Matriarch Bodiccea As electricity crackled through the air of Moo Moo farms, Bovus the Unmilkable watched in bewildered passivity as her fellow heifers spasmed and collapsed around her. Death had come, in the form of a tall, generously-endowed blonde in tight red leather. Not spooky so much as... bimbo-y. Hefting her poleax, Bovus took two steps toward this rather skanky agent of doom, and was promptly hit by about 30 bolts of lightning. Having no counter-argument for this, she opined, "Moo!" and gracefully bit the dust, leaving nothing but a light healing potion and the smell of ozone mixed with barbeque sauce. "That's the last of 'em," Bodiccea said, pulling her spear out of a twitching corpse. "Not one decent rune, dammit. I want a Zod." "Can't win 'em all, Miss B," her faithful Rogue merc Heather shrugged. "What do we do now?" "Retire," Bodiccea said. "The gate brought us in on top of the Cow King AGAIN, so we're not coming back. Oh, gotta do the matriarch announcement thing." "Hi everybody! This is to announce that I, Bodiccea of the bouncing bodaciousness, have whacked Hell Baal. Game over, man! I'm a spearazon, mostly using Fend but also Lightning Strike or Charged Strike for the big nasties. It was pretty easy thanks to my incredible skill, hotness, and awesome gear. Mostly, anything I looked at, died. That's Heather, she helped too." "First, the skill set. Fend, Lightning Strike, Charged Strike, and Valkyrie got 20 each, duh. Jab was ok for little fast-moving guys, but only needed one point. Dodge, Avoid, and Evade were fine with one point each plus bonuses." Heather raises her hand. "Don't forget that you only needed one point in Penetrate, 'cause your weapon has Ignore Target Defense on it." "I'm getting to that! Sheesh." Rolling her eyes, Bodiccea continues, "ITD doesn't work on bosses, and in their infinite wisdom Blizzard decided not to put enough AR on Fend, so I put a point in Penetrate. Blizz, remember that not everyone wants to play a character the way you want, so there is no reason you should give the Amazon melee skills and then make them suck. Anyhoo, using Fend, my biggest problem was Fend-lock, another thing Blizzard decided never to fix. While I was growing up, I thought about it a lot-- no comments, Heather." Looking unusually innocent, Heather pipes up, "I wasn't going to say a thing, Miss B." "Come on, I saw you. Now, Fend-lock. There are some strategies that kind of work, but the best one I found is to get Freezes Target from something. They can't lock you if they never hit you. Problem is, none of the unique spears have it, and it's hard to get off-weapon. Only one runeword that can be in a spear has it: Hand of Justice. That takes a Cham rune, so it's *****in' stuff." Heather nods. "But we had a Cham, and a Sur." "Yes, Heather," Bodiccea smiles tensely. "HoJ is nice, but really expensive. I wanted to make it in a Mancatcher, but dammit, we didn't have a four-socket Mancatcher." Pausing, she glances sidewise at her merc. "No comments, Heather..." "About what, Miss B? Mancatchers?" "Yes, Heather. I already have two fine man-catchers, three would be a crowd. No Mancatcher, but we did have a four-socket Matriarchal Spear with +3 to Jav/Spear skills. For a while, I was kind of worried about using it. Those are some pretty rare runes to pop for a weapon that might only get used once. But then I thought, why not? I am totally worth it. It's all I need: fast, deadly, and totally hot, just like me." Hand of Justice -- Bodiccea's Matriarchal Spear 'SurChamAmnLo' Two-Hand Damage: 273 to 399 Durability: 28 of 28 Required Dexterity: 142 Required Strength: 114 Required Level: 67 Spear Class - Very Fast Attack Speed +320% Enhanced Damage <-- Good roll! 7% Life stolen per hit 33% Increased Attack Speed <-- Ok, I need that Hit Blinds Target +1 <-- I don't know why they put this crap on melee weapons Ignore Target Defense Freezes Target +3 20% Deadly Strike Level 16 Holy Fire Aura When Equipped <-- Irresistible hotness! Too bad the damage sucks. +3 to Javelin and Spear Skills (Amazon Only) 100% Chance to cast Level 48 Meteor When You Die 100% Chance to cast Level 36 Blaze When You Level Up -20% to Enemy Fire Resistance Socketed (4: 4 used) "You don't have to put HoJ in a melee weapon, Miss B. Blinds Target is really nice on a bow." "No one asked, Heather. Now, before anyone cries, remember, runes are to be used. If you don't use them, they'll sit in the stash forever, and you might as well have never found them. And the spear matches my armor: Chains of Honor, in some wire fleece. I had to go for the leather and chains look." "Isn't fleece what you find on sheep, Miss B?" "Heather! I am not wearing steel wool. That's ugly, and it would chafe. The rest of my gear is about what you'd expect. Thundergod's