WW/Trapper Hybrid Guide v1.2 (For sticky)

HappyAssassin

Diabloii.Net Member
WW/Trapper Hybrid Guide v1.2 (For sticky)

Intro
Hi everyone, I’m Ollie, and I play on US West. Since I started playing Diablo 2, I’ve primarily played Assassins. I love the class, especially its versatility. I feel that over my time playing, I’ve played enough assassins, experimented with enough builds, and gained sufficient skill and experience to offer up this guide to help other players use the class to its potential. I don’t claim to be the absolute best with this character, but I am one of the best, and this guide is based on a very long period of testing, building, testing and rebuilding. This is a PvP build for patch 1.11. My goal with building this character is to make an assassin that can take on the vast majority of duelers out there.

An important note here. I say that I’m building this character. I do NOT take credit for creating this build, it’s been around longer than I’ve been playing, and many very skilled players contributed to its making, I’ll give credit at the end.

The goal of this build is to combine the trapper and whirlwind assassin builds. A trapper with any skill (i.e. not one who sits in his traps and hopes the enemy dies on their own) uses mind blast to hold the opponent in place while the traps do their work. Most of the best trappers I’ve seen also trap aggressively, using traps to close with the enemy and keep pressure on them. They can also switch to a defensive style of play, slowly wearing the opponent down if the foes is too dangerous to stay close to. Whirlwind assassins on the other hand have a pretty simplistic game plan. They Dflight to the target and demolish it with a bramble fueled whirlwind. Whirlwind assassins (the good ones) use Wake of Fire traps and mind blast also, to stun the enemy, reduce their block and make them an easy target. Many (some would consider them the best ones) have adopted a play style using Enigma’s teleport and traps with mind blast to cripple the opponent with stun lock while still effectively whirlwinding their targets to death. This last build provided some inspiration for this one. These are simplistic versions of these classes, this character is capable of much more than simply emulating these styles.

I understand that it’s the practice of many guide writers to include a list of acronyms. Here’s mine:

AR - Attack Rating
BoS- Burst of Speed
CoS- Cloak of Shadows
CoA - Crown of Ages
CTA - Call to Arms
DF - Dragon Flight
PDR – Physical Damage Reduction
FHR - Fast Hit Recovery
GC - Grand Charm
FCR- Faster Cast Rate
IAS - Increased Attack Speed
LS - Lightning Sentry
MB - Mind Blast
OW - Open Wounds
PLR - Poison Length Reduction
Res - Resistance
SC - Small Charm
SM - Shadow Master
WB – Weapon Block
WW - Whirlwind

What you will achieve with this build:

Offensively
1. 4 Frame Whirlwind. This means that you have the most possible hit checks when your opponent is within range.
2. 6k Damage LS, good damage considering that you also have a strong whirlwind. This can go as high as 8k, depending on gear.
3. Good Open Wounds, critical against casters/barbs.
4. A 3k Whirlwind. This is what your screen shows. The actual damage is higher due to the double poison application bug.
5. Satisfactory attack rating (this is a tough part of the build).
6. 65% Fast Cast Rate, enough to mind blast effectively and teleport quickly.
7. 9 Frame Trap Laying.

Defensively
1. Over 3000 life without lifers, much more with them. 4.2k is the functional maximum.
2. Max res in hell after losing 30 Res all to the Anya bug.
3. 50% PDR after fade.
4. 58% or higher Claw Block (this is huge).
5. A strong shadow master to minion stack, cause diversion, etc.

Now, how do we get these numbers?

This is the meat and potatoes of the guide, the items and skills. Afterwards comes the smoke and mirrors, the strategy section.
 

HappyAssassin

Diabloii.Net Member
Character Building
Skills
The skills for this build are pretty straight forward. Here they go:

Traps Tree
1 Fire Blast
1+ Shock Web (All of your remaining skill points go here, around 12 usually, can be almost maxed if you level to 99, though that is a waste of time for most players)
20 Charged Bolt Sentry
20 Lightning Sentry
20 Death Sentry

Shadow Tree
1 Claw Mastery
1 Psychic Hammer
1 Burst of Speed
1 Cloak of Shadows
1-5 Fade
1 Weapon Block
1 Shadow Warrior
2 Mind Blast
1 Shadow Master
20 Venom

Martial Tree
1 Dragon Flight (and prerequisites, only important if you can’t get it on a claw.)

These skills allow us to have strong LS and Venom with our WW. There are several glaring weaknesses in the skill set. These will be covered in gear. Its worth noting that my original character had 20 points in Claw Mastery. After dueling for a while with her, I found that her traps were too weak. I have experimented with my current character using these skills and bramble sin gear against other bramble sins, and I’ve found that there isn’t a huge difference between the two chars. This means that it really is possible to get strong traps and barely sacrifice anything in terms of whirlwind ability.

A note about Mind Blast. Having the extra point in there causes your shadow master to cast it much more often. This is quite useful, as she does it at extreme range, and being an AI she never misses. If you want this feature, put the points in. If you feel you won’t use it much, by all means save the point for a trap synergy.

Stats
Base or 40 Strength
Base or 35 Dex
Max Vitality
Base Energy

Keep in mind that these stats are ball park, I recommend leveling to over 75 before adding any stats at all so that your torch and anni will save you Strength. These can change by +/- 5 points or so depending on charms. If you are a real perfectionist, level to 90 for the max Strength on Enigma before equipping gear. With this setup you can switch to Bramble/Shako/Gores in certain situations. Keep in mind that if you use a Circlet as opposed to CoA, you can use less Str and thus have more vitality. 167 is your new target, Dancers are still the superior boots for this build.
 

HappyAssassin

Diabloii.Net Member
Gear
Okay, here we go. This character is expensive. No way around it, you must have great gear to perform at a high level. If you have Bartuc’s instead of Fury, you will not win much. If you have Waterwalks instead of Dancers, you will not win much. If you can’t use one of the recommended helms in particular, you will notice a serious reduction in either survivability or speed. Keep this in mind when gearing up. I’d like to recommend cheaper options, but this is a PvP hybrid, and to make a truly good hybrid you need to squeeze every last point out of your skills and gear. I happen to know that with a little help and 2 weeks of hard trading, a player of US West has geared up a satisfactory hybrid.

