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Holy Trinity Ranger Guide

Discussion in 'Paladin' started by Zenkai, Sep 8, 2006.

  1. Zenkai

    Zenkai IncGamers Member

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    Holy Trinity Ranger Guide

    Alright, since I haven't seen a specific holy trinity ranger guide out there, I'm going to go ahead and try to write one up.

    Disclaimers:
    • The Dragon/Dream/Ice core of the build is really expensive, so don't bother unless you are loaded with rune wealth. Even if you aren't, feel free to continue reading on since I like to think this is a very interesting and fun build.
    • I'm going to be very specific about the gear setup because I haven't played D2 since just before 1.11 went live so my characters are all expired, and I can barely remember what exactly I used let alone alternatives that I considered, although many of the items listed in Rane's general ranger guide should be viable in this build.
    • You will want to play through and level in groups because you won't really be able to solo until you can start wearing the runewords (~lvl 60-65) in order to dish out some serious damage. Luckily your primary auras (Conviction and Salvation) are very party-friendly so grouping should not be a problem.
    • This is a PvM guide.
    Skills:

    1 pt. prereqs:
    • Might
    • Holy Fire
    • Thorns
    • Holy Freeze
    • Sanctuary
    20 pt. skills:
    • Resist Fire (synergy)
    • Resist Cold (synergy)
    • Resist Lightning (synergy)
    • Salvation (synergy)
    • Conviction
    105 points used, finished at lvl 94 with all the bonus skill point quests completed. IIRC, Conviction is effectively capped at lvl 27 so if you have enough skill charms in your inventory, you don't need to level up the base value to 20. I would level up Conviction first, followed by Salvation, RL, RC, then RF.

    Gear:

    Weapon: Ice blade bow (lvl 18 Holy Freeze aura, 20% IAS, ITD, 7% LL, 25% ctc lvl 22 Frost Nova)
    Helm: Dream diadem (lvl 15 Holy Shock aura)
    Armor: Dragon archon plate (lvl 14 Holy Fire aura, 12% ctc lvl 15 Hydra)
    Gloves: Cleglaw's Pincers (Slows target by 25%, knockback)
    Belt: upgraded Razortail (33% pierce, +15 dex)
    Boots: upgraded Waterwalks (20% FRW, +15 dex)
    Amulet: Cat's Eye (30% FRW, 20% IAS, +25 dex)
    Ring 1: Raven Frost (+150-250 AR, CBF, +15-20 dex)
    Ring 2: Bul-Kathos' Wedding Band (+1 skills, 3-5% LL)

    I listed some key attributes in parentheses next to each item. I put together this setup with a few things in mind. Speed kills, so I settled on using a blade bow, the fastest elite bow with the lowest requirements at 76 str and 119 dex. 40% IAS brings you down to 11 fpa. 55% IAS would bring you down to 10 fpa and normally you would want gloves with an IAS mod, but I felt that the defensive mods on Cleglaw's Pincers were too good to pass up considering that a ranger's survivability depends heavily on mods like knockback and slows target in addition to LL, FRW, and CBF.

    ITD + Conviction makes dex and AR mostly irrelevant, and almost all the damage from this build comes from the auras so the only use for str and dex is to meet the requirements to wear your gear. With this in mind, you want to pick a helm and armor with fairly low str requirements so you can conserve your points to pour into vitality. I picked diadem for looks, and archon plate for its high defense value relative to its 103 str requirement.

    You might've noticed that this setup is severely lacking in skill bonuses, but it's not that important because Conviction is effectively capped at lvl 27 as mentioned before. You'll want to invest in some offensive aura skill charms though to bring you up to the cap.

    Pierce is godly for rangers, and moreso with the ctc Frost Nova and Hydra on Ice and Dragon. You will be able to hold your own vs amazons in a SFX showdown. :grin:

    Stats:

    Str/Dex: Enough for gear with bonuses applied.
    Vit: Everything else.
    Energy: LOL no, don't put anything here or you will regret it.

