What's Your Poison Tourney Begins!


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What's Your Poison Tourney Begins!


1. Exarkun
2. Crazy Runner Guy
3. Insane Wayne

1. Gaz
2. Gabriel74
3. AltheKiller

1. AlterEgo
2. Quickdeath
3. Falcon4eva

1. doctorgonzo
3. azn_apocalypse

Okay...we're off...

Rules & Regs

--Muling off your character is okay, but no muling on or back on. Once an item is on a mule it is out of the tournament
--Trading between Tourney characters is okay
--Any Players X setting is okay
--Once your character reaches the pre-determined clvl, Normal Attack and your Poison skill are the only offensive attacks you can use
--Certain Trees are off limits:
Amazon: Bow XBow Tree
Assassin: Martial Arts Tree
Druid: Elemental Tree
Necro: Curses Tree
--No items, gems, jewels, runes or charms that have any non-Poison elemental damage
--Minions are okay (except Skellies)
--If you have questions or concerns and I'm not around, consult AlterEgo

Let's get goin'!!!!


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Behold! The poison Druid, named Curare, walks the Earth. Accompanied by his pet poison creeper, Fido, he will bestride the demonic lands of the Three and crush them between his...uh....drooling jaws. May the minions of Diablo double over in laughter and injure themslves with their mirth.

Seriously, we need a few clarifications on the rules.

1. Do you wish to exclude the Assassin Trap tree as well? Clearly, Lightning and flame traps should be taboo (and CE and DS), but what about blade fury?
2. For necromancers, the offensve bone skills (which are magic) are probably not allowed: teeth, Bone Spirit and Bone Spear? Are the defensive bone skills allowed:Armor, Prison and Wall?
3. Are assassins allowed to use Mind Blast? It seems they should be, even though it does magic damage. The damage is non-lethal and the skill is generally used for stun.
4. Just to clarify: passive skills (or minion auras) that amplify physical damage are okay? So this allows the Zon's Critical Strike, the Druid's HoW, the Sin's Claw Mastery, and the Necro's AmpDam? (Its beautiful how symmetric this toruney is!) These are not lethal skills and most will help the minions more than the main character.
5. Everyone has a tank: Necro's Clay golem (or whatever), Druid's Bear or Wolves, Zon's Valk and Sin's Shadow Master (again, a very symmetric tourney!) Are Assassins allowed to put points in the MA or Traps tree to enhance the elemental skills of their SM/SW as long as they don't use the MA or Trap skills themselves? Its a fairly weak effect, but may well be a realistic strategy later in the game.
6. Cyclone Armor (on the Druid's elemental tree) is a purely defensive skill, but you've excluded it. Necros have Bone Armor, Decrepify,Dim Vision; Amazons have D/A/E and Slow Missiles; Assassins have the massively powerful Cloak of Shadows, plus Fade and MB. If Druids are disallowed Cyclone Armor then they have no defensive skill -other than Ravens (which is puny). So just asking: any chance that Cyclone Armor can be allowed? It's similar to Fade, but less powerful!


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Falcon4eva-Welcome Vile_Jaws!! May your Emerald drops be plentiful!!!

Quickdeath-Welcome Curare!!! May your IAS jewels and Sheals be many!!!
Man, it depresses me how little I know about all these char classes! Great questions! So I did a little reading myself and here's my answers:

1. Assassin Traps will be off limits as they are all offensive skills, MA skills can have points in them as long as they are not used as offensive attacks. In other words thay can be used to strengthen minions.

2. Necromancer Curses Tree will be off limits(except AmpDam. See #4). Any Bone skills that are offensive are also off limits. Bone Armor, Prison and Wall are okay to use b/c they cause no damage.

3. Mind Blast is a no-no b/c it causes damage

4. Zon's Critical Strike, the Druid's HoW, the Sin's Claw Mastery, and the Necro's AmpDam will all be allowed b/c thay do add a nice bit of balance. (Good Call Quickdeath)

5. See #1 above

6. As for Cyclone Armor...still off limits. I honestly believe that the multiple minions that Druids are allowed offset the other characters passive skills. Spirit, Vine & Tank are a pretty strong combination.


