Maybe a Bowazon now?


New member
Nov 17, 2003
Maybe a Bowazon now?

Well, In the month I've been back I've taken 3 chars to hell lev (SumNecro, JavaZon and SpearWWinder. I'm now leangin toward a Bowazon. However, in this ever growing time of mainly playing Private solo games, is this build even possible? Yes, I know in theory it is but will I be killing with any kind of speed? Top end items I can get so thats not an issue. I havn't built a Bowazon since the days of 1.08 or so. I've read all the guides but I don't see anything really new and esp in HC. I read the "Faith and Windforce" guide but that has no chance in HC being that your not putting a single point in Life. So talk to me folks, what build has a chance? Talk skills, equipment, merc type, switch weapon and so on. Thank you.
Hi man, I've built a couple bowazons and zons in 1.11 and from my experiences just forget about pure strafe / multishot zons. They're really fragile and have very poor resists = bad :lipsrsealed:

Maybe having top items helps and sure it is doable and you don't really have to be a glass cannon, but unless you somehow manage to get high resists I wouldn't make a physical bowyer.

Instead, freezing arrow is the king. Icemaiden is really cool, does high cold damage with pierce and monsters really can't hurt you if they're always frozen now can they :prop:

One other option would be to make a hybrid zon who has a bow on switch, I like hybrids myself, they're very versatile. There's a LF // Freezing guide in the builds section and I made one by my own even before the guide and it worked great. The main benefit of using freezing arrow instead of any other bow skill is the Freeze + high AR! You don't need to sink overzealous amounts of points into dex or penetrate, as you should easily gain 6k AR without any troubles. Also having a bow like faith will make the AR go over the roof :smiley:

This is just a sample hybrid build, and is able to do full area clears no prob.

- 20 Lightning Fury
- 20 Charged Strike (for bosses and those CI uniques)
- 20 Freezing Arrow
- 20 Cold Arrow
- 1 p into all passives
- Rest into Valk (a must for HC)

I don't know how rich you really are, but making a hybrid almost eliminates the option to BO from switch, so this should be a thing worthwhile considering. Also with a Zon torch you really don't need all that much into passives, but the aforementioned buld really requires the use of Razortail for pierce, which is really important for the build.

You could also make Freezing Arrow + Strafe build, which kills a little slower, but enables the use of Call to Arms on switch, so that is a big benefit. There's an excellent guide in the stickies. Both these builds are a bit mana intensive tho, so you'll need mana leech quite the bit. That's the only downside imo.

Also note that I might not be the best person to give advice, as I've never had the wealth to acquire any high RW's, so those might have some kinda extra perks that make whole new builds work differently. For merc you'll prolly wan't act 2 might for damage -> more leech, or the holy freeze merc for the safety, tho I think it's not nescessary if you're going with Freezing Arrow.

Just a little addon, high end runewords really give you so much damage that killing speed (even with strafe), should be fast even without high dex. Just look at pride, dreams, fortitude faith etc... no prob.

End of a very long rant, not even sure if it contains anything sane :jig:
Good stuff, good ideas. I think I'm gonna go the Freezing Arrow/Straff Build. I like the idea I think. Not really big on Hybrids, I've got a Lev87 Javazon so I'm kinda LFed out. Anyone else out there please chim in.
Hey just copying something from the Zon forum.

Infinity would be a great weapon choice for a merc. Eliminates the need for penetrate to help out strafe completely and gives a huge damage bonus for Freezing Arrow :prop:

Edit: Using Ice yourself and infinity on a merc would probably make you able to kill even cold immunes with ease. Ice even has ITD which is really handy for strafe, although the damage is quite low... so faith is probably better for strafe oriented Frostmaiden, while Ice might be better for a pure all out frosty.
Hey just copying something from the Zon forum.

Infinity would be a great weapon choice for a merc. Eliminates the need for penetrate to help out strafe completely and gives a huge damage bonus for Freezing Arrow :prop:

So would I be better off going HolyFreez Merc or Might Merc?

Does the Mercs HolyFreez effect overide cold immune monsters or not? If so why even invest in cold tree, why not just straf them to death as your holyfreez merc cools them off?

