Hydra Sorceress Build Guide - D2R 2.6
D2R Builds , Diablo 2: Resurrected , Game Guides
Hydra Sorceress Introduction
With the addition of Sunder Charms and the recent changes to Hydra, the Hydra Sorc is now a force to be reckoned with all the way up to players 8 difficulty. Specialising in the Fire Skill Tree, Hydra Sorcs melt their way through mobs leaving nothing in their wake. The raw damage output with the end game gear is huge and makes playing this build thoroughly enjoyable with a safe playstyle and very fast clear speeds.
The build is all centred around the Hydra skill in the Sorc’s Fire Spells skill tree, with additional damage coming from points in Fire Ball, Fire Bolt and Fire Mastery. Maxing out these skills will be complete at level 75 (with utility points spent elsewhere) so we can look for opportunities for increasing our damage output or survivability. For Softcore we can maximise our damage by putting points into Meteor as a synergy for Fire Ball, whereas Hardcore players may opt to gain the Energy Shield skill and dump points into Telekinesis to minimise the amount of mana consumed when struck.
Being a pure damage Sorc, stacking of Magic Find can be harder than some of the other Sorc builds. However, with a trade-off of less damage, you can change the end game gear around for higher magic find how you see fit.
Pros and Cons
- A lot of fun to play
- Unique playstyle
- Very high damage output
- Incredible movement through teleport and Sorc Cast Rate frames
- Monster Immunes can be an issue before obtaining the Sunder Charm
- Can feel squishy
- Can’t reach high levels of Magic Find effectively with End Game gear
- Frozen Armor (1)
- Static Field (1)
- Telekinesis (1)
- Teleport (1)
- Fire Bolt (20)
- Warmth (1)
- Inferno (1)
- Blaze (1)
- Fire Ball (20)
- Fire Wall (1)
- Enchant (1)
- Meteor (20)
- Fire Mastery (20)
- Hydra (20)
The above skill point allocation will take you all the way to Level 98, Meteor should be the final skill to maximise given it does not provide a direct damage boost to the Hydra skill.
A Sorc is extremely strong at early levelling, and is a very popular choice to start a new Ladder season with given the excellent mobility from Teleport.
The Hydra skill is not available until Level 30, however Fire Bolt (a synergy to Hydra) is available right from the start so we can use skill points here straight away without harming our end game build. Using a skill point in Frozen Armor and Warmth helps in the early game with sustaining mana and survivability, I would recommend getting these at level 5 or 6 once Fire Bolt is dealing good damage. At level 6 you should gain the Static Field skill, this is extremely strong in normal difficulty as the monsters have zero immunity – this means you can repeatedly cast the skill on packs of monsters until they are down to a small amount of health, then finish them off with Fire Bolt. This method works on bosses too. Once you hit Level 12, start putting Skill points into Fire Ball and use this as your main skill. The main difference here is that Fire Ball deals splash damage, whereas Fire Bolt is single target so you will clear things faster. Get Teleport at Level 18 to improve your mobility, you will have mana problems if you try to constantly teleport through the game, but the skill is extremely useful for repositioning this early. Keep going with points into Fire Ball until you reach Level 30, and switch to putting points into Hydra which will be your main skill forevermore, also try to get 1 point into Fire Mastery as the damage boost from the first level is big.
From Level 30 onwards, maximise your skills in the order below:
Hydra à Fire Mastery à Fire Ball à Fire Bolt à Meteor
This section is intended to showcase an item build that is achievable after completing the game and you are ready to start farming Hell. Most of these items are easily obtained and is a good starting base to be able to farm specific zones through hell. Teleporting to both Act 1 boss Andariel and Act 3 boss Mephisto, you should find these relatively easy and quick as well as reaping good loot from both bosses to allow trading. Another great farming location for a Hydra Sorceress is the Secret Cow level as there is high density allowing for faster clearing of mobs. A lesser known location for Fire builds is Stony Tomb in Act 2 Rocky Waste (dungeon beneath the area immediately outside Act 2) as there are no Fire Immunes in there, and the area level means any item in the game can drop.
Helm: “Lore” (Ort Sol) / Peasant Crown
Amulet: Volcanic Amulet of the Apprentice +3 Fire Skills 10% FCR
Note: A plain + Fire Skills amulet would also be okay
Weapon “Leaf” Runeword (Tir Ral) made in a Staff
Weapon Switch: 2x “Spirit” Runeword (Tal Thul Ort Amn) – this will give you a huge amount of Faster Cast Rate for teleporting around maps.
Armor Skin of the Viper Magi / “Stealth” Runeword (Tal Eth)
Belt: Gold Wrap
Rings: Faster Cast Rate / Utility Rings
Boots: Rare boots with Faster Run Walk / Resistances / Magic Find
Inventory: Charms with Life / Resistance / Magic Find
Mercenary: Act 2 Desert Mercenary with “Might” Aura and “Insight” Runeword (Ral Tir Tal Sol)
The end game build for a Hydra Sorceress is very expensive. But with the introduction of Sunder Charms the Hydra Sorceress is easily one of the most powerful characters in the game allowing easy farming even on players 8 difficulty. Two main breakpoints on a Hydra sorceress we need to achieve are 105% Faster Cast Rate and 30% Faster Hit Recovery. You can achieve a higher Faster Hit Recovery but for PvM it is unnecessary.
