Matriarchs Morana & Serra

Ugla

Diabloii.Net Member
Matriarchs Morana & Serra

I counted on making a Frostmaiden since the day I found the first piece of the Mavina's set. But, though the set has been complete for like two years now, I haven't used FA other than as a 1pt freezing tool - the last amazon skill to try out. I planned to use MA as a backup, but then I changed my mind and opted for a hybrid build that has tempted me even more. As a result, Morana ended up using completely different gear.

Morana, the Slavic goddess of death and winter is a symbol of pre-christian era in the central Europe, associated with a tradition that has lasted until these days. When I searched the internet to find a suitable name for this character and saw "Morana" among the results, I felt like :duh: - how could I forget about Her.

Progress
I twinked her from the start, heading for the Arctic set. Hurrah, I have actually used some set! Later, I grabbed Ravenclaw - although not being the cheesy 1.09 one, it still allowed me to progress at decent pace. It was replaced by Skystrike somewhere in the River of Flame. The usual annoyance called under-leveled bowazon vs act bosses (Duriel at clvl22) ended the moment I put 1pt into Jab and took Meph on melee. After killing Baal, I leveled up to clvl45 and robbed my Baal-running javazon of a good part of her gear (Titan's, skillers, SoJ, Razortail). Getting some serious physical damage from the javelin switch, I could finally use Wizendraw. For NM, Frostburn won over +3java/20% gauntlets for more mana. The rogue, Kundri, received Riphook, Iron Pelt, and Rockstopper which I was too lazy to change until.. well, now.

I don't exactly remember when (~act5 NM), a weirdly dressed woman calling herself Serra appeared out of nowhere and joined Morana on her quest. She even moved oddly, yet surprisingly fast, slicing and kicking her enemies violently instead of shooting them. As a strange coincidence, the weather changed, and the world looked somehow darker from that moment on. The enemies were slain where they stood without forming any resistance.

The first immunes appeared by the end of NM, but there was simply too much to be immune to. Morana's deadly poison started to take its toll, and Serra came up with a new trick - exploding the bodies of the fallen enemies - causing even more mayhem. Serra appeared to have some issues with OKs inside the WSK and took a very quick trip home and back (via Morana's portal :grin:) - another of her strange habits Morana was getting to know. Upon killing Baal and making a few runs (ending ~clvl74), Hrus (he was the one playing Serra, at long last freed from the addiction to online strategies) decided to reequip.

I switched Frostburn for crafted blood gloves, replaced Peasant Crown with a rare tiara (appearance), and even Eye of Etlitch and Cow boots were left behind in favor of rare items with resistances. I finally put a point into Decoy, and tested its endurance in NM cow level.

After completing the Den of Evil quest, Morana finally acquired a Valkyrie. I wished I had used her properly instead of rushing into the room where the Countess resides. She had a few pets with her - a pack of mighty wraiths with mana-burn. I was just on the bow-switch, so it was rather quick. Long live SC! Moreover, Serra managed to back off in time and invited me back in. We received an Eld for the troubles. Our damage was still more than adequate, and we progressed very fast with only one scary moment where Serra succumbed to an FE scarab boss in the Maggot's Lair and Morana had a close call. There was one almost identical event in Flayer Dungeon lvl2 with a convicted doll boss, and some rough moments with the librarian Sarina and her ilk. Simply put, Serra was capable to tank almost anything unless it was mana-burn :rolleyes:

Speaking of act3, we enjoyed an all-inclusive (well, Gloams were missing) vacation, read full-clear, all the way to Kurast - very bad luck on directions. The odds finally turned in the sewers - mere two screens until we saw the notorious bat-pack. We carefully cleared the council as well as the first two levels of Durance - those dolls just hurt too much. On the third level, Serra rushed in, and wiped out the central pack of councils as if they were a bunch of chickens. Starting with act4, our damage output dropped significantly. We had avoided the inevitable for much too long, and the Burning Souls were already awaiting us in the Plains of Despair. Despite having 24%/-1% LR on the respective switches, Morana made it through unbeaten - props to the yesterday's Starcraft tournament (my reactions were still extra fast, lightning enchanted).

