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PvM Elemental Zeal Druid - need some advice!

Discussion in 'Druid' started by Snerra, Mar 14, 2012. | Replies: 15 | Views: 3929

  1. Snerra

    Snerra IncGamers Member

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    PvM Elemental Zeal Druid - need some advice!

    Hey,

    I haven't posted in this section before now, and in fact I'm playing my first druid at the moment, un-twinked on ladder. I've been planning a PvM fire melee druid using the Passion runeword for zeal, with points in summoning for support. Similar to the hunter builds, I want something that lets me be active while waiting for spells to come off cd - I just find melee more fun and it goes well with armageddon/hurricane. I've found next to nothing about such druid builds, so I've had to plan the character myself. :p

    My druid is currently only level 47, in nightmare, but this is the build I'm going for: fire zeal druid. (I picked oak sage on my druid, but I think HoW would've been a better choice)

    So far it's been a blast. Running into a group with armageddon and hurricane (for slow) up, and spamming fissure and fighting makes you feel like a real force of nature. My melee is quite weak atm, but that's because the gear I have is bad. Still, it's great fun. But I'm starting to wonder if wind would've been a better choice?

    Hurricane is really helpful so far, even with no synergies. Armageddon is only lvl 1 on my druid so far, with around 10 points invested in fissure and volcano each - and geddon isn't doing much at all. Will it get better? On the other hand, fissure is incredible and clears whole packs in seconds. I also can't fire and forget tornadoes like I can fissure, so points in tornado would only be useful for the dmg bonus to hurricane. Wind also requires a much larger skill point investment, which weaken my summons. Any suggestions?

    I'd also like to hear what you think of the gear I'm aiming for. Note that since I'm playing untwinked, this is pretty cheap stuff.
    Weapon - Passion (flail or berserker axe? not sure), Demon Limb for switch
    Shield - Spirit
    Armor - Duress/Fortitude
    Helm - Shako or Guillaume, maybe Ravenlore despite its ugliness
    Gloves - IK gauntlets (+25% IAS with IK belt)
    Belt - IK belt
    Boots - War traveler/Gore Rider
    Rings - Ravenfrost and life leech ring
    Amulet - Highlord's Wrath

    I need some +skill for zeal, but beyond that, I'm a little clueless :scratchchin:

    As for merc, I'm thinking holy freeze if I go fire, and might if I go wind. With Insight poleaxe allowing me to spam spells.

    Hope to hear any thoughts you might have. Thanks!
  2. zaphodbrx

    zaphodbrx IncGamers Member

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    Re: PvM Elemental Zeal Druid - need some advice!

    I made one of these and the writeup is here. I used Oath runeword rather than passion, for HoW and increased damage. Personally, I would say- don't bother. It's a weak fire-melee-summon combo that ends up being mediocre at all three areas.

    Instead, I would suggest giving up the meleeing and go full out on +skills, which help both summons and fire. Or go pure fire, relying on volcano physical damage and/or infinity runeword.

    Shako/Jalals/Delirium in suitable helm
    Mara's Kaleidoscope/ +2 druid ammy
    Rain body armor or SOVM
    HOTO
    Spirit
    Arachnid mesh
    Magefist
    SOJ/Ravenfrost
    Any rare boot with frw/resists.

    ofcourse a lot of this is not obtainable in untwinked, but it gives you an idea of what to aim for.
    Oh, and armageddon is flat out terrible. 1 point only for the cool meteor shower visual effects.
  3. Pyrotechnician

    Pyrotechnician IncGamers Site Pal

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    Re: PvM Elemental Zeal Druid - need some advice!

    Probably the reason you haven't found any builds such as this is because the fury skill offers much more than zeal and doesn't limit your weapon choice at the same time. Although this is an interesting build I fear that your physical damage may be on the low side since Passion has such a low ED% even on a high end roll.

    Depending on how much you use fissure and volcanoe, you may find that you will spend more time casting then actually fighting in which case you are just limiting your effectiveness in one or the other. Armageddon however is more of a cast and forget type of skill, the reason it probably seems ineffective is because the meteors that drop are very difficult to control, for every 10 that drop, maybe only 1 or 2 actually connect making it seem very underpowered. Fissure on the other hand is almost gaurenteed to hit, and if its a large enemy can actually hit with multiple patches at the same time creating large damage outputs. I do have a hunter type build something similar to what you have here, I used hoto/spirit (could easily substitute with dual spirits) on one switch and a harmony bow on the other, I pumped dire wolf/grizzly, volcanoe/fissure, rest into armagedon, I found that over 75% of the time if the enemy wasn't fire immune I wasn't firing arrows unless I was waiting for the casting timer to run out and my summons were normally able to take them out before I did any substantial damage (summons included the valk from harmony as well).

