1.11 Werewolf Druid Guide by Thief_Prince

Version: 1.6 | Updated: 11/26/06 | Printable Version

-Diablo II: LoD Werewolf Guide (v1.11)
-By Thief_Prince

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Table of Contents

I.	Version History
II.	Introduction
III.	Why a Werewolf Druid?
IV.	General overview of the Druid
a. Elemental Skills
b. Shape shifting Skills
c. Summoning Skills
V.	Skill Distribution (per level)
VI.	Stat Placement
VII.	Equipment
VIII.	Mercenary
IX.	Contact me
X.	Credits
I.	Version History
		V1.0- First edition
		V1.1- Dropped Chaos Tristram, Leveling tips, and MF strategies
		V1.2- Edited Mercenary selection and dropped PvM strategies
		V1.3- Combined ďWhich Merc to useĒ with ďMerc gearĒ
		V1.4- Complete revamp on gear, no more mid-end stuff, only 1337 gear.
		V1.5- Minor text edits.
		V1.6- Minor text edits.
II. 	Introduction
Just to start off, Iíd like to say that this is my first attempt at a guide.  I
thought Iíd make a Werewolf Druid because in many of the games I play in; it is
uncommon to see a Werewolf Druid, or at least to see an effective one.  One of
my friends had one, and, though he stopped playing and his account got deleted,
his Druid was quite capable of soloing hell, though it was slow going.  Oh
yeah, I thought Iíd make one because Iím bored of hammering everything to
death, and I have some extra gear lying around.
III.	Why a Werewolf Druid?
In the Diablo II: LoD expansion, two new characters were introduced, the Druid,
and the Assassin.  The Assassin is commonly played, as is one type of the
Druid, the Windy Druid.  Windy Druids make use of the Elemental skill tree,
primarily the Tornado/Hurricane abilities, but neglect all others.  The
Werewolf Druid is often overlooked because many people prefer caster types
(Sorceress, Hammerdin) to melee characters.  The Werewolf Druid is a melee
character that rivals the Zealot (Paladin).  Zeal is a skill that is exclusive
to the Paladin (excluding the Passion runeword), but the Druid has his own
version of ZealÖFury.  Fury acts in the same was as Zeal, increasing damage and
attack speeds to unheard of proportions.  While Zeal has Sacrifice as a
synergy, its max damage without synergies is only 96% increased damage while
Fury gains an incredible 423% increased damage.

Druids have three skill trees that combine a little Barbarian with a little
Necromancer, and just a touch of Sorceress.  They have Shapeshifting skills
that are most like Barbarian combat skills, though they have synergies; they
can summon minions much like a Necromancer; and they can use elemental attacks
similar to the Sorceress.

Werewolf Druids focus primarily on the Shapeshifting skill tree, with a touch
of Summoning, and little (if any) points into the Elemental tree.  Using Fury
almost exclusively, the Werewolf Druid can provide an excellent tank, even in
the later areas of Hell.
IV.	In-depth look at the Druid
A. Elemental Skills
The Werewolf Druid uses minimal points in the Elemental skill tree.  These
skills are used in builds such as the Windy Druid or the Flaming Druid.
Because youíre using Fury, you donít need to worry about any points in this
tree, though you can put one point into Arctic Blast as a prerequisite for
Cyclone Armor

Consensus: 0 points
	       2 points, one point in Arctic Blast, one point in Cyclone Armor
B. Shapeshifting Skills
The piece de resistance for the Werewolf Druid, the Shapeshifting tree is
where youíll be spending nearly all your points.  Looking at the tree, there
are two potential paths to take, the Werewolf or the Werebear.  Both types have
their advantages, Werebears being slower, but bulkier and dealing potentially
heavier damage; and the Werewolf, the faster, more accurate version of the
Werebear capable of tanking entire hordes of enemies with ease.

Consensus: 62-80 points, 20 into Werewolf + 20 into Fury + 2* (Feral Rage,
Rabies) + 20 into Lycanthropy.

