|---------------------------------------------------------------------|
|                                                                     |
|                   Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction                     |
|                     Melee Sorceress Guide 1.0                       |
|                                                                     |
|---------------------------------------------------------------------|

///////////////////////////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

Table of Contents

///////////////////////////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

1.  History
2.  Introduction
3.  Building the Melee Sorceress
   3.1  Stat Point Allocation
   3.2  Skill Point Allocation
   3.3  Recommended Equipment
   3.4  Recommended Mercenary
4.  Conclusion
5.  Contact Information
6.  Credits
7.  Legal Information

///////////////////////////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

1.  History

///////////////////////////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

Version 1.0 - First Version.

///////////////////////////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

2.  Introduction

///////////////////////////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

*NOTE:  This is a first FAQ, so forgive me if it is not that good.*

     For those of you who play on USEast, you may or may not have seen 
my proto-type build:  SorcDeMelee.  This guide is built off my 
experiences with this character.  Having only built the one melee 
Sorceress, I have not tried all the possible paths, but the one a chose 
worked quite nicely and is surviving in Hell Cows.
     When you saw this guide you probably were wondering, "What in the 
**** was this guy thinking!?!?"  Well, I will tell you what I was 
thinking!  I was tired of normal class builds (Whirlwind Barbarian, 
Firewall/Frozen Orb Sorceress, Javazon, etc.) so I decided to build a 
character that seemed impossible or impractical.  A Melee Sorceress 
seemed to be the most impractical thing I could build.  After bringing 
my SorcDeMelee to level 73 I decided that I should share my build with 
the rest of the world.

///////////////////////////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

3.  Building the Melee Sorceress

///////////////////////////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

     The Melee Sorceress is a fragile character with many downfalls.  
If you do not balance the stats, equipment, and skills just right, you 
have a Hell character that cannot leave the town without dieing.

////////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
/ 3.1  Stat Point Allocation \
////////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

Energy - The normal base stat for the Sorceress.  It is now the most
         useless stat in the game to you.  Put 0 points here.

Vitality - The least useful stat of those that you will put points into.
           Put a few points here initially and when you seem to die too 
           much.

Strength - One of your two keys to success.  You might as well have to 
           start with 0 strength.  Pump this hard and fast.

Dexterity - As a Sorceress you will find that you can't hit a thing and
            your chance to block is horrible.  Pump this just as much
            as you do strength, maybe more.

     The hardest part about a Melee Sorceress is balancing Strength, 
Dexterity, and Vitality.  It is all dependent on your current equipment 
and how many points you have in what skills.  If you are bad at telling 
what stat your character is lacking then I recommended you do not try 
this build.

////////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
/ 3.2  Skill Point Allocation \
////////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

     The Sorceress was NOT meant to be used for melee, so therefore she 
has no combat skills.  With a little imagination, we can pretend that a 
few of her spells are combat skills.  I have yet to fire a single 
Fireball, Frozen Orb, Firewall, or Nova.  If the skill is not listed 
below, I have not used it in combat.  Obviously, I have the spells 
because or prerequisites, but they are NEVER used.  Doing so will break 
the Code of the Melee Sorceress.

Frozen Armor -  
This is the first "combat skill" that you will be able to use.  The 
reason I chose this are is because Chilling Armor is useless because 
you will be close combat, not ranged.  You may want to use Shiver Armor 
but here is a small comparison for you to look at:

Skills at Level 20:

Frozen Armor                       Shiver Armor
//////\\\\\\                       //////\\\\\\
125% Defense                       159% Defense
348 Duration                       348 Duration
3.4 Freeze                         60-62 Cold Damage

Both skills last the same amount of time and give ALMOST the same 
amount of defense bonus.  The small cold damage of Shiver Armor is no 
help in hell and all it does is slow the enemy.  On the other hand 
Frozen armor completely stops the enemy for 3 1/2 seconds.  Pick either 
armor (Frozen Armor recommended over Shiver Armor) and MAX it.

Static Field -
What can I say, "This is a cheap skill," but it makes up for lack of 
real combat skills.  Also given that you are never going to do massive 
amounts of damage so this saves you a lot of time.  Put a point or 2 in 
it so it will hit more things, you do not need tons of range since you 
will be in the enemies face.

Enchant -
The single closest thing you have to a combat skill.  The damage may 
not be much but you will be needing damage and beggars cannot be 
choosers.  MAX this skill; you will be glad you did.
*NOTE:  This is also a good skill to combat Physical Immunes with so 
cast it on other party members.*

Energy Shield -
You do not have much mana, but what you do have is better used taking 
damage than just sitting there.  After you max your key skills pump 
some extra points into it.  Try to get over 50% absorb.

Thunderstorm (Optional) -
Some people may say that using Thunderstorm makes it not a Pure Melee 
Sorceress.  Technically a Pure Melee Sorceress should not use ANY of 
her skills because they are all spells.  I have not problem with using 
it because it is a passive spell and given all the downfalls a Melee 
Sorceress has then she deserves to use this skill.  It really is no 
different than a summon (Valkryie, Golem, Shadow Master, etc.); in fact 
it is not as good because it is not physically there to be hit.  I put 
it in for those who share my view and made it optional for those that 
feel it is cheating.  MAX or do nothing depending on what your style is.

