Liberator Guide Version 2 by mythos

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Liberator Guide Version 2
By mythos. Originally posted Apr 10, 2007

Note: This guide was originally written for BNet. Please bear in mind it may recommend items not found or permitted in Single Player.


The forums already have a Liberator guide, but its quite old so I thought I'd have a crack at updating it.

DISCLAIMER:
Ok, the first thing I'd like to state is that this guide will most likely not give any new advice/ suggestions. Its just meant to be a more comprehensive/updated account of how you can make a Liberator. None of the guide is set in stone, but there are some goals that you should be aiming for.

WHAT IS A LIBERATOR?
As of writing this guide a Liberator is a Hammer/charge hybrid. It can also employ a 1pt 'Grief' fueled smite for effective damage. One of the keys to mastering this build is to use the two skills in tandem.
I will present the two variations that I have built. Firstly, the classic or offensive build and also the defensive build.

BUILD GOALS:
Minimum of 75% fcr
30%+ DR
Max res all, in Hell after Anya quest. Ideally you'll have stacked lit/cold res for foh/blizz.
9k+ Hammer dmg
Effective Charge dmg (I say effective because I've never bothered to calculate my charge dmg with grief)
3.5k+ Life

HOW TO REACH OUR BUILD GOALS:
Like all builds your Liberator needs good gear, skill point and stat point placement.

Skill points - Offensive Build :
Blessed Hammers : 20pts
Vigor : 20pts
Concentration : 20pts
Blessed Aim : 20pts
Charge : All remaining points

One Point Wonders:
Smite
Salvation - optional*
Holy Shield
Fanaticism- optional*
Holy Freeze - optional*

Pre-Req's (1pt each):
Prayer
Cleansing
Defiance
Holy Bolt
Might

Skill points - Defensive Build :
Blessed Hammers : 20pts
Vigor : 20pts
Concentration : 20pts
Blessed Aim : 20pts
Charge : 1pts
Lite Resist Aura - All remaining points

One Point Wonders:
Smite
Salvation - optional*
Holy Shield
Fanaticism- optional*
Holy Freeze - optional*

Pre-Req's (1pt each):
Prayer
Cleansing
Defiance
Holy Bolt
Might

Comments on the two options:
As you can see the only difference between the two builds is whether you invest in charge or lite resist. Charge will make your charge a lot more dangerous (well, duh!). Lite resist will give you the passive bonus to your max lite res, which is quite handy when you consider all the lite based duellers that you will frequently encounter.
Neither build is 'better' than the other, they both have pro's and con's.

I do not recommend getting meditation or redemption. These are pvm skills. I also suggest you level as high a possible for extra life/dmg. The defensive build is finished at lvl 97, although its not 100% necessary to go that high.

*I'm yet to use Salvation. Thus, its optional. I can only think of one occasion when I needed it. That was when I was getting teamed by a FoHer and a Blizz sorc.
Fanaticism is also optional. I don't have it on either of my Liberators. The main reason I'd get Fanaticism is if I wanted to speed up my smite. Fanaticism would give a nice boost to your ias.
Holy freeze - I'm on the verge of getting this. Flashing HF onto barbs and hammerdins could be quite handy for stopping desynch.

Equipment:
I'll try and list a few options, but where I only list one option, then that's because I feel there aren't any suitable alternatives. Bear in mind this is a PvP character, so some items are expensive. If you can't afford some of the gear, then go kill Meph until you can.

Helm :
Crown of Ages : For me this is the best option. Res, DR, FHR and 1 skill are all great, but the 2os really makes it shine. Socket with Ber Ber. The downside is the high strength requirement.

Alternatives :
Kiara Guardian : Get two if you have the stash space. Socket one with thul, the other with ort. Only use it when you can't beat a blizz/foh'er. I don't have the space so I've got 1 with um in it. Having said that I rarely use it since I've got good life/res charms.
Pally circlet : To be worthwhile it would need to have 2os, 20 fcr, and res. Even with these mods it'll still come up short v's CoA in the DR/Res department. I'd consider using one when you can't wear your spider belt to maintain 75 fcr.
Shako : Less dr, no res, no fhr. Use it if you can't get a CoA. Try and keep two. One with a Ber, the other with Um. Can be used v's hdin's and bone nec's though. I keep one with Jah in my stash for hammerdins and bone nec's.

