[Guide] Fire/Ice Meleemage Hybrid

BloodyBartucBloodyBartuc Posts: 112
edited December 2015 in Embermage Discussions
READ THIS SPOILER!
This guide contains spoilers on game mechanics and items. It also may break your game if you follow this guide. Because you'll be so **** awesome. Oh yeah, there may be adult language.

OK! Maybe You Should Read This Also!
An easy way to explain this build is this. You are a Red Mage. You specialize in everything, but are a master of nothing. This is not saying that you will not be able to compete with "pure" melee or casters, you most deffinatly will, but it will be a mix between physical and magical.

A simple way to look at it is this
Melee - single target*
Ranged - area of effect*
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*Read the whole guide for a better explanation

You may not have the pure physical damage of some melee and you may not have the pure magical damage of some casters, but, you have more options than they do and your combined damage is daaaaaaaaaaaaaam close to theirs. Not to mention you can take a beating from Lou Ferrigno with this build.

You may want to seriously consider this information before dedicating your points into this build. Also, this is not a discussion on str/focus verses full focus melee builds. If you would like to figure out what will give you the most damage, there are other posts for that.

Hello Embermage community!

In this guide I will cover two build variations for the Embermage. One is focused purely on the aspect of being in the enemies face with a melee weapon and ripping things apart. The other is a slight modification on the first build, but is more geared for people that want to use both Melee and Ranged equally. Most of my decisions are explained in the first part of the guide, but at the end of the guide I will explain the modifications I've done to the original build to bring the ranged aspect to an equal level with its melee counterpart. The best thing is? You will be using the same stat allocations and gear with both builds! The only thing that changes between the two is a keybinding and 10 talent points. I'm currently using the hybrid talent allocation at the bottom of the guide, but in all honesty they are both great! So if you want either a melee, or a melee/ranged hybrid this is the guide for you!

Let it be noted now that this build has been tested under these conditions
Level 94
NG++
Normal-Elite
1-4 Man Groups

Let's start with the build
[LINK DELETED]

Quick rundown on stats/gear
Stats Per Level
S:3 End: 200
D:2 End: 60
F:3 End: 200
V:2 End: 60
Put the last 15 points into whatever would help you out with the gear you have, or plan on getting.

Gear wise I am running a very tanky setup
Damage priority of
All Damage>Fire Damage/Melee Damage*
Tanky priority of
All Damage Reduction>Armor/Elemental Resists/HP/Health Per Second**
Life On Hit gems in your weapon are suggested in faster weapons and heavy Health Per Second in gear if you are using a slow weapon.
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*This depends on what sub-build you are doing. Full melee build likes Melee Damage and hybrid likes Fire Damage. All Damage always takes priority over the others.
**Armor, Elemental Resists, HP and Health Per Second should all be in Zen with each other. Try to keep all Elemental Resists within 50 of your highest. As you get beat up you'll know what type to start stacking if you pay attention to what is hitting you. Armor should be kept high enough to allow you to take at least 4 hits from Brutes that are equal to your level. HP and Health Per Second do different things of equal importance. Health allows you to survive high level traps and medium bursts of all damage types. Health Per Second works in unison with Life On Hit to continue to fill your health pool as you take take manageable hits.

Here is a good example of weapons that this build would do well with
1 Handed (Claw)
[LINK DELETED]
2 Handed (Axe)
[LINK DELETED]
2 Handed (Staff)
[LINK DELETED]
These are just vague examples. You can do well with this spec with anything that is Physical/Fire based, with a splash of Ice in there to help proc Frozen. Pure frost weapons can be used as well due to the Rain of Fire and Magma Mace debuff will proc your Fire Brand. But, you will not gain the benefit of the Rain of Fire increase to your fire damage on your weapon.

Here is a good example of gems that this build would do well with
Resistances
[LINK DELETED]
Armor
[LINK DELETED]
Damage Reduction
[LINK DELETED]
Life On Hit
[LINK DELETED]
Health Regeneration
[LINK DELETED]

Here is a list of more common gems that carry most of these affixes
Blood Ember
[LINK DELETED]
Iron Ember
[LINK DELETED]
The resistances can be gotten from any of the elemental gems to help fill in resistances you have that are far behind your others.

These gems can be found all over the game. Most of the unique gems drop from bosses/major encounters, while Iron Ember and Blood Ember are common transmutes from any town transmuter. I put this list up to give you an idea of what gems I prefer with this build. Some of the gems listed are higher versions, but may also have a lower level version.

How do I transmute daddy Bartuc? Here are the recipes.
[LINK DELETED]

My use for each skill is as follows
Magma Mace: Defensive mostly. Stun, reduction in attack speed. Clearing out waves of small creatures faster than auto-attacking would allow.
Immolation Aura: Damage aura with a 15% reduction to all damage. As I am focusing on being in melee range and primarily fire damage, this is a very nice addition to my DPS.
Firestorm: A long ranged spell I use in the case that going into melee may drop me to quickly. Also used in part of a "buff rotation" to greatly increase my fire damage.
Charge Mastery: Increased damage, spamming abilities with no penalty and it effects weapon damage as well. The more this is up the better.
Elemental Attunement: As this build needs to have the Burn/Frozen debuffs up at all times to keep damage potential maximized this a sure fit. And because of my focus on fire spells, this will increase the application of the Frozen debuff.
Fire Brand: Increases the damage of my auto-attacks. A given.
Frost Phase: Mobility, knockback, chance to freeze and some extra ice damage. I went up to T3 to increase its range and damage because of how offten I spam this spell moving between packs. This is nice when I am fighting a champion that is immune to knock back, but his minions are not. Or when I am playing the tank role for my friends.
Elemental Boon: A defensive cooldown that when coupled with a full charge bar gives me a great damage boost. The resistance to slows/immobilizes is great and the faster cast time makes me feel better about casting it between auto-attacks for more dps uptime.
Ice Brand: Increases the damage of my auto-attacks. A given.