Required level: one
Prerequisites: none

Description: Increases stamina, but more importantly it increases your attack
speed, attack rating and life percentages.  At level 20, stamina, attack
rating, attack speed, and life percentages respectively are 25%, 335%, 68%,
25%.  It is important to note that life and stamina percentages are constant,
but a 25% boost isnít anything to complain about.
*Decision*: Max it (20 points)

Required level: one
Prerequisites: Werewolf

Description: Increases your time allotment in your alternate (wolf) form.  It
also increases your life percentage at an increasing rate.  At level 20, life
percentage is 115%, and time allotment at level 20 is 420 seconds (seven
*Decision*: Max it (20 points)

Required level: six
Prerequisites: none

Description: Increases damage, defense and life percentage by reasonable rates,
but it turns you into a bear.  How can you be a wolf if youíre a bear?
*Decision*: 0 points

Required level: twelve
Prerequisites: Werebear

Description: Acts similar to the charge up skills of the Assassin; it increases
damage and attack percentages and has stun.  Only useable in Werebear form.
*Decision*: 0 points.

~Feral Rage~
Required level: twelve
Prerequisites: Werewolf

Description:  Acts similar to the charge up skills of the Assassin; it
increases damage, attack, life steal, walk/run speed percentages.  At level 20
the damage, attack, life steal and walk/run speed percentages respectively are
145%, 210%, 4-88%, 19-55%.  Only useable in Werewolf form.
*Decision*: 1 point as a prerequisite.

~Fire Claws~
Required level: 18
Prerequisites: Werewolf, Werebear, Feral Rage, Maul

Description: Adds fire damage to your attack.  Though it has excellent
synergies, it requires too much branching for the build, and itís not the
typical path for the Werewolf anyways.
*Decision*: 0 points

Required level: 18
Prerequisites: Werewolf, Feral Rage

Description:  Adds poison damage to your attack.  It displays an aura that look
similar to Fanaticism, and it also increases your attack percentage.  Unlike
most poison damage, this poison will kill enemies.  At level 20 poison
damage/second and attack percentages respectively are 924-996 damage/11.6
seconds (79.6-85.8 damage/second) and 183%.  Only useable in Werewolf form; a
reasonable choice if you have points to spare in both Rabies and Poison Creeper.
*Decision*: 1x Only one point if used as a prerequisite, any extra points can
go here if so desired.

Required level: 24
Prerequisites: Werebear, Maul

Description:  Stuns and damages enemies.  Useable only in Werebear form.
*Decision*: 0 points

Required level: 24
Prerequisites: Werewolf, Werebear, Feral Rage, Maul, Fire Claws

Description:  Dramatically decreases damage percentage, but gives increased
attack percentage and both life and mana steal.  Useable in both Werewolf and
Werebear form.
*Decision*: 0 points

Required level: 30
Prerequisites: Werewolf, Feral Rage, Rabies

Description:  The pride and joy of the Werewolf Druid.  This skill acts similar
to Zeal, granting increased attack percentage, damage, and can hit five
consecutive targets.  Though it doesnít have synergies, it is powerful enough
to take out most enemies.  At level 20, attack percentage, and damage
percentage respectively are 183% and 423%.  Useable only in Werewolf form.
*Decision*: Max it (20 points)

C. Summoning Skills
The Druid is characterized by his relationship with nature.  Thus, it is
understandable that he would be able to summon natureís creatures to do his
bidding.  Ranging from party-aiding spirits, to ravens, to the fearsome grizzly
bear, the summoning tree isnít as powerful as the Necromancerís but it still
serves its purpose.

Consensus: 21* points, 1-20 into Oak Sage +1-20 into Heart of the Wolverine + X
into Poison Creeper.

