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Ribcracker Fury Druid - Uber Killer Guide


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Aug 1, 2005
Ribcracker Fury Druid - Uber Killer Guide

About this guide:
This guide gives a very detailed account of what gear, skills, and strategy helped me to beat the mini-Ubers and the Tristram-Ubers with a reasonably affordable 2-handed Fury Druid (without dying). It also describes why certain items and skills were selected. It covers only a limited amount of alternative equipment in order to avoid the speculative "this should work" conjecture that isn't backed by actual experience. I will let others post regarding any success/failure using different weapons or skill sets. I hope that this will inspire a few adventurous Druid fans to tackle the Ubers in a fun and unconventional way (e.g. not using a cookie-cutter Smiter).

Gear Basics:
Weapon: Upped Ribcracker (of course) Zod'd if eth, Shael'd or IAS/xx jewel if non-eth. Socketed accordingly, your attack speed will be 9/6 for eth Ribcracker and 8/5 for the non-eth Ribcracker.
Why: Lots of great mods including 50% CB, 50% FHR, 50% IAS, 100% bonus to defense and more (plus it's in the title)
Untested Alternatives: Other fast, high-damage two-handed weapons should work if combined with the appropriate runes, gear, and charms. A few sound options that have been suggested include a Tomb Reaver socketed with at least 2 Bers, and an eth ebotdGPA coupled with Guillame’s and 2xRavenfrosts. If you already have one of these, you may want to try them out, but the basic build goals and advice remain the same.

Armor: CoH Dusk Shroud
Why: This is by far the most expensive "must have" item in this build, but it's non-negotiable IMO. This armor has everything we need, huge resists, DR, LL, +20 strength, and +2 to skills, I suppose a Fortitude would work, but vs. the Ubers the difference in damage would be negligible and you'd really miss the resists. The armor doesn't have to be made in a dusk shroud, but it's ideal because this a low strength build. However, if you already have a CoH in a nice AP for example, that's fine.

Helm: Jalal's Mane (socketed with Um or a resist all jewel)
Why: Loads of great mods make this a no brainer, and it's cheap too

Boots: Goreriders (mine are average and non-upped)
Why: CB, OW, and DS make these THE boots to use. Goblin Toes aren't a great option because you will be fairly slow and in need of the FRW from Gores.

Gloves: Dracul's Grasp, any will do.
Why: Lifetap, lifetap, lifetap. The other mods are just a bonus.

Belt: Verdungoes or String of Ears
Why: This is one of the few sources of DR available, and when you are shieldless, you need a little DR.

Amulet: Metalgrid, get what you can afford, mine is self-found but awful.
Why: I needed more resists and AR and this amulet certainly delivers. Highlord's also works well vs. the Mini-Ubers, better if you are getting enough AR from your charms. Once Uber-Mephy is dead, the same is true for the remaining Trist-Ubers.

Rings: Ravenfrost/2nd Ravenfrost or rare dual leech or rare mana leech
Why: You need the CBF mod, so one Ravenfrost is a must, but the 2nd is optional. The AR boost is nice, but the 2nd ring will be your only source of mana leech, so if you don't want to worry about mana constantly, use a rare ring instead.

Switch: Lifetap wand
Why: With a low CTC and without the auto-hit of smite,, it might take a while for Dracs to trigger Lifetap.

Pre-buff: Armor: Treachery for fade (for Lilith and the Trist-Ubers)
Weapon/Shield: CTA and Lidless (no strength for Spirit) for BO; this is nice but not required and I didn't use one. If no CTA, use +4 Ondals for Shifting, it will add around 300 life. If you want too, you can swap your ammy for a +3 SS ammy too, but I didn't bother (I was worried I'd forget to switch back).

