Patriarch Ash, Fire Claws Mauler

NanoMist

Diabloii.Net Member
During my final push to finish off the grail, Pindle dropped this little gem. At that point I already had a Zod and a couple RJoF's ready to go, so it was inevitable that all those parts would come together one day.



My very first thought was to put this on a Fire Claws druid, specifically a Werebear variant with access to one of the best CC skills in the game, Shock Wave. Combine that with a fast and devastating dual damage melee attack should bring some fun times. Given the end game weapon is a polearm, I decided that restricting weapons to polearms-only would be the theme of the playthrough. Players 8 all the way as well.

Normal

Ash started off level 1 with this War Scythe and the help of 2x +Strength GCs.
6 OS War Scythe- 7% ED, +30 AR, 40 poison, -75% Req (3x Hel + ED/-Req Jewel + 2x AR/Envy Jewels)

The remaining equipment through Act 1 is fairly basic. The early levels go by so quickly I didn't feel the need to min/max much.
Biggin's Bonnet
Death's Gloves
Death's Sash
Angelic Ring/Ammy
Cow King's Boots
Manald Heal
Twitchthroe
20x SC 1-6 Lightning Damage (level 9)
Circlet: 1-114 Lightning Damage, +10 all res, +22 fire res (level 18)

It was fun using a range 5 weapon at the start, it's a small but nice advantage being able to land a hit from farther away. Especially against fallen that are trying to retreat but remain in range long enough for the hit to land.

At level 18, Fire Claws became the primary melee attack with Maul taking a back seat. Ash upgraded to Hwanin's Justice in the Chaos Sanctuary, needing the extra physical damage against the fire resistant monsters. At this time I also swapped in max damage GCs and SCs with life and also this nice circlet too: +1 Druid Skills, 20 FRW, 8 Str, 54 life, 67 mana, 35 fire res. Lister's pack was the first real need to bring out Shock Wave- nothing like stunning back the stunners.

Nightmare

Ash advanced into nightmare at level 42 with the following gear setup:
Athena's Wrath "Shael"
Jalal's Mane
Lava Gout
Vipermagi
String of Ears
Dual leech ring
Ravenfrost (lvl 45)
+3 SS Ammy (lvl 45)
Rare boots 30 frw, dex, dual res
Shapeshift GC's
Life/Res SC's

Athena's Wrath is a very fitting weapon for this Werebear with its big +3 Druid skills, fast attack speed, and decent weapon damage. The nightmare segment went by quickly due to the prolific increase in FC damage through both gear upgrades and raw skill points. By late nightmare Ash started to equip some end game gear, which will be listed together in the Hell segment.

Hell

Unfortunately, Tomb Reaver's required level is 84, which is fairly out of reach if Ash stayed in NM. I'd prefer to play through Hell with ETomb, so I decided to have Ash run straight to Pits to level up first, making sure to bypass the Act 1 quests.

Here's the final setup:
Eth Tomb Reaver
Jalal's Mane + IAS Jewel
Fortitude Archon Plate
Laying of Hands
Arachnid Mesh
Gore Rider
Highlord's Wrath
Ravenfrost 239/20
Rare ring (+120 AR, 3% MS, 7% LS, 9 Dex, +8 All Res, +11 Light Res)

8x Shape-shift GC's (6x with life)
8x SC (Assorted)
Spiritual Grand Charm of Vita
Grand Charm
Required Level: 69
Fingerprint: 0xb8da47c9
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Shape-Shifting Skills (Druid Only)
+39 to Life

Spiritual Grand Charm of Sustenance
Grand Charm
Required Level: 53
Fingerprint: 0xff1a147d
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Shape-Shifting Skills (Druid Only)
+32 to Life

Spiritual Grand Charm of Sustenance
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0xa505ed2f
Item Level: 81
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Shape-Shifting Skills (Druid Only)
+28 to Life

Spiritual Grand Charm of Sustenance
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0xefef362d
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Shape-Shifting Skills (Druid Only)
+28 to Life

Spiritual Grand Charm of Sustenance
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0xcd4d03ec
Item Level: **
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Shape-Shifting Skills (Druid Only)
+27 to Life

