Melee Sorceress [1.1.3]

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ATTENTION (2017-DEC-05)
This guide will be updated sometime after M2017-1.2 is released. As of now, I have no info on how this build might be affected, but I suspect the basics of it will remain unchanged. Updates will be posted as more info about the new patch is revealed. Stay tuned.



EZ NAV
Early Game - Mid-Game - End-Game - Challenges - Uberquests - Crafting
Official Documentation - Wiki - Discord Channel - Acronyms and Terminology



INTRODUCTION

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.

A Melee Sorc is 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.

The purpose of this guide is to provide you a learning tool, something 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. 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 the best gear and skill combos to suit your own playstyle, to create your own variation of the build, and more importantly, to have fun doing it.





DISCLAIMER

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 Realm can change from Season to Season, gameplay adjustments may be necessary if playing TSW. Adapt, or die.



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PROS AND CONS

Pros:
- Can complete every Uber solo, untwinked, and without constant respecs.
- Access to an army of summons when you need them.
- Doesn't need expensive gear.
- Doesn't need to grind to clvl 121.
- Many gear/skill combo possibilities.
- She's a Melee Sorceress.

Neutral:
- Some skill-switching involved.
- Some farming required.

Cons:
- Lower damage potential than some melee-centric Classes.
- Lower Life potential than some melee-centric Classes.
- Average farmer.
- You ain't doin' jack without a Warp Blade.



FINAL STATS

STR - Enough for gear
DEX - Everything else
VIT - None
NRG - None



FINAL SKILLS

SMax - Warp Armor, Baneblade
26 Points - Fusillade
25 Points - Snow Queen
1 Point - Familiar, Wraithsword, Blade Spirits, Bladestorm, Nova Charge, Symbol of Esu, Force Blast
All Remaining Points - Moonstrike



BASIC PLAYSTYLE

- 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.
- Use Force Blast to debuff enemies, when necessary.
- Use Force Wall to keep enemies away, when necessary.



SKILL BREAKDOWN


INNATE

Force Wall
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).



MELEE TREE

Moonstrike
Increases max life and damage dealt for a short time. Keep this active at all times whenever in combat.

Wraithsword
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.

Fusillade
Trap-like skill that fires linear streams of blades dealing weapon damage. 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.

Bladestorm
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.



ICE TREE

Snow Queen
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.



LIGHTNING TREE

Warp Armor
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.

Nova Charge
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.



MANA TREE

Familiar
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.



REWARD SKILLS

Baneblade
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.

Force Blast
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.



OSKILLS

Stormblast
WDM attack that fires off a linear blast. Since it converts 100% Physical damage to Lightning damage, it won't trigger LL or CB, but it will trigger DS. It cannot be boosted by +Lightning Spell Damage, but it can be boosted by -Enemy Lightning Resistance. It also does far more damage than the LCS displays. It's inferior to Bladestorm against mobs, but superior to all Sorc melee skills against non-Lightning immune single-targets.



WRAITHSWORD vs. BLADESTORM

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.



SKILL QUIRKS

Fusillade - When used, it attacks a random, single target within its seek range until that target is dead before seeking another. This can make it difficult to use effectively against bosses when more than one target is in the area. On the other hand, this mechanic can be useful for dealing with subordinates while you can focus on the boss. 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.
Sorc Summon Auras - Zann Esu's Rite and Frost Armor only take effect when you're in the field, not while you're in town. Do all your buffing and summoning in the field so your army can benefit from Familiars' +Skills bonuses.
Sorc Summon Synergies - Sorc summons inherit the same “Elemental” bonuses form your Passives that you do; however, they do not gain the Life bonuses from Vengeful Power, Snow Queen, or Living Flame (but they do inherit Living Flame's regen).



BREAKPOINTS

IAS:
10/37/92 (5 fpa) - Crystal Sword (-20 WSM)
6/23/56/129 (5 fpa) - Warp Blade (-10 WSM)
FBR:
3/7/13/20/32/48/75/129/280 (4 fpa)
FHR:
5/11/20/35/60/109/280 (3 fpa)
FCR:
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



MERCENARIES

A good support Merc can be handy in many situations, especially early on. Act 1 Rogue Sisters or Act 3 Iron Wolves are the most useful for a Melee Sorc due to their ranged attacks and tendency to stay out of the way.

Rogue Priestess
More versatile than a Ranger thanks to her Vindicate buff, which increases the party's damage and provides a source of Life regen.
► GEAR


Iron Wolf Abjurer
What he lacks in party buffs he makes up for in offensive spellpower. His Banish skill will also increase your killspeed by reducing enemy Life.
► GEAR


Tip:
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. They cannot use oskills.