    If you really want to focus on armageddon though I would suggest dropping the passion and using the fury skill in Werewolf form. Then instead of maxing additional wolf skills, max out armagedon and its synergies. Since Armagedon/Hurricane can be cast while shapeshifted it gives you the use of both elemental skills and physical damage without much additonal thought.
  4. Snerra

    Snerra IncGamers Member

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    Re: PvM Elemental Zeal Druid - need some advice!

    Hey zaphodbrx, thanks for your input. I did actually find your writeup at one point, but somehow lost it again. You're probably right, but where's the fun in that? You said it yourself, "[...] it would be a lot more boring to stand around waiting for skill cooldowns and no fun ctc firestorms and meteors. Pure fire would have been even worse [...]" :wink: Incorporating melee into a fire build makes a lot of sense. So since I'm not quite ready to give up on the idea yet, a few questions...

    - How come you specced into grizzly instead of, for instance, armageddon?
    - The gear you chose seem to lack a few useful melee affixes, like life leech and crushing blow. Wouldn't focusing more heavily on proper melee gear improve your staying power in combat? Zeal would allow you to get a good number of attacks per second, too.

    Edit:
    Pyrotechnician - Good points. I agree that the dmg of passion could be a problem. I am already spending much more time casting than fighting, but that's also because I'm squishy and have to spend time doing evasive manoeuvres. I assume that with better gear, I will be able to go in and hit stuff rather than run around. Still, it's certainly problematic if my damage is so low; perhaps something like Crescent Moon with its static field ctc would be a good alternative?
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  5. zaphodbrx

    zaphodbrx IncGamers Member

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    Re: PvM Elemental Zeal Druid - need some advice!

    -Spec into grizzly is necessary because otherwise wolves/bear will do no damage at all.
    -My gear was chosen with focus on three points- fire, wolves and melee. So I had to give up on some attribute somewhere. Another thing, I didn't have that much gear at that time as I do now, otherwise I might have reworked it with String of Ears, Highlords, Gores, etc.

    Yes, do play this build if you want to. Be aware though, that it isn't anything like pvm ownage. Not even close.
  6. Pyrotechnician

    Pyrotechnician IncGamers Site Pal

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    Re: PvM Elemental Zeal Druid - need some advice!

    Cresent moon has the same ED problem that Passion has, however, what cresent moon has is both the ctc static and ignore target defense which are two key elements in a build like this. The static will help lower groups of enemies health down to half and then your fire skills and summons can take care of the rest. The ignore target defense will allow you to hit non boss/champions with ease and eliminates any AR problems you may have. Your only difficulty will be boss backs at this point and it even brings in another source of damage other than fire/physical.

    This however still will not really improve your survivability (other than the theory a good offenses is the best defense). Is it the physical hits that are causing you trouble or ranged elemental attacks while trying to rush in?
  7. zaphodbrx

    zaphodbrx IncGamers Member

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    Re: PvM Elemental Zeal Druid - need some advice!

    I am actually thinking of rebuilding my druid with the following changes.

    >I will max fissure and fireclaw, having fireclaw as my melee attack in bear form, also shockwave. Fissure as a ranged attack when unshifted ( against dolls, say ).
    >20 points in grizzly and wolves of course.
    >Will use Beast and Oath on switch. Oath only for level 14 HoW, as druids can retain that summoned HoW even when switched back. Between fanaticism, HoW, might ( merc ), and shockwave support, my summons should own. Beast will boost Werbear/lycan ( that I'll have only one point in ), and it's not half bad as a hitting weapon. Reapers on merc ( decrepify ).
    >Fire abilities will deal with PIs.
    >Go bonkers on +skills, specially for summons. Trainers GCs, +3 amulet, spirit shield, etc.

    Ofcourse it helps that I now have all that equipment ( which I didn't back then ).
  8. Verashiden

    Verashiden IncGamers Member

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    Re: PvM Elemental Zeal Druid - need some advice!

    If you don't want to shift but wants summons, fire spells, and something to do in between, might I recommend Fire Huntermentalist? It's a Hunter variant designed to lay down AoE fire support for the summons and attack with a Bow. By far my favorite Druid build as you're literally never sitting there doing nothing.
  9. Snerra

    Snerra IncGamers Member

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    Re: PvM Elemental Zeal Druid - need some advice!

