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Guide:Mageazon v1.09, by Icewraith

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Diablo II Strategy Guide Info:

  • Patch: v1.09
  • Gametype: PvE/PvM
  • Class: Amazon
  • Specialisation: Magezon (Elemental damage bowazon)
  • Author: Icewraith
      Please note that strategy guides from v1.09 have vastly different skill and item stats, thus may not be applicable to the latest version of the game.


The mageazon has its humble beginnings in Diablo II Classic, where it shone due to the tremendous power of stackable, long-lasting immolation flames. With the huge nerf on immolation arrow, the variant style of play has been weakened but the better gear available and the availability of charms allowed the mageazon to remain a very much viable and strong way to play the amazon.

The principles of the mageazon are

  • low strength and dexterity, since the bulk of the damage would be from the elements
  • reliance on immolation arrow and either ice arrow or frozen arrow for fire/cold damage
  • no mana leech items at all, instead relying on huge mana pool and mana regeneration for survival
  • played and built like a sorceress, hence the name mageazon!

With heavy reliance on the two elemental skills, there is no need for a big bow that requires large strength. Likewise, the auto hit feature of the elemental skills allow the mageazon to enjoy 100% hit rate without having to bother with dexterity and attack rating.

Stats Distribution

Strength and Dexterity

These two stats are almost totally not useful to a mageazon. She doesn't need a big damage bow and she certainly does not need to rely on high dexterity to get her good damage, hence strength and dexterity should be kept to a minimal - 50 to 60 each in most cases as that figure would allow you to equip almost all the best gear for a mageazon. Just for show, here's some of the uber-gear that are strongly recommended for mageazons.

Equipment Str Dex
Silkweave 65
Frostburn 60
Gloom's Trap 58
Que-Hagan's Wisdom 55
Elite Caster Boots 50
Harlequin's Crest 50
Magefist 45
Skin of Vipermagi 43
Razortail 20
Kuko Shakaku 53 49
Doomslinger 40 50
Stag Bow Runeword 30 45
Skystrike 25 43

As you can see, with the exception of Silkweave (65 strength), the rest of the best mageazon gear all has a maximum of 60 strength and 50 dexterity.

As you can see, with the exception of Silkweave (65 strength), the rest of the best mageazon gear all has a maximum of 60 strength and 50 dexterity.


In general, with most monsters frozen solid or distracted by decoy and valkyrie, a mageazon has little fears, but more life is definitely good, especially for HC mageazons. All spare points should go to vitality upon reaching a decent mana pool.


A sorceress needs energy to sustain her magic. A mageazon wielding magic with a bow likewise needs energy, and lots of it too. A sorceress can spam high-level nova all day long with a 1000+ mana pool but mageazon cannot do likewise because the sorceress has warmth. A mageazon can only depend on a huge mana pool which will result in a decent mana regeneration rate.

Main Offensive Skills

The main skills will definitely be frozen arrow and immolation arrow. In the past, ice arrow was an option for a main attack skill because frozen arrow had lower damage then, so the chill time made a difference. Now, however enter the world of charms and you can easily hit just the same amount of freeze time with frozen arrow, while more damage and to multiple enemies.

One interesting perk about both frozen arrow and immolation arrow (ice arrow too), is that there is a significant boost for the skills at levels 8 and 16. Damage-up-per-level increased from 10 to 15 to 20 for FA and from 10 to 20 to 30 for IA. This means that there is no reason NOT to max both skills as damage only starts to get spectacular after level 16.

Ice Arrow (1 or Max points)

Ice arrow auto-hits and freezes for a good amount of time even without much added cold duration. The damage is lower than that of FA and can only hit a single target but the big plus point of it is the light mana cost (less than 1/3 that of FA), which allows you to manage your mana much better. Overall, a good choice if your mana is somewhat restricted by gear choices to provide greater safety such as in hardcore.

For a mageazon choosing maxed Ice Arrow over Frozen Arrow, I would recommend a fast bow (ideally at 8/2) and as high +skills as possible. In this way, you will be able to churn out as many Ice Arrows as possible during the one-second cast delay of Immolation Arrows. However, even then, I would still recommend 20 Ice Arrow and 10 Frozen Arrow for the mass freeze and cold damage of Frozen Arrow.

