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[2018] Tournament: Set/Unique Worshippers 2017 [by jiansonz]

Mar 14, 2020
Yikes, what a weird way to go!

But GL with Andrew whenever you take on the Summit with him.


I'm behind with updates for my TS/DTail character Obara, so I'll skip some details from Act I NM.

In short, the only situations that meant some sort of trouble were strong ranged attackers. Cloak of Shadows got a lot more use than before. CoS, Shadow and the merc's freezing are all important parts of the setup in situations like this one:

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Against anything with strong elemental attacks, getting the Shadow to cast Fade is must if I want her to survive any big fight. Shadow is still only level 8.

I finally found the Shael I've wanted for a long time now, it dropped in the Hole. Upgraded Swordback Hold and invested enough DEX to max blocking. Quite a few points to put in VIT were freed, so to speak. Every level-up now, I need on average about 1.5 points to DEX to maintain max blocking.

Blocking was good enough that Obara went toe-to-toe with The Smith, even though he was quite powerful:

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It was chaotic against Fouldog's pack. I fled three times when things started to get out of control. Once he was isolated, a Faded Shadow tanked and Obara helped Barani with some bleeding BF shots:
(ranged OW, thet's very useful to have)

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I found a LOT of greens and golds in the act. Other than on the last session (Catacombs, which netted nothing), I am pretty sure I was on the side of finding more than expected:

[Highlight]Bloodthief[/Highlight] (Den of Evil)
[Highlight]The Jade Tan Do[/Highlight] (Den of Evil)
[Highlight]Goreshovel[/Highlight] (Crypt)
Milabrega's Rod (Mausoleum)
Sigon's Wrap (Mausoleum, chest)
Cleglaw's Tooth #2 (Cave level 2)
[Highlight]Serpent Lord[/Highlight] (Black Marsh)
[Highlight]Soul Harvest[/Highlight] (Black Marsh)
[Highlight]Goreshovel[/Highlight] #2 (Black Marsh)
Cathan's Seal #4 (Hole level 2)
[Highlight]Hellclap[/Highlight] (Hole level 1)
Isenhart's Case #2 (Tower Cellar level 1)
[Highlight]Wizendraw[/Highlight] (Tower Cellar level 2)
[Highlight]Nightsmoke[/Highlight] (Tower Cellar level 4) <- nice resists, maybe endgame worthy
[Highlight]Undead Crown[/Highlight] (Tower Cellar level 4)
Tancred's Crowbill (Pit level 2, rogue boss)
Sigon's Wrap #2 (Barracks, archer boss)
[Highlight]Steelgoad[/Highlight] (Jail level 1)
[Highlight]Shadowfang[/Highlight] #2 (Cathedral, chest)

Sigon's belt was a nice find, with a large IAS boost and life steal alongside the gloves.

I've invested in Fade until the next level-up would only net me 2%-units more.
Fire/Cold resists are great (85/74) but Lightning is only 39.

Now that I've found some decent Act II merc weapons, any merc type would work well with this character. I prefer the freezing mage for now. The corpse shattering (all those Fallen!) and the help he provides with presenting me with a frozen target to charge up in almost in every fight is too good to pass up.

Now gimme some unique (or exceptional green) boots! :rolleyes:

[Highlight]Destroyer Obara the TS/DTail Assassin and Barani the Cold Act III merc, level 52, NM Lut Gholein, 53 S/U items found.[/Highlight]
Mar 14, 2020
@jiansonz - I keep hoping one of these The Jade Tan Do flails will drop for me.

The Blood Cresent Scimitar has been doing pretty good for quickly charging up Phoenix Strike, but the weapons physical damage is paltry. I'm waiting to finally be able to cube up a Sol or better yet find one in Act V.

