Assassin uses Beast and fast single claw with ridiculous gear to cruise through Hell. But this one uses a more damaging claw hitting at 4fpa instead of a less damaging claw at 3fpa (contrast with Pingasut).
I'd long been thinking of Beast and some interesting builds that it opens up, but despite thinking about it for years, I hadn't actually made it. So I finally did that (in a caduceus) and the second character is a 4fpa assassin bear.
As described in my earlier thread on Pingasut, a 3fpa is a possiblity with 100WIAS runic talons. For a 4fpa bearassasin, there are multiple, much easier-to-reach possibilities. The easiest was 40WIAS with 20 off-weapon IAS- another choice was 60WIAS alone. I went with the 40WIAS + 20 IAS (from amulet) so that opens up much more options for the single claw. In particular, I have multiple quite nice crafted runic talons that I made in 1.07 that can hit 4fpa with serious damage so I tried that and compared it to the 3fpa approach of Pingasut.
1.07 crafts can be very nice, and the fact that that Larzuk in 1.07 tries to put 3 sockets in all crafted items is a further huge plus. Unfortunately, 1.07 claws always have a 2-socket max but still these claws can be quite amazing.
The basic plan: hit things at 4fpa. Crushing blow and ctc Amp are good mods to have when hitting that often, so pretty much I went with decent crushing blow and leech setup and with some ctc AMP. I loaded up on 1.07 damage charms as well, similarly to Pingasut. I also went with Drac's for the leech, not that I needed it against normal monsters with big leech 1.07 gear available, but for unleechables which were a concern and annoyance for Sitamat. Unleechables were the main reason I didn't do /players 8 with Pingasut, so Drac's solved that problem. It meant a new problem of dealing with physical immunes, though, which I dealt with in several ways: taking off Dracs and using ctc Amp claws, as well as using a Reaper's merc later in the game.
Several different 4fpa claws:
The main one:
The ctc Amp one:Code:Dread Bite Runic Talons One Hand Damage: 116 - 280 Durability: 30 of 30 Required Level: 79 Required Strength: 115 Required Dexterity: 115 Fingerprint: 0x5839112 Item Level: 62 Version: Expansion +40% Increased Attack Speed 386% Enhanced Damage +24 to Maximum Damage +43 to Maximum Damage (Based on Character Level) +1419 to Attack Rating (Based on Character Level) 3% Life stolen per hit +3 to Death Sentry (Assassin Only) +20 to Life 2 Sockets (2 used) Socketed: Ruby Jewel of Carnage Socketed: Ruby Jewel of Carnage Ruby Jewel of Carnage Jewel Required Level: 58 Fingerprint: 0xab64e624 Item Level: 80 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 35% Enhanced Damage +13 to Maximum Damage Ruby Jewel of Carnage Jewel Required Level: 58 Fingerprint: 0x967c0e08 Item Level: 80 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 37% Enhanced Damage +11 to Maximum Damage
Code:Corpse Bite Runic Talons One Hand Damage: 94 - 285 Durability: 23 of 30 Required Level: 82 Required Strength: 115 Required Dexterity: 115 Fingerprint: 0x3531f303 Item Level: 62 Version: Expansion 5% Chance to cast level 1 Amplify Damage on striking +40% Increased Attack Speed 293% Enhanced Damage +113 to Maximum Damage 3% Life stolen per hit +17 to Life 2 Sockets (2 used) Socketed: Vermilion Jewel of Carnage Socketed: Vermilion Jewel of Carnage Vermilion Jewel of Carnage Jewel Required Level: 50 Fingerprint: 0x8888ec97 Item Level: 80 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +28 to Maximum Damage Vermilion Jewel of Carnage Jewel Required Level: 50 Fingerprint: 0xcf975d61 Item Level: 80 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +26 to Maximum Damage
