Matriarch Heather the Tiger Strike/Dragon Tail Assassin

Jan 1, 2011
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Heather is one of my Assassin Triumvirate builds, but I decided to post their Matriarch announcements separately.

First, a big thank you to Maxicek for his guide. I doubt that I would have gone with Lawbringer as a weapon let alone the end weapon on my own.

Second, between my self imposed rule of no trap skills and accepting Nightfish's implied challenge that you don't need a Shadow Warrior/Master I had a ton of skills at the end and finished with 10 still left to distribute at level 89. Nightfish is right that Shadows are not necessary.

As I've done with all of my D2R characters that use the Annihilus and Torch charms I wanted to see how far Heather could go in Hell at Players 8 without a death. The answer was the Glacial Trail in Act 5 where she was killed by a Rot Walker with one shot. I left the game at Players 8 because I wanted to see what happened against the Ancients. She took them down in two tries, that should have been done on the first. The first time I concentrated on Korlic and let the Merc take on the other two, which was a mistake as they killed him and I lost the Conviction from Infinity. The second time I kept him with me and we took them down with not even needing a purple pot. I finally switched to Players 5 in the WSK after another stupid death and had zero problems.


Finds
Ist Rune from Hell Forge
Credendum, Djinn Slayer, Doombringer, Gut Siphon, Harlequin Crest, 2 IK Stone Crusher, Kira's Guardian, Steel Pillar, The Rising Sun


I think the following sums her up better than the usual stats, which are also included.
1712015216963.png

Name: Heather
Class: Assassin
Experience: 1613774412
Level: 89

Naked/Gear
Strength: 123/262
Dexterity: 119/201
Vitality: 273/335
Energy: 25/57
HP: 1045/1171
Mana: 157/197
Stamina: 521/521
Defense: 29/1882
AR: 100000559/100001445

Fire: 182/142/82
Cold: 174/134/74
Lightning: 186/146/86
Poison: 189/149/89

MF: 205 Block: 49
GF: 228 FR/W: 25
FHR: 17 IAS: 10
FCR: 0

Skills
Claw Mastery 1/11
Psychic Hammer 1/11
Burst of Speed 7/17
Cloak of Shadows 3/
Fade 1/11
Mind Blast 1/11
Venom 20/30
Tiger Strike 20/32
Dragon Talon 13/25 will max this
Dragon Claw 1/13
Cobra Strike 1/14
Claws of Thunder 0/0
Dragon Tail 20/32
Dragon Wing 1/13

at level 89 I have 10 points left 7 will go to max Dragon Talon and then 1 more into Cloak and then Burst of speed.

I didn't use Dragon Talon that much, but it was just awesome when I did. Took Lister and his pack down in nothing flat.

Gear
Helm: +2 Assassin circlet w/pTopaz
Armor: Chains of Honor Archon Plate
Gloves: +2 MA Chai Gloves
Belt: Thundergod's Vigor
Boots: Upped War Travelers (Mirror boots)
Weapon: Lawbringer Phase Blade
Off-hand: Phoenix Monarch
Amulet: +2 Assassin Amulet
Ring 1: Raven Frost
Ring 2: Rare w/ Mana and Life leach
Switch: Stormlash / Stormshield

Death Veil
Circlet
Defense: 23
Durability: 35 of 35
Required Level: 67
Fingerprint: 0x459260e1
Item Level: 88
Version: Resurrected
+2 to Assassin Skill Levels
5% Life stolen per hit
+17 to Strength
+19 to Dexterity
All Resistances +13
Poison Resist +11%
24% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
1 Sockets (1 used)
Socketed: Perfect Topaz

Skull Collar
Amulet
Required Level: 67
Fingerprint: 0xe5c915c6
Item Level: 93
Version: Resurrected
5% Chance to cast level 3 Chain Lightning on attack
+2 to Assassin Skill Levels
+27 to Strength
Replenish Life +8
All Resistances +17
Fire Resist +25%

Chains of Honor
Archon Plate
DolUmBerIst
Defense: 880
Durability: 60 of 60
Required Level: 63
Required Strength: 103
Fingerprint: 0x8e15eb1e
Item Level: 83
Version: Resurrected
+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
4 Sockets (4 used)

