Random Fire Claws Ramblings...


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Jun 24, 2003
Random Fire Claws Ramblings...

I need to come up with a build to complement my GF's trapper idea and have settled on a fireclaws bear. Scales relatively independent of gear (untwinked plus), crazy tank (new player assistance plus), fire damage (lightning trapper partner plus), summonable minion (tank plus), won't overpower a trapper or trivialize game content with her (fun plus), and makes you into a giant bear (plus plus!). Ok, time for questions:

1) Spirit shields. Why isn't spirit ever recommended as a shield? Adds 105% to various resists, tons of vita (to offset strength investment), huge FHR, +2 boosting life/damage/minions, and gravy mana. If there hasn't been a patch reset by the time we reach hell spirit would seem to be an amazing choice.

2) Grizzly: yea or nay? It's a four-point tank with respectable life and damn good looks.

3) How bad are FIs, really? Untwinked players can't rely on crushing blow as much, but I could always keep a lower resist wand on switch... Obviously the trap aspect will make FIs negligable, but I want to contribute!

4) Max Oak>Lycan? I've heard that lycanthropy is more powerful due to it being multiplicative with oak (instead of additive). It's a quandary: be a crazy tank yourself or spread the buffer?

5) Any other tips (especially for duo play)?
Re: Random Fire Claws Ramblings...

1) I think Spirit is fine for a FC Bear. The only reason you might not want it is because you're using a high dexterity weapon and you can't stand the long block animation, because Spirit offers no FBR% benefits.
1a) If you find all of the makings for it when untwinked, I'd go for it.

2) I didn't try it out; I have no idea.

3) FI sucks. The only way I was satisfied with hitting them was if I stuck a decent physical based weapon on switch or main weapon and hit FI monsters with Maul. Otherwise, Merc+Shockware or Shockwave+run away worked well enough.

4) I don't think this matters too much. I like Oak because when you merc is killing Fire Immunes he will have a ton of life and not get stuck in FHR so he'll tear through monsters faster. Using a Might merc is also an option, if you find a decent merc stick.

5) If you've checked out the FC guides, there shouldn't be anymore to cover(I think?)

Thats just my info. :)
Re: Random Fire Claws Ramblings...

1) Spirit shields. [...] Adds 105% to various resists
This is a typo, no?

4) Max Oak>Lycan? I've heard that lycanthropy is more powerful due to it being multiplicative with oak (instead of additive)
Both are simply added together (with other sources of +%life). Personally, I like Lyc more because Spirits die too often.

5) Any other tips (especially for duo play)?

Re: Random Fire Claws Ramblings...

1) You can't use a paladin shield. I would suggest NO shield. Werebears have a horrible block rate so it's better to take the hit and leech back.

2) Don't bother with the Grizzly. It's a great tank but you don't need one. And most of the time your Grizzly will just be trailing behind anyway.

3) FIs are bad; there are lots of them in Hell. So get Ribcracker on switch (upped if possible) and use your 1-pt Maul on them. That worked for me solo so should work for you to. If you're untwinked you may be able to make some kind of medium runeword (Obedience, Black), though you probably need to rely on your girlfriend to handle FIs properly.

4) IMO Lycan > Oak, even if it doesn't help your GF. Reasons: As Stephan mentioned it's safer, and it gives you longer duration which is important if you're untwinked. Your GF should be fine anyway with Fade and a good investment in Vita.

5) What Stephan said; Shockwave is the key to any WB build. 1 pt is enough, perhaps 5 if you're untwinked. Use a phaseblade with 6 shaels as weapon (without a shield). Invest in Volcano and Molten Boulder as synergies, so you can always kill monsters (e.g. dual-immunes) with the physical damage of Volcano. Put a pt in Hunger because it's effective even with your phaseblade. You will probably only use your mercs as tanks so consider getting 2 prayer mercs because their auras stack. Otherwise Defiance and Holy Freeze will work fine.
Re: Random Fire Claws Ramblings...

Thanks for the feedback! Comments:

-Spirit adds 35% cold + 35% fire + 35% lightning = 105% to various resistances. :)
-Good points on both shapeshifting duration and mercenary hardiness!
-For grizzly, I can wait until I find a +griz helm and then demo his usefulness before deciding.
-Definately sticking 5ish points in shockwave; stun is king!
-My idea on shields is to try the different options until I find an enjoyable one. Spirit (if we hit hell before the patch...); if that's too slow rhyme; if thay's unbearable no shield. I'd imagine that a shield is going to be almost mandatory untwinked for the resistances.
-Was thinking a blessed aim merc for me; not sure if she wants to use a merc (decided to forgo shadow master).
Re: Random Fire Claws Ramblings...

