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Tri-Elemental Offensive Caster (Hardcore Vanilla)

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gasconron    11

Tri-Element Offensive Caster

Commonfolk: “A jack-of-all-trades is the Master of Nothing…”
Me: “But the master of everything, is what you’d call a God…”


Everyone has a High Elf, and having said so. I have always wondered why there hasn’t been an in-depth guide of how to make a Tri-Elementalist. I saw a Tri-Elementalist guide in the forums, but it seemed like the guy literally wanted to do everything with his HE. He wanted it to be a multi purpose tanky PvE tri-elementalist and at the same time a PvP duelist. So here I am with a Hardcore-Mode tested LATE GAME highly offensive tri-elemental DPS. This is a hardcore mode build, but it is in no way tanky/unkillable. It's designed not to get 2-3 shotted, but other than that this is a caster-focused build. Play with Caution!

If you are familiar with my build-guides (The Knight: 1-h & Shield SW and Corpse Explosion Inquisitor) then you should know by now that this will be equipment intensive and specific, as I am a big fan of optimization. As with other action-RPG games, some concepts are only made viable with only certain equipment, so this should not come as a surprise to some people. Everyone has a Niob Blacksmith/Bargain and at least 2 EP farmers (for mid-level and high level items) that will spoon-feed items to its progressing characters. If your new to this fairly old game, then make sure you build those first. It’s a hassle I know… but necessary if you want to equip characters with nice equipment that don’t have access to those skills. (I know the HE has EP and Bargain, but that is not what this guide is for)

I also hate playing “untwinked” or starting from scratch every single damn time. I personally reserve the right to use whatever I found in whatever way possible. So if you’re one of them purists that don’t want to twink, then this guide and build is not for you. Glacial Defender, Stalworth Safeguard and 2 Tanits and 1 Darwangon is an integral part of making this concept possible. Good luck finding a steady supply of those as you level up.

Still with me? The good news is that unlike the other guides I’ve made, this one is fully doable only by using sets. No more hours wasted trying to find specific dual modded helms/chest/shoulders/waist armor w/ 1-2 slots. So, your only worry will be the jewelry, which you should have somewhere stored somewhere. So without further delay, on to the guide.

Skill Selection:

FIRST PRIORITY (this maybe subjective in accordance to which Element you feel more comfy starting with, but I suggest you make either Pyro or Stormrite your pioneer aspect)
*Start w/ Pyro – Early game damage is good with very little investment is a + especially when your goal is optimization. Doing a lot” with hardly nothing”, You also have the “chance to burn” for even more dmg.

*Start w/ Stormrite – You gain access to an early Crystal Skin.pngCrystal Skin , which will be our buff of choice instead of Incandescent Skin.pngIncandescent Skin for the massive defense and armor boost it gives. Crowd Control effect of “chance to freeze” helps with early game survivability.

Since I already have an EP pyromancer, I was more or less comfortable starting the pyro route, so I will use that in this example.

Level 2: Arrant Pyromancer Lore.pngArrant Pyromancer Lore – 100+ points (5 pts until you have a hard time killing things, increase conservatively)
place 5 to unlock “focuses”, add points when necessary only to maintain a reasonable kill speed. This is NOT a solo PYRO build, you will have to OPTIMIZE in order to reach your achieved goal. which means you will have to bear with non-Godly damage early to early-mid game.

Level 3: Arrant Pyromancer Focus.pngArrant Pyromancer Focus – 75 pts max.
just enough to unlock the “special perk” increase with your level

Level 5: Delphic Arcania Focus.pngDelphic Arcania Focus - 75 pts max.
This build was made to make the concept viable… and the only way something is viable for me in an hack&slash action-RPG game is if I can play the game in all difficulties w/o dying. Therefore, THIS IS YOUR MANDATORY 2nd ELEMENT (you need Grand Invigoration early on.) Increase it with your level.

Level 8: Armor Lore.pngArmor Lore – 75 pts max.
No need to explain this. Raise with your level


Level 12: Concentration.pngConcentration – 75 pts max. start out with 1 point

just enough for 3 buffs. Start out with 1 pt. UNTIL you unlock your 3rd Elemental Focus (in this example: Mystic Stormrite)

Level 15: Combat Discipline.pngCombat Discipline – 75-100 pts
we want that -20% regen + chunky damage goodness from any combo or any skill put in a combo slot. Also this will be your main source of early game damage, since you will be unlocking/increasing your “lores” last. Get up until 75, then add more later when all focuses have been raised to 75.

Level 25: Mystic Stormite Focus.pngMystic Stormite Focus - 75 pts max.
As soon as you are allowed, rush at least 3-6 CA points for Crystal Skin and Raging Nimbus.

