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My WW/Summon Hybrid (sort of cheap)

Discussion in 'Druid' started by whathappen, Mar 23, 2004.

  1. whathappen

    whathappen IncGamers Member

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    My WW/Summon Hybrid guide (sort of cheap)

    My WW/Summon Hybrid (sort of cheap)

    ** Introduction

    This is a description of my werewolf/summon build for patch 1.10. My character just made it to lvl 80 and defeated Baal in Hell. Here are some of the highlights that I have experienced so far with this build:

    - It is fun
    - Starting from Baal in normal and all the way to Baal in Hell, soloed the act bosses to complete the final quests in games where other peeps were there (typically joined an “act 1 help†game and soloed the next boss). Only the minions of destruction and Baal really gave me a lot of pain but that is a given in 1.10.
    - I had decent equipment but no “Enigma Armor, Shako, BOTD Archon Staff, War Travs, Verdungos, 2 SOJs, ..â€. Every time I see something like this, can’t help to think that even a Dentist (necromancer using teeth as its main attack) would work with this equipment
    - Died only once, killing Baal in Nightmare, and that was only because I was extreme reckless not going back to town to take health pots.
    - No single mob is immune against me. I had a lighting trapsin and played her a lot but every time a lighting immune pack came, it was a pain (roughly 1/3 of the mobs in hell are immune against at least 1 type of elemental damage). Nothing like this happens to my WW/summon. He can take care of any mob (yes, some faster than others but still no complete immunities to worry about).
    - Did I mention that it is fun?

    ** Roles:

    The role of my WW is to deal with PIs, the role of my summons/merc is to deal with non-PIs, which is about 10% of the mobs in hell. Let me say it very clear, with appropriate equipment for you and your merc, 3 dire wolves and an act II might merc can take care of any non-PI mob very quickly.

    ** skill distribution:

    I only mention skills that I actually used. Points mentioned don’t include +skills. At lvl 80 my druid had invested the following points:

    *** Shape shifting tree:

    - lycanthropy, 5 pts, increases health and duration of your character in ww form.
    - Werewolf, 20 pts, increases combat speed and attack rating. Combat speed returns are low. At lvl 20 you get 68% IAS. At lvl 30 it gives 73% IAS only. Still it helps. AR increase is handsome: 335% at lvl 20.
    - Feral rage, 1 pt, damage increase and life leach. With each hit you charge this skill. Once fully charged (after 3 or 4 hits), you will be doing substantial more damage and life leach. Effect lasts for 20 seconds or so. Afterwards, you need to charge it again. I always keep my character enraged. A fireball goes around you while enraged. When it disappears, you know its time to charge it again.
    - Fury, 1 pt, attack multiple enemies at the same time. Increases damage and AR. My main attack.

    *** Summon tree

    - Oak sage, 10 pts, substantially increases the life of your wolves and your merc.
    - Carrion vine, 1 pt, every time it eats a corpse gives you life. Also, nice feat: corpses eaten will not revive. Perfect to fight those pesky mobs that revive by themselves or are revived by other mobs.
    - Spirit wolves, 5, increase AR and DR of wolves and bear. Useful companions until you put 5 points into dire wolves. At that point you never look back.
    - Dire wolves, 20 pts, increase life of wolves and bear. In addition, every point you put into them increase the damage they deal. Dire wolves double the damage they do when enraged. They get enraged by eating mob’s corpses. You will recognize when they are enraged because they seem to glow. If you keep them alive, they seem to glow the whole time. Mobs hate that.
    - Bear, 20 pts, increase damage of wolves and bear. Once I reached lvl 30, I put 1 pt into it. Since I use dire wolves as my main pets, I only started adding pts into it, once I maxed the Dire wolves because the damage that dire wolves gain is larger when putting points into dire wolves than to put points into bear.

    I will continue pumping Oak Sage and werewolf evenly split as I go beyond lvl 80.

    ** Equipment:

    Before starting, you can pre-buff the following skills: lycanthropy, werewolf, oak sage. This means that you can use a cheap combo weapon/shield to shapeshift into a werewolf and to summon and oak sage and then switch back to your main weapon/shield. Even though the life of the Oak Sage itself will decrease, its effect of increasing life to you and your wolves, merc remains with the level when it was summoned.

