Diablo 3: Keep on Trucking

This is going to be a vlog of some Diablo 3 stuff I’ve been working on. Mostly, I’ve been really focused on playing as many classes as possible and trying different gear, even non-end game builds. I’m very close to finishing a few guys up and wanted to share my experiences here.

Today, I finally managed to find an intelligence based Thunderfury, which rolled bad on damage. However, I rerolled the socket into +10% damage, gifted it and provided it to my wizard, who has a complete Vyr + Tal’Rasha + Aughild’s set. The build primarily is fire based but uses the Thunderfury for helping to trigger the elemental meteors from the Tal’Rasha set bonus. For non-set gear, I have a Mirror Ball for the offhand, Magefist for gloves and Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac.

The way this build works is that it’s mixes Magic Missile with Conflagrate to work in conjunction with the Mirror Ball in effectively doubling the number of missiles shot. That along with Black Hole: Blazar are the primary sources of damage. I have roughly 60% cooldown reduction from gear, Evocation and paragon levels. That allows me to place a fair amount of Black Holes while waiting for Archon to come off of cooldown. With the Vyr’s set bonus, I gain access to all runes and pretty much either beam or explode people, which for the most part is my burst damage.

I only tried this on Torment 2 and found the difficulty to be negligible. I’m sure if I tried a higher Torment, I will find some level of difficulty and will need to adjust a few skills (mostly passives) around a bit. However, it is a fun build that really isn’t meant for high level Greater Rifts and just allows me to experiment a bit. I think defensively, the build will suffer since it’s not an effective kiting build (whereas Firebirds provides a high damage DoT)

Another experimental build that I’ve been playing around with is my leapquake + perma Call of the Ancients build. This build uses the 4 piece bonus from the Eyes of Earth and Immortal Kings set along with focusing on fire as the elemental damage of choice. Naturally, you will need the Lut Socks piece to allow for triple Leap and a Ring of Royal Grandeur to maximize the number of pieces you can put onto your character.

My items of choice are the gloves, legs and shoulders for the Eyes of the Earth set while I use the helmet, weapon and belt for the Immortal Kings side. My chest piece is a Cindercoat for the additional Fire damage and resource cost reduction. I do have a really poorly rolled Hellfire Amulet with a socket and the Earthen Might passive. I’m hoping to eventually replace this amulet with a socketed trifecta (critical hit, critical damage and +% fire damage) but more than likely I might have to sacrifice the socket.

The one stat I try to go for is Cooldown Reduction. Right now, I only have it on the weapon, shoulders and gloves although I do use the gem slot. This allows me to Leap reasonably often so that I can pull enemies and plant a fiery earthquake on top of them. I don’t use any generators but have Seismic Slam for my left click (I need to switch the rune to Shattered Ground for the fire damage). For one of my legendary gems, I use the Enforcer since Call of the Ancients pretty much is permanent. At the moment, I have it runed to Together as One but might change it The Council Rises for more fire damage. My other Legendary gem is Gogok of Swiftness so that I can get some more CDR.

Again like my wizard, I’ve only tried this build on Torment 2 and didn’t find any difficulty. I do think I will have to re-evaluate the runes and get a better amulet for higher Torments. Obviously, it won’t beat out the Raekor builds in really high Torments but this is just an experiment at this point in time. I think one interesting thing about this build is that with Call of the Ancients being permanent and working in conjunction with Enforcer, you might be able to do a little more kiting and get out of harms way.

The other three builds I’m working on are a better Pet Doctor, Roland’s Crusader and lightning Raiment of a Thousand Storms monk. The Pet Doctor situation has been pretty bleak lately as I’m missing three critical items in the form of a Tasker and Theos (which I’ve probably spent 10k shards), a Tallman’s Finger and a Starmetal Kukri. Someone was nice enough to give me a Rhen’ho Flayer but the damage was so poor that I ended up going back to the Carnevil build.

The thing I noticed with the Carnevil build is that it’s a very painful build to use. The difficulty lies in building up to and maintaining 15 fetishes. Once you get that many, you’ll eventually face obstacles like walls and corners where the fetishes incoherently fire and make you lose a lot of key damage. The build works very well in long narrow corridors but on average, you’ll find yourself dying a lot trying to hit things, especially elites since you can’t avoid their affixes in close quarters as easily. It is a very lazy build though and you’ll spend the vast majority of the time either collecting monsters via Piranhado or firing your poison darts at them. It’s really good for single targets though once you get up to 15 fetishes but more than likely you’ll have between 6-9 on average. Group play, I really recommend avoiding any class that ends up obscuring effects on the ground (like wizards who think they’re funny with their Wands of Woh).

For my crusader Roland build, I’m still roughly 1-2 pieces missing. The main thing I’m missing is the Angelic Strand belt which provides all the runes for Punishment. The Roland’s set focuses around either Shield Bash or Sweep Attack. While there is a flair that helps a bit with Wrath generation from Sweep Attack (the Golden Flense, which I do have), you still will end up having Wrath generation problems as you need to hit your enemies to make this work. With the Akkhan’s set, you reduce your wrath cost and have massively increased armor. So while the concept of Roland’s might look kinda cool, in practice it has a lot of issues for doing more difficult content. I still want to try it out but will wait until I have at least the belt so that I have a powerful generator.

Finally, there’s my lightning Raiment of a Thousand Storms monk. The main item that makes this set work is the Jawbreaker fist weapon. Unfortunately, I disenchanted the only one I ever found a while back not thinking I’d ever use it because of a low damage roll. Boy was that a mistake! That said, I suppose even without that piece, I have enough damage and items where the basic build is good. For the most part, the way this set works is not unlike the Raekor’s set where you’re effectively ping-ponging around in doing massive damage to groups. The key though is that with the Jawbreaker, you should have more charges of Dashing Strike up, which will end up becoming your primary damage attack.

