Cold Sorc Build -D2R 2.4
Categories : Diablo 2: Resurrected
Cold Sorc Build Guide (2.4 updated)
Cold Sorc Introduction
Have you ever wondered how some players already have fully geared, level80 characters by the second day of a new ladder season? The answer is - they play a Cold Sorc! There is no other class and build in the game that can level up and farm with a comparable efficiency early on in the season, and even in the late ladder cold builds are still amongst the best. They deliver a lot of single target and area damage, move super fast via teleport, have decent survivability, and can have 1000% magic findand still maintain ultra-fast farming speed. What more can you wish for?
Attacking skills: The primary cold attacking skills are Blizzard and Frozen Orb. Both deal a lot of single target and area damage simultaneously already at level 20, and they don’t require expensive equipment to be efficient. Glacial Spike is also an interesting attacking skill option, as it freezes enemies for 5 seconds, which makes them immobile, easy to attack and easy to defend against.
Defending skills: Shiver Armor and Energy Shield are the two skills we rely on for defense. If you have spare stat points, these are the skills you want to put them on. Shiver Armor grants a bunch of Defense while freezing your attackers, while Energy Shield lets you take damage from your Mana instead of your Life. To improve survivability further, you will need to rely on gearing.
Movement: Similarly to other sorc builds, cold sorcs also move by teleport. It is the fastest and most convenient way to move in D2. You should be somewhat cautious not to teleport in the middle of monster groups, and should maintain your mana (potions, an Insight runeword on your merc, or skill points on Warmth come handy). Also make sure to walk instead of run outside of town, since during running your defensive stats are reduced, which makes you very vulnerable.
Solo gameplay: As there are quite a lot of cold immune monsters on Hell, soloing is difficult in many areas. Another downside is that cold immunities can very rarely be broken, so the only way to get rid of cold immunes is to rely on your Merc’s damage. However, killing non-immunes is really easy and very quick. There are plenty of areas and bosses Cold builds excel at, where one cast of Blizzard, or a maximum of 2-3 casts of Frozen Orb will kill monsters at great radius.
Party gameplay: As with any other Sorceress build, your teleport speed will most likely be the fastest in the party. A rule of thumb is that the fastest teleporter will navigate to bosses, and when arriving at the targeted location, open a portal for the others to enter. This means that at Baal or Diablo runs you will be one of the most important party members, your party will greatly appreciate your help.
Another benefit for the party is that your damage will be amongst the best, and even in an 8 player game you will quickly be able to demolish monsters at a fast pace.
Hardcore gameplay: At Hardcore you will need to mitigate the risks of all kinds of damage, including elemental, physical and magical both in melee and missle forms, while also being cautious about curses. You can do so by reaching the 75% all resistance cap, aiming for the 50% physical damage reduction cap, aiming for high block chance with your shield, having high defense, and most importantly having high life and mana. Elemental damage absorptions can also greatly help you, as they can even heal you while you get attacked.
Always have your Energy Shield and Shiver Armor on, and try to get a Call to Arms runeword as a switch weapon. Stay on Nightmare as long as you need to if Hell looks too dangerous. My suggestion is to farm the cow level for charms that boosts your survivability, Nightmare is perfect for this purpose.
Magic Find: You can rely both on your gear and charms to achieve high % magic find (as high as 1000% in extreme cases), as your attacks will be strong enough to quickly eliminate Bosses. There is a wide variety of MF gear that can be utilised, and many options are effective and very cheap. With teleport you will quickly be able to reach any destination, and high MF gear will allow you to find the most valuable items much more frequently compared to other builds. Simply put, the Cold Sorceress is the perfect choice for MFing.
Breakpoints: Here is a link to Sorceress Breakpoints. At the early ladder, aim for 63% FCR, then 105% later on. Reaching FHR and FBR breakpoints are useful if you play Hardcore, but try to avoid being attacked in general.
Mercenary: A mercenary’s main function is to help you kill cold immunes. Currently Act2 Mercs deal the most damage, so aim to have one with Might Aura (nightmare offensive), and equip for high damage.
Farming Areas: Cold Sorcs excel at farming the Secret Cow Level and Travincal. They are also perfect for farming Keys by killing The Countess, The Summoner and Nihlathak. For Magic Finding, they are the best build to do Andariel and Mephisto runs.
Fire Skill Tree:
Put a single skill point Warmth for improved mana regeneration.
Lightning Skill Tree:
Put a point on telekinesis and Teleport, as you will need it for movement.
Put a point on Energy Shield and its prerequisites to help you greatly boost survivability.
A point on Static Field is optional, however you can greatly help your mercenary against immunes by lowering their lives, and it also lets you kill Bosses much quicker by removing half of their life after a few casts.
Cold Skill Tree:
Having a point on Shiver Armor is important for defense. I like to put a point on Chilling Armor too in order for Shiver Armor to receive all synergies.
Maxing out Cold Mastery, Frozen Orb and Ice Bolt lets you deal the maximum amount of cold damage via Frozen Orb. While Blizzard tends to deal more damage, Frozen Orb can be used more flexibly as its casting delay is much lower.
Max out Blizzard, and put your remaining points on Glacial Spike.
Note: The listed skill points are not in a priority order, you can also max out Blizzard and its synergies first and have the remaining points on Frozen Orb, or use Glacial Spike as your main attacking skill if your goal is better survivability. You can also test which attacking skill you enjoy the most, and stick with it.
