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My feedback on the various LF builds

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by FrostBurn, Sep 10, 2006.

  1. FrostBurn

    FrostBurn IncGamers Member

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    My feedback on the various LF builds

    Well, this has been a long time coming. I've been struggling with building a good LF zon with a viable back-up skill for lightning immunes at /players8. Since a couple of forum members have asked for updates in my two zon threads, here and there, this is the thread for it.

    I've done a heck of a lot of number crunching on the different LF builds, and I still could not reach a conclusion, so I took the drastic step of rushing three different zon builds to Hell WSK. Virtually all my feedback below is based on Hell WSK runs at /p3 and /p8.

    Lightning/Poison Javazon 20 each in LF/CS/PlgJ/PsnJ
    I managed ~40,000 poison damage over ~16 secs. Even so, at /p8, it took far too long to kill LIs. Add in the 4 sec timer-delay (which also interferes with PsnJ and Valkyrie), PlgJ was more of a pain than an aid. Also, I had to fall back on Jab against Souls and Horror Mages, both of which are LI/PsnI.

    At /p3, PlgJ's kill time was far more tolerable, but still required a little bit of waiting to dispatch LIs. I didn't feel that a 40 skill point investment was worth it for a 4 sec timer-delay skill with a slow killing speed. Some of you did warn me about this, but I needed to test this in-game to really appreciate that, even with ~ +15 to Javelin Skills, PlgJ still takes time to kill... probably too much time.

    Lightning/Freezing Arrow Javazon 20 each in LF/CS/FA/CA
    Aka Fishyzon, this build is quite solid. With a Melody matriarchal bow, I managed ~2000 cold damage at 10 frames per FA. At /p8, it took ~5-8 FAs to kill Souls. A bit risky and it took a bit more time than I liked, but FA is the best skill to kill LI Souls. However, with only LF/CS maxed, the lightning skills (and FA) struggled with Hell WSK monsters at /p8. Constant mana depletion (even with 6% mana leech) was also an issue with FA at over 20 mana per arrow.

    At /p3, this build handled Hell WSK quite comfortably. Neither LIs or non-LIs lasted for long against LF/CS/FA. The only nitpick here is that, without a shield on Melody MB switch, my lightning resist fell to about 40, which is risky against Souls. This can easily be made up by carrying amber charms though. An alternative would be to use upg'ed Witchwild String, at a cost of -6 to bow & xbow skills, and a subsequently weaker FA.

    Lightning/Fend Javazon 20 each in LF/CS/LS/Fend
    The lightning tree was a killer. She made Hell WSK running at /p8 significantly faster. The addition of LS is a great and powerful skill in its own right against spread out monsters like Demon Imps, and at 9 mana per strike, is a dirt-cheap method of disposing even closely packed monsters, when I'm low on mana and prefer not to LF.

    Of course, she slows down against LIs. I have to rely on Jab, my merc, a high level Valkyrie and a Decoy for that. But to make up for that, she does a pretty fair job with Baal's minions at /p8.

    Fend was interesting. I tested it with 1 hard point, followed by maxing it, and with Titan's and Stoneraven. Even at 1 hard point, the numbers were scary. With my merc's Might aura active, Titan's did up to 1500 damage, and Stoneraven up to 2000 damage. When Fend was maxed, it reached 2000 damage and 3000 damage respectively. AR was ~7000.

    Sadly, the Fend Bug put paid to this wonderful skill. Against single targets, even a 1 point Fend did more damage than Jabbing, whereas a maxed Fend easily 4-5 hit killed a /p8 target. But Fend was meant to be used against multiple targets, and in that situation, the whiffing was unbearable.

    I could not justify maxing Fend just for a 'one target at a time' approach. Even a 1 point Fend became annoying when other monsters came within range and the zon started whiffing. Although Jab also whiffs at times, it is far less common (probably due to the one target at a time and shorter attack sequence).

    Lastly, Fending with Stoneraven (i.e. shieldless) is not a good idea. The damage the zon does is scary, but so is the damage she receives. It's not something that I now would consider as a back-up skill. It's a different story if you build a dedicated Fendazon with no D/A/E, a big spear, lots of PDR%, leech and resists.

