This guide deals with many of the varying specs of the amazon character class.
Diablo II Strategy Guide Info:
Certain Amazon Builds have been around nearly from the day Diablo2 became playable on the realms. Last time I tried to describe them I kind of forgot the old ways and just listed what was more accepted nowadays, many years later. A lot of changes have taken place, skillwise and itemwise. I felt it was time to elaborate the descriptions of the subclasses I listed and discuss the evolution that has taken place. First I will have to explain the main classes and then we'll dive into the subclasses.
One note in advance that whenever I give a list of items, it is only to give some options. They are often unique items or set-items. It is merely a guideline, because people are overall familiar with these items. I will most of the time not list the exact reasons for indicating them either. If you are not familiar with their names, you can check their statistics on Diabloii.net or the Arreat Summit and hopefully see what's so special about them (explaining every little detail of the items will make this guide tenfold in size). There are countless possibilities open, so feel free to experiment. Sometimes experimenting is only allowed within bounds though, but you'll know when you read the subclass themes. So here we go....
First an important explanation of amazon classes. We distinguish amazons in several classes related to the weapons which she actively uses throughout the game. She can be proficient in three weapon types, meaning that she can use certain skills with them to boost damage or to get some sort of special effect. She is non-proficient in all the other weapon types. The weapons amazons can specialise in are:
- Bow or Crossbow
From this we have defined four main classes.
Bowazon: The pure Bowazon is an amazon that only uses bow or crossbow-type weapons.
Spearazon: The pure Spearazon is an amazon that only uses spear-type weapons.
Javazon: The pure Javazon is an amazon that only uses javelin-type weapons.
Tankazon: The pure Tankazon is an amazon that does not use weapons in which she can be proficient. This means no spears, no javelins and no bows or crossbows.
The Hybrid: Next to these pure classes we have the mixture class, the Hybrid. A hybrid is a character that actively uses weapons from two different proficiencies or one weapon from a proficiency and one weapon in which she is not proficient. There are 6 hybrid types.
- Bow/Weapon, in which amazons can't specialise
- Javelin/ Weapon, in which amazons can't specialise
- Spear/ Weapon, in which amazons can't specialise
If an amazon uses two different weapons in both of which she cannot specialise she will not be a hybrid, but just be a Tankazon. Example: Sword using amazon with an Axe on weapon switch.
Definition of being a pure class
Generally speaking people look at the main amazon classes and think that it's all about skillpoint allocation. People think that Bowazons are amazons that do not allocate any skillpoints in the spear and javelin proficiency tree. Spearazons don't use the bow or javelin tree and Javazons don't use the spear or bow tree.
I'm now going to state that this is not true. All the decisions you have made for your amazon concerning skillpoint allocation have no influence on being a pure amazon or a hybrid. It is the usage of weapons that puts you in a category. When you are leveling up you may not have set your mind yet or you are experimenting with certain skills. And anyone can make a little clicking mistake when assigning skills. You can always change the weapons you use, but you cannot go back on skill choices. Skillpoint allocation therefore should not define the main class you play. Your final decision on which weapons to use (and thus to a degree on which skills you will keep using) will define what class you are in the end.
Note that: Skillpoint allocation often does define the subclass you play.
Take for instance the Javazon. She uses purely javelins to either throw them or use them as a melee weapon and for that she can pick spearskills to aid her in battle. A Javazon does not have to be purely ranged, though she can be. Take a Tankazon using a two-handed axe like Hellslayer. She can easily discard the axe and start to use a spear for the rest of her "life". The switch from axe to spear will make her a Spearazon for the rest of the game even though she has no skillpoints allocated in her specific proficiency tree. The reverse is also possible.
These example show that even a Bowazon can have skillpoints allocated in the spear and javelin tree; that Javazons and Spearazons similarly can have skilpoints allocated in the bow and crossbow tree; and that Tankazons can have points in any tree. The distinction lies that pure classes no matter in which skill tree they invest points, they will not be able to use them all.
Most of the time the choice of the amazon main class is permanent, because once people invest points in either the bow, spear or javelin tree they tend to stick with it, but people are allowed to reconsider.
Definition of being a hybrid
To be a pure class you have to use either two weapons of the same type or have an empty weapon switch. To be a hybrid class you have to use two different weapons. I don't think much more explanations are needed, but there have been a few bends to the rule.
1. You may have read Flux Lightning Fury Javazon guide in which he describes that he uses Buriza on his weapon switch for which he has maxed guided arrow. Well... to his reasoning he stated that the crossbow isn't used that often so technically he would still be a pure Javazon. Given the former explanation this assumption is false. He actively uses this bow to fight act bosses, boss packs, certain kind of immunes, so by his own statements he says he's using two different weapons to great extent. It is important for survival and therefore, the Javazon the way he describes it is a hybrid. Some people will disagree with me, but I feel this is bending the rule just a little bit too much, since you really rely on both weapons.
2. When playing you solely use javelins, but when you face Duriel you decide to use a spear instead. Immediately after Duriel you ditch the spear and keep using javelins solely. Since this really is a one-time occurrence you are not a hybrid, though you have used it actively. This example is very debatable since the usage of the spear is important for survival.
3. When doing magic find runs you have the option to equip your mercenary with additional magic find and let him do the killing while you switch to weapons that contain more magic find. For instance, you are a Bowazon and just before you get the final blow on an act boss, you switch to an Ali Baba sword and a "Rhyme" shield and let your mercenary kill the boss. In this case you are not "actively" using the sword. Just switching weapons to see how impressing an amazon looks with a sword or just for the sake of gaining more magic find does not make you a hybrid or stray you from your class.
In this case you don't use the sword or shield and hence you are not a hybrid, but a Bowazon.
Conclusion: The definition of your amazon class is dependant on how actively you use weapons of a certain type.
I hope you understand the concepts of the main classes by now. If you're still clueless then it's probably my way of explaining things. You may disagree and on that I can only say: "To each their own, but this is the generally accepted rule".
Every main amazon class can be played in many different ways. Over the years we have clearly defined several of these classes and labeled them as a "Subclass". Every subclass uses her skills, weapons or gear in a special and unique way, which separates her from the rest of the amazons.
Some subclasses may look a bit alike. Depending on the weapon used, some subclasses can be built for more than just one of the main classes. There are also a few themes that are/can be used for many of the subclasses and certain subclasses are known to be available or extracted from other character classes (in this case I mean extracted from a subclass belonging to the necromancer, paladin, barbarian, sorceress, druid or assassin).
Overall Passive Skill tips
I will describe the bow and crossbow skills, and the spear and javelin skills for every subclass, but the overall tips for passive skills I will list here before I dive into subclass area. Sometimes I do elaborate on their use. Also note that I sometimes give an overview of recommended skills, but do not list the required prequisite skills among them, or list over a total of the maximum 110 skills. This means you will have to decide for yourself which skills to sacrifice and which ones to build up.
Inner Sight lowers the defense by a set number. Later in Hell monsters will have a great deal of defense, and maxed Inner Sight will still only lower their defense slightly. It's not extremely helpful later on, but early on it is very nice to use. In dark areas it illuminates the creatures in range, which is always 13.3 yards. I wouldn't put more than 1 point in it though.
Critical Strike adds a chance of doing double physical damage. This is very helpful to increase the amount of life or mana leeched. When your amazon does good physical damage this mod will become more meaningful. When your amazon does low physical damage it will not help that much. For Magazons for instance, it's often not a skill to play with. Overall a value of 50% (level 8) is profitable enough, though some will prefer a higher chance. Be wary of diminishing returns at higher skilllevels.
There is also a special mod called Deadly Strike, which does the same thing as Critical Strike. Observing people will then think that both effects can be put to work, quadrupling the damage, however this cannot be done. Whenever you have both Deadly Strike and Critical Strike the game code will not add both effects at the same time. It will either do Deadly Strike or Critical Strike or none of the two.
Slow Missiles slows the projectiles of ranged attackers by 33%. This includes arrows, elemental missiles and even the charged bolts released by lightning enchanted creatures. A very handy skill to have and it's range is as for Inner Sight a steady 13.3 yards. It also illuminates the creatures and is a good replacement for Inner Sight. The higher the skilllevel, the longer it lasts. Normally it doesn't take long to kill creatures so it's enough to keep it at level 1. However a few additional points won't hurt. Level 5 gives 32 seconds, which is probably enough for you.
Penetrate increases the attack rating of your character. This works for all attacks, melee and ranged. Some skills don't require attack rating and if those are your main attack skills, don't bother putting many points in this one. You can check which skills require attack rating quite easily. Simply look at your character screen and check the box where attack rating is normally displayed. If it shows a number, the skill needs attack rating to hit monsters. If it doesn't show a value, the skill will automatically hit (auto-hit) and don't require any attack rating.
You can balance your attack rating value with increasing dexterity and increasing the penetrate skill. Dexterity gives damage bonus for bows, javelins, and amazon specific spears. It also gives bonus to blocking for shields. It's therefore best to boost dexterity to a good height and then allocate some skillpoints in penetrate to increase attack rating. At least put 1 point in it.
Decoy is a skill that creates a copy of yourself which you can use to draw enemies out of hiding places or distract their attention from you. A Decoy has hit points based on yours, increased by the skill's level. A level 1 Decoy may vaporise because the skill duration has ended, but it could have taken a lot more hits. Thus, when your life is low (<600) stick with level 1 Decoy, but when your life is higher (>1000) consider putting at least 5 points in it so that the duration lasts longer. A life value in between of course deserves 1-5 points. Cast your Decoy far in front of you to lure out creatures or cast it to the sides so that you won't be surprised by flanking attackers.
