Finally! Matriarch Pheonix

Cattleya

Diabloii.Net Member
Finally! Matriarch Pheonix

Er, just a quick warning. This got really long. Indulge me, it's my first Mat/Pat. :)

When Maeko woke up, Pheonix was already pacing impatiently. Maeko rolled her eyes, after all, it was Pheonix's idea to to rest up before taking on the Lord of Destruction himself. She just hoped they didn't run into an OKs. They always made Pheonix really cranky. She waited patiently for Pheonix to finish her enchant ritual, and when it was finished they went to the WP.

When they returned to the WSK 2, the monsters had re-populated the area. They were immediately met by Greater Hell Spawn. Okay, easy. Then Soul Killers. :grrr: FI and annoying as hell, but not dangerous, this could be just fine. Aaaa! Black Souls! Pheonix started teleporting madly, and Maeko got in as many shots as she could. Pheonix's ES was giving her good protection from the Souls, so she eventually calmed down and started to teleport on top of them to kill them. Most went down in one shot, so the threat tuned out to be minimal. The next level wasn't bad either. They had to contend with blow dart Soul Killers, but once Pheonix had determined there were no OKs around, she switched to Zeal which could blind a whole slew of them quickly.

They finally made it to the Throne. They were met immediately by a pack of Serpent Magnus. They also found Dark Lords and Burning Souls, but nothing FI, so everything was quickly cleared. Baal Laughed, and summoned his first wave. Colenzo was FECE Spectral Hit, so Pheonix wouldn't go near him. Well, at least she took care of him minions while leaving Maeko to take on the shaman. Achmel was going just fine, until suddenly, Pheonix started swearing at her. "What did I say about letting me kill undead?" She screamed while dodging Burning Soul lightning. Yeah, like it was her fault Achmel was raising them up. Besides, Pheonix was quickly able to put them to rest for good.

Bartuc was dead before they even had a chance to figure out his mods. Maeko started to relax, this wasn't too bad at all. Then she heard Pheonix scream. Fanatasism! They were chased around by the pack for a while. (Maeko was suddenly very glad Pheonix had teleport; there was no way they could have kept ahead of the pack on foot.) They managed to get Ventar alone. Maeko looked over at Pheonix and saw her smiling widely. "He's not FI." Whee!

Baal decided to up the stakes and summoned the final wave while Pheonix was still hacking away at the last of Ventar's minions. :eek: Lister was going to be a tough one. FE Stone Skin. Oh joy! Pheonix switched back to 'Zerk, and started teleporting to break up the pack. It quickly became a game of smacking one of them, then teleporting to safety. When they managed to get one alone, Pheonix would tank making Maeko's life a lot easier. Eventually, they got Lister alone. Maeko was prepared for a game of teleport pickle, but Pheonix got bold and decided to tank Lister. Once he was almost dead, Pheonix started teleporting and let Maeko get the final shot. Now, they were ready for Baal.

Maeko made her way to the portal, but was stopped by Pheonix. "Nope, first we have an equipment change." They went back to town, and Pheonix handed Maeko a new bow. "Um, this does less damage than what I have now, no deadly strike, no amp..." Pheonix pulled a Thresher out of her stash, smiling. "You wouldn't want to overwrite my decrep with your amp, would you? Besides, Riphook has lots of monster slow on it." Maeko reluctantly took the bow. In the end, Pheonix's plan was solid. (Not that Maeko would every admit that to Pheonix.) Man! This is the Lord of Destruction?

"Gee, thanks Baal." Pheonix muttered under her breath.

Stats and Equipment
Level: 83

Resistances in Hell: 44/31/64/61

Damage
Lightning Damage: 5-263
Cold Damage: 15-45
Fire Damage: 5660-6716

Zeal (10/7 frame attack)
Physical Damage: 353-992 Total Damage: 6033-8016

Berserk
Magic Damage: 575-1616 Total Damage: 6255-8640

Skill Point Allocation *hard points (with + skills) [prebuff]*
Cold Tree
Frost Nova: 1 (4)
Frozen Armor: 1 (4) [10]

Lightning Tree:
Telekinesis: 9
Teleport: 20 (24)
Energy Shield 0 (0) [10]
Lightning Mastery: 1 (5)

Fire Tree:
Fire Bolt, Fire Ball: 1
Warmth: 20 (23)
Enchant 20 (23) [36]
Fire Mastery: 20 (23) [33]

Oskill:
Zeal 1 (4)
Berserk 1 (4)

Stat points
Strength: 165 (210)
Dexterity: 115 (161)
Vitality: 190 (215) Life: 898 [1322 with oak sage]
Energy: 35 (40) Mana: 342

Equipment
Tal Rasha's Horadric Crest Death Mask (socketed with +2 min/15% IAS jewel)
Skin of the Vipermagi Sepentskin Armor [35 %RA, 11 MDR] (socketed with 15% IAS jewel)
Thundergod's Vigor War Belt
Immortal King's Forge War Gauntlets
Immortal King's Pillar War Boots
Mara's Kaleidoscope Amulet [20% RA]
Raven Frost Ring [Perfect! And people say Duriel never drops anything nice...]
Nature's Peace Ring [PR 26%, DR 7]
(The Reaper's Toll Thresher for Hell Baal)
Various Charms (One lightning skiller, a Serpent's G.C. of balance, and a bunch of resistance and + life charms. By the end, she had 1 inventory spot left.)

