"Martial Artist" Guide for Diablo II: Lord of Destruction

By: Bahamutknight
08/26/01
ver 0.2

Introduction:

This Character profile was written by me, myself, to help create an 
assassin which concentrates on martial arts, relying on some shadow
disciplines and ignoring traps.

Copyright and Legal Stuffs:

This guide is made for private use only. Please do not intend to sell,
publish or either reproduce, sice this is my first faq, it can only be 
seen on Gamefaqs.

All references, characters and names from Diablo II:Lord of Destruction
belong to Blizzard Entertainment. 

Updates:

V 0.2 (10/04/01) : Added "My Equipment" list.
		   Further explanation of skills.
		   Check the spelling of mispelled words
		   added credit to "Curry Plz Hurry" 

Table of Contents:

1. The pure Martial Artist
2. Character info
3. Stat points distribution
4. Skill tree and skill point usage/investment
5. Equipment
6. Tips and thoughts
7. Credits



1. -The Pure Martial Artist-

Among the kinds of mage slayers, also known as assassins, the martial
artist is one of the best and yet, effective. As a martial artist, one
must focus on the skill trees: martial arts and shadow disciplines. 
Remember that the decision that you make is final, perhaps, onwards to
achieving the goal...


2. -Character Info-

Being a Martial artist, you must know what determines it and how does
it works. Martial arts is consisted of two: charge strikes and finishing
moves. Charge-up skills are used to empower finishers with their effect,
while a finishing move is the one which is used to discharge all charges
to a target or a group of targets. Remember that you are an assassin w/c
means that you will stick with claws that are used to charge-up.
Finishers, however, is mostly compromised of kicks besides Dragon Claw.


3. -Stat Point Distribution-

Strength(str) - Put points here if you need a better equipment, but dont
		waste points here. Also adds some minimum kick damage.

Dexterity(dex) - Put most points here, it increases your attack rating,
		 block rate, defense, and especially, the kicks.

Vitatlity(vit) - Putting some here wont hurt at all, but dont concentrate
		 here.

Energy(eng) - Put not a point in this because mana wont be a problem.


4. -Skill Tree-

MARTIAL ARTS - This is your main weapon, the art of one-hit kills and 
	       devastating blows.

Tiger Strike (charge-up) :
def: increases damage per every charge
req: lvl 1
pros: This is the most useful of all the charge-ups and can be maxed at
      early levels.
cons: Does not include elemental damage, may give you problems with 
      mosters who are immune to physical.
comments: The most useful skill yet, overlooked by most players.
my opinion: I recommend maxing this at early stages.

Dragon Talon (finisher) :
def: increases no. of hits and attack per level
req: lvl 1
pros: Consecutive hits can be good against one target
cons: the charges wear off after the first hit
comments: since this is the first finisher, use an ordinary attack instead 
	  using this, since it only gives attack bonus and your mana is
	  still low at this point.
my opinion : put a point as prerequisite

Fists of Fire (finisher) :
def: explosion which has increasing fire damage and radius per charge
req: lvl 6
pros: good as a crowd-control
cons: Claws of thunder and Blades of Ice are better. Useless in hell
      diff.
comments: wait for better charge-ups or use as a prerequisite
my opinion: put zero points here, you dont need the elemental charge-up
	    chain.

Dragon claw (finisher) :
def: attack with 2 claws simultaneously with increase damage percent per
     lvl.
req: Dragon talon, lvl 6
pros: good against bosses in early acts
cons: requires two claws to activate
comments: put a point here as a prerequisite. In further levels, you
	  will need a shield instead.
my opinion: put a point here -or- max it if you want your assassin specialized
	    in this skill
  
Cobra strike (charge-up) :  
def: Increases mana and life leech per charge
req: Tiger strike, lvl 12
pros: Paired with tiger strike, it can heal full mana and life
cons: You wont need this much unless you are low on mana and life.
      Potions are better options and easier to use.
comments: Dont use this in emergencies, use potions instead.
my opinion: Put a point if you want to save up potions, or if you want
	    to get Phoenix Strike 
            

