My first Guardian, Jeor the FC/Summon bear

Naturallog

Diabloii.Net Member
So I wanted to finally make a real attempt at hardcore, and I thought a Fire Claws build would be a good choice. I'm already familiar with the build from a SC druid I experimented with, so I knew it was a pretty strong build even with weak gear. I decided to pick up Dire wolf and Grizzly so I could have some meat shields for safety. An A2 Might merc would finish off my entourage, once I finished Normal difficulty. I decided to keep the game set to 8 players, since the extra items would be a huge help. Even so, after Baal died for the third time I still had some laughably poor items equipped.

Since this character had to be self-found I decided to use a Rhyme shield for easy to acquire CBF, and make an Insight polearm as fast as I could for my merc. For weapons, speed is the only thing an FC build cares about so I used a Steel Scimitar until I could finally get my hands on a phase blade. Normal and Nightmare were a breeze, between the Prayer merc I picked up and my summoned wolf pack there wasn't much need for Fire Claws. My early points all went into Dire Wolf and Shock Wave. Once I found a 4 socket partizan for Insight, life got even easier. With a constant mana supply I began sinking all my points into Fire Claws. Even set to 8 players nothing was much of a challenge at this point, though progress was slow at times.

Upon reaching Hell difficulty, item quality caught up to me. Switched to players 1 because burning through enemies on higher player counts took much longer than I wanted. I got (very) lucky and found a 6 socket phase blade, eliminating the need to bother Larzuk for my final weapon. I shoved an Eth and 5 Shael in there, which gave me an ideal weapon for my build. Five frame attacks with -25% target defense. I probably should have gone with 6 Shael for 4 frame attacks, but I didn't have much attack rating so I sacrificed some speed. I couldn't find a Lum for Smoke, or a Lem for Treachery however, so my resists were in the gutter. I did gather a few decent resist charms along the way, but it wasn't enough. After getting bogged down in Act 2, I went back and farmed Countess for some runes. I couldn't get a decent 2 socket armor for Smoke, so I kept farming until I picked up a Lem to make Treachery in a Dusk Shroud. I gave it to my merc, but switched it over to my Druid for act bosses. With this improvement, and a 4 socket cryptic axe for upgraded Insight, my merc was able to chew through the seemingly endless supply of fire immunes blocking my way.

I ended up running from Act 3 through the end of the game in one day. Treachery gave me the resists to knock over Mephisto and Diablo easily, bringing me to Act 5. Shenk coughed up a Stormshield for me, but sadly I couldn't use it or I would lose CBF from Rhyme. I finished off Nihlathak and made my way toward Baal. After a few bad pulls, I managed to separate the Ancients and allow my wolves and mercenary to eat them one by one (two spawned fire immune so my Druid was little use). Baal's minions were easy to deal with, though the final fire immune wave took a while. Baal himself was just a matter of chugging pots and cursing my lack of CB.

Overall this was easier than I thought it would be. I only had to stop once to farm gear, and my build never really felt weak. I had a several close calls in Hell, but with Werebear's nice health bonus I had enough time to chug potions. I do regret spending a full 15 points on Shockwave, as the duration was fine with 10 points. Overall though, the build was solid at level 84 when I finished Hell.

Code:
Skill Points:

Raven: 1/3
Poison Creeper: 1/3
Oak Sage: 1/3
Summon Spirit Wolf: 1/5
Carrion Vine: 1/3
Heart of Wolverine: 2/4
Summon Dire Wolf: 20/22
Summon Grizzly: 1/3

Werewolf: 1/3
Lycanthropy: 5/7
Werebear: 1/3
Feral Rage: 1/3
Maul: 1/3
Fire Claws: 20/22
Shock Wave: 15/17

Firestorm: 1/3
Molten Boulder: 1/3
Fissure: 1/3
Volcano: 20/22


Items:

Gemmed Phase Blade
Phase Blade
One Hand Damage: 31 - 35
Indestructible
Required Level: 54
Required Strength: 25
Required Dexterity: 136
Fingerprint: 0xa1afd2fc
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+100% Increased Attack Speed
-25% Target Defense
6 Sockets (6 used)
Socketed: Eth Rune
Socketed: Shael Rune
Socketed: Shael Rune
Socketed: Shael Rune
Socketed: Shael Rune
Socketed: Shael Rune


Dark Clan Crusher (swap)
Cudgel
One Hand Damage: 17 - 61
Durability: 24 of 24
Required Level: 34
Required Strength: 25
Fingerprint: 0xc279eade
Item Level: 49
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to Druid Skill Levels
195% Enhanced Damage
24% Bonus to Attack Rating
+200% Damage to Demons
+200 to Attack Rating against Demons
+150% Damage to Undead
+15 Life after each Demon Kill


Rhyme
Tower Shield
ShaelEth
Defense: 22
Chance to Block: 44
Durability: 60 of 60
Required Level: 29
Required Strength: 75
Fingerprint: 0xc967bb71
Item Level: 79
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+40% Faster Block Rate
20% Increased Chance of Blocking
Regenerate Mana 15%
All Resistances +25
Cannot Be Frozen
50% Extra Gold from Monsters
25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
2 Sockets (2 used)
Socketed: Shael Rune
Socketed: Eth Rune


Lidless Wall
Grim Shield
Defense: 333
Chance to Block: 0
Durability: 70 of 70
Required Level: 41
Required Strength: 58
Fingerprint: 0xb670a104
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
+20% Faster Cast Rate
+121% Enhanced Defense
+10 to Energy
Increase Maximum Mana 10%
+4 to Mana after each Kill
+1 to Light Radius


