- 1 Diablo 2 Amazon Furyzon Introduction
- 2 Overview
- 3 Stats
- 4 Skills
- 5 Gear Recommendations
- 6 Mercenary
- 7 End Game Options
Diablo 2 Amazon Furyzon Introduction
Amazons offer quite a few options for play-style: physical melee focused on either the passive tree, javelin and spear physical attacks, or both; caster-type javelin using either lightning or poison, or both; physical bowazon (Strafe, Multishot, Guided Arrow); and elemental bowazon (with cold generally stronger). Decoy is a great skill to relieve pressure on the zon, and a character can make it to Guardian hiding behind a Valkyrie and the mercenary. Amazon is definitely in my top three favorite Classes, along with Assassin and Necromancer.
This Diablo 2 Amazon Furyzon provides my thoughts on what is probably the most powerful core build for Amazons: a javazon focused on Charged Strike (CS) and Lightning Fury (LF), commonly called a Furyzon. It’s well represented among SPF characters that have made it to level 99 as the “pure” Furyzon (and the only Amazon build among the SPF 99ers).
The biggest limitation of the pure Furyzon is dealing with the Lightning Immune (LI) monsters that the character will encounter, particularly throughout Hell difficulty. It’s possible to mostly skip LIs and then focus experience (XP) and Magic Find (MF) runs on targets where LIs are rare or nonexistent. But I don’t think that’s a great initial playthrough experience, either if this is someone’s first character in Diablo II or their first Amazon.
So this Guide is intended to give a quick-and-easy overview of the key details on the core build; spend some time on my recommended approach for using extra skill points to deal with LIs: the Fishyzon build (Freezing Arrow plus LF); quickly highlight other options for dealing with LIs: the gunslinger build (strafe plus LF), Guided Arrow backup; or Valkyrie and Jab physical damage; and then give some pointers on playthrough/progression and thoughts on gear and end-game options.
With high Pierce percent, LF can level entire screens of non-LI monsters. And CS might well be the best Boss-killing skill in the game. As characters push to higher levels (and if Infinity and Enigma are equipped), Furyzons can clear areas at high p-settings very quickly, making them excellent options for rune hunting. This also makes them a good MFing option, either for quick and easy p1 runs in A85 areas, or more likely for targeting Act Bosses. And they are among the fastest options for Baal runs.
Unless the character’s merc is toting Infinity, however, LIs are a major limitation and present a challenge for an initial playthrough as a pure Furyzon. LF is also very mana-intensive, and provides no boost to Attack Ratting (AR), so mana leech isn’t reliable.
But these limitations can be easily solved, with several options for managing LIs available for questing through Hell. And once the character has reached Matriarch/Guardian, respecs allow shifting to pure Furyzon for end-game running.
There is a lot of flexibility here, and a lot will depend on which approach for dealing with LIs is taken and how that impacts weapons and gear.
Stats – Target Values
For the core LF / CS build, this is straightforward:
- Strength: minimum necessary to equip gear
- Dexterity: minimum necessary to equip gear
- Vita: all extra points here
- Energy: none (can add some if mana is an issue, but there are better solutions)
End game weapon will likely require a good bit of Dexterity (151 is needed for a Matriarchal Javelin, for example). Higher Dexterity also bumps Attack Rating (AR) and helps a little with chance to hit for leeching. I don’t recommend max block, as even the relatively fast Amazon block rate when wielding javelins means that she is not pumping out damage with LF or CS. I instead prefer to focus on Faster Hit Recovery (and staying out of harm’s way). If playing Hard Core, the considerations might be different, and a high innate block rate shield will be important if going max block.
Stats – Progression
A great resource for new players is this guide by HC_Gunther (and the one linked in it by jiansonz) about untwinked, single-pass tournament playthroughs. It highlights stat approach to allow early focus on MFing. For anyone playing a first D2 character, this is an invaluable resource to build up some early gear and make progress smooth. Even if this is not the first character, this is still a great resource for tips and ideas of solid gear for Normal and into Nightmare. It makes the early progress easier, and even if the playthrough isn’t single pass (not rerunning areas), there is great info there.
Other Stats – Increased Attack Speed, Faster Hit Recovery, and Resists
There are other stats that can be improved by gear (i.e., stat points can’t impact these, or only do so indirectly). For the Furyzon, Increased Attack Speed and Faster Hit Recovery are key, and resists are important especially for ranged elemental attackers.
