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Frost Nova Sorceress Guide


Introduction

The Queen of "Ting Ting Ting", the Frost Nova Sorceress puts her enemies on Ice. Frost Nova flattens mobs with ring after ring of Cold Damage, Chilling them in the process. This Sorceress specializes in Elite Hunting in Farming Spots such as Ancient Tunnels and Arachnid Lair in Solo Gameplay. With the advent of Terror Zones and Cold Rupture in Patch 2.5, several other areas such as Halls of Anguish and The Pit can also become efficient farms.

With the help of Cold Mastery and the best Faster Cast Rate Breakpoints, this build packs a serious punch with otherwise low damage values. Frozen Orb enables her to kill Bosses and deal with troublesome Elites from afar. Infinity grants the Frost Nova Sorceress the freedom to hybridize and use both Frost Nova and Nova interchangeably. Magic Find like a boss and crush your enemies with an icy onslaught!

Ideal Standard Setup

Frost Nova

Frozen Orb

Energy Shield

Teleport

This build guide assumes you have a Character at Level 75 before transitioning to it. Check out our Sorceress Leveling Guide and our General Leveling Strategies to reach Level 75.

Great Elite Hunter ✔
Rewarding Solo Play
Fast-Paced Playstyle

Easy To Learn And Master

❌ Low Damage
Risky Playstyle
❌ Limited Early-Game Starter
Requires GG Gear For True Potential


Sunder Charm Setup

Patch 2.5 introduces a new way of breaking Immunities: Sunder Charms. Any enemy that would be Immune to your damage type is instead reduced to 95% Resistance, before any other Resistance reductions apply. The Charm also reduces YOUR Resistance against the sundered damage type! Check out our post on Sunder Charms to learn more about these new Charms. The following setup uses Cold Rupture, allowing you to farm anywhere you want.

Sunder Charm Setup

Gear Changes

To optimize this Sunder Charm you need as much -% Enemy Cold Resistance as possible. Allocating additional Skill Points into Cold Mastery (till -195% Enemy Cold Resistance) by itself can do the trick. Cold Rainbow Facets socketed into gear can also help accomplish this.

Counteract the negative effect of Cold Rupture with Cold Resistance Charms and Jewelry.
Note: Since Resistances do not apply to damage taken on Energy Shield, this is not as important while Energy Shield is active.


Terror Zones

The new Terror Zone mechanic combined with Sunder Charms open up a wide range of farmable areas. The following list highlights the best and worst Terror Zones for this build on the Starter setup. With the Sunder Charm Setup, every Terror Zone becomes accessible. Learn more about Terror Zones here and see how they stack up in our Terror Zone Tier List.

Best

Tristram - High Density, Easy Mobility, Many Elite Groups, No Immunities
Jail - High Density, Quick Access, No Immunities
Cathedral + Catacombs - Many Elite Groups, Quick Access, Few Immunities
Far Oasis - Easy Mobility, Quick Access, No Immunities
Burial Grounds + Crypt + Mausoleum - No Immunities

Worst

Blood Moor + Den of Evil - Low Density, Trash Mobility, Immunities
Crystalline Passage + Frozen River - Trash Mobility, High Physical Damage, Immunities
Ancients' Way + Icy Cellar - Trash Mobility, High Physical Damage, Immunities
Glacial Trail - Trash Mobility, High Physical Damage, Immunities
Pit - High Physical Damage, Immunities


Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Cold Mastery
2. Teleport
3. Static Field
4. Frozen Armor
5. Warmth

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Frost Nova
2. Frozen Orb
3. Blizzard
4. Telekinesis
5. Energy Shield

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Damage

Frost Nova* is your Primary Damage Skill. It emits an expanding ring of ice from your Character that Slows and deals Cold Damage to enemies within its Area of Effect (AoE).

Frozen Orb* is your Secondary Damage Skill. Use it to damage enemies such as Bosses from afar. It is cast outward from your Character in the direction of your cursor, dealing Cold Damage to any mobs caught in its path. The Orb shoots tiny bolts of Ice outward in all directions and explodes at a certain distance, dealing its highest damage.
Note: This Skill has a 1 second Cooldown/Cast Delay; other Skills may be cast in the duration. Faster Cast Rate only improves the Skill's cast speed; it does not shorten the interval between casts.

