Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction Werebear Guide
By Morrigan (c) 2002 (morrisama@juno.com)
Version 1.0 (last edited 5/15/2001)
Typed in Microsoft Word (Courier New Font Size 10)


Version Updates:

1.0 - FAQ was created.

Whenever I come across a druid I usually see Werewolves and the occasional
Elementalist. But why no werebears? Too slow? Well, they do not get any attack
and speed bonuses. No fury attack either. But don't worry - with some help from
equipment and skills werebears can more than make up for it. This is not the
best guide for werebears, but it's more of a helping hand to anyone who wishes
to take the path of the bear. I was compelled to write this when I saw no
werebear FAQ on gameFAQs.

Note that this FAQ uses the version 1.09 patch.

--------
CONTENTS
--------
-Skills
  -Shape Shifting Skills
  -Summoning Skills
  -Elemental Skills
-Attribute Points
-Items
-Strategies
  -How to handle monsters
  -Mercenaries
-Special boss battles
-Miscellaneous
-My last character
-Legal Stuff


---------------------
SHAPE SHIFTING SKILLS
---------------------

Werewolf - Level 1 Skill
Allows you to morph into a werewolf with bonuses to attack rating, speed,
stamina, and life.

Advantages:
+Attack speed and AR bonuses are great

Disadvantages:
-No damage or defense bonuses

My suggestion:
This is a guide for bears, not wolves. But you need 1 point in it as a
prerequisite for other skills. And from levels 2-6 it's nice to transform into
anything.


Lycanthropy - Level 1 Skill
Increases the life and time duration of transformations. Additional levels
increases bonuses at a steady pace.

Advantages:
+Who complains about more life?
+Less chance of morphing into a human in the middle of a battle

Disadvantages:
-Nothing else to add

My suggestion:
It varies from player to player, but you should invest at least 5-8 points
early on. My bear is HC so I got 12 points in it early.


Werebear - Level 6 Skill
Allows you to morph into a werebear with bonuses to damage, defense and life.

Advantages:
+More bonus life than werewolf
+More yummy damage

Disadvantages:
-No bonuses to speed (in many aspects)

My suggestion:
This is what we're all about. Put 1 point in it to become the bear, and add
more points later when you don't know where to put extra skill points.


Maul - Level 12 Skill
An attack that increases AR and damage each time you connect. A green ball will
orbit around you showing when the maul bonuses are activated. As the ball
grows, the more bonuses you receive. More points make the ball grow larger
(although it's limited to around 5-7 sizes). It also has a stunning effect. The
ball disappears after 20 seconds and if you have not hit anyone.

Advantages:
+The more you use it, the more damage you inflict
+It stuns - an ailment only champions and uniques are immune to

Disadvantages:
-Sort of like an Assassin's charge skill, you need to hit a few times with maul
to gain all of its benefits

My suggestion:
Awesome skill. You can dish out the damage quickly with this skill. Max it to
increase the bonuses and stun duration. It can put most enemies in stun lock
too! The stun affect also carries over into other attacks, like hunger.


Feral Rage - Level 12 Skill
This is a werewolf-only skill, so it will not be discussed here. But you need
one point in it as a prerequisite for other skills.


Fire Claws - Level 18 Skill
Adds AR and fire damage to an attack.

Advantages:
+It's a source of elemental damage, which is useful against Physical Immune
(PI) enemies.
+AR bonuses are very important for a bear

Disadvantages:
-Damage done by fire is a little weak in later stages of the game
-There's quite a few fire immunes in the world of Diablo II Expansion

My suggestion:
I'm not sure yet. I only have 1 point in it right now as a prerequisite. You
might want to max this skill if you can't find a fast elemental weapon.


Rabies - Level 18 Skill
Again, this is a werewolf-only skill. No points.


Shockwave - Level 24 Skill
Your bear will lift up both arms as you roar/stomp the ground to cause 5 small
shockwaves to damage and stun anything the waves touch. It can be controlled
the same way an Amazon uses multishot - aim far for a tight, linear wave, or
aim close for a fan. Champions/uniques are immune to the stun, but take the
damage.

Advantages:
+At high levels the stun is insane. With mana leech you can just use shockwave,
maul a few times, then repeat. Your enemies will just stand around dazed as you
pound them into a pulp.
+It is the prime crowd control skill. A properly aimed shockwave will halt
anything in its path, allowing you and your party to take them out easily.
+Mana cost is constant at all levels

Disadvantages:
-Damage is no good at later stages
-It is bugged so the duration is actually only around 50% listed even on Normal
difficulty.

