Dual Pistol Embermage: viable or not?

merkymerky Posts: 2
I've not played TL2 before, and I'm thinking about building a character similar to what I had in TL1, which was a dual pistol alchemist. Basically I used basic ranged attacks and self buffs (and passives) exclusively, and Ember Phase as an escape tool and Ember Shock as an area stun to tide me over till I unlocked Ember Phase. Would I be able to do something similar with the embermage?

Offhand I know that there's a couple of skills that might be useful. Are these skills going to help, or should I look elsewhere?
– Immolation Aura: defensive bonus, and offers some damage.
– Ice Phase: escape tool
– Frozen Fate: crowd control
– Prismatic Rift: some defense... is this a good pickup?
– Death's Bounty: some healing
Since embermages have tons of elemental-related skills, I'm thinking of using elemental attunement to increase the odds of triggering effects (and maybe elemental boon for more damage) as well as the three brand powers to stack even more damage. I'm not sure how the brand powers work though... As for charge, would I be able to benefit from it at all?

I'm also not sure about what kind of stat distribution I should go with, since the stat system for TL2 is very different from the original. Would Strength and Dex (plus a bit of Vit) be adequate? I'm assuming Strength increases weapon elemental damage as well, so I still have decent damage if I don't have elemental pistols.

Lastly... all in all, is the concept of a dual pistol embermage viable enough in the first place? Or would I be better off with a less crazy build?


  • gytfunkegytfunke Posts: 571
    Sure it's viable. As long as you're not talking **** Elite. Unless you're running a super-optimal build, HCE requires a shield in one hand, and even then requires a pretty optimal build. Dual pistols is going to be suboptimal for an Embermage, but totally doable. You're probably best off running this on Normal or Veteran at the very most. Elite will be doable, but painful. I run a melee Embermage in HCE and it's soooooo sloooooow.

    You'll probably want FOCUS and DEX.

    Your focus stat will increase your execute chance, which is a really good thing. Execute will actually benefit you since you'll be auto-attacking a lot. Focus will also increase all f your elemental damage from spells and on your weapons. Like you said, you're going to try to use elemental weapons. Uniques are a good place to start, since they're usually at least 50% elemental damage. A good second option is one of the four-socket guns set with 4 elemental damage gems. Your charged state will also add it's 25% elemental damage bonus to your elemental weapon damage.

    Dex will increase your crit chance. Crits cause elemental effects like burning, frozen or electrified. These effects enable your brands to trigger.

    Strength will increase your weapon damage and critical bonus, which is good. Getting a smattering of Strength along with Focus and Dex will also allow you to equip better armor, which is actually really good.

    Vit: none.

    Brands 15/15. Their damage scales with focus.
    Frozen Fate 1-15/15. Locking enemies in place is going to be great for a ranged mage.
    (Prismatic Rift shouldn't be proccing. You're ranged, kite out of the way.)

    The rest of the passives are much less attractive for a pistol mage. Maybe a little Elemental Attunement would be good until your crit chance is really high.

    Frost Phase 1/15. Essentially every Embermage build should have at least 1 in this escape skill.
    Immolation Aura 15/15. If you're playing Veteran/Elite, the damage reduction on this is huge. If not, it's not a great investment.
    Death's Bounty 15/15. The healing makes you tanky. The mana regen won't be such a big deal since you're auto-attacking. The slow and stun are also great effects. Necessary for Elite or Veteran.
    Thunder Locus 15/15. Fire and forget while you shoot.
    Hailstorm 15/15. The stun and the bonus electric/ice damage synergizes well with your shooting.
    Ice Prison 15/15. Makes it easy to keep things where you can shoot them comfortably.

    If you don't take Immolation Aura or Death's Bounty, you might try one of these:
    Astral Ally. A summoned pet who can soak a bit of damage for you and deal some extra damage without requiring you to click for it.
    Flame Pillars. It deals massive damage and builds your charge really, really fast. But, it's better for melee mages.
    Firestorm. Adds fire weakness, which is good if you have fire pistols.

    Get Dual Wield Master, Ranged Weapon Mastery and Dervish. Elemental Overload is also good if you're running around with elemental pistols.

    Go for bonuses to stats first, and bonuses to Damage reduction and HP if you're playing on Elite. Enchantments that add damage over time to a fast pistol are good. Your Focus stat will boost damage over time effects.
  • presspress Posts: 1
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