Diablo 2 : Lord of Destruction Flaming Druid guide (1.11)
-V1.0 (7/7/07)
-By AceOfSpadezz

This is my first guide that I have ever written so if it seems like I suck at
explaining or writing this guide feel free to tell me how I could make it
better.

DISCLAIMER:
           This guide is only for private use. It may not be sold or reposted 
on any website,  magazine, book, etc. You may print it out and distribute it 
if you wish but you cannot sell it without letting me know and I will most
likely let you do it if you tell me. This guide can only be posted on and by
GameFaqs.com or any other CNET owned site but no others. If you wish to put it
on a personal website let me know beforehand and you will not be punished for 
violating a copyright. This guide is property of AceOfSpadezz. My
e-mail address will be posted in the "Contact Info." part of the guide.
=====================
- TABLE OF CONTENTS -
=====================

I.      Version History
II.     Purpose of the Guide
III.    Overview of the Druid
IV.     Skills*
    A. Elemental
    B. Summoning   
    C. Shapeshifting 
    D. Skill Placement
V.      Attributes
VI.     Equipment
    A. "Elite" Equipment
    B. "Decent" Equipment
VII.    Charms
VIII.   Mercenary
IX.     FAQ's 
X.      Contact Info.
XI.     Credits


* When ever I mention any skill damage, radius, duration, or any other stat 
regarding the skill I will be looking at the stats of the skill with all of 
the suggested equipment, stat allocation, skill allocation, and mercenary
bonuses such as auras, that the build in this guide suggests.
     
 
I. VERSION HISTORY
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
1.0 (7/07/07) Newly released.





II.     Purpose of the Guide
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The purpose of this guide is to help readers build a Flaming Druid.  I will 
explain what items to use, stat allocation, skill point allocation, mercenary 
information and what charms to have in the inventory. This build is merely a
suggestion and if you think that you should build the character otherwise do
what you think is best. This character is somewhat expensive to make in with
the "Elite equipment" but quite cheap with the "Decent equipment."Also this 
character is somewhat hard to control and may take a semi-skilled player to be
at the Flaming Druid's full power.


III.    Overview of the Druid
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Druid is a very versatile character that has very effective summoning, 
melee, and casting attacks. Even though it can focus on a range of skills
it isn't exactly the best at anything. The Flaming Druid isn't exactly the best
fire based character in the game but that doesn't mean that it should be 
considered inferior to all of the rest.

Pros: Can cover a wide area of ground with his skills e.g. Volcano, Fissure,
      and Armageddon.
      
      Damages aren't just one blow. They usually last for a few seconds.
      
      All druid fire skills do damage over time not just one fixed damage.
      
      Most of the skills keep the target in one place leaving them open for
      another attack.

      All fire elemental skills(except Molten Boulder) have a fixed mana cost.

Cons: Aren't as good as their Windy counterparts at dealing with high element
      based attacks.
      
      All fire skills have a cast delay and the most useful ones have a larger
      delay.

      If you decide to use summons, they will be kinda weak due to the lack of
      skill points needed to back them up.
      
      


IV. Skills
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Most of the skills that are obtained go towards the Elemental tree but there
are some other skills included from the Summoning tree. If a skill is not
necessary or useful for the build at all it will be left out.

                               -=-=-=-=-=-=-
                               A. Elemental 
                               -=-=-=-=-=-=-
From calling upon windy storms to opening volcanic vents,the Elemental tree is
the main source of skills that are necessary for this build. The Flaming Druid
uses the left side of the Elemental tree, but has to put some points into
the windy right side of the tree as pre-requisites.

==========
Firestorm 
==========
Required Lvl: 1
Effect: Sends out a row of fire that will go through enemies. Very much the 
same skill that Big D uses except that it is much smaller and slower. This is
a skill that shouldn't be overlooked just because it is a level 1 skill. This
skill does almost 6k dmg which is like 500 more fire dmg than fissure which
should be your primary skill. Has a cast delay of 0.6 seconds.

Max it; 20 points. It synergizes with most of the skills and adds a massive 
amount of damage.