    Strafe
    The LF/CS/FA build had a few spare points, so I tried a 1 point Strafe (~slvl 8-10 with +skills). The bows I tried were Eaglehorn, Widowmaker, Kuko Shakaku, Blood Raven's Charge, WWS and Melody MB. None of them compared well against Jab in disposing single targets. The damage was further diluted against multiple targets, and since my zon's base AR was ~2200, she missed almost half the time. Since I did not have the spare points to max Penetrate, I had to rely on Eaglehorn for the ITD, which meant I had sub-par lightning resist. And lets not even talk about strafing Souls which have 90% physical resistance.

    Another long (but thorough) post. :rolleyes: After all this, I guess I'm going for the pure lightning zon. Since even FA struggles at /p8 against LIs, I reckon that I might as well go pure lightning, and tone down the players setting to 3 when facing LIs and Jab them. That's the best compromise I can come up with.

    C'est la vie.
     
  2. sirpoopsalot

    sirpoopsalot IncGamers Member

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    Why don't you just make an Infinity for your merc and go pure Lightning? :rolleyes:

    Seriously though, great summary.

    'zon's aren't my favourite chars, and WSK isn't my preferred area for runs, but I've often pondered the similar thoughts about Countess, Pindle, Meph, etc... I'm not convinced that a standard CL/FO, <whatever>, Blizz sorc (respectively) is truly the *best* build for these targets, and I've wondered if a small adjustment to skills, equipment, or whatever would make a difference over a large number of runs - or if maybe an 'outside of the box' build might actually do the trick best.

    Question: How many runs did you do with each character?
     
  3. Suiling

    Suiling Banned

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    Great one. I plan to try all those build after year end exam!
     
  4. Fists of Legend

    Fists of Legend IncGamers Member

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    Absolutely great write-up. I have yet to make an amazon after my restart mainly because I don't know what I want to build. This was great since you did a great job of over viewing the most popular builds. I think I may go with what your conclusion was and make a pure lightning one.

    Great job on testing and telling us the results.:thumbsup:
     
  5. Thyiad

    Thyiad Moderator Single Player, D2 Assassin, Barbarian

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    Very interesting, Frosty. I haven't made an amazon yet, and the above info is going to warrent closer examination when I do get around to it. I was also surprised that you weren't impressed by the first one. If that was the one I was MP'ing with (and I still think she was doing most of the work); the others must be phenomenal.
     
  6. colony

    colony IncGamers Member

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    Nice write up, I think the LF/FA hybrid works the best out of all those from my own experience. As you said waiting for either of the poison skills to kill anything in PvM is painful, and Fend isn't much better. The real problem I think Strafe has is that you really want to reach the 2 frame BP, and have some sort of knockback. And of course this takes a significant amount of IAS, taking gear you want to use for boosting LF damage. I do think taking on Souls with a strafe hybrid is possible with the right gear, and to still have a good LF, but for the equipment sacrifices I think FA is a much better use of skill points.

    For the Countess I prefer a pure light sorc to a CL/Orb sorc, and focusing on FCR to increase youre tele'ing speed will make a difference. For Pindle just about any build's good if you can stuff it with MF and kill him fast. I think for Meph it doesn't get much faster at all than a pure Blizz sorc. One of the best item switches I've found (RWM only) is using a Harmony bow on switch instead of Ali Baba's/Rhyme, to run around town faster. The extra MF from switching won't add too much after the diminishing returns, and the Vigor increases your runs per hour a lot, especially for Pindle, although I suspect this is old news for a lot of people.
     
  7. FrostBurn

    FrostBurn IncGamers Member

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    Even if I was RWM and had the runes to make Infinity, I wouldn't, because that runeword is dirty. :grin:

    I can't honestly say how many runs, but there were many. I often got bored doing the runs, partly because I often re-spawned just to find LIs to test the back-up skills. Other times I re-spawned for no LIs at all to test the power of LF with no synergies v.s. with 2-3 synergies. Add in the fact that I tested this over the course of 10-14 days, I estimate that the zons must have done at least 24 or more runs each.