My Exact Gear (for those who just have to know):
Weapon: Eth Zod’d Ribcracker w/272% EDmg
Armor: 14% Superior Dusk Shroud CoH
Helm: Um’d Jalal’s (196% Edef)
Boots: Goreriders (174% Edef)
Gloves: Draculs (7%/+12 Strength)
Belt: Verdungoes (35/14)
Amulet: Metalgrid (25/408/300) / Highlord’s
Rings: Ravenfrost (18/217) / Rare 7ll/5ml/minor mods
Switch: Rare lifetap wand with 105 level 6 charges
Pre-buff: +4 Ondals for shifting, and Treachery for Fade

15+/15+ Druid Torch, anni (optional but really helpful), enough resist charms to maintain 70%+ fire/cold/lightning resists after Mephy's aura (-125% conviction), and the best combination of life/AR, life, and shapeshift/life GCs, you can put together. For the mini-ubers, swap out the resist stacking charms with the others mentioned above. One important note, you'll need 6% more FHR for the next breakpoint if you are not using Verdungoes, so get it in a 2nd mod off a large or grand charm.
Why: Charms will address any gaps and improve your survivability. My inventory is good but not great, so no need to strive for perfection (you'll go broke).

My Exact Inventory (for those who just have to know…again):
15/15 druid torch, 16/10 anni, SS GC w/ 37 life, 104 AR/39 life GC, 115 AR/39 life GC, 14% res all GC, and the rest is basically a collection of 16/17/18/19/20 life scs and 9/10/11% resist scs. A few charms have strength or AR as second mods. The exact charms I am using vary depending on whether I'm facing the Mini-Ubers, Mephisto, or the other Tristram-Ubers.

Merc: He's not going to last very long, so I won't really elaborate. I didn't even take mine into Tristram. In case you are curious, my merc has for equipment a non-eth Fortitude, non-eth Reaper, and eth Shako. It's a weird set-up that uses what I already had available, but I really should get him a Gaze when I get a chance.

Stats: Your exact stats will vary slightly based on gear and charm swaps so make sure you take everything into account. That said, you will want:
Strength: enough for gear or more (see note)
Dex: base/enough for gear
Mana: base
Vitality: pretty much everything goes here

*NOTE* If using a CTA and/or a non-eth Ribcracker, you may find that spending additional points in strength is more helpful than vitality once you've reached your comfort level. At level 85 I have 25 unspent points that I may add to strength instead of vitality.

My Vitals at the time of my 1st successful attempt (better now):
Life: 4100 to 4500 depending on gear swaps
AR: 9300 to 13100 depending on gear swaps (Metalgrid accounts for a huge percentage of this fluctuation)
Defense: 3400 or 4000 depending on ammy
DR% 22 or 37 depending on Treachery pre-buff
Resists: 73/75/74/75 AFTER all penalties (includes Mephisto’s aura)

Skills: Max Lycanthropy, Max Fury, Max Werewolf, Max Feral Rage, 1 in pre-reqs, remainder in Spirit of choice (won't matter in Tristram). FYI - doing Ubers was an afterthought for me, so my Feral Rage is not maxed. I think I had 12 hard points in it at the time of my run. You'll also be better off maxing a spirit before Feral Rage when doing anything besides the Ubers. Fury is your main attack of course, but Feral Rage allows you to focus on a single target (critical in Tristam) and build up life leech and faster run/walk.

Strategy vs. Mini-Ubers:
1) Duriel - Head north from the portal and Fury until he drops. Build up a little Feral Rage in advance to assure your own safety until lifetap kicks in.

2) Izzy - IM makes just getting to Izzy the biggest pain. If there are Oblivion Knights near him, lure him to a clearing. Simply Fury him to death and it will be over fairly quick.

3) Lilith - The halls of the Matron's Den are filled with swarms of super fast and strong minions. I couldn't handle too many at a time (no shield) and that made for slow going. My merc and spirit died frequently. Your spirit will need to be recast often, but if you have a nice merc setup, he should survive at least until you get to Lilith. I would recommend a Treachery pre-buff for the extra DR for a little added safety. Once you find Lilith, retreat to safety and transform out of Werewolf form (you cannot cast lifetap when shifted). Open a town portal. Switch to your lifetap wand and slowly advance to Lilith and cast lifetap on her then run back to the portal. Quickly transform and switch back to your main weapon (Ribcracker). Now go back through the portal and finish off Lilith with a combo of Fury and Feral Rage.

