Looking for a fun melee build

ducko

Diabloii.Net Member
Hi all. I used to play a lot online with only cookie cutter pvp builds (hdin Blizz windy bonenec es/fb trapsin bvc etc). Items could be gotten easily through trading, so I never had to find my own gear. I guess that's where the SP appeal is. Totally different experience. Never knew self finding and making a CTA was possible :)

Anyway I've always wanted to play an unorthodox melee pvm char. The goal is to be able to handle p3 hell with average items (I have reaper troll to deal with PIs). I doubt I have the energy and time to find several high runes. So please shoot some suggestions! No sorc/necs.

I already have a level 89 blizzer comfortably running p3 hell ancients/lk/meph for gear. Hopefully I can find more uniques like jalal arreat bartuc hoz etc soon. Also any suggestions for melee weapons? Would a unique like baranar star be viable for my purpose?
 

Haywire

Diabloii.Net Member
Fury / Feral Druid. Max Fury, 7 or so in Feral (+ skills), build a bear (he will die often. Meat shield. Dont waste extra points). Use Verashidens guide ( no link sorry). Get cb-(eventually) upped shaeled ribcracker. Add Guil helm and Dracs and treach or coh. Spirit of choice. I use oak. They die often. Chainsaw through all until pi: reapers solve it (merc weap)
Frw on boots and with feral you run like a monkey on crack. You will have fun but must pay attention. This guide is tissue paper thin: check fury guides.
 
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pharaoh

Diabloii.Net Member
I don't know why you say no sorceress/necromancer builds, as those can be among the most unorthodox melee builds able to solo the game. However, there are other options.

An avenger (paladin using Vengeance) isn't particularly uncommon, but it's less common than the other paladin choices of hammerdin or frost/shock/fanaticism zealots. Bonus points for a 'glass cannon' build, where you get a badass two-hander, and forego the shield. Insight (if you're using RWM) is a good budget choice; the points you don't spend on Holy Shield can instead go into Prayer. Load up on integer PDR ('life everlasting' and similar mods, Sol runes) and you can have a partial abbot build, where you reduce damage enough that you can (hopefully) regenerate faster than monsters can damage you. Iron Pelt and Gladiator's Bane are excellent choices. If you have a good to-hit without running Conviction, you can pump Salvation as your main Vengeance synergy. You'll sacrifice damage when you activate it, but it will go a long way to getting you maxed resists in hell with sub-par gear.

A spearazon is another good choice. They're a lot less common than bowazons or javazons, but just remember that Fend + Dodge/Avoid is kinda bugged.

You can make a melee amazon who doesn't use spears or javelins at all, but you'll probably want to go two-handed if doing this, because amazons have a horrendous block speed unless using javelins or daggers (which use the same stabby-stabby animation as javelins). Decoy, and possibly Valkyrie, are great skills here.

Lastly, you could try an assassin using the martial arts tree. Phoenix Strike is pretty, if a bit underpowered and tricky to use, and Dragon Talon is a nice choice. You've always got a ranged backup skill in Blade Fury, too, for tackling monsters that are too dangerous to go toe-to-toe with.

If you're having trouble picking a character, you can always seek inspiration from books, movies, and the like. For example, after watching the Danish CGI comedy Ronal the Barbarian, one of the characters inspired me to make an amazon using two-handed axes (because she's a shieldmaiden).

I already have a level 89 blizzer comfortably running p3 hell ancients/lk/meph for gear. Hopefully I can find more uniques like jalal arreat bartuc hoz etc soon. Also any suggestions for melee weapons? Would a unique like baranar star be viable for my purpose?
BStar is okay, but frankly, it's eclipsed by most of the v1.10+ elite unique weapons, and even more so by the runewords. Oath, for example, is better for most characters, particularly an avenger, due to the higher base damage and IAS. Passion is a cheap runeword that allows any class access to the Berserk and Zeal skills, and it can be made in any weapon (even missile weapons, but that's obviously a waste). If you make it in a scepter with Zeal as a staffmod, it will stack with the oskill Zeal. New weapons like Nord's Tenderizer, Forstwind, and Djinn Slayer offer very respectable elemental damage.
 