    Using the above setup along with a torch and anni, you should only have to put in about 50 points into str and leave dex untouched. Of course you will have to wait until lvl 75 for the torch bonuses to kick in, but plain stat charms are easy to come across and use while you are leveling up. Your base vitality should be over 400 around lvl 85.

    Merc:

    I went with an Act 2 Defiance (defense) merc hired from normal difficulty to max out his stats. Feel free to hire one from hell difficulty to save time leveling. I can't remember what exact helm I used on him though so I'll list two options.

    Weapon: Eth Reaper's Toll (ITD, 11-15% LL, 33% ctc lvl 1 Decrepify)
    Helm: Guillaume's Face (30% FHR, 35% CB)
    Helm: Eth Andariel's Visage (20% IAS, 8-10% LL)
    Armor: Eth Stone (60% FHR, +250-290% ED)

    Eth is better of course where possible for your merc. I never saw an eth Andy's Visage though. Act 2 mercs basically need four things to be self-sufficient. IAS, LL, FHR, and high defense. Reaper's works well because of the high LL and ctc Decrepify, which goes hand in hand with your Holy Freeze aura and slow target effects from Cleglaw's Pincers. Eth Stone is almost a given because of the insane FHR and ED mods. Try to use an eth elite armor over 750 defense. Eth Stone + Defiance makes for a nasty combo and at times your merc will seem untouchable.

    I'm pretty sure I used Guillaume's Face for the additional FHR (just passing the 86% breakpoint in combation with Stone) and high CB bonus. Whatever you choose, just go with a mix of shaels, amns, or IAS jewels to socket in the weapon and helm. I've read conflicting info about IAS tables for Act 2 mercs so you'll have to see for yourself in-game what works and what doesn't. Links to the tables I used are at the bottom.

    I messed around with Act 1 and Act 3 mercs (in fact, an Act 3 ice merc decked out with FCR gear can really help with solo leveling early on) but you really need a tank merc if you want to be able to solo effectively in hell, and I've always favored Act 2 mercs over Act 5 mercs for their auras.

    Comments:

    Your resists will suck in hell, so it's important to learn how to get your merc to engage before you back off and fire away if you want to solo effectively, which you should be able to do easily except for the tougher act bosses. Once you get set up and start firing away, enjoy the SFX show and make sure you don't get caught staring! Remember to keep moving to stay alive. Speaking of which, don't forget to turn on Salvation or Resist Lightning when entering portals during hell Baal runs. Only switch back to Conviction when everyone is safely down.

    Feedback is welcomed of course. Point out mistakes, etc. If anyone finds this interesting, I also made a handful of other fairly unique paladin builds...half of which sucked, including a three different fanatics using a Famine (I probably shouldn't have used a zerker to make the Famine in...nonstop repairs), an eth upgraded Ribcracker (just too slow, and no shield), and an eth Lacerator (too weak despite the nonstop 33% ctc Amplify Damage). As for successes, I made a glass cannon Holy Trinity Zealot (ridiculous damage to go with retarded defense) and a balanced Gimmerdin...anyone sense a theme? :cool:

    References:

    *LINK REMOVED! NOT ALLOWED!* (FHR tables and more)
    http://diablo2.ingame.de/tips/calcs/weaponspeed.php?lang=english (Weapon speed calculator)
    http://forums.diabloii.net/showpost.php?p=3806182&postcount=22 (RTB's IAS tables for Act 2 mercs)
    http://strategy.diabloii.net/news.php?id=595 (Rane's ranger guide)
     
  2. Pif

    Pif IncGamers Member

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    Hi m8y,

    Excellent guide. I'm struggling over a tri aura ranger right now so the timing of your guide is perfect :grin: He's on track so far so I'll let you know how he gets on.

    He's too low to use any of the items intrinsic to the build just yet but every day he gets them out of his stash and polishes them for a while (the dream is in a bone visage; the dragon is in a dusk shroud and the ice is in a great bow) - not ideal but it's all I have.