Vigor, for the lightning. Griffon's Eye, same reason. Mara's Kalido-thingy. Oh, and a neato pair of rare gloves, with 20% IAS, +2 to Jav/Spear, 3% mana leech, and some other stuff that's basically gravy. Resists, dual-leech ring with Confuse charges I never used, and skill charms. Heather has an upped Witchwild String some Bowazon would give her right breast for, and William's helmet." "Guillaume's Face," Heather smiles. "Looks kind of weird with the Spirit Shroud, but I like not being frozen." "Whatever, Heather. Let's finish this off." Mini-capsule review: Arcanna's Tricks "Sorceress set, with mana bonuses, skill bonuses, and magic find. You can use it at level 15, when Sorc's aren't using their spells or trying to magic find. Whoopee." Mini-capsule review: Cathan's Traps "Another Sorceress set, with more melee and less magic. The ring is good: 6% life leech at level 11." Mini-capsule review: Civerb's Vestments "Aren't Vestments priest clothes? Shouldn't this set have some armor in it? You've got a club, shield, and amulet, and a priest should wear more than that. Jeez louise, the church has enough scandals right now. I guess if you want to whack undead, you could use this, but please wear pants." Mini-capsule review: Cleglaw's Brace "Another naked melee set. Bowazons liked the gloves when they were buggy." Matriarch Bodiccea, level 87 Amazon STR 105 (150) DEX 142 (149) VIT 263 (288) ENG 15 (25) Fend, Lightning Strike, and Charged Strike at 20 (33) Valkyrie 20 (31 with pre-buffs) Decoy 5 (11 in the field) Life: 1148 Mana: 157 AR: 3968 with Fend, 2302 with Jab. ITD is my friend. DR: 1260 Fend damage: 1960-3011 Lightning Strike: 1-2347 on 37 bolts Charged Strike: 1-2430 on 9 charged bolts Resists: 75/75/85/58 Equipment: Hurtstick: Hand of Justice Matriarchal Spear Support Weapon: Demon Limb, for those pesky PI/LI's Head: Griffon's Eye, +14% lightning damage, -18% lightning resistance. Set with a 15% IAS jewel. Body: Chains of Honor Wire Fleece. Belt: Thundergod's Vigor Hands: Rare gloves of awesomeness Feet: Rare boots with FRW and lots of resists Neck: Mara's Kaleidoscope. Ring 1: Rare ring with resists, 4% life leech Ring 2: Dual leech ring with Confuse. Thought I might use it, I didn't. Charms: Skillers, resists, FRW. You know the drill. Mercenary: Heather, fire Rogue Weapon: Witchwild String, upped to a Diamond Bow and set with two Shael's Head: Guillaume's Face Body: The Spirit Shroud Strategy: "There's one strategy in Diablo II: kill things lots. Fend worked most of the time, unless they were immune to physical. And remember: there's no shame in hiding behind your Valk! That's why she's there." "Don't forget hiding behind your mercenary." "It is hardly my fault that you kept running out in front! With all those resurrections, you were getting more high-maintenance than ME. Now, with the spear, gloves, and jewel, I got a 7/5/9 speed on Fend, which was enough most of the time. When it wasn't, Jab worked, or a lightning skill. Lightning Immune Flayers were a huge pain, I had to run around jabbing. Oh, Heather helped, when she wasn't dying." "Miss B? Exploding Flayer skeletons?" After a short pause, Bodiccea adds, "Ok, hide behind the merc from those. There, happy now?" Softly smiling, Heather quietly adds, "And you liked Amplify Damage on champs and bosses, where your Blinds Target couldn't override it." Now showing a great deal more teeth, Bodiccea says, "Yes, Heather... that was very, very helpful." "So..." Heather traces a toe in the grass of Moo Moo farms. "Bows aren't useless?" "I never said they weren't. I said Bowazons are snotty, that's all. Javazons are worse. They need to be reminded that the physical spear skills are not useless, no matter how hard Blizzard tried, and even the most dedicated Bowie should remember to put one point in Jab." Quietly nodding, Heather says, "Okay. I'm happy." "You sure?" "Yeah. I'm happy. Have you seen Khaleel?" Bodiccea snorts, "Hmph! Lover-boy's playing Team Fortress. Or Torchlight; Steam's running over there." Heather grins, "Or maybe Plants vs. Zombies. When do you think Diablo III's coming out?" "Who knows? That's another reason I wanted to use those runes. They'll be useless once DIII hits the hard drive, and all that item-finding will have been for nothing." "Yeah, I doubt our stuff will transfer. Are you gonna try it, Miss B?" "If there's spears, I'm there. I might look like a Barb chick though." "I hope they have an archer class. I think they should." Laughing, Bodiccea says, "Heather, as long as the Rogues show enough skin, they will always be in the game. I think they'll have an archer class, and she'll be at least half naked. It's a tradition. Now, we're done with this game. You go find your boyfriend, I'm gonna find a place to wait for the next."