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The Disciple of Doom: A non-ladder elemental aura/conviction zealot build

Discussion in 'Paladin' started by JanusJones, May 13, 2005.

  1. JanusJones

    JanusJones IncGamers Member

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    The Disciple of Doom: A non-ladder elemental aura/conviction zealot build

    PREFACE:
    I haven't been a member of these forums long, but I've been reading them forever - and they've helped me out a thousand times. I'm personally indebted to Kitriara's Frost Zealot guide, and to the new runeword guides for ladder players: Sir SDG and Pougee, especially. I play on West, and I've always been a fan of odd builds - I've only just started with pallys, and got hooked on auras playing my shocker (he waltzes through Hell like he's going for a walk in the park). This build is born of a jealousy I've been feeling about all the cool new runewords on ladder, and fueled by my perverse desire to build characters never seen before. It will work off-ladder and on (better on, of course) and be tons of fun. Note: this is my first guide ever (despite an odd habit I have of writing guides for myself and failing to post them), so while I am enthused to hear any comments, please be gentle! Now, if you're up for an odd new pally build, read on!

    INTRODUCTION:
    Have you been surfing the pally forums and drooling over all the new elemental aura runewords and the builds possible with them? Are you a non-ladder player who's rich enough that moving to ladder just sounds like a whole lot of work for very little payoff in fun (there are those of us who can't spend days and days building up riches on a new account . . .)? Well then, fret no more, for here is an elemental aura pally in the mode of the Double Dreamer and the Double Dragon (ah, the dorky humor!) - the Disciple of Doom (please suggest any other ideas for a good name you might have!).

    The Disciple of Doom wields, as you might expect, the Doom runeword in a berzerker axe and synergizes its Holy Freeze aura with Resist Cold and Salvation. His Conviction aura breaks immunes and renders monster's defenses inadequate, and his equipment makes his enemies all ready broken resistances truly vulnerable to the force of his attacks. He Zeals to hit his enemies, hitting at 5 fps to lay down multiple deadly elemental hits. Finally, he slows his opponent's advance and attack to a crawl, and makes it nearly impossible for them to escape him once they run in growing fear and amazement.

    This is a very playable character, but requires the use of the Doom runeword - an expensive item for nearly any player to obtain. It also requires the use of multiple Rainbow Facet jewels - the more, the better: at LEAST 5 (1 in shield, 1 in helm, 3 in armor) and at most 11 (4 in shield, 4 in armor, 3 in helm). This will not be a cheap character to build, but will be tons of fun and will create a very unique (and terribly entertaining) paladin. It will be effective as a PvM build, being able to avoid damage by slowing opponents, block their attacks, and demolish them by destroying their resistances - end-game equipment and skills will be sufficient to break even the hardiest immunes. In addition, it will be an effective dueler for precisely the same reasons. Finally, it will be versatile, allowing for all sorts of different equipment combinations to suit almost any preference - barring the absolutely necessary Doom and Facets.

    Well, without further ado, here goes!
     
  2. JanusJones

    JanusJones IncGamers Member

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    SKILLS:

    OFFENSIVE:
    Might: 1 pt. Prerequisite.
    Holy Fire: 1 pt. Prerequisite.
    Holy Freeze: 1 pt. Prerequisite. Synergized nicely by Resist Cold (+15%/level!) and Salvation (+7%/level); with both maxed, you'll do 458-485 damage per attack. This is pretty low, I'll grant, but in combo with some facets, Doom's minus to resists, and Conviction it will be better than you might expect. Now add on top of that that it slows your enemies to a crawl (even if they "cannot be frozen") and you've got a very nice little aura. Believe it or not, Doom's level 12 Holy Freeze (which will be your main source of damage) will not be negated by putting in a point; that only happens with items which use charges.
    Thorns: 1 pt. Prerequisite.
    Sactuary: 1 pt. Prerequisite.
    Conviction: 20 pts. This is the heart of the build, and without +skills will net you a big fat -90% to enemy defense and -125% to enemy resists! Oh so sexy!

