Immortal Throne - Mastery Mods > Dream IT

Violos' Freddy Krueger DoT Mage Guide (Electric Burn DoT Build)


A Dream character who likes to kill enemies in their sleep…
The main ideas behind this are to
Kill enemies exclusively via damage over time (DoT)
Not require -100% recharge or any exceptional gear
Do well in legendary
and they are made possible by exploiting the facts that
Element DoT profits greatly from high intelligence
Sleep, slow and petrify provide very good crowd control
Sleeping enemies are not awoken by already running DoTs
With that being said, you can imagine what he/she will play like. It does work well, and is an interesting and fun way to approach the game, which could even be done as a single-mastery Dream mage. I could also have called this “The Running Man”, because what you do most in between spellcasting is run a lot – in order to herd, kite and position yourself.
So much for the layout. But since this is supposed to be a guide, let’s go a bit more into detail.
Electrical Burn Damage
Sands of Sleep
EBD attacks and tactics
Other Dream Skills
Second Mastery & Builds
1) Electrical Burn Damage (EBD)
It is known that DoT-based builds are ineffective beyond normal difficulty, because the damage types lack the supporting factors they would need to keep up with monster health. Luckily, there is an exception to that rule, called Electrical Burn. Burn because all burn damages (as opposed to poison or bleeding) scale with intelligence, and electrical because it is the only kind of burn for which there are good sources in skills as well as high +% boosts on items.
When EBD is calculated, every 50 Int increases the base value by 10%, so a late-game char with 1000 Int gets 200% more base damage, or a factor of 3x the value stated in the spell’s tooltip. The knack is that this int-boost is multiplicative with normal +% increases from gear and skills, which makes it easily possible to make that a total factor of 9x, 12x or more with the right gear, as was discussed here. With some resistance breakers, this can result in area-effect DoT (and stun) in the 10k-20k range, allowing for “one hit kills” even in legendary.
Output = Spellbase * (1 + Int/500) * (1 + %EBD/100)
In addition to this, the EBD output can be increased by %total damage mods (those count towards %EBD), and through (actually total) bonuses against certain monster races.
%Elemental or %Lightning boni do not increase electric burn, though it is being resisted by lightning resistance.
Simple math states that if you have a choice between increasing your damage output via Int or the respective amount of %EBD (e.g. raising int by 50 vs. gaining +10% EBD), it is always more effective to increase the part whose contribution is currently lower, because it makes a larger relative difference.
Like if your character has 500 Int and a total of +100% to EBD, both parts have the same influence, and both options would do the same. But if you had 500 Int and already +300% EBD, raising your Int to 550 would have a greater overall effect (+50/500) than adding another 10% to the EBD boost (+10/300). Capiche?
TL/DR: Dream Spells * Intelligence * %Boosts + Resistance Reduction = Kick Ass.
2) Sands of Sleep
This skill is amazing, as was pointed out here. But it is even better for our build, since we do not need to attack (=awake) them more than once every few seconds – enough time for sleep to recharge. And once they are burning, the DoT does not wake them up if put to sleep again!
So apart from having a fast, cheap crowd control skill that only a few bosses are immune to, we circumvent sleep’s greatest drawback, which is not being allowed to damage enemies under its effect.
Make them burn, then put them to sleep, and they are going to have some deadly nightmares!

