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Shuko-jutsu: The Art of the Claw

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by maxicek, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. maxicek

    maxicek IncGamers Member

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    Shuko-jutsu: The Art of the Claw

    Shuko-jutsu: The Art of the Claw
    (version 2.3)

    The assassin claws as they appear in D2 are an amalgamation of two different weapons or tools. The Katar is an Indian punching knife with a horizontal grip. The claws are probably derived from the ninja claws or Shuko. These were primarily designed as a climbing tool. They consisted of a metal palm hoop with spikes in it. Ninja were alleged to use these claws for fighting too, and even to block sword strikes with them. Jutsu is a Japanese word, roughly meaning "the martial art of." So here is my guide to assassin claws, or Shuko-jutsu.

    This guide is really a compilation of stuff that I have picked up from planning and playing PvP and PvM assassins. It is targeted for 1.10 to 1.13c Single Player use and assumes twinked play, but hopefully there is something useful here for any Assassin player. If you have a question, please feel free to post it and I will do my best to answer and add it to the next version of the guide if necessary.


    Contents

    1. List of Abbreviations
    2. Introduction
    3. Planning a Claw Assassin
    4. The Need For Speed
    5. What Mods Work From What Claw?
    6. Choosing The Best Claw Type
    7. Runewords For Claws
    8. Unique Claws
    9. Magical Claws
    10. Rare Claws
    11. Set Claw
    12. Summary

    Appendices
    13. Weapon Speed Bugging
    14. Staffmod Generation
    15. Affix Generation
    16. Shopping For Claws
    17. Re-rolling Magical Claws
    18. Re-rolling Rare Claws
    19. Imbuing Claws
    20. Gambling Claws
    21. Finding Claws
    22. Racking

    23. Thanks
    24. Revision History



    1. List of Abbreviations

    AR - Attack Rating
    BoS- Burst of Speed
    CoS- Cloak of Shadows
    DF - Dragon Flight
    %DR – % Physical Damage Reduction
    FHR - Fast Hit Recovery
    FCR- Faster Cast Rate
    FPA - Frames Per Attack (1 second = 25 frames)
    IAS - Increased Attack Speed
    LS - Lightning Sentry
    MA - Martial Arts
    MB - Mind Blast
    OW - Open Wounds
    Res - Resistance
    SM - Shadow Master
    SP - Single Player mode
    WB – Weapon Block
    WSM - Weapon Speed Modifier
    WW - Whirlwind
    3os - 3 Open Sockets
    clvl - Character Level
    ilvl - Item Level
    alvl - Affix Level. See Section 15.


    2. Introduction

    Why use claws?
    Claws are a good choice for many assassins, particularly if they rely on +skills to be effective, like Trappers or Phoenix Strikers. However for many physical damage based assassins -Blade Fury, Tiger Strike, Dragon Talon- they may just be used as a switch to pre-buff skills like Shadow Master, Fade, Burst of Speed and Venom.

    A major advantage of using two claws is Weapon Block. This gives a maximum of 60% chance to block physical attacks but, unlike a shield, it can also block most magical attacks. Blizzard, Bone Spears, Bone Spirits, Tornadoes can all be blocked. This skill is also independent of dexterity and character level. The only thing that affects it is the skill level.

    A note about claw speed advantages (thanks to stephan):
    Assassins have an attack speed advantage when using claws with the strike charge-ups. With claws the max speed is 7 fpa, while with other 1-handers you can never go faster than 8 fpa. The base speed of the strike charge-ups is also faster when using claws (meaning they need less IAS to reach the same speed compared with other 1-handers).

    Example:
    - A phase blade (-30 WSM) needs 54% IAS with no BoS to reach 8 fpa TS/CS/PS
    - Greater / Runic Talons (also -30 WSM) only need 26% IAS to reach 8 fpa.


    3. Planning a Claw Assassin

    Builds that use claws as main weapons:
    Trapper (not necessarily all though)
    Phoenix Striker (Or other skills on the left side on the MA tree.)
    Whirlwind (via Chaos runeword)
    There are others, but I think these cover the main areas. I'll assume you have already read a build guide if you are making something else.

    The assassin has two 'aura' like skills and both cannot be used at the same time. Fade gives a big resistance boost and %DR, Burst of Speed (BoS) gives faster run/walk and increased attack speed. Your build is likely to use one or other of them (even for a single skill point investment) all the time. You need to decide which one and plan accordingly.

    What you have decided so far:
    - What build you are making
    - That you are going to use claws
    - Which out of Fade / BoS you are going to use.



    4. The Need For Speed

    How Much Speed Do I Need
    You now need to have a good read of this masterwork - Assassin IAS Tables by jrichard
    Find the table for the skill you are using. If you are using Fade, look at the BoS level 0 row. You can now see how much IAS you need for a given claw type. This is you first piece of information when considering a given claw. Be careful, if tou are using two claws the average of both claws WSM is used.

    Note: Some of the IAS values when using BoS on the first page are incorrect for the kicks. This post has the corrected numbers.

    I believe the latest German Weapon Speed Calculator by Titanseal covers the speeds correctly, although I can't confirm this as I don't use it myself.


    5. What Mods Work From What Claw?

    Primary and Off-hand Claw
    For the purposes of this guide, the primary claw is the one equipped first and is above your gloves. The secondary is in the shield slot, above the boots. Dependant on the skill you are using, some mods do not work in the secondary slot.

    Indirect mods
    These always work regardless of which claw they are on:
    - Resists
    - FHR
    - +Skills
    - +Stats like life, mana, strength etc.

    For all skills, IAS only ever works on the primary claw. Keep those Shaels away from the claw above the boots. The only exception to this is if you are using Normal attack.

    Blade Sentinel
    Code:
    Modifier                           Primary Secondary
    ____________________________________________________
    Chance to cast on Attacking           N       N
    Chance to cast on Striking            N       N
    Critical Strike from Claw Mastery     Y       N
    Crushing Blow                         N       N
    Deadly Strike                         Y       N
    Elemental Damage/Venom               3/8*     N
    Hit Blinds Target                     N       N
    Hit Causes Monster to Flee            N       N
    Hit Freezes Target                    N       N
    Hit Slows Target                      N       N
    Increased Attack Speed                N***    N
    Ignore Target Defense                 Y       N
    Knockback                             N       N
    Leech                                 Y       N
    Open Wounds                           N       N
    Physical/Weapon Damage               3/8*     N
    Pierce Target                         Y**     N
    Prevent Monster Heal                  N       N
    * Half this damage applies if using a two handed weapon, regardless of what the LCS says. So for blade sentinel damage with a two handed weapon is 3/16. Not that this is important in a claw guide.
    ** Blade Sentinel has natural pierce
    *** All blade skills have a fixed speed, regardless of IAS on weapons or gear.

    Blade Fury
    Code:
    Modifier                           Primary Secondary
    ____________________________________________________
    Chance to cast on Attacking           N       N
    Chance to cast on Striking            Y       N
    Critical Strike from Claw Mastery     Y       N
    Crushing Blow                         Y       N
    Deadly Strike                         Y       N
    Elemental Damage/Venom               3/4*     N
    Hit Blinds Target                     Y       N
    Hit Causes Monster to Flee            Y       N
    Hit Freezes Target                    Y       N
    Hit Slows Target                      Y       N
    Increased Attack Speed                N***    N
    Ignore Target Defense                 Y       N
    Knockback                             Y       N
    Leech                                 Y       N
    Open Wounds                           Y       N
    Physical/Weapon Damage               3/4*     N
    Pierce Target                         N       N
    Prevent Monster Heal                  Y       N
    * Half this damage applies if using a two handed weapon, regardless of what the LCS says, i.e 3/8 in this case.
    *** All blade skills have a fixed speed, regardless of IAS on weapons or gear.


