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Amazon FAQ

From Diablo 2 Wiki

This FAQ was written during v1.09, and the skill and item sections are outdated in v1.10+.

Diablo II Strategy Guide Info:

Bow & Crossbow

1. Which is better, strafe or multishot?

Strafe used to be the skill of choice in the early days of Diablo 2 classic. However, the cap of 10 targets per shot has made it less powerful in terms of crowd control; though you don't have to worry about getting in strafe lock anymore. While Multishot's damage was nerfed as well after the expansion came out (it does 75% of your normal attack damage), it still does more damage than strafe in a given amount of time. While maxed strafe shoots 10 target, you can roughly expect to fire maxed Multishot 5 times (which equals up to 21 x 5 = 105 arrows). Mathematically speaking, Multishot's a better crowd controller than strafe even with Strafe's damage bonus. This because one can "fan" out Multiple Shot by clicking closer or further away from your character on the screen. However, strafe is something you don't have to max in order to deal damage. With Multishot, it's crucial to pump it up above slvl 9 in order to leech enough mana where as Strafe's low mana cost makes it more mana independent. Multishot also increases in mana cost as you put more skill points into it which makes the use of the skill less flexible than Strafe. For example, it would be impractical to use Multishot on a pack of skeletons (other undead monsters, you can leech off of as long as they aren't physically immune) since you can't leech mana off of them. Choosing Strafe or Multishot is a matter of personal preference. If you want a skill that is only for crowd control, choose Multishot. However, if you have a low damage bow and want a more flexible solution, go with strafe.

For the same reason, if a player focuses on doing elemental damage rather than physical damage will it be a much wiser decision to use choice to use strafe instead of multiple shot. It allows the player to deliver high amounts of elemental damage ate very low mana cost. It also saves skill points because the maximum amount of arrows for strafe can already be accomplished with only 6 points in the skill.

It is impossible to tell which skill is better for every single situation you will encounter while playing Diablo II. However, I will list the properties of these skills so you can judge for yourself.

Multiple Shot:

  • Only 75% of the damage is inflicted
  • Good for hitting monsters off-screen
  • Fires more arrows for each individual skill point
  • Can be used for hit-and-run as players are not locked by this skill
  • Does not increase damage with additional skill points
  • It is useful with just a few skill points
  • Mana cost increases by 1 per additional skill point – this can be offset by Mana Steal items


  • Aims automatically at targets
  • Hits up to a maximum of 10 targets (more with additional skill points)
  • Mana cost is fixed at 11
  • Strafe fires in all directions
  • Damage increase of 5% per additional skill point
  • Characters are locked in place until Strafe finishes

2. Which is better, Immolation or Freezing Arrow?

Immolation Arrow used to be considered on par with Freezing Arrow in terms of damage and flexibility pre expansion. However, with the introduction of casting delay (minimum amount of time you have to wait until you can cast or use the spell / skill again respectively) of one second, Immolation has taken a big hit in terms of usefulness. Immolation's big fire damage and the passive fire damage it deals after the target is hit makes it look more attractive on paper, but in the actual game, you can deal more damage with Freezing Arrow due to its splash damage and no casting delay.

It remains useful if you can keep monsters still by "parking" them with a Valkyrie or Decoy. Although not recommended for true Bowazons, IA is useful for Mageazons and elemental Amazons.

Although Immolation Arrow certainly isn't as powerful as other bowskills, it can be used as one of the primary attacks. Many people have learnt not to give up on this skill and still put their points in it. This is due to a skill you must master yourself, namely the skill of Hotkeying and Skill-Switching.

An amazon can shoot but then has to wait for the timer. In the meantime she ought to switch to a secondary skill and shoot a volley of that, switch back to Immolation Arrow and repeat the process. One can also assign two skills on each mouse button to save some of the troubles. It is considered too annoying by most players who want to kill as fast as possible. This skill is not to be underestimated though, especially not if the amazon has a high chance of piercing. Typically Magazons use this combination of Immolation Arrow and Freezing Arrow or even Ice Arrow to dispatch of their enemies.

Char-grilled Zombie, anyone?

But then there is also Fire Arrow, the level 1 skill that is rather helpful to those that have high physical damage. This little skill converts a part of your physical damage into fire damage - 3% at level 1, with another 2% per level past that. It won't do Magazons much good since their bow is most of the time not incredibly damaging, but it is considered an excellent physical immune killing skill for physical damage bowazons.

3. Is maxing Guided Arrow a must?

In 1.09, Guided Arrow was one of the most effective skills in the game, as it was capable of peircing an enemy, turning around, and hitting them again, for four or five hits per arrow. Since 1.10 (we are in 1.11b as of this writing), however, this has been nerfed, and peirce no longer works in combination with Guided Arrow. It is still, however, an excellent single-enemy killing skill for bowazons, and is used frequently by hybrid javelin/bow amazons to pick off straggling enemies.

It is the main skill used for Player vs Player (PvP) as it does not require a great deal of aiming – point-and-click should suffice. You may also like to max it if the overly-strenuous chore of aiming is too much for you.

Whereas a higher skill level will lower the mana requirement and increase the damage, this skill does not have to be maxed in order to be effective. Players that want to distribute their points in other skills can be relieved with the knowledge that guided arrow at level 1 will also get the job done.

4. Is Magic Arrow any good?

Magic arrow has some advantages over using normal attack because it doesn't spend any of your arrows or bolts, but rather spends your mana to create an arrow or a bolt. This skill can be useful when you just ran out of arrows / bolts. However, the damage bonus is not % based and is insignificant to justify the pumping of this skill. Putting any more point than one in this skill is a complete waste, except for the Sniper Subclass. Note that the bonus damage is physical and that this attack requires attack rating.

Unique Bows and Crossbows can spawn with the mod "Shoots Magical Arrows", which means that these bows do not use up any arrows, like the skill, however arrows must still be equipped to be capable of shooting. Attack rating is also here required for hitting creatures. The Magical Arrow will only be shot if the player uses "normal attack". If the player uses any other amazon attack skill, then the magic arrow will be overwritten by the specific skill and arrows are used up. The level of the magic arrow spawned is comparable to skill level l.

It is also worth noting that Magic Arrow converts 1% of your damage per level into pure magic damage, bypassing physical immunity but also reducing the amount of leech you gain from it.

