Sept Showcase and Multi-Character Write Ups Archive Thread


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Mar 14, 2020

Similar to what @Vildecor is doing with Mat/Pat write ups, I will be migrating over batches of Sept write ups, along with the relevant Matriarch/Patriarch write-ups so that they can be easily accessed here via the SPF Mat/Pat/Guardian Build Compilation. Original thread author and date will be displayed at the top of each post. I'll start with Septs for SPF members who are no longer around to and allow active members to repost theirs if they want.

I can't promise to be as thorough as Vildecor with formatting, etc., but will do my best. Similar to approach with Mat/Pats, I won't post replies to single-post Sept write ups. On the multi-post or progress thread + Sept write up, I will likely embed the key updates from the author in succession. Down the road, we can shift those into new threads, but the key is getting formatting and content here, so it's easier to transfer in the future if needed.

In a couple weeks, I will likely transfer all remaining sept posts here, and can delete if a current member decides to repost later on.
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Mar 14, 2020
Originally posted by @maareek on December 21, 2009

All The Good Builds Have NOT Been Taken (A Sept Story)

Christmas is almost upon us, but I received my gift early: on December 20th, I completed the last leg in my latest project, a seven-pack of stylish builds. There were a few tough patches, but on the whole it's a journey I'm very happy to have undertaken.

I had two of the builds done before I had any real thoughts of making a sept. In fact, the jumpstart to the whole project came from Nagisafurukawa holding a giveaway that included his Passion Thunder Maul. As soon as I saw it in that stash, an idea popped into my head - Berserker Druid - and I had to have it. Even after this build, the sept idea hadn't crossed my mind - I was just making builds that interested me - but then, in the Pat thread, lionhearthebrave asked if I had further ideas for the mace. I didn't, but as I read that question one came to me. Once that build - Zealot with no points in zeal - was done, there was no escaping the sept. I was already halfway through it and I had acquired a taste for these off-center builds.

That's not to say the rest came easily. I went through several ideas for the last 3 classes (at least 5 different ideas for the Barbarians, 4 for the Amazon and 3 for the Assassin) before deciding on the builds and, even then, there were doubts aplenty whether or not they'd be effective.

But, this is about the characters, not my worries about them, and it's about time we got to them. I'll be going in chronological order.

The Characters

1. Blighter, Poisonmancer with Lightning Iron Wolf and Iron Golem

Blighter stemmed from an idea I had had for awhile to make a Lightning Iron Wolf a viable killer. The Iron Golem was part of a double whammy decision to test out its capabilities as a tank in Pit running.

The build had its quirks, but it was a lot of fun and extremely powerful. Probably the least accessible build of the group, requiring the most wealth, but that's one reason I tried to make the writeup so thorough. And, let's be honest, where else are you going to see somebody crazy enough to socket a Perfect Amethyst in a Griffon's Eye? ;)

2. Fire_Sparker, Fireball/Lightning Sorceress

I'd seen builds (especially B.net based builds) suggesting Lightning as a backup, but not hitting the 117 FCR breakpoint (typically because they wore full Tal's and dual SoJs). I didn't like the thought of that, so this girl was my way of testing it out.

Fire_Sparker served almost like Blighter's opposite: where Blighter required very high-end gear, Fire_Sparker requires fairly common gear. On top of that, Blighter was rather standard skill wise, but odd in outliers, while Fire_Sparker was standard in gear, merc, etc. but very unusual in skill choice.

3. Patior, Titan Berserker Druid

The character sparked by Nagisa's giveaway. I'm still in love with the concept for this one.

In defensive respects, I've never made a better character. How can that be when the character has no leech (save for Carrion Vine) and low life? Cyclone Armor, lots of slow and big damage. I sort of doubt if I'll ever seen anybody else make one (most people think playing a Titan requires more skill than it does, I suppose), but I'm very proud of this build.

4. Zealalittle, 2 handed Zealot with no points in Zeal

I don't like paladins. I had made 2 before Zealalittle, and loathed them. They were the class that I always figured would keep me from making a sept. However, when the idea of using the Passion Thunder Maul to make a Zealot like no one had ever seen before hit me, I couldn't help but be intrigued. Plus, I really loved the name.

This guy was nifty. I still don't like paladins, but massive power along with a built-in PI and IM solution along with the sheer novelty made completing him pretty easy. Also, I don't know if I would have even made Fortitude if it weren't for this char (in planning it was pretty obvious that Fortitude would be drastically better than other options), so that's a nice note. Actually, now that I think about it, making him really freed me up to making relatively expensive items for a single build if the build was deserving enough, which came in handy a little later on.

5. WhyNot, Frenzied Zealbarb

Once I decided I was making a sept, I had to reevaluate the existing members, to make sure they measured up. Compared to the other four, I didn't feel like Warren_Zevon measured up, so I started toying around with Barbarian ideas. I had a lot, but most were just standard builds with unusual setups or rather obvious themes (Death; though I did like the fact that I planned to call my Death-themed barb “Oppenheimerâ€) and those didn't particularly strike my fancy. Finally, while I was running numbers for a Frenzy idea that was interesting but not amazing, the thought of zealbarbs hit me. There was a Eureka moment and WhyNot was born.

He was special from the start, as he started his life wearing Tyrael's (created him to take my MFO haul pic) and was originally intended to be a Frenzy barb wearing that armor. Months later, that still hadn't gotten started so his future was redirected.

In game terms, this guy is a monster. Seriously, you have to try this. Don't worry if you can't afford Death or Grief, you can do a Frenzied Zealbarb if you can make Passion and hit level 4 zeal. It may not be as powerful as WhyNot, but I doubt you'll be disappointed. I can't overemphasize how much fun this one was to play.

6. HopeThisWorks, Vengeance Amazon with Faith Rogue

I didn't expect much out of this one, as you can probably tell from the name. Thanks to some help from sirpoopsalot (most notably in the form of the Faith on the Rogue) she greatly outperformed my expectations. I love when that happens.

Nothing is immune to her attacks. That's just amazing. It wasn't cheap, though. And the weapon cost is non-negotiable, so that somewhat limits replication of this build, but the Faith would not be necessary. With a minor tweak or two you could have a very similar power level with a mere frame slower attack speed. That would require slower play than mine, but it should be mentioned that my play-style would probably be described as foolhardy by the nice and stupid by the truthful, so that may not be much of a hindrance. Really enjoyed examining the Amazon's passive tree with this one - there are some serious jewels there.

7. Kerrigan, Themed Assassin with Faith Rogue

As I mentioned, I had other Assassin ideas before Kerrigan, but she seemed to provide a very nice balance of skills between the three trees and a good chance to get an all around feel for the class while paying homage to my favorite game of all time and one of my favorite characters out of said game.

The Faith loan was for both characters, mainly because the Fanaticism would free up slots on Kerrigan. You could hit max speed without the aura, especially if you mix claws like I did. It's also a build easily adjusted to work with a lower budget - Bartuc's would work fine as weapons and you could replace Tyrael's with all kinds of things. I thought about using my Jeweler's Ancient Armor of the Whale and going for a more SC2 look instead, but there were too many gg mods on the Tyrael's and I didn't spend years playing SC2.


-Q: That's some impressive characters. But, I don't have Grief, Death, Faith or a CTA, does that mean I can't make any of these builds?
A: Not at all. Blighter's the only one that relies on that exact gear to be good, and, even then, if you go with something other than the Iron Wolf, you can get by with cheaper gear. Kerrigan and WhyNot, especially, could be done with pretty much whatever you have.

-Q: Patior looks interesting, but I don't think I could handle such low life. Could I use a lighter weapon and put more points in Vitality?
A: Sure, if you don't mind running down a large number of monsters you come in contact with. The beauty of that build and weapon is when you hit things they go down, making the CtC Terror a non-issue. Good positioning of yourself and the merc and high damage will help you more than those hit points will. Granted, I wouldn't advise throwing your best gear on him in HC, but in SC you shouldn't have any real problems and even in HC smart play should let you Guardian him. And even if it doesn't, it's not like he's an expensive character. ;p

-Q: So, now that you've taken these ideas does that mean that all the good ideas are gone?
A: Hardly. I still have a few not-too-bad leftovers from the planning process for these and have had another one or two come to me since. An awful lot has been done, but the soil is still fertile.

-Q: So what's next on the docket? More unusual builds?
A: Not for awhile. New characters will be more cookie cutter and I'll be spending more D2 time on MF runs. Maybe some MP with WhyNot, since Gib rolled an excellent Council map and will probably now be retired from MP action to hold on to it.

-Q Anyone you'd like to thank for this project?
A: Of course. I'd like to give hearty thanks for all of their help to the following people:

And I'd like to apologize to anyone I forgot. Lastly, I'd like to thank all of you for reading and commenting. I'll leave you with a group picture, hopes of seeing more unusual builds in the new year and my best wishes.
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Guide Author
Mar 14, 2020
Originally posted by @Nightfish on April 19, 2011

Baking Cookies with Nightfish (Mini Build Guides)

Baking cookies with Nightfish

0. What is this?

In one of my recent thread NacRuno asked me to post a quick summary of my favorite builds. Since I've heard worse excuses for a rant, here we go. As we're aiming for a quick summary here, I'll forgo my usual explanations of how to make stuff work and the rationale behind doing stuff the way I did it. I have no intention of changing that as this would turn this would multiply the size of this wall of text by the number of builds, at least. This is how I do it and while all of this works perfectly for me, if you have different goals in mind and abilities at hand you might have to optimise your builds slightly differently.

Note that I make no claim that all of these will be the most overpowered things in the history of forever, these are but my personal favorites for each class. Builds that I genuinely enjoyed playing for one reason or another. Enjoyment for me may or may not translate into enjoyment for you. Personally, I don't enjoy builds that need help getting through the game, so there's one caveat right there. Neither do I relish builds that *require* high end runewords to make them work, nor does a build *have* to be able to MF in order to be fun for me, but most of them are good at that as a consequence of getting through the game on their own and doing it well. Common sense really, what build can get through the game well and not deal with most or at least some of the alvl85 areas in good fashion? I don't like skipping stuff, so if I have to bypass half the content by teleporting, that's not epic fun for me.

This last one thing might be more of a pet peeve of me, but I don't enjoy builds that revolve around one button only. I am no korean, but I've got decently fast fingers and if I'm limited to pressing the right mouse button and nothing else I'm bored. This just as an explanation of what you can expect from these templates.

Anyway, with that out of the way, let's bake some cookies! \o/ Omnomnom!

1. General Stuff

1.1 Skills
I'll list the skills I actually used on the builds, disregarding prerequisites. Yes, you can probably use prerequisite X to great effect. I don't care, I didn't need it. Furthermore, I'll simplify the way I'm listing skills and synergies. Poison Nova (20) means I put 20 hard points here. Attract (1) means I put one in attract and had enough +skills that that was enough to make me happy. Golem Mastery (1+) means that I thought this was a good place to bury excess skill points beyond what my +skills gave me but the build was considered finished at Clay Golem (1).

1.2. Attributes

Assume that *always* I have enough Str (and possibly dex) to wear my gear. If the build lists block, then also enough dex to block. The rest invariably goes into vit. I enter Hell with as little as 800 life and do not use Call to Arms as I don't have it. Anything that needs attack rating has >8000 attack rating in Hell. Often it will even be OVER 9000!!! Just saying.

1.3 Resistances
My resistances are pretty much always like this. Note that poison is not really a priority but a side effect of res all items.

Fire Resistance: >50%
Lightning Resistance: 75%
Cold Resistance: >50%
Poison Resistance: >50%

1.4. Excels at

here I'll list stuff the build did good at, in my opinion. At the moment I am considering the following, either because I ran them myself or because I consider them worth running for one reason or another. Assumes crushing blow on the merc in some cases, on the hero in others. Namely if baal is supposed to be a target. Why do this? Because I never liked doing thousands of runs with the same character over and over again until my eyeballs start to bleed. I don't claim that each of the following builds can wear 1000% MF and run Baal in 53.2 seconds. But I don't need to do that. Wearing 150+% MF and having some fun clearing a few areas gets you items as well. Personally I'd rather have fun with a build and get some items as well than do something I find monotonous and get perhaps 10% more swag as a payoff. Not worth it to me. That is the mindset I have when I say something *can* run an area. I don't care if another build is a little faster. I'm not racing anybody.

alvl85: Refers to areas such as: Pits, Ancient Tunnels, Worldstone Keep, Chaos Sanctuary, River of Flame, etc. Actually encompasses all other areas as well but there is usually less reason to run them. Includes being able to kill Baal and his Minions
Meph: Best Act Boss to start building some wealth. Can be run very, very quickly.
Council: The Council in Travincal. Aparantely a pretty good stop for runes.

(Added after I was done writing this thing: I might expand this a bit later on and give suggestions for suitable areas or something. At the moment it says pretty much nothing because everyone of my chars can run the alvl85 areas pretty well... Perhaps I'll chose an area and time myself doing one run there to sort of give a comparable value of how well each build does. Dunno. Maybe I'll have a bright idea)

2. The Necromancer
Core Skills:
Poison Nova (20) Corpse Explosion (20)
Utility Skills: Attract (1), Lower Resistances (1), Decrepify (1), Clay Golem (1), Fire Golem (1), Golem Mastery (1+), Summon Resist (1)
Synergy Skills: Poison Dagger (20), Poison Explosion (20)
Block: Yes
Item Focus: + skills, +%poison skill damage, -enemy poison resistance
Notable Items: Death's Web, Trang Oul's Set (at least get 3 parts, like: Gloves + Belt + Shield), Rainbow Facets (Poison)
Merc: A2Might
Excels at: alvl85, Council

Ye olde Fishymancer
Core Skills:
Raise Skeleton (20), Skeleton Mastery (20), Corpse Explosion (20)
Utility Skills: Amplify Damage(1), Decrepify (1), Clay Golem (1), Fire Golem (1), Iron Golem (1), Golem Mastery (1+), Summon Resist (1), Revive(1)
Block: Yes
Item Focus: + skills
Notable Items: Arm of King Leoric, Homunculus
Merc: A2Might
Excels at: alvl85

Iron Golemancer
Core Skills:
Iron Golem (1), Golem Mastery (20), Corpse Explosion (20)
Utility Skills: Amplify Damage(1+), Decrepify (1), Attract (1), Summon Resist (1+), Revive (1+)
Synergy Skills: Fire Golem (20)
Block: No
Item Focus: Weapon Damage, ITD, %AR, flat AR, -target defence, Deadly Strike, Crushing Blow, Life Leech, Attack Speed
Notable Items: Ribcracker (upgraded), Fortitude, Naj's Puzzler (TP charges), Demon Limb (enchant charges for %AR)
Merc: A2Might
Excels at: Being awesome. alvl85

3. The Amazon
Fend / Lightning
Core Skills:
Fend (20), Charged Strike (20), Lightning Strike (20)
Utility Skills: Penetrate (20), Critical Strike (1+), Pierce (1+)
Block: No (fend) yes (lighting)
Item Focus: Fend: Weapon Damage, Lifesteal, Defense (body armour, >1500)
Notable Items: Kelpie Snare (upp'd), Laying of Hands, Fortitude, Thunderstroke, Gloom, Demon Limb (Enchant for AR), Darksight Helm (CoS charges), Delirum (on the merc)
Merc: Act2Might / Act2Defiance
Excels at: alvl85

Ye olde Fishyzon
(call her old at your own risk)
Core Skills: Freezing Arrow (20), Lightning Fury (20), Charged Strike (20)
Utility Skills: Pierce (1+)
Synergy Skills: Cold Arrow (20)
Block: Yes
Item Focus: +skills, + cold / lightning damage, - enemy cold / lightning resist
Notable Items: Griffon's Eye, Melody, Wizendraw,
Merc: A2Might
Excels at: alvl85

Strafe / LF / CS
Core Skills:
Strafe (10+), Lightning Fury (20) Charged Strike (20)
Utility Skills: Critical Strike (5+), Penetrate (10+), Pierce (5+)
Block: yes / partly (LF/CS)
Item Focus: Strafe: slow target, weapon damage, AR,
Notable Items: Windforce, Witchwild String (upp'd), Atma's Scarab, Cleglaw's Pincers, Blackhorn's Face, Nosferatu's Coil, Andariel's Visage, Fortitude, Demon Limb (Enchant for AR), Titan's Revenge
Merc: Act2Might
Excels at: alvl85

Core Skills:
Freezing Arrow (20), Strafe (20)
Utility Skills: Pierce (5+), Critical Strike (1+), Penetrate (1+)
Synergy Skills: Cold Arrow (20)
Block: no
Item Focus: +skills, cold damage, - enemy cold resistance
Notable Items: M'avina's Set (duh?), Insight for the Merc
Merc: Act2Might
Excels at: using M'avina's Set. decent at alvl85s (esp Ancient Tunnels)

4. The Druid
Core Skills:
Rabies (20), Werewolf (1+), Fury (20)
Utility Skills: Lycanthropy (1+)
Synergy Skills: Poison Creeper (20)
Block: no
Item Focus: +Skills, +poison skill damage, -enemy poison resistance, high weapon damage on switch
Notable Items: Death's Web, Trang Oul's gloves, Bramble
Merc: Act2Might
Excels at: some alvl85, possily council with uber items

Core Skills:
Fury (20), Werewolf (20), Feral Rage (1+)
Utility Skills: Lycanthropy (20)
Block: no
Item Focus: Weapon Damage, Deadly Strike, Crushing Blow, Attack Rating, Life Leech
Notable Items: Ribcracker!, Fortitude, Guillaume's Face, Gore Rider, Highlord's Wrath, The Reaper's Toll (possibly on merc), Delirium (merc again)
Merc: Act2Might
Excels at: alvl85 without physical immunes

5. The Sorceress
Nova / Frozen Orb
Core Skills:
Nova (20), Static Field (10+), Frozen Orb (20)
Utility Skills: Lightning Mastery (20), Teleport (1), Cold Mastery (1+), Warmth (1+)
Block: Yes
Item Focus: +skills, fast cast, life, damage goes to mana, -enemy lightning resistance, +cold skill damage.
Notable Items: The Occulus (yes, I'm serial) , Visceratuant (upgraded), Griffon's Eye, Delirum (merc), Insight (merc)
Merc: Act2Might
Excels at: alvl85

Chain Lightning / Frozen Orb
Core Skills:
Chain Lightning (20), Frozen Orb (20)
Utility Skills: Lightning Mastery (20), Teleport (1), Cold Mastery (1+), Warmth (1+)
Synergy Skills: Lightning(20)
Block: Yes
Item Focus: +skills, life, damage goes to mana, -enemy lightning resistance, +cold skill damage.
Notable Items: Tal's Set , Visceratuant (upgraded), Griffon's Eye, Delirum (merc), Insight (merc)
Merc: Act2Might
Excels at: alvl85

Meteor / Frozen Orb
Core Skills:
Meteor (20), Frozen Orb (20)
Utility Skills: Fire Mastery (20), Teleport (1), Cold Mastery (1+), Warmth (1+)
Synergy Skills: Fireball (20)
Block: Yes
Item Focus: +skills, life, damage goes to mana, -enemy fire resistance, +cold skill damage.
Notable Items: Tal's Set , Visceratuant (upgraded), Nightwing's Veil, Delirum (merc), Insight (merc)
Merc: Act2Might
Excels at: alvl85, Act Bosses

6. The Assassin
Ye olde Trapsin
Core Skills:
Lightning Sentry (20), Death Sentry (20), Fireblast (20)
Utility Skills: Cloak of Shadows (1), Weapon Block (1+), Burst of Speed (1), [Fade (1)],
Synergy Skills: Shocking Web (20)
Block: Yes (weapon block, so no dex required)
Item Focus: +skills
Notable Items: blue +3 Lightning Sentry +3 Trap Skills Claw.
Merc: Act2Might
Excels at: alvl85

Tiger Strike / Death Sentry
Core Skills:
Tiger Strike (20), Death Sentry (20), Regular Attack (to release the charges)
Utility Skills: Cloak of Shadows (1), Burst of Speed (1), [Fade (1)], Cobra Strike (1)
Block: No
Item Focus: Weapon Damage (use 2h weapon)
Notable Items: Ribcracker, etc
Merc: Act2Might
Excels at: alvl85

Core Skills:
CM (20), Death Sentry (20), Venom (20)
Utility Skills: Cloak of Shadows (1),Weapon Block (1+), Burst of Speed (1), Fade (1), Lightning Sentry (20) (PIs)
Block: Yes (weapon block, so no dex required)
Item Focus: Damage, Leech, Crushing Blow, Deadly Strike, Open Wounds
Notable Items: Chaos Suwayyah (Duh), Shadow Killer, Gore Rider, Guillaume's Face, Demon Limb (Enchant), Fortitude
Merc: Act2Might
Excels at: alvl85

Dragon Claw
Core Skills:
Dragon Claw (20), Death Sentry (20), Venom (20)
Utility Skills: Cloak of Shadows (1), Weapon Block (1+), Burst of Speed (1), Fade (1)
Block: Yes (weapon block, so no dex required)
Item Focus: Damage, Leech, Crushing Blow, Deadly Strike, Open Wounds
Notable Items: Shadow Killer, Gore Rider, Guillaume's Face, Highlord's Wrath, Demon Limb (Enchant), Fortitude
Merc: Act2Might
Excels at: alvl85

7. The Barbarian
Core Skills:
Whirlwind (20),
Utility Skills: Battle Orders (20), Shout (20), Natural Resistances (1), Berserk (1+) (for PIs, obviously), Find Item (1)
Block: No
Item Focus: Crushing Blow, Deadly Strike, Damage, Leech, Defence (body armour, mainly)
Notable Items: Fleshripper x2 (Shael), Fortitude, Gore Rider, Guillaume's Face, Highlord's Wrath, Heart Carver x2 (find item switch)
Merc: Act2Might
Excels at: disproving that you need range 5 weapons to be AWESOME with whirlwind, alvl85 runs, low player settings boss runs

Core Skills:
Frenzy (20),
Utility Skills: Battle Orders (20), Shout (20), Natural Resistances (1), Berserk (1+) (for PIs, obviously), Sword Mastery (20), Howl (1+) (possibly needs 10+ points to reliably work in hell when you first enter it, can be reskilled and reduced later on), Find Item (1)
Block: No
Item Focus: Crushing Blow, Deadly Strike, Damage, Leech, Defence (body armour, mainly)
Notable Items: Vile Husk (upp'd) x2, Fortitude, Gore Rider, Guillaume's Face, Highlord's Wrath, Laying of Hands, Heart Carver x2 (find item switch)
Merc: Act2Might
Excels at: alvl85, possibly council, massive bonus damage vs demons and undead (i.e. pretty much everything)

8. The Paladin
There is no Paladin build I enjoyed enough to list it here. The fact that I cannot use attackskills on the RMB breaks this class for me as much as the lack of inherent CC does. More power to you if you love the paladin. I love them in pretty much any game except for D2. I know they can be quite powerful and useful, I just don't enjoy them very much.