3) EBD Attacks and Tactics
In order to deliver the EBD, we have two options, namely Distortion Wave / Psionic Immolation (DW) and Distort Reality / Temporal Rift (DR). I like using both, once I have the points, but be advised that their effects do not stack. – Nor does any other EBD. Tests show that only the highest DoT (of one type) currently affecting a target is applied.
Against non-demons, Distortion Wave inflicts only around 75% of the damage the DR ring offers (767 at ultimate level versus 1084). But it has a longer range, and a much lower cooldown. Combined with the fact that the pysical damage of the wave itself is quite useful in the early game, and available at level 2, it is the better choice at first.
Skilling DR starts out as a good addition, allowing you to “burn” more often and granting a way to stop monster heroes who happen to be immune to sleep or slow. With its superior damage and astonishing AoE petrification, it can also replace the wave completely once one has access to enough -recharge gear: Thanks to sleep, it is usually safe (and very satisfying) to casually walk into the middle of a large group before casting DR for maximum effect.
This is also the safest tactic to play in dangerous areas: Just throw Sands ahead until it hits some enemies (up to 7 at max level), stand between them, and hit DR every 4-8 secs to paralyze and burn the entire camp. Just be aware that petrification can be resisted, so some monsters break free from it early.
On the other hand, it is faster just to combine the two attacks according to the situation. The beauty of the wave is that you can hit many enemies in a line, or dangerous ones from a safe distance, while DR is best used when they close in from several directions.
Use your speed to position yourself (and them) in a way that makes your spells most effective – especially when you are still working with long cooldowns.
For maximum damage, cast a wave on a group from a distance before putting them to sleep and then position yourself for DR.
Vs Bosses:
Bosses don’t sleep, nor can they be petrified. 🙁 The simple plan is to just avoid their attacks and hit them with DW or DR every 4 game seconds (the actual time is a little more) to keep them sizzling until they drop. No super killer skills here. On the upside, we do have the liberty to run in circles while still doing the damage, so we should use that to the fullest. Like I said – kiting is a big part of this build, so there is no shame in it.
Another feature that comes in handy is that they pass through obstacles. – You can sometimes use that to your advantage to fire at enemies from behind cover, or even through some walls.

The best thing vs. certain champions is that your wave attacks cannot be dodged, nor blocked. So this build excels at wrecking those pesky Tigerman leaders with Quick Recovery… and Dactyls.
Still, when duking it out with the big guys, it is good to bring a distraction and/or have ways to avoid damage, which we will get to next.
4) Other Dream Skills
From the rest of the dream mastery we want whatever helps us survive and increase EBD, so the Lucid Dream tree is a no-brainer (with Prenominiton being least important, as you should not get hit by melee). One point in Distortion Field is nice to ward off enemy DoT.
I always put at least 1/1 in Nightmare and its gaze, which helps to keep single stray monsters off my back (set to “defensive”). By level 5 it gets the ability to leech life. And if you have the points, you can of course max it and send it tanking, which the little guy is surprisingly good at.
Phantom Strike can be used as a teleport to get in between or away from mobs, because this build is likely to carry a weapon+shield (for defense and bonuses) rather than a staff. One could also deliver -resists this way. But it is not necessary to have.
The biggest question is what Aura to use:
Trance of Wrath does electrical burn just by walking past enemies, and can provide an easy way to get through most of normal by just maxing it. More importantly, however, it helps your EBD by lowering enemy lightning resistances, and annoys bosses with skill disruption (though you’d have to be close).
The big downside is that it periodically zaps – and thereby wakes up – sleeping monsters. This can be very annoying if you want to keep control / defend yourself with Sands.
So it’s useful, especially if you are lacking better resistance breakers, but kind of a double-edged sword. You’ll have to be aware and adapt your playstyle accordingly.
Trance of Convalescence does not increase your damage, but also keeps nobody around you from perishing in peaceful sleep. It helps you stay alive, which is always an advantage, and regenerates energy, which you will be using up fast.
Trance of Empathy seems like a bad choice since we are not intent on getting hit, and life leech only works with weapons. However, it might be useful to your allies. And if you ever came across a situation where a boss seems just too strong (though you might need a mod for that ;)) you could use this on your tanking Nightmare (or other pet/dummy from another mastery) to make the boss kill himself from reflection.
So apart from special occasions, it is between ToW and ToC – of which I chose the latter.
5) Second Mastery & Builds
Like I said before, this build could be played as a pure Seer. On the other hand it would be nice to have a second mastery support his offensive or defensive capabilities… or both.
I hate to say it, but even here, a Haruspex build is probably the best choice. (At least he will be a different flavor among the hordes of bow/spear users…)
Hunting gives our elusive mage run speed and immunity to entrapment, good poison resists, and an even higher chance to avoid projectiles (up to another immunity if you are so inclined). The Monster Lure is just what we need to distract bosses, and we even get the huge DA bonus from Wood Lore, because this char is best played with a certain fork in hand.
The main reason, however, is that from all the skills that reduce resistance to lightning (which is the only other way we have to increase EBD even further) Study Prey / Flush Out is the only one that does it absolutely, instantly, over a large area and without constant “wake-up effects” to it. It synergizes perfectly with DR, which has about the same radius. Standing in a sleeping group, then firing off DR and Study makes them all burn and um… flush at the same time (if they could ;)), taking up to 44% increased damage, which usually kills the whole lot.
The latter can also be done with a Prophet and Squall. While not quite as effective on the -resists side, and more fragile, a Prophet can also be played in many other ways than just Sleep / DR / Squall, combining all the possibilities (and personal defenses) of this build with the offensive power of a Storm mage. Definitely worth a try.
The third viable option is Defense, namely an intelligent Templar. This may seem even stranger than Hunting…. but if you get a nice shield and a little strength to carry it (Armor Handling helps, and Captain’s Signet makes it 50% lighter), you can combine Quick Recovery with some -recharge gear for amazing protection against everything but AoE attacks.
This also makes it safe to Phantom Strike / Shield Charge into groups and deliver -resists with your weapon, which can be an even greater debuff than Flush Out with the right relics and gear. Apart from that, he plays just like a pure Dream mage – with nice defenses (resists, mana/life regen) on top.
Other combos like Nature with Plague, Spirit with Necrosis etc. are also possible of course, but those playstyles deviate more from our focus on sleep and maximal EBD. I’ll leave it to you to explore these.