    These are your goals for the equipment:

    - High-speed weapon that delivers lots of elemental damage
    - At least +7 skills in summoning tree and at least +8 in shapeshifting tree
    - Additional +3 skills in switch weapon/shield for pre-buffing
    - Reaper toll, the unique Trasher weapon for your act II might merc. It gives 33% chances of casting Decrepify. For practical purposes 33% means that after a few seconds, the merc will cast decrepify and keep it cast for the duration of the fight. This skill slows the mobs and makes your summons, your merc and you do 50% more physical damage!. Awesome!. A note here is that this skill does not remove PI. Only Amplify Damage does that feat (100% more physical damage).
    - Elemental resistances are nice to have even if as a druid you get tons of life

    This is the equipment I use to accomplish these goals:

    - Jalal Mana druid helm. Gives + 2 skills and +2 shapeshifting skills.
    - +2 druid skills rare ammy.
    - Skin of the Vipermagi for some resistances and +1 more skill
    - 1 Grand charm with +1 shapeshitfing skills and 2 grand charm with + 1 summon skills
    - Baranar star. Adds 3-600 various elemental damages. Super fast. Just add a shael to it or have a 20% IAS gloves and when using the Fury skill you’ll be reaching 5 fps. Not bad. Oh it also gives 50% to AR!
    - Since Barana star is a 1 hand weapon, you can use a shield. Simple take a Tiamat's Rebuke. This nice shield gives around 80-250 various elemental damages.
    - Switch weapon/shield: Dark Clan Crusher/sigon shield. +3 skills. These two are as cheap as it gets.
    - Several charms with resistances. Added a p. diamond to shield. Found an Um in the Forge Hell. I put it in my armor.

    I know, I said it was cheap and now I list: Baranar star, reaper toll, Tiamat's Rebuke, Jalal Mana, 3 grand charms, and Skin of the Vipermagi. But believe me, from these the only one expensive is reaper toll. And even this is not worth a shako. Not even close. I got mine trading it for Aldur’s armor. I trade a rune (um or io I don’t remember) for Jalal Mana and so forth.

    ** Stat points distribution:

    - strength: enough to use weapon (Barana star requires 153)
    - dextery: speed and high chances to hit are your best friends. I always kept pumping dextery to make sure that I had 85% chances to hit the mobs I was fighting.
    - Vitality: the rest
    - Energy: 0 pts. Your minions will not die that much, so you are not recasting continuously

    ** tactics:

    - Keep your act II might merc at your level.
    - Only start hell when your merc reaches lvl 75 and can use Reaper toll
    - Keep yourself enraged at all the times
    - Max at the same time dire wolves and werewolf. Your last skill to max is Bear.
    - When starting add the 5 points into Lycanthropy. It helps at the beginning to keep you alive
    - In Hell, look for the PIs, those are yours. Try to use the minions to distract them and kill 1 or 2 at a time.
    - Keep recasting that idiotic vine carrion. It is not much for the health you gain, but specially for removing corpses.
     
  2. Forcefeedback

    Forcefeedback IncGamers Member

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    Are you sure this part is correct? I would think there are about 10% PIs.

    Seems like you are too concerned with your attack rating. Shapesifting charm, 20 points in werewolf and you still pump dexterity?

    If you didn't need feedback, I'm sorry for posting this. You can pm Garbad to remove this post. I give my consent.
     
  3. whathappen

    whathappen IncGamers Member

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    Yes, please any feedback/critic is welcomed.

    I mistyped. It was meant to read that about 10% of the mobs in
    Hell are PIs not the other way around. Sadly, I can't edit the original text anymore.

    About dextery, as I said I pumped only to have 85% chances to hit
    the mobs. As I leveled I kept checking this. Now in Act 5 hell I
    am still at 85% (not counting superboss such as Baal, which has a
    high DR).

     
  4. psuedoenviro

    psuedoenviro IncGamers Member

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    I like the idea behind your guide with you playing a specific role in doing elemental damage. Maybe you could add more items that would increase your elemental damage.

    I agree with Forcefeedback about the dex thing. Maybe just pump it to maintain max block and you should stay in the 80s.

    Non-weapon IAS will have no effect on your fury speed.