Static Field* is great to use against Bosses and densely-packed high Life monsters. Each cast uses Lightning Damage to lower nearby monster Life by 25% of their remaining Life. This Skill can reduce monsters' Life to 1 in Normal, 33% of total Life in Nightmare, and 50% in Hell.

* Faster Cast Rate Skills (FCR)
* Cooldown Skills

Utility

Teleport* is an essential Sorceress Skill used for mobility. It repositions your Character to your cursor's position. Repeatedly cast it to cover long distances.

Energy Shield* is a temporary buff that redirects damage to your Mana pool instead of your Life. While active, a percentage (based on this Skill's Level) of all received Damage (except Poison) results in a loss of Mana. Resistances do not apply to damage taken on Energy Shield. If you have 0 Mana in your Mana pool and receive additional damage, this buff expires and needs to be recast.

Telekinesis* allows you to use a Waypoint, enter a Portal, or pick up utility items (Potions, Scrolls, or Gold) from a distance.

Frozen Armor* increases your Defense rating and briefly Freezes enemies that strike your Sorceress. It doesn't work against ranged attacks.

Warmth* provides you with passive Mana Regeneration based on its Skill Level.

* Faster Cast Rate Skills (FCR)
* Skills that do NOT utilize either FCR or IAS


Attributes

Note: This section provides you with the standard Stat Point allocation. Build Variants can require a different allocation!

Strength

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength to equip all of your gear. Take into account how much Strength your gear provides when equipped.

Dexterity

Allocate enough Stat Points into Dexterity to equip all of your gear. Take into account how much Dexterity your gear provides when equipped.

Vitality

Don't allocate any Stat Points into Vitality, because Energy Shield is being fully utilized. This build gets some Life from gear, buffs, and Charms.

Energy

Allocate any remaining Stat Points into Energy to fully utilize Energy Shield, which requires large amounts of Mana.


Essentials

Gear Options

While every Stat in the Desirable Stats column is useful for this build, we highlighted the Priority Stats in Teal so you can easily identify the Most Important Stats on them.

Hover over any Item to see a pop-out with the full Item description.

Gear Notes: Any Items with specialized or niche uses have a superscript that refers here.
1) Use a Lower Resist Charge Wand on Weapon-Swap to further reduce Cold Resistance or break some monster Cold Immunity if you do not have a Cold Rupture in your inventory.
2) You can pre-buff Energy Shield using a +9 Energy Shield Memory.

SlotItem OptionsDesirable Stats
WeaponDeath's Fathom (Ist Rune)
Death's Fathom (5/5 Cold Rainbow Facet)
Wizardspike
Obsession
Heart of the Oak Flail
Tal Rasha's Lidless Eye
The Oculus
Spirit
x% Chance to cast level 10 Weaken when struck
+x to All Skills
+x to Sorceress Skills

+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
-x% to Enemy Cold Resistance
+x% to Cold Skill Damage
+x to Frost Nova [Sorceress Only]
+x to Cold Mastery [Sorceress Only]
+x to Energy Shield [Sorceress Only]
+x to Attribute
+x Life
Replenish Life +x
+x Mana
Increased Maximum Mana x%
+x to Mana after each Kill
X Resist +x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Off-HandSpirit Monarch
Gerke's Sanctuary
Stormshield
Jeweler's Monarch of Deflecting (4x 5/5 Cold Rainbow Facets)
Moser's Blessed Circle
Ancients' Pledge
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x% Faster Block Rate
x% Increased Chance of Blocking

-x% to Enemy Cold Resistance
+x% to Cold Skill Damage
+x Life
Replenish Life +x
+x Mana
X Resist +x%
Damage Reduced by x%
Damage Reduced by x
Magic Damage Reduced by x

Weapon-SwapCall to Arms
Gemmed Crystal Sword (6x Ist Runes)
Blade of Ali Baba
Gull
Lower Resist Charge Wand1
Memory2
Harmony
Level 10 Vigor Aura When Equipped
+x to All Skills
+x to Sorceress Skills
+x to Battle Orders
+x to Battle Command

+x to Energy Shield [Sorceress Only]
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Level x Lower Resist [x/x Charges]
Off-Hand-SwapSpirit Monarch
Ethereal Spirit Monarch
Lidless Wall
Gemmed Monarch (4x Ist Runes)
Rhyme
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x% Faster Block Rate
x% Increased Chance of Blocking
+x Life
+x Mana
X Resist +x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
HelmetsHarlequin Crest
Nightwing's Veil
Glacial Diadem of the Magus
Rare Diadem
Crown of Ages
Tal Rasha's Horadric Crest
Tarnhelm
Peasant Crown
Rockstopper
Lore
+x to All Skills
+x to Cold Skills [Sorceress Only]
+x% Faster Run/Walk
+x% Faster Cast Rate