Increased Attack Speed: Faster throwing of javelins, and faster melee attack with CS, increase the damage per second. This makes IAS nice, but no need to overdo it! Assuming use of a -10 WSM amazon javelin, 20 IAS (technically 16, but that’s not readily attainable given 5-point increments) yields 12 frames per attack, 30 IAS yields 11 frames per attack, and 55 IAS (technically 52) yields 10 frames. I think the first breakpoint may be enough for playing through given damage output, but faster attack won’t hurt (except maybe for mana management). And it’s not that difficult to find space for 15 IAS jewel in addition to 20 IAS from gloves. I don’t think the 55 IAS breakpoint is worth hitting for a playthrough, although for some end-game running it might be worth considering.
Faster Hit Recovery: There is something called stun lock, where successive physical enemy attacks put the character into hit recovery so they can’t move, and gets hit again, etc. Faster Hit Recovery (FHR) reduces the duration of the “hit recovery” animation, allowing the character to get moving (or attack) quicker. I always aim for the 86% breakpoint, which is generally doable with charms and items, but I think 56% should be the minimum, especially moving into later Nightmare difficulty where enemies start hitting harder. Because I don’t recommend max block and, for this build, recommend avoiding the Dodge/Avoid/Evade skills, FHR is helpful, especially when the Zon is up close using CS.
Resists: I always aim to get these maxed. It is true that maxed resists are not necessary to survive, but it certainly helps! In particular, fire and lightning are key, and I’d prioritize maxing those.
Skills – Target Values
As noted, this Guide focuses on the Furyzon build, but with a solution for LIs based on Nightfish’s LF/CS/FA build, now known as a Fishyzon (and some quick notes on alternatives).
Core LF Build
That’s only 51 points for the core build, leaving a lot of room for customization. This allows maxing out the LF part of the build by A2 Nightmare, and then investing points either into the pure LF build (more synergies for CS, with 1% synergy also going to LF) or the preferred LI solution.
- Lightning Fury: A thrown javelin will release multiple bolts of lightning, one at each monster in range, when the javelin strikes a monster or hits a solid object. The more monsters in the range, the more bolts released. This is why it’s one of the strongest skills in the game against mobs. A high pierce percentage makes it even stronger, as it will release bolts each time it hits a monster, including if the main javelin hits another monster after piercing a first, etc. If it pierces two monsters and hits a third, that’s three instances of releasing bolts to strike all monsters in range. AR doesn’t matter for whether the bolts release, only for whether the physical part of javelin hits (and leeches).
- Charged Strike: On melee attack with javelin or spear, charged bolts are released at the target, with the damage of each bolt and number of bolts increasing with each level. It can deal massive and quick damage to a single target, especially big targets like Act Bosses. It is, in my view, the ultimate boss killer.
- Pierce: As noted, it increases chance ranged attack will pass through target and potentially hit another. Level 1 is only 23%, but it quickly scales up to 66% at level 8, with diminishing returns after that. With +skills, one point may get close to level 8, and the Razortail unique belt adds 33% pierce. So Razortail and 1 hard point will get pierce north of 90% pretty easily. Even without Razortail, 1 hard point + skills should easily get Pierce above 50% or higher, given gear focus on + skills for this build. Pierce also helps with the suggested Freezing Arrow LI backup noted below.
- Decoy: A very solid option for distracting enemies, especially ranged attackers. With + skills, 1 point Decoy can do wonders, and I actually would consider adding a few points to make the Decoy a little beefier.
Fishyzon Build Completion
So, Lightning Immunes? There will be lots of these in Hell, and investing in a good backup will aid the Zon’s progress. But which one?
Nightfish identified what I think is the optimal compliment to the LF main: Freezing Arrow (FA) and one synergy. Few monsters will be resistant to both attacks, and especially at p1, the merc will be able to sort out the stray CI/LI. Plus skills for LF also power up FA, and bow can be built in an Amazon bow with +3 skills, allowing a nice boost to switch skill. Also, like LF, AR isn’t critical for FA to work, in contrast to strafe or other physical attacks. Both attacks are mana intensive, so the approach to managing mana for LF can be applied to FA easily enough.
LI Solution Skills
- Freezing Arrow: Bow attack gets cold damage with a splash effect. It’s mana intensive and not overpowerful (especially with only one synergy), but it will work well enough as a backup to take out LIs.
- Cold Arrow: Provides a larger synergy bonus to Freezing Arrow than Ice Arrow.