    I know your goal is to use fury only for the elemental damage, but with a might merc already helping your minions I would have been too tempted to max fury for some phys damage. Plus it would give 185% AR + damage whereas WW only gives 335% AR. I understand why you didnt pump fury though, to maintain true to the elemental damage only.

    Also since your maxing direwolves, your minions dont really need oak to stay alive. Plus your merc will have alot less things pounding on him with 3 dires. Why not pump HoW and get both of them doing more damage? It sounds like your role in this build is half watching summons kill and half killing things when they have trouble. Once again I would be too tempted to max fury.

    Overall it's pretty good. If you have the time maybe you could really flesh it out with some stats, more items, and general feel of your role while playing this char.

    Good Job :clap: :thumbsup:
     
  5. whathappen

    whathappen IncGamers Member

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    Aha! I didn't knew why when I used the IAS calculator, I could add all sorts of IAS sources and was still at 5 fps. I end up shaeling my Baranas. I see now that this is the only thing I could do.

    Ok, I'll stop putting points into dextery. Unfortunately Tiaman's Rebuke is not the best shield for blocking. I have it for the elemental damage and for the resistances. I don't need more blocking. I almost never sem to run into trouble with my health.

    The idea of using HoW sounds interesting. I worry that I will have to start recasting the wolves over and over or reviving the merc (or myself!). But I haven't tried it. If this was Hardcore no question, I would use Oak. I am thinking that maybe I should try a second build more offensive oriented and compare this too. Maybe for that one I should use a different shield and get max blocking since my hps will not be as many as now.


     
  6. whathappen

    whathappen IncGamers Member

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    Any other comments/critics?
     
  7. Forcefeedback

    Forcefeedback IncGamers Member

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    I'm not sure but you should investigate if the might aura % ed and How % ed are added together or multiplied.
    added (2.87+1.75)*basedamage or multiplied 2.87*1.75*basedamage (the ed are imaginary)

    If they are added, the increase in damage won't be anything tremendous. (my guess would be less than 30% increase) So there would be little point in using How if you don't need the attack rating.

    One thing that seems odd in your guide. You say you have added only 5 points to Spirit wolves. Doesn't it leave you're summons lacking Ar? Especially the bear. Check the Summons debate thread for some (possibly 1.09) information.
     
  8. ShadowLumanaire

    ShadowLumanaire IncGamers Member

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    yes, man. Its a VERY good guide, but I dont see whats wrong with maxing fury. Also, as someone else noted, with those dire wolf thingees, the only peopleses in your party that would need more health would be, in order from needed highest to least,

    1.) Summoner Party members

    2.) Tankers

    3.) Other peoples minions

    4.) Your merc

    5.) You

    6.) Your other guys.



    All in all, good job. Im testing this Guide as we speek.

    Good one.
     
  9. Sim.The.GoSu

    Sim.The.GoSu IncGamers Member

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    Well a nice combi is IK combo.. Crazy ele dmg and nice phys is pretty nice.

    Also, I would switch tiamats, because if there are phys immunes, then you got reapers. The bstar is good because its fast.

    All in all, its pretty interesting and is a very low budget friendly guide.
     
  10. whathappen

    whathappen IncGamers Member

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    This is a good point you raised and I was very worried about it too. Obviusly the build would be wirthless if I had found that in hell the wolves wouldn't hit anything. I am happy to report that the wolves seem to hit well in hell. SO the extra AR is not needed. I knew that the DR wasn't needed because of the Oak Sage and the Decrepify.
     
  11. whathappen

    whathappen IncGamers Member

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    I just checked the IK set. I thought it was barbarian only. Now I see the amazing amount of elemental damage that the partial set provides. I am kicking myself for having trade the belt and the boots which I had.

     
  12. steve2677

    steve2677 IncGamers Member

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    And another thing decrep does take off the physical immunity of monsters i have a reapers on my zons merc and he is the primary killer for light/phys immune cuz i use lf and charged strike.
     
