0.9.0 Aschere's Variant of Still Freezin' - Static Orb/Ice Barrage Cold Sorcerer - Freezing T4 Julra and 600+ Corruption Bosses

Bosses have mechanics? I thought they just stand there perma-frozen?

First off, there was a very detailed older 0.8.4 guide made by @Oeller Still Freezin’ Guide that has a tremendous amount of knowledge on this build. Unfortunately that guide is grossly out of date and had a number of of significant nerfs and significant buffs that are not accounted for.

However, I am here to present you another variant/spin on the original concept to bring it back to it’s original glory. You can perma-freeze all non-immune bosses (Lagon or Heorot are the only immune to freeze). I took it to corruption 500 and am still permafreezing and wouldn’t be surprised to see it work 800+ (as long as you aren’t stacking too many health modifiers - stack as much damage multipliers as you can since you freeze everything and generally never get hit).

This is single handedly the most powerful build I’ve played to date and it’s mechanically a lot of fun to play (did I mention we don’t use the god-awful Focus skill?). It’s got respectable damage and life (~6-8K life when mapping due to “ward on freeze” and 4-5K life when bossing), but none of that matters when everything, including bosses, is permanently frozen. You can ignore almost all mechanics. Note that this build is VERY GEAR INTENSIVE. It is also a build that you can keep on min-maxing well past level 100 as it has a very very high gearing ceiling. I’d strong recommend getting the core uniques (Frostbite Shackles, Twisted Heart of Uhkeiros, and Snowdrift) on another character before starting this build and then you can grind out the rest of the gear on this character if you like it.

Play it before EHG nerfs this to oblivion (again) :slight_smile: . I hope they don’t as this is a wonderful OP end-game chase build if you want something to sink a lot of min-maxing into.

Here is a recorded emperor of corpses fight. I don’t know what the corruption level was, but I think it was around 400 when I recorded it:

Here is the full build planner with my recommended setup:

What has changed?

The Bad:

  • Gaspar’s Insight took a heavy nerf (or rather the bug was “fixed”). It is now an additive “freeze rate multiplier” rather than a multiplicative “freeze rate multiplier”. This makes it not a good choice for this build except maybe to start with until you get a better rare/exalted helmet.

  • Sources of frostbite effectiveness has been replaced with Cold Penetration. This means that “Cold Penetration” on our gear, “Cold resistance shred”, “increased penetration with frostbite” on our gear, and “Cold resistance stealing” (from Snap Freeze) are now completely dead mods because we have roughly ~4000-8000 freeze rate rate which equates to 800-1600 penetration from Snowdrift.

The Good:

  • Frostbite freeze ramp-up has been significantly buffed. We get full freeze improvement effect from only 30 stacks which is almost instantaneous meaning we’ll get the full benefit right away without any ramp. This makes mapping a lot smoother as we instantly freeze trash mobs even at higher corruption.

  • Frostbite freeze has been significantly buffed against bosses that are hard to freeze and nerfed against trash mobs that we can already easily freeze. Even after full ramp up of 500 frostbite stacks, the new system has more freeze against enemies of 116K+ health (which true endgame bosses appear to have much more than). See detailed calculations below. The new system is even better than before for deep corruption pushing.

  • While I think this has always been in the game, I tested and discovered how the Wintry Power and Glacier Orb nodes on static orb tree actually work (they’re multiplicative with the base freeze rate rather than additive to your other multiplier like most damage nodes are on skill trees). This basically gives a similar effect to the old Gaspar’s helm for static orb. I am unsure if the Ice Barrage nodes also work in a similar manner but I assume so.

  • The passive tree has changed and added a lot of improvements. In particular there is more mana regen on the tree now, some movespeed, and more cooldown reduction.

  • New base types were added in 0.8.5 including the “Opulent Focus”. This base type is really good (intelligence, ward retention, ward/sec) although it has some pretty wide implicit rolls. A well rolled implicit with good modifiers will beat out a Faith of the Frozen (unless you happen to land really good legendary mods).