    COMBAT:
    Sacrifice: 1-20 pts. I find that the AR from Demon Limb's Enchant and Conviction's -90% defense makes enemies very easy to hit (especially when you throw on a couple of Raven's Frosts!). Thus, instead of investing in Zeal, you may want to max Sacrifice to give yourself a nice +240% physical damage (the bonus per level is 12% as compared to Zeal's +6% per level past level 5; however, if you have a lot of +skills gear you may prefer to invest in Zeal, since +skills won't boost the synergy bonus to damage from Sacrifice).
    Zeal: 1-20 pts. See above for a discussion of pros and cons.
    Smite: 1 pt. Prerequisite.
    Charge: 1 pt. Prerequisite. Also handy for running about and for getting in a first hit on an enemy.
    Holy Bolt: 1 pt. Prerequisite.
    Blessed Hammer: 1 pt. Prerequisite.
    Holy Shield: 1-10 points. Depending on your +skills gear, put whatever you need to in order to reach max block. Also boosts defense nicely.

    DEFENSIVE:
    Resist Cold: 20 pts. This one's non-negotiable, as it's what makes your Doom's aura do enough to scare your enemies.
    Salvation: 1-20 pts. Without this maxed Doom will add 340-360 cold damage; with it at level 20 you'll do 458-485 (118-125 more). This small boost may not be worth the investment, but that depends on how many Cold Facets you have and are able to socket in your equip; the more you have, the more each point in Salvation will count.
     
  3. JanusJones

    JanusJones IncGamers Member

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    EQUIPMENT:
    Okay folks, here's the equip section - a must-have for any good guide. I'll try to be exhaustive, but I'm not gonna list every mod on every item - there are tons of good places to find that out. Here's one. I will endeavor to stay inside the boundaries of non-ladder equipment, as that's the primary target audience for this build, but I may stray occasionally - be forgiving, this is my first full guide!

    FACETS:
    A note here: this build's killing power will be proportionally larger for every facet you are able to socket. 5/5 Cold Facets are the way to go, and it's worth passing on some of the more elite (and expensive!) equipment in order to get some nice facets to socket in cheaper stuff. Each one will add a hefty increase in power, both by lowering resists, moosting Doom damage, and adding flat bonuses to elemental damage.

    WEAPONS:
    Doom Axe: The principal item required for this build; needs to be in a Berzerker Axe for optimal speed. The slvl 12 Holy Freeze will be synergized and beefed by your passives to make it very respectable; moreover, the -40 to -60 percent to enemy cold resist will amp your damage even more - especially with Conviction. Add on top that it does very decent damage and has an intrinsic 40% ias, and you have a beastly weapon - and it's only the beginning! Now, the thing is, with this weapon you'll need at least 25% more IAS on other equipment to hit the 5 fps breakpoint. As you won't be using Fanaticism, 4 fps will be virtually unobtainable.
    Weapon Switch: Demon Limb (slvl 23 Enchant) gives 87-111 fire damage and a big fat +218% to AR. This can allow you to skimp on points in Zeal and throw more into Sacrifice for bigger physical damage boosts, AND, if used in combination with a Dragonscale shield (see below), can get amped by another +30% (for a total of 113-144). This sounds low, but when you consider the boost from Conviction, it'll sound a lot sexier. For those of you who can't do without (and are rich enough to afford it), of course, there's always the dueler's bestest friend: the ubiquitous Call to Arms.

    SHIELDS:
    Dragonscale Shield: Almost the best choice for this build, and has the added advantage of being cheaper than fertilizer. HUGE fire damage, some absorb, and the piece de resistance: Hydra, which with your Conviction Aura will make for some nasty support damage. Run outside and lay down a field of these then watch your slowed enemies squirm as they desperately try to flee your fiery pets' scorching breath. Ah, I wax poetic in admiration! Oh, and let's not forget the bonus to fire skill damage - you'd be tempted to think this was unnecessary, but it will affect your Enchant damage - use it in combo with Demon Limb for pre-buff, if you decide on a different shield for your primary. On the other hadn, you can also always have two - that way the +15% to Enchant works when you cast it and again when you hit for a total of +30%!
    Griswold's Shield: EXPENSIVE. But, as many expensive things, also VERY good. 3 sockets means another +15%/-15% cold damage/enemy resists, which added with a bonus to auras and +45% resist all makes this puppy GODLY.
    4 Socket Elite Pally Shield: Hey, no need to go too expensive if you find yourself a nice elite pally shield! Hunt around in cows for a nice one with mods you like: resists and ED are always gravy. Get Larzuk to put in 4 sockets and plug it full of your favorite facets and go to town!
    Tiamat's Rebuke: Ooooooooooooooooh damage!! Now, this doesn't have enough sockets to make things really groovy, but the elemental damage and resist make it shine. A very nice shield, overall.
    Herald of Zakarum: I would be remiss not to mention the pallyy standard. It speaks for itself: skills (a +4 to combat, total!), blocking, resists . . . dang. The drawbacks, of course, are its lack of elemental damage or multiple sockets. Not as perfect for this build as for most pallys.
    Other Options: If you want to go with a non-pally shield, the sky's the limit. Headhunter's Glory is foxy for a dueler (3 sockets!), Medusa's Gaze can be nicely abused (if you actually get hit and cast lower resist, look the $%^& out!), Radamant's and Stormchaser have extra elemental damage - the list goes on and on.

