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Top Mage Build Analysis

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  • Top Mage Build Analysis

    Being a mage enthusiast, and a kara hater, I thought it was cool to see that Trial 125 had been recently defeated by a mage to occupy the number 1 spot on the mage LB and earn a sort of tie on the overall LB. In fact, he's 2nd overall to a slower time clear on trial 125.

    Due to comments in another thread, I thought it would be interesting to snoop a bit more and see if there is anything of interest that differs currently from conventional mage build thinking. First, I'll post his build and trial stats, then engage in some sleuthing and analysis afterwards:










    From his gear, we get the following attribute totals:
    • CD - 1296.4%
    • CR - 2048 (40.6%)
    • Vitality - 809
    • AR - 1373 (47.8%)
    • LoH - 2077
    • Haste - 1106
    • Power - 1156
    • MS - 101
    • Dodge - 100
    The above totals include all attribute sources(gear, jewelry, enchantments, intrinsic, synergy), or should at least.

    There are a few surprises here. CR and CD are both lower than I'd expect. CR of 40% is below even my own current build, which sits at 45.6%. Perusing his gear, he's missing CR on 1 piece entirely. Additionally, he has prioritized CR on only 1 piece of jewelry. Similarly, he's giving up roughly 100% CD stat. This deficit is accounted for entirely by his jewelry where it appears to be an S5 part of each piece. The upshot of these numbers is that he is getting fewer critical hits per run and also getting less critical damage for each hit overall.

    Also surprising to me is his AR level. At 47.8%, it seems a not unreasonable amount but the actual number being well below 1500 seems like he is giving up a fair amount on the cooldown/alacrity front.

    His toughness number is also a bit eye grabblng, though not unreasonably so. Most other mages in the top 10 have 10k or so more toughness. So while we can say he's on the low side, it is by no means a shocking amount.

    Finally, his Life on Hit stat at 2077 truly flies in the face of conventional mage build thinking. He has 2 slots of LoH as well as a greater enchantment on his tunic accounting for the extra LoH. I will say that prior to the 1.3 release this would have been deemed a waste of stat space. Now with the new bosses, some extra LoH seems necessary. Perhaps this amount will become the new conventional thinking? Only time and new leaders will tell.

    Rounding things out, the extra dodge is mostly an after thought. It grants about a 4% chance for incoming damage to be zero, if he is hit. His movement speed isn't eyepopping, as one of his pieces is below 50%. Having the 2 slots of MS is more than enough though. It is difficult to draw and hard conclusions about his Power and Haste because we don't know his CL apportionment, but with the help of his trial stats I'll give it a go here.

    The first couple things of note are his immolate damage and RotS damage, both at roughly 31 billion. Regarding the immolate damage and looking through the rest of the LB, only Purple Potato has anything close to this number on his 122 trial clear, with 23.8 billion damage. There are 2 possible explanations for this- precision of targetting or high attack speed. The high attack speed is easy enough to understand, more attacks per second means more immolate procs. But what of this precision? Immolate damage stacks, so by focusing fire on a small area so that many immolates stack on top of each other, coupled with skillful mob management, the immolate damage ramps up extremely quickly. Looking at his RotS damage, along with the 1106 haste from his gear and so forth, I think it's fair to say he's running at a high AS. I'd guess in excess of 7 in this case. RotS is an attack based proc as well, so the only way to get those high numbers would be to be attacking more per second to produce more of those procs.

    Also of interest is his Arcane Bolts damage. I would consider this to be absurdly low and it's almost certainly the result of the currently bugged AL/AB speed buff. There isn't another entrant in the top 10 with anything close to this low a number. Such low AB damage total make me think he relied on AL entirely during the mob phase of his trial run. I'd also guess he used AB for the boss fight, since the single target nature of that fight would nullify the AL speed buff advantage. (As an aside- what is Kara's HP on 125? anyone? beuller?) This supposition also supports my guess at a high base AS. Once of the weird things currently about AB for mage is that you can get normal AS results if the AL speed buff is not in effect, but once the AL speed buff kicks in, AB will actually cast SLOWER than the base AS.

    There is almost no damage contributed by his blink mirrors. This result could be a consequence of using blink simply as a mode of escape, rather than a way to manage the mob. It could also be the result of another suspected bug, on my part at least. Blink mirrors for mage seem to not be doing as much damage since the Act4 release and they also do not seem to attain the speed buff from AL as they once did. The lack of damage here could also be a result of his limited use of AB. Perhaps it's a combination of all these? Whatever it might be, as it stands his mirror damage contribution is well below any other top 10 player.

