Patriarch Matau - Brand-wielding Necro Bear

TopHatCat64

Diabloii.Net Member
Stats

Code:
Lvl 82

Normal Attack: 1203-1450 (w/ Might)
Bone Spear: 1108-1174

Life: 2514 (as a Werebear)
Resists: 75 F, 18 C, 80 L, 33 P
Str: 95 | Dex: 76 | Vit: 304
Skills
20 Bone Spirit
20 Teeth
20 Bone Wall
20 Bone Prison
10 Bone Armor
1 Clay Golem

Gear

Code:
Guillaume's Face 'all res jewel w/ dex'
Mara's Kaleidoscope
'Brand' Demon Crossbow
'Fortitude' Archon Plate
Havoc Hand crafted gloves*
String of Ears
Gore Rider
Beast Gyre rare ring*
Raven Frost
Switch: eth 'Beast' Berserker Axe / eth 'Spirit' Monarch

Merc: eth 'Infinity' CA / 'Fortitude' Archon Plate / Crown of Thieves 'ias jewel'

Charms (combined stats): 198 life, 84 fire res, 76 light res, 31 poison res, 10 cold res, 32 min damage, 10% fhr, 7 dex

Havoc Hand
Heavy Gloves
Defense: 10
Durability: 10 of 14
Required Level: 73
Fingerprint: 0x5d9c3b90
Item Level: 92
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+20% Increased Attack Speed
2% Life stolen per hit
7% Chance of Crushing Blow
+55% Enhanced Defense
+15 to Strength
+19 to Life
Lightning Resist +12%

Beast Gyre
Ring
Required Level: 69
Fingerprint: 0x213c44c2
Item Level: 89
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+2 to Minimum Damage
6% Life stolen per hit
+15 to Strength
+17 to Life
+1 to Mana after each Kill
The Planning Stage

In my last mat thread, ffs suggested that:
A physical melee Bear Necro with synergized Bone Spear CtC is on my to do list, though because of the knockback I'll most likely go with Bonehew.
Sounds pretty cool! Let's give it a whirl.

I made a necro bear 7 years ago that also utilized CTC bone spirit and spirit with Oath and Bone, so I was interested in comparing play styles between the two builds.

In keeping with the Southern Pacific theme I established with Tilafaiga, Matau is named after the bone hooks used by the Maori people of New Zealand.

Leveling and Observations

This guy was a lot more powerful then my previous necro bear for a couple reasons:
  • Much higher physical damage output - Oath attacks a lot faster (6 fpa) than Brand (8fpa), but the added damage from Fortitude, Brand's amp proc, and the might merc, the added deadly strike from Brand and Gores, and the extra crushing blow from my blood gloves and Gores meant my overall physical damage output was a lot higher. I wasn't able to pack on all that extra damage on my last necro bear because I had to sacrifice a lot of gear slots for survival (Drac's, res belt, res boots) and a better hit chance (Angelic amulet and ring, BA merc)
  • Much better chance to hit - Of course, all that extra physical damage goes to waste if I can't hit anything. Without Brand's ITD and Infinity's conviction aura, all I had was about 980 AR with my final gear :eek:. With the two, I could consistently hit everything from trash mobs to act bosses. That freed up the merc and some extra gear slots for the aforementioned added damage.
  • All the life leech I needed (without Drac's) - All that added physical damage and high chance to hit, coupled with 21% life leech from my blood gloves, rare ring, and String of Ears, meant I no longer needed Drac's to survive in Hell. I was able to leech back all the life I needed without having to continually drink potions.
  • More consistent magic damage - Oath fires off bone spirits 30% of the time, Bone fires off bone spears 15% of the time. Brand blasts off spears 100% of the time. That consistency meant I could always count on firing off a ton of spears when I started attacking.
Enough with comparisons, how did this guy play?

