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Blizzard Sorceress guide

Overview:

The Blizzard Sorceress is the easiest sorceress to build and play. It is able to efficiently farm Hell level content, especially Act Bosses with very cheap gear – as a result, it is the most popular choice at the beginning of a new ladder season. The character specialises in magic finding and is best suited to players who enjoy running the same high-efficiency MF routes.

STRENGTHS

  • Extremely efficient at killing bosses.
  • Very easy to kite monsters or kill them by abusing terrain.
  • Excellent crowd control.
  • Very high damage output with a decent AOE – able to run in players 8 difficulty.
  • Low mana consumption.
  • Suprisingly sturdy for a sorceress.

WEAKNESSES

  • Blizzard has a 1.8 Second Cooldown.
  • Most cold immunities in Hell are not breakable using Infinity, restricting the number of viable farming zones.

Character Stats

FASTER CAST RATE BREAKPOINTS

Teleport / Glacial Spike / Static Field

9 Frames = 63 FCR

8 Frames = 105 FCR < Optimal Performance

7 Frames = 200 FCR

FASTER HIT RECOVERY BREAKPOINTS

9 Frames = 42 FHR < Spirit Runeword alone provides 55

8 Frames = 60 FHR < +5 FHR Small Charm or +10 FHR Rare Boots

7 Frames = 86 FHR

BLOCKING

In PvM, it is generally better not to block attacks. If the sorceress teleports into the middle of a nasty monster pack, she should teleport to disengage rather than attempting to tank through it. This is true for Hardcore as well. Block does not increase survivability due to the high risk of getting stuck in block animations. Having Glacial Spike hotkeyed can also be useful to stun any monsters which come into melee range.

DAMAGE STAT PRIORITY

+Cold Skill Damage is the most valuable stat for increasing cold damage.

-Enemy Cold Resistance is very important for increasing cold damage, however, we can easily hit the cap of -100% through a combination of Cold Mastery levels.

+Skills are always good on a sorceress – her spells scale extremely well with levels.

STRENGTH: Enough to equip items (preferably 0)

DEXTERITY: 0

VITALITY: All Remaining Points

ENERGY: 0

Skill Distribution

20 Ice Bolt

20 Ice Blast

20 Glacial Spike

20 Blizzard

X Cold Mastery (enough points to reach -175% ECR between items and skills – For the High Budget setup, this will require 3 Hard Points)

1 Frozen Armor

1 Frost Nova

1 Charged Bolt

1 Static Field

1 Telekinesis

1 Teleport

1 Charged Bolt

1 Lightning

1 Chain Lightning

1 Energy Shield

Rest into Telekinesis

*-175 Enemy Cold Resistance is our target as there are very few monsters who have between 76 and 100 (Immune) Cold Resistance in Hell. -175 is ideal for some of our prime targets eg. Hell Mephisto (75 Cold Resistance) and Hell Nihlathak (70 Cold Resistance). Since most Cold Immunes in Hell are unbreakable, this build will not run an Infinity Mercenary.

**Energy Shield is often looked down upon in PvM due to the existence of Mana Burn monsters. While it is true that they will render Energy Shield useless, it does an excellent job of protecting you from everything else. The key is to put all stat points into Vitality as usual and treat the Energy Shield as an extra layer of protection. You will notice a very dramatic drop in spike damage from monsters such as Souls and Dolls when Energy Shield is active.

Itemisation

LOW BUDGET

Helm: Any +3 Cold Skills Circlet

Amulet: Any +3 Cold Skills Amulet

Weapon: 30+ FCR Spirit Sword

Armor: Any Smoke Armor

Shield: 30+ FCR Spirit Monarch (Larzuk Quest will give 4 sockets)

Gloves: Magefist

Belt: Any Crafted Caster Belt

Boots: 30 FRW Boots with Lightning or Fire Resistances

Ring 1: 10 FCR Ring with Lightning or Fire Resistances

Ring 2: 10 FCR Ring with Lightning or Fire Resistances

Weapon Switch: N/A

Shield Switch: N/A

Inventory

Any charms with +Life and/or +Resistances that are available.

Nightmare Offensive Mercenary (Might Aura)

Merc Helm: Socket Helm + 3 Perfect Amethysts

Merc Weapon: Insight Colossus Voulge (Larzuk Quest will give 4 sockets)

Merc Armor: Socketed Armor + Ral + Ort + Thul + 15 IAS Jewel

INCREASED ATTACK SPEED BREAKPOINTS

Act II Mercenary / Colossus Voulge / Jab

6 Frames = 35 IAS

5.5 Frames = 56 IAS

5 Frames = 89 IAS

MEDIUM BUDGET

Helm: Tal Rasha’s Horadric Crest + Perfect Topaz

Amulet: Tal Rasha’s Adjudication

Weapon: Tal Rasha’s Lidless Eye

Armor: Tal Rasha’s Guardianship + Perfect Topaz

Shield: 35 FCR Spirit Monarch

Gloves: Trang-Oul’s Claws

Belt: Tal Rasha’s Fine-Spun Cloth

Boots: War Traveler

Ring 1: Stone of Jordan

Ring 2: Stone of Jordan

Weapon Switch: Any Call to Arms Crystal Sword or Flail

Shield Switch: Spirit Monarch

Inventory

Any charms with +Life or +Fire Resistance that are available.

