While javazon was always one of my favourites, except for running Pindle she's not a very good MFer or rune finder, which is why she didn't see much playtime anyway. However, I played her a lot since the third round of RFL, and had a lot of fun with this play style with her specifically for cow runs. It revolves around fast teleporting (for Amazon standards) and a lot of herding, aimed at killing only huge mobs to maximize the potential of the LF/100% pierce combination. Since she was below level 94 and couldn't deliver reliable numbers in terms of efficiency at the time, I continued to play her in order to get some numbers. In all this running, I've tested a lot of different setups and crunched a bit of numbers, and I realized that at least for me there still were many things to learn regarding this build. Now, it's not like I have any crucial new information to present or something. But having played around with this play style for a while and having implemented some tweaks to make it work better, I just wanted to share a few thoughts on this. I hope this is useful to others, and maybe to get some tips on improvement from others as well. First maybe some examples of short runs in different areas to get the idea: Spoiler: Cows Spoiler: Pits Spoiler: CS All runs are /p7, gear used in all videos is shown at the end of last vid. As you can see this is running around with totally negative resists and no block on javelin switch. Also no CtA in latter two runs (actually not necessary for cows either). CS and Pits are not really optimal maps, but I'd like to keep my cow map for now. So the setup I eventually settled for basically consists of these components: 99% FCR teleport switch (with decent resists and ideally 86% FHR) Defiance Merc with Infinity (though eth bugged Fortitude could be considered key as well) As much damage as possible on javelin switch (ignoring resists) to deliver dead monsters quickly and keep MPK/LPK going Enough life to be comfortable without CtA unless pre-buffing (1400+ for me, might be more or less for others) Sufficient mana upkeep (>10 MPK/ML. MPK is better but combinations of MPK and ML work fine) 35% or 55% IAS (depends on available gear and other stats) Build is vit only, fully synergized LF/ChS with Pierce and D/A/E Play style I guess the first thing is to consider how essential teleport is for her. It's used for a number of things that are crucial for efficient and fast running: Herding where possible to maximize DPS as well as MPK/LPK, positioning her in order to create a good pierce line and to keep Infinity merc with her, as well as generally getting around more quickly. I've come to think that speeding up all of those things by hitting the 99% FCR breakpoint on switch is a huge improvement over 68% FCR, which is ultimately even worth dropping CtA for. Most of the time is spent on switch for getting around and in particular positioning, with defensive stats to keep her safe. Javelin switch just needs to kill as fast as possible, before switching back to teleport. Basically similar to Pitzerker in that regard. Pierce is her God, and the idea is to play in the spirit of this by bringing her into favourable positions quickly, helping her kill speed as well as survivability. Since she always benefits from leech and LPK/MPK when attacking, she is actually not that vulnerable while doing so, and after some adjustments to her setup, I've finally bought into the notion that defensive stats on offensive switch are in fact not necessary. So in short, it's about playing her with a fast (and safe) teleport switch, and a completely offensively oriented javelin switch to kill stuff instantly. Gearing considerations Getting the more standard (or "pretty much ideal") gear out of the way first: Spoiler Merc: Infinity in whatever base. Ebug Forti is also extremely useful in keeping him alive since CtA is usually not used, but Treachery is an alternative and will trigger the aura quicker for shorter runs. For headpiece I'm using Andy's + RJoF, but Delirium might be even better for Pits for added safety. Aura is Defiance (see below). Headpiece: Griffon's Eye - most practical socketing I think is IAS, since this (1) can never be wrong and (2) allows for smooth transitions and flexibility between 35% and 55% IAS setups, not having to use HLW for 35% setups. I'm using 15%IAS/3 MPK which I consider pretty much ideal (since not playing with 1.07 rings). Socketing