    Blade Shield
    Code:
    Modifier                           Primary Secondary
    ____________________________________________________
    Chance to cast on Attacking           N       N
    Chance to cast on Striking            N       N
    Critical Strike from Claw Mastery     Y       N
    Crushing Blow                         N       N
    Deadly Strike                         Y       N
    Elemental Damage/Venom               1/4*     N
    Hit Blinds Target                     N       N
    Hit Causes Monster to Flee            N       N
    Hit Freezes Target                    N       N
    Hit Slows Target                      N       N
    Increased Attack Speed                N***    N
    Ignore Target Defense                 Y       N
    Knockback                             N       N
    Leech                                 Y       N
    Open Wounds                           N       N
    Physical/Weapon Damage               1/4*     N
    Pierce Target                         N       N
    Prevent Monster Heal                  N       N
    * Half this damage applies if using a two handed weapon, regardless of what the LCS says, i.e 1/8 in this case.
    *** All blade skills have a fixed speed, regardless of IAS on weapons or gear.


    Kicks
    Code:
    Modifier                           Primary Secondary
    ____________________________________________________
    Chance to cast on Attacking           Y       N
    Chance to cast on Striking            Y       N
    Critical Strike from Claw Mastery     N       N
    Crushing Blow                         Y       N
    Deadly Strike                         N       N
    Elemental Damage/Venom                Y       N
    Hit Blinds Target                     Y       N
    Hit Causes Monster to Flee            Y       N
    Hit Freezes Target                    Y       N
    Hit Slows Target                      Y       N
    Increased Attack Speed                Y       N
    Ignore Target Defense                 Y       N
    Knockback                             Y       N
    Leech                                 Y       N
    Open Wounds                           Y       N
    Physical/Weapon Damage                N       N
    Pierce Target                         N       N
    Prevent Monster Heal                  Y       N

    Claw / Claw Skills
    Dragon Claw - DC
    Claws of Thunder - CoT
    Fists of Fire - FoF
    Blades of Ice - BoI
    Code:
    Modifier                           Primary Secondary
    ____________________________________________________
    Chance to cast on Attacking           Y       Y
    Chance to cast on Striking            Y       Y
    Critical Strike from Claw Mastery     Y       Y**
    Crushing Blow                         Y       Y
    Deadly Strike                         Y       Y**
    Elemental Damage/Venom                Y       Y**
    Hit Blinds Target                     Y       Y**
    Hit Causes Monster to Flee            Y       Y
    Hit Freezes Target                    Y       Y
    Hit Slows Target                      Y       Y**
    Increased Attack Speed                Y       N
    Ignore Target Defense                 Y       Y
    Knockback                             Y       Y
    Leech                                 Y       Y
    Open Wounds                           Y       Y
    Physical/Weapon Damage                Y       Y
    Pierce Target                         N       N
    Prevent Monster Heal                  Y       Y**
    I have tested and verified what mods work on the secondary claw as there is some ambiguity in the Assassin FAQ. See this post for further information.

    **These mods are not tested. Personally I feel that, given everything else I have tested does work, these will work too. This is pretty much confirmed by BIGeyedBUG in this post.


    6. Choosing The Best Claw Type

    Why are quick claws important?
    For many PvM builds, hitting the fastest breakpoints is desirable, but not essential.
    For PvP it is potentially a matter of life or death (ear or no ear?) . You want to be hitting that 9 Frame trap laying with Fade active. As IAS jewels or shaels have no effect on the off hand claw, you are somewhat limited where you can put jewels. And I'm sure you would rather be socketing your armour & helm with a nice resist jewel or something. Weapon speed bugging is discussed in Section 13, I'm not going to confuse the issue just yet.

    Claw Types & Normal Claws
    The table below shows all the different claws available in the game.
    Code:
    Name              Damage cLvl Str Dex Skt +Skills WSM
    
    Normal
    Katar               4-7   -    20  20  2   No     -10
    Wrist Blade         5-9   -    33  33  2   No       0
    Hatchet Hands       2-15  -    37  37  2   No      10
    Cestus              7-15  -    42  42  2   No       0
    Claws               8-15  -    46  46  3   No     -10
    Blade Talons       10-14  -    50  50  3   No     -20
    Scissors Katar      9-17  -    55  55  3   No     -10
    
    
    Exceptional
    Quhab              11-24  21   57  57  3   No       0
    Wrist Spike        13-27  24   66  66  2   No     -10
    Fascia              8-37  27   69  69  2   No      10
    Hand Scythe        16-37  30   73  73  2   Yes    -10
    Greater Claws      18-37  33   76  76  3   Yes    -20
    Greater Talons     21-35  37   79  79  3   Yes    -30
    Scissors Quhab     19-40  40   82  82  3   Yes      0
    
    Elite
    Suwayyah           39-52  44   99  99  3   Yes      0
    Wrist Sword        34-45  46  105 105  3   Yes    -10
    War Fist           44-53  51  108 108  2   Yes     10
    Battle Cestus      36-42  54  110 110  2   Yes    -10
    Feral Claws        22-53  58  113 113  3   Yes    -20
    Runic Talons       24-44  60  115 115  3   Yes    -30
    Scissors Suwayyah  40-51  64  118 118  3   Yes      0
    
    So which are the best claws?
    If you are playing a trapper, Greater Talons. They have the lowest requirements for claws with the fastest WSM and ability to get staffmods.
    For physical damage based characters, it is a question of using the highest damage claw that lets you hit the speed you need. Runic Talons, Feral Claws and Greater Talons are all popular choices.


    7. Runewords For Claws

    The following runewords can all be made in claws. Check the table above for the best base claws to make them in. Remember to look for staffmods that will complement your build. As all these runewords are geared towards physical damage characters, recommended staffmods are Mind Blast, Venom, Weapon Block, Shadow Master, Dragon Flight, Fade, Burst of Speed. Lightning Sentry is also desirable for Hybrid WW/Trap Assassins.

    Chaos
    3 Socket Claws
    Fal + Ohm + Um
    9% Chance To Cast Level 11 Frozen Orb On Striking
    11% Chance To Cast Level 9 Charged Bolt On Striking
    +35% Increased Attack Speed
    +290-340% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    Adds 216-471 Magic Damage
    25% Chance of Open Wounds
    +1 To Whirlwind
    +10 To Strength
    +15 Life After Each Demon Kill

    Well, if you want to make a WWsin, or one of the many WWsin hybrids, this one isn't optional. The runes for it are rare in Single Player, but not un-obtainable. If you want to use it for PvM, do not make it in an exceptional claw, the repair bills will be crippling. Mine is in a Runic Talon, I found the repair bills were not too bad when I quested with my WW Trap hybrid. It is usually equipped in the off hand position, normally with a Fools claw in the primary position.
    If you are making a Blade Fury assassin, Chaos is also a good choice for it's high ED and nice ctc effects. If it is for blade fury only you want it in an ethereal base to maximise the damage. I suggest ethereal Suwayyah or Scissors Suwayyah in this case, preferably with +3 Blade Fury. Don't use Blade Shield with it though, as in this case it will loose durability.

    Fury
    3 Socket Melee Weapons
    Jah + Gul + Eth
    +209% Enhanced Damage
    40% Increased Attack Speed
    Prevent Monster Heal
    66% Chance Of Open Wounds
    33% Deadly Strike
    Ignore Target's Defense
    -25% Target Defense
    20% Bonus To Attack Rating
    6% Life Stolen Per Hit
    +5 To Frenzy (Barbarian Only)

    With the coming of patch 1.13 and the increased rune drop rates, this claw is now accessible to both SP and BNet players. A top of the range Fools claw will beat it for almost all builds, but these can be very hard to come by, especially if you are after staffmods on the claw too. This is a great runeword for the primary claw on a hybrid WW / Trap assassin, made in a +3 Lightning Sentry base.

