Shock and Awe: A Storm Sorcerer's Guide
So, you want to learn how to be a wielder of arcane arts, you say, and wizardry is too tricky for you? Fear not, the path of a sorcerer is both easy and profitable to walk, especially the path of a storm sorcerer. We wield lightning and thunder like warlocks wield fire and darkness, and we obliterate our foes through arcane might and soar through the skies like the dragons of yore.
Now...quiet your mind, and call upon all of the power within you. You, too, can wield the arts of the storm sorcerers, the wielders of the 'cold-blooded fire.'
This handbook will use the following system for ratings, much thanks go to lordduskblade, who invented this system IIRC):
"#FF0000">Red: Complete and utter junk. This is either completely useless or overshadowed entirely by another, better option.
Purple: This is for options that are either awfully situational or which are just under the curve. They aren't untakable, but you always have significantly better choices.
"#000000">Black: This is an OK power; you could do worse. But it could be better.
Blue: Good stuff. You want this, but there's one ranking that's even better.
Sky Blue: Top tier. In most situations, this is the best option for you.
This handbook covers the following sources right now: PHB- Player's Handbook, PHB 2- Player's Handbook 2, AP- Arcane Power, D XXX- Dragon Magazine, issue XXX (I only have access to a few, namely issues 364-367, at least for right now; more information would be MUCH welcome)
More sources coming soon as I gain access to them. But really, for the discerning Storm Sorcerer, you really only need the Player's Handbook, the Player's Handbook 2, and Arcane Power. Especially Arcane Power.
References (i.e., will be borrowing shamelessly from):
(Peach) Drow Storm Sorcerer
Drow Storm Sorcerer- Flight Theme
Storm Sorcerer- Optimizing Lightning Strike
Stormsoul Genasi Sorcerer Build
Joe's Sorcerer Guide
How to be a Gishy Squishy: A Sorcerer Handbook
LordYawgamoth's original thread
PLEASE NOTE: This guide only covers the Storm Magic spell source available for the sorcerer, introduced in Arcane Power. If you aren't interested in Storm Sorcerers per se, this guide probably isn't for you. The same goes if you don't have Arcane Power. Thank you for listening. Additionally, this guide has been heavily revised since the original author left it; some parts may still read a little schizophrenic as a result.
Baseline Mechanics: The Lightning Mage's Visage
HP, Surges, and Proficiencies
Hit Points: 12 + Con score at 1st level; 5 at each level thereafter. You have the same amount of hit points a Warlock does, and you have a bit more than a Wizard does. Not bad; could be worse.
Healing Surges: 6 + Con modifier. You get the same amount of healing surges a Warlock or a Wizard does, so you can't really ask for much more. Again, not bad.
Proficiencies: You start out with the same kind of proficiencies a warlock does, but you're better at wielding weapons than a wizard usually is. But then again, who needs weapons when you can hurl lightning bolts, aye?
Features (Storm Magic)
Spell Source: Storm Magic: Well, now we're getting to the meat of the storm sorcerer class. This feature is divided into several sections, for your convenience. On the whole, this is one of the better sorcerer spell sources, providing TWO resist/peirces that remain constant. In particular, you fare well compared to your fellow dexterity-based sorcerer, the wild sorcerer.
Storm Power: WOW. This is very good. You get a bonus to your damage rolls of all arcane powers equal to your Dexterity modifier, and this only gets better when you reach 11th and 2lst level. Be thankful you have this.
Storm Soul: Hmm, this is quite good. You get resist 5 to lightning and thunder attacks, and your attack powers with those keywords ignore lightning and thunder resistance. But wait, there's more! If you're facing enemies that don't happen to have powers with those keywords, you can always give up the resistance/overrruling resistance power to get a hefty bonus to your defenses if you're hit with an attack. (This is actually how the power will be used in most encounters.) Very nice!
Storm's Embrace: Well, you can't have it all, can you? Not that I'm saying this power's bad, but it could be better. When you roll a natural 20 on a power, you can push the target a bit and fly for a number of squares equal to 1 + your Dex mod. There's not much you can do to exploit this, since you can't really trigger it with any degree of reliability, but it's a nice benefit when it pops up.
Storm Power Riders: There are generally three classes of powers that have storm power riders attached: thunder powers, lightning powers, and wind-themed powers that deal neither thunder not lightning damage. A common benefit of the storm power rider is the option to not target the origin square of an area attack - the "eye of the storm" effect - allowing you to aim around the defender. Other riders give you the ability to fly for a turn when you use them, and some push or prone the target. Note that it's not always the case that the power with a storm power rider is the best at any given level.
Races: Natural Born Lightning Mages
These ratings lean heavily on the race's stat line, in particular whether they have a Charisma boost. That doesn't mean that the other races, typically rated lower, offer nothing, but a Charisma boost represents +1 to hit and +1 to damage to every attack you make during your entire career, plus a few miscellaneous benefits, and that's just really hard to compete with. Dexterity is also very important for Storm Sorcerers. The minor benefits that other stats bring are just nowhere near as important.
"#0000FF">Dragonborn: Overall, make pretty good sorcerers in general. They make even better Dragon Magic sorcerers, thanks to their +2 Str and Cha bonus, and flavor fully speaking, they fit well as Dragon Magic sorcerers. But that doesn't necessarily mean they can't be decent sorcerers- they have one of the two most important ability score boosts, and they have a kewl breath ability, so I'd say they're a pretty decent choice, overall. They're pretty similar to the gnomes in terms of benefits.
Dwarf: Not only do most of the Dwarf racial traits tend to not help the storm sorcerer cause very much, but the Dwarf race only has a stat boost to one of the tertiary storm sorcerer stats. Just pass this one by.
"#000000">Eladrin: Like elves, you have a bonus to dexterity and to a likely dump stat. Your encounter power isn't as awesome for sorcerers as it is for a lot of other classes, and a lot of the feat support involves messing with longswords and the like.
Elf: One of the better non-charisma races, you at least have dex and a great encounter power. Their racial power is arguably among the best in the game, as it goes a long way towards making your best attack each encounter a hit.
"#0000FF">Half-Elf: As always, half-elves are a spectacular choice no matter which direction you decide to run in for your Storm Sorcerer build. The racial traits, especially the Dilettante trait, are extremely helpful, and the stat bonuses are in the Storm Sorcerer's favor. A solid choice. Bards, rogues, paladins, warlocks, and archer rangers have reasonable choices for dilettante powers; only the bard and warlock choices will give you your Storm Power bonus, though, and mind your implemnets.
Halfling: I never thought I'd say this, but it turns out hobbits make good lightning-bolt wielders after all. Okay, bad joke over, halflings get the same stat bonuses that Drow and Changelings do- +2 Dex, +2 Cha- which already makes them a very solid choice, but they're also more nimble and have good racial traits, so like I've said, you wouldn't be making a mistake by choosing this race.
