The Aggressin - DC/DS Assassin (Draft) The Aggressin Dragon Claw / Death Sentry Assassin Contents 1. Introduction 2. Version History 3. Skills 4. How Dragon Claw Works 5. Equipment 6. Equipment - Natalya's Set Version 7. Gameplay 8. List of Abbreviations 9. Thanks 1. Introduction She had little patience. When she was learning the black arts of assassination, she did not favour the delicate timing of those assassins who charged their bodies before delivering a knockout blow. She just went straight into the fray. The others said she was more like a barbarian in a frenzy than an assassin. That didn't bother her. She just let her fists do the talking. She was the "Aggressin" - The aggressive assassin. This build came out of a request for a build based around Nat's Set that didn't use chargeups. Essential it uses physical damage and venom from a 5FPA dual claw attack, backed up with a nice juicy Corpse Explosion from Death Sentry. There is some space for customisation to either strengthen the Death Sentry or the claw attack. The Nat's set version is still included, but bespoke equipment is the best way to go for this build. I am not a Hardcore player, but this guide has had quite a lot of input from Nightfish, so should be Hardcore capable, although not all of us have his playing skills. Just please don't blame me if you see deeds. I also play single player, so high runes are not as available as they are on BNet. I have tried to include BNet friendly suggestions where appropriate. So why is this build better than using Whirlwind? It isn't, just think of this build as a Frenzy assassin. For: - You aren't using an Ohm. If you play Single Player (as I do), where runes are much rarer than BNet, this is an important factor. - WW has a negative damage penalty at lower levels. DC has a decent (although not great) damage bonus. - You can trigger CtC effects with DC (like Life Tap from Dracul's Grasp), which you can't trigger with WW. Against: - You won't hit as quickly. 5 frames per strike with DC, 2 frames for WW. - WW requires less points as you don't put them into you main skill. - If you MP, other players won't go "ooooh you've got Chaos." 2. Revision History Version 0 This is a first draft, I'm putting it up for review as there has been quite a lot of interest after I posted the mini-guide. I really wanted to play the build before I posted the full guide, but I'll post this so that people can see my thoughts so far. I'll update it later when I eventually get around to making one for myself. Any thoughts and comments if you have built one are much appreciated. The main change from the mini-guide is that the emphasis is now on Unique equipment, and not using the set. The set is still included though. Enough talking, lets get on with it.... 3. Skills Base Build 10 Claw Mastery 10 Dragon Claw 20 Venom 20 Death Sentry 1+ Burst of Speed 1 Cloak of Shadows Base build is finished at level 63, all normal & NM quests done. Some sample builds Builds are based on being levelled to about 80 with all quests done. I choose this number as it is a fairly easy level to arrive at Hell Baal. Stronger DC 20 Dragon Claw 20 Venom 20 Death Sentry 20 Claw Mastery 1+ Burst of Speed 1 Cloak of Shadows 1+ Lightning Sentry (max Last) 1-3 Fire Blast (Extra shot for DS) Stronger DS Base Build: 10 Claw Mastery 10 Dragon Claw 20 Venom 20 Death Sentry 20 Lightning Sentry 1+ Burst of Speed 1 Cloak of Shadows 1+ Claw Mastery (max Last) 1-3 Fire Blast (Extra shot for DS) Ghost Build 20 Fade 20 Venom 10+ Dragon Claw 10 Claw Mastery 20 Death Sentry 1 Cloak of Shadows Skill Discussion Claw Mastery 1-20 points (10 after +skills) Dragon Claw 1-20 points Dragon Claw is going to be our main attack, but neither Claw Mastery nor Dragon Claw have huge added ED (145% ED for lvl20 DC, 111% ED for lvl 20 CM). You want to have about 10 points in CM after + skills, and then max Dragon Claw before putting the remainng points into CM. This is because the critical strike from CM has diminishing returns after about level 10 and DC has a huge AR bonus and a bit more damage. Put at least 20 points into these two, more if you want to have more physical damage at the expense of a weaker DS. Shadow Master - 0 points or 17 after +skills I don't recommend Shadow Master, if you need more crowd control, go for the Stronger DS build by pumping lightning sentry. The point for this and Shadow Warrior are better spent elsewhere, but if you must use her 17 points after +skills are recommended. Blade Fury - 0-1 points If you are not going to put 20 points