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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 8:48 am 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
Posts: 493
Hi!

Won recently a classic wildfire archmage and now I'm playing a Aether variant. I'm interested in what people consider good archmage builds in 1.1.5 and what are each builds strongpoints. I have a basic grasp of every build (at least I think I do) but I'd like some feedback and simply much more information, really. I've read some guides etc. but not all information is up to date ( I think) and peoples perceptions may change over time.

Widfire: Classic stuff. Damage is not the greatest against single foes (compared to the best casters) but on the other hand, damage + artifacts are plenty and very good (hello Molten Skin). AoE damage is very good as is debilitating effects like stun. Best overall choice.

Aether Damage seems higher than wildfire builds at least on 1:1 encounters. On the other hand, fixed damage stacking artifacts are rarer than + fire equipment. Remember not to blow your self up (i.e. get spellcraft and pay attention while disruption shielding) :lol:! Silence is great. Less reliable build but still extremely effective build. Second best choice.

Storm My understanding is that this is very good, although mana intensive...until you run into enemies that have stun immunity/high res...

Ice I have zero experience with this. Seems worst on paper, not enough damage talents with good range. Also talents like shatter don't seem very good once you have 90-100 % crit chance. I wouldn't call any archmage build bad (because they are utter powerhouses) but this is as close as it gets.

Earth Earthquake, Earthen missiles, Stone wall and Pulverizing augur are all very good..but is it enough? I'm really interested in the earth/stone build so if someone could give some perceptions on this build particularly it would be great. I've used many of the spells on other builds but I'm lacking a comprehensive view on how all this would play out on an archmage. At least stone skin seems completely useless for this build so that's one talent less to make this build good.

Races I like cornacs on every build because I like getting 5 inscriptions and temporal and meta. Shalore and Thalore are pretty much always good but your Thalore summons will die because of the huge AoE damage faster than on other builds. Skeletons are better than usually too, eventually.

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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 9:13 am 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Tue May 14, 2013 3:45 pm
Posts: 810
Aether does have a surprising number of top tier artifacts, even if it can't quite match Wildfire. If you can get a hold of the hat/stave set it's fantastic even at T3, as it gives you a 2 cooldown on Manathrust. Void Orb and Ethereal Embrace are similarly great, I think Aether is probably my favourite of all builds. Next time I play I'll likely grab Temporal as well, as Essence of Speed+Aether Avatar is incredible damage. I was playing Higher back when their racial was +Arcane damage which was very, very strong, but left me low on category points.

I actually tried a Ice/Storm build once. Apart from the obvious issue of spreading points too thin, it wasn't terribly effective. Ice does low damage apart from Freeze, and although the self healing from vapours+shiv form is fun it's still not that strong. Storm does great damage with Hurricane, but it is very mana hungry and has a big weakness against Stun immune targets.

I've not played Stone, but from what I've seen it does the highest pure dps of any build. Not sure if it still applies, but Body of Stone+some mastery let's you pretty much chain cast Earthen Missiles. And the 3x hit means that artifacts like Black Robe inflict enormous damage. Plus the lack of friendly AoE (bar Earthquake) means you don't need to 5/5 Spellshaping like most builds.


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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 11:57 am 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
Posts: 493
Razakai wrote:
Aether does have a surprising number of top tier artifacts, even if it can't quite match Wildfire. If you can get a hold of the hat/stave set it's fantastic even at T3, as it gives you a 2 cooldown on Manathrust. Void Orb and Ethereal Embrace are similarly great, I think Aether is probably my favourite of all builds. Next time I play I'll likely grab Temporal as well, as Essence of Speed+Aether Avatar is incredible damage. I was playing Higher back when their racial was +Arcane damage which was very, very strong, but left me low on category points.

Yeah, Void Orb is very good even for wildfire but amazing for Aether. Ethereal Embrace is pretty amazing too. I've probably going to item vault my aether guy like I did my wildfire build so I can compare the possibilities of the two builds more evenly. I don't have HoAU or the staff but I can get VO and AE from my other characters, I think.

