Need advices on bowazon build (ladder reset)

Julien Bonnet

Diabloii.Net Member
Hello guys,

i am planning on playing the d2 ladder reset with two friends of mine. One of my friends will be playing a sorceress, the other one has not figured yet (he said he won't be playing a caster). I'd like to play an amazon, preferably not a pure java since i 've already played one before and i am a bit bored with her. I have in mind to play a bowa/or hybrid bowazon in order to be able to do both solo runs and multiplayer runs.

Of course i 'll have to start from scratch, which means that i'll have no gears at all. And bowas are not really efficient with no gears, i know that.

What build would you recommend for a fresh start? How can i be efficient while playing this spec?

I've looked at the amazon guides section but i am a bit lost :(. If you have any experience with pure/hybrid bowas, i'll take your advices ! If you have a specific guide in mind, feel free to share ! A lotof guides only talk about eng game gears and give no alternative items etc.

Thank you !


Diabloii.Net Member
You can put in enough dex for a 3 socketed hunter's bow (grab em from charsi. if not, exit town, come back and store will refresh). stick at least 1 sapphire in, and the rest you can put in topazes. then start your skill path down the fire tree toward exploding arrow.

be sure to put in pre-req for crit strike and your choice of valk if u want. and toward pierce as well, as you level up. no need for AR, as exploding arrow hits even if you can't hit them physically.

max out exploding arrow, then by the time you put some in fire arrow, you should be around lvl 40ish. that's when you can reset to frozen arrow with a good amount of pierce.

OR, if you got your hands on a good bow, you can switch to strafe, or if you want, strafe + frozen arrow is a good combo as well.

I'm gonna be going down the same route. :) Not sure if i want to have valk this time, because of the strafe lock danger if monsters attack me.

My end build will be a GMB Ice runeword, with frozen arrow as my main, strafe as my back up (for immunes), nightwing helm (for the +% to cold damage), cat's eye amulet, raven frost ring, laying of hands gloves/crafted knockback gloves, war travelers boots/gore riders, razortail belt for +33 pierce, and fortitude runeword for armor. merc ideally will have infinity.

but ya should probably scrape by with insight polearm for merc, passion or harmony runeword for bow, treachery runeword, and any other stuff you can find that have resists, AR, and dex.

But if you're lucky, any good exceptional bow like Lycander's Aim, Goldstrike, Widowmaker, Kuko...etc would work too, and adds to your strafe attack. be sure to dump as many points into dex as you can if you're going down the strafe route (like around 300ish). If you're going with the frozen arrow route, i suggest you also go with strafe as backup, because of hell's cold immunes.

Okay, so your skills up to level 40 should be like:

max exploding arrow + all pre-req 1 point only.
lvl 5 valk and all pre-req 1 point only.
lvl 4 pierce and all pre-req 1 point only.
your exploding arrow should be doing 144-166 damage, which adds up when you're rapid firing on your super fast bow and never missing. It costs 14 mana per shot, so be sure to add a lot of mana to your beginner build since you'll have no gear to help you. bring lots of mana potions too. I usually got HALF my inventory full of mana potions when i'm doing this >_>;;

WITHOUT valk, you will get 11 more points to sink into Fire Arrow, boosting your exploding arrow damage to 314-363 per shot!

Skills for a lvl 80 character with frozen arrow as main and backup skill strafe, with NO valk:

20 frozen arrow (max this out first before you do strafe)
20 ice arrow
20 strafe
20 penetrate (can skip this if you are using a weapon that have Ignore Target Defense, or if you don't care about using strafe or don't care to leech mana)
6 pierce+1 point pre-reqs.

Enough str to wear your armor/gear.
300ish Dex.
Get your life to around 650-700 (or higher) with gear. without gear, 109 vita points.
preferably no points spent into energy, but keep in mind Frozen arrow at level 20 costs 18.5 mana per shot! To leech mana back, your skill needs to physically hit them, so you need AR.

Ideally I would want more pierce and a lot more crit strike. Maybe I'll remove some from penetrate if my gear have enough AR to cover it. It all depends on what gear you have.

If you want this set up WITH a valk, then you'll have to sacrifice something, or level enough to lvl 95 or something so you can afford the skill points. Up to you at this point :p

With frozen arrow + strafe, you will usually shoot frozen arrow a lot, then, depending on your mana pool and/or your mana leech, you can use strafe to leech back mana or pop a potion, then resume shooting frozen arrow. Watch the enemies pop like icy popcorn :)

This thread talks about the improvements your valk gets at certain levels. Most people suggest getting her to lvl 17 (with help from gear). But again, you can decide how powerful your valk can be:

Also, I'm looking for people to play with after reset. It'll be cool if i can join you guys too :)
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Moderator: Community, D2 Zon, DH, Inc Clan Officer
I agree with the Frozen/Strafe bowazon. She will be a mana hog for a while. But be patient and she will save your group a lot with Frozen arrow.

Julien Bonnet

Diabloii.Net Member
Wow, thank you tChan, your explanations help me a lot. I will try this specific setup (FA/Strafe) : it seems really nice. I'll start by putting my skills points into the fire tree like you said and switch to FA when my char is around level 40. I'll follow your guide ! I am quite excited, i can't wait to try this build ! And we are playing on EUW ladder so feel free to join us for the reset!


Diabloii.Net Member
I've been using this setup for zon for a while. It's the only one I can think of because exploding arrow is the earliest aoe skill for a bow that doesn't rely on a weapon for physical damage (besides fast speed).

Only a sorceress and a trapsin could out dps us during leveling. Maybe a fire druid if he knows what hes doing.

I just tried playing on EU server and my ping was fine. There is a EU west? I didn't see it on my server list. :(

My account is tchan5158 on there. See if you can add me. You can also find me on Skype when I'm not in game. I'll message you (start a conversation) with my skype name.

oh yeah, as for stats during leveling, be sure to shove a lot of points into energy. If not sure, just put 2 in life and 3 in energy for a few levels. Depends on how often you need to drink mana, but hey, with this build, it's not like you need more strength or dex for damage, right? :p (just get to 25 strength so you can wear a 3 slotted belt you can buy from Fara in act 2. no need for any more strength to wear any heavy armor because you'll be keeping your distance from monsters anyway)

besides, heavier armors drain your stamina bar faster when you run, which is NOT what you want.

For the most part, you'll be exploding every monster from act 1 to 3 with almost no problem. The only trouble I have is in act 4, with some monsters having fire resist, like the giant winged demons with a sword, doom knights, oblivion knights, and finger mages (ghost things), ranging from 40-60-to even 80 fire resist. :(
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Diabloii.Net Member
Witchyzons are built around the Witch Wild String bow. The bow is amazingly powerful and dirt cheap. You could realisticly get a WWS in a week or 2. My favorite strafe build.

Fishyzon is a strong Cold/ Lightning hybrid. The Frozen Arrows slow everything down, Lightning Fury wipes out mobs, and Charged Strike is the boss killer. The shield makes her more durable than bowzons. I've built Fishys with garbage gear and they do well.

Both threads are good reads. Good luck.
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Diabloii.Net Member
After you get an insight, you can do whatever you want.
Agreed! One of the major (and easily reachable) goals early on is to get Insight runeword for your merc. Even with that, if you didn't put anything in mana, your frozen arrow will still drain too fast (if you don't have mana steal and your bow is fast), so you gotta put in some energy if you want to fire almost continuously.

You can add strafe in there to leech back some mana too if you got enough AR and leech to hit targets. One or two volleys should be enough. Remember you can't leech from skeletons :(