With this build I wanted to go with the typical caster character. I generally like to use a class the way it was first intended before branching off with more hybrid builds. In this build I take all of the skills from the Arcane tree and a few passives from Lore tree. Your character becomes a glass cannon just like the Sorceress in Diablo 2 with flashy spells that fill the screen and kill everything. But of course it’s easy to die when you get surrounded by monsters.
Level 1 – 35: 4 points in Magic, 1 point in Defense each level
Level 36+: Alternate 4 Magic, 3 Defense and 3 Magic, 2 Defense as needed for survivability
Four Magic points per level will ensure maximum magic damage. You need a little Defense for gear. Even armor that requires mostly Magic still has some Defense requirements. If Defense wasn’t required for gear, I would put 5 points in Magic every level. At high levels, you will probably need to start to putting a few more points in Defense every level to survive. Just don’t go overboard. Dying in Torchlight doesn’t have a big penalty.
Elemental Overload VI is critical for skills and spells that do elemental damage. Without it the monsters will have too high magic damage reduction that your spells and skills will all be glancing blows.
Fireball VI and Frost VI are nice spells to supplement your skills. Fireball in particular does really good damage at high levels, so it will last you a long time. Frost is mainly for crowd control. Frozen enemies move very slowly giving you time to move around.
For the pet we have some defensive spells. I could have gone with Fireball and Frost again for more damage, but I wanted a little bit more variety. Silence is nice to limit monsters from casting spells. Ranged damage is the Alchemist’s main weakness.
With my other characters, my pet always seemed to get beat on all the time. Retribution does a lot of damage to all those monsters attacking the pet with up to 80 percent melee damage reflected.
10 Ember Bolt
10 Magic Weapon Expertise
10 Critical Strikes
10 Ember Lightning
10 Advanced Spellcasting
10 Ember Lance
10 Offensive Spell Mastery
4 Defensive Spell Mastery (help with pet skills)
10 Ember Strike
10 Pet Mastery
10 Ember Shield
10 Treasure Hunter
Total: 154 (Lv 100, Fame 55)
At any time I like to be working on both an active skill and a passive skill, though I make one exception. When I get high enough level to access one of the new active skills, I immediately put one point in it. Most skills work really well with just one point. I keep focusing points in the earlier active skills but also have access to the higher level spells for certain situations.
With this build you are taking all of the fun caster spells and will be able to deal with any situation. Early in the game you will be using Ember Bolt for your single target damage and Iceshock for area damage. Iceshock will also slow enemies down, so it can be used for some crowd control of the monsters.
These two skills will mostly be ignored once you get Ember Lightning and Ember Lance. Ember Lightning will be your best area damage with Ember Lightning for champions and bosses. Ember Lightning does well against all monsters really, but you won’t have enough mana to use it exclusively when it first becomes available.
Pyre is a replacement for Iceshock with similar functionality except Pyre does more damage and fire instead of ice. It being fire damage, it does not slow enemies down like Iceshock. It should be used as an alternate to Ember Lightning, because some monsters are resistant to lightning damage and fire damage will be effective against them.
The last damage skill you get is Ember Strike. This is basically a meteor that comes down on monsters, but the cast time is slow. Use it on monsters that aren’t moving around much (behind walls, on upper/lower platforms).
Ember Shield is the last skill you get. At the higher levels, you will have trouble with monster damage to your character. Ember Shield scales really well with your attributes. It will protect you from thousands of damage points.
The passive skills you can get in basically any order except for Critical Strikes, Magic Weapons Expertise, and Advanced Spellcasting. Critical Strikes is +22% to all damage, the biggest buff the Alchemist gets from a passive skill.
Magic Weapons Expertise is also really important. It increases your Staff or Wand damage by 60% at max rank. Many skills get bonus damage based on your magic weapon damage, so this skill indirectly boosts your skill damage.
Advanced Spellcasting saves you from having to carry a stash of mana potions in your inventory all the time. Mana doesn’t regenerate fast enough for you to spam skills without it. You could say this is more of a convenience skill, but buying less mana potions means having more gold for gambling item upgrades. Over the long run, you will have better damage from those upgrades.
Stats to Look For
+X Magic Attribute
+X% All Physical & Elemental Damage
+X% Fire/Ice/Lightning/Poison Damage
+X Fire/Ice/Lightning/Poison Damage
These are the stats to look for on gear and the general order of importance for this build. The Magic Attribute is the best thing you can increase followed by the “All Physical & Elemental Damage” item stat and then element-specific stats after that. Element-specific stats only affect skills and spells that use that element. For example, Ember Bolt would only get bonuses from +X% Poison Damage and +X Poison Damage stats, not any other element stats.
+X Defense Attribute
+X Fire/Ice/Lightning/Poison Resistance
This is a glass cannon build, so you don’t care so much about your defenses. Still, you may see some items with the above damage stats and some of these defense stats. Defense Attribute boosts your overall Defense, but most of the deadly enemies will be casters that do elemental damage where straight element resistance is better.