Assassin Builds/Guides + Forum Rules (updated 5/23/07) ifr

Status
Not open for further replies.

morris

Diabloii.Net Member
Tactics

General pvm

Before venturing out of town make sure that you have precast Burst of speed + Venom and our Shadow master.

Part 1 of immobilizing At the first sign of trouble/monsters immediately cast Cloak of shadows.

optional: After part 1 ,depending on the difficulty/location i.e. Blood moor or Worldstone Keep The use of Mind blast to convert a few monsters first may be appropriate.

Part 2/3 of immobilizing Join your Merc and Shadow Master and immediately Fully charge Blades of Ice and release with Dragon Tail.

Providing theres no cold immunes they should be frozen or chilled and/or Knocked back or shattered. Only in later parts of hell may there be still some monsters remaining. If thats the case-

Fully charge BOI again + fully charge Tiger strike and release with DT . Rinse and repeat.

Never release yout DT on a Physical immune as the resulting Fire damage will be ZERO , UNLESS you are relying on Cold/Light to Kill.

Cold Immunes

When we encounter a CI we can choose to then use either Tiger strike + Dtail or Claws of Thunder.
I find that even though a monster is not fire or light immune they often take more damage from one than the other.
i.e . A lower damage COT could kill quicker than a higher damage Dtail.

Usually a safe bet is to charge with Tiger Strike first and see how quick its life goes down after the first Dtail release. If the reduction is not what you would expect switching to Claws of thunder will usually see the job done quicker.

Remember that champions/Uniques/Bosses CANNOT be frozen although they can be chilled.

Tip

If you are unfortunate to find yourself surrounded with no obvious means of escape then you did something wrong. However all is not lost as Dtail alone will push everything around you away giving you some breathing room to either regroup or make a quick retreat.

Specific MF Areas

At these popular MF locations you can decide yourself how you aim to get there. The Pit and Pindle can easily be obtained by running alone, but at Mephisto and Baal i would recommend using Enigma for the Teleport skill if the fastest possible runs are needed( although i personally find doing Baal runs slowly killing everything on the way to be very enjoyable and immensely satisfying).

The Pit

This area contains just about every type of immunity there is and is where this build really shines.
The fastest way there if on foot is via the Outer Cloister WP then back through the big door to be immediately in the Tamoe highland.
With plenty of space to manouver, the entrance can be found without engaging a single monster.
Mostly Corrupt rogues and zombies are to be found here and as a general rule:

Only cast Cloak of shadows if you find any misiles heading your way as the chance to cast it again may be a while longer than it will take you to take out that group.USe Mind blast instead if you must.
If they are NOT CI then use normal tactics BOI + DTAIL will make small work of all down here.
If they ARE CI then using only Dtail is sufficient. Usually 3-4 kicks and that group is now dead.
The immobilizer has no trouble clearing this area quickly.

Pindle

Here make sure you precast all skills except for your shadow as you do not need her straight away.
Ignore all the corpses on the floor immediately as you enter the red portal as they are always cold immune , proceed instead directly to the room that contains Pindle.
As you enter this room , the second you can glimpse Pindle and his crew cast your shadow smack in front of the group , followed immediate by casting Cloak of shadows ( this gives the group something to occupy them whilst you blind them).
Immediately After casting COS start to spam Mind blast on the ones nearest to you until 1 or 2 monsters get converted.
Then approach to the right hand side of your shadow ( seems to give a better view of everything being on the right instead of the left) and charge your Blades of ice and release . Everthing that was in the blast radius (except pindle) will be frozen so immediately charge another BOI + a TS and release... rinse repeat.
Often pindle is killed as well whilst attacking the others unless hes cold or fire immune (he can be all types immune).
If he is not treat him like any other boss when hes alone .. depending on his immunity pick the best attack ( you have them all).

ps The immobilizing effect will minimise the chance for you to be attacked whilst Identing your newly found Unique Hydra Bow as most of the killed minions will be shattered and wont come back to haunt you :).

Tip

If you decide to do pindle whilst in 8 player games (ie whilst waiting for a baal run) he will obviosly take longer to kill but the same tactics apply. Make sure you stay close to the far end near the exit down as this stops you attracting any corpses from outside coming in to spoil things for you.

Mephisto

Not much to be said here other than running there can be difficult due to lack of space and many doors to go through , so using Dflight can aid you to pass a group thats in your way.
Once at mephisto treat him like any boss , Charge everthing until dead.

Baal

Here you have two choices Tele / or Fight your way there. Running there will 99.9% of the time = death so dont try.
If you fight beware of Black souls and remember to use COS alot. Here a higher level COS is better as not all groups go down as quick.

Once in the throne and and the area is cleared :

On all waves

Cast your shadow in the middle of where the each wave appears BEFORE THEY APPEAR and as they do appear cast Cloak of shadows.
Convert 1-2 monsters by spamming Mblast a few times and recast your shadow if necessary.
Go in CHarge BOI + DT........ BOI + TS+ DT ........BOI + TS + DT ..........etc
Recast COS if needed.

2nd Wave

The skeletons that are made are all cold immune but CAN still be shattered so charge BOI + TS + Dtail continuous . The TS/DT combo will kill the skeletons quick and all BOI/TS/DT will damage the mummys (that revive the skeletons) as well at the same time.

Last Wave

These guys are on a mission to destroy you but immobilizing effect of the build makes it much easier to tank. Always try and start to tank minions that are furthest from Lister and keep the frozen minions inbetween you and him at all times. Only when hes alone must you try to take him out. As he cant be frozen and he does hit hard, back away til hes focused on your merc or shadow then go attack.
Here i find more often than not that hes Dual immune and its usually Cold + Fire so having a max Claws of thunder is awsome.(COT+TS+DT)

Tip
Often an entire wave may be FIre immune , so here dont bother charging TS instead use BOI+COT+Dtail (Dtail still knocks back and releases our charges even though in itelf it will do 0 AOE damage , although it will do physical to the 1 we release on)
Keep yourself so you cannot see baal himself , as this puts you out of range of his Decrepify curse. If you do get cursed then Spam MBlast and retreat to town to heal yourself.
Get into the habit of recasting Burst of speed + venom inbetween each wave.

Finally Baal himself. Hes releatively easy to tank but it can sometimes take a while due to his high life. Keep plenty of mana potions as he uses a mana burning attack which can be rather annoying.
If he uses the cold attack and you get pushed away ,using DFlight can get you and your companions right next to him again to continue.

Tip

If possible get yourself up against a wall so if he does use his cold attack it wont push you away.
Make full use of his festering appendages he uses often , they will give you a nice mana boost when attacked.
To melee or not to melee

I have found that using low ED Bartucs/Jade means i have never died when i have been cursed with Iron Maiden and hit somethng. 4 hits usually means i have lost 1/2 my life and not dead (unlike in 1.09). When this happens switch to secondary weapons and use Blade fury on all Doom knights etc( the ones that can cast curses). They always have low life and are quite easy to kill from Blade fury alone.

Againt single Bosses then charging of all skills BOI+Ts+COS+DT to unleash 15k-35k of cold/fire/light/physical/poison damage. Suffice to say you will cut through anything like butter

Merc Selection:

Initially i thought that the ACT 2 AR boosting merc would be best for this build but having just over 7000k AR at lev 85 is more than enough to hit anything when combined with COS . SO i now use the Defiance Merc to boost my Defence to make it even harder to be hit. Expect to get about 4.5-5k def.
Kit your Merc out with Reapers Toll /Shaft/ Rockstopper to give him nice DR + resists + he'll cast decrepify often to slow everything by 50%, that combined with your Freeze/chill will slow everything to a crawl.

Leveling:

The effectiveness of this build is apparent as soon as you can use both BOI + DT on normal.
I suggest putting alternative points in BOI/DT untill maxed BUT putting points into prerequisites when available.
2nd should be PS maxed then finally COT.
If you plan leveling beyond ** then might i sugest puting points in TS to boost your fire damage

Finally may i ask for any comments/suggestions/Feedback pls
 

Ritslev

Diabloii.Net Member
The Furysin (Blade Fury) - By Ritslev

1.1 - Introduction.
1.2 - A few words on the Furysin.
1.3 - Meet the FurySin.

2.1 – Advantages.
2.2 – Disadvantages.

3.1 - Open wounds.
3.2 - Deadly strike and Critical Strike.
3.3 - Crushing blow.
3.4 – Damage Reduction.
3.5 - What works.. what doesn’t?
3.6 – Attack Rating.

4.1 – Attributes.
4.2 – Gear.
4.3 - Weapon of Choice.
4.4 - Comparing Cresent Moon and Etheral Stormlash
4.5 - Notes on gear.
4.6 - Charms.
4.7 - Gear socketing.

5.1 – Skills.
5.2 – Martial Arts Tree.
5.3 – Trap Tree.
5.4 – Shadow Disciplines Tree.

6.1 - PvP.
6.2 - PvM.
6.3 - Leveling guide.
6.3 - Leveling areas ideas
6.4 – Merc

7.1 – Q&A

8.1 - Conclusion
8.2 - Credits

------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.1 Introduction
Greetings to all of those bitten by a mad bug.
I am an Assasin Enthusiast who, after a lot of remakes, have settled on creating the assassins which differ (a little) from the main stream. I play on the Europe Realm. I started out playing the Amazon but as soon as the Expansion came out I jumped to the Assasin and stuck with it ever since. The Sin is just so versatile that her arsenal can’t be beat by any other class (at least in my book). Now with patch 1.1 and the ending of the first Ladder season I’ve sat down and once more worked on this build. While knowing there are 23 unknown runewords waiting to be discovered, and that this build might very well be depending on these runewords, I’ve revamped some of the build. Not much though.. so for those whom already read this.. you may not see the changes but they are there.
No there hasn’t been any ‘gear’ changes yet… I’m sorry but due to unreasonable prices in trading lately I*ve been unable to afford the ‘richer’ testing. This will have to wait. So I’m posting my findings from version 1.1-1.2
So far the threads of the Furysin has received 19 000+ visits, so there is definitely truth to the words of the guide.. it works. So enjoy the reading.

Europe Realm : Acc : SonOfRa

1.2 A few words on the Furysin
The following is a build concentrated around the use of the skill ‘Blade Fury’. It’s a loose guide on how you can make this build work in multi player games. It is however NOT viable in PvP (this will be explained later).

The build can be frustrating at times, so if you’re a kill-on-one-hit kind of person, if you’re not, then this is the build to try. It is a build for a more experienced player and a build that will take some time to grow accustom to, as well as some specialized gear to acquire. Part of the fun in this build is the gathering of the items required, for you see some are easy to get, that you can get them for free.. others.. well yes I admit they are hard to get, anyways more on that later.. Once you have acquired what you feel is right then sit back and enjoy the ride.

1.3 Meet the FurySin
Abnormal... You say something there.

Abnormal is right. When you look at assassin you'll see the 'Trapper's place their lightning sentries and blast away a path through the monsters for all to follow. Leaving behind corpses.

You won't believe your eyes when you see the 'Kicker's speed, as he unleash a fury of kicks against his enemies. Suddenly appearing elsewhere to release the deadly punishment of a Frozen Orb, the pain of the Phoenix Lightning or the earth shattering damage of the Meteor. Indeed you will notice this one with her shouts.

While you think you've seen it all the 'Dual Claw Master' moves in for the kill. With deadly accuracy and power he tears into his enemies taking a beating, but nothing compared to what he gives back..

Well with these three very used and very good builds... it's no wonder you didn't notice the practically invisible assassin standing in the back looking like he was hidden in the shadows, leeching.

BUT HEAR ME NOW! He's not leeching he's unleashing from the shadows his wrath. The 'Blade Fury Sin' takes your breath away with his speed at which the blades are thrown, only rivalled by the fastest bow Amazon, they are like a mini Chain-gun. He stand there while his shadow holds the monsters at bay, and as the fight goes on you start to wonder if he even has a use.

It looks like the monsters will over run him soon, then as if a cloud moves away from the sun, or rather as if light becomes darkness for in the shadows the Assasin rules, the first monster fall. In a anguishing scream the monsters fall one by one. With a huge group still standing and dealing it's punishment you see then suddenly stunned, and then the body parts start to fly. With sudden silence the fury of the blades has stopped and have been replaced by the awesome deadliness of the Death Sentry. A scary sight for the weak at heart.

With elegance and grace, as if he had all the time in the world the Fury Sin moves through the body parts.. no he doesn't run as fast as the other sins, charging into the next combat. No his graceful style wouldn't allow that.

You stop a moment and ponder what happened here. Then you see the Fury Sin engage the next group of monsters blinding them and ensuring the cover of darkness to allow his wrath to be unleashed... yet again... and again

If you like a character whom dodge in and out of combat. Whom almost literally walk through the acts. Using stealth and cunning as well as a touch of wits. Then this is the build for you.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

2.1 Advantages :
Some of the advantages listed are :
- Ranged combat.
- Lots of Skills to chose from.
- Unique fighting style.
- Maximum attack speed from the first time you use it.
- High Resistances.
- Able to damage everything in the game, nothing is immune to you.
- Different castings.
- 98% Chance for Crushing Blow (see 3.3) (Note : max =95%).
- 43% chance of Open Wounds (see 3.1).
- 52% chance of Critical / Deadly Strike (see 3.2).
- Near Max Resistance.
- Near Max Damage Reduction.

2.2 Disadvantages :
The disadvantages are :
- One of the main problems : Attack Rating (see 3.5)
- Grounded when attacking.
- Sucks in PvP (see 6.1)
- Low blocking.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.1 Open wounds
Open wounds causes the player affected by it to loose life for a given amount of time, it works far better than poison as it can't be resisted. The only way to reduce the effect of open wounds is to use health potions or replenish life.

The player affected by open wounds loose life according to this formula

Duration: 200 frames (8 seconds - There are 25 frames per second).

Clvl 10: 11.8 per sec over 8 seconds for a total of 94.5 damage.
Clvl 30: 42.6 per sec over 8 seconds for a total of 340.6 damage.
Clvl 50: 99.7 per sec over 8 seconds for a total of 797.7 damage.
Clvl 70: 178.8 per sec over 8 seconds for a total of 1430.5 damage.
Clvl 90: 266.7 per sec over 8 seconds for a total of 2133.6 damage.

The damage is divided by 4 for a player target. In addition, for a missile versus a player target one should divide the damage by 8 instead. Versus bosses and champions (could be just bosses or special bosses) the damage is divided by 2

3.2 Deadly Strike and Critical Strike
Deadly strike and critical strike both have a chance of triggering a double damage effect. The deadly strike effect is applied after all other damage bonuses. Critical strike and deadly strike exclude each other.

The formula of dealing double damage with deadly strike and critical strike is:
Chance of double damage = CS + (DS/100)*(100-CS)

Example :
Critical Strike : 31%
Deadly Blow : 30%
Calculation : 31% + (30/100)*(100-31)
Critical Strike : 52%
(Not 61% as many might think)

3.3 Crushing blow
This is a chance of reducing a monster's health by X% in a single blow. This is one of the things which makes this build great for taking down the ‘bosses’.

Default: 25%
vs. Players: 10%
vs. Hirelings: 10%
vs. Champions, Uniques, Bosses: 12.5%
with missile weapons: 6.25%

3.4 Damage Reduction
Reduce the amount of damage you take from an attack. There is a 50% Cap on these items.

3.5 Attack Rating
Blade Fury DOES rely on attack rating…. Let me say that again, yes you will need attack rating otherwise you won’t hit anything.

The Attack rating of the Furysin is and WILL continuously be a matter of debate. Some want to rely on items for AR. Some want charms. Some skills. There is no doubt that you will find that AR is an issue you better address sooner than later. With that said let me say the following.

My guide is build on the assumption that your final weapon will be a weapon using ITD. While ITD goes a long way it doesn’t solve all situations and that is why I have added the Demon Limb on my switch for added AR (more on that later).

There are many sources of AR. Some will say : Claw Mastery. Note to yourself that if you choose to use Claw Mastery that it will ONLY work if you use a Claw (Yes that should be a given but some don’t know that). If you rely on your Merc for attack rating.. be sure that he doesn’t die, for if he does, you’ll have little other option than to run.

A whole debate has submerged on what to do. Some don’t want to use ITD. Some don’t want to live with out it. So choose which path you want to take before you start out, it will make your Furysin much more manageable. Either go the dex/ar/charms/items route. Or the expensive ITD route.

Going the dex route will have the benefit of you having the option of maxed block.
Going the ITD route will mean more damage/life.

All in all attack rating can be gained in various ways, which will be listed under items later on.

3.6 What works.. what doesn’t?
Things to remember is that almost anything works with blade Fury (ALMOST)… Here is a list :
What works
-Ignore Target Defense
-Deadly Strike/Critical Strike from CM
-Crushing Blow
-Hit Causes Monster to Flee
-Knockback
-Chance to cast on Striking
-Hit Freezes Target
-Elemental Damage/Venom (3/4)
-Leech
-Open Wounds
-Hit Blinds Target
-Prevent Monster Heal
-Hit Slows Target
-Physical/Weapon Damage (3/4)

What doesn't work
-Chance to cast on Attacking
-Pierce Target

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

4.1 Attributes :
Your attributes should be fit to suit your gear. These are though the listed attributes for the gear I have selected to use. Feel free to move these figures around to suit the gear you choose.

- Strength : 125
- Dexterity : 75 (*)
- Vitality : everything else
- Energy : 25 (base)

(* - Dexterity is a touchy subject. I have chosen 75, in that I have also chosen to ignore dodge, this is mainly cause I use Tiamats and the dexterity needed to max dodge with this shield is just so high that I dropped it. Some may choose to use Storm Shield instead, forfeiting the damage that is their choice, its not needed. Since I have this low dexterity I also bind my hands on another matter… attack rating. See 3.4)

As mentioned I have not chosen to go for the block variation of this build. If you want to go this way, do move more points into dex (close to 125-150 is needed). This will greatly help you with your attack rating as well but do it mainly for block. It will be taken from your vitality, of course.

4.2 Gear :
Gear is a very touch thing with this build, you will find that even one item will either make or break the build. I suggest highly that you either start out with trying to copy these items or at least find something that mimic them. (At the end of the guide there are some low level recommendations as well as some optional gear)

Helmet : Guilluames Face – (35% crushing blow, 15% deadly strike, 30% faster hit recovery and +15 strength)

Armor : Duress (ShaelUmThul) – (15% crushing blow,33% open wounds, resistances and damage)

Amulet : Highlords Wrath - (%Critical strike according to level, +1 skills, minor lightning damage.)

Boots : Gore Riders (15% crushing blow, 15% deadly strike, 10% open wounds and 30% faster walk/run)

Gloves : Soul Drainers (4-7% mana and life leech, -50 monster def. per. hit. and 8% chance to cast Weaken.

Rings : Raven Frost (Cannot be Frozen, Attack rating and Cold Damage) Carrion Wind (life leech, 8% chance to cast Twister, Poison Resistance.)

Shield : Tiamats Rebuke (Elemental damage, Resistance)

Belt : Either String of Ears (Life Leech and Reduced Damage) or Siggards Stealth (Slow and Life Leech)

Weapon : See 4.3

Switch : Demon Limb (*)

(* - Demon Limb is not a weapon which is used for damage. It just doesn’t cut it. It is used solely for the Enchant to provide much needed AR when encountering bosses and champions.)

There are many other items, which will greatly be beneficial to this build. Amongst those items you will find :
Armors :
Rattlecage
Toothrow
Crow Caw (on higher levels)
Lionheart Rune Word.

Gloves :
Lava Gout
Hellmouth
Crafted Gloves with % Crushing Blow

Shields :
Lanceguard
Stormshield
Mosers

Rings :
Crafted rings

Weapons : see 4.3

4.3 Weapons of Choice
There are really a lot of choices here but mainly look for weapons with % to crushing blow. The Crushing Blow stat combined with Static on chance to cast are definitely the way to go, you will want these stats and getting to is of vital importance the higher in level you get.

Keep in mind that Blade Fury suffers a ¾ penalty. So the smart person would say .. then get a HUGE damage weapon.. like like like a Colossus Blade and do Cresent Moon on it.. Sounds good but no. ALL… ALL 2 handed weapons suffers an additional penalty. Making it 3/8 the damage .. and thus making it a bad weapon of choice. Keep that in mind when looking for weapons.

My first weapon which I want to mention is :
Ethereal ‘Cresent Moon’ Cryptic Sword.
http://img24.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img24&image=CresentMoon.jpg
It has all the stats you could ever dream of, lower target resistance, ignore target defence, chance to cast static and much more. (see section on charms for more on this.)
Since Blade Fury DOES NOT use DURABILITY then Ethereal Weapons DO NOT need ZOD. I repeat, Blade Fury does not use durability contrary what ANYONE might say. This has been tested over a period of 2 months. Where the same weapon was used… and no it was not indestructible.
The potential damage of this sword is : 350+ and the Static on it just makes it nicer.

