Patriarch Cerycius - Telebombing Hunter wielding Beast

TopHatCat64

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May 27, 2020
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Patriarch Cerycius

Code:
Lvl 82

Dire Wolf: 3144-3577* (w/ Fanat + Might + HoW)
Grizzly: 10176-10510* (w/ Fanat + Might + HoW)
*The damage for both animals is a bit higher then this in reality, because the druid pet calc only goes up to lvl 40 for Heart of the Wolverine, and I was casting it at lvl 42.

Life: 1128
Resists: 75 F, 75 C, 75 L, 68 P
Str: 88 | Dex: 40 | Vit: 352

Skills
20 Summon Dire Wolf
20 Summon Grizzly
20 Heart of the Wolverine
15 Twister
14 Cyclone Armor

Gear
Code:
Jalal's Mane '15% res all jewel with +9 dex'
Mara's Kaleidoscope
Eth 'Beast' Berserker Axe
Moser's Blessed Circle '2 perfect diamonds*
Trang Oul's Claws
Arachnid Mesh
Storm Trample rare boots*
Beta Bul Kathos' Wedding Band
Stone of Jordan
Switch: 'Heart of the Oak' Flail / 'Spirit' Monarch

Merc: Reaper's Toll 'Shael' / 'Fortitude' Archon Plate / Guillaume's Face 'ias jewel'

Charms (combined stats): 7 Summoning tree skill, 136 life, 14 mana, 5 strength

Storm Trample
Demonhide Boots
Defense: 34
Durability: 12 of 12
Required Level: 24
Required Strength: 20
Fingerprint: 0xea00e133
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Cold Resist +35%
Lightning Resist +38%
Fire Resist +31%
Poison Length Reduced by 25%
76% Extra Gold from Monsters
Repairs 1 Durability in 33 Seconds

The Planning Stage

I've always enjoyed hunter druids (max dire wolves, grizzly, heart of the wolverine and support them with bow), so I was originally going to build one with my shiny new Faith bow powering up the whole gang. Gear-wise, hunters have to balance boosting their bow damage vs. boosting their summon's damage, so I have never been able to truly maximize my summons skill level.

While researching past hunter builds, I stumbled upon Sirpoopsalot's Henry. He did not have Enigma at the time, but he did mention the power of telebombing his summons with Naj's Puzzler and that he was considering a variant wielding Beast and a shield (instead of Faith) as his source of Fanaticism. Faith does have a higher lvl Fanaticism vs. Beast, but the bonus of being able to equip a shield was appealing to me. I would need some additional protection if I was teleporting into melee range as a fragile caster.

Equipping Beast also led to a question: did I want to do some damage myself in melee? I could devote every single piece of gear to physical damage and my attack would still be pretty weak. I would also be dramatically weakening my pet's damage. I decided to swing the other way and completely ignore my damage and focus all my gear on boosting my pets' skill levels through the roof.

I wanted to name my character after a hunter of legend and Orion was the first one to come to mind. Cerycius is the name of the mountain where his tomb is located.

Leveling and Observations

To give you some background, I mainly play melee characters and I almost always equip Fortitude or something that's not Enigma. I favor questing through the game at a methodical pace, maximizing death avoidance over clearing speed.

Once I equipped Enigma, Cerycius played very differently from my usual melee tanks.

It was like being an archer, except, instead of shooting arrows, I was shooting myself at monsters.

Being able to teleport made it a lot easier to stay alive as a caster with a small health pool.
  • Groups of ranged attackers, usually the bane of any melee attackers existence, were mere inconveniences when I could completely skip the "run through a hail of missiles" phase of battle.
  • Prioritizing who I wanted dead first was super easy. Just point and click. Super useful when faced with mummies, OK's, maggots, etc...
  • Teleporting close and then teleporting away a short distance let me quickly lure minions away from aura-enchanted monsters.
The nuances of telebombing became apparent to me over time. Against ranged mobs and isolated monsters, I would teleport right on top of them so that they were put into hit recovery as quickly as possible and prevented from shooting. Against melee mobs, I would teleport a yard or two short of them and let my merc/wolves close the remaining distance on foot so that they could absorb any incoming blows.

