• A quick note to everyone that your accounts function on all the "Pure" sites and forums. Your universal login will allow you to post in your main community forum whether it be Diablo, Cyberpunk 2077, or PureDMG. Your account also allows you to login to their respective main websites for comment posting. Simple!

Cursed: A Nihlathak Love Story (Untwinked Amazon Hits 99)

PhineasB

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2020
418
281
63
Originally posted December 28, 2019

Quinta was my fifth entrant in Kitteh’s relaunch of the untwinked 99er challenge, joining Mercy (trapper assassin), Hiatus (Blizz sorc 1-98 and lightning sorc 98-99), Phaedrus (Hammerdin), and Pestilence (Novamancer) on the Table of Heroes.
99.jpg
Here’s a vid with the final few Nihl runs and gear showcase. I somehow forgot to show weapon switch and merc gear (you’d think I’d have it down by now, but obviously not :rolleyes:). But they are in the readouts at the end.
A literary interlude is in the spoiler below, for those who are interested. My writeups were feeling a bit formulaic, and I had some creative energy. It gives the backstory around the title and choice of music in the video.
Harrogath was crumbling, slowly withering in the face of Baal’s onslaught. The rest of the Elders had slowed the assault, but not stopped it, their sacrifice in vain, the Fools! Now only I remained, and there was little hope of victory in arms. Warriors departed, not to return. The enemy was too powerful to overcome, but also too treacherous to trust. As I pondered these questions, they approached.

Rumor had spread around the City of a hero who had vanquished the other Prime Evils who was come to deliver us from despair. Such mad hope often appears in the face of disaster, but what could one warrior do when so many of the City’s bravest had set out only to be slaughtered in the foothills. But it turned out to be no rumor.

One was an archer, lithe and stern of expression. The other was like a vision of an ancient goddess, her blonde hair flowing and a faint glow around her. She carried a large spear and an expression of neutral regard for all that she saw. But I had eyes only for the third, clearly their leader, and my first sight of her smote my heart. She wore a grim helm, and perhaps even a grimmer expression full of determination. Our eyes met, and, as she looked me up and down, said:
Nihl Greeting.jpg
My heart skipped a beat, but I was not a foolish boy. Doom was bearing down on us all, so I tried to cut the infatuation short. “Well, well. The siege has everything in short supply...except fools,” said I. “Why would you seek this place, stranger? Are you a vulture come to loot the bodies of our fallen warriors? Regardless, this is no place to make a name for yourself. The mountain is ours to protect. It is only a matter of time before Hell's legions are routed.”

She returned a wry smile, perhaps with a murmur of pity shining through her eyes, and said, “A lovely welcome. Where can a girl get lunch around this City? Surely you have the skill to tend to that?” With that, she took my hand and my heart melted. Those were the most glorious hours of my life. We talked, shared our hopes and histories.

Quinta! Her name was Quinta, my love. I learned how her parents had given her that name after a seer in her homeland had said she was destined to be the fifth in a line of great heroes. I told her of my secret retreat, how well-guarded it was, and hinted that we could go there together and be safe. She looked at me doubtfully, and simply repeated that her destiny led elsewhere, to defeat Baal.

I devolved to pleading and begging, telling her that she would only be throwing her life away and that we should fly to safety and at least be together, hidden from Baal’s corruption. The look of pity was no longer just a murmur. She said she would return to find me after she overthrew the Lord of Destruction and set forth with her two companions.

I was in agony. As the hours passed with no news, my despair deepened and I resolved to save my love by whatever means. Although I had dismissed this before, I saw that the only hope was to bargain with Baal. After disposing of that snoop Anya, it was easy enough to find Baal. “Even you, Baal, cannot bypass the Ancients,” said I. “I can help, but you must agree that you and your minions will bring the hero, Quinta, to no harm, and end the siege of Harrogath.” He nodded assent, the deed was done, and when I reminded him of his promise to spare Quinta as he departed, his laughter echoed off the slopes of Mount Arreat. “Thank you for your aid, fool!” were his leaving words.

I was distraught. Had I helped Baal in exchange for nothing, with my love still in danger? I thought of running to battlefront to find her, but instead fled to my retreat. All was quiet for some time as I agonized over what was occurring. I would give anything to see her again, but I dared not leave. Suddenly, commotion broke out at the entry, and slowly worked its way down the levels, as the sounds of fighting became clear and screams of my servants broke out. Had Baal come to exact his final revenge?