Required level: one
Prerequisites: none

Description:  Summons a raven, or a flock of ravens to deal damage to your
enemies.  The damage is low, and though they have the ability of Inner Sight,
itís not worth while.
*Decision*: 0 points

~Poison Creeper~
Required level: one
Prerequisites: none

Description:  Summons a vine that poisons enemies.  Weak damage, only use is as
a synergy for Rabies.
*Decision*: 0-X points, 0 if youíre not planning on using Rabies, X points if
you have extra.

~Oak Sage~
Required level: six
Prerequisites: none

Description: Summons a spirit that increases the life of the Druid and all the
Druidís companions.  At level 20 the percentage of life and the radius of the
Sageís aura respectively are 125% and 45.3 yards.
*Decision*: 20 points.  Heart of the Wolverine does give a damage boost, but
the returns seem to be diminishing, and it simply isnít worth it when you can
make everyone in the party happy with huge life boosts.

~Spirit Wolf~
Required level: six
Prerequisites: Raven

Description:  Summons a wolf, or a pack of wolves (depending on level) to aid
the Druid.  They have a passive attack rating and defense bonus.  Spirit wolves
donít deal enough damage to make them worthwhile.
*Decision*: 0-1 points, 0 if youíre not planning on using a Grizzly, 1 if you
want Grizzly and need a prerequisite.

~Carrion Vine~
Required level: 12
Prerequisites: Poison Creeper

Description:  Summons a vine that destroys corpses to give the Druid life.
Diminishing returns at higher levels, definitely not worth it.
*Decision: 0 points.

~Heart of Wolverine~
Required level: 18
Prerequisites: Oak Sage

Description: a must have for Werewolf Druids when not using Oak Sage to boost
life.  Like Oak Sage, it aids the entire party, not just the Druid himself.  It
grants increased damage and attack rating.  At level 20 the percentages of
damage and attack rating, along with radius, respectively are 153%, 158%, 45.3
*Decision*: 0 Not as worth it as it seems.  The increase in damage isnít as
effective as it should be for the investment of skill points, stick with Oak

~Dire Wolf~
Required level: 18
Prerequisites: Raven, Oak Sage, Spirit Wolf

Description: Summons a wolf, or a pack of wolves (depending on level) to aid
the Druid.  They have a passive life bonus to bears and other wolves.
Unfortunately the damage is weak, and their health is poor.
*Decision*: 0-1, 0 points if youíre not planning on using Grizzly, one point if
you want to use Grizzly and need a prerequisite.

~Solar Creeper ~
Required level: 24
Prerequisites: Poison Creeper, Carrion Vine

Description: Summons a vine that boosts the mana recovery rate of the Druid and
your party.
*Decision*: 0 points

~Spirit of Barbs~
Required level: 30
Prerequisites: Oak Sage, Heart of Wolverine

Description:  Summons a vine that reflects damage back at enemies when they
attack the Druid or his companions.  Behaves similar to Thorns and Iron Maiden.
*Decision*: 0 points.

Required level: 30
Prerequisites: Raven, Oak Sage, Spirit Wolf, Dire Wolf

Description:  Summons a massive grizzly bear to fight along side you.  It makes
a decent tank which can help the Druid and deals better damage than the
Necromancerís golems.
*Decision*: 0-X points.  0 points if you donít want a Grizzly, X points if you
used points in prerequisites and want something sturdier than wolves.

V. Skill placement
Now that youíve seen a detailed list of the skills and choices available, itís
time to see where your skills should go.
Levels 1-12:  Place your first couple points into Werewolf and Lycanthropy,
dropping one into Raven if you want a grizzly later.  At level six, put one
point into Oak Sage and Spirit Wolf (if you want a grizzly) and continue to
pump Lycanthropy, Werewolf, and Oak Sage (if youíre using Oak Sage).  At level
twelve put one point into Feral Rage.

