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Sniperzon guide draft version 2

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by lone_wolf, Feb 26, 2004.

  1. lone_wolf

    lone_wolf Diablo: IncGamers Member

    Jun 25, 2003
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    Sniperzon guide draft version 2

    note: i fail to get the spacing to work :rant:

    well well i added and changed some stuff so again i need your input about this build.

    if something isent clear to you ask what i meant. same thing goes if you think i should change anything.

    ok here goes:

    Sniperzon build for ver 1.10 draft of guide number 2


    Tired of the same old builds for the bowazon?
    Well then this build might be something for you.

    What is the Sniperzon then?
    The Sniperzon is a bowazon that uses more strategy and skill then most cookie cutter builds from 1.09 but that is not the only difference between this build and old 1.09 builds.
    1 hit kills is the aim for this build but as monsters now has such a huge amount of hp in hell survival is more important then killing speed.
    So to make sure to stay alive and get the kills a Sniperzon follow these steps:

    1 She uses her decoy as a shout to be able to see the monsters before they see her.
    2 She kills most monsters off screen to further ensure that she is in minimum danger at all times.
    3 with her merc and valk as tanks she should rarely see more monsters on screen then those her tanks fight.

    That’s why this zon is much more defensive then most zon builds out there and as you read on you will understand why this build most used skill isn’t an attack skill.
    This zon also uses equipment many would normally never think of putting on a zon.
    So let’s start.

    Stats points:

    The simple rule here is to have enough Str to wear you equipment enough in vita for a good amount of life once you reach hell and the rest in dex for damage.

    But as I know people generally want some tip of how to spend their points I will list what I recommend you to have on your Sniperzon.

    Str 115 or more remember to count in any str bonus your end game gear will give you.

    Why I have 115 STR listed as minimum is because it’s the STR req for one of best helm to use with this build.
    You can read more about what helm that is and why I recommend it later in the equipment section of this guide. I will also list another good end game helm for this build.

    Dex here you should put any point you can spare once you got enough Str and vita

    Vita I recommend you to put something like 70-120 points.

    Your calls just remember that monsters in hell hit hard now. And any hc player knows that if you have only 1 life damage is secondary.

    Energy is left at base as you don’t use any mana intensive skills in fact one of your main skill don’t use mana.

    To give you an example my level 86 Sniperzon Kitana has these stats counting equipment bonuses:

    Str 134

    Dex 361

    Vita 90

    Energy 35

    Magic arrow level 26 does 705-1746

    Strafe level 26 does 573-1566

    Life is 646 and mana 214 all her res is also maxed out in hell.

    Skill points:

    Since the last guide I have tried to find out if there was something I could change in the build that would make it more powerful without sacrifying to much.

    Well as I have made 2 more Sniperzons since I made Zara I come to the conclusion that this szon don’t really need such a high level of critical strike as I first thought.

    Therfor the skill plan for the build look abit different then last time.

    All you who read this build should also note that this is how I did it, with the equipment I have for this zon. T Therfor you should see it as a exampleof how it, can be done not how it should be done.

    Experiment and im sure somebody out there finds another way to build a sniperzon that suits their play style.

    In the end my newest sniperzon ended up with these skill levels with equipment:

    Bow skills:

    Magic arrow level 26

    Strafe level 26

    Rest of bow skills level 7

    Passive skills:

    Penetrate level 24

    Valkyrie level 21

    Pierce level 10

    Critical strike level 6

    Decoy level 7

    Rest is at level 5

    Spear skills:

    Jab level 5


    First before I list the equipment I recommend for this build I want to point out what modifiers this build really benefit from.

    These modifiers are knockback, prevent monster heal, open wounds, crushing blow, deadly strike, life and mana leech, amplify damage, FRW, FHR.

    Knockback is obviously to keep the monsters away from us but it can also be of use to keep our merc alive as monsters that are hit with knockback wont damage our merc.

    Prevent monster heal do exactly what it says it stops the regen of monsters witch in hell is very fast. And as we bowazons deal little damage too many monsters at a time we need it as monsters otherwise would heal to full life when we stop shooting at them.