Battle could be heard in the hall outside my chamber, my minions were drawn out and destroyed, but I could not see by what. I awaited some evil creature, but it was her! My love, but with a grim look and fiercer than ever. Her two companions also looked battle tested and, unlike her, a bit weary. I wanted to yell, “My love, you are safe!” But she spoke first, charging forward as she cried out:

Nihl Traitor.jpg
My mind was a muddle, as I realized she was right. But I had done everything for her, to save her. And then was on top of me, striking fiercely. I had betrayed her, but only to protect her, so I could not fight. My final thought before entering the blackness was: “Quinta, my love, I understand. I only wanted to be with you always, and hope you will also come to understand my motivation."

* * *

I regained awareness in my retreat. I thought maybe she would be there, it was all a mistake. It was if though she had never arrived. But I had died, and I came to believe this was some device of Baal’s to punish me for thinking I could bargain with him. He had, of course, killed Quinta (and with that thought, my heart was pierced with grief), and decided it would amuse him to make me live in, trapped where she had struck me down.

For week’s I sat in peace, grappling with my thoughts and guilt. Then tumult broke out above, at the entrance it seemed. It lasted weeks, like an epic battle raging in my front garden. I was confused, curious, but also too afraid to investigate. But it ceased, and several months of quiet followed again. I was confused and beginning to dread this limbo.

Suddenly, tumult broke out again, cries of an intruder from my servants, and then . . . She appeared again, but her companions were gone, replaced by a strange man with a polearm and strange auras around him. She carried javelins and a shield instead of her spear. I nearly cried out with joy, she was alive and had somehow survived. Perhaps we could be together.

Before I could speak, she let fly a bolt that split into countless others and seared my vision, and all went black again. But I again regained awareness, as if nothing had happened. She arrived again, as before, and struck me down, as before. I realized she would not forgive me. This this was my punishment for the betrayal, and I resolved to maintain my love for her no matter how long this lasted. I had earned this fate, I understood, but I would not abandon my love for Quinta . . .

Progress
Quinta entered the S/U Tourney hosted by @jiansonz in February 2018, with the idea that she could become my untwinked 99er zon entry. After making it through as a passive CS spearazon without a death (but also without any useful gear for a furyzon), she gathered some basics and became my entry in the 2018 Summer MFO. She won the Pindle category with ridiculous S/U luck, but she also got virtually no drops useful for her end-game build.

She officially entered the Untwinked 99er challenge in September 2018 at level 93.4, with that post summarizing (with links to relevant posts) her tourney progress, pre-MFO running for basics, and MFO results. She continued at Pindle to level 94. With a Ber in hand from Pindle, she then transitioned to LK, netting 2 Surs and other lower runes over 1350 LK runs (first 500, second 500, last 350), plus Thunderstroke and a non-eth Shako from Meph runs.

That allowed Infinity, as I’d already decided to build it first. The idea was to “run” WSK, given that early SPF 99ers had run Baal without Enigma, and in hopes that v1.13 would deliver runes toward Enigma without having to grind LK too much. It worked out, as she picked up two Bers from Cows and WSK, before returning to LK for another 650 runs that netted a Sur and Ber to allow the game-changing runeword.

She also had picked up a +6 BO CtA and Titan’s by this point, and key gear (minus Griffon’s), so the transition to Baal runs was smooth, moving to 95.5 before Achmel dropped the real game-changer:
Baal (Griffons).jpg
:D She then moved to level 96, with the gear upgrades making for speedy progress. She was parked as a I focused on Pestilence, but picked up again after being my 2019 RFL Round 1 (Cows) entrant, with some runes but the best drop a FR RJoF for the merc’s Andy’s.

She then blitzed to level 97 in just over a week, averaging <3 minutes per run, or around 12M/hr, which I believe was the fastest for any of my 99ers for that stretch (updates for 96.5 and 97). She then sat until Pestilence hit 99 in July, and then getting to 97.25 before 2019 Summer MFO. She hit 98 during the MFO, placing second to @Vildecor who deservedly took the victory with his own untwinked 99er zon. A vid from her last few Baal runs is below.
It was then time to transition to Nihl, where the love story resumed. After some testing and helpful feedback from @ffs, we settled on the Thunderstroke set up with Highlord’s, Magefist, and ML ring. The lack of FCR/ML ring or caster/ML amulet was the limitation. Then it was just steady progress from September to December, with a nice vacation and trip to visit my family mixed in (updates at 98.25, 98.5, 98.75, and 99).

