The Living Colour Tournament

Southpaw8668

Diabloii.Net Member
Yes it would be wonderful if you could upgrade an infrequently favorable craft roll and the bummer about the elite spears like Mancatcher is that they don't show up till mid-Hell.
 

Pb_pal

Diabloii.Net Member
Yes it would be wonderful if you could upgrade an infrequently favorable craft roll and the bummer about the elite spears like Mancatcher is that they don't show up till mid-Hell.
Yeah. Ghost Spears (War Pikes too, but WSM 20 is less than ideal) can be shopped in A2 Hell, so that's my main plan of attack for getting a consistent source of elite spears if I haven't had some drop by then. I mean, 2.3% chance of elite upgrade is not exactly amazing, but at least it's something. :rolleyes:
 

Pb_pal

Diabloii.Net Member
Sheela

Things are starting to get more dangerous for Sheela as the monsters are getting stronger, and her attack is becoming less lethal. Gameplay has shifted, and we are now using CoS and MB pretty consistently to keep things safe for our 3 ladies. Radament Gave us some trouble, but luckily Sheela has her go-to tactic of kick-locking him into the corner while Gaile helped to whittle him down.

The Lost City presented us with this beauty:


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This could very well end up being Sheela's end-game helm, and is a definite consideration for a socket quest later on. We will wait for that though, as we still have all of our allotted gambles left (minus 11 ring gambles for Gort), and we plan on burning most of them upon reaching Hell.

We were actually pretty concerned for Fangskin, as Sheela is beginning to feel quite squishy, and even regular snakes managed to take a good chunk of her life off if they got in with a charge. We got a lucky break on their placement though, and CoS took care of the rest.

On the subject of squishyness, we have started to pump the Shadow now, as she basically dies whenever there are 3+ monsters around. It's helping a bit, but she's got lots of work to do before I feel confident in her.

Through the Arcane Sanctuary we went with ease, and then began taking on the tombs. Careful use of CoS, and the obligatory 1 point in DS for corpse cleanup made the tombs pretty safe, although a bit on the slower side. Kaa's was first (this seems to happen quite often for me!), and he needed the kick-locking treatment as well as he was feeling pretty nasty.

Eventually we worked our way to Duriel. The fight was slow and long, but never dangerous. Lots of Shadow re-casts, and Gaile bit the dust once, but we eventually got the big bug to take his final breath. No notable finds for Sheela this act other than her circlet, so she is taking some time to catch up with Natalya in Kurast for now.

--

Tao

After saying a quick hello to Sheela, Tao set off our into the jungles. FI bosses are starting to crop up more frequently, but so far Static/TK/GS/Waheed have been way more than enough to deal with them.

Her progress is very fast, as Hydra is still gaining power and tearing through everything. Sszark was burnt to a crisp, and Stormtree was killed almost entirely offscreen. The only notable thing from the jungles really was this charm that I thought was pretty cool, and is the highest poison damage I've seen on a small charm:


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Before we knew it, the Kurast cities were cleared and it was time for the temples. Sarina's was taken first, and only had some normal spiders waiting by the stairs. Shortly after this Sarina ran in the join the fun, but GS and Waheed kept her minions at bay while hydra did the heavy lifting. The rest of the temples were easy, with only the Ruined Fane giving us a small (and ultimately harmless) stair trap.

The rest of the Act, including Meph were easy, and his drop was equally unexciting (we already have a Goldwrap stashed).

finds:
- Nats boots (our second) - sold
- Blackleach Blade - regrettably sold for space
- Fal Rune
- Frostburns - kept for Tao's potential future use.

--

Gort

In the interest of increasing Gort's speed out of the tedious range, he decided that the best defense is a good offense. He got Tao to buy him a nice Ancient Axe from Ormus, and crafted himself a weapon upgrade. He also let Chalan go, and opten for Emilio and his Might Aura.

His plan worked, and things sped up noticeably for Gort as he set out into Act 2. Radament was quickly disposed, and things were speeding along nicely until the Maggot Lair. The place was absolutely filled with Black Locusts on all three levels, so it took some time for the duo to work through them all and their 80% Physical Resistance. Eventually the queen was dethroned, and the duo could move on.