Calculations for Old Frostbite vs New Frostbite

The old flat freeze avoidance meant that at 500 frostbite stacks basically reduced a mobs health by 100,000 for the purpose of freeze calculation. If the mob has 2 million health this meant you increased your chance of freezing by 5.3% ((Base/1,900,000)/ (Base/2,000,000)-1). If the mob has 150,000 health it meant you increased your chance of freezing by 200% (Base/50,000)/(Base/150,000)-1.

The new calculation is pretty simple. Once you get 30 stacks, you’ve increased chance to freeze by a multiplier of 7 (20%*30=600% more). You can see why they changed the formula…

To get a 7 times multiplier under the old system… assuming 500 frostbite stacks and an enemy with no ward, the mob health breakpoint would be (MaxHP)/(MaxHP-(500*200))=7. Solving this equation equals MaxHP = 116,666.

This means that under the old system, AT FULL RAMP UP of 500 frostbite stacks the freeze rate was better if the enemy health was below 116K and was worse if the enemy health is above 116K. But under the new frostbite system we also get the full benefit at only 30 stacks and don’t even need the full ramp up.

This equates to freeze feeling a LOT better in 0.9 than in the past. We get the full effect at only 30 frostbite stacks (which is very easy to get), we get more benefit against higher health bosses, and we got nerfed against stuff that is already incredibly easy to freeze (so we don’t care).

Core Updates to Build

Static Orb Tree Changes
Below empowered 200 you can probably get away with the old skill tree. But if you want to push the freeze potential for higher health mobs, I’d make some major tree changes as follows:

  • Dropping one (or two) points out of Orbital Fulmination to 4/5 or 3/5. Realistically if you’re casting a full 5 static orbs, you’re going to struggle with mana (even with base regen of 19/s) or you’re doing low level content where stuff is dying super fast; I felt like 4 or even 3 max orbs was more than enough. I felt like the 5th point was a complete waste and even the 4th point might be a worth dropping (especially if you’re still struggling to get more mana regen).

  • Drop some points in shocking conduit once you get higher frostbite chance (from blessings and gear).

  • Put at least 2 points in Wintry Power (2/5) and 1 point in Glacial Orb (1/1). These are absolutely necessary to push higher corruption levels. You could even put more points in Wintry Power (instead of Shocking Conduit) if you value the freeze over damage. IMPORTANT NOTE: Three points here is NOT 80% added to your freeze multiplier. It is 80% MORE (multiplicative) to either the base freeze rate or to your overall freeze multiplier (unsure if it applies to Snowdrift effectiveness or not). So if you have 3000% freeze multiplier from your gear/blessings/tree/etc, these three nodes effectively give you another 2400% freeze rate multiplier. Oh yeah, and the explosion gets more than double that (and it already has twice the base freeze rate). Insanely good nodes.

  • +Levels of Static Orb on a helmet is a much better mod now. Put the extra points in either wintry power or shocking conduit.

Snap Freeze
This version of the build fundamentally changes the purpose and use of Snap Freeze. It is no longer used on cooldown to maintain an armor/cold res buff. Second, the 25% “stolen” cold res is just not worth 5 points anymore since it acts like cold penetration. Given the frostbite effectiveness changes, this makes it mostly worthless as a damage multiplier - you can think of it as 5% ward retention per point as long as you keep it on cooldown… not worth it.

Instead snap freeze has been retooled to maximum freeze duration, minimize cooldown, and is utilized as a gap filler if a boss/tough mob needs to immediately be frozen (start of fight, when you get an unlucky streak and he unfreezes, or if you need some breather room for mana regen). For my opening move I commonly teleport to the mob and immediately snap freeze it. Of note you can do this for Julra to stop/delay her initial time transition (but if she unfreezes for a split second she’ll start the cast which will go off even if she’s frozen)… in fact I might just spec snap freeze into any mage build doing Julra from now on, it’s a free extra 3-4 seconds of pure DPS.

It is important to note that there is no boss reduction to freeze. A maxed out freeze effectiveness gives us either 3.6s or 3.84s freeze (unsure if nodes are multiplicative or additive). It has a cooldown of 6.3s. Assuming it is the lower 3.6s, this means that if you just cast on cooldown you can keep a boss perma-frozen for 57% of the fight with this skill alone (with no freeze rate multiplier at all)!!

