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Cold mage underwhelming

I have made similar thread on freeze mechanic in the suggestion category and can’t help creating a new one since it encompass a larger topic. I can’t express this issue well enough too, so please bear with me.

I have been levelling cold sorcerer and man, I feel that ice as an element is shafted compared to fire and lightning. Ice feels so detached from the rest of sorcerer’s kit with limited interaction.

Lightning has no need of elaboration on its OP-ness and fun with trigger-happy interaction between lightning blast, aegis, disintegrator, static, shock shred and so on

Fire has flame aura, dot ignite, flame reave, meteor for huge damage, firebrand, fireball shred etc and they can synergise with each other well.

Ice skills seem to be very standalone, glacier being the damage in front AOE, ice barrage being damage in front line, black hole for cc and damage, sharterstrike for OP melee. Only glacier and shatterstrike with 0CD. The interaction between the ice skills is basically stacking damage skill and frostbite. There are cold conversion node but the skill are mostly underwhelming by themselves. Personally, the balance in the skill node are also quite off with obvious best path. For example, chill node is not great with small increment per point and sometimes far from center and it is easier to get via affix. Chill also only stack 3 times, making it unnecessary to have so much chance on.

Idols in those two elements can be modifier to the skills while for ice they are mostly used to increase damage that seems to highlight the need to boost damage of ice element. Like where is the chill on hit idol?

Even the passive have more emphasis towards fire lightning solo/combo than ice.

The unique I have seen for ice are far and between and mostly deal with +damage, +frostbite,+freeze. Frozen tundra effect is underwhelming.

Now, I am not saying that ice is weak. It has good damage and its ailment is stronger, albeit harder to proc. But, I am talking about the fun in building an ice class. Currently it is a very straightforward build all skills for its highest damage potential (or freeze) and stack them.

Hope the revamp in 0.8.3 touch some of this issue. I have high hope for runemaster class too.


I see there’s no mention of volcanic orb fire or cold.

Static orb is getting a cold conversion in 8.3 and looks pretty good. But only time will tell

Lightning blast is bugged and the cold conversion still scales sith lightning damage instead of cold damage leading to it feeling bad if you stacked cold damage

Not that I don’t want to mention volcanic orb but I have wrote too long an essay. I don’t have the game in front of me to recheck the node but I recall while it is cool, volcanic orb on cold conversion is also a standalone damage skill on a main straight line in front of you with more AOE.

Personally, I feel that lightning blast on self-cast are overshadowed by glacier, both comparable since they are primary damage skill on 0cd. And not just because of damage

I don’t play as much build as you, but I do notice a lack of cold build in the build compendium, and not just on mage class.

Also, on re-read, my initial feedback sounds harsher than intended. Apology for that. My migraine is killing me. Call it envy where fire and lightning can be OP, but ice is the balanced one.

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IMO I feel like Volcanic Orb will see skill changes in the future.

Ice elemental nova is good, Glacier is good, Shatterstrike is Great, Cold volcanic orb is OK.

There is quite a lot of cold for the Mage, Its just unfortunate that its over shadowed not Just by lightning but by how lightning and shock interact to do Great damage and Stun lock enemies.

I agree that freeze should be reworked I dont like the current formula at all. It becomes more and more useless the higher into endgame you get to were its almost impossible to proc a freeze on a boss or tough rare in high corruption or with % increased health modifiers just due to the sheer amount of health they have.

So while I don’t think its a lack of cold skills, I think the problem is how freeze chance is calculated and how Lightning/shock interact atm. Those 2 things change and the skills will become more balanced.

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Yup, they are individually good. Problem is they are mechanically boring when used in a combination

Agree on the freeze issue. One thing I don’t get is why makes cold ailments much harder to proc and less accesible compared to other ailments. It is balanced for sure, but it is like a step-son treatment when it is easy to cheese the mob using other ailments such as shock n stun, walking poison, infinite knockback etc. Then to add salt to the wound, one of the last bosses just had to be immune to freeze…

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If Frostbite were more easily available, such as a weapon suffix that would be a non-issue.

Only if that implicit is like 100000% chance. Morditas reach has 500% and its still just about impossible to freeze rares at 200 corruption with just 1 health modifier

I also dont see a frostbite implicit fixing that lightning shock skills stunlock enemies

With 0.8.3 it seems to be really possible to freeze rares and bosses reliable at higher corruptions. My gear still needs improvement but emenies in an Echo at 169 corruption with 117% increased health are getting frozen reliable.

Thanks to the new unique gloves and relic the survivability is really great!

Some short showcases:

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Got a planner for this? Looks cool!

This is my current gear: Sorcerer, Level 99 (LE Beta 0.8.3d) - Last Epoch Build Planner

Not fully optimized yet and quite hard to get started regarding unique items. For empowered you need at least the gloves and the relic and probably the ring. If you have no other sources of freeze rate per chill it is a 6-times more multiplier for freeze chance. For high corruption you probably will need two (now only providing a two times more freeze chance multiplier) but I only found one so far.

Will probably write a build guide soon on it explainign stat preferences etc. If you dont have high mana regeneration in the beginning you can play with the “less explosion” node which reduces the mana costs of static orb by 22.

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