"#3BB9FF">Human: As always, humans continue to favor whatever class and build they damn well please, their stat boosts and racial traits being so open-ended and powerful that no matter what kind of class you're playing as, you could make your character a human and it'd always be a good decision. Another solid choice.
Tiefling: And last but not least, the tieflings. Tieflings make pretty good storm sorcerers, as their stat boosts make them naturally inclined towards arcane classes, and their racial traits are such that any class can benefit from them. A decent choice. If you want to poach some things from a Wizard multiclass, they can manage that.
"#FF0000">Deva: Hurm. Well, this isn't exactly easy for me to say, seeing as I'm rather fond of the Deva, but unfortunately I just have to say it: Deva suck at being Sorcerers. Their racial bonuses are good, but they don't have ANY of the three main ability score bonuses a Storm sorcerer should have. Do not want.
Gnome: Gnomes, on the other hand, are actually quite good. They get a +2 racial bonus to Charisma, and they also get a bunch of interesting powers like the ability to mimic cantrips or become invisible. Not a bad choice, especially if you're going to reach for a Wizard multiclass.
"#FF0000">Goliath: All aboard the failboat! Not only does the Goliath not have bonuses for either Dexterity or Charisma, almost everything about them is geared towards melee fighting, and Storm Sorcerers aren't fighters!
Half-Orc: You could do worse; you've got a bonus to Dexterity, which is nice, and your racial power is a no-frills 1d8 damage, which is so-so early on and kind of insignificant later. (Though there's feat support for it that makes it more relevant.) The rest of your features are mostly wasted, especially the charging bonus. (It's possible to but together extremely unusual sorcerers that charge, but that's probably not what you're doing.) On the whole, you'll probably want to look elsewhere.
"#800080">Shifter: For the Shifter race, there's really only one option available that could even be slightly good, and that's the razortooth shifter, because it gets a +2 bonus to Dexterity and gets a neat defensive power. Longtooth shifters, on the other hand, make HORRIBLE storm sorcerers. No matter which flavor of Shifter you choose, it's still a bad deal.
Races- Dragon Magazines
"#000000">Gnoll: Believe it or not, Gnolls actually make decent storm Sorcerers. Their +2 bonus to Dexterity and Constitution helps them increase some of the more important ability scores a Storm Sorcerer can have, even though that's basically their main advantage, and all the others are melee-oriented powers. Not a bad choice, but there are much, much better ones.
Warforged: Um, ew. Not only do Warforged not get either of the two Most Important Skills a Storm Sorcerer Should Have, Charisma and Dexterity, but the only thing going for them is a tertiary stat bonus and a few minor racial power gimmicks. Not a good choice AT ALL.
Races- Other (Best Races Are In Here)
"#3BB9FF">Drow: Words alone cannot express how perfect of a race this is for the storm sorcerer builds. Not only does it have BOTH important Storm Sorcerer stats, but Drow also get neat spell-like abilities that work very well for you. They may be the single best choice for the job.
Changeling: Not to be confused with the award-winning drama with the same name starring Angelina Jolie, Changelings have the exact same score boosts Drow do- +2 to Dex, +2 to Cha-, but they also get a very interesting at-will ability, that lets them take on the shape of ANY humanoid. Personally, I'd have to go with Drow or Halfling, but Changelings are still worth a look and they're a very solid choice. If you're picking this race over Halfling or Drow, it's for the shapechanging or for style, since their encounter racial power is a little clumsy for you and they have very little feat support and a terrible racial paragon path.
"#0000FF">Goblins (MMI): I've heard very good things about Goblins from outside sources, and their +2 bonuses to Dexterity and Charisma make them a prime choice. Their racial abilities aren't half bad either, but I still recommend the drow and the changelings over this.
Kenku (MMII): Kenku make great Storm Sorcerers; they have a +2 bonus to Dexterity and Charisma. As a MM race, though, they have no support, and storm sorcerers don't really flank much. A good choice. I'm not sure how exactly their mimicry power works; it seems like any character could try to bluff a fake voice if they want to, and the power, unlike the changeling's similar power, doesn't give you any numerical benefit.
Revenant (Dragon): Want some other race's feats, abilities, or other options, but don't want their crummy stat line? Want to be hard to kill while you're at it? Dex/Con is a pretty good combination for you, so if your racial choice is letting you down in the stat department, you can work around that by simply being dead.
Genesi (FRPG): These stats aren't doing much for you, but you have several interesting racial power options.
Kalashtar (EPG): If for some reason you're after a Wis-based feat or multiclass, this might look better. Their racial abilities lean towards the defensive, and they can communicate telepathically. Nothing special, but their charisma bonus makes them a nice choice all around.
Ability Scores: Power of the Lightning Mages
There's a good quote by joemama1512 about the importance of stat placement, as I've displayed here:
joemama1512: For a sorcerer, your secondary stat is VERY important. It affects your Armor Class and damage, and many rider effects of powers. Your prime affects AB and damage.
Hence, I strongly recommend a 16,16,13,11,10,8 array for everyone! New info shows that pretty much ALL sorcs will want the Dual-Implement Casting feat by paragon (DEX 13 required), so all Dragon sorcs will want a 12,12 split for CON/DEX.
The 16s of course go into CHA and your secondary attribute(STR or DEX)
Strength: Ordinarily, Strength might be a fairly important score for sorcerers, especially if you are a Dragon Magic sorcerer, but you should probably be focusing on fighting with your spells rather than with your fists. Then again, Strength, gives you the possibility of taking a power with a STR-rider and getting a +1 off of it, and some sorcerer options, especially at Epic levels, need a good Strength score in order to be used best.
Constitution: Constitution is a pretty good tertiary stat for a sorcerer, seeing as you're fragile enough already without low Constitution weighing you down, and it enhances your chances of survival. It's a good idea to invest into this stat a little, but this isn't as important as, say, Dexterity or Charisma. Unless you're going for a particular feat or multiclass, this is a nice place for your 13.
Dexterity: This is about as important as Charisma, because a bunch of your storm sorcerer abilities are enhanced by having a high Dexterity (like Storm Power, for example), in addition to plenty of sorcerer spells getting better the higher of a Dex score you have. Try to have as high of a Dexterity score as possible, but this ability score is probably second to Charisma.
Intelligence: Intelligence....isn't all that important for a sorcerer, surprisingly, as pretty much none of your sorcerer spells get better if you have a higher Int score, and the only use you could get out of this is probably by using it in tandem with Int-based skills you might learn. This is basically a useless stat for you, unless you utilize Int-related skills a lot. There are some interesting feats a Wizard multiclass gives you access to; if you're after some of those, you're going to have to drop a 13 in here.
Wisdom: See 'Intelligence' above, but replace 'Intelligence' with 'Wisdom' in every sentence and that's about right. But seriously, there are more skills available to you as a sorcerer that focus on Wisdom, rather than Intelligence, so if you had to spend some points that are burning a hole in your proverbial pocket, put them here, but I wouldn't advise it. This is basically your least important ability score. If for some reason there's something you want from a wis-based multiclass, you're going to have to drop 13 in here.