Claws of thunder (charge-up) :
def: the 1st chage will bring lightning damage. The second will bring 
     a nova, while the third will bring charged bolts.
req: Fists of fire, lvl 18
pros: charged bolts from the 3 charge-up can reach further targets
cons: high mana cost and again, it is elemental
comments: put a point here if you want phonix strike
my opinion: put one here if you want to get the Phoenix strkie and Blades
            of ice

Dragon tail (finisher) :
def: a lethal kick which delivers explosions.
req: Dragon talon, Dragon claw, lvl 18
pros: the best crowd-controller
cons: none
comments: because of its splash damage, it is rendered the most effective
	  finisher ever.
my opinion: put one point here -or- max points to this to reap its maximum 
	    efficiency 

Blades of Ice (charge-up) :
def: a charge-up which is similar to Fist of fire's but with a freezing effect
req: Claws of thunder, lvl 24
pros: can freezes enemies over a large radius
cons: high mana cost, low damage
comments: why try to freeze enemies? use Tiger strike instead.
my opinion: put some points here if you like to build a freezing martial
	    artist. or a point as prerequisities.

Dragon Flight (finisher) :
def: teleport-kicks enemies with great power
req: Dragon tail
pros: very powerful even at the first level, teleportaion can be an 
      advantage to reach the nearest desirable target.
cons: recoil after casting it. hits only one target.
comments: max on this if you want to go PVP or easily kill bosses.
my opinion: putting excess points here won't hurt

Phoenix strike (charge-up) :
def: discharges a meteor at first charge, chain lightning at second and
     chaos ice bolt at the third charge.
pros: Can be used to best physically immune monsters.
cons: high mana cost
comments: either you use this or Venom against physically immunes.
my opinion: maybe put some points here if you are having trouble with P.I.'s

SHADOW DISCIPLINES - These are for your survival, without this, your
		     assassin will be nothing.

Claw Mastery (passive) :
def: increase attack% and damage% of claws
req: lvl 1
pros: best for Dragon claw users
cons: not recommended for kick-users
comments: put points here if your a fan of claws and Dragon claw skill.
my opinion: since I strongly reccomend Dragon tail and Tiger Srike, you can put
	    20 points here if you want the dragon claw assassin.

Psychic Hammer (shadow) : 
def: knocks back target 
req: lvl 1
pros: good for luring, if you're a trapassin
cons: very weak damage
comments: this skill is junk
my opinion: put a point here only as prerequisites

Burst of Speed (duration) :
def: incedibly speeds up all of your movements
req: lvl 6
pros: a very, very good skill. speeding up running and attack speed is 
      definitely useful for an assassin
cons: Venom, Burst of speed and Fade cannot be simultaneously used.
comments: you don't need plenty of points here to prove it's power  
my opinion: put a maximum of 5 skill points here, "+ to skill" items can
	    help strengthen this

Weapon Block (passive) :
def: gives and increases chance of using two claws for blocking
req: Claw matery, lvl 12
pros: useful for dual-claw users
cons: as difficulty rises, you will be forced to use more likely, a 
      shield
comments: even at higher levels, it doesn't block efficiently enough.
my opinion: use a shield and a claw, unless you are a dragon claw assassin, you won't 
	    regret it. put a point here as prerequisities.

Cloak of Shadows (shadow) :
def: blinds enemies within it's radius
req: Psychic hammer, lvl 12
pros: best used against spell-casters, and missile throwers. Good if you feel
      you are ganged up on.
cons: also darkens the areas surrounding you
comments: you dont need much points to prove it's efficiency
my opinion: use this against archers and missile-throwers, best used 
	    with Fade against spell-casters

Fade (duration) :
def: temporarily increases resistance
req: Burst of Speed, lvl 18
pros: your best friend against mages.
cons: cannot be used simultaneously with Burst of speed and Venom
comments: do not be too cocky with this skill, higher difficulties means
	  lower resistance for you.
my opinion: throw some points until you meet the most desirable efficiency.

