Latest Diablo 3 News
DiabloWiki Updates
Support the site! Become a Diablo: IncGamers PAL - Remove ads and more!

Psychic Hammer Mini-guide

Discussion in 'Assassin' started by SSoG, Nov 5, 2006.

  1. SSoG

    SSoG IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    1,870
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    105
    Psychic Hammer Mini-guide

    This is not a build. This is not a guide to building a PH-sin that can solo Hell. This is simply a mini-guide on the proper use of Psychic Hammer.

    Seriously, I have never once in all of my time on BNet seen an Assassin cast Psychic Hammer. Which is crazy, since I'm pretty sure that every single Assassin build on the planet puts a point there on their way to CoS, MB, or the Shadows. This is a travesty, and I hope that after you read this mini-guide, you'll all understand why.

    Remember: PH, while an awesome skill, is a 1-point wonder. There is absolutely, positively NO REASON to sink more than a single point into PH, under any circumstances. All extra points do is increase the damage and the cost. The Damage will never be able to kill in Hell (even with a slvl 100 Psychic Hammer you're doing less than 600 damage per pop), and increasing the mana cost just makes it that much less spammable. It's called a one-point wonder for a reason.

    With that said, on to the miniguide, which I have affectionately titled:
    It's not a party until everyone gets hammered

    So what's so great about Psychic Hammer, anyway? I'm glad you asked!

    What to love about Psychic Hammer
    1. It's cheap!
    Four mana per cast at slvl 1 (and trust me, you're going to want to keep it at slvl 1 if at all possible) is almost 1/4th the cost of Mind Blast (15 mana per cast)... making PH a much more spammable alternative. Additional points will increase its damage from pathetic to still-pathetic, and will increase its mana cost by .25 each time, so don't bother with additional points. They serve no purpose. The damage isn't why we're using this skill, so keep it at slvl 1.

    2. It's got great targeting forgiveness!
    You don't have to cast PH on an enemy- you can cast it in the general vicinity of an enemy and it'll still hit the enemy. In those situations where you want to target a very specific enemy, you can feel free to namelock an enemy and PH away, but when things get a little crazy and you need to fire off a PH in a hurry, you'll really appreciate how poorly you can aim it and still have it work.

    3. It's supersmart!
    Let's say you try to cast PH, but there's nothing in range. Well, you simply won't cast. If you mis-aim a Mind Blast, you burn your mana with no apologies. If you mis-aim a Psychic Hammer, it just doesn't cast. You keep your mana, you don't enter the casting animation, nothing happens. In other words, you couldn't even screw this up if you tried. Psychic Hammer is without question the most idiot-proof skill in the game!

    4. It's got 100% knockback!
    Like Leap or Charge, Psychic Hammer is auto-knockback. It does not suffer from reduced knockback penalties against larger monsters. If a monster CAN be knocked back, it WILL be knocked back- which means that, outside of Griswold, the Ancients, Izual, or Act Bosses, Psychic Hammer has a 100% success rate.

    How to use Psychic Hammer
    1. Save the Queen!
    Lets say you have an acquaintance. Let's say your acquaintance is getting swarmed by Extra Strong, Extra Fast minotaurs. Let's say you spam Psychic Hammer to knock those frenzytaurs away, put them into hit recovery, and generally keep them out of your acquaintance's hair. Congratulations, you've just made a friend!

    Psychic Hammer actually makes perhaps the best come-to-the-rescue skill in the entire game, since it's instantaneous (unlike Leap), and affects pretty much every monster in the game except for Act Bosses and some very rare superuniques (unlike Terror, Howl, Mind Blast, Dim Vision, etc).

    Friend-protection tactics also work wonderfully with mercs and shadows, keeping them alive against overwhelming odds until they manage to whittle the crowds down to more manageable levels.

    2. Kill the King!
    You know why Smite is so popular among Paladins? Because it's an auto-hitting, knockbacking, hit-recovery-inducing boss disabler of the highest order.

    You know what Psychic Hammer is? It's an auto-hitting, knockbacking, hit-recovery-inducing, RANGED boss disabler of the highest order. Basically, it's SmitePlus- as in Smite plus the added security of not having to go anywhere near the boss being taken down. The downside of the comparison is that, unlike Smite, PH doesn't do enough damage to kill... but between traps, Shadows, and Mercs, you should have more than enough sources of "passive damage" to take down now-disabled baddies, no matter how tough they might be.

    3. Stem the flood!
    You know that thing about Psychic Hammer not having to be aimed? And that thing about PH only working if an enemy is within range? Those two principals combine to turn Psychic Hammer into a great invisible fence. Let's say you open a door, and there's a huge mass of unwashed demonic inhumanity on the other side. Assuming you have enough FCR, you can just target a PH at the base of the door, and any enemy trying to walk through will get pushed back into the room. Toss a trap or two inside and use PH to hem the baddies in, unable to escape the ensuing carnage.