Spells
Self
Heal Self
Adrenalin Rush
Armor Proficiency
Dual Wielding (1 Handed)/Weapons Expertise(2 Handed)/Arcane Tools (Staves)

Pet
Adventuring
Animal Handling
Barter
Treasure Hunter
This build is very gold/gear dependent. But, test other setups if you like. I haven't experimented with spells while leveling this build.

Play Style
Common move cycles!
Firestorm from a distance, Frost Phase into melee, Magma Mace, auto-attacks*
Frost Phase into auto-attacks, then Frost Phase out**
Firestorm into Magma Mace***
Take these cycles with a grain of salt. You will end up doing what ever is comfortable for you. These are just the common ones I find myself doing quite often.
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*This is the builds bread and butter. Definitely my most used move cycle.
**This is your hit and run cycle. Use this when you want to stay at high health and proc on-hit abilities (life/mana/stun/special spell like on hit effects)
***You will use this when you don't want to melee and they are coming at you quickly. Use Frost Phase to reposition yourself further back after each Magma Mace.

Keep all of your DoTs/Debuffs up!
Burn - Base + 10 seconds
Frozen - Base + 10 seconds
Magma Mace - 6 seconds
Firestorm - 6 seconds
Immolation Aura - Based on rank, 2 seconds longer than cooldown
Although you have no real control of keeping Frozen on your target outside of Frost Phase the percent chance to apply Frozen with Frost Phase is very high at later skill ranks. So tossing in a Frost Phase when you need that little bit of extra burst DPS is acceptable. Even if it is just to reposition.

The Wall Pin!
Some of you may be wondering how you are supposed to Magma Mace after Frost Phase without repositioning, seeing as all the mobs are knocked back. The answer, while simple, takes getting used to. The simple of it, you use the knockback of Frost Phase to pin your desired target/targets into any wall/corner and also make sure that the last place you land is positioned in a way that you can hit as many targets as possible with the whole Magma Mace. The hard of it, learning the propper distance/positioning you need to use to get them exactly where you want them to be. With a good amount of practice this becomes second nature so don't get frustraited that you can't do it right away. And if you can on your first try, great!

Know when to use your buffs!
You really only have two with this build.
*Firestorm
*Elemental Boon
Firestorm you should have up as often as possible. Elemental Boon on the other hand is quite different. Really you only have two simple options.
*use it on cooldown
This will give you the highest amount of dps in 60 seconds with 50% of the time spent with the buff up. Minus casting time ofc. This should be used on bosses that you do not need Elemental Boon as a defensive steroid.
*use it when you need it
Observe what is around you while fighting. If there are massive elemental obstacles/damage being tossed around that you know you will not be able to survive for long in, then pop Elemental Boon and immediately Frost Phase in, deal some damage, then Frost Phase out.
Some people look at buffs and say, "I'll just do it whenever I notice it is not on cooldown." While this is common, it is not ideal. If you have a buff like this, especially at high ranks, you should know every aspect of when you can use it to its highest potential.

But Wait There's More! Let's Go Hybrid!
With the two points left over I had a decision to make. Grab up some one/two point wonders to flesh out the melee aspect of this build, or add a bit range to flesh out my distance kit when groups need to be thinned out a bit before engaging into melee. It was a hard question for me to answer as I wanted to stick to the kits melee roots as much as possible. But, after much consideration I decided to put a point into Infernal Collapse to mix in with Firestorm and I'm not going to lie, it adds a level of depth to the build that was not there before.

Before I get to far into this bit of the guide I want to show you something, followed by an explanation.
[LINK DELETED]

As I gained levels and started playing around with rank 1 Infernal Collapse I noticed I was doing something that I hadn't been doing before. I was melding my melee style fluidly with my ranged style. Going back and forth between the two styles made me feel like I was playing two different toons at once. I could get into a pack of enemies with melee, notice there was a caster in the back and instead of Frost Phasing to him I would hit the W button, right click the caster then hit W again and be right back into meleeing the pack I was working on.

The build above is an alternate rout you can go if you like the completely equal hybrid build. Here are the keybindings I use to set the styles appart.
Melee (Claws)
1: Firestorm
2: Frost Phase
3: Elemental Boon
4: Immolation Aura
RC: Magma Mace
SRC: Heal Self

Ranged (One Handed Weapon/Shield)
1: Firestorm
2: Frost Phase
3: Elemental Boon
4: Immolation Aura
RC: Infernal Collapse
SRC: Heal Self

The reason I bind Magma Mace and Infernal Collapse to the right click is because on my second weapon setup I run a fire damage/all damage one-hander/shield setup. It may seem redundant, but to be honest it literally feels like I am changing stances when I hit the W key. And I'm not going to lie, It feels awesome when I weave them together seamlessly in combat.

!WIP! Hybrid Play Style !WIP!
My next project will be explaining the fine details on using the hybrid version of the build.

Conclusion
Well there is the build. After playing it for 200+ hours I have given up on all my other toons because this one is just so **** fun to play! If you are a fan of hybrid game play then I strongly urge you to test this out for yourself.
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Comments

  • parkelparkel Posts: 99
    I would suggest trying to go for hailstorm + firebombs/thunder locus as well.
    Oh and add death's bounty to that list.

    I would also suggest replacing firestorm with blazing pillars instead. More charge = more spell spam + 25% more skill damage, which is pretty useful as both a ranged skill (which seeks mobs) and charge builder.

    The firebombs & thunder locus (imo) are optional, since they're mostly just for more damage - thunder locus for straight up damage after hailstorm (60% susceptibility to electric/ice damage when maxed) stun or firebombs for dot after hailstorm stun to put mobs in the range of these skills as much as possible.

    I would put frost phase at 1 to jump in and jump out of crowds.
  • parkel wrote:
    I would suggest trying to go for hailstorm + firebombs/thunder locus as well.
    Oh and add death's bounty to that list.

    I would also suggest replacing firestorm with blazing pillars instead. More charge = more spell spam + 25% more skill damage, which is pretty useful as both a ranged skill (which seeks mobs) and charge builder.