Fangskin was nice enough to pre-park himself up on the altar, so we could casually clear out the room and then meet him and his buddies on the stairs for an easy fight.

Flash forward to the tombs, where in the first one we entered we got a very rude welcoming:


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That's a double Gorebelly boss pack (the other one was this FE gentleman). See those ghosts in there? That's a boss pack as well (Extra Strong). Oh, and there is a beetle boss-pack (you can see the red-coloured boss just above the ghosts) as well (his mods weren't bad, although I can't remember them). Fun!

So with a ton of portal/entrance hopping (you can see our portal on the screenie), Howl-ing of minions, desperate running, and multiple Emilio deaths, we eventually got the two Gorebelly bosses alone by the stairs. After we killed them, we killed the beetle boss, and then finally the Ghost boss as well. Whew!

That was tough, and literally right after we cleaned up that mess we ran into this Cursed, Extra Strong Ghost Boss. Look at where he is on the mini-map. We must have been VERY close to waking him up during that whole fiasco, and I daresy if we had, it probably would have been lights-out for Gort. Close call!

After this, the rest of the tombs provided no resistance. Horking provides easy corpse disposal with a bonus, so unravellers (Kaa inclued) weren't an issue. The Duriel fight was easy, and he never moved from where we first confronted him. Gort has CB and OW from his blood gear, so the fight wasn't even that painfully long, and the bug fell without issue.

finds:
- 2x Lum Rune
- Magefists - These quickly replaced the Frostburns Tao we were holding for Tao.

--


Destroyer Gort the Conc. Barbarian with Emilio the Might Guard - Tier 3 - lvl 60, NM Kurast Docks

Destroyer Tao the Hydra Sorceress with Waheed the Holy Freeze Guard - Tier 1 - lvl 64, NM Pandemonium Fortress

Destroyer Sheela the TS/DTail Assassin with Gaile the Cold Rogue - Tier 2 - lvl 60, NM Kurast Docks
 

Southpaw8668

Diabloii.Net Member
@Pb_pal - Great job, that situation looked quite hairy! Is Gort using a crafted blood ax? I just crafted an amazing destroyer ax on a little side project I'm working on while I wait for another interesting tournament to start up. I just can't seem to get any desire to go any further with my trio in this tournament at the moment.
 

Pb_pal

Diabloii.Net Member
@Pb_pal - Great job, that situation looked quite hairy! Is Gort using a crafted blood ax? I just crafted an amazing destroyer ax on a little side project I'm working on while I wait for another interesting tournament to start up. I just can't seem to get any desire to go any further with my trio in this tournament at the moment.
He is using a Blood Axe, yes. All of his and his mercs equipment (except a Sigon's shield on switch for buffing) is crafted now. Blood Axes are awesome! Good preset mods, so you don't have to burn too many supplies trying to get a good one. I'll make sure to get a read-out/screenie of his weapon in the next update, as he quite likes it. :D

In terms of future tournaments, I've got one in the works right now! I'll be posting a preliminary thread soon (as early as tomorrow) to see if there is interest.
 

Southpaw8668

Diabloii.Net Member
In terms of future tournaments, I've got one in the works right now! I'll be posting a preliminary thread soon (as early as tomorrow) to see if there is interest.
That's wonderful news about your new tournament idea. I look forward to it, as I've really enjoyed your most recent two.
 

Vildecor

Diabloii.Net Member
I've been going back and forth over the last couple of weeks about joining in. I decided (unless there are objections over the "end date") to go ahead and go for it. My plan is to play my old Three Way Dance team I never finished: Bone Mage, LF/PJ Zon and Weathergirl sorc.

Will start off with the necromancer and should have an update in for him around the weekend.
 

Pb_pal

Diabloii.Net Member
I've been going back and forth over the last couple of weeks about joining in. I decided (unless there are objections over the "end date") to go ahead and go for it. My plan is to play my old Three Way Dance team I never finished: Bone Mage, LF/PJ Zon and Weathergirl sorc.

Will start off with the necromancer and should have an update in for him around the weekend.
Do it! I seriously doubt anyone would object to the end date thing. I had forgotten there was even one put in there. :p Sounds like a cool team, glad to have some company in here. :)
 

Vildecor

Diabloii.Net Member
I figured you could use some company. :p

I will also elect to skip the boss/area runs and keep to single pass.
 

