Druid advice for Fire Claw/Rabid Shifter


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Druid advice for Fire Claw/Rabid Shifter

Greetings all.

I've been a long time lurker to this forum. Druids are my favorite class and I'm always toying with different builds. I built a rabid wolf on east without any knowledge of 'builds' or 'guides' and he turned out good through nightmare and is struggling through hell. I'm also a little burned out on fury wolves and want to try something different.

Now I solely play HC west and am building a Rabid/Fire Claw wolf outlined in the forum guide for 1.10 druids. My question is am I wasting my time with this build? Can it manage Hell?

My goals are:
Strength: Enough for equip
Dex: Max Block with Stormshield
Vitality: Rest
Energy: None

Skills: 20 Lycanthropy, 20 Oak, 20 Rabies, 20 Fire Claws, rest in prerequisites and Firestorm (for Fire Claw Synergy).

For a powerful rabies, the points that could be used for Poison Creeper would come from the Carrion Wind Ring with its lvl 21 Creeper. That's what the guide calls for, but I don't know if that will work in 1.11 (The guide is 1.10).

I'm not rich by any means and have no uber items... basically I use what I find and stash the rest on a HC mule. I don't trade very often due to the number of dupes/fakes floating around. My goals for equip include:

Life charms, + resist charms, + skills, +AR to make up for Level 1 Werewolf and a good 1 Hand weapon with crushing blow and/or deadly strike. Resistences would come from charms, armor, jewelry and maybe weapons.

As it is a Hardcore Build, I'm favoring a 1H weapon with shield for defense/survival and a Max Lycanthropy, Sage, Charms, and High Vit for life.

If the Carrion Wind Ring works as outlined in the guide, that will definitely be a required item.

My wolf is currently level 24, with the prereq's for his skills, a Level 17 Lycanthropy, Level 2 werewolf, level 2 fire claws, and level 1 rabies. My plan is to max Lycanthropy first, then alt between rabies and fireclaws, finishing up by maxing Oak and Firestorm. Most shifter builds require max Lyc, so It would take little effort to build a rabid shifter or even a bear at this point.

Thanks again for any advice.


*chrisgo HCL West


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This build now officially sucks.

They fixed the Carrion Wind Ring bug

you have to max vine now, there's simply not enough points

go fury/rabies hybrid

much better


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First, Carion wind synergy bug has been fixed, so that's a no go, and it will make your Rabies useless without a synergy.

For skills I'd suggest:
20 - Lycanthropy
20 - Fireclaw
20 - Rabies
1 - Werewolf
1 - Feral Rage
1 - Werebear
1 - Oak
1 - each of the other prereqs
20 - Poison Creeper
Rest into Fireclaw synergies

Or try and optimize your damage with calculators.

Without the carrion bug this build I find just isn't viable.

But best of luck on building it.



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Thanks for the tips... i'm just glad i didn't distribute my points so spread out I cannot switch builds.

I've played fury/rabies builds before... they rock, but after 2 or 3 they get old IMHO. Besides, everybody has played cookie cutter builds. Yes, they work, but at the cost of being unique.

Right now I'm planning on how to allocate future skill points. Without strong synergies and good AR, Hell will be pretty tough, especially in HC. I could still do rabies and fury, but been there and done that.

I don't see too many bear builds around bnet, but the characters name is MasterWolf, so that would be a little freaky :rolleyes:

Thanks again for the advice and if anybody has ideas for unique shifter builds, throw them my way... I'll try almost anything.



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What about a Fireclaws/Fury wolf? Something like...

20 Lycanthropy
20 Fury
1 Werewolf
1 Feral Rage
1 Rabies
1 Werebear
1 Maul
20 Fireclaws
1 Oak Sage
1 Raven
1 Spirit Wolves
1 Dire Wolves
1 Grizzly
20 Firestorm
90 skill points (clvl 79 completion)

Rest into either Molten Boulder for more FC damage, Werewolf for AR for Fury (depending on gear, this may not be too useful), or Oak Sage for more HP (likely the best choice). Final FC weapon should be a 5 (6? I can never remember the fastest FC swing rate <_<) framer (easiest way is probably Phase Blade stuffed with Shaels/IAS jewels, Eths or useful jewels into spare slots), and Fury...well, you are probably familiar enough with what you need for that. I would have said skimp out on some Lycan for more FC synergies, but as you have already invested 17 in it, that is not much of an option unless you do not mind restarting.

I do not have much familiarity with wolves, but aside from the gross numbers of Fire Immune monsters in Hell, this should be able to keep up with if not surpass the damage of Fury/Rabies, at the cost of focusing it on a smaller group.


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@Harrid... I like the looks of your build...1 source of physical dmg, 1 fire w/summons for meat shield. As for rebuilding... dunno. My high lycanthropy has saved my tail more than once in N HC... in Nightmare and Hell, Max Lyc will probably be mandatory.

I used a skill calculator to get an idea of base damage potential for the different attack skills. Before anybody says "Noob" or "They're not Uber", I'm using the following criteria.

Max main skill (20) with some in a synergy.
+3 to all druid skills (remember... I'm untwinked and don't trade often. +3 should be easy to find by mid-nightmare).

Weapon and Armor Bonuses are NOT figured in, nor are charms, jewels, runes, or gems.

Rabies (23) with Poison Creeper (23): +211% AR,
Dmg 6545-6924 over 13.2 seconds.