SUMMONED MINION RESISTANCES

Summons gain 15% all res per Skill Point up to a maximum of 75%. They can gain more res with the Summoned Minion Resistances mod from gear/skills/Charms, but they cannot utilize more than +75% from these sources. They suffer the same res penalties you do in later difficulties.

Summoned Minion Resistance Penalties per Difficulty (assuming at least 5 Skill Points in a summon skill):

Hatred (+/-0% Res Penalty)
75% innate resistances. An additional +25% Minion Res will make them immune.
Terror (-50% Res Penalty)
25% innate resistances. An additional +75% Minion Res will make them immune.
Destruction (-100% Res Penalty)
-25% innate resistances. An additional +75% Minion Res will give them 50% resistances.

Tip:
Summoned Minions (and Reanimates) inherit your MF, as long as they get the kill.

Source: Suchbalance



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BUILD

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GEAR

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GAMEPLAY

Hatred (clvl 1-54)

Consider Hatred the game's “Tutorial.” Here, you'll get a general feel for how the game plays, how a Sorc's skills work, and an introduction to both the caster and melee playstyles.

Act 1:

    When first starting out, playing as a melee build will be difficult. Until Tristram, level as a melee build, but play as a caster build. Use Forked Lightning until your Mana is low, then switch to Immersion (it deals more damage with less Mana). Use Shatter the Flesh for crowd control.

    Tip:
    Don't have Gheed reveal the map until after completing the Den of Evil quest. It will make completing this quest much easier. Do this on every difficulty.

    Upon reaching Tristram, farm Griswold's Treasure Box for a Warp Blade and Ceremonial Armor. If you get
    The Magister
    The Magister
    Long Staff (6)

    Two-Hand Damage: 6 to 8
    Required Dexterity: 8
    Required Level: 3
    Current Dexterity Damage Bonus: (25/256 per Dexterity)%
    +1 to All Skills
    +50% Damage to Undead
    +(11 to 13)% to Lightning Spell Damage
    +(11 to 13)% to Fire Spell Damage
    +(1 to 4) to Flash
    +(1 to 4) to Apocalypse
    Lightning Resist +(16 to 25)%
    Fire Resist +(16 to 25)%
    Total Character Defense Plus (11 to 15)%
    Socketed (2)

    Two-Hand Damage: 9 to 12
    Required Dexterity: 16
    Required Level: 12
    Current Dexterity Damage Bonus: (25/256 per Dexterity)%
    +(1 to 2) to All Skills
    +50% Damage to Undead
    +(13 to 15)% to Lightning Spell Damage
    +(13 to 15)% to Fire Spell Damage
    +(5 to 8) to Flash
    +(5 to 8) to Apocalypse
    Lightning Resist +(26 to 35)%
    Fire Resist +(26 to 35)%
    Total Character Defense Plus (16 to 20)%
    Socketed (2)

    Two-Hand Damage: 13 to 16
    Required Dexterity: 27
    Required Level: 21
    Current Dexterity Damage Bonus: (25/256 per Dexterity)%
    +(2 to 3) to All Skills
    +50% Damage to Undead
    +(16 to 18)% to Lightning Spell Damage
    +(16 to 18)% to Fire Spell Damage
    +(9 to 12) to Flash
    +(9 to 12) to Apocalypse
    Lightning Resist +(36 to 45)%
    Fire Resist +(36 to 45)%
    Total Character Defense Plus (21 to 25)%
    Socketed (3)

    Two-Hand Damage: 18 to 21
    Required Dexterity: 42
    Required Level: 30
    Current Dexterity Damage Bonus: (25/256 per Dexterity)%
    +(2 to 4) to All Skills
    +50% Damage to Undead
    +(18 to 20)% to Lightning Spell Damage
    +(18 to 20)% to Fire Spell Damage
    +(13 to 16) to Flash
    +(13 to 16) to Apocalypse
    Lightning Resist +(46 to 55)%
    Fire Resist +(46 to 55)%
    Total Character Defense Plus (26 to 30)%
    Socketed (3)

    Two-Hand Damage: 22 to 26
    Required Dexterity: 61
    Required Level: 40
    Current Dexterity Damage Bonus: (25/256 per Dexterity)%
    +(3 to 5) to All Skills
    +50% Damage to Undead
    +(21 to 23)% to Lightning Spell Damage
    +(21 to 23)% to Fire Spell Damage
    +(17 to 20) to Flash
    +(17 to 20) to Apocalypse
    Lightning Resist +(56 to 65)%
    Fire Resist +(56 to 65)%
    Total Character Defense Plus (31 to 35)%
    Socketed (4)