    BELTS:
    Thundergod's Valor: What can I say - a classic. +20 to Strength and Vitality, the all-important Lightning resist and absorb, and finally - elemental Lightning damage (which is always a good thing with a pally who has maxed Conviction!). A dueler's must (especially for those pesky trappers!).
    Nosferatu's Coil: Handy mods here - IAS is always important, lifesteal doesn't hurt, +15 Strength is nice, and slows target is just insult to injury when coupled with the irresistible retarding effect of Holy Freeze. This is necessary mostly if you need the IAS to hit 5 fps.
    Other Options: Erm, not too many. M'avina's is nice in combo with the circlet, and Snowclash has some extra damage. Of course, there are always the dueling standards Dungoes and String for the DR, but I stayed away from those as being too predictable. We're trying to make a new kinda dueler here, ain't we?

    ARMOR:
    Ormus' Robes: Not as good as you'd think. Even with a +15% cold damage Ormus, you still will have low defense for a melee character and won't get as much of a boost as you would with another armor plugged full of facets.
    Enigma: For the obvious reasons. Once again, however, don't assume it's your best option. You'll get more bang for your buck out of an armor socketed full of facets. On the other hand, the plus to Strength will amp your melee damage considerably, so if you have a free one, this armor will do well.
    CoH: see Enigma. The resists, however, are as always a nice boost - especially for duelers.
    Spirit Forge (2 socket): This is a surprisingly sexy armor for this pally. It has some base fire damage, +15 Strength and, more importantly, two big fat sockets open for Facets. Also, it's CHEAP!
    Guardian Angel: +1 to skills, max resist boost - this makes for a good dueler armor.
    Templar's Might: Like Guardian Angel, only better.
    Naj's Light Plate: Plus to skills, resists - what's not to like?
    Natalya's Shadow (3 socket): Yet another armor with sockets open - and +life per level!! This is a highly underrated armor, and can be had for peanuts.
    Black Hades: 3 sockets in a unique - get the facets and it's worth it. The mods make it slightly less interesting than Natalya's, however, despite the Defense rating.
    Que Huegan's, Skin of the Vipermagi, Silks of the Victor, Skullder's Ire: The less desireable (for this character, anyhoo) +skills armors. Not bad, but not good. If you have to go for one, take Skins for the resists (or Skullder's if you want to mf with him).
    Dark Adherent: This has some poison damage, and can be used nicely with other pieces of the set. Not optimal, though.
    Other Options: There are always Duress and Stone (crushing blow and silly defense, respectively), but if you can afford these you can afford some facets and a better (for this build) armor with sockets.
     
  4. JanusJones

    JanusJones IncGamers Member

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    GLOVES:
    Hellmouth: Big fire damage is only the beginning. The chance to cast Meteor and Firestorm can be VERY sexy when you consider how vulnerable your opponent will be to elemental damage. Add on some Fire Absorb, and you have some bad @ssed dueling gloves!!
    Bloodfist: Bonus to life, 10% ias, crushing blow, enhanced damage. These gloves are a favorite with those in the know, and for good reason - they're cheap and effective, and when upped make a very presentable end-game choice.
    Lava Gout: The IAS and fire damage may look attractive at first, but keep your eyes open: if you're using Demon Limb on switch for the slvl 23 Enchant on switch (for AR and fire ups!), the level 10 Enchant on the gloves will pop up and oveerride it - no good. If you're a hardcore dueler who just can't part with his CTA (you posh snob, you!), however, throw on the Lava Gouts and Zeal away!
    Other Options: Crafted gloves are cool if you have'em and they have the right mods for you.