5. Are points in Pierce wasted if you use a Buriza?

The pierce values from skill and items are cumulative. According to the reference pages, Buriza has 100% chance to pierce. This renders additional percentages of pierce in the form of the skill or items useless because a value higher than 100% is of course nonsense. However, it has been observed by several players that even the fabled Buriza does not pierce all the time. There is a pure speculative conclusion that pierce therefore has a certain cap-value, and this value would then be 95% (chosen comparable to resistance and attack rating). Whatever the reasons for such sporadic missers, cap or no cap, Buriza already spawns with the maximum amount of pierce possible, so additional points are not necessary for users of this unique Ballista.

6. Which Bow and Crossbow Skills leech life and/or mana?

Currently, as of patch 1.11b, you can leech life and/or mana with any arrow based attack - however, skills that provide a "burst" of damage effect, including freezing arrow, exploding arrow, and immolation arrow, leech only off of the physical damage of the arrow, and not the elemental damage. Also, the skills Cold Arrow, Fire Arrow, and Magic Arrow all convert a portion of your physical damage into elemental or magical damage, and as a result, will be capable of leeching less, as the physical damage is lower.

Unique Bows and Crossbows can spawn with the mod "Shoots Exploding Arrows", which means that on "normal attack" the bow will shoot exploding arrows like the skill. This working of this property is comparable to the "Shoot Magical Arrows" property. Arrows are however always required for exploding arrow, but they will always hit. Like the skill, one cannot leech with bows that have the "Shoot Exploding Arrow" feature. The level of the exploding arrow is 1, but additional fire damage sources on the bow get added to the burst of fire from the skill. If the player uses any other attack including the exploding arrow skill itself, will the feature be overwritten. One can still leech with these bows if one uses any of the other attack skills.

Passive & Magic

1. How does Critical Strike work?

A common misconception of Critical Strike is that it doubles your final damage, including the elemental and poison damage. However, it applies only on your base physical damage. For example if one has 1000 base physical damage and 500 elemental damage (totaling up to1500 damage), you'll do 2500 damage if the Critical Strike activates upon the hit.

As for Critical Strike working in conjunction with other items that give you chance to do a 'Deadly Strike' (which also allows you to do double the damage), the game will first check for the chance of Critical Strike activating then check the chance of 'Deadly Strike' activating. The damage, however, doesn't get quadrupled because Blizzard has disabled Critical Strike working on top of 'Deadly Strike' as well. Therefore, if you have both, you just have more chance of dealing double the damage.

The total chance for doing double damage = CS + [(100 - CS)*DS]

Where: CS = Chance of Critical Strike, DS = Chance of Deadly Strike. Example: CS = 60%, DS = 25%, Chance to do double damage = 60% + (40%) * 25% = 60% + 10% = 70%.

2. How many points should I put in Inner Sight and Slow Missiles?

Inner Sight only deserves 1 point. It lowers creature defense by a value and not by a percentage as some people think. This skill can help in early normal, but seeing you can earn a rogue mercenary by completing quest 2, you should not need to put more than 1 point in it. One big plus of this skill is that it illuminates creatures in dark areas and that it has a set large radius of 13.3 yards. Slow Missiles is much more useful than Inner Sight. It has the same fixed radius of 13.3 yards, fixed mana cost and the same illumination effect. Put some additional points into this skill to increase the duration or have extra points assigned to it by +skills gear. Whilst it may seem a rather useless skill to have 5 points in, you can come to like this decision. Slow Missiles' very strong point is that it slows down the Charged Bolts that are released by Lightning Enchanted Creatures such as random bosses and Scarabs. It will also slow magical attaccks of Oblivian Mages and all other ranged attacks, making it a very valuable, but often forgotten skill.

You can use either Inner Sight or Slow Missiles to spot monsters behind closed doors. Walk right up to the closed door (don’t open it!), and cast IS or SM. If you see a bright patch of light appear behind the door, watch out.

Slow missiles is commonly seen as "bad mannered" in PvP play, as it will slow other player's projectiles just as much as it slows the monster's. Some people take advantage of this, some don't - it depends on the individual player, as everyone has their own opinion on what constitutes "bad manners". This will, however, inevitably get people upset with you in the long run.

3. How many points should I invest into Penetrate?

This depends greatly on which kind of Amazon you're building. If you're aiming for a java- / bowazon, you don't need to put any more points than 1 as you'll already have high attack rating due to your points placed in dexterity - most bowazon or javazons have dexterity ranging from 250 to 350 upon completion of the character (when you have stopped leveling the character). It is important to note that if you are using the elemental arrows or Guided Arrow as your primary skills then you don’t need to worry about Attack Rating. However, if you're planning to build a spearazon you will need to put some points into Penetrate, as you won't be able to concentrate heavily on dexterity. Some people will argue that if your character is not hitting the monsters frequently enough, you should invest some points into it. This argument is fundamentally flawed as your attack rating is not the most important factor for chance to hit the monsters. The most important factors are rather monsters' lvl, monster defense and the skills / equipment you use.

Additionally, some Bows like Eaglehorn (Unique Crusader Bow) have the property “Ignores Target Defense” – this is similar to auto-hit, but not quite. The target defense is ignored, but a character's chance to hit is still dependant on the level difference of the character and the target. The to-hit formula is located at the end of the FAQ. It does however not work on champions, boss monsters, act bosses and other players. In v1.09 there was also a bug with a weapon socketed with the Eth rune – instead of reducing target defense by 25% it changes it to –25%, thereby acting as an auto-hit. However, this was only a bug and was corrected in v1.10 (We are now in v1.11b).

For skills that require attack rating, we suggest that you get the chance to hit to at least 80%. If it is below this value you will hit monsters a lot less regularly than is needed for good leeching and damage. To solve Attack Rating (AR) problems, try to get AR charms or items, boost dexterity or put a few points in penetrate, but most of all, do not fight monsters that are clearly levels higher than you. If you do, be aware that any points you put in penetrate to help you now may become useless later. Try the other suggestions first. The formula for calculating your chance to hit is listed below. Note that monster defense and level increase quite fast in hell, but once you level up attack rating should not give you anymore troubles and because you listened to our advice you can put away those extra charms and AR items you gathered.

