Melee Sorceress

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EZ NAV
AbbreviationsBuild CoreMercenaryEarly GameMid GameEnd GameChallengesDungeons and Rifts

Official Documentation



INTRODUCTION

Think of the Melee Sorceress as the angry, rebellious, and often neglected younger sibling to her more refined and beloved Caster sistren. She’s not as powerful, or as popular, and things don’t come as easy for her, but what she lacks in raw talent and divine favor, she makes up for in dogged determination and stubborn tenacity.

Melee Sorc may not be fast or flashy, but it’s a solid and reliable build that gets the job done.



PROS AND CONS

► EXPAND



ABBREVIATIONS

► EXPAND



D2STATS DROP NOTIFIER

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ATTRIBUTE POINTS

STR = Enough for gear → none (End Game)
DEX = Everything else
VIT = None
NRG = None



BASE SKILLPLAN

MELEE
  • Moonstrike [25]
  • Bladestorm [10]
  • Fusillade [10]
  • Arcane Sustenance [1]

ARCANE
  • Immersion [1]
  • Arcane Torrent [1]
  • Raven Familiar [1]

COVEN
  • Living Flame [25]
  • Warp Armor [25]
  • Nova Charge [6]

REWARD
  • Baneblade [15]
  • Symbol of Esu [5]
  • Force Blast [1]

MASTERY
  • Melee Devotion [1]
  • Meditation [3] → Tenacity [5]
  • Endurance [10]

Spec into Paradigm Shift when you've assembled the End Game Base Kit, then Cold Blooded if/when you go full Elemental. Remaining points can go to Premonition for higher Max CtB potential and Raven Familiar for more +Skills.

► SKILLPLAN FOR DIMENSIONAL LABYRINTH


► NOTES ON SKILLS



BREAKPOINTS

ATTACK SPEED (Warp Blade) = 6 / 23 / 56 / 129 (5 fpa)
ATTACK SPEED (Crystal Sword) = 15 / 46 / 109 (5 fpa)
HIT RECOVERY = 5 / 11 / 20 / 35 / 60 / 109 / 280 (3 fpa)
BLOCK SPEED = 3 / 7 / 13 / 20 / 32 / 48 / 75 / 129 / 280 (4 fpa)
CAST SPEED (Staves) = 6 / 19 / 42 / 83 / 194 (5 fpa)
CAST SPEED (1H swing Weapons) = 8 / 22 / 42 / 78 / 157 (6 fpa)



THE BASICS

► OFFENSE


► DEFENSE


► SPECIFIC DANGERS


THE TL;DR ON HOW TO PLAY:
  • Summon Raven Familiar, then buff with Nova Charge, Mana Shield, Baneblade, and any oskill buffs.
  • Buff with Moonstrike and keep it active at all times during combat.
  • Deploy Fusillade, then go nuts with Bladestorm.
  • Debuff with Force Blast, as needed.
  • Attempt to charm monsters with Mind Control when you’re desperate.



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You can use whichever merc you want, but I prefer a Rogue Priestess. She can spread damage over a broad range, which is nice, but her Vindicate skill's Life Regen is ridiculously helpful while leveling, making the Priestess an exceptional companion. If you’re interested in other mercs, see NotCube’s The Hireling Handbook for more info.

► CLASS-SPECIFIC BONUSES


► GEAR


► BREAKPOINTS


► NOTES ON MERCS



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GEAR

► expand


NORMAL (CLVL 1-55)

ATTRIBUTE POINT DISTRIBUTION:
Put 20 points into STR → put 25 points into DEX → hold 50 Points → put everything else into DEX.

The points you’re holding will function as a reserve that you can draw from when you need more STR to equip gear. This way, you don’t have to waste a respec just to redistribute Attribute Points.

SKILL POINT DISTRIBUTION:
Generally, you’ll want to distribute Skill Points evenly among your skills as you level; however, you have some leeway to boost skills according to your needs (e.g. focusing on Coven skills if you feel too squishy, or Melee skills if your damage feels too low). Just be aware that your Melee skills cost a lot of Mana, and those costs will be severe if you boost your Melee skills too quickly. To help offset this, spec into Meditation once you unlock Bladestorm. Spec out of Meditation before moving on to Act 5.

GEARING:
When equipping found armor, don’t focus exclusively on a piece’s Defense rating. Instead, prioritize gear with Life, Life sustain, Life regen, Poison Res, Fire Res, DEX, and MF.

RANDOM WORLD DROPS:
Keep an eye out for the following items, which can drop at any point during your playthrough:
  • Belladonna Extracts
    Single-use potions that let you respec at any time.
  • Relics
    Rare drops that give you access to a random oskill plus some secondary benefits. You can carry up to 3 different Relics at a time. See this page for the full list of Relics.