Vildecor

Diabloii.Net Member
Xavier, the Bone Mage Necromancer, was the first to set out on his journey. He started out hunting evil with the aid of a skeleton. At level 6, a clay golem joined the party. Soon after, he also accepted the services of Maeko, the cold-specialized Rogue.

Rather than boost the Teeth skill, I held onto skill points until Bone Wall became available to up the absorption of Bone Armor. Bone Armor and the Clay Golem kept Xavier very safe, especially when he found a necro head with +3 to clay golem. The entirety of Act I was spent clubbing monsters to death with a socketed Scepter, aided by the merc, golem, and Amp Damage.

Only a few items of note were found in Act I. Pelta Lunata in the Mausoleum, Axe of Fechmar from Andariel, and Blood Crescent from further back in Andariel's room. None of these items were of any interest to Xavier's team, however, so they were all sold.

Xavier continued to the sewers of Lut Gholein. At this point, he realized he had grown quite tired of the brute force approach. He felt it was time to start harnessing his special powers and kill things with his mind instead. Of course, this became very taxing on him as he was just still developing this skill. Mana potions became a precious commodity. Then they became an addiction. Still, Xavier quite prefers this to getting his hands dirty. It didn't take long for him to start using Bone Spear more effectively by positioning himself in just the right spots.



Only 1 item of interest has been found so far in his trek through the desert: Berserker's Helm. The interest was short-lived, as Xavier quickly sold the helm to buy more mana potions instead. Besides, the +3 to Bone Spear bone wand he'd bought from Drognan would serve him better anyhow.

Deckard Cain told him there was some sort of treasure inside this box he'd found in a tomb, but Xavier (to his dismay) did not find any mana potions inside of the Horadric Cube. Perhaps the old man was going senile, but he was correct in his description of what the Cube's powers were. Xavier took his chipped gems and upgraded them. He put in 3 mana potions and...nothing happened. Oh well, maybe next time.

Xavier the Bone Mage, level 23, headed to the Far Oasis

Eva the LF/PJ Amazon, level 1, Rogue Encampment

Moira the Weathergirl Sorceress, level 1, Rogue Encampment

I made the decision early on to not stockpile my amulets/rings for cubing in the interest of saving space. Eva's stash and inventory were competely full and Moira's inventory was half-full by the time Xavier grabbed the cube. Next up, Moira will head out and see if she can scrape together better drops than Xavier did.
 

Pb_pal

Diabloii.Net Member
Gort

Gort has become the epitome of "slow and steady". Well, he's not too slow actually, thanks mostly to his flashy new axe:


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Quite an awesome craft really, If we can replicate something like this on an Elite axe when we get there, we'll be quite happy. Even so, a single-target attack against all those flayers does get a bit tedious.

He hacked his way through the jungles with relative ease, and eventually found himself face to face with a decently nasty LE/CE Stormtree. Once the minions were howled away however, he was able to take him down. The only temple that provided a stair trap was Sarinas, although it was just a collection of normal Wailing Beasts and Flesh Rogues. War Cry and Howl kept him and Emilio safe, and allowed them to create some room and clear some space to take on Sarina's pack. You can see in that SS two of Gort's most favourite results of wearing crafted gear. The ctc Amp from Emilio's spear makes killing quicker, and the ctc Frost Nova off of some of their Hitpower equipment helps to keep the speedy monsters at bay. Combine that with War Cry/Taunt/Howl, and there is some serious crowd control happening with the pair.

As mentioned, the rest of the temples went off without a hitch, as did his trip through the sewers. The Council was promptly killed, and he descended into the Durance where he had his first real opportunity to utilize Berserk against this Stone Skin Ghoul boss.

Meph offered no real resistance and Emilio's Amp spear shone once again.


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The drop had nothing really to mention, so the pair now waits in the Pandamonium Fortress.