  13. whathappen

    whathappen IncGamers Member

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    From Arreat Summit:

    http://www.battle.net/diablo2exp/skills/necromancer-curses.shtml

    It says: "Amplify Damage lowers monster Physical Resistances by 100%. It will also remove the Immune to Physical on Monsters." When I looked at Decrepify it doesn't mention this explicitely. It does say that it reduces Physical Resistances by 50%. I am pretty sure that there are mobs that have physical inmmunity larger than 50%. Can anyone confirm either way if Decrepify removes PIs or not?




     
  14. Unicorn Marketeer

    Unicorn Marketeer IncGamers Member

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    Decrepify will remove PI from most monsters. It won't remove PI from a few--mostly those who started with high phys resistance due to their monster type and then spawned with the Phys Immune/Stone Skin modifiers.

    Examples:

    Ghosts with Stone Skin
    Frenzytaurs with Phys Immune

    Both of those (in Hell at least) have over 150% physical resistance, so decrepify isn't enough to strip away their immunities.

    At least, that's been my experience.
     
  15. whathappen

    whathappen IncGamers Member

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    Yes, I just went to different acts with my druid. This time my druid didn't interfered. As soon as the merc casted decrepify the PI mobs started to loose hps. In act 5 there was a mob with PI and stone skin. As you said it, even after decrepify, the mob didn't loosed hps. Still, it seems that for most PI mobs, decrepify will remove physical inmunity. For practical purposes, I wonder if I should use a high dmage weapon like Hellslayer and have the Barana's star/ t. rebuke as switch weapon. I am going to try this and report.

     
  16. junglejim

    junglejim IncGamers Member

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    Decrepify removes the PI designation 90+% of the time. I can count the number of times that I observed that it did not remove the PI on one hand.

    If you hover over a PI critter you can see the PI designation come and go as Decrepify is cast and then wears off.

    However, even though they no longer have PI some still have very high resistances to physical damage and can take quite a while to wear down if you do not have an alternate dmg type.

    My basic feeling is that Hell is doable this way but you should expect to be significantly slowed by some of the PI monsters or you should by-pass them.

    I'd love to put Bstar + Tiamat's on my Fury druid's switch but I still haven't found a Bstar (I've found 5 Aldur's Rhythms now though :scratch: ).

    With 2 mule accounts, I suppose I should start trading now to get the equipment I want. :idea:
     
  17. whathappen

    whathappen IncGamers Member

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    Thank you for the explanation, I been playing with my druid around and having a big, fast 2 hand weapon will work (and b. star with t. rebuke as switch). I have Hellslayer which is too slow. Even after shael with ww attack gets only 10 fps. I have a Windhammer which gives 5 fps with WW attack (shael), which is fantastic (it cast twister which stunts the enemy!). But now at lvl 82 I just don't have enough points in strenght. Same goes for IK maul. I am going to start this character again, this time I will focus on the offensive variant. I am going to have essentailly the same skill distribution as before but putting points into HoW instead of Oak. Also I will put less points into dextery and more into life and strenght. With twister and decrepify I expect that this will be very deadly yet the druid and his pets will still survive. Expect a complete guide when done.


     
  18. lextalionis

    lextalionis IncGamers Member

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    My advice.

    Look at IK, shael the Maul. This is a great set for WWolves. The cb is great for you too.

    I would definately get some research going on HoW vs OS. I realize more life is very nice. But if you have the Reapers Toll keeping everything very slow. You should be able to stay alive pretty well. Plus, your minions other than the merc can be recast. Not that you want to do it every second or anything. And in really tough places you can cast OS at level 1. It should still be a big help with all your plus Summon Skills running around.

    I agree with the idea of maxing Fury, less for the damage than the AR benefits. But I'll throw another idea out there. What about Rabies. Its elemental damage. It has good damage. With all your minions you ought to be able to tank ok in bigger packs. Hopefully your merc will still be able to leech even in PI groups because of the Decryptify being in effect. You can slap a Carrion Ring on to amp the Rabies damage.

    Skills you can do without. The Carrion Vine. They seem to die all the time, don't do a great job of regeneration you. You have Dire Wolves to eat corpses. And you can't have a Carrion Vine if you use the Carrion Ring for added Rabies damage.

    You aren't hardcore so your WW and Lycanthropy concerns are probably a little silly.

    AR problems can be dealt with in a lot of ways, looking for mods that help with it. AR can be gained from using the charges from a Demon Limb. Enchant should last more than 10minutes allowing you to leave it in town in your stash.

