Diablo II 1.1x Cold Elemental PvP Guide Author: Chris Turpin A.K.A itoilet9 Last updated 7/30/10 v2.5.1 AUTHOR'S NOTE: I own an iPhone, and I've used GameFAQS countless times on the iPhone in a pinch when there was no computer handy. So I figure I should state it here: This guide is NOT iPhone compatible. Unless, of course, you don't mind the guide looking like complete trash. ********************* **Table of Contents** ********************* I. Update logs -Guide- 1. Introduction 2. Skills N' Stats 2.1: Grinding 3. The Chaos Sanctuary 4. Recommended Equipment 5. Zen and the art of dueling 4.1: Player-Killers 6. Boss Guide 7. For the Lawyers 8. Contact =============== --UPDATE LOGS-- =============== *2.5.2 -Since I'm seeing this guide popping up in more places, had to add some disclaimers. *2.5.1 -Cleaned up some stuff. -Added update about Akara in 1.13. -Updated contact info. *2.5 (You're reading this) -Pat sent in some additional tips, so I've added those. -Cleaning up a bit. -Changed over to a unified header design. -Removed quests and added in section about the Chaos Sanctuary. -Rewrote some sections for better grammar. -Rewrote Bosses, and Section 5. *2.0 -Adding a ton of things. -Messed with the layout. -Adding a section on the quests. -Massive cleanup. -Added more reader stuff, credits given where appropriate. ================ --INTRODUCTION-- ================ Welcome to my Cold Sorceress guide for Diablo II. This guide will instruct you on how to build a very potent cold sorceress for yourself. Cold sorceresses are very good for magic-finding, dueling, or just as all-around characters. Cold sorceresses are also very easy to use, as opposed to Fire and Lightning sorceresses. So, without further ado, let's get started with the basics. DISCLAIMER DISCLAIMER DISCLAIMER: READ THIS BEFORE PROCEEDING This guide has been popping up on multiple game sites, so I want to take a moment to set this straight: This guide is for Player vs. Player Cold Sorceress builds for vanilla Diablo II. If you're playing on the Lord of Destruction expansion, then this guide won't help you, and you should probably read a guide written for the expansion. +++++++++++++++ -Build Rundown- +++++++++++++++ There are many different sorceress builds you should probably know about. You may want to reconsider your build options after reading this. Cold Sorceresses (The one covered in this guide) have it really easy, and as such, are the majority of Sorceresses on Battle.net. This is because the two main builds (Blizzard and Orber) both have some very powerful skills at their disposal. Plus, aiming your attacks isn't so much of an issue with Cold sorceresses. Fire sorceresses and Lightning sorceresses are for the more skilled. These builds require you to have good aim, as the skills these builds use aren't easy to aim at all. You have one directional attack, and that's it. Unless, of course, you decide to invest some skill points into some of their other skills. But those builds tend to suck, to be blunt. +++++++++++++++ -The Objective- +++++++++++++++ My objective in this guide is to have every reader who follows this guide be equipped with a ass-kicking, blizzard/orb-slinging sorceress. Also, said sorceress should at least be able to hold their own in duels, and be usable to a degree in single-player games, and be able to be self-sufficient. That being said, please don't get on my case if you followed my guide, yet still cannot do a Hell Chaos run on your own. If you have a legitimate complaint, or some constructive feedback, please do drop me a line at the contacts section. I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks! ++++++++++++ -B.Net Tips- ++++++++++++ Before we get started, there's a few things I'd like to say that should immensely help you out in the world of Diablo II. 1. Make friends on battle.net. Make friends with people high up, who are well-known and somewhat respected. Then learn from their technique. This is how you will move up through the ranks. Enter duel games. Observe duel techniques. This might be easier said than done, but if you aren't a complete tool on Battle.net, you'll be fine. 2. Friends also will help you out with equipment needs, as well as leveling assistance and backup, should you be outnumbered in a duel. 3. Don't smack-talk unless you can back it up. Good way to get a negative reputation online quickly. Then you won't be able to level in peace anymore without some idiot toggling hostile and handing your ass back to you. 4. Begging for items is bad form. Make friends and mooch off of THEM. That's what friends are for. (Just kidding.) 5. Watch out for clans. Most of the ones I've run into on Battle.net tend to be aggressive. That isn't to say all of them are, however. 6. If you are leveling/getting a rush in a game, and suddenly, one (or two) odd person joins the game, but doesn't talk, party, or even appear in town, then be careful. The person might be killing bosses (fine if you don't need the quests), or running the Sanctuary. The latter will end the game, so be careful. =================== --Skills N' Stats-- =================== Skill point time! Do note that I'll only be listing the skills you absolutely need here, and how many points you need for each. If I should have forgotten a prerequisite, grab that along the way, and drop me a line and let me know, please! 1.13 update: When you complete the first quest in Act I, Akara will now give you the ability to reset all your stat and skill points. This can only be used ONCE (Not sure if it's per difficulty yet), so be sure you save it for a damned good reason. Using it for a build switch isn't advised unless you already have proper equipment for the build you want to switch to. ++++++++ -Skills- ++++++++ If you're going for the Blizzard build, I recommend this: Lightning: Skill---------------Points Charged Bolt 1 Lightning 1 Telekinesis 1 Teleport 1 Energy Shield 1 Cold: Skill---------------Points IceBolt Max Frozen Armor 1 Frost Nova 1 Ice Blast Max Glacial Spike Max Blizzard Max Shiver Armor 1 Mastery Max As for Frozen Orb build: Lightning: Skill---------------Points Charged Bolt 1 Lightning 1 Telekinesis 1 Teleport Max or 1, depends on variant Energy Shield See below Cold: Skill---------------Points Ice Bolt Max Frozen Armor 1 Frost Nova 1 Ice Blast 1 