    Yup, that's my thought process. I reckon that since at /p8 I'm going to struggle with Souls (and to a lesser degree Scarabs, Storm Casters, etc) no matter what back-up skill I use, I might as well go for the pure lightning zon build for that extra bright spark at /p8, and when facing LIs, tone it down to /p3 and Jab with help from my merc, Valk and Decoy. Whatever build I used, I still had to do /p3 for LIs, and Jabbing at that setting is not slow at all. Of course, more sane people will just turn it down to /p1 for LIs. :tongue:

    Yes, the PlgJ/LF zon was the one you were MP'ing with. I don't like her much. I feel that the 40 skill points invested in poison has been a waste, especially with the /p8 we were playing on. I built her that way for MP'ing just to check for the last time that I wasn't happy with PlgJ, and I'm not. I think they need lost of +skills, Trang's gloves and Bramble to really shine, and that isn't going to happen.
     
  8. Ugla

    Ugla IncGamers Member

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    Hello all,
    unlike sirpoopsalot, I am a great fan of amazons:thumbsup: and I've played them more than any other class. My first, and by far the strongest build, was the pure lightning javazon (all but powerstrike, decent pierce, no val). At this point, I have but to agree with FrostBurn's conclusion.

    The poison skills are right out for the WSK, because the arch-enemies are immune to it, Freezing Arrow is just not powerful enough and concerning Fend: I would never sacrifice the precious passives to make it viable nor am I willing to stop abusing low AR when Charge-Striking under Iron Maiden.

    The Lower Resist charges (lvl3 available for high-lvl chars) on switch combined with -%enemy lightning resistance from Thunderstroke or even Griffon's Eye (for those lucky :tongue: ) are the ultimate bane of all 100%-LI's (everything in WSK except fragile skellies and some fortunate bosses). I remember using Stormchaser shield with the LR-wand to chill the mobs a little while switching.

    The lightning zon is a fearsome WSK&Baal runner and doesn't really need any backup skill, the 1-point jab and good merc can handle the remaining "hard-LI's" with ease. And btw, Infinity isn't dirty, it's pure evil :evil:

    Ugla
     
  9. herobomberman

    herobomberman IncGamers Member

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    i use this (on switch) when i pindle, cause i dont have a spare ko:

    Zephyr
    2 Socket Missile Weapons
    Ort + Eth
    +33% Enhanced Damage
    +66 To Attack Rating
    Adds 1-50 Lightning Damage
    -25% Target Defense
    +25 Defense
    25% Faster Run/Walk
    25% Increased Attack Speed
    7% Chance To Cast Level 1 Twister When Struck
     
  10. bill_n_opus

    bill_n_opus IncGamers Member

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    There's the very effective LF/upgraded WWS combo. Carry a demon limb for enchant and you're good to go. The upgraded WWS will deal good physical damage plus the ctc amp damage PLUS you get free magic arrow.

    Check the ama stickies for WWS info. Can do p8 with little problems.
     
  11. salvo

    salvo IncGamers Member

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    Thanks for your hardwork Frosty :thumbsup:
    Even with my 1337 zon Souls always been the main pain. Strafing them on p1-3 is ok but p8 is just an impossibility, I heavily rely on merc and his Reaper's ctc decrep to open me a hole to shoot my arrow into. I also use Demon Limb enchant charge to improve my damage and the AR helps a lot against uniques.

    Myzon is areas runner, without CS she is terrible for P8 baal running. Beside Baal I TP back to switch Faith to Kelpie, Helm and boot to Guillaume and Gore, and merc weapon to Hone Sundan. Kelpie keep the Baal shut, me and my merc's total 95% CB then steadily reduce baal to ash.

    Her valk is not that useful because she is not maxed and die often but her presence makes the Fanaticism aura optimally functional. I'm planning to rebuild her soon.

    My conclusion is that even with most 1337 gears 'zon cannot run P8 WSK alone, she need a good merc to back her up.
     
  12. Kefir-Tribe

    Kefir-Tribe IncGamers Member

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    Well written. Now how about Impale or Immolation Arrow? :wink3:
     
  13. FrostBurn

    FrostBurn IncGamers Member

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    :dizzy: :hang:
     

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