Physical Bowazon

DwayneGAnd

Diabloii.Net Member
I just beat normal difficulty with a Physical Bowazon. She's currently level 47 with Strafe maxed and with Guided Arrow at level 17. She is using a Zephyr Cedar Bow and Edge Stag Bow on swap (this is where I needed the rune word mod).

I enjoyed this build than the concentrator. This time, I actually had some crowd control ability. Spamming Strafe to mow down crowds of enemies was a lot of fun. I used Edge for the life leech and thorns aura while Zephyr was my main damage dealer throughout the rest of the game. I did have some slight struggles with the prime evils, but nothing too serious. I can't count how many times I had to resummon my valkyrie against Diablo.

Here is what I have planned for her endgame:

Helmet: Guillaume's Face (crushing blow and deadly strike)
Amulet: Highlord's Wrath (increased attack speed, deadly strike, and skill level)
Armor: Fortitude Archon Plate (increased damage and resistances)
Weapon: Faith Grand Matron Bow (Increased Damage, skill levels, fanaticism aura)
Swap: Call to Arms Flail and Spirit Monarch (Debuffing with Battle Command and Orders)
Ring 1: Manald Heal (Mana Leech)
Ring 2: Bul-Katho's Wedding Band (Life Leech and skill level)
Belt: Razortail (Piercing)
Boots: Gore Rider (Crushing Blow and Deadly Strike)
Gloves: Laying of Hands (increased attack speed and increased damage against demons)

Here is my planned Hireling setup:

Act 2 Nightmare Offensive

Weapon: The Reaper's Toll (life leech and chance to cast decrepify to solve my Physical Immune problem)
Armor: Fortitude (increased Damage)
Helmet: Guillaume's Face (crushing blow)

My resistances will need to be maxed mainly through charms and Um runes.

Her main attack for single targets will be guided arrow. Her main attack for crowds is strafe. Enough points will be placed into Pierce to get 100% together with Razortail and +skill levels. Multiple Shot will be raised high enough with skill level bonuses to get the maximum of 24 arrows, no more no less.

According to my notes, I'll have more than 50 skill points left when this skill setup is complete. And ideas where should I allocate those skill points? Should any piece of my equipment or hireling equipment be changed?
 

krischan

Europe Trade Moderator
Crushing blow is halved on ranged attacks, so I wouldn't put efforts into it. Instead of Guillaume's, I suggest to use a Giant Skull which offers knockback, an immensely useful thing to have on a physical bowazon! It also offers a big strength bonus and two sockets.

Accordingly, I would replace the boots with Aldur's, Natalya's or a nice rare that is better than both.

Regarding the rings, BK and Manald Heal are not that useful. Manald offer almost nothing but mana leech and Bul Katho's almost nothing but life leech - you won't need its skill bonus. I suggest to wear Ravenfrost and a dual leech ring.

Instead of Highlord's, I would choose Atma's Scarab. It's chance to trigger amp will break more PIs than Reaper's on a merc and it makes her more independent from him. Even though it's just a 5% chance, it's good enough almost all the time because most of them are ghost-type monsters who tend to stack over each other near the merc, valk, decoy or the revived from Faith, so with 100% piercing, every arrow will hit each of them, triggering amp quickly. Unbreakable PIs are to be fought with magic arrow.

When using Atma's, the merc needs a different weapon than Reaper's. I suggest Obedience, together with Andariel's Visage and Treachery. I think a physical bowazon has enough meat shields around her, in particular when using Faith, so a merc isn't that important and not worth using expensive runewords like Fortitude.

I don't think a physical bowazon needs CtA. Most monsters won't ever come close to her, at least not when having knockback. Mine doesn't even have more than 900 life or so and she's doing well in the CS, including Diablo, and also on the WSK, although I'm not going to Baal. If you are on hardcore, the case is different, of course.

Skills: Max strafe and valk, enough in pierce for 100% with Razortail, enough in magic arrow to have a constant mana level when shooting (its AR bonus is bugged BTW, it doesn't work on bows, ironically), a few points in dodge, avoid and evade (it's a matter oftaste... maybe one point in each is enough for you), the rest into GA. It's damage bonus won't add much, but killing opponents like Diablo is more convenient with its reduced mana costs. Nothing in penetrate but the one point for being a prereq... Faith has ITD and tough bosses (Diablo, Ancients etc.) are to be killed with GA.

Stats: Enough in strength for the gear, nothing in energy. Regarding vit vs. dex, enough in dex for the bow, all the rest into vit if you are on HC, else whatever mix you get along with well.
 

DwayneGAnd

Diabloii.Net Member
Okay I've updated my notes to include the equipment you've suggested both for myself and my hireling. Here is my new setup what I have written down:

Helmet: Giant Skull
Amulet: Atma's Scarab
Armor: Fortitude Archon Plate
Bow: Faith Grand Matron Bow
Swap: Call to Arms Flail and Spirit Monarch
Ring 1: Raven Frost
Ring 2: Rare Dual Leech Ring
Belt: Razortail
Boots: Sandstorm Trek
Gloves: Laying of Hands

Act 2 Nightmare Offensive Hireling

Weapon: Obedience Cryptic Axe
Armor: Treachery
Helmet: Andariel's Visage

Valkyrie will be maxed. Should I max Decoy as a synergy to increase Valkyrie's life?
 

