Assasin Questions


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Assasin Questions

Hi, i am new at assasins and i have some problems of which skills to pick. It will be a close-combat 'sin with Natalya Set, maybe Nat Mark and any other unique katar-class weapon. So here is my questions:

1.I want to use dual claws and I wonder if that kind of 'sins can survive hell ?

2.What is the advantagea and disadvantagea of using a claw/claw or claw/shield assasin ?

3.If I have a claw/claw assasin, should i use Dragon Claw, or is Dragon Tail best for both C/C and C/S 'sins ? I want to use both my claws and therefore, the Dragon Claw seems cooler to me. But the fire-splash damage of Dragon Tail is also tempting. Is the difference between the two skills big ?

4.Is the amount of strength an important factor of my total melee damage ?

5.I want to have Phoenix Strike, but I am not sure if I will use fire, lightning or cold. Any ideas or tip ? Is it critical to max the Phoenix Strike and it's synergies ?

6. Is a shadow master really as strong as you wish it to be ? How many skills does it require before it can manage to fight of some monsters in hell ?

7.Is venom a valuable skill ? Is it necessary to complete hell difficult ? Or can I skip that skill and put my points in other such as Burst of Speed or Weapon Block ?

8.How many skills should I put in Cloak of Shadows and Mind Blast if any at all ?

9.What is the big deal of Blade Shield ? Can I skip it ?

So, this will be my build as I have planned:

Tigerstrike 20 skills
Dragon Claw 20 skills
Cobra Strike 1 skill
Phoenix Strike 10-15 skills, maybe more
Synergies to Phoenix 1-5 skills in each
Burst of Speed 10-15 skills
Weapon Block 10-15 skills
Shadow Master 20 skills
Mind Blast 1 skill
Cloak of Shadows 1 skill

Only one problem, this is a total of 113 skills. Which ones do you think i should take away ? Is there any skill that should be changed to another, more or less points in any ? Please give me some advices, I really need them.

I am sorry if this text is a bit of low-quality english, but i hope you can read it anyway and give answers to my questions.

Greetings // NoVoN


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i dont know, if that build works well
but i have base lvl bos..
and its definitly not worth maxing it
with 3+ shadow disc claws, my BoS is slvl 17


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I wouldnt max dragon claw, max claw mastery instead, also one point in Bos is fine the diminishing returns are horrible after like lvl 6. For max attack rate there is a nice calculator that fuzzbox did, I believe it is still valid and will have nats claw on it. I also wouldnt max tiger strike either, for a dual claw sin, it isnt all that important. If u are gonna use pheonix I would max it along with at least 2 synergies. Preferably claws of thunder and blades of ice for freezing.

I would go
20 Cot
20 Boi
15 cm
20 Ps
5 skills to get to ds
5 cb (+skills should get u to decent block %)
any extra pts into sm
1 all other shadow skills
This build is tricky, no dragon flight and a low dc, but cm helps both dc and ur elemental attacks so that to me is the better of the two.

I currently use this character and at lvl 75 I have no problems in hell w/ poor gear

Tal mask
Bartucs 166% 8 ll
+2 martial blade talon
Duriels case
Rare resist boots
Mf/resists ias gloves
Mf amulet
3%ll resist ring
15% resist ring

I use a freeze merc with blackleach bill(I love weaken), shaft and mf helm
and my primary attack is cot, secondary is third charge (ice bolt) from pheonix. Only problems I have is from ranged cursed champions. I hate those damn things........


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Firstly, your english is better than most the people who post on these forums.

I'm no assassin expert, but I'll toss in my input nevertheless.

1. I had a 09 Assassin, dual claw wearing the Nat Set. In 1.10, she was my strongest of my 09 characters in Hell. Dual claw is very viable, and many assassins go down that road.

2. Provided that you are using your claws for attacking, dual-claw will probably lead to higher damage with Dragon Claw. Another advantage of dual-claw is the use of weapon block. Although weapon blow will never reach the 75% of a shield, it is better in many ways. While running, weapon block percent does not decrease like it does with a shield. Weapon block can also block most spells. For the advantages of C/S assassin, you can reach 75% block, but only while standing still. Shields can also provide much more bonuses than a second claw; resists is the main one (however, the new Jade Talon claw has +resist as well as a few +skills).

