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    Rabies Druid Guide by Harleyquin2008

    Version: 1.0 | Updated: 11/15/10 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction v1.13
    Rabies Druid Guide
    Version 1.0
    Author: Harleyquin
    Table of Contents
    1. Introduction
    2. Rabies Druid basics
    3. Stat allocation
    4. Skill point distribution
    5. Equipment suggestions
    6. Mercenary selection and equipment
    7. General gameplay
    8. Acknowledgements and Credits
    9. Contact information
    10. Version history
    11. Legal notice
    1. Introduction
    Welcome to my guide to the Rabies Druid for Diablo 2: Lord
    of Destruction v1.13. The aim is to provide sufficient
    information for newcomers/experienced users in the game to
    play a Druid character focusing on the shape shifting tree,
    in particular the Werewolf skill Rabies. This character
    build is doable alone or with help from mercenaries and the
    Oak Sage nature spirit in the Druid Summoning skill tab.
    A note before proceeding: This is not the most original
    guide out there, many others variants preceding my guide
    exist but to my knowledge this is the only one published on
    Gamefaqs for the latest version of LoD. Therefore my guide
    will have many similarities to existing Rabies Druid builds
    on other websites but any source material I reference will
    be obtained from 3rd party websites independent of guides
    similar to this one.
    Diablo 2 is a game heavily dependent on the equipment
    obtainable for characters, the age of the game means that
    most optimal builds regarding skill point allocation have
    been investigated and analysed. However my guide is geared
    mainly towards newer players who play Single Player unmodded
    v1.13. Therefore all equipment suggestions I give will not
    include the online-only charms and runewords so prevalent on
    the Battle.net servers. The only "modification" this guide
    refers to is the use of a 3rd-party muling program like ATMA
    which allows players to store equipment obtained when
    playing through with other characters. This does not entail
    cheating or item generation through any means outside of
    playing the game legitimately and obtaining items as they
    are encountered.
    Finally, I don't play the game using any of the /playersx
    keyboard commands allowing players to simulate a multiplayer
    environment offline, the game to me is hard enough as it is
    on Hell difficulty without the elite equipment often bandied
    about in other guides. Consequently my equipment suggestions
    will be more realistic and the build is perfectly able to
    finish all three difficulty modes as long as players
    following this build obtain semi-reasonable equipment over
    regular gameplay. Related to the single player restriction
    above, I make no claims as to duelling or PvP advice since
    the only opponents faced in a single player game are the
    monsters themselves.
    Although the guide caters to newer players, I will assume
    most readers have at least finished the game once or have
    a good grasp on the game's principles. Hence some
    information located below are spoilers regarding enemies
    2. Rabies Druid basics
    As the name of the guide entails, players will be using a
    druid concentrating on the shape shifting skill tab and the
    skill Rabies as the main method for slaying monsters and
    progressing through the game. This is a close-combat build
    so high physical damage through weapons and equipment will
    be used both to complement the Rabies skill and to slay
    poison-immune monsters independently as required. To help
    the Druid survive the damage invariably incurred, some
    skill points will be invested in the Oak Sage nature spirit
    in the Summoning skill tab for more health to outlast the
    hordes before they slay the character. A quick summary of
    the advantages and disadvantages of this build is given
    1. Two primary damage sources should ensure the vast
    majority of monsters in all difficulties can be slain
    without help from mercenaries. Although monsters immune to
    both physical and poison damage do exist (mostly in Hell
    difficulty), weapons inflicting elemental damage are
    obtainable and can be used when necessary to slay the
    occasional troublesome unique monster.
    2. The Rabies skill is a very useful skill on its own for
    killing mobs of monsters swarming the character (assuming
    no immunity to poison). With the addition of damage
    synergies, a fully synergised Rabies skill (40 skill points)
    with no bonus to +skills will see an average of over 4k+
    poison damage. Coupled with the ability's "infection"
    spread to nearby monsters, this means killing speed is
    maintained for most of the character's career without too
    much micromanagement involved.
    3. The relative lack of skill points involved make this a
    simple build to develop and play through without having to
    memorise complicated level-up schemes. Low number of skills
    employed makes hotkey management simple. 
    1. Like other melee builds, this build really shines if
    top-notch equipment is found and utilised. Unlike other
    character builds like the summoning necromancer and the
    single-tree sorceress, this build cannot finish the game
    for all 3 difficulties if equipment available is extremely
    2. Despite the relatively high health of this build, part
    of the bonus comes from the Oak Sage. If that dies (and it
    will die often when you're confronted by hordes) a
    significant proportion of player health goes with it which
    may well hasten the character's untimely demise.
    3. Some monsters are extremely difficult to kill at
    close-range without the appropriate protection or offensive
    weaponry. Regardless of high health, if the monster horde
    does significantly more damage than you do over time the
    build loses after a war of attrition. Semi-decent equipment
    makes life easier when confronted with packs of
    Blunderbores, Megademons, Bone fetishes and Thorned Hulks.
    4. Close-combat may be doable, but packs of archers and
    spellcasters need to be reached first before the build can
    start killing. Without a high enough block rate, block
    speed, resistances, faster hit recovery and faster walk/run
    speed, the Druid might not get close enough before being
    5. No inherent skill readily available to remove corpses.
    Summoning druids can use Dire wolves to some extent for
    corpse removal but this build is totally dependent on
    equipment to stop the fallen/undead/maggot/demon hordes from
    overwhelming you with numbers. Nihlathak is especially
    dangerous without the proper equipment.
    6. No crowd control skills. You will get swarmed a lot
    during play and if you can't kill the hordes quickly with
    Rabies/Fury your character will die a slow death by
    If the above disadvantages have turned you off this build,
    stop reading now and start a sorceress or some other common
    build more suited to individual play style. For those still
    interested, continue reading.
    3. Stat allocation
    Simply put, this determines what equipment the Rabies druid
    can use and how long it can survive on the field before
    being slain. With quest rewards and level-up stat points,
    total allocation is 505 points.
    Strength: All characters should only invest enough strength
    as necessary to meet their equipment requirements. The
    extra points to damage over and above the minimum investment
    required aren't worthwhile and better invested in vitality.
    For this build, casual players can aim for either 110 or
    156. The former allows the wearing of War belts, in
    particular the Immortal King's Detail or Thundergod's
    Vigour. The latter is for the unique Monarch Stormshield. 
    Dexterity: I advise using a shield for this build,
    two-handed weapons may help kill faster but the lack of a
    shield and its benefits means dying much faster when faced
    with monsters who can attack from a distance. More points
    are required for the minimum investment to achieve a 75%
    block rate, how many points depends on the shield obtained.