9. Conclusion
Well, that's a wrap for now. I hope this thing proves useful to some of you. If nothing else, it gave me a good idea on which builds I want to take through the game again now that my D2 break is over.

If you didn't like this, be sure to send NacRuno a PM about how this was a horrible, horrible idea. :badteeth: It's all his fault.

If you did like it, be sure to leave a comment and thank me in great detail. It was all my idea with no outside input whatsoever.

10. Links
If you're interested in some more in-depth stuff, all my guardian threads have been collected by Thyiad and can be found here: http://www.chrisclarke.co.uk/nightfish.html. This has a lot of additional info and in many cases offers insight into why I did what I did. Downside is that often I used screenshots to show skill trees and the LCS which is one of the main reasons I wrote this summary thing in the first place.


Well-known member
Guide Author
Mar 14, 2020
Originally posted by @Ed From Russia on June 28, 2007

Multiplayer Guide - Combination ideas for small parties

Cool idea to make a MP forum. I just noticed it, though it may have been there for a while already.

Although I normally play only SP, a friend and I play MP now and then (2 characters only), and we always try to come up with nice build combinations. The suggestions below are all things we have done or thought of. I hope it gives some inspiration to other MP enthusiasts. Though it focuses on 2 players, I am sure the ideas are also nice for larger (3+) parties.

I will not cover specific builds, but just call them by their name. You probably want to look up a specific guide for further info before starting. Or send me a PM and I will give you a link or a quick description.

Combo 1 – One-way boosters

The duo that most players come up with quickly is a Sorceress with a Paladin using Conviction. I call this a one-way booster; the Paladin's Aura helps the Sorceress but the Paladin gets nothing in return. Different attributes can be boosted, each of which is shown below.

Elemental damage boosters
- Paladin with Conviction, e.g. Avenger
- Necromancer with Lower Resist, e.g. Poisonmancer or Mage Lord
Combine with:
- Any Sorceress, Lightning Javazon, Lightning Trapper, Fireclaws Werebear
- The following can be combined only with Necromancer / Lower Resist: Poisonmancer, Rabies Werewolf, Venom Assassin, Poison Javazon

Physical Damage boosters
- Paladin with Fanaticism, e.g. Zealot
- Druid using Heart of Wolverine, e.g. Fury Werewolf, Werebear Mauler, Hunter
- Necromancer using Amp Damage, e.g. Skellymancer
Combine with:
- Barbarian with physical damage (e.g. WW, Frenzy), Zealot Paladin, Smiter, Fury Werewolf, Werebear Mauler, Strafe / Multi Bowazon, Tiger Strike Assassin
- Skellymancer or Druid Summoner – minions will benefit from booster

Life / defense / Resistance / Life replenish boosters
- Barbarian with Battle Orders, e.g. WW, Frenzy
- Druid with Oak Sage, e.g. Wind Druid, Fireclaws Bear
- Paladin with Salvation
- Necromancer with Life Tap
Combine with:
- Any character
- Druid Summoner / Necromancer – minions will benefit from booster
- Combine Necromancer/Life Tap with melee characters only.

Other types of boosters
- Paladin with Redemption (e.g. Hammerdin) with any type of heavy mana user (e.g. Sorceress)
- Barbarian with Battle Command gives +1 to skills to other characters

Combo 2 – Two-way boosters

In the examples of Combo 1 one character benefited from the combination, while the other didn’t. The best combos however are the ones where both characters benefit.

Physical Damage two-way boosters
Note: you need a way to deal with PIs!
Combine 2 of the following:
- Paladin using Fanaticism (e.g. Zealot)
- Druid using Heart of Wolverine (Fury Wolf, Maul Werebear)
- Necromancer using Amp Damage (e.g. Skellymancer)

Life / defense / resistances / life replenish two-way boosters
Combine 2 of the following:
- Barbarian with Battle Orders, e.g. WW, Frenzy
- Druid with Oak Sage, e.g. Wind Druid, Fireclaws Bear
- Paladin with Salvation

Two Paladins
Get two Paladins with different Auras and both will benefit. Lots of possible variations. E.g. create 2 Zealots; one with Fanaticism and one with Concetration, and get a Might Merc to have even more fun.

Combo 3 – Different types of damage

By focusing each character on a specific type of damage, you have a way to deal with immunities while each build can invest all skill points in one area. The list below lists builds for each type of damage – take one from each to combine. Obviously, because the characters don’t benefit from each other’s skills this type of combo may not be as effective as the ones described earlier.

Physical damage
- Barb with Physical damage (e.g. WW, Frenzy)
- Paladin with Physical damage (e.g. Zealot)
- Strafe / Multi Bowazon
- Maul Werebear, Fury Wolf, Druid Summoner (Hunter), Wind Druid
- Tiger Strike Assassin, Kicker
- Skellymancer

Fire damage
- Fire Sorceress
- Fireclaws Bear, Fire Elemental Druid
- Fire Trapsin

Cold Damage
- Cold Sorceress
- Frozen Arrow Bowazon
- Icemaiden Assassin
- Frost Zealot

- Lightning Trapsin, Claws of Thunder Assassin
- Lightning Javazon
- Tesladin

- Bonemancer
- Hammerdin
- Berserker Barbarian

Combo 3 – Tank and ranged attacker

A logical combination is to have one character that can tank monsters while the other finishes them off from a distance. Select a tank and ranged attacker from the list below.

- Any Barbarian (WW, Frenzy, Titan, Vitabarb)
- Any Melee Paladin (Zealot, Avenger)
- Werewolf / Werebear
- Skellymancer (minions as tanks)
- Druid Summoner (minions as tanks)

Ranged attacker
- Bowazon, Javazon
- Any Sorceress
- Wind / Fire Druid
- Lightning / Fire Trapsin, Blade Fury (+Venom) Assassin
- Hammerdin
- Bonemancer

Combo 4 – More of the same / themed builds

It can be fun for both players to make the same build, or to base it on a certain theme. This may or may not improve the build’s effectiveness, but it does normally make it visually appealing.

- 2 Skellymancers: an even larger army
- 2 Druid Summoners: lots of wolves and ravens
- 3 Sorceresses: one for each damage type
- 3 Barbs – recreate the Ancients, and beat them
- Werewolf and Werebear
- Tesla Girls or Electric Ladyland (depending on your musical preference): Lightning Amazon, Lightning Trapsin and Lightning Sorceress
- 2 Bowazons with 2 Act I Hirelings
- 2 MA Assassins with 2 Shadow Masters
- Slow-effect builds: e.g. Cold Bowazon with Necromancer using Decrepify + Clay Golem
- Thorns Paladin and Iron Maiden Necromancer

Combo 5 – Builds that don’t work single-player

Some builds do not work (well) by themselves, but can be quite enjoyable. In multiplayer they can be combined with others.

- Mojomancer: Necromancer that focuses on Curses. Curses such as Dim Vision and Attract are a great combination with ranged attackers
- Auramancer: Great in large parties, but also useful in smaller ones
- Singer Barbarian: another supporting build for large parties.
- Undead Hunter (Paladin): focuses on skills and equipment that kills undead. Too specialized for single-player, but fine if your party members can take care of other monsters
- Jailkeeper Necromancer: Based on Bone Prison and Bone Wall. Nice in combination with for example Trapsin or Bowazon
- Passive Amazon (with maximum-strength Valkyrie): useless on its own but possibly fun in a party
- Leap Attack Barbarian: if monsters are held in place (e.g. by minions), the Barb can jump from monster to monster to finish them off.


Hirelings can add another benefit to your party. For example, the Act II Might Mercenary is great for a physical-damage combo. Act II or V hirelings are great tanks if party members prefer ranged attacker builds. Consider using other Hireling than normally for a change. Act I Rogues can be quite effective if you already have a character or minion capable of tanking.

Some equipment (runewords) provide auras that can strengthen your combos. In multiplayer these are even more effective than in single-player.

Magic Find
In particular if you play similar builds, you may find items that several players want to have. Agree how to solve this before starting to play.

What is the best combo?

In my view, one of the following:
- Skellymancer (+Amp) and Zealot (+Fanaticism)
- Avenger (+Conviction) and Blizzard Sorceress
- Lightning Sorc and Blizzard Sorc

Which combo is most fun?

Depends on the preference of each party member. I had most fun with my friend when we were both playing a Werebear; one Fireclaws and one Mauler. My next project may be to recreate the Ancients with 2 other players; I hope I can be the Leap Attacker.


Well-known member
Guide Author
Mar 14, 2020
Originally posted by @Nightfish on April 11, 2011

Nightfish's Vivisections - Issue #1: The Necromancer

Nightfish cuts open... - The Necromancer

1. Introduction

Hey y'all. It's been a while since I wrote a guide thingy, for various reasons. Listing them all would take (p)ages. I'm writing this one now, simply because I feel like writing something. I've been thinking to write more general guides for years but I've never quite got it down right. There's just so much to D2 that putting it all in one spot and keeping it readable seems nigh impossible. Plus, trying to keep it free of bias is even harder. So, what I'm doing here is just going to be my take on the necromancer. Not in the form of a specific build or anything, what I have in mind is just looking at all his skills and commenting on their usefulness and how well they combine with other stuff. I have no idea if this is going to be useful to anyone or not. Obviously I plan to do this for the other 6 classes as well, but right now this is more of an experiment than anything. I'm not going to post 6 more if this turns out to be utter moo-moo farm excretory product.

Ideally, I intend for this to be useful to people trying to plan out their own builds and looking for another take on skills and the like. Possibly this can be neat for people coming back to the game or for newcomers. At the end of the day, it's you guys who determine whether this has any value to you or not.

So, without further ado, let's cut open some stuff and see how it works...

2. General Stuff

2.1 Basic Synergy Math

Because I don't want to explain this again for every synergy, I'm doing it here once. People sometimes have very funny ideas about synergies. Like, if something has 4 synergies, you have to max them all. Or, if it does not have synergies, the spell sucks. None of this is true. You gotta really dig deep and bring 3rd grade math to the table, only then can you truly harness the epic powers of synergies to their fullest intent. The kinda of skill that bears some more thought is what I like to call a "spell" or "spell-like"-ability. Stuff like Fireball, Meteor, Poison Nova, Lightning Fury, Fireclaws, Fissure, Holy Shock, etc. In contrast to "weapon damage dependant" skills like Zeal, Fanaticism, Berserk, Vengeance, Fury, etc.

Let's consider a fictional Spell with 2 Synergies. Each of these Adds 10% damage to Spell per point in the synergies. The Spell itself gains 5 points of damage per point spent in the Spell. (because this makes for easy math) I'll look at a few distinct combinations here to make my point. In D2, I am not aware of any scenario in which synergies add a percentile bonus and you would max synergies, but not the spell itself, so I will assume a fixed 20 points in Spell for now:

A Spell, 20 Points: 100 Damage
B Spell, 20 Points, Synergy 10 Points: 200 Damage
C Spell, 20 Points, Synergy 20 Points: 300 Damage
D Spell, 20 Points, Synergy 30 Points: 400 Damage
E Spell, 20 Points, Synergy 40 Points: 500 Damage

At this point, meet Bob. Bob as 600 HP and we want him dead.

At point A, we need to cast Spell 6 times to kill Bob.
Now, from A to B, we're adding 100 Damage, which is an increase of 100%, right? 200 is twice as much as 100. So, if we needed to cast Spell 6 times before in order to kill Bob, we need to cast it only 3 times now.
From B to C, we're adding much less in terms of relative power. We're still going up by the exact same amunt, 100 raw damage, but it's only 50% more than it was before. To kill Bob we now need twice now, which is still a noticable gain.
From C to D we again add 100 raw damage, in relative terms this is 33%. Bob still takes 2 casts of Spell to die
From D to E we once more add 100 damage, 25% in relative terms. Again, Bob dies on the second hit.

Finally, it bears mentioning that adding +1 Spell will yield better results with more synergies, so synergies synergise with +skills, to some extent. This, however, is something you can only very rarely actively make use of.

I think you can see the point now if you didn't know / think about it already. In relative terms, you add less and less per point of synergy. In absolute terms, if you're not casting fewer spells to kill, you have not gained anything except bragging rights for having slightly more damage than the next guy.

Whether a skill is good or not depends on the final result. It does not matter if it does low base damage or if synergies only add 1% of damage. If base damage was epicly high, who cares if it has no synergies or if synergies add little? It was already awesome to begin with. You don't need the synergies, spend those points elsewhere. If base damage was sub-par, this in turn can sometimes be "countered", if synergies add a lot per point. Keep the big picture in mind.

The point of all this is to determine the "sweet spot" where it's best to stop putting points in a spell's synergies. If you deal only poison, physical, fire, cold or lightning damage, odds are you will need a second element to get through the game. Thinking about synergies as I described should help you pick a good "spread" between two spells with different elements. If you're dealing magical damage, you might get away with not having a second element as only few things are immune to magic.

Final note, in case you forgot / did not know: Synergies only count "hard points".

2.2 The necromancer in general

The necromancer is one of my favorite classes. It offers a lot of crowd control and a couple strong skills that you can easily build stuff around and it has an ace in the hole with Corpse Explosion that can make pretty much every build work. The abovementioned synergy overkill is less of an issue if you add 10-20 points of CE into your build. That gives you physical and fire damage and should help you massively with stuff that's immune to your main attack. It probably offers the wides range of gameplay of all the classes, from melee to caster to passive via summons. CE also means that you can run pretty much every area with decent speed making the necromancer a natural choice for magic find runs other than simply hitting a single boss over and over again.

Necromancers are also a good class to start learing the game with because with the right build you can take your time and watch stuff happen without dying instantly. They tend to do very well even with terrible items so that's another mark in favor of new players.

And it's one of the few classes that isn't made ugly by wearing caps. With his natural bad looks, the necromancer isn't bothered by taking the "Oh my god, what's wrong with your face!?!" up to 11.

3. Attributes (Primary)

Attributes are easy for necromancers.

Strength (Str): You will always want enough Strength to wear your gear, obviously. As a rule of thumb, this means 100-ish by the time you reach Hell. Str also does other stuff which is not relevant to anything resembling a normal necromancer build.

Dexterity (Dex): You are *probably* going to want enough here to keep blocking at 75%, depending on the shield you're going to use. Don't bother at all if you are below a base chance to block of 60% or lower. At least, I wouldn't bother then. Dex also does other stuff which is not relevant to anything resembling a normal necromancer build.

Vitality (Vit): The necro's growth rate is 2 HP / 1 Vit. This is the lowest anyone gets, on par with sorcs. As such, you are actually giving up less life than other characters by getting enough dex to block. This is something to keep in mind.

Energy (En): If you don't already know that nobody ever gets energy, you do now. Spending that points to increase energy is not a good idea.

4. Attributes (Derrived)

Life (HP):
Get a life. Well, get more than one, if possible. Life serves only as a buffer so you don't drop dead from one hit. There's no special prize for having the highest amount of life possible. What you want here is enough so that you're comfortable that you can get potions in before you drop. Ideally I'm looking at 800-1000 here by the time I enter Hell. As low as 700 is still quite doable for HC Hell, but the lower you go, the less leeway you have. Life alone only gets you so far. You definetly want to have good resistances and ideally blocking for hell. Try this out for yourself, but personally I find blocking to be highly desirable if I can break 800 life. Especially if you get cursed blocking can safe your life.

Mana (MP): To be honest, just roll with what you get naturally, then look towards regaining MP as you need them. Either with the omnipresent insight runeword on your merc or drinking blue stuff. Mana per kill items can sometimes work, depending on the spells you use.

Stamina (I'm not going to mention this again, so screw abbreviations for this): This one is relevant only in the very early game, usually. All I can say here is watch so you don't run out of stamina just before you need to run away from some trouble or another. I would never bother going out of way to buff this. Boots tend to help this directly or indirectly, by increasing your movement speed.

5. Skills

Now this is where it's at. Let's look at the three trees one by one and examine the skills. I'm going to say a few lines to each of them and try to give a recommendation on how to make this work. I'll also note whether I think this is a good main skill for a build or whether this can make a good backup skill. I'll give a short Description, a recommendation for Hard Points (points you actually put there) and Soft Points (points you get from your gear and such). Now, this is not supposed to be set in stone, if you don't have the +skills to get the soft points to where you want them, drop a few more hard points into the skill if you like it and plan to use it. I'll also add some thoughts on what this Combines well with. If it has a synergy I'll try to give you an idea on how badly it needs to be synergised and recommend which skills to pick here, if there are several.

5.1 Curses

This is pretty much the tree of one-point-wonders. Many of these skills are not getting much better as they level up, or cap out so soon that you're good with 1 point plus whatever +skills you happen to have. If you're "twinked" (have half-decent items) you will only very rarely put more than one point in any of these. It is worth noting that most curses are mutually exclusive. The last curse you cast will be the one in effect.

I've since been told that AI curses have reduced duration in Hell. Quite frankly, I had never noticed this before which probably says something. I assume this is no problem for me because unless you are built around bone spear, bone spirit or teeth you will not be spamming spells and have plenty of time to reapply curses if they run out. Still, probably worth keeping in mind that your mileage may vary in the higher difficulties.

