by Ramius613, Nov 14,2010
[[Dnd:Sorcerer_handbook | Home]] | [[Dnd:Sorcerer_handbook_overview | Overview & Features]] | [[Dnd:Sorcerer_handbook_statsraces | Stats & Races]] | Powers | [[Dnd:Sorcerer_handbook_feats | Feats]] | [[Dnd:Sorcerer_handbook_paragon | Paragon Paths]] | [[Dnd:Sorcerer_handbook_epic | Epic Destinies]] | [[Dnd:Sorcerer_handbook_items | Items]]

    Powers: At-Will | [[Dnd:Sorcerer_handbook_powers_heroic | Heroic]] | [[Dnd:Sorcerer_handbook_powers_paragon | Paragon]] | [[Dnd:Sorcerer_handbook_powers_epic | Epic]]


This section covers the combat powers of the Sorcerer class, namely the attack powers and utility powers. Here, the attack powers divide into Skirmisher attacks and Artillery attacks. A Skirmisher is a Melee Striker (but these Sorcerers mostly deliver Close attacks), and an Artillery is a Ranged Striker (but these Sorcerers mostly deliver Area attacks). Their tactics differ significantly. The Close attacks of the skirmisher are often useless for Artilleries whose mediocre hit points and poor armor must avoid Close combat. Oppositely, the Area attacks of the Artillery provoke opportunity attacks from enemies and tend to deliver less damage, thus are often useless for Skirmishers who specialize in hit-and-run tactics. To distinguish the attack powers, any whose range is 5 squares or less is Skirmisher, and any whose range can exceed 5 squares is Artillery. What ranks as good ('blue') for one is not necessarily good for the other.

At-Will Powers

Fortunately Sorcerers don’t have bad at-wills. There are powers that are bad for most Sorcerers, but they are at least good for one particular build. The riders for the types of Sorcerers greatly influence your choice of at-wills (e.g. Chaos Bolt is a very different power for Wild Sorcerers than it is for Cosmic Sorcerers).
  • "gray">Acid Orb (PH 2) – A solid power, but it is single-target and lacks a Striker mechanic. Its range 20 is a great, and rare thing. The d10 damage is decent at low levels. You can use Acid Orb as a Ranged Basic Attack, and it can be a good choice if your party includes the right sort of Leader.
  • Arcing Fire (PHH 1) – To deal autodamage to a secondary target, this power requires two enemies to be in the same line-of-effect and forces you to take a -2 penalty to hit because of cover. It less useful (almost strictly worse) than Lightning Strike, which can also deal solid damage to the primary target, and is a minion killer.
  • "blue">Blazing Starfall (AP) [STR | Cosmic]– This is mediocre at the lower levels, but you will gladly retrain to swap it in by the higher Heroic levels (around 8 to 10). Then your damage modifiers make the difference between its 1d4 and other damage dice less significant, and its Burst 1 multi-target becomes one of the best choices for any Sorcerer build. Note, the Area attack isnt ally friendly, so a good single-target atwill is necessary for your second atwill choice. For a Cosmic Sorcerer, Blazing Starfall is a good controller power, but remember that isnt your role, and it has terrible damage early on. It isnt that effective against enemy controllers or artillery, who don’t move around much, and it isn’t that effective against enemy melee monsters, who are already where they want to be by the time you go. At level 12, a Storm Sorcerer can invest in both feats, Resounding Thunder and Arcane Admixture, for an impressive attack with Burst 2 (5 sq × 5 sq) and thunder cheese - atwill.
  • "gray">Chaos Bolt (PH 2) [Wild] – This is less useful than Acid Orb because it lacks the range 20 and doesnt avail as a Ranged Basic Attack. Even so, it can be useful as a backup atwill that attacks WILL instead of REF, and is a single-target for ally safety. Note, Wild Sorcerers can make good use out of this power: their 1d6 secondary attack is a proper damage roll, so your normal damage bonuses apply. Thanks to errata, this power is ally safe.
  • Dragonfrost (PH 2) – Another power that counts as a RBA. It’s nice, and the push is good to have, but having a ranged push is situationaly useful.
  • Energy Strobe (D 381) – Yet another RBA. However, it has less range than Acid Orb. The variable damage type/resistance isn’t a selling point since there is no way to control it and might never be useful.
  • "gray">Lightning Strike (AP) [DEX | Storm] - This power is great at the lowest levels. However, by high Heroic levels (8 to 10 depending on build), it becomes optimal to swap it for Blazing Starfall because the area multi-attack becomes deadlier as higher level damage modifiers relativize the difference between damage dice. Lightning Strike is a good minion killer, and useful for reaching around corners. For low-level Storm Sorcerers, the ability to transfer damage to the secondary target adds situational usefulness. Once in a while, you will run into combat where your chosen target has a ridiculous REF, is invisible, for whatever reason nearly (or entirely) unhittable, or out of range, and this power allows you to deal some damage to that target that you can hit while still causing some damage to the monster you want dead. Unfortunately, the success of the damage to the 'unhittable' target depends on hitting the first. If the first misses, both miss, thus statistically there is no extra damage, and ultimately the damage transfer is a trap. Worse, Lightning Strike doesnt deal a 'damage roll' to the secondary target thus most damage modifiers fail to apply. Storm Sorcerers too will swap out Lightning Strike for Blazing Starfall by the high Heroic levels, but at least the lowest levels get some fun out of it.
  • Storm Walk (PH 2) – The shift seems good, but Burning Spray is melee safe, and a blast. If this counted as a RBA or didn’t attack FORT, it’d be a competitive choice. Ironically, for an 'Artillery' Storm Sorcerer, who avoids melee combat, to shift back and forth in the middle of nowhere, away from the melee action, is usually useless.

  • "blue">Burning Spray (PH 2) [STR | Dragon] – A close blast 3 for solid damage and Dragon Sorcerers will love this power for the protection, and subsequent damage it adds. And it is always nice to have a burst or blast in your arsenal. A good pick for a Sorcerer that wants a melee friendly option. But poor for an artillery Storm Sorcerer, who tries to avoid melee, who is better off with the Essential Staff Expertise feat or even a magic item (such as Shimmering cloth armor) that makes ALL ranged and area attacks melee friendly.
  • Ensorceled Blade (D 390) [Dagger]– Great for all the same reasons people love Eldritch Strike. Having a decent Melee Basic attack lets you charge and make opportunity attacks (especially handy for Wild and Storm sorcerers who don't normally have the STR to power them). This power also protects you on the front lines by giving your enemy a disincentive from attacking you. All in all, a great at-will if you plan to work on the front lines.