My suggestion:
I love this skill. A lot. You could replace this skill with an Act 3 Cold merc
but then there's the deal with chill times at higher difficulties, cold
immunes, how fragile the merc is, etc. This is the skill to use against mobs.
Even those pesky oblivion knights cannot escape the stun. It doesn't have to be
maxed either - put enough points in it until you are in a comfortable stun
length.


Hunger - Level 24 Skill
By biting your enemies you gain life and mana back. Increasing the skill levels
adds to the life/mana stealing, as well as AR.

Advantages:
+At level one it has around 75% dual leech. Wowzers.
+Unless you are taking huge amounts of damage you can just use this skill to be
invincible for a while.

-75% damage reduction. DOH! Well, this would be way overpowered without this
penalty.

My suggestion:
You can get by with only 1 point in it, and use it if you are in need of some
life/mana. Like shockwave it doesn't have to be maxed.


Fury - Level 30 Skill
Werewolf-only skill. Don't bother.


----------------
ELEMENTAL SKILLS
----------------

*I'm only going to mention those I feel should be considered

Arctic Blast - Level 6 Skill
An inferno like attack that does cold damage and chills.

Advantages:
+It's elemental damage that chills. It has uses against PIs.

Disadvantages:
-You have to be in human form to use it

My suggestion:
It isn't worth it, but 1 point should be put in it if you really want cyclone
armor. Since you have to be in human form, you'll be quite vulnerable to
attacks.


Cyclone Armor - Level 12 Skill
Call forth winds to absorb fire, lightning, and cold damage.

Advantages:
+It's armor that takes elemental damage for you (but not poison/magical)
+You can have it activated as a bear

Disadvantages:
-You need to be a human to cast it

My suggestion:
You could invest in it, but I don't think it's worth it. You'd need to go back
to human form, cast, and then switch back. That's too much to ask for if you
are in the middle of a battle.


----------------
SUMMONING SKILLS
----------------

Raven - Level 1 Skill
Summon raven(s) to peck away at enemies. More skill points add to damage and
number of ravens, with a max of 5 ravens.

Advantages:
+Ravens cannot be targeted
+Free physical damage

Disadvantages:
-Damage output is worthless at later stages

My suggestion:
A summoning werebear should get 1 point in it as a prerequisite. It's fun to
watch raven strike down monsters though :)


Poison Creeper - Level 1 Skill
Summons a vine that poisons enemies as it travels under the ground.

Advantages:
+Poisons monsters as you meet up with them

Disadvantages:
-Very fragile
-Poison damage is very weak
-It likes to jump right into the fray; enemies will target and kill it

My suggestion:
If you want the other vines, get 1 point into it. Otherwise avoid.


Oak Sage (OS) - Level 6 Skill
Summons a spirit ally to add life to all allies within a 20 yard radius.

Advantages:
+Adds quite a bit of life at higher levels.

Disadvantages:
-Sort of fragile

My suggestion:
Tank bears may opt for this skill. Werewolves get it to cover up for a lack of
life. Werebears generally have lots of life anyway, so it'd be redundant to
invest here.


Summon Spirit Wolf - Level 6 Skill
Summons a spirit wolf to fight by your side. More points add to the number of
wolves (max of 5), as well as attack/defensive rating bonuses to other
wolves/bears.

Advantages:
+More buddies to fight by your side
+It's no longer just your merc to act as a meat shield ;)

Disadvantages:
-Damage is low at mid/higher levels
-Killed easily

My suggestion:
Summoner bears may get up to 5 points. The passive bonuses add to the other
summoned fighters of this tree.


Carrion Vine - Level 12 Skill
Summons a vine that eats corpses and gives you life proportional to your total
life.

Advantages:
+Indirectly life steals from enemies you cannot leech from (skeletons, ghosts,
etc)
+Destroys corpses (so certain monsters cannot revive them)

Disadvantages:
-Like the poison creeper, it's very suicidal. It just loves to jump in there
and get killed off for some reason.
-Life regained won't save you if you are taking tons of damage

My suggestion:
One point should be sufficient. Note that the life you receive is a percentage
of your maximum life, so the more life you have, the more the vine gives you
when it snacks.


