The Official Pure Mage (SL 125)
rating: +66+x

Build summary Magic used to its highest potential, a pure spellcaster PvP build.
Recommended starting class(es) Royal
Recommended Soul Level **

Recommended stats (Leave at default (**) if not raised)

Vitality 40
Will/Intelligence 40
Endurance 9
Strength 9
Dexterity 12
Magic 44
Faith 44
Luck **
Recommended equipment

Weapons:

• RH1: Kris Blade +5 – Increases Spell damage by 30%.
• RH2: Crescent Estoc +5 – Good backstab damage and minor mana regeneration.
• LH1: Talisman of Beasts – Allows the casting of both Spells and Miracles.
• LH2: Geri's Stilleto, Buckler +10, Crescent Parrying Dagger +4

Armor:

• Monk’s Head Wrappings – Increases Spell damage by 30%.
• Venerable Sage's Armor (Chest, Arms and Legs) – Provides good Magic defense and has low weight, for the Sages.

  • Old Raggedy Armor - Excellent plague resistance and Magic defense, for the Witches.

Consumables:

  • Old Spice
  • New Moon Grass
  • Dark Moon Grass
  • Royal Lotus*
  • Widow's Lotus*
  • If you don't fear negative status then you can ignore the Lotuses and just equip Dark Moon Grass for easy switching.

Rings:

Body Form: Ring of Magical Sharpness + Clever Rat’s Ring
Soul Form: (Ring of Magical Sharpness/ Cling Ring)* + (Foe’s Ring/ Friend’s Ring)

  • Based on personal preference. The Ring of Magical Sharpness increases Spell damage, but further lowers Magic defense and leaves you with a maximum of 50% HP in Soul form.

Stat Explanation

40 Vitality: This feels comfortable for me, but you can possibly detract from magic and faith to get 45. Survivability will always be an issue due to your low magic defense and pure magical power is the focus of the build anyway so relying too much on a high vitality is a mistake IMO. 40 allows you to take a few no-LW hits but backstabbs will likely break Second Chance so keep that in mind.

40 Intelligence: I really don't recommend changing this at all. The difference of one spell slot between 30 and 40 is huge considering you can lose Firespray or Soul Ray which both have a lot of utility. Going higher will only get you a marginal increase in MP.

9 Endurance: Gone up from base 8 since it is an extra point. You cannot afford nor do you need any more endurance. Trust me on this.

9 Strength: Base.

12 Dexterity: Base.

44 Magic, 44 Faith:
These give you the power of the "Pushed" Talisman of Beasts and provide spell damage slightly higher than the Insanity Catalyst with double the MP. Double the MP is crucial, but you can lower both of these a few points for Vitality if you don't mind lessened power. Personally, I like maximum spell damage.

Recommended spells/miracles

Spells

Soul Ray: a fast long-range spell. Good for interrupting heals and pressuring opponents, though it deals mediocre damage and is almost useless against Faith builds. Can be fired with shocking speed if you use the Quick Cast (see below).

Fireball: a powerful long-range spell. Deals high direct damage and has impressive splash, making it hard to dodge. When used without lock-on, the phantom range becomes more noticeable, though aiming takes practice. Casting repeatedly at close range can form a stun lock for about two or three casts, which is more than enough to kill most builds. The one downside to this spell is speed. Interrupting heals is nearly impossible, though more often than not the damage dealt by a direct hit with Fireball can halve an opponents HP, balancing out damage recovered if they don’t roll out of the way immediately after their heal. Can also be Quick Cast.

Ignite: a powerful close-range spell that deals nearly twice the damage of Fireball. The splash and high casting speed make it very hard to dodge if the enemy is close, though a miss can leave the caster vulnerable to backstabbing. The beauty of this spell is that it eliminates a Mage’s fundamental weakness: close-range. Aggressive opponents will suffer greatly. The running attacks of almost every weapon (excluding knock-down attacks like the DBS sprint) can be countered by casting Ignite right as the attack reaches you. More often than not, you will take damage from the attack, but Ignite is almost guaranteed to inflict more damage to your opponent, forming an unbalanced trade-off in your favor.