    This isn't a doorway-specific trick, either. It'll work at any sort of bottleneck (again, assuming you have enough FCR), or even in open fields. One of my favorite tricks is to hold down Psychic Hammer and target my feet. Any enemy that comes within several yards of me gets auto-knockbacked. As long as there are only a handful of enemies trying to get at me at any given time, I can keep them all out of melee range just by holding down a PH aimed at my feet.

    4. Take a ride!
    Got a nice DS killing field set up, and a monster too far outside for the Sentry to start 'sploding? Steer that bad boy into the killing field and watch the fireworks. Psychic Hammer also works wonderfully when setting up monsters for Wake of Inferno (immobilized monsters take more damage than running monsters), or Lightning Sentry, Shock Web (if you're one of THOSE assassins), or even Fire Blast (if I'm having trouble aiming a fireblast, I'll lob a fireblast at a particular area and use PH to keep the enemy in that general vicinity).

    5. Get a clue!
    Assign Psychic Hammer to your right click button. Hold down the right click, and sweep your mouse around the edges of the screen. If your Assassin stays still, there's nothing nearby. If she casts PH, then not only is there a monster a little ways off-screen, but he's about to come towards you without bringing any of his friends with him. Psychic Hammer makes a great scouting tool because its reasonably large aiming-forgiveness radius means it has a reasonably large scouting radius, and because unlike Decoy or Bone Wall, it'll only bring one enemy at a time howling towards you. Get a clue not only that something is ahead, but what it is! Check the monsters for things like minion tags or observable properties (extra fast? aura enchanted? mana burn?), and then formulate your strategy for taking on the whole pack... or else draw them all to you, one by one.

    6. Go Ice Skating!
    This one takes a little bit of practice, but when you do it right the Assassin becomes far and away the fastest scout in the entire game. First, you move the mouse to one of the far corners of the screen, and you bind Psychic Hammer to the right click (you can do it on left click, but it's a lot harder). Now, you left click in the corner, and then you IMMEDIATELY hold down right click and sweep the mouse around the edges of the screen (in the direction that you're moving). For example, let's say you want to run to the Northeast. You leftclick on the northeast corner of the screen, and then very quickly hold down right click and sweep your mouse along the top and right sides of the screen. Keep sweeping until you come to a stop.

    As soon as you try this, you'll understand why I call it "ice skating". Your Assassin stops running (or even moving her legs at all) and just glides along the ground as if she's wearing skates. If there are no enemies in range, you will continue "skating" all the way to the point where you originally clicked; if, however, an enemy enters PH range while you're skating along, you'll *IMMEDIATELY* come to a stop and fire off a Psychic Hammer. What that means is that you will always stop outside of the awareness radius of any offscreen monsters (meaning no accidentally waking up a nasty pack because you got hasty and sloppy in your scouting).

    This presents obvious speed advantages over methods like Sentry-Scouting, Hydra-Scouting, Taunt-Scouting, Bonewall-Scouting, or Decoy-Scouting in that you don't have to stop moving and wait for your spell to cast (and then further wait for your Sentry or Hydra to acquire a target, or stand around waiting to see if anything clusters around your decoy). If you get really good, you can even sweep along both edges of the screen and then go back and left click again before you reach your destination, which allows you to ice skate all over entire maps without ever once stopping except when you're just outside the awareness radius of an enemy.

    Like I said, Psychic Hammer is the decoy of the Assassin world. Not only does every 'sin I ever make get it and use it extensively, but every 'sin I ever make also packs on at least a modicum of FCR just to make Psychic Hammer that much more effective. Really a stellar little one-point wonder in every sense of the word, and the complete lack of prereqs means there's no excuse for any build to not grab it and use it. Seriously, what build can't spare a single measly, lousy skill point for such a useful little skill?

    One last tip- don't try PH against LE enchanted bosses, especially LECE or LEFE bosses. Same thing applies to Beetles, and FE or CE Beetles. Seriously, just take my word for it. Bad things happen.
     
  2. wizAdept

    wizAdept IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,039
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    120
    BobCox2 likes this.
  3. Moritz

    Moritz IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,621
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    165
    hey ... yeah great info :)


    im no pvm player but if i see this right, ph is a GREAT method to kill opponents who bled to 1 life because of ow... and you dont even have to namelock ...
    just as wizadept used it in his 1st vid.

    so, i can use it just like dragon flight? tele into screen + ph = autohit ?