Heart of Wolverine (HoW) - Level 18 Skill
Summons a spirit that adds AR and damage to all allies within a 20 yard radius.

Advantages:
+Grants much needed AR for your bear
+Sturdier than Oak Sage - it can actually serve as a weak tank later on,
allowing you to get into position to unleash your shockwaves/mauls

Disadvantages:
-Sometimes it exhibits vine like personality and floats into a bunch of enemies
(it can tank, but only for a few seconds - the mana cost increases as you
invest)

My suggestion:
The AR bonuses is very desirable. And extra damage is also a great plus. If you
are not a solo bear, invest in this skill. Melee allies will love you too.


Summon Dire Wolf - Level 18 Skill
Summons a wolf that eats corpses to regain life.

Advantages:
+More damaging and sturdier than spirit wolves

Disadvantages:
-Depending on the situation, they can be great, or get slaughtered easily

My suggestion:
Good replacement for the spirit wolf. Choose between the grizzly and this. But
you can invest in both skills for the passive bonuses.


Solar Creeper - Level 24 Skill
Summons a vine that eats corpses and gives you mana based on your mana pool.
Basically a mana version of the carrion vine.

Advantages:
+Keeps you filled with mana assuming you are killing monsters
+Sturdier than the carrion vine

Disadvantages:
-Not very useful since you rely on mana leech from equipment

My suggestion:
I wouldn't bother with it. Elementalist might want this, but not werebears.


Spirit of Barbs - Level 30 Skill
Summons a spirit that grants a weak version of the Paladin's thorn aura to all
allies within a 20 yard radius.

Advantages:
+Reflects damage back to enemies when they damage you or your allies

Disadvantages:
-The damage returned is very poor
-You need to take damage to reflect it back

My suggestion:
I don't like this spirit. At high levels it's like a very weak Paladin thorn
aura. And don't forget that you can only have 1 spirit at a time, which means
having this means no oak sage/heart of wolverine. Only heavy summoners might
consider it.


Summon Grizzly - Level 30 Skill
Summons a Grizzly bear to fight with you.

Advantages:
+It's a big tank assuming you have also spent points into Summon Dire Wolf

Disadvantages:
-You only get one of these, and you can't have dire wolves along with the
Grizzly

My suggestion:
Well, it may look cool to pair up with another bear. Grab a barbarian merc and
you're a 3-tank team :) But realistically you should use this in a party that
wants one big meat shield to take damage while they fire away with their stuff.


----------------
ATTRIBUTE POINTS
----------------

Strength - Allows you to equip heavier items as well as deal more
physical damage on weapons. You'll need plenty of strength to equip the elite
weaponry. Look at the Arreat Summit for strength requirements for the weapon of
choice. The highest you should ever go is 253, which allows you to equip any
club in the game. The Immortal King's Maul is around 225.

Dexterity - Allows you to equip certain types of weapons and increases your
chances to hit with melee weapons. Currently in 1.09 dexterity also affects
your block rate.  To keep your block rate at an acceptable level, you must give
2-3 points in dexterity every level.  If you are using a 2-handed weapon, you
can keep dex low (around 75-100), unless you are using elite polearms. If you
are using a 1 handed weapon, you'll need lots of dexterity. Around 200 you can
get a 75% chance to block on bone shields, which also pretty much solves your
AR problems as well.

Vitality - The more vitality you have, the more life you have.  Bears gain lots
of life bonuses, so vitality doesn't need to be pumped a lot. Around 100 is
just fine.

Energy - More energy means more mana.  You will rely on mana leech, so keep
energy at base.


-----
ITEMS
-----

One key mod you will strive for is increased attack speed - especially on the
weapon itself. This should make up for the lack of attack speed bonus that only
werewolves get. Life/mana leech is also quite important (with more emphasis on
mana leech). Then it's the usual - resistance, life, walking speed, etc. +skill
items aren't really needed, but it doesn't hurt.

Key things to remember:
1) Circlets/Amulets/Pelts can give +3 to a skill tree if it's MAGICAL,
not RARE.  However, rare items can give +2 to druid skills and then
+2 to a certain tree.  Druid pelts can also give +1-3 skill
points to 1 to 3 skills.  So it's possible to attain +7 to a single
skill from a pelt!