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srrw

Diabloii.Net Member
Kicksin and Fanatic Zealot. Both are not unorthodox per se but are extremely fun to go through the game with. Especially with slightly suboptimal items. If you're into crowd control and want slightly more tactical battles go for the sin. If you want to just bash some skulls Zealot is king in that regard.
 

Kitteh

Diabloii.Net Site Pal
Fanatic zealot is always fun, just need a good-ish weapon. Fury druids are again fun, and look cool. I’m currently playing a jabzon which is really enjoyable! If you have a wolf howl, wolf barb should be fun
 

ducko

Diabloii.Net Member
I already have a level 60 fana zealot which I stopped in nm cuz of damage and AR issues. That's when I decided to get a blizzer up for mfing gear first. Will probably continue when I find a hoz.

I've no interest in sorc/nec melee cuz they're primarily casters to me. Maybe too unorthodox for me. If I get a wolf howl, I may do the wolfbarb. But for now, I don't intend to plays builds based on oskills. Also no but thank you for the dtalon suggestion, but it means weapons are not as important? That's what made me lose interest in my old sin haha.

I really wanna just go into monster groups and mindlessly slay them with minimal cc strategy. So far I'm leaning towards avenger, frenzy barb or some melee druid builds. Or if I somehow get my hands on an ohm, I'll start a wwsin immediately.
 

srrw

Diabloii.Net Member
I already have a level 60 fana zealot which I stopped in nm cuz of damage and AR issues. That's when I decided to get a blizzer up for mfing gear first. Will probably continue when I find a hoz.
Crescent Moon in a Phase Blade is good enough to see him through. If you stumble across a Lo rune, Grief will solve all issues hehe.
Also no but thank you for the dtalon suggestion, but it means weapons are not as important? That's what made me lose interest in my old sin haha.
She does benefit from the weapons mods and speed but not it's damage. Which means a Black Flail or a Crescent Moon Phase Blade or Fleshripper or whatnot are very good. She does need good boots tho. Upped Goreriders are the top choice with double upped Goblin Toe a close second. I'd throw in a Stormshield an Guillaume's Face and you're good to go ;)

Avengers are SLOW. They're single target and left-click only if you want to use an aura. That doesn't sound like fast paced fun to me. I have no experience with shapeshift druids or any barbs really so I can't help you there.
 

ducko

Diabloii.Net Member
OK I took a look at my ATMA. Realised I have 2 vex runes. I also have 3/4 of the Nat set. Is it worth cubing to ohm and making a chaos? Nat ww sin viable? Or should I use my ohm/vex elsewhere and just have fun with a martial arts nats sin since I got bartuc/jade talon too.
 

Kitteh

Diabloii.Net Site Pal
Phoenix strike assassins are fun and don't require claw class weapons. Jiansonz had a fun polearm version I think, although I can't remember if it made it to guardian or not.
 

T72on1

Diabloii.Net Member
OK I took a look at my ATMA. Realised I have 2 vex runes. I also have 3/4 of the Nat set. Is it worth cubing to ohm and making a chaos? Nat ww sin viable? Or should I use my ohm/vex elsewhere and just have fun with a martial arts nats sin since I got bartuc/jade talon too.
In my opinion, Chaos is very much worth it, either for WW Sin or DC Sin combined with another Claw, in which case the CTC Orb adds some nice side effect. Having said that, if you don't have one already, I'd always use my first Ohm for a Call to Arms.
 

pharaoh

Diabloii.Net Member
I've no interest in sorc/nec melee cuz they're primarily casters to me. Maybe too unorthodox for me.
Yeah, they're intended that way, but nevertheless, they can be quite fun. An Enchant sorceress with Passion or Crescent Moon can deal out some serious damage, and can get pretty good defenses with the right gear. A necromancer has all those curse options available; Amplify Damage provides a big boost to damage, while Decrepify, Dim Vision, and Confuse give great safety, particularly when coupled with some minions. For both characters, but less so for the sorceress, attack rating is liable to be the biggest hurdle, but that can be managed with an 'ignore target defense' weapon. This mod is on Crescent Moon (good for either class) and Hexfire (+3 fire skills, so great for an Enchant sorceress), among other options.

