Patriarch Lupus, Fury/Rabies Druid I got bit by the D2 bug again and after I had satisfied by thirst of MFing Mephisto to death with my Blizzsorc, I decided to finish off my Fury druid who was sitting in the middle of Act II at level 77. I first used him to run Hell countess (he had a nice Black Marsh map) about 100 times hoping to get at least a Mal for Sanctuary with no luck. Even if I had, I was having bad luck with base items (both shields and armors). I decided I could go ahead and finish Hell difficulty with the gear he had on. Skills Breakdown: Werewolf 2 (7) -- 1 "oops" point Lycanthropy 12 (17) Feral Rage 1 (6) Rabies 20 (25) Fury 20 (25) Poison Creeper 20 (22) Oak Sage 1 (3) Heart of Wolverine 20 (22) Stats shown here at Baal's corpse Not shown: Rabies Damage: 447-848, 7282-7672 poison over 13.6 seconds Rabies AR: 9279 Block chance: 75% MF: 33% FRW: 33% FHR: 70% IAS: 30% Gear: Spoiler Lupus's Jalal's Mane Totemic Mask Defense: 268 Durability: 20 of 20 Required Level: 42 Required Strength: 65 Fingerprint: 0xc2437b4d Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +2 to Shape-Shifting Skills (Druid Only) +2 to Druid Skill Levels +30% Faster Hit Recovery 20% Bonus to Attack Rating +171% Enhanced Defense +20 to Strength +20 to Energy All Resistances +30 Damage Reduced by 7 +5 to Mana after each Kill 1 Sockets (1 used) Socketed: Sol Rune The Mahim-Oak Curio Amulet Required Level: 25 Fingerprint: 0xcfa725d0 Item Level: 59 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 10% Bonus to Attack Rating +10% Enhanced Defense +10 Defense All Stats +10 All Resistances +10 Duriel's Shell Cuirass Defense: 686 Durability: 150 of 150 Required Level: 41 Required Strength: 65 Fingerprint: 0x3cea86ff Item Level: 85 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +186% Enhanced Defense +106 Defense (Based on Character Level) +15 to Strength +85 to Life (Based on Character Level) Cold Resist +30% All Resistances +20 Cannot Be Frozen +100 Maximum Durability Raven Frost Ring Required Level: 45 Fingerprint: 0x193adf00 Item Level: 59 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +241 to Attack Rating Adds 15 - 45 Cold Damage Over 4 Secs (100 Frames) +19 to Dexterity +40 to Mana Cold Absorb 20% Cannot Be Frozen Carrion Wind Ring Required Level: 60 Fingerprint: 0xc67bd1a7 Item Level: 68 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 10% Chance to cast level 10 Poison Nova when struck 8% Chance to cast level 13 Twister on striking 7% Life stolen per hit +154 Defense vs. Missile Poison Resist +55% 10% Damage Taken Goes To Mana Level 21 Poison Creeper (15/15 Charges) Verdungo's Hearty Cord Mithril Coil Defense: 137 Durability: 16 of 16 Required Level: 63 Required Strength: 106 Fingerprint: 0x71c6fc29 Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +10% Faster Hit Recovery +108% Enhanced Defense +35 to Vitality Replenish Life +12 +107 Maximum Stamina Damage Reduced by 15% Gore Rider War Boots Defense: 144 Durability: 34 of 34 Required Level: 47 Required Strength: 94 Fingerprint: 0xbc1d423f Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +30% Faster Run/Walk 15% Chance of Crushing Blow 15% Deadly Strike 10% Chance of Open Wounds +168% Enhanced Defense +20 Maximum Stamina Requirements -25% +10 Maximum Durability Bloodfist Sharkskin Gloves Defense: 54 Durability: 14 of 14 Required Level: 30 Required Strength: 20 Fingerprint: 0x8c82c1f8 Item Level: 79 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +10% Increased Attack Speed +30% Faster Hit Recovery +5 to Minimum Damage +14% Enhanced Defense +10 Defense +40 to Life Required Level +5 Lightsabre Phase Blade One Hand Damage: ** - 118 Indestructible Required Level: 58 Required Strength: 25 Required Dexterity: 136 Fingerprint: 0xe503ef70 Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 5% Chance to cast level 18 Chain Lightning on attack +20% Increased Attack Speed 153% Enhanced Damage Adds 10 - 30 Damage Ignore Target's Defense Adds 60 - 120 Magic Damage Adds 1 - 200 Lightning Damage 7% Mana stolen per hit Lightning Absorb 25% +7 to Light Radius Moser's Blessed Circle Round Shield Defense: 174 Chance to Block: 37 Durability: 64 of 64 Required Level: 47 Required Strength: 53 Fingerprint: 0x4f2ad884 Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +30% Faster Block Rate 25% Increased Chance of