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FTG Gameguide: Dark Souls Sorcerer Build and Guide

 

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Oh, no, this isn't my end game pic. This is about the half way point!

Having finished Dark Souls, I felt that I wish I could have gone back in time and told myself a few things to save myself some grief later. This is meant for a guide for both people familiar with the game and those folks looking to dip their toes into the sadomasochistic fun of Dark Souls.

Why should I pick a Sorcerer?
Because there are enemies and bosses the size of small skyscrapers. They can stomp on you and kill you in one shot. Why would you want to go toe-to-toe with them when you can leisurely zap incoming enemies from a safe distance? In a game where the slightest “whoops” can lead to an instant death, it’s better to stay far, far away from your enemies.

I’m in the character creation screen. Which special gift should I pick to start with?
All the starting “gifts” are all crap, except for one item: the Master Key. It literally opens every locked door in the game, which keeps you from having to search all over kingdom come for the matching key.

Which attributes should I focus on as a Sorcerer?
(When I originally wrote this, prior to my beating it) I’m currently soul level 73 with my sorcerer, dropping 32,000 souls to get one attribute point. My current breakdown is:

Vitality: 24
Attunement: 19
Endurance: 8
Strength: 13
Dexterity: 14
Resistance: 8
Intelligence: 58
Faith: 8

Why so much Intelligence?
Sorcerer class’ primary statistic is Intelligence. The higher the INT, the more damage your sorcerer spells do. Simple as that. Because in the beginning of the game, you have very limited spell “ammunition”, you have to make those starting 30 soul arrows really pack a punch. Start stacking up level after level with Intelligence.

Why Vitality?
Really up to you. It’s a balancing act, forcing yourself to put a point to raise your overall health when it could be going to your damage output (Intelligence). But do it. Sorcerers are glass cannons; we can dish out an absurd amount of ranged damage, but we get our asses’ handed to us up close. You need to have enough health to survive the game’s regular one-shot death frequency.

Why Attunement?
Attunement of 19 sets you up with five spell slots. Through most of the game, I had two Soul Arrows, a Great Soul Arrow, a Heavy Soul Arrow and a Greater Heavy Soul Arrow equipped. That’s 100 shots combined, and I’m rarely ever running out of “ammo” before either finding the next bonfire to refresh…or just plain dying.  The only time I wanted more slots than this was when I got the Tin Crystallization Catalyst.  This unique wand which halves the amount of spells you cast per stack, but is the most powerful intelligence-scaling catalyst in the game.  That being said, it wasn’t worth  leveling Attunement to 23 for another slot.

Why Strength and Dexterity?
Eventually, you want to level it up to 16 Strength and 12 Dexterity, and you’ll see below why.

Why not anything else?
Faith is used by clerics to cast miracles, so you won’t need that at all.
Resistance is nice, increasing your ability to absorb poison, curses, etc, but good armor can make up for it.
Endurance is also nice, as it sets how much gear you can equip, but there’s a work around that so you can keep dumping points into Intelligence (see below).

Which spells should I buy?
For early game, soul arrows. Faster ones are better. You have the Heavy and Greater Heavy, but those are more likely to get you killed than kill your target with their long-as-hell casting time. Soul arrow and, after you rescue Griggs of Vanheim from Lower Undead Burg, purchase Great Soul Arrow.

Don’t bother with Magic Weapon and Magic Shield. Magic Shield enchants your shield, but doesn’t last long enough to make it worthwhile, while Magic Weapon forces you to have your Sorcerer’s Catalyst in one hand and the weapon in the other. No shield! With as critical as shields are in Dark Souls, it’s not worth the trade off.

Late game? The Homing Soulmass and Homing Crystal Soulmass are incredibly useful.  None of that annoying “locking on” noise; merely launch, leave the five orbs floating around you and they’ll attack the closest thing in your immediate front 180 degree arc without having to lock on.  Nothing nicer than being able to roll dodge out of the way while five crystal missiles fly at your defenseless target still stuck in its attack animation.  By the end of the game, Soulmasses were absolute gamechangers for me.  Not having to worry about locking onto a target becomes critical in bigger boss battles, when you’re busy staying mobile. Of course, you don’t just buy those from anyone, you have to rescue Master Sorcerer Big Hat Logan from both Sen’s Fortress and then later from the basement of the Crystal Cave/Duke’s Archives, which I detail how to free him below!