My main weapon of choice : STORMLASH.
http://img24.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img24&image=Stormlash.jpg
Stormlash has it all. Elemental damage. Static on chance to cast (15%). Huge damage. Crushing Blow. Low stat requirements (high level though).
This is the best weapon for a Blade Fury Assasin. The weapon will make short work of opponents/monsters.
There is a lot to be said about this weapon but those whom don’t know it .. well look it up and see it in action and you will know why I’m speechless. Those whom do know it.. well wipe off that smile!
If you can get one Etheral.. well then I bow before you.
The Potential Damage : 1k+ and the Static on it makes it just that much nicer!

Alternative Weapons which definitely deserves mentioning, they are high level yes, but that is what is needed :
Etheral Fleshripper
Etheral Gimmershred
Etheral Baranars Star
Etheral Nords Tenderiser
Chaos Claw

4.4 Comparing Cresent Moon vs Stormlash.
I tested my two weapons .. and in testing the Cresent Moon and the Etheral Stormlash I saw something striking.

My test subject was :
Necromancer,
With the stats :
Life : 1591 (No Absorb and 16% damage reduction).
Resistances :
Fire : 70.
Lightning : 75.
Cold : 75.
Poison : 48.

I damaged with 1 blade, with Enchant and Venom turned on.
Cresent Moon Cryptic Sword-vs-Etheral Stormlash
1 : 1274 (11xx) ------------------- 1376 (1173)
2 : 1234 (800) -------------------- 1347 (1056)
3 : 1400 (1186) ------------------- 1274 (900)

First number is the life which is initially left… the one in parentheses is the life left after Open Wounds. (So basically 1 blade did : close to 400 damage in PvP.)
Note : When firing 2 blades are always shot off. Some of these hit both times. Some only hit once.
The numbers speak for themselves really.
So is it worth waiting around for ages to get an Etheral Beserker Axe 3 Socketed or an Etheral Cryptic Sword 3 socketed… The Cresent Moon Measures up to the Lash…
But keep in mind this is PvP. PvM is different for 2 reasons. Static and Crushing Blow… those two have not been factored into this equation.


4.5 Notes on Gear
As you may notice … I have totally ignored block. As I mention above I choose Tiamats, for the damage and low Dex requirement as well as the Resistances it provides. I choose to ignore block, cause if a monster gets close to me then I’ve made a mistake.

As for those whom wants to use Storm Shield or another shield, get the 1XX dex needed and you’ll be fine there as well. Yes it’s definitely worth it, it is a matter of playing style.

With this gear you will find that you’re not in too bad a shape with damage reduction, simply cause Fade (which you’ll Max) will give you ca. 20% damage reduction … if you use String (or Verdungos) that will most likely be another 15% .. so 35% or close to it. While this doesn’t sound like much you’ll have to keep in mind that Soul Drainers cast weaken almost all the time making all foes damage you at 2/3 their potential. Not bad really

So on top of probably having max resistances in hell, you’ll also find that, you can take a few hits… well ok a ‘lot’ but that is that.

Take a licking and keeps on ticking.

4.6 Charms
A lot of things could be used with this build. All elemental damage is viable here. Damage is damage so why not just get what you can get. Well not quite.

Most people go for poison, the one many prefer is the 290, even if it is a dupe and what ever.. many have it.. many use it. So here you’re thinking wow, small charm .. 290 in damage.. NICE?… NOT!!.. Sorry.

290 is over 10 seconds. That is 29 over 1 second. That is 13 over .4 of a second which is what venom will do to it. It will remove the long effect of the poison charm, and make it into something which only last 0.4 seconds.

Still a lot? Well compare that to : 1-40 small lightning charm and you know why I have ignored poison charms ….

Which all this said I have chosen to look at my gear and let that dictate what I should use. I choose Lightning Charms. Both Small (1-41) and Medium (1-81). They aren’t that expensive and are reasonable easy to get. You will do a lot of lightning damage, which will have lowered resist on it. 10% of it in fact if you’re really lucky with those facets.

Yes you can survive without the facets but why not tweak your build if you got the cash for it.

Why lightning damage?
Well you could choose other charms I just choose lightning cause I already had a ton of it on my weapon. I know I will be using Lightning Facets to make Static more effective, so why not kill two birds with one stone and make my damage more effective as well with charms.
There are 2 to stay away from : poison (as mentioned above) and max/min damage. The reason for the later is that you don’t have enough +% damage to make them effective. Sad but true.

Yes I do encourage you to get Anni… It will allow you to remove the Um from your Tiamat and instead socket it with a Lightning Facet. I recently did this and was very pleased with the result.

4.7 Gear socketing.
Subject to change… feel free to change what U want.

Weapon : Jah (unless it already has Ignore target Defence) or Mal (prevent Monster Heal) or Eth (-target defence .. till you can get Jah)
Shield : Um (Lightning Facet if you’re rich and has Anni)
Helmet : Lightning facet

While these things are all somewhat expensive the build can do without them (except the Jah of course) and you can use other things if you choose.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

Ritslev

Diabloii.Net Member
The Furysin (Blade Fury) - By Ritslev

This The Furysin Guide has been archived in the Strategy Compendium. Please feel free to leave comments and feedback for the author at the foot of the guide.
 

Ritslev

Diabloii.Net Member
The PvM Cold Maiden (Blades of Ice/Blade Tree) - by Ritslev

The Cold Maiden .. by SonOfRa

1.1 - Introduction.
1.2 - A few words on the Cold Maiden.
1.3 - Meet the Cold Maiden.

2.1 – Advantages.
2.2 – Disadvantages.

3.1 – Damage Reduction.
3.2 – What works with Blade Shield?
3.3 - Frozen vs Slowed (Chilled) Monsters

4.1 – Attributes.
4.2 – Gear.
4.3 - Weapon of Choice.
4.5 - Notes on gear.
4.6 - Charms.
4.7 - Gear socketing.

5.1 – Skills.
5.2 – Martial Arts Tree.
5.3 – Trap Tree.
5.4 – Shadow Disciplines Tree.

6.1 - PvP.
6.2 - PvM.
6.3 - Tactics guide.
6.3 - Leveling areas ideas
6.4 – Merc

7.1 – Q&A

8.1 - Conclusion
8.2 - Credits

------------------------------------------------------------------------

1.1 Introduction
I have played Diablo II since it came out and have from the start of the expansion really loved the Assasins. I’ve though over the years now been annoyed at the same build being used by everyone, that I’ve tried to create my own and odd/strange builds which still work. They are not cookie cutter builds, I don’t make those. They are though different ways of using gear and skills, a new and fresh approach to doing the exact same thing.

Europe Realm : Acc : SonOfRa

The Immobilizer Build (http://www.rpgforums.net/showthread.php?t=218817)… to better understand the background of the Cold Maidens you should read this build. I’ve taken the research and edited it into this guide, but just for reference, look at it. With that said and my compliments to Morris being paid…

1.2 A few words on the Cold Maiden
The Cold Maidens are assassins using their specialized skills to deliver a cold attack, or to freeze their enemy. Rather than a conventional Claw/Claw Elementalist the Maidens use the Blade Skills to enhance their area of effect, and to provide them with some great ground control.

The build focus on the melee aspect but incorporates into this the Shield and Sentinel. Working with these two skills to enhance the cold of the charged Blades of Ice and Phoenix strike.

To the eye it will look like the : Immobilizer, and you will hear me mentioning this build a lot. That is cause this is a ‘sister’ build to that, and cause the research done in this build is outstanding. The Maidens contrary to the Immobilizers though have a very heave focus on gear. Their gear is very limited, and restricted. It’s not till level 78 that you will be able to truly be a Maiden.

That means that yes you have a long part of the game in which you’re aspiring to be a Maiden.. but you aren’t truly one till you reach level 78.

1.3 Meet the Cold Maiden
The palace felt the cold bite of winter approach. Yes Harrogath was still under siege from Baals minions and the early morning frost was still in the air.

A small group had gathered in the town square, around the fountain, watching Cain speak to a slender figure. The could which covered her was a pale light blue, like a soft winters kiss on the cold glass window. She had come during the night and as they talked it became apparent that she was to join the raid on Shrenk who held the town in his futile grasp. As the barbarians started to gather the lithe figure removed her robe and adorned her helmet… She looked weak and fragile compared to the brute of the men from Harrogath, she heard a laugh or two in the back but paid no notice. As she spilled on the blades, she thought back upon when she was given the blades of the Shadow Killers. Still as crystal clear as the day she got them. No a single scratch on them. Yes she had only just aspired to become a ‘Maiden’ a few weeks earlier.. now though a fully fledged Maiden it was time to come from the shadows to reveal herself to the world…. Not quite the greeting she had hoped for.

Morning passed and as noon approached the men started to line up at the gates, getting ready for their assault. She too joined them…. The men laughing and joking at her, the classic : Ladies first..

As the gates opened she walked out… leading the charge… Stopped for a second, and looked around. The men busted out in a laugh and let their opinion be known that way.

Then all hell broke loose. The Maiden focused and sent loose the blades which flew about her by the magnetic aura. Her speed was increased and in a flash she started to charge up the pathway towards Shrenk. A few of the laughs died out and the men pulled their wits together as they started to charge after. Little chance did they have to reach a foe for before they did he was at their feet. They were struggling to keep up, as she came to a group she looked back and made sure everyone were following, then a weak smile appeared on her lips, as she sent loose a large blade, letting it run in front of her as she charged into the group. The first few monsters started to feel the bite of the cold. Shivering and stopping in their tracks, she unleashed her claws which dug into the flesh of the monsters. Striking fast, while surrounded by the bitter cold seemed like second nature. To the assassin maybe but not to the monsters.

Chilled in their tracks each, one by one, felt her fury.. one by one they fell like frozen shards, left to melt away as the sun slowly took hold of the noon. The silence was only broken by the charge of the barbarians of Harrogath… indeed their laughs had been replaced with heavy breathing from the run to keep up.

Tales were told of this day in the years to come… at each winter those of Harrogath still get a chill. Not from the cold but from the memories of the light figure who’s aura of cold influenced them all… indeed the Cold Maidens had left their mark on the world….

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

2.1 Advantages :
Some of the advantages listed are :
- Superior Crowd control
- Frozen in place enemy.
- Slowed groups of enemies
- Unique playing style.

2.2 Disadvantages :
The disadvantages are :
- You will have small problems with Cold Immune monsters.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

3.1 Damage Reduction
Reduce the amount of damage you take from an attack. There is a 50% Cap on these items.
3.2 What works.. what doesn’t with Blade Shield?
Here is a list :
Blade Shield (main claw only: i.e. the claw you equip first or the one that's left behind if you unequip one. Shields transfer their effects normally)
What works
- Deadly Strike
- Elemental Damage/Venom (1/4)
- Leech
- Physical/Weapon Damage (1/4)
What doesn't work
- Open Wounds
- Crushing Blow
- Hit Causes Monster to Flee
- KnockBack
- Hit Freezes Target (Sigh here Blizzard really screwed up this skill)
- Chance to Cast on Striking (This one pains me but yeah they don’t work)
- Pierce Target

3.3 - Frozen vs Slowed (Chilled) Monsters
Frozen monsters do not suffer a Defensive Rating decrease when frozen, as Stone Cursed monsters did. In addition, not all chilled (slowed) monsters shatter into fragments upon death, only a percentage of them. All frozen monsters will shatter, however.
Below is a list of which monsters are Cold immune and whether they CANNOT BE FROZEN for HELL DIFFICULTY only. Each name is a group name and can include usually around 5 different types . ie Fallen contra Fallen, Carver, Devilkin, Dark One, Warped One. The first number is total cold immune , the second is total in that group

Act I Bestiary

0/5 Fallen (Demon)
0/5 Fallen Shaman (Demon)
0/5 Spike Fiend (Animal)
1/5 Zombie (Undead)
4/5 Wendigo (Animal)
5/5 Corrupt Rogue (Demon)
1/5 Corrupt Rogue Archer (Demon)
1/5 Corrupt Rogue Spearwoman (Demon)
0/5 Skeleton (Undead)
0/5 Skeleton Archer (Undead)
3/4 Skeleton Mage (Undead) *
1/5 Goatman (Demon)
0/4 Blood Hawk (Animal)
0/5 Tainted (Demon)
0/4 Giant Spider (Animal)
0/5 Wraith (Undead) CANNOT BE FROZEN
1/5 Fetish (Demon)
5/5 Vampire (Undead)
0/1 Flying Scimitar CANNOT BE FROZEN
0/4 Blood Hawk Nest
1/1 Gargoyle Trap CANNOT BE FROZEN

Cold Immunes = 24%

* Of the 3/4 , Skeleton mages have a random chance to deal None/Cold/Fire/Lightning so this means these 3 have a 1/4 chance to be cold immune or a 3 / 15 chance out of the total and could make the overall 24% even less.

Act II Bestiary

1/5 Leaper (Animal)
0/5 Scarab Demon (Animal)
0/5 Sand Maggot (Animal)
0/5 Sand Maggot Egg (Animal)
0/5 Sand Maggot Young (Animal)
0/4 Vulture Demon
0/4 Swarm (Animal)
2/4 Sabre Cat (Animal)
2/4 Slinger (Animal)
0/5 Mummy (Undead)
1/4 Greater Mummy (Undead)
2/5 Sand Raider (Animal)
1/5 Bat Demon (Animal)
5/5 Claw Viper (Animal)
0/4 Baboon Demon (Animal)
1/4 Blunderbore (Demon)
0/1 Lightning Spire
1/1 Mummy Sarcophagus
0/1 Fire Tower

Cold immunes = 21%

Act III Bestiary

0/3 Fetish Shaman (Demon)
0/2 Giant Mosquito (Animal)
4/4 Thorned Hulk (Animal)
1/3 Frog Demon (Animal)
0/2 Willowisp (Undead) CANNOT BE FROZEN
0/3 Bone Fetish (Undead) CANNOT BE FROZEN
0/3 Tentacle Beast (Animal)
1/3 Zakarum Zealot (Animal)
2/3 Zakarum Priest (Animal)
0/2 Council Member (Demon)

Cold Immunes = 28%

Act IV Bestiary

0/3 Finger Mage (Undead)
0/3 Mega Demon (Demon)
0/3 Regurgitator (Demon)
1/3 Oblivion Knight (Undead)
1/3 Vile Mother (Demon) *
2/3 Vile Child (Demon) *

Cold Immunes = 22%

* Maybe an error on Arreat Summit but both Vile Mother/Child lists cold resists of over 140 %. which would indicate total immunity.

Act V Bestiary

4/8 Baal's Minion
4/8 Suicide Minion
2/5 Death Mauler
0/1 Catapult
5/5 Overseer (Demon)
0/5 Demon Imp (Demon)
3/5 Siege Beast
4/4 Abominable
3/5 Reanimated Horde (Undead)
0/5 Succubus (Demon)
2/5 Stygian Fury (Demon)
5/5 Frozen Horror
1/5 Blood Lord *
0/5 Putrid Defiler (Demon)
2/5 Pain Worm (Demon)
0/3 Minion of Destruction (Demon)
0/0 Reziarfg (Demon)

Cold Immunes 44%

* Blood Lords have very low Chill Effectiveness with one having 0 (Death Lord). Basically these will be hard to freeze.

Also Monsters from other acts can appear here randomly thus increasing/decreasing the percentage accordingly.

Whats interesting is that most Cold immunes still have the ability to be Chilled ( and thus shattered) and the Monsters listed as CANNOT BE FROZEN are usually NOT Cold Immune (although some like the Bone Fetish still has 75% Cold resist)

This means a high percentage of slain monsters will shatter and cant be resurrected (ie shamans) or exploded (ie Nihlathak).

(Credits : All work on section 3.3 are done by Morris)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
 

Ritslev

Diabloii.Net Member
4.1 Attributes :
Your attributes should be fit to suit your gear. These are though the listed attributes for the gear I have selected to use. Feel free to move these figures around to suit the gear you choose.

- Strength : 100
- Dexterity : 100
- Vitality : everything else
- Energy : 25 (base)

You need the strength and dexterity to equip the weapons later on described.. once though you have the vitality you feel is sufficient (I’ve chosen to stick with the 100 STR/DEX, and pump the rest into my vitality) then feel free to boost either. You may wish to use other gear which needs more or less requirements than the ones I’ve outlined.

4.2 Gear :
Gear is a very touch thing with this build, you will find that even one item will either make or break the build. I suggest highly that you either start out with trying to copy these items or at least find something that mimic them. Basically though the most important items in the gear which I feel are non negotiable its : Weapons + Amulet + Helmet. These three items are what this entire build is created around. If you remove them then in all honesty you’re a Maiden.. just not a Cold Maiden (Ok that was my rant of the day.. with that said.. here goes)

Helmet : Nightwings Veil (% of Cold Damage increased, +2 Skills, High Dexterity Boost)

Amulet : Eye of Etlich (+1 skills, life leech, hidden freeze duration of up to 10 seconds in normal.)

Gloves : Soul Drainers (Weaken… as well as mana and life leech. And on top of that makes monsters easier to hit. Can’t pass that up)

Armor : Chains of Honor (+2 Skills, damage reduction, but most importantly : RESISTANCES. Most of all the other gear gives you no resistance at all. With 65% resist all this is perhaps the best armor around. Another descent armor is : Smoke with a 50% resist all, and Duress. Also pondering and upgraded Iceblink – though that will be best of Normal and NM, I doubt at this time it will cut it in Hell.)

Belt : Verdungos (Damage Reduction and a healthy Vitality boost) , Siggards Stealth (Life leech and slow)

Shield : N/A

Rings : Ravenfrost (Needs no introduction at all, I use two of these at this time, in lack of a Natures Peace. You could supplement one of the rings for a Resist all ring with attack rating. That would also be very well placed.) Natures Peace (Slain Monsters rest in peace (*)

Boots : Yet to be decided, most likely it will be crafted boots with resistances, at this time though using a pair of Tearhaunce (small strength and dexterity boost as well a +10% resist all.)

Weapon : See 4.3

Switch :

* - Slain Monsters Rest in Peace. Combined with the cold you’ll be putting out means there will be few to no corpses left. Thus Death Sentry isn’t the best choice for this build. It’s hard to make it work… so instead of try I totally left it out.

4.3 Weapons of Choice
Now most of the time when I work on a build I research : What items have Blizzard Created which people just never use or actually shone away from.
Then I look at : How can I use it.
I think the weapon of this build is exactly that

-The Shadow Killer Unique Claws.-

When you see this claw any good assassin player will say : “But it doesn’t have any skills and it doesn’t add to your attributes, sheesh SonOfRa Bartucs is way better. I’d even use a Jade Talon over this.â€

“Yes yes children I know. Now please –hush-.†You see what this Claw does have is :
- Great look … bonus points for appearance.
- Desent Damage… close to 200 isn’t bad.
- +2 Freeze… now you’re talking!
- -25% target defence per hit.
- Mana after each kill, no need for mana leech?
- Frost Nova … 33% of the time.

And the hardcore Assasin players keep saying : “But SonOfRa… It has –no- skills nor attribute boost. I mean COME ON!â€

Anyways rant on.. I use two of them and I’m quite happy. So there .. :p Neener.

4.5 Notes on Gear
The gear I’ve chosen has been done so looking exclusively at three stats. Skills, Cold Damage, or Freeze Enemy. If the gear had this stat then it was worth considering. There is other gear providing other stats than the ones I’ve chosen, but like the Furysin this is a build that is like a cocktail. Get it wrong and it taste bad, and doesn’t work. Get it right and well you got something good. The Cold Maiden is just that. A character dedicated to the Cold aspect of the elements. She does her job well, and will if given a chance make the game interesting in a new aspect.

The Gear is always vital, and feel free to look for other gear. Keep though in mind the body and soul of this build with is that of slowing the enemy. In more ways than one.

4.6 Charms
Charms is always a touch subject. I recommend Martial Arts Skillers.. preferably with cold damage. Stock up on as much cold damage as you possible can from skillers. Something like MA skillers with a little cold damage would be nice. Anni if you can afford it.. as it’s always worth the effort. Lastly the 6 small charms should be cold charms.

I personally prefer :
7 Grand martial Arts Skillers
1 Anni
6 Cold damage charms.

Leaving me room for Tomb of ID and tomb of TP.
And 2x4 free slots for picking up items.

Now, knowing that you will have a resistance problem the small cold charms could be changed for resistance charms, but if you can manage without them, do so.