Armor:
Enigma : Skills, Strength, Dr, Life, teleport. If you can't afford an enigma, then you can't build a Liberator.
Even with the massive strength boost you'll need to add some strength points to wear CoA, so you can probably use an Archon Plate, but I use a Mage Plate because that's what I had at the time. Don't add points to strength just to wear an Archon, though. Level as high as possible before adding points to strength to get the maximum benefit from enigma.

Amulet:
Highlords : Is my first choice. 1 skill, lit res and all important deadly strike for your charge damage.

Alternatives :
Mara's : I use this when I know I won't be hitting my opponent with charge very much. The extra skill point adds to hammer damage.
Pally 20 fcr ammy: I wish I had one! An ammy with 20 fcr res and skills would be nice for when you want to wear t-gods/dungo.
Nokozan : I actually use this instead of hotspurs, because it takes up less stash space.

Weapon :
Greif : I started with a zerk. Then tried a phase blade for an extra smite frame. I'm back using the zerker now. I like the extra range. But try them both for yourself, it may be a personal preference thing.

Alternatives :
Wizspike : Great for levelling. Also good for HvH duels where you need 125fcr. If you switch this in then also switch in a Mara's. This, spirit, spider, and trangs gives 125 fcr.
Silence : Often overlooked and on paper it looks great for stacking v's foh/blizz. 75 res, +2 skills and 20 fhr are all nice. But once you've tried grief everything else comes up short.
Hoto : for extra hammer damage when duelling hdin's. I only list it because if I don't, someone will suggest it. I just use wiz spike.
Doom : A doom zerk would be an interesting addition to your stash. Holy freeze and +2 skills are quite nice whilst maintaining 75 fcr. It would also have good charge damage.
Death : Make it in an Ethereal Zerk. Huge deadly strike is what this bad boy is all about. This plus highlords will net you over 80% DS. On a pure charge damage basis this compares very well with Grief. Grief however, lets you use smite.

Shield :
Spirit : Make it in a sacred targe or rondache with 40+res. These two shields give the best chance to block and will minimise points spent in dex. Keep re rolling it until you get 35 fcr!
4 Perf Topaz/sapphire Paladin shield with 40+ base res: This shield will give 200+ cold or lite res. Put it on and laugh at foh'ers/bliz sorc's.

Belt :
Spider : 1 skill, mana, slow, 20 fcr. No further explanation required!
Alternatives :
T-gods : for the increased max lite res.
Dungo : For the DR
Snowclash : as per T-gods.

Be aware that T-gods/dungo/Snowclash are crutches. And they will cost you your 75 fcr breakpoint, unless you have a fcr helm or ammy.

Gloves:
Trangs : 20 fcr, 30 cold res.
Magefist : 20 fcr mana regen, but I prefer the cold res on Trangs.

First Ring:
Ravenfrost : Dex Ar CBF mana. Try and get a good one 20dex/220+ ar.

Second Ring:
Bk: skill and life
Soj ; skill and mana
Whisp/Dwarf/Raven : sorb
Rare : Look for fcr/strength/dex/life/res. Get one with fcr and you can switch in Hoto more easily. I chose not to use one of these because if you build the stats then you're stuck with it and can't use sorb items like wisp.

Boots:
There isn't really one pair of boots that fits the liberator perfectly, thus this slot is open for filling some holes in your build.
Rares : look for frw/fhr/lite/fire res. I got a pair with the very unfortunate name of 'Imp Shank'. Now before the anti dupe users get on their high horses, my pair aren't the dupes on West NL (and sadly now on Ladder also). They lack the str and have different res. Ie they have only 20 frw, 10 fhr, 37 lite res, 31 fire res, 11 poison res and 16 mf. Nonetheless, these boots are ideal, since they cover a big hole in resistances and get me to 86fhr without the use of charms.

