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    Bowazon FAQ by CorwinBrute

    Updated: 02/07/03 | Printable Version | Search This Guide

    Corwin the Brute's Guide to the LoD Bowazon
    I) Introduction
    1) Why the Hell do another bowazon guide ?
        I really don't know this one. Perhaps because there is more to bowazons
    than just endless cow slaughter and cheesy playing. Perhaps because I think I
    may have something to contribute to the already abundant literature on the
    subject (although I'm mighty scared about doing a bowazon guide when AK404's
    most excellent guide already exists). Or perhaps because I'm bored, or because
    I would like to share some of my bowazon tips with others in a less volatile
    format than a forum post. Or even perhaps because 1.10 is supposed to come and
    I'm a masochist.
    2) Ok, got it. But... What is this bowazon thingie anyway ?
        "Bowazon" is the Diablo 2 slang term used to design the members of the
    Amazon class using a bow as their main weapon. While other characters in the
    game can use a bow (and there are some pretty interesting bows for those
    characters), none of them can develop the wide range of skills a bowazon has in
    her arsenal. To put it more bluntly: the bowazon is the only mainstream
    bow-using character in Diablo 2.
    3) What is in this guide ?
        This guide is written at a very generic level. I am not a good number
    cruncher, and I will not try to look like one. So you will find lots of tips
    and generic analysis but not much maths.
        Except than that, there will be sections dedicated to the stats and skills
    of a bowazon, with complete analysis of all LoD Bows and Crossbows skills, a
    huge section about all equipment slots, several template bowazon builds ("the
    speedazon", "the mageazon"...) with their strengths and weaknesses, a quick and
    dirty walkthrough (with a few special description of important bosses and how
    to beat them), and many tips I have developed or adopted over two years of
    playing bowazons.
        And of course, this guide will be full-packed of the (in)famous Corwin
    4) What is not in this guide ?
        As I said earlier, there will not be much formulas and number crunching.
        This guide doesn't include much useful advice for PvP (Player versus
    Player) gaming: PvP is a much different animal from PvM (Player versus
    Monster), and is even more terribly unbalanced. In order to keep games "fair",
    PvP players have to invent specific rules and restrict some equipment
    combinations, and it would take time I haven't to list them (they often change,
    by the way). Oh, and I suck at PvP.
        This guide is focused on SoftCore (SC) play: HardCore (HC) play is somewhat
    different, and I don't feel I'm qualified enough to write about it.
        This guide is dedicated to "mainstream" amazon builds. By this, I do not
    mean the standard "Buriza + Damage Reduction/ Multishot + Guided Arrow"
    stereotypic bowazon so often found on Battle.net, but rather time-proven
    builds, able to finish the game in Hell difficulty for an average player with a
    minimum amount of decent equipment. Variant character players usually have
    ample knowledge of the game, and as such do not need guides in order to make
    very fun and sometimes surprisingly effective characters.
        This is a guide about "How to play the game as a bowazon", this is not a
    game on "How to not play the game as a bowazon". For people wanting this, here
    is the guide:
    - spam channels asking for power-acting
    - once power-acted, make cow game after cow game (don't forget to spam channels
    some more asking for help with Ancients at levels 20, 40 and 60, of course:
    people love killing Hell Ancients for beggars)
    - after leeching enough in cow games (don't forget to spam "Who gets leg ?",
    "Who can make ?", "Who has free stuff for me ?" and "Who has WF for trade ?",
    it breaks the monotony of public cow runs), equip your (probably duped) godly
    - Proceed to do more cow runs until level 99, alternating more leeching with
    dying "because of lag" where you will be able to retire your character (or use
    it for duelling)
    - Congratulations ! You are now the proud owner of a godly character having
    done less than 1% of what is to be seen in D2 ! You may now turn off your
    computer and leave some space on the Realms. Thank you.
    5) I heard bowazons are cheesy and for n00bs ?
        Eh. For a variety of reasons I will explain, bowazons seem to dominate any
    game of D2 they enter. Using the well-known "Diablo2 suckiness reciprocity
    principle" ("If they are better than me at what they do, then I must suck or
    Blizzard should nerf them"), bowazon are labelled "cheesy", "overpowered",
    "unbalanced" by many irritated players. And they are right, to some extent. Let
    me try to explain why this is so, and why there is probably not much Blizzard
    can do about it.
    a) Leveling
        For the better or for the worse, D2 fame is governed by leveling speed
    (that can probably be traced down to the existence of a ladder system for this
    game, about which an excellent article can be read there:
    http://www.lurkerlounge.com/diablo2/loungerant/rant0001.shtml ). Hence, in
    order to level as fast as possible, most of D2 players are looking for the
    areas that will give the highest amount of experience for the smallest amount
    of time invested, with a minimum risk. Since version 1.04 (and with the small
    exception of version 1.08, where sorceresses and Bloody Foothills ruled the
    show), bowazons have excelled in the fashionable leveling areas. Rule #1: The
    fastest leveling build in the current leveling area will always be called
    cheesy and people will whine for nerfs about it.
        As of now (version 1.09), the leveling area of choice is the Not So Secret
    Anymore Cow Level, and bowazons as well as javazons are probably the best
    classes for it, although some sorceress builds come pretty close.
    b) Equipment
        The youngest people (D2-wise, at least) reading this may not realize it,
    but there was a time where bowazon "sucked". That is to say, they "sucked" like
    the druid or the paladin "suck" now (i.e. they don't clear the cow level in
    under 4 minutes). Amazons "sucked" because of a bug (the infamous "Bow Bug")
    that cut their damage-dealing ability tremendously.
        Version 1.04 corrected this bug, and the bowazons began to "rule", "own",
    and of course people started calling for nerfs. Eh. Amazing how fast the
    pendulum can swing, no ?
        Lord of Destruction is worse in this regard. With the item inflation,
    Blizzard made the terrible mistakes to:
    * "design" (using the term "design" loosely here, because "randomly slapping
    all the good properties players seem to enjoy on a single item after getting
    drunk on cheap vodka" was a bit long) bows able to deal incredible amount of
    damage (often in the range of the best close range weapons), not taking into
    account the ability of a bowazon to apply said damage to a large amount of
    targets in a very short amount of time, with little to no personal risk
    * add too many crowd control modifiers to the bowazon's defensive arsenal
        At first, it didn't seem such a problem: after all, those unique items were
    supposed to be extremely rare, and balance would be kept, right ? Wrong.
    Blizzard completely underestimated two other things here:
    * the determination of players to hunt endlessly for better equipment (the
    Magic Find (MF) craze)
    * the determination of players to cheat (through exploitation of bugs, use of
    hacks...). The worse of those cheats are the dupe hacks, that allow an
    unscrupulous player to make an exact copy of an existing item. While Blizzard
    has some measures to protect the Realms against such duplication exploits, they
    are always a step behind the hackers.
        As of now, most bowazons on the Diablo 2 Realms own at least one of the
    most powerful bows or crossbows, ranging from the very common Buriza Do Kyanon
    to the extra rare and expensive Windforce, with everything in between.
        And here is one of the keys to such bowazons dominating the game: Blizzard
    cannot balance the difficulty of Diablo 2 for such extreme weaponry. Because if
    they did, people stuck in single player games or without the time or
    willingness to dedicate large amount of time to Magic Find would be left out in
    the cold.
    c) Character balance and game design
        The bowazon is an interesting case as far as character balance is
    concerned. Her skills are pretty well-balanced, and all work flawlessly one
    with another, while her optimal stats allocation is completely unbalanced. Why
        All melee fighters must invest in Strength (to wear equipment, especially
    heavy weapons and armors and improve their damage), Dexterity to a lesser
    extent (to improve their chance to block if they use a shield and to improve
    their chances to hit), and Vitality (to avoid dying).
        All spell casters must invest in Vitality (to avoid dying, because they
    don't have the luxury of life leech), and Energy (to fuel their spells).
        A bowazon needs to invest just enough in Strength to wear her equipment,
    and can after that pump Dexterity to her heart's content, thus improving both
    her damage and her chances to hit at the same time. Life and mana management
    are taken care of through life and mana leech. Easy, no ?
        Another interesting point is that ranged fight (or spell casting) is much
    more powerful in D2 than close combat. The reasons for this are many, ranging
    from the large open spaces found everywhere in the game to the inherent
    imbalance of multi-target skills. And there is not much Blizzard can do about
    d) Conclusion on "cheesiness" and "Blizzard must nerf the bowazon"
        In my humble opinion, there is not a lot of room for bringing the bowazon
    back in line with the other characters. Some tweaking of skills is possible,
    but the prevalence of overpowered exceptional/elite ranged weaponry, the mere
    existence of mana and life leech, the domination of ranged fight... Make me
    extremely pessimistic about a successful rebalance of the bowazon.
        By the way, a few words to the people calling for nerfs. Why do the
    bowazons disturb you ? If it is because they take "your" place on the ladder,
    then build one. The ladder is not a place for crying whiners. It is a place for
    completely nuts near professional power-levelers. Do you believe the people on
    the top of the ladder whined about amazons when they realized they were
    overpowered ? Nope, they started building some of their own. If bowazons
    disturb you because they "own" in your games, play with other people. Sure, the
    average Battle.net oh-so-subtle Burizazon will often make some smart comment
    like "LOL, Man, yOr pala suXoRz, make a Zon". Do you really need to listen to
    her ? Back then (when bowazons "sucked", remember ? ), people willing to party
    always played with Bowazons: they were known as considerate, friendly, and
    generally nice players. That was before 1.04: when the audience at large
    realized Bowazons didn't "suck", they duped the best bows they could fine,
    stopped playing their barbarians (who didn't "suck" back then), and started
    giving the bowazon the bad reputation they still have now. In public games, you
    can't escape jerks. But do not believe the jerkiness comes with the character
    build, it's generally the other way around.
    6) A few quick points before starting
        This guide is bound to be made obsolete by future bug discovery and
    patches. From now on, I will refer by "bow" to both bows and crossbows, and to
    a player as "he". No sexism nor crossbow discrimination should be read into
        English is not my first language, so please bear with me, and don't be wary
    of pointing my mistakes: I like improving my English.
    7) The Tao of the Bowazon
    "A bowazon must kill targets before they reach her. This is the core of all
    things bowazonish."
        As you will see later in this guide, all bowazon tactics, equipment choice,
    strengths and weaknesses boil down to this. This is very important. Follow the
    Tao in both of its parts (killing targets and preventing them from reaching
    you), and you will become a great bowazon. Don't follow it, and no amount of
    godly equipment will save you.
    II) Stats and skills
    1) Stats
        Warning : while this section about Stats allocation covers most current
    bowazon builds, it does not apply to the Mageazon subclass, which will be
    discussed later. It does not apply to HC gaming either, for what it's worth. :)
    a) Strength (Str)
        For a bowazon, Strength has one use and only one: wear equipment. Strength
    doesn't improve bow damage, nor does it improve any secondary stat. Each point
    of Strength past the amount needed to carry your equipment is wasted damage.
        Unless you have spotted a very specific unique/set non-bow equipment in
    mind, you should always try to invest just enough in Strength to carry your
    bow. If you have planned your equipment already and some pieces of your
    end-game gear have bonuses to Strength, you can plan the minimal Strength
    according to those bonuses. Wearing Str equipment just because it has an Str
    bonus isn't good, though: you could invest a few points into Str and use better
    equipment instead (why not with a Dexterity bonus ?).
        There is not much more to be known about Strength. The equipment section
    will list the required Str scores for many types of weapons.
    b) Dexterity (Dex), Attack Rating (AR) and Defense Rating (DR)
    The average bowazon thinks about Dex eight times per second
    (old Amazon Basin saying)
        And this is true. Adding Dexterity increases the bowazon damage in two
    ways: by providing a damage increase (critters drop faster), and an Attack
    Rating (AR) increase (critters drop more often).
        The link between damage and Dex is simple: every point in Dexterity adds
    one percent to damage. Hence, a bowazon with 300 Dex and a 50-100 bow would
    have listed damage of 200-400. It is easy to see why Dex is important,
    especially considering many LoD bows exceed the mark of 200 maximum damage.
    Things get more complicated when you take physical resistance, critical strike,
    Amplify Damage and elemental damage into account, but you get the basics.
        The link between Dex and AR is simple too: each point into Dex adds 4
    points to AR (and this can be further enhanced by the Penetrate skill). The
    actual chance to hit a target is not only dependant on AR, though: it also
    takes into account the level difference between the character and the monster.
    So if you don't hit enough, it is perhaps because the monsters have a much
    higher level than you. Many amazon skills never do an AR check, and hit
    monsters 100% of the time. Generally speaking, bowazons have more than enough
    AR to hit monsters of their level.
        Dex has a third bonus: every 4 points to Dex add 1 point to Defense Rating
    (DR). Big whoopidoo. First, Defense Rating is useless to a good bowazon: if the
    monster gets close enough to hit you, then it was your fault in the first place
    (remember the Tao). Second, with some armors (even light ones) ranging in the
    800+ DR, the mere 100 additional DR a 400 Dex score would give is completely
        Suggested amount of Dex: the sky is the limit. Seriously. Unless you are
    playing a variant build, and after you build a sufficient amount of life as a
    safety buffer against lag (more on this coming), all points should be
    distributed to Dex.
    c) Vitality (Vit), Life, and Stamina
        Vitality is of medium importance to the bowazon: while most other classes
    end the game pumping Vitality, a bowazon, thanks to the already discussed
    predominance or range fight and the availability of life leech, doesn't need a
    lot of life to be successful.
        Each point added to Vitality brings 3 Life points and 3 Stamina points. As
    amazons start with 50 Life, get over the course of the game 60 extra Life (from
    doing the Golden Bird quest in all 3 difficulties), and gain two extra Life
    points per level, the life total of an amazon at the end of the game is:
    Life = 50 + (20 x 3) + (level -1) x 2 + (Vit - 20) x 3
        What I like to have is what I call a safety buffer against lag. Lag is
    about the only monster in the game that can kill a well-trained and
    well-equipped bowazon (that and a crowded town portal or waypoint, that is).
    Sometimes, the slightest latency can make you bite the dust before you can
    leech enough life to recover from the previous blow. I would suggest an
    end-game life total ranging from 450 to 600, depending on your connection
    speed. What does matter is not Vitality, but Life total. You can reach this
    total with anything from base Vitality to 60+ Vit (I generally stop at 50),
    depending on your equipment. A pure glass-cannon bowazon has end-game life
    under 350, and it is very difficult to level such characters efficiently (as
    you lose 10% of the required experience for reaching the next level when you
    die, 5% if you recover your corpse, and this can be hours of leveling lost at
    the higher levels for a single wrong step or lag spike).
        Of course, it is possible to have a very successful tank bowazon with 1000+
    Life, Damage Reduction and maxed resists, but I think it is a waste,
    considering how opposed to the Tao it is. YMMV, of course, and those builds are
    often very fun.
        I would generally suggest leveling a bowazon by pumping Str and Dex enough
    to wear end-game equipment (when death doesn't cost much experience-wise), then
    pump Vit to reach the required end-game Life total if needed, then end with
    pumping Dex. Again, YMMV.
        Stamina is nice to have, but nothing to write home about: many unique and
    set boots, as well as rare boots have either large bonuses to stamina, slower
    stamina drain or faster stamina regeneration. At the end of the game, all
    amazons can run for a long time before resting.
    d) Energy and Mana
        Don't invest in it. Energy is considered a waste for bowazons, and this for
    a variety of excellent reasons.
        First, the rate. Energy only brings mana points, and at a lousy rate: 1.5
    mana points per Energy point invested. For comparison's sake, Vitality gives 3
    Life points per point invested. If you need more mana (and there are several
    bowazon builds that do), items are the way to go, not energy. A good small
    charm could give you up to 17 points of mana, which is roughly 11 points in
    Energy for just one little inventory square. I'm not even looking at a +90 to
    mana amulet or ring.
        Second, the need (or rather the lack of): while some bowazon skills require
    ample mana to be used effectively (Immolation and Freezing Arrow mostly), the
    bowazon is at heart a physical damage dealer. With the amount of damage a
    bowazon can deal in the blink of an eye, the smallest amount of mana leech can
    refill the mana globe at an incredible rate.
        Like for the life total, a safety buffer against lag is good to have
    mana-wise. But it is much lower: for a standard (physical-damage mostly)
    bowazon: a mana total from 200 to 250 is more than she needs already, and can
    come from just a few items.
    2) Skills
    a) Introduction
        By design, a bowazon only uses two of the three skills tree available: Bows
    and Crossbows skills, and Passive and Magic skills. Javelin and Spear skills
    will not be discussed here, although a small section will be included about
    hybrid builds in the Templates section of this guide.
        All the evaluation of skills when compared one to another will be made with
    Hell difficulty in mind. All skills (or no skill at all) can be used to make it
    to the end of Normal Difficulty. Most skills have enough potential for talented
    players to finish Nightmare with. Sadly, many skills just don't cut it in Hell
    difficulty, except for the best players.
        Some (many) of the skills are referred to as "Placeholders" or "variant
    material". This is in regard to Hell difficulty. Most of those skills have
    their use when they become available, and a single point investment in those
    can give you some benefit until you gain access to something more useful. Good
    examples are Exploding Arrow and Ice Arrow, and Inner Sight is very useful for
    low-level HC amazons, who want to invest a bit in life from the scratch.
    Generally, a couple of points in Multishot, as well as in Critical Strike
    should be enough to carry you to the higher level skills, though.
        Diminishing and Increasing returns: for some skills, large investments
    typically don't bring much: critical strike is such a skill (past a certain
    point, additional points only give a few percents more). Those skills will be
    called "Diminishing returns skills". For other skills (many elemental damage
    skills are in this category), additional points past certain skill levels (8
    and 16) give a better bonus to reward players for their investment. Those
    skills will be called "Increasing returns skills". Generally speaking, it is a
    good idea to check for the "sweet spot" in Diminishing returns skills (the
    point after which further points seem to become wasted), while Increasing
    returns skills should probably be maxed if you plan to use them in the long
    term. In the header for each skill section, DR or IR will be listed, for
    Diminishing Returns and Increasing Returns.
    b) Bow and Crossbow tree
        The bow tree can be divided into 3 parts: Cold Skills (left), Fire Skills
    (right), and Physical Skills (middle).
    b1) The Cold branch
        The Cold branch is composed of 3 skills, the first two of them having
    slightly overlapping effects, while the third one is very separate. All Cold
    skills have 100% chance to hit.
        What makes the Cold branch so efficient for a bowazon is the rather
    specific way cold duration are computed in the game: cold duration does not
    only take the skill duration into account, but also your additional equipment.
    Thus making cold skills the ultimate crowd control skills for a bowazon. Cold
    duration is halved in Nightmare difficulty, then halved again in Hell
        Cold skills are the perfect embodiment of the second part of the Tao,
    before they come to her. If the enemies are frozen, then they can't reach the
    b1.1) Cold Arrow (Clvl 6, IR)
        Cold Arrow is a placeholder skill, as all of its effects are amplified in
    its cousin down the line, Ice Arrow. Definitely a one point skill, unless you
    are making a variant.
        Cold Arrow slows monsters down for a good duration, and adds a ridiculous
    amount of cold damage to your attack (this ridiculous amount is of course good
    to have when Cold Arrow becomes available at Character Level (Clvl) 6).
    b1.2) Ice Arrow (Clvl 18, IR)
        A much better skill than Cold Arrow, Ice Arrow freezes rather than just
    chills, although for a much lower duration. The cold damage amount is also
    nothing to scoff at, and the skill has some potential as a secondary damage
    dealer. Back in Classic Diablo 2 (CD2), Ice Arrow was often used as a
    left-click attack for its freezing effect.
    b1.3) Freezing Arrow ( Clvl 30, IR)
        Now, we are talking. The queen of Cold skills, and one of the best skills
    in the game, Freezing Arrow has encountered many nerfs and bumps over the
    various patches. Freezing Arrow (FA) does not only adds a huge amount of cold
    damage (more than 300 at level 20, even more so with skill adders), it also has
    a huge blast radius (3.3 Yards). All monsters in this radius are frozen solid
    for a duration of 2 seconds not taking into account potential cold duration
    items. Between this radius and a potentially huge duration (the best duration
    I'm aware of is 22 seconds solid in Hell, meaning 88 seconds in Normal
    difficulty), Freezing Arrow is probably one of the 3 best crowd control skills
    in the game (with Shockwave and Warcry). But crowd control is not the only
    strength of FA. FA applications can be roughly divided into 4 groups:
    - "Panic Button": this one is the easiest use, and the most reactive one: you
    see a group of monsters kill or go past your defensive line, you switch to FA,
    freeze them, and move away. Even without lots of additional Cold duration, FA
    is very efficient for this, and has saved tons of bowazons over the years. One
    point is enough for this, as neither Cold duration nor Blast radius improve
    with Slvl.
    - Planned Crowd Control: not strictly the same as the "Panic Button", because
    tactical use of FA is generally planned. You can use FA to reposition yourself
    to get a better Pierce angle, or to carefully stop some of the most dangerous
    monster packs in their tracks (like those Frenzy Minotaurs in Act5, or Lister's
    pack). If you have a low level FA, you can even use FA for scouting. FA is also
    obviously very useful in party playing (more on this later).
    - Triggered effects: LoD introduced a brand new type of magical effects, the
    "%-chance to cast" effects. When you hit, attack or get hit (only the 2 first
    type interest us here), a special spell has a certain chance to be cast. For
    example, the GoldStrike Arch unique Gothic Bow has 5% to cast Slvl 5 to7 Fist
    of Heavens on attack. While at first those effects look anecdotic at best
    (because the chance is so low), any player will soon notice that FA triggers
    them in a very reliable way against crowded monsters. This is because each
    target in the (large) Blast radius can potentially make the spell trigger.
    True, while Fist of Heavens looks great, it is nothing to write home about. The
    picture starts changing when we are talking about Amplify Damage or Lower
    Resist curses... The ability to trigger powerful and supposedly very random
    effects in a reliable way is one of the reasons FA is so popular nowadays. As
    for the "Panic Button", only one point in FA is required for Triggered effects
    to reach full speed.
    - Damage dealer: yes, FA can be used as a very, very effective damage dealer.
    First, the cold damage at high skill levels (20+) is good (410-420 damage at
    Slvl 25, for example, which is very easy to reach). But its incredible power is
    revealed by the FA + Pierce combination (this skill combination is also one of
    the reasons Triggered effects work so well with FA). If your FA pierces and
    hits another enemy in the immediate range of the first one, FA will trigger
    again, and all enemies under the overlapping Blast radiuses will receive the
    cold damage twice. Of course, twice is actually quite low in regard to the
    potential for multiple pierces against crowded enemies. 4 to 5 successive
    pierces are not uncommon in very crowded situations (like the Cow Level),
    meaning FA can actually top the damage of the best physical skills with any
    bow. If you consider that 100% Pierce is not hard to achieve nowadays (*cough*
    Buriza *cough*), we are looking at one of the most impressive crowd
    damage-dealing skills of the game. Except for one big drawback: at high levels,
    FA's mana cost is huge. Very high level FA can only be sustained in a
    consistent way by a high physical damage bow and a huge amount of mana leech
    (we are talking 25% and more). Extensive testing seems to imply that at least a
    significant portion of your cold damage from items is added to FA's splash
    b2) The Physical branch
        The physical branch is one of the reasons bowazons are so popular (and also
    unfortunately so whined about) in D2 world. Sadly, two of the four skills are
    probably why people start bowazons, while a good bowazon should be a factor of
    the subtle interaction between physical, elemental and passive skills.
    b2.1) Magic Arrow (Clvl 1)
        Blech. This skill has no use except as a placeholder. Arrows are so easy to
    come by that one of its properties doesn't help at all, and the damage bonus is
    so pitiful that it could as well not be there. Oh, and this skill requires an
    AR check. Next one ?
    b2.2) Multishot (Clvl 6)
        This is the most abused and badly used amazon skill. Despite a flat 25%
    damage reduction and the inability to affect the same target with more than one
    arrow, Multishot (MS) has by far the best damage over time potential for a
    bowazon equipped with a high-end weapon.
        Without taking more time than a single attack, MS spreads a volley of
    arrows (one additional arrow per skill point). In theory, we are looking at up
    to 15 times (or more with skill adders, not even taking Pierce into account)
    the normal damage dealt. In practice, things are different, since it's
    extremely unusual for all arrows in a MS volley to hit something (except walls,
    which can't crumble in D2). Thus, clever amazon players prefer to limit their
    investment in MS to a good number (6, 10, or a bit more), and rather learn how
    to aim in order to maximise both the number of arrows hitting, and the impact
    of Pierce. But clever amazons are sadly a rare breed.
        Besides being an excellent damage-dealer, MS has also some potential for
    triggering effects, has incredible potential for applying crowd control
    modifiers (cold damage, knockback...), and is an excellent scouting skill in
    open areas when you have some life and/or mana leech: fire a volley of MS in a
    direction, and watch at your character: if the leech swirls around her head
    show up, then there are monsters in this direction. This tactic is especially
    useful in the River of Fire.
        MS is best used against large groups of monsters coming from the same
    direction, while FA is more useful for crowds and Strafe is usually the best
    skill for scattered monsters.
    b2.3) Guided Arrow (Clvl 18)
        Another very criticized skill, Guided Arrow (GA) doesn't look that great at
    first. It follows an enemy or acquire a target of its own, has a little damage
    bonus, a low mana cost, and auto-hits. Nothing bad, but nothing excellent.
        What makes GA an extremely good and often abused skill is that, since
    version 1.09, it pierces and can hit the same target several times, thus
    multiplying the damage output. Ouch. While this is especially bad in PvP, GA
    also became one of the best skills to use against a single monster (though
    boss). With its very low mana cost at high levels, it can also be used to
    quickly carry tons of elemental damage on Physical Immune (PI) monsters. While
    Piercing GA is capped at 4 successive Pierces (even with 100% Pierce) of the
    same target, we are still looking at 5 times the usual damage, without an AR
    check, and with a damage bonus. Ouch again. The unique Ballista (Buriza do
    Kyanon) with its 100% Pierce and huge cold damage is probably one of the
    reasons for the current uproar against GA.
        Except for the cheesy Piercing, GA still has many interesting tactical
    uses: it is a great scouting skill especially in closed environments (tombs
    come to mind), allow a clever bowazon to shoot from behind a door or from a
    corner at dangerous bosses... And it even has some ultra-cheesy applications
    against three dangerous act bosses, the three Prime Evils nonetheless:
    Mephisto, Diablo and Baal (more on this in the walkthrough section).
    b2.4) Strafe (Clvl 24)
        The queen is no more... Once the leveling skill of all bowazons, Strafe
    fell from grace in 1.04, where MS took the crown of damage over time, and has
    been tremendously nerfed in LoD.
        Strafe still has its uses, though. First, it is elegant. ;) Seeing a
    bowazon fire the exact number of arrows, all in the required direction, in a
    neat sequential way as opposed to a bestial, brutish MS volley is something I
    will never be tired of.
        Strafe adds a little bonus to damage, makes separate AR checks for each
    target, and gains one extra target per skill point, stopping at level 6 for 10
    targets. The mana cost is constant, 11 mana (the equivalent of a level 8
    Multishot, which only fires 9 arrows).
        This "target" definition needs to be looked at, by the way. Strafe fires an
    extra arrow at every living object in the vicinity, including friendly players,
    summons, mercenaries... But those arrows are only directed at the enemy target.