    Open wound may seem useless but it’s in reality a quite useful modifier as explained below:

    Open Wounds works in a way similar to poison, although it isn't poison so the two effects can stack. It drains the victim's life over a period of time (8 seconds), and will prevent monster regeneration whilst it's in effect.

    Open Wounds' damage per frame is computed as follows (L is the attacker's level, i.e. your level):

    L=1-15: (9L+31)/256
    L=16-30: (18L-114)/256
    L=31-45: (27L-384)/256
    L=46-60: (36L-779)/256
    L=61-99: (45L-1319)/256

    Since there are 25 frames per second in D2, multiply the resulting number by 25 to find the damage per second.

    Crushing blow works as described below:

    Regular monster: 1/4 melee, 1/8 ranged
    Bosses and Champions: 1/8 melee, 1/16 ranged
    anything else (including other players): 1/10 melee, 1/20 ranged

    "Other" includes all types of boss monsters as well as other players and their hirelings. This doesn't sound like much, but if Izzy has 100,000 hps, taking off 1/20th with your bow would be worth 5,000 hps.

    Just keep in mind that the percent of life taken away from the monsters is based on their current hp so it gets less and less effective the more you damage the monster.

    NOTE: the damage of CB stays the same in Players 1 and Players 8 games so therefor CB is less useful in games with more players. Real or when you use /players 8

    Deadly strike gives you another way except with critical strike to double your damage that info should be enough to anyone that wonder why we want to have that modifier.

    Life and mana leech is not only useful for this build thanks to the fact that it gives us back life and mana when we attack the monsters.
    Life and mana leech is also your way of telling where the monsters are off screen.
    Granted you can’t use this tactic against unleenchable monsters or PI but that’s what you have your decoy for to shout for you. More on that in the strategy section.

    Amplify damage give use about 100% more damage and it also break physical immunity on many monsters. So it’s a very useful modifier and breaking the physical immunity on the monsters don’t only benefit you but also your merc as he is then able to leech of the monster and inflict much more damage.

    FRW or faster run walk is useful as you sooner or later will lose both your tanks in battle and then your best means of survival is to make a run for it and the faster you get away from the monsters the faster you can get your tanks back up.

    FHR why use faster hit recovery?
    Well the new patch throw in some mean ranged attackers in the game and even if you play like a god you will sooner or later get hit even if it so is a random shot that wasn’t even aimed at you.
    With a decent faster hit recovery you can ensure that that hit won’t let the rest of the ranged attackers fill you with their shots.

    Recommended Gear:

    Helm Guillaumes Face (this build use a version of nightfishs CBSTU) or if you don’t think you need all that much CB on your zon Kiras guardian is a very nice helmet.

    Amulet: Atmas scarab for its chance to cast amplify damage and therefor make it easier for both you and your merc to handle pi monsters.

    Armour: everything from "lion_heart" to gloom and chains of honor works.
    nowdays I use a CoH myself and find that it works very well. But I bet nobody doubt that CoH works well consider its costs.

    Belt: hawanins blessing is a nice belt that grant you prevent monster heal. If you have better equipment for this build you should use Razortail instead. As you then get prevent monster heal from another source.

    Myself I use razortail as I have natures peace.

    Gloves: laying of hands is a great set of gloves that you really should use for its 350% extra damage to demons and 50% fire res as well as the 20% ias.
    Another great pair of gloves is Ghoulhide for the large bonus to damage against undead like glooms.

    Boots: there is really only one pair of boots you want for this build and that’s gore raider.
    Even trough goblin toe has a larger bonus to crushing blow the extra modifiers on gore raider makes it the better pair of boots.

    Rings: ultimately you want a raven frost and nature’s peace here but that is only if you can get your life and mana leech covered elsewhere like in your bow.
    Otherwise you should set for a dual leech ring and a raven frost here.