Alternatives :
Waterwalks: The dex/life are nice. Use them when you don't need the res from rare boots.
Treks: Not as good as waterwalks imo. But the str, poison res, and fhr aren't bad.
Hotspurs : good only v's fire sorc's.
ShadowDancers : Try and get them with 20+dex. I would only use these if you don't have a CoA. The dex and 30fhr makes then a better boot than Treks IMO
Aldur's Boots - These have nice life and fire res to make up for spirit's shortfall in that element

Switch:
CtA/Spirit : These are a must for boosting your life/mana

Charms :
You thought some of the above gear was pricy. The charms for this build can be really expensive, but you can get by with cheaper stuff as well.

Anni: get the best one you can afford. Its worth it!

Torch : See Anni. Any will do, but the higher stats the better, since you save points and put them in vitality for more life.

Skillers : Use enough pcombat skillers to get 9-10k hammer damage. If you're rich, get them with life. I currently use 4 skillers, but am considering dropping that back to 3. You should not need to use more than 4.

Small Charms : Fill every spare space in your inventory with charms to cover any holes in your build. Ie res/life charms. Ideally you'll have a bunch of 20 life 11 cold/lite res or 20/5 all res sc's to stack against foh/blizz.

I've seen other people suggest ar/life gc's. I'm not such a fan of these, since all the characters that I want to charge have low def. Smiters, barbs etc who have high defence, will be killed with hammers.

Stat Point Allocation :
Standard stuff here.

Strength: enough to wear gear. Try levelling to 90+ before adding points so you can maximise the benefits from enigma
Dex : enough for max block with Battle command and holy Shield on.
Vitality : Everything else
Energy : None!

Be careful not to build in the points from Mara's or anything else you might want to take off. It'll cost you a bit of life, but give you much more flexibility.

Default Pub Set-up:
CoA
Highlords
Enigma
Trangs
Grief
Spirit
Ravenfrost
Wisp/Bk
Spider
Rare boots

Recommended Stash Gear:
Kira - ort, thul or um
Wisp x 2
Ravenfrost
Dwarf
T-gods
Snowclash
Wizardspike with 15 res jewel
Waterwalks
Shako with Jah or Pruby
Mara's
Cold/Lite shields with ~200 res


STRATEGIES:

I'm not putting myself out there as a godly dueller, thus some of my strategies may be lacking. The main strategy is to practice, practice, and then practice some more. I apologise in advance if some of my strategies appear lame, its just me compensating for my lack of skills.

Amazon's:
Bowzon's: Are pretty easy. Simply charge, then smite them. If they run, and they will, charge them again. Try and be a little bit smart about it, don't just charge straight at them from 3 screens away. Approach on an angle so their GA's won't lock onto you.

CS Zon: Again, charge and smite work well, so does desynch-tele hammer. Just switch out the spider for a T-Gods and have some stack to counter the -res from t-stroke, griffon's and any facets.
If they use fc hack, add 2 wisps and ort kira. Kill , nk , repeat.



Assassin's:

Trapper: Pure trappers are really quite easy. Especially the hoto/spirit variety. Shift charge around them a few times then namelock charge. A couple of charges will kill them. If they block the charge, switch to smite. Good trappers will mb you after the first charge. If you find that they have you 'pinned' with mb then charge away and start afresh.
If their traps are really hurting you switch in t-gods. Most will just sit in traps so you will take damage. If you want to make yourself immune then switch in t-gods, 2 wisps and lite stack shield. I only do this when the sin is being a prat. Towngaurding, nk'ing and stuff like that. It really frustrates them when they can't hurt you at all!!
I have no problems with negating the damage of a dueller that chooses to play 100% defensive and forces you to chase them all day.

WW sin : Hammers and 86fhr are your friend. Use them. WW sins will try to stun you so keep on the move and drop hammers at random. This will make them think twice about D flighting and delayed namelock tele while you're charging out of stun lock. A good WW sin will be a fun fight, but I don't see many around. Remember they have claw block to stop some hammer hits.

