Guardian Felix, Medusa BowBarb, 1.11 untwinked single-pass "money-hater"

Insane Wayne

Diabloii.Net Member
Guardian Felix, Medusa BowBarb, 1.11 untwinked single-pass "money-hater"

Felix is my character from jiansonz's "Money-Hating Barbarians" tournament. It's quite an unusual build. I should've created a separate thread for him to share his story, but I never got around to it. Currently there's a new BowBarb tournament, so I decided to finally post my write-up in the hopes that it may be interesting for the participants (and anyone else who likes weird builds :)). Felix was bound by the following restrictions:

1. HC, untwinked, single-pass, extended stash allowed.
2. No use of gold. No shopping, no gambling, no vendor repairs.
3. Mercs were also HC. (no resurrections). They were "hirable" via quest reward (randomly assigned, so their abilities were a surprise).

I had no plans for Felix to be a BowBarb. He began his adventure like most barbs, preferring melee weapons for smashing, splitting, and/or skewering enemy skulls. Combat skillpoints were placed sparingly, because I wasn't sure how he would develop. Felix lived off the land, restricted to gear found in the field. His only options for repair were Ral/Ort cube repairs. Auto-repair/Indestructible items were also possible, but quality drops of those types are few and far between, and couldn't be relied on. Thus Felix found himself churning through weapons and armor at a torrid pace. Chippie rerolls gave me a brief reprieve. Whenever I found a nice type of magical weapon, I could reroll it when it broke (which also rerolled its durability). However, as I began Act 2 Nightmare, I realized I needed a dramatic change if Felix was to have any hope at all. My resources were dangerously low.

My merc, a cold arrow rogue named Floria, had been using a Skystrike found in Act 5 Normal. When I happened to find another one early in Act 2 NM, Felix's career as a BowBarb commenced. We stood side-by-side, plucking away. Floria's story is also notable: I was able to keep her alive throughout the journey! Much of the credit goes to BO (she had ~2800 life), high-radius Howl, her own monster-avoidance AI, and my habit of casting pre-emptive safety portals for an emegency bail-out in case she was trapped. Also I was careful to stand on the opposite side of Act Bosses, keeping her out of harm's way. That's not to say she was glass-jawed. In fact, I often used Floria to "tank" ranged attacks, by hiding behind her, a task she handled capably thanks to BO-enhanced life/regen and good resists. In addition, I forced her to tank most of the Maggot Tunnels and narrow Arcane pathways. Anything to save durability!

The "Medusa" element of our build evolved as my gear options improved. As a result of preserving my durabilities, I could afford to make confident long-term decisions about full-time gear. Bows never lose durbility, no worries there! Armor durability loss was slow enough that I could now keep pace with Ral consumption. To assist in keeping monsters off me, I adopted the MedusaZon approach of slowing, chilling, and knockback attacks. Floria's cold arrows were a major part of that, her cold duration is respectably long despite the Hell penalty. Although barbarians already have excellent crowd control options, our special attacks further enhanced those abilities, with the added benefit of working against champs and uniques.

Another important aspect of Felix's journey was his expertise as a MF horker. With all the extra skillpoints unused in the Combat tree, I nearly maxed Find Item. Yes, the returns diminish sharply, but why not get that extra 1%? :cool: Among the items he horked: dozens of charms and jewels, Sigon's Shield, Hawkmail, Duriel's Shell, Arm of King Leoric, and some mid-runes (including a Shael from a spawner pup!). I'm sure there were dozens of additional horked S/Us, often it was hard to tell when the screen filled with items.

Felix was among my safest builds. He was rarely threatened, keeping most monsters at arm's length. With his Natural Resists and absorb gear, he laughed at gloams. The one problem was of course his low damage. We stayed at p1 through Hell. AR was solved with gear, charms, Floria's excellent Inner Sight, and occasional Battle Cry. Open Wounds, PMH, and CB also helped a great deal. The details:

Guardian Felix, level 85, character description:
Medusa BowBarb (with Cold Rogue merc) specializing in slowing/chilling ranged attack, Knockback, crowd control, and MF. Hates gold.

Base Stats:
Str 127, Dex 127, Vit 265, Energy 10
Life (with BO): 2910
Mana (with BO): 209
Hell Resists: 90,90,75,57. With additional 15 cold absorb, 20 lightning absorb, and option for 15 fire absorb.

