Matriarch ZodSin – BotD Bear Assassin with Shadow/Trap support

ffs

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2020
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The creative naming continues with Matriarch #2 in the Zod sept.

Gear:
Code:
BotD eth GPA
GFace (7 FHR, 33 ED jewel)
HLW
LoH
Fortitude
Blood craft belt with FHR, LL, CR, PR, life
Ravenfroat
Dual leech/AR/FR/LR ring
Gore Rider
Switch: Beast + Spirit

Inventory: Sharp + Fine charms with life, couple of resist charms

Merc (Might): Infinity CA, Fortitude, Andy IAS/min dmg
Build:
Code:
20 Blade Shield
20 Death Sentry
20 Shadow Warrior
9 Fire Blast
1 pre-reqs, Mind Blast
18 Lightning Sentry

The last melee Assassin I played was a WW Sin with DS. I liked how DS can provide some good AoE support to physical melee Asssassin builds, so I knew I was going for something like this again here.

This character was also kind of similar to my recent Pat Shiv, a Bear Necro I recently played. Both used Beast and focused on physical damage, while making use of corpse explosions to help with AoE. Necro had the advantage of stronger CE and Amp. On the other hand Sin was tankier, her attack rate was higher at 7 FPA, and she could use additional things like Blade Shield and Shadow Warrior, both of which I never focused on before with an Assassin.

The idea with Shadow Warrior was to have her cast Death Sentry while I fight so I wouldn't have to do it myself all the time. :) Of course I expected SW to be pretty useless in this regard, and I still laid down DS myself when there were many monsters on screen. That being said, SW actually did a fine job of casting it often enough to clean up a half dead screen here and there so I wouldn't have to shift out of bear form again just to finish off a few leftovers. SW did have survivability issues towards the end of Hell though except when using CtA.

Blade Shield I felt was a natural choice given the use of a high damage weapon, being in the face of enemies and plenty of skill points to spare. Whether it made a huge difference I don't know tbh. Still it added damage in any case, so pretty sure I couldn't go wrong with it.

After maxing DS, SW and BS, I chose to spend remaining points to improve DS. First by adding shots via hard points in FB, then by adding a little lighting damage by spending the rest in LS. Max DS Lightning damage was around 1.1k in the end, which given the use of Infinity wasn't so bad. Other options would have been Venom, adding Mind Blast points or BoS, but I felt all of those made less of a difference than improving DS.

As for PIs, I employed a number of approaches which all included swapping gear that I carried along while questing: Reaper for Merc, Atma's Scarab and a Lawbringer sword. All of them had different pros and cons, but all of them worked just fine for questing.

Questing was pretty uneventul. I went with fire traps to speed things up and get to her final gear quickly, which means she just destroyed everything in normal and NM. I'll make it easy for me and just link to this update post in the Sept thread, including a summary (and drops) up until A2 Hell. As for what happened after: In A4 and A5 hell I turned it down to P5, and eventually P3 for Ancients and Baal just to make sure I could get past Lister (always a toughie with single target builds). I also started to use CtA in A5 Hell because the SW and Merc were struggling to stay alive at times. No drops of note other than those posted in the update linked above.

I recorded her Mat Baal run (P3) as well as a Pit run (P8) if you want to check out some gameplay:



***

I had a lot of fun with her playthrough. After the slightly underpowered Amazon (my first Zod sept character) it was nice to play a build that was a bit stronger. I just love using Beast on characters that aren't really intended to use heavy hitting melee weapons. Regarding the Beast builds I've done I think she compares alright. Obviously far behind Dream Sorc, and I think the Bear Necro was a bit stronger as well. But in comparison to other bear builds I've tried such as Holy Fire Sorc or Bear Auradin, she can definitely hang.
 

maxicek

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 24, 2019
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Nice job @ffs, congratulations. I liked my eBoTD bear too. I now have the claw to do the 3FPA version, but it isn’t appealing.
 

ffs

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2020
243
544
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Yeah I checked out your Bear Sin a while ago, cool character.

In the past I had considered Bear Sin routes with claws that would provide 4 FPA, but never 3 FPA. :D After briefly checking with attack speed calc, I guess it can only be done with 40 IAS Runic with 3 sockets for Shaels? 4 FPA can be achieved with so many good weapons though, probably better DPS than the extra frame can make up for...

I made a Runic Talons 'Fury' which I probably would have used, had I not been "forced" to use a Zod item in this sept. Still picking up almost every rare claw I see in hopes of getting a really high ED/eth one, but no luck so far...
 

maxicek

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 24, 2019
297
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The easy way to get the 3FPA claw is by using the 3 Flawless / Normal Gem recipies in 1.10a. You can get 3od then, so it is pretty easy.
I actually have a Fools RTs of Quickness with 3os that I traded with @nulio but that is socketed for PvP.