    Malice
    3 Socket Melee Weapons
    Ith + El + Eth
    +33% Enhanced Damage
    +9 To Maximum Damage
    100% Chance Of Open Wounds
    -25% Target Defense
    -100 To Monster Defense Per Hit
    Prevent Monster Heal
    +50 To Attack Rating
    Drain Life -5

    The 100% open wounds is what makes this attractive. Nice for a PvM kicker, but you will have trouble hitting the required speeds without using BoS for a PvP character. Remember to get +5 or more Replenish Life somewhere else in your equipment to combat the drain on the claw.

    Strength
    2 Socket Melee Weapons
    Amn + Tir
    35% Enhanced Damage
    25% Chance Of Crushing Blow
    7% Life Stolen Per Hit
    +2 To Mana After Each Kill
    +20 To Strength
    +10 To Vitality

    The crushing blow is nice, but I think there are better ways of getting it for PvM without this claw. Could be useful until Gore Riders, Guillaume's Face, Duress etc are available at higher levels. Potentially useful for levelling, but not really endgame gear.

    Venom
    3 Socket Weapons
    Tal + Dol + Mal
    Hit Causes Monster To Flee 25%
    Prevent Monster Heal
    Ignore Target's Defense
    7% Mana Stolen Per Hit
    Level 15 Poison Explosion (27 Charges)
    Level 13 Poison Nova (11 Charges)
    +273 Poison Damage Over 6 seconds

    Wind
    2 Socket Melee Weapons
    Sur + El
    10% Chance To Cast Level 9 Tornado On Striking
    +20% Faster Run/Walk
    +40% Increased Attack Speed
    +15% Faster Hit Recovery
    +120-160% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    -50% Target Defense
    +50 To Attack Rating
    Hit Blinds Target
    +1 To Light Radius
    Level 13 Twister (127 Charges)

    Venom and Wind. Yes, you can make the two most useless runewords in the game in claws. For sake of completeness, I'm listing them here. Please don't make them unless you are doing a runeword grail though, there are much better things to do with your runes.


    8. Unique Claws

    Where to get them
    All of the Unique claws are droppable by Hell Mephisto, but as Firelizard's Talons are TC78 they are fairly rare by comparison to the other three. Bartuc's can also be dropped by NM Meph, the odds are a bit worse than Hell Meph though. Check ATMA's drop calc for more info.

    Shadow Killer
    Battle Cestus
    Damage: (145-172) To (170-201) (157.5-186.5 Avg)
    Required Level: 78
    Required Strength: 100
    Required Dexterity: 100
    Weapon Speed: [-10]
    (Assassin Only)
    +170-220% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    -25% Target Defense
    Freezes Target +2
    +10-15 To Mana After Each Kill (varies)
    33% Chance To Cast Level 8 Frost Nova On Striking
    Indestructible
    Ethereal (Cannot Be Repaired)*
    (Ladder Only)
    (Only Spawns In Patch 1.10 or later)

    The highest physical damage of the unique claws, but not enough to recommend it really. No +skills, but maybe the cold effects could be useful in some builds. If you are looking for damage on a claw, it is relatively easy to find a rare or magical claw to surpass it, and in a quicker claw base type.

    Bartuc's Cut-Throat
    Greater Talons
    Damage: (77-**) To (137-155) (107-121.5 Avg)
    Required Level: 42
    Required Strength: 79
    Required Dexterity: 79
    Durability: 69
    Weapon Speed: [-30]
    (Assassin Only)
    +150-200% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    Adds 25-50 Damage
    30% Faster Hit Recovery
    20% Bonus To Attack Rating
    5-9% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies)
    +20 To Strength
    +20 To Dexterity
    +2 To Assassin Skill Levels
    +1 To Martial Arts Skills (Assassin Only)
    (Only Spawns In Patch 1.09 or later)

    For most claw based Martial Arts builds, this is where it is at. Nice physical damage, fastest claw type, low requirements, stat bonuses, faster hit recovery - it is all here. Remember some of these mods won't apply though in the off hand.
    If you are playing Single Player or BNet Ladder. you can upgrade them to Runic Talons for a bit more damage. The cube recipe is 1 Lum Rune + 1 Pul Rune + 1 Perfect Emerald + Exceptional Unique Weapon = Elite Version of Weapon. Yes, this does work in Single Player despite what the Arreat Summit may say.
    Only do this is you are playing a character that is based solely on physical claw damage. If you are playing a Kicker or a Phoenix Striker for example, there is no point. The only real effect will be you have to invest more points into strength and dexterity that you could better spend in vitality.

    Jade Talon
    Wrist Sword
    Damage: (98-115) To (130-153) (114-134 Avg)
    Required Level: 66
    Required Strength: 105
    Required Dexterity: 105
    Durability: 56
    Weapon Speed: [-10]
    (Assassin Only)
    +190-240% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    +1-2 To Martial Arts (Assassin Only) (varies)
    +1-2 To Shadow Disciplines (Assassin Only) (varies)
    +30% Faster Hit Recovery
    10-15% Mana Stolen Per Hit (varies)
    All Resistances +40-50 (varies)
    (Only Spawns In Patch 1.10 or later)

    A nice chunk of resists and FHR make this a possible off hand claw. Without the benefit of a shield, if you are using BoS, it can be difficult to get enough resists. It's WSM is not as good as Bartuc's, so make sure you do your speed calculations if you are considering using it.

    Firelizard's Talons
    Feral Claws
    Damage: (66-81) To (159-196) (112.5-138.5 Avg)
    Required Level: 67
    Required Strength: 113
    Required Dexterity: 113
    Durability: 52
    Weapon Speed: [-20]
    (Assassin Only)
    +200-270% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    Adds 236-480 Fire Damage
    +15% Increased Attack Speed
    +1-3 To Martial Arts (Assassin Only) (varies)
    +1-2 To Wake of Inferno (Assassin Only) (varies)
    +1-2 To Wake of Fire (Assassin Only) (varies)
    Fire Resist +40-70% (varies)
    (Only Spawns In Patch 1.10 or later)

    I'm not saying this claw is useless, but I can't really see a use for it if you have the other (less) rare claws. I would prefer the stats and life leech from Bartuc's or the resists and mana leech from Jade talon. The fire damage does not add to Fists of Fire or Dragon Tail in and way other than it would to a normal attack.


    9. Magical Claws

    Magical Claws can have one prefix and one suffix. In addition to this they can have up to 3 staffmods. Claws are one of the few instances magic items can be better than Rares, Uniques and Runewords. For a trapper, it is possible to get +3 to Traps and +3 to LS on the claw, with IAS. As magic items have the potential to get two sockets from Larzuk, this is very difficult to beat in a rare, and no runewords or Uniques have better mods.

    Where to get them
    Shopping Anya in Hell is the best place to get magical claws. She only sells two claw types - the quickest Blade Talons/Greater Talons/Runic Talons class and the slow Scissors Katar class. The Talons are what you are promarily interested in, but don't ignore the Scissors Katars, they are fine for pre-buff or PvM.
    She is also right next to Pindle's red portal, so it is very quick to step through the portal and back again to refresh what she has for sale. For more information on shopping, see the section 15.

    I think you can classify magical claws into two main types - Pre-buff claws and Trapper claws. There are others, but these are the most popular. For most other build Bartuc's or Jade Talon will usually be more useful.

    Trapper Claws
    Claw Type:
    Best - Greater / Runic Talons (WSM -30)
    Good - Greater Claws / Feral Claws (WSM -20)

    Desirable Prefixes:
    Witch-hunter's - +2 to Assassin Skill Levels
    Cunning - +3 Assassin Traps

    Desirable Suffixes:
    Readiness - 10% Attack Speed Increase
    Alacrity - 20% Attack Speed Increase
    Swiftness - 30% Attack Speed Increase
    Quickness - 40% Attack Speed Increase
    IAS is useful on the claw to get to the 9 frame trap laying speed. Not essential PvM, required PvP. Check the speed tables in the Assassin forum for more info. Remember IAS only counts on the primary claw, but WSM is averaged from both claws.

