I've recently had success in pat'ing a druid which was my first ever char that didn't die along the way to that title. I've lost several HC chars over the years but this recent accomplishment has boosted my confidence for yet another stab at HC.
I've decided to try a claw/claw assasin utilizing TS and Dragon tail. I did the skill calculations and seems I can either go with venom as the additional skill or DS since TS tail and SM will be maxed. Common wisdom is to go with DS in PVM however I will already have a sick physical and fire attack with AoE so the question arises whether using venom with for instance Trang's gloves might be the wiser option? On the other hand DS can be spammed from far away, under the cover of CoS and really nukes an area at high levels.....
One thing I'm also worried about is where to get AR. This will be a minimal dex max vit build (Hardcore after all) and I'm pretty sure that maxing claw mastery would be underwhelming for the benefit it provides.That and my skill points are already stretched thin since the other skills either need to be maxed as part of the build (tail and TS) or are insanely useful to me as I experienced with previous assassins (SM)
Oh and PI's aren't really an issue since the merc will be using the decrep stick as soon as he is able. It's worked wonderfully in all my other builds in this regard. Hopefully once the PI cracks the insane fire damage will be applied (multiples of the TS damage IIRC)
Thanks for any comments