Charisma: This, along with Dexterity, is probably your most important stat of all. This determines how effective your sorcerer powers are, how good of a benefit you get from your storm sorcerer class traits, and much more. Try to make your Charisma score as high as possible.
Skills: Talents of the Lightning Mages
Arcana: This is actually a pretty useful skill for you, you being an arcane caster and all, but unfortunately, Intelligence is one of your dump stats so this skill will probably never get the chance to shine. You're already auto-trained in it as soon as you take the sorcerer class anyway, so it's not like you have a choice in the matter.
Athletics: Don't get me wrong, Athletics is pretty useful in certain situations, and if you need to swim, climb, or get out of sticky situations, Athletics and Acrobatics are the skills to use, but this skill doesn't trigger off of one of your primary ability scores, and not even your tertiary ability score, downgrading its usefulness. Note that this is one of the skills that sometimes everyone has to make a check for, so if you've got extra skill training lying around (human?), this isn't the worst choice.
Bluff: Ah, now that's more like it. Bluff triggers off of one of your primary attributes, Charisma, making it a very useful and viable skill for you, and it's useful in a variety of situations, whether you need to convince an NPC a necklace isn't stolen or that you're a chromatic dragon polymorphed into a drow. A solid choice. It also has combat applications that are usually not worth the action required to use them, but are good to have in your pocket.
Diplomacy: Pitch-perfect. That's really all I can say about this skill. As a charisma class, you're likely the party face, and in most campaigns this is a little more broadly applicable than intimidate or bluff.
Dungeoneering: Dungeoneering, on the other hand, isn't very useful at all. Not only does it trigger off of Wisdom, one of your two dump stats, it also really only works if you're in a dungeon trying to find food or water, or if you face aberrant creatures pretty often. Ignore this.
Endurance: Even though the amount of situations that you can effectively use this power in are limited, it's still a useful skill to have, since no one likes dying of mummy rot, thirst, or starvation. A decent choice.
History: Doesn't trigger off of one of your primary attributes, isn't very useful for a storm sorcerer, and overall is a better skill for a wizard or swordmage to have. Usually you only need one person to have this anyway.
Insight: This skill, while it's very useful for other classes, and it's a nice talent to have in a pinch, just isn't right for you, because it doesn't trigger off your primary or secondary stats and overall, there are better choices.
Intimidate: Intimidate, on the other hand, is VERY useful. It's basically the opposite number of Diplomacy and can accomplish many of the things Diplomacy can, only you use Jack Bauer-esque methods to get your target to cough up information. It's really a matter of preference whether you want this or Diplomacy, but I wouldn't blame you if you chose both. Both are solid choices.
Nature: Doesn't trigger off your primaries, and isn't the broadest skill out there. Additionally, there are a ton of classes and multiclass feats that give this automatically, so it's likely that someone else will have it. One person having this in a party is typically enough.
Acrobatics: Ironically, this is actually more useful to you than Athletics is, despite this skill doing many of the same things Athletics does, from escaping from grabs to balancing on objects. Seeing as this triggers off of Dexterity, this skill's definitely worth a look, but keep in mind the fact that this isn't one of your normal class skills, so you have to go out of your way to acquire it.
Heal: Heal is pretty useful in the grand scheme of things, as it can save your allies from dying and keep yourself alive longer; however, it isn't a class skill and it triggers off of Wisdom, one of your dump stats, so this skill's pretty much useless unless you have a decent Wisdom score. Furthermore, most basic heal DCs are low enough that in later tiers it's possible to make them even untrained off of your crummy int.
Perception: Perception is pretty useful too, inside and outside of combat, but unfortunately, it isn't a class skill and it triggers off of Wisdom. You'd do well to overlook this.
Religion: Religion isn't a bad skill, but it suffers from the same problems Arcana does. It isn't a skill that you normally get and your dump stat makes this skill much better than normal. It's another skill that half of the classes and multiclass feats in the game hand out for free, so it's likely that someone else has this covered.
Stealth: Stealth is pretty useful for the sneaky storm sorcerers out there. You can potentially gain concealment and combat advantage, and this skill's pretty useful inside and outside of combat. It's a good choice, but it isn't on your class list, so you'd have to make arrangements appropriately. Don't forget that there are plenty of skills on your class list that ARE good and useful. If you're an Eladrin or you take a multiclass feat that gives it as an option, it's a very good choice.
Streetwise: Now we're getting into the good ones. Streetwise is pretty much a reflavored History with a roguish twist on it, and it's very useful for gathering information on towns and cities. It also triggers off of Charisma, making this skill a very decent choice.
Thievery: Again, if you're a sneaky storm sorcerer, this skill's a good choice for you. It triggers off of Dexterity, and it's very, very effective inside and outside of combat, whether you want to disable traps, open locks, pick pockets, or perform magic tricks. A solid choice, and if the party hasn't got an Assassin, Rogue, Monk or Ranger, you may be the best at this. Good target for Eladrin Education if you don't want Stealth.
Storm Sorcerer Style and How to Destroy/Multiclassing
Storm Sorcerer Style: How to Obliterate
Close vs. Ranged - Despite being solidly a long-range class, sorcerers have enough close attacks that getting up in your enemies' faces can pay off if your built for it. Storm doesn't really do this as well as Dragon does, though. The options are definitely there to pull it off, but if that's the sort of sorcerer you're looking to play, you should probably be a Dragon. If you do decide to walk the path of the close-range Storm Sorc, you'll likely want to focus on thunder powers that are blasts, since they're very well supported with various feats and paragon paths. Note that no matter what range you intend to fight at, you should consider having at least some option when you're forced to fight at the other range. For long-range storm sorcs, Storm Walk or Sorcerous Blade Channeling might fill the bill.
Everything changes here at paragon, when you can pick up Arcane Reach. This makes it much easier to hit enemies with your close blasts without getting right up in their faces, and it also makes it easier to drop the blast somewhere where it won't hit allies. You can even stand behind the defender and drop your blasts in front of her. When you have the time to pick up Arcane Reach, look back at your earlier power choices to see if there's some you want to retrain into blasts.
Lasers vs. Grenades - This may be sort of a false dichotomy. There are some powers that are big hits to a single enemy, and there are some powers that are area effects or multitarget effects, and you likely want some of each. Unless you go the path of the Thunder Blast user, there's not really much incentive to stay heavily one way or the other. Which way you lean depends a lot on who else is in your party. If there's two rogues in your party, you'll get more value out of multitarget powers. If there's two controllers, then minions are probably taken care of and you can focus on attacks that hit single targets harder. When choosing powers, however, remember that the ability to get all your static mods all over people is very valuable; area effects are very valuable for sorcerers. Once you get Arcane Reach, it becomes easier to use your close blasts, so their stock rises dramatically.
