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  1. #1
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    Default Savant Comparison Question

    I've seen it asserted in a number of threads that Air and Fire are "vastly" superior to Earth and Water, but the reasons why this is thought to be so are somewhat lacking. Usually it is in the context of EE content and especially for Shiradi Sorcerers.

    I have a 24th level Sorcerer, but have not worked my way over to Shiradi yet. This is a Drow Draconic, but I am also working on a Bladeforged Shiradi, currently 16 Sorcerer/2 Paladin. I have played around with all four Savants and my experience is that Earth is easily my least favorite, followed by Air, then Fire, and Water is far and away the best (for me). I'm interested in some discussion on how the different Savants compare and why one is superior to another at different points in the game. I realize playing a Warforged in EE content as a Shiradi is very different than a lower level non-Warforged in heroic.

    Some reasons I like Water better:

    1. Polar Ray is the best single target damage spell in the game
    2. Otiluke's Freezing Sphere is as effective (in my experience) as any other similar AOE and Cone of Cold is also really good. The other elements don't have two equally good options to cycle.
    3. Ice Storm is one of the best area over time spells, due to secondary effects, and Water/Force items buff the damage significantly.
    4. Meteor Swarm is largely unaffected by Cold restrictions, and the loss in fire spell power is negligible to over-all damage, so is still viable situationally.
    5. The SLA's are the best three of any of the Savant's, by a considerable margin, so actually both useful and mana efficient. All three are useful against trash, and Frost Lance is as good as Scorching Ray (which is not an SLA). I understand Niac's may lose some viability in EE content due to the saves. Snowball storm is not the best, but good enough to cycle in when conserving mana. Obviously Fireball is better if your thing is AOE.
    6. I am unimpressed with the Air Tier 5 special, although it is supposed to be mandatory for EE content. I prefer to kite from extreme range and avoid being in melee. The fact is, I don't like any of the top tier specials.
    7. It doesn't matter what your Savant is as far as using Force spells--they are equally viable with any.

    I'm interested in a discussion. What do you prefer, and why?

  2. #2
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    For many years I was a Water Savant. Mainly because up until recently (well Pre-EGH for me) many monsters were immune to fire and resistant to acid. (Mainly the stuff in Vale and Devil's battlefield). Now after the enhancement pass I am fire/air. Up to the knockdown immunity in air and the paralysis immunity in fire. Electric now has the ability to make monster more vulnerable to all damage types. Electric Loop also stuns effectively even in EE content. Fire now has a chance to add a dot that costs nothing extra when you cast and can do significant damage in and of itself.. And with many monsters in EE content that have super inflated HP pools, it allows me to stretch my mana much farther while doing much more damage.

    More specifically:

    Firewall and Delayed Blast Fireball are some of the best damage dealers out there for groups.
    Frost Giants and Ice elementals in endgame take extra fire damage anyways.
    Electric and Fire SLA's do better AOE damage. With Mob density thru the roof, it's more effective for me.

    That's the basics right off the top of my head..I'll add things/edit this post as I think of them. It's been a long day.

  3. #3
    Community Member Rogann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morthanos View Post
    I've seen it asserted in a number of threads that Air and Fire are "vastly" superior to Earth and Water, but the reasons why this is thought to be so are somewhat lacking. Usually it is in the context of EE content and especially for Shiradi Sorcerers.

    I have a 24th level Sorcerer, but have not worked my way over to Shiradi yet. This is a Drow Draconic, but I am also working on a Bladeforged Shiradi, currently 16 Sorcerer/2 Paladin. I have played around with all four Savants and my experience is that Earth is easily my least favorite, followed by Air, then Fire, and Water is far and away the best (for me). I'm interested in some discussion on how the different Savants compare and why one is superior to another at different points in the game. I realize playing a Warforged in EE content as a Shiradi is very different than a lower level non-Warforged in heroic.

    Some reasons I like Water better:

    1. Polar Ray is the best single target damage spell in the game
    2. Otiluke's Freezing Sphere is as effective (in my experience) as any other similar AOE and Cone of Cold is also really good. The other elements don't have two equally good options to cycle.
    3. Ice Storm is one of the best area over time spells, due to secondary effects, and Water/Force items buff the damage significantly.
    4. Meteor Swarm is largely unaffected by Cold restrictions, and the loss in fire spell power is negligible to over-all damage, so is still viable situationally.
    5. The SLA's are the best three of any of the Savant's, by a considerable margin, so actually both useful and mana efficient. All three are useful against trash, and Frost Lance is as good as Scorching Ray (which is not an SLA). I understand Niac's may lose some viability in EE content due to the saves. Snowball storm is not the best, but good enough to cycle in when conserving mana. Obviously Fireball is better if your thing is AOE.
    6. I am unimpressed with the Air Tier 5 special, although it is supposed to be mandatory for EE content. I prefer to kite from extreme range and avoid being in melee. The fact is, I don't like any of the top tier specials.
    7. It doesn't matter what your Savant is as far as using Force spells--they are equally viable with any.

