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  1. #1
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    Solo HC Build Question (if anyone is still around to answer)

    Since D3 wasn't satisfying for more than a few months, I've found myself back playing D2 to satisfy the old Diablo itch. This time around I'm working on clearing Hell solo, untwinked, and on HC with every class. I actually don't have much HC experience despite playing D2 right from the initial release like 15 years ago, but i cleared Hell easily with a Skelliemancer last year, and I'm close to finished with my 2nd K/T hybrid Sin (first one died to FE ancient on NM.. won't make that mistake again). The next class that i would like to try is the Druid which brings me to my question...

    What's a strong build for this style of play?

    My plan was to try a wind druid since it can do both physical and cold damage and can easily get max Cyclone Armor for defense. My rule of thumb for HC is max defense first and respec later if necessary, so the level 80 build would be:

    20 Cyclone Armor, Tornado, Hurricane, Dire Wolf
    5 Oak Sage (points beyond lvl 80 would go here)
    1 Arctic Blast, Twister, Raven, Spirit Wolf, Poison Creeper, Summon Grizzly

    Thoughts? I'm open to an entirely different build too (provided it works with crappy gear), so all suggestions are welcome.

  2. #2
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    Re: Solo HC Build Question (if anyone is still around to answer)

    Hi,

    Your build is totally fine. The only thing is - hurricane is gonna be a bit slow at killing immunes.

    Personally I believe points in oak sage (beyond one of course) are gonna be a waste and would be better spent in twister for additional damage. Spirits tend to die quite often especially against tough opponents. While it's not a problem with HoW, the sudden loss of health from Oak Sage dying could prove fatal - and thus it gives you a false sense of security. Also, it's impact on minions health is minuscule if you max Dire Wolves.

    As for another build - I'm currently taking through hardcore hell act 3 a fire/summoner druid:
    20 Fissure
    20 Volcano
    20 Dire Wolves
    20 Grizzly
    It's less powerful than a Windy but somehow I find fire druids really fun
    Last edited by Flayed One; 24-07-2013 at 18:03.

  3. #3
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    Re: Solo HC Build Question (if anyone is still around to answer)

    Thanks for the reply! That's exactly the kind of info i was looking for regarding Oak Sage. What's your opinion on Spirit shield vs going for max block and likely higher resists? My other options would likely be Rhyme, artisans shield of deflecting w/ P diamonds, or possibly something like a Moser's if i happen to find one (my sin that died had one).

    Also, your build looks fun i may have to give it a try sometime.

  4. #4
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    Re: Solo HC Build Question (if anyone is still around to answer)

    Generally max block vs max vita is simply a preference. I prefer max vita on casters.

    But, if your gear is really low end, then max vita should be the only plausible option for two reasons:
    1. Even with max block you need a health pool. Since block doesn't reduce incoming damage by 75% but blocks it 75% of time instead there will be times when you won't block 3 or 4 incoming attacks in a row, and you need enough health to survive it despite having max block. I'd say minimum life is around 750.
    2. You're gonna need the +2 skills and FCR.

    I have one suggestion - instead of using standard act 2 merc, how about using act 5 merc with lawbringer? (of course if you don't have reapers toll) Decripify will do wonders for your damage output and safety, while Sanctuary Aura helps immensely against all undead.

  5. #5
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    Re: Solo HC Build Question (if anyone is still around to answer)

    Alright, that was my opinion too.

    I'll have to see if i can keep mana without an Insight merc. It's been a really long time since I've played a wind druid and i won't have a ton of mana with junky gear, but two spirits should help. I've kept multiple weapons (including Lawbringer) and switched b/t Act II and Act IV mercs before, so i may do that as well.

  6. #6
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    Re: Solo HC Build Question (if anyone is still around to answer)

    Quote Originally Posted by Flayed One View Post
    Personally I believe points in oak sage (beyond one of course) are gonna be a waste and would be better spent in twister for additional damage. Spirits tend to die quite often especially against tough opponents. While it's not a problem with HoW, the sudden loss of health from Oak Sage dying could prove fatal - and thus it gives you a false sense of security. Also, it's impact on minions health is minuscule if you max Dire Wolves.
    The Druid Pet Calculator incorrectly adds the +% life bonus from Summon Dire Wolf to the +% Maximum Life bonus from Oak Sage (and Battle Orders) when the former is applied first. For example, level 20 Dire Wolves (+525% life) with level 20 Oak Sage (+125% Maximum Life) have 1,602 average life, not 855.

    However, this bonus is obviously dependent on the Oak Sage being alive, and it has suicidal tendencies...

    Quote Originally Posted by Flayed One View Post
    I have one suggestion - instead of using standard act 2 merc, how about using act 5 merc with lawbringer? (of course if you don't have reapers toll) Decripify will do wonders for your damage output and safety, while Sanctuary Aura helps immensely against all undead.
    When equipped by a mercenary, you will benefit from the Sanctuary aura's knock back and magic damage to undead within its radius, but it will only ignore the physical damage resistance and immunity of undead when applying the mercenary's physical attack damage; it will not do so when applying the physical damage of your own Tornadoes (or that of your pets).

  7. #7
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    Re: Solo HC Build Question (if anyone is still around to answer)

    Quote Originally Posted by onderduiker View Post
    The Druid Pet Calculator incorrectly adds the +% life bonus from Summon Dire Wolf to the +% Maximum Life bonus from Oak Sage (and Battle Orders) when the former is applied first. For example, level 20 Dire Wolves (+525% life) with level 20 Oak Sage (+125% Maximum Life) have 1,602 average life, not 855.
    Great info onderduiker! Thanks! Is the calculator also mistaken about Heart of Wolverine and Summon Grizzly +%damage bonus, or is it correct?

    P.S. And since you're already here, could you please tell me two things I couldn't find anywhere? What is the level of druid summons for the purpose of hitting/getting hit and what are resistances of Oak Sage/Heart of Wolverine?
    Last edited by Flayed One; 29-07-2013 at 09:46.

  8. #8
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    Re: Solo HC Build Question (if anyone is still around to answer)

    Unfortunately it's correct: Summon Grizzly's passive +% Damage bonus is simply added to +% Damage from other sources.

    Spirit, wolf and bear levels are simply character level at time of summoning; Raven level is slvl + clvl - 2, while creeper or vine level is [clvl * 3/4] + slvl.

    All spirits are Immune to Physical in Nightmare with Damage Resist 100%, but have DR 0% in Normal and Hell; all have Magic, Fire, Lightning and Cold Resist 25% in all difficulty levels; all are Immune to Poison in all difficulty levels (Poison Resist 170% in Normal, PR 200% in Nightmare and Hell).

  9. #9
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    Re: Solo HC Build Question (if anyone is still around to answer)

    Also dont forget the underrated Poison Creeper. That little guy can consume hordes of hell monsters all on its own, although beenfits from a few feral buddies keeping his back above ground

  10. #10

    Re: Solo HC Build Question (if anyone is still around to answer)

    Quote Originally Posted by onderduiker View Post
    All spirits are Immune to Physical in Nightmare with Damage Resist 100%, but have DR 0% in Normal and Hell; all have Magic, Fire, Lightning and Cold Resist 25% in all difficulty levels; all are Immune to Poison in all difficulty levels (Poison Resist 170% in Normal, PR 200% in Nightmare and Hell).
    Wow, this has to make absolutely no sense, what made them decide on 100% DR for NM, but none for Normal and Hell mode?
    Quote Originally Posted by Vivi View Post
    Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set him on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.

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