Glacial Spike 1 Blizzard 1 Frozen Orb Max Mastery Max You may wonder why you have to max out Glacial Spike, Ice Bolt, etc as well as Blizzard/Orb. This is because of a new game mechanic introduced in version 1.10 and used until further notice. Said mechanic is known as "Synergy", and it allows certain skills to gain additional power due to your expertise in other skills. Let me present an example. Say you have Frozen Orb. Frozen Orb tops out at about 400 damage (This is purely example. No truth here). Frozen Orb is linked via synergy to Ice Bolt, which for every additional point in Ice Bolt, Frozen Orb gets an additional 20% of damage. This makes it mission-critical to max out all skills linked via Synergy. Or at least the ones which layer on the most damage to your build's skill. That extra damage is invaluable in the long run. Most of the skills you are putting one point into are nothing but prerequisites and should just be ignored. However, the two that stand out from that category are Energy Shield and Teleport, the latter of which is probably THE required sorceress skill for duels. NOTE: I spoke with a few friends, and I have heard of a few people saying that Energy Shield is NOT recommended for PvP. The idea behind including it as a necessary skill is because mana potions are legal to use in duels. Health potions are not. Hence, ES will help you last a bit longer in duels, or give you the upper hand. As Marcus says in Borderlands: "Someone always has the upper hand. Make it be you." Or something like that. +++++++++++++++++++++++++ -Skill Points Break Down- +++++++++++++++++++++++++ 1.13: Again, I remind you to re-read the point I made above about Akara having the ability to reset your Stats/Skills. If you're playing offline, or on a private LAN on patch 1.12 or below, follow this section down to the letter. There is no second chance for you guys. Let's assume your character is going to top out at Level 80. That means, not counting quests, you have roughly 79 skill points to allocate. If we do all the quests, I believe we have around 4 skill points per difficulty extra. That means 12 extra skill points. (I know I am probably wrong here--This is just a rough estimate.) Each skill takes 20 points to max out. So, let's break it down: Blizzard Sorceresses: 91 points starting (Assuming all quests done, all difficulties) It'll take 80 points just to get the attacking spells maxed out for optimum damage. Add in cold mastery and you're well over your limit. However, Blizzard does a pretty insane amount of damage, so you can afford to lose some damage on it. Focus on Mastery, which cuts opponents' resistance to you. One point in teleport and energy shield is also critical. Without these skills, you're toast in ANY duel. If you're going frozen orb, then there's only 3 skills that need to be maxed for optimum damage, leaving the door wide open for another skill to be given star treatment. I recommend Energy Shield (to make you a tank) or Teleport (speedy teleport, and at only few MP per cast, allows you to recover mana while you teleport. Genius.) +++++++ -Stats- +++++++ You have about 400 stat points to spend throughout the life of your sorceresses, assuming you stop at level 80, and you don't do Lam Esen's Tome in Act 3. (That'll net you 15 stat points if you do it once for each difficulty.) Strength: As high as needed, but keep as low as possible. If you can get away with keeping it around 40-50, that'll be excellent. (Alternate: 35. No higher.) Dexterity: Like strength. Keep it as low as possible. 51 is good, as it allows use of the Spectral Shard, the main weapon of choice for Duelists. (Alternate: Boost via equipment. Do not go over 35 without equipment.) Vitality: Every point that isn't going into anything else should be put into Vitality. By around Level 70, you should be edging close to 1,000 Life (With equipment that adds to your life). Energy: Try not to put ANY points whatsoever into this stat. AuralFire and Anticitizen (Orb and Blizzard sorcs, respectively) both have 50-70 into Energy because I think that's a pretty good comfort zone. It really depends on where you are comfortable, but a common rule is no more than 70 at the most. (Alternate: None into this stat, but if you're itching for more mana, throw on a set of Frostburns.) (Again, I remind you that Akara can reset your skills and stats, so if you screw up your stat spreads, you can rectify it.) Really, your aim is as much vitality as possible. This way, the more life you have, the better your chances of surviving a duel. The tradeoff for more strength (more defense and/or attack power), dex (accuracy), or energy (mana) for less life is a bad one, no matter how you cut it. ++++++++++ -Grinding- ++++++++++ So, now comes the boring part of the game, the grinding part. There are some methods you can do to speed it up during the first 60 levels, but after that it's pretty much an endless grinding spree to push your level as high as the sky. ---------------- -Levels 1 to 20- ---------------- You'll either be flying solo or having the assistance of a chanter for this one. If you have a chanter assisting you, skip to Stony Field. Otherwise, you'll be alone with a staff that grants you Fire Bolt and that's just about it. With as low mana as you have at this point, you'll probably have to resort to smacking enemies with your staff. It's okay for now. Once you gain some levels, definitely throw some into Ice Bolt, which will give you a passable attack that gains more power with a constant mana cost. (If you're going the orber route, you should be maxing this skill now. Blizzard builds should put as many points as possible into this skill until Ice Blast opens up, then as many points into Ice Blast until Glacial Spike opens up, and so on.) If you are one of the lucky ones who has a friend with a chanter, you should be joining us at this point. If you go this route, you should run over to Charsi, buy a usable bow, some arrows, and then get to the Stony Field waypoint where your friend should be waiting for you. Don't worry if your Attack Rating sucks--Enchant gives it a pretty sizable boost. You'll want to slowly (emphasis on slowly if you aren't blessed with a chanter) work your way through Act 1, eventually making your way to Andariel. If you have a ton of friends