Act5 brought a nice amount of cold and poison immunes, as well as dual immunes Pit Vipers and skeletons in Glacial Trial. Serra did most of the killing. She also made an example of Nihlathak before he could even say "omfgwtf?!", let alone do anything else. We re-rolled the Ancients once (extra strong/cursed), and killed the "new" ones with brute-force approach (six vs three). WSK1 was full of LIs which was fortunately not our concern, WSK2 brought the worst Baal-running map I can imagine, and a few desperate Souls were hiding inside the Throne to score a surprising kill. They failed. Baal dropped Spectral Shard, some yellow junk and this charm (no idea about its usefulness, though):

Shocking Large Charm of Winter
Keep in Inventory to Gain Bonus
Required Level: 60
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 99
Fingerprint: 0x405f9102
Adds 1-76 lightning damage
Adds 4-9 cold damage over 1 seconds

Then, Hrus went AFK for a few minutes, and I was clearing the cow-level in the meantime. For my impudence, I deserved death n.2 from an extra strong/cursed boss (one whack from 800+life). Mooo! Serra made it through the portal just in time to assist with the Cow King's demise. Please, welcome our girls:

Matriarch Morana
clvl83 Amazon

Stats:
str 85
dext 125
vita 240
erg: 15
unspent: 40

Skills:
20 FA, CA
20 PJ, pJ
1 in all passives and prerequisites
unspent: 1

Damage:
FA (lvl25) 1414-1448, 96% pierce
PJ (lvl34) ~33k/16 secs, 100% pierce
pJ (lvl34) ~40k/74 secs, 100% pierce

63% block

Resists:
fire -5/20
cold 56/55
light 9/34
poison 3/28

Gear:
Code:
Rune Veil 
Tiara
Defense: 45
Durability: 25 of 25
Required Level: 67
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 86
Fingerprint: 0x386a6720
+14 to Dexterity
+23 to Mana
All Resistances +14
+2 to Amazon Skill Levels
15% Increased Attack Speed
Poison Length Reduced by 75%
Half Freeze Duration
Socketed (1: 1 used)

Plague Heart
Amulet
Required Level: 67
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 94
Fingerprint: 0x165ddd04
+2 to Energy
Magic Damage Reduced by 1
All Resistances +14
+50 poison damage over 3 seconds
+2 to Amazon Skill Levels

Viper Finger
Ring
Required Level: 60
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 99
Fingerprint: 0x5a91d67b
+39 to Life
Fire Resist +23%
Cold Resist +20%
5% Mana stolen per hit
+5 to Light Radius
5% Bonus to Attack Rating

The Stone of Jordan
Ring
Required Level: 29
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 87
Fingerprint: 0x2b0a84a0
+20 to Mana
Adds 1-12 lightning damage
Increase Maximum Mana 25%
+1 to All Skill Levels

Shadow Fist
Vampirebone Gloves
Defense: 117
Durability: 14 of 14
Required Strength: 50
Required Level: 57
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 94
Fingerprint: 0x6018ed6
+20 to Life
+10 to Maximum Stamina
+78% Enhanced Defense
3% Life stolen per hit
20% Increased Attack Speed
10% Chance of Crushing Blow
+2 to Javelin and Spear Skills (Amazon Only)

Treachery
Wyrmhide
'ShaelThulLem'
Defense: 467
Durability: 24 of 24
Required Strength: 84
Required Level: 50
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: **
Fingerprint: 0x29d56b76
Cold Resist +30%
50% Extra Gold from Monsters
+2 to Assassin Skill Levels
45% Increased Attack Speed
20% Faster Hit Recovery
25% Chance to cast Level 15 Venom on striking
5% Chance to cast Level 15 Fade when struck
Socketed (3: 3 used)