Firestorm: a very powerful close-range A.o.E spell. A direct hit can deal over 1000 damage. An average build (50 Vitality) will lose a full life bar if hit by this spell, as well as knocking them down if they survive. In enclosed spaces, two hits may be possible, depending on how far away the first hit knocked your opponent. However, Firestorm has two blaring disadvantages; it is predictable and unreliable. Most opponents will see this spell coming a mile away. You need to think creatively to manage a hit, or limit yourself to using it only when your opponent has been knocked down. In real time, this spell is very risky. Oftentimes your opponent will attack you before the spell really gets going, interrupting the cast and leaving you defenseless. Despite these disadvantages, Firestorm remains one of a Mage’s most powerful spells.

Homing Soul Arrow: a powerful mid-range spell. It’s guaranteed to crack Second Chance with a direct hit, and can outright kill low-Vitality builds. One thing you should remember is that the five arrows strike separately; if two hits break an opponent’s shield guard, the remaining three will strike directly, even if it appear that they all hit at once. The same applies for cracking SC, making it possible to kill an opponent with one direct hit even if they were at full health with SC active. However, HSA is easy to dodge when used by itself. It works best in combination with other spells. A common strategy is to cast as opponents are running towards you or are about to attack from close range. While they are caught up in a combo or recovering from an attack, the arrows will fire and deal more than enough damage to balance out any hits taken. This spell can also be used when a heal or spice is needed, as some opponents who don't know any better will stay back until the spell fires. Even experienced opponents will be wary of attacking while HSA is active.

Poison Cloud (or Death Cloud)*: a mid-range de-buff spell. Both Poison and Plague, on top of inflicting continuous damage to opponents, reduce the effectiveness of healing items by half. Plague also reduces stamina regeneration, giving the caster a strong advantage over melee builds. This spell can also act as a shield or smokescreen. Many opponents will hang back until the cloud disappears, giving you breathing room and time to heal. The clouds also penalize vision. It’s much harder for your opponent to dodge if they can’t see what spell you’re casting. Obviously, this tactic will not work against other Mages.

  • Poison Cloud and Death Cloud have been known to cause lag under certain circumstances.

Warding: a defensive buff spell. Usually, it is overshadowed by Second Chance, though melee builds that rely on physical damage will find you nearly impossible to kill while Warding is active. A common tactic is to cast Warding after SC has been broken, since it’s faster and easier to find time for in the heat of a battle. It also allows you to survive one or two hits while using Hyper Mode.

Fire Spray: a fast long-range spell. While Fire Spray deals low damage and doesn’t cause stagger, it pressures opponents. Being under constant fire makes them jumpy and, therefore, more likely to make mistakes. Fire Spray can be cast repeatedly and while moving, making it incredibly versatile. It flows quickly into spells like Soul Ray or Fireball, and the sudden change in attack pattern can surprise opponents. If your opponent has low health and is on the defensive, this spell can be used to finish them off while they desperately try to avoid it. Fire Spray gains killing potential when coupled with Hyper Mode due to fast attack speed and boosted damage.

Miracles

Second Chance: a defensive buff spell. Generally more useful than Warding, with a few exceptions (see Warding).

God's Wrath: a powerful mid-range A.o.E spell. While it is overshadowed by Firestorm in all but reliability, God’s Wrath is useful in that it takes up Miracle slots rather than Spell slots. This allows you to carry around an A.o.E spell without giving up three Spell slots. The damage is only moderate at best, but it can finish off opponents at low health or knock them down for some breathing room. Opponents will sometimes mistake God’s Wrath for Second Chance and rush you only to get a direct blast of the spell. However, the slow casting time sometimes allows opponents to backstab you. This spell is somewhat useful overall, but should be used sparingly and with care.