RBF and getting IAS elsewhere is the alternative, of course. Weapon: Titan's, upped especially when relying (at least in part) on ML Armor: Enigma Gloves: 3/20 Belt: Razortail Boots: Silkweaves (again that's without 1.07 mpk rings). These are awesome as they don't only provide crucial MPK but also defense vs missiles which is handy in mitigating her weak spot vs ranged mobs. Rings: One Raven is required unfortunately. Second ring depends on the solution for mana upkeep, generally either SoJ or ML/MPK/stat ring. If you have/want to use 1.07 MPK rings, these are ideal as they allow for the most flexibility in other gear choices. Switch shield: Spirit Monarch, FCR roll is irrelevant. For the maybe more interesting points. Merc aura I never saw this recommended as first choice, but I really think Defiance is the best option for her, especially without CtA. Upon switching to Defiance for cow runs to help keep merc alive, I just didn't bother switching back at first, but soon realized that this is actually a big reason why this aggressive gearing/play style actually works in almost every area of the game. Considering CtA is not used (unless pre-buffing where it makes sense, e.g. longer runs), the extra defense from Defiance is felt a lot. It reduces chance to be hit by ~25% in my case. Moreover, other auras are of little use. Holy Freeze is counter productive in herding and creating good pierce lines, and the advantages of Might when it comes to leech (which is less effective than MPK/LPK anyway) or merc helping with unbreakable immunes are small, and ultimately not worth it in comparison to the survivability boost provided by Defiance. Since defense is reduced to zero when running (or more precisely, the game's chance to hit formula is not applied), a further little thing to make the most of Defiance and improve safety: When facing a potentially dangerous situation, it makes sense to walk (instead of running) when doing some side-stepping, in order to keep her defense up. This is a small thing but it adds a lot of safety. (For those interested: Good information on defense in general in this guide.) Teleport switch To speed up runs, which is kind of the point here, I've settled for good for the Spirit + Wizardspike switch. Wizzy delivers 99% FCR and adds massive resists on the switch, which is where they have the most utility. Also, while not essential, 86% FHR on switch helps, as without CtA it does happen from time to time that she is put into hit recovery. On CtA: Of course, pre-buffing is always an option for longer runs. But personally, at around 1450+ life, I don't consider CtA to be necessary anymore due to the combination of 99% FCR, good resists and FHR on switch (where most of the time is spent for positioning and getting around), and in particular using Defiance merc. In areas with elemental damage like CS, Wizzy was actually quite a bit safer than CtA due to the resists and faster teleport. Fewer potions used, fewer critical situations in general. CtA might seem more appealing in areas with ranged mobs and less elemental damage (e.g. Pits), in fact cursed and/or fana ranged bosses are one of the few remaining dangers for this character. But 99% FCR means quicker re-positioning and combined with Defiance adds plenty defensive tools, which are actually quite safe to rely on. Attack switch I might be late to the party in this regard... but at least with this play style I've realized that indeed defensive stats are simply not needed on the attack switch. Paying attention to when she takes substantial damage exactly, it turns out she is rarely under much of a threat at all when attacking. This is especially true with regard to elemental damage sources, greatly diminishing the utility of resists on javelin switch. In general, it's either LF from safe distance or ChS versus only a few mobs or bosses. While attacking, she always benefits from LL from Titan's and LPK from Enigma, an amazingly useful stat that is actually crucial for this. However, when not attacking, she's teleporting, and when teleporting, having Spirit and Wizzy means plenty resists and 55% FHR, hitting the 6 frames breakpoint and putting the 86% (5 frames) breakpoint within comfortable reach. For almost every area I tested with her, she can hang around with totally negative resists on attack switch. LL (Titan's) and LPK (Enigma) is more than enough to keep her alive comfortably as long as she's attacking