Razakai wrote:
I actually tried a Ice/Storm build once. Apart from the obvious issue of spreading points too thin, it wasn't terribly effective. Ice does low damage apart from Freeze, and although the self healing from vapours+shiv form is fun it's still not that strong. Storm does great damage with Hurricane, but it is very mana hungry and has a big weakness against Stun immune targets.
At least a pure ice build will be a "pass" for me then since my impressions seem correct enough. Like I said, I haven't gotten experience with the ice spells but I've tried the self-healing with Fiery Choker + Wildfire. It's pretty hilarious to hit yourself with fireflash and gain 600 points of healing per shot :lol:. Then again, I asked myself "why would a low HP but extremely shield-capable class like archmage want to take hundreds of points of HP damage ever". So even though the self-healing is nice and definitely hilarious, I'm not sure archmages actually benefit from it that much: you don't want to tank with HP so you don't have any damage to heal from in the first place. And after all, they have a proper healing talent that can produce shields worth of thousands of points of damage while healing all Health.

Razakai wrote:
I've not played Stone, but from what I've seen it does the highest pure dps of any build. Not sure if it still applies, but Body of Stone+some mastery let's you pretty much chain cast Earthen Missiles. And the 3x hit means that artifacts like Black Robe inflict enormous damage. Plus the lack of friendly AoE (bar Earthquake) means you don't need to 5/5 Spellshaping like most builds.
Yeah, I've heard of this spamming build too but am unsure of the details. Didn't think about the Black Robe possibilities, definitely a good point there.

Thanks for the reply.

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PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2014 12:25 pm 
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Halfling

Joined: Sun Oct 20, 2013 3:40 pm
Posts: 91
Location: Dreamscape
My last win was with a pure Ice build, so I can give quite a few tips for it. Early game for pure Ice is atrocious, the lack of a 3 cooldown beam really hurts so just constantly keep floating points in either flame or manathrust. Investing 5/5/5/5 into water tree actually gives a good chunk of damage, most of this comes from spamming all your abilities running around and watching things die to all you dots. Shivogorath Form is actually stupidly good, stun immunity and cold affinity, yes please :D . But basically spam Shiv Form every battle, tank damage in your glacial vapors, kill everything.

After you get to level 22 and you get Uttercold things get much easier. My suggested point investment for Ice tree is 3 or 4 in ice shards, 5 in frozen ground, 1 in shatter, and 5 in Uttercold. Ice isn't really weak it is just really hard to get it going, but once you do you can potentially kill 3 oozemancer stair guardians like I did in High Peak :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2014 9:05 am 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
Posts: 493
Forger101 wrote:
My last win was with a pure Ice build, so I can give quite a few tips for it. Early game for pure Ice is atrocious, the lack of a 3 cooldown beam really hurts so just constantly keep floating points in either flame or manathrust. Investing 5/5/5/5 into water tree actually gives a good chunk of damage, most of this comes from spamming all your abilities running around and watching things die to all you dots. Shivogorath Form is actually stupidly good, stun immunity and cold affinity, yes please :D . But basically spam Shiv Form every battle, tank damage in your glacial vapors, kill everything.

After you get to level 22 and you get Uttercold things get much easier. My suggested point investment for Ice tree is 3 or 4 in ice shards, 5 in frozen ground, 1 in shatter, and 5 in Uttercold. Ice isn't really weak it is just really hard to get it going, but once you do you can potentially kill 3 oozemancer stair guardians like I did in High Peak :mrgreen:


Nice, its' cool to see an ice build succeed as well [/pun]. Maybe I'll give it a shot after all.

I've now made significant progress both with Aether and Stone builds (Aether is level fifty and Stone is doing prides). The first one found Void Orb and Ethereal Embrace so I decided against item vaulting. The Stone guy is heavily item vaulted with Hand Of The World Shaper and + phys damage items.

Further build comments:

Aether: Aether Avatar means pretty sweet amounts of damage -especially considering that this guys' +damage equipment isn't even that great. Even with Essence of Speed and only 4 attack talents I'm pretty sure you'll always have an attack spell to cast. And I haven't even invested in quicken spells at all! I don't think any of the four slime tunnel bosses even got a decent dent on my guy's first shield. Draconic will seems even better with Aether than other archmages because you can't use infusions etc. without cancelling Aether Avatar. Very fun build but requires more micromanagement than wildfire (Aether Avatar mostly, spellcraft takes care of the aiming at yourself issues).