with you and you are all around level 15, it shouldn't be exceedingly difficult to take her down. Once she's dead, you can either begin Act 2, or if that's too difficult for you, hang around in Act 1 and get to Level 20. By the time you hit 20, you should have an Ice Bolt that is pretty well leveled, with one point each into Blizzard's prerequisites. Orbers should have Ice Bolt near maxed, moving right along toward Orb. Both builds should consider moving towards picking up Teleport around now. ----------------- -Levels 20 to 50- ----------------- At this point, you'll want to join a Cow game--that is, a group of people running through the cow level. I'd strongly recommend messaging all your friends and running the cow level ONLY with your friends. There are some total jerks on Battle.net who will bomb your game by killing the Cow King, which, if the killer is in your party, will disallow anyone in the party from setting up the Cow Level portal in the future. Once your character gets to Lv. 30, you'll probably want to move into Nightmare Cow runs. (You CAN start at 25, but 30's pretty comfortable.) You can run the Nightmare cow level until you hit Lv. 45 or 50. By then, I'd stop. By now, you should have a decently leveled Orb/Blizzard which should be more than enough to carry you through easily. Also, you should at least have Teleport by now. If you are going for the Orb build, your Ice Bolt should be maxed. ----------------- -Levels 50 to 70- ----------------- You should do Nightmare Chaos runs until around 60 or so. When you get there, get to Hell Act 2 and run through the desert killing things (In full games, preferably). You should be able to hit 70 easy doing this. ------------ -70 Onwards- ------------ Once you hit 70, it's pretty straightforward from here. Just do Hell Chaos runs until you hit your desired level. I stopped at 80, though it certainly is possible to go further. May luck be with you. ========================= --Recommended Equipment-- ========================= Obviously the skills and stats were the least of our problems. Now we have to figure out what kind of equipment we are going to use. The good news is that you'll likely get this stuff from some caring people as you build up your levels. Don't trip too hard on this stuff until you get to level 70-ish. This can't be said enough, but don't sweat it on the defense stat on any of these items. Defense does nothing for your character, besides maybe giving you a really small chance of surviving physical attacks. If I Barbarian Whirlwinds you, you're likely not going to survive. But if you do, you'll probably flinch to the point where he'll have another opening to finish you off. Just saying. +++++++++++ -Equipment- +++++++++++ Helm: Rare helm 10% or 20 faster hit recovery 20+ to Life Cold Resist 20%+ Fire Resist 20%+ Primary Armor: Rare (For everything else) 24% Faster Hit Recovery Cold Resist 20% Fire Resist 20% 50+ to Life Secondary Armor: Hawkmail (For dueling Cold-based Sorceress) Defense: 109-122 Required Level: 15 Required Strength: 44 Durability: 36 +80-100% Enhanced Defense 10% Faster Run/Walk 15% To Max Cold Resist Cold Resist +15% Cannot Be Frozen Shield: Priz* 20-30 to Cold, Fire, and Lightning resists Faster Block Rate Enhanced block rate Weapon: Spectral Shard +10 to All Resistances 50 to Mana 50% Faster Cast Rate 55% to Attack Rating Gloves: Frostburn +10-20% Enhanced Defense +30 Defense +5% Enhanced Damage Increase Maximum Mana 40% Adds 1-6 Cold Damage Alternate Gloves: Magefist Boots: Rare 30% Faster Run/Walk 10% faster hit recovery +20 to Mana Cold resist and Fire resist Belt: Rare 10% Faster Hit Recovery 30+ to Life Cold Resist Fire Resist Rings: 10% Faster Cast Rate Cold resists and Fire resists +Mana or +Life Amulet: Rare +1 or 2 to Sorceress Skill Levels 10-20% to all resists +Life or +Mana *= The word "Priz" is given to any item that has more than one resistance boost. It's a battle.net term. You'll want to hold on to those two armors because you'll want one set of armorfor Sorceress vs. Sorceress duels (a good portion of which are usually coldelemental duels, hence the Hawkmail), and one for everything else. This way, no base is exactly uncovered. Pat Gilsdorf would also like to point out that Wands have become a viable option in patch 1.11. They now have triple resistances (all three elements), have Faster Cast Rate, and makes a great powerhouse. Of course, don't expect skill bonuses from Wands. Additionally, he adds that the Iratha set is a great set on the low end of things as it adds resistance and a few other bonuses. ======================= --The Chaos Sanctuary-- ======================= I figure I'd give this it's own section because It's where a lot of people new to the leveling game run into problems. (Yours truly was at one point, included among those.) So, the Chaos Sanctuary. What is it? The Chaos Sanctuary is widely regarded as the best place to earn experience when you hit the upper echelon of levels (around 70-99). Experience gain slows to a crawl as you hit the high levels, and the Chaos Sanctuary has a gigantic amount of powerful monsters which yield decent experience, all packed into one location. You would really think that it's all cut-and-dry, but it isn't. There are some special techniques to running the Sanctuary (Or CS, as it's called in in-game conversation.) +++++++++ -Shrines- +++++++++ You may happen upon shrines in the Sanctuary. Some of them may be completelyuseless. The one you need to be looking out for is the Experience Shrine. Whatever you do, do not touch this shrine! The Experience Shrines are reserved for the party member with the highest level. As you gain levels, it begins to become very difficult to level up, hence the reason the shrines are reserved for the higher-ups. It might be a stupid rule, but it's an unwritten one in most of the sanctuary runs nonetheless. If you are the highest level character in the game, by all means, go for it. +++++++++++++ -Teleporting- +++++++++++++ Since you ARE a Sorceress, after all, you may be asked to do something known among the experienced as "Sora", which basically means to teleport as fast as possible to the center of the Sanctuary (Where Diablo appears), and throw down a Town Portal to let everyone else through. If you are inexperienced, obviously