Helm: The choice of helm makes a big difference for your build. Either a Circlet or Crown of Ages are the two main choices. With a Circlet, you hit 65% FCR easily, you have more skill points, and you can have mods like Visionary which will help your AR. You will have slightly higher traps. If you use a Crown of Ages, you will need a 15%+ fcr ammy with sin skills to compensate and get your break point. This is tough to find. I personally use a Circlet. Your circlet must have the following mods: +2 Sin skills, 20% FCR, 15+ Res All. After that, look for visionary, life, mana, Str boost, an extra socket, etc. Put a 15/15 (15IAS/15 Resist All) jewel in your circlet. If you use a CoA, get a 2 Soc and socket it with a 15/15 jewel (15IAS/15 Resist all) and a -15/15 (-15REQ/15 Resist All).
Finally, I can’t write a guide for a Ghost build without mentioning 1.08 Valkerie Wing. This powerful helm gives 30 to FCR, FHR, Faster R/W and IAS. It includes no skills or resists, but it allows you much more leeway with your other gear. Also, if you socket it with a Shael Rune, it will allow you to use an extra 2 Lifers in place of FHR GCs. If you use 40 lifers, it’s quite a large HP boost. This helm is heavily duped and may poof, so keep this in mind when deciding whether or not to use it.

Amulet: A few choices here. You can either use a godly crafter assassin amulet with 15%+ FCR and +2 skills, resistances, other good mods, or you can go with a unique ammy if you have a Circlet. Maras is a strong option with +skills, +res, +5 stats, all good things. Highlord’s Wrath is also a good amulet, with a +skill, Light res, and its big Deadly Strike bonus. If you use Highlord’s and Fury, you will do good physical damage from all the deadly strike. My personal preference is Maras, it’s more well rounded.

Armor: Enigma. Mine is a Dusk Shroud, either Dusk or Mage are good choices.

Boots: Shadow Dancers. These give you the highest possible kick damage on Dflight, +2 Shadow Skills (important in this build), FHR, and an awesome Dex boost. Since we’re already building for CoA, the Strength requirement isn’t important. Even if you go the circlet route, these boots save you points in Fade (+Shadow skills), as well has helping a lot to get good FHR.

Belt: Arachnid’s Mesh. This is for skills, FCR, and that’s it. The other option is a 15% DR Verdungos Hearty Coil. Using the 2/15+ ammy and the Dungos is one of the best options, it allows you to have maxed DR without adding points to fade and ultimately costs only a little life and resists.

Gloves: Trang-Oul’s Claws. These phenomenal gloves practically make the build work. Note that their 25% bonus to poison damage actually works twice, once when the skill is cast and once when you hit a target with a melee attack. If you take these off, you will take a BIG hit in your poison damage.

Rings: 1 Raven Frost is a must. A fast cast ring with Mana, Life, Resists, and Dex or Str is the best other option. If you use a Valk, you can use a second Raven (nice to have), or a powerful Dual stat ring.

Claws: This is a claw assassin, and your choice of claw is very important. Chaos is a must obviously. It should be your offhand claw. Your Chaos should have +Venom, +Lightning Sentry and +DF on it. For your primary claw, there are really two options. A Fury claw with +Venom and +Lightning Sentry is a very strong option. If you really need the last skill point, look for one with Wake of Fire or Shadow Master. Also, try to get a Fool’s Claw with 40% IAS and good +skills as well. There are really two sets of mods to look for on a Fool’s claw. If you intend to use the Fools only as a switch item to get high AR against heavy melee, then look for one with IAS, high % ED, and 2 Sockets. Another option is to use the Fool’s claw as your primary claw all the time, and switch to Fury only for highly defensive opponents. In this case, look for a Fools with good +skills first and foremost, then IAS, then ED, then sockets, etc. Ideally, you should use a claw that gives +4 or more to your Lightning Sentry, as this will give you powerful traps. I use a Fool’s claw about 90% of the time on my Assassin. Try to get all these claws in Runic Talon. After that, the best options in order are Feral Claws.

I’ll provide a little information about claw speed. Basically, you need over 14 IAS on both your claws to get the highest WW speed break. This is a combination of the weapon’s base speed and the IAS that is actually on it. Suwayyahs have a base speed of 0, so they must have a minimum of 14% IAS (in practice, 20) to hit the BP. This is not a problem if you use Chaos/Fury, because both claws have a very high IAS bonus anyway. On a Fool’s claw, it must have this IAS. On a Feral or Runic claw, you don’t need an IAS for the WW breakpoint. Now, there are other breakpoints that should be taken into account. The speed with which you lay traps is important to your ability to stun lock. This is based on your claw speed. If you use a Runic Talon on your primary claw spot with 40% IAS, you will hit the highest trap breakpoint if you socket a 15% IAS jewel in your helm.


Charms: These will make or break your character. 9 Shadow GCs, 2 with 12% FHR, the rest with life if you can or Strength if you cannot (a 6 Strength charm is like a 18 lifer). Torch, Anni, +Life SCs or +Res SCs, which ever you prefer. Ideally’ 5 Res SCs with Life. 1 5% FHR SC to hit the 86 FHR Breakpoint. The 9 Shadow Charms are an absolute must.
 

HappyAssassin

Diabloii.Net Member
Strategy
Basics
I assume your dueling in pubs. If not, most of this still applies, ignore references to heavy sorb, etc. I also assume that you’re playing in a relatively friendly manner. If you want to NK a pub into oblivion with this build, you can, and your traps are certainly nasty against naked chars. I won’t include advice on this however, mostly because I’m a poor NKer due to lack of practice.

A word on BM (bad manners). A lot of duelers seem to abide by a fairly arbitrary (and very variable) set of rules. Basically, BM is whatever anyone doesn’t like, so it’s a pretty useless term. Heavy absorb, naked kills, town guarding and using hacks to improve playing skill are the general forms of BM most commonly practiced. I mention them because there are somewhat important to consider when building a character. This is not a BM oriented build. It doesn’t do well against stacked absorb, it doesn’t do well when an opponent heals often. If you are looking for a character that thrives in such an environment, this one is not for you. That said, my personal feeling on BM is this: If an opponent continues a practice against you after you ask them nicely to stop or unhostile, then do whatever you feel like to beat them. Get your merc, load a belt of juvs, Iron Maiden them, whatever, and then NK them till they leave. Another option is to just leave and find other duelers whose set of rules is more in line with yours. Either way, if someone is trying to ruin your fun, you have every right to ruin theirs, and this build CAN do it.
A word on absorb. A heavily sorbing Smiter or BvC is your toughest duel by far. These classes are tough for WWsins in general, add in your relatively low Ar and lack of bramble and you are in trouble. You actually cant use your traps much to stun at all because they will provide healing for the enemy. A key advantage is that that they must sacrifice good gear for absorb. This can be as big a difference as CoA for Kiras. Go to fire trap for stun, but try a light trap when they go back to town and come out again. If you stop using light traps, they may switch back to the superior gear thinking that you’ve been faked out. You can sometimes get them with their sorb off and their proverbial pants down. This is a situation in which you can use judgment. Personally, I sometimes nk a player who is heavily sorbing and acting in an offensive manner. If they are nice and sorbing, then do what you feel is best.
This is also the reason that you have bramble and WWsin gear in your stash. The bramble will give you a large bonus to your venom and increase your chances, especially against smiters. There is a trick with switching this though. You must allow venom to run out before you equip bramble and cast it again. There is a game mechanic that causes a significant loss in damage if you equip the bramble while your venom is still active and cast venom again. Also, be careful in bramble mode, because most strong casters can take huge advantage of your lack of mobility and nail you from range while your inadequate Dflight miss-fires trying to hit them.
Finally consider having an Act 2 Holy Freeze Merc with Infinity, Fortitude and Vampire Gaze that you can bring in if a sorber is really giving you trouble. Consider that a seriously trap locked opponent can actually be physically hit by the Merc, often for huge damage from his powerful weapon. My Infinity happens to be an ethereal Cryptic Axe, for very high damage, especially since he wears Fortitude. Always carry gold (take some from a pker if you run out, they’d do the same to you) and stash it at a non Act 1 waypoint, in case you need potions or your Merc.

