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Poison Dagger against unbreakable poison-immune monsters...

Discussion in 'Necromancer' started by Namtar, Sep 3, 2013. | Replies: 5 | Views: 4469

  1. Namtar

    Namtar IncGamers Member

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    I'm mainly trying to lure Onderduiker, who seems to have looked into some things that might be relevant to this, but everyone else is, of course, welcome to chime in and make fun of me for even wanting to do this...

    One of my favorite characters has been a poison-based necromancer with the full Trang-Oul's set, Blackbog's Sharp, and Grief on the switch. The fire skills were fun and were actually fairly useful against poison immunities. Grief gave me Venom and was a godsend against dual poison/fire immunities (including some pesky sessile enemies that are impervious to Lower Resist). I even used it to pretty easily kill Uber Diablo when he spawned from PlugY's mock version of that event (on /players8, just like all the rest of the playthrough). I might resort to Grief again, although I want to look at other options.

    My idea is to build a dagger-focused necromancer capable of dishing out the usual massive poison damage, but also capable of stabbing unbreakable poison-immune monsters to death. If I absolutely need to have a switch weapon, then I'll have a switch weapon, but I want to go for a knife-wielding maniac that can demolish monsters with physical damage in addition to poison damage and be defensively robust while doing so. To this end, I'll consider any equipment in the game. I was leaning toward Fleshripper as the primary weapon, but I can test other options too. Is this feasible, or am I just crazy?

    I realize daggers aren't the hardest-hitting weapons and that a necromancer using Poison Dagger can't achieve a very fast attack, but I'm hoping that if I throw enough overpowered equipment at the problem, I can get a durable melee necromancer with decent physical damage and enough poison damage to kill just about everything in the game that isn't immune to poison on /players8 in a few hits. I'm not looking for Fanatic Zealot levels of melee domination here, just thinking that poison packs such a punch already, it might be possible to invest more in physical damage and have a powerful, balanced character.
  2. onderduiker

    onderduiker IncGamers Member

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    Sorry for not responding sooner, but I've had some issues logging in, and staying logged in, over the last couple of days. I think I've sorted it out, though.

    While I've looked into maximising Poison Dagger's potential for one-hit kills, up to and including formerly Immune to Poison monsters in /players 8 Single Player, my solution for dealing with those that always remain Immune to Poison has generally been Fire Wall granted by the full or partial Trang-Oul's Avatar set, mercenary, Grief and Corpse Explosion (both individually and in combination).

    If I were to build with the dagger's physical damage in mind as well, Fleshripper would be my first choice and I'd aim for the following:

    Code:
    ITEM                         IAS   CB    DS                OW     FHR   DR %   FR %       LR %   CR %   PR %
     -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Helm     Guillaume's Face          35%               15%           30
             Jewel of Fervour     15
    Amulet   Highlord's Wrath     20            [0.375*lvl]%                                    35
    Body     Treachery            45                                                                   30
             Level 15 Fade                                                    15        60      60     60     60
    Weapon   Fleshripper               25%               33%   50%     20
             Shael Rune           20   
    Shield   Trang-Oul's Wing                                                       (38-45)                   40
    Belt     Trang-Oul's Girth                                                                         40
    Boots    Gore Rider                15%               15%   10%
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    TOTAL                        100   75%   63+[0.375*lvl]%   60%     50     15   (98-105)     95    130    100
    
    100 IAS gives you a 10 frame attack for maximum attack speed, 75% Chance of Crushing Blow and approaching 100% Deadly Strike (at level 99) helps address the comparatively low base damage of dagger class weapons (particularly a fast one), and 60% Chance of Open Wounds compensates somewhat for reduced poison damage. You can still cast Level 15 Venom on Striking, and have +25% Poison Skill Damage and -25% Enemy Poison Resistance.

    On the defensive side you have 50 Faster Hit Recovery (2 FHR short of 6 frame hit recovery) and, once Treachery's 5% Chance to Cast Level 15 Fade When Struck triggers, reasonably high and balanced resistances. Fleshripper also has Slows Target 20%, which combined with Decrepify will reduce enemy attack and walk/run speed by 70%. As ever, ideally I'd swap weapons to use Call to Arms to cast Battle Orders (and Battle Command). Rings and charms are still open, but I'd be looking for at least one ring with % Mana Stolen per hit (and % Life Stolen per hit as well).

    One advantage daggers have over most other melee weapons is that they receive +[0.75]% Damage per point in Strength and Dexterity, so if you decide to invest in Dexterity to increase chance to block you'll also be improving your physical attack damage (and increasing base AR by 5 per point as well).
  3. Namtar

    Namtar IncGamers Member

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    I'd figured that it would have to be that helm and boots, but I'd thought of Treachery as the poor man's option for a necromancer wanting a Venom proc. I totally forgot that it also had IAS and FHR, which both make it a lot more attractive now. With that armor, you've got just enough IAS to hit 10 frames, which is very nice.

    I get the impression that we both have Trang-Oul's Claws in mind (your table doesn't include a gloves slot), since that seems to be the likeliest source for the 25% Poison Skill Damage and it along with the belt would give the shield the partial set bonus for the -25% Enemy Poison Resistance.

