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Simple kicker build i'm trying

Discussion in 'Assassin' started by Frenzied Bovine, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. Frenzied Bovine

    Frenzied Bovine IncGamers Member

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    Simple kicker build i'm trying

    Just a small FYI, i've given a number of kick builds a fair shake and haven't been that happy with them. But i'm trying a new one again!

    It shouldn't really be anything new to anyone, but hey :) I'm probably about six months late to the party on this one. I'm finally at a point where I can devote trading resources to obtaining items on this list (in most cases, I already have them!).

    Anticipated build:

    18 Dragon Talon
    20 Claws of Thunder
    20 Fists of Fire
    20 Phoenix Strike
    Incidentals: 1 CoS, 1 MB, 1 CM, 1 BoS, 1 Fade, 1 DC/DTail/DF.

    Anticipated equipment:

    "Crescent Moon" (Shael Um Tir) Phase Blade + Stormshield or Medusa's Gaze
    switch weapon: 2x Shadow claws for prebuffing of BoS or Fade
    Duriel's Shell or Shaftstop or Natalya's Armor w/facets
    Gore Riders (upgraded) or Myrmidion Greaves

    The rest is flexible, but will most likely end up split between resists and skills.

    Q1: How much IAS is needed to hit 7/2 kick speed with a CM phase blade? Should I use BoS at all or can I skip it completely??

    Q2: Stormshield or Medusa's Gaze? One is high block and DR, the other procs Lower Resist when struck (which will be a godsend). I'm tempted to go with Medusa's, but then I need to get DR from elsewhere.

    Q3: Merc - Holy Freeze + Reaper's Toll (or possibly upgraded Kelpie Snare). My big fear is that by employing Reaper's Toll, my merc will overwrite Medusa Gaze's Lower Resist. I don't really want that happening. Maybe I can go HF + Kelpie, or HF + Reaper's and just resign myself to SS (like that's a bad thing).

    Gloves will almost certainly be +3 MA IAS gloves possibly with CB if I can be bothered crafting. Helm, Andariel's Visage, almost no question for me. Amulet, no idea, possibly a rare +2 Assassin or a +3 MA.

    I want to be a sword-swinging Assy w/kicks :) As a side note, Blade Fury would be a very good thing to have!

    Any thoughts/comments?
     
  2. Fafner

    Fafner IncGamers Member

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    Based on my experience with a kicker/hybrid (L-trapper), I'd say you might need a bit more CB (especially if you want to MF on Hell Baal, 25% would be a little dangerous, 75% for me works fine) for bosses and just to increase your killing speed in general on LI, although, maybe with enough +skills your meteor will be respectable (I'm not really an expert here on what damage you can do with meteors to Hell monsters, I'm just now getting a sorc. there).

    My first problem was with LI archers, but with CoS and quick kicks or meteors they'll go down. Now, Frenzytaurs, I guess pheonix would have the advantage of that 3rd charge which could really make the difference.

    Another thing I'd suggest is a pair of +3 Shadow claws on switch for BoS, SM, etc.

    As for the SS, medusa, the lower resist kicks in when you're struck, not great, since your speed is hitting not getting hit. I'd go SS, get a LR wand if you're concerned (that way you choose when to use it). The key to kicker chance to casts is much the Zealot for the paladin, what ever you can trigger with your outrageous speed. I'm not sure if Dracul's Grasp Life Tap works for kicks, but if it does, that would be a way to keep your life bulb full.

    Hopefully someone with more experience can handle the other questions. Hope I helped a bit.
     
  3. Frenzied Bovine

    Frenzied Bovine IncGamers Member

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    Draculs does work with kicks and fills your life bulb like crazy. But even WITH Draculs I found that I died quite a bit with my last kicker. (She was a bit of a weakling, though.)

    Another option for me is the Orphan Call set. CB on the helm, godly blocking on the shield, dual leech on the belt, IAS on the gloves. Problem is, I lose LOTS of skills (+5 MA, potential 3 from gloves and 2 from andy's) and some resist slots. So right now this is a no.

    Having played a kicker I have found it's more important to have a good set of boots than it is to have copious amounts of Crushing Blow. Even 15% or 25% is a lot of CB since you hit so much. As proof, I offer up my Ghost Spear BOTD barb - he got godly when he swapped out War Travellers for Gore Riders. You would be amazed what a big difference that even 15% Crushing Blow makes - even incidental crushing blows are a HUGE help, but I am no longer in the camp that believes that a high % chance of Crushing Blow is worth sacrificing survivability, killing speed or damage. Kinda like MF I guess.

    Atma's is a great amulet (that is also triggered often). But as I plan on having a HF + Decrep merc, both Atma's and Draculs are things I probably do NOT want happening. I'd rather have everything moving in SUPER slow motion than have everything lifetapped. Besides, decrep strips off PI anyway.