Gameplay tips and progression

How to Cast

Can't land a spell if you can't cast it properly, and no it's not just pressing L1. You need to know which spells cast faster, which recover faster, which ones can be quick casted (get to that in a moment), and so on. Mages rarely have an easy time fighting against melee simply because we have to worry about which spell to cast, when, and how while they just charge in with their weapon swinging.

Fortunately, magic has tricks to beat melee in almost every situation depending on which spell is cast, when, and even how. Unfortunately, I can't possibly write them all out in this page. Use this as a foundation to build a fully capable, magical knowledge base.

Moving Cast

This refers to spells which allow you to run, sprint, and turn during the initial cast BEFORE the actual spell leaves the catalyst. In other words, you're mobile until the spell fires. Notice that you are not able to roll during the cast, but you can sprint around and turn about to dodge/bait an opponent’s weapon swings and proceed to fire the spell into their face. Since Demon’s Souls is a game heavily based on rolling for evasion, it may take some practice to get truly good at evasive sprinting and turning, especially since this works best with lock-on off. However, once you’ve mastered roll-free movement, you’ll find it can be relatively easy to pursue or evade the enemy even while you are in the process of casting Soul Ray or Fireball.

Usable Spells: Fireball, Soul Ray

Quick Cast (A.K.A Turn-around Cast Glitch)
The Quick Cast is a newly discovered (at least by me) technique for reducing the casting times of spells that can do the moving cast (see above). How to do it is relatively simple:

- Begin casting Soul Ray or Fireball
- Switch Lock-on off (if not off already)
- Turn around 180 degrees
- Turn back to original position

If you do it correctly, you will notice that the overall casting time will be cut dramatically. The spell will appear to shoot out immediately instead of taking a couple seconds like usual. This can be tricky to do in a pinch if you haven’t practiced it much, but if you can combine the Quick Cast with the Moving Cast you will find there are plenty of surprising ways to hit your opponent with deadly spells.

Spell Specific Techniques

Firespray Pressure
- Always switch to another spell after the constant cast begins (Fireball is a good choice)
- Get used to the distance where the enemy cannot strafe without getting burned; keep them in it.
- Whether you’re moving backward or forward, ALWAYS be thinking about what you will do after they get tired of being slowly cooked. (Ex. Firespray baiting a forward roll and punish with a quick cast fireball.)

Homing Soul Arrow Defense
- HSA works most often as a “get off me” move from moderate distance, not close range, and this can give you opportunities to spice or grass when your opponent backs off.
- HSA “Ass” Camping: With lock-on off, you cast HSA with your back to the opponent and mirror their moves to prevent HSA from firing. Turn-around to fire the soul arrows when they get too brave, but make sure you have another spell ready to cast as well. You can also pursue the opponent by doing the back-hop (regular O button). Looks stupid but surprisingly effective.
- HSA can be combined with fireball on wake-up for a guaranteed kill if the fireball hits.

Firestorm Destruction
- Cast after a backstab or landed fireball, receive hatemail.
- Overzealous melee attackers often forget how far the pillars reach, casting into their advance is risky but can be very deadly.

Spell Sets

I provided the most useful spells you're going to use in the PvP environment, but which ones should you choose? Obviously with only 6 spells slots you can't have everything on hand. So here are some good spell sets to play around with, but maybe you'll find one on your own that suits you better.

Note: These sets do not utilize Clouds, Warding, or Miracles since I've found that, while they are certainly useful, they can often be a hindrance to keeping spell casting aggressive and flowing. Don't let that discourage you from experimentation though.

The Venerable Sage

Soul Ray || Homing Soul Arrow || Ignite || Firespray

- This is a pretty solid choice. You have a good projectile, an up-close fire spell, a heavy-hitting finisher, and a light pressuring projectile all in one package. Homing Soul Arrow and Ignite will both deal massive damage, and can surprise (or outright kill) opponents who play too aggressively. Soul Ray is a fast, long-range spell that’s difficult to dodge, keeping your opponent on the edge especially if used with the quick cast. Firespray gives you a MP cheap weapon to beat down enemy shield turtles.