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So let me get this straight: As long as it doesn't cause damage, being a defensive skill, it's allowed? So Durids have access to both trees, but only werewolf and rabies in the shapeshifting? Feral rage can be used, right?

Little update: Vile_Jaws Clvl 10, Last quest completed - Blood Raven.
This is gonna be a toxicating ride!(pun not intended)


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Exarkun, one very important and potent question:

"--No items, gems, jewels, runes or charms that have any non-Poison elemental damage"

What about Necromancers that are using ranged skills with no physical attack, IE: Poison Nova? It does not make a difference how much extra elemental damage they have from gems, jewels, runes or charms, because it is not added to the attack damage of Poison Nova. Therefore I would not be able to equip (for example), the Unique Bone Wand (with +2 Necro Skills), simply for the fact that it has cold damage on its physical attack (that I won't be using anyway)...


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Quickdeath said:
Necros have Bone Armor, Decrepify,Dim Vision...
Nope, just Bone Armor. Curses are off limits, remember?

Anyway, Pestilence the Necro is lvl 21 and just got the Cube from the Halls of the Dead.

Summons: Clay Golem (6 points), Golem Mastery (2 points)
Poison/Bone Skills: Poison Dagger (5 points), Poison Explosion (4 points), Bone Armor (1 point), Bone Wall (2 points)
Merc: Act 2 prayer merc

His goal right now is to slow enemies as much as possible. Clay Golem helps out a lot with that, and I also gave my merc a voulge with cold damage on it. It's pretty satisfying to see a Hollow One go up against my merc and golem and die before he can even get his arm halfway up into the air for the first attack. :lol:


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Some other questions I had.

-Are assassins still limited to claws only? I guess this would help them if they put points into Claw Mastery but I don't see any other reason why they should have this limitation.
-Are Revives allowed for Necros?
-Are Necros limited to only ONE poison damage skill or could they use a mix, such as Poison Dagger as the main killing skill with Poison Explosion as a backup. Both skills only cause poison damage.
-Am I allowed to wear a helm with 5% chance to cast frost nova/charged bolt/etc on it? This causes non-poison damage occasionally, but does not really add damage to your attack, so I was not sure.

I also recommend participants read the Tao of Poison (in the Strat Compendium), if they haven't already. It has a lot of info that I didn't know about before.


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Exarkun said:
1. Assassin Traps will be off limits as they are all offensive skills, MA skills can have points in them as long as they are not used as offensive attacks. In other words thay can be used to strengthen minions.

3. Mind Blast is a no-no b/c it causes damage
I think Mind Blast should be allowed to give the assassin char a little more balance. The damage is so trivial that it can't really be considered an offensive skill. It's more of a defensive skill, to prevent monsters from attacking you. IMHO, I think the limitations on assassins right now put them at an unfair disadvantage to the rest of the tourney characters. They're not allowed to use the Traps tree, MA tree, or Mind Blast. This means they only have Claw Mastery and their SW as damage-dealing skills before level 30. It will be tough for them to advance to lvl 30 with all those limitations.


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Vile_Jaws has not really advanced much, only 4 levels more. But he has gotten quite a number of rares, which proves to be useful. His chance for rune and gem drops is one of the worst I've ever experienced. Not even an El rune to spare... This will not bode well, if it keeps up. Hopefully later on runes will be more common. Maybe it is still too early to say as V_J has only just reached dark woods and is level 14. :lol:

Honestly, i'm at quite a loss of what to place...:scratch: I'm certain I'll have to max Rabies and Carrion Vine, so that's 40 down. I'll need WW and Lycan to be high, as well as Oak sage and maybe Grizzly bear. I won't be able to max all of them, but i'm still unsure of which to neglect. Is Grizzly a good tank even with just 1 point, with a lvl 20 Oak sage? Not maxing WW but going for Lycan instead, is that a good choice?


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Exarkun- After starting to play my Druid, I can understand the decision not to include Cyclone Armor. I'm dealing with exactly the same questions as Falcon4eva - I have lots of places to put skill points into.

