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Diablo 2 Guide: The Lightning Amazon

Guide by: Jek -

1.10 Mini Guide – The Lightning Amazon

“I am upsetting the wind
blowing against me

Rainy days
Without my permission

Signs its name
Against the turbulent sky”
— Jill Chan

Part I: Skills

Amazon - Diablo 2 resurrected Diablo 2 Guide: The Lightning AmazonIntroduction:

Hi, some of might know me, some of you might not. After having conquered the 1.10 patch, and made it to hell on ladder (with a Hammerdin, yes I’m cheesy). I wanted to try something new. A friend of mine suggested making a Javazon, at first I raised an eyebrow, why on earth would I want to make a fruity 1.09 build? But, my interest had been wakened. After having studied the skills and synergies, I came to the conclusion that the build just might be a strong choice, so I booted up Diablo 2, and created my very first 1.10 Lightning Amazon. She was a disaster, simply put. I had fallen for Power Strike’s charming high damage, and thus negated other important skills. At first I thought the build was weak, but then after some discussion and skill calculation/speculation I tried again, this time with great success.

I do not consider the following text as a “normal” Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction guide. I’m not going to say, “Thou shalt equip a Stormshield, Titans Revenge and an Enigma armor or thou willth be smiteth by The Holy Gods of Diablo!”. Instead of giving a clear-cut item setup, I’ll try to make a discussion about most of the viable uniques/runewords/crafted items there is. And as a result, end up with a guide that’s capable of playing untwinked from level 1 to level 99. For the same reason the discussion of stat-points will be one of the smaller parts of this “guide”. I will give this advice however: “Enough for your items, high block and rest to vit.”

One of the strongest features of this kind of char is she’s very item independent, she could waltz through Chaos Sanctuary with a cracked javelin if need be.

I hope this will spawn some attention to this great subclass, lets show them Paladins, Necromancers and Sorcerers that the Amazon is still the queen of killing the spawns of hell!

LF:		Lightning Fury
CS:		Charged Strike
LS:		Lightning Strike

LI:		Lightning Immune
PI:		Physical Immune

AR:		Attack Rating
MS:		Multiple Shot
LE:		Lightning Enhanced

IAS:		Increased Attack Speed
FPA:		Frames per Attack
APS:		Attacks per Second

CBF:		Can't Be Frozen
FHR:		Faster Hit Recovery
FBR:		Faster Block Rate
FRW:		Faster Run/Walk
ICB:		Increased Chance of Block
MF:		Magic Find

Rating System:
The King!:	*****
Very Good:	****
Good:		***
"Average":	**
Useless: 	*

Javalin Skills:
This tree will be where we’ll spend most of our time allocating skill-points. I’ve split it up into two discussions, #1-Lightning Skills, #2-Physical Skills, I’ll jump right over the Poison Skills since I have little to no experience using these, if anyone could help me out here I’d greatly appreciate it. Enough senseless rambling, unto the skills!

Ah, the source of all our powers – after all we are the Lightning Amazon. This is both our strength and our weakness, while specializing yourself heavily in one elemental you will lose killing speed when encountering LI monsters, while there are methods to slay these foul fiends it is something you should consider. Would I really want to sacrifice flexibility for pure power? If the answer is yes, then read on, if no I suggest going the route of a Poison/Lightning Fury Javazon.

Power Strike:
At first one could be tempted by this skill, it does list some incredible lightning damage. Do not blind yourself, this skill pales in comparison with the later skills. My suggestion, spend one point as a pre-requirement. One could argue it’s worthwhile for starting out; I personally do not have troubles using it until I reach Charged Strike.
Rating: *

Lightning Bolt:
This is an excellent early skill; converting 100% of your physical damage into lightning elemental is very nice against early encounters with demons of the physical immune species. However, it as its low level cousin (Power Strike) pales in comparison with a certain cow frying skill (read: Lightning Fury). But as Power Strike, boosting this a tad might help out the starting procedure; again, I will advice against doing so.
Rating: **

Charged Strike:
Now we are talking, this skill will be your bread and butter when it comes to killing “big” monsters and smaller packs (Hard to explain, but usually around 5 are a good choice for CS). By “big” monsters I mean monsters which are larger than your average size fiend, good examples would be Venom Lords and Act Bosses, their size allows your strike to hit the monster multiple times with the charged bolts which results in a crispy carcass (multiple bolts will hit the same target resulting in massive damage). Until you’ve tried killing Diablo with this skill and two synergies you haven’t seen the build’s true power.
NOTE: This skill will probably be your left click if you decide to go the more balanced Lightning route.
Rating: *****