==============
Molten Boulder
==============
Required Lvl: 6
Effect: Sends out a ball of molten rock that leaves a trail of fire behind it
and finally making a small explosion of lava and rock. A good skill to have at
lower levels but it does the least damage of all of the elemental fire skills. 
It would be a decent skill but it has to low damage to be of any use. Has a 
cast delay of 2 seconds.

Max it; 20 points. It is a synergy for the rest of the skills
Note: Max this skill after you have maxed Fissure, Armageddon, Firestorm, 
Volcano and after you have put all optional points into summoning(if you are 
going to at all).

============
Arctic Blast
============
Required Lvl: 6 
Effect: Summon a northern wind to freeze your enemies. This skill lets a trail
of cold wind out of the Druid's hand. Similar to the Sorceress' Inferno but
instead of doing fire damage it does cold damage. Overall a suckey skill.

1 point as a pre-requisite.

=======
Fissure
=======
Required Lvl: 12
Effect: The Druid opens up many volcanic vents in the ground to turn his 
enemies into ashes. This is the main skill that Flaming Druids use. A very
nice skill to have because it deals a massive amount of damage every second
and lasts for like 3 seconds. So it can do like 15k-16k damage every Fissure.
But only does 5k-5.5k Dmg every second. Has a cast delay of 2 seconds.

Max it; 20 points. 

=============
Cyclone Armor
=============
Required Lvl: 12
Effect: The Druid summons swirling winds to help protect him from the elements
.Cyclone Armor will protect you from all elemental damages until it runs out
but not poison or magic damage. A very good skill but it is only good when 
it's synergies are maxed out.

1 point as a pre-requisite; let your +skills do the rest.

=======
Twister
=======
Required Lvl: 18
Effect: Summon many small whirlwinds to damage and stun your enemies. This is
a skill that is absolute crap and has no use to a Flaming Druid at all except
as a pre-requisite.

1 point as a pre-requisite.

=======
Volcano
=======
Required Lvl: 24 
Effect: Call upon a violent eruption of fire, magma, and rocks to incinerate
your target. Volcano is a pretty good skill but misses many shots because it
randomly shoots fireballs. Best when used on a big or boss monster. Aim it
directly under the target for its full potential. Has a very large cast delay
of 4 seconds.

Max it; 20 points. Its good for synergies and it is also a very nice skill to
have.

=======
Tornado
=======
Required Lvl: 24
Effect: Summon a large twister that damages enemies. Similar to the Twister
skill but is just one tornado, does more damage, and doesn't stun the enemy.
Just like Twister this skill is not useful to a Flaming Druid.

1 point as a pre-requisite.

=========
Hurricane
=========
Required Lvl: 30
Effect: The greatest winds of the earth heed to the Druid's commands. This 
skill damages and freezes any enemy that comes into the radius of it. If you
want to keep your enemies in place while you cast your other skills I suggest
you use this skill. Its great for stunning and slowing down. Has a cast delay
of 6 seconds.

1 point as a pre-requisite and let you +skills do the rest.

==========
Armageddon
==========
Required Lvl: 30
Effect: The wrath of the Druidic gods unleash a shower of fire and rocks to 
completely obliterate your enemies. This skill owns anyone that gets within 
radius. This skill does a massive 12k-13k dmg plus the little fire walls the
meteors cause do 2k dmg. Best used in conjunction with Hurricane. Running away
from the enemy and letting them follow you is the best way to hit people with 
this leet skill. Has a cast delay of 6 seconds. 

Max it; 20 points.


                               *~*~*~*~*~*~*
                               B. Summoning
                               *~*~*~*~*~*~*
Since ancient times the Druids would pray to the supreme spirits of nature.
In return the spirits confided in the Druids the secrets of taming wild plants
, spirits, and animals. The Druid can summon many creatures but the most the
summons most useful to the Flaming Druid are Spirits, Bears, and Vines. Spirit
summons give the Druid and his party an aura. Vines can do many different tasks
such as helping with damage or eating corpses for life. 

