Free Warhammer online guides was created to bring all the freely available online guides from the internet to one source. Let there be WAR!!!

Wednesday, 29 October 2008

The Sorceress Guide part 4

VII) Masteries


These skills focus on doing the most damage while you still have Action Points in your system. Directly effecting a single target with massive damage to dispose of them quickly and effectively. Builds Dark Magic extremely quickly with Impending Doom and Gloomburst and is often quite damaging to oneself especially with Swell of Gloom slotted. These Sorceresses will be feared for the burst damage they can output while empowered with Dark Magic.

Recover Energy

Amazing tactic if you are an Agony Sorceress as you will be using a lot of Agony abilities. Used in tandem with the previously mentioned Devour Energy and Grasping Darkness you should boost your sustained damage considerably. It remains to be seen if you can exceed the sustained damage of a Calamity Sorceress but I can't imagine it being too far off.

Echo of Power

In it's current incarnation it's quite weak. It does far less then Impending Doom and has a requirement to be cast as well. Did I mention it costs the nearly same AP? I imagine if a target would disrupt often then it could be of use since it has no cooldown... but that doesn't happen enough because you are stacking a lot of INT right? I've never taken this ability other then to see if I could find a use for it.
Suggestion to Mythic: Make it proc on a chance to block as well, increase it's strength to make up for it's rarity, and/or give it a debuff to the enemies disrupt/block chance upon activation. Right the damage isn't much to be felt in comparison to Impending Doom and this carries a requirement. It has no cooldown but the requirement makes it so rare it's hardly ever used. Making it a better mechanic in taking down tanks wouldn't be such a bad idea, as we could use a better method of dealing with block in some form.

Tapping the Dark

Pretty neat ability. You become a pseudo support. I was never sure if it worked though even while trying to use it (I never noticed a new buff on my allies). Remember in it's current form it boosts only your allies an not yourself. With Umbral Fury I imagine your group keeping a shield up quite often to the point I hope it has a hidden “can only occur once every 3 seconds” tag in there somewhere. I don't often take it however since I want other things and it takes up a tactic slot. Besides... I kinda want some benefit to myself for a mastery ability.

EDIT: THIS DOES WORK ON ONESELF! Note to self, update this guide.

Suggestion to Mythic: Let it proc on ourselves. It'd be most powerful on any dual-wield dps anyway and not us. As long as the skill is capped to be only occurs once at most every 3 seconds then it should be fairly balanced to be on ourselves as well. Give us some form damage mitigation in our direct combat tree since that's likely where I should be.

Impending Doom

Very strong burst damage. Builds a ton of Dark magic and it's cooldown isn't too significant. Perfect when coupled with a healer or if you plan to use Empowered Dhar a lot. It will allow maybe favorite quick chain of spells which is DoomboltGloomburstImpending Doom. (The Triple Nuke! Rawr!) It'll bring you up high in the Dark Magic levels though (it builds 75 Dark Magic!) although it's relatively safe at low levels of Dark Magic for what it outputs since the highest generation is backloaded. Especially useful while on the run although it's difficult to discharge the Dark Magic while doing so. No Agony Sorceress should ever be without it.

Swell of Gloom

A very powerful tactic as long as you are willing to suffer the consequences. DoomboltGloomburstImpending Doom is a wicked combo with this tactic and you can bring people to their knees with a crit streak. It does come at that price though as you absolutely must have someone healing you. I'd take this tactic just so when the chance arises you can slot it. It makes Gloomburst just that much more to be feared. Swell of Gloom hits separate to Gloomburst so it triggers a separate hit and can crit just like any spell but will not be cast if the initial Gloomburst has killed the target.

BUG: Currently this only backlashes for around half of what you usually get hit with. Perhaps this is intended I'm not sure. I'm fairly certain I submit this bug however I'm a little tipsy right now so I can't be certain.

Shades of Death

It's not too impressive at first glance. Maybe it's not too impressive at all being a Master Ability Level 13. But I find it quite useful for a few things. The damage is triggered when anyone strikes the target and each trigger can crit. In other words, that's a good chunk of instant cast damage when a target is being focused upon as the five charges will be used up instantly. Often it will kill targets that are nearly dead and being attacked by anyone else. Also, it builds no Dark Magic. That means it can't backlash as well but still gains the bonus from Dark Magic. When you are fully charged on Dark Magic you can throw this out relentlessly (before you begin to drop levels of Dark Magic anyway) and not worry about causing harm to yourself while it is still extremely effective with it's frequent crits. The other use is prepping the target before you Triple Nuke it by getting 4 charges to trigger from it (Doombolt, Gloomburst, Swell of Gloom, and Impending Doom for those who question my math!) I've heard tale of this ability being too weak on damage and maybe it's true for a 13 point mastery ability but I find use enough for it anyway.


