Diablo 2 Guide: The Furysin (Blade Fury)

1.1 Introduction

Greetings to all of those bitten by a mad bug.

I am an Assassin enthusiast who, after a lot of remakes, has settled on creating the assassins which differ (a little) from the main stream. I play on the Europe Realm. I started out playing the Amazon but as soon as the Expansion came out I jumped to the Assassin and stuck with it ever since. The Sin is just so versatile that her arsenal can’t be beat by any other class (at least in my book). Now with patch 1.1 and the ending of the first Ladder season I’ve sat down and once more worked on this build. While knowing there are 23 unknown rune words waiting to be discovered, and that this build might very well be depending on these rune words, I’ve revamped some of the build. Not much though.. so for those whom already read this.. you may not see the changes but they are there. No there hasn’t been any ‘gear’ changes yet… I’m sorry but due to unreasonable prices in trading lately I’ve been unable to afford the ‘richer’ testing. This will have to wait. So I’m posting my findings from version 1.1-1.2.

So far the threads of the Furysin has received 19 000+ visits, so there is definitely truth to the words of the guide. It works, so enjoy reading.

Europe Realm : Acc : SonOfRa

1.2 A few words on the Furysin

The following is a build concentrated around the use of the skill ‘Blade Fury’. It’s a loose guide on how you can make this build work in multi player games. It is however NOT viable in PvP (this will be explained later).

The build can be frustrating at times, so if you’re a kill-on-one-hit kind of person it’s not for you, if you’re not, then this is the build to try. It is a build for a more experienced player and a build that will take some time to grow accustomed to, as well as some specialized gear to acquire. Part of the fun in this build is the gathering of the items required, for you see some are easy to get, that you can get them for free.. others.. well yes I admit they are hard to get, anyways more on that later.. Once you have acquired what you feel is right then sit back and enjoy the ride.

1.3 Meet the FurySin

Abnormal… You say something there.

Abnormal is right. When you look at the assassin you’ll see the ‘Trapper’s place their Lightning Sentries and blast a path through the monsters for all to follow, leaving behind corpses.

You won’t believe your eyes when you see the ‘Kicker’s speed, as he unleash a fury of kicks against his enemies. Suddenly appearing elsewhere to release the deadly punishment of a Frozen Orb, the pain of the Phoenix Lightning or the earth shattering damage of the Meteor. Indeed you will notice this one with her shouts.

While you think you’ve seen it all the ‘Dual Claw Master’ moves in for the kill. With deadly accuracy and power he tears into his enemies taking a beating, but nothing compared to what he gives back..

Well with these three very used and very good builds… it’s no wonder you didn’t notice the practically invisible assassin standing in the back looking like he was hidden in the shadows, leeching.

But hear me now! He’s not leeching he’s unleashing from the shadows his wrath. The ‘Blade Fury Sin’ takes your breath away with his speed at which the blades are thrown, only rivaled by the fastest bow Amazon, they are like a mini Chain-gun. He stand there while his shadow holds the monsters at bay, and as the fight goes on you start to wonder if he even has a use.

It looks like the monsters will over run him soon, then as if a cloud moves away from the sun, or rather as if light becomes darkness for in the shadows the Assassin rules, the first monster fall. In a anguishing scream the monsters fall one by one. With a huge group still standing and dealing it’s punishment you see then suddenly stunned, and then the body parts start to fly. With sudden silence the fury of the blades has stopped and have been replaced by the awesome deadliness of the Death Sentry. A scary sight for the weak at heart.

With elegance and grace, as if he had all the time in the world the Fury Sin moves through the body parts.. no he doesn’t run as fast as the other sins, charging into the next combat. No his graceful style wouldn’t allow that.

You stop a moment and ponder what happened here. Then you see the Fury Sin engage the next group of monsters blinding them and ensuring the cover of darkness to allow his wrath to be unleashed… yet again… and again

If you like a character whom dodge in and out of combat. Whom almost literally walk through the acts. Using stealth and cunning as well as a touch of wits. Then this is the build for you.

