Matriarch Lena – Pit-Running WWS Strafer I love the idea of running the Pit. The problem, though, is that I had never built a character really geared toward running that area, and I tended to deal with far too many S&Es and deaths using the characters I already had available. I had also never built a pure strafer. So to kill two birds with one stone, I created Lena, a strafer designed to MF the Pit (at low players settings). Here are the results. Stats/Skills: Name: Lena Class: Amazon Experience: 1254386908 Level: 87 Naked/Gear Strength: 79/105 Dexterity: 291/352 Vitality: 140/150 Energy: 15/15 HP: 642/722 Mana: 144/184 Stamina: 290/290 Defense: 72/1427 AR: 8219 Damage: Normal (MA): 858-1400 Strafe: 736-1197 Multiple Shot: 643-1050 MF: 250 Block: 48 GF: 155 FR/W: 55 FHR: 32 IAS: 65 FCR: 0 Pierce: 102 Resistances: Fire: 138/98/38 Cold: 131/91/31 Lightning: 139/99/39 Poison: 105/65/5 Skills (no plus skills except for valk pre-buff): 20 – Strafe 20 – Penetrate 20 – Valkyrie (cast at 23 on ‘Harmony’ switch) 15 – Multiple Shot 9 – Pierce 5 – Critical Strike 9 – Pre-requisites 98 total – done at level 87 Gear: Short version: Helm: Stealskull socketed with Camphor JoF (50% MF, 25% IAS, 7% resist lightning) Amulet: The Cat’s Eye Weapon: Perfect Upped Witchwild String socketed with Realgear Jewel of Carnage and Ruby Jewel of Carnage (232% ED, +30 max damage) Armor: Tal Rasha’s Guardianship socketed with perfect topaz Gloves: Crafted Hitpower gloves (25% fire res, 20% IAS, KB, +9 strength) Ring: Ravenfrost (19/228) Belt: Razortail Ring: Rare with 5% life leech, AR, cold and poison res Boots: 31% War Traveler Switch weapon: Harmony Diamond bow for transportation and valk pre-buff Long version: Spoiler Lena's Stealskull Casque Defense: 234 Durability: 24 of 24 Required Level: 35 Required Strength: 59 Fingerprint: 0x2148d7b0 Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +25% Increased Attack Speed +10% Faster Hit Recovery 5% Mana stolen per hit 5% Life stolen per hit +221% Enhanced Defense Lightning Resist +7% 50% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items 1 Sockets (1 used) Socketed: Camphor Jewel of Fervor Camphor Jewel of Fervor Jewel Required Level: 31 Fingerprint: 0x2aa8eea0 Item Level: 85 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +15% Increased Attack Speed Lightning Resist +7% The Cat's Eye Amulet Required Level: 50 Fingerprint: 0x6e0fd7fb Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +30% Faster Run/Walk +20% Increased Attack Speed +100 Defense +100 Defense vs. Missile +25 to Dexterity Lena's Tal Rasha's Guardianship Lacquered Plate Defense: 856 Durability: 55 of 55 Required Level: 71 Required Strength: 34 Fingerprint: 0x13f37a04 Item Level: 85 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +400 Defense Cold Resist +40% Lightning Resist +40% Fire Resist +40% Magic Damage Reduced by 15 112% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items Requirements -60% Set (2 items): +10% Faster Cast Rate 1 Sockets (1 used) Socketed: Perfect Topaz Perfect Topaz Required Level: 18 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Weapons: Adds 1 - 40 Lightning Damage Armor: 24% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items Shields: Lightning Resist +40% Raven Frost Ring Required Level: 45 Fingerprint: 0xde066c5c Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +228 to Attack Rating Adds 15 - 45 Cold Damage Over 4 Secs (100 Frames) +19 to Dexterity +40 to Mana Cold Absorb 20% Cannot Be Frozen Stone Whorl Ring Required Level: 43 Fingerprint: 0xb9d164b7 Item Level: 86 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +114 to Attack Rating 5% Life stolen per hit +22 to Life Cold Resist +18% Poison Resist +9% Razortail Sharkskin Belt Defense: 105 Durability: 14 of 14 Required Level: 32 Required Strength: 20 Fingerprint: 0xc4ac843e Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Piercing Attack +10 to Maximum Damage +144% Enhanced Defense +15 Defense +15 to Dexterity Attacker Takes Damage of (Based on Character Level) 87 Pain Hand Chain Gloves Defense: 8 Durability: 16 of 16 Required Level: 59 Required Strength: 25 Fingerprint: 0x2d2deb94 Item Level: 96 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 5% Chance to cast level 4 Frost Nova when struck +20% Increased Attack Speed Knockback +9 to Strength Fire Resist +25% Attacker Takes Damage of 4 Repairs 1 Durability in 20 Seconds