4.7 Gear socketing.
Well Cold Facets are a no brainer.
Helmet : Cold Facet
Armor : Depending on Armor – Um rune

The general idea with the socketing like this is that you want to compliment what stats you lack. With the Cold Maidens … you will need all the resistance you can get, the lowering of enemy resist is also needed, as well as more damage and speed. On that note though the weapons could be socketed with a lot of things … the things I’ve looked at are (In the order of priority I think they should be) :

Ohm or 15% ias + XX% ed : Added Damage - Definitely something worth looking at. Speed is an issue you’ll want to address.
Shael : 20% ias – A definite worthy rune, cause more speed is always great with a build that relies on melee.
Cham : +3 Freeze – Is more freeze needed… You can never get enough in my book.
Thul : 3-14 Cold damage at 3 second duration – Cold Maiden.. jep this one should be looked at too.
El or Eth : +50 attack rating / -25% to Target defence : Well it’s always nice being able to hit your target.
Jah : Ignore Target Defence – Always a great Mod… but here you at least have the possibility for a good attack rating so it’s not needed either.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

5.1 Skills :
The following a is guide on how the skill tree should look once you’re done. The skills are a rough guide, but altering them a lot will also change the build quite a lot.
..
5.2 Martial Arts Tree : (Total Spend : 48)
Tiger Strike : 1
Cobra Strike : 1
Fist of Fire : 1
Claws of Thunder : 1
Blades of Ice : 20
Phoenix Strike : 20
Dragon Talon : 1
Dragon Claw : 1 (main finisher)
Dragon Tail : 1 (X if U want Dragon Flight)
Dragon Flight : 1 (X - great finisher in the midst of combat and problem solver if surrounded. Also it just looks great)

5.3 Trap Tree : (Total Spend : 24)
Fire Trap : 1
Wake of Fire : 1
Blade Sentinel : 1
Blade Fury : 1
Blade Shield : 20

5.4 Shadow Disciplines Tree : (Total Spend : 34)
Claw Mastery : 20
Claw Block : 10
Burst of Speed : 1
Fade : X
Psychic Hammer : 1
Cloak of Shadows : 1
Mind Blast : 1

(X = optional.)
Level 94 is the finishing level of where I leave off.. that is high but you can easily scrape off points here and there to complete it in the early 80’s, such as finishing off with maxing Blade Shield or leaving Claw Mastery at 10. I have Claw Mastery at 10 at level 84 and is pumping it from now on.)
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

6.1 PvP
Player vs Player is always a factor people want to take into account when talking about a build… I hate to say it. While this build could work in PvP, sadly it doesn’t. Problem is really that everyone and their mother has Ravenfrosts… and just wearing two of them will negate just about 98% of what you’re trying to do.

With that said… it’s a challenge.. don’t pass it up. If they don’t have the Ravens on.. well then they will be slowed.. a lot and for a long time.

6.2 PvM
This build is good at PvM. It’s build for PvM. I’m sure that with a bit of tweaking it’ll be great for PvP too but the main idea is that you focus on the general game play and that your alternative style comes to show. People generally focus on cookie cutter builds and we have a lot of the same kinds of characters.

Therefore. The Furysins and Cold Maidens.. well they are my kind of builds, cause they are abnormal and isn’t part of the norm.

6.3 Tactics Guide.
The Tactics of the Cold Maidens are somewhat complicated. It takes a good deal of timing, but once archived can be quite effective, even in 8 player games.

Before Combat : You precast – Blade Shield + Burst of Speed or Fade, your preference.

General Combat :

1-Cloak of Shadows : Your first move is to Cloak your Enemies in the veil of Shadows. Placing them at a great disadvantage since they can’t see you far and that in itself is crowd control.
http://img69.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img69&image=1-MeetEnemies.jpg

2A-Blade Sentinel : Your Second move is to place a Blade Sentinel through the entire group. Then charge in for combat.
http://img69.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img69&image=2-BladeSentinel.jpg

(2B- An Alternative is to Blade Sentinel using Blade Fury. Replace the Sentinel Step 1 with a Fury one. Personally I like the Sentinel better for this build cause once cast it’ll do what you want it to do and you can do something else. Once you stop fury.. the fury stops too.
http://img61.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img61&image=6-Alternative.jpg)

3-Gain control of the group : Shadow Killers have innate Frost Nova, a charge or two of these will give you some crowd control.. and it’s fast. Also if you have problems use a few Mind Blasts. They are always good to have handy.
http://img69.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img69&image=3-Control.jpg

4-Freeze them : Charge up respectively Blades of Ice and Phoenix Strike.. and release with either Dragon Claw.. or Dragon Flight (*) .. Dragon Claw if you’re placed strategically in combat. Dragon Flight if you want to reposition, or just show off. From time to time throw in a Blade Sentinel. It looks good.
http://img69.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img69&image=4-Charge1.jpg

5-This is generally how it should look
http://img69.exs.cx/my.php?loc=img69&image=5-Charge3.jpg

* - Note please that IF/WHEN you use Dragon Flight OR Blade Sentinel you will have a casting Delay of a few seconds, where you won’t be able to use one or the other. This takes timing and getting use to. In the beginning I found it very annoying, but now It’s second nature.


6.3 Leveling areas ideas :
The following is a small guide where you could level. It may not be what you find the easiest nor the best, it is though what I did.

Level 1-14 : Act 1 mainly Dark woods.
Level 15-20 : Act 2 mainly Arcane Sanctuary.
Level 20-25 : Act 3 only Tranvical runs
Level 25-40 : Act 5 only Baal runs.
Level 40-60 : Act 5 NM Baal runs.
Level 60+ : Act 5 Hell Baal runs.

As you can see once you hit a certain level, time to move on. Ignore how many times you die. If you level on the way NP, but get to where the XP is ASAP.

This is for levelling only, not for enjoying the game. While yes you could say that a lot of the game has been skipped, I will answer that you are free to go around this levelling guide, it is only posted to show where you will gain the most XP comparative to your level. This is meant as a guide IF you’re in a group. If you solo you will want to stick to areas a bit lower than your level.

6.4 Merc.
So far I haven’t worked on a merc. I will though be using either an Act 3 Cold merc, or a Holy Freeze Act 2 Merc.
The Defensive Merc from Act 2 nightmare has Holy Freeze. While being a great tank it also slows the monsters, so if they ‘flee’ they don’t go far. If they attack they don’t attack so fast. If they run at you they rarely make it all the way.

Gear for non ladder would be a :
Gaze
Shaftstop(Or the Hwanins Armor)
Bonehew (Hel + Amn)

Not much else to be said really… Get him high level fast… that is all that can be said really. He’s your trusted ally so use him often as you can.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

7.1 Q&A
Q : Are there any questions yet?
A : Nope.. but trust me they will come.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

8.1 - Conclusion
Well that’s it.. Any and all suggestions made are of course welcome.

8.2 – Credits
Many of you have helped me with this guide, and inspired me to improve it. There are though a few people whom have done this more than most :
- Morris – For doing the research for the Immobilizer which is the preset to this build, and allowing me to steal with arms and legs from this build in order to fill out the blanks with this guide.

SonOfRa
 

DOC

Off Topic Moderator
The PvP Bombasin (Fire Blast/Shock Web) - by DOC

Bombasin Trapper- BY DOC

1.1 Introduction
1.2 History
1.3 The build

2.1 Abbreviations
2.2 Advantages
2.3 Disadvantages

3.1 Stat points
3.2 Gear choices
3.3 Notes on Gear
3.4 Charm selection
3.5 Socket Help

4.1 Skills
4.2 MA Tree
4.3 Shadow Tree
4.4 Trap Tree

5.1 Tactics
5.2 Clan-Honor Note
5.3 PVP

6.1 Leveling Guide (PVM)

7.1 Conclusion
7.2 TenthGuru
7.3 Thank you


1.1 Introduction

Hello all my friends here, my name is DOC. I have been playing this game for about 5 years now, and only posting here at the forums for about 4. I started when I was 12 when my brother forced me to play Diablo because he wanted to corrupt me in my young age. I have been playing Assassin’s since the day they first came out, and I have called this sin forum my home for as long as I know. This is however, my first attempt at a complete guide. So help me out.

1.2 History

The idea of creating this sin has been with me for about 6 or so months now. About back in March when I returned from my small break in playing, I joined a pubby game and was saddened by what most Trappers had resorted to; just spamming Mind blast till their opponents gave up and died. There really was no strong tactic that a trapper had left; they had becoming the world’s largest cookie-cutter build with their new synergies. I then went off to brainstorm my few but selective options. I went and began crunching some numbers to determine what damages I could get with a “Rebel†trapper, one who did not resort to Mind Blast. Out of that night of testing, I discovered this build, and while the skills it uses often cause much laughter, the damage output does not. I did not coin the term “Bombasin,†for my build, I just called it a New style Trapper when I first made it, but since I began posting my “Guru†threads, I saw a lot of people referring to a Sin who throws Fire Blasts and Shock Webs as “Bombasin.â€

1.3 The Build

A Bombasin in a short sweet definition is a type of Trapper who uses the skills Shock Web and Fire Blast as their primary means of damage with a backup of the minion traps Lighting Sentry and Charge Bolt Sentry. They do not however, have any need to use the spamming skill of Mind blast.

2.1 Abbreviations

Burst of Speed – BoS
Charged Bolt Sentry - CBS
Death Sentry - DS
Fire Blast - FB
Lightning Sentry - LS
Shock Web – SW
Faster Cast Rate- FCR
Faster Hit Recovery- FHR
Faster Run Walk- FRW

2.2 Advantages

-Both Fire and Lighting sources of Damage
-A spamming skill (FB) that causes large amounts of Damage
-Ability to stun while still causing Damage (CBS)
-SW acts as a means to direct your opponents
-Style Points

2.3 Disadvantages

-Lack of ability to hold opponent still
-Constantly need to be moving
-Lower LS damage than pure trappers
-Needs BOS for FB/Trap placement (No Fade)
-Fire Blast has a long Arc

3.1 Stat Point Placement

Strength: Enough to equip Gear (don’t forget Enigma!)
Dexterity: Enough for max block with Whistans/Stormshield
Vitality: All remaining Points
Energy: Please don’t be dumb, none here

3.2 Gear Choices

I will start off with mentioning what I use/prefer to use. I will try to list as many other options as possible, but when you think of it, as with most trappers, a lot of it ends up being a standard that you have to have; sometimes there is only one best. Also see 3.3 for notes on choices. I find when reading guides, it helps to have less clutter around the choices, for those who like to get the gist of the build real fast and read the reasons behind the choices later.

Helms: Shako
Other: Kira’s and Crown of Ages

Armor: Enigma
Other: Skin of the Viper, Que Hagans

Shield 1: Lidless (Caster)
Shield 2: Storm/Whistans (Melee)
Other: Sanctuary

Boots: Waterwalks
Other: Sandstorm Treks, Rare boots that add to run and walk, resist, stats, and faster hit recovery are nice.

Belt: Trangs Belt
Other: Arachnids, Vergundu’s

Gloves: Magefists

Rings: 2 x Sojs
Other: Raven Frost

Amulet: Mara’s
Other: Rare 2 to sin w/ Resists and stats

Weapon: Heart of the Oak Flail
Other: Wizard Spike, Bartucs, Trap Claws
Switch: 2 Shadow Claws for buffing BOS

3.3 Notes on the Choices

Helm: I personally prefer the Shako on this build do to its inherent Life/Mana as well as its skills, there really is not any other helm out there anymore that is better all around for PVP than the Shako. However, if you find yourself lacking major resists, a Kira’s will give you a nice boost as well as save you a high rune when it comes time to socket (See 3.5). As For the Crown of Ages, that is nice for its plus to skill, Resists and its Damage reduce will help you stand your ground vs those heavy melee fighters, however, its heavy strength requirement knocks it out of my book.

Armor: Enigma, Enigma, Nigmar! Why O’ why did Blizzard invent this armor, it has become my worst enemy with all the Tele’ing characters out there, however, if you want to compete in a tele dueling league, than this armor is a MUST! Also, the 2 to all skills and other such mods that it gives just add to this largely over-powered armor. Other than that, the Skin of the Viper is nice because of its cast rate, skill and resists, but the Enigma is key.

Shield: I use a Lidless wall against casters, its FCR is needed for your teleport speed and its skill is also very nice to have. However, it is always important to have a Shield to switch to in case you duel a heavy melee character, therefore you must have either a Whistans or Stormshield in your stash and when you put it on you must have max block.

Boots: Waterwalks will give you Life which keeps you from dieing (durr), dex to help out you block as well as 5% to Max Fire Resist to help against Fire characters.

Belts: I currently use a Trangs belt for the sole purpose of its Cannot Be frozen mod, other than that, I would opt to use an Arachnids for its skill and FCR, however to use it, I would need to either ditch a soj and put on a raven (which would be nice for cold duelers) but I would be back at my same skill level, or I would have to stick a Cham in my helm, which is costly. The Vergundu’s would help against heavy melee by adding my life and raising my DR, but I would be stuck with the same Raven/Cham dilemma as before.

Gloves: Magefists, FCR and fire skill, nuff said.

Rings: The 2x Soj allows me to get skill points and a larger mana pool for teleporting around, although if I were to get the Arachnids I would be forced to use a Raven Frost, but it is always nice to have a Raven in your inventory for getting that nice absorb.

Ammy: Mara’s, Stats, Resists, and skills, there really is nothing that beats it unless you find a Rare Ammy that gives you more Resists and has plus to the stat that you need or more life. Other than that, I would stick with the Mara’s

Weapon: I love my Heart of the Oak, the Skills that it adds cannot be found anywhere else for a trapper, its Resists also are of very good need to you, however, if you cannot afford one, a nice Wizard Spike will do you will with its higher resists and higher mana pool. The Bartucs and Trap claw are mainly there for those who cannot afford a spike, mainly they are there for the plus to skills, but I would not recommend them.

3.4 Charm Selection

10x Trap charms (Life/FHR or plain will work)
1x Anni
9x Vita Small charms with FHR or FRW

I am currently operating on Plain Trap charms, however, if you can get nice ones with 30-40 life on them, that is about 300-400 life, so I would got for them if you can.

3.5 Sockets

Key things to have:

Um: More resistances
Pdiamond: Cheaper Source of Resistances
Pruby: More Life
Cham: Cannot Be Frozen

So, when it comes to socket your items, you have to first look at your gear, mainly where your Cannot be frozen is coming from, if you use a Raven frost, Um your Shako, if you don’t and use 2x sojs and a Arachnids, Cham the shako. For shields, Um or Pdiamond it depending on your wealth. And the Ruby is just incase you want more life in your helm and you have cannot be frozen from somewhere else.

4.1 Skills

Well, now its time to find what exactly you have to do in order to kill things, I will start by running down a skill’s uses/what it does, followed by a quick overview of what to put in each tree, for those who like to scan really quickly.

Fire Blast: AKA Blaft: You throw a fire bomb at your opponent and make him hurt. This will be one of your main sources of damage in this build; you can manage to upwards of 6k fire damage with just one of these bombs. Its radius of 3.3 also gives it a nice little splash damage as well. When using it however, it’s best to be close to your enemy do to its incredibly long arc that it makes once you throw it.
Recommendation: Max

Shock Web: This skill, although is has the evil 1-something damage on it, can be quite painful to those that under estimate it. Most when they first start dueling, will see the 22 spikes and think nothing of them, only to try and run through them and get hurt. Each spike does anywhere from 1-3500 damage to the enemy, and stays on the ground for quite some time. You can throw these down to direct your enemy and also use them to hide Lighting Sentry’s in them.
Recommendation: Max

Lightning Sentry: We all know what this does, shoots a long reaching piece of lighting that makes nearly all duelers cry. Even though you are not maxing all its synergies, you can still get about 1-8.8K damage on it. Since you are not using Mind blast, this skill is only there as a secondary source of damage. Use it to keep you opponent guessing where you are going, and they will run, eventually however, they will make the mistake of running over a Blast or two. Also very vital against Casters.
Recommendation: Max

Charge Bolt Sentry: Here we are, the one skill that I do not think anyone has ever seen to be used heavily in PVP, however, when you first cast, you will think that your bolts are no use to you, however, not only do they do damage and stun lock like crazy those melee characters, they also emit a kind a physiological warfare on your enemy do to them thinking they are bolts from a CS Amazon. Use CBS to take on melee, do to its ability to throw an opponent into a Block frame.
Recommendation: Max

Wake of Fire/Inferno: 1 point wonders that add a nice boost to your synergies
Recommendation: 1 each

Claw Mastery/BOS/Fade: While Claw mastery is a pre-requisite, BOS is needed for both your trap laying speed and the speed at which you throw your Fire blasts. Also, since Mind blast is not there to hold off the enemy, you need to be quick on your feet to dodge all incoming attackers. Fade is just nice to have, but I would not recommend it unless you need major stack. I am currently casting my BOS at level 16 (it is base) with 2 shadow claws on switch, and that allows me to get max trap laying speed and blast throw.
Recommendation: 1 point each

Death Sentry: Nothing more than a Leveling device and a synergy to your other skills, after you get everything else, the rest of your points go here.
Recommendation: Rest of points

4.2 Martial Arts Tree

No Skills are needed here; you are a trapper who has Enigma.

4.3 Shadow Tree

1 point Claw Mastery
1 point BOS
1 point Fade

4.4 Traps Tree

20 Fire blast
20 Shock Web
20 Lighting Sentry
20 Charged Bolt Sentry
1 Wake of Fire
1 Wake of inferno
1-20 Death Sentry (Max Last)

You could technically get all 5 skills maxed by level 93 and after that, then I would go for a nice Shadow, but before, I find not much use for her.
 

DOC

Off Topic Moderator
5.1 Dueling Tactics (PVP)

Now although this is not going to be a new dominate build in the dueling world, one that is vastly over powered and will win every single duel it is in, it is still able to hold its own and win against most duelers. There are however, some classes that do give it a run for its money, and some that present a very tough match-up. For some of the tougher classes, I will come straight and tell you to worry when you face them, it may be a quick death for you. Also, as with all PVP guides, these are only some of the many ways of killing your enemy, most will take a lot of practice to get down, so you must learn to control you aiming before you give up and call me names. I hope you enjoy!

5.2 Clan-Honor Note

Well, this build was originally built for Clan-Honor rules, in those rules, the skill Teleport is banned on all characters, meaning I started this guy without teleporting. However, CH shunned my guy, and killed its use of BOS, thereby destroying its ability to evade attacks and lead the enemy into my minion traps and my bombs. After that, I de-geared him and moved on. However, recent things have happened, Guru Came back to life, and I can now duel in Clan Honor with this build, but Teleport is still banned. However, in an effort to make this guide of use to more people who do duel in a Teleport league, I went out an attempted to learn how to duel with teleport and against Tele characters. Therefore, some of my tactics are still gathering information. In the tactics, I will try to post both a CH environment tactic (one without Teleport) and a Tele tactic. However, some builds I have only met in one environment, and not the other.

5.3 Learning to Duel

Key: CH= Clan Honor
Tele= Teleporting allowed

Amazons: Tele
Pure Bow: Start out by testing her firing speed. Run up to about a screen or two away and cast some LS traps, odds are she will fire some GA at you to ward you off. Run down her mana by circling her and make sure to keep you traps one step ahead of her as she pauses to shoot. If she breaks into a run, Tele on top of her and drop a few quick blasts, since your LS will have eaten away at here life, 3-4 bombs should do the trick.

Throwers: Whether they are poison or lighting, the main key is to never get hit. Their attacks are always easy enough to see coming at you so you should dodge out the way. When you run, never run in a straight line and always try and keep them moving. Cast up some CBS, to scare them away from places you don’t want them to go, make them take your path, back towards you. When they finally run onto your screen, do a quick tele fly by and drop a few bombs. This will cause them to start throwing javs at you, during which you stop and Cast down LS around them. Use more SW to cause them to run off again and repeat your blast tele runs.

Charged Strike: It’s rare to see a charged strike Zon that tele’s after you, or at least I have never seen one. Bait them into chasing you on foot, but due to your speed you will get ahead, cast some CBS behind you, and it will begin to stun them, causing a slight jerky movement in their running. Throw down some Blasts in front of their path, and get them to run over it. However, wear you block shield for this duel.

Amazons: CH
Hybrids: Most all Amazons I have seen in CH are hybrids; they will always have some combination of charged strike and a Poison Java along with a bow on switch. If you see them chasing after you, use your CBS to stun them. Circle around them throwing blasts at them, and slowly wither down their health. If they start to get lucky hits off, use your SW to cause them to move, nobody is dumb enough to stand still when they have a web beneath their feet. If they pull out a bow Cast up a LS and cause them to keep moving, they cannot shoot if they can’t stop running. Try to keep them on the run the whole time, cover the ground near them with webs and FB and use the LS to get them to make a mistake and run into one.

Barbarians: Tele
WW: Put on your block shield for these guys, they will have massive life and pack a hard punch. The normal WW barb will try and teleport right on top of you and WW. However, they cannot get on top of you if you stay moving, cast up some LS to start with, and then start running around your traps, when the Barb makes his move and comes at you, side step the WW and throw blasts in front of his whirl. After you get maybe 5 or so off, cast CBS in front of where you think he will come out of the WW. If he precedes to tele off again, start over at the beginning, but if he comes at you again with a second Whirl, side step and FB him, leaving the CBS’s up.

Barbarians: CH
WW: You will end up using most of the same tactics that you would against a tele barb here. Cast up your LS to weaken them as they run towards you, then when the go into a WW, you side step out of the way throw blasts. However, if you know that their damage is not that great, you cast up 5 CBS around and throw blasts right at your feet, sure they might hit you, but they are also WW’ing through you deadly FB.