Right, down to business. You will duel in two modes, offensive and defensive. You have to be able to transition between these two modes easily. If you can only play defensively in particular, you will quickly run into people who refuse to play your game. Generally though, you will find that you play offensively against casters and defensively against melee. This does not mean that you will only trap against melee and Whirlwind against casters. You need to use all your attacks, Traps, Whirlwind, Mind Blast and Dragon Flight against all your enemies. You have a shadow, as well as your own high defensive attributes to protect you. You should have relatively high life. All of these things add up to make you a daunting prospect for duelers. I’ll outline the templates here, and then reference them as I explain class by class strategies. I’d like to emphasize that the best way to get good with this char is not to read my notes on strategy but rather to go out and duel. If you are having consistent problems against a particular build then come look at the notes. Keep in mind that you will likely encounter people who are very skilled and above average in particular builds. Against these people, your own skill and strong build will be your best allies. Just remember that they may be just as intimidated by your unusual character as you are by theirs. For example, I recently (in a pub) ran into the first and only Trapper/Kicker I’ve ever seen who’s char was actually strong. This resulted in me losing repeatedly until I figured out new tactics. Because I kept dueling him and didn’t descend into the “you’re cheap, I could beat you except _______†mind set, I not only started to kill his char, I became better at dueling against trappers.
The following will cover skill use, templates and finally class specific strategies.
 

HappyAssassin

Diabloii.Net Member
Skill Use
Hotkeys
When this guide was in the critique phase, I received a lot of questions about hotkeys. Here are the ones I use, make up your own or copy mine, but use a setup that is comfortable for you. Practice with it a lot.

A = Whirlwind
S = Teleport
D = Lightning Sentry
F= Mind Blast
G = Wake of Fire
W = Dragon Flight
R = Cloak
F7-F12 = Prebuff spells

Mind Blast
This skill is very important to trappers, and it is very important to you also. You must use this skill a lot, and you must get used to hitting an oncoming opponent with it with one click. If a smiter is in your face, don’t mb him, your cast animation will get you hit. If he’s a click of his own away, use it. Often they misjudge the distance and miss while getting stunned. Mind Blast is also excellent because it is a phenomenal finisher. It deals a small amount of damage, one point of which generally gets through and kills an enemy at one life. You will frequently end up with enemies at one life, and mb provides a safe and effective finisher.

Dragon Flight
This skill is very powerful and useful. You can hit casters quite hard with it while they are running. The trick is to enter the flight animation when you are on their screen. Keep in mind that it is slow and easily interrupted. Never Dflight at a caster when they are casting at you and you are in immediate danger of being hit. The 24 frame animation will get you killed. Still, while it has a shorter range than Mind Blast to Teleport Whirlwind, it auto aims and hits quickly when you land. Use it well, and remember that you can kill highly defensive casters with only flight and open wounds.

Whirlwind
This is one of your most important skills. It takes practice to get used to the bugs and eccentricities of whirlwind. This skill has a few important attributes. Firstly, it is defensive in nature. You can move with it while maintaining your block. Furthermore, you can attack with it, by whirling through or next to your opponent. It is preferable to whirlwind and “clip†your opponent instead of passing through them. If possible, try to catch a caster in continuous hits with a “triangle†whirlwind, where you execute a neat triangle around them and constantly hit them. The techniques for whirlwind are:

1) Pass: You teleport on an opponent, whirlwind them, and teleport away.

2) Clipping: You catch the opponent with the edge of the whirlwind. This works best against smiters and other melee characters. Keep in mind that if you are moving away from the enemy whirlwind will auto hit, ignoring defense.

3) Triangles: This is similar to clipping, but you try to keep the enemy in the center of a triangle and cause them to be locked up in either hit reaction or block. It is a tough technique to learn. Search Google for “Smash BvC†and you will find some excellent demonstrations of a triwhirl. Keep in mind that your assassin moves slower while in whirlwind, and has less range, so your triangles generally need to be tighter than a barb's. However, a barb has only his Whirlwind to keep the opponent trapped, if you are playing right, you have then stunned by traps as well.

4) Straight: In this technique, you whirlwind straight through your opponent. Only useful against barbs in certain situations or against casters if you are still learning triangles. If you can triwhirl with relative efficiency, you pretty much never need to use a Straight whirl except in WW vs. WW.

Lastly, keep in mind that whirlwind can cause you major problems. This generally happens when you execute a “long†whirlwind, where you are in the animation for an extended period of time. This makes you vulnerable, unable to stop, cast spells, dodge or prevent the enemy from escaping. Avoid this by keeping your cursor in the middle of your screen when using whirlwind and never doing a namelock-whirlwind.

Lightning Sentry
Lightning Sentry shoots in a line. If you lay traps in a field, try to go through the middle of them and then to one side. Avoid perfectly circular trap fields. They reduce the number of hits. Remember, your opponent is likely moving slowly in the field. Another tactic is to lay all of your traps in the same place. This will produce a very strong extra large bolt of lightning. Use such a technique when you lay your traps behind you, as you can whirlwind towards the traps and get a concentrated hit on the enemy at least once. With this build, you don’t lay traps very fast. Replace them one at a time against melee opponents, and keep this fact in mind when dueling in general.

Wake of Fire
This trap is useful for stunning. It stuns very well, and, combined with lightning sentries, can completely lock up the enemy. Use it against Hammerdins, Zons of all types and Necromancers and you will get the most of it. Only cast one or two though, and remember to mind blast to make them effective. They count towards your trap total and will reduce your damage output if you use too many of them. This will also be your main trap against an opponent who over-absorbs you.

Cloak of Shadows
Cast this on your opponent to lower defense. This works best against low def melee opponents like whirlwind assassins and some barbarians. Also, use it to reduce the effectiveness of Necromancer summons and Druid summons as well, as they will be blind when it is cast on them.

Teleport
This is a very important skill. It allows you to keep your block up while moving. It also causes your shadow to stack with you and absorb attacks that would hit you otherwise. Finally, it is a faster closing mechanism than dragon flight, has no cool down time, can land right on your enemy through namelock, and, with good hotkey speed, you can exit teleport in a whirlwind on your opponent. Learn the mechanics of teleport, get a feel for how fast you do it, how far you can do it, and for casting it from a mind blast namelock and you will have a powerful tool in dueling. It can also be used evasively, to dodge, move just out of the way of a whirlwind, or retreat quickly.