    AMULETS:
    Highlord's Wrath: Oh yeah . . . now we're pimping. Almost nothing else will do: IAS, lightning damage, plus to skills, resist lightning. Yeah baby, do me like that.
    Atma's Scarab: Poison damage and Amp Damage on hit. It ain't Highlord's, but it ain't nothing to scoff at, either.
    Rising Sun: A good option in combo with Dragonscale for amping those Hydras. Comes with nice fire damage and fire absorb as well, which, if you go for Tgods and Hellmouth, can sum up to a character nearly invulnerable to fire and lightning!
    There are other options as well, of course, but I'm not gonna list them all. If you're on ladder, you probably don't want to bother with this build - Double Dream or triple Holy Fire (Dragon times two plus Hand of Justice) will make for a much more dangerous pally, so I won't bother with mentioning Seraph's Hymn (oops, did it anyway!)

    HELMS:
    Nightwing's Veil: Ah, +skills, +cold skill damage. Nice. However, it's also expensive - and you'd be better off with some facets socketed - two +5/-5 die facets will whup a perfect Nightwing's damage ups any day.
    Crown of Ages: This is it - the godly choice. 2 sockets (if you can find 'em), +skills, DR, hit recovery, and and resist ALL! Socket some facets and get goofy on the opposition!
    Vampgaze: An oldie but goody. Cold damage is just icing on the cake when you consider the DR, leech, and defense.
    Griswold's: Ah, here we go. More skills (assuming you go with griz's shield, too), resists, and 2 sockets! A much cheaper alternative to CoA, and by no means all that inferior. Also, ABSORB COLD - which, with Helmmouth and Tgods, will mean you absorb everything . . . wow.
    Andy's Visage: I know, I know, I'm not supposed to mention ladder-only items. This one, though, I've seen - it's around. Poison damage, IAS, and charges of Venom make this an attractive choice if you're interested.
    Griffon's Eye: Well, since I've all ready broken my promise, I might as well keep going. Lightning skill bonus, lightning resistance lowered, +skills. Still, not optimal for this build, really.
    Mavina's: Really nice if you can swing the 2 item set bonus giving a +1 to skills (I suggest the gloves, which come with some cold damage and a few other nice mods). Comes with built-in 30% IAS, something no other helm in the game can boast (Andy's is the only thing that comes close).
    Rare +2 Pally Circlet: The best option outside CoA, and also one of the most expensive. If you can get a 2 socket, +resist all, +2 pally skills circlet with some extra mods on it you're golden.

    RINGS:
    Ravenfrost x2: Get two of these - they have everything this pally needs. Cold damage, AR, Dex, and even cold absorb!
    Carrion Wind: The Poison Creeper charges on this can be exploited in combo with Conviction, and with some Poison Facets can really start to shine.
    Wisp: Ummm, wow. Lightning cast on hit is a nice touch with a Conviction based pally, and then throw on Oak Sage or HoW to amp other abilities and zow!

    BOOTS:
    Gore Riders: For all the right reasons: run/walk, crushing blow, deadly strike, open wounds.
    Goblin Toe: A whole heaping helping of crushing blow - not to be underestimated!
    Tearhaunch: Often overlooked, but please note the important (and rare) mod on these: +10% resist all.
    Cow King's Hooves: Lightning damage. In case ya haven't noticed, this character digs on elemental damage.

    SETS I HAVEN'T MENTIONED:
    Immortal King's: Always good in a partial set: gloves, boots, belt are all very nice. Look'em up for more details.

    SUMMARY:
    This is not a power build or a cookie-cutter build; it isn't a cheap build either.

