele immediatly below you, ready to eat fireballs.

Meteor Trap:
If you cast a meteor, then switch to tele without moving your mouse, you will teleport so the meteor lands directly on top of you. remember meteor has a delay before landing.

The idea is to trick your opponent into trying to telebomb you. They start their cast animation and you teleport into your meteor trap. Their namelocked teleport onto you, drags them into the path of your meteor.

Meteor traps are hard to pull off.

Mobility is Key:
One of the advantages of being a sorc is the fast cast-times we can achieve for our teleport. an 8 or 7 frame cast makes us one of the most mobile builds in the game, second possibly only to charging, desynching paladins.

In general with a sorc, you don't want to be standing still. If you've cast off more than two or three fireballs, you really should think about moving.

Desynch Fireballs:
Just like hammerdins and many opponents, it's possible to let off invisible "desynched" fireballs. Desynch occurs when we are moving too fast for the server to keep up with our position. to send out desynch fireballs basically telepoprt wildly about the place spamming one or two (tops) fireballs out after every teleport or two. very hard to be accurate with desy FB's, but they are possible to produce.

Tactics vs specific opponents:

Sorceress'
Fire Sorc: your mirror image. who can spam better, position themselves better and even telebomb better will decide this battle. a 200fcr sorc has a clear advantage over a 105 build in this matchup

Lightning Sorc: we have one clear advantage here, our fireballs have better range. but thats about it. in all, this is by and large a pretty even duel.

Blizzard Sorc: a blizzy will one or two-hit kill you 99% of the time. the trick is to be careful when teleporting, as most of the time you will only get nailed by a blizzard when you accidently teleport into the middle of it. don't be afraid to telebomb a blizzy, just be careful about your timing (just after they have cast a blizzard is the best time to attempt this)

Orb sorcs: these are a grade A PITA. stack your cold res (eg: get wizknife from stash), throw on a ravenfrost and hope for the best. generally this is a duel done at 2-screens distant, you do not want to get caught up in an orb-field.​

Amazons:
Bowa'zons: your nemesis is the tricked out bowazon. they out-range us and have the advantage of a homing missile. a max-block/es build should be able to handle these, but a no-block build is in for a rough trot. Love thy Chillng Armour. if you can get in close enough to drop a Hydra under them, you'll at least force them to move and hopefully put them into dodgelock. don't be afraid to break off an attacking run (a strafing run or cloud of fire) to shake off some GA's. teleporting behind a landscape feature like wall or bush is the best method of shaking off GA's as they have one HELL of a long range once they lock onto you. Seriously well tricked out zon's are packing HUGE amounts of FRW and can launch their GA's from desynch. don't feel bad about losing to well built bowa'zons.

Lightning Javazons: One of our easier matchups, assuming they aren't using the Farcast hack. Lit-Fury has a limited range and does pretty low damage meaning most zons will try and get in close to use their Charged Strike. the trick here is to dodgelock them, either with a constant stream of fireballs or with a couple of Hydra. these zon's may or may not be desynching too.

Poi'zons: A very rare and underappreciated amazon build, a plague'zon is capable of dealing well over 100k damage from the poison cloud. Like with a blizzard sorc, we have to be careful not to blindly teleport into a lingering cloud of death. Plague Javelin has a cast delay and we should use this to our advantage where possible. Again, a well built poi'zon will probably have enough FRW to effectivly desynch, so stay on your toes. for the ES sorc's among us, these gals are gonna SUCK.​

Necromancers:
Poisonmancers: these necs need to be within 1/3'rd of a screen to hit us with a Nova, so, keep your distance and spam.

Summon Necs: these guys pretty much HAVE to telebomb you, making them great targets for a Hydra or Meteor trap. firebolt users will want to switch to fireball for this matchup.