PROGRESSION NOTES:
  • Complete all main storyline quests. The rewards are actually helpful now.
  • Collect a few Jewels.
  • Collect all Runes.
  • Collect and upgrade all Gems.
  • You can create containers for Runes, Gems, Shrines, and Arcane Crystals by cubing one with an Oil of Craft. To put an item into its container, simply right-click it. To pull an item out, cube the container.
  • Akara offers unlimited respecs to characters below clvl 50 (basically, the beginning of Act 5), so don’t worry if you mess something up early on.

► WALKTHROUGH




NIGHTMARE (CLVL 55-104)

ATTRUBUTE POINT DISTRIBUTION:
Put an additional 25 points into STR → increase your reserve to 75 points → everything else into DEX.

SKILL POINT DISTRIBUTION:
Continue distributing points evenly, but do not put any points into Premonition yet.

GEARING:
From here on, start collecting the following items as you find them:
  • All Sacred Warp Blades, Sacred Ceremonial Armor, and Sacred Sashes.
    Use Oils of Renewal to reroll them as you find them. Keep only the best versions of each, and replace them with better versions as they roll. Ideal rolls are:
    • Weapons = +60% ED
    • Armor = +50% ED and +1% Phys Res
  • 1x Magic Sacred Leather Gloves
  • 3x-4x Magic Sacred Boots
  • 1x Sacred or T4 Jared's Stone
  • All pieces to
    The Mysteries
    The Mysteries
    (Sorceress Melee Set)

    Cauldron
    Pentacle
    Sacred Circle
    Witchblade

    Set Bonus with 2 or more set items:
    +2 to Sorceress Skill Levels
    +50 to Dexterity

    Set Bonus with 3 or more set items:
    +21 to Spiral Dance
    Physical Resist 10%

    Set Bonus with complete set:
    +100 Damage
    +4 to Ward of Fate
    10% Chance of Crushing Blow
    Enhanced Weapon Damage +100%
    +4000 Defense
    5% Chance to Avoid Damage

  • All pieces to
    Pantheon
    Pantheon
    (Amazon Bow Set)

    Earth
    Fire
    Frost
    Water

    Set Bonus with 2 or more set items:
    50% Attack Speed
    Elemental Resists +50%

    Set Bonus with 3 or more set items:
    Enhanced Weapon Damage +60%
    +150 to Life

    Set Bonus with complete set:
    3% Chance to cast level 40 Trinity Nova on Kill
    5% Chance to cast level 11 Time Strike on Striking
    Adds 63-125 Damage
    -45% to Enemy Elemental Resistances
    Enhanced Weapon Damage +60%
    +200 to Dexterity

    (for your merc)
  • Witchhunter's Hood
    Witchhunter's Hood
    Cap (Sacred)

    Defense: (2136 - 2611) to (2161 - 2642)
    Required Level: 90
    Required Strength:
    250
    Item Level: 1
    +(80 to 120)% Enhanced Defense
    10% to Strength
    10% to Dexterity
    Maximum Elemental Resists +2%
    Elemental Resists +(31 to 40)%
    Physical Resist 5%
    (16 to 20)% Bonus to Defense
    Requirements -50%
    Socketed (4)

    Witchhunter's Attire
    (Assassin Claw Set)
  • 1x Abandoned Shrine. You can collect all Shrine types if you want, but Abandoned will be the most important.

PROGRESSION NOTES:
  • A -30% Elemental Res penalty will be applied to you and your merc.
  • All Act bosses will now heal 5% of their Max Life if they kill you.
  • The side areas in all Acts are now filled with Veteran monsters. They’re tougher to kill, but the XP gains and drops are (supposedly) better than in normal areas.

► WALKTHROUGH




HELL (CLVL 104+)

ATTRIBUTE POINT DISTRIBUTION:
Put another 25 points into STR → increase your reserve to 100 points → everything else into to DEX.

SKILL POINT DISTRIBUTION:
Max Baneblade → max Moonstrike → hold the rest

AREA LEVELS:
All Area Levels (alvls) in Hell are 100+. Items that drop here will have an Item Level (ilvl) of 99 or higher. When looking for Rare Sacred equipment or Jewels for crafting, look for them in Hell for a chance at the best possible rolls.

SACRED UNIQUES:
There are 3 "tiers" of SUs (colloquially, SU, SSU, and SSSU). Tiers only indicate how rare an SU is, not how good it may be. The places in which they can drop depend on Area Level:
  • SU = alvl 105+
  • SU+SSU = alvl 120+
  • SU+SSU+SSSU = alvl 130+

RANDOM WORLD DROPS:
You may find certain random world drops unique to Hell. These include:
  • Oils of Augmentation, Conjuration, Intensity, and Greater Luck
    Special oils that do various things, but Greater Luck are the only ones you’ll care about.
  • Whispers of the Damned
    Tiny skulls needed to access the Legion of the Damned quest.
  • Enchanted Runes
    Powerful versions of regular Runes. Collect them all.