Lightning vs. Thunder vs. Both vs. Whatever
You only have so many feats and you only have one paragon path, so it's sometimes worth it for a Storm Mage to further specialize down to a single damage type.
Lightning - Lightning powers tend to be big single target hits or, later on, multitarget ranged attacks, but there are some excellent exceptions. The big kahuna in terms of boosting your lightning powers is the Lightning Fury paragon path, which does zilch for thunder powers. Lightning gets much more limited feat support than thunder; Lightning Arc, at paragon, is not bad, especially if you use a Jagged Dagger (or are a Daggermaster, but if you're lightning focused, you're probably a Lightning Fury.)
Thunder - Thunder is well-supported by feats. Thunder leans slightly towards blast and burst powers, but there are some notable exceptions. Echoes of Thunder starts things up in heroic, but it's Resounding Thunder in Paragon that really rewards thunder area powers. Solid Sound at paragon makes it safer for you to put yourself in danger.
Both/Either - There are some advantages to making sure that you have some of each of lightning and thunder powers. Not only do many relevant feats and the Lyrandar Wind-Rider paragon path worth for both equally well, but Oncoming Storm relies on a willingness to alternate. (Note that Oncoming Storm is good but not awesome; it gives you +1 to hit with, at best, every other attack, until you can get some powers that are both lightning and thunder.) Most importantly, by not limiting yourself to one element too hard, you can simply take more good powers.
Whatever - It's perfectly legit to be a Storm Sorcerer and choose a lot of powers that aren't lightning or thunder, whether that's the wind-themed powers that sometimes have storm sorcerer riders or simply sorcerer attacks that are just very powerful. It's not the end of the world if not every one of your attacks benefits from your feats.
As of the most recent updates, elemental damage types and keywords from weapons transfer to powers when those weapons are used as implements. This is MASSIVE for storm sorcerers, as you can, for example, make all of your powers lightning simply by using a lightning dagger. (There's currently no thunder conversion weapon, which is a bummer, as that would be truly insane.) If you're converting your powers to lightning via your weapon, then there's little reason to focus on powers that are already lightning; you might as well take whatever you want. If that's what you're doing, then I'd take a look at one of the full sorcerer guides, which rates every power.
The primary reason to want to use a lightning dagger is that you're a Lightning Fury. It's not worth using a Level+4 weapon just for Lightning Arc or whatever. In fact, by going up just one level, you can get the next highest level of Magic Weapon, which offers an additional +1 to hit, damage, and crit dice. The primary disadvantages of the lightning dagger are that it's a Level+4 weapon and that you're taking up your weapon slot, which could be used for something like a Jagged Dagger (Level+1). Additionally, as of the most recent rulings, it removes all other damage types from powers when it is turned on, meaning it's no longer a good way of making powers both lightning and thunder.
Storm Sorcerer Powers
This guide does not attempt to review every power available to storm sorcerers; instead, we focus on those likely to be of special interest to them. If you don't mind wandering off theme on a regular basis, check out one of the more general sorcerer guides for opinions of which non-stormy powers are good options.
Choosing Storm Sorcerer Powers
There are three important things to keep in mind when choosing storm sorcerer powers (or sorcerer powers in general.)
First, your lightning and thunder powers are only as potent as the feat, item, and paragon path support you put into them. On your own, the only special advantage they have is that they ignore some resistance, which is nice, but not alarmingly significant most of the time. This means that you want to consider carefully the effect of the paragon path and feats you're picking on your powers. For lightning, that means likely the Lightning Fury paragon path. For thunder, that means one of a few okayish thunder paragon paths or a series of feats that improve thunder attacks. If you're not character options to support them, then there's not a ton of mechanical reason to be focused too heavily on lightning and thunder powers to begin with. (Not that the resistance piercing isn't nice.)
Second, it's important to take damage dice with a grain of salt. As a striker, you really are all about damage, damage, damage. (Sorcerers can be built to do all right at other things, but damage is likely always a priority.) The thing is, Sorcerers get a lot of their damage from +mods, including your Storm Power, Charisma Bonus, enhancement bonus, and all of the nice damage bonuses you get from items, feats, and leaders. A power that deals 4d6 might look twice as damaging as a power that deals 2d6, but it's just seven damage. If you've got +20 damage as static mods, then you're looking at 27 vs. 34 on average, which is not insignificant by any means, but it means that if the lower-damage power has impressive side benefits it can be worth taking. This is especially true if it's a multitarget power. While hitting two enemies for 27 is not as good as hitting one enemy for 27 twice (focus fire!), it's typically better than hitting one enemy for 34. This doesn't mean that the damage dice are insignificant, because they really aren't, but tiny differences in the amount of damage dealt are not worth giving up powerful other features for.
Third is that your powers last you many, many levels. While you can freely retrain, a damage gap between two powers that's significant when you take the power can be irrelevant by the the time you would naturally grow out of it. Keep your eyes open for places to retrain powers that are now worse than when you took them.
Powers- Heroic Tier: Fundamentals of the Lightning Mage
Level 1 (At-Will Powers)
Choosing Sorcerer At-Will Powers
Storm sorcerers face a bit of an interesting dilemma when it comes to choosing at-will powers, as there are two valuable things that certain Sorcerer powers offer.
The first is the option to be used as an ranged basic attack. Without one of these powers, your ranged basic attack consists most likely of hurling a dagger for fairly low damage, as many of your static modifiers won't apply. If you don't have a party member that's a regular source of free ranged basic attacks, then you don't have to worry, but if you do, it's nice to be able to use a power in that situation. It's more valuable if you're not planning on using daggers in any capacity. Unfortunately, neither your two options for a ranged basic spell deal lightning or thunder damage. Your choices are Dragonfrost, which targets Fort and pushes one square, and Acid Orb, which does 1 extra damage, targets reflex, and has an impressive range. Dragon 381 adds Energy Strobe, which lacks Acid Orb's range and Dragonfrost's range, but does a random damage type, and two times out of six it's lightning or thunder. It also gives you a turn of random elemental resistance. They're all comparable enough that if you are going to take one of them to have an RBA, it's pretty much up to you. Whichever you choose, if you want to make it lightning or thunder, you can use arcane admixture at paragon. Ultimately, this is something that many storm sorcs won't really have to worry about, since granting RBA isn't terribly common (unless you're partied with an Eagle Shaman), and it's not the end of the world if yours isn't very good. There are a few items that boost RBA, but you're fine just taking other items in their place if you don't want to bother with these spells.
