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First time Hybrid Question

Discussion in 'Amazon' started by PallyRanger, Jul 26, 2010.

  1. PallyRanger

    PallyRanger Diabloii.Net Member

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    First time Hybrid Question

    Zon experts,
    I am currently attempting my first zon and I am looking for some help. I have read some guides but I dont not have the bestest gear and am not weathly by any means. Any advice would be great.
    Here is my (sad) setup:
    Helm: G Face w/15ias Jewel
    Armor: Toothrow(It sucks I know)
    Gloves: Laying of Hands
    Boots: War Travs
    Rings: 8LL Carrion and 7 Manald
    Ammy: +2 Zon Skillz rare w/ 4 LL
    Weapon 1: Harmony Great Bow (helps for phys immunes)
    Weapon 2: Titans w/ Spirit Monarch

    20 Strafe
    16 Multi
    17 Valk
    20 Light Fury

    Few points left....

    Char is currently lvl 62 and still in NM act 5. Just looking for some help/advice on what to look for as far as equipment goes. All my stuff is self found so I wont be trading so plz do not list uber-godly chit as I cannot afford it.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. RealmOftheWolf

    RealmOftheWolf Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: First time Hybrid Question

    Okay a little advice.

    Skills
    20 Strafe
    17 valk (with+skills) and 1 point in all passives
    20 Charged strike
    20 Light fury
    Rest in the power ups.

    Multi isnt worth more than a single point if you have strafe to be honest just leave it at 1 point and with eventual +skills you will have more than enough points into it for it to be useful.

    Charged strike is what should be maxed first as a bowas main weaknesses are the bosses and charged strike is the best skill for the job.

    Look for.

    Shako(15 ias jewel)
    Skulders (Perfect topaz or 15 ias jewel)

    These should improve your killing and mf.
     
  3. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: First time Hybrid Question

    Okay.

    First off, you need CBF, so if you have a Ravenfrost, put it on.

    Second, LoH are great gloves for melee and for a strafer who has Knockback elsewhere on her gear, but in your case I would try and cube Hit Power gloves with 20%IAS if your main skill is Strafe OR throw on Frostburns if you use Lightning Fury more.

    (Strafe/LF is generally not a good combination because they benefit from different types of gear; Strafe calls for +damage and IAS while LF needs +skills and +mana. I would suggest that you respec to LF+ Freezing Arrow)

    Toothrow sucks indeed. You'll be better off with any IAS armor. Ideally I would recommend Treachery, but even Twitchthroe works. One interesting and rather cheap option is Spirit Forge with two IAS jewels; 30% IAS, +15 ST, +life per level and some fire damage on top of that make it better than Twiththroe for characters without blocking. If you have a general shortage of Uniques, at least make yourself a Peace armor (Shael+Thul+Amn); +2 Amazon skills and +2 Critical strike is still a huge improvement on Toothrow.
     
  4. PallyRanger

    PallyRanger Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: First time Hybrid Question

    Thanks for the help!!!!

    I may look to just go straight bowazon and use strafe and freeze arrow. I figured "why not" since I found the Titan's and made the Spirit, to try a hybrid.

    I have a Twichthroe and Skullder's on a mule so I will swap them too and see with works better.

    I have never had much luck with crafting in the past but I may try it out again. I did find an Eaglehorn, my old "power-ranger" used to use with a nef in it. That may not be the best option for knockback but it's still there I guess.

    IAS Jewels are pretty hard to come by for me so that kinda rules them out. I do have a Cats Eye ammy? Should I swap that out and go with that instead of the other ammy? Haven't found a Ravenfrost yet. Hopefully someday soon.


    Thanks for the help.
     
  5. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: First time Hybrid Question

    Cat's Eye will be MUCH better than +skills for a strafer, but +skills is better for LF.
     
  6. droid

    droid Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: First time Hybrid Question

    I personally think that the jav half takes care of itself just from the skillpoints, and I built my hybrid entirely for the bow side. That means just put 20 pts LF, 20 pts CS, prereqs, Titans+Spirit on switch, and your javazon half is done :)

    The bowazon half, I'd go with the Eaglehorn+Nef for sure at the moment, its the second best option till you can find a WF. The javs will take care of PIs, and the few LI+PIs you may encounter can be dispatched with your 1-pt Magic Arrow effectively enough.

    My strategy is usually to open with a few LFs to thin the herd if the monsters are dense, a few MS volleys to clear the LIs and the rest, and then Strafe to clean up the few survivors.
     