Character here: http://te4.org/characters/121593/tome/d ... a289fe6d52

Stone: The spell damage against single targets feels great, however, even with 1,60 Stone and Earth Mastery, quicken spells and body of stone and without essence of speed, you can't chain your spells because of the cooldowns. You only have 4 attack spells so once you've taken your best shots there isn't much you can do offensively. So the chaining of Earth Missiles has probably been nerfed at one point. I'd say that with equal equipment (this guys has been item vaulted) and especially against targets that don't die in one earthen missiles, Aether damage is noticeably better because of the cooldown issues. Aether is more fun too. Compared to Fire/Wildfire, Wildfire has huge AoE almost as good utility (depends on what you like but stone wall is great) and one more attack talent. So while Earthen Missiles deal some hefty amounts of damage per shot, you really don't get enough shots off in the first place to match Aether because of the cooldowns. So Wildfire/Aether FTW!

Also the range of Pulverizing Auger sucks balls.

Character here: http://te4.org/characters/121593/tome/a ... 19a4a148e3

Wildfire: After winning and killing Ata, I went to make a nice Limmir Amulet: Goedelath Rock, +10% all damage +5 % all crit and then another +10% all damage +5 % all crit gem courtesy of Limmir gave me an amulet with +29 % all damage, +10 % crit chance, +50 % heal mod and +16 spellpower. Yeah, pretty great :lol:. With this guy, I think I found out why archmages are considered the best class: Arcane reconstruction with aegis heals to max and gives a whopping 5,3 K damage shield. Also, A single point in healing light without using the last aegis talent gives a shield for over 800 points and heals to max.. Pretty sweet, next up, Linaniil.

Character here: http://te4.org/characters/121593/tome/5 ... 1188e16cd8

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 5:46 am 
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Halfling

Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:51 am
Posts: 94
Mankeli wrote:
Stone: The spell damage against single targets feels great, however, even with 1,60 Stone and Earth Mastery, quicken spells and body of stone and without essence of speed, you can't chain your spells because of the cooldowns. You only have 4 attack spells so once you've taken your best shots there isn't much you can do offensively. So the chaining of Earth Missiles has probably been nerfed at one point. I'd say that with equal equipment (this guys has been item vaulted) and especially against targets that don't die in one earthen missiles, Aether damage is noticeably better because of the cooldown issues. Aether is more fun too. Compared to Fire/Wildfire, Wildfire has huge AoE almost as good utility (depends on what you like but stone wall is great) and one more attack talent. So while Earthen Missiles deal some hefty amounts of damage per shot, you really don't get enough shots off in the first place to match Aether because of the cooldowns. So Wildfire/Aether FTW!

Also the range of Pulverizing Auger sucks balls.

Character here: http://te4.org/characters/121593/tome/a ... 19a4a148e3


Body of Stone got nerfed. It used to reduce cooldowns by 3 turns, which allowed you to cast something every turn. Spending a category point reduced cooldowns by 4, which meant Pulverizing Auger and Earthen Missiles had a 1-turn cooldown.

Stone Archmage (pre-nerf): http://te4.org/characters/30061/tome/28 ... d5776c3c4a

Edit: Stone got nerfed again in 1.2.0. I guess it's back to being the worst element again.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 5:27 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:55 am
Posts: 678
Mankeli wrote:
Forger101 wrote:
With this guy, I think I found out why archmages are considered the best class: Arcane reconstruction with aegis heals to max and gives a whopping 5,3 K damage shield. Also, A single point in healing light without using the last aegis talent gives a shield for over 800 points and heals to max..

Character here: http://te4.org/characters/121593/tome/5 ... 1188e16cd8


I read this a lot but I've never seen it. I've played a lot of archmages and have held similar gear and crit rates, etc., and I've NEVER come close to the kinds of numbers that people keep throwing around.

I've gotten arcane reconstruction to crit (with good heal mod) and gotten a damage shield of 500 or so but even with Aegis, that's only about a 1k damage shield. I don't understand how people are getting 5k or better. I once read someone claim a 12k damage shield which, to me, seems like total BS… is there some trick to it other than stack crit multiplier, heal mod, and crit rate, cast heal, then aegis? Am I missing something? Also, I don't see how it's possible, given the kind of gear I've seen, to get a 5.3k damage shield off of arcane reconstruction plus aegis...

Having said that, Cold is the best late-game build to me… unless you want to kill Atamathon, in which it no longer is, ha ha. It's a close-proximity, tanking build. The Use Shivgoroth and stand in Glacial vapors while spamming Frozen Ground… to me, it's the most fun Archmage.

The cold spells have reasonably short cool-downs and the only thing it lacks is range. Thus, pair it with defensive skills from the earth and phantasm category, it you want… in my opinion, this is the best tank-build although clearly, I'm not understanding how to get the huge shield numbers so...