It is completely up to the player to decide to use summons. Many people decide
to max out synergies instead but it is possible to max out all Fire-Elemental
skills and have 5 skill points left for putting into summoning skills. I 
personally think a Druid is more effective when his summons help with life,
distractions, or helping kill fire immunes.


*****
Raven
*****
Required Lvl: 1
Effect: Summon a raven to peck out your enemies eyes. Ravens can't die but 
they disappear after a certain amount of hits they do. Their hits blind the
target always which lets you run without getting seen. Good for a level 1
character but become obsolete pretty soon.

0 or 1 as a pre-requisite.

**************
Poison Creeper
**************
Required Lvl: 1
Effect: Summon a vine that can use its thorns to poison its enemies. This 
skill is just like Raven in the way that it sucks. This vine has low life and
doesn't do very much damage. This skill gets owned in one hit so don't even 
bother wasting 8 mana points to summon it. I personally think vines suck and
it they're not worth the waste of a valuable skill point and it will get 
annoying as hell reviving this little loser over and over.

0 or 1 as a pre-requisite.

********
Oak Sage
********
Required Lvl: 6 
Effect: Summon a spirit that enhances the life of you and your party. This 
should be the main spirit that you should be using as a caster druid. The aura
this spirit gives you plus the BO from CTA will give you a massive life boost.
This is an awesome skill but be careful because this skill has a relatively low
HP number compared to the other spirits. In Nightmare and Hell all spirits
gain the attributes: "Immune to Poison" and "Immune to Physical".

0 or 1 point and let +skills do the rest. Needed to get the other spirits, 
Dire Wolves, and Grizzly Bear.

******************
Summon Spirit Wolf
******************
Required Lvl: 6 
Effect: Lol, the name of the skill speaks for itself. Spirit wolves teleport 
to you if you are too far away from them. They are relatively weak and can 
barely kill a fallen in normal and have really crappy life. The max is 5 
wolves but you should really only put in 1 skill into this.

0 or 1 as a pre-requisite.

************
Carrion Vine
************
Required Lvl: 12
Effect: Summon a vine that eats corpses and regenerates life for you. Just like
its predecessor this vine is also kinda pointless. Use it only if you feel its
necessary. The % of life it heals diminishes with every skill point. It has
between Average and Below Average life, but at least the corpses it eats are
gone forever so annoying monsters can revive.

0 or 1 as a pre-requisite and let +skills do the rest.

******************
Heart of Wolverine
******************
Required Lvl: 18
Effect: Summon a soul of a once ferocious wolverine to add to you and your
party's dmg and AR. Anyone that starts a Flaming Druid should completely 
forget about this skill. You will have no need for it as you will never melee
damage anything.

0(strongly suggested) or 1 as a pre-requisite for Spirit of Barbs.

****************
Summon Dire Wolf
****************
Required Lvl: 18 
Effect: Another self explanatory skill. They are similar to spirit wolves but 
they do more dmg, have more life, the max is 3 wolves, and they eat corpses to
regain health. I suggest you not use these together with the vines because 
you will end up with a shortage of corpses. Overall another crappy summon that
should only be used as a distraction or a pre-req.

0 or 1 point as a pre-requisite.

*************
Solar Creeper
*************
Required Lvl: 24
Effect: Summon a vine that eats corpses and turns them into mana for you. 
This is a skill you may want to consider if you find yourself running out of 
mana often. This vine has pretty good life and won't get owned by monsters as
much as the others. 1 point is enough to put in this skill because the more
you put into it the amount you regenerate diminishes. 

0 or 1 point; let +skills do the rest.

***************
Spirit of Barbs
***************
Required Lvl: 30
Effect: Summon a spirit that can bestow upon the party of the Druid a thorns-
like aura. This spirit would be the best spirit if the special aura it had was
better. Spirit of Barbs has a nice amount of life for a summon but it's effect
is crappy. If you think you will be Ok without the life bonus from the Oak 
Sage then you will probably want to put it into this skill.

0 or 1 point and let +skills do the rest.