  7. PallyRanger

    PallyRanger Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: First time Hybrid Question

    Just an update....
    I respec'ed to go pure bowazon using strafe and freeze arrow. Got my Harmony great bow and eaglehorn and weapons. Now using Cats Eye as ammy and using Crow Caw for armor and goldwrap belt for the ias on both. Total is 80 IAS between helm, armor, gloves, belt, and ammy and another 20 from Harmony bow.

    Thanks all for the advice!
     
  8. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: First time Hybrid Question

    As far as I am concerned, once you have Strafe, everything else is unnecessary. Especially if you have Atma's Scarab for an ammy, or a WWS, or high level Magic Arrow. You don't need to hybridize with a Bowazon; it's when you go the elemental route that you need secondary attacks.
     
  9. droid

    droid Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: First time Hybrid Question

    Yes, a strafer with Atma's never has to worry about immunes (except for Possessed Ghosts), but hybridizing gives you three advantages: one, CS and LF are superior skills in many situations (namely, vs large packs, and vs bosses), so having that option increases your efficiency; two, strafers are still slow vs PIs, since even when broken they can have 95% physical resists; three, hybrids in jav mode have max block and better resists, meaning you have an option for when you need better def.
     
  10. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: First time Hybrid Question

    1)CS is superior to Strafe vs. bosses, no question; LF is NOT superior to Strafe vs. large packs unless they are PI packs.

    2) Strafers with Amp wear down even the toughest PIs pretty quickly. Also, PIs are not too common beyond a couple of areas; also, Strafers often back up their main skill with Magic Arrow and WWS has Lvl 20 Magic Arrow built in. Also, a Strafer can pack a fair bit of elemental damage on the gear (300 poison damage per hit from Treachery's Venom, 30-90 cold damage from Ravenfrost x2, 1-30 Lightning damage on Highlords etc. which helps wear down PIs. If you're using a Rogue merc with Faith, much of her damage will be elemental. If you're using a Might merc, you can arm him for elemental damage (Crescent Moon/Rift/etc).

    3) Strafers can engage every monster on the screen at the same time, which reduces the need for block; and if you're using WWS it mitigates the resists issue somewhat.


     
  11. droid

    droid Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: First time Hybrid Question

    1) Strafe is not better than LF vs packs...did you mean MS? Strafe can only hit one line of targets every third frame, so unless all the monsters are in a single-file line, its not going to be as effective. And with LF vs MS, it depends on the geometry of the monsters. LF's advantage is it can multi-trigger from each throw. Vs a big pack of Cows, for example, there's no question that LF kills faster than Strafe or MS. MS is superior when the monsters are spread out side-to-side, where you can't get a good line of fire to multi-trigger your LF.

    2) Stone Skin Urdar, for one, in the River of Flame....takes forever, even when Amped. And L20 MA is still only 20% damage converted, so you're still only working with 1/5 of normal damage - and IIRC, the damage is converted before any bonus multipliers like CS or DS or Amp, so they dont benefit your MA magic damage. And you do find PI cow bosses and seal bosses a lot, its not that uncommon. My point, anyway, was that while pure bows CAN do it, hybrid just gives you much faster options.

    Incidentally, hybrid also lets you use a Highlords over an Atma's, which lets you do more bow damage over time, since the 33% DS does more statistical damage than the 5% CtC Amp, it benefits all the shots in your MS volleys, and the 20 IAS lets you socket your bow for damage rather than Shael/IAS.

    And just to clear up a few minor errors: poison damage is DOT, so unless you're working with a 10 frame Strafe cycle, that 300 damage from Treachery is not going to apply to every hit. The rest of that damage is negligible at best, when Hell monsters have multi-thousands of HPs. Harmony is the best source of ranged elemental damage, hundreds of points more than what you mentioned, and even then you barely notice the life bar move when Strafing a PI, till Amp kicks in and you start doing physical damage.

    3) The most likely ways an average zon will die is a) getting alpha struck by a nasty archer pack, b) getting killed by Diablo, mainly with Firestorm, or c) getting hitlocked by a pack of cows. Block is definitely handy in any of those scenarios...particularly b), my hybrid zon is using maybe one red potion every third CS run, where my pure bowazon was downing at least 1-2 reds every time and usually one purple for every time Diablo used Firestorm. And since you run faster with Titans than you do with WF/WWS, and since LF is your alpha-strike skill, that usually means when you run into a new area, you're going to have block and res already up, which will help defend against any alpha strikes from nasty packs you run into.