Valkyrie creates a Heavenly shining spearfighter to aid you in battle. Well... aid is a big word, since she does pitiful damage. She can take quite a few hits at higher levels and is handy to use together with Decoy. Send your Decoy to one side and cast your Valkyrie to the other side. Overall she is costly in mana at higher levels and because she does little damage people prefer to keep her at low levels. The idea is to find a balance between recastability (level 1) or durability (level 20), where you like the balance in this is up to you.
Pierce will only help for ranged attacking. The arrow shoots straight through an enemy to hit whatever creature is behind it. It can pierce multiple targets and is incredibly helpful with many of the bow and javelin skills. Overall a value of 65% (level 8) is enough, but more is always handy. Diminishing returns aren't worth it. Some items give a piercing bonus. This bonus is cumulative with the skill and therefore be careful with allocating too many points in this skill. Extensive testing has shown that 100% pierce still has a chance to not pierce. This may indicate that the mod from item and skill do not stack, but more research has given the indication that pierce may more likely be capped to 95% (as are many things in the game... chance to hit, maximum resistance, etc...)
|Buriza-Do Kanyon||100 (95)|
|Vidala Set Bonus||50|
The amount of points allocated in these skills are really personal preferences. They have high diminishing returns, but it can be worthwhile in some cases. Especially for Spearazons and melee-Javazons will these skills need some attention.
Dodge is the chance to move out of the way of a melee attack when you are standing still. This is a very good skill to have when you are in the front of battle. It is less impressive when you are a ranged character whose purpose is to not get in contact with melee enemies. Depending on what type of player you are and your experience/choice of using Decoy, Valkyrie and/or mercenary, either keep it at level 1 (18%) or get it to higher levels (50% at level 12 is nice. 56% at level 20).
Avoid is the chance to move out of the way of a speeding projectile when you are standing still. It's good for both ranged and melee amazons, but again, depending on what experience you have with Decoy, Valkyrie and/or mercenary. Keep it at 1 (24%) if you know you don't need it or boost it a bit higher if you're uncertain (65% at level 20).
Evade is the chance to move out of the way of both melee and ranged attacks when you are running. If you plan to run a lot this is the skill for you (56% at level 20). If you think you don't need it, keep it at level 1 (18%)
Theme: Like a sorceress this amazon relies on her manapool. In several of the previous patches, Freezing arrow and Immolation Arrow could not leech and thus mana had to be replenished the natural way, but with recent patches this has changed, a fact which can let many aspiring Mageazons breathe a sigh of relief. A Mageazon's two main skills, freezing arrow and immolation arrow, are very mana-intensive, so being able to leech some of that cost back is extremely helpful. There are two primary ways of regaining mana with a Mageazon - through mana leech, perhaps with the help of other skills that do physical damage such as Strafe, or through mana regeneration.
Magazons are also often found to use +skills items to boost the damage of their elemental skills to kill quicker, but that depends a great deal on personal preference, and wealth.
I will describe both of the Mageazon subclasses.
Magazon build A: "the traditional Mageazon"
In previous patches, the "traditional" Mageazon would pour a great deal of her stat points into energy, using mana-increasing and mana-regenerating items to keep her blue bulb up. That may still be the case with Diablo 2 Classic, but in the expansion, we have a number of new options open to us. New items make it much easier to gain large amounts of items, such as Tal Rasha's mask, which gives a large mana boost, and Silkweaves, a pair of boots that increases mana by 10%, as well as gives additional mana for every kill you make. Also, we have access to the runeword "Insight", which gives us a constant Meditation aura, increasing our mana regeneration by over 300%! This allows us to forget about mana steal, and instead focus on getting the most out of our attack skills.
Skills that are predominantly used are Freezing Arrow and Immolation Arrow as her main attacks. She does not use any of the central bowskills because would detract from the elemental damage she's pouring out. Also, with low dexterity these amazons don't have high attack rating and hence don't use these skills a lot. Guided arrow sometimes does get used to deliver possible elemental damage that is on the bow to a single stray monster, however.
For this Magazon, some good sources mana and mana-replenishment gear are more or less these: (no strength value means no requirement or that it's a magical item, in which case requirement is item-dependant).
|Armor||"Chains of Honor" (Dol Um Ber Ist)
Que Hegan's Wisdom
Skin of the Vipermagi
|Gloves||Laying of Hands
Magical/rare amazon skill amulet
|Ring||Stone of Jordan
To adapt the bow requirements to the choice of picking a high energy value and having a lot of mana for the skills, it leaves basically the following main choices.
|Item||Req. Strength||Req. Dexterity|
This leads to a statpoint setup of:
- Strength: up to 65, or enough for your bow
- Dexterity: up to 65, or enough for your bow
- Vitality: As much as possible
- Energy: Preferrably none, though some if you're playing untwinked can't hurt too much
Note: one can only put points in Vitality and fix strength, and dexterity issues with items and charms.
The tactics are easy enough. Use Freezing Arrow, to freeze enemies in place, then drop Immolation arrows to lite pyres underneath their feet. Continue using Freezing arrow to keep them in place until Immolation's timer has run out, then use Immo again. Decoy and Valkyrie can be used to hold enemies in place, and can be particularly useful if your enemies are cold immune.
The idea is to get a good freezing time by using the cold skills and for that you can add cold damage gear and a few charms to lengthen the freezing time (each charm adds 1 second chill/freeze duration in normal, this is ½ in nightmare and ¼ in hell). This helps greatly for your freeze length, which increases your Immolation Arrow's fire damage over time.
Add a few lightning damage or poison damage charms for cold+fire immunes might be a nice backup, or use a fitting bow that does lightning or poison damage. Magical ones can be bought at act vendors, but you can also socket your own. Try to find a 4-, 5- or 6-socketed bow and use either Topazes, Ort runes and jewels to add lightning damage, or use Emeralds and Tal runes to add poison damage.
The recommended skill choices are:
- Cold Arrow: 0-20
- Freezing Arrow: 0-20
- Fire arrow: 20
- Exploding Arrow: 0-20
- Immolation Arrow: 20
- Guided Arrow: 0-1 just in case you meet stray creatures or cold and fire immune in one.
- Critical Strike: 1
- Penetrate: 1+ (Extra points to be placed here to flavor)
- Peirce: 0-10
- Valkyrie: 0-20
Passive skills extra notification:
Critical strike, only 1 as prequisite, no physical damage is done so no need to amp it. Penetrate, only 1 as prequisite, all skills used are autohit Pierce: in the 60% or higher will be okay. That's level 6 or higher. The rest can go into the other passive skills to your delight.
To max the usage of your pierce skill leave the skill at:
- 4 points = 49% if Kuko (innate pierce is 50%) is used
- 8 points = 65% if Razortail (innate pierce is 33%) is used
- 0 points = 0% if Buriza-do Kyanon (Innate peirce 100%) is used
Mageazon B: Modern Version, sometimes called "Vamp"
This Magazon type relies more on leech than on natural mana replenishment, hence the name Vamp. Over the last months I've chatted with numerous people and I've come to the conclusion that people make Magazons in other ways too and with some limitations I second the thought that they are still Mageazons. They're now more numerously used than the "old" version. One point brought up is physical damage and leeching.
To most, the definition of a mageazon is an amazon that uses Freezing and Immolation arrow near-exclusively. Her killing is mainly done with these skills, but it will not be all that bad to revert to other skills at the same time. Regaining mana by manaleech seems okay to them. Where Sorceresses have "warmth", Amazons have "leech". The statpoint allocation then changes into something this.
- Strength to use items, can be up to 110 (for Buriza)
- Dexterity to about 200 for Attack Rating and Physical Damage increase
- Vitality to your delight
- Energy the rest
This may be a big sacrifice to energy, but with all the items you can have to boost your manapool and with a bit of manaleech, you'll have no problems at all. You may not replenish your mana like a sorceress anymore, but to most, since the tactic of using this amazon still revolves solely around the usage and maintenance of your extensive manapool, it is. Debatable for sure.
The limitations in my opinion lay upon these Magazons is that the main killing is done by elemental skills, but they use physical skills on a regular basis, as well. This means your choice of weapons is more limited, as you have to pick something that has enough physical damage to be worth your time.
Despite being open to fewer weapon choices, the rest of your gear options remain more or less the same. Take the items from the first Magazons and add the following to the list of options. They are either heavy or good sources of manaleech:
(no value means no requirement or that it's a magical item, in which case requirement is item-dependant)
|Item||Req. Strength||Req. Dexterity|
The skill choices also change, as now you need to focus more on a balance of three separate kinds of damage. You will likely end up removing a fair amount of your cold damage, and dropping Exploding arrow, in exchange for gaining a physical attack skill such as Multishot, Guided Arrow, or Strafe. Each has advantages and disadvantages - Multishot can hit a lot of monsters faster, but since it's mana cost rises with each level and our purpose is to leech, that may not be the best choice. Guided Arrow lets you target a single foe, and it's mana cost drops with increased levels, which makes it an excellent choice, particularly for when there is only one enemy remaining, and it isn't worth using one of the other skills. Strafe strikes a balance, as it has a higher mana cost than Guided, but hits multiple foes (or the same foe many times). It also carries a damage increase.