Concentrate: Your main goal with these guys is to lead them around like a tour guide. Cast up some CBS, and zig-zag through them, causing the barb to follow. If he becomes stubborn, throw some FB at him, which will get him moving. Use your SW to keep him from getting to close, throw it at your feet if you feel he is going to start name-locking you.

Assassins: Tele
Lighting Trappers: Well, when you look at the numbers, their traps will always do much more than yours so don’t get into a nice LS vs. LS war, because they have MB. However, most trappers in a duel against their own kind are hesitant to leave their nice safe zone with their 5 traps surrounding them. Use your SW as a means of warning, run in and as soon as you see the MB spam start, Tele right on top of them and drop some quick blasts. Since they think that they have a MB lock, you will have the brief moment to drop a few blasts before their traps fire a 2nd shot and they can stun you. Since they thought you were also a Lighting trapper, odds are they will not have and fire absorb on.

WW: Treat these guys like a Whirl barb, except you will know when they are about to strike. Since most WW sins use Nats armor, they have to rely on their Dragon Flight to get up close a personal with you. Leave up your LS traps till you see them within DF range, then change to CBS because of its wider area of effect. Side step and blast, however, if you are hit, do not let them run; their Open wounds will eat you alive.

Kickers: Lighting Sentries work wonders against these guy, it will keep them at bay for a while as they will want to time their Dragon Flight just perfect. When they get in front of you, make sure you have your block shield on; a quick couple of blasts thrown at your feet will destroy them.

Assassins: CH
WW: You can apply the same tactics that you would use in a Teleporting league

Kickers: You can apply the same tactics that you would use in a Teleporting league

Druids: Tele
Wind: These guys will hurt you quite bad if you let them get on top of you, however, since most will be used to a trapper who stands still and tries to stun-lock, it will be hard for them to jump you and cast their tornados. Leave up your LS for the entire duel; try to keep him constantly recasting his bear and his Cyclone armor if you can. You SW will play a vital role here, as it plus your LS will keep the druid moving, worrying more about your traps and web, then about trying to kill you. Eventually, you will hopefully wear him down.

Fury/Rabies: Never seen in a Teleporting environment

Druids: CH
Wind: Since this build lacks the great and powerful skill of teleport which is what makes them really scary, this will be a fun build you can toy against, however you still have to cautious. Since their main attack will be their tornadoes, just make sure that you are far enough back from them that you have plenty of time to dodge them; however, the tornadoes can change direction quite quickly. Other than being cautious, just make sure to keep you LS traps up to help keep their cyclone armor down, and use your blast and web to whittle their life down. This won’t be a tough duel, but one that will take a lot of time to finish its cat and mouse routine.

Fury/Rabies: Stay on the defensive against this build, their 4 frame attack can take you down faster than you can run away, so keep on the move and keep them from hitting you. Cast up some CBS and use the web to lead them into it. Blast them if they try to name-lock you and tail right behind you. However, if you get poisoned, you are so close to dead, you must switch to offense and change to LS and chase them down with blasts.

Paladin’s: Tele
Foh: In a public environment, at least to my experience this is the only type you will run into, and therefore, I will keep it short and sweet. I have dueled many Foh pally’s in my time, and there is very little I can do to win the duel, this will be the hardest match-up you will have with any trapper IMO. Under no circumstances do you want to be on the same screen as them, because if you can see them, they can see you and kill you in one hit. Cast LS off screen in their direction and hope they stand still and get hit, because if you get in range to throw blasts, even with teleport, they will hit you.

Paladin’s: CH

Foh: You can apply the same tactics that you would use in a Teleporting league

Hammerdin’s: Much like the Wind druid, this match up won’t be hard, but time consuming. Both characters will have to rely on the other one making a mistake. Your main goal is to try and keep the paladin from moving too much. If he goes all over, he will cast hammers as he goes, setting a large scale hammer field. Most hammers will kill you in one hit so watch out. Use your LS to chase him around into all your blasts and webs, however, since most have very good life regeneration, always keep a watchful eye if they try and run to heal themselves.

Charger/Zealot: You will treat these guys much like a concentrate barb or a fury druid, but with a tad bit more care because of their ability to charge and catch up. If dealing with a pure charger, break into a run with your Lighting Sentry’s casted up in a kind of obstacle course. You will want to run down his mana so he will not be able to Vigor/Charge you as much. Then, throw your Web’s down and make him keep charging through them. Since the spikes remain for quite some time, it will be a good mine field. A Zealot involves him to keep moving, since you can’t go toe to toe with him, even with your Block Shield on, keep him moving with CBS knocking his health down till you can eventually blast him.

Necromancers: Tele
Bone: Well, all I have to say is, most melee Assassin’s know how easy it is to outrun a bone spirit, and since you spend your time teleporting, just like him, all is well. This will be one of the funniest duels ever in my opinion. It will consist of you casting your LS over a good section of the Moore, and since they will be teleporting around most of the time, only stopping to shoot off a few Spirits, you repay the favor by only stopping to toss a few blasts on top of him, however you have the upper hand in that you also have your LS traps that are slowly wearing him down.

Poison: Play them from a distance, their nova is slow, but if they get on top of you, Tele away fast. Basically you are trying to hurt them and avoid their attack. Use your LS to hurt them, also add in your blasts if they are in range, however as with all poison, if you get them low in health or find that you got it, tele in as a suicide mission and drop a quick few blasts before they send up the Fire golem to finish you off.

Necromancers: CH
Bone: Due to the recent banning of bone spirit, this build IMO has gotten harder, due to the fact they are now forced to spam the faster moving and still as damaging Spear. Dueling a Spear user in CH will often result in the mindless spamming of spear hoping that they will hit. Cast up your LS around him, cause him to run, however, with your speed you will be about to catch him quickly and toss a few blasts in. If he stops to fire, tank him fast with a quick couple of blasts till he dies.

Poison: Just like the windy in CH except if you get hit, you must go at him hard and fast. Tease him a little by running in and out of the nova range, but be careful not to be hit. Make him chase you instead of the other way around, since his nova travels slower than you can cast a trap, if he stops to fire, lay a trap or two to hit with a quick punch. Use your Web as a means to keep him from stopping and firing in a certain area. However like always, if you get badly poisoned, charge in and hope to get some quick blasts off before he casts up his Fire golem.

Sorceresses: Tele
Cold Sorc: Well, if you have that raven, now is the time to use it, since blizzard is the most common skill used by this type, and it is not a spamming skill, you will be getting small windows of hope every few seconds. Tele around with your LS traps like you did in your Tele war duel with a Bone Necromancer, but if you see a blizzard go up, use that moment to tele in and drop a few blasts. Repeat.

Fire Sorc: Duel with a few screens between you guy. Their Fire ball will pack a nice quick death for you if you are not careful. Dodge the first few waves of ball but always keep you LS up. Cast them far off screen in the direction of the sorc if you can. If you think you got them standing still, teleport around them and approach from the rear to drop a few blasts. Don’t go for that long stream of them though, just a quick 1 or 2 and tele off. Lead bombing runs on the sorc until you can finally kill her.

Sorceresses: CH
Cold Sorc: Well, this build is your only real sorceress you see in CH on east. The standard blizzard sorc is very painful but not that hard to beat. Cast up a few LS traps and wait for them to run, since blizzard takes a while to cast, you will have a nice moment to be right on top and casting some fire blasts. Use your web to scare them away from the corners that they might try to hide in. However, don’t get caught in the blizzard, or its lights out really fast. Also, wear your Raven frost for this duel.

6.1 Leveling Guide

Well, this is for those duelers who have no time to spare when it comes to making a guy. In CH we have regular enchant runs for a bunch of low level characters to get to high levels quite easily. You will be doing about 3K fire damage with a mid level enchant. So here we go.

Levels 1-12 Enchant kill as you walk to Andy
Levels 12-15 Run Sewers while enchanted
At 15 Equip a Raven Claw
15-21 Run Arcane and Tombs
21-25 Norm cows
~At 25 you have two options~
25-40 Leech normal Baal
OR
25-40 Enchant kill NM cows (works best with more people)
Level 40 rush to nm Baal
Kill Ancients
Levels 41-65 Leech NM Baal
Level 65 rush to hell ancients
66-Whatever Hell Baal

7.1 Conclusion

Well, that’s all folks. My first full guide so odds are I may have left out something, I just hope it’s not something that is so huge that it makes me look bad. This was my first Assassin that ever used traps, so I find her quite fun if you don’t imagine. I hope that many more of you will enjoy this build as much as I do.

7.2 TenthGuru

Below is my Bombasin on USeast Non-Ladder

Name: TenthGuru
Level: 86
Life: 1607
Resists: 80/75/75/75

Fire Blast Damage: 5325-6108
Shock Web: 1-3655 (22 spikes)
Lightning Sentry: 1-8876
Charge Bolt Sentry: 1-892 (11 bolts)

Strength: 84 Base (167)
Dexterity: 140 Base (184)
Vitality: 276 Base (295)
Energy 25 Base (54)

7.3 Credits/Thank You

Pansy (For not stealing my Items), Steve (for letting me kill you so much!), Justin, Vic, Kaz, Celine, Sim, Tyr, Skull, Mememe, Biggoron, Cantos, Zabo and the rest of CH.
Thanks to Naliworld for a reason I can’t remember, and all the members who responded to my Guru Threads.
To my old banned sins: Maxus and Mau for showing me flame wars and getting me interested in posting. Weenis, Xenozip, Coffin, Hydro, Doboy, Crazygirl, and others I am probably forgetting.
To Fuzz, Lunatic, Chrys and Mort
And finally, Thanks to Garbad for banning this build, which in turn allowed me to renew my interest in it.
 

Speederländer

Diabloii.Net Member
The PvP Fastcast WW/Kick/Stun Assassin - by Speederländer (Part 1 of 8)

[size=+3]PvP Fast-cast WW/Kick/Stun Assassin Guide[/size]

Pre-Introduction
This guide focuses on strategy, not items and stats (though I will discuss both). As such it is useful for the build in the title (WW/Kick/Stun), “ghost†style pure WW assassins, “ghost†style pure kickers, BvC barbs (since there are a lot of practical whirlwind pointers), trappers, and anyone else interested in good dueling techniques. It is largely unchanged after the latest patch releases. I have altered some portions of the equipment section to reflect the hellfire charm. These changes are really minimal. It just means a bit more pre-planning, yet another “perfect stat†expensive charm that everyone has to try and get, and added flexibility in stats and the like. Hopefully this guide will have a long and useful life.

Enjoy!

Quick List of Acronyms:

AoE - area of effect
AR - attack rating
BS - blade shield
CB - claw block (also WB - weapon block)
CoA - crown of ages
CTA - call to arms
DF - dragon flight
DR - damage reduction (physical)
DT - dragon talon
FHR - fast hit recovery
GC - grand charm
IAS - increased attack speed
KB - knockback
LS - lightning sentry
MB - mind blast
OW - open wounds
PLR - poison length reduction
Res - resistance
SC - small charm
SM - shadow master
WB - weapon block (also CB - claw block)
WW - whirlwind

[size=+2]TABLE OF CONTENTS[/size]

1. Introduction
2. Build Goals
3. Note on Damage
4. Note on Attack Rating
5. Note on Claw Block
6. Note on Mana
7. Note on Mercs
8. Skills
9. Equipment
10. Alternate Equipment Set-up
11. Notes on Armor Choice
12. General Notes on Equipment
13. Anya Bug
14. Attribute Points
15. Notes on Poison Damage
  • The Double Application Feature
  • The Hidden Hell PLR
16. Notes on Open Wounds
17. Notes on Speed
18. Chance to Cast and Stun with Dragon Talon
19. General Strategy and Technique Guide
20. General Match-up Notes
21. Class-Variant Strategy Breakdown
Necromancer
  1. Bone Necros
  2. Standard Bone Nec Technique
  3. Bone Necs with Minions
  4. Defensive Bone Necs
  5. Poison Nova Necs
Sorceress
  1. Fireball Sorcs
  2. Frozen Orb Sorcs
  3. Lightning Sorcs
  4. Light Sorc with Conviction Merc
  5. Light Sorc with Conviction Merc and Auto-Aim
  6. Blizzard Sorcs
  7. Blizzard Sorcs with Auto-Aim
  8. Energy Shield Sorcs
Druid
  1. Wind Druids
Assassin
  1. Trappers
  2. Trapper Type 1: claw-claw
  3. Trapper Type 2: 102 FC, hoto/shield
  4. “Evade†Trappers
  5. Trapper with a conviction merc
  6. Bramble WW-Sins
Paladin
  1. Smiter/Chargers
  2. Fist of Heavens Pally
  3. Fist of Heavens Pally with Smite and Charge
  4. Hammer Pally
  5. Auradins
Amazon
  1. Bowazons
  2. Javazons
  3. Plaguezons
Barbarian
  1. WW Barbs
  2. Alternate technique vs. Barbs
22. Credits


[size=+2]INTRODUCTION[/size]

This build combines all of the best aspects of the kicker, whirlwind assassin, and trapper in a solid dueling framework. It uses whirlwind and dragon talon for its principal damage dealing skills. It uses teleport for its primary movement with tactical use of dragon flight in on-screen situations. It uses stun supplied by base level traps and level 42 to 50 mind blast, with high level mind blast supplying some damage dealing capacity and finishing capability at a distance of 2+ screens away with continuous cast via name-lock.

This is not a “ghost†ww-sin. It is a ww/kick hybrid. I've been posting bits and pieces of this guide since early in ladder 1, before anyone heard of the name "ghost" attached to a ww-sin. I just happened to be doing it, at that time, with a pure kicker rather than ww assassin. Ladder 2 introduced certain items, like grief, which made pallys and melee generally very difficult. In the ladder 1 time-frame (both on and off the ladder), a tricked out kicker could hold their own in most public dueling games (even if certain melee builds could not be beaten at all). There were so many pure caster types that kickers always had good duels available. But now, there are so many paladins with a massive physical attack along with their ranged attacks (FoH, hammers, etc.), that you simply must have whirlwind. There were a LOT of paladins in ladder 2 (and off the ladder) as items and better, more refined, builds pushed more and more people toward that class. If you kicked only, you did not do well. I went into many 8 person public duel games and had 7 pallys plus myself. However, to go whirlwind only means that you lose the benefit of an extremely accurate and powerful tool against casters by forgoing kick. No matter what anyone says, kicking is the superior attack against sorcs, wind druids, necromancers, etc. You need both attacks, kicking (mostly) for casters and ww (mostly) for melee and pally casters. This doesn’t mean I exclusively use kicks against necros, for example. It just means that kicks are my primary attack against certain classes. This is discussed in the strategy section below. WW + kick gives you a huge range of options in the heat of a duel. It is superior to a pure ww (whether ghost or otherwise) or any type of pure kicker. Finally, you don’t need that big a skill point investment to make kicking effective, as I will outline below. There is no good reason NOT to have dragon talon as a skill!

In my opinion, this is the best PvP assassin type you can play for 1 vs. 1 duels when you are decked out. It’s better 1 on 1 than a trapper, though a trapper is better in a team. I also consider this the single most demanding PvP build you can play. I’ve played just about every style of dueler out there at one time or another going back to the beta. Nothing has come close, in my mind, to the complexity of making this build function well. As a result, I find it endlessly interesting and fun. Much more so than playing a trapper or a bone nec or a smiter or a ww barb or any type of sorc. 99% of time you will be the aggressor and will be chasing your opponent. It's always more fun to play offensively than defensively. It also takes MUCH more skill to be a good offensive player. Anyone can run and spam their attack.

Most of this guide is about tactics and strategy. Items are items and we all know how important they are. I assume the people who go to the trouble of reading PvP strategy guides have decent items or access to such items or are willing to work to get such items. Once we are on this semi-level playing field, we can focus on technique. Good items (or at least decent ones) are critical but you can't simply spend your way to winning with this dueler. They are necessary but NOT sufficient to do well.

This guide assumes you have familiarity with assassins. If you have never played a ww sin before, or a kicker, or at least a trapper, don’t start here. You’ll become frustrated. Play the more common variants first. Get good at kickers, then try WW, and then perhaps some trapping. That will get you the basics for making this build work for you. Note that I’m not posting all the hit recovery, fast cast rate or ias charts as some other guides do. If you’ve never had to look them up before or you don’t know that trapping is tied to ias and mind blast is tied to fast cast rate, then this isn’t the guide you should be looking at.

This guide is built with the philosophy of doing as FEW equipment changes as possible. When I do a public dueling game (or just about any dueling game, for that matter), I want to put on my primary equipment for that game, based on the mix of players, and be able to do well w/o having to run to my stash for new equipment every time I duel someone different. Other than the occasional AR gear switch or T'Gods/Jade Talon switch, I have tried to minimize required changes. Almost all of the people who duel end up doing mostly public games, since there just aren't any big private groups left. In a public game, you can have free-for-alls, teams, and people who just jump you when you are weak after dueling someone else. You also have random traps and hits from people not even trying to hit you. If you are equipped to "duel melee", then some sorc is going to swing through and kill you due to low res, etc. If you are equipped with all your res gear and some pally decides to take a swipe, you want full DR. Having to run to your stash to switch equipment on a per-duel basis is both unrealistic and, in the end, pretty annoying. It's just like people saying they will pre-buff their venom with bramble, 3/3 claws, a shadow ammy, etc. After a couple of times it just gets old, fast. For a tourney, if it's allowed, then do it for sure. Otherwise, forget it. I want to be in a dueling game, kill a sorc, pop over and wax that necro that was observing, avoid (or kill) the smiter trying to slap me when I'm almost dead, and then still take out the annoying zon who hit me with a multishot 2 minutes ago while I was dueling the sorc. All without switching anything. I'm not saying you won't do equipment changes with my build, just that you won't do them all that often.

This build is not cheap. Further, it is complex to play and hard to master, especially with the timing of attacks and hotkey use. I will provide cheap(er) alternatives to expensive equipment whenever possible, but the use of high level rune words, certain expensive equipment, and decent charms is a must. There is no way around it. You also won't “own" a week after you make your assassin. I've played this build, or a variation on it, over two ladders now (both on and off the ladder), always improving it. I played trappers for a year or more prior to 1.10. If you aren't willing to put in the time practicing and getting better, and losing in the beginning, you'll quit in frustration. I’ve even quit myself a few times.

Finally, this is a major twitch build. It requires good reflexes and a decent connection. If you lack either, you will probably have trouble making it work for you.

[size=+2]BUILD GOALS (numbers that we MUST hit)[/size]

1. 7/3 kick speed with either 3 or 4 kicks in a talon sequence (after battle command from CTA)
2. Final breakpoint whirlwind speed of 4 frames with all claws
3. 9 frame trap laying speed
4. 65 fast-cast breakpoint for teleport and mind blast (except when wearing some res/absorb equipment)
5. High open wounds when need demands (achieved through fury claw)
6. Massive venom damage (lvl 40 to 50 venom)
7. Largely a vitality build, to the extent possible (i.e. do NOT pump dex or str for AR or damage)
8. 60% claw block (with battle command active)
9. Max resistance in hell BEFORE the Anya quest (i.e. 75 resist all in hell not including Anya)
10. 86 FHR break point when needed without loss of other important stats (You don’t always need 86 FHR, but you need to always be able to get it)
11. 50% physical damage reduction at all times (with battle command active)
12. Enough mana to allow fairly continuous teleport, trapping, mind blasting, and whirlwinding
13. Enough attack rating to hit well (see below)

These goals help us to define equipment as well as skill and stat point distribution. Look again at these goals. These are the numbers you have to hit. These are the heart of the build.

NOTE ON DAMAGE:
With the set-up I provide, your goal should be lvl 40+ venom. This is critical. In fact, level 40 is really too low. I had level 48 to 50 venom with my final assassin.

Your kick damage does not show the venom addition. Your listed screen damage will be in the 950 to 1K kick range on the max damage end. This number doesn’t matter. Everyone ends up with roughly the same number.

Your WW damage (and your kick damage) is simply a combo of your physical damage, venom, magic damage, and any other sources. Again, everyone is roughly the same here. Don’t try to design around small increments in kick or WW physical damage. Focus on the goals above. The damage will sort itself out and is focused on your venom damage.

Also, crushing blow is overrated. Don’t go out of your way to get it. In fact, I play with ZERO crushing blow. If you have some off-the-wall piece of equipment that has it, fine. But NEVER design around trying to get it. The numbers on CB, when you really break it down, don’t add up to whatever it may cost you. Crushing blow is critical for PvM. Feel free to have CB equipment for leveling. Just don’t think you should use it for PvP, no matter what some critics may claim. These numbers have been run IN DETAIL by several people who spent a great deal of time on it, including myself. CB is not a mod to sacrifice anything for.

NOTE ON ATTACK RATING (see also equipment section below):
You want your WW attack rating in the 5000+ range and your kick attack rating somewhere over 5K as well. This allows you to hit all but high defense characters. Via good whirl-away you can also hit many high defense characters. When you run, the to-hit equation is ignored, so a 5K AR attack behaves like smite. This means those pallys with 30K defense might as well have ZERO when they are running/charging for all the good it does them. This allows a lower AR character to actually hit, especially with whirlwind.