    The formula for shield blocking is given below:
    Total block = (Character block x Dexterity-15)/(Levelx2)
    Total block refers to final blocking percentage achieved on
    the character screen.
    Character block refers to all sources of blocking, including
    any on equipment other than the shield (e.g. Increased
    blocking from Guardian Angel)
    Dexterity refers to character dexterity after all points
    invested and bonuses from items have been factored in.
    Level refers to the character level, 1-99.
    A few sample numbers for common character block figures:
    60% block = 263 Dexterity for 75% at level 99.
    64% block = 248 Dexterity for the above
    72% block = 222 Dexterity for the above
    75% block = 213 Dexterity for the above
    Players who do decide to go for two-handed weapons will
    likely not need any points in dexterity since few of the
    high-damage 2H weapons have a dexterity requirement. If this
    patch is chosen be sure to invest in strength accordingly.
    Vitality: Every other point not invested in Strength and
    Dexterity ends up here. There is no disadvantage in having
    too much life, the multipliers offered by Lycanthropy and
    Oak Sage are heavily dependent on how high the vitality
    stat goes.
    Energy: Since version 1.10, a select number of merchants in
    towns offer mana potions for sale. Therefore there should
    be no need to invest ANY points here since potions will
    cover the majority of skill needs for most of normal and
    early Nightmare until mana steal is high enough to make
    skill use self-sufficient for most cases.
    4. Skill point distribution
    Everyone who has played through the game should know by now
    there are 110 skill points in total, 98 from regular
    level-up and 4 each from quest rewards in each difficulty.
    In theory a level 99 Rabies Druid will have the following
    skill distribution
    20 Werewolf (Less investment if AR isn't a problem).
    20 Lycanthropy
    1 Feral Rage (1-20 depending on preference)
    20 Rabies
    20 Fury (1-20 depending on preference)
    20 Poison Creeper
    9 Oak Sage (0-9 depending on preference)
    For variation, points invested in Lycanthropy can be
    diverted to Oak Sage however I don't advise this unless the
    character is going to be used in a multiplayer setting.
    Other variations include diverting points from Fury to Feral
    Rage according to preference. For players confident in their
    ability to stay alive without the need for the Oak Sage, the
    extra 9 skill points can be diverted to Feral Rage for
    better damage against single opponents or to pet summons for
    brief distractions.
    When to allocate skill points in this build is extremely
    simple. Very early on points should be placed in Werewolf,
    at least one point should go to Lycanthropy depending on
    the player's ability to remember to refresh Werewolf
    duration after battles. One point can go into Poison Creeper
    early on before Feral Rage is available for a minor
    distraction during Chapter 1. When Oak Sage is available,
    players should invest at least one point upon availability
    or up to the build's recommended maximum early on to get it
    out of the way. Once Rabies is available, every available
    skill point up to character level 30 goes there, after level
    30 1-4 points can go to Fury either to unlock the skill or
    get enough points to reach the maximum number of attacks
    available. From level 35 or thereabouts, it's a simple
    matter of maxing out Rabies, Werewolf and Fury in that
    order. The last skill to maximise can either be Lycanthropy
    once +skills items and careful management make the short
    duration a non-issue or into poison creeper for the Rabies
    synergy. In my experience killing speed and power are bigger
    priorities than life and defensive benefits in general so
    the scheme I've used generally focuses on maxing Rabies
    first before maxing Werewolf and Fury in that order. Poison
    Creeper is then next with Lycanthropy last priority. Since
    most players will never see levels above 90 let alone 99,
    the build's damage potential can be maximised before
    level 70 after factoring in quest rewards.
    A brief summary of the skills involved:
    Werewolf: This is a core skill since you can't use Rabies
    without it. Higher investment helps attack rating and attack
    speed for all attacks in Werewolf form. I like investing 20
    points, others may have enough AR to hit reliably without
    maximum investment.
    Lycanthropy: More points here equals a constant return on
    more life when shape shifted and a longer duration. Without
    sufficient investment here, this build will only shape shift
    when monsters are encountered or shortly before to ensure
    the duration is long enough to survive combat encounters. I
    advise 20 points, a life boost which cannot be taken away
    by any means (unlike Oak Sage) is especially important in
    Hell difficulty.
    Feral Rage: My personal preference is one point here as a
    prerequisite and to let +skills handle the rest. Another
    approach would be to maximise this skill at the expense
    of Fury to take full advantage of the life steal modifier.
    The main disadvantage being problems fighting large hordes
    of skeletons and other enemies immune to leeching. Players
    who go for maximum Feral Rage are advised to find Dracul's
    Grasp for Hell difficulty (more details in the equipment
    Rabies: This is the core of the build and its namesake. High
    poison damage over a reasonable duration at high levels as
    well as spread of the poison between closely packed monsters
    after the infection vector leaves large non-poison immune
    monster packs easier to kill. As mentioned above, a fully
    synergised Rabies skill without +skills bonuses can deal
    over 6k+ gross damage in less than 11 seconds. This is quite
    sufficient for solo-play for most parts of the game.
    Fury: This is the Druid variant of the Paladin's Zeal
    attack. Multiple attacks (up to 5) with a high enough skill
    level as well as a damage boost makes the skill versatile
    against mobs or tougher solo opponents. All Fury attacks
    must complete their attack cycle once started, take care
    using this skill amongst hordes of exploding fetish dolls.
    In v1.13 Oblivion Knights no longer have Iron maiden in
    their repertoire of curses so dying from "Fury-lock" is
    less of an issue in the Chaos Sanctury.
    Oak Sage: Arguably the most common nature spirit used by
    Druids, the boost to life for all party members and the 
    Druid himself is too good to pass up. In Nightmare and
    Hell difficulties the Oak Sage gets a life boost and
    guaranteed immunity to poison (plus immunity to physical
    damage in Nightmare) which should ensure better
    survivability during combat. The AI of the spirit isn't too
    clever and it will often move towards enemies hastening its
    demise and potentially that of the character as well.
    Poison Creeper: This is a minor distraction in Normal which
    quickly becomes obsolete before Chapter 2. However the 18%
    boost to Rabies damage per point invested makes it a
    necessary and welcome component of the character build.
    5. Equipment suggestions
    Players don't need the elite equipment mentioned in other
    guides to finish the game past Hell difficulty, however
    sub-standard equipment makes finishing the game almost
    impossible at times. I classify my suggestions according to
    "Dream", "Recommended" and "Realistic". The first is for
    online players and those who don't play legitimately since
    the odds of getting the runes/equipment involved are so low
    as to be non-existent if playing alone and without 3rd party
    hacks. Recommended is equipment which is doable assuming
    players grind bosses and high level areas long enough to get
    lucky. Realistic is for those who use what they equip or
    find often enough via other characters to use viably. I've
    played the game on and off for over 8 years dating to this
    FAQ and my ATMA stash of exceptional and elite uniques isn't
    even up to the halfway mark at collection, hence my
    recommendations are somewhat skewed to reflect the rarity of
    decent equipment.
