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    "Wolfbrother" FAQ by D.Butler

    Updated: 08/23/01 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    ďWolfbrotherĒ Guide for Diablo II: Lord of Destruction
    By Devon Butler
    Hello, this guide was written to create the Wolfbrother, a themed druid
    variant thatís quite viable in multiplayer games.  Your basic focus as a
    Wolfbrother will obviously be the summoning and shapeshifting trees.
    I wrote this a day or two after the 1.09 patch came out so hopefully
    anything I say here will still be accurate.
    Copyright/Legal Stuff
    This guide was created for private use only.  Please do not sell it,
    publish it, or really do anything to it without prior permission from the
    author.  If youíd like to contribute, feel free to contact the author.  
    All Diablo II references belong to Blizzard Entertainment.  
    Version 0.1 Ė 10:30 a.m., 08/23/01: Started the guide
    Table of Contents
    1. Becoming a Wolfbrother
    A.	Basic idea
    B.	Basic skill focus
    C.	Basic stat focus
    2.  Skill Choices
    3.  Stat Choices
    4.  Equipment
    5.  Other Wolfbrother tips
    6.  Final Thoughts
    1.  Becoming a Wolfbrother
    You hear their call.  Your kin beckon you from your quiet cabin nestled in
    a small snow-covered valley.  All your life you have felt a kinship with
    these noble beings of the forest.  Fierce, predatory, and loyal you creep
    from the warmth of your home into the chill winter night.  You feel each
    mind of the pack touch your own, welcoming you among them.  
    Heeding their calls you drop to your knees and your body begins to change.
     Twisting, reforming itself into a savage hybrid.  A scream erupts from
    your lips but turns into a howl as the process completes itself.  No
    longer feeling the nightís bitter air you lope off into the woods to join
    your brothers and sisters.  The hunt has begun.
    A.  Basic Premise of a Wolfbrother
    The general idea behind a Wolfbrother is to create a shape
    shifting-summoning hybrid who specializes in wolves.  Seems simple right? 
    Well youíd be surprised.  There are many, many out there who have turned
    their noses up at me at my idea.  Telling me that it ďsuxxorsĒ and all
    that other clever bnet slang that people are wont to throw about.  I of
    course remind them that itís just a game and at least Iím having fun doing
    my own thing rather than copying someone elseís tired idea.  Their
    response is almost always going hostile.
    You will be laughed at occasionally for picking a build that is not
    designed for sheer power.  Yet I think in the end youíll have more fun and
    get more out of the game than the repetitious ďclick, kill, click, kill,
    loot, kill, click, die, loot, clickĒ sequence.  
    B. Basic Skill Focus
    Ok, your basic skills to work on as a Wolfbrother are: Lycanthropy,
    Werewolf, Spirit Wolves, Dire Wolves, Heart of Wolverine, Feral Rage, and
    These skills are what will make you and your pack a force to be reckoned
    D.  Stat Focus 
    Strong, fast, and tough you are Mother Natureís avatar of justice. 
    Dispensing her rage wherever necessary.  As a result your strength,
    vitality, and dexterity must be high.  
    2.  Skill Choices
    Here we go.  Hereís a look at every skill that youíll want to invest in. 
    You will notice a lack of ratings next to any skill here.  I personally
    think virtually any skill has its uses and should not be judged poorly
    because of my lack of knowledge with it.
    Elemental Tree
    Letís get this right out of the way.  You are not like other druids.  They
    shunned you for your ability to communicate with the animals.  You
    attained a level of attunement that they were never able to achieve.  
    As I stated above, you are Mother Natureís avatar of justice.  You get
    right into the thick of things and let the demons know that they are an
    abomination of everything you stand for.  Standing back and hurling
    meteors at things is not your style.
    So in short, zero points are used here.
    Summoning Tree
    Ah, here we go.  This is where youíll spend some points bringing forth
    your animal companions.
    Skill Name: Raven
    Prerequisites: Level 1
    Pros: Provides an un-targetable bird that will peck your opponents eyes
    Cons: Not really worth it.  Too many points to get too little damage.  In
    addition since your ravens cannot be targeted, they cannot distract
    monsters from you.
    Wolfbrother Comments: These birds are better suited to eating than using
    to attack with.  
    Final Decision: Youíll need a point in here as a prerequisite, but other
    than that.  Leave Ďem.
    Skill Name: Poison Creeper
    Prerequisites: Level 1
    Pros: Itís a vine, and it likes to poison things…and die.  Mostly it
    likes dying.
