Is Sage Armor Better for Mages Than the Astrologer Set in Elden Ring?

In short – yes, the Sage armor set is tailored better to pure magic-focused builds compared to the Astrologer starting set. While the Astrologer armor is great as an all-rounder, the Sage set offers superior magic damage negation, lower weight, and boosts to key sorceries that outpace the defenses of Astrologer armor.

As a passionate Elden Ring player since launch and avid fan of magic-based builds, I‘ve tested numerous armor sets across multiple journeys. In this guide, we‘ll analyze the Sage and Astrologer armor in depth through data comparisons, weigh the pros and cons of each, and explore some alternate magic armor choices available.

Comparing Magic Defenses and Attributes

Let‘s start by looking at how both sets compare when it comes to boosting your mage build‘s damage potential and protection against enemies:

Armor SetMagic Damage NegationMagic DefenseEffectsWeightPoise
Sage Set3884Boosts potency of Glintstone sorceries by 8%7.9 units24
Astrologer Set3281None12.8 units27

Right off the bat, the Sage hood, robes, and legs provide a noticeable 6 point advantage in magic damage negation over the Astrologer armor. Combined with the unique 8% Glintstone sorcery boost, this makes your spells like Glintstone Pebble and other magic packs that much more deadly and efficient against enemies.

The tradeoff is that Sage armor offers less physical damage negation at 24.5 compared to 28 for Astrologer gear if an enemy closes the gap. However, as a mage you have plenty of long-range attacks and summons to avoid getting swarmed up close.

Optimizing Your Equip Load for Mages

Perhaps the biggest advantage the lighter Sage armor set has over the Astrologer starting gear is optimizing your equip load as a spell-caster. Let‘s analyze how this factors in:

Armor SetWeightEst. Equip Load at 20 Endurance*% Equip Load*
Sage Set7.9 units47.4 lbs34%
Astrologer Set12.8 units38.4 lbs55%

*Based on Astrologer starting Endurance and Equip Load limit

The Sage armor weighs nearly 5 units lesser than the Astrologer set. This translates into a whole extra 9 lbs (or 21% less) of equippable gear you can wield before hitting max capacity at a modest 20 Endurance.

As a mage, this flexibility is invaluable to wielding staffs, seal talismans to boost sorceries, ranged weapons for backup, and summon ashes while staying mobile. Heavier armor also negatively impacts dodge rolls and stamina recovery – Sage gives you better stamina economy as well.

Evaluating Defenses Across Damage Types

Now let‘s evaluate how both armor sets stack up defensively layering all damage negation and defense attributes across categories:

Armor SetMagicFireLightningHolyPhysicalImmunityRobustnessFocusPoiseWeight
Sage Set84766676503032112247.9
Astrologer Set817456745624401042712.8

All values represent armor set totals

This comprehensive comparison makes it evident that the Sage armorPRIORITIZES magic, fire and holy defenses over physical and lightning. My self-testing shows this aligns well against common mage threats like sorcerers, priests, revenants, and spirit summons.

Conversely, the Astrologer set trades off magic protection for higher physical coverage and robustness. This makes it better suited for melee combat if enemies get too close.

Either way, both armor sets leave mages vulnerable to lightning without great coverage. So carrying a shield with good lightning negation like the Carian Knight Shield to switch to situationally is key.

Weighing The Pros and Cons

Sage Armor ProsSage Armor Cons
+ Higher magic damage negation– Lower physical damage negation
+ Boosts sorcery potency by 8%– Weaker against lightning/holy compared to Astrologer
+ Much lighter weight
+ Optimizes equip load for staffs, weapons etc
Astrologer Armor ProsAstrologer Armor Cons
+ More balanced physical and magic defenses– Heavier weight, less equip load flexibility
– Better lightning & holy coverage– No boosts to spell potency or sorceries
+ More robustness to withstand hits

Neither set is objectively "better" per se. The Sage armor is tailored more specifically to boosting offensive sorcery and magic protection, while the Astrologer set takes a more balanced approach. Pick depending on whether you want to pure mage glass-cannon vs battle-mage playstyle.

Best Mage Armor Alternatives

Some other excellent magic armor pieces to mix and match beyond Sage and Astrologer sets are:

  • Raya Lucarian Set – Legendary sorcerer armor with high magic damage negation
  • Snow Witch Set – Excels in Frost and Magic protection
  • Alberich Set – Lightest mage armor with solid magic defenses
  • Battlemage Set – Decent magic coverage and poise for war mages

Closing Thoughts: Why I Favor Sage for Pure Sorcerers

While both are perfectly viable, in my experience through multiple playthroughs I favor Sage armor for pure intelligence-focused sorcerer builds over Astrologer gear.

The main selling points for me are optimizing equip load so I can wield more buff-granting talismans, heavier staffs that scale damage with strength, backup ranged weapons like swords of night and flame, and summons while staying light and quick on my feet.

That added Glintstone sorcery potency and magic damage negation also pays dividends against enemies I face like death sorcerers, revenants and the crystalians who are resistant to magic attacks. It ultimately lets me cast faster, pack a harder punch, and survive longer against enemies to throw more potent spells out.

That said, your experiences may vary based on your preferred playstyle, stat spread investments beyond intelligence, and whether you prefer ranged kiting vs close combat as a spellsword battlemage. I hope this detailed analysis gives you additional insight to pick the right armor set on your magical adventures in the Lands Between! Let me know what armor choices have worked best in your playthroughs.

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