War Traveler Battle Boots Defense: 136 Durability: 48 of 48 Required Level: 42 Required Strength: 95 Fingerprint: 0xeb19585e Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +25% Faster Run/Walk Adds 15 - 25 Damage +185% Enhanced Defense +10 to Strength +10 to Vitality 40% Slower Stamina Drain Attacker Takes Damage of 8 31% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items +30 Maximum Durability Lena's Witchwild String Diamond Bow Two Hand Damage: 109 - 162 Durability: 21 of 40 Required Level: 65 Required Strength: 89 Required Dexterity: 132 Fingerprint: 0xf9fd140f Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 2% Chance to cast level 5 Amplify Damage on striking Fires Magic Arrows 232% Enhanced Damage +30 to Maximum Damage 87% Deadly Strike (Based on Character Level) All Resistances +40 Required Level +7 2 Sockets (2 used) Socketed: Ruby Jewel of Carnage Socketed: Realgar Jewel of Carnage Ruby Jewel of Carnage Jewel Required Level: 58 Fingerprint: 0xb6afa57d Item Level: 80 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 32% Enhanced Damage +15 to Maximum Damage Realgar Jewel of Carnage Jewel Required Level: 37 Fingerprint: 0xa25eeadb Item Level: 80 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 30% Enhanced Damage +15 to Maximum Damage Harmony Diamond Bow TirIthSolKo Two Hand Damage: 112 - 134 Durability: 33 of 40 Required Level: 54 Required Strength: 89 Required Dexterity: 132 Fingerprint: 0x3b25339f Item Level: 79 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Level 10 Vigor Aura When Equipped 214% Enhanced Damage +9 to Minimum Damage +9 to Maximum Damage Adds 55 - 160 Fire Damage Adds 55 - 160 Lightning Damage Adds 55 - 160 Cold Damage Over 3 Secs (85 Frames) +4 to Valkyrie +10 to Dexterity Regenerate Mana 20% +2 to Mana after each Kill +2 to Light Radius Level 20 Revive (25/25 Charges) 4 Sockets (4 used) Socketed: Tir Rune Socketed: Ith Rune Socketed: Sol Rune Socketed: Ko Rune Tir Rune Required Level: 13 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Weapons: +2 to Mana after each Kill Armor: +2 to Mana after each Kill Shields: +2 to Mana after each Kill Ith Rune Required Level: 15 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Weapons: +9 to Maximum Damage Armor: 15% Damage Taken Goes To Mana Shields: 15% Damage Taken Goes To Mana Sol Rune Required Level: 27 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Weapons: +9 to Minimum Damage Armor: Damage Reduced by 7 Shields: Damage Reduced by 7 Ko Rune Required Level: 39 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Weapons: +10 to Dexterity Armor: +10 to Dexterity Shields: +10 to Dexterity Charms: Short Version: Assortment totaling 457 AR, 57% MF, 155% GF, All res 3%, lightning res 19%, poison res 23%, 7 strength, 2 dex, 28 life, 22% FHR, 7-10 cold damage, 1-26 light damage, 15 poison damage Long version: Spoiler Gheed's Fortune Grand Charm Required Level: 62 Fingerprint: 0x7387a5b0 Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 112% Extra Gold from Monsters Reduces all Vendor Prices 10% 36% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items Steel Grand Charm of Greed Grand Charm Required Level: 35 Fingerprint: 0x38b1d2eb Item Level: 86 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +117 to Attack Rating 33% Extra Gold from Monsters Amber Small Charm of Strength Small Charm Required Level: 32 Fingerprint: 0x49921546 Item Level: 62 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +2 to Strength Lightning Resist +10% Coral Small Charm of Sustenance Small Charm Required Level: 20 Fingerprint: 0x77246b01 Item Level: 80 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +13 to Life Lightning Resist +9% Steel Small Charm of Sustenance Small Charm Required Level: 49 Fingerprint: 0x94c8878f Item Level: 82 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +33 to Attack Rating +15 to Life Shimmering Small Charm of Balance Small Charm Required Level: 29 Fingerprint: 0x2ed9899f Item Level: ** Version: Expansion 1.10+ +5% Faster Hit Recovery All Resistances +3 Iron Small Charm of Good Luck Small Charm Required Level: 33 Fingerprint: 0x79702af Item Level: 83 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +14 to Attack Rating 6% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items Boreal Small Charm of Dexterity Small Charm Required Level: 58 Fingerprint: 0x8f05f84 Item Level: 80 