    I'm interested in a discussion. What do you prefer, and why?
    1.Scorching ray with 20 stacks of Immolation beats Polar Ray.
    2. They both have saves, not worth.
    3. Meh, not too bad.
    4. I guess.
    5. SLA's are useless.
    6. It's not needed for EE's at all.
    7. Indeed.

  4. #4
    Community Member AtomicMew's Avatar
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    Fire is the best now by a huge margin:

    1) More DPS than any other savant thanks to immolation.
    2) Best synergy with FvS splash for unlimited SP.
    3) Meteor swarm is the best AoE spell and is affected by fire spellpower and fire lore.

    Ice storm is a great spell, but it's use is for CC (and secondarily, shiradi procs), not damage based on cold spellpower. Ice savant is still pretty strong, but only because fight club. Unfortunately, it's mutually exclusive with fire savant which makes it a dead prestige class.

    Air is great but pretty much for the utility abilities only. Air spells are **** in EE, and that prevents tier 4 conduction from being universally useful, where it otherwise would be amazing on pretty much any other savant.

    Earth is just garbage in its current state and not even worth talking about.

  5. #5
    Community Member Wizza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtomicMew View Post
    Air is great but pretty much for the utility abilities only. Air spells are **** in EE, and that prevents tier 4 conduction from being universally useful, where it otherwise would be amazing on pretty much any other savant.
    Tier 4 would be much more useful if we had raids. In FoT it's awesome. Too bad Feather thinks that single target abilities for an AoE class are good . Immolation being AoE would be a lot of fun IMHO.

    Anyway, Air spells are **** if you are shiradi for obvious reasons. They work extremely well and they get the job done faster than any other savant.

    Imho, Fire/Air will always be the best combo. Superior AoE spells, a LOT of AoE spells, Immolation, Conduction, Wings, KD immunity and Lightning bolt SLA is too good damage to pass it up.

    The only one really lacking is Earth imho. It needs a better AoE dot spell and an AoE one.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogann View Post
    1.Scorching ray with 20 stacks of Immolation beats Polar Ray.
    So how does Immolation actually work? The description says "per Fire Spell cast." How can you get 20 stacks if you can only cast one spell every second or two, due to universal cooldown? Is the description wrong? Does it proc for every missile or ray? Since the dot only lasts 6 seconds, based on the description, you'd top out at 3-6 stacks. Or does each cast refresh the duration of all the stacks already in play?

  7. #7
    Community Member Wizza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morthanos View Post
    So how does Immolation actually work? The description says "per Fire Spell cast." How can you get 20 stacks if you can only cast one spell every second or two, due to universal cooldown? Is the description wrong? Does it proc for every missile or ray? Since the dot only lasts 6 seconds, based on the description, you'd top out at 3-6 stacks. Or does each cast refresh the duration of all the stacks already in play?
    1) 1 proc per cast. Scorching Ray does only add 1 stack of Immolation despite being a 3 proc spell
    2) Duration refresh everytime a stack is applied
    3) Only one stack decay per time. So, at 20 stack, after 6 seconds you will have 19 stacks. 6 seconds later, 18 and go on. At 20 stacks you are looking at 120 seconds duration if you let it decay.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wizza View Post
    1) 1 proc per cast. Scorching Ray does only add 1 stack of Immolation despite being a 3 proc spell
    2) Duration refresh everytime a stack is applied
    3) Only one stack decay per time. So, at 20 stack, after 6 seconds you will have 19 stacks. 6 seconds later, 18 and go on. At 20 stacks you are looking at 120 seconds duration if you let it decay.
    So in a long fight, such as with a Boss, when you are constantly casting, you can keep 20 stacks up the whole fight? If Conduction works the same way, then I see why people prefer Fire/Air over the others from a pure DPS point of view...

  9. #9
    Community Member Wizza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morthanos View Post
    So in a long fight, such as with a Boss, when you are constantly casting, you can keep 20 stacks up the whole fight? If Conduction works the same way, then I see why people prefer Fire/Air over the others from a pure DPS point of view...
    Yes. But it's hard to keep both of them up at the same time. In a raid situation, you will want the Conduction up first for more overall dps of the whole party.
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  10. #10
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    I see most builds do not include the SLA's and comment that they are worthless. I understand that Scorching Ray spam is the way to keep Immolation up. How about Conduction? If not using SLA,s what is the best spell in these situations? I've read that Lightning Bolt is best, but only if used on bosses, because trash mobs die too quickly for Conduction to make any difference. If not using the SLA, is it best to just use Lightning Bolt with no meta-magics? Thinking mana conservation here.