1 5 10 15 16 17 18 19 20 25 30
Cold Damage 6-10 30-34 72-76 132-136 144-148 162-166 180-184 198-202 216-220 306-310 396-400
Cold Duration 2.0 2.8 3.8 4.8 5.0 5.2 5.4 5.6 5.8 6.8 7.8
Mana Cost 4.0 5.0 6.2 7.5 7.7 8.0 8.2 8.5 8.7 10.0 11.2

Frozen Arrow (1 to Max points)

An auto-hit skill, FA does it's cold damage in a fixed splash radius of 3.3 yards and freezes all hit for 2 seconds (boosted by items) in normal. With pierce and a tight pack of monsters, it's easy for FA to be doing 4x the splash damage to each monster in the radius. Chance to cast on attack items works fantastically well with this skill as the chance of releasing a charge is very high with FA piercing and hitting so many enemies with one shot.

1 5 10 15 16 17 18 19 20 25 30
Cold Damage 40-50 80-90 140-150 215-225 230-240 250-260 270-280 290-300 310-320 410-420 510-520
Mana Cost 9 13 18 23 24 25 26 27 28 33 38

Immolation Arrow (Max points)

Previously, the power of immolation lies in its long burning duration and stackability. Now nerfed down to only 3 seconds of burning with 1 second cast delay, it's only chance of being a viable skill lies in the fact that its basic explosive damage (1.3 yard radius) is significantly better than in the past (especially after around level 20). The extra burning damage is just icing on the cake I guess.

1 5 10 15 16 17 18 19 20 25 30
Fire Damage 10-20 50-60 120-130 220-230 240-250 270-280 300-310 330-340 360-370 510-520 660-670
per second 8-10 31-33 60-63 90-92 96-98 101-104 107-110 113-116 119-121 148-151 178-180
Mana Cost 6 10 15 20 21 22 23 24 25 30 35

Guided Arrow (0 or 1 point)

You can say that GA is usually for the big guns to take out bosses, yet it is also a very nice skill for mageazons as well. When faced with a single boss, firing off your big skills is extremely taxing on mana, since you are wasting a hell lot of damage (cannot multiple hit and hence no multiple splashes). With decent elemental bow (skystrike, kuko, 1-4xx lightning bow etc) and 100% pierce, even a level 1 GA can do lots of quick damage to the boss at an affordable mana cost (well covered by mana regeneration).

Other bow and crossbow skills are largely useless for a mageazon and would serve at best as pre-requisite skills for the above mentioned three skills.

Passive and Magic Skills

With just a maximum of 47 (20 FA, 20 Immo and 7 prerequisites) points in the bow and crossbow tree, and requiring only very little points in pierce and its prerequisites, there's a whole lot of option available to pump into valkyrie or the evasive skills.

Slow Missile (1-4 points)

Chaos Sanctuary is the place of oblivion knights. High elemental damage with a whole lot of curses as well. A slow missile cast here and there will allow you to easily move away from the elemental bolts without fear since they simply travel so slowly. Similarly, against lebs and using a KB bow on switch, the sm'ed le bolts will not even come close to reaching you.

Dodge (1+ points)

Most of the melee monsters you encounter are going to be either frozen or engaging your minions (Decoy, Valkyrie or Merc). Chances are that the only melee you are going to face will be stray members of a frenzytaur pack that comes your way and batters down your poor Merc. In this case dodge might come in useful but not so much otherwise.

Avoid (12+ points)

When standing still and firing at enemies, there's always the chance of a stray big damage shot coming your way. Also, with mixed melee/ranged enemies, the ranged attackers may not always target your minions. Having around 12 points of avoid gives you the chance to avoid the attack a good 60% of the time.

Evade (12+ points)

While dodge and avoid are for an immobilized zon, evade is for the zon on the run. Beyond 12 in evade (50% chance) gives you rather severely diminishing returns.

Decoy (1 point)

One of your best friends after Valkyrie. Repeated casting of decoy in strategic locations can help you draw attackers off your back while you retreat or help you tank against ranged attackers while you pick them off with your bow.

Valkyrie (5, 10 or Max points)

A good level of valkyrie can take a severe beating and may even do enough damage to kill something on its own. Level 5 gives it a credible amount of life to tank with and allow repeated castings without draining mana too much. Of course, with a mageazon's good mana pool, having higher or even a maxed out Valkyrie can be more useful since there should not be much mana problems recasting even a maxed valkyrie.

Pierce (1+ points)

For a mageazon, it is quite important to get maxed pierce, whether by items or by skill. Check the total piercing of your items and get enough pierce (with +skills) to allow you 100% piercing.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Piercing % 23 34 42 49 55 59 63 65 69 71 73 75

Other passives such as inner sight, critical strike and penetrate are largely useless to the mageazon due to the low physical damage output and auto-hit feature of the skills involved. Also, it is far more important for a mageazon to max her offence skills and pierce before adding to her defensive passives. Assuming enough gear for level 1 pierce to be sufficient, a mageazon can actually max out her offensive skills and have 1 point in each passive at a mere level 49-54 depending on how many skill quests have been done.