Chance to Hit = 100 x AR / (AR + DR) x 2 Alvl / (Alvl + Dlvl)

Where AR is the attack rating of the attacker DR is the defense rating of the defender Alvl is the level of the attacker Dlvl is the level of the defender.

4. Is the dodge branch really necessary or is it mostly preference?

The Dodge branch is an essential route for the Amazons' survival considering the Amazon doesn't usually have as much vitality as melee classes. It is vital that Amazons have some method to reduce the number of hits taken from the monster. The Dodge branch does exactly that.

Depending on how many skills points you invest in, the branch gives you chance to avoid any type of physical attack completely. (not to be confused with physical reduce items) Dodge gives you chance to avoid melee attacks while standing still (useful when you're shooting arrows and melee attackers are swarming you) and Avoid gives you chance to avoid ranged attacks (javelin and arrows) while standing still. Evade is a skill that gives you a chance to avoid both ranged and melee attacks while moving. However, some people argue that this tree isn't really required for an Amazon's survival, based on the theory that you could put those skills points in bow or javelin trees in order to be more flexible and do more damage. Even so, one point in each of these skills can provide life-saving dodges from time to time. It is generally recommended that you place points to where they give you 50% chance to avoid the attacks after all +skill gear has been added. (12 points for Evade and Dodge, and 7 points for Avoid).

This is especially the case for amazons that fight in melee, because they will get in a lot more troubles than ranged amazons. For melee amazons some people boost the dodge skill even higher than 50%. In addition becomes Avoid less important if you use the Slow Missiles skill to your advantage, because it only effects missile dodging. When missiles are slowed you can easily run out of their flight path. Evade is only realy important for if you find yourself running a lot through packs of creatures. Experienced ranged amazon players will therefore only put 1 point in Dodge, Avoid and Evade and rely on their cunning, skill and minions to stay out of melee range. Slow missiles versus other ranged attackers, recasting minions if foes get close and when running they make sure not to run into a death trap that only people with high evade can survive.

The only real time that Dodge, Avoid, and Evade become liabilities is when you are using the Fend skill. When using Fend, if something triggers your Dodge, Avoid, or Evade, then any Fend attacks made in the current string of Fends will automatically miss. Despite still appearing to be hitting, no damage will be done to the enemy.

5. How useful is Valkyrie?

Valkyrie's main purpose is not to kill things, but to protect you from the danger surrounding you. Although Valkyrie has lots of life (it gets boosted every difficulty level), and can dish out some decent damage, it's attack speed is too slow to rely entirely on it, even in single player. Moreover, the damage she deals is not constant as the base damage of her weapon is changed every time she is summoned (computer generates random equipment for her). Therefore, it is recommended to put only one point as it is an extremely useful meatshield and can be re-cast again and again.

For amazons that want it to be a bit more durable, level 17 is generally the target level, as that is when she spawns with a rare war pike, but the manacost will be steep. If you would like a valkyrie but don't have many points to spare, a single point is generally enough to make a difference - but level 17 is when she is most likely to be a beast of a tank. This is often also suggested amount for amazons that fight melee because the longer the Valkyrie lasts, the less you have to worry about being in the center of attention.

Currently, in 1.11b, your Valkyrie will recieve bonuses for every point you spend in Dodge, Avoid, Evade, Critical Strike, and Penetrate, just as if she had those same skill points invested.

6. Should I still use my Decoy even after I get a Valkyrie?

Definitely! Decoy is still effective because it can be used to position monsters to your liking. It can also prevent monsters advancing (they stop to attack it), reducing the strain on yourself, your Valkyrie and your mercenary. The amount of points to spend in this skill is life-dependant. For ranged amazons a skill level of 1 is sufficient because they focus much less on vitality and life than melee fighters, but rather put points into dexterity for extra damage and/or blocking. For melee amazons tis skill is rather important for the following reason: A decoy has the same amount of life as yuo do. If you have high life she will last very long and can outlive the skill duration with ease. The short duration of the skill will then not suffice because the decoy can act a lot longer as what it is, a decoy. To keep the heat off you, you may want this skill to last longer. The suggested final level of Decoy is :

Your lifeTotal Skill Level
less than 6001 to 3
600 to 8003 to 4
800 to 10004 to 5
more than 10006 to 8

As with Valkyrie, the Decoy gains the ability to Dodge and Avoid attacks as though it had the same number of skill points invested as you do.

7. How does Pierce work?

"Chance to pierce monster" is the skill's description and that's exactly what it does. Investing point in this skill gives your arrow or javelin a chance to pierce through the monster and hit another monster in the projectile's way. This can be useful in several aspects. For starters, in most narrow dungeons (Maggot Lair, especially) you can fire your favourite skills (Freezing Arrow for example!) and inflict damage upon the row of enemies that are tightly packed. Pierce benefits most from skills that give an effect upon hitting a monster to give extra discharges. A few examples of such skills are Frozen Arrow, Immolation Arrow and Lightning Fury. It is of course always good for other ranged attacks, so they hit multiple monsters that are advancing towards you. In fact, Lightning Fury works so well with Pierce most people want it nerfed.

More on Lightning Fury and Pierce in the general F.A.Q. section.

Pierce that is located on items is cumulative with the piercing value from your skill. If you use items that provide a piercing attack (e.g. Razortail Unique Sharkskin Belt, Buriza Do-Kyanon Unique Ballista or Kuko Shakaku Unique Cedar Bow) then you will not need as much in Pierce.

However, note that Pierce has speculated, though unproven, to have a cap of 95%. In addition, melee weapons do not need Pierce. Duh.

Javelin & Spear

1. Which is the best skill for melee Amazons?

Pick Jab, Impale or Fend. Jab and Impale are better against a single monster (e.g. an Act Boss) while Fend is good when there are a lot of monsters. All have low mana costs, both provide % damage and Attack Rating increases at higher levels and are the best options for a melee Amazon.

  • Jab's fast attack speed will allow you to get the quickest hits, which can be very handy for delivering lots of elemental damage and crushing blow to one creature.
  • Fend allows you to strike every enemy within range of you, with a good amount of damage
  • Impale's slow attack makes it less useful, but against slow monsters and bosses will it still be a very helpful and damaging skill, and will deal the most damage per hit. Izual is an example of such a boss.

