Diablo II Strategy Guide Info:
The Bowzon was so very popular and overpowered back in 1.09 but since 1.10 character classes like the Hammerdin have taken over, although this is the case the Bowzon can still dominate.
This is a guide, not a precise build so feel free to experiment around this to make your own unique character for better or for worse. I’m just writing about what I have found to work well.
This is your characters outline and what decides on your end game gear, its useful to see what you will think you will be wearing when this char is finished, best to be realistic, i.e. don't set yourself up for faith if you know that you are never going to be able to really afford it.
The only use this has for the bowzon is to help her wear her items, so as with so many builds nowadays the minimum possible (i.e. wf needs 134 but if you are also wearing chains of honor then you only need a base of 114 as the extra 20 will come from your armour) and since 1.10 body popping is far less of a problem.
This is the power house of the bowzon, this is where her damage comes from, after you have the required amounts in the other stats this is where I recommend you put the rest of your points.
- 4 dexterity points gives 1 defence
- 1 dexterity point gives 4 attack rating
This depends on your gear, if you are super rich and can afford godly charms then you can get 2k+ life with base vitality (+Bo) easily which is more than enough, although if you are relatively poor then life is harder to come by and so I'd recommend points here, 100 should see you through fine.
- 1 Vitality point gives 3 Life
- 1 Vitality point gives 1 Stamina
Well as with allot of builds this is best left at the base amount, guided arrows really do not take much mana and in PvP these are pretty much the only attack you will be using.
- 1 Energy point gives 1.5 Mana
Well there are a few main skills that if you want to duel successfully then I recommend but then quite a few skills you can play with for entertainment or against certain char classes
The Main skills
Guided Arrows (MAX)
This is the skill to use, it follows the enemy and ignores target's defence, what else could you ask for. The more points you put into this the greater your damage so I recommend a full 20 points otherwise you will probably feel your damage lacking. Prerequisites are Magic Arrow, Multi Arrow, and Cold Arrow.
These help allot in PvP because they mean that you can completely dodge some attacks meaning that you take no damage whatsoever. The amount of skill points you place here depends on if there is somewhere else you want to put points as well, although I recommend at least 12 in each as after this the returns diminish. This will give you 50% / 58% / 50% to dodge enemy attacks. If you find out later that you have maxed all the skills you want to then come back here and spend your remaining points.
Critical strike (Depends on your gear)
Now, I'm in two minds about this skill and basically I think it comes down to what gear you are wearing, You have to see how much Deadly Strike you have (remember Deadly Strike does stack)
Deadly Strike is the same thing as critical except that they DO NOT stack on top of each other. When you attack the computer in effect rolls to see if you do double damage with one. If you do then it does not roll for the other as you cannot get 4x the damage, but if the first roll fails then it rolls for the next one. Therefore if you have 50% deadly and 50% critical in theory you will always do double damage, although it does not work like this in real life although your chances of not doing double damage are quite low.
Therefore if you are wearing allot of Deadly Strike gear then very few skill points are needed, yet if you are wearing basically no Deadly Strike I recommend getting this very high, maybe even maxing it.
The above are most definitely the main skills for PvP and if you are designing a character precisely around them then you can in theory max them all. Yet we all know that to level we need some kind of PvM ability so I also like the following skills for my amazon
Multi Arrow (10)
This can be used in PvP as well although I find that I don't usually have enough attack rating for it to be very useful although in PvM this is still the king, especially at the high fpa that a PvP bowzon should be shooting at. More points than 10 is really a waste, you can get away with as little as 5 if you want to.
The Valkyrie is an invaluable tool for taking some of the attention off you and 1 point is more than enough for what we want her for, although you will have to respawn her quite often. If you want her to be of any use other than a brief distraction she needs to be level 17+ (this is the level where she gains access to rares). Although for PvP this will not prove very useful.
This will boost your attack rating which doesn't help for Guided Arrows but again in PvM Multi Arrows still need to hit, 1 point boosted by some +skills is fine pierce (1). This does not work in PvP, the days of Buri being the king bow because of its huge pierce left with 1.09, but it is useful in PvM for multi as it helps clear that room a little bit faster.
Immolation/Freezing arrow (1)
In PvM immune to physicals do appear and its useful to have some means to defeat them although again since PvM is not the main aspect of this build 1 point is all that's needed. In PvP they can be used yet are rather easy to dodge and so will not be that useful.
There are only 3 pre requisites for the main skills, Multi, Magic and Cold Arrows. Multi is useful on its own as stated above so really only two prerequisites for the core of this build. If you want to migrate away the basic structure of course more will appear.
This is always a hard section to write in a guide as people vary so much in what they can afford. For each section of gear I will attempt to find Cheap, Medium, Expensive and Best.
