A Blessed Journey: Untwinked Paladin Reaches 99

PhineasB

Diabloii.Net Member
Phaedrus was my third entrant in @Kitteh’s relaunch of the untwinked 99er challenge. He now joins Mercy (trapper assassin) and Hiatus (Blizz sorc 1-98 and lightning sorc 98-99) in the Table of Heroes.
99.jpg
Phaedrus started in November 2016 with plans for an untwinked playthrough as a Holy Fire/Holy Shock hybrid and stopped after taking down Normal Andariel. Around New Years, I was looking for a break from the XP runs for the other two 99ers (Baal for Mercy and CS for Hiatus), remembered this guy, and decided to approach him like a future 99er.

We’ll open with a vid of Ancients + last Diablo run to ping 99, followed by reflections on progress, run down of finds, and final stats and gear, and then some concluding thoughts and thanks. (Don't mind sloppy typing at the end--adding Ancients to the mix threw off a routine of p-settings that had been honed over 1000s of prior runs :oops:)

Progress
As summarized in this post, Phaedrus blitzed to level 86 in about two weeks into January 2017, doing the rest of Normal and Nightmare at p1 (respect to hammerdin occurred at Normal Diablo) and having minimal gear. Being undergeared led to some struggles, but nothing too bad. He took a short leveling break at Pit to 76 and then Eldritch/Shenk to 84, with some LK runs mixed in, yielding the first Sur and 2 Lion Branded skillers.

I mostly focused on Mercy at that point, but Phaedrus got some LK and RoF runs in, finally netting a 35 FCR spirit on the 18th try in April 2017. When Mercy hit 99 in May 2017, Hiatus was approaching 97 and Phaedrus was level 90.

Phaedrus then focused mostly on LK, with some Meph and RoF mixed in. Of note, he got Griffon’s from the Pit (which Hiatus would have appreciated) and a Cham from RoF (when a Jah or Ber would have been much preferred toward his Enigma).

But, at Level 93, he eventually finished that game-changing runeword from LK in late July 2017, with an extra Sur that quickly found a partner to allow merc to have CoH. Key stretch of LK runs (with 4 Surs) is summarized in this post. The estimate was ~4075 LK runs to make that happen. He then transitioned to CS full-time, doing Gripphon runs (Vizier and Infector seals only) up to 97, and then seals/Diablo for 97-99. He made it level 94 within the first week or so, and then was parked as Hiatus made her final push to 98 and then to 99.

As explained in this post, he got some runs here and there for a break from Hiatus and then more frequently toward the end of Hiatus’ push for 98-99, and quickly hit 95 after Hiatus pinged 99 in December 2017. I started the necro around this time because I missed having two characters on the tables. Along with the Amazon entered later, Phaedrus and Pestilence the necro have been the main focus of my gaming time since then.

Phaedrus was still missing Shako and Arachnid’s, which he picked up in the next half-level to 95.5. He hit 96 in late January, finally upgraded his +1 BO Call to Arms at the midway point through level 96 before hitting 97 in early March. A quarter of the way into level 97, he picked up a major drop (Cranium Basher) that brings me to grail -3 overall.

He didn't make much/any progress during Rounds 1 and 2 of the 2018 RFL. He then pushed to 97.5 before the start of RFL round 3, in the hopes of finishing the level during that three-week window, with some major upgrades of cubing a Ber for the Shako and a +6 BO CtA reroll (fifth attempt). The RFL set plus a few hours saw him hit 98, with a summary of 97-98 and a vid embedded in this post.

The pre-MFO tournament and then MFO led to breaks from Phaedrus—with Pestilence reaching 96.5 and Quinta the Amazon hitting 93.5. But Phaedrus made it through the first quarter level in early September before we left for vacation the rest of the month.

When we got back, I set a goal of 20M/week, which would have seen him finish by late November, and we exceeded the goal several times allowing him to finish up two weeks earlier. Updates of his progress are here (98.4), here (98.5), here (98.75), and here (99). Just because it was cool, here is one drop from this stretch:
98 (Zod).jpg

Finds
As noted in some of my posts, CS/Diablo runs are good for runes due to the animation of popping the last seal, and hammerdins have nice area of effect to boot. Thousands of Diablo kills also contributes nicely to eth grail. His rune haul was quite solid, and will allow me to complete the runeword grail once I organize the bases.