    Thus, party playing (or the simple use of Valkyrie, mercenary and Decoy) can
    lead to impressive streams of arrows at a single target (an unlucky boss,
    perhaps). Testing seems to indicate that AR check for additional arrows on a
    single target is capped at 50% chance to hit, which would explain the
    inconsistencies noticed.
        While most players using it stop at 6 points, a maxed Strafe features a
    decent amount of additional damage, and cannot be considered a waste of skill
        A Strafe cycle is composed of a first arrow fired at the normal attack
    speed, then successive arrows fired at a much faster rate (see the section on
    IAS for more informations).
        Strafe is best used in corridors, or against scattered targets.
        The main weakness of Strafe is known as Strafe-lock, and happens when you
    fire your Strafe cycle without cover near the enemy. Until you have been hit
    (which can mean instant death for a glass-cannon bowazon) or your cycle is
    over, you can not move and as such are very vulnerable to attacks. Careful
    planning (something most amazons seem to lack nowadays) can render the
    probability of Strafe-lock void, though.
    b3) The Fire branch
        Probably the weakest part of the bow tree, the Fire branch is made of 3
    skills. One of them shines because of a bug, one of them is pure variant
    material, and the last one was nerfed into oblivion because of Blizzard's
    inability to code a graphical engine.:(
        All Fire skills hit 100% of the time.
    b3.1) Fire Arrow (Clvl 1)
        Bug or feature ? When you look at Fire Arrow's description, it looks as yet
    another placeholder skill: weak fire damage, low mana cost and no other
    characteristic. But 1.09 brought a "feature" (bug ?) that made this skill the
    best physical-immune killer for a bowazon, and at Slvl1 nonetheless: Fire Arrow
    converts all physical damage a bowazon can deal to fire damage. Which means a
    bowazon using it has exactly the same killing power against Physical Immune
    non-Fire Immune monsters. Weird, I know.
        Correction: it seems Fire Arrow "only" converts 50% of Physical Damage to
    Fire Damage. This still makes it a very powerful tool.
        The 1.10 patch may very well remove this "feature", so while it is a great
    tool currently, it could not last. ;)
    b3.2) Exploding Arrow (Clvl 12)
        Variant material: the fire damage is pathetic even at high levels, and the
    Blast radius isn't great either. Besides, Immolation Arrow further down the
    Fire branch is much better at all levels than Exploding Arrow.
    b3.3) Immolation Arrow (Clvl 24, IR)
        Why did they do this ? Back in CD2, Immolation Arrow (Immo) was an
    excellent skill, with lots of tactical use. It was also the best boss killing
    skill a bowazon could use, with the possibility to stack multiple Immos in
    order to create patches of fire where monsters would burn very quickly (back
    then, a high level Immo could last for 20 seconds or more). In order to ease
    the graphical load on low-end computers, Blizzard nerfed Immo in two ways: it
    now has a one second timer (thus making spamming Immo impossible), and the
    flame duration was shot down, being cut to 3 seconds. In exchange, Immo can now
    leech mana and life (making it a self-sufficient skill), and has improved Fire
    Damage. This is not sufficient by far.
        Immo still has its use, though. Being on an increasing returns mechanism,
    and with the very high Skill levels attainable in LoD, it can still deal a good
    amount of fire damage. But what makes it really look bad is the Fire Arrow bug,
    that can deal tremendous amounts of fire damage for a very low mana cost.
        In order to use Immo efficiently, having a high level Valkyrie or a
    friendly player tanking is important, in order to have monsters stay in the
    fire patch as long as possible. If you want to use Immolation to its full
    potential, you have to think like a sorceress would do, and be prepared to max
    the skill, as well as acquire a large number of extra bow skills items. A level
    30+ Immolation still packs a lot of punch.
    c) Passive and magic skills
        While most players concentrate on the effects of bow and crossbow skills,
    the true power of the bowazon lies in her passive and magic skills, as they
    interact in a very subtle way to give her her extraordinary advantages: if a
    bowazon needs to invest so little in Vitality and can concentrate on Dex
    instead, for example, it is mainly because of the Passive skills (although the
    nature of ranged combat and the existence of leech helps too).
        We can divide the Passive and Magic tree into three branches Magic skills
    and summons (left), Defensive passives (middle) ,and Offensive passives
    (right). As their name implies, passive skills don't require hotkeys, and are
    always in use.
    c1) Magic Skills
    c1.1) Inner Sight (Clvl 1)
        While somewhat useful at low levels, the fact that Inner Sight reduces
    target defense by a fixed amount makes it useless very quickly. Inner Sight is
    definitely a placeholder skill, which is somewhat sad I suppose.
    c1.2) Slow Missiles (Clvl 1)
        Probably one of the best and most underrated skills of the amazon (with
    Decoy), Slow Missiles (SM) reduces the travelling speed of all incoming
    missiles to a third. Depending on lag, this may not always be that useful, as
    dodging even slowed missiles may still be a problem if your connection is not
    good. A very important use of Slow Missiles is against Lightning Enchanted Boss
    monsters and Inferno-throwing monsters (like those pesky shamans): those kind
    of missiles do not travel for a distance, but rather for a duration before
    disappearing, and as such Slow Missile helps reduce their range. Multi Shot
    LEBs are problematic, because there is a bug that makes additional lightning
    bolts emitted by a MSLEB still travel at the same speed and distance but
    renders them invisible (while not thoroughly tested, this particular behavior
    is the only explanation for a variety of deaths).
        As of 1.08, Slow Missiles seems to act somewhat strangely, especially as
    far as casting area is concerned (it seems the casting area is centered on your
    amazon, not on the mouse pointer), so you should practice your SM skill against
    low threat ranged attackers, like those skeletons in Act 2 Sewers in Normal
    difficulty. Better safe than sorry !
    c1.3) Decoy (Clvl 24)
        An incredibly powerful skill, Decoy has an infinity of amazing tactical
    uses for a thinking bowazon. Most players believe getting access to Valkyrie
    renders Decoy obsolete, nothing could be further from the truth. Decoy has one
    main advantage over the Valkyrie: it doesn't move. All interesting applications
    of the Decoy come from this fact. Here are a few possibilities to use the
    Decoy, but any player can find new uses for it with experience.
    - Against ranged attackers: while a good Valkyrie is probably more useful
    against melee attackers than a Decoy, the pattern quickly changes when facing
    ranged attackers, as the Valk will probably move toward them, letting some of
    them bring their attention back to you. As a Decoy doesn't move, while it is
    alive you don't need to worry about being under fire. This tactic is also very
    useful against the dreaded Lightning Enchanted Bosses (LEBs), because you can
    cast your Decoy with precision between the sparks and yourself.
    - Breaking a crowd: a tactic developed by AK404, the breaking of crowd through
    the use of both Decoy and Valkyrie makes wonders: summoning both at a certain
    distance from yourself, and at a distance one from the other, you can quickly
    break large crowds into more manageable clusters, easy preys for several of
    your skills. While a Valkyrie is a powerful tank (especially in MP games where
    her Hit Points scale with the number of players), she can't tank indefinitely
    against a large crowd. A Decoy will perhaps only last a couple of seconds, but
    will definitely draw attention away from both the Valk and yourself.
    - Scouting: perhaps the best Decoy trick in the book. There are some enemies in
    the game a standard bowazon should avoid at all cost. The Stygian Dolls in the
    Durance of Hate, and the Suicide Minions in Act5 are prime example of those, as
    their dangerous death explosion can kill most bowazons in one unavoidable hit.
    In open spaces, those are generally not a big deal, as the bowazon can snipe
    them from a distance. In the mazes of Durance of Hate or WorldStone Keep, this
    is another story, however, as you risk running into them at any corner. Thus, a
    Decoy cast from a safe distance just at the corner will lure them out, allowing
    for remote elimination.
    - Building chokepoints: another neat Decoy trick. In some areas (Act 2 Tombs or
    Arcane Sanctuary come to mind, but Act 3 bridges in the jungle are also a good
    example), there are narrow corridors that can be blocked with a Decoy, thus
    building an artificial accumulation point for monsters. This is a dream for
    Area of Effect attacks, such as Freezing Arrow or Immolation.
    - Portable Wall: LoD gave us Knockback on bows. One of the problems encountered
    with Knockback weapons in open spaces is the lack of wall on which to pin the
    target (this is especially true for single enduring targets such as bosses). In
    those cases, summon a Decoy just behind the monster: the Decoy will act as a
    mini-wall on which the monster will be knocked back. Your tanking companions
    will thank you for this one.
    Those are just a few examples of the many uses of Decoy. Keep in mind that as
    the Decoy has exactly the same hit points as your amazon, it is in no way a
    tank. Use your Valkyrie or Merc for this role.
    c1.4) Valkyrie (Valk)
        DiabloII's dumb blonde. Since version 1.0, the Valkyrie's Artificial
    Intelligence seems to be downgraded with each patch. She is still a formidable
    skill, although the way to use it properly changed a lot over time due to this
    clumsiness unheard of even on Iron Golem made out of a cracked buckler.
        Like many other minions, the Valkyrie has the advantage to see her life
    points scale with the number of players in the game. This makes even a
    low-level Valkyrie a formidable tank in large games, able to stand incredible
    amount of damage without problems (except against act bosses, who get a large
    damage bonus against minions).
        What you should not expect from your Valkyrie:
    * Kill anything by herself
    * Take intelligent decisions on where and when to move
    * Scout the surroundings
    * Generally be where you need her
        What you can expect from your Valkyrie
    * Take lots of heat from you
    * Sustain large amounts of punishment without dying
    * Stand her ground until she disappears
        When you look at those little lists, the best tactical trick for the Valk
    should come to your mind quickly: Combat Drop. This tactic was first proposed
    by AK404, and is realized by summoning your Valkyrie in the middle of the fight
    like you would drop a Decoy. Before this tactic was designed, people used to
    summon their high level Valkyrie, and wait for her to engage the incoming mobs.
    Of course, this tactic changed the amount of investment advised into the
    Valkyrie: while she was once a "must-max" skill, she suddenly found much more
    profitable uses at a lower level of 5 to 10, in order to keep her mana cost low
    enough for effective Combat Drop. Very high level Valkyries (Slvl 20+) are
    still useful, especially against very hard-hitting bosses (Fanaticism / Curse /
    Extra Strong Frenzy Minotaurs come to mind). Having a good Valk also
    tremendously increases the MTBD (Mean Time Between Deaths) of your mercenary,
    thus saving you a lot of money.
        The best thing a bowazon can do defense-wise is probably to summon a Valk
    into an incoming group of enemies, then summon a Decoy a bit in front of
    herself. This way, if the Valk dies, the Decoy can hold a few precious seconds
    in which the bowazon will summon a new Valk, fall back a few paces, and summon
    another Decoy. Rinse and repeat until all enemies are dead.
    c2) Defensive Passives
        The prime strength of the Spearazons, Javazons and Tankazons, defensive
    passives are a good bonus for the bowazon, but are not mandatory: if you follow
    the Tao, melee combat should never happen, and Slow Missiles, Decoy and
    Valkyrie are tools allowing a bowazon to effectively disarm any ranged
    opponent. But still, let's look at this interesting subtree.
        The power of the Defensive Passives as opposed to other forms of Defense
    (Defense, Damage Reduction/Resistances, Blocking...) is that they are always
    reliable: no matter what enemy is attacking, what difficulty level you are
    playing at or what attack is incoming, a successful Dodge or Avoid will save
    you. People with bad connection speed or Hardcore Players are know to invest a
    bit more into defensive passives.
    c2.1) Dodge (Clvl6, DR)
        Dodge is used against melee attacks when the amazon is standing still.
    Hint: she shouldn't. Dodge requires a 12 points investment to reach 50%, which
    is steep considering that a bowazon is not supposed to fight at close range.
    Diminishing Returns quickly hit Dodge. I would recommend putting only one point
    into Dodge, and let skill bonuses take care of the rest. If your connection is
    not very good, however, Dodge can be a life-saver when there is lag. And of
    course, many HC players end with large amounts of Dodge, which is then a Good
    c2.2) Avoid (Clvl 12, DR)
        Avoid is a bit more useful for a bowazon, as it allows her to escape ranged
    attacks while standing still (in Strafe-lock for example). 50% in Avoid is easy
    to reach, requiring only 7 points. But a good use of SM, Decoy and Valkyrie is
    generally preferable to pumping Avoid.
    c2.3) Evade (Clvl 24, DR)
        Once the bane of bowazons fighting Diablo (thanks to a bug that locked the
    bowazon in the same place until the animation was over into Diablo's Fire Lines
    and dreaded Lightning Breath of Death), Evade has been fixed in this case and
    is probably the most useful defensive passive for a bowazon, as it is used for
    all kind of attacks reaching the bowazon while she is moving.
        Don't overdo it, though: due to very steep diminishing returns, and
    depending on the amount of skill bonuses you wear, one point in Evade may
    perfectly be more than enough.
        Evade works against all ranged attacks having a physical part. It is also
    useful against several area of effect spells, like the Blizzard used by Zakarum
    priests in Act 3.
    c3) The offensive passives
        A very powerful sub-tree, the offensive passives are the prime target of
    people calling for nerfs. And somewhat rightly so, as the effects of those
    three skills affect nearly all of the amazon's attacks in a powerful way.
    c3.1) Critical Strike (Clvl 1, DR)
        Critical Strike (CS) gives you a growing chance of inflicting double damage
    with a physical attack (this skill doesn't work with elemental attacks, such as
    Ice Arrow or Immolation). Thus, while evaluating your bowazon's damage
    potential, you can add CS as a flat percentage to your physical damage. Other
    skills (Strafe, Guided Arrow) give you a percent-base damage bonus, but this
    only takes into account weapon damage, while CS actually takes into account
    your Dexterity rating. More often than not, investing an extra point into CS
    will result in a greater damage increase over time than investing into a
    damage-enhancing skill.
        There is an item-based version of Critical Strike, called Deadly Strike
    (DS). DS works exactly the same, but doesn't cumulate with CS as of 1.09.
    Having your damage multiplied by 4 is not possible anymore: if one of those
    properties kicks in, the other won't.
        Unless you use a very specific build (elemental specialist, or amazon
    loaded with Deadly Strike items), there is no reason at all not to invest into
    CS. Good breakpoints for CS are 8 (over 50%), 11 (58%, after which steep
    diminishing returns start appearing), and 16 (65%, the last 2% jump).
    c3.2) Penetrate (Clvl 18)
        Penetrate looks great on paper, but doesn't work as well as it seems for a
    bowazon. This skill increases your Attack Rating (AR) by a percent-based value.
    At first it seems very good. But there are three problems with it.
        First, most bowazons concentrate on increasing their Dexterity. Thus, they
    already typically have very high AR values anyway. HardCore players invest more
    into Penetrate because they have to remove points from Dex to increase their
    Vitality instead.
        Second, the actual To Hit value depends from AR opposed to DR, but also
    from the level difference between the player and the monster. And Penetrate
    doesn't help for this second factor. On the playing field, players investing
    lots into Penetrate don't connect much more than players with much lower skill
        Third: there are only four bowazons attacks that require an AR check:
    normal attack, Magic Arrow, Multishot and Strafe. And most players don't use
    normal attack or Magic Arrow at all.
        As a result, I would recommend investing only one point into Penetrate (the
    first point is the best one anyway, as it gives a larger bonus), letting skill
    bonuses do the rest.
    c3.3) Pierce (Clvl 30)
        The best bowazon skill, and perhaps one of the 4 or 5 best skills in the
    game. Pierce works with all amazon skills, provided the player takes some
    thinking about building monsters clusters (tactic referred to as "herding", and
    made popular by javazons) and learns a little about positioning. Experienced
    bowazons are able to out-kill anyone using what the average player would
    consider a lousy bow only through the virtues of well-used skills and piercing.
        Contrary to what the tables suggest, Pierce has no real Diminishing
    Returns, as the probability of successive Pierces increases a lot even with the
    last skill points. A successful Pierce hitting another monster in line at least
    doubles your damage for this shot. For certain Area of Effect skills
    (Immolation or FA), the results can be much, much better due to overlapping
    effect zones (as explained in the FA description).
        Unless you are using Piercing items (Razortail, Buriza do Kyanon...),
    having 12 points in Pierce for 75% chance of Piercing is highly recommended.
    When you are near the end of the game, and you don't know what to do with your
    points, you can always invest into Pierce and max it. This skill is that good.
    Warning: it seems that Pierce can only occur a maximum of 4 times with the same
    attack. This makes the theory of successive Pierce a bit less true...
    III) Equipment
        Ah, the equipment ! The heart and bones of LoD, with its tons of
    super-powerful items (the "uber" gear). The cause for endless Magic Find runs,
    and what still drives many players to the game, more than one year after LoD
    came out.
        LoD changed lots of things about equipment: back in CD2, the best toys were
    the rare items, with unique and set items being relegated to the role of
    curiosity, providing some functions normally unfindable on rare equipment
    slots. But rares were the most generally useful items. LoD changed the way
    equipment and especially rare items work in five fundamental ways:
    * existence of very powerful (downright overpowered in some cases) ready-made
    items. Those can be unique items that beat every possible rare combination,
    powerful sets with interesting interacting properties, or runewords (which are
    kind of customisable uniques)
    * socketing and customisation: by socketing a rune or jewel into an existing
    item, it is possible to enhance its properties, and thus helps giving a unique
    item the kind of properties mix that would appeal on a rare item.
    * new "magic-only" affixes, far more powerful than what could spawn even on the
    best rare. Once again, Blizzard overdid their initial goal, which was giving
    some more choices to the player. There is no contest than the most important
    property of a weapon is damage. By making magical items able to have much more
    damage than the most powerful rare weapon would have, Blizzard just changed the
    focus from "rares are the only way to go" to "high-end magical items are the
    only way to go".
    * charms: this one is a good one. Charms are a very interesting feature of LoD,
    and one that has lots of potential. Charms replaced one of the most important
    values of rares, which was all those "little modifiers" adding up to end into a
    powerful equipment build: some resistances, a little bit of life or mana, run
    speed, hit recovery... All those important affixes can now be found on charm,
    allowing the player to focus on damage on its main equipment slots.
    * Affix pool corruption: the introduction of tons of new affixes, most of them
    completely useless, made it extremely difficult to get a good rare item with
    useful properties. Level one Poison Dagger charges and low bonuses to Stamina
    have replaced leech and good resistances, for example.
        Now for a minor rant: LoD new equipment features sent game balance down the
    drain. Thanks to the incredible design flaw of "balance by rarity" and to a
    less than properly secured environment (the supposedly "cheat-free" Realms),
    LoD has quickly turned into a click-fest populated by godly characters,
    unkillable by all but the worst boss packs, or by the player's stupidity. Those
    new toys also gave birth to a vast number of nerfs, ranging from the
    diminishing returns on run/walk and weapon speed to the incredibly silly global
    50% physical resistance on all monsters in Hell difficulty. This was not done
    without casualties: several very interesting character builds (for the bowazon
    as well as for all other character classes) were rendered impossible to play
    without the top-end gear, as generic monsters and the global game difficulty
    proved too though. On the other hand, people having the luck (or the
    dedication, or the low ethics) to acquire the high-end toys were definitely
    handed a free pass, as balancing the game for such high-end gear while keeping
    it at least doable for less fortunate players (and God helps Single Players) is
    simply impossible.
        Don't get me wrong: I'm not ranting because I'm jealous of people having
    those kind of items (I actually own most of them). I'm ranting because the
    creeping featurism turned my favorite game into a generic click-fest, and,
    above everything, hindered the good-will players to the profit of
    script-kiddies, Ebay sellers, and exploiters. The urge to own all the new toys
    also turned a perfectly understandable love of the game into a kind of insane
    addiction. But enough ranting for now. ;)
        This equipment section will be divided into 3 main parts: the first one and
    shortest will describe what modifiers are interesting to a bowazon, and on what
    equipment slots. The second one will be about ready-made items, with short
    descriptions of many popular items (more information about ready-made items can
    be found at the Horadrim Library http://planetdiablo.com/library ). The last
    part will explain some equipment balancing tricks for a bowazon (using
    alternate weapon slot, socketing quests and charms wisely).
    1) What do those modifiers mean for my bowazon ?
        Over the course of playing, a character typically gets access to tons of
    items: most of them drop from random monsters, but others can be gambled,
    bought, or obtained as quest rewards or from specific bosses. Following the
    excellent work of Bolshoi Too in his impressive and still unmatched javazon
    FAQ, this section will describe the different modifiers available in the game,
    and how they impact a bowazon, listed by efficiency. This will help you
    evaluate your magical and rare items quickly, by looking for their properties
    in the list.
        But before reading too much into this list, remember that equipping a
    bowazon is a matter of balance. Fine-tuning a bowazon equipment is not slapping
    all enhanced damage equipment you can put on, with just two pieces of leech
    jewelry. While this may get you a long way in the cow level, remember we are
    not talking about this kind of bowazon (that doesn't require a guide anyway)
    a) Must-have modifiers
        Those are the modifiers an average bowazon really wants to have to some
    extent, in order to finish the game without too much trouble. Specialist builds
    may or may not require some of those affixes, but they are the exception rather
    than the rule.
    - Enhanced Damage (ED): either percent-based, bonuses to minimum or maximum
    damage, or scaling damage (damage bonus that increases with your character
    level). Enhanced Damage is the most important property for increasing your
    physical damage output and thus kill enemies faster (remember the Tao ? ). It
    is of course mostly found on the bow itself. Except in very close cases, use
    the bow that will yield the best damage over time (more on this later). ED can
    also be found on other specific items and in jewels. My recommendation would be
    to completely dedicate your bow slot to damage, and not really think about it
    elsewhere. An exception would be for good jewels with both some kind of
    additional damage and other interesting properties, and for charms.
    - Mana and Life leech (ML and LL): the bread and butter of a regular bowazon.
    Mana and life leech are one of the reasons bowazons are so powerful, as they
    can apply them to a number of targets very quickly. And since they hit from a
    distance, life leech only helps for the occasionally connecting hit, and as
    such doesn't mean as much as for a physical contact build (like a barbarian, a
    paladin, a spearazon...). Generally, and depending on your bow damage, you can
    do very well in Hell with about 10% mana and 10% life leech. People using low
    damage bows or using very high mana cost skills (such as high level Immo or FA)
    will typically want more leech (especially mana). On the other hand, owners of
    very high damage bows can perfectly get along with just 5% mana and life leech.
    Mana and life leech now spawn on about every affix slot: helms (uniques or
    circlets), jewelry (rings for life and amulets for mana, except for a few
    unique items), weapon, runes/gems (socketed in weapons, Amn for life and Vex
    for mana, and skulls for dual leech), gloves, some belts (uniques and set),
    armors (uniques)...
    - Increased Attack Speed (IAS): not completely a must-have modifier, but very
    close. IAS is one of the three easiest way (with ED and Dexterity) to increase
    your damage over time. In some cases, a well-placed IAS piece of equipment will
    give a tremendous boost to your damage over time, much more than what some ED
    equipment would have given you. The rules governing IAS and how you can use it
    effectively will be described with more detail in the Speedazon section of this
    guide. Basically, IAS depends both on your inherent weapon speed and your
    additional IAS modifiers, and is governed by speed breakpoints (a speed
    breakpoint is an amount of IAS for which your attack effectively becomes
    faster). As a rule of thumb, if adding an IAS piece of equipment allows you to
    jump to the next speed breakpoint and doesn't deprive you from a mandatory slot
    (like leech), then there is no reason not to use it. Balancing weapon speed is
    perhaps one of the most fun parts of equipment optimisation. IAS comes on
    weapons, on several unique/set items, and in the form of runes (Shael in
    weapon) and jewels (jewels of Fervor).
    - Fast Run/Walk (FRW): a slow bowazon is often a dead bowazon. Not much else to
    say on Fast/Run walk, it's mostly found on boots (although it can appear on
    rare circlets and is included on many non-boots set/unique items), but now
    charms are a very popular way of getting more FRW.
    - Cold Damage: as was explained in the Cold sub-tree section, cold damage and
    especially duration are added together to provide extremely long
    freezing/chilling time. This is a Good Thing (tm). Cold Damage can be found on
    bows, amulets, various uniques/sets (RavenFrost ring and Eye of Etlitch amulet
    are very popular choices), runes/jewels, and in form of charms. Since it can
    spawn on charms as either a prefix or a suffix, it is very easy to get good
    charms with cold damage and whatever other affix you like. You should always
    try to have at least 1 second cold duration in Hell, which means a total of 4
    seconds (because duration is quartered in Hell). This is a bare minimum, and
    higher freeze times are obviously very recommended.
    b) Very Important
        This section lists the modifiers you will want to a degree or another in
    your equipment. If adding one of those modifiers doesn't deprive you from a
    mandatory modifier, then you should consider using it. Great bowazons are
    noticed by their uses of such modifiers, and the way they balance them against
    the "Must have" modifiers.
    - Dexterity bonuses: the third way to increase damage over time. As a single
    point in Dexterity gives a bonus of 1% of the weapon's damage, it is not
    surprising if many bowazons have 50 or more additional Dex points in the form
    of equipment (50 is probably a bit conservative on my side). Dex bonuses can be
    found on all equipment slots, from headgear to boots.
    - Chance to cast the Amplify Damage curse (AD): ideally, this should belong to
    the "Must have" section, as AD is the absolute best way to cut through non
    physical immune (PI) monsters like a hot knife through butter. AD works by
    removing 100% to the physical resistance of the target (it doesn't work on PI
    critters, though). In Normal and Nightmare, this doubles your damage output. In
    Hell, monsters have a base 50% Physical Resistance, so your actual physical
    damage output (not elemental) in this case is tripled ! Freezing Arrow
    (especially when combined with Pierce) is probably the best way to trigger AD.
    Why didn't I list this in the "Must have" section ? Because there are very few
    ways to get it: some bows can have it at the lowish Slvl 1 (very small area),
    but otherwise the only way to get it is either using the WitchWild String
    unique Short Siege Bow or one of two unique amulets: the Atma's Scarab (on
    which the other properties aren't exactly stellar), or the 1.08 version of the
    Saracen's Chance (probably the best amazon amulet, but a very expensive item).
    - Skill bonuses: while absolutely not mandatory, skill bonuses are what make
    certain bowazon builds (mainly those who work with Increasing Returns skills
    like Freezing Arrow) very powerful. For an average bowazon, a single bonus to
    all skills gives: better defensive potential (passives, better Valk...) and
    much better offensive potential (offensive passives and bow skills). Not bad
    for a single equipment slot, even if this increase is only a few percents
    generally. Skill bonuses can be found on bow, gloves, armors (uniques),
    headgear, amulets, and 2 unique rings (Stone of Jordan and Bul-Khatos Wedding
    Band), as well as on charms. It is in certain cases best not to have too many
    skill bonuses, as the cost for several skills can become hard to manage
    (Freezing Arrow, Immolation, Multishot, Valkyrie).