2. I heard that Fend is bugged. Is this true?

Yes. Currently, in 1.11b, Fend has a bug which makes it so that when you are in the middle of a Fend sequence, if something triggers your dodge/avoid/evade skills, it will cause all remaining attacks in the Fend cycle to miss their targets entirely. The only known way to combat this, as of right now, is to not put any points into dodge, avoid, and evade, which disallows access to Valkyrie as well.

3. Is Jab speed dependent on the weapon speed?

Yes, after the expansion pack was released, the weapon speed became a factor which determines the rate you jab away at the monsters.

4. I heard Lightning Strike sucks, why is that?

It doesn't really suck, so much as it is outshone by it's lightning-based relatives, charged strike and lightning fury. Lightning Strike was clearly designed to handle groups of enemies, as suggested by it's chain lightning-like effect, but Lightning Fury does this far more effectively, given a decent amount of peircing. Also, in order to trigger Lightning Strike, you must be in melee range, while Lightning Fury can be used from a distance away.

That said, it can at times be more effective than Lightning Fury against small, loose packs of enemies. When synergized, it's damage is fairly decent, and while Lightning Fury needs the packs to be all together to be most effective, Lightning Strike can bounce from enemy to enemy, sometimes appearing to strike the same one multiple times, and potentially doing more damage. However, once the pack is down to three or less, charged strike once again outshines it by far, as the bouncing effect of Lightning Strike isn't so effective against a group of that size, while firing a number of high damage charged bolts is.

5. How does Impale work? Should I max it?

Impale adds significant damage and attack rating to your normal attack. The drawback of this skill is the chance to lose durability {incurring substantial repair costs} and the attack speed which can be compared to that of a turtle. While Impale adds a LOT of damage (300%+ right off the bat) it is one of the "one hit wonder" skill that requires no more points than 1 only if a player wants to attain Fend.

6. Which is better, Plague Javelin or Lightning Fury?

Plague Javelin works in a strange way. When the Plague Javelin hits a monster, it releases a wave of poison clouds (each grid of poison cloud can poison a monster). The clouds gradually get larger in area over time and spread out further in a ring form (similar to Lightning Nova, but much slower in speed and larger in the area it covers). The poison damage duration is two seconds, which could be viewed as a relatively short time since most poison damage duration goes well over 4 seconds. However, the chance of the poison clouds intoxicating the monsters is not 100%. This could be due to the desynchronized display (meaning the server has different information than that shown on screen), but its not tested or confirmed yet. This is the main reason that a lot of players prefer Lightning Fury over Plague Javelin because the damage dealt is almost instantaneous. On top of that, Plague Javelin has casting delay of 3 seconds while Lightning Fury has no casting delay. Most players recommend putting only one point into Plague Javelin as a perquisite for Lightning Fury and to prevent monster healing.

Lighting Fury is already very effective at skill level 10, whereas Plague javelin needs to be at level 20 and requires some bonus skills (10+) in order to do good damage. Both skills can be used with the best javelins (cruel elites or Titan's Revenge) and with the worst javelins (cracked javelins from act 1). This because only the skill damage is important. If you plan to leech with your javelins we of course recommend to use better javelins than the cracked ones.

7. So, are the thrown javelin skills any good?

The two lesser javelin skills - Poison Javelin and Lightning Bolt - have their uses, but are less useful in general than their higher-level brethren. Poison Javelin has a higher damage, but longer duration, in general, than Plague Javelin, but Plague also includes the "burst" of poison for every enemy it hits, and does more damage per second. Poison Javelin is most useful in a PvP situation, where you can cause an enemy player to become poisoned, forcing them to go on the offensive before the poison brings them too low. Lightning Bolt is used as a physical immune killer for physical javazons and some bowazons, as it reduces the overall physical damage dealt, but converts all of that remaining physical damage into lightning damage.

However Lightning Fury in combination with the Pierce skill works best in areas with large creature packs, especially Hell Cows. Plague Javelin is good for preventing monster heal and doing some nifty damage at higher levels.

Both of these skills cost a lot of mana, but there are a few niceties about that. Plague Javelin has a timer which scales the cost over time to much lower than often thought. A small amount of mana leech (up to 7%) is already enough. Lightning Fury may cost more, but it kills better and better with each additional skill point. It is, however, not recommended to get extremely high mana leech. Instead, a better choice for mana replenishment is by using items that give "mana per kill". Due to the fast killing of Lightning Fury, mana per kill will swiftly fill up your mana pool again.


1. Should I try and get +skill items for my bowazon?

Depending on the subclass that the amazon plays, bonus skills can be very handy. Most of the time it is not to boost the physical damage skills such as strafe or guided arrow, but to boost the elemental damage skills and the passive skills. This gives the amazon more skills to play around with because she can save a lot of points in the passive skill tree.

If she has +8 skills and normally wished to put 10 points in critical strike, now she would only need to allocate 2 skill points here and thus save 8 for others.

2. I heard that bowazons are slow in cow level. Is that true?

Common misconception about bowazons is that its not as good as sorceresses or other classes in terms of killing speed in cow level. However, aside from Lightning Fury Javazons, bowazons are one of the fastest cow tippers with right equipments. Top-end bowazons decked out with a grand matron bow faith, fortitude, and 95% additional increased attack speed, can clear out cows using multishot with incredible ease.

3. What specs should I look for when I'm searching for items?

Amazons have some variations in playing style. For Javazon, you want damage reduce equipment, +life mods, and moderate resist. The rest will be supplemented by her passive / magic skills and the javelin skills itself. For bowazons, you can go two routes. One is to attain high base damage bow / crossbow (Windforce or Faith, for example) and go with +life / elemental resist / physical reduce. Another is to attain the fastest bow with moderate damage and go pure +increased attack speed items in order to shoot the most arrows in given amount of time, which in turn will make up for the low base damage.