5.1.1. Amplify Damage (Amp)
Description: This is fairly straightforward. Lowering monsters' physical resistance by -100% equals double damage for most of them. Stuff that was immune to physical damage can now be hurt in most cases. While not a synergy in name, it amounts to as much for most builds.
Combines with: Physical damage in general. CE, Skel Wars, Revives (depending on the base monster), Iron Golems (made from good weapons)ä
Recommendation: Get at least 1 point in it. Kinda hard to avoid this one anyway.
Hard Points: 1
Soft Points: 6+

5.1.2. Dim Vision (DV)
Description:This blinds monsters. Pretty useful to stabilise the early phases of combat against larger groups. If you get it up to a decent skill level it can serve as a "panic button". Pretty useful against Gloam type monsters, I hear. Also prevents resurrecting monsters from using their spells because they cannot see dead people anymore, aparantely. I have to admit I very rarely use this.
Combines with:Bone Spear, Bone Spirit, Teeth (because no curse you have can boost magic damage)
Recommendation: 1 point as prerequisite
Hard Points: 1
Soft Points: 10+

5.1.3. Confuse
Description: Monsters start randomly attacking stuff. I find this less reliable, and therefore less useful, than other crowd control curses.
Combines with: Bone Spear, Bone Spirit, Teeth (because no curse you have can boost magic damage)
Recommendation: 1 point as prerequisite
Hard Points: 1
Soft Points: 6+

5.1.4. Attract
Description: This is the *only* curse that cannot be overridden by other curses. Obviously, this has huge potential. What this does is curse one monster to be attacked by everything else around it. If you cast this wisely you can tie down whole groups of monsters by cursing just 2 or 3 of them, leaving the others free to eat more devastating curses. (Amp, LR, etc). 12 second duration at lvl 1 is quite plenty, too, so no need to get this higher than it gets by accident. A viable tactic when things get hot is to lay down DV or Confuse, then cast Attract a few times and then add the damage enhancing curse of your choice. In less dangerous situations you can easily shuffle this around to casting your damage curse first and then attracting 2-3 things afterwards.
Combines with: everything
Recommendation: 1 point but use it heavily
Hard Points: 1
Soft Points: 1+

5.1.5. Iron Maiden (IM)
Description: Returns melee damage. You can see the main problem right here. At least half the monsters in the game are either using ranged or magic attacks, which limits this curses use. On top of that, the actual amount of damage returned is not that great, even if you max this skill.
Combines with: nothing, really. Maybe attract, but this is really just novelty build stuff.
Recommendation: 1 point if you need it as a prerequisite
Hard Points: 1
Soft Points: 1

5.1.6. Life Tap
Description: If you hit something with physical damage, you regain half of that damage as life. The thing here is that even if you have someone using physical damage you will usually want amplifiy damage going to double their damage, rather than have them regain half their attack damage. Even in hardcore. Can sometimes be useful, but only in special encounters like Hell Ancients or perhaps act bosses under specific circumstances.
Combines with: Your mercenary, Multiplayer games with weak-ish characters. People too lazy to use attract for crowd control.
Recommendation: 1 point if you need it as a prerequisite or if you want it to help very tough fights in which you cannot use CC (hell ancients)
Hard Points: 1
Soft Points: 1

5.1.7. Lower Resistances (LR)
Description: This is useful to you if you're using your poison based skills. Apart from that the necromancer himself does not need this. Can break elemental immunities. Can be desirable in MP games. Note that magic damage is *not* affected by this, so it is useless to bone spear / spirit and teeth. CE using necros are better off using Amp. (because -100% Physical Resistance is better than -60-ish% Fire Resistance. Also, Amp has no prerequisite skills) Has diminishing returns so there's not much reason to go overboard on hard points here.
Lowers resistance to: Poison, Fire, Cold, Lightning
Does not lower resistance to: Magic, Physical
Combines with: Poison skills, Attract
Recommendation: 1 point if you use poison or expect to MP with elemental people that do not have conviction
Hard Points: 1
Soft Points: 7+

5.1.8. Weaken
Description: If i had to elect the most useless curse, this would be it. Weaken is completely eclipsed by other curses.
Combines with: No.
Recommendation: 1 point as a prerequisite
Hard Points: 1
Soft Points: 1

5.1.9. Terror
Description: Boo! Makes stuff run away from you. This can be handy sometimes to clear doorways. The fixed 2.6 yards radius keeps this from being as useful as the barbarian's howl, though.
Combines with: Nothing really.
Recommendation: 1 point. Keep it hotkeyed because it can sometimes be useful to have
Hard Points: 1
Soft Points: 1+

5.1.10. Decrepify
Description: Hello, I'm the swiss army knife of curses. -50% physical resistance, -50% damage dealt and -50% speed are just an awesome package. I whip this bad boy out for pretty much every boss fight or when we're facing nasty boss packs. The fact that it's fixed at 4 yards and starts with a duration of 4 seconds +0.6s per skill point means I see no point in spending hard points here. This is not the bread & butter curse of any build I can think of, but it sees use against act bosses and in tough fights a lot, so definetly don't overlook this one.
Combines with: Physical damage, a strong desire to not-die.
Recommendation: 1 point.
Hard Points: 1
Soft Points: 1+

5.2. Poison and Bone Skills

At this point I remind you of the Synergy Math thing I did earlier. Keep this one in mind and think about it as you pick skills from this tree. This tree is mostly about dealing direct damage but offers some defensive options as well.

5.2.1. Teeth
Description: This is the "novelty" skill of the bone skills. This is something you'll most likely use for the fun of it. It can work as a main skill if you have lots of +skills and synergise it heavily, but it will always take a back seat to bonespear. Magic damage, so no way to boost this.
Combines with: CE, Bone Wall
Recommendation: 1 as a prerequisite
Hard Points: 1 or 20
Soft Points: 1+ or 20+

5.2.2. Bone Spear
Description: Shoots a spear that damage everything in a line. Magic damage, so no way to boost this.
Combines with: CE, Attract, Bone Wall
Recommendation: Preferable over bone spirit most of the time.
Hard Points: 0 or 20
Soft Points: 0 or 20+

5.2.3. Bone Spirit
Description: Shoot a single target homing missile that deals magic damage. Very mana intensive compared to bone spear. Poorer damage / mana ratio even on single targets. Magic damage, so no way to boost this.
Combines with: CE
Recommendation: Use this only when you cannot hit stuff with bonespear. Makes a great synergy for bone spear, though.
Hard Points: 0 or 20
Soft Points: 0 or 20+

5.2.4. Corpse Explosion (CE)
Description: This is probably the best necromancer skill. With this and 1 point in amp, I'm pretty sure I could beat the game if I had to. Imho, every necromancer should have this one and at least get soft point up to 25. It has been argued that this skill sucks because it does not scale with player settings. Alright, I say, please name skills which *do* scale. In fact, name any skill that scales besides Static Field. Good luck. If you stop thinking in terms of "Deals X% of the corpse's life" and instead think of the raw value, you're getting somewhere. On /players 1, having 2 corpses on the screen usually means that everyone else is dead as well. In the face of this, even fully synergised bone spear / spirit spells are relegated to "get me a corpse and then gtfo".
Damage dealt is 50% fire 50% phyical. This is really awesome because only very rarely will you find anyone immune to it's charms.
Combines with: Amp damage, dead people.
Recommendation: Get it. Put points in it (!!!). Love it. This makes an excellent backup skill to any necromancer
Hard Points: 10-20
Soft Points: 25+

5.2.5. Poison Dagger (PDagger)
Description: I can only see this being used as a transition skill on the way to poison nova and a synergy later on. This can be viable as a novelty build. There are specialsed guides for this, if the skill intrigues you. The sad thing is that poison nova will pretty much always deal more damage per second even against single target which makes this skill sort of redundant in the long run. To get a good idea of how much damage this does, don't look at the character screen. Look at the skill and divide damage by duration. Knowing how much damage this deals per second is much more useful than knowing how much it does over it's full duration.
Combines with: LR, Attract, "Hit causes monster to flee" items.
Recommendation: Max it if you intend to use Poison Nova.
Hard Points: 0 or 20
Soft Points: 0 or 20+

5.2.6. Poison Explosion
Description: A strong contender for the worst skill in D2. Damage is nothing spectacular and the radius is just a joke. If you have a corpse, use CE, that's much better.
Combines with: Riding the short bus
Recommendation: 1 as a prerequisite, 20 if you are going all out on poison nova.
Hard Points: 0/1 or 20
Soft Points: dont actually use this skill

5.2.7. Poison Nova (PNova)
Description: Ah, the good poison skill. As always with poison, consider damage per second, rather than raw damage.
Combines with: LR. Attract, CE
Recommendation: Maxing this plus one synergy is plenty to get you a decent damage spell.
Hard Points: 0 or 20
Soft Points: 0 or 20+

5.2.8. Bone Armour
Description: Absorbs physical melee damage if you get hit. Synergies add 15 flat damage absorption while actual points add 10 and cause the spell to cost more mana. I'll leave interpretation up to you. You'll figure out what this means
Combines with: A desire to stand there and take it like a good little *****?
Recommendation: 1 point, use it if synergies are included into your build for other reasons (bone spear / spirit or teeth)
Hard Points: 0-1
Soft Points: 1+

5.2.9. Bone Wall
Description: As you'd expect, this creates a wall of bone. This can be pretty handy to keep stuff away from you but some projectiles go through it which is not so nice. I can only assume that this has epic potential to kill your allies in MP by hemming them in together with nasty boss packs. Much like Bone Wall, this can potentially get in your way so I wouldn't get this for many builds.
Combines with: Bone Spear / Spirit, Teeth.
Recommendation: I'd get this only if I wanted it as a synergy for spear / spirit or teeth (and then use it a lot, of course).
Hard Points: 0 or 1+
Soft Points: 0 or 1+

5.2.10. Bone Prison
Description: Similar to bone wall, except it makes a box. Probably better for trapping allies with frenzytaurs? :badteeth: No, seriously, this can probably work just fine as CC if your build includes this skill anyway. Personally I wouldn't go out of my way to get it. Can sometimes be more harm than help.
Combines with: see Bone Wall
Recommendation: I would take Bone Wall over this because that one is easier to place and use correctly.
Hard Points: 0 or 1+
Soft Points: 0 or 1+

5.3 Summoning Spells

Yeah baby, yeah! This is my skill tree, obviously. I love having others do my work for me, so this tree is heaven for me. This boasts the strongest summons of all the classes and several builds centering around this are feasible and quite powerful.

5.3.1. Raise Skeleton (RS)
Description: Summons a skeleton warrior that will slap things around like a champ. These guys have decent AI and pack quite a wallop. I have to admit I do not bother with the actual stats that much, suffice it to say that if you get this around slvl 25 with SM up there as well this is enough to take on players 1 Hell. That says a lot for a lvl 1 skill, doesn't it? Provides epic crowd control in addition to decent physical damage. Add might merc. Someone should write a guide centered around this skill...
Combines with: SM, Amp, CE, damage enhancing auras and being lazy.
Recommendation: If you get this, max it and max SM. Otherwise don't bother
Hard Points: 0 or 20
Soft Points: 0 or 20+

5.3.2. Skeleton Mastery (SM)
Description: Makes your Skeletons and Revives better.
Combines with: Skeletons and Revives maybe?
Recommendation: Obviously don't get this if you aren't using Skellies or Revives.
Hard Points:
Soft Points:

5.3.3. Skeletal Mage
Description: I find this skill to be extremely lackluster in comparison to it's lvl 1 counterpart, RS. Even maxed and with LR to assist, this will deal relatively little damage and provide nowhere near as much crowd control because of how the mages behave.
Combines with: LR, a desire to be mediocre
Recommendation: skip it. If you must use it, max this, SM and get LR. Possibly combine it with Poison Nova and one Poison synergy and CE to get something half decent. Still. Not a very worth skill. Does not combine well with regular skelliemaner build as they are geared towards physical damage.
Hard Points: 0 / 1
Soft Points: 0 / 1+

5.3.4. Revive
Description: If Skellies alone still make you feel lonely, this skill is for you. What you get varies a lot. Some monsters are epically useless while others pack quite a punch. Generally speaking, look for things that deal physical damage and move fast. These guys' AI isn't too hot so expect to raise new ones as you go. It probably deserves special notice that gloams make horrible revives for multiple reasons. For one, their lightning damage is much less impressive against other monsters than it is against you. Then, they are immune to lightning and that means the gloams you raise can't hurt the next pack you encounter. If you're looking for cheap meat shields, this might be a decent spell for you. If you only have 7-ish points to spend you can still get some use out of it, which is not as true for RS.
Combines with: Amp, CE, SM, Maniacal laughter
Recommendation: 1 point should be plenty.
Hard Points: 0 / 1
Soft Points: 1+

5.3.5. Clay Golem
Description: Your basic golem with a handy dandy slow effect on attack. This works well against act bosses. He's cheap to summon so you can probably spam him. Not really very useful for regular questing.
Combines with: GM, SR. Useful for any build.
Recommendation: I'd probably always get at least one point in this and GM and SR. Does not really need to be levelled up much if you have some basic +skills. If it dies, just recast it.
Hard Points: 1+
Soft Points: 1+

5.3.6. Golem Mastery
Description: Makes your Golems better. Namely the increase in life is very helpful. It adds quite a lot. If you're making a build centering around golems, consider maxing this.
Combines with: Iron Golem
Recommendation: Consider maxing this if you want to make high quality iron golems. With the removal of Oblivion Knights' Iron Maiden curse in 1.13 it is quite possible to keep these little buggers alive indefinetly.
Hard Points: 1 - 20
Soft Points: 1+

5.3.7.Blood Golem
Description: This is one of the spells that I cannot think of a good use for. It's damage is pathetic but at least you no longer lose life when it gets hit. The fact that it heals you as it smack stuff is not really as noteworthy as you might think as it makes for rather unpredictable healing. Definetly nothing I would rely on in HC. Definetly nothing I need in SC either.
Combines with: Probably Weaken. Crappy Golem plus Crappy Curse sounds good? No, seriously, this does not combine well with anything.
Recommendation: Stay away. Prerequisite only.
Hard Points: 0 / 1
Soft Points: 0 / 1

5.3.8. Iron Golem (IG)
Description: Cast this on anything made out of metal to get a golem using this Item. To get anything worthwhile out of this, this means get a big weapon and cast IG on it. I like this skill a lot and it can definetly be used as a core skill to build a char around. Add amp damage, attract and CE and you've got a build that can easily beat Hell. Assuming you have a few decent weapons laying around to use for this. Note that spending additional points here is NOT very useful. The return damage is rather pitiful and the golem's actual damage depends more on the base weapon and the fire golem synergy, so if anything, spend points on fire golem and golem mastery to buff your iron golem up. Sounds weird, but that's how it is.
Combines with: GM, Amp, CE, RS & SM, Damage enchancing auras, Fire Golem (synergy)
Recommendation: Do not write this skill off just because you can lose the item. There are a lot of cheap / easy to get 2h weapons around that you can use to create IGs. Don't hotkey this or any other golems so you don't accidentally destroy your "good" golem.
Hard Points: 1
Soft Points: 1

5.3.9. Fire Golem (FG)
Description: Another pretty useful golem, not for the damage it deals, but for it's holy fire aura. This pisses monsters off a lot and tends to draw them to the golem, diverting them from you. Can make a decent tank for stuff like the council due to fire absorption.
Combines with: nothing, there is no way to boost the fire damage to meaningful levels
Recommendation: One point is plenty. Get's too expensive to cast if you level it up. Max it if you want the synergy, in which case you are not going to cast the FG anyway.
Hard Points: 0 / 1
Soft Points: 1

5.3.10. Summon Resist (SR)
Description: Gives elemental resistances to all your goons. Obviously important for fights like Diablo. Diminishing returns so no need to go overboard with this, even if you're using nice IGs
Combines with: Summons?
Recommendation: 1 point should usually do it
Hard Points: 1+
Soft Points: 6+

6. Equipment
Equpping a necromancer is fairly straightforward. Most builds are going to benefit massively from +skills, so focus on that. If you're hunting for sets and unqiues, obviously, get some magic find (MF) as well. Personally I feel 200% is plenty, due to diminishing returns. Sure, if I get more MF by happenstance, I'll certainly take it, but I'm not going out of my way to get it. The fact that +skills and MF often occur together makes the necromancer a natural choice for MF runs. "+stuff per kill" items do not work with minions so keep that in mind if you are thinking to restore mana that way. Typically, your necro is not going to have mana problems, the exception being a bone spear / spirit build, those might want to increase their pool and regeneration a bit (hello, insight).

His class specific items - shrunken heads used as a shield - ... yes, this so does make sense. shut up!... allow him to get a lot of stuff from one slot, freeing other components. Special shout out to my man "Homunculus" here. One of my all time favorite items. This thing could only be better if it helped the necro get laid. But alas, no enchantment is strong enough to accomplish that feat... For poison builds the trang oul's set, or pieces thereof, are definetly worth a look.

7. Parting thoughts
Well, that's it for this time. I actually enjoyed writing this, I hope it's useful to someone, if not, it was still time well spent. I may update or ammend this, based on the comments I get. Same for writing similar things for other classes or topics. I can't really gauge how much "need" there is for stuff like this to be written but it's the kind of thing I always wanted to write because it's the kind of guide I'd have needed back when I started playing D2. A general guide line that lets me figure out my own exact build.
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Guide Author
Mar 14, 2020
Originally posted by @Mursilis on June 19, 2008

Beginner's Guide to Build Selection

A common question from newer players is what is the easiest character/build with which to play the game. Easiest is subjective, so you'll get a few different opinions as to what character/build you should start with, but I'll give it a go. This is purely PvM questing, no PvP considerations taken.

#1 Necromancer
The Fishymancer is the stable of this character and a normal starting point for most players. This build is completely item independent and could solve Hell naked if necessary. With 20+ minions doing the dirty work you'll find yourself in personal danger infrequently. Going can be a bit slow and tedious, but you will encounter few, if any, monsters that are immune to your party. Since this character can load up on the MF he makes an excellent runner of areas in search of equipment for the rest of your planned builds.

Other builds are possible with the Necromancer, but the choices are fairly small and the rest are more difficult and definitely more item dependent, such as the Dentist.

#2 Sorceress
There are many more options for this character, all relatively the same as far as ease of play is concerned. Popular choices are the Meteorb, Blizzballer, pure Blizzard and pure Lightning sorceresses. The first two make excellent all around MFers and can solo any part of the game due to dealing multiple types of elemental damage. The second two are more specialized in that some areas they will be relying purely on their mercenary to deal with all encountered monsters. This makes questing with them more difficult, however once done they are faster boss runners than dual elemental builds.

They are fragile creatures however, so care must be taken to keep them out of harms way. Thankfully they have Teleport as a skill that allows them to run away from danger, or reposition their mercenary companion at will. Therefore it's suggested that an Act II mercenary is acquired, as you'll need a durable tank to keep the monster packs at bay and the aura these mercenaries have (Defiance, Holy Freeze) are invaluable to that end.

#3 Paladin
This character is the most versatile of all the classes, and has the most possible builds available. The easiest build type would be any of the Zealot types, or the Hammerdin. A plethora of auras for all occasions ensures the Paladin is not without a means to deal with most situations and Holy Shield ensures his survivability is high with a decent blocking ability.

Both types mentioned above require very little skill switching. The zealots (Frost Zealot, Tesladin, Fanaticism enhanced pure Zealot) are pure click-and-hold until the monsters are dead type fighters. The Hammerdin is similar in that he simply spams fields of hammers and waits for monsters to wander through and kill themselves off. The zealots have some issues with immune monsters in Hell and therefore require backup skills, while nothing except a single monster in Act III (Wailing Beast) is immune to the Hammerdin (which is why he's so popular).

The Hammerdin is fairly item independent, as are the elemental zealots. On the flip side the pure Zealot does require a high damage weapon to be effective, and so is the most difficult of the zealot types to equip.

#4 Assassin
The easiest of builds for this character would be the Trapper (Lightning or Fire). Simply cast Cloak of Shadows, lay traps and wait until the monsters are all dead. Move forward, rinse and repeat. Not the most interesting play style but simple.

However on the flip side the Martial arts builds (Phoenix striker, DTail Kicker) are much more difficult. Due to the number of skills used they are being switched constantly so great attention is required to ensure the correct number of charges is obtained and the right type of attack used, all depending on what immunity the monsters have. More intense than almost any other build type and fairly item dependent to boot.

Both styles have access to an effiecent companion in the Shadow Master. Just keep an eye on her, as she is know to convert some of the monsters from time to time. They can't be hurt by you, but don't bypass them as they will turn on you again once the conversion wears off. You don't want enemies both in front and behind you if you can avoid it.

#5 Amazon
This character also has a fair amount of possible builds available, the easiest being the Lighthing Fury Amazon and the Multishot/Strafazon. A pure LF build can deal with most packs (LF) and all bosses (CS) within seconds and has the needed backup skills (Jab, FA...) to take on the LIs as well. This build is very item independent as her damage does not rely on how good a weapon she
wields, since it is all elemental and always hits the target.