**************
Summon Grizzly
**************
Required Lvl: 30
Effect: Summon a giant Grizzly Bear to maul and rip your enemies into shreds.
A very good skill to have no matter what sub-class of druid you are. Bears do
nice damage, have a crapload of life, and don't die as often as the other
summons. The +skills that go into the wolf summons will act as a synergy for 
the bear giving it more life from Dire Wolves and more defense from Spirit 
Wolves. Has a cast delay of 1 second.

0 or 1(recommended) point and let +skills do the rest.



                               +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-
                               C. Shapeshifting
                               +-+-+-+-+-+-+-+-

Druidic warriors may have the wondrous talent of being able to change their
bodies into ferocious beasts. There are two paths Druids can choose from the
way of the wolf or the way of the bear. Each one has their own strengths and 
weaknesses. The wolf is the more agile of the two and has faster attack speeds
and faster run/walk. The bear is a tank specializing in defense and life.

I have no idea why I even mention these skills as they will be of no use to
any caster Druid. If you are using the "decent" equipment mentioned and you 
really feel that you need to be able to travel faster and you have and extra
point or to feel free to put a skill into werewolf to increase faster run/walk
percentage. I strongly advise you to really think before you do and if you are
going to use the "elite" equipment dismiss this skill tree immediately because
you will have no need to run faster.



                               ~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`
                               D. Skill Placement
                               ~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`
You will get a total of 110 skills; 98 from leveling and 12 from quests.
Here is how you should put in the skills in if you plan to max all synergies
first.(not recommended)

5  points into the wind pre-reqs. for Armageddon
20 points into Fissure
20 points into Armageddon
20 points into Firestorm
20 points into Volcano
20 points into Molten Boulder
5  points into Summoning Skills of your choice.
   (Best if used on Oak Sage, Raven, Spirit Wolf, Dire Wolf, and Grizzly Bear)

Here is how to build the Druid more efficiently:

1st: Get every single Elemental Skill
2nd: Get the 5 recommended Summoning Skills
     (Oak Sage, Raven, Spirit Wolf, Dire Wolf, and Grizzly Bear)
3rd: Max out Fissure
4th: Max out Armageddon
5th: Max out Firestorm
6th: Max out Volcano
7th: Max out Molten Boulder

Of course most people that read this guide aren't going to get to Lvl. 99 so
don't worry if you don't max out Molten Boulder. It will only add like 500 dmg 
if you max out Molten Boulder. At around Lvl. 85 you will have 96 skills and
you will be able to complete 6 of the 7 above tasks.

V. Attributes
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Strength- Strength isn't a very big issue with casters. Just have as much
strength as it takes to equip your items. Try to keep the base strength at
around 85-120 and let your items add the rest. The most strength you will
ever need is 151 if you plan on upping your Magefists to max quality.

Dexterity- Dex isn't really necessary on most casters. Like Strength just 
have enough to equip your items. All you will ever need is 35 Dex to wear the
Flails. Don't put anymore than that unless you want max block. Max block is 
hard to achieve on a Druid needing 319 base Dex to block Fallen's attack with
a Monarch so don't even bother trying to get max block.

Vitality- Dump ALL of your extra points into this one. You will need a lot of
life seeing how you have a low block % and somewhat low resists and defense.

Energy- Try to keep this to a base of 50-65. You have many inc. max mana % 
items at your disposal and many also help you regenerate mana. Also all of the
skills you will be using will have a fixed mana cost so they always cost the 
same amount of mana forever.

VI. Equipment
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In this section I will put two lists of equipment: "Elite" equipment, items
that put you at full potential and "Decent" Equipment, items that make the 
character at average power. All Runewords, Runes, and Items will have listed
all the mods on them and what to make them out of. Also the items will have 
their value listed in terms of "HRs." There may be a new term in this section
that I will explain at it's time.