and damage output is high enough to kill quickly. As a consequence, it simply seems locigal to gear her very offensively on javelin switch, which in turn means it's kinda difficult to justify using anything but a 4x RBF Monarch. JMoD is of course ideal but other magic (e.g. +life) or even plain 4os are way closer second choice than I previously thought because block on main switch is actually rather luxury instead of necessity. Though I don't have a 3os HHG, that's a very good option of course and works well with Defiance due to its defense boost (in particular vs missiles). However, not sure it's worth it to miss out on the facet which is equivalent to roughly up to +3 skills. 2x RBF upped Moser's (my previous all-round choice) is also missing out on damage for defensive stats that are nice, but simply don't have a lot of work to do on the offensive switch with this kind of running. An interesting option is Lidless Wall + RBF because it enables setups that don't require many facets while together with Silkweaves take care of your mana needs completely, which means more damage from other slots. Damage output of such setups is between 2x RBF and 3x RBF shield. I've included a few calculations of DPS output of different setups below. Ultimately, the point is that going full offense on shield is just a logical consequence of when and where defense is needed, and not a particularly "risky" choice as it may seem. It's again somewhat similar to Pitzerker: Here too, resists on kill switch are ignored. Only instead of howling mobs away to be safe, the javazon kills them. Challenges for her Frankly, I am still surprised how rarely she gets into real trouble. First, WSK: From what I tested with her, this is the only area where this approach doesn't work without some adjustments. Here she needs to have very good lightning resists and/or absorb because of those nasty souls. But running WSK is not very good for javazon in general, apart from Baal runs when going straight to Throne Room. There are several mob types in WSK that are both ranged and lightning immune, not the best combination for her, some of which are moreover not broken by Infinity. She can do full WSK, but she can't play to her strengths and I'd just go with other characters for this task. Otherwise, the most serious threat are ranged cursed/fana/might boss packs. They can dish out considerable damage from distance and are not easy to herd because they don't run towards her. From the areas I think should be run with her, these hang around in Pits in particular. However, resists wouldn't help here at all, though block and/or CtA would indeed. But it's not like she's in danger of being one-shot or something, and as stated above, the stats on switch and increased defense through Defiance add quite a bit of safety. After adopting that little walking instead of running trick as well for particularly ugly packs, I basically considered this problem solved. Sure, it leaves more work to do than just tanking with CtA and/or block, but it works perfectly well, and actually makes runs more fun giving me something to do instead of just spamming LF. For sake of comparison as far as Pits goes in general, running with her on /p7 here is definitely safer than running Pits on /p1 with Pitzerker. The lack of resists while attacking is also noticeable when fighting immune lightning enchanted bosses that you want/need to kill, e.g. seal bosses in CS. There's the little technique of teleporting on top of them, let merc hack away, take a step behind the merc and start attacking (or let merc take care of it on its own). That way the merc takes the damage from those bolts. Also, being poisoned can be a little annoying when there are no monsters around to kill to keep up your life. However, usually Enigma's LPK takes care of that just fine with the next big group, and worst case scenario is to drink one rejuvenation potion. Damage output of several gear setups I wanted some numbers to compare different setups, so I've calculated a bit. Of course I just did it for myself to see what I should go with, but I thought why not share it here as well for those interested. Since this is with gear available to me, the numbers below are not necessarily accurate for better (or worse) rolls on individual items. Also this is for max LF dmg, since LF is used almost all of the time. In respect of ChS dmg, the attack speed difference between 35% and 55% is 