+x% Faster Hit Recovery
-x% to Enemy Cold Resistance
+x% to Cold Skill Damage

+x to Attribute
+x Life
+x Mana
X Resist +x%
+x Cold Absorb
Damage Reduced by x%
+x to Mana after each Kill
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Body ArmorTal Rasha's Guardianship (3-Piece Tal Rasha's Set)
Ormus' Robes
Skin of the Vipermagi
Enigma
Chains of Honor
Skullder's Ire
Fortitude
Smoke
Stealth
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Run/Walk
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
-x% to Enemy Cold Resistance
+x% to Cold Skill Damage
+x to Frost Nova [Sorceress Only]
+x to Attribute
Increased Maximum Life x%
X Resist +x%
Damage Reduced by x%
Magic Damage Reduced by x
+x to Life after each Kill
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
GlovesMagefist
Trang-Oul's Claws
Frostburn
Chance Guards
+x% Faster Cast Rate
Increased Maximum Mana x%
Regenerate Mana x%
X Resist +x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
BeltsTal Rasha's Fine-Spun Cloth (3-Piece Tal Rasha's Set)
Arachnid Mesh
Caster Crafted Belt
Verdungo's Hearty Cord
Thundergod's Vigor
Goldwrap Battle Belt
Rare Belt
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x to Attribute
+x Life
+x Mana
Increased Maximum Mana x%
+x% to Maximum Lightning Resist
X Resist +x%
+x Lightning Absorb
Damage Reduced by x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
BootsWar Traveler
Silkweave
Caster Crafted Boots
Rare Boots
Sandstorm Trek
Aldur's Advance
Ruby Chain Boots of Luck
+x% Faster Run/Walk
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x to Attribute
+x Life
+x Mana
Increased Maximum Mana x%
X Resist +x%
+x to Mana after each Kill
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
AmuletsTal Rasha's Adjudication (3-Piece Tal Rasha's Set)
Mara's Kaleidoscope
Caster Crafted Amulet
Caster Crafted Amulet
Glacial Amulet of the Apprentice
Glacial Amulet of Luck
Glacial Amulet of the Whale
Glacial Amulet
+x to All Skills
+x to Cold Skills [Sorceress Only]
+x to Sorceress Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate

+x to Attribute
+x Life
+x Mana
Regenerate Mana x%
X Resist x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
RingsFortuitous Ring of Fortune
Nagelring
Rare Ring
Rare Ring
Rare Ring
The Stone of Jordan
Wisp Projector
Nature's Peace
Dwarf Star
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate

Slain Monsters Rest in Peace
+x Life
+x Mana
Increased Maximum Mana x%
X Resist x%
Lightning Absorb x%
Fire Absorb x%
Damage Reduced by x
Magic Damage Reduced by x
+x to Mana after each Kill
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
CharmsChilling Grand Charm of Vita
Chilling Grand Charm of Balance
Chilling Grand Charm
Serpent's Grand Charm of Vita
Shimmering Grand Charm of Balance
Shimmering Grand Charm
Resistance Grand Charm
Shimmering Small Charm of Good Luck
Sapphire Small Charm of Good Luck
Serpent's Small Charm of Good Luck
Shimmering Small Charm of Balance
Serpent's Small Charm of Balance
Serpent's Small Charm of Vita
Shimmering Small Charm of Vita
Sapphire Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm of Good Luck
Small Charm of Vita
Shimmering Small Charm
Resistance Small Charm
+x to Cold Skills [Sorceress Only]
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x Life
+x Mana
X Resist x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Unique CharmsCold Rupture
Gheed's Fortune
Sorceress Hellfire Torch
Annihilus
Monster Cold Immunity is Sundered
+x to All Skills
+x to Sorceress Skills
+x to All Attributes
All Resistances +x
+x% to Experience Gained
x% Extra Gold from Monsters
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Reduces all Vendor Prices x%
+x to Light Radius

Farming Spots

The areas below are efficient farming locations that make use of the build’s strengths. Other farming spots might not be as effective due to Immunities or bad layouts. These areas are strong without a Sunder Charm.