Experienced Amazon users will not grab for damage reduction gear easily, unless they will fight hand to hand with their amazons. This is because they have learnt to keep their distance from foes and distract the creatures with decoy, valkyrie and mercenary. The amazon herself is rarely targeted and the usage of damage reduction has become pointless. These players will more likely benefit from armors that are socketed with IAS jewels for speed, enhanced damage or elemental damage jewels, or they make armors with good resist, magic find or a runeword. The two main options listed are the extremes. There are many paths in between and a compromise between damage, life, resist and speed is often best. Other tactics include goldfinding, magic finding and undead or demon killing. For these specific tactics one has to wear the appropriate items. Demon killing in particular is helpful because all act bosses are demons. Magic find will also help against these because they have the best chance to let something useful fall.

4. Which skills don't work, or are practically useless, against players?

For bowazons, all the skills in fire tree and ice tree are useless because of high mana cost, lack of homing abilities, and no base damage boost. Also, strafe's effectiveness in PvP is reduced because while you are shooting, you'll be stuck in one spot. For Javazons, you don't want to use anything other than jab, charged strike or lightning fury (depending on your build). Lightning fury has auto-hit property like guided arrow, although it doesn't home in. Jab gives you fast attack speed and is similar in a way to a paladin's Zeal, in that it deals several hits in a short period of time.

5. I get confused by the abbreviation and special names, can you define them for me?

Some of the common (and somewhat obvious) abbreviation are like following :

LF = Lightning fury D/A/E = Dodge / Avoid / Evade GA = Guided Arrow CS = Critical strike MS = Multishot

And there are several terms which amazons have given names for themselves in order to signify what kind of skill they specialized in: These definitions can be taken

Bowazon : Zons who specializes in pure bow skills. (usually not including magical bow skills such as immolation or freezing arrow)

Speedazons : Bowazons who specializes in shooting arrows as fast as possible. They usually use bows with low base attack speed such as ; blade bow, great bow or matriarchal bow.

Frostmaiden : Zons who specializes in dealing cold damage. Freezing arrow is her most used skill along with some other supplementary bow skills / elemental damage

Elementalist : Zons who use both immolation arrow and freezing arrow in order to deal almost pure elemental damage while controlling crowds or bosses. Usually supplemented by many elemental charms.

Javazon : Zons specializing in javelin skills and possible some spear skills to be more versatile.

Hybridzon or Hybrid: Zon which goes for bow AND spear / javelin weapons and skills. Playing styles vary for hybridzon.

Furyzon / Cowazon/ Cowtipper : More specialized version of javazon / hybridzon where Lightning fury is a main skill and makes use of pierce to kill herds of cows. Currently the fastest class to kill cows. Also makes use of such bow skills as either guided arrow or freezing arrow (although more rare than those who use guided arrows) to.

Spearazon / Fendazon : Very rare species of amazons (after expansion) which are now not seen in common field of bnet. If you see one, call Blizzard in order to save them from extinction.

Burizons : Amazons who use buriza. Enough said.

Tankazon (Swordazon, Axazon, Macazon) : Amazon that uses only her passive skills to enhance the fighting techniques with other weapons than what she normally is proficient with.

Wandazon : Amazon that uses wands as her specialty weapon.

Throwazon: Amazon that uses throwing potions and other throwing weapons other than javelins and spears.

6. Which Bow is Best? =

There are currently two bow comparison articles available.

AllNamesRTaken's article gives a nice overview of the prominent bows. Speed and damage are discussed as well as several features of the bows. Amazon levels are taken into account wich makes it a handy source of information.

Aric Ho's article goes one step further and also discusses the socketing options in bows and lists a larger amount of bows for the reader.

Both guides mainly discuss the bows for doing physical damage. Sometimes however, physical damage is not the type of damage you want your bow to use. More specific details on bows and equipment for your amazon variants may be found in Kirsty's Subclasses and Variants guide

7. I've seen amazons with Javelins carpet bomb the screen entirely with Lightning Fury in cow levels. How do I do that?

Lightning fury is arguably THE fastest way to kill cows after being maxed. Upon the impact, it releases lightning bolts that does quite a lot of damage (21 of them each doing 239-278 damage at slvl 20). Impressive feature of this skill is that lightning bolts pierces through any object until it hits the wall or travels certain amount of distance. Therefore, 21 bolts released to adjacent cows will also do damage cows surrounding the initial targets. What's even more impressive is that this skill works in conjunction with pierce. When the lightning fury pierces, the javelin that was initially launched will hit another cow and releasing another salvo of lightning bolts. Every time the Lightning Fury pierces, it allows the total damage to be increased exponentially. Usually, Furyzons (aka cowazons) go for +skill equipments along with Titan's revenge (adds +2 amazon skills and +2 spear / javelin skills along with replenishing quantity mod) and Razortail (adds 33% chance to pierce) Since razortail adds 33% chance to pierce, one only needs to put 7 points into pierce ( 67% chance to pierce, see earlier comments on maxed pierce) in order to get the lightning fury to pierce 95% all the time. More info in Flux' Hybrid Guide.

8. How can an Amazon deal with physically Immune opponents?

This is somewhat easy for bowazons while troubling for most javazons. The problem with Physically Immune foes is that you can't leech mana off them (since mana leech is from physical damage inflicted upon monsters. In this case, you do 0 damage) Therefore, there's no real skill that javazons can use to kill physical immunes fast enough. One solution is to launch a Plague Javelin and have them follow you around. Lead them in such a way that they get exposed a lot to spreading poison clouds. Lightning Fury isn't efficient as it is mana consuming and doesn't work well on individual monsters.

Javelins with high elemental damage can be bought from vendors and supply a simple solution. With a shield that has good elemental damage, such as Tiamat's Rebuke, will leave you with less troubles. If you have many sources of elemental damage and especially charms, you can use the jab or fend skill to quickly deliver the damage to your foes. It will cost you some mana if you have boosted them to high skill levels, but it is a sure way of dispatching of physical immune creatures. Also, if it's possible to hit them with lightning damage, you can use Lightning Bolt, which reduces your physical damage slightly, but then converts all of the remaining physical damage into lightning damage.

Bowazons have several options for this kind of situation. First is Fire Arrow, Cold Arrow, or Magic Arrow, since these skills all convert a portion of your physical damage into fire, cold, or magic damage respectively. Second solution is to either max Immolation or Freezing Arrow. This is the elementalists' or frostmaidens' choice, usually. But the mana cost will be pretty hefty. It would be much better and less mana intensive to max Ice Arrow or Exploding Arrow instead and use those to kill your monsters. The last one is to use lots of elemental damage from charms, socketed bows that can be bought easily from vendors and socketed with elemental damage runes / jewels / gems, and other items, preferrably combined with knockback. In doing this, you force an enemy to keep their distance, while pelting them with elemental damage they aren't immune to. However, this can be draining on the arrow stacks.