Prioritise making the Runewords “Infinity”, “Flickering Flame” and “Phoenix” as the minus to enemy fire resistance as well as the fire absorb and Redemption aura from “Phoenix” make facing any monster a walk in the park. Phoenix is a very expensive Runeword, but the benefits it brings to a Fire build are huge – not only the reduction in enemy’s fire resistance, but also the Redemption aura helps sustain our life and mana. Tri resistance rare boots are helpful on a Sorceress and provide a big boost to our resistances, which is needed. These can be extremely hard to find and a well rolled pair will be one of the most expensive items you need to acquire.
Helm: “Flickering Flame” Runeword (Nef Pul Vex) in a Bone Visage or Diadem
Amulet: Maras Kaleidoscope / Crafted caster Amulet 2 Sorceress Skills 10+ FCR All resistance Life/Mana
Weapon: “Heart of the Oak” Runeword (Ko Vex Pul Thul) / Eschutas Temper socketed with Fire Rainbow Facet
Shield: “Phoenix” Runeword (Vex Vex Lo Jah) in a Monarch Shield
Weapon Swap: “Call To Arms” (Amn Mal Ral Ist Ohm) and Spirit Shield (Tal Thul Ort Amn)
Armor: Skin of the Viper Magi Socket with Rainbow Fire Facet 5/-5 / “Chains of Honor” Runeword (Dol Um Ber Ist)
Rings: Stone of Jordan, Bul Kathos wedding band / Faster Cast Rate ring if you use “Chains of Honor”
Belt: Arachnids Mesh
Boots: Rare Boots with 30% Faster Run Walk, 10% Faster Hit Recovery, 3 Resistances 30+ / Ethereal Sandstorm Treks
Inventory: Flame Rift Sunder Charm
Grand Charms with + Fire Skills and + Life (as much as possible)
Small Charms with + Life and + All Resistances or + Life and + Mana
Sorc Hellfire Torch Large Charm
Annihilus Small Charm
Mercenary: Act 2 Desert Mercenary with Might aura and “Infinity” Runeword (Ber Mal Ber Ist), ethereal “Fortitude” Runeword and ethereal Andariel’s Visage socketed with an Increased Attack Speed / Fire Resistance Jewel
Strength: Enough to wear your gear
Vitality: The remainder of your points should be put here
Hydra Sorceress can easily take on Hardcore Hell with a few changes. The fundamental change would be to take the Energy Shield skill from Lightning Spells tree, and instead of using points into Meteor as suggested above – dump points into Telekinesis. Energy Shield means when you take damage it doesn’t just take down your Life but is shared between Life and Mana (the split depends on the level of Energy Shield). Normally a single point into the Energy Shield skill is sufficient, and then maximising points in Telekinesis to reduce the amount of mana consumed per hit. This skill is extremely strong for the Sorc as you gain more Mana per point in Energy, than you gain in Life per point in Vitality. I would also recommend using Stormshield instead of “Phoenix” as your shield so that we can achieve 75% block and gain a bit of Damage reduction.
Taking the Energy Shield skill and Stormshield means we need to change our stat allocation. Firstly, we will need enough points in Dexterity to achieve 75% block, and secondly we change from dumping points into Vitality to splitting between Vitality and Energy. My preference is a 1:2 split between Vitality and Energy, so for every 1 point you spend in Vitality spend 2 points in Energy. This gives you a nice balance between Life and Mana and if your Energy Shield disappears you still have a reasonable Life pool remaining to survive. If you reach End Game in Hardcore you can also make a “Memory” Runeword in a Staff base that has + 1-3 on Energy Shield on the base and use this as a prebuff to give a further boost to your Energy Shield
Prior to any engagement you will cast Battle Command to gain an extra skill, followed by Battle Orders to drastically grow your life and mana pool. Switching back to your main weapon to cast Frozen Armor for the highest amount of skills possible (and Energy Shield if playing Hardcore).
The Sorc’s Faster Cast Rate breakpoints make teleporting around maps extremely fast, and this build is excellent for Baalruns in particular because of this. The build isn’t just good for Baalruns however, it can clear any content in the game with ease! Once you reach a pack of monsters, immediately cast Hydra 6 times – this is the maximum number you can spawn, and each will last 10 seconds. Once all of your Hydras are up simply spam Fire Ball at the targets for even more damage. Any Champion or Elite pack of monsters will die well before the 10 second timer ends on your Hydras (even if they have high Fire Immunity!). On high player difficulties some bosses may require a second cast of Hydra (particularly Baal) however they will cause you little problem with the damage output from the build.
Diablo Clone is very easy to kill with this build. Simply follow the playstyle described above, making sure your Hydras are cast around the Clone and target him. Your Mercenary is fundamental here with the Conviction aura reducing the Clone’s resistance, so you will need to feed him potions if he starts taking damage to make sure he stays alive.
Uber Tristram is not viable with this build, however the Mini Ubers (Lilith, Izual and Duriel) can be killed with ease following the playstyle above. You will need to clear the areas of minions to make sure you don’t take damage and your Mercenary can concentrate on the boss.
If you'd rather skip farming you can quickly buy D2R Items from our D2R Store.
I should have double checked your info with the Wiki. I just wanted three valuable runes (Mal Ist Ohm) because you mentioned the Heart of the Oak Runeword in the wrong order :(https://imgur.com/a/lDgXd6BIt's not "Amn Mal Ral Ist Ohm" but "Amn Ral Mal Ist Ohm". Very frustrating, this was probably the most valuable shit I have.