Anything that has a in the "Starter" column can be farmed with the Starter Variant.

Act 1

AreaStarterRewards
MausoleumAll Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
AndarielUniques
Sets
Jewelry
The Secret Cow Level-Runes
Runeword Bases
Charms / Gems / Jewels

Act 2

AreaStarterRewards
Stony TombAll Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Ancient TunnelsAll Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Maggot Lair-All Item Types
Max Area Level
SummonerKey of Hate

Act 3

AreaStarterRewards
Arachnid LairAll Item Types
Max Area Level
Lower KurastRunes
Runeword Bases
Charms / Gems / Jewels
Jewelry
Travincal-Gearing
Runes
Charms / Gems / Jewels
Gold
MephistoUniques
Sets

Act 4

AreaStarterRewards
Chaos Sanctuary-All Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Diablo-Uniques
Sets
Leveling

Act 5

AreaStarterRewards
Worldstone Keep / Throne of Destruction-All Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Baal / Waves-Uniques
Sets
Max Area Level
Leveling

Mercenary

Your Mercenary serves an incredibly important role to the overall success of your build. They can be a front line tank, provide a pivotal Aura, and/or deal Physical Damage to kill enemies with Immunity to your Skill set.

Act 2 Desert Mercenary

The Act 2 Desert Mercenary is hired from Greiz. He can be equipped with a Spear or a Polearm, a Body Armor and a Helmet. 
Every Act 2 Mercenary has access to an Aura and uses Jab as his base Attack. The Aura activates once the Mercenary has engaged in combat and remains active between traveling to and from town. The Auras available are based on what difficulty you hire the Mercenary from.

Might Insight

Insight, Might

Use a Desert Mercenary with Might Aura to finish off Elites quicker and to deal with enemies that are Cold Immune.

Equip him with Insight for the high Mana Regeneration provided by Meditation Aura. Energy Shield benefits greatly from the use of Insight.

Gear Progression

Early-GameMid-GameEnd-Game
Insight
(Any Polearm)
Insight
(Elite Polearm)
Insight
(Ethereal Elite Polearm)
Smoke
(Any Body Armor)
Treachery
(Any Body Armor)
Fortitude
(Ethereal Body Armor, 700++ Base Defense)
Wormskull
(Helmet With Life Leech,
Resistances, and/or Life)
Tal Rasha's Horadric CrestAndariel's Visage
(Ethereal Preferred)

The Mercenary is hard to keep alive until you have the minimum gear recommended in this guide. Remember you can drag Healing Potions onto the portrait, or shift + 1/2/3/4 to directly feed them a Healing Potion from your Belt. The Mercenary also gains bonus Resistances from Thawing Potions and Antidote Potions.

If your Mercenary dies in battle, you can revive them from any of the Mercenary NPCs in each Act. This does come with an increasing cost, capping at 50,000 Gold. Keep that in mind and decide if the Mercenary is currently worth the cost.

Playstyle

General

  • Cast Telekinesis on Waypoints to activate them, on Town Portals to get in or out of town, and on Red Portals to go through them. This allows you to travel through the game faster. Telekinesis can also be used to open chests and pop other clickables for loot.
  • Before starting your Magic Find/Experience run, cast Frozen Armor and Energy Shield once each on whichever weapon loadout has the most + to Skills. Refresh these buffs as soon as they expire.
  • Use Teleport to travel to your Farming Spot or between Elite Packs.
  • Teleport directly into the center of Elite Packs and repeatedly cast Frost Nova until all nearby monsters are dead.
  • When encountering high mob density with high Life (such as in a game with High Player Count), first cast Static Field 1-3 times at close range, and then finish them off with either Frost Nova or Frozen Orb.

For Single Targets:

  • Use Frozen Orb against isolated high Life targets such as Bosses and Elites. Position so that your Frozen Orbs detonate directly atop your target.
  • When encountering Bosses, first cast Static Field 3-5 times at close range, and then finish them off with Frozen Orb.

Immunities

  • Cold Rupture sets all Immune to Cold monsters to 95% Cold Resistance, allowing any sources of -x% to Enemy Cold Resistance to take effect (including Cold Mastery).
  • You can break some Cold Immunes using a Lower Resist Charge Wand on Weapon-Swap before obtaining Cold Rupture.
  • You can "Telestomp" unbreakable Cold Immunes with your Mercenary to kill them with his Physical Damage Jab attack. Alternatively you can just skip them.
  • Always skip Unique monsters that are both highly Cold and Physical Resistant or Immune.