I am sympathetic with the Assassins, though. I have played that build- a venom assassin using only the shadows tree. Mind blast does a percent conversion of monsters and a stun (for a duration that is NOT degraded by being on hell Level.) It also does an incidental amount of magic damage. If they don't get that, they have almost nothing useful to put points into. (You've also missed banning Psychic Hammer on the Shadow Tree - a worthless low-level magic weapon.)

And Feral Rage on the Druid tree is a bit like Frenzy on the Barb tree. We need one point as a prereq to Rabies but we need a ruling on whether its a playable skill. It seems out of line with your original definition - primary offensive skills should be poison.


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Quickdeath said:
I am sympathetic with the Assassins, though. I have played that build- a venom assassin using only the shadows tree. Mind blast does a percent conversion of monsters and a stun (for a duration that is NOT degraded by being on hell Level.) It also does an incidental amount of magic damage. If they don't get that, they have almost nothing useful to put points into. (You've also missed banning Psychic Hammer on the Shadow Tree - a worthless low-level magic weapon.)
I agree. In addition to allowing Mind Blast, I also think that the Blade skills (B Fury, B Shield, and B Sentry) should NOT be banned. This is because "venom," the Assassin's main skill for this tourney, will enchant those skills and allow them to do poison damage as well. So really, the blade skills turn into POISON skills when venom is active.

If Amazons are allowed to throw poisoned javelins, then an Assassin throwing poisoned blades isn't that different. Of course, it's up to exarkun to decide on the final ruling.

EDIT: Another question: I found Cathan's Amulet, which has the property Attacker Takes Lightning Damage of 5. Are we allowed to wear such things?

EDIT #2: I just looked on the Assassin FAQ...apparently, Venom does not enchant the Blade skills. But I guess they still could be considered poison skills, if you have some poison charms or poison damage on your weapon.


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Hello All,
Let me start by just saying I'm not trying to be a hardarse, and not claiming to be a D2/Poison Guru. The reason I chose this theme for the tourney is so I (we) could see how effective Poison is as a primary attack.
So, I'm hoping that participants will try their builds with that same idea in mind. I'm hoping that we are not going to spend the entire tourney trying to figure out what non-Poison skills we can use and still be within the rules.
I want everybody, myself included, to make an honest effort to create a character that relies on Poison to deal damage. It ain't going to be easy. After trying this if we find that there's no way in hell(pardon the pun)that these characters can get far in the game then I say we make changes to what is allowed. But keep in mind, one of the reasons that I had 3 of each class is to keep everyone honest. If one Druid says the build is not viable but another, or the other 2, say that it is, then that first Druid is gonna have to improve his/her strategy within the predetermined rules.

As for the questions asked recently:

Driuds--Feral Rage, if activated, does not carry over the damage and AR bonus when you switch to Rabies, just the leech and footspeed, so it is therefore usable but not as an attack.

Necros--As long as you are not doing any melee damage, then the +elemental damage to melee attacks would not apply, therefore those items are okay. Also, If it's cool with the other classes, I think Revives are okay. They're usually pretty dopey and don't last long and are almost defensive more than offensive. Combinations of Poison skills is okay (same for Zons)

Assassins--I'm allowing Feral Rage and Revives so I guess Mind Blast is another skill that's more defensive than offensive so I'll say okay. But still saying no to Traps, sorry Sins. Initially I was going to limit to Claws to balance the Zon's only using Javs. I guess I've been a little tough on the Assys b/c I think they are the most viable Poison build. No weapon restrictions on Assassins...anything goes(except for the elemental damge stuff)

Zons--Pretty cut and dried. No revisions

All--% to cast whatever is okay. We'll be hard pressed enough to find gear as it is without having to discard good stuff for a small % chance of something. Other items with elemental damage are off limits. But how about this, each class has a clvl where their Poison Skills come into play (18 or 30), until that clvl there will be no item restrictions concerning elemental damage. For example, Cathans Ammy can be used until those clvls are reached. Does that sound okay to everyone?

Now, I'm gonna go start my character! Good Luck all! I hope this post cleared up alot of questions...