The Bowazon takes on enemies from afar and with skills like Knockback and Chance to Flee ensures no one ever gets close. She is more fragile than her melee sisters so take care in where you stand and be aware that with Strafe you are locked in place until your round of arrows are away. She is also more item dependent in that a high damaging bow is absolutely necessary and certain mods (Knockback, leech) are highly desired.

What makes these builds really shine though is that the Amazon has access to the best tank in the game, the Valkyrie. Along with that she has an excellent scout in the Decoy that can be cast far ahead to see what monsters/dangers lie in wait.

#6 Druid
Druids have a limited number of simple builds available. The normal ones are fire, wind and werewolf/werebear. The Fire and Wind druids have excellent tank options in the form of a summonable bear or a pack of wolves. However their skills are not the easiest to aim, especially Armageddon, so there is a learning curve. Cold and fire are the two most common immunities in Hell, so a backup plan is required to solo the game.

The werebear and werewolf builds, while powerful do have trouble on the defensive end (wolf) or slow attack speed (bear). This makes them a little more difficult than the above characters to play, but not absurdly so. Along with this is their item dependence, especially for weapons. However they do make up for it with increased life pool and insane attack speed/leech (wolf) or
shockwave (bear).

#7 Barbarian
Probably his easiest build would be an Immortal King WWer. Not the easiest set to finish but very viable to solo the game. He's not the fastest character and will encounter trouble when fighting mana burn monsters, or when simply swarmed since he has zero blocking abilities (2-handed weapon). He doesn't have a summonable tank to help relieve the pressure nor any extremely good crowd control skills. A couple of the warcries help, such as Howl, but this character relies on his fighting abilities to win more than anything else.

Concentration barbarians do require a mention. For those that are having trouble finding the entire Immortal King set they make a decent backup build. It is a melee build so a good weapon is necessary, but that is the extent of his item dependence.


Well-known member
Guide Author
Mar 14, 2020
Originally posted by @jiansonz on November 11, 2009

SPF Tournament Septavirate Guardian #7 of 7 - Completed!


At last, after many failed attempts in tournaments, I got myself a Phoenix Striker Guardian! Ironic that my favourite build within my favourite class was to be the last one. :rolleyes:

Like all characters in the Septavirate, Dominika was played HC, untwinked, single-pass, doing full clears.

The tournament was Green with Envy III. Only set items were allowed (or white/grey items until a green piece for the slot was found) and the only things we could put in sockets were emeralds and jewels with the green graphic. After the third green weapon was found, mercs had to use a set weapon or go weaponless. Before three 1-handed set weapons were found, characters could use set shield(s) along with white/grey weaponry if they preferred that over 2-handed set weapon(s).
No restrictions on stats, skills or charms.

You can read her progress reports in the tournament thread (my first post is post #177).

I had a Prayer merc as companion for most of Normal, until my third set weapon was dropped by Frozenstein. Since I had found Vidala´s bow earlier, I used a Fire Rogue merc for a while. After WSK level 1, I hired Devak the Cold mage. He stayed with Dominika for the rest of the journey.

Catacombs 1 in Nightmare dropped something fabulous, which was immediately recognized by my heroine. I tried to keep blocking at 60%, but eventually realized that it would cost me too many points that I could use better in Vitality. So I set a new goal: 50% block (later changed to 55% when I found Tal Rasha´s belt that has a large DEX bonus).

Scariest time in Nightmare difficulty came in Disused Reliquary on the Kurast Causeway. What is it with me and that particular temple? However bad this stairs trap was, it wasn´t as bad as the one my Druid Burt had in the first Green with Envy tourney. And he didn´t have CoS or Mind Blast.

Another scary situation in Nightmare was the fight with Bremm Sparkfist. It´s darn hard to get good resists with the rules in the GWE tournaments. Even with Fade on, I was in the negatives here.

Maggot Flambeau, anoyne?

This post describes the fight with Ventar the Unholy in NM, the only monster in the game that Dominika didn´t manage to kill. Well, she could have killed him, but would almost certainly have died to the death explosion, unless she would block it.

As you can also see in that post, Dominika found Tancred´s Weird in Ancients´Way in NM, which led to two things:
* My discovery that the range of Angelic Sickle she had used for like forever, was really bad. No better than a dagger! Once I had tried out Tancred´s Crowbill for a while, I wonder how I could even stand playing with the bad range earlier...
* I finally had some real MF going. :badteeth:

Dominika found a game-changing item in the Catacombs once again. Really lucky place for her. This time it was Cleglaw´s Tooth, completing the set. I kept it on the weapon switch, for use mainly with Blade Fury. No longer did I need to tiptoe around dangerous LE bosses looking for sweet spots among their bolts (my lightning resist still sucked, and those bolts HURT); no longer a need to arrange heavy flames in advance, or pile up corpses to explode when I faced "untankable"-level dangerous bosses. Just cast a Shadow, have her use Fade (if possible), then fire away with Blade Fury. The good AR bonus kept my hit chance up, and the Knockback was an advantage against many bosses.

Now Dominika was pretty much set for the rest of the game (well, if it wasn´t for the really bad lightning resistance - something I struggled to improve the whole way). I decided to do some things slightly differently than with previous Phoenix Strikers (although some of them didn´t have a choice because of tourney rules):
* Lowered my DEX investment. Keeping up 55% blocking with Sigon´s Guard didn´t require a dedicated investment. And there was no item I wanted to use that had a higher STR requirement than 75. So I was free to pump VIT a lot.
* Gave priority to the lightning synergy over the fire synergy. From mid-NM, I kept the former a few points higher than the latter. The fire atttack is the strong one and much more suited for group killing (because of lingering area-of-effect flames) and I figured that needing a couple more fire attacks to kill monsters/packs wouldn´t be so bad, as I could often quickly dart in, release flames and get out while my Shadow did the tanking to keep the monsters burning. The lightning attack requires more hits to kill anything, and you pretty much need to stand next to what you want to damage for a longer time to do it efficiently (= usually more dangerous). So in terms of safety, I felt it would pay off to make the lightning attack strong.
* I wasn´t stingy about putting a couple of points in Death Sentry as soon as I lowered the players setting to 1 at the start of Hell. And I wasn´t stingy about using it either...

I got quite lucky with monster rolls for the second half of Hell difficulty. No serious stairs trap in the Act III temples, not even one boss/Champ Frenzytaur in Hell difficulty, Gloams only in Swampy Pit and Icy Cellar, reasonably tame WSK monsters, etc. See the tourney thread for battle reports in the endgame.

Guardian Dominika, level 84 Phoenix Striker
Final Stats & MA skills (all skills work at +1 because of Sigon´s Guard)
Shadow & Traps skills

Final chance to block: 59% (boosted by emerald socketed in helm)

Final Gear
* Dominika´s Sigon´s Visor, socketed with a perfect emerald
* Tancred´s Weird
* Tancred´s Crowbill, socketed with a perfect emerald
* Arcanna´s Flesh (only as a dress-up in the Cow level; I used Angelic Mantle for around half of the game, and Isenhart´s Case for the second half)
* Dominika´s Sigon´s Guard, socketed with a green 13% Camphor Jewel of Fervor
* Cleglaw´s Pincers <- I learned to live with the Knockback. I attacked the monster Devak was freezing, or I found an obstacle (which often was in the form of a Shadow Warrior) to push the monster against.
* Cathan´s Seal
* Tal Rasha´s Fine-Spun Cloth
(no second ring) <- Gambled hundreds of rings, no score.
* Hsaru´s Iron Heel (but used Vidala´s Fetlock for most of the game)

Weapon Switch
* Cleglaw´s Tooth
* Cleglaw´s Claw

* Ocher (18) Grand Charm of Sustenance (33)
* Coral (21) Grand Charm of Greed
* Coral (21) Grand Charm of Frost
* Garnet (23) Grand Charm of Life (8)
* Garnet (25) Grand Charm of Strength (3)
* Ruby (29) Grand Charm of Life (17)
* Shimmering (15) Grand Charm of Quality (2)
* Cobalt (11) Large Charm of Balance
* Small Charm of Sustenance (15)
* Small Charm of Sustenance (15)
* Small Charm of Sustenance (15)
* Tangeine (4) Small Charm of Burning
* Lapis (7) Small Charm of Life (10)
* Sapphire (10) Small Charm of Blight
* Shimmering (3) Small Charm of Dexterity (2)

Devak the Ice Mage merc
* Griswold´s Valor, socketed with a green 11% Lapis Lazuli Jewel
(although he used Isenhart´s Horns for most of the game)
* Isenhart´s Lightbrand
* Isenhart's Case
* Milabrega´s Orb

Number of areas skipped: None
Number of areas repeated: Small parts here and there after the game had crashed the session earlier. The largest was 3/4 of the perimeter area of Outer Steppes, Hell difficulty. I left the loot on the ground until I had reached "new" territory.
Number of bosses parked: 1 (NM Ventar the Unholy)


Addendum: the other six:
Brynhilde the Valkazon (Tankazon tourney), with Holy Freeze Guard
Sten the Set/Unique Worshipper Concentrate Barbarian with Lightning Iron Wolf
Freddie the Rare Pleasures Returnomancer and Lord of Mages with Thorns Guard
Aaliyah the Alphabet FO/FW Sorceress with Might Guard
Burt the Green with Envy Fire/Grizzly Druid with Cold Iron Wolf
Tero the No-Vitality Fanatic Thrower/Smite Paladin with Fire Rogue
Last edited:


Well-known member
Guide Author
Mar 14, 2020
Originally posted by @OldSoldier on October 10, 2008

Tournament Sept Completed

Well I've finally done it and finished my personal Diablo II goal of a hardcore tournament septemvirate. They were all untwinked and mostly single pass.

My Character Screen looks like this. All shown here except Horatio are exactly the way I guardianed them. I slapped a Hand of Blessed Light and Spirit shield onto Horatio to see how his damage came out (~10K per holy bolt) and he's a pretty good /P8 Mausoleum and /P1 Pindleskin runner so he's at level 86 now.

In order of finish, they are as follows:
Light_Wight from Wolron's Afterlife Tournament
SaladShooter from Morathi's Barb Thrower Tournament
Deerslayer from Wakiki's No Vitality Tournament
Penelope from Kool69's Diverse Tournament of Multifariousness
Minime from Merlin the Wizzard's Make No Bones About It Tournament
Horatio from mine and roninDOGs Knights of Westmarch Paladin Tournament
Dio from Insane Wayne's Descendants of Midas Tournament

Each of them had their own theme song during their final stretch.

Light_Wight fought evil to the song Endless Sacrifice by Dream Theater.
SaladShooter saved Mount Arreat whilst listening to the song Defender by Manowar.
Deerslayer fought off the minions of destruction to The Calling by Leatherwolf.
Penelope burned her foes to Fire Woman by The Cult.
Minime confused and exploded all enemies to TNT by AC/DC.
Horatio hurled light and prayed his way to glory with Behold A Pale Horse by Saviour Machine.
Dio won the final battle to the tune The Last In Line by (of course) Dio.

Though the task is finished and the war has been won, let us not forget the fallen along the way. In these and other tournaments I lost eleven characters killed in action. They are one Druid (BeastSix), one Amazon (Princess_Diana), one Sorceress (Jessica), four Necromancers (Bonedaddy, Scunion, Bojangles, and Moe) and four Paladins (Bartholomew, Bedivere, Solomon, and PrivateRyan). Rest in Peace.



Well-known member
Guide Author
Mar 14, 2020
Originally posted by @Vulpine on July 2, 2011

Sept is finished.

I have finally finished my sept!

I don't play much these days: this sept was started almost a year ago. So I may not remember all details of each character. Still, I'll try to give complete info on the gameplay of each char (won't be too hard, considering the builds, hehe).

Originally the idea was to make use of IK set on various classes and see what numbers can be squeezed out of it. But I found a 'Beast' war spike (it has been collecting dust in my stash for a thousand millions years). Back then, when I was making this runeword, I tried to find the balance between speed and damage and finally wasted a Ber (War Spike... FAIL, I guess?). Still, a Beast WS can be used for Werebear Skill. And after a little time here they are - Seven Immortal Bears.

The rules are simple:
- no respec.
- hell Nihlathak is to be killed and Personalization quest reward must be used.
- all runes are to be collected.
- hardcore.

1. Guardian Gaki, the Kodiak.

Rainbow damage on the IK Maul is high enough to build a character around it. Yet 2.6k damage at 6fpa proved to be less efficient than I expected (even with 75% CB), so I was a bit disappointed with the build.

But, truth be said, Gaki was a very viable character. He wasn't a super fast killer, but with ~200 dual leech, 10k def and 2.8k life he could tank pretty much anything (and don't forget about the shockwave!). An easy character, more safe then strong.

Player settings:
Normal - 8
NM - 8
Hell - 3 (Chaos Sanctuary - 1, as it took forever to kill things and Nihlathak - 1, cause he's evil and scary)

maxed Werebear, Lycantrophy, Hunger and HoW. Rest went to Shockwave.

Gaki's IK Maul [shael shael]
IK boots, belt, armour, gloves
Guillaume's face
Raven Frost
Mara's Kaleidoscope
Plague Finger Crafted Ring
Required Level: 70
Fingerprint: 0x963d082
Item Level: 87
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+116 to Attack Rating
2% Life stolen per hit
+5 to Strength
+34 to Life
All Resistances +11
+1 to Mana after each Kill
A bunch of various charms (resistances, a bit of life and lit damage)

Mercenary - Defiance:
Crown of Thieves
Duress Dusk Shroud
Reaper's Toll

Random Screenies:
1 2 3

2. Guardian Gilgamesh, the Bearbarian.

I've always wondered why nobody makes bear-barbs. Wolf and Bear wereforms have some differences but pros and cons of each one make the forms pretty much equally usable and playable. And besides, Beast requires lvl 63, while Wolfhowl collects dust untill you hit 79 (yeah I know, with the newly introduced respec feature bla bla bla yadda yadda yadda. Still haven't got used to it).

On to the topic. Gilgamesh is a tank. A tank? - no. A TANK - that's how this must be typed. Just look at LCS - there's nothing much more to add. I went through hell easier than a hot knife through butter. Nothing can kill this beast - I simply ignored Nihlathak's CE. Probably my favourite character in the sept - no words can describe the euphory I felt when I was playing this char.

Player settings:
Normal - 8
NM - 8
Hell - 5

maxed Mastery, Iron Skin, BO and Shout; got usual one-pointers - BC, Inc. Speed and Leap. The rest was split between Find Item and Natural Resistances.

Gilgamesh's IK Maul [shael shael]
IK boots, belt, armour [Perfect Ruby], gloves, helmet [2xPerfect Ruby]
Raven Frost
Highlord's Wrath
A bunch of various charms (+life and + AR mostly)

Mercenary - Might:
Andariels's Trollface
Naj's armour
Reaper's Toll

Random Screenies:
1 2 3

3. Guardian Ngonyama, the Half-Avenger.

The build name is quite awkward, but I'm fairly bad at finding good words in appropriate situations. This paladin used Conviction Aura to make elemental damage from IK Maul more effective, hense the build title.

With this char (as well as with all chars except Gaki) I encountered a frustrating problem - Beast requires lvl 63. Untill 63 you have only your normal weakling human form. I took Kuko and other equipment with +fire damage and repeated normal Baalruns till I got 63 (took a couple hours and was really, really boring).

From that moment the game was a breeze: I didn't have to care about my Attack Rating and emenies' resistances and immunities. Councils? Pff. Chaos Sanctuary? It's a Kindergarten since Blizzard removed Iron Maiden. Ancients? No problem. Nilly? Ha! Maxed redemption left no corpses to explode, so he wasn't hard at all.

There's really nothing to add on the gameplay, everything should be pretty clear.

Generally, without shield this kind of palas shows a good balance between defence and offence. He is strong and rather tanky due to WB health bonus and +3 life per vita for being a badass paladin.

Player settings:
Normal - 8
NM - 8
Hell - 3

maxed Conviction, Redemption and Blessed Aim; rest went to Vigor.

Ngonyama's IK Maul [shael shael]
IK boots, belt, armour [Rusty jewel of Fervor], gloves
Guillaume's face [Argent jewel of Burning]
Raven Frost
Mara's Kaleidoscope
A bunch of various charms (lightning damage mostly)

Mercenary - Defiance:
Duress Dusk Shroud
Reaper's Toll

Random Screenies:
1 2 3

4. Guardian Ghana_II, the Lichlord.

This one was more tricky than previous chars. Well, look at the name - Ghana was killed in Nightmare (in the midst of a huge pack of his own minions - I seem to show some mad skills here <_<), So I had to start over.

At pre-63 levels I used Magi as main source of damage and supported them with Maelstrom's CE (the same tactics was used against Hell Nilly).

At post-63 levels the game welt like this:
1). Transform into a bear so that sudden arrow or electric bolt wouldn't kill you.
2). Find a pack of monsters and wait till they are interested in you minionpack.
3). Shift back to human form and cast LR all over the place.
4). Shift into a bear and go kill some creatures.
5). ...

That was hard to get used to, but turned out to be really entertaining. (Especially when I learned that Town Portal is a great way to gather or reposition the army of minions). This char was quite a refreshening change from 1-button barbarian and paladin.

Somewhere at A2 Hell I found a good place for my unspent skill-points - Golem Mastery. I made Iron Golems from various items with massive elemental damage (Gimmershreds or Voice of Reason for additional fireworks). They were pretty hardskinned, but indescribably dumb: I've lost several cause they got lost somewhere far behind me.

A fun character. Moderate damage, and quite fragile - but there are lot's of backs to hide behind.

Player settings:
Normal - 8
NM - 8
Hell - 3

maxed Skeleton Magi, Skeleton Mastery, Golem mastery, Lower Resist; put 1 pointo into Revive and threw the rest into Summon Resist.

Ghana_II's IK Maul [shael shael]
IK boots, belt, armour [Rusty jewel of Fervor], gloves
Eagle Shell Circlet [Perfect Diamond]
Defense: 53
Durability: 35 of 35
Required Level: 35
Fingerprint: 0x9ee331cd
Item Level: 82
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to Summoning Skills (Necromancer Only)
82% Bonus to Attack Rating (Based on Character Level)
+100 to Attack Rating
+72% Enhanced Defense
+14 to Dexterity
+7 to Life
Raven Frost
Mara's Kaleidoscope
Plague Finger crafted ring
A bunch of various charms (+res and +AR; 4 Summonning Skillers).

Mercenary - Blessed Aim:
Duress Dusk Shroud
eth Obedience Cryptic Axe

Random Screenies:
1 2 3

5. Guardian Ursula, the Fuzzydodger.

This is my least favourite char from the sept. Gave me nothing but boredom and irritation. She's quite primitive (no prebuffing except for the Werebear OSkill, no support skills).

Nevertheless, an IK fuzzydodger is quite playable (even though you have no ways of damage amplification but merc's aura and Critical Strike). Good life pool and dodge skills kept this char safe and alive (Strong Valkyrie Helped a lot, too), so I eventually killed Nilly and Baal.

Perhaps I'll like Fuzzydodgers more when I make one with appropriate equipment like godly rare fanged knife and Forti.

Player settings:
Normal - 8
NM - 8
Hell - 3 (Nilly - 1)

maxed Critical Strike, Penetrate (BTW, why the hell is this skill called 'Penetrate'? How on the Earth am I supposed to Penetrate with a huge Maul? [dirty dirty thoughts, dirty dirty imagination]), Valkyrie. Dodge/Evade/Avoid - 11/6/12. Rest went to Decoy.

Ursula's IK Maul [shael shael]
IK boots, belt, armour [Rusty jewel of Fervor], gloves
Guillaume's face [Realgar jewel]
Raven Frost
Angelic Amulet
Angelic Ring
A bunch of various charms (AR and +max damage mostly)

Mercenary - Might:
Guillaume's Face
Reaper's Toll

Random Screenies:
1 2

6. Guardian Buakaw, the Ursa Minor.

This sin was played as a trapper till lvl 63 (lvl 1 Lightning Sentry buffed up with +skills gear gave enough damage to roast most early NM monsters).

For this character I made a small exception - the Maul was replaced with Firelizard's Talon. Reasons - IK Maul is a clumsy, weak, slow and generally useless weapon for a bear sin.