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Adds 7 - 10 Cold Damage Over 1 Secs (25 Frames) +2 to Dexterity Bronze Small Charm of Fortune Small Charm Required Level: 18 Fingerprint: 0xcf616f05 Item Level: 80 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +4 to Attack Rating 5% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items Bronze Small Charm of Storms Small Charm Required Level: 37 Fingerprint: 0xa1a3d016 Item Level: 79 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +12 to Attack Rating Adds 1 - 26 Lightning Damage Septic Small Charm of Fortune Small Charm Required Level: 18 Fingerprint: 0xde72b91b Item Level: 59 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Adds 15 Poison Damage Over 3 Secs (75 Frames) 4% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items Bronze Small Charm of Balance Small Charm Required Level: 29 Fingerprint: 0x7c8e4b2f Item Level: 59 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +5% Faster Hit Recovery +11 to Attack Rating Jade Grand Charm of Balance Grand Charm Required Level: 15 Fingerprint: 0x22e13750 Item Level: 38 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +12% Faster Hit Recovery Poison Resist +23% Steel Large Charm of Greed Large Charm Required Level: 44 Fingerprint: 0xc09bee05 Item Level: 82 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +71 to Attack Rating 10% Extra Gold from Monsters Iron Small Charm of Good Luck Small Charm Required Level: 33 Fingerprint: 0xc851a81d Item Level: 80 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +13 to Attack Rating 6% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items Steel Grand Charm Grand Charm Required Level: 35 Fingerprint: 0x8e203d95 Item Level: 86 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +112 to Attack Rating Steel Large Charm of Strength Large Charm Required Level: 44 Fingerprint: 0x6a8e6f9a Item Level: 66 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +70 to Attack Rating +5 to Strength Mercenary: Short version: A2 NM Offensive Tal’s Mask Duriel’s Shell The Reaper’s Toll Long version: Spoiler Name: Razan Race: Desert Mercenary Type: Off-Nightmare Experience: 79938558 Level: 87 Dead?: false Naked/Gear Strength: 190/205 Dexterity: 153/153 HP: 1847/1994 Defense: 1359/2129 AR: 1937/1937 Fire: 186/146/86 Cold: 216/176/116 Lightning: 186/146/86 Poison: 186/146/86 Duriel's Shell Cuirass Defense: 662 Durability: 45 of 150 Required Level: 41 Required Strength: 65 Fingerprint: 0x27af1fa Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +173% Enhanced Defense +108 Defense (Based on Character Level) +15 to Strength +87 to Life (Based on Character Level) Cold Resist +30% All Resistances +20 Cannot Be Frozen +100 Maximum Durability Tal Rasha's Horadric Crest Death Mask Defense: 108 Durability: 18 of 20 Required Level: 66 Required Strength: 55 Fingerprint: 0x871ed17c Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 10% Mana stolen per hit 10% Life stolen per hit +45 Defense +60 to Life +30 to Mana All Resistances +15 The Reaper's Toll Thresher Two Hand Damage: 37 - 444 Durability: 54 of 65 Required Level: 75 Required Strength: 114 Required Dexterity: 89 Fingerprint: 0x85ea814c Item Level: 99 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 33% Chance to cast level 1 Decrepify on striking 215% Enhanced Damage Ignore Target's Defense Adds 4 - 44 Cold Damage Over 0 Secs (7 Frames) 13% Life stolen per hit 33% Deadly Strike Requirements -25% Also I periodically dusted off a Goblin Toe and Kelpie Snare for boss fights. Questing, thoughts, etc: I never really expected a character with 700 life to seem this safe. Sure, I did die twice, but unless I really got caught out of position, I rarely ever felt in any real danger. The Valkyrie was a fantastic tank and helped take a lot of the heat off the merc, which I think is a key to this build because this strafer was not a very fast killer in tougher areas, meaning that the tanks had to hold up a little longer than usual. I preferred to level Valk rather than Decoy (giving Valk a life synergy) as I didn't feel a need for Decoy and I liked the Valkyrie getting her gear upgrades. My first death was caused by the Hell Gidbinn quest monster pack spawning directly on top of my face. They weren’t particularly dangerous but I took several hits simultaneously and was dead before I even realized what had happened. The second death was a OHKO from a PI Hell Temptress