2.1 Advantages

Some of the advantages are:

  • Ranged combat
  • Lots of Skills to chose from
  • Unique fighting style
  • Maximum attack speed from the first time you use it
  • High Resistances
  • Able to damage everything in the game, nothing is immune to you.
  • Different castings
  • 98% Chance for Crushing Blow (see 3.3) (Note : max =95%)
  • 43% chance of Open Wounds (see 3.1).
  • 52% chance of Critical / Deadly Strike (see 3.2)
  • Near Max Resistance
  • Near Max Damage Reduction

2.2 Disadvantages

The disadvantages are:

  • One of the main problems : Attack Rating (see 3.5)
  • Grounded when attacking.
  • Sucks in PvP (see 6.1)
  • Low blocking.

3.1 Open wounds

Open wounds causes the player affected by it to loose life for a given amount of time, it works far better than poison as it can’t be resisted. The only way to reduce the effect of open wounds is to use health potions or replenish life.

The player affected by open wounds loses life according to this formula:

Duration: 200 frames (8 seconds – There are 25 frames per second).

Clvl 10: 11.8 per sec over 8 seconds for a total of 94.5 damage.
Clvl 30: 42.6 per sec over 8 seconds for a total of 340.6 damage.
Clvl 50: 99.7 per sec over 8 seconds for a total of 797.7 damage.
Clvl 70: 178.8 per sec over 8 seconds for a total of 1430.5 damage.
Clvl 90: 266.7 per sec over 8 seconds for a total of 2133.6 damage.

The damage is divided by 4 for a player target. In addition, for a missile versus a player target one should divide the damage by 8 instead. Versus bosses and champions (could be just bosses or special bosses) the damage is divided by 2

3.2 Deadly Strike and Critical Strike

Deadly strike and critical strike both have a chance of triggering a double damage effect. The deadly strike effect is applied after all other damage bonuses. Critical strike and deadly strike exclude each other.

The formula of dealing double damage with deadly strike and critical strike is:

Chance of double damage = CS + (DS/100)*(100-CS)

Example

Critical Strike : 31%
Deadly Blow : 30%
Calculation : 31% + (30/100)*(100-31)
Critical Strike : 52%
(Not 61% as many might think)

3.3 Crushing Blow

This is a chance of reducing a monster’s health by X% in a single blow. This is one of the things which makes this build great for taking down the ‘bosses’.

Default: 25%
vs. Players: 10%
vs. Hirelings: 10%
vs. Champions, Uniques, Bosses: 12.5%
with missile weapons: 6.25%

3.4 Damage Reduction

Reduce the amount of damage you take from an attack. There is a 50% Cap on these items.

3.5 Attack Rating

Blade Fury does rely on attack rating. Let me say that again, yes you will need attack rating otherwise you won’t hit anything.

The Attack rating of the Furysin is and will continuously be a matter of debate. Some want to rely on items for AR. Some want charms. Some skills. There is no doubt that you will find that AR is an issue you better address sooner than later. With that said let me say the following.

My guide is build on the assumption that your final weapon will be a weapon using ITD. While ITD goes a long way it doesn’t solve all situations and that is why I have added the Demon Limb on my switch for added AR (more on that later).

There are many sources of AR. Some will say : Claw Mastery. Note to yourself that if you choose to use Claw Mastery that it will ONLY work if you use a Claw (Yes that should be a given but some don’t know that). If you rely on your Mercenary for attack rating.. be sure that he doesn’t die, for if he does, you’ll have little other option than to run.

A whole debate has submerged on what to do. Some don’t want to use ITD. Some don’t want to live with out it. So choose which path you want to take before you start out, it will make your Furysin much more manageable. Either go the dex/ar/charms/items route. Or the expensive ITD route.

Going the dex route will have the benefit of you having the option of maxed block.
Going the ITD route will mean more damage/life.

All in all attack rating can be gained in various ways, which will be listed under items later on.

3.6 What works & what Doesn’t?

Things to remember is that almost anything works with blade Fury, almost.

