Matriarch Vin - Poison based Assassin


Mar 24, 2020
It was a long LONG journey.
Normal & NM P8 full clears, a few breaks here and there and last – but most important – a new (and first!) addition to our family turned the progress to literal crawl from WP to WP all the way to:

It's all began with this ring:
Dread Gyre
Required Level: 29
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 87
Fingerprint: 0xe28f0107
+5 to Energy
+102 to Attack Rating
+4 to Minimum Damage
Level 4 Poison Dagger (30/30 Charges)

I don’t even remember why I kept it in the first place. No stats, no leech no resists, didn’t even had a build in mind, but for some reason those charges looked interesting enough to save it from Charsi.
Fast forward a few months, I was looking for an unusual build to try and one of the options was Poison Dagger based build. So, looked for more information and was glad to find that it combines well with Venom, PD receives more damage but length is unaffected. At this point I had 2 options: a necromancer with Treachery or assassin with PD charges… I think you can guess what I choose, right?

The plan was simple: blind them (CoS), freeze them (Act3 merc), stun as needed (MB) and apply poison from time to time (clearly a support build) while SM tank them.
So how it worked out you ask?

The journey
I really don't remember the first 3-4 acts and anyway the fun begins later. 3 things became clearly apparent straight from the beginning (as soon as I equipped the ring):
1. Baal runs are out of the question for leveling = full clears required
2. 30 charges are very limiting = no support from this skill
3. Merc is a weakling = supporting is not enough

So, I had to adjust the plan a bit:
- PD will be used for boss packs only
- a main skill required
- more active role required

After a bit of training in act 1 NM, the build worked more or less OK with some interruptions from SM - uncontrolled conversion is really annoying - but the progress slowed down considerably to a boring, uneventful and sluggish from WP to WP. The fact that I couldn't choose a main skill (TS or BF) until I had 19 spare points might contributed to this problem but we will skip this...

Entered Hell at level 73 (with TS maxed), dropped to P3 and continued the journey. The only real problems were CI monsters, although blinded they were still dangerous to attack with a build not exactly designed for melee. In those situations, I either tried to attack behind a merc or used BF. Everything else wasn't much of a problem being frozen solid. To my surprise, PD was strong enough for 1-3 hit kills.

Act 2 was the same as act 1 regarding tactics. The worms proved to be very very annoying with all the eggs and younglings. I even had to drop to P1 to get the staff since I couldn’t clear the room fast enough.

Act 3 saw much more use of BF with all the dart using flayers and CI ones. When I got to Kurast I decided to clear the temples since I was desperately looking for gold, this turned out to be a poor decision – one stair trap and a random snake charge saw her die twice. I was worry about the council but it turned out to be an easy fight (LI and FI = frozen solid).

Act 4 had Vile Mothers and felt even worse then act 2 worms. Progress was agonizing slow through this act. In contrast, CS was interesting and fun with all the hit&run tactics. HF gave Lem or Lum.

The biggest problem with act 5 were the open areas which lower the effectiveness of CoS greatly. The tunnels (lots of CI) required more use of BF and more caution while using TS. Had to skip Pindle, couldn’t shut down his group effectively and was in danger of being swarmed by his garden corpses. Nihlathak dropped after 2 PD hits.
Ancients required 2 tries. Talic went down first, Korlic and Madawc turned to a long and lengthy chase while I blade them out. Enchant (10 min!) went out in the middle of the fight with Madawc… the end looked like this :

Baal waves went much easier then expected, CoS and MB allow easy separation of wave 4&5 while wave 1&3 are easy pray due to merc. Wave 2 caused most problems until I managed to remove the corpses via DS.

Few random observations
- CoS is wonderful crowd control skill, long duration, improve chance to hit&defense but the range make it difficult to apply in open areas. Once you move near the edge of the screen you lure off-screen monsters which are not affected by CoS.
- Shadow Master AI considered to be one of the best, right? WORNG, apparently the AI concentrate on the enemy you are attacking at that moment. She will break her attack and engage your target even if it's on the other side of the screen. I totally understand why SW is so tempting.
- Charges are expansive, each one cost 10K, so are RWs made in superior armors with ~55K for each durability point. Overall, this was one of the poorest chars I had.

TS damage , PD damage
STR: 125/135
DEX: 80/96
VIT: 246
Spare: 39

Venom: 20/26
SM: 20/26
TS: 20/24
MB: 10/16
CoS: 7/13
BF: 4/7 --> Future points will go here
CS, DS: 1/4

Rune Veil
Defense: 25
Durability: 105 of 105
Required Level: 31
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 87
Fingerprint: 0xdc599752
+92 to Attack Rating
Regenerate Mana 19%
Magic Damage Reduced by 2
All Resistances +19
Replenish Life +5
Attacker Takes Damage of 3
+1 to Assassin Skill Levels
Socketed (1: 1 used)

Eagle Mark
Required Level: 67
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 93
Fingerprint: 0xaf521d6f
+66 to Mana
+15 to Attack Rating
All Resistances +13
5% Life stolen per hit
23% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
+2 to Assassin Skill Levels
+1 to Light Radius