12.67% instead of 10.13% for LF. As a rule for all setups, I required them to have at least 10 MPK and/or ML (at least 6%) in any combination. Assumptions & gear used for all setups: Spoiler Titan's Griffon -16/+13 (15% IAS/3 MPK) Enigma 3/20 gloves Razor Raven Silkweaves Inventory: 7 Skillers Infinity Merc Netting -101 ELR with Infinity. Damage output in following setups is in each case on mobs with 50% LR. 4x RBF shield setups (-18/+18 tested): Spoiler 55% IAS: Max LF dmg (LCS): 3366 HLW ML ring (or 1.07 MPK) Vs. 50% LR mob: 3366*1.69 [-69 LR mobs]*1.1 [55% vs 35% differnce] = 6274 35% IAS: Max LF dmg (LCS): 3596 +2/8ML amulet SoJ Vs. 50% LR mob: 3596*1.69 = 6077 (3.24% lower) Alternative 35% IAS with RBF Griffon's (-23/+18), ML ring and HLW Max LF dmg (LCS): 3494 HLW Rare ring Vs. 50% LR mob: 3494*1.76 = 6149 (2.03% lower than 55% IAS, 1.18% higher than 35% IAS setup above Side note (also regarding setups below): Personally I'm using the first 35% IAS variant and based the following comparisons on this for 35%. This is mainly due to the fact that I've got another Griffon's socketed with a 15ias/3mpk jewel, and a nice +2/8%ML/[email protected]/+41 Mana craft amulet. This in combination with Silkweaves takes care of mana problems for good, and together with SoJ provides a much bigger mana pool. The extra ~1.2% damage provided by 35% IAS setup with HLW is not worth dropping that in my case. 3x RBF shield setups (ideally Head Hunter's Glory) (-15/+14 tested - don't have such a shield but simulated with other gear): Spoiler 55% IAS: Max LF dmg (LCS): 3263 HLW ML ring Vs. 50% LR mob: 3263*1.66*1.1 = 5974 35% IAS: Max LF dmg (LCS): 3486 SoJ, +2/ML amulet Vs. 50% LR mob: 3486*1.66 = 5786 In comparison to 4x RBF setups, running 3x RBF is a ~5% decrease in damage in my case. Note that this comparison is favourable towards 3x RBF because I simulated this as if the shield had -15/+14, whereas my 4x RBF shield is -18/+18 and thus further off perfect rolls. 2x RBF shield setups (ideally upped Moser's) (-10/+9 tested) Spoiler 55% IAS: Max LF dmg (LCS): 3134 HLW, ML ring Vs. 50% LR mob: 3134*1.61*1.1 = 5565 35% IAS: Max LF dmg (LCS): 3349 +2/ML amulet, SoJ Vs. 50% LR mob: 3349*1.61 = 5391 Lidless Wall + RBF setups (-5/+5) Spoiler 55% IAS: Max LF dmg (LCS): 3239 HLW, SoJ Vs. 50% LR mob: 3239*1.56*1.1 = 5573 35% IAS: Max LF dmg (LCS): 3377 HLW, SoJ, -23/+18 faceted other Griffon's - this is because mana is taken care of by Lidless so ML on amulet is not required. Vs. 50% LR mob: 3377*1.61 = 5436 (due to ability to use SoJ and RBF Griffon's, this is only 2.52% lower damage than 55%) Spirit setups Spoiler 55% IAS: Max LF dmg (LCS): 3102 HLW, ML ring Vs. 50% LR mob: 3102*1.51*1.1 = 5152 35% IAS: Max LF dmg (LCS): 3301 +2/ML amulet, SoJ Vs. 50% LR mob: 3301*1.51 = 4985 For comparison: Defensive/no RBF shield setup (e.g. SS, Moser's or HHG with Ums or PDs etc.) Spoiler 55% IAS: Max LF dmg (LCS): 2903 HLW, ML ring Vs. 50% LR mob: 2093*1.51*1.1 = 4821 35% IAS: Max LF dmg (LCS): 3102 +2/ML amulet, SoJ Vs. 50% LR mob: 3102*1.51 = 4684 Conclusions: The difference in DPS output between 0x RBF shield and 4x RBF shield is just over 30% of total damage (for both 35% IAS and 55% IAS setups). The difference between 55% IAS and 35% IAS setups is around 3.25%, pretty much regardless of shield used, in case of setups tested. In other words, as long as 35% offers anything else (e.g. in my case ML on +2 amulet, ability to use SoJ...), it's probably better to stick with that. However for other setups the 55% DPS increase might be worth it. Ultimately it's a matter of taste, needs, and gear available. Areas to run Obviously, the total killer area for her is cow level, where she can fully realize her potential. In general, she can't really load up on MF because she's pretty gear-dependent. However, I've been running around 180% MF with Enigma, Gheed's and some SCs, and she can run any lvl85 area on /p7 extremely quickly, providing good drop chances for runes and the possibility for all S&Us... and at least for me offering a welcome change to the usual MF/rune hunting runs. Boy, this escalated quickly... Initially I just wanted to share some stats and videos, but this got way out of hand in terms of length haha.. So I'm going to leave it here. I hope there's some information that's helpful to others, and of course any suggestions on improvement are welcome. EDIT: Typos, included Spirit setups in DPS comparison.