The recommended skill choices are:
- Ice Arrow: 0-20
- Freezing Arrow: 0-20
- Fire arrow : 20
- Immolation Arrow: 20
- Either Multiple Shot to about 15 arrows, or Strafe 20, or Guided 20
- Valkyrie 0-20
Critical strike is now put to about 50% (level 7) to aid your physical damage and leech Penetrate is used somewhat for your Multiple Shot or Strafe. Pierce comments and other passive skill comments are still the same.
The tactics have thus changed a little bit. You still use Freezing to keep them stationary (Even if your Freezing arrow is unsynergized and level 1, it freezes just as well as if it were maxed), while lighting fires under their feet, but now you also use a physical attack to ensure your blue bulb stays full. With good balance between physical damage and manaleech you won't even have to switch to a physical damage skill all that often. You will also use the physical damage skill against certain immune creatures and in tougher areas. For fire immunes you simply keep spawning Freezing Arrows, but for cold immunes you have to use Immolation Arrow. Due to its timer you can use your Strafe and Multiple Shot skills in between.
The usage of a Valkyrie, a mercenary and a Decoy as bait remains the same. To get a good freezing time, again, use Freezing Arrow, gear that adds cold damage and cold damage charms (each charm adds 1 second chill/freeze duration in normal, this is ½ in nightmare and ¼ in hell). Add a few lightning damage or poison damage charms for cold+fire immunes will help you again in hell.
The best bow options for a modern Mageazon would be : Lycander's Aim (Extra skills, mana leech, but slow), Windforce (Lots of damage, mana leech, decent speed, but no skills), or Eaglehorn (Decent damage, +1 skills, ignore target's defense, but no leech and not a lot of skills). A Buriza-Do Kyanon would also be a nice option, a little slow, but cheap and good damage, with a lot of freeze length added in it.
Choose your own way for defining and building your Magazon.
Magazon Subclasses: Frostmaiden / Immozon
Subclasses within a subclass: Frostmaiden and Immozon. These two amazons are related to the Magazon in the sense that they specialise in one of the two elemental types, but most of the time also use a physical damage skill on the side. They typically rely on some sort of manaleech, since they tend to add physical damage alongside their chosen element.Stat choices and gear choices can differ from the traditional Magazon to the modern Mageazon.
The theme of these subclasses is that a Frostmaiden does not pick fireskills nor does an Immozon use cold skills. This means that next to either cold or (NOT "and") fire damage, the amazon now has also physical damage at their disposal, which makes it easier to compete with immune creatures later on.
Frostmaidens focus their build initially on doing massive cold damage. They max the cold skills Cold Arrow and Freezing Arrow. At times they even max Freezing Arrow, but that's an extreme - it adds precious little to Freezing arrow, only increasing it's freeze length (and 20 points for a quarter second of extra freeze length in hell isn't worthwhile). They try to get as high as a freezing length with these skills as they can through the use of some items and charms. Since Frostmaidens should be able to spawn Freezing Arrow without having to switch to alternative skills too often, they need a good balance between manaleech and physical damage.
One can pick high manaleech and less emphasis on physical damage by using a decent bow and some other manaleech gear like Gloom's Trap belt, Crescent Moon amulet or a manaleech/dual-leech helm like Vampiregaze (also good cold damage), Tal Rasha's Mask or Stealskull. For this (15+% manaleech) some critical strike and a low total dexterity value of about 200 is enough.
One can also pick more physical damage and use only one source of manaleech (less than 10% is possible). For this the better exceptional bows (Lycander's Aim, Goldstrike Arch) with a dexterity value of about 300 is good or an elite bow (Eaglehorn, Windforce) with a dexterity value of about 200.
Cold Arrow is mainly used on physical immune creatures and the skill used on cold immunes is either Strafe or Guided Arrow. Strafe is used more for a PvM oriented Frostmaiden, while Guided is used if she expects to play PvP.
For dual-immune cold/physical creatures, the Frostmaiden is forced to use either lightning, fire and poison damage charms or switch to a bow that does good fire, lightning or poison damage. Either that, or she must rely on a mercenary doing these sorts of damage, or one with the ability to remove the physical immunity, perhaps by use of the unique Thresher, Reaper's Toll.
Immozons max Fire Arrow, Exploding Arrow, and Immolation Arrow. Immozons are a lot harder to play with than Frostmaidens because it's natural not to choose any source of cold damage for these characters. The lack of a chilling factor for the Immozon can be fixed by a few different methods.
- Using an item with the mod "slow target by X%". In version 1.09, there was a bug that made this mod that caused it to make the monsters move at different speeds on your screen than on the server, which made for dangerous situations. Now, in version 1.11b, that's been fixed, and this mod is an excellent choice for keeping crowds slowed down, and it has the advantage that no monster is immune to it's effects.
- You can pick an Act 2 mercenary that has the Holy Freeze Aura to slow monster in a natural way. Be warned that some monsters, such as many of the minotaurs in act five, and some of the undead dolls of act three, are immune to this.
- What also helps is knockback, but that can be hazardous for using Immolation Arrow, since it knocks creatures backwards, outside the small firewall you laid under their feet. When knocking monsters into a wall the problem is solved, but in areas without walls you may have a problem.
As an Immozon you don't need much manaleech since Immolation Arrow is a mana-intense skill, but it cannot be used continuously due to its timer. You are forced to switch to your secondary skill which is usually Exploding Arrow or Multiple Shot/Strafe/Guided Arrow.
This means that you don't need much manaleech for Immolation Arrow, and if you're using a physical skill in between lighting things up, you should be more than fine, particularly if you're using a strong bow.
For physical immunes Fire Arrow, Exploding arrow and Immolation Arrow will all do well, but for fire immunes you need another damage type. You can use Multiple Shot and Strafe for if you choose physical damage and build your Immozon as a Vamp. You can also build the traditional way and deal by using either lightning and poison damage charms or switch to a bow that does good lightning or poison damage (remember that cold is rarely used for this subclass), such as Skystrike.
Physical Damage Bowazons
After these elemental builds I could discuss my elemental Maiden, but since that build can be created for both Spearazon and Javazon alike, I'd best discuss that later. So it's now up to discuss the builds that have as a main purpose the doing of physical damage. First up...
The theme of the Dexazon is to invest as much as she can into acquiring the highest dexterity possible. This means they increase their physical damage tremendously. They also focus on at least 1 physical damage skill, but are also sometimes found to make use of 1 or more low-level elemental skills against physical immune creatures. There are two major ways to build a Dexazon : Focussing purely on damage, or focussing on speed.
The majority of people find that for this a true Dexazon puts all her statpoints into dexterity, but for others it is acceptable to allocate some points into vitality and strength (for items). Putting points in vitality will boost your life to better values and putting up some strength saves you from the risk of body-popping.
Body-popping and item disappearance
Body-popping is the exploding of your body, dropping all your equipped items on the ground creating an "item shower". In 1.09, this used to be a big problem, but with the introduction of 1.10 (we're now in 1.11b), this was more or less fixed. Now, the only way to get your body to pop is if you have 16 corpses on the ground, then equip items and die again without collecting your old corpses. If you do this, the game refuses to put another corpse down for you, and instead throws any items you're wearing on the ground.
The other problem is with items disappearing after you die. Items have a strength and dexterity requirement. When you cannot wear an certain item (called "Y") yet due to dexterity or strength requirements, you can equip other items that have +strength or +dexterity mods and that can "aid" you in getting the requirements for equipping item Y. Nothing wrong with this unless you un-equip some or all of your items, so that you cannot use item Y anymore. It will show red and shaded in its item slot.
Now... when die you "un-equip" your items. Normally when you pick up your body there is nothing wrong. You simply re-equip all your items, but... every item is fitted into your inventory first, before equipping it. When you don't have enough room to fit certain items in your inventory and you don't meet the requirements to wear it, you will not be able to equip everything anymore, on which you will still see part of your body still on the ground and when you look at your inventory, not all the items are equipped on your paper doll. Your amazon will also say: "I am overburdened".
When you get killed in this state, the items you have equipped on the time of this second death will be placed on a second corpse. This shouldn't cause much of a problem, however, you now have two corpses on the ground with items on them - and the game only keeps one corpse with you between games, the one with the items with the highest gold value. In general, this means it will favor magical, rare, and to a lesser extent, runewords, over unique items - either way, it can make for a very unpleasant thing, to lose some items that are on one of these corpses, as there's no way to get them back.
One simple cure is to not fill your inventory, but keep some room. In that case the items you cannot re-equip will simply be put in your inventory. Beware that on death your potions will be placed in your inventory first, so before re-equipping yourself by picking up your corpse, you may want to ditch these potions first.
For Dexazons, dexterity requirements aren't a big problem, however, without allocating statpoints in strength, the strength requirements can be problematic. You can lower requirements by using Hel runes or the lower requirement mod that can spawn on jewels. Socketing those in armor, weapon and helmet can save some problems, and by equipping strength charms you also fix a part of the problem. Other equipment can still need high amounts of strength though, so this is why some people invest a fair number of strength points into their dexazons these days.
Strength to wear items/base
There are two major focusses when it comes to a Dexazon's gear choice : Increased attack speed, to reach a decent firing rate, and gear that adds damage/dexterity. There is not much I can say about this other than that I myself use the following full Dexterity gear. It's just an example of what's possible.
Kirsty's Dexazon Equipment
3-socketed helmet and 4-socketed armor with 7 jewels, +9 to Dexterity and Strength
Amulet of Nirvana (+30 Dexterity)
Tal Rasha's Fine-Spun Cloth (Set Mesh Belt)
Rare Gloves (+25 Dexterity, 5% dual leech, +15 Strength)
2 Raven Frosts (20 dexterity each)
Cow King's Hooves (Set Heavy Boots)
20 Large Charms of Dexterity (+5 Dexterity each)
Note that this setup is slow, but using Strafe as attack and seeing the killing power it doesn't matter.
