Well, this is the one I wouldn’t recommend, but as it’s quite a fun build you should be able to make use of her. Very important here is a lot of FR/W since you’ll be running a lot. Also remember to have a shield on switch alongside a dagger of javelin (as your blocking speed with swinging weapons is like watching slow motion). A very nice javelin would be titan’s revenge as it has 30% FR/W as well as stats to keep your blocking up, a nice dagger would be wizardspike for the resists.
A stormshield would be the best, as it has a load of damage reduce as well as quite nice blocking. If you want to go blocking only try to get a Whistan’s guard and socket it with an Eld. That’s your switch. Your main gear would be about killing and surviving at the same time. I highly recommend getting a bunch of open wound mods as they pretty much rock on a ranger.
A note about the damage. Your bowazon will probably at first won’t do too much damage or won’t seem to be doing it. This will mainly be because your opponents have max block and damage reduce. Your main source of damage will be open wounds. Try to get it as high as possible and try to reach level 90. At level 90 and higher your OW will be a real pain.
The stats are pretty straight forward.
- Strength – Enough strength to equip all your equipment. Take note that if you have strength from other sources you can include those (like strength charms). Don’t forget thought that once you use this strength you can’t take it off.
- Dexterity – Normally Guided arrow doesn’t require AR to hit so no dex. However if you have a shield on switch (which I recommend) you need enough dexterity to achieve max block with it.
- Vitality – Every point you can spare.
- Energy – None.
On the gear we’re focusing on survivability first, kill speed second. The gear comes in various choices and I’ll list a few. Note that, if you don’t have any of them or miss the pair of gloves I recommend, you can always rely on your instinct and pick the best pair to fulfil your needs. I’d always look for FHR, FRW, Resists and stats.
- Rock stopper sallet. Great helmet, lots of resists, DR and FHR. Not much you can ask for else.
- Harlequin crest. Also nice, however not the best for this build. +skills won’t help much, but the DR and a chunk of life and mana always help out of course.
- Valkyrie wing. Despite expecting anyone to have one before the patches, I still think the helm is alright, FR/W and FHR along side a skill or two is still decent enough.
- The cat’s eye. One of the greatest amulets. Increased speed, a load of dex and most importantly an incredible amount of FR/W.
- Highlord’s wrath. This one’s nice too, increased speed and very nice deadly strike alongside some lightning resists make a good piece of equipment.
- Mara’s kaleidoscope. A load of resists and some stats. Pretty decent.
- Other amulets. If you want to go with rares or even magical ones, remember that the power of the bowazon isn’t in +skills. Try to get one with good stats or high resists. Don’t worry about AR, guided doesn’t miss.
- Duress runeword. Not that hard to make and the returns are just great. Seriously a very nice armor. FHR, OW, resists and some CB.. sweet.
- Treachery runeword. This one is quite cheap and the returns aren’t too high, but it does shine when put to good use. Incredible IAS, some FHR and cold resist are good enough.
- Twitchthroe studded leather. Yeah that’s right.. a great piece of equipment. You don’t have to worry about defence, so the returns are quite nice. FHR, IAS and a healthy dose of stats are good, but don’t forget the increased blocking which really helps out.
- Crow caw. Just a light version of the Duress.
- Shaftstop. Not use too often. It gives great DR and nice life, but other then that you’d be better off with something else.
- Duriel’s shell. I put this one here because it actually has pretty decent stuff on it. The resists are good, some strength and life but also CBF! This is important. Normally you can get it elsewhere, but if you don’t, don’t forget this armor then.
- Bloodfist heavy gloves. These are great. FHR, IAS and a chuck of life.
- Immortal king gloves. Don’t use these if you don’t plan on wearing the boots. The stats on them are nice, but along side the boots they give 25% IAS which is more then any other glove can give you. Again, use them only with the boots.
- Goreriders. Most people favour these because of the decent FR/W, somewhat low requirements and the triple hurting mods.
- IK boots. Use these in combination with IK gloves only. They have really nice FR/W, but other then that they only make up for the gloves.
- Aldurs boots. I don’t see a lot of people mentioning them, but they actually are quite nice. Good FR/W and some resists here.
- Sandstorm treks. This is another pair of boots to keep in mind. The stats on it aren’t too great, but along side the moderate FR/W, stats and poison resist you get a very nice FHR.
- Shadowdancers. These are a force to be reckoned with. However they are somewhat hard to find and have high requirements. The returns are great though, FR/W, FHR and a chuck of dex.
- Ravenfrost. Most people’s only source of CBF. The dex on the makes a good ring as does the cold absorb. Don’t worry about the AR though, you won’t need it.
- Dwarfstar. Not alot of people use it. Nice fire absorb and a healthy dose of life do make a nice ring though.
