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Widowmaker PvP Assassin Plans - Gimme your opinions

Discussion in 'Assassin' started by eatenbyrobots, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. eatenbyrobots

    eatenbyrobots IncGamers Member

    May 14, 2010
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    Widowmaker PvP Assassin Plans - Gimme your opinions

    I'm making a Bowsin for PvP. tl;dr is my style, so if you like a quick read then just skip down to "My Initial Plan" and "Questions" where I have my planned skill/gear setup so you can make comments.

    There's no real set guide on this sort of build, but I'm interested in sparking a discussion for purely selfish reasons in that I'm leveling up an Assassin to be one of these right now. I've read a few guides, including TienJe's idea on how one could work and also a little bit here and there on websites. I'll organize this as well as I can.

    I'm not a professional PvPer, I just hang out in pubs and do it on the casual. I'm not looking for a macho PvP character either, I don't mind dying here and there as long as the play style is fun and I feel challenged and engaged.

    ===== Le Goal =====

    A PvP Assassin who uses a Widowmaker as her method of fighting. Not as a WW switch, but as her primary method of downing the opponent's life.

    ===== Possible Approaches =====

    Defensive: After maxing Venom, maxes out lightning traps and synergies with all the extra points. LS ends up being about 12 skill points weaker than a traditional trapper, but has a method of more aggressive attack than a traditional trapper. Essentially TienJe's defensive-styled Bowsin. Has gear oriented towards trap damage to match a more moderate Venom damage.

    Note: I've already decided that I wouldn't go with this build, since I dislike defensive play, but still a cool option given how much Widow opens up your options for adding damage and aggression.

    Summary: Max Venom, Max LS + Synergies + Fireblast

    Offensive: This was TienJe's basic idea behind an aggressive Bowsin. Using teleporting, mindblasting and WoFing like a ghost but keeping your distance to lay down arrows. WoF and WoI maxed for squeezing as much damage as possible out of your stunlocking tools. Has gear more focused on Shadow Disciplines for Mindblast length and Venom is the only killer in your arsenal.

    Summary: Max Venom, Max Mindblast, Max WoF/WoI

    Shadow Support: The approach I'm considering trying out first, which isn't following either approach perfectly but is similar to the Offensive build. The idea behind this one is to have a very strong Shadow Master with you to provide a hailstorm of Mindblasting and some good damage accompaniment. WoF is given a single point for stunning purposes, letting +skills do the rest. Equipment is geared towards having a great number of points in the Shadow tree for high Venom damage, a powerful Mindblast and a powerful sidekick.

    Summary: Max Venom, Max Mindblast, Max Shadow Master

    Kick Support: I've read that this might also be a good plan. On one switch, you're the Bowsin shooting Venom arrows. On the other switch, you're a kicker with dual-claws for block who rushes in when their health has been downed for a death blow with Dragon Flight/Dragon Talon. Since you already have Shadow Dancers on, your kicking damage is up to snuff. Minor points are tossed into traps for stunning and distracting. Gear is split between maxing Venom's damage and having a strong enough kick.

    Summary: Max Venom, Max Mindblast, Max DT, respectable blocking %

    Overall, I'm most interested in the last two setups. I dislike having a CtA in my cube, it's clumsy and I'm lazy.

    ===== Breakpoints and Stuff =====

    I've read that you can only hit a 9-frame attack with a Widowmaker, so 9-frame it shall be. You can hit this breakpoint with only a single point into BoS and your usual skiller/gear setup. I think lvl 12 is the necessary level with no IAS.

    Hit-Recovery may be an important issue for this kind of 'sin, given that they're going to be lacking a block. Having a 4-frame would be fantastic to avoid being locked up by some barb. I may have to settle for the 5-frame 48% and some skillful teleporting. Any ideas on how to get some good-enough FHR would be appreciated, or if its important.

    Faster Cast needs will depend greatly on what sort of build one goes with. I'm still uncertain on this. More about this when I discuss resistances, since the choice of helmet and amulet will greatly hinge on FCR. Help appreciated on what a good minimum FCR should be for a build that Mindblasts often.

    ===== Resistances =====

    Note: I am not even bothering with the Anya quests. Since I know death is inevitable in pubs and I dislike t-bans, I'd rather know my real resistance total than rely on a bugged quest for my first fight.

    A big issue for this build. I've heard most bow-users don't really stack resists, but I'm very afraid of those Fisters and Auradins whom I cannot accurately describe with a swear-filter built in. For your average 'sin, this is not an issue due to Fade but a Bowsin needs BoS for arrow-spam, maneuverability and fast traps.

    I'm split between a double-Um'd 2/20 coronet and a Kira's for resists + FHR. Without the Kira's I'll need some VERY nice resistance/life charms. With the Kira's, I'll be casting Mindblast in molasses. I'm absolutely stuck on what I should go with. Could a blue [email protected]/+3 Shadow with FCR amulet compensate for the loss of the coronet?

    Or should I use both depending on who I'm facing?

