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Under Powered and Under Rated builds

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by Pyrotechnician, Jul 12, 2013. | Replies: 24 | Views: 3235

  1. Pyrotechnician

    Pyrotechnician IncGamers Site Pal

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    Everywhere you see people looking for the most powerful builds out there so Logout and myself are brainstorming a group of under powered and under rated builds that it would just be fun to see running around in game together. The build ideally would serve some sort of purpose but most likely won't be dealing a lot of damage overall. We of course have been able to pick two obvious ones and started them together just for fun, but lets see if anyone else has any ideas. Ideally you should come up with 1 or 2 builds for each class that just aren't the top notch killers everyone usually uses.

    Ideas off the top:

    Paladin - Healer Pally or Converter Pally
    Amazon - Passive Zon
    Necromancer - Mojomancer (curses) or Golemmancer
    Druid - Summoner

    Lets hear them people.
  2. srrw

    srrw IncGamers Member

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    Amazon - Immozon, Impalazon, Passivezon, MA/GA Single target killer
    Assassin - Firetrapper, some kind of supporting BoI/MB/DS/Dtalon immobilizer
    Necromancer - Lord of Mages, Mojo/Golemancer as you suggested
    Barbarian - Thrower?
    Paladin - Abbot, Converter, Ranger, Auradin (by this I mean a purely passive support one, Conviction, Fanaticism, Meditation, Sanctuary etc.)
    Sorceress - Shiver Armor/ES Tank, Hydra/Static, Nova/TS/ES, Pure Glacial Spike, InfernoBlazer?, Dual Nova
    Druid - All of the builds I can think of are actually pretty viable... Maybe a Wind/Fire hybrid?
  3. maxicek

    maxicek IncGamers Member

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    I think you just need to look through the Mat, Pat & Guardian compilation - they are all there.
    In fact most builds can be made pretty powerful, especially if you design the character well and with 1.13s access to high runewords.

    A few of my more unusual builds, varying in strength:
    Yisselda - Zerkazon
    Elric - Meleemancer
    Sharadim - ES Enchantless Vengeance Sorceress
    Katajana - Fanatic Zealot Assassin
    Beowulf - Kodiak Bear (Not sure I would consider this one under rated though. In fact the opposite)
    ORen_Ishii - Aggressin
    Urlik_Skarsol - PDR Berserker

    And the getting more powerful:
    Illian - 2h Sword Titan Bearzon
    Ultima - The Ultimate Assassin
  4. zaphodbrx

    zaphodbrx IncGamers Member

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    I'll pitch in and recommend Fire druid and druid summoner together.

    Strange thing is, both builds kind of suck on their own. But when put together they form a really good team. You got two types of spirits, fully synergized skills instead of half and half, and able to take out p8 Hell without any real problems - I don't recall dying. We did have top notch items though, I won't deny that.
  5. onderduiker

    onderduiker IncGamers Member

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    Hunger is bugged such that a Werebear only actually executes every other attack, so its maximum attack rate at 4 frames is effectively 8 frames. The same bug sometimes applies to a Werewolf using Hunger as well.
  6. Pyrotechnician

    Pyrotechnician IncGamers Site Pal

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    onderduiker, didn't expect you here. With all of your vast knowledge, what would you say is the most under powered/under rated?
  7. maxicek

    maxicek IncGamers Member

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    I read one of your other posts saying the same thing not that long ago. Shame I didn't know it at the time, I would have gone 2h sword fire claws. So with this knowledge, Kodiaks suck twice as much as I thought before!

    If you really want interesting builds, look to the oSkills items, e.g. Passion, Vengeance etc.
  8. naranjadita

    naranjadita IncGamers Member

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    Teeth necro.
    Poison vine or/and Twister druid.
    Leap Attack barb is... very special... as well.
    Martyr paladin(especially unshielded)
    Firetrappers are usualy quite rare (though this one os more underrated than underpowered).
  9. onderduiker

    onderduiker IncGamers Member

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    I played Single Player Diablo II on a regular basis between December 2000 and May 2007, so it's been six years since I've put much thought into particular builds rather than mechanics (although since 1.13 I've intermittently played one of each class and respecialised when the mood took me, or when I found particular items). Any skill or build that wouldn't be considered for item finding or getting to level 99 is likely to be underpowered, but isn't likely to be underrated unless words like 'useless' aren't understood to be shorthand for 'not as good as X' (in most cases: anybody who wants to kill things with Raven or Psychic Hammer in Hell will require an insane level of sheer bloody-mindedness).