The Dressing Room

The mageazon is not an easy style of play to dress, if you intend to be at least quite powerful. Most of the better gear fortunately isn't that hard to get and if you are on closed Battle.Net, there really shouldn't be much problems getting the basics since they are largely "junk" discarded by those ignorant noobs.

The main properties a mageazon should be looking out for is piercing, +mana, +mana regeneration and +skills. Resistance and +life should be kept enough for survival but the key is still the above four properties... offence is always the best form of defence (especially when your offence involves getting enemies frozen).

In addition, the +mana per kill mod is also highly prized, though not many items have such a mod. Several uniques mentioned - que hagan's wisdom, silkweave - have it, rare/magical jewels can also come with a "+1-3 mana per kill" prefix while TIR rune adds +2 mana per kill. A mageazon built around several such items can also go a long way, especially in lower difficulties since lesser shots are needed to kill a whole mob of monsters.

Bows and Crossbows

Bows are the most important piece of equipment for the mageazon, and you would want a bow that's relatively fast and preferably with piercing, +skills or big fat elemental damage. Some good bows are :

Kuko Shakaku
Cedar Bow
Two-Hand Damage: (27-30) to (75-84)
Required Strength: 53
Required Dexterity: 49
Required Level: 33
Firing Speed: 13/3 (11/3 with shael)
+150-180% Enhanced Damage
Fires Explosive Arrows or Bolts
Piercing Attack (50)
Adds 40-180 Fire Damage
+3 to Immolation Arrow [Amazon Only]
+3 to Bow and Crossbow Skills [Amazon Only]

Edge Bow
Two-Hand Damage: (17-21) to (50-60)
Required Strength: 25
Required Dexterity: 43
Required Level: 28
Firing Speed: 11/3 (10/3 with shael)
+150-200% Enhanced Damage
+1-250 Lightning Damage
2% Cast Level 6 Meteor on Striking
30% Increased Attack Speed
+100 to Attack Rating
+1 to Amazon Skill Levels
+10 to Energy

Both of these bows can be found rather early in the game and IMO, Kuko Shakaku is simply the best end-game bow for a mageazon due to its 50% pierce, nice fire damage and +3 bow skills (+6 immolation) coupled with a decent firing speed (11/3 with shael). On the market, both are not very expensive too, unlike the unearthly price of the Buriza.

Yet, in SP mode, they are still hard to find. Cheaper alternative is the Doomslinger unique repeating crossbow, THE weapon of choice for Diablo II classic mageazons. +1 amazon skills, 35% piercing and 12/3 (11/3 with 5 more IAS) firing speed makes it a real good mageazon weapon if not for the existence of the Kuko.

Zephyr (OrtEth) and Melody (ShaelKoNef) are both decent runewords for mageazons. Socketed into a +3 ashwood bow, you will have an 11/3 bow with either fastwalk and a little lightning damage (zephyr) or a +6 bow skills and knockback. Also, a Zephyr'ed razor bow is equippable at level 21, does decent damage and fires at a nice 10/3 speed.

Yet another no-hard-to-find bow is the magical shocking bow (with 1-4xx lightning damage). With the potential of 2 sockets and a good suffix (ideally cold damage for more freeze time), this bow will make a good backup bow against fire/cold immunes and could even hold its place among other good mageazon bows. Base bow type should have low requirements, and either be fast (composite, hunter's, razor) or with +skills (ie ashwood). Throw further lightning jewels or +mana/kill stuff in to make it even more powerful.

All in all, most bows work fine, but the six bows mentioned would really make a difference to a mageazon.


Again, the focus will be on +mana, mana regeneration and +skills. This brings about two main contenders for top armor:

Que-Hegan's Wisdom
Mage Plate
Defence: 542-681 (Base 225-261)
Required Strength: 55
Required Level: 51
Durability: 60
+140-160% Enhanced Defence
+1 to All Skill Levels
+3 to Mana After Each Kill
20% Faster Cast Rate
20% Faster Hit Recovery
Magic Damage Reduced by 6-10 varies)
+15 to Energy

Skin of the Vipermagi
Serpentskin Armor
Defence: 246-279 (Base 111-126)
Required Strength: 43
Required Level: 29
Durability: 24
+120% Enhanced Defence
+1 to All Skill Levels
30% Faster Cast Rate
Magic Damage Reduced by 9-13 (varies)
All Resistance +20-35 (varies)

While not easy to come since they are exceptional uniques, Que-Hegan's Wisdom and Skin of the Vipermagi are both good +skills armor. Que-Hegan's has good defence and generally more useful mods for a mageazon (+3 mana per kill, +15 energy) but Skin of Vipermagi has far better protection against magic (35% resistance and 13 MDR). I must say that mage plates look much better on zons than the iron-look of a serpentskin armor, though.