Damage over time is a wondrous tool for those whom enjoy it. Coupled with the only way to recover health through an ability it enhances your DoTs to be the most that they can be. Technically, this is supposed to increase your sustained damage by a considerable amount. I'm not completely sure about it, although I could imagine Word of Pain, Chillwind, Vision of Torment, Gloom of Night, Shadow Spike, Absorb Vitality, and Hand of Ruin doing all the damage for you in some sense. Not all the DoTs are terribly efficient however. Having said that, they still do considerable damage allowing you to mostly be on the move and pepper a wider array of targets at the same time as compared to Agony. At low Dark Magic this is the safest line to progress in, but at high Dark Magic rapidly casting instant casts is very dangerous as you can trigger a lot of backlashes in quick succession. If you can cast at low Dark Magic and build up to high Dark Magic safely while your dots are still active... well... that's awesome because you played Calamity perfectly.

Vision of Domination

Currently this gives you 50 Action Points in return for the 40 you spent on it and the meager damage and minor AP drain. I suppose if you find a certain instance you use it relentlessly it could be of use. Currently however I honestly cannot find a time I'd not find another tactic of more value. Not to mention you will have access to the tactic FAR before you can get Vision of Torment.

Suggestion to Mythic: Scrap this and instead make a tactic that increases the duration of Chillwind, Absorb Vitality, Ice Spikes and/or Gloom of Night. It would really boost the sustained dps of the sustained dps tree to have a method of increasing the duration of the dots by a larger amount increasing the efficiency and therefore sustained dps.

Gloom of Night

Dirt cheap to cast, does a little more damage per second then Chillwind, and did I forget to mention it's an AoE effect around the target? Does have a 2s cast time however, so it has that minor flaw coupled with a 10s cooldown and 80 ft range. Use it when you can. It's very useful in adding to your array of DoTs and a centered AoE DoT is nothing to sneer at especially one stronger then the primary DoT you carry. Stack as many DoTs on your primary target that you can and make sure to use this before you throw out Pit of Shades.

Shadow of Disaster

This ability is largely valued by it's power in comparison to Daemonic Chill. It helps degrade the ranged defenses and is especially useful at damaging any AoE sources of damage. However, since Daemonic Chill does not have much of an effect this skill doesn't much either. I've heard of some sources claiming it does respectable damage against enemy AoE attacks but in my experience against a Bright Wizard whom carries the mirror tactic I didn't think the damage taken was much of a bother at all.

BUG: This ability has not yet reflected the text change and still says Demonic Chill.

Absorb Vitality

Oh sweet, sweet healing. It's not terribly much but it's enough to offset a backlash or two over the course of it's duration. Besides it is extra damage at the same price as Chillwind and it does nearly the same amount of damage as well per tick. This ability alone probably makes this tree one of the safest trees to utilize Dark Magic with, especially if you can use Dark Magic as described in the Calamity section above.

Chilling Gusts

Increases the Chillwind tick by about 50%.. 33% of the time. What is that, 16-17% increase in damage? On a skill that does maybe 60 DPS (Int vs. Tough not included) this doesn't really seem to amount to much as you are really only boosting yourself by 10 DPS. My advice? Don't take it in it's current incarnation. You are welcome to try and convince me the other way and I really wish that I could see the value in it. But currently I just don't think it's worth it.

Suggestion to Mythic: Give this some added effect for when it procs such as Toughness debuff and/or AP recovery and/or have it affect some other DoTs. Make this the crown jewel of sustained DPS in the tree since currently the tactics don't seem to provide that terribly much in that department.

Hand of Ruin

Raw damage that ticks 4 times. Great for adding in a pseudo direct damage for Calamity that is extremely safe to use when at maximum Dark Magic since it only chances a backlash once in the beginning of the channel. It's damage is high and it's cost isn't so bad either. It's also a fantastic source of Spirit damage for when the are Corporeal protected. Only in comparison to Withering Heat which does equal damage and snares in return for only costing 3 AP per second more. Not to mention it's much easier to get access to. I wouldn't really compare these two but they are nearly identical except for the snare, position in tree, and slight cost increase.

Suggestion to Mythic: Maybe consider increasing the damage by 10-25% when the target is Hexed and/or Cursed. I don't want it to be a direct mirror of the Bright Wizards and I think it should be the source of efficient and high damage for a Calamity Sorceress. Besides we already have a snare – I just want this ability to compare to a nearly direct mirror of an ability that our mirror class possesses. I know it's frowned upon to compare but Hand of Ruin could use something to differentiate itself damage wise for being such a difficult ability to get.


This makes your area of effect abilities not only feared as they were before but respected as you can crit your Pit of Shades for damages that no one wishes to be within. This will make you an AoE powerhouse if you simply put the points into the tree for strength and ignore the skills. Remember increasing the baseline damage of a skill by 50% when you max it out is nothing to sneer at. The abilities are interesting to say the least but out of all three trees are generally not the most exciting. I often find my ability as an AoE caster just fine without Destruction but with it I become a tool for deflecting groups of enemies and killing any of those whom let themselves dwindle too low.