    - Life bonuses: it is usually more effective to get a higher life total from
    your equipment (especially charms) than from your stats, and pump Dexterity
    rather than Vitality. Consider it: a decent small life charm can give 15 to 20
    Life points. 15 is the equivalent of 5 Vitality points. On the other hand, the
    maximum amount of Dexterity you can get on a small charm is 2 points. As usual,
    - Crowd control modifiers: you may have personal preferences, but most bowazons
    use some kind of item-based crowd control. Those include Freezes Target
    (different from cold damage), Hit blinds target, Knocks Target Back, Hit Causes
    Monster to Flee (Slows Target should be included in this list, but it is
    currently bugged on the Realms). Those modifiers do not kill monsters directly,
    but they provide a bowazon with the power to control the flow of battle. A
    little warning, some people (melee fighters mostly) do not like partying with
    bowazons using Knockback or Flee, as it makes their task very hard. Also,
    necromancers may not like Flee or Blind, as those properties override their own
    curses when they trigger. More on this in the party play chapter. Crowd Control
    modifiers spawn on many equipment slots, especially on unique and set items,
    with the notable exception of Knockback, who can be obtained by the Hitpower
    Gloves crafting recipe. Of all Crowd Control modifiers, I find Knockback to be
    the best one, as it is generally very reliable (the other ones trigger
    depending on the level difference, which can be a pain).
    An extra word of caution about Knockback, though. There are certain builds that
    completely rely on monsters staying in the same place, like Javazons and Meteor
    Sorceresses, while other builds like Trapper assassins, Artillery
    necromancers... are much more efficient against compact crowds. If you party
    with those classes, please think of applying Freezing Arrow first on the
    monsters before unleashing MS/Strafe at them, it will greatly ease the life of
    your partners. Thanks for them, because careless Knockback really ruin their
    build !
    - Resistances: what ? I thought a bowazon was never to be hit ? In theory, yes.
    In practice, lag, situation assessment mistakes, bad luck and some very
    specific monsters or events (Ghoul Lords and Act5 Catapults) will mean that you
    will have to take some hits. Melee hits are generally avoidable, unless your
    connection really sucks, but ranged attacks can sometimes be a problem, and the
    most popular of them are elemental-based. So while having a much higher life
    total could be an option, having at least some resistances is certainly as
    efficient. I'm not advocating maxing all resistances in Hell (without
    resistances-enhancing skills and without using a shield, it's very difficult to
    do), but your goal should be to have positive or slightly negative resistances
    in Hell difficulty, with Fire and especially Lightning getting the bunch of
    your attention. While the Resist All property is of course very nice to have,
    individual resists stacking up on several equipment slots can be just as good.
    For example, a ring with two 25% resists is better overall than a ring with 10%
    to all resists (the first one gives a total of 50%, while the second one gives
    only 40% total). If you have a vast selection of gear, the best way to improve
    your resists is generally to combine rare items (jewelry, headgear, gloves and
    boots are good slots for this) with high individual resistances.
    - Cannot be Frozen: being chilled (a character can never be completely frozen
    except by the very dangerous Laggy-Realms monster) is dangerous: it reduces
    both your damage output over time, your ability to react to enemies moves, and
    your run/walk speed. Thus, items with "Cannot be Frozen" (specific
    set/unique/runeword items, and the Cham rune socketed in armor or helm) are
    extremely valuable, even more so for a fragile bowazon depending on her speed
    and reactivity to survive. The lesser version of Cannot be Frozen (Half-Freeze
    duration) is about useless, though. Warning: Cannot be Frozen items do not
    protect against the Holy Freeze Aura used by many aura-enchanted monsters.
    - AR bonus or Ignores Target Defense: those are important, depending on your
    Dexterity. Keep in mind that even in the case of Ignores Target Defense (which
    doesn't work against bosses), the biggest influence on your actual To Hit
    probability will probably come from the level difference. AR bonuses are
    further boosted by the Penetrate skill. There are several modifiers that will
    give an AR bonus scaling with your level, and those are very good to have. Also
    keep in mind that Dexterity will improve both your AR and your damage.
    - Elemental Damage: once insignificant in CD2, Elemental Damage became very
    important in LoD, thanks to the appearance of Physical Immune monsters, as well
    as good work by Blizzard on elemental damage affixes (i.e. including affixes
    doing an actually noteworthy amount of elemental damage). While the Fire Arrow
    bug can be exploited to deal tremendous amounts of Fire Damage, and while the
    amazon has in theory decent elemental skills damage-wise (Ice Arrow and
    Immolation mostly, because Freezing Arrow is more a crowd attack skill than a
    single target skill), we encounter two problems: the first one is Physical
    Immune/Fire Immune bosses (which can't be killed with the Fire Arrow
    bug/feature), the second one is mana management. Typically, bowazons have low
    mana pools, and their good elemental skills are pretty expensive. This means
    that killing a physical immune boss with any skill except Fire Arrow is
    generally very difficult, and requires either lots of mana potions, or frequent
    trips to town. The solution is, of course, to use item-based elemental damage.
    As far as I'm concerned, the best source by far for elemental damage would be
    using the 2nd slot weapon with a fast, high elemental damage bow. I tend to
    prefer lightning damage, since cold damage typically has lower average damage
    (but cold has other advantages), poison is dealt over time (a bowazon running
    against a PI boss typically has little time to deal with him before he comes to
    her (the Tao, remember ? )), and Fire damage can be obtained through exploiting
    the Fire Arrow bug, unless you are opposed to it.
    c) Nice to have
        In this section, we will talk about various modifiers that will generally
    be used to make the difference between two otherwise equivalent rare items.
    While those modifiers are useful (no doubt about it), they are never a matter
    or life and death to your character.
    - Magic Find (MF): Magic Find improves the chances that a monster will drop a
    magical, rare, set or unique item. Keep in mind that it does not improve the
    item type (prepare to be buried under rare Short War Bows found in Act 4 Hell),
    nor does it impact the quality of the affixes spawning on items (+ Light Radius
    and 7% Poison Resist, here we go ! ). Unless you have large amounts of Magic
    Find on your character, don't have too much hope of finding the godliest items
    out there (whether those items are necessary to enjoy the game is another
    question entirely). Those require luck and patience, and generally building a
    specific character dedicated to MF through boss farming (a section about Magic
    Finding with a bowazon will be included later). MF can be found on all item
    slots by courtesy of unique items mostly.
    - Extra Gold Find (GF): GF is much more reliable than MF. But since a bowazon
    typically has low expenses (none of the tremendous repair costs plaguing
    barbarians or assassins, for example), all this extra gold will probably end
    being gambled away. Thus, while nice GF is not important. Take into account
    that gold is shared with your party, so if you can have some GF without losing
    your killing power, your party members will probably thank you a lot.
    - Extra Damage and AR against Demons or Undeads: while those modifiers are
    good, they are never a replacement for good old-fashioned ED. When appearing on
    very good items (like the GoldStrike Arch unique Gothic Bow or the Laying of
    Hand set Bramble Mitts), they are of course worthy of note. But who here uses a
    Melody bow exclusively ?
    - mana bonus: this one is easy. You will probably want some additional mana,
    but you should never go out of your way to get some. Mana bonuses can be found
    on just any piece of equipment and on charms. Try to find either rare or
    unique/set items with both mana bonuses and other good modifiers, or use
    dual-mod charms.
    - Strength bonuses: those are good provided you planned your equipment ahead of
    building your character. If you already have enough Str to wear your gear, then
    extra Str is not doing you any good. If you can plan ahead, then any bonus Str
    point is equivalent to a Dex point. And we know Dex is good. ;) Str can be
    found on just any piece of equipment.
    - Lesser Item Requirements: Those are similar to Str bonuses: if you can plan
    them ahead, they are a good way to pump Dex instead of Str. If you didn't plan
    your gear, then they are a loss of an affix slot. They can spawn on many slots
    of equipment, but to you bow and armor are probably the slots where they matter
    - Deadly Strike (DS): the item based version of Critical Strike, Deadly
    Strike's usefulness for you will mainly depend on your CS level. Both modifiers
    can't stack to provide you with 4 times the damage. If you planned your
    equipment well, you may want to use some DS equipment and save a few skill
    points on CS, but typically skill points are easy to come by for a bowazon.
    - Absorb: a sort of souped-up resistances, absorb is more useful when the
    resists are maxed, because it allows a character to bypass the maximum resists
    limitation (and even heal when attacked in some cases). To a bowazon generally
    scrambling for resists, having enough to actually make good use of absorb gear
    is very hard. Absorb spawns on unique items, on various equipment slots. Except
    for the Ravenfrost ring, those items are generally not very helpful to a
    d) Nothing to write home about
    - Prevents Monster Healing (PMH): depending on your bow damage, you may want a
    piece of equipment that prevents monster healing as, especially in large games,
    monster regeneration can really slow you down in your killing. Generally, PMH
    spawns on unique and set items. You find it on unique/set items, as it only
    spawns as a random affix on melee weapons. As of now (1.09), any amount of
    Poison Damage will have the exact same effect as items with PMH. Some people
    consider this a bug which may or may not be fixed in 1.10, which is why PMH is
    in this section.
    - Sockets: extra sockets (as a magical affix) are nice. But unless you get
    really lucky (by scoring a Jeweler's Plate of the Whale, for example), they are
    not that useful. After all, the "jeweler's" family of affixes are prefixes,
    meaning most interesting weapon combination are impossible. Besides, you have
    the socket quest available for your items, and you can't put runewords into
    magical socketable items. Can spawn on socketable slots (armor, bow, headgear).
    - Shorter Poison Duration: considering poisoning monsters have a definite
    tendency to re-poison you while they are alive, and considering poison alone
    can't kill you, shorter poison duration is definitely not something very
    - Stamina bonus: this one is easy. While somewhat nice to have in the beginning
    of the game, typically you will get enough Stamina over the course of leveling.
    Stamina bonuses mostly spawn on boots and charms.
    - Stamina regeneration/Slower stamina drain: this one is much the same. While
    nice early on, your stamina total in the end of the game should allow you to
    run for long distances already. A commodity in very intricate mazes, nothing
    more. Generally spawns on boots.
    - mana per kill: at first mana per kill looks like a very nice bonus, and early
    on in the game it is. After all, it's some kind of mana recovery that, unlike
    mana leech,  also works on Physical Immunes and unleechable monsters, right ?
    The problem is that unless you stack tons of "triumphant" bonuses, you will
    soon discover that near the end of the game, unless you can leech, the amount
    of mana needed to destroy a single monster is generally astronomic when
    compared to the triumphant bonus you get on his death. Even the low cost skills
    Guided Arrow and Fire Arrow can't hope to recover the mana spent to destroy a
    though PI boss. Variant material. Generally spawns on jewelry, circlets, bow,
    and on several unique items.
    - Faster Hit Recovery (FHR): since you don't tank and try not to get it (the
    Tao), you don't need FHR. Besides, considering the very low life amount a
    bowazon has, a situation where you would need FHR (trapped in the middle of a
    crowd) is generally equivalent to instant death. The few melee hits you will
    get through either lag or bad moves is not enough to warrant wanting FHR. This
    modifier can be found on boots, belts, armor, charms, and on several unique
    equipment slots.
    - Damage Reduction: Damage-reduction exists in two forms, percent-based and
    flat. The percent-based version can only be found on unique items (Shaftstop,
    Vampire Gaze...) and with the extra-rare Ber rune, while the flat damage
    reduction exists on many items. Both forms are about useless for a bowazon,
    because of the Tao. Random flat reduction found on a few items used for their
    other properties doesn't mean much in Hell difficulty (when this minotaur hits
    you for 100 damage points, you are very glad to have 3 points on damage
    reduction on your ring), and as far as percent-based damage reduction items are
    concerned, only Vampire Gaze and String of Ears are interesting for a bowazon
    (Vampire Gaze for its nice dual leech and cold damage properties, and String of
    Ears for the life leech).
    - Magic Damage Reduction (MDR): once very useful against some type of attacks
    (like Firewall or Diablo's Lightning Breath) because of a bug, MDR was nerfed
    into oblivion in 1.09. Same as for Damage Reduction: when comparing the amount
    of MDR you can typically get on a few random items to the huge elemental
    damages dealt to you near the end of the game, you quickly understand the
    reason why this is in the "Nothing to write home about" section. Spawns on
    about every slots, and on a variety of unique items.
    - Open Wounds: using complicated rules (the amount of damage dealt by Open
    Wounds depends on your level), Open Wounds is another of those modifier that
    look great on paper, but are nearly useless in game. Open Wounds makes a
    monster bleed continuously, and lose a certain amount of hit points every
    second. Too slow to kill bosses, and useless against normal monsters, generally
    already dead before it has time to do any noteworthy damage. Spawns on unique
    and set items mostly.
    - Higher maximum resistances: since a bowazon generally has other things to do
    than get maxed resistances, items granting higher maximum resistance bonuses
    are generally useless for her. Spawns on unique/set items, and using 4 runes
    (Gul, Vex, Ohm and Lo), all of which could be much better used elsewhere.
    e) Totally useless
        The complete junk. Some of those affixes are just useless to a bowazon
    (although they could be very useful for other classes), but most of those are
    the true mark of Ormus' rings and Anya's Rare items: they just keep frustrating
    the player a lot, but screenshots can be used to entertain your friends.
    - Defense Rating: getting a Defense Rating worth something in LoD is generally
    not easy, and is probably an exercise best kept for melee classes, who get nice
    defense-enhancing skills (the Barbarian with Shout and Iron Skin, for example).
    Since you shouldn't be getting hit often, and since Defense Rating is probably
    the weakest form of defense anyway, you shouldn't go out of your way to acquire
    great defense rating items. Besides, those items generally require huge amount
    of Str, and the armors are usually heavy-weight, slowing you down. Hint:
    Arkaine's Valor is not the best choice for a bowazon. Spawns on all armor
    slots, as well as a special property on several items (Defense bonus on a
    non-armor piece applies to your total defense).
    - DR versus Missiles: about as useless as generic Defense Rating since Decoy,
    Valk and Slow Missiles are so much better to protect you from ranged attacks.
    Spawns on specific set/unique items.
    - Light Radius: the flagship of stinky modifiers, and the signature of the
    "best" Ormus rings. Not only is Light Radius about useless on its own, it's
    capped at a ridiculous value (bonuses after +5 Light Radius don't do anything).
    It's only use would be to counteract specific items with negative Light Radius.
    Spawns on: about every damn item that could have been interesting otherwise.
    - Damage goes to mana (vulpine): this bonus is very interesting for melee
    classes and spellcasters, but typically much less for bowazons (who avoids
    getting hit, remember ? ). This item works by adding to your mana a percentage
    of the damage dealt to you. Melee fighters love it against Physical Immune/Mana
    burn monsters, but a bowazon shouldn't encounter those monstrosities in close
    range anyway (or she will be dead before the Vulpine bonus can help her
    anyway). Spawns on amulets, and on various unique/set items.
    - Energy Bonus: see the section on Stats to understand while Energy bonus is
    pitiful... The returns are way too low for an amazon when compared to a flat
    mana bonus. Spawns on: tons of slots, but you don't want it since it's useless
    anyway, remember ?
    - Fast Cast Rate (FCR): this one is different. It is a very good mod, just not
    for bowazon. FCR affects the following Amazon skills: Inner Sight (useless),
    Slow Missiles, Decoy, and Valkyrie. Since a player has no reason to spam any of
    those skills, FCR thus becomes useless for a bowazon. Yes, sometimes, the tenth
    of second you could have won with FCR would have helped you survive while
    casting this Valk, but still the occurrence are far too rare to bother IMHO. A
    nice rare FCR amulet or circlet can have a good trading value for another
    class, though. Spawns on: specific set/unique items and jewelry/circlets.
    - Self-repair: since bows don't have durability and since you seldom get hit,
    self-repair is all but useless, except perhaps in the case of etheral pieces of
    equipment. Spawns on: armor slots that could have used some useful bonus
    - Indestructible: same deal as self-repair. Nuff said.
    - Faster Block: do you use a shield ? No, you use a bow. Next one.
    - Attacker takes damage: this one is useless for two reasons. The first one is
    that you don't want to get it anyway, and if you get hit your last problem will
    probably be "Did I inflict any retaliation damage ?". Second, except for some
    very specific unique items (and even for those, it's not pretty), the amount of
    damage dealt is absolutely pitiful when compared to the monster's life total.
    Spawns on: items Blizzard thought would be fun to ruin with this useless
    f) Try it for yourself
    This is the section about what is often referred to as "variant material".
    Those are modifiers that look interesting, if not very powerful, and that can
    be used to build a fun and challenging character. While this is out of the
    scope of this guide to list all the builds you can do and the tricks you can
    use with those modifiers, here are a few ones :
    - All Spell Charges: seriously, the idea of charged items could have been nice,
    except the skill levels on them are totally nuts. What use is a level 4 Teeth
    or Charged Bolt on a required level 45 item, I wonder. Pure variant material.
    Spell Charges are one of the main reasons why rare items mostly suck in LoD:
    affix pool corruption. Still, I know a few talented players who like charges of
    Weaken (get your own portable Shaftstop !), Dim Vision (which works like Blind
    Target on your bow), Attract and Confuse (to get some rest when a bad boss pack
    is closing fast), Telekinesis (for opening those urns and doors), Teleport
    (obvious uses), and even a second weapon slot used by a wand with Lower Resist
    charges, for their elemental arrows. The idea behind some of those charges is
    that while you won't need them most of the time, sometimes you wish you had
    such an item.
    - All Chances to cast spell XXX except for Amplify Damage: same as Spell
    Charges, the chances to cast spell XXX are best used in the case of Fist of
    Heaven to provide nice fireworks. The damage is generally very low and/or the
    spell ill-chosen. Still cool to look at, though. Spawns on many rares, and on
    specific uniques that often have other redeeming qualities. Still, those items
    can provide a lot of fun when used with FA (which almost always triggers such
    effects on crowds)
    - Life Regeneration: or the best way to believe you could perhaps avoid using a
    Town Portal. In combat situations, Life Regeneration bonuses are not very
    useful, as the rate at which you get damaged is generally way faster than the
    Regeneration rate (FYI, Life Leech, on the other hand, is instant). Life
    Regeneration generally has two uses that may make it worth for you : between
    fights if you are low on leech, because it gives you some more life before
    taking the next pack (obviously more efficient if you play carefully, and don't
    rush like mad to the next monsters), and if you stack a lot of similar items,
    in which case the net amount of life gained per second may become useful. An
    interesting property of Life Regeneration is that it helps a lot versus poison
    attacks, which can make a difference in some dangerous fights.
    - Faster Mana regeneration: a great boon for spellcasters, mana regeneration is
    generally useless for bowazons, except the mageazon variety (more on this
    later). As the rate is indexed on your total mana pool, it's generally futile
    to build a mana pool large enough so that faster mana regeneration becomes
    useful. Spawns on specific items, and through the use of socketed skulls in
    helm/armor. Much like Life Regen items, Faster Mana regen can be somewhat
    useful between fights and if you have several items with it.
    - Crushing Blow: in CD2, Crushing Blow (CB, do not confuse with CorwinBrute
    please) was a great modifier (that didn't work for ranged attacks). LoD gave us
    Crushing Blow working with bows, and many more sources for getting it, but, in
    a typical Blizzard fashion, nerfed it to near uselessness at the same time.
    Crushing Blow gives you a chance to halve a random monster's (not a boss)
    current hit points after your attack. This would be good, except:
    * It is affected by Physical Resistance (and as such halved in Hell). Flip side
    is that Amp Damage affects Crushing Blow as well.
    * It is halved again on bows (meaning it will only remove 12.5% of a monster's
    remaining life in Hell)
    * It doesn't scale with the number of players in the game (I think ?)
        As it is, Crushing Blow on bows looks like a so-so modifier, or a tidy
    source of additional damage, but a killer thing about it is that it's triggered
    by FA. So in good amounts, it can be an excellent crowd-softener. This modifier
    spawns on unique/set items only, with the exception of the extra-rare Ber rune
    socketed in a weapon and a crafting recipe (Blood gloves).
    2) Can you tell me more about item XXX ?
        Sure thing. While I do not have the time or the willingness to evaluate all
    existing equipment, I will do my best to present all the existing bow
    solutions, from the most underrated to the "uber-items" (except for normal
    unique bows, more on those later). I will also describe interesting items on
    other equipment slots, as well as useable sets and partial sets combinations.
    a) The bow
        This is your main slot. Your bowazon will probably switch her bow many
    times over her carrier. Fortunately, Blizzard gave us a nice variety of unique
    bows to play with. If the normal unique bows are absolute jokes, and the elite
    ones are so overpowered it's not even funny, the exceptional unique bows all
    have a very distinct flavor, and most of them can definitely be used for a long
    a1) Of normal unique bows: "Rant time !"
        If I was a good writer, I would give you a great, funny, full of poetic
    imagery rant like AK404 does them so well. Sadly I'm not. So instead, you will
    get the good old CB style rant.
        I'm not describing any of the normal unique bows for a simple reason: they
    all suck and are completely unusable because of level requirements. When LoD
    started, one of the thing Blizzard did was trying their best to tone down
    "twinking" (the act of equipping a character with gear he could never have
    found early on in the game, in order to help him breeze through the beginning
    of the game). For this, they added level requirements on every unique item in
    the game. In some cases, those minimum levels were good, but in the case of
    normal bows they failed horribly. Not only are those bows useless for their
    required levels, but they also suck when compared to the low-end exceptional
    unique bows, or to any rare bow imported from CD2, or to some rare bows found
    in LoD, or to a socketed Hunter Bow with flawed topazes... You get the idea.
        The only one that could potentially be somewhat useful is the Rogue's Bow
    for baby speedazons, and even about this one I'm not sure.
        Simply put: don't waste your time with normal unique bows (and don't even
    get me started about crossbows). Socket a Hunter Bow with gems (or 20 poison
    damage jewels, even better and with which you can clear Normal difficulty in no
    time), and use it instead to get a good start. It will bring you much faster
    and with less frustration to where you want to be. Which serves as a clever
    transition to the second part, the Exceptional Unique bows.
    a2) Exceptional unique bows: "A job well done"
        While normal unique bows all suck, Exceptional unique bows are a great case
    of good design (kudos to whoever designed them at Blizzard). Very detailed
    descriptions of all those bows can be found at the Horadrim Library, I will
    just underline what makes them good in a few words.
    - Skystrike: a very good bow, that flawlessly makes an excellent transition
    from main weapons in a bowazon's young years to an excellent second slot weapon
    later in the game. For its required level, Skystrike features good damage,
    excellent speed, a skill bonus exactly when you need it the most (i.e. when you
    are busy acquiring your end-game skills like Valkyrie, Pierce and Freezing
    Arrow), and tons of elemental damage (in form of a hefty Lightning damage, and
    a chance to cast a level 6 meteor, which is about the maximum a sorceress could
    have around this level). Later in the game, the physical damage starts to feel
    low, and the meteor isn't that great, but this bow is still great for quickly
    applying a good amount of lightning damage very quickly.
    - Riphook: I don't like Riphook much because of the slow target bug, which
    causes terrible desynchronisation between the client and the server. But with
    pretty good damage, very high speed, and some life leech, it is a speedazon's
    dream at this time of her career. Riphook Matriarchs are not unheard of, so
    this bow is definitely a good weapon, although most player will probably want
    to switch to something else (with higher damage mostly) later in their
    character's life.
    - Kuko Shakaku: despite its funny name, the Kuko Shakaku is to be considered
    seriously. A well-designed bow centered around Fire Damage, the Kuko is one of
    the favorite weapons used by Mageazons, because it helps them so much. The gems
    on this bow are not the damage (which is nothing to laugh at, though), but the
    large skill bonuses (+3 to all bow skills, and +6 to Immolation Arrow, a skill
    which is on increasing returns) and the incredible 50% bonus to Pierce (meaning
    a small 5 points in Pierce will already grant you 100% Pierce). The Fire Damage
    is also good for killing Physical Immunes (in fact, many people have testified
    they killed PI monsters much faster using piercing Guided Arrow with Kuko than
    using Fire Arrow). The "Fire explosive arrows" property is not very good,
    considering it only works with normal attacks and Explosive Arrow. Kuko Shakaku
    can be used both as a main weapon for certain builds, or as a secondary weapon
    for its Fire Damage.
    - Endlesshail: the worst of unique bows, Endlesshail is not very well designed.
    It is still useable, no doubt about it (thanks to its good damage, bonus to
    Strafe, and good cold damage and duration), but it lacks any form of IAS that
    would have made him a great bow for speedazons. Too bad.
    - WitchWild String (WWS): or "How to outkill the Burizazons with a short siege
    bow". In the hand of a clever amazon, the WWS is a deadly weapon. While its
    physical damage does not seem that great at first, the scaling Deadly Strike,
    and above everything the triggered Amp Damage can make the effective damage
    (which is quite different from the "bragging rights number on the Lying
    Character screen") skyrocket. Since a decent amount of Critical Strike and the
    scaling Deadly Strike give you a very good chance at double damage, and Amp
    triples the effective damage in Hell (and is very easy to trigger against packs
    with FA), you are looking at a constant 3 times the listed damage (taking into
    account the blanket physical resistance in Hell). Not bad... The 40% to all
    resistances is a boon for HC players. WWS can be used either as a main weapon,
    or as a secondary weapon for triggering Amp before switching to a more damaging
    - Cliffkiller: a good middle-life bow. With high damage, Knockback, and a nice
    Life and skills bonus, the Cliffkiller is a decent weapon. It lacks any form of
    IAS or Leech, though, and shows less "personality" than the other bows. Deadly
    in the hands of a Rogue mercenary (more on this later).
    - Magewrath: another surprisingly effective weapon. With good damage, and
    decent AR, Dexterity and skills (+1 to all skills, +3 to Guided Arrow) bonuses,
    Magewrath would already be a decent weapon. What makes it more than that is a
    nice crowd control modifier (Hit blinds target), as well as a godly 15% mana
    leech, the highest leech bonus on a single bow. Basically, you can use only
    Magewrath for your mana leech needs and get away with it without any problems.
    - GoldStrike Arch (GSA): the unique Gothic Bow, the GSA is one of the best bows
    in the game. It features very high damage and accuracy (its AR bonus is the
    equivalent of 10 to 15 points put into Penetrate), as well as blazing speed
    (it's the fastest 10 base speed bow in the game). For its special properties,
    we get huge damage bonuses to Demons and Undead, a cool SFX-theme with a chance
    to cast Fist of Heavens on attack, and a useless Replenish Life. This bow is
    very versatile, and can compliment a physical damage build very well (whether
    it is used in a speed rig or in a beatdown rig).
    - Lycander's Aim: my personal favorite. This bow only has two less than optimal
    modifiers: enhanced defense, and an energy bonus. The rest of the modifiers
    (huge damage (especially minimum damage), incredible skill bonus, mana leech,
    increased speed and Dexterity bonus, not very high requirements) makes it my
    personal recommendation as far as exceptional bows are concerned. No matter
    what you want to do (use elemental skills, use mostly physical damage, or
    better yet a mix of both), the Lycander's Aim will help you doing it better.
        The unique crossbows mostly suck (because of the way speed interacts with
    crossbows), except for the Pus Spitter (which has the interesting property of
    triggered Lower Resist, and as such could be used by an elemental specialist
    much like the WWS is used by physical-based amazons), and the sad subject of
    the next paragraph (which will be my only rant about exceptional
    - The Buriza-do Kyanon (BdK): or "What the Hell were they smoking when they
    designed this thing ?". Also nicknamed "Blizzard Cannon", "Tuna Cannon", "BFG
    (for Big F*cking Gun), "Burrito cannon", "Cheese cannon", and many others. The
    BdK is single-handly responsible for the bad reputation amazons got on the
    Realms. While the 1.08 version was interesting (a powerful crossbow made for a
    refreshing change), the 1.09 version is so overpowered and pigeonholes the
    bowazon into a single stupid role that it is not even funny. We are not talking
    about " mildly overpowered" here. What we are talking here is a fat slice of
    cheese, the stinky French variety. The BFG features incredible damage (both
    base and scaling), huge elemental damage (cold, with a lengthy duration),
    Freezes target, huge speed bonus (nearly enough on the weapon alone to have it
    at top speed), a fat Dexterity bonus (more than making up for the huge Strength
    requirement) and, worst of all, a moronic 100% Pierce bonus (to get some kind
    of equivalent, this means a little 60 points into the Pierce skill). Because it
    is slow, and because of its incredible Piercing and cold damage, the Buriza
    works best with 2 skills: Multishot and Guided Arrow (although FA is also worth
    mentioning). Add to this that it's extremely easy to find, has a low level
    requirement, and you should begin to understand while players on Battle.net are
    ranting about "mindless overpowered bowazons". The Tuna Cannon is the flagship
    of stereotypical bowazon builds, and as such amazons using this crossbow are
    often scorned, which is very sad because not all of them fit the stereotype.
    a3) Elite unique bows: "Ranting again ?"
