Originally posted at two other places starting August 24, 2004 and updated over time. It was last updated November 19, 2004. Some changes have taken place since then (patch 1.11 and 1.11b), but the recommended build does not change. Perhaps I shall update the equipment lists for completeness. I’ve also long considered adding a section on hybrids. This equipment setup works great for them. Having everything blind/slowed/chilled makes it much easier to walk up to things and poke them with a stick (Charged Strike for example).
Guide Concept Introduction
Anyone who knows of Medusa of Greek Mythology knows that she was one ugly critter. She had snakes for hair and all who looked upon her were turned into stone. To fight her one would have to do so blind and struggling to overcome the terror brought by her presence. In the movie Clash of the Titans she was portrayed as being deadly with a bow as well as with her looks. Without the meddling of a certain king of the gods, Perseus would not have had a chance against her.
While an amazon in D2 cannot turn others to stone, she can freeze them in place, slow them to the point that one needs time lapse photography to see them move, blind them, terrorize them, and blast them back. That is what this proposed build is all about â€“ making your opposition as ineffective as possible so that you can rack up kills in relative safety. With tougher, faster monsters and more ranged assailants brought by 1.10, this is a good thing.
Section I: Equipment Special Effects
Like it or not, all builds in D2 are at least somewhat dependent on equipment. This build (perhaps a strategy more than a build), relies on very particular equipment. But its key equipment is not that hard to obtain, and is chosen for the effects it can have on targets.
A. Desirable Debilitating Effects
( a ) Cold Damage (Chilling)
Cold damage is the first and most readily available source of slowing. Blizzard has not bluntly stated exactly what the effects of chilling are, but the bestiary on the Arreat Summit site gives a good indication. Monsters there have a â€œChill Effectivenessâ€ column which for most is set at 50 for normal and less for nightmare and hell difficulty. This number is almost certainly the percentage by which a monster is slowed (movement and attack speed) when hit by cold damage. Certain monsters are immune to slowing from cold damage (chill effectiveness=0):
Death Lord variant of Blood Lords (Frenzy-taurs)
(Nightmare and Hell) Gargoyle Traps
(Nightmare) Frozen Horrors (Hell Frozen Horrors speed up from cold!)
(Hell) Flying Scimitar
(Hell) Willowisp (ACCKKK, Black Souls!)
(Hell) Bone Fetish
Anything immune to cold (unless you break the immunity)
Others are merely minimally affected by chilling from cold (10-15% slow). Most everything in hell difficulty is slowed only 33% or less (typically 25%). It looks like you are going to need a PLAN B for slowing many things down, but cold damage will still be useful.
Cold duration is reduced to 1 / 2 in nightmare and 1 / 4 in hell and is further reduced by monsters resistance to cold. So if something in hell difficulty is 75% resistant to cold, this means the effective duration is reduced to 1 / 16 of the base duration.
There are many good sources of chilling with various durations. Durations do stack, so the more the better. Chill duration from items also adds to the chill duration of Cold Arrow and the freeze duration of Freezing Arrow and Ice Arrow (more on those later).
Selected Sources of Cold Damage and Durations:
Ravenfrost unique ring, 4 sec
Eye of Etlich unique amulet, 2-10 sec (50-250 frames â€“ test or use ATMA to know)
Rainbow Facet (cold), 0.12 sec
Vampire Gaze, 4 sec
Frostburn, 2 sec
Snowclash unique battle belt, 3 sec
Endlesshail unique bow, 3 sec
Buriza-Do Kyanon, 8 sec (plus hit freeze target +3!)
Arctic Horn (with 2 other items in set), 3 sec
Arctic Gear (complete set bonus), 4 sec
Vidalaâ€™s Rig (complete set bonus), 3 sec (plus hit freezes target!)
Mavinaâ€™s Icy Clutch (gloves cold damage), 6 sec
Mavinaâ€™s Icy Clutch (with 3 others in set), 4 sec (in addition to other 6 sec)
Magic and Rare Jewels, officially up to 4 sec on magic, up to 3 sec on rare depending on suffix), but others say 2 seconds
Charms, 1 sec per cold prefix or suffix
Magic or Rare Circlets with cold damage, 1 sec
Magic or Rare Bow or Crossbow, up to 4 sec from prefix and 3 sec from suffix
Saphires, 1 sec for chipped up to 3 sec for perfect
Thul rune, 3 sec
Runes and jewels socketed in items count as separate sources of cold damage and their durations stack.