THIRD PRIORITY (Time to F#%$ S#$% up!)

Level 35, 50 & 65: Damage Modifiers… unlock them but keep them all at 1 pt, until the first 2 focuses and Armor Lore have been 75’d

Level 35: Ancient Magic.pngAncient Magic – 75 pts max.

No, I’m not trolling… Lore + Com Discip + AM will destroy anything using anything. This is especially true at higher levels (level 150 and up) when you have at least ~ +60-75 Skills & CA or more. But it’s not just the damage we’re after, since we will be using 3 elements in every combo we need to make sure everything does damage. That’s why it’s necessary to break the immunities.

Comment: why take AM before the 2 lores? At Level 35, you would want all you dmg sources to be increased rather than just 1. With some low level +skills AM % dmg bonus + Combat Discipline flat dmg bonus is enough to offset the lack of lore points in your build. This early in the game

Level 50: Mystic Stormite Lore.pngMystic Stormite Lore – 100+ pts
No need for explanations here.

Level 60: Delphic Arcania Lore.pngDelphic Arcania Lore – 100+ pts
No need for explanations here.
@ Level 60 your stats should look like this:
60 (you have 8 CA mod points)
60 (you have 8 CA mod points)
30 (just enough to fully mod Crystal Skin & Raging Nimbus)

* from here on out you’ll be getting 5pts each per level, get the 3 sets of 60 to 75 (1pt per level each = 3), 1pt to mystic stormrite per level, 1pt to concentration every 2 lvls and 1pt to combat discipline every 2 lvls.
@ level 75 – your 5 pts per level should now be split between the 2 Lores, Mystic Stormrite, Concentration and Combat Disc. You are not to keep this stat distribution linear, you are only adding to AP Lore until you have 9-11 CA mod points (depending if u want a modded Fire Demon or not) and DA Lore until until you have 9-10 CA mod points (depending whether or not you had to depend on Magic Coup w/ Target Focus as an extra source of damage). After getting the needed CA mod point for AP and DA Aspect, concentrate on getting your 3rd Focus, Conc and Combat Disc to 75. After that it’s all gut feel on you.

Stat Allocation:

25/75 ratio Vitality and Intelligence. All INT in the first 15 levels. This is an offensive caster build, a glass cannon. You should not be playing one if you can’t keep her alive early-game. After that you can start with a 1:2 distribution until you have 101 pts. in Vitality.

Combat Arts:
Note: I will not only list the CA mod choices and explanation, I will also explain the order you mod your CAs… This is not really that important in the long run since this build will give you the full 15 mod points in all 3 aspects, but the order early on is very important to get the most of the build in early game when your damage is fairly hampered by spreading yourself thin.

Arrant Pyromancer Aspect:

Blazing Tempest.pngBlazing Tempest (BT) – scorch > conflag > ambition (combo’d with glacial thorns as your main mob farming utility)
* all mods taken was meant to do damage. Anyone who has an EP/Bargain Pyro knows why this CA is crazy good in terms of hoarding XP. Some people may opt for spell flow (silver mod) to compensate the lack of an incandescent skin buff regen, we need to remember that this is going to be a tri-element HE, which means this was not meant to be a 1-2 trick pony. We will utilize certain skills under certain situations, which is why this skill does not need to be spammable.

Incendiary Shower.pngIncendiary Shower (IS) – magma rain > smoking rock > copious shower (the main damage of your 3-part boss combo)
1. Skull Smash is the meta for the bronze mod for an EP Pyro, but this was only because it used 1 aspect and was reliant on that aspect to do everything for you. But me reminded that you have access to other aspect AoEs that can do the crowd control. The stun-lock will be sorely missed, but in the end game your IS damage will be greatly increased for this.
2. Smoking rock taken in favor of more damage
3. the crits were tempting, but now that the stun is gone on IS we need the shower to come down faster while bosses are getting cc’d

Ancestral Fireball.pngAncestral Fireball (AF) – (depends on how you mod your Cobalt Strike) > Globe > Hot Pursuit
* the silver and gold mod is the current meta for a pyromancer I believe, the reason I opt not to choose the bronze mod is because this will largely depend on how you mod your CS, because this will be your early combo, while waiting for you GT > BT combo to regen at early levels. So let me discuss CS next so that we can talk about mod implications after that.

