The Three-Legged Race Tournament


Active member
Mar 20, 2020
It's been a minute since my last update, sorry!

Both assassins are level 32, and started act IV, with things going pretty smoothly. I'll post some other stuff later tonight or tomorrow


Well-known member
Jul 23, 2020
All your base are belong to us!



Yes, Guardian Arthur has cleared Hell Act V, and defeated those Hell Bovines!

I started Hell Act V with a lot of saved stat points (143). I had dreamed of finding an amazing elite weapon, getting a shield that would enable max block and max resistances, and smashing some skulls! ... but it didn't quite come together. I sat on the stat points through the Bloody Foothills and then met some cursed archers in the Frigid Highlands that persuaded me to stop dreaming about going sword and board and instead accept that I'm going to finish as I've been ... a merc's merc stunner Barb, that buffs/debuffs, finds items, and only goes melee when necessary. So I dumped the 143 stat points into vitality and increased my life by 50% ... up to ~3500, and at the next opportunity (the Arreat Plateau wp), took more steps for success by Hel'ing the two PTopazes out of my IK helm and replacing them with Sol Runes. I also used my Hell socket reward to add a Sol Rune to my Angelic armor. So entering the Crystalline Passage, I now had 3500 life and damage reduced by 21 :cool: ... I suddenly felt quite tanky.

So final gear was:

IK Helm, Two Sol Runes (was two PTopazes for most of Hell)
Angelic Armor, Sol Rune
Angelic Rings (x2)
Angelic Amulet
Blade of Ali Baba, Two resistance jewels
Kite Shield, Three PDiamonds
Sigon's Gloves
Sigon's Belt
Sigon's Boots
Resistance, life, mana, and mf charms ... 12 slots open for looting

Chest and switch:

The General's Tan Do Li Ga, Knout - Slows Target 50%
Crushflange, Mace - 33% Crushing Blow
Bone Wand of Life Tap - Mostly used at bosses
Cruel Damage Crafted Tyrant Club - Used when Arthur went melee
Long Staff of Teleportation - On switch unless something else was needed

Merc Gear:

Tal's Mask
Duriel's Shell, Sol Rune
Great Poleaxe Insight

With this gear it was no problem to handle Hell Act V at players 3. The Ancients and Nihlathak were done at players 1 ... because ... why risk it?

Game play was more of the same. War Cry to stun foes. Taunt to draw in ranged foes and stragglers. Battle Cry to weaken. Merc kills ... unless foes are PI ... then Barb kills via Berserk. Yes, that's a copy and paste from what I wrote about Hell Act IV (and Hell Act III & II :p ).

We encountered all the usual suspects:


More Frenzytaurs.

Even more Frenzytaurs.

This screenshot captured one of my few mistakes. Instead of taking pictures I should have been recasting Battle Orders. That unique Frenzytaur chopped through the merc in that next swing and then did some serious damage to Arthur before I could tp out :rolleyes: . We came back with full health and stomped him ... but what a rotten end that would have been. From then on I recast Battle Orders like an obsessive compulsive (not that I hadn't been pretty good about it up to that point ... I will add that not being able to show the life/mana values above the globes is one of the things I miss most when playing 1.11b ... it certainly makes keeping track of Battle Orders more of a chore).

We also met:


PI Specters made a comeback. Berserk. Berserk. Berserk some more ...

And more Souls ...

But wait! They've got Oblivion Knight (can't be Taunted) buddies :rolleyes: .

So anyhow, nothing we hadn't seen before. The one thing that we were really glad not to see was those Glacial Spike shooting Carver Shaman. Those things had been the bane of my existence in the NM Ancients Way ... massing in huge groups ... resurrecting their minions at great distance (very much off the screen) ... around corners ... and through walls ... I was very happy they were not at home this time around.

The most annoying foes were in Nihlathak's Temple. Level 1 was okay-ish, Level 2 had Sand Maggots :mad: . The tight quarters made it like the Maggot Lair all over again. The hallways were too small for Taunt to be effective, and so it was hard to stun them. So, I'd say, upwards of 95% of them managed to lay eggs that hatched ... it led to a lot of work for the poor merc ... and boredom for me ... oh, and you don't even get to use Find Item on the little corpses ... what a bust! Still, I wanted the full clear ... so we had to defeat them all ... I wanted Arthur to rest soundly in retirement ...

