The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak


Diabloii.Net Member
The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak

Back in 1.09 I played a couple of Hunters and liked that.

Recently having started playing DII again, I wanted to try out a Hunter again, which didn't work quite as well.

So I've been considering a Fire Summoner and am speculating on where to place skill points, in particular in the summoning tree.

Oak Sage
A level 20 Oak Sage will boost max life with 125%, but only the Druid and the Mercenary get the full benefit. For (Dire) Wolves and the Grizzly, the boost is applied to their base life: 114 for Wolves, and 650 for the Grizzly.

Points in Summon Dire Wolf will boost life of of both Wolves and the Grizzly. Skill level 4 will give 125%, Skill level 9 will give 250%, and Skill level 20 will give 525%.

Obviously, the bonus from Oak Sage will contribute less and less of the total the higher the Skill level of Summon Dire Wolf, less than 50% at Skill level 5, and less than 33% at Skill level 10. This is assuming a level 20 Oak Sage.

In return, if you want to use the Dire Wolves late Nightmare or Hell, you'll need them to be at a high level to have enough life, because the boost from Oak Sage won't be enough. And the Dire Wolves gain 5% Resist All per level beyond the first, maxing at 85% Resist All at level 17, so you should take them at least that far.

So, I would think that the maximum benefit of Oak Sage is achieved by investing only 1 point (or at max a few, keeping the level of Summon Dire Wolves, including +Skills from item, at a max of 9), and therefore not using Dire Wolves beyond Normal Difficulty/Early Nightmare Difficulty.

Note that this is as seen by a Fire Summoner -- a pure Summoner can go more crazy with Skill points in the Summoning tree.

Heart of Wolverine
Obviously, you can't take both Oak Sage and Heart of Wolverine to levels, where they make a difference -- it is either the one or the other (considering Spirit of Barbs to be mostly of interest to otherwise specialized builds).

For a Hunter, Heart of Wolverine is quite beneficial. A level 29 Heart of Wolverine will boost Damage with 153% and Attack Rating with 158%. However, a Fire Summoner has no benefit from this. The Mercenary (assuming it isn't an Act II Mercenary) will certainly benefit, but how about Wolves and the Grizzly?

Heart of Wolverine only boosts the base Damage, hence competes with the passive bonus from Summon Grizzly. Skill level 14 Summon Grizzly will boost Damage by 155% (closest match to Skill level 20 Heart of Wolverine), and Skill level 20 Summon Grizzly will noost Damage by 215%.

So, even maxing Summon Grizzly, Heart of Wolverine still contributes a very large part of the total Damage. And Heart of Wolverine gives an Attack Rating bonus, which Summon Grizzly doesn't.

As for that last, however, Skill level 5 Summon Spirit Wolf will give a 150% boost to Attack Rating of Wolves (Spirit and Dire) and Grizzly, though not to your Mercenary. That Skill level should easily be achieved with 1 point invested and leaving the rest to +Skills items.

Oak Sage benefits mostly the Druid and the Mercenary, and that may be what counts for the most.

Oak Sage, relatively speaking, benefits Wolves and Grizzly the more, the lower the Skill level of Summon Dire Wolf is. This makes investing in both Oak Sage and Summon Dire Wolf seem like a non-optimal choice -- except that the Druid and the Mercenary do not benefit from Summon Dire Wolf.

Heart of Wolverine benefits mostly the Mercenary, but can even with maxed Grizzly still contribute significantly to Damage and Attack Rating of Wolves and Grizzly.

So, it would seem that you get most out of investing in Heart of Wolverine, wouldn't it?

- FreezBee