Levels 13-29:  Continue putting points into Werewolf, Lycanthropy, and Oak
Sage.  At level 17 save your points Ďtil 18.  At 18, get, Rabies, and Dire Wolf
(if you want a grizzly).  If you donít want a grizzly, keep working on Werewolf
and Lycanthropy.  Thereís nothing special to get at 24 so keep plowing through
with your Werewolf/Lycanthropy combination.  At 29 save a point so that once
you reach 30 youíll be able to get Fury and a grizzly (if you want a tank).

Levels 30+: Finish maxing Werewolf, but first pump a few points into Fury to
get up to the maximum of five hits.  Fury doesnít cost any more mana as you
increase its skill so go right ahead and pump it up.  Once youíre done with
Werewolf alternate points between Fury and Oak Sage, while occasionally putting
a point into Lycanthropy.  You should be done maxing all your basic skills
(Werewolf, Lycanthropy, Fury, Oak Sage) by the mid-70s, and from there you can
play with the remaining points, putting points into Grizzly or Rabies.  Iíd
recommend putting those points to good use by putting them into Grizzly, and if
youíre having trouble surviving try putting a point into Cyclone Armor.

VI. Stat placement
It is important to note that the Druid is a balanced character, and every time
he levels, he gains 1.5 life and 2 mana.  This isnít much, and itís important
to realize that while heís balanced, he canít hope to achieve the same physical
prowess as the Barbarian.  One point into either Vitality or Energy will give
two points into the respective stat.

For the Werewolf Druid, strength is not a huge factor in deciding gear.  Though
it does play a minor role, most of the required/recommended amounts are easy to
reach.  When starting out, it is not important to worry too much about
requirements so long as you donít go over them.  Relax, but make sure you have
the required amounts by the time you reach the levels you can use them.

Strength:  Tank it!  Alternate between this and Vitality once you reach high
levels.  More Strength means more damage.  Iíd suggest that once you reach your
Vitality quota of X life you pump Strength.  Oak Sage gives you a 100+% bonus
to life and if youíre partied with a Barbarian, odds are heíll use Battle
Orders making you quite the tank.  Even without a Barbarian, grab a Call to
Arms and youíre set.

Dexterity: Youíll want max block, hands down, and if youíre using Stormshield
you shouldnít have to worry as much, but Phoenix could pose a couple problems
in terms of reaching block.  If youíre struggling to hit monsters (which
shouldnít happen, but could) you can toss more points into Dexterity, although,
you could always switch out a ring and Amulet for Angelics.

Vitality: ~165, you wonít go wrong putting more points into it, but donít put
any less into itÖyouíll regret it.  This should bring your life to around 450
without gear, and youíll have more with gear.

Energy: Fury uses four mana.  Why would you need more energy when youíre
already gaining mana per level?  Not to mention that there is an abundance of
mana potions if you really need them.
VII. Equipment
Diablo II holds many goodies that remain to be found and used in different
situations; so as a result, Iíll show the optimal choices for gear.  Some of it
is rather expensive, but most of it isnít too difficult to get oneís hands on.

The best choice for a Werewolf Druid is Jalalís Mane.  Though Harlequin Crest
seems a likely choice, it should be seen that while the Crest has many good
attributes, it lacks the + skills that make Jalalís a much better choice.  You
can also socket that bad boy with a 40/15 if you can get your hands on one.  Or
if you want more AR you can socket a Cham in here, ditch Ravenfrost and
Highlordís and use the ever popular Angelic ring/amulet combination.

<>Jalalís Mane (Unique Totemic Mask)
- Druid only
* Defense: 247-297
* Requires Strength: 65
* 30% Faster Hit Recovery
* 20% Bonus to Attack Rating
* +2 to Druid skills
*+30 All Resistances
* +5 to mana after each kill
* +20 to Strength
* +20 to Energy
* +2 to Shapeshifting skills

Chains of Honor (Runeword) and Fortitude (also a runeword) are both excellent
choices for a Werewolf Druid so Iíll include stats for both items.