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:04 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:33 pm
Posts: 819
670 base healing from Arcane Reconstruction
x1.8 heal mod
x3.2 crit multiplier (quick approximate based on gear)
x0.66 Arcane Shield
x1.68 Shielding
x2 Aegis

= Actually comes out to about 8.5k shielding. Yeah, that's pretty much the whole trick. There's no way Shivrogoth healing can compete with that, and you can't heal from cold affinity if you have a shield up, so it's mutually exclusive with the massive Aegis shields.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 6:41 pm 
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Thalore

Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2014 2:13 pm
Posts: 193
donkatsu wrote:
you can't heal from cold affinity if you have a shield up, so it's mutually exclusive with the massive Aegis shields.

I think you can with damage shield penetration gear.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:25 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:55 am
Posts: 678
donkatsu wrote:
670 base healing from Arcane Reconstruction
x1.8 heal mod
x3.2 crit multiplier (quick approximate based on gear)
x0.66 Arcane Shield
x1.68 Shielding
x2 Aegis

= Actually comes out to about 8.5k shielding. Yeah, that's pretty much the whole trick. There's no way Shivrogoth healing can compete with that, and you can't heal from cold affinity if you have a shield up, so it's mutually exclusive with the massive Aegis shields.


Yeah, I know you can't heal with a damage shield up, sans shield penetration, but it's still a solid tanking build and the one I've won with the most.

Getting a 3.2 crit mod is probably where I'm falling short. Mine is never that high.

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:40 pm 
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Spiderkin

Joined: Sun Dec 22, 2013 2:22 pm
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Bear in mind that this guy didn't even have the light tree/bathe in light healing mod. It was item vaulted though because I wanted to see what archmages can really do.

And check out those gauntlets if you didn't already. Probably still the best piece of armour I've found in this game.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:47 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 4:33 pm
Posts: 819
Even if you had no bonus crit multiplier whatsoever, that would still be 4k shielding, so I'm not sure why you're only hitting 1k, unless we're talking about a low level archmage.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:32 pm 
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Higher

Joined: Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:23 pm
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I just won with a Storm mage (http://te4.org/characters/37268/tome/48 ... f437ccf8ce), and I imagine they are very weak compared to wildfire because of no stripping of beneficial effects and the massive mana requirements. Hurricane and Thunderstorm are each 100 mana sustains, in addition to the 50 mana Tempest sustain.

I killed myself 4 times from the Black Ring until I finally broke down and picked up spellcraft. Proc on spell hit effects are awesome with storm mage due to all the different spell hits that go every turn.

I find storm mages an awful lot of fun, mostly because I get to watch chain lightning spam everywhere, but I was surprised that spellcraft was actually somewhat important if you're not extremely careful - even without The Black Ring I would often hit and daze myself when enemies got close to me while Thunderstorm was active.

I also think Storm mages are more item dependent than wildfire mages, but I've never won with a wildfire mage, so I can't really say. I was sad that I never picked up The Calm, and it's annoying that one of the best weapons for a storm mage is a bow (Storm Fury) requiring 30 dex.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:50 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2014 8:03 pm
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Lots and lots of +Dex items will fix that right up. Because somehow you only need 30 Dexterity to hold the bow in your hands. You can drop down to 1 after that and still fire it just fine.

However, does anyone have advice for a Stone or Lightmelee mage? I've never seen any solid advice on how to build those two.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 8:59 pm 
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Uruivellas

Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2013 5:55 am
Posts: 678
Red wrote:
However, does anyone have advice for a Stone or Lightmelee mage? I've never seen any solid advice on how to build those two.


I pair Light-melee with cold as cold mages will have to stay close anyway. It worked pretty well. I just buffed every defensive sustain I could find, including from staff mastery. It's SUPER gear dependent if you really want to focus on light damage… you'll really need to find the right stuff. All in all, not worth it as a pure cold mage is better and light doesn't have de-buffs. There's just not many ways to survive… maybe if you used a ghoul, that might work with Retch.

Donkatsu,

I don't know but with zero buffs, my shields are hitting around 1100, assuming a crit. I just made a mage in developer mode on semi-god and his shield, on a crit, did about the same. Also, his base healing wasn't 672 so much as 488… it'd be lower on a regular character. Even adding a few pieces of top-gear only gets me to around 1700. I don't know what to tell you but I've just never seen numbers like you all describe even though I've had some very strong characters and easy wins… 2k? Sure. 5k 10k? Nothing close.


Last edited by Delmuir on Mon Nov 17, 2014 9:27 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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