Anniversary Edition - Mastery Mods > Earth AE

Mage Summoner (Earth + Nature)

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no, this is not melee

Greetings everyone. I got back to playing TQ again and this time made a mage summoner (earth + nature). The build turned out to be strong, fast paced, and flashy enough that i thought i wanted to share it. This is a full mage and only for the wise and powerful. Are you sure you should be shopping here? But hey this build is no ordinary mage because you should also visit the dude that sells swords, shields, helmets of all kinds. Sounds complicated? Not really. Or maybe a little. But that's why i decided to write this. I'll try to make this simple enough that beginners can also follow. This is like a mixed journal and a partial guide.

The two attacks of this build are Volcanic Orb and Eruption. Both deal mix physical and fire damage and that's what this build is all about. Now i can't really say if this build deals more damage than a pure int summoner simply because i haven't tried a full int summoner before. But i can say that this build does not lack in damage and there are 3 reasons for that:

1) physical damage from spells now scales with str

2) strength of the pack + brimstone gives 120% physical damage (at ultimate max)

3) plague reduces fire and physical resist

Let me explain this a bit; physical damage resistance is usually low or at zero. That's why most weapon users are ok even if they don't have reduced resists. But that doesn't mean the reduced physical resist from plague is now useless. Reduced resist from plague is absolute meaning you don't reduce resists by percentage but by the exact amount listed on the skill. So if a target's physical resist is at zero, it now comes down to -39% if your susceptibility is at 8/8. If you have +4 and your susceptibility is now at 12/8, your target's physical resist comes down to -54%. And we all know how hard it is to survive with negative resistance, especially as low as -54%.

i rushed this simply because it kills fast. I finished the first 4 acts of normal in just a little over 20 hrs and for a completionist playing xmax x3, i think that's pretty fast. At around lvl 10, i stopped picking up stuff except blues and greens and those i can get with the quick pick up button. I sold relics and charms so i still get some gold to buy energy pots. I didn't have many low level items so this was semi self-found. By lvl 34 though i was able to wear vestment of aericura, then 1 lvl up later, arcane bindings. Those 2 helped a lot with recharge. But for those playing this full self-found, I'll try to suggest some early game items to farm. My game speed is set to fast btw. And yeah i remember using the orb * at act 1 normal specifically against 3 cyclops and 3 shadowmaws. Yep, * can handle them if you let the frostburn damage do its job.

What to look for from items:
The biggest decision here is whether to focus on pet items or mage items. Choosing mixed pet and mage items would make it more complicated than it should be. And in games like this, you want your toon to have a strength it can rely on so i advice you choose mage items or pet items. This is for a mage build, if you want petmaster, you should look for another guide :p . But i can assure you this build is very good for mobs as well as killing bosses repeatedly (farming) even with xmax.

main targets:
* all skills - +4. i initially thought i needed at least +5 but somewhere in epic i realized +4 is good enough. makes your spells stronger.

* cooldown reduction - 80%. with 80% CDR, cooldown of VO becomes just 1 second, and eruption at 4 seconds.

* cast speed - preferrably 250-300%. makes hit and run better. and plague + eruption + VO in quick succession is deadly.  you also need high cast speed if you need to cast stone form in emergency. strength of the pack gives +15%

secondary targets:
* anything that boosts fire and physical damage by percent

* resists. bleed usually ends up negative on my builds and i usually get my bleed res on secondary. i probably have to find a better secondary shield, one that gives me better resists

early game items to look for:
staff of the magi - you can find this from act 1 mage satyrs (those that use staff). i used this all the way until chang'an normal, where i switched to a self-found blue dragons scales and a green shield.

diogenes ring/amulet - you can find these from trash mobs but imo you'll have better chance of finding some from merchants. replace later with plato's, then socrates after that.

oracle's wreath - act 1 normal bosses i guess. this is a lvl 10 item that grants recharge. if you have other set pieces of the oracle's set, wear them. the set bonuses are great for a caster.

robust ring/amulet - same as diogenes but you need diogenes first. replace with hale later.

