probably 6: Disintegrate - useful in hells, not as great in other places, but it is so specific that it has its own immunity (does anybody even use Detonate?) EV - not much to say here UtD - can be handled by clerics, but small parties cannot always afford one, useful in Ely, Thana, couple maps of Limbo 2, not to mention lots of LL areas Freezing Sphere - most reliable source of cold, sometimes has to be replaced by Ice Storm for lvl 6 tightness Chain Lightning - same as Freezing Sphere CoD - long range, fast and aoe Greater Dispelling - for all kinds of aboleths and nishruus, can be handled by clerics, druids too and sometimes bards Flesh to Stone - just for sake of completeness
Yeah, looks like u can cs anythin non crit imm. - Big Crit
The toughness of choice depends a bit on the schools you take. Spells that usually fight for the spot (4 spots base) are as follows (pls correct/add if you think otherwise):
Level 6: Disintigrate (Tr), Greater Stoneskin(Tr), Greater Dispel(Abj.), Etheral Visage(Illu), Chainlightning (Evo), Ice Storm (Evo), Circle of Death (Nec), Undeath to death (Nec), Freezing Sphere (Con), Acid Fog (Con)
Level 7: Great Thunderclap (Evo), Delayed Fireball Blast (Evo), Prismatic Spray (Evo), Bigby's Grasping Hand (Evo), Static Field (Evo), Prismatic Spray (Evo), Shadow Shield (Illu), 6x Greater Orb of X (Con), Reverse Gravitiy (Tr), Banishment (Abj), Spellmantle (Abj), Rebuke (Ench)
Level 9: Mordenkainen's Disjunction (Abj), Weird (Illu), Bigby's Crushing Hand (Evo), Meteor Swarm (Evo), Powerword Kill (Div/Necro), Energy Drain (Nec), Wail of the Banshee (Nec), Gate (Con)
Most of the time I take extra spell known level 7 to get a bit more flex there, but if I had trans it would more likly be 6. 9 Is always tough even if I took an extra level 9 slot. On my sorc I have conj focus and would have luved to take gate, but I need other stuff way more.
The basic spells I think anyone takes are:
Level 6: Ethereal Visage, Chainlightning, Greater dispel (if abj focused), Desintegrate (if Trans focused), COD Level 7: Great Thunderclap, Delayed Fireball Blast, Banishment (if abj focused) Level 9 Mord, Weird, PWK (unless not an abyss sorc)
And while not so tight in choices in level 8 by default taken are: Sunburst (Evo), Greater Sanctuary (Illu), Bigby's Clenched Fist (Evo). Very often Horrids (Necro) as Abyss sorc is taken as last choice, but that one spot is a bit libero, e.g. on my Abyss sorc I did not.
Worth noting that Disintegrate and transmutation in general is less good than it used to be so it eases the strain on 6 a little bit, but it is still the most common and most advisable extra spell known taken. Simp forgot Mass Haste and Tenser off his list for strong lvl 6 spells, just to add some extra strain there.
