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Triple-Aura Ranger

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

  1. JanusJones

    JanusJones IncGamers Member

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    Triple-Aura Ranger

    Hey folks - sorry to post so much so quickly, but I have a thesis to finish and as a result my brain is on fire with D2 ideas (trying desperately to keep me from working . . .). Anyhoo, was reading the Storm Ranger guide and looking at all the sexy Ladder runewords, and had a thought:

    Why not make a triple-threat Ranger?

    Start with the Ice Bow, for several reasons:
    First, it gives a slvl 18 Holy Freeze.
    Second, it gives -20% to enemy cold resistance.
    Third, it gives +25% to +30% cold damage.
    Fourth, and most importantly . . .
    IT HAS IGNORE TARGET DEFENSE!

    All of a Ranger's AR problems gone in a flash without the need for Widowmaker! Moreover, a free slvl 18 Holy Freeze aura ripe for synergy bonuses!

    Next, we move to the helm:

    Dream - for the slvl 15 Holy Shock. See where I'm going with this?

    Finally, the body armor - have you guessed yet?

    Dragon - for the slvl 14 Holy Fire aura.

    Now, on to skills (should be obvious by now, I figure):

    20 points into Conviction. Mow your weakened enemies down with bolts surrounded by a greenish aura of nastiness. Triple elemental threat with no resistance and no defense! Monsters don't stand a chance!

    20 points into Salvation. It synergizes ALL THREE AURAS!

    20 points into all three Resists. For the synergies, of course!

    That's a total of (ahem, drumroll please!):

    1-2721 lightning damage from Holy Shock, pulse for 4-453
    365-435 fire damage from Holy Fire, pulse for 60-72 (sigh)
    836-863 cold damage from Holy Freeze, pulse for 167-172

    Totals come to:
    1202-4019 per hit (not counting physical damage!), 231-697 per pulse.

    And all of this will hit any monster infallibly due to ITD. Plus, packs will be slowed by Holy Freeze. Plus, everything will be at negative resists and minimal defense thanks to Conviction. Plus, with elemental damage of EVERY kind no immune will be safe!

    Throw on Highlord's, Lavagout, Gore Riders, Razortail, and a couple of Ravenfrosts, and OH MY GOODNESS . . . PVM OWNAGE! :yep:

    I wish I were rich and on ladder . . . sigh . . .

    Any generous folks want to convince me to come to ladder by lending me a helping hand in building this bad boy? :fish:
     
  2. wookie919

    wookie919 IncGamers Member

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    Holy Fire just doesn't do enough damage at level 14. I believe 20 skill points spent in resist aura, therefore, is quite a waste.

    Instead of going try elemental ranger with little physical damage, it could be good to go with 2 elemental damage and good physical damage.

    i.e. replace dragon armor with fort, max fanat (much needed IAS, AR since ITD doesn't work on anything other than normal type of monsters, and of course awesome boost to damage) and infinity polearm on your might merc.

    By the way, it is possible for monsters to be immune to all three types of elemental damage, although these will be quite rare. Even with conviction, it would be hard to kill these monsters. :)

    Tri-aura zealot could make good use of the holy fire aura though, because you can use your shield to stack holy fire aura. (Doom for zealot weapon, providing holy freeze.)

    Just sharing my thoughts. :)

    The idea of triple elemental aura is damn cool for sure. :thumbsup:
     
  3. JanusJones

    JanusJones IncGamers Member

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    Hmmmm . . . you may be right - let's test the damage, shall we?

    With max Salvation and level 14 Holy Fire, we get 138-165 damage. Max Resist Fire and we get 365-435 - a gain of 227-270 fire damage. You're right - it's not worth the investment. This leaves us with quite a few skill points, however - perhaps he would benefit from Blessed Aim? After all, ITD won't work on Champions and Bosses; however, the massive defense penalty from Conviction plus a really high Dex will probably work just fine.

    Fortitude instead of Dragon? Surely you jest!

    I understand why you'd say that, but . . .