Hi, sounds like a great team for untwinked play. You handle her weakness, especially the slow boss killing, and she handles your weaknesses quite well.

First off Spirit doesn't add +35% fire, it adds +35% poison.
Second, when playing untwinked I generally end up with a shield full of pdiamonds. Like they said, blocking animation sucks.
I happen to have a moser's shield with 2 p diamonds, but I am thinking of switching to a 4 socket monarch with 4 p diamonds. I think it's +13% resists to all which I desperately need in HELL.

Blesses aim merc is definitely helping me get those hits in more often, even with Angel's ring/ammy combo. I can get 6k w/out blesses aim, 11k w/ blesses aim, and 18k with two rings + blessed aim, iirc. Also 11k w/out blessed aim and two rings. 4.6k without angelics at all.
2 prayer mercs, each with an Insight runeword is definitely possible for untwinked play. That will give lots of regen for life and mana.

Don't worry too much about FI's, you have a lightning partner. ALTHOUGH, the Council can be difficult because they can be FI/LI combined, at which point abuse patience.

Grizzly is redundant to both you and the two mercs. I would rather use the points on survival or killing power.

For team play I definitely would start with +20 Oak Sage and +10 Lyc, depending on how the skills eventually laid out, and then go from there once everything else is done.

It may not be as big a deal as you think to get 6 shaels and a phase blade, btw. Just run nightmare countess and break down all the runes until you get shaels.

In fact, does anyone have any tips on finding a 6 socket phase blade?
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Re: Random Fire Claws Ramblings...

The number of synergies for Fire Claws makes me angry.
Re: Random Fire Claws Ramblings...

Consider these Runewords for res:

2 Socket Body Armor (Nef + Lum)
+75% Enhanced Defense
+280 Defense Vs. Missile
All Resistances +50
20% Faster Hit Recovery
Level 6 Weaken (18 Charges)
+10 To Energy
-1 To Light Radius

This can be made from the quest reward of the second q in act 5:

Ancient's Pledge
3 Socket Shields
(Ral + Ort + Tal)
+50% Enhanced Defense
Cold Resist +43%
Fire Resist +48%
Lightning Resist +48%
Poison Resist +48%
10% Damage Goes To Mana
Re: Random Fire Claws Ramblings...

Since you're going to go untwinked, use Steel in the beginning:

20% Enhanced Damage
+3 To Minimum Damage
+3 To Maximum Damage
+50 To Attack Rating
50% Chance Of Open Wounds
25% Increased Attack Speed
+2 To Mana After Each Kill
+1 To Light Radius

in a Large Axe. 2 OS Large axes are shoppable in act 1 normal, and those cheap runes are easy to get either by running countess a few times, or by finding in the beginning of act 2.

AFAIR it is the fastest weapon you can reliably get in normal-nightmare phase of the game untwinked, and should allow you to attack at bearable speed(pun intended:p ). It's 50% OWs is nice, and +2 Mana per kill helps with mana issues in the beggining of the game.
Re: Random Fire Claws Ramblings...

In other words, have a look at the lower runewords on the Arreat Summit. Which ones you create will depend on the runes and socketable items you find.
Re: Random Fire Claws Ramblings...

You guys are always talking about spirit on a fc druid. Get stormshield, much better option for a build that rely's on ar for hitting. It also has good block too.
Re: Random Fire Claws Ramblings...

Blocking for a FC wear bear...
the stormshield with or without a shael has a slower block rate than most melee character's 0% faster block rate.

This means you spend time 'stunned' for 1/3rd of a second instead of attacking.

Also it's easier to reach the ~152 or so faster hit recovery break point than it is to reach any of the more reasonable block rates.
Re: Random Fire Claws Ramblings...

Stormshield untwinked is like paying for groceries by winning a scratch-off ticket. It's possible, but can't be planned for. :)

I really like the idea of a Steel runeword scimitar! We already have the runes for it, and it can combine with some resist shields to make a killer FC combo.

With 8 in lycanthropy things are getting better; once the frustration goes away I'll eye points in Oak.

We're up to level 17 in Act 2; very fun! I can't wait to see the look on her eyes when she hits 24...

Razan is going to be my permanent blessed aim merc; there's nothing more frustrating than not hitting!

Shieldless would be great except for untwinked resists...maybe I'll luck out and find a 3os tomb reaver. ;)
Re: Random Fire Claws Ramblings...

Ah good times. Yea I just can't go shieldless untwinked. I would be minus about 3 to 4 pdiamonds of resists, and well that's bad.
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