Sword Assassin- thoughts?

pharaoh

Diabloii.Net Member
Sword Assassin- thoughts?

Partially as a challenge, and partially because she's just so cool looking when she runs around with most (1H) swords, I've decided to make an assassin who uses mainly swords as weapons as my reintroduction to the game after a hiatus of a few months.

Right now, I've got her into Act2 (just got the full staff), up to level 24, using Hellplague, Iceblink, Angelic rings/ammy, and Death's gloves/sash (for the CBF, decent LL, and crazy attack speed). Up to this point, she hasn't needed to use a healing potion in any fight, though I have at times used them after fights to speed things along.

Now, I know from playing previous characters I'll be able to get through normal with ease, and Nightmare without too mich trouble, but I'm not so sure about Hell. Obviously, by sacrificing claws, I give up Claw Mastery, Weapon Block, and all the MA skills that are claws-only. I plan to compensate for this with a wider selection of weaponry, particularly the 'Passion' runeword in a sword, and later on, possibly Frostwind or Djinn Slayer (plus Venom, of course) to cope with immunes. Also, by saving skill points otherwise spent on claw-related skills, I'll have more for support skills.

Has anyone tried this, and do they have any thoughts? Right now, I'm wondering about BoS vs Fade; although I know I likely won't need Fade until early Hell or late Nightmare, I don't want to be caught without it at a decent level. I also don't want to overspend in BoS, though I doubt I'll exceed the 5 points I've got there now. Should I consider getting PSW to help with immunes? My reasoning here is that when single-wielding (my past assassins have all been claw/claw), it will be easier to build the charge level I want. It's kind of hard to get the Meteor charge when you've hit twice before you know it.

Another question, regarding Tiger Strike. I know how it's semi-bugged in that if you build charges, and then use DTalon, it only loses the charges when you hit with the first kick (thus letting you sometimes do massive damage on several kicks, if the first misses). How would this work with skills like Zeal (from Passion), that aren't a part of the assassin's regular skill set? Does each Zeal swing get the bonus? Or does it see Zeal as a skill that's not a 'finishing move', and thus deny charge-ups entirely?

Anyways, that's about it for now. I'm going to go stomp Duriel, and maybe Meph, before I head to bed.
 

corax

Diabloii.Net Member
IMO for 1 handed swords a Kingslayer cryptic sword would pwn everything but the most elite of rares. you can use vengeance for your finisher too.

max TS and venom. they will make life easy. get atleast 1 point deeath sentry for CE. blade shield would be helpful.

max shadow master if thats your thing

and goodluck:D


TS charges would only work on the first hit of zeal. so not the best combo
 

Nightfish

Diabloii.Net Member
As a non-claw using assasssin you might want to peek at my assassin guide. ;) I used a 2h weapon but the principle is the same... :)

As for zeal: Sorry, but zeal is not a finshing move and thus TS won't work with it. (afaik). Only works with the 4 dragon skills and regular attacks.
 

HappyPig

Diabloii.Net Member
BOS vs Fade: Personally I don't like relying on a timed effet for my resists. If your using a shield then you shouldn't have any problems with anyway. As for BOS I wouldn't put any more points than you have, unless your trying to hit specific breakpoints, (I've only used it because I like to run fast).

Also I would reccomend a point in Blade Fury, it will do quite decent damage with a nice sword and max venom and it will give you a range option.

This is purely from my experience with claw assasin's so take from it what you will.
 

pharaoh

Diabloii.Net Member
HappyPig said:
BOS vs Fade: Personally I don't like relying on a timed effet for my resists. If your using a shield then you shouldn't have any problems with anyway. As for BOS I wouldn't put any more points than you have, unless your trying to hit specific breakpoints, (I've only used it because I like to run fast).

Also I would reccomend a point in Blade Fury, it will do quite decent damage with a nice sword and max venom and it will give you a range option.

This is purely from my experience with claw assasin's so take from it what you will.
As long as Fade lasts long enough, I don't mind using it for resists (beyond the obvious loss of BoS, I mean). As long as a skill can be 'cast' again without waiting for it to expire, it's not too big of a deal to use it every so often. This, by the way, is why I put 5 in BoS; I wanted duration more than an extra few percent IAS/FRW.

