How to make powerful damage wands using homing.
Piercing Shot has an interesting property, which is that it allows a projectile to hit an enemy multiple times. Combining this with homing allows the example below to do hundreds of damage, by hitting the target for 20 damage many times. This example however can be significantly improved upon.
Tip: Somemtimes projectiles will get stuck on small obstructions. To prevent this Drilling Shot can be a helpful modifier to add. It also prevents bouncing.
The number of times that a projectile hits the target depends on the lifetime of the projectile. Spark Bolt has a relatively short lifetime of 33-47, but we can extend that lifetime using modifiers.
The number of times that a projectile hits also depends on how well the projectile sticks to the target. Spark Bolt naturally decelerates making it good at sticking to the target. Switching to Projectile Area Teleport make it stick even better.
Piercing Shot adds -16 projectile damage. This means that without additional damage, the Spark Bolt would deal no damage. Bloodlust adds +33, but is made significantly less efficient by piercing. One solution is to use other damage types.
This works even though the Freeze Charge adds +5, because freezing damage is a different damage type from projectile damage. The Spark Bolt's +3 is still lost. Negative projectile damage does not heal the target. For example, the -16 on Piercing Shot does not increase the healing from Healing Bolt.
Another way to work around the -16 damage from Piercing Shot is to use a trigger.
Using triggers also protects the player. The property of Piercing Shot that causes the projectile to damage the player only applies to the Spark Bolt and not the Spitter Bolt in this example.
To avoid high mana cost, modifiers can be put after Add Trigger. (See also: Expert Guide: Advanced Spell Specifics#Add Trigger Spells)
Mists and Clouds
Some spells are naturally piercing. Mists also have a longer lifetime than Spark Bolts, but they only tick every 25 frames.
Some modifiers are able to bypass the normal tick rate:
Circle of spells
Most Static Projectiles have piercing, drilling, and very long duration. The circle spells also tick faster than mists at 15 frames per tick. The downside is limited casts unless you have the Unlimited Spells perk.
The Note spells tick every frame, but have a very short lifetime.