One final option, if you're on Expansion, is to use curses. Through the use of a wand that has charges of amplify damage, or by wearing the amulet Atma's Scarab, you can inflict Amplify Damage on an enemy, which may reduce it's physical resistance below 100% (Immunity in monsters is caused by having 100% or greater resistance). Another option, though you will occasionally find monsters that it doesn't work on, is to use the unique thresher, Reaper's Toll, on your mercenary, which has an excellent chance to cast decrepify, slowing the target and reducing the damage they deal, as well as letting you deal more damage, and possibly breaking their immunity if they had one.

9. Do Crushing Blow, Deadly Strike, Freeze, Blind, Open Wounds or %chance to cast a certain spell work with bows?

All special modifiers work on bows for as well PvM as PvP, but it should be noted that when using Multishot, any special modifiers will be applied only to the center two arrows..

Crushing Blow: The chance of lowering a creature's life by 25%... or so it is said This modifier was supposed to be the equivalent of the Sorceress Skill Static Field, however the effectiveness has been toned down.

Testing showed that it lowers a creature remaining life according to the following table:

Monster TypeRemaining life lowered by
Normal Monster1/4 Melee, 1/8 Ranged
Other1/10 Melee, 1/20 Ranged

Deadly Strike : The Chance of doing double physical damage.

This special modifier does essentially the same thing as Critical Strike, but works for all players, whereas Critical Strike is unique to amazons.

Explanation of Deadly Strike and Critical Strike is on page 1 of the FAQ.

You can leech from Deadly Strike and Critical Strike

Freeze : Chance to freeze your target

The chance to freeze a monster is dependent on the attacker level, defender level and the freeze bonus. There is also a penalty for Ranged weapons. The formula is as follows:

Chance to Freeze = 50% + ([AL + (B*4) - DL]*5)

Where: AL = Attacker Level, DL = Defender Level, B = Freeze Bonus from Weapon (default 1, Cham rune also adds 1). If freeze is done by ranged attack, the AL has a -6 penalty and the total chance is divided by 3.

Freeze length in seconds = ([(Chance percentage)*2 + 25]/25)

With a minimum length of 25 frames (1 second) and a maximum length of 250 frames (10 seconds).

Freeze will not work on cold immune creatures, champions, boss monsters, act bosses or players and their minions. Also, some monsters, such as most minotaurs in the expansion and the undead dolls in hell, can be immune to being frozen without being immune to cold.

Blind : Chance to blind your Target.

This casts the Necromancer Curse "Dim Vision". The chance calculation is as follows:

Chance to cast dim vision = 50% + [AL + (B*4) - DL]*5

Where: AL = Attacker Level, DL = Defender Level, B = Amount of items that can blind target - 1. Some items have a blind target modifier of +2, which means they count for 2 items for the calculation. A Sur rune in a weapon adds another point If the blind is done by ranged attack the chance is multiplied by 1/3.

The level of Dim Vision cast on the target = (Chance percentage)/5 + 1

With a maximum of 20. Blind will not work on champions, boss monsters, act bosses or players and their minions.

Open Wounds : Chance to have the target suffer and lose blood (life) It acts as poison, but is not poison. The damage inflicted is physical. It will temporarily prevent monster healing and can stack with poison damage. The formula is as follows:

Damage inflicted : Clvl=1-15: ((9*Clvl+31)/256)) * Modifier

Clvl=16-30: ((18*Clvl-104)/256) * Modifier

Clvl=31-45: ((27*Clvl-374)/256) * Modifier

Clvl=46-60: ((36*Clvl-779)/256) * Modifier

Clvl=61-99: ((45*Clvl-1319)/256) * Modifier


Triggers on a Player with attacker using a Melee Attack: 0.25

Triggers on a Player with attacker using Ranged Attack: 0.125

Triggers on a Boss Monster with attacker using Ranged or Melee: 0.5

Trigger on Other Targets with attacker using Ranged or Melee: 1

Where: ClvlL = The level of the character triggering the open wounds. It will not work on Physical immunes, champions, boss monsters, act bosses or players and their minions. You cannot leech from this effect. Every time a creature is re-hit, the timer and damage are reset, so it does not stack with itself. If more players have this modifier, the damage done by the player of highest level counts.

% to cast spell : Chance to cast certain spells on attack.

This works for both melee and ranged attacks. It will however not carry over on your valkyrie (so a valkyrie does not have the same percentage to cast a spell as you). Beware that certain curses or spells can prevent you from attacking for a brief period of time. Amplify damage is one such a spell that takes a while to cast, so you will be unable to shoot continuously for about 1/4th of a second.

10. What is IAS?

IAS stands for Increased Attack Speed – in other words, it makes you attack faster. Your attack length is dependent on the time you take to complete the attacking animation, and this is measured in animation frames. Certain amounts of IAS will reduce the number of frames at which you attack, and this is also affected by a value known as the Weapon Speed Modifier, or WSM.

The WSM is the number seen under “Base Weapon Speed” {listed in the Items Database}. For example, Windforce and Lycander’s Aim have WSMs of 10, while Kuko Shakaku has a WSM of 0. Thus, without any IAS, Kuko Shakaku will be faster than either Windforce or Lycander’s Aim.

IAS needed for certain firing speeds
fps *[10][5][0][-10]

IAS needed for certain firing speeds
fps *[10][0][-10][-40][-60]

fps tables for throwing of Javelins
fps *[20][10][0][-10]

  • All skills have the first value as attack speed. For strafe however, every arrow or bolt after the first one shot, will be launched with the speed listed as the second value.

To see at which column you have to look, take the weapon speed belonging to your bow or crossbow from the following two tables.