3. I've never used Dtail extensively, and I don't know much about it.

4. Strength is part of the damage equation, though I'm not quite sure how big of a role it plays. But considering your PS route, I'd think most of your damage is going to come from elements, and the physical damage you do will be a nice augmentation to your overall killing output. I wouldn't invest heavily in strength, more life is always better.

5. I personally like meteor for boss kills, but I haven't played the 1.10 assassin much. No idea.

6. I've always maxed my Shadow Master. It's a great tank, and can hit pretty hard as well. From what I've read/remember, at level 17 Shadow Master is fully equiped. But someone should check on that.

7. I'd stick a point into Venom. Again, I haven't really used it, but considering it's only two points from BoS, what can it hurt. If you even obtain mass +skills, you can add more poison damage. However, if you decide not to place point(s) into venom, I would not recommend adding to BoS extensively. The returns do diminish.

8. I'd keep with your plan; 1 point to each skill. Mind Blast currently stuns for 2 seconds in all difficulties (to my knowledge), so one point will suffice. As for cloak of shadows, I only use it for the blindness effect, not the +defense.

9. Now this, I really have no idea. I don't know if CB works with Blade Shield, but it might be a useful 1-point investment if it does. Input from someone else will be required.

It is currently late, and I have no idea why I deprive myself of sleep to roam these forums. If I made any large typos or grammatical errors, oh well.


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Ok, thank you so much for all the good and wellexplained answers. But there are still some questions in my head:
Questions 3, 5, 7 and 9 are still a mystery to me, please answer anyone who knows.
And why shouldnt I max Tiger Strike and Dragon Claw ? Aren't these skills very vital to the amount of my physical damage ? If I meet any magic res monsters, will my physical damage be big enough anyway ?

And should i release my Phoenix Strike/Claws of Thunder with a normal attack ? Maybe I dont need any finishing move for a C/C 'sin ? Is this correct ?

And somewhere I read that the difference between Dragon Tail and Dragon Claw is that Dragon Tail multiplicates(spell?) it's damage with Tiger Strike, while Claw just add it's damage to the total %. Is this correct ? Because then, it seems to me like one can afflict alot more damage with Dragon Tail. Any comments ?

Greetings // NoVoN


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3) The reason you shouldn't max both TS and DC is that if you charge up TS and release with DC(which would take about 1.24 seconds), you'll end up with roughly the same damage over time if you were using DC alone for the 1.24 seconds, as it takes time to charge up TS, and during that time you'll not doing much damage(as the hits are uncharged).

Also, DC's ED bonuses only apply if you're using DC itself. However, CM, while having a lower damage/AR increment compared to DC, is applied on every claw hit you make, which includes when you're charging PS/other elemental skills, and DC as well. As you probably won't be using DC all the time(you'll need PS against large groups and PIs), all-in-all, you'll be getting more ED/AR out of CM than DC, as it's in effect more often.

5) You probably won't use PS's third charge for damage(it's still very useful for its freezing abillity, however), as PS's 1st and 2nd charge generally do more damage. For that reason, I would suggest maxing CoT and FoF instead, as you'll be using them(and PS's first two charges) for damage, and you need the synergy bonuses for those charges to do any damage in Hell.

7) It's not necessary by any means, but it's especially helpful to your build as a form of "uncharged" damage(since you won't be doing much damage until you release your PS/CoT/FoF charges), with the elemental chargeups, as you're going to use them pretty often. Like the other users said, stay away from maxing BoS, and to a lesser extent, Fade(unless you really need the PDR), as the diminishing returns hit hard after slvl 7-10, and +skills should put you there pretty quickly.

9) BShield is a max or 0 points skill: 1 point just won't do, as IMO it's too irritating to recast it every time its short duration(at low levels) expires. Personally, I feel BShield isn't really helpful, given how many points you have to put into it for it to be effective. It does tranfer 1/4 of your Venom damage(and 1/4 of your weapon damage, but it's pretty insignificant, as the damage doesn't benefit from TS's ED),on its Blades, but it delivers it only once per second, which is pretty slow, compared to your 0.28 second(PS) and 0.2 second attacks(one hit with DC), if you've maxed out your weapon speed.