What works

  • Ignore Target Defense
  • Deadly Strike/Critical Strike from CM
  • Crushing Blow
  • Hit Causes Monster to Flee
  • Knock back
  • Chance to cast on Striking
  • Hit Freezes Target
  • Elemental Damage/Venom (3/4)
  • Leech
  • Open Wounds
  • Hit Blinds Target
  • Prevent Monster Heal
  • Hit Slows Target
  • Physical/Weapon Damage (3/4)

What doesn’t work

  • Chance to cast on Attacking
  • Pierce Target

4.1 Attributes

Your attributes should be fit to suit your gear. These are though the listed attributes for the gear I have selected to use. Feel free to move these figures around to suit the gear you choose.

– Strength : 125
– Dexterity : 75 (*)
– Vitality : everything else
– Energy : 25 (base)

(* – Dexterity is a touchy subject. I have chosen 75, in that I have also chosen to ignore dodge, this is mainly cause I use Tiamats and the dexterity needed to max dodge with this shield is just so high that I dropped it. Some may choose to use Storm Shield instead, forfeiting the damage that is their choice, its not needed. Since I have this low dexterity I also bind my hands on another matter… attack rating. See 3.4)

As mentioned I have not chosen to go for the block variation of this build. If you want to go this way, do move more points into dex (close to 125-150 is needed). This will greatly help you with your attack rating as well but do it mainly for block. It will be taken from your vitality, of course.

4.2 Gear

Gear is a very touch thing with this build, you will find that even one item will either make or break the build. I suggest highly that you either start out with trying to copy these items or at least find something that mimic them. (At the end of the guide there are some low level recommendations as well as some optional gear)

Helmet : Guilluames Face – (35% crushing blow, 15% deadly strike, 30% faster hit recovery and +15 strength)

Armor : Duress (ShaelUmThul) – (15% crushing blow,33% open wounds, resistances and damage)

Amulet : Highlords Wrath – (%Critical strike according to level, +1 skills, minor lightning damage.)

Boots : Gore Riders (15% crushing blow, 15% deadly strike, 10% open wounds and 30% faster walk/run)

Gloves : Soul Drainers (4-7% mana and life leech, -50 monster def. per. hit. and 8% chance to cast Weaken.

Rings : Raven Frost (Cannot be Frozen, Attack rating and Cold Damage) Carrion Wind (life leech, 8% chance to cast Twister, Poison Resistance.)

Shield : Tiamats Rebuke (Elemental damage, Resistance)

Belt : Either String of Ears (Life Leech and Reduced Damage) or Siggards Stealth (Slow and Life Leech)

Weapon : See 4.3

Switch : Demon Limb (*)

(* – Demon Limb is not a weapon which is used for damage. It just doesn’t cut it. It is used solely for the Enchant to provide much needed AR when encountering bosses and champions.)

There are many other items, which will greatly be beneficial to this build. Amongst those items you will find :

Armors :
Rattlecage
Toothrow
Crow Caw (on higher levels)
Lionheart Rune Word.

Gloves :
Lava Gout
Hellmouth
Crafted Gloves with % Crushing Blow

Shields :
Lanceguard
Stormshield
Mosers

Rings :
Crafted rings

4.3 Weapons of Choice

There are really a lot of choices here but mainly look for weapons with % to crushing blow. The Crushing Blow stat combined with Static on chance to cast are definitely the way to go, you will want these stats and getting to is of vital importance the higher in level you get.

Keep in mind that Blade Fury suffers a ¾ penalty. So the smart person would say .. then get a huge damage weapon.. like, like, like a Colossus Blade and do Crescent Moon on it.. Sounds good but no. All 2 handed weapons suffer an additional penalty. Making it 3/8 the damage .. and thus making it a bad weapon of choice. Keep that in mind when looking for weapons.

My first weapon which I want to mention is :

Ethereal ‘Cresent Moon’ Cryptic Sword.

It has all the stats you could ever dream of, lower target resistance, ignore target defence, chance to cast static and much more. (see section on charms for more on this.)

Since Blade Fury does not use durability then Ethereal Weapons do not need ZOD. I repeat, Blade Fury does not use durability contrary what anyone might say. This has been tested over a period of 2 months. Where the same weapon was used, and no, it was not indestructible.

The potential damage of this sword is : 350+ and the Static on it just makes it nicer.

