only reason why i am even bothering to write this guide, is because there's a lot of attempts of lighting sorc guides that in my eye's failed. i hope i won't follow their path, yet, nothing is guaranteed, so i am ready for worst out comes.
lets begin with couple of points straight. lighting sorc is not cheap. full tal rasha sorc with insight merc won't do as lighting pvm/pvp killing speed freak. you ll need some ( in some cases a lot ) wealth to make one.
first i am going to talk about vita build, then HC lighting sorc, then ES sorc.
skills layout is identical for all lighting sorc variety beside es build. some tweaks must be done to have awesome es version of killing speed freak machine.
1pt wounder skills
telekinesis ( different for es variety )
thunder storm ( optional )
frozen armour ( recommended )
20 pts skills
* you can choice what you rather to max out last at higher levels, either charged bolts or nova. i prefer nova because in normal game its fun to telestomp in middle of cow pack and kill them in 1 cast.
usual inventory for lighting sorc would be 9 skillers with hp, and 20life / 5 res pr 20 life / 17 mana charms with torch and anni. some changes are listed in ES build.
for general pvm, you should have at least sorc torch and recommended to have random anni
Softcore 117 fcr bp sorc lay out
this build has most option of gear selection. in here, basically your limit is your wealth.
Helmet: Griffons eye. awesomeness of this circlet is mix of FCR +skills -elr (enemy lighting resistance ) and + Lighting Damage ( which is next to useless after enough +skills gear )
other choices would be: 2sorc skills with 20 fcr and god like adds, but those circlets better on fire bolt / ball sorc ( imo )
you got 2 options.
option 1: Chains of Honor ( CoH ) in wire ( all about style ) or
option 2: Skins of ViperMagie ( preferred perfect 35% all res roll, and upped )
CoH vs Skins
it has +1skill, str bonus to wear spirit, more res, DR, some mf
can be socketed, has FCR, magic damage reduced.
over all: Vipers is your armour if you are lucking fcr from other spots. on other ocasions, CoH > Vipers ( unless you generally dislike cheesy runewords and prefer to stay legit and support no duping, get vipers )
you have 2 options worth considering.
Arach. +skills fcr and mana.
T-gods. generally used to teleport safely to baal ( because of souls )
Ring slot 1: soj/nagels
Ring slot 2: soj/nagels
for mf purposes, use War Travels, for pvp use triple res + godly mods boots. treks are nice only for FHR and some str with high def. but i am personally prefer silke weave boots for mana per kill mode, i dont have drink blue pots like possesed to have some mana with them.
for me, i am also choosing between Trang Oul golves for cold resistance, and Mage Fists for mana reg. i d recomend T-O for cold res if you pvping a lot ( Cold Mastery neglects cold res, so watch out for cold sorc in pvp )
Shield on main swap:
Spirit in monarch shield, for high fcr and nice res (shame no fire res here)
you might also consider Lidless shield for lower str reqs, higher defence and mana per kill mode for general pvm.
Shield on pre buffing swap:
same as your main shield, but doesnt have to be perfict.
Weapon on main swap:
HoTO. you need resistance, seriously, forget Eschuta templer, you need res. +20 lighting damage is next to nothing, when you dealing 20k+, extra 200 damage won't change anything by big margin.
another choice: Wizard spike. high fcr, A LOT OF RESISTANCE, and to top it off, huge mana boost. shame no +skills which makes hoto weapon of choice.
weapon on buffing swap:
standard CTA. you might consider making cta in sorc staff with +3 cold armour skill to save your hard points. also, how many staff cta's have you seen? thumbs up for style points.
117 FCR gear selection with push on -ELR
-ELR is very useful against lighting immune monsters ( which have been broken down by infi merc ) or over stacking PvP opponents.
Helmet Griffon's eye
Armour Chains Of Honor, if you can't afford 20 fcr amulet, get vipers and change 1 of fcr rings to soj.
Shield JMOD ( Jewelers monarch of deflection, it has 4 sockets with 15% faster block rate and 30% better chance to block ) with 4 RBF's ( if you can afford this shield, you can afford RBF's as well ). with this shield, you should go for Max Block.
or get white monarch with 4 sockets and go pure VITA
Weapon Crescent Moon
Amulet best choice would be 20fcr 2 sorc 75% PLR ( poison length reduced ) with triple res amulet, or 2sorc 20 fcr 20 str juicy adds amulet.