    Two-Hand Damage: 27 to 32
    Required Dexterity: 88
    Required Level: 49
    Current Dexterity Damage Bonus: (25/256 per Dexterity)%
    +(3 to 6) to All Skills
    +50% Damage to Undead
    +(23 to 25)% to Lightning Spell Damage
    +(23 to 25)% to Fire Spell Damage
    +(21 to 24) to Flash
    +(21 to 24) to Apocalypse
    Lightning Resist +(66 to 75)%
    Fire Resist +(66 to 75)%
    Total Character Defense Plus (36 to 40)%
    Socketed (4)

    during one of your runs, use the Apocalypse oskill to make farming easier. Once you get your weapon and armor, you can transition into a melee playstyle.

    Finishing the remainder of the Act won't be a problem, just be sure to get the Catalyst of Disenchantment from the Smith in the Monastery's Barracks. With this, you can turn any spare Uniques into Arcane Shards (except those from Griswold's Treasure Box). But don't use it on any Unique quivers, jewels, or jewelry. Hold onto them instead. These can be turned into more valuable Signets of Learning later.

    Tip:
    Gold drops will be scarce early on and most of the items you find aren't worth much--the exceptions being jewels, rings, amulets, and apples. All of these will fetch a decent price, with apples being worth more in later Acts, so save these when you find them.

Act 2:

    Some elemental attacks will hurt more, particularly Poison. It's a good idea to start thinking about elemental resistances. Try not to waste gold on MOs. If you can, use resistance gems or jewels with resistance mods. Focus primarily on Poison and Fire.

    Be sure to activate at least the Halls of the Dead Waypoint.

    Tip:
    Cube 2x Arcane Crystals and a Health pot to create a completed Horadric Staff.

Act 3:

    Now is a good time to sell a few of the apples you've been hording and MO your jewelry with resistance orbs (aim for around 50% all res). Most of the mobs in the jungles are harmless, but Djinns' Immolation Bombs and Onyx Knights' Shock Flower will deal heavy damage if your Fire and Lightning res are low, respectively. In the Kurast areas, Gloopers' Miasma can be problematic due to its slow effect, and Assamites' poison has a long duration. Mephisto uses Frozen Crown, which will deal heavy Cold damage.

    Tip:
    Cube 2x Arcane Crystals and a Mana pot to create a completed Khalim's Will.

    By the end of A3, you should be around clvl 40. Before continuing on to A4, farm Mephisto for enough ACs to make your TU gear, as well as upgrade at least your TU weapon, body armor, and shield to T3. You'll gain 4 levels, at most, so there's no need to worry about over-leveling.

    Note:
    Don't forget to add a Rune to the recipe when uptiering TUs.

Act 4:

    With your uptiered gear, you won't have any trouble here. Just make sure to grab the Catalyst of Destruction from Hephasto.

    As for Diablo, be wary of his Flamestrike and Bloodstorm. Both can kill you fast if you get caught in them. If you have trouble, distract him with summons, rush in and cast Fusillade, then retreat and repeat. Diablo will drop the Scroll of Athulua, telling you about the first Level Challenge. After you take Tyrael's portal, go back to A2 and complete the Level Challenge 1.

Act 5:

    Pick up a Mark of Infusion from Shenk and use it to make your Honorific. With it, you'll easily be res-capped, but still watch out for Detonators. Even with 75% Fire res, a direct hit will drop your life to almost nothing--and possibly even 1-shot you.

    Baal is a bit of a beast. You can tank him, but not for long. His attacks can do serious damage, so your best bet is to distract him with summons while you activate Moonstrike, and hit him from a distance with Fusillade. He'll tear through your minions quickly, so you'll need to resummon them often. Stay on the move and have plenty of health pots on hand.

    Baal will drop the Scroll of Kurast, telling you about the Ennead Challenge. After you've taken Tyreal's portal and been granted your “Slayer” title, start a new game in Hatred, head to A3, and complete it. But beware, the Torajan Jungles are not to be taken lightly.



Terror (clvl 54-110):

Consider Terror as the true beginning of the game. By now, you're expected to have a general understanding of the game's mechanics, as well as your build's strengths and weaknesses. As such, things will be more difficult, and you'll rely on Fusillade more to supplement your damage. It's recommended you be at least clvl 54 with a T4 weapon and T3 chest armor before starting. Also, have both your res and summon res capped.

As you journey through Terror, you'll encounter a specific Veteran monster native to each Act that may drop an Evil Eye. Cubing all 5 different Evil Eyes together with your CC will add a bonus to it.