    With perfect equipment (a -60% Doom, a 2 socket CoA with 2 5/5 Die Cold Facets, Grizwold's Shield with 3 5/5 Die Cold Facets, Natalya's Armor with 3 5/5 Die Facets, Demon Limb/Dragonscale with a 5/X Fire Facet/3 5/X Fire Facet Helm for prebuff, Tgods Valor, Hellmouth, Highlord's Wrath, and double Raven's Frost), the Disciple of Doom will deal:

    Enchant Prebuff: 117-149
    Holy Freeze Aura: 641-679
    Raven's Frost: 30-90
    Tgod's: 1-50
    Highlord's: 1-30
    Hellmouth: 15-72
    Factes: 192-304

    All of this is elemental, so it will be multiplied by at least 2 by the destruction of your enemy's resists, for a total of somewhere around 1994-2748 elemental damage per hit. No one will be able to resist this - I've played a pretty scary ~9k zeal Shockadin, and an enemy with Tgods would own him. This will NOT be the case with this pally. The enhanced physical damage will be at least 240% (really - I mean at VERY least - this assumes nothing more than 20 pts in Sacrifice and a level 5 Zeal), which in combo with a good Doom spawn will amp your damage even further. Your attack will almost always hit, since your enemies will have their defense nerfed by almost 100%, and your AR will be boosted by 218% or more (which, with your Raven's Frost will be more than enough).

    It's important to note that all this is only a rough estimate. I haven't yet tested this character, and I'm looking forward to the opportunity - I have a lot to save up before I can afford it! As soon as I can afford it and begin to play through, I'll post my results and let you folks know what the real end damage I manage is - I'll also include a section on Strategy when I've built the character. However, I thought I'd post my thoughts in a guide and see if any of you rich folks out there think this is worth a go, and whether it's viable.

    Thanks folks, and good luck out there against the forces of evil (or each other, if that's your thing)!
     
  5. Tastychiken_europe

    Tastychiken_europe IncGamers Member

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    Hey if u use dragon scale why wont u use it? its a nl runeword i think, it gives holyfire and dragonscale synergises fire dont it? + ur merc can have a doom tresher or something :D
     
  6. JanusJones

    JanusJones IncGamers Member

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    Dragonscale is a unique pally shield. Dragon is a aladder-only runeword which gives Holy Fire. The only non-ladder runeword that gives Holy Fire is Hand of Justice. This character needs Doom to function, so Hand of Justice is out of the equation.
     
  7. Tastychiken_europe

    Tastychiken_europe IncGamers Member

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    i would go for fire on char and doom with nightweils on merc :/
     
  8. JanusJones

    JanusJones IncGamers Member

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    Let's look at the difference between Hand of Justice and Doom, shall we?

    Hand of Justice:
    Required clvl: 67
    100% Chance to Cast Slvl 36 Blaze when You Slvl-Up
    100% Chance to Cast Slvl 48 Meteor when You Die
    Slvl 16 Holy Fire Aura when Equipped
    +33% Increased Attack Speed
    +280-330% Enhanced Damage
    Ignore Target's Defense
    7% Life Stolen Per Hit
    -20% to Enemy Fire Resistance
    20% Deadly Strike
    Hit Blinds Target
    Freezes Target +3

    Doom:
    Required clvl: 67
    5% Chance to Cast Slvl 18 Volcano on Striking
    Slvl 12 Holy Freeze Aura when Equipped
    +2 to All Skills
    +45% Increased Attack Speed
    +330-370% Enhanced Damage
    -(40-60)% to Enemy Cold Resistance
    20% Deadly Strike
    25% Chance of Open Wounds
    Prevent Monster Heal
    Freezes Target +3
    Requirements -20%

    So, Doom's MINIMUM damage is equal to Hand of Justice's MAXIMUM.
    Doom is faster than HoJ by 12% ias.
    Doom's penalty to enemy resists is 20-60% higher.
    Doom has 25% chance of Open Wounds.
    Doom has a +2 to skills.

    Pretty much the only thing HoJ has that would be nice on Doom is ITD, which is unnecessary since we're talking about a character who will be using Conviction (lowering enemy defense into the ground) and Zeal (which gives a fair bonus to AR). Add on the Ravensfrosts that I reccomend and we're talking a VERY nice chance to hit - no need for ITD.

    Now let's look at aura damage:

    Fully Synergized (Res Fire and Salvation at 20) Holy Fire level 16:
    435-504 fire damage per attack (Average = 469)
    72-84 pulse damage

    Fully Synergized (Res Cold and Salvation at 20) Holy Freeze level 12:
    458-485 cold damage per attack (Average = 471)
    91-97 pulse damage

    So Holy Fire has a slightly higher max and Holy Freeze a slightly higher average. However, take into consideration the following:

    DOOM is a better weapon for damage and speed.
    DOOM lowers enemy resists more, leading to more elemental damage.
    There are fewer cold immunes in the game than ANY other elemental immune (fewer physical/magic, though).
    Holy Freeze SLOWS your opponents by 50%, making for FANTASTIC crowd control.