It’s also important to note that if you overcast static orb too much and drain all your mana too fast snap freeze is really nice because you can cast snap freeze, slow your normal casts for a nice 3 seconds of regen before ramping up your casts again near the end of the freeze. This lets you get out of a tough situation where you go into negative mana and would otherwise let the boss unfreeze because you stop casting.

I don’t automatically cast it on cooldown, but use it for the on-demand freeze which is far more powerful than the little extra armor.

You could drop the 8 points pathing to Freezing Mist that picks up range + freeze duration (at the downside of losing width). I actually prefer the long range as it lets you freeze priority targets that you might not be close to. The range goes pretty far across the screen (it will go past the edge of the top/bottom and pretty far left/right). It drastically cuts down on the width, but we’re not using it for general freezing anymore and are just trying to target specific threats with it (static orb will do the general freezing around you). It does make the skill take more aim though as you can miss your target.

Ice Barrage
You could potentially shift two points from Hail Storm to Frigid Barrage. Assuming Frigid Barrage is multiplicative (like the nodes in Static Orb) with your gear Freeze Multiplier, this will result in a 1.8 multiplier to your freeze chance on 1st shard. This will scaling down with each shard eventually resulting in a 1.2 multiplier on your 10th+ shard. Note, I haven’t tested this as it is very hard to test, but I think this is how it works. I just went with the original fire rate instead but if you’re looking to up your freeze rate this might actually be better.

Minor Updates/Tips to Build

Teleport + Ice Barrage Combo (and only casting ice barrage after teleport)
Not casting too much is an important playstyle to this build as you’ll drain your mana (and not get much to show for it since ice barrage actually goes down in DPS on an early recast and static orbs over your limit explode). This means you need to actively manage your mana spend.

One REALLY helpful way to cut down on mana cost is getting in the tempo of teleport + immediate cast of ice barrage. Ice Barrage is our most expensive spell. Teleport gives us a “free” cast of a spell, so by pairing the two together we basically eliminate the mana cost for ice barrage. Ice barrage roughly lasts the same time as the teleport cooldown as well, so by only ever casting it after teleport you will force yourself into not recasting it too early and avoiding the need to think/look at your buff bar as to when to optimally recast it.

Reactive Ward
First, lets talk about “Reactive Ward” in the Mage tree. This node is deceptively good and the tooltip is not accurate. It is not “whenever you drop below 70% health”. It actually performs as “whenever your health changes and the end state is below 70% health”. This means that if you are sitting at 50% health, it won’t trigger. But if you take damage to your health it will trigger (it doesn’t have to pass the 70% threshold, just has to be below).

Now here is where it gets really good. If you cast a spell with Twisted Heart (consume 12-16% of your health) and it leaves you below the 70% mark, you will get the ward burst. This means as you spam two-three spells or your leech isn’t enough to keep you constantly topped off, it will be constantly going off every time the cooldown is reached. Basically when I’m doing general monoliths it is triggering every 6 seconds. That’s 1500ward gained every 6 seconds (or roughly ~250ward/sec). It’s a lot of passives to be fair, but it adds a lot to your survivability.

Blessing Changes
It depends what you want to do. If you want more damage and higher clear speed I’d recommend getting Chance to Shock (Ending the Storm) and Chance for Frostbite (Ending the Storm. If you want more freeze then go Freeze Rate Multi and Freeze per Chill Stack.

Chance to shock gives us more frostbite stacks quicker with static orb AND if you’re using an Ocearon it pushes them to 10 shock chances quicker for a 10% more multiplier. If you want to push 600+ corruption, you might instead push your freeze higher here… personal choice. I went damage.

Mana Regen
Pay attention to your exact thresholds for mana regen. Try to aim for a final mana regen of 18-20 mana/sec (for low tier content you can probably cast less and get away with ~15mana/s). Every 12.5% mana regen pushes you up one more mana/second but it rounds to nearest integer. Therefore going from 0% mana regen to 6% mana regen does nothing. Going from 6% to 7% gives you one mana. And then going from 7% to 18% does nothing again. Ideally you want to hit a threshold on 6/8, 7/8, or 8/8 points into “Wisdom” node and plan passives accordingly. The % (mana/sec) breakpoints are:

  • 7% (9), 19% (10), 32% (11), 44% (12), 57% (13), 69% (14), 82% (15), 94% (16), 107% (17), 119% (18), 132% (19), 144% (20).