this is no easy task. Considering good Sanctuary runs thrive on having a sorceress available for this (and more likely than not, it's usually you), you need to be prepared. As far as equipment: You'll want some stuff with good resistances and stuff that boosts your casting rate. Stock cast rate will only ensure your untimely demise, and contempt from your fellow Sanctuary-runners in the game. Start by filling your belt with half Super Health Potions and Super Mana potions. Use Full Rejuvs if you have some to spare. Next, get down to the River of Flame waypoint, and cast Shiver Armor and Energy Shield on yourself. If there's a barbarian in the game, MAKE him come down to the waypoint and cast all his buffs on you as well (Battle orders, etc.) Now, position your fingers over the 1-4 keys, and hold down the right mouse button, not letting go until you hit the center of the Sanctuary. If your Life or Mana dips below 60%, use a potion. (If you are using rejuv's, you can wait until around the 30% mark.) Once the sora is complete, I'd stay off the Teleport unless you need to use it to back yourself out of a crowd of enemies. For everything else, teleport will only get you killed and/or get others killed. +++++++ -Seals- +++++++ There's not much to say on the Seals. Just don't go and pull 'em when there are people in the area where the monsters are going to appear AFTER you pull the seal. It's common sense. ++++++++++++ -Riverwalks- ++++++++++++ Just thought I'd drop this in here. Riverwalks as they are called are no more than extended Sanctuary runs. These do not require a sora of any sort, as riverwalks consist of everyone meeting at the River Of Flame waypoint, and moving as one party from there. There is no teleport-then-portal mess to worry about, making this the ideal leveling tactic for lower-level characters or games with no sorceress. ============================== --Zen and the art of Dueling-- ============================== At some point, you may wonder what all the hubbub about dueling is. Once you've completed the game and are more or less satisfied with your character's build, the only things left to do are to continually run the Chaos Sanctuary until you max out, kill bosses for items, or duel. We'll be focusing on the latter of these. There are a few things you might want to know before jumping into the world of dueling. The first is that you MUST have teleport. Must. If you don't, then this is pretty much negating the sorceress' main advantage in duels. The second: Most duel games are held in the Hell difficulty. This means that your resistances will take a -50 hit. Make sure you have a LOT of resistance gear on, or you'll get toasted. (Or Minced. Or frozen. Insert whatever you'd like here.) I'd also suggest switching your skill hotkeys to something more convenient to your potion keys (Which cannot be changed, IIRC). Mine are Q, W, E, R for the first four skill hotkeys. Whatever's comfortable for you. And do note: DO NOT use health potions in duels. That's considered cheating. If you are playing an Orber, keep in mind of the Orb's break point. Right when it explodes, if you can catch an opponent in the epicenter of the explosion, it'll do insane damage. (Credit Patrick G. for this one) Also, your damage toward any other player is automatically cut by 75%. Why? Because your Orbs and Blizzard would be landing one hit kills. And that's no fun. ++++++++++++++++ -PALADIN BUILDS- ++++++++++++++++ Paladins are probably going to be a giant thorn in your side. One of the builds is bloody quick, the other has a guaranteed hit against you. The third is weaksauce. The latter you'll hardly ever see in a duel game on B.net unless the user is a total idiot. ------------- -Hammer-Dins- ------------- ADVANTAGE: Equal This can be a difficult fight if the Paladin knows what he's doing. At least, the only thing he'll do Charge around and drop hammers at random, trying to get you to trip on one of them and die. At most, he'll take advantage of a small little trick that will allow him to instantly appear right on your character's location, making you like a lamb to the slaughter. Best way to avoid this is to keep moving while remaining offensive. It'd be worthwile to note that the Hammers originate from the right side of the Paladin. So stay away from that area at all costs. As far as offense, you'll just have to drop random blizzards and hope he walks into one. Getting close enough to drop a blizzard right on him might be too risky, unless he's reloading on mana. Orbers can just go crazy here. No accuracy involved. --------------------- -Fist Of The Heavens- --------------------- ADVANTAGE: Opponent This duel is insanely difficult, and I highly recommend (If you're the "pick your battles" type) just staying out of this fight altogether. If you insist on fighting, read on. Maximum lightning resists are a requirement here. So is Energy Shield. Don't even duel if you don't have these skills. Unless you're going for the kill, stay out of range. Otherwise you're in for a pummeling. If you are going to try to kill him, give it your all--because once you're within range of his primary attack, you're dead if you don't kill him first. Expect him to have maximum cold resistance. This is clearly a "Kill him before he kills you" scenario. As an additional tidbit, your Energy Shield will not soak 100% of his attacks. So move fast. ---------- -AuraDins- ---------- ADVANTAGE: You, definitely This should be mentioned since I have seen these builds wandering B.net here and there. In a nutshell, these Paladins rely on Auras to do damage to you. The only thing that could do major damage is Thorns, which shouldn't affect you as you don't use physical attacks. However, if this is a partied duel, then Auradins become far more effective. Alone, however, they are easy to pick off. Just run in and unload some spells on him. The resist cold aura could make things difficult, but he can only have one aura active at one time, so this leaves him wide open to attack. Unless he charges you to death. Keep your distance. ++++++++++++ -BARBARIANS- ++++++++++++ You are dealing with two builds here. One's easy, one's insanely difficult. ----------- -BvB Build- ----------- ADVANTAGE: In some contexts, Opponent. Most of the time: You. If a barbarian rushes you with