When we reached Level 3, we found snakes ... why did it have to be snakes? Oh well, turns out Taunt and then War Cry really takes the danger out of them :D . They came dropping out of Evil Urns too ... fortunately, none dropped right on our heads ... so they continued to be no big deal. Nihlathak was treated with the utmost caution. I set players to 1 before heading down his wing. I then drew all the monsters near him far away and removed their corpses with Find Item as they hit the ground. After that is was no big deal to rush in and let the merc poke him to death while Arthur kept his last minute spawns stunned.

The Ancients were the other foes done at a players 1 ... because, why risk it for no reward eh? I didn't have a lot of room for all the stuff I wanted to bring to the fight so I ended up not bringing the teleport staff ... oops. Without it I couldn't break up the Ancients, but it turned out not to be a big deal. They spawned without any dangerous mods so I just let the merc tangle with them three on one. Arthur tossed in the occasional Battle Cry or Life Tap curse, but otherwise Leharas beat them up all by himself, all at once! Let's hear it for good gear and a high character level! ... 87 at the time ...

As though I had planned it, Arthur hit clvl 88 just as the last of Ventar's Balrogs fell. The waves themselves were no big deal. I had learned in NM to draw all the foes out past the mid point of the Throne Room (to avoid getting hit with Decrepify). Everyone but Colenzo was willing to get on board with this plan. He was extra fast but refused to budge ... Arthur got his minions to come with Taunt but had some trouble getting to the corpses with Item Find before Colenzo could resurrect them ... of course in the end we did. We then tele-stomped Colenzo and the rest was downhill.

Baal is really vulnerable to being slowed ... so he was easy!


The General's Tan Do Li Ga Knout slowed Baal, then Crushflange was switched to for Crushing Blow. The merc kept poking but didn't seem to be doing much damage ... oh well. When we got to the end of Baal's hit points I brought in the crafted Tyrant Club and Arthur finished Baal off himself:


I would have liked to have the Ali Baba out instead ... but we still got something sort of rare. A TC 81, that's not bad! ... too bad it rolled +2 skills ... oh well, Arthur's Necro partner is long since dead anyways ...

So since we're on the subject, let's talk drops! I decreased mf by two PTopazes ... so how much did it cost me ...

I'll tell you ...

... after work ... or maybe after work and after bed ... we'll see how this goes ...


Active member
Jan 20, 2021
These darn cliffhangers are killing me @HanShotFirst. :p

And @Arjan, you should not see that as a failure. Hardcore tournament feels like learning to swim on the deep end of a nuclear reactor cooling basin, filled with sharks with laser beams attached to their heads. Mad props if you make it, but no shame in "deedsing".
I look forward to seeing more in your sept thread. :)
  • Like
Reactions: Swamigoon


Well-known member
Jul 23, 2020
... okay, I'm back. Where was I? ...


Here's the complete list of set/uniques that dropped in Hell Act V (full clear with Find Item used on every corpse):
With 273 mf (+23 if the merc kills ... which was almost always).

Isenhart's Case, Breast Plate (Bloody Foothills)
M'avina's Tenet, Sharkskin Belt (Frigid Highlands)
Isenhart's Case, Breast Plate (Frigid Highlands)
Stormguild, Large Shield (Arreat Plateau)
Isenhart's Lightbrand, Broad Sword (Pit of Acheron)
Manald Heal, Ring (Pit of Acheron)
Tancred's Weird, Amulet (Frozen Tundra)
The Impaler, War Spear (Halls of Anguish)
Crow Caw, Tigulated Mail (Halls of Anguish)
Infernal Sign, Heavy Belt (Halls of Pain)
M'avina's Tenet, Sharkskin Belt (Halls of Pain)
Milabrega's Robe, Ancient Armor (Halls of Pain)
Boneslayer Blade, Gothic Axe (Nihlathak)
Boneflesh, Plate Mail (Halls of Vaught)
Tancred's Crowbill, Military Pick (The Ancients' Way)
Gravepalm, Sharkskin Gloves (Icy Cellar)
Taebaek's Glory, Ward (Icy Cellar)
Goldwrap, Heavy Belt (Worldstone Keep Level 2)
Griswold's Heart, Ornate Plate (Throne of Destruction)
Boneflame, Succubus Skull (Baal)
Steelclash, Kite Shield (Baal)