Assuming you hit 200 max mana threshold and put at least 6 points into “Wisdom” node, you get 39-45% mana regen from the tree. This means you should aim for at least 74% mana regen on gear from chestpiece implicit, ring/amulet implicit, ring/belt/amulet prefix. You could also land it as a prefix on a legendary ocearon/twisted heart if you’re lucky. Note if you do hit 300 mana threshold you will also squeak out another 3% mana regen.

Autocasting Flame Ward
By autocasting flame ward we spend 10 mana to generate 32 mana (8mana/sec for 4 seconds) every 12.5s. This is the equivalent of 1.8mana/sec regen which is about the same as an extra 25% mana regen roll! If you have cooldown reduction on your belt/helmet it’ll give even more benefit. And this is on top of all the other benefits of flame ward.

If you don’t know how to autocast, here is a guide. How To Auto-cast In Last Epoch - YouTube

Monolith Modifiers
We can run any modifier no problem but be aware that health modifiers or “dodge chance” will both decrease your chance to freeze, so take that in mind. Health modifiers shouldn’t be an issue until high corruption. I basically ignored every modifier as I pushed forward to 500 corruption only looking at rarity.

Things like “+all resistance” is a complete push-over given how much we cold penetrate we have.

Minor Gear Tips

Shock Chance
I’d highly recommend a “shock chance” on weapon (more frostbite with static orb and quicker shock stack ramps from Ice Barrage/Ocearon). This means the Coral wand base (51% shock chance on spell hit) can also be a good option.

I did a bunch of Spirit of Fire timelines to grind out three 1LP Snowdrifts to try to land either T6 or T7 movespeed. It is the most important legendary item. The lack of movespeed can certainly be felt. I didn’t have it most of the time I played this build, and the build still felt absolutely awesome. But when I got a T6 roll on my boots, I really felt the build go to another level. Highly recommend and it’s one of the biggest upgrades you can get for non-bossing clear speed.

Helmet Slot
Highly recommend a good exalt/rare here. The prefixes on helmets are REALLY good and even the mage implicits are good. Aim for Frostbite chance=Freeze rate>Static Orb Level>Intelligence for prefixes. Ideally you want both frostbite chance and freeze rate (with maybe a sealed lvl 1 static orb).

Gaspar’s Insight
It’s simply not worth using over a good exalted/rare. You can start out with it initially until you get a good exalted, but look to replace it. Mage has some really good helmet implicits and fantastic prefixes (freeze rate per chill, frostbite on cold hit, level of static orb, intelligence)

** Snowblind**
This is a really good low level unique to level with as it gives chill and freeze rate multiplier. If you happen to land a good 2-3LP with two good prefixes (freeze rate per chill, +lvl static, frostbite chance) it could work as an end-game option. Note that it drops in two versions with different armor amounts/level requirements.

Opulent Focus
The original guide was before this base type existed. It is really good. While Faith of the Frozen is a good shield for this build, it is tough to compete against a really good rare/exalted Opulent Focus. I’d need a good 1LP w/ maybe T7 Cold Res/All Res or 2LP w/ good mods Faith of the Frozen to consider it over an Opulent focus.


Nice one! Looks good. I’ve been wanting to make a freeze build but having to constantly cast Glacier in the Glacier Sorcerer build on Maxroll got annoying real fast. And tiring on the ears too :smiley:

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oooh,… I enjoyed the old freezing build and my Sorc has been collecting dust since the changes that messed with it… Time to try again… thanks.

Well in all honesty… no build with so little HP/Ward should be able to make it through an empowered mono or to push corruption.

Still it’s pretty funny looking but I’m all against CC able bosses ^^. Nice guide non the less.

He’s got 4500 EHP. On a Sorc. What do you consider “acceptable” if that’s too little?