Raven Frost
Ring
Required Level: 45
Fingerprint: 0x53d83630
Item Level: 99
Version: Resurrected
+236 to Attack Rating
Adds 15 - 45 Cold Damage Over 4 Secs (100 Frames)
+20 to Dexterity
+40 to Mana
+20 Cold Absorb
Cannot Be Frozen

Rune Turn
Ring
Required Level: 46
Fingerprint: 0xefe94f
Item Level: 62
Version: Resurrected
+93 to Attack Rating
4% Mana stolen per hit
6% Life stolen per hit
Lightning Resist +8%
Poison Resist +8%

Thundergod's Vigor
War Belt
Defense: 148
Durability: 24 of 24
Required Level: 47
Required Strength: 110
Fingerprint: 0x846cbe93
Item Level: 85
Version: Resurrected
5% Chance to cast level 7 Fist of the Heavens when struck
Adds 1 - 50 Lightning Damage
+3 to Lightning Fury (Amazon Only)
+3 to Lightning Strike (Amazon Only)
+180% Enhanced Defense
+20 to Strength
+20 to Vitality
+10% to Maximum Lightning Resist
Lightning Absorb 20%

War Traveler
Mirrored Boots
Defense: 153
Durability: 48 of 48
Required Level: 67
Required Strength: 163
Fingerprint: 0x30e5de0e
Item Level: 85
Version: Resurrected
+25% Faster Run/Walk
Adds 15 - 25 Damage
+151% Enhanced Defense
+10 to Strength
+10 to Vitality
40% Slower Stamina Drain
Attacker Takes Damage of 6
50% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Required Level +7
+30 Maximum Durability

Hailstone Grip
Chain Gloves
Defense: 12
Durability: 16 of 16
Required Level: 51
Required Strength: 25
Fingerprint: 0x84f18ef7
Item Level: 99
Version: Resurrected
+2 to Martial Art Skills (Assassin Only)
+10% Increased Attack Speed
+27% Enhanced Defense
+13 to Strength
22% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Stormlash
Scourge
One Hand Damage: 16 - 342
Durability: 65 of 65
Required Level: 82
Required Strength: 125
Required Dexterity: 77
Fingerprint: 0xf53a9679
Item Level: 86
Version: Resurrected
20% Chance to cast level 18 Tornado on striking
15% Chance to cast level 10 Static Field on striking
+30% Increased Attack Speed
328% Enhanced Damage
+4 to Minimum Damage
+150% Damage to Undead
Adds 2 - 10 Fire Damage
Adds 1 - 473 Lightning Damage
33% Chance of Crushing Blow
Fire Resist +11%
Lightning Absorb 4%
Attacker Takes Lightning Damage of 30
1 Sockets (1 used)

Socketed: Ghoul Scarab
Ghoul Scarab
Jewel
Required Level: 37
Fingerprint: 0x151cfae
Item Level: 86
Version: Resurrected
30% Enhanced Damage
+4 to Minimum Damage
Adds 2 - 10 Fire Damage
Fire Resist +11%

Stormshield
Monarch
Defense: 476
Chance to Block: 47
Indestructible
Required Level: 73
Required Strength: 156
Fingerprint: 0x705b066e
Item Level: 80
Version: Resurrected
Indestructible
+35% Faster Block Rate
25% Increased Chance of Blocking
+333 Defense (Based on Character Level)
+30 to Strength
Cold Resist +60%
All Resistances +19
Lightning Resist +25%
Damage Reduced by 35%
Attacker Takes Lightning Damage of 10
1 Sockets (1 used)
Socketed: Perfect Diamond

Heather's Lawbringer
Phase Blade
AmnLemKo
One Hand Damage: 31 - 35
Indestructible
Required Level: 54
Required Strength: 25
Required Dexterity: 136
Fingerprint: 0xccf2e377
Item Level: 83
Version: Resurrected
20% Chance to cast level 15 Decrepify on striking
Level 16 Sanctuary Aura When Equipped
-50% Target Defense
Adds 150 - 210 Fire Damage
Adds 130 - 180 Cold Damage Over 6 Secs (154 Frames)
7% Life stolen per hit
Slain Monsters Rest in Peace
+230 Defense vs. Missile
+10 to Dexterity
75% Extra Gold from Monsters
3 Sockets (3 used)