    In the intervening years, I've learned that there are a few skills which aren't as underpowered as they appear, or which are worse (normally due to bugs). Some of what follows may already be known to some (or all), particularly if you've referred to the skill pages of the Amazon Basin's Diablo II wiki. Despite the length it is by no means exhaustive, but it should provide some food for thought.

    Amazon
    Magic Arrow adds 1 minimum and maximum damage each level, which according to the character screen is simply tacked on at the end. However, it is actually treated like minimum and maximum damage bonuses from items, so +% Damage enhances it: while the character screen only adds 20 for level 20 Magic Arrow, if you have +900% Damage (*10) then average damage is actually increased by 200 before any critical hit.

    Power Strike's +% Attack Rating doesn't apply due to a bug. While that doesn't mean it cannot be used, the fact that it's meant to do just two things and it only actually does one of them (add lightning damage) is discouraging.

    Impale does not apply Critical Strike or Deadly Strike.

    Immolation Arrow might have improved since 1.13, but despite the fact its fire damage per second can be (much) higher than displayed it still isn't great. On the other hand, unlike Exploding Arrow its fire damage is applied not just by the explosion, but the arrow as well.

    Assassin
    Blade Sentinel and Blade Fury have the same issue as Magic Arrow: the character screen simply adds their damage bonus at the end, but it's actually enhanced by +% Damage (and doubled by a critical hit). Blade Shield is actually worse, since not only is its added damage not enhanced by +% Damage, but the 1/4 attack damage penalty also applies to its skill damage bonus. On the other hand, Blade Shield doesn't suffer any further penalty for using a two-handed weapon (the other two Blade skills do, but this isn't displayed by the character screen).

    While -% Target Defence and Ignore Target's Defence don't apply to Blade Sentinel chance to hit, it gains 5 AR per skill level and, because it's a pet, a much larger AR bonus based on its level (min(slvl + (0.75*clvl) , clvl) ). For example, a level 20 BS summoned by a level 80 Assassin will be level 80 itself and receive +3,218 AR (so chance to hit displayed for an Assassin's standard Attack isn't an accurate indicator of BS chance to hit).

    Claw Mastery's +% AR doesn't apply to Blade Fury.

    Using Blade Shield offensively would certainly be underpowered: one possibility is recasting it to apply % Chance to Cast on Attack more quickly (for example, the Rift Rune Word's 16% Chance to Cast Level 21 Frozen Orb on Attack), although on Attack effectively becomes on Striking since a hit check is actually made.

    Barbarian
    Anything other than Concentrate, Frenzy, Whirlwind and Berserk might be considered underpowered, but the remaining Combat Skills are all perfectly viable (although the damage added by Bash doesn't get applied until after damage has been applied to the target, which means it only gets taken into account when calculating Life and Mana Stolen). Forsaking Combat Skills and weapon Masteries entirely to use a bow or crossbow would be a possibility, particularly with Piercing Attack from items.

    Alternatively, you could take advantage of oskills and the Barbarian's ability to use two weapons to make a Barbarian Avenger with the Kingslayer Rune Word as secondary weapon to allow you to use Vengeance with a much more damaging primary weapon, or a Barbarian Zealot with the Passion Rune Word as secondary weapon to allow you to use Zeal with a more damaging primary weapon (without the annoying Hit Causes Monster to Flee, or Hit Blinds Target overwriting another curse like Decrepify). The down side is that thrashing around with one weapon while holding up the other like an umbrella can make him look... silly.

    Druid
    With the possible exception of Armageddon, the fire Elemental skills can often perform better than expected because their mechanics mean that damage can be applied more often than you think. Unfortunately, they lack versatility for solo play in Hell (despite the fact three of them apply physical damage as well). I've always been intrigued by the possiblity of a Shape Shifter (most likely a Werebear using Fire Claws) casting Armageddon (its erratic mechanics should be less annoying if you're not solely reliant on it and have something else to do), but I've never sat down and worked out the best way to go about it.