    If this works, it looks like quite a budget build to me. I've accumulated multiple copies of just about all that stuff (I have a weird habit where I save every single unique and set item that I come across with any of my characters, even the mountain of Isenhart's Cases that keep turning up) and putting this together would mostly consist of getting a good base item for the Treachery, the only runeword. Maybe I'll throw some obnoxiously rare gear and/or high runes on the merc to compensate. Or even an Iron Golem, although that'd probably be taking things too far...

    Speaking of which, I'm assuming that an Iron Golem with +Poison Skill Damage or -Enemy Poison Resistance wouldn't actually improve the necromancer's poison damage, as that seems like something that would have come up in other discussions if it did work.
  4. onderduiker

    onderduiker IncGamers Member

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    I may have spoken a little too soon about my log-in issues being resolved...

    At best, a Fanged Knife can achieve 10 frame attack speed with 99 IAS; a Grief Phase Blade can do likewise with just 70 IAS, 30-40 of which you can get from the weapon itself (incidentally, the Attack Speed Calculator has changed url). If you use it just to cast Venom it might allow you to wear a Bramble armour (+(25-50)% Poison Skill Damage) or Fortitude armour (+300% Damage), but it might also be hard to resist using it instead of your dagger for physical damage.

    Ah yes; they also have Cold Resist +30%. :)

    Obviously you could have a Desert Mercenary supplying Might and equipping the Pride polearm (although its lack of Enhanced Damage may hurt his survival without a summoned escort), make an Iron Golem out of a Pride polearm or Beast axe or scepter (although I'd be loath to do this without investing in Golem Mastery and a Call to Arms weapon), or equip a Rogue Scout with a Faith bow instead (add Level 9-15 Fanaticism Aura When Equipped, and you only require 26-32 IAS for a 10 frame attack with Fleshripper). If you had an ethereal Fleshripper and a Zod Rune to make it Indestructible, that might be worth considering as well (unless it has a low roll on its (200-300)% ED: an ethereal 200% ED Fleshripper has at most 12.5% more physical weapon damage than a 300% ED non-ethereal Fleshripper; socket the latter with an Ohm Rune, and there's no difference).

    Yes, Any +% Poison Skill Damage or -% Enemy Poison Resistance on the Iron Golem will only apply to its own poison damage (if any), not that of the Necromancer.
  5. Namtar

    Namtar IncGamers Member

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    Well, a Fanaticism aura would be nice for more physical damage, but what I really like about the Treachery setup with 100 IAS is that the necromancer can hit 10 FPA without needing to worry about having an alive mercenary or golem nearby. An ethereal indestructable Fleshripper with a Faith merc could hit hard, but I'd be hesitant to give up the reliability and self-sufficiency of the Treachery setup (a big part of the appeal of this attempt for me is the idea that I could run around stabbing everything to death with impunity, and losing my damage output and leech potential when my merc dies runs contrary to that).

    I thought about Grief as a source of Venom (well really, I'm still thinking about it). I suspect that you're right about how it would be too tempting to use it over Fleshripper as a physical damage source. Fleshripper benefits from the AR boost of Poison Dagger, so where Grief's ITD fails, that might be an issue, but for the most part, I'd just be running around wielding a Grief phaseblade, which non-necromancers can put to such better use. At least with Fleshripper, I can use something that makes the necromancer unique. I was also thinking about Dragon in a shield, but it doesn't seem like it would offer much other than the Venom proc (which would be less convenient because it would require being struck, although Treachery's Fade has the same issue) and Trang-Oul's Wing is just so valuable as a source of -% Enemy Poison Resistance that taking it out of the shield slot just for Venom might be silly. In light of what you've pointed out about IAS breakpoints, Treachery appears to be the most attractive option.

    If I go with the Treachery setup, what would be my best socketing option for the Trang-Oul's Wing? The first thing that came to mind was a Rainbow Facet, which could provide a valuable boost to the poison damage that I'm not getting from my other gear.
  6. onderduiker

    onderduiker IncGamers Member

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    You could make a Dragon body armour instead, but other than Venom there still isn't any particularly good reason to equip it... and its Level 14 Holy Fire Aura When Equipped could make you a monster magnet, like a Fire Golem.

    If you go for 75% chance of blocking (or it's a by-product of Dexterity investment to increase Attack Rating and +% Damage), I'd recommend a Shael Rune to reduce your block rate from 11 to 8 frames, making it 37.5% faster. Daggers have no rangeadder, so the monsters you attack will always be able to reciprocate, even when blinded by Dim Vision. However, block rate isn't as big an issue when you're just poisoning them, and while applying physical damage is more reliant on sustained attacks, if you cast Decrepify in preference to Amplify Damage then, combined with Fleshripper's Slows Target 20% and possible chilling from any cold damage items, many monsters will be reduced to the 15% attack speed floor, significantly reducing the frequency of attacks which might be blocked.

    You could also replace the Shael Rune in Fleshripper and the Jewel of Fervour in Guillaume's Face with Rainbow Facet Jewels and still retain an 11 frame attack (minimum 58 IAS), reducing attack speed by ~9%. Your choice may depend on whether you equip charms with skill bonuses over maximum damage and attack rating bonuses, or vice versa, and whether you want the balance to tip one way or another (which in turn may depend on how you want to deal with poison immunities which can be removed: still kill them with poison, or supplement this with physical damage?).

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