Base Skills:
15 Howl. The high radius allowed me to scare away dense monster packs from afar. This ensured that Floria wouldn't flinch or run away. She kept her feet planted and bow firing (even when I stood behind her), critical for our efficiency.
1 Find Potion
1 Taunt
1 Shout
19 Find Item
1 Battle Cry
20 Battle Orders

1 Sword Mastery
1 Axe Mastery
1 Mace Mastery
1 Throwing Mastery
1 Spear Mastery
1 Increased Stamina
1 Iron Skin
2 Increased Speed
13 Natural Resistance

1 Bash
1 Leap
6 Double Swing. (My preferred attack through Normal.)
1 Stun
1 Double Throw
1 Leap Attack
3 Concentrate
1 Frenzy
1 Berserk

Primary Gear:
Witchwild String. Socketed with Shael and Jewel of Thunder. 180-610 damage with 2800 AR. It dropped late in the game; up to that point I used Skystrike. I opted for the jewel because I lacked another Shael.
Blackhorn's Face Death Mask, socketed with Jewel of Fervor. Monster slow + other nice mods.
"Duress" Templar Coat. Rolled poorly, but it's the fixed mods that are most important anyway. It's heavy, but thankfully has high durability.
Snowclash Battle Belt
Cleglaw's Pincers. Not just for zons! They raised my monster slow to 45%, plus the all-important knockback. Fat kid agrees: "Pooncers uber 4 any click-click barbz shootz arrowz! k bye chomp chomp eat snack."
Hotspur Boots
Angelic Wings
Angelic Halo x2


Weapon Switch:
Blade of Ali Baba. Socketed with two Ists. :greedy: Probably the coolest thing I've ever created during a single-pass. Not incredibly useful for Felix, but a nice horking tool nonetheless, yes?
Angelic Sickle. (additional MF set bonus.)

Guardian Floria, level 85, Cold Rogue
Life (with BO): 2764
Resists: 65/72/69/49
rare great bow, 260-640 damage
gemmed gothic plate
gemmed Superior Grand Crown with 3 PTopaz

Rare Finds:
Um from Nightmare False Tomb
Ist from Hell Hellforge
Ist #2 from Hell Crystalline Passage cave leaper
Demon's Arch
ethereal Titan's Revenge
Natalya's Mark
Hellslayer
Messerschmidt's Reaver
Skull Collector
Arm of King Leoric
Spire of Honor
Duriel's Shell
Butcher's Pupil (twice)
Shaftstop
Toothrow
Sazabi's Ghost Liberator
Dwarf Star
Laying of Hands
4 skill charms (Sounding GC of Greed was best)
rare archon plate with 180 durability. failed unique! :unimpressed:

Monsters parked: zero

NDEs:
Act 2 Normal, CE Beetle boss in Maggot Lair. My resists were poor, and I barely survived. Early points in Vitality saved me.
Act 3 Hell, Mana Burn Doll pack in Travincal. They almost mobbed me, when I was hobbled by a Holy Freeze Vampire boss.
Act 5 Hell, Mana Burn Frenzytaur pack plus Champion Archers in Drifter Cavern. Stair trap, with no room to maneuver. Back to the wall, it was my toughest battle.

Some action screens:
Big barb + little bow = funny. (Like a grizzly bear riding a tricycle.)
The bowbarb advantage.
Thresh Socket, owned by tiki torch.
Rogue vs. rogue. (Felix waiting patiently with MF switch.)
Making a huge mess with Open Wounds.
Felix appreciates his maxed resists.
The bowbarb advantage, part 2.
Missile exchange.
Horking the Cow King.
 
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Morathi

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Guardian Felix, Medusa BowBarb, 1.11 untwinked single-pass "money-hater"

Excellent Wayne, thanks for sharing this with us.

I actually just finished reading over the tournament (money-hating barbarian), more specifically your posts and updates. And now its great that you can share your adventures of Felix and Floria with those who may have missed the tournament.

I am sure many people will benefit from this :thumbup:.
 

Cygnus

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Guardian Felix, Medusa BowBarb, 1.11 untwinked single-pass "money-hater"

Um from Nightmare False Tomb
...
Act 3 Hell, Mana Burn Doll pack in Travincal.
Typos? (EDIT: nvm, apparently bosses, minions and champs can drop up to Um. Who would have thought?)