A big leech one:
(not used much, as there was big leech from the ring and generally from Life Tap or gloves)Code:Blood Razor Runic Talons One Hand Damage: 88 - 196 Durability: 30 of 30 Required Level: 79 Required Strength: 115 Required Dexterity: 115 Fingerprint: 0x7b184d91 Item Level: 62 Version: Expansion +40% Increased Attack Speed 268% Enhanced Damage +35 to Maximum Damage 23% Life stolen per hit 2 Sockets (2 used) Socketed: Shael Rune Socketed: Shael Rune
Beast caduceus on switch with Sigon's shield
Jewelry was a 1.07 prismatic Cat's Eye for the FRW and some off-weapon IAS, a Raven Frost for the CBF, and a 1.07 big life leech ring:Code:Beast Superior Caduceus BerTirUmMalLum One Hand Damage: 141 - 164 Durability: 77 of 77 Required Level: 66 Required Strength: 97 Required Dexterity: 70 Fingerprint: 0x971c08e1 Item Level: 81 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Level 9 Fanaticism Aura When Equipped +40% Increased Attack Speed 282% Enhanced Damage +150% Damage to Undead 20% Chance of Crushing Blow 25% Chance of Open Wounds Prevent Monster Heal +3 to Vengeance (Paladin Only) +2 to Conviction (Paladin Only) +3 to Lycanthropy +3 to Werebear +27 to Strength +10 to Energy +2 to Mana after each Kill Increase Maximum Durability 10% Level 13 Summon Grizzly (5/5 Charges) 5 Sockets (5 used)
Verdungo's belt for DRCode:The Cat's Eye Amulet Required Level: 50 Fingerprint: 0x15fc700f Item Level: 62 Version: Expansion +30% Faster Run/Walk +20% Increased Attack Speed +75 Defense +45 Defense vs. Missile +20 Maximum Stamina Cold Resist +20% All Resistances +13 Lightning Resist +22% Poison Resist +30% Raven Turn Ring Required Level: 32 Fingerprint: 0x511d82f0 Item Level: 48 Version: Expansion +25 to Attack Rating 33% Life stolen per hit +12 to Strength Replenish Life +3 Damage Reduced by 1
Drac's gloves for almost everything, but switched for these 1.07 huge leech gloves for PIs when I didn't want to override the ctc Amp from that claw:
The rest of the armor was built around crushing blow:Code:Brimstone Hold Vampirebone Gloves Defense: 87 Durability: 13 of 14 Required Level: 69 Required Strength: 50 Fingerprint: 0x5bcc434 Item Level: 59 Version: Expansion 33% Life stolen per hit 13% Chance of Crushing Blow +33% Enhanced Defense Cold Resist +29% +1 to Light Radius
Duress dusk shround, Goblin Toe boots, and Guillaume's hat.
Merc: A2 Blessed Aim merc, with Treachery, Crown of Theives and and ethereal Reapers. The Decrepify was helpful except when there were unleechables and it would override the Life Tap, but the radius isn't large and it wasn't much of a disruption. The merc used this wonderful CM eth 1.07 thresher for a decent part of the game:
Code:Crescent Moon Thresher ShaelUmTir Two Hand Damage: 51 - 607 Durability: 33 of 33 Required Level: 53 Required Strength: 142 Required Dexterity: 108 Fingerprint: 0x4854ead4 Item Level: 84 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 7% Chance to cast level 13 Static Field on striking 10% Chance to cast level 17 Chain Lightning on striking +20% Increased Attack Speed 188% Enhanced Damage Ignore Target's Defense -35% to Enemy Lightning Resistance 25% Chance of Open Wounds +9 Magic Absorb +2 to Mana after each Kill Level 18 Summon Spirit Wolf (30/30 Charges) Ethereal 3 Sockets (3 used) Socketed: Shael Rune Socketed: Um Rune Socketed: Tir Rune
That Crown of Thieves should have been swapped out for something better at some point, but I didn't actually notice until this writeup.