Finds:
- Fal rune
- IK boots (sold, we made up our minds a while ago that we would be going with 100% crafted gear)

--

Tao

Tao started off this act by making a rather difficult decision. Despite having found some pretty sweet gear (Magefist, Spirit Shroud), and the temptation of runewords, she has decided she will finish off her whole journey (wherever that may end) in Tier 1. No real reason other than it just seems way cooler to stay in all magic gear, especially with her teammates outfitted in full rare/crafted. It's also in the interest of space, as Gort is quite happy with his gear for now, so we're going to hoard PGems until someone (likely Tao) reaches lvl 71 so that 4 affixes are guaranteed for crafting. There's the added bonus of not having to figure out how to stash a full set of rare and set/crafts for her and Waheed to be able to progress through.

So she grit her teeth, sold off all the golden goodies the trio has been hanging on to, and set out into the desolate wastelands of A4. Will I regret this? Probably. But this is the SPF, and style points are NOT to be taken lightly! Onwards.

Progress is beginning to slow for Tao. The enemies in Act IV have higher FR and more life, which is mkaing Hydra slow down. Not to mention we drew leapers, and let's just say Hydra doesn't have the best accuracy out there, even with the benefit of Waheed's Holy Freeze. We found Izual straight away in the Plains of Despair, but Static made sure he went down easy. Continuing on through the River of Flame, we had to back a Cursed/Spectral Hit Hephasto quite a ways away from the Hellforge to be able to take him out safely. The Forge gave us a Hel, which is one of the less useful runes for us in this tournament. Oh well, could have been worse!

This Strangler boss marked our first FI/LI that Waheed has to take on completely solo:


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Luckily, he wasn't too tough, although we did run into another tougher FI/LI boss just moments later. Doom Knights (FI) made our lives tough in the CS, so Tao got a workout using GS to keep everyone frozen for Waheed to take out. The Diablo fight was pretty uneventful, we used up a whole row of Juves trying to keep Waheed alive, but even that wasn't enough. Eventually after several resurrections, and a ton of Static/Hydra, D dropped (although he dropped nothing of value).

So now Tao awaits Sheela's arrival before heading off to Harrogath.

--

Sheela

Act III is going smoothly for Sheela. The lower life totals means that DTail rips through everything with ease as long as she can get it fully charged. SSzark was given the same treatment all scary bosses get - kicklocked against a wall while Gaile plinks away. We drew Gloams in the Great Marsh, but with maxed LR and CoS, they were simple to navigate.

We were heading through the Flayer Jungle when we got accosted by an absolutely massive group of Flayers. There must have been around 30 or so. That's okay, Cos and a bit of MB and they were contained. We were kicking our way through them when the Shadow decided it was a good time to take a break from the action and stray towards one of the bridges.

This woke up a champ pack of Shamans and their accompanying Flayers who then came flying towards us, wiping Gaile and the Shadow out in about 2 seconds. Uh oh. With the Cos timer still on, we had to turn our attention towards the new pack. We managed to kill a bunch of the flayers, but then CoS ran out on the other group while I was in mid-kick, which cost me some valuable frames before being able to cast CoS again. Before I knew it Sheela was in hit-lock, and with so many enemies there was no end in sight. We went through our entire belt of juves desperately trying to cast CoS but it just wasn't meant to be. Deeds.

That's dissapointing, as she was such a strong killer. It was a silly lapse in judgement to try and take on that whole pack without a stronger tank than the measly shadow, or to not just throw up a TP and get out of there, but I had grown overconfident in Sheela due to her brute force. Some day I will manage to Guardian an Assassin. Some day.

Luckily I had the foresight to mule the most valuable runes (for crafting), and all the Pgems and jewels she was carrying over to Gort and Tao before starting her session, so we didn't lose anything too painful on her other than a whole bunch of runes and some charms/jewelry we were saving for Hell.


And then there were two.

--

Destroyer Gort the Conc. Barbarian with Emilio the Might Guard - Tier 3 - lvl 64, NM Pandamonium Fortress

Destroyer Tao the Hydra Sorceress with Waheed the Holy Freeze Guard - Tier 1 - lvl 67, NM Harrogath

Destroyer Sheela the TS/DTail Assassin with Gaile the Cold Rogue - Tier 2 - lvl 60, NM Flayer Jungle - DEEDS
 

Vildecor

Diabloii.Net Member
Sorry to hear about Sheela's demise. That's a tough break there. Interesting choice with Tao staying all magic gear. I imagine that will help out a bunch with saving space, but really, it just means you leave more space open to hold on to other stuff. It's never enough.