5K AR doesn’t always cut it however. Normally, against high defense pallys and the occasional barb, I will wear my fools mod claw. This should get you in the 10K to 11K range (give or take). This is enough to hit non-defense specialists.

Fools claw plus angelics gets you in the 19K to 20K or better attack rating range. Combined with whirl-away, this allows you to hit any melee out there. Note that if you wear angelics you have greatly limited mobility (due to slower teleport cast rate). Usually you should only do this if you can get 1 vs. 1 duels w/o interference or if everyone you are dueling is primarily melee. Your resistance is also going to be low. A lot of people in pubbies will pounce you when you are set to specifically duel someone else with constraining equipment changes.

Don’t ever pump dex in order to get AR. I’ve tried it before. It really is of minimal help and costs you a load of life. You should end up with 115 dex (runic talon requirement) fully equipped, barring minor extra equipment stats like dexterity on rings, claws, etc.

Don’t stress about AR. I used to really worry about it. You don’t have to. Get it in the 5K range, keep some AR gear for certain match-ups, and forget about it. You won’t be able to PvM very much, but then this isn’t a PvM character. If you have 5K AR and you feel like you aren’t hitting, take a close look at your technique before you go altering things to punch up your attack rating.

NOTE ON CLAW BLOCK
Claw block does not check when you run; no to-hit check, no blocking. This is a fact. All attacks against you are auto-hit if they have proximity. Some people have trouble believing it, many people aren’t aware of it. But it’s true. Claw block is at full value when you teleport and when you attack and when you have WW active. This is mentioned again in the general strategy section.

NOTE ON MANA
My assassin has anywhere from 775 to 830 mana, depending on my set-up and final character level. This is plenty for 98% of my duels. Most people, however, will not have the mana levels I get.

I recommend using mana pots. This recommendation will annoy some people, people who feel that there is an imaginary set of rules binding all people who do PvP. People will claim that using mana pots is “BMâ€. There is no such thing as “BMâ€. Be polite. Try to have fun duels. This means for both you and the person dueling you. That’s all there is to “mannered†dueling.

If you play in a league, and the league bans mana pots, then don’t use them. I don’t advocate breaking any rules or cheating in any way. However, 99% of the dueling in 1.10 occurs in pubs now. And in pubs, almost everyone uses mana pots. Indeed, certain builds like wind druids REQUIRE mana pots. I assume that everyone uses them. It just makes things easier. If you think that madly teleporting WW barb, windy or bone nec isn’t dropping mana, think again.

In any event, you need to get your mana in the 600+ range to really have any shot at beating good casters.

NOTE: I do NOT advocate using life pots or rejuvs. Even when people use them against me my personal policy is not to use them. About the only universal rules that people SORT of agree on are with respect to life potting, NKing and guarding. Even these rules aren’t universal, as there are plenty of clans that play “BM†among themselves because they seem to enjoy it. I’m not here to judge anyone. My personal policy is not to life pot or rejuv.

I tend to carry mana pots but I rarely have to use them. My build does NOT require mana pots. But you had better be prepared to shell out for charms if you don’t want to use them.

>>>>>>I say again: This build does NOT require mana pots.

NOTE ON MERCS
I never use mercs so I have no advice here. My personal opinion is that people who use mercs in PvP often lack the skill to duel well without them (though not always). They are expensive to resurrect, you eventually can’t depend on them (when you run out of cash to res), meaning you have to switch tactics and they are a crutch, promoting sloppy technique. If you want one, then go for it. I won’t recommend it for any PvP, however. You have one of the best mercs in the game, your recastable shadow master. Use it.
 

Speederländer

Diabloii.Net Member
The PvP Fastcast WW/Kick/Stun Assassin - by Speederländer (Part 2 of 8)

[size=+2]SKILLS[/size]

The skill set pretty well establishes itself:

-------------------------------------
Dragon Talon – enough points to get talon to level 17 or 23 with equipment and battle command from CTA

Claw Mastery – 20

Venom – 20

Mind blast – 20

Fade – enough points to get 50% physical damage reduction with equipment and battle command (1 pt. fade = 1% physical damage reduction – Don’t forget to cast fade from your CTA/spirit/lidless switch to get 3 extra levels. The DR bonus from fade is not limited to hard points spent. Plus skill items also count to this bonus. So level 40 total fade gives you 40% DR.)

Weapon block – enough to get 60% block with equipment and battle command (don’t waste points trying to get higher than 60% block)

Shadow Master – 1

Dragon Flight – 1 (with remainder of points going here after other skills are set)

Wake of Fire – 1

Lightning Sentry – 1

Blade Shield – 1 (Optional. Do everything in your power to get this as a mod on your chaos claw, the claw you will wear most often.)

-------------------------------------

In order to get all these skills, you will have to have a high character level.

Pump mind blast last when leveling, if you aren’t power leveling to 90+ in a couple days. I’ve always leveled over a weekend and so pretty much hit 90 a couple of days after I start, meaning all my skills are largely in place right away. Prepare to get rushed and to leech. You can’t equip much of anything until high levels (i.e. when your anni is available, etc.).

I say to drop any extra skill points (once everything else is done) into dragon flight due to its critical importance against fast sorcs. This is discussed below in more detail, but against really good sorcs, you will largely be teleporting to get on their screen and then using DF to get on top of them with minion stack, deliver OW, and hopefully pause them for a brief instant to initiate a quick kick sequence. I advise to NOT drop extra points in shadow master. The master is a one-point wonder. A few extra points don’t give it any major life boost and you will end up recasting her all the time anyway. I think it’s better to squeeze another 1K or so AR and extra damage out of flight. But do as you like in this regard.

NOTE: You MUST get to as high a character level as possible, preferably to about clvl 94 or so. You want to improve your OW damage, improve your chance to hit, and reduce your chances of being hit. Clvl 94 is the point after which leveling is really a pain and so tends to be my personal limit.

[size=+2]EQUIPMENT[/size]

Introduction to equipment section
There is a reason I started this guide with a list of Desired Goals. This allows people to directly break from any item I recommend below. As long as you meet the goals and break points I have listed, then you're set. Personally, I would prefer to not list ANY gear, other than duel specific gear changes; allowing people to create their own combos. As long as you can hit the marks, then great. My focus with this guide is the strategy. I feel that even with (slightly) substandard gear, a good dueler, using the strats and tactics I outline below, can have success.

The equipment I list below is basically what I use. So if you are trying to copy my build point for point, here you go.

Helm: Crown of Ages – Yes, it can be expensive, but if you get a 2 socket with mediocre DR and res, you can get by. You need this helm for the combo of FHR, res, damage reduction, and 2 sockets. You need to upgrade this to as close to perfect as you can afford. You spend a lot of stat points to be able to wear this. Don’t let them go to waste. Punch up the res LAST. Get 2 sockets and 15 DR first.

Socketing: For the poor, use a pair of 15 ias jewels with the best res mod you can swing. For the well-off, use a pair of 15 ias/15 res all jewels.

Armor: Enigma – This is the only possible armor for this build. Get the highest defense you can, while still being able to equip it w/o spending ANY strength points just for the enigma itself. Does it REALLY matter if you have a 500 defense difference? No. But if you’re a stat fetishist, feel free to indulge yourself.

NOTE: with 20 str base, 20 str from the anni, 20 str from the hellfire and 40 strength (for example) invested to get to the point where you can wear a CoA, you have 100 strength to play with for choosing your enigma armor. Don’t pick a heavy armor that slows your movement. These numbers are examples only. Do your OWN calculations!!

Belt: Arachnid mesh – Again, this is the only possible primary belt for this build. You will occasionally switch it for T’gods or an OW belt. (See below.)

Boots: Shadow Dancers (get the best stats you can initially so you can minimize later rebuilds). If you get low stat dancers, you have to let skill and/or attribute points go to waste later when you upgrade them. Try for 2/25 dancers right off the bat.

Rings:
Ring 1 – Raven frost (the dex is built in, you can’t take it off). Make sure it’s 20 dex.
Ring 2 – Fast cast ring with mana, attack rating, resist all. Stats like str are pointless. You need to be able to take the ring off and switch it for a wisp, angelic, etc. Dex can be OK as a substitute for AR, but just don’t build it into your assassin.

Ammy:
Fast cast ammy with 15 to 20 fast cast. Look for assassin skills and resist all as your two primary mods after the FCR. Stats, again, don’t help much since you cannot build them in. Mana is good. AR boost is good. Etc.

IF you decide to use a fools claw ONLY, and never to use angelics at all, then you can build your ammy in (i.e. never take it off). In this case, try to find an ammy with a high strength and/or dex boost. Use this ultimately to boost your life via attribute point savings.

Gloves: Trangs gloves

Charms:
9x shadow skill GCs with life
1x assassin hellfire
1x anni
10x life/mana sc

Claws (I keep one of each):
1. Chaos Runic Talon (Get venom and mind blast mods first, then go for dragon flight or bladeshield)
2. Fury Runic Talon (Get venom and mind blast mods first, then go for dragon flight or bladeshield)
3. Jade Talon with 15 ias jewel (You need the 15 ias jewel to get the 4 frame break on ww with the Jade. Try to get 15 ias/15 res-all or 15 ias/30 light res for the jewel)
4. Fools mod rare fast claw. Generally socket with UM or IAS depending on whether you need to get the last WW breakpoint or open wounds.

Note on the fools mod claw: Knockback is REALLY nice to have against melee pallys. Seriously try to get a fools mod claw with a KB auto-mod. I know that is very hard. If you can’t get this, then try a NEF in the claw and see what you think. You can always unsocket it if you don’t see a benefit. My personal view is that KB is absolutely critical.

NOTE: Do NOT get claws with skills you can’t do without, like weapon block. If you have weapon block on your fury and you designed around those WB points, and you change the fury for a fools mod claw that doesn’t have equal WB, you will lose a claw block break point. Always go for venom first then mind blast. After that I prefer one claw with as much to dragon flight as possible and one claw with a point or two in blade shield.

So...
Primary skills on claws: venom number 1, mind blast number 2
Secondary skills on claws: blade shield and dragon flight, in whatever order you like. I prefer the blade shield on my chaos, since I almost always wear my chaos.

On Switch:
CTA and spirit (on ladder) or lidless wall.
You must have a CTA. This is so critical I can’t emphasize it enough. You need the life AND the mana boost it provides. I say again, you MUST have a CTA.

ALTERNATE EQUIPMENT SET-UP:
Here is a different approach to doing your equipment that works as well as (or better than) the CoA route.

Helm: +3 shadow circlet with 20 fast cast and 2 open sockets (socket with 15 ias/15 res all jewels)
Ammy: 30 res maras.
This allows you to get up to lvl 50 field-castable venom and mind blast
You will have to pump points into fade to make up the DR.
You will likely need to pick up resistance via some 5% res all scs with life (not many though)
You need to make up some FHR via switch-out on 2 GCs plus a SC.
Note you save strength from the CoA. Don’t build around the stats on the mara unless you don’t plan on ever using angelics. If you think a fool’s claw is enough for AR, then use the 5 str and 5 dex on the maras to get more life.

This was my final set-up on my last assassin. I moved away from the CoA/caster ammy at the end. Both versions are very good. I just liked having the extra shadow skills. Also, the helm wasn’t as hard to get as it would first seem. This alternate set-up is easier to put together than a nearly perfect CoA + nearly perfect caster ammy.

I don’t claim one is better than the other. Make up your OWN mind as to which you prefer, if you prefer either. I list all the needed goals so you can invent your OWN design. Be creative. Just make sure you hit the numbers.

Also in Stash:
2x shadow skill w/FHR
1x fhr sc with mana or attack rating

Angelic ring and ammy
Dwarf star ring
20 absorb Wisp ring (or the best absorb you can swing)
T’Gods belt
Demonlimb
9% or 10% OW belt with big life mod and other good stats (resistance, etc.)

Cold resistance over-stacking gear (see below) for auto-aiming blizzard sorcs (optional)

NOTES ON ARMOR CHOICE
Question: Why do I use enigma and not bramble or fortitude?
Short answer: Because that’s the build.
Longer Answer: There is no one you can kill with bramble or fortitude that you can't kill with enigma. But there are MANY people you can kill with enigma and fast cast that you CANNOT kill without it.
Also, fortitude is a poor armor generally for ww-sins. If you want a high physical damage whirlwind, make a barb.

This build is all about mobility. Mobility is critical to beating any casters that are halfway decent. Without good mobility they will always have a huge advantage over you. Mobility also helps greatly against several melee types.

Last, when you run, your claw block drops to zero. Therefore, by moving via teleport, you maintain max block at all times. It’s hard to come up with a better reason for using enigma than that.

GENERAL NOTES ON EQUIPMENT
I consider the CoA/Dancer combo to be superior to most 1.08 Valk combos. People are free to disagree.

In any event, my set-up is universal. It can be played on or off-ladder. A Valk build does not allow this.

I am also not recommending any specific pre-1.10 rares. A given (duped) rare on USWest non-ladder, for example, is not available anywhere else, making the guide non-universal if I would recommend it.

I am sure that there are certain insanely good rares and/or crafted items (legit or otherwise) that may beat the gear I am recommending. I say go find that great and hard-to-find stuff and use it. This is why I provide general goals. Feel free to customize as much as you like.

[size=+2]ANYA BUG[/size]
The resistance provided by the Anya quest in act 5 will go away if you die in a game and don’t leave the game and return. Since leaving and returning after every death is annoying and often means you won’t be able to get back in the game, make sure you have max res in hell plus a little stack for dealing with facet lower resist without Anya. I say again, do NOT include the Anya resistance into any of your calculations.

[size=+2]ATTRIBUTE POINTS[/size]
You will have just enough strength to wear the CoA. WAIT until the highest possible level to put the last points into strength. Your enigma will keep giving you str as you level up. I waited until I was level 92 on my most recent build before I had the str to wear it. If I rebuild, I would try to leech my way to as high as lvl 94 before I could equip. Just wear a T’Gods in the meantime for a strength boost. This will allow you to equip everything without resorting to strength charms and help you to survive in Baal runs.
You will have 115 dexterity with items. Enough for the runic talons. Be careful to equip all strength items first, i.e. shadow dancers, in order to get the dex boost. Everything else goes to vitality.

My assassin sports anywhere from 3600 life to 4000 life, depending on which equipment I am wearing. My typical life is about 3800 in standard gear, 4K in melee only gear.

Again, don’t pump dex for attack rating!!

[size=+2]NOTES ON POISON DAMAGE[/size]
Poison (i.e. venom in our case) has several features that make it very desirable for our assassin.

First: the double application bug/feature
When +% skill mods are applied, they act once when venom is cast, and then again when it is applied.

Example
Level 45 venom = 1260 average damage over .4 seconds
When cast with trangs gloves, this becomes: 1260 x 1.25 = 1575 over .4 sec.
When you attack someone, the trangs bonus acts AGAIN on this new total yielding: 1968 over .4 sec.
So the bonus actually acts on itself. Nice for us.

Second: The hidden hell PLR penalty
There is a -100% poison length reduction penalty in hell. I am NOT talking about the -100% to your resistance! That is a different penalty. I assume dueling is happening in hell. All poison sources act on you at their full strength for twice the listed period when playing in hell.

Going back to our example:
1968 venom damage over .4 seconds becomes 3937 over .8 seconds.

That is just a LOT of damage over .8 seconds folks. After the PvP penalty, it's 656 real PvP damage over .8 seconds (basically per application). Combine this with your physical damage, magic damage from chaos, and open wounds, and it's really nice damage. When you kick, you basically have your target continuously poisoned at the rate of 820 pvp poison damage per second (not considering resistance damage reduction).

Further, this poison damage (as well as your OW and magic damage) goes through bone armor, energy shield and cyclone armor directly. Very few people care too much about poison. There aren’t many people who use it in mass quantities anymore except poison jav zons and poison nova necs. Most people figure they will pop an antidote or run to town if heavily poisoned. Therefore, it is the most commonly neglected resistance. Your poison acts so fast that many people don’t even realize the extent of the poison damage they are taking. They assume it’s something else killing them. If they ask, don’t tell.

I don't pre-buff poison. Some people do. If you want to keep +3 shadow/+3 venom claws with 2 psn facets each, a +3 shadow helm with 2 facets, +3 shadow ammy, and 2 SOJs, go for it. I think it's a huge pain. Try to get strength on the ammy and helm. I had an ammy with +3 shadow and 29 str last ladder and a helm with 20 str or thereabouts so I could equip bramble for pre-buff while still keeping my str investment intact from the enigma. And after all that effort (and expense!!) to get all that stuff, I'll bet I pre-buffed maybe 3 times over the course of the season. You can kill just fine w/o pre-buffing. Once I go out, I don’t like to come back to town except for healing after a duel or to put on AR equipment for melee or a jade for stacked res. If you pre-buff, you also have to carefully watch your durations, as you can’t just recast venom out in the field every time you recast BO. You have to wait until you return to town. Personally, I like to cast venom and fade every time I cast battle orders. This way there is no fear of it running out. If you pre-buff, get a stopwatch or a regular watch with a stopwatch feature and hit it every time you pre-buff your venom. If you don’t have something to remind you other than that easily forgotten, barely visible, venom aura around you, you will end up doing half of your duels without venom on.

Finally, don’t ever use poison damage charms as venom renders them useless.

[size=+2]NOTES ON OPEN WOUNDS[/size]
The following information is directly from the Arreat Summit website (link included below):

Open Wounds Duration: 200 frames (that is 8 seconds).

The damage per frame seems to be the following (where Clvl is the attackers level, that is the player's level usually):
Clvl=1-15: (9*Clvl+31)/256
Clvl=16-30: (18*Clvl-104)/256
Clvl=31-45: (27*Clvl-374)/256
Clvl=46-60: (36*Clvl-779)/256
Clvl=61-99: (45*Clvl-1319)/256

If you prefer per second, just multiply by 25:
Clvl=1-15: 25*(9*Clvl+31)/256
Clvl=16-30: 25*(18*Clvl-104)/256
Clvl=31-45: 25*(27*Clvl-374)/256
Clvl=46-60: 25*(36*Clvl-779)/256
Clvl=61-99: 25*(45*Clvl-1319)/256

Some examples:
Clvl 10: 11.8 per sec over 8 seconds for a total of 94.5 damage. Clvl 30: 42.6 per sec over 8 seconds for a total of 340.6 damage. Clvl 50: 99.7 per sec over 8 seconds for a total of 797.7 damage. Clvl 70: 178.8 per sec over 8 seconds for a total of 1430.5 damage. Clvl 90: 266.7 per sec over 8 seconds for a total of 2133.6 damage.
Also, the damage is divided by 4 for a player target. In addition, for a missile versus a player target one should divide the damage by 8 instead.

It is possible to get up to 100% chance for Open Wounds. Anything above 100% is discarded.

Link:
http://www.battle.net/diablo2exp/items/magic.shtml
 

Speederländer

Diabloii.Net Member
The PvP Fastcast WW/Kick/Stun Assassin - by Speederländer (Part 3 of 8)

[size=+2]NOTES ON SPEED[/size]
For two runic talons you need:
42 IAS to get 9 frame trapping
46 IAS to get 7/3 kicking speed

For a runic talon on primary hand and jade talon off-hand you need:
63 IAS to get 9 frame trapping
68 IAS to get 7/3 kicking

The only IAS that matters here is that which is on your primary claw and your equipment NOT INCLUDING your off-hand claw. Make sure you equip your primary claw FIRST. Claw equipping order matters! A lot!!

You can see why you need 30 ias in your CoA.
NOTE: Chaos runic plus the 30 IAS in your CoA only gives 65 ias. You keep your trapping but lose your max kick speed. You still have 3 frame follow-up kicks, but your initial kick is 8 frames. This is why I go a runic fury with my jade talon for most pure caster battles (with high elemental damage) where I know I will kick primarily. 95% of the time, 8/3 will still get you a win. But there is that other 5% when your opponent is really good and you will need that frame. In those cases, go either chaos + fury (if you can live w/o the jade talon res boost) or go fury + jade (if you don’t need ww at all). If you want to be able to ww against elemental casters, then go chaos/jade and don’t worry about the frame slower initial kick.

Play around with claw combos and find what works for you.

NOTE: Weapon switching for casting battle orders will reset your primary. If you are toying with IAS and claw positions, especially after reading the sources I provide below, keep in mind the safest bet is to equip the claw with IAS on the glove side. (Thanks to Ilkori for this advice)

All combos I list reach the 4 frame WW breakpoint. I encourage you to investigate this in more detail if you want to understand the mechanics. I’m not posting the information here.

Some people claim that WW speed is fixed for all claws. This is NOT entirely true. For pure ww-sins, always using chaos and fury only, there is enough ias on the claws to hit the fastest WW breakpoint for whatever claw type you use. However, if you wear a jade talon offhand, which has no inherent ias, you WILL miss the last breakpoint with that claw (you need a 15 ias jewel to make it up). Also, if you use a fool’s mod claw for the AR bonus and that claw lacks ias, it may miss the breakpoint depending on what type of claw it is.