Guided Arrow
This skill is important if you choose to use Widowmaker. You cannot fill the Blood Moor with arrows the way an Amazon can, at least not with Fade active. Pump off a few arrows and keep moving. Use this skill to make a highly defensive opponent go offensive (such as a run-away hammerdin) or to deny an area of the map to an opponent. A useful technique against casters who jump on you (some types of sorceress) is to fire off 4-5 GAs, then switch to your claws and teleport along their flight path. If you do this right, they will land in your GAs in much the same way as you land in a necro’s spirit cloud on a bad teleport.

Claw Block
First of all, this isn’t a skill you actively use, but it is very important. A high level claw block is an extremely useful asset, and if you play correctly it will allow you to virtually double your effective life against all attacks, as it blocks pretty much everything (even smite). This skill does have a flaw though. It will not check if you are moving. If you are teleporting, whirlwinding, or standing still, you get 58-60% block on all attacks, with the exception of a few rarely druid spells. Run, and it goes away. So watch your running and avoid it if you may be hit.

Shadow Master
This is a valuable skill. The master will stack with you, taking hits that would otherwise hit you. It is vital against amazons and necromancers in particular. You will also notice that your high level master is sometimes immune to elemental damage. Use this to your advantage if it happens, but don’t count on it. Finally, the Shadow Master can be used more actively as a form of defense. Cast it in trap fields to draw fire, put it ahead of you to draw arrows, or cast it between you and an FoH pally to take his first hit. If your Shadow Master is killed, recast her, but keep in mind that you won’t be able to Dragon Flight for a few seconds after you cast it, so don’t do so if you think you’ll need flight in the next three seconds. This can really screw you over if you forget about it.

Prebuffs
I generally cast my skills from my gear on this build. I first cast Battle Command to boost my skills, then Venom, Fade and Shadow Master. Finally I cast Battle Orders for the life boost on myself and my shadow. Strong prebuff claws with +3 Shadow Skills and +3 Venom are useful to this character, but really unnecessary.
 

HappyAssassin

Diabloii.Net Member
Templates
Offensive
In this template you are chasing your opponent. You will do this by means of teleport and Dflight. Generally, you are chasing a fast caster. You must get on their screen and initiate Dflight. If you Dflight when they are off screen you will kick slowly in place. If the caster in question is a good bone necro, you probably just died because the spirits just caught you. If, however, you start the kick sequence while on their screen, you will flight them even when they are off your screen. This is the ideal way to hit them, because they just landed from their tele and can’t squeak out from under your kick with their fast cast.
You must remember to trap while you are chasing a caster. You should be dropping a trail of traps behind you, and to the sides. Try to make a caster back track though your traps and get hit. Your shadow will mind blast them while you tele, but you should also try to hit them with a few when they stop to attack or come too close. If you can, keep name lock from your mind blast and teleport to them by switching keys with the mouse button still held down. If you are lucky, you can exit on top of them and whirlwind, possibly clipping them and getting venom in.
Against the very best casters, this will be a long duel. You will be relying on Open Wounds to wear them down, while hoping that they catch a trap and get stunned long enough for you to land a killing blow. Keep a lot of mana pots on your belt. If they try to tank, lay a trap near them and make sure they are mind blasted. They will be seriously stunned if you get this right. Finally, and I feel a little ridiculous having to say it, but keep your Whirlwinds as short as possible against casters. Good casters generally get you when you whirl too long.

Defensive
In this template you are waiting for the enemy to come to you. You lay a trap field and then actively defend the area you are in. This does not mean you lay traps and stand in them. You must be mind blasting, teleporting and doing all the things a trapper does. You can walk your traps towards the enemy to make them come close, you can tele towards them and trap, but generally you are staying near your traps at all times. Do not allow yourself to get far from your traps or you lose your advantage.
This is where the build shines. For most trappers, getting caught is a terrible thing. For you, it means you get to hit the enemy very hard and keep them in place. A mind blasted enemy getting hit by traps and whirlwinded is in trouble. Usually about two seconds of it, then they are dead. The basic technique of this is simple. Make your Whirlwind down the line that the traps fire on. This will ensure a large number of hits from both attacks. Once your enemy starts to get wise to one tactic, switch. You can mix and match as much as you want also. Remember to mind blast. Remember to bring your trap field with you if you chase a retreating enemy. Keep the concept of keeping the enemy in your traps shots and you won’t go far wrong.
Finally, a strong offense will always trump a good defense, the very best duelers are aggressive, and if it’s at all possible to go offensive, then do it.
 

HappyAssassin

Diabloii.Net Member
Gear Switching
I use a number of gear switches on my character. These can be as simple as Arachnid’s for Tgods, but in my case it can include a complete transition to Bramble assassin gear, as well as the ability to use Widowmaker, stack a lot of resists, or alter my Claw setup in several ways to beat a variety of opponents. There are two important things to mention here. One, in your standard “pub†setup, you can beat pretty much anyone. The best BvCs, BvBs, Smiters and Fist of Heaven’s paladins basically require gear switches for a good chance to beat them. Two, gear switching is a route you choose to go. You will need to build in more hard dexterity and strength to do it. My Assassin has 3.6k life, she could have as much as 3.8-4k in the same gear if it wasn’t for the Dex investments I’ve made. A lot of pure CoA sins with good gear and Enigma built in (this means no strength, no dex) top out at 4.2k life, which is quite nice. However, also consider that life isn’t everything, and my Nekisi has been fully capable of beating other hybrids with much more life than her.
Important gear switch items are:

The Bramble Switch
This is not one item. You will swap out the following items: Helm, Belt, Armor, Switch Shield, and Boots. Helm should be Shako or Giant Skull, depending on opponent. Shako is better against Barbs, Giant Skull against Smiters. These are the two opponents for which you should be making this switch. It is also effective against aggressive Hammerdins. Boots should be Gore Riders, Belt should be Verdungo’s, Armor should be Bramble, and Switch Shield will need to go to Lidless Wall, since Spirit’s Strength requirement is so high. Shako should have a 5/5 Poison Facet socketed in it, Giant Skull should have either BerBer or BerJah.

