I have never put more than one point into BoI, neither did jiansonz for his guardian. And if he can manage them with that equipment, I think it will be OK
Playstyle and merc choice were more important than gear. I lured them out one at a time (as I always do on Hell). Single minions were of course complete pushovers since they were frozen. Lister was only chilled by the merc, and I took him down using Blade Fury with my full Cleglaw´s setup. His immunities meant I had no business being close to him anyway (and this was v1.11, that has substantial remains of the FE bug, which meant his elemental sparkiness would have been very scary up close and I would probably not have used Phoenix Strike even if it had been heavily cold-synergized).
Blades of ice is not needed to kill Minions of destruction. One can easily mindblast and lightning them down.
That said, BOI makes a lot of things much easier. Personally I think lightning sucks. You can't get it to go off reliably, and it is only good in open areas like fallen camps.
Few more possibilities not really explored ( besides 20 blades of ice over lightning )
-full physical backup with dragon claw ( 20 dc and cm, in addition to 20 PS and FoF ). This is what I'm currently working on, using Natalya set
-Using the single elemental skills in areas where nothing is immune to that. The single elemental skills get two charges with dual claws. Particularly useful with blades of ice.
Edit: Another thing, you mentioned 'Doom' but forgot about 'Voice of Reason' which is much cheaper.
Thanks for the great guide! Phoenix Strikers are my favorite build, and your guide has convinced me to take another one into the depths of hell. The biggest challenge for my previous HC untwinked PSers has been hell ancients due to the crippling CoS bug; any tips there? This time I'm going to get a rogue merc (vs being mercless) and hope that she lives long enough to cast inner sight.
Also going claw/shield for the very first time to see how the survivability trade-off works. Rhyme, here I come!
One more question: Is it feasible to go max block untwinked? On one hand the CBF and resists of a rhyme would be great, on the other hand we're talking about 189 dexterity @ 80 to hit 75% blocking with a tower shield rhyme.
At 80 we're looking at 80 x 5 + 15 = 415 stat points to play with. If we add 169 to dex (20 base) and 90 to strength (20 base) that leaves us with 415 - 169 - 90 = 156 vitality. That's not much. For comparison, sticking to the minimum dex for an exceptional claw would leae us with 100 more vit in the bank, or 300 more life!
Great guide, Thanks! Glad today was the day I got bored and looked at another forum other than the SPF.
I seem to remember that you can get faster charge up speeds without a weapon (ie using fists only), but can't find the source.
One more fun fact to add: When facing Diablo, charge up on his bone prisons, much higher cth than against the big D himself.
@Kretschmer: These are really questions for jiansonz, I'll try to get him to drop by. If you can get some crushing blow or slow, those will help with the ancients.
@DreamTraveler: I'm in hell with a 2h Phoenix Striker at the moment. I have put all my spare points into BoI, but even with a level 41PS and conviction it still seems to not do much damage to me. Depends on what the rest of your gear is like, HC/SC, twinked/untwinked and if you want to use DS or not.
For the Ancients fights (yes, all three), I remove the CoS hotkey (assign another skill to the CoS hotkey so it has none) so I do not use it by mistake. I try to separate them with Teleport charges, or tying them up with a Shadow at one end, then run really fast.
Max blocking takes a huge DEX investment, and I can usually not afford that much. Contrary to what many players say, I think going middle ground is not a bad idea. Getting around 50% blocking does not use nearly as much DEX (provided you have a good shield, like a Rhyme Tower Shield or so) and 50% lets you tank single strong bosses (or Champ packs) quite well if you are ready with potions and have a big life pool.
Your planned STR amount is pretty big. I usually do not go above 75-77.
And I agree with not maxing block, specially on untwinked. 50% block is almost just as good, and maxblock isn't worth it if you don't have a good shield. Also if you have dual claws+claw block, that does not depend on dexterity.
Although I don't remember the specifics of it, I'm pretty sure charges themselves also give an AR bonus to a finishing move, including normal attack.
Each Phoenix Strike charge applies +25% Attack Rating to the finishing move that releases them, while every other charge applies +50% AR.
Originally Posted by Ghoulz
You'll find the minions of destruction in hell a colossal pain in the butt without invested in blades of ice. Even with it they can cause problems.
Phoenix Strike's third charge freezes for longer than Blades of Ice ( (0.8*slvl)-1.2 vs (0.4*slvl)+3.6 seconds at level >16, or 22.8 vs 15.6 seconds at level 30) and it has a much larger area of effect (the third charge of Blades of Ice only freezes in a 2 yard radius, although its second charge chills in a 4 yard radius).