DUNGEONS AND RIFTS:
  • All Dungeons and Rifts have a minimum clvl requirement you must meet before you can enter the area.
  • Many Dungeons have lockout timers. You’ve already experienced this with Baal, but most of the upcoming lockouts are short (often only 20 seconds). Be prepared before entering and make sure your gear is fully repaired.
  • Some bosses have a chance to drop a Trophy Fragment (usually 6%, but some are lower). Cubing 3 Fragments together will create a Trophy, which will add bonuses to its corresponding Charm. You can also create Fragments by cubing 20x of the same Charm. Unless otherwise noted, farm for a perfect version of a Charm before cubing it with its Trophy.
  • Some Charms can be used to potentially add a Lottery bonus to a particular item type. A Lottery bonus has a 3% chance of success, and the attempt will consume the Charm. Items cannot be both Lotteried and Luckied.

PROGRESSION NOTES:
  • A -70% Elemental Res penalty will be applied to you and your merc.
  • All Act bosses now regain 10% of their Max Life if they kill you.
  • Activate all Waypoints.
  • Journey through Hell only up to the Worldstone Keep Waypoint. Hell Baal is a proper boss now. You won’t be ready for that fight until End Game.

► WALKTHROUGH



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GEAR

► expand


ATTRIBUTE POINT DISTRIBUTION:
Use your reserve points to boost STR as-needed to equip new gear. Once all your Mid Game gear is equipped, you won’t need to hold points anymore. Put them all into DEX. Any additional points you may need for STR will come from SoL.

SKILL POINT DISTRIBUTION:
Put 1 point into Force Blast → max Tenacity → max Endurance

PROGRESSION NOTES:
  • From here on, the guide will be divided into quest groupings. These groupings will be based on your clvl, not necessarily the clvl requirements of the quests. Although the 2 will often align, most “DPS check” quests are behind the End Game gear wall. You simply won’t have high enough DPS to reasonably complete them without End Game gear.
  • Even after you’ve made your Mid Game RW gear, continue collecting and rerolling the Sacred bases you’ll need for End Game RWs.

► WALKTHROUGH



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GEAR

► BASE KIT


► UPGRADE KIT


ATTRIBUTE POINT DISTRIBUTION:
Go all in on DEX. Hold nothing back.

SKILL POINT DISTRIBUTION:
Continue maxing Endurance. Spec into Paradigm Shift when your Base Kit is complete. Consider Cold Blooded only when your Upgrade Kit is complete. Distribute remaining points wherever you want.

GEARING:
Use Oils of Greater Luck on high-end weapons, armor, and amulets. Lottery your rings.

► WALKTHROUGH



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LEVEL CHALLENGE - CLVL 45 TO 60

► More Info


ENNEAD CHALLENGE - CLVL 80+

► More Info
Edited by Solfege 2 months.
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Dungeons and Rifts will be grouped into 3 tiers based on gear requirements, number of SoL needed, and strategy/player skill required. They are listed in Documentation order.
  • Easy
    Needs only basic gear (T3+T4 TUs), 0 SoL eaten, and little strategy/skill.
  • Medium
    Generally requires decent gear (T4 TUs, mid-level RWs, partial or full Set), 100 to 300 SoL eaten, and moderate strategy/skill.
  • Hard
    Generally requires good gear (SUs, high-level RWs), 300 to 400 SoL eaten, and high strategy/skill.

This symbol indicates a quest has a corresponding Trophy.
This symbol indicates a quest’s Charm can used for a Lottery roll.



DUNGEON

Horror Under Tristram - clvl 105, 20 second lockout
► More Info


Invasion - clvl 105, 20 second lockout
► More Info


Death Projector - clvl 105, 20 second lockout
► More info


Infernal Machine - clvl 105
► More Info


The Binding of Baal - clvl 110, 20 second lockout
► more info


Horazon's Sanctum - clvl 110, 20 second lockout
► more info


Akarat - clvl 110
► more info


Assault on Mount Arreat - clvl 110, 120 second lockout
► more info


Lord Aldric Jitan - clvl 110
► more info


Inquisitor of the Triune - clvl 110
► more info


Bull Prince Rodeo - clvl 110 (Secret Cow Level), clvl 115 (Corral of Corruption)
► more info