Blocking +211% Enhanced Defense All Resistances +69 2 Sockets (2 used) Socketed: Um Rune Socketed: Um Rune Charms: Spoiler Gheed's Fortune Grand Charm Required Level: 62 Fingerprint: 0x5c9db09d Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 142% Extra Gold from Monsters Reduces all Vendor Prices 15% 33% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items Russet Small Charm of Vita Small Charm Required Level: 39 Fingerprint: 0xcb49d861 Item Level: 61 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +16 to Life Fire Resist +6% Ruby Small Charm Small Charm Required Level: 32 Fingerprint: 0xea6ed27d Item Level: 79 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Fire Resist +11% Ruby Small Charm Small Charm Required Level: 32 Fingerprint: 0xa2f54165 Item Level: 61 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Fire Resist +11% Spiritual Grand Charm Grand Charm Required Level: 42 Fingerprint: 0xd07f93ca Item Level: 52 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +1 to Shape-Shifting Skills (Druid Only) Coral Small Charm of Thunder Small Charm Required Level: 25 Fingerprint: 0x2119f28f Item Level: 52 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Adds 1 - 14 Lightning Damage Lightning Resist +9% Coral Small Charm of Inertia Small Charm Required Level: 27 Fingerprint: 0x74697503 Item Level: 55 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +3% Faster Run/Walk Lightning Resist +8% Amber Small Charm of Life Small Charm Required Level: 32 Fingerprint: 0x4422e10f Item Level: 84 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +8 to Life Lightning Resist +10% Mercenary: Act II Might Spoiler Tal Rasha's Horadric Crest Death Mask Defense: 124 Durability: 20 of 20 Required Level: 66 Required Strength: 55 Fingerprint: 0x6a5385fa Item Level: 59 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 10% Mana stolen per hit 10% Life stolen per hit +45 Defense +60 to Life +30 to Mana All Resistances +15 Duriel's Shell Cuirass Defense: 660 Durability: 150 of 150 Required Level: 41 Required Strength: 65 Fingerprint: 0xe051d9ad Item Level: 59 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +173% Enhanced Defense +106 Defense (Based on Character Level) +15 to Strength +85 to Life (Based on Character Level) Cold Resist +30% All Resistances +20 Cannot Be Frozen +100 Maximum Durability Insight Grim Scythe RalTirTalSol Two Hand Damage: 146 - 320 Durability: 28 of 28 Required Level: 27 Required Strength: 130 Required Dexterity: 130 Fingerprint: 0xe85594e4 Item Level: 75 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Level 14 Meditation Aura When Equipped +35% Faster Cast Rate 205% Enhanced Damage +9 to Minimum Damage 208% Bonus to Attack Rating Adds 5 - 30 Fire Damage Adds 75 Poison Damage Over 5 Secs (125 Frames) +2 to Critical Strike All Stats +5 +2 to Mana after each Kill 23% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items Ethereal 4 Sockets (4 used) Socketed: Ral Rune Socketed: Tir Rune Socketed: Tal Rune Socketed: Sol Rune This guy was definitely a blast to play. All of Hell was done on p1, though I probably could have upped that without too much hassle. I flew through Act III without any issues. The undead dolls only occassionally chipped off moderate portions of my life. Mephisto killed the merc about halfway through the fight, and didn't drop anything interesting. Act IV was slightly more difficult. Plains of Despair spawned Gloams, Balrogs and Stranglers. The Gloams weren't much of a hassle. 75% LR and 25% absorb were enough to let me take plenty of shots before I closed in on them. I had my first death here when taking on a boss pack of Balrogs and Stranglers that quickly dispatched my merc and I was completely surrounded like an idiot. The rest of the Act wasn't too bad besides the tons of poison immune bugs I had to wade through on the way to the Chaos Sanctuary. The Sanctuary itself was cake. The Oblivion Knights are so much easier without Iron Maiden. Top that off with being able to still catch up to them while Decrepified (thanks to Feral Rage), they weren't much of a threat. Infector and De Seis had to be handled carefully because at this point my mercenary really struggled to remain alive. Diablo was wiped out with many smacks with, again, nothing notable to show for it. Act V was both fun and a horrible