Note:
Veteran monsters won't always spawn in their designated areas during a specific game. Don't worry if you reach the end of an Act and haven't seen one. You'll have plenty of opportunities to collect Monster Tokens later on.

Act 1:

    Proceed normally, orbing your gear and uptiering your TUs as your clvl allows.

    Clawstorm Terrors in the Monastery's Jail will drop the first Evil Eye.

    Andariel will drop the Scroll of the Zakarum, telling you about the second Level Challenge. Take note of its max level req and don't exceed clvl 90 until it's done.

Act 2:

    Starting around A2 Sewers, monsters will start to drop Sacred gear and Shrines. Items to collect along the way include:

    • Sacred Warp Blade (not Crystal Sword)
    • Sacred Ceremonial Armor (or highest grade Sorc Body Armor you can find)
    • Sacred Sash
    • Sacred Plated Belt
    • Abandoned Shrines

    Tip:
    You can create a Vessel to store your Shrines by cubing a Shrine with an Oil of Craft. Then, just cube a full Shrine with it's corresponding Vessel to store the Shrine. Cube the Vessel again to pull a Shrine out of storage.

    Belladonna Extracts may also start to drop. They're handy to have around in case you need to adjust your Stat/Skill points.

    Finally, collect and upgrade all Runes higher than Zod in order to make 1 Kur Rune, 1 Ath Rune, 1 Vith Rune, and 1 On Rune. Have all 4 made by the end of Terror.

    Finally, collect and upgrade all high-level Runes in order to make 1 Kur, 1 Vith, 1 Nih, and 1 On Rune by the beginning of Destruction.

    Be sure to activate at least the Halls of the Dead Waypoint on your way through.

    The Summoner in the Arcane Sanctuary will drop the Book of Summoning, which is required for some Uberquests.

    Fairy Witches in the Canyon of the Magi will drop the second Evil Eye.

Act 3:

    Make your way to the Swampy Pit in the Flayer Jungle and complete the Level Challenge 2. You'll be underleveled at around clvl 74, but it's enough.

    Note:
    The Death Projector will be your first Super-Unique kill in A3. After you've cubed your CC to complete LC2, make sure to go back and pick up the Jade Figurine so you can complete the Golden Bird quest.

    With LC2 done, there are no more level-restricted events, so you're free to go about questing, leveling, and collecting Sacred base gear to your heart's content.

    The only other thing of note is the third Evil Eye, dropped by Glowing Blobs in Travincal.

    Tip:
    By now, much of your gear will be around T6. Even so, continue turning spare TUs into ACs. You'll need a decent supply of ACs for Jewelcrafting and Shrine Blessings later on.

Act 4:

    The main thing to look for is the Catalyst of Learning, dropped by Izual. With it, you can turn the Unique quivers, jewels, and jewelry you've been hoarding into SoL (as well as spare SUs/Set pieces later on).

    Landmasses spawn in the Lost City/River of Flame and will drop the fourth Evil Eye. They spam Shower of Rocks, so it's best to avoid a direct and sustained confrontation. Try to trap them on the other side of an island and kill them with Fusillade.

    By the time you reach the Chaos Sanctuary, item level drops will be 99. Items to collect from here on include:

    • 2x Rare Sacred Warp Blade (not Crystal Sword)
    • 2x Rare Sacred Leather Gloves
    • 2x Rare Sacred Gauntlets
    • Witchhunter's Hood
      Witchhunter's Hood
      Witchhunter's Attire Set
      Cap (Sacred)

      Defense: (2219-2540) to (2245-2570)
      Required Strength: 228
      Required Level: 100
      +(87 to 114)% Enhanced Defense
      (16 to 20)% Bonus to Dexterity
      (16 to 20)% Bonus to Strength
      +5% to All Maximum Resistances
      All Resists +(31 to 40)%
      Damage Reduced by 5%
      Total Character Defense Plus (16 to 20)%
      Requirements -50%
      Socketed (4)
      (Assassin Set piece)
    • All pieces of
      The Mysteries
      The Mysteries
      Sorceress Melee Set

      Witchblade
      Cauldron
      Pentacle
      Sacred Circle
      Charge of the Goddess

      Set Bonus with 2 or more set items:
      +2 to Sorceress Skill Levels
      Set Bonus with 3 or more set items:
      Damage Reduced by 10%
      Set Bonus with 4 or more set items:
      +21 to Spiral Dance
      Set Bonus with complete set:
      +125 damage
      13% Chance of Crushing Blow
      +17 to Moon Queen
      +4 to Sacred Armor
      +4000 Defense
      5% Chance to Avoid Damage

      (Melee Sorc Set)
    • Ilvl 99 Jewels
    • T6 Jared's Stone

    Tip:
    The reason for collecting 2 versions of some Rare Sacred items is to make crafting less worrisome. First, you'll craft 1 version until it seems decent. Next, craft the second version until it's better than the first. Then, go back to crafting the first version until it's better than the second, and so on until you get something that's great. This way, you avoid regrets.