- Wisp projector. Use it for the lightning absorb.. nothing else.
- Rare rings. These are very nice. Just try to get one which either has high resists or high stats (or both of course). Don’t bother about leech, as you won’t do it in pvp.
- Verdungo’s hearty cord. FHR, vit and DR in one. Really nice belt.
- Thundergod’s vigor. Most people use it only against lightning based opponents (as it should be of course), however wearing it all the time also is a decent idea. Good stats on it.
- Trang Oul’s belt. Somewhat hard to get, but it’s a decent one. CBF is great alongside quite a bit of life and mana.
- IK belt. Could be used even without the other pieces. Has nice resists on it, but really shines in combination with the gloves and boots.
I saved this one to last as it isn’t easy.
- Widowmaker. Normally other characters use it because it gives them (bad mannered) guided arrow too, but that’s no reason you can’t use it. It’s somewhat slow but the extra skills and deadly strike make up for it.
- Eaglehorn. This is quite a nice bow. It offers some of the best damage that can be dealt alongside nice dex.
- Goldstrike arch. This won’t do the damage of the others, but you could always upgrade it (the requirements would be high though!). The reason I list it here is that it’s very fast. If you go the OW route and try to bleed your opponents dry then this might just be the bow you’d need.
- Harmony (runeword). Best made in a Bladebow, Great bow or matriarchal bow for the speed. This runeword doesn’t help much with your damage as it has not a lot of ED. But the main problem with the thing is that it doesn’t have any IAS. This means picking one of the three bows listed as they have the fastest base attack speed. You’ll need a lot of IAS to get it shooting at a decent rate, however when you do the level 10 vigor aura really helps you running around.
Bow Speed breakpoints
Here you can find the speed breakpoints for all the weapons listed. I recommend to be as fast as possible without being reckless. Also getting at least to 8 FPA (frames per attack) is often recommended, however that sometimes may be hard for us. Remember, putting a shael in your bow already helps a bunch.
Widowmaker ward bow:
- no ias – 13 fpa – 1.9 aps (attacks per second)
- 10 – 12 – 2
- 20 – 11 – 2.2
- 40 – 10 – 2.5
- 65 – 9 – 2.7
- 105 – 8 – 3.1
Eaglehorn crusader bow:
- No ias – 15 fpa – 1.6 aps
- 5 – 14 – 1.7
- 15 – 13 – 1.9
- 25 – 12 – 2
- 35 – 11 – 2.2
- 60 – 10 – 2.5
- 90 – 9 – 2.7
- 150 – 8 – 3.1
Goldstrike arch gothic bow:
- No ias – 11 fpa – 2.2 aps
- 10 – 10 – 2.5
- 40 – 9 – 2.7
- 100 – 8 – 3.1
‘[Harmony Blade bow, Great bow or Matriarchal bow:
- No ias – 12 fpa – 2 aps
- 10 – 11 – 2.2
- 25 – 10 – 2.5
- 45 – 9 – 2.7
- 75 – 8 – 3.1
- 145 – 7 – 3.5
Building your amazon
The skills are pretty straight forward.
Bow tree – 24
- Guided arrow – 20
- Pre-req’s – 4
Javelin and Spear tree – 0
However if you want to spend 20 in lightning fury for leveling purpose you’re of course more then welcome to.
Passive and magic tree – Assuming no +skills – 65 (pure bow) or 52 (lightning fury)
- Dodge – 11 after skills.
- Avoid – 7 after skills.
- Evade – 11 after skills.
- Valk – 17 after skills. I suggest getting a valk even though it won’t help you much in PvP. She’s great for leveling purposes and you can use her in PvP to try to distract opponents.
- Critical strike – 1 or 16 after skills. If you have chosen lightning fury you don’t have the points to take it to 16, if you haven’t .. well.. around level 16 the skills diminishing returns really kick in hard.
- Penetrate – 0 or 1. If you went with lightning fury spend this point here to get to pierce.
- Pierce – 0 or 1. If you went with lightning fury this should help you out.
- Prereqs – 3
You can spend the rest as you see fit.. Just don’t go putting points into useless skills as jab which you’ll never use. Think about it before you act.
Here’s the best part. A bowazon doesn’t really need anything to be in her inventory, which is one of the main reasons to choose her to be one of the budget pvp’ers. However if you put together your amazon and equipped her to your best, you’ll probably notice that she won’t have max resist or won’t run as fast as you’d want her to, or won’t even have the desired FHR breakpoint. This is where the charms come in. Small charms are something great, they can have up to 11 resist in single elements or up to 5 for all. They can get 5 FHR and (nowadays) 3% FRW. Try to hit the maximum resist level (normally 75) in Hell (!), the best FHR breakpoint you want and the most FR/W possible. Take a look at the rules and see how much FR/W you can carry around for a GM duel. Try to reach that point. Don’t worry if you don’t though.. but of course more is better.