Drops weren’t great, but XP progress was ~2.9-3M/hr, so progress was smooth and steady, with no deaths. The only auto-aborts were unbreakable LI Nihl, and nasty viper rolls or might/fanaticism with amp and archers resulted in other S&Es. But they were pretty limited, so that helped with progress. She was fun for Nihl, and I found the aggressive approach engaging: 2-3 LF casts to clear things out, then teleport to Nihl and CS away unless Vipers had shot clouds around his landing spot.

Finds
She had some great finds, particularly for the two MFOs. She netted two of my at-that-time four remaining grailers overall, with Grandfather during 2018 Summer MFO and Mang's during 2019 Summer MFO to bring me to grail -1 :cool: Honestly, the biggest find was the Griffon’s at level 95, which really makes the javazon shine. She was also solid on the rune front, with the key runewords made and runes remaining in the stash below:
Code:
Enigma
CtA x2
eth CoH
eth Fortitude
eth Infinity
Delirium
Cham'ed Griffon’s

Runes left: Mal x2, Ist x2, Vex x2, Lo x2, Sur, Ber, Jah x2
She picked up only two skillers for herself, which was disappointing, but otherwise her charm collection was really nice. She netted a +35 vita Natural skiller, but not much else to contribute to my overall stash beyond her equipped charms.

Reflections
Due to starting as a tourney character and lack of early gear contributions from 2018 Summer MFO, she was much slower to 93 than any other approach, and her gear early on was pretty weak. But the tourney was a fun challenge and way to get the fifth one of these going. Once she got the basics, and especially Enigma/Infinity, she was very fast. The Griffon’s then made her a powerhouse, and Baal runs were actually fun with her :eek: All in all, a great option for a 99er run, for sure, which makes sense given the javazon’s prevalence in the overall SPF 99er table.

Stats, Gear, and Merc
Below are her stats, etc. upon pinging 99, reflecting her approach for Nihl runs. I removed readouts of the runes included in runewords to shorten things. She obviously ran a good bit of Baal also, and her set up at the conclusion of those is summarized here in the Meet the Olympians posts for 2019 Summer MFO.
Code:
Name:       Quinta
Class:      Amazon
Experience: 3520485254
Level:      99

Naked/Gear
Strength:   83/157
Dexterity:  151/160
Vitality:   331/353
Energy:     15/15
HP:         1239/1552
Mana:       162/320
Stamina:    493/673
Defense:    37/1755
AR:         725/890

Fire:       177/137/77
Cold:       120/80/20
Lightning:  164/124/64
Poison:     152/112/52

MF:         150       Block:      34
GF:         96
FR/W:       92
FHR:        87
IAS:        35
FCR:        100

Magic Arrow: 0/0
Fire Arrow: 0/0
Cold Arrow: 0/0
Multiple Shot: 0/0
Exploding Arrow: 0/0
Ice Arrow: 0/0
Guided Arrow: 0/0
Strafe: 0/0
Immolation Arrow: 0/0
Freezing Arrow: 0/0

Inner Sight: 0/0
Critical Strike: 1/8
Dodge: 0/0
Slow Missiles: 0/0
Avoid: 0/0
Penetrate: 1/8
Decoy: 0/0
Evade: 0/0
Valkyrie: 0/0
Pierce: 20/27

Jab: 1/14
Power Strike: 20/33
Poison Javelin: 1/14
Impale: 0/0
Lightning Bolt: 20/36
Charged Strike: 20/33
Plague Javelin: 1/14
Fend: 0/0
Lightning Strike: 4/17
Lightning Fury: 20/33
Code:
Enigma
Mage Plate
JahIthBer
Defense: 985
Durability: 59 of 60
Required Level: 65
Required Strength: 55
Fingerprint: 0x47c52f56
Item Level: 86
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
+45% Faster Run/Walk
+1 to Teleport
+753 Defense
+74 to Strength (Based on Character Level)
Increase Maximum Life 5%
Damage Reduced by 8%
+14 Life after each Kill
15% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
99% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items (Based on Character Level)
3 Sockets (3 used)
Socketed: Jah Rune
Socketed: Ith Rune
Socketed: Ber Rune

Arachnid Mesh
Spiderweb Sash
Defense: 131
Durability: 12 of 12
Required Level: 80
Required Strength: 50
Fingerprint: 0x6adf6d92
Item Level: 99
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
+20% Faster Cast Rate
Slows Target by 10%
+109% Enhanced Defense
Increase Maximum Mana 5%
Level 3 Venom (11/11 Charges)