9 is also semi-strained, but there you have specific choices; most other lvl 9 spells are quite underpowered compared to these powerhouses or just there are easy sources elsewhere (case in point, BBoD, Time Stop - would include Mord if mord wasn't so commonly necessary that time saved casting it is very important). Mord PWK (for Abyss) Weird (overall, for everything except maybe Limbo) BB9 (for Limbo) Energy Drain Wail (but CoD is usually more user-friendly - depends on builds intentions on whether 6 or 9 is tighter) Shapechange (for Pariah) Greater Mantle (Limbo) Dominate Monster (Limbo)
8 - Even here, you need to decide what areas you want to specialize in, but majority of spells here are meh. Summons, blackstaff and whatnot. Premo BB8 Polar Ray (if you lack 6 for Freezing Sphere and need flex, mostly Pariah choice if they are desperate for Cold and can't fit Freeze) Antipathy (for Limbo) Mass Charm (for Limbo) Horrid Wilting (for Abyss) Sunburst (for Abyss)
7 used to be strained with RG in the equation, but RG got hit so hard that it should be easier now, right? But nope! Limbo made enchantment shine and dropped Trans down a peg, and Only Pariah cares about RG anymore, and in my experience they were better off casting elemental damage over it anyway, but I didn't do enough testing to be fair and played a 20/20, not a Karsus pariah. Rebuke Banish DBFB Thunderclap RG deceased Prism Spray (Abos) EI (potentially for a Limbo sorc) Greater Orb spells for anyone dabbling in Conjuration (they don't, because 7 is too strained for Sorcs)
4 - Ice storm Bestow Enervation Fear Remove Curse Evards
But fact is, Sorcs do need to make sacrifices at most tiers except maybe tier 2 and 5. Spell tiers above 4 are so tight that we can't take a Spell Mantle spell higher than lvl 5, because they simply don't fit for most builds. It is easier to say 5 and 2 - heck even 2 is kinda crowded and maybe 3 are less tight (back when Flensing was too strong, 5 was tight too). Edit: If the balance among schools was better, the choices would be far tighter. Evoc/Illu/Nec/Abj/Ench are very strong now, Divination now with Assay became a contender, Conj is a little bit eegh but people have varying opinions here I guess; and Transmutation doesn't have that much besides Disintegrate to go for and the epic is quite crap and fitting the PSK in in paragon levels is extremely contested in feats when you're competing with Karsus, Drawmij, PSP, just other PSF feats and all the rest.
For further information and elaboration on anything Sorc related, I would suggest you head on over to highergroundpoa.proboards.com/thread/25170/zomg-sorceror-hg-40-sorc - there is specific spell listings on each respective spell level the different builds use - from generalist to specialist in a very nice and orderly fashion. That is, for the lunatics that actually make multiple sorcs - I think most people end up making multiple sorcs simply because they use Sorcs to level their boxing armies and for extra flex.
If this is about wizards, just look at all the spells Sorcs need among different specialists and implement those on enemies in Mechanus in such a wide array that Sorcs simply can't cover them all, leave SR low enough for Wizards to land and preferably so that spawns aren't so repetitive/large that you need a gabillionzillion slots, just all those specific spells in sequence and bam. Wizards are suddenly sexy as redheads in summertime.
One more thing: what are some of the spells no one ever takes? on levels 6-9? (aside from the aforementioned Detonate)
Oooh, I think I know where this is going! Anyways, I imagine the list will be quite long, so I will start by giving couple random examples:
1. Most summoning spells, i.e. Summon Creature 6-9, Greater Planar Binding, Mordekianen's Sword etc. Summons are mildly useful in low and mid levels, but in endgame they cause more problems than they are worth. Exception is BBoD which comes from rods/scrolls anyways. 2. Some buffs. - For instance Protection from Spells, players can easily cap the general +20 bonus to all saves by low 50s, and this spell does not exceed it. - Shadow Shield - this one is useful, but every caster staff / accessory has it, or you can drink potions. AFAIK there is no necromancy spell in the game at this moment that bypasses item based Shadow Sheild... *hint* - Blackstaff - this is the signature spell of staffmasters, but once upon a time wizards could buff a friendly staff monk with this for +20 enhancement bonus. Staff monks have since gone extinct and so has the reason to ever prepare this spell (for arcanes). - True Seeing. This spell used to have moment of glory in early days of Aboleths, when it was used to counterspell their Weirds (without wasting lvl 9 slots). The buff is pointless, it comes on gazillion pieces of gear. 3. Greater Breach. Greater Dispelling and Mord do the same and more. 4. Timestop. Use thid wands instead. 5. Shapechange. Except for pariahs, this one has zero value even at level 17. On top of that it will mess up your spell slots. 6. Detonate. BFMs can have some fun with it, but it has limited applications. In theory you can explode raks IF you make the touch attack past their concealment. If you explode infernal machines, you will probably never get invited to another Dis of Phleg again. 7. Bigby 6. You can use it in Abo to knock phanes down, but that is about it. Grease ignores SR, knocks enemies in aoe and lasts for long time. Enemies stronger than phanes that are vulnerable to KD will almost always resist the bull rush check. 8. Mass Blindness / Deafness. Reducing monster Listen is nice, but deaf enemies are immune to bard song (and taunt/persuade/bluff) and blind enemies are immune to all sight based attacks, medusa, Cast in Stone, etc.