( b ) Hit Slows Target
The hit slows target property was much maligned in v1.09. Evidently the server treated it as slows target by a % while the client acted as if it were slows to a %. This caused massive desynchronization and lag as the two tried match up. Reports are that it works properly in v1.10, so all is good.
Hit slows target slows movement and attack speed of creatures struck (not casting or recovery). It is not a cold attack and so it works on creatures that are immune to cold or chilling. The slowing stacks, so if you use Cleglawâ€™s Pincers (25%) with Blackhornâ€™s Face (20%) then you get hit slows target 45%. This is capped at 90% for normal monsters and at 50% for players and â€œspecialâ€ monsters (champions, uniques, super uniques, act bosses).
The duration is long, that much is certain. It is either 30 seconds on all difficulties or until the slowed creature makes a successful physical attack. In any case you will be resetting that before it expires. The last hit with a hit slows target % not equal to zero is the one that is applied. For that reason I suggest that you either equip a merc with a higher slow % than you or none at all.
A clay golemâ€™s slow is the same as hit slows target. If you use a clay golem (Stone runeword armor â€“ charges of level 16 clay golem, slows 60%), the slow % applied will be from whichever of you hit last with a positive slow %, you or the golem.
Select Sources of Hit Slows Target:
Cleglawâ€™s Pincers (25%)
Blackhornâ€™s Face (20%)
Arachnid Mesh (10%)
Nosferatuâ€™s Coil (10%)
Riphook, unique razor bow (30%)
Gut Siphon, unique demon crossbow (25%)
There are polearms, spears, and swords with hit slows target (e.g. Kelpie Snare, 75%), but I discourage you from using them on your merc. If you are applying slows target yourself, there is little point in having your merc give up damage or other abilities in favor of hit slows target.
( c ) Holy Freeze
Holy Freeze slowing is not the same as cold chilling or hit slows target. Monsters immune to cold or chill are still affected. A level 17 Holy Freeze from a high-level Act II defensive merc gives 53% slowing. Level 12 Holy Freeze from the Doom runeword polearm gives 50% slowing.
( d ) Decrepify
Decrepify is also separate from other sources of slow. It slows movement and attack speed by 50%.
Anything that can be cursed can be affected. Those few that are immune include Possessed (champion variant) and constructions (gargoyle traps, lightning spires, fire towers, catapults, mummy sarcophagus).
The only readily available sources for a bowazon are from the unique thresher, Reaperâ€™s Toll, when given to an Act II merc or partying with a necromancer. In any case it would override other more important curses, so in most cases it is best not to have it.
( e ) Caps and Stacking of Effects
The four sources (chill, hit slows target/clay golem, holy freeze, decrepify) are additive. Base movement and attack speeds vary by monster. Certain special monsters (champion, ghostly, fanatic, extra fast, fanaticism aura affected, and frenzied, ancients with their equipment) have modifiers to attack speed and/or walk run on top of their base speeds. The slowing effects are counted as skill walk/run just like a paladin’s vigor or barbarian’s increased speed. Monsters have a minimum of walk/run speed of 25% of their base walk speed.
Attack speed calculations are separate, far more complicated, and beyond the scope of this guide. But what you really need to know is that with cold damage, a good hit slows target %, and holy freeze, most everything will be much, much slower. A frenzied, extra-fast, fanaticism aura death lord would be an exception. It will still be fast, just not nearly as fast.
Freezing is great because what is frozen cannot attack you, thus the appeal of the standard Frost Maiden build. Certain creatures are immune to freezing (champions, uniques, super uniques, act bosses, cold immunes, and immune to chill).
( a ) Hit Freezes Target
Copied directly from the Arreat Summit:
â€œThis bonus is pretty obvious. Items with Hit Freezes Target has a chance to Freeze Targets. Formulae:
The chance of freezing is 50 + (AL + (B*4) – DL) * 5
AL = attacker level
DL = defender level
B = freeze bonus from item (default is 1)
if it’s ranged, the AL has a -6 penalty.
if it’s ranged, the chance is divided by 3
freeze length = (chance – roll) * 2 + 25 frames
with a minimum length of 25 frames (1 second) and a maximum length of 250 frames (10 seconds)â€
Freeze bonuses from multiple items add together to get â€œBâ€.