Barbarian vs. Barbarian dueling gear on, that person is either 1. Ready to lose, 2. A total idiot, or 3. Has some sort of master plan. In my case, it's always been a combination of 1 and 2. There's no plan to it. Just run away, blitzing said idiot with Blizzards/Orbs. He'll die quick enough. ----------- -BvS Build- ----------- ADVANTAGE: Opponent, definitely Okay, quick warning: This battle is NOT for the feint of heart. If you are seasoned, are convinced you want to pick a fight with a stacked Barbarian (Lord help you.), then read on. We can already draw a couple assumptions from the outset, and things aren't looking good for you at all. We can assume this barbarian has over 3,000 HP, and that he has some serious points invested into Natural Resistance. Not only that, he has Hawkmail and a ton of other cold-resist items, boosting his cold resistance well into the 200% range. Any damage you can dish will be minimal at best. Not only that, you cannot slow him with your cold, meaning he'll be able to keep up with you. I can suggest a few preparations for this battle. You'll want to make sure the conditions favor you as much as possible on Blood Moor as well. Lots of rocks, houses, trees, etc. For the Barbarian to trip over. Secondly, empty out your entire inventory. Everything. Including your Horadric Cube. You'll need the space. After that's done, run over to Akara, and buy as many mana potions as you can cram into your belt and Inventory. (No health potions whatsoever.) Cast energy shield on yourself. Keep it hotkeyed-you'll need to recast it a few times during the duration of this war. You can cast Cold/Frozen/Shiver Armor on yourself, but if the Barbarian has Hawkmail, those skills are pretty much rendered useless. Third: You'll possibly want to clear the Blood Moor of monsters if at all possible. Once the Barbarian runs out of Mana, he can Whirlwind the monsters for free Mana and Health, prolonging the battle even longer. (This is due to mana/health absorb on weapons he has.) With that out of the way, let's get to the meat of the discussion: The battle itself. You'll want to put as much distance as possible between you and the barbarian right from the outset. Take note of where all the shrines are (Especially the Health and Mana ones. The Wells too.) What you need to do is bait the Barbarian into using his Whirlwind mistakenly on you to burn up his mana. If the Barbarian also whirlwinds and misses, it's also an excellent chance to sneak in a hit as well. The rule of the battle is: He who runs out of Mana first loses. If your belt runs out or low on Mana, duck behind a cluster of objects and begin refilling your belt. If the barbarian gets too close, teleport off and continue to run while reloading your belt. If you need some more mana but have none in your belt, you could quickly pop one from your inventory or hit a mana shrine. If there's a Mana recharge shrine in the area, good on you. Get it before the barbarian does. The gist of this battle is to keep running away while sneaking in attacks every now and then when the chance presents itself. Don't hesitate to pick up Mana potions that have dropped off dead monsters if the need presents itself. Eventually, one of you will burn through his entire mana stock, and will either have to submit to a pummeling, or run to town and declare defeat. May luck be with you on this endless battle. +++++++++++++++ -AMAZON BUILDS- +++++++++++++++ Amazons can be your worst nightmare. Both builds have pretty good odds on you, so you'll need to be swift and deadly to win. ------------ -Bow Amazon- ------------ ADVANTAGE: You, if you're quick enough Bow amazons usually always use Guided Arrow buffed by the passive skills such as Critical Strike (Enhanced chance to do 2x the damage), Penetrate (allowing Guided Arrows to go right through you, turn around, and hit you again). Needless to say, Bows are pretty weak on their own. But in the hands of a skilled Amazon, they can do some heavy damage. Some amazons may switch off to using Cold arrows if you get close enough to slow you down. If you see this, pop on a Hawkmail and play it safe. Mainly, the rule here is to keep your distance. Those guided arrows are extremely fast, and you'll need to teleport fast to outrun them. Once you have outrun all the arrows, speed back toward the amazon. If you're lucky, she won't see you for a split second and you'll be able to hit her a few times. The unlucky ones take a few arrows and/or have to run again. You can bet a million that she has her Automap open, and can see what direction you are coming from. You have to be quick. You can HOPE (good luck with that) that she runs out of Arrows, but it's highly unlikely; the duel will have probably ended by then. ---------------- -Javelin Amazon- ---------------- ADVANTAGE: You, if he's no hacker Are you ready for one of the most difficult (second only to BvS build barbarian) duels ever? Good. Before we continue, I'd like you to go to the section on Hackers and make sure that the Javelin Amazon you are about to duel (and possibly lose to) is not using any kind of third party hack programs. If not, you should be all good. Anyway, you need to be careful here. Not only is this Amazon deadly in close quarters, but she can also deal some pretty good damage from a distance if she is using Javelins over spears. Spear and Javelin builds are almost alike, so I'll talk about them both. The ranged attacks consist mostly of the Amazon slinging lightning-charged Javelins at you. These will do some pretty good damage and cause a nasty flinch, giving the Amazon an opening to run up to you and peg you a few times. Keep your distance, and keep moving. Move in closer and drop some spells if you see an opening. But if she gets close enough to you, it's game over. +++++++++++ -SORCERESS- +++++++++++ Prepare to have one hell of a time with other Sorceresses. That's all I can say. There's not much advice I can offer you here, as you should know everything the opposing side is capable of. Orbers, your builds should be completed as far as Cold skills go before you even dare attempt taking on another Sorceress. Otherwise your Orb will do minimal damage at best. If you opted for a maxed Teleport build as well, that'll help tremondously, as your reliance on stocking mana will be severely