Another low-level unique missed is the Spirit Shroud, another +skills armor but with cannot be frozen property instead. For starters, Stealth (TalEth) is a decent armor with 15% mana regeneration while Smoke (NefLum) is also quite good with its 50% resistance and +10 energy.

Harlequin Crest
Defence: 98-141
Required Strength: 50
Required Level: 62
Durability: 12
+2 to All Skills
+(1.5 per clvl) 1.5 to 148.5 to Life
+(1.5 per clvl) 1.5 to 148.5 to Mana
Damage Reduced by 10%
50% Better Chance of Finding Magical Items
+2 to Strength
+2 to Dexterity
+2 to Energy
+2 to Vitality

Peasant Crown
War Hat
Defence: 92-108 (Base 45-53)
Required Strength: 20
Required Level: 28
Durability: 12
+100% Enhanced Defence
+1 to All Skills
15% Faster Run/Walk
Replenish Life +6-12 (varies)
+20 to Energy
+20 to Vitality

The harlequin crest's impressive array of +2 skills, huge +mana and +life as well as 10% DR has just about anything a mageazon wants (except resists). Socketing it would be difficult as a perfect skull would definitely devalue the shako, so perhaps a 15% res all jewel or um would be more fitting for this elite item. IMO both the peasant crown and harlequin crest looks terrible on an amazon though.

A rare circlet would probably look the best on an amazon but a good one would be hard to find. +2 skills would be great with some resistance and maybe +life, +mana or any other icing on the cake. From a cheaper standpoint, a 2-3 socketed helm with a combination of perfect skulls and/or perfect sapphires would likewise make a good mageazon helm.


If not for the presence of the two outstanding uniques, the caster craft would probably be the best bet for the mageazon:

Defence: 43-48 (Base 12-15)
Required Strength: 60
Required Level: 29
Durability: 24
+10-20% Enhanced Defence
+30 Defence
+5% Enhanced Damage
Increase Maximum Mana 40%
Adds 1-6 Cold Damage (2 Secs)

Light Gauntlets
Defence: 20-24 (Base 9-11)
Required Strength: 45
Required Level: 23
Durability: 18
+20-30% Enhanced Defence
+10 Defence
+1 to Fire Skills
20% Faster Cast Rate
Regenerate Mana 25%
Adds 1-5 Fire Damage

40% max mana is simply huge and to have cold damage (2-second cold duration) makes frostburn one of the best bet for mageazon gloves. Magefist lose out a bit with only 25% mana regeneration but the big plus is the +1 Fire skills, which boosts Immolation Arrow by 1 as well! These are normal uniques too, making them very cheap to trade for and not all that difficult to find. Caster crafts, on the other hand, are the alternative to go - Perfect Amethyst, Ort, jewel and a magical leather glove (demonhide and bramble mitts too) - would give you a nice crafted glove with: 4-10% mana regeneration, +10-20 mana and +1-3 mana per kill. This can result in some nice resist gloves with even the possibility of a +2 bow skills gloves with resists... woah!


Good mageazon boots are hard to come by... Silkweave is good but does not provide mods that are significantly better than a pair of caster boots and has a rather steep strength requirement (65) too.

Caster Boots
Perfect Amethyst
Thul rune
Jewel (any)
Leather, Demonhide or Wyrmhide Boots

Preset Mods:
Regenerate Mana 4-10%
Mana +10-20
Max Mana +2-5%

Mesh Boots
Defence: 95-130 (Base 37-44)
Required Strength: 65
Required Level: 36
Durability: 16
150-190% Enhanced Defence
30% Faster Run/Walk
+5 to Mana After Each Kill
Increase Max Mana 10%
+200 Defence vs. Missiles

Silkweave's bonus of 10% max mana, +5 mana per kill and 30% run/walk are the main highlights, yet it is possible to get a fast run/walk caster boots with resistance. Tri-resistance boots are of course greatly useful for a mageazon lacking in that department. IMO, the gloves, boots and belt slots are about the best place to get resistance unless you chance upon a godly +2 prismatic circlet.


