Help figuring out why I'm dying?

So, I’m running an AAR Sorcerer and I’m having a devil of a time determining what’s actually killing me right now.

I’ve been using Warden Krieg to testbed stuff and realized my Pierce resist was low, and his projectile attack absolutely destroys me, so I got that capped and tried again and it still destroys me. What’s more, a random Rotting Soldier managed to kill me in one smack from above half health and I’m just sort of flabbergasted. I know I’m not running any sort of “meta” build as a Fire/Aether AAR caster but I feel like I shouldn’t be quite that paper thin. Is it just lack of armor at this point? Because I have gear with higher armor…available in four levels, leaving me high and dry until then. Do I just need to bite the bullet and play ultra-cautiously until I hit the magic number and gain access to my endgame gear? The stat page was saying I was well out of crit range of the enemies hitting me so I know for a fact it’s not that.

Also, yes, I know I have no component in my off-hand. I only recently changed off-hands in an attempt to fill out my OA and DA in the interim.

First thing I notice is that your sustain is 100% from regeneration, which is decent for general stuff but takes time to fill your health back up if you take a good hit (~100 normal, and 600 with Giant’s blood activated).
Also with Giant’s blood -> imho it is better to attach that to some skill that activates below 100% health, so it activates and gives that heal when you need it and not for example…immediately with full health at the start of a fight. You could try attaching this to Blast shield.

So, a common manner to gain some sustain is to use a devotion like bat (or even bat/ghoul combo) and attach it to AAR. Even if it is only 22%WD benefit, that little leech could help you live longer.

And I assume you are Ultimate difficulty. You could go back to a lower difficulty and farm a pulsing shard offhand too. (has life-leech)

Edit: and don’t forget about consumables. Since you rely on regeneration = quite a few pots to boost that.

EDIT: Started writing this before I saw your edit, heh.

Yeah, there’s also the Pulsating Shard that gives AAR a base life leech that I’d love to get my hands on, but getting a good roll on it is like winning the lightning lottery. I never thought of putting Giant’s Blood on a different skill so that’s something I very well might try.

I wish I could also find a more consistent skill to pop Phoenix onto, but I’m in that constellation more for the myriad of great buffs it’s nodes give than the proc ability anyway.

Sustain is definitely a problem for the time being though, and I want to see how things shake out once I have my Lv94 gear on. I’m hoping most of my issues with burst damage will alleviate once I have less trash gloves (I have three copies of the Mythical Aetherreach just waiting to be worn) and some of my other gear.

You don’t really need a good roll for the shard tbh.

Your problem is armor. It is physical damage which is killing you. Warden Krieg projectile attack for example: it does physical damage, pierce and aether. It is the phys part that is the problem. The rotting soldier attack is physical too.

Basically your armor value is low. As a caster you still can’t have enough, especially if you are dieing. Your armor absorption is also too low because that means your armor effectively blocks less than the listed value. Relying solely on maiven and small physical res clearly isn’t enough! One other option available to you is blackwater cocktail which has 18% physical damage reduction debuff on it.

Edit: Also try to get your hands on bloodied crystals. They have decent flat armor that was patched in the latest hotfix especially to give casters greater survival.

Credit to malawiglenn for this, you can powershop Pulsing Shards in Port Valbury in Normal. You don’t really even need good rolls, the base item is pretty great.

Yup, you can get 2-3 each vendor reset which takes like 30 seconds to do. So just “waste” one skeleton key and listen to some good music or podcast for an hour and you will have a great one. I bought mine “Sandstorm of celerity” for about 300k iron bits.

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