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"Casting spells of another element" mechanic

Some examples of this mechanic (from the mage & sorcerer passive tree) would be: Dragon Mage, Sun & Storms, Dragon Breath. How exactly does this mechanic work?

Sun & Storms gives ward from fire and lightning spells, and the cooldown isn’t shared. I specialized fireball with the passive “plasma ball”, giving it lightning damage. Would I trigger ward from both fire and lightning with one cast of fireball? What about when using elemental nova? It counts as all elements, so would it trigger Sun & Storms in the same way?

Dragon Mage and Dragon Breath: what happens when I cast a spell with 2 or 3 elements?

Does a skill only count as being a “fire skill” or a “cold skill” if it starts as that or a passive in its tree makes it that? What about idols that add elemental damage, like the “of cooling” affix? Would all my spells be considered cold when I have that idol? Thank you!

I believe so, yes.

Yes.

If you cast an unspec’d Ele Nova (ie, has all 4 tags), you’d proc & benefit from all 3 bonuses on Dragon Mage/Breath.

Only if it has the fire/cold/etc tag when you cast it. What it was originally is irrelevant.

No, that just adds flat damage, the tags are the important thing.

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This mechanic has interested me since I first started playing and noticed it but I have yet to find a way to maximise its use vs other options (like specialising in one type of elemental damage etc)…

I really like the idea of the alternating elemental types / alternating boosts etc. Even some of the new uniques that do this seem very interesting to build around… but it just seems like the concept missing something to really shine as a cornerstone of a build design…

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Thanks a lot, Llama8 for laying that out so clearly for me! Good to hear your opinion, Vapourfire. It’s my first time playing mage so I have no idea what’s good or not yet.