    Lastly, to my eye his build contributes a great deal of stat space to power. It is a 9 piece primary on 2 pieces of jewelry and appears on 4 pieces of his equipment plus he has power enchantments on both rings. This arrangement flies in the face, a bit at least, of the more conventional mage reliance on CR/CD for damage. So what might be going on here? My thought is that he's traded some of his chance at critical damage for the surety of doing more damage on EVERY attack. In other words, CD only occurs some of the time regardless of any build as dictated by the CR attribute. Since CR is a diminishing return stat, the amount of CR required to get from 40% to 45% is a good deal more than the amount of CR to get from 35%-40%. So he appears to have decided to use that stat budget to apply towards haste and power stats. So while he gets less from his critical hits, which only occur some of the time, he's getting MORE from his normal attacks which occur all the time.

    This post has grown long enough at this point (take that! @arionthe) So I'll summarize as follows: this build should give new mage players a bit of pause when choosing to follow current LB leaders and build thinking. What appears to be a higher reliance on raw power and AS for damage, coupled with what must be excellent mob handling skills and precision targetting to maximize proc damage looks like it might be the way forward for mage players. It will be interesting to see what happens when some of the current game bugs related to the mage hero are fixed(AB and blinks), as clearly the definition for high trials is shifting further upwards. Trial 130, anyone?
    CL 2K+
    Mage- Ladim(#9 Live LB), Proxima(XP)
    TL119 in 9:14 on mobile (iphone8)

    Mage Guide

  • #2
    Personally, once gear gets to a certain point, I think it is all about the player. This said, it does stand to reason that because a Mage is better at lower-damage AoE, compared to spike damage, increasing overall damage via Power could be viable (if you stack enough). Im still curious how this player would do with a more "traditional" gear loadout.

    TL;DR: Gearing philosophy may not be the answer, or just part of it. What if this person is just really amazing at targeting, resource management, and not getting hit in the face?

    Is it the best build, or is it the best build for the player playing it, and their personal skill set+timing? Or could they be rocking 130 right now with more CD/CR?

    I do think diminishing returns de-emphasize CR, just like Haste. I rarely go above 40%CR, 7AS, but I really want to be at 40%CR/7AS.
    Last edited by Trouble; 01-06-2019, 07:45 PM.

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    • #3
      Nekromant what is your Attack Speed?
      VUFO ZEBE ZAQI 1381 -|- Gethi, mage, & Kisheli, XP mage

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      • #4
        Coda 7.
        Mage. Just a mage.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Nekromant View Post
          Coda 7.
          Slower than I expected!

          This points more in the direction of good targeting to get those immolate numbers.
          CL 2K+
          Mage- Ladim(#9 Live LB), Proxima(XP)
          TL119 in 9:14 on mobile (iphone8)

          Mage Guide

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by lama75 View Post

            Slower than I expected!
            But in any case, your numerical calculations are close to real. Tactical considerations are also commendable. You are very close to the truth. I can not say for specific numbers, but the general meaning of the build is described very well.
            Mage. Just a mage.

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            • #7
              Nice analysis!

              I really hope that developers add another unique tome or two for more mage build options! I think I would thoroughly enjoy a fire or ice mage.

              Or, Give us different goals by applying the direly needed updates to Daily Challenges and Achievements. Act IV update is golden. Stages are beautiful. I Love it. Just give us a different mode above legendary mode. Oh I don't know, call it a Hell mode or Hardcore mode, I don't care. It is basically a trial mode in story stages in a loop. It's a 1-life hardcore mode, and I think every map being a story mode map and not randomizes will add certain tactical approaches as you push through your stages. And you can also think of ways to integrate Achievements here. (Milestone gem awards like, 20 gems for clearing Story Trial mode stage 25, stage 50, etc.)

              When you eventually die, your records are now logged into Grave Yard Leaderboard. Somewhere in the leader board, there is a Dead-or-Alive break. People who stay alive will get perks. Daily perk system could work here. Mondays you get 5% extra Vitality. Tuesdays you get 10% extra Critical rating. Wednesdays you 10% extra gold and experience, etc.

              Okay now I am fantasizing. Let's just start with a tome first.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Ahgnus View Post
                Nice analysis!