Check out this link for far more information:
http://forums.diabloii.net/showthread.php?t=229326

Also check out:
http://e.domaindlx.com/JRichard/D2/aas22/

Finally:
The diabloii.net barbarian forums have several people who have worked out all of the details for ww mechanics for both barbs and assassins.

These sources will give more detail than most people could ever want. The WW info in the second link is somewhat out of date, however, and you should consult other sources.

[size=+2]CHANCE TO CAST (CtC) AND STUN WITH DRAGON TALON[/size]
With chaos on your primary hand and the new hellfire charm’s 25% CtC, you will set off a literal fireworks display of orb, charged bolt and hellfire when you kick vs. opponents with 10K defense and below (assuming you haven’t boosted your own AR). These CtC effects will aid you in stunning your opponents as long as you keep mind blast swirlies on them at all times. Combined with wake of fire or lighting sentry and talon itself, you should be a stunning machine.

[size=+2]GENERAL STRATEGY AND TECHNIQUE GUIDE[/size]

This mini-guide section isn’t comprehensive. It isn’t a class-by-class strategy breakdown. The class-by-class is later in the guide. This is meant to be a GENERAL record of several techniques that work, as well as ideas I’ve been working on for a long time with my assassin.

These points are somewhat random and are not meant to be complete. Words are no substitute for lots and LOTS of practice.

1. Never run, always teleport
Claw block is your best friend. It blocks almost every attack in the game, including fireball, bonespirit, bone spear, orb, etc. HOWEVER, the to-hit equation is IGNORED when you run or walk and no to-hit means no blocking (but stays at max value when whirlwinding). Some people will claim this is not true. They are wrong. It has been extensively tested. Over and over and over. If you teleport, your block is always at max. Run and it’s adios. Only run when you have to. This doesn’t mean never run, you sometimes have to run to escape trap lock, for example. Just don’t run unless it’s absolutely necessary or there is no chance of getting hit.

Thanks to Ilkori for correcting me on this point. Previously I had this as zero block, which wasn’t strictly the case.

2. Play to the south
Try to keep your opponent north of you. You have more screen to work with. More visible area is more tactical advantage.

3. Play the diagonals
This ties into #2. Keep your opponent (as much as you can) to the northern diagonals. This further increases your advantage. You will notice good trappers, for example, often trying to get screen advantage for trap laying this way.

Do it right, especially trapping the upper diagonals, and you will be accused of scrolling or auto-aiming your traps quite often.

4. Hotkeys
Hotkeys are EVERYTHING. I am not going overboard. People who have their skills all along the f# buttons are not playing correctly at all. Your hotkeys should be toggled between just as fast as a professional typist hits their keys. In order for this to be the case, your hotkeys must be organized close together and logically. If you do this right, you will be accused of cheating. I can move between skills so fast it seems continuous to the people I duel. People regularly claim I’m cheating, saying that I can’t cast mind blast simultaneous to using ww, for example. In reality, it isn’t simultaneous, it’s just THAT FAST.

This is my set-up. I’m right-handed and toggle the hotkeys with my left-hand.

Primary hotkeys:
S – mind blast
D – wake of fire/lightning sentry
W – teleport
F – dragon flight
Q – shadow master
A – whirlwind


Secondary hotkeys:
R – cloak
Z – battle command
X – battle orders
C – venom
V – fade
B – blade shield
F4 – BoS (so I don’t screw up and undo fade, BoS is moved out of the way)


Play with middle finger on the “S†button, index finger on the “D†button. The index finger can toggle “F†for flight, the middle finger can toggle “W†for tele.

With this set-up I can instantly go from MB to wake to tele to flight or tele to WW with basically zero delay.

All hotkeys are on the right mouse button. Dragon Talon is permanently on the left-click mouse button.

5. Teleport replacing DF when target goes OFF-SCREEN
In 1.09 dragon flight extended for over 2 screens away with name-lock. Now Blizzard, in their wisdom, has taken away this huge advantage. But with teleport from enigma we can get it back. The problem is that now you can overshoot. The key is to quickly toggle tele and back to MB (or wake or WW). You want one tele right on top of your target, when kicking, for example (which also gets you critical minion stack, discussed below).

5.5. DF vs. Tele and vice versa
DF only when your target is within half to three quarters of a screen. Use tele to get close and THEN initiate dragon flight. Flight is messed up with 1.10. It’s buggy, misfires and is heavily interruptible. It can’t be depended on once your opponent is near the edges of your screen. This is why tele is absolutely critical for duels vs. fast teleporting casters. It sets up your dragon flight.

DF is very good at delivering open wounds to a variety of targets. It is also very good with the previously discussed minion stacking. DF is your close-range super accurate teleport. I actually use DF much more than I did in the past (since I'm getting accustomed to its bugs), but it is not viable without teleport as an on-screen closer.

They will accuse you of auto-aiming your teleport with this one, since your flight really becomes PART of your teleport sequence.

6. Mind blast name-lock to hotkey flash teleport/WW
Get mind blast name-lock, while still pressing the right mouse button, hotkey teleport. An instant after the teleport animation begins, hotkey WW. You will exit on top of your opponent doing whirlwind. This is the most useful single attack you have against running targets or targets too dangerous for kicking or targets who are off your screen. This is very hard to time right. Often you toggle WW too fast and end up canceling your teleport and doing a WW in place.

You have to learn to instantly re-center the cursor as the teleport ends in order to do small, triangular whirls. It is easy to end up whirling long using this technique. Long whirls usually get you killed. This skill takes lots and lots of practice. Go out on the blood moor, get a potion (or whatever is useful) and drop it. Move so the potion is at the edge of your screen. Lock it, MB it, then tele/WW on top of it with tight triangles. Drop a pair of potions and just go back and forth. Do that for 30 minutes every night for a few weeks and you WILL get better.

You can hit targets 2 or more screens away with this tactic.

7. Minion stacking
Minion stacking with your shadow master is a lifesaver. It makes you semi-immune to many ranged attacks. Always teleport with your shadow out. If your shadow dies, get in the habit of ALWAYS recasting (if safe to do so). Make sure you have your shadow out for when you dragon flight ON TOP OF YOUR TARGET. You can get minion stack in both cases (DF and teleport), taking significant hits away from you. If you are chasing a hard hitting opponent like a bone necro and your master dies, don’t be afraid to break off the chase to recast.

8. WoF/MB vs. LS/MB
Use wake of fire combined with mind blast to stun-lock your target. Wake + MB absolutely dominated in 1.09 but 1.10 brought with it a .16 second NextDelay nerf (see NextDelay notes earlier in the guide). As a result, it’s easier to escape now than in 1.09.

Characters with good FHR, lots of life, and skill can escape trap-MB lock. Slippery targets may require different techniques, such as heavier DF and OW dependence and the previously discussed name-lock tele skills.

Against melee generally use LS + MB for better stunning. Melee will tend to desync out of wake, so the longer range auto-target LS is better. Use wake exclusively against java zons, however, to trigger endless evade for an easy kill.

9. Shadow master mind blast technique and MB swirly duration
This is a key technique. The SM/MB technique will allow you to mind blast opponents 2+ screens away. The SM is not constrained by the same limits as you are with having to get name-lock for MB. My SM constantly mind blasts opponents 2 to 3 screens away. It has been the observation of both myself and others that when you max out MB, she seems to mind blast a LOT. My shadow master mind blasts everything in range all the time, so much so that I can’t use her on Baal runs when I’m leveling. She just converts everything. When you tele, you constrain her to not being able to do much of anything but MB and occasionally dragon flight.

Update: I was recently informed by Ilkori at d2.net that some of the code divers and mechanics at the Amazon Basin have confirmed the link between skill point investment and casting frequency with the shadow master AI.

Your master will mind blast FOR YOU much of the time (though not all) while you tele, though she only has to do it occasionally due to the long MB swirlie duration. This allows you to drop traps to trip up and lock up your target and/or get in good position for a strategic dragon flight. It’s really incredible how it all comes together.

High level mind blast also impacts the length of time the swirlies remain over the target's head. You want this duration maximized to improve stun chances.

Your MB level increases your shadow master’s MB level according to this rule from d2.net:
Shadows' skills are 1/2(your Assassin's level in that skill including +skills) rounded down PLUS 1/3(level of shadow at time of casting including +skills), rounded down. So, if you had a lvl 24 MB and slvl 9 SM, your SM would cast a slvl 15 MB.

Source:
http://strategy.diabloii.net/news.php?id=538

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: This is NOT meant to free you from MBing. It only reduces the load. I still mind blast a great deal on my own, independent of the shadow’s actions.

>>>You will CONSTANTLY be accused of auto-aiming your mind blast.

10. Maintaining stunlock and number of kicks
Once you have a target locked, the most likely way to lose that lock is while kicking (or whirlwinding). Therefore it is key to trap and MB between kick sequences or whirlwinds unless you are in a life-or-death tanking situation. To this end, there is a strong argument for limiting your number of kicks to 3. The easy reason is that it allows you to trap more often. But there is also a mechanical reason that is not widely recognized.

There is a misfire that occurs when you have longer kick sequences. This misfire makes proper and continuous trapping more difficult than it should be when executing kick sequences. The effect from this misfire is two-fold. You cast wake but you are still in your kick sequence and wake never fires. That’s fairly obvious. The exact beginning and end of your kick sequence is often a fraction of a second off from what you see on your screen due to slight lag, especially with many traps firing. Further, there is a more subtle effect. The failed cast, or perhaps the cast during the kick action, seems to lead to a slight, barely noticeable, pause from when the kicks end to when you can actually lay down a trap.

Many pure kickers have a problem with not having 5 kicks and max talon. It is, however, a mistake to do so. And I don’t say this just because you need the skill points elsewhere, which you do. You are NOT as effective if you have long kick sequences.

4 kicks is also reasonable. I prefer 3 kicks, however. Go no more than 4 kicks in any event.

11. Spiral in to your target
Circle your target and spiral in to them. This allows your shadow master to MB and confuses your target. Trap while closing in. This is obviously more applicable to targets standing still, spamming an attack, etc. Fast teleporters often won't allow any type of spiral attack to develop.

12. Always have traps out
Self-explanatory. More traps equal a higher probability of a mind blasted target hitting one and getting tripped up. This means you drop traps as you teleport, even if you don’t have your opponent near you.

13. Keep your eyes open
When your target hits a trap, and gets tripped up, you have only a second or two to get to them and reinforce the stun-lock with more traps, an extra MB and attack. If they get caught and you don't see it, you missed an opportunity (if nothing else) to deliver OW. More likely you missed a chance to end the duel and kill them.

14. Know when NOT to chase
Don’t chase defensive bone necs or orb sorcs. They WILL wear you down. If you are SURE you can get them, then give chase. Otherwise, make them come to you. These runners are more likely faster than you and hit harder than you if it’s a direct hit. Be VERY careful about chasing defensive blizzard sorcs who drop blizzard in your path and always run away as they will certainly kill you if you make a mistake.

15. Know when NOT to tank. Know when to break off the attack
If I die to a druid and, to a lesser extent to a bone nec, it’s often because I made a bad decision to tank. Always be ready to run and regroup. A druid or nec with good FHR can sometimes out-tank you if their life is high enough. Your best tanking occurs when you have the 86 FHR mark achieved.

16. Hit and run open wounds
Know when to play defensively. This doesn’t mean you run away after hitting and inflicting open wounds, it means you hit and stay close, not getting hit yourself. Basically, you chase but don’t engage, looking for an opportunity to inflict open wounds via DF or a quick kick sequence. Make them THINK you are after them. MB and drop traps, but only close for kicks and/or get in a good DF when necessary or when a good opportunity presents itself, i.e. when OW has run its course. Obviously this is for VERY VERY hard duels and especially for those cases where you are very low on life.

17. Use your minimap. Anticipate their minimap.
If they see you on their minimap, they know where you are and where you are coming from. If you are going to come at them, exit their minimap and come at them from a different angle. This minimizes spammed bone spirit and the like. Also, watch out for necro IBS.

Make SURE your minimap is set to FULL SCREEN and is always up! Do not use the smaller map up at the corner of your screen. You want your minimap marker to lie under your character. Otherwise you can’t “see†both displays simultaneously. You want to be able to go from display to mini and back just by changing eye focus, not by looking at a different part of your screen.

18. Play fast and aggressive
It's better to be all over your target and make them play defensively than to be defensive yourself and allow them to get the initiative. FAST FAST FAST!! You need to be all over them from start to finish except in special cases like hyper-defensive teeth spamming necros, high defense hammer pallys, hyper-defensive orb sorcs, etc. For these guys, you need to allow them to come to you and to make a mistake.

19. Watch out for the shadow master DF cast “bugâ€
When you cast SM, the skill is on a timer. You can’t cast it again for several seconds. This timer also starts on dragon flight when you cast SM, meaning you can’t flight EITHER until your SM timer runs out. This has screwed me a few times in the past when I really needed to DF and the skill was red because the SM timer hadn’t expired. This is an easy problem to have happen as you often recast your SM on the run to keep minion stack up so be aware of it.

20. Let the SM finish off 1 life opponents if you are also low on life
You will often be in dueling situations where your opponent has just 1 life, usually due to you open wounds. If you are also low in life and they hit hard, then make sure your shadow master is out and just tele in their vicinity. The master will mind blast them or DF them for the kill, saving you from having to get dangerously close. I’ve actually used this a lot.

21. Public dueling common sense (if you do pub dueling)
Get clear of the town entrance. You need room to move and maneuver. Pick your fights, don’t hostile everyone in the room. You don’t do well when people team you. Try to keep your duels 1 vs. 1 unless you know you can handle multiples.
 

Speederländer

Diabloii.Net Member
The PvP Fastcast WW/Kick/Stun Assassin - by Speederländer (Part 4 of 8)

22. Lag hurts you more than most
Out of all the character types I’ve played, lag seems to hurt fast-cast ww-sins and kick-sins more than most others. You require a bit more time to kill and you need a lot of accuracy in movement. When in ww, you are vulnerable to lag, esp. if you come out and just stand there for a second or if you ww “in-place†due to getting charged simultaneous to initiating ww.

23. You aren’t very good on a team (most of the time)
It’s just a fact. You shine in 1 vs. 1 dueling. You simply take too long to kill to be a good team dueler. You can help your team by stunning, but you are not at your best. Diablo 2 team dueling is all about massive damage really fast. It’s in the 1 vs. 1 stuff that good movement and the like come into play. If you are on a team, focus on the opposing casters first along with stun-lock support.

24. Terrain
Use the terrain. Terrain is very important and rarely exploited. When dueling barbs, stay in the bogs. This means they have to get around obstacles. They can’t easily desync their WW by whirling long. It also protects you from straight-line charge attacks by pallies if you are pounding them with mind blast. Be careful though. If a smiter gets you against a bog and starts smiting, you are dead. Chargers can also pin you against terrain if they get a good knockback sequence. Likewise, it can really mess up your whirlwinds and trip you up.

25. Personalized Techniques and Individuals vs. "Classes"
Don't confuse "individuals" for classes. What I mean is this; you may do very well generally against trappers, for example, but every now and then, a trapper comes along who just doesn't fit the existing molds. You will probably lose to this person initially, even over several duels or sessions. I find, when someone has an original playing style and they are good, I have to duel them on multiple occasions in order to get a feel for the best techniques to use against them. In time, you don't lose so much, and the edge goes to you and your build. What works against 95% of the trappers out there, including the good ones, may not work against this guy. Don't think that suddenly you aren't so good against trappers (or whoever it may be). Use this new, difficult duel to generally get better and improve your technique. I would rather duel someone who tends to beat me than someone I always beat. If I'm getting slapped around, it means I have to be creative and figure out new tactics.

>>>Don’t just fall in the trap of messing with your equipment just because you lose a few times. Try to win with better playing style, not changing around items.

26. Occasionally play WITHOUT using teleport
Duel some without using teleport at all. This is good practice for those times when you run out of mana. It also forces you to learn to trap 1.09 style, which is good technique. There are certain duels against fast, defensive casters where you want to do the stationary trap field technique or the walking trap field technique that was common in 1.09. This also helps you get a feel for the limits of dragon flight.

27. Learn to walk your traps
This is classic 1.09 trapper dueling style (see #3). Good 1.09 trappers learned to herd their opponents by always trapping toward them, preferably at the corners of their screen. Don’t get in the 1.10 habit of hiding in your trap field and letting people get the initiative on you. Defensive trappers are the kind of trapper that loses to me because I herd THEM. Offensive trappers are all over you, either by walking their traps toward you or teleporting at you and trapping like mad. Walking your traps allows you to play defensively, but with an offensive element. This is critical when you are dueling other trappers. Obviously, this isn’t applicable to anyone teleporting like a crazy person, in which case you simply have a stationary trap field (assuming defensive play on your part). Or you try to jump them when they hit a trap-free area before they can get their full trap field down.

28. CRITICAL TECHNIQUE: Get a 200 FCR Sorc to tele around you to practice your MB name-lock skills
This is very important. You must develop your name-lock-obtaining skill for MB. You often only get one or two chances to get it in some duels.

Get someone with a 200 fast cast rate sorc and:
1. Have them tele around you with you standing still. Try to get name-lock with MB.
2. Chase them, trying to get name-lock. Have them play defensively, spamming some low damage fireballs occasionally or something. They shouldn’t just run away in straight line all the time, as this isn’t a true representation of what would happen in a duel.
3. Try doing this with trapping as well, especially with you standing still and using a stationary trap field. I.e., try to catch them with traps.
4. Try this with DF only. DF is also a name-lock skill. Have the fast sorc play defensively and try to get in repeated DF hits by teleporting onto their screen and locking them.
5. Don’t use your SM for ANY of this.

29. Fake them out with unsummon
I’ve only messed with this technique but it has worked (sort of) the few times I’ve used it. After a while, the people you duel will expect you to follow up mind blast name-lock with a whirlwind and will take defensive measures whenever they are locked. You can also get name-lock with your unsummon skill. This way, they don’t head for the hills the second you pound them with MB, either taking them out of range of your teleport or making accurate WW harder. Unsummon is sort of a “stealth†hotkey tele/WW flash. Again, I haven’t used this much. It felt awkward and unfamiliar the first few times I tried it. But that’s not to say it wouldn’t improve with time or that other people wouldn’t be able to make good use of it. So I’ll post it here and people can use or not use it as they choose.

30. NextDelay and why it matters
What is NextDelay? I’ll use this definition provided by the diabloii.net FAQ:

NextDelay is a property that activates a hidden "hit timer" that limits how often any attack from that group can damage a single target. This works similarly to the infamous spell timer, which limits how often any spell in that group can be cast. The difference is that the hit timer doesn't prevent you from attacking; it just sets everyone's chance-to-hit that monster (with a hit timer attack) at zero until the timer runs out.

So, the moment a certain skill from the list damages a monster, it prevents every other skill on the list from hitting the said monster for the original skill's NextDelay duration (whether from you or any other character).

Source:
http://strategy.diabloii.net/news.php?id=538

The wake of fire NextDelay is 4 frames (or 0.16 seconds).

This means that unlike WoF in 1.09 and before, wake from 1.10 and up no longer gives you the non-stop continuous stun that it once did. There are breaks in the damage. With these breaks wake isn’t as effective a stun machine as it once was. Just because you have overlapping waves of fire does NOT mean they are hitting. This is one of the reasons that against very high FHR opponents, you may want to use lightning sentry.

[size=+2]GENERAL MATCH-UP NOTES[/size]

When you duel, kicks are better vs. some, ww is better vs. others. Obviously, I made a hybrid so there must be a reason.

Kicks are more accurate than WW and have better hit recovery inducing potential in that they are, on average, more frequent. In this I mean that you have a consistent, basically non-stop, sequence of attacks with talon. WW has two swings every 4 frames to talon’s one kick per 3 frames (on follow-up) but this speed advantage is illusory as perfect non-stop WW checks don’t exist except for very short periods of perfect triangular whirls. Kicks tend to work better against most casters than WW. They allow you to maintain constant pressure on the caster, with no fear of overshoot or any other ww-related problem. It is also easier to re-trap with kicks. WW, however, is almost always superior vs. melee, allows more effective hit and run vs. certain duelers, including some casters like hammer pallies, and gives you defense (via whirl-away) in many situations. It also provides an uninterruptible escape vs. stun situations.

I usually go (rough numbers)
Sorcs - pure kick with high OW (fury, jade)
Wind druids - 80% kick, 20% ww (chaos, fury)
All pallys – 95% ww (chaos + fury or jade dep. on pally type)
Necros - 80% kick with high OW, 20% ww (chaos + fury)
Trappers - 80% ww, 20% kick (chaos + fury)
All other melee besides pallys - pure ww (chaos + fury)
Bow zons - 60% kick, 40% ww (chaos, fury)
CS zons - pure kick (chaos, jade). You may not need the jade at all if you are good as they will rarely hit you.