Actually, the Arreat Summit information is incomplete and wrong on some points.
(0) As usual, champions, uniques, bosses and some “special” monsters are chilled and not frozen.
(1) Hit freezes is affected by difficulty level.
(2) Hit freezes duration is affected by cold resistance.
(3) Hit freezes is totally unaffected by cold durations.
(4) Hit freezes is not carried on, does not affect, and is not affected by freezing arrow splash.
(5) I believe the Arreat Summit’s duration calculation is wrong and the full calculation for hit freezes duration is as follows (discovered by extensive testing by myself and others):
Step 1: determine chance to freeze %:
melee: % Chance to Freeze = 50 + (alvl + (FreezeBonus x 4) – dlvl) x 5
ranged: % Chance to Freeze = (50 + (alvl-6 + (FreezeBonus x 4) – dlvl) x 5)/3
Step 2: Roll against chance to freeze.
Step 3: If freeze, then
Max base freeze length = (% Chance to Freeze – Roll) Ã— 2 + 25 frames
Step 4: Apply a cap of 10 seconds (250 frames) to result from Step 3.
Set Min base freeze length = 25 frames (1 sec).
Step 5: Apply difficulty level modifiers to results from Step 4.
normal: multiply by 1
nightmare: multiply by 1/2
hell: multiply by 1/4
Step 6: Obtain final max freeze length and final min freeze length by multiplying modified base freeze lengths from Steps 5 by (1 – target’s cold resistance).
Step 7: Randomly select number between final min freeze length and final max from Step 6 (uniform distribution). This is the duration that the target will be frozen.
It is quite possible (probable?) that the last random number is generated before applying some of the modifiers (difficulty level and/or resistance). However, the results would be equivalent.
Iceblink (by itself) used with a bow gives you no chance to freeze monsters 8 or more levels above you, 13% chance for monsters at your level, and 30% for monsters 10 levels below you. A Buriza by itself would give no chance for monsters 16 levels above you, 26% for monsters at your level, and 43% for monsters 10 levels below. Noting the freeze length formula, the lower your chance of freeze, the lower the duration is. Unless you stick with fighting monsters below your level or dump several Cham runes into a bow, this is not something you can truly rely on for incapacitating even normal monsters. Even with a high chance to freeze, the durations are highly variable and fairly short in hell difficulty. But if you happen to have it, it is a nice bonus.
Sources of Hit Freezes Target for a Bowazon:
Iceblink (1, the Arreat Summitâ€™s description of Iceblinkâ€™s freeze ability is outdated)
Vidalaâ€™s complete set (1)
Buriza-Do Kyanon (3)
Cham rune (3)
Hand of Justice runeword (3) â€“ can be used in any weapon
Doom runeword (3) â€“ good polearm for a merc
( b ) Freezing Arrow, Ice Arrow
These come from skills and not items, but are worth mentioning here because items with chill lengths add to their duration. Difficulty level and target cold resistance have the same effect on skills that freeze as they do on cold chill and item freeze (Hit Freezes Target). A 10 second Eye of Etlich adds to a Freezing Arrows 2 seconds to give 12 seconds of freeze on normal, 6 on nightmare, and 3 on hell difficulty. Anyone with a good Frost Maiden knows and loves this.
3. Hit Blinds Target
Copied from the Arreat Summit:
â€œDecreases radius of awareness similar to the Necromancer Curse: Dim Vision
The formula is as follows:
Chance = 50 + (Attacker Level + (Bonus * 4) – Defender Level) * 5
Where the bonus is how many items of hit blinds target the character has -1. Some items have something like hit blinds target +2, which means they count as 2 items for the bonus calculation. Missile Attacks are at 1/3 this chance.
The level of Dim Vision that’s cast on the target is equal to (Chance – Roll)/5+1, max of 20. â€œ
Essentially this is Dim Vision cast on single targets when they are hit with the chance to cast and level of Dim Vision depending on the above formulas. As such, monsters affected will not be able to attack you unless they are right next to you. They may still move toward your last position, but will stop if their movement is disrupted by knockback or another target for them to hit (merc, decoy, valkyrie).