  11. #11
    Community Member AtomicMew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morthanos View Post
    I see most builds do not include the SLA's and comment that they are worthless. I understand that Scorching Ray spam is the way to keep Immolation up. How about Conduction? If not using SLA,s what is the best spell in these situations? I've read that Lightning Bolt is best, but only if used on bosses, because trash mobs die too quickly for Conduction to make any difference. If not using the SLA, is it best to just use Lightning Bolt with no meta-magics? Thinking mana conservation here.
    Yep, that was from my build thread. Just use lightning bolt on bosses when you are in a group. In 6 man quests, you should be able turn on all metas without problem in a competent party. But if not, just turn them down. Lightning bolt is very, very inefficient, as are all lightning spells except the DoT, but it has two chances to proc conduction which makes it the superior choice.

    For groups, +20% damage for all party members is obviously strong. Solo, I'm fairly certain it isn't even worth using as you'd need to replace either magic missile or scorching ray in your single target rotation. You lose more DPS than you gain in this case.

  12. #12
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    My thanks to all who responded. If anybody else has more to offer, it's appreciated.

  13. #13
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    In regards to SLA's, I know some people don't use them, but some are very useful and even give good DPS when non-evasion mobs save on EE's. For example, electric loop consistently stuns many mobs on EE for only a couple of spell points (and does some damage). Fireball even when saved on will give you more bang for the SP than many other spells.

    Granted those are the only two that I consistently use (I do have Scorch on a toolbar to use if I want, it's useful against fire vulnerable mobs, esp in EE Stormhorns). They do give you good mileage with your SP. You might not see the huge numbers that many people like and post SS's of - but if you do the math, they quite often do more damage per SP cost.

    The best advice, get out there and try different setups, they can and do play very differently and finding one that works for you will obviously be the best.

  14. #14
    Community Member Wizza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morthanos View Post
    I see most builds do not include the SLA's and comment that they are worthless. I understand that Scorching Ray spam is the way to keep Immolation up. How about Conduction? If not using SLA,s what is the best spell in these situations? I've read that Lightning Bolt is best, but only if used on bosses, because trash mobs die too quickly for Conduction to make any difference. If not using the SLA, is it best to just use Lightning Bolt with no meta-magics? Thinking mana conservation here.
    Those builds are Shiradi. Shiradis, for 4~ sp, with missiles, have a chance to do much more damage than with SLAs.

    For a Magister/Draconic Sorcerer, SLAs are very important. I use them all the time. I open and close fights with them. If a mob has 5% hp, use a SLA and not a normal spell. Lightning bolt SLA does a TON of damage on my Air savant, specially if you are skilled to hit 3-4 mobs with it. I don't use it for Conduction but for the damage.

    But as others pointed out, Conduction AND Immolation are not worth it on trash mobs. They die too quickly, even if I like seeing tons of purple numbers even with just 1 stack of Conduction.
    Last edited by Wizza; 09-24-2013 at 04:10 AM.
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  15. #15
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    I personally would go Water. I play a level 28 Human Water Savant and don't find my DPS or survivability lacking. If you are a WF you will likely not use the Elemental Apotheosis transformation. Counting the bonuses you get for it being on and the passive bonuses you get a +30 Spell Power increase, the same that fire savants get from Scourge. If you are soloing the slowed effects from Ice Storm, Flyby Attack and Hypothermia work just as well. With Displacement and Ghostly you only get hit 60% of the time anyhow.

    Although I just enjoy the sound of breaking ice in the game so that's one of the main reasons I enjoy playing a Water Savant. If you round up enemies the combination of Burst/Dragon Breath, Ice Storm and Otiluke's should be enough to kill most if not all the mobs. If any live Polar Ray or your SLA's should finish them off. Unless the Wiki is lying the Daze from Electric Loop only lasts until damaged and if you are going full sorc you will be focusing on AOE's so unless you are in a tight spot I don't see how it could be worth the investment to get it in the Air Savant Tree.

  16. #16
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    One more thing, how does the +5 spell power per damage spel thing work? Does it add up with dot spells? Like if I cast melts acid arrow everytime it does I get +5 to acid spel power?

  17. #17
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    no you gotta cast the dot each time to get a stack. I wish it would just proc off of damage or atleast dot damage though. I can't see how it would OP unless they don't want sorc to sustain that free 25 sp easily. I'm sure but I think casting the same dot over and over resets the counter instead of stacking so it seems kind of a waste. Really makes it hard for earth to maintain a decent up time window. Fire has to be spammed for the dot to work anyway but it seems inefficient on earth.

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