        The two elite unique bows are the exact opposite of the normal unique bows:
    both of them are way too good. Those bows perfectly embody why "balance by
    rarity" is a bad idea: an amazon equipped with either of those two bows can cut
    through the game with absolutely no difficulty, and is likely to at least
    mildly irritate party players by frustrating them of kills. Duping also made
    this "balance by rarity" a moot point, and I would wager that at least 95% of
    Windforces and 80% of Eaglehorns on the Realms are duped. The frustrating part
    is that back in Diablo1 (where those two bows come from), they were good but
    not overpowered weapons, and both had a very specific feeling to them. In their
    D2 incarnation, they are just a powergamer's wet dream.
    - Eaglehorn: less brute-force than its counterpart, it doesn't take a grand D2
    analyst to understand why the Eaglehorn is so good: it features impressive
    damage (with a scaling property), is extremely reliable (thanks to both a
    scaling AR bonus as well as ITD), and even has 2 little goodies in the form of
    a nice Dexterity bonus and a +1 to all skill levels (although at level 69, a
    bowazon is likely to have finished her skill assignment). For a bow, Eaglehorn
    is slow (it has the slowest base speed, and no IAS), and does not feature any
    leech (although its damage makes other sources of leech very effective on their
    own). It is still a more than very good and reliable bow for a physical damage
    - Windforce: or "I really need to try some of those drugs". Windforce is the
    best ranged weapon in the game, period. People can argue about preferring an
    hypothetic  Cruel XXX Bow of XXX socketed with very specific jewels/runes, it's
    unlikely this weapon would be a match for a well-optimised WF build. Its
    incredible scaling damage makes its max damage top the best close range
    weapons, and with IAS, Knockback and mana leech on the weapon itself, it also
    frees too much other equipment slots for a single weapon (only the BFG compares
    to Windforce for this). Extreme amazon builds using WF are often in the 6000 to
    8000 max damage land, and this kind of damage can be applied simultaneously to
    many target. Windforce is extremely rare, extremely valuable, and as such
    extremely duped.
    a4) Rare and Magical Bows
        Good rare bows are hard to find, because of affixe pool dilution. A nice
    rare exceptional or elite bow can still take you through the game, but unless
    you are playing Single Player or No-Twink, there are bows available for a
    handful of chipped gems that flat-out beat any kind of rare bow, except the
    dream bow with only the best affixes at their maxed-out value, something which
    still has to spawn on Battle.net as far as I know.
        Magical bows are more interesting, because some of them can be bought at
    shops (thus replacing boring Magic Find duties by boring shopping duties), or
    they can be cubed (using the Magical Item + 3 Perfect Gems of any type recipe).
    What you want is, of course, a weapon featuring either the Cruel or
    GrandMaster's prefix, and ideally a decent/good suffix. Since no good runewords
    exist for fast bows, and no elite unique either, a magical bow is nearly
    mandatory for speedazons. Unfortunately, "low" doesn't even begin to describe
    the odds of cubing a really good bow.
    Here is some information about elite bows. This information is provided in the
    following way: Name/Strength required/Dexterity required/Base speed/Minimum
    damage - Maximum damage
    * Spider Bow/64/143/5/23-50: while not very fast, a high-end Spider Bow can be
    a good choice, due to a low Strength requirement
    * Blade Bow/76/119/-10/21-41: very fast and with low requirements, the Blade
    Bow would be the best speedazon bow if Matriarchal didn't exist.
    * Shadow Bow/52/188/0/15-59: with its average speed and extremely low required
    Strength, the Shadow Bow is somewhat popular. Its drawback is that you can't
    buy a good one at the vendors, you have to cube it or find it.
    * Great Bow/127/107/-10/12-52: oh, the irony. The only great thing about this
    bow is the name: the Strength requirement is downright stupid, especially when
    compared to the Matriarchal and Blade Bows. Avoid this one.
    * Diamond Bow/89/132/0/33-40: with its very small damage range, it is easy to
    make a good Diamond Bow an extremely reliable weapon. Some extreme builds
    manage to get those bows to have a minimum damage higher than the maximum,
    which is of course very nice, as the minimum damage "pushes" the maximum.
    * Crusader Bow/97/121/10/15-63: a definitely good weapon. The Crusader is slow,
    but its Strength requirement is not very high (after all, it's only two points
    higher than a Gothic Bow, the old CD2 staple). Its damage is also solid.
    Crusader Bows can get 6 sockets, making them very popular for the Silence Rune
    * Ward Bow/72/146/0/20-53: the popularity of the Ward Bow comes for a great
    part from the fact that it's easy to shop for a good one (Grandmaster's or
    Crual) in Hell Act 4 and 5. The Ward Bow has no weak points, and a very cool
    * Hydrah Bow/134/167/10/10-68: the only Hydrah Bow worth mentioning is
    Windforce. All other Hydrah Bows are flat-out beaten by similar Crusader or
    Grand Matron bows, if only for the Strength requirement. Hint: Silence Hydrah
    Bows are not worth it.
    * Matriarchal Bow/87/187/-10/20-47: the flagship weapon of current speedazon
    builds, the Matriarchal Bow is the best -10 base speed bow, because of his
    excellent average damage and inherent skill modifier. You will love this
    * Grand Matron Bow/108/152/10/14-72: the best 10 base speed elite bow, the GMB
    has decent requirements, huge average damage, and inherent skills. Its only
    drawback is that a bug prevents it from getting 6 sockets, which is a shame, as
    a Silence GMB would really rock.
    b) The armor slots
        The fact that Defense Rating is useless for a bowazon doesn't mean she
    should not chose her armor slots carefully. In fact, a bowazon has a
    surprisingly large amount of choice available when choosing her armor, because
    DR doesn't matter for her. She is restricted by the amount of Str needed to
    wear certain items, but since many high-end armors have lesser requirements, it
    doesn't matter much.
    b1) Headgear
        There isn't much to be found as far as normal headgear is concerned:
    Tarnhelm used to be good for MFers, but Stealskull is so much better now it is
    not even funny. I would strongly advise not overlooking Biggin's Bonnet and
    especially Duskdeep at low levels. Undead Crown and Wormskull could also find
    some use with their life leech. But generally speaking, don't count on unique
    helms too much for your young bowazon.
        In exceptional uniques, the pattern changes a lot, though: there are some
    quite godly equipment pieces available.
    - Peasant's Crown: 60 Life, 30 Mana (through Vitality and Energy bonuses) ,+1
    to all skills and fast run/walk. A very decent helm, although the look on a
    bowazon is horrible.
    - Rockstopper: featuring a very defensive package, Rockstopper is perhaps not
    the helm of choice for a bowazon, although HC players probably like it for its
    strong resistances and decent life boost.
    - Stealskull: perhaps the best exceptional helm for a bowazon, mostly for the
    IAS and dual leech properties. The Magic Find on it is also a good feature, and
    the rest of the modifiers are not that useful for a bowazon, although they are
    not a total waste either.
    - Darksight Helm, Valkyrie Wing and Blackhorn's Face: I will pass on those
    three helms quickly, they typically don't have much for a bowazon. Perhaps the
    Valkyrie Wing could be useful if the Strength requirement wasn't so high.
    Darksight Helm has mana leech and Cannot be Frozen, but the other mods leave
    much to desire. And Blackhorn's Face is much better for a melee fighter, and
    causes desynch (the Slow Bug).
    - Crown of Thieves: with huge life leech, a good resist, and large bonuses to
    Mana, Life and more importantly Dex, the Crown of Thieves is a very good
    bowazon helm. And it doesn't look that bad. ;)
    - Vampire Gaze: everyone and his mother wants one of those, and people are
    mostly interested in the Damage Reduction property of the Vampire Gaze. The
    most interesting properties of this helm for a bowazon are in fact the dual
    leech, and the nice Cold Damage (and Cold duration). While it is a great helm,
    the fact that it is really priced high makes it a luxurious commodity, easily
    replaced by a good circlet.
        As far as Elite unique Helms are concerned, there is not much to say: the
    Harlequin's Crest is much more useful on spellcasters, and the Veil of Steel is
    way to heavy for a fragile bowazon.
    b2) Armor
        There are several normal unique armors worth mentioning. I will try to make
    it short and only describe three of them.
    - Greyform: the old CD2 bowazon staple, Greyform is now more into the category
    of excellent twinking gear than in the realm of end-game equipment. Still, with
    good life leech, two nice resists, and a Dexterity bonus, this armor has lots
    of features appealing to a bowazon.
    - Twitchthroe: the only armor dedicated speedazons used back in CD2, there is a
    good news and a bad one for Twitchthroe lovers: the good one is that in LoD
    Twitchthroe is more powerful than ever, with an increased IAS bonus. It still
    has Dex and Str bonuses, as well as the less useful FHR, and the completely
    useless Increased Blocking (for a bowazon anyway). The bad news is that thanks
    to socket quests and 4 sockets armor, speedazons have much better toys than
    Twitchthroe available. Another end-game equipment that became good twink-gear
    (which is still far from bad).
    - Silks of the Victor: the most overpriced armor of CD2 turned into a piece of
    junk that dedicated MFers throw aside... Well, they shouldn't, because (for its
    required level) this armor has two interesting mods for a bowazon: +1 to all
    skills (remember, it is around level 30 that you need those skill boosts the
    most), and 5% mana leech (always nice to have).
        Let's move to exceptional unique armors. The sky is the limit here. Or
    rather, your Str is the limit. Don't fear too much, most of the good armors for
    a bowazon require little Str.
    - The Spirit Shroud: while worth mentioning (because of the +1 to skills and
    the Cannot be Frozen properties), the Spirit Shroud is more of a spellcaster's
    armor (you don't need replenish life, remember ?).
    - Skin of the Vipermagi: perhaps the best spellcaster's armor in the game, the
    Skin of Vipermagi can be useful to bowazons wanting to boost their resistances
    and skill level at the same time. But its power pales in comparison to the
    Lionheart runeword's. Still a very good armor for builds needing high skill
    levels (like mageazons, dinozons or vamps)
    - Skin of the Flayed One and Iron Pelt are about useless.
    - Crow Caw: while this armor looks good with its Dex bonus and IAS, Twichthroe
    is lighter and can be used earlier.
    - Spirit Forge is a nice idea, mostly due to some a nice combination of
    defensive and offensive features, improved by the presence of two empty sockets
    for further customisation.
    - Duriel's Shell: one of the most overlooked armors in the game. With scaling
    life and DR, good prismatic resistance, a nice Str bonus and Cannot be Frozen,
    the Shell has lots to offer to a bowazon caring about her defense. It is a very
    prized armor in HC.
    - Shaftstop: the armor of PvP players and of idiotic conformists, Shaftstop has
    little other value to a PvM bowazon than the nice bonus to life. Blech.
    - Skullder's Ire: one of the armor of choice for MFers, the Ire has not much to
    offer to a bowazon, except a +1 to all skill bonuses. Technically, a Wealth
    armor could be preferable for the Gold Find bonus.
    - Que-Hegan's Wisdom: a nice armor, much better suited for spellcasters. If you
    use an elemental heavy build, it may be an option, although I would tend to
    suggest using Skin of Vipermagi instead.
    - Guardian Angel: if you find it, don't plan on using it on your bowazon, but
    rather start a paladin instead. ;) None of the bonuses are particularly useful
    for a bowazon.
    - Toothrow: I'm really wondering what bonuses could be useful to a bowazon on
    Toothrow. Or to any class for that matter.
    - Atma's Wail: lots of bonuses on this armor, but except for the Dexterity
    bonus and the small MF bonus, none of them matter for a bowazon.
    - Black Hades: while this armor is very heavy, its bonus against demons and its
    3 empty socket make it a potential choice. Nothing to write home about, though.
    - Corpsemourn: point me to a bowazon with 170 Strength, and I will point you to
    a bad build. ;) Save this armor for your mercenary.
        Both Elite unique armors are completely useless for a bowazon: except for
    Cannot be Frozen, the Gladiator's Bane is junk, and Arkaine's Valor requires an
    indecent amount of Str, and gives very little value to a bowazon (yep, even the
    1.08 one).
    b3) Gloves
        There are lots of good unique gloves available, but generally speaking you
    may want either a rare pair of gloves with properties fitting your build, or
    even better crafted Hitpower gloves (for the Knockback modifier).
        In normal unique gloves, the Hand of Broc is nice to have early on for the
    Dual Leech property. Later in the game, rare dual leech gloves can spawn, with
    potentially much better other modifiers.
        Bloodfist can help a bowazon for a long time, with their large life bonus
    (useful early on, when you are pumping Dex and Str to wield better bows), IAS,
    and sizable boost to minimum damage. Probably the best normal unique gloves for
    a bowazon.
        Chance Guards are technically excellent gloves for the people interested in
    Magic Find, but I tend to prefer rare gloves with less MF, but generally much
    better modifiers.
        Magefist and Frostburn are better suited to the elemental-heavy amazons,
    for their boost to mana regeneration and mana pool respectively. As an
    interesting side note, Magefist's bonus to Fire Skills works for Fire Arrow,
    Exploding Arrow and Immolation.
        As far as exceptional unique gloves are concerned, there is less good to be
    told: all of those gloves are certainly nice, but all pale in comparison to a
    good pair of rare/crafted gloves which can be obtained easily, or in comparison
    to some excellent Set gloves that exist. The only interesting properties on
    unique exceptional gloves are the large bonuses against Undeads on Gravepalm
    and Ghoulhide, the Fire Damage and Enchant (plus the IAS) on Lava Gout, and the
    funny chances to cast on Hellmouth.
    b4) Belt
        Choosing between normal unique belts, a bowazon can consider Nightsmoke for
    the resistances bonus, but especially Goldwrap, which is an end-game belt for
    speed addicts (and MFers, of course). Unless you need other mods on your belt
    (like leech), or you don't need the extra IAS, Goldwrap may very well be the
    good belt for you.
        There is much more choice between exceptional unique belts, as nearly all
    of those have something to offer to a bowazon.
    - String of Ears: one of the most used belts, the best property the SoE has to
    offer to a bowazon is the good Life Leech bonus. The damage reduction is nice,
    but a bowazon doesn't need it that much.
    - Razortail: unless you really need IAS, Razortail is the best bowazon belt.
    +10 to Maximum Damage and +15 to Dexterity mean an impressive damage increase
    (remember this +10 to Max Damage is affected by Dexterity, auras...), but the
    best modifier is the 33% bonus to Pierce. Using Razortail, you will only need 9
    points in Pierce to reach 100% Pierce. No other belt can come close to the
    damage output bonus Razortail can give you either directly (damage and Dex) or
    indirectly (through Pierce).
    - Gloom's Trap: it is a nice belt, with mana leech and other mana bonuses, and
    +15 to Vitality. While there are best options available, a Gloom's Trap is
    certainly a decent choice, especially if you need mana leech badly. Pay
    attention to the seemingly inoffensive -3 to Light Radius, which can prove
    deadly in dark areas.
        The two last exceptional unique belts Snowclash and Thundergod's Vigor
    don't bring a lot of value to a bowazon.
        There is an elite belt, the Nosferatu's Coil. If it worked, Nosferatu's
    Coil would be on par with Razortail for the title of best bowazon belt, with
    IAS, leech, and a good Str bonus (useful if you plan your gear early in your
    career). But Nosferatu's Coil features the infamous Slow Target, which is
    bugged and causes desynch. You may want to use it, but take care, and above
    everything warn your partners that you use a Slow Target item.
    b5) Boots
        I tend to prefer rare boots with Fast run and resistances on bowazons.
    Still, some of the unique boots can bring good value. In normal unique boots, I
    would recommend Gorefoot for the small mana leech bonus, and Threads of Cthon
    for the incredible endurance they give. Both of those boots are strictly
    beginner's gear, though.
        Exceptional unique boots have some interesting properties of which a
    bowazon can gain much.
    - Infernostride: those boots provide some decent fire-related mods: a nice
    resistance and a fine amount of fire damage. Not much else, though.
    - Waterwalk: those are much better, mostly for their large Dex and Life
    bonuses. Still not enough to convince me of dropping good rare boots, but YMMV.
    - Silkweave: spellcaster boots. Can be useful to elementalists for the mana
    boost, but not very exciting for a generic bowazon.
    - War Traveler: now, we are talking (again). While the War Traveler are better
    known for their large MF bonus, the incredible property on them is their 15-25
    damage bonus. When modified by Dex and other factors (Critical Strike, friendly
    damage aura...), War Traveler can add 100 points or even more to your damage
    output. Definitely powerful.
    - Gore Riders: an interesting pair of boots for their damage boosting
    properties (Crushing Blow, Open Wounds, Deadly Strike), the Gore Riders can't
    hold the comparison to the War Traveler for a bowazon (mostly because Crushing
    Blow is nerfed on bows).
    c) The jewelry
        While rare or crafted jewelry has a lot to offer to a bowazon (leech,
    resistances, skills), there are some nice unique amulets and rings that offer
    some excellent options to a bowazon (and modifiers they can't find anywhere
    else). More often than not, a bowazon will end with a mix of unique and
    rare/crafted jewelry.
    c1) Amulets
        Together with the weapon and belt slots, the amulet slot is perhaps where
    unique items are the way to go for a bowazon. While excellent rare and crafted
    amulets exist, most mainstream bowazon builds use one of the unique amulets as
    a cornerstone. We can keep out the Nokozan's Relic (useless garbage), Mahim-Oak
    Curio (not even good twink gear), the Rising Sun and the Mara's Kaleidoscope
    (not very useful to a bowazon).
    - The Eye of Etlitch: back in CD2, the Eye of Etlitch (EoE) was the bowazon
    amulet, except in case of particularly excellent rares. The best mods on the
    EoE are not the Life leech and skill bonus (although they are nice), but the
    hidden Cold duration. Nowadays, cold damage charms are an excellent way to get
    some cold duration, so the EoE is a bit less useful. Extreme Frostmaiden builds
    still sport it proudly, though.
    - Saracen's Chance: while the 1.09 version does not bring a lot of value to a
    bowazon (nice stats and resists bonus, but nothing else), we will mention the
    1.08 version, probably the best amulet an amazon could want with bonuses to Str
    and Dex, 10% to all resistances (the 1.09 version is better in this regard),
    and a 3% chance to cast level 5 Amplify Damage on attack, which is simply
    - The Cat's Eye: an amulet made for bowazons, with its run/walk, Dexterity, and
    above everything IAS bonus. PvP amazons as well as speedazons often use it.
    - Crescent Moon: another excellent amulet, mostly for its huge mana leech and
    decent life leech properties (dual leech). The other bonuses are not excellent
    for a bowazon, though. Try to find your leech elsewhere before using it.
    - Atma's Scarab: the only interest (but a big one) that the Scarab has for a
    bowazon is the chance to cast Amplify Damage. If you don't have an 1.08
    Saracen's Chance and need Amp. Damage, Atma's Scarab is the only choice.
    - Highlord's Wrath: an excellent amulet (mostly for its IAS property), the
    Highlord's Wrath brings some good properties to your bowazon, like a small
    skill bonus, and especially scaling Deadly Strike. Depending on your build,
    Cat's Eye may still be a better choice.
    c2) Rings
        Rings are a curiosity slot, in that they often are less useful than good
    rare/crafted rings. Blizzard did a good balance job on unique rings, with most
    of them having some very desirable and distinctive properties balanced by
    important holes in the package they furnish.
    - Nagelring: useful to MFers and not much else. Even then, you may prefer a
    rare ring with some MF (probably less than on the Nagelring) and other good
    - Manald Heal: the only ring with mana leech in LoD. This makes it a good
    choice for people needing lots of mana leech. The other properties are not very
    useful, though.
    - The Stone of Jordan (SoJ): the "currency" of Battle.net, the SoJ is useless
    to bowazons, except perhaps to elemental specialists who could use its mana and
    skill bonuses.
    - Dwarf Star: a defensive ring with Fire absorb, MDR and a nice life bonus, the
    Dwarf Star is not that useful to a bowazon (except perhaps in HC). Still a ring
    to have in stash for fire-heavy situations.
    - Raven Frost: the best unique ring for a bowazon, the Raven Frost's two most
    important points are Cannot be Frozen and a large bonus to Dex (although the
    other properties are interesting too). If you don't have Cannot be Frozen
    elsewhere on your equipment, then acquiring a Raven Frost is highly recommended
    ! Raven Frost also features cold damage, with a nice cold duration (4 seconds)
    and a very large boost to your Attack Rating.
    - Bul-Kathos' Wedding Band: a very overpriced item, the Wedding Band is not
    that useful. It has a nice life and a skill bonus, but the life leech on it is
    very low, and the stamina bonus is pitiful. Use it as trading bait.
    d) Runewords (all equipment slots), or "Of an excellent idea mostly ruined"
        Runewords were one of the best ideas, and perhaps the biggest
    disappointment in LoD. The idea behind runewords is excellent: take a socketed
    item (a basic one, magical socketed items do not work with runewords), socket
    it with the correct runes in the correct order, and you get an item with not
    only the properties of the runes, but also a specific name and additional
    properties. Sadly, this excellent idea mostly failed for a variety of reasons:
    * Lack of runewords: as of now (1.09), there is a pitiful 24 different
    runewords enabled, while we were promised around 170. Blizzard promised more
    runewords would be made available over time (first for Realms only, and later
    through patches for Single player mode). As of now, they lied.
    * Quality of the runewords: there are very few runewords offering a good
    quality/price ratio (and even more so for a bowazon, more on this in a moment).
    Most of the 24 existing runewords are pitiful when compared to existing
    uniques, and most of those which don't require insanely hard to find runes.
    * Rarity of runes: what were they thinking ? There are 33 different runes, and
    many players will never see one of the 10 last ones. The system used for rune
    drops makes many of them insanely hard to find. As such, most players can only
    drool when reading the powerful runewords descriptions.
    * No in-game help for runewords: I said earlier that Blizzard lied about new
    runewords. This may be false, and it is a possibility that Blizzard implemented
    all of the missing runewords a long time ago. But since there is no way to get
    any scrap of information in the game about runewords (except for Ancient's
    Pledge, the reward for the second quest in Act 5), they may as well not exist.
    Considering the insane rarity of most runes, and the incredible amount of
    existing combinations (number of sockets, item type, order of the runes) for
    socketing items, even the most daring players stopped their experiments on
    runewords a long time ago.
        After this small rant, we can go on with the actual runewords that could be
    useful for a bowazon. This will be quick.:(
        First, the bow. There are only 3 runewords usable in bows.
        While Melody (Shael+Ko+Nef) isn't bad with its damage versus undead and
    large skill bonuses, it isn't great either, mostly because the enhanced damage
    is so low (only 50%).
        Zephyr (Ort+Eth) has even less enhanced damage, but is a good twinking
    weapon with its decent lightning damage, IAS and even faster run/walk. Still
    not a great weapon by any stretch of imagination, though.
        The last runeword for bows, Silence (Dol+Eld+Hel+Ist+Tir+Vex) is actually
    completely godly (large enhanced damage and mana leech, skill bonus, IAS, and
    even an insane 75% to all resistances, only to mention some of its bonuses).
    The only problems with Silence are that it requires a 6 socket weapon (meaning
    only the slowest bows can get socketed with it), and that the Blind Target
    attribute can wreak havoc in party play, mostly with Necromancers who have to
    constantly recast their own curses. The bow with which Silence would really
    shine, the Grand Matron Bow, can as of now only get 5 sockets. The jury is
    still out on whether this is a bug or a feature.
        On to helms: all helm runewords, Lore (Ort+Sol), Nadir (Nef+Tir), and
    Radiance (Nef+Sol+Ith) are useless to a bowazon (Nadir being in fact completely
    useless for all characters). Lore can have some uses for twinking, mostly
    because of the large Lightning resistance.
        Where runewords provide the best value to a bowazon is on the armor slot.
    There are only four armor runewords existing, but most of those are pretty
    useful to certain bowazons.
        Stealth (Tal+Eth) is not very good to a bowazon, although it can be a
    decent twinking armor with a small dexterity bonus and a nice run/walk bonus.
    Stealth is better suited for spellcasters, though.
        Smoke (Nef+Lum) has an incredible defensive power with its 50% to all
    resistances. The other modifiers are less useful to a bowazon, which typically
    doesn't require a high defense. Still a great armor, on par with many uniques,
    and obviously a premium item for HC players, many of them even place it over
    Lionheart. YMMV, as always.
        Wealth (Lem+Ko+Tir) is an excellent armor for MFers. Between 100% MF and
    300% Extra Gold, it is easy to see where the name came from. Wealth even has a
    little bonus of +10 to Dexterity, always nice for a bowazon.
        Lionheart (Hel+Lum+Fal): the Lionheart runeword is really TEH BESTO !
    (http://lunar.damnsw.net/~chapsy/lionheart.php). Simply put, the overall
    offensive (Dex bonus, Str bonus (more Dex) and enhanced damage) and defensive
    (30% to all resistances and large life bonus) package of Lionheart can't be
    matched by any other armor. The only cases where I would see the use of any
    other set of armor for a bowazon would be an elemental attacks specialist
    (needing a skill boost), a MFer (Wealth would be better in this case), or a
    speedazon (needing IAS on her armor). Except for those specific cases,
    Lionheart is the best amazon armor you could think of.
    e) Sets, or "Of another excellent idea mostly ruined"
        Sets are good. Or rather, they should have been good, and only some of them
    are useful. In this section, we will look at which sets a bowazon can use. This
    includes both a few full sets, and several partial sets combinations. In LoD,
    sets give special bonuses when you have at least two items, and continue adding
    bonuses as you add more pieces. The Classic D2 sets are even better for this,
    in that individual pieces get additional bonuses when you add more items. There
    are 3 sets in the game that use a bow (Arctic Gear, Vidala's Rig, M'avina's
    Battle Hymn), and 3 which don't require any weapon or shield (Iratha's Finery,
    Cow King's Leathers, The Disciple). In addition to this, the combinations for
    partial set items are limitless.
    e1) Full sets with bows
        The Arctic Gear is an excellent early-game set. It features a very low
    required level of 3 (although the Str and Dex requirement make it very unlikely
    that you will use it so early), tons of useful modifiers (life, resistances,
    IAS, Str, Dex), and enough cold damage to carry you without problems to a point
    where you will be able to switch to one of the earliest exceptional unique
    bows. Except if you are into variant playing, the Arctic Gear is not an
    end-game rig, though.
        While Vidala's Rig is far from being a bad set, it fails badly in the
    damage department (although it has a little amount of elemental damage). It
    features some resistances, good Dex and Str bonuses, but its main selling
    points are the Piercing and Freezing modifiers that come as a full set bonus.