    Hey everyone, thanks for the replies. It's been a while, but I didn't want to reply before I had time to experiment, level and play a little more with my druid.

    So here's a status update on the druid. He's level 71 now and I just respecced him. As I mentioned earlier, he was basically a fire druid and the melee part wasn't working (although I didn't get to try zeal, I don't think it would've made a difference).

    So I've scrapped the entire fire part and switched to wind, I also put points into werebear and maul, while maintaining some points in summons. It's based somewhat on the Kodiak build. It isn't pretty, but it looks like this: Druid build [lvl 85]

    Having to shift to cast hurricane is slightly annoying - I actually didn't know the delay from hurricane applied to shapeshifting :( Regardless, it's pretty cool so far. My kill speed went up a lot and my melee attacks do something.

    I'm quite stretched for skill points. I don't know if the points in dire wolf are worthwhile - they and the grizzly have been really helpful so far with the fire build, but having more synergies with hurricane would be nice too.

    I'm just starting hell, and there have been a lot of cold immune zombies and yeti, which take a while to kill. I'm using Aldur's weapon so my maul only hits for 500-900 dmg and is quite slow; I only have an um rune, so not sure what to upgrade to.
  10. Scoobydoo

    Scoobydoo IncGamers Member

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    Re: PvM Elemental Zeal Druid - need some advice!

    I currently have a Town Dump Werebear (following the guide by safetypro) in the works, and I have to say it's been a blast playing him. While my druid may not be a heavy elemental based build the early on (relying purely on Tiamat's Rebuke shield for ele dmg), he does end up bashing his way through hell right now due to the heavy elemental dmg & crushing blow mods granted by IK maul and the rest of the IK gear recommended in the guide. I have yet to encounter a mob he is unable to kill, and you may want to take at guide to see if it gives you any form of inspiration to tweak your character further.
  11. Pyrotechnician

    Pyrotechnician IncGamers Site Pal

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    Re: PvM Elemental Zeal Druid - need some advice!

    Aldur's is truly just a terrible mauling weapon as the damage is just plain bad. For some reason when I click your link all I get is a blank layout so I can't really see what your getting at there. If you do plan on using Maul for your main attack then you should consider using the IK maul and additional set pieces as its cheap, easy to find and extremely effective, but it may be quite a bit more strength then you currently have invested.

    Since your on ladder and once again playing on the cold skills, you could try using a rift runeword, it has a 20% chance to cast level 16 tornado on striking which when synergized wouldn't be too bad of an option, but would recommend using it with werewolf/fury since you'll want to see the tornados fly pretty often. Either that or if you happen to have/find a windhammer ogre maul, that weapon releases twisters quite frequently and since you went the cold route it would be synergized at least and provides a free source of stun.
  12. Snerra

    Snerra IncGamers Member

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    Re: PvM Elemental Zeal Druid - need some advice!

    Thank you again for the replies!

    Yeah, the aldur's really is terrible, haha, but it's all I got right now... IK maul would be a cheap and excellent option, but it feels like a waste not to use the stormshield I got - and besides, having to shapeshift back to human form to cast hurricane can potentially leave me vulnerable, so I'd rather have a shield in that case. Well, something to consider.

    Still, I think it's a good idea to get a weapon with some +elemental damage, like scoobydoo mentioned. I ran into a physical immune zombie on hell and I couldn't really kill it - my hurricane did little dmg to it. :no: And since I'm a werebear (shockwave is incredible, and works well together with hurricane), I need a fast weapon. I've been looking into these options:

    Azurewrath PB - sadly level 85 req, but a ton of elemental dmg and +1skills, 7 fpa. Number one choice, though.
    Crescent Moon PB - gives static field, but only 7% ctc... And quite low dmg. 7 fpa.
    Stormlash - too expensive, I think, and a little slower at 10 fpa.
    Barana's Star - quite slow, at 11 fpa.
    Lightsabre PB - Wouldn't last through hell, I think, but it's an upgrade.


  13. Pyrotechnician

    Pyrotechnician IncGamers Site Pal

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    Re: PvM Elemental Zeal Druid - need some advice!

    A shield is nice, but the problem with it is that the block rate while shifted is terribly slow, so you would actually be putting yourself at a disadvantage in most cases. In either situation though if physical immunes are your problem I would highly recommend a lawbringer, at the cost of amn+lem+ko, it provides santuary, decrep, and elemental damage. Its not much for physical damage so I would probably keep it on switch, but useful nonetheless.
  14. Scoobydoo

    Scoobydoo IncGamers Member

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    Re: PvM Elemental Zeal Druid - need some advice!