    Some of the common terminology used includes "leech"
    (life/mana steal or both together), IAS (Increased Attack
    Speed), OW (Open Wounds), CB (Crushing Blow), %ED (Enhanced
    Damage/Defence depending on context)
    Mods to look out for: %Enhanced damage, life steal,
    Crushing Blow, High base damage, +skills, Increased Attack
    "Dream" setup
    "Breath of the Dying" runeword: Highest % Enhanced damage
    available in single player, dual leech, Increased Attack
    Speed, Prevent Monster Heal, Stat boosts etc. Only thing is,
    players are more likely to be struck by lightning
    compared to the odds of finding both a Vex and Zod rune
    legitimately. Finding an ethereal 6-socket weapon to fit
    the runeword isn't exactly easy either.
    "Eternity" runeword: The only runeword combination in Single
    Player that makes weapons indestructible without the use of
    a Zod rune. The addition of % Enhanced damage, life
    steal, Crushing Blow, Hit Blinds Target, Hit Slows Target,
    Cannot be Frozen and Revive charges solves the problems
    of Crowd Control and Corpse Disposal in one package. Of
    course getting Ber, Ist and Sur runes legitimately is like
    winning the lottery several times over.
    "Famine" runeword: Increased Attack Speed, % enhanced
    damage, Ignore Target Defence, lots of elemental damage,
    Life steal and Prevent Monster Heal. The catch? Try finding
    Ohm and Jah runes without modding the game or cheating.
    "Call to arms" runeword: Mentioned ad nauseum for every
    other melee build out there, the biggest draw is the oskill
    Battle Orders skill granted by the weapon for even more life
    over and above what Oak sage and Lycanthropy can give. %
    Enhanced Damage, huge increased attack speed, life steal and
    Prevent Monster Heal are also useable in a pinch. It's
    better off as a weapon switch option assuming you're
    dedicated/lucky enough to get Mal, Ist and Ohm in a single
    "Heart of the Oak" runeword: This is not selected based on
    its damage, it's nominated as one of the two best
    alternatives for a weapon switch. +3 to skills, +resistances
    and faster mana regeneration are the only mods
    recommendable for this build. Good luck getting all of the
    runes legitimately without external help.
    "Recommended" setup
    "Kingslayer" runeword: Before v1.13, I would have
    categorized this under "Dream" since all of the runes
    required dropped rarely if at all from the Countess.
    Dedicated players who have run the Hellforge enough will
    have the runes required. Increased Attack Speed, % Enhanced
    damage, % Attack Rating, Crushing Blow, Open Wounds, Prevent
    Monster Heal and Vengeance. Vengeance in particular is very
    helpful for slaying the dual-immune monsters the build is
    helpless against, however I've never obtained the runeword
    so I have no way of verifying if the skill is useable in
    Werewolf form.
    "Passion" runeword: With v1.13, the runes are very
    obtainable with a hundred or so Countess runs. Getting the
    right weapon is of course another matter to consider. The
    mods aren't quite up to "Kingslayer" standards but the +1 to
    Berserk offers one way to slay the troublesome
    Physical-Poison dual immune monsters. Again I've yet to make
    the runeword so I don't know if Berserk works when
    shape shifted.
    "Crescent moon" runeword: For the price of a rare Um
    rune, characters get Increased Attack Speed, % Enhanced
    Damage, Ignore Target Defence and Open Wounds. The biggest
    advantage is the chance to cast Static Field on striking
    which should trigger enough with repeated uses of Fury.
    Islestrike: Although I've yet to find one myself, this is a
    very nice weapon to use all the way up to Hell and beyond
    if players decide to upgrade it. The combination of +skills,
    Crushing Blow, a small boost to Fury and statistics makes
    this a nice weapon to use up to the end of the game. The
    requirements aren't too steep either. If a poison rainbow
    facet is found, socketing the weapon with it increases the
    effectiveness of Rabies.
    Plague Bearer: Compared to Islestrike, the stats on this
    unique sword aren't as desirable overall. However +5 to
    Rabies is unmatched elsewhere so players going all out to
    maximise Rabies damage will like this weapon.
    "Realistic" setup
    Dark Clan Crusher: Low damage, but +2 to skills and Crushing
    Blow is perfectly acceptable through Nightmare and it's
    useful as a weapon switch for higher skills to change to
    Werewolf form or to summon the Oak Sage.
    Fleshrender: +1 to all skills, +2 to Shape-shifting.
    Crushing Blow, Open Wounds and Prevent Monster Heal. Not
    very difficult to find like the suggestion above and
    perfectly acceptable to use even into Hell difficulty.
    Upgradeable if you have the runes for slightly better damage
    at almost no difference to requirements.
    "Black" runeword: Thanks to improved countess drops, this is
    not difficult to create. It's a budget option for Crushing
    Blow and increased attack speed, the knockback mod can be
    useful after poisoning targets to keep them away from
    retaliating range.
    Crafted blood weapons: War axes and their exceptional/elite
    equivalents can be bought in stores or found off monsters.
    The remaining ingredients required can be obtained from
    regular adventuring. Although the weapon doesn't have
    the Crushing Blow mod, getting a decent % enhanced damage
    and life steal mod makes this a useful weapon through normal
    and most of Nightmare difficulty.
    Rare club-class weapon with +2 skills: If the weapon base
    damage is high, by all means use it. Players will have to
    find Crushing Blow, Open Wounds, Deadly Strike and other
    special mods from elsewhere. Perfectly acceptable for using
    as a weapon switch option.
    Mods to look out for: Increased % to block, faster block
    rate, resistances, % Damage Reduction, High base defence,
    % Enhanced defence.
    "Dream" setup
    Stormshield: Every other guide elsewhere mentions this
    shield and it's not hard to see why. Huge % Damage reduction
    and a high block rate are the main reasons for recommending
    the shield. Resistance aren't that great other than for Cold
    and Lightning so either a perfect diamond, Um rune, +resist
    jewel or a perfect ruby (Fire resist) will do for socketing
    "Sanctuary" runeword:
    Not quite as rare as Stormshield, but
    the combination of a Mal rune from regular play and a decent
    Pavise/Hyperion in Hell difficulty make this very
    unobtainable except for dedicated players. The Countess in
    v1.13 now drops Hel, Io and Lum runes with astounding
    regularity so finding/ cubing up to a Mal rune is doable
    with patience and some luck. The shield mods are solid, high
    block rate, +Dexterity, +resistances and even charges for
    slow missiles to help tackle ranged packs. 