Phoenix
Monarch
VexVexLoJah
Defense: 140
Chance to Block: 0
Durability: 86 of 86
Required Level: 65
Required Strength: 156
Fingerprint: 0xadb8652d
Item Level: 85
Version: Resurrected
100% Chance to cast level 40 Blaze when you Level-Up
40% Chance to cast level 22 Firestorm on striking
Level 14 Redemption Aura When Equipped
391% Enhanced Damage
-28% to Enemy Fire Resistance
+386 Defense vs. Missile
+50 to Life
+5% to Maximum Lightning Resist
+10% to Maximum Fire Resist
Fire Absorb 16%
4 Sockets (4 used)

Boreal Small Charm of Good Luck
Small Charm
Required Level: 58
Fingerprint: 0xab72fbbb
Item Level: 93
Version: Resurrected
Adds 6 - 11 Cold Damage Over 1 Secs (25 Frames)
7% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Small Charm of Good Luck
Small Charm
Required Level: 33
Fingerprint: 0xa65d4173
Item Level: 80
Version: Resurrected
7% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Lapis Small Charm of Good Luck
Small Charm
Required Level: 33
Fingerprint: 0xc15872d3
Item Level: 82
Version: Resurrected
Cold Resist +6%
7% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Fine Small Charm of Fortune
Small Charm
Required Level: 21
Fingerprint: 0x161fa7b9
Item Level: 88
Version: Resurrected
+3 to Maximum Damage
+19 to Attack Rating
3% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Small Charm of Good Luck
Small Charm
Required Level: 33
Fingerprint: 0xeb96d5e2
Item Level: 80
Version: Resurrected
7% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Annihilus
Small Charm
Required Level: 70
Fingerprint: 0xbedd8e04
Item Level: 99
Version: Resurrected
+1 to All Skills
All Stats +18
All Resistances +16
+8% to Experience Gained

Hellfire Torch
Large Charm
Required Level: 75
Fingerprint: 0xd7d40e67
Item Level: 99
Version: Resurrected
5% Chance to cast level 10 Firestorm on striking
+3 to Assassin Skill Levels
All Stats +14
All Resistances +16
+8 to Light Radius
Level 30 Hydra (10/10 Charges)

Gheed's Fortune
Grand Charm
Required Level: 62
Fingerprint: 0x84f3cf9a
Item Level: 99
Version: Resurrected
153% Extra Gold from Monsters
Reduces all Vendor Prices 14%
39% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Jade Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x6dc53fd0
Item Level: 85
Version: Resurrected
+20 to Life
Poison Resist +8%

Bronze Small Charm of Good Luck
Small Charm
Required Level: 33
Fingerprint: 0xb47ca7da
Item Level: 73
Version: Resurrected
+3 to Attack Rating
7% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Sharp Grand Charm of Balance
Grand Charm
Required Level: 21
Fingerprint: 0x6f1db6ea
Item Level: 47
Version: Resurrected
+12% Faster Hit Recovery
+10 to Maximum Damage
+71 to Attack Rating

Sharp Grand Charm of Vita
Grand Charm
Required Level: 83
Fingerprint: 0x917feb3b
Item Level: 96
Version: Resurrected
+9 to Maximum Damage
+54 to Attack Rating
+45 to Life

Beryl Small Charm of Good Luck
Small Charm
Required Level: 33
Fingerprint: 0xa02228b6
Item Level: 80
Version: Resurrected
Poison Resist +5%
7% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Sapphire Small Charm of Storms
Small Charm
Required Level: 37
Fingerprint: 0x5e0ab40b
Item Level: 85
Version: Resurrected
Adds 1 - 20 Lightning Damage
Cold Resist +11%

Amber Small Charm
Small Charm
Required Level: 32
Fingerprint: 0x8552262d
Item Level: 80
Version: Resurrected
Lightning Resist +11%

Amber Small Charm of Dexterity
Small Charm
Required Level: 32
Fingerprint: 0xd83082f6
Item Level: 99
Version: Resurrected
+1 to Dexterity
Lightning Resist +10%