Quinta's Griffon's Eye
Diadem
Defense: 245
Durability: 20 of 20
Required Level: 76
Fingerprint: 0x8a0d0e42
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
+25% Faster Cast Rate
-20% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
+11% to Lightning Skill Damage
+188 Defense
Cannot Be Frozen
1 Sockets (1 used)
Socketed: Cham Rune

Aldur's Advance
Battle Boots
Defense: 43
Durability: 13 of 18
Required Level: 45
Required Strength: 95
Fingerprint: 0x696ec723
Item Level: 81
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Indestructible
+40% Faster Run/Walk
+50 to Life
+180 Maximum Stamina
Heal Stamina Plus 32%
Fire Resist +49%
10% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
Set (2 items): +15 to Dexterity
Set (3 items): +15 to Dexterity
Set (4 items): +15 to Dexterity

Highlord's Wrath
Amulet
Required Level: 65
Fingerprint: 0xf5cd287e
Item Level: 86
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
+20% Increased Attack Speed
Adds 1 - 30 Lightning Damage
37% Deadly Strike (Based on Character Level)
Lightning Resist +35%
Attacker Takes Lightning Damage of 15

Stone Master
Ring
Required Level: 74
Fingerprint: 0x687bfd1b
Item Level: 86
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+103 to Attack Rating
6% Mana stolen per hit
+9 to Dexterity
+57 to Mana
All Resistances +8
Half Freeze Duration

Magefist
Light Gauntlets
Defense: 24
Durability: 18 of 18
Required Level: 23
Required Strength: 45
Fingerprint: 0xd5758894
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Fire Skills
+20% Faster Cast Rate
Adds 1 - 6 Fire Damage
+24% Enhanced Defense
+10 Defense
Regenerate Mana 25%

Nature's Peace
Ring
Required Level: 69
Fingerprint: 0x28577eb1
Item Level: 95
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Prevent Monster Heal
Slain Monsters Rest in Peace
Poison Resist +29%
Damage Reduced by 9
Level 5 Oak Sage (27/27 Charges)

Call to Arms
War Scepter
AmnRalMalIstOhm
One Hand Damage: 38 - 65
Durability: 70 of 70
Required Level: 57
Required Strength: 55
Fingerprint: 0x268d802d
Item Level: 86
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
+40% Increased Attack Speed
285% Enhanced Damage
+150% Damage to Undead
Adds 5 - 30 Fire Damage
7% Life stolen per hit
Prevent Monster Heal
+2 to Fist of the Heavens (Paladin Only)
+1 to Holy Shock (Paladin Only)
+2 to Battle Command
+6 to Battle Orders
+4 to Battle Cry
Replenish Life +12
30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
5 Sockets (5 used)
Socketed: Amn Rune
Socketed: Ral Rune
Socketed: Mal Rune
Socketed: Ist Rune
Socketed: Ohm Rune

Spirit
Monarch
TalThulOrtAmn
Defense: 140
Chance to Block: 0
Durability: 86 of 86
Required Level: 54
Required Strength: 156
Fingerprint: 0x34f88642
Item Level: 86
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
+34% Faster Cast Rate
+55% Faster Hit Recovery
+250 Defense vs. Missile
+22 to Vitality
+107 to Mana
Cold Resist +35%
Lightning Resist +35%
Poison Resist +35%
+3 Magic Absorb
Attacker Takes Damage of 14
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Tal Rune
Socketed: Thul Rune
Socketed: Ort Rune
Socketed: Amn Rune

Thunderstroke
Matriarchal Javelin
Throw Damage: 100 - 188
One Hand Damage: 85 - 154
Quantity: 53
Required Level: 69
Required Strength: 107
Required Dexterity: 151
Fingerprint: 0x723df120
Item Level: 99
Version: Expansion 1.10+
20% Chance to cast level 14 Lightning on striking
+4 to Javelin and Spear Skills (Amazon Only)
+15% Increased Attack Speed
186% Enhanced Damage
Adds 1 - 511 Lightning Damage
-15% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
+3 to Lightning Bolt (Amazon Only)