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Good decisions all around Ekun :) But I have one more question...sorry

Will druids be allowed to use Hunger for life/mana regen? It decreases damage, but increases AR. Since it would cost 4 skill points to get, I'm not planning on it, but the availablility would be good to know.

In the spirit of the rules I'm going to try to exclusively use the poison creeper, ignoring other vines. If I reach a point in the tourney where LL/ML becomes a critical problem I'll reconsider.

Canis_Rabis is off and running. He's lvl12 at the Cold Plains. Funny how random numbers work - he found 9 chipped rubies, but only 1 chipped emerald and no skulls or sapphires. He did however find a Jewel of Envy and SC of Blight right away. :D

Weapon selection is really going to be interesting. I've already tossed a couple nice rares due to elemental damage!


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Thanks Ekun. We all are all signing up for the vision/objective that you 've stated. But clarity in rules does help us all - most of us can only invest 20 to 40 points in direct poison skills and we don't want to find that our character builds have veered off into an unallowable direction.

Curare (Druid) is lvl 17 about to turn lvl 18 and get access to Rabies. He is at the Outer Cloister with a slvl 10 Poison Creeper that is awesome and lots of fun to play. He has found only one green/gold item- a Death's Guard Sash with CBF! A nice low-level find! All other skills are at slvl 1. Poison Creeper rocks - so far.

Falcon4eva: my analysis is that there is little incentive to put points into Werewolf. Check out the Wereform Speed Calculator - the reduction in frames per Rabies attack from more points in Werewolf is very low - Rabies is 11 fpa at Werewolf slvl1 and drops to 9 fpa at Werewolf slvl20. And because Rabies does not require multiple fast attacks anyway (I think) I plan to invest my skill points elsewhere. Maybe Grizzly.


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Quickdeath said:
He has found only one green/gold item- a Death's Guard Sash with CBF! A nice low-level find!
Cool...Pestilence (my necro) found Death's Hand, so if someone finds the sword (which would be completely useless for a necro using PDagger but possibly useful for a druid in low levels), we'd have the full set. I'll keep the gloves in my stash in case we can get the full set together. I also found Sander's Superstition (dropped by Duriel), but I'm keeping that for myself for now. :xsmile4:

EDIT: And thanks to exarkun for answering all of our questions!



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Stinky_Poo is now clvl19 and just got her Cube. No great finds yet except for a bunch of Gold Find% Grand Charms. I'm runnin around with about +50% Gold Find. This is a good thing since I'm having to stock up on Mana pots and Javs everytime I get into town.
Mainly using Poison Jav. Got it uptp about lvl11. Good Damage. Need Pierce!!! Put 1 pt in Plague Jav so far. Man, talk about a long delay!!!!! I'm gonna have to get a bunch of Tanks and just sit behind them lobbing these things. It's like throw a Plague Jav, pop three chests, throw another Jav, hit a shrine...rinse and repeat.
We'll see how it goes...
Good Luck to all.



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Well, here's my update for today.

Level 29 Necromancer
Kurast Bazaar WP

Summons: Clay Golem (6 points), Golem Mastery (2), Summon Resist (1)
Poison/Bone Skills: Poison Dagger (5 ), Poison Explosion (8), Bone Armor (1 point), Bone Wall (3 points)
Curses: Amplify Damage (1)
Merc: Act 2 prayer merc

Well, after it was decided that Amplify Damage would be allowed for the necro, things got a lot easier for Pestilence. He pretty much tore through all of Act 2 and most of Act 3. Enemies die so quickly (using players 7) that I can't tell what killed them, my poison or my amp-damage assisted merc.

Using poison is a lot of fun. I have a combination of PDagger and PExplosion going. I'm always using PDagger to stab individual enemies, and PExplosion is a very underrated skill that can kill tightly clustered packs of enemies (like those attacking my necro and merc) almost instantly. 450-550 damage at slvl 8???? That's insane! The only problem with it is that its radius is very limited, so I have to get enemies to chase me over corpses so that I can explode them.

The Poison Necro is a very fun and effective build, in my opinion. This character should have no trouble surviving Normal.

