Some Advice on Completing my MA Assn


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Some Advice on Completing my MA Assn

I currently have a level 91 MA Assn on East Ladder who I am still unsure how to complete. Here is where I have skill points allocated right now:

20 PS
20 Cot
10 WB
10 CM
5 BoS
1 Point in all prereqs needed
about 30 free skill points

My stats are approximately as follows:
110 STR
110 DEX
280 VIT
Base NRG

My Current Equipment is As follows:
Full Nats (3 Ptopazes in armor, 40ED Jewel in Nat's Claw)
Upgraded 195% Bartucs
25% Maras Ammy
Perfect Ravenfrost
Carrion Wind
Perfect String
18/20/5 Anni
Other random charms

With this equipment I have practically all max resists (67/75/73/75).

I don't mind changing my equipment, but IMO its pretty much the best I can have short of 2 5% BK Rings.

So now my problem is what to do with my 30 or so skill points sitting around? Right now I am using Dragon Claw as my finisher with 1 point in it (w/ +11 to MA skills though, actually level 12).

Things I am considering:
Max FoF to max the synergy (I almost purely use the 2nd Charge of PS, so I dont think this will help much).
Max Dragon Claw (I just dont think maxing it will increase my damage significantly. Am I wrong?)
Max Claw Mastery (Same as above. I don't think the effect will be significant)
Max Shadow Warrior (My merc already does well enough. Not sure I need another companion)
Any of the kick finishers (don't want to do this cuz this would involve changing my equipment drastically)
Any of the trap skills (don't want to do this because I want to focus on directly attacking things)

What do people think will give me the best bang for the buck? I'm currently doing something like 900-1200 damage with each claw (before poison) when using my 1-point dragon claw as a finisher (and more like 800-1100 when using phoenix strike chargeup charge). I also have like 15 free stat points in case they will be needed for something.

Any advice would be much appreciated. :)


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Max TS instead of claw mastery. The benefit is much greater anyway. As for the other 10 points, you could go for dragon claw, but I think your best choice would be BOI for the cold damage. It could really help you out with lit immunes, but so can TS, so.... it's up to you.


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But I already have max phoenix strike. Why would I max tiger strike? That would defeat the whole purpose of maxing phoenix strike to begin with. And BoI? Doesn't that give me the least damage for the buck? Wouldnt I be better off maxing FoF if it was a choice between the two?


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You would max tiger strike for the additional (incredible) physical damage along with your elemental damage from PS. Charging up one additional skill shouldn't be a problem with a fast attack (I noticed you have a few points in BoS). If you're against blades of ice and fists of fire, since you use charge 2 of PS almost all the time, then you might consider cobra strike for the leech. Useless against skeletons, but it will give you a lot of damage back if you use TS. Of course this assumes you will use TS...

As for the other skills you were considering, don't waste points into any of the sentries. They take too many points to fully synergize, and the only really useful ones are lit sentry and death sentry. You already do plenty of lit damage, but I suppose death sentry could be useful. However, getting to that skill takes a lot of pre-reqs. If you have cold damage on your equipment, blade shield could help if you get mobbed by chilling everyone. Maxing claw mastery - not worth it. Maxing shadow warrior - only if you need another tank. If you're in act 5 hell and this is not a problem, then extra points to shadow are a waste. FoF - only if you're having trouble with LIs, since fists converts your physical damage to fire. But TS can also deal with LIs, and much more effectively.

In the end, it's really up to your playing style...


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I'd only go for max TS if you're also planning to max DTail. If not, I'd go with CM or Venom instead(as it affects all strikes including PS, so it adds up to more damage over time, whereas TS is only in effect when you actually use it), as pure claw damage just isn't that spectacular as it was in 1.09, even with TS or DC, as it only affects one monster at a time(whereas PS affects multiple critters for comparable, if not better damage). I have to agree with mondo, there really isn't a need to max more than 1 chargeup, unless they synergize each other(TS).

There are very few instances PS will be totally useless(when you'd have to be absolutely forced to switch to another skill to reasonably damage a critter), so I'd stick with pure PS instead of using 20 points on a skill you'll probably only use for bosses(PS's Meteor works great on bosses, anyway).