    The firebombs & thunder locus (imo) are optional, since they're mostly just for more damage - thunder locus for straight up damage after hailstorm (60% susceptibility to electric/ice damage when maxed) stun or firebombs for dot after hailstorm stun to put mobs in the range of these skills as much as possible.

    I would put frost phase at 1 to jump in and jump out of crowds.

    Thanks for the feedback parkel.

    It would seem that because this is a fire heavy build that Firestorm, to boost fire claw/magma hammer/immolation aura/firebrand/burn damage would make more sense than leveling up hailstorm to buff two elements, one I don't plan on using, the other I only have 2 damage spell/passive. Am I missing something here?

    Blazing Pillars is a nice spell, but it has no utility outside of high charge and I'd rather not have another activatable ability. I'm keeping them to a minimum because at its core, this is a melee spec above all else. And I'm a simple guy :)

    Frost Phase is my only way outside of ice damage on claws and elemental attunement to inflict the frozen debuff. Ranking it up increases the frozen chance greatly and buffs the other aspect of the spell that is pretty important, the knock back. Because I picked claws, there is no reason to have more than one target around me when I can help it. Also, because I am hybriding my stats, the extra increase on damage is very welcome. I suppose I could just pick up Infernal Collapse, but again, i'd rather not have another cooldown to gain an effect I am already getting from something I plan on leveling up anyways.

    Thanks for the input and please, if I'm off base on any of these things please let me know why.
  • I made a similar melee EM, and after trying it, I strongly suggest making Firebombs a part of your build. They do amazing damage - they stack Burning really fast - and will keep your Fire Brand on permenently.

    Blazing Pillars is a good 1 point wonder, to me - it does decent damage even at level 1 and is worth casting as you charge in. I wouldnt max it either, though. I also decided to keep Magma Mace at level 1, since it stuns just as well. I would recommend maxing Magma Spear (or at least getting it to 10) instead, which can set off brands at range vs something you would rather not melee and at higher levels will cause burning (leading to Fire Brand) even on its own.

    This is my build, if you are curious to compare.. so far it''s worked amazingly well (just beat NG+ vet) [LINK DELETED]. Some of the choices there are obviously my playstyle though (like 5 astral ally, I just like the extra distraction, and 30 sec duration is good enough for me.. and I can't be arsed to remember to cast Elemental Boon.) I find the 1 point skills definately still worth casting, as, thanks to TL2's level scaling system, they do far more damage than another single rank of any other spell would. But I am the opposite of you; I like having more buttons xD
    The 1 point in Lightning Brand is just for when shocks happen via pet with electric damage tag or whatever (or if they get shocked by Thunder Locus.)

    The melee part of it has become more of a flavor thing, though, since Fire Storm + Fire Bombs pretty much kills everything by itself :S But still, having a shield is a life saver.
  • Yeah, I'm going for a more passive triggered melee Embermage, so I'm working with two-hand weapons, three brands, etc. But all told, Magma Mace should be all you really need to keep the burning going. It's all a matter of your personal preference, of course, as I'm going for a 'rune knight' concept where the damage comes from passive triggers, rather than active skills, but when I found out that Immolation Aura isn't counted as burning for the Brand, I was disheartened until I dropped a single point into Magma Mace. 6 seconds of the Mace's burning is more than enough to let my Brand do it's thing and even gives Elemental Attunement time to drop a true burning effect in there as well. It also fit with the theme for me.

    If you're having trouble with getting freeze, you could drop a couple points into Frozen Fate if you've got the room. It's pretty much a no-lose situation (provided you're not ripping points from something super important to what you're going for), as 1 point is still 20%. I sunk 6, I think, for 40%, and intend to leave it there. It triggers more than enough times to help achieve Ice Brand. Thunder Locus (which I know you're not looking into, but for the sake of being thorough) does a good job of keeping Shock set somewhere in the group, and there is always Elemental Attunement doing it's thing in the background.

    I'm running all this on Elite and since it's my first foray into Torchlight 2, I'm learning through a lot of trial and error in terms of how to approach Elite, but I haven't seen any failings in my choice of stats and skills. I just need to learn not to go flying into some dungeon without taking a look at my own level and see if my equipment needs a serious update, lol.
  • I made a similar melee EM, and after trying it, I strongly suggest making Firebombs a part of your build. They do amazing damage - they stack Burning really fast - and will keep your Fire Brand on permenently.

    Blazing Pillars is a good 1 point wonder, to me - it does decent damage even at level 1 and is worth casting as you charge in. I wouldnt max it either, though. I also decided to keep Magma Mace at level 1, since it stuns just as well. I would recommend maxing Magma Spear (or at least getting it to 10) instead, which can set off brands at range vs something you would rather not melee and at higher levels will cause burning (leading to Fire Brand) even on its own.

    This is my build, if you are curious to compare.. so far it''s worked amazingly well (just beat NG+ vet) [LINK DELETED]. Some of the choices there are obviously my playstyle though (like 5 astral ally, I just like the extra distraction, and 30 sec duration is good enough for me.. and I can't be arsed to remember to cast Elemental Boon.) I find the 1 point skills definately still worth casting, as, thanks to TL2's level scaling system, they do far more damage than another single rank of any other spell would. But I am the opposite of you; I like having more buttons xD
    The 1 point in Lightning Brand is just for when shocks happen via pet with electric damage tag or whatever (or if they get shocked by Thunder Locus.)

    The melee part of it has become more of a flavor thing, though, since Fire Storm + Fire Bombs pretty much kills everything by itself :S But still, having a shield is a life saver.

    Heh yeah, you got me. Less buttons the better for me. I think with that in mind, I am also restricting myself to the very minimum of ranged spells to try and keep the vision from straying to far from its melee roots. I am hoping that my charge rate will be high enough with charge mastery in the later levels when I get some end game fists, but if not I may be forced into grabbing a high charge move. I think that that will be the point I start to think about investing 1 point into blazing pillar.

    I've offten noticed shock up on the target and wondered if if would be worth even one point into electic brand. I have been looking into what I would put my last two points into, so I will deffinatly try it out now that you mentioned it.