Base Weapon Speed - Updated
[10]Long Battle Bow
Long War Bow
Reflex Bow
Large Siege Bow
Gothic Bow
Ceremonial Bow
Crusader Bow
Hydra Bow
Grand Matron Bow
[5]Short BowEdge BowSpider Bow
[0]Long Bow
Short Battle Bow
Short War Bow
Stag Bow
Cedar Bow
Short Siege Bow
Rune Bow
Ashwood Bow
Shadow Bow
Diamond Bow
Ward Bow
[-10]Hunter Bow
Composite Bow
Razor Bor
Double Bow
Blade Bow
Great Bow
Matriarchal Bow

Base Weapon Speed
[10]Heavy CrossbowBallistaColossus Crossbow
[0]CrossbowSiege CrossbowGorgon Crossbow
[-10]Light CrossbowArbalestPellet Bow
[-40]Repeating Crossbow
[-60]Chu-Ko-NuDemon Crossbow

Short Example: You have a short bow as weapon and a total IAS amount of 10%. Whenever you count your amount of IAS, count all IAS, the IAS on bow included). Now, first look in the table for short bow and you will see it has a WSM of 5. Then you will look in the upper table under [5] and at 10% IAS. It's not there, but what is listed are the values 6 and 15. You do not have enough IAS to look under 15, but you have more than 6, so look at this line instead.

At the left you will see the value 13/3 as fps. This means you will shot at 13 frames per second. Now what does this mean?

The game displays actions in animations and these animations are built up with frames. 1 second of play contains 25 frames. If you shoot at 13 frames per second it means that you will hence shoot 25/13= 1.92 arrows per second, so it's roughly 2 arrows. You can see that the lower the amount of frames per seconds you shoot at, the more arrows you shoot per second. 7 frames per second will thus make you shoot 3.57 arrows per second, quite a difference.

But now, what does the 3 in 13/3 stand for?

Well that's a bit more simple to explain. This value is only applicable to strafe and then even only to every arrow shot after the first one. Strafe will have a starting speed of 13 fps, after which the first arrow will be shot. Strafe shoots several more arrows per attack and these arrows will be shot at a much greater speed than the first one.

Every additional arrow will be shot at 3 fps, which is about 8.33 arrows per second. A note must be made that strafe will make you stand in place for the entire volley duration. One can calculate this speed quite easily.

Suppose your strafe shoots 10 arrows. This means the first takes 13 frames and the other 9 take only 3 frames. The grand total of frames for your strafe attack is 1*13 + 9*3 = 40 frames. You will thus stand still for 40/25 = 1.6 seconds exactly. Another note is that for every minion you get an additional arrow for your strafe. Minions include decoy, valkyrie, mercenary, party members and minions. One requirement is that to get an extra arrow they must stand within about 13.3 yards of the amazon when she first shoots her strafe volley.

These arrows are shot at additional 3 fps, so having many minions near you will shoot more arrows, but will also pin you down longer for a split second... to be exact for this example 3/25=0.12 seconds per minion.

Bows in the hands of amazons cannot shoot faster than 7 fps and crossbows can't be shot faster than 11 fps. For other character classes one has to calculate the speeds themselves. There you only have to pick your character class, pick bow or crossbow and fill in the WSM. The WSM can be found in the above table. The outcome of the calculator will list an additional column with EIAS values. These are only interesting for paladin Fanaticism, Assassin Burst of Speed and Werewolf Fury. For questions about this we would refer you to either their FAQs, guides or forums.

IAS needed for certain hitting speed
fps *

IAS needed for certain hitting speed
fps *

All skills have the first value as attack speed. For fend however, every hit after the first one, will be thrusted with the speed listed as the second value.

The fend tables are still hypothetical and that testing is still in progress. A thank you to Flick and Aurikan for the fend research.

Again, to see at which column you have to look, take the weapon speed belonging to your spear or javelin from the following two tables.

Base Weapon Speed
Maiden Pike
Ceremonial Pike
War Pike
Matriarchal Pike
Maiden Spear
Ceremonial Spear
Stygian Pike
Ghost Spear
Matriarchal Spear
[-10]SpearWar SpearHyperion Spear
[-20]BrandistockWar ForkMancatcher

Base Weapon Speed
[20]GlaiveSpiculumGhost Glaive
[10]Short SpearSimbilanBalrog Spear
[0]PilumGreat PilumStygian Pilum
Throwing Spear
Maiden Javelin
War Javelin
Ceremonial Javelin
Hyperion Javelin
Winged Harpoon
Matriarchal Javelin

The theory from strafe can be repeated for fend, but the difference is in the workings of fend and strafe. Strafe only gets one arrow extra per minion that is within a 13.3 yard range of the amazon. Fend gets one attack volley extra for every minion within about a 4 yard range of the amazon. This means that if her decoy or valkyrie is close enough to the amazon she will hit every monster that is in her fend range one extra times.

The calculation remains the same, i.e. first fps value for the initial attack, every next attack at the second fps value. Note that with more than about 4 minions fend doesn't give any more extra attacks because otherwise she would stand still for too long.

Jab only gives one extra attack with the below listed faster speed. The sequence of jab will result in: Slow attack, Fast attack, Slow attack, Fast attack.

Spear Jab tables
IAS needed for certain hitting speed

Javelins Jab tables
IAS needed for certain hitting speed

11. Where are good places for Magic Finding runs?

Magic Finding (MF) runs are done by players to find good unique and set items. Common places for MF include:

  • Mephisto on all difficulty levels
  • Hell Diablo *WARNING* exercise extreme caution!!
  • Baal on all difficulty levels
  • Hell Pindleskin (through the red portal that Anya creates)
  • Hell Cows (MooOoOoOO)

You can read much more in our Magic Find guide and specifically for Amazons here and tables for diminishing returns and other common questions go here.

12. What mercenary should I get, and what should I equip him with?

This depends mainly on your subclass build, but the best choice by far is the Act 2 Desert Guard. Bowazons that want to do more damage should pick a Might (Offensive Act 2 Nightmare) mercenary, while the Holy Freeze (Defensive Act 2 Nightmare) mercenary is also helpful for slowing down monsters. Javazons don’t really need a mercenary, if at all the Defiance (Defensive Act 2 Normal/Hell) is good in Cows. Don’t ever use a Holy Freeze mercenary in Cows - it makes herding difficult. Tankazons (et al) would either like a Defiance mercenary to increase your defense, a Holy Freeze mercenary to slow those suckers down, or a Might mercenary to boost your damage though holy freeze is another good option.