Ring #1 10 fcr nice adds
Ring #2 10 fcr nice adds
Boots For mfing War Travelers for duelling Rare boots with triple res, or trek's for FHR
Gloves Trang gloves ( for Cold sorc in pvp ) or Mage fists ( for general PvM )
total FCR = 125 ( bp is 117 ) total -ELR = 80.
prebuffing gear: CTA + Spirit
200 FCR killing speed freak machine
200 fcr lighting sorc ( bp is 198 for lighting, and 200 for teleport, so i am rounding it up for 200 fcr ) is the fastest baal running sorc. i have seen video some where that it beats on single player baal ( teleport to baal room in Player 1, all baal waves in player 8 and baal himself in player 3, because after player 3 EXP does not increase on his death, only HP ) in under 2:30 mins.
gear is pretty standart to any 200 fcr sorc, because there is not many ways to achieve 200 fcr target, so here it goes:
helmet Griffons for best FCR on circlet in game ( in1.12, do not know what next patch shall bring us, if anything ) with 25% fcr +1skill + -elr and some +ld ( Lighting Damage ) it is very nice.
armour we need all fcr we can manage, your choice here is limited to:
a) Viper Mage (30 fcr 35% all res )
b) Que-Hegan's Wisdom 20 fcr 20 fhr and some minor magic damage reduction
c) Fortitude armour 25 fcr, 30@ res HP massive defiance boost + CtC Chilling Armour ( aka, saving points in there, but it ll has to be triggered in 1st place ) but no +1skill like on other choices
with either choice of B) or C) you ll have to wear 2nd fcr ring. i d recommend vipers, because i like that armour.
belt unfortunately, only arach
ring #1 some crazy fcr ring with insane adds, like 20 str 15 dex +++
ring #2 SoJ or 2nd fcr ring, depends on your armour
boots Trecks for FHR, or rare with res+fr/w ( faster run / walk ) and fhr
gloves mage or Trang Oul
amulet 2sorc 20 fcr + nice adds ( can be rare or crafted )
Weapon HoTO would be my 1st choice, because of 40fcr 3all skills, upto 40 all res and little mana boost
Shield 35fcr spirit only. so sad.
Cheaper out fit for 200 fcr sorc
Weapon: Wizard Spike, with 50fcr and 75all res with some mana, it is truly awesome ( if not for luck of +skills )
Shield: Monarch spirit 30 fcr+
Ring#1: fcr with adds
Ring#2: fcr with adds
Boots: trecks to reach next bp on fhr would be nice, but any other boots will do ( marrows are nice with + str )
Gloves: mage fists / trang oul
Helmet: 20fcr 2lighting circlet, or 20 fcr 2 sorc.
Amulet: 3 lighting skills with 10 fcr, or 2 sorc 10 fcr with nice adds.
HardCore Lighting Sorc ( Survival > Offense )
i have special desire to write gear for HardCore orientated people. i find that normal SoftCore lighting sorc is too fragile to be enjoyed on HC, you are in constant danger of any Fana pack monsters and so on, so little gear tweaks are Must.
lets start with skills, in PvM you should have 1 mana teleport, so if you'd face mana burning monsters ( dolls dura lvl 2 any one? ) you can teleport out of there next instance, and not wait for blue orb to fill up enough to teleport out. spend points in Teleport as mana as you should for 1 mana TP, it won't go bellow that.
Helmet: Griffon's for fcr
Armour CoH for 8% damage reduction and other nice adds
Belt Thunder Gods Vigor when teleporting in WSK ( souls do INSANE damage, even in 1.13 ptr ) other places you should use Arach
Ring#1 fcr/soj/nagel ( or 40 mf ring )
side not on rings: you ll need fcr rings for 105 fcr teleport bp when using Tgods, or to reach 125 ( 117 ) bp for lighting.
Boots for MFing war travelers, for pvp nice res boots with fr/w fhr.
Gloves mage's or trang oul
Shield storm shield ber'ed ( SS =35 Damage Reduction and 8% from ber = 43% DR with additional 8 from CoH = 51% when 50% is cap )
Because SS got nice Chance to Block, and Faster Block Rate, there is no reason to go pure vita, get Max Block with this Set UP.
Note on gear selection. i would recommend getting 105% fcr bp for safe blind teleports, so you could have more MF on you.
with high DR it means you won't tide on hell mode when some extra strong fana/might boss packs would punch in face.
This gear can be used against BvC's in duels
ES Lighting Sorc Build
ES build is wonderful, all of damage is transferred ( 95% of damage at level 40 Energy shield ) into damage. for every point of damage, at level 20 telekinesis it takes 0.75 mana.
For more information of how ES is working, check this threat, and i ll explain some more why you should go ES.
For every VITA point pumped, you gaining 1.5 hp, for every Energy point pumped, you gaining 3.5mana, and there by far more gear that increases your max mana by % then gear with life.
in PvP, i ve seen sorc running around with 1.2k hp, and 5k mana. with 0.75 mana per 1 hp it means you got total of 8k health points. you can laugh in Barb's face with his pathetic 6k hp!!!
adding another fact, when you have got bigger mana pool, you regenerate mana much faster, and with 1 pt in warth, after + skill from gear you should have at least +150% mana regen. basically, you are next to immune, mana burnering monsters, cannot drain you fast enough to take your es down ( baal's mana burning attack takes about 2/3 of my mana bulb, leaving me with around 1.5-2k mana ).
i hope that just pure amount of health points convinces you to at least try ES build with end game gear items at least once.