Lightning Strike:
Another excellent skill, Lightning Strike is very effective at bringing down larger packs – in fact in the later acts/difficulties more important than LF. As with CS you’ll have to use it against the “right pack”, basically any big pack would do. As an additional bonus the skill looks awful when executed on a large group.
NOTE: This skill might be affected by the NextDelay bug. The chain lightning from LS jumps between monsters and if a monster is hit twice within 4 frames then it the last LS will not deal any damage.
Rating: ****

Lightning Fury:
An old friend of many I suspect. We all remember the 1.09 days of slaughtering cows upon cows with this little gem. To all the lovers of it out there, do not moan over this lost friend for it shines again! LF really adds the last piece to the Lightning Puzzle; it gives you great ranged power which most sorceresses would envy you.
Rating: *****


An excellent early physical skill, this is my skill of choice when dealing with the LIs you will encounter, even if you go all the way of the Lightning Amazon you’d need to get this skill as a pre-req, luckily it’s a one-point wonder.
Rating: ****

Javelin "normal" speedtab
fps      [20]     [10]     [0]    [-10]

16/8       0                         
15/8       2                         
14/7       7        0                
13/7      14        3                
12/6      24       11       0        
11/6      39       23      10       0
10/6      58       39      23      10
10/5      65       40      25      15
9/5       89       63      42      26
8/5      142      102      72      50
8/4      170      120      90      60
7/4      270      187     133      95

— Amazon Attack Speed Tables (This is a Link)

Some might argue this skill has it uses, personaly I hate it. While it can work it need the entire char to be pretty much build for it. And the entire ideas about destroying your equipment for damage seems rather weak, you’d want those gold coins spend on repairing for gambling/shopping.
Rating: *

Fend, while being a decent skill it got one problem, to really make it better than Jab you have to dedicate a lot more points into it. Fend simply can’t compete with Jab skill-point economic-vise.
NOTE: Bugged, if you are hit during a fend-cycle the remaining attacks will miss. Quite dangerous – as you will be standing in the middle of combat.
Rating: ***

Below I’ve listed my three amazons, one pure lightning, one with FA and one with Guided Arrow. Overall I believe the pure lightning to be the strongest, with a good enough javelin and jab you really don’t need another element. It’s alot more expensive tho.

Pure Lightning Amazon
Max Charged Strike
Max Lightning Strike
Max Lightning Fury
This will give you great melee both against big and lesser packs (CS and LS) while still having the option of going ranged against great mobs (LF) — You wouldn’t need ranged against single monsters, CS should allow you kill even the strongest mob very fast. A one-point wonder to remember is Jab, this will be your main attack against LI’s, and I’ve chosen not to raise it. I’ve never had the urge for it, this is a personal choice.

Balanced Lightning Amazon
Max Charged Strike
Max Lightning Strike
Level 1 Guided Arrow or going all the way to get Freezing Arrow
This will give you very strong lightning attacks, not as strong as that of a pure lightning build obviously, but enough to handle most monsters with relative ease. LI monsters are handled from range with a high damage bow, Valkyrie and your mercenary. It’s worth mentioning that going the FA route will add a lot of safety to your Valkyrie and mercenary when they fight the foul beats.

End Game Damage:
Skill Level=20

Pure Lightning Amazon
LF		21 Bolts	1-823
LS		21 Hits		1-1286
CS 		7 Bolts		1-1674

Balanced Lightning Amazon
LF		21 Bolts	1-707
CS		7 Bolts		3-1030

Passive/Magic Skills:
Survival. This Skilltree will make you live through the carnage. This is not a skill tree to be ignored; ignoring this will most likely result in pulling out a lot of hair and deciding to restart the char.

What’s really better than boosts you don’t have to spend time activating? This is here we will talk about the passives in the survival skill tree.

