1.09 Assassin Planning Questions/Build Proposal My Necro is making good progress, so I'm feeling good enough about his chances to start planning on my 1.09 Assassin (#7 of the Sept). I've been reading some guides and gathering some information, and I've decided to make a claw-wielding MA Assassin. Thing is, I've never played an Assassin, and they apparently changed quite a bit for 1.10+... as such, planning for this character is a bit challenging - so I'd like to see if any 1.09 Sin Vets out there can help me out with some guidance. Here's what I understand about 1.09 Assassins: 1. Claws are a must - bugged CM and broken non-claw AR make any other weapon a real drop. 2. Kicks are weak due to no kick damage on boots. 3. Fade doesn't give PDR, nor does Natalya's Odium (thus ending my desperation to find a Nat's Mark to make a Natalya's Sin). 4. Pheonix Strike MA Sins were like Buriza Bowazons - basically 95% of all Sins you saw. So, I'm of course planning on maxing Claw Mastery and PS. I'd also like Claws of Thunder for the superior lightning damage and a Shadow Master, but I'd also like Burst of Speed. Here's the deal, unlike the other characters I've built in 1.09 (other than the Druid), this one really seems to be a skill point allocation challenge (the Druid still has a way to go at level 83, though he's basically retired). Bartuc's is the hands-down Claw of Choice in 1.09, and I have a nice collection of those, so that will obviously be her weapon. I also plan to use that BKWB the Sorc found, and a melee character must have lightning absorb, so TGod's Vigor will be a must. So, here's some questions: 1. A guide I read suggested Naj's Light Plate as a good choice for armor - I really like this idea since I have actually gotten one of these - does BoS overcome any heavy armor penalties? 2. Dual Bartuc's or Bartuc's + shield? I have Stormshield, Moser's, Whistan's, etc. available, but I'm also thinking of a style choice - Taebaek's Glory. I'm not against pumping dex - I understand that claws get damage bonus from both STR and DEX. Even if I go Claw+Shield, I'd have dual Bartuc's on switch for casting. 3. Is it worth the points to max Shadow Master? That would have to be the fourth maxed skill (with Claw Mastery, PS, and CoT), so that precludes pumping BoS, Weapon Block, etc. +skills should get a point to a decent level though. I guess I'd like feedback on my outline of a build and gear: Str for gear Dex for blocking (if shield) Vit rest Ene base 20 CM 20 CoT 20 PS 20 SM ~5 BoS Helm: Stealskull or Death Casque (see below) [note - don't have an extra Vamp's available] Ammy: Highlord's Wrath or Order Torc (see below) Armor: Naj's Light Plate Weapon/Shield: Dual Bartuc's or Bartucs + (Storshield/Whistan's/Moser's/Taebaek's) Belt: Thundergod's Vigor Gloves: LoH or Storm Hold (see below) Rings: BKWB + RF Boots: Dire Trample (see below) Charms: 2x Mentalist's GC and various resists/life/damage/AR charms Code: Death Casque Circlet Defense: 25 Durability: 21 of 35 Required Level: 27 Item Version: Expansion Item Level: 76 Fingerprint: 0xd1679c25 +10 to Energy Fire Resist +19% Lightning Resist +36% 20% Faster Run/Walk +1 to Assassin Skill Levels Order Torc Amulet Required Level: 51 Item Version: Expansion Item Level: 90 Fingerprint: 0x6b72a964 +10 to Strength +9 to Minimum Damage Fire Resist +46% Lightning Resist +19% Cold Resist +19% Poison Resist +19% 6% Mana stolen per hit +2 to Shadow Discipline Skills (Assassin Only) Storm Hold Sharkskin Gloves Defense: 73 Durability: 14 of 14 Required Strength: 20 Required Level: 52 Item Version: Expansion Item Level: 93 Fingerprint: 0x7973e3d +15 to Life +80% Enhanced Defense +13 to Attack Rating 3% Life stolen per hit 7% Chance of Crushing Blow +2 to Martial Art Skills (Assassin Only) Repairs 1 durability in 33 seconds Dire Trample Heavy Boots Defense: 12 Durability: 8 of 14 Required Strength: 18 Required Level: 52 Item Version: Expansion Item Level: 90 Fingerprint: 0x3f95ecc5 +58% Enhanced Defense Lightning Resist +25% Cold Resist +13% Replenish Life +3 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items 20% Faster Run/Walk Am I missing something obvious here? Is PS MA the way to go, and, if so, am I missing the boat on the skill selections? Should I keep crafting Blood Gloves for a better set? Is SM worth the investment? Thanks for any feedback.