Strijdje's Windmaster Guide

Borlag

Diabloii.Net Member
Strijdje's Windmaster Guide

As requested by Strijdje, may I present you the Windmaster guide. All errors in proofreading are my fault so blame me for them, as for other flaws, let's blame Durf


Windmaster, druid build (1.10)



Contents:
- Introduction
- Stat allocation
- Skill allocation
- Skill progression per level
- Item section
- Which mercenary you should use?
- Hints and tips
- Final words


Introduction

After beating the game with my wind druid, I thought that other people really should try this build, it’s fun to play. You don’t see them as often as, for example a fishymancer, vegasorc, or strafeazon (no offense guys) and they are great pit-runners. But there is 1 major difference with this build than the builds I just mentioned, the windmaster druid is very gear dependant in my opinion. You will need a lot of +skills to be effective in hell, I’ll explain this in the equipment section.

The windmaster druid is unique because it has a way to inflict quite severe damage in the physical and elemental form. But beware, the elementalist doesn't show its potential until you get the right equipment. Also, the elementalist emphasizes spreading less damage over multiple enemies.


Stat allocation


Strength
This really depends on the kind of equipment you will choose to use, but you’ll want to use the best shield in the game for your druid, stormshield, so I suggest you to have enough strength to equip a stormshield, you can always socket it with a –15% req jewel with a nice 2nd mod or a Hel rune if you want to concentrate more on vitality. Lidless Wall looks very attractive with the +1 skill and mana but you will need max block, which is very difficult to achieve with it’s base blocking % being so low.

Dexterity
Blocking is the key to survival for a windmaster druid, I will explain this a little down further in the guide. Dex should be around 180 ~ 200. This way you will have 70% + at level 80+.

Vitality
You wil use an Oak Sage, but vitality is still very important, 160+ should be enough


Energy
Very gear depended, if you’re planning on using some items which increase your mana, which is highly recommend, 60~ is enough. I have 60 energy, use a SoJ, Frostburns and Harlequin’s Crest, this gives me over 700 mana, which is enough. And remember, you can buy mana potions in 1.10, so why not make use of that


Skill allocation


Cyclone Armor – 20
Twister – 20
Tornado – 20
Hurricane – 20
Oak Sage – 20
Prerequisites – 2

This comes down of a total of 102 skillpoints, you will get 12 bonus skills from the quest rewards, so this build will be finished at lvl 90. Oak Sage should be maxed last, so you will reach your end goal approximately at lvl 80, where your Oak Sage is around lvl 10 (with +skills from your gear)

Skill progress table


To give you an idea how to put your skills:

1 - Raven
2-5 (+skill from den quest) - save these
6 - 1 in Artic Blast rest Oak Sage
7-11 - 1 in Oak Sage (5 will be enough for normal) save the rest
12–17 - Cyclone Armor
18–23 (+ skill from Radament) - max Cyclone Armor and rest in Twister
24 – 29 (+skills from Izual) - Twister and Tornado
30 – 65 - max Tornado and Hurricane ASAP, I suggest first Tornado for the PI damage...
65+ - max rest of your skills, max Twister (synergy) and Oak Sage


Item section


Headgear:
Ravenlore should be the best pick for this, but I recommend Harlequin’s Crest as the +mana, + life, and damage reduction will help you more than the +1 skill, and it has the potential of getting 74% mf, which is great for pit runs.

Weapon:
For the rich people there is only one option here, Heart of the Oak flail, +3 skills, 40% faster cast rate, resistance all 30-40%, +15% max mana and +10 dex (higher blocking) trully awesome...
The second best choice is wizardspike, 50% faster cast, huge bonus to all resistances and extra mana, it’s only drawback is that it has no +skills.

Shield:
Only one option here, Stormshield, cause you wont use a Shaftstop you will need the 35% PDR from the Stormshield, and it has huge bonuses to strength, defense, resistance and blocking. As a windmaster druid you will be in the line of fire most of the time since the monsters will need to be in your Hurricane range if you want to do any damage. This means that you will need max block, high life and max resistances. Therefore your best choice is a shield which gives you the best defense and blockrate possible and that is the Stormshield. Second best choice and for building up progress I suggest the Lidless Wall, however, if you will use this one as your end-game shield, prepare to be beaten up alot.

