The "Black Dragoon" PvM Guide

Dimmu Borgir

Diabloii.Net Member
The "Black Dragoon" PvM Guide

So yeah, after much experimentation, I managed to create a successful Dragoon beyond the standard stuff.

DISCLAIMER: You WILL die a lot with this character. This character is not godly, and this character takes a lot of skill. You can NOT mindlessly click on mobs and watch them die. This build is for people who want something fun, and for people who want something different.

I'll just start things off with the skill allocations:

20 Leap
20 Leap Attack
20 Weapon Mastery (I chose Axe)
20 War Cry
20 Howl
Put any remaining points into one-point wonders (Iron Skin, Increased Speed, etc.) or War Cry synergies.

Now, first off you may be wondering... "Why no Battle Orders?" I've gotten lots of pissy comments from people when I tell them I don't HAVE Battle Orders to help out their health. But in order for this vuild to work successfully, you can't afford to put points into it. Other builds do just fine when focusing on Vitality, Battle Orders is just a big bonus that you don't really NEED, unless you intend to by godly, and we've already established that this build doesn't serve that purpose.

Now, to answer your other questions... Why Howl and War Cry? these are your two main crowd control skills... combined together they make this character possibly the BEST crowd-controller in the game. You're using War Cry for the stun, not for the damage.

The general idea here is, when you're in a mob, do a rapid combo of War Cry and then Howl. All your enemies will be stunned and frightened (If not all of them are the stun gives you enogh time for another Howl), and entire armies will flee from you once the stun wears off. This is the root of the name "Black Dragoon"... Black was taken from terms like "Black Magic" and "Black Metal", both of which are used to describe something that is intended to strike fear into the hearts of others. Well, seeing armies run away from a single Barbarian... I'd say that's striking fear into something.

You're going to be doing a lot of F1-F2-F3 etc. skill switching with this character. My personal style is to keep Leap on your left click, and hold down Shift when you want to use it. Leap into a mob, set your right-click to War Cry, perform War Howl (War Cry-->Howl), then switch your right click to Leap Attack and pick them off.

Equipment is up to you, you all should know by now what the good stuff is. As for weapon, though its not the best two-hander you can get, I prefer an Ethereal Beath of the Dying Glorious Axe, 'cause it just plain looks cool. Note that you WILL want to use a two-hander to maximize the damage output of Leap Attack.

Enjoy. Like I said its not a GOOD build, just an extremely FUN one... and not to mention you look completely badass when you're taking out a mob.

The only thing left I'm still sort of working on with this build is how to properly deal with bosses.

Note that you are NOT invincible while you are Leaping. Melee attacks, strangely enough, will still "hit" you. They won't judging from isuals, but the instant you land, each hit will take effect all at the same time! Quite a few times I've Leapt over a crowd and fallen flat on my face dead when I landed. So be careful.

Though if you're playing your cards right with the crowd control, this shouldn't happen.


Diabloii.Net Member
Great idea. I would implement it, but I fear it requires godly equip, judging by the aforementioned botd, so I can't afford. Any poor man's gear?

Dimmu Borgir

Diabloii.Net Member
Gear, hmm... Well the build is still being worked on, this isn't the final word on it yet, 'cause I'm still experimenting with it somewhat. Your damage will be centered around single, extremely powerful strikes... So naturally you want that single strike to actually HIT. Meaning, Attack Rating is a must. I hear Angelic Ring + Amulet gives a good AR bonus, and they should be easy enough to find. Believe me, you have no idea how frusterating it is when Leap Attack misses, haha.

It MIGHT be more efficient to go for a range 5 weapon (since your targets will be moving most of the time / running away), which would make it a bit easier to hit them, but like I said I use the 'Giant Axe' type weapons for style.

Also attack speed is a good thing to invest in, since most two-handers are usually pretty slow.


Diabloii.Net Member
hmm.. wear a black unique armor for maximum coolness? (i forget which ones make you look black)

black armor + arreats + giant axe = greatest looking character in game, especially when hes leaping around like a madman and making hordes of enemies run away in fright or worse: be too scared to move

If your rich, faith merc will help speed and damage and ar.

Demon limb on switch can help ar as well.

I can see this build pumping out upwards of 15000 max damage per leap attack.

ebotd glorious axe + 40 nonwep ias + faith merc = 10 fpa
dual ebotd zerkers + 20 nonwep ias + faith merc = 7.5 fpa


Diabloii.Net Member
What do you do when you have groups of archers from all over the screen pelting you? Does howl take care of them too, if so how big does the radius get?


Diabloii.Net Member
Good, a very fun build, and not necessarily "die a lot with this character" - a lot of patience is need with this build.

Dimmu Borgir

Diabloii.Net Member
Archers are actually the easiest to pick off, because most of them naturally run away from you. Note that while Leaping, you are completely immune to spells and projectiles. Melee attacks are the ONLY thing that can strike you as far as I know.


Diabloii.Net Member
Fyi, Dragoons use spears.

Other weapon choices:

Last Wish (17 might aura+ huge crushing blow)

Pride (20 concentration + 200-300% ar bonus+ ds)

For the less wealthy...

Double-upp'd Bonesnap. A perfect gets up to almost 700 dmg, and if you can find and etheral one, well, you wont need WC to make monsters run from you.

Also, I've built many Barbarians centered around Leap Attack as their primary dmg output source, and imo, there is no need to max WC. As the ots said, WC is used for the stun, not the damage, so why max it?

What separates you from the pack is the fact that you're durable, and strong. Max BO.


Diabloii.Net Member
You'd be way better off not pumping Howl or War Cry at all with this build because the knockback radius on a 20-point Leap is gigantic, and it works on everything, whereas Howl is useless versus champions and the like, and it'd make monsters run so far away that it'd be more of a hindrance/annoyance than anything else. Since you'd be doing poor damage with your normal attack, chasing down the monsters and killing them would take a lifetime. Furthermore Leap only requires 2 mana.

War Cry is blockable, the damage is irrelevant and with this build it hardly does anything for you as the stun length isn't long enough to set up good Leap-Attacks; the radius is garbage because this isn't a melee build per se. Furthermore it would suck up your mana in the blink of an eye, and this build just can't handle that.

Since maxed Leap Attack is like instant two-hander (somewhat senseless to max Leap Attack and the other things this build needs and use a shield), your resistances will suffer. To make up for that I suggest maxing BO along with Concentrate since it gets +10% damage per point in BO.

Without BO and a good "normal" attack to fight alongside your merc, you probably wouldn't be able to keep one alive that easily even with a high-level Howl and War Cry.

The finished build would basically look like this:

20 Mastery
20 Leap
20 Leap Attack
20 Battle Orders
20 Concentrate

With a Mastery, Conc and the +200% damage to Conc from BO you would have a good "normal" attack. Furthermore Conc is uninterruptible and gives a large bonus to your DR as you use it.

BO would give you a ton of life, and more importantly a lot more mana. Furthermore it'd really benefit your merc.

And then there's the 1-point wonders like Taunt and Battle Cry (mainly for bosses and the like).

I'd also like to suggest assigning your hotkeys to a-g and z-v as that's way more convenient and reasonable, and not using anything on the left button except for the occasional normal attack to focus-fire on something important, or kill the last monster or two in an area. I also wouldn't bother using shift (at least in PvM).

I envision playing this build by a) using Conc regularly, and b) Leap-Attacking monsters as they approach, and/or Leaping until they're where I want them, then meeting them "halfway" with Leap Attack.