Late-Game

  • Before starting your Magic Find/Experience run, first cast Battle Command 2 times and then Battle Orders once using Call to Arms. Refresh these buffs as soon as they expire (approx. every 2-3 minutes).

Optimal Loot/Experience Farming Strategies

  • Arachnid Lair Solo - This Max Level Area hosts low Life Elite Monsters right next to the Spider Forest Waypoint. It has 0 Cold Immune monster types, making it ideal even before obtaining Cold Rupture. Farm this area Solo on B Net or between /Players1-3 on Single Player.
  • Ancient Tunnels Solo - This Max Level Area hosts many low Life Elite Monsters not far from a Waypoint in Lost City. It has 0 Cold Immune monster types, making it ideal even before obtaining Cold Rupture. Farm this area Solo on B Net or between /Players1-3 on Single Player.

Breakpoints

Breakpoints in Diablo 2 are the minimum values required to reduce the frames of an action. Below are the important breakpoints considered for this build. For more information on the mechanics involved, check out our in-depth Resource: Breakpoints.

Faster Cast Rate (FCR)

Faster Cast Rate speeds up your casting animation for spells. Aim for at least the 105% FCR Breakpoint. Note: FCR only controls the animation speed of the Character, and not any internal Cooldowns spells have.

Frames13121110987
FCR09203763105200

Faster Hit Recovery (FHR)

Faster Hit Recovery increases survivability. Aim for at least the 60% FHR Breakpoint.

Frames15141312111098765
FHR059142030426086142280

Faster Block Rate (FBR)

Faster Block Rate is not required for this build's survivability, but the, 20%, 27%, and 48% FBR Breakpoints can be utilized if using either Gerke's Sanctuary or Stormshield.

Frames9876543
FBR0715274886200

Hardcore

For all Hardcore gameplay, your primary focus is increasing your Resistances, Damage Reduction, Chance to Block and Maximum Life. This can mean sacrificing overall power level for a more secure playstyle.

The Frost Nova Sorceress can become Hardcore viable with key changes to Gear and Stat Point allocation. Review the changes below before building this character in Hardcore, as some of these changes differ significantly from the Standard Build.

Gear Changes

  • Damage Reduction: Equip either Gerke's Sanctuary or Stormshield instead of Spirit. Both the Damage Reduction and Magic Damage Reduction on Gerke's Sanctuary synergize really well with Energy Shield. The Damage Reduction and Increased Chance of Blocking stats on both of these Shields drastically improve your survivability. Crown of Ages and Verdungo's Hearty Cord are also great options for achieving high Damage Reduction on a Hardcore Frost Nova Sorceress.
  • Faster Cast Rate: It can be difficult to achieve the 105% Faster Cast Rate (FCR) Breakpoint while prioritizing Damage Reduction on this build. Trang-Oul's Claws, Ormus' Robes, Skin of the Vipermagi, Fortitude, Arachnid Mesh, a Caster Crafted Amulet, and 10% Faster Cast Rate Rings, are great options for shoring up your FCR.
  • Stacking Resistances: Stack your Fire/Lightning/Cold Resistances beyond the default maximum values of 75 each (175 total in Hell). Stacking 85 additional Resistances in Hell completely negates the Conviction Aura of any Elite Boss or the Oblivion Knight's Lower Resist Curse. Beware of encountering both at the same time! Consider the primary damage type(s) of the monsters in the area you want to farm. Skin of the Vipermagi, Fortitude, Chains of Honor, and Tal Rasha's Guardianship are great Body Armor options for stacking Resistances on this build. Crown of Ages is a solid Helmet option. Boots, Jewelry, and Charms are also ideal sources of Resistances.
    Note: Stacking Resistances is not as important on builds using Energy Shield.
  • Faster Hit Recovery: Aim for at least the 42% Faster Hit Recovery Breakpoint with your Charms, Boots, Helmet, and/or Shael Runes socketed into gear. Faster Hit Recovery is not as important when going for maximum Chance to Block (75%). You mainly rely on the Faster Block Rate Breakpoints attained by Gerke's Sanctuary (15%) or Stormshield (48%).
  • Lightning Absorb: Equip Thundergod's Vigor when farming or Teleporting through an area where Burning Souls are able to spawn such as Worldstone Keep/Throne of Destruction.