    Ease - Requirements -20%
    Simplicity - Requirements -30%
    Both useful in a PvM claw, surpassed by quickness for a PvP claw.

    Desireable Staffmods:
    +3 is obviously best, but are not that common.
    Death Sentry (PvM mainly)
    Lightning sentry
    Charged Bolt Sentry (PvM mainly)
    Fade
    Burst of Speed
    Weapon Block
    Mind Blast
    Shadow Master

    Probably the best you can hope for:
    Witch-hunter's Greater Talons of Quickness
    +2 Assassin Skill Levels (Arguably better than + 3 traps as it helps shadow skills like Weapon Block and Mind Blast too)
    40 IAS
    +3 Lightning Sentry, Mind Blast & Weapon Block
    2 sockets from Larzuk

    Pre-Buff Claws
    Claw Type:
    Any really, speed is not important for a pre buff.

    Desirable Prefixes:
    Witch-hunter's - +2 to Assassin Skill Levels
    Shadow - +3 Assassin Shadow Disciplines

    Desirable Suffixes:
    Ease - Requirements -20%
    Simplicity - Requirements -30%

    Desirable Staffmods
    +3 is obviously best, but are not that common.
    Venom
    Fade
    Burst of Speed
    Shadow Master
    Cloak of Shadows
    Death Sentry (useful as a skill saver for some builds PvM)

    Other Magical Claws
    Look out for the following claws when you shop Anya, all can be very nice to the right build:
    - Fools Greater Talons (or Runic Talons) of Swiftness/Quickness - Rares can be much better, but they aren't common. These claw with 2 sockets from Larzuk take a good rare to beat them. More on these claws below.
    - Kenshi's (or Witch-hunter's) Greater Talons (or Runic Talons) of Swiftness/Quickness - With Pheonix Strike or Claws of Thunder Staffmods, this could be great for a Martial arts assassin.
    - Artisan's / Jewelers Greater Talons (or Runic Talons) of Quickness - The Ursa Major (Bearsin) can get a 3FPA attack using these claws.


    10. Rare Claws

    Rare claws can spawn with up to three prefixes, three suffixes and three staffmods. Check the Arreat Summit for a full list of prefixes & suffixes. Mostly rares follow the requirements of the magical claws above. You won't find +3 to a single skill tree obviously, but +2 to Assassin skill levels is possible, along with +3 to a skill as staffmods.

    Example of a great (probably the best) rare trappers claw:
    Witch Hunters (+2 Assassin Skills)
    Mechanics (2os)
    of Quickness (40 IAS)
    of Simplicity (Requirements -30%)
    +3 Lightning Sentry, Mind Blast & Weapon Block staffmods.

    Fools Claws
    These are used as the primary claw by WWsins. A magical claw will do, but if you can find it, a rare has the potential to be much better. There is already a good mini-guide in the Assassin forum for these.
    Fool's Claws: What to look for by HappyAssassin

    The Ideal Fools Claws:
    Remember that you can upgrade rare claws using the cube recipe. I normally check even rare Blade Talons and Claws when questing. They can potentially drop with all the nice mods you need on a fools claw, but of course no staffmods. But upgraded to Exceptional or Elite they can still be very nice indeed.

    Rare claws are also potentially the best Blade Fury claw. Look for as much damage as possible, i.e.:
    Cruel (%ED)
    Fool's
    Mechanic's (2 Sockets)
    +3 Blade Fury Staff Mod
    Ethereal Suwayyah, War Fist or Scissors Suwayyah base type


    11. Set Claw

    There is only one set claw, I will list it for sake of completeness:

    Natalya's Mark
    Scissors Suwayyah Damage: 120 To 153 (136.5 Avg)
    Required Level: 79
    Required Strength: 118
    Required Dexterity: 118
    Durability: 68
    Base Weapon Speed: [0]
    (Assassin Only)
    +200% Enhanced Damage
    +200% Damage To Undead
    +200% Damage To Demons
    Adds 12-17 Fire Damage
    Ignores Target's Defense
    40% Increased Attack Speed
    +50 Cold Damage, 4 sec. Duration (Normal Difficulty)

    Bartuc's is better as a stand alone claw, but this claw completes Natalya's set and gets you all those nice set bonuses. Check what skills you are using and look at the speed tables before deciding if it will be a Primary or Off hand claw for your build. For Full Nat's Phoenix Strikers it is usually the primary to make use of that ITD and the nice IAS.


    12. Summary

    (or: me no like read just tell wot 2 pik up wen killin stuf U n00b)
    Magical, +3 Trap and +to LS, DS, CBS. Especially if it has IAS too, or is in a fast claw type.
    Magical, +3 Shadow with +to Fade, Venom, BoS, SM
    Rare / Magical, +2 Assassin Skills, +to any useful skills.
    Rare / Magical, Fools with IAS, in a quick claw.
    White, Plain or 3os and +to Fade, Venom, Mind Blast, Dragon Flight, Lightning Sentry.



    Appendices
    Kept up so far? OK this is where it starts getting a bit more complex. Grab a pencil, paper and calculator or a copy of Excel, were going to start crunching some numbers. Don't worry if the numbers are too much for you, I have included a practical summary at the end of each section.


    13. Weapon Speed Bugging

    This is mainly important for PvP Assassins using Whirlwind. Below is a good explanation of weapon speed bugging by TienJe, from his Ghost Assassin guide:

    "WSM bugging is a little trick used to lower the AWSM of your two claws, lowering the IAS requirements for trap + non-WW animations. It works by placing your secondary claw in your inventory first. That means that after you switch to your weapons, lift and replace your glove-side claw, and it’ll bug your WSM.

    Instead of just averaging the WSM’s of the two claws, your AWSM = average + (right WSM – left WSM). So, for example, if you use a Runic Talon (-30 WSM) in the boot-side slot and a Suwayyah (0 WSM) in the glove-side slot, if you bug the WSM, you’ll have an AWSM = -15 + (-30 - 0) = -45 instead of -15 like you would if you didn’t bug it. It’ll help you reach your trap IAS BP’s if you use a slow claw on one hand. If you look at the equation, it’ll tell you to make sure that if you DO use a slow claw, make sure the fast one is in the secondary slot, so when you bug it, it makes your AWSM faster. Otherwise, it’ll actually slow down AWSM. To simplify, a chart is included below, showing the AWSM’s for every claw combination after WSM bugging.

    Code:
                       AWSM after WSM Bugging
    
                    ¦  Boot-Side Claw WSM
                    ¦  10     0   -10   -20  -30
    ________________¦____________________________
    Glove-      10  ¦ 10    -5   -20   -35   -50
    Side         0  ¦ 15     0   -15   -30   -45
    Claw       -10  ¦ 20     5   -10   -25   -40
    WSM        -20  ¦ 25    10    -5   -20   -35
               -30  ¦ 30    15     0   -15   -30
    (I have edited this table so it displays better - maxicek)

    In summary, put fast claw in secondary slot, slow claw in primary slot, and lift and replace your slow claw to bug it. Every time you switch weapons, it replaces the primary claw first, so you’ll have to rebug it. Note that after WSM bugging, the glove-side claw becomes secondary, and the boot-side claw becomes the new primary claw."

    Some additional comments about the use of WSM bugging in the Single Player game based on this post by Denton.

    WSM bugging works nicely with Jade Talon + Chaos Runic Talons:
    - Jade Talon (base claw type Wrist Sword) has a WSM of -10. This claw is equipped in the primary position, above the gloves.
    - Chaos Runic Talons (or Greater Talons) have a WSM of -30. This claw is equipped in the secondary position, above the boots.
    - Lift and replace the claw in the primary position, above the gloves. You have now WSM bugged your claws.
    - From the table above, that gives a (bugged) AWSM of -40
    - If you look this up in the Assassin IAS tables, you can see you need an extra 26IAS on your primary claw on in your equipment (without BoS) to hit the 9 frame trap laying breakpoint.
    - But after WSM bugging, the glove-side claw becomes secondary, and the boot-side claw becomes the new primary claw.
    - Fortunately Chaos already has 30IAS, so you will hit the 9 frame breakpoint without additional off weapon IAS.
    - Once again, remember you have to lift & replace the glove side claw again every time you switch weapons.

