Patriarch Syrtis Major - Doom/Phoenix Fury Wolf

TopHatCat64

Diabloii.Net Member
Stats

Code:
Lvl 87

Fury Damage: 3969-9175 (w/ Might)
Firestorm Damage: 1266-1470 per second
Volcano Damage: 224-231 physical damage, 382-394 fire damage per fire ball
Armageddon Damage: 2709-3137

Life: 3535 (w/ BO and Werewolf)
Resists: 81 F, 41 C, 79 L, 42 P
Str: 106 | Dex: 20 | Vit: 379
Skills

20 Fury
20 Fissure
20 Molten Boulder
20 Armageddon
8 Lycanthrophy

Gear

Code:
Jalal's Mane '15 res all jewel'
Mara's
eth 'Doom' Berserker Axe
'Fortitude' Archon Plate
'Phoenix' Monarch
Laying of Hands
String of Ears
Gore Rider
Viper Grip rare ring*
Raven Frost
Switch: Beta CTA / eth 'Spirit' Monarch

Merc: eth 'Infinity' CA / 'Fortitude' Archon Plate / Andariel's Visage 'fire res jewel of ias'

Charms (combined stats): 76 life, 75 min damage, 26 max damage, 14% frw, 6 str, 10% cold resist, 27% LR, 11% PR

Viper Grasp
Ring
Required Level: 74
Fingerprint: 0x7344057e
Item Level: 86
Version: Expansion 1.10+
+94 to Attack Rating
6% Mana stolen per hit
+19 to Strength
+3 to Energy
Lightning Resist +21%
The Planning Stage

I'm a big fan of ctc builds, so bcoe's Tyto_Alba has been my holy grail ever since I came upon it in the Pat/Mat thread. Wide coverage fire damage paired with 2 defensive auras in a stylish fur coat - sounds really fun. I was eager to compare how well this build did versus the variety of other melee ctc builds I've tried. After about a year of accumulating rune wealth, I finally had a chance to see for myself.

When I name a character, I always want there to be some connection with the way the build plays, the skills it uses, or particularly important piece of gear. All the fire that would be erupting around this character led me to name him Syrtis Major, after an ancient volcano on Mars.

Leveling and Observations

Initially, my build followed bcoe's to a T. Skill-wise I also followed the same path of max Fissure/Molten Boulder/Lycanthropy/Fury. His plan seemed very sound on paper and he'd actually tested it in-game.

In my experience, however, Volcano was not feeling powerful enough to me. I really wanted Volcano (and Firestorm) to feel like the stars of the show, since they are what truly sets this build apart from any other Fury Wolf. Firestorm, with its concentrated cone of fire firing off in front of me, was a strong and consistent source of fire damage. Volcano, with it's randomly spewing fireballs, felt rather weak. Even when the Volcano erupted directly underneath a stationary enemy (best case scenario for the skill), it still wasn't doing enough damage to make the skill feel powerful to me.

bcoe had mentioned that he had considered Armageddon (Volcano's third synergy) as his fifth major skill investment, but never actually tried it. I decided to go this route when I respecced and pushed it even further by shifting points away from Lycanthropy to max out Armageddon. I justified the loss of life and Werewolf up-time by my usage of a beta CTA on switch, I still had over 3000 life after the respec, and I was constantly unshifting to reapply BC and BO.

In practice, Max Armageddon/Fissure/MB/Fury felt right to me. Volcano, while still the weakest of my 3 fire skills, was finally pulling its weight by softening up mobs or single large monsters. Firestorm dished out the majority of my fire damage in steady bursts that melted enemies even at Hell p8. I was already in melee range, so Armageddon's character-centered rain of fire worked perfectly in adding another source of hard-hitting fire damage. I'd say my fire damage breakdown was about 50% Firestorm, 30% Armageddon, 20% Volcano.

All this talk about offense, how'd this wolf feel defensively? Well, I definitely sacrificed some life by not maxing Lycanthropy and it directly lead to one of my 2 deaths when I unshifted right in the middle of a pack of abominables. My first death was completely avoidable when I decided to keep attacking Sszark the Burning while down to about 300 life and cursed...:oops:. Doom's Holy Freeze aura and freeze target definitely reduced a decent amount of incoming damage, but Phoenix's Redemption aura was not returning enough life to make much of a difference, as I played most of Hell on p8.

One of the common questions for this build (and in general when it comes to Phoenix) is how the casting delay of Firestorm affects the smoothness of gameplay. The delay seemed to fit neatly in the space of time it takes for one Fury to finish and another to start, so it doesn't feel clunky at all. I will say though that the attacking delay caused by Phoenix's CTC Firestorm is much more noticeable when using a faster, single hit attack like Feral Rage.

The Doom/Phoenix Fury Wolf is a part of a larger family of melee builds that utilize CTC skills to further boost their area of damage beyond the tips of their weapons. VoR/Riftadins, Necro's using Bone/Oath, Wind Wolfs, Liquid Evil's Earthshifter Fury Wolf. These build all help to somewhat negate the classic weakness of all melee builds - only hurting monsters in a small area around you. I'd say this particular build is one of the strongest in the family, since it affects so much of the screen at once with more then one spell.
 
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Albatross

Diabloii.Net Member
One of the common questions for this build (and in general when it comes to Phoenix) is how the casting delay of Firestorm affects the smoothness of gameplay. The delay seemed to fit neatly in the space of time it takes for one Fury to finish and another to start, so it doesn't feel clunky at all. I will say though that the attacking delay caused by Phoenix's CTC Firestorm is much more noticeable when using a faster, single attack like Feral Rage.
I remember being annoyed by delays way back when I used to play around with some CtC builds. Does this mean that procs only occur on the first swing of fury? That's actually quite convenient.
 

T72on1

Diabloii.Net Member
Nice to read your take on this build so shortly after I finished mine. Congrats !!
 

TopHatCat64

Diabloii.Net Member
I remember being annoyed by delays way back when I used to play around with some CtC builds. Does this mean that procs only occur on the first swing of fury? That's actually quite convenient.
@Albatross I decided to do a little testing. I took off Doom, put Fury on right click, went up to Hell Baal at p8, and held down right click on him. My Fury was pretty slow without a weapon in my hand so I could clearly see when I was making individual hits. As far as I could tell, I never had any hiccups even though Fury kept redding out due to Firestorm's casting delay.
 
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mir

Diabloii.Net Member
Congrats, very interesting char especially since I also like to utilize CtC effects.
 

Brak

Diabloii.Net Member
Armageddon is also a great thematic choice for CtC builds. The screen is filled with all the things

@Albatross, in my experience, the cast delay can be triggered by any strike in the chain. I've only used with with a Fury Druid and Kicksin, but assume it would apply to other builds like Zealot and Strafer
 

TopHatCat64

Diabloii.Net Member
Great write-up. Any future plans for him?
Not at the moment. I have a defensive-oriented character in my wolfbarb Champ that I've invested a ton of time and resources and I've been searching for an offensive counterpart that I also want to invest in. I was hoping this guy was going to be it, but he's just a tad too fragile for me.

@all Thanks for reading, the congrats, and sharing your thoughts! :)
 
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