Information, tips and strategies about how to build a starter Sorceress on a budget with the goal of finishing Normal difficulty as quickly and easily as possible.
As we discussed earlier, the Sorceress is the best character for new players to start out with, due to… well, mostly Teleport. With it, the Sorceress is capable of moving through areas with unmatched speed, avoiding obstacles and enemies in single-minded pursuit of her goal. This, naturally, makes her the best boss hunter in the game (except for Ubers), and farming bosses repeatedly is the best way to get starter gear for every character in the game.
The Sorceress also technically doesn’t even need a starter build, which is an odd admission to make on the Starter Build page for the Sorceress. As a caster, she can get by just fine by focusing on a single element tree; dumping points into Ice Blast/Blizzard, Lightning/Chain Lightning or Fireball/Meteor, and this will largely suffice to get you to Hell difficulty. Flavor with a single point into Warmth and Teleport and you’re good to go.
Fire Sorceress - Skills
Still, some builds are better than others for new players, and as far as the Sorceress goes, we suggest you focus on building a Fire Sorceress to get you started. The reasoning is simple; Fire Bolt is a good starter spell you can dump points into, and synergizes well with Fireball, which you’ll graduate to at Lv12. Once you unlock Meteor at Lv24, you can start investing in that if the mana cost of Fireball is getting too onerous.
All in all, the Fire Sorceress deals significant damage, has some crowd control, can make use of the early runeword Leaf and best of all, transitions seamlessly into the Meteorb build over time. No respec needed.
Fire Sorceress Suggested Skills
|Warmth||1||Increased Mana regen. Add one point, let +skills take care of the rest.|
|Fire Bolt||8+||Starter offensive spells. Synergizes with Fire Ball and Meteor.|
|Inferno||1||Prereq for Meteor.|
|Blaze||1||Prereq for Meteor.|
|Fire Wall||1||Prereq for Meteor.|
|Fire Ball||max||Primary offensive spell. Small AoE. Synergizes with Meteor.|
|Meteor||max||Secondary offensive spell. Cooldown and delayed effect, moderate AoE.|
|Fire Mastery||1+||Boosts all fire damage.|
|Static Field||1||Reduces enemy life by 25%, get close to bosses and fry them.|
|Telekinesis||1||Prereq for Teleport.|
|Teleport||1||Awesome mobility skill. One point is all you need.|
Fire Sorceress Level-by-Level Skills
|2 - 5||Fire Bolt (4)|
|6||Static Field (1)|
|Den of Evil||Warmth (1)|
|8 - 11||Fire Bolt (8)|
|12 - 17||Fire Ball (6)|
|Radament’s Lair||Fire Ball (7)|
|19 - 20||Fire Ball (9)|
|23||Fire Wall (1)|
|24 - 29||Meteor (6)|
|30||Fire Mastery (1)|
|The Fallen Angel||Fire Ball/Meteor|
Fire Sorceress - Stats
The Fire Sorceress is a simple build, stat-wise; just put points into Strength until you hit 50~, then dump the rest into Vitality. This should serve you fine until you hit Lv30~, although if you’re lucky enough to get Frostburn gauntlets early, dropping a few extra points into Strength won’t hurt. By the time you’re Lv30, start investing in Strength again until you have 100 Strength. This will be enough (perhaps with some help from +Strength gear) for uniques like Skullder’s Ire and War Travelers - drops you can hopefully farm from Nightmare Mephisto.
Fire Sorceress Level-by-Level Stats
|2 - 9||Strength +40 (50)|
|10 - 29||Vitality +100 (110)|
|30 - 39||Strength +50 (100)|
|Lam Esen’s Tome||Vitality +5 (115)|
Fire Sorceress - Gear
The Fire Sorceress has pretty simple needs at the start: Mana fuels her offense, so the moment you can do Countess runs, you should. Accumulate as many Tir runes as you can, as sticking them in socketed gear will help you recover Mana after each kill. The defense of the gear itself doesn’t matter, and you can buy most of this from Charsi (helm, armor) and Fara (weapon, shield) in Act 1 and Act 2, respectively. Every Tir rune will give you +2 mana/kill, so five of these can make a huge difference. If you don’t mind chugging pots or otherwise aren’t having Mana issues, replace Tir gear with the runewords provided, as desired.