Spirit
Superior Monarch
TalThulOrtAmn
Defense: 147
Chance to Block: 0
Durability: 96 of 97
Required Level: 54
Required Strength: 156
Fingerprint: 0x89780392
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
+35% Faster Cast Rate
+55% Faster Hit Recovery
+250 Defense vs. Missile
+22 to Vitality
+93 to Mana
Cold Resist +35%
Lightning Resist +35%
Poison Resist +35%
+8 Magic Absorb
Attacker Takes Damage of 14
Increase Maximum Durability 13%
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Tal Rune
Socketed: Thul Rune
Socketed: Ort Rune
Socketed: Amn Rune
Code:
Harpoonist's Grand Charm of Inertia
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0xfe1e9c6a
Item Level: 81
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Javelin and Spear Skills (Amazon Only)
+7% Faster Run/Walk

Harpoonist's Grand Charm of the Icicle
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0xe71fd84b
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Javelin and Spear Skills (Amazon Only)
Adds 2 - 4 Cold Damage Over 1 Secs (25 Frames)

Ruby Grand Charm of Sustenance
Grand Charm
Required Level: 53
Fingerprint: 0xbaba0836
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+32 to Life
Fire Resist +27%

Ruby Grand Charm of Vita
Grand Charm
Required Level: 69
Fingerprint: 0x400a174c
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+37 to Life
Fire Resist +26%

Shimmering Grand Charm of Balance
Grand Charm
Required Level: 27
Fingerprint: 0x95f5156d
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+12% Faster Hit Recovery
All Resistances +15

Gheed's Fortune
Grand Charm
Required Level: 62
Fingerprint: 0x2e252803
Item Level: 95
Version: Expansion 1.10+
96% Extra Gold from Monsters
Reduces all Vendor Prices 13%
40% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Shimmering Small Charm of Balance
Small Charm
Required Level: 29
Fingerprint: 0x1e36f89a
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+5% Faster Hit Recovery
All Resistances +5

Sapphire Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x4cf35a43
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+18 to Life
Cold Resist +10%

Amber Small Charm of Good Luck
Small Charm
Required Level: 33
Fingerprint: 0x5703a5bc
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Lightning Resist +11%
7% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Fine Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xde186caf
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+3 to Maximum Damage
+17 to Attack Rating
+19 to Life

Emerald Small Charm of Balance
Small Charm
Required Level: 32
Fingerprint: 0x9475875d
Item Level: 81
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+5% Faster Hit Recovery
Poison Resist +11%

Snake's Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x9f098977
Item Level: 81
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life
+8 to Mana

Lapis Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x6a408631
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+19 to Life
Cold Resist +7%

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x15138b8d
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Tangerine Small Charm of Balance
Small Charm
Required Level: 29
Fingerprint: 0xe0cccd93
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+5% Faster Hit Recovery
Lightning Resist +5%

Russet Small Charm of Balance
Small Charm
Required Level: 29
Fingerprint: 0x59b22a7b
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+5% Faster Hit Recovery
Fire Resist +7%

Amber Small Charm of Fortune
Small Charm
Required Level: 32
Fingerprint: 0x853a86f0
Item Level: 87
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Lightning Resist +10%
4% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xc125991b
Item Level: 83
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xcb514ffe
Item Level: 95
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Shimmering Small Charm of Craftmanship
Small Charm
Required Level: 77
Fingerprint: 0xc8b24b99
Item Level: 95
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Maximum Damage
All Resistances +5

Jade Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x474859c
Item Level: 99
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+18 to Life
Poison Resist +9%

Shimmering Small Charm
Small Charm
Required Level: 25
Fingerprint: 0x8e62d14
Item Level: 84
Version: Expansion 1.10+
All Resistances +5

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xc7dc48ac
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Burly Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xb421078a
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+16 Defense
+20 to Life
Code:
Name:       Kasim
Race:       Desert Mercenary
Type:       Off-Nightmare
Experience: 114096020
Level:      98
Dead?:      false

Naked/Gear
Strength:   209/229
Dexterity:  169/169
HP:         2287/2287
Defense:    1671/3745
AR:         2066/2066

Fire:       227/187/127
Cold:       227/187/127
Lightning:  227/187/127
Poison:    227/187/127

Delirium
Grand Crown
LemIstIo
Defense: 354
Durability: 33 of 50
Required Level: 51
Required Strength: 103
Fingerprint: 0x75cd5556
Item Level: 84
Version: Expansion 1.10+
1% Chance to cast level 50 Delirium when struck
6% Chance to cast level 14 Mind Blast when struck
14% Chance to cast level 13 Terror when struck
11% Chance to cast level 18 Confuse on striking
+2 to All Skills
+261 Defense
+10 to Vitality
50% Extra Gold from Monsters
25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Level 17 Attract (60/60 Charges)
3 Sockets (3 used)
Socketed: Lem Rune
Socketed: Ist Rune
Socketed: Io Rune