The key runewords he made and total remaining high runes is below:
Code:
Enigma
CoH eth
CtA x5
Delirium
HoTo x2
Ber’ed Shako

Mal – 7
Ist – 4
Gul – 7
Vex – 13
Ohm – 3
Lo – 3
Sur – 5
Ber – 2
Jah – 2
Cham – 2
Zod – 1
He also has ~2 Ists worth of Ko-Um runes when cubed up. Phaedrus didn’t pick up Normal and Exception items unless they contributed to eth grail or were high-variable items (e.g., War Traveler, Vamp Gaze). Still, he surpassed 400 items found (401), with quite a bit of progress on the eth grail front.

As with Mercy and Hiatus, there are too many nice items to summarize, so I will just list a couple favorites: Cranium Basher (overall grailer) and Entrapping GC of Vita (40). He also picked up lots of skillers that I’ll work through, but I don’t think many had secondary mods that would improve my overall stash. A few were “of life” or “of sustenance” though.

Reflections and Musings
A lot was covered above, but a few other thoughts on his journey:

-- I won’t repeat the p1 progression, as the main source of frustration was early on as he tried to pull together some decent gear to allow safe MF and LK runs.

-- That said, he could have moved faster if I’d just focused on LK once he had the basics. But I think I might have burned out if he’d done that, and the RoF chest runs were a fun break and decent leveling option.

-- He found two Lion Branded skillers in the first 100 LK runs, then no more over the next ~4000 and ~10 levels worth of XP runs. He didn’t pick up the third (and final for him) until around 98.5.

-- He had only one death after getting Enigma (during level 96). There were a couple NDEs mixed in (usually due to not seeing Conviction aura for Infector), but he was really quite safe.

-- A backpack full of skillers would make seal/Diablo runs go much faster.

-- As noted, straight p7 Diablo runs (or p1 for de Seis) was faster for 97-98, contrary to conventional wisdom about Gripphon runs being faster. My experience with him leads me to believe that would be true for any character than can take down de Seis and then Diablo relatively smoothly (i.e., not true for Blizz but likely true for many others).

Stats, Gear, and Merc
I removed readouts of the runes included in runewords to shorten things and didn’t bother including corpse recovery kit because it wasn’t used.
Code:
Name:       Phaedrus
Class:      Paladin
Experience: 3520485254
Level:      99

            Naked/Gear
Strength:   25/101
Dexterity:  148/167
Vitality:   397/421
Energy:     15/17
HP:         1427/2042
Mana:       162/454
Stamina:    559/839
Defense:    37/1578
AR:         725/859

Fire:       198/158/98
Cold:       182/142/82
Lightning:  157/117/57
Poison:     166/126/66

MF:         254       Block:      46
GF:         92
FR/W:       85
FHR:        55
IAS:        0
FCR:        125

Sacrifice: 0/0
Smite: 1/18
Holy Bolt: 1/18
Zeal: 0/0
Charge: 1/18
Vengeance: 0/0
Blessed Hammer: 20/37
Conversion: 0/0
Holy Shield: 20/37
Fist of the Heavens: 0/0

Might: 1/15
Holy Fire: 0/0
Thorns: 0/0
Blessed Aim: 20/34
Concentration: 20/34
Holy Freeze: 0/0
Holy Shock: 0/0
Sanctuary: 0/0
Fanaticism: 0/0
Conviction: 0/0

Prayer: 1/15
Resist Fire: 0/0
Defiance: 2/16
Resist Cold: 0/0
Cleansing: 1/15
Resist Lightning: 0/0
Vigor: 20/34
Meditation: 0/0
Redemption: 1/15
Salvation: 0/0
Code:
Call to Arms
War Scepter
AmnRalMalIstOhm
One Hand Damage: 35 - 59
Durability: 70 of 70
Required Level: 57
Required Strength: 55
Fingerprint: 0xae071a75
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
+40% Increased Attack Speed
250% Enhanced Damage
+150% Damage to Undead
Adds 5 - 30 Fire Damage
7% Life stolen per hit
Prevent Monster Heal
+1 to Holy Shock (Paladin Only)
+1 to Conversion (Paladin Only)
+5 to Battle Command
+6 to Battle Orders
+4 to Battle Cry
Replenish Life +12
30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
5 Sockets (5 used)
Socketed: Amn Rune
Socketed: Ral Rune
Socketed: Mal Rune
Socketed: Ist Rune
Socketed: Ohm Rune