2) You have a choice of which skill to build up for AR - Fire claws or Heart of
Wolverine. With fire claws you don't have to worry about PIs so much, but HoW
is more party friendly and also adds with maul's AR and damage. If you go with
HoW try to get a fast 6-socketed weapon and fill it with
rubies/sapphires/topaz/emeralds. Forget physical damage - a fast normal weapon
would do (although a 6-socketed phase blade is ideal). Now you could try to get
both, but then you'd have to spend 40 pts to max those skills. That leaves 70
points for lycanthropy, werebear, shockwave, maul, and hunger.

3) Safety crafted items are good while you can't find the
right equipment you need.  It's a shame you need perfect gems for the
normal crafted equipment though.

4) There are ups and downs with using a 1 or 2 handed weapon. With a 1 handed
weapon you will be safer because you will also have a shield to add to defense
and resistances. With 2 handed weapons you can really deal damage. So it's up
to you. Ideally you can just use the weapon tabs to switch between them. Just
decide early on, because this will also determine how much you will pump
dexterity.

5) You can attack in werebear form with any weapon, even bows (without arrows I
might add). So it's viable to use windforce or buriza. You won't see your bear
shooting arrows :) but you will maul with some insane damage. In addition your
dexterity will determine damage, not strength.

6) Good weapons to use are clubs, axes, and polearms (along with real fast
bows). For armor disregard DR unless you want to go all out to get a decent
rating. Usually it's shockwave that will prevent harm. If you want to use
polearms you'll need dexterity. More so if you will end up using bows.


----------
STRATEGIES
----------

How to handle monsters:

The strategy I use is to open an attack with shockwave to stun a mob, and then
maul away. If you use fire claws use maul until the ball is a max size, then
switch to fire claws. Use your judgment on when to recast shockwave. Against
champions and uniques I'd shockwave anyway to stun the minions. Then pick away
at them until only the special monsters are left. Then repeatedly maul/fire
claw them. Pretty straight forward, eh? Melee characters in general don't have
many ways of doing damage besides running right up to them and hacking away.


Act I Notables:

Ghosts - They can stack on top of each other and make a constant stream of
attacks. They also are PIs in hell so it might be best to avoid them
altogether.

Zombies (Ghouls) - Zombies that do a surprising amount of damage. So be sure to
stun before you get in there to maul.

Rat Men - Yup, fetishes are in the end of Act I. And boy can they be trouble in
higher difficulties. Pay attention to the whole screen.

Tainted - From my experience, these monsters have invincibility frames when
they use their long range attack. While they are generating their lightning
ball, you cannot target them, let alone hit them.


Act II Notables:

Scarab Demons - Meleeing them without lightning resistance can be your death.
They can appear all around the desert and the maggot lair.

Ghosts - They pop up in the arcane sanctuary. And are much harder to avoid.

Vampires - Firewall is a real pain at higher difficulties. Only seen in the
Arcane Sanctuary.

Greater Mummies - Target them first - they can revive slain undead monsters.

Cave Vipers - They have a chilling attack, so have thawing potions ready.
Obviously they only show up in the Valley of Snakes.


Act III Notables:

Fetish - Small, dangerous, and can come in HUGE packs. In hell they quickly
swarm you and kill viciously. Add in the possibilities of uniques (fanaticism
anyone?) and they become killing mobs. Shockwave often to keep then stunned.
You have to play some hit and run to separate the huge masses and take them
down by parts.

Fetish Shaman - Why does their inferno do so much friggin damage? Anyway,
shockwave them before going in for the kill.

Undead Fetish - Fetish that do even more damage and explode upon death. Avoid
if possible - killing them may kill you as well. Note that their explosion is
related to their health, and it scales with more players in the game - making
it lethal in multiplayer games.

Vampires - They're in Kurast and the Durance of Hate. Now they are armed with
Meteor. Beef up your fire resistance.

Zakarum Mages - Lightning, blizzard, and heals allies. Target them first before
others.

Council Members - Cast hydra, a short range lightning attack, and do some
considerable melee damage. But they cannot avoid stun lock :)


Act IV Notables:

Finger Mage - They can drain your mana, disabling maul/shockwave. So a mana
potion or two wouldn't hurt. If your mana leech and damage is high enough you
can do just one normal attack to regain enough mana to resume.

Undead Horrors - The fighters are fire immune on higher difficulties, so throw
fire claws out the window. The other types are dealt the same way - shockwave
then maul. Oblivion knights are not immune to stun.