    Weapon: a good weapon that should be able to take you trough the game is a nefed Lycanders aim. It can even be upgraded for more damage.
    The ultimate bow here would be a windforce socked with a Amn or if you have something else that take care of the life leech like for example CoH you can choose to socked it with something else then amn. its up to you

    Sniperzon uses the following equipment:


    Kira's Guardian



    Defense: 142

    Durability: 25 of 25

    Required Level: 77

    Item Version: 1.10 Expansion

    Item Level: **

    Fingerprint: 0xcd5c8dd6

    +92 Defense

    All Resistances +80

    20% Faster Hit Recovery

    Cannot Be Frozen

    Socketed (1: 1 used)

    Atma's Scarab


    Required Level: 60

    Item Version: Expansion

    Item Level: 90

    Fingerprint: 0xa48089a2

    Poison Resist +75%

    +39 poison damage over 4 seconds

    Attacker Takes Damage of 5

    +3 to Light Radius

    20% Bonus to Attack Rating

    5% Chance to cast Level 2 Amplify Damage on striking


    Chains of Honor

    Archon Plate


    Defense: 880

    Durability: 60 of 60

    Required Strength: 103

    Required Level: 63

    Item Version: Expansion

    Item Level: 90

    Fingerprint: 0xe55f511c

    +20 to Strength

    +70% Enhanced Defense

    Damage Reduced by 8%

    All Resistances +65

    8% Life stolen per hit

    Replenish Life +7

    25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

    200% Damage to Demons

    100% Damage to Undead

    +2 to All Skill Levels

    Socketed (4: 4 used)



    Sharkskin Belt

    Defense: 97

    Durability: 14 of 14

    Required Strength: 20

    Required Level: 32

    Item Version: Expansion

    Item Level: 90

    Fingerprint: 0x282ac216

    +15 to Dexterity

    +124% Enhanced Defense

    +10 to Maximum Damage

    +15 Defense

    Piercing Attack [33]

    Attacker Takes Damage of 86 (Based on Character Level)

    Laying of Hands

    Bramble Mitts

    Defense: 87

    Durability: 12 of 12

    Required Strength: 50

    Required Level: 63

    Item Version: Expansion

    Item Level: 90

    Fingerprint: 0xc9a57046

    +25 Defense

    Fire Resist +50%

    20% Increased Attack Speed

    350% Damage to Demons

    10% Chance to cast Level 3 Holy Bolt on striking


    Gore Rider

    War Boots

    Defense: 146

    Durability: 34 of 34

    Required Strength: 94

    Required Level: 47

    Item Version: Expansion

    Item Level: 90

    Fingerprint: 0x3c10db53

    +20 to Maximum Stamina

    +172% Enhanced Defense

    +10 Maximum Durability

    Requirements -25%

    30% Faster Run/Walk

    10% Chance of Open Wounds

    15% Chance of Crushing Blow

    15% Deadly Strike


    Nature's Peace


    Required Level: 69

    Item Version: 1.10 Expansion

    Item Level: 85

    Fingerprint: 0x732596e6

    Damage Reduced by 11

    Poison Resist +29%

    Slain Monsters Rest In Peace

    Prevent Monster Heal

    Level 5 Oak Sage (27/27 Charges)


    Raven Frost


    Required Level: 45

    Item Version: 1.10 Expansion

    Item Level: 85

    Fingerprint: 0x3e1c57d1

    +20 to Dexterity

    +40 to Mana

    +241 to Attack Rating

    Adds 15-45 cold damage over 4 seconds

    20% Cold Absorb

    Cannot Be Frozen

    Lycander's Aim

    Grand Matron Bow


    Two-Hand Damage: 65 to 257

    (Amazon Only)

    Required Dexterity: 152

    Required Strength: 108

    Required Level: 65

    Bow Class - Fast Attack Speed

    Item Version: Expansion

    Item Level: 90

    Fingerprint: 0xe328d474

    +20 to Energy

    +20 to Dexterity

    +20% Enhanced Defense

    +188% Enhanced Damage

    +25 to Minimum Damage

    +50 to Maximum Damage

    5% Mana stolen per hit


    +2 to Amazon Skill Levels

    Required Level +7

    20% Increased Attack Speed

    +2 to Bow and Crossbow Skills (Amazon Only)

    Socketed (1: 1 used)

    The reason why I used this equipment on my new Sniperzon is because with this gear and the res scroll rewards she hits 75% all in hell without help from any charms. Therfor I could fill her inv with fine sc and vita sc.


