Matriarch Amanita


Diabloii.Net Member
Matriarch Amanita

Not many can say they've been to Hell and back. Fewer would do it again. Amanita glanced at the lake of fire, then leaned down to light a narlant-weed cigar from a dead man's burning bones. "Guess you can get used to anything," she thought as her crew set out again.

Islands of barely-cool lava blocks set in the flame served Hell as staging posts, gathering places for their armies. This one was no different, apart from being easier to clear than most. Fallen Ones are kind of funny, squeaking in fear and running whenever there were less than a dozen of them. Succubi are worse, but they're always so jealous it doesn't take much to get them to tear into each other. And none of them can do much to an enemy they never notice.

As a crowd became visible through the shimmering air, Vic charged forward, scythe ready. A darker form appeared behind the demons, sowing discord and distraction. Amanita took a puff of weed and, softly humming "Me and my Shadow", sent a poisoned crossbow bolt singing into the neck of a shaman. Kill him first, and this fight will be like all the others.

I hereby announce, after several long pauses, Amanita, my crossbow Assassin. In previous game versions, this kind of character was called a "sniper viper" because Venom was supposedly the only skill you needed. That's not quite true, but with Cloak of Shadows and Mind Blast, even a mediocre ranged attack becomes viable, as you have plenty of time to fill your targets with bolts.

The biggest problem with a sniping Assassin, of course, is the lack of Attack Rating. To overcome this, I used the Angelic Ring and Amulet combo, and the unique Colossus Crossbow Hellrack, whose AR% boost increases the Angelic bonus from impressive to enormous. Hellrack also dishes out decent physical and elemental damage, which meant no worrying about immunities: it did tolerable damage to anything.

The second biggest problem is the same one all my ranged attackers have: big bosses. Normal boss packs and champions weren't that hard; they wouldn't convert, but their minions and surrounding normal monsters would, so my Assassin was rarely threatened. None of that worked in the final Big Three battles: Hell Diablo, the Hell Ancients, and Hell Baal. Diablo made it easier by concentrating all his attacks on me (I think he preferentially attacks ranged attackers). I could walk back and forth about half a screen away from him, not attacking myself but letting the merc and Shadow carve up his backside unopposed. A similar trick worked on the Ancients, though the three of them were harder to dodge. Baal took forever. His big area-effect attacks and the narrow confines of his hall made avoiding him impossible. It took about 20 full rejuves to take the bastard down.

Mini-capsule review: Arctic Gear
A cute little set for Amazons or anyone who wants to be one. Does just what it says on the tin, with high cold damage, Cannot Be Frozen, Cold Resistance, and enough AR bonuses to satisfy anyone once they can wield it. Most normal sets with armor and a weapon aren't that useful, but this one is worth considering, at least for Act I Normal. Once I hit level 18, I opted for a perfect-gemmed longbow myself.

Mini-capsule review: Vidala's Rig
This set was probably meant to be more specifically for Amazons than the Arctic set. The whole set provides cold and lightning damage, more resistances, faster movement, piercing attack, and Hit Freezes Target, which would be dandy if it worked. On the downside, Vidala's requirements are much higher than the Arctic set-- more strength, more dexterity, and level 14 instead of level 2. Like most normal sets that include a weapon, I can't say much good for this one.

Matriarch Amanita, level 87 Assassin
STR 165 (187)
DEX 85 (139)
VIT 255
ENG 25

Venom 20 (38 with pre-buffs)
Shadow Master 20 (38 with pre-buffs)
Fade 13 ( with pre-buffs)
Burst of Speed 1 (19 with pre-buffs)
Mind Blast 20
Cloak of Shadows 20
No martial arts, no traps.

Life: 1311
Mana: 152
AR: 8102
DR: 968
Crossbow damage: 462-1899
With Venom: 1457-2894
Resists: 75/72/75/52 with Fade, 8/3/7/-17 with BoS

Boomstick: Hellrack, with two Shaels. With BoS, this hit the fastest breakpoint, 11fpa
Support weapon: Wand with Lower Resistance charges.
Head: Rare circlet with +28 Resist All, +2 to Assassin skills
Body: Natalya's Shadow, with perfect rubies
Belt: Rare belt with resistances, FHR
Hands: Rare gloves with resistances, IAS
Feet: Shadow Dancer, unique Myrmidon Greaves
Neck: Angelic amulet
Ring 1: Angelic ring
Ring 2: another Angelic ring
Charms: Steel, fine, and sharp charms, and some elemental damage

Mercenary: Vikhyat, level 87 Holy Freeze merc
Weapon: The Reaper's Toll
Head: Vampire Gaze
Body: Duriel's Shell

Run into a new area, dragging stupid merc and shadow along. Mind Blast anything that attacks me. Cast Cloak of Shadows. Let merc and shadow do their thing while I target shamans and anything immune to physical, at least until the Decrepify from Reaper's kicks in. This character was safe enough that it was almost like playing a summoner, except for the shooty bits. If I had to try again, I might have chosen different equipment: in the field, skill bonuses didn't help much, so I could have gone with more practical armor, boots, and headgear. For most of the game, though, what I was wearing didn't matter much. I would call this character a success. On to the next one!


Moderator Single Player
Re: Matriarch Amanita

Congratulations on the Matriarch.

I'm curious as to why you chose a crossbow? The Guided arrow on Widowmaker would have negated your AR issues and fired faster.


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Matriarch Amanita

Always great to see you around, Stony. I've still got the Grand Tour saved on my hard drive.


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Matriarch Amanita

Congrats on a nice character and writeup. Stylish build/gear choices, and many millions more extra points for not getting Death Sentry. :)


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Matriarch Amanita

Nicely done! And it's good to see some actual use of Hellrack, not on the top of any lists of most useful TC75 uniques...


Moderator Single Player
Re: Matriarch Amanita

Congrats on a nice character and writeup. Stylish build/gear choices, and many millions more extra points for not getting Death Sentry. :)
Why do people always say this? I know it is a strong skill, but do people say,
"Well done for not using cold mastery on your Blizzard sorc."
"Well done for not using Fanaticism on your Fanatic Zealot."
"Well done for not using Lightning Fury on your Javazon."
"Well done for not using BO on your Barbarian."

Don't discriminate against DS! :)

Member of the Society for the Advancement of Corpse Explosion



Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Matriarch Amanita

Thanks! Nice to know someone still knows the Grand Tour existed. As for the weapon, I chose a crossbow because I haven't used crossbows much. No good reason, nothing was optimized; I've just played ranged characters before, but never with a crossbow. In a similar vein, I stuck with the shadow tree because I've played trapassins and martial arts-sins before and wanted to avoid using those skills. If you have a powerful skill available, you tend to use it a lot-- many Necros label themselves "poisonmancers" or "golemmancer" or whatever, when what they really are is Corpse Explosion-mancers. They use different things to get that first corpse, but after that they play the same.

Not that Corpse Explosion is necessarily bad... but it does make things a lot easier, so not using it does make things more challenging.



Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Matriarch Amanita

Just read The Grand Tour part 6, and discovered that Amanita's hit the 1.09 ranged poison bug, that's why her Venom didn't overcome 6PE bow with added charms. It's good she went out of habit for using this, although there was a report of Hell Diablo kill with a single overcharmed arrow from an amazon, if Amanita could pull the same with Hell Baal, that won't be a problem anymore.