The group worked their way through Act III with not too much difficulty. General tactics are, CoS and let Waheed and the Shadow Warrior beat up on everything. One of those funky tombs that almost always have a stair trap waiting for the party to enter awarded Aloysia with the Clegclaw's Pincer chain gloves to go with the little set shield. It gives her a nice AR and @resists bonus as you can see. The knockback is becoming a bit annoying when trying to keep the creatures within the Meteor kill zone. It does work great to stun lock against an obstacle those heavy hitters like Blunderbores. Even with the AR bonus she still seems to whiff more than I expected this early in the game.
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This nice little jewel could come in handy once they get something socketed and resists become more of an issue in the later two difficulties. At the moment she is maxed out on resists with level 10 Fade cast.
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The only thing that Mephisto ended up dropping of any use was a Emerald gem and a bunch of rare items to sell off.
Pretty nice gem drop on the Hell Forge I'd say!
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After making it into the Chaos Sanctuary one of the Oblivion Knights dropped Milabrega's Rod, which might do a bit more damage than the Scimitar and not wear out nearly as fast, however she needs a few more strength points to wield it. I'm pretty sure it will probably swing somewhat slower, not provide Open Wounds, Life Leech, @resists and +life that the little scimitar currently does.
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I thought I got a screenshot of Diablo's drop of Isenhart's Case, which Aloysia is now wearing and a unique boss pack early in Act IV dropping the Angelic Halo ring and another the Goreshovel Axe. Unfortunately they weren't in the folder with the others after getting to Act V and taking a break.
After looking in her stash I just realized that equipping the early found Angelic Sickle Sabre with the new Halo ring will add another juicy AR bonus on top of what the Clegclaw's set does. Sweet, now she currently has 1670 PS and 1168 normal attack, which will keep elevating with her levels. I forgot about the added bonus that Phoenix Strike gives you, which would explain why she was whiffing so much more trying to finish with a normal attack on the finishing move throughout Act IV. I could always do a quick weapon's switch if the added resists or open wounds are needed for Act Bosses, but her resists are already maxed at the moment so it shouldn't be an issue for some time.

Aloysia and Waheed, Level 35, Harrogath
Mar 14, 2020
Aloysia worked her way through the Bloody Foothills up to Shenk and found not one but two Sol runes to upgrade Razortine trident.
I added this photo of fighting Shenk's mob since it looks pretty flashy.
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We found a damaged Demonhide Sash as well in the Bloody Foothills, so we used the recipe to craft her one good as new and now she finally has four rows of potions going forward.
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This was a shot of a Blood Lord trapped out in the lava and the Shadow Master went out there and killed him all by herself with Dragon Flight I'm guessing.
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We found a pretty nice Grand Charm that helps with her damage and much needed AR for her normal attack finishing move.
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Looking for Anya in the Frozen River searching a hanging body landed them their second S/U helm, so she says goodbye to her Topaz socketed helm. Waheed put on the Beserker's Headgear helm and Aloysia now wears the Infernal Cranium cap.
View attachment 10856
Ancients tested them slightly, just because they were hard to hit with Meteors and so on and then they headed down deeper into the mountain to find the next waypoint. After grabbing the waypoint they spoke with Anya and received a horrible claw weapon as reward for rescuing her and entered the red portal to kill Pindleskin. One of the skeletons coming in behind them from the graveyard area was killed and it dropped the third piece to the Clegclaw's Brace set. :D And then Pindleskin dropped the Chieftain just shortly after I shot this picture when Waheed dropped him. I'm super stoked about this Clegclaw's Brace set, with added CB, DS, AR boost, much higher physical damage and much needed mana leech. Phoenix Strike has been a major Mana hog thus far, but this should curb its thirst for sure.
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Aloysia and Waheed, Worldstone Keep Level 2
Mar 14, 2020
Southpaw, that's a great set for a PS assassin, well found!

AndrewNiteTorch finished his journey today, finally besting the ancients after a total of 5 rerolls (one where the merc died one hit kill while I was still trying to pull his leash from offscreen immediately upon activating the altar!).