    Again, my point was that hybrids have more offensive versatility, and thus are usually more efficient. My hybrid zon can literally do everything that my bowazon did, and just as well, except she can also fling LF and CS too. The main drawback is I dont have Harmony on switch anymore, so I sacrifice a bit of FRW, and I had to give up points in AR from Penetrate and the extra defense from 12/13/12 DEA, and I have to recast my Valk a good deal more often now that she's lost 10 levels.
     
  12. PallyRanger

    PallyRanger Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: First time Hybrid Question

    Well,

    I am currently in NM act5 and so far, have not had many problems with killing baddies since respec-ing to strafe/freeze. Between me, my valk, and my rogue merc we do ok. Now when I do crossover to hell, that will be an entirely different experience.

    I did find another way a zon can get killed. Alpha strike from a pack of souls(one of them having convict) as you turn a corner in WSK. WOW! I dont know how many hit me, but I didn't stand a chance. Went back and had to lure them out using valk and merc to kill them. Will be more cautious next time I take a corner.
     
  13. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: First time Hybrid Question

    ALWAYS forward-cast a Decoy before turning corners or walking into intersections.

    droid- Good points all, but it's largely a matter of tactics.

    1)Strafe IS better than LF because, for one, you don't really care how spaced out the monsters are. Secondly, with Strafe, you leech; so long as you leech, you live. Not the case with LF. Also, Strafe allows you to engage targets from safe distance; I don't even get to see most of my kills as they mainly happen offscreen; for LF, you need to be much closer and half the time you don't get to fire the first shot.

    2) Stone Skin Urdar- yes, but how often do those happen? An occasional PI boss is nothing to fret about really; so you'll spend a couple more seconds wearing him down; big deal. PIs are mostly problematic when they come in numbers, and let's face it- it doesn't happen very often. I think physical immunity is the second rarest after Magic immunity.

    3)Using Highlords vs. Atma... I think your Strafer is always better off with Atma, not least because you don't need to switch gears. The Strafer's great advantage, to me anyhow, is that one skill does it all. Well, that and the auto-targeting; way easier on both your nerves and your fingers than frantically trying to nail that runaway Fallen or a leaping Leaper with your mouse cursor. And if you're using WWS, Highlords' DS is largely superfluous.

    4)Block is handy, yes... but you have D/A/E as well. That+block= a LOT of time spent dodging which could be spent attacking. A Bowazon's life leech levels are incredible, so if you let off a Strafe volley before you're Alpha-hit, you will probably survive a nuclear holocaust. Plus you have two castable meat shields. In most cases, the cause of death is loss of caution.

    And yes, Diablo's Firestorm is annoyingly dangerous- but that's what proper positioning (between the points of the pentagram) and a Kelpie Snare on your merc are for.


     
  14. PallyRanger

    PallyRanger Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: First time Hybrid Question


    Thanks for the advice T-Weed. I dont think I have ever even used decoy so it is a good thing to note. Much appreciated.

    I'm gonna see if I can find the runes and an armor to make the Treachery runeword. More IAS can't hurt.

    To the discussion of strafe vs. "everything else". I personally fire a volley of multi followed by repeated volleys of strafe. The multi gets the first hit to a bunch of baddies and then the strafe does the bulk of the work. My strafe is at lvl 22 and multi at lvl 7. I use strafe/freeze for the bosses.

    I have about 10% life and mana leech so both orbs stay pretty full. I dont drink many pots unless absolutely overwhelmed. Gonna try to make the jump to hell diff tonight and see how that goes.

    Thanks to all for the help!



     
  15. Kijya

    Kijya Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: First time Hybrid Question

    I wrote a long reply ... but scrapped it as I think there's little point in me arguing as I'm obviously biased towards hybrids. Instead, may I ask if you have ever played a pure lightning javazon tumbleweed?


    If not, then I highly recommend it as they're quite fun to play and very powerful.

    If you have, then I'm surprised that you think so lowly of LF.





    Back on topic:
    Be sure to look up the breakpoints. More IAS can hurt you as you may gain nothing from it while sacrificing something to get it (like damage/res/life/etc).
    But in the case of treachery I'm sure it will be a boost. The extra 300ish poison damage you gain from venom should still be a bit noticeable in late nightmare and early hell.



     
  16. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: First time Hybrid Question

    I HAVE played a Lightning Java. She is awesome, especially when backed by an Infinity merc.