Helmet: Shako. +2skills, 120+hp at high level, 120+ mana at high level, socket it with perfict saphire for additional 38 mana.
Armour: Enigma Mage Plate. it has str req of 55 str, and adds 60+str at high levels, with +2 skills this is one of the best armour's for es build.
Belt: Arach. fcr + max mana makes it perfict belt to us.
Ring#1: soj. soj gives 25% to max mana
Ring#2 fcr ring to reach 125 fcr ( 117bp )
Boots: you can choice either Silk Weaves for 10% max mana and 30 frw, or crafter caster's boots with upto max of 5% max mana and 100 mana.
gloves: Frost Burns, 40% max mana
weapon tough choice, you can either have HoTO for 40% poison resists, with 10% max mana, or Eschuta with 40 Energy ( 40 energy = 140 mana +100% bo = 280 mana + 100% max mana = 560 mana+ ) but no poison resistance.
shield Spirit monarch with 100+mana and 35% fcr
amulet 2sorc/20fcr/20str/75% plr ( we need poison length reduction to stand up against ghost's in pvp and poison monsters ( w2 baal room ) in pvm )
total fcr with this set up is: 125%
for prebuffing you should have standart CTA with Spirit and mara for bo, after that you should go to stash, get memory stick with 9 ES and put 3 lighting skills amu with 3cirlet, cast ES, then change back to your main set up. do not forget to achieve level 40 Energy shield for 95% absorb.
ES sorc has different inventory then vita builds. she is looking at about 4-5 lighting skillers, and other 4-5 grand charms with 100+ mana and 40+ health ( we need at least some health )
when you read threat which explains ES, ignore no faster hit recovery advice of 0. have it high, at least 86% or even next bp, reason for that is: trappers love they mind blast, you do not want to in FHR animation stacked and slowly and painfully killed by their traps, not to mention, PRO BvC'ers are jumping. and FHR animation from their jumps is doubled.
[/I]Side notes: +Lighting Damage applies to Lighting Mastery. for example, if you have griffons +20 lighting damage, it is similar to +2 lighting mastery ( in 1.13 patch )
General PvM play style advice:
with infi merc, you have practically no immunes, and those who are, are not life threatening and can be dealt with merc.
do not be stupid, and teleport in middle of monster packs, you still can be killed, you are not hammerdin with 20k+ defense rating.
General PvP play style advice:
Telestomp all bowzon, they expect you to run away, and they will get at least 5 GA's at you, thats where you ll be finished. make them scared, teleport on them, cast CB, and watch them running like little chickens ( CB because it is AOE spell, and at least 10 bolts will hit them, with each bolt damage around 1k ( 850 in 1.13 ) they health will go down, if you remember, bowzons practically have no res, nor life, or anything else )
Bone Mancers. telestomp them, cast CB for FHR animation, finish off with lighting. do not teleport in 1 line, if he is pro, he ll have Bone Spirits with spears in your direction, if he isnt, then you ll have no fun killing him. try to teleport straight at him, 1.5-2screens away from him, teleport him by at either side of him, and on him from behind, which would lead to dodging all of his Bone Spirits field, and having him practically naked and defenseless
Java zons. get t-gods, max res, and use lighting, that is when they are using Far Cast trick, other wise, keep arach. javazons ARE lighting sorbers, in no case use CB, you ll heal them, use only lighting.
Lighting Sorc: your image, let the best win ( try to telestomp them, CB for FHR animation, finish off with lighting )
Fire Sorc: play defensively, make CB traps, lure them in them, and watch them die slowly from CB.
Cold Sorc: get your timing right, when they ll cast Blizz, telestopm, then hit with lighting. should be easy as that, unless she is self blizzing, so try to snipe her out. blizz sorc will go offencive at you, and cast blizz where you are most likely to teleport, so check where blizzard at, and change your play style as often as needs to.
Barbs: BvC, use only lighting, with t-gods and max res CB healing him. do not be stupid and teleport close to him. try to have him on edge of your screen, watch out when he ll teleport, and just teleport out. a good BvC should have you done in 1 WW, really tense vs pro, but beginner should be easy and boring.
windy druids: same as java amazons, but can recast CA and minions stack. when he does so, thats your only time to finish him off. against a pro, 1:10 you ll win, and 10 times you ll die.
fire druids: same as blizz
Wolfs: they have no teleport, but watch out for insane FR/W, they will dysench you, keep teleporting and casting lighting.
Paladins: hammerdin most likely going to telestomp you, DO NOT TELEPORT AWAY, just run south, and you ll be in his blind spot. after couple of defeats, you ll piss him off and he ll start dysenching you with charge, cast 1-2 lightings TOPS, then teleport screen away from your spot ( screen = 2 teleports in same direction when your cursor at edge of your screen )
smiters/ griefers, FHR + max block + teleport out is your only safety you ll ever get. 80% of them charging in straight line, only 20% of charges are real threat.
i hope this guide is some what useful.