    I might end up using a dual PDiamond Moser's and a Shaftstop (30% DR, +63 resists).. or a perf up'd Um'd vipermagi I have laying around and an SS (35% DR, >50 resists). Depends if I have a spare SS or not.

    I have one more question: does your merc teleport WITH you when you Dragon Flight? If so, that will be my solution to ranged attackers - CoS and DFlight to them, bringing my merc and his insta-snap-super-slow cheese aura with me.
     
  4. redsand.

    redsand. IncGamers Member

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    I'm doing a similar build.

    Instead of putting 20 into each ps synergy, I maxed venom.
     
  5. Frenzied Bovine

    Frenzied Bovine IncGamers Member

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    I tried that and was VERY, VERY dissapointed with Venom in Hell difficulty.

    And I had a lot of good +Venom gear (eg Trang's Gloves), over +10 to Shadow skills, maxed resists in Hell, etc. My Venom read over 750 damage in 0.4 seconds on the skill screen, but in reality it was almost worthless, usually because they killed me even faster than I killed them.
     
  6. jrichard

    jrichard IncGamers Member

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    When i combined PS and Dtalon a while back, i found i was unhappy with talon being at a high number of kicks. I'll probably get around to rebuilding that 'sin sometime and my thought is to end up with talon at no higher than level 17. As a finisher for PS, having a quicker talon sequence would be nice imo. AR could be an issue i guess, but no more of an issue than the PS charge-ups AR should be.

    jrichard
     
  7. sawse

    sawse IncGamers Member

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    Re: shance to cast curses

    I don't use dracul's grasp or atma's scarab on my kicker because both of these cancel out cloak of shadows. I find kickers to be a bit of a glass cannon because of the high strength required and nothing helps prevent death better than cloak of shadows in my opinion.

    I also use ps on my kicker, and the 3rd charge also helps with the safety issue.
     
  8. Frenzied Bovine

    Frenzied Bovine IncGamers Member

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    Just looked it up on JRichard's oh so sweet kicking calculator.

    Crescent Moon's native IAS of 20%, in a Phase Blade, immediately gets you an 8/3 kick speed. With just a single point in BoS a kicker hits 7/2 with a CMPB.

    With NO BoS at all, you need a total of 50% IAS to hit 7/2. So a CMPB + Andariel's Visage needs only +10% more IAS to hit 7/2 without the need for BoS, meaning an Assassin can go with Fade for resists instead.

    20 IAS +3 MA gloves would do it easily. That's 5 skill points saved in DTalon, which could potentially allow this char to get a Shadow Master.. or Blade Fury.

    And yes, to the poster above you're absolutely right: curses cancel out CoS. My kicker died because he lifetapped entire screens worth of monsters, who then all wanted a piece of him.
     
  9. Trance757

    Trance757 IncGamers Member

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    CoS radius covers more than just one screen, while Life tap is only 3 or 4 yards in radius. Mind blast the monsters you don't want to fight while they are at the edge of the screen. Take a few steps back, and cast CoS. Then, everything will be CoS'd since CoS has a very large radius, and you'll have the monster pack you want to lifetap seperated from the pack you want to remain CoS'd.

    Just make use of mind blast, since it's so versatile. I personally have about 8 points in mindblast for a longer stun and higher chance to convert, as I find the extra stun is invaluable on some monsters and a high chance to convert reduces the number of offensive bodies who are attacking me, minimizing my chances of getting overwhelmed.

    Just use Mind Blast + CoS to divide and conquer, and you'll find that a Kicker with Dracul's gloves and a good pair of Myrmidon Base Boots will have excellent survivability in hell, despite the fact that she has low defense and life for a melee fighter.

    I also suggest a max Fade + leviathan/shaftstop/stormshield (depending on build type c/c or c/s) for resists and 50% max DR. BoS is a terrible aura for a melee assassin because IAS, good crushing blow (50%), 75% resist all in hell and max 50% DR is more easily achieved by using Fade. You'll be able liberally wear more IAS and CB gear, since Fade will make up for your resists and PDR.

    Use the right gear and make us of your crowd control skills, and you'll have little trouble surviving in hell. Just don't except to kill as fast as a overpowered Hammerdin.
     
  10. sawse

    sawse IncGamers Member

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    The radius on Dracul's gloves life tap is actually 8.6 yards, and the radius of Cloak of Shadows is 20 yards. Your plan sounds simple in theory but in practice I have found that it does not work out that way. Most combats are much more chaotic, with monsters on different fronts and arriving at different times. I find it much more manageable to fight only a few monsters at a time and the radius of that life tap doesn't allow for it. Also, because of the point demands of my build, I was only able to devote a single point to mind blast (level 5 with items) so it does not provide as much breathing room as you have available to you.
     