Shocking Small Charm of Sustenance
Small Charm
Required Level: 82
Fingerprint: 0xb012a475
Item Level: 96
Version: Resurrected
Adds 1 - 57 Lightning Damage
+11 to Life

Shocking Small Charm
Small Charm
Required Level: 82
Fingerprint: 0xb18ff5ce
Item Level: 96
Version: Resurrected
Adds 1 - 71 Lightning Damage

Arcing Small Charm of Balance
Small Charm
Required Level: 57
Fingerprint: 0xe903958f
Item Level: 79
Version: Resurrected
+5% Faster Hit Recovery
Adds 1 - 43 Lightning Damage

Once I got in Act 5 I was thinking about how to spend all the skill points and it made me realize that I was using two skillers, 1 MA and 1 Shadow. I was using 3 spaces to get a +1 for Cloak of Shadows and Burst of speed, neither of which was maxed. So I used two of the skill points and freed up three spaces in the pack and still had the same values for the two skills. I also realized that I only had 5% FHR so my recovery frame rate was 9. I could get that to 7 frames by using a Grand charm with 12% FHR and down to 6 frames if I used 2 Grand charms. I decided to split the difference. I removed both skillers and substituted two Sharp Grand charms. Combined they add 19 to max damage, 12% FHR, 45 to Life and 125 to AR.

Name: Zanarhi
Race: Desert Mercenary
Type: HolyFreeze-Nightmare
Experience: 85570762
Level: 89

Naked/Gear
Strength: 197/197
Dexterity: 160/160
HP: 1990/2079
Defense: 1459/3244
AR: 2024/2024

Fire: 201/161/101
Cold: 201/161/101
Lightning: 201/161/101
Poison: 201/161/101

Vampire Gaze
Grim Helm
Defense: 252
Durability: 30 of 40
Required Level: 47
Required Strength: 58
Fingerprint: 0x61845a5c
Item Level: 87
Version: Resurrected
Adds 6 - 22 Cold Damage Over 4 Secs (100 Frames)
7% Mana stolen per hit
6% Life stolen per hit
+100% Enhanced Defense
15% Slower Stamina Drain
All Resistances +15
Damage Reduced by 15%
Magic Damage Reduced by 11
1 Sockets (1 used)
Socketed: Um Rune

Fortitude
Superior Wire Fleece
ElSolDolLo
Defense: 1533
Durability: 31 of 32
Required Level: 59
Required Strength: 111
Fingerprint: 0x733dae0b
Item Level: 85
Version: Resurrected
20% Chance to cast level 15 Chilling Armor when struck
+25% Faster Cast Rate
300% Enhanced Damage
+215% Enhanced Defense
+15 Defense
+89 to Life (Based on Character Level)
Replenish Life +7
+5% to Maximum Lightning Resist
All Resistances +30
Damage Reduced by 7
12% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
+1 to Light Radius
4 Sockets (4 used)

Infinity
Thresher
BerMalBerIst
Two Hand Damage: 83 - 974
Durability: 33 of 33
Required Level: 63
Required Strength: 142
Required Dexterity: 108
Fingerprint: 0x6f53121a
Item Level: 87
Version: Resurrected
50% Chance to cast level 20 Chain Lightning when you Kill an Enemy
Level 12 Conviction Aura When Equipped
+35% Faster Run/Walk
362% Enhanced Damage
-50% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
40% Chance of Crushing Blow
Prevent Monster Heal
+44 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)
 
Last edited:
Good work, nice Mat! Assassins are awesome 😎

I agree that in general the Shadow Master/Warrior are unnecessary. I didn’t mind having a Shadow Master to accompany my Shadow Disciplines-only Assassin though. For certain builds and scenarios, the Shadows can perhaps be helpful.

I also agree that maxicek’s guide is very helpful. I took a lot from reading it. My strong and stubborn preference for dual claw Assassins would prevent me from ever running a ‘Lawbringer’ sword on an Assassin… But there’s no doubt it’s a really good weapon for this build!
 
Congratulations on the Mat! Neat amulet...🙃

I don't think you 'need' any single skill on any single character to get by. With that said I wonder about the conclusion of shadows because...poor Heather died. And she was also twinked to the bone with items way over what is possible to come across in time to make use of them before entering Hell and the dangers of that difficulty.