    Arctic Blast is bugged such that its actual damage per second is half its displayed damage per second, but if you're patient it can still get the job done (particularly when combined at shorter range with Hurricane). Because monsters do not regenerate in frames in which they take any damage and AB fires missiles every other frame, it effectively halves damage regeneration. If you've been assuming that Hurricane applies its damage once per second, then you'll be glad to know its DPS is actually 25% higher since its actually applied every 0.8 second.

    I'd imagine Twister can also get the job done but I've never been tempted because Tornado does far more damage, which can induce hit recovery to rival the effect of Twister's 0.4 second (10 frame) stun length (which would be continuous with a 10 frame cast rate if there were no one second next delay preventing this). While Tornado also has a one second next delay, this only prevents its collision damage being applied more than once every 26 frames; it also applies radial damage every 0.6 second (which, unlike its own collision damage and that of Twister, cannot be blocked).

    Casting Shockwave offensively has become more viable with the Maul synergy bonus introduced by 1.13, but if you've played a Warcry Barbarian and found him frustrating then it's not recommended.

    While Poison Creeper applies a surprising amount of damage against multiple adjacent targets due to the Last Collide mechanic, it will still be extremely slow against single targets and I found that it induces increasingly severe lag in SP (although that was on an older computer).

    Spirit of Barbs is actually even worse than advertised, since it displays 30 + (20*slvl)% damage returned when 40 + (10*slvl)% is actually applied. This means at level 20 it may display 430% damage returned and gain 20% with each level, but it actually applies 240% and gains just 10% with each level (Thorns, a level 6 skill, applies 10% more at level 1 and gains 40% per level).

    Necromancer
    Poison damage is arguably my specialist subject in Diablo II, and within that I've paid particular attention to Poison Dagger. Once I'd worked out how to kill Baal with a single stab, I dialed it back and did some research into the minimum damage required to kill others with a single stab. While there isn't really any contest with Poison Nova (particularly since 1.13 inexplicably increased PN damage without doing likewise for PD and Poison Explosion, and Death's Web is a wand, not a dagger), PD is much better than the character screen suggests once poison damage and length from items and Venom are added (the character screen simply adds their total displayed damage to PD damage, rather than combining their damage rates and lengths), particularly with some -% Enemy Poison Resistance (which, unlike Lower Resist, applies to both poison resistance and poison length reduction: in the absence of both, -50% EPR increases both rate and length by 50%, multiplying total damage by 2.25).

    Knowing that a single stab will kill a monster makes using a single target skill more satisfying and less frustrating (you can chill with cold length or use a Holy Freeze mercenary without worrying about losing track of what you've poisoned), and you can even assign it to the right mouse button and hold it down if you use Knockback and Hit Causes Monster to Flee to force your current target out of range and automatically switch to another within range.

    Iron Maiden is underpowered even among damage returning skills: a modest level of Thorns combined with Amplify Damage is normally (much) better, particularly as damage resistance increases. The only rationale for using IM instead is in combination with Bone Wall or Prison, since Thorns does not apply to them. However, both have DR 50% in Hell and cannot be cursed... unlike monsters prior to conversion.

    Paladin
    The last character I played back in 2007 was a Paladin using Smite, Thorns, Conversion and Amplify Damage from a Lacerator Unique Winged Axe's 33% Chance to Cast Level 3 AD on Striking: the idea was to cast AD with Smite, convert a cursed monster and then step back and watch the other cursed monsters beat themselves to death on it.

    While this significantly improved damage returned per hit, and it was particularly satisfying against the heavy hitters that might normally be quite dangerous (Extra Strong and Aura Enchanted Unique monsters with Might or Fanaticism, like Lord de Seis), aside from the obvious limitation of only applying to melee attacks there are a disconcertingly large number of melee attackers who have the annoying habit of running around or away, particularly after taking significant damage. It also suffers more from increasing the player count, since monster life increases by 50% per player but their attack damage only increases by 6.25% (1/16).

    Sacrifice does not apply Critical or Deadly Strike, which is obviously good for safety but bad for damage. It can and has been done, and since Life Tap would be preferred to Decrepify or Amplify Damage it would require a different approach if you decided to incorporate it into a Zealot build (since Sacrifice is a synergy to Zeal), using it to focus damage on a single target.

    Sorceress
    Inferno suffers from the same issue as Arctic Blast, but it's more damaging in itself.

