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Early Game - Mid-Game - End-Game – Challenges - Uberquests - Crafting - Gameplay Tips - Acronyms
(UPDATE: 24 SEP 2017)
This guide is being updated (again) for M2017-1.1.3.
- The main section of this guide should generally be up-to-date, but the End-Game gear and spec may still be tweaked.
- All Ubers should generally be up-to-date, except the following:
- Please refer to the Patch 1.1 Version Log for Uberquest information until updates are complete.
Error reports are greatly appreciated. If you find mistakes in the guide, please post them or send them to me via PM.
The Melee Sorceress relies on speed and versatility in both close-quarters and medium-ranged combat to take down her enemies, while still being tough enough to stand against the strongest foes.
She's a more "balanced" build than your dedicated farmer or boss-killer. Though not the fastest at either, she can nevertheless do it all without the need for constant respecs and gear swaps. In essence, a Melee Sorc is perfect for people who just want to play the game.
PURPOSE OF THE GUIDE
This guide is just that, a guide. It's a learning tool that's meant to give you a basic understanding of how to play a Melee Sorc by demonstrating one way in which a Melee Sorc can be played. There are a number of skillplans and gear choices you can use to optimize the build to it's fullest. The goal here isn't to simply give you a best-in-slot gear list, a skill plan, a pat on the head, and a shove out the door; the goal is to give you enough knowledge so you can discover what those are on your own, to create your own variation of the build, and more importantly, to have fun doing it.
1. I make no claims as to the originality of this build, nor to the ideas and strategies contained in this guide.
2. Because this is a Melee Sorc, caster respecs will not be used, even if using a caster spec would be easier for completing certain tasks.
3. This guide was written around the base M2017-1.1.3 patch (i.e. Single Player). Since circumstances on the TSW Realm can change from Season to Season, gameplay adjustments may be necessary if playing TSW. In other words: adapt, or die.
4. Please consult Median XL's Official Documentation for more in-depth information and to get a better understanding of the game's mechanics.
PROS AND CONS
- Can complete every Uber solo, untwinked, and without constant respecs.
- Access to an army of summons when you need them.
- Doesn't need overly expensive gear.
- Doesn't need to grind to clvl 121.
- Many gear/skill combo possibilities.
- She's a Melee Sorceress.
- Some skill-switching involved.
- Some farming required.
- Lower damage compared to some melee-centric Classes.
- Not as tanky as some melee-centric Classes.
- Average farmer.
STR - Enough for gear
DEX - Everything else
VIT - None
NRG - None
SMax - Warp Armor, Baneblade
26 Points – Fusillade
25 Points – Snow Queen
20 Points - Moonstrike
1 Point - Familiar, Wraithsword, Bladestorm, Blade Spirits, Nova Charge, Ice Elementals, Symbol of Esu, Force Blast
- Summon your Familiar, exit town, and buff with Baneblade, Nova Charge, and any oskill buffs provided by your gear.
- Buff with Moonstrike and keep it active at all times whenever in combat.
- Use Bladestorm for general questing and Wraithsword or Stormblast for Magic-immunes.
- Use Fusillade for supplemental damage and for enemies that aren't easy to tank. When using Fusillade for general play, cast it near a mob then move on. There's no need to stick around once it's been cast.
- Use Force Wall to keep enemies away, when necessary.
- Use Force Blast to debuff enemies, when necessary.
Creates an impassible wall for a short time. Useful for keeping enemies away from you, but it's CD timer prevents it from being a staple skill early on. However, the CD timer is gradually reduced as you level. Eventually, it's eliminated completely, meaning you can spam it to keep some enemies permastunned (even some Ubers).
Increases max life and damage dealt for a short time. Keep this active at all times whenever in combat.
Short to mid-range attack. Deals pure Physical damage. Suited for close-quarters combat with dense mobs, Magic Immunes, and times when tanking to sustain Life resources is necessary. Best paired with the Life Leech mod.
Trap-like skill that fires linear streams of blades dealing weapon damage. It attacks a single target at random until that target is dead before seeking another.. More base points reduces it's seek range (meaning you'll need to use it closer to the target), but it also reduces it's cooldown timer. Used primarily as a source of supplemental damage in crowds, some bosses, and for enemies you don't want to engage in melee.
Summon Blade Spirits
About as simple a summon as can be had. These ghostly floating swords won't provide any buffs, but they're remarkably tough. They will be your tanks.
Mid to long-range attack that converts nearly all Physical damage dealt to Magic damage. Suited for general gameplay. Best paired with the Life on Attack mod.
Passive that grants percentage-based max life (will not exceed 25%) and flat defense bonuses. Only affected by base points, not soft points from +Skills gear.
Summon Ice Elementals
Adorable little snowballs meant as a support summon. They emit a Frost Armor aura that gives a 150% defense boost and 15% DR. They're squishier than Blade Spirits, so they'll need to be resummoned fairly often.
Defensive skill that grants TCD and Avoid. Both base and soft points increase its TCD bonus, but with every 2 base points invested, an extra 1% chance to avoid damage is gained.
Periodically emits a lightning nova. The main reason for putting a point here is for the 25% base DEX added to NRG, which will all but eliminate any mana problems.