pain. The worst monster rolls I could get were Ghosts (PI, PoI) and Witches (PI...though only some) and I saw my fair share. The open areas featured may Slingers, some Death Brawlers, a few Witches, and, only once, Skeleton Archers. Witch boss packs usually meant a few trips back to town to revive the merc. The Frozen River was the worst area of the whole Act. I got Witches, Ghosts, and Gloams. I decided to go ahead with it and not re-roll the map, because the Witches here weren't PI. A second death occured here while re-entering an area after a merc revival. A boss Witch with Multi-shot, plus a Ghost boss pack did me in. Finally, Anya was saved after a few wimpy Yetis dropped to the ground. The ghost boss pack with them hurt worse. While heading down to kill Nihlathak, I found much more use for Rabies. It's spots like this were the skill really shines. I finally encountered some Frenzytaurs on the second level, but barring really nasty mods, they weren't too scary--it was mostly a matter of drawing a few out at a time and trying to tank most of them myself to keep the merc alive. And tanking them wasn't really that hard, even if amp'd, thanks to max block, moderately decent AR, and fully charged Feral Rage. The mobs in the hallway before Nihlathak's chamber were worse than the fight with Nihlathak himself. I got PI witches and PI/PoI ghost apes. Lightsaber was able to deal enough magical damage to kill them, but it was very rough on the merc's life and my own. Nihlathak's minions were drawn out with Heart of the Wolverine and killed at a safe distance. When almost all of them were down, I headed straight for Nihlathak and started whacking away. There were still a few mobs in the room that were killed by the mercenary, but I kept away from the corpses. He went down just after I took one corpse explosion (was just close enough to a corpse) which took away about 90% of my life thanks to amp damage. I got to the ancients after dispatching a bunch of skelly mages, flayers, and rogues. Piece of cake. First spawn had one Cursed. Second spawn also did, but I'd already singled out and killed one, so I thought I could handle it. Merc went down and I got whirled a few times to death. Third spawn was easy, just a bunch of elemental damage I could barely feel. Madawc was Stone Skin, so he was just prolonging his death. The WSK wasn't too difficult. The worst I got was Oblivion Knights, Flayer shooters, and Frenzytaurs. Carefully singling out the most dangerous packs, I got through without anything too terrible happening, besides multiple mercenary resurrections. The Throne room was a pain, but not as bad as the Frozen River. I had Witches (not-PI), Gloams (PI), and Mummies. The poor merc had no PDR and bit the dust quite a few times. The scariest section was in the Throne Room proper that hosted a Conviction Mummy pack surrounded by Gloams. The gloams were fortunately willing to follow me away from the Mummies after much coaxing. The minions were dispatched quite easily. Only the last 2 groups needed to be separated. Baal was taken down without a Kelpie Snare because I didn't really need it. Any mana lost was quickly regained by merc's Insight. He didn't even feel like bringing in his double. As you can see from the screenie above, he didn't give up anything useful either. Final Thoughts: Again, this character was a blast to play. The only problems are PI/PoI monsters. Rabies can kill PI monsters, but not fast enough to rely just on it. I was able to play recklessly, barely returning to town to get rid of amp curses because I could tank most of the damage well enough. Notable finds: I got a +3 sorc skill Ondal's Wisdom during a Countess Run. Hellforge got me a Ko. :rant: This druid will most likely spent some time running some lvl 85 areas, more Countess Runs, and ultimately more Baal runs. He may be top pick if I decide to go for level 99...unless I make a bear. Next up? I've got a Meteorb 1 Act away from Matriarch to join the druid, my other sorceress (respec'd to Orb/nova), and my LF/PJ zon. Then there's multiple toons sitting in mid/late/done normal: WW barb, Wind Druid, Fishymancer, Phoenix Striker, Hammerdin. Number one goal is more MF, and more rune hunting! And once I've got more into the swing of things, starting HC again. Thanks for reading and have a great day!