Will help you survive in the heat of battle. Really longer your lifespan if wielding a shield too, a very powerful skill for the people that wants to live.
Rating: ****

Dodging missile attacks is strong, but against archers you’ll most of the time rush against them and thus negating the bonus from Avoid, it’s a decent skill, but there are better.
Rating: **

Ever dreamt about being Neo and dodging bullets like there’s no tomorrow? Well this skill will help you do exactly that. A very strong choice as ranged monsters really is a force to reckon with now. This does what Avoid wanted to do and more.
Rating: ****

Critical Strike:
Doubling your physical damage is good, don’t get me wrong, but most of your damage will be from Lightning anyway. Some might argue that it’ll help you against LIs, true, but from my testing it isn’t needed. It’s a very good point to spend on level 2 however, as it will most likely be combined with Jab as of level 3.
Rating: **
Rating: **** — If focusing more on Physical damage.

Getting higher AR is almost always good; however you really do not need it. CS, LS and LF are all auto-hits. Even if you went with PS instead of one of the others you wouldn’t need it as PS gives quite a boost to AR on its own. It’s a useful one-point wonder however, as it helps you when jabbing.
Rating: **

We all remember how much 1.09 Javazons (Lightning Fury + Pierce) just slaughtered cows. This skill can either be great or a waste, it boils down to your play style. If you find yourself using Lightning Fury often, definitely spend some points here.
Rating: ***** or *

Ever wanted to be a necro, and placing powerful curses on your enemies? Ever wanted to be a wild druid, summoning the wilder beasts to do your bidding? This is the skills for you then!

This is probably one of the strongest skills in the game now. The Valkyrie has been improved so much since 1.09 it now receives the same bonuses from Dodge, Avoid and Evade as you do, which results in a very tough tank. Raising the level of this will improve its equipment and at level 17 she will be equipped with a War Pike. Strong choice!

Slvl 1 : Full plate mail and Spear (mod1 = 6) 
Slvl 2 : adds Heavy gloves (mod1 = 4) 
Slvl 4 : adds Heavy Boots (mod1 = 4) 
Slvl 5 : adds Heavy Belt (mod1 = 4) 
Slvl 7 : upgrades Full Plate Mail to Chaos Armor (mod1 = 6) 
Slvl 8 : upgrades Spear to Lance (mod1 = 6) 
Slvl 10: upgrades Heavy Gloves to War Gauntlets (mod1 = 4) 
Slvl 11: upgrades Heavy Boots to War Boots (mod1 = 4) 
Slvl 12: upgrades Heavy Belt to War Belt (mod1 = 4) 
Slvl 13: adds Amulet (mod1 = 4) 
Slvl 14: adds Circlet (mod1 = 4) 
Slvl 16: replaces Chaos Armor with Sacred Armor (mod1 = 6) 
Slvl 17: replaces Lance with War Pike (mod1 = 6) 
Slvl 19: upgrades War Gauntlets to Crusader Gauntlets (mod1 = 6) 
Slvl 21: upgrades War Boots to Mirrored Boots (mod1 = 6) 
Slvl 23: upgrades War Belt to Colussus Girdle (mod1 = 6) 
Slvl 25: changes mod1 for amulet from 4 to 6 
Slvl 27: upgrades Circlet to Tiara (mod1 = 6)

(Mod1 = 4) Is a Magic item
(Mod1 = 6) is a Rare item.

Lvl17 seems to be optimal, Damage Wise.

Rating: *****

A very good spell however is passed by Valkyrie. A strong feature of the Decoy is “decoy-scouting”, cast it in front of you (at the edge of the screen) to check the area for foes. Combined with Valkyrie and you have to tools to fool your enemies and only take minimal damage. A very strong “one-point wonder”!
Rating: ***

Slow Missile:
Probably one of the most underrated skills in the game. This spell gives you so much for just a singe point, against MS enhanced monsters you chill down their shoots to a laughable pace, MS+LE enchanted monster’s bolts are easily dodged. Using this against the inferno spraying monsters will greatly decrease their damage as the flames won’t travel as long. And in general renders archers pretty much useless. Excellent one-point skill!
Rating: *****

Inner Sight:
I might hear from this but simply put this skill is garbage. I haven’t ever had to use this skill. Sadly it’s a pre-req. Grr.
Rating: *

Giving advices on points to spend here is hard, as it’s mainly based upon experience and play style. I suggest getting a decent level Valkyrie and getting your Dodge and Evade to 50s (but don’t forget about Avoid, it still has its uses). Remember to count in +skills from items, points saved will result in stronger lightning attacks.
The more points spend here, the stronger a tank you’ll get in the form of the Valkyrie. If you are ignoring this skill tree you are missing out one of the most potent tanks in the game – the Valkyrie. Believe me when I say that she’ll most likely save your life many times during the course of the game.

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