I do supply my build with both a lightning generator and spender to supplement Dashing Strike for when the charges are up. If you add that item, the 5 piece Raiment, the Eye of the Storms head piece and Thundergod’s Visage (as well as some well rolled Lightning +% damage bracers and a Lightning Stone of Jordan, all of which I actually have), you can really stack up the lightning damage (I have an Odyn’s Son and amulet trifecta amulet with a socket on top of all that). So I’m really itching to give this a try (and hopefully score a Jawbreaker). I might try finishing the Act 5 campaign mode just to test this build out on a T2/3 setting then push her into a T6 to see what happens.

Beyond that I’ve been hitting a wall for a lot of my guys. Mostly, my end game geared guys have been having a great deal of difficulty getting decent drops. My wizard is one that I’ve been playing quite a bit. I did get lucky in finding a +% fire SoJ and took one of my Sun Keeper maces and gifted it. The result was pretty stunning to say the least. Her paper elemental elite damage is around 2.8 million and she practically melts everything in T6 group rift runs. Before I was using the Burning Axe weapon but the switch to the Sun Keeper really put her over the top (as I read that elemental damage eventually hits diminishing returns once you hit the 100% mark, which is why I ended up moving towards elite damage) I have once in a while found an okay piece but nothing that really could be considered a worthy upgrade. At this point, the only pieces of gear that could improve her would be a very well rolled Hellfire Amulet and a Witching Hour. I have seen some insane Wizards with The Furnace but I’m still hesitant about it and will only try it if one shows up.

The other class that I’ve been playing quite a bit out of lately is my crusader. I do use the My Little Pony build with her but as much as I’ve been hitting the group T6’s, I’ve yet to find anything that can be considered a decent upgrade. I did find a Blade of Prophecy but it’s pretty much useless without the seasonal shield. I am going to keep it and just wait until this season is over to see if I can farm that particular shield. Perhaps, if I find the Roland’s set unusable, I’ll simply give it to my other crusader (I practically have an extra Akkhan’s set sitting in my bank).

I did play a little bit of my Raekor barbarian and Sunwuko monk as well. Raekor can be either a really fun build or a horribly frustrating playstyle. I do have most of the gear (which can be better since I can swap a few items from my crusader to him) but right now I’m very much focused on just having each character “gear themselves” (except for my pet doctor for whom I never can find the last 3 items). Sunwuko is a good middle play style. Good survivability, not too much frustration and deals decent damage. I’m still 1-2 items away from my ideal gear but I can keep up for the most part.

Something I’ve been thinking about lately is finishing up my last non-70, which is a seasonal Demon Hunter. Wait, I rolled a seasonal character? Honestly, my only motivation was for the transmog that will come in getting 3 seasonal characters to 70. I figured, why not? Eventually, when the season ends, I probably will just hand her a bunch of my left over Demon Hunter gear that I’ve been saving. Since I like doing a lot of these “odd ball builds” using mixed sets, I figured I might give it a shot with the demon hunter too. The idea will be to use a combination of the Natalya’s set with the Shadow’s Mantle set.

Natalya’s set provides two main things: 1) +7% critical hit; 2) reducing the cooldown for Vengeance. The Shadow’s Mantle set is more of a defensive set, focusing on Shadow Power and Smoke Screen. Like other sets such as Vyr’s, neither of these two sets really have a purpose in high level greater rifts. But I think used in conjunction you can have a bit of fun in trying something different. Obviously, you’ll need a Ring of Royal Grandeur (which coincidentally, I have an extra of in the bank) to start. That will allow you to do some combos.

The way I might put a build like this together would be to use the Natalya’s Slayer 1h Crossbow, the ring and helmet (since none of these pieces overlap with The Shadow Mantle set) and the legs, chest and gloves for the Shadow Mantle part. Right now, I don’t know which element to focus on, so in theory the chest and gloves might be interchangeable with boots. So you could do something like Magefist or Cindercoat if you want +% fire. Or you could go with the Cloak of the Garwulf if you decide for the wolf companion. Of course, you probably want to figure out what offensive skills you will take.

Obviously, three of your action slots will be taken up by Rain of Vengeance, Shadow Power and Smoke Screen. So one idea is that you could use Chakram with the Spines of Seething Hatred as a generator (which is something I actually have). If you go this route, you might be able to use something like Cluster Arrow Loaded for Bear and focus on fire burst damage. My last slot might include Tumble (this is pretty much a must-have for me). Another option would be to go dual crossbow and take up a Calamity for the automatic +20% bonus damage that arises from Marked for Death. The only issue is that you’ll end up taking a weak generator so it’s something you’ll have to decide.

I have seen a slightly similar build where the guy used Strafe and just 2 pieces from Shadow Mantle in conjunction with the Meticulous Bolts quiver and a Krider Shot. It did look promising but until I get a Krider Shot, I can’t do that type of build. I think for my own build, I would have to add Aughild’s bracers and shoulders to get a little damage reduction and elite damage increase.

I might have to research a little more to see if there are any other pieces of gear that can work with this type of build. It is meant to be different just to move away from the M6 build (and I already have 2 of those). At any rate, just some fun stuff. Hope that Blizzard does something special for Christmas (+300% legendary drop rate increase, double Bloodshards and double treasure goblins). Would be nice to at least get a few of these builds/gearing done before season 2 starts.

 

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