Spirit
Superior Protector Shield
TalThulOrtAmn
Defense: 175
Chance to Block: 0
Durability: 44 of 44
Required Level: 34
Required Strength: 69
Fingerprint: 0x21e6848
Item Level: 82
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
+32% Faster Cast Rate
+55% Faster Hit Recovery
+14% Enhanced Defense
+250 Defense vs. Missile
+22 to Vitality
+101 to Mana
Cold Resist +35%
All Resistances +39
Lightning Resist +35%
Poison Resist +35%
+3 Magic Absorb
Attacker Takes Damage of 14
Increase Maximum Durability 12%
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Tal Rune
Socketed: Thul Rune
Socketed: Ort Rune
Socketed: Amn Rune

Heart of the Oak
Flail
KoVexPulThul
One Hand Damage: 1 - 24
Durability: 30 of 30
Required Level: 55
Required Strength: 41
Required Dexterity: 35
Fingerprint: 0x91daca9a
Item Level: 42
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+3 to All Skills
+40% Faster Cast Rate
+75% Damage to Demons
+100 to Attack Rating against Demons
+150% Damage to Undead
Adds 3 - 14 Cold Damage Over 3 Secs (75 Frames)
7% Mana stolen per hit
+10 to Dexterity
Replenish Life +20
Increase Maximum Mana 15%
All Resistances +38
Level 4 Oak Sage (25/25 Charges)
Level 14 Raven (60/60 Charges)
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Ko Rune
Socketed: Vex Rune
Socketed: Pul Rune
Socketed: Thul Rune

Phaedrus's Spirit
Sacred Targe
TalThulOrtAmn
Defense: 140
Chance to Block: 0
Durability: 34 of 45
Required Level: 47
Required Strength: 86
Fingerprint: 0x4a10eb21
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
+35% Faster Cast Rate
+55% Faster Hit Recovery
+250 Defense vs. Missile
+22 to Vitality
+105 to Mana
Cold Resist +35%
All Resistances +43
Lightning Resist +35%
Poison Resist +35%
+6 Magic Absorb
Attacker Takes Damage of 14
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Tal Rune
Socketed: Thul Rune
Socketed: Ort Rune
Socketed: Amn Rune

Phaedrus's Enigma
Superior Breast Plate
JahIthBer
Defense: 845
Durability: 43 of 56
Required Level: 65
Required Strength: 30
Fingerprint: 0x73794eb7
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
+45% Faster Run/Walk
+1 to Teleport
+15% Enhanced Defense
+766 Defense
+74 to Strength (Based on Character Level)
Increase Maximum Life 5%
Damage Reduced by 8%
+14 Life after each Kill
15% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
99% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items (Based on Character Level)
Increase Maximum Durability 12%
3 Sockets (3 used)
Socketed: Jah Rune
Socketed: Ith Rune
Socketed: Ber Rune

Arachnid Mesh
Spiderweb Sash
Defense: 136
Durability: 9 of 12
Required Level: 80
Required Strength: 50
Fingerprint: 0xa30a6af6
Item Level: 94
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
+20% Faster Cast Rate
Slows Target by 10%
+117% Enhanced Defense
Increase Maximum Mana 5%
Level 3 Venom (11/11 Charges)

Phaedrus's Harlequin Crest
Shako
Defense: 126
Durability: 5 of 12
Required Level: 63
Required Strength: 50
Fingerprint: 0xb62e9987
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
All Stats +2
+148 to Life (Based on Character Level)
+148 to Mana (Based on Character Level)
Damage Reduced by 18%
50% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
1 Sockets (1 used)
Socketed: Ber Rune

Ber Rune
Required Level: 63
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Weapons: 20% Chance of Crushing Blow
Armor: Damage Reduced by 8%
Shields: Damage Reduced by 8%

Bul-Kathos' Wedding Band
Ring
Required Level: 58
Fingerprint: 0x7e184e27
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
4% Life stolen per hit
+49 to Life (Based on Character Level)
+50 Maximum Stamina

Bul-Kathos' Wedding Band
Ring
Required Level: 58
Fingerprint: 0xe3d6e356
Item Level: 94
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
5% Life stolen per hit
+49 to Life (Based on Character Level)
+50 Maximum Stamina

Trang-Oul's Claws
Heavy Bracers
Defense: 72
Durability: 11 of 16
Required Level: 45
Required Strength: 58
Fingerprint: 0x131ab2c3
Item Level: 84
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to Curses (Necromancer only)
+20% Faster Cast Rate
+25% to Poison Skill Damage
+30 Defense
Cold Resist +30%