Next page for gear to focus on getting and a great grind spot to get souls!

  • endersiege

    Actually this guide is fairly bad. a sorc uses int. a pyro does not at all need int. also the master key does not open all doors and is also crap the doors it opens are keys easily gotten. other than attunement and 1 point in dex. really most can go into int. unless you want to use the heal spell then 4 into faith.

    • ShanghaiSix

      @endersiege

      What would starting gift would you possibly choose other than the Master Key? A whole bunch of one-use items? Nah, that damn key is useful through easily half of the game.

      Not sure about Pyro, doesn’t it scale with INT? If not, how do you make your fire spells more powerful?

      Heal spell? Really? 10-15 Estus flasks and you’re going to waste an attunement slot, four soul levels and an item for a dink heal spell? Might want to try again, bud.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=5314554 Dremain Moore

        I’ve got to say that the Healing Spell helped me preserve Estus Flasks for emergency uses, so it wasn’t that bad of an investment. Ultimately, I’d want to have Faith at at least 28 for Wrath of the Gods, the Force Spells and the Magic Resistance.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/OKXTWNMGJBVSN3UVJJ2JB42XEY christopher

        Late to the party I know, but the heal slot (IMO) is an absolute must. If you enjoy the co-op / invasion element, it allows you to heal as a Phantom. Granted, I don’t use the slot for heal unless I intend to be a phantom co-op partner or invader.

  • ShanghaiSix

    What would starting gift would you possibly choose other than the Master Key? A whole bunch of one-use items? Nah, that damn key is useful through easily half of the game.

    Not sure about Pyro, doesn’t it scale with INT? If not, how do you make your fire spells more powerful?

    Heal spell? Really? 10-15 Estus flasks and you’re going to waste an attunement slot, four soul levels and an item for a dink heal spell? Might want to try again, bud.

  • ShanghaiSix

    What would starting gift would you possibly choose other than the Master Key? A whole bunch of one-use items? Nah, that damn key is useful through easily half of the game.

    Not sure about Pyro, doesn’t it scale with INT? If not, how do you make your fire spells more powerful?

    Heal spell? Really? 10-15 Estus flasks and you’re going to waste an attunement slot, four soul levels and an item for a dink heal spell? Might want to try again, bud.

  • ShanghaiSix

    What would starting gift would you possibly choose other than the Master Key? A whole bunch of one-use items? Nah, that damn key is useful through easily half of the game.

    Not sure about Pyro, doesn’t it scale with INT? If not, how do you make your fire spells more powerful?

    Heal spell? Really? 10-15 Estus flasks and you’re going to waste an attunement slot, four soul levels and an item for a dink heal spell? Might want to try again, bud.

  • ShanghaiSix

    What would starting gift would you possibly choose other than the Master Key? A whole bunch of one-use items? Nah, that damn key is useful through easily half of the game.

    Not sure about Pyro, doesn’t it scale with INT? If not, how do you make your fire spells more powerful?

    Heal spell? Really? 10-15 Estus flasks and you’re going to waste an attunement slot, four soul levels and an item for a dink heal spell? Might want to try again, bud.

  • ShanghaiSix

    What would starting gift would you possibly choose other than the Master Key? A whole bunch of one-use items? Nah, that damn key is useful through easily half of the game.

    Not sure about Pyro, doesn’t it scale with INT? If not, how do you make your fire spells more powerful?

    Heal spell? Really? 10-15 Estus flasks and you’re going to waste an attunement slot, four soul levels and an item for a dink heal spell? Might want to try again, bud.

  • ShanghaiSix

    What would starting gift would you possibly choose other than the Master Key? A whole bunch of one-use items? Nah, that damn key is useful through easily half of the game.

    Not sure about Pyro, doesn’t it scale with INT? If not, how do you make your fire spells more powerful?