<>Chains of Honor (Dol+Um+Ber+Ist) *four socket body armor
* +2 to all skills
* +200% Damage to Demons
* +100% Damage to Undead
* 8% life stolen per hit
* +70% Enhanced Defense
* +20 to Strength
* Replenish life +7
* +65 All Resistances
* Damage Reduced by 8%
* 25% better chance of getting magic items

<>Fortitude (El+Sol+Dol+Lo) *four socket body armor
* 20% Chance to cast level 15 Chilling Armor when struck
* +25% Faster cast rate
* +300% Enhanced Damage
* +200% Enhanced Defense
* +15 Defense
* +1-1.5 to life (per character level)
* Replenish life +7
* +5% to max lightning resist
* +20-30 All resist
* + Damage reduced by 7
* +12% Damage taken goes to Mana
* +1 to light radius

No need to play around with mid-end gear, top notch is the only thing worth
getting.  That said, thereís really only one armor worth working for, and
thatís Ethereal Breath of the dying, or EBotD.

<>Breath of the Dying (Vex+Hel+El+Eld+Zod+Eth) *ethereal Berserker axe
*50% chance to cast level 20 Poison Nova when you kill an enemy
* Indestructible
* +60% Increased attack speed
* +350-400% Enhances Damage
* -25% Target defense
* +50 to Attack rating
* +50 to attack rating vs undead
* 7% mana stolen per hit
* 12-15% life stolen per hit
* Prevent monster heal
* +30 to all attributes
*+1 to light radius
*Requirements -20%

There are a couple different choices for a Werewolf Druid as far as shields go,
but for me, I say Phoenix and nothing else.  Stormshield is another good
choice, so Iíll provide stats for both.  You can socket Stormshield with a
40/15 for even more kill power, or toss an Um in if youíre lacking resists.

<>Phoenix (Vex+Vex+Lo+Jah) *Monarch Shield
*100% Chance to cast level 40 blaze when you level up
*40% Chance to cast level 22 Firestorm on Striking
*Level 10-15 Redemption aura when equipped (varies)
*+350-400 Defense vs Missile (varies)
*+350-400% Enhanced Damage (varies)
*-28% to enemy fire resistance
*+50 to life
*+5% to max lightning resist
*+10% to max fire resist
*+15-21 fire absorb (varies)

<>Stormshield (Unique Monarch Shield)
Defense: (136-504)-(151-519)
Required level: 73
Required Strength: 156
*+ (3.75 per level) 3-371 defense (based on character level)
*+25% Increased chance of blocking
*35% faster block rate
*Damage reduced by 35%
*+60% to cold resist
*+25% to lightning resist
*+30 to Strength
*Attacker takes lightning damage of 10

Too many choices!  There are far too many choices for the Werewolf Druid in
terms of gloves.  Soul Drainer, Draculís Grasp, Venom Grip, or even some nice
crafted Blood gloves would work.  You shouldnít need too much life leech
because youíll likely already have enough so although any gloves would work,
Soul Drainerís would work quite nicely because of the Ė to enemy defense.

<>Soul Drainer (Exceptional unique Vambraces)
* Defense: 129-149
* Required Strength: 106
* +90-120% Enhanced Defense
* 4-7% mana stolen per hit
* 4-7% life stolen per hit
* -50 to Monster defense per hit
* 8% chance to cast level 3 Weaken on striking

Choosing a belt is an easy choice.  Nosferatuís coil vs. String of EarsÖgo with
String of Ears, life leech and damage reduction, you canít go wrong.

<>String of Ears (Exceptional unique demonhide sash)
* 150-180% Enhanced defense
* +15 defense
* 6-8% life stolen per hit
* Damaged reduced by 10-15%
* Magic damage reduced by 10-15
Gore Riders are great choice for the Werewolf.  Deadly Strike, Crushing Blow,
and Open Wounds.  The only substitute would be Sandstorm Treks, but Gore Riders
are a much better choice.