    Thanks for the ideas on one point wonders (one point wonders in this build anyways).
    Yeah, I'm going for a more passive triggered melee Embermage, so I'm working with two-hand weapons, three brands, etc. But all told, Magma Mace should be all you really need to keep the burning going. It's all a matter of your personal preference, of course, as I'm going for a 'rune knight' concept where the damage comes from passive triggers, rather than active skills, but when I found out that Immolation Aura isn't counted as burning for the Brand, I was disheartened until I dropped a single point into Magma Mace. 6 seconds of the Mace's burning is more than enough to let my Brand do it's thing and even gives Elemental Attunement time to drop a true burning effect in there as well. It also fit with the theme for me.

    If you're having trouble with getting freeze, you could drop a couple points into Frozen Fate if you've got the room. It's pretty much a no-lose situation (provided you're not ripping points from something super important to what you're going for), as 1 point is still 20%. I sunk 6, I think, for 40%, and intend to leave it there. It triggers more than enough times to help achieve Ice Brand. Thunder Locus (which I know you're not looking into, but for the sake of being thorough) does a good job of keeping Shock set somewhere in the group, and there is always Elemental Attunement doing it's thing in the background.

    I'm running all this on Elite and since it's my first foray into Torchlight 2, I'm learning through a lot of trial and error in terms of how to approach Elite, but I haven't seen any failings in my choice of stats and skills. I just need to learn not to go flying into some dungeon without taking a look at my own level and see if my equipment needs a serious update, lol.

    Again, thank you guys for the 1 pointer ideas. Honestly that was what I was struggling the most with. But I can see dropping 1 point into thunder locus and lightning brand to capitalize on having shock up sometimes anyways from other sources. I do like the duration on thunder locus the most. I prolly wouldn't use it often to be honest, but when I ran into a champion/boss that has no minions around him I'm sure I could find a spot to cast this while repositiong. I would just have to make sure it wan't eating to much into firestorm or melee attacks before I was set on it.

    But then again, we are talking about the last two talent points anyways, so they will never be locked in anyways. Thanks again for the responses you two.
  • Well, I noticed that Thunder Locus really shines when it can hit multiple targets. So, personally, I'd plan to at least invest enough to hit two at one time. Again, it's all up to you. This is generally what I'm aiming at, and do remember it's written in mud as I'm learning new things all the time.

    [LINK DELETED]

    But so far I'm using Thunder Locus to thin groups out, while using Magma Mace to apply burning, then sweeping crowds with my two-hand weapon. Obviously you're using dual wield hand-to-hand weapons, so Magma Mace may, or may not, be your cup of tea. Personally the arc is fairly wide and good for those small bunches of things like the little dune burrowers. One sweep either stuns the lot or kills them, and anything burning is easily mopped up by a sweep or two of the melee weapon.

    I've found, more so than anything else, that meleeing with Embermage is more in line with 'what feels right' to you than anything else. I, for one, didn't want to have anything super magical, so I went with the more 'subdued' effects of Thunder Locus (I actually had no idea what it looked like prior to using it; a lot bigger then I thought it was lol) and Magma Mace. If I wasn't so keen on keeping with the theme of a more martial aspect (weapon use), then it would definitely open up all sorts of combinations and the like. I just chose this route since it seemed like a really neat concept. I also chose Elite as the first difficulty lol. Getting to Lv.14 was...an adventure, lol. I'm not going for **** since I never liked the idea of ****; always sort of a turn off in a game like this. I can see why people like it, don't get me wrong, but personally I feel it diminishes the fun by keeping a person on edge at all times. That's a whole different basket of fruit though, and not for this thread lol.
  • Well, I noticed that Thunder Locus really shines when it can hit multiple targets. So, personally, I'd plan to at least invest enough to hit two at one time. Again, it's all up to you. This is generally what I'm aiming at, and do remember it's written in mud as I'm learning new things all the time.

    [LINK DELETED]

    But so far I'm using Thunder Locus to thin groups out, while using Magma Mace to apply burning, then sweeping crowds with my two-hand weapon. Obviously you're using dual wield hand-to-hand weapons, so Magma Mace may, or may not, be your cup of tea. Personally the arc is fairly wide and good for those small bunches of things like the little dune burrowers. One sweep either stuns the lot or kills them, and anything burning is easily mopped up by a sweep or two of the melee weapon.

    I've found, more so than anything else, that meleeing with Embermage is more in line with 'what feels right' to you than anything else. I, for one, didn't want to have anything super magical, so I went with the more 'subdued' effects of Thunder Locus (I actually had no idea what it looked like prior to using it; a lot bigger then I thought it was lol) and Magma Mace. If I wasn't so keen on keeping with the theme of a more martial aspect (weapon use), then it would definitely open up all sorts of combinations and the like. I just chose this route since it seemed like a really neat concept. I also chose Elite as the first difficulty lol. Getting to Lv.14 was...an adventure, lol. I'm not going for **** since I never liked the idea of ****; always sort of a turn off in a game like this. I can see why people like it, don't get me wrong, but personally I feel it diminishes the fun by keeping a person on edge at all times. That's a whole different basket of fruit though, and not for this thread lol.

    I think this boils down to me wanting to maximize my fire damage while includng the most melee attacks as possible.

    After looking over and really thinking about Thunder Locus I think I may have come up with another meleemage build I may try out inspired by yours,
    [LINK DELETED]
    It's **** close to yours minus some passives and a full Frost Phase, I just cant get over how much fun it is to corral groups of mobs into corners or in the opposite direction on me and a target I pick out. Haha, it's like dancing :)

    I updated most of the OP as well and turned it into more a a guide than before. Check it out again if you like.
  • Just read it over and yeah, it sounds, well, sound. I mean, it isn't easy, that's for sure. I'm not clearing whole rooms or crowds without having to think or move, and some fights are much easier than others (especially on Elite), but the whole thing is fun, and that's really what matters. Doesn't mean a whole lot if what you're doing isn't fun.

    My only two suggestions and keeping with all of what you have is to sink one point into Frozen Fate and, perhaps, Ice Prison, Astral Ally, Fire Brand, or Prismatic Rift. You've got 32 Fame points, so there's no point in having two just sitting idle.