Good +dex gear options. Mind that some of this gear requires a lot of strength. I leave it up to you to find out how much you're willing to spend in strength or in items that boost strength for equipping these items. Speed, leech, life and resist I also leave open for you to fix. Helmet: Crown of Thieves (25), Ondal's Almighty (15), Natalya's Totem (25) Armor: Greyform (10), Twitchthroe (10), Crow Caw (15), Atma's Wail (15), Vidala's Ambush (11), Aldur's Deception (15), Armor of Precision (11-15) Amulet: The Nahim-Oak Curio (10), Saracen's Chance (12), The Cat's Eye (25), Amulet of Nirvana (21-30) Weapon: Buriza-Do Kyanon (35), Magewrath (10), Lycander's Aim (20), Eaglehorn (25), Bow of Nirvana (21-30) Gloves: Immortal King's Forge (20), M'avina's Icy Clutch (15), Gloves of Nirvana (21-30) Rings: Raven Frost (15-20), Ring of Precision (11-15) Belt: Razortail (15), Credendum (10), Tal Rasha's Fine-Spun Cloth (20), Belt of Precision (11-15) Boots: Waterwalk (15), Tancred's Hobnails (10), Cow King boots (20), Sander's Riprap (10), Boots of Precision (11-15)
Early bows and crossbows: Leadcrow (10), Ichorsting (20), Hellclap (12)
The side of Low Strength mostly non-dexterity gear: Just some suggestions. I will only list the strength, and only for items up to 65, which is manageable for an average Dexazon setup with little strength modifiers. Helmet: Undead Crown (55), Peasant Crown (20), Rockstopper (43), Stealskull (59), Black Horn Face (55), Harlequin Crest (50), M'avina's True Sight (0), Natalya's Totem (58), Naj's Circlet (0), Tal Rasha's Horadric Crest (55) Armor: Greyfrom (20), Twitchthroe (27), Spirit Shroud (38), Skin of the Vipermagi (24), Skin of the Flayed One (43), Spirit Forge (44), Duriel's Shell (65), Que-Hegan's Wisdom (55), Haemosu's Adament (52) Gloves: Hands of Broc (0), Bloodfist (0), Venom Grip (20), Gravepalm (20), Ghoulhide (58), Laying of Hands (50), M'avina's Icy Clutch (20), Magnus Skin (20), Sander's Gloves (20) Belt: Lenymoe, Goldwrap (45), Bladebuckle (60), String of Ears (20), Razortail (20), Gloom's Trap (58), Nosferatu Coil (50), Credendum (65), M'avina's Tenet (20), Tal Rasha's Fine-Spun Cloth (47) Boots: Hotspur (0), Goblin Toe (50), Infernostride (20), Waterwalk (18), Natalya's Soul (65), Sander's Riprap (18) Weapon: High damaging unique and set bows require lots of strength. You can choose for: Witchwild String (65), Endless Hail (58), Kuko Shakaku (53), Langer Briser (52), Pus Spitter (32) Or pick an elite bow with a Cruel mod or some other from of enhanced damage: Shadow Bow (52), Spider Bow (64). Amulet and Rings: anything to make up for your deficiencies.
- Death's Hand (gloves) + Death's Guard (belt).
- 2 items out of: Sigon's Wrap (60, belt) + Sigon's Gage (60, gauntlets) + Sigon's Sabot (70, boots)
- The Cow set is nice, all or individual: Hat (20), Hide (27), Hooves (18)
The Dexazon is an amazon that is built for doing high physical damage. Due to it's Dexterity it also has extremely high Attack Rating, perfect for the non-autohit bowskills. The main bowskill choice is therefore either Multiple Shot, Strafe or Guided Arrow. More often Guided arrow is just used as a secondary skill because it is lousy in crowd control. Secondary an elemental skill is used. This is most of the time Freezing Arrow for area effect and good cold damage. Because physical damage is so very high leeching is easy and 5% manaleech is enough to spawn Freezing Arrow continuously.
Physical immune creatures give problems and the Dexazon needs some way to solve this problem. They cannot shoot freezing arrows too much because they don't have the large amount of mana and fast replenishment as the Magazons do. Their options are elemental damage charms, using a mercenary that is filled with elemental damage sources or use a bow on switch that contains good elemental damage. For a group of physical immunes the amazon can attack each of them separately, but another option is to use strafe to deliver the damage to multiple creatures at the same time. When mana runs out however, it's back to normal attack or skills that cost little mana like magic arrow, high level guided arrow or one of the low level elemental arrows.
The suggested skills are summed up by
- Multiple Shot: 1-15 or Strafe: 6-20
- Guided Arrow: 1-20
- Freezing Arrow: 20 or another elemental skill
- Critical Strike: 20
- Pierce: 8+ (65%+)
A Speedazon goes for the maximum amount of speed possible in killing creatures. I would have loved to refer everyone to Dinho's Speedazon guide, but that is not listed in the Strategy Compendium. Therefore I have to sum up a few main points.
The main theme is speed. The skills used are personal preferences. Overall you have to make make sure that you can leech enough mana back to use your main skillchoice without interruption. Immolation Arrow has a timer and is definitely not going to be your main skill. The only thing that can be discussed about this subclass is how to obtain the maximum speed.
Speedtables for bows and crossbows are listed in the FAQ. I will recapitulate only the fastest shooting rate. Shooting rate is expressed in frames per second (fps). The lower this value, the faster you will shoot.
[speed class: -10] Hunter's, Composite, Razor, Double, Blade, Great, Matriarchal 142% Improved Attack Speed needed to reach the maximum speed of 7 fps.
[speed class: 0] Long, Short Battle, Stag, Short War, Cedar, Short Siege, Ashwood, Rune, Ward, Diamond, Shadow 200% Improved Attack Speed needed to reach the maximum speed of 7 fps.
 Short, Edge, Spider 125% Improved Attack Speed needed to reach a speed of 8 fps. 240% Improved Attack Speed needed to reach the maximum speed of 7 fps.
 Long Battle, Long War, Reflex, Large Siege, Gothic, Ceremonial, Hydra, Crusader, Grand Matron 147% Improved Attack Speed needed to reach the maximum speed of 8 fps.
Improved Attack Speed (IAS) options are
Helmet: Stealskull (10%), M'Avina's True Sight (30%) Amulet: Cat's Eye (20%), Highlord's Wrath (20%) Armor: Twitchthroe (20%), Crow Caw (15%) Gloves: Magical gloves (20%), Lavagout (20%), Laying of Hands (20%), Magnus Skin (20%), Sander's Gloves (20%) Belt: Goldwrap (10%), Nosferatu Coil (10%)
Innate IAS on the bow
Socketing a "shael" rune in your bow: 20% IAS
Sigon Boots and Gloves: 30% IAS
Death Gloves and Belt: 30% IAS
Socketing a jewel in your bow, armor or helmet: 15% IAS
3 socketed helm (45%)
4 socketed armor (60%)
Other Bowazon themes
The Sniper is one that attacks from afar. The main skills are Guided Arrow for single targets, and Multiple Shot for groups. Magic Arrow is used as a backup against physical immunes. Guided Arrow gives the illusion of being heat-seeking and Magic Arrow looks like the same soaring fast projectile. There is little to say about this amazon, other than that she is often fast and does incredible damage. She can have any setup, but most of the time it will be Speedazon related. She will go for a fast hit and run tactic. This involves fast run and often a good Evade skill value because she is running most of the time.
Another feature is the accuracy of her attack, which enables her to increase her damage (high Critical Strike) and chance to pierce. Often Lycander's Aim, Eaglehorn, Windforce, M'avina's or Buriza (no pierce needed) are used as weapons.
Guided Arrow: 20
Multiple Shot : 10-20
Magic Arrow: 1-20
Critical Strike: 8-20
The Multi-Strafer uses both Multiple Shot and Strafe to her advantage to attack as many creatures as she can at the same time. When monsters come from only one side, Multiple Shot is put to use and when they come from several sides Strafe will be used. She is another intermediate of the Dexazon and the Speedazon, except that she does not take the luxury of picking any elemental skills. She puts her skillpoints in other skills beneficial to her theme of doing physical damage against multiple creatures. She must use charms, gear or weapon switch in order to get elemental damage. To succeed with both of these skills, she needs good attack rating, which is partially provided by high dexterity and for the other part provided by high Penetrate. A good to great value for Critical Strike is a nice addition to her damage and high pierce should not be forgotten.
Multiple Shot: 20
Critical Strike: 8-20
There is a subclass called the Multizon, which uses a maxed Multiple Shot as main attack. Very powerful for crowd control and good for players who don't want to bother about adjusting the "fanning out" of Multiple Shot. Clicking closer to you makes Multiple Shot fan out more, clicking further away from you makes it shoot arrows closer together.
Often this amazon has an elemental skill such as Freezing Arrow or Immolation Arrow also and a good value for guided arrow. The Multizon is a version of the Multi-Strafer that is not set to just doing physical damage and she can use an elemental skill. Often elemental damage is delivered through items, charms and sockets though, so no changing from Multiple Shot to an elemental skill is needed.