                I really hope that developers add another unique tome or two for more mage build options! I think I would thoroughly enjoy a fire or ice mage.
                I forgot to mention this as another departure from typical mage builds. Most use a Necro, but not so here. I think this fact demonstrates that at most, a Necro offers an incremental improvement to a build. And that damage and attributes are more important than the special ability. In contrast to the Integralas Mantle, which is highly desirable for its special effect.
                CL 2K+
                Mage- Ladim(#9 Live LB), Proxima(XP)
                TL119 in 9:14 on mobile (iphone8)

                Mage Guide

                Comment


                • #9
                  Good job, let those streams of consciousness flow freely. Anyway I'm not a mage player as most ppl here know. I'm also guessing that his choice of non-necro tomb has to do with better mob control. You want all mobs follow you and where you want them to be instead of fighting some lagging skeletons. It's clear to me there are two things going on here. 1: immense damage dodging skills during mob phase. This has a lot to do with precise and quick movements (probably not possible to replicate on mobile). Evidence being his zero cbox gearing. His's higher than normal attack speed 7 is probably a function of the game engine's inability to properly function at >10 attack speed. In fact I think he purposefully capped the attack speed at 7 due to higher speed yielding minimal practical benefits. With 50% AL attack speed buff going on during most of the trial, he is already at the very high end of what can be rendered/calculated. As far as low AR than expected, my belief is that 10+attack triggering alacrity is granting him sufficient skill spamming. When alacrity is nerfed with the new patch, I suspect his AR will have to go up to compensate. Recall currently I suspect alacrity is ~75% of the true skill CD at the upper boundary of attack speed.

                  2) his attack approach might not be super huge mob pull. Rather a more manageable 5-8 groups per pull for tighter packing which leads to better immolation coverage and RotS effect. Since currently RotS also triggers immolation, this proc on proc feature ends up further amplifying the combo effectiveness.

                  That's my two cents from a non mage player
                  GAQO KITO REZO 1934

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lama75 View Post
                    I think this fact demonstrates that at most, a Necro offers an incremental improvement to a build. And that damage and attributes are more important than the special ability. In contrast to the Integralas Mantle, which is highly desirable for its special effect.
                    I abandoned Necro and other spawn-inducing weapons mainly because they cause severe lag when I start pulling mobs. I blame my cheap LG phone.

                    Some diversity in tomes with special effects will definitely encourage different build options. Wouldn't a viable fire/meteor mage build for pushing trials be cool?

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Arionthe View Post
                      2) his attack approach might not be super huge mob pull. Rather a more manageable 5-8 groups per pull for tighter packing which leads to better immolation coverage and RotS effect. Since currently RotS also triggers immolation, this proc on proc feature ends up further amplifying the combo effectiveness.
                      Yeah he is definitely taking advantage of some sort of proc on proc bonus to spam skills . Look at his Arcane Bolt damage. 1%? He is barely using it. Not even on the boss.

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                      • #12
                        He could be using the AR ability? Can't think of the name off the top of my head.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Ahgnus View Post

                          Yeah he is definitely taking advantage of some sort of proc on proc bonus to spam skills . Look at his Arcane Bolt damage. 1%? He is barely using it. Not even on the boss.
                          At one of my queries, Nekromant (not related, but what happened to your siggy? I think the last one is better. It is your accomplishment anyway) confirmed that he focuses on AL alone for mobs. And that is logical considering the bugs on AL-AB shift.
                          I tried it and it did clear mobs faster(-1.5mins approx). What I cannot simulate is the 7AS since at my current CL, allocating more AS will hurt overall DPS.

                          Btw, Arionthe hit it right I guess. It is not entirely the build. It is how your build is synchronized in your game play.
                          ZIHA BIWA CUNI 5866 (mobile)
                          Carlisle (M) TL 104 ¦ Ratot (BH) TL 101
                          CL1K+

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                          • #14
                            Hi guys !!!

                            I'm on TL 104 and it's very difficult to beat Garm in time.

                            I'm going to take a test: I'll replace two purple and two yellow stones, and put four red stones. Let's see if the result improves a little.
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                            • #15
                              At 1700AR, you can definitely afford to swap some for power. The more interesting one, based on this post, would be to swap more of your CR for power as well. With AS of 6.7, you're at a good level but pushing it even closer to 7 would be better and you definitely have some room to tinker.

                              Be sure to take advantage of the orange cloud against garm. It will make a significant difference in fight time.
                              CL 2K+
                              Mage- Ladim(#9 Live LB), Proxima(XP)
                              TL119 in 9:14 on mobile (iphone8)

                              Mage Guide

                              Comment

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