    "Recommended" setup
    Gerke's Sanctuary: Nice defence, good +resistances and a
    high block rate. Integer physical and magic damage reduction
    is also nice. Only things it lacks are % Damage Reduction
    and faster block rate. Don't upgrade since Aegis shields
    have absurdly high strength requirements.
    Lidless Wall: My recommendation for a shield switch option.
    +1 to skills on a shield isn't common and this is one of the
    few options available. It's better for a caster character
    but the mods are good for mana regeneration. 
    "Splendour" runeword: If you don't have lidless wall, this
    is the next best choice for skills, magic find and a few
    other bonuses. The one thing it lacks is resistances which
    the lidless wall can provide if socketed.
    "Realistic" setup
    Moser's Blessed Circle: Empty sockets, semi-decent block
    chance and +resistances. Otherwise not a great choice but
    Whitstan's Guard: Highest block rate for shields in the
    entire game and almost nothing else. It's possible to socket
    for a perfect diamond or Um rune but it offers absolutely
    nothing else other than dexterity savings.
    Sigon's Shield: Easiest source for +1 to skills on a shield.
    Not useful for a main shield past normal.
    Ancient's pledge Tower shield/Pavise: Solid resistances on
    shields with the best base blocking chance.
    "Rhyme" runeword: Probably best in a Gothic/Tower shield in
    Normal and Grim Shield/Pavise in Nightmare. The runes are
    very common and obtainable without the need to run the
    Countess repeatedly. Reasonable block rate (with the right
    base shield), +resistances and %Magic Find. Cannot be Frozen
    as early as character level 17 has its perks.
    Tiamat's Rebuke: This shield isn't desirable for its
    defensive mods, it's the addition of elemental damages that
    make it useful in Hell difficulty if the dual-immune monster
    turns up and players have no alternative weaponry to finish
    it off.
    Rare shields: Deflecting and resistance mods will do fine.
    +1 to all Druid skills isn't obtainable though.
    Mods to look out for: High base defence, % Enhanced
    defence, +skills, % Damage reduction, +resistances
    "Dream" Setup 
    "Chains of Honour" runeword: Even with the improved Countess
    drops mentioned above, I honestly doubt anyone but the
    luckiest and most dedicated single player gamers will ever
    hope to see the Ber rune required to complete the runeword.
    The runeword is more or less perfect for this build with the
    only issue finding the appropriate 4 socket armour as well
    as the Ber and Ist runes required.
    "Bramble" runeword: If you thought Chains of Honour was
    hard, try seeing Ohm and Sur runes without doing thousands
    of Countess runs or single player Hellforge rushes. The
    runeword isn't that amazing in my opinion bar the +100% to
    poison skill damage which can boost a fully synergised
    Rabies past 8k damage.
    Leviathan: Obtaining this armour isn't anywhere near as
    impossible as the high-level runeword armours, however it's
    not a common drop since the monsters that can drop it are
    few in number. Main draw is the nice % Damage reduction and
    enhanced defence. Assuming an ethereal version exists, that
    should be more than enough defence to last through hell.
    Naj's light plate: One of the few armours that provides
    +skills and resistances, comparable to Skin of the Vipermagi
    and Que-Hagen's wisdom only without faster cast rate and
    being far more difficult than either of the unique armours. 
    Aldur's Deception: Considering how rare this armour is, the
    mods aren't that amazing. Big boost to lightning resist and
    +1 to shape shifting skills isn't worth running endless boss
    runs over. Combined with the boots the +Vitality mod makes
    it slightly more attractive. 
    "Recommended" setup
    "Lionheart" runeword: Runes are obtainable with enough
    patience at Hell Countess runs with other characters. A nice
    mix of defensive boosts like +resistances and +HP and the
    offensive boosts to % Enhanced damage and +Strength.
    "Smoke" runeword: Before v1.13, I'd succeeded in making
    at least 3 of these on my characters without outside help.
    With v1.13, it's likely that finding the right armour to
    house the runeword will prove more difficult than the actual
    runes themselves. +50 resist all and +75% Enhanced Defence
    is the main draw.
    Duriel's Shell: Not that common as to be realistic for
    casual players, the perks include +resistances, +Life per
    level, +Defence per level and the all important Cannot Be
    Frozen make this useable up to Hell.
    Shaftstop: 30% Damage reduction is just about the only
    reason to recommend this armour.
    Good exceptional/elite rare armours: These will turn up in
    Nightmare and Hell difficulties, high defence with
    resistances could be worth keeping. 
    "Realistic" Setup
    Rockfleece: I've found a couple for use on my own
    characters. Upgraded once or twice using the Horadric cube
    gives a reasonable high defence armour with a little %
    damage reduction and integer damage reduction thrown in.
    Skin of the Vipermagi: Definitely obtainable without outside
    help. Main boost is +1 to skills and +resistances, the
    drawback is defence is too low to be useable past late
    Nightmare even when upgraded.
    Helmet/Druid pelts
    Mods to look out for: +skills, +resistances, life steal,
    mana steal
    "Dream" setup
    Jalal's mane: Theoretically this pelt can drop in Nightmare,
    but chances are most players will have to run Nightmare
    Mephisto for quite a while before seeing this turn up. This
    is the all-round helm that almost all druids aim for, huge
    +skills, +resistances, faster hit recovery, % attack rating
    and more. Socket with an Um rune for even more resistances,
    a perfect Topaz for magic find or good rare jewels with nice
    Cerebus' bite: Do enough Hell Mephisto runs and it will turn
    up, however getting one to turn up with +4 to Shape Shifting
    and high modifiers to % Attack Rating and % Life Steal is
    unlikely. A +4 shape shifting variant is worth socketing
    either with an Um rune for +resists or a Perfect Topaz for
    magic find.
    "Delirium" runeword: Finding a decent druid pelt with the
    right mods for this runeword isn't easy, Ist runes require
    far too many Countess runs to be worth pursuing, The end
    product is extremely good for crowd control with +skills and
    magic find thrown in. Shape shifting druids are far less
    vulnerable to the delirium effect compared to other
    characters since they can simply shape shift back to human
    form at will.
    Crown of Ages: Only available in Hell and only through
    repeated boss runs, this has almost everything a melee
    build could ask for. It even comes with sockets for further
    customisation. Beware the 174 strength requirement.
    "Recommended" setup
    Rare druid pelts: Getting +2 to skills modifiers doesn't
    take too long and is doable from Nightmare onwards. 