    @ wiz: why did you actually use ph in your 2nd vid? you could have used mb instead as you only used it for stun and namelock to follow a teletalon, right?
    or have i missed something?
     
    BobCox2 likes this.
  4. Bladewind

    Bladewind IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Messages:
    1,855
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    120
    I use this spell to trap Lister all the time, especially if he spawns fire and lit immune which screws my trapper. MB MB MB watch the mobs fall to traps then PH the bugger while my lazy Insight merc slowly stabs him to death.
     
  5. Rabbitz

    Rabbitz IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2005
    Messages:
    3,577
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    255
    Why is there only sound for me with that vid?
     
  6. wizAdept

    wizAdept IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,039
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    120
    Yeah its autotargetted like flight. Makes it good for picking off 1 hp opponents.
    The only problem to worry about is that not all opponents will die (most will though) from ph, possibly from damage reduction, maxed mb on the other hand should still deal at least 1 damage.

    In that specific instance the aoe from mb would have caught the sorc so I could have just mb'd in the general area and done the same thing, true.
    I have a habbit of setting up namelocks vs casters with ph though because it does not require aiming, and I can renamelock with wof/mb/whatever while opponent is getting kb'd before they can tele. In a way its easier than to mb asap, at least vs more defensive highfcr casters.
     
  7. Moritz

    Moritz IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,621
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    165
    oh, thats a really good idea ... so you let hit your ph with autoaim to set them into a recovery animation, and finally namelock them in the instance when their are recovering?

    good thing mate, thanks
     
  8. jakotaco

    jakotaco IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2006
    Messages:
    2,040
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    165
    I've always wanted to find a way to take advatage of this skill besides picking Fallen in act 1 normal... too bad the skill haven't got a damage synergy (or actual damage to synergize) but as SSoG and wizAdept pointed out there still is a way to use the force
     
  9. jeffmiguel

    jeffmiguel IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    20
    btw how do u "autoaim" someone
    and what does it mean by namelock?
     
  10. a brick

    a brick IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    Messages:
    295
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    102
    Wow, thanks for bringing this to my attention, i had no idea of how many benefits come from ph. i thot it was just a 2 dmg skill that lvl 3 chars in act 1 use.

    and, do u use a SM, and does the SM use it alot and you find it useful? also, do u think it is useful to invest a few more points into ph for pvp so ur SM will use it more often, so you won't have to?
     
  11. Eilo Rytyj

    Eilo Rytyj IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2006
    Messages:
    2,215
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    120
    SSoG, your ideas never cease to amaze. Reading your stuff really opens your eyes on often overlooked skills and abilities.

    I guess you can liken it to Telekinesis. I've found that 99% of sorceresses I meet never use it, but being able to access your stash and waypoints from across the screen, stealing shrines from other players :devil: , picking up potions and g:greedy:ld from around the screen and knocking back dual immune monsters is a very useful ability to have.

    I've never played a 'sin before, but they're looking more and more appealing now...
     
  12. WhiteAlien

    WhiteAlien Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2005
    Messages:
    890
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    165
    AWESOME GUIDE!

    Thx m8.
     
  13. SSoG

    SSoG IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    1,870
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    105
    I've built an Assassin that beat hell using nothing but Shadow Master and Psychic Hammer. I bet you never use Shock Web, Taunt, Battle Cry, Leap, Cleansing, Decoy, Bone Wall, Bone Prison, Conversion, Charge, Blaze, Frost Nova, or Hunger in PvM, either. There's a reason they're called "1-point-wonders". Ignoring these skills while question is basically running around with one arm tied behind your back.

    I've found, in my experience, the best players aren't the ones that kill monsters the fastest- those are just the players with the l33test gear and the biggest cookie cutter build. The best players are the ones who routinely use skills that no one else uses in new and innovative ways. Just wait until one day a party member saves your bacon using Psychic Hammer and see if you gain a little bit more appreciation of it.
    :flip:

    On my FCR-sin builds that use Psychic Hammer extensively, I always run a Shadow Master (Shadow Master can kill pretty much anything that you put into PH-hit recovery, regardless of immunities or anything). I can honestly say that I can't ever remember a single time where my Shadow Master has used Psychic Hammer. I mean, she must have at some point, but if so it's very rare, and it doesn't do much. Most of the time a single cast of Psychic Hammer doesn't do much good, it'll take repeated casts to achieve the desired effect... and try as you might, you just can't train a Shadow Master to spam anything.

    With that said, I don't PvP at all, so I really couldn't say one way or another.