    The mercs I feel complement this build the most are the holy freeze merc and the might merc.

    The holy freeze merc is a great merc if you really feel the need to be safe. He also makes it easier for your valk to tank as the monsters will move much slower. The might merc is great for those that want to play a bit more offensive and feel the need for more damage and less crowd controll. This lack of crowd controll can be negelated by equipment choices for the merc but we come to that later.

    Once you get your merc he will be weak and he may also die on you many times if your not casious. Im not that casious so mine has died quite a lot. But even if the merc dies when you try to level him or he is inable to tank don’t give up, he wont lose exp when dying like you do so he iset damaged by his own deaths you are…

    A merc can be a very powerful ally but if you just give him a cracked spear he wont help you much so make sure he gets some kind of life steal, and that he has something that give him res and possible also dr%. note while dr% is nice its not critical for your merc. Life steal and res on the other hand affects him a lot. Some good mods on equipment you could give to your merc is Cb,Ow,Ds and even new ones like HF aura, thorns aura, static field, and other things that will help him stay alive longer.

    Merc gear: while we play a more defencive build we also want to be able to dish out some damage. Its not fun if you need others help to kill stuff right.

    Well what merc gear would suit this build then??

    Its easy even though we have strafe as our crowd controll skill our merc also needs something that effects many monsters at a time.

    Therefor the reapers toll or a cresant moon weapon is a good choice. For even more crowd control we could slap a Delirium helment on the merc. That way he even give us breathing room when he get hit. Now if we also give him a armour such as gloom we can have the benefit of blinded rnaged attackers too from time to time.

    As you might have understood by now my merc is equipped like this.

    So here is he my level 83 might merc Pratham:





    Defense: 321

    Durability: 20 of 20

    Required Level: 64

    Item Version: 1.10 Expansion

    Item Level: 85

    Fingerprint: 0x1150a323

    +10 to Vitality

    +261 Defense

    50% Extra Gold from Monsters

    25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

    +2 to All Skill Levels

    11% Chance to cast Level 18 Confuse on striking

    6% Chance to cast Level 14 Mind Blast when struck

    14% Chance to cast Level 13 Terror when struck

    1% Chance to cast Level 50 Magic Shrine when struck

    Level 17 Attract (60/60 Charges)

    Socketed (3: 3 used)



    Wire Fleece


    Defense: 1398

    Durability: 32 of 32

    Required Strength: 111

    Required Level: 53

    Item Version: Expansion

    Item Level: 90

    Fingerprint: 0x34a14bcc

    +10 to Strength

    +247% Enhanced Defense

    All Resistances +45

    -3 to Light Radius

    10% Faster Hit Recovery

    5% Damage Taken Goes to Mana

    Half Freeze Duration

    15% Chance to cast Level 3 Dim Vision when struck

    Socketed (3: 3 used)



    Two-Hand Damage: 39 to 469

    Durability: 51 of 65

    Required Dexterity: 89

    Required Strength: 114

    Required Level: 75

    Polearm Class - Fast Attack Speed

    Item Version: 1.10 Expansion

    Item Level: 87

    Fingerprint: 0x9e6cd985

    GUID: 0xd46c2727 0xe19e0a45 0x0

    +233% Enhanced Damage

    Adds 4-44 cold damage over 2 seconds

    14% Life stolen per hit

    Requirements -25%

    Ignore Target Defense

    33% Deadly Strike

    33% Chance to cast Level 1 Decrepify on striking

    Strategy tips:

    Your decoy is there for a reason use her she is your best bait to lure monsters out.
    That’s why you when playing the Sniperzon should cast the decoy at the edge of the screen when ever you advance future on the map. Using your decoy this way won’t only make it easier to target your enemies it will also save you life many times.
    For example I once casted my decoy at the edge of the screen and it was instantly greeted with the explosion of 5 suicide minions. Hey I would not have survived that if they had hit me instead of my decoy.