The fight with the ancients was OK, I guess. I'd beaten my head against the wall a couple of times my last attempt, but this time I only had about 1/2 hour so I figured I would give it a couple of tries, and the following three pictures are their individual attributes.

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You saw that right. Three extra fasts, two cold enchanted (my CR is 90% and I have absorb of integer 15) and one mana burn (I brought along a total of 7 mana pots with us to the summit). No extra strong, no aura enchanted, no cursed. One of, if not the easiest roll I've ever seen for Hell Ancients. It still took a while. We tamed their speed with our slow gear, Gulzar using the once-upgraded Woestave the entire trip to the summit (and his Blackhorn's of course). Every now and again I switched to the Minotaur and helped, but I primarily used the Heart Carver to maintain my 90% CR (it is 63% on the Minotaur switch). The weapon spawn for Madawc included knockback and hit fairly hard, so I had to spend some purples keeping Gulzar alive. I did them in the order you see them here and I didn't have much chance to see the others before killing the one before, since they tend to shred the merc if you linger. It just turns out that the random mods were really weak for all three.

WSK 1 was uneventful. I started it after the kids went to bed, so I had more time to finish up. I decided to keep going even after finding the WP on level 2 because the monsters were pretty easy, but I ran into black souls AFTER deciding to continue. I think the others here were the silly armored demons (you can see one dead in this shot) and lightning skeleton mages. This guy and his minions were more annoying than anything since Andrew uses his mana to full effect when it isn't being drained every three seconds. I'd switched the merc weapon back to the viperfork for these levels, so he kept the corpses down with poison explosions. Level 3 had OKs which was fun, but we didn't full clear the level. It was time to finish this guy up one way or another.
View attachment 10891

There were no stair traps in any level of the WSK, and the TOD greeted us with more undead monsters, near but not on the stairs. These souls were accompanied by a black soul boss pack up the corridor a bit, and they pinned us down in the entryway for a while, but being smart about running out and trying to draw them in one or two at a time was the method I used to tackle this one.
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My only S/U this session (before the end, that is):
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I made sure to redeem all of these undead monsters (there were also Blood Lords, which don't revive, and undead stygian dolls, which do) for safe keeping when fighting Achmel, but I still missed a black soul and his lightning bolts surprised me during the minion fight. Still, nothing in my full clear of the ToD got me below about 1/3 health, which I easily fixed with a purple potion.

Mar 14, 2020
Triple enchanted Colenzo would have been really painful before the Kira's and the Duriel's Shell. As it was I charged him probably four or five times with my Heart Carver switch and he did maybe 200 damage each time with his bolts. He resurrected his minions several times but with the holy freeze from Gulzar and redemption as a quick disposal aura (level 6 at this point) we eventually got rid of the fallen and concentrated our firepower on him, and he died quickly.
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Andrew implemented my standard approach for Achmel and his pack; draw out the skeletons first and get them away from being resurrected, and then focus on the unravelers. His multishot hurt Gulzar quickly so we went to town a few times, but I was able to charge push them around and keep them in recovery so it was actually quite easy. I just don't like being poisoned, so when that happened, I took Andrew back to Malah for some healing.
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Bartuc was fun, his buddies threw up a ton of hydras pretty much right off the bat, but Andrew's fire resist was 85% (I put on the LoH gloves because of the demons we were facing at this point, so I didn't have any fire absorb, but the hydra bolts were very gentle). We did fall back to keep Gulzar alive, they even got him once, but they were easy to dispatch once we got some separation. Heart Carver + Conviction = high % chance to hit, high damage, constant push back and enemy hit recovery. I just had to be wise as to what direction to push them since there are a lot of obstacles in these hallways, to keep the charges going. Those are my blizzards, BTW.
View attachment 10897