Mainly two best belts, each of which would be THE choice depending on whether you have any pierce on your bow:

Sharkskin Belt
Defence: 85-107 (Base 31-36)
Required Strength: 20
Required Level: 32
Durability: 14
16 Slots
+120-150% Enhanced Defence
+15 Defence
+10 to Maximum Damage
Piercing Attack (33)
+15 to Dexterity
Attacker Takes Damage of (1) 1 to 99

Gloom's Trap
Mesh Belt
Defence: 79-102 (Base 35-40)
Required Strength: 58
Required Level: 36
Durability: 16
16 Slots
+120-150% Enhanced Defence
5% Mana Stolen per Hit
Increased Max Mana 15%
Regenerate Mana 15%
+15 to Vitality
-3 to Light Radius

If you don't have pierce on your bow, get razortail. Gloom's mage bonuses are good but the difference between 70+% pierce and 100% pierce can be very great. Razortail can also save you 15 stats points for energy if you had planned ahead. Gloom's Trap, on the other hand, has good mana bonuses (15% max mana and 15% mana regeneration) and +15 vitality too. While the mana leech is juju, that really can't be helped (would just make you stronger with that bit of leech :). The less hard to find alternative would be to obsessively gamble belts. With 60 strength, I would gamble for plated belts in normal difficulty since it is a standard 4-tiers, rather than risk getting a 3-tiered belt with real nice mods. For rares, DEFINITELY go for +cold damage with resistances, life and/or mana. The cold damage will give you extra cold duration and the resistance available could be nice too.


Hard to choose, but I give my vote to the Eye of Etlich... a simple looking but gorgeous amulet:

The Eye of Etlich
Required Level: 15
+1-5 Light Radius (varies)
+1 to All Skill Levels
3-7% Life Stolen per Hit varies)
Adds (1-2) to (3-5) Cold Damage (varies)
Cold Duration: 2-12 secs (hidden)
+10-40 Defence vs Missiles (varies)

The Rising Sun
Required Level: 65
+2 to Fire Skills
2% Cast Level 1-10 Meteor when Struck (varies)
+(0.75) 0.75 to 74 Fire Absorb (based on clvl)
Adds 24-48 Fire Damage
Replenish Life +10
+4 to Light Radius

The Eye of Etlich can be worn real early and has a a potentially HUGE 12 seconds built-in cold duration, allowing you to freeze monsters for an extra 3 seconds in hell. This can make a difference if trying to control a big swarm of monsters for a party. Party members would thank you for all that frozen prey. +1 skills simply made it even more desirable.

The rising sun, with +2 fire skills gives a good +2 to the non-spammable Immolation Arrow while not to Frozen Arrow. This may sound bad but from a mana conservation point of view, it isn't. Spamming FA is very mana draining at high levels, yet you want as much out of your IA as possible because of it's 1 second cast delay. Rising sun allows you to keep a moderate FA level while boosting Immolation by +2. The extra fire damage and fire absorb makes it worthwhile too.

Two other uniques for consideration are Saracen's Chance and Mara's Kaleidoscope. The Saracen's is good only if you plan ahead and decide to use it for good. This will save you 24 stats points to place into energy, effectively giving you +54 mana and +36 life with 15-25% resist all, not too shabby for an amulet. Mara's, on the other hand, has a great +2 skills and lightens your resistance burden a lot with 20-30% resist all. A little more +stats wouldn't hurt.

Uniques aside (difficult to find), rare amulets with +2 skills, resistance, +mana, +life and all sorts of other mods are a good bet for the amulet slot. Finally, if you're really running low on mana and have nothing much better to use, a Bahamut's Amulet (+100 over mana) does give you quite a lot of ground mana-wise.


If resources are available to you, there can be only one choice... a Stone of Jordan and a Ravenfrost:

The Stone of Jordan
Required Level: 29
+1 to All Skill Levels
Increases Maximum Mana 25%
Adds 1-12 Lightning Damage
+20 to Mana

Raven Frost
Required Level: 45
+150-250 to Attack Rating (varies)
Adds 15-45 Cold Damage (4 secs)
Cannot be Frozen
+40 to Mana
Cold Absorb 20%
+15-20 to Dexterity (varies)

It doesn't take a genius to tell you that Stone of Jordan is good. +1 skills and 25% max mana is something you will find nowhere else. Raven frost on the other hand has all the mods a mageazon wants, most importantly "cannot be frozen". You do not want to be caught trying to control a crowd with a super slow firing pace and having monsters thaw out before you can take a second shot. To add to the cake, there's more cold damage (and 4 more seconds), +40 mana, 20% cold absorb and a good +dex which if you plan ahead can net you 20 more energy and hence an effective +70 mana on this godly ring. Given a lack of resources, a bahamut's or great wyrm's ring would have to do as well. Adding to base mana, these can work out real well with the right gear (ie. +100 mana with frosties is +140 effectively). If you have two stones of jordans, replacing one SoJ with a Bahamut's ring could actually yield you better mana and less intensive mana usage (lower FA level). However, IMO, the SoJ combined with the effectively +70 mana Raven Frost is the best combination you can have on a mageazon.