Cobalt Strike.pngCobalt Strike (CS) – (flexible depending on what you will use it for)
If you want an Area of Effect CS: chain reaction > chain reaction > explosion = CS > GT > BT combo
If you want a single target Spike + Debuff: heavy damage > electrify > critical = CS > RN > IS combo for bosses, also CS > AF combo in @ lower levels

Fire Demon – power > lively > modesty
* silver and gold mods were taken to buff the cast and regen of our CAs which is the HE life and blood

Comment: Incandecent Skin is a good buff, but being in Hardcore mode, Crystal Skin will do us more good than increased regen time and more damage. +% chance to reflect close combat is a good mod, but I will take “more chances of getting hit for less than less chances of getting hit for more.” Evasion/Avoidance is a bonus, mitigation is a must. I am fully aware that reflect, evade and defense are put in a different category but what reflect does is the chance to completely nullify the hit, which in essence is almost like evading the actual hit.

Suggested Modding Order (micro-maxing your CA points until level 60 w/ 8 CA mod points):
BT bronze > BT silver > AF bronze > AF silver > BT gold > IS bronze > IS silver > IS gold > rest

Delphic Arcania Aspect:

Grand Invigoration.pngGrand Invigoration – (this depends on your initial aspect) > Replenish > Resilience
* mods used were taken for regen and 2ndary resistances. This is your initial buff, this will heal you along the way so you’ll only really need health pots to counter health spikes early on. With DA Lore, hitpoint regen will blow through the roof.

Cobalt Strike.pngCobalt Strike - CS has been discussed

Shadow Step.pngShadow Step (SS) – phase shift > sanctuary > explosion
1. Being able to break root effects is valuable as being rooted on a squishy HE will get you killed. However, root effects is situational and not every enemy has it. For me personally, there is more value in an 8 second SS, than a 15 second SS that can break roots. That 7 second difference in very tight spots, especially when something goes wrong when herd farming early. Same can be said by being rooted just once, but then again, that’s a gamble I’m willing to make. We can always address chance to block: Root in our gear.
2. Sanctuary – majority of the things that will hit you in Sacred 2: Fallen Angel is Physical damage.
3. Explosion – This is the reason why I took Phase Shift in Bronze and Sanctuary in Silver. This can be potent enough to wipe mobs that have been softened by CS > GT > BT from mid-to-end game.

Magic Coup.pngMagic Coup (MC) – target focus > leech life > stray damage
* use of this in higher levels is really debatable. With enough +% chance opponent cannot evade/-% opponent evade chance gear and target focus mod, you can use this well until Niob. Not really advisable though. Although at very low levels even unmodded it, it is a great tool to pick off stragglers that are in melee range when BT, CS or AF are in recharge. It’s much more practical to MC something rather than SS’ing away just to buy you time.

Suggested Modding Order (micro-maxing your CA points until level 60 w/ 8 CA mod points):
Buff: bronze > Buff: silver > CS bronze > CS Silver > MC bronze (optional) otherwise buff gold > SS bronze > SS silver > SS gold > rest

Mystic Stormite Aspect:

Crystal Skin.pngCrystal Skin – glacial mirror > focalize > (this depends on whether you took MS as your 1st aspect or 3rd aspect)
1. Chance to reflect combat arts is valuable
2. This is debatable as my attention has already been called out for giving some importance to Spell Intensity. Apparently people say is a waste of space… but better be safe than sorry.
3. Expertise if you got it as your first aspect, Frosty Breeze if you took it as your third

Glacial Thorns.pngGlacial Thorns (GT) – frost > pierce > fusillade
1. This will be combo’d with BT, the purpose of the GT is to soften the targets initially so that BT’s DoT will be enough to chew them up
2. designed to potentially increase the number of targets hit by the spell
3. designed to potentially increase the number of targets hit by the spell

Raging Nimbus.pngRaging Nimbus (RN) – hurricane > momentum > cyclone
1. You need the hits to proc as often as possible, this will help you hit your IS, now that we’ve forgone the IS stun lock effect
2. slower speed inside the RN will help you hit the full damage of your IS
3. the longer the RN duration, the longer the slow effect is on your target(s)

Comment: What could've been done was to take the current Pyro meta of the IS (stunlock effect), then mod RN as a damage skill rather than a crowd control. But I realized that too late when I was already playing. And I didn't want to scrap this toon at high 100's in Hardcore.