Shadows can be a nuisance and they can be absolute life-savers in my experience, like pretty much any minion and mercenary. I don't know if the referenced guide dismissed them as always superflous or something so radical, or if the assumed scenario was untwinked HC or twinked SC for that matter either. Obviously that changes things a lot.
 
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That is a good point @Maltatai . On my Assassin that has a maxed Shadow Master, her use of Mind Blast has certainly saved my bacon at least once or twice. Other times it just slows me down. But it’s worth it when it’s helpful.
 
@little birdy Dual claws is definitely Much better looking than a sword or the axe that my bladesin carried. Which is why I said I would never have thought of using Lawbringer.

@Maltarai Yes, Heather is heavily twinked. The circlet and Amulet are the result of many years of picking up and hording rare items that I might use some day. The twinking and the Annihilus and Torch are the reason why I don't immediately drop from Players 8 once I'm in Hell.

Heather is actually my third Assassin. the First was a trapper that dates back to 2003 and the second was the Bladesin that I just finished. I used a Shadow Master with the Bladesin and found her very helpful. I also freely admit the Maxicek and Nightfish are far more expert players than I am and thus when I read Nightfish's statement that a Warrior or Master wasn't necessary my first thought was "maybe not for you!" However, I thought why not try. My expectation was that I would have the most trouble with the exploding dolls, which was part of the reason I started holding back skill points in Hell. It turned out to be fairly easy, if a little slower, to deal with them. I do know that Nightfish did in fact use Shadow Masters on at least some of his builds. He just felt that they weren't necessary.

Would the use of a Shadow Master prevented any of my four deaths? Maybe one of them. The things that I think would have better contribute to not dying at all are: I dumped way too many points into Strength, focusing on damage with Phoenix instead of Damage Reduction with Stormshield, switching to Players 5 at the beginning of Act 5. However, the real key to not dying for me would be improving my style of play. I still have too big a tendency to rush into a group, start flailing around and then casting Cloak of Shadows. In all four deaths I had zero charges built up and was trying to build charges instead of kicking and wasn't at the edge of a group.
 
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It is very annoying how assassins swing as fast as paladins but still run with their sword like actors in chinese opera-esque B-actions...
I still have too big a tendency to rush into a group, start flailing around and then casting Cloak of Shadows.
+1 to that...the greatest cause of deeds in nightmare...

When it comes to minions and shadows in particular I think the right sort of question is what kind of party we're talking about. A character like Heather, with slightly offensive-inclined melee and a richly outfitted tanking mercenary, would obviously have diminishing benefits from one more tank. A ranged assassin with a rogue mercenary would have an entirely different need for a tanking minion to do her thing effectively. And a melee character with a ranged mercenary probably comes somewhere in-between, particularly needing someone to occupy the dolls and fire enchanted foes so they don't blow up in your face.

Some day I would like to see a build guide that fulfills the requierement of working with any sort of mercenary and ensuring that mercenary survives throughout the game...
 
Congrats Loub, nice Mat! And that ammy/circlet duo...plus the perfect MF War Travs, upped! say wat .... :D

But then something caught my eye. Stormshield, Phoenix shield, Lawbringer and .... Stormlash? Which weapon went with which shield? Can you describe a typical battle so I can better visualize how your journey went?
 
Yes, Heather is heavily twinked. The circlet and Amulet are the result of many years of picking up and hording rare items that I might use some day.

Many years? I thought D2R was only a few years old. Or can one use items found in D2 LoD in D2R somehow?
 
I've been out of touch for the last week, so sorry for the late replies.

@dmalawi Yes, you can mule items from LOD to D2R. However, once in D2R you can't return them. It's well explained early in the GoMoule thread.,

@thefranklin I'm not a fan of Sunder Charms. I find 95% immunity on monsters isn't that great a help. I'd rather use an alternate method of killing the few that Infinity doesn't break.

With the Annihilus and the torch I found my twinked characters to generally be over powering in Hell Act 1 and at least part of Act 2. I also tend to be sloppy in my play and doing Hell at P8 makes me pay more attention or die a lot.
 
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