    I don't wanna ditch the Dragon! You forget my friend, Dragon has other, more important advantages! Consider the 20% chance to cast slvl 18 Venom when hit - that's another 375-295 damage per arrow - BEFORE Conviction! Also, the 12% chance to cast a slvl 15 Hydra on hit - imagine how many there'd be with the Pierce from Razortail! All shooting, all made crazy by Conviction . . . Not to mention the Ice Bow's 25% chance of casting an slvl 25 Frost Nova on hit . . . Mwa ha haa haaa! :strong:

    In the end I think I'd rather synergize the fire damage, personally - just for style points.

    Why thank you! It's pretty much the only character I want to play now - and I'm non-ladder - ARGH! :teeth:

    By the way, here's the total points necessary:
    20 each in Resist Light, Resist Cold, Conviction, Salvation
    1 each in Holy Fire, Holy Freeze, Might, Thorns, and Sanctuary (prereqs)
    This totals out at 85 skill points - with 12 from quests, so you'll be able to be pretty freaking cool by level 74. Put every point after that into Resist Fire, and you can max it by 94 (assuming you can make it that far!).

    Also, I did some research on bows, and here's what I found out:

    The fastest fps attack rate for a pally with a bow is 9 fps, but it would require Fanaticism. In order to hit 10 fps with an Ice bow (with a +20% ias modifier built-in) while wearing Lavagouts (+20% ias) and Highlord's (+20% ias) you would need a bow with a base speed of [-10]. This leaves you choosing between a Great Bow and a Blade Bow at an attack speed of 10fps; unfortunately, both look silly.

    You could also, should you choose, go with Fanaticism over Conviction. I myself would not, since I like synergized, amped pulses backing up my shots for crowd control. Let's also not forget that once we go with Fanaticism, we lose the HUGE -130% to resists from level 21 Conviction which will double your elemental damage. Also, the ED from Ice tops out at +210% - hardly enough to really make Fanaticism shine - unless, of course, you went for Fortitude. However the speed WOULD net you an extra 1 fps. You could also build your Ice bow out of something with more damage - say a Crusader or Hydra bow. This would help with the big physical ED from Fanaticism. The other advantage would be the resists - as is, this build is something of a glass cannon - avoid ranged elemental attacks at all costs!

    So, looks like we have two builds:
    One with maxed Conviction wielding an Ice Great Bow and Dragon, attacking at 10 fps. Extra points into Resist Fire.
    One with maxed Fanaticism wielding an Ice Hydra Bow and Fortitude, attacking at 9 fps. Extra points into Blessed Aim.

    Wow . . . sooooooo sexy . . . :drool:

    How bout them apples?
     
  4. JanusJones

    JanusJones IncGamers Member

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    I had some thoughts re: mercs and equipment. You COULD go with a Conviction aura merc with Infinity, but that would only give you -83% to defense and -85% to reists. On the other hand if YOU maxed Conviction you'd get -91% and -130%, respectively. You could then go with a Pride polearm for your merc, which would boost your damage by a hefty 315%.

    That's only 80% lower than level 21 Fanaticism. Granted, it doesn't give you the AR and speed, but that's a choice you have to make.

    So, the two builds again:

    Fanaticism maxed, Infinity merc, Fortitude armor, Ice in a Hydra or Crusader Bow, 9 fps. Extra points in Blessed Aim.
    Pros: Hefty physical damage, great AR, more speed, better resists (Fortitude).
    Cons: Lower elemental damage, lower resist-breaking power, no on-hit nastiness (Venom and Hydra, notably).
    Physical Score: 3
    Elemental Score: 1
    Resistance/Defense Score: 2
    Attack Score: 3
    Total: 9 pts

    Conviction maxed, Pride merc, Dragon armor, Ice in a Blade or Great Bow, 10 fps. Extra points in Resist Fire.
    Pros: Heftier elemental damage, more resist-breaking power, more on-hit nastiness.
    Cons: Glass cannon (no resists!), medium physical damage, lower AR (but made up for, for the most part, by Conviction and Lavagout).
    Physical Score: 1
    Elemental Score: 3
    Resistance/Defense Score: 1
    Attack Score: 1
    Total: 6 pts

    Then there's a hybrid possibility:
    Conviction maxed, Pride merc, Fortitude armor, Ice in a Blade or Great Bow, 10 fps. Extra points in Blessed Aim.
    Pros: Hefty physical damage, great AR, better resists.
    Cons: Less elemental damage, no on-hit powers.
    Physical Score: 2
    Elemental Score: 2
    Resistance/Defense Score: 2
    Attack Score: 2
    Total: 8 pts