Multiple Shot: 20
Guided Arrow: 10-20
Freezing Arrow or Immolation Arrow: 20
Critical Strike: 8-20
Penetrate: up to 10
Another subclass that has emerged lately is the Burizon. This CrossBowazon's only true features are that it uses the powerful crossbow Buriza-Do Kyanon in conjunction with maxed elemental skill and/or strafe. It is one of the easiest classes to make and a real cookiecutter. Many people hate this amazon because she's so easy to play with. The reasons I will list below.
- Buriza does high cold damage
- Buriza can freeze enemies incredibly well
- Buriza has maxed pierce
- Buriza has high physical damage
- Buriza is quite fast for crossbows
- Buriza has good Dexterity bonus
Seeing Buriza has high cold damage it doesn't really need a cold skill, but often Freezing arrow is used. If you remember how Fire, Magic, and Cold arrows work, it is easy to use Buriza's high physical damage and additional cold damage, coupled with a single point in any of these, to take out physical immunes. Lightning and poison charms aren't that hard to come by, so Burizons can have all of the 6 damage types covered without spending more than 2 points in elemental skills.
A burizon does have to be careful when using strafe - she fires more slowly than bow-users do, unfortunately, so she can get locked in place for longer than she might like.
Guided Arrow: 20
Multiple Shot/strafe: 10-20
Critical Strike: 1-8
Fire/Cold Arrow: 1
(idea of Kirsty)
The Rebelzon is one of my own trademarks. I basically created her to investigate the viability of the lesser skills and the lack of uberskills. She was also built without using the most powerful exceptional ranged weapon named Buriza-Do Kyanon. She was created to prove that the most powerful skills and items aren't needed for finishing Hell. Her build quite simple. First she started out as an average amazon, except that she didn't use skills further down the bow tree. I'll list what I did.
Cold Arrow: 20. Possible variant: Ice Arrow.
Magic Arrow: 20
Fire Arrow: 20. Possible variant: Exploding Arrow
Other Skills: 0
Inner Sight: 1
Slow Missiles: 5
Critical Strike: 1
Other skills: 0
Resist: very low
Basically I started out putting points into energy so I could start shooting cold and fire arrows non-stop. I figured that I wanted to test Windforce with this build later on to notice any differences between good bow and bad bow, so I put up high strength and enough dexterity to equip it, some extra dexterity to boost attack rating for magic arrow. The main skill is Decoy and is permanently on the right mouse button.
It takes a while of getting used to playing such an extreme character, but once you get into it, you know how careful you must be and you can finish Hell with minor difficulties. Only resistances will get in your way once you get enough experience in recasting your Decoy to avoid getting wallowed in melee combat range. After I finished Hell with her I was asked to re-play Hell without her clothes and gear, but just with a bow and a sash for potions. The term Nakedzon emerged which means she only uses a bow and a sash. In my case I have re-done Hell naked with three different bows and found little difficulty. The only difficulty you should have are act 4 and act 5, where a few annoying creatures come into play. The bows in question were Windforce, Kuko Shakaku and Lycander's Aim. Kind of straying from the theme here (Kuko has pierce, Windforce has high damage), but it still feels like a nice achievement.
The comparison of the bows made Kuko a clear winner and Windforce got second place, before Lycander's Aim, place three. Mostly due to the fact that my physical damage was low to begin with, did Windforce perform less well than expected. The loss of leech for Kuko was easily made up with potions and its piercing mod and high additional fire damage gave it a clear first place. Lycander's Aim and Windforce performed well, giving me no problems with leech whatsoever, but the lack of crowd control due to no pierce will really get to your nerves.
Conclusion: most important mod to have is probably to have a form of pierce. The second mod important to have is elemental damage. Then physical damage, leech and things like knockback and bonus skills start to kick in.
There are a few more subclasses possible for Bowazons, but they can be created for other amazon main classes as well, so I will discuss them where they are best put to right or list them at the end of this overview. First I'll continue with Javazon subclasses.
The Javazon can be created in many ways, but since so many of the skills that synergize one another work well together in use, it's difficult to define exact subclasses. I have seen two good general guides with personal preferences, which are listed on the amazon forum. They belong to Talon and Angry. And I hope that one of the guides gets put up on a page.
Lightning Fury Javazon
This Javazon uses Lightning Fury as its main attack and a nice guide on do's and don'ts is supplied by Flux. Note however that a true Javazon class does NOT have a bow or crossbow on weapon switch. Flux describes a hybrid subclass in truth, but for a Lightning Fury build, his guide is the one to check out. A few pointers I will give right here.
The Lightning Fury Javazon purely uses the skill as a crowd killer. Against solo creatures, small packs and lightning immunes it is doomed to use another skill. Where Flux uses his bowswitch, a pure Javazon will take her sticks and poke them around using charged strike, jab, fend or even impale. For this she needs good defense, damage, life, leech, blocking or at least a balance between all of these. That is sometimes quite difficult, but it is up to you to find out how to handle them. It is best to cast Valkyrie in the center of the pack and Decoy on the side. Having a mercenary with you greatly helps as well. Now run into the crowd and stick near your Decoy. Fend or jab your way through the creatures.
If you seem to be running out of mana too fast, you may want to either find a way to increase your damage and leech or you can equip some mana charms, or you can even benefit from the usage of items that add mana per each kill - with the mass crowd killing that Lightning Fury is capable of, this may be one of the better options. Combine with some mana leech and Jab for plenty of mana regeneration.
You can also try out the viability of Plague Javelin, but that is only effective swith a great deal of points invested into both it and it's synergy, poison javelin, and the downside is that it cannot be recast very fast.
The overall statpoint allocation is
Strength: to wear items. Could be as high as 110, to wear Thundergod's Vigor.
Dexterity: to max out blocking and for boosting physical damage. Most of the time 200+ is enough
Vitality: to your delight, when going melee or playing hardcore put more emphasis on vitality and life. Put the rest of your statpoints here.
Energy: Try and rely on mana leech and mana per kill, rather than having a large mana pool - a large mana pool only helps at the beginning, letting you get off one or two more attacks, while replenishing mana in some way will be far more helpful.
The Staticzon focuses her attacks and often also the rest of her gear on doing lightning damage. This subclass can be created for both Spearazon and Javazon. Picking a lightning skill is often not the only way how lightning damage is delivered to her foes. If a Staticzon has chosen to also use items that give good lightning damage, she can deliver this damage by doing a melee attack that quickly hits one or more foes. That means fend and/or jab comes into play. I will list below the lightning skills that can be considered.
At level 20
At level 20
|Effect and Bonus|
At level 20
|Power Strike||Melee. 1 creature||6.7||1-648. + gear||Attack Rating bonus of 248%|
|Charged Strike||Melee. 3 bolts +1/5 levels||8.7||1-322. + gear on attacked creature||Charged bolts are released with the listed damage|
|Lightning Strike||Melee. 1 creature + 1 per skill level||9||1-295. + gear on attacked creature||Chain lightning is released with the listed damage|
|Lightning Bolt||Ranged. 1 creature||10.7||1-380. + gear||Physical damage is converted to lightning
|Lightning Fury||Ranged. 1 bolt +1/level||19.5||1-580. + gear on attacked creature||A lightning bolt is released per monster in range (few yards)|
Ranged skills will benefit from more amount of piercing chance. Especially Lightning Fury will be incredible when it hits more creatures after piercing releasing incredible amounts of lightning bolts.
Because you are going to fight with melee lightning skills you will have to be able to defend yourself. For this you need to get a good balance in blocking with a shield, dodgability, optional damage reduction gear and at least get a good value for dodge. Getting good defense is less important, as it's more difficult to do as an amazon, but if you can get a decent defense rating in addition to the rest it will certainly help.
What is also important for fighting melee is the ability to hit hard and hit continuously. For this a good balance between attack rating, leech and physical damage is a must. Critical Strike and Penetrate will be more important skills to invest in, though with a good number of +skills, they'll be a bit less important.
The recommended skill choices are
Charged Strike: 20
Lightning : 20
Lightning Fury: 20
Dodge: 1+skills (Try for 50%)
Avoid: 1+skills (Try for 50%)
Evade: 1+skills (try for 50%)
Critical Strike: 1+skills (try for 50%)
Penetrate: 1+ (first boost dexterity to a decent value for damage and maxed blocking, then increase Penetrate to increase your attack rating to at least a recommended 80% with Jab, if you use it often.)
A good mercenary to have is a Blessed Aim act 2 mercenary to increase your attack rating, or a Holy Freeze act 2 mercenary to slow your enemies down. The others are less useful. Also, if you're playing Expansion, particularly if you're on Ladder, you'll find that your killing speed is greatly increased if you can equip this mercenary with an "Infinity" runeword polearm.
Once you've finished with the rest of those skills, others you may wish to consider would be :
Lightning Strike Power Strike Valkyrie
Valkyrie will help by giving you a strong tank, while the other two will increase the damage dealt by the rest of your lightning skills.
Poison Viper/Poison Wench
The Poison theme can be applied to all amazons. All you have to do is get many sources of poison damage. For knowing which sources to pick I refer you to the Second Tao of Poison article. The theme for Javazons is that next to using poison from gear, she uses her poison skills as main attack. There are two kinds of javelin skills that can be used together when fighting creature packs. The main skill is Plague Javelin which you throw to one side of the creature pack. The other skill is Poison Javelin which you can use to attack the monsters on the other side of the pack until the Plague Javelin poison has ended. One can also instead of Poison Javelin use a melee skill to inflict poison damage on your foes. Be aware that to best use poison is not to attack creatures that are already inflicted with it.