Saur0n 0wnz y0o, Rotflolol0lz !!!!
6) Gear
Finally, the dress up section.
I usually use what I can find. There are, however, some basic principles for choosing gear:
First of all, as I said, we do not need a staff. Not even the Prophet – he has Shards. Of course you can use one to support your spells, especially in the early stages. But when your spells get better and survival starts becoming harder, I would recommend a shield in addition to a low-strength weapon, like a spear.
What we do need besides the usual resists is both +% EBD and great amounts of intelligence to boost our damage – preferrably intelligence. This means anything with +%Int or high flat +Int boni, like Diogenes items and headgear with Odysseus relic.
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, Int is the main stat. 😉 All others are only increased in order to wear equipment or get more hitpoints.
From the gear that increases EBD, one should try and get two parts of the Raiment of Carnus in order to get the set boni, preferrably the armor and helm. The Grip is good, too, but that slot will be taken by the Archmage’s Clasp if you have it. And for boots, you should look for something with increased run speed, ultimately Demonskin Walkers.
The Amulet of Morpheus is great and gives a huge +3 skills to Dream, while the Eye of Reveries offers a nice collection of different boosts. Things that give +skills (we want max+4) and increase sleep duration, like the Book of Dreams, are always welcome.
As a weapon, nothing beats the Soulflay Fork, though any weapon with +% total damage from Tyrant prefix and/or Thanatos relics is good.
IF you want to spread gear-based -resists for even more damage, e.g. in boss fights, you could start by hitting them with the Fingerbone of Boreas (or any staff with Sheng Nong) before proceeding with your main attack. Templars may also use the Defiler (Sapros light) combined with the Shield of the Korybantes if you can hold it. The Frail, an early alternative to Archmage’s Clasp, is a good addition in both cases.
As a shield mainly used for protection, Hephaest’s is nice for those who can carry it (Templars), which is helped by its additional req reduction. Otherwise, anything that gives resists (normal/epic greens, with a turtle shell) or reduces recharge time is welcome. For lots of DA, choose Soldier’s Unyielding Will.
Or, if you don’t want to invest in strength at all, just get Santa’s Peppermint from the secret passage.
7) Conclusion
All in all, the EBD Mage is an unusual yet effective char that is very fun to play. Mainly because the playstyle is so different, based around casting spells efficiently rather than often, and movement not being an alternative to doing damage.
And as you can see, a lot can be said even about such a “simple” principle.
I hope you enjoyed the guide, and got some inspiration out of it.
Further suggestions are always welcome.


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