This is actually very important and should never be forgotten. This is where your character hides her special equipment. This is where you can differ yourself from other characters and counter anyone out there. Normally in your stash you would have ‘’pre-buff’’ gear. This means that for instance a barbarian would have a lot of +skills items to boost his BO up before he switches back to his battling gear. This is also the place where you’ll have your resistance gear lying around. Resistance gear is very important for every dueler. If you face a sorceress for the first time you’ll know why.. same with a FoH paladin. Resistance gear comes in various shapes. The most common ones are extra absorb and max resists. Others are overstacking, I’ll explain this last even though I’ll make comments about it in between.
Extra absorb and max resist
You should have equipment to counter any element. That means Fire, Cold, Lightning and Poison.
I’ll start with the last one because that’s the easiest. Not a lot of people use poison damage, this however also means that not a lot of people have a good way to counter it. There is one item that can change that though, in the form of Death’s gloves. These gloves have crazy resists and most importantly poison length reduce. When you’re wearing the gloves you should consider using the belt too as the combined set bonuses are quite nice. Fire on the other hand is a bit easier to counter. One of the items I like to use here is a Nokozan relic. This will give you up to 85% resist and some FHR as a bonus. I recommend them over the hotspur boots which are, if you solely look at the fire mods, a bit better, but you’ll lose out on FR/W easily there. You won’t have to overstack against fire users.
Lightning. Here’s a twofold. You’ll have the lightning damagers on one hand that deal very nice lightning damage, on the other hand you’ll have the lightning damagers that deal very decent lightning damage but lower your resist like crazy. Well, one item is pretty much mandatory to counter lightning, a thundergods belt. It gives upto 85% resist and absorbs quite a bit too. However if you’re only wearing this you will still be pummelled by lightning users. You should be able to overstack. Keep either a 4 socketed monarch in your stash filled with perfect topazes or a 4 socketed armor filled with resist jewels.
Cold. There’s really only one build that can do good cold damage, however the sorceress is known for it and by god will she do good damage. There are several ways to counter this. I advice against trying to get +max gear. Even though you’ll have up to 95% resist she’ll just lower it like crazy (cold mastery) and it won’t do you any good. Just try to get good absorb (two ravenfrosts spring to mind) and again a 4 sapphire shield should help a lot. A 4 socketed armor with jewels is again a viable option if you can attain at least the same amount of resists as the shield (160). Overstacking. I mentioned it a couple of times now. Overstacking generally means countering your opponents negative resists.
To take an example of a FoH paladin. Let’s just say that he does 6000 lightning damage with conviction on at –150 resists. This will obviously hurt you. If you’re wearing tgods only and have 85% resist he’ll do the following damage:
- 6000/6 = 1000
- 85% – 150 = -65
- 1000 * 1,65 = 1650 dmg.
- 1650 – 20 (absorb) = 1630 Knowing the average amazons life span this means instant death.
However if you carry around a resist shield to counter the conviction it’ll be:
- 6000/6 = 1000
- 85% – 0 = 85
- 1000 * 0,15 = 150 dmg.
- 150 – 20 = 130 Which is almost an impossible difference.
So overstacking means that you have gear in your stash that helps you stack your resists over your normal max. Even though you already have 85% resist you pack another 160 to make sure that even after your opponent lowers it (a lot) you’re still safe. You should count on every PvP player that does elemental damage to have –nme resists. Even if that don’t have it naturally they will get it from gear (lightning facets give up to –5% for example). Always keep overstack in your stash. I favour the shields as I normally have enough strength to wear a stormshield anyway, but if you have the jewels to make a good armor you might even outstrip the shield with a magical armor like this:
Jeweler’s Ornate Plate of the Whale
- Defense: 447
- Durability: 60 of 60
- Required Strength: 170
- Required Level: 47
- Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
- Item Level: 86
- Fingerprint: 0x2fd6025a
- +97 to Life
- Socketed (4: 0 used)
Keep moving. You’re a ranger, any distance between you and your opponent is good. Always remember to pack enough arrows. Normally 350 is good, but if you spray a lot of random shots and notice you’re going trough them fast then you want, just place another stack in your inventory.
Get that fr/w. It really is key.
Get that IAS. It really is key.
Did I mention to keep moving? Seriously you’ll be running a lot.
Remember to get OW. It hurts a lot and can’t be resisted. It works best at level 90 and higher. If you run around not shooting (or running away) get a shield on switch alongside the Titan’s revanche javelin to get block and extra fr/w.