Looks cool! What was the purpose of using it here? Does it distract him, or did you just want to avoid him charging you and getting close?
Actually for the very reason you said: I wanted to avoid being charged. I knew that my merc was going to die instantly if he closed in on Diablo anyway, and since I was low on gold, I decided to bring him down with Bone Spear. So I Bone Prison'd him and used Decrepify and tried to stay out of his Lightning Hose reach. Worked fine, and I was glad for the FRW on my boots.
Yeah, I took my time - I used Charsi's imbue on a Necro Shrunken Head, on which I then used the Larzuk socket reward and inserted a Perfect Diamond (An Andariel - i.e. joker - drop, which I upgraded with Gem Shrines), making it a joker item, so I don't have to throw it away if a SU drops a bad shield
Can't post the readout right now, because I'm on my other PC, but it's a shrunken head with Res All 20% and an extra 18% FIre, 17% FHR and bad staff mods (+2 Terror being the best IIRC). With the PDiamond that makes +57% FIre Resist and +39% everything else. Not bad
Then I crafted the SU drop Plate Mail from my merc to a Blood Plate Mail, which now offers 1% LL (!!!) and 2 open sockets - I'll probably stick an Ort in there for the resists.
Now I have 1 jewel left, and the only recipe I could use is for blood belt or Hit Power Ring (if I give up my Amn...), but it will be difficult to improve the +20 Life/+20% Cold resistance on my current belt. So I decided to wait if I can craft a better helm later on (currently Skull Cap with 33% MF).
Originally Posted by jiansonz
Reading the thread, it looked like my Mavi was still kicking. I wondered why I had not played one of my favourite builds in my favourite type of tourney. Turns out that I had, but she had her equipped items on the 'corpse' section in ATMA. :(
I fired up my HD cabinet with my old drive in it, and found a screenie that clarified she had died in one of the first days in 2012.
That's sad! I was wondering why I wasn't reading any updates from you...what a shame. You do insist on full clears, do you? Because I was thinking of skipping some tedious maps (like the false tombs in Act II), esp. since there are no trophymobs for me...
But very nice trip, jiansonz! I'm impressed with the Fangskin fight! Would you rather have had a tank merc sometimes, esp. in those false tombs?
Yeah, that's how I play.
I may park the occasional boss that I for some reason seriously can't kill, but everything else goes down or I go down.
Originally Posted by Grisu
Because I was thinking of skipping some tedious maps (like the false tombs in Act II), esp. since there are no trophymobs for me...
Hehe, the seven tombs is my favourite Act II area.
Originally Posted by Grisu
Would you rather have had a tank merc sometimes, esp. in those false tombs?
Yeah, but it's hard to find him gear so he can survive. Maryam, my second entrant in this toruney had an Act II merc (IIRC, NM Andi gave me a pretty good rare Partizan). In a normal situation (meaning: not this tough tourney) I often use potions to save a tanking merc. Rejuves are of course the best in dire situations but they are so rare in this tourney. So it becomes a trade-off: lose resurrection money or rejuves. Maryam risked running out of both.
But there are great advantages to a Cold Mage as well: does OK damage even naked, rarely dies, shatters corpses (keep in mind that Death Sentry is banned in this tourney and heavy usage of 3rd PS charge takes time) plus it seems like frozen monsters have no AC so I hit those very easily. Chance to hit can otherwise be a problem for the build when gear is this limited.
Originally Posted by Grisu
I suppose you won't give this another try?
Oh, but I will! Starting anew was my biggest motivation for making at least a small effort at a closing update for Mavi.
Meet Liz, my Phoenix Striker attempt #4.
Corrupted Rogue Archers (Coldcrow, Blood Raven)
Sand Raiders (Fire Eye)
Siege Beasts (Thresh Socket)
(Hmm, I have sure drawn those Act III-IV monsters a lot...)
Mephisto was a good roll, I think. Late enough that even the kill in Normal can yield good stuff, but early enough that much is left of every difficulty. Compare to Baal, who can drop great stuff but you essentially get only two of his drops for use in the questing part of the game.