There are a few options here that you can choose from, Shako offers skills, life, mana and magic find. Now for this build the mana will not be that useful as not much mana is required, also since this is PvP the magic find will be useless, but the skills and life could prove invaluable. Another helm at about similar price is Vampire Gaze, this helm provides damage reduction, life leach, mana leach, since 1.10 came out leach has been useless in PvP, but Gaze does offer up to 20% damage reduction which can be very useful when dueling melee chars, although this build is not meant to actually get hit. Attack speed is a large factor in PvP so a helm with IAS is always very favorable, Mavs helm is good, also 3 socketed helm with 3 15IAS jewels can prove useful and cheap, but also for the best can be very expensive, as if you can afford it jewels with ed and IAS can prove extremely good. If you can't afford 3 15IAS jewels then Sigons is always a good leveling/cheap helm. Also I suppose I should mention Crown of Ages, this is a very good helm although it requires huge amounts of strength, too much really for an amazon.
Cheap: Sigons/ Biggins bonnet
Medium: 45%ias helm/Gaze/shako
This can be used to make up for any weak points with the rest of your gear. For example, if you want more damage reduction Shaftstop is viable, it also offers 60 life which can be very useful. Another cheap armour is Duriels Shell offering Resists, strength, Cannot be Frozen and Life. All in all quite a nice armour. For leveling or if Shaft and Duriels are out of reach then Twitchthroe is a more than decent armour. Then of course there are the slightly more expensive armours, Chains of Honor is very useful mainly for the resists, although the skills and strength are useful too. Fortitude is useful mainly for the huge 300%ed. Also you can go with ed/IAS armour, this is useful if you are lacking IAS for a certain breakpoint.
Cheap: Twitchthroe/Duriels shell
Medium: Shaftstop/60%ias armour
Expensive: Chains of Honor, ed/IAS (life if you can)
This depends on how you have distributed your skill points. Highlords offers +1 skills, 20% IAS and Deadly Strike, but if you have a high Critical Strike then other amulets like Cats Eye with its fast run/walk, IAS and dexterity. These two amulets both have huge advantages, so more than likely you will have a reasonable level of Critical Strike therefore if you are wearing Gore Rider boots then Cats Eye is the better option, while if you have chosen wts then I personally believe Highlords is more advantageous. Maras Kaleidoscope is also useful if you are wanting better resists. Cheaper amulets could be any amulet with 20% IAS, resists, life or any useful property that you think your character is lacking. Also Angelic in combo with the rings is very useful as it offers huge AR and quite a bit of life.
Cheap: Magic/rare amulet with relevant properties, or angelic
Medium: Cats Eye (even though this is cheaper than mara's I recommend it over mara's)
Expensive: Mara's, Rare amulet with very good properties
Best: Highlords/cats eye (depends)
I am combining both the ring slots together as your build will most likely use two of the same ring. My favourite ring for PvP is Raven Frost, as it gives dexterity which increases your damage, also you cannot be frozen which is very useful. I find that the damage increase is larger than the + skills from Bul Kathos and SoJ, although Bul Kathos offers a large supply of life as well. Other cheaper examples are Angelic rings with the amulet, this gives insane AR and decent life.
Cheap: rare/magic or angelic
Medium: Raven frost
Expensive: Bul Kathos wedding band
Best: Raven frost
The boots, although not key to the build, can give you some useful mods. The cheaper options could be any boot with decent run/walk + any other mod that you think your build is lacking, but there are some pretty decent boots out there and the best part is that they are not that expensive either. Gore Riders are my preferred boots as although they do not offer the most run/walk they give Crushing Blow, Deadly Strike and Open Wounds chances which are very useful. War Travelers offer some decent mods, the damage is always enjoyed although I think the chances on Gores outweigh this extra damage. Then there are Waterwalk. These boots offer quite a large amount of life and some dexterity which is pretty useful. As touched upon in the amulets section Gores + Cats Eye or Highlords + wts are the better combinations
Expensive: War Travelers
Best: Gore riders/war travelers
There are a few useful mods that you can get from gloves, but there are really only three main choices. Laying of Hands is the amazons classic gloves offering IAS and quite a bit of Fire Resist. Then there are Draculs offering Life Tap (beware this is classed as BM with CH) and Open Wounds also a nice bit of Strength. Then there are a rare pair of gloves with IAS and other useful mods like Knockback (I'm pretty sure most people view this mod as BM) then any other extra useful mods are always welcome, be they resists or attributes or +skills (passive or bow). If you cannot afford the above then a magic pair with 20% IAS and any useful mods are welcome (be aware you can only get +2 to skills on rare and +3 on magical).
An easy way to get some pretty good gloves is to buy them off the venders as they can sell you very decent gloves (for instance I bought +3 java 20%ias pair once).
Cheap: Magic/rare pair with IAS
Medium: Laying of Hands
Expensive: Draculs/rare pair
Best: Godly rare pair with IAS knock back + skills and life/resists or something similar.
The belt is the part that can help you reach an IAS breakpoint or if this is not an issue then can gain quite a bit of Life/DR or other useful mods from. Goldwrap is a cheap belt offering 10% IAS and that's about it, but is the only NON BM belt with IAS. The other belt with IAS is Nosferatu's Coil and with this belt you get IAS, Strength and Slow (slow is BM). Then if you have already reached the breakpoint you want then I recommend Verdungods, this gives a huge life boost and 15% DR also some FHR. If these are out of your reach then a magical/rare is most likely your best bet.