Very impressive finds, BTW, esp. the dual-Ist'ed Baba's. And guardianing a rogue is just scary.

Also, none of the pic links work for me.



 

Insane Wayne

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Guardian Felix, Medusa BowBarb, 1.11 untwinked single-pass "money-hater"

Typos? (EDIT: nvm, apparently bosses, minions and champs can drop up to Um. Who would have thought?)
I was quite surprised. I never knew exactly what dropped the Um, it happened during a crowded battle with lots of retreats and probably a portal trip or two. I did take a screen though. My best guess is a champion ghost, according to my update there were ghosts there. Or maybe those skeletons were minions.

The "Travincal" doll pack is indeed a typo. It was a Durance doll pack on level 2.



 

waflob

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Guardian Felix, Medusa BowBarb, 1.11 untwinked single-pass "money-hater"

sounds like you had fun - grats on another guardian.
The screenshots of the triple elemental enhanced bosses are just scary !

DelBoy
 

Drystan

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Guardian Felix, Medusa BowBarb, 1.11 untwinked single-pass "money-hater"

Congrats on the Guardianed BowBarbie! Very nice haul of goodies too. Now take care of that dual Ist'ed Baba! Hehe.
 

jiansonz

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Guardian Felix, Medusa BowBarb, 1.11 untwinked single-pass "money-hater"

I was quite surprised. I never knew exactly what dropped the Um, it happened during a crowded battle with lots of retreats and probably a portal trip or two. I did take a screen though. My best guess is a champion ghost, according to my update there were ghosts there. Or maybe those skeletons were minions.
Champs/Bosses in those areas in NM can drop surprisingly high. Apart from NM Griswold, this is the earliest place I have seen low-end elite items.

Good summary of Felix´and Floria´s adventures! :thumbsup:



 

Ockut

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Guardian Felix, Medusa BowBarb, 1.11 untwinked single-pass "money-hater"

As a Bowbarb tourney participant I'm most grateful for this post, I have been enjoying a bit of horking, but seeing your results I shall be pumping the skill a lot further than anticipated.

Amazing you managed to get your rogue merc to guardian, what an unusual achievement that is, big thumbs up! :thumbup::thumbup:
 

Skinhead On The MBTA

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Guardian Felix, Medusa BowBarb, 1.11 untwinked single-pass "money-hater"

You continue to amaze me Wayne - I could never go through the entire game without buying or repairing stuff. The fact that it's a BowBarb as well…

Outstanding. Congratulations on the double Guardian!
 

maxicek

Moderator Single Player
Re: Guardian Felix, Medusa BowBarb, 1.11 untwinked single-pass "money-hater"

Congrats on yet another impressive Guardian.
 

lionheartthebrave

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Guardian Felix, Medusa BowBarb, 1.11 untwinked single-pass "money-hater"

Lets see...

HC- of course
Untwinked- what else?
Unusual build- I think Bowbarb qualifies
HC mercs- a brilliant touch
HC merc surviving- true skill
Making a IstIst Ali Baba- nutter :p
Making above item in HC untwinked tourney- pure insanity:crazyeyes:

Making a HC Untwinked bowbarb- priceless!!

For the items there's MFing, for skill there's Insane Wayne :thumbup:

Congrats IW, can't wait to read updates on your elemancer
 
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Morathi

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Guardian Felix, Medusa BowBarb, 1.11 untwinked single-pass "money-hater"

Lets see...

HC- of course
Untwinked- what else?
Unusual build- I think Bowbarb qualifies
HC mercs- a brilliant touch
HC merc surviving- true skill
Making a IstIst Ali Baba- nutter :p
Making above item in HC untwinked tourney- pure insanity:crazyeyes:

Making a HC Untwinked bowbarb- priceless!!

For the items there's MFing, for skill there's Insane Wayne :thumbup:

Congrats IW, can't read to read updates on your elemancer
Lol, gold......:rolf:.

Ps. Dont you mean can't wait to read....? not can't read to read????.