    Now, if you want to equip your merc with Doom as well I'd understand.

    As for your attachment to Nightwing's, I answered this in my other post on my triple-aura ranger, but:

    Nightwing's < Double Cold Facet in a good helm

    It's a very overrated helm - people seem to forget what Facets can do!
     
  9. hulla-hop

    hulla-hop IncGamers Member

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    also wondering why you left out griswolds armor 3 socks, str etc :)
     
  10. JanusJones

    JanusJones IncGamers Member

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    Whoops! Good point! Especially when you can use it as a partial part of the set, along with the shield and helm. Thanks for catching that! :thumbsup:
     
  11. theHATERSclub

    theHATERSclub IncGamers Member

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    I put nightwings on my holy freeze zealot, and didn't do anymore damage than with shako. Meaning the +cold damage on nightwings has no effect on holyfreeze. I would assume the same for 5/5 cold facet jewels as well. Has anyone else tested this theory? Also, would increasing cold resist and salvation act as a symergy if holy freeze is granted from an item (doom) and not a natural skill?
     
  12. JanusJones

    JanusJones IncGamers Member

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    Hrm . . . troubling if true - anyone have tests?
     
  13. ChthonVII

    ChthonVII IncGamers Member

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    hatersclub, have you been listening the the "lying character screen" or doing empirical testing? The character screen is notoriously bad at actually reflecting the damage a character does. And I'm not sure the 10-15% from nightwings is anywhere close enough to a standard deviation to tell whether it has an effect or not empirically... I think this might require a hacked single player test character...
     
  14. theHATERSclub

    theHATERSclub IncGamers Member

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    My first test with nightwings didn't give any results. So I tried again. This time I waited.........and the +cold damage from nightwings increased my holy freeze damage. I got to impatient the first time and didn't wait for the aura to reset. I apologize. Also slapped a doom zerk on him and his damage increased significantly. I tried several different other weapons with + skills and/or great base damage. So maybe the synergy bonus to doom's hf aura does work. May need more testing.
     
  15. distancepieman

    distancepieman IncGamers Member

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    Couple things about this (constructive criticism). Conviction doesn't lower poison resistances, so that's out, and as far as I know facets only work for damage you deal yourself, not summons or mercenaries. So...if those are the only reasons for using a carrion over something else, you might want to rethink it.
    Otherwise, looks interesting.

    ~Bails
     
  16. JanusJones

    JanusJones IncGamers Member

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    Thanks! Very helpful. I was assuming going with the double Ravensfrost anyway, mostly for the cold damage (and hey, AR never hurts!). Question, though - does the aura from Doom stack with any Holy Freeze YOU have? How does this work - if your active aura is Holy Freeze, does your damage simply override the Doom's HF effect, or do you get the combined effects of BOTH?

    Anyone happen to know?
     
  17. Tastychiken_europe

    Tastychiken_europe IncGamers Member

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    if u have a higher lvl holy freeze you just end up with getting doom's aura overridden, but with the same lvl (exactly the same) i dont know what happens :D
     
  18. [exile]

    [exile] IncGamers Member

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    Even at the same level they wouldn't stack because the auras are coming from two different places. Technically I think you active skill would override the item-granted aura because you're actually wearing it but I don't think it would matter.

    The only way for auras to stack like that is if they're all item-granted.
     
  19. JanusJones

    JanusJones IncGamers Member

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    Incidental thought:

    Duress isn't a bad idea for this build, methinks. Extra cold damage, CB, OW . . . what a great cheap armor! The drawback being the loss of some nice options for cold facets, of course.
     
  20. purplelocust

    purplelocust IncGamers Member

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    enchant doesn't override higher enchant?

    I'm not sure but I think it is the case that a lower level enchant doesn't override a higher level one. That is definitely the case for enchant as cast by a character and I've tested that but I'm not sure about when enchant is cast by an item. Interesting suggestions and it would be a nice build to try!
     

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