Yuriy_Sedykh - twinked SC Hammerdin on a mission

T72on1

Diabloii.Net Member
A few days ago, I lost my HC attempt in the untwinked 99er challenge, my beloved Hammerdin ShouldBeEasy. Contrary to my expectations, I loved playing that character, my first ever Hammerdin, a whole lot. It was also an incredibly safe character, which is very unlikely to die, except in the case of driver error :oops:.

As such it would make sense to enter the challenge with another Hammerdin ... if it weren't for the fact that I absolutely hated farming LK for an Enigma. So much, that that's exactly the reason why I won't try it again untwinked. Too bad, because the challenge still has an incredible attraction to me, and just typing these words, makes me hesitate to join again anyway. But like I said, I hated farming LK with a running character. Moreover, I still have a second entry going there, my SC WW Barb, so that should be enough for now.

So in comes Yuriy_Sedykh, my twinked SC Hammerdin. His mission is twofold: avenge ShouldBeEasy by slaying the monsters in CS over and over again and get to 99. Well, the latter hopefully follows at one point in the future by doing the former ;).

Edit: I forgot to add one very important thing in my OP: while this is SC, I have stated several times now and am still convinced that a Hammerdin is very, very safe, and as such the ideal character to get to 99 in HC. As such, my third goal with Yuriy_Sedykh is to get him to 99 without dying. At all !!!

I'll do periodical updates here, but don't expect detailed reports, a progress journal, or anything like that. As much as I admire those who do, and as much as I enjoyed doing my own write-ups (mainly about the few Septs I have done), they just take too much time, time I currently don't have and much rather spend playing the game instead.

I don't expect to hit 99 anytime soon, even in a twinked setting. Like I said, playing time is limited, and I also still have my untwinked 99er Barb as well as the tournaments I usually participate in (mainly RFL and MFO), and the occasional random character I quest through the game. But, giving a bit of thought on my priorities in D2 and what I enjoy most, it's definitely the XP grind. Because there's always a sense of progress, while at the same time having a good shot at HRs and a decent shot at S/U. As such the goal of hitting 99 isn't some silly idea, or something I put out here because it sounds cool. I've gotten one character to level 99 already, in the untwinked 99er challenge, and I still cherish that fact. So for me it's level 99 > completing the runeword grail > completing the S/U grail. It's no coincidence that what I plan to do with Yuriy_Sedykh follows that same pattern, in terms of efficiency. The choice of character build is no coincidene in that regard either, as Hammerdins are known to have very good clearing speed and very good AoE damage, while still doing ok versus boss packs.

So welcome. Take a seat, grab a drink. And hopefully enjoy the updates given here once in a while. Be sure to post comments that could help me improve things, enjoy the character even more, or just random stuff you think about when reading about my Hammerdin.
 
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T72on1

Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks :). @Babyhell Touché. No drink challenge while playing (or in general, for that matter) shouldn't be too hard, and is definitely something I plan on for Yuriy_Sedykh :).

As far as progress goes, there isn't much to report. Which is good, as I wasn't going to do progress reports, right? :rolleyes:After 2 hours and 15 minutes, Yuriy_Sedykh is in Act 5 doing Eldritch runs, currently at level 36. I started him out as Holy Fire Paladin with my typical twinking setup of jewels of envy and max dam jewels stuffed in all the socketed low level gear I have, combined with the full Death's set. At level 24 I converted him to Hammerdin and he sped through the game on a 1 point and +skills Vigor, only stopping for necessary quests and boss packs. Only drop of note was 30% mf Nagel. Ironically the only other 30% one I have found so far was also by a questing character.

But so far for this not-a-progress-report thingy. The real reason for this post is that I wanted to write down his planned endgame gear, and see if you have any advice on it, things I could improve, ... So here's what I have in mind (numbers off the top of my head, as I don't have access to my stashes right now):

Shako, socketed with Shael (if going for 86% fhr), Um (resists), Ist (mf%), Vex (max fire res) or Ber (DR%)
Mara's @27
Enigma
Hoto @39
35% fcr Spirit in a Paladin Shield - I have a @27 Sacred Targe and a @42 Sacred Rondache, probably going for the latter
10% fcr with other useful mods (mana, life, resists)
SoJ
Magefist or Trang's
Arachnid's
Infernostrides or Hotspur

Inventory: 8 skillers or 7 skillers + Gheeds, SCs with life, mana and / or resists

Merc: Act 2 Holy Freeze with Insight, CoH and Steel Shade or Reaper's Toll, Fortitude and Steel Shade

The gear for the Hammerdin would be pretty straightforward and typical, I think, getting to the 125% fcr breakpoint. But that is only considering 1.14 gear. Since I want to get the best items possible for my Paladin, and as such also consider trading if it doesn't cost me too much, I'm interested in gear from older patches as well, if that would mean an improvement for my Paladin.