into Lightning Sentry, the additional three points required to get Blade Fury may be well spent. With lots of crushing blow in your equipment, this will be effective even with the relatively low damage from your claws. It will give you a ranged solution for dealing with those pesky Oblivion Knights. Cloak of Shadows - 1 point This is the major defensive skill of the build. It limits the radius of you enemies awareness and lowers their defense. A one point wonder. Weapon Block - 1-10 This skill allows you to block most attacks, including spells, when attacking or standing still. It does not function at all when moving. Level 10 gives you a 50% chance to block, I suggest you don't go any further after +skills because of the diminishing returns. Mind Blast - 0-1 points With CoS it isn't really required, but some people swear by it. One point if you want it. Venom - 20 points This is going to be a major boost to damage against anything not immune to Poison. 20 points here, it's a core skill. Death Sentry - 20 points Some people think this makes builds "too easy." If you really prefer to have a Shadow Master Mind Blasting and converting all the monsters you are trying to kill, go ahead and put the points there instead. But personally "I love the smell of Corpse Explosion in the morning - smells like victory." Lightning Sentry - 1-20 points A synergy for Death Sentry, but with the Death Sentry Synergy this is also a strong skill in it's own right. If you are going Hardcore, you will want the 20 points here - sometimes you just won't want to Melee a monster. Fire Blast - 1-3 points Every three hard points in Fire Blast gives Death Sentry an Extra shot. As you already have to invest one a a prerequisite, another two points isn't a huge investment for more Corpse Explosion. Burst of Speed - 1+ points You need enough points in Burst of Speed to hit a 10 frame (two strikes) Dragon Claw. This depends on your claw selection and is explained fully there. Fade - 1/20 points This is primarily a Burst of Speed build, but it could be possible to use Fade, if you use quick claws (see the weapon speed section). If you do either put a few points here for the resists, or max it for the % damage reduction. You can't really use this unless you go dual Runic / Greater Talons though, so this is not applicable to the Nat's Set build. 4. How Dragon Claw Works "This skill allows the Assassin to try to finish her opponent off with a rending double claw attack. (Requires two equipped Claw-class weapons.)" Just like frenzy, Dragon Claw lists two damages and two attack ratings in the LCS. Dragon Claw hits with one claw then the next, with seperate to hit checks and damages for each claw. Claw positions are the Primary (above the gloves) and the secondary (above the boots). As this is a PvM build, and you will be switching weapons, weapon speed bugging is not going to be discussed. There has been some debate as to what modifiers work from the secondary claw hit. Mods that always work The following modifiers alway work, regardless of the attack: - Faster Hit Recovery - Resists - +Skills Mods that work on the secondary claw All these I have tested and verified. See this post for further information. - Elemental Damage - Leech - Open Wounds - Hit Freezes Target - % Chance to cast X mod on striking - % Chance to cast X mod on attack - Ignore Target Defense - Knockback These mods are not tested Personally I feel that, given everything else I have tested does work, these will work too. When I manage to get hold of the right claws (and decide how I can test it properly for things like crushing blow), I'll update further. - Prevent Monster Heal - Crushing Blow - Deadly Strike - Hit Blinds Target - Hit Slows Target Mods that don't work What definately does not work on the secondary claw? - IAS. Keep those Shaels well away from the claw above the boots, it won't do you any good. 5. Equipment Some numbers to aim for: 48% Faster Hit Recovery = 5 Frames 75% Lightning Resist, about 50% Fire and Cold Resist, Poison >0%. 