Becoming a Phoenix Striker will be harder for Liz than it was for her three predecessors. As it has played out, she can not rely on a strong mercenary or on Fists of Fire to take her there. It's going to take some time and patience.
Got to level 8, hired Isolde (my favourite!) and took out Cold Plains together with her (she used a store-bought Hunter's Bow). Blood Raven had a weird drop - three gold piles and a rare Light Crossbow that I stuffed away on the weapon switch. The crossbow has poison damage which has been useful a few times.
Archer women in The Cave. They sure drop a lot of bows, so Isolde soon had to downgrade, to a Triumphant Short Bow.
The third weapon to drop for me was a stack of Fulminating Potions. I interpreted the rules the way that I HAD to equip it (well, unless I took the bow instead). I threw those potions until I ran out of them, then I re-equipped my Katar...
Coldcrow dropped this. That's a Javelin of Amplify Damage. Not at all a bad PS weapon since it meets my two main criteria of being reasonably fast and having a range of more than 1. Javelins have range 3. The only other 1-handers that have this long range are flails and war axes. The bad thing is that an Act II merc will be forced to use this weapon at least until we kill Fire Eye. 1-5 damage is really bad compared to what most desert guard weapons do...
I was now cut off from Fists of Fire (I suppose I am not allowed to go weaponless?) so I used TS + DTalon in tough fights, sometimes supplemented by Wake of Fire (which I had because it's a prereq for Blade Fury).
After The Cave, the only shoppable slots I had left was one helm slot and the belt. Isolde received better bows in Hole and Tower Cellars. first a plain Hunter's, then a magical with +2 max damage and then one with +4 max damage that is still being used.
Liz was a pretty busy martial artist for the rest of the act whenever tougher melee monsters were around. 3xTiger, 3x Cobra and DTail was standard. Sometimes I got lucky and Amp triggered. If that happens, I always try to release DTail on a cursed monster - makes for more explosion damage. Archers and mages were handed over to Isolde to "tank".
Andariel defeated and I tried my usual, a prayer merc. Gave him the javelin and gave Liz Coldcrow's throwing knife instead. Even though Amp triggered quite often (fast merc attack), I really did not like this gameplay at all. Merc's damage output was so annoyingly bad. Against ranged attackers, he needed so much babysitting that I gave up after the first floor of the Sewers. So long Neeraj, welcome Elexa.
Ah, much better. Elexa dominated archers and mages, and was a decent help against meleers. I think that the inherent Fire Arrow damage plus the better weapon (bow does 2-10, javelin does 1-5) actually made the rogue do more damage. In any case, progress since then has not been that hard. The large first froor of the Claw Viper Temple had only snakes. Liz didn't need to do much more than cast CoS now and then, and Elexa would pick off the snakes from range.
I drew sand raiders almost everywhere it's possible: first two Sewers levels, Lost City, Ancient Tunnels, and 3/4 of the palace floors (Fire Eye and crew were the only ones on level 3).
Fire Eye dropped a Beryl Pilum and a Belt of Might. Dunno if the 4-9 damage on a Pilum will make an Act II merc viable. I think I'll stick with Elexa for the rest of the act. I know that gameplay know. Then I will probably hire a Cold mage for Act III.
I have pretty good hope of eventually being able to craft that belt.
Primary Crap ¤=SU drops
*=regular trophymob drops
* Lizard's (3) Cap
* Jade (21%) Amulet (it's either this or one of the Jackal - this feels more useful when I tank mummies and such)
¤ Javelin of Amplify Damage
* Gemmed (chipped topaz) Hard Leather Armor
* Large Shield (30% is my current blocking; I also have a 6% Shimmering Buckler of Balance available)
* Heavy Gloves
* Nagelring (29%)
¤ Belt of Might (5)
(no second ring)
* Chain Boots (great drop (for kicking damage) already on sewers 1 with a low quality version of these)
¤ Rare Light Crossbow with poison damage and minor bonuses
Elexa the fire rogue
* Full Helm
* Hunter's Bow of Maiming (4)
* 2s Hard Leather Armor
No bountymob chances after the Palace but a lot of WORK getting through the rest of Act II. Can't rememeber having to be so busy in Act II Normal since...never, really. Even my staff-amazon (see avatar) had an easier time (although she was played at /p1).