    I was planning on using a rogue merc with a faith to increase his firing speed dramatically. I've played a zon with an act 1 merc and it worked well but then I had a valk as a tank. You say that you've tried this build with an act 1 merc. Any advice for me if I go this route? If it doesn't work I can always switch to an act 2 merc without having to remake the character so it's no big deal.

    What bow for the switch by the way? Harmony (for the vigor, not valk)? Hand of Justice to bost the holy fire aura when facing cold immune monsters?

    Thanks for helping me out (even if you didn't realise that you were!)

    Cheers

    *Pif
    *[UK]Epiphany
     
  3. Zenkai

    Zenkai IncGamers Member

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    Hey man, glad I could help a little. I wish I could go back and edit after what you asked, but I'll answer down here at least.

    First of all, I never thought about using Harmony on switch when I played last year...it just never crossed my mind. The Vigor certainly sounds useful, and although the valk probably won't last long in hell, I'm sure it has its moments as well. Then again, you will need to test this out on your own because I don't recall ever messing around with Harmony at all.

    Thinking back, I started with the idea of having an act 1 Faith merc because we all know speed kills, and the whole idea of having a merc firing away alongside me sounded pretty cool. I started running into problems when I ran into ranged enemies. With no tank, both the merc and I were easy pickings for them, especially considering our crap defenses and resists. Running away to stay alive isn't that hard, but unfortunately the AI will get your merc killed alot in these situations and you will lose the benefit of Fanatacism.

    Of course, playing very carefully is a way to work around these situations, but part of the reason I went with a trinity ranger (or any trinity build in general) is the laziness appeal of being able to handle any monster outside of act bosses without having to resort to weapon switching. Speaking of which, I used a Redeemer and a crappy pdiamond'ed HoZ on switch to use when things got too nasty and I needed to back off or heal up. Hand of Justice on switch sounds interesting, but keep in mind you lose the slowing effects of the Holy Freeze aura when you switch off your Ice bow. Personally, I would lose the satisfaction of being a unique trinity ranger compared to run-of-the-mill dual-element rangers. :cry:

    I just played around with the weapon speed calc, and it looks like 9 fpa is the cap. With your great bow (same speed as my blade bow), you can reach 9 fpa with 20% IAS (already built into the Ice runeword) at lvl 16 Fanaticism, and 25% IAS at lvl 14/15 Fanaticism.
     
  4. yiuman

    yiuman IncGamers Member

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    Interesting build (although it seems familiar to me - is there another guide like it on the forums?).

    Couple of things, the -resists is capped at 25 for conviction, not 27.

    How about Delierum for a helm for an act 1 faith merc? the spells make for good crowd control (my 1.09 ranger relied on these spells to survive).

    If you want a switch (and I'm not sure that you would given that holy freeze slows down most mobs, even if they are CI) I'd go with demon machine or kuko as the fire damage from holy fire gets splashed out with the exploding arrow (they are also great leveling bows). Brand might work too, although the pierce from other two might make them better choices.

    Lastly, gloves - don't forget crafted gloves always have knockback and can come with IAS and other groovy mods (str/dex/resists). I think they'd be a better choice than cleglaws even with the slow as you'd really benefit from teh IAS and holy freeze slows most mobs down anyway.
     
  5. Pif

    Pif IncGamers Member

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    Hi,

    Crafted gloves is an excellent idea especially as resists will be so low. I was wondering if Laying of Hands and Nat's boots/rare tri-resist boots could be used to boost fire/cold/ltng resists. Also maybe swapping out cat's eys for something like Highlord's, especially if I go for the harmony on switch to get vigour.

    My main problem, however, is that getting to level 60+ with no real skills is proving painfully slow. I think I need an Act 2 merc even if its just for a short while.

    I'l look into the delerium idea too.

    Thanks for that

    *Pif
     
  6. yiuman

    yiuman IncGamers Member

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    You could also try putting one point in vengance (or better still getting it as a +skill from a scepter - rusthandle at lower levels, a good magic/rare at latter levels or passion/kingslayer (I forget which has +vengance)). With conviction and the resist auras you'd do decent damage. Should be enough to get you to level 60.
     

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