    All this is irrelevant it you don't need the resists from Jade Talon. But Single Player ghosts, who don't have the benefits of Annihilus or Hellfire Torches struggle with resistances (especially because of the Anya resist bug) even with Fade on, so WSM bugging using Jade Talon should be considered as an important factor - possibly even the deciding one - when choosing the base claw type for Chaos.

    So why do I read in the Assassin Forum about WSM bugged Chaos Suwayyahs?
    - Chaos Suwayyah has a WSM of 0. This claw is equipped in the primary position, above the gloves.
    - Fools Runic Talons (or Greater Talons) have a WSM of -30. This claw is equipped in the secondary position, above the boots.
    - Lift and replace the claw in the primary position, above the gloves. You have now WSM bugged your claws.
    - From the table above, that gives a (bugged) AWSM of -45
    - If you look this up in the Assassin IAS tables, you can see you need an extra 19IAS on your primary claw on in your equipment (without BoS) to hit the 9 frame trap laying breakpoint.
    - But after WSM bugging, the glove-side claw becomes secondary, and the boot-side claw becomes the new primary claw.
    - So you only need 20IAS on either you fools claw or in your equipment to hit the fastest trap laying speed.
    - One more time, remember you have to lift & replace the glove side claw again every time you switch weapons.

    The trouble is with making your Chaos in a Suwayyah is that you can't use WSM bugging to hit the highest trap laying breakpoints with Jade Talon. Depending on the rest of your equipment, this may or may not be an issue. The main advantage of using this method is that it gives you more flexibility when trying to find a suitable fools claw.


    14. Staffmod Generation
    ...or why can't I have Claw Mastery on my 'Chaos'?

    Staffmods are the class specific skills that can appear on items like Sorceress Orbs, Paladin Scepters and Assassin Claws. This section explains how they are generated.

    This information is taken from the epic that is Uzziah's Guide To Altering Items In Game (Go to the last section in the guide). I have simplified it a bit, so please read the guide for a full explanation.

    1st tier skills
    Fire Blast
    Claw Mastery
    Psychic Hammer
    Tiger Strike
    Dragon Talon

    2nd tier skills
    Shockweb
    Blade Sentinel
    Burst of Speed
    Fists of Fire
    Dragon Claw

    3rd tier skills
    Charged Bolt Sentry
    Wake of Fire
    Weapon Block
    Cloak of Shadows
    Cobra Strike

    4th tier skills
    Blade Fury
    Fade
    Shadow Warrior
    Claws of Thunder
    Dragon Tail

    5th tier skills
    Lightning Sentry
    Wake of Inferno
    Mind Blast
    Blades of Ice
    Dragon Flight

    6th tier skills
    Death Sentry
    Blade Shield
    Venom
    Shadow Master
    Pheonix Strike


    Base tier to use for an item is determined by the ilvl as
    tier:ilvl range
    1: 1-11
    2: 12-18
    3: 19-24
    4: 25-36
    5: 37+

    Then there is a random adjustment made for which tier to actually use when selecting the actual skill:
    20% chance to add 1
    50% chance to stay unmodified
    20% chance to subtract 1
    10% chance to subtract 2

    Low quality items have their max tier capped at 4.
    The game will then randomly select among the 5 skills at that tier.

    The +X bonus is set by a RND[100] (this will give a range of values from 0 to 99):
    If 90 or above, +3
    Between 60 and 89: +2
    Lower than 60: +1

    The total skills on the item will have been set by a RND[100]:
    If 91 or above: 3 skills
    Between 71 and 90: 2 skills
    70 or lower: 1 skill


    stephan pointed out that the section above doesn't allow for a claw having no staffmods. This alternative was posted by drool in the statistics forum. I am in no position to clarify if this is correct, but I think it is certainly sufficient for the purpose of this guide:
    91+ have 3 skills
    71-90 have 2 skills
    31-70 have 1 skill
    0-30 have none


    So, why can't I have Claw Mastery on my 'Chaos'?
    - All claws have to have an ilvl greater than 25 in order to have 3os.
    - ilvl 25 has a base tier of 4 for staffmods.
    - You can only drop two tiers from the base tier, so it is not possible to get tier 1 staffmods on a 3os Claw.

    Or in other words
    Your 3os claw can only have staffmods from ranges 2 to 5 or 3 to 6. So you can't have Fists of Fire and Phoenix Strike on the same claw either.

    But I want to make a 'Strength' Claw with Dragon Talon on it
    - This is possible, but requires a bit of cubing.
    - The first claw type that can get staffmods are Hand Scythes.
    - But the time they start dropping in the game, the ilvl will be too high to get tier 1 staffmods.
    - To get tier 1 staffmods, you need to find a cracked or low quality base claw that can get staffmods.
    - Repair the claw in the cube using this recipe:
    1 Eld Rune + 1 Chipped Gem + Low Quality Weapon = Normal Quality Weapon of same type
    - This automatically sets the claws ilvl to 1. The staffmods on the claw will be re-rolled too, but now you have an 80% chance for tier 1 skills and a 20% chance for tier 2 skills.
    - As the ilvl is now <25, the claw can only get two sockets from either the cube or Larzuk.


    15. Affix Generation

    Affixes are the magical properties that appear on both magical and rare items. There are two types, prefixes and suffixes. Magic items display as follows:

    <Prefix> Item Name <Suffix>
    eg. <Fools> Runic Talons <of Swiftness>

    A magic item can have a prefix only (25% chance), a suffix only (50%) or both a prefix and a suffix (25%)
    Rare items can have up to 3 prefixes and 3 suffixes at random.

    All equations are taken from The Item Generation Tutorial by Warrior of Light.
    The alvls & qlvls are taken from the text files.

    Affix Level calculated as follows:

    Code:
    [/B]
    If (ilvl>99) then {ilvl=99}                         
    if (qlvl>ilvl) then {ilvl=qlvl} ;** see note below
    if (magic_lvl>0) then {alvl=ilvl+magic_lvl}
    else
    {
    if (ilvl<(99-qlvl/2))
    then {alvl=ilvl-qlvl/2}
    else {alvl=2*ilvl-99}
    }
    If (alvl>99) then {alvl=99}
    
    *all calculations use integers so there are no fractions at any step.
    ** this new ilvl value is only used for the duration of this calculation.
    The ilvl value that is stored in the items data file will remain unchanged.
    Claw qlvls
    Code:
    [B]Name              qlvl[/B]
    Katar               1
    Wrist Blade         9
    Hatchet Hands      12
    Cestus             15
    Claws              18
    Blade Talons       21
    Scissors Katar     24
    Quhab              28
    Wrist Spike        32
    Fascia             36
    Hand Scythe        41
    Greater Claws      45
    Greater Talons     50
    Scissors Quhab     54
    Suwayyah           59
    Wrist Sword        62
    War Fist           68
    Battle Cestus      73
    Feral Claws        78
    Runic Talons       81
    Scissors Suwayyah  85

    Affix levels of desireable mods:
    Code:
    [B]Affix Name       alvl  Description[/B]
    
    Fool's***         50   Attack Rating and damage/ level
    
    Entrapping        20   +1 Trap Skills
    Trickster's       40   +2 Trap Skills
    Cunning*          60   +3 Trap Skills
    
    Mentalist's       20   +1 Shadow Disciplines
    Psychic           40   +2 Shadow Disciplines
    Shadow*           60   +3 Shadow Disciplines
    
    Shogukusha's      20   +1 Martial Arts
    Sensei's          40   +2 Martial Arts
    Kenshi's*         60   +3 Martial Arts
    
    Magekiller's      30** +1 Assassin Skills
    Witch-hunter's    50** +2 Assassin Skills
    
    Mechanic's        10   1-2 sockets
    Artisan's*        33   3 sockets
    Jeweler's*        55   4 sockets (3 only for claws)
    
    of Swiftness      34   30% Increased Attack Speed
    of Quickness      46   40% Increased Attack Speed
    Notes:
    * This affix is only available on magic (blue) claws.
    **The alvl for Magekiller's and Witch-hunter' is different for amulets and circlets
    ***Fools affix is listed as Trump in the text files


    You then need to know how the ilvl is generated to determine what affixes can be generated. This depends on where the claw comes form, as described in the next few sections.