Chains of Honor
Archon Plate
DolUmBerIst
Defense: 1720
Durability: 31 of 31
Required Level: 63
Required Strength: 93
Fingerprint: 0x3642f69f
Item Level: 86
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
+200% Damage to Demons
+100% Damage to Undead
8% Life stolen per hit
+70% Enhanced Defense
+20 to Strength
Replenish Life +7
All Resistances +65
Damage Reduced by 8%
25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Ethereal
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Dol Rune
Socketed: Um Rune
Socketed: Ber Rune
Socketed: Ist Rune

Infinity
Colossus Voulge
BerMalBerIst
Two Hand Damage: 90 - 896
Durability: 26 of 26
Required Level: 63
Required Strength: 200
Required Dexterity: 45
Fingerprint: 0xe3c8a32e
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
50% Chance to cast level 20 Chain Lightning when you Kill an Enemy
Level 12 Conviction Aura When Equipped
+35% Faster Run/Walk
263% Enhanced Damage
-53% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
40% Chance of Crushing Blow
Prevent Monster Heal
+49 to Vitality (Based on Character Level)
30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Level 21 Cyclone Armor (30/30 Charges)
Ethereal
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Ber Rune
Socketed: Mal Rune
Socketed: Ber Rune
Socketed: Ist Rune

Thank You-s and What’s Next-es
As always, I have to start with thanks to this forum and everyone who participated or contributed to this thread: it’s much easier to plug away with company. A special shoutout to @Kitteh for relaunching the challenge, and @Pb_pal, @Nano, @T72on1, @ffs, @Bewitch and the other more recent entries for the suggestions and encouragement throughout. The SPF is a great community, and the untwinked 99er thread in particular has been a great place for theorycrafting and tips and has generally helped keep D2 engaging for me. So a big thanks for the SPF for being the SPF!

As for what's next, Quinta will search for an eth Scythe in early NM to Larzuk and make Infinity for another project. Beyond that, she likely won’t get much use. But I will try to put together distinct set ups for her and my other javazon so each can be ready for a particular target (Cows, CS maybe) without rerolling maps.

Beyond that, I will take a break from the untwinked 99ers, focusing on the Three Way Dance to finish those characters off (one way or another). I also have some twinked builds that I would like to push through. I know, I’ve said that about the Druid to use the eTomby in, what, three straight 99er writeups now, but this time I mean it! I have a project in mind that might provide the motivation to actually do it this time, so maybe at least a few twinked pat/mats will be incoming. For my other 99ers, Death (Barb) is at 95 and Septimus (Druid) is at 90. The occasional set of Baal runs may see Death start creeping toward 96, but I think Septimus will sit for a while. We’ll see . . . Either way, liking the character screen:
99 (Character screen).jpg
In closing, a final thanks to everyone who followed along and provided encouragement around the untwinked 99ers. Questions and feedback are most welcome. Cheers! :)
 
Last edited:

PhineasB

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2020
418
281
63
Originally posted February 18, 2018

This tourney looked like lots of fun, but I held off because I’ve been focused on the two untwinked 99ers. But I am getting a bit tired of LK and thought it would be worthwhile to have another option when the pally needs a break from CS. And because it’s an untwinked tourney, this could be a starter for the next class I would tackle if I finish the pally.

So meet Quinta, the passive-zon. The plan is to one-point all the passives, except critical strike (a few extra points), Decoy and Valk (maxed), and pierce (no points, unless we get nice bow or javelins for a hybrid).

She is SC so that I can potentially continue on the untwinked journey if she gets taken out before reaching Mat. I can level her to 98 on Baals (and probably would anyhow), so the loss of Ancients isn’t as much an issue. But she won't use socket quests on the play-through to ensure that's available in the future.
She started off lucky, with a gem shrine in the Blood Moor, which was saved for first topaz (in the Den of Evil). Blood Raven, Griswold, and Countess dropped. Triple emerald bow for the merc, and triple emerald spear for Quinta (not the trident but the other one) was fine, if a little slow going.