Cascading Shroud.pngCascading Shroud (CasSh) – mist > intangible > steam
1. There are situations when you know you’re going to get hit. Even worse if you know its going to be a hard one. This will be your panic button should your SS be on recharge.
2. I chose to forego the root break capability of Shadow Step, so this will be the tool pre-casted when engaging enemies that have the said ability
3. reduce fire sensitivity

Frost Flare.pngFrost Flare – freeze > frost > icy circle
* if taken as your first aspect, this will be one of your primary damage along with GT and CS
1. Target(s) slow down
2. Increase DoT, you’ll need all the damage you can get early game
3. FF’s version of AF’s explosion bronze mod, except this thing will freeze your target(s)

Suggested Modding Order (micro-maxing your CA points until level 60 w/ 6 CA mod points):
Buff: bronze > GT bronze > RN bronze > RN Silver > CasSh bronze > GT silver >

Equipment (end game):

**since this is a very gear dependent build, I will be as thorough as I can be on this, put forth what I personally used. I made various changes as I progressed to higher levels, and obviously as my farmer/shopper found better stuff**

1. Damage Mitigation – despite the fact that you OD’d on eating Grand Invig Runes and Crystal Skin Runes, When you get hit you will get hit hard. This can be fatal in Plat/Niob, which is why no matter what class you’re using as long as you’re playing Single Player or Solo LAN Freeplay, with no teammate to Tank for you this mod is a “must” for any class. Levels of mitigation varies depending on difficulty. In earlier levels armor is just plain better. But when bosses start to hit for 6-7k damage or more, that’s when mitigation starts to shine. At end-game 25-30% is sufficient which can easily addressed by a Glacial Defender, 2 Tanits and 1 Darwagon (shield and 2 extra socketed slots)

comment: this along with the armor bonus from your equipment and Crystal Skin (an easy 35-40k armor in end game), addresses survivability issues in the game

2. The Usual Suspects.... (anything that will boost your damage lvls or improve you overall), such as -
+ All Skills
+ All Combat Arts
* for any class I usually use it as a general rule not to have + CA & Skill more than +75, as it really starts to kill “balance”, I have finished SP Hardcore Niob with only 3 chars (SW, seraphim and HE) and the initial 2 have ~ +40-60 CA & Skills @ end-game (which is very low, for someone who is twinking). However this setup is different. since this is a tri-element build that weaken the damage potential of the CAs we will need these stats to a be a bit higher than normal. ~ +75-90 should be good enough. 100-110 would be Optimal, but that just goes against my personal ego.

+ Critical Hit Chance % - for any “procs” I usually follow a standard ~ 33.3% chance, 1/3 of anything you throw will crit. The only time I ignored this was when I followed Unipuma’s Dryad Guide that aims for a 100% crit chance
+ Death Blow % - I’ve seen people use 40% as a generic threshold, but for casters in general you are expected to kill things fast (the faster you kill things the less likely they have the chance to retaliate. A generous 60-75% should be placed here.
+ damage % to all – the only time you should be using ele specific dmg increases is if they have 2ndary effect proc chances on them.

You have 4 ring slot, 2 amulet slots and I recommend the following must haves:
Belt of Storms – 2 Gold Slots w/ hit point regen and the very valuable % chance to reflect close combat
Circle of Innocence – 1 Gold, 1 Silver & 1 Gold
Valeria’s Garment – 3 Gold Slots!
Mitts of the Ancients (1 silver and 1 gold slot) or Valeria’s Mitts (1 Gold Slot w/ + all Combat Arts)
Valeria’s Wristguard – 1 Gold Slot, but your given –regen%, crit % and spell intensity%
Greaves of Heirs – 2 Gold Slots :D , 1 Silver Slot and bonus to Grand Invig and spell resistance
Boots of Remembrace – no WOW modifiers but you get 1 silver and 1 gold slot. IMHO this has the potential to beat out a +CA/Skill and another rare modifier with a 1 Silver slot Rare shopped item depending on what you socket in it.

*this setup gives you 20-21 jewelry slot possibilities to fulfill the minimum thresholds above. Given that you have really nice jewelry already available. You’ll have 4-5 slots left of whatever, enabling you to focus on upping the damage or survivability of the build.

3. Your Weapon of Choice:
Glacial Defender is a must @ end-game. Your most logical choice would be Tinwora for the fat, chunky +CA bonus it gives, but if you have no need for +CA you can always get an Officer’s Saber for more utility.

I use Thane’s Axe, for the healthy 12-14% chance to burn, freeze and weaken. I’m NOT exactly sure if this is unnecessary, but I really want those 2ndary effects to proc more w/o Damage Lore.

My End-Game Combos:
Slot 1: Glacial Thorns.pngGlacial Thorns + Cobalt Strike.pngCobalt Strike (only if you modded it to chain for Area of Effect) + Blazing Tempest.pngBlazing Tempest

Slot 2 : Cobalt Strike.pngCobalt Strike (only if you modded it as a spike/debuff skill) + Raging Nimbus.pngRaging Nimbus + Incendiary Shower.pngIncendiary Shower

Slot 3: Shadow Step.pngShadow Step + Magic Coup.pngMagic Coup (only if you gear up +% chance opponent cannot evade attack)

Slot 4: Cascading Shroud.pngCascading Shroud or Expulse Magic.pngExpulse Magic

Levelling Up:

Herd farming is the way to go. I’m not going to suggest Orc caves unless you are already high enough.