Any +6-7% MF Small Charms that are available.

Any Cold Skill Grand Charms that are available.

Low-End Annihilus and Hellfire Torch

Gheed’s Fortune

Nightmare Offensive Mercenary (Might Aura)

Merc Helm: Guillaume’s Face + 15 IAS Jewel

Merc Weapon: The Reaper’s Toll + Shael

Merc Armor: Any Treachery Armor

*The Reaper’s Toll is our weapon of choice – the high damage output helps your mercenary dispatch cold immune uniques.

INCREASED ATTACK SPEED BREAKPOINTS

Act II Mercenary / Thresher / Jab

5 Frames = 42 IAS

4.5 Frames = 75 IAS < Optimal Performance

4 Frames = 142 IAS

HIGH BUDGET

Helm: Nightwing’s Veil + 5/5 Cold Die Facet

Amulet: 2 Sorceress Skills / 10 FCR / 20 All Resistances Rare Stat Amulet

Weapon: Death’s Fathom + 5/5 Cold Die Facet

Armor: Blizzard Ormus’ Robes + 5/5 Cold Die Facet

Shield: Spirit Monarch

Gloves: Frostburn War Gauntlets

Belt: Arachnid Mesh

Boots: Aldur’s Advance

Ring 1: Stone of Jordan

Ring 2: Stone of Jordan

Weapon Switch: Call to Arms Crystal Sword or Flail

Shield Switch: Spirit Monarch

*Life, Mana and Strength are additional desirable affixes on Rare Items

Inventory

Annihilus

Hellfire Torch (Sorceress)

Gheed’s Fortune (Optional)

Up to 9x 45 Life Cold Skill Grand Charm

1x 11 Lightning Resistance / 5 FHR Small Charm

Up to 9x 17 Mana / 20 Life Small Charm

Nightmare Offensive Mercenary (Might Aura)

Merc Helm: Guillaume’s Face + 40 Enhanced Damage / 15 IAS Jewel

Merc Weapon: Ethereal The Reaper’s Toll + Ber Rune

Merc Armor: Ethereal Jeweler’s Sacred Armor of the Whale + 1x 15 All Resist / 15 IAS Jewel + 3x 40 Enhanced Damage / 15 IAS Jewel

Gameplay

LOW BUDGET

The low budget Blizzard Sorceress is the perfect beginner’s magic find character The two best options once you reach Hell are Andariel and Mephisto. Both of them are extremely easy with the right technique:

Andariel hits quite hard and may kill your merc if you are not careful when kiting. If you have very poor gear, an easy way to kill her is to lure her down near the door to her chamber. You can then simply cast Blizzard and then teleport to the next room to avoid her attacks. Every 4 seconds, you can open the door, cast Blizzard and close it again (or just teleport back and forth). She should die within a few cycles.

It is also very important to note that Andariel can be “Quest Bugged” on Battle Net. The first time you kill an Act Boss and complete the quest, it will drop better-than-average items. Quest Bugging is a method to make Andariel permanently give that high-quality quest completion drop:

The first time you kill Andariel, do not take your own portal back to town. Wait until her death animation finishes playing and the automatic portal back to town opens. Take that back to town and immediately talk to Warriv and go to the next act. Then Save and Exit. Do not interact with any other NPCs during this process. Voila! Andariel is now Quest Bugged.

Mephisto is also very easy to handle. Teleport to Durance 3 and lure him close to the river of blood in his chamber. Then teleport onto the other side and start casting Blizzard (with Ice Blasts in between) until he dies. Use teleport to dodge the occasional Lightning or Skull Missile. Mephisto has a very decent chance to drop Harlequin’s Crest (Shako) and Arachnid’s Mesh which is a great incentive to do this run. Your mercenary will not help during this run so it is a good idea to stash his weapon. This will prevent him from triggering Doll explosions on you while you are teleporting.

MEDIUM BUDGET

The medium budget blizzard sorceress is much the same as the low budget version but with a lot more survivability. Once you have found the more common items needed for your build, you might consider searching for GG endgame items – either for your sorceress or another build. The Blizzard sorceress has two great options for TC87 (The Highest Treasure Class with the rarest drops). Pindleskin can be killed almost instantly at the beginning of any run and can drop any item in the game except Arachnid Mesh, Tyrael’s Might and Azurewrath. The other TC87 zone is the Ancient Tunnels which conveniently does not spawn any cold immune monsters other than the occasional Cold Enchanted Unique. With a bit of luck, you may be able to pick up your Death’s Fathom here.

HIGH BUDGET

The fully built blizzard sorceress is great but doesn’t offer much more to gameplay than the medium budget build. It certainly has a lot more sustain and damage output, but with the same investment, a lightning sorceress is arguably more effective. That said, this build has much better survivability and the gameplay is more relaxing. It is also fairly easy to tune the character for PvP. The High Budget Blizzard Sorceress finishes with approximately:

  • 16500-17000 Blizzard Damage
  • 8000-8200 Ice Blast Damage
  • -175% Enemy Cold Resistance
  • 3000 Life
  • 1600 Mana
  • 73% of Incoming Damage Absorbed by Energy Shield
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