Armor:
Sounds strange but a Chains of Honor mage plate/wire fleece is the best armor in my opinion, it looks like a melee characters armor, but you will be looking for +skills and + resistance on your armor, maybe some magic find but thats it. Chains provide a whopping +65 to resist all making it easy to achieve max resistance and don’t forget the +2 skills it adds. On top of that it has 25% MF, 8% PDR and life replenish.
Second best armor would be Skin of the Vipermagi, faster cast, + mana, + resistances and + 1 skills. All in all a great armor if you can’t get your hands on the runes to make Chains of Honor.

Gloves:
Frostburns +40% mana makes it posible to invest less in energy, and more in vitality and dexterity

Rings:
A Stone of Jordan and a Ravenfrost is all you need, if you dont have a Stone of Jordan, you can use a Bul Katho’s Wedding Band, but be prepared to invest a little more points into energy then.

Belt:
Number one pick here is the Arachnid Mesh, giving +1 skills, +5% max mana and faster cast (you will want to cast those tornados quick, real quick), on top of this it slows your enemies. If u cant afford this, a Thundergods Vigor or Verdungo’s Hearty Cord should be your pick. Thundergod has a nice bonus to strength and vitality which allows you to invest more points to dexterity and vitality, and +10% max resistance to lightning, which comes in handy with gloams. Verdungo’s belt has a bonus of 40 to vit and a 10-15% dmr, use this if you’re not using Stormshield or the Chains of Honor armor, because PDR is capped at 50% in 1.10 and more wont have any effect.

Boots:
These don’t matter really, just use some boots that run fast, you can use Immortal king’s, Natalya’s boots, Aldur’s boots or War Travellers for more MF. Waterwalks are also a nice pick because of the +max mana, but you will most likely already have enough if you follow these instructions ?

Charms:
Look for elemental charms with +life, mana or resistance. Small charms with life, mana, or a combination of these two, deserve a place in your inventory too


Which mercenary should I pick?


You have the choice between two heroes, the trusty defiance mercenary and the beloved holy freeze mercenary. You will already have max block, so more defense makes you harder to hit, but is this really needed? On the other hand, your Hurricane deals cold damage, thus slowing your enemies... why not make your enemies even slower? In this way they will take more damage from your Hurricane and u will be attacked less.

The choice of your mercanery is really 100% a personal choice. I chose a Holy Freeze mercanery and it works nice, he does a heck of a lot damage and tanks almost everything.


Hints and tips
  • Due to all your +skills cast your ravens, i have 5 ravens which hit 14 times, blinding enemies is really usefull.
  • Recast your cyclone armor when u get the chance, gloams attack hard and even with a lvl 31 cyclone armor it only takes them 4-5 hits to destroy it.

Final Words


Well I hope you enjoy the windmaster druid, these were just guidelines for this build, feel free to ask any questions or tell me what I can improve in this guide

Well I hope you enjoy the windmaster druid, these were just guidelines for this build, feel free to ask any questions or tell me what I can improve in this guide

Regards, Robin
 

Rewen

Diabloii.Net Member
Good guide format, I like it. not too long either. Allthough I'll have to finish reading it later. :p
 

a_shikoff

Diabloii.Net Member
I think that 3 points to get the grizly bear are well spent. With little +skills (4 for example) you will get nice second recastable tank with which you can block archers and gloams from distance. Your grizzly will have over 1500 HP without Oak so it will last a bit.
 

Shivan

Diabloii.Net Member
i was wondering that myself, why do all the windmaster guides seem to exclude minions...

when i do build one myself i think i'd like to have a bear hanging around :p
 

Couvi

Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks to your great guide I have started a Windmaster Druid myself on the SPFSC Ladder. This is my first Druid so hopefully I will be able to pull this one off. :winner:
 

Stormie

Diabloii.Net Member
Hmm, a bit of advice on how to actually play a Windmaster would be nice. More use than a list of "vital" elite uniques, none of which I have ever seen nor particularly expect to see! :)
 

SnakeEye85

Diabloii.Net Member
it´s a nice guide!!

played my windy together with stridje when he made his, so i know it works

thou im only in a2 hell or something like that, don´t have time to pat him right now :)

Good and wellwritten guid!

:thumbsup:
 
i agree with stormie, the windmaster is apparently i difficult build to do with safety as the hurricane is you main attack and if mosnters get too close it doent work. a quick guide on strategy rather than the absoluteperfect gear us mortals dont have, or wont get for months. thats my main complaint about almost all guides. they dont explain how to get up to high lvls, how best to use these skills or mid lvl item alternatives that we canuse until the uber items become available or while were lvling.
 

