Matriarch Chimaera - Pus n' Plague Hybridzon

TopHatCat64

Diabloii.Net Member
Stats - Strafe half / Plague Javelin half

Code:
Lvl 82

Strafe damage: 712-2112 (with Might and Enchant)
Plague Javelin damage: 37K-38K
4 fpa Strafe

Life: 1126
Resists: -41, -11, 55, -41
Str: 35 | Dex: 245 | Vit: 205

Skills

20 Strafe
20 Plague Javelin
20 Poison Javelin
19 Valkyrie
1 in the rest of the P&M tree

Gear

Code:
Harlequin Crest
Mara's
Up'ed Pus Spitter 'shael'*
'Enigma' Breast Plate
Trang Oul's Claws
Nosferatu's Coil
War Traveler
Corruption Whorl rare ring*
Beta BKWB

Switch: Titan's Revenge / Lidless Wall

Pus Spitter
Gorgon Crossbow
Two Hand Damage: 79 - 276
Durability: 38 of 40
Required Level: 57
Required Strength: 47
Required Dexterity: 42
Fingerprint: 0xc4f5dcfc
Item Level: 75
Version: Expansion 1.10+
9% Chance to cast level 6 Poison Nova when struck
4% Chance to cast level 1 Lower Resist on striking
+2 to Necromancer Skill Levels
+30% Increased Attack Speed
218% Enhanced Damage
+410 to Attack Rating (Based on Character Level)
Adds 150 Poison Damage Over 8 Secs (200 Frames)
Required Level +7
Requirements -60%
1 Sockets (1 used)
Socketed: Shael Rune

Corruption Whorl
Ring
Required Level: 65
Fingerprint: 0x147b1f7
Item Level: 84
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+5 to Minimum Damage
+115 to Attack Rating
5% Mana stolen per hit
8% Life stolen per hit
+43 to Mana
Lightning Resist +20%
The Planning Stage

Every so often, I get tired of bashing monsters in melee...and that’s means it’s time to step back from the fray and build a weird archer. I always like building around CTC skills and I happened upon Pus Spitter, the oddly necromantic crossbow and the only item in the game that let’s you CTC Lower Resist on striking.

How was I going to get Lower Resist to go off? I needed to hit monsters quickly to maximize my chances of the curse going off. Multishot’s speed and massive spread of missiles would have been ideal...but only the middle 2 arrows have a chance of triggering the curse. That left Strafe as the best candidate for curse delivery.

So what benefits from Lower Resist? Elemental damage. How do I do elemental damage as a zon? The lightning javelins, the fire/cold arrows, and the poison javelins. I ruled out LF since it inevitably ends up overshadowing any skill it’s paired with. I already built a number of characters utilizing the fire/cold arrows - so those were out. That left Plague Javelin, a skill I had never used before and one that thematically fit nicely with Pus Spitter.

Having never used Plague Javelin before, I did a little digging and found a great guide (with an eye-searing :eek: green background!) about poison damage and the mechanics of the poison javelins. A couple important points:
  1. PJ’s poison clouds do not stack. In the case of overlapping poison clouds, only the highest damage cloud will take effect. Kind of a bummer and it leads to the second point...

  2. Pierce is not that useful and not worth pumping or equipping items to boost it. Sure, you end up covering more of the screen with successful pierces, but in my experience, you’ll almost always get a nice tight group around your tanks that one PJ easily covers.

  3. Finally, Lower Resist only improves poison damage if the monsters are cursed BEFORE they get hit with your PJ. This places a premium on cursing monsters as fast as possible so you can maximize your poison damage.
So I was going to be a lower-resist casting strafer flinging around plague javelins.

I ended up naming my new zon Chimaera after a venomous species of fish and the fact that their namesake, the mythical Chimera, is often used to describe “an organism composed of two or more genetically distinct tissues, as an organism that is partly male and partly female, or an artificially produced individual having tissues of several species.“

Leveling and Observations

In order to boost my PJ damage, I packed a ton of +skills on this character - much more then I usually equip on a non-caster - and I enjoyed the benefit of all my one point wonders getting pumped up to lvl 12. Critical Strike went from a 16% chance to a 59% chance. Penetrate went from +35% AR to +145% AR. Pierce went from a 23% chance to a 75% chance. You get the picture. It was an unusual luxury.

My hybrid nature helped me and hurt me during the leveling process:
  1. Strafe and Plague Javelin worked nicely together. Strafe excelled at picking off scattered groups and lone, high hp bosses while Plague Javelin crushed tightly-packed groups and preventing non-poison immunes from regenerating any health.

  2. Lower resist definitely did boost my PJ damage, but...not quite as much as I had hoped. Even without the benefit of the curse, PJ demolished non-poison immunes pretty quickly.

  3. Pus Spitter is obviously not an ideal strafing weapon, but I found my damage was decent all the way up to till Hell A5 - when I found my damage starting to run out of steam.

  4. My Valkyrie was not as unkillable as I was used too, in fact, she was pretty damn killable for most of my journey. You see, I almost always max Decoy when I max Valkyrie, and without that 20 point synergy, I was losing out on +400% life and 40% resist all.