    LF is INSANELY powerful against non-LI tightly grouped packs. Which is why it is the best cow-killer in the game. BUT when the monsters are spread out, the effectiveness falls drastically, and against single targets it's pretty useless; you need CS for that. If your mana is low (and a hybrid WILL have it low), LF's huge mana drain will get annoying fast. When you go full Java route, it works because you can choose +skills +mana gear and synergize CS so that any non-LI monster is dead before he knows what hit him. But in a LF/CS/Strafe hybrid you end up with a half-synergized CS, deficient Strafe and a choice of equipment that is neither here nor there. Javelin skills need only so much Dex; Strafe needs all the Dex you can afford. It is simply a bad combo. If you must have a hybrid, LF/Frozen Arrow or LF/Immo Arrow is the way; they're both governed by +skills. But a Strafer is best left pure, me thinks.

    All that said, there's nothing wrong with experimenting. Prove me wrong if you dare :)


     
  17. droid

    droid Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: First time Hybrid Question

    Not to come off as a pointless contrarian, but with a rare ML Ring (I have a 5ml 115ar 13 str 7 dex rare on my hybrid) and an upped Titan's, the javelins' leech will usually offset the mana cost, if you're hitting enough targets to make LF worthwhile in the first place. You rarely, as a hybrid, stick with LF long enough to drain your mana pool before you switch back to bow, which of course fills it up in one shot :) Pure light of course has more legitimate mana concerns.

    Half synergized CS is still pretty good vs most single large targets :) And my zon runs with exactly the same gear she did when she was MS/Strafe, except for the weapon switch. My Strafe is as powerful as any pure Strafer.

    Any good zon knows how to use a decoy :) I always use them as scouts in WSK2 and Throne to draw out Souls, and also when I'm soloing Wave 2 and 3 in the Throne, I'll cast a Decoy on the opposite side of where I am, and the bone mages/Council will direct all their attention the wrong way while I LF and Strafe away. Decoy is also very nice if you have a pack of mages harassing you with ranged spells while your merc and valk are busy somewhere else; decoy is good to suck up a couple volleys while you take care of business.

    As to your other points, I think I can sum it up like this: Pure Strafer is simpler, its easier, and its safer. I won't argue that point. Its a one-click-does-it-all skill you dont even have to aim. Its effective against both groups and single targets. My argument was that hybrids have more options, more versatility. I'd never use LF against a couple scattered monsters, of course Strafe is a better option to clean them up.

    Strafe vs Hybrid is like automatic vs manual transmission...auto is much easier, but manual gives you more control that, with skill, can give you better results, more upside.

    What hybrids have is a wider spectrum of offense, for which they sacrifice the safety and convenience you're talking about. Yes, its annoying having to constantly switch weapon sets, but for your trouble you get faster kills in many situations - vs bosses, vs heavily packed monsters, and vs PIs (incidentally, WSK 3 has 2 native PI monsters that can spawn, one of them having a nasty ranged attack, making it super annoying and dangerous for a pure bowie).

    LF serves you best vs really big packs, MS serves you best vs spread-out packs, Strafe serves you best for scattered monsters and single small targets, CS serves you best for single hard targets. MS and Strafe alone give you a less idealized "pvm damage curve" at the upper and lower ends of that spectrum.

    And about Diablo, why arent you at pointblank range? :) What you described might shield you from Firestorm, but you're then vulnerable to his much more dangerous LHoD!


     
  18. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: First time Hybrid Question

    I'm not at pointblank range because I don't like a big smelly demon in my face! :D

    More seriously, Diablo usually focuses on the closest target, so as long as my merc and Valk are poking him with their sticks, I just need to stand on the opposite side and some distance away and he won't target me 90% of the time. With a Kelpie Snare on the merc, he barely ever lets off a spell anyhow.


     
  19. PallyRanger

    PallyRanger Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: First time Hybrid Question

    Well,
    With some help from a few other folks, we beat Baal(junk drops), and made it into hell. BIG difference. I'm in act 2 and HATING it. Killing speed has been reduced, but still effective w/ strafe. Eaglehorn does ok but Harmony bow seems to kill much quicker. Just watching the screen I'd say I take down 3 monsters w/ Eaglehorn to the Harmony's 5. No math or anything just watching how quick they die.

    The dude I was playing with was a multi/strafe zon. He was killing silly fast. I asked to look at gear, geezus. BoTD bow, CoH armor, some rediculous rare gloves of awesomeness, etc. No wonder he killed 3x as many monsters as me. But at least I can say I FOUND all my gear. =)

    Do you guys recommend carrying resist charms? ALL of my resists are wayyyyy in the red and feeling kinda like I will be demolished if I get hit with some sort of lightning or something.

    I may just build another zon and make her pure java. Not sure yet.
    Thanks for the help!
     
  20. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: First time Hybrid Question

    A Bowazon's resists are always way in the red. They live dangerously, guided by "the best defense is a good offense" principle. You can try loading up on res charms, but +damage are superior.
     

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