 

dune6836

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Guardian Felix, Medusa BowBarb, 1.11 untwinked single-pass "money-hater"

another splendid post Insane Wayne. thanks for sharing, it will be useful for the new bow barb thread as you said.

its a little different, of course, because with only being allowed a bow there is no use for combat skills or masteries. along with howl i am finding grim ward very useful although i am only at the start of act 3 normal now :)

i have a few in leap for emergencies though.

making a guardian cold rogue is impressive. so far my cold rogue hasnt died, but i doubt ill keep her alive right through hell!

congrats. dune
 

OldSoldier

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Guardian Felix, Medusa BowBarb, 1.11 untwinked single-pass "money-hater"

Wayne, well done on this, belatedly of course. This is an accomplishment that is right up with the best of the forum. Did you ever find yourself pinballing monsters with taunt/howl or taunt/grim ward? That was a tactic I liked to use with SaladShooter.
 

Mursilis

Diabloii.Net Member
That's just absurd the amount of good items that dropped for you. I've gone through the past two tournaments without finding a single unique bow. Now I know where all my luck went, and I want it back! :rant:

On a serious note, congrats on your success :thumbsup:
 

Insane Wayne

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Guardian Felix, Medusa BowBarb, 1.11 untwinked single-pass "money-hater"

Drystan said:
Now take care of that dual Ist'ed Baba! Hehe.
It is gathering dust in Felix' stash, and has never seen the light of day since he horked the Cow King! At least it's safe...

Ockut said:
As a Bowbarb tourney participant I'm most grateful for this post, I have been enjoying a bit of horking, but seeing your results I shall be pumping the skill a lot further than anticipated.
It's worth it. Horking is difficult in the beginning (low mana). I only horked bosses at first. Eventually I gained enough mana (with BO especially) and I could hork everything. Level 6 Find Item is a good target, I would shoot for lvl 11 if you had enough spare points. Improving your odds for good gear is arguably more important than minor increases in other barb defensive/passive skills.

dune6836 said:
thanks for sharing, it will be useful for the new bow barb thread as you said. its a little different, of course, because with only being allowed a bow there is no use for combat skills or masteries.
Yes, that is a key difference. Felix could always switch to his one-hander/shield and tank dangerous bosses, on the rare occasions it was needed (especially stairtraps with champions). You won't have that luxury. It will be interesting to see how you guys cope with that.

dune6836 said:
so far my cold rogue hasnt died, but i doubt ill keep her alive right through hell!
Well, I always said it was harder to protect her through first three Acts of Normal (when she was delicate and lacking BO boost), than at any time during NM/Hell. So, good job so far! :thumbup:

OldSoldier said:
Did you ever find yourself pinballing monsters with taunt/howl or taunt/grim ward? That was a tactic I liked to use with SaladShooter.
Taunt/Howl, absolutely. Felix was hoarse from all his taunting, what a great skill! I did not use GW, although I've read that it's great. But I didn't want to "consume" the corpse, preferring to hork them instead.

Mursilis said:
I've gone through the past two tournaments without finding a single unique bow. Now I know where all my luck went, and I want it back! On a serious note, congrats on your success :thumbsup:
Ugh, that's some terrible luck. I usually see at least a dozen S/U bows with each character, and a few exceptionals as well (Skystrike by far the most popular). It comes at a price though. I sacrificed some killing speed for MF through most of the game. Felix was sporting over 200%MF by early NM, and closer to 400% by late NM (Floria had her own MF too). By Hell, Floria's kills were still worth ~300%MF, upwards of 600%MF for Hell Ball.
 
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wakiki

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Guardian Felix, Medusa BowBarb, 1.11 untwinked single-pass "money-hater"

Wow, nice Guardian! Hork is a really amazing skill, possibly better than Teleport in single-pass tourneys!
 

bladejj

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Guardian Felix, Medusa BowBarb, 1.11 untwinked single-pass "money-hater"

Wow simply amazing. I wish I was that good at this game to make sweet characters like this. Most of mine die early in hell. Btw, those are some crazy high mf percentages :crazyeyes:
 

dune6836

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Guardian Felix, Medusa BowBarb, 1.11 untwinked single-pass "money-hater"

especially stairtraps with champions. You won't have that luxury. It will be interesting to see how you guys cope with that.
this is something that has been bothering me. all i can think of is to hold my breath and try to run as soon as i go through the door. i have been howling immediately but as you say that wont work with champ packs. i think luck will play a part in hell stair traps.



 
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