Build Review: Mage + Fire Mastery + Staff Mastery + No Spells + 1-H Grissenda


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Build: Fire Summons Mage paired with 1-H Gris.
(Mage + Fire Mastery + Staff + No Spells)

Staff Mastery paired with 1-H Grissenda makes for solid damage output.
1-H Griss + Summons makes for a solid front line to protect the mage.
Only investing in Fire Mastery saves skill points for other skills.
Fire Golem does well in the early game, the mid-game and in the late game.
Fire Golems are half the magic cost of Iron Golems.

The lack of healing ability makes the party dependent on healing potions. This can be troublesome in the early to mid-game.
A few ice areas can make short work of a fire golem. A few ice golem scrolls come in handy.

Fire Mastery did not preform well in in the Frozen Depths of Tremadan's tower. Oh. It was painful. Blizzards just shred a fire golem. The lack of a healing ability made it worse. I had to leave the tower to try to find some healing potions. Jabal only sells the 600 gold potion, which was annoying. I think I was more annoyed by the long run to get a healing potion than I was by the struggle in the ice area. Afterall, I expected the fire golem to struggle in the ice area.

Fire golems make red dragons a joke. I was at an incredibly low level when I killed the first ancient red dragon. Fire golem was lucky enough to be standing on a flame. He got healed from the flame AND the fire breath of the dragon. Fire golem was never even at risk to die. Of course, this only works well the Fire Dragon is attacking the Fire Golem.

Fire golem did really well in the late game.
Fire golem might have outperformed the Iron Golem in the ark. The Iron Golem holds his own against the steel monsters, but tends to get caught in the blast. That tends to kill off the iron golem rather quickly. In contrast, the fire golem is healed by the fiery explosion. The fire golem did okay against shock damage, but using the Lessor Summon for the shock imp was a viable alternative to the Iron Golem (both the lessor summoning Shock Imp and the Iron Golem are immune to shock).
Fire Golem did well in the Sewers of Horrors. In the ice area, Fire Golem was destroyed rapidly by ice wizards, but by than you have Breno. Plus a few summon ice golem scrolls go a long way. Fire Golem was very comfortable in the plane of fire.

In the early game, the mage will hurt for healing potions, but not too bad so long one saves a few for bosses.
By the mid-game, healing potions can be purchased in bulk. That meets the party's healing needs.

Hirge will spend mana healing the summons. That can prolong the life of a summons, but greatly reduces Hirge's ability to heal the mage.
Not having Hirge means a summons might die more often, but a decent mage build will have more than enough mana for repeat summons.

So after the early game, the healing aspect becomes a minor issue. In contrast, the higher damage output of Griss really starts to make a difference against stronger enemies.

Fire Golems are a viable stand-alone option for summon mages. Some players might find investing in one advanced summons more effective than trying to learn multiple golems.

1-H Grissenda is a viable companion for a summon mage. Experienced players might even prefer 1-H Gris over Hirge.