    16. Shopping
    Much of this information is taken from the Shopping Calculator and the Item Generation Tutorial by Warrior of Light

    ilvl = character level + 5 when shopping, capped at 99. In Normal difficulty, there is a further cap, depending on which Act the vendor is in:

    Act 1 : 12
    Act 2 : 20
    Act 3 : 28
    Act 4 : 36
    Act 5 : 45

    When ilvl is 25+ (i.e. character level is 20+), vendors will no longer offer normal and socketed item, only magic. So vendors in Act 1 and 2 Normal will always offer normal and socketed items.

    The ilvl of shopped items must be 25+ for an upgrade to occur. The chances of an upgrade are as follows:

    Exceptional upgrade in Nightmare: ((ilvl * 64) + 4000) / 100,000
    Exceptional upgrade in Hell: ((ilvl * 128) + 5000) / 100,000
    Elite upgrade in Hell: ((ilvl * 16) + 1000) / 100,000

    Claw Vendors
    Normally I would recommend shopping Hell Anya as she is the quickest vendor to shop. But maybe you are playing untwinked, or in a tournament and need to shop some claws before you can get to her.

    This is a list of who sells what claws, taken from the shopping calculator. I have not personally verified this list. I have noticed that Hell Anya is not listed as a vendor of Blade Talons although I know I have bought several from her, so there may be other errors. Anything I have corrected is listed in italics.

    Katar - Charsi (Normal), Gheed (Normal)
    Wrist Blade - Charsi (Normal), Gheed (Normal), Charsi (Nightmare)
    Hatchet Hands - Fara (Normal), Hralti (Normal), Elzix (Normal), Charsi (Nightmare), Gheed (Nightmare)
    Cestus - Fara (Normal), Elzix (Normal), Fara (Nightmare), Hralti (Nightmare)
    Claws - Hralti (Normal), Asheara (Normal), Fara (Nightmare), Elzix (Nightmare), Fara (Hell), Hralti (Hell)
    Blade Talons - Hralti (Normal)*, Asheara (Normal), Jamella (Normal)*, Anya (Normal), Hralti (Nightmare), Asheara (Nightmare), Charsi (Hell), Fara (Hell), Elzix (Hell), Anya (Nightmare), Anya (Hell)
    Scissors Katar - Halbu (Normal), Jamella (Normal), Larzuk (Normal), Anya (Normal), Charsi (Hell), Gheed (Hell), Anya (Nightmare), Anya (Hell)
    Quhab - Charsi (Nightmare)

    Wrist Spike - Charsi (Nightmare), Gheed (Nightmare)
    Fascia - Fara (Nightmare), Hralti (Nightmare)
    Hand Scythe - Fara (Nightmare), Elzix (Nightmare)
    Greater Claws - Hralti (Nightmare), Hralti (Hell), Asheara (Nightmare), Asheara (Hell)
    Greater Talons - Asheara (Nightmare), Asheara (Hell), Anya (Nightmare), Anya (Hell)
    Scissors Quhab - Halbu (Nightmare), Halbu (Hell), Jamella (Nightmare), Jamella (Hell), Larzuk (Nightmare), Larzuk (Hell), Anya (Nightmare), Anya (Hell)
    Suwayyah - Cannot be shopped.
    Wrist Sword - Cannot be shopped.
    War Fist - Cannot be shopped.
    Battle Cestus - Cannot be shopped.
    Feral Claws - Hralti (Hell), Asheara (Hell)
    Runic Talons - Asheara (Hell), Anya (Hell)
    Scissors Suwayyah - Halbu (Hell), Jamella (Hell), Larzuk (Hell), Anya (Hell)

    *The vendor only sells white claws to characters below level 20.


    Can I shop a white claw with staffmods?
    No. Staffmods are only available on exceptional and elite claws. These are only available after character level 20 (ilvl 25) and will therefore always be magical.

    What lvl character is the best for shopping?
    There may be a better chance of getting the right prefixes and suffixes with a lower level character, but normally you are not just after magical properties, but also the staffmods. These are only available on an exceptional or elite class claw. You have the highest chance of an upgrade to exceptional or elite with an ilvl 99 item. As the ilvl = clvl+5, a character of level 94+ gives the best chance of getting an upgrade and therefore the claw you want. If you don't have a character as high as 94, use one as high as you can.

    How do I shop Anya?
    I'll spell this one out because I often see it asked around the forums:
    - Use a character of ideally lvl 94+ (or as high as possible) and load up with gold, at least 1,000,000. If that claw appears with uber mods, you want to make sure you have enough gold to buy it.
    - Go to Anya in Hell difficulty. She is in A5 next to the red portal (to Pindleskin).
    - Click Trade and look at the claws in the weapons tab.
    - Don't see anything you like? Go to the red portal and go through and quickly back again. If you are quick you won't wake up any of the zombies. This refreshes what she has to sell.
    - Rinse & repeat.

    Summary
    - Shop Anya with as high a character level as possible (94+ optimum) for Magical Greater and Runic Talons. These claws will have a base tier of 5 for staffmod generation and will be able to get all the desireable affixes.
    - +1 Traps / Shadow Disciplines / Martial Arts Blade Talons can be shopped from character level 25
    - +2 Traps / Shadow Disciplines / Martial Arts Blade Talons can be shopped from character level 45


    17. Re-rolling Magical Claws

    Another possible option for getting nice magical claws is to re-roll them using the three chipped gem recipe. This also give them 1-2 sockets at random. From The Arreat Summit:

    3 Chipped Gems + 1 Magic Weapon = Socketed Magic Weapon
    This adds sockets to a magic weapon. The original magic weapon properties will be removed (rerolled) when the new weapon is created. If you use this formula with a weapon that is not normally socketed such as a Javelin, this recipe will create a new magical weapon without any sockets. ilvl=25 magic weapon with 1-2 sockets.


    The table below shows the affix levels for all claws that can have staffmods if re-rolled using the 3 chipped gem recipe. The 3 standard gem recipe and 3 flawless gem recipe gives the same results.

    Code:
    [B]
    Name              qlvl    alvl[/B]
    Hand Scythe        41      21
    Greater Claws      45      23
    Greater Talons     50      25
    Scissors Quhab     54      27
    Suwayyah           59      30
    Wrist Sword        62      31
    War Fist           68      37
    Battle Cestus      73      47
    Feral Claws        78      57
    Runic Talons       81      63
    Scissors Suwayyah  85      71
    If you now compare the alvl of the claws with the desireable mods in Section 15, it is pretty clear that Runic Talons are the best option for re-rolling with this recipe. Scissors Suwayyah can get all the desireable mods, but are a bit slow. Feral Claws could be considered, but they can't get the Cunning / Shadow / Kenshi's prefixes.

    Now I'm sure that you are thinking back to Section 14 and wondering what staffmods are available on claws re-rolled with the 3 chipped gem recipe. Well, ilvl=25, so that means a base tier of 4. That means you only have a 20% chance of getting an upgrade to a tier 5 staffmod, like Lightning Sentry.

    For this reason I think re-rolling is better suited to finding Fools Claws than good Trapper Claws. I'm not yet sure if it is a better option than shopping for them though.

