Some Wizards become so soaked with arcane power that it turns into a core part of their existence -- not just magically, but physically too. These Sorcerers exhibit a startling array of abilities and feats of prowess that would make them a hit at children's parties and weddings if they ever deigned to mingle with common society.
- ESSENCE TRANSIT: Every mana point spent regenerates 2 health
- ARCANE KNOWLEDGE: +5 starting mana
- MANA SHIELD: Deal one magic damage (per character level) whenever an opponent hits you
Sorcerers are easily the most powerful class as a low-level character. Their Essence Transit special ability allows them to heal enormous amounts of hit points every time they cast a spell. In fact, a Sorcerer has enough mana to fully heal himself three times over as a 1st level character, in addition to whatever benefits are afforded by the specific spell he's casting.
This incredible power quickly fades away, however, because essence transit does not improve as you gain levels and still heals the same number of hit points. What begins as a massive advantage becomes more of a marginal benefit as the Sorcerer matures, and his entire game plan will change accordingly.
To succeed, a Sorcerer needs to leverage his strong early-game to put himself in a stronger position. He's relatively weakest at higher levels, so you'll need every advantage you can muster to overcome the boss. Sorcerers naturally lend themselves to hybrid fighter/caster approaches, but are versatile enough to be played as defensive brawler-type characters or as pure casters.
A pure caster approach will focus more heavily on his enlarged mana pool. In this case, Sorcerers should seek out ways to refill their mana pool in the late game. Despite being a pure caster, remember that boss fights often are a game of inches, so it is best to make sure Essence Transit does not go to waste, and Mana Shield is a proverbial gift horse who should not be looked in the mouth. (Of course Mana Burn especially can factor into such considerations)
With a brawler setup, a Sorcerer can stretch the utility of Essence Transit and Mana Shield with defensive items while reaping the rewards of a large mana pool, functioning as an above-average caster in spite of all other choices. Almost any combat glyph stands a fighting chance of being a star player in some situation or other, depending on the enemy and what spawns in the stores. Even if you begin the run with a caster setup prepared, you should pay attention to the luck of the draw and think twice before opting in to Mystera's Flames especially, at least until you have a good plan for the boss fight.
Just about any race can make for a good Sorcerer, but perhaps the Orc has the hardest time scaling into the late game. Similarly, the Dwarf and Halfling can proc Mana Shield more often, but it might not be worth writing home about.
Gnomes get plenty of extra mana potions, which refill more due to the Sorcerer's high mana.
Humans are suitable for a more melee-oriented Sorcerer, as their attack bonus starts getting powerful in the late game when Mana Shield and Essence Transit fall off.
Goblins' ability to convert for extra XP gives the Sorcerer more opportunities to level up and get those 20+ mana refills.
This leaves Elf, who is definitely viable, as mana-stacking is pretty strong as far as one-dimensional strategies go. This class also manages to stretch the utility of Essence Transit a bit further than usual.
Sorcerers are flexible enough to thrive with almost any deity, given a complementary item build. Taurog is probably the most questionable, but even in this case, it's possible to farm piety with selective fireball use and then convert out.
Mystera Annur gives both more efficient fireballing via Mystic Balance, and a lot of mana in the endgame with Refreshment. An obvious and strong choice.
Jehora Jeheyu's health bonus can be quite useful to a Sorcerer and enable him to fight higher level enemies that would otherwise be impossible due to being one-shot killers before the Sorcerer's healing can kick in. Chaos Avatar, typically used as an extra level-up during the boss fight with associated mana refill, also synergizes well with the sorcerer's large mana pool. Since the Boost Health/Essence Transit combo is extremely effective at level 1, it is highly advantageous to gain piety through a safe desecration like Binlor at level 1 when such an option is available. This way, you can achieve Boost Health and Petition at level 1 with minimal punishments.
The Earthmother is always a strong option for casters, even if her mana-restoring Clearance doesn't care about the size of the Sorcerer's mana pool. Her Vine Form and Greenblood boons are better for brawler/hybrid approaches.
Glowing Guardian allows the Sorcerer to pull off some absolutely sick bonus XP spikes at low levels through Humility. His other boons are bit more brawler-friendly.
Sorcerers can use a variety of items with good efficiency. Any pure caster item can be put to good use, but Crystal Ball is especially prep-worthy with such a large mana pool, and if you get mana boons from Mystera and/or JJ and play as an Elf, this can easily escalate to pure shenanigans. For hybrid approaches, the Witchalok Pendant does not disappoint - just make sure your enemy is burning during your exploration portion of the regen fight cycle.
At early levels, the Shield preparation has a nice synergy. Since tanking a single hit is often the single barrier to taking on enemies with Essence Transit at low levels, this item can sometimes make all of the difference. As always, it will fall off and become a top candidate for conversion fodder before too long.
One item that is completely game-changing is Avatar's Codex, and Sorcerers use it to great effect. You only need to weigh the pros against the map's distribution of status ailments. Except for high-level fights, the Sorcerer's Essence Transit tends to pay for the drawback and then some. A higher mana total helps, and Mana Shield procs without consuming the burn stacks. The Codex brings the damage total up to 8 per caster level, with 1 damage per level from Mana Shield, and 1 damage per monster level due to burning - 100 damage total per cast if everyone is level 10. Note that the monster hits you after the initial fireball, so that you can still get one-hit spell kills in on lower-level monsters if need be.
A special case is the Sorcerer's unique ability to remove more Death Protections from Animated Armor enemies than anyone else in a single turn due to Mana Shield. A basic hit with a burn from Whurrgarbl popped by knockback damage with Bear Mace (or Binlor's Stone Fist) causes 3 DP stacks removed in one melee hit already; Mana Shield brings the total up to 4. Since enemies get weaker as you remove DP stacks anyway, this may be more a matter of trivia than something worth building an item preparation strategy around. However, Whurrgarbl is pretty decent for regen fighting as it is, and Mana Shield does not consume burn stacks.