    Learn to take out key targets first.
    That is killing the monsters that pose the biggest threat to your char first.

    A example a fallen shaman is a bigger threat then a fallen so you should take the fallen shaman out first. But if you have a few fallen running at you to attack you, they pose a bigger threat then the shaman and should be killed first.
    This becomes easier once you get pierce as you then can aim a the shaman and still hit the minions.
    Also remember to use the terrain to your advantage. For example if there is a pack of ranged attackers shooting at you and there is rocks or other obstacles nearby take cover behind them. Then plan for your next move.
    When you face larger groups of monsters later in the game I advice you to switch to strafe and hit them all this to make it easier for your merc and valk as they get weaker target to tank.
    Sometimes like when facing oblivion fighters and mages strafe is your best bet as you will shoot straight trough the fighters and hit the mages at the same time.
    Also remember that the range of strafe has been improved so you can now auto target monsters of screen. This feature is very useful when you fight glooms as they are a bit hard to spot when they move around.
    The nice thing is that they can’t hide from strafe.

    Also a thing to remember about ranged attackers slow missiles is your friend. But to be able to slow them down you need to distract them and the means you have to distract them with is either your decoy, valk or merc.
    I rather have my valk killing of other monsters so what I do is that I cast a decoy behind the ranged attackers so they turn around and start shooting at the decoy instead of me then I cast slow missiles and start killing them. If you want to kill them faster you can also recast your valk in the middle of them. Works good against glooms too.


    Credit goes to Nightfish at the single player forum at for coming up with the Nightfishs CBSTU â„¢ that is better explained in his own guide right here:

    To RTB for answering many of my questions as I made this build up.

    The original inventor of the Sniperzon build back in the days of classic.

    The forum members at the forums I am a member in. even if you don’t know it you have helped me a lot. If so with nothing else then to keep my motivation to write this guide up.

    To Iceman for pointing out that I should explain why I call the build

    To jarulf for providing the new formulas for CB and OW

    To lprman for pointing out the benefits of kiras guardian

    A special thanks for the help also goes to Hakai no Tenshi for making ATMA as I know I could not have made this char without the help of this excellent muling application.
  2. Oscar

    Oscar IncGamers Member

    Dec 3, 2003
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    Just two quick questions
    1. Why did you use strafe instead of multistrike?
    2. What was jab for?
    These are questions and not critism as my knowledge of Amazons are limited.

  3. Crazy Runner Guy

    Crazy Runner Guy IncGamers Member

    Sep 5, 2003
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    You have CB slightly wrong in here LF.

    As will be posted in my guide

    How important is CB? .
    Check this out. As posted on the Arreat Summit.

    @Oscar: Many of us use strafe now instead of multishot because it has more finesse than MS. This is a continuing debate that will never have a winner
  4. lone_wolf

    lone_wolf Diablo: IncGamers Member

    Jun 25, 2003
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    CRG you havent read the update by jarulf. besides i made a note that CB inflict the same damage in players 1 games as well as players 8 games but as monsters have more life in players 8 games it will be less effective.

    @oscar i prefer strafe because i can then use it as a means to see if there are monsters near me on the next screen.

    jab was for the battles against duriel but that is something that is optional
  5. Oscar

    Oscar IncGamers Member

    Dec 3, 2003
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    @Oscar: Many of us use strafe now instead of multishot because it has more finesse than MS. This is a continuing debate that will never have a winner

    I agree with you CRG as I perfer strafe to MS (in the limited times I've played an Amazon) but was wondering if there was any difference than personal choice.

  6. LprMan

    LprMan IncGamers Member

    Oct 11, 2003
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    Very good guide, lone_wolf :thumbsup:

    I didn't follow this when I made my zon, I just asked couple of questions about skills and started playing. She became a sniperzon. And damn how fun it is to play her!

    Maybe some more advice on skillpoint distribution would be nice, I mean, what skills are important to max first, how many points is needed in Magic Arrow before entering hell etc. I know some many will find it annoying but for someone it could be real help.