diminished. If you opted for a maxed Energy Shield build or are just incomplete, read below for my insight on Manas. Orbers should have Frozen Orb on their left click, and Teleport on the right. Blizzard builds: Let's sit down and have a small chat before we continue. You will be relying on two skills against other Sorceresses; Ice Blast and Blizzard. Also, you should have absolutely optimal +Cast Rate. This will help with Teleport AND Ice Blast. You'll also need a ton of Manas seeing as your guys' Teleport lacks some levels, and as such will consume mad amounts of mana. With that AND Energy Shield, you'll burn through mana quick. You should also be using a Hawkmail. You can slap on a 3x Perfect Sapphire shield if you'd like to be a jerk, but the Hawkmail is a requirement. As I said with the Barbarian duel, empty out your entire inventory and stock it full of mana. As for Manas (Incomplete/Non-Teleport build Orbers need to read this too), I'd map your skill keys to Q,W,E,R so your potions are just one key away (1,2,3,4). Once on the battlefield and actively dueling, you'll want to actively scavenge mana potions off the battlefield if you get a second to breathe in the midst of a duel. Kill monsters, open chests, etc. You should do this once you've burned through 50% of your mana stock and the duel looks like it's not going to end soon. (END MANA PORTION FOR ORBERS) Teleport will be your main skill and should be mapped to one of the Right click hotkeys (Cmd+Click if you are a Mac user with one button), along with Blizzard. Ice Blast should be mapped to your left click. Teleport around the battlefield attempting to evade the opponent. If you get close enough, drop a Blizzard. If you decide to remain stationary (it depends on the context of the situation weather this is a feasible tactic), Then drop blizzards from afar, but if the opponent Sorceress begins to close in and gets too close, switch over to Ice Blast and begin pumping her with some Ice Blasts. This will cause some nasty flinch and stop her in her tracks, giving you the perfect opening to drop a blizzard and end the duel. That should be your standard strategy throughout the duel. I'll mention how to handle the different builds below. ---------- -Blizzard- ---------- ADVANTAGE: You, if you're an Orber. Equal for Blizzards. If You're an Orber: You should have a significant advantage here. Keep teleporting around, being sure to teleport almost right in front of your opponent, quickly letting an Orb fly. Just stay out of the blizzards. Since you are leagues quicker than the Blizzard build (Since they have to toggle between Blizzard and Orb, it adds a small delay), you should have no problem outrunning these builds. If you get caught in a Blizzard though, run out of it. Don't attempt to teleport out of it. Blizzard builds have it more difficult. You guys are evenly matched, so the best advice I can offer you is to just stay out of Blizzards, even if you are sure you cast it. It's surprising how illusions fool you and that's actually the OPPONENT'S blizzard you just walked into. Oops. ------ -Fire- ------ Advantage: You if you don't get too close These guys are really, really, REALLY ANNOYING. Their fireball has some nasty splash damage, and if equipped with the right gear, it seems like they can spit fireballs faster than a gatling gun. Worse, if the Fireball even passes by you, you'll take substansial damage AND flinch. After that, it's usually game over. Keep moving only getting *just* within range to drop a blizzard/orb on them. The closer you get, the more likely to get randomly hit with a fireball. Keep in mind most Fire sorceresses have completely maxed Cast Rate, so it's like they're firing an SMG in your general direction. ----------- -Lightning- ----------- ADVANTAGE: Usually you As much as it may suck, I'm going to suggest having a Sparkling Mail on hand for this fight. Also, Energy Shield will help you out immensely here. Energy Shield will absorb a ton of Lightning elemental damage. As far as attacks go, the Lightning Sorceress only possesses one attack, which is a straight-firing lightning beam. They also possess Chain Lightning, which will bounce off any enemies and possibly hit you. (Unconfirmed on this.) The advantage you have, though, is that your opponent's lightning attacks are chance-based due to it's damage range (3-1000). It could land on either 6, or 950. You'll never know. If the person suffers from bad luck, of course you'll have an upper hand. ++++++++++++++ -NECROMANCERS- ++++++++++++++ ADVANTAGE: Opponent, if he's skilled enough There's only one Necromancer build you are going to have to worry about, and that's the Bone Necromancer. (Cursers and Summoners are so easy I'm not even wasting my time with them.) Their main attack will be the Bone Spirit. A slow-moving, homing projectile. While they initially have slow speed, that doesn't stop the Necromancer from casting a million of them at once. Tyrael help you if just one should hit you. That's all it will take for you to flinch, and the remaining 999,999 Bone Spirits to hit you and kill you. So keep moving constantly. But beware, as the Necromancer will switch off to Bone Spear (Think Fire Sorceress' Fireball without splash damage) that is a hell of a lot faster than the Spirit, and will cause flinch as well if it collides. So it's nearly impossible to get close enough to do some damage if you are slow. You need to be quick on the hotkeys if you are a Blizzard sorceress (as you have to switch between Teleport and Blizzard). Otherwise you'll get pelted to death with Spirits and Spears. So Orbers are at the significant advantage here. Only duel with a Blizzard sorceress if you are speedy and skilled. +++++++++++++++ -Partied Duels- +++++++++++++++ This happens more often than some would like. Sometimes you will end up begin partied against. Sometimes you'll end up in a 2v2 or 3v3 or something of the sort. Either way, it's hard to pull off if you aren't used to it. I'm not going to guess what your setup is. There are too many possible combinations to list. But I can offer some general tips. 1. Never, ever ever stay in one place too long. Especially so if the opposing team has a Sorceress handy. If you stay in one place to evade any Barbarians/Necromancers, then sure enough they'll send in a Sorceress to flush you out. 2. Use obsticles to choke up the opposing team to give you some free hits. Choke up the Barbiarians on the rocks in Blood Moor. Stop any incoming Bone Spirits by ducking into one of the houses for a short period of time. 3. Try to keep a Barbarian on your team. Battle Orders is invaluable. 