Mods that are very helpful with poison are Prevent Monster Heal which does not allow the inflicted creature to use her natural health replenishment for an extended amount of time, Open Wounds which instead of letting them heal, forces them to take damage over time, and Chance to make a monster flee the scene so they walk away from you to perish from their affliction.
Poison Javelin is good for playing in early normal, but it will be less impressive later on. Plague Javelin will keep doing well, but for this skill to be really helpful you need at least 10 to 15 bonus javelin skills.
The recommended skills are
Poison Javelin: 20
Plague Javelin: 20
Dodge, Avoid, Evade: 1
Critical Strike, Penetrate, Pierce: 1
Normally you would think that the last skills need to be boosted to a fair amount and nice percentages, but this will already be done by all the +skills gear that you will be wearing.
The skill for Bowazons is Multiple Shot or Strafe to inflict as many creatures as possible. Try to get something that has no Poison on it - if you carry poison damage on your attack, it will interfere with the poison damage being dealt by your Poison/Plague javelins, which will slow down your overall killing speed. Good choices for bows are ones that are quick, or easy to equip, potentially with other sorts of damage on them in case of physical immunes - Buriza-Do Kyanon is an excellent crossbow choice, while slow, it has all the peircing you need and can do both physical and cold damage. Ravenfrost rings also provide free cold damage, letting you stick with other faster bows. For actual bows, depending on your amazon's level, good choices include Skystrike (for extra lightning damage and good speed), Goldstrike Arch (capable of casting Fist of the Heavens, excellent speed and damage for it's level, and bonus damage/attack rating against demons and undead), as well as the typical top-end choices, Windforce and Eaglehorn, plus the Silence or Breath of the Dying runewords in Crusader or Hydra bows.
There are a few more subclasses possible for Javazons, but the following are more specific to the Spearazons so I will discuss them here.
The Spearazon's main feature is the ability to do a fair amount of damage, accurately, to a large number of enemies quickly. Defense, damage reduction, high life and the ability to dodge attacks - maybe, see Fend - are very important as defense whereas high attack rating and chance to do a critical hit are important for attacking. The skills that are mainly used for physical damage are Jab, Impale and Fend. Depending on the choice of the Spearazon this has led to three specific subclasses. They can be created for Javazons also, who have an additional bonus of blocking with a shield.
The main statpoint allocation of Spearazons is:
Strength: Enough to wear her gear - adding points for more damage isn't a very good idea.
Dexterity: If you're using a sheild, get enough for max block. Otherwise, just put enough into dex to wear your gear - the damage it adds isn't notable enough to blow points here, and there are better ways to get attack rating.
Vitality: Every point you can spare. Life leech of 15% is the average recommended amount.
Energy: base value will be enough, given the fact that Spearazons have high physical damage, a minor amount of manaleech will suffice.
Spearazons benefit most from act 2 Mercenaries. Might and Defiance are probably the most favorable mercenaries, but one shouldn't underestimate the value of the other ones - particularly the Holy Freeze mercenary if you're using Fend with a two-handed spear. Barbarians make equal impressive tanks as act 2 mercenaries. Act 3 mercenaries can provide you with an elemental damage type you have not covered in your own build and act 1 mercenaries when used correctly are perfect for some ranged support.
The Jabazon is the amazon (Spearazon or Javazon) who uses Jab as her main attack. Jab is the melee skill that enables you to deliver the most hits over time. It is not incredible for doing high physical damage, because the skill gives rather low bonus, but it is an impressive way to deliver elemental damage and crushing blow to creatures at a tremendous speed. Every jab attack makes you hit one creature three times. The downside is that it only hits one creature, but it does hit three times rapidly, which makes it an excellent boss-killing attack when paired with high amounts of crushing blow.
The Impalazon is the amazon (Spearazon or Javazon) who uses Impale as her primary attack. It does incredible damage, but there are two significant downsides to the usage of Impale. First of all it is extremely slow and second of all, with every hit there is a chance that your weapon will lose durability. This is a skill that will drain your cashflow for repairs, but the damage sure is worth it. It will help greatly to have increased durability on your weapon or a self-repair mod so you can keep using your weapon for a considerable amount of time. You also should have some sources that contain increased gold dropping on monster deaths. That'll help with repairing.
The Fendazon is the amazon (Spearazon or Javazon) who uses fend to clear her path. Fend is the most powerful attack for the melee amazon, increasing her damage and attack rating by a large amount and giving her the ability to hit multiple monsters multiple times. That's not to say that Fend will make everything easy - there is currently a glitch with it that makes it so that when you dodge/avoid/evade an attack, the rest of the hits in your Fend series will miss, though you still have to complete the animation. This means that you will either have to deal with the fact that you will be doing a great deal of missing, or will have to go without dodge/avoid/evade, which would also leave you without a valkyrie, as these are prerequisites for her. That said, she does do a great deal of damage over time, so long as she's actually hitting, and can be a rewarding - not to mention novel - build to play.
The Tankazon is an amazon that does not use spear, javelin, bow or crossbows as weapons. She only benefits from the usage of passive skills. Whilst this seems a large disadvantage over other amazons it really is not. The extra physical damage, elemental damage and crowd control that skills provide can be replaced by a different setup of your character and by playing with certain adapted techniques.
Every Tankazon will need a Mercenary and a few are very handy to use. A Holy Freeze act 2 mercenary is a favorite which allows you to have a better crowd control, slowing monsters so you can deal with them more in a one-by-one base. Might mercenaries make up for the lack of damage, though good Tankazons can get 2000 average damage without this mercenary quite well. Defiance is another well used mercenary and maybe strangely, a Blessed Aim Mercenary allows you to ease up on investing in dexterity and Penetrate. Other mercenaries have their benefits, but as a Tankazon you really get more advantages with and act 2 aura mercenary.
Casting Decoy and Valkyrie will limit the amount of hits you receive and can be very important for survival. With high life the Decoy is especially put to good use with a skill level of 5 to 8. Tankazons do great with with the mod Crushing Blow, which lowers the health of a monster by quite an amount.
As Tankazon you can use either a two-handed or a one-handed weapon with a shield. The stat point allocation and skill point allocation for both these choices will differ a little bit.
With a two-handed weapon your physical damage will be a lot higher than when you are wielding a one-handed weapon and a shield. The downside is that you will be more open to taking hits, and your attacks will be slower. The overall statpoint allocation for wielding two-handed weapons is as follows:
- Strength: Enough to wear your gear. You COULD add more points in order to gain more damage, but since you're already extremely open to attack, you will want to get those points into life. Most two handed weapons require a fair amount of strength anyway.
- Dexterity: around 100, if that. Not too much. For two-handed weapons, dexterity only is needed to equip your weapons, but that can also be achieved based on the items you wear. For attack rating, get "fine" small charms that add good attack rating bonus and even maximum damage bonus, which is multiplied by high strength.
- Vitality: rest. Life can also be boosted by charms or gear, but it is best to get it to a fair amount by itself.
- Energy: base. No points are needed because the only mana using skills will be Decoy, Valkyrie and Slow Missiles. Base energy is enough for that.
More skill points will go into Penetrate because of the low dexterity and more will go into Dodge, Avoid and Evade because of the lower defense capabilities of the two-handed weapon wielders.
Tankazons that wield one-handed weapons will have a very important feature, namely the shield. With a shield there is a chance to block an attack, however it has been tested that for weapon users other than dagger or javelin, a shield will have a horribly slow recovery rate for other one-handed weapon using amazons. The statpoint allocation will be like this:
- Strength: Only as much as you need for your weapon. If you're going with a dagger or javelin, you need very very little, as dexterity will add just as much benefit as strength anyway.
- Dexterity: 150 or more for maxed blocking. The maxed chance to block is 75% and can be seen by checking the defense rating of your character. Hover above the value and it will show the chance to be hit and the chance to block attacks. Blocking is level-dependant, so keep an eye on it and invest in dexterity if you want to keep it to 75%. Because dexterity will be high, this means that attack rating will also be very high and less points are needed in Penetrate.
- Vitality: again deserves the rest.
- Energy: again not needed because only Slow Missiles, Valkyrie and Decoy will be cast.
The one-handed Tankazon will have more points left because he can save up on Penetrate. A chance to hit of 85% will be quite adequate. Left over skills can be put in Dodge, Avoid or Evade, or they can be used to max Critical Strike or boost Slow missiles, Decoy and Valkyrie.
Subclasses... one can hardly call them subclasses, but they have gotten a specific name. I am pointing towards Swordazons, Axazons, Macazons and Throwazon. Basically they just only wield weapons of these specific types. I can say which weapons are often preferred.
- Swordazon: One-handed: Head Striker, The Atlantean, Lightsabre, "Grief" runeword, "Silence" runeword, "Breath of the dying" runeword. Two-handed: Crainte Vomir, The Vile Husk, Todesfaelle Flamme, Swordguard, Doombringer, Grandfather, "Breath of the dying" runeword
- Axazon: One-handed: Butcher's Pupil, Guardian Naga, "Breath of the dying". Two-handed: Stormrider, Boneslayer Blade, The Minotaur, Messerschmidth's Reaver, Hellslayer, "Breath of the dying"
- Macazon: Onehanded: Dark Clan Crusher, Fleshrender, Earthshaker, Baranar's Star, Schaeffer's Hammer. Two-handed: Bloody Tree-stump, Gavel of Pain, Immortal King's Stone Crusher, Cranium Basher, "Breath of the dying"
- Throwazon: Deathbit, The Scalper, Gimmershred, Warshrike, Lacerator
Other favorite weapons include Cruel elite weapons and weapons with large elemental damage.
There are many hybrid subclasses available and I urge you to do some experimenting with skills you like and create a hybrid of your own. None of the hybrids have flashy names, but there are two known variants that have been seen in use.
Lightning Fury, Bowazon
Lightning Fury is one of the few Spear and Javelin skills used together with an assortment of Bowskills. This is an excellent hybrid, and used by a great many PvM amazon players. The idea is to be able to use Lightning Fury against large groups of tightly packed enemies to deliver high amounts of lightning damage, which you can then follow with switching to your bow to deliver the final blows, while leeching back the mana you spent using Lightning Fury.
One of the many benefits of this build is that Lightning Fury has such weak synergies - 1% per level in each of the other lightning skills you max. Even spending an additional 80 points to drive it's damage up as high as you can make it, you'll only increase Lightning Fury's damage by 80%, which can ultimately be unsatisfying. This is fine for the pure lightning amazon (See Staticzon, above), but using a hybrid of lightning and physical damage eliminates a lot of immunity problems.
There are two schools of thought on how to spread out your stat points :
Strength - only place enough into strength to wear your gear.
Dexterity - For a glass cannon build with high damage and low life, place most or all of your spare points here.
Vitality - Either none (for a pure glass cannon), 100 (for a glass cannon with a cushion), or everything you can spare.
Energy - None. You will be able to leech back enough mana with your bow skills to make this a moot point.
Recommended skills :
Lightning Fury : 20 points
Strafe : 20 points
Guided - 0-20, to taste
Critical Strike - enough to reach 50%
Penetrate - 1 if you're a glass cannon, you may want more if you've gone for heavy Vitality investment.
Peirce - Enough that with your gear (You should be wearing a Razortail for this build) you reach 100% peirce.
Dodge/Avoid/Evade - one each, or enough to reach 50%
Valkyrie - To taste, either none if you feel safe, 1 point for a weak tank, or aim for level 17 for a great tank
Mother of the Elements
The name is made up, but the idea is well-known to exist. Not many play it, but the build is quite viable. Basically this amazon maxes the four most damaging elemental skills. To fully benefit from the elemental damage, they possess as many +skills items as they can. Because of this, all other skills that are normally boosted to a fair amount can be left at base. To use the elemental skills one needs to be able to leech quite a bit and is often build as a variant of the Vamp. Good dexterity or high mana leech next to the +skills will be important to replenish the mana cost of the skills. The stat points will be allocated as following:
- Strength: to wear items. Main way to boost physical damage for leeching is dexterity.
- Dexterity: to 200, not really boosting damage by a lot, because this is mainly boosted by mana leech.
- Vitality: to delight. Whatever you need to survive.
- Energy: rest, to get a steady mana pool.
Skill choice is
Plague Javelin: 20
Lightning Fury: 20
Freezing Arrow: 20
Immolation Arrow: 20
Because you need all the prerequisite skills you may not be able to max them for a long time. The best thing is to moderate a few skills which will still have an optimal result. These skills are Freezing Arrow and Lightning Fury. Compared to the other two skills, these are impressive enough at level 10, whereas Immolation Arrow is best at 20 and Plague Javelin even needs more than 30. The playing tactics are easy enough. First you cast a Decoy and Valkyrie in front of you. Then you throw a Plague Javelin and switch to your bow. Shoot a few Immolation Arrows with a Freezing Arrow in between or shoot just one of each and switch back to javelins and throw some Lightning Fury's.
Overall the rule is that Lightning Fury nor Freezing Arrow should be used as main killing tools, but that the other two skills get used to full potential as well.
"The Elemental Maiden"
I guess that brings us to my own customized idea for an amazon build. It can be created for any amazon classes, but is best put to right as a Bowazon. This is not a full guide, but a good introduction on the idea.
- The Elemental Maiden is independent of elemental skills, but relies on elemental damage originating from gear. This means every equipped item must contain a source of elemental damage and to specify even more; the Elemental Maiden uses a 4-socketed armor and a 3-socketed helmet filled with elemental damage jewels and elemental damage jewels only. It is nice if there is a second mod on it, but the main thing you want is the highest amount of elemental damage you can get. The weapon often also contains 6 sockets, yet a unique or magical weapon that adds high elemental damage is also allowed. All sockets used must include elemental damage.
- Elemental damage must be diverse and plentiful and the usage of sockets will be the best way to accomplish it. The usage of charms however must not be forgotten. All four elements must be accounted for in about equal proportions.
- It is very effective to deliver the large amount of elemental damage from the gear by some sort of crowd control skill, so that it effects as many creatures as possible at the same time. For Bowazons this is either Multiple Shot or Strafe and for Javazons and Spearazons this is Jab or Fend. Tankazons will be best put to use with Holy Freeze Act 2 Mercenaries because they have no crowd effecting skill.
- I have found that an amazon with only points in Multiple Shot, fend, jab or strafe, can excel throughout the entire game and finish Hell without even allocating any other skills or assigning any statpoints other than for item requirements. Only some extra Attack Rating is needed. I have tested this two times for a Bowazon and a Spearazon and I feel that with some changes to the playing technique this subclass can be viable for less extreme players.
- Furthermore, elemental damage skills, if used are merely a nice cookie and good for diversity in attacks so you don't get bored. They aren't needed or supposed to be used as main attack, but they do add some good elemental damage.
The build in the way that I play it is very challenging and is not recommended for new players. I will list my preferences and explain what you can do to play with options that I don't use. After creating many amazons and playing many different variants I have learnt to play with a very extreme style.
For my Elemental Maidens I have -100% resistances in Hell. This is not really a problem for Elemental Maidens that use Multiple Shot or Strafe as their main attack, but can be troublesome for those that use Jab or Fend and come into melee range often where they are open to elemental attacks. My suggestion for other players is to get high fire and lightning resistance in Hell (50%-75%), to get moderate cold resist (0%-25%), but to leave poison for what it is and cure it with antidote potions.
Defense... I don't bother since I rely on my Decoy. Mercenary is not often used, but from time to time depending on area I do cast a Valkyrie. For melee-amazons I cast Valkyrie more often. High defense just isn't possible for the Elemental Maiden. She uses socketed armor, helmet and in the case of Javazons socketed shield as well. This leaves no place for Enhanced Defense mods, so by default, the defense rating of your Elemental Maiden will be terribly low. Nothing that can be done about this other than caution. A defiance mercenary will not help much, but a holy freeze mercenary will be more profitable in preventing monsters to hit you often.
My vitality will be kept at base which keeps my amazons with less than 400 life throughout the entire game. For melee-Elemental Maidens I get it up to about 500, sometimes 600. Well... for less extreme players it is recommended to get around 600 life for Bowazons and 800 or more life for Javazons and Spearazons.
Leeching and physical damage
My own preference for Elemental Maidens is to go with as little physical damage as possible and not worry about leeching. Life will be replenished by a few minor replenishment mods and by using health potions. Mana is no problem due to high energy and useful mana charms and mods like mana per kill. For other people however I recommend getting an average magical or unique bow and socket it with elemental damage jewels, gems or runes. Too high physical damage will ruin the idea of the elements doing the killing, so extremely high dexterity or physical damage is prohibited. I'm afraid you will have to make use of multiple sources of manaleech and lifeleech instead. (Note: I'm certain people will change this limitation in the future, like the leeching issue with Magazons is changed, but what can you do?)
Stats and skills
My statpoint allocation for all Elemental Maidens will be like this:
- Strength: to wear items. For Spearazons keep a maximum of 200 for item requirements. Do not boost it further for physical damage with non-bow weapons because you will ruin the theme.
- Dexterity: up to 200 for a good attack rating value and to wear items. Don't use it for damage increase for the same reason not to pump strength.
- Vitality: as said I keep it at base. I don't leech, so potions are the way to regain health. Only for melee-amazons do I choose about 75 vitality instead of energy. Other players will benefit from a vitality value of 100 to 150.
- Energy: the rest. Even though I have stated that you can finish the game with only using Strafe, Multiple Shot, Jab or Fend which require little mana, you have the option to use other elemental skills as well for a little bit more diversity. I will discuss that below.
Depending on if you play Bowazon, Javazon or Spearazon I would pick the following skills for the Elemental Maiden.
Multiple Shot: 15 to get 16 arrows, but better is
Strafe: 6, to get 10 arrows. Higher is possible if you are planning to leech mana and life.
Pick elemental skills for diversity and another good source of elemental damage. Do not use them more than Strafe or Multiple Shot.
Freezing Arrow or Ice Arrow: 20
Immolation Arrow or Exploding Arrow: 20
Other Bowskills: 1, guided arrow is costless considering you're put quite a few points in energy.
Spear and Javelin skills
Jab: 1. Jab can only hit one creature and more damage isn't needed unless you are considering leech
Fend: 1. Fend already hits all nearby creatures, so it's fine at level 1. More points to boost a bit of physical damage. The attack rating bonus can be equally nice.
Javazons and Spearazons can also pick elemental skills for diversion. Do not use them more than Jab or Fend.
Charged Strike: 20 (Spearazon or Javazon).
Lightning Strike: 20 (Spearazon or Javazon)
Lightning Fury: 20 (Javazon)
Plague Javelin: 20 (Javazon)
Other Spear and Javelin Skills: 1
Slow Missiles: 1-5
Pierce: 4 (49% chance to pierce will do fine for the secondary ranged elemental skills. Higher values are better but it's not really needed for Javazons and Spearazons who use a melee crowd control skill. For Bowazons it's best to put it a bit higher, but consider using Kuko Shakaku which has an innate 50% chance to pierce, which gives a total of 99%)
Penetrate: 5-10 for good Strafe/Multiple Shot attack rating.