Strategy vs. Tristram-Ubers:
I put on Treachery and equipped the life tap wand on switch. I created the Portal, then ran around in Act 1 getting hit until fade triggered. Then it was a sprint to Harragoth to swap armors and enter the portal. From the portal, I went North to the very top, then West to the very end, then I went half way down and strated creeping East to find Mephy.

1) Mephisto - Once you see the first pixel of his Aura on screen, cast life tap, retreat, shift, then try to lure him out. You must get him alone. He can spawn a gigantic army of minions very quickly. Dodge the summoned minions and engage him quickly. Use Feral Rage primarily to avoid wasting attacks on the swarm of minons. An occasional Fury will help speed up the fight and refill the bulbs. Expect to use one or more Rejuvs along the way (I used several).

I recommend heading back to the portal the way you came to catch your breath, reload on potions (especially mana), and get Feral Rage cranked up.
If desired, you can also swap out some of your resist charms for attack and/or life charms. With nerves and potions restored, re-enter the portal. Go slightly East, then straight down, then up (to where Cain "hangs out"). Creep up until either Baal or Diablo "greets" you.

2) Baal - He isn't too bad, but his blue wave is a pain because it can shove you into a pack of minions. I let him back me against a wall (actually the bottom of the map) so that I remain engaged. Feral Rage and an occasional Fury burst did the trick. If Diablo joins the fight before you finish, do what you have to do to split the two up. I don't think I could have handled both at once.

3) Diablo - Lure him to a quiet corner and beat him quickly to a pulp with a combo of Feral Rage and Fury. Again, if Baal joins the fight before you finish, do what you have to do to split the two up.

Vs. All - Focus on the bosses and ignore the minions as much as possible. I chose to clear out a safe area to retreat to after finishing off Mephy, but I wound up not using it.

Special Thanks to:

I hope I didn't leave anything important out. Happy Uber Hunting! :grin:
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very informative and well written :)

I'm going to have to try that setup some time, 'cause I'm hearing good things.
How long does lvl 6 lifetap last, btw... are u able to kill Mephy etc before that runs off... 'cause if they have curse duration resistance that'd be a world of trouble in a tite spot ^^

Is there any particular spot to lure Mephy out that works better...err, does he pretty much just suck no matter what angle lol? He was always the biggest beyoch to me :)
Have you tried using a last wish phase / stormshield combo?

No IAS on it, but at -30 for a phase blade to start, would that work with feral rage? I'm not familiar with the feral rage speeds - does it work the same way as fury?

Just asking because Last Wish on a paladin just makes uber tristram super-easy. Might, Fade, Lifetap, Crushing Blow, pretty much everything you need, minus the IAS.
Jary: assuming it works just like the Necro curse, it lasts 28 seconds. The Dracul's Grasp gloves will certainly have triggered it again by then, so not to worry. I never had an issue with lifetap going away once I got it started.

I do mention my reliable method for isolating Mephy, but it doesn't make him any easier. He's a fighter that one. :wink3:

olwe: If you are going in one-handed, then setups resembling a good Paladin setup should work. The big difference is that any off weapon IAS is useless. I don't have any experience with such a setup, so I don't want to speculate. I know that IMCanadian found Lastwish to be the fastest/safest killer during his testing, but that was against the very poor AI of the single player Uber mod. I don't know how well it would translate vs. the real deal.

As for breakpoints on Feral Rage, I'm not really sure, but maybe the ol' German Speed Calculator has the answer.
Nice guide! A poor man's alternative to the COH might be Smoke, at least you'd get close to the resistance benefits and a bonus to the FHR. You'd miss out on the DR, +2skills, +str, but when you're untwinked, you're untwinked. :)

The phase blade feral rage sounds really, really slow to me. One funny thing about wolves is that their attack speed is mostly based on how much IAS you've got on the weapon. A level 20 werewolf is gonna be doing the 11 frame speed attack. That's gonna hurt. The Might doesn't do much for attack speed either. Most wolves around here like having a 4-5 frame attack whenever possible. The crushing blow % were really nice tho'. I've never actually be able to find more than two JAH thus far in my career in D2 tho.