Sources of Hit Blinds Target:
Coif of Glory, unique helm (+1)
Sur rune (+1)
Magewrath, rune bow (+1)
Hand of Justice runeword (+1 — from Sur rune)
Passion runeword (+10)
Silence runeword (+33)
Coif of Glory used with a bow (or Magewrath) would give a 33% chance of blinding monsters 10 levels below you, 16% chance for monsters at your level, and no chance for monsters 10 or more levels above you. A Passion bow gives a 93% chance of blinding monsters 10 levels below, 76% for monsters at your level, 60% for monsters 10 levels above, and no chance for monsters 46 levels above. By the time you can use it at level 58, a Silence bow gives 100% chance to blind anything that can be blinded. Only constructions (festering appendages, gargoyle traps, mummy sarcophagus, lightning spires, fire towers, catapults), festering appendages, blood hawk nests, maggot eggs, suicide minions, putrid defilers, minions of destruction, oblivion knights, champions, uniques, super uniques, and bosses cannot be affected by hit blinds target. This makes Silence the ultimate crippling machine, followed by the much cheaper Passion.
4. Hit Causes Monster to Flee
This property casts a curse on the monster hit that is essentially the same as a Barbarianâ€™s Howl or Necromancerâ€™s Terror.
Taken from the Arreat Summit:
â€œIf the Character Level + 1 + Howl Skill Level > Monster Level, the monster will flee.â€
Too bad they don’t say how to get the “Howl Skill Level”. Still, I’ve never been in a situation where the monsters were too high a level for it to work.
12% and 18% flee are available on magic/rare bows/xbows. 25% flee is available on magic bows/xbows, but not rares.
It is also available on these items:
Crafted hit power amulet (3-11%)
Face of Horror (50%)
Dol rune in a weapon (25%)
Venom runeword (25%)
Passion runeword (25%)
Silence runeword (25%)
The percentages add together rather than being applied separately, making it easy to send all of your normal enemies fleeing. This will not work on things which cannot move (constructions, tentacle beasts, festering appendages, blood hawk nests, maggot eggs), minions of destruction, oblivion knights, putrid defilers, champions, uniques, super uniques, bosses, and suicide minions (theyâ€™re ready to die).
Hit Causes Monsters to Flee is not nearly as nice a thing to have active as Hit Blinds Target. The duration is shorter and will end early if the monster encounters an obstacle. Additionally, this makes your targets mobile, so some arrows may miss because of that. Once you are blinding a high percentage of things you hit, you will want to limit this attribute.
On the plus side, it is not dependent on level for chance to activate and duration (as long as the monsters aren’t the many, many levels above you it would take for it to not work at all). Before you get Passion (blind +10) or Silence (blind +33), this will work far more reliably than blind +1 or +2 from Coif of Glory and/or Magewrath. You can rush through Nightmare with your Face of Horror and Rattlecage, fighting monsters many levels above you, with it still being effective.
When all else fails or no other means are available, knockback will give you some space and help to keep you from being mobbed. When knockback activates it also disrupts whatever the affected target was doing. Iâ€™ve also noticed that when I use knockback with strafe, it results in a lot of ranged attacks (e.g. elemental bolts from Abyss Knights) stopping just short of hitting me. What a great way to kill those pests at minimal risk to myself.
While this will not work on anything frozen, act bosses, Izual, and most things that cannot move, it does work on uniques, super uniques with a base monster type, the Smith, Hephasto, minions of destruction (including Lister), and oddly enough Baalâ€™s festering appendages. I canâ€™t tell you how happy I was to see all of those festering appendages easily get knocked back when they surrounded me. Small monsters are knocked back 100% of the time, medium monsters 50%, and large monsters 25%. Champions and uniques may be resistant to knockback (next larger monster size?), but this is unconfirmed. Even minor terrain features get in the way of knockback. Iâ€™ve also noticed that certain angles seem to give me more luck in causing knockback.
Sources of Knockback for a Bowazon:
Crafted hit power gloves
Multiple sources of knockback provide no additional benefit. You either have it or you donâ€™t.
B. Not So Desirable Debilitating Abilities
1. Charges of Skills
In general charges of skills are expensive to repair and are less effective because you have to active select and use them when you could be attacking. This forces you to be very selective in their use. Here are some charges of skills you can use to debilitate the opposition and their sources: cloak of shadows (Nadir), weaken (Smoke), attract (Delirium runeword), clay golem (Stone runeword), molten boulder â€“ knocks back targets (Stone runeword), various magic/rare charged items (cold spells, weaken, terror, confusion, grim ward), Bone Prison (Marrowwalk).
