Zeal/Bear Sorc, life build, with maxroll

First I’d like to say that this build actually works, and works very well. It is not at all squishy and is possibly the most underrated melee build in the game. You’ll be doing somewhere around 15k - 60k per hit(5 hit zeal) and have over 2k life, 10k+attack rating, 10k+ defense, full res, 40 to 75% block, and no fear of tele-stomp-zealing almost any mob in the game. If you like the idea of teleporting from rare pack to rare pack, taking them down fast, and moving on, then this is the build guide for you.

Hello I have been playing melee sorc for many seasons now and being excited for D2R I’ve decided to share with you what I have found to be the most fun and viable melee sorc build.

You can find many melee sorc builds out there but I find too many problems with them from the es builds that get absolutly destroyed by mana burn, to the pure lite skill zeals getting stuck on lite immune mobs waiting for merc to kill.

I can’t say this is all my idea since I did take some good ideas from the builds I read and tried over the years, this build is more of a combining of all the best parts and making it a solid build for magic finding, rushing, turning keysets into organs, and yes even melee ubers for torches.

Leveling as melee sorc is not recommended, instead I respec into this build at around level 90, and only if I have at least a Dream shield ready to go. You CAN get away with a playable level 80ish melee sorc w/o a dream and there’s more info on that in a minimum req / poor mans gear section below.

Lets start with Zeal gear (bear sorc gear swap section is below the zeal guide)

  • MINIMUM GEAR REQUIREMENTS (maxroll link at bottom of guide) :

-Helm : Guillaume’s Face (with socket for um or res jewel)
-Amulet : Highlords Wrath
-Weapon : Passion (phase blade)
-Armor : Skin of the Vipermagi (with socket for um or res jewel)
-Shield : Tiamat’s Rebuke or Gerke’s Sanctuary (with socket for um, res jewel, or -15req -jewel for Gerke’s)
-Gloves : Laying of Hands
-Rings : 2 x Ravenfrost
-Belt : Arachnid Mesh
-Boots : Wartravelers, Sandstorm Treks, or rare frw/fhr res boots

-on swap : cta + lidless

  • BEST IN SLOT SETUP (maxroll link at bottom of guide):

-Helm : Dream (bone visage or demonhead)
-Weapon : Passion (phase blade)
-Armor : Chains of Honor (dusk shroud)
-Shield : Dream (troll nest) or Gerke’s Sanctuary (for areas with dolls so you can max block)
-Gloves : Laying of Hands
-Rings : 2 x ravenfrost (240+ attack rating is > than hi dex, but get high dex too if you can)
-Belt : Arachnid Mesh
-Boots : War Travelers or Sandstorm Treks (situational mf or fhr)

-on swap : cta + lidless w/fire facet

  • CHARMS : (try to get as much LIFE out of your charms as you can)

-Torch & Anni (high stats on these will save you lots of points you can then put into vita)
-Fire skill grand charms (with LIFE/dex/frw or fhr if trying for the 86 bp)
-Grand charms with attack rating and LIFE or dex
-Small charms with fhr to hit the 60 or 86 breakpoint
-Small charms with resist or attack rating and LIFE


-Act 2 normal defensive (Defiance aura)

-Weapon : eth Infinity (thresher or giant thresher for the ias, you want merc to proc often)
-Armor : eth Fortitude
-Helm : eth Delerium (Yes Dererium, the effects that this helm puts out will keep you and your merc alive w/o life leech and combined with the effects from your dual Dreams the enemy monsters will almost always be confused and not attacking you or your merc anyway. It is especially helpful when are teleporting through thick packs and when you fight ubers)


Minimum Requirements version :

-Str : enough for gear (115 for gface)
-Dex : add till its 170 - 200 (170ish is fine for starting level 80)
-Vita : everything else
-Energy : nothing

Best in Slot version :

-Str : enough for gear 107 / 114 (107 for most areas but 114 for swapping to Gerkes(with-15req jwl) if farming areas where you need the 75% block such as Durance or WSK vs dolls)
-Dex : add till its 204 after gear+charms (204 will give you 75% block when using Gerkes)
-Vita : everything else
-Energy : nothing


-20 warmth
-1 firebolt (prereq)
-1 fire blast (prereq)
-20 enchant
-20 fire mastery

-20 lite mastery
-1 static field
-1 telekinesis (prereq)
-1 teleport

-1 or 8 cold mastery (at level 80 just put 1 point and work on shiver armor till 86+ then come back for the other 7 later, will be at 17 after bis gear and bo for -100% with 8 points)
-1 frozen armor (prereq)
-1 ice bolt (prereq)
-1 ice blast (prereq)
-X shiver armor (the rest of your points will go here this is the armor you will use due to its great defense bonus and cold damage to melee attackers,)


It’s basically a teleporting smiter. Extremely effective on boss and small groups. Athough you won’t see much aoe until you get your best in slot gear, running with minimum requirements you’ll be able to farm most of the bosses.