Spiritual Grand Charm of Life
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0x885474ad
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Shape-Shifting Skills (Druid Only)
+17 to Life

Spiritual Grand Charm of Maiming
Grand Charm
Required Level: 63
Fingerprint: 0xffedb23e
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Shape-Shifting Skills (Druid Only)
+3 to Maximum Damage

Spiritual Grand Charm of Burning
Grand Charm
Required Level: 42
Fingerprint: 0x89fd44f9
Item Level: 81
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+1 to Shape-Shifting Skills (Druid Only)
Adds 2 - 4 Fire Damage


Fine Small Charm of Sustenance
Small Charm
Required Level: 21
Fingerprint: 0x5cab33ca
Item Level: 81
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+3 to Maximum Damage
+19 to Attack Rating
+13 to Life

Fine Small Charm of Inertia
Small Charm
Required Level: 27
Fingerprint: 0xf2534ea3
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+3% Faster Run/Walk
+2 to Maximum Damage
+20 to Attack Rating

Fine Small Charm of Inertia
Small Charm
Required Level: 27
Fingerprint: 0xf3a864b3
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+3% Faster Run/Walk
+3 to Maximum Damage
+19 to Attack Rating

Fine Small Charm of Sustenance
Small Charm
Required Level: 21
Fingerprint: 0x996e2b79
Item Level: 80
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+3 to Maximum Damage
+15 to Attack Rating
+12 to Life

Shimmering Small Charm of Sustenance
Small Charm
Required Level: 25
Fingerprint: 0x92b088e1
Item Level: 81
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+13 to Life
All Resistances +5

Amber Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0x9282796d
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20 to Life
Lightning Resist +11%

Fine Small Charm of Sustenance
Small Charm
Required Level: 21
Fingerprint: 0x533e9b50
Item Level: 81
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+3 to Maximum Damage
+18 to Attack Rating
+12 to Life

Fine Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm
Required Level: 39
Fingerprint: 0xd3b6cb67
Item Level: 81
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to Maximum Damage
+17 to Attack Rating
+20 to Life

A2 Merc (Might)
Infinity
Fortitude
Andariel's Visage

Skill Build
20 Fire Claws
20 Firestorm
20 Molten Boulder
20 Fissure
X Volcano (Remaining points here)
1 HoW, Shock Wave, Maul, Prereqs

Enough vitality for 3K life, remaining stat points into strength. There was enough +skills from gear adding to Lycanthropy, Werebear, Maul, and Shock Wave that all available points went into FC synergies.

Gear was selected with some balance in mind between fire and physical damage. Arachnid Mesh and Fortitude provides some needed FCR for Shock Wave (and recasting HoW). The IAS jewel in Jalal's is required to reach 6 FPA. -%Defense from Infinity solves CTH issues.

Even at Players 8, Ash steamrolled through Hell. Maul can complement Fire Claws through the temporary boost in physical damage with the charge-up ball, but I mostly used this against fire resistant monsters. Fire Claws without the Maul charge-up is already plenty strong for regular use. The massive physical damage portion meant that leech was effective, which is something pure FC builds lack. I've played the 4 FPA version with Shael'd PB in the past, and I much prefer this 6 FPA ETomb version that can hit hard with physical damage as well.


There was a little slow down in CS, as expected with the fire immunes, but Shock Wave saves the day. Swapping Infinity for Reaper's is an option here, but I decided to stay with the same setup. Incredibly fun and powerful melee build throughout. Even a non-eth Tomb Reaver will be quite powerful, an eth version is not required at all. Here's the LCS damage.

 

Babyhell

Diabloii.Net Member
True on the weapon damage, I forgot @PhineasB 's one, but still I find impressive the skill damage displayed on a melee druid sheet...Maybe I am not used to them also, as one of my biggest regret is the weakness of a pure summoning druid in hell. Anyway, it seems early 2020 is about fire druids!
 

ffs

Diabloii.Net Member
Zod must go in the middle no? ;) Awesome stuff. As mentioned in J-Dog‘s recent pat thread I’m still waiting for a 3os eth Tomby to drop. :/ But I have several nice non-eth ones and guess you’re totally right, for this build with focus on FC the difference in physical damage is probably negligible and I should just go for it. Sure jealous of the fun people are having with Druids currently!
 