Act V Notables:

Suicide Minions - Walking (more like sprinting actually) grenades. Avoid them
and let your merc take them out. Mercs seem to be quite good at killing them
without taking the huge damage from explosion.

Overseers - They cause minions to become suicide minions. So get these guys
first.

Frozen Horrors - Not really strong, but their chilling breath is very annoying.
Get thawing potions.

Blood Lords - Scary. They have frenzy and use it very well. Shockwave and make
sure to take them out first. Once they build up frenzy they are quite
dangerous.

Minion of Destruction - They have ITD as far as I know. And they knockback. In
other words, they will hit you no matter what and will stun you while pushing
you around. Best way to kill them is to separate them and shockwave every
couple of seconds.


Mercenaries:

Rogue - Give her a nice bow and tank for her. Most prefer cold arrow rogues for
obvious reasons. I have to look into the lightning hose effect rogues can
create...

Paladin - I consider the mercs from Act 2 paladins since they use
paladin auras.  It's your choice of what type you need. Blessed Aim to help AR,
holy freeze to slow monsters, might to add damage, it's your pick.

Mage - It's best to get a cold mage.  You can keep monsters in place while you
maul away. Of course shattering bodies makes your vines worthless...

Barbarian - This is what I use.  He's a big meat shield that does
physical damage.  Give him a good sword and some decent resistance gear
and he's all set. Even if you are a tank, you can tank along with him.


--------------------
SPECIAL BOSS BATTLES
--------------------

Blood Raven - She can call forth zombies and shoot fire arrows on occasion.
She's probably the most dangerous in normal where you don't have many skills
available. All you can do is chase her around and attack. At higher
difficulties you can shockwave her allies and ignore them.

Rakanishu - A Carver that guards the carin stones. He's always fast and
lightning enchanted. You can make him flee if you kill one of this minions.

The Countess - A special rouge warrior that has firewall. But not much else.
She's always fire enchanted, so she'll explode when killed.

The Smith - He isn't very fast (unless he gets that Extra Fast
attribute), but he's strong.  But you're a brute yourself. In normal difficulty
just separate you two from everyone else by any means (run, or just kill off
the other monsters) and flail away at him.

Andariel - She always has a -50 resistance to fire.  So fire claws would be
great. Keep antidote potions ready. Her poison hurts, but if you are fast with
the potions you can get off relatively unscratched.

Radament - Use a vine to eat the skeletons you kill off so he can't revive
them. Then just attack him straight up. Have antidotes ready to cure his
annoying poison breath.

Coldworm the Burrower - No direct attacks, but can create adult maggots, which
can create baby maggots. When killed a large explosion of poison will fly all
over the place, so run for cover. It's also cold enchanted, so watch out for
that too.

Fangskin - Always has two nasty mods - extra fast and lightning enchanted. If
possible just avoid him and rush to the viper amulet, and TP away to safety.

The Summoner - Be careful. His firewall is powerful, and glacial spike can slow
you down horribly (and you're slow enough as it is). You can try to quickly get
to him by running by or shockwaving other enemies. He's physically weak, so you
can easily kill him once you actually get in his face.

Duriel - Stay close to him so he can't charge you. Even with all the life you
have he can still kill you easily if you aren't watching your life orb. And his
chilling aura cannot be avoided. If you are in a party, you serve as the tank.

Sszark the Burning - A spider that is extra strong and cursed all the time.
This leads so some disgusting damage it can do. Be very cautious with your life
orb.

Stormtree - Always found at the entrance to Kurast. Also always lightning
enchanted. You can just run by him if you feel like you can't deal with the
charged bolts.

Battlemaid Sarina - Extra fast rouge. Nothing much except that the area she
spawns in can be very cheap. At times monsters will just appear next to you
right when you enter.

The Council Members - Each unique has specific mods:
-Fire enchanted and extra strong
-Cold enchanted and stone skin
-Cursed and extra fast (watch out here)
-Cold enchanted and random aura (usually blessed aim)*
-Teleportation, extra strong and extra fast (watch out here too)
-Mana burn and teleportation

*This is actually Bremm Sparkfist. His name implies lightning enchanted, but
for some reason Blizzard changed it to cold. I wonder why.