My main weapon of choice : Stormlash.

Stormlash has it all. Elemental damage. Static on chance to cast (15%). Huge damage. Crushing Blow. Low stat requirements (high level though). This is the best weapon for a Blade Fury Assassin. The weapon will make short work of opponents/monsters.

There is a lot to be said about this weapon but those whom don’t know it .. well look it up and see it in action and you will know why I’m speechless. Those whom do know it.. well wipe off that smile! If you can get one Ethereal.. well then I bow before you.

The Potential Damage : 1k+ and the Static on it makes it just that much nicer!

Alternative Weapons which definitely deserve mentioning, they are high level yes, but that is what is needed :

Ethereal Fleshripper
Ethereal Gimmershred
Ethereal Baranars Star
Ethereal Nords Tenderiser
Chaos Claw

4.4 Comparing Crescent Moon vs. Stormlash

I tested my two weapons .. and in testing the Crescent Moon and the Ethereal Stormlash I saw something striking.

My test subject was a Necromancer with stats :

Life : 1591 (No Absorb and 16% damage reduction).
Resistances :
Fire : 70.
Lightning : 75.
Cold : 75.
Poison : 48.

I damaged with 1 blade, with Enchant and Venom turned on.

Crescent Moon Cryptic Sword-ethereal-Ethereal Stormlash

1 : 1274 (11xx) ——————- 1376 (1173)
2 : 1234 (800) ——————– 1347 (1056)
3 : 1400 (1186) ——————- 1274 (900)

First number is the life which is initially left. The one in parentheses is the life left after Open Wounds. (So basically 1 blade did : close to 400 damage in PvP.)
Note : When firing 2 blades are always shot off. Some of these hit both times. Some only hit once. The numbers speak for themselves really. So is it worth waiting around for ages to get an Ethereal Beserker Axe 3 Socketed or an Ethereal Cryptic Sword 3 socketed. The Crescent Moon Measures up to the Lash…
But keep in mind this is PvP. PvM is different for 2 reasons. Static and Crushing Blow have not been factored into this equation.

4.5 Notes on Gear

As you may notice I have totally ignored block. As I mention above I choose Tiamats, for the damage and low Dex requirement as well as the Resistances it provides. I choose to ignore block, cause if a monster gets close to me then I’ve made a mistake.

As for those whom wants to use Storm Shield or another shield, get the 1XX dex needed and you’ll be fine there as well. Yes it’s definitely worth it, it is a matter of playing style.

With this gear you will find that you’re not in too bad a shape with damage reduction, simply cause Fade (which you’ll Max) will give you ca. 20% damage reduction and if you use String (or Verdungos) that will most likely be another 15%, so 35% or close to it. While this doesn’t sound like much you’ll have to keep in mind that Soul Drainers cast Weaken almost all the time making all foes damage you at 2/3 their potential. Not bad really

So on top of probably having max resistances in hell, you’ll also find that you can take a few hits, well ok a ‘lot’ but that is that.

Take a licking and keep on ticking.

4.6 Charms

A lot of things could be used with this build. All elemental damage is viable here. Damage is damage so why not just get what you can get. Well not quite.

Most people go for poison, the one many prefer is the 290, even if it is a dupe and what ever.. many have it.. many use it. So here you’re thinking wow, small charm .. 290 in damage. Nice? Not! Sorry.

290 is over 10 seconds. That is 29 over 1 second. That is 13 over .4 of a second which is what venom will do to it. It will remove the long effect of the poison charm, and make it into something which only last 0.4 seconds.

Still a lot? Well compare that to : 1-40 small lightning charm and you know why I have ignored poison charms.

Which all this said I have chosen to look at my gear and let that dictate what I should use. I choose Lightning Charms. Both Small (1-41) and Medium (1-81). They aren’t that expensive and are reasonable easy to get. You will do a lot of lightning damage, which will have lowered resist on it. 10% of it in fact if you’re really lucky with those facets.

Yes you can survive without the facets but why not tweak your build if you got the cash for it.

Why lightning damage?