Prebuff by casting bo with switch weapons, then cast shiver armor, and cast enchant on yourself and merc. Now swap to main weapons.
Zeal on left click , right click can swap between tele, static and zeal hotkeys.

I like to hold right click on enemy and while the tele is happening I swap right click hotkey to zeal for a tele stomp zeal works great vs rares and bosses. Your merc will be smashing things as well and sending chain lightnings which will mop things up combined with your auras.


For mf gear it really depends how your mf rolls on your dreams, but I am easily able to hit 200+ mf with added mf charms and gheeds and still have space for a few attack rating and res charms for hell. Stack mf charms and melt places like the pit 1 and 2.

  • MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS / Poor mans gear / Lower levels :

In the case that you cannot afford the jahs and bers for this build, or want to try this out at level 80, here are some alternatives for the dream shield, helm, and merc infinity.

-Helm : Gface
-Armor : Skin of the Vipermagi
-Shield : Tiamat’s Rebuke (for damage) / Gerke’s Sanctuary (for block)

All 4 of these can be socketed so add the um’s / res jewels you need to get full res in hell. Use Gerke’s if you farming areas with dolls, it has amazing block chance for sorc, all resists, and even damage reduction. You’ll want to make sure you put a -15% req jewel in it though to lower the strength requirement to 114, but look for a good one the stats vary a lot.

-Merc Weapon : Reapers Toll (this will help with immunes it casts decrepify a lot)

-Charms : stack charms with LIFE, Fire skill charms, small charms with resists, attack rating, other mods like lightning and fire damage can help a lot as they do get multiplied by your masteries.

Arach is level 80 so if you are pre 80 or can’t afford just use any belt that helps with res, perhaps even a crafted fcr belt. Same goes with Wartravelers you can use rare boots with frw, fhr, and res or find a pair of Treks.

This setup will not be as effective w/o the massive lite damage from dreams, you will still be able to farm hell, but large packs are not easily dealt with. Stick to boss runs and unique/rare mob farming such as countess, andy, meph, pindle etc instead of places like chaos or baal where you can easily become surrounded. Tele-stomp, loot, and go.

Level 80 with all skill q’s done is the minimum req for this build. You’ll have just enough skill points to cover what you need, and just enough level to wear all the gear. You will not have much life until higher levels unless you have nice charms, so expect to be a bit squishy until then. You can play as melee sorc before level 80 I just don’t have a guide for that … yet. Zeal sorc is playable at level 43, that is the req for passion, but before level 80 most any other build is going to be far better for farming experience by killing large groups. Melee sorc doesn’t get good at killing groups until you have best in slot gear.

At lower levels (80-90), you can get away with 170ish dex at first and 7k attack rating so as to save yourself some points for vita, but you might miss a bunch when fighting bosses like baal for example. Life charms are important and make sure you at least have a CTA for the BO. You can also 1 point cold mastery at first then 5-6 into shiver armor so you have better defense while leveling, come back to get cold mastery at -100% once you have all your gear and are level 90+.

  • BEAR SORC GEAR easy swap from zeal :

-Helm : Dream
-Amulet : Maras Kalaidescope
-Weapon : Grizwold’s set weapon 4os (with 4 shael or 3 shael and ias jewel) or you can use a 6os phase blade (with 6 shael or 5 shael and 15 ias jewel)
-Armor : Chains of Honor
-Shield : Dream (or Gerke’s for dolls)
-Gloves : Draculs Grasp
-Rings : 2 x ravenfrost
-Belt : arachs
-Boots : Wartravs or Treks

-on swap : Beast (in low str req base) and lidless
-cta will need spot in inventory to swap with beast for battle orders

Cast BO then swap cta for beast, tele where you need to go then transform into bear and swap to griz weapon, use regular attack.


– ATTACK RATING : I can’t say enough how important this is. You NEED to be at least 9kish if not more attack rating for hell, and 11k+ for ubers. Reroll that passion pb until you get high attack rating %.

– You won’t even care about mana burn with this build when you are fighting, so more room in belt for heals and juvs. Zeal only costs 2 mana so even after mana burn it comes back incredibly fast due to your high warmth skill. Tele is only 14 iirc. If you are doing runs teleporting long distances though you may want to have a column for mana pots.