    Frozen Fate: With one point in, you're looking at 20% chance to freeze up to four enemies after a kill, and 20% isn't really anything to scoff at since you can look at that Freeze chance as another opportunity to get Ice Brand triggers. The kills don't have to be of any particular type either, so you could kill the whole lot of a group with AoE and find that Frozen Fate triggered several times. In the end, it's really just extra utility and there is nothing wrong with that.

    Ice Prison: I, personally, haven't used it outside of a couple tests just to see how it actually works in practice (rather than in tooltip). Being able to create a quick barrier you can pass through any time lets you dictate your fight's position even better in conjunction with Frost Phrase. One point for that sort of utility is amazing.

    Astral Ally: An extra hand and an extra target for the enemy. It's more a matter of how you feel about it, but since the damage scales with level, it isn't entirely useless and certainly something worth dropping a single point into it if you find you like that extra body on the field.

    Fire Brand: One point and, again, scales by level; will give you something to trigger off Elemental Attunement's Burning, which is literally nothing but extra damage. Again, it's a bonus you drop one point in and never worry about. You can consider it as a means to exploit three-fourths of what Elemental Attunement does and, by default, you're already exploiting the Poison effect as it reduces attack/armor of the afflicted. Simply put, free damage.

    Prismatic Rift: This is definitely a point spent more for your tastes over any of the ones prior. 15% chance to teleport an attacker to a random area nearby. There are added things involved with the teleport, like stunning them, and such, but I haven't really nailed it all down and, truthfully, it doesn't matter. The teleport is what you're getting out of it. At 15% chance it does trigger is enough to notice it and has saved me several times, but it is definitely something that you either like or hate as that teleport mechanic is just that much more ground to travel in order to hit something; and when that something is the last thing standing, it can be slightly annoying. That said, I think of it like this; 15% chance to have something that could be joining in the attack not doing so is just that much more of a leg up in my favor. It's extra ground they may have to travel, another opportunity for me to notice/target it if I was caught off guard (some of the locations and enemies blend well, like dark areas and bats, which are small and hard to mouse over at times), and time for me to phase away if I'm in a particularly tight spot. Some people don't like randomness of any sort on any skill (especially defensive in nature), preferring what is 100%, but with a single point to toss around, it isn't a bad choice, just a choice that may, or may not, fit your particular approach.

    Just some quick points to consider.

    EDIT: Was short on time typing it all up, so I wanted to go back and put in a few more comments into Fire Brand with another addition of Prismatic Rift.
  • You mean thunder brand, right? I assume you would be maxing Fire Brand... heh.
  • No, I was actually referring to the skills in the Armory link of the post above me, but the same would apply if it was the other way around. If you planned on having Elemental Attunement as a secondary, or even primary, source of status effects, there really isn't any reason not to put at least one point into whatever Brand(s) don't sit in line with your primary choice of tree(s); outside of personal taste of course.
  • Huge update with a secondary route for all of you that want a bit of ranged casting to mix in with your melee! This build is hands down the most fun I have had with TL2 so far. More questions/comments please!
  • First off, nice guide. Now, I'm another player who runs my Embermage in the melee', but Mjoldin is a Storm Wizard, so uses a slightly different skill list. My primary melee' sweeper is Shocking Burst, which has good stun, knockback, and DPS for the mana. I use Frost Phaze to drop in, with more stun for a soft landing, and roast them Raiden style. The other primary spell is Prismatic Bolt, which is the ranged/indirect fire TWIMC damage before they close. In my fantasy stories, Mjoldin was a Fire Mage prior to becoming the Storm Rider, so his offhand (Different staff) are Burning Spear, and Flame Pillars. The latter is handy for keeping the weenies back/burning while I glass the nest.

    I use staffs, but map spells over the standard attack. Regardless of what the random number gods kick down, the most important enchantmet is Absorb Mana, because if I'm actually swinging, it's generally because that's depleted. Also fast striking is preferred over damage, because it's more for recovery than hurting enemies, so I can go back to Zotting them again. On clothing, and jewelry, I stack up as much Electrical Damage enhancement as possible, Mana, and Health. All level points went into Focus for damage, and mana, so he's pretty squishy, but survives by shear speed. Teleportation, and outdamaging the enemy, while timing their manuevers/attack animations.
    No, I am not "Doing it wrong." Please don't bother telling me that.
  • First off, nice guide. Now, I'm another player who runs my Embermage in the melee', but Mjoldin is a Storm Wizard, so uses a slightly different skill list. My primary melee' sweeper is Shocking Burst, which has good stun, knockback, and DPS for the mana. I use Frost Phaze to drop in, with more stun for a soft landing, and roast them Raiden style. The other primary spell is Prismatic Bolt, which is the ranged/indirect fire TWIMC damage before they close. In my fantasy stories, Mjoldin was a Fire Mage prior to becoming the Storm Rider, so his offhand (Different staff) are Burning Spear, and Flame Pillars. The latter is handy for keeping the weenies back/burning while I glass the nest.

    I use staffs, but map spells over the standard attack. Regardless of what the random number gods kick down, the most important enchantmet is Absorb Mana, because if I'm actually swinging, it's generally because that's depleted. Also fast striking is preferred over damage, because it's more for recovery than hurting enemies, so I can go back to Zotting them again. On clothing, and jewelry, I stack up as much Electrical Damage enhancement as possible, Mana, and Health. All level points went into Focus for damage, and mana, so he's pretty squishy, but survives by shear speed. Teleportation, and outdamaging the enemy, while timing their manuevers/attack animations.

    Thank you very much Psi! After hearing others input and suggestions I am going to make an electric/ice melee mage after I am through with Sparky just to see how it holds up against fire/ice (for me, not in general). I had fun reading your post. Thanks for the comment :)
  • crazynesscrazyness Posts: 239
    I just want to ask..

    with the previous patch that made Magma Mace workable with both Staff Mastery and Wand Chaos (which of these works better for
    Magma Mace?)
  • crazyness wrote:
    I just want to ask..

    with the previous patch that made Magma Mace workable with both Staff Mastery and Wand Chaos (which of these works better for
    Magma Mace?)