The most important statistic on your melee mercenary’s equipment will be Life Steal %. Equip him with a very powerful spear filled with Amns, and he will hardly ever die. Combine it with a Shaftstop for % Damage Reduction and a Vampiregaze/Crown of Thieves, and you shouldn’t have to worry about him for most situations. The only problem is getting that equipment, and ensuring that YOU don’t die as well.

Act 1 rogues make good and speedy mercenaries, and if you're playing Expansion and are on the Ladder (only available through online play), you can give them various items to provide auras. For example, you could give them a Faith bow, which would let you free up your own bow slot for something more damaging. However, since Faith is an excellent choice for your own amazon, and a bit pricy for many people to put on a mercenary, there isn't very much these mercenaries add to an amazon's abilities.

The act 2 mercenaries that are not discussed are prayer, blessed aim and thorns. These are in general not very handy, but for amazons that lack lifeleech such as Magazons, a prayer mercenary will be quite good. For spearazons that use Lightning Strike, they will benefit from blessed aim to deliver their spear and gear damage other than just the skill damage. For people that want to get hit a lot they can benefit from the thorns mercenary. Don't forget that both valkyrie and decoy can be quite helpful here because they can be durable distractions as has already been discussed.

Act 3 mercenaries are of the elemental type. Also these can benefit from +skills to boost their damage. Most only choose cold for the freeze effect, but lightning and fire mercenaries can be quite good too, especially if you lack that type of damage. Unfortunately, these mercenaries tend to be very weak, and run out of steam quickly later in the game - not to mention the fact that your valkyrie, if you have one, now has to tank for two people.

Barbarian mercenaries are quite good at tanking. They can use barbarian specific items and therefore have a step up the ladder with helmets. +Bash skills helmets can be quite good and the Barbarian specific Arreat Face is a gem on this companion. If you need another tank to knock back the creatures from your presence, this is the mercenary for you.

13. My Amazon is not going too well in Normal difficulty – she doesn’t do enough damage and has too little mana. What can I do?

A lack of damage is usually associated with Bowazons in Normal difficulty, as their bow is not powerful enough. Suggestions include placing more stat points in Dexterity or using an elemental arrow skill (e.g. Fire, Cold or Ice Arrow). If you can give your Amazon 'hand-me-down' weapons - a bow with perfect emeralds or topazes are great for extra elemental damage. However, take note that to use these gemmed bows your character must be over level 18 (perfect gem level requirement).

Another option is the 4-socketed composite bow with 3 flawed topazes and a flawed sapphire (with a level requirement of 5). It is good for low levels until 18, when you can switch to the perfect gemmed bow instead.

Another common problem is a lack of mana in early levels. It is important to realise that this is only a temporary problem, as mana leech and +mana when you level up quickly helps. Therefore, most Amazons should not put stat points into Energy (unless you are a Mageazon). Try using Normal attack to conserve mana or be incredibly lucky and find a mana steal items - spamming Multiple Shot is not a good option. Try putting Tir runes into your equipment for +mana after every kill - they are usually very common in the early game. Items (especially charms) that give +mana also help out a lot, and they will most likely alleviate your mana problem until you reach higher levels.

14. Finally, I'd like some Formulae please


Physical Damage = [(Listed Weapon Damage) + min/max damage from all sources] x (X / 100 + ED from equipment other than weapon + ED from skills + 1) x Special Modifier

  • Listed Weapon Damage is the damage on your weapon. Socketing an Enhanced Damage Jewel or Rune into your weapon will act on the base weapon damage. However, if the weapon already contains a magical enhanced damage modifier it will act on the base weapon damage + 1.

Enhanced damage versus Undead or Demon works just like Enhanced damage modifiers from gear, except only versus their type of creature, of course.

The base weapon damage is expressed in "a to b" damage and can be found in the Items Section.

  • If min/max damage modifiers appear on weapons they are already calculated in the listed bow damage.
  • Modifiers such as "Adds 15 to 20 damage" are min/max damage modifiers.
  • The Special modifier at the end is normally 1.

If Critical Strike or Deadly Strike occurs the value is 2.

For Multiple Shot, the value is 0.75.

The “X” refers to your attributes:

  • For bows and crossbows, use your dexterity value.
  • For "hammer" weapons, use 1.1 times your strength value.
  • For all thrown weapons (even in melee), use (Strength + Dexterity) x 0.75
  • For class-specific spears, use (0.8 x Strength + 0.5 x Dexterity)
  • For daggers (and Assassin claws), use (Strength + Dexterity) x 0.75
  • For all other melee weapons, use your Strength value.

Multiple Shot not only lowers physical damage by 25%, but also elemental damage

Base Defense

Base Defense Value = (Dexterity x 4) – 28

Chance of “Double Heal” with Healing Potions

For Vitality under 200: Chance of Double Heal = Vitality / 4 For Vitality over 200: Chance of Double Heal = 100 – (10000 / Vitality)

“Double Heal” is the possibility of restoring twice the number of Hit Points from a healing potion.

Chance of “Double Mana Regeneration” with Healing Potions

For Energy under 200: Chance of Double Mana = Energy / 4 For Energy over 200: Chance of Double Mana = 100 – (10000 / Energy)

“Double Mana Regeneration” is the possibility of restoring twice the number of Mana points from a mana potion.

Chance to hit (in percentages) = 100 * [AR/(AR+DR)] * 2 * [clvl/(clvl+mlvl)]

Where AR is Attack Rating, DR is Defense Rating, clvl is character level, mlvl is monsterlevel. For Ignore Target Defense, DR is set to 0."

Replenish Life

Life replenished per second = 25 x R / 256

Where R is your total “replenish life”.

Regenerate Mana

Mana regenerated per second = 25 x [[256 x Mana / (25 x 120)] x (100 + %Mana Regeneration) / 100] / 256

Totals within the [ ] brackets are rounded down.


Total Blocking % = [Blocking x (Dexterity – 15)] / (Character Level x 2)

If your character is moving, then % chance to block is reduced to 1/3 of its original value.

Faster Run Speed

Run Speed = (120 x FRS Bonus) / (120 + FRS Bonus)

Faster Hit Recovery Frame-Rate Table


A FHR frame rate of 2 frames is not attainable for the Amazon.