Feral Rage (23): +19-56% run speed
4 to 100% Life Steal
+160% Damage Bonus
+240% to AR

Fireclaws (23) with Firestorm (13): 995-1056 dmg
+380% AR

Fireclaws (23) with Firestorm (23): 1679 -1782 dmg
+380% AR

Fury (23): 5 hits
+211% AR
+491% damage

Fury, of course, is the hands down winner for damage, AR, and # of hits.

Feral, Maxed... is lacking in damage, but the 240% AR compensates for the lack of Werewolf skill. Plus 4-100% life leech could be a godsend in hell.

Maxed Fireclaws w Firestorm gives decent base damage and AR bonuses second only to Fury. Plus, its elemental, giving me another options vs physical immunes besides using my merc.

Rabies is always deadly when maxed with Poison creeper.

So based on already allocated skill points, my options are

Harrids Fury/Fire Claw Wolf with summon support
Fury/Rabid Wolf... good for PVP and PVM.
Feral Rage/Rabid Wolf
Fireclaw/Rabid Wolf w maxed Poison Creeper

I'm probably going to go with the fury/Fire Claw Wolf... unique, with extra meat shields and should be able to handle Hell with the right equipment and plus skills, wih a shaeled phase blade for increased attacking speed. For armor, I'm thinking good defense, light encumberence and either Bramble, CoH, or Duress (crushing blow and resists).

Thanks again Harrid for the idea, and I'm still welcome to suggestions on equipment and build ideas.... maybe with everybody's input I or somebody else could write a guide on all the different shifter builds for inclusion in the forum, updated for 1.11 and covering Ubers.



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If you feel that Lycanthropy is a must for close range Hardcore play, then go with it by all means (my experience is almost wholly softcore, and as I said, I have not played many wolves before [just one, in fact...a Fury/Rabies-er with summons in lieu of high Lycanthropy for RP reasons <_<]). My thinking was that the summons should help you take some away from Lycan in favor of more damage, but as I do not play Hardcore, that is probably easier for me to say than it is for you to accept >_>.

If you feel that Lycanthropy is a must for close range Hardcore play, then go with it by all means (my experience is almost wholly softcore, and as I said, I have not played many wolves before [just one, in fact...a Fury/Rabies-er with summons in lieu of high Lycanthropy for RP reasons <_<]). My thinking was that the summons should help you take some away from Lycan in favor of more damage, but as I do not play Hardcore, that is probably easier for me to say than it is for you to accept >_>.

Gearwise...I would think:

Shield: Well, you already said you'd use Stormshield in the first post, and it really doesn't have much competition that I can see. Ancient's Pledge or Rhyme (preferably in a bone/grim shield) until Stormshield, I would think.

Armor: With the rate at which you'll be pumping out hits, what can really compete with Duress? Well, if you were a ranged character, one might be able to argue Rattlecage could, but as you are not... Although, if you want to go a bit out of the ordinary, there is the Treachery runeword. CtC Venom adds another mode of damage to your arsenal (and with your fast attack rate, the 10 frame duration should not be a bit problem) and CtC Fade lets you look for stuff other than resists/DR, although the 45% IAS is largely wasted on a werewolf (in fact, I would say that you should probably be looking for a new weapon if it actually does help your attack speed <_<). Smoke or Gloom (or CoH) if you need resists, otherwise Duress, I'd say.

Helm: If you have it, Jalal's is probably the best. If not, probably look for something that'll boost your skill levels (priority to +Shapeshift, of course, but do keep in mind that druid summons are the only skills aside from Prayer that give synergy bonuses AFTER +skills from gear) or fill in other holes (Tal's set or Vamp. Gaze for leech and resists/DR, etc.).

Gloves: Can't think of anything too special here. Magefist might be an interesting choice for the +1 to FC, Dracul's can be nice if you lean towards Fury, Chance Guards can take advantage of your disregard for off-weapon IAS...or just some spiffy rare *shrugs*. Maybe even Sigon's gloves with enough other pieces of the set for the life leech bonus? I think IK gloves can to that too and would be better overall, though I can't say for sure off the top of my head. Though, you probably won't need much life leech if you're good about keeping up Feral Rage.

Belt: An oddly interesting choice here would be Wilhelm's Pride for giving mana leech to free up your jewelry. Another alternative would be Trang-Oul's set belt for the same reason, if you can mana leech elsewhere. Else, usual fair, I'd think.

Boots: You probably know better than I do what would work well here for a werewolf <_<.

Jewelry: Angelic set amulet/double Angelic set rings to give you psycho AR. Drop one of them for Ravenfrost, alternatively, if you want CBF and don't have it elsewhere. Yeah, that'd probably be better since you shouldn't rely on your life leech to keep you alive in Hardcore.

Weapons: I already said what I think for these in my previous post.

Probably nothing too insightful above, since I'm just thinking of these off the top of my head and I'm a shade hung over (for those very reasons, I'd be a bit leary of trusting any of it myself :wink3: ). Hope it helps.


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My concern for the FC/Fury Hybrid is the weapon selection, if you go 6 x shael PB your fury damage will be horridly low. If you go with a higher damaging but slower weapon that hits 5FPA Fury, your FC attack will be slow as hell.

Just my thoughts, I agree with Nature that a bear with maul/FC would be better suited for the job, and the stun from maul is always a big bonus in HC.



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You guys are probably right on the maul/fc combo.. never played a bear before, so I'll just go that route. Gotta replan my stats and skills, but it shouldn't be too hard.

Thanks for the input, especially with equipment choices... configuring items was never my strong suit :)