    Vampiregaze: Dual leech modifiers and % damage reduction for
    an all-round nice helm.
    Darksight helm: Three modifiers worth recommending: Cannot
    be Frozen, Mana steal and Level 5 Cloak of Shadows. Cloak of
    Shadows is the antidote to hordes of ranged archers and
    gloams reducing the druid to a pincushion before he can get
    close to start killing.
    Blackhorn's Face: Attack slows target and Prevent Monster
    Heal are nice mods, but this is one of the few items with
    lightning absorb to handle the inevitable lightning
    enchanted monsters.
    Aldur's Stony Gaze: The easiest to find in the Aldur set.
    It's only recommendable for the 2 open sockets allowing for
    more magic find or anything else that suits the player's
    fancy. Faster Hit Recovery and big bonus to cold resist
    could be a useful stopgap.
    Sazabi's mental sheath: +1 to skills, small boost to
    +resists and some defence. Useable for a while and then good
    to pass over to the mercenary for lack of better options. 
    "Realistic" setup
    Rockstopper: % Damage reduction, Faster Hit Recovery and
    nice boosts to resistances and Vitality make this a good
    helm if pelts are hard to come by.
    "Lore" runeword: +1 skills, decent lightning resists and
    mana gained per kill makes this a budget solution readily
    available before level 30.
    Magic druid pelt with +skills: +1/+2 and a decent suffix
    should be good enough to finish Hell for casual players.
    Mods to look out for: Increased Attack Speed, Life/Mana
    steal, +resists, +magic find
    "Dream" setup
    Good pair of crafted blood gloves: Fixed mods of crushing
    blow, life steal and +life can potentially be supplemented
    by more life steal, mana steal, increased attack speed and
    more. A really good pair with 4 affixes is definitely
    useable to finish the game in Hell difficulty.
    Dracul's grasp: The life steal and +life per kill is nice,
    but everyone recommends this pair of gloves for the chance
    to cast life tap on striking. If the build is going up
    against Burning Dead packs, this could prove a life-saver.
    Soul drainer: Dual leech and monster defence reduction per
    hit. Not as good as the other two recommendations above, but
    it makes prolonged fights against bosses easier with each
    hit from Fury softening the boss up for further attacks.
    "Recommended" setup
    Trang-Oul's Claws: The perfect Necromancer gloves, but +25%
    to poison skill damage isn't obtainable on any item outside
    of runewords and super-rare elite uniques.
    Immortal King's Forge: On its own not very special, but
    combined with another item in the set and % attack speed is
    obtained. I suggest getting the belt if this is considered.
    Venom Grip: Two of the mods on this unique are exactly the
    same as those offered by the blood gloves, namely crushing
    blow and life steal. It doesn't have Increased Attack Speed
    and +poison resist is somewhat limited in usefulness.
    Lava Gout: Increased Attack Speed, Fire Resist and
    semi-decent base defence. The big draw is the chance to cast
    Enchant which is fire damage and +AR for the troublesome
    dual-immune monsters.
    Hellmouth: This is a defensive pair of gloves limited to
    fire-heavy areas like the Arcane Sanctuary and Demon imp
    infestations. The occasional chance to cast fire spells are
    unlikely to help killing speed past Normal.
    Laying of Hands: This is an old favourite for boss runs
    because of the +350% damage to demons mod. It does have
    20% Increased Attack Speed and fire resist as well if
    there's nothing better available.
    "Realistic" setup
    Bloodfist: Increased attack speed and faster hit recovery
    isn't found on any other pair of gloves. The latter property
    is less of an issue for this build because of the high
    base life and inherently high faster hit recovery of the
    werewolf form, but any bonus is welcome if confronted by
    really hard-hitting melee mobs.
    Decent rare gloves: Anything with Increased Attack Speed, 
    life/mana steal of some kind and +resists is always helpful.
    Mods to look out for: Belt slots, Faster Hit Recovery,
    "Dream" setup
    Verdungo's hearty cord: One of the few belts available with
    % damage reduction, the boost to faster hit recovery and
    lots of life make this a popular choice. Good luck trying to
    find one without repeated boss runs and a lot of luck.
    Arachnid mesh: Just as rare as the above, but this is better
    for caster characters. It's not really worth keeping just
    for the +1 to all skills.
    Nosferatu's Coil/Siggard's Stealth: Life steal and increased
    attack speed together on a belt slot isn't available
    anywhere else. Attack slows target and +mana per
    kill make this a good belt to hang on to if encountered.
    High-level Blood belt: Open Wounds, life steal and +life as
    pre-set mods. Potentially getting +resists and Faster Hit
    Recovery if lucky. Only worth creating from mesh belts and
    mithril coils for the belt slots.
    "Recommended setup"
    High-level Safety belt: Integer damage and magic damage
    reduction along with increased %defence. Again only worth
    making in demonhide and spiderweb sashes for the belt slots.
    High-level Hitpower belt: 5-10% damage to mana should help
    if the build lacks mana steal of any kind. Recommend using
    battle belts since the elite counterpart may be too heavy
    for some players.
    String of ears: The other belt with % damage reduction, this
    is available if you're lucky with Normal Baal. Life steal
    and integer magic damage reduction makes this useable for
    most of the game. Consider upgrading a belt with
    particularly good mods for better defence.
    Thundergod's Vigour: Along with Blackhorn's face, one of the
    few items with lightning absorb. +Strength and +Vitality are
    also nice to have.
    Credendum: The Disciple Set belt has +15 to all resistances
    and little else going for it.
    Immortal King's Detail: Big boost to Fire and Lightning
    resist, the boost to Strength and Defence is a minor plus,
    combine with the gloves for more defence and Increased
    Attack Speed on the gloves.
    Trang-Oul's Girth: More stamina and life, but the big draw
    is Cannot Be Frozen which is a crucial mod to have but not
    readily available.
    "Realistic Setup"
    Nightsmoke: +resists and big %damage goes to mana modifier
    make mana problems less likely considering the damage taken
    in melee. Upgrade for more belt slots if the materials are
    readily available.
    Bladebuckle: Faster hit recovery and small integer damage
    Decent rare belt: Depending on mods, faster hit recovery
    with some resists should be achievable.
    Mods to look out for: Faster Run/Walk, Stamina Recovery,
    +resists, high base defence
    "Dream" setup
    Gore Rider: The boots themselves are not obscenely rare on
    their own, but the mods on the boots are very attractive.
    Faster Run/Walk coupled with Open Wounds, Crushing Blow and
    Deadly Strike means looking for the special mods on weapon
    and glove slots is less important.