Cathan's Visage, Mask (The Secret Cow Level)
Isenhart's Parry, Gothic Shield (The Secret Cow Level)
Steelgoad, Voulge (The Cow King)

A pretty good haul! ... Though nothing too interesting. The Boneflame from Baal was probably the star of the show. So, I suppose that's also good news. It would have been really disappointing if a Moser's or a Stormshield dropped right after I dumped all my saved stat points into vitality. Also, I didn't find that Lum Rune I was after (for upping my 199% ED Crainte Vomir) ... my best rune drop was an Io Rune in the Halls of Pain. So, nothing at all lost on spending all those saved stat points! If I'd saved them to the end, the dream still would have been an empty dream ...

I suppose that brings me to ...

Final Thoughts:

After reaching Guardian in this tournament with a couple cookie cutter-ish builds (Frozen Orb, Trapsin) I wanted to try something different. I think I succeeded. Arthur's not a cookie cutter build ... actually I'm not sure he really qualifies as a 'build' ...

Skill Points:

20 Concentrate
20 Berserk
20 Battle Orders
20 War Cry
9 Find Item
1 Point in pre-reqs
2 Skill Points left over ...

So not exactly something you'd find on Bnet :p . All in all, I'd say it worked rather well. Concentrate was used through Normal and then at bosses. Berserk was used on PIs. If I was going to do it again, I might try it without Concentrate. I kept Berserk as a one point wonder for most of the game, but then when I started adding points to it through Hell, it really started to outshine Concentrate. I mostly used Berserk on PIs, but when I'd get bored/impatient with the merc's rate of progress on non-PIs and go melee myself, I discovered that using Concentrate with my weapon resulted in really poor damage (like, why bother), but using Berserk with the same weapon resulted in ... acceptable damage. I have a small sample size, but my sense is Berserk is probably the way to go for an untwinked character.

Untwinked, but with pretty reasonable gear :) . Angelic armor, amulet, rings and Sigon's gloves, belt, and boots is my favorite gear for twinked play through Normal. I've often thought that it might be interesting to keep it for play through Hell ... but then of course move on to better gear. So it was quite satisfying to find it all and finally give it try. It didn't disappoint! The dual Angelic rings kept my attack rating so that I was hitting right around 95%. And the rest of the combined set bonuses, including lots of mf, are always most welcome! It would have been fun to find a way equip a stylish elite weapon and have max block ... but I just couldn't quite get there with what I found ... my resistances would have fallen too low. Oh well. My high mf setup had it's merits. I found a lot of set/uniques. Here again were my favorites:


Duriel's Shell
Defense: 606
Durability: 150 of 150
Required Strength: 65
Required Level: 41
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 60
Fingerprint: 0xb5503218
+15 to Strength
+199% Enhanced Defense
Damage Reduced by 7
Fire Resist +20%
Lightning Resist +20%
Cold Resist +50%
Poison Resist +20%
+100 Maximum Durability
Cannot Be Frozen
+1 to Defense (Based on Character Level)
+1 to Life (Based on Character Level)
Socketed (1: 1 used)


Verdungo's Hearty Cord
Mithril Coil
Defense: 136
Durability: 16 of 16
Required Strength: 106
Required Level: 63
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 85
Fingerprint: 0x1f51887b
+36 to Vitality
+109 to Maximum Stamina
+107% Enhanced Defense
Damage Reduced by 15% <-- Yes! Yes! Yes!
Replenish Life +11
10% Faster Hit Recovery


Ghostflame <-- -5 Grailer!
Legend Spike
One-Hand Damage: 145 to 221
Required Dexterity: 57
Required Strength: 55
Required Level: 66
Dagger Class - Fast Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 85
Fingerprint: 0xee0fdd50
+217% Enhanced Damage
+108 magic damage
13% Mana stolen per hit
+2 to Light Radius
Ignore Target Defense
Ethereal (Cannot be Repaired)


Mara's Kaleidoscope
Required Level: 67
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 85
Fingerprint: 0x522ebf30
+5 to Strength
+5 to Energy
+5 to Dexterity
+5 to Vitality
All Resistances +26
+2 to All Skill Levels

Three of the four of those (including the -5 Grailer) were found with Find Item! ... I'm going to miss that skill when I go on to play another character. I normally keep it as a one point wonder and only use it on champion/unique corpses ... I'm going to have to reevaluate that going forward. So many key pieces of my gear were found with Find Item. The merc's +199% ED Duriel's Shell. The merc's Tal's Mask. Arthur's Angelic armor ... it'd have been a different experience without those!