Familiars are untargetable, can only be killed by reflected damage, and their attacks stun their targets. They also have the Zann Esu's Rite aura, which grants 15% FCR, a 25% bonus to NRG, and a +1 skill level boost for every four base points, as well as an extra cat for every 5 base points.
Uber Skill. Buff that provides velocity, damage, and defense boosts, as well as a skill-based source of Life on Attack and Increased Chance to Block. It does come at a cost, locking out nearly every other skill that's not a dedicated melee or summon skill.
Symbol of Esu
Ennead Challenge Reward Skill. It allows for the creation of an infinite number of Moon Symbols, which are used just like potions to restore a percentage of Max Life instantly. But unlike Healing Potions, they don't remove Poison effects.
Black Road Challenge Reward Skill. A fast-moving, long-range debuff spread that reduces enemies' Physical damage and cast rate for a short time. Incredibly useful against ranged attackers that deal Physical damage, but each cast will consume about half your Mana pool. Use it wisely.
WRAITHSWORD vs. BLADESTORM
The following is a more in-depth look at how Wraithsword and Bladestorm function for the purposes of this guide specifically:
Early on, Wraithsword is a superior close-quarters attack. It does more damage and gets bigger buffs from Moonstrike and EWD. It also doesn't suffer from Next Delay like Bladestorm does. However, later on when Crushing Blow and Deadly Strike are added to the mix, Bladestorm surpasses Wraithsword in killspeed because of it's potential to deliver more CBs/DSs more often--even against single targets and despite ND. That said, Wraithsword is still better at dealing with Magic Immunes, and unlike Bladestorm, it can take full advantage of both LoA/MoA and LL/ML. Also, CB's effectiveness quickly diminishes as a monster loses life. This means, when engaging a single target with a large life pool (such as a Boss), Wraithsword will eventually start killing the target faster than Bladestorm once that target's health falls below a certain point.
10/37/92 (5 fpa) - Crystal Sword (-20 WSM)
6/23/56/129 (5 fpa) - Warp Blade (-10 WSM)
3/7/13/20/32/48/75/129/280 (4 fpa)
5/11/20/35/60/109/280 (3 fpa)
6/19/42/83/194 (5 fpa) - Staff
8/22/42/78/157 (6 fpa) - Crystal Sword/Warp Blade
Source: Speed Calculator v. 1.2 by Terryys.
CHANCE TO BLOCK
Sorcs have an innate +3% CtB. With Baneblade active, their innate CtB increases to +4%. The following values will give the total DEX needed per additional CtB from shields to achieve Max Block (75%). They will assume a clvl 120 Sorc with Baneblade active.
+2% CtB = 3015 DEX
+1% CtB = 3615 DEX
+0% CtB = 4515 DEX
Mercs aren't necessary for this build, but it's still recommended you have one, especially early on. They can be extremely helpful in many situations, such as farming TA and clearing T-Cows/D-Cows. Act 1 Rogue Sisters and Act 3 Iron Wolves the most useful for a Melee Sorc due to their ranged attacks and tendency to stay out of the way.
Ranger (Offense) - Physical-based ranged attacker. Has higher damage potential thanks to War Spirit (CB).
Priestess (Support) - Physical/Magic-based ranged attacker. Uses Tremor to reduce enemy life and buffs the party with Vindicate, which increases party damage and heals the party member who kills an enemy while buffed.
Abjurer (Offense) - Lightning and Physical/Magic-based caster. Uses Banish to reduce enemy life.
Bloodmage (Support) - Fire and Poison-based caster. Uses Gift of Inner Fire to instaheal the entire party.
Mercs inherit both your GF and MF, on top of any they get from gear, as long as they get the kill. They also benefit from the +Skills mod found on gear.
SUMMONED MINION RESISTANCES
Summons have innate resistances, gaining 15% per Skill Point (Base Points aren't necessary) up to their natural cap of 75%. They also suffer from the same resistance penalties you do in later difficulties. While the +Summoned Minion Resistances mod can bring them back up to their cap, summons can't utilize more than +75% additional resistances from gear/Charms/MOs, nor can their resistances be increased beyond the 75% cap.
The following values list the Summoned Minion Resistance penalty per Difficulty, as well as how much +minion res is needed to reach the cap. They will assume at least 5 Skill Points into a summon skill.
Hatred (+/-0% Res Penalty)
75% innate resistances. No additional Summoned Minion Resistances are necessary.
Terror (-50% Res Penalty)
25% innate resistances. +50% Summoned Minion Resistances is needed to cap.
Destruction (-100% Res Penalty)
-25% innate resistances. +75 Summoned Minion Resistances is needed to cap, giving them 50% resistances.
h/t Suchbalance for clarifying this.
Basic Gear: TU Warp Blade, TU Ceremonial Armor, TU Kite Shield
Objectives: Level Challenge 1, Ennead Challenge, Level Challenge 2
Basic Gear: Khany, Erawan, Truce
Objectives: Black Road Challenge, "Easy" Uberquests
Basic Gear: Full Melee Sorc Set, Crafted Gauntlets, Nero
Objectives: Destruction Baal, All remaining Uberquests