    Thunder Storm is frustrating to use in isolation, but it can be used in combination with Nova (use Nova to kill most monsters, then let TS help finish off any stragglers) or to help your mercenary finish off an Immune to Fire and Cold monster (although Static Field is probably more than adequate). It cycles through all targets within an 11 1/3 yard radius, so the only way to target it is to eliminate other targets by killing them or teleporting so that they're no longer in range.
  10. Age

    Age IncGamers Member

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    The thing I like about Magic arrow is that + skills add to the % converted to magic damage and in hell magic damage is more likely to have less resistance. As far as I know critical strike applies to both parts because it's a conversion like berserk/lightning bolt. I believe nothing in the game is magic/physical immune so there's that too.
  11. srrw

    srrw IncGamers Member

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    Except for Stone Skin Plague Bearers, which is quite a rare sight.
  12. thefranklin

    thefranklin IncGamers Member

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    Ha, this was funny. I bet that barb would have a British accent.

    I vote static field sorc. Super powerful as long as you don't actually need to kill anything, with a small lightening immune problem.
  13. logoutzero

    logoutzero IncGamers Member

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    Static Field and Thunder Storm (?) would fit the bill. Good enough to do something, but not enough to do anything! Pharphis had limited amounts of fun or something with a Frost Nova Sorc too. He twinked her through the teeth and still wasn't too powerful. With low twinkage, I bet she would be quite under powered!
  14. pharphis

    pharphis IncGamers Site Pal

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    I didn't have fathom on frost nova sorc, but it was very fun, though ofc not nearly as effective as a blizzeh.
    I would have played her more but deeded to a boss pack's death explosion (max block, 1k life, decent res...)
  15. Jason Maher

    Jason Maher IncGamers Member

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    Is Frost Nova viable in pre-1.10 patches, or does the lack of a synergy compensate for the reduced monster health and leave it gimped? It always struck me as weird that the Novas are so under-powered, considering they are kind of signature skills, and they require significant risk to use (have to stand in the middle of mobs, unlike Blizzard, Orb, Lightning, Fireball, etc.).
  16. naranjadita

    naranjadita IncGamers Member

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    FN is viable now.
    The only downside is maxing FO as a synergy, so while playing you'll feel like having a large heavy bag full of firearms and punching monsters with that bag instead of actually using a gun.
  17. Age

    Age IncGamers Member

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    I don't know why they didn't make one of the armors the FN synergy. Would have made a bit more sense.
  18. thefranklin

    thefranklin IncGamers Member

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    Fully agree! The temptation to just use orb won't be there anymore, and you defense would be.

    Jason: Damage is too low in old patches (at least LOD patches) to kill anything with frost nova.
  19. Pyrotechnician

    Pyrotechnician IncGamers Site Pal

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    Some pretty good ideas in here everyone, now I just need enough players to throw them all into the same game! Haha.

    Frost Nova was always gimped, but pre 1.10 it was severly lacking. The standard nova however was much much better in pre 1.10 patches as the damage was respectable (2kish pretty easy) in comparison to monster health. But since it was essentially skipped over for synergies its no where near as nice now.
  20. onderduiker

    onderduiker IncGamers Member

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    Stone Skin Unique Wailing Beasts will also be Immune to Physical and Immune to Magic in Hell (although also a rare sight), but in both cases the physical immunity can be removed by cursing them with Decrepify or Amplify Damage since they only have DR 100% (which is ignored in the case of Plague Bearers when you have Sanctuary active).

    A somewhat related fact: nothing in the Throne of Destruction (including the Super Unique monsters) can be simultaneously Immune to Lightning and Immune to Physical in Hell.

    Assuming the Kingslayer or Passion Rune Word was made in a Phase Blade to maximise average weapon speed:


    ... this is a priceless family heirloom and I will not profane it with the blood of you horrible little oiks... this, on the other hand, is Sescheron Steel... say what you like about those uncouth northerners, they forge a fine blade when they're not busy eating their own babies...

    Do you see? Ah... I do apologise, that will be quite impossible now that I've cut off the top of your head... terribly sorry... I say! Look with your eyes, man, don't try to grab it like some grubby little poor person! Take that, sir! And that! And that and that and that!

    I mean really, what are things coming to when a chap can't step outside for a brisk constitutional without being beset by a bunch of yahoos at every turn... it's all going to the dogs, I tell you, to the dogs...



    For the record, I'm English (born in Manchester, so I'm one of those uncouth northerners who insist on pronouncing words like glass without an r).

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