    At level 14 (when you can equip the full set), those are very helpful modifiers
    to have.
        M'avina's Battle Hymn was supposed to be the flagship bowazon gear, but
    sadly isn't. While the bonuses on many individual pieces are good, and while
    the full set bonuses are nice too, the set has several very important flaws.
    The worst of those flaws is that while the set certainly looks fast right out
    of the box ("Look ! 40%IAS on bow !" "Look, 30% IAS on diadem !"), taking any
    sort of advantage of this speed completely removes any hope of customisation
    (you will need to put jewels of Fervor into the diadem and armor, and either
    Shael the bow or use an IAS amulet). Most of the problems of the set can be
    traced to the gloves and armor (the other pieces are all decent): without IAS
    or leech, the gloves are that bad, and the armor has nothing to offer to a
    bowazon except the passive bonus. The full set bonuses are very nice, though,
    and the full set is definitely a correct end-game rig. But it is very easy to
    complete an equivalent setup for a fraction of the price using exceptional
    unique items and rare items.
    e2) Full sets without bows
        Iratha's Finery (required level 15) is definitely a good set. For just the
    4 equipment slots it uses (helm, gloves, amulet and belt), no other combination
    in the game can give such incredible resist bonuses, with 65% to all
    resistances and +10% to maximum resistances. The set also offers nice
    additional bonuses to a bowazon: 20% IAS, 20% Fast Run/Walk, +5 to minimum
    damage, and a nice 25 to Dexterity. The only problem with the Finery is that it
    removes the amulet, helm and belt slots, making it hard for a bowazon to gather
    enough mana leech at the end of the game. Still, this set is an excellent
    option (especially for HC) easily overlooked.
        The Disciple (required level 65) is an excellent all-around set, usable by
    all classes. With excellent resistances, a large skill bonus, and other goodies
    (stats bonuses for example), the strength of the Disciple is that it can be
    used by absolutely any class or build. For bowazons, the set is a good option,
    especially since it includes the Laying of Hands Bramble Mitts. Those gloves
    are perhaps the best ready-made option for a bowazon, thanks to their IAS bonus
    and incredible 350% Damage to demons. The other pieces are somewhat useful, but
    don't bother to use them unless you want to go for the full set bonus. While it
    blocks the amulet slot, the Disciple lets the helm slot free, allowing for an
    easy addition of mana leech to your build (since 7 or 8% mana leech circlets
    are easy to come by).
        The Cow King's Leathers is a sort of joke set by Blizzard (its pieces can
    only be collected into the cow level), but that doesn't mean it is not useful
    to a bowazon. This set gives a sizable amount of Magic Find and some Gold Find
    (always good for item junkies), some resistances and Dexterity, and above
    everything a very cool 30% IAS as a part of the full set bonus. What is even
    better is that it doesn't take any crucial item slot for a bowazon (except
    perhaps the helm), meaning it can easily be used.
    e3) Partial set combos and individual items worthy of notice
        Death's Hand (gloves) + Death's Guard (belt): an impressive combination for
    a bowazon, both early on and later in the game. For just two items, you get 30%
    IAS, 8% Life Leech, 15% to all resistances (more for poison), and Cannot be
    Frozen. The only drawback is that you will be stuck with a 2 rows belt. A very
    effective combination.
        Sigon's Gage (gloves) + any other item (generally belt or boots): you just
    can't argue with 30% IAS and 10% Life Leech.
        Tal Rasha's Guardianship (armor) + Tal Rasha's Horadric Crest (helm) + Tal
    Rasha's Fine-spun Cloth (belt). Perhaps the best all-around option for Magic
    Find characters. The Crest (huge dual leech, prismatic, large bonus to life and
    mana) is one of the best helms in the game (using what I call "balance by
    style", as for all its effectiveness it is really ugly on a bowazon), the armor
    is impressive with its large MF bonus and huge resistances, and the belt is not
    lost on a bowazon with its 20 added points to Dexterity. As a partial set
    bonus, you get replenish life (useless), but another 65% to Magic Find !
    Supposing you socket 2 perfect topazes in the helm and armor, you get 211-216%
    MF with just those 3 slots, along with dual leech, huge resistances, and other
    excellent bonuses. Best MF combo in the game for a fighter class, but hard to
    make because the armor is very rare and expensive.
        As far as individual items are concerned, Wilhelm's Pride battle belt is
    good for dual leech, while Sander's Taboo (gloves) and Sander's Riprap (boots)
    are also decent mid-life items (the gloves for IAS and Life, the boots for very
    good run/walk and stats bonuses). With their excellent run/walk and nice
    resistances, the Natalya's Soul boots are also a popular choice.
    f) Crafting recipes worth using
        Crafting is one of those addictive features of LoD, just like cubing items
    or Magic Find. There are two different views about crafting: you can consider
    crafted items are freebie rares, or you can use very specific recipes, hoping
    for a combination of fixed and random modifiers that will give you an
    unsurpassed item.
        Crafting recipes are done by putting into your Horadric Cube a specific
    kind of magical item (its exceptional and elite versions work too), a specific
    perfect gem and rune, and a random magical jewel. Crafted items get specific
    properties (depending on the recipe used), and random modifiers, chosen amongst
    the available rare modifiers (magic-only affixes can't spawn on crafted items).
        As a rule of thumb, you should always craft with your higher level
    character, using base items (the rune, gem and jewel don't matter) found as far
    into the game as possible (more tuning of crafting level is possible to get
    more chance at specific affixes, but this is out of the scope of this guide).
    This ensures you will get the largest possible affixes selection. A little
    warning, though: crafted items get a 22 level requirement malus, because of the
    fixed modifiers. As such, it is very easy to craft godly but about impossible
    to use items (like all those required level 89 +2 to skills amulets).
        Hitpower gloves (magical Chain Gloves, Ort rune, sapphire) are perhaps the
    most popular craft for bowazons. This is because they have Knockback as a fixed
    modifier. For the additional properties, look for IAS, leech, skill bonuses...
    Everything you could want on rare gloves.
        About all Blood crafted item (except shield and weapon, of course) can be
    useful to a bowazon, because of their inner Life Leech property. Blood Gloves
    (magical Heavy Gloves, Nef rune, ruby) are excellent, because a good pair could
    potentially have up to 6% Life Leech (crafted bonus and rare modifier). Blood
    Amulets (magical amulet, Amn rune, ruby) are also a safe bet, as dual-leech
    prismatic amulets are not unheard of. Lastly, Blood Rings (magical ring, Sol
    rune, ruby) are impressive if you get more life leech as a random modifier (you
    could be lucky and have up to 11% Life leech on your ring). Blood Boots
    (magical Light Plated boots, Eth rune, ruby) are easy to make, and can give you
    a tiny amount of Life leech (not enough on its own, but certainly a welcome
    addition), as well as all the goodies often found on rare boots (excellent
    resistances, fast run/walk...).
        The Caster and Safety families of crafting recipe are generally less useful
    to bowazons.
    3) Now that I know more about items, how do I equip my bowazon ?
        After reading the previous sections, you should be able to see if a
    particular piece of equipment is good or not to a bowazon. But depending on
    your playing habits, taste for Magic Find, luck, and packratish behavior, you
    may have a large selection of gear to chose from when preparing your character.
        No-twink playing is easier for those kind of decisions, since when you find
    a new item you just have to evaluate it against your current equipment. Where
    no-twink play is much, much harder is about throwing away equipment when your
    stash is full...
    a) The fine art of balancing your equipment slots
        So you need damage, leech, perhaps some IAS, and nothing else, right ?
    Wrong. While the laziest bowazons could get away with this in the cow level
    (where resistances are not a concern, and the outdoor environment gives
    bowazons a real edge), such a selection of gear is bound to have you bite the
    dust in about any other area.
        Your main balance decision will be survival versus damage. While at first
    it may look as if more damage = faster dropping enemies = better survival, the
    situation is in fact a bit more complicated. Lag, bad play decisions, bad luck
    (in the form of boss properties) can take a toll quickly, and whether you play
    HC (in which case death is definitive) or SC at high levels (in which case
    dying can mean hours of leveling down the drain), thinking a bit about survival
    is important.
        As far as damage is concerned, here are the possibilities to increase
    * Use a bigger bow. This one is a given: more damage on bow = better damage
    overall. Just don't forget that speed also helps a lot, and that heavier bow
    sometimes require lots of Strength, meaning less Dex and thus less damage. As I
    said earlier, dedicate your bow slot to damage, and don't think too much about
    it elsewhere.
    * Use a faster bow or more IAS: when looking at damage over time charts, you
    could be surprised at the effectiveness of IAS. For example, moving to the next
    IAS breakpoint could easily mean 10 or 20% more damage over time. A full IAS
    rig is even more deadly, allowing speedazons with "puny" bows to kill monsters
    surprisingly fast (speed has other advantages as far as survival is concerned).
    The main choice for IAS comes from the speed breakpoints (see the speedazon
    chapter for more information about them). Remember that most IAS gear comes at
    the price of survival gear, so careful planning is really needed here.
    * Increase your Dexterity: another given. More Dex = more damage. But Dex is
    where it is easier to balance things out. This +25 to Dex amulet may be good
    damage-wise, but why not replace it with this mana leech/prismatic/skills
    amulet ? Since the amount of Dex you can get from items is generally not huge
    in regard to your base Dexterity, and since getting Life from items generally
    has better rewards than getting Dex from items, I would strongly advise against
    always pumping Dex through items.
    * Use secondary effects: those effects have very varying efficiency. While
    Amplify Damage is the king of secondary effects, giving you such a huge boost
    to damage that you should really consider using it if you can, Crushing Blow,
    Open Wounds and other less than stellar effects could perfectly be ditched in
    favor of survival gear (one of the reasons why I don't like Gore Riders that
    much for bowazons). You shouldn't remove survival gear for damage secondary
    effects (except Amp Damage).
    * Elemental Damage: you will need at least one big source of elemental damage
    to deal with physical immune monsters. While using the Fire Arrow bug is a
    possibility, don't overlook elemental damage bows. They may become a necessity
    in 1.10 anyway. ;) I would advise dedicating your second weapon slot to a high
    elemental damage weapon, and not worrying about elemental damage (except cold,
    but this is a survival problem) elsewhere..
    * Skill bonuses typically don't add a lot offensive-wise to a bowazon. An extra
    MS arrow or 5% more damage on Strafe and Guided Arrow are nice but not godly.
    Extra damage on elemental arrows is a much better reason to have skill bonuses,
    and of course increasing your passives generally helps your bowazon a lot even
    in the offensive department (through better Critical Strike, Penetrate and
    Pierce). I would recommend against completely sacrificing raw damage or speed
    for skills, but you could remove some survival gear for a skill bonus if
        For survival, here are a few interesting possibilities:
    * More life: this one is a given. Since there are so many perfectly good items
    with large life bonuses out there, it is very easy to use items to build up on
    life. Don't overdo it, though: once you reach the safety zone against lag,
    pumping life further is counter-productive.
    * Better resistances: as a rule of thumb, I will gladly sacrifice some damage
    potential for better Lightning and Fire resistances, since those elements are
    the most common and most damaging into the game. I would think twice about Cold
    and Poison resistances, though.
    * Use Crowd Control modifiers: perhaps the best defensive possibility for a
    bowazon, crowd control modifiers are nice in that they are applied during
    attack. I would chose one or two of those (generally cold duration and
    Knockback), and would never sacrifice them for anything, be it other survival
    gear or better damage. The only thing that can replace Hitpower gloves is
    better Hitpower gloves.
    * Use IAS: yes, IAS is also useful for survival. Faster shooting means both
    that you stay in place less longer and can move earlier (very important for
    example in the case of Strafe-lock), but also that you apply crowd control
    modifiers much faster ! Since a bowazon rules by controlling the pace of
    battle, IAS is one of the best tools you can use.
    * Better leech: life and mana leech are the basis of a successful physical
    damage build. While more leech sounds always good ,don't overdo it. If you can
    leech enough mana to sustain your skills (either through leeching from groups
    or using Guided Arrow as a mana recovery skill), then you probably can go
    without more mana leech (most of your mana problems will come from Physical
    Immunes anyway). For life leech, it should serve you in order to repair the
    little damage done by the occasional hit. So except if you play carelessly,
    more than 10% Life leech is often a waste (a bowazon has too little hit points
    to survive inside a crowd, no matter what amount of leech she uses).
    * Run faster: repositioning to get the most of your skills and avoid getting
    hit takes running. Hence, running faster is important. I would consider
    anything over 50% FRW being a waste for PvM, though (PvP is entirely different
    in regard to run/walk).
    * Don't get frozen: getting frozen is perhaps one of the easiest way to die as
    a bowazon. I strongly advise in favor of wearing one piece of equipment with
    the "Cannot be Frozen" modifier, even if you have to sacrifice some damage for
    * Skills bonuses add a lot to your defensive potential, by bumping your
    defensive passives and your Valkyrie.
    * The other defensive modifiers are probably not worth mentioning, and should
    come as bonuses.
        Above everything, don't be afraid of experimenting. The main balance
    consideration should be speed breakpoints, as IAS equipment is not always easy
    to come by, and excellent IAS equipment (providing further damage bonus or
    survival potential) is even harder to get.
    b) Socketing: making your items unique
        Another great feature of LoD, socketing is a pleasure. But it needs to be
    well done. The first quest of Act5 gives you the possibility to add sockets to
    existing equipment. Through this quest, unique, rare and set items can get one
    socket (if they don't already have one or more), and magical items randomly get
    one or two sockets (normal items get their maximum potential sockets, depending
    on the level of the monster who dropped them). This means that your bowazon
    could socket her bow, her helm and her armor, for example. Before doing
    anything, keep in mind that socketing is definitive. You can switch equipment
    back and forth, but you can never get rid of a misused socket quest.
        Socketing can be used to add either offense or defense to your character.
    When socketing your bow, you should generally focus on offense. This can be
    done either through damage runes or jewels (Enhanced Damage jewels or Ohm runes
    for percent-base damage, +min or + max damage jewels, Ith and Sol runes for
    flat damage increase), or better speed (jewels of Fervor or Shael runes).
    Elemental damage socketable items (gems, some runes, high elemental damage
    jewels) are of course an option, but those work just as well on other slots. An
    excellent defensive option for your weapon comes in the form of better leech
    (Amn rune for 7% Life Leech, Vex rune for 7% Mana leech, or a perfect skull for
    4% Life and 3% Mana leech). If you don't use Hitpower gloves and need
    Knockback, just stick a Nef rune in your bow and be happy (a warning, Knockback
    can be a nuisance to your teammates, and Nef in bow makes Knockback impossible
    to avoid, short of using FA to freeze the monsters first). Pipe dream socket
    for weapon: Ruby jewel of Fervor (up to 40% Enhanced Damage, 15% IAS).
        Socketing your helm and armor is a more tricky business. Depending on your
    current survival potential, you may want to add offensive potential to those
    items. Enhanced damage jewels don't give that much of a boost to your total
    damage, but min and max damage jewels are potentially interesting. Elemental
    damage jewels could perfectly be considered also, and dedicated speedazons will
    of course want those jewels of Fervor for IAS.
        But by far the best use (except in the case of going past an IAS
    breakpoint) of sockets in armor or helm is defensive. A prismatic jewel or UM
    rune is never wasted in those slots (except if you already have maxed Hell
    resists without charms, in which case I would like to see your gear). Pipe
    dream socket for armor/helm: Scintillating jewel of Fervor (10 to 15% to all
    resistances, 15% IAS).
        If neither defensive nor offensive options appeal to you, you could always
    add some utility power, such as mana per kill (not that useful, but then again
    who am I to say this), or Magic Find.
        You shouldn't waste an excellent item with a misused socket, but on the
    other hand you shouldn't waste an excellent jewel or rune on an average item.
    Here again, think a lot. Oh, and please stop dumping Ist runes into helms and
    armors. Perfect topazes exist for a reason, ok ?
    c) Charms: what they can give you
        Charms are IMHO the best feature of LoD. Charms work by sacrificing
    inventory space for small bonuses (although charms are sometimes pretty
    overpowered). In order to assess a charm's quality, just imagine what would
    happen if your inventory was completely full of copies of this charm. The
    amount of customisation you can do with charms is limitless. Here are some of
    the things you can do with them:
    * Increase your physical damage: some charms (red, fine, sharp, of
    craftmanship...) add a little amount to your minimum or maximum damage. This
    amount is further enhanced by your Dexterity, as well as by other damage
    enhancers (friendly aura, Critical Strike...). For example, a grand charm with
    10 to max damage would mean 40 more maximum damage on a bowazon with 300 Dex.
    Apply this 3 times per second to several targets with a speedazon, use 5 such
    charms, and you get an idea of the amount of damage those innocent-looking
    charms can give over time. Other charms for getting more damage are Dexterity
    * Get elemental damage: also an interesting possibility with charms, elemental
    damage can reach very nice amounts, especially for Lightning and Poison damage.
    Cold damage charms have their own use, in that each cold damage charm adds one
    second to your total cold duration.
    * Increase your life and mana: considering the good but not great returns an
    amazon gets on Vitality points, and the atrocious returns investing in Energy
    means, Life and mana charms are very popular. You can get up to 20 Life points
    and/or 17 mana points on a single small charm, which is quite impressive to say
    the least.
    * Run faster: small charms can give you 5% Fast Run/Walk on them. This can
    stack very quickly to allow you to move at blinding speeds. Again, don't overdo
    it: there is probably something better you could do of your charm space. My
    best use for FRW charms is when I use boots with incredible modifiers (huge
    resistances mostly) but no FRW.
    * Get resistances: a very popular use for charms, resistances are easy to get.
    You could either use Shimmering charms (for their resist all properties) or
    just use charms with a single resistance (and preferably another affix at the
    same time) to cover holes in your build. I would suggest to keep to this second
    option, and not forget resistances on your main equipment, as maintaining good
    resistances only or nearly only with charms is a pain.
    * Get rich !: with Magic Find or Gold Find on charms, you can improve your
    earthly D2 possessions quickly. I would recommend using those kind of charms on
    dedicated MF characters only and in large amounts, because just a few don't
    give that much.
    * Improve your skills: grand charms can spawn with +1 to a skill tree. Those
    which interest us are of course Fletcher's (bow skills) and Acrobat's (passive
    skills) charms. Depending on your build, any of those may be an excellent way
    to improve your build. Elemental-heavy bowazons are of course very interested
    in Fletcher's charms, which improve the damage of their elemental skills a lot.
    d) Various uber items
        This section is dedicated to a few dream bowazon items, including "perfect"
    bows and incredibly powerful jewelry/armor. Keep in mind that trading for such
    godly items is not recommended, because of the very high risk of getting dupes.
    This list is my personal selection and totally non-objective, of course.
    * Cruel (300%) Matriarchal Bow of Evisceration (+63 Max), 2 sockets with 2 Ruby
    Jewels of Fervor (40%ED/15%IAS), obviously a speedazon's dream with 96-289
    damage and 30% IAS.
    * Cruel (300%) Diamond Bow of Transcendence (+20 Min), 2 sockets filled with 2
    rare jewels featuring 30%ED and +18 Minimum damage, total being 208-209 damage.
    * Windforce. Nuff said.
    * 1.08 Saracen's Chance : best zon amulet ever. Resists, stats boosts, and of
    course Amplify Damage
    * Rare circlet with +2 Amazon skills, 20% Prismatic, an extra 40% Lightning
    Resist, 8% Mana and Life leech, 30% Fast Run/Walk. Still gambling. Socketed
    with a perfect Scintillating Jewel of Fervor (15% all resistances, 15% IAS).
    * Jeweler's (4 sockets) Wire Fleece (or lighter armor if you prefer) of the
    Whale (+100 Life), filled with 4 perfect Scintillating jewels of Fervor. 60%
    all resists, 60% IAS, +100 Life. Where do I sign up ?
    * War Travelers : if you don't need resists on your boots slot, then you will
    be hard-pressed to find better boots than those. The main selling point is, of
    course, the large physical damage boost, but the other attributes are not too
    shabby either.
    IV) Some template builds
        In this section, we will take a look at several time-proven bowazon builds.
    While some equipment will be listed, you should note that what defines a
    specific build is not really specific gear, but rather generic orientations in
    the build's gear and the skills. When my memory will allow it, I will give
    credit where it's due. As a matter or fact, most of those builds (except number
    2 ;) ) originated from or were refined at the Amazon Basin forums.
        Except for the speedazon section, which will have lots of technical data
    for speed calculations, all template description will be made of: introduction,
    stats and skills allocation, gear selection, and a few quick tips on playing
    (plus the credits). Playing a character is a very personal thing. I will only
    be able to give a few generic tips for each style, but the knowledge can only
    come from the practice.
    1) The Speedazon
    "It's not the size of the bow that matters, it's the frequency with which you
    use it."
     (DoubleTrouble, The Amazon Basin)
        Or "IAS Addicts". The philosophy behind the speedazon was simple in CD2:
    instead of using a big and cumbersome bow, they used very fast bows and as many
    Increased Attack Speed (IAS) items as possible (back then, the choice was
    simple: IAS gloves, Goldwrap belt, Twitchthroe armor, and a 20% IAS bow).
        In LoD, the speedazon design changed a lot for the following reasons:
    * IAS comes in many forms, thanks to the inclusion of sockets (jewels of
    Fervor), and to a wealth of options for IAS slots (we now even have IAS
    * There is a new formula for calculating effective speed, as IAS now has
    diminishing returns except for the base bow speed
    * There is a hard cap at 75% effective speed increase
        So while in theory you can reach very fast speeds with about any bow
    (crossbows are completely out with the new effective speed formula), it is much
    easier to reach equivalent speed with a faster base bow. And this is how it
    should be in my humble opinion.
        While this section is dedicated to the "pure" speedazons, everybody should
    read this to understand how IAS affects the rate of fire.
    a) The speed mechanism
        Much better persons than I have already written much about the speed
    formula, so I will just give a few definitions about speed.
    - What is a 9/2 rig ? Diablo2 runs at 25 frames per second (FPS). This has
    nothing to do with display framerate, it is just the speed of internal
    calculations. When talking about bow speed, most people use the x/y notation
    (introduced by DoubleTrouble), where x and y refer to numbers of frames. The
    first number (x) is the number of frames elapsing between two normal attacks.
    The second one (y) is the number of frames between two successive Strafe
    arrows. In our 9/2 rig example, normal attacks (this means all attacks except
    Strafe) are separated by 9 frames, while in a volley of Strafe, the first arrow
    will require 9 frames, while the following arrows will require 2 frames each.
    - What is a -10 Base bow ? I explained earlier how base bow speed had a large
    influence over your final effective speed. This is because the speed modifier
    inherent to the bow is not affected by the diminishing returns formula. To
    reach the higher speeds, a fast base bow is highly recommended. For the base
    speed notation, keep in mind that the faster bows have a lower base speed. -10
    is faster than 0, for example. Additional IAS items (different from the bow
    speed) are noted with a different notation: higher is better. Keep in mind that
    bow base speed is different from IAS on bow slot: while the GoldStrike Arch
    unique Gothic Bow has a modifier of 50%IAS, it is not a -40 base bow, but just
    a 10 Base bow with 50%IAS. There are 4 different base speeds for bows: -10, 0,
    5, 10, and 5 different base speeds for crossbows: -60, -40, -10, 0, 10.
    - I added IAS and I don't fire faster, why ? Since the game runs at 25 FPS,
    there are some truncations done into the IAS calculations. Adding IAS may not
    always give you any in-game speed increase. This is the fundamental notion of
    speed breakpoints: amounts of IAS for which you gain a real speed increase.
    Knowing the speed breakpoints for your weapon of choice will allow you to
    balance your gear much better.
    - So how does this speed formula work anyway ? Each character in Diablo2 has a
    base attack speed for each kind of weapon. In our case (amazon) the base speed
    is 13 frames for bows, and 19 frames for crossbows (this number of frames is
    the number of frames between two successive attacks). This number of frames is
    then modified using this formula:
    Frames = {256*(Base + 1)/[(100 + Speed Increase)/100*256]} - 1
        Speed increase depends from both base speed and additional IAS, using the
    following formula:
    Speed Increase = Base Weapon Speed Modifier+ Fanat + [IAS/(1 + IAS/120)]
        Fanat is the IAS bonus given by a friendly paladin using the Fanaticism
    aura, which is exempted from diminishing returns. Please also note that speed
    increase is capped at 75% anyway.
        Those formulas come from Dagni's revolutionary discovery about IAS, which
    can be found at the following address:
    - What is the maximum speed I can reach ? This is a tricky question. ;) In
    theory (and it works well in Single Player), you can reach a maximum speed of
    7/2. On the Realms, 7/2 is not reliable, because lag will prevent certain
    arrows from firing. While your client will display the arrows being shot at
    7/2, depending on lag you may only be at 8/2 or even sometimes 9/2 ! To test
    your firing speed, take a full quiver (350 arrows), go into the Blood Moor, set
    your normal attack on your right mouse button, and fire in the air while using
    a stopwatch. When your quiver is empty, count the time spent from full quiver
    to empty quiver. This will give you your true firing rate.
    b) What are the different attainable speeds ?
    "7/2 ... 0-10 arrows in one second flat.  Accept no substitutes."
    (Chevalis, The Amazon Basin)
        The following data has been drawn from Zendragon's most excellent Bow
    Bible, which can be found there:
    http://www.knittingdragon.com/games/d2/bowbible/ ). I will only list some of
    the most important breakpoints for speedazons apprentice. If you just want to
    know about the breakpoints for a generalist bowazon, visiting the Bow Bible is
    highly recommended. The IAS number listed for each speed is the amount of
    additional IAS needed to reach this speed, discounting the base speed.
    * -10 Base Bows (hunter's, composite, razor, double, great, matriarchal, blade)
        8/2: 75 IAS
        7/2: 142 IAS
    * 0 Base (Bows long, short battle, short war, stag, cedar, short siege, rune,
    ashwood, shadow, ward, diamond)
        8/2: 105 IAS
        7/2: 201 IAS
    * 5 Base Bows: (short, edge, spider)
        8/2: 125 IAS
        7/2: 240 IAS
    * 10 Base Bow (long battle, long war, reflex, gothic, large siege, ceremonial,
    hydra, grand matron, crusader)
        9/3: 89 IAS (useful if you don't plan on using Strafe much)
        9/2: 120 IAS
        8/2: 147 IAS
    c) Speedazon's stats and skills
        Most speedazons use physical attacks, mostly Multishot and Strafe (and of
    course Guided Arrow against single targets). Both high-end elemental skills
    (Freezing Arrow and Immolation) are not really effective: at high levels, FA
    has such a huge mana cost that a speedazon using it at full rate would empty
    her mana pool very quickly, and Immolation has a timer that prevent from
    spamming it anyway. Multishot should be kept to a moderate level (10-15
    modified) to prevent it from draining the mana pool too fast.
        As very fast bows are generally less damaging for a single shot, a high
    level of Critical Strike is highly recommended. Pierce is of course very
    important too. Thanks to the huge speed at which crowd control modifiers will
    be applied to the enemies, defensive passives generally don't need any
    investment beyond the first point (HC players will probably not want to neglect
    them, though).