  11. Frenzied Bovine

    Frenzied Bovine IncGamers Member

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    Just had a bit more of a think about gear and I struck on this little find: M'avina's Battle Hymn

    My wife's zon wore this this and it's damn fine. Obviously this Assassin can't and won't use the bow, but with four peices of the set, I see some VERY sweet bonuses:

    +30% IAS - allows 7/2 kick speed with a CMPB without BoS!
    +1 to all skills - 2nd item green partial set bonus from diadem
    30% FHR - 3rd item green partial set bonus from armor
    +50% resists - 4th item green partial set bonuses from diadem and belt
    +large cold damage
    +20 str, +30 dex - sweet gold partial set bonuses
    5% mana leech and FR/W off the belt
    20% bonus to attack rating off the helm

    Looks like a winner to me. 50% resists, and then I can stack Fade atop that without worrying about loss of kick speed, AND my weapon, shield, boots, rings and amulet are all still free.

    I'm not sure I can get a Crescent Moon phase blade anymore so I may have to settle for a Fleshripper Fanged Knife I have laying around ;)
     
  12. jrichard

    jrichard IncGamers Member

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    I think with a -30 WSM weapon, you'll need 54 ias to hit 7/2 not 50 ias. Still that's only a single ias jewel socketed somewhere if you end up right at 50.

    jrichard
     
  13. Trance757

    Trance757 IncGamers Member

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    That's why mind blast with a 4 second stun and 30% chance to convert is quit nifty. You can surgically break up packs.
     
  14. sawse

    sawse IncGamers Member

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    I agree. Since building the above mentioned character, I made a trapper who's mind blast has exactly that, a 4 second stun and I find it extremely valuable.
     
  15. Frenzied Bovine

    Frenzied Bovine IncGamers Member

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    Hmm I plugged it into your calculator and it said 50 IAS. I could always IAS jewel M'avina's helm - people have done far worse, after all ;)

    Crescent Moon is a one handed swing weapon, base frame 14.
    Phase Blade has -30 WSM.
    Crescent Moon has 20 IAS on it.

    According to your calc, level 1 BoS drops it to 7/2.

    Whoops! I do need 55 IAS to drop to 7/2 without BoS!!! You're right! You must have fixed the calculator ;)
     
  16. jrichard

    jrichard IncGamers Member

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    I fixed a rounding issue with the calc a little while back. :)

    jrichard
     
  17. Frenzied Bovine

    Frenzied Bovine IncGamers Member

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    ^^ Actually I meant that wholly as a joke, thinking I had overlooked it the first time :D

    Anyways..

    I was thinking of some other equipment choices for this "simple" kicker build and eventually settled on something, er, unusual which might make for an interesting concept build.. Delirium.

    I'm sure it's been mentioned before, but it would be oh so sweet for an Assassin. High level confuse on striking would make everyone suddenly decide to fight everyone else. Combined with static field on striking and Phoenix Strike (Meteor/Cold) and much fun can definately be had!

    I was thinking this..

    Essentials:
    Crescent Moon phase blade
    Stormshield (finally, some DR)
    upped Gore Rider boots

    Optionals: (must include 35% IAS somewhere)
    Delirium tiara (+2 skills)
    +20% IAS +3 MA gloves

    What to wear for armor, belt, rings and ammy, I wonder? Definately want skills out of the ammy to boost PS as much as possible. But i'm still 15 IAS short of being able to use Fade over BoS...
     
  18. belth

    belth IncGamers Member

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    Highlord's for ammy, +1 skills and 20% IAS :) Doubt the DS/clvl goes amiss either.
     
  19. jrichard

    jrichard IncGamers Member

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    As far as IAS goes, i think you might be down to a highlord's ammy, cat's eye ammy, or putting an IAS jewel in the storm. I think i'd favor the IAS jewel. Your going to need all the other slots to make up some ground on your resists. For that reason alone, CoH is where i'd be going to for armour, if you have access to the runes. That, a Mara's and the Anya quests should get you close enough on resists to use the raven,t-gods and a mana leech ring. Preferably the second ring would be dual leech, but it would have to have mana leech at least as there is no other ML on the setup.

    jrichard
     
  20. Frenzied Bovine

    Frenzied Bovine IncGamers Member

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    I could get lucky and get 20 IAS 3% ML +3 MA gloves, also :)

    But yeah. Although I must admit that I balk at the idea of a 15 IAS jewel'd Stormshield..

    The thing that irritates me about MB is not conversion.. it's that the convertees cannot be killed. "Confused" enemies on the other hand can be killed just fine! So while they're all attacking eachother, they can all ALSO be taking damage from you!
     

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