She had very nice topaz luck along the way, with full chippies for Quinta and Merc (2os armor for Quinta instead of ring mail to avoid stamina drain), the flawed in Quinta’s hat, and quite a few extra stashed. But the first S/U didn’t fall until just before Andy fight (Axe of Fechmar). Andy dropped the second unique (Umbral Disk) and a Topaz (nice!).

When I saw Fechmar drop, I remember thinking, interesting, the freeze target will likely to come in handy for shattered skeletons in A2 to prevent reanimation by Unravellers. Boy did that turn out to be the case! :rolleyes:
Quinta went after the cube first after picking up a town guard and giving him the spear. With an assist from immediate left hand entrance to Dry Hills from Rocky Waste, successful retrieval of the cube allowed her to make three flawed topazes, one of which went into the skull cap with the regular topaz, with the others going into a 3os breast plate (that took nearly 10 minutes to finally roll in the vendor screen).

She then cleared the first two above-ground areas before tackled Radament, with her third unique (and second weapon dropping, the Skewer of Krintiz). You can probably see where this is headed. No uniques or sets as she cleared surface areas up to Claw Viper temple. She planned to grab the amulet, then hit AT, then clear to Arcane Sanctuary before going back to get the staff. Honestly, she was hoping for no more drops until A3 to avoid risk of having a weaponless merc.

Of course, in AT, the third weapon dropped from a poppable, Isenhart’s sword. :mad: I was so annoyed that I apparently messed up the screenie. This obviously made the rest of the Act much more challenging, as the merc was now weaponless and useless except as an extra decoy.

Maggot lair was a joy, but the freeze target allowed Quinta to manage the passageways and eventually bash her way through. Arcane Sanctuary involved lots of running forward and retreating, with the ghosts a challenge due to (I think) some physical resists. She actually picked the right arm the first time and decided to clear the surface area in the Canyon in the hopes of a lucky polearm or bow drop. No such luck, so she slogged through the other arms of the Arcane Sanctuary.

I almost caved in and hit Duriel’s tomb first to allow retrieval of a cold mage in A3. In retrospect, I wish I had, but instead cleared the six false tombs first. Berserker’s helm dropped, which the merc got. Pics show how the merc tanked Kaa’s lightning bolts as Quinta swung over his shoulder, the second-to-last tomb presented an (at that time) unkillable boss, and a similar issue with a Ghostly Unraveller in the last tomb.

The pic below shows Quinta’s tactics for the tombs, with merc and decoy establishing a beachhead while Quinta attacked from the perimeter and ensured that they never got flanked.
N A2 Tactics Weaponless Merc.jpg
Several tactical retreats were needed, but she was able to plod along shattering corpses one-by-one. The relatively low damage made it so it quite a few swings to take down a single monster. Four tombs had Unravellers, but they were actually one of the better rolls given the tactics she had to use. The most dangerous roll was vampires mixed with Blunderbore types.

She had picked up a poison damage charm (and a second) when clearing the true tomb, so she went back to take on the Ghostly Unraveller, with one town trip needed to restock on potions (the pic above is actually from this fight). It turned out she had not cleared the rest of the tomb, so cleared the rest of it, with Isenhart’s armor dropping. The merc was now weaponless and without MF in either armor slot, but it didn’t matter because he wasn’t doing any killing!

It turned out that Quinta couldn’t safely take down the chest-boss in the final false tomb, so she gave the other parked boss (physical immune ghost) a shot before moving on to Duriel. He went down in about 5 minutes, with one town trip needed to restock on potions.

Duriel at p1 took one trip to town to restock healing potions, but eventually fell. Sander’s gloves were useful, and the set quilted armor meant Quinta had to give up her topazed armor. She took Isenhart’s (mostly useless mods, but partial set bonus ftw!) and gave the merc the other, along with the Skewer. With a cold mage in tow (Flux!), she returned to take down the last boss :p (observant readers noticed that the pic above had the cold mage doing his thing while Quinta tanked).

It was a slog, but she made it and now has a merc that can wield the third weapon. She will get some time hear and there, but it won't be steady progress.

Current gear. For Quinta, it’s plain belt and boots; jewelry slots open; topazed skull cap (flawed and regular for 25% MF, which is her total); Isenhart’s sword and umbral disk, with Fechmar on switch. Backpack has some resist charms (she’s been reasonably lucky there, with 19/27/12/14 all from charms) and 21 points of poison damage. Cold mage has Berserker hat, Arctic Furs, and Skewer (no shield).