        Generally speaking, a speedazon will want to apply moderate to high
    physical damage at an impressive rate of fire. Thus, she is likely to invest a
    lot in Dexterity. Since most fast bows don't require a lot of Strength, Str
    will likely be kept very low (87 for a Matriarchal bow, for example). The
    points saved in Str can be invested into further Dex, or some Vitality (due to
    generally horrible resistances, speedazons need some life).
    d) Speedazon's equipment
        Before putting together your equipment, you should ask yourself what speed
    you want to reach. For slow bows (10 base), you will also want to know
    beforehand if you will use Strafe a lot or not: going from a 3 Frames Strafe to
    a 2 Frames Strafe means a 50% damage boost over time.
        If you already have the equipment handy, I would suggest to check your
    average Realm connection to see if you can reliably hit 7/2 before trying to
    put together a 7/2 rig: if you can't go faster than 8/2 for connection
    problems, just having the pretty 7/2 rain of arrow graphics won't do you much
        While you will want tons of IAS, you also don't want to forget crowd
    control. I would highly recommend Knockback here: it's simply impossible for
    monsters to come near a speedazon equipped with Knockback, which is of course
    invulnerability at its best. Crafted Hitpower gloves with IAS are definitely
    the way to go for speedazons.
        As far as the end-game bow is concerned, there are sadly no very good
    ready-made options for high-level speedazons. While Windforce (20%IAS),
    M'avina's Caster (40% IAS) and GoldStrike Arch (50%IAS) seem good options, they
    are all 10 Base speed bows. The best option for having a high-end fast bow is
    using an Horadric Cube Recipe: 3 perfect gems and a magical item reroll the
    modifiers of this item. Use a fast bow (Matriarchal and Blade are the most
    popular choices) found near the end of the game and cube it until you get a
    high damage prefix (like Ferocious, Grandmaster's or Cruel) on it. A good
    suffix is then just the icing on the cake. ;) After cubing a good bow, socket
    it using one of your quest rewards, and put either Shael runes or Jewels of
    Fervor with a good prefix in it.
        Once your bow is taken care of, you will want to add just the good amount
    of IAS to reach your target speed breakpoint, with a combination of ready-made
    items (Goldwrap, Twitchthroe, Stealskull, Cat's Eye...), partial set bonuses
    (Death's or Sigon's set), and jewels of Fervor socketed in your equipment. If
    possible, keep your armor slot available for a Lionheart runic armor. If you
    can't reach your target speed without using your armor slot, then you will need
    a socketable armor with Jewels of Fervor.
        Additional mods: you will absolutely want the "Cannot be Frozen" property
    (a chilled speedazon is a speedazon no more), and a decent amount of leech.
    Elemental damage gives much more to a speedazon than to another bowazon, as she
    can apply it very quickly.
        Equipping a speedazon is just like equipping any other bowazon, with the
    additional constraint of reaching a certain IAS level. Maintaining good resists
    and life with a 7/2 rig is a complete nightmare unless you have godly equipment
    available, which is the reason why most experimented speedazons stop at 8/2
    (which just requires 75% IAS with a -10 Bow).
    e) Speedazon quick tips
    * Watch your mana and your quiver: many young speedazons empty their mana pool
    or quiver at an incredible speed, and thus either die horrible deaths or are
    forced to go to town very often. After a while, you will start to develop a
    feeling for the number of arrows you need for a given monster.
    * Don't rush: time is on your side. Being a speedazon doesn't mean rushing as
    fast as possible to the monsters and transform them into pincushions. With
    perhaps the exception of the Frostmaiden, no bowazon can control the flow of
    battle as well as the speedazon: their reactivity is simply unmatched.
    * Don't overdo it with the IAS: sometimes 8/2 is just as effective as 7/2. What
    use is being able to fire fast if you are dead ? And of course, plan your IAS
    carefully: you don't want to be sitting between 2 breakpoints, with removing an
    item meaning going down one notch ,and adding more items meaning a complete
    loss of your defensive potential (leech, life and resists)
    * Don't scorn players without IAS: this one is more a personal rant. ;) I've
    seen too many people scorning "slowazons" to feel comfortable. Keep an open
    mind, those players may just be as effective as you are.
    * Cover your partners: as said earlier, a speedazon is unchallenged in the
    Crowd Control department. Put this power at your fellow players' service, they
    will be glad for it.
    f) Fast credits
        While the first version of the speedazon (the gatlingazon) was my idea (I
    had just gambled a Goldwrap, and some nice rare SIAS gloves if you want to know
    the quick and dirty truth about it), the "speedazon" nickname was found by
    GoldenBow. Both GoldenBow and myself worked on the generic ideas behind trading
    damage for speed, and applying crowd control modifiers (back then, crowd
    control for bowazons meant cold damage and not much else)
        But the true pioneer of the sub-class is of course DoubleTrouble, for doing
    an extraordinary amount of maths work, for further going down the path of fast
    bows, and for coming up with the speed notation concept. DoubleTrouble is the
    inventor of the speedazon.
        In current times, credits should be given to Dagni of the Lurker Lounge,
    who discovered the new weapon speed formula (allowing for much more effective
    equipment planning), and of course to two of my friends at the Amazon Basin:
    ZenDragon, for his huge work on the Bow Bible, and Chevalis for his huge
    contribution to speedazon's tactics (mostly in the crowd control department).
    2) The Barbazon and the Beatdown Kit
        Blech. The Barbazon in its various incarnations (the original Carrion Song
    Barbazon, the Burizazon, the DupeForceazon, the DupeEagleazon...) is sadly by
    far the most encountered bowazon type on the Realms, and, much like for
    lawyers, "95% of the bowazons give a bad reputation to the remaining 5%". The
    barbazon only thrives in a specific level, which changes from time to time:
    currently, we are talking about the Not So Secret Anymore Cow Level. If this
    random bowazon you meet seems to be equipped with nothing but the godliest
    items, first asks "Wut bow", then goes on with "LOL ! Yor bow suxOrZ !" before
    proceeding to the Cow Level and getting killed at least twice during the run,
    then you have found yourself a barbazon (character names referring to various
    female anatomy parts is certainly a worthy indication of extreme barbazonism
        This section will not be dedicated to those low specimens of humanity, but
    rather to building an efficient amazon around a very damaging and slow bow
    (Cruel Hydrah Bow, Windforce, Tuna Cannon...). Getting the highest possible
    damage is referred to as a "Beatdown Kit". The Beatdown Kit is the noble
    incarnation of the barbazon.
    a) Barbazon's stats and skills
    What makes a barbazon is not the skills she uses, but the skills she doesn't
    (Oprah, The Amazon Basin)
        Barbazons don't have skills. ;) Seriously, most conformists amazons use
    Multishot and Guided Arrow as their only skills, because those work very well
    with slow and damaging weapons. Throw in some Freezing Arrow as a Panic Button,
    use Decoy and Valk as you should, and suddenly you don't have a barbazon
    anymore (besides, FA is the way to go to trigger effects, mostly Amp Damage
    which is an essential part of the Beatdown kit). Considering the huge damage of
    the weapons we are talking about, even a maxed Multishot is easy to sustain
    with about any amount of mana leech. Strafe is of course a possibility, but
    bringing those slow weapons to a 2 frames Strafe is hard (downright impossible
    with the BFG). And of course, tons of Critical Strike will make your damage
    even more impressive. Pierce will make your damage skyrocket, but if you plan
    on using the Tuna Cannon, don't invest into it: it has a 100% Pierce built-in
        As far as stats are concerned, most high-end weaponry requires lots of
    Strength (97 for Eaglehorn, 110 for the Buriza-do Kyanon and up to 134 for
    Windforce). Thus, your Dexterity is likely to be a bit on the low side,
    especially if you are considering a decent life total. My advise would be to go
    nuts on Dexterity (after all, those uber-weapons are just begging for more Dex
    to really show their potential), and find life through items.
    b) Barbazon's equipment
        The weapon first: you will want a huge damage weapon, and speed is only the
    icing of the cake for this kind of build. Popular choices are the two elite
    unique bows (Eaglehorn and WindForce), as well as the Buriza-do Kyanon
    ballista. The GoldStrike Arch is also an excellent choice, with its incredible
    speed, accuracy, good damage and excellent damage against undeads and demons.
        With those huge damage weapons, you typically don't need much as far as
    leech is concerned. 10% in both life and mana leech is probably already more
    than you need.
        As far as IAS is concerned, you should check the speed tables and see how
    well you can do. One of the interesting properties of the BFG is that it only
    requires 15% additional IAS to reach the next speed breakpoint.
        For crowd control, things get a little more complicated: using slow
    weapons, you won't have lots of crowd control power. I would advise using both
    Knockback and another modifier (cold damage comes to mind), and adapt your
    tactics to stay very far away from the monsters.
        Additional Dexterity is important too on your items, of course.
        If you are putting together a full Beatdown kit, you will want even more
    damage on your items, as well as special forms of damage, like additional
    damage to demons and/or undeads (Laying of Hands or Ghoulhide gloves are a must
    for this). Getting some form of Amp Damage is also important for the beatdown
    kit (1.08 Saracen's Chance or Atma's Scarab amulets, or a WitchWild String on
    second weapon slot).
        As you see, unless you go for the full beatdown kit, you are very free
    equipment-wise, which is perhaps another reason those builds are so popular...
    c) Barbazon tips
    * Damage is NOT everything: so many people died while looking at the pretty
    numbers on the (lying anyway) Character Screen...
    * Be careful of Amp Damage: like all triggered effects, Amp Damage makes a
    small pause in your attack when it triggers. Try to stay as far as possible
    from the monsters (especially since you will probably have low Vitality)
    * Always think of the worst case scenario: Windforce may have the highest
    maximum damage for a ranged weapon, it also has a very poor minimum damage and
    no AR boost. So it's very possible that just a few unlucky shots (either
    missing or doing very low damage) will put you in a dangerous situation.
    * Use some skills: MS and GA may be very effective, but using only those you
    won't get very far. A small investment in Strafe and a generous use of Decoy,
    Valk and good passive skills investment will make you superior to all the other
    d) Barbazons credits
        The Beatdown Kit was conceptualised by AK404. Kudos to him. For the
    Barbazon, I will have to credit cheatlist and the other lame Web sites where
    you can find dupe exploits, bots and the like: they made it possible for every
    low-life lamer on Battle.net to run around with godly equipment they don't
    deserve. Oh, and kudos to Mousepad for his "excellent" Maphack, which
    single-handy managed to ruin D2 for thousands of players.
    3) The Vamp
        Welcome to the glory of 1.09 Bowazon design. The Vamp was born on the
    Amazon Basin forums, as a build developed to take advantage of the fact that
    both Immolation and Freezing Arrow can leech mana and life in 1.09.
        The Vamp is an evolution of the dinozon: while the dinozon makes liberal
    use of FA and Immo, she needs to refuel her mana pool with "recovery" attacks
    (MS and Strafe mostly). Through huge amounts of mana leech, the Vamp makes it
    possible to get rid of recovery skills altogether.
        The Vamp is a curiosity: while most of her damage is elemental, she needs
    high Dexterity and a very damaging bow in order to power up her leech. But
    spamming level 30+ FA on a single critter without a drop in the mana pool is
    too good to pass. ;)
    a) Vamp stats and skills
        Skill-wise, you will want both max Freezing Arrow and max Immolation. Add
    to this the need for a huge Pierce (depending on items perhaps), and you see
    that you will probably not see the beginning of a free skill point for a long
    time. Where you can save points is on Critical Strike (elemental arrows don't
    trigger CS) and Penetrate (elemental arrows always hit). A good level Valkyrie
    is nice to have, since she can hold enemies in Immolation patches. This is
    certainly not mandatory, considering Immo only lasts for 3 seconds anyway.
        Stats-wise, enough Str for your equipment (eh), and a fine balance of
    Dexterity and Vitality. You want enough Dex to power-up your leech, but since
    your damage is mostly elemental, once you can leech back easily you don't need
    much more Dex. While investing into Energy may sound tempting at first (after
    all, you will want lots of mana for those expensive skills), the rewards are so
    bad that getting some mana gear is much better. It is possible to have 500 or
    600 mana with base Energy anyway. ;)
    b) Vamp gear
        Equipping your Vamp is a tricky business. You have 3 main points to
    * Get enough mana leech to use your high-level skills all the time
    * Get enough damage to power up this leech
    * Get tons of skill bonuses to improve your damage (both FA and Immo being on
    increasing returns)
        Secondary gear objectives are survival (life leech, resists, life bonus),
    mana pool (because of the high cost of those skills you will use, the safety
    zone for mana is much higher), and other bonuses (cannot be frozen, crowd
    control (by the way, avoid Knockback with this build, as it pushes the monsters
    away from your Immolation patches), mana per kill...). As you see, building a
    Vamp requires high end gear, but it is really worth it.
        For the weapon, there are several options fitting the build pretty well. In
    exceptional unique bows, you will want to look at Magewrath (huge mana leech,
    small skill bonus), and of course Lycander's Aim, perhaps the best bow for this
    build (nice mana leech, huge skill bonus). While Kuko Shakaku may looks nice at
    first (Piercing, incredible skill bonus especially for Immolation), its
    physical damage is simply too low to fire high level Immo and FA without mana
    recovery skills. The last (and by far the most expensive) option is a Silence
    bow (go with a Crusader for the much lower Str requirement): skill bonuses,
    high damage, 11% mana leech, and other godly bonuses (Blinds target, 75% to all
        After choosing your weapon, you will want some mana leech. The good news is
    that mana leech can be found on about just every equipment slot nowadays. Tal
    Rasha's (Ugly) Horadric Crest is terrific (10% Dual leech, +15 to all
    resistances), but Vampire Gaze or a nice mana leech circlet are other good
    options. There are lots of amulets with mana leech, and the unique Crescent
    Moon amulet is dual leech with up to 15% mana leech on this single slot ! There
    are magical/rare mana leech gloves, and several unique/set belts with mana
    leech. The unique Manald Heal ring has a decent amount of mana leech, and other
    nice properties. As you see, the choice is yours. You will want at least 25%
    Mana leech for this build, and perhaps more depending on your skill levels.
        Skill bonuses can be found on the weapon, on charms, and of course on about
    every other equipment slot. You will want to reach at least level 25 in both FA
    and Immo, with 30 or more being even better. The Stone of Jordan unique ring is
    nice for the vamps, since it features both a skill bonus and a large boost to
        As you see, there are very different available options for equipping a
    successful Vamp. Generally speaking, if you get high damage, leech, and skills,
    you will do fine. Everything else is not mandatory, although it is very
    c) Vamp tactics
    * Don't overshoot: this is the fastest way to empty your mana ball (by spamming
    too much), and thus to die.
    * Learn how to Pierce: especially with FA, overlapping areas of effect will
    make your damage skyrocket. Learn both how to herd critters and how to
    calculate firing angles to get the most out of Pierce.
    * Your mana is more important than your skill level: if you see that you have
    trouble leeching after adding one or several skill bonus items(s), then remove
    it (them) until you get more leech or more damage. You don't want to use mana
    recovery skills, remember ?
    * Don't count on Pierce for mana leech: while you will more often than not hit
    several targets with a single shot (or there is something seriously wrong with
    your playing style), and thus leech proportionally, ideally you want to leech
    enough mana from a single critter (a boss, for example) to kill him without
    switching skills.
    * Be wary of Physical Immune critters: this one seems counter-intuitive. After
    all, you deal tons of elemental damage, right ? Wrong. Without the ability to
    leech, your mana ball will drop flat very quickly, and you won't deal any
    damage. Always have some backup plan for physical immunes (elemental damage bow
    combined with GA, or cheesy Fire Arrow bug). Of course, a huge mana pool may
    help you killing PI monsters without alternative tactics, but if this is true
    in the case of a single PI boss, it certainly won't help against mosquitoes,
    skeletons, ghosts, and all the variety of PI or unleechable monsters you will
    d) Vamp credits
        This one is easy. ;) The Vamp is the creation of FrigidWoman of the Amazon
    Basin. Kudos to him for an excellent, powerful, and definitely fun bowazon
    4) The Mageazon
    Mageazons do it with more energy
    (Shadguy, The Amazon Basin)
        The Mageazon's origins go back to CD2. The idea behind the build is the
    following: make an amazon that will only kill using elemental damage, and that
    won't rely on leech for mana recovery. At first a variant character, the
    mageazon quickly proved very effective, up to the point of achieving success in
    solo-8 situations (playing alone in a game with 7 other players, unpartied).
        When LoD arrived, the timer on Immolation seemed to be the doom of the
    mageazon (that, and the fact that Pierce worked fishy with elemental skills).
    But excellent build designers took advantage of the new LoD toys, and thus
    remade the mageazon, perhaps even stronger than before. The mageazon is a great
    all-around build, because she isn't afraid of the worst enemies of the
    bowazons: Physical Immune and unleechable monsters. On the other hand, she is
    not likely to achieve the same killing rate as the more mainstream bowazons in
    leveling areas of choice (read: Cow Level).
    a) Mageazon's Stats and Skills
        For the skills, refer to the Vamp section: maxed FA, maxed Immolation.
    Pierce will likely also come from items, so you can skip on it depending on
    your items (you will really want 100% Pierce with this build). The points saved
    on Critical Strike, Penetrate and Pierce will allow you to invest a lot in
    Valkyrie and perhaps even invest many points in Ice Arrow for single critters
    (for a single target, Ice Arrow is more mana-efficient than FA, and its freeze
    time is longer).
        For stats, the mageazon is indeed the most specific bowazon build. You will
    actually (gasp !) invest into Energy. And a lot. Once Str and Dex allow you to
    carry your equipment, all Stats points will be invested either into Energy (to
    increase the mana pool) or into Vitality (because you won't be able to leech
    b) Mageazon's equipment
        The Mageazon's choice of weapon will depend on very different
    considerations than usual. You will mostly want skill bonuses and Pierce on
    your weapon. Thus, the Kuko Shakaku seems the perfect bow for the task An
    interesting alternative early on is the Doomslinger unique crossbow, and the
    Demon Machine (unique Chu-Ko-Nu) can present some advantages. With its huge
    skill bonus and a nice Energy bonus, Lycander's Aim may also be used, although
    the mana leech on it may be disliked by mageazon purists. ;) As an alternative
    weapon, the Pus Spitter and its chance to trigger Lower Resist is certainly
    worth mentioning.
        After choosing a weapon, we have two thing left to do: build a huge mana
    pool, and increase skill levels. As said many times in this guide, Energy alone
    won't help you much for mana. You will want both a huge mana pool and faster
    mana regeneration. Items with percent-based bonus to mana like the Stone of
    Jordan or the Frostburn unique gauntlets are some of the best choices you may
    do: they will really make your Energy investment worth. Other than that, items
    with high mana bonuses (Bahamut's rings and amulets) are popular choices, and
    of course the unique Shako, the Harlequin's Crest is the best helm you could
    want with its huge level-based mana and life bonuses, as well as a nice +2 to
    all skills. Socketing your gear with perfect Sapphires or Skulls will either
    boost your mana or your mana regeneration rate.
        Additional Elemental damage should strongly be considered, too. A good
    selection of Lightning Damage charms will help you live through those times
    where your mana ball will be empty.
        For the skill bonuses, report to the Vamp section: charms are probably your
    best bet here, coupled with specific unique items. Charms are also a good way
    to give you tons of mana.
        For crowd control, you won't want Knockback. Cold damage will work very
    well, especially considering you will often shoot FA.
        Another thing you will want is lots of life and good resistances, since you
    won't have life leech to help you. The mageazon is one of the rare bowazon
    builds where considering stacking good amounts of Life Regen (and perhaps even
    getting a Prayer Mercenary) should be strongly considered.
    c) Mageazon's Tactical Department
    * Time is on your side: or don't overshoot. Especially since you can't leech, a
    single misfired arrow can put a dent into your mana pool from which you could
    very well not recover.
    * Don't rush: since you can't leech life, rushing into enemies will mean you
    will have to drink potions to survive. And potions have this nasty habit of
    lacking when you really would need them.
    * Pay attention to your Valkyrie: since you can't leech, your Valkyrie,
    mercenary and Decoy are the only things between death and you. Take good care
    of them all. A high-level Valkyrie is a formidable tank, but her less than
    optimal AI will mean frequent combat drops, which can again be hard for your
    mana pool.
    * Don't be afraid of drinking, though: don't play a mageazon like you would
    play a "normal" bowazon, but play her like you would play a sorceress, and one
    without Teleport at that. I've seen many players fail with mageazons because
    they were unconsciously relying on leech.
    d) Mageazon's Legacy
        I think Jondefool and Lok are the inventors of this surprisingly effective
    build. You can check the Mageazon description by Jondefool there:
    And Lok's Mageazon report there:
    5) The Frostmaiden
    Frostmaidens are so cool, they are cryogenic
    (AK404, in his Bowazon Guide (read it ! read it!))
        Developed a long time ago, the Frostmaiden takes advantage of the stacking
    of cold durations between items. Back in CD2, the best item for this was the
    Eye of Etlitch, with perhaps a cold damage belt and Frostburn gloves.
        LoD gave tons of new cold damage items (especially charms), and an
    improved, leeching FA, but at the same time gave us Cold Immune monsters. No
    fun. At the same time, the role of FA changed completely: because of a bug, FA
    used to be a one-point wonder (physical damage was added to FA's splash damage,
    imagine that). Now, this bug has been removed, but the cold damage of a high
    level FA makes it worth maxing this skill.
        By the way, remember that cold duration is halved in Nightmare and halved
    again in Hell. Huge freeze time in Hell are possible to come by, but damn hard
    (although a 4 seconds freeze time in Hell is already enough).
        Frostmaidens are probably the most lag-friendly bowazon style (especially
    if you go the low FA road).
    a) Frostmaiden's stats and skills
        Without surprise, the Frostmaiden mostly invests into the Cold branch of
    the bow tree. Some Frostmaidens max both Freezing and Ice Arrow, but FA is
    indeed the prerequisite for this build (against strong single enemies that
    can't be frozen anyway, GA/Pierce is often more efficient than Ice Arrow
    considering the huge amount of item-based cold damage a Frostmaiden sports).
    But what makes the true strength of the Frostmaiden is not FA, but Pierce.
    Getting up to 100% Pierce (with the help of items) is what makes the build
        You could run two kinds of Frostmaidens: the first one would use FA as a
    damage dealer, with maxed FA, skill bonuses and high mana leech, the second one
    would use level 1 FA (easily spammable) just to freeze the monsters, and use
    any skill she wants on the disabled critters. Remember, Pierce and cold
    duration are what make the build, not only FA damage.
        For stats, use the standard allocation. No surprise here.
    b) Want some ice cream ?
        As a Frostmaiden, you will want mana leech and physical damage (to power-up
    your high level FA), but what you need most is cold damage and duration. I
    would highly advise getting a long duration Eye of Etlitch amulet (the life
    leech and skill bonus will also help), and other good items include the Vampire
    Gaze unique Grim Helm (4 seconds duration), the Ravenfrost ring (4 seconds
    duration), and perhaps the Frostburn unique gauntlets (2 seconds duration only,
    but a huge mana boost). Another nice item is the M'avina's Icy Clutch Battle
    Gauntlets, with their 6 seconds Cold Duration
        For your weapon, use either a good mana leech bow (Magewrath and Lycander's
    Aim come to mind, with Magewrath having the extra advantage of a secondary
    crowd control method with Blind Target, useful against Cold Immune monsters) or
    the Buriza-do Kyanon ballista (incredible cold damage, and another 4 seconds
    duration, plus the Freeze target modifier).
        Other than that, dedicate the rest of your slots to skill bonuses and mana
    leech if you go the high FA road, or to enhance your physical damage if you go
    the low FA path. Charms will of course be dedicated to cold damage. Generally,
    you should only want small charms, because even with higher damage, large and
    grand charms only add 1 second to your freeze time.
        A working alternative to high mana leech is the use of refiller skills.
    Refiller skills are low cost physical damage skills that help you refill your
    mana bulb very quickly while the monsters are still frozen from your last FA.
    GA and Strafe are very popular choices for this task, and with even a small
    amount of mana leech, they can refill your mana ball in a single shot. I still
    prefer the high mana leech road myself, because it is safer when there is lag,
    but you may want to try the alternative by yourself. Using refiller skills and
    low mana leech works best with a larger mana pool, because you will want to
    make sure you don't run out of mana if you have to fire several FAs in a row.
    c) The Icy Manipulator
        Sorry, old MtG reference here. Sue me. ;)
    * Your worst enemies are the cold immunes: this one is a given. Since your gear
    and skills are so much centred around cold damage, being unable to deal it is a
    hard blow to your strategy. Practice alternate tactics (standard bowazon tips)
    to get yourself out of trouble.
    * Help your partners: the Frostmaiden is perhaps the most party-friendly of the
    bowazons, except of course for the poor partied necromancers, deprived of
    corpses. First-line fighters and spellcasters (fragile sorcs especially) will
    love you. Always keep an eye on your party, and fire FAs in the direction of
    all of your team mates.
    * Don't spam: there is no need too ;)
    * Use triggered spells: this one isn't very helpful, but damn it's fun to
    watch. Equipping the GoldStrike Arch, Hellmouth gauntlets, and Atma's Scarab
    will lighten your day when firing FA in crowds. ;) This sub-kind of Frostmaiden
    is called the SFXazon for obvious reasons, and sometimes the Lagazon by people
    with slow computers.
    d) Frozen credits
        The first incarnation of the Frostmaiden was indeed GoldenBow (one of the
    people who developed the Speedazon), back when we were toying around with the
    "relative speed" concept. Golden Bow went a very long way into the game using a
    bow (an hunter bow IIRC) socketed with perfect sapphires. He once declared "I
    wouldn't trade my bow for a faster one without cold damage". The Frostmaiden
    was born there.
        Later, Ice Mage refined the concept with good theories on cumulative
    freezing times, and interesting tactics on FA, Pierce, and Ice Arrow, and if
    I'm not mistaken, AK404 was the one to come up with the "Frostmaiden" name.
    6) The Dinozon
        The dinozon is a curiosity in that she appeared at the same time as the
    barbazons (a dark age indeed). Back when the little kids were playing around
    with characters named "NakedZonTits", equipped with godly duped Gothic Bows
    (Carrion Song, where are you ? ) and "oWnZor1ng" with their maxed Multishot
    (occasionally switching to GA for cheap PKing), a group of old-time amazon
    players decided they had enough of seeing their own favorite class being
    discredited by those idiots, and came up with a balanced and perfectly
    effective build. In reaction to the barbazon invasion, and since this build was
    the refining of about 6 months of amazon tactics, it was called "the dinozon".
        At first, the dinozon was a matter of style: the idea was just to play
    using all the skills a bowazon could use, thus making an amazon able to solo
    any part of the game effectively (while the barbazons were only clearing the
    River of Fire and Chaos Sanctuary, leveling places of choice back then). The
    general principle behind the dinozon was (and still is) "balance". But in fact,
    "dinozon" was more of a codename between old timers.
        Things changed at the release of the first dinozon guide, by Trepidati0n.
    Here, for the first time, we had a perfectly well-written document, with
    blueprints stats and skills allocation, as well as equipment and tactics
    consideration. At this time, the dinozon ceased to be a style, and became a
    fully grown character sub-class.
        LoD shot the dinozons badly: the prevalence of high-powered weaponry, the
    bad nerfing of Immolation, and the 800x600 resolution (allowing even the more
    clueless barbazons to see what was coming without the need for any kind of
    scouting tactics) sent the dinozons build down the drain. Still, they were able
    to play much more efficiently than the converted barbazons (that power-leveling
    and rushing allowed those barbazons to remake characters in a heartbeat is
    another story, of course). And of course, the LoD 1.09 version of the Buriza-do
    Kyanon was the last nail in the coffin: for the first time, barbazons had at
    their disposal a single item that would allow them to outperform dinozons in
    every situation.