If I get a wolf howl, I may do the wolfbarb. But for now, I don't intend to plays builds based on oskills. Also no but thank you for the dtalon suggestion, but it means weapons are not as important? That's what made me lose interest in my old sin haha.
Kinda. The base damage on the weapon is unimportant, but a lot of the mods carry over. Things like crushing blow, freezes target, chance to cast xx, etc are all great things to look for.

I really wanna just go into monster groups and mindlessly slay them with minimal cc strategy.
Honestly, my recommendation then would be for a Holy Freeze paladin using Zeal. It will slow almost every monster in the game, including cold immunes (though it won't damage them). The only things it won't slow are act bosses and unchillable monsters, such as some flavors of frenzytaurs. You don't need a high damage weapon, although if you've got one, it helps. You can use something like Voice of Reason or Lawbringer for additional fun from chance-to-cast effects. This one is a 'turn off your brain and click' until you hit cold immunes in hell, and by then, you should have a solution, whether that is the merc, enough physical damage and/or crushing blow to take them out, other elemental damage (you can even use Holy Shock as a backup), or whatever. Slap on Crescent Moon if you have it, and any AR issues go away, and you've largely addressed the issue of cold immunes.

Bonus is that if you want chipped gems, you can just run through Normal with the aura going, and listen for the gem drop sound.

The sad fact of the matter is that if you want a melee character who can just wade into crowds, you generally need good gear, particularly when it comes to your weapon. That's why I mentioned the frost zealot; he's among the most gear-independent melee characters around, similar to a Holy Shock zealot.

So far I'm leaning towards avenger, frenzy barb or some melee druid builds. Or if I somehow get my hands on an ohm, I'll start a wwsin immediately.
Avenger's not really a fast build, as srrw pointed out. They're single-target, and since you're a paladin who presumably runs an aura, holding the RMB and running through stuff won't work (though it will work great with a sorceress using Kingslayer). On the other hand, attack rating and monster immunities are basically non-issues, and you can always fall back to Zeal if you want a faster attack in certain situations. With Conviction running, if you've got high elemental damage on your weapon, or ctc elemental effects (like Voice of Reason on switch), you can handle mobs a little more easily.

The main attraction of a Vengeance paladin is to use the hurtiest stick you can find, and kill pretty much anything except bosses in one or two hits.

Anything with Ribcracker. It makes a very agreeable thump as they hit the floor.
Yeaaaah!

Honestly, if I had an ethereal perfect Ribcracker and a Zod rune, the Zod would go in the Ribcracker before I'd make BotD. If my math is right, that'd be 480-707 damage for a normal attack for a perfect ethereal upgraded Ribcracker, and that's before the juicy 50% crushing blow.

Phoenix strike assassins are fun and don't require claw class weapons. Jiansonz had a fun polearm version I think, although I can't remember if it made it to guardian or not.
Yes, that's a good point- I forgot about PS not needing claws, like the other elemental MA skills. This makes it a little easier to hit the right charge, gives the option of a shield (resists!), and opens up some juicy weapon options.

And since it was jiansonz, I imagine he managed to get her to Guardian.
 

ducko

Diabloii.Net Member
While I understand the appeal of ribcracker stats wise, I don't see myself liking it because it is a freaking stick. Melees should be wielding something sharp imo. Don't mind me, its the same reason why I'm avoiding melee sorc/nec :D

I've decided against wwsin for now. Probably heading towards frenzy barb or ww barb because I found arreats. I need weapons though, and oath/death are possible choices. I suppose it means having to find ethereal Bb or zerk. Where's the best place to farm for them?
 

Brak

Diabloii.Net Member
If you're looking for mindless, hold down the RMB playstyle I'd suggest:
Frenzy Barb
Fury Druid
Kicksin

To me they play somewhat similarly. Kicksin is most likely to die if you aren't paying attention since she has a lower life bulb, Barb conversely is least likely because they are pretty durable. If you don't have runes just make a pair of Honor swords for the barb. They're cheap and respectable.
 
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