    I guess your build comes out on top in the end! Well, here are some more merc combinations of interest:

    For a Conviction specialist, an elemental killer merc from Act 2 (a Fire mage - to capitalize on the -25% to enemy fire resist on Hand of Justice): he would wear Hand of Justice, Dragon Armor, a Dream shield, and a Dream helm. Combined with your elemental auras and Conviction, the total carnage from aura pulses would be pretty nasty . . .

    A Rogue merc could go with a Faith bow, giving you a nice boost and reanimate slain foes for you. Throw on a Dragon and she'd cast Hydras a BUNCH - always a handy crowd-control skill! You could also go with another ICE bow - that way, she'd have a good chance to get away from monsters without croaking. Wrath ain't bad either if you want your merc to throw down some curses for you.

    Speaking of controlling crowds, I think my choice for armor on a Might merc would be Dragon as well. Using Jab, he'd cast TONS of Hydras, and also throw down some serious damage with Venom. Helm could be Dream or Delerium - Dream has some more elemental damage - always nice - and Delerium has all kinds of nice crowd-control curses cast on being struck.

    Crap - so many options! Confused . . . head woozy . . . need sleep . . . :sleep:
     
  5. Cadet

    Cadet IncGamers Member

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    This is how I built mine soon after the new runewords came out, but I used a Ice Great Bow instead. Before I retired him he could do 1.7k-5.6k damage without his Might merc to boost him.
     
  6. Tastychiken_europe

    Tastychiken_europe IncGamers Member

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    Just to be mean to you janus... conviction doesnt lower poison resist
     
  7. JanusJones

    JanusJones IncGamers Member

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    Awwww - that's a shame! No worries tho - my feelings aren't hurt :lol: . But it does make Fortitude sound like the better idea, I must say. The final verdict sounds like:

    Fortitude, Ice in a Great Bow or Blade Bow (so you can hit 10 fps), Dream, Maxed Conviction or Fanaticism (personal preference - you can go with a Hydra or Crusader Bow if you choose Fanaticism), and a merc with Dragon armor, Infinity or Pride Thresher (Infinity for Fanaticism pallys, Pride for Conviction pallys), and a Dream helm.

    Mmmmm, tasty! :thumbsup:
     
  8. Tastychiken_europe

    Tastychiken_europe IncGamers Member

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    I would actually go with:
    Helm: 120/45 Or Nightwing's
    Armor: Fortitude
    Bow: Ice Crusader bow
    Gloves: Crafted blood gloves
    Boot's: Wartraveller's or Gore's
    Belt: Razortail
    Amulet: Highlord's
    Ring's: Dual ravens or 1 raven and a rare
    Charm's: Offensive's and min dmg charm's
    with a demonlimb & cta prebuff for PvP and offcourse Widowmaker for PvP.
    Merc:
    Helm: Nightwing's
    Armor: Ormus maybe?
    Weapon: Doom thresher

    that would make a hell of a char even in PvP with the good avg dmg and nice cold dmg.
     
  9. JanusJones

    JanusJones IncGamers Member

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    Cool to hear someone's done this! I imagine it was fun - I myself am now desperate to get to ladder and get rich so I can build this character.

    Hmmm . . . imagine how much damage would be possible WITH a Might Merc and Infinity! Or Pride, for that matter!

    I must say, I'm not completely convinced Fanaticism is the way to go yet. After all, the character is spending 40 skill points plus on maxing synergies for Holy Shock and Holy Freeze; it seems like with that kind of investment, you'd want to be sure to go whole hog and amp your elemental damage properly with Conviction. Also, I just like the idea of a triple-threat pally. :clap:

    Plus, your dislay damage when you have Conviction on will always be misleading - you'll actually be dealing FAR more damage than with Fanaticism, I think. I'd need to do the math to prove it, but since Ice has lousy base damage I think the net gain from nearly DOUBLING damage with Conviction would outweigh the cost of the lost physical damage from Fanaticism.

