The title pretty much says it all. I first tried this a few years ago and made it all the way to nightmare Act V before being unceremoniously one-shotted by Threshsocket. That was a difficult pill to swallow, and so I abandoned the idea. Now fast-forward to the present. YOLO has taken up the challenge again, and has already made it to Hell, having cleared normal and nightmare on P8 (including all bosses). I wanted to make sure I actually got a crack at hell before even posting this challenge as not to jinx myself. The rest of this thread will be devoted to completing the P8 hardcore single pass challenge to see how far I can make it. I’m no superdave or insanewayne so it’ll be interesting to see how far YOLO can go. Before that, however, a little information on how YOLO got here and where he stands right now. NORMAL I began going the summoner route and letting my minions and mercs do most of the heavy lifting. I got a Rixot’s Keen somewhere in Act II, and that was useful for poking bosses to try and get some CB in to make the fights go quicker. Andariel was much more difficult than Duriel, as my Act II Prayer merc really helped my wolves tank against Duriel. Progress was steady, if a little slow, but that would all change as soon as I hit level 30 and switched over to the elemental attacks. I was fortunate and found a Maelstrom wand in Act II, which when paired with Stealth and a FCR ring had me hitting the 68 FCR breakpoint after I respecced at level 30. Anyone who has played this build knows how important it is to cast quickly. Ideally you want to be at 99 FCR (163 for dueling), but that would require gear that I probably won’t be able to get in this challenge. After switching over to elemental in late Act III, progress picked up rapidly. I was chugging tons of pots, as my merc did not yet have Insight, but at P8 mana potions drop pretty regularly so it wasn’t too difficult. Diablo, the Ancients, and Baal were all pretty easy fights as the build starts to get pretty overpowered for normal difficulty pretty quickly. I also started to keep an eye out for some socketed crystal swords and polearms. No other notable drops or dangerous encounters. All in all a pretty easy, if not slow, start. Nightmare As nightmare picked up I began to get more runes and soon had Lore, Rhyme, and Spirit and the killing was very smooth. Once I picked up Insight in a Partizan then I really started unleashing on the game. Progress was only slow because I was toting loot back to town to sell to try and gamble better circlets, amulets, gloves, and boots. The goal was to try to get my resists close to max for Hell, but that is easier said and done. I can lump most of Nightmare into one big category, as almost all of it was rather uneventful. I found an Um rune and got a few Fal and Lums, but not anything that would really make a difference. I got lucky and eventually gambled a Chromatic Circlet of the magus. After putting two sockets in it with Larzuk I finally had my resists covered and kept open the possibility of hitting the 99 FCR breakpoint if I can find a decent caster amulet. This will replace Lore once I hit hell and need the resists. The only real challenge was the Ancients, who at P8 are formidable foes even in Nightmare. My merc got eaten up rather quickly and so mana management became and issue. I had lots of juvies sprinkled on the ground, but it took a while to bring those guys down. Not sure if beating Hell ancients at P8 with this build is realistic, but we’ll burn that bridge when we get there. Hell So now YOLO stands at level 75 in Act I Hell and is ready to embark on his journey. His gear stands as follows: Code: Weapon: Spirit crystal sword (30 FCR) Helmet: Chromatic Circlet of the Magus (Thul Thul) Armor: Stealth mage plate Shield: Rhyme grim shield Belt: Rare belt (24 FHR, 18 life, 28 LR, 20 PR, 5 FR) Gloves: Iratha’s Cuff (sigh, but I need the CR and praying for Trangs) Boots: Magic boots (40 FRW and 37 LR) Amulet: +1 druid skills (want a skills caster amulet badly) Ring 1: rare ring (FCR, 27 FR, 18 PR) Ring 2: magic ring (FCR, 13 PR) Charms: bunch of random resists and life Merc: Insight partisan, magic boneweave armor, and upped Face of Horror So now I’m standing at 95 FCR and almost all resists maxed except lightning which is at 68. This would be good enough for P1, but I wonder about P8. My merc is a holy freeze merc, which I figured would help me more than defiance by slowing enemies down and killing PI’s more effectively. The monster flee on the helmet is proving to be extremely useful for keeping my merc alive when dealing with boss packs. I plan on using the Um to make Duress. I currently have a 3 OS Russet Armor but I’m kind of hoping to be able to find an elite base to make that in. I’ll clear up to the Pit and if nothing has dropped by then I’ll bite the bullet and make it in the Russet Armor. I also need a caster amulet, which I may just swap in for the druid skills no matter what is rolled. The higher FCR breakpoint probably beats the minimal amount of damage provided by the amulet. Physical immunes worry me, and I am hoping find a Lem somewhere to make a Lawbringer. If not, I’ll probably be using an Attract wand to slowly wear them down with Hurrican and my merc. Any other creative ideas are appreciated here, as I really don’t have another backup for the occasional PI, CI. Oh well, let’s see how it goes! Also, any ideas for dealing with the Ancients with this build at P8 would also be appreciated, provided I make it that far.