Well you could choose other charms I just choose lightning cause I already had a ton of it on my weapon. I know I will be using Lightning Facets to make Static more effective, so why not kill two birds with one stone and make my damage more effective as well with charms.
There are 2 to stay away from : poison (as mentioned above) and max/min damage. The reason for the later is that you don’t have enough +% damage to make them effective. Sad but true.

Yes I do encourage you to get Anni… It will allow you to remove the Um from your Tiamat and instead socket it with a Lightning Facet. I recently did this and was very pleased with the result.

4.7 Gear socketing

Subject to change. Feel free to change what you want.

Weapon : Jah (unless it already has Ignore target Defence) or Mal (prevent Monster Heal) or Eth (-target defence .. till you can get Jah)
Shield : Um (Lightning Facet if you’re rich and has Anni)
Helmet : Lightning facet

While these things are all somewhat expensive the build can do without them (except the Jah of course) and you can use other things if you choose.

5.1 Skills

The following a is guide on how the skill tree should look once you’re done. The skills are a rough guide, but altering them a lot will also change the build quite a lot.

5.2 Martial Arts Tree

  • No points spent

5.3 Trap Tree

  • Fire Blast : 1
  • Shock Web : 1
  • Charged bolt Sentry : 1
  • Lightning Sentry : 1
  • Death Sentry : 20 (*)
  • Blade Sentinel : 1
  • Wake of Fire : 1
  • Blade Fury : 1 (**)

(* – Death Sentry is used for the Corpse Explosion, the reason it’s maxed is range .. it’s needed)
(** – Blade Fury will be your main skill it only needs 1 point to be effective for it is not the damage of the skill that makes this work it’s the ¾ weapons damage that is transferred which gives U the damage U need. When you have point the mentioned points into the skills here you will be close to level 86. At this point you are free to do what you choose, I have though preferred to use the remaining points on Blade Fury to squeeze just that extra bit of damage out of it.)

5.4 Shadow Disciplines Tree

  • Claw Mastery : 1
  • Psychic Blow : 1
  • Burst of Speed : 1
  • Fade : 20
  • Venom : 20 (*)
  • Cloak Of Shadows : 5 (**)
  • Mind Blast : 1
  • Weapon Block : 1
  • Shadow Warrior : 1
  • Shadow Master : 20

(* – Venom is a very useful skill due to the close to 300 more damage U get. Keep in mind that this build won’t be using poison charms since Venom kind of nerf their effect.. see under charms)
(** – Cloak of Shadows… this skill is a one point wonder, just like Mind blast and is great for crowd control. The Souls stop shooting, and since you’re stationary when using blade fury this is highly usable. For me, 5 was what I choose U can settle on less, but the figure 5 just allowed me enough time … U may find it too long.. or too short.)

6.1 PvP

PvP.. (sigh) this build isn’t viable in PvP, there are several reasons for this. I’ll list them for ease.

Attack rating – Ignore target defence does NOT work in PvP and the Enchant just doesn’t gives enough AR to make you deadly. On top of that most people whom PvP will have a large ‘block’ and that will practically ensure that you don’t hit. If you do hit, it doesn’t help that there is a 1/9 penalty on damage in PvP, so on top of you ¾ penalty you will already be down a lot.

Speed – Opponents are faster than your blades and unlike guided arrow you shoot in a straight line. You will either have to shoot in front of them, in which case you rarely hit, or wait for them to get in close with you, in which case chances of you winning are small. People will need to be melee and stationary for you to have a good chance of hitting them, and with the PvP being what it is, I doubt there are many PvP players whom stand still to chop away at you while you shoot your blades at them.

Movement – Your movement is limited greatly since blade fury makes you planted in the ground.

To make a long list short, you will be able to take out n00bs… don’t count though on taking down anyone with just a little experience in PvP.

6.2 PvM

This is what the build is all about. Uber Diablo? LOL You can solo him. Baal? Him too. Mephistos? (grins) jep him too. You’ll find that against uniques and bosses this build truly shows its worth. It’s fast, really fast. Against all other monsters, well this is the procedure.

Venom, Fade, Shadow Master… Then you’re set to go hunting.