4. Designate your targets. Say you have a Barbarian on your team, and they have the same lineup (Sorceress, Barbarian). Your job should be to let the Barbarian deal with the other Barbarian while you keep the Sorceress busy. ++++++++++++++++ -Player-Killers- ++++++++++++++++ People may use the acronym "PK" to refer to dueling. I use it, however, for the act of killing someone who doesn't want to duel. Pretty much, idiots are everywhere. Power-hungry idiots who have nothing better to prove that they are more powerful than you, and therefore will crash your game by hostiling your party and picking you off one-by-one. Sometimes this happens in Hell Chaos runs. Sometimes it'll happen in Normal. It doesn't matter. You need to be prepared. So, PK. In Hardcore these idiots are especially feared, as death is permanent. I'll offer some general advice in dealing with PK: -If partied, stay together. Remember, "United they come, divided they fall." If you stay apart, that enhances the chances of the PK being able to pick off your party, one by one. Of course, this is all moot if you decide to Town Portal and wait it out in town. -If you have another, more powerful character, bring it in. Beware, this tactic might actually escalate things. -Flood the entrance that you think the PK is going to enter the area from. They'll likely lag majorly, giving you a chance to deal some massive damage, or die from all the spellcasting. Either/or. If you decide to take up a sword and fight back, read the dueling section. However, most of the time, you aren't in a Blood Moor-type area, but rather a cramped area like the catacombs. Use this to your advantage if you should have Teleport handy. Especially versus classes that cannot easily move from room to room, this will give you a great vantage point. I think, though, MFitz had the best advice ever in dealing with PKs. That advice is always assume the PK knows your exact location. Either through a double-agent in your party, or even a maphack. But always assume the worst case scenario, and you'll be fine. ============== --Boss Guide-- ============== This was formerely the Magic find section. However, I repurposed it because the focus of this guide is dueling, not Magic Finding. Still, I kept this sectioncmostly intact so you know how to deal with the bosses in case you get stuck oncone of them, or decide to kill them for item drops in your spare time. Eithercway, here they are. NOTE: For all of these fights, I'm assuming you're flying solo. ++++++++++ -Andariel- ++++++++++ LOCATION: Catacombs (Level 4) You'll be fighting Andariel in a small area that is likely filled with small-time monsters that are randomly generated. (Be careful if you get some Misshappen in the area. Their lightning attacks hurt a lot.) She has three attacks, and all of them poison. The first is a wave of poison that breaks up as it branches out. You can slip between this if you're far away. The second is a small poison projectile. This moves straight toward you, and is easy to avoid. The last attack is a simple melee attack. Nothing special. (Hell players: Her poison hurts immensely, and will drain your HP in a matter of seconds. Better come to this fight with some Rejuvenation potions, Antidotes, or some heavy poison resists.) Before fighting Andariel, you might want to clear the small-time monsters from the area so they don't get in your way. Also, throwing down a Town Portal on the Stairs to Level 4 is a great idea. If you're on Normal, you'll probably want to attack her with Ice Blast. You should have it by now. (Orbers should use Ice Bolt, as it's probably significantly more powerful than a level 1 Ice Blast) Keep running away from her, and try as best as you can to evade her poison attacks. Nightmare gets easier, as you MUST have at least a low level Orb/Blizzard. Use that attack constantly and you'll win in no time. If you need to breathe for a minute, teleport back to the stairs and wait it out. Especially if you're poisoned. Hell, it gets somewhat difficult. In addition to what I said earlier, she's also immune to being frozen, meaning the only way you can effectively put any kind of distance between you and her is via teleport. That being said, follow the Nightmare strategy and you should be fine. ++++++++ -Duriel- ++++++++ LOCATION: Tal Rasha's Tomb As far as item finding goes, Duriel is usually skipped because he's really hard to find (you have to guess what tomb he's in), and the return is usually never worth it. However, if you're fighting him for, say, a quest, then read on. First, it should be noted that Duriel's only ranged attack is his frozen aura. If you get to close, it does damage to you, and slows you if you aren't wearing Hawkmail. Coupled with his melee attack, this can do some pretty heavy damage to you. Like all other bosses, Duriel cannot be frozen in Hell, which adds to the difficulty. Throw down a portal. You'll thank me later. If you're playing Normal, just try and keep him slowed with Ice Bolt. Don't get too close, or he'll slow you, and it'll be impossible to outrun him. Slowly hack away at him with your most powerful cold spell, and he'll eventually fall. Just keep moving and don't let him get too close. Nightmare players should do the same, but using Orb/Blizzard instead. Hell's the same as well, but you'll NEED teleport to keep distance, as you can't freeze him. The cold aura should be a nonissue as you SHOULD be wearing a Hawkmail for this. ++++++++++ -Mephisto- ++++++++++ LOCATION: Durance of Hate level 3 This fight can be somewhat infuriating, even before you encounter Mephisto himself. There are three sets of Council members you'll encounter before Mephisto. One is due West of the stairs, another is even further west, and the last (and most dangerous of them all) is located north of the stairs to Durance lv. 2. If you want minimal hassle, just teleport right to Mephisto and begin to work on him. However, you won't be able to move too far before you'll be under attack by Mephisto