Rathma Square - clvl 115
► more info


The Black Road - clvl 115
► more info


Legacy of Blood - clvl 115, 20 second lockout
► more info


The Veiled Prophet - clvl 115, 30 second lockout
► more info


Heart of Sin - clvl 115
► more info


Judgment Day – clvl 120, 20 second lockout (Pools/Halls)
► more info


Twin Seas – clvl 120
► more info


Quov Tsin - clvl 120
► more info


Kingdom of Shadow - clvl 120, 90 second lockout
► more info


Banisher of Light - clvl 120
► more info


Legion of the Damned - clvl 120, 10 second lockout
► more info


Toraja - clvl 120
► more info


Eve of Destruction - clvl 125, 20 minute lockout
► more info


Lord of Lies – clvl 125, 20 second lockout
► more info


Ghosts of Old Bremmtown – clvl 125
► more info


Yshari Sanctum – clvl 125
► more info
Edited by Solfege 3 months.
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Xazax - clvl 125, 4 minute lockout
► more info


Astrogha - clvl 125
► More Info


Nymyr’s Light - clvl 125, 20 second lockout
► more info


Spirit World - clvl 125, 20 second lockout
► more info


The Void - clvl 130, 3 minute lockout (planes), 8 minute lockout (boss fight)
► More Info


Nephalem's Sacrifice - clvl 130
► more info


Archbishop Lazarus - clvl 130, 15 second lockout
► more info



RIFTS

Island of the Sunless Sea - clvl 105
► more info


Torajan Jungles - clvl 110
► More Info


Kurast 3000 B.A. - clvl 115
► More Info


High Heavens - clvl 115
► more info


Tran Athulua - clvl 115
► more info


Teganze - clvl 120
► more info


The Triune - clvl 120
► more info


Corrupted Abbey - clvl 120
► more info


Vizjun - clvl 125
► more info


Fauztinville - clvl 125
► more info


Scosglen – clvl 135
► More Info



The forum is a graveyard, and we’re just the ghosts haunting it, unable to move on, because we’re unwilling to let go.

Thanks for reading. Burn in Hell, Discord.
Edited by Solfege 3 months.
Magisch
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Do you reckon the defense of Sorc is anything to write home about? I was doing this before rerolling Hammerzon and it just felt incredibly weak. I was getting near oneshot in IOTSS and barely breaking 250k defense with all TCD MO's on my TU gear. It honestly felt weak as hell.
Heisenberg
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The order you have multiple items listed in is it 1st is the best or going left to right in order of upgrades?
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Solfege
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@Magisch
It depends on your spec, but you'll never get insane amounts of ACD (I think the most I ever got while still being able to kill stuff was 600k a few patches back). Melee Sorcs aren't Barbs. They don't rely on just 1 or 2 layers of defense. They rely on stacking multiple layers of different defensive mods, with the spec you choose determining which layers are more important. If you're only looking at your ACD number, you're not seeing the whole picture.

@Heisenberg
Order of upgrades. So, for example, when it says "Shark -> The Warped Blade," it means use Shark, then upgrade to The Warped Blade.
Magisch
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Solfege wrote:@Magisch
It depends on your spec, but you'll never get insane amounts of ACD (I think the most I ever got while still being able to kill stuff was 600k a few patches back). Melee Sorcs aren't Barbs. They don't rely on just 1 or 2 layers of defense. They rely on stacking multiple layers of different defensive mods, with the spec you choose determining which layers are more important. If you're only looking at your ACD number, you're not seeing the whole picture.

@Heisenberg
Order of upgrades. So, for example, when it says "Shark -> The Warped Blade," it means use Shark, then upgrade to The Warped Blade.


How much health do you have, and how important is that actually? Even with 84 all res 50 phys res 350k def and 40% block my hammerzon feels like it's made of paper with 15k hp, I think sorc will be on way less then that, how do you survive higher ubers?
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Solfege
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As with ACD, total Life will depend on spec, as will how important it is (I think I have about 11k with Moonstrike active atm).

It also doesn't really work doing straight numbers comparisons between 2 different builds from 2 different classes. There are other factors beyond just a numbers game (e.g. character skills, playstyle, etc.). Not sure what Ubers you consider "higher Ubers," but aside from that fairly low CtB, those are decent mid-game numbers for a Melee Sorc.
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Fenrils
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Magisch wrote:How much health do you have, and how important is that actually? Even with 84 all res 50 phys res 350k def and 40% block my hammerzon feels like it's made of paper with 15k hp, I think sorc will be on way less then that, how do you survive higher ubers?


My melee sorc currently has 17k health, 75% block, 50% physical resistance, 80% all res, 69% life steal, ~200 life on attack, and damage avoidance. As well, we get a lot of natural movespeed so it's pretty easy to get around and dodge things. Not to even mention that sorc gets delicious moon cookies. When it comes to facetanking things, this build has only really felt below barb personally but it takes more finesse to get to that point than barb, pally, or even assassin. I've personally downed 120s and most 125s and will be looking to take this build all the way to the end, sans Samael because fuck that. I can already run Fauz blindfolded, for what it's worth, so your survivability later on is certainly up there.