Tiger Strike + Dragon Tail is what does most of the damage, unless it's slow monsters from afar (mummies) or wimpy ranged attackers (slingers) - Elexa does the most damage against them. I'd really like a bow upgrade for her. I have some hope that I get to fight some archer women in some of the Act III temples (they often drop bows).
(I hope I interpret the rules correctly. I have not found any bow with SU status yet (but I have a total of 3 weapons that have SU status), so I assume I can use bows dropped by regular bountymobs, and it's not like in the Green with Envy tourneys where you once the third green weapon drops, the merc must use one or go weaponless, or like in "my" SU Worshipper tourneys where you must adapt your merc type after what weapons are available...)
Every second or third TS + DTail cycle, I mix in Cobra Strike as well, mostly to fill up mana but life is also needed sometimes. I can still get by using up fewer potions than I find, which is nice. The hardest fights were against two 4-packs of Unraveler Champions. They take a lot of time for us to bring down, and CoS does not stop the others from Unholy Bolting me. Ouch. The first of these fights was especially hectic because two of them walked towards us and got within resurrection range of a very large pile of Burning Dead corpses.
Prebuffed with thawing potions and took on Duriel at /p1 and actually never needed a town trip. 8 of my 12 potions were needed and at one time, I had to run around a bit to let the healing from 3 potions catch up before I got killed - a typical situation where I'd normally drink a purple but the tourney being as it is, I have only found ONE of them and it takes more than a nasty D to make me drink it.
Hoping for Gloams in the Marsh and a nice Mephisto drop in the next act. Oh, and I will become a fledgling Phoenix Striker, finally.
Liz the struggling Martial Artist and Elexa the Fire Rogue, level 28, Spider Forest next.
I did fear Sszark a bit. Liz and Elexa are not fast killers so there was a definite risk that we'd get hit a bunch of times. Had to flee twice because two stubborn minions stayed close to Sszark - too risky. This may look scary (standing next to him shieldless) but it was actually the safest way, spamming kicks to pin him to the wall while the poison from my crossbow transferred to the kicks (how does that work, anyway?) so Elexa could kill him reasonably quickly.
No Gloams in the Marsh, damn! I had hoped for some nice stuff from them. Just a few in Swampy Pit. No Infidels on the Causeway either and only a few archer packs in two of the temples, so finds were scarce.
Quite the stairs trap in Ruined Temple, with an Extra Fast melee rogue pack (not Sarina, she was in the back room by the Lam Esen tome), two regular packs (so about 15 of them in total!) and a couple of vampires. I needed more than one portal parking and lots of CoS use and potions.
I had a Skill Shrine for the Mephisto fight. Level 5 Phoenix Strike meteor bombing got him down to half life pretty quickly. Then he hit me from 80% life to under 20%! Huge scare, I drank greater healers and ran away. Some well placed Lightning or Ice Ball there may well have ended this run. I went moat trick...
* Magical Great Axe (useless and sold).
* Rare Jo Staff with some intersting mods: 100% flee and 37% lightning resist. Kept for situational BF use.
* Two rare Long Bows that were better than Elexa's current plain Composite Bow. One had poison damage and 3-18 damage, the other had some lightning damage.
* Rare Short Spear with a little extra damage + cold and poison.
* The Diggler unique Dirk
I say this was pretty good. The Short Spear looked promising as an Act II merc weapon. Still nothing powerful (less damage than a plain Spetum!) but the cold + poison made it interesting. Plus, I really did not look forward to tanking Venom Lords having bad fire resist.
The Diggler is Liz' main weapon now. Yes, the short range is awkward (I need to check every time if I actually hit something, and adjust with a micro move if I don't, plus it often brings me so close to the monsters that they try to hit me rather than my new buddy Zanarhi) but the ITD, the fast attack speed and the good resist numbers are awesome. The +10 DEX meant that I have now set 35% blocking with my Large Shield as a new goal. Requires 2 DEX points per level nearly every time.
