EDIT: Okay here is adoomgod's article on build options for the Embermage class Torchlight II Diversity Builds: The Embermage by: adoomgod Welcome to part 3 of my build diversity articles! I hope you enjoy them. As usual there is one build per page, I'll keep this article short and start with a build on this page. The Elementalist This is really 3 builds within 1. I won’t be doing a detailed skill core here because it’s quite simple. Pick Fire, Ice, or Lightning, and max out all spells of that element. You could also pick two elements and max out some of both. So instead, the skills I list here should be in EVERY elementalist build, regardless of the skill’s element. For example I will list Thunder Locus, which means that whether you roll fire, ice, or lightning, you should still get the skill. Capeesh? Skills Passive Skills Fire/Lightning/Ice Brand: These are just too obviously good not to mention. Once your Crit chance is up these provide free bonus damage basically. Just pick the one that matches the element of your choice. (15 skill points in appropriate element) Prismatic Rift: Max this. As an elementalist you should not be getting hit much, but when you do, you want your enemies as far from you as possible. This passive makes it so that enemies that hit you have a chance of getting teleported backwards while taking some damage. (15 skill points) Charge Mastery: Do NOT max this skill. It’d be wasteful in my opinion as you can probably maintain full charge with less skill points. Definitely get it, but I wouldn’t dump 15 into this unless I had no better alternatives. (as many skill points to stay in almost constant charged state) Frozen Fate: Level this up anywhere from 6-15. It gives you a chance upon killing enemies to freeze nearby enemies. This has NO requirements. It doesn’t matter how you kill the enemy, it just works. Definitely max it out if you are going Ice, but even if you aren’t why not get this skill considering you should be killing very quickly. (6-15 skill points) Elemental Attunement: While useful as it enables your passive Fire/Lightning/Ice Brands to proc, 15 more seconds is just overkill. I think I’d put in about 5 points to 10 points. Remember, that if it doesn’t seem enough at low levels, it will be at higher levels when your critical strike chance is higher. The more crit you have the more you refresh shocked/burning/chilled effects, making this skill less necessary. (5-10 skill points) Staff Mastery: Consider putting at least 1 point in this, especially if playing with friends. It makes hitting enemies with your staff debuff their resistances by 6% at 1/15, going up 2% each skill point you invest. Not only does the debuff last a delicious 10 seconds, but it’s cumulative meaning that each hit keep reducing their resistances. Think about it this way, before casting at an elite boss with your friends, go up behind him and smack him with your staff a few times. This will make him take significantly more damage. It now also is applied by all skills that use staff dps. (minimum 1 out of 15) Active Skills Elemental Boon: Max this. Not only does this help your elemental resistances, at tier 2 (10/15) it increases your mana regen rate and at tier 3 (15/15) it adds casting speed. (15 skill points) Thunder Locus: I love this so skill so much, I gave a name to the ball of lightning you summon: “Steve.” He’s just so useful. It does significantly good damage even without items supporting it, and it fires on its own. This skill is super helpful in elite because you can place it, then just kite enemies around it. I’d get this regardless of the element I end up using. (15 skill points) Astral Ally: Invest at your discretion. While you may have more fire power than you need, having a summon acts as great damage mitigation. You want anything that gives your foes something to attack that isn’t you. If you are playing with meatshields- er, I mean, friends you need this less than you would if you want to solo elite. Immolation Aura: Max this if you are playing on elite and find yourself being beaten up. Otherwise it’s not really all that necessary. As it tiers up it provides damage reduction. 15% less damage taken is nothing to scoff at. (15 skill points on elite) Death’s Bounty: How many points you put into this is up to you. It makes monsters afflicted by this debuff release bolts that heal you and your allies mana and health. If you are playing hardcore elite max this, otherwise it’s up to you. (max this for hardcore, otherwise you may not desire it) Blazing Pillar: Consider investing in this for just one reason: “Blazing Pillar is good at generating charge.” I’d put one skill point into it to at least test how much charge it gets, you can always respec your last 3 points. If it gains significant chunks of charge, put a point in. Storm Phase: Put at least one point into this skill, at your discretion. If you aren’t going Ice Elementalist, I’d leave this at 1. It’s a great escape skill. (1-5 skill points if you aren't focusing ice, 15 if you are) Hailstorm: Just want to note that you should max this whether you are lightning or ice. It deals ice damage but as you tier it up it makes enemies take more of both lightning and ice damage. It’s a great Debuff and with a 50% chance to stun, what’s not to love? Stat Core The way I’d make this build efficient is by NOT dispersing my stats. I’d invest in them one at a time. I think you should spend your earlier levels investing in almost nothing but Focus. The elemental damage boss, mana boost, and mana regen boost are essential so that you can keep spamming spells. As you progress further and start hitting diminishing returns for focus, switch your priority to dexterity. This will boost your critical strike chance, which will apply your