Bonermancers: a tough matchup for most classes, the teleporting bonermancer has a number of advantages over a sorc: homing missiles (bone spirit), a multishot substitute (teeth) and unresistable magic damage. that said, they are beatable. learn to recognise the signs of 'IBS" (invisible bone spirits, caused by desynch spammage). IBS gives itself away by the 'shadow' patches on the ground without the bone-spirit being visible. generally, this is a hit & run duel. try and lure them into a Hydra patch.​

Paladins:
Hammerdins: never give chase to a hammerdin, you are begging to run into a desynch hammerfield. There is a "safespot" immediatly to the southwest of a Hammerdin where their hammers won't hit you. practice walking into this spot when a hammerdin telebombs you. the hammerdin will appear and start to cast, you have just enough time to get out of 'hammer central' and start firing back at them. personally, i hate duelling hammerdins and feel that they are, without exception, a character build used only by the clueless. 99.99% of hammerdins you duel in pubby games will be wearing hotspurs against you. a well built ES sorc will have a much easier time dealing with hammerdins than a vit sorc.

Fisters: stack thy lit res, throw on a wisp-projector if you can do so while maintaining all your goals and hope for the best. thankfully, most fisters have somewhat marginal resistances, but against a well prepared sorbing fister, your in some trouble.

Smiters, chargers, zealots & any hybrid pally carrying a Grief weapon: these are a major pain in the arse for any sorc without max-block and are still a pain in the arse for those sorcs who do have max-block. desynch charge can one-hit-kill us before they even register on the minimap. fighting against a desy charger isn't easy, we need to get them hung up on landscape features like bogs & marshes. i generally like to find a big patch of bogs and setup a Hydra trap, i also tend to die a lot to charging pallys, especially when they sorb.​

Druids:
Windies: these guys love to telebomb and they also have minion stack and Cyclone Armour. a Hydra trap can be useful. if a druid breaks off, it's usually to re-summon their minions and re-cast cyclone armour, so if you see them run off, gieb chase. self-meteoring (eg standing in one spot casting multiple meteors on yourself) can be an effective method of dealing with Auto-Aim windies.

Melee shapeshift Druids: given they can't teleport, these are usually not that hard. However, do something stupid and they can probably One-Hit Kill you. this could turn into a very long duel.​

Barbarians:
BvC: up there with the Bowazon as our main nemesis. the BvC is designed specifically to kill casters (like us). keep your distance, if a BvC gets a namelock on you, it's pretty much all over so far as your concerned. beware of BvC's leaping over you, they can actually use that time in the air to get an unsummon namelock on you. don't feel bad about losing to a good BvC player, a BvC is one of the hardest duelling characters to master. Max Block sorc's will have much less trouble with BvC's than no-block models.

BvB: where the BvC is designed to kill casters, the BvB is designed to kill other barbs. BvB's rarely, if ever, have Teleport and generally move rather slowly. actually, unless your invading a Barb vs Barb game, you'll probably never fight one of these. if you do, use your mobility to advantage and expect the barb to pull out a Widowmaker.

BvA: see also BvC

Singer: rare breeds of barb that have HUGE life pools and use Warcry to deal physical damage. these shouldn't be too hard, beware of getting FHR'locked.

Wolf-Barb: see also Melee Shapeshift Druids.​

Assassins:
All half decent 'sins will try to stunlock you through a combination of traps & mindblast. good FHR is key here.

Trappers: keep your distance and spam. a good Cloud of Fire can often snatch a win. don't ever tele right where a trapper has been (you'll wind up in the middle of a trap field more likely than not). if you get Mindblasted, break off until the swirlies go away.

ww-sin, including ww/trap hybrids: these are, quite simply, right up there with BvC's & bowazons as the hardest matchups you will face. ww-sins have Weapon Block, which can block up to 60% of our fireballs. 'sins also have a Shadow Master/Warrior for minion stack, this shadow also has weapon block. A max-block Vit sorc will do better against these than any ES sorc. dual-claw 'sins aren't called Mageslayers for nothing. if your consistently beating a ww-sin with a fire-sorc, your opponent is a noob.​