All these numbers are ballpark and vary depending on the match-up. You may very well alter them. Each person has their own style.

With kicks, I never overshoot. I never get annoying ww lock. I never have to worry about sloppiness. Anyone who is a pure ww who claims they have perfect triangle ww's whenever they want with solid accuracy is lying. Over the course of multiple ww's you will make the occasional sloppy ww (or more than occasional due to slight lag, weird terrain, too much caffeine, etc.). And that occasional bad ww is often the spot where you either die, lose the most life, or your opponent escapes. I have yet to see anyone with perfectly accurate ww's every single time on demand.

WW is a great killing skill. But assassins have a shorter range weapon than barbs. As a result, our triangle ww's have to be TIGHTER. Against really fast teleporters, you're going to come up short.

Over and over I tele onto a good dueler with ww only to have them be gone simply because their cast rate is just a fraction faster. Over and over, good fhr chars can escape from WoF/MB lock because their fhr allows them a window in the wake NextDelay.

The faster the teleporter, and the better their fhr, the more I tend to kick. Unless it's a pally, in which case ww-away either just by ww'ing literally away from them (vs. smiters) or via MB name-lock hotkey flash (vs. hammers, FoH, etc.) is the best route.

Further, no matter how good you are at ww, you WILL overshoot over the course of a duel. And by overshoot, I mean be in ww for just an extra second or two. That's not a lot, but it IS long enough for any blizz sorc (for example) worth anything, to one-hit kill you if they see it happen.

Kicks simply tend to be superior against fast teleporters.

NOTE: WW sins are NOT ww barbs. We can't use the technique of desyncing across the screen with our ww. We move too slowly and our range is too short. What works for barbs does not work for assassins, unless your opponent really has no skill or just lags a lot. You CAN desync, but you just can’t depend on it. I’ve killed people using it, especially bowazons and trappers. I don’t recommend it. When I have desynced it was usually because of a bad ww, where I locked my opponent and didn’t have control of the ww, following them all over the blood moor.
 

Speederländer

Diabloii.Net Member
The PvP Fastcast WW/Kick/Stun Assassin - by Speederländer (Part 5 of 8)

[size=+2]CLASS VARIANT STRATEGY BREAKDOWN[/size]

BONE NECROS
Every bone nec isn’t created equal. There are sub-categories within this class-variant. These include:
--Standard bone necs who are well-built and have good fhr and fcr
--Bone necs that use minions for minion stack (but who are still primarily bone based)
--Defensive bone necs that spam teeth as they always fall back and away from you.

Any one necro can exhibit all these behaviors at one time or another, depending on circumstances. Let’s consider them one at a time.

STANDARD BONE NEC TECHNIQUE
I assume the necro opponent is good. Any good nec is a tough duel, even with the marrow walk synergy bug now fixed. I assume they have the best possible FHR and max fast-cast. Good necros are one of the most enjoyable duels in my opinion. It is often very hard, yet very possible to do well. The necro will hit for massive damage when they connect, whether it’s via spear or bone spirit. Here is a list of tactics for dealing with standard bone necs.

Procedures:

• Use BoS, not fade. This is self-explanatory. Don’t use fade unless the nec has an army. BoS allows you better movement to close small distances, overcomes the problem of clay golem slow, and helps overcome getting decreped. Always use fade if the nec has a hard hitting merc or lots of minions.

• Always tele, never run. Remember, your block is zero when you run. Never run unless it’s for short distances or you are out of mana and have no choice.

• Your OW will go through their bone armor, as will your venom.

• Don’t tank unless you have the 86 FHR break. Most people assume that all you need is high enough life. In your case that’s not true. Your life should be between 3K and 4K. You can’t tank a good nec without good FHR. This FHR allows you to maintain a rapid attack, keeping the nec in recovery animation himself. You attack faster, but this fast attack won’t get you anywhere if you are in recovery. Once the nec gets a sequence of spears going, you will probably die if you are trying to tank (assuming the nec is good and well-built).

• Go for the wake/mb lock to the extent possible. Some necs are very slippery and don’t seem to remain locked up well. Your OW will be key in these cases. Don’t be afraid to DF even when lots of bone spirits are in the air. You will pass them up, get a hit, and then tele away.

• When the nec escapes wake/MB lock, it’s often because they ran out of it, desyncing from the wake. Use DF to get in a parting shot and deliver/reset OW. Usually their goal is to escape and regroup. This is a good time to try tanking if possible. Don’t trap, allow your master to MB if she’s out.

• Don’t approach the necro in a straight line!! They will see you on their minimap and spam bone spirit. By the time you close, you’ll have 20 of them flying around. Get off their minimap and approach from a different direction than they last saw you. Get to them fast but take a parabolic path. If the necro is spamming spirits or spears, spiral in. The nec will be slightly behind you with their shots 90% or more of the time as you move in, IF you are fast and accurate.

• Beware of IBS. This is a quick way to lose massive life. If you go off the necro minimap, move from your location. Any good necro will be spamming BS in your direction with the hope of creating IBS.

• ALWAYS have your shadow master out. She will mind blast for you, confuse the necro and give you critical minion stacking. If your master dies, get her back up IMMEDIATELY! Don’t do anything without your master deployed. Get in this habit early.

• Be hyper aggressive at all times. Get all over the necro from the first second of the duel and never let up.

BONE NECS WITH MINIONS
Medium to hard duel.

This type of nec hides behind a small army and still has substantial bone skill damage, along with all the other issues and difficulties associated with necros. BUT, they are actually easier to kill. Why? They are a bigger target! This is where you will mind blast almost as much as your master. The necro is easily hit with mind blast, just aim for that big pack that’s jumping around your screen. With practice you’ll rarely if ever miss.

Procedures:

• MB the pack yourself if possible. The shadow will do it, but so can you.

• Get those traps out! You’ll lock up the necro AND all his minions.

• The key is to find the necro amid his minions. This can be hard. But you can do it. You have to CLICK mind blast once the necro and his minions are locked up. Don’t spam it by holding down the mouse button. You click in order to discern different targets. Once you find the nec, initiate DF without unclicking the mouse button. Commence kicking but do NOT forget to keep deploying traps and mind blasting. You have to keep the minions (and the nec) locked up.

• If the necro has a merc, kill it! These guys can hit harder than the nec up close. But they usually die with a single kick sequence. If you are kicking the necro and you see his merc, use one talon click and take him out.

• Use fade, not BoS. You need the DR/res as the necro’s minions can actually hit hard as well as giving him heavy minion stacking.

• Don’t be afraid to break off the attack! If you are kicking the necro and he’s locked up but his minions and/or merc is free, they will rapidly kill you. Be ready to break off. If they are on top of you, stun won’t save you. Get clear and try again. Usually after you lock them once, the necro will become defensive. Defensive bone necs with minion packs begin to fall under the next category.

• I will often actually play 1.09 trapper style, setting a trap field semi-circle and waiting for the nec and his minions to come to me. Usually they want to tele on top of you much like a windy. Use this to your advantage. Get a trap or two under you as well. The instant they tele to your position tele one click away and MB them. It's often an easy lock this way.

• Use cloak of shadow to blind the minions. This can be a BIG deal, especially if they have a hard-hitting merc mixed in with their minions.

DEFENSIVE BONE NECS
This is the often the hardest duel besides ww barbs and some smite/FoH combo pallys. The most annoying tactic a nec can take is always staying off-screen and spamming teeth/spirit as they go. A 3K+ life bone nec with good FC and FHR using this tactic can easily beat you if you aren’t careful and pretty good yourself. I consider a GOOD bone nec playing semi-defensively to be the hardest duel in the game. Try to get a 50-50 win ratio vs. the best bone necs out there. You won't "dominate" them, but with skill, they won't dominate you either.

Your build takes a lot more skill to get wins with than a bone nec. It is also much more subject to lag and hiccups in the game. Bone necs have it easy. If they have the best possible equipment, they simply need to learn a few solid defensive techniques against you. You, however, have to CATCH them and not die. You have to kill them through all their defenses and countless spammed 800 PvP damage bone spirits. You have an uphill battle because they won't easily allow you to even get on their screen. Play carefully and assume it's your hardest duel.

I occasionally jump up to the 102 fcr breakpoint in order to stay on their screen.

Procedures:

• Don’t play their game!!! It’s no fun (and deadly) to chase someone who is both faster and harder hitting than you all over the blood moor while they chip away at your life. Find an area that offers good terrain and stay in it. Drop a solid trap field and make them stay in your general area if they want to duel you.

• Your SM will mind blast from over 2 screens away. You will need this in spades. Always have the master out.

• You will usually have one chance at most to capitalize on a mistake by the nec. If he momentarily gets tripped up in a trap, you have to know it and you have close immediately! Don’t miss an opportunity.

• Don't be afraid to take damage. Your going to get hit, a lot, by teeth. Ignore this as much as possible unless your life is getting critical. You'll simply have to take hits to get in hits yourself.

• Use chaos on your main hand. You want to take them down fast if you lock them up. The magic damage helps and the CtC effects help to stun. Trying to win with repeated OW applications against a good nec is difficult. If you want to go the WO route, then equip your fury as primary. You can then go either chaos off-hand or eth bartucs off-hand (but no ww at then in case you need it.). I recommend always having ww if you need it for this duel. Even though I kick most of the time, I have found ww useful in numerous instances.

• Watch out that they constantly spam teeth and then suddenly switch to very high damage bone spirit. They can easily take you by surprise with this quick change over in skills.

POISON NOVA NECS
Generally easy duel.

Procedures:

• Careful about lower resist. Your fade will reduce its duration to a few seconds, but avoid the necro during those few seconds if possible.

• Wear a jade and possibly a snake cord (I have yet to wear a snake cord even though I have one in my stash).

• Use chaos on your primary for chance-to-cast stun bonus and good magic damage boost. You want to kill them fast (chaos magic damage transferred to you kick will assist this). They are likely to get off one nova while you are kicking them, meaning you had better do it right the first time.

• Lock them up with wake/MB and keep your distance. Don’t DF or tele in until you are SURE they are locked down (i.e. lock them down HARD, with all traps firing before you DF on top of them).

• Don’t be afraid to play aggressive when you are down to only 1 life.

• Use talon to kill. If you overshoot a WW or get sloppy, they’ll escape and nova you on their way out.

If you have trouble with poison necs, it’s probably from being overly scared of the nova.

FIREBALL SORCS
Most of the time, this is an easy duel.

Procedures:

• Put on jade off-hand, fury primary hand (i.e. skip whirlwind).

• Don’t bother trapping unless they are good.

• Use teleport to get on their screen and dragon flight to deliver OW (if they are a runner) and to get in a quick kick sequence for the kill. Your res, 60% block, good FHR, minion stack, and rapid recovery inducing attack means you can often just tank them dead in a couple seconds if you can land the DF.

• Be careful. The 200 fast cast rate sorcs WILL tank your kicks IF they can get those fireballs going. They can lock you down if they can get a stream of fireballs hitting you. Be prepared to break off and regroup.

• If the sorc is good, don’t even use talon. Just dragon flight with OW until they are at 1 life. Then either kill with DF or let your shadow master kill her as you tele around.

• If you try to trap them, use wake of fire. 99% of these sorcs have absolute crap FHR and are easily locked up. The real trick is catching them though.

• Remember, if you land DF, they are paused for a second. This gives you time to initiate dragon talon. I kill 70% of FB sorcs this way, 25% with the DF/OW technique and the remaining 5% with actual trapping

• The FB sorc has to stop to shoot their fireballs. This is what allows you to stay with them, even when they have 200 fast cast. The good ones will even try to aim a little as you chase them around.

• Watch your mana. If you aren’t using mana pots, lure them close and then explode after them.

• Always have your shadow master up for minion stack. I will go many duels vs. FB sorcs and never take a point of damage due to minion stack and claw block.

• Tele off her corpse immediately when you kill her as she is likely to cast meteor on dying.

• You shouldn’t need a dwarf or any absorb at all to win this duel.

FROZEN ORB SORCS
Easy to moderate hard duel. Orb sorcs are runners. They want to keep you off their screen and chip away at you since you are hoping for them to get close to lock them up or DF them.

Procedures:

• You will likely never catch them in a trap/mb combo. Use the same DF/OW technique that I outlined for the FB sorc.

• If you have a few jades with jewels, use the one with a 30 cold res/15 ias jewel.

• Play defensively yourself. DON’T CHASE THEM! A good defensive orb sorc is actually sometimes hard to kill. Their large AoE attack means they can mindlessly drop orbs without any need to aim, concentrating on keeping distance between you and her. If you chase after them, you are giving them what they want. Make them come after you.

• They are FASTER than you. Try setting up trap fields and playing 1.09 style, using tele only when it is tactically advantageous.

LIGHTNING SORCS
Easy duel 98% of the time.

Procedures:

• Same as fireball sorcs on tactics. Careful though as the light can hurt a lot if they have good lower res. Light takes time to cast making your job easy.

• Make sure to circle them as you approach. If you come in on a straight line, she’ll have her best shot to kill you.

LIGHT SORC WITH CONVICTION MERC
Medium duel.

Procedures:

• Don’t DF them until the merc is dead.

• Use traps and MB to lock them up.

• Do a tele-ww pass to kill the merc. Then use standard techniques against the sorc.

LIGHT SORC WITH CONVICTION MERC AND AUTO-AIM
Medium to Hard duel.

Procedures:

• Same strategy as for the non-aa variety except play more defensively.

• Always have your master out to take a hit off of you.

• Don’t stand in one spot spamming MB and traps. They will shoot you right through FHR animation due to the auto-aim (technically, in-between the FHR animations, but it's always shooting). You need to stay circling them, and only DF on top when the merc is dead and you see them tripped for a sec from the traps/MB swirlies that you are constantly laying down.

• Do not DF the sorc for any reason until you’ve killed the merc. Otherwise she’ll one-hit-kill you.

BLIZZARD SORCS
Can occasionally be quite hard, usually easy to medium though. A good blizzard sorc can one-hit-kill you with a lucky shot. This adds a degree of randomness to your duels. Accidentally tele into a blizzard and the duel is over. Blizzard damage is mentioned in a note below.

Procedures:

• Tele carefully and try to trap them.

• Make sure you have all five wakes firing and that she hasn’t/can’t cast blizzard on top of herself before you tele on top of her.

• Tele off immediately when you kill her since she is likely to cast blizzard on dying.

• Beyond this, DF her but don’t talon. You can try WW, but if she survives it she will often blizzard you before you can tele away. If you try to talon she WILL get a blizzard off if she has paid any attention to FHR.

Most (not all) blizzard sorcs have very little pvp skill and are relatively easy (sorry all you blizz sorcs, it's the truth). They think they are good because they have this overpowered skill that works well against the unwashed public dueling masses who die in droves thanks to an equal lack of dueling skill. BUT there are a few good ones floating around with both equipment and experience and they are a very hard duel. The better duelers will always try to stay off your screen, counting on you blundering into one of their (usually) semi-randomly placed blizzards.

NOTE ON BLIZZARD DAMAGE (this example attributed to AndyChrono)
Blizzard inflicts a very large amount of damage on the first hit, absorb notwithstanding. Here’s how it works.

Absorb heals you first and then reduces damage. Since the first hit usually occurs when you are already at full life the healing part does nothing and it only reduces. Due to Blizzard's massive damage the effect is magnified.

Say 15k Blizzard and -100 resist against 2x Ravens; about 5000 PvP damage.

First Hit: Heal 40% of 5k which is 2k. But since opponent is at full life this is ignored. Then reduce damage by 40% of 5k (5000-2000) which turns out to be 3k. Thus the first hit does 3000 damage.

Second Hit: Heal 40% of 5k (2000). Then reduce damage by another 40% of 5k (2000). Thus the second hit does 5000-2000-2000 = 1000 damage.


So given this, plan your strategy accordingly. A lot of people will be one-hit-killed by that first blizzard.

BLIZZARD SORC WITH AUTO-AIM
Usually they are unskilled slime. Their blizzard will one-hit kill you from 2+ screens away.

Procedures:

• Stack cold res!! Use a 6 socket phase with an UM and 5x 30 to 40 cold res jewels (get a couple with ias) and a 4 thul shield. That’s about 300 cold res right there. Add in 50 to 60 on your CoA, 67 or so from fade, 16 or so from an anni, maybe 20 on an ammy, and you are sitting in the neighborhood of 450 to 460 cold res. If you need a bit more, keep some 10% or 11% scs in your stash and trade out some life/mana scs. If you can get 500 total cold res you’re golden.

• Always keep your master up to draw off an aimed blizzard.

I normally don’t recommend guarding corpses, but if you are on a blizzard sorc’s aim list, this is probably a good time to start. Careful though, even naked, her auto-aiming blizzard can kill you.

Alternate plan: Don't duel them!

ENERGY SHIELD SORCS
Usually this is not a bad duel because most people don’t have the know-how/equipment to defend against you.

Procedures:

• Get your fury on your primary and the jade on secondary.

• Skip ww.

• Open wounds and poison will be your primary killers as they go right through the sorc’s energy shield. Use DF liberally.

NOTE: It is possible to put together ES builds that become immune to you. You can’t kill them. You can get them to 1 life and that’s it. You’re stuck. I’ve seen just one of these in all my duels so don’t lose any sleep over it. If they do that, just over-absorb and stack res against any attack they have and it’s a draw. If they completely nullify you, you have every right to do the same.
 

Speederländer

Diabloii.Net Member
The PvP Fastcast WW/Kick/Stun Assassin - by Speederländer (Part 6 of 8)

WIND DRUIDS
Easy to medium hard duel, usually pretty easy.

Procedures:

• I always go about 80% kick vs. windies. The faster attack speed of the kicks, combined with MB/WoF, stun locks up all but the best of them.

• Lock them down with wake (letting the SM MB from 2 to 3 screens away).

• MB-tele-WW hotkey flash for a quick triangular WW. This takes out the oak and most mercs. Either way, kill that oak if you can.

• DF on them to re-establish SM minion stack.

• Initiate sequence of Kick(7/3/3) - kick(7/3/3) - trap (use WoF only) - trap - MB /repeat

If the Druid actually has good FHR, they may be able to tank you, which means you execute this once, and then tele out. Good FHR on the druid means more hit and run for you. I find kicks to be more conducive to this because of their accuracy and the fact that you never "overshoot" or get a messed up WW name-lock that ends with you whirling halfway across the blood moor.

The best druids will recognize your technique after a while and start to behave like hammer pallies, teleporting around and dropping tornadoes in your general direction. They don’t let you get stun-lock and if you chase them, they will kill you by leaving tornadoes in your path. This is a much harder duel if they are also equipped well. Play 1.09 trapper style in this case. Find a good spot, lay out a trap field, and let them come to you. Often they will get sick of the duel and try to pounce you. Make sure you have the stun swirlies on them and initiate kicks. You may have to use limited lightning sentry as a trap if they are very fast and hard to pin down.

Note: If the druid teleports right on top of you and you are sitting in a trap field, you should never lose. Mind blast once on top of yourself and initiate kicks. And the ironic thing is that 90% of druids do just this. And the even more ironic thing is that after dying 10 times in a row, they will keep doing it. It’s like you have a “Commit Suicide Here†sign on you when you sit still for a moment. I think partly that the reason for this is the short range on tornado. Most druids only know one way to kill you and they can’t break from that spamming mindset.

Don’t get me wrong. The very best druids can keep you to 50% if they are having a good night. But there are VERY few druids this good. You should go 70% to 80% or better vs. normal good druids.

TRAPPERS
Easy to hard. Usually easy/moderate.

General trapper procedures:

• Always have max light res. Obviously. Also make sure your fire res is maxed. Some of the better ones will recognize the facility of using fire-blast. Don’t let them catch you off-guard with it.

• You only need max res with lightning sentry (either 75 or 85 with T'gods). For those of you who DON'T know, facets don't work with sentry. Facets DO work with fireblast, however. But who cares? There's maybe 1 fireblast sin per realm that uses fire facets and they can be killed by simple whirls.

• Try to get max light res without using Jade. Since they don't lower your res with facets, you don't need to stack. This lets you wear the fury, which is superior to the jade for killing high life trappers.

• You have to choose between 65 FC or absorb. You can go either a T’Gods or a wisp if you use absorb. Ignore all complaining (unless they are being cool and ask nicely, then do whatever seems appropriate). There is nothing wrong with one element of absorb on a ww-sin, PERIOD. If you are off-ladder and have a valk, try to get 65 FC with a valk and t’gods. Wear a Jade and not a fury in that case as your res will be too low w/o the CoA.

Most tournaments allow one element of absorb. Practice w/o any absorb and trappers start to seem easy with it. Do the same vs. all other classes where absorb would be appropriate. Try to win w/o it regularly. Don’t let anyone tell you that one absorb item is “BM†or unfair or whatever. It’s not. They just want you to be as easy a kill as possible.