Order of Attack

  • 1 : Mind Blast your enemies to make then stop and reconsider their course of attack this also helps group them.
  • 2 : Drop Cloak of Shadows on them and this will keep them stationary and ignore you since you’re outside their line of sight while the CoS is up.
  • 3 : Lay down the fury of the blade. Start spraying and keep the controlled group in your desired location.
  • 4 : If you have low damage or the monsters are just not falling. Once you have a few bodies put out a Death Sentry or two. If you really want to go all the way pop out 5 and start shooting once more with the blades.
  • 5 : Done.. repeat if necessary.

6.3 Leveling Guide

When you look at the equipment list you’ll find that it takes a few levels before you can start to wear the gear needed.

My suggestion is to use what you can afford though. There are some traps you should avoid falling into. So before I mention the gear for low levels remember the following.

Dual handed weapons- suffer a 3/8 penalty to damage instead of ¾ so get a good one handed weapon. Speed is irrelevant once you have the Blade Fury Skill.

What to look for early on.

Well a good weapon is a 4-6 socketed weapon with Perfect Gems in it. While this requires a high level then find a weapon with a lot of sockets, and use then the type of gem (chipped, flawless or perfect) which suits your level. The weapon will work fine for several levels. It’s relatively cheap too.

Early on a Claw wouldn’t be a bad idea either since the Claw Mastery (1 point which is a required skill for the Shadow Tree) you have will give you a little attack rating to boost in the beginning.

Weapons

Socketed weapons with gems
Headstriker
Hexfire
Ali Babas Blade
Coldsteel Eye
Ginthers Rift
Plague Bearer
Hell Plague
Crushflange
Fury Rune Word
Malice Rune Word (Great for all levels really)
Honor Rune Word

Speed

IAS has no influence what so ever on Blade Fury, so neither does Slow and Cold. Once the initial animation of you casting the Fury is done the blades will be coming out at a fixed rate.

A good tactic early in the game is to use Blade Sentinel, while going melee with the monsters. Start off with a sentinel, enter melee, switch to a sentinel every now and then and you’ll find that you won’t be doing half bad.

The most fun is when you meet up with a paladin who has Concentration or Conviction. Makes a world of difference really.

6.4 Leveling area ideas

The following is a small guide where you could level. It may not be what you find the easiest nor the best, it is though what I did.

Level 1-14 : Act 1 mainly Dark woods.
Level 15-20 : Act 2 mainly Arcane Sanctuary.
Level 20-25 : Act 3 only Tranvical runs
Level 25-40 : Act 5 only Baal runs.
Level 40-60 : Act 5 NM Baal runs.
Level 60+ : Act 5 Hell Baal runs.

As you can see once you hit a certain level, time to move on. Ignore how many times you die. If you level on the way NP, but get to where the XP is ASAP.

This is for leveling only, not for enjoying the game. While yes you could say that a lot of the game has been skipped, I will answer that you are free to go around this leveling guide, it is only posted to show where you will gain the most XP comparative to your level. This is meant as a guide IF you’re in a group. If you solo you will want to stick to areas a bit lower than your level.

6.5 Mercenary

There are so many mercenaries to choose from.
The rogue? The barb? The Wolf. Well I’ve always with my fury sins looked for crowd control. Someone to take the hits for me. Someone whom can slow the monsters from getting to me. The Defensive Mercenary from Act 2 nightmare is the one which does this. It has Holy Freeze. While being a great tank it also slows the monsters, so if they ‘flee’ they don’t go far. If they attack they don’t attack so fast. If they run at you they rarely make it all the way.

Gear for non ladder would be a :

Gaze
Shaftstop(Or the Hwanins Armor)
Bonehew (Amn + Amn)

Not much else to be said really… Get him high level fast… that is all that can be said really. He’s your trusted ally so use him often as you can.

7.1 Q&A

Are you sure that this attack rating is enough?