Leaf is an excellent early runeword for the Fire Sorceress, giving her the following boosts:
Leaf Runeword (Tir + Ral)
- Adds 5-30 Fire Damage
- +3 to Fire Skills
- +3 to Fire Bolt (Sorceress Only)
- +3 to Inferno (Sorceress Only)
- +3 to Warmth (Sorceress Only)
- +2 Mana After Each Kill
- +2-198 to Defense (Based on Character Level)
- Cold Resist +33%
To craft it you’ll need any 2-socket staff (must be exactly 2-sockets) and the Tir and Ral runes - both of which are easily farmed from the Countess in Act 1. If you’re really picky, wait until you find a staff with +skills you want (Fireball, Teleport, etc.). You can shop for one via Akara in Act 1 or Drognan in Act 2, but this can be rather expensive (+skills items tend to sell for a lot, so it’s no surprise they cost a lot to buy, too), and it’s really not worth delaying this item’s acquisition to seek out the “perfect” staff. It’s here to get you to the end of Normal, not to serve as an end-game item. You must be Lv19 to equip it.
Other than that, you just want to stock up on jewelry with Faster Cast Rate and any item that gives you mana/kill, +Mana/Life/Energy/Vitality. Boots with Faster Run/Walk will make travel quicker (you’re not going to be Teleporting everywhere just yet), and once you outgrow the Tir gear you can replace it with runewords like Lore (Ort + Sol) and Stealth (Tal + Eth), although unless you get incredibly lucky and find something like Frostburn gauntlets, Mana will be an ongoing concern.
When you reach Nightmare difficulty, keep an eye out for socketed Broad Swords, Crystal Swords and Long Swords - preferably the former two to avoid the Dexterity requirements on Long Swords. You’re looking for 4-socket one-handed swords, which you can use to make the Spirit runeword:
Spirit Runeword (Tal + Thul + Ort + Amn)
- +2 To All Skills
- +25-35% Faster Cast Rate
- +55% Faster Hit Recovery
- Adds 1-50 Lightning Damage
- Adds 3-14 Cold Damage 3 Second Duration
- +75 Poison Damage Over 5 Seconds
- 7% Life Stolen Per Hit
- +250 Defense vs. Missiles
- +22 To Vitality
- +89-112 To Mana
- +3-8 Magic Absorb
Finding the weapon base is more difficult than the actual runes - Tal + Thul + Ort + Amn. Once you have this (Lv25 required) you’ll be ready to retire Leaf and with a 3-socket Tir shield, you should be capable of reaching Nightmare Mephisto, where you’ll be able to farm for mid-tier gear.
Fire Sorceress Gear
|Helmet||2-socket helmet w/Tir runes - Lore runeword (Ort + Sol)|
|Amulet||+Faster Cast Rate amulet|
|Weapon||Leaf runeword (Tir + Ral, staves only) - 3-socket weapon w/Tir runes|
|Armor||3-socket armor w/Tir runes - Stealth runeword (Tal + Eth)|
|Shield||none (with Leaf) - 3-socket shield w/Tir runes|
|Ring 1||+Faster Cast Rate ring|
|Ring 2||+Faster Cast Rate ring|
|Boots||+Faster Run/Walk boots|
- Play normally until you reach the Black Marsh.
- Find the Forgotten Tower and kill the Countess repeatedly - she’ll frequently drop runes. You want Ral, Tal, Eth and as many Tir runes as you can get.
- Purchase or find 3-socket armor, 2-socket helmets, 3-socket one-handed weapons, 3-socket shields and a 2-socket staff. The staff can be used to make Leaf (Tir + Ral), the rest should be socketed with Tir runes for +2 Mana/kill per rune (these will make great hand-me-down gear for new characters).
- Play through the rest of the game until Act 5 - do runs on Eldritch the Rectifier and Shenk the Overseer from the Frigid Highlands Waypoint to level up to the mid-30s.
- Complete Normal difficulty and move onto Nightmare difficulty.
- Look out for 4-socket Broad Swords, Crystal Swords and Long Swords to serve as bases for the Spirit runeword (Tal + Thul + Ort + Amn).
- Play through the game until you reach Nightmare Mephisto. Farm him until you have a satisfactory amount of mid-tier gear.