Hemimetabo has cleared the CS and killed Diablo and is now in A5 Hell.
It took multiple efforts to succeed. For additional preparation, I used up a bunch of chipped gems making ilvl 25 socketed exceptional and elite wands (with enough qlvl to have a chance at Lower Resist charges) until I rolled this:
Level 1 LR isn't enough to break FI monsters, but I wanted the Diablo battle to go as quickly as possible, as I knew it would be a big effort to get that far.Code:Wailing Grave Wand of Lower Resistance Grave Wand One Hand Damage: 13 - 29 Durability: 8 of 15 Required Level: 36 Required Strength: 25 Fingerprint: 0xac0877f7 Item Level: 25 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Hit Causes Monster to Flee 100% Level 1 Lower Resist (67/67 Charges) 1 Sockets (0 used)
I switched out the upgraded Bloodfist for upgraded Magefist despite still not having any charms with FHR yet, since I wasn't planning on doing any blind teleporting but instead a methodical slow clear of the whole CS. I do now have a caster belt with good FHR but not much else:
Fire resists were at 58, so I rerolled the shrine at the WP to get a Fire Resist shrine there, not for the CS (where it would have been quite useful also, but overwritten instantly) but for the anticipated Diablo battle. LR and CR at 75, and poison often meant a trip to town anyway...Code:Brimstone Fringe Vampirefang Belt Defense: 86 Durability: 14 of 14 Required Level: 73 Required Strength: 50 Fingerprint: 0xcc354301 Item Level: 84 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +9% Faster Cast Rate +24% Faster Hit Recovery +35% Enhanced Defense +2 to Strength +7 to Life +18 to Mana Regenerate Mana 8%
There were about 5 aborted attempts to clear the CS, not including the one before with FI/PI and LE Infector. I had been mostly worried about FI/LI bosses (and those were a pain) but with the merc's great weapon (Bonehew) I quickly realized that FI/PI was much more of a problem. At least one of the efforts involved a retreat from the River of Flame with a nasty FI/PI boss, not even making it to the CS.
The main problem in the CS was the mixing of monster types. The venom lords were static'd and then the merc could have a go at them. TK was useful there, about as useful as her weak Lightning which didn't seem to have much effect unless the merc was simultaneously whacking at the same one. The wraiths and OK's were fireball-able, but with FI monsters in the way, things were kind of a mess. And HCMTF kept mixing things up as well. But with patience, slow progress was made and fortunately there were no unkillable bosses that turned up in that effort.
It was about a three-hour session when I finally succeeded. I did the Infector first, and he was indeed FI/LI but the merc handled him fine. By "fine", I mean that after remembering to use the FR shrine, carefully thinning the pack and spreading it all over the CS with HCMTF from Rattlecage and hunting them down one by one, we could finally face the Infector alone, where the merc hit him while Hemimetabo kept an eye on his health while TKing as a cheerleader and teleported to safety multiple times, with multiple trips to town.
After that, DeSeis also took care, separating the minions off with TP and then having to go to town several times. By the time I watched the merc finish him off, his aura was Conviction.
Grand Vizer was the easiest of the three, and then for Diablo there was the FR shrine and then after static, a quick LR charge, and he actually went down OK, with the sorc teleporting around to stay clear of danger. Unfortunately the merc didn't live to see Diablo's final death throes, as he was the real hero of the CS. I think I used a total of 6 fat purples the whole session, far less than I had budgeted for.