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Patriarch Jorah, a Bear Druid's journey

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by Naturallog, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. Naturallog

    Naturallog IncGamers Member

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    Let me preface this by saying I've never made a bear before and had no idea what I was doing. This was definitely the sloppiest build I've ever gotten to Patriarch. Oddly enough, it was also one of the easier ones. I learned a lot, and now know how to build a truly spectacular bear. I named my druid Jorah because I read too much of a certain book series, shoved some low level gear on him, and began his adventure.

    When I started playing Jorah I wanted to try out a bear druid with a bear companion, mostly because the few druids I played in the past were either elemental or fury wolf. I'd never really touched the summon tree except oak sage. What I ended up with was sort of a disaster, but somehow wasn't half bad to play. Most of the time it was pretty enjoyable, actually. I cleared a lot of areas I could have run through just because smacking stuff was fun. Anyway, here's how Jorah ended up after clearing Baal, with maul stacked and auras up:

    LCS.jpg

    Weapon- IK Maul
    Helm- Jalal's
    Armor- Durel's Shell
    Gloves- IK gloves
    Belt- IK belt
    Boots- IK boots
    Amulet- Highlord's
    Rings- two rares, one 5% ML one 8% LL.

    He has too much dex because I used Buriza for a while and wasn't sure where I was going with weapons. He also has a bunch of skills he doesn't use because I was trying stuff out. His skills:

    Summoning
    Raven- 1 (4)
    Oak Sage- 1 (4)
    Summon Spirit Wolf- 1 (4)
    Heart of Wolverine- 20 (23)
    Summon Dire Wolf- 20 (23)
    Summon Grizzly- 3 (6)

    Shape Shifting
    Werewolf- 1 (6)
    Lycanthropy- 5 (10)
    Werebear- 1 (6)
    Feral Rage- 1 (6)
    Maul- 1 (6)
    Rabies- 1 (6)
    Fire Claws- 16 (21)
    Hunger- 1 (6)
    Shock Wave- 10 (15)
    Fury- 1 (6)

    Elemental
    Firestorm- 1 (4)
    Molten Boulder- 1 (4)
    Fissure- 1 (4)
    Volcano- 4 (7)

    Hunger, fury, and rabies were essentially never used after I played around with them for a while in nightmare to compare with maul and fire claws. I liked fire claws + maul a lot more. Despite using maul most of the time, I never had spare points for it since I sunk so many in summoning. It turns out in Hell heart of wolverine dies all the time, the dire wolves are fragile and mostly good for eating corpses, and the grizzly is good for a meat shield sometimes.

    I got fire claws too late to help with the pile of physical immunes in Act 2, which was troublesome. I had Bonehew instead of the IK maul at the time too. Despite all the wasted points and lack of non-physical damage, the build actually held up well in Hell. With few changes it could even work untwinked, I think.

    Now I think I'll let Jorah sit until I can get him some proper gear. In the short run, finding IK armor would allow me to drop duriel's shell and switch the mana leech ring (since the gloves give 10% leech with 5 set pieces) for raven frost. Maybe if I find the runes I'll be able to make him a breath of the dying greater poleaxe, which combined with faith on an Act 1 merc gives 6fpa maul and fire claws with built in dual leech.

    Either way I'm dropping the summoning tree entirely from my spec. New spec will be:

    Lycanthropy- 10
    Werebear- 1 to 20
    Maul- 20
    Fire Claws- 20
    Shockwave- 10
    Prerequisites- 1pt each
    Fire Claws synergies- rest

    This is much more representative of how I actually played my bear. I mostly used maul for small packs to keep the bonus up, switching to fire claws (with added maul damage) for tougher enemies. Shockwave is used to stun large packs and keep mana drainers from being a problem. I can't decide if the extra damage and defense from wearbear is worth losing fire claw synergies though. Maybe I'll put 10 in it as a compromise. Either way I'm not selling out for max fire damage. I like my life leech too much.
     
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  2. Zylo

    Zylo IncGamers Member

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    Very slick looking Druid. Did you look at the Aldur's set at all? I think this build is one of the rare cases where the set is actually a viable option. I'll be looking foward to seeing his update post, with him swinging a big ol' botd around.;) Well done.
     