The Pyromancer

Fire Spray || Fireball || Ignite II Soul Ray
- A good, all-purpose spell set that relies mostly on fire damage. Unlike Magic damage which suffers against Faith builds, fire doesn’t have any noticeable disadvantages besides Old King’s Armor, and even that is a small obstacle. Considering how the Dark Silver Shield only blocks 70% of fire damage and Brushwood Shields are rare (for good reason), fire spells can never be safely blocked; at least for long. Fire Spray can keep constant pressure on your opponent and flows seamlessly into Fireball or Ignite. The casts for Fire Spray and Fireball look very similar (think BP Scirvir ^_^); opponents may mistake Fireball for Fire Spray and either rush you or dodge too early, leaving them open for a direct hit from Fireball. Also, opponents being hit by Fire Spray have a tendency to attack aggressively, which is where Ignite comes into play. Don't forget about being mobile during the Fireball cast and the Quick Cast; these are invaluable tools to cooking your opponent to a crisp.

The Foolish Apprentice

Homing Soul Arrow || Fireball || Ignite

- Don't let the name discourage you, the "Fool" is not as foolish as he appears. This set centers around using the ridiculous looking HSA "Ass" Camping technique (outlined below) to great effect, confusing the opponent as to when they are supposed to attack (and possibly getting them to laugh so much they die). HSA will also serve as a basic means of creating spice openings since all the spells have heavy MP usage. This set is meant to be used defensively since you lose firespray and thereby a Mage's main pressuring tool. Turtling is where this set shines, so be smart with the MP and punish all those aggressive demons!

The Mad Magician

Soul Ray/Firespray || Fireball || Firestorm

- A little less refined, but deadly nonetheless. Firestorm is the most powerful spell in a Mage’s inventory. When used after you’ve backstabbed your opponent or stunned them with a Fireball, it becomes nigh unavoidable and all the more dangerous, giving you the perfect opportunity for a K.O. Fireball is necessary to get you that extra stun opportunity for Firestorm toasting. Soul Ray hits other mages and spellswords hard, but Firespray has more utility against the hard melee classes and is a safeguard against the DSS.

Note: Firestorm is often banned on tournaments. Keep this in mind if you want this to be your main spell set.

  • All of these sets are assuming you have Second Chance with you. Second Chance can serve as Insurance against Magic-based builds. I've found that God's Wrath is better left for PvE uses since the miracle slot is one more thing you need to cycle through to switch spells quickly in PvP.

How to deal with other Builds

Against Blue Blood Sword (BBS) builds:
They have insane combo damage potential, but not very high vitality. Ignite can match their reach very well and their 2-handed moveset (the most popular) has trouble pressing the attack against your long range spells. Highest danger comes from one handed use with a Dark Silver Shield as they can harass quite well while still having a shield to fall back upon. Playing defensive until Light Weapon runs out is always a good option, and smart casting will keep their deadly combos away from you. Remember, warding won't help against this at all due to magic damage.

Against North Regalia builds:
Huge vitality means that spells like Soul Ray and Fire Spray will hardly scratch them short of hyper mode, and running their own hyper mode can one-shot you if your not careful. Again, warding is not much use here. Good thing is, the North Regalia is slow with only moderate reach. Properly timed Homing Soul Arrows and Ignites can mess with them bad, and Firestorm blasts through even the mightiest vitality bars. Another good thing is that they commonly cast warding instead of Second Chance, so if they make that mistake you get a clear advantage.

Against Spellsword builds:
If you play correctly than you should have no trouble here. They have less magic damage, higher magic weakness, and less MP than you at the cost of limited melee ability. The only thing you have to watch out for is the diversity of weapons, but you should expect Dual Katanas, Kilij, or poles. If they go the magic route you outmatch them in all areas so don't worry about that. Probably one of the easier match-ups.