Stat Point Changes

  • Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength to wear Gerke's Sanctuary or Stormshield.
  • Allocate enough Stat Points into Dexterity to achieve maximum Chance to Block (75%).
  • Put all remaining Stat Points into Energy.

    See the "Hardcore" Build Variant below for additional suggestions and visuals.

Build Variants

Starter

Setup

The Starter variant of the Frost Nova Sorceress meets the minimum gear requirements for farming the Starter tagged areas in the "Farming Spots" section above. These areas can be Solo-farmed by this setup (/Players1 on Single Player) in both Nightmare and Hell difficulty. The Starter build is particularly strong at Solo farming Arachnid Lair, Stony Tomb, and Ancient Tunnels. Prioritize + to Skills, Faster Cast Rate, Resistances, Life, and Mana on your gear. Use a Lower Resist Charge Wand on Weapon-Swap to reduce enemy Cold Resistance and break some Cold Immunity. You can also use a Harmony on Weapon-Swap to travel faster through town. The Starter build achieves the 105% Faster Cast Rate Breakpoint like the Standard setup. Follow the Sorceress Leveling Guide to get your Sorceress to Level 75.

Mercenary

The Starter Frost Nova Sorceress uses an Act 2 Might Mercenary with Insight for Mana Regeneration. Mercenaries require Resistances, Life Leech, and/or Damage Reduction to stay alive. Smoke is a cheap Body Armor option for Resistances, while Tal Rasha's Horadric Crest is a Helmet that provides Resistances and Life Leech.

Skills

Allocate additional Skill Points into Cold Mastery until you achieve -100% Enemy Cold Resistance. The rest is the same as the Standard Build.

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Telekinesis
2. Teleport
3. Static Field
4. Energy Shield (Max Last)
5. Frozen Armor
6. Warmth

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Frost Nova
2. Frozen Orb
3. Blizzard
4. Cold Mastery
(Till -100% Enemy Cold Resistance)
5. Telekinesis
6. Energy Shield

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength to wear your gear. Put about an equal number of all remaining Stat Points into Vitality and Energy.

Standard

Setup

This is the Standard Best in Slot (BiS) Frost Nova Sorceress featured in the beginning of the guide. It is the balanced "jack-of-all-trades" version, capable of performing the most tasks well. This variant is the point of comparison for all other variants. It carefully balances Magic Find, Damage, Defensive Stats, and mobility. This is an ideal build for Solo farming Arachnid Lair and Ancient Tunnels. With the advent of Terror Zones and the help of Cold Rupture, you can efficiently Solo farm nearly anywhere in the game. The Standard setup achieves the 105% Faster Cast Rate Breakpoint.

Mercenary

The Standard Frost Nova Sorceress uses an Act 2 Might Mercenary with Insight, Fortitude, and Andariel's Visage socketed with a Ruby Jewel of Fervor.

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Cold Mastery
2. Teleport
3. Static Field
4. Frozen Armor
5. Warmth

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Frost Nova
2. Frozen Orb
3. Blizzard
4. Telekinesis
5. Energy Shield

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength to wear your gear. Put all remaining Stat Points into Energy to fully utilize Energy Shield.

Damage

Setup

This variant maximizes the Frost Nova Sorceress' damage output. By using Nightwing's Veil, Death's Fathom, and a Frost Nova Ormus' Robes this setup is able to efficiently farm in games with 3-5 Players or /Players3-5 on Single Player. She can even hold her own in High Player Count games. Frostburn additionally provides a big boost to this build's Energy Shield. Using Cold Rupture allows this build to have maximum freedom along with its maximum damage. The drawback is far less Magic Find compared to the Standard Build. The Damage variant achieves the 105% Faster Cast Rate Breakpoint like the Standard Build.

Mercenary

Just as with the Standard Build, the Damage Frost Nova Sorceress uses an Act 2 Might Mercenary with Insight, Fortitude, and Andariel's Visage socketed with a Ruby Jewel of Fervor.

Skills

The Damage Frost Nova Sorceress puts additional Skill Points into Cold Mastery to take advantage of Cold Rupture. The rest is the same as the Standard Build.