Widowmaker
I can just swap out my BO gear for this. This is a very useful tool against Barbarians without teleport, Necromancers, Hammerdins (especially), but can be effective against everything. You’ll need to BO, then switch items, or just go without the BO if you don’t prebuff or aren’t allowed. Using Burst of Speed greatly increases the power of Widowmaker, but it also makes you very vulnerable. In fact, using this weapon is generally a tricky business. On your bow switch, you cannot block at all and your traps are much lower. Be careful not to get hit with the bow out. Always cast traps with your claws, always move with your claws unless you are sure it is safe to move a little with the bow. Finally, try to shoot on the move, take advantage of your teleport speed.
Using Widowmaker effectively makes this build all the more powerful, as you can engage the enemy at long, medium, and close range, as opposed to merely medium and close range without the bow. It is also a very hard technique to master, since this build has enough hotkeys without constant weapon switching. A few item switches pair well with Widow. On is to use a Highlord’s amulet for the additional Deadly Strike and IAS, both of which are nice. Also, the Dracul’s Grasp gloves go great with this bow, since they add plenty of Open Wounds, and can even cast life tap. If you want to get very intricate with your weapon switches, fire off a volley of arrows, then switch so that your Fury claw is on. The OW on Fury will afflict opponents hit by your arrows. Tough to pull off, but very satisfying.

Resists
Basically, it’s good to be able to put on a lot of resists sometimes. Some characters seriously deplete your resists, which will be generally just over max in Hell mode (considering the Anya Bug). A Kira’s Tiara with 65-70 res all and an Um rune is very useful. I also carry a Jade Talon, socketed with a Shael rune, for major stack against FoH pallies and Infinity users if I want it. A useful aspect of Jade Talon is that you can keep your 65 Fcr with it on. If you equip a Jade Talon, make sure you switch your claws so that Chaos is in the primary slot. Jade is a terrible claw to hit things with. I also carry a Tgods, although I try not to use it much. I have no other absorb in my stash, I think it’s a crutch. If you want Hotspurs, Wisps, Dwarf Stars, a LoLo CoA or such things in your stash, go for it, but know that you can win without it. If you consistently beat a caster with absorb, but lose without it, you are doing something wrong.

Fast Cast Ammy/ Circlet
This is basically so that if you want to, you can keep your 65 Fcr against an opponent and change an important piece of gear. Switch your helm or ammy for this item, and be able to use a different ring, belt or ammy/helm.

102 Fcr
This is the cast breakpoint above the standard 65 that you aim for. It is attainable with 2 Fcr Rings, a Fcr Amulet, your Arachnid’s, Trang’s and a helm with more than 20 Fcr. There are two helms in the game that have this. One is Griffon’s Eye, which besides the cast rate has terrible mods. The other is Valk. This is really only a useful thing to get against Necromancers, since you cannot maintain resists in this setup. With 102 Fcr, you can stay right in a necro’s face all the time, they literally can’t run away as long as you stay on them. I’ve only used this once or twice against the best necros I’ve dueled, and as of this writing it is still a technique that hasn’t been fully explored by me.

Tanking
This is occasionally useful, especially in Sin vs. Sin dueling, when you just want to out muscle the opponent. I find it is most effective in a hybrid vs. hybrid duel where absorb is being used, and traps effectiveness is seriously reduced. As a result, in such a duel, the ability to absorb WW hits becomes very important. This setup sacrifices speed for life. You equip Tgods, Shako and a BK ring if you have it, while keeping your enigma build. Basically, you will gain almost 400 life, because of the +3 to your BO (good for about 150 life), the + 125 or so on shako, and the +50 on BK, and the +20 Vitality on Tgods, while actually improving your WW damage and maintaining trap damage (the +3 skills will improve WW’s level and damage, also the poison Facet in your Shako is good for more damage).
 

HappyAssassin

Diabloii.Net Member
Class Specific Strategies
Amazon
4 types here. They can all be strong, though you should do very well against them.
Bow: Offensive. Most of these are child’s play. Teleport to them, Whirlwind and they’re done. There are some very good ones, who have their attack speed and damage dialed, who are a tough prospect. Against these, assume that you’re whirlwind goes slower than their run speed. You must hit them while they stop to shoot. Use traps if you have an opening to trigger Evade and get a Dflight or tele-whirlwind in. They generally die quickly when you can actually hit them. If you play well, keep your whirlwinds tight, have good fhr (you do) and tele accurately, you should never lose to these. The most dangerous moment of this duel is when you transition from tele to Dflight, which has a much slower cast rate and can cause you to get locked in guided arrows. I generally tele exclusively unless they are running.

Bow/Spear: Offensive. This is a subset of the bow class, which uses an SS to block and defend with limited charged strike and fury to damage the enemy in this mode. They generally prefer to use the bow. Close quickly. If they run, tele ahead of them and trap, then try to box them in. You’re goal is to make them switch to a bow thinking they have space, then whirlwind them. They’re shield switch is weaker than a normal zon’s so if you can lock them up in traps and whirlwind you’ve as good as won. These zons tend to be quite skilled, so look out.

Charged Strike: Defensive. Most of these are easy. Just trap them with a mix of WoF and your trusty Lightning Sentry. Most have Tgods as a part of their build, so expect to kill them with whirlwind. The thing is, their usually excellent defense works against them and causes them to get locked easily. Wear your own Tgods and some extra res if you find that they can kill you in one or two hits. It’s worth mentioning that there are a lot of farcast zons around these days. Ignore everyone in the game whining about their farcast and focus on killing them because if can be done. Trap towards them from off their screen and then tele on them quickly and whirlwind. You can lock them while only taking 1-2 farcast hits. It’s worth noting that Tgods will not protect from farcast very well, but tgods + kiras will.

Poison: Offensive. Tele to them, in a non-linear pattern, trap and whirlwind them. Mostly an easy kill. Against the skilled ones, you must kill them quickly and keep them locked. Mind blast even if you feel like you’re not getting enough whirlwind hits. You can often keep them from delivering the killing hit even if you are at 1 hp. If they have a bow, tele on them quickly and hit them while they are on the bow switch. Often, even if they make the switch, it takes them a second to get their poison fields up. This is when you lock and kill them.
 

HappyAssassin

Diabloii.Net Member
Necromancers
3 Types here, with possible variations.
Bone: Offensive. By far the most common, Bone necros are also the most dangerous. Their spells are quite powerful and unresistable. Because of this, use Burst of Speed against a pure bone necro because it will give you fast trap laying. They also home in on you, which make them the most spammable spells in the game, along side frozen orb. They have tough defense up close, often having max block and full bone armor. They can teleport fast and hit high fast hit reaction breakpoints. These things mean that you must play carefully, but still be quick and aggressive. Trap at all times, as you can catch the necro and often the traps will do serious damage, as necros almost never absorb and often have sub-par resists. Do not chase them three times around the Blood More while they spam at you. It won’t work. Make them come to you. If they insist on running, well, they aren’t much of a threat then. Go back to dueling someone else.