occult ring - this has a lvl 35 requirement. act 4 or 5 merchants

helm of the magus - i think this is more common in act 4 or 5. trash mobs or merchants

the owl - one of my characters found this before in normal act 5. grants recharge and big boost to int. you can use this even late game if you have trouble getting 80% CDR. it has a study prey proc but it only triggers upon getting hit by ranged attacks. but when it triggers, even melee mobs caught in the radius get debuffed

dagger of basbona - i found this on epic act 1 with this same character. it grants 20% recharge and 20% chance of 100% total damage. the 20% chance proc also applies on spells and trust me, when used with VO and eruption, it procs every time because the fragments also get the 20% chance proc. this is also a good endgame weapon. it has 185 dex requirement though so you have to get some dex from items (not too difficult)

reginn's hammer - i found this on normal act 5. grants 40% physical and fire damage. the 50% damage to constructs and 33% armor protection (increased armor) are not to be taken lightly. constructs are the type of monsters that seem to be most resistant against physical. it's not a problem with reginn's hammer. and because the 33% armor protection is from a weapon, it is global meaning all your armors get the bonus. this was my weapon of choice starting epic all the way to endgame. and how fitting is it that my Totosai is using a hammer? get it?
*(needs confirmation on constructs' resists/but i do kill constructs quickly with this weapon)

a simple but very good weapon is a green axe or club with a tyrant's prefix. you can find that in shops if you're persistent enough (I'm not). you're lucky if you find it with a good suffix like of havoc. socket that with Prometheus flame

bonus: if you can somehow find mbuti's advocate with very good affix, both VO and eruption triggers the study prey proc (I've tested it). it is dex based though so you need requirement reduction but you can use normal version because the base weapon damage doesn't matter for a spellcaster

santa's chest armor has 10% recharge. it has lvl 35 requirement. you can use it late normal if you are playing twinked

rings of the rhine has a chance to drop in normal act 5 but it's easier to find in epic. it's a shield that grants recharge, high DA, and requirement reduction

mid to late game items:
weapons - any of the early game weapons i mentioned are good even for late game. figurehead of the naglfar, flakes of muspelheim, ra's touch (though it requires a bit of dex), fafnir's teeth. giant's tooth is so OP that it's good even for a caster.

shields - golden shield of pelaron, flowing shield of the euphrates, rings of the rhine, deimos, priam's gate, aionios (i don't have 1)

bracers - nerthus armbands, arcane bindings, adept's clasp, archmage's clasp. archmage's clasp is BiS but i don't have a spare. the poison res from nerthus armbands is huge

rings - seal of hephaestus, occult/hale/socrates of something, sindri's loop, ring of the three, ring of taranis, celestial band, cartouche ring

amulet - polaris, polydegmon, torc of cernunos, torc of the ancestors, aphrodite's favor, myrmidon's pendant, brisingamen (OP, don't have).

helm - preferably something with recharge

greaves - athena's battle greaves, leggings of the flameborn, boots of the alfather, boots of freyja, leggings of the defiled, demonskin walkers, blacksteel greaves

artifact - talisman of the jade emperor, thoth's glory, eye of ra, gambanteinn, symbol of the polymath

torso armor - many options here. there are only few dex based torso armors and you probably won't need them. cestus, tunic of the magi, blacksteel plate

Synergies between earth and nature:
Do i even have to spell it? :)
I mean virtually every skill from one mastery seem to compliment every skill from the other. The problem is there are too many good skills that you don't know if you'll have enough skill points to take them all. But is that really a problem? If that's a problem i call it a good problem to have. How many of us have put points than needed on nightmare pet just because we don't have anything else to spend our skill points at? Maybe even wisp? battle rage? At least on summoner, you know you'll spend your skill points on a good skill, even when you reach endgame.