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
2. Teleport
3. Static Field
4. Frozen Armor
5. Warmth

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Frost Nova
2. Frozen Orb
3. Blizzard
4. Cold Mastery
(Till -195% Enemy Cold Resistance)
5. Telekinesis
6. Energy Shield

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength to wear your gear. Put all remaining Stat Points into Energy to fully utilize Energy Shield.

Mobility

Setup

This variant achieves the 200% Faster Cast Rate (FCR) Breakpoint for maximum Frost Nova and Teleport cast speed. The Mobility setup sacrifices Magic Find for mobility and DPS. It excels at "Seal Popping" monsters for loot in Chaos Sanctuary and other fast-paced activities that don’t require Magic Find, such as several Terror Zones, especially if you use Cold Rupture.

Mercenary

Just as with the Standard Build, the Mobility Frost Nova Sorceress uses an Act 2 Might Mercenary with Insight, Fortitude, and Andariel's Visage socketed with a Ruby Jewel of Fervor.

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Cold Mastery
2. Teleport
3. Static Field
4. Frozen Armor
5. Warmth

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Frost Nova
2. Frozen Orb
3. Blizzard
4. Telekinesis
5. Energy Shield

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength and Dexterity to wear your gear. Put all remaining Stat Points into Energy to fully utilize Energy Shield.

Hybrid Nova

Setup

The Hybrid Nova variant utilizes both Frost Nova and Nova to decimate all monsters in the game without Cold Rupture. It uses Frost Nova and Nova interchangeably, taking advantage of the monsters' weaker Elemental Resistance. Lightning Rainbow Facets in high Cold Damage gear make this possible. There is practically nothing this version cannot farm. The Hybrid Nova variant achieves the 105% Faster Cast Rate Breakpoint.

Mercenary

The Hybrid Nova Frost Nova Sorceress uses an Act 2 Might Mercenary with Infinity, Fortitude, and Andariel's Visage socketed with a Ruby Jewel of Fervor.

Skills

Allocate Skill Points into Nova, Static Field, and Lightning Mastery instead of Telekinesis and Energy Shield. The rest is the same as the Standard Build.

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Cold Mastery
2. Telekinesis
2. Teleport
3. Static Field
4. Frozen Armor
5. Warmth

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Frost Nova
2. Frozen Orb
3. Blizzard
4. Nova

Split all remaining Skill Points between Static Field and Lightning Mastery.

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength to wear your gear. Put all remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Hardcore

Setup

For the Hardcore mode variant, aim to have Damage Reduction and maximum Chance to Block (75%) to guard against taking extreme amounts of Physical Damage. Additionally, overcap Resistances beyond the natural cap of 75% if possible to counteract hostile Conviction or Lower Resist. If using Cold Rupture, use Cold Resistance Charms to counteract its negative effect. This variant reaches the 105% Faster Cast Rate Breakpoint like the Standard Build. Consult the "Hardcore" section for more detailed information.

Mercenary

Just as with the Standard Build, the Hardcore Frost Nova Sorceress uses an Act 2 Might Mercenary with Insight, Fortitude, and Andariel's Visage socketed with a Ruby Jewel of Fervor.

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Cold Mastery
2. Teleport
3. Static Field
4. Frozen Armor
5. Warmth

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Frost Nova
2. Frozen Orb
3. Blizzard
4. Telekinesis
5. Energy Shield

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength to wear your gear and enough into Dexterity to achieve maximum Chance to Block (75%). Put all remaining Stat Points into Energy to fully utilize Energy Shield.


Video Guide

Video Guide by DarkHumility

Summary

  • Cold Rupture enables the Frost Nova Sorceress to destroy any and all monsters in the game!
  • 105% or 200% Faster Cast Rate Frost Nova flattens most enemies, while Frozen Orb is great versus Bosses and other high Life single targets such as Elites.
  • After maxing Frost Nova and its Synergies, allocate remaining Skill Points into Telekinesis and Energy Shield for a strong defensive approach. Alternatively, you can allocate remaining Skill Points into Nova and its Synergies for a strong hybrid offensive approach.
  • This build comfortably stacks Magic Find and specializes in Solo farming Elites with her low raw damage. Take advantage of her strengths to get maximum value.

We hope you enjoy this build! Hula-hoop the monsters until Hell freezes over! Magic Find with an icy vengeance!

Good luck!


Credits

Written by DarkHumility
Reviewed by Teo1904


Changelog

Oct 5th 2022
Added in Patch 2.5