For a character with Werebear and a weak Bone Armor as his only defensive skills, I felt surprisingly safe. So safe, in fact, that I manage to go through the game without dying (I know all you HC folks are laughing right now :D), but that rarely happens with my non-barb characters, even when I'm packed to the gills with defensive gear.

Part of that safety was actually due to the knockback on Brand. Before I started this guy, I was thinking I'd have to grit my teeth and just deal with the annoyance of KB, but it turned out to actually be a benefit on this character. Against single enemies, I could stun-lock them against a wall and against groups, the knockbacks helped keep me from being totally surrounded. There must be some kind of formula for knockback, because it's definitely not 100% of the time (THAT would have drove me bonkers).

As a necrobear, I could only use normal attacks, but that had its upsides when I squared off with ghosts - probably the monster type I least like encountering. Usually, the mana leeching from ghosts means you're forced into an annoying attack-mana-potion-attack-mana-potion sequence. With normal attack, I don't need any mana! The other aggravating thing about ghosts is how they stack on top of each other, so you get hit by 10 of them at once. Bone spear's auto-pierce meant that I could blast through any number of ghosts with each attack. Tack on my amp proc breaking their physical immunity and ghosts were no trouble at all. *Bustin' makes me feel good!*

Finally, as a melee character, proccing Brand's amp damage felt a lot more natural this time around. Amp went off very consistently, probably even more so then with my previous bowazon, since I was in front of my merc more often.
 
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ffs

Diabloii.Net Member
Very cool indeed! Not sure when I’ll build mine since I need to finish my 99er Necro first and then have a couple of other projects in the pipeline. ;) But it will be interesting to compare since as stated in my post quoted above I’ll probably take the Bonewhew route.

I considered Zodding an eth Bonehew even, but it needs 2x Shael to hit 8 FPA in bear form... could still make sense but seems a bit too much of a niche use to spend a Zod on. :) I think the main difference will be lower damage from BS but in turn higher physical damage from Bonehew since Brand is a bit on the low side even when accounting for permanent Amp. I’m hoping Infinity & Sharp GC inventory will take care of AR issues.

Anyway, great character and I’ll let you know how it worked out once I tried my spin on this guy. ;)
 

TopHatCat64

Diabloii.Net Member
Really interesting build! Thought I knew most builds, but this is new to me o_O
Thanks! Necros are my least favorite class, I find them very vanilla usually with nearly every build becoming a vehicle for CE. Going through the game as a bear definitely adds some spice!

Very cool indeed! Not sure when I’ll build mine since I need to finish my 99er Necro first and then have a couple of other projects in the pipeline. ;) But it will be interesting to compare since as stated in my post quoted above I’ll probably take the Bonewhew route.

I considered Zodding an eth Bonehew even, but it needs 2x Shael to hit 8 FPA in bear form... could still make sense but seems a bit too much of a niche use to spend a Zod on. :) I think the main difference will be lower damage from BS but in turn higher physical damage from Bonehew since Brand is a bit on the low side even when accounting for permanent Amp. I’m hoping Infinity & Sharp GC inventory will take care of AR issues.

Anyway, great character and I’ll let you know how it worked out once I tried my spin on this guy. ;)
I'm looking forward to seeing how your Bonehew necrobear does! Infinity does work wonders for attack rating. Without at least Infinity or an ITD weapon, necrobears really struggle to achieve a decent to-hit percentage.

Very nice character ! Congrats on another pat.
Thanks!

Very fun! :D Any footage by chance?
Thanks! No footage unfortunately, I have no clue how to record any of my gaming, haha.

Congrats on another interesting build. Keep ‘em coming!
Thanks Zylo, I think I've run out of build ideas for now, so I'll probably run Trav and LK for the time being to build up all the rune wealth I exhausted to kit out my recent mat/pats. (I was building a fury wolf around Brand, but he just wasn't that fun in comparison to the crazier builds I had been using it on, so he's been shelved for now).
 
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