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Strafer: Frozen Arrow or Valkyrie?

triple_ultima

Member
Jun 23, 2003
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Strafer: Frozen Arrow or Valkyrie?

My new ladder character is a bowazon, currently around level 24. I'm planning on making her a strafer, and I've read just about every guide on the subject that I could find. There doesn't seem to be a consensus on skill point usage, however. Strafe is maxed, obviously, but after that it seems like there is a choice between using Frozen Arrow or Valkyrie. Frozen arrow would take 40 skill points with a synergy in cold arrow, making 60 skill points with strafe. If valkyrie were to be used, it would probably be necessary to max it, in order to have better tanking ability.

Which build would be the best for playing on the new ladder? I can't seem to decide where to put my skill points (as of now I have something like 15 or 16 points saved up). Should I dump them into cold arrow to start synergizing Frozen arrow (if that would indeed be a good idea for a strafer)?

What are your experiences with skills other than strafe on a strafer amazon?
 

luckenbach1

Member
Jul 21, 2004
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i think that it depends on what your endgame purpose is for the build. i used my strafer to run pits, shenk, pindle, countess, etc- not the big guys(diablo or baal). if that is your goal get a wws for the magic arrow to handle any pi monsters. that being said, to answer your question i would go with leveling your valk to at least 17. my strafer would not have done nearly as well without the valk.
 

DudSpud

Member
Aug 27, 2004
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I have recently tried two types of straffers, CA/FA and LF. Both had valk at lvl 17 when cast (when she gets a nice rare war pike; using buff gear in stash). The LF is by far better, IMHO. First, freeze duration is severly limited in Hell (1/4) and requires very nice dual charms with cold to make it last long enough for my tastes - maybe if I had some M'avina's gear. Second, LF is only 23 points vs. the 41 for CA/FA (OK, 40, the 1 point in CA is a Strafe pre-req). The extra 17 points are really handy in pierce and penetrate (especially the ladder, as apparently the +AR on bow skills doesn't work for ranged attacks). Third, LF rocks, especially if you can get your hands on some titans. Oh, and I could handle PI/LI with WWS (lvl 20 MA for free). This is important to me because I am mostly solo - but I guess you could always put WWS on switch from Faith/WF/M'avina's/Lycander's/Buriza/what have you.

Oh, and as for other skills, I only put one point in the one's not mentioned. And when I get extra points, I go Valk/Penetrate/Decoy (great skill against elemental archers).

Anyhow, good luck whatever your choice.

DudSpud
 

Dacar92

Moderator: Community, D2 Zon, DH, Inc Clan Officer
Nov 2, 2003
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I have placed 17 to 20 in valk, maxed strafe, and then maxed frozen arrow. I have then placed 10 or a few more in cold arrow for the synergy. I think this makes a good bowazon in hell. Not the quickest killer, but fun and challenging.
 

triple_ultima

Member
Jun 23, 2003
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Thank you all for your help! I'll get valkyrie to level 17, and max strafe. Making a Lightning Fury hybrid sounds tempting, and I might decide to do that depending on how things go for me in late nightmare and hell. One more question: should I bother putting points in penetrate? I know I should get pierce to at least level 9, but will penetrate be necessary for the added AR, since strafe unfortunately doesn't add any?
 

DudSpud

Member
Aug 27, 2004
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triple_ultima said:
...but will penetrate be necessary for the added AR, since strafe unfortunately doesn't add any?
In my experience, yes, because my arrows don't do tons of damage, I depend on each one hitting for damage, chance to pierce, and chance to cast (esp Amp). I feel my zons are better with near 90% chance to hit. Another boost to chance to hit, rather than penetrate, is to make sure you are over level for the area you are in (easy in SP with p/X setting). Less than +5 of course, as then the exp gained starts to decrease. Still, even with the decrease by being over level, it really only serves to bring you back to about +5, and of course the chance for them to hit you is also decreased.

How do I decide what level is OK? Just playing and feeling my way around.

Good luck,
DudSpud
 
Max valkyrie is pretty useless in my opinion. Mine's only level 5-ish, one base point and a bit of +skills, and it never really dies. I don't think I've ever had the valkyrie die before the casting delay wears off, or suffer any problems because of a poorly timed valkyrie death. So I'd put one point into valkyrie, and save your points for somewhere they'll be more useful.

Against anything but cold immunes, freezing arrow is a much better defensive skill. With a reasonable amount of cold damage sources (for longer freeze time), everything is frozen and helpless while you kill it. It's very useful solo, and will be even more appreciated in a party. Your party's tank will be quite happy to be immune to damage.