    You'll reach clvl 90 in the The Chaos Sanctuary (if not, level here until you do). This is the point at which the build finally starts to take off and you'll go full-melee from here on. The activation of your CC won't be as dramatic as your Elemental Prism was at clvl 50, but you'll finally have access to Baneblade.

    Diablo is a bit easier than he was on Hatred and you can actually tank him occasionally. He will drop the Scroll of Fear, telling you about the first Trial in the Black Road Challenge. You're not ready for that yet.

Act 5:

    Pick up another Mark of Infusion from Shenk and use it to remake your Honorific in T6 Leather Gloves. Use the same orbs as your T1 pair, except don't orb it with All Res. Instead, socket it with perfect res gems.

    Nihlathak has a guaranteed Signet of Learning drop, so you can farm him for a few if you want some easy Stat points.

    Bane Hunters in the Worldstone Keep will drop the fifth and final Evil Eye needed to upgrade your Class Charm.

    Baal is a bit tougher this time around, but so are you. With more points into Fusillade now, you can use it far more often.



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BUILD

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GEAR

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GAMEPLAY

Prelude to Destruction (clvl 110-120)

Before moving on to Destruction, there are a few things you need to finish up in Terror.

1.) Go back through the Acts and pick up any Evil Eyes you may have missed to upgrade your CC.

2.) Faceroll the Torajan Jungles or T-Cows until you're clvl 120. Run the Torajan Jungles if you already have a base Sacred Warp Blade and a good base Sacred Sorc Armor. The Jungles give decent XP and have a Signet drop bias. If you don't have the aforementioned Sacred base items, run T-Cows. You'll gain more XP faster and it's a much better place to find Sacred base gear.

3.) Complete the Black Road Challenge. Afterward, put a point into Force Blast.



Destruction

By now, you should be familiar with how the game plays in general and what's required to complete the main storyline quests. Now is the time to get a feel for how end-game content will play by tackling some of the easier Uberquests on your way to Baal.

Tip:
Some Uber bosses have a chance to drop a Trophy, which will add a bonus to it's corresponding Charm. It's recommended you farm for a perfect version of a Charm before cubing it with its Trophy, unless otherwise noted.

Click on the Uber to jump to its corresponding strategy.

Act 1:

    Horror Under Tristram

    Infernal Machine

    Judgment Day and CFM Upgrade

    Cathedral of Light
    By now, you should have all the materials you need to make
    Erawan
    Erawan
    Body Armor

    'Nih'
    Runeword Level: 100
    -10% Slower Run/Walk
    10% Bonus to Buff/Debuff/Cold Skill Duration
    5% Chance of Crushing Blow
    25% Bonus to Vitality
    25% Bonus to Strength
    +(144 to 171)% Enhanced Defense
    Damage Reduced by (11 to 15)%
    Total Character Defense Plus (11 to 20)%
    . Attempting this Uber without it is not recommended (see the Crafting section of this guide for more info on Base-crafting and Jewelcrafting).

Act 2:


Act 3:

    Kurast 3000 B.A.
    Keep an eye out for
    The Mysteries
    The Mysteries
    Sorceress Melee Set

    Witchblade
    Cauldron
    Pentacle
    Sacred Circle
    Charge of the Goddess

    Set Bonus with 2 or more set items:
    +2 to Sorceress Skill Levels
    Set Bonus with 3 or more set items:
    Damage Reduced by 10%
    Set Bonus with 4 or more set items:
    +21 to Spiral Dance
    Set Bonus with complete set:
    +125 damage
    13% Chance of Crushing Blow
    +17 to Moon Queen
    +4 to Sacred Armor
    +4000 Defense
    5% Chance to Avoid Damage

    set pieces and high-level Runes. You should have an On Rune made by the time you're done here.

    Death Projector
    Don't forget to grab the Jade Figurine as well as the Charm.

    Heart of Sin
    By now, you should have enough material to make
    Khany
    Khany
    Sorceress Crystal Swords

    'On'
    Runeword Level: 100
    5% Chance to cast level 29 Shuriken Flurry on Melee Attack
    +(1 to 2) to Sorceress Skill Levels
    50% Increased Attack Speed
    50% Faster Cast Rate
    +(115 to 143)% Enhanced damage
    +(0.5 per level) to Maximum Damage (Based on Character Level)
    +(16 to 20)% to Spell Damage
    +(8 to 17) to Stormblast
    Total Character Defense Plus 5%
    . Stormblast will make short work of Azmodan.