Stone Clasp
Amulet
Required Level: 89
Fingerprint: 0xfc4446e1
Item Level: 92
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to Paladin Skill Levels
+10% Faster Cast Rate
+7 to Dexterity
+14 to Mana
Regenerate Mana 6%
Poison Length Reduced by 25%
9% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Aldur's Advance
Battle Boots
Defense: 43
Durability: 15 of 18
Required Level: 45
Required Strength: 95
Fingerprint: 0x4d900760
Item Level: 94
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Indestructible
+40% Faster Run/Walk
+50 to Life
+180 Maximum Stamina
Heal Stamina Plus 32%
Fire Resist +50%
10% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
Set (2 items): +15 to Dexterity
Set (3 items): +15 to Dexterity
Set (4 items): +15 to Dexterity
Code:
Lion Branded Grand Charm of Craftmanship
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0x4226e133
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Combat Skills (Paladin Only)
+1 to Maximum Damage

Lion Branded Grand Charm
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0xe7377ae6
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Combat Skills (Paladin Only)

Jade Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xffc92e2f
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life
Poison Resist +9%

Viridian Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x2ada174f
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+19 to Life
Poison Resist +7%

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x2e0b4cef
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Serpent's Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 40
Fingerprint: 0xc0cefc41
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life
+13 to Mana

Lion Branded Grand Charm of Life
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0x24bb5cde
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Combat Skills (Paladin Only)
+13 to Life

Lizard's Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x35837c33
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life
+6 to Mana

Lizard's Small Charm of Good Luck
Small Charm
Required Level: 33
Fingerprint: 0xc665eb28
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+5 to Mana
7% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Small Charm of Good Luck
Small Charm
Required Level: 33
Fingerprint: 0xe0be1cbe
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
7% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Small Charm of Good Luck
Small Charm
Required Level: 33
Fingerprint: 0x8d86e386
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
7% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Steel Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 49
Fingerprint: 0xffa77658
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+31 to Attack Rating
+20 to Life

Ruby Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x2c6a45e9
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+17 to Life
Fire Resist +10%

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x2aba433f
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xe8563667
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x8ba0e7e5
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Lizard's Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xd689e86
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life
+1 to Mana

Small Charm of Good Luck
Small Charm
Required Level: 33
Fingerprint: 0x5bc17093
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
7% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Beryl Small Charm of Good Luck
Small Charm
Required Level: 33
Fingerprint: 0x170c29bb
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Poison Resist +4%
7% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Small Charm of Good Luck
Small Charm
Required Level: 33
Fingerprint: 0x6d133cbe
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
7% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Bronze Small Charm of Good Luck
Small Charm
Required Level: 33
Fingerprint: 0xb8a6c8c6
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+8 to Attack Rating
7% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Ruby Small Charm of Sustenance
Small Charm
Required Level: 32
Fingerprint: 0x277d2988
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+14 to Life
Fire Resist +11%

Ruby Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x96f8768e
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+19 to Life
Fire Resist +10%

Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x46cf6814
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life

Russet Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x19260714
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+19 to Life
Fire Resist +6%

Lapis Small Charm of Good Luck
Small Charm
Required Level: 33
Fingerprint: 0xdef3a1b5
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Cold Resist +6%
7% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Amber Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x6e736a49
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+18 to Life
Lightning Resist +11%

Gheed's Fortune
Grand Charm
Required Level: 62
Fingerprint: 0x8a3f515e
Item Level: 94
Version: Expansion 1.10+
92% Extra Gold from Monsters
Reduces all Vendor Prices 11%
40% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Code:
Name:       Waheed
Race:       Desert Mercenary
Type:       Off-Nightmare
Experience: 114121228
Level:      98
Dead?:      false

            Naked/Gear
Strength:   209/260
Dexterity:  169/174
HP:         2287/2293
Defense:    1671/3707
AR:         2066/502038

Fire:       220/180/120
Cold:       227/187/127
Lightning:  227/187/127
Poison:    297/257/197

Chains of Honor
Wyrmhide
DolUmBerIst
Defense: 1723
Durability: 13 of 13
Required Level: 63
Required Strength: 74
Fingerprint: 0xb2b5bd5d
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to All Skills
+200% Damage to Demons
+100% Damage to Undead
8% Life stolen per hit
+70% Enhanced Defense
+20 to Strength
Replenish Life +7
All Resistances +65
Damage Reduced by 8%
25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Ethereal
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Dol Rune
Socketed: Um Rune
Socketed: Ber Rune
Socketed: Ist Rune