75% Resist All is nice, but not essential, especially for SC. 6K+ Attack Rating. The more the better really. Enough IAS for a 10 frame Dragon Claw attack with Burst of Speed active. Weapon 1: Shadow Killer - The high damage makes this a very good choice. The drawback is that the ctc Nova and the hit freezes target will reduce the number of corpses that you have to trigger corpse explosion. Bartuc's Cut Throat - great bonuses, including a big chunk of FHR, but the damage is a bit low. Upping them helps a bit. If you are on BNet and can get Ethereal Zoded Bartucs, then these become very nice. Natalya's Mark - It has a pretty good base damage, and the +200% damage to Undead and Demons helps compensate for our poor off weapon damage from skills. Fury - A 'BNet only' option only because of the cost, but it would be a nice choice. Feral Claws are probably the best base item choice. Chaos - If you have one, why not? Triggering the CTC effects and the added Magic Damage are what makes this a good choice. It is not compulsory to only use WW as an attack if you have it equipped. Jade Talon - The resists mean this could be used as a primary, but there is not much else to recommend it. Rare - A nice rare is potentially the best claw you can get. Fools, Cruel, Ethereal Feral Claws of Self Repair ate possible, but good luck finding some. Weapon 2: If you have very nice charms and other equipment, you may not need Jade Talon in the secondary slot, but I think it will be required by most people. Socket with a resistance jewel. If you don't need the resists, pick from the Weapon 1 menu above. Attack Speed OK, so you have chosen your claws. Now we need to know how much IAS or how many points we need in Burst of Speed. This will be key when it comes to the rest of the equipment selection. 1. Find the WSM of your claws. 2. Work out the average WSM. 3. Look at the IAS and BoS requirements from the table. 1. Find the WSM of your claws. You can find out all about this in my Claw Guide Some or the recommended WSMs: Code: [B]Claw Name[/B] [B]WSM[/B] Bartuc's Cut Throat -30 Jade Talon -10 Shadow Killer -10 Natalya's Mark 0 Runic Talons -30 Feral Claws -20 2. Work out the average WSM. For example, I choose to use Shadow Killer as a primary claw and Jade Talon as a secondary. Average WSM = (-10 + -10)/2 = -10 Average 3. Look at the IAS and BoS requirements from the table. BoS/IAS Table for 10 Frame Dragon Claw attacks: Code: Â¦ Average WSM Lvl EIAS Â¦ -30 -25 -20 -15 -10 -5 0 5 10 _________Â¦____________________________________________________ 0 0 Â¦ 125 147 174 208 250 304 377 480 638 1 21 Â¦ 60 72 86 102 120 142 168 200 240 2 27 Â¦ 48 58 70 83 99 117 138 163 194 3 31 Â¦ 40 50 60 72 86 102 120 142 168 4 34 Â¦ 35 44 54 65 78 92 109 129 152 5 37 Â¦ 30 39 48 58 70 83 99 117 138 6 39 Â¦ 27 35 44 54 65 78 92 109 129 7 41 Â¦ 24 32 40 50 60 72 86 102 120 8 42 Â¦ 23 30 39 48 58 70 83 99 117 9 44 Â¦ 20 27 35 44 54 65 78 92 109 10 45 Â¦ 19 26 34 42 52 63 75 89 105 11 46 Â¦ 18 24 32 40 50 60 72 86 102 12 47 Â¦ 16 23 30 39 48 58 70 83 99 13 48 Â¦ 15 22 29 37 46 56 68 80 95 14 49 Â¦ 14 20 27 35 44 54 65 78 92 15 50 Â¦ 13 19 26 34 42 52 63 75 89 16 51 Â¦ 11 18 24 32 40 50 60 72 86 17 51 Â¦ 11 18 24 32 40 50 60 72 86 18 51 Â¦ 11 18 24 32 40 50 60 72 86 19 52 Â¦ 10 16 23 30 39 48 58 70 83 20 52 Â¦ 10 16 23 30 39 48 58 70 83 21 53 Â¦ 9 15 22 29 37 46 56 68 80 22 53 Â¦ 9 15 22 29 37 46 56 68 80 23 54 Â¦ 8 14 20 27 35 44 54 65 78 24 54 Â¦ 8 14 20 27 35 44 54 65 78 25 54 Â¦ 8 14 20 27 35 44 54 65 78 26 55 Â¦ 7 13 19 26 34 42 52 63 75 27 55 Â¦ 7 13 19 26 34 42 52 63 75 28 55 Â¦ 7 13 19 26 34 42 52 63 75 29 55 Â¦ 7 13 19 26 34 42 52 63 75 30 55 Â¦ 7 13 19 26 34 42 52 63 75 - My average WSM is -10. - Lets assume I am using a switch with two +3 Shadow Disciplines Claws to pre-buff my BoS to level 7 (one hard point) - From the table I need 60 IAS from my gear with a level 7 BoS. - I could get this from a Shael in my Primary Claw, 20 IAS Gloves and 15IAS Jewels in the Helm and Armour, with 10 IAS left over. - But I decide to use Duress for an Armour, so I get no IAS there. I have 55IAS in my gear. - If I put 2 more hard points into BoS, I get to level 9, which only requires 54IAS to hit the fastest speed. Switch: Call to Arms and Lidless Wall / Spirit Shield is the best choice. +3 Shadow Disciplines claws - For pre-buffing Burst of Speed. +3 Trap claws - to boost Death Sentry +2 Assassin Skill claws - If you don't have CtA, this gives you a compromise between a shadow pre-buff and a trap laying switch. Helm: Guillaume's Face - With 35% Crushing Blow on it, it is hard to choose any other helm. Add in the fact it has 15% Deadly Strike, 30% FHR and +15 Strength and you need look no further. Socket with whatever you need to fill holes in your equipment. An Ambergris Jewel of Fervour is probably going to be you best choice. If you are using a runeword armour, this is the only place other than your Primary claw that you can get IAS. Armour: Fortitude - Do I need to give a reason why? The 300% Damage bonus and the resists make this the number one