Alternatives for LI Solutions
If you aren’t interested in going the the Cold bow route as LI solution, there are three other solid options that I will briefly describe. If interested in more details, examples can be found in the SPF Mat/Pat/Guardian compilation here.
Gunslinger: This build focuses on LF/CS, but uses a physical bow backup, mainly strafe. One plus to this approach is that, with mana leech, a volley of strafe can help top off the mana bulb. But a challenge is that strafe generally needs extra AR to get decent chance to hit, and the LF/CS side of the build doesn’t need AR. So even though strafe can help take down LIs and top off mana bulb, actually hitting monsters in later Hell can be challenging without prioritizing AR, potentially at the expense of LF damage. Because Strafe doesn’t need synergies, however, the points that might have gone into Cold Arrow as Freezing Arrow synergy can instead go into Critical Strike or, more likely, Penetrate to help on the AR front. Another issue is that some challenging LI monsters also have high innate physical resists (Gloams) If the playthrough is at p1, however, this should be manageable especially with the merc’s damage helping with LIs.
Guided Arrow: As above, this approach focuses on LF/CS with a physical bow backup, but uses Guided Arrow (GA). Maxed GA (well, level 19 damage stops increasing beyond that) is on par with damage from strafe. Downside is that it’s only a single shot and doesn’t pierce. But the upsides are that it always hits a target (and therefore doesn’t have the AR issue strafe faces) and it will auto-target if a specific monster isn’t selected when cast, making it fairly spammable with enough IAS. At 3.5 mana per cost at lvl 19 (which is lower than 11 mana per cost from strafe), with high enough damage bow and mana leech it should also aid mana recovery from LF use. (Full disclosure: I’ve not personally tested this LF backup approach, but based on the above, it should work reasonably well.)
Valkyrie: A high-level Valk is very powerful (the general take is that level 17 with +skills is the sweet spot because she rolls higher level weapon there). Couple that with the merc, the team shouldn’t have too many issues with LIs, especially if the Zon contributes some jabs here and there. Because Valk doesn’t need synergies, extra points can be put into a CS synergy for stronger lightning skills, or into Pierce as needed, or to Jab to address AR and bump damage a bit for helping out with LIs. As I noted up top, it’s quite possible to Guardian mostly following a high-level Valk and the merc with a pure passive build, so the Zon contributing massive lightning damage along the way is definitely doable.
Skills – Progression
As noted, max the LF part of the build, and then start building out the cold skills. CS is a great boss killer, so I would probably invest there first, especially given mana impact of LF and limited ability to spam it in Normal given mana constraints. If going the Valk route as backup, I’d get her as soon as available.
I’ve broken gear approach down by untwinked playthrough and higher-end gear. Given the Furyzon’s power for end-game running, I’ve also listed what I consider to be end-game gear as something to strive toward.
There isn’t a lot to be said beyond the approach laid out in the HC tourney single pass guide. Drops will be what they will be. But the focus should be items that give MF, resists and + skills, and thinking about IAS from the gloves and maybe one socket slot. I recommend following that approach at least through A3 NM.
A few key item options are noted below:
- Javelin/Shield: Imbues with amazon javelins and safety crafts with the same should be considered. Generally, checking all amazon javelin drops is worth it, as magic ones that drop might have replenish mod, which is great given repair needs when javelins are expended. Rhyme is a great (spectacular) option for the shield, with Cannot Be Frozen and resists. A 4os Monarch supporting Spirit will likely a great upgrade in Hell if it drops, with +2 skills, massive FHR, mana and some resists.
- Bow Switch:
- Fishyzon Build: A +3 skills Amazon bow will likely beat most uniques, given the focus on + skills here. But Cliffkiller and Kuko Shako will outpace a white Amazon bow due to +skills, and Wizendraw’s -enemy Cold Resist will also be hand. Also, a Ko rune will be quite nice. To quote Nightfish, “Melody is an awesome runeword if made in the right bow. A +3 bow skills matriarchal bow would be perfect but any other +3 bow skills bow will do as well.” Untwinked, the +3 4os base may be hard to come by, so consider going with a different + skill base. A Harmony Bow in a +3 base is also quite nice, as an alternative use of the Ko, adding additional elemental damage types and the Vigor aura helping with mobility. Hopefully, through an untwinked play, at least one of the above options becomes available.