Lore
Antlers
OrtSol
Defense: 18
Durability: 20 of 20
Required Level: 27
Required Strength: 24
Fingerprint: 0xbf5f4243
Item Level: 22
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to All Skills
+2 to Summon Spirit Wolf (Druid Only)
+10 to Energy
Lightning Resist +30%
Damage Reduced by 7
+2 to Mana after each Kill
+2 to Light Radius
2 Sockets (2 used)
Socketed: Ort Rune
Socketed: Sol Rune


Iron Pelt
Trellised Armor
Defense: 539
Durability: 156 of 157
Required Level: 33
Required Strength: 61
Fingerprint: 0x68be2d55
Item Level: 59
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+87% Enhanced Defense
+252 Defense (Based on Character Level)
+25 to Life
Damage Reduced by 18
Magic Damage Reduced by 15
+125 Maximum Durability


Bloodfist
Heavy Gloves
Defense: 18
Durability: 14 of 14
Required Level: 9
Fingerprint: 0x426ac63
Item Level: 39
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+10% Increased Attack Speed
+30% Faster Hit Recovery
+5 to Minimum Damage
+18% Enhanced Defense
+10 Defense
+40 to Life


Credendum
Mithril Coil
Defense: 110
Durability: 16 of 16
Required Level: 65
Required Strength: 106
Fingerprint: 0x7e4dbeb9
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+50 Defense
+10 to Strength
+10 to Dexterity
All Resistances +15


Sander's Riprap
Heavy Boots
Defense: 6
Durability: 14 of 14
Required Level: 20
Required Strength: 18
Fingerprint: 0x8ca29a8b
Item Level: 61
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+40% Faster Run/Walk
+100 to Attack Rating
+5 to Strength
+10 to Dexterity


Shaman's Amulet of the Mind
Amulet
Required Level: 27
Fingerprint: 0xb930a659
Item Level: 50
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Druid Skill Levels
+4 to Energy


Stone Gyre
Ring
Required Level: 16
Fingerprint: 0x939d9bae
Item Level: 30
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+117 to Attack Rating
+1 to Energy
Fire Resist +27%
Poison Resist +23%
Magic Damage Reduced by 1
12% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items


Wraith Circle
Ring
Required Level: 16
Fingerprint: 0x9426dca1
Item Level: 48
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+10% Faster Cast Rate
+117 to Attack Rating
3% Life stolen per hit
Lightning Resist +6%
Damage Reduced by 2
10% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
 
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Maltatai

Diabloii.Net Member
Congratulations! Your first Guardian on /players8 all the way is quite impressive playing.

Epic amulet :D
 

Naturallog

Diabloii.Net Member
Congratulations! Your first Guardian on /players8 all the way is quite impressive playing.

Epic amulet :D
Oh I forgot to say I switched to /players1 for Hell. I'll edit my post. It just took way too much time with the higher HP. That amulet is what happens when yellow amulets refuse to drop for any reason.
 

darkstarhub

Diabloii.Net Member
Congrats on your first Guardian...HC nonetheless!!!

I've been finding a ton of Druid stuff with my Sorc, and I thought about trying a Fire Claws Summoner. It seems most of the guides I have looked at are for Windy Druids, which is understandable since it seems to be such a strong build. Most of the guides with Summons for main damage dealer say the damage isnt very good in high players settings Hell. I do think it would be cool to try something in the line of Shape Shifting and Summoning as well. If the build is not capable of running high player settings in Hell its OK if its fun. At some point I will look at everything I have in my stashes to see what I can put together.
 

Southpaw8668

Diabloii.Net Member
Congratulations on your first Guardian with a non-cookie build and poop gear! Why did you spend points in Volcano, did you use it much? What Guardian is up next?
 

Grape

Diabloii.Net Member
Congratulations, hero! Well done!

If you happen to find a Ribcracker, Tombreaver or something else fast and hurty, give it a go with this. Makes those FIs so much more faster.
 

T72on1

Diabloii.Net Member
Congrats, very well done !!!

I built a FC / Maul Werebear in HC, and agree with @Grape . Definitely makes things go faster ... a lot. Then again, Bear and Wolves make your character safer of course.

@darkstarhub The build is definitely capable of doing higher player settings with good gear. My own FC / Maul Werebear is in Act 4 Hell and was playing on /p5 iirc, maybe even /p7 or /p8, it's been a while, so I don't know anymore. That was with an Infinity on the Merc though, and some other good (but not incredibly expensive) gear.
 

Naturallog

Diabloii.Net Member
Congratulations on your first Guardian with a non-cookie build and poop gear! Why did you spend points in Volcano, did you use it much? What Guardian is up next?
Volcano is one of the Fire Claws synergies. None of them are useful at all for my build, but Volcano looks cool for goofing off with. I started a max block Zerk Barb to make use of the Stormshield I found. No rush though, I still need to acquire a decent weapon for him. Probably Oath.

Congratulations, hero! Well done!

If you happen to find a Ribcracker, Tombreaver or something else fast and hurty, give it a go with this. Makes those FIs so much more faster.
I have a SC Druid that uses the IK maul with a Maul/FC build. It's an excellent weapon for how easy it is to find, and FIs don't stand a chance.
 

Burgomaster3

Diabloii.Net Member
Cool Guardian, congrats! I Have never tried Fireclaws myself, but I have soft spot for fire builds (probably because they are the underdogs of the Hell difficulty). Wouldn't come to mind when choosing a first Guardian though, so respect for the effort. Nice to see it works untwinked. Also, gotta love a build that uses Gemmed Phase Blade as an end-game weapon. Style, budget and functionality all in one.
 
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