I know my Zon will probably be staying in the rare tier, mostly due to no runewords for javelins and only 2 hard to find uniques. I can craft safety javelins, but I'll probably wait on that until I see what kind of set items I get. With her overpowered LF, it may not matter either way.
 

Pb_pal

Diabloii.Net Member
Sorry to hear about Sheela's demise. That's a tough break there. Interesting choice with Tao staying all magic gear. I imagine that will help out a bunch with saving space, but really, it just means you leave more space open to hold on to other stuff. It's never enough.

I know my Zon will probably be staying in the rare tier, mostly due to no runewords for javelins and only 2 hard to find uniques. I can craft safety javelins, but I'll probably wait on that until I see what kind of set items I get. With her overpowered LF, it may not matter either way.
If there's one thing Sheela taught me, it's that staying in the rare tier is very very viable. With 3 chars running there were always plenty of rares dropping, so you can amass some pretty good gear (even while maintaining reasonable MF levels!). Another bonus is that you can upgrade them, so if you find killer javs straight away, you might be set for your weapon for the duration. Sheela's weapon she died with came from Act 2 normal!

I'm in an interesting spot with space now. Tao is in full MF gear, so we'll have to start hoarding survival-based equipment for Hell (which we've been neglecting), so basically both stashes are jam-packed with runes/gems/jewel. I've found the space restriction to get easier as time goes on, which is the opposite of what I thought (although, as you say, it's never quite enough).
 

Vildecor

Diabloii.Net Member
Moira the Weathergirl started out her journey like almost all of my sorceresses do. We grabbed a Large Axe as soon as we had the strength to wield it and put a sapphire and a couple rubies in it. On switch she had a sapphire/ruby sabre and 3-diamond Large Shield.

Getting to level 6 was a huge blessing, allowing her to use Frost Nova. At level 8, she enlisted the help of Floria the Fire Rogue. Together they bested Blood Raven and rescued Deckard Cain. Griswold was a cinch with Static Field. Killing with the large axe stayed quite safe and steady until we started to head into the jails and catacombs. Once we started encountering lots of elemental damage, it was usually safer to switch to the sabre and shield. The Smith wasn't deadly enough to require the shield. Pitspawn's pack, however, definitely was. We utilized the good 'ole "lock yourself in the jail and kill them with ranged attacks" technique.



Floria bit the dust soon after this was taken, but we brought her back and finished them off. The skeleton archers behind the pack made this fight much harder. In the Cathedral, Bone Ash was nice enough to drop two uniques! I can't even remember the last time I saw a superunique drop 2 uniques in normal. Unfortunately, neither item was deemed useful for my trio, so they were both sold.

After a couple of annoying vampire packs in the 3rd level of the catacombs, it was time to take on Andariel. Again, static field made the fight easy. Fire Wall was used as the coup de grâce.



Her drop wasn't very useful. Only the gems were kept.

Upon reaching Lut Gholein, Moira hired Waheed the Prayer mercenary and dropped into the sewers to take on Radament. Glacial Spike saw a lot of use down here on archer packs. It and Ice Blast were very helpful in shattering Radament's minions so we could take him on alone.

We paused here to take a break. Her next session will open up her 3 main skills at level 24: Blizzard, Meteor, and Thunderstorm. They will probably be maxxed in that order with 1 point in fire and cold mastery. Lightning Mastery will be the last skill to max to help make Thunderstorm at least a little better.

Moira, level 21 Weathergirl, headed into the Dry Hills next
Xavier, level 23 Bonemancer, Far Oasis next, stuck with gem cubing duty
Eva, level 1 LF/PJ Zon, Rogue Encampment, collecting runes and purple pots and hoping for more rares
 

Pb_pal

Diabloii.Net Member
Tao

With Sheela's memory still strong in her mind, Tao set off into the cold.