The second is the ability to make attack rolls against multiple targets. This is huge for sorcerers, because it allows you to splash your impressive +mods against more targets. Once again, unfortunately, neither of your on-element choices offer this. (Lightning Strike does hit two targets, but only one gets a damage roll for the associated +mods, so the bounce is mostly useful for hitting minions.) Your choices here are Burning Spray and Blazing Starfall. Burning Spray does 2 more damage, but is an close blast, making it harder to deploy unless you're planning on being in melee a lot; Blazing Starfall is an area effect of a normally superior damage type. Most storm sorcs that want a multitarget at-will will go for Blazing Starfall. Don't be dissuaded by the low damage; even at level 1, the extra two damage dealt by Burning Spray isn't terribly significant compared to your static mods. (9.5 average damage vs 11.5, if you're 18/16.)
Chaos Bolt uniquely targets will, often the lowest defense, and storm sorcs get few attacks vs. will, but you almost certainly just won't have room for it, even as a human. It's not worth the feat to Arcane Admixture it, since the benefit versus your other at-wills is awfully small.
This leaves Storm Sorcs with a bit of a conundrum, since their two on-element at-wills are among the least impressive. Not taking Blazing Starfall keeps you on-theme, but can cost you a lot of damage. (It's well worth giving up two or three damage against one foe due to the lower damage die if it means hitting one or two others for all your static mods.)
Lightning Strike: This is a reasonable choice, offing a minion or grazing a more significant target while you nail the primary target. If you're focusing on lightning spells, you'll probably take this. It's a pretty basic ranged 10 attack that deals lightning damage, and it deals 1d8 + Charisma modifier damage normally to the original target. But wait, there's more- it also deals damage equal to your Dex mod to a target within 10 squares. You can also distribute the Storm Power bonus you get to either attack, so you can split the total potential 20 damage (with a +4 Charisma bonus) evenly or unevenly. The only major strike against this power is its competition; it doesn't really offer anything that every other power doesn't offer. The ability to put the Storm Power bonus on either target rarely matters.
Storm Walk: If you're focusing on thunder powers, you'll want this. It doesn't have the minion-capping capabilities of Lightning Strike, which can hit two targets, but you get the bonus of shifting one square before or after the attack. If you can somehow guarantee that you're not going to attract attention from enemies, then the bonus is wasted, but for most sorcerers the ability to effectively shift for free when you use this is golden; it allows you, when assailed by melee foes, to shift, attack, and run someplace safe all in the same turn. It targets fort, which is sort of a bummer. Note that many of the thunder-enhancing character options improve thunder blasts or bursts, making this ineligible for some of the thunder goodness.
Ultimately, your choice of At-Will powers will be determined by the extent to which you want to remain on-theme and the relative emphasis you're placing on lightning powers and on thunder powers. You can always retrain at-wills, so you can take something like Blazing Starfall early when you don't have any meaningful improvements to lightning and thunder powers, and then retrain it to one of the others later, when you have AoE capability from your encounter powers and are looking to maximize the number of lightning or thunder powers at your command. Alternately, you can take Lightning Strike and Thunder Step to begin with, and retain one of them for Blazing Starfall or something at paragon, when you can use Arcane Admixture to give it the damage type of your choice. Pretty much any combination of powers is somewhat defensible.
Level 1 (Encounter Powers)
Thunder Slam: It does the most damage - four more on average then Pinning Bolt or Thundering Roar - but targets fort and just pushes, which is only kind of good. It's a reasonable option, but nothing crazy unless you have some way to capitalize on pushes or are really looking for as much single-target oomph as you can put together.
Pinning Bolt: It represents a not-insignificant loss of damage verses Thunder Slam (at level 1; the damage differential is less significant by paragon), but the kicker is slowing your target and knocking them prone. Reflex is a marginally better defense to target than fortitude as well. Slow + prone is a nice pair of effects to get on a brute that's not already next to your friends. Prone is more awesome if you have a melee-heavy party; this power's stock rises slightly if that's the case.
Thundering Roar: This is one of your multitarget options, but as a party-unfriendly close blast it's a little clumsy if you're not a rare close-quarters storm sorcerer. It's a blast 3 spell, meaning you already have to get close to your opponent, close enough for them to hit you, which is pretty much a bad thing all of the time, and while attack roll penalties being thrown in is good, this power really doesn't have as many good bonuses as Pinning Bolt, so I've given it a lower score. Feat support can make this better, but you don't see the most relevant feat until paragon. Lastly, it targets fort, normally a bit harder to hit.
Whirlwind: This is a great power for helping keep things close to your defender, especially if your defender is a fighter. The ability to not target the "eye of the storm" means that it's easier to hit just enemies with this power in general, meaning that you can more frequently hit multiple enemies without endangering allies. Drawbacks are that its lack of damage type keeps it from benefiting from your feats and path features, it targets fort, and it's the lowest damage choice, clocking in at 1.5 damage less than Pinning Bolt and Thundering Roar.
Level 1 (Daily Powers)
Chromatic Orb: Again, this isn't TECHNICALLY a lightning or thunder spell, but it can be, thanks to the random nature of the spell, and this spell still does very good damage and can cause a variety of ill effects for your foes - even when it misses. It's a good choice. Drawbacks are that you're only hitting one thing and that it has only a 1/6 chance of being lightning and isn't ever thunder.
Shocking Magnetism: This power is your first taste of being able to hit multiple targets without having to worry about positioning, allowing you to do more total damage. You can pull your foes towards you and zap them when they get adjacent to you until the end of the encounter, though you may not always want to, since Dex damage isn't typically worth getting smacked upside the head. A better use of the damage aura effect is toasting minions by sauntering up next to them and frying them as soon as their turn starts. Ah, automatic damage.
Lightning Breath: Don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad power, per se, and it does deal 3d8 damage, which is more damage than Shocking Magnetism deals, but it's a blast 3 power, which makes it a bit of a risk. The shove isn't worth much, and Shocking Magnetism is easier to hit multiple foes with and better for minion frying.
Howling Tempest: This here is your real AoE power. It targets Fort, but the zone it creates autokills minions anyway. Sliding the stuff you hit is sort of a Your Milage May Vary situation. If you're willing to use your move and minor every turn you can create a wandering zone of autodamage. On the whole, this isn't an dramatic improvement over Whirlwind, except that it's better at cacking minions. Note that the automatic Cha mod damage means that this is one of the most, not least, damaging options at the level. The deafen is hardly worth even keeping track of, but it's there.
Level 2 (Utility Powers)
Deep Shroud: Wow. 0_o This is a very, very good power, especially for a level 2 utility spell. In case you don't already know what 'heavily obscured' does for you, it basically means this power makes sure your enemies take a -5 penalty to attack rolls targeting you while this power's maintained, which is awesome, but the downside is, your line of sight out of your square is limited, so your enemies get concealment too. (-2 penalty to attack rolls against them) Then again, this IS sustainable and this is a very good defensive power, so personally speaking I'm willing to look past this power's faults. It's a very good choice, but I won't begrudge you if you turn it down.
Spatial Trip: It's a nice combat trick- teleporting a number of squares equal to half your speed might come in handy- but not much else. Remember, you're not exactly a feylock, so teleporting isn't necessarily your thing, but don't let that stop you from giving this power a look.