This guardian was nice. Shaeled Firelizard's Talod provided nice overall damage and good attack speed - 5fpa.

Large crowds were not a problem - Cloak of shadows and Death Sentry provided great assistance along the journey through Hell difficulty. There are two things putting me to frustration in this char though:

1). Shadow constantly casting Mind Blast. Sometimes it's useful, and sometimes monsters almost killed by you are converted.

A note on a side: converted Flayer Shamans resurrect hostile Flayers.

2). Transparent bear is transparent. Sometimes it was hard to find Buakaw in the screen.

...I wish I'll shop a 3fpa Claw someday. Anyway, a pretty entertaining character.

Player settings:
Normal - 8
NM - 8
Hell - 3 (Nilly - 1)

maxed Claw Mastery, Venom, Fade and Shadow Master; rest went to Death Sentry.

Firelizard's Talon [shael]
IK boots, belt, armour [Rusty jewel of Fervor]
Buakaw's IK gloves
Guillaume's face [Realgar jewel]
Raven Frost
Highlord's Wrath
Plague Finger crafted ring
A bunch of various charms (AR and +max damage mostly)

Mercenary - Might:
Crown of Thieves
Duress Kraken Shell
Reaper's Toll

Random Screenies:
1 2 3

7. Guardian Athena, the Enchantress.

All right, this one was really quick. God bless teleport, in nomine patris, et filii, at spiritus sancti, amen. Starting from lvl 18 and till Hell I just teleported thru the game and stopped only to do quest related stuff.

And, as any self respecting enchantress, I had to use a set of prebuff gear to maximize damage output.

When I finally managed to take all pieces of equipment together, I thpught that IK set is a sorc set, not a barb's one. Srsly, what barbarian can deal 10k-17k per hit with IK set??

The mobility and power were easily balanced with fragility of the character, so I had to play really carefully (barb was obviously easier).

Hell was beaten at p5 in no time, however. Nilly was killed at p3. First I wanted to use Corpsemourn for CE charges, but then I thought that accurate and careful repositioning via Teleport would be enough to do the job (and I appeared to be right).

Melee sorcs rock, and they always will.

Player settings:
Normal - 8
NM - 8
Hell - 3 (Nilly - 1)

maxed Enchant, Warmth, FIre Mastery and Lightning Mastery. One-pointers are Static Field, Teleport and Cold Mastery. Rest went to Freezing Armour.

Athena's IK Maul [shael shael]
IK boots, belt, armour [Rusty jewel of Fervor], gloves
Harlequin's Crest [Perfect Diamond]
Raven Frost
Mara's Kaleidoscope
Plague Finger crafted ring
A bunch of various charms (AR and lightning damage mostly; 2 Fire Skillers)

Prebuff gear (stored in stash):
Volcanic Coronet of something
Volcanic Amulet of something else
SoJ, BKWB, Arachnid
Enlightenment Ring Mail

Mercenary - Might:
Crown of Thieves
Reaper's Toll

Random Screenies:
1 2 3

Good Finds:
All goodies found by sept chars were stored into special stash. By the way, I collected every single rune I saw and I'll list them separately.

13            El Rune
11            Eld Rune
27            Tir Rune
19            Nef Rune
39            Eth Rune
27            Ith Rune
56            Tal Rune
33            Ral Rune
31            Ort Rune
22            Thul Rune
24            Amn Rune
21            Sol Rune
15            Shael Rune
13            Dol Rune
8            Hel Rune
10            Io Rune
5            Lum Rune
3            Ko Rune
3            Fal Rune
3            Lem Rune
4            Pul Rune
2            Um Rune
2            Ist Rune
1            Gul Rune
2            Lo Rune
1            Ber Rune
Items (only notable ones are listed):
Witchwild String
Djinn Slayer
Cat's Eye
Dwarf Star
Wolfhowl x2
Herald of Zakarum x2
Gheed's Fortune
Mavina's Caster GMB
Plain Lightning Skiller
Sharp Grand Charm of Dexterity
If you are still reading this wall of text (dammit... I wanted to be brief), thank you for your attention.

Another note on a side.
Inner Cloister location has an image of Bayeux Tapestry on a wall:
1 2 3

P.P.S. Sorry for all typos and mistakes.


Well-known member
Guide Author
Mar 14, 2020
Originally posted by @hrus on January 19, 2007 and updated by mod on March 20, 2011

V2 Single Player Character guides

Build Guide List v2

Build guide list was originally compiled by Borlaq and AlterEgo, further additions made by Hrus. Final tidying by Thyiad.

(SC) indicates that the guide is in the Strategy Compendium. If the Strategy Compendium is down, use Google to search for the guide and view the cached copy on Google's servers.

Note: most of the guides are written for patch 1.10. If they are not, the version is noted. Differences between 1.10 and 1.11 and 1.12 are really small, so all the guides are still valid. RWM means that guide contains suggestion for using realm-only runewords.


The Poor Mans Guide to FA/Strafe by Dacar92
Are you poor? Use this guide. Detailed information to gain wealth via the Amazon.

Ugla's The Fury
Very detailed guide covering everything from breakpoints to gear and more.

Bubonous' Medusa Amazon
Nice explanation of all the Medusa's effects, especially slow and freeze. Very well written and formatted.

chipmc's Witchyzon
Great guide utilizing a much forgotten bow. The WWS. Amp damage rules!

Freya's FA amazon
This guide focuses on Freezing Arrow skill, which is able to freeze and damage enemies. Contains info about possible backup-skills. Two different ways of how to play the character are described. A Vamp - mana leech with good damage bow or a Mage - high mana (and mana regeneration).

Nidlav's LF/PJ Javazon
Javelin using amazon with a poison (plague javelin) and physical (jab/fend) backup for uber Lightning Fury skill.

Jek's lightning amazon
Lightning Fury is a great crowd skill, CS is great against the single monsters, add some synergy and you will slaughter everything non-lightning immune in no time.

Ravenforce3's Mageazon (SC)
Magezon relies on skills delivering elemental damage (fire and cold) with her arrows. Fire based skills (Immolation arrow) are emphasized, but cold based skills (Freezing arrow) are mentioned too. This build is not so strong as LF based javazon builds, but it's also not so dependent on equipment.

Lone_wolf's Sniperzon
Sniperzon is an amazon using physical damage based bow skills (Strafe and Magic Arrow) and also utilizes the defensive strategy and killing her opponents off-screen. She needs a very good bow to be effective and it might be hard to find such a bow untwinked.

Moog_Playa's Simple Bowazon
Unlike Sniperzon this amazon uses Multishot as the main spell instead of Strafe. She needs a good bow too.

JohnnyBravo's Magic Arrow Bowazon (SC)
This is not so strong build, only Magic Arrow skill is the main and only bow skill. Quote form author: "If you are looking for a MF bowazon this guide is not for you, but if you are looking for an “outside the box” bowazon that is extremely fun to play read on."

Nightfish's Magic Find Amazon (LF/FA)
This hybrid amazon uses Lightning Fury as a primary skill and synergized Freezing Arrow as a strong backup. The guide is focused on Magic Finding with this build, especially in Worldstone Keep.


Assassin FAQ (SC)
A really helpful FAQ contains answers to most common Assassin-related questions.

Shuko-jutsu: The Art of the Claw (Version 2.3) by maxicek
Beautifully written, detailed guide

The Aggressin (Dragon Claw / Death Sentry Assassin Build Guide) by Maxicek
Another great guide from maxicek

wildjinn's TS/Dtail Assassin (SC)
Assassin using Dragon Tail as the main attack, damage from this skill gets multiplied by Tiger Strike charges. ~5 options about what to do with your remaining skills make this build quite versatile. The guide is written for assassin novices, some basic assassin info is included.

jrichard's Lightning Trapsin (SC)
Lightning traps, especially Lightning Sentry are really strong in 1.10 with their synergies. Strong build, easy to play untwinked too.

Nightfish's Tiger Strike / Death Sentry assassin (SC)
This assassin engages the combat with a big 2 handed weapon. Tiger Strike makes the damage great and Burst of Speed makes the attack fast. The Death Sentry is there for group killing. This character can be fragile sometimes, but is able to dish the damage and might be very fun to play. Not so easy for untwinked play.

C-Beat's Dragon Talon Trapper (SC)
Dragon Talon provides an ability of rapid kicks, even faster than paladin's Zeal. It really shines with mods like Crushing blows, Open Wounds and Chance to Cast on Striking from your other equipment. Strong traps (Lightning Sentry and Death Sentry) are used too. The build really shines when played twinked.

tl998's Ghost (Trapper) (SC)
This is basically a variant of trapper who opts to spent more points in shadow tree for more safety and monster control. The use of Cloak of Shadow and Mind Blast is emphasized as well as Shadow Warrior/Master, Fade, and Weapon Block.

Ritslev's Furysin (Blade Fury) (SC)
Blade Fury is a skill that provides rapid range attack. Venom, Shadow Master, Death Sentry, CB and other mods from equipment are used for support and damage increase. The unique fighting strategy makes this build interesting, while it could be quite week without using proper gear.

Frogboybri's Ninja (SC)
Ninja is a character maxing Blade Fury, Dragon Talon and Cloak of Darkness skills. This build isn't a fast killer, but it's fun.

Duncan Idaho's Shadow Walker (pure claw/venom) (SC)
Assassin with 2 claws attacks her opponent with a Dragon Claw skill combined with Venom. Assassins are not the best melee characters, but they could be played this way.

Tragics' Shredsin (Whirlwind) (SC)
Assassin using Whirlwind skill granted by Chaos runeword focusing on Crushing Blows, open wound and deadly strike and also using Blade Sentinel and Blade Shield skill which adds another chances to hit the opposing forces while she is whirlwinding. This build works only twinked.

skygoneblue's Natalya's Phoenix Striker (SC)
Well written and detailed guide on Phoenix strike and other elemental attacks.

ilkori's kicker and k/t sin
Good and "in depth" guide about kickers and kicker variants.


Nightfish's HC Berserker
Berserk is the attack skill which does great damage, but leaves you vulnerable to monster attacks lowering your defense to zero. Therefore War Cry is used to stun monsters, so you don't worry about being hit.

Asmodeous’s Guide to the Iron Berserker v1.11+.
Brilliantly presented guide to getting the best and quickest killing Berserker. Not overly expensively geared either (Guardian Angel!).

rikstaker WW barb
*The* WW Guide

Halciet's Concentration Barbarian (SC)
This barbarian is a very sturdy character, concentrate adds insane defense while swinging, is not interruptible and you can still block while you are attacking! That makes the Concentrate barbarian one of the best tanks from all possible builds. Disadvantage is low damage.

Asmodeous' Iron Barb
Similar build like the Halciet's Concentration barbarian, but it even more stress the pure defense/vita route to create the best tank in the game.

Aramil's MF IK Barb (SC)
This guide describes how to build a barbarian wearing full Immortal King's set and use him for magic finding in various areas/bosses. The main skill is of course Whirlwind. It's not recommended for untwinked play because IK armor is very hard to find.

salvo's Vitabarb
Barbarian going full vitality road. Frenzy is the main attack skill. The guide recommends using Phase Blades because their low STR requirements, so it's possible to not invest in STR at all. This is a very difficult build to pull of in SP and requires a lot of thought.

Ash's Comprehensive guide to Frenzy (SC)
Frenzy is a main attack skill, War Cry is used for stunning enemies for safety.

Cold493's IK Barb (SC)
Similar guide as Aramil's IK MF barb (the exactly same skill placement and also the use of IK set), but doesn't include those useful strategic tips.

Uzziah's Magi Barb guides
Great unorthodox builds meant for fun, not for the fast killing. Magi barb uses fire skills from partial Trang-Oul's set and delivers a poison damage from equipment, Summoner barb uses Wolfhowl for summoning Dire Wolves and Stone runeword for summoning Clay Golem. This guide mentions the items which give synergy bonuses to the main skills through the charges ("aka Marrowalk bug"). This "bug" was present in 1.10 patch and was removed in 1.11.


JihadJesus' The Flaming Mauler Guide
Fireclaws/maul werebear combination. The biggest challenge is the weapon.

Garbad_the_Weak's Fire druid (SC)
This druid specializes in fire spells from his elemental tree. The guide contains very nice analysis of these spells and covers several possible variants.

Electric Blue's hybrid wolf
Fire Claws, Rabies, Fury - all wolf primary attacks are explained here as well as all the possible variants.

TheDragoon's Werebear
Beautifully presented werebear guide.

TheDragoon's Werewolf
Dragoon does it again, this time with a werewolf.

Strijdje's Windmaster Druid
Short guide about a Windmaster, the druid mastering the wind skills - Tornado and Hurricane (and their synergies) to deal physical and cold damage. This is quite strong character.

AlterEgo's Fire/Summoner (SC)
Druid described by this guide is a hybrid between Summoner and Fire Elemental druid combining power of the elemental tree with safety provided by minions. The main skills are Volcano and Dire Wolves.

Lothric's Druid Summoner (SC)
"A summoner is any druid build that focuses largely or exclusively on the summon skill tree. For the purposes of this guide then I will assume that all variations within this build focus on summoning with a smaller investment in one or two other trees as needed." Several variants are possible: The Pure Summoner, The Hunter (using bow), The Elemental Summoner, The HunterMentalist, The Were-Summoner.

Kefir-Tribe's Witchwild Werewolf
Kefir's werewolf uses Witchwild String bow which has some really nice stats (Deadly Strike, ability to cast Amplify damage) and put most of his statpoints into Dexterity which helps his damage (he uses a bow!), attack rating and defense. Kefir also advocates use of PDR (damage reduced by property) for safety, ideally paired with Weaken cast from Soul Drainer gloves for extreme safety. Very original guide, but requires some twinking to be really effective.

Uzziah's Dual Elemental Druid (SC)
Uzziah druid uses the classic winddruid skills, but he has a nice backup - Firestorm synergized by charges of Molten Boulder on Stone runeword. This is the known "Marrowalk bug" which worked only in 1.10 and was removed in 1.11.


Porius's Bonemage
"The Bone Mage is a necromancer build that makes use of the Bone Spells for killing. A Bone Mage may also use a merc and/or minions for tanking, but the focus of the build is the ability to cast high damage spells quickly."

Angst's Bone/Summon Necro (SC)
"This build is one that uses both minions and high damage bone spells to kill the enemy. There are two important variations on this build, one using Revives and one using Skeleton's only."

Gix' Commandomancer
Want to do more than simply follow your minions? Try this.

Nightfish's Skellymancer/Fishymancer v2.1
This is the famous skellemancer guide. Skellies are used as meat shield and damage dealers, Corpse Explosion is used as a direct damage spell and great group killer. This build is very effective even with "lame" gear and is easy to play untwinked.
bonus: Fishymancer WS K Runs Mini-Guide

Encyclopedia Necromantica
Great source of knowledge about all Necromancer related problems stuff.

usamahanas' Veno/returnomancer
"Usamahamancer" uses Poison Nova as primary spell and skeletons for safety and some added damage. The key item is a Bramble runeword, which gives you a huge bonus to poison damage and Thorns aura, which works well with the skeletons. Note: Bramble needs very expensive high runes OHM and SUR.


Paladin FAQ (SC)
Paladin variants list, breakpoints, skill descriptions.

Budgetdin (SC or HC)
Want to try a melee build but don't have a lot of item-wealth to do it with? Asmo to the rescue (once again), with a guide for a zealot focusing on end-game capable items that you can trade for cheaply. Very cheaply.

Cyrus' Avenger (SC)
Avenger combines Vengeance (melee skill dealing cold, lightning and fire damage) with Conviction aura (reducing enemy resistances to those elements). You will never face a monster immune to your attack. You will need a good and fast weapon for effective killing though.

Asmodeous Avenger
Improved version of Cyrus' avenger. (Conviction with Facets+CM is still not explained correctly)

TheMadOnion's Cleric (SC)
"The focus of this build is team support; massive healing, versatile support auras, and slaughtering the Undead with extreme prejudice. This is not a build made for solo play; you will have almost no offensive capability versus non-undead monster types."

Kitriara's Frost Zealot
Frost Zealot is a paladin with Holy Freeze aura, which slows down enemies and adds a cold damage to all your successful hits. Zeal is used as a primary attack to deliver that cold damage fast. This build can be played untwinked.

Ragnarod's Hammerdin (SC)
Famous Hammerdin is a paladin casting the Blessed Hammer. These Hammers are really strong if the synergies are maxed and Concentration aura is used. They are so strong that a lot of people call this paladin variant "cheesy".

Captain Bogus's maximum damage hammerdin
Another guide about hammerdin describing how to get the maxed possible damage while you playing the game - ie what skills you should invest into during the leveling.

Raven-Hood's Ranger index
Index of all possible variants of Ranger (=Paladin using bow) builds.

Wurmer's Tesladin (SC)
Similar to Frost Zealot, Tesladin has a very good lightning damage provided by the Holy Shock aura. Tesladins deals much higher damage than Frost zealots, but Holy Shock doesn't provide the slow.

AbbaZabba's Vindicator/Templar (Smite/FoH)
Repost of a AbbaZabba's V/T. Spelling and grammar has been improved. The original is at the top of that thread.

Cyrus' Zealot
This is probably the strongest melee paladin build. Fast and uninterruptible Zeal together with Fanaticism giving enhanced damage, faster attack speed and attack rating and Holy Shield giving block percentage bonus and high defense is really great combo.

poopie_pants' The Undead Hunter
This build specializes in killing undead monsters and focusing on getting as much +%ed against undead as possible. Zeal (syrnergized with Sacrifice) and Sanctuary aura are the two main skills.

JihadJesus' Thundergod
"The Thunaer (Thunder Gods) are Paladins who rely on the power of lightning to vanquish their foes. The hammer (or war scepter, since the graphic is the same) is their weapon of choice. They choose Holy Shock as their primary aura, and also utilize a partially synergized Vengeance and a powerful Fist of the Heavens.
This is a themed character and can be quite difficult and frustrating at times, but is very rewarding (and at times very powerful) to play."

SSOG's Invicible Abbot
A PDR and DR Abbot. Some excellent technical explanations too.


Blizzballer - by Miladys-Knight
Everyone's raves about the Meteorb, but try this girl. A little more tight on points, but more balanced skill set.

Blova - by Liquid Circus
Similar to the Blizzballer, except using Nova instead of Fireball to compliment Blizzard. A very versatile (and fun) sorceress capable of going anywhere and doing well. Well suited to MF or just general butt kicking.

MongoJerry's Enchantress Guide
The Enchantress Guide.

Diabolic Apom's Executress
Another good Enchantress guide, this one is focused on a 2-handed avenger (Kingslayer) sorc.

mOnk's CL/FO Sorceress (SC)
"CL/FO (Chain Lighting/Frozen Orb) is a great all around build that rivals the effectiveness of (and at times surpasses) Meteorb in almost all areas except max damage. This guide will help you build a viable CL/FO sorc for Hell that is also great for solo MFing, especially in areas rather than bosses (as in The Pit, etc) while providing a bit of customization room."

Raszagal's Melee sorceress
Melee sorceress requiring very expensive runewords (like Beast, BOTD). She uses Beast to turn into a Bear, Enchant and Energy Shield as main skills.

Vega's MF sorceress
This build is similar to classic Meteorb build (uses meteor and Frozen Orb as the main skills), but focuses more on Frozen Orb - spending more points in Cold Mastery is suggested.

sasja's Meteorb
Meteorb is one of the most used builds out there, she can dish great damage (even with low-end items) in both cold and fire elements (that means she has almost no problems with immunities). She is good as starting character and thanks to her universality and speed, she can run any area in hell with success, including all the usual MF targets or Baal for experience.

Lira Lindriel's Charged Boltress (SC)
Charged Bolt is the main skill, it can do a really nice damage especially with high FCR and when cast from close distance. Firewall or Frozen Orb are suggested as secondary skill to deal with lightning immune monsters.

Zarhrezz' Energy Sorc (SC)
This guide explaines everything about Energy Shield (and it's synergy Telekinesis). It leaves offensive skill choice up to you.