It’s got 6-8K when clearing packs because you have Reactive Ward triggering repeatedly (stuff dies and you can’t get enough leech so it keeps triggering) and you get ward on freezes (which you’re freezing everything).

Besides, if everything is frozen and nothing hits you, lower life doesn’t matter as much. I think I’ve had only had three deaths and I’ve been play well past level 100:

  • Once in were I stood in a bunch of the fire death explode guys
  • Once to Julra T4 because I stood in middle of spiral spiny thing thinking it wouldnt spawn if she was frozen
  • Once during leveling.

All the deaths were just bad play on my part and honestly even my tanky builds would have probably died each time.

Exactly. the old build enjoyed the same and I remember chuckling for no understandable reason when everything just became popsicles. Freezing is so different to other mechanics its definitely a fun deviation from the norm… but then again, I am odd and wish that there were more of this kind of thing in the game - way out yet viable mechanics and subsequent builds etc.


It’s a blue stun ^^.

Dont ruin my fun by stating the obvious… :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

The maths is different.

Made some small edits to build planner.

hi chasing items to test that !!!

I see you took frostbite chance blessing. but we have 100%+ with gloves and boots
do we take it or cold resist blessing for ward retention or Freeze Rate per stack of Chill blessind ?

Having over 100% chance to apply an ailment applies multiple stacks per hit.

As Llama mentioned, exceeding 100% chance will apply multiple stacks. So 200% frostbite chance will apply 2 stacks of frostbite every hit. 150% chance will apply either 1 stack or 2 stacks at 50/50 odds. This means more damage (and quicker ramp up to 30 stacks where freeze chance is maximized).

As far as which blessing is best for Winter timeline, you have flexibility. I’d recommend either the frostbite chance (more offensive power) or freeze rate per stack of chill (more defensive power through chill). If you’re not pushing extremely high corruption level, you’re probably better off with frostbite. Unless both of the other options weren’t offered as blessing choices, I wouldn’t go cold res blessing, the ward retention isn’t worth it - hopefully you’ve capped out on your gear.

Same question applies to Lagon blessing. Chance to shock (offensive) vs freeze multi (defensive) are both valid options. I went with shock chance (which serves two purposes, as a damage multiplier through shock + ocearon and for more frostbite chance for static orb (see node on tree)).

i see thx

Mmmm, I don’t know, each time you make bosses completely immune to something, you make an entire category of builds unplayable. This happens in many games, stun or freeze or whatever become useless because all bosses are immune…

Of course, bosses should be special.
Very high resistance to CC? Sure. Much reduced CC duration? Absolutely.
But complete immunity seriously threatens build diversity, I think.

Maybe each boss could have 1 or 2 immunities to force us to look for alternative solutions, but not all of them. Lagon and Heorot cannot be frozen apparently. We could have 2 others who cannot be stunned. Why not 2 bosses who cannot be poisoned? And maybe Orobyss could be completely immune to void damage?

Making an entire mastery unable to kill him…

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Yeah it’s a good thing I’m no dev and have to think about. I like the D4 approach. Bosses are unstoppable (not cc able) but you stagger them with CC skills and as soon as the stagger bar is full they get staggered and have all CC modifiers on them for 12 seconds where you can clobber them down.
That’s no solution for LE buuuut rendering bosses useless isn’t a good thing.

BTw before you lose yourself even more in the rabbit hole. There is a big difference between making something hard or imposible to CC and making something undamagable ^^. CC’s are no DoTs or damage types :wink: .

Yeah, immunities of any flavour are bad (even D2 introduced charms that converted immunities to very high resistances).

The only freeze immunities I saw were Lagon, Heorot, and those flying eye necrotic damage guys (Something eyes?). Don’t ask me why those necrotic guys are freeze immune, it doesn’t even make sense lore wise.

Frankly I really dislike immunities of any kind, including freeze immunity. It’s one thing to make it way harder to freeze them (like 80% reduction), but to just flat out give an immunity is stupid. Things like Snap Freeze is completely negated and useless against these mobs whereas if you had an 80% reduction, the guaranteed freeze from snap freeze would still serve a purpose.