Shadow Warrior (summon) :
def: a companion which only uses your preset abilities
req: Weapon block, lvl 18
pros: only uses your left-click and right-click skills, favorable for a trapassin 
cons: low hit points
comments: a Shadow master is waiting and is more powerful.
my opinion: use it as a temporary companion, and to get Shadow master

Psychic Blast (shadow) :
def: a blast that stun a group of enemies and converts the feeble-minded
req: Cloak of Shadows, lvl 24
pros: stunning length is good, especially the conversion effect
cons: weak damage
comments: best used to distract enemies, a point can prove its power
my opinion: use it to initiate an attack while the enemy is stunned. a
	    point or two here wont hurt at all.

Shadow Master (summon) :
def: a very strong companion which has access to almost all of your skill
req: Shadow warrior
pros: uses any skills it wants, increasing resistance and great amount
      of life per level.
cons: she can't cast Shadow master and Shadow warrior o_O
comments: she is your tank, relying on her is one of your best option
my opinion: max her to support you all the way.

TRAPS - bah! you dont need these, your a pure Karateka!


5. -Equipment-

	*always set your eyes on mana and life leeching items
	*find a good claw which also adds to your skills
	*a shield is very critical, I prefer Sigon's Tower
	*Try your best to find Bartuc's Cut-Throat greater talons
	*you don't need to concentrate on claw damage, just put tons of
	 points in dex to get a good kick
	*since your chance to block rate increases with dex, defense is 
	 not your main priority from an equipment
	*find charms that add to mana and especially, dexterity
	*Sander's Riprap make you run like hell!
	*do not be teased by using any other weapons other than claws

   -My Equipment-

	Dragon Claw assassin: Body - Shaftstop
			      Waist - String of Ears
			      Hand - Natalya's Mark
			      Hand - Bartuc's Cutthroat w/ PSkull (1.08)
			      Amulet - Telling of Beads (1.09)
			      Head - Vampiregaze(1.08) -or- Tal's mask (forgot name)
			      Feet - Gore Rider
			      Finger - Bul-Kathos Wedding Band
			      Finger - Snowclasp (1.09)
			      Fists - Hellmouth (1.09)

	Dragon Tail assassin: Body - Arcaine's Valor (1.08)
			      Waist - Thudergod's Vigor (1.09)
			      Hand - Bartuc's Cutthroat w/ PSkull
		     	      Hand - Moser's Shield w/ 2 Um runes
			      Amulet - Mara's Kaleidoscope
			      Head - Harlequin's Crest
			      Feet - Gore Rider
			      Finger - SOJ
			      Finger - Bul-Kathos Wedding Band
			      Fists - Hellmouth (1.09)
6. -Tips and Thoughts-

	*the act2 merc is always useful to be with, especially combat
	*remember to flood points in dex
	*dont underestimate enemies with lightning enchanted
	*kick Baal a lot times with charge-ups before he can dupe himself
	*dont put any points in energy
	*maxing Weapon block is simply foolish
	*your Shadow master gets the most attention while you hit your 
	 enemies 
	*Shadow master cannot be compared to other summons
	*assassin is "god" ^_^


7. -Credits-

	*thanks to Gamefaqs for posting my FAQ
	*thanks to myself for writing this FAQ
	*thanks to Blizzard for making this addicting game
	*thanks to my friends H@lmetz, full, CC-Ting, Chu-engLao, Bert, Bitoy
	 Alja-ooh! and Baku-Lau.
	*thanks to people who read this FAQ and found it useful
	*thanks to people who agrees with me that DRUIDS simply suck. 
	*thanks to my mom who discourages me to write this FAQ 
	*thanks to moron who actually believed the underwear charm
	*thanks to Curry Plz Hurry for reminding me to update my faq.
This work is Copyright 2001 by bahamuknight