Andariel's Visage
Demonhead
Defense: 313
Durability: 20 of 20
Required Level: 83
Required Strength: 102
Fingerprint: 0xba3e278b
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
15% Chance to cast level 15 Poison Nova when struck
+2 to All Skills
+20% Increased Attack Speed
29% Enhanced Damage
9% Life stolen per hit
+102% Enhanced Defense
+26 to Strength
+6 to Life
+10% to Maximum Poison Resist
Fire Resist -7%
Poison Resist +70%
Level 3 Venom (20/20 Charges)
1 Sockets (1 used)
Socketed: Havoc Scarab

Havoc Scarab
Jewel
Required Level: 37
Fingerprint: 0x723af5c
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
29% Enhanced Damage
+6 to Life
Fire Resist +23%

Insight
Great Poleaxe
RalTirTalSol
Two Hand Damage: 240 - 636
Durability: 28 of 28
Required Level: 63
Required Strength: 169
Required Dexterity: 89
Fingerprint: 0x61dd1730
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
Level 16 Meditation Aura When Equipped
+35% Faster Cast Rate
235% Enhanced Damage
+9 to Minimum Damage
242% Bonus to Attack Rating
Adds 5 - 30 Fire Damage
Adds 75 Poison Damage Over 5 Secs (125 Frames)
+4 to Critical Strike
All Stats +5
+2 to Mana after each Kill
23% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Ethereal
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: Ral Rune
Socketed: Tir Rune
Socketed: Tal Rune
Socketed: Sol Rune

Thank You-s

As with Mercy and Hiatus, I have to start with thanks to this forum and everyone who participated or contributed to this thread. It’s much easier to plug away with company :)

-- Special thanks go to @Pb_pal, @NanoMist and @T72on1 who were in it from the beginning and have stayed active in this thread, and also have helped with feedback and encouragement throughout.

-- Of course, @Kitteh gets a special shout out for (re)starting this challenge.

-- Big thanks also to @Neksja who had the first high-level untwinked pally (and finished him earlier this year) and shared lots of great insight to the leveling approach for untwinked version of this build.

-- @ffs gets major thanks for the encouragement on pushing Phaedrus along—after Hiatus finished, I said I’d keep pushing Phaedrus along to keep his sorc company on the final stretch; then when he finished her, he said he’d keep pushing Ric until Phaedrus hit 99. I guess now I need to offer to keep pushing Pestilence until Ric is finished and then you need a third entrant! ;)

-- Major thanks also to the continued entries over the past year. There was a while in 2017 where it looked like things might be winding down, but the new characters keep things active and keep the excitement going. As I noted earlier, I doubt I’d stay engaged on the 99ers without an active community to share progress and keep things interesting, and having others on the same journey in this thread has made it much more engaging.

Finally, thanks to everyone who’s made it this far through this wall of text (only a little more left :p)!

What’s Next-es
As for what’s next, Phaedrus is going stay a Champion, but he will lose his untwinked status with a full compliment of skillers and some other charm upgrades, allowing both an MF set-up and high-power CS set-up for rune hunting. I will also sort through his stash and the charms, jewels, and eth bases in particular.

On the last point, I will also burn through his runes, which will nearly complete my runeword grail assuming I can find the right bases (the Zod will go in 3os eTomby, so the BoTD will have to wait for now).

Due to eTomby, I will likely start questing and leveling a new Druid, likely as pure feral rage until he can equip to become grief/fury and level in Pits until he can equip the eTomby and then respect for Hell quest through.

I also have work to do on the character screen and some outstanding 99er quests:
Screenshot007.jpg
Pestilence is 96.5 and Quinta is ~93.7. I hope to get them to the next level by the end of November and then take stock of where to focus. I’m thinking of focusing on Pestilence with a goal of hitting 98 by New Year’s, with LK runs for Quinta as a break along with progressing the Druid.

I also still have quite a few twinked builds on the to-do list (Druid will tick off two of them), so we’ll see whether I want to do more questing as a break from running a target over and over. I also can pick up the final character (Barb) in my Trio of Twins project—he’s been parked in NM Outer Cloister for a while now.

In closing, a final thanks to everyone who followed along and provided encouragement as Phaedrus progressed to 99. Questions and feedback are most welcome. Cheers! :D
 
Last edited:

ffs

Diabloii.Net Member
Really impressive feat, third untwinked 99er – @Cyrax better get back to it now. ;) Huge congrats again, and a very nice morning read! Definitely you need to finish the Necro as well, especially considering that sick gear you've found with him. :)
 

T72on1

Diabloii.Net Member
Agreed, very impressive. Not long before Cyrax won't be the SPF emperor of 99ers anymore ;).