    A Reaper's Toll on a HF or Might merc would also be extremely useful.
  15. minuses

    minuses IncGamers Member

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    Re: PvM Elemental Zeal Druid - need some advice!

    The best way to build this kind of druid is keeping geddon up while you zeal. I think ravenlore would be a big help for this build since the fire is nice for weakening the monsters. For the passion weapon I am not sure and I am too lazy to check out the ias calculator so you can use titan seal calculator to find out what weapon would be best for your build. I would go HoW for this build instead of oak. Consider getting more ar for this build. I would recommend you to get several 36 ar scs for some back up ar so you can hit more often. Good luck testing out your elemental melee druid.
  16. Snerra

    Snerra IncGamers Member

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    Re: PvM Elemental Zeal Druid - need some advice!

    The White Bear has brought the cold winter winds to bear on the minions of Hell. The druid is now patriarch, at level 86, having defeated first the Ancients and since Baal alone.

    The build and gear is more or less 'complete': http://www.diablofans.com/page/tool...0010k10k0k121010001010110fa001l0l4l0l2l0lal00

    Major credit goes to SSoG for his Mighty Kodiak guide. It's very enjoyable and well written and has a lot of good information.

    The build is not as strong as I would've thought, unfortunately. At least in hell. There are so, so many cold immunes, and although you can kill them, it takes a while. Big packs of archers are a pain to deal with, if you can't get some good shockwaves. Still, it's great fun and has a unique playstyle.

    Advantages
    • Like the wind druid you do cold and physical damage, but you also get a larger life pool, more defense, the ability to use melee modifiers such as crushing blow - and you get to maul things with your mighty bear claws.
    • With the right weapon, fast attack speed (6 fpa)
    • Shockwave and a rather durable grizzly summon
    • Tornadoes still do good damage, and are useful in some situations, i.e. while waiting for the hurricane cating delay to wear off.
    • Can kill any enemy in hell, although it might take a while.

    Disadvantages
    • Not so high damage output, and very low physical damage - which makes life leech a little weak at times, despite your fast attacks.
    • Rather gear dependant. Not many options for weapons.
    • CI+PI enemies are a problem until you get Azurewrath or similar, which has +250-500 magic dmg.
    • You have to shift to human form to refresh hurricane every 50 seconds.


    *** Note: this is not a guide, it's just my character and my current equipment.***

    Stats
    Strength: 156 for stormshield
    Dexterity: 140 (phase blade requires 136)
    Vitality: Rest (I'm at 204 at lvl 86)
    Energy: none

    Life: 681 (with a few scs) in human form, 1585 in bear form

    View attachment 1177
    Sanctuary Aura and Cyclone Armor. That gets style points in my book.

    Equipment
    Weapon - Azurewrath socketed with a shael (6 fpa)
    Shield - Stormshield
    Helm - Jalal's Mane
    Armor - Duress in Ornate Plate (looks awesome!)
    Gloves - Blood Gloves (bad ones, but 6% CB, 16 life, 15 lightning res)
    Boots - Gore Rider
    Amulet - Highlord's Wrath
    Rings - Carrion Wind and Raven Frost

    Other thoughts & things to test
    There are still some things in the build I'm not sure of; both in terms of skill build and gear.


    • I don't know if the points in dire wolf are worth it - the grizzly is a surprisingly good tank, but at this point, it might be more efficient to boost your wereform and tank yourself.
    • Stormlash is a very interesting weapon. Static field, synergised tornadoes, 33% crushing blow, lightning damage. Fast too. What a perfect, marvelous weapon. Sadly, it's expensive. Grief is another fantastic weapon that's also too expensive for me.
    • Crushing blow. I only have 36% chance with my current gear. Guillaume's might be an option, but Jalal's Mane has a lot of juicy mods for this build... Obviously need to get 10% CB on my gloves, either from Blood gloves or Steelrend.
    • I have no fire res. Heh. It's -25 in hell :tombstone: and only 30 poison res. The other two are at 75. Guess I have to socket Jalal's and Stormshield to make up for that.
    • Mercenary: Don't know about this one! I switched to a blessed aim merc. Might didn't do much for my low physical damage. I now have almost 7k AR with HoW and blessed aim, which seems to work well. But if I get a Demon Limb on switch for enchant, maybe I could get another merc instead: holy freeze or even a fire arrow rogue...

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