- Physical: Look for high damage, and possibly chance to cast Amplify Damage from a rare bow. Edge could be a useful and easily build option. Beyond that, Harmony in a high-damage base may be worth striving toward, as its damage % boost and added elemental damage make for a well rounded weapon. There are also plenty of Uniques that may drop, so keep an eye out for balance of higher damage/faster attacking option that may be an upgrade. Witchwild String unique would probably be ideal weapon that is reasonably likely to drop, especially with some rerunning of Act Bosses. Increased damage, Amp Damage proc, resists, Deadly Strike, and 2 open sockets make it a very nice little package.
- Armor: 4os Gothic Plate or 3os light armor with pTopazes or Ral/Orts if needing resists; of the Squid or Whale (+ life) or with FHR, shoppable at Larzuk in A5 NM
- Helm: 3os helm with pTopazes or Rals/Orts if needing resists; Lore; Tarnhelm
Beyond this, I recommend just focusing on resists, MF and + skills, with the later being particularly important for damage. Given mana needs, + mana per kill mod items will also be welcome (if physical bow route is used, mana leech should also probably be considered). Rares will be quite solid for boots and gloves, ring and amulets, but uniques or set combos may beat those out. The HC tourney single pass guide gives a great overview of what those options are.
That said, an A2 Merc with an Insight will make the biggest difference and largely resolve mana issues. Starting in A5 Normal through late A1 Nightmare, any polearm can roll with max of 4os in the cube (or Larzuk quest guaranteeing 4os). Beyond that, polearms can still roll 4os, but 5os is also possible. Generally, any Insight in whatever base will likely be a massive improvement on the mana front, with a goal of upgrading to an Elite base Insight (hopefully ethereal for extra damage) if one drops or rolls 4 open sockets.
Below are what are probably the optimal gear for a Fishyzon. A physical bow backup might prioritize armor and especially charms differently to boost AR/damage. In general, however, feel free to experiment. If something you have or find seems like it would fit, give it a shot. With enough + skills, the Fishyzon should be fine, especially if resists are decent on bow switch (where resists from shield will be lost). Notably, this build is less dependent on high runes, although as noted in the next section, some high-end runewords make the Furyzon build shine.
- Weapon: +3 javelin skill amazon javelin, ideally with replenish mod/IAS; Titan’s Revenge; Thunderstroke
- Shield: Rhyme (Cannot Be Frozen and resists); Spirit (+skills, FHR, mana); Lidless Wall (+ skill, + mana per kill); Stormshield (if going a more defensive approach)
- Bow Switch: same as the untwinked section above
- Helm: Harlequin Crest (+2 skills and major boost to mana and life pools, with MF as a bonus); +skill Amazon circlet with other nice mods
- Armor: Skin of the Vipermagi; Skullder’s (for MF and + skill if resists are otherwise taken care of)
- Amulet: Highlord’s (+1 Skill, IAS); Mara’s Kaleidoscope (+2 Skills and resists); Rare/Magic (+skills and resists)
- Boots: War Traveler; Silk Weave (+ mana per kill); Rare
- Belt: Razortail (as noted, Pierce bonus is quite handy); Arachnid Mesh (+1 skill and mana pool boost); Rare with FHR and stats; Goldwrap up’ed for fourth row of potions (10 IAS can also help with breakpoints)
- Gloves: 2/20 javelin or bow rares; +3 skill gloves to either tree (note that LF will be pretty strong, while bow skills may feel weaker, so skills on bow side may be more helpful)
- Rings: Stone of Jordan; Bul Kathos Wedding Band; Rare; Ravenfrost (for Cannot Be Frozen)
- Charms: Harpoonist/Fletchers GCs (note that LF will be pretty strong, while bow skills may feel weaker, so skills on bow side may be more helpful); resist GC/SC with vita/FHR
End-Game Gear (Pure Furyzon)
- Weapon: up’ed eth Titan’s Revenge; Thunderstroke (depends on target: single-target or quick runs might actually have Thunderstroke as preferable despite need to repair regularly, due to -ELR)
- Shield: Spirit or 4s Monarch with facets. I’ve run with both, and I like the FCR and skills from Spirit. But with a Spirit shield on switch for teleporting, the -ELR from facets on the main attack makes a big difference.
- Switch: Call to Arms and Spirit; some people like Wizardspike to hit 99 FCR, but I’ve never liked that because it usually involves swapping Call to Arms in and out from the cube
- Helm: Griffon’s Eye. This item really makes the Furyzon shine, and with Enigma, makes reasonable teleport speeds possible. A true game-changer. Definitely worth socketing, most often with a facet, but consider a Cham (if available) to free up ring slot.