  5. Due to all the specialized gear I was wearing, I have HORRIBLE resists. However, I actually didn’t die as much as I thought I would. The combination of Valkyrie, Decoy, my Merc, slow missiles, and just plain ol’ distance meant I could comfortably walk around with negative resistances without really suffering the consequences….until I started encountering gloams in Hell A5. Then I finally swapped in some light res charms to avoid seeing my charred body face down on the floor.

  6. Plague Javelin’s 4 second casting delay and Strafe’s locking you in place meant that each usage of each skill felt very important. If I missed with my javelin or mistimed my strafe, I hurt my chances of maximizing my damage or killing a particularly dangerous group of monsters.
Overall, this was a fairly interesting zon to play with an odd marriage of skills. Finding a Jah rune with her made everything worthwhile.
 
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Ancient Of Mu Mu

Diabloii.Net Member
Great writeup THC64. Your resists (or lack thereof) scare me...never seen an upped Pus Spitter used before, creative! I take it the LR triggered enough to be worthwhile?
 

TopHatCat64

Diabloii.Net Member
Great writeup THC64. Your resists (or lack thereof) scare me...never seen an upped Pus Spitter used before, creative! I take it the LR triggered enough to be worthwhile?
Thanks, @Ancient Of Mu Mu! When I was digging around in my stashes I found that I had already upgraded one of my Pus Spitters. For what purposes...I can't recall. Despite the 4% chance looking REALLY low, Lower Resist went off pretty reliably in my experience.
 

Southpaw8668

Diabloii.Net Member
Great read and wonderful idea to incorporate the Puss Spitter. All those times that I've picked it up, I've never once noticed that it had ctc LR until you mentioned it. Next time I find one I'll have to be a copy TopHatCat and try out your build idea, as it looks fun!
 

TopHatCat64

Diabloii.Net Member
Cool character and write-up. I always thought the pus spitter was a cool weapon; great use for it.

Awesome ring, BTW.
Thanks, @JoeBruce.

Cool character. Congrats :). Also on finding a Jah !! And thanx for the write-up.
Thanks, @T72on1, now I just need to figure out a way to make the Faith I've been coveting while on my Mac...o_O

Great read and wonderful idea to incorporate the Puss Spitter. All those times that I've picked it up, I've never once noticed that it had ctc LR until you mentioned it. Next time I find one I'll have to be a copy TopHatCat and try out your build idea, as it looks fun!
:p Haha, thanks @Southpaw8668!
 

Grape

Diabloii.Net Member
Well done!

Love to see those less used items put to a good use. Seems like one of the better ways to use that Pus Spitter.

Is the next character already in the making or under planning? :)
 

BKC

Diabloii.Net Member
Congratulations, i love the hybrid ranged builds so this goes up to the list of todo chars
 

qwernt

Diabloii.Net Member
This is brilliant. Never noticed the 4% chance on Pus Spitter. Seems like all LF based amazons should use this... is the level 1 good enough to end lightning immunes?
 

helvete

Diabloii.Net Member
Seems like a fun char! Quick question: Why not go for Treachery armor, and make use of the venom proc and fade proc? Venom adds pretty massively to PJ damage I've heard, as damage from venom is used, but duration of PJ is used. Fade would solve a lot of the resist problems, but ofc... enigma is default armor for just about every character these days.
 

Brak

Diabloii.Net Member
Awesome work! To think I've spent so much time figuring out how to get a Medussa's Gaze to work for me, and the Pus Spitter was the answer all the time.

If I remember correctly, the Venom stacking on PJ only applies to the target hit with the javazon and not the cloud.
 

TopHatCat64

Diabloii.Net Member
Is the next character already in the making or under planning? :)
Thanks, @Grape. I definitely have another character planned out, but I need to get some items together before I can start. I need a break from questing for a bit, so I'm just running LK at the moment.

Congratulations, i love the hybrid ranged builds so this goes up to the list of todo chars
Thanks, @BKC. It definitely is an interesting combo, it's definitely worth a shot.

This is brilliant. Never noticed the 4% chance on Pus Spitter. Seems like all LF based amazons should use this... is the level 1 good enough to end lightning immunes?
Thanks, @qwernt. I'm not entirely sure how often it broke LI's, I was mainly paying attention to poison immunes.

Seems like a fun char! Quick question: Why not go for Treachery armor, and make use of the venom proc and fade proc? Venom adds pretty massively to PJ damage I've heard, as damage from venom is used, but duration of PJ is used. Fade would solve a lot of the resist problems, but ofc... enigma is default armor for just about every character these days.
Awesome work! To think I've spent so much time figuring out how to get a Medussa's Gaze to work for me, and the Pus Spitter was the answer all the time.

If I remember correctly, the Venom stacking on PJ only applies to the target hit with the javazon and not the cloud.
As @Brak said, that's what I concluded as well after doing some research: only the physical javelin actually carries Venom, the clouds aren't affected. Fade's resists would have definitely helped, but as a bowazon, I don't think I was getting hit enough to make the proc worthwhile. I also would have lost the damage boost from Enigma's +2 skills.

This is actually the first character I've ever made that wore Enigma (as opposed to using it for prebuffing). If I had the choice of the other +2 skill armors (CoH, Arkaine's) I'd have definitely gone with CoH for the resists...but I haven't made one yet and I don't have the runes. In the end, I preferred Enigma's big boost to strength, so I could pump vit and dex over Arkaine's boost to vitality.
 
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