And, of course the star of the show:

Passion
Pheonix' Giant Thresher
'DolOrtEldLem'
Two-Hand Damage: 112 to 320
Durability: 14 of 55
Required Dexterity: 140
Required Strength: 188
Required Level: 66
Polearm Class - Very Fast Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10 Expansion
Item Level: **
Fingerprint: 0xbb8d5e96
+181% Enhanced Damage
Adds 1-50 lightning damage
75% Extra Gold from Monsters
25% Increased Attack Speed
+1 to Berserk
+1 to Zeal
Hit Causes Monster to Flee 25%
Hit Blinds Target +10
54% Bonus to Attack Rating
75% Damage to Undead
+50 to Attack Rating against Undead
Level 3 Heart of Wolverine (12/12 Charges)
Socketed (4: 4 used)

Equipment - Prebuff
In the stash
+3 Enchant Leaf staff
Volcanic Diadem
Volcanic Amulet
2x Burning Skillers
Magefist Gloves
On weapon switch
+3 Frozen Armor Memory Staff

Equipment - Mercenary
Shaftstop
Blackhorn's Face
Witchwild String Bow (2 x Shael)
(Riphook for Hell Baal)

Build/Play Comments

Pheonix did /p8 full clears of Normal and Nightmare. I started Hell at /p3, and planned to do full clears, but eventually decided that was just taking too long. So, the players setting went to 1 and she only killed the monsters that she found along the way. All quests were completed and all WPs (except Halls of Pain) were collected.

Working with the different CtC curses took some getting used to. Her merc had the amp from the WWS and Pheonix has the blind and monster flee from her Passion weapon. For non-FI monsters it wasn't an issue, as they were dead before it mattered. For nasty FI monsters I found it was best to smack the monster with 'Zerk until blinded and then TP away and let the merc shoot at them. If she amped them, I would continue to TP backwards as they approached. Otherwise, I would repeat the procedure. For easier FI monsters, Pheonix would just corner them and Zeal them to death. I got pretty good at using TP to herd single monsters into corners with the monster flee. Then I could zeal away while they tried to figure out which curse they were under.

So, what was my final assessment of the teleport experiment? For the most part, I am happy with the results. Her mana ball was almost always empty due to ES, and it was nice to know that she would still be able to teleport. I think this would have worked better with more +skills, so a bigger investment in TK could have been made.

Pheonix got the Ancients on her second try. On her first try, I had just fought my way though most of Act 5, and was really ready for bed. However, she leveled clearing the Ancient's Way, so with no XP to lose, I decided to see what these Hell Ancients were about. I learned two things in her very brief encounter. 1)Cursed and Extra Strong mods should be rerolled. 2)Zeal lock = death. He second time (the next day) I was more careful about re-rolling the Ancients. Korlic was cursed, but nothing else seemed too nasty. I was also more careful about breaking them up. Talic was extra fast, which actually worked to my advantage. He was the only one that could keep up with Pheonix's teleporting. So, she would 'port around, letting the merc get in her shots, with Pheonix herself giving him a good whack (with 'Zerk this time) whenever it looked safe. She then went an got the attention of the other two. There was a lot of teleporting and Rogue fire, with Pheonix helping out whenever she got one of them alone. Madwac was the next to fall. Talic was FI, so he took a little longer to kill. Pheonix could take two normal hits while cursed (Yeah ES!) but she started having fun just tormenting the poor barb:

*Wait for him to start leap.*
*Teleport*
"Missed me! :p"

Maeko got in the final shot to take him down.

I want to thank everyone on this forum for all of the help. I've learned an insane amount about the game here, and always got great advice when I had a question. I'm not a big MF'er, so having the ability to trade what I had for what I needed was vital for her success. I also got several item donations which were very helpful in getting her through the game.

I want to give a special thanks to jiansonz for talking me into going Passion (I now can't imagine using any other weapon) and Stony's Xanthippe for showing me that sorceresses should be wielding big 'ol polearms.

Pheonix was a blast to play, and I can now say that my first mat/pat was a 2-H melee character. It wasn't always pretty, but it was fun. Now, to focus on my HC adventures...
 

seige

Diabloii.Net Member
GG there Cattleya :thumbsup:
The story was great. Congrats on your first Mat

- Jas :wave:
 

ChaoticTwitch

Diabloii.Net Member
Congrats on your first mat. !!! always feels that first time, well and every time after that. :teeth: . nice write up, good read.

cheers, C.T.
 

dune6836

Diabloii.Net Member
thanks, enjoyed reading that. congrats too.
i've never made passion runeword. it looks great, but the monsters flee might get annoying after a while.
 

barren

Diabloii.Net Member
Wow, really nice write up, thx for the read. It's just a little strange that your first mat is one of the hardest characters in the game to pvm with, lol. What was holding you back?
 

LprMan

Diabloii.Net Member
Nice story :clap:

Very stylish Mat, congrats! I don't believe I have seen a sorc with scythe ever before :lol:
 

isengart

Diabloii.Net Member
Congrats on your first Mat. Thanks for this nice story, it was a pleasure to read.
:clap:

Now all the best for your HC plans.
 

Chimaira

Diabloii.Net Member
Congratulations on the Matriarch...sweet character. Don't play Hardcore...it's like dangerous and stuff.
 

Cattleya

Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks everyone!

@dune6836: The monster flee wasn't nearly as annoying as I thought it would be. When using Zeal against a single target, a lot of the time recovery lock kept them from getting very far. Also, once I learned to position myself to control the direction of the flee, it made for great crowd control.
 
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