Dragonflame Mantle: Meh, seems to be a pretty good defensive spell, and gives you a nice bonus when you're hit by attacks. Not bad, but I personally think Deep Shroud's better.
Level 3 (Encounter Powers)
Dancing Lightning: 2d10 damage is already good enough for a power at this level, but this power also deals damage to enemies adjacent to the target. It's lightning and thunder, so you're good no matter what your focus. That said, this is inferior to a "real" area burst in a few ways; there has to actually be a creature in the center, so no targeting two things that are a few squares apart, and the peripheral creatures only get grazed rather than eating the full impact of your mods. Still very nice... but see Swirling Stars. (This is arguably blue, but is just plain inferior to Swirling Stars.)
Swirling Stars: It's very vanilla, but unless you care about the lightning keyword, it's pretty much straight-up better than Dancing Lightning, even though you don't get the spell source benefit. You lose just two damage to the primary target but gain flexible targeting and much, much more damage to all the other targets. On the whole, though, it's just a slight damage upgrade over stuff you could have taken earlier.
Thundering Gust: Now this is just weak. It does less damage than most level 1 spells you have, and while sliding people or temporarily flying is fun, this isn't good enough of a power to warrant more than a glance.
Teleport Bash: Dragon 381 introduces this weird power, usable only at melee range. As of most recent errata, you can teleport enemies into the air if they fail a save against it, potentially making this a reasonably damaging power, but the alternatives are simply better.
Level 5 (Daily Powers)
Serpentine Blast: You could do worse than damaging and accurate, but you could also do a lot better.
Thunder Leap: If you jump in place, this is a double attack against everyone around you - applying all your mods twice - which is fantastic if you've got a reasonable escape plan and easily outstrips the damage done by Serpentine Blast while hitting potentially several targets. Otherwise it's still not bad, hitting a bunch of things and getting you somewhere safe. Serpentine Blast is easier and less risky to use, but this is so much better in every other way.
Level 6 (Utility Powers)
Chaotic Defense: This may seem a bit of a wild-mage-ish power for me to be endorsing, but in my opinion, this is pretty much the best option you've got at this level. When using this power, you roll a d4, and you can get one of three useful benefits or all three until the end of the encounter, which isn't bad. I recommend this power.
Fate's Chaos: Fate's Chaos, ironically, turns out to be a better Dragon Magic spell than Wild Mage spell or Storm Sorcerer spell, but it's still pretty good and even better if your Strength score's decent. Basically, when you spend an action point to make an attack and you miss, you can reroll that attack, and get a bonus to it equal to your Strength modifier. Not bad at all.
Level 7 (Encounter Powers)
Thunder Wyrm's Jaws: This is the single-target smack option, but the THP won't be impressive for you. If you're pining for the power that does the most damage to one guy, this is it, but there are other good options here. Thunder Bomb is only 4.5 damage less, and it can slam a bunch of targets.
Thunder Bomb: Targets fort, but it's a great opening shot, and is a nice no-nonsense area effect with some okay conditions imposed. You're at a high enough level to take Resounding Thunder into consideration, which makes this even more stellar.
Spark Form: Assuming your enemies are vaguely in the same area and aren't massive, this usually means hitting all of them and then hiding behind the defender. It's also a stylish way to get out of deep trouble. This is a case where the damage differential isn't completely insignificant; the fact that this does just 1d6 damage and doesn't hinder the enemy in any way makes this a really lousy power against solos.
Blazing Bolts: Another power that's just all right. With it's incredible range, you can pick pretty much any two creatures you want to make the epicenters of low-damage bursts - if your Str mod is at least +1. If it's not, this power probably isn't worth taking unless you're routinely in encounters where things are really spread out. Targeting two things every encounter is good, but there's not much here otherwise.
Level 9 (Daily Powers)
Howling Hurricane: I'm a little disappointed by the fact that this doesn't deal as much damage as some of the lower-level powers, but then again, you can't have everything. This does very good thunder damage and is good as a controlling power, and if that wasn't enough, the power can be sustained. On the other hand, this does target fort and deals no damage on a miss.
Bounding Bolt: Ongoing damage really is all right, but not amazing, and unless you have a way to impose save penalties, half of the time this power hits, it's just going to be 2d8 + 5 + Mods, which isn't bad, but isn't what you'd expect out of a daily. In the best-case scenario, this is pretty great, but most of the time feels more like just a solid encounter. It also only "really" hits one target, so you don't get the static mods on a bunch of guys like with Howling Hurricane.
Adamantine Echo: Godly for Dragons, clumsy for you. If you were going to take a close blast daily power, this isn't a bad choice, but you probably aren't.
Level 10 (Utility Powers)
Sorcerous Pulse: Not exactly a trap, since it is some good, but it's total effect on your damage is lower than it might seem; the bell curve you get rolling multiple dice and the fact that most of your damage comes from static mods means that best-of-two isn't a huge up over just one roll. Better if you've been consistent in your element choices. Also slightly better if you've taken powers that roll fewer dice with more sides, since those rolls have higher variance.
Narrow Escape: This is a very effective evasive power, as it's an immediate reaction, and you take half damage from the attack in question in addition to you teleporting a number of squares equal to your Dex mod + your Cha mod. Combined with your Storm Soul, it means that you don't mind a few attacks coming your way most combats.
Powers- Paragon Tier: Electrocution For All
Level 13 (Encounter Powers)
Primordial Storm: It's both thunder and lightning, an area effect, and has the eye-of-the-storm rider for you. Plus it does tons of damage types, so it's nice for exploiting vulnerabilities. It's not a huge upgrade over what's available earlier, but it's worth a look.
Thunder Breath: If you've been building for this kind of power, then by now you're getting close to having Resounding Thunder, War Wizardry, Arcane Reach, and maybe some Paragon Path goodies. If that's the case, then this is an great choice even though it targets fort and has a bit lower damage than you'd like at this level.
Thunder and Strike: It attacks two targets, pushes (probably just one or two squares), and potentially dazes one. It's another Dragon 381 melee range special, though, making it a little awkward for you. In particular, if you miss with the first attack, then you're stuck next to an enemy without the actions to shift + move.
Level 15 (Daily Powers)
Lightning Daggers: Now THAT'S a powerful spell. It does do weak damage when you first cast it, but don't be dismayed; this power's main bonus is that you can repeat the attack, dealing 2d4 + mods damage once every round, until the end of the encounter, which is just insane. Pick this power up, you won't be disappointed. It's not clear whether you have to pick the same target every time, but even if you do, this power is still solid gold.
"#000000">Gale Burst: Gale Burst deals more damage- 4d8 thunder, as opposed to 2d4 lightning- but it's a one-round attack. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, though, seeing as this power does very good damage, pushes the target a bunch of squares, slows them, AND deals half damage on a miss. A very solid choice if you're built to take advantage of blasts like this.