    Sandstorm Trek: If forced to run away from extra-strong
    melee mobs, this is probably the best pair of boots to be
    wearing. Faster Run/Walk, Faster Hit Recovery, plenty of
    stamina and boosts to +Strength and +Vitality are good to
    High-level safety boots: A little integer damage and magic
    damage reduction, fire resist and enhanced defence with good
    random mods could be worth considering.
    "Recommended" setup
    Natalya's Soul: Nice boost to cold and lightning resist and
    maximum Faster Run/Walk bonus make this pair of boots worth
    using up to the end of the game.
    Immortal King's Pillar: Another candidate for combining with
    the gloves, 2 items gives magic find in addition to the
    maximum faster Run/Walk bonus and boost to life.
    Aldur's Advance: On its own, not that useful apart from huge
    bonus to fire resist and maximum faster Run/Walk, combining
    it with the set armour allows the armour to gain +Vitality
    which could be worth considering.
    Infernostride: Combine this pair of boots with the Hellmouth
    gauntlets for huge protection against fire-based attacks.
    Waterwalk: Faster Run/Walk and boost to Dexterity and
    Defence Vs. Missiles helps somewhat against ranged hordes.
    +Life is always a welcome mod to have.
    "Realistic" setup
    Decent rare boots: A good combination of mods may not be
    easily replaceable by difficult to find unique and set
    Threads of Cthon: Budget marathon boots providing a bit
    of help against ranged attacks.
    Goblin Toe: The other pair of boots with Crushing Blow built
    Tearhaunch: Faster Run/Walk with small boost to all
    Mods to look for: +skills, +resists, life/mana steal, Magic
    Find, +Life, +Min/Max Damage, Poison length reduction.
    "Dream" setup
    High-level +2 skills safety amulet: Considering character
    level has to be minimum level 93 for all base amulets used
    to definitely have a chance of spawning the +skills
    modifier, this is unlikely to be ever used except in Act 4/5
    Hell. The preset mods of integer damage and magic damage
    reduction and increased blocking in particular indirectly
    translate to more life as fewer points are invested in
    dexterity to maintain max block. 
    High-level +2 skills hitpower amulet: Rabies can work
    its magic better when monsters run away from you and spread
    the poison to their gathering friends. The same prohibitive
    level requirement for +2 skills also applies.
    Mara's Kaleidoscope: +2 to skills and big boost to all
    Highlord's Wrath: +1 to all skills, Increased Attack Speed
    and deadly strike that improves per level make this amulet
    worth keeping if it's ever found.
    Atma's scarab: No +skills, but the % Attack rating and
    chance to cast amplify damage on attack provide a way to
    deal with physical immune monsters with high poison
    Rare +2 skills amulet: Similar to crafted amulets above, but
    mods are fewer than the crafted variants.
    "Recommended" setup
    Crescent Moon: Dual leech amulet with the other mods means
    mana isn't going to run out in a hurry.
    Cat's eye: Increased Attack Speed and Faster Run/Walk along
    with the other mods mean ranged attacks are less frightening
    than they really are.
    Saracen's chance: Boost to all resistances and stats.
    Telling of Beads: Quite rare, but if found this will likely
    be used for some time because of +1 skills and a boost to
    2 resistances.
    Rare +1 skills amulet: Not as good as a +2, but the overall
    package may end up being used right up to the endgame.
    Magic +3 Druid summoning amulet: Useful if found to prebuff
    the Oak Sage. 
    "Realistic" setup
    The Eye of Etlich: +1 to skills, life steal and some cold
    Mahim Oak Curio: Small boost to all resistances and stats,
    10% boost to attack rating.
    Decent rare amulet: Even without skills, amulets tend to
    have mods that improve survivability e.g. +resists, +life
    Mods to look out for: Life/Mana steal, special modifiers,
    +resists, + Attack Rating, +damage, +elemental damage
    "Dream" setup
    Nature's Peace: One of the biggest drawbacks to this build
    mentioned earlier is the lack of corpse utilisation skills.
    If this ring is found, corpses are no longer a problem. If
    necessary, the charges for Heart of Wolverine can be used
    if AR is a serious problem against stone skin monsters.
    Wisp projector: Not for long-term use, the lightning absorb
    helps against gloams and lightning enchanted monsters.
    "Recommended" setup
    Raven Frost: This is the only ring that provides the Cannot
    be Frozen ability, if the build does not have any equipment
    that provides this mod then one ring slot will have to
    be sacrificed to wear the ring. On the plus side, most cold
    damage attacks won't be an issue while attack rating gets
    a small boost.
    Dwarf Star: A situational ring, if fire attacks are
    difficult to take and the fire-resistant equipment above
    aren't available, wielding this ring until the fire threat
    is over should help survivability.
    Bul-Kathos' wedding band: +1 to skills, +life per level and
    life steal, however I don't recommend the ring if
    resistances are too low.
    "Realistic" setup
    Angelic ring: Combined with the amulet in the same set, AR
    does not become a problem early on when werewolf isn't fully
    Dual leech rare rings: These do exist if gambling is done
    often. Players might be lucky and get them as quest rewards.
    Mods to look out for: +Resists, +Life, +Faster Hit Recovery,
    +Elemental Damage.
    Scintillating small charms of vita are ideal but extremely
    hard to obtain. Small resist charms over 10% for a single
    element are worth keeping. Look out for spiritual grand
    charms, a good suffix is optional if you find them. For this
    build I don't advise holding on to Gheed's Fortune since
    charms are needed more for survival than for magic find.
    6. Mercenary selection and equipment
    Almost all builds in single player need a mercenary of some
    kind to offset inherent weaknesses, this build is no
    exception. A quick summary of the available hirelings given
    Rogue archer: Cold arrow archer early in normal helps to
    slow down and shatter some monsters, not worth keeping
    beyond Act 1.
    Desert mercenary: Defiance aura early on keeps the character
    alive longer as blows land less often. Blessed aim could be
    taken but it's not as crucial early on when AR differences
    don't mean too much in strike rate. The Nightmare auras of
    Might and Holy Freeze provide the offensive and crowd
    control punch the character needs. The former is a huge help
    if Crushing Blow isn't available in equipment while the
    latter makes crowd control and corpse disposal less of a
    problem against almost all monsters.
    Iron Wolf Mage: Fire and Lightning are built for elemental
    damage, in Hell difficulty the damage dealt isn't high
    enough to help slay dual-immune monsters quickly while the
    character takes the hits. Cold is a potential option in
    Normal when corpse disposal is still an issue without cold
    damage from equipment.
    Barbarian mercenary: Very similar playstyle to the
    character, rushes in and attacks until the opponent is slain
    or the mercenary himself has fallen. Bash and Stun don't
    offer much for crowd control over and above what Rabies is
    capable of.