Soepgroente Lightning Sorceress (SC)

Crazy Runner Guy's 200% Fast Cast Charged Boltress

nepeta's Lower Kurast running Blizzsorc

Miscellaneous Guides
Ragnarod's 1.09 Hellforge Rushing Guide
Best places to level up while soloing in 1.10 (SC)
The Definitive Guide to The Pits (SC)
Full list of area levels for each difficulty
1.10 Mercenary Guide (SC)
Urlik's Rune Finder Guide


Well-known member
Guide Author
Mar 14, 2020
Originally posted by @Naranjadita on December 29, 2012

My Little Pony Sept

My Little Pony sept is complete now.

1. Rainbow Dash
2. Fluttershy
3. Pinkie Pie
4. Rarity
5. Twilight Sparkle
6. Applejack
7. Zecora

It's funny, but even after 9 years of playing I keep finding some new stuff about the game and doint things I've never done before.

For example, I've never played a bow-barb or an autocast based build before.
Also, I've never played a themed character (leave alone 7 of them in a row!).
Or... I never payed attention to A3 temples wall paintings, and they turned out to be based on mayan murals in Bonampak.

I'll take a small rest from D2 now (a couple months, I think). The sept was fun, but last characters took some willpower, hehe.

Oh and (almost forgot)... I put certain items found by ponies in a separate stash and never took a single item from it since the sept had been started.
I picked every single rune I found.
I picked most set and unique items (in fact, everything except for Isenhart's stuff). I also saved some rare items , some jools and some gems of various quality (not many, about a hundred and a half of them, I suppose).
By the moment of sept completion the stash included 1225 items. Well, there is nothing special inside, and I wasn't too lucky with runes, but let's look inside the treasure chest.

14            El Rune
13            Eld Rune
50            Tir Rune
27            Nef Rune
50            Eth Rune
38            Ith Rune
62            Tal Rune
49            Ral Rune
61            Ort Rune
34            Thul Rune
46            Amn Rune
31            Sol Rune
32            Shael Rune
12            Dol Rune
14            Hel Rune
8            Io Rune
5            Lum Rune
8            Ko Rune
1            Fal Rune
5            Lem Rune
1            Pul Rune
6            Um Rune
3            Mal Rune
2            Gul Rune[/SIZE]

A couple good rares I'd like to show (here I don't have many items to choose from, I saved less than twenty rares actually):
Blood Track
Heavy Boots
Defense: 43
Durability: 13 of 14
Required Level: 22
Required Strength: 18
Fingerprint: 0x5c96ed18
Item Level: 38
Version: Expansion 1.10+
14% Chance to cast level 5 Charged Bolt when struck
+10% Faster Run/Walk
+37 Defense (Based on Character Level)
Cold Resist +39%
Lightning Resist +40%

Ghoul Finger
Required Level: 41
Fingerprint: 0x7dfa8555
Item Level: 60
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Replenish Life +8
Cold Resist +28%
Lightning Resist +24%
Poison Resist +20%

Elite uniques:
Blood Raven's Charge
Jade Talon
Razor's Edge
Spirit Ward
Steel Shade
Stormshield x2

Here is the Flavie report, if you want to take a peek.

Thanks to all guys who kept answering my questions regarding game mechanics, you were really helpful.
Thanks Drystan! I really enjoyed discussing builds and characters with you.

Aaaand... Happy New Year everybody!


Well-known member
Guide Author
Mar 14, 2020
Originally posted by @Liquid_Evil on April 22, 2009

The Ancients make Patriarch

Talic, Korlic, and Madawc make Patriarch

Toothy grin spread so wide that your cheeks hurt…burning retinas now incapable of focusing…inexplicable smell of singed hair violating your nostrils…odd tingling sensation in the crotch region…

No, you haven’t been assaulted by the half-clothed hedonistic goddess of Candy Land and her hounds of morphine (whatever that means); you’ve just stumbled into a thread so overloaded with awesome that your senses are still in shock. Take deep breaths and read on at your own peril.

Liqarus! Once again you fly us too close to the sun.
Well slather on the SPF 2000 because this time I’ve brought a couple of compatriots along for the ascent.

Melodramatic/Unnecessary Intro
The three warriors had stood together for ages, protecting the entrance to the Worldstone Keep. Eternally watchful and vigilant, they defeated every challenger that wished to pass. Hundreds of able-bodied adventurers gave it their all in a chance for everlasting glory, but none would ever taste that victory. As the years dragged on, and with every would-be hero thrown from the summit, fewer and fewer attempts at besting the Ancients were made. Out of fear, the trickle of champions at last slowed to a stop. Having found none that were worthy, the Ancients left behind their sacred duties and abandoned their post to finish the three Prime Evils themselves. This is their story.

TL:DR Intro
This is a triple Barbarian Patriarch thread highlighting the adventures of Talic, Korlic, and Madawc (or rather, our interpretations of them).

Let’s meet the players, shall we?
Ray Patean
as Talic –Whirlwind
Zylo as Korlic –Leap Attack
Liquid Evil as Madawc –Double Throw

Since there was no reason to double up on war cries, we each utilized a different one. I, as Madawc, was the most straightforward and was left in charge of Shout simply to keep in theme. Talic was relegated as the man responsible for Battle Orders, and Korlic locked up monsters (to better aim his Leap Attack) with War Cry.

What items did you each utilize?
Helm: Arreat’s Face
Amulet: Highlord’s Wrath
Armor: “Fortitude” Archon
Weapon: 1.07 Ethereal Indestructible “Grief” and “Beast” Berserker Axes
Gloves: Steelrend
Rings: Raven Frost/Dual Leech and Resists
Belt: Thundergod’s Vigor
Boots: Gore Riders
Weapon Switch: “Call to Arms” and “Heart of the Oak”
Charms: damage, AR, resists, and life

Helm: Arreat’s Face
Amulet: Highlord’s Wrath
Armor: Leviathan
Weapon: Tomb Reaver
Gloves: Dracul’s Grasp
Rings: Raven Frost/10% FC, +AR, resist rare ring
Belt: String of Ears
Boots: Goreriders
Weapon Switch: Dual Wizardspikes
Charms: resists, life, and a Mastery skiller

Helm: Giant Skull
Amulet: Highlord’s Wrath
Armor: “Fortitude” Archon
Weapons: ethereal Lacerator, ethereal Gargoyle’s Bite
Gloves: Laying of Hands
Rings: Raven Frost/Dual leech rare
Belt: Razortail
Boots: Triple resist rares
Weapon Switch: Lacerator and Gargoyle’s Bite (non-eth)
Charms: damage, life, and resists

What are the end game stats of your Ancients?
Here’s a dual LCS for each Ancient: one with the benefits of only one another, one a shot with mercenary aid. (Click the merc if you like the bigger LCS numbers)
Talic (w/ merc)
Korlic (w/ merc)
Madawc (w/ merc)

What mercs did you guys use?
Talic: Act 2 Might merc with “Pride” polearm (Offense)
Korlic: Act 2 Holy Freeze merc with Reaper’s Toll (Safety)
Madawc: Act 1 merc with Windforce (Range)

Why level 87?
Because that’s the mlvl of the Ancients so it seemed a fitting stopping point.

I bet it was swell being an Ancient. How was the leveling?
I’ve compiled a surplus of photographs that document key aspects of their trip through the game so people like you can live vicariously through the thread. (read: I took enough screenshots to choke a porpoise, so you’re gonna be subjected to a slew. Enjoi.)
We begin. Then, it’s off through the game: Normal Catacombs, Normal Andy, Normal Tomb, Normal Mephisto, Normal Minions, Normal Baal, Nightmare Act IV, Nightmare Diablo, Nightmare Arreat Plateau, Nightmare Baal, Hell Sewers, Hell Radament, Hell Izual, Hell Crystalline Passage, and Hell Anya.

And if that wasn’t enough, let me present to you an excerpt from Madawc’s journal, detailing his quest through Hell.

Day 1: Today we began our journey. The killing was easy and my comrades and I were quick to bond over the slaughter. Our warrior blood unites us as kindred spirits, and I can tell from Talic’s watchful gaze that he is very fond of me. Korlic is quite the jokester and we had a ripping good laugh when he stepped on my heel causing my Barbarian foot to leave my boot. “Flat tire!” he screamed; oh, it was a riot. His singing also provides us with sweet relieve from the constant monster slaying. He does perhaps the best rendition of “Ninety-nine bottles of beer” that I’ve ever heard. Much merriment was had by all and it was a great day. I can honestly say that I hope this trip never ends.

Night 1: The sun set quickly so we decided to bed down in a crudely-fashioned hovel. However, I rose just shortly after we had settled in for the night for I had been awakened by the unruly and unmistakable cry of Sabre Cat in heat. The outrageous roar made me rise from my slumber in full battle gear, hurling spears into the darkness in a panicked attempt to euthanize the source. Talic stifled my actions and pointed me to the actual cause of the clamor. Twas just dear Korlic’s sleep noise. Since I was already up, I set to work crafting Grim Wards about the makeshift camp to keep any actual Sabre Cats at bay. When the snoring finally subsided nearing 4 in the morning, Talic led me back to bed where he promised to watch over me. True to his word, whenever I stirred from sleep, I was greeted with his reassuring (and unblinking) stare.

Day 2: Talic was quick to prepare breakfast this morning, and handed me the lion’s share of the fried Thorned Hulk entrails with a wink. Although terribly woody and chalked with splinters, he did the best with what he had, and for that, I commended him on this otherwise unpalatable meal. Korlic also wasted no time in serenading us with “digestion music.” Ninety-nine bottles of beer later and we were off once again on our quest to save humanity from the minions of destruction.

Night 4: Talic had another of his bad dreams tonight, and I daresay that it has become something of a regular occurrence. Apparently the poor soul is plagued with constant nightmares and finds it best to share my sleeping bag to feel the presence of another warrior next to his body. I’ve relegated myself to watch duty since I cannot sleep over Korlic’s snoring anyway. I’ve gotten quite good at crafting my Grim Wards.

Day 6: I can appreciate the occasional jest, but my heel is getting rather raw. Nevertheless, I still laugh along with Korlic in an attempt to humor him. My back is also askew, though not from the constant battles with monsters, but rather because Talic is a bedhog and has forced me to the cold, zipper-side of the bag during these past three nights. I pray that sleep deprivation doesn’t become a factor.

Night 6: Sleep deprivation has become a factor.

Day 19: We haven’t seen a Thorned Hulk in over two weeks, yet the breakfast menu has surprisingly remained unchanged. I haven’t the heart to tell poor Talic, who fancies himself as somewhat of a culinary expert, that my belches are pure sawdust and my stool is little more than wood pulp. Still, we march ever onward in our effort to end humanity’s greatest threat. I take comfort knowing that my meager sufferings are so insignificant when compared to the sufferings of those who have died at the hands of the Prime Evils.

Day 24: My feet are now too swollen to wear boots and even the fresh blood on my heels doesn’t seem to deter Korlic from giving me more “flat tires.” Part of my training at Mount Arreat consisted of honing my ability to resist torture if Baal’s minions were ever to overtake me, but if I hear “Ninety-nine bottles of beer” even one more time, I’m going to puke. (And I am very loathe to experience anymore puking than I otherwise do after our breakfasts.)

Night 24: Korlic has ceased to snore but now instead hums that song in his sleep. My body lets out a dry heave at each and every accursed beer bottle refrain.

Day 32: Must kill Baal. Must save the world. Must kill Baal. Must save the world. Must not kill comrades in their sleep. Must not kill comrades in their sleep. Must not disembowel Korlic with my axe. Must not bludgeon Talic with his skillet and toss his corpse from my sleeping bag. Keep it together Mawdy…can’t be that much further.
-End of Journal-

I didn’t read all that.
For shame.

Any good drops?
Nothing wildly awesome, and of course Baal had to drop his usual, but here are the individual HF drops in Hell:
Talic’s, Madawc’s, & Korlic’s (and some color commentary)
(On our final Baal run together, the game dropped this in thanks.)

So did you beat the quest Ancients on every difficulty multiple times?
Of course! Here’s some Ancient-on-Ancient action for the SPF’s masochist population (I’m looking at you VoX Dei).
Normal: Start, Finish
Nightmare: Start, Finish
Hell: Start, Finish

Can my character fight your Ancients?

What? Really? I can fight them?
Yup. We’d like to give everyone that wants some Ancient ears a chance to collect a set because we realize that beating a super-charged, human-controlled cluster of Ancients could be quite rewarding for some of you. These characters were made and geared for PvM-play, but anyone that is interested in testing his/her mettle against a real game challenge can join a game we will be hosting on sometime this weekend. If you’re interested and would like to stop by for a brawl, voice your interest in this MP thread. All the details are posted there. (That’s also the place to direct MP/duel questions—try your best to keep the fighting queries out of this Pat thread.)

I’m gonna join and get ten sets of ears!
By all means.


Any thoughts you’d like to leave us with?
-Gargoyle’s Bite had a teensy weensy stack size totaling a mere 80 spears. That meant I had to switch back and forth between my weapons fairly frequently so the other set could take a break and replenish (or just flat out run to town for a quick repair). I love the range of spears, and that’s the main reason I didn’t use two Lacerators, but I would never again utilize a Gargoyle’s Bite on a throwing character.
-A set of three characters working in tandem could really plow through the game at times. It took us just two gaming sessions to approach level 70 and defeat Nightmare Baal (with several pauses for upgrading the twink gear). As the project progressed we saw that getting three SP D2’ers online at the same time could sometimes prove difficult.
-Deaths were few and far between. We had a bit of trouble in Nightmare when we were biting off more than we could chew. This was in part because we had sped through the beginning game so (relatively) quickly. For the most part though, we did a good job at looking out for one another.
-I will never again attempt to host this many screenshots.
-These characters are dripping in more awesomeness than a pair of the Fonz’s briefs. (Gross)

-Zylo and Ray Patean, for agreeing to this project and being so enthusiastic about it. Good show.
-Dark Chaos, gedda-d-e, and sirpoopsalot for a couple of nice throwing items that helped Madawc make it through the game.
-cloudy, just out of habit.
-Zylo also thanks Ipsilantee and Cygnus for various wares.
-Ray thanks his parents for blessing him with such righteous genes.

TL:DR Conclusion
By incorporating teammates, I took the usual Liq bar and raised it by a factor of three. Didn’t think it could be done? Well believe it. This thread is saturated in so much awesome that this post alone would be able to sustain an entire army of breast-powered robots.


Well-known member
Guide Author
Mar 14, 2020
Originally posted by @Evasive on October 11, 2009

2 for 1: A Double Mat/Pat Thread

Beware the wall of text!

The story...
Lord Lycan arrived at the Rogue Encampment out of breath, he had been running for a long time. He looked down at his hands and they were covered in blood, yet he had no idea whose it was. A hand came out of the dark and rested on his shoulder, "There is no use denying it, you are what you are...". Lord Lycan turned to face the assassin but didn't know what to say to her. She looked at him and said "Come with me, you could prove to be useful"

Eventually Lord Lycan summoned the courage to interrogate the assassin, "So who are you then?" The assassin responded without breaking stride "I am Wilma Wallace. I kill men by the hundreds..." Lord Lycan interrupted her, "and I suppose you shoot fireballs from your eyes and bolts of lightning from your a**e?" She smiled at him and said "So I guess you've heard of me then..."

Lord Lycan and wilmawallace set out from the Rogue Encampment to clear the Den of Evil. After bashing in the skulls of the walking dead in the den, Wilma demonstrated those fireballs although Lord Lycan could swear they weren't coming from her eyes. He on the other hand found he could now control his shapeshifting into werewolf form sufficiently well to avoid embarrassing himself.

As they progressed towards the Monastery, Wilma started laying sparking traps which would catch the demons off guard and fry them with electricity. While shocked, Lord Lycan would run in and beat them to death in a feral rage. As the fearless duo reached the depths of the Monastery Catacombs, the demon Andariel stood in their way. Wilma set her traps up and the duo waited in the shadows. When Andariel was caught by the traps, Lord Lycan leapt out and ripped her limbs asunder.

As they went in search of Tal Rasha's Tomb, the duo's skills grew. Wilma figured out how to lay traps that would shoot lightning from afar and her furry companion tried to work out if they were coming from where he thought they were. Lord Lycan meanwhile bit madly at anything that crossed his path infecting them with a deadly rabies. Inside Tal Rasha's Tomb the demon Duriel was despatched with ease and the deadly duo sailed across to Kurast.

Making their way across the jungle, the warriors were joined by a number of accomplices: Wilma's shadow, a handful of ravens, some dire wolves and a poisonous vine. The corrupted council attempted to stand in their way but the travelling group were too strong for them. Pressing onwards into the Durance of Hate, Wilma and Lord Lycan were faced with the first of the Prime Evils: Mephisto. He cried "My brothers have escaped you", before the warriers added "but you couldn't!"

In the Pandemonium Fortress, the pair met Tyrael. Lord Lycan thought he was a bit strange but Wilma told him that it was rich coming from a werewolf. Wilma's traps were beginning to become more and more deadly by this point, they even caused the deceased monsters to explode and injure any foolish enough to approach. Lord Lycan's rabid bite was becoming so lethal that it could infect scores of the demons in the Chaos Sanctuary, whittling down their life before they could even reach his colleague Wilma. Following the return of the second Prime Evil, Lord Diablo himself, to Oblivion, Tyrael sent the pair off to Harrogath in search of Baal.

At Harrogath Lord Lycan found that he could unleash an almighty fury on any monster that crossed his path. Wilma was impressed with this as she could hang back and fry the monsters unhindered. After climbing Mount Arreat they came across three statues. Before Wilma could tell Lord Lycan not to approach the altar the three statues came to life and leapt at the two warriors. Lord Lycan kept the Ancients pinned in place while the lightning spewed from Wilma's traps sent them packing. All that was left was to corner Baal, the Lord of Destruction. 5 waves of Baal's Minions were swept aside before Baal retreated to the Worldstone Chamber. Faced with no other option than to fight, Baal and the warriors engaged in combat to the death. The result was never in doubt, Baal collapsed with a scream and in stepped Tyrael.

Wilma scolded Tyrael for being late, and Lord Lycan whispered under his breath that he had said that there was something wrong with him. Newly titled, the duo headed back to see Deckard Cain.

On their way back to the Rogue Encampment, Charsi came running out to meet them. "Deckard went back to Tristram to pick up some books and hasn't come back!" Akara chipped in, "and you'll never guess what Kashya found in the Den of Evil..."

Lord Lycan turned to look at Wilma and saw that she had already fried a devilkin with a bolt of lightning. "Not again" he sighed before decapitating a zombie with his right paw and running off to join her.

wilmawallace         Lord Lycan
(wickedswami)        (Evasive)
Trapsin              Rabies Druid
Level 81             Level 81

STR: 156             STR: 160
DEX: 75              DEX: 207
VIT: 252             VIT: 228
ENE: 47              ENE: 45

FIRE: -15            FIRE: 48
COLD: 22             COLD: 70
LIGHT: 12            LIGHT: 29
POIS: -25            POIS: 75

FB 28                LYC 22
CBS 28               WW 17
LS 28                FR 7
DS 28                RAB 26
SWeb 11              FUR 21
Prereqs 6            PV 25
                     Summons 6

Peasant Crown        Jalal's Mane
Treachery            Bramble
+3 trap claw         Lightsabre
Spirit Monarch       Blackoak Shield
Chancies             Trang Oul's Claw
String of Ears       Verdungos
Sigon boots          Sigon boots
Rare rings           Carrion Wind/Raven Frost
Magic ammy           Maras (25 resists)

Holy Freeze          Usually Dead
Insight Partizan

The Experience - Evasive
wickedswami and I started this MP game as the third member of our original party, Diablo loves donutz, went AWOL on us and left us with time to kill.

I've always wanted to make a shapeshifting druid and after 3 failed attempts managed to make this one right enough to get us both through the game.

Rabies was a good skill to use once wearing Trangs and Bramble, and the Blackoak and Lightsabre helped with the cold and lightning resists. Gloams were certainly less of an issue with the Lightsabre's absorb. As long as Lord Lycan could leech he was fine, but when faced with a mass of unleechables, he had to let Wilma do her stuff.

At Hell Ancients, the Whirly one spawned FI/LI and so wilma was out. Unfortunately for Lord Lycan he couldn't leech back faster than he was losing life, until he managed to work out that he couldn't cast his life tap charges (well shopped Wilma!) in shape shifted form. He switched back to normal, cast LT, and then went to town on him. Easy!