Ventar and his friends weren't much to worry about. We split them up and ping-ponged around until they were history. I made sure not to get surrounded. That would have been bad.
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Lister and his friends always get treated with respect, since they can really make for a bad day quickly. We spent a couple of minutes getting them spread out and at that point we could easily handle two at a time. Here's Andrew going back and forth between two.
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And here is the fight with Lister. I guess I had forgotten that they could be pushed back, so it was far easier than I was expecting.
View attachment 10901

The fight with Baal was pretty anticlimactic, as it usually is, unfortunately. The slow gear we had was overpowering him and for the first 90% of his life, he sat there and did weak physical attacks on Gulzar. I used the Minotaur and he had the Woestave and Blackhorn's.
View attachment 10902

I tried several times to get a good shot of a charge to Baal, where there were two Andrews, but I missed them all, sorry. The fight got much more interesting when I switched to MF gear (we killed him with about 220%) because he got more active when I wasn't using the Minotaur switch and cloned himself twice. In the end, it didn't matter.
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His junky drop.
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Mar 14, 2020
Upgraded Heart Carver LCS:
View attachment 10905

Upgraded Minotaur LCS (with the Hellmouth war gauntlets - I could max FR at 85% if I used LoH but the Hellmouth fireworks was fun)
View attachment 10906

Combat skills tree.
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Defensive auras tree (I don't recall if I told you all but we found a skiller too):
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Offensive auras tree:
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Overall, he found some incredible gear for a single pass tournament. The Gull at the beginning was a big part of it, certainly. I think we'd have had trouble with resistances, but getting a Kira's Guardian and a Duriel's Shell were huge and made the final part of the journey easier than it could have been otherwise.

Gulzar (holy freeze) wore the Blackhorn's Face, a topaz bejeweled upgraded Darkglow, and switched weapons between the upgraded Woestave and the Viperfork. Both were really good weapons.

AndrewNiteTorch wore the Kira's Guardian with a topaz in it, a Duriel's Shell, a Snowclash belt (Hwanin's for most of his journey), Hellmouth and Laying of Hands for gloves, Gore Riders, a Nokozan Relic, a Manald Heal and a Nagelring, and his primary weapon switch was his upgraded Heart Carver and a topazed Tiamat's Rebuke, and his secondary weapon was an upgraded Minotaur.

His charms provided 10% FR, 27% CR, 32% LR, 28% PR, 114 life, 6% MF, +6 max damage and +1 defensive auras with some other small mods.

His final tally was 97 individual S/U, since I didn't find any these last two sessions that I hadn't seen before with ole Andrew. He was pretty fun to play once I got past the buggy nature of the skill itself. I only did the backward charge moonwalk a few times the last act. I did get frozen in place a couple of times but "W" was able to bail me out of these. I did not full clear the game, not even close. I didn't kill any NM or hell cows, don't plan on it. I didn't go into Nihlathak's areas in hell because I really don't care for them, they are too darn tedious to me, and I'd already lost full clear status long before. Some areas I thought would be hard were not because of his extreme mobility. Others, like the ancients and the arcane sanctuary and maggot lair, were not much fun. Physical immunes went down very surprisingly fast due to conviction plus all my elemental damage (thanks to Tiamats and the gloves/belt). I will be putting Andrew away for a while. If my quest-for-99 self found paladin (different thread) ever finds an ethereal 6 socket polearm or spear, and makes that eBOTD, I'll give it to Andrew and see what happens with a big time weapon. That Heart Carver, with its 35% DS, the Gore Riders with their damage mods, hit darn hard, especially against demons when I wore the LOH. Those demons in the WSK were going down sometimes in a single hit, but normally it took 2. That's pretty awesome if you ask me.

Guardian AndrewNiteTorch, level 83 Daggercharger, Fini
Mar 14, 2020
Thanks for the props gents. In a tournament setting, once I make it about half way through the entire game, i.e. mid NM, I feel it is silly NOT to finish the character since I'd already invested so much time in it up to that point. I did take a big long break for Andrew though, due to that stupid charge bug. I've put an asterisk in my mind for him and his overall guardianship.