choice. If you have it that is. Chains of Honour - Huge resists and damage to demons and undead make this a good choice, but not as good as Fortitude. Duress - A great offensive armour, for those of us on a more limited budget. Shaftstop - 30% Damage Reduction and a nice life boost. The best choice if you need better defence. Lionheart - Cheap, but Duress is better. Belt: Verdungo's Hearty Coil - Up to 15% damage reduction and a nice life boost makes this the best pick if you don't need the life leech. String of Ears - Up to 15% damage reduction and life leech. If you need the leech, this is the best choice. Crafted Blood Belt - Gives some nice Open Wounds and possible other mods, but I think the damage reduction from either of the other two belts is preferable. Gloves: There are some great choices here, all have good points to recommend them: Laying of Hands - A big boost to damage thanks to the 350% Damage to Demons and Fire Resistance will help cover the gaps in the set. Trang Oul's Claws - 25% more poison damage that gets applied twice, once when you cast venom and once when you hit. 30% Cold Resistance doesn't hurt either. Dracul's Grasp - Open Wounds and the CtC Life Tap. No IAS is the drawback here. Crafted Blood Gloves - If you have a 10% Crushing Blow pair with some nice resists and 20IAS, this is a great choice. Boots: Gore Rider - 15% CB, 15% DS and 10% OW. There really isn't any other pair of boots to be recommended. Goblin Toe - With 25% Crushing Blow, these could be OK if you can't get gores. BoS will compensate for the lack of FRW. Try and get the Gores though. Amulet: Highlord's Wrath - Lots of Deadly Strike, +1 skills, IAS and lightning resistance make this the best choice for an offensive amulet. Atma's Scarab - CtC Amplify Damage is what is useful here. It will help your attacks and the corpse explosion from DS. Just don't use this and Dracul's Grasp together, the curses will keep over-riding each other. Mara's Kaleidoscope - An OK choice, but not the best. The resists will help fill the hole there, but the +2 skills aren't that important for this build. Rare - Look for leech, stats & resists. Highlords will be a better bet though. Rings: Ravenfrost - You must have this in one of the ring slots. You will need the base AR and the Cannot be Frozen. It is also a possible candidate for the second ring slot. Rare - Look for AR, resists, stats & life. If you have one, a dual Leech rare is probably the best choice for the second ring slot. Wisp Projector - For the Lightning Absorb. Dwarf Star - Nice life boost and Fire Absorb. Inventory: Resist / Balance charms - To plug any gaps not covered in your gear. Steel / Sharp / Fine charms - For some base AR and the damage. 6. Equipment - Natalya's Set Version This is where the build originated, but it isn't as strong as using bespoke equipment. Your big problem is going to be finding enough juicy attack modifiers to make this worthwhile. It will be doable, but I think a Phoenix Striker is a much stronger build for the set. Nat's Set gives us: 30% Damage Reduction +3 to All Skills +2 to Shadow Disciplines 14% Life & Mana Leech Dexterity, Strength & Life Bonuses Up to +70% Resist all Up to +25% Lightning & Cold Resist. 25% Poison resist. It doesn't give us: Fire Resist Faster Hit Recovery Deadly Strike / Crushing Blow / Open Wounds Weapon 1: Natalya's Mark. If you can afford it, put in an Um for Open Wounds. If not, a nice Jewel of Fervour or a Shael for the IAS. Weapon 2: A few options here: Shadow Killer - The high damage makes this a good choice. Bartuc's Cut Throat - great bonuses, including a big chunk of FHR. Strength Runic Talons - Your only chance to get crushing blow other than gloves. Malice Runic Talons - 100% Open Wounds, but nothing else to recommend really. Natalya's Mark - If you have a second one, this is also a good option. It has a pretty good base damage, and the +200% damage to Undead and Demons helps compensate for our poor off weapon damage from skills. Fury - A 'BNet only' option only because of the cost, but it would be a nice choice. Chaos - If you have one, why not? Triggering the CTC effects and the added Magic Damage are what makes this a good choice. It is not compulsory to only use WW as an attack if you have it equipped. Switch: Call to Arms and Lidless Wall / Spirit Shield is obviously the best choice (if you have it). If you have another one Nat's Mark & Strength would give some crushing blow for boss fights. Pre-buff with shadow claws isn't really worth it as you will drop 3 skills from