    I would transfer those points from WW and LY into Fury and Rabies. Actually, I would max Rabies before Fury since Rabies can have its damage amped with the Carrion Ring to be quite good against PIs, whereas Fury has no inherent damage adder for PIs. Fury quickly gets all the added extra hits. For your Fury weapon I would suggest FAMINE runeword. Its more elemental damage and throw it into the fastest Hammer/Axe you can find. I has inherent 30% IAS which isn't nothing. And Druid attack speed should be good in those weapons.

    But I'd consider some other weapon setups. IK set is definately a strong choice. If you go Rabies consider both the Death's Web (Wand) and the Plague Bearer (sword). These both make an excellent weapon switch to add to your Rabies Damage. They are both fairly slow weapons, but this is PvM and overall your damage will be increased and you won't be using Fury with this item. If you do that, you may want to use an upgraded Fleshrender Club on Weapon Switch. It has great mods: Crushing Blow, PMH, OWounds, Deadly strike, and you only loose one + skill level from your Dark Clan Crusher. And truthfully I think a Sigon's Shield here might work nicely with it, you might even upgrade the Sigon's for added Defense, if you have the strength for it.

    Recap. Look at HoW vs OS. Look at Rabies. Be a little less defensive and a little more offensive minded. Much like a Necro. A lot of your defense comes from the fact that you have so many minions on the board and will spread your enemies attention around. Get the Reaper's Toll for your merc. It has LL on it as well as very good damage and very good attack speed.

    Good Luck keep us informed. Few people are using Summons in 1.10.

    Famine 4 Socketed Axes/Hammers Fal + Ohm + Ort + Jah +30% Increased Attack Speed
    +320-370% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    Ignore Target's Defense
    Adds 180-200 Magic Damage
    Adds 50-200 Fire Damage
    Adds 51-250 Lightning Damage
    Adds 50-200 Cold Damage
    12% Life Stolen Per Hit
    Prevent Monster Heal
    +10 To Strength

    Fleshrender
    Barbed Club
    One-Hand Damage: (62.2-72) To (109.8-128) (86-100 Avg)
    Required Level: 38
    Required Strength: 30
    Durability: 56
    Base Weapon Speed: [0]
    +130-200% Enhanced Damage(varies)
    Adds 35-50 Damage
    +50% Damage To Undead
    20% Deadly Strike
    20% Chance of Crushing Blow
    25% Chance of Open Wounds
    +1 To Druid Skills
    +2 To Shape Shifting Skills (Druid Only)
    Prevent Monster Heal

    Plague Bearer
    Rune Sword
    One-Hand Damage: 35 To 150 (92.5 Avg)
    Required Level: 41
    Required Strength: 103
    Required Dexterity: 79
    Durability: 44
    Base Weapon Speed: [-10]
    150% Enhanced Damage
    Adds 10-45 Damage
    +300 Poison Damage Over 8 Seconds
    5% Chance To Cast Level 4 Poison Nova On Striking
    Poison Resist +45%
    +5 To Rabies (Druid Only)
    (Only Spawns In Patch 1.09 or later)
     
  19. whathappen

    whathappen IncGamers Member

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    I bought from the town sellers a magic belt with +27 strenght, took Grisworld armor for additional 20 and used a magic ring with + 17. I was able to get 225 strenght and use my Windhammer. It is just amazing the speed and damage of this thing. It just keep spamming twisters. Coupled with decrepify, mobs go down fast in hell even when soloing with other players in the game. I am convinced that the offensive variant will work.

    lextalionis, thank you for the hints. I added points into Lycanthropy because I wanted to be in WW form a bit longer. About Fury, for the offensive variant I will still not going to put more points into it. Rather I'll pump HoW since it will benefit me, my wolves and the merc. I really want to make this a true hybrid and not just pets as meat shields. famine looks great but I really want to be able to make it work without super-equipment.
     
  20. lextalionis

    lextalionis IncGamers Member

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    Good for you. Stick with the intent of your build. I like the idea of going ahead and maxing your HoW. You'll get the benefit of any +Summon Skill stuff you have and yes, it will help your pets too.

    Best of luck. And keep us updated.
     

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