It was a [highlight]hugely fun[/highlight] game, and playing with wickedswami was good to keep the motivation up, especially when Lord Lycan sucked. There were times when Wilma was well ahead in damage terms (mostly in NM) and I was just trying to hold the monsters up for her to knock down and times when I went ahead and cleared a path, with her killing only the monsters I left behind.

Overall, a pairing that was well balanced over the course of all acts and difficulties.

Thanks go to Ohomemgrande for the Jalal's Mane, Verdungos and Carrion Wind, and to Geppetto for finding the SUR rune for Bramble.

Finally, thanks to wickedswami for his patience during the many mid-fury Iron Maiden deaths...

The Experience - wickedswami
I enjoyed playing Wilma, but I think she's a lot more difficult to play when you're going solo. CoS and mindblast were VERY usefull in certain situations (CoS when gloams or massive amounts of archers are around, mindblast where I was ahead alone and I needed some time to lay my traps down or for merc/Lord Lycan to catch up). Also was very helpful against minions of destruction, to put them in massive stunlock so Lord Lycan could tank them easier). Near the end of hell I saw my damage diminishing, probably due to lack of uber items (some more+skills and a conviction merc might've helped).

Retirement Plan
Lord Lycan will be joining the Hell Baals, Wilma will probably be parked while wickedswami starts on a new project.


Well-known member
Guide Author
Mar 14, 2020
Originally posted by @Liquid_Evil on November 12, 2009

The Blood Brothers make Patriarch


Several weeks ago, I enlisted the help of Zylo and Ray Patean (of Ancients fame) to aid me in a challenge between the best melee classes. It was to be a battle between Nature’s rage, Heaven’s wrath, and barbaric brute force in order to determine which out of Druids, Paladins, and Barbarians could hit the hardest. The victor would claim the title of “Most Physically Damaging Melee Character” so we set to work with each one of us representing a different class of warrior. A Fury Werewolf, a Fanatic Zealot, and a Whirlwind Barbarian were agreed upon as the builds to be used since those skills were very comparable and we believed those could boast the highest DPS for each class. The characters would be leveled to 90 and their two end game damage numbers (one with no outside help, and the other fully partied with the inclusion of mercenaries) would be recorded to settle the dispute once and for all. Enter the Blood Brothers project.

Liquid Evil, Bloodbath, Druid
Zylo, Bloodlust, Paladin
Ray Patean, Bloodshed, Barbarian

*Originally this started as a MP group, but halfway through Normal, Bloodshed’s lack of time dissolved the faction and we went our separate ways to complete these monsters.

As with any reputable challenge, the characters had to abide by certain rules designed to make them able to survive in Hell and represent how a character might actually be played. These were those stipulations:
-Must have 7500+ AR (or Conviction-induced equivalent)
-Must have positive cold, fire, and poison resists
-Must have 75+ lightning resists
-Must not devote more than 28 inventory spaces (7x4) to charms
-Must not carry any poison charms
-% Damage to Demons/Undead will not enter the final calculations

When diii.net was asked which character class deserved the title of “Most Damaging Melee Character,” votes trickled in over the course of a month to give us these results: Bloodbath the Druid pulled in a meager 18.18% of the votes, and Bloodlust the Paladin claimed a solid 29.55%, but the clear victor in the eyes of the masses was none other than Bloodshed the Barbarian with his enormous slice of the pie: 52.27% of the votes.

So, How accurate were those predictions? Read on for more tantalizing details about the builds or skip ahead for the final verdict.

Let’s meet the monsters.
Bloodbath the Druid (Liquid Evil)
Helm: Communal Totemic Mask s/ED+str jewels
Amulet: Highlord’s Wrath
Armor: Fortitude Archon
Weapon: ethereal Tomb Reaver
Gloves: Steelrend
Rings: Raven Frost/Rare with Dual Stats & Resists
Belt: Crendendum
Boots: Gore Riders (upgraded)
Charms: max & min damage, .07 Spiritual, AR, resists, and life (with the emphasis on .07 max damage); a grand total of 148 max damage over 28 inventory spaces

Stats and Skills: Base vitality and just a handful of hard points spent in dexterity to equip the Tomb Reaver; every spare point was spent in strength. Max Werewolf, Lycanthropy, Fury, Heart of Wolverine, a lone point in Hunger, and the remaining points were spent in Feral Rage.

Bloodlust the Paladin (Zylo)
Helm: Guillaume’s Face s/ Resist +Dmg jewel
Amulet: Highlord’s Wrath
Armor: Fortitude Archon
Weapon: ethereal Death Colossus Blade
Gloves: Rare gloves
Rings: Raven Frost/Rare ring
Belt: Rare belt with Stats & Resists
Boots: Gore Riders
Charms: max damage, Captain’s of Balance, resists, and life (with an emphasis on .07 max damage); a grand total of 119 over 28 inventory spaces.

Stats and Skills: I had minimal dexterity just to equip the Death and base vitality with all the rest spent in strength. Max Zeal, Sacrifice, Fanaticism, and Blessed Aim with the remaining points unspent.

Bloodshed the Barbarian (Ray Patean)
Helm: .07 Arreat’s Face
Amulet: Highlord’s Wrath
Armor: Fortitude Archon
Weapon: Breath of the Dying ethereal Great Poleaxe
Gloves: Steelrend
Rings: Dual Ravenfrosts
Belt: Thundergod’s Vigor
Boots: Gore Riders
Charms: max damage, AR, resists, and life (with the emphasis on .07 max); a grand total of 143 max damage over 28 inventory spaces

Stats and Skills: I spent 28 points into vitality, 10 points into dexterity to equip the BotD, and the remainder of my points went into strength. Max Whirlwind, Polearm Mastery, Battle Orders, Natural Resist, and enough left over (unused) to spend to get some more defense or stamina if I feel the need come upon me.

Mercs for the assisted damage calculations included a lvl 90 Might merc decked out in +8 skills (Arioc’s, Arkaine’s, & Shako), a lvl 89 Blessed Aim merc with a Pride (owned by Ray) merc, and HF merc wielding an Infinity (also owned by Ray).

How fast were they attacking?
Pretty quickly for the most part.
Druid: 5.43 attacks per second, 4/4/4/4/7 frames per attack
Paladin: 4.03 attacks per second, 5/5/5/5/11 frames per attack
Barbarian: 6.25 attacks per second, 4 frames per attack

So who won already?
It’s not quite that cut and dry as it depends largely on how you judge. I’ve supplied a breakdown of their DPS totals with the Deadly/Critical Strike levels factored in for unassisted damage output as well as party level damage for both average damage and max damage potential. Unassisted damage is defined as the damage without mercenaries, Enchant charges, or party aid. Assisted damage is defined as the inclusion of our group benefits and mercenaries (but Enchant’s additional fire damage wasn’t calculated into the final damages, but rather just used for the LCS screenies). The max damage calculations factored in the appropriate DS levels and did not assume a DS roll every time (except in the case of the Paladin who actually utilized 100% DS).

Average Unassisted Damage

4,315 to 21,542 (12,928)
48% DS: 6,386 to 31,882 (19,134)
Avg DPS: 103,897

6,903 to 17,369 (12,136)
100% DS: 13,806 to 34,738 (24,272)
Avg DPS: 97,816

4,219 to 13,984 (9,101)
59.44% DS/CS: 6,726 to 22,296 (14,511)
Avg DPS: 90,693

Max Unassisted Damage

4,315 to 21,542 (12,928)
48% DS: 6,386 to 31,882 (19,134)
Max DPS: 173,119

6,903 to 17,369 (12,136)
100% DS: 13,806 to 34,738 (24,272)
Max DPS: 139,994

4,219 to 13,984 (9,101)
59.44% DS/CS: 6,726 to 22,296 (14,511)
Max DPS: 139,350

Average Assisted Damage

6,346 to 31,680 (19,013)
48% DS: 9,392 to 46,886 (28,139)
Avg DPS: 152,794

10,339 to 26,013 (18,176)
100% DS: 20,678 to 52,026 (36,352)
Avg DPS: 146,498

6,753 to 22,384 (14,568)
59.44% DS/CS: 10,766 to 35,689 (23,227)
Avg DPS: 145,168

Max Assisted Damage

6,346 to 31,680 (19,013)
48% DS: 9,392 to 46,886 (28,139)
Max DPS: 254,590

10,339 to 26,013 (18,176)
100% DS: 20,678 to 52,026 (36,352)
Max DPS: 209,664

6,753 to 22,384 (14,568)
59.44% DS/CS: 10,766 to 35,689 (23,227)
Max DPS: 223,056

Making the victor of this friendly little competition...

Unexpected! So what’s the price of all that damage?
Survivability. Their life bars bounced around more than a caffeinated kangaroo on a Parkinson’s-powered pogo stick. Still, I think we’d do it all again and I’d recommend a Titan char be played at least once in a D2 career.

-Thanks to Ray Patean and Zylo once again for going along with the project. It’s always a pleasure, and the MP group was nice even though it was short-lived.
-Thanks to the MP Crowd for helping to level these suckers, and thanks to everyone who voted and/or participated in our poll.
-Thanks to Zylo for using up one of his HF mules’ socket quests on my helm. It wasn’t necessary, but it was a nice gesture just the same. Also, props for one of its jewels, and thanks go to SilvioDante for the other. Thanks to bassen, Fabian, and Hurtlocker for damage charms I got from you guys ages ago (they are still finding use you’ll be happy to know).
-Ray thanks DC for the “Breath of the Dying†and Zylo thanks Nagisa for the good Death %ed roll.

Oooh Liq, you dirty dreamboat, what's next on your whirlwind tour of pwn?
Finishing up a character built around a specific (and fun) rare item as well as finishing up Famine from the Horsemen of the Apocalypse themed MP group. After that, I have no immediate plans, but hopefully I’ll think of something suitable epic. Cheers.


Well-known member
Guide Author
Mar 14, 2020
Originally posted by @Liquid_Evil on December 11, 2009

The Horsemen of the Apocalypse make Patriarch

By clicking on this thread, you have just been entered in a drawing for a lifetime supply of pwn. That’s right! Now it’s time to don your goggles and adjust your rubber diaper because you’re about to be submerged in a thread of liquid awesome. Drop the kids off at grandma’s, shelve that homework for another day, and let someone else worry about cleaning the hamster cage—you’ve got a thread to read!

Melodramatic/Unnecessary Introduction
Gabriel’s trumpet blared triumphantly which signaled that the time of the Horsemen was at hand. As decreed from on high, five warriors were issued forth to ravage the land, ending not only all who opposed them, but the very world itself. Even the fiercest demons spilling over from Hell were no match for the riders. Because their success was preordained, they struck swiftly and without mercy until at last, the entirety of the planet’s evil was left vanquished. Vanquished and lying motionless in a puddle of its own blood and urine. *cue guitar solo* Ahhh yeah.

TL:)R Intro
To the uninitiated, this is a x5 Patriarch thread highlighting our interpretations of the biblical Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Revelation 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell and Heather followed with him.

Introductions are in order. Let’s meet the players behind the pwntacular personas.
War Zylo
Famine Liquid Evil
Death Ohomemgrande
Pestilence scottee
Conquest smilts

What were the builds and themes?
War Red (of whale armor suffix) 2-hand sword Zeal Paladin
Famine Fur N/A Maul/Hunger Bear
Death Black (Corpsemourn, Nat’s helm) Scythe Whirlwind Barb
Pestilence Green (Vampgaze, Templar’s M.) N/A Poison Necro
Conquest White (Toothrow, Cerebus) Bow Hunter Druid

Did your group have any stipulations?
This was the Horsemen code:
-No teleport. We ride together.
-No shields. We do not fear death. He’s on our team. (*However, Pestilence may use a shrunken head)
-No mercenaries.** We only need each other. (**However, Conquest can have one as part of his summoned beast package)
-Complete all quests. We are thorough.
-FAM mod status. We are not vanilla.
-Softcore. We don’t fear death, but we do fear ping.
-We’ll finish when we’ve killed Hell Baal.
-We’ll keep in the appropriate color scheme with our helm and armors.

Interesting, but isn’t there supposed to be just four Horsemen of the Apocalypse?
This is part of the artistic liberties I took with the group. There is some dispute regarding Pestilence and Conquest and which one should rightly occupy a Four Horseman of the Apocalypse spot, but I figured we might as well roll with an extra guy just to keep all the bases covered. So yeah, our Four Horsemen team was so badass that we need five of ‘em. Believe it.

How long did this project last?
We started on September 13, 2009 and the group was officially concluded on December 6, 2009. We usually gamed for about two hours every Sunday, but there were a couple of cancellations. All in all, I believe there was a total of ten gaming sessions or about ~20 hours per character to quest through the game, reach Pat status, and level into the 70’s and 80’s.

Enough foreplay. Let’s see these Horsemen!

War the Zealot

You can’t have awe-inspiring without War.

20 Zeal
20 Sacrafice
20 Blessed Aim
20 Fanaticism
1 Vigor

Helm: Artisan’s Great Helm of the Mammoth
Weapon: .07 Oath Colossus Blade
Armor: Jeweler’s Full Plate Mail of the Centaur
Amulet: Highlord’s Wrath
Gloves: Immortal King’s Forge
Belt: Immortal King’s Detail
Ring 1: Raven Frost
Ring 2: Rare w/ dual stats and resists
Boots: Gore Rider
Weapon Switch: Demon Limb

Famine the Maul/Hunger Werebear
Napkins not included.

20 Lycanthropy
20 Werebear
20 Maul
20 Heart of Wolverine
7 Shock Wave
2 Raven
3 Hunger

Helm: Famine’s Imp Shell
Weapon: Death’s Tomb Reaver
Armor: Fortitude Archon
Amulet: Highlord’s Wrath
Gloves: Conquest’s Laying of Hands
Belt: Pestilence’s Skull Buckle
Ring 1: Raven Frost
Ring 2: Rare Dual Leech
Boots: War’s Gore Riders
Weapon switch: Beta Crescent Moon Phaser + Spirit Monarch
Charms: Spiritual, Steel, & Shimmering
*Famine donned the entire Horsemen of the Apocalypse item set, for a complete set bonus of +1 to overall awesomeness, and 5% Chance to cast level 19 pwn on striking.

Death the Whirlwind Barbarian
Our resident man in black.

20 Whirlwind
20 Pole Arm Mastery
20 Battle Orders
4 Natural Resist
3 Grim Ward
1 Berserk, Leap, Battle Command
1 Iron Skin, Increased Speed
11 prereq’s

Helm: Natalya’s Totem
Weapon: The Reaper’s Toll
Armor: Corpsemourn
Amulet: Crescent Moon or Highlord’s Wrath
Gloves: Immortal King’s Forge
Belt: Immortal King’s Detail
Ring 1: Raven Frost
Ring 2: Rare (+27AR/+6%LL/+17life/+29mana/+29%CR)
Boots: Immortal King’s Pillar
Weapon switch: N/A

Commentary from Ohomemgrande: Normal was fun with all of the taunting and getting to use those nifty utility Barb skills. Nightmare was nice until the later acts when my exceptional scythe (Athena’s Wrath) started to feel underpowered. Once I was able to equip Reaper's Toll, things picked up. Hell wasn’t too bad but it was pretty tough to solo when I had to catch up. When we were in party mode, Death took advantage of other folk’s auras and provided the BC/BO/Shout to buff up the team.

Pestilence the Poison Nova Necromancer
Cover your mouth or we’re all going to catch it.
20 Poison Dagger
20 Poison Explosion
20 Poison Nova
11 Corpse Explosion
4 Dim Vision
3 Lower Resist
Clay Golem, Golem Mastery, Summon Resist:1 each (For solo play times)

Helm: Vampire Gaze
Weapon: Death’s Web
Shield: Trang-Oul’s Wing
Armor: Templar’s Might
Ammy: Mara’s Kaleidoscope (26)
Gloves: Trang-Oul’s Claws
Belt: Trang-Oul’s Girth
Ring 1: SoJ
Ring 2: very random rare /w life, AR, GF, and FR
Boots: Silkweaves
Weapon switch: N/A
Charms: 2 PnB, the rest strength to help wear that Templar's

Commentary from scottee: This character died more than any other character I have ever played, including my very first barb ever who had points in every single skill (except BO) and as many points in energy as vita. The combination of putting a ton of points into strength to equip the Templar's Might, the lack of meat shields (except for Famine, oddly enough) and lag meant that I spent more time running away from things than trying to poison them. I still died, even with the running away. I hated missing a session, because that meant that I was going around with my one-point clay golem and a badly under-leveled merc as my protection.

scottee’s thoughts continued:
Since the gear that Pestilence used has significantly less in the way of +skills than you would usually find on a poisonmancer, I found his damage to be underwhelming when we hit hell. In fact, for the last four acts I was basically just a walking curse machine. Amp, Dim Vision, Life Tap, and Decrepify all were used much more often than lower resist. I actually ended up wishing I had taken those points from Corpse Explosion and put them into curses instead.

Although Pestilence was not the dominating presence that I've usually seen from my past poisonmancers, this was a very fun game to play. With my fragility, I often felt like the skinny kid from down the street, tagging after the big kids, running frantically to catch up whenever they got more than a screen away from me. Fortunately, the other guys did a pretty darn good job of keeping the heat off of me.

What I will remember most about this: Probably the sheer number of times War died... it was, somehow, very fitting. At the same time, seeing "War was slain by..." roll across my screen three times in quick succession nearly had me falling out of my chair laughing. Hm, maybe you had to be there- it was funny, I swear it was!

Conquest the Hunter/Summoner
Not just another bedpost notch.

4 Ravens
20 Spirit Wolves
20 Dire Wolves
20 Grizzly
5 Spirit of Barbs
15 Carrion Vine
3 prereq’s

Helm: Cerebus’ Bite
Weapon: Windforce s/Shael
Armor: Toothrow
Amulet: Mara’s Kaleidoscope
Gloves: Laying of Hands
Belt: Credendum
Ring 1: Bul-Kathos’ Wedding Band
Ring 2: Raven Frost
Boots: Natalya’s Soul
Weapon switch: N/A
Charms: Trainer’s

Nicely done, but how was the trip through the game?
This slew of scrumptious screenshots showing our super sweet spree should help you see:

SS01, SS02, SS03, SS04, SS05, SS06, SS07, SS08, SS09, SS10, SS11, SS12, SS13, SS14, SS15, SS16, SS17, SS18, SS19, SS20, SS21, SS22, SS22, SS23, SS24, SS25, SS26, SS27, SS28, SS29, SS30, SS31, SS32, SS33, SS34, SS35, SS36, SS37, SS38, SS39, SS40, SS41, SS42, SS43, SS44, SS45, SS46, SS46, SS47, SS48, SS49, SS50, SS51, SS52, SS53, SS54, SS55, SS56, SS57, SS58, SS59, SS60, SS61, SS62, SS63, SS64, SS65, SS66, SS67, SS68, SS69, SS70, SS71, SS72, SS73, SS74, SS75, SS76, SS77, SS78, SS79, SS80, SS81, SS82, SS83.
(For screenshot context and first person accounts of the characters, see our original update thread)

and here’s two bonus video compilations further documenting the devastation:

Wow. If screenshots were gold, you would be Fort Knox.
Aye, and if screenshots were dolphins, I could build a ladder to the moon.

Um, Right then. All tomfoolery aside, I hope you didn’t expect me to click on all of those.
Ah ha, but you will! I counted on your laziness and hid an Easter egg among the shots. Now you’ll be consumed by curiosity and spend the better part of your afternoon opening indiscriminate imageshack screenies of epic Horsemen scenes in a panicked effort to find it! Check and mate.

Damn you.
You’re welcome.

Any thoughts you’d like to leave us or random threats you’d like to issue?
-Here’s a Pat screenie. You’ll notice that Cain is sportin’ a helmet. Zylo showed me this trick: if you save and exit with an item on your cursor after you defeat Baal for the first time, you’ll have said item as your cursor for the final Slayer/Champion/Patriarch image.
-Here’s a cheese doodle MS Paint scene I did for the MS Paint Diablo thread. I don’t claim to be an artist. I claim to be a badass. Unsubstantiated FTW.
-I wasn’t the only one who made use of the under-utilized personalization quest rewards. Here Death had some fun with a couple of his.
-Future plans? Who knows what I’ll be up to next.