The reason for making a frostmaiden is the added safety + good Freezing arrow dishes more damage than strafe. I can't say this for 100% sure since I'm not aware just how much damage uber twinked strafers shoot, but you might get better idea by asking this in the zon forum.

With frostmaiden the Strafe is only the backup attack in case of CI's, so I would definately go for the Might merc, more damage (for you and him), takes out CI's faster, and equip him with an Infinity for BIG damage bonus for you. Note that when you shoot a Freezing Arrow in a pack with high pierce, the monsters will be affected by many splashes, so the damage really is high.

Also the reason for not taking a HF merc is that mercs tend to die quite ofter, even with great gear. It's really annoying if you're completely dependant on them. With Freezing Arrow (FA) and Strafe, you can keep going even when your merc hits the dirt since you'll still have decoy and Valk. Tho it is HC so it might be a good idea to raise him :laugh:

Edit: I don't know if HF overrides CI, but by searching it should be fairly easy to find, or check the Forstadin pally guide, it should have the answer. Me personally, I would go with FA + Strafe, infinity on merc and use Faith on the zon. With might mercs aura + fanatism both you and your merc will deal good physical damage, while you have access to crowd control attack that kills really fast and also enables you to tackle CI's with ease.

Also Freezing Arrow immobilizes monsters so your merc stays alive really well, and you have a total of three minions even when soloing (merc, decoy, valk).
Ok, good stuff, good stuff. I have posted on char specific builds over in the other forums but they tend to forget I'm playing HC and when I tell them that I sometimes get told "well post this in the HC forum then". SC and HC builds are generaly the same but yet not so much the same in some instances. Like the "Faith - WF" thread is great, a build I like but then again, it requires NO vitality points and in HC that's mistake number 1. I'm pretty sure I''l go the FreezingStraf route. Might you want to suggest what my skilltree should reflect? Not going to need to invest heavly in Pearce right?

That's Freya's FA guide, somewhat outdated on some departments, but there's some good info there so It's a good read. Definately rely on mana leech to keep your FA up, bcause I think in HC it's not a brilliant idea to fill three slots of your belt with blue pots :laugh:

There's also the reason why Faith makes excellent bow for this build. High damage (more leech), integrated IAS and AR. All these are needed for both FA and Strafe.

The skills are kinda hard to say for other ppl, since you can't know how much + skills they get and so on, but here is a template that should work. Also yes, don't put much points into pierce if you're going to wear Razortail. Otherwise do, since it's very important for FA. Aim for above 75% Pierce.

The skills yes. Max Frozen Arrow and Cold Arrow (must).

General advice is to get Valk to lvl 17 with skills. This nets her a rare war pike. You can go higher too, but lvl 17 Valk is a pretty mean lady on her own by then :rolleyes:

D 2 / A 1 / E 2, since having torch and anny alone without any other + skills takes them above 40. This is your preferance. If you want you can boost them higher to get more, or you can even leave them at lvl 1, which is totally viable if you have good stuff. As long as they reach the 40 mark with items you'll be fine.

Pierce I'd leave at one point with razortail, since having torch or torch / anny takes the pierce way above 75% without any other +skills if you're using razortail. One extra note: While Tgods might be better for HC than Razortail, this build is somewhat tight on skill points as it is, so if you use some other belt than Razortail, prepare to sink more points into pierce because you'll need it. These lost skill points will affect your build in other areas tho, like damage or AR.

The hardest part comes with Strafe and Penetrate. You could go 10 / 10 in both but it's really up to you. If you need more AR, go for penetrate, or if you feel you're strafe is lacking damage wise, put more into it (altho it will gain only 5% ed per point).

1 point into all prequisites. Even critical strike, as it will almost go to the 50 mark with torch and anny alone. If you've got leftover points, invest them into where you find something lacking. If you're valk dies too fast, more valk, if your AR is low, penetrate, or if you wanna rip everything out of strafe max it then. NOTE: you prolly know this but strafe is a *next-delay* skill, so if you don't have enough monsters around some arrows will not do any damage whatsoever and it might seem they're not hitting the target. Best practise is to check your AR and chance to hit on the character screen and judge whether or not you really need more AR. This is probably better explained in the Zon forum stickies there's a topic on this matter.

All these skill placements depend on eatchother really, you just have to know what you're going to wear and what you need if you really want to optimize this build. Good luck :laugh:
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