Stat Distribution:
This is str + int but don't just spend them 1pt on str per 1pt int. You have to gear for CDR as early as possible. And you won't have strength of the pack until much later so fire is your early game damager. Start all int first then after you reach about 300-350 int, go all str until about 400-450 str. Then go according to your needs based on gear requirements. It's also good if you keep about 5 unused points just in case you find an item you want to wear and you don't meet the requirements yet. If you have reached gear requirements, try to keep str and int balanced. If you need to put points on dex, it should only be to meet requirements. I did this with no dex at all.

Early game leveling:
Start Earth. Earth is very good early game whether you choose volcanic orb, flame surge, or even ring of flame. Since volcanic orb will be my main attack all throughout the game, i started with volcanic orb. it's very good early game even with its 5 sec cooldown. Early game, set this as your RMB so your attacks will be VO, eruption, and staff attack. But later on when you already have high CDR and using a shield, you might want to bind VO to LMB. Volcanic orb + Eruption will allow you to farm bosses repeatedly with not much difficulty even if you play xmax. 1st level up put 2 pts on earth mastery and 1 pt on earth enchantment. Continue climbing earth putting only 1pt on volcanic orb, brimstone, core dweller, and stone form just in case. When you reach lvl 7, just keep your 3 skill points. Why? So when you reach lvl 8, you'll have 6 skill points to spend on nature. You're not in delphi yet at this point. Put 4pts on nature mastery, 1pt on HoO, and 1pt on regrowth so you have something to support core dweller. But after that, we will ignore nature for a very long time. And 1 more thing, don't set your core dweller to aggressive. Not yet because we will leave it at lvl 1. It will just die quickly if it's set to aggressive. Continue climbing earth putting only 1pt on conflagration and also 1pt each on the synergies of core dweller. When you reach fragmentation, max it.

After maxing fragmentation, max volcanic orb. So it's now max/1/max volcanic orb and 1pt each on other necessary skills. This will ensure you one-shot mobs early game.

Next, continue climbing earth again until you max it. Put 1 pt on volatility, eruption and metamorphosis. Then all succeeding skill points you get put them on eruption until you max it. You will have to drink mana quite a lot but don't worry you are going in the right direction and nature will help with that later on.

Now you have your main attack taken care of but it came with the cost of low health and energy. So the next step: Put every skill point on nature mastery. Ignore every skill in nature except tranquility of water. Put 1pt there then continue climbing nature mastery. You don't need plague yet and wolves will just be mere decorations. Low level wolves will just get murdered against high level mobs. But you still deal very good damage but with low health and energy. Thats why we put everything on nature mastery so every level up we get more health and mana. I know it sounds weird but trust me it's really effective. I killed 3 Barmanu and 3 Typhon pretty easily with shoot and retreat tactic. Even Dactyl and 3 Hades died quickly from volcanic orb and eruption. Same shoot and retreat tactic. I had 1pt on susceptibility by this time and it probably helped. Put 1pt on heat shield if you haven't yet. It's bothersome to cast again and again but you are much safer if you have it on. After maxing nature mastery, put 1pt on refresh just in case you have to resummon core dweller quickly. And also, if you don't have enough CDR yet, eruption - refresh - eruption is a good boss killer.

At this point, i found that I'm ok even if i don't spend my succeeding skill points so that means you can spend your skills on what you want and it wouldn't matter too much. I just put 1pt each on plague tree then maxed volatility and earth enchantment. But it's ok too if you want pets or tranquility of water.

Next is epic. Act 1 epic is far easier than late normal. This is the time to get wolves if you haven't yet. From this point on, I'll just keep it short. Put 1pt each on wolves tree and nymph tree (optional). Max wolves (base skill). Put points on core dweller tree except wildfire just until it doesn't die easily. Get plague tree then max strength of the pack. The way it happened with my character, the damage scaling was: Eruption and Volatility on normal, Strength of the Pack and Brimstone on epic, and Plague on Legendary.

suggested skill distribution (with +4):