BShield transfers few effects besides 1/4 weapon/elemental damage(which works with all Blade skills), excepting Deadly Strike, which isn't that useful, given you aren't doing much Physical damage with BShield.


NaliWorld, I have some trapping questions for you.

Laying traps: Is it based on weapon speed, or cast rate?
Trap firing rate: Do the traps fire at a set speed always independant of your weapons?
Shadow Master: If I want to rely on a strong shadow master for damage, is it important that not only I have a high SM skill level, but I also wear elite claws when I cast my shadow?

I am planning to make a trapper variant that is very safe, and arguable can tank well too.


Diabloii.Net Member
Laying traps:

Trap firing rate:

Shadow equipment:

To answer your question: what weapon you use has no bearing on what claws your Shadow will spawn with, so feel free to use any weapon you wish. However, the SM does use the base item of your Helm and Armor for determining her equipment.

I won't say that's impossible, but I will say it'll be pretty hard, as it's very hard to balance both +skills and melee mods(eg. leech, PDR, FHR, in addition to OW/CB if you're using DTalon) on equipment without being extremely rich.


Ok, maybe I misued the word 'Tank' in my previous post. what I mean is, I'm making my build to be able to take a pounding, whether it be from elemental or physical sources. She can't dish is out hand ot hand. That's what her shadow will be for. I'll write up a guide after I bring my build into hell.

EDIT: I was looking at the FAQ, and I was confused by what this means:
The level of equipment a Shadow can spawn with is 24 + 3/level of Shadow at time of casting.
According to this math, my shadow starts with level 27 equipment and then the level goes down as I put more points in my shadow! Even if I do the math like this: (24 + 3)/level of shadow the math STILL doesn't make sense!

2nd EDIT: the '/' is not a division sign right? What it's saying is that the item's level, which determines what mods it can have (am I correct?) starts at level 24 and goes by 3 per skill level of SM at the time of casting.


Diabloii.Net Member
Thanx Naliword for the great explanations.
So how do you recommend me to spend my skill points ? I really want a dual claw assasin, and should i therefore ignore Tiger Strike and Finishing moves, and just concentrate on the elemental charge-up skills ? And to release the for example Phoenix Strike, should I use my regular attack ?
I think of the build like this:

Phoenix Strike 20 skills
Claws of Thunder 20 skills
Claw Mastery 20 skills
Burst of Speed about 1-5 skills
Weapon Block about 1-5 skills
Cloak of Shadows 1 skill
Mind Blast 1 skill
Shadow Master about 10 skills

And I wonder if Cobra Strike will work with elemental damage, cause my Physical Damage seems to be kinda low in this build.

Greetings // NoVoN


Diabloii.Net Member
Base cobra strike should be fine, even with some plus skills from bartucs u are gonna be over 100% dual leach with three charges. Dont forget one point into dragon claw, u dont need to max it, but at least the +skills will improve both ur damage and ar of ur finishing move. As far as what to max out, u have good choice there, a second element is needed for ur ps, i recommend boi, nali recommends fof. Guess it depends on what u what. Fof is gonna give ps much more fire damage the boi is gonna give ps, however i just love freezing stuff, especially those ranged things in the pit, and they always are lightning immune and dont stand still, i just find it better for things that run away (granted they arent cold immune).

Cobra strike is only based off of ur physical damage. If u find u leach only a little from cs, throw in one charge of ts, it will help.


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tl998 said:
EDIT: I was looking at the FAQ, and I was confused by what this means:

According to this math, my shadow starts with level 27 equipment and then the level goes down as I put more points in my shadow! Even if I do the math like this: (24 + 3)/level of shadow the math STILL doesn't make sense!

2nd EDIT: the '/' is not a division sign right? What it's saying is that the item's level, which determines what mods it can have (am I correct?) starts at level 24 and goes by 3 per skill level of SM at the time of casting.
I'm confused as well....I got the formula from jrichard, and IIRC put it in the FAQ once, but I guess I forgot to remove it. Your last explanation makes the most sense, though....