@PhineasB I love the write-up. Tremendously done. Glad to have been there all along.

As you know, my second 99er runner is a Hammerdin as well, so I've been following Phaedrus' journey with even more interest than usual. Definitely some things I picked up from him, as well as from this write-up. Didn't know (forgot probably is the right word) you mixed in RoF runs with LK runs. I'm tempted to do the same now, as I'm so tired of LK. On the other hand I'm only one Sur away from Enigma, and haven't found a Sur for 1500 runs, so it can drop there any time now, right? o_O

It's definitely encouraging to hear that you only died once after picking up Enigma. Gives me hope for my Paladin, who is in HC.

One question: did it take you long to find that Sacred Targe base? It's almost perfect, I tend to think you got lucky there, no?

Edit: you are absolutely right about the community and especially the unwinked 99er crowd to have a major impact on motivation to keep running with a 99er when the going gets tough. In the past few days I've said a few times that I don't see myself doing another 99er due to the grind for Enigma in LK, but truth to be told ... if I'd deed ShouldBeEasy, I'm pretty sure I'd enter again with another character, just because of that special vibe going on in the untwinked 99er thread. In that case I'll just have to think about which character can reasonably attain Enigma while progressing xp wise, so outside of LK.
 
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Pb_pal

Diabloii.Net Member
Amazing stuff. I had a great time following his journey, and I love the XP shrine on 99 ding in the video! Awesome gear, awesome writeup.

You're insane.
 

PhineasB

Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks for the congrats and comments everyone!

@T72on1 - According to this post, he found the sacred targe somewhere from 86-87, which included a mix of Eldritch, Pits, and CS/ROF. I can't remember details at this point, but the file name of the pic says Pits, so I assume that's where it dropped.The ilvl is 85, so it fell from a regular monster and I am nearly certain it fell with the sockets (not cubed). I have quite a few [email protected]+ 4os sacred targes in my general stash (plus another unsocketed [email protected] one in Phaedrus' stash). So I don't think it's too-too rare, but I imagine it was fairly good RNG for it to drop that early for Phaedrus. He had used a Larzuk quest earlier to socket the [email protected] superior shield on switch. My sense is that any elite 4os shield with [email protected]+ is a winner early on, with decent odds of upgrading to sacred targe along the way. If I recall correctly, @Neksja also picked up a couple sacred targe upgrades along his pally's journey.
 

jonnyphive

Diabloii.Net Member
Congrats! It seems like there's a new 99er every week lately! And for you to have made 3 already, wow. I assume you're going for a sept?

(By the way, your second BKWB is listed in your charms section instead of gear.)
 

Cyrax

Diabloii.Net Member
Looks like i missed something here. Too late to go read the whole thing now, but will do it later. For now i'll stick to nicely done Phineas.

Really impressive feat, third untwinked 99er – @Cyrax better get back to it now. ;) Huge congrats again, and a very nice morning read! Definitely you need to finish the Necro as well, especially considering that sick gear you've found with him. :)
Had this happened before my retirement it might've meant the motivation i needed to keep going, but i don't think i'll be returning any more.
 

T72on1

Diabloii.Net Member
Had this happened before my retirement it might've meant the motivation i needed to keep going, but i don't think i'll be returning any more.

You mean he can just have it with the minimal effort of 5 untwinked 99ers? Boohoo !!!
 
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sanguillen

Diabloii.Net Member
I'm looking back at your original post with the picture of your 11K Blessed Hammer damage, and starting to think that maybe I should stop boycotting the startup of a Hammerdin. Holy smokes, that must carve through most of the denizens of Sanctuary like a hot knife through butter! :eek:
 

Grape

Diabloii.Net Member
This stuff is simply epic. Great, great job PhineasB!

I'm envious of all your fun at the untwinked 99er thread. I've successfully resisted the urge the join this far, but to be honest I'm not sure how long I can stand anymore. It has become such a huge part of the SPF. :)
 

OldSoldier

Diabloii.Net Member
Well done! I am nowhere near 99 with my untwinked 99er, though I do have the zod accounted for already. I have about 200,000 miles to go toward the Enigma though, I would imagine that speeds things up quite a bit.
 

PhineasB

Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks all!

@sanguillen - it's definitely plenty powerful with only 2 skillers, as he was for most of his leveling journey. But a backpack full of skillers would be on a different plane of pow-ah!

Also, I will just say that this 99er was totally worth it, if it was a nudge for @Grape to finally join the untwinked 99er challenge (you know you want to!) ;)
 
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