    ===== Socketing The Widowmaker =====

    Poison facets, open wounds or knockback? I'm leaning towards knockback for the stun effect. Poison facets aren't much of a kick unless you're talking Plague Javelins or Poison Novas, and even then only in quantities of 2 or 3. Open wounds sucks on ranged weapons. If anyone can argue why I shouldn't Nef the Widowmaker, let me know. Knockback gloves I'm setting aside in favor of Trag's Claws for the FCR and poison damage plus resists. Can't be beat, IMHO.

    I'm saying Nef on the Widowmaker unless there is a better option.

    ===== My Initial Plan =====

    I'm a masochist and level up to the 90s for all PvP chars.


    Str: Base
    Dex: Minimal
    Vit: Like whaaaaaaaaaaat
    En: This stat gets lonely if you don't mention it outside of the sorc forum


    Max Venom
    Max Shadow Master
    Max Mindblast
    16 into BoS for the max FRW%
    1 into Blade Shield for discouraging melee attacks
    the remaining go into WoF


    Weapon - Nef'd . . . maybe, but naturally a Widowmaker
    Switch - CtA/Spirit or Kicker Claws depending on build
    Helmet - Kira's or 2/20/UmUm coronet
    Amulet - Kira's or +3 Shadow/FCR amulet
    Armor - Enigma with Bramble for prebuff
    Belt - Arachnid's Mesh
    Rings - FCR rings with resists or BK for the minuscule life bonus and skills
    Gloves - Trag's Claws
    Boots - Shadow Dancers

    Charms - At least 8 Shadow Skillers with life/FHR/resists. Anni. Torch. Life/Resist SCs.

    Glaringly Basic Strategy: Teleport defensively spamming arrows and laying WoF. Mindblast-lock them combined with WoF, spam bursts of arrows while they're trapped, tele away. Repeat until they die. Shadow Master provides clone-copy distraction, much Mindblasting and is a formidable fighter in her own right given the correct circumstances.

    ===== Questions =====

    Which build would you go with?

    Would you do your skills differently?

    Is my gear sound?

    What rings would you use?

    Is Arachnid's a better choice than, say, a Verdungo?

    What would you socket the helm/Widowmaker with?

    How can I deal with the inherently low resistances of this build?

    Which opponents will be hardest to face with this build?

    Is there anything I'm missing, have wrong or need to correct?
  2. Sass

    Sass IncGamers Member

    Jun 11, 2007
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    Re: Widowmaker PvP Assassin Plans - Gimme your opinions

    Don't pump WoF or its synergies for damage. Only a pure fire trapper can do it, and they only get 1.3K. Your best bet is 1 point WoF and rely on venom to kill.

    The kick side is a good option, but you don't want to max DTalon. Get a maximum of 3-4 kicks. This is found after all + skills are on (and BC is cast) before investment.

    FHR is very important. In many instances, you will be running to avoid something. With dancers, 86 is easily achieved. Depending on claws (if you go that way), it's even easier to get. At the very least, Shadow GC of Balance fills it up if your helm needs other sockets (usually res since no Fade).

    65 FCR is a minimum. You will be teleporting and MBing very often--as much as, if not more than, a Ghost. Trangs, Arach, Circlet, and a FCR ring (with raven) gives you 65 FCR and allows Highlord's.

    For res, don't worry about auradins. Legit ones won't pulse kill you and the hackers are easily sorbed anyway. FoH shouldn't linger on your screen anyway. Bowsins play very cat and mouse and mobility is your biggest asset.

    Kira's can allow you to stack so high you don't need that frame of FCR, but I still don't recommend it. It messes with your FCR timing and isn't necessary. 2/20 with res / IAS (to make up for a Highlord's swap with Maras) is fine. DS is nice, but the raw damage is still low and not worth hindering res to keep if it becomes an issue.

    OW isn't good on bows, but the KB is very effective. Say no to drugs and poison facets (unless as an off handed + venom + Shadow claw).

    Blade shield is a waste unless you build as a kicker. Even then, it will only be reliable on your claw side. If you do build as a kicker, consider Weapon / Shield as well. The block and DR (that you lack from BoS) is going to keep you alive. Effective vs melee, but stick with C/C if you want to duel casters.

    Raven is needed if you don't use Kira's. Even still, it adds lots of dex and does you more good than a BK. Arach > Dungo.

    This thread recently brought up a pvp bowasin, so check it out for others' opinions. In particular, pay close attention to anything wizadept says.
  3. eatenbyrobots

    eatenbyrobots IncGamers Member

    May 14, 2010
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    Re: Widowmaker PvP Assassin Plans - Gimme your opinions

    I was expecting you to comment in this thread, you've always got good Assassin info.

    I did a little testing vs. a couple of Amazons . . . conceivably my toughest battle. One was a Bowzon and I can't touch her, but this is no surprise. The other was a Plagueazon, and the battle went for so long I ran out of mana pots but she was getting extremely frustrated.