I did not put anything on rewarded skill points so endgame, you should have more skill points than that. You might need more points on permanence of stone depending on your items. Points spent on pets are just so they don't die easily when set to aggressive. Core dweller at lvl 10 is tanky enough. It will die the most in act 5 but it's very easy to resummon with 80% CDR. And don't forget mastery shrines. Resummon every pet whenever you get a mastery shrine. And that's one of the reasons why i have regrowth so i can keep them at higher levels for longer periods of time. But late game you will have more points than i showed anyway so feel free to add more points on your dweller if you want. Briar ward even at lvl 1 serves its purpose but you can put more points on it late game. Briar ward was the main reason i survived Dactyl. For some reason, it decided to spawn once on my first run in normal, then 3x  also on my first run in epic. That's how much the big dude likes me (or likes to kill me). But he never did because i have briar ward. It will vanish with 1 wave but it allows me to attack then retreat. But you can use briar ward against ordinary mobs as well.

Eruption is great against archers because they usually don't follow you. So if you cast eruption then retreat, they just stay in their place and let themselves die. But if mobs are in front of you, cast VO instead of eruption. It lands faster if your target is in front of you and the damage is more instantaneous, plus it stuns. You might be tempted to cast VO then eruption immediately after. But actually it is safer if you cast VO, run back a little, then VO again. You can cast eruption on the ground before they even get close to you. Some mobs in act 5 don't get stunned, jotuns for example. Use briar ward against them. The most trouble I've had with this build is against the golem constructs in act 5. I don't know how high their reflect is but when they cast their thorns thingy they are more dangerous than yggdrasil creatures. And once eruption starts, there is no stopping it. So you continue getting damage until the duration is over. Also the area where i had to get the hand of balance (act 2). The skeletons there have thorns now? The green ones. Maybe they always had and i just forgot. Or maybe i just never noticed. The best counter i could come up with is the old trick stone form + eruption. They cost me some deaths. These are some of the things that i had to learn on the go.

Hiding in briar ward all day is good for this build. Eruption really goes well with briar ward. And sanctuary even gives -32% damage absorption and also -32% mana cost. But personally, i find it slow and clunky. I feel it takes away some of the fun of playing a caster. And most of the time i prefer being mobile than stationary. Also, it feels like briar ward takes away some of the range factor of being a mage. If i really have to I'll cast briar ward but I'd like to avoid it as much as i can. I'm not bashing it, it's just a matter of preference. Heck, on my skinchanger i cast briar ward all the time. I also tried it on this one but I just like it more if i just pew, pew, pew - boom! boom! boom!

I have one gripe in this build that i haven't thought of while theorycrafting: the range of plague is shorter than VO's and eruption's. It would've been so much better if the range of plague is just as far. Well, you can't have your cake and eat it too. One solution is to let your pets draw aggro first. Another is to cast briar ward. But it shouldn't matter much. As long as you get your resists up, this caster isn't as squishy as you might think. It might not look like it but i care about survivability as much as i care about offense.

For those who like to play mages, this is a beginner friendly build but make sure you don't spend your skills and stats all over the place. You will have to do some farming but the build also gives you the power to do so. The best low risk high reward farming spot for this build is the secret passage. Don't open the gates, press shift then cast plague and eruption from the outside. Everything there dies quickly. Just make sure to hide in stone form when toxeus spawns.

gameplay clips
Spoiler for Hiden:

Low DEX maybe problem for this build, i think? Low DA an OA, can you survive in late gam? I'm just a newbie, want to know your opinion. Srr for my english

it's 1:30 am here in my country right now so I'll just be quick

just use briar ward.. permanent briar ward is better than DA.. i got through dragonian mobs with not much difficulty because of briar ward.. my briar ward that time was lvl 4 which becomes lvl 8 with +4 all skills and x3 legendary dragonian mobs weren't able to break them

the way to abuse briar ward is 80% CDR with low lvl refresh

OA is only for melee characters.. this is a mage.. one of the simplest mages I've played.. and I've played many

Do you think you could have similar results with an Evoker?  Is too much lost with abroad Ward and Plague?

if built same like this? i think evoker will be inferior

maybe evoker is good as melee? psionic touch and phantom strike? i haven't played an evoker yet


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