    Normal - Defiance mercenary/Cold Iron Wolf Mage
    Nightmare - Holy Freeze/Might mercenary
    Hell - Same as Nightmare.
    For each mercenary selected, I'll give a few suggestions
    on what to equip.
    Defiance mercenary
    Armour: Anything with high base defence and +resists helps
    for the duration of Normal. Some of the armours recommended
    for the character also apply to this mercenary with the
    added bonus that ethereal versions can be used without fear
    of breaking on the mercenary.
    Helmet: Anything with life steal and +resists will do.
    Weapon: Any polearm or spear with high base damage and life
    steal is enough for normal. Any special modifiers are a
    Cold Iron Wolf Mage
    Armour: If you can afford it, a "Stealth" runeword armour is
    actually useful up until early Nightmare if you choose.
    Otherwise high defence armour with +resists and
    caster-friendly mods is welcome.
    Helmet: High defence helmet with +resists.
    Weapon: The good caster swords are only available from
    Nightmare onwards, base damage swords don't matter much
    since the Iron Wolf almost never swings it. With this in
    mind, the best choice may well be Culwen's point or a rare
    sword with +1 to skills.
    Shield: The shield runewords do nicely, although investing
    a Lum rune in a mercenary that will not see past early
    Nightmare for the Splendour runeword may be too extravagant
    without help from Hell countess runs.
    Holy Freeze mercenary
    The difference in equipment between this mercenary and the
    Might variant is slight, but I recommend getting weapons
    with higher base damage for this mercenary since the main
    aim of this mercenary is to slow down mob attacks enough
    for the character/mercenary to finish them off. Consequently
    +skills equipment is more helpful to improve the aura's
    "Dream" setup
    "Duress" runeword: On characters this would be a good setup
    to keep, but its value to mercenaries is much higher since
    the runes involved are less rare (Um isn't the easiest
    rune to find or to invest in a mercenary). A boost to all
    resistances, faster hit recovery, enhanced damage, enhanced
    defence, Crushing Blow and Open Wounds makes a solid choice
    for either Nightmare mercenary variant.
    "Gloom" runeword: The runes are rarer compared to the above,
    but the benefits are more defensive compared to Duress.
    Chance to cast Dim Vision when struck provide crowd control
    of a sort, the Might mercenary benefits more here than the
    Holy Freeze variant. 
    Leviathan: Benefits for main character equally applicable
    to the mercenary.
    Gladiator's Bane: The argument for placing it on the main
    character first is there, but if better armours are
    available then the mods are perfectly useable on the
    mercenary to help the character survive. Cannot be Frozen,
    Faster Hit Recovery and integer damage and magic damage
    reduction are always helpful for the innate high-resistances
    and healing of the mercenary.
    "Recommended" setup
    "Stone" runeword: Two semi-rare runes and a high-demand
    uncommon rune for immense defence, +stats and Faster Hit
    Recovery. The runes are better spent on other combinations
    if possible.
    Duriel's Shell: Benefits for the main character are equally
    applicable to the mercenary.
    Shaftstop: As above.
    Toothrow: I've used this in at least 2 other builds which
    made it to Hell. It's not great for characters but
    mercenaries see much use from Open Wounds and Attacker takes
    Black Hades: 3 open sockets for customisation, the remaining
    mods are so-so.
    "Realistic" setup
    Any armour given as a hand-me-down from the main character
    should be just as useful to the mercenary.
    "Dream" setup
    Delirium: Only worth giving if the main character has the
    elite druid pelts, the delirium effect is less problematic
    since mercenaries can be resurrected.
    Crown of Ages: Mods equally applicable to the mercenary,
    only worth giving as a hand-me-down though.
    Andariel's Visage: +Skills, Increased Attack Speed, Life
    steal at the cost of reduced fire resistance. Wasting a
    socket reward on a mercenary item is extravagant if the aim
    is to insert a perfect ruby to counteract the negative
    "Recommended" setup
    Vampiregaze: Equally useful on a mercenary.
    Blackhorn's face: As above, probably more so since narrow
    areas with nasty lightning enchanted monsters (e.g. Maggot
    lair) are easier to handle if the mercenary does the bulk of
    the killing.
    "Realistic" setup
    Rockstopper: Probably better off with the mercenary if found
    and a replacement helmet is obtained.
    Good rare helms: Find decent helms while adventuring and
    pass them to the mercenary if the character's own helmet
    is better.
    Here the main difference between the Might and Holy Freeze
    mercenaries comes into play. Might mercenaries will like
    weapons that confer some form of crowd control, Holy Freeze
    mercenaries need all the base damage and special modifiers
    they can get to compensate for their slower killing speed.
    "Dream" setup
    "Doom" runeword: This has been mentioned in other guides,
    but getting the runes to assemble this runeword for the
    Might mercenary gives all the advantages of the Holy Freeze
    variant along with the Might aura from the mercenary. The
    mods include +skills, Increased Attack Speed, % Enhanced
    damage, Deadly Strike, Open Wounds, Prevent Monster Heal and
    Hit Freezes Target. Good luck getting Ohm, Lo and Cham to
    drop anytime soon.
    Bonehew: Highest average damage unique polearm, it even
    comes with 2 sockets for further customisation. Cheap
    socketing choices would be an Amn/Life steal jewel and a
    Shael/Increased attack speed jewel, the best possible
    combination for a Holy Freeze merc would likely be Amn and
    Ber runes.
    Reaper's Toll: Less damage than Bonehew, but the chance to
    cast Decrepify makes many physical immune monsters lose
    their immunity to regular attacks. Ignore Target Defence,
    life steal and Deadly Strike offer a solid package for
    either variant.
    Tomb Reaver: This is so rare it's almost not worth
    mentioning, but it exists and works well with characters
    interested in magic find. The increase to resistances is
    also desirable but the open sockets in the weapon allow
    significant customisation according to available equipment.
    Arioc's Needle: Not the most damaging weapon available for
    the mercenary, a potential +4 skills and Deadly Strike makes
    a good enhancement to the Might mercenary.
    Steel Pillar: Raw damage, Crushing Blow, -% Target defence,
    Increased Attack Speed and % Enhanced Defence are all geared
    towards fast killing speed. No life steal so that has to be
    made up elsewhere.  
    "Recommended" setup
    Blackleach Blade: Life steal and semi-decent damage for a
    decent stopgap for most of Nightmare and early Hell
    Pierre Tombale Couant: Highest average damage of the
    exceptional polearms, Deadly Strike and Faster hit Recovery.
    This is one of the more common exceptional uniques so
    getting the weapon in Nightmare from regular questing is
    not unheard of.