    Cons: Oh, I think I took care of that in Pros.
    Wolfbrother Comments: I do not like plants, especially this one.
    Final Decision: Prerequisite if you wish to continue in the vine tree.
    Skill Name: Oak Sage
    Prerequisites: Level 6
    Pros:  Provides you with a fair hit point bonus.
    Cons:  Enjoys trying to impress monsters by standing directly next to the
    biggest and nastiest one possible.  As a result, it gets beaten pretty
    Wolfbrother Comments: Bah, oaks are trees, and trees are plants, and you
    know how I feel about plants.
    Final Decision: Put a point in it.
    Skill Name: Spirit Wolves
    Prerequisites: Level 6, Raven
    Pros:  You can get up to five of your kin to fight with you.  In addition
    any point spent here will provide your wolves with a passive bonus to hit
    and defense.
    Cons:  They are not as tough as their dire cousins and will be wiped out
    quickly at higher difficulty levels.
    Wolfbrother Comments:  Good companions to have, but I prefer my Dire
    brothers and sisters.
    Final Decision: Put a few points in here, at least four.
    Skill Name:  Carrion Vine
    Prerequisites: Level 12, Poison Creeper
    Pros:  Creates a tougher vine that will devour corpses and provide you
    with the fruits of its labor.
    Cons: Can get beaten down if left alone.
    Wolfbrother Comments:  While my aforementioned dislike for plants still
    remains, this one serves a purpose.
    Final Decision: Put a point here, more if you like.
    Skill Name:  Heart of Wolverine
    Prerequisites: Level 18, Oak Sage
    Pros: Adds to attack rating and damage.  Looks better than the damn Oak
    Cons: Cons?  You hit things more easily and deal more damage.  No cons
    Wolfbrother Comments:  Ah yes.  The wolverine is a fearsome creature. 
    When our pack possesses itís courage and ferocity they are unstoppable.
    Final Decision:  Allocate tons of points here for maximum benefit.
    Skill Name: Dire Wolf
    Prerequisites: Level 18, Oak Sage
    Pros: Can bring up to three fearsome hunters of the north to devour your
    enemies.  Can deal quite a bit of damage and provide a passive boost to
    hit points for your wolves.  In addition they can consume a corpse and
    enter a blood rage, thus dealing more damage.
    Cons: None.  You have ravenous beasts on your side, what more could you
    Wolfbrother Comments:  Valuable comrades.  I would be lost without them.
    Final Decision:  You know what to do.  Plenty of points here.
    Skill Name: Solar Creeper
    Prerequisites: Level 24, Carrion Vine
    Pros: It eats stuff for mana…that good I guess.
    Cons:  You donít need the extra mana.
    Wolfbrother Comments:  Lousy plants.
    Final Decision:  Donít bother unless youíre a fan of wasting points.  In
    this theme it isnít needed.
    Skill Name:  Spirit of Barbs
    Prerequisites:  Level 30, Heart of Wolverine
    Pros:  It hurts things that hurt you.
    Cons:  You have to take a punch for it to work.
    Wolfbrother Comments:  Barbs?  The only time Iím covered with barbs is
    when I walk through one of those damn prickly plants.
    Final Decision:  Youíll be relying on Heart of Wolverine too much to worry
    about this one.
    Skill Name:  Summon Grizzly
    Prerequisites:  Level 30, Dire Wolf
    Pros: Creates a bear.  In addition wolves get a bonus to damage.
    Cons: You donít like bears.
    Wolfbrother Comments:  Bah bears.  Clumsy, stupid things.  Sure they can
    take a beating, but who wants a brick wall for a companion?
    Final Decision:  Donít bother unless you somehow have thousands of points
    to waste.
    Shape Shifting Tree
    Here is where your true power lays.  
    Skill Name:  Werewolf
    Prerequisites: Level 1
    Pros:  You get to be a giant canine…what more could you ask for? 
    Well, ok.  Letís see, bonus to life, increased attack speed, increased
    attack rating, and a bonus to stamina.  Happy?
    Cons:  None.
    Wolfbrother Comments:  I am at my finest when I join my brothers in this
    Final Decision:  Youíll want plenty of points in here.  You will start
    running into diminishing returns after a while (10+ points) or so.  
    Skill Name:  Lycanthropy
    Prerequisites:  Level 1, Werewolf
    Pros:  Bonus to your life and increases the amount of time spent in your
    Cons:  Sort of makes you seem like you gained your powers through some
    sort of disease rather than a truly natural gift.