When to use dire wolves vs. when to use grizzly is a balancing act every summoning druid has to consider. Here's what I did:
  • Dire Wolves (95% of the time) - For most of the game's areas and enemies, I used the wolves. Having 3 minions made it easier to engage multiple monsters, and it kept me safer. Putting multiple monsters in hit recovery was especially important when I wanted to shut down dangerous ranged monsters like gloams or archers. Usually, my wolves run out of steam in Hell diff and I have to switch to grizzly to maintain a decent DPS, but +22 to the summoning tree and the addition of Fanaticism meant that my wolves stayed viable throughout.
  • Grizzly (5% of the time) - Against act bosses, the ancients, and particularly dangerous monster packs with might/fanat/cursed, I switched to the grizzly, because my wolves were dying too quickly. A grizzly (7637 life at lvl 42) has almost 6 times the hp pool of a dire wolf (1339 life). The bear was also much better suited to really tight quarters (like the maggot lair) where multiple attackers couldn't effectively fight.
This is definitely not a classic power build like a hammerdin or a LF zon, but a telebombing summoner actually chews through the game at a pretty good clip. This was way more powerful then I anticipated!
 
Last edited:

saracen85

Well-known member
May 1, 2020
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Nice detailed write up! Personally, I'm also new to this "telebombing" strategy as well and was thoroughly impressed!
 

maxicek

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 24, 2019
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Nice character, congratulations.

I’m always a bit disappointed that Dire Wolves are so fragile, it is a shame you need to get them to such a high level to make them hell viable. I’m surprised they never got buffed, it isn’t like Druid Summoners are OP.
 

Babyhell

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2020
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Nice character, congratulations.

I’m always a bit disappointed that Dire Wolves are so fragile, it is a shame you need to get them to such a high level to make them hell viable. I’m surprised they never got buffed, it isn’t like Druid Summoners are OP.

42 Ravens in the sky plz! THAT would be serious summoning. And there would be no issue using a Sanctuary RW on top of that :p
 
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TopHatCat64

Member
May 27, 2020
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I’m always a bit disappointed that Dire Wolves are so fragile, it is a shame you need to get them to such a high level to make them hell viable. I’m surprised they never got buffed, it isn’t like Druid Summoners are OP.

I've always wondered why Blizzard decided to limit Druids to 5 spirit wolves OR 3 dire wolves OR 1 grizzly. Would it really be overpowered to let Druids summon all of them at once? Especially when Necromancers can have skeletons, skeleton mages, a golem, AND revives all out at the same time!
 
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Babyhell

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Mar 13, 2020
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I've always wondered why Blizzard decided to limit Druids to 5 spirit wolves OR 3 dire wolves OR 1 grizzly. Would it really be overpowered to let Druids summon all of them at once? Especially when Necromancers can have skeletons, skeleton mages, a golem, AND revives all out at the same time!
Darkness > Nature

Will they choose another balance for D4? #GretaMakesDiabloGreatAgain
 
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maxicek

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 24, 2019
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I've always wondered why Blizzard decided to limit Druids to 5 spirit wolves OR 3 dire wolves OR 1 grizzly. Would it really be overpowered to let Druids summon all of them at once? Especially when Necromancers can have skeletons, skeleton mages, a golem, AND revives all out at the same time!
But Druids have Armageddon instead of Corpse Explosion + Amp Damage :rolleyes:
 

saracen85

Well-known member
May 1, 2020
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Well, to be fair, Druids are just 1 summon type worse off than the Necro 😆

Druids = Spirit + Flying Animals + Land Animals + Vines. To put in context, Bears & Wolves are the Druids' Golems.

Can't say the same for comparative effectiveness though.