Re-stat your character at level 80. You should have enough Strength and Dexterity to be able to wear all your equipment. If your gear provides stat points (Like Annihilus, Torch, Mara’s, rare rings, etc), you can spend less on gearing requirement stats and put the available points on Vitality.
Spirit Monarch has the highest strength requirement -156, and the Call to Arms flail has the highest Dexterity requirement - 35.
Cold Sorc Gearing
Nightwing’s Veil ➤ The highest damage helm for all cold sorc builds.
Harlequin Crest Shako ➤ Has great offensive and defensive qualities, also a great choice for Magic Find and Hardcore.
Tal Rasha’s Horadric Crest ➤ A decent choice at early ladder.
Crown of Ages ➤ You should consider using it on Hardcore.
Lore runeword ➤ A great ladder starter helm.
Mara’s Kaleidoscope ➤ The best choice for balanced defense and offense.
Tal Rasha’s Adjudication ➤ A decent choice at early ladder.
Magic Amulet with Magic Find% ➤ The best amulet for Magic Finding.
Magic or Rare Amulet with Cold Skills, or Faster Cast Rate ➤ Good ladder starter.
Ormus’ Robes ➤ The highest damage body armor! Try to get one with +3 Frozen Orb or +3 to Blizzard skills!
Chains of Honor ➤ The best balanced armor for both defense and offense
Skin of the Vipermagi ➤ An efficient choice, helps reaching high FCR breakpoints.
Tal Rasha’s Guardianship ➤ A decent choice at early ladder
Skullder’s Ire ➤ The best Magic Finding option.
Stealth Runeword ➤ A good budget ladder starter.
Death’s Fathom ➤ The highest damage weapon choice.
The Oculus ➤ The best for Magic Finding.
Heart of the Oak runeword ➤ Great both for offense and defense.
Spirit Crystal Sword ➤ A budget choice, but greatly effective
Wizardspike ➤ Decent choice for early ladder, great for defense and grants a lot of FCR.
Spectral Shard ➤ A good budget ladder starter.
Tal Rasha’s Lidless Eye ➤ A decent choice at early ladder
Spirit Monarch ➤ The highest damage shield choice.
Stormshield ➤ The best defensive choice.
Lidless Wall ➤ Use it if you don’t want to invest a lot in strength.
Rhyme runeword ➤ A decent budget ladder starter.
Call to Arms ➤ Almost doubles survivability, every build needs a CTA.
6*Ist Crystal Sword ➤ When killing bosses, switch to it for +150%MF at kill.
Spirit Monarch ➤ Boosts Call to Arms’ Battle Orders and Battle Command
Lidless Wall ➤ Use it if you don’t want to invest a lot in strength.
4*Ist Monarch ➤ When killing bosses, switch to it for +100%MF at kill.
The Stone of Jordan ➤ The best ring for damage.
Raven Frost ➤ Great for survivability, grants cold immunity.
10% FCR Rare Ring ➤ If you don’t reach the 105% breakpoint, I suggest using FCR rings.
Nagelring ➤ A good Magic Finding choice.
Magefist ➤ The best offensive gloves.
Frostburn ➤ Provides a huge mana boost, great for Energy Shield.
Chance Guards ➤ The best Magic Finding choice.
Trang-Oul’s Claws ➤ Grants 20% FCR like magefist, and also some resistance.
Arachnid Mesh ➤ The highest damage belt, also great for FCR.
Snowclash ➤ Probably the best choice for Blizzard builds.
Verdungo’s Hearty Cord ➤ Great defensive belt, consider it for Hardcore
Tal Rasha’s Fine-Spun Cloth ➤ A decent choice at early ladder or for Magic Finding
Goldwrap ➤ The best Magic Finding choice.
Nightsmoke ➤ A decent budget ladder starter.
Sandstorm Trek ➤ One of the best choices for survivability, especially if ethereal.
Waterwalk ➤ Another great choice for survivability
War Traveler ➤ The best for Magic Finding.
Annihilus ➤ A must have item for every build.
Sorceress Hellfire Torch ➤ Another must have item.
+1 to Cold skills grand charm ➤ If you can afford it, try to have them with +life. +FHR and +FRW is also useful
+ All resistances small charm ➤ If you can afford it, try to have them with +life.
+ Life small charm ➤ If you can afford it, try to have them with +mana.
Cold Rainbow Facet ➤ The best choice for damage boosting.
Ist rune ➤ The best choice for Magic Finding.
Um rune ➤ Use it for allresist boosting if needed.
Perfect Diamond ➤ Can use it instead of Um runes in shields and helms.
Ladder Starter / Budget Gear
Lore Runeword Helm ▬ 10% FCR Amulet ▬ Stealth Runeword Body Armor ▬ Spirit Crystal Sword Weapon ▬ Spirit Monarch Shield ▬ No Switch Weapon and Shield ▬ 10% FCR Rings ▬ Trang-Oul’s Claws Gloves ▬ Nightsmoke Belt ▬ Rare Boots with resistances ▬ Life and Resistance charms ▬ Perfect Diamond Item Sockets
Best Cold Sorc Gear
Nightwing’s Veil Helm ▬ Mara’s Kaleidoscope Amulet ▬ Ormus’ Robes Body Armor ▬ Death’s Fathom Weapon ▬ Spirit Monarch Shield ▬ Call to Arms Switch Weapon ▬ Spirit Monarch Switch Shield ▬ 10% FCR Rings ▬ Magefist Gloves ▬ Arachnid Mesh Belt ▬ Sandstorm Trek ▬ +1 Cold Skills, +Life and +Mana Charms ▬ +5/-5 Cold Rainbow Facet Item Sockets