There is actually one class I take detonate on: BFM. Just too good to pass this with the extra boost and detonating machines is sooo much fun . It´s also great to use under water.
So here´s my personal sh**-listed spells list.
Summone Creature spells are not used (but PMA for it´s cursessong)
Spells noone will take usually: Level 9 BBoD, you cast this with scrolls or hell rod. Dominate Monster Soul Bind, except PMA Detonate (but bfm as mentioned) Personal opinion: Greater spell mantle, because empowered spell mantle grants more absorbs. But it´s costly in any case and I usually take neither.
Level 8 Incendiary cloud, too weak Blackstaff Create undead Greater spell breach Mass Charm Temporal stasis (at least not on sorc, though a very nice spell) Mind Blank
Shadow shields is a bit special. I usually dont take it and go with buffs from items there to save a slot for another spell.
Level 7 Mordenkainens sword Control undead Power Word Stun (bard job with the thids book) Protection from spells
Level 5 Bigby's Interposing hand Lesser Mind Blank Dominate Person Hold Monster (though with ench focus worth it I think) Cloudkill Animate Dead Cone of Cold Lesser Planar Binding Galvanic Cone Shout (too weak alternative to thunderclap and lootbreaking, also bard spell)
Level 4 Carm Monster Isaac's lesser missle storm Minor Globe of Invulnerability Improved Invisibility Confusion (using it on bard with limited success) Euphoric Gaze Rainbow Pattern Viscid Glob (not sure, never used that, but looks good on paper) Contagion (effects and dc are utterly useless) Polymorph Selph
Level 3 flame arrow haste hold person invisibility sphere protection from elements vampiric touch clariaudience/clairvoyance (unless u have decent div focus and can afford it)
Level 2 Flurry of Fumes Snowball Swarm False Life Lesser Dispel Stonebone Ghoul Touch Ultra vision Balagarn's Horn (too low dc) Death Armor Tasha's Hideous Laughter Invisibility See Invisibility Knock Stats buff spells (but Eagle's Splendor for countering stat drain effects on me) Continual Flame
Pariah's lose 1 spell in each of the hardest levels 6 to 9. I see it worst at level 8 and 9. I like the use of temporal Stasis (8)but there is no way to fit in and Shapechange (9), but here I have to use pwk, weirds and mords and still no place for drains which would help with banishing. It would be nice if Pariahs could get to choose one trans spell for each of those 4 levels(6to9) for free since they are in the school that they specialize in. Like bigbys which I haven't even mentioned.
Level 9 Dominate Monster Personal opinion: Greater spell mantle, because empowered spell mantle grants more absorbs. But it´s costly in any case and I usually take neither.
Level 8 Mass Charm
Level 5 Lesser Mind Blank Hold Monster (though with ench focus worth it I think)
Level 1 Ice Dagger
Dominate Monster - maybe not in big groups, but incredibly useful in small ones (2-3 players characters). You make the big nasties go poof and make them reappear later when you are ready for them. Greater Spell Mantle - it is a long known bug/feature, but you can empower them. Mass Charm is an elegant way to incapacitate large groups who lack daze immunity and there are quite a few in Abyss and Limbo. For instance viper trees. Or (almost) whole Hive. LMB is incredible protection from 1s, as long as you keep track of it. Hold Monster - invaluable in Abyss and Limbo. Can be used Hells too. Note it gets even more DC from ench foci. Ice Dagger - extremely cost effective. It deals comparable damage to Combust of Melf's Acid Arrow and people are picking those too.