        Nowadays, dinozons are a rare sight on Battle.net. On the other hand,
    before dying, they gave birth to the Vamp.
    a) Old skills, crumpy stats
        The dinozon wants to invest the exact amount of skill points in every skill
    to make it useful. Investing past diminishing returns or after getting all the
    good elements of a skill for a minor damage increase is not good: contrary to
    most amazon builds, dinozons never have tons of saved skill points: there is so
    much you want to do...
        Here is a small list of skills you may want to use with a dinozon:
    Multishot (around 10 to 15 points), Guided Arrow (a single point is generally
    enough to get all the scouting and targeting benefits), Ice Arrow (one point to
    max, depending if you prefer FA for cold damage), Strafe (6 points are enough
    to get the most of this skill), Immolation (maxed), Freezing Arrow (one point
    to max, depending on your style), plus a good variety of passives.
        For stats, the standard allocation works well. You may want to have a good
    life amount, of course.
    b) Wheelchair and Walking stick
        Like for the stats, building a dinozon gear is a matter of fine balance.
    Since you want to be able to clear the full game by yourself, survival (in form
    of leech, extra resists, life and mana) is as important as raw damage ability
    (coming from Dex, IAS and high damage weaponry).
        There are several bows that work pretty well with the Dinozon style:
    Skystrike is good for excellent speed, high elemental damage, and a skill
    boost, but the damage is a bit on the low side later in the game. It is a nice
    weapon switch, though, just like the Kuko Shakaku. The WitchWild String is
    incredibly effective for a dinozon (Amp damage, deadly strike and huge
    resists), , but its drawback is that its physical damage is not enough to leech
    back a high level FA if you go this way (spamming level 20+ FA with a WWS to
    trigger AD is a good way to find you without any mana left). Magewrath is an
    excellent dinozon weapon, with decent damage and huge mana leech (freeing
    equipment slots), the GoldStrike Arch is another dinozon favorite (with its
    excellent damage and incredible speed), and Eaglehorn is also quite useful. But
    my personal recommendation goes to the Lycander's Aim, perhaps the best dinozon
    bow available for the incredible features package it brings (nice damage, some
    speed, a Dexterity boost, mana leech, and of course the huge skills bonus...).
        For the rest of your gear, while your number one priority should be to have
    enough leech to quickly recover from the use of your high-cost elemental skills
    (FA and Immolation), balance finely between speed, skill bonuses and resists. I
    can't give much more precisions, as it is a very personal thing. I generally
    stop at 10/3 or 9/3 as far as speed is concerned, and try to have at least
    maxed Fire and Lightning resists in Hell.
    c) Oldest tricks in the book
        There is basically only one trick in the dinozon's book: be flexible. Keep
    your mind open to all the great skills that are available, and you will soon
    (through the time-proven "trial and death" process) develop a feeling of which
    skill is right for which situation.
        Against tight packs of monsters, you will want either Multishot or Freezing
    Arrow, depending on the monster's density and resistances. Against lined-up
    target, Immolation and Strafe can both be good, especially when completed with
    a good Pierce. For scattered targets, use either Strafe or several GA shots.
    Other situations will call for other uses of those skills, and of course, the
    sky is the limit as far as dinozon's tactics are concerned.
        The use of passive skills is a lot more easier. You will want to always
    have your Valk and Decoy up, use Slow Missiles a lot, and you will rely more on
    your fight planning skills than on your defensive passives to get out of
    d) I don't remember this guy... Memory was better in the good ol'days...
        While I was the one to come up with the Dinozon nickname, the build is
    really a team effort at the Amazon Basin. Among the grumpy ol'timers, I would
    like to thank again Siegzon, Oprah, AK404, and especially Trepidati0n (HTML
    comments are not allowed), who made the first comprehensive dinozon guide.
    7) The Hybrid
        The Hybrid is a LoD curiosity. It is basically a new build relying on the
    excellent Weapon Switch feature, which allows an amazon to switch from a
    Bow/Arrows configuration to a Javelins/Shield configuration.
        I won't detail the Hybrid build much, because I never built one. What you
    want is to build an efficient bowazon/javazon character. This means that, in
    order to take advantage of your bowazon side, you will probably have high Dex,
    which means lowish life (except if you have godly gear, of course). As such,
    you will probably build the javazon part in a ranger style, using mostly
    Lightning Fury. Lightning Fury is an excellent crowd killing skill, and the
    build allows you to fall back in bow mode for single hard to kill critters.
        Most Hybrids are built around GA as a main bow skill (often in combo with
    the Buriza), and Lightning Fury as a main javelin skill (with the staple
    Javazon gear, Titan's Revenge). The rest of the gear is the generic
    leech/IAS/extra Dex/resists... thingie. Generic bonuses to skills or bonuses to
    all amazon skills are preferred to specific bow or javelin skills boosts, as
    those would only benefit half of the build.
        More information on hybrid builds can be found at the Amazon Basin forums,
    as usual.
        A funny build to try at least once is the SFXazon, who stacks items with
    "Chance to cast XXX". Wearing Hellmouth gloves, a Goldstrike Arch, and shooting
    FAs at crowds is the best thing to fry a videocard since the CD2 Lightning Fury
    (which could actually halt your computer for a few seconds).
    V) Playing the damn game
        This section will be dedicated to some generic information on playing the
    game. As I said, this is not a guide to power-acting then leeching in cows. The
    first part will include a small walkthrough, with some specific tips on various
    encounters and quests. After this, we will try to analyse some of the good
    leveling spots for bowazons in various difficulty levels. We will go on with a
    short treaty on Magic Find with a bowazon (where to MF, and what to sacrifice
    for it), and we will end with a lengthy part about party playing.
    1) Walkthrough
        This walkthrough will not include much in term of solving quests. The
    quests are all very easily done, because they are very straightforward. If you
    are really stuck, try to look at GameFAQS for tips.
        If you are playing single player and have difficulties to level, a great
    way to increase your experience is by use of the "players X" command. Simply
    press Enter while in the game and type "players X" (with X an integer between 1
    and 8), then Enter again. Any new monster appearing will now have more Hit
    Points and give more Experience (like if you were in a game with X players).
    Before hard boss fights, simply turn the command off by typing "players 1".
    a) Normal Difficulty
        Anyone can finish Normal Difficulty (well, in SoftCore anyway), with
    absolutely any skills of choice. The only "difficulty" of Normal is if you have
    already planned your end-game skills, and want to save skill points (this is
    less true for a bowazon, because many of her low and mid-level skills are very
    useful and should receive some points, like CS, Multishot...). Anyway, Normal
    Diff can be done without using any skill at all if you feel like it.
    You won't encounter much problems in Normal difficulty, mostly because very,
    very few (if any) enemies have immunities. Your main enemy will be your mana
    pool, because your damage will probably be too low to allow you constant use of
    your skills with mana leech.
    Act 1 Normal is your training ground. After building a few characters, you will
    really want to rush through it, because it is so simple. In MultiPlayers games,
    you can easily level up to 18 (and thus get access to Ice Arrow) by doing
    several times the catacombs levels. While you won't find many good items in A1,
    your best bet as far as survival is concerned is to find a socketable Hunter's
    Bow and put some chipped gems in it (sapphires and topazes work best) for
    elemental damage. Of course, if you have access to external gear (this is
    referred to as "twinking", then you may very well have much better options
    available, like a full Arctic's Gear set (this set will allow you to finish
    Normal Difficulty without looking back). In Single Player, you should be around
    level 14 when killing Andariel.
    Act 2 Normal introduces various types of new threats, and large amounts of
    unleechable monsters, like the skeletons. Pay attention to those. If a mummy is
    around a pack of undeads, it can constantly resurrect them (this is the case
    for the first quest boss, Radament). Against those enemies, use Ice Arrow,
    which will freeze and shatter any critter. If you don't have Ice Arrow for
    Radament, level a bit in the sewers. At the end of Act 2, you will meet Duriel.
    Probably without any summons yet (although you may have a Decoy if you leveled
    a lot, in which case Duriel will be very easy), this will be an hard fight:
    Duriel has a terrible Holy Freeze aura, which slows you down to a crawl, there
    is very little room to avoid him, and he has a very fast and very damaging
    Charge attack. Your best bet is to hide behind your mercenary, and to feed him
    potions often, while attacking Duriel with GA or Ice Arrow (you will want to
    use those auto-hit skills). In Act2, you will also discover the Horadric Cube.
    Start cubing your gems to save stash space, and also make some rejuvenation
    potions which will help you a lot against Duriel. As far as gear is concerned,
    if you have enough gems you can build a better socketable bow, this time with
    normal gems.
    Act 3 Normal is a pain. Actually, Act3 is a pain in all difficulties. I
    strongly advise you to do a straight run through the entire jungle section of
    A3, only stopping for getting the various parts of Khalim. Once you get to
    level 24 and get Decoy (if you haven't already), things get a lot better for
    you, as you can use your Decoy to draw away some of the Flayer's attention. As
    far as very dangerous (lethal) encounters are concerned, you will have mainly
    three: one in the Ruined Temples, with Battlemaid Sarina (those temples are
    often known as "Stair Traps" because monsters can wait for you at the stairs
    and kill you while the level loads); the second one, a very nasty battle, takes
    place in Travincal with the Kurast Council. The corrupted Zakarum Priests are
    formidable foes for a young bowazon. Use every trick in your arsenal (again,
    Decoy rules here) to keep them away from you, and don't engage them without
    having cleared the entire map so you can fall back without awakening more
    monsters. The last hard part is the entire Durance of Hate maps, with its crowd
    of exploding Dolls. Keep those away from you ! If you invested mostly in Str
    and Dex until now, then those Dolls can perhaps kill you in one hit if they die
    near you. The third map of Durance is home to more Council members (including
    the infamous Bremm Sparkfist), so take care there too. Mephisto isn't too hard
    to beat if you use GA from far away on him.
    Act 4 is probably the hardest act overall in the game. On the other hand, you
    will probably gain access (if you haven't somewhere in A3) to the Freezing
    Arrow, Valkyrie and Pierce skills, three skills that will turn you into a
    grown-up bowazon. I strongly suggest you to save some skill points before level
    30, so you can invest in all those skills at the same time. There are no really
    specific tactics to doing well in A4: advance slowly, scout with your Decoy and
    with some skills like GA and Multishot, and always have some place to fall
    back. Diablo is a very annoying boss, as he has a high chance to block any
    incoming physical attack. If your resists are good, you should be able to kill
    him in the end, provided you avoid his Lightning Breath and his Flame attack.
    Act 5 Normal is mostly a walk in the park. Most enemies (except those annoying
    Minotaurs packs, which can be dealt with using Decoy and Valkyrie) don't move
    much, don't do much damage, and die easily. There are 3 hard parts in A5: the
    first one is the cheesy Nhilathak. He's a necromancer able to summon enemies
    and who uses one of the most powerful necromancer spells: Corpse Explosion. In
    order to deal with him easily, deprive him of ammunitions by killing his
    summoned monsters with either FA or Ice Arrow (thus shattering the corpses).
    The second hard encounter is with the three Barbarians on the Arreat Summit.
    Here again, you will want to always have a Valkyrie engaging them, a Decoy
    between them and you, and you will always be on the move. If you manage to do
    this, shooting GAs from a good distance should get them in the end (warning,
    don't forget they regain all their energy if you leave the Arreat's Summit or
    if you die). The last challenge is the Throne of Destruction, and especially
    the last wave of Baal's Minions. While those minions are not very difficult (FA
    tends to dispatch them very easily), the apparition of Lister and his pack
    takes part after a very long loading time. Unless you have a very fast
    computer, I strongly advise taking your distances before Lister appears. Baal
    himself is not very difficult if you deal with him from behind the columns. Pay
    attention to both his orange attack (the infamous "Anti-Minions Spray") and his
    Blue Wave, which will chill you and slow you down (not to mention a decent
    amount of damage).
    Congratulations, you are now a Slayer ! Before proceeding to Nightmare
    difficulty, you may want to redo some of the most experience-rewarding areas in
    A5, to prepare you for what is coming.
    b) Nightmare Difficulty (NM)
        I will not detail each act, but rather the new challenges you will meet in
    this difficulty.
    * Bosses now get a second random attribute (or a first one in case of specific
    bosses): this can make for nasty combinations, such as Multishot/Lightning
    Enchanted, Lightning Enchanted/Cold Enchanted, Might Aura/Curse... Generally
    speaking, you should want to check monsters abilities before engaging them, and
    stay at a safe distance from bosses before shooting Some of the most powerful
    bosses can kill your Valk pretty quickly, before rushing at you.
    * Your leech is halved in Nightmare. This mean skills you took for granted in
    Normal can now drain your mana very quickly. Increasing your damage to break
    even on leech will be one of your top priorities in NM.
    * You will encounter your first batches of Immune Monsters. Some specific
    monsters also have immunities (like Duriel, who is now Cold Immune). But since
    not many (if any) monsters have two immunities, you are generally ok if you use
    both a physical and an elemental attack.
    * Your resists are hit hard (-30%). Combined with the lack of a shield, this
    means that you may start having negative resists in Nightmare. And in
    Nightmare, monsters start having pretty powerful elemental attacks of their
        Generally speaking, once you manage to break even on leech and find some
    better resists, NM difficulty is not that difficult.
    c) Hell Difficulty (H)
        Welcome to the real fighting ground of D2. Unless you play a very specific
    variant, Normal is a walk in the park. Unless you play fully no-twink or your
    luck sucks very badly, Nightmare is very doable. But in Hell, if you really
    play through the game (as opposed to: leeching your way up to the Cow Level),
    you will suffer a lot. Like for Nightmare, I will simply detail what you can
    expect in Hell mode, and how to counter it.
    * The biggest change is that all monsters get a free 50% Physical Resistance.
    This has two very annoying side-effects: first, your leech is again halved
    (because you do half the listed damage), meaning breaking even on expensive
    skills is now really, really hard. Second, all Stone Skin bosses are now
    Physical Immune.
    * Bosses now get 2 extra random attributes. In Hell, this can translate in an
    wealth of nasty combos, as well as in many, many dual Immunes bosses, which
    means that you will have to find yourself a high elemental damage bow, in
    addition to your physical damage and to your likely abuse of the Fire Arrow
    * Generally speaking, monsters hit a lot harder. By now, you should already
    master the various crowd-control techniques available to a bowazon, so this
    should not be a big problem, though.
    * Your resists hurt again. This time, you get -100% from your base resists.
    Lacking a shield, only bowazons with the best equipment can max their resists
    in Hell. Since you will probably have to make some choices as far as resists
    are concerned, I would advise keeping focused on Lightning and Fire
        Some specific tips for Hell:
    * Hell Council: a very hard fight for a bowazon: all 3 Boss council members
    have 2 immunities, and they sport a very large variety of nasty mods (fighting
    against Fanaticism and Might Enchanted Council members while cursed isn't
    unheard of). As usual, fully clear Travincal before taking them, and try to
    isolate them. Don't forget they can heal themselves, so never let one alone
    until he's dead. If you really can't do it, recreate a game to change their
    mods (IIRC, people playing SP should first create a game in another
    difficulty). Don't forget that you only have to kill one to get the last part
    of Khalim's Will, so you can kill one and park the other two.
    * Hell Diablo: there is a small trick to avoid his LBOD (Lightning Breath of
    Death) in Hell difficulty: you can try to tank him, as his LBOD will fly just
    behind you. Of course, this requires tons of life leech and a good amount of
    life to survive him at point blank range.
    * Hell Ancients: those guys can be a real pain. If you are playing on the
    Realms, try to find some friends or random strangers to help you. A balanced
    party (including tanks (barbarians or druids), ranged fighters like yourself,
    and elemental attackers (sorceresses, assassins...), backed-up by a summoner
    necromancer) can deal with them easily. If you are alone, then you will need
    luck on the attributes they draw (if they are really impossible to beat, then
    cast a TP, it will reset their health and attributes). Before the fight, try to
    gather as many Full Rejuvenation potions as you can, and leave them on the
    Arreat's Summit's ground. This way, if you drink potions during the fight, you
    can quickly click on the extra potions and refill your belt. Except for that,
    it's the same basic technique: always have a Decoy and a Valk up, and never
    stay at the same place for 2 seconds.
    * Hell Nhilathak: welcome to the cheesiest place in the game. Hell Nhilathak
    does suck. There is no absolutely guaranteed technique against his level 30+
    Corpse Explosion, as his minions are Cold Immunes, meaning you can't even
    deprive him from corpses using FA. Try to kill him in a solo game, because more
    players in game means more damage from his CE. Unless you have very high life
    and very high Fire resistance, his CE should be able to 1-hit-kill you anyway.
    The best tactic I've found against this guy is to kill some monsters from very
    far away, then summon a Decoy as far as possible in his general direction. He
    will probably blow away the Decoy, thus wasting a corpse. Rinse and repeat
    until you disposed from all corpses.
    2) Leveling your bowazon
        Ah, the mandatory cheesy leveling section.:). First, why do mindless
    leveling ? Well, there is a large variety of reasons:
    * You could be leveling for the sake of it, ultimately trying to reach level 99
    (or whatever limit you want for yourself). For many players, this is a
    perfectly legit goal.
    * You could want to use some specific piece of equipment. LoD is full of
    very-high level gear (like those Rlvl 89 +2 skills crafted amulets, or some of
    the Elite uniques).
    * You could get trashed badly by some monsters, and want to improve your stats
    and skills before taking them. If you are alone and without extremely good
    gear, entering Nightmare before level 35-40 and Hell before level 65-70 is not
    * All of the above.:)
        So you want to level. A lot. Depending on the difficulty you are in, there
    are a few places that offer extremely high experience/risk ratio. Remember that
    you want to avoid risk when leveling, because dying in Nightmare and Hell
    results in lost experience. I will assume that you want to actually contribute
    to the leveling effort, and not stay in a corner watching TV while your team
    mates are doing all the job.
        A quick note: please party. The CD2 days of solo-8 for maximum experience
    are now over, as you will get a nice experience bonus if you party. While
    solo-8 still gives more experience per monster, you will probably end leveling
    faster if you really party (that is unless 5 out of 8 players are just
    * Arcane Sanctuary: in Normal and Nightmare, this is a perfect leveling place.
    The straight ways make it very easy to build artificial chokepoints for
    monsters (with a merc, Valk, Decoy, or a friendly tank). In Hell, this area is
    less bowazon-friendly, because of the numerous Physical Immunes.
    * Canyon of Magi: an old Javazon leveling area, the Canyon of Magi can still be
    an interesting leveling place, because there are never any bosses there.
    * Kurast: while the jungle and its awful Flayers is a terrible place to level,
    the various Kurast areas are very nice for a bowazon (well, there are those
    Physical Immune mosquitoes, but they have low life and as such fall quickly to
    elemental attacks). As a bonus, you will usually get some good loot. Avoid the
    sewers, full of dangerous unleechable monsters.
    * The Bloody Foothills. Or the Boring Foothills. An excellent leveling place
    for everyone in Normal and Nightmare (this is probably the highest reward/risk
    area of the game, more of a slaughterhouse), the BF in Hell are not
    bowazon-friendly because of many Physical Immunes, meaning you will probably
    end leeching Exp from sorcs.
    * The Halls of Pain: a very nice leveling area, with easy to kill monsters and
    no random bosses. The low monster density makes it hard to level very quickly
    there, though, but at least it's safe. HC players love Halls !
    * The Glacial Trail also has a good experience/risk ratio, because there are no
    minotaurs there.
    * The Worldstone Keep. Provided you can avoid those dangerous exploding Spawns
    (Decoy rules for this), you should do fine there.
    * The Secret Cow Level. The best leveling place for a bowazon. While cows can
    be dangerous, there is a lot of room to move around in the Moo Moo Farm, and
    the very large herds of bovines mean multi-target skills (MS, FA) can be used
    to their fullest extent. The Cow Level is easily the best experience/time
    3) MFing with your bowazon
        GIVE ITAMZ AMA ! As a matter or fact, bowazons aren't the best characters
    for Magic Finding (the act of slapping tons of "Extra Chance to get Magical
    Items" items on a character, and repeatedly cleaning the same areas over and
    over, hoping to hit the jackpot). Where they shine is against crowds of
    monsters, and generally not against single dangerous monsters (like act bosses,
    the preferred target of MFers). Which means that your best bet for MFing with
    your bowazon is against normal monsters. The Secret Cow Level is a nice place
    for MFing (as you really don't need much resists there), but if you play in a
    party, there is a very high probability that the stuff that drops will end into
    someone's else pockets. Play with friends to avoid this.
        As with everything else, MFing with a bowazon is a matter of balance. You
    want to have a lot of MF, true, but you also don't want to die too often. Which
    means paying attention to your life and resistance totals. Since MFing has some
    very, very steep diminishing returns, anything over 400%MF is probably
    something of a waste if it means giving up valuable killing or survival gear.
    What does matter is the number of good items you get over time. If you have to
    give up 50% of your killing speed in order to have an effective increase of
    your MF (after diminishing returns) of 10%, then you are probably better off
    without the extra MF.
    Now, up to some very interesting bowazon MF items:
    * Tal's Combo: Tal Rasha's Armor, Mask ("The Fugly"), and Belt. This is by far
    the best combo you could hope for with a bowazon, and was already discussed in
    the Sets section. Quick reminder: with 2 Topazes in Fugly and Armor, you get
    211-216%MF, +20 Dex, large life and resistances bonuses, 10% Dual Leech, for
    just 3 item slots. Sign me in.
    * Tal's Combo #2: Tal Rasha's armor, belt, amulet, and Stealskull. Depending on
    your IAS needs, this combo may be more useful for you than the previous one.
    You get less resists (except for lightning, which is the most important resist
    anyway), you lose some life and some leech, but you come ahead in the MF
    department and this 10% extra IAS may be enough for you to jump to the next
    breakpoint. YMMV, as usual.
    * Goldwrap, Stealskull: those items (unique Heavy Belt, unique Casque) share
    something, they both feature both a good amount of MF and some IAS. If you want
    to MF with a bowazon and don't have access to Tal's set, then those items are a
    very good choice if you need to reach a specific IAS breakpoint. Stealskull has
    the added bonus of 5% dual-leech.
    * Charms. Charms allow you to get some nice MF (up to 7% per square of
    inventory), without sacrificing your survival gear.
    * Wealth Runeword: Lem+Ko+Tir. While this armor doesn't offer much to a
    bowazon, it has 100%MF as well as 300% Gold Find, meaning it's an excellent Get
    Rich Quick scheme. I sometimes put a Wealth armor when entering the cow level,
    since my armor slots are often dedicated to resists, which are not really
    needed in the Moo Moo Farm.
    * Silence Bow: good damage, mana leech, 75% resist all, and 30% MF. The
    interesting point of a Silence weapon when MFing is that you get your resists
    pretty well set-up with just this weapon, allowing you to dedicate other
    equipment slots to pure MF.
    * M'avina's Battle Hymn features 100%MF. The problem is that the set's
    weaknesses (lack of leech and resists, mostly) are somewhat hard to cover, so
    you may end up with just those 100%MF if you want to build a viable char around
    the set. YMMV, of course.
    * War Travelers are already some of the best bowazon boots available (for the
    large damage bonus mostly), and they feature some good MF. What else could you
    want ? Oh, yes, resists.
    * GoldStrike Arch: while this bow doesn't have any MF per se, it is very
    interesting for the MF bowazon. The large damage bonus to Demons and Undeads
    means that you will kill those annoying act bosses very quickly. The incredible
    speed also frees up some equipment slots (slap a Shael in it, a Goldwrap and a
    Stealskull, and you are at 9/3 already, with some decent MF).
    * Buriza-do-Kyanon: the Tuna Cannon is a mighty weapon for MFers, since it does
    very well on its own (nearly no additional IAS required), features uber-damage,
    and works so well with GA.
    * Laying of Hands: 20% IAS, 50% Fire resist, 350%ED against Demons ? Mephisto,
    here I come ! Those gloves pack so many features in one equipment slots that
    they are very hard to beat for the MFing bowazon. Hint: Chance Guards suck
    badly when compared to those.
    Of the monsters to kill:
    * As said earlier, cows are a very valid target for MFing. Hell Cows can drop
    nearly any item in the game (except for Immortal King's Armor, some Griswold's
    set items, Bul-Khatos Mythical Sword, and Stormspire). Although the chance for
    a given cow to drop an uber-item is very, very low, their sheer number should
    give you something in the end.
    * Runs in the various parts of A5 generally turn out very profitable. Some
    super-unique monsters in A5 (Thresh Socket, Pindleskin, Frozenstein, Snapchip
    Shatter...) are known to be able to drop some of the rarest items in the game.
    * Mephisto in Hell is not advised for bowazons, as the risk of running into
    deadly explosive dolls is too high. Leave this one to barbarians and
    sorceresses, trust me.
    * A very popular and rewarding boss-only item run is the famous "3 SU run".
    Start in A5, take the Frigid Highlands Waypoint. Go North and kill Eldritch the
    Rectifier, then South for Shenk the Overseer. Once both are dealt with, go back
    to Harrogath, enter the Red Portal near Anya (to close the Red Portal, you need
    to kill Nhilathak and get the Halls of Pain WP, the portal stays open if you do
    only one or none of those), and slay Pindleskin. Pindleskin can drop any item
    in the game, making him a very popular target (and his predictability makes him
    a very abused monster by the low-life cheaters adepts of the Pindlebot cheat,
    an automated Pindleskin-runs program).
    * Baal in Hell can drop nearly all items (except those elusive Griswold's
    Legacy Part and a few other trinklets), and is quite doable for a bowazon
    (because FA works very well against his various waves of minions). While Baal
    runs can be a bit longish, they are quite profitable if you are a bit lucky.
    Thus ends our little MFing session.
    4) Party playing
        Multi-Player is probably what makes LoD such a great game. Between the
    heinous Player Killers, the "Jokeonomy" (ruined by hacks, bots, and Ebay), the
    bragging spoiled brats encountered in every public game, lechers, beggars, and
    generally inept ALL-CAPS players, Battle.net is sooo much fun ! Seriously, if
    you find a good group of players with which you can play private games, then
    you don't get many better games than D2 in Multiplayer. While the various
    character classes are not very well balanced (I would like to apply for the
    "Understatement of the Year Award" with this one), the variety of party tricks
    and skill interactions is simply amazing.
        In this section, we will discover how a bowazon can help other classes, and
    in which ways those can help you.
    a) Partying with other Amazons
        Other bowazons are easy to party with. Depending on the styles, the main
    advantage offered by having several bowazons party together is an incredible
    concentrated firepower. Not much can stand in the way of several bowazons. The
    obvious problem is that a bowazon party will often be stopped dead in its
    tracks by the first nasty PI boss.
        Javazons come into two breeds mostly. Rangers Javazons are, like bowazons,
    adept of ranged mass-destruction (using Lightning Fury mostly). When partied
    with Javazons, don't use FA too much, as they rely on getting huge herds of
    monsters together to get the most out of LF. Tanking Javazons can be thought of
    as "Clever Valks".:) They don't deal a huge amount of damage, but they are
    among the best tanking characters in the game. As with any tank, they will draw
    attention to themselves, letting you deal loads of range damage with little
    threat to yourself. Help them stay alive with FA.