elements effect to enemies, and provides dodge for survivability. Strength is something consider if diminishing returns have significantly hurt dexterity and focus, because improved critical strike damage is only useful if you have a high critical strike chance in the first place. Item Core Staff and wands are clearly going to be your priority because they tend to have caster bonuses on them more often than other weapons. I’m going staff for staff mastery, but consider using a wand and shield for more survivability. Item affixes you want are +% damage, +% damage to the element you picked, cast speed, and mana. Don’t underestimate stacking mana, the bigger your mana pool the faster your regen. This could turn you into a spell casting machine gun. Really try to stack +% elemental damage though. Spell Scrolls Find Elemental Overload as soon as you can as it gives you a huge boost to elemental damage and makes any embermage amazing. I’d put Heal All and Rumble on your pet. Rumble has a chance of breaking enemy shields. I’d also give your pet 2 summons for damage mitigation. This is a build where I happily suggest using the Adventurer spell scroll which gives you improved exp and fame rates, as well as making potions more effective. This will help you make the most of mana potions and help you level quickly. *edit* I found a new scroll called Concentration that increases mana regen, this is godly. Melee Staff Mage This build will focus on a theory I have about abusing the fire ice and lightning brands. I note again that I suggest more skill points then you will have available. Just note that Staff Mastery and all the Brands are necessary. Skills Passive Skills Staff Mastery: This skill makes this build shine in combination with the Fire/Ice/Lightning Brands. Each hit from your staff will decimate enemy resistance. This skill is essential for this build. (15 skill points or less, 15 may be over kill) Fire/Ice/Lightning brand: Max all three. I believe there is a trick to making your staff proc each brand per strike which I’ll explain in the item core. These skills are what make this build strong so max out each for sure. (45 skill points) Frozen Fate: This as it will not only help you survive, but also catch up to speedy enemies that run away from you. The chance to freeze enemies in an AOE after killing an opponent is very helpful for damage mitigation. (7-15 skill points) Elemental Attunement: This skill should be effective with anywhere from 5-10 points invested. At higher level your critical strike chance will be significant, so maintain shocking/chilled/burning will be easier. However, this build relies on brands more than the others, so do consider investing more into this then usual. (5-10 skill points) Charge Mastery: Put as many points as you need to maintain max charge easily. I doubt you need to put 15 points into this to maintain charge. (as many points as you need to be in near constant charge state) Active Skills Magma Mace: put a minimum of 5 skill points here. This skill as it will be your main active skill. Not only does it gain a chance to shatter enemy shields at 5/15, but it has a constant 80% chance to stun enemies for a whole 3 seconds, in a huge arc. (minimum 5 skill points) Elemental Boon: Max this skill for its elemental resists, mana regen, cast speed, and resistance to immobilization. As a melee mage you need it more than ranged mages. (15 skill points) Prismatic Bolt: This is a good cheap (mana-wise) way of getting burning/shocking/chilled on enemies early in the game, as well as from a distance. You can basically cast this from a distance, then when they reach you switch to smacking them with your staff. It’ll be your cheap initiate skill. (5 skill points if you want to focus on melee, 15 if you want to make this your main mode of attack) Astral Ally: While this will up the mana cost, you don’t cast much so it should be fine. I want this guy up as much as possible for damage mitigation. Plus since he casts multiple element spells he should also have a chance of causing burning/shocking/chilled on enemies. (15 skill points if soloing, less if you have allies to act as tanks for you) Death’s Bounty: You will need the mana and hp per kill to survive elite. (15 skill points) Thunder Locus: Max this for the same reason as in the Elementalist build. I really like any skill that provides “free” extra damage. By free I mean you press a button once and then it does the rest of the work for a duration. At 15 skill points it will have upgraded from hitting 1 enemy to 4. (15 skill points) Immolation Aura: Max this as it is the same as in the Elementalist build except that since you are melee, you NEED the survivability. (15 skill points) Ice Prison: Put anywhere from 1-15 points here. This skill is great as I believe it traps enemies and absorbs their attacks. At 15/15 it has no cooldown but will be expensive, but since your build is focused on your basic attacks, your mana will be free for this spell. (As many skill points as you like, minimum 1) Storm Phase: Again, 1/15 points should be put in this one. Just use it as a cheap escape skill. (1 skill point) Stat Core This one is tricky as Focus, Dexterity, and Strength are almost equally necessary. The focus will boost the damage of your staff and your Brand damage. The Dexterity is also very important as it will provide dodge for survival and critical strikes which you absolutely NEED to keep your Brands proccing. Strength will boost your staff damage even further and having extra critical strike damage is also great since you want to critical strike as much as possible. I’d focus in Focus and Dexterity Equally at first, like 5 in each every other level, then invest in strength as they get diminishing returns. Item Core Weapon