     
    BobCox2 likes this.
  14. ilkori

    ilkori IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Messages:
    2,172
    Likes Received:
    13
    Trophy Points:
    165
    As always, it's worth a second read. :D
     
  15. wizAdept

    wizAdept IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,039
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    120
    lol I think you misinterpreted what I meant.
    props to writing this since it's a good read for any player new to assassins, I've used ph plenty of time to scout corners on untwinked pvm campaigns, it's a gg tactic.

    I just rofl at all pvm guides cause it's just that, pvm and ez, just a question of how patient you are with going at it:
    Case in point.

    At a certain point with higher budget builds and better twinking gear to get you through the game, an assassin player becomes more or less invincible against dumbed down monster ai.
    It becomes less important for a very high budget pvm asn (kicker, kick/trapper, or trapper) to scout with or otherwise use ph simply because they should be able to tear through pvm regardless. I do still use ph on occasion on my pvm kicksin to lock up single monsters with stun (without converting) while merc kills them, just not an essential tactic because pvm is ez, so rofl @ pvm.
    It's kinda different from pvp applications of ph, where you are trying to get every edge on your opponent in terms of gameplay tactics, there are reasons to use ph over mb in certain situations and it's not something I see used often.

    No no no. You're not understanding the point, whenever you can catch someone with mb over ph, you should be using mb, since shadow master always aa's because monster ai, you should always want it casting mb on your opponent over ph. The point is you the player, who can does not have aa on your attacks, can use ph to target an opponent without needing to have them namelocked. If you do have namelock on your opponent, mb is of course the spell to cast.

    You don't aa unless you are cheating ;p
    What was being reffered to as "ph aa" was simply the targetting mechanism of psychic hammer, like how dragon flight or foh target when you click near an opponent.
    If you don't know what namelock is, you should learn fast as it is key to pvp. Basically once you hold down your mouse button with the opponent targeted, you have namelock on them, from there every spell you cast is targetted on them, so as you see in the second vid I posted, cast in succession:
    1) ph cast near opponent, it autotargets, no namelock
    2) mouse2 pressed on opponent, opponent namelocked, wof cast on him
    3) mouse2 still held, spell switched to mb, mb cast on opponent
    4) mouse2 still held, spell switched to teleport, teleport cast on opponent
    note: casting teleport "breaks" namelock
    5) mouse1 pressed on opponent to kick, opponent renamelocked with mouse1
    6) mouse1 still held, continue to kick without needing to reclick

    That's pretty basic namelock.



     
  16. SSoG

    SSoG IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2006
    Messages:
    1,870
    Likes Received:
    41
    Trophy Points:
    105
    Oh. Well, in that case I agree. I thought for a second you were one of those people who thought that anyone who used any skill other than Blessed Hammer suxxored.

    As for how easy PvM is... I play mostly untwinked hardcore, and I rarely make cookie-cutters. In that case, PvM is a lot tougher.



     
    BobCox2 likes this.
  17. CdMagicFind

    CdMagicFind IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2005
    Messages:
    927
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    466
    Haha tell me if any of this is wrong or whatever.

    The reason why PH sometimes "can't do 1 damage to the opponent" is magic sorb. PH is 1/2 Physical, 1/2 Magical IIRC. With it's low damage PH can heal people in PvP. Generally casters with Spirit.

    PH is better than MB in some ways PvM but generally I would spam MB more. The mana cost isn't much different imo, as long as you're not playing from scratch or something. With traps already autotargetting, I'd rather target out the harder enemies and stun them instead of just targetting one and knocking it back. The exception is when you convert something. x.x

    PH should be better than Telekinesis in combat as long as it doesn't have the same sort of glitch. It aa's, which easily beats Telekinesis's have to namelock one. The damage on both is pretty worthless, the mana is negligible. Along with that Telek' seems to only hit once every two casts with enough cast rate I think. At least it has for me sometimes. imo Telek' wins in PvM just for usefulness in town for hitting wp's/the stash though.
     
  18. wizAdept

    wizAdept IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2005
    Messages:
    1,039
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    120
    Of course mb is more commonly used, with good reason.
    But that isn't reason to neglect ph entirely, which is what most players do, how many players actually have ph hotkeyed or ever use it past level 3? Not many. And there are tactical uses for it which is what this thread is trying to say.
     
  19. Bladewind

    Bladewind IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Messages:
    1,855
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    120
    I never understand why trapsins don't use MB to KB Light immunes especially if they do not have fireblast or Infinity. It works even against Lister plus since you are targeting that one only mofo after everyone is dead, PH is much more economical than MB.
     
  20. Scudstorm

    Scudstorm IncGamers Member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Messages:
    1,460
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    165
    Re: Psychic Hammer Mini-guide

    Does this skating thing still work?

    I didn't manage to do it, maybe it's just me...
     

Share This Page