And again, what a shock finding one of my five outstanding Grail items! When I started Hell, and progress was at it's slowest, I was tempted to abandon Arthur in favor of spending my D2 item playing a character that could find something cool ... good thing I didn't :D . Arthur was a bit of a chore at times, but as the only Barbarian in the tournament I wanted to see him through. He accomplished what we set out to do, and more! Now he's ready for a well earned and restful retirement!

SP  Forum Name         Characters        Level   Furthest WP             Points
--  -----------------  ----------------  ------  ----------------------  -------
Y   Hanshotfirst       Sorc/Sin          88/87   Guardian x2                200
N   PhineasB           Necro/Druid       83/83   Guardian x2                200
Y   skoolbus           Druid/Sorc        83/85   Guardian x2                200
N   Booble             Sorc/Druid        74/70   Matriarch / Deeds          174
Y   Hanshotfirst       Barb/Necro*       88/56*  Guardian / Deeds           138
N   Crudesash68        Zon/Paladin       46/50   (N) Lut Gholein            67
Y   Pb_pal             Sorc/Zon          45/44   (N) Rogue Encampment       60
N   Swamigoon          Sin/Druid         45/45   WSK2                       60
Y   Gynli              Zon/Necro         32/48   (N) Rogue Encampment       51
N   DariusTriplet      Sorc/Zon          31/24   River of Flame             32
N   Arjan              Druid/Necro       28/28   Khurast Docks              24
N   Dazliare           Sin/Sin           28/28   Kurast Docks               24
N   Zedwardson         Sorc/Necro        17/26   Kurask docks               17
Y   Maltatai           Druid/Druid       24/24   Far Oasis                  14
Y   Vildecor           Zon/Sorc          21/20   Lut Gholein                12
N   CaseyJones         Sorc/Druid        15/23   Lut Gholein                9
N   Zedwardson         Druid/Paladin     3/18    Lut Gholein                7
Y   b1ur               Paladin/Druid     20/1    Lut Gholein                6

Up next: I'm done until D2R ... And I mean it this time! I haven't decided on what I'll do in D2R first. Maybe I'll recreate Mordred, my deeded Bone Necro, minus the skill tree restrictions. Maybe I'll just create a softcore Sorceress and start up a mfing/twinking operation. Or maybe I'll come back for more here ... I couldn't help but notice that we still need a Paladin and Amazon finisher ... though perhaps @Crudesash will have that covered when he gets going again! Good luck everyone and thanks for reading! (y)


Active member
Feb 19, 2021
Up next: I'm done until D2R ... And I mean it this time! I haven't decided on what I'll do in D2R first. Maybe I'll recreate Mordred, my deeded Bone Necro, minus the skill tree restrictions. Maybe I'll just create a softcore Sorceress and start up a mfing/twinking operation. Or maybe I'll come back for more here ... I couldn't help but notice that we still need a Paladin and Amazon finisher ... though perhaps @Crudesash will have that covered when he gets going again! Good luck everyone and thanks for reading! (y)
Hola! I've been taking a break until D2R as well, so when I resume these characters it will be in that format. When that will happen exactly is up in the air. My work life took an insane turn two weeks ago with a new account that added so much to my plate I haven't had time to even think about games.

Hopefully things calm down in time so I can enjoy it from the start.

Grats to you and the other competitors, and good luck!


Well-known member
Guide Author
Apr 18, 2020
No change to my line in the table. Just a quick update that GunnySack-I and BurlapBag-I have cleared the Moo Moo Farm, including the king. Bag-lady's king gave her Cow King's Hooves, so she took off her 24%MF heavy boots and put on these new smelly but shiny 25%MF hooves.

They will both brave nightmare difficulty now.
  • Like
Reactions: PhineasB and Pb_pal

Latest News