Gonna have to go quest for the runes to up my ribby also. I usually go into uber town with my ss but hey, this will be an adventure!

good luck and good hunting,
nice...and quite useful to know that you can use a ss to tackle the ubers...with the right gear...thanks!
for ubers u need this:
- open wounds
- crushing blow
- life tap

u dont have to go with this particular druid build

iv got maxed how, werewolf, lycanthropy, fury and killing ubers easily with these important items:
- upd ribcracker: 50% Cb
- cerebus' bite: 33% chance of open wounds
- dracul's grasp:25% chance of open wounds, 5% chance to cast level 10 life tap on striking
- gore rider: 10% Chance Of Open Wounds, 15% Chance Of Crushing Blow,
15% Deadly Strike
- fortitude: +300% Enhanced Damage(this is not so important item)

use this items for every uber except Lilith. switch to poison resist against her

and use full rejus untill life tap is casted (u will need 2-3 of them against mephisto for sure)

i dont know why you use feral rage and why you maxed it? if u use it just for killing ubers... hmmm...
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Feral is maxed for Single Target attack. Hitting every enemy around you is terribly inefficient. Also, The amount of OW you have is overkill. It lasts eight seconds, I'm sure you'll trigger it again long before it wears off. Jalals fills more gaps than Cerebus does >.>.

And as you stated Fort's ED isn't important. So why not go CoH? It even give ED against Demons.
Not much else you can spend the points on since summons die in seconds. It also gives more AR for better hitting odds.
but why build that kind of wolf for ubers, u can have pure fury wich is great for ubers and also very good in pvp
I would use a radically different and more expensive setup for PvP. For starters, you'd need a CTA, ebotdGPA, and at least 6 SS skillers with 35+ life. Anyhow, the guide is hardly a formulaic approach to some definitive setup, just one fun option for the many PvM wolves that wield a 2-handed weapon (often a Ribby).

Regarding the maxing of Feral Rage, if you have 6 or 8 skillers, you could get away with fewer points or even none, but this is supposed to be a relatively inexpensive build, so I assume no skillers at all. Verashiden explains the reason why you'd want to boost it.
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garion, you should def join me sometime when i solo uber with my wolf.

yeah i would love to sit back and watch...so far ive only seen a summoning nec and a smiter do the ubers....i have yet to see the frenzy barb and fury ww

(lmk if you're gonna do a show this wed night =P)

will do.

i had some of my gear stolen by a friend[who lives down the street from me], but luckily, my wolf still has about 90% of his gear.

i'm going to start farming torches to build back my trapsin which is now totally naked..
sweet...yeah i need to figure out a way to start building up some wealth..i haven't played in ages....im thinking key hunting and organ collecting =P..so watching some ubering is totally pertinent!

eck..some friend...(unless you use the term loosely...and stolen = borrowing...)
Will an IAS jewel will work just as well as a SHAEL? I have a plain IAS jewel but do not have a SHAEL at the moment. It seems to be fine, as I'm looking at the attack speed breakpoints for Fury and it shows:
50 9 5
55 8 5
60 8 5
65 8 5
70 8 5

Also, I've heard from a lot of people that maxing Werewolf is a waste (most seem to recommend just 1 point in Werewolf). I would appreciate thoughts on this.

Thank you,
Victor Ly
Yes, an IAS jewel will work, but ideally it would have a 2nd mod.

Maxing WW is a preference and not really needed in normal PvM play, but I find the healthy boost it gives to AR to be beneficial vs. the Ubers due to their level. Since summons and spirits die almost instantly I'm not sure what else you could spend the points on that would help more. If you choose not to max WW and spend the points elsewhere to suit your PvM style that's fine, just plan your Uber gear accordingly to ensure adequate AR.
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