Anyone you’d like to thank?
Yes, several people. Thanks to:
-Our European MP group counterparts: nepeta, skiffcz, Spudnik, and Jae. I loved your theme and maybe one day it will get an injection of encouragement and you’ll get to see the Sins finish the game.
-Anyone that read along in the update thread or offered encouragement along the way: JoeBruce, UllaV, maxicek, Ragnarod, Paradigm, mn4nu, Ashmer, Timinator, Sssith, FrolfFreak, and many others.
-NacRuno for including MP groups into the Pat/Mat Compilation thread. That thing is like a virginal white wall and I’m the only one standing around in graffiti scrubs holding a can of spray paint.
-Ray Patean, bassen, and Serdash for various wares. Scottee thanks Zylo, Cygnus, and Fabian for some choice items as well.
-My esteemed group of colleagues: Ohomemgrande, scottee, Zylo, and smilts. Without these guys, the Horsemen wouldn’t have been capable of such apocalyptic levels of awesome. Kudos again.

TL:)R Conclusion
Not this time. In fact, Bubbles the attack primate is trained to gnaw the faces off of those that have merely skimmed. Maybe just one more quick perusal is in order? No? Well then perhaps he may be satiated with a comment. Don’t be just another faceless forumite; the first few to post get Horsemen-inspired bumper stickers.


Well-known member
Guide Author
Mar 14, 2020
Originally posted by @naranjadita on October 7, 2010

Double Guardian Thread: Aegis and Vulpecula_III.

'He said that they would one day come, and so they have. They threaten the Unholy Disposition. They must be purged. Only then will the forces of Hell once again prevail…'

Aegis rounded the corner, panting. As he leaned briefly against a cold pillar, he slowly removed his gloves from his shaking hands to discover that the blood remained. He leaned back and uttered a silent prayer. There remained only one task now, and yet it seemed so long ago that The Archangel had sought their aid...

It was then that the familiar sensation assaulted Aegis' senses, a sharp burst of nearby heat that permeated his body, the momentarily blinding flash of light, and the highly obscure sound of the distorted void, followed by the distant sound of soft footsteps. Aegis was now used to the strange Displacements that to this day continued to mystify him. He picked up his blade and hurried forward to rejoin his companion.

Vulpecula was now waiting for Aegis at the entrance of a dark hall. He soon caught up and took notice of her austere countenance. There was no explanation required for this; both understood that what lay ahead was unknown. As they cautiously advanced into the darkness, Aegis heard a faint shuffling noise, at which point Vulpecula froze. They waited attentively for what seemed to be an hour; there was absolutely no room for haphazardness. It was then that a small rodent came into view. Aegis looked down at the rat, as it hurriedly scurried past and squeaked.

Aegis slowly turned back to meet Vulpecula's gaze, as she raised an eyebrow. After a short pause, she grinned, and Aegis could not contain his laughter any longer. Aegis threw his head back and roared with laughter, and it was in this instant that all the air in his very lungs seemed to have emptied. His heart stuttered against the astronomical force that had struck his chest and threw him back, cracking one of his ribs. As Aegis hit the ground, his head throbbed with pain as he gasped for breath and attempted to recollect his faculties.

Aegis slowly got up and positioned his shield in front of his body, tightly gripping his sword, which was promptly ignited by Vulpecula. Standing before him was an undead fiend who was using both of his limbs to drag his enormous sword across the ground at a deceptively slow and terrifying pace. Aegis seized this opportunity and began to vigorously hack away at the Defiled Warrior. The undead warrior gave a raspy sigh and crumpled to the ground, as Aegis clutched his chest in pain. However, his heart quickly sank as four new Defiled Warriors slowly emerged out of the darkness.

Aegis recognized the signs of a nearby Displacement, and gripped his blazing sword with renewed resolve. Suddenly, and in the blink of an eye, a rift began to form in the air. Aegis felt a wave of heat fly by him as an enormous wall of fire erupted into existence. Aegis glanced over his shoulder and caught sight of the awe-inspiring and terrible expression Vulpecula wore, as her eyes glowed a faint red, sending a chill down Aegis' spine that echoed to his very core.

The bright light of the towering flames behind the Warriors created macabre silhouettes that instilled pure dread. With little time to spare, he rushed forward into the flames and began striking the undead warriors with fervent zeal. The air rippled with heat, as Undead and Living clashed. Aegis' heart ached for his brethren who had long since abandoned the Holy Order, and had been corrupted by the poisonous influence of the Lord of Destruction.

The Defiled Warriors quickly disintegrated from the intense heat of the blaze, and Aegis was relieved. However, what would happen next, he was not prepared for. Three more Defiled Warriors came charging out of the darkness at light speed, as they each collided forcefully with Aegis. On the verge of death, Aegis collapsed to his knees, and attempted to maintain consciousness, as one more strike would surely end him. Suddenly, Vulpecula Displaced next to him, gripped his arm, and began to mutter an incantation of some sort. Aegis shut his eyes and awaited his demise, as the fabric of time itself seemed to falter. The light slowly but surely dimmed, as the noises surrounding him began to fade, and lastly, the words uttered by Vulpecula no longer reached his ears. Darkness replaced his conscious, and he knew that they would live to fight another day.

-The host of this game has left-


Guardian Vulpecula_III, lvl 86 Sorceress

Guardian Aegis, lvl 86 Paladin

Fed: Naranjadita and I decided to combo a Sorceress with a Conviction Paladin, for our dynamic duo. Since this was my first time doing any kind of MP, and playing Hardcore, it was definitely an interesting experience, and a total blast!

I don't know a whole lot about Paladins, but the idea was to max Conviction for the massive resist penalties. This allowed Naranjadita to dish out some massive DPS via her fire spells, and I would take advantage of the Conviction aura using an enchanted Zeal.

Things started out fairly simple in Normal mode, as they tend to do. We decided to twink, and soon enough we were to be seen running around in Sigon's, with Ravenclaws, which is ridiculously fun. I can never get over the fact that packs get wiped out so easily with Exploding Shot, sometimes in just two shots; it's simply too funny.

Naranjadita: Go Go Ravenclaw! Boom! Boom! BOOM!!1!

F.: Normal was indeed easy enough. EXCEPT for our Diablo fight! I seriously cannot remember a boss battle ever being this crazy. It was unsurprising that Normal Diablo once again went on one of his frenzied rampages! Never has the word "Chaos Sanctuary" seemed so appropriate, since this fight embodied utter chaos. Since my Zeal was still fairly weak, it was actually more effective to shoot our explosive arrows at him instead, and we tried to have our mercs tank him so we could safely fire arrows, but of course they would be quickly instagibbed. Naranjadita was teleporting all over the place, while I stood back and fired arrows as carefully as I could, often having to run away from the Lightning Hose of Death, and Diablo was running all over the place too! I know we both had NDE at least once in this battle, which was terrifying. Lord of Terror indeed. Needless to say, it was a huge relief to have dispatched him.

N.: Possible reason for this (among others) is the fact that Normal and NM (especially Normal) was played like a rush game from the point I got access to teleport. So we faced Diablo at ~26 lvl, and we didn't take time to equip mercenaries with any slowing spear or pole arm. No wonder we were nearly eaten alive.

F.: Nightmare was a little more challenging, but by now we had gained access to all of the skills that we would be using for the duration of our journey, so it made for good practice.

Even though Nightmare was scarier than Normal in general, I still felt a bit safer, with a larger life pool, and max block HoZ. I used Butcher's pupil for a while, before I turned 58.

N.: Nightmare was fairly easy (easier than Hell, and definitely easier than Normal Diablo). Monsters died before they could land a hit or two on my companions.

F.: Since I was not a typical Zealot, I did not have access to Fanaticism, and therefore had to supplement the missing IAS from elsewhere! I'm not sure exactly why, but It was my goal to hit the last Zeal breakpoint (4pa if I'm not mistaken?). Fortunately there was a very easy way to do this, which was to use a phase blade, and obtain 75% IAS. I ended up going with a Shael'd Lightsabre (40%), LoH (20%), and I threw a Jewel of Fervor into my helmet for the last (15%). The end result was a small amount of damage that was dealt VERY fast. Fortunately the 4pa went very well with the crushing blow. And the enchant + Conviction combo was awesome!

Holy shield was another neat commodity that took some getting used to. For most of Normal and Nightmare Naranjadita had to remind me over and over and over again, "recast shield". XD Luckily I was able to finally switch on my Barbarian brain and figured 'hey, it's just another warcry, right?' (Apart from the fact that it affected only me). The neat part is, at end-game level, it lasted over ten minutes. I really like this skill.

N.: As for the "log" of my char's development, it's quite simple and plain:
- meleeing till 15
- equipping Ravenclaw (further to be changed for Kuko) and blasting everything till ~60 lvl or so.
- equipping Caster stuff and maxing out Fire Mastery.
- drooling at insane LCS numbers.

The good thing about a Firewall Sorc is the fact that all equipment she needs is fairly cheap and obtainable. Swap HotO for an Oculus, replace Soj and BKWB with two shimmering rings and a couple Burning skillers - voila! Here you are, dealing 20k DPS with NO RUNEWORDS AT ALL.

The difficult part was learning to control the angle of the Firewall. It takes practice. But once you get used to it, you’ll release a 50 yrd wall of incineration through a corridor full of monsters while actually staying behind a corner.

Oh, and Blaze is fun. I found two major applications of the skill:
- Drawing smilies (say cheeeze!) http://diablo.incgamers.com/gallery/showfull.php?photo=4358
- Showing the way out of labyrinths and catacombs to your companions.

F.: What i find to be very interesting, is that: it seems as if Normal bosses are very difficult, and Normal monsters and boss packs are offensively easy, but in Hell, it's reversed. The monster packs were considerably more dangerous, and much care had to be taken. But on the other hand, we were instagibbing them Hell act bosses like it's nobody's business :D

F.: As far as actual gameplay went, it mainly consisted of me running up and acting as a meat shield for Naranjadita, alongside our mercs, while she did the majority of the damage with her fire. She also generously volunteered to apply Life Tap via charges, when the going got rough. This was a very effective method of fighting, and we cleared most things easily, unless we were cursed, in which case it was usually a good idea to stay back and let the mercs take the beating.

N.: Well, Fed is exaggerating a bit. His Zeal (along with mercs’ Jab) came fairly close to my Firewalls in terms of DPS (especially when we encountered Fire Immunes, who had Fire Res at 80-90 even after Conviction), especially against small packs or single fat monsters.
Life Tap wand was definitely a good idea as it saved lots of nerves and potions for both of us. Even better idea was placing leftover skill points into Glacial Spike. At 105% FCR I could keep quite large pack of monsters frozen! Unfortunately, Minotauri, Souls and Undead Stygian Barbies cannot be frozen.

F.: Durance 1 and 2 were a serious challenge, due to all the Undead Stygian Dolls running around and exploding everywhere, and I know i was nearly killed here too. Another area of considerable difficulty had to be Act 4, with all the gloam packs floating around and shooting lightning at us D: These two areas were quite nightmarish, especially since they were back-to-back. Hell Ancients were definitely the toughest of the difficulties, but what scared us the most was WSK. We were hoping beyond hope to get some good monster rolls, for fear of being instagibbed by Burning Souls and more dolls! Fortunately we got REALLY lucky, and didn't encounter either of these monster types UNTIL the throne room, when there actually were Burning souls!!

When we finally dispatched (instagibbed) Baal, it was a huge relief, at least for me, to have made it all the way without dying!

N.: Same here! All those NDE's! We went through legions of Dolls, ripped through hoards of Gloams… After all that nightmare, every act boss on Hell (especially Baal) was just a beating toy for us: none lived for more than 13 seconds.

F.: Overall, this was a completely new experience, in all regards, and It was totally awesome. I absolutely love the Hardcore aspect! It is completely terrifying and thrilling at the same time. Each NDE caused my heart rate to skyrocket, and there's nothing like that feeling :) Plus my terrible ping made for an additional challenge :D (There was one game where I momentarily spiked up to an epic 4000+)

I'm just lucky I had Naranjadita watching my back the whole time, because I definitely would have been instagibbed several times over. Like I said, this is the most D2 fun ever, and I'm glad that we both survived up until the end. :)


N.: That was FUN. That was just as awesome as it could have ever been. No less than that.

Some random screenies:

P.S.: The game was played at p8 on Normal and Nightmare; p5 on Hell. All areas we ventured in received a blessing of Full Clear â„¢. All quests (except for Nilly) were completed.

P.P.S. I found out a funny thing about Fed :D


Well-known member
Guide Author
Mar 14, 2020
Originally posted by @maareek on October 30, 2014

Exceptional Sept Wrapup


After coming back to the game, I wanted to make the cookie cutter builds I had never really gotten around to before, but I wanted to add a little bit of a twist so I decided to make characters geared more like they were back when I joined the forum . I pressed that a little far – most builds from '07 would have Harlequin Crest, Reaper's Toll, and the like – but that was with the intent of forcing some difficulties in as far as both building and playing went. I was away for a long time and wanted something of a refresher course.

In the end I threw in a few builds I had done before and liked to compare and just to keep the excitement up. In those cases, I chose what I felt was the strongest build under the limitations, since I wouldn't suggest something like a Blova or a 20PN/20PE/20PD/20CE necromancer to someone of the represented gear level even though I prefer each to their counterparts here with adequate wealth.

The mark I chose for the rarity cutoff was a 1:3000 chance to drop from Nightmare Mephisto, without any magic find. I figured that would provide a decent representation of things you could expect to find while farming NM Meph to fuel some twinked characters. I allowed the use of low-level runewords and left the opportunity for breaking the rarity rule open if I could convince myself it was interesting enough.

I hadn't accurately predicted just how much the gear limitations would affect the mercenaries, though. I mean, certainly once I saw it the reason why was clear: with only 3 gear slots, what goes in each makes a big difference, but it wasn't something I foresaw properly. When you're used to mercenaries with %damage reduction and big elite weapons to fuel their leech, the difference is massive. I don't remember which character it was exactly, probably Poy_Zen, but I distinctly remember one of them going through 1 million gold in Act 5 Hell just on revives. Certainly a not-small portion of the blame for all those deaths falls on me being lazy with potions, but still.

The Characters

1. The_Snowman, Frost Zealot.
I knew a paladin would come first, since they’re by far my least favorite class, but I wasn’t sure about the exact build until I sat down to plan him. While thinking about the various options I remembered a not-uncivil argument between myself and UllaV which clinched things. Given that, untwinked would’ve been more apropos, but I’ve already done more untwinked chars than I ever wanted.

It was later in the sept before I started including kpop songs in the writeups, but if that had been a practice at the time, clearly there could only be one choice.

2. Bowlette, WWS Dexazon
Playing the paladin was not particularly enjoyable for me, so I wanted to go with an interesting char afterward, as a reward. I wanted a javazon, but I didn’t have a titan’s and a bowazon was a very close second on the list so no complaints. She was a blast to play, although I wish I had had some CB on the merc.

Bowlette also had to suffer a lack of kpop links in her writeup, for which I would apologize if she were real. Still, that’s no reason to not rectify the mistake and clearly no song encapsulates the life of a bowazon better than Push Push.

3. BurritoofFury, Feral Rage/Fury Druid
This guy had the one exemption I used on the rarity rule for the sept: the Harmony on the Rogue. After the rough time I had with Bowlette, I felt it necessary to get some CB on this guy and the Harmony both helped alleviate the drawback of said CB and provided something of a PI solution.

This was the first writeup to include a kpop link, but that was chosen more as playing off of Nagisa’s (less-than-serious) suggestion to include them (ie I linked “Nobody” since I assumed nobody wanted the links.) Regardless of the truth in that thought, in hindsight I’m disappointed that I didn’t use this vid instead.

4. Poy_Zen, Poison/Skeleton Necromancer
I knew this was going to be the necromancer build from the start, but he actually exceeded my expectations. A poisonmancer without a DWeb performs very different from one with a DWeb, no doubt, but this guy was still quite good.

Since making Patriarch I’ve done a bit of p7 Pit running with him in a slightly more MF focused setup than in the middle video on the writeup (swapped BKWB for a nagel, swapped in MF charms; just over 300 total MF) and though it’s not much of a sample in 40 runs he’s averaging 2 minutes 10 seconds, which has been trending down. Not competitive, by any means, but nice for a change of pace.

5. Lilietta, TS/DC/DS Assassin
She was originally intended as a fishysin with an unupgraded Ribcracker and was such until one point while I was leveling on normal Pindle when I realized that instead of hitting with Ribcracker and switching weapons to do literally anything else I could just use the Bartuc’s on switch all the time, with the added benefit of hitting harder. Trimming points was fairly straightforward and she still plays pretty much like a fishysin: death sentry does most of the work.

In planning I had thought about Gloom’s Trap for the belt slot, but decided she would probably be fine without any mana leech. Eventually I settled on giving the merc an Insight while debating whether mana burn monsters would cause problems with charging up.

This thread also probably includes the worst excuses for puns in the history of the world. So, you know, it's got that going for it.

6. Dervish, Whirlwind Barbarian
When deciding on doing the sept, it just made sense to me to do Barbarian and Sorceress last, considering they were the classes I had the most experience with and liked the most. That he would be a whirlwinder was certain very early, but the question of which weapon took a little longer until I remembered a certain unique axe which, while only a pupil, is still rather cleaver when it comes to death.

He was originally created to make my haul pic from the most recent MFO and has since served as pack mule for my AT runners charms while she was crafting as well as gem cuber, so I feel he deserves something in return. He’ll get a respec and become my trav runner. I mean, with his name I can’t have him not whirl.

7. FBtheI, Blizzballer Sorceress
Save the best for last! Well, sort of, Sorceresses are my favorite class, but a Blizzballer would be ranked 3-5 among the builds represented here, so the ordering has more to do with respecting how much worse teleport makes characters without it feel. This character took an hour or so longer than a sorc would normally take me – by choice; I killed more than usual to get a better idea of how she fared – and was still completed in less than half the time of 5 of the others, and not far off half the time of the barb. Having her anywhere else in the list would’ve unfairly tainted the other characters in my mind.


Planning has a way of leading to more planning, it seems. During the course of this project I've come up with interesting build ideas for five of the classes, and I'm hoping I can come up with something for the Assassin to make it a sextet. Short of an idea falling in my lap, the Paladin will probably receive no love.

Thanks for reading. Hope you got something out of it. For myself, I’m going to indulge in some celebratory music, probably with dancing. Cause manly.


Well-known member
Guide Author
Mar 14, 2020
Originally posted by @maxicek on September 5, 2007

Seven Swords, Seven Builds

Sept Complete
Seven different builds, seven different swords.
The Complete Sept on The Arreat Summit

Name        Class        Build          Level  Title      Weapon
----        -----        -----          -----  -----      ------
Elric       Necromancer  Meleemancer    83     Patriach   Doombringer
The Kurgan  Barbarian    Whirlwind      84     Patriach   'Oath' Eth. Balrog Blade
Dante       Paladin      Avenger        82     Patriach   Flamebellow
Erekose     Druid        Bear Summoner  82     Patriach   Upped Crainte Vomir
Nemesis     Assassin     Fishysin       82     Matriach   Upped Vile Husk
Yisselda    Amazon       Zerkazon       82     Matriach   'Passion' Balrog Blade (Berserk)
Cymoril     Sorceress    Enchantress    83     Matriach   'Passion' Champion Sword (Zeal)

The Completed Sept
Necromancer - Elric
Barbarian - The_Kurgan
Paladin - Dante
Druid - Erekose
Assassin - Nemesis
Amazon- Yisselda
Sorceress - Cymoril

Thanks again to everyone who gave me advice on the way, Nightfish, Hrus, AJK & Delreich. And especially to Aitrus for pushing me into making the sept in the first place.

What Next?
I have collected 5/7 of the class specific sets (Griswold's Caddy & Mav's Bow still needed), so using some of them are in order. I also have a batch of PvP orientated builds in progress. If they get used for PvP is another matter, but it should be interesting building them.

For a bit of fun, I have put together a small quiz. No prizes I'm afraid, just the glory. I'll post the answers back in about a week or so.

1. Which character's merc didn't use a Reaper's Toll?
2. How many Kira's Guardian's did I use? Which characters?
3. Who wrote the books Elric was based on?
4. Four of the Characters get their names form books by the same authour - Which don't?
5. Where does Dante get his name from?
6. Where does The_Kurgan come from?
7. What was the highest Hell HF drop from the Sept?
8. And the lowest?
9. Two characters used one Angelic ring and Amulet, one used two. Which ones?
10. Who found a Fine SC of Vita?
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