Prismatic Lightning: Prismatic Lightning's a pretty solid choice as one of the larger area powers available to you if you're lightning-focused. (Thunder or Mixed mages enjoy blasts this large more regularly thanks to Resounding Thunder). Save-ends immobilize and blind are both pretty nasty effects. This power is good enough that it's very reasonable for a lightning-focused sorcerer to come back for it at level 19.
Level 16 (Utility Powers)
Dominant Winds: OMGWTFUBER. At least, that's what I thought when I first saw this power. Dominant Winds is amazing. You basically get to fly around like a dragon, which fits thematically, at will. This is the ONLY power that sorcerers get that isn't a level 1 power but is an at-will, and I'm glad it's as good as it is. Take this power; it's probably the best option you'll get at this level.
Thunder Buffer: Thunder Buffer's a pretty good defensive spell. You get a nice bonus to your AC until the end of the encounter, and anyone that hits you with a melee attack gets pushed a number of squares equal to your Charisma modifier. A solid choice, just like Dominant Winds.
Level 17 (Encounter Powers)
Thunder Summons: Holy crap, this is one powerful spell. Yes, it is better for wild mages than storm mages, maybe, but bear with me here; it already does 3d8 thunder damage, which is decent, but you can also target not one, not two, but THREE different creatures, AND you teleport your targets so they're closer to one another, setting things up for you to obliterate them all with one powerful burst spell. To top it all off, it's a rare will-targeting ability for you. This is definitely one of your better options this level.
Thunderstroke: Thunderstroke is equally powerful. It's a pretty basic ranged burst attack, and 2d8 damage by itself isn't that noteworthy, but if you're focusing on one creature alone, that's 5d8 damage, total, and it knocks the target prone. It's really up to you as to whether you want this or Thunder Summons. This is another Lighting + Thunder special, so it benefits from all of your feats and path features. (Which you now have.)
Azure Talons: This power lags behind some of your other options at this level. Not only does it not do enough damage when compared to the two above options, but it has a benefit only Dragon Magic sorcerers can get, AND it's a somewhat awkward burst 2 power. Not one of your best choices, merely a decent one.
Dragon Tail Meditation: Normally powers that can be used as less than a standard action are pretty awesome, because they're like getting a free attack when you use them. The problem with this power is that first, you have relatively little control over if and when it goes off, and second, you really, really shouldn't be getting flanked every encounter, and any encounter where you don't get flanked is an encounter where you don't have a level 17 encounter power, which is pretty frown faced. As beautiful as a 2d10 out-of-turn hit is, you don't want to wander around getting your lunch beat out of you for it.
Level 19 (Daily Powers)
Split Strike: As a multitarget ability it's pretty serviceable, but it's not really much more impressive than Thunder Summons, which does a fair bit less damage, but to potentially more targets and has another benefit. If you're lightning focused, you may want to hop back to level 15 and grab another power from there instead; Prismatic Lightning and Lightning Daggers are both worthy additions to your arsenal.
Crashing Winds: Crashing Winds may be a close blast 3 power, but that doesn't mean you should overlook it, especially because it deals 5d8 thunder damage and knocks your target back a number of squares equal to your Dexterity modifier, AND, until the encounter's end, you can knock people adjacent to you back a number of squares equal to your Dexterity modifier. This is another awesome power for those focusing on this sort of ability, and it's not too shabby even if you're not.
Powers- Epic Tier: Pure Destruction
Level 22 (Utility Powers)
Ultimate Resistance: And at long last, we've reached the epic tier powers. Unfortunately for us, the Player's Handbook 2 doesn't really have any useful powers for the discerning storm sorcerer at this exact level, but there are a few good ones in Arcane Power, like this one. This power gives you a truly mammoth resistance, to whatever kind of damage you want when used, and if that wasn't enough, you get to choose which kind once per round. A solid choice.
Crown of Flames: Crown of Flames is a good option as well, even though it doesn't necessarily fit in, it being a 'fire' power and all. Still, it's pretty useful, as whenever you miss with an at-will or encounter power until the end of the encounter, the target takes your Charisma modifier in fire damage. Not a bad support spell, but I'd use it early on in a battle if I were you.
Level 23 (Encounter Powers)
Storm Arc: Welcome to Epic Tier attack powers. This is another standard area attack, this time in lightning. (Which makes it less impressive, because Resounding Thunder doesn't work on it.) It also allows you to fly for two turns, which ranges from great to unimportant, depending on how your DM likes to put together encounter spaces. If you have Dominant Winds - and let's face it, you probably do - then the flight is a little less exciting. (Although you can remain airborne between your turns.)
Rumbling Storm Bolt: This is kind of sort of a multitarget power, but you have to hit the first guy to attack the second. Rumbling Storm Bolt has insane range, both keywords, deals an average amount of damage, slides the first target, and then you get to make a second attack, which deals the same damage and knocks the target prone. I'm more fond of Storm Arc, but I wouldn't blame you if you gave this power a try. If you're thunder-focused, you're probably looking to go back and get whichever of Thunder Summons and Thunderstroke you didn't get the first go round.
Shuffling Bolt: Another melee power out of Dragon 381, this comes 20 levels later than teleport bash and isn't much of an upgrade over it. By this point, sorcerers that want to be up close should be slinging giant bursts and blasts, not messing around with random teleports.
Level 25 (Daily Powers)
Acid Typhoon: Despite the name, Acid Typhoon is a storm sorcerer's power through and through, as it's a ranged burst attack, deals thunder damage, and even has a Storm Magic benefit- you can not target a creature in the origin square of the power's burst. Nothing fancy here - just a big pile of damage, hit or miss, to a big pile of monsters. Pretty good if you're trying to, say, get a swarm of monsters off an ally or devastate a large group of enemies, and the ongoing damage is just icing on the cake. There are other options at this level that are comparable, though.
Leaping Lightning: Leaping Lightning is an unusual power in that it makes you rely on the ongoing damage it deals for additional attacks against other creatures. It already does average damage and has a long range, but the kicker is that you get to repeat the attack, targeting a nearby enemy when the original target takes the ongoing damage. Personally speaking, I don't think it's your best option this level; normally you'd want to put in on something that's not about to die anyway, like an elite or the solo, but they have benefits to saves. Despite its potential for allowing you to make attacks every turn, it's just a bit awkward.
Draconic Incarnation: As I'm sure you already know, I've never been fond of blast spells, as they do tend to get you in harm's way, but for this power, I'll make an exception, because this is a really good offensive power in its own right. The Dragon Magic benefit this power offers obviously isn't for you, but the spell does high damage and deals half damage on a miss, and you can't really ask for more if you're looking for an offensive power. There's really not a whole lot of difference between this, Wrathful Vapors and Acid Typhoon; all three are big-damage, big-area effects without any frills. This one can be a bit harder to aim, so it's a notch below unless you're a Voice of Thunder.