Yeah, looks like u can cs anythin non crit imm. - Big Crit
lol acid fog? static field? orbs? greater stoneskin? is this a herald and pariah spell list or a sorc (jk, to be clear sorc quasis, or at least pariah, suffers the same decision dilemmas on spells but even worse so it is important to consider--but yeah, neither of these spells should be on the avg sorcs spellbook) and yes to be clear/joking aside, I think that you're just showing how in general all those spells are ALL @l6, it's a good point: regardless of school choice or quasi, L6 just happens to be absolutely packed with a bunch of crap that any type of sorc wants/needs.
edit: prismatic spray is super duper niche. it's probably the least useful spell in the entire game that actually is learned for 1 specific purpose (and also only really "wanted" in a fairly specific party comp environment, at that).
@ horrids this is important, it is more than a niche spell for both abyss and abo, in that there's simply a lot of horrid targets on some maps, it really does put in work, regardless of party size or composition, i wouldn't leave it as an endnote option, it's definitely one of the choices to make @ L8; however I think the point doomie is making is rather that 8 is prolly the easiest one since there simply aren't a lot of good spells there to even compete with eachother for, in the way that L6 and L9 are really tough. I don't think most sorcs take GS @8, (not saying it's a poor choice just I would assume most vets to not need it esp with botting and stuff [mass gs, or just avoiding using GS for randoms otoh] and put an offensive L8 instead), so I would say L8 is usually the "when I level up i change the goofy L8 fun choice to a diff one", which is like GS, temp stasis, bb8/polar ray depending where you're recently/plan in near future to play.
bb5 should def not be on the sh!tlisted spells list, I never cast in practice either but it's actually really good. (true, according to my logic that does kind of define it as not good, but it's really more of not "needing" it as much, it's a very strong spell in some situations, it's def worth a L5 pick).
the rest of that list is pretty spot on. edit: well yeah, forgot to mention the Hold monster, as simp pointed out, and also I suppose I'd agree on the ice dagger analysis, altho I would like to clarify/point out the fact that while the direct cost:beneft comparison of ice dagger to melf arrow would indicate the cold dagger is just as good, in reality the reason melf is so good is because of a lack of competitive acid dmg options; dagger otoh has coldball which is far better in general and as we all know it's extremely rare for a sorc to be close to running out of L6-9 spells (for some form of coldball) and prefer single-target ice dagger instead, despite the good dmg it may provide; while a sorc needing acid dmg literally has no other option than melf. so yeah i'm not disagreeing that ice dagger is techically a good spell or comparable to melf, i'm just saying that i don't think it's needed anywhere near as much, obviously if there was a L6 acidball, casting melf would be very rare indeed.
@disintegrate, just to be clear altho historically the summary is "needed for hells, not needed elsewhere, or not needed as much", it's a bit more nuanced than that: it's really good across the entire pre-PL (yup gotta coin this one now in preparation for mechanus drop, new world guys) mod imo, there's a surprising # of disint targets in abyss, they're just not generally needed or even noticed because presence of cleric (and/or druid), but as for abo it's a must have, this could be an opinion thing i guess but im gonna go ahead and state it as a fact. anyway, disint is really good, i just want to be clear that it's not a hells-only spell, and for that reason it remains as a competitor/complication for picking L6s even for sorcs that weren't built to play in hell. also, finally i would point out that even in hells it got nerfed lately so it's actually less casted now (with less targets) than for last 10yrs, in the arena that it's most famous for, but even still this isn't going anywhere on most sorcs that aren't built/specced for not having trans. as for abyss sorc i would say that having trans->disint or not is largely a matter of: is the sorc a hell/abyss sorc (aka has trans anyway) or is it an abo/abyss sorc (aka it lacks trans cuz it has abj) or just a abj/div sorc that was built to have those to be different and intended runmates and party comp etc, but just to be clear i definitely wouldn't equate abyss sorc with lacking disint, simply because as pointed out above, you can operate at close to maximum efficiency in abyss with only PWK + chainlightning ESK on a "hell" build, relying on power creep(PLs/demi/gear)+sorc OPness+ED to still function the offschool critical spell role; therefore abyss sorc doesn't necessarily mean abj specialist some "exotic" abj/div/encj combo.