Ravenforce3

Diabloii.Net Member
From personal experience, a Windmaster NEEDS minions, especially at low to mid levels, before the synergies start to really kick in. Leveling can be hard, too, if you don't play on /players 8. Bascially, you are going melee until lvl 18 or so, when you pick up Twister. The stun length is pathetic (10 frames!), but it behaves more like a disruptor than a complete stun. It works great on Flayers, too. It'll stop them in their tracks while your Dire Wolves chew them up.

Personally, I don't understand why Cyclone Armor needs to be maxed. All it really does is add time to Hurricane, but I keep spamming it when the timer runs out, anyway, so I don't have to worry about it. Those extra points should go towards Grizzly, Solar Creeper (one...best point you'll ever spend), and Dire Wolves. Your damage might be a little less than the superpowered build above, but I was squeezing about 1.4k damage Tornados out with maxed Hurricane/Tornado/Que-Hegan's, Dark Clan Crusher, Jalal's, +1 ammy. Add on a bear that has 2.5k life in NM and deals 400 damage himself and a quality merc of your choice and you have yourself one lean, mean, demon killing machine.
 

strijdje

Diabloii.Net Member
thnx for all the words guys and i have to admit, my windy is now lvl 92 and i have spent the three points towards my grizzly, with the +skills he is now lvl 10 and jeez, i wish i have done that earlier, so if anyone reads this

GET 1 POINT INTO GRIZZLY :teeth:

have fun out there

robin
 

dragon457

Diabloii.Net Member
Any new developments on this build? I started a windy a while back, and got pretty high with him, but messed up some points here and there and abandoned him. Now I'm thinking of starting a new one and would like some input on revised skill placement and maybe even some item and tactics tips.


Just wondering.
 

chaos

Diablo: IncGamers Member
Slight error in the guide, i believe you've confused waterwalk with silkweaves.

I'd recommend listing the fcr breakpoints for the build. It'll give others more options on how to twink their own variant of the druid. Which appears to be:

Base = 18 fpc
7% = 17
15% = 16
23% = 15
35% = 14
52% = 13
78% = 12
117% = 11

So someone going for, say a 13 fpc rate would be settle with wiz spike and arachnid mesh, and can use a wider range of armours, maybe arkaine's too.

Suicide branch is a commonly over-looked but very good wand for caster builds. Those with silence weapons carried over from .09 could find it useful too.

Since quite some people would spend more time questing the druid than playing it post patriaching, more information on how to get through the earlier stages of the game, and mid-game equipment choices would be useful. How to handle PI/CIs would be good to know, too.
 

DurfBarian

Diabloii.Net Member
I know the sweet gear you list in the guide will help out some, but the stats this build asks for are kind of out of line, no?
133 STR (for Stormshield with Hel/-15% req)
180 DEX (the minimum listed)
160 VIT
60 ENE
This is a total of 533. That's an awful lot of levels. Pretty close to all of them, as near as I can figure.

What order do you suggest pumping these stats? What are some more realistic levels to shoot for? Or, what precisely do you need to look for in your gear to reach all these levels? I think that part of the guide needs some more work.
 

strijdje

Diabloii.Net Member
DurfBarian said:
I know the sweet gear you list in the guide will help out some, but the stats this build asks for are kind of out of line, no?
133 STR (for Stormshield with Hel/-15% req)
180 DEX (the minimum listed)
160 VIT
60 ENE
This is a total of 533. That's an awful lot of levels. Pretty close to all of them, as near as I can figure.

What order do you suggest pumping these stats? What are some more realistic levels to shoot for? Or, what precisely do you need to look for in your gear to reach all these levels? I think that part of the guide needs some more work.
euhm yeah, but those stats are with gear, i mean ravenfrost is already 20 to dex, which will save you 4 lvls... but i see your point and im already working on it...so plz, be patient :)

robin

edit: i see alot of other things missing, like amulet choice, some more options on low-mid and high lvl equipment... how to play a winddruid, minion section, fcr table so, i will update it ASAP, srry guys :innocent:
 

chaos

Diablo: IncGamers Member
Just realised you missed out ammy. Could make a note that rare ammys can come with 10% fcr, and crafted ones up to 20% (good luck getting one of those with +2 druid skills though heh). Magic ammys with +3 elemental and a nice 2nd mod would be great too, and there's always the cookie cutter mara's.