Plague Greaves
Light Plated Boots
Defense: 51
Durability: 18 of 18
Required Strength: 50
Required Level: 37
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: **
Fingerprint: 0x6096fe6d
Lightning Resist +37%
Poison Resist +31%
Adds 1-14 lightning damage
20% Faster Run/Walk
5% Chance to cast Level 3 Frost Nova when struck
+41 to Defense (Based on Character Level)

Wizendraw
Long Battle Bow
Two-Hand Damage: 5 to 32
Required Dexterity: 50
Required Strength: 40
Required Level: 26
Bow Class - Fast Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 99
Fingerprint: 0x1034073a
+15 to Energy
+30 to Mana
+79% Enhanced Damage
+65 to Attack Rating
Cold Resist +26%
20% Increased Attack Speed
Fires Magic Arrows
-35% to Enemy Cold Resistance

Titan's Revenge
Ceremonial Javelin
Throw Damage: 76 to 204
One-Hand Damage: 76 to 150
Quantity: 140
(Amazon Only)
Required Dexterity: 109
Required Strength: 25
Required Level: 42
Javelin Class - Fast Attack Speed
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 87
Fingerprint: 0xe298949d
+20 to Strength
+20 to Dexterity
+186% Enhanced Damage
+25 to Minimum Damage
+50 to Maximum Damage
9% Life stolen per hit
+2 to Amazon Skill Levels
30% Faster Run/Walk
+2 to Javelin and Spear Skills (Amazon Only)
Replenishes Quantity
Increased Stack Size

Rhyme
Superior Grim Shield
'ShaelEth'
Defense: 173
Chance to Block:  65%
Durability: 78 of 78
Required Strength: 58
Required Level: 29
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 50
Fingerprint: 0x3d0ae737
+15% Enhanced Defense
+20% Increased Chance of Blocking
Regenerate Mana 15%
All Resistances +25
Increase Maximum Durability 12%
50% Extra Gold from Monsters
25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
40% Faster Block Rate
Cannot Be Frozen
Socketed (2: 2 used)
Charms:
3 java skillers, 1 passive skiller, 14 all-res GC
9 SCs with mana FHR, FRW, cold damage, and life

Comments:
1) no CBF on the bow-switch was a bit annoying, but not that much, esp. with the 50% reduction from the headgear
2) FA works fine against dense packs (pierce FTW!)
3) PJ represents very safe means to fight the bosses with nasty mods
4) the combination of the above skills was why I have chosen this build. Simply sweet.
5) no MF => crappy drops. We have found one EU (Trek's) with mediocre roll
6) we raised to /p7 for LK just for the heck of it, and got a Nef for our efforts.
7) NM Forge was crap, Hell gave us a Lem and a Mal.
8) CoS and Slow Missiles work nice. We used one or the other against ranged attackers according to the target's immunities.
9) Valk and Shadow Master, despite a bit fragile, were useful in tougher areas. I considered using 'Peace' for a more sturdy Valk/+2 skills, but I only have one made in an archon plate. What a shame..
10) I wished I had ethereal Titan's available for this build :tongue:
 

krovak

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Matriarchs Morana & Serra

Congratulations!:thumbsup:

Nice build and great writeup, I am looking forward to seeing Serra's setup.

Edit: As for the shocking LC's usefulness - put it on a zeal sorc with maxed light mastery - that's what I did:wink3:
 

Cygnus

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Matriarchs Morana & Serra

I read "Ugla" and "two matriarchs" and guessed it would be two amazons :azn: Almost right, I didn't count on one of the mats being someone else's

Congrats! Good to see Hrus playing again ... knew he wouldn't be away for long.
 

nepeta

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Matriarchs Morana & Serra

Nice gloves, Ugla! Also nice idea to use Wizendraw for the -cold res. -35% is really a lot, does it improve on, say, a +6 melody bow at your skill level? GG and good to read old Hrus is back too :)
 

buraz

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Matriarchs Morana & Serra

Heh. Funny how we Slavic nations never forgot our goddess.
I named my blizz sorc Morana also from same reason :grin:

Nice mat :thumbsup:
And writing.
 

maxicek

Moderator Single Player
Re: Matriarchs Morana & Serra

Congratulation on the Matriach, looks like you had fun in MP.
Are we going to see a write up from Hrus?
 