Thanks also to @jiansonz for a very fun tournament. I have been delaying my own tournament ideas because this one has such good legs!
Mar 14, 2020
Awesome, OldSoldier!

Damage numbers sure are impressive, but I have a hard time trying to picture how the actual gameplay goes. I know you need a little distance in order for Charge to work.

What does "W" do in your setup?
(In my setup, it's one of the 16 skills button. It's my main 'buff skill button', for things like Burst of Speed, Shiver Armor, Bone Armor, Battle Orders, etc.)
Mar 14, 2020
Pestilence is making some good progress into A1 NM. The graveyard and crypt/mausoleum are actually pretty tedious on a poison build - zombies have pretty high poison resistance, but they're very slow so danger is pretty low. After the graveyard, the pace picked up quite a bit. Rabies is just excellent at clearing out large hordes of enemies. It's great to poison one carver and watch his entire camp including 4 shamans die

Our first interesting drop came from a random skeleton. This is a decent upgrade from bloodrise, though I'd like to find a larger 2H for poison resistant enemies:

View attachment 10919

I think this was in the black marsh. The hole we uneventful, but the tower ended up being pretty nice:

View attachment 10920

Pestilence - Level 50 rabies druid. Still no amulet. Second half of A1NM next
Mar 14, 2020
Well as expected, the second half of A1NM was a total slog. Catacombs 3 rolled ghouls and vampires which both may as well be immune to rabies. Just that level took over an hour. I only found one S/U in the entire second half of the act:

View attachment 11070

I swear, if i run into more cursed ghoul bosses, I'm deleting this character:

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These just take forever to kill, and they're super dangerous to both me and my mercenary

I took Andariel at P3 because i figured P8 would be really dangerous, or take an eternity to kill. P3 wasn't bad, but I paid for my decision:

View attachment 11073
Mar 14, 2020
Aloysia and Waheed were last seen near the Worldstone Keep Level 2 waypoint, where they continued deeper into the mountain to find Baal. They eventually found him and beat up on him and all of his various minions. They then took a trip through the Cow Level portal that awarded them the Woestave polearm and an abundance of piles of smoldering meat. I upgraded the Woestave to Bec-de-Corbin to quickly realize that Waheed didn't have enough Dexterity now to weild it. Duh, I looked at the strength for the upgrade but overlooked his dexterity requirement. So he was stuck using the weaker, upped Razortine for awhile longer going into NM.
The first S/U they found during the NM session was the Rouge's Bow in the Forgotten Tower Level 3, which is of no use to them so it went to the stash.
View attachment 11074
Then in the Tamoe Highlands a boss pack of spear women dropped Sigon's Shelter, which also went to the stash since Waheed is wearing an upped Twitchthroe and Aloysia is wearing PTopaz socketed Darkglow linked mail.
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Another boss pack dropped them the also stashed Isenhart's Parry.
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I've never seen a gem shrine that looks this ornate in all my years of playing D2LOD, has anyone else? This was right near the stairway by Bone Ash's hangout. Maybe because of its location in the Cathedral area.
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Another piece of useless Beserker's Hauberk armor was found in Catacomb's Level 2 to add to the growing stash. It's wonderful that some of their best finds were found fairly early on and upgraded to make them quite viable for thus far along.
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Andariel dropped a bunch of crap and even the gems weren't all that good unfortunately. So they traveled once again to the desert with Wariv and eventually found some nice Rattlecage gothic plate armor in the Stony Tomb Level 1, but it still isn't better than what they currently have on. It too went to the stash for possible future use if ever upgraded.
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I'd have to look in the stash, but I think this is the third pair of Clegclaw's Pincers that dropped.
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Aloysia has assembled the Horadric Staff and getting ready to enter into the Harem. Her AR is slowly getting worse as she ventures further into NM. With the already maxed out Phoenix Strike AR bonus she has 89% CTH the monsters in NM Far Oasis and only 71% with her normal attack finishing move, which really throws off the timing of charging and releasing PS effectively, since she whiffs far more trying to finish her attacks. I'm thinking of using Dragon Tail and/or Dragon Flight in the future if she finds any beefier S/U footwear. Since currently she only has heavy leather Gorefoot, which on second thought perhaps I can upgrade them right now if I have all the cube recipe items in her stash.