I'm surprised you didn't suggest Jalal's mane. +skills, huge stats, resists, fhr, its surely a worthy consideration.

Oh yes and i'll strongly agree with all those who mentioned using the bear, as well as the vines. With smart vine usage, you can make things sooo much easier.
 

strijdje

Diabloii.Net Member
yeah i saw chaos :) ow and i have a bear myself though and i already suggest puting onepoint in it... but i will update it asap, so quit nagging now :lol:

robin
 

Crudesash68

Diabloii.Net Member
I would like to add my own WD experiences here; it was a very flawed, untwinked build, and still made it to Act II Hell, before dying to a Might/ES Archer pack during a Countess run. (HC, level 74).

You can actually do fairly well even without all the uber gear, I used a "Stealth" Trellised Armor, "Ancients Pledge" Kite Sheild, and "Lore" druid helm (one of the normal ones), all the way through NM and into Hell; if you even have a few of the pieces strijdje mentioned, you should be able to close the deal.

What will help is a wand with +mana, and charges of amplify damage; this will break down PI's, and then Tornado will tear them apart...it is a godly skill that can be spammed, and while it can be awkward at first, with a little practice you will tear through most monster packs; there are few areas where PI's are in huge abundance, and really, unless they are also CI, Hurricane will take care of them too.

My strategy was simple; get close enough to the pack to let Hurricane take effect, then spam Tornado at them. I had wrongly used a Thorns merc; I got hit way too hard for thorns to matter, so I played like a necro, rendering thorns uselss. If I had it to do over, I would've went defiance; for this build, the merc is truly just a tank, and that would've made him a lot more effective. I know HF mercs were popular for a while, but I find them to be brittle, and annoying, but that could be me,

Obviously, ranged attackers were a problem; raven helps, but I am a lazy player, and I don't like endless recasting; instead, I just used FRW items to stay away, move around, and try to hit them with the Hurricane to slow em down, then try to take on the archers from the best angles possible.

Like other ranged chars, the maggot lair proved frustrating; the Tornado would bounce off the walls, or die out a foot from me, and Hurricane does no good against a CI. i was lucky (or dumb) enough to have had a few points in Molten Boulder, which really excels in there. It takes forever, but the knockback does wonders; it may be worth a point, and whatever +skills you have added to it, for those bothersome areas.

I wish I could offer endgame startegies, as I didn't get past Act II; my startegies for Normal and NM wouldn't mean as much, because the monsters weren't nearly as tough; my above strategy (walk around with HU, spam TO) was used about 90% of the time...I had loads oif trouble with NM Duriel; I would spam TO, race to town, spam TO, race to town, rinse, lather, repeat.

I like strijdje's setup; i think I wouldv'e survied a bit longer if I hadn't wasted points into the vines and the fire skills, and again, with a couple of better items, I think I could've made guardian.

Good luck to all the Blowhards out there!

Steve

Edit: I just read where you will be adding strategy; sorry, I wasn't trying to hijack the thread...
 

Shivan

Diabloii.Net Member
chaos said:
Slight error in the guide, i believe you've confused waterwalk with silkweaves.

I'd recommend listing the fcr breakpoints for the build. It'll give others more options on how to twink their own variant of the druid. Which appears to be:

Base = 18 fpc
7% = 17
15% = 16
23% = 15
35% = 14
52% = 13
78% = 12
117% = 11

So someone going for, say a 13 fpc rate would be settle with wiz spike and arachnid mesh, and can use a wider range of armours, maybe arkaine's too.

Suicide branch is a commonly over-looked but very good wand for caster builds. Those with silence weapons carried over from .09 could find it useful too.

Since quite some people would spend more time questing the druid than playing it post patriaching, more information on how to get through the earlier stages of the game, and mid-game equipment choices would be useful. How to handle PI/CIs would be good to know, too.
sorry chaos but i'm PRETTY DAMN sure those FCR breakpoints are wrong

fenris wolf has the correct ones in his guide in the druid forum
 

chaos

Diablo: IncGamers Member
Argh thought it might be. The source was pretty dated, and touted as empirical, not derived from the mpqs. Should've stated that, sorry.

Looked at Fenris' guide, here it is:

18 frames = base
17 frames = 4%
16 frames = 10%
15 frames = 19%
14 frames = 30%
13 frames = 46%
12 frames = 68%
11 frames = 99%
10 frames = 163%
 
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