As far as the 1.14 gear listed above here goes, there's only 2 things where I'm not sure yet. First is the socket in the Shako, second are the boots. My experience with ShouldBeEasy tells me that there's only one really big danger for Hammerdins in CS, and that's Conviction Infector. As such I want to aim for as high fire res as possible, so that even under the influence of Conviction, fire resist is still ok and as such Infector and his pack aren't too dangerous under those circumstances. As such, Hotspur seem to be the best option to me in the boot slot, and I don't consider the Ber or Shael important options in the helm socket, as ShouldBeEasy was doing fine without them. But maybe he had just been lucky with his map rolls, monster placement and Fana/Might/Amp combos.

The Merc I'm not totally sure. ShouldBeEasy's merc was running with Insight / Fortitude / Tal's Mask early on and Insight / Fortitude / Delirium later on. While Delirium provided a lot of crowd control, at the same time it sometimes seemed to be counterproductive, as monsters wouldn't close in on ShouldBeEasy, but stay at a distance fighting each other instead. So I think I'll go without it this time around and see how it goes.

Reaper's Toll option is something I always remembered from @Kitteh 's level 99 Hammerdin Fordyl. So the plan was to use that with ShouldBeEasy as well, should I ever find one, but it never happened. However, repeating myself here, the main issue in CS to me seemed Conviction Infector, not Fana / Might / Amp packs. As such I'm not sure it's worth it to give up the convenience of Insight, even though I must admit that Redemption works wonders and is probably enough to cover mana needs in most cases. So I guess I'll be testing a few different setups and then will see what works best. But advice obviously still is more than welcome.

As for the aura, Defiance merc and high level Holy Shield is often being given as advice when it comes to Hammerdins. I might try it out for a while, although Holy Freeze with mid level HS worked very well for ShouldBeEasy. So I think I will want to go for a Holy Freeze again, and spend the extra skill points on Resist Fire instead of HS to increase max fire res.

Enough rambling from my part. Looking forward to any suggestions, comments, you might have.
 

Pb_pal

Diabloii.Net Member
Awesome stuff! Will be watching this closely as I have very vague plans to do this myself one day. :) HF all the way for A2 mercs, imo. It allows you to concentrate more on killing instead of surviving, and that's what we're all here for in the end. ;)
 

Friiser

Diabloii.Net Member
One of the mods your build does not have is the Cannot Be Frozen, not sure how necessary that is for a hammerdin, though. Another possibility on the boots is Aldur's for the fire resist, and the 40% FRW is always nice.
 

buckcrazy

Diabloii.Net Member
I think you have got the general gear down, but thought I would share my 2 cents.

I think Hotspurs are great and they compliment the missing fire res on the Spirit shield quite well. The only advantage Infernostride offers is the 20% FRW which isn't much when you have Engima and Vigor. I guess Infernostride also offers that sexy CTC blaze.

As for the Shako socket, I don't think that hitting the 86 FHR breakpoint is TOO necessary. Paladins already have pretty good FHR frames and the 48 FHR breakpoint is already down to 5 frames. I think it's between Ist and Ber depending if you want MF or safety. Between Mara/Hoto/Spirit you should have most of your resists covered and not need the Um rune. If you use Hotspur, you're already at 90% fire res and can easily get to 95% by adding points into the Resist Fire aura making the Vex less useful.

Another options might be to find a nice fire resist jewel with some other stats on it. Could even be a rare jewel and get really fancy. This may help overstack fire res even more and help lessen the blow from convicted Infector.

On the merc, I also agree with the Holy Freeze as it really helps with survivability. Redemption will absolutely serve your needs when it comes to mana. The only problems are that sometimes you have to wait a second or two for the aura to "tick" and fill your bulb after a fight and that it won't help with mana burn enemies. Insight might be a bit "smoother" overall, but you can easily get used to not having the aura. I am a huge fan of the survivability Reaper's offers as well as the massive leech it gives the moron.

As for the other merc slots, keep in mind he will be doing decent damage already because he will be under your Concentration aura, which will help him leech plenty. With Fortitude added on top, he will be doing some massive damage. But something like Guardian Angel or Gladiator's Bane might also serve well to reduce incoming damage as opposed to just out-leeching all the damage he takes.
 

Zylo

Diabloii.Net Member
Does delirium make the game randomly crash like it does in Baal games? If not, I think it'd be a pretty solid choice.

I use a defiance merc on my 96-97 hammerdin and like him, but I see the appeal to HF.
 

Grape

Diabloii.Net Member
Sorry to hear about ShoulBeEasy!

But great to see you're already on a new mission.

I went for Hotspur as my boots and never looked back, Venom Lords with Conviction were much less of a threat after that.