    I also use couple of poison damage charms in my inventory to prevent monsters from healing. Sometimes it is difficult to fit item with that modifier in your setup, so this is a good way to do the same

    You have quite interesting merc gear, I wonder how that will work. Mine has upgraded Shaft (res all jewel), Gaze (res all jewel) and Reaper's Toll (will be Amn'ed), I just gave him those just because I wanted to make him last as long as possible. I don't know which is better, but I guess those crowd control skills on your merc gear are better if you don't have the most uber gear. For me strafe gives enough crowd control in most cases, but I must admit, not always.

    I hope many players will find this guide, I think this build is pure joy :)
  7. lone_wolf

    lone_wolf Diablo: IncGamers Member

    Jun 25, 2003
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    the old guide has some skill progression even if it was flawed no not flawed very flawed as i wrote that from memory back then.

    about what skills to choose i think its goot to first get atleat 1 point in critical strike and then build up magic arrow to level 13 where its mana costs drop to zero. then the best i pressure is to get your valk up and running to skill level 17. after that i would max strafe. fix a little pierce and then start working on maxing magic arrow and penetrate. when you get above 85 and such most things should be maxed and you could then decide if you want more in critical strike or for example more in decoy.

    having a couple of poison charms is great i havent listed it but my sniperzon has 400+ poison damage trough charms and gear.

    about the merc i could easily equip him with um shaft and um gaze but i feel that this is much more intresting.

    and its gets wickeded when you have a little bone fetisch running around bashing things with its skull at ultra speed.

    both things work well. with your setup the merc takes the hits better with my setup i get more time to react.

    ohh and you should be in the credits if i didnt fail to remember it as it was you that gave me the idea to use kiras guardian.
  8. LprMan

    LprMan IncGamers Member

    Oct 11, 2003
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    My skill progression was different, but maybe it is because I twinked her much.

    At first I put 9 points to Critical Strike (no more to come) and worked on pre-reqs. When I reched lvl 18, I invested points in Penetrate and started pumping Strafe on lvl 24 (you can use it immediately if you have 2x Manald Heal). On lvl 30+ few points in Valk, she is not that important yet. 1 point in Pierce every now and then to get it to lvl 9 with skillbonus from final gear and Razortail to increase your Pierce to 100%. More points in Strafe and pump Penetrate too to be able to hit your targets. Also couple more points in Valk for easier killing of nm Duriel. After that max Strafe and start working on Magic Arrow and Valk. I would suggest lvl 17 Valk and lvl 15 Magic Arrow (with gear bonus) when you enter hell. I would use my last skillpoints on Penetrate because you can get so much AR from charms (gc with 100+ AR).

    I guess there is many errors in skillpoint usage above, but I didn't wrote the way I did it anywhere and my brains keep frogetting things. Now im remaking my zon because of few mistakes, so I can now keep track on my skill distribution. I think I will post it here later when I have got her to reasonable level (that means 85-90). I could also post her whole setup here if someone wants to see very high-end sniperzon and how powerful she can really be

    And yeah, you gave me credit for Kira's, so thanks :)
  9. lone_wolf

    lone_wolf Diablo: IncGamers Member

    Jun 25, 2003
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    if you could keep track of it and then post yours later it would help greatly as i cant really do it since it was a while since kitana was low level.

    i was running the pit with her for a long time so she has been a champ for a while;)

    also if you keep track of it it would help others if they want to build a zon simular to yours or mine.

    and that way it cant be any flawed posts about the skill progression either.

    a note only you only need skill level 8 in pierce with razortail to get to 98% pierce.

    those 2 percent dont matter that much but of course with any +skill you get above 100% directly.

    i think it would be a great idea to post your end game gear later because then people would see how good they can be.

    i need to find a wf then i can see how powerful she really is :thumbsup:

    ohh and the kiras guardian was perfect

    thanks to the fect that it and my CoH handles all res i could fix alot of fine small charms witch had the affect that my strafe ar is above 8000 and my magic arrow ar is above 14000 but that you alredy know..

    hope to hear more about your remake of your zon soon

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