A. "Elite" Equipment 
==========
 Weapon 1
==========
The best choice here it the "Heart of the Oak" Runeword or commonly 
abbreviated HotO on the realms:

"Heart of the Oak" (4 Socket Staves/Maces) Ko + Vex + Pul + Thul (Req Lvl. 55)
+3 To All Skills
+40% Faster Cast Rate
+75% Damage To Demons
+100 To Attack Rating Against Demons
Adds 3-14 Cold Damage, 3 sec. Duration
7% Mana Stolen Per Hit
+10 To Dexterity
Replenish Life +20
Increase Maximum Mana 15%
All Resistances +30-40
Level 4 Oak Sage (25 Charges)
Level 14 Raven (60 Charges)
+50% Damage To Undead

Notes: Use a Flail for lower dexterity requirements.
Value: 2-4 HRs depending on resistance value and what item was socketed.

==========
 Weapon 2
==========
Your secondary weapon is usually adds a pre-buff. The best choice is "Call to 
Arms" commonly abbreviated CtA on the realms:

"Call To Arms" (5 Socket Weapons) Amn + Ral + Mal + Ist + Ohm (Req Lvl 57)
+1 To All Skills
+40% Increased Attack Speed
+250-290% Enhanced Damage (varies)
Adds 5-30 Fire Damage
7% Life Stolen Per Hit
+2-6 To Battle Command (varies)
+1-6 To Battle Orders (varies)
+1-4 To Battle Cry (varies)
Prevent Monster Heal
Replenish Life +12
30% Magic Find

Notes: Use a Flail or Crystal Sword for lower Dexterity Requirements
Value: 1-6 HRs depending on the lvl of Battle Orders

================
 Shield 1 and 2
================
The most common caster shield is the "Spirit" runeword put in 4 socketed 
shields and most commonly put in a "Monarch". This shield give decent resists 
but lacks defense and fire resists. Gives a lot of life and mana also. Also 
gives +skills needed to up the Warcries on the CtA.

"Spirit" (4 Socket Shields) Tal+Thul+Ort+Amn (Req Lvl. 54 in Monarchs)
Required Strength: 156
+2 To All Skills
+25-35% Faster Cast Rate (varies)
+55% Faster Hit Recovery
+250 Defense Vs. Missile
+22 To Vitality
+89-112 To Mana (varies)
Cold Resist +35%
Lightning Resist +35%
Poison Resist +35%
+3-8 Magic Absorb (varies)
Attacker Takes Damage of 14

Notes: Make out of a Monarch Shield(133-148 Def, Lvl 54 Req, 156 Str Req)
Value: Ladder; Lower ones about a Pul Rune and Perfect ones 1 HR
       Non-Ladder; at least 3-4 HRs.

============
 Body Armor
============
The best choice of armor for this build is the "Enigma" Runeword. Gives a lot
of faster run/walk % and lets you teleport which is very important in dueling.

"Enigma" (3 Socket Body Armor) Jah+Ith+Ber (Req Lvl. 65 in Dusk Shrouds)
+2 To All Skills
+45% Faster Run/Walk
+1 To Teleport
+750-775 Defense
+0-74 To Strength (Based On Character Level)
Increase Maximum Life 5%
Damage Reduced By 8%
+14 Life After Each Kill
15% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
+1-99% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items (Based On Character Level)

Notes: Make out of a Dusk Shroud(361-467 def, lvl 49 req, 77 Str req)
       for lower strength requirements.
Value: 2-3 HRs depending on def and the requirements.


========
 Helmet
========
The best helmet for a Flaming Druid is the class specific helm "Ravenlore"
Has good defense, adds resists, +Elemental Skills, a lot of energy and -enemy
fire resist. Socket with a "Rainbow Facet" or "Um Rune". "Harlequin Crest",
commonly called "Shako" on the realms, is also an option because it is much
more common than "Ravenlore".