2. Effects When Struck
The idea is to prevent them from striking you, hence these are not worth sacrificing much to get, especially if they override your Hit Blinds Target or Hit Causes Monsters to Flee. These effects and their sources are: glacial spike (Mavina’s embrace), frost nova (magic and rare armor and jewels, hit power items), twister (Zephyr), mind blast (Delirium), terror (Delirium), dim vision (Gloom, Darksight Helm).
3. Effects When Striking
The effects Iâ€™m talking about here are weaken (Ondal’s Almighty, Soul Drainer), confuse (Delirium), and twister (Carrion Wind). Weaken and confuse overwrite your Hit Blinds Target and Hit Causes Monsters to Flee. They can still kill you even if they are weakened. Confused monsters may attack their allies or they may still attack you. Twister has only a 0.4 second stun IF it actually hits something.
4. Effects On Attack
Not much falls into this category except for chance to cast ice bolt, which can be found on magic or rare weapons. Chance to cast on attack does not work with ranged weapons (thanks, adeyke) and even if it did, the speed of the bolt is too slow and youâ€™ll want a better bow or crossbow than any magic or rare you are likely to find with this property.
C. Other Non-Desirables
Anything that overwrites Hit Blinds Target or Hit Causes Monsters to Flee is a bad thing. This means they can attack you again. This includes amplify damage, life tap, and decrepify. Now donâ€™t get me wrong. These are all nice curses in general. Amplify damage and decrepify let you kill faster and life tap gives you crazy life leech. But you canâ€™t kill the monsters if you are dead. And you donâ€™t need high leech if you donâ€™t get hit. High leech does not help if you get slaughtered by the opposition between volleys of your own. Decrepify would be the most useful one to have for the Medusa Zon to use and then only against tough uniques, super uniques and bosses after their companions have been eliminated.
Section II: Skill Choices
In order to trigger all of our debilitating effects (slow, blind, flee, freeze), we need to be able to hit everything we can as quickly as possible. A good level of Multi-Shot would seem to be the obvious choice, since all of those arrows coupled with high piercing could mean everything in a wide swath in front of you gets hit. Alas it is not so. Only the middle two arrows carry special effects like hit blinds target, hit causes monsters to flee, freeze target, knockback, crushing blow, open wounds, and chance to cast whatever. As it currently stands Multi-Shot and Strafe have a hidden property called Next Delay, presently set to 4 frames. When an attack roll is made no other Next Delay affected attack can hit until the Next Delay duration is up. So no matter how many multi-shot arrows pass through a target, only one attack has a chance to hit. To add insult to injury, total damage for each arrow is reduced to 75% (including elemental add ons) and mana cost goes up for every level of multi-shot. Only leeching, regular damage, and deadly/critical strike work on the whole volley.
The default for hitting lots of targets rapidly is then Strafe. Special effects do carry on every arrow, mana cost is fixed at eleven, and additional points increase damage. The drawback is strafe-lock. This isnâ€™t too much of a problem when you strike and disable the opposition before it has a chance attack you. Regular melee monsters are not a problem. They can be blinded, made to flee, or knocked back before they get to you. Ranged attackers are more of a threat. But letâ€™s face it, no build is totally immune to being peppered by guest burning dead archers, quill rats, and slingers in the Bloody Foothills. At least with this they wonâ€™t be firing on you for long. And if you are extra careful, you can attack them at maximum range (while they are still off screen) and disable them before they have a chance to fire at you.
It is not necessary to max strafe. As long as it produces enough arrows to touch all of your opponents quickly, that is good enough. One extra skill point in strafe is the same as 5 extra points in dexterity (+5%), as you can see from this formula:
Average physical damage = (avg bow dmg) Ã— (1 + dex/100 + skill modifier) Ã— (1 + critical or deadly strike%/100) Ã— (1 â€” physical resistance%),
Where skill modifier is the bonus granted by the skill.
You can switch to another skill if you want and then refresh your crippling effects periodically. But I find it is best to use strafe exclusively except for when dealing with physical immunes.