Hybrids :
Normally they will be lite/ww hybrids. For this duel you will want to use both your attacks. It will probably be necessary to take the edge of their LS with a wisp because they will most likely play defensively v's you. If you find yourself stunned charge away and restart. Generally, try and hammer while they are doing ww and charge them if you can catch them in the act of laying traps. Also try desynch 'fly-by's. Desynch in drop a hammer or two and charge out again. The object of this is to get them to move out of their traps. Again, clawblock really helps them. This will be another difficult duel. You must practice and use your instincts. Unfortunately, I don't see many of these around though, even though I have one myself.

Necromancers :
Poison : Another class you don't see much of these days. So much so that I have only duelled one or two with my libby. You can try two approaches. Chase him and charge him to death before his poison kills you, or lure him into hammer fields. Poison necro's need to get close to you for nova to hit. Thus they can be vulnerable to a hammer field.

Boner: Avoid the prison! After that play in a similar style to v's a bowzon. Come it at angles so the spirits won't lock onto you. If you get a big train of spirits following you, charge away to a corner/house and tele through it to lose the train.
Poorly played necro's will spam spirit for too long and you'll be able to catch them. If they play ultra defensive, stop chasing them. They can either come to you or die of boredom while you go off and find someone else to duel. Well played boners will be one of your hardest duels, especially if they use revives.

Barbarians:
BvB : These guys probably won't want to duel you once they see you have hammers. But, if they do, just move around spamming hammers. Their lack of tele leaves them at a serious disadvantage.

BvC : Another fun duel. Keep them on screen so they can't whore out the bow for cheap damage. Crap ones will be easy. They'll just tele on top and ww. So cast a lot of hammers as you move. Good one's won't come to you as much. They will force you to come to them, by using widowmaker. They'll do random ww, desynch their ww and use leap to push you out of your hammer field. Try and desynch as much as possible, then drop hammers. Make it a game of Russian roulette. If you catch them with the bow out, tele hammer them or charge them.
The main thing to watch for is desynch ww.

Sorceresses:
All except Blizz : I treat them all the same. Stack your res, get increased max res and charge them to death. As you chase them drop hammers and try and herd them back into those hammers. With most sorc's it takes just one good namelock to end the duel.

Blizz : desynch, move around a lot and drop hammers, watch out for their random blizz's. The best time to close in on them is just after they have cast a blizzard, due to blizzard being a timed spell. Another thing to watch for is the almost standard tactic of the sorc casting blizz on herself, and also using ice bolt as a spammable attack.
You can always stack extra cold res and hunt them down.

Druids:
Windy : They'll try and use minion stack to tele stomp you. So don't stand still. Charge, hammer, repeat. They need to get close to kill you. So force them to come into a hammer field. Keep a close eye on their minions. Once they've been killed off the druid will be vulnerable to a tele stomp or charge. Good windy's will be a fun challenging fight. The key to beating windy's is to remove the minions, good DR and good namelock skills.

Paladins:
FoH : Stack, stack, stack. They're using a skill to ruin your res, so compensate and stack lit res. Charge and smite them. Hope they're not actually a v/t!

V/T : don't use as much stack as for a pure FoH'er. With my charms, a v/t's foh barely even hurts when I'm using my pub setup. Ultimately, they want to smite you. So keep plenty of hammers around you at all times. If they can't kill you with FoH, then you're a long way towards winning.

T/V : IMO this is a tougher opponent than a v/t. Charging a t/v will be chancy, since he'll have a stronger smite than you. The best way to deal with these guys is to take the same approach as dueling a v/t. Stack Lite res, and create hammer fields.

Smiters : Cast a lot of hammers, stay with those hammers.

Hammerdin/Liberator: You can pretty much treat them in the same manner. Since charging a liberator is asking for a hammer in the face. Switch out the grief/highlords for a hoto and fcr ammy to get extra damage and 125 fcr. Charge around to desynch, the guy who tanks the best and is able to predict his opponents movements will win.