Zyr

Diabloii.Net Member
@DwayneGAnd, congratulations on the solid start. :)

Once upon a time, long ago, I thought building a "Strafer" was a good idea. I was cured of that notion when my Strafer died while in Strafe lock in a stair trap. After taking a long, hard look at what I thought I knew about physical damage Bowazons, I concluded that the build guides for both Strafeazons and Multizons I had read were not worth the pixels in which they were rendered. I came up with my own template for a Minimum Mana Mistress o' Minions, which I've implemented successfully with a Matriarch and two Guardians.

I'm underwhelmed by the "benefits" of pumping Strafe; the damage increase per skill point is paltry, and I'd rather spend the points elsewhere (so I did...). Level 22 Strafe hits a maximum of 10 targets, but shoots a minimum of 7 shots; level 7 Strafe hits the same maximum of 10 targets, but shoots a minimum of only 3 shots-- a much shorter time to be in Strafe lock. So I limit Strafe to slvl 7 including skill adders.

I've taught myself to enter any potential stair trap situation poised to cast Decoy with the right mouse button, and my left hand poised to switch the RMB instantly to Multishot-- I wanna spray as much chillin' (Cold damage) as I can, as quickly as I can, without being paralyzed. But I don't like Multi's mana cost, so I limit Multi to slvl 7-10, which is plenty of arrows to cope with most stair traps.

Mana cost decreases with slvl for both Magic Arrow and Guided Arrow. Damage increases nicely with slvl for both Magic Arrow and Guided Arrow. No-brainer, right? All of my Bowazons have minimum slvl 13 Magic Arrow (mana-free) and maxed Guided Arrow. (A respec would be appropriate if a Witchwild String drops.) Magic Arrow is my default LMB skill.

Like MA and GA, Decoy's Mana cost decreases with slvl. Points in Decoy boost Valkyrie HP and resistances exactly as if they were invested in Valkyrie, but points in Valk do nothing for Decoy. Maxed Valk and 1 point Decoy gives an iffy Valk and a near useless Decoy. Maxed Decoy and 1 point Valk gives two tough tanks. For me, another no-brainer. (All of my physical damage Bowazons have both skills maxed.)

A high level Decoy, summoned by a Zon with reasonable HP, is, IMO and IME, the most effective tank in Sanctuary, for two reasons:

- The Decoy has the highest Threat Factor in the game-- 14, compared with 11 for characters and 11 for most mercenaries (10 for Rogues). This means that if the Decoy is the first element of your party to attract the attention of monsters, they'll concentrate on the Decoy exclusively until Decoy or monsters are dead. (Exceptions: Some bosses, notably Diablo and the Ancients, have different threat evaluation implementations.)

- The Decoy has the highest Damage Regeneration rate in the game-- 0-100% HP in ~11 seconds. (If you guessed that #2 is the Valkyrie, you win!) This means that a high level Decoy summoned by a Zon with high Life is practically unkillable.

The Decoy also greatly increases offensive efficiency by clustering monsters together.

- The tighter the pack, the more frequently arrows (and javelins, for that matter) will Pierce.

- The more monsters you have in the cluster, the more likely they'll be within the 3.3 yard radius of a single Freezing (or Exploding) Arrow (or the 2 yard radius of Immolation Arrow).

If the Decoy dies before the battle is over, much of this advantage is lost, so it's helpful to have a Decoy tough enough that the timer won't expire before the monsters do, and which won't be killed by just a few enemy attacks. IME, Decoy is a much more effective place to put skill points than Valkyrie, though I usually end up maxing both.
 

Namtar

Diabloii.Net Member
@DwayneGAnd, congratulations on the solid start. :)

Once upon a time, long ago, I thought building a "Strafer" was a good idea. I was cured of that notion when my Strafer died while in Strafe lock in a stair trap. After taking a long, hard look at what I thought I knew about physical damage Bowazons, I concluded that the build guides for both Strafeazons and Multizons I had read were not worth the pixels in which they were rendered. I came up with my own template for a Minimum Mana Mistress o' Minions, which I've implemented successfully with a Matriarch and two Guardians.

I'm underwhelmed by the "benefits" of pumping Strafe; the damage increase per skill point is paltry, and I'd rather spend the points elsewhere (so I did...). Level 22 Strafe hits a maximum of 10 targets, but shoots a minimum of 7 shots; level 7 Strafe hits the same maximum of 10 targets, but shoots a minimum of only 3 shots-- a much shorter time to be in Strafe lock. So I limit Strafe to slvl 7 including skill adders.

I've taught myself to enter any potential stair trap situation poised to cast Decoy with the right mouse button, and my left hand poised to switch the RMB instantly to Multishot-- I wanna spray as much chillin' (Cold damage) as I can, as quickly as I can, without being paralyzed. But I don't like Multi's mana cost, so I limit Multi to slvl 7-10, which is plenty of arrows to cope with most stair traps.

Mana cost decreases with slvl for both Magic Arrow and Guided Arrow. Damage increases nicely with slvl for both Magic Arrow and Guided Arrow. No-brainer, right? All of my Bowazons have minimum slvl 13 Magic Arrow (mana-free) and maxed Guided Arrow. (A respec would be appropriate if a Witchwild String drops.) Magic Arrow is my default LMB skill.

Like MA and GA, Decoy's Mana cost decreases with slvl. Points in Decoy boost Valkyrie HP and resistances exactly as if they were invested in Valkyrie, but points in Valk do nothing for Decoy. Maxed Valk and 1 point Decoy gives an iffy Valk and a near useless Decoy. Maxed Decoy and 1 point Valk gives two tough tanks. For me, another no-brainer. (All of my physical damage Bowazons have both skills maxed.)

A high level Decoy, summoned by a Zon with reasonable HP, is, IMO and IME, the most effective tank in Sanctuary, for two reasons:

- The Decoy has the highest Threat Factor in the game-- 14, compared with 11 for characters and 11 for most mercenaries (10 for Rogues). This means that if the Decoy is the first element of your party to attract the attention of monsters, they'll concentrate on the Decoy exclusively until Decoy or monsters are dead. (Exceptions: Some bosses, notably Diablo and the Ancients, have different threat evaluation implementations.)

- The Decoy has the highest Damage Regeneration rate in the game-- 0-100% HP in ~11 seconds. (If you guessed that #2 is the Valkyrie, you win!) This means that a high level Decoy summoned by a Zon with high Life is practically unkillable.

The Decoy also greatly increases offensive efficiency by clustering monsters together.

- The tighter the pack, the more frequently arrows (and javelins, for that matter) will Pierce.

- The more monsters you have in the cluster, the more likely they'll be within the 3.3 yard radius of a single Freezing (or Exploding) Arrow (or the 2 yard radius of Immolation Arrow).

If the Decoy dies before the battle is over, much of this advantage is lost, so it's helpful to have a Decoy tough enough that the timer won't expire before the monsters do, and which won't be killed by just a few enemy attacks. IME, Decoy is a much more effective place to put skill points than Valkyrie, though I usually end up maxing both.
If I were to do it all over again, I'd definitely get more use of of Magic Arrow. I underestimated the skill when I played my Bowazon. Mostly went with Guided Arrow and spammed Strafe in areas where I knew I could get away with it. Many years later I realized just how powerful Magic Arrow can be.
 

DwayneGAnd

Diabloii.Net Member
Magic Arrow doesn't really add a lot of damage. I've seen a video online where a guy uses a high level magic arrow in Hell Difficulty, and it didn't deal a very impressive amount of damage. According to the Diablo wikia, Magic Arrow is usually a one point investment. Guided Arrow is much more powerful.
 

Zyr

Diabloii.Net Member
Magic Arrow doesn't really add a lot of damage. I've seen a video online where a guy uses a high level magic arrow in Hell Difficulty, and it didn't deal a very impressive amount of
Well, a video online proves it beyond a shadow of a doubt, I suppose... :rolleyes: I doubt if it was this video.

Couple things to bear in mind:

- Magic Arrow will Pierce; Guided Arrow will not.

- The LCS does not accurately show the effect of Magic Arrow's Minimum and Maximum Damage; see this post by @onderduiker.
 

krischan

Europe Trade Moderator
Magic arrow will be the only option for a physical amazon when dealing with an unbreakable PI. A strafer has many options regarding skill points, so a few of them in magic arrow won't hurt. Multishot is probably enough with very few or just one skill pont because Faith adds up to +5.

I forgot to mention that a single point in freezing arrow is very useful to keep dangerous crowds in place for a while.

You could also make a hybrid with lightning fury or freezing arrow or perhaps immolatiopn arrow, with a matching weapon in the weapon switch.
 

DwayneGAnd

Diabloii.Net Member
Since I couldn't find any reliable source of mana leech, I had to chug mana potions to use strafe. Since I had left magic arrow at level 1, and couldn't use guided arrow without mana leech, I mainly use the normal attack until I could gain access to strafe, using both together.

If I do decide to make another physical bowazon, maybe I should pump magic arrow and make it my normal attack once I hit level 13, then make the switch to guided arrow at higher levels with mana leech, using magic arrow against physical immunes I can't break.
 

Dacar92

Moderator: Community, D2 Zon, DH, Inc Clan Officer
Seems I am late to this thread but reading this makes me want to build another Amazon. I would go strafe/freezing arrow. Or multi/freezing arrow.

Yes those skills suck up a lot of mana at the beginning. But over time and with proper leech and regen they are more fun long term.
 
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