Everyone knows what charms are good. Charms of vita, resist charms, good elemental charms are all standard issues with the mageazon just like any other characters. However, do keep every single one of those small cold damage charms (especially those with both cold damage prefix AND suffix). Each of these small charms, no matter what damage, adds 1 second to your freeze duration - even 2 seconds if it was a double cold damage charm. This may seem little, only 1/4 second in hell, but with the right gear and a decent number of charms, the result is simply outstanding. Just giving an example:

Frozen Arrow - 2
Kuko Shakaku - 0
Frostburns - 2
Belt of Glaciers - 2
Eye of Etlich - 12
Raven Frost - 4
12 cold charms - 12
Total - 34.seconds (8.5 secs in Hell)

That's a very long freeze time you have there. Without the charms, you would be left with 5 seconds, thanks to 3 full seconds from the Eye of Etlich. Take that out for another amulet and you would be left with a measly 2 seconds without the charms.

Basically, that's about it for dressing up. All the gear I can think of that fits has already been shown and explained.

Mageazon Strategy

Mana Management

Mageazons are an extremely mana-hungry style to play. Managing mana would be no easy task, with two skills having very high mana costs. Even a 1000 mana pool will not last forever if you have a ton of +skills, especially since an amazon does not have huge mana regenerating skills like warmth or meditation to help.

There are four main ways you can recover mana:

(i) potions, either rejuvenation or mana pots,
(ii) returning to town for refill,
(iii) natural recovery,
(iv) mana per kill or damage taken goes to mana.

Potions are of course the simplest way out but mana or rejuvantion potions don't always drop from the sky and it would be very important to have a good control over your rate of mana consumption. Returning to town constantly for refills can often prove to be tedious and irritating to do.

Mana regeneration takes place all the time, the speed of which is dependent on your mana pool as well as any +% mana regeneration you might be wearing. Check out site for a calculation of how much mana you are actually regenerating each second and try to find a good balance between +mana and +mana regen gear to use.

Other gear option to try out are +mana per kill and damage taken goes to mana. The former would add a substantial amount of mana each time you kill a monster (especially if you take very few arrows to kill each on average). The latter would add mana based on the amount of damage you are taking, which would at least ensure that you don't run out of mana at a time when you're somehow getting pummeled.

If after maxing out the amount of mana you can regenerate each second, you still find yourself burning a whole lot of pots, I'd recommend you tone down on your FA's skill levels to a level where you can comfortably keep up a sustained rate of fire. Potential choices are the use of items like Rising Sun or Magefists which adds to your Immo level without bumping up your FA level. While this leads you to a lower damage with FA, you will at least not face any mana shortage problems.


Act 1 has the wonderful rogue merc with a nice +3 lightning hose. This can, and will give you a good tri-elemental damage team hiding behind a meat shield (Valkyrie and decoy). Armed with +3 skills and a relatively fast bow, she can do devastating lightning damage to enemies immune to either of your elements. The choice between fire and ice isn't that important.

Act 2 mercs come in 6 flavours.... prayer, blessed aim, defiance, thorns, holy freeze and might. Yet only two are useful to the mageazon in hell. Blessed aim with auto-hit skills? Defiance on a 100 defence outfit? Thorns on a not-gonna-be-hit character? And might on a cracked hunter's bow? Holy freeze slows down monsters to a crawl so that they can less of a threat. This is particularly useful against cold immunes which cannot be frozen. Frozen Arrow is at least able to control those vulnerable to freezing. Arm the man with a big pokie with a lightning armor (potentially 1-3xx lightning damage) and he'll be doing high physical and lightning damage.

If however, you intend for your merc to be an effective standalone, might and defiance would both be good choices to have. Might would give a huge damage boost to the merc (although you usually wouldn't need him all that much) whereas defiance would keep the merc alive longer in areas where there are hard-hitting physical attackers.

Act 3 mercs has fire, cold and lightning, all single elemental. Since you already have good cold and fire damage, lightning would be a better choice among the three but I would still not recommend it. After all, it is pure lightning no physical. Hence mercs from all the other acts are all superior in this aspect as they can deal both high physical and lightning damage.

Act 5 barbarians have the life and the resistance to tank, and it's a close fight between a HF or defiance merc and the barb for a merc who will be the third shield (after Valkyrie and decoy) for you. A high lightning armor, with a high physical sword and good leech should be enough for this beast to tank most creatures including the most feared frenzytaurs.

Very hard to choose, but my pick goes to the HF merc for his ability to slow down non-cold immunes or prayer mercs for their life recovery aura.