Diabloii.Net Member
Yeah thats my feeling. Having 2 chargeup skills would be such a hassle too. I'de have to switch hotkeys every second. Otherwise, I would just be diluting my skills by having 2 skills maxed that I cant use simultaneously. As for dtail, dtalon, and dlight, those are all kick attacks right? So that wouldnt really make sense for me since nat's boots arent exactly all that powerful. As for venom, does this need any other skills for synergy purposes? Also, would this really make any difference for anything but act bosses, cuz I generally kill a group of monsters in 3-10 seconds anyway just with max attack speed and repeatedly spamming chain lightning. So I'm not sure that will boost my effectiveness all that much. Am I wrong? That basically leaves me with CM or DC then? Or is FoF worth it? Or another option? Thanks for all the help guys.


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Gee I wish I knew how that factored into damage per hit though. For example, how often do I hit with max frame attack in dual claw? I think its like 10 frames for both claws out of 26 a second? And since 0.4 second * 26 frames = about 10 frames, that means that my dual claw attack gets 700 damage added on to it. So that would break down to something like an extra 350damage per claw attack right? That doesnt sound too bad at all. Now is this with some sort of special equipment (bramble etc..) or is this just from maxing the skill? Also, how would this compare to maxing DC or CM? Would either of those gimme more damage?


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With your current equipment, you have +10 to the SD tree(and +9 to the MA tree), so an slvl 30 Venom would net you 735 avg. damage, without any poison damage adders. With Trang-Oul's Claws, you'd get 919 damage over 10 frames(91.9 damage/frame), the exact amount of Poison damage you'd get with every DC(460 per claw). For every Normal Attack/PS strike, you'd get 643 damage.

Comparing this to an slvl 30 CM: +151% ED per strike. Your current stats/skills(with 1 natural point in CM) would net you +165% ED from STR/DEX, and +75% from an slvl 11 CM. On a Normal Attack/PS strike, your avg. damage would be 136.5 * (1 + 1.65 + 0.75) = 464. On a Normal Attack enchanced by an slvl 30 CM, your damage would be 136.5 * (2.65 + 1.51) = 568. That's an increase of 104 damage for every Normal Attack/PS strike(14 damage/frame), with 20 extra points in CM.

With the initial strike(using the Mark) of an slvl 10 DC(95% ED) with 165% ED from stats, and 75% ED from slvl 11 CM, you'd get 136.5 * 4.35 = 564.
With the follow-up strike(using the Upg. 195% ED Bartucs, which have 137.8 avg. damage), you'd get 137.8 * 4.35 = 599.
Total: 1163 over 10 frames.

With the initial strike(using the Mark) of an slvl 10 DC(95% ED) with 165% ED from stats, and 151% ED from slvl 30 CM, you'd get 136.5 * 5.11 = 698.
With the follow-up strike(using the Upg. Bartucs), you'd get 137.8 * 5.11 = 704.
Total: 1402 over 10 frames - an increase of 239 damage per DC(or 120 damage per claw).

Don't even bother with max DC: it's only in effect when you actually use it, so damage over time will be lower than CM and Venom.

Slvl 30 Venom(boosted by Trang-Oul's Claws) with Normal Attack: 643 damage increase
Slvl 30 Venom(boosted by Trang-Oul's Claws) with DC: 919 total damage increase(460/claw)

Slvl 30 CM vs. slvl 11 CM with Normal Attack: 104 damage increase
Slvl 30 CM vs. slvl 11 CM with DC: 239 damage increase(120/claw)

Don't go for Venom right away, though...if you're having trouble hitting bosses, the AR on CM may sway your decision.


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Gee thanks a million nali! Couldn't have asked for a better answer. I think I'm ok with bosses. I have like 9k attack rating now, and if I have trouble I can always swap the carrion wind for another ravenfrost to give me like 11k AR. That analysis clearly shows I should go with venom. Sadly, venom isnt a range attack (unlike PS), so it won't expidite the killing process all that much (except for bosses and uniques). Last question... Maxing venom will leave me with 7 more skill points. Should I just dump that into CM then (which is currently at 10, giving me 17), and then max that as I level (which at level 91 probably wont happen all that often)?


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Hm....if AR isn't a problem, I'd suggest putting the remaining points in FoF, to help with LIs and crowds that aren't big enough for PS's 2nd charge, but too big for TS(the size of the Colenzo's Act 1 wave in Baal Runs, for example. Only, different types of monsters, as these types of Fallen are FI), via Meteor.


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Hmm ok thanks for the advice. :) This will also help when I misfire and cast the first charge and not the second (which tends to happen a good bit when you have max frame attack and cant properly get off 2 charges each time. ;) )