    Summary
    - Magical Runic Talons (and Scissors Suwayyah) re-rolled by any character will have a base tier of 4 for staffmod generation and a chance of getting all the desireable affixes (alvl=60).
    - No other claw types can get all the desireable affixes.


    18. Re-rolling Rare Claws
    6 Perfect Skulls + 1 Rare Item = 1 Random Low Quality Rare Item of the same type
    You can use this formula to get another chance at a Rare Item of the same type. ilvl = int(.4 * clvl) + int(.4 * ilvl) Player level matters. This formula will not work on items larger than 3x2.


    - Use the formula above to calculate the ilvl. Note that the ilvl will change as you continue to re-roll the item then stabilise.
    - You can then use the formula in section 15 to calculate the affix level.
    - You only need to consider affix levels 50 or lower for rare claws as the level 60 affix levels do not appear on rares.

    Summary
    - Rare Runic Talons, Feral Claws and Scissors Suwayyah re-rolled by any character level 58 and higher will have a base tier of 5 for staffmod generation and a chance of getting all the desireable affixes (alvl=50).
    - No other claw types can get all the desireable affixes if re-rolled more than a few times.


    19. Imbuing Claws
    Imbuing is the act 1 quest reward that Charsi gives. It takes a normal quality item and makes it a rare quality item. Imbuing is one of the best methods of generating rare claws as it will always give you three staffmods.
    The imbue quest cannot be used by a char with a level lower than 8
    The imbue quest sets the ilvl to character level plus four. In equation form
    clvl + 4 = ilvl


    - Use the formula above to calculate the ilvl
    - You can then use the formula in section 15 to calculate the affix level.
    - You only need to consider affix levels 50 or lower for rare claws as the level 60 affix levels do not appear on rares.

    Summary
    - Runic Talons, Feral Claws and Scissors Suwayyah imbued by any character level 33 and higher will have a base tier of 5 for staffmod generation and a chance of getting all the desireable affixes (alvl=50)..
    - Greater Talons and Greater Claws imbued by any character level 71 and higher will have a base tier of 5 for staffmod generation and a chance of getting all the desireable affixes (alvl=50).


    20. Gambling Claws
    If you are after magical claws, you are better off shopping for them - that way you can see what mods are available before you spend the gold. Plus you can refresh the trade window quicker than you can gamble claws. But if you are specifically after rare claws and have already used all your Imbue quests and got through all your Perfect Skulls re-rolling, gambling is another option. You will need a gold finder though.

    These formulae (once again) from the Item Generation Tutorial:
    Item levels are determined by an equation:
    ilvl = clvl + rnd[10] - 5
    (i.e. from clvl-5 to clvl+4)

    The chances for every quality are:
    Unique: 1/2000
    Set: 1/1000
    Rare: 1/10
    Magical: 1797/2000

    Here are the equations used to determine whether or not the item will become exceptional or elite:
    exceptional = 1 + (ilvl - excep qlvl) * 90 / 100
    elite = 1 + (ilvl - elite qlvl) * 33 / 100


    - Use the formula above to calculate the ilvl. I recommend that you work on the minimum value, i.e. ilvl=clvl-5
    - You can then use the formula in section 15 to calculate the affix level.
    - Make sure when you gamble you hover the mouse over the graphic so you know if you are choosing Blade Talons or Claws.

    Example: Gambling for Rare Greater / Runic Talons with a character level 93
    For this example i'll assume ilvl= clvl, i.e. about average for gambling

    Greater Talons = 1 + (ilvl - excep qlvl) * 90 / 100
    = 1 + (93 - 50) * 90 / 100
    = 39.6% chance

    Runic Talons = 1 + (ilvl - elite qlvl) * 33 / 100
    = 1 + (93 - 81) * 90 / 100
    = 11.7% chance

    But only 1/10 items will be rare:
    Rare Greater Talons = 3.96% chance
    Rare Runic Talons = 1.17% chance

    So about 5% are rare claws that can get staffmods. The cost of gambling Blade Talons is about 44K Gold per try (with Edge and Gheed's Fortune). This means about 900K Gold per rare claw.

    Summary
    - All Greater Talons / Runic Talons / Greater Claws / Feral Claws gambled using a charater level 85 or greater will have a base tier of 5 for staffmod generation and a chance of getting all the desireable affixes (alvl=60).
    - Gamble with a character level as high as possible in order to get the best chance of an upgrade to exceptional or elite claws.


    21. Finding Claws
    As you play through the game, you may wonder at what point it becomes possible to find the nice claws. ilvl for items dropped by a monter depend

    In normal difficulty all normal monsters have fixed levels, that may be found in monstats.txt file. In Nightmare and Hell difficulties all normal monsters have levels equal to area levels, where they are placed.
    Area Levels can be found here
    Champions get +2 bonus to their levels. Unique monsters and their minions get +3 bonus to their levels.
    There are a few exceptions from this rule, though. Bosses, monsters that have boss=1 in monstats.txt file, have fixed level, stated in monstats.txt file, and don't get level upgrades.

    - Any magical claws type with an ilvl of 80 or higher are able to appear with all of the nice alvl=60 affixes
    - Any rare claw needs an ilvl 75 of for affixes like Witchhunters.
    I advise not to pick up all claw types - I check all rare Talons & Claws, sometimes Suwayyahs or Wrist Swords. I sometimes check magical claws, but not always.

    Summary
    - When you are questing, start checking rare/magical claws in Act 2 Hell and in any of the special underground areas in A1 like The Pits, The Countess' Tower etc.
    - Check all rare Runic Talons as they can always spawn with the desireable mods.


    22. Racking

    "Racking" is when you click on the various armour racks found in areas like Lower Kurast to get items. Because of the wat the game generates items, it is possible to get a rack to drop a specific item repeatably. This is known as a stable rack (as in stability, not horses). In order to get a stable rack you need to be close to the waypoint. Get to the rack with a short sequence of teleports, without stopping to kill stuff. Changing the route you take to the rack or the number of teleports can affect what the rack drops.

    Racks are able to drop items with a qlvl equal to the area level that the rack is in minus 1.

    The area levels of some of the most popular "racked" areas (Hell):
    Code:
    [B]
    Hell Area Levels             1.07   1.10+[/B]
    Countess' tower lvl5           73     79
    The Stony Tomb                 78     78
    Tal Rasha's false tombs        83     80
    Lower Kurast                   **     80
    Durance of Hate Lvl 2-3        91     83
    The frozen caves (Icy Cellar?) 95     83
    Nihlathak's temple Level 1     99     83
    Nihlathak's temple Level 2    100     84
    Nihlathak's temple Level 3    102     84
    As far as racking is concerned, I'm most interested in Runic Talons, either for using up my Imbue quests with or as base items for runewords.

    - Runic Talons are qlvl 81 (see the table in Section 15)
    - The qlvl of items dropped from Lower Kurast racks in 1.10 is 80-1 = 79, so you can't get runic talons there.
    - Feral claws are qlvl 78, so you can rack them in 1.10+ Lower Kurast.
    - Runic talons can drop from racks in 1.07 Lower Kurast as the qlvl in 1.07 =87

    Summary
    - Run racks for white Greater Talons or Feral Claws in Lower Kurast.
    - Run racks in 1.07 Lower Kurast for Runic Talons
    - Ran racks in The Durance of Hate or The Halls of Vaught for Runic Talons in 1.10+



    23. Thanks

    Sincere thanks to:
    - RibGriller for asking the question that got this whole guide started
    - Everyone who commented in the original thread
    - TienJe for the Ghost guide that really got me hooked on assassins, and the original info on WSM bugging.
    - Warrior of Light and Uzziah for their excellent guides, on which pretty much all of the appendices are based.
    - Denton for help with the WSM bugging section
    - BIGeyedBUG for help with Firelizards fire damage
    - Special thanks to stephan for much help checking and proof reading.