Trapper Type 1: claw-claw
subtype A: No fast cast or low fast cast, focus on massive damage only. Lots of life.
Medium to hard to duel, depending on trapper skill.

Procedures:

• Take advantage of their low cast rate. This is a significant tactical advantage.

• Use wake of fire, and try to position them on the corner of your screen.

• Always have the master out to draw off her traps.

• If you can lock the trapper down with wake and MB, stand there and pump it for a few seconds to let their sentries die out. This is critical!! Let their sentries die out! Make sure you have your master out, then DF or tele on top of them. Do triangular whirls or kick as you like.

• If they are not able to get traps out (or only have a couple traps up), I prefer to kick. Smaller chance of overshooting them with a whirl and giving them a chance to lay traps or run.

subtype B: 65 FC and 2 trap claws. Lots of life.
Medium to hard to duel, depending on trapper skill.

Procedures:

• This is fought much the same way as the subtype A duel except your advantage lies more with better FHR than better cast rate.

• Make sure you have 86 FHR. They probably will NOT have this recovery. This means you will stun better. But not a lot better since their traps will hurt so much.

• Be REALLY careful not to get locked in a trap/MB pump combo.

Trapper Type 2: 102 FC, hoto/shield
Medium to hard to duel, depending on trapper skill. They outclass you on MB cast rate, they tele faster than you and they possibly use BoS instead of fade, meaning they run faster as well. They will also likely have the 86 FHR break. Their trap damage is lower than the first two variants.

Procedures:

• Play the corners. Never get on their screen.

• You need them to run away from their trap field. Trap the corners and get them to move.

• Cast SM at your screen corners simultaneous to casting traps. This draws off their traps and often gets them to move to a new spot to set up a new trap field.

• Use drive-by whirls. Don’t do the triangular whirls unless you catch them w/o traps up and/or you’re good at it.

• You want to wear them down and get them to make a mistake.

• Be careful of wake/MB lock. They will often desync out of it. Before you know what happened, you have 5 sentries ripping you apart, you’re being pounded by 102 FC mind blast, and the tide has turned. You must be aware of any mistake they make.

• Often times kicking is very effective if traps aren’t up.

• Use wake as your main trap. Wake will stun them very well with only a single trap firing. The same cannot be said of sentry.

• If you see they are in wake stun-lock, reinforce it instantly. Pound them with traps and MB.

• If you see their life going down with MB in any significant way at all, kill them with it. Just keep them trapped and don’t stop with MB until they are dead. If you have name-lock, you can lay traps on them and MB them from off your screen.

• If they desync out of the traps, tele/WW flash them for a drive-by while they are running.

• You must have 86 FHR on this duel. People with less experience will claim that you don’t need FHR since you can WW out of their traps. That is wrong. If they see your FHR is poor (which is easy to see), they will stay all over you. You will end up having to whirl across the entire blood moor and still not get clear. I know, because that’s what I do when I trap.

• You have to tele clear the first chance you get if things are going bad. Always know when to break off.

First Special Note: “Evade†Trappers
Some trappers, among the better ones, are very good at being hard to catch. They teleport very fast, keep their master up at all times for minion stack, and always stay in range of their trap field while staying OFF YOUR SCREEN. They have good FHR and know when to run out of traps, making locking them hard. While you try like crazy to get name-lock for MB or ww or whatever, their traps are cutting you up.

Procedures:

• You need to take a very defensive stance against these guys. They are playing defensive against you, always hiding in their traps and rarely if ever going offensive.

• Be patient and work toward them. Walk your traps and always cast your SM ahead of you. You need to get them out of their trap field.

• Try to keep their traps at your upper screen corners. This may allow you to get name-lock on the trapper w/o all their traps targeting you simultaneously.

• Pay attention to the damage they are causing. If only one trap is hitting you, you can often ignore it.

• Be prepared to really pump MB and WoF if you do succeed in locking them up. TRY to hold them long enough for some of their sentries to run out. Then you can tele or DF in and ww or kick. I would recommend kicking at that point.

Second Special Note: Trapper with a conviction merc
This duel sucks. Usually I’ll just ask them to unhostile. If you have to fight them, you MUST kill the merc. Ignore the assassin and kill the merc. Conviction is your ***, literally. If you get flashed with conviction while getting hit with traps, you will be dead in slightly under 1 second, 4K life notwithstanding. And trappers that use conviction mercs have a tendency to be the same variety that say “eZ†after killing you while trapping your corpse. Don't get me wrong, I'd use conviction, or at least have it available, if I were a trapper probably myself (but I'd be friendly about it).

General Trapper note:
Trapper duels are LONG duels, if the trapper is good. If the duel goes fast, it probably means you died or the trapper had poor life. It's all about playing the corners, getting positional advantage, etc. This is one of the few duels where I am really careful about teleporting and spend a lot of time running, just outside of trap range.

BRAMBLE WW-SINS
Easy to medium duel, occasionally medium hard if they are tricked out and skilled.


Procedures:

• Stun the crap out of them with sentry and mind blast.

• They don’t have tele, you do. They also run slower than you do.

• Get mind blast name-lock and tele/WW flash them.

• Your tele is a lot less interruptible than their dragon flight.

• Slap on some poison length reduction if it’s allowed and/or you have it. A simple 25% makes all the difference. Ignore any and all crying about PLR. Nats armor (which has 75% PLR) was the most common ww-sin armor for a long time and no one cried then. As you get better you won’t really need that PLR however.

• Don’t forget to cast cloak of shadows. You both have lower defense to begin with so its effect is better here than against a barb or pally with high defense.

• A pure bramble sin wants more than anything to just be able to whirl me. Unless they directly ask me not to trap and not to MB and not to use teleport, I rarely give them a chance to get close enough or have an uninterrupted dragon flight at me. I, however, am able to WW at will (from off their screen!) due to MB name-lock and enigma. Because I frequently tele on them from off-screen, they aren't aware that a WW is coming.

• In 1.09, DF reached for about 2.5 screens. It was one of the best assassin skills. But no longer. Now it's on-screen only. This is a huge tactical disadvantage for assassins with no tele and only DF.

• It's important to time your WW right. You can see the dragon flight animation as it's beginning since it's a slow 24 frame beast. As a result, if you are on your toes, you can be whirling away when they come out on top of you.

• Your mind blast can inflict some real damage here if you can get them just slightly off your screen. They won’t be able to DF you and you can pump MB and traps. It’s evil but it works like a charm. Level 48 to 50 mind blast (or even a bit lower) will quickly drain life if they are off your screen and trying to slowly run or WW into DF range.

• Take advantage of their POOR mobility. Keep them off your screen!!!
 

Speederländer

Diabloii.Net Member
The PvP Fastcast WW/Kick/Stun Assassin - by Speederländer (Part 7 of 8)

SMITER/CHARGERS
Easy to medium hard duel.

Procedures:

• This is obviously a pure WW duel.

• Put the fools claw on your primary slot (and put on the angelic ammy and ring if you think you need them). This should get you to about 11K/19K AR. Knockback on this claw is a very nice-to-have here.

• I sometimes wear an OW belt for this match up.

• Fast cast is relatively pointless and they will often charge you dead when you try to cast. You can beat many smiters without any equipment changes, especially the ones who run or charge at your whirl away.

• Be careful if/when you teleport as the good ones will be able to hit you with charge as you exit since your cast is so slow.

• Whirl away, and when you have distance between you and the pally, MB them ONCE and get a couple traps out. This will keep them aggressive.

• Never trap or MB if they are close and able to charge you.

• Many of them will try to shift smite. Don’t whirl through them under any circumstances.

• Spam MB and drop traps when they shift smite.

• Try to keep terrain features between you and the pally when spamming to prevent quick and easy charges on his part.

• A good pally of this type CAN kill you when you whirl away. They are able to get in smites anyway. Whirl-away is NOT immunity to smite for assassins, as some people will claim. Don’t whirl in circles and don’t change direction when they are near.

• Be very careful not to take long whirls (but also not whirls so short you run out of mana too quickly). They will tele or charge in front of you and shift smite. Teleport on the pally especially means you need to take short whirls unless they are dogging you from behind, doing walking smites with max block and defiance on.

• Sometimes small changes of whirlwind direction on your part (especially if you have KB on your fool’s claw) will catch them, other times it will allow them to get hits in. It takes experience to figure out when to change direction when whirling away. It’s more art than science. Try small zig-zags in your whirls, especially when it appears they are trying to approach you or if they are really dogging you with walking shift smites.

• Do NOT use your shadow master!! They can lifetap it.

• Watch out for lifetap. Exile is the single most annoying rune word in the history of rune words. I have lost duels to smiters when they were down to less than 100 life and tapped it all back. Make sure you don’t try to hover their name to check their life (which is very tempting late in the duel). You’ll probably get charged.

• Don’t MB them unless they are moving away from you. They'll get in a free hit otherwise.

• You can sometimes MB them continuously if they are shift-smiting because they got tired of hitting your whirl-away. Watch it however, as the good ones will lull you into MBing an instant too long and charge you dead before you know what hit you.


FIST OF HEAVENS PALLY
Easy to hard duel, big variation. If these guys use charge well as a primary means of movement, they can be very hard indeed. Charge can make getting a good WW very hard.

Procedures:

• Put on the Jade with the 15 ias/30 light res jewel if you have one. Put on a T’Gods.

• I find that mind blast is often my best weapon.

• Focus on executing WW hotkey flash when they exit your screen. Be careful though, as you will teleport to a zone without traps...

• Traps and mind blast interfere with their ability to get off FoH hits. Traps are critical to winning this duel. Always use lighting sentry.

• Always have the master out to take random FoH hits and to create confusion.

• ALWAYS have traps out and the MB swirlies going. Always. If your traps run out and the pally is any good, you’re going to die.

• The pally will try to flash you with conviction. Don’t be afraid to get off his screen if you see the ugly green glow.

• Move around a lot but not out of trap range if the pally is near.

• Look for any chance at all to MB/tele/WW flash him.

• Always pump them with mind blast when you have a chance, especially as they run all over the place with charge. I have actually killed defensive charging pallys with mind blast.

FIST of HEAVENS PALLY with SMITE and CHARGE
Medium to very hard duel. Usually, the pally won’t have the proper equipment to make this approach really deadly. But the ones who do and who are skilled are really hard. They force you to go res/absorb but also have a powerful smite attack. The most dangerous, IMO, are the ones who focus more on the smite. You don’t dare get very offensive because they will smite you, likely triggering lifetap in the process. But if you stand off, they will flash you with conviction and FoH you. If you keep your SM out to draw off the FoH, they can tap it. If you try to spam MB, they will desync charge you. They likely have upwards of 4K life, making MB less useful anyway. This is all-around a very hard duel when the pally is good.

Procedures:

• First, you need to nullify their elemental attack. Don’t feel bad. You have to negate their ranged advantage with that FoH. They still have a nasty physical attack as well so they remain plenty dangerous. Stack light res and put on a t’gods. Replace some life/mana scs with life/light res scs if necessary. Once you kill their light attack, they become a smiter/charger, mostly.

• Always keep traps up and just MB them occasionally, so they stay stunned. W/o those swirlies, your traps mean nothing.

• With FoH off the table, they have to close with you. They may still try to flash you with conviction, because it’s unlikely you will completely negate it. Whirl away is your friend once you remove their ranged attack.

• If they have high defense on top of everything else, and set their movement to walk with good use of charge to avoid any type of stun-lock, it’s going to be a hard battle. You can’t wear your fools claw or your angelics because your resistance (and cast rate if angelics) will suffer too much. If you are wealthy, consider getting a CoA with a pair of 15 ias/30 light res jewels. This, combined with several light res scs MAY allow you to forego the jade talon for the fools claw. I haven’t tried this yet, but I think you would be forced to wear a wisp (along with the t’gods) to make up for the lost stacked res.

• If they trigger lifetap, whirl away in a straight line until the curse duration runs out (unless they teleport in front of you). Don’t allow them to leech all their life back. Doing turns while tapped makes hitting you easier for the pally (but again, this is a “feel†thing, sometimes quick turns can help you win).

Keep in mind, there are only a tiny fraction of duelers this good with their pallys. Most of this pally type will be beatable with standard techniques. It’s just that this variety may offer a major challenge if played and designed well. This is one of the few battles you will have where a big equipment change may be required, right down to switching out charms.

NOTE: My hardest series of duels yet was with a pally of this type. But no other pally has come close to the difficulty of that one individual. The potential exists for this match-up to be very very hard. But it’s pretty rare.

HAMMER PALLY
Medium to pretty hard. The high defense versions of these guys are potentially very hard. Your whirlwinds rarely if ever hit and they can charge out of any stun-lock.

Procedures:

• Always have LS traps up.

• Always have the master up and MB the pally every opportunity you get. The traps plus MB stun means it is hard to tele right on top of you and spam hammers. The stun will interrupt them.

• They have to pause briefly to get hammers going. WW flash them at that point. Don’t do triangles. Just do a pass and get out. Place more traps and MB again. Rinse and repeat. Pay attention to how well your WWs are hitting. If they are not, then the pally probably has too high a defense. You will need to either equip the fools claw (not the angelics!....you need fast cast) or you need to focus on mind blast.

• Hurt or even kill them with mind blast. I have killed many hammer pallies with mind blast. My assassin sported level 48 MB (up to lvl 50 now with hellfire) and it never failed to inflict SIGNIFICANT damage. Hammer pallys rarely have significant DR. Use this point to your advantage.

• If their defense is low, you can risk a tele on them when stunlocked briefly and try a quick kick sequence. Be careful and only do it if their defense allows it. I actually rarely if ever try to kick hammer pallys.

Remember: Mind blast is your friend.

AURADINS
Well built auradins CAN be very hard, actually (barring heavy absorb). They will charge around the edges of your screen, not allowing you to get hits at all. Lucky for you most of them have no skill (a few do have skill though, and are dangerous because of this fact). I won’t go into whether or not this a reflection of the type of people this build attracts.

Killing them:
• Put the jade on off-hand and the chaos on primary (equipping the chaos first of course...). Put on a dwarf or T’Gods depending on whether the aura is fire or shock. Make sure you have lots of res.

• High level MB is required.

• 65 fastcast is required. You have to pound them with MB.

• Use lightning sentry to stun, not wake.

• When they retreat, MB them and then, from the MB name-lock, hotkey flash tele/WW to get in a free ww hit. Lay traps the INSTANT you exit ww. Rinse and repeat.

• Many of them will charge/smite as well, since their auras add a decent amount of damage, and they may also have grief. Make sure to whirl away and be careful they don't fake you out in order to flash you with conviction.

• Keep the SM out to take any FoH hits, etc. and cause a little confusion. If they lifetap, be careful with the SM. They can tap the master and get a big life boost.

• Don't be afraid to teleport out of range and regroup if things aren't going well.

Potentially Dangerous Auradin Variant: Zeal or Smite
Be REALLY careful with these guys. If you whirl through them, they can tear you apart, even with your absorb. Always whirl away and keep those traps out. Make sure that they always have MB swirlies on them.

BOWAZONS
Easy duel.

Procedures:

• Spiral in to the zon as you approach.

• DF them when on screen and kick to death.

• Always keep the master out for minion stack.

• If they are a fast runner, get MB name-lock and flash tele/WW. Since they are running it’s basically an auto-hit (unless they dodge it).

• Use sentry as needed for stun. They desync out of wake too easily so don't use it.

• Careful about the occasional uber-fast shooter with faith, knockback and an inventory full of damage charms. They can kill you if you are sloppy. But ONLY if you’re sloppy.

Your most likely mode of dying in this duel is to get crappy terrain and get hung up in it while the zon spams GAs.

JAVA ZONS
Easy duel.

Procedures:

• You usually don’t need a jade or a T’gods. Just lay down wake of fire, MB them once and kick to death. Wake will trigger endless evade. Your kicks will trigger dodge when evade doesn’t trigger, and the mind blast will ensure they are stunned the remainder of the time.

• Don’t let your traps run out!!

• Did you lose any life at all once you had them locked in WoF? If so, you probably made a mistake.

PLAGUEZON
Easy usually to very occasionally medium or a bit harder.
Funny, I consider this to be POTENTIALLY the hardest zon build to fight (IF they are good). They can suck your life with a single hit like a nova nec, but they are much harder to catch and lock up. You don't see many of them either so it's hard to get repeatable techniques against them.

Procedures:

• Your best bet is to do drive-by WW shots with the occasional kick sequence if you can get a stun sequence running.

• Don't do triangular WWs. They WILL hit you with poison if you mess one up. Plus that means they are standing still and have max block along with their dodge.

• Hit them on the run. Don't do long whirls!!

• These zons are runners. They will desync out of your traps much of the time. Use lightning sentry because it will help pause them occasionally, switching the wake if you feel it will be useful in a given situation.

• When they aren't close enough to hit you with poison, pound them with MB.

• If you get them in MB name-lock from far enough away, you might be able to kill them with it, or at least force them to be aggressive and make mistakes.

• If their FHR seems low or they aren’t as skilled, WoF may get you the win.

WW BARBS
Your only nearly impossible duel. You CAN beat ww barbs. I do it all the time. But the ones I beat are of questionable ability or equipment or connection or all of the above. A good ww barb will take you down 9 times out of 10 or better. A really good ww barb isn't beatable at all.

Procedures:

• Your only real chance is to get sentry trap fields up and make sure they are always MB’d. When they are off your screen, and you have name-lock, tele/WW flash them or pump MB. If you are lucky, they won’t be whirling and you may get in a solid hit. You may also get ripped up if you tele into a whirlwind. This is a real gamble.

• You can either wear the fools claw and angelics for 19K AR or say screw it and go for fast cast. Fast cast means you want to hit them with WW when they are running and to wear them down with OW and mind blast. Either option has its good and bad points.

• You have a better chance vs. dual wielding barbs than vs. sword/shield. If its sword shield and they are good, just pack a belt of mana pots and try to MB them to death. It’s long, boring and will drive a lot of barbs absolutely apoplectic. But you might, if you’re very very lucky, pull out a win. The odds are not in your favor though. It also ceases to be much fun pretty quick.

• When fighting good BvC barbs, make sure to set your movement to WALK, not run. Otherwise they will give you a taste of your own medicine and slam you when on the run. Always tele anyway (good technique), and this won’t be an issue.

• Good BvC barbs are FAST. Further, they will flash you with holy freeze from dual dooms on switch. Be prepared for this.

• Go play in the vicinity of a bunch of bogs to limit long whirls and desync by the barb.

Don’t feel bad because you can’t beat barbs. You can kill a broader slice of good duelers more efficiently than they can. They can kill anyone, it’s true. But if you play very well, your overall win record should be as good as or better than any barb, even the better BvC types.

Alternate technique vs. Barbs

• Don’t trap at all. Barbs can desync more when you trap.

• If you are fast, you could try to go no traps and just use MB, quick drive-by whirls, and teleporting clear of any barb whirls.

• The key here is to watch for the barb to tele (if they have it). You tele to the side when you see them start the animation. (This is really bloody hard, in case you haven’t tried it before.) They will come out of their tele in WW if they are any good. You then lock them with MB and spam it for the length of their whirl (better hope they whirl long...). If they have good whirl control, this probably won’t work.

• Try a quick MB-tele-WW flash if they aren’t whirling and then tele clear immediately.

• If they don’t have enigma, just pay attention and don’t get caught by long whirls that desync. This is a long process no matter what you do.

• Finally, you could consider pre-buffing venom vs. good barbs. I don’t do it because I think you will die anyway and it just becomes a huge pain. If I were a barb I wouldn’t want to stand in town waiting for some assassin to do a major equipment change/pre-buff between each duel. Play what you have and let the chips fall where they may.
 

Speederländer

Diabloii.Net Member
The PvP Fastcast WW/Kick/Stun Assassin - by Speederländer (Part 8 of 8)

[size=+2]Credits[/size]
Maxus – For writing the trapper guide that got me started on trappers.

Skoal Bandit – One of the best duelers I’ve ever played. Demonstrated a very high level of skill in dueling. Also a funny guy.

Valoren – For running one of the largest and best dueling groups on any realm, Gimmeitam, which provided endless hours of dueling practice vs. the best people on USWest.

Chuck – For some of the funniest 1.09 public dueling and hardcore PKing I’ve ever had as well as always being available for practice. And also for lots of free stuff and endless rushes to try new builds.

Ilkori – For providing huge amounts of technical information and feedback on ideas as well as feedback on the details of this guide.

Koda – Came up with the WW version of the ghost assassin. First to call it a ghost (as far as I know).

jrichard – For providing most of the technical details (especially on kicks) that made fine tuning of this build possible.

Naliworld – For making the assassin forum on diabloii.net a great place to post and work out ideas and for lots of helpful feedback on this guide.

Everyone who gave me feedback on the earlier versions of this guide.

Speederländer (me) – Came up with the kick version of the ghost assassin (fast cast anti-caster kicker) and wrote this guide for a hybrid assassin combining the best of all types.

Gyrl – My final (retired) assassin on *Apokalyptik that allowed me to pull together all of the ideas presented here.

[size=+3]END[/size]
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top