– Sometimes I teleport where I’m going while on swap weapons ( cta + lidless ) for the extra fcr, and other times I am on main weapons ( passion + dream ) for the extra res/confuse proc. It will depend what kind of mobs you are going through. For places like durance of hate and worldstone/throne you’ll likely want to be on main weapons while teleporting for the extra chance to confuse the dolls and souls.

– Don’t forget that even when the enemy is fire and lite immune you can still beat it down. If it’s a demon it will be taking 550% extra damage from your physical attacks, and undead will take an extra 175%. Combined with the damage from travs, and your deadly strike chance from hilords, you’ll do plenty of physical damage. Also, your ravens add a decent amount of cold damage and so does shiver armor, and any cold damage from charms (yes cold mastery does work with cold damage from melee attacks).

– One note with this build is the curse decrepify, this will cause your zeal to slow down a lot and therefore chaos can be a bit daunting sometimes because of all the doom knights. It doesn’t stop the build as long as you have good attack rating. Tele stomping the casters first can make it much less frustrating. The same goes for baal runs, it is very doable despite being a bit slow.

– Dolls suck. They will eat you. Stay away from dolls. Tele past them if you can or let merc engage them first and be ready to drink potions. If you really have an itch to beat down some dolls or want to farm areas with dolls you can. Swap your helm with a 20%dr Vgaze, and swap your shield with a Gerkes. You’ll lose a lot of lightning damage but youll gain a lot of defense vs melee. More on Gerkes below in the max block setup.

– MAX BLOCK variant setup : Use a Gerkes Sanctuary shield socketed with a -15 req jewel. This shield is amazing for melee sorc. It has 75% chance to block, good defense, all resists, good damage/magic reduction, and even a whopping +15 replenish life. You will have to add 7 points of strength more that the BIS setup mentioned above to hit 114 str req for Gerkes with -15req jewel, but you can throw on treks since you’ll need the fhr and they can add 5 str. You will want to be at 204 total dex after gear to hit 75% max block. You’ll lose some damage from the dream, but you’ll gain the ability to block and not get 1 hit by things like dolls. I recommend this setup for running baal, durance, abbadon, etc. Gerkes varies a lot so be sure to find a good one before you socket it.

– Getting good at the tele-stomp-zeal is the bread and butter of this build, actually tele and zeal are about the only skills you have besides your chant/shiver armor prebuffs lol. This build is perfect for teleporting from rare pack to rare pack, taking them down fast, and moving on. Positioning is key with this build, sometimes you may need to sidestep the adds and telestomp the elite first before dealing with the adds. One such case would be Lord DeSies in chaos sanctuary. Play smart, you are not a tank and there are some nasty monsters out there, be ready to use potions.

– Static Field is something to consider taking out once you are 90+ and fully geared the mobs drop so fast even hell baal goes down so quick from the zeal it’s almost a waste of time to cast static.

– If there is something else I haven’t mentioned please post and let me know :slight_smile:
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For the keysets to organs you will find the current setup fairly efficient, all you will need is a wand with life tap to toss on swap and lillith(use the tele-stomp-zeal strategy multiple times in a row to make this easier), izzy(dont even need to life tap him he dies fast), and duri(the slow is a pain but he does go down) shouldnt be much problem. But in order to go into uber trist, youll want to make a few changes.

  • Uber Trist gear :

----- Part One “the prebuff” -----

The following are some examples of items you can use to prebuff your enchant.

-weapon : try to find an orb with +3 fire skills and +3 chant
-amulet : 3 fire skills
-rings : 2 x soj or bk
-charms : extra fire gcs to fill up inventory

Get your chant up as high as you can for max fire damage (45+ is plenty imo but more is ofc better)

----- Part Two “the buffing continues” ------

After you pre-chant youll be good to go for probably 15-20 minutes even with a level 45 chant is plenty.

Because of Uber Mephs conviction, AFTER the pre-chant and BEFORE the bo +shiver armor, use a treachery to trigger fade from the fire in river wp. This gives an extra 60 all res vs mephs convict aura, combined with allres scs its usually enough to take care of most of the res loss depending how your dreams roll.

Now you will swap the fire gear for Bo gear, so put on maras, cta, soj, etc and pre buff your Bo and shiver armor and get ready to quickly head back to stash to swap to bear gear.