Appendixes
1: Super-200%fcr sosa shopping list
helm: +2 sorc, 2sock, 20res-all, +30str, 20%fcr, 75%PLR rare circlet
ammy: +2sorc, 20fcr, 20res-all, 30str caster crafted amulet
armour: 35%res-all viper, up'd
belt: arach sash
ring1: 20str, 15dex, 10res-all, 10fcr, +life, life-replenish
ring2: mix & match wisp/dwarf/ravenfrost & a rare with 10%fcr, 10res-all, +life, +mana, etc, etc.
shield: 35% fcr Spirit Monarch
boots: rares with 40% fire, cold & lightning resis, 30%frw, 10%fhr and maybe some poison length reduction
weapon: mix & match with a 35%fcr spirit sword, res-jool'd wizknife &/or a high end, legit, HotO
switch: legit CtA & possibly another spirit shield.

the "super omfg" sorc build would have a 200fcr/142fhr no-block setup and a 105%fcr/86%fhr max-block setup (via switching shield, armour & possibly ammy). the super-sorc would also have huge resistances and the ability to use a %sorb ring while maintaining their 200% fcr goal. i personally do not have such a sorc.

Appendix Two: Mercenaries
For PvM duties, a merc is almost essential for a single tree sorc. Personally, I like the Nightmare, Act Two defensive Desert Guard merc with their handy Holy Freeze aura. just like our sorc, they can be kitted out on the cheap (duriel shell, tal hat, bonehew to name one cheap & viable setup) or tweaked with some e-wealth for extra utility. My merc currently wears Gladiators Bane armour, a Vamp Gaze helm and uses an ethereal Obedience cryptic axe. So long as you give them some Life-Leech the Cannot Be Frozen mod and some kind of decent pokestick they will be useful.

Appendix Three: know thy PvM nemesis
Between Static Charge, Glacial Spike and a decently kitted out Mercenary, there are very few regular monsters that will give you serious trouble. Chief among these are Fire Immune Frenzytaur as found in Worldstone Keep level III and the Throne of Destruction. Frenzytaur have the Cannot Be Frozen mod, so our glacial spike can't hold them steady to let old Waheed pound 'em. Frenzytaur are also mean & nasty enough that they will tear our merc to shreds in a matter of seconds. The really nasty versions of these Frenzytaur have a physical/fire immune, mana-burning boss. in general, these things are to be avoided where possible. when confronted with them, i tend to run.

You can take frenzytaur on if you're feeling brave. Telekinesis can be used to hold them steady, you'll want to breakup the mob and try to take them one by one to give your poor merc a chance.

Appendix Four: where can a fire-sorc go PvM?
well, most places really. the major toughspots are NM & Hell Chaos Sanctuary, Hell Travincal Council and NM & Hell Ancients.

Most of the latter part of Act 5 (glacial trail onwards) is agreeably free of Fire Immunes until you hit WSK III.

sirpoopsalot said:
I think 'The Masoleum' in the Act1 Graveyard is a level85 area that does not have natural fire immunes. Almost ever item in the game can drop in a level85 area, so that would be a good place to level up, as well as potentially find some very nice items. Note: It might be 'The Crypt' (I always get them mixed up).

It is certainly possible to run hell Baal solo with a fire sorc (i do it all the time), just be warned that a nasty monster-mix on either WSKIII or the throne can leave you with some serious problems (eg: fire immune, CBF frenzytaur). I tend to run baal for a group (pubs, friends, whatever) and will generally set my TP by the stairs to the throne. if your running baal for a group, it's probably best to warn them that you are a fire sorc. when things go bad in the throne, you REALLY need help.

in terms of Bosses, well, Andarial, Duriel, & Mephisto are all prime candidates to wallop with a fire sosa.
Keyrunning can certainly be done by a fire sorc:
The Countess is always Fire Immune, but can be taken out by the cunning use of Telekinesis and a Merc.
The Summoner drops very quickly with only a couple of FB's
Nihlathak can be a very tricky customer, but short of being both Fire & Phys immune, he should be a fairly easy target. I would recommend you read my Nihlathak 1.0.1 guide before running Nihlathak.

The truth of the matter is: a single tree sorc just isn't the greatest all-round PvM sorc build going. if you want a PvM sorc, i'd strongly advise a Frozen Orb hybrid of some description. a 105fcr/86fhr full tal's Meteorb sorc is both cheap and super pvm effective.​
 
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