After that my biggest threat was De Seis gang being on steroids and landing more hits than expected. So, it was a 'Ber' Shako and a Defiance merc I think. Delirium is a great merc hat in CS, by the way.
 

buckcrazy

Diabloii.Net Member
@Zylo I think the game crashing is always a possibility with Delirium. If I remember correctly, it has something to do with the merc morphing on the same frame that he tries to attack.
 

T72on1

Diabloii.Net Member
@Friiser CBF isn't important on a caster afaik. It might come in handy on the merc (Cham in the helm in this case), but I'm not ready to use such a rare HR for that yet.

@buckcrazy Thanks for the tips.

@Zylo As the others already stated, Delirium crashes aren't an issue in CS. I think I may have had one or two on ShouldBeEasy, but might as well been zero instead. I don't remember.

@Grape Thanks for the feedback on Hotspur. I forgot you had a CS Hammerdin too. I can definitely see the appeal for DR% and Defiance vs De Seis. I was mainly aiming for Gripphon runs initially when talking about my gear. Once I include De Seis because I want to go for Diablo (the last 2 levels probably), I will definitely have to re-evaluate.
 

Zylo

Diabloii.Net Member
@buckcrazy @Grape Ah, thanks for the input. I'll slap a delirium on tonight and give it a go.

I've been running my hammerdin quite a lot recently. I'm really excited about this thread.
 

Kitteh

Diabloii.Net Site Pal
Redemption was enough for me, but I also had a belt full of purples and they dropped far quicker than I used them anyway, especially once I was running for pure XP. Reapers is nice for De Seis, which is the only danger because Hotspur nullifies Infector.

Sorry about the deeds :(
 

PhineasB

Diabloii.Net Member
I went with Defiance and was pretty happy with safety. But, for what it's worth, I actually preferred Might merc (which I used for levels 97-99 as I recall at suggestion of @Pb_pal), especially if you go with p1 de Seis (or the straight p7 approach I used for most of 98-99). Telestomping goes faster that way.

As I said in the write-up for Phaedrus, things will go much faster with a backpack full of skillers. If you have that option, dropping Mara's in favor of Rising Sun would pretty much neutralize Infector and allow very aggressive telestomping for him. I didn't try it due to only 2 skillers up until the last stretch. So definitely something to consider.

For different perspective/experience, I found delirium annoying, probably crashing twice an hour average? All I remember was being happy to swap that out for Andy's for the last stretch. But I think it's worth testing your tolerance level for the crash versus extra safety/slightly slower kill speed :rolleyes:

Finally, I agree that 86 FHR isn't critical, and I didn't really notice a difference in run times and safety with either set up. It was slightly more "convenient" to get that frame, but not something that warranted sacrificing resists or vita given untwinked approach for me. You could always go 7 FHR/resist SC charms if you have them and for that convenience, as the vita charms aren't super essential if you have choice of charms, CtA, etc., to maximize vita elsewhere. Either way, in terms of Shako, I would definitely go Ber for extra forgiveness if mis-teleporting for de Seis.

Good luck, and excited to see his progress!
 
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T72on1

Diabloii.Net Member
Agreed on the skillers. I counted yesterday, and should have 11 more +skills on this character compared to ShouldBeEasy. Maybe I should have named him ShouldMakeaDifference? ;) But that was too long anyway ...
 

Kitteh

Diabloii.Net Site Pal
I went with Defiance and was pretty happy with safety. But, for what it's worth, I actually preferred Might merc (which I used for levels 97-99 as I recall at suggestion of @Pb_pal), especially if you go with p1 de Seis (or the straight p7 approach I used for most of 98-99). Telestomping goes faster that way.

As I said in the write-up for Phaedrus, things will go much faster with a backpack full of skillers. If you have that option, dropping Mara's in favor of Rising Sun would pretty much neutralize Infector and allow very aggressive telestomping for him. I didn't try it due to only 2 skillers up until the last stretch. So definitely something to consider.

For different perspective/experience, I found delirium annoying, probably crashing twice an hour average? All I remember was being happy to swap that out for Andy's for the last stretch. But I think it's worth testing your tolerance level for the crash versus extra safety/slightly slower kill speed :rolleyes:

Finally, I agree that 86 FHR isn't critical, and I didn't really notice a difference in run times and safety with either set up. It was slightly more "convenient" to get that frame, but not something that warranted sacrificing resists or vita given untwinked approach for me. You could always go 7 FHR/resist SC charms if you have them and for that convenience, as the vita charms aren't super essential if you have choice of charms, CtA, etc., to maximize vita elsewhere. Either way, in terms of Shako, I would definitely go Ber for extra forgiveness if mis-teleporting for de Seis.

Good luck, and excited to see his progress!
I think that with the ease of getting +max fire res from boots (whichever option is chosen), losing resist and plus skills (including to BO) isn’t worth it for the absorb. Telebombing Infectir is safe with the resists alone in my opinion. Also, I agree so much about skillers that I can’t even express it^^
 
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