switching out the last part of the set. Helm: Natalya's Totem Armour: Natalya's Shadow, preferably 3os. Boots: Natalya's Soul Socket the Armour and Helm with whatever you need - Elemental / physical damage jewels, Shaels for FHR, Runes / Jewels for resists, Jewels of Fervour for IAS etc. Belt: Verdungo's Hearty Coil - Up to 15% damage reduction and a nice life boost is probably the best option. It will bring your total to damage reduction 45% with the set bonus String of Ears - Up to 15% damage reduction and more life leech. Crafted Blood Belt - Another way to bring some Open Wounds into the build, but I think the damage reduction is more important. Gloves: There are some great choices here, all have good points to recommend them: Laying of Hands - A big boost to damage thanks to the 350% Damage to Demons and Fire Resistance will help cover the gaps in the set. Dracul's Grasp - Open Wounds and the CtC Life Tap. Trang Oul's Claws - 25% more poison damage that gets applied twice, once when you cast venom and once when you hit. 30% Cold Resistance doesn't hurt either. Crafted Blood Gloves - The only possible slot in your gear to get Crushing Blow, other than a secondary claw. If you have a 10% pair with some nice resists, this is a great choice. Amulet: Highlord's Wrath - Lots of Deadly Strike, +1 skills, IAS and lightning resistance make this the best choice for an offensive amulet. Atma's Scarab - CtC Amplify Damage is what is useful here. It will help your attacks and the corpse explosion from DS. Just don't use this and Dracul's Grasp together, the curses will keep over-riding each other. Mara's Kaleidoscope - +2 Skills and the resists will help nicely. Rare - Look for +skills, stats & resists. Highlords or Mara's will be a better bet though. Rings: Ravenfrost - You must have this in one of the ring slots. You will need the base AR and the Cannot be Frozen. It is also a good candidate for the second ring slot. Rare - Look for AR, resists, stats & life. Wisp Projector - For the Lightning Absorb. Dwarf Star - Nice life boost and Fire Absorb. Inventory: Resist / Balance charms - To plug any gaps not covered in your gear. Mentalist Skillers - To boost your venom, weapon block and claw mastery. Steel / Sharp / Fine charms - For some base AR and the damage. Attack Speed Dragon Claw has a fastest speed of 10FPA (5 FPA Each Claw) The set gives +5 to Shadow Skills, +1 hard point gives a lvl 6 Burst of Speed minimum. Nat's Mark WSM = 0, 40 IAS Bartuc's WSM = -30 Jade Talon WSM = -10 So the average WSM is: -15 if using Bartuc's, Runic or Greater Talons -5 if using Jade Talon. 0 if using a second Nat's Mark From the IAS tables: Code: BoS IAS Needed for 10FPA Level [-15 WSM] [-5 WSM] [0 WSM] 6 54 78 92 7 50 72 86 8 48 70 83 9 44 65 78 10 42 63 75 11 40 60 72 12 39 58 70 13 37 56 68 14 35 54 65 15 34 52 63 16 32 50 60 17 32 50 60 IAS Targets: Nat's Mark has 40IAS, so: - If you are using Greater/Runic Talons, you will only need an additional 15 IAS to hit the fastest speed. - If you are using Jade Talon you will need an additional 35IAS additional (Jade Talon has +1-2 Shadow skills = lvl 7 BoS minimum). - If you are using a second Nat's Mark, you will probably need a few more points in BoS and/or some off weapon IAS to hit the fastest speed. Remember the IAS on the secondary claw (above the boots) doesn't count. - Check the table above before socketing as it will depend on your final BoS level. 7. Gameplay Basic gameplay: 1. Cast CoS 2. Lay a few DS 3. Wade into the fray with DC on the right mouse button 4. Watch DS level the area. 5. Rinse and repeat. I'll develop this section further when I have played the build through the entire game. 8. List of Abbreviations AR - Attack Rating BoS- Burst of Speed C/C - Claw Claw, ie using a claw on each hand CB - Crushing Blow CM - Claw Mastery CoS- Cloak of Shadows ctc - Chance to Cast DC - Dragon Claw DF - Dragon Flight %DR – % Physical Damage Reduction DS - Death Sentry FHR - Fast Hit Recovery FCR- Faster Cast Rate FRW - Faster Run / Walk IAS - Increased Attack Speed LCS - Lying Character Screen. The screen that shows your stats, damage etc., with varying accuracy. LS - Lightning Sentry MA - Martial Arts MB - Mind Blast MP - Multi Player - Either on BNet or over TCPIP OW - Open Wounds Res - Resistance SM - Shadow Master WB – Weapon Block WSM - Weapon Speed Modifier WW - Whirlwind 3os - 3 Open Sockets 9. Thanks Thanks to everyone who contributed in either this thread or this thread Thanks especially to stephan and Nightfish for lots of help and suggestions.