Mephisto - It helps to have cold and lightning resistances. The skull missile
(the fast blue ball he shoots) hurts a lot, but it shouldn't kill you in 1 hit.
Keep antidotes ready against his poison explosion.

Izual - Very annoying cold attacks and somewhat strong. Keep healing and
thawing potions ready. He has a ton of health, so it'll take a while (but it's
definitely worth 2 skill points).

Hephasto the Armorer - A beefed up Smith. He does have some nasty mods like
conviction aura and spectral hit (with unfortunately work very well for him
together). At higher difficulties pay attention to his other mods, especially
ones like cursed and extra fast/strong.

Chaos Sanctuary Seal Guards - To play it safe use a TP and use the WP to get to
the River of Flame and run back to the monsters. If you don't have the
patience, just use normal mob tactics.

Diablo - Build up fire and lightning resistance to the max. Magic reducing gear
helps a lot too. Then just run up to him and maul away. His blocking rate is
around 50%, so it'll be tough to actually connect. Just run around once he
starts his lightning hose. Consider thawing potions to counter his icy touch.
His firestorm is powerful too. The firewall and firenova shouldn't be much of a
problem if you have decent fire resist.

Nithlathak - Lead his minions away from him and then kill them.  Then have a
carrion vine eat up the corpses. Then make a beeline for Nithlathak and take
him out ASAP. Corpse explosion hurts on normal, and is a party killer in higher
difficulties.

The Ancients - Keep your merc in good health with potions so he can
tank against the big 3. They are very tough to beat since you have to melee 3
classes that specialize in melee combat. If possible party up with others to
tackle them. If you see nasty mods on them use a TP to reset them. Even on
nightmare difficulty my 1200 life was cut down rather quickly, so I guess on
Hell they'd be quite tough. If you have HoW you can use it to tank. You're
gonna recast a lot though.

Listor the Tormentor - Basically right before he makes his entrance
there is always a long period of loading lag.  Always. If you are near
his spawning area, you will die once the loading lag finishes (as well
as seeing him and his buddies huddling around your body).  Best way to
avoid this is to run once you kill of the other 4 groups of minions
Baal throws at you. Then "crawl" towards Baal, starting from very far
away if the loading lag doesn't begin. If done correctly, you'll
recover from the lag unscratched.  It's also possible to enter the
worldstone chamber without defeating his last batch of minions.  Just
lead the minions away, then run straight for Baal. If you wish to fight this
special pack of beasts, make great use of shockwave.

Baal - He doesn't walk around a whole lot, but teleports from time to
time. If you see two of him, the real one has the label "Demon" slightly off to
the right. You can also deal with his "vile effigy" by teleporting to town. 
Once the real one is dead the other disappears.  Fire and cold resistances are
good against him. You can attack his tentacles to build up maul. His mana burn
attack also does a lot of damage, so watch your health. He can melee with you
too which does good damage.

Reziarfg - Good luck. Even his minions are afraid to go near him. His attacks
can make quick work of parties like MSLE monsters. Don't even bother to melee
him - or even read this since he doesn't exist ;)

Random Unique - Before tacking a unique, read what mods it has. Depending on
what they are, you may have to withdraw:

- Aura enchanted - at normal difficulties they aren't so bad but later on they
are a nightmare. If it's might or fanaticism just leave. Same for conviction
against elemental attacks and freezing aura. The holy fire/shock auras can take
out any minions/mercs fairly quickly. Blessed Aim is redundant in hell since
all monsters have crazy AR anyway ;)
- Cursed - depends on the monster itself. If it's a blood lord - run like
crazy. Any attack that connects can cause the amp damage curse - a melee
attack, projectile, anything.
- Cold Enchanted - Will use a frost nova equal to the monster's level upon
death. In hell, a level 90 frost nova is painful. Try to let you merc kill if
off while you hide.
- Extra Fast - Depends on the monster. If it's a fetish, um, save and exit? :)
Those buggers can zip across the screen in no time. Note that the minions get
the velocity bonus in terms of walking/running speed as well.
- Fire Enchanted - Does a corpse explosion upon death. Lethal if you aren't at
full health or if you don't have a lot of health to play with in general. Let
your merc make the finishing blow.
- Lightning Enchanted - Each hit = charged bolts equal to the level of the
monster. Level 90 charged bolts will hurt if not kill the weak hastily. Don't
melee them unless you have max lightning resistance and a lot of life to spare.
Knockback attacks work well here.
- Magic Resistant - Perhaps the only mod you don't have to worry about so much.
You deal physical damage for the most part.
- Multishot - Not too bad either, unless it also has lightning enchanted. Then
it's a definite killer. MSLEs can and will kill you when they take a hit.
Doesn't matter if you have 95% lightning resistance and -X magic reduction.
Well, with that you may survive one wave of MSLE charged bolts.
- Spectral Hit - Random elemental damage tacked on to their hits. Not a really
bad mod to deal with though.
- Stone Skin - A real annoyance since it hurts your chance to hit and the
amount of damage drops so much. At higher levels this usually leads to PI
status.
- Extra Strong - A scary mod. Think cursed but it's always active. Actually
it's stronger than curse - curse doubles damage. This mod triples the damage
the unique does. Usually kills off mercs and minions very quickly.
- Teleport - More of an annoyance. Becomes almost unbearable when paired with
stone skin.
- Mana Burn - Not much of a problem. With mana leech you only need 3 mana back
to be able to maul anyway. Just looks scary to see one of your orbs vanish
instantly. Be glad it's the mana one :)