Against Faith builds:
Ahh, the classic rivalry: Freke versus Urbain. Powerful melee, health regen, magic defense, and usually equipped with some negative status heal or dealer makes these your toughest fights. Try using your fire damage spells like Fireball and Ignite to bypass their magic defense and try and get plague working on them (just watch out for lotus attempts) . Watch out if they have a Dark Silver Shield as it just makes the match-up even more dangerous. However, a surprisingly equal match-up if you play right.

Against Strength builds:
Huge power. High vitality. Very difficult match-up. Many of their weapons can kill you in an instant with impressive physical damage. Avoid trading hits since your low health will suffer the most against their cursed swings. The attack initiation on most of the weapons is pretty slow so make use of Soul Ray, Fireball, and Ignite to blast into their swings. Homing Soul Arrow is always a good choice and punishes whiffs on Great Axe/DBS with a swift death.

Against Dexterity builds:
Hmm, these are a little more tricky. High speed and combo ability means they can punish YOU for missed spells with swift stunlocking combos and impressive backstab damage. Estoc with a Dark Silver Shield is a nightmare, trumping most of your attacks while being extremely difficult to backstab. Dual Katanas, of course, will be waiting for you to make a mistake as will Kilij users. For the estoc turtles, a properly timed Homing Soul Arrow can crack their shield before they can stun you and Firestorm will burn, shields be damned.

Against other Pure Mage builds:
Well … I'll help you out on this one. Proper use of Soul Ray is usually the deciding factor in these mirror matches (if you're using a set without it than you're disadvantaged). Practice the Quick Cast so your spells fire first and don't be afraid to take out the Crescent Estoc since you will be on equal melee terms.

Watch out for …
- Dark Silver Shield. It is your one enemy beyond all others. Thank goodness it has low hit resistance, but its still an issue and regular spells wont break through it. Homing Soul Arrow and Ignite can blast through it and Firestorm bypasses it. Firespray can slowly but surely put them behind in vitality. Note: Most regular shields, while they lack magic shielding, do deflect fire attacks quite well. Keep this in mind.
- Anti-Magic Field. Meh, its not that big a deal. It sacrifices Second Chance/Warding for the user and creates ridiculous lag, no competitive PvPer uses it. If you meet someone who does you can probably last long enough until it runs out.
- Light Weapon: Ugh … Sometimes it only takes one lucky hit with a yellow weapon to put all your hard work and practice to shame. Wait it out if you can, and always be extremely careful and wary of you magic damage weakness.

Misc. Tips
- Did you know that the Kris Blade's rolling R1 combos into Ignite at close range? And that the sprinting R1 for the Estoc does too? Yes, this build is a "pure" mage, but the weapons you carry aren't worthless. If you find a chance to backstab or parry don't hesitate.
- Ignite attempts are prone to getting backstabbed, but it is possible to completely punish them by turning towards them with lock-on off before casting.
- Mix stationary casting, Moving Cast, and Quick Cast to make your spells unpredictable. A predictable mage is a dead mage. You have high intelligence, show it to them!

Pros and Cons of The Official Pure Mage:

Pros:
- highest spell power for SL 120 area of PvP
- High MP and decent health bar makes for comfortable casting
- High Faith means less trouble with other mages and threatens Spellsword builds
- Doesn't care about Scraping Spear or Acid Cloud
- Can match most weapon sets
- High Faith means miracles can be used for PvE
Cons:
- Faith builds still a solid counter, though beatable
- Lack of melee means total reliance on MP and spice
- Absolutely nulled by Anti-Magic Field, but still not an issue (see above)
- Dark Silver Shield means big trouble

Special thanks to Nick1Nintendo for creating this build and starting it all. Also thanks to all those who contributed to the "Official Pure Mage" Development. Extra special thanks to me for posting all this text, I hope it has been helpful. Enjoy.

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