Head Hunter's Glory --> PDiamond, +3/-3 Poison, +4/-4 Poison
Troll Nest
Defense: 542
Chance to Block:  40%
Smite Damage: 24 to 38
Durability: 74 of 74
Required Strength: 106
Required Level: 75
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 94
Fingerprint: 0x2baaa2f7
+378 Defense
+325 Defense vs. Missile
Fire Resist +45%
Lightning Resist +19%
Cold Resist +19%
Poison Resist +51%
+73 poison damage over 2 seconds
+7 Life after each Kill
100% Chance to cast Level 23 Venom When You Level Up
+7% to Poison Skill Damage
-7% to Enemy Poison Resistance
Socketed (3: 3 used)

Superior Dusk Shroud
Defense: 838
Durability: 20 of 20
Required Strength: 77
Required Level: 61
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 83
Fingerprint: 0x33181eda
+15% Enhanced Defense
Regenerate Mana 15%
+300 Defense
Fire Resist +30%
+5% to Maximum Cold Resist
Poison Resist +100%
Increase Maximum Mana 5%
+13 Life after each Kill
50% Faster Hit Recovery
Level 18 Thorns Aura When Equipped
Level 13 Spirit of Barbs (33/33 Charges)
+42% to Poison Skill Damage
Socketed (4: 4 used)

Blood Spike --> upped
Fanged Knife
One-Hand Damage: 60 to 197
Durability: 36 of 36
Required Dexterity: 86
Required Strength: 42
Required Level: 62
Dagger Class - Fast Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 85
Fingerprint: 0xe34bdb17
+247% Enhanced Damage
+8 to Minimum Damage
Adds 84-153 fire damage
Required Level +7
25% Chance of Open Wounds
+0 to Maximum Damage (Based on Character Level)
+16 to Attack Rating (Based on Character Level)
Socketed (1: 1 used)

Plague Brogues
Chain Boots
Defense: 13
Durability: 16 of 16
Kick Damage: 6 to 12
Required Strength: 30
Required Level: 37
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 76
Fingerprint: 0x39e3fa3d
+31% Enhanced Defense
Lightning Resist +34%
Cold Resist +33%
Adds 1-21 lightning damage
Half Freeze Duration

GC: [email protected]/16 life, 3 Shadow sk, 3 STR
SC: 108 AR, 33 life, 2 STR, 11-18 cold damage, 8 CR, 10 LR

Raven Mask
Defense: 52
Durability: 23 of 35
Required Level: 25
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 81
Fingerprint: 0x656fd7c6
+69% Enhanced Defense
Magic Damage Reduced by 2
All Resistances +15
20% Faster Cast Rate
+3 to Mana After Each Kill

Lidless Wall
Skin of the Vipermagi (eth)
Culwen's Point

Blackhorn's Face
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 61
Fingerprint: 0xe9de0150
+193% Enhanced Defense

Chromatic Ire
Cedar Staff
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 81
Fingerprint: 0xd218aa3a
All Resistances +31
Increase Maximum Life 20%

Demon Limb
Harlequin Crest

Grand Scepter
One-Hand Damage: 15 to 34
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 83
Fingerprint: 0x3b96e377
+50% Enhanced Damage
+3 to Minimum Damage
+7 to Maximum Damage
Magic Damage Reduced by 1
8% Life stolen per hit
+1 to Paladin Skill Levels
+3 to Vengeance (Paladin Only)
+3 to Thorns (Paladin Only)
205% Damage to Undead

Mesh Armor
Defense: 620
Durability: 36 of 45
Required Strength: 92
Required Level: 38
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 82
Fingerprint: 0xa462f1a6
+60 to Life
+190% Enhanced Defense
+250 Defense vs. Missile
Damage Reduced by 30%

Cruel Composite Bow of Performance
Two-Hand Damage: 27 to 31
Required Dexterity: 35
Required Strength: 25
Required Level: 43
Bow Class - Fast Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 82
Fingerprint: 0x29ada6c3
+288% Enhanced Damage
+12 to Minimum Damage

Cruel Diamond Bow of the Leech
Two-Hand Damage: 118 to 143
Required Dexterity: 132
Required Strength: 89
Required Level: 54
Bow Class - Normal Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 80
Fingerprint: 0x7ee0c318
+259% Enhanced Damage
4% Life stolen per hit

Scintillating Ring of the Apprentice
Required Level: 59
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 88
Fingerprint: 0x232f35dd
All Resistances +14
10% Faster Cast Rate

Jade Jewel of Carnage
Required Level: 18
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 59
Fingerprint: 0xfe5eb242
+15 to Maximum Damage
Poison Resist +19%

Natural Grand Charm of Winter
Keep in Inventory to Gain Bonus
Required Level: 42
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 54
Fingerprint: 0x5c695cca
Adds 4-9 cold damage over 1 seconds
+1 to Elemental Skills (Druid Only)

Lem rune *2
Pul rune

All in all, it was an interesting experiment and I ended using all the skills I choose to develop. She will retire, but might see some future action if I manage to find something like this:
Dire Hew
One-Hand Damage: 15 to 56
Durability: 13 of 13
Required Dexterity: 41
Required Strength: 25
Required Level: 39
Dagger Class - Fast Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 81
Fingerprint: 0x474a4270
+159% Enhanced Damage
+228 to Attack Rating
4% Life stolen per hit
Level 6 Poison Dagger (73/105 Charges)
Repairs 1 durability in 33 seconds
Ethereal (Cannot be Repaired) :mad::cautious:

Next chars : 3 amazons. need some break from single attack chars :)
Thanks for reading!

EDIT: forgot to add some videos


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