Thanks for all the advice guys! I think, for safety, I'll be going with COH for the resists and slight damage reduction.
This character was originally a WWS strafer. Max strafe, penetrate, valk, the rest as I see fit. I already know which breakpoints and such I can hit with my setup - my main concern is just doing as much damage as I can with it once I get in.
I may try swapping in a Buriza for a bit though =)
Also, WWS's Magic Arrow can be a bit slow at times, but it definitely handles the immunes.
Even if it were SC, I'd say 'Chains of Honor' wins out for Baal running. The difference in damage between the two is relatively minimal, and the flexibility it opens elsewhere is extremely useful. The main question is just whether you want to invest in it.
As an aside, I wouldn't teleport. It is simply a recipe for death with your low life and poor casting. Also, I would stick with one bow. As previously noted, Amplify Damage from WWS is hardly reliable, and you could easily do better than GSA in terms of damage. I'd probably go with something like Buriza if you're using Strafe, as that'll provide much more damage and a tad more safety. Using only one bow also keeps you from having to plan for both sets of IAS breakpoints/resistance needs/etc. as well. Additionally, although I don't know if you currently have it, you'll likely eventually equip your mercenary with The Reaper's Toll, which will eliminate the usefulness of Amplify Damage. Last, I agree that LF/Strafe would be significantly more efficient. Not saying you shouldn't do a pure bow build though.
EDIT: By the way, strength does improve ranged damage, at least from the perspective that it potentially allows you to invest more points into dexterity. Also, I will take this time to second that Knockback suggestion.
A Buriza is a pretty slow Strafe weapon, but has some really nice mods. Even so, if you use that, put a Nef (not a Shael) in it.
if you're running a boss with a zon, i suggest you make her at least partially a lightning zon. 20 into charged strike and 20 into another synergy (typically fury) will drop a boss much, much faster than any bow skill. with fury/cs you also have no worries about immunes.
Before going into more detail on the build, I will restate some basic facts:
1) If your ultimate purpose is completing the grail, there are more efficient MF targets than Baal&co., namely AT, or the Pit.
2) Bowzon is unable to kill Baal in any reasonable amount of time.
3) Bowzon is extremely fragile for WSK&Throne, certainly not recommended for HC.
If you just need a break from other targets, and/or enjoy the challenge, keep in mind the following:
- There are things out there, that can easily 1-hit kill your character. With some fairly high investment, you can lower that risk, but unless you keep your concentration up at ALL time, it's just wasted money. And we are not talking seconds here, but rather tenths of seconds.
You can, of course, use some decent (yet not top-end) gear, mule-off any valuable finds and just see how far you can take her..
- If you are considering expensive RWs like CoH, make a CtA first. Just for the record, a CtA MB/GMB will out-damage everything but WF and Buriza, the BO will help keep you safer, plus you get some additional MF.
- I strongly suggest using a javelin switch to get out of nasty situations. As a bowzon, you get maxed block with pretty much any shield, and a healthy portion of added LR on your shield can make the difference between life and getting fried by Souls.
- As Nagisa said, do not teleport. I may be repeating myself, but a bowzon blows against Baal, and she does not particularly shine against the Waves either. Your best bet is killing some mobs along the way, and most importantly not letting yourself killed.
- Restrain from using Strafe. Otherwise, it will kill you one day. Stick with MS. Even if you already "know" the spawn, strafing can be extremely risky.
- WWS is overrated. In the hands of an amazon, it's nothing more than an unreliable amp-trigger. In addition to its pitiful damage, the DS is mostly redundant with ~70% chance for double damage from a maxed-out CS, and the sockets are just about good for sockekting Shaels to make the "device" operational. Iirc, the fMA property is bugged and the arrows only look as magic, but damage as regular ones.
You can actually kill Baal somewhat faster with a Fleshripper on your switch. It doesn't compare to most other "standard" character, but I'm pretty sure it outpaces a pure bow by a tad. If nothing else, you have some extra safety with that shield out.
'Call to Arms' GMB/MB is actually an okay idea. The one thing I have to say about this is that the BO can be somewhat short lived on an amazon (generally fewer potential skill granting items), so it might run out on you at a very inopportune occasion.
One thing about javelin switch is that it overpowers the bow switch significantly unless you have a minimal lightning investment and relatively powerful bow. Not saying that this is a bad thing, rather that it might not be what the OP wants. Hybrid, again, is a very nice build though. Check out Kijya's guide in the amazon forum for that.
Ugla is right about Strafe, in the sense that you have to be very careful with it, ESPECIALLY if you use a slower bow (a la Buriza). The nastiness of WSK doesn't help here.
Last, I'm pretty sure WWS Magic Arrow is fully functional, or at least it's worked out okay when I exclusively used normal attack WWS on some characters.
Hmm, well, you've all raised some very, very good points. I'm honestly completely rethinking even trying this.
My poisonmancer that I mentioned (currently running Andy/Meph/Council/Pit circles) is incredibly decked out (for me at least). He has a Bramble, the important parts of Trangs, and a merc using Infinity as of a few days ago. He literally represents about 2 years worth of rune wealth accumulation. He also has a great amulet with teleport charges on it that I use to get around his amazing map roll for all of the things mentioned.
Considering how good he is already and how much fun he is to play, I may simply finish my project of getting my WWS strafer through Hell Baal and just let her end there. Could I respec her into lightning jav or something? Sure, but I've run decked out javazons through hell too many times and despite how dominant it is, I'm just bored of it.
Maybe I'll dual-purpose my poisonmancer to kill 2 birds with one stone: make him my main item finder for my newly started grail, and attempt to take him to 99.
I really appreciate all of the insights and opinions everyone has had. I've learned a lot.