    For a melee mage? I would pick up a staff with a low attack speed, high physical/fire damage and roll with staff mastery. If, you wanted to roll staff mastery anyways. There are some really nice staffs that can be used in melee along side of magma mace.

    Staff mastery becomes broken after NG+ when the monsters start getting huge resistances. Before NG++ I wouldn't sink any more than 1-5 points into it just to get the effect.
  • Huge visual and content update for every ones eye holes to play with. The best thing about this?

    There's still more to come!
  • Thank you very much Psi! After hearing others input and suggestions I am going to make an electric/ice melee mage after I am through with Sparky just to see how it holds up against fire/ice (for me, not in general). I had fun reading your post. Thanks for the comment :)
    YW, in that case, a great walking around combo is the Magma Spear for a machinegun, and Shocking Burst to sweep the weenies that get close. By far, the most common encounter is a heavy, or two with a Zerg Rush of weenies to overwhelm you, so concentrate Fire on the former, and anyone who gets in the way will get shot right through, then switch (Right Click) to the shocker to sweep them. Probably 9 fights out of 10 can be handled that way. I don't usually focus on 1, or 2 elements/trees to the exclusion of others (This happened to be a Theme build.) but regardless, FPh is a must, there's just no better mobility Active (Maybe just as good, but it's a tie.) in the game, much less for EMs. Keep that cued up unless you get overrun, or swap out for your Boss Killer for those fights, this does plenty of damage for that if the Mana holds out. (I usually do PBolts, and FPh.)

    My main EM build, Wanda uses my picks for the best spells in all 3 trees, as well as any scrolls i can find. She's named after her Auto-attack combo, dual Wands of Draining to recover Mana when that runs dry. (Mjoldin did Staves.) Go for the fastest "Attack" speed you can, hopefully starting with Wands of Draining with slots for Ember (Farm act II, or transfer from another char if you don't want to redraw, and run through it twice like I did.) This is not the main damage dealer, but really speeds up your recovery, especially on top of a Blue potion during tough boss fights. Ice Prison really helps for crowd control, you can just PBolt over it.

    Just for referance, I went with (15/15:) Mspear, BPillars, IAuar, ElAttun, Firebrand, Stormbrand, PBolts, Sburst, Frozen Fate, (1/15) Frost Phaze, Ice Prison, and (10/15) Frozen Fate. I don't really like all the Frost Spells, except for Crowd Control, and Teleport, so i just perked them to unlock the effects. Frozen Fate adds a cold effect, and I went with Ice/Poison on the wands to cover all the elements. You seem to like Cold, so go for what you know, but Wanda is actually a much more effective build than Mjoldin. Both are full Focus with a little Vitality thrown in when they started getting too squishy.
    No, I am not "Doing it wrong." Please don't bother telling me that.
  • BloodyBartucBloodyBartuc Posts: 112
    edited October 2012
    Opps, quoted my OP for some reason.
  • SogetsuSogetsu Posts: 462
    I have a question about the build...

    Why do you have so much STR if you can go All FCS and use Elemental Weapons? Without many DEX, you won't be CRIT so much, so I don't see the utility on STR when Double FCS will give you same ammount of Melee damage when wielding Elemental Weapons, and also will double the power of your Skills

    Or do the "% of Weapon DPS" skills take your STR in the formula? Because I don't really see the point on going half STR-FCS if you can go Double-FCS and use some Elemental Sword/Claw etc

    GSFirmaEfectos.jpg
  • Sogetsu wrote:
    I have a question about the build...

    Why do you have so much STR if you can go All FCS and use Elemental Weapons? Without many DEX, you won't be CRIT so much, so I don't see the utility on STR when Double FCS will give you same ammount of Melee damage when wielding Elemental Weapons, and also will double the power of your Skills

    Or do the "% of Weapon DPS" skills take your STR in the formula? Because I don't really see the point on going half STR-FCS if you can go Double-FCS and use some Elemental Sword/Claw etc

    Mainly because I don't want to restrict my weapon selection. And dealing both physical and magical damage, while being very tanky is the main point of the build. Not to be a focus mage that can go into melee.

    Secondly, if you don't put points into STR, and your weapon does have physical damage on it, then the times you melee when your brands are down (about 50% of the time) your attacks will do next to nothing. STR increases not only physical weapon damage, but elemental weapon damage as well. Not as much as focus, but it does boost it.

    Thirdly, you may not get an insane amount of crits with 60 dex, but you do get a very noticeable amount. And because my STR is on par with my focus, the crits I do get, both physical and elemental, are quite large.

    I'm not sure about you %weapon based damage abilities interaction with STR as I only use Magma Mace and it is mostly for the debuffs.
  • SogetsuSogetsu Posts: 462
    Mmmhh, you are right, but honestly I noticed a lot more the damage from Burning with high FCS, and about the weapon limitation, there are plenty of weapons which are more Element than Physical oriented, but in fact, as you said, you are in some way "limiting" the choice of them

    At least I am using fully Elemental Weapons and going Double FCS with some DEX and bonus for CRIT via Gems, that fashion I achieve nice damage, and the status afflictions from burning are huge, as well it is the damage from Frost Phase and I never run out of Mana to spam some AoE spells which help with the mobs so I don't need to retreat

    Thanks for the answer, anyways your guide serve me as reference on my build, but as you an see I am more oriented to it based on the weapons I have planned and they are fully elemental, as well the damage of Burn and and FrostPhase (also the support AoE skills).

    GSFirmaEfectos.jpg
  • Sogetsu wrote:
    Mmmhh, you are right, but honestly I noticed a lot more the damage from Burning with high FCS, and about the weapon limitation, there are plenty of weapons which are more Element than Physical oriented, but in fact, as you said, you are in some way "limiting" the choice of them

    At least I am using fully Elemental Weapons and going Double FCS with some DEX and bonus for CRIT via Gems, that fashion I achieve nice damage, and the status afflictions from burning are huge, as well it is the damage from Frost Phase and I never run out of Mana to spam some AoE spells which help with the mobs so I don't need to retreat

    Thanks for the answer, anyways your guide serve me as reference on my build, but as you an see I am more oriented to it based on the weapons I have planned and they are fully elemental, as well the damage of Burn and and FrostPhase (also the support AoE skills).