Piercing Shadows

Okay so this is a situation you don't want to be in pretty much ever where you Backlashes are close enough to injure the enemy. It also presumes you are killing yourself quickly. If you do intend on using it however it does do excellent damage. Over 300-400 damage AoE attacks are nothing to sneer at. Of course, you absolutely require healing support unless you want to die quickly. Surging Pain is useful in causing quick backlashes and doing a fair amount of damage itself although I still recommend using the cone skills. I've never had the chance to really test it with a pocket healer so I'm not sure how actually effective it is.

Black Horror

Replaces Shattered Shadows. It only costs 5 more AP for a nifty Initiative debuff and it builds less Dark Magic while dealing Corporeal instead of Spirit. The Dark Magic is up in the air, but usually it's a safe bet if you want to keep it low that this will keep it lower. If you want it high... well it will keep it high anyway. Make sure you prep any area with this if you plan on using Pit of Shades since the Initiative debuff is well worth the 3s cast time. It's a pretty large portion of crit chance you just gave yourself and all your allies assisting you. (Of course that is assuming you aren't alone fighting a group of enemies...) Just kinda wish it had more umph in some sense since it does the same damage as Shattered Shadows and doesn't even have a cooldown.

Suggestion to Mythic: Rework this ability so that it does a larger chunk of damage, has a lower cast time, and/or bigger debuff effect coupled with a cooldown associated with it. That way it doesn't completely replace a core ability and becomes more of a defining move in the repertoire of a Destruction Sorceress.

Lengthening Shadows

It increases Surging Pain to a radius 39 and Infernal Wave to a distance of 86.7. It's most useful for Infernal Wave but it does not increase the length of Shadow Spike. Infernal Wave will now reach targets at the 80 range which is helpful when you are trying to distance AoE. However, as a tactic it's not terribly useful as you probably can find something else to slot that will be much more useful. I never found it useful in helping Surging Pain in practice of course I didn't exactly like getting in that close.

Suggestion to Mythic: Standardize the increases so that Surging Pain is 40 radius, Infernal Wave is 85 distance, and Ice Spikes is 85 distance. I'd also consider increasing the other AoE's to say 25 radius, but I'd be hesitant to add too much. Ice Spikes absolutely must be added to this even if it is a Calamity ability. Infernal Wave and Ice Spikes are twin spells that simply must be used in tandem so they must be affected in the same way in terms of mechanics. Surging Pain needs all the help it can get and is already within the ability – I'd consider having Piercing Shadows increase to 40 radius as well though too to make a fun tactic combination.

Disastrous Cascade

It ticks 4 times in rapid succession during the channel. I'm sorry you can't move while channeling this it irks me too. This does very good damage and is comparable in a sense to Annihilate although it's higher in the tree and thus just a little bit better. Make sure you remain motionless while you cast it – although that penalty alone makes it iffy at best for a choice to take it.

Suggestion to Mythic: Allow us to channel it while moving. I had a lot of difficulty deciding to sit down and use it properly. I'd likely choose never to take this ability as it's too much of a hassle at the cost of a point.

Neverending Agony

Makes Pit of Shades chain-castable and Infernal Wave had a modest 5s cooldown. Being such a high tier tactic I wish it had more, but I suppose the ability to chain cast Pit of Shades is often worth it as it is superior to any ranged AoE we have. If you use Pit of Shades a lot I'd consider taking it although you often have stuff to cast in between Pit of Shades anyway besides likely needing to reposition against all the new threats within the 10 second channel.

Suggestion to Mythic: Add a 40% snare to Pit of Shades and/or some other fun effect. The tactic needs more umph being so high up in the tree and this is perfect. Possibly drop the reduced cooldown for Infernal Wave (or even Pit of Shades itself) but a snare ability within a tactic would be absolutely fantastic. Make sure it doesn't stack with itself and this would be a tactic worth choosing for a Destruction Sorceress.

Shadow Knives

Very interesting ability but it has one problem. It's extremely similar in damage to Pit of Shades. For those with the unkeen eye, this is a targeted, channeled AoE.. It ticks 4 times within 6 seconds but ticks for the same damage that Pit of Shades does. For being that high of an ability, you likely don't NEED this but it can be useful to fill in time in between Pit of Shades or if you find a moment you want the Pit of Shades to follow the target. It's a little lackluster but if someone can spot what I'm missing please inform me.

Suggestion to Mythic: Add something unique to Shadow Knives such as 100 range, 30 ft radius, higher damage, and/or some debuff associated with it. It's like Hand of Ruin except AoE and does the same damage as Pit of Shades. Make it more unique and fun to use!

VIII) Stilll to come: PvE

Damage, damage, damage...

IX) Still to come: RvR

Positioning is Key!

Part3... ...Part5

No comments: