Diablo 2 Assassin FAQ 7/11/01 Version 1.0 Author: Bill Wood Billw81@yahoo.com CONTENTS: I. INTRODUCTION II. BACKGROUND INFORMATION III. SKILLS IV. MY ASSASIN V. ITEMS VI. TIPS VII. THANKS I. INTRODUCTION Welcome to my Assassin Guide! Right now I have a level 37 Assassin who has just finished Act 1 on Nightmare difficulty. This guide is being written for anyone who plans on starting an Assassin and needs some help. Good luck and enjoy!! II. BACKGROUND INFORMATION The Assassin is a master of Martial Arts and Traps. She is mainly a hand-to-hand fighter, using small quick weapons called claws. These weapons are extremely fast but weaker than other weapons. To compliment her fighting ability, she is a master trap layer. She uses traps to take out large groups of enemies at once. The Assassin is also the only character that doesn't need keys to open locked chests. This saves space in your inventory by not having to carry keys. III. SKILLS Note: When I say "level 1" and "level 20", I am referring to the amount of skill points, not actual character level. A) MARTIAL ARTS This tree consists of two different types of skills: Charge-up moves and finishing moves. Charge-up moves add extra bonuses to finishing moves, such as elemental or enhanced damage. Finishing moves also have their own bonuses. You can only have 3 charges at any given time, but they can be different types. TIGER STRIKE (Charge) Pre: None Mana: 1 Tiger Strike improves the attack rating and damage of finishing moves. Even though it is a level 1 skill, you will use this throughout the entire game. This is THE charge-up skill to use when facing bosses and uniques. At level 1, Tiger Strike is +40% attack rating. Charge 1 is +100% damage, Charge 2 is +200%, and Charge 3 is +300%. At level 20, it gives a +230% attack rating and the 1st charge is +480% damage, 2nd charge is +960% damage, and the 3rd charge is +1440% damage!!! Put as many points as you can into this skill. DRAGON TALON (Finish) Pre: None Mana: 6 This is your first finishing move. The kick gives a bonus to attack rating and damage. At higher levels, more kicks are added. At level 1, Dragon Talon performs 1 kick, +40% attack rating, and +9% damage. At level 20, it performs 3 kicks at +268% attack rating and +142% damage. Only put 1 point into this as a prerequisite, there are much better finishing moves down the line. FISTS OF FIRE (Charge) Pre: None Mana: 2 This skill adds fire damage to your attack while improving your attack rating. The 1st charge adds fire damage, the 2nd adds an area effect, and the 3rd increases the burning time slightly. Only the first charge increases with levels. With 1 point in this skill, you get +50% attack rating and 6-10 fire damage. At level 20, +240% attack rating and 201-205 fire damage. Put only 1 point into this as there are better charge-up skills. DRAGON CLAW (Finish) Pre: Dragon Talon Mana: 2 This skill can only be used with 2 claw weapons equipped. The double attack increases in damage with levels. At level 1, Dragon Claw is +50% attack rating and +50% damage. At level 20, +240% attack rating and +140% damage. Again, there are better finishing moves, so only put 1 point here. COBRA STRIKE (Charge) Pre: Tiger Strike Mana: 2 Cobra Strike adds no damage to finishing moves, but steals life and mana instead. The first charge steals life, the 2nd steals life and mana, and the 3rd steals even more life and mana. At level 1, +60% to attack rating. The 1st charge steals 40% life, the 2nd 40% life and mana, and the 3rd 80% life and mana. At level 20, +345% attack rating and the 1st charge steals 135% life, the 2nd 135% life and mana, and the 3rd 270% life and mana. This skill is nice for when you are out of potions, or, at a high enough level, can probably replace them altogether. I didn't want to put many points here, but choose according to your play style. I suggest putting points into skills that actually deal damage, but again, your call. CLAWS OF THUNDER (Charge) Pre: Fists of Fire Mana: 4 This skill adds a different lightning spell effect for each charge. Charge 1 deals Lightning damage, Charge 2 deals Nova Lightning damage, and charge 3 deals Charged Bolt damage. At level 1, +80 attack rating and 1st charge deals 1-80 damage, 2nd charge deals 1-20 area damage, and charge 3 deals 1-40 bolt damage. At level 20, +365% attack rating and 1st charge 351- 430 damage, 2nd charge deals 1-465, and 3rd charge does 1-740 damage. This skill could have been great, but it is not. The first charge deals great damage, but the lightning shoots in a straight line, which isn't great for swarms of monsters. It deals a lot of damage to one creature, but Tiger Strike deals much more. The other 2 charges have incredible damage potential, but are useless because of the minimum damage of 1. You have just as much chance as doing 1 damage as you do 740! Phoenix Strike comes along later and is much better for taking out groups of enemies. DRAGON TAIL (Finish) Pre: Dragon Talon; Dragon Claw Mana: 10 This finishing move adds a percentage to the damage inflicted and knocks back a group of enemies. At level 1, +40% attack rating and +50 fire damage. At level 20, +173% attack rating and +240% fire damage. I move this move more than any other finishing moves because of it's knockback effect against groups of enemies. I didn't put any extra points here because the knockback doesn't improve, but it's up to you. BLADES OF ICE (Charge) Pre: Fists of Fire; Claws of Thunder Mana: 3 The first charge adds cold damage, the 2nd causes an area effect, and the 3rd causes a freezing effect. With 1 skill point, +80% attack rating, 1st charge 15-35 cold damage, 2nd charge area effect, and 3rd charge 4 sec. Duration. With 20 skill points +365% attack rating and 1st charge 231-251 cold damage, 2nd charge area effect (doesn't increase with points), 3rd charge, 11.6 sec. duration. Pretty good damage and effect, but I would just put 1 point here and wait for Phoenix Strike. DRAGON FLIGHT (Finish) Pre: Dragon Talon; Dragon Claw; Dragon Tail Mana: 15 This finishing move will teleport you to the targeted enemy from a distance and deliver the kick, which increases damage and attack rating with additional points. At 1st level, +100% attack rating, +100% damage. At level 20, +480% attack rating, +575% damage. This is THE finisher to use against bosses and uniques. Coupled with a 3 level 20 charges of Tiger Strike, a level 20 Dragon Flight can do +2015% damage with 1 hit!!! Put as many points into this as possible. (Alternatively, you could level Dragon Tail up instead. You will miss out on some damage, but will be much more effective against hordes of enemies. You make the call.) This finishing move is excellent for taking out an enemy surrounded by minions. PHOENIX STRIKE (Charge) Pre: All previous Charge moves Mana: 4 Charge 1 releases a Meteor, Charge 2 releases Chain Lightning, and Charge 3 releases Chaos Ice Bolt. At level 1, +70% attack rating, Charge 1 20-40 fire damage, Charge 2 1-40 lightning damage, and Charge 3 16-32 ice damage. With 20 skill points +355% attack rating, Charge 1 370-390 fire damage, Charge 2 1- 353 lightning damage, Charge 3 124-140 ice damage. I use this as my main attack. It costs little mana, and is able to hit multiple enemies. The 1st charge has great damage, but a little delay, the 2nd charge is too unpredictable to be effective, and the 3rd charge is excellent for it's freezing ability. The is especially useful for physically immune enemies. B) TRAPS Traps are a great way to take out groups of enemies, although they consume quite a bit of mana. Most traps become useless later in the game, so spend your points carefully. FIRE BLAST Pre: None Mana: 3-5.3 The Assassin throws a little fire device that explodes on impact, hitting a few closely packed enemies. At level 1, 3-4 damage. At level 20, 69-70. Only put 1 point here, it isn't useful past the first act. SHOCKWEB Pre: None Mana: 6 This trap is set on the ground and emits little bolts of lightning. With 1 point you get 6 spikes and 5-6 damage. With 20, you get 10 spikes for 46-47 damage. Lame damage discouraged me from putting more than 1 point here. BLADE SENTINAL Pre: None Mana: 7 This trap leaves a blade flying back and forth between two points. Level 1 6-10 damage, Level 20 79-83. It is difficult to hit enemies with this trap and, again, weak damage. I wouldn't put any points here unless you want to get Blade Shield later on, which I didn't use anyway. CHARGE BOLT Sentry Pre: Shockweb Mana: 13 This trap is laid on the ground and zaps enemies that get too close. It has 5 charges. At level 1, 1-7 damage, at level 20, 39-45. I would only put 1 point here. If you really need to use traps at this level, go with wake of fire. WAKE OF FIRE Pre: Fire Blast Mana: 20 This trap emits 5 waves of fire. At level 1, 5-10 damage, level 20, 59-64. This trap was actually pretty useful when I got it, I laid a bunch in a group of enemies and watched the fireworks. I wouldn't put any points here, though, because your best trap doesn't need this as a prerequisite. BLADE FURY Pre: Blade Sentinel Mana: 3 The Assassin throws a bunch of metal blades at an opponent. At level 1, 1 blade and 8-10 damage. Level 20, 10 blades and 101-103 damage. This trap actually can be useful for taking out enemies that are lightning enchanted or have spells like Inferno. Unfortunately, it is hard to hit anything that moves, and the skill becomes useless even before Nightmare. I wouldn't put any points here. LIGHTNING SENTRY Pre: Shockweb; Charged Bolt Sentry Mana: 20 This trap will shoot a total of 10 bolts of lightning at approaching enemies before dissipating. At level 1, 10-20 damage. At level 20, 141-151 damage. This trap works well when you get it, but don't put more than 1 point here, your best trap is only 6 levels away! WAKE OF FIRE Pre: Fire Blast; Wake of Fire Mana: 20 This trap shoots a line of fire at an enemy that approaches, similar to Inferno. After 10 shots, it dissipates. At level 1, 8-21 damage per second, at level 20, 189-203 damage per second. The problem with this trap is that enemies don't stand still. I found Wake of Fire more effective, even though it does less damage. Either way, both traps become obsolete too quickly to put any points into. DEATH SENTRY Pre: Fire Blast; Shock Web; Charged Bolt Sentry; Lightning Sentry Mana: 20 This trap sends bolts of lightning at anything nearby. The real beauty, though, is that it also explodes corpses, damaging nearby enemies for 40-80% of the corpses hitpoints! At level 1, 10-30 lightning damage, at level 20, 117-127 lightning damage. I wouldn't put more than a few points here, because only the lightning damage and radius of the corpse explosion goes up, not the exploding damage. I used this trap in the cow level. I would kill 2 cows, set down 2 sentries, and take out 20 or 30 in a few seconds! This is THE way to take down groups of enemies in Nightmare and Hell. BLADE SHIELD Pre: Fire Blast; Blade Sentinel; Wake of Fire; Blade Fury Mana: 27-65 This creates a shield of spinning blades around your body. Any enemies that hit you with physical attacks will take damage. At level 1, it lasts for 20 seconds and deals 1-30 damage. At level 20, it lasts for 112 seconds and deals 96- 141 damage. The damage done is way too small for the amount of hit we Assassins can take. I wouldn't recommend putting any points here. C) SHADOW DISCIPLINES This tree consists of mostly passive skills that will make the Assassin much more effective in combat. CLAW MASTERY Pre: None Mana: passive This skill adds to the attack rating and damage of your regular attack. At level 1, +30% attack rating and +35% damage. At level 20, +220% attack rating and +111% to damage. Needless to say, this is a skill you want to put some points into. Remember there are other skills that need points too, though. PSYCHIC HAMMER Pre: None Mana: 4-8.7 This skill pushes an enemy back and causes minor damage. At level 1, 2-5 damage, level 20, 29-32 damage. This spell could theoretically be useful for pushing enemies into traps, but it isn't that hard to hit them with traps anyway. Don't put any points here unless you want Cloak of Shadows or Shadow Master later, then put 1 point here. BURST OF SPEED Pre: Claw Mastery Mana: 10 This great skill increases your walk/run and attack speed for a period of time. At level 1, +21% attack speed and +23% run/walk speed for 120 seconds. At level 20, + 52% attack speed and +61% walk/run speed for 348 seconds. This skill is awesome! Your combat is much more effective and you can travel much, much faster. The only downside is that when you play a different character, it will feel as though you are crawling. Oh well! Don't put more than 3 or 4 points here, as more points don't give you much more speed. WEAPON BLOCK Pre: Claw Mastery Mana: Passive When using two claw class weapons, you gain the ability to block some incoming attacks. At level 1, 26% chance to block attack, level 20, 57% chance to block attack. This skill is only useful if you plan on using 2 weapons, and a shield is a must in Nightmare and Hell. Only put 1 point here as a prerequisite. CLOAK OF SHADOWS Pre: Psychic Hammer Mana: 13 This skill causes the sky to darken and enemies' defense to be lowered for about 8 seconds. At level 1, -21% defense, level 20, -52% defense. I am not sure how effective this will be in Nightmare and Hell, but I will let you know in the next update. FADE Pre: Claw Mastery; Burst of Speed Mana: 10 This skill raises your resistance to elemental damage and curses for a period of time. At level 1, curse reduction by 47, all resistances +19% for 120 seconds. At level 20, curse reduction by 82, all resistances +64% for 348 seconds. Right now I have a few points in this skill and I use it when facing skeletal mages or lightning enchanted Uniques. Again, it doesn't stack with burst of speed, which I like better. Don't put more than a few points here and only use when you are facing lots of elemental enemies. Otherwise, stick with Burst of Speed. SHADOW WARRIOR Pre: Claw Mastery; Psychic Hammer; Weapon Block; Cloak of Shadows Mana: 27-65 Summons a shadow of yourself that will use the first two skills you select. At level 1, 124 life, +0% attack rating. At level 20,, 406 life, +286% attack rating. Don't put more than 1 point into this, there is a much better version at level 30, or you can hire a mercenary. MIND BLAST Pre: Psychic Hammer; Cloak of Shadows Mana: 15 The Assassin damages a group of enemies and has a chance to convert them to fight for her. At level 1, 10-20 damage, 18% conversion. At level 20, 96-106 damage, 36% conversion. There are too many other skills that need points to sink any into this. VENOM Pre: Claw Mastery; Burst of Speed; Fade Mana: 12 The Assassin coats her weapons with poison. At level 1, 37-78 damage over 2 seconds, skill lasts for 120 seconds. At level 20, 375-415 damage over 2 seconds, skill lasts for 196 seconds. Another skill that would be pretty useful, except that it doesn't stack with Burst of Speed OR Fade. Plus, poison damage doesn't stack, but the damage is still very high. If only we could use it with the other two skills! Oh well, it is pretty easy to find a weapon with poison damage. SHADOW MASTER Pre: Claw Mastery; Psychic Hammer; Weapon Block; Cloak of Shadows; Shadow Warrior Mana: 40 Same as Shadow Warrior except stronger and has access to all of your skills. At level 1, 186 life +0% attack rating. At level 20, 723 life +285% attack rating. Right now my Barbarian Mercenary is MUCH more effective than my Shadow Master, but she only has 1 point in her. If you have points to spare (which you probably don't) put some here. If not, you will have to decide how important this skill is to you. IV. MY ASSASIN In this section, I am going to list the items used at different points in the game. Right now I am in the 2nd Act in Nightmare Difficulty. This is the equipment I am using: WEAPON Fine Wrist Spike of Gore (Magic) One-Hand Damage: 16-44 Durability: 56 (Assassin Only) Required Dexterity: 66 Required Strength: 66 Required Level: 24 Claw Class-Very Fast Attack Speed +28% Enhanced Damage +30 to Attack Rating +10 to Maximum Damage Although it doesn't have quite as many extras, this is more powerful than any Rare claw I have found. SHIELD The Ward (Unique) Gothic Shield Defense: 72 Chance to Block: 51% Durability: 40 Required Strength: 60 Required Level: 26 Increased Chance of Blocking Magic Damage Reduced by 2 +40 Defense +10 to Strength Bhaal dropped this very nice Unique shield, I have used it ever since. HEAD Loath Hood (Rare) Crown Defense: 51 Durability: 50 Required Strength: 55 Required Level: 9 10% Chance to Cast Level 3 Charged Bolt When Struck Fast Hit Recovery +11% Enhanced Defense Cold Resist +12 % +3 to Energy The great defense coupled with the other minor extras make this my choice of headgear for now. AMULET Mentalists Amulet of Strength (Magic) Required Level:15 +1 to Strength +1 to Shadow Disciplines (Assassin Only) This is easily the best amulet I have found, and I found it way back in Act 2! ARMOR 210 Defense (Magical) Unfortunately, I don't have the information on my armor at the moment, but I will include it in the next revision. LEFT RING Bitter Gyre (Rare) Ring Required Level: 12 +81 to Attack Rating +2 to Dexterity +2 to Strength 10% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items This Rare ring adds some nice bonuses. RIGHT RING Raven Coil (Crafted) Ring Required Level: 35 3% Life Stolen Per Hit Regenerate Mana 11% Poison Resist +30% +26 to Attack Rating +18 to Mana +10 to Energy This excellent ring was Crafted by combining 1 Ring, 1 Jewel, 1 Ral Rune, and 1 Perfect Amethyst. GLOVES Sigon's Gage (Set) Gauntlets Defense: 13 Durability: 24 Required Strength: 60 Required Level: 6 +20 to Attack Rating +10 to Strength 30% Increased Attack Speed I found this set Item in Act 4, I think. Because I also have Sigon's Wrap, my attack speed is greatly increased. BELT Sigon's Wrap Plated Belt Defense: 60 Durability: 24 Required Strength: 60 Required Level: 6 Fire Resist +20% +20 to Life +50 Defense (Based on Character Level) I found this Set item in Act 5. Since I have Sigon's Gage, there is a huge bonus to defense. BOOTS Shadows Sanders Riprap (Inscribed, Set) Heavy Boots Defense: 5 Durability: 14 Required Strength: 18 Required Level: 20 40% Faster Run/Walk +100 to Attack Rating +10 to Dexterity +5 to Strength I Inscribed this Set item. The bonus to Attack Rating and Run speed is great! V. ITEMS If there is any interest, I will list all of the Rare, Unique, Set, etc. items I have found here. Vl. TIPS STORAGE SPACE I am yet to meet anyone who thinks Diablo 2 gives you enough storage space. Here are some ways to make sure you are maximizing the space you have: Horadric Cube: I keep this in my inventory, it adds a little bit of space for you to carry other things. Alternate Weapon Configuration: Even if you don't switch between weapon configurations, use your second configuration to store extra weapons and shields you don't want to part with. Mercenaries: Even if you don't want to use one, hire one and use it as extra inventory space. GOLD Many players only pick up magical items to sell, because most normal items aren't worth much. This is true in most cases, but not all. Wands, staves, breastplates, armor (not leather), can each be worth 1000's of gold pieces, depending on their stats. Remember, a magic item is something with 2 or more extra properties. So even a normal item can have 1 magical property, making it worth a lot of money. VII. Thanks to Blizzard for making such an excellent game! Thanks to Gamefaqs for such an excellent source of information! Thanks to Planetdiablo.com for the crafted item recipes. Thanks to R. Kleefstra for creating the Diablo 2 Encyclopedia, this is where I got the statistics for each skill.