Valkyries and Decoy Deployment

Your two best friends in single-player environment are decoy and valkyrie. They tank for you and draw all the missile fire away from you while you take out all the baddies for them. To utilize them well, you have to know where to position them so that they will be of best use to you. Below are just some of the ways you can position your minions in different situations:

Purely Melee Monsters

For purely melee enemies, I would throw Valkyrie into the heat of the battle and cast decoy a bit further back in case a few of the creatures break away from valkyrie and make its way towards me. Also, should Valkyrie die, the enemies will swarm towards decoy first, buying me some time to recast valkyrie.


Ranged enemies tend to spread out more, so valkyrie can only entertain a small portion of them, the rest would be shooting at either my minions or me. By pulling back a little and casting decoy 2-3 squares in front of me, most of the shots would be directed at val while decoy will take any stray shot that comes this way.


Mix of Melee and Ranged Monsters

For a mix of monsters, the strategy is much the same as the previous one, just that i don't fall fall back as much. Valkyrie will again bear the brunt of the attacks with the decoy there to take any stray shots.


Swarming from Both Flanks

When somehow engaged on two flanks, valkyrie is left on one flank while i cast a decoy and proceed to clear the decoy side of enemies first since decoy never last as long as valkyrie. Of course, valkyrie's life is always kept in check and when it runs low, i would recast valkyrie and come to her help after decoy's side is clear.


Boss Fight

When fighting a boss, the surrounding critters are first cleared off. Then Valkyrie is positioned between the bowazon and the boss. Decoy would be placed next to the boss so that the boss will attack the decoy first. This helps to extend the lifespan of Valkyrie and prevent you the trouble of recasting her again.


Lightning Enchanted Boss (LEBs)

This is my preferred method of dealing with lightning enchanted boss. Somehow, i find that standing at the top or bottom of the boss allowed me to avoid most of the lightning discharges as compared to when i am standing at the left or right of the boss.


Biggest Threats

The mageazon has two major offensive skills - Frozen Arrow and Immolation Arrow - and guided arrow as a backup support skill. In normal cases, fire immunes can be frozen solid and pinged upon by either FA or just GA with a high elemental weapon. Cold immunes on the other hand cannot be frozen but can be kept busy with a Valkyrie and toasted by immolation fire. Both are easy to handle. Eventually, there are only two kinds of enemies you have to worry about: a fire/cold dual immune boss and those fire immune frenzytaurs.

The boss can be handled by first getting rid of it's minions, leaving a 3v1 fight with it against you, valkyrie and merc. Valkyrie can hold the boss in place while your merc hits with either a high physical or high lightning weapon (better still, both). You can also chip in with some GAs using your alternate weapon switch (hopefully a high lightning weapon such as skystrike or arcing bow).

Fire immune frenzytaurs are fearsome for a mageazon. Cannot be frozen means that it can deal massive damage, even killing your high level valkyrie in just a few hits and immolation arrow just doesn't work. Two solutions: (1) Get a high elemental weapon with knockback (ie. Nef'ed lightning bow) and GA to pin and push the minotaur packs away from your valkyrie to protect her, (2) Do 1 and get yourself a Holy Freeze merc to slow them down. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I do remember that HF does work on frenzytaurs...

Act Boss Fights

For a mageazon, boss fights are perhaps the hardest. Your main skills are made to handle mobs, no powerful single entities that can take out your minions with relative ease. If you have a HF merc, he will move in for the kill (usually to be killed rather), so hopefully the boss will target your valkyrie or decoy instead. For yourself, throw out an Immolation and let it burn. In the mean time, FA or GA with elemental weapon to pass the 1 second mark before releasing another immolation arrows. Just keep the immolation burning while the boss is stuck fighting your minions, recasting decoy, valkyrie when needed. Sometimes, the boss will break free and advance towards you. Simple solution is to throw a decoy where you are standing (possibly valkyrie as well) and back off. This way, the boss will reengage itself with your minions and you can repeat the immolation progress.

Lightning Enchanted Boss (LEBs)

Immolation might not be that good an idea since it sparks off bolts like firewall (correct me if this is wrong). If your merc can take the beating, slow missile the LEB and either FA (mana intensive) or GA with an elemental bow (cheaper) from far while keeping the LEB under SM all the way. Else, use a knockack bow to pin the boss against a wall or something, stand FAR away and use immolation arrow while the boss is under the effect of SM.

Can't really think of anymore at the moment, more will be added as the ideas come. Basically, playing the mageazon is easy. Freeze those guys, immolate them, spam FA, immolate them, spam FA, immolate them... rinse and repeat.