    Grim's Burning Dead: Low average damage, but the extra fire
    damage and reduction to target defence is helpful in its own
    Kelpie Snare: Even with a might mercenary, the damage on
    this spear even when upgraded/ethereal isn't par past
    Nightmare. The main reason to use this spear is for the
    huge 75% slows target upon a successful hit meaning bosses
    are far less threatening after a few blows are struck before
    the mercenary is slain.
    Hone Sundan: The "Bone breaker" has Crushing Blow and three
    open sockets for further customisation. A cheap option for
    the sockets is two Amn runes and a Shael for faster killing
    speed and survivability. An ethereal Hone Sundan may well be
    worth upgrading to the elite version assuming the mercenary
    can handle the heightened requirements.
    "Realistic" setup
    Woestave: If found, this is a surprisingly useful polearm
    for crowd control. Open Wounds, Hit Slows Target, Hit Blinds
    Target, - Monster Defence per hit, Freeze Target and Prevent
    Monster Heal is quite a lot of special mods on a humble
    normal polearm. Upgrading the polearm doesn't improve damage
    much but Might mercenaries can compensate with their aura at
    higher levels.
    The Grim Reaper: 100% Deadly Strike and Prevent Monster
    Heal. This doesn't have quite the longevity of Woestave but
    it will do nicely until a better weapon turns up.
    Bloodthief: Open Wounds and life steal, nothing spectacular
    after Normal.
    Any rare high-damage polearm or spear: If the mods are good,
    let the mercenary use it until something better turns up.
    For rares, the damage rating is probably the biggest
    deciding factor.
    7. General gameplay
    I've given a rough guide on how to distribute skill points
    in an earlier section, here a rough guide on how to play the
    character will be briefly described.
    Normal difficulty: Once the first few skill points are
    invested into the prerequisites like Werewolf and
    Lycanthropy, remaining points can be either be saved up for
    the level 6 skills or invested into Werewolf. Before level
    18, this character behaves exactly like a
    barbarian/paladin/regular melee build with above-average
    health and below-average swing speed. Use the poison creeper
    in Chapter 1 to distract hordes and grab cheap kills. Get a
    decent shield as quickly as possible and invest in dexterity
    until shield block rate is achieved. Remaining points can be
    invested in Strength (enough to wear medium armour by
    chapter 2, afterwards it's up to player discretion but 110
    by the end of Normal should be the target) and Vitality.
    Once level 18 is reached, Rabies is available and playstyle
    changes slightly. Alternate Rabies and Feral Rage attacks
    while the poison runs its course, if possible try and attract
    as many monsters so that the Rabies contagion can spread
    freely. Once level 30 is achieved, Fury is available and
    combat becomes a simple matter of cycling between the three
    skills until opponents are slain. 
    Nightmare difficulty: More or less the same as Normal
    difficulty, only monsters are tougher and the character has
    all of the key skills activated. Ranged monsters like Dark
    Archers and the like are more dangerous so hiring the Holy
    Freeze merc as soon as possible will help with crowd control
    and corpse disposal to some extent. Some of the recommended
    equipment should start to drop/become available for use
    during Nightmare so equipment upgrades shouldn't be
    neglected. For stat allocation invest enough in strength
    until the character's base strength (and bonus strength) is
    enough to equip all of the desired equipment. Remaining
    points go into dexterity to maintain block percentage and
    vitality for more life. With the new respec reward granted
    by Akara in all 3 difficulties, any minor mistakes made
    during level-up can be corrected provided the player backs
    up the player save file before resetting skill and stat
    point allocations.
    Hell difficulty: Monsters get stronger and tougher much
    faster than compared to Nightmare. In addition the
    dual-immune monsters will make fairly regular appearances
    throughout all chapters. Players will either equip
    mercenaries with sufficient elemental damage weapons to
    finish the job or have their own equipped to handle the
    unique monsters. Some of the equipment suggestions I've
    given have several methods of dealing with physical+poison
    immune unique monsters.
    Andariel in all difficulties is hard, for normal you
    won't do enough damage to leech back what she deals to you,
    for nightmare and hell her poison resistance is so high
    Rabies does little to no damage. Bring antidote potions and
    rejuvenation potions along and be prepared to run a lot back
    to town for healing and potions in normal. Once Crushing
    Blow and good shields are equipped, Andariel becomes easier
    to handle.
    Duriel hits harder than any monster encountered thus far
    in normal, the holy freeze aura also slows attack speed
    significantly. Hit and run is the only advice I can give so
    fast boots are a necessity. By Nightmare and Hell all core
    skills have been developed and it's a matter of outlasting
    Duriel with full rejuvenation potions and/or high damage
    life steal attacks.
    Mephisto is more dangerous at range than in melee, pretend
    you're fighting a pumped up Andariel with a weaker poison
    attack and more elemental attacks.
    Diablo's red lightning hose always seems to finish off my
    melee characters if I'm bogged down in melee, fortunately
    Rabies works well in a hit and run capacity regardless of
    difficulty. No need to bother with Feral Rage from Nightmare
    onwards since Diablo becomes immune to leeching. 
    Run up to Baal quickly and keep hitting until he collapses.
    Full rejuvenation potions are a must to deal with the mana
    rift. Keep fire and cold resistances high when taking on
    The Venom lords in the Chaos Sanctum and Baal's throne are
    immune to Rabies so keep fire resistances high and stick
    to Feral Rage and Fury for attacks. Rabies works against the
    Minions of Destruction so hit and run is a workable
    8. Acknowledgements and Credits
    Blizzard North for developing the game.
    Arreat Summit for the item lists and skill trees at a
    indiablo.de for the various calculators.
    Various guides on the gamefaqs website for this game.
    Anyone who bothered reading and found the guide useful.
    9. Contact information
    If readers have any constructive input to give to this
    guide, send any emails with the heading "Rabies druid guide"
    to the following email address:
    Replace the words in brackets with the appropriate symbols.
    Not following the instructions above is a quick delete of
    the message.
    I will not update the guide to include duelling information
    or the realm-only runewords, other guides on gamefaqs and
    other websites have more than enough info on the runewords
    available and how best to use them.
    For readers who think I can't spell, try checking my guide
    with an English (UK) spell check function before bothering
    to write to me about the "obvious" spelling mistakes.   
    10. Version history
    1.0: First version completed.   
    11. Legal Notice
    This guide may not be reproduced under any circumstances
    except for personal, private use. It may not be placed on
    any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without
    advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other
    web site not listed or as a part of any public display is
    strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright.
    All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are
    owned by their respective trademark and copyright holders.
    This FAQ is copyrighted by Feng Liangju 2010
    www.gamefaqs.com is the only website authorised to display
    this FAQ.

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