-------------
MISCELLANEOUS
-------------

What to be wary of:

1) Sorceress PK - Hydras can be active while the sorceress is in town. So be
wary if a very high level sorceress waiting hear TPs or WPs and are just
sitting around in town (especially if your level is low).

2) Druid PK - oh boy.  Because of a very nasty bug in the game, druids
can force your game to freeze up (I'm not sure how it works...has
something to do with using a druid skill granted by an item).  So they
freeze your game while you are in battle, then either let the monsters
kill you or they quickly go to town, hostile you, and PK you.  The
lameness of this PK trick is way worse than the sorceress
hydra/TP/hostile technique.  Worse yet there is no real warning
sings of this.  Rumors have it barbarians have a similar bug as well.

3) Lag - an old, but still ongoing problem that will most likely never
resolve itself.  Lag is the only thing that cannot gain any resistance
of by the game's natural means.  You can indirectly gain lag resistance
with your skills (properly placed traps, blade shield, etc).  Type in
the message "fps" to toggle the display of your ping, frames per
second, as well as other stuff.  Note that all monsters and minions are
immune to lag ;)

So how can you detect lag attacks?
-Monsters will go to their targets, but will not attack
-Drinking potions does nothing
-You cannot pick up items from the ground/inventory
-Minions/Players just stand around
-After running around the area you notice things are disappearing
-You come across the infamous black wall (not receiving data from the
game)
-You suddenly teleport to another area instantly (packet loss perhaps)
-Game seems to freeze for a few seconds (loading from your computer)
-Game becomes really choppy and your hard disk is going nuts (more
loading from your system)

The last two can be rectified by purchasing more RAM, although it's not
necessarily a guarantee ;)  There's the requirements to play,
recommended specs to play, and the hidden REALITY specs to play.  I
find this to be the case with all games :D


-----------
LEGAL STUFF
-----------

Diablo II and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction are the property and
creation of Blizzard Entertainment.  You may distribute this FAQ freely
as long as you give credit where credit is due.  This FAQ is
copyrighted 2001 by Morrigan.


-----------------
MY LAST CHARACTER
-----------------

I currently have a werebear called Hildebear (from PSO fame).  It's sort of a
cross between solo and summoning. It only summons carrion vines and HoW. I've
decided to only have 1 point in fire claws and search for a high elemental
damage weapon (ideally I'd want Baranar's Star).

The skills I will max:
-Lycanthropy (already maxed)
-Werebear (I got a long way to go here)
-Maul (already maxed)
-Heart of Wolverine (already maxed)
-Shockwave (near max)

All the rest have 1 point as a prerequisite except Hunger which as 1 point.


----------
CONCLUSION
----------

So there you have it.  Updates may follow following new info I come across.  
This is not the end-all perfect trap assassin FAQ as I'm sure there are better
ones out there.  I'm just providing information for those who are brave enough
to go with the werebear.  Enjoy!

I'd also like to thank the people on GameFAQs D2X board and battle.net board
for werebear suggestions that helped make up strategies for the bear. Also the
people of BWUSA-1K.

You can find a solo werebear guide at http://ad2a.tripod.com/wbguide2.html
which is more detailed than this one and also offers equipment suggestions.
It's quite good from what I've read.