Last note, in case you still didn't catch it, other than your main weapon (ideally Kuko Shakaku), get yourself a high lightning weapon (skystrike or magical 1-4xx lightning bow) and Nef it for control purposes.


Character Development

Most of the best starter gear involves socketed items. Jewels of envy does 20 poison damage over 2 seconds and can be used in armor and helm as well. With 2-socketed armor and helm of envy and a 3 or 4 socketed hunter's bow with assorted chipped gems, damage done is very significant and you shouldn't have much problems leveling until you get exploding arrow at level 12. From then on, normal arrow against normal monsters and exploding arrows against mobs or strong bosses should be plain sailing.

If at all possible, get an Eye with at least 7-8 seconds of chill time. By the time you get ice arrow, you will have a real solid >10 seconds of freeze time. Throw on the freeze and shatter their corpses so that reanimators can no longer work properly. This should solve most of the problems you will face in act 2 especially in Tal Rasha's Tomb with so many reanimators around.

Fast forward to level 24, getting immolation arrow. This is the first of your offence skill, but at the current level, it is still weak, becoming stronger at level 8 and starting to overtake frozen arrow's damage at level 16. Max this as soon as possible (at level 43) and it will serve you for life.

Level 30 will be yet another benchmark, where you will get frozen arrow, Valkyrie and PIERCE.... the skill that made mageazons almighty. If you have a piercing bow like Kuko waiting, one point in pierce with +skills will suffice for now. You will want to max out Immolation as soon as possible and FA as well if you can manage your mana. Assuming 1 point in each passive and no strafe, such a setup will require 57 skill points - achievable at level 50 if you had completed all the skills quests in normal and nightmare.

After that will be a matter of personal preference for people. Some like low Valkyrie and high evasive skills, while others go for max Valkyrie and lower evasive skills. All of them work to their strengths and have their own pros and cons. It's just up to the player to choose the style that suits him best.

Softcore vs Hardcore

Most of the suggestions and strategies have been for softcore play, thus there have been recommendations that does not quite suit that of a hardcore player.

For one thing, a hardcore mageazon would likely to want more life and resistances to prevent any accidental mishaps. This could lead to some gear or skill sacrifices as a hardcore mageazon goes a bit more defensive. For example, while a softcore mageazon could quite easily get away with going all energy (after meeting str/dex requirements), it's unlikely that a hardcore mageazon would follow suit. She's more likely to add more to vitality or spend a larger proportion of her charms and gear adding life and resists to make up the shortfalls.

This means that mana management will become even more important and it's not uncommon to see hardcore mageazons giving up some +skills gear for resistances or life; or even leave FA way less than max in order to maintain the ability to keep up continuous firing of FA and IA without running out of mana.

Vamps and Mageazons

A subclass similar to mageazons is the 'vamp', which also uses high levels of FA and IA for damage but relies on leech to recover the mana instead of mana regeneration and mana per kill. These 'vamps' typically has less need for energy and could thus afford more points into str and dex, making some of the bigger bows available. Correspondingly, their reliance on leech means that they would have a weakness against physical immunes much like their cookie cutter physical damage counterparts.

One possible way to resolve it is to find a balance between mana regeneration and mana leech. This would usually entail some investments into energy or heavy +mana gear to provide the base mana needed to recover mana against physical immunes. At the same time, damage and leech should also be kept high to provide a smooth and flawless execution when faced with monsters you can leech from.

Some possible outstanding gear deviations would be the Lycander's Aim and Razortail. The former has good damage, +skills and leech for a very decent str and dex requirement. The latter would provide the pierce that would be needed for the amazon to still hit max pierce while using non-piercing bows. Of course, there are a whole range of other possible gear to choose from but that would be up to the individual player to experiment and try out for themselves which works best for them.

Tri-Elemental Hybrids

If you're not fully into the evasive skills, a mageazon might find herself with quite a ton of skill points to spare. What better way to increase her offensive capabilities by adding another element to her attacks - Lightning Fury. There's no need for any fanciful javelins such as Titan's Revenge since all you're looking for is +skills... With that in mind, a good choice for gear could be Lancer's maiden javelins, with a max of +6 to javelin skills and Lidless Wall (58 strength). Razortail belt would also allow you to hit max pierce with level 9 pierce while throwing out lightning fury.

For those deviating into the 'vampish' route, titan's revenge would of course be a good choice with its fantastic mods and such. Various gear such as Lycander's Aim (mentioned above) and Thundergod's Vigor would also make their way into the list of uber gear to look out for.

With that, I thank you for listening with an open mind. All the best collecting uber-mageazon gear and happy playing!