AND one or more of the Council groups. Hence, I recommend taking out the Council groups first. Walk towards Mephisto, slowly working through the Council members (once again being careful of the one I just warned you about. That entire group has Mana Burn, and that can turn the tables against you in seconds.) Once you've worked through two groups of Council members, that should be sufficient enough to allow you enough room to comfortably go toe-to-toe with Mephisto. As far as Mephisto goes, he has three attacks he'll use on you. The first is the usual melee attack. The second is a lightning beam that hits for some pretty decent damage, and lastly, a charged bolt attack that also hits for some pretty decent damage. I believe he also has a lightning ball attack that hits for some good damage as well. As I've said many a time, keep moving, and keep your distance. Keep slinging Blizzards/Orbs at him while teleporting away (or running, If you've no teleport yet). There is an easy way out of this fight that some players use. You can basically hang Mephisto up on the river of blood that covers the center of the area, to the point he cannot get close to you--and if you're far away enough--won't be able to attack you either. I'll include a detailed illustration of this little trick in the next guide update. ++++++++ -Diablo- ++++++++ LOCATION: Chaos Sanctuary I'm probably going to repeat this. Multiple times, at that. Do not attempt this on Hell unless you've got a Barbarian and a Hammer-din in your party. Otherwise, you'll lose this one for sure. Before Diablo pops out, you'll have to deal with three sub-bosses: Lord De Seis, Grand Vizier of Chaos, and the Infector of Souls. I'd recommend taking the Vizier first, Seis second, and Infector last. For Vizier, it couldn't be easier. He'll appear with a group of Finger Mages, and he's pretty weak. Just don't let the massive amount of their ranged attacks hit you, as those attacks will drain your mana. You should have Blizzard or Orb at this point of the game no matter the difficulty. Lord De Seis gets more difficult. He appears with a ton of Oblivion Knights, who don't do much on their own. But Seis will be actively cursing you and slinging Bone Spirits at you, so you'll need to deal with his ranged attacks while his army charges you. Best way to deal with this problem is either lure the Knights away and pick them off, or, if you're a Blizzard sorceress, drop a blizzard right on Seis himself. (Beware, in nightmare, he sometimes is generated as a Cold immune. If you have no friend to pick him off, you'll have to restart the run.) Infector is hell if you don't have Teleport. Once you pull that seal, you're pretty much blocked in; if you try to move, You'll be swarmed and sliced to death. Best way to handle this is to teleport out, then walk back towards the seal, letting the crowd slowly come at you, while you pick them off one-by-one. Once most of his minions are gone, Infector is easy. Once that's done, assuming you've pulled all the Seals, Diablo will appear. He appears on the pentogram in the center of the Chaos Sanctuary. If you're quick, you can teleport to the center and spam Blizzard/Orb, and you'll get in some free hits. Diablo has three main attacks. He has a Fire Nova (This is unavoidable), which has a pretty huge range. It shouldn't do too much damage to you. Then there's the lightning inferno (Which no resistance really helps). When Diablo does this, move away quickly and DO NOT try to tank this attack. It hurts immensely, and if you stand in it, it only ensures your demise. His final attack worth mentioning is his fire attack, which is almost akin to a small Fire wall directly in front of him. It doesn't do too much damage, but it's worth noting. It's also worth noting his melee attack will freeze you. If you're going to cast a portal, you must do it outside Diablo's sight. Otherwise, Diablo will cast a pretty strong Bone Prison on the portal, pretty much screwing anyone coming through it. As far as offense goes, just keep moving. Don't stay in one place too long, lest he kill you with his Lightning Inferno attack. It's easy to evade him with Teleport. Hell, even running away on foot is sufficient enough. Just don't stay in one place too long, and keep casting Blizzard/Orb on him, taking time to restore your health if his Fire Nova wears you down. ================= -For the Lawyers- ================= Here, I lay down some hard and fast rules about using this guide on external websites. As far as hosting this guide, I really could care less. But I do ask for your agreement to these terms. By hosting this guide on your website, You shall: 1. Credit me, Chris Turpin AKA itoilet9 for the creation of this guide, and not modify it or use parts of it for any purpose (The full guide MUST be posted) 2. Use this guide for any sort of profit, or put it behind any kind of subscription wall of any sort, 3. Be commited to checking GameFAQs for any updates to the guide. If you can agree to those three rules, I really don't care if you use my guide on your website. If you wish to use this guide as a base for your own work, I don't exactly mind, but just give me a little "Thanks" on the end of your guide, or something. If my current rules are abused, I will be more strict. Just an FYI. ------------- ---Contact--- ------------- If you wish to contact me about updates, corrections or anything, please do so at the following: Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Blog at http://exxodium.net/ Twitter at http://twitter.com/exxodium Things I'd like to see are new dueling techniques I haven't discovered, weird glitches that should be exposed, or other tips of the sort. And I ask that you email me with somewhat good grammar. I don't want messages that look like "hey u liek teh game lolz". I appreciate a well-typed-out message very much. Also. Yes-I have GTalk. Don't message me unless you have something you need to say. I appreciate "Your guide rules!" messages every so often. But I don't really have time for small talk...sorry. And I'd like to part with a nice thank you to you, the reader, for reading this guide, Death_Angel01, tiger_lotus, and a few others on battle.net for the experience it took to write this guide. Also: Thanks again to Patrick Gilsdorf for some additional insight.