For physical immunes there are a variety of options. Freezing arrow is my choice (it fits with the rest of the theme of crippling the oppostion, has solid elemental damage, and can hit multiple targets). Stay away from Immolation arrow. It has a timer that cripples its effectiveness and does only a little bit more damage than Freezing Arrow. Exploding Arrow does less damage than Freezing Arrow (but for less mana). That leaves magic arrow and fire arrow which add virtually no damage but can convert a good chunk of your physical damage to magic or fire. Or you could just save the skill points and use a Hellrack on your weapon switch with strafe. There is a hidden property for some skills (including Strafe and Multi-Shot) called Next Delay. If a Next Delay attack hits a monster, it is immune to further Next Delay attacks for the next 4 frames. If you keep your total IAS below 50% with Hellrack, then every arrow (bolt actually) will have a chance to hit. I’m told that here is an accurate strafe breakpoint table:
Link to “competing forum” deleted. Sorry, you are on your own. Try the German calculator even though it isn’t totally accurate.
Valkyrie and Decoy are still useful for scouting through doorway and narrow passages and for taking the heat from the few remaining monsters that you canâ€™t totally cripple with blind, flee, freeze, slowing, and knockback.
Donâ€™t forget to invest at least one in each of your passives and preferably more in critical strike and pierce. I like to invest just enough in Pierce to get 100% pierce with Razortail and +skill equipment. Pierce is important so that you can cripple those at the back of the pack as well as in the front.
Section III: Attribute Points
You really have a lot of flexibility here and the same recommendations could be made for any Bowazon â€“ base energy, enough strength for equipment, enough in vitality so that you feel comfortable with your level of health, and lots in dexterity. Thereâ€™s really not much else to say except that with everything blind, fleeing, knocked back, frozen and/or slowed to a crawl you wonâ€™t be needing quite as much health to stay alive. This leaves you more points to put in dexterity for AR and damage. And since you canâ€™t blind/terrorize/chill/slow/knockback what you cannot hit, having a high enough AR to hit reliably is especially good.
Section IV: Equipment Selection
Sample Key Equipment Progression
level 2 Arctic Set, good physical damage plus 7 sec cold duration
level 4 Cleglaw’s Pincers (end game item, slows 25%, knockback)
level 14 Coif of Glory (blind+1)
level 15 Eye of Etlich (can consider replacing with Highlords, Crescent Moon, or Mara’s once have enough cold damage charms)
level 20 Face of Horror (switch out Coif of Glory to get 50% Flee)
level 20-29 upgrade bow/crossbow for better damage
level 29 Rattlecage (for 40% Flee, 25% crushing blow)
level 32 Razortail for piercing
level 29-41 upgrade bow/crossbow as needed (Riphook — 30% slow or Kuko — piercing, fire damage, exploding arrows)
level 41 Buriza (freeze target won’t help much at this point, but other attributes will)
level 43 switch Face of Horror to Blackhorn’s Face (end game item), Switch bow to Passion, replace Rattlecage with resistance armor
level 45 Ravenfrost (end game item)
level 58 Silence Crusader Bow
Once you have Passion or Silence, you don’t need any other cursing effects from other items (hit causes flee, weaken, amplify damage, confuse) as they would cancel out the blindness.
Desired Final Equipment:
Silence Crusader Bow (solid damage, 20%IAS, 11% ml, Blind +33, 75% resist all)
Buriza (freezes, high damage) or Windforce (physical damage) or Hellrack (for elemental damage) on weapon switch, I prefer Hellrack for physical/cold immunes
Cleglaw’s Pincers (slows 25%, knockback)
Good resistance armor, preferrably with +skills and/or leech (Chains of Honor is ideal)
Goreriders (for crushing blow, open wounds, deadly strike, 30% R/W) or whatever your favorite boots are
Razortail (max your piercing with Silence Bow – blind, chill, slow, and knockback the whole audience)
a bunch of cold charms (for longer chill duration)
Other equipment (amulet, 1 ring, charms, open sockets) to fill in needed resistance, life & mana leech, +health, +mana, IAS, or extra cold duration
holy freeze merc or might merc with Doom polearm equipped with the usual sort of merc survival gear
Now this set up gives, a near certainty to blind or flee, slows target 45% (near max for the most dangerous monsters), long cold chill duration, piercing, decent leech, decent damage, solid resists and +20 lightning absorb, and holy freeze from your merc. Silence canâ€™t match Windforce for damage, but then what can. If you want, use Silence to cripple them and then finish them off with Windforce or your Godly Bow of Butt Kicking. Of course, not everyone can get the runes for Silence. Fortunately, the runes for Passion are fairly cheap (Lem being the rarest) and Passion provides nearly as good damage and adequate blind/flee. Plus you can make Passion in a Grand Matron bow for a little more damage and up to +3 bow/crossbow skills or in a Matriarchal bow for +3 bow/crossbow skills and 2 second frame strafe with Highlordâ€™s Wrath and one IAS jewel socketed into Blackhornâ€™s Face or your armor. The rest of the key items are not very hard to get. If you die using this set up, it almost certainly means that you got very careless and rushed ahead when you should have been using your scouting skills. Even Gorgons and Krakens can be killed.