Herd Farming – GT > BT Combo

Orc Cave XP Farming (recommended only for 140 & above)
Cast Cascading Shroud.pngCascading Shroud (+% Physi Dmg Miti) >> Combo 1 (Glacial Thorns.pngGlacial Thorns + Blazing Tempest.pngBlazing Tempest ) >> Shadow Step.pngShadow Step >> Combo 2 (Cobalt Strike.pngCobalt Strike + Raging Nimbus.pngRaging Nimbus + Incendiary Shower.pngIncendiary Shower ) >> Combo 1 (Glacial Thorns.pngGlacial Thorns + Blazing Tempest.pngBlazing Tempest ) >> Shadow Step.pngShadow Step >> IF they are still alive: Combo 2 (if you have low recharge), Combo 1 if not.

Notes on the Shadow Step Spike: I have switch weapon whenever I execute an offensive SS. Consider getting a rare yellow 1-h that has +% magic dmg w/ 2 sockets. The one I have has ~130+% magic dmg socketed with a 2x dual magic% boni rings, easily hitting ~+ 260-280% magic dmg on just the weapon (this can be easily substituted by an officer's saber socketed with 3 dual magic% boni rings for lesser 230-250% magic dmg 1-hander).

Theoretically, you can also hunt for a shield with the same mods to be used on the switch, but you’re sacrificing 19-20% damage mitigation to all types for a split second. In hardcore, that split second can be fatal… I wouldn’t recommend it.

Build Rating (personal opinion):
Character Progression - 1/5, IMHO character development is strict to get the most out of the build and stay true to the concept of being a tri-element HE. If you carelessly assign points and CA mods there will be stages in the game wherein you will feel that your HE is severely underpowered.
Survivability (Early & Late Game) - 1/5 early, 2.5/5 late
Damage (Early Game) – 3.5/5
Damage (End Game) – 4.5 to 5/5 (depending on how gimped you are)
Game Progression – 4 to 5/5 (depending on your game knowledge and your situational control of the HE)
levelling grind – no grind, very flexible in leveling.
Equipment Dependency –
1/5 for the shopper/farmerless people or those without a vast amount of stash on separate chest.sacred2chest files
3.5/5 for those with access to sets,


Edited by gasconron
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gasconron    11

LOL at Incendiary Shower.pngIncendiary Shower - magma > smoking rock > intensity...

INTENSITY? where in 7 hells did that come from? :drool: that was supposed to be "Copious Shower." can't edit the post anymore though.


Another Edit:

Frost Flare.pngFrost Flare - freeze > frost > icy circle

Edited by gasconron

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Flix    3,098

LOL at Incendiary Shower.pngIncendiary Shower - magma > smoking rock > intensity...

INTENSITY? where in 7 hells did that come from? :drool: that was supposed to be "Copious Shower." can't edit the post anymore though.


Another Edit:

Frost Flare.pngFrost Flare - freeze > frost > icy circle


It's "Intensity" on the Wiki. I gave all the CA wiki pages a major content upgrade recently, I may have gotten the name wrong but more likely it's a difference in names between Fallen Angel and Ice & Blood (wouldn't be the first one, I'll double check today).

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Dragon Brother    432

Lots of detail. Nice work :) If you sort out the mod choices I (or one of the other mods) can fix that up for you if you are still having trouble editing posts.

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gasconron    11

@dragon bro: that would be nice. I am only able to edit posts that have been posted for 30 mins. Any later than that, and [Report - MultiQ - Quote] instead of the usual [Report - Edit - MultiQ - Quote]

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gogoblender    1,599

Nice guide! It's been long since someone's put so much time into a build, wonderful to see that this game still has that pull.

Ron, can you please try with the edits? You should be able to make changes to your posts now.







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gasconron    11

@ gogo: Just checked now, working great! Thanks!!


yah Sacred 2, is just one of those games that don't get old. Just like TQ and Diablo 2. Shame that Diablo 3 was such a disappointment. If ever Sacred 3 does come out, I hope it stays loyal to the genre, rather than cater once again to non-RPG players to try and get more sales. This business habbit has been destroying the RPG genre over the years. Freakin' Bioware is a very good example of this. Although Skyrim has been a really fun game, the oversimplification of the mechanics in of an unmodded gameplay in comparison to previous Elder Scrolls is an eyesore to a RPG player.

Edited by gasconron
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