        Spearazons are a very special character subclass. Lacking a shield, they
    don't have the huge tanking potential of Javazons, and exclusively rely on
    their aptitude to leech large amounts of life to survive. FA is key to helping
    a spearazon. Try to avoid large volleys of MS when there is a spearazon in
    front of you, because it may draw too many monsters for her to handle.
    b) Partying with Barbarians
        Once vilified in CD2 as stupid stereotypical unfriendly player (how fun,
    look at what people say about bowazons now), the surviving Babas on the Realms
    are now either smart players, or uber-gear stupid players. Try to find the
    first variety.
        A good party barb will use lots of Warcries, and will generally be a
    top-knotch tank. If you see someone mindlessly Whirlwinding through hordes of
    monsters, you have found the other kind of barb. Blech.
        As usual, use FA to help a barb survive. A party-friendly barb will often
    have high level Battle Orders (which increases Life, Mana, and Stamina totals
    by a huge amount), and will often sport a very high-level Berserk that will
    provide a lot of help against those pesky PI bosses. Barbs are generally more
    solid than Spearazons, so they usually won't mind you spamming MS all over the
        Babas aren't immortal, though. Most of them are very vulnerable to specific
    boss combos. The always popular MSLEBs are often a pain for them. With your
    Valk and Decoy, you are sometimes better equipped than the Babas to deal with
    those. Offer your help if this is the case. Two very bad things to do against
    MSLEBs are Slow Missiles (which makes bugged invisible bolts) and Strafe (which
    releases a very large amount of sparks at one).
    c) Partying with Paladins
        Paladins are the most party-friendly class in D2. Their auras can help
    their team mates in various ways, from increasing damage to resistances, mana
    regeneration... Good party paladins will have several auras to choose from, and
    will discuss which one(s) they should use with the party. Unless you are really
    starved for damage (for example if you can't leech enough), it is considered
    good form to let the other classes have the first pick of auras (necros and
    sorcs are known to be more fond of Meditation than of Fanaticism, for example).
        If the paladin uses a Combat aura, know what it does ! Few paladins use
    Might (because A2 Mercs supply it nicely). Some are still using Concentration
    (high damage boost, high range, switch to GA/MS/Strafe for those), or
    Conviction (decreases Monster Defense and Resistances, which means using FA and
    Immolation a lot), but most use Fanaticism (nice damage and AR boost, speed
    boost, use physical skills a lot). The downside to Fanaticism is that it has a
    very low range, so you should stay near your friendly paladin.
        Paladins generally make OK tanks, although they often have much lower life
    than barbarians (this is somewhat made up for by their mastery of shields).
    Some paladin variants ("Brickadins") are very well equipped to deal with the
    nasty MSLEBs, CELEBs... and will say so. Let them do, they generally know what
    they are doing.
    d) Partying with Necromancers
        One generic tip when playing partied with Necromancers: don't use FA.
    Please don't. Most Necromancers (unless you happen to meet the random Poison
    Dagger / Poison Nova variant guy) depend on corpses one way or another, be it
    to use Corpse Explosion or to Revive them. FA deprives them of their most basic
    resource. How would you feel if some necromancer stole all arrows from the
    ground and you couldn't restock them at a merchant ?
        Good Necromancers are a great party asset: they will know how many Revives
    to use in order to provide good protection, they will make ample use of those
    excellent AI Curses (Terror, Confuse...), and they will probably use Amplify
    Damage a lot in order to boost your physical damage. Bowazons and Necromancers
    team well together, because the bowazon usually can deal significant physical
    damage, allowing the Necromancer to start the "CE Chain Reaction".
        Bad party Necromancers never quite caught up with the realities of LoD, and
    will insist on using Iron Maiden. A new breed of bad party necro will insist on
    using only Lower Resists even without sorceresses around, and will mindlessly
    spam their pitiful damage Bone Spirit. For about 12 seconds before they run out
    of mana, of course.
    e) Partying with Sorceresses
        Well, you wonder where all those old WW barbs of CD2 went when LoD came out
    ? Look no further (well, actually, many of them are now playing bowazons). Once
    a very fun and challenging class to play (a bit like bowazons before 1.04),
    Sorceresses are back for a revenge, complete with graphical-heavy supa-powerful
    spells. Who needs a party when your Firewall does 10,000 damage per second ?
        Seriously, there are still lots of good party sorceresses on Realms. They
    are a great asset, and will usually use a variety of spells to deal with
    specific threats. Like bowazons, sorceresses fight best against large crowds of
    monsters. A good sorceress will advance with the rest of the team, and use
    Teleport for scout/retreat tactics. She will make good use of Static Field
    (still a great spell, and graphical lag friendly), coupled with effective high
    level spells. Pay attention to her fighting style, and help by providing
    distraction/backup (Valk, Decoy, FA...). Sorceresses are very fragile, since
    they don't have any leech.
        Bad sorceresses generally don't pay attention to the enemies' immunities,
    and will provide some great fun when using level 35 Charged Bolt or Nova
    against MSLEBs, for example. Another common tactic of bad party sorc is
    teleporting far ahead of the team, then bringing back unmanageable amounts of
    f) Partying with Assassins
        There are two main varieties of Assassins encountered, Trappers and Martial
    Artists. Trappers generally don't need much help, as they feature excellent
    crowd control and crowd killing skills. If they use Death Sentry (many of them
    do), you may want to stop using FA, as, like Necromancers, they rely on corpses
    to power-up their main skill.
        Martial Artists are a bit like spearazons, in that they are often first
    line fighters with not much life. They have much better crowd control than
    spearazons, though (the third Phoenix Strike charge-up being an excellent
    crowd-control skill). When playing with a Martial Artist, please remove your
    Knockback items if you can: MA assassins often rely on a very careful timing
    that does not mix well with monsters flying back and forth.
        Assassins have two annoying problems attached to them, and a good party
    assassin is often one who will be aware of those problems. First is their main
    minion, the unbearable Shadow Master. This minion will, generally at the worst
    time possible, use the infamous Mind Blast on enemies. There is a very bad
    bug/feature with this skill (as well as with the paladin's Conversion skill):
    converted enemies count as being part of your party, and as such get the
    benefits of paladins/mercs auras, druid spirits... The problematic parts comes
    when the Mind Blast effect wears off: there is a handful of seconds where
    monsters revert to their basic AI (which is attacking your party) but keep all
    the benefits of the auras they gained. Finding yourself in the middle of a pack
    of Might Fanatics monsters is no fun at all. Good party sins will probably
    refrain themselves from using Shadow Master a lot. The other annoying skill is
    Cloak of Shadow, which turns the screen dark for everyone in the party. This is
    not as dangerous as Mind Blast, but can be annoying at times. Of course, Shadow
    Masters just love casting Cloak of Shadow.:)
    g) Partying with Druids
        Druids also come mostly in two flavours: the variant Elementalist, and the
    mainstream Shapeshifter (2 sub-flavors here, Werewolf and Werebear).
        Druids are often great party assets. Since the Elemental tree is so weak,
    most Elementalists have an excellent understanding of the game to try such a
    difficult build, and as such are very talented players. Try to use your crowd
    control abilities to their full extent for them, so they can maximise what
    little killing power they have.
        While more mainstream builds, the two shapeshifters are very potent and
    party friendly builds: the bear is an excellent tank, with loads of life and
    the stunning Shockwave skill (pun intended). This skill is one of the best
    crowd control skills in the game. When partying with a Werebear, you should
    help him deal with one target at a time (they don't have any multi-target
    attacks, except Shockwave which does pitiful damage). Werewolves are a
    different kind of front-line fighters, able to disable many enemies quickly
    (using the incredible Fury skill), but lacking the extra life and safety the
    Bear provides. Think of Werewolves as extra-fast Fending Spearazons, and you
    won't fall too far from the truth.
        Nearly all druids use one spirit or another. Of the 3 different spirits,
    the 2 best ones are of course Oak Sage (which provides a huge life boost to the
    entire party) and Heart of Wolverine, which gives extra AR and Damage. Not many
    druids invest in both spirits, so they probably won't give you much choice.:).
    Both are good for you, although HoW is probably a bit better suited to a
    bowazon style. The last spirit (Spirit of Barbs) is a very underpowered version
    of the Iron Maiden curse and the Thorns aura, and is very seldom seen.
    h) Summing up
        As a general rule of thumb, a bowazon has two main roles in a party:
    provide artillery support (in form of large amounts of damage on a variety of
    targets), and provide backup fire (generally using FA so the front line can
    have a break, or the weak back line characters can escape unwanted monsters).
    The ability of a bowazon to control the flow of battle (mostly using items) is
    only matched by necromancers', and perhaps some barbarians' (those using Grim
    Ward, Taunt and War Cry) and assassins'.
        You should remember your place: at the rear. Running in front of your party
    will make the life of your tanks very difficult, as they will have both to help
    you and try to maintain the first line closed.
        Crowd Control modifiers (mostly the infamous Knockback), as well as FA can
    be very detrimental to your party: KB removes the enemies from the first line
    fighters' reach (and prevents your friendly tanks from leeching life/mana), and
    FA deprives Assassins and Necromancers (and to some extent, Elementalists) from
    much needed corpses. If you are in a good party, you may without problem give
    up KB and FA, as the value provided by party members able to do their job will
    more than make up for it.
    VI) Tips and tricks, Miscellaneous section
        Welcome to my little personal mess. Thanks for making it this far.
    1) Hotkeys
        I've been asked the question about what hotkeys I use on my bowazons very
    often. While Hotkeys are a very personal thing, here are a few tips I think
    work for everyone:
    * Don't use the default F1-F8 (and more in LoD) Function keys: those are too
    far away from your natural position (which is near the space bar for cleaning
    screen, Alt to check items, and Shift to stand still and shoot).
    * Keep a Hotkey handy for Town Portal. Trust me on this.
    * Try to have as many common Hotkeys as possible between your various
    characters. This way, you will start developing an instinct for switching
    offensive/defensive skills
    * I generally use only one skill on the Left Mouse Button (LMB), and keep all
    my other skills on the Right Mouse Button (RMB). I usually choose GA or Ice
    Arrow for a good LMB attack.
    * Practice, practice, practice. Once you get a setup you are comfortable with,
    stick with it on as many characters as you can.
    * My usual bowazon setup is made of two parts: the first part is accessed by
    the Z, X, C, V keys, and consists of Offensive skills (Strafe, FA,
    Immolation...), which vary from character to character. The second part is
    accessed with the A, S, D and F keys, and is always the following defensive
    sequence: A = Slow Missiles, S = Decoy, D = Valkyrie, F = Town Portal. Thus,
    all my skills are available without moving my left hand, which saved my
    bowazons' lives more times than I can remember. Such a setup makes casting a FA
    round followed by a Valk and a Decoy before returning to MS or Strafe for the
    killing a very easy feat to perform.
    2) Hirelings
        Hirelings, or Mercs are an excellent, and quite overpowered feature of LoD.
    Back in CD2, mercs were usually cannon fodder for act bosses (many, many Act 2
    mercenaries died at the end of Duriel in those dark days).
        Mercs come in 4 varieties:
    * The Act 1 Rogues. Those are not that useful for a bowazon, because the weak
    ranged attack they sport cannot match the versatility of a bowazon's arsenal.
    The only interesting part with them (for a bowazon, anyway) is the intriguing
    bug/feature/Easter Egg that can be obtained by stacking items giving bonuses to
    skills (either generic +skills or +amazon skills only) on them: after +3, this
    changes their attack in the most drastic ways. For example, stacking +3 to all
    skills on a Rogue Merc will give her a short range but extremely powerful
    Lightning Attack. Rogues have good AI, and try to avoid close fights, meaning
    they survive pretty well.
    * The A2 Desert Guards. The best mercs in LoD, period. Those guy can use
    Polearms and Spears, and get both the Amazon Jab skill as well as one Paladin
    aura. This aura depends on the difficulty the Merc was hired (Normal and Hell
    give the same auras, Nightmare is different), as well as on his type (there are
    3 different Desert Guard types: Offensive, Defensive, and Combat).
    Combat/Normal or Hell gives the Prayer aura (which replenishes life), not very
    useful to a bowazon, unless you are low on life leech, or already planning to
    use many Life Regen items (think mageazon). Combat/Nightmare give Thorns
    (returns damage taken), not useful either as you don't want to get hit anyway.
    Defense/Normal or Hell is Defiance, which boosts your Defense Rating (yoopie !
    another useless property for a bowie !). Defense/Nightmare is much better,
    giving Holy Freeze (slows down all enemies, even Cold Immunes). Offense/Normal
    or Hell give Blessed Aim (large AR increase), which is nice but not great, as
    AR is generally not a problem for SC bowazons. The last and best merc is
    Offense/Nightmare, giving the incredibly powerful Might Aura, for a very large
    Damage boost. Probably the best choice for a bowazon. Keeping your Desert Guard
    alive is hard, as he tends to throw himself in the middle of enemy packs, but
    it's worth the effort.
    * Act 3 Ironwolves are weak mages, casting spells in one of the 3 different
    elements: Fire, Cold, or Lightning. While they could potentially be useful if
    you were starved of elemental damage, the fact is that their spells are not
    very powerful, and that those hirelings die somewhat easily when challenged
    (because of lack of leech and low life amount, although their AI keeps them out
    of trouble most of time). There are expert bowazons who like them a lot
    (especially the Ice variety) because they are quite easy to level as they
    generally stay out of melee range and can catch monsters you missed easily, so
    as always you may want to try them first hand.
    * Act 5 Barbarians are very good tanks, and as such would be very useful if you
    didn't have a Valk. The nice damage they can provide is usuall not worth giving
    up a Might Merc.
        As mercenaries require much cash to resurrect, training (leveling) them and
    equipping them well is mandatory if you don't want to find yourself broke
    because of resurrection costs very quickly. On the other hand, you don't want
    to spend all your trading resources on equipping your mercenary so here are a
    few very low price items that will greatly help you keeping your best bud
    * Tal's Fugly. Since mercenaries graphics do not change when you equip them,
    the only balancing factor of Tal's Fugly Mask (its ugliness) is gone. While
    mercs don't need mana leech, there is still life leech, resist all, and a huge
    life boost. This one is one of the best choices if not the best choice, and
    people generally give those away.
    * Crown of Thieves: huge life leech here, so it's obviously very helpful. The
    rest of the stats aren't bad either.
    * Spirit Shroud: +1 to all skills and Cannot be Frozen are the 2 best mods
    * Duriel's Shell: the best affordable merc armor (I'm not talking Shaftstop or
    Arkaine's Valor for mercs here), with high resists, a nice Str boost, Cannot be
    Frozen, scaling defense and life. An etheral one comes into the range of elite
    armor easily.
    * Honor Runeword melee weapons: Amn+El+Ith+Tir+Sol. All runes are very easy to
    find, and the runeword bonuses are nothing to scoff at: good damage, +1 to all
    skills, life leech... I generally put this in etheral weapons, since merc's
    equipment never loses durability. For your Act2 mercs, a little trick: when
    socketed at Lazruk with a quest reward, all weapons of the following types
    automatically gain 5 sockets: Treshers, Mancatchers, Cryptic Axes.
    * Cliffkiller: for a Rogue Hireling, this is an excellent and very low-price
    weapon, with +2 to skills, Knockback, nice damage, and some life boost.
        To level your mercenary easily, the Halls of Pain are an excellent place to
    go. If you have a high Cold duration, and advance carefully, then leveling your
    Merc in the Cow Level is another excellent solution.
        Kung-Fu Master WuTangYang has an excellent tip for leveling your bowazon :
    for him, until you reach level 80 or so, it is better to go with a Blessed Aim
    Merc, because the extra AR will make it easier for you to hit monsters. Once
    the level gap is reduced, you can switch to a Might merc and level him from the
    3) Trading
        Doh, welcome to the bad part of D2. While trading should have been an
    enjoyable part of the game, the fact is that even the MtG craze is nothing,
    nothing at all when compared to what goes on the D2 trading scene.
    * Duping. The duplication of items (either using in-game bugs or using external
    hacking programs) is a speciality of D2. There are some dupe detectors running
    on the Realms, so the nice elite unique you traded a lot for may simply
    disappear, leaving you naked.
    * Hacking: between bugged/morphed items, "Ith" items (runewords with their
    runes removed and replaced by (duped) powerful jewels and/or runes) but still
    keeping the huge runeword bonuses, and other monstruosities, the hackers are
    running with gear able to remove the whole Lut Gholein city from the face of
    Sanctuary in a heartbeat. Never trade for a hacked/bugged item, and this for
    two reasons. First, it ruins the game both for you and for the others, and
    second those items may very well disappear if Blizzard decides to deal with
    them one day.
    * Bots: automated programs doing either merchants shopping ("Shopbot") or boss
    runs ("Pindlebot") are also responsible for a good part of the current state of
    the "jokeonomy". While items obtained with such programs are considered "legit"
    by the servers (ie they won't disappear on you), truly legit players frown upon
    the practice of having a program do your MF for yourself.
    * Ebay: while selling or buying in-game items for real world money is something
    that should be left to each player's consciousness, the fact is that the appeal
    of quick and easy money is a huge incentive for the industry of hackers.
    * Scammers: "a sucker is borned every minute". Well, there are tons of people
    in the various trading channels which are ready to take advantage of the good
    faith of other traders. Those low-life punks have a variety of tricks up their
    sleeves to get your items without giving what they promised in exchange.
        Now that this rant is out of the way, here are a few tips for beginner
    * Good places to trade are the various Trade Channels in Battle.net (dangerous
    because of the huge amount of scams and duped/bugged items), the DiabloII.net
    marketplace (http://market.diabloii.net), or the forums of some sites
    (http://www.diabloii.net has some good trading forums). While the best deals
    are often done on the Trade channels, starting trading on a forum/marketplace
    is probably best for beginners, as they can get a feel for the various values,
    and run much less risk of encountering a scammer.
    * Caveat Emptor. "Buyer Beware !" is a very, very true saying in D2. As a rule
    of thumb, if it looks too good to be true, then it probably is. The most
    incredible deals either turn out to be elaborate scam attempts, or someone
    giving duped items. While botting has made the costs incredibly low, there are
    still some resources that are very expensive, and seeing those for low prices
    is generally the trademark of a scammer. Also do remember that many high-end
    items are duped and may disappear at any time.
    * The Stone of Jordan or SoJ. This is the de facto currency on the Realms. You
    can convert items to SoJ (depending on the value of those items, there are very
    few items worth several SoJs, most of them being Elite uniques), and you can
    later "buy" items using SoJs.
    * To get some good "starting" stuff (the quotes are there because some of this
    "starting" stuff is indeed end-game gear), do not bother with MFing (hard
    without specialized items anyway): try to gather some crafting materials
    (perfect gems, runes, bad jewels...). Many high-end players do tons of MFing
    and crafting, and will be very happy to trade some of their gear for a good
    supply of crafting materials. The same is true for chipped gems, which can be
    used to transmute swords into the Horadric Cube. Gems are literally all over
    the place in LoD, so they make a great source of income. Depending on the
    current rate, you may even get one SoJ for a full inventory of gems. Finding
    gems takes some time, but is a guaranteed source of income. MFing may have
    better rewards, but is never guaranteed. You can think of gathering gems and
    crafting supplies as working, while MFing is playing the lottery.
    4) FAQs
    FAQs are asked frequently. Get over it. (from the Laws of Usenet)
        Here are a few Frequently Asked Questions seen often on the AB Bowazon
    Q: Which is better, Multishot or Strafe ?
    A: Which is better, the Fork or the Spoon ? Seriously, both skills are so
    different the answer is really evident:it depends.. Generally, you should use
    both. Use MS for medium-density crowds coming from a single direction
    (high-density crowds should get FA if you have it at a good level), and use
    Strafe for scattered targets coming from various directions. MS deals less
    damage per target, but is fired at once, while Strafe will be more efficient
    for small packs, because each arrow will deal more damage. Both work well with
    Pierce, and require an AR check.
    Q: What should I socket my [Insert Bow Name] with ?
    A: At first, check IAS breakpoints. When socketing a bow (a definitive action,
    so I understand your concern), the first thing to do should be to check the
    various IAS breakpoints for this class of weapon, and compare to the amount of
    IAS you have in your gear. If you are near a breakpoint, then a Jewel of Fervor
    (15% IAS, better with another mod) or a Shael rune (20% IAS) are probably what
    gives you the best bang for your buck, as jumping an IAS breakpoint translates
    into better damage over time, better crowd control, and increased safety. This
    is very true even for non-speedazons. If you are already satisfied with your
    current speed, pay attention to the fallacious lure of Enhanced Damage jewels
    and Ohm rune: Enhanced Damage when socketed on a weapon adds to the base
    damage. So while socketing your Windforce or Buriza with an Ohm rune, the extra
    damage gained (50% of 10-68 for example when Ohming a WF only makes 5-34 extra
    damage, quite pitiful when compared to the hundreds of damage points a
    Windforce does at high levels). Adding a Crowd Control effect (Cham, Sur,
    Nef...) is a good option, but keep in mind that Freeze doesn't work that well
    on bows, that Blinds override other curses, and that sometimes you would be
    better without Knockback (when partied).
    Q: Please rate my bow ! I can't kill anything with this damn bow !
    A: I can't rate your bow. The trade values are always changing, so any advice
    given here would be obsolete by the time this guide actually goes published.
    About the efficiency of your bow, you should evaluate it in your strategy. If
    you find yourself lacking mana leech to power-up your high level skills, then
    perhaps a bow with less skills but more physical damage or extra mana leech
    would work better ? If monsters always manage to engage you at close range,
    perhaps a faster bow would help you ? If you don't seem to be able to kill the
    monsters, but can't afford a more damaging bow, perhaps you should try to
    improve your style, and learn to work with other skills ?
    Q: How does this Speed thing works again ?
    A: This is quite simple. You have to remember that your speed comes from both
    the inner speed of your weapon (i.e. its base type), and from the various IAS
    modifiers (on the weapon, with a Shael rune, with specific items, Fervor
    jewels...). The IAS modifiers are subject to heavy diminishing returns, which
    means that reaching the same speed as a fast bow with a slower bow will require
    higher and higher amounts of IAS, or will even be impossible. For example, with
    a -10 Base Bow (the fastest bows), you will need 75 IAS on your items to reach
    8/2, while a 10 Base Bow (the slowest bows) will require 142 IAS to reach the
    same speed.
    Q: What's this 8/2, 10/3 thing ?
    A: This is the standard speed notation. This notation was introduced by
    DoubleTrouble a long time ago. The first number refers to the number of frames
    (Diablo2 uses 25 frames per seconds, although your graphical engine may run
    faster or slower) between 2 normal attacks (or between 2 attacks using anything
    but Strafe). The second number is the number of frames between 2 successive
    arrows (except the first one, which is fired at normal attack speed) when using
    the Strafe skill. Thus, a bow running at 9/2 for example will have 9 frames
    between 2 normal attacks (or MS, FA...), and 2 frames for the 2nd to 10th
    arrows in a Strafe round.
    5) Links
        Please note that due to the nature of the Internet, those links may or may
    not be outdated. Future revisions of the guide will try to keep this list
    * http://www.diabloii.net: a very good starting point. Lots of strategy guides
    (even if some of them aren't that accurate), many news, and tons of sections
    dedicated to items, skills, classes...
    * http://www.theamazonbasin.com/d2: contrary to what the name should imply, the
    Amazon Basin actually deals with all classes. This is the place where you will
    get the best information about bowazons, as well as some very friendly people
    to play with.
    * http://www.lurkerlounge.com/diablo2/: another excellent D2 resource, the
    Lurker Lounge is where you will probably get the best information about the
    inner mechanics of the game. Many people there are dedicated to understanding
    how the game works, and will provide the best technical expertise.
    * http://www.planetdiablo.com/library/: an excellent site dedicated only to
    items (and mostly to sets and unique items), the Horadrim Library features
    comprehensive descriptions of many items described quickly in this guide.
    * http://www.battle.net/diablo2exp/: the Arreat Summit is the official Blizzard
    resource site to D2X. If you need information about a skill, an unique item, or
    the XP needed for reaching a certain level, then it is a safe bet.
    * http://www.theamazonbasin.com/~ak404/: the ultimate bowazon resource out
    there. Everything is written down in this guide, and the unmatched writing
    sk1lLZ of the author make it a very entertaining read. The other links were
    recommended, this one should be mandatory for any aspiring bowazon.
    * http://www.cs.hmc.edu/~cbradfor/diablo2/skills.html: Chippydip's LoD skills
    calculator is a very handy resource, allowing you to easily plan your skill
    points allocation.
    * http://www.knittingdragon.com/games/d2/bowbible/: ZenDragon's LoD Bow Bible
    is an excellent site with lots of mathematical data about bows and speed. The
    site features very accurate and easy to understand graphics of various speeds
    for different types of bows. Definitely a must-read for aspiring speedazons.
    6) Credits
        I think I should thank AK404 first and foremost, for being the main
    contributor to the bowazon science on Battle.net, as well as for being both an
    incredibly talented writer with an excellent sense of humor, and a damn good
    and damn fun person to play with.
        Thanks to DoubleTrouble, both for bringing the speedazon out of infancy, as
    well as for being our not-so-silent consciousness when LoD arrived.
        Thanks to ZenDragon for his incredible Bow Bible, and for herding the cats.
        Thanks to TPJ for building the damn best D2 guild on the Internet. Nuff
        Thanks to Sadira for continuing TPJ's hard work.
        Thanks to Vehementi for starting the path with his "Bowazon 101"
        Thanks to the Lurker Lounge gurus for their dedication to explaining us the
    finest details of the game (Blizzard should really hire you, guys), and for
    pushing the boundaries of character building every day: Bolty, Trucidation,
    Jarulf, Spirea, Sirian, Elric of Grans...
        Thanks to the DiabloII.net team for the hard work they put into their site,
    and for bringing us the marketplace.
        Thanks to Bartek of the Horadrim Library, for a very well made site, both
    in content, layout, and ideas.
        Thanks of course to the contributors of the Amazon Basin (Evap, Chevalis,
    Kevinsteele, SiegZon, FrigidWoman, Botdude, Zitta, IceMage, Loki, Oprah,
    HazedHaze, Shadguy, WuTangYang... and all the others), for listening to my
    endless rants and silly ideas since nearly two years now. Yoo Foo Foo !
        Thanks to the tons of brainless cow-killing Damage Reduction/Buriza do
    Kyanon amazons on Battle.net for helping me feel better every time I enter a
    public game ("BUT IT OWNZ USE AMA !!!"). Special thanks to all the people who
    took from their precious time to explain me my vamp or dinozon "sUx0r3d" and
    that I should use a "r3Al b0W", while I was outkilling them two monsters for
    every one they killed.
    7) Legal Stuff
        All trademarks quoted into this document are property of their respective
    owners (Blizzard Corporation mostly).
        This guide can only be found on the Amazon Basin Diablo2 guild site, on my
    personal Amazon Basin web page, and on one of the following sites if they chose
    to publish it: DiabloII.net, Gamefaqs, LurkerLounge, Horadrim Library. If you
    see this guide or excerpts of this guide anywhere else, please contact me at
        If you are interested in hosting this guide, please contact me through
    email. All content of this guide is copyrighted by me. You may use it or print
    it for personal use only, and may not add any part of this guide to your own
    site/Diablo2 guide without receiving written or email permission from me.
    8) Versions
    1.0: first release of the guide
    1.1: (01/24/2003): correction of a variety of typos/misconceptions after
    proofreading from the AB Bowazon crowd
    1.2: (02/08/2003): Some more proofreading, lots of thanks to WuTangYang for
    helping with all the spelling mistakes. Addition of the "Try it for yourself"
    items modifier section.