When you catch them, do a short whirlwind and then run, or go for a Triwhirl for the kill. This largely depends on whether or not a bunch of spirits will catch up with you if you stay. I sometimes wear gores against necros for the additional open wounds. Your venom and OW go through Bone Armor. You will need to slowly bleed them. Rarely can you demolish a necro with whirlwind. If you get them on a trap while MB’d, whirlwind them very tight and hope that they don’t get lucky and escape. If they are still there when you leave whirlwind, try to mb them again and whirl again. A good necro will start casting bone spears while you whirlwind him, and these can kill you quickly. Luckily, you have the advantage up close, because your whirlwind can move in an arc while still hitting them. Many spears will miss because of this. You can also block their skills, and you are the only class that can do this. I consider this fact something of a responsibility to go after the necros, who generally dominate most pubs. If you can kill a good necro consistently, congratulate yourself. They are a very tough duel.

Summon: Offensive. Summon necros generally have a meat shield of larger-than-them monsters that they move around as a giant minion stack. They use much lower damage bone spells than bone necros, but they often use prison and curses as well. Your fade will help with the curses a lot, and most necros are not used to recasting as often as they will have to. The favorites are Iron Maiden, Amp and Decrepify. You can whirlwind a pack while you have Iron Maiden on you. I’m not sure why, but I’ve done it a lot. The trick here is to cast cloak of shadows to blind the minions, then repeatedly mind blast the necro pack and trap all around them, hopelessly stun locking and killing the minions while you whirlwind the necro. These are generally less hard than Bone necros.

Poison: Offensive. These guys need to come quite close to you to hit you. Use this to your advantage, and jump them when they do. Make a perimeter of traps, then tele on them when they come near and whirlwind-mb-trap them. You should win 90% of the time, even against the best geared ones. Accept that your life will go to one, try to kill their fire golem before this happens, and play very aggressively with your stun and you will beat them.
 

HappyAssassin

Diabloii.Net Member
Barbarians
Two types here really. Flexible barbarians will fit into one of these types depending on how they try to deal with you.

Barbarian vs. Melee: This barbarian uses a shield and a high damage weapon like grief. The ones who use Phoenix are more dangerous than those with Stormshield because they hit harder. Regardless, get ready for a long duel and trap them. They will whirlwind out of stunlock, but you can still hurt them a lot with traps. When you get them locked up, tele on them and whirl away quickly. You must have good ar to ensure a hit, because regardless of your high life and PDR they will hurt you a lot when they hit. Their block is better than yours, so you can’t straight whirlwind them. Try to lay traps along their line of whirlwind, keep them mindblasted and keep a trap or two near your own feet. Never try to tele whirlwind them when they are in whirlwind, you will die. These are difficult to beat but you can do it, certainly more effectively than a regular whirlwind assassin. If they sorb, go to your anti-sorb tactics.

Barbarian vs. Caster: These things are a serious threat. This is probably your hardest duel baring a powerful necro or perfectly made smiter. They generally carry a lot of sorb gear and use it liberally. They cannot block though. Their basic tactic is to teleport on you and whirlwind you with a huge damage duel wield whirlwind. You should watch for their leap or teleport (leap generally precedes teleport) and whirlwind before they start their whirlwind. You are hoping to hit them as they exit tele. Keep traps around you at all times. If they are nice and not sorbing, try to get them with traps and mind blast, then whirlwind them. They will whirlwind away, so when you land trap more and mind blast more. General trapper tactics, except you must always be ready to tele or whirlwind away when they get close. A tricked out one will be very tough to beat, but you can do it with practice. With this build, you will not be dominated by Barbs the way your WWsin sisters are.

Paladin
These guys are very diverse. They can be casters, powerful melee, a mix of the two and my personal favorites, Auradins. There are many types of hybrid pally, so it’s impossible to cover every variation within this guide. I’ll go with the main ones.

Hammerdin: Defensive, unless you absolutely must go Offensive. These can be either very easy or very tricky. You have limited defense in the form of claw block, but 2 hammers will generally kill you, certainly three. You must keep these paladins locked up with traps and mind blast while you fight them. Use BoS for this, because fast trapping is important against Hammerdins. Even one cast can seriously hurt you, so it behooves you to keep them very well locked. Even if they are sorbing your light, use it to tied them up, namelock and trap/mind blast, but NEVER namelock teleport on them. You should tele on ground to the bottom right of the paladin. Whirlwind them, but up and down this side, not triangle unless they are severely stunned. If they try to tele on you, whirlwind down, trap and start mind blasting. The toughest of these will try to desync you by charging around and dropping hammers at random. These hammers may or may not become invis also. Don’t chase these guys; just stay a bit out of their range and trap. If they screw up or tele, do a quick drive by whirlwind and tele away. Make them come to you, as they can run and spam forever and you will never hit them.

Auradin: Offensive. When I duel auradin’s my success is always based in part on lag. They basically just run away from you and you get hurt the whole time. I have no qualms about using an element of sorb. Also, wear your Kiras, it’ll help. If you have Jade Talon, put that on too. With this gear, they will hurt you slowly. Lock them with mind blast, mb away, throw some traps and wait till they get tripped up. Most of them you can just flight while they run around. Don’t worry if they take a while to kill, just keep on them, you can kill them with an OW hit and mind blast if necessary. If they use charge or zeal, this is tougher, but it also brings them near you, so mb them and whirlwind clip for the lock. The really dangerous ones use smite with grief and dream gear, and for these you need to be very careful. If they run, flight them and ww away to prevent them from locking you up in smite. Generally you will hurt these guys a lot, as their aura gear gives poor defensive attributes.

Smiter: Defensive. These are generally easy. Put out traps, whirlwind away from their smite, remember to mind blast. Simple. BUT, there are a few smiters who are really good, have tele smite skills, possibly Fist of Heavens with conviction available, big life and high speed attacks. These are beatable with standard tactics, but if they sorb your light switch to Bramble Gear. Put on Bramble, Dungos, Gores, Shako or BerBer Giant Skull if you have it. With this gear you can do high whirlwind damage and still force them to give up gear by trapping. Whirlwind carefully. You’ll find that the more you mb the better you do. Also, be careful mind blasting because your cast rate is lower now and they can nail you while you do it. You can offensively clip these guys, but only while they’re in a trap lock. Expect them to get out of lock quickly and never walk around. You should either be mind blasting or whirlwinding or trapping. The most dangerous part of this duel is often when your traps run out. Replace them one at a time or the pally will charge you dead. If tapped, whirlwind away in a straight line. Tap runs out quickly. If I find a pally is tapping me a lot, I’ll switch to Marrowwalks and use their charges to tap him. Mine lasts longer, and I can do it from namelock. Very useful.

Fist of Heavens: Offensive. These are tough. Wear your res stack gear and Tgods. Always have your shadow out. The teleporting kind is easy, just mb/trap/ww, but if they charge they are harder. Consider them like Auradins, except that they can hit hard only rarely and you’ll block a lot of their attacks. Try to get them open wounded, mind blast constantly and do namelock mind blast to teleport whirlwinds to get in hits.

In general, Paladins are hard opponents. Remember that attack rating is your friend, so if you have a fools use it, and never assume that a caster doesn’t have a Grief/HoZ smite available until you know they don’t.
 