Hrus

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Matriarchs Morana & Serra

Ugla said:
We progressed very fast with only one scary moment where Serra succumbed to an FE scarab boss in the Maggot's Lair and Morana had a close call. There was one almost identical event in Flayer Dungeon lvl2 with a convicted doll boss, and some rough moments with the librarian Sarina and her ilk. Simply put, Serra was capable to tank almost anything unless it was mana-burn
It seems like you have played another game than me :rolleyes:
Serra died at least dozen of times. She was quite fragile and with her running speed, when rushed into nasty packs (especilly those mana burn packs, dolls, souls etc.), she died very quickly when surrounded (despite ~1000 life, 30% DR and ~75% elemental resistances). But I recall the death from convicted CE doll boss - I sacrificed her here, because my merc was lost and there were no other simple way to defeat those two bosspacks than killing the doll with conviction. I was also surprised how much damage souls done to Serra, I guess I am used to wear Thundergods...

Other than occasional death, it was a blast with Serra. Actually I don't remember when I started her, must be 4 or 5 years ago. I just wanted to play MP and she was the only character at suitable level. But after little reequip (I used low-budget equipment), she was quite strong. Anyways having strong FA and strong Dragon Tail in a party meant a slaughterfest and I really had fun. I couldn't do much with PI monsters, but it was a MP char, so I didn't need any backup skill.

Serra, lvl 82 Matriarch, TS/DTail sin
(from top of my head)
STR ~190
DEX ~190
VIT ~190
ERG ~ base

Gear:
Vampire gaze
Mara's
Bartuc's (upgraded)
Smoke
Mosers (2xPDiamond)
rare gloves with +2 Martial skills, 20% IAS, 19 CR, 3% LL
Gore Riders (upgraded)
SoE
Ravenfrost
Dwarf Star

Merc:
HF desert mercenary
Bonehew, Guillaumes, Duriels

Skills:
20 TS, 20 DTail,
rest was spread all around... ~3 BoS, ~10 Shadow, ~10 Death Sentry
I think I still have around 10 skill points left.


And yes, I am back, after I finished this character, I would like to play my no-Vit tournament character again...
 

sequana

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Matriarchs Morana & Serra

Nice work guys :thumbsup:.

And good to see Hrus back again, I hope to see you in next MFO :smiley:.
 

Ugla

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Matriarchs Morana & Serra

Are we going to see a write up from Hrus?
I certainly hope so :rolleyes: EDIT: pwnt

@Cygnus: Indeed. I estimate I have played more amazons than all the other classes combined :grin:

@Nepeta: I'm not sure whether I have a suitable base item stashed, but I'd like to test 'Melody' for comparison. Wizendraw was nice due to its low requirements, and will most likely win in terms of damage. The only drawback was slightly lower pierce percentage. I had plenty of IAS from other sources, and didn't even bother to check the breakpoints. I found it "fast enough", at least judged by the mana consumption :hide:

The gloves earned its spot on my Baal-runner for the CB against LIster. There were borrowed from her, like most of the other gear. They have perfect blood-properties, but nothing on top of the "javazon" attributes. Still, an amazing item, well worth its ~100 PRubies, Nefs and jewels.

I have considered various other gear options (Nightwing's, Gores, etc.), but most of them were rejected because of high requirements. I'm still hesitant of where to put the remaining stat-points.

Thanks to everybody for reading&comments!



 
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