    Horazon's Sanctum

    Rathma Square
    By now, you should have enough material to make
    Truce
    Truce
    Belts

    'Vith'
    Runeword Level: 98
    -5% Decreased Attack Speed
    -5% Slower Cast Rate
    Stun Attack
    +(172 to 200)% Enhanced Defense
    +5% Increased Healing Rate from Apples
    Damage Reduced by 10%
    Slows Attacker by 5%
    . The extra %DR will come in handy here.

Act 4:

    None. The swirlies you get from killing Diablo are part of the Void Uberquest. Ignore them for now.

Act 5:



Bitter Work

No doubt you tried fighting Destruction Baal and you failed miserably. Well, that was only a taste of what you'll experience in End-Game without proper gear. In order to get ready for the challenges ahead, go back to Terror and start farming for all the pieces to
The Mysteries
The Mysteries
Sorceress Melee Set

Witchblade
Cauldron
Pentacle
Sacred Circle
Charge of the Goddess

Set Bonus with 2 or more set items:
+2 to Sorceress Skill Levels
Set Bonus with 3 or more set items:
Damage Reduced by 10%
Set Bonus with 4 or more set items:
+21 to Spiral Dance
Set Bonus with complete set:
+125 damage
13% Chance of Crushing Blow
+17 to Moon Queen
+4 to Sacred Armor
+4000 Defense
5% Chance to Avoid Damage

,
Witchhunter's Hood
Witchhunter's Hood
Witchhunter's Attire Set
Cap (Sacred)

Defense: (2219-2540) to (2245-2570)
Required Strength: 228
Required Level: 100
+(87 to 114)% Enhanced Defense
(16 to 20)% Bonus to Dexterity
(16 to 20)% Bonus to Strength
+5% to All Maximum Resistances
All Resists +(31 to 40)%
Damage Reduced by 5%
Total Character Defense Plus (16 to 20)%
Requirements -50%
Socketed (4)
, and Abandoned Shrines, as well as at least 150 SoL.

Farming Terror Tran Athulua
TA in Terror is your best option for farming Set pieces right now. First, you can faceroll it with the gear you currently have (Stormblast is perfectly suited to TA's many narrow corridors). Second, you can have all your gear (except RWs) and all your merc's gear socketed with Lum Runes for more MF. Third, any unneeded Set items can be turned into SoL, which means less sig farming later.

Tip:
Individual pieces of the Melee Sorc Set aren't that good on their own. It's recommended you not swap out your current gear until you have the full Set.

Farming Terror Fauztinville
Same concept as TA, except with Shrines instead of Set items. Fauzt is still tough, but not as tough as when you did the BRC. For one thing, you have Stormblast to deal with Necrobots. Keep wearing your Honorific gloves for the time being, and use the Abandoned Shrines you find to craft Sacred Leather Gloves as you go; however, don't spend too much time on crafting a perfect pair. You'll need plenty of Abandoned Shrines for crafting later on. Once you have a pair that's satisfactory, replace your Honorifics. For more info on Shrine-crafting, see the Crafting section of this guide.

Farming Terror K3KBA
A sort of middle-ground between TA and Fauzt. You'll get more Shrines than in TA, and K3KBA's Set drop bias will net you more Set pieces per run than Fauzt. That said, it's not an amazing place to farm for either, but it's an option nonetheless.

Other Farming Locations
The Worldstone Keep/Antechamber/Throne of Destruction in A5 and the Chaos Sanctuary in A4 have many Elite mobs, which may drop Set pieces. And the Torajan Jungles have a Signet drop bias, which may yield a handful of SoL.[/list]



Image



BUILD

► expand


GEAR

► Basic Setup - for clvl 120 Sorcs


► Alternate Setup - for Uber Bosses


► Ultimate Setup - for clvl 121 Sorcs


► Other Gear


► Socket Fillers and MOs - for all gear


GAMEPLAY

This part of the game will be far less linear, basically consisting of an Uber/Farming cycle. By the time you begin, you're expected to have the full Melee Sorc Set, a good pair of Abandoned-crafted gloves, Witchhunter's Hood, a pair of Rare Sacred Gauntlets (preferably 2), and all the Charms+Upgrades (minus Trophies) from the Ubers listed in the Mid-Game section. As you journey, pick up every Abandoned Shrine you find and start crafting your Gauntlets as you go.