    Heal spell? Really? 10-15 Estus flasks and you’re going to waste an attunement slot, four soul levels and an item for a dink heal spell? Might want to try again, bud.

  • ShanghaiSix

    What would starting gift would you possibly choose other than the Master Key? A whole bunch of one-use items? Nah, that damn key is useful through easily half of the game.

    Not sure about Pyro, doesn’t it scale with INT? If not, how do you make your fire spells more powerful?

    Heal spell? Really? 10-15 Estus flasks and you’re going to waste an attunement slot, four soul levels and an item for a dink heal spell? Might want to try again, bud.

  • ShanghaiSix

    What would starting gift would you possibly choose other than the Master Key? A whole bunch of one-use items? Nah, that damn key is useful through easily half of the game.

    Not sure about Pyro, doesn’t it scale with INT? If not, how do you make your fire spells more powerful?

    Heal spell? Really? 10-15 Estus flasks and you’re going to waste an attunement slot, four soul levels and an item for a dink heal spell? Might want to try again, bud.

  • ShanghaiSix

    What would starting gift would you possibly choose other than the Master Key? A whole bunch of one-use items? Nah, that damn key is useful through easily half of the game.

    Not sure about Pyro, doesn’t it scale with INT? If not, how do you make your fire spells more powerful?

    Heal spell? Really? 10-15 Estus flasks and you’re going to waste an attunement slot, four soul levels and an item for a dink heal spell? Might want to try again, bud.

  • ShanghaiSix

    What would starting gift would you possibly choose other than the Master Key? A whole bunch of one-use items? Nah, that damn key is useful through easily half of the game.

    Not sure about Pyro, doesn’t it scale with INT? If not, how do you make your fire spells more powerful?

    Heal spell? Really? 10-15 Estus flasks and you’re going to waste an attunement slot, four soul levels and an item for a dink heal spell? Might want to try again, bud.

  • ShanghaiSix

    What would starting gift would you possibly choose other than the Master Key? A whole bunch of one-use items? Nah, that damn key is useful through easily half of the game.

    Not sure about Pyro, doesn’t it scale with INT? If not, how do you make your fire spells more powerful?

    Heal spell? Really? 10-15 Estus flasks and you’re going to waste an attunement slot, four soul levels and an item for a dink heal spell? Might want to try again, bud.

  • RafaelRafoca

    Good post. Friend, Int does not affect the pyromancer spells. I just finished the game with my Pyro. You upgrade the fire spells by upgranding the pyromancer gloves in the same way you would upgrade any weapon, but you only do it with other pyromancers NPC´s :)

    • ShanghaiSix

      Ah, that completely explains everything. Wondered why my Fireball and Fire Orb spells weren’t leveling up with my INT upgrades. Thanks for the update!

      • RafaelRafoca

        yeah… that´s excatly why pyromancer is the class with potential to be the most powerful of them all.

  • Anonymous

    Great guide and thanks for sharing your insights. I started off as a Thief getting my a** kicked due to my lack of proficient melee and restarted a sorc. They’re night and day in difficulty and I’m having much more fun.

  • http://www.facebook.com/nlevack Nicholas LeVack

    I finally got my own copy of Dark Souls after briefly playing my brother’s rental last year, and I’ve got to say your guide has been super helpful so far. I finally beat Havel in addition to every Black Knight and sub-boss I’ve come across. Darkroot Garden was such a breeze, even the Stone Giants took just a couple shots; I was able to play from the entrance to the Moonlight Butterfly, only regaining my Soul Arrows and Estus Flasks once at the Bonfire behind the illusory wall. It was kind of cutting it close during that boss battle, but I managed to survive even with a few missteps and my diminishing supplies.

    Honestly, I was afraid of using a Sorcerer class after getting so comfortable with turtling through Demon’s Souls, but it turned out much easier and more enjoyable than I had expected. Thanks for the guide, hopefully it’ll see me through to the endgame.

  • Rob Rees

    You’ve wasted 18 levels – stats suffer diminishing returns after 40. 58 in intellect is a complete waste of souls.