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  1. #1
    IncGamers Member maxicek's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    BattleTag maxicek-2583

    Matriarch Morana, Rift / Dragon Tail Kicker

    Matriarch Morana, Rift / Dragon Tail Kicker

    Morana is named after the Slavic goddess of death, winter and nightmares. Winter comes in the form of Frozen Orb's from Rift, boosted by Nightwing's Veil and Facets. Cloak of Shadows, Mind Blast and Conviction cause nightmares. Death follows swiftly.

    Name: Morana
    Class: Assassin
    Experience: 1010242035
    Level: 84

    Strength: 151/176
    Dexterity: 93/153
    Vitality: 246/258
    Energy: 25/37
    HP: 954/1089
    Mana: 149/193
    Stamina: 481/501
    Defense: 23/2927

    Fire: 184/144/84
    Cold: 149/109/49
    Lightning: 187/147/87
    Poison: 195/155/95

    MF: 0
    Block: 36
    GF: 87
    FR/W: 30
    FHR: 52
    IAS: 0
    FCR: 0

    Claw Mastery: 1/5
    Psychic Hammer: 1/5
    Burst of Speed: 6/10
    Weapon Block: 1/5
    Cloak of Shadows: 3/7
    Fade: 1/5
    Shadow Warrior: 1/5
    Mind Blast: 1/5
    Venom: 20/24
    Shadow Master: 1/5

    Tiger Strike: 20/24
    Dragon Talon: 17/21
    Dragon Claw: 1/5
    Dragon Tail: 20/24
    Dragon Flight: 1/5

    Nothing in traps.

    Weapon: 'Rift' War Scepter
    Shield: Head Hunters Glory socketed with three +5/-4 Cold Facets

    Switch Weapon: 'Lawbringer' Phase Blade
    Switch Shield: Stormshield socketed with Jewel of Fervour

    Helm: Nightwing's Veil socketed with +4/-3 Cold Facet
    Armour: 'Duress' Dusk Shroud
    Belt: String of Ears
    Boots: Gore Rider Myrmidon Greaves
    Gloves: 'Shadow Knuckle' crafted Blood Gloves - +2MA skills, 10% crushing blow, 27% lightning resist / Dracul's Grasp

    Amulet: Mara's Kaleidoscope
    Ring1: Ravenfrost
    Ring2: Dual Leech rare with 11% resist all

    Inventory: Resist Charms.

    Equipment Readouts:

    Mercenary Equipment
    Mercenary Type: A2 Nightmare Offensive (Might)
    Helm: Tal Rasha's Horadric Crest
    Armour: 'Treachery' Ethereal Ornate Plate
    Weapon: 'Infinity' Ethereal Thresher


    Hellforge: Fal in Hell.
    Finds were quite frankly appalling. Up until A5 I hadn't seen anything even halfway decent. Not even a charm or Jewel worth picking up, let alone a rune. There was one high point as I found an Executioner's Justice in Crystalline Passage. Not a grailler, but a TC87 with 0% MF is pretty unusual.

    I have done a rift kicker before, but she was a PvP character so has since had her gear stripped. This time I focused on optimising the Orb damage with Nightwing's, Facets and Conviction, as laid out in Master Zap's Guide. Rather than using traps as a backup, I decided to go for a Lawbringer + Dragon Tail switch instead, to keep the character as a pure kicker.

    I played through Hell at /players3 and she pretty much ripped through Act 1. Multiple frozen orbs with conviction were tearing through everything not CI. I rarely used the DTail switch at this point, Venom, OW, Rift's elemental damage and 40% Crushing Blow was enough to take out occasional CIs on its own. I deliberately kept my Dragon Talon below level 24 as I feel that four kicks is plenty for general questing.

    Act 2 was also cleared swiftly, the area knockback from Dragon Tail and the Sanctuary aura was used to give me space in the tombs. I was starting to find the low blocking of Head Hunters Glory a bit problematic, especially when surrounded by huge mobs of flayers in A3. Around this time I put a few more points into Dragon Talon so that I could drop the crafted gloves and use Dracul's Grasp if I wanted. This weakened by TS/DTail switch from level 26 to level 24, but with Lawbringer and Conviction it was still plenty strong enough at /players3. In fact, when on a few occasions the merc died and I carried on kicking, it still killed well.

    By the time I got to Act 4, I was starting to feel that Frozen Orb was losing its effectiveness. It was still damaging, but if often took a few orbs to kill stuff, or even just to soften them up. Dragon Tail wasn't really used except for knockback due to the high number of Fire Immunes. Clearing the Chaos Sanctuary was slow going. The merc decided to die very quickly when confronting Diablo, leaving me to face him alone. Dracul's came in useful for this fight and I just kept kicking him with my remaining 30% crushing blow. It took a bit of time, but eventually he was dispatched.

    The high number of cold immunes in A5 meant that I used Dragon Tail for the majority of the time. Waheed actually managed to keep himself alive for the entire Ancients fight. I had a few problems with a Black Soul boss pack in The Throne of Destruction, but once cleared the minion waves gave me little problems. CoS pretty much immobilises the Venom Lords. I separated the Minions of Destruction so that I didn't get pinballed by them then crushing blow cut them down to size. I stayed at p3 for Baal, kept kicking away with DT and eventually my 18th assassin made Matriarch.

    After the big promise of A1, I felt the build lost its teeth a bit in later stages. On balance I don't think it is as powerful as a normal Dragon Talon kicker with loaded crushing blow. Certainly a kicker with Stormlash is much more powerful. I also missed my Stormshield defensively. I don't think that it is as strong as Dragon Tail either. It was a fun build to play and I would recommend it. Maybe going with traps may have made it better balanced, I'm not sure. I think if I did it again, using Rift as a backup for DTail may be a better bet. But then Stormlash and Sormshield would be better still...

    Some shopping, Trav runs and LK runs at the moment. After that the last two - Blade Fury and a Bearsin.

  2. #2
    IncGamers Site Pal pharphis's Avatar
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    Aug 2011

    Re: Matriarch Morana, Rift / Dragon Tail Kicker

    Awesome! Interesting build. You found that Forb was enough to kill everything before you go to Act 4, basically? that's pretty nifty. Too bad you didn't find much with the char.

  3. #3
    IncGamers Member
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    Nov 2005
    BattleTag thefranklin-1107

    Re: Matriarch Morana, Rift / Dragon Tail Kicker

    Nice assassin! I am disappointed it doesn't work all that well, because it has to be the coolest cold /fire hybrid. Its also too bad Ormus doesn't work with dtail, that would be awesome. Then you could put your ss back on.

    Cant wait for the bearsin.

  4. #4
    IncGamers Member
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    Nov 2011

    Re: Matriarch Morana, Rift / Dragon Tail Kicker

    So, no death sentry? I imagine it would have been slow going then..
    Still, well done. Pure kicker is nice stylepoints.

  5. #5
    IncGamers Member maxicek's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    BattleTag maxicek-2583

    Re: Matriarch Morana, Rift / Dragon Tail Kicker

    @pharphis: Orb was pretty good through A1 & A2, but was loosing effectiveness in A3. When I made a Rift Kicker before it was largely decoration, so I wasn't too disappointed.

    @thefranklin: I did consider Ormus for a long time to boost the cold damage further, but in the end decided CB, OW and FHR from Duress was too good to turn down.

    @zaphod: I purposely avoided DS and didn't really miss it. She was actually fairly quick. DTail+Lawbringer+Conviction is an awesome combination in sticky points.


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