Brand Bowie

princesspk

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Mar 20, 2006
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Brand Bowie

I just experimented with a third party program to quickly create a single player bowazon to test out and compare all of the best bows in the game. All legit gear that is obtainable on the realms, of course. I was really surprised that the Brand runeword, hardly ever seen, delivers a lot more than i thought.

Here's the build breakdown (not including + skills or + stats)
20 strafe
20 FA
9 CA
4 Dodge
2 Avoid
2 Evade
20 valk
4 Pierce
8 Penetrate
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Str 99
Dex 241
Vit 165
En 15
Life = 1234
Mana = 212
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Character type = Hardcore
Clvl 85, all skill & stat quests finished
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Gear:
Brand Hydra Bow
Fortitude Dusk Shroud
Gaze
Gore Riders
Dual Ravens
Highlord's Wrath
Razortail
Laying of Hands
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Charms:
8x Fine small charms of Vitality
8x Shimmering small charms of Vitality
1x Zon torch
1x Anni
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Merc:
Faith GMB (to make sure i'm hitting last breakpoint all the time)
Dragon armor
Dream helm
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Now, I do know that this kind of gear takes quite a bit of wealth to get but trust me, it's well worth it. Brand has beaten all the other bows (WF, Faith GMB, Ice (with FA), WWS and Wrath) to a chaos sanctuary clearing race by roughly a minute (WF was second). Don't be fooled by the bow's low damage (228 max on the one I rolled). Your arrows are piercing and the bow has 100% ctc lvl 18 bone spear on striking. This means that any monsters at the back of a pack might be getting hit by spears every volley. At the last IAS breakpoint, that'll dish out a lot of damage very quickly. You'd be tempted to think that at a bit less than 200 dmg per bs it's negligible, but when you're shooting a single target it'll be struck by 8-10 x 180 dmg (or 1440-1800 magic dmg) (depending on the next delay thing... I don't really know how it works, just that all your arrows can't always hit). The real killer is that so few things are immune to magic that you'll take down virtually any monster with that.

And now let's say you have a bunch of monsters lined up, and your arrows pierce up to the third one on average (I had razortail + 75% pierce, so I just pierced with every hit, but let's keep it to the first three monsters in a pack here). Each hit hitting the first three monsters will cast their respective bone spears, resulting in about 20-30 bone spears that will hit the monsters standing behind the first ones. Remember that bone spears will pierce anything too... 20 bone spears is 3600 magic damage that will be applied to any monster standing behind the initial ones. This is when good herding tactics will reward players. It is a whole lot faster if you can get your ennemies bunched up around a decoy or lined up in a tight passage. Sometimes you'll even notice that ennemies standing in the back of the crowd will start falling first because of the massive numbers of bone spears chewing through them.

My advice:
If you're rich, try it. It's great fun. If you're poor, forget it. I have the feeling it would never deliver as much without perfect IAS and all-around great gear.

The only downside to it is the SOUND of all these bone spears going off. It's like a constant buzzing because of the IAS breakpoint, so it gets annoying very quickly. The awesome killing speed more than makes it up for it though. And also, I have to say that she was a real tank. I stood toe to toe with diablo and strafed away until he was dead and only had to chug one or two potions. And here's an interesting note: he killed my merc early on (maybe at 3/4 of his life) and I decided to finish him without reviving my fanat pumping rogue. It was STILL faster than with the rogue alive and some of the other bows.
 
tbh id rather go with a frost madien/strafe as this type of char is much cheaper and has much more room fore killing power
if you are saying that it clear chaos faster than other chars then i think you need to rethink your test, different play styles suite different bows
also your use of a faith merc is a major dissadvantage to the hard hittting bows like faith that would more benefit pride for example
edit:also your choice of base bow is vital, an ice GMB compared to an ice MB is a huge difference to consider and like wise a brand/faith/wrath in a reflex bow is going to be a major disadvantage where as an ice bow would be none the othered by it....
 
I have seen only one Brand bow in a public game the the person led the group thru the CS. I as mezmerized watching the spears. Thank you for bringing this up. Oh this bow has knockback as well I believe....
 
i've made a brand based bowzon on previous ladder (with the bug still active) but i wasn't really satisfied with her performance, what i disliked most was the necessity to use strafe all the time - obviously that alone considerably cuts on the damage, since strafe is only good in certain situations

ofc you can use multi but then bonespears won't work and it's useless

the brand build looks good on paper but in action it's pretty mediocre, i would say both frostmaiden and pure bowzon are better performers
 
I agree, made a brand strafer with faith merc previous ladder (with marrowbug still active), ice zon with infi merc this ladder. The ice zon is easily the faster killer.
 
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