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arcani
02-28-2012, 11:57 AM
Hi all. So have been struggling with spell choices at L20 on my sorc and hoping for some advice and perspective.

I've read through many threads on DC and Spell Pen. And I've read through the mrcow's thread on what debuffs effect epic red and purple mobs.

My sorc is a 32-pt, WF build. Built to be a high dps output in air and fire. And works well there. On epic can dish out decent dps. Decent survivability. Etc.

On the other hand, he has a 30 DC (32 with greater focus items) and no spell pen or spell focus feats. 32 cha (no GS exceptional cha items yet).

He's built as an elemental dps not CC or insta-kill. And obviously as WF sorc has lower starting DC (max cha) anyways.

Ok with all that said, am trying to zero in on what spells to add to contribute beyond dps in epics (besides healing). What I seem to be finding is that the spells that "can" debuff -- energy drain, waves of exhaustion, symbol of death -- seem to almost never land/effect most epic mobs (including trash). And of course my sad DCs mean Otto Ball, Mass Hold, etc., rarely land/help unless mob has super low will saves.

With no feats boosting my DCs and Spell Pens, is it nigh useless for my toon to try to debuff epic mobs? Only thing that consistently sticks is elemental vulnerability (long as the mob isnt immune to that element) and maybe 20% of the time fatigue. I had originally thought that using non-DC spells like symbol death, waves of exhaustion, energy drain, etc., would work... but I'm guessing they are just making spell pen saves?

Any suggestions or general feedback would be appreciated.


arc

Rodasch
02-28-2012, 12:14 PM
Get more spell pen. Energy drain has no resist check, only spell resistance check. If you can get past their spell resistance it will go a long way to letting you land other things (like instant kills or cc spells).

Also, Crushing Despair is your all-star aoe debuffer spell. Toss that before a mass hold and it helps you stick those holds, toss it on stuff that's resisting your disco balls and get them dancing.

If all else fails for CC you can always use Irresistable dance (just gotta get close to them and cast it)...but all of this depends on being able to get past spell resistance.

You can pick up 3-5 points of additional Spell Pen from enhancements and gear without the feats. You can pick up another 2-4 points of spell pen by swapping some feats.

In epics, spell pen is vital for any CC or instakilling.

morticianjohn
02-28-2012, 12:22 PM
earth savants have an easier time with low DC's than air savants. Maybe you should change tactics and go earth savant.

Calebro
02-28-2012, 12:26 PM
Look at Spell Resistance as a mob's magical AC. Much like a melee needs to get his attack bonus as high as possible for epics, casters need to get their magical attack bonus as high as possible, which means they need to raise their Spell Pen.
Just like a melee needs to roll high enough to damage enemies with respectable AC, casters need to roll high enough for their spells to affect enemies with SR.

For a DPS Sorc that wants to CC a little, Spell Pen is often just as important (if not more so in some cases) as saving throws/DCs. As far as DPS goes, there are plenty of spells that don't have saves. There are plenty of ways for you to DPS with the minimum Cha needed to cast and zero inverstment in raising DCs.
The same cannot be said for CC spells with regards to Spell Pen because there are precious few CC spells that don't check SR.

DaSawks
02-28-2012, 12:28 PM
Power Word Kill should be on timer 100% of the time. Cast it on dangerous non-rednamed trash. You should buy Scrolls of Envervation by the 100's. Even if you cannot necro like a PM level draining so that DPS has an easyer time is very appriciated.

arcani
02-28-2012, 12:33 PM
For a long time Power Word Kill worked for tough mobs (especially no electricity and fire mobs)... but lately seems like anytime I try PWK the mob is immune/doesn't land.

If energy drain doesn't land with my caster level assuming it won't work from scroll either?


I consistently dps just fine. Apart from mobs immune to electricity or fire, I can dps down mobs fairly quickly and have good mods and crit rates. So current set up works well for that.

But of course I will sometimes run into mobs immune to electricity and fire, for which I generally use Disintegrate and swap in a greater focus item. But looking for other ways to contribute in epic groups beyond dps.

Ty for the clarification on Spell Pen. Sigh. Enhancements are so tight but aye will look at swapping some of my elemental damage/crit lines for more spell pen.

Aye Crushing Despair I will swap into my spell line up. That auto -5 will even on saves sounds huge.

Any other advice is appreciated. Have already benefited from the early responses :>


arc

Tid12
02-28-2012, 02:00 PM
Solid fog is -5 to reflex save.

Web has a reflex save.

Solid fog + Web in it = great CC and you can even nuke the stuff that get caught in the web/you can just nuke the mobs inside the fog without seeing too many evades.

JeisonBlade
02-29-2012, 01:31 PM
As mentioned, you should definetly stack up spell pen. On my sorc (water savant btw) and has lousy lousy DCs. Hes also a first life 32 pt WF build, I took spell pen feat, and two levels of the enhancements, and have spell pen boosts from magewrights goggles (+2 to IX) and torc (+3 to VI), thats enough to bypass SR almost all the time (except for $%^& drow)

Its easy to deal with tho, as previously mentioned, enervation, energy drain, circle of death (level drains even on a fail), and symbol of death (like a stationary circle of death that you can drag stuff through) are all great ways to weaken epic enemies (if Im runnin with a bunch of melees with Terrors, I just energy drain everything and watch the blue tentacles proc)

Debuffs like waves of exhaustion are another great one also

As for pure damage, I also focus on spells that have no saving throw, like in my case polar ray, biting cold, and surge. I'm not sure what earth savants have offhand, but its well worth spending some time on ddowiki browsing the spell lists.

Against Evasion enemies, I dont even bother firing off spells i know theyll prolly save against (like niacs cold ray), I just slam em with a polar ray right off the bat, and move on with life :)