    24. Revision History

    1.0 - First release
    1.1 - Added appendices – Weapon speed bugging and staffmods
    1.2 - Overhauled and expanded the what mods work with claws section. Added contents and revision history. Added shopping appendix. Modified formatting and corrected spellings.
    2.0 - Major changes to the appendices. Added sections on Affix generation, gambling and re-rolling claws.
    2.1 - Modified Gambling section to explain chances of getting rare claws.
    2.2 - Added note on Imbues. Added racking section. Added notes on blade fury claws. Added Venom, Wind to runewords for completeness.
    2.3 - Modified note on Fury to reflect increased rune drop rates in 1.13+
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2016
    Ventrell likes this.
  2. Thyiad

    Thyiad Moderator Single Player, D2 Assassin, Barbarian

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    Re: Shuko-jutsu: The Art of the Claw (Version 1.1)

    Nice work Max. :thumbsup:
     
  3. Low Key

    Low Key IncGamers Member

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    Re: Shuko-jutsu: The Art of the Claw (Version 1.1)

    Quite a useful guide. Great job!
     
  4. Thyiad

    Thyiad Moderator Single Player, D2 Assassin, Barbarian

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    Re: Shuko-jutsu: The Art of the Claw (Version 1.1)

    Updated and bumped.

    Yeah, yeah, I'll infract myself later.
     
  5. ioupainmax

    ioupainmax IncGamers Member

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    Re: Shuko-jutsu: The Art of the Claw (Version 1.1)

    This is an excellent guide, shame you can't make Anya cough up the good stuff though - she clearly has a vendetta against me for not saving her sooner and dilly dallying when Malah gave me the potion.
     
  6. Asmodeous

    Asmodeous IncGamers Member

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    Re: Shuko-jutsu: The Art of the Claw (Version 1.1)

    Sweet read.

    I can't imagine needing to know any more about clawsins than what you have included in this guide, and being the sin noob that I am, (only ever made 2) it's a very handy post!

    :thumbsup:
     
  7. neumein

    neumein IncGamers Member

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    Re: Shuko-jutsu: The Art of the Claw (Version 1.1)

    This should be required reading. Not just for those wanting to make an Assassin, but for everyone, as it shows what a guide should be. Concise and clear, gives gear alternatives/budgets, well laid out, etc. Good stuff dude!
     
  8. xZerasx

    xZerasx IncGamers Member

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    Re: Shuko-jutsu: The Art of the Claw (Version 1.1)

    I have a quick question about the ideal claw to look for. If Rares can spawn with up to 3 prefixes and 3 suffixes, what stops the game from giving you a claw with both +2 to Assassin Skills and +2 to Traps, and all the additional suffixes/prefixes you would want?
     
  9. factotum

    factotum IncGamers Member

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    Re: Shuko-jutsu: The Art of the Claw (Version 1.1)

    Well, first of all staffmods (+skills) are independent of prefixes and suffixes and are rolled independently (which is why you still get them on white and blue items). Having said that, I believe the game simply won't ever roll something with +all skills AND +skills to a particular tree--those two options are mutually exclusive, presumably because they'd make the weapon way too powerful.



     
  10. Summoned

    Summoned IncGamers Member

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    Re: Shuko-jutsu: The Art of the Claw (Version 1.1)

    Pretty much what factotum said.

    Think of mods as belonging to a "group." For example, the "+% ED" is a group of its own containing things like Cruel, Ferocious, etc. The "+% ED, +AR" is another group with things like Grandmaster's, Master's. The "+skills" is another group containing things like +assassin skills, +trap skills, +bow & crossbow skills. The "+IAS" group has Quickness, Swiftness, Alacrity. And so on and so forth.

    The game will only ever pick 1 mod from each group for a rare item.
     
  11. road to elysium

    road to elysium IncGamers Member

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    Re: Shuko-jutsu: The Art of the Claw (Version 1.1)

    Awesome guide. Thanks for putting in the work.
     
  12. Starving_Poet

    Starving_Poet IncGamers Member

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    Re: Shuko-jutsu: The Art of the Claw (Version 1.1)

    Holy Shmazoly - this was EXACTLY what I was looking for.

    7 years and I've never played an assassin!
     
  13. maxicek

    maxicek IncGamers Member

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    Re: Shuko-jutsu: The Art of the Claw (Version 1.1)

    I have just updated this to 2.0. I have added a huge amount to tha appendices, dealing mainly with re-rolling and shopping claws. Well I had to do the research for my own purposes, so I though I may as well update the guide whilst I was at it. I think some of the info will be useful to anyone re-rolling or shopping, not just to Assassin players.

    If anyone has any corrections to the appendices, please let me know.

    @Thy / Sirpoops: Any chance of deleting the revision from the thread title as I can't? Thanks.
     
  14. Starving_Poet

    Starving_Poet IncGamers Member

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    Re: Shuko-jutsu: The Art of the Claw (Version 1.1)

    Nice Update, I must peruse this at least once a week.
     
  15. stephan

    stephan IncGamers Member

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    Re: Shuko-jutsu: The Art of the Claw

    I agree for Magic claws, but I don't necessarily agree for Rares. Claws cost 45,000 gold or thereabout (before reduction with Gheeds and Edge)? That's 45,000*10*0.7 = 315,000 gold per rare claw.

    Assuming Blade Talon base, level 90 char and using your formulas:

    1 + (85 - 50)*90/100 = 32.5% for exceptional
    1 + (85 - 81)*33/100 = 2.3% for elite

    (correct?)

    That would make 315,000/(0.325+0.023) = 905,000 for a possibly good claw. I think that might be easier than getting 6 PSkulls...

    Just my few cents... :)

    EDIT:

    I forgot to say: nice work!!

    Having all those formulas together in one place is definitely handy.



     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2009
  16. maxicek

    maxicek IncGamers Member

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    Re: Shuko-jutsu: The Art of the Claw (Version 1.1)

    @stephan: I think you are right, maybe I over stated my case a bit with that statement. Maybe something along the lines of "use up your spare PSKulls and Imbues first before you start gambling for claws" may be better wording.

    Edit:
    Revised and updated to version 2.1 as per stephan's suggestion above.

    Edit 2:

    Edit: Thanks for sorting out the title Thy :flowers:
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2009
  17. Thyiad

    Thyiad Moderator Single Player, D2 Assassin, Barbarian

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    Re: Shuko-jutsu: The Art of the Claw (Version 1.1)

    Version removed as per request.
     
  18. Yuka

    Yuka IncGamers Member

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    Re: Shuko-jutsu: The Art of the Claw

    Nice guide!

    I noticed you didn't include +x% elemental damage and -enemy resistance (e.g. poison facets) in your what works on which claw lists. I was thinking of building a Dragon Claw sin focusing on venom damage, but I'd really like to know whether the -enemy poison resistance from a poison facet affects both claw attacks if the facet is socketed in a weapon instead of armor/helm.

    Could someone please look into this?
     
  19. maxicek

    maxicek IncGamers Member

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    Re: Shuko-jutsu: The Art of the Claw

    Updated to version 2.2
    2.2 - Added note on Imbues. Added racking section. Added notes on blade fury claws. Added Venom, Wind to runewords for completeness.

    I think this is probably the final version, the only thing that is really outstanding is checking all the shopping vendors for section 16. I'm not going to do that in the near future as I don't think most people will look further than Anya anyway.
     
  20. Dogen

    Dogen IncGamers Member

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    Re: Shuko-jutsu: The Art of the Claw

    what's better?

    Cunning Greater Talons of Worth
    +3 Traps
    +2 LS

    or

    Witch-Hunter's Hand Scythe of Swiftness
    +2 Assassin Skill
    +30% IAS
    +3 LS

    I know the greater talons are faster (-30) by default but with the extra 30IAS on the Hand Scythe, how do you figure which one is faster? What's the calculation?
     

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