"Ravenlore" Sky Spirit
Defense: 343-390 (Base Defense: 103-155)
Required Level: 74
Required Strength: 113
(Druid Only)
+120-150% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+7 To Raven (Druid Only)
+3 To Elemental Skills (Druid Only)
+20-30 To Energy (varies)
-10-20% To Enemy Fire Resistance (varies)
All Resistances +15-25 (varies)

"Harlequin Crest" Shako
Defense: 98-141 (varies)
Required Level: 62
Required Strength: 50
+2 To All Skills
+ (1.5 Per Character Level) 1-148 To Life (Based On Character Level)
+ (1.5 Per Character Level) 1-148 To Mana (Based On Character Level)
Damage Reduced By 10%
50% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
+2 To All Attributes

"Rainbow Facet" Jewel
Required Level: 49
100% Chance To Cast Level 31 Meteor When You Die
Adds 17-45 Fire Damage
+3-5% To Fire Skill Damage (varies)
-(3-5)% To Enemy Fire Resistance (varies)

"Um Rune"
25% Chance of Open Wounds(Weapons)	
All Resistances +15(Armor/Helms) 
All Resistances +22(Shields)
 
Notes: Socket With Fire Facet for Damage and if your low on resistances use an
       Um Rune.
Value: Ravenlore is worth 1-3 HRs depending on Variables.
       Harlequin Crest is worth 2-3 HRs depending on trader and def.
       Rainbow Facet is worth 2-4 HRs depending on Variables.
       Um Rune is sometimes treated as an HR.

======
 Belt
======
The best choice for the casters is the "Arachnid Mesh" for giving max mana %, 
+skills, and FCR. 

"Arachnid Mesh" Spiderweb Sash
Defense: 119-138 (varies)(Base Defense: 55-62)
Required Level: 80
Required Strength: 50
16 Boxes
+90-120% Enhanced Defense (varies)
Slows Target By 10%
+1 To All Skills
+20% Faster Cast Rate
Increases Maximum Mana 5%
Level 3 Venom (11 Charges)

Note: If you think you may need more life another good option would be the
unique "Verdungo's Hearty Cord" commonly called "Dungo's" on the realms.

"Verdungo's Hearty Cord" Mithril Coil
Defense: 125-158 (Defense: 58-65)
Required Level: 63
Required Strength: 106
16 Boxes
+90-140% Enhanced Defense (varies)
10% Faster Hit Recovery
+30-40 To Vitality (varies)
Replenish Life +10-13 (varies)
+100-120 Maximum Stamina (varies)
Damage Reduced By 10-15% (varies)

Value: Arachnid depending on the trade values given on the realms I'd say 
       from 4-10 HRs
       Verdungo's is worth 1-2(maybe 3) HRs depending on the variables

=======
 Boots
=======
Some of the best boots around are "Sandstorm Trek". These give some strength,
Vitality, FHR, and a hell-load of poison resistance.

"Sandstorm Trek" Scarabshell Boots
Defense: 158-178 (varies)(Base Defense 56-65)
Required Level: 64
Required Strength: 91
+140-170% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+20% Faster Hit Recovery
+20% Faster Run/Walk
+ (1 Per Character Level) +1-99 Maximum Stamina (Based On Character Level)
+10-15 To Strength (varies)
+10-15 To Vitality (varies)
50% Slower Stamina Drain
Poison Resist +40-70% (varies)
Repairs 1 Durability In 20 Seconds

Notes: They are better when they are etheral and they repair so don't worry 
       about them breaking.
Value: Non-etheral: 1-2 HRs depending on the trader and variables
       Etheral: I can't recall but maybe 4-6????

========
 Gloves
========
The best gloves for any caster are these that add regenerate mana and FCR.
Up these gloves up to Battle Gauntlets on both ladder and non-ladder but up
them up to Crusader Gauntlets if you're on ladder.

"Magefist" Light Gauntlets
Defense: 24-25 (varies)(Base Defense: 9-11)
Required Level: 23
Required Strength: 45
+20-30% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+10 Defense
+1 To Fire Skills
+20% Faster Cast Rate
Regenerate Mana 25%
Adds 1-6 Fire Damage

Upped to Battle Gauntlets:
"Magefist" Battle Gauntlets
Defense: 56-71 (varies)(Base Defense: 39-47)
Required Level: 22
Required Strength: 88
+20-30% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+10 Defense
+1 To Fire Skills
+20% Faster Cast Rate
Regenerate Mana 25%
Adds 1-6 Fire Damage

Upped to Crusader Gauntlets:
"Magefist" Crusader Gauntlets