    And that is another great way of doing things! True build variation is something that other games are lacking lately.

    Unfortunately, gem slots are dedicated to defensive gems with this build so the crit damage from STR is a welcome addition. I think what the main difference is between your build and mine is that you are leaning to the elemental side of a melee mage, where as I'm focusing on doing close to equal amounts of physical/magical damage and the ability to switch from the melee mage to caster and not lose anything in the process. It's a delicate balance, but it is working out greatly so far :)

    Haha, I just thought to myself that I should put a notice up at the top of the guide about needing to like red mages before you try this build. Because in essence, that is basically what this build is trying to achieve.
  • yuo529yuo529 Posts: 1
    I need some help with this build. It's been really fun leveling it so far, but I'm having some problems with the positioning when using Frost Phase. It seems that every time I try to frost phase into a group, the group gets pushed back way too much for my Magma Mace to hit. I know that you said something about wall pining the enemies, but I'm having trouble with that too.

    It would be great if you had a video that you could put up so that I know how to go about using this build. Thanks!
  • VardlonitVardlonit Posts: 634
    Sogetsu wrote:
    I have a question about the build...

    Why do you have so much STR if you can go All FCS and use Elemental Weapons? Without many DEX, you won't be CRIT so much, so I don't see the utility on STR when Double FCS will give you same ammount of Melee damage when wielding Elemental Weapons, and also will double the power of your Skills

    Or do the "% of Weapon DPS" skills take your STR in the formula? Because I don't really see the point on going half STR-FCS if you can go Double-FCS and use some Elemental Sword/Claw etc
    I don't know why OP made this choice but myself with another melee build with similarities and differences, I'm trying Focus on Focus so not much STR nor DEX. But I realized it means a lot of trouble for the equipments, for both armory, shields and weapons, this reduce a lot the choices, a real burden for a melee oriented.
    Spells
    Pet
    Adventuring
    Animal Handling
    Barter
    Treasure Hunter
    This build is very gold/gear dependent. But, test other setups if you like. I haven't experimented with spells while leveling this build.
    Are you sure those spells work when set on the pet? I have read some posts mentioning they don't. An example of test was with Barter. Give Barter to the pet didn't provide any reduction to buy nor increase to sell price. Not even when ordering the pet to go back town to sell stuff. But I haven't tested myself.

    Also some players noticed that Treasure Hunter doesn't change at all the related player numbers in Arcane statistics panel. Again I haven't tried myself. I only took the conclusion that only spells not tomes was working on pets.
  • I use mods so much of what I say can be taken with a grain of salt for normal players. I am currently lvl 26 on veteran. Mods: Improved Chaos Wand (removes weapon restriction), ice elemental pet-overhaul, stat change mod for vit/dex (gives better scaling on hp/armor/crit/dodge), improved pet mastery, permanent minions, and sustained embermage mods.

    As a melee-mage, I get more damage out of str rather than focus for stats. I use elemental unique dual-swords so base damage might not be that different. I also have a 22% crit rate and 90 str. Generally, my damage with auto-attacks only pass 600 with criticals. My chaos wand passive can hit 900-1500 with meteors easily and 2.1k when they critical. There are also several aoe's that deal a decent amount of damage. This passive might be even better with attack speed bonuses when I am able to use them.

    As for tanking, I can melee but I can't tank everything. Champions can force me to recover every couple of attacks and there are the occasional hard-hitting mobs. I also have to be careful of large spawns still so I am not immortal with my mods. They just lessen the burden on farming.

    My pet, I will admit, is stronger than the original. He has long-range spells, aoe's, and knockback's (sometime's helpful and sometimes annoying).

    None of my mods increase my damage directly. I survive easily without my pet and minions so I am not dependent on them. For any melee-mages that use mods, you might want to consider chaos wand.....it is godly....by itself.
  • SogetsuSogetsu Posts: 462
    SoulClaw wrote:
    I use mods so much of what I say can be taken with a grain of salt for normal players. I am currently lvl 26 on veteran. Mods: Improved Chaos Wand (removes weapon restriction), ice elemental pet-overhaul, stat change mod for vit/dex (gives better scaling on hp/armor/crit/dodge), improved pet mastery, permanent minions, and sustained embermage mods.

    As for tanking, I can melee but I can't tank everything. Champions can force me to recover every couple of attacks and there are the occasional hard-hitting mobs. I also have to be careful of large spawns still so I am not immortal with my mods. They just lessen the burden on farming.

    In the moment you use a Mod that increase your Armor, HP, Dodge, and Crit, you can't seriously be talking about "Tanking" with that character, because it is not a Standard one, the same on the Critical Damage and HP Amounts

    I not mean to be rude, but you can use that character as reference due to many tweaked things it has on it, and FCS and STR benefit exactly the same your Weapon Damage, but STR gives more Crit Damage, and FCS give more Mana and elemental Power on Skills. Like I said, don't use that character as reference, it is really tweaked and the mechanics does not work the same on it like it work on the "standard gameplay" the OP wrote the guide for.

    GSFirmaEfectos.jpg
  • Sogetsu wrote:
    SoulClaw wrote:
    I use mods so much of what I say can be taken with a grain of salt for normal players. I am currently lvl 26 on veteran. Mods: Improved Chaos Wand (removes weapon restriction), ice elemental pet-overhaul, stat change mod for vit/dex (gives better scaling on hp/armor/crit/dodge), improved pet mastery, permanent minions, and sustained embermage mods.

    As for tanking, I can melee but I can't tank everything. Champions can force me to recover every couple of attacks and there are the occasional hard-hitting mobs. I also have to be careful of large spawns still so I am not immortal with my mods. They just lessen the burden on farming.

