Prisimatic Spear?

fibonacci112358fibonacci112358 Posts: 51
edited March 2013 in Embermage Discussions
My understanding is that Prisimatic Bolt is powerful primarily due to the synergy between the multiple elemental effects, and the three Brands.

Given the lower mana cost of Magma Spear, its faster cooldown, and its piercing ability, one might reasonably think that it is more suited to triggering Brands, if only the creeps could be frozen or shocked (as well as burning).

Fortunately, there are time-efficient ways to inflict Frozen (Hailstorm and Frozen Fate - and possibly Frost Wave in the late late game, Lvl 28).
Thunder Locus would be useful for inflict Shocked (albeit not super reliably, although the Shocked spreads to neighbouring allies, if the Thunder Locus is able to successfully to apply to one guy - whom you subsequently target with magma spear).

I would also put points in elemental attunement and Wand Chaos for added opportunities to inflict elemental effects.

In summary, the build comprises of
- One point in magma spear (spam this!), frost phase, frozen fate
- Five points in Hailstorm and Thunder Locus
- Multiple points in Wand Chaos, Elemental attunement, Fire Brand, Ice Brand and Lightning Brand (At least one point in each upon hitting 7 and 14, preferentially dumping late points into the three brands).

Upon defeating the Griffon in the Salt Barrens, immediately purchase multiple summons to help spread the lightning. Late game luxuries include Elemental Boon, Frost Wave, and Ice prison.

What do you think about this idea?



  • magma spear triggers elemental debuffs if you have them on your wand or staff. Can't you just use a wand or staff with ice and elec damage to trigger the brands?
  • FinrazielFinraziel Posts: 505
    It could be fun to play, but the biggest reason why this is not going to beat prismatic bolt is that later in the game, most stuff dies so incredibly fast that by the time you do anything with those spells prismatic bolt would already have killed them. Well, actually, hailstorm already does that as well. So when you're trying to apply freeze so you can trigger the ice brand, most things already die.
    That means the brands really only come into play against bigger targets and those targets will mostly be alone, but that also invalidates your whole reason for wanting to go with magma spear instead of prismatic bolt (being able to hit multiple targets). Finally, if you do use magma spear to target groups of monsters, it will only hit monsters that are in a straight line and you will need some time to target the different ones. Since you can cast 2,5 prismatic bolts per second with cast speed gear, which comes to 12.5 actual bolts per second, and stuff will die from 2 or 3 of those bolts, you'd have to be lightning quick to beat out PB.
    Just to be clear, I'm not saying you couldn't make your idea work, it's just not going to beat a PB mage in efficiency. It's going to be less boring though, so that's a big plus ;)

    Oh and also, I havent tested yet, but I don't think frozen fate actually applies the freeze status effect, does it? Think it only immobilizes and it's another confusing description...
  • @ Solomon - I didn't realise that Magma spear did that! I thought it converted the weapon DPS into pure fire damage.

    @ Finaziel

    Thanks for poining out my slip-up about Frozen Fate. In light of that, I would probably downgrade it to a one-pointer (just for a little bit of CC).

    The scenarios that you describe seem very unusual in the early (Level 1 - 7) and mid (8 - 20) game. I personally have never gotten into the enviable situation where a single Hailstorm clears out an entire screen of creeps. I would think the game would be pretty much over at that point.

    I have neglected to consider casting-speed gear because it is, in my experience, quite rare to get it while the character build-order it is still relevant. I can't imagine achieving 2.5 PB's per second around the Level 16 or so mark.

    Perhaps we are talking about two different time frames here. The concept of a "PB mage" or "Magma spear mage" becomes meaningless beyond the level 20 mark (or thereabouts) because one could very easily put a point into the other skill. You only have two distinct characters to compare earlier on, when the relative paucity of skill points forces the player to make actual decisions (because one skill point is a very meaningful investment at that stage).

  • Just out of interest - what are typical Act 1 (Ng 0) completion times for PB mage? I'd like a benchmark to aim for.

  • FinrazielFinraziel Posts: 505
    Well, when people talk about a PB mage, they usually mean one that takes the char to max level (or as high as they get) hardly ever using anything other than PB. And PB becomes powerful enough to do that.
    I was indeed talking about level 50+, before that you don't really instakill as much. At the level range you describe though prismatic bolt isn't that effective either. The brands don't even come into play until level 14 and PB's damage is quite underwhelming until you get to some higher level (pretty much like all fixed damage skills). At early levels you actually have to be quite careful with PB because it can't dish out enough damage yet to take down groups of monsters, but that will chance at higher level. Also, PB is quite the manadrain compared to MS at lower level.
    The biggest reason I can see why people often pick PB anyway as their level 1 skill to get through the first part of the game is that you only need the 1 rank in it to make it viable, and if you want to you can even keep reclaiming that one skillpoint (buy it back, spend your points on what you actually want and put the last point in PB again, keep doing this until you no longer need PB).

    As for the game being over, most people on here consider the game to have only just started when you finish the story the first time around :) You're around lvl 50 by then, only just getting a few ranks in your lvl 42 skill if you took one... I always view this time as the character finally growing into its final form, being able to use all its skills and playing the build as I had envisioned it. I don't even keep playing beyond max lvl like some do, havent even reached it yet with any character, but I still view level 1 to 30 or so just as a prologue to quickly get through to get to the meat of the game (not that that part isn't fun though).
  • IechinokIechinok Posts: 140
    It's pretty much as Finraziel says. Characters start coming into their own around Act 3 and onward.

    I recently undertook the arduous task of making a Storm-centric Embermage, despite not having previous embermage experience... and I have to say that it was pretty difficult.

    I absolutely hate Prismatic Bolt as a skill for the Storm tree, so I supplemented my early levels with 5 ranks in Shocking Burst, which I've come to find is actually quite powerful, as long as you're careful with it.

    While leveling toward Act 3, I found that out of all of the trees, what makes Storm feel so underwhelming is that, not only is it slower-paced than the other two, it scales horribly until you get to that Act 3 sweet spot.

    I found that I went from surviving through packs and potion chugging like an addict, to basically mowing down huge mobs of enemies with waves of lightning. It was almost surreal with how different the experience was...
    Signature courtesy of Rusty. :D
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