HappyAssassin

Diabloii.Net Member
Druids
There are two real druid duelers. I’ve seen literally two Wolves that were skilled enough to fit this category. I’ve seen one fire shaman the whole time I’ve dueled. So Windys are the main threat here.

Wind: These druids are very susceptible to stun lock. MB them often, and trap them. 90% of these will telestomp you and die horribly. If you have a trap at your feet and they are MB’d, you shouldn’t lose. Whirlwind them, and they are hopelessly locked, poisoned, getting hit, cyclone gives out, and they’re dead. Now, most of these will just repeat this pattern, or try it a little closer to you. The smart ones will play defensive caster, but they have poor range, so they are always relatively close. Tele after them, but keep trapping at all times. Think of the traps as a shield between you and a telestomp. Often they will try to draw you off and then quickly tele on you. This can really hurt. If you notice this pattern, pursue, but drop a trap at your feet often. Try to make them think you’re over extended by trapping near them. When they stomp you, they get stunned and whirled. See above for the outcome. You are a very strong build against wind.

Wolf: Traps and MB are your friends here. Stun them a lot, but keep in mind that they don’t stay stunned very well. I mostly just trap them down and whirl occasionally. Don’t let them land a clean hit, because it will be unbelievably damaging if they’ve built right. One druid on West Ladder has one-hitted me with a clean fury sequence when he asked to test his damage. With that in mind, these are a non-teleporting melee class with interruptible attacks, so not too much trouble here. One final note is that you should never use a shadow against these, as they can easily Rabies it and you will become infected if you teleport.


Sorceresses
Sorceresses are generally quite easy for this build. You are 50% Ghost, and Ghosts are excellent caster killers. A very skilled sorceress is difficult, but most of the best use eShield, which gives you a big advantage. You mostly play aggressive Ghost against sorces, but remember to mb and trap, because you can trip them up and end the duel quickly if you catch them on a trap.
Blizzard: Offensive. They generally try to make you run into a killer blizzard as they run. Tele to them and either Dflight or tele/ww, then immediately move away unless you see that they have poor FHR. If they dodge without casting blizzard at you name lock them as they leave your screen and spam mb/tele/ww. Some will use Ice Blast at close range, but they have to stop to cast it. You can tank their Ice Blast, just be careful. Self blizzers are easy, just trap them. Always keep a shadow out.

Orb: Offensive. These guys are spam happy. Play aggressive, move outside of the line directly behind them. The shards won’t hurt much, the big orb will.

Fire Ball: Play fast and aggressive. If they try a running spam, you can either tele carefully and dodge or stop chasing and trap. They will need to come close eventually if they want to duel. When they do, go as fast as you can and hit as much as possible. If they try to tank, you should too. You will out tank them easily with claw block. If you have time, put a trap and mind blast on them as you tank, but don’t get caught at medium range whatever you do, or they will kill you.

Lightning: Offensive. Play these like Fire Ball, except they cast fewer, more damaging attacks.

Infinity: Defensive. These sorcs need to get close, so play trapper against them and whirlwind them when they get hit by traps. If they try to run and cast lightning, follow them at mid range and go offensive. Their lack of block and FHR is their undoing.
 

HappyAssassin

Diabloii.Net Member
Assassins
Ah, your sisters in arms. Except they are trying to kill you. One interesting thing about this build is that no matter what kind of assassin you meet, you can do everything they can (except kickers, but the only time I’ve died to a kicker was naked kill). Few types here.

Trappers: Offensive, but BE CAREFUL. Trapper duels are interesting. Against the less skilled ones, your traps will effectively kill them. Throw traps in with theirs, and it forces them to move away from their trap field. If the traps are in one place, stacked, or in a lose field, you can often teleport directly through them and hit the trapper with a tele-whirlwind. If they were poor enough that this technique hit them, you can usually triangle whirlwind for the win. Now, against better trappers, you need to be much more careful. They will mb you, often heavily, and trap from namelock. On your side, you have high FHR and whirlwind. Whirl a short distance and tele quickly to get out of lock, or simply tele if there are few traps. Trap at them, and remember to mb when you can, but don’t make it a trap war. Tele on them, preferably from namelock if you can, then whirlwind once and tele away. Let them bleed for 8 seconds, then rinse and repeat. You can flight to deliver OW also, but don’t do it when there are traps around. You should make repeated passes like this. Often the trapper will become offensive when you bleed them a lot, which makes it easier to land even more hits. Finally if you ever get the trapper at close range when they are away from most of their traps, whirlwind and mindblast/trap mercilessly, ignoring the 1-2 traps that are on you. 99% of the time you will kill them before they kill you. If you feel it is appropriate, wear a Tgods against trappers. I rarely do this, because often fast teleporting can keep my from getting hit much. If a trapper is causing trouble in a game, remember that you can over absorb them easily and make them useless. Just watch out for Fireblast.

Whirlwind: Defensive. A pure bramble sin has a stronger whirlwind than you, and that’s about it. Trap heavily, tele away from their whirls, and trap/mb them as they go along. You have them namelocked, so at the end of their whirlwind you can often do a pass and whirl them while they stand still. If they make the fatal mistake of trying to desync run out of traps at the end of their whirlwind, this can often mean three of four hits for you, which will seriously hurt them. If they are very good, or can negate your traps, you’ll need to play defensive against them. Try to anticipate their teleport on you and be in whirlwind when they try it. Trap lock them a lot, do a pass and get out, similar to trappers. Finally, mb constantly, it will slowly hurt them and generally make it difficult for them to do the things they want to do.

Ghost/Whirlwind Hybrid: Your mirror image. This is a tough duel if they know what they are doing, not so much if they don’t. Ghosts are complex to play, and a poorly played one is truly bad. However, playing Ghost vs. Ghost is a huge test of skill when you play against a good opponent. Play Offensive and Defensive. Look at the way you duel, consider your weak points, and look for your opponents. It’s difficult to provide concrete strategies for such duels, go with some basic points:

1. Very rapid shifts from defensive to offensive can often get you a free whirlwind hit. Don’t do it often, or they will see it coming.

2. Their most vulnerable phase is when they are in whirlwind. The same applies to you. The lack of control once a whirl is initiated is the reason for this. If they are in and you are not, lock them and trap/mb, then tele near their exit and whirl or don’t depending on the situation.

3. Ghosts rely on damage over time. If you hit them, and they miss you, be patient and go defensive for a short time.

4. Teleport and MB speed have a big impact. If they have 65, and you have 42 (likely if you don’t have the cast ammy), you need to play in a more defensive and reactionary way. If you have the same, i.e. 42/42 or 65/65, you should mix trapping and limited mb. If you have more, MB them a LOT, even if you aren’t trapping as much. It throws them off.