unique in hell WSK hitting me with a death ball while amped. Other than those two instances, everything else was pretty manageable. I played Normal and Nightmare on /p8 and Hell on /p3. I wore the Arctic Gear set until level 28, at which point I equipped Skystrike and took on Duriel. That bow is fantastic for twinking a bowazon, and easily carried me until I could equip a regular WWS with two +13 max damage jewels at level 39. That bow dealt plenty of damage until I could equip my end-game weapon at level 65 (see below for a note on this). I chose to invest heavily in both Strafe and Multiple Shot, and I don’t regret it one bit. Multi was great for thinning out large or diffuse packs while strafe was good for tougher or fewer foes, or when large groups were lined up tight in interior spaces, or had been thinned out first by Multi. Strafe was also useful for scouting ahead, hitting multiple slow movers scattered in various directions around me, and keeping dolls at bay. Few, fast moving enemies in wide open areas were irritating generally due to their ability to move out of the way of strafe arrows, while generally not providing enough mana from leech when using Multi. Vampires were probably the worst with this. To deal with immunes, WWS comes with a built-in level 20 Magic Arrow. Not the quickest killer, but it was great to blast away with Magic Arrow until Amp went off and then fire a strafe volley or two before the Amp was overrode by Decrepify from the merc. Generally, Amp lowered PIs resistance enough for strafe to outpace magic arrow, whereas Decrepify-broken PI resulted in my strafe arrows barely making a dent, thus having me prefer magic arrow until Amp proc’d, but with only a 2% CTC Amp, the enemies were often dead from MA before Amp went off anyway. So, Witchwild String – the little bow that could. Most are well aware of the benefits (and drawbacks) of this bow, but I’d like to add my experiences to the discussion. Since I don’t have a WF or Faith, and I wanted to make a relatively affordable MFer anyway, WWS seemed like a great option. I had a perfect (170% ED) WWS lying around, so I decided to splurge on some nice jewels to see just how much damage I could squeeze out of it. I traded for a 30/15 Realgear Jewel of Carnage (Thanks @Zylo!) and found a 32/15 Ruby Jewel of Carnage with my newly-minted LK runner Marina; something about solid %ED with an even +30 to max damage just sounded nice, so in they went! As an aside, due to the relatively low and tight damage range of a Diamond Bow, these two jewels together slightly out-damage 2x Ohm, so that’s neat. The end product was 232% ED, +30 max damage, and 87% deadly strike – not bad at all! When you consider the level 20 Magic Arrow, 2% CTC Amp, and the scaling deadly strike, this bow can also save a lot of skill points from PI solutions and Critical Strike (my actual chance to do double damage is sitting at ~92% right now - so only gaining on average ~1% more double damage per CS point). This was largely what allowed me to use both Strafe and Multiple Shot effectively while still hitting 100% pierce, maxing penetrate, and having a maxed (unsynergized) Valkyrie. Lots of delicious mods on this bow, indeed. With the jewels I added, it did plenty of damage for comfortable and fast /p3 Pit runs, but even at /p3 it still wasn’t quite hefty enough for some of the tougher areas such as late Act 5 in Hell. It does the job, but it’s no Windforce, there’s no question about that. 40% res all is just a great bonus, due to bowazons already having so much trouble with resistances. Here is what the bow looked like before upping, here it is after upping, and here it is with the jewels. One question for the audience – why, after upping to a Diamond Bow and getting the expected level requirement of 61, upon adding two jewels with a highest level requirement of 58, did the requirement to use the bow go up again, to 65? I have no idea what interaction is causing that, so any insight would be appreciated! As for other gear choices, I focused on MF and IAS first, with secondary considerations to FRW, pierce, and resistances. The Cat’s Eye is perfect for its 20% IAS, 30% FRW, and +25 dex. Due to the DS on WWS, Highlord’s wasn’t even seriously considered in this spot. For gloves, it was hard to not use Laying of Hands, but as I don’t yet have Giant Skull, and I seriously wanted knockback for this build (not regretted for an instant! What a great CC mod and merc saver – no piles of ghosts chewing him up when they’re constantly getting knocked back), I set about crafting some KB/20% IAS gloves. In planning gear, I only cared about those two mods together and anything else was gravy. Although I didn’t score any nice gloves with MF (and a level req <95 ), I did get my current pair with a very welcome 25% fire res and a nice strength boost. Stealskull was the perfect helm with dual leech, IAS, FHR, and MF – this helm almost feels custom built for a MFing strafer (thanks @hackedagainanda for trading me the 50%er!). Add in an IAS jewel and that’s 25% IAS, plus a little lightning resistance on top. War Traveler is always great for bowazons with that nice +15-25 damage and often-hard-to-come-by-on-bowies MF. Tal’s armor ended up being a pretty key piece of equipment for this build, as it accounts for nearly half the total MF and provides some desperately needed resistances to get in the ~33% range (what I consider fairly minimal for fire and light, even for a nice safe bowazon). Razortail for +dex, +damage, and to reach 100% pierce, Ravenfrost for CBF, +dex, and AR, and an AR/life leech/resists ring helped round out the rest of the gear. Total MF = 250%, with good (bowazon) resistances, 65% IAS to hit the 8 frame (63%) Multishot and Magic Arrow, and 5/3/7 strafe (56%), breakpoints, 32% FHR (7 frames), minimal D/A/E shenanigans (no +skills), and ~8.2k AR – good enough for >80% CTH in the Pit. I did find AR to be a bit of an issue with no AR boosters besides Penetrate, but I focused heavily on that in charms and it did the trick well enough. I really went back and forth on how to effectively design this character for quite a while before settling on the current build. The “other” 3 piece Tal’s combo (Mask, Armor, Belt) was considered, but that would cost me additional points in Pierce (and only 80-85% pierce total rather than 100%) and some FHR, while adding some resistances and extra leech, and roughly breaking even on MF. Plus having to look at that damn mask all the time. It was a really close call, but in the end 100% pierce was probably the deciding factor as everything else was so close. Alright, I think that’s about it for analysis. Finds were rather scant, with the major exception being a Crown of Ages found during a couple of quick test Pit runs before proceeding with the rest of Hell. Hellforges were Io in NM and Pul in Hell. I also found Gull, Fal, Fal, Lem, a Captains GC, Fletcher’s GC, Sparking GC, Windhammer, Viperfork, 4os Rune Master, some decent MF/IAS gloves, 15% DR SoE, and a boatload of normal and exceptional sets and uniques. As I tend to be easily entertained, here is a redundant redundancy. This was a delightful situation with 3 unique Unravelers in this room, and 1-2 more in adjacent corridors. That situation took a while to whittle down safely. Shooting through doors at Decrepified enemies was especially satisfying. I rolled non-cursed ancients and the fight was easy enough once I got Talic separated and my merc and valk could tank the other two while I fired away, before dealing with Talic as a group (yes I know Madawc is still alive in this pic). Hell WSK was quite tough, and Baal himself was a nightmare until I gave the merc Kelpie. Here is the LCS with Strafe and Multishot (with Might). Don’t forget the 92% chance to deal 2x damage! Well, this makes character #5 of what has evolved into a “family sept” for me. Sure, there are only 5 of us in my family, but using a couple of female names we were kicking around before finding out our boys’ genders made creating a couple more characters easy enough. The last two will be a trap-laying assassin (my wife… fortunately she has a good sense of humor and laughed when I told her what character and build she was going to get) and a fishymancer (didn’t want any of my boys to be a creepy necro, so I'll take that hit), both very well-geared with >400% MF, but I’m currently on the fence about writing them up due to the extreme cookie cutter aspect each will possess… we shall see. I’m also slowly working on an untwinked bowazon, so I may do a WT with that char and eventually consider moving her to the untwinked 99er thread (similar to @sir_cyclops and his trapper). Well, as always this is a bit long-winded so if you’re still here, thanks for reading! Questions and comments welcomed.