Plains had Burning Souls, which was great for some 'misc_good' drops: several gems of various sizes, Tal, Ort and Thul, plus some jewelery improvements. Liz is now wearing an 18% Ocher Ring and a +21 life Amulet of the Tiger. Sadly, not a single charm or jewel found yet. Crafting now looks like it won't happen for a very long time.
Another Thul from Hellforge. The perfect gem was a skull. I'd say the best find among the gems was a flawless emerald.
The Diggler is fast enough that using Fade rather than BoS actually does not feel too sluggish. That is great for the future! So resists were good against Diablo with my level 7 Fade. The Diablo fight was only slightly scary. The lightning inferno is part physical damage and my blocking is bad, so I had to dodge most of that.
Act V is where this build takes off into the stratosphere, damage wise. It's been ridiculously easy. The only fight with heavy potion use has been against an LE Hell Lord boss in Pit of Acheron, and even that was mostly to save Zanarhi.
Generally lame drops from the siege beasts. Thresh Socket dropped a Stag Bow (sold, of course) and a Breast Plate of Absorption (DR by 3)
SU slots occupied now are all weapon slots, the belt and one of the armors.
I have to think now about what to do with my three rewards here in Normal. An Ancients Pledge Large Shield is a strong candidate (I need Larzuk for that). Imbue and Personalize will probably be done on the same item. A Plated Belt looks hot, or maybe some merc weapon (gotta check the stash but I think the biggest imbuable stick I have seen is a measly Trident...)
Liz the Phoenix Striker and Zanarhi the Prayer guard, level 45, Ancients' Way next.
Liz and Zanarhi beat the Ancients. I let Zanarhi hang around for one more floor then I switched to a cold mage.
Liz took on Baal on players 8 because I wanted to make sure she would level up from the kill. Baal cast his duplicate right away so I just picked up the loose change lying around and got out. I did not need any more town trips - I had a pretty decent stash of potions with me, though.
I did end up socketing my Large Shield and made Ancients Pledge in it. I think the damage-to-mana thing will be useful.
I did not imbue the Plated Belt. I chose gloves instead, because IAS and +skills were tempting. Boots would have been a good option as well. The gloves imbue turned out...decent, I suppose. It was guaranteed to be an improvement over plain Heavy Gloves:
Durability: 8 of 14
Required Level: 30
+7 to Maximum Stamina
+10% Enhanced Defense
Cold Resist +16%
Replenish Life +3
5% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
The personalize reward was used on the Plated Belt. I sure hope it stays named if i imbue it later...(I am actually not sure).
Resists in NM are 43/54/45 without Fade but with my Tangerine Ring Mail on (I will wear 2x flawed topaz Hard Leather Armor against bountymobs).
Destroyer Liz the Phoenix Striker and Jabari the Cold mage, level 49, NM Blood Moor next.
Liz's Glyph Lock
Durability: 12 of 24
Required Strength: 60
Required Level: 18
+1 to Life
+22 to Maximum Stamina
+52% Enhanced Defense
Poison Resist +6%
Attacker Takes Damage of 5
24% Faster Hit Recovery
Not only was it underwhelming, I had not realized that Liz currently has only 40 STR. (My characters usually have at least 63 (for Artisan's Great Helm in Act V) but this tourney is special.)
For the time being, I am not prepared to give up 59 life for a little FHR and an extra row of potions. I set my hope to my current magical Belt. I "only" need a jewel now in order to craft it.
I chose between imbuing the belt or my boots. The main difference between the choices is that I can wear boots dropped by regular bounty monsters but the belt must have SU status.
NM Blood Raven dropped a Broad Sword of Venom, which means that Jabari must use this. Coldcrow dropped a Deadly Lochaber Axe - best weapon so far for an Act II merc.
Archers in Act I NM have dropped a Bone Shield with one socket. I now have that on the switch (along with a javelin) and I have given the 6% Shimmering Buckler of Balance to Jabari. The Bone Shield has better blocking than my runeworded main shield so I used it against Andariel.
I have a grand total of 5 rejuvenation potions (small ones, that is). Whoop dee frickin' doo...
Progressing with the Phoenix Strike synergies. CoT is level 9 and FoF is level 8.
Destroyer Liz the Phoenix Striker and Jabari the Cold mage, level 55, NM Far Oasis next.