    In the moment you use a Mod that increase your Armor, HP, Dodge, and Crit, you can't seriously be talking about "Tanking" with that character, because it is not a Standard one, the same on the Critical Damage and HP Amounts

    I not mean to be rude, but you can use that character as reference due to many tweaked things it has on it, and FCS and STR benefit exactly the same your Weapon Damage, but STR gives more Crit Damage, and FCS give more Mana and elemental Power on Skills. Like I said, don't use that character as reference, it is really tweaked and the mechanics does not work the same on it like it work on the "standard gameplay" the OP wrote the guide for.

    Pretty sure I can survive without the stat change mod, but fine. My post was more of a reply to you rather than the op about Str vs focus. I just went a little off-topic with the tanking. If you want, I can try without those mods and see how much things change (just name which ones or say all of them). I believe only one mob can 1-hit me (and it stands out among the others) and i just have have to be careful about not letting that one hit me and and not receiving consecutive attacks from champions. I might need to actually use gems, but i have dozens saved up.

    The stat change mod is like 400 extra hp with my vit so it's not much.
  • SogetsuSogetsu Posts: 462
    I have no problem with the "one shoot", I don't really have any problem, I stated that I achieve more damage going Double Focus instead Half Focus-Stregth because I obtain more damage from burning and those sort of things thanks to many Magic Damage
    The only "problem" is the Gear maybe like the self-op pointed, but because I have the gear pre-building the character and it's almost all elemental, I don't need the STR really, also most of the equip is FCS amount required to use on lower level.

    But again, I think your mods change a lot the feeling of the damage you do (specially with Crits) and your Survivability (Flee, Armor, HP) even if you say it is not "that much" on your current level.

    GSFirmaEfectos.jpg
  • Vardlonit wrote:
    Are you sure those spells work when set on the pet? I have read some posts mentioning they don't. An example of test was with Barter. Give Barter to the pet didn't provide any reduction to buy nor increase to sell price. Not even when ordering the pet to go back town to sell stuff. But I haven't tested myself.

    Also some players noticed that Treasure Hunter doesn't change at all the related player numbers in Arcane statistics panel. Again I haven't tried myself. I only took the conclusion that only spells not tomes was working on pets.

    I don't know to be honest. The reason I put them there in the first place was because I didn't use my pet in combat so I didn't have it interfering with testing my build. Over time I upgraded them with a grain of salt, not really caring if they did, or didn't work on the pet seeing as I keep the pet on passive anyways. I don't see why they shouldn't work, but meh if they don't. This is why I state that people should use spells they like on their pet after the info.

    As for all the questions about Str vs Focus. It's way more simple than everyone is making it out to be, for me anyways. Here we go.

    Str increases physical damage
    Focus increases magic damage

    I want to do physical damage and I want to do magic damage. Thus the spread of points. If you are worried about maximizing your damage with spreadsheets and stat ratios, there are guides for that. What I can tell you is this. The way this build is setup works on the difficulties and group amounts I've listed at the beginning of the guide.
    yuo529 wrote:
    I need some help with this build. It's been really fun leveling it so far, but I'm having some problems with the positioning when using Frost Phase. It seems that every time I try to frost phase into a group, the group gets pushed back way too much for my Magma Mace to hit. I know that you said something about wall pining the enemies, but I'm having trouble with that too.

    It would be great if you had a video that you could put up so that I know how to go about using this build. Thanks!

    Unfortunately my computron 9000 doesn't do well rendering videos with fraps and/or camstudio. I've recently upgraded my processor and gfxcard so I'll give it a shot again, but I can't promise anything. I'll elaborate in the post, but for now I'll answer here.

    The main thing to know is the range of the Frost Phase area of effect knockback. Here is a terrible image I just made for you (/kisses) to help me explain how I do this.
    wallpin.jpg
    Terrible, I know. Anyways, Position 1 is where you start your Frost Phase. Position 2 is where you land and first make contact with your enemy. If you want to pin them into the wall to the top right you need to position where you land (position 2) just to the bottom left of the enemy as depicted in the picture. After landing at position 2 they will be knocked up and to the right at an angle. From there you need to gauge where they are going to land and Frost Phase again (from position 2, to position 3) directly under them to finish knocking them into the corner. If all was positioned correctly you will land on position 3, finish knocking them into the corner and be able to, without moving from position 3, Magma Mace them.

    Think of it like playing a game of pool when it comes to where you need to position your landing spot (hitting the que ball) in conjunction with their initial positioning (where the 8 ball is) to get them where you need them (8 ball, corner pocket).

    I will do a better version of that **** picture to post in the OP and add more information on the wall pin to better help explain it. Also, because of all the questions on Str verses Focus I'll dedicate a space somewhere in the guide as to why I split Str and Focus in this build.
  • Str: 90
    Dex: 56
    Foc: 34
    Vit: 24
    Weapon Damage: 170-337
    Crit/Dodge: 20%
    Weapon Damage: +45%
    Critical Damage: +36%
    Magic Damage: 111-220
    Armor: 51-102
    Hp: 1659
    Mana: 102
    Without Mods:
    Weapon Damage: 170-337
    Crit/Dodge: 11%
    Weapon Damage: +45%
    Critical Damage: +36%
    Magic Damage: 111-220
    Armor: 48-96
    Hp: 1500
    Mana: 102


    I killed the boss in Tower of Moon and Manticore in his dungeon. I was wrong about the 1-hit because I thought I would have 1200 hp without the stat mod. I killed everything a little slower without chaos wand, but they all die in 1-4 hits anyways. The damage I take was close to the same, but without the permanent 8 skeletons as meatshields….I became the center of attention often. The bosses don’t feel like they took longer to kill.

    I died once because I didn’t notice there was no mana potion in my hot-key list and couldn’t frost phase away from manticore. The increased attention from mobs was not that bad since I can pot it all off. Only that hard-hitting mob and bosses make me have to jump out of melee.

    I may have a lot of mods, but they don’t make the game that easy. Considering the results, only the 8 permanent skeletons make a difference since they are meat-shields.
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