NanoMist

Diabloii.Net Member
I wanted to keep the jewels together. :D I think 5 FPA is possible with Shael runes in non-eth Tomby, so some physical damage dps is made up there along with a dps increase on the fire damage.
 

J-Dog

Diabloii.Net Member
That clear speed on p8 is impressive! I believe Werebear is a bit underrated in the D2 melee scene or it has been in my eyes at least. When you compare this to let's say decked out Zeal, Fury, Frenzy, WW, Martial Arts the Werebear can hold his own.

The damage potential is huge and Shockwave... I mean it turns situations that would normally be suicidal to melee characters totally upside down. For example extra fast Minions of Destruction that will feast on most melee builds turn into sitting ducks that basically bend over so you can start slapping away. Same goes to enemies with mana burn.

The Chaos Sanctuary part of the video demonstrates pretty well the drawbacks of the build and that's the kill speed that gets slowed down when facing enemies with high fire resist and a big life pool. The 10 second Diablo kill almost redeems that in my biased eyes.
 

EatSleepDiablov2

Diabloii.Net Member
Leveling up a WB toon now. I do not have an ethTomby, but plan to use this:

Breath of the Dying
Superior Great Poleaxe
VexHelElEldZodEth
Two Hand Damage: 354 - 976
Durability: 28 of 30
Required Level: 69
Required Strength: 136
Required Dexterity: 72
Fingerprint: 0x4d910c2
Item Level: 87
Version: Expansion
50% Chance to cast level 20 Poison Nova when you Kill an Enemy
Indestructible
+60% Increased Attack Speed
414% Enhanced Damage
-25% Target Defense
+50 to Attack Rating
+200% Damage to Undead
+50 to Attack Rating against Undead
7% Mana stolen per hit
12% Life stolen per hit
Prevent Monster Heal
All Stats +30
+1 to Light Radius
Increase Maximum Durability 10%
Requirements -20%
Ethereal
6 Sockets (6 used)
Socketed: Vex Rune
Socketed: Hel Rune
Socketed: El Rune
Socketed: Eld Rune
Socketed: Zod Rune
Socketed: Eth Rune
 

ffs

Diabloii.Net Member
I have a perfect roll eBotD GPA too but IIRC it’s a tad slow for shifters.. Though I do believe it could reach 6 FPA with some off weapon IAS.

@J-Dog I think the reason we don’t see many is just because it’s more of a build you have (a lot of) fun with once but don’t run it much after. That and the fact that the most OP bear build is with Sorc, thanks to Dreams and Light Mastery. There's no feeling quite like hitting with 70k damage. :D
 

testyfish

Diabloii.Net Member
Guys, this is the second fire claws druid I've seen in as many days, and J's mane just dropped for my windy on hell pindle...
 

PhineasB

Diabloii.Net Member
@ffs yes, the Zod should be in the middle and the jewels should match, otherwise it hurts the eyes. I have no idea what Nano is talking about in value of keeping jewels together :p

In all seriousness, congrats on the nice Pat @NanoMist and thanks for the thorough write up. This build is now definitely on the to do list, and will be fun to use my eTomby again. I’ll need to think of some fun gear so it isn’t a carbon copy of Ash
 

maxicek

Moderator Single Player
Congratulations on the Patriarch. I also like the asymmetry on the Tomb Reaver socketing.


I wanted to keep the jewels together. :D I think 5 FPA is possible with Shael runes in non-eth Tomby, so some physical damage dps is made up there along with a dps increase on the fire damage.
Correct, 3 Shaels will make 5FPA, this is what I did on mine. Although I didn’t have a Eth one available then.
 

NanoMist

Diabloii.Net Member
@PhineasB Thanks, I can definitely recommend giving this build a try. Gear can be changed to focus more on either physical or fire damage, which ever one you prefer.
 

testyfish

Diabloii.Net Member
How exactly does maul charge affect damage if you're using fire claws? You get the bonuses? Part of them? I assume the FC and Maul bonuses are additive?
 
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