Hereâ€™s Passionâ€™s (Dol + Ort + Eld + Lem) properties :
+25% Increased Attack Speed
+160-210% Enhanced Damage
50-80% Bonus To Attack Rating (varies)
+75% Damage To Undead
+50 To Attack Rating Against Undead
Adds 1-50 Lightning Damage
+1 To Berserk
+1 To Zeal
Hit Blinds Target +10
Hit Causes Monster To Flee 25%
75% Extra Gold From Monsters
Level 3 Heart of Wolverine (12 Charges)
And hereâ€™s Silence (Dol + Eld + Hel + Ist + Tir + Vex):
200% Enhanced Damage
+75% Damage To Undead
20% Increased Attack Speed
+50 To Attack Rating Against Undead
+2 To All Skills
All Resistances +75
20% Faster Hit Recovery
11% Mana Stolen Per Hit
Hit Causes Monster To Flee 25%
Hit Blinds Target +33
+2 To Mana After Each Kill
30% Better Chance Of Getting Magic Items
There are also some intangible benefits to some of the equipment. Purple Rattlecage with a Face of Horror or Blackhornâ€™s Face really does look ugly. Medusa would be proud.
Section V: Playing in a Group
Well, Medusa really didnâ€™t have company very often and when she did, she killed them. The exception would be her two nearly as ugly sisters. Think of the Valkyrie and Decoy as your amazonâ€™s two ugly sisters. The merc? Oh, heâ€™s just a hunchback you enslaved. You can choose to be a little more social if you wish. I play single player. I would envision that certain players would hate having a Medusa Zon around causing monsters to flee and knocking them back, shattering bodies, and canceling out whatever THEIR favorite curse happens to be. Those who donâ€™t like dieing could learn to appreciate your zonâ€™s ugliness. The knockback and flee you can fix for them by freezing targets for them with Freezing Arrow. If they really object to your cursing effects, you can use whatever is on your weapon switch instead (and perhaps laugh at them when 20 burning dead and slingers shoot them and they die). If they hate to see you shattering bodies, well you canâ€™t really eliminate all of your cold sources, but you can refrain from using Freezing Arrow. If you are going to make an omelet â€¦
Thanks Go To:
Blizzard for making Diablo 2, and GFraizer for creating and maintaining the Arreat Summit.
brianc84 at The Amazon Basin for figuring out the dynamics of various sources of slowing (numerous posts, too many to list):
Links to relevant information at “competing forum” deleted.
Therron and Ruvanal for a compilation of item chill durations:
Link to relevant information at “competing forum” deleted.
AK404 and LineNoise for a wealth of information in their â€œa guide to bowazonsâ€, posted at Amazon Basin (especially info on knockback and multi-shot):
Link to …
adeyke and brianc84 for information from their NextDelay testing:
Link deleted. You know the drill.
d2data.net for item affix information and adeyke and brianc84 for sending me there.
Myrdinn, brianc84, and adeyke for strafe breakpoint information.
brianc84, adeyke, Rechet, and Lord Kestrel for gameplay testing on Hit Freezes Target to go with my own testing, adeyke on how Hit Freezes seems to be set up separately in the game code, and BIGeyedBUG for raising the issue.
RogueMage, adeyke, brianc84, and others for numerous corrections and suggestions.
Planet Diablo and its moderators for providing a good place for discussion and posting of strategy.
The Amazon Basin for its community of people who have both the know how and drive to get all of these juicy bits of technical information.
Many others who have provided little tidbits of information or inspiration.
Iâ€™ve really enjoyed my amazon, Medusa. I hope others will give one a try and see how they like it.