The real keys to Ghost vs. Ghost are forcing them to make mistakes and getting the little things right, having good namelock skills, and playing in a confusing manner so they miss attacks or don’t see traps in the corners of their screen. Good luck, and have fun; my most enjoyable duels have been against other Ghosts. Huge props to legs, Stun, Bune, SiN_D (finally beat me bro!), WsB_GreySin, Huy, EndlessRain and lena_zoids for providing some great duels and teaching me a lot.
 

HappyAssassin

Diabloii.Net Member
My Current Assassin
Aerial, Level 90

Base Stats
Strength: 36
Dexterity: 31
Vitality: 438
Energy: 25

Stats in Gear
Strength: 177
Dexterity: 115
Vitality: 539
Energy: 59

Life: 4074
Mana: 480

Gear:

Helm: 2/20/27Str/11 Res All Circlet, 15Res/15IAS jewel
Amulet: Raven Emblem Crafted Amulet, 2/15/16Fire Res/15 Mana
Armor: 765 Enigma Dusk Shroud
Claw 1: Fury Feral Claws, +3 Lightning Sentry, +3 Venom
Claw 2: 306% Ed Chaos Greater Talons, +3 Lighting Sentry, +3 Venom
Gloves: Trang-Oul’s Claws
Belt: 40/15 Dungos
Boots: 2/25 Shadow Dancers
Ring 1: 236/20 Raven
Ring 2: Rare ring, 10% FCR, 30 Life, 11 Res all, 17 Light res
Switch: 6/6/4 Call to Arms, Spirit Monarch
Charms: 45/45/45/43/41/40/40 Shadow Lifers, 43/39 Trap Lifers, x6 Res/life Scs, x6 Ar/Life Scs, 19/20 Sin Torch, 20/16/8 Anni

In Stash:
Arachnid Mesh
Thundergod’s Vigor
Demonlimb
Widowmaker
Hotspurs
2/7 Amulet, 16 Mana, 15 Life, 14 Res all
2/10 Amulet, 19 Strength, 39 Life
234/20 Raven
20% Wisp Projector
Dwarf Star
30 Maras
Raven Thirst Rare Suwayyah, +20% Ed, Fools Mod, +2 Traps, +3 Lightning Sentry, 30% Ias, Um


This assassin achieves the goals that I’ve posted in the guide. Without prebuff gear, she casts level 40 Lightning Sentries and level 48 Venom. She does a little over 3.3k on her Whirlwind, and reaches over 7.6k trap damage. She has 65 FCR, max speed whirlwind, max trap laying. She can wear all of the above gear, though in some cases I switch to certain specific setups. Mess around and find the most effective for how you duel. One I’m a fan of is useful again strong fire sorceress. Switch the 2nd Ring to Raven, put on the 2/7/mods ammy, and equip hotspurs. Result? More mana, more fire res, still 65 FCR, still high damage. This is very effective, if you can change gear you shouldn’t be losing to fire sorceresses.
 

HappyAssassin

Diabloii.Net Member
Conclusion
I hope you have enjoyed this guide and found useful information in it. I have really enjoyed putting it together, learning this assassin, and refining this build. I’m still perfecting aspects of my game, and I will be for a long time. This guide has evolved as my knowledge of assassin has evolved, and I feel that it is finished for now. I’d like to especially thank Speederlander (uC-Stun on US West Ladder) for writing his whirlwind/kick/stun assassin guide and providing a lot of inspiration for this one. I’d also like to thank the unknown and now seemingly retired player of the assassin HK_BlueDragon, who was the first hybrid assassin I met in the early days on the 1.10 ladder. If you read this, thank you for all the information, the ideas, for beating my poor Bramble assassin to a pulp, and for inspiring me to develop a WW/Trapper hybrid of my own. Also Derek (Pure-MX, *catalyst-pvp) for being an awesome assassin player and forcing me to improve by leaps and bounds. Thanks to all those who posted on the critique thread at the DiabloII.net forums. Last but certainly not least, thanks to Martin, Jack, Joe, Chris, Jeff, Jimmy and the other Executioners of US West Ladder for providing a great group of friends online and the most fun dueling I’ve had this ladder. I currently play quite rarely, but the members of the Assassin forum at DiabloII.net are very helpful and include many skilled hybrid players, and they should be able to answer questions about the guide admirably. Good luck with your assassins, and have fun. Peace.
 

Smithenator

Diabloii.Net Member
Great finished guide happyassasin, hoping this one gets stickied instead of floating off into oblivion like your last one did. BTW do you still play? I know you got hacked like 3 times or something and I haven't seen any exe assassin around since I heard you got hacked. If you still play I wouldn't mind a few duels again, see if I have improved my assassin since the last time I dueled you.


Ah, just remembered a question that has been bugging me for awhile. Ok, so I use a coa on my hybrid and so my trap damage is about 7k, which is generally enough but sometimes it seems like some added trap damage would give a big oomph to my sin. So my question is would just swapping out shadow lifers for trap lifers work in that situation, or do I need to do some big gear switching for trap gcs to work, or do I need to totally rebuild my assassin to accommodate trap gcs?
 

HappyAssassin

Diabloii.Net Member
I do still play, pretty rarely with a very ghetto assassin (magic circlet, plain gcs, suwayyahs). eXe is mostly moved to Hardcore atm, but you'll see a few of us around. Soz I didn't say hi.

I'm working on getting a real hybrid together but it's slow going. Everything is damn expensive with the economy messed up. If I can land a fools claw that I've got my eye on I might look at rebuilding in a serious way.

nekisi, you still play? this is uN-shinobi.
What up man, pm for some duels some time or something.

Ah, just remembered a question that has been bugging me for awhile. Ok, so I use a coa on my hybrid and so my trap damage is about 7k, which is generally enough but sometimes it seems like some added trap damage would give a big oomph to my sin. So my question is would just swapping out shadow lifers for trap lifers work in that situation, or do I need to do some big gear switching for trap gcs to work, or do I need to totally rebuild my assassin to accommodate trap gcs?
You can and should switch to trap gcs if you want/need to. Wear a CoA on to make up the DR (don't do it with a circlet) that you lose from the lost fade levels, and just remember that your weapon block is lower (so becareful about tanking).

Oh, and look for vM-Bai, he's a good friend of mine who learned a lot about assassins and hybrids from me, has a good char, and a bunch of my old charms. Look him up for some gg duels.
 

Kiba

Diabloii.Net Member
I just made a sin 2 days ago that i named Paw based off your guide. =p

went by your guide and to say the least i like it a lot and did very good in the first few duel games i took my new sin into.

i got a +2sin,20fcr,33*life,15allres circlet that is ber'd but i use suwwaya chaos and fury so would a 15ias/mod jewel be better for trap layin speeds with fade on?
 

Moritz

Diabloii.Net Member
nicely done.

i personally would add the aspect of kicking as it only requires 1 skill point in dt and works as fine as on a 'ghoststyle' assassin.

great guide ;)
 
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