Wrathful Vapors: And here's another one. Big area, big damage (when you factor in the acidic splash), a little bit of rearrangement of the battlefield, and the ability to target fort or reflex. On the whole there's not a huge difference between any of the three big area effects at this level. This has the advantage of having both your keywords.
Level 27 (Encounter Powers)
Lightning Eruption: A pretty good choice. It's already devastating because of the high damage it deals, but the fact that it also does the same amount of damage one of your at-wills deals to any targets that happen to be adjacent only makes this option better. It's a bit harder to aim than a traditional burst, because someone has to be in the center, but you still get the damage rolls for the secondary damage. Unfortunately, it's competing with Thunderous Might, which is better in nearly every way unless you're lightning-focused.
Thunder Pulse: At this point in the game, that's a really, really far push. Far enough that a lot of enemies won't be able to make it back to you on their turns. (Especially when you throw in things like Mark of Storm.) Unfortunately, it's competing with Thunderous Might.
Thunderous Might: A very solid choice. Does high damage, it's a ranged burst, it slides the target a bunch of squares and if that wasn't enough, the target gives combat advantage to anyone who attacks it next. This is a great option in general, and makes a fantastic opener. It does target fort, but is still pretty clearly the best.
Overpowering Lightning: It's only one attack, and it's only against one guy, and the damage isn't that great, but stun is pretty impressive. Consider that against a solo, this power is like a free round of beatdown from your entire party. Against a crowd, this power is a lot less impressive.
Level 29 (Daily Powers)
Hellish Firestorm: I'm not sure exactly what they were going for here. This is the exact same power as Acid Typhoon from level 25. Exactly. Except that Acid Typhoon does slightly more damage, and the ongoing damage is a less frequently resisted type. If you haven't taken Acid Typhoon, go back for that unless you really expect to see a lot of creatures vulnerable to fire. This power isn't bad, exactly, it's just identical to Acid Typhoon except where it's inferior. Kind of a disappointing capstone (at least it's not the Cosmic capstone; that thing looks like a low-paragon-level utility power).
Prismatic Storm: This is the same size that Hellish Firestorm is with Resounding Thunder, but instead of just doing a pile of damage, it does a pile of damage and a random quite good secondary effect - even if it misses.
Recommended Feats: The Teachings of the Lightning Mage
Heroic Tier- General
Dragonling: Gives you another option for positioning your close blasts, and it can fly. Constant benefits are a little unexciting.
Lightning Lizard: Depending on how you read it, this might increase your ability to pierce lightning resistance by 2/4, which isn't much, but isn't nothing. Bonus to physical skills.
Disembodied Hand: This guy lets you stow and draw as free action, which lets you use powers and properties from different implements without wasting actions.
Octopus:: Unless you regularly expect to be drowning, this is actually a pretty terrible option, but consider this: it's an octopus.
Tome Caddy: If for some reason you want to wield a tome, you can take this guy in place of Arcane Implement Proficiency. Note that if you're doing that, you should never let this guy die, since you'll lose the ability to use your implement until your next short rest!
Air Mephit: A paragon tier option. See Lightning Lizard, except this guy works for thunder as well, can fly, gives you a language, and can become invisible. Bonus to a skill you're good at, too.
Bluespawn Nimblespark: On theme, but mostly just a narrower air elemental.
Rakshasa Claw: An upgraded hand. Might as well trade up at paragon.
Chaos Shard: Not available until epic, its ability to let you basically get a free attack every encounter makes it a tempting choice.
"#800080">Arcane Implement Proficiency:
"#0000FF">Dual Implement Spellcaster:
"#0000FF">Echoes of Thunder:
"#800080">Sorcerous Blade Channeling:
Heroic Tier- Racial
Paragon Tier- General
"#000000">Great Fortitude/Lightning Reflexes/Iron Will:
Paragon Tier- Racial
"#0000FF">Strength From Pain:
Epic Tier- General
"#000000">Epic Fortitude/Epic Reflexes/Epic Will:
"#0000FF">Fury of the Storm:
Sorcerer Implement Expertise:
Epic Tier- Racial
"#000000">Acolyte of Divine Secrets:
Initiate of the Faith:
Student of Malediction:
Walker in Gloom:
Paragon Paths: Electrokinetic Exemplars
Sorcerer PPsUnlike many other classes, sorcerers have many of their paragon paths tied explicitly or implicitly to one or more particular builds. This means that the reasonable options for storm sorcs are actually very limited if you don't stray outside the class PP list.
Blizzard Mage: While none of the powers do lightning or thunder, this class doesn't actually improve cold powers, so you're not missing out on any of its features. The thing is, it's not an amazing path in general, except for its brutally awesome daily attack power.
Essence Mage: This is the closest thing Sorcerers have to a generic paragon path. The Action Surge on steroids AP effect is excellent. You shouldn't build around Energy Essence - it's only 3.5 damage - but many of your powers trigger it anyway, and if you're using a damage type conversion weapon, it's possible that ALL of your powers will trigger it.
Lightning Fury: This is it, love. If you're lightning-focused or even lightning-leaning, this is your big payoff. You even get to ignore immunity pretty much entirely. That said, this isn't the total be-all and end-all of paragon paths for storm mages. It does zilcho for thunder, and the benefit you get from using lightning powers is nice, but not indispensible.
Lyrander Wind Rider: This path's features are a mixed bag for you; +1 to hit with your powers, and at least +1 damage are amazing. The AP effect is okay, keeping you safish for a turn, but the level 16 power is - while not useless - way, way more narrow than most. Both of the attack powers are bursts that push people around, but lack your keywords, so they don't even benefit from the path's own features. Utility lets you fly for as long as you have minor actions. (Potentially all day, if your DM lets you sustain it between encounters.)
Voice of Thunder: This is likely what thunder sorcerers are aiming for, if they've picked up on enough bursts and blasts. There are other thunder paragon paths, but this one is the best, and this one has charisma-based attacks. If you want to use the utility power, you have to power swap for a bard power, but there are lots of good ones to choose from.
Daggermaster: Ignore the powers, though you can use them if it comes down to it. You're taking this for the crit range, and to a lesser extent the combat advantage you get off of a crit. The AP effect is also extremely good. (Don't think of it as not getting a standard action for your AP; think of it as getting a standard action, plus the power you just missed with, and then then using your standard action to use the power again.) That said, crits are much less important to you than to a rogue, and the first two powers are useless to you while the third is merely bad. (The powers aren't arcane, so you don't even get your storm power bonus.
Divine Oracle: Now largely obviated by Life Singer, which gives you its best benefit, plus usable powers, and doesn't require an awkward Wisdom commitment.
Epic Destinies: Devastation Personified
"#800080">Harbinger of Doom:
"#800080">Lord of Fate:
Sage of Ages:
Equipment and Items: Tools of Devastation
Tactics and Sample Characters