wise here is the trick: Find a staff with a minimum of 2 sockets. Or a bi-elemental staff with 1 socket. The point is that you can use elemental gems to get all 3 elements on one staff. Say you find an Ice staff that deals 85 ice damage per hit and has 2 sockets. In the other 2 sockets you want to put 1 fire and 1 lightning gem. As far as I know this will make it so that every time you critical strike with your staff, it has a high chance of applying burning, shocking, and chilled. Critical Strike chance and Attack Speed are the most important affixes for you, period. Critical Strikes just deal a lot of damage and keep your Brands proccing. Cast speed could help your Magma Mace keep enemies stunned, and of course you want to stack resistances, health, and mana. This build also focuses a bit in fire spells so weigh +% fire damage above lightning and ice. Spell Scrolls Elemental Overload is essential again, as it affect all three of your brands. Elemental Protection should also be used to help survive. Dervish is absolutely desired to help you hit and cast faster. I’d put heal self on yourself and Heal All on your pet. Also find Magical Weapons Expertise and put one on both you and your pet, as I believe they will stack and increase your staff damage significantly. You don’t need rumble on your pet as your Magma Mace can shatter shields pretty well. Instead fill the rest of your spell scroll slots up with summons to help mitigate damage. Draining Touch is also viable here, to give you life steal per hit. If you have any slots left over, fill them with summons. Variation Idea Put 15/15 into Prismatic Bolts, put less in staff mastery, and reduce your investment in tanking skills. This would be the inverse of this build. Instead of initiating with prismatic bolts and finishing with your staff you’d do the opposite. You’d use your staff a few times, Storm phase away, then spam Prismatic Bolts for the Brands to proc. Should be rather effective as well. Chaos Wand Mage This build is entirely theoretical and I am honestly not sure how effective it will be. It will be entirely focused around the “wand chaos” passive. There aren’t many skill points in this build as it’s centered around your basic attack, so it’s very flexible. Skills Passive Skills Wand Chaos: This is the core of the build after all. It gives you a chance on hitting with a wand to cause a random elemental disaster to hit enemies. There is a chance to have a meteor fly out of the sky and hit enemies which is particularly damaging. (15 skill points) Fire and Lightning Brand: I’d max both of these and leave Ice at one. I’m going to be focusing on dual wielding fire and lightning wands. Ice is simply not as damaging in TL2, and because you don’t have the Staff Mastery skill which reduces enemy resistances, these brands will simply be less effective on this build. (15 fire, 15 lightning, 1 ice) Prismatic Rift: Max this as you don’t want enemies hitting you at all. This will give you a very high chance to teleport enemies away when they hit you. (15 skill points) Elemental Attunement: This build is pretty sparse and does not focus on critical striking so max this. (15 skill points) Charge Mastery: Throw a few points in here just to make your life easier. (5-8 skill points should be plenty) Active Skills Icy Blast: Max this because it gets a nice chance to immobilize per projectile. You can use this to freeze enemies in place before smacking them with your wands. (15 skill points) Astral Ally: Same as my other builds. Should help to keep enemies away from you. (15 skill points) Thunder Locus: I just love this skill, and as you will be focusing on fire and lightning this will be effective. (15 skill points) Ice Prison: For same reason as above, I suggest you pick this OR Icy Blast, not both. Icy Blast gives you a chance to immobilize multiple enemies at once, Ice Prison ensures it but you can only cast on one at a time. Your choice. (15 skill points) Stormphase: One skill point for the same reason as my other builds. It’s just a great escape. (1 skill point) Elemental Boon: Max this for the same reasons as the other builds. It’ll get your cast speed and mana regen up as well as keep you safe from enemy casters. (15 skill points) Stat Core Focus, focus, focus. Focus is everything to this build. Of course for the obvious boost in elemental damage, but beyond that I believe that the chance to execute essentially doubles your chance of “wand chaos” proccing. This means you may be able to make it proc twice per execute! Beyond focus is of course dexterity and strength, and again dexterity is better than strength for this build. Item Core Get Fire and Lighting Wands. Not Ice because Ice’s special effect doesn’t do damage. Fire causes burning, lightning causes Shocked which makes little lightning bolts spread out and hit other enemies, chilled just slows enemies. This build focuses on dishing damage so Fire and Lighting are the way to go, thus: Try to find +% fire and lightning damage. Also get as much attack speed as you can. Attack speed is the most important affix in this build. Knock back could also play in here because with high knockback and attack speed enemies should not be able to reach you. Chance to execute is also essential. Of course critical strike chance is still useful and so are other affixes like mana and cast speed. Spell Scrolls Like the Staff Mage, Dervish and Elemental Overload are your go-to spell scrolls. Put Rumble on your pet to break spells as well as heal all. You shouldn’t need a healing spell as you should be avoiding getting hit. Get haste as this build will also do very well with kiting. The Rest should be summons to keep enemies at bay and of course elemental protection should help with bosses if you need it.