Expensive: Nosferatu's Coil/Verdungo's
Best: Verdungo's/Nostferatu's Coil (depends on whether you are playing BM or not)
This is the part that your entire build should be based around as this determines how much IAS you need and how useful your %ed is. With the addition of the new runewords Faith has appeared. Now this gives the amazon insane power and gives her the ability to reach 7fpa quite easily. But the biggest debate is which bow to place this in. The common belief is that a Grand Matron Bow is the best as you can get +3 bow and crossbow skills which of course is a significant advantage. Now, the Matriarchal Bow also offers this ability (at even less IAS) but has significantly less damage. There is also the option of a Shadow Bow which can hit the 7fpa easily as well but does not have the ability for the + skills. The only way you can decide which bow to use is to look at the rest of the gear you are going to use and see how much IAS you have, bearing in mind if the GMB spawns with a low level of Fanaticism it will be nearly impossible to reach 7fpa without loosing Fortitude. As the only way is using IK or Sigons comb which means you loose wts and knockback or skills from gloves
That is all there is to say about Faith really, if you are not going to use Faith there are plenty of other decent bows out there. There is of course the great Windforce which offers insane max damage but you will be stuck with 8fpa, although this bow is pretty cheap nowadays. Hand of Justice is a great bow and because it doesn't have any Knockback is less BM than WF. If these are out of reach for you Eagle is still a good bow although the damage is limited, and then there is Witch Wild String which is very versatile and when upgraded can offer pretty decent damage as well. Also the is BoTD allot of %ed and quite a few other nice mods but is pretty expensive. Although it is very possible Faith could become BM in which case this would be the next best option (as WF is already BM).
Bows that need mentioning are rares and cruels. Now these can spawn extremely nicely, I'm not going to list the possible mods here as there are so many nice combinations but these tend to be very expensive
This is often underestimated on most characters, but can be very useful in various situations. Undoubtedly the best option here is Call to Arms with Lidless Wall (or another + 1 skills shield).
But also Titans+ Stormshield can be used which will give you Bblock dr, Fast Run/Walk which are all very useful in a duel. You could also have another bow on switch for instance WF on switch to Faith, if your mercenary has Faith and gets killed therefore you loose the aura, but you can switch to Faith to retain attacking speed etc.
Cheap(ish): Titans + Stormshield, or harmony (this offers vigor which greatly increases your speed)
Medium: WF (or another bow, wws is another good example)
Expensive: Call to arms + lidless
Best: Perfect Call to arms + up'd lidless
If you have enough strength then Spirit is better than Lidless, but I do not advise putting points in strength just for Spirit.
There are so many combinations you can use here, Run/Walk charms are very useful although Run/Walk has diminishing affects, so you do not need too many (I aim for a total of about 100%faster Run/Walk). Then this is also one of the large supplies of life for this char, and then if you can afford charms with max damage and Ar on as well then all the better.
Cheap: Run/Walk and life charms
Medium: Run/Walk and life charms with 2nd mods
Expensive: Run/Walk and life with damage and ar
Best: 3/20/ (Run/Walk) and 3/20/20(please be aware of dupes so 3/20/19 are probably a better idea)
Here I cannot decide much for you at all because you could have almost any combination of gear yielding different possibilities, but basically try to counter your weaknesses, i.e. if you are just off the next breakpoint then socket with an ed/IAS jewel or something, if you are low on resists then um is a very useful rune. The most important though is the IAS, really in PvP you want 7fpa, although 8fpa can manage, lower than that you will probably start to struggle.
There are a couple of possibilities here, depending what you want from your mercenary.
Act2 nightmare offensive mercenary (might aura)
As for equipment for this guy Life DR, IAS and %ed on armour and helm and any high damage weapon, that's if you can't afford some of the newest runewords which offer auras.
If you're using a Might mercenary then he himself will not actually end up hitting people in PvP much, so if you can afford it you want auras that will benefit you. As there are so many possibilities with how you kit out your mercenary I'll just list some top end equipment:
- Pride war pike
- Dragon Archon plate
- Delirium (in any helm)
This is just one possible kit for a mercenary, for instance you could change to:
- BoTD war pike
- Fortitude armour
- Crown of Ages
I just personally get act2 mercenaries just for their auras, not their killing abilities.
Act1 Fire Rogue
This mercenary actually has a chance of hitting an enemy in a duel due to their range. This affects what gear you give them as in PvP they will never be able to take many hits, therefore I advise basing them around damage, except for the following.
The new runeword Harmony offers Vigor which means you can run a lot faster. The best bit is that it isn't very expensive either. Other than Harmony they can use Faith (since they will also then give you the Fanaticism aura then you can use a different bow yourself to get even more damage.
As for armour Fortitude, then an ed/IAS helm
As for other cheaper mercenary armours and helms the following are all useful:
- Duriels Shell
- Crown of Thieves