Part I

    Legacy of Blood

    Akarat

    Lord Aldric Jitan

    Trophy Hunting
    Since the previous 3 Ubers can be done easily, spend some time farming them for perfect versions of their Charms, as well as their Trophies. All 3 are quite useful. While your doing that, farm the enemies in the Jungles themselves for more SoL, as well as Signets of Skill, which will give you 1 extra Skill point per sig (you can use a total of 3). The Torajan Jungles are the only place Skill sigs drop. Also keep an eye out for Signets of Experience, which you'll want to hold onto if you plan on grinding to clvl 121 at some point.

Part II

    Teganze
    Cube your Trader's Chest 50x with only an Amethyst for the highest possible DEX value. Try to get at least 101 DEX with no less than -50 STR. VIT and NRG matter less, but you still don't want extremely low numbers. When you cube it 50x, a Skull will appear. If you're happy with the Charm you've crafted, keep it. If not, sell it. Then kill Terul for another one and try again.

    Farming Teganze
    If you plan on grinding to clvl 121, farm this place for enough material to make 1 Xis Rune. To make a Xis Rune, first cube an Elemental Essence with a Runestone to make an Elemental Rune. When you have 1 of each type of Elemental Rune (6 in total), cube them all with another Runestone to make a Xis Rune.

    Toraja
    If you find an Auhe Rune, then gg (seriously). Make
    Nero
    Nero
    Belts

    'Auhe'
    Runeword Level: 100
    10% Chance to cast level 14 Fortress on Melee Attack
    Adds 7-25 damage
    +150% Damage to Demons
    Adds 125-250 fire damage
    +(16 to 20)% to Fire Spell Damage
    3% Deadly Strike
    +(7 to 12) to Path of Flames
    +(115 to 143)% Enhanced Defense
    and never look back. If not, farm Toraja until you do.

    Farming Toraja
    The easiest thing to do is to lead Lilith to an area you've already cleared, trap her on the other side of a fence, and farm the Morlu she spawns. Since she constantly spawns them and they can teleport (but Lilith can't), you can just hole up in a safe place and farm them all day long--literally. It can take more than an hour of constant Morlu farming before a single Great Rune drops, and it may not even be an Auhe.

Part III


Part IV:

    Farming Tran Athulua
    The goal right now is more about farming for SoL rather than SU gear; the possibility of finding SUs is just a bonus. Use the same strategy you did when farming Terror TA. Depending on how many sigs you farmed in Terror TA, you may still need p-amethysts in some of your gear. As you eat more sigs, you can slowly replace them with Lum Runes. While you're there, farm the Priestesses for a +15% Life/Mana version of the Sunstone Charm, as well as the Trophy. Resurrect your merc if you need help.

    Farming the Torajan Jungles
    If you intend on grinding to clvl 121, now is a good time to do it. The enemies in the Jungles won't give you as much XP as D-Cows, but its a better place to farm overall since XP sigs can make up the difference and you have a chance to find more SoL. Don't forget to eat any XP sigs you saved during your trophy hunting runs.

    By the time you're done farming these places, you should have all 500 SoL eaten.

Part V:

    Bull Prince Rodeo

    Ghosts of Old Bremmtown

    Viz-jun

    Xazax

    Spirit World

    Astrogha
    Hide of the Basilisk
    Hide of the Basilisk
    Chain Mail (Sacred)

    Defense: (5428-6135) to (6140-6940)
    Required Strength: 538
    Required Level: 100
    +(1 to 2) to All Skills
    50% Faster Cast Rate
    +(25 to 38)% to Lightning Spell Damage
    -35% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
    +(13 to 16) to Thunderstone
    +(115 to 143)% Enhanced Defense
    +500 to Mana
    +5% to Maximum Lightning Resist
    Damage Reduced by 15%
    3% Reanimate as: Silverbolt
    Socketed (6)

    is handy here.

    World Nexus

    Yshari Sanctum
    Farm Valthek for a version of the Charm with at least +1 Skills and the highest AR and CB values you can get. Valthek also has a high probability to drop Unique jewels.

    Nephalem's Sacrifice

    Archbishop Lazarus

    The Void
Edited by Solfege 5 days.
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For this guide, Uberquests are grouped into 3 tiers, and ranked depending on gear requirements, number of Signets of Learning needed, and the amount of strategy/player skill necessary to complete them. They are listed in Documentation order.

Easy
  • Gear: Combination of Early and Mid-Game gear recommended
  • Signets of Learning: 0
  • Strategy/Player Skill: Low

Medium
  • Gear: Mid-Game gear, with some End-Game upgrades recommended
  • Signets of Learning: 150-300 recommended
  • Strategy/Player Skill: Medium

Hard
  • Gear: Full End-Game or other specific gear
  • Signets of Learning: 500 recommended
  • Strategy/Player Skill: High

This symbol indicates an Uberquest has a corresponding Trophy.