Shenk was quickly reached and killed, and the barbarians were saved from the Highlands. Before she knew it Tao and Waheed were descending once again into the ice tunnels. We had one scary moment down there when despite popping an evil urn from almost off screen with TK, a serpent boss pack was dropped square on our heads. A couple quick juvies and frantic teleporting got us out of it, but we did plummet down to about 1/5 life in our bulb. I can't help but think that if that happens in Hell we might not make it out. After calming down, Tao and Waheed set back out and offed Frozenstein before saving Anya.

We cleared our way up to (and including) the Frozen Tundra and hit level 71 in the process. We took a little bit of time here to do some crafting before heading down to Nilly, as Tao now has a good chance of getting 4 affixes on all her crafts (depending where the item came from). Nothing fantastic, just a small upgrade for Gort's boots. His gear is quite good right now, so we're going to wait until he reaches Hell and we can see the deficiencies before doing a major crafting session.

Pretty standard gameplay for Tao right now. The process is typically; scout with hydra, wait for awakened monsters to swarm Waheed, freeze them with GS and let Hydra do the heavy lifting. This strategy is so effective and Hydra is so strong that we accidentally killed Nihlathak from around a corner without even getting to see his pretty little face. Another way in which hydra is amazing is represented here against Snapchip. Just a really great skill.


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Ancients were quite easy. We first got Madawc on his own and dispatched him without issue. Korlic was next, and was FI, so he took a bit longer, although posed no threat. All that was left wan then Talic, who was just as underwhelming as his two brothers.

We cruised right to the Throne, and blew our way through the first three waves with ease. Wave 4 took a long time with their 80% FR, but we managed to seperate them quite easily teleporting around the level, and Waheed took them out in smaller packs. Pretty much the same deal for wave 5, although they took even longer and were much more dangerous. Waheed died a couple times to Lister, but eventually we wore him down. I'm starting to get quite worried about how she will fare in Hell, as we haven't seen a weapon upgrade for Waheed in quite some time, and the limited space means we don't have the luxury of doing a massive chippie re-roll for a cruel polearm for him. Oh well, we will worry about that another time, for now we had the last Prime Evil to deal with!

Baal was actually a complete cakewalk. He never moved, cast a clone, or even really did anything. He was dead in under a minute. Here is what Tao's LCS looked like upon Baal-kill:


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After a quick and simple (well, after a frantic tele-fest to gain some ground at the start!) clear of cows on /p5, Tao is officially done with NM!

--

Gort

Gort dusted off his axe and set out into Act 4, only to have spawners show up in the first two areas. This made things slower than they needed to be, but he and Emilio are an extremely sturdy pair so they were never in any danger. They worked their way to Izual, who went down fairly easily with the help of CB, OW and Emilio's Amp procs. Nothing else notable happened on their way to the RoF, other than they took some time to smash some windows as stress relief.

We met up with Hephasto at the forge. He hit pretty hard, so it took all our healers to keep Emilio alive while killing him. The Forge dropped us a Ko, which is absolutely useless to us and was promptly sold. Onwards they plodded to the CS where the duo was slowed down significantly byt the OK/DK's in there. We were probably being overly cautious, but Gort did NOT want to be surrounded while amped or decreped, so we took it very slow.

The seals themselves were quite simple. The Vizier was melted, and once we led De Seis' minions out of his aura's range and killed them, De Seis himself was nothing but a punching bag. As usual, we ran back from the Wp to take on The Infector, before hitting the last seal and going for big D on /p3.

Emilio was immediately fried by a double-hose. That's alright though, as Gort nestled himself into Diablo's sweet spot between him and the hose and went to work.


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Luckily, Diablo never moved from this spot, so Gort just hacked away until the big guy fell. He had to use a couple healers when Diablo got a litte Inferno-happy, but that's all. The drop was useless other than for making some quick cash, but at least Gort could now go spend some time in his homeland.

--

Destroyer Gort the Conc. Barbarian with Emilio the Might Guard - Tier 3 - lvl 67, NM Harrogath

Conqueror Tao the Hydra Sorceress with Waheed the Holy Freeze Guard - Tier 1 - lvl 74, Hell Rogue Encampment

Destroyer Sheela the TS/DTail Assassin with Gaile the Cold Rogue - Tier 2 - lvl 60, NM Flayer Jungle - DEEDS
 
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