    Wolfbrother Comments:  I was not bitten by some deranged beast.  Well,
    that isnít how I gained my powers anyway.
    Final Decision:  Great place to put points if you donít want to save any,
    or canít decide where to put them.
    Skill Name:  Werebear
    Prerequisites: Level 6
    Pros:  None, who wants to be a smelly bear?
    Cons:  Constant jokes about ďarenít you supposed to be putting out a fire
    Wolfbrother Comments:  Stupid bears…
    Final Decision:  Do not bother.
    Skill Name:  Feral Rage
    Prerequisites:  Level 12, Werewolf
    Pros:  Fantastic.  The amount of life leech you get increases for each
    consecutive hit (up to three) and only requires one additional hit every
    20 seconds to keep it going.
    Cons:  Um, none?
    Wolfbrother Comments:  My rage knows no bounds.
    Final Decision:  Very good skill thatís overlooked sometimes in favor of
    Fury.  You can easily Feral Rage three hits, switch to Fury and then
    switch back to Feral Rage before it runs out.  Thus you do insane damage
    and steal a lot of life.  Not many points are needed to make this a very
    good skill.
    Skill Name:  Maul
    Prerequisites: Level 12, Werebear
    Pros:  You get to maul somebody.
    Cons:  Youíd have to be an ugly bear to do it.
    Wolfbrother Comments:  Maul?  Why maul when you can RAGE?
    Final Decision:  Again, donít bother.
    Skill Name:  Rabies
    Prerequisites:  Level 18, Feral Rage
    Pros:  Spread disease (poison) throughout some mobs.
    Cons:  Animals with rabies are usually put down.
    Wolfbrother Comments:  I am not some sort of diseased mutt!  
    Final Decision:  Put a point in for prerequisites but donít use it!
    Skill Name:  Fire Claws
    Prerequisites:  Level 18, Feral Rage, Maul
    Pros:  You get to burn stuff.
    Cons:  Your paws are on fire…and way too many prereqs.
    Wolfbrother Comments:  I do not wish to have my hands burned.
    Final Decision:  Donít worry about it.  
    Skill Name:  Hunger
    Prerequisites:  Level 24, Fire Claws
    Pros:  Get huge leech abilities
    Cons:  Large reduction in damage, plus all the prerequisites.
    Wolfbrother Comments:  When I am hungry I kill more, not less.
    Final Decision:  If it didnít have all those prerequisites itíd be
    great…unfortunately it does.  Forget it.
    Skill Name:  Shockwave
    Prerequisites:  Level 24, Maul
    Pros:  Er…uh...you can create a sonic wave?
    Cons:  Youíd need to be a bear…need I say more?
    Wolfbrother Comments:  The only shockwave I ever see is after one of my
    claws tears through an evil monstrosity.  
    Final Decision:  Youíd need to be a bear, so pass on it.
    Skill Name:  Fury
    Prerequisites:  Level 30, Rabies
    Pros:  Incredible.  Adds a lot to hit and damage.  Similar to Zeal for a
    Paladin…but much cooler.
    Cons:  None.
    Wolfbrother Comments:  You do not wish to bring my wrath down upon you.
    Final Decision:  Fantastic skill.  This combined with Feral Rage will be
    your bread and butter.
    3.  Stat Choices
    Strength: Youíre strong.  Therefore it would stand to reason that your
    strength would be high.  In my opinion there is no magic number here.  If
    you add to strength you deal more damage and can use better weapons.  
    Dexterity: You agilely flit about the woods and many find it difficult to
    catch you, let alone hit you.  Many dislike taking this to a high level,
    however thereís nothing worse than finding a fantastic item only to see
    that youíre way short on the dex requirement.
    Vitality: Youíre tough.  Perhaps not as tough as those moronic bears, but
    you can take a hit pretty well.  Investing here can never hurt.
    Energy: Other druids might cast spells.  You rely on your rage to see your
    way to victory.  Not much, if any, is needed here.  What mana you do have
    can be easily leeched back.
    4.  Equipment
    With so many pieces of equipment out there it would be futile to try and
    catalogue every item and compare them to each other.  Instead Iíll give
    you a list of item characteristics that you might find useful and some
    specific set or unique items.  
    Now all of this is dependent on your play style, but fortunately the
    Wolfbrother gives you quite a bit of room to maneuver when it comes to
    equipment selection.  Since you wonít be utilizing hunger you may want to
    invest in some form of mana leech, or the +mana after each kill.  Your
    still cost little to use and with these youíll make sure that youíll
    always be ready for anything.
    Plus to skills is always nice.  Always.