Quinta, the Level 28 Passivezon, and Flux, the Level 27 Cold Mage; A3 Normal, Lut Gholein
 

PhineasB

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2020
418
281
63
Originally posted September 8, 2018

Next, it’s time to introduce my fifth entry in this challenge, Quinta, a LF zon. She’s currently level 93.4, with a few gear upgrades needed ahead before she settles into Baal runs.

I started her in February 2018 as my entry in the S/U tourney hosted by @jiansonz . The idea all along was that she might become my zon entry in this challenge, and she also ended up being my 2018 Summer MFO entry along the way.

She progressed as a passive/Valk zon, eventually settling on Charged Strike spearzon as the build in A3H. After some early challenges in that tourney, she finished without a death early last month. Major milestones in the tourney progress are in the spoiler.
Normal
A1 & A2
A3 and A4
A5

Nightmare
A1
A2
A3
A4
A5

Hell
A1 & A2
A3 & A4
A5
After Mat’ing, Quinta was the main focus of my time, with Pindle and Eldritch runs in preparation to be my entry in MFO. She also mixed in 500 Meph runs and 500 LK. She made it to level 90 level pre-MFO, with very basic gear. But that’s all you need for Pindle!

She ended up winning the Pindle category, which was pretty cool, with reflections on those 10 days here. Bottom line was very lucky drops for MFO, but virtually no item upgrades for her untwinked journey:
MFO (Haul).jpg
The plan is to get to level 94 at Pindle, probably mixing in some LK, as a break from Phaedrus as he pushes to 99. The idea with her was that I could roll a Baal map that makes Enigma not-essential, as some of the earlier SPF 99ers have shown you don’t need to teleport if running Baal. After three untwinked Enigmas, I was hoping to minimize LK runs even if it takes longer in the grand scheme of things.

She has the nice Ber drop from Pindle, so if she can pick up Infinity from LK runs, she’ll move to WSK and Baal, hoping for rune drops along the way to open up Enigma. I’ll probably break down and go back to LK for Enigma before it drops from Baal runs, but we’ll see.

* * *

We leave for a three-week vacation tomorrow, so there won’t be any progress until October at the best. No wifi or cell reception for most of it, but I'll try to check in on progress of others when I can. My goal upon returning is to focus on Phaedrus, with Quinta as a break (and maybe some Pit runs with Pestilence). I’m thinking he may be able to get 99 by the end of November, with Ancients XP bonus available, and my hope is that Quinta will be at 94 from Pindle and Pestilence will be at 97 at that point. But we’ll see!
 

PhineasB

Well-known member
Mar 14, 2020
418
281
63
Originally posted November 21, 2018

Matriarch Quinta and Kasim the Might Desert Merc, Lvl 94 (pic)
As mentioned in Phaedrus’ write up, Quinta had progressed to just shy of 93.7, and she finished the last stretch in the week after Phaedrus hit 99.

No major upgrades since her last update at 93.4, sadly, but it was smooth progress for the most part. One dumb death mixed in: I often ran with her as a short break from Phaedrus, and clearly forgot to lower the p-setting to p1 before realizing what was happening. Exhibit Q as to why I don't play hardcore :p

Early in this stretch, she picked up a Leviathan and Horizon’s, followed by a minor troll with a Fletcher’s skiller, and then an Um as her only Lem+ rune. After another 7 yellow Shako’s (and 31 total at Pindle), it finally dropped, but of course:
Pindle (Shako eth).jpg
:rolleyes: Another five yellow Shako’s before she hit the level. :mad: But that allowed her to run on p3 for the rest of level, with 1 durability left when she pinged. The +skill without too much loss of MF and extra life were key.

She finished up with BK CB, Arkaine’s (+2 skills on the roll), another Spirit Keeper, and another Leviathan. The Arkaine’s is actually pretty interesting, and may be the armor she uses for Baal runs once she gets Infinity. The +skills and vita will be welcome, and I’m not sure what else would beat it in my current stash except maybe Naj armor for +1 skill and resists?

As for Infinity, we have moved to LK again, hoping for a Ber equivalent to complete that runeword and then do at least 94-95 on Baal before reassessing whether to go back to LK for Enigma.

Quinta is doing 50 runs on promising maps before rerolling, and still haven’t found an @ffs quality map at 200 LK runs completed. Only two Lems to show for it so far. In the meantime, she rolled a CtA to make runs more comfortable and keep deaths to a minimum, and the roll (+1 BO) perfectly matches her experience with useful drops so far.