Edit: Turns out I had the recipe items needed to upgrade the Gorefoot boots, which bumps them up from 4-10 to 28-50 kick damage which is a very nice jump indeed.

Aloysia and Waheed, Level 57, NM Act II
Mar 14, 2020
Having a lot of fun with my TS/DTail fighter in this tourney. Seems to be a well-balanced build so far, and the freeze merc works extremely well with it.

Gear isn't optimal for fighting, because I focus on MF. Gull is quick but has a short range and needs to be repaired a lot. In this act, I found Milabrega's shield, and of course I "have" to use that instead of the (otherwise much better) upped Swordback Hold. Maintaining max block with Swordback Hold (I have it on the weapon switch alongside The General's flail) gives 50% block with Milabrega's.
Did I mention how much I like Twitchthroe?

Even with the short range of Gull, I sometimes manage to get tough bosses to attack the Shadow anyway:

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It's very obvious when bosses are highly resistant to either physical- or fire damage. Like this one (which was also immune to Barani):

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DTail is somewhat special in this regard. You want the monster you kick to have as low physical resistance as possible*, then you want the monsters suffering the AoE damage (including the one you kick) to have as low fire resistance as possible. Ghoul Lords are vulnerable to fire but have high physical resistance. So for damaing the boss in the screenie, it would have been better if there was a goat next to it that I could kick. (And better to kick a minion than the boss because of the Stone Skin, but the minions kept dying, got knocked back or fled...)
(* Is there any S/U gear with ctc Amp or Decrep (or with charges of those curses) that is reasonably likely to find?)

Kaa was too dangerous to fight up close. Don't remember what aura he had, probably something unpleasant...

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The Tan Do Li Ga + Swordback Hold combo makes a nice Blade Fury setup. Enough damage and mana steal to keep it going forever unless it's a PI or unleechable monster, the slowing is nice and the OW helps a lot.

Good use of a doorway here - Obara is positioned so she protects the Shadow from knockback but she can still hit the boss:

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YES!! My prrecioussss...:

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Literally in the last room before the orifice chamber. This prompted me to go for /p8 against Duriel.
He took a surprisingly long time to kill considering these damage numbers:

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[Highlight]Venom Ward[/Highlight] (Radament)
Sigon's Wrap #3 (Halls of the Dead level 2)
[Highlight]Bladebone[/Highlight] (Halls of the Dead level 3)
[Highlight]The Grim Reaper[/Highlight] (Far Oasis, Itchies boss) <- where did they hide this??
[Highlight]Withersting[/Highlight] (Far Oasis, Black Raptor boss)
Isenhart's Horns #3 (Maggot Lair level 1)
Milabrega's Orb (Ancient Tunnels sparkly chest)
[Highlight]Dimoak's Hew[/Highlight] (Claw Viper Temple level 1)
Berserker's Headgear (Claw Viper Temple level 1)
Death's Touch (The Summoner)
Tancred's Crowbill #2 (Arcane Sanctuary)
[Highlight]Lance of Yaggai[/Highlight] (Tomb 1)
Sigon's Gage #2 (Tomb 2, Gorebelly boss)
Rite of Passage (True Tomb)
ethereal [Highlight]Crushflange[/Highlight] (Duriel)
[Highlight]Steelclash[/Highlight] (Duriel)

[Highlight]Destroyer Obara the TS/DTail Assassin and Barani the Cold Act III merc, level 60, NM Kurast Docks, 69 S/U items found.[/Highlight]
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