Masteries -
After you max your 3 key skills (Enchant, Frozen Armor, and 
Thunderstorm) you need should pump the masteries.  Fire Mastery 
actually makes Enchant do decent damage and Lightning Mastery makes 
Thunderstorm do massive damage.  Cold Mastery is useless since you have 
no cold damage skills.  Pump points in here after you have everything 
else where you want it.

///////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
/ 3.3 Recommended Equipment \
///////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

     Next to skills, your equipment is everything.  Go for the bonuses 
to make up for what you are lacking.  One-Handed weapon with a shield 
is probably the best set up because you do not want to take a lot of 
damage with your low life so blocking is your best bet for staying 
alive.

Amulet - +2 Sorceress skills with the best mods that you can find,  
         most equipment you wear will not be Sorceress skill friendly
         so this is a must.

Rings - Stones of Jordan are nice, Bul-Kathos Wedding Band works too.
        If you cannot get those then your best bet is dual-leech rings.
        Leech is your next best friend after +skills.

Helmet - +Sorceress Skills circlets are good for low levels.  When you
         get higher up you will want Tal Rasha's Mask or Shako.  Vamp
         gaze is also nice if you can afford one.

Gloves - +Dexterity and Increased Attack Speed are nice for lower a low
         level Melee Sorceress.  I recommend some Frostburns to offset
         your low mana.  Venom Grip is a good high-end solution for
         gloves.

Boots - Vidala's are good for low levels.  Natayla's are a nice upgrade 
        from those.  You will want Waterwalks or War Travelers for
        higher levels.

Belt - Bladebuckle has nice mods and a full0sized belt for extra more
       potions.  You will use a lot of Super Healing potions and having
       16 is nice.  String of Ears is another good belt to look into.

Armor - Faster Hit Recovery is a good mod because the Sorceress has 
        horrible recovery time.  Spirit Shroud and Skin of Vipermagi
        are good for medium levels.  Naj's armor is also quite good.
        Of course, higher-level solutions include Skullders, Valor,
        and Shaftstop.

Shield - Look for the block %, the higher the better.  Sigon's is a
         great starting shield.  Moser's Blessed Circle with 2 Perfect
         Diamonds is a reasonably priced shield that is great for all
         levels.  Whinstan's Guard and Stormshield are other good
         shields, but pricy.

Weapon - Culwen's Point and Hellplague are good low level swords due
         to their +skills.  Medium-leveled characters want to look for
         Hexfire: +3 Fire Skills(Enchant) and Ingnore Target' Defense.
         Higher levels should go with Lightsabre or Baranar's Star.

Optional Equipment:  Naj's Ancient Set is an obvious Melee Sorceress 
set.  The downside is that the weapon is 2-Handed which allows for no 
shield.  This is something that I am toying with, but am not a high 
enough level to use the staff.

//////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
/ 3.4 Recommended Mercenary \
//////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

     I have not used the Mercenaries too much yet, but you will 
definitely want to use the Act 2 or Act 5 Mercenaries.  Act 5 Mercenary 
acts as a decoy so not everything swarms you and your low life.  Act 2 
Auras are good and you might want to plan your stat point allocation 
with them.  Add more to Dexterity and less to Strength and get a Might 
Mercenary to make up the difference.  Pump Strength over Dexterity and 
get a Blessed Aim Mercenary.  Defiance is possibly helpful but not 
really, but Holy Freeze works quite well too but your armor spell might 
make it redundant.  Ranged Mercenaries are also helpful since you will 
be the one jumping into the fray, but they do not draw too much fire 
from enemies.

///////////////////////////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

4. Conclusion

///////////////////////////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

     The Melee Sorceress is NOT a good first time character.  This is a 
build for those that are board with normal build.  It works both PvM 
and PvP, but do not expect wonders.  You will survive, not own 
everything in your path.  It is a great build, I had fun doing it, and 
I wish you all the best of luck!

///////////////////////////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

5. Contact Information

///////////////////////////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

E-Mail:  seph2002@hotmail.com
Battle.Net Account:  Masa_Mune (USEast)

I will be happy to help you with any questions you have with this build.  
Any suggestions are also greatly appreciated!

///////////////////////////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

6.  Credits

///////////////////////////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

Copyright (c) 2002, Eric Ward

Thanks to Blizzard for making such a great game!

I also want to thank:
-Jeff, for helping with the building and giving me so much equipment.
-The people on the GameFAQs Message Board for their help with my lack 
pricing skills so I was not ripped off in trades.
-Random people who gave me free stuff along the way.
-All the other people I cannot think of right now who need to be 
thanked.

///////////////////////////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

7. Legal Information

///////////////////////////////////\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\

     This Guide is mine, though you are free to read and use it.  Do 
not redistribute it for profit and do not alter this Guide in any way.  
Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction and all characters, names, and items 
mentioned in this Guide are copyrighted by Blizzard Entertainment.