  3. TheNix

    TheNix IncGamers Member

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    Congrats. It's been a while since I've made a bear but I've always used Shock Wave. Stun everything then Maul your way through their stunned bodies. Ahh, it is a great skill!

    EDIT: I've had the idea to make a shock wave bear, fury wolf hybrid. Stun them with SW, change to a wolf and go all Fury on their arses!!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2015
  4. Naturallog

    Naturallog IncGamers Member

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    Aldur's would be an option but I do not have the armor and it would mean wearing a shield. I actually used Aldur's mace for a while, but blocking interrupted my attacks more than I liked. I chose IK for its very strong partial set bonuses, and because I happened to find a perfect 40% CB IK maul and figured I should give it a home.

    The BotD might be a while. I do have one Cham, however I lack a good eth base. If I get lucky in Travincal I'll make it a priority though.
     
  5. Naturallog

    Naturallog IncGamers Member

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    Shockwave is amazing and I'm so sorry it took me this long to learn about it. Bears be like RAWR then everything stops moving:

    Shockwave.jpg
     
  6. LiquidClear

    LiquidClear IncGamers Member

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    I applaud your bear ingenuity. My next two projects involve some bear dominance, so I'm all in favor!
     
  7. maxicek

    maxicek Moderator Single Player

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    Congratulations on the Patriarch, nice to see one with gear all findable from Hell Meph. Don't see many of those these days.

    Great choice of name too, very appropriate. If only you had a blonde rogue merc :)

    If you are looking to upgrade the weapon, eth Oath Feral Axe hits 7FPA IIRC. Or 3 Shael Tomb Reaver of course.
     
  8. TreeOfSmoke

    TreeOfSmoke IncGamers Member

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    Having watched too much of a certain TV series, I really like the name :p
     
  9. JoeBruce

    JoeBruce IncGamers Member

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    I assume your respec skills would be along the lines of an untwinked build, but are there any specific recommendations you might make for that? I have an untwinked bear druid in early NM; shockwave is his saving grace. I was planning on not maxing out lycanthropy or wearbear and dumping points into fire claws & synergies, which appears to be the primary skill for your play-style. And I dislike 1-dimensional characters. Everything must die.

    It would have to be a fire rogue ;)

    That would actually be a great merc with this build using Heart of the Wolverine. Spirits are tricky, but a little management can keep them beneficial through the end game.
     
  10. Naturallog

    Naturallog IncGamers Member

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    If I had to go about this untwinked, I would trim the summoning tree to just 10-15 in dire wolf and 1 in grizzly to help take a little damage. Plus the wolves eat corpses which is useful at times. For the rest I'd max fire claws, go with about 10 in lycanthropy and shockwave, then spend the remaining points on a fire claws synergy and either heart of wolverine or maul. Heart of wolverine has to be maxed if you take it, otherwise it's even more fragile.

    Because of the summoning tree and fire claws, the build likes +skill gear a lot more than other melee builds. Using a spirit weapon and splendor shield on swap is helpful to summon. Skin of the vipermagi is actually really good as well. I played around with it for a while, it makes shockwave a lot faster on top of the resists and +skill.

    EDIT: I forgot to mention, I found a second Cham so I now have Breath of the Dying runes but no suitable base. I also have a good 4os superior ward bow for Faith. Seems like its only a matter of time before Jorah turns into a monster.
     
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  11. Maltatai

    Maltatai IncGamers Member

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    How can a character with such a start be anything but awesome! Any ideas of how to make the summoned minions last longer, apart from more to skills?

    It would seem that the only remaining option is to hang around as close as possible to Malah all the time...
     
  12. Naturallog

    Naturallog IncGamers Member

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    Oak sage instead of heart of wolverine, or CtA. I didn't test oak sage, and I'm not really a fan of either since bear can already get piles of health from lycanthropy easily, but if you want your wolf pack to last those are your options. You might also try a holy freeze merc instead of might, but that's a lot of damage to trade off for a slowing effect.
     

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