    My PvP damage seems very low. Is this just a fact of life, or is there any way to bump it up a bit? My venom is at around level 45. Maybe a prebuff with Bramble or 3/3 Venom claws? Assuming I can FIND 3/3 Venom claws . . .

    Then again, it may have just been the fact that Amazons dodge every-****ing-thing you throw at them.

    It looks like I'm in for a long, hard learning curve with this character no matter what given what wizAdept is saying and experimenting around with kick/no kick/etc.

    I'll probably try this Shadow Master thing out, find out the damage is too low, try a Fathom/Shield switch for switch-boosting my arrows. Attempting to predict the future, I do foresee myself doing the kick/bow combo as a final choice. The pure bowsin seems much too underpowered for her own good and besides, I'd be stylin' using a bow to down their health and then telekicking in as a finisher.
  4. Sass

    Sass IncGamers Member

    Jun 11, 2007
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    Re: Widowmaker PvP Assassin Plans - Gimme your opinions

    Damage will just be a fact of life. You can't run Fort + lots of DS on it. Besides, bows don't have as much raw damage as our claws + mastery will, and even they don't have a huge amount of raw damage. =/

    To up your damage, the poison aspect is definitely the way to go, but bramble is just a prebuff--I don't recommend using it for duels.

    And yes, there's a reason many use kick/bows. :) They can be very effective vs opponents many wouldn't touch (smite vs kick!? yikes without range).
  5. wizAdept

    wizAdept IncGamers Member

    Aug 4, 2005
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    Re: Widowmaker PvP Assassin Plans - Gimme your opinions

    was a thread on bowsins not too long ago on here, read through this thread for more ideas:
    a lot of stuff is covered in the posts in that thread.

    hard to raise damage on a bowsin through conventional means, although prebuffing will of course help.
    one major source of damage for a pvp bowsin is the weapon switch, when you switch while arrows are midflight, those arrows gain active mods such as open wounds% or slow% if they are to hit. when an opponent is under the influence of venom, switching to a dweb will lower their resistance. these game mechanics make weapons such as Um'd death's web or Um'd fleshripper very nice choices for a bowsin.
    unfortunately dweb can be negated through resist stacking, but for the opponents who barely reach max resists (like just about every other barb or smiter you meet on bnet) it'll really hurt them bad. for 75 and stacked resists fleshripper is a bit slower but still a very strong weapon with 75%ow/20% slow to transfer.
    also these weapons make for great kicking weapons. <.<

    which is why dtalon locks them up real nice and is one of the best assassin counters to amazons. really nothing they can do: stomp on them with shadowmaster stacked, kick, they are locked up and dead.
    (although bowazons can kill c/c kick in a few shots, and cs zons can kill w/s kick in a few hits, so make sure you get the drop on them in this matchup if you are not geared for it, get the initial hit and start the stunlock/evadelock on them before they can land a hit)

    kick/bow still suffers from a number of difficult matchups, and although one does serve well to help counter the counterclasses to the other, its not that it does exceptionally well.
    such as bowsin can take down smiter whereas smiter counters kicksin, however bowing down a good smiter may be more difficult and tedious of a duel than using a ghost or a trapper or a trap hybrid. likewise kicksin can take down maxblock druid which counters bowsin, but vs a good opponent its far more difficult than using a ghost or trapper.
    on the bright side you can use one method or the other or a combination of both to take down almost all classes, which is part of what makes the build fun imho.

    as a loose outline:
    kick vs: sorcs, druids, zons, necros
    bow vs: pallies, barbs, trappers/ghosts
    and use a combination of tactics when the matchup allows it (example: duel bowsin style to outrange a trapper, then bait them into some traps when they overextend themselves chasing you and get a dtalon volley or two on them when they are helpless. bunch of other matchups where you should use both as well)

    yup. learning curve is pretty steep here. you need to know how to duel without taking a hit, you need to know how to play as a trapper, you need to know how to chainlock and get unanswered hits as a kicksin, whole lot of game mechanics being thrown at you at once if you are not already an assassin player or longtime d2 pvp player, but looking back at it.. the learning curve on is part of the fun with playing this type of build. :p

    Playing a whole lot of more standard assassin builds, everything from trappers to trap hybrids to trappers of every other variety to ghosts to whatever other stuff.. I do think kicksins and bowsins have it tough in a number of matchups. a lot of what kicksins do can be done by ghosts using 1 point dclaw. a lot of what bowsins do results in fairly difficult and drawn out chases and lengthy duels. but the combination of the two, as well as the ability to use w/s and c/c options that other assassin types can not use, is what gives kick/bow it's flavor and makes it fun to use in pvp.
    It can be pretty tough and it's not a gameplay flavor that everyone likes, but if it floats your boat then this can be a very fun build to dive into. at least it was for me. enjoyed the learning curve starting out, enjoyed playing the build once I learned it, good times looking back on it. but having helped many players out with making them I do have to acknowledge that they do have many difficulties and its not a gameplay style every player will enjoy. that is something you have to figure out for yourself as you try out the character.
    Entwilighter likes this.

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