<>Gore Riders (Exceptional unique War Boots)
* +160-200% Enhanced defense
* 30% Faster Run/Walk
* 10% Chance of Open Wounds
* 15% Chance of Crushing Blow
* 15% Chance of Deadly Strike
* Requirements -25%
* +20 Maximum Stamina

The best choice for a Werewolf is Highlordís Wrath.  More Deadly Strike, added
skills, and Increased Attack Speed, excellent!  Otherwise, go with the popular
AR boosting combo of Angelic Halo and Angelic Wings.

<>Highlordís Wrath.
* +1 to all skills
* 20% Increased Attack Speed
* + (0.375 per character level) 0-37% Chance of Deadly Strike (Based on
character level)
* Lightning Resistance +35%
* Adds 1-30 Lightning damage
* Attacker takes damage of 15

Typical choices, Ravenfrost, Bul Kathosí Wedding Band (BK), Stone of Jordan.
Rare rings that have both mana and life leech are also good choices.

VIII. Mercenary
The obvious choice is the Act II Holy Freeze Mercenary.  Slap some good gear on
him and heíll be a great help.  Slowing monsters, and when heís got the right
equipment the additional auras are excellent.

Andarielís Visage is a good choice, mainly because it has life leech.
<>Andarielís Visage (Elite unique demonhead)
* Defense: 310-387
* +100-150% Enhanced defense
* +2 to all skills
* 20% Increased Attack Speed
* 8-10% Life stolen per hit
* +25-30 to strength
* +10% to maximum poison resist
* Fire resist -30%
* Poison resist +70%
* 15% chance to cast level 15 Poison Nova when struck
* Level 3 venom (20 charges)

Shaftstop works well, as does Guardian Angel, but the easiest way to ensure
high defense is a Gladiatorís Bane.  Shaftstop is a good alternative if The
Gladiatorís Bane (TGB) is too expensive, but the mods on TGB are better.

<>The Gladiatorís Bane (Elite unique Wire Fleece)
* Defense: 1255-1496
* Required Strength: 111
* +150-200% Enhanced Defense
* +50 defense
* Cannot be frozen
* 30% Faster Hit Recovery
* Poison length reduced by 50%
* Attacker takes damage of 20
* Damage reduced by 15-20
* Magic damage reduced by 15-20

Ah, the best part of the Mercenary, the weapon.  There is one choice and itís a
clear oneÖPride!  This runeword grants Concentration which will further boost
your damage by great amounts.  Itís only useable in a four socket polearm so be
sure to choose one that your mercenary will be able to use, while still having
excellent damage.  A Cryptic Axe is a good choice.

<>Pride (Cham+Sur+Io+Lo) four socket polearms
* 25% chance to cast level 17 Fire Wall when struck
* Level 16-20 Concentration aura when equipped
* 260-300% bonus to Attack Rating
* +1-99% Damage to demons (based on character level)
* Adds 50-280 lightning damage
* 20% Deadly Strike
* Hit blinds target
* Freezes Target +3
* +10 to Vitality
* Replenish Life +8
* 1.875-185.625% extra gold from monsters (based on character level)

IX. Contact me
I know that this guide is far from perfect, and that it likely has some flaws
in it that are obvious to everyone but me.  Unfortunately, I can only do my
best to catch these flaws.  If you have a suggestion, please feel free to email
me at jtrof@hotmail.com.  If you do make a suggestion that I feel should be
included, I will add it, and I will credit you.

X Credits
KIRBIX- for inadvertently motivating me to try to write a guide.

Zack Sears- for bringing to my attention that most players donít want to have
to settle for mid-level gear and providing suggestions on the top end equipment
for a Werewolf.

Arreat Summit (http://www.battle.net/diablo2exp) Ė for providing all the
information I needed, and for opening my eyes to the true helpfulness of the
Horadric Cube.

GameFaqs for providing a place to bounce my ideas off other players and for
hosting what is, in my opinion, the most conclusive gaming site on the net.