I also agree 100% on Blade Fury. Sure, the damage is lower than the weapon itself, but in certain cases, it's very handy to have. Standard practice with me when making an assassin (of the melee variety; I've never made a trapper) is to drop a point there to deal with FE bosses, IM curses, and other nasties.

Max Venom was in the plan too; I realize that without my damage being boosted by a mastery, even a high-damage sword will be yielding less physical damage over time than a semi-decent set of claws. Making up for this through high elemental damage and Venom is pretty much a must. Also, even with a fairly fast sword, I'll be hard-pressed to hit things faster than the poison runs out, so I should always be getting the full effect of Venom.
 

corax

Diabloii.Net Member
Nightfish said:
As for zeal: Sorry, but zeal is not a finshing move and thus TS won't work with it. (afaik). Only works with the 4 dragon skills and regular attacks.

thats true. I just tested it with my sin guardian and a kingslayer. when TS was full charged the vengeance dmg didnt change.
 

Uzziah

Diabloii.Net Member
Nightfish said:
As a non-claw using assasssin you might want to peek at my assassin guide. ;) I used a 2h weapon but the principle is the same... :)

As for zeal: Sorry, but zeal is not a finshing move and thus TS won't work with it. (afaik). Only works with the 4 dragon skills and regular attacks.
Tigerstrike works on regular attacks so it may work with a zeal or berserk attack (because they are considered melee), but I doubt it. I know that tiger strike does not work with Whirlwind :).

Vengence is a magical attack and even if it would work with tiger strike the damage from the magic is based on the normal physical damage so it would not show as an increase. The only true way to check it is to try it I always say.

Sword Assassins work fairly well, using normal attack as your finisher is still a good option, if the other skills won't work with tiger strike.

I would definately invest heavy in Venom, the damage from that skill is very nice.
 

Artagas

Diabloii.Net Member
Reading Nightfish's guide i was thinking about doing the same built with a shield+lightsabre. Of course it would only do a fraction of the damage of NF's sin who was using an upped ribcracker iirc. But socketed with a shael it would allow me to charge up insane-fast, and itd would be great help solving ar problems that come with this build, (yeah it doesnt work against uniques, but still it is nice). Especially if you are releasing with a kick finisher the weapon's damage matters much less. (and the ability to wield a shield is obviously nice even if you got uber crowd-control skills)

Speaking of tiger being "bugged". I heard rumours about the charges not dissapearing if you release them with a throwing weapon. Is that correct?
 

Derrick1001

Diabloii.Net Member
Artagas said:
Speaking of tiger being "bugged". I heard rumours about the charges not dissapearing if you release them with a throwing weapon. Is that correct?
Yeah, I just tested it. It's not a bug though. Throwing a weapon is a "Throw" attack, not a normal attack. If you use a normal melee attack with the throwing weapon, the charges go off. If you look at the LCS, you'll notice that if you have TS on the left and throw on the right, the damage on the screen doesn't increase because it doesn't effect throw, and I doubt it was ever meant to.

Cheers!
 

pharaoh

Diabloii.Net Member
If I remember right, it doesn't work with bos/crossbows either, even if you use 'regular attack'.

On another note, I just cleared Travincal, hit level 31, and am taking a few minutes to change my gear a bit, swapping the Hellplague and Stormguild for a Coldsteel Eye and Moser's Blessed Circle (with diamonds). I'm also pondering my skills a bit- anyone think it's worthwhile to take Blade Shield for this build? I'm thinking that if I can get enough CTC mods on my gear, and elemental damage, having BS might be worthwhile, but as I've never used it before, I have no idea how well it will perform. I'm saving a few skill points until I make up my mind.

Anyways, Nisha is off to beat Meph like a red-headed stepchild. :)

PS- You're right, NF; CoS really is a seriously helpful skill. Shutting down ranged attackers, shamans, and greater mummies? Me likey!
 
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