- Armor: Enigma. Sub 2:30 Baal runs become possible with teleport, + skills, and some decent MF to boot.
- Amulet: Highlord’s (+1 Skill, IAS); it makes a huge difference in hitting IAS breakpoints without needing to sacrifice elsewhere; Mara’s is also an option; if you luck out with 2/19 FCR amulet, this would be stellar for hitting 99 FCR breakpoint
- Boots: Silkweave (merc will have Infinity by this point, so the +mpk will be very helpful); any other option will work if mana management isn’t an issue
- Belt: Razortail (Pierce, dexterity bonus); Arachnid’s (hard points can go into Pierce at higher levels, which with +skills will push Pierce chance north of 90% without Razortail)
- Gloves: 3/20 gloves; 2/20 rares
- Rings: Stone of Jordan; Bul Kathos Wedding Band; Rare with FCR to hit 99 FCR breakpoint
- Charms: Harpoonist GCs; resist GC/SC with vita/FHR
A2 is the clear choice. Nightmare Offensive for the Might aura is less helpful because the AR issues limit value to the Zon (but help make the Merc tankier). Defiance is also a solid choice, but I’d probably lean toward Might to boost Merc’s damage (and therefore leeching).
Early game is generally driven by the Savage Polearm Recipe, hoping for a Partizan that can be rerolled with chipped gem recipe to get 2 open sockets that can accommodate -15% requirements jewels that have hopefully dropped. With some + strength gear, he can often equip such a weapon when the weapon becomes equip-able based on the Merc’s level. Before that, a gambled Pike works well.
I often then keep rolling Savage Polearms, hoping for a second Partizan to be equipped when the Merc gets enough strength to use without -15% requirements jewels, for a further damage boost. I don’t find that the other gear matters much, but a circlet with life leech (gambled) is helpful, or armor/helm needed to hit strength requirements.
Next, keep an eye out for a Partizan (or any polearm) in Act V Normal or early NM. Between ilvl 26 and 40, they can roll no more than 4 sockets, which allows Insight for a major damage boost over Savage Partizan. But the real biggie for the Furyzon is the Meditation Aura from Insight for mana regen. By the point this can built, she’s ready to spam LF, but doesn’t have the mana pool to support that. The aura helps immensely.
As we move to endgame, an elite polearm Insight will be hard to beat, especially if ethereal, unless Infinity is available (which will allow transition to full Furyzon). For uniques, Tomb Reaver is quite strong (especially if 3 open sockets), or Arioc’s Needle for + skills to Might aura, and Bonehew is probably a good choice if those aren’t available, or a nice rare. A magic elite polearm rerolled with chippie recipe for 2os and high damage roll can also be very solid.
End game option is without doubt Infinity, due to breaking almost all LIs. But Insight is quite solid, especially at lower player settings, and especially if keeping the Fishyzon build, I think it’s the best option.
For armor, Treachery is a great, relatively cheap option along with Duriel’s Shell. Chains of Honor and Fortitude are great end-game options. For helm, Guillaume’s Face is solid for Crushing Blow and Vampire’s Gaze is great for life leech and damage reduction. Andariel’s Visage is probably end-game for +skills and increased attack speed, and -fire resist manageable at the higher levels needed to equip it.
End Game Options
The Fishyzon is a good area runner, in particular the Pit and World Stone Keep/Baal.
- With a focus on MF and running at players1 for fast runs and more boss kills per minute as a result, she can navigate these areas well.
- The Fishyzon can also run Meph (consider teleport amulet to quickly jump across the moat to get to Meph) and Pindle. Eldritch is also an easy target for leveling.
When the Zon has reached Matriarch, and with the right gear (see: Infinity on merc), she is ready to respec to pure Diablo 2 Amazon Furyzon. Options include Cows (arguably one of the top 2 Cow runners), WSK/Baal (where I think she is the strongest and fastest runner personally), Pit, Pindle, CS, or pretty much any area. She is a beast, especially if equipped with Griffon’s. That piece of gear is huge, both in terms of -eLR and the FCR breakpoints possible if Enigma is equipped for teleport.
My pure Furyzons at Baal have been the fastest XP leveling I’ve gotten, one untwinked and the other twinked. A twinked pure light Sorc wasn’t as fast as the twinked Furyzon, so for me, at least, this is the fastest leveling option. I’ve never tried a fully twinked Blizz Sorc or Hammerdin in Chaos Sanctuary for comparison, but this definitely shows the power of the end-game build.