    However, I do admit it sounds as though Fortitude is the way to go for armor. I am a little annoyed at that, especially what with Dragon having that sexy chance to cast slvl 15 Hydras on hit. Just imagine what a fiery field of death you could lay down with Pierce - a whole cluster of green-aura monsters surrounded by Hydra upon Hydra, every one shooting multiple bolts doing 89-108 damage (178-216 when enemy resists are negative!).

    In fact, it would be easy and fun to swap in some Trang's gloves and belt for the o-skill Fireball (which synergizes Hydra), which would bring their damage up to 137-166 (274-332). But hey, if you're gonna go that route you might as well do Dragonscale shield (for Hydra as an o-skill at base of 11!), double Trang's, Hand of Justice, Dragon, and Dream. Oh sure, you sacrifice some points in Holy Fire by going with Dragonscale over a Dragon runeword, but you gain the ability to cast Hydras AT WILL! How fun is that when your enemies resists are in the toilet? :stoned:
     
  10. JanusJones

    JanusJones IncGamers Member

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    Ah ah ah! Nightwing's would be a good helm if this were going to be a cold-only character. However, without DREAM on this pally would lose one of his MAJOR damage-dealing abilities - Holy Shock! Holy Shock with both Salvation and Resist Lightning maxed will add 1-2721 damage per hit and do 4-453 damage per pulse! In addition, Conviction will nearly DOUBLE this damage, making your arrows even NASTIER.

    Nightwing, Ormus, and Doom on your merc? That's a waste man! With an Infinity polearm you can give yourself Conviction (if you chose Fanaticism as your main aura, this is the way to go), and with a Pride polearm your merc will grant you Concentration, which, as I mentioned above, is an effective +345% to damage! The major problem with Ormus on your merc would be the lousy defense, which for a frontline character is a VERY bad idea. Also, three or four Cold Facets in a good armor would boost your damage WAY more than a PERFECT Ormus. The only possible reason to go with Nightwing, Ormus, and Doom would be you couldn't afford better (which is a very good reason, of course :lol: ).

    If you wanted to amp your elemental damages, though, the Double-Dream and Hand of Justice/Dragon Act 3 Fire merc would do WONDERS. The aura damage he'd spit out would be:

    1-1668 lightning damage per hit (though I don't know if this would work with an Act 3 merc, since they don't technically "hit")
    1-278 lightning damage per pulse
    240-252 fire damage per hit
    40-42 fire damage per pulse

    Now consider that all of that would be doubled by a Conviction aura, and you've got a MEAN little buddy. Personally, though, I'd rather go with a Pride, Dream, and maybe Fortitude-equipped Act 2 Might merc. He'd have lv 15 Holy Shock, Might aura, and a Concentration aura - the last two would amp your damage like nobody's business!

    Oh, and by the way - If you DID want to do a cold-only pally, Nightwing would STILL be the wrong choice. For a discussion of why, re-read the equipment section in my Disciple of Doom build for non-ladder. Basically, the damage from a PERFECT Nightwing's (+15% to cold skill damage) will never be as good as 2 perfect cold facets (+10% to damage, -10% to enemy resists). This is ESPECIALLY true given that items which give negative resists plus your Conviction aura can BREAK immunes, allowing you to hurt them with the kind of damage they're otherwise invulnerable to. Thus it's better to double-socket a Crown of the Ages or rare, 2 socket circlet than to use Nightwing's Veil (something many cold sorcs have yet to figure out!).
     
  11. hoh_majestic

    hoh_majestic IncGamers Member

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    In reguard to your Nwing being worse than 10/-10 helm
    i think you forgot to mention that the night wings can be -5/5 faceted
    Hence making it 20/-5 which is better than 10/-10 although i will admit u get
    -5 more res to monsters, right, but that helps nothing on a sorc since u will never ever get enough to remove most cold immunes. I have tried this with my orber using a infinity merc and a -15/12 cold facted head hunters i was only able to break the lowest of immunities. AS for using a Coa on a sorc i think 174 str is a bit over kill(i dont like Storm shield on Sorcs Max block i think is a waste) And the price.. and a 2sorc 20fcr 2sock circlet happens to be Extreeemly expensive also. wonder why most cold sorcs just use night wings?
     

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