Other Passive Skills: 1
For other people I recommend 1 to 5 points in Critical Strike.
I also recommend when going into melee range to pick about 50% chance to Dodge, Avoid or Evade and when staying ranged to get about 35% chances.
Bow: Kuko Shakaku (fire), Sky Strike (lightning), Venom (Tal-Dol-Mal, poison), Pus Spitter (poison), 6-socket bow, magical bow with good elemental damage (can be bought at act vendors).
Javelin: magical javelin with good elemental damage (can be bought at act vendors).
Spear: The Tannr Gorerod (fire), magical spear with good elemental damage (can be bought at act vendors), 6-socket spear.
Tank: The Vile Husk, Lightsabre, Baranar's Star, Hellslayer, Messerschmidth's Reaver, Stormspire, many more
The best socketing options for Weapons, armor, helmet and shield are listed below. It's overall best to socket with jewels because you can have more useful mods spawning together with the elemental damage mod. Try to get hold of a few rare jewels with two elemental mods if you can. You may be wondering how one can accumulate soo many jewels with good elemental damage.
Simple... craft them. The tactic is to keep flawless gems and upgrade them into perfect gems. Whenever you find a new jewel when you are leveling up, try the cube recipe a few times, but when it doesn't work, don't keep the jewel for too long.
Long meaning, don't keep the jewel when you have gained a few levels, because the mods on the jewel will be lower than the capacity of your level, find a new jewel and try crafting with that. Overall, the higher the monster level is, the better the chance for getting better elemental damage mods. Do not hesitate to change your gear often when the elemental damage seems to be getting low and certainly do not hesitate to re-run early areas in search for flawless gems (don't pick up jewels there).
This can also be done for getting elemental damage charms.
|3 flawless same type = 1 perfect same type|
3 Perfect Gems + magical jewel = new magical jewel
3 Perfect Gems + magical charm = new magical charm
6 perfect Gems + rare jewel = new rare jewel
|Best socketing choices|
|Elemental Sources||Rune in weapon
Gem in weapon
|75.20 in 5 seconds|
100.49 in 7 seconds
20.12 in 2 seconds
|5 - 30|
15 - 20
(11-25) – (35-50)
|1 - 50|
1 - 40
1 - 100
|3 - 14|
10 - 14
A few interesting subclasses have sprouted from the minds of a few visionary people that I want to share with you all. There are many more themes available if you only use your imagination. Hopefully the following ones will inspire you to come up with a theme of your own.
The Demon/Undead Hunter uses mainly items that give damage bonuses when fighting Demons and Undead creatures. The usage of sockets is again one of the ways to increase the damage of your character versus these creatures. It was kind of extracted from the Paladin subclass, the Undeadhunter, which uses the Sanctuary as his main aura to dispatch of the undead with little difficulty. The gear of choice is listed below. Skill- and statpoint allocation is all up to the player.
Helmet: Undead Crown (50% ED vs Undead, 50-100 AR vs Undead), The Face of Horror (50% ED vs Undead) Armor: Black Hades (30-60% ED vs. Demon, 200-250 AR vs. Demon, 3 open sockets) Bow: Goldstrike Arch (100-200% ED vs Demon, 100-200% ED vs Undead), Melody (300% ED vs Undead) Spear: Spire of Honor (1.5% ED vs Demon/lvl) Gloves: Gravepalm (100-200% ED vs Undead, 100-200% AR vs Undead), Ghoulhide (2% ED vs Undead/lvl, 4 AR vs Undead/lvl), Laying of Hands (350% ED vs Demon, 10% lvl 3 Holy Bolt) Tankazon weapons: Too many to list.
Socketing of Weapons
Eld: 75% ED vs Undead, 50 AR vs Undead
Pul: 75% ED vs Demon, 100 AR vs Demon
Socketing with Jewels: Prefixes
Diamond: 25-40% ED vs Demon, 25-50 AR vs Demon
Pearl: 25-50% ED vs Undead, 25-50 AR vs Undead
The Goldfinder theme was brought up by me as a guide on accumulating loads of money for gambling. After testing it showed to accumulate over a million gold when doing a Mephisto Gold find run, killing all creatures in sight and picking up all gold stashes that dropped. The listed gear shows the best way of accumulating better gold find. Skill- and statpoint allocation is all up to the player.
Helmet: Tarnhelm (75%), Crown of Thieves (80%-100%) Armor: Wealth (Lem-Ko-Tir, 300%) Ring: Dwarfstar (100%) Amulet: Amulet of Wealth (41%-80%) Belt: Goldwrap (50%-80%) Boots: Infernostride (47%-70%) Gloves: Chanceguard (200%)
Charms: Small of greed (5%-10%), Large of greed (5%-22%), Grand of greed (10%-40%) Sockets: Jewel of Avarice (10%-30%), Lem Weapon (75%), Lem Armor, helmet (50%) Shield: Rhyme (Shael-Eth, 50%) Tankazon Weapon: Ali Baba (2.5%/lvl) No specific Bowazon, Javazon or Spearazon weapons
Angelzon and Stormcaster
An idea we got from the forum was to create a passive amazon, like there is a passive paladin, who kills through thorns and items that give "attacker takes damage of X" and a "chance to cast spell when hit". Through some misunderstanding I thought that this subclass was called the Angel build, so I referred to her as the Angelzon. Later I found out that this was an error, that the Angelzon is an amazon build that I know better as the Stormcaster. This amazon uses items that give a "chance to cast spell on attack" and a "chance to cast spell on hit" to give a nice display of assorted skills.
Now I'm kind of in dubio on how to call both these amazons, but I will describe their gear anyway.
Passive amazon that relies on mercenary to kill, but more so on items that give "chance to cast skill when hit" and "attacker takes damage of X". A Thorns Act 2 mercenary is a must have. The idea is to cast a Decoy and a Valkyrie into the monster packs and have the thorns aura take effect. The idea was also that Decoy and Valkyrie spawn with the same "chance to cast spell when hit", but it doesn't seem to work, sadly. Gear is listed below... skills... well.. just Slow Missiles, Decoy and Valkyrie and 1 into their prequisites. You don't want to Dodge/Avoid/Evade with this build.
Statpoints all go into vitality and Strength to wear gear. Manacharms and manapotions fix manaproblems. Life potions and some Replenishment mods in gear help liferegeneration.
The best gear is that that contains "chance to cast static field when hit" for the obvious reason of instantly lowering an enemy's health by 25%. It is best to pick the Cow Set to gain this feature. The Hwanin set armor does provide this spell, but with a lower percentage. It is perfect on your Act 2 mercenary though.
Helm: Cow: Attacker Takes Damage of 10 Armor: Cow: 18% level 5 Chain Lightning when hit Belt: Razortail: Attacker Takes Damage of 1/level Gloves: Hit Power Crafted: 5% level 4 Frost Nova, Attacker Takes Damage of 3-7 Boots: Cow: to complete the set and gain set bonus: 25% level 5 Static when hit Two-handed weapon: Stormrider: 15% level 5 Charged Bolt when hit, Attacker Takes Lightning Damage of 15. Stormspire: 2% level 31 Charged Bolt when hit, 5% level 5 Chain Lightning when hit, Attacker Takes Lightning Damage of 27 One-handed Weapon: Dark Clan Crusher: 15 life after Demon kill, seems to work with thorns Shield: Tiamat's Rebuke: 3% level 6 Hydra when hit, 5% level 7 Nova when hit, 5% level 9 Frost Nova when hit. Amulet: Rising Sun: 2% level 1-10 Meteor when hit, Replenish Life 10, 0.75 Fire Absorb/level Ring: Dwarfstar: Magic Damage Reduced By 12-15, Fire Absorb 15% Ring: Hit Power: 5% level 4 Frost Nova, Attacker Takes Damage of 3-6
Dol (armor, helmet, shield): replenish life +7, Amn (armor, helmet): Attacker takes damage of 14, Perfect Skull (shield): Attacker takes damage of 20, Perfect Skull (helmet, armor): Replenish life +5, replenish mana +19%. Mercenary armor: Hwanin Armor: 10% level 3 Static Field when hit
Stormcaster, Real Angelzon
"Chance to cast spell on hit" and "chance to cast spell on attack" are the main characteristics of this build. Mainly this theme was designed for Bowazons which use mainly crowd control skills like Multiple Shot, Strafe and Freezing Arrow to trigger their spell effects, which results in a really impressive show. Often "Blind", "freeze" or "dim vision" is among the triggers, simple to keep monsters in one place while the spell effects kick in.
Helmet: Coif of Glory: Blind, Ondal's Almighty: 10% level 3 Weaken on attack
Armor: Iceblink: Freeze
Amulet: Atma's Scarab: 5% level 2 Amplify Damage on attack
Weapon: Pus Spitter: 4% level 1 Lower Resist on striking, Buriza-Do Kyanon: Freeze, Skystrike: 2% level 6 Meteor on striking, Witchwild String: 2% level 5 Amplify Damage on attack, Magewrath: Blind, Goldstrike Arch: 5% level 5-7 Fist of Heavens on attack
Gloves: Hellmouth: 4% level 12 Firestorm on striking, 2% level 4 Meteor on striking, Laying of Hands: 10% level 3 Holy bolt on attack
I hope this was informative... it sure was a lot to type. Egads!
Celine, aka Kirsty