While I do use ITD on monsters you will find that against bosses and champions it will go a long way, hitting 2 or 3 out of 5 blades, and some can live with that, I can’t. Thus I have gone around the traditional way of getting AR and instead of items and charms I have used the skill Enchant. You can gain this 2 ways : Lava Gout.. which means removing your soul drainers, or as I have done, on my switch placed a Demon Limb. It has 20 charges of level 23 enchant.
Providing 10 minutes of huge AR: It costs 10 k gold to repair 1 charge. A lot, but with the Horadric Cube you can get around this little problem with : ort + chipped gem + item.. and it will be fully recharged.

Why not use claws?

Claws are a great weapon. They look cool and you can get a lot of damage. You can even make that damage higher with Claw Mastery. It will also solve your Attack rating problem.

Sorry, but no it doesn’t do that. While claws are so cool, they don’t get high enough in damage, having a max around the 250’s. Other weapons get close to 450’s and with a ¾ penalty on the damage from the skill, you’ll want as much damage as you can get.
Claw Mastery, even at level 20, doesn’t give you enough damage % nor AR, simply cause you won’t have other % of increased damage from your skills. The attack rating is considerable, but still when you can get it all and more from an item, is it really worth the 19 points? No

You use some rather odd gear. Some elite some not, is gear that important?

Yes the gear of this build is what makes or breaks it. You can have all the right skills and with the wrong gear you’ll get slaughtered in normal. While with the right gear you’ll be flying through hell. Part of this whole build is the gear, so don’t settle for less.

Many people ask about the other blade skills. Are they any good?

Put simply? No. Blade Shield doesn’t do enough damage (1/8) and the timing is 1 damage if it hits per sec. Simply too slow and while it’s a last defence, if the monsters are that close to you, you’ve done something wrong. Your other blade skill, Blade Sentinel, while great in early levels, quickly loose its potency due to lack of duration…

Rattlecage.. isn’t the flee an irritation?

Some will agree, and say yes. Some will disagree. You have to keep in mind that in normal they flee far. In nightmare a little less. In hell, not as far. So with a HF Mercenary you will have them fleeing a little but not too far. It is a matter of taste really. If you don’t like it. Use another.

These weapons I just can’t find what works, what should I do?

If you’re poor go for the socketed approach and get as many sockets in an item and pop in the highest level gems U can. If you’re able to get some items, look for those with chance to cast, elemental damage or high damage. There are a lot out there. Even the Aldurs Set Weapon will do decent damage.
A rule of thumb is : Try it out. If you find a weapon then try it out. If it kills fast keep it. If not sell it.

How do I get more attack rating?

There are several ways to get more attack rating.

  • Charms are a good source of attack rating.
  • Atmas Scarab gives you a good % as well.
  • Angelic amulet + 2 Angelic rings for the ar bonus (giving you close to 2k).
  • Lava Gout.
  • Raven Frost rings.
  • Demon Limb (mentioned earlier).
  • Cloak of Shadows lowers enemy defence.
  • -xx% target defence on hit.
  • More dexterity.

AR on the weapon (like Baranars, or Black rune word)

There are many ways to get around the AR problem, you just have to choose one and stick with that solution, don’t spread yourself out on different ways, as you will find it will hurt your gear too much.

8.1 Conclusion

Well that’s it.. Any and all suggestions made are of course welcome.

8.2 Credits

Many of you have helped me with this guide, and inspired me to improve it. There are though a few people whom have done this more than most :
– Naliworld – Thank you for your attention to this thread and support/ideas.
– Ajin – For your aid and support when I was in the early stages of this build and about to drop it from one day to another.
– PsychoticEwok1 – Your updates and progress has helped me thin of new ways to aid others. Your questions has helped me do the Q&A; section.
– Raph – For his suggestions and compliments… and for persuading others that the AR bit wasn’t BS. Just nice to see people taking the time to make a generous comment and take notice to others not being at their 100% self. Thanks man
– Frankenstein – Your gear suggestions shows u know what you’re talking about. Gave me some good (and bad) ideas.. all tested all helping to improvements.
– Tanatus – You’ve helped by answering stuff which has been asked repeatedly. A real gentleman 🙂
– Shakeitlikeasin – For giving me a laugh every time I see the name.. and for providing me with some skill ideas.
I know I’ve forgotten some and if I have my apologies.. thank you though for helping me keep this build alive.

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