KEHJISTAN

Death Projector
► More info


Horazon's Sanctum
► more info


Kurast 3000 B.A.
► More Info


Akarat
► more info


Rathma Square
► more info


Heart of Sin
► more info


Legacy of Blood
► more info


Lord Aldric Jitan
► more info


Teganze
► more info


Quov Tsin
► more info


Viz-jun
► more info


Kingdom of Shadow
► more info


The Triune
► more info


Toraja
► more info


Yshari Sanctum
► more info


Astrogha
► More Info


WESTERN KINGDOMS

Horror Under Tristram
► More Info


Infernal Machine
► More Info


The Binding of Baal
► more info


Assault on Mount Arreat
► more info


Island of the Sunless Sea
► more info


Cathedral of Light
► more info


Tran Athulua
► more info


Bull Prince Rodeo
► more info


Eve of Destruction
► more info


Ghosts of Old Bremmtown
► more info


Judgment Day
► more info


Athulua
► more info


Fauztinville
► more info


Xazax
► more info
Edited by Solfege 1 week.
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Duncraig
► more info


Nephalem's Sacrifice
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WASTELANDS

Khalimgrad
► more info


Lord of Lies
► more info


The Black Road
► more info


Spirit World
► more info


World Nexus
► more info


Archbishop Lazarus
► more info


The Void
► More Info



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LEVEL CHALLENGE 1

► More Info


ENNEAD CHALLENGE

► More Info


LEVEL CHALLENGE 2

► More Info


BLACK ROAD CHALLENGE

Reward:
+150 Life/Mana added to your CC
Unlocks your BRC skill

    Trial of Fear:
    ► More Info


    Trial of Greed:
    ► More Info


    Trial of Contrition:
    ► More Info


    Trial of Knowledge:
    ► More Info


    Trial of Blood:
    ► More Info


    Completing the Challenge:
    ► More Info



Image



JEWEL-CRAFTING

► More Info


SHRINE-CRAFTING

► More Info


BASE-CRAFTING FOR RUNEWORDS

► More Info



Image



  • The entire MXL team.
  • Blizzard North (may you RIP).
  • Rishab for his “Bestiary.”
  • Suchbalance for the “Workshop” section of his Stormazon guide.
  • Wolfieeiflow for his “Guide to Writing a Guide.”
  • All the people who keep the forum running, maintain the documentation, and host servers.
  • SwineFlu for his write-ups and teaching me how to do the ultra-end-game Ubers.
  • Gloryseeker, Keithioapc, Kenshin, and everyone else who provided feedback, strategies, and tips for this guide (sorry if I missed anyone).

Thanks for reading!

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions related specifically to this guide, feel free to PM me here on the forum.
Edited by Solfege 5 days.
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Goodkidscc
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How can you invest into the cold light and fire trees if you can only pick 2?
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void
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ok i didnt read yet, but i can already tell nice pics

/e: IAS: 39/80/180 (Warp Blade) i think you forgot to factor the wsm from the weapon itself when you (i assume) checked the bps in the speedcalc, warp blade got a really good wsm
Edited by void 11 months.
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Goodkidscc wrote:How can you invest into the cold light and fire trees if you can only pick 2?


He starts with Lightning/Ice then switch to Fire/Ice later.
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Pinball wrote:
Goodkidscc wrote:How can you invest into the cold light and fire trees if you can only pick 2?


He starts with Lightning/Ice then switch to Fire/Ice later.


He starts with Light/Ice for the def/survivability, but then once he gets later game into some RWs, he can respec to Fire/Ice for more life and damage (firedance), along with Adamantine Guard end game for the Warp Armor passive from Light tree.
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Goodkidscc
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LHawkins1 wrote:
Pinball wrote:
Goodkidscc wrote:How can you invest into the cold light and fire trees if you can only pick 2?


He starts with Lightning/Ice then switch to Fire/Ice later.


He starts with Light/Ice for the def/survivability, but then once he gets later game into some RWs, he can respec to Fire/Ice for more life and damage (firedance), along with Adamantine Guard end game for the Warp Armor passive from Light tree.

Gotcha. I realized it was a misguided question after I read the guide a second time.

Nicely done, and cookied.
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void
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ok i read it all, i dont remember anything thats missing, but i would be interested in your source for where you found that adamantine guard oskill warp armor boosts minions as well
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Uberquests section added. That's enough for today...