Diabloii.Net Member


Here's a build I've had some fun with. I seriously doubt if anybody else will want to squander their time and rune wealth on this but I'm posting it for discussion anyhow.

[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Phoenixzon [/FONT](complete at 90th level; 101 points)

Phoenixzons are Fire and Lightning hybrid zons. Like other hybrids (e.g. gunslinger and fishyzons) they can pretty much go anywhere and give any bad guy a bloody nose. Like Immozons they still get their kicks from seeing things burn ofc but they also rely heavily on lightning and physical damage to get the job done. Constant use of Phoenix means that these zons don't typically suffer from mana depletion, unless fighting bosses. You may find the constant casting of firestorm a little frustrating but you'll get used to it and it shouldn't slow you down too much.

This build is VERY equipment dependent – you’ll need to invest into the Phoenix runeword ..twice for a purist build. Not surprisingly there aren’t many true Phoenixzons in Non-ladder (but see later).
Note that this build is a fun and versatile play – you won’t be doing as much damage as some of the more usual builds but you won’t struggle in hell by any means.

[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Skills[/FONT]
All passive (1 pts) except Valkyrie – 9 (=> level 11/13)
Valkyrie – 5 (=> level 15/17)
Jav skill prerequisites - 5 (=> level 15)
Lightning Fury – 20 (=> level 34)
Charged Strike – 20 (=> level 34)
Magic Arrow – 1 (=> level 17)
Multiple Shot – 1 (=> level 17)
Fire Arrow – 20 (=> level 36)
Exploding Arrow – 20 (=> level 36)

N.B. You may still use some of these 1-pointers, e.g. slow missiles.

Skills beyond 90th level go into passive skills unless you want to spend 3 points getting Freezing arrow. Guided arrow may be worth a punt for 1 point too. If you want to be able to play without depending on your torch then spend 3 more points on valk.


Assuming the equipment suggested below you’ll have between 105 and 130 strength when using your shield before adding anything and you need 156 strength for a monarch (lowest req. shield for a phoenix) so spend 0-51 points on strength dependent on your anni, torch, Andy’s and strength added from your small charms and skillers. Remember that anything you can save on strength can be put into dexterity.
Nothing in mana. A bit of life will be handy but is optional, so spend another 0-50 odd points here. All of the rest (385+) can go into dex to beef up your physical damage. You should end up with somewhere around 500 dex.

[FONT=Arial, sans-serif]Ideal Equipment[/FONT]
Weapon/Shield - Phoenix Matri (+3 bow) / Phoenix monarch, Eth titans (+2 zon; +2 spear)
Armour - Chains of Honor AP (+2 levels; +65 res etc.)
Helm - Andy Visage soc: +15% IAS jewel (+35% IAS; +2 skills)
Charms - Anni (+1 skill); Torch (+3 skills); 3+ bow skillers (+3 bow)
Boots - Rares with good resists and FRW (or Infernostride or Nat's Boots)
Gloves - Laying of Hands (+20% IAS)
Belt - Razortail (Thundergod’s Vigor in stash)
Rings - Ravenfrost, SoJ (+1 skill)
Amulet - Highlord’s (+1 skill; +20% IAS)

SKILLS: +16 bow; +14 spear; +10 passive (+12 on switch)
Bow IAS: +75%

Resists will be very good in this build – max resists (which are achievable) are 85/75/80/85 when using titan's and 75/75/75/85 when using a bow.

Any act2 merc will be fine, preferably with Infinity.

The Non-Phoenix Phoenixzon

For Non-ladder or when your ladder necro friends are getting really frustrated at the lack of corpses. You can still use the name as it’ll refer to a return from the ashes of a build popular in the past ..err or something.
Anyway, swap out the bow for a Hand of Justice Matri; swap the shield out for a lightning faceted monarch and swap the merc infinity (or whatever else you were using) for an insight. Sorted. The 33% IAS on the Hand of Justice will take your attack speed to the next level (quite literally) and the merc insight should nearly be enough to feed your mana addiction in Phoenix’s absence. If you find that you’re regularly running out of mana then you may consider replacing the SoJ for a mana boosting ring and swapping out a few charms for some mana boosting charms. Also, you could try interspersing magic arrow or normal arrows with your expensive and explosive arrows until you find your right balance.


Use both fire skills – fire arrow is very nice against physical immunes.
If you can’t leech mana from your redemption aura, e.g. when fighting bosses then you’re going to need to supplement your mana craving, even with the 14% mana leech from the bow. Keep a handy supply of blues or purples to hand. It is worth keeping a merc insight in the stash. Also keep a Thundergod's in your stash for when you want to sue CS on a particularly tough boss.
In rare instances you may want to disable your redemption aura so that you can leave a trail of bodies to help you in a forthcoming boss battle. The only way to do this is to temporarily swap out one of your phoenixes - which one you swap out will probably depend on what you anticipate meeting.

When levelling use a Kuko or any bow you can get your hands on until you can get a Harmony. A Manald heal ring and other heavy duty leeching will be necessary until you can get your phoenix. Maxing Ligntning fury early on is also a good idea – it’s a very impressive spell even at mid levels and it will likely be your preferred mode of attack in normal and nightmare difficulty.
At very low levels DEATH gloves + belt work well and may be preferable to sigons as you don’t need a high str for these. Socketing normal bows and aquiring cheap unique bows will see you in good stead as you may not be able to fire constant explosive arrows for long, so normal arrows need to do decent damage.




Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Phoenixzon

Only problem I see, is dropping games with torch and LF (and that other firestorm to..) But this seems more like the type of build you make to go PvMing for yourself, and having fun while doing so. Guess you quickly get used to how much LF you can spam before dropping..

And maybe BK as a cheaper alternative to Soj?
How about adding a few +allres bowskiller GC's in inventory as well? That could leave room for an optional enigma or something other funky, but the physical part would suffer quite a bit. How much would you say you rely on physical damage?

Would love to try it...but as you said, this is quite an expensive build. Maybe sometime though--

Kudos for messing with the Firetree :thumbsup:


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Phoenixzon

Hi MuffinMan,

Yeah, it's probably best to build your zon without reliance on the torch but thats probably good advice for other builds too.

I mostly play solo with this char but I can only recall dropping from one public game - maybe I've just been lucky? I don't use strafe on this build - maybe that's whats helping?

I think SoJ works better but good idea to use a BK if you want to. Thanks.

I guess I rely on physical quite a bit but with no need to really boost str or mana or health (unless you reallly want to) you're going to do lots of physical damage anyhow - don't fight it; embrace it :grin: