Pitstrafer questions after 1st results.


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Pitstrafer questions after 1st results.

I started Pit-strafing this weekend for the first time (Non-Ladder) around lvl 75 w/ a Buriza and finally attained my Wind4c through a trade around lvl 78. I think my problem, at first, was I couldn't survive w/o Tal's Mask. I'm now lvl 80 and it takes me between 7 mins and 10 mins to clear 95% of all the mobs. I'm not using a Merc at all now, can't keep one alive. A big problem I see is that my Valk may be deliverying the killing blow to the Uniques. Here is my gear:

Head: 134 Def Shako w/ PTopaz - Tal's Mask for dual leech (weening myself off this).
Body: Indestructable Ethereal Skulder's Ire 900+ def. w/ PTopaz
Gloves: Chance Guards
Boots: Gore Rider's
Belt: Goldwrap
Rings: Raven Frost - 2x's Nagel (26% and 30% mf) (trying to use the Nagels full time)
Ammy: The Cat's Eye - 26% MF Magic (have to keep the Cat on for IAS)
Charms - Gheed's Charm +33 MF, 2 Added Poison Charms and 2 with MF 5% - 6%. Along with a bunch of +Life and +STR Charms
Bow - Wind4c w/ -% Requirment Rune (came that way in the trade)

Now if I put on all my MF gear (which I started doing through my last 5 runs at lvl 80) I have around 311 MF. At 75 I was probably as low as 200. Now I did 27 or 28 runs over the weekend and here are the highlights of what I can recall:

Manald Heal Ring (First run delievered this beaut)
Rare Javazon Gloves w/ +2 Skills and Dual leech.
Bonesnap Maul
Messerschmidt Razor Axe
1 6 MF Charm
1 +1 Amazon Passive Bow Skill GC
Radamants Sphere Ancient Shield
Diciple Set Item Body Piece - Dark Adherent
Blood Tree Stump
Tal Rasha's Lidless Eye
Several Small and Medium charms with +Life and + Str.
Random junk Unique Shields and junk set items.

Now a few of the items I got were from simply trying to get to the Pit. I believe the Lidless Eye came from Tamoe. Also, has anyone got anything at all from the chest? All I get is junk, arrows/bolts and gold. I must say, I clear between 40-70K worth of gold every run, which is nice.

Now finally for the question. Is this typical? I was told that you should see Arachnid Mesh belt drop and from the guides that all the high end stuff was able to drop from this area. Should I just keep at it or should I find another place to MF through? My brother is building a Fire Sorc MF'er and I know I won't be able to compete with him, but this is frustrating, I'd like to see a few better items.

Sorry for the long post, let me know your thoughts!



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The pits like most mfing areas is a test of endurance. You will not see amazing drops immediately (unless you are crazy lucky) but over time you are bound to get some decent stuff. 30 runs is a nice start - but there are people who have tracked results over hundreds or thousands of runs.

Couple suggestions -- considering lowering mf gear alittle to increase kill speed. All mfing 'reasearch' basically concludes that the faster you kill the more the odds of mf success - than slowly killing with alot of mf on. You need to find a safe decent killing speed balance with mf. Having alot mf and dying all the time no good -- having alot of mf on but killing slowly no help either

Strip that lower req jewel out of the wf as soon as you can -- Put in shael or 15 ias/dam% jewel -- check out guides for ias break point info. Make sure you have enough strength to use the bow (134 i believe)

Check out steelskull helm -- has some ias and mf -- socket with ias/dam jewel or if you are set for ias add a ptopaz.

You are a bit low on level for pit running. Your chance to hit hell monsters is still low and like you mentioned the merc isnt doing to well yet. With wf you will get more damage per level (and i am guessing you are adding all stat points to dex for even more damage/ar) so things will improve as you get leveled. At a bit higher level (mid 80's) you will be able to get more mf back on.

Consider an Act 1 merc (till higher level when a2 merc is more durable). Whole lot smarter that the suicidal act 2 mercs. Wont give a huge amount of damage but with a witchwildstring could be helpful amping monsters for you. The ultimate would be a faith on the merc for increased attacks speed auara...


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Wow, good response. Believe it or not, I have a very low quality WWS. The WWS I have doesn't have any sockets, which I thought was really odd. I was thinking of switching to an Act 1 Merc, I'm glad I didn't trade it.

How long would it take to do a good run of the pits? I thought 7 mins was avg. for a good run. I calc'd my MF and I'm sitting at 422 but thats with the MF Ammy, so with Cat's Eye I'm at 394. I don't use it, need the IAS.

My Attack rating is over 4000 (something like 4300). I have 311 Dex and I was saving 25 Attrib points for when I did get the Wind4c. But as soon as I saw this bow and the rune that was in it, I dumped it all in Dex so I'll need another 5 levels before I can use it and strip the rune. By the way, I thought you couldn't strip runes, jewels or gems from sockets? How is this done? Right now, it would be really hard for me to trade for an IAS jewel or a steelskull because all my items for trade are pretty worthless and everyone already has them. I had one hell of a time trading for anything. Everytime I tried to trade, impatient little bastards would leave before I could show them what I had.

I have a ton of items for trade, but if nobody wants them.... what am I to do!



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I'm not an expert or anything but I used to gimp my gear for MF and ended up making a sorc for that. I think I'll settle for much much less MF my strafer, but in stead kill lots of bad guys really fast. Maybe just gheeds + stealskull and war travs + some charms, I don't know yet.

Then again I wonder why you are using gores in stead of war travs when you want MF, some will say war travs are better even without taking MF into consideration.

I've done pits with zero MF and gotten stuff like 5os Berserker Axe, 4os elite polearms a.s.o. so there are many options. My merc is lvl 85 or so, has Reaper's Toll (cheap), Crown of Thieves (cheap) and stone 4k defense armor (expensive).

Regarding trade, make a trade list here on the forums and make sure you say you will accept starting bids at even 1 perfect gem for items. Once you have 30 pgems, trade for Pul, and off you go. 40 crap jewels will also get you a Pul. Be patient and read the rules about bumping :)

btw: "1 Hel Rune + Scroll of Town Portal + Any Socketed Item = Unsocket that item"


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I am by no means an expert but here is what I run with:

Stealskull (PTopaz)
Treachery (mage plate)
Upped WWS (Shael/Nef)
Cat's eye
some smfc

I also use:
Harmony (Blade Bow) on switch for the vigor (I like to run fast when there is nothing to kill) and prebuff Valk

This nets me about 240 magic find. The only expensive item I have is an infinity cryptic axe (just regular, not eth unfortunately) for my merc (he wears a shaftstop and a crown of thieves as well). The conviction aura solves any of my hitting problems.

I typically take about 1 minute to get to the Pits and about 5 minutes to clear the place if I know the map well enough...

As others have always said in the past Pit running is all about patience. I have done a few hundred runs and have had good and bad. One thing that makes the bad runs still decent is that I have over 500% gold find with this set up as well and I can gather up some pretty good gold stacks to gamble with.

When running with this character I'm not just looking for uniques/rares to drop because it seems that most of the wealth can be found in getting the nice socketables. I have picked up a few 5os PBs which are sought after by all those people rerolling their Grief to get the best they can. I also have picked up a few Berserker axes, eth ones too. They can be traded quite easily. I guess my best run this ladder was the run where I got a non-eth :tongue: Death Cleaver with 265% ED and a 5os Rune master and an Eth 5os Berserker Axe in the same run. Those types of runs are few and far between mind you.

[BRAG] I guess I am still stuck to this pit strafer setup because last ladder with similar equipment I had 2 runs in a row that I had a griffon's eye drop. One was just 1 percent from perfect (aside from the defence, forget what that was) The other was mid-range. But I can't tell you how freaking lucky that was...[/BRAG]

All I can say is keep at it. You will likely find that the faster you can kill things the better your overall results will be. With that said you may want to take a look at the laying of hands gloves. They do wonders in the pits because of the 350% enhanced damage to demons.

And don't forget to pick up those elite weapons and armor. They will usually be worth more than the uniques and other things you pick up.



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I used to have a Pitstrafer using upped WWS (the Amp damage curse triggers a lot with strafe and it really increases your killing speed) I didnt actually use her to mf, I ran the pits without any MF and she was great to find high lvl socketeds, gems and runes and even sometimes a unique would drop too after many runs. Also the chest in the 2nd level sometimes drops charms that are good to reroll.

The act 2 merc is not actually a bad choice imo, you need an act2 merc hired in nm with the might aura, his aura will really help your damage. About the mercs dying a lot, make sure you give them good equip and lots of life leech, he can do well with elite uniques. I remember mine did quite well in Pits and only died when he was overwhelmed by a pack of extra-nasty archers which dint happen so often. However if you can afford a Faith bow for an act1 merc I guess that can work too but is more expensive than the act2 merc equip.

As someone else said before in this thread I think it is better to MF with other classes, if you want to do pit runs a meteorb sorc works well and so do summoner necros. The amazon in Pits is good for white elites and socketeds that also have high trade value.


Diabloii.Net Member
One thing would be to lower your mf to around 250-300 and gain some killing speed.

Cable's item list seems perfect, but of course use your windforce (darn kids need to learn to respect the bow and spell it right, its not a freaking 'botd') and shael it as soon as possible. Get str from rings/boots till you an wear it (rings/boots can't add ias so they are interchangeable).

For high mf, mf charms are your friends. I would think it would be worth trading for 10-15 5-6% small mf charms. That is from 50-90 added mf, and shouldn't be that hard to do.


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All very good responses. I still feel as if I'm killing at a very good pace for my level. I mean you guys are talking about 7 mins vs 4 mins. I'm sure as I level the times will come down. The reason I chose Gore over War Trav is because of the damage mods, added speed and defense. As I said before, if you are only considering wha tI have for MF, I'm sitting over 400. I'm going to look into some IAS equipment and look to where I can tweak.

As far as using that recipe to remove sockets, do you get the gem(s), jewel(s) or rune(s) back after you use that recipe?

Ok, and here comes my newbness (btw, I'm 29, so I'm not a kid ;-P), what items should I be looking for? I do look at socketables, rares and all uniques? What else should I be looking for? I don't know what godly armor is or what not. I know the difference between a Normal Unique, Exceptional Unique and Elite Unique. Are there any other class of items that carry the Elite monacher? I picked up those Rare Gloves when normally I would have kept on moving, but seeing the dual life leach and + to javaskills, after I ID'd them, I figured they would be good. Not sure yet, I have them and haven't traded them.



Diabloii.Net Member
Sorry, you will not get items back when using the "remove socket" recipe.

Regarding item values I would start reading the "item guide" and price guides for your realm in the trade values forums, that helps me a little, but I still misread values of items quite regularly :)


Diabloii.Net Member
As a simple rule, check which runewords are more popular and expensive ;) With that in mind take a look at what items are more commonly used to make them and you will have a good idea about what white/socketeds/ethereal items you should be looking for.

A few first examples are: white or 4 sockets monarch shield, ethereal berserker axe, 4 socket elite ethereal polearms, 4 socket crystal swords, 4 or 3 socket elite armors and many many others...

I know the difference between a Normal Unique, Exceptional Unique and Elite Unique. Are there any other class of items that carry the Elite monacher?
All items have the same classification even white or socketed items, they use the same graphics as normal ones but the stats change, check the names of each on the items databases. For example belts: the first normal version is sash, the exceptional version using the same graphic is demonhide sash, and the elite is spiderweb sash.


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i use
set troll belt for cbf
2 x nagels
chance guards
23% mf rare boots with dual res
all res ml ammy
2/15/3 faith mat
272 mf
i just spam multi to clear the pit
strafe isn't that safe because you won't be able to strafe offscreen monsters unless there's already one onscreen

i use a might/pride merc, they won't do much killing, but they really push your damage up
if you don't have a pride, get a cheap bonehew and stuff 2 amns in there
your merc will own everything inside, even PIs
other than uniques and rares, aim for elite socketed items
4 sock bows, 3/4 sock armours can all go for hr and above


Diabloii.Net Member
A few first examples are: white or 4 sockets monarch shield, ethereal berserker axe, 4 socket elite ethereal polearms, 4 socket crystal swords, 4 or 3 socket elite armors and many many others...
4 socket monarchs are worthless to him. He is on non-ladder. I guess that probably holds for 4 socket crystals as well (although I can't see why this should be valuable to start with since you can always use a broad sword).



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I was just giving examples, but you are right I missed the non-ladder detail. Anyways I ve seen people in ladder who d only use a crystal sword for Spirit even if they can use the broad sword. And they can trade for some usefull mid lvl runes. This is all ladder as you pointed out.


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if you really wanna see some fast results, change out your chancies for laying of hands....besides the skeletons, everything in the pits is a demon and with....350%? damage to demons, you'll tear them apart ^_^

another note, there's not many elemental attacks in the pits....cold/fire/light enchanted uniques and shamans really. So if your act 2 merc is dying, it's probably from physical attacks. with that said get some PDR equipment to slap on him and he should be all set....my guy's got gladiator's bane, amn/amn bonehew and eth vamp gaze and he's never died (i've also kept him at my level since i hired him)


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I switched to an Act 1 Merc. I also checked out War Travelers as I MF'd with a friend on baal in hell. They dropped, I tried them and for killing speed Gore Rider's are far better in my limited experience. With the War Trav's I've got 80% IAS and 400+MF options. I can drop down to 350 for full IAS. I still haven't gotten anything earth shattering. I'm still waiting for a Shako or an Arachnid Mesh belt to drop. I've seen a lot of sockets and worthless Rares, but nothing to write here about. I may check out lay of hands. I've read up on them and they look tastey. I'm enjoying switching out gears quite a bit to see what I like.



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Always consider using a merc. A might merc will help you out tremendously. If possible swap for a stealskull for your helm and give the might merc the tal's mask. Extra damage can inherently compensate for your lower leech and the a stealskull has IAS and 50% mf on a perf one as well. You can then socket it with an IAS jewel or Ptopaz.

Ditch that Chance Guards, its not needed. Swap it for LoH. Many of the monsters in there are demons so having 350% Ed to them can't hurt. Lastly abandon Gores for War Travs. With your combined damage with LoH, most demon foes tend to fall all too easily with Travs and plus it has MF.

Remember for pit runs its Survivability > Speed > MF

The faster you clear it the better, and of course don't die in the attempt.

Edit: Saw you are NL, if that is the case, hunt for elite armors. People will still let go a pul or um for some of them.


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Head: Steelskull 69% MF w/ PTopaz (When I moved to this from Shako, I noticed the change in survivability and only lost like 5% MF): IAS 10%
Body: Eth Skulder's Ire w/ PTopaz 127% MF
Feet: Gores Feet - I won't trade these out, they aide in my killing spree. I've tried both Gore and War trav's. Trav's slowed me down quite a bit.
Belt - Goldwrap - IAS 10% - 30% MF
Finger - Perfect Nagel - RavenFrost - 30% MF
Hands - Lay of Hands - Just got them last night and there was a small change in killing speed. IAS +10%
Weapon - WF w/ Shael: IAS +40%
Ammy - Cat's Eye: IAS 10%

I can sub in a 36% MF Magic Amy and/or another Nagel w/ 26%. If I go for IAS I'm at 300% MF and 100% IAS. If I swap out for all out MF, I'm looking at 457% MF w/ Chancies, War Trav's, 26% Nagel and 36% MF Magic Ammy.

Last night I picked up a 500 base def Balrog Skin Armor w/ 4os and a Hell Rack Elite Unique w/ 2os. Also got a few junk set items along with Natalya's Soul Boots. Everything else was junk. It did seem that the two runs I did w/ my IAS setup, I got better items, but again, that could be the luck of the roll.



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That looks like a very good mix of gear for mf/killing power/survivability.

The nice thing with the windforce is that as you level damage will increase and your tactics for fighting will get better to allow you to add more mf later if wou want to.

Probably next for you is starting to get some more mf charms with you -- slowly phase them in to determine the best balance for you.


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Ok, my question still remains, I'm at or have surpassed 50 pit runs and from the items I've listed, how come I haven't seen any big ticket items? Yes, I've gotten some Elite Unique items, but they are still worthless. I've not picked up a single Unique Shako, not 1 tal's armor, not 1 set of Gores or War Travelers. I believe I have the best gear possible period. Worked pretty hard to get it, and its come via trade from other areas of the game or via trade from gifts from a friend. What gives? Hate to think I made a char that isn't viable. Could it be possible the pit isn't viable anymore? Two things to consider, 1. I'm NL and 2. I'm at lvl 83'ish.