Lots of +dmg and +dmg/ar charms from 1.07, same as Pingasut:
Code:Serrated Grand Charm of Maiming Grand Charm Required Level: 37 Fingerprint: 0xf5a0c93 Item Level: 88 Version: Expansion +36 to Maximum Damage Serrated Grand Charm of Maiming Grand Charm Required Level: 37 Fingerprint: 0x5103b06d Item Level: 88 Version: Expansion +36 to Maximum Damage Serrated Grand Charm of Maiming Grand Charm Required Level: 39 Fingerprint: 0x567d869b Item Level: 88 Version: Expansion +38 to Maximum Damage Serrated Grand Charm of Maiming Grand Charm Required Level: 39 Fingerprint: 0x2d2aa25f Item Level: 88 Version: Expansion +37 to Maximum Damage Steel Grand Charm of Maiming Grand Charm Required Level: 37 Fingerprint: 0x7306692b Item Level: 88 Version: Expansion +18 to Maximum Damage +113 to Attack Rating Serrated Grand Charm of Maiming Grand Charm Required Level: 39 Fingerprint: 0x7ef46ae7 Item Level: 88 Version: Expansion +38 to Maximum Damage Steel Grand Charm of Maiming Grand Charm Required Level: 37 Fingerprint: 0x55e8705c Item Level: 88 Version: Expansion +20 to Maximum Damage +101 to Attack Rating Serrated Grand Charm of Maiming Grand Charm Required Level: 39 Fingerprint: 0x4f016627 Item Level: 88 Version: Expansion +38 to Maximum Damage
Stats and Skills:
70 unallocated stat points
all 75 after Fade except Lightning which was 73
MF: 0 Block: 14
Claw Mastery: 20/20
Shadow Master: 20/20
LCS 671-2909 listed dmg pre-venom, 1121-3379 post Venom
AR 15580 with Blessed Aim active
Pre-Beast: like Sitamat, enchanted Raven Claw and Kuko for quick trip through Normal and most of NM.
Beast was equipped in A4 NM as was most of the end-game gear.
Against the NM Ancients, not long after she was settling into her new setup, she faced all three "Cursed." After one of them is Cursed, the other two being Cursed doesn't really matter much!
All of Hell done on /players 8 with no difficulty anywhere. I switched claws to the CtC amp ones generally each time I was in an area with PIs.
Compared to the 3fpa with less damage, this was easier going particularly on higher player counts, where crushing blow isn't as remarkable. Again, I didn't worry about careful play and didn't need to much.
The gameplay was otherwise pretty similar to Pingasut, with the observations and experience from that helpful.
The merc actually used a wonderful 1.07 eth base 1.10 beta Crescent Moon for much of NM and Hell, where the large-radius static was fantastic.
Generally things went quickly. One protracted battle was that /p8 Wyand was PI, so that involved switching back to the ctc Amp Claw in town and still took a while.
Again, in the tradition of Megara (but much wimpier because of SC and massive twinking) I did a /p8 death-cage match with the Ancients at level 82 there. The combos were Korlic aura and mana burn, Talic extra fast and aura-enchanted, and Madawc was CE and FE. The auras weren't nasty or obvious, probably Holy Fire and/or Holy Shock and they didn't last long enough to be much of a problem.
As with Pingasut, Conversion was an occasional irritant but not too bad. Repairs were also a regular significant expense- her main claw was expensive to repair and needed to be repaired quite a lot. And inadvertent whacks with that staffmod Beast caduceus also were a quick way to rack up big repair bills.
The WSK and Baal went smoothly, in fact I didn't remember much from that. So I just did it again. And it went smoothly again, although the merc had a hard time with /players 8 witches and it took some positioning to have him make good use of the Life Tap. The first several waves just melted, and Lister's pack also went down pretty quickly. Baal was pretty quick even on /players 8.
Not much in the way of SUs with no MF, but some staffmod and socketed and socketable items and most remarkably, a Cham from an A2 tomb! I'm now just a Zod away from a complete rune grail, something that was unimaginable from pre 1.13 days.
Plans for the future:
Some experimentation, probably not too much though. I'll move some of her gear back to Pingasut and experiment there as well. One thing I do miss from normal Druid werebears is Shock Wave but these single-normal attack characters have been strong enough for that to be hardly missed!