----- Part Three “the bear suit”-----

This is the gear you need to swap to for uber bear beatdown mode …

-Helm : Gface with um
-Amulet : Maras
-Weapon : Griz weapon (4os with 3 shael and jewel … 15ias + attack rating or lite res)
-Armor : same COH
-Shield : same Dream troll nest
-Gloves : Dracs
-Rings : same Ravens
-Belt : same Arachs
-Boots : same War Travs
-Charms : torch, anni, all res sc’s and fire gcs with life/fhr/dex AND a few 100+attack rating gcs with life/fhr/dex (you need the attack rating !!)

-on swap : Beast war scepter and same lidless w/ facet


Now you are ready to go into Uber Tristram. Head in the portal and go up to the top of the map. Let’s get Mephisto out of the way so we can safely fight Diablo and Baal. Move around to the top left of map and come quickly in and out by the house in the farthest top left of the map and pull mephy out of the middle carefully, try to get him in the top left corner and tele away. You will be fighting him by himself LAST.

Now that Mephisto is all alone in the top of the map, head around down to the bottom right and try to pull baal solo by walking close to the bottom rightmost house an moving away ( ive taken baal and d at same time on occasion but it is easier 1 at a time because of all the summons getting in your way).

Turn into Bear, swap weapons to griz and dream and use regular attack. You and your merc will proc confuse to keep the summons busy attacking each other, meanwhile the bosses will not be affected so the life tap from gloves stays on them.

Smack him down smack him around then do the same to big D. Make sure to pull Diablo to the bottom or else don’t face your char towards the top of screen, you don’t want your firestorm or confuse procs to accidentally pull Mephisto.

Now that those 2 are dead Mephy shouldnt be a problem. You may want to head back to town and redo your BO before engaging Mephisto.

Don’t forget to show your merc some love and toss him a pot when needed, I usually use at least 1 for sure on Meph fight. It helps to make sure you engage him first to draw the aggro away from merc.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten something so I’ll probably be back to edit this or answer any questions. Enjoy :slight_smile:

    • Edit : Here is the link for Maxroll ( These are the toons I currently play in game, not the min/max version of the build)

https://d2.maxroll.gg/d2planner/x20106y4 = Minimum Requirements build
https://d2.maxroll.gg/d2planner/nv0106hj = my D2R sorc (still gearing for ubers)
https://d2.maxroll.gg/d2planner/060106ot = my LoD sorc (fully geared zeal/chant/bear)

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Thanks for the guide! I traded you the fire gc with frw the other day.

yes thanks again it made my sorc slightly better for sure lol. that’s about all you can do at this point in the ladder and its getting hard to find people to trade with.

For sure. Next week there will be another big drop off with the beta. I might be done after that for the season so I can get extra hyped for resurrected.

Why are you using Fire Skillers instead of Light? You want that higher Lightning Mastery for the Dream, Fire Skillers are only for pre-buff imo. T-God’s is a nice swap for facing Mephisto too if you need extra help. Gore Riders are also nice for Ubers as well.

I am using fire skillers for the higher chant damage. The lite damage is already at 50k, and a full inventory of lite skiller ups this to roughly 64k. While this is a lot more lightning damage it simply is not needed. Up to 50k per hit on a 5 hit zeal is plenty and because of immunes it is wise to have decent fire damage to back it up. In addition, none of this damage happens if you cannot hit the enemy, and the increased chant adds a lot of attack rating. I am only using 3-4 fire gcs and 3-4 gc’s with 100+ attack rating. Feel free to swap back and forth between fire and lite gc’s every game if that’s your thing, but you won’t notice the damage difference in normal play. Ubers is a different story though I can see the lite skillers taking down baal and diablo a lil faster but they definatly don’t do crap against uber meph and your attack rating will suck.

The 1 skill from arachs does far more than it seems at first glance. That 1 point increases your zeal attack rating, chant dmg/atk rtg, lite mastery dmg, fire mastery dmg, cold mastery dmg, shiver armor dmg/def, and bo which is more life. T-gods works well on smiters and I’m not saying it cannot work here but arachs gives more benefit. Attack rating is everything for melee sorc in uber.

Gores are nice for many builds but not this one. The str from travs helps get your gear on and saves more points for vit, which travs also has, combined with the extra physical damage on melee attacks and frw, it outweighs the cb %. Since we will already have 30% cb from the gface in ubers and plenty of fire / lite damage, it just makes more sense to keep on travs.

Bear Sorc is definately one of the best and fun builds to play - I had one that I would run Ubers with a long time ago. Problem now is - will that JAH ever drop ?? The 3rd most unique HR?? I never saw one drop in the 15+ years I played D2, and Dual Dreams makes the build even better - the chances of 2 Jahs dropping Id say slim and none …

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