    Life leech is nice, but youíll get plenty of that from Feral Rage. 
    Increased attack speed is also a nice modification to have.  
    I would stay away from anything with charges.  They have insane prices to
    repair since the 1.09 patch.  Besides, why were werewolves teleporting
    Items with ďcasts ____ X% of the time when hitĒ or when you attack are
    fairly decent.  Those with Frost Nova in particular can help you out.  
    Weapons.  Ok, hereís what I do.  I have an ungodly two handed weapon as my
    primary attack weapon.  With a decent speed and a ton of damage you can
    become a whirling tornado of claws and fangs.  My alternate set-up is a
    good one-handed weapon with elemental damage and a decent shield.  While
    it should be evident why my alternate is like that, Iíll explain it later.
    Poison reduction is also nice, as is ďcannot be frozenĒ, and letís not
    forget resists.
    The weapon of choice right now for shape shifting druids seems to be the
    Immortal Kingís Stone Crusher (Maul).  But thatís difficult to find and it
    usually costs a paw and a tail to trade for it.  If you get your hands on
    it and can actually use it, great.  If not, donít sweat it.
    There are the ever popular Silks of the Victor.  Iíve never been fond of
    them but +1 to skills is +1 to skills.  If you want to trade for nice
    items you had better have a Stone of Jordan, or twelve because itís the
    accepted medium of currency.  Personally youíll have more fun if you just
    hunt for items by yourself or with some friends.  
    5.  Other Wolfbrother Tips
    Combat.  The only drawback to having your wolf brethren with you is that
    they can easily be sent packing in Hell difficulty.  Your skirmish line
    can easily falter and fall if you arenít paying attention to the battle. 
    Quickly you will find yourself surrounded and friendless in a very hostile
    environment.  How do you combat this?  Well, there isnít much to it.  Just
    pay attention.  If you notice that you and two of your wolves are railing
    on one monster and the third is left to handle four or fives you should
    consider moving over to help your beleaguered comrade.  
    Investing a lot of points in Dire Wolves will give them more life and
    damage, but as you progress you will have to summon them more.  Itís the
    drawback to avoiding bears and Oak Sage.
    I already stated that Feral Rage and Fury can be combined for a
    devastating effect.  Let me reemphasize that:  use Feral Rage and Fury in
    combination whenever possible!  Youíll leech back so much life that youíll
    rarely have to worry about being smacked around.
    Mercenaries.  While you are a proud and noble lord of the forest, it is
    sometimes wise to seek aid.  The Barbarians found in Act V are preferable.
     They provide a solid wall to keep you and yours alive, they also seem
    more connected to nature, unlike those foul necromancers.  Plus they smell
    slightly better than bears.
    Physical Immune Monsters.  These are your bane.  Your whole goal is to
    inflict such massive physical damage that nothing can stand before you. 
    Unfortunately physically immune monsters put a slight dent in your plan. 
    How do you fix this?  
    Mercenary.  Get a mercenary and equip them with a nice socketed weapon
    containing gems.
    Charms.  Load up on charms that give you elemental damage (poison is a
    favorite of many).  
    Get your own socketed item.  Pack a maul with gems and youíll find that
    those PI monsters donít last quite as long as they did before.
    My personal preference is to combine charms with my secondary weapon
    set-up.  Finding a decent elemental damage one handed weapon is not
    difficult.  This with a shield (to keep you safe while you slowly beat the
    monster down) should make the encounter rather safe, if not enjoyable.  
    Etiquette.  Yes you are a wild beast, but you are not a homicidal maniac. 
    Randomly attacking other players without prior provocation will give all
    of us Wolfbrothers a bad name.  Treat others with respect, but be wary of
    Paladins.  They usually try and convert you to their religion, Zakarum.
    6.  Final Thoughts
    I sincerely hope that this guide has provided you with some information,
    and hopefully a little entertainment.  Variations and character themes are
    the only things that have kept me playing Diablo II for as long as I have.
    Thanks To:
    Blizzard, for making a great game.  Even if it took a really, really long
    The 5% of the bnet population who are friendly and personable.
    Me, for amusing myself by writing this guide.
    Jonathon Spectreís Were-Guide at www.lurkerlounge.com.  After reading such
    an amusing and insightful guide I was inspired to try my own hand at it.
    Any actual numbers were gathered from www.diabloii.net, a fantastic
    website full of information, or from www.battle.net, Blizzardís own
    resource page.
    And to anyone who actually read this and enjoyed it.
    This document Copyright 2001 by Devon Butler.

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