Crazy Runner Guy

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Pointed_Toxin will begin her journey Tuesday night. Sorry for not getting off the blocks so quick, but I took a beautiful young woman to a dance Friday night and was with her and not at my dorm all weekend. As for Tuesday, I have my LAST huge project due that day, and a final in my Ethics class tomorrow. Other than that, I am a free man (except for next weekend, as I have training for a winter camp I'll work at) after that project is turned in on Tuesday. I'll try and get past norm by late Thurday, and maybe even most of NM.



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It's me again, this time with a little more progress. I wanna try to report my progress in a "jiansonz-style" way. I like his style. :)

Vile_Jaws(VJ) has reached lvl 22, very very close to 23 now. He is in A2, and has just acquired the first horadrim artifact, the horadric cube. I'll continue from where I left off in my previous post.

When VJ reached Dark Woods, he was lvl 14. The WP was conveniently beside the underground passage. The tree of inifuss was far off though. Treehead and his gang didn’t prove to be much of a challenge, as VJ was using a two-handed axe. After saving cain from tristram, the use of ID scrolls was unnecessary, unless VJ found charms. Those would be ID’ed immediately. Steady progress was made, and both the countess and the smith were dispatched of easily.

VJ reached lvl 18 during his travels in the jail levels, and rabies was finally made available to him. I just realized how hard it is to use rabies effectively. As it requires 10 mana per bite, careful planning of which monster to bite is required (VJ doesn’t have much of a mana pool. Less then 100). But often I would just bite one monster and the monster would walk away from the mob. It got fustrating for awhile, until I managed to get use to how rabies works.

Andy was a little bit difficult, as using poison against the Maiden of Anguish is rather silly. :lol: But I managed to defeat her, using my poison creeper, dire wolf and merc, with rabies. VJ defeated her at lvl 21, which is kinda scary. This is the first time I’ve used a character at that lvl to defeat andy. I guess full clears of every area in Act 1 helped quite a lot.

Remember how I was complaining about the crappy rune and gem drops earlier on? The rune drops still suck as bad, but the chippies were just raining on me. It got so bad to the point that I had to keep 3 kinds of gems, topaz, diamonds and rubies. I had to sell off all the rest. Even after that, my stash was still full. Rejuvenation potions occupied a huge space too. I had to use the floor to hold the rest of my chippies and some uniques (gorefoot, umbral disk.) I found. I guess there were around 20+ chippies on the floor.

Gambling was fun, as many of my rares came from gheed. He sold me a very nice rare scythe, which I used immediately. My gloves, boots, belt and helm was also supplied by him. He’s a nice guy I suppose. Maybe because I spent a lot of gold there? :D

Upon reaching Act 2, I had a change of weapon. From the rare scythe to a normal kris/bone shield combo. After that, I rushed straight to dry hills and the halls of the undead. I needed the cube urgently. After getting it(the skeletons there so easy to kill with rabies!), I was cubing like mad. I ended up with 20 or so full rejuvs, one flawless diamond, and a topaz and ruby, IIRC. I found afew more uniques on the way as well. This was due to VJ’s gear, I guess. Notice the % of MF? It adds up to 91%, so I guess it isn’t too shabby.

Posion creeper slvl is 7, while rabies is at slvl 5. This gives VJ a nice damage of 217-296 over 5.6 secs. And that is nice to use indeed. Playing with rabies is easy, any mob that I face gets decimated by the poison. Just rush straight in, bite one of them, hold my ground for half a second, then scram and watch them die. Raddy wasn’t very hard either, without his army. Rabies(along with my merc and wolf distracting them) took care of the skeleton army. Raddy could only blow his puny poison in my face. I taught him a lesson on using poison. Rule 1: Never waste your poison by blowing it, inject it into the victim’s body!

One more thing though; I have some uniques that I do not want to use, but I figured some other people here might want. Umbral disk, Gorefoot, Crushflange, Axe of Fechmar and an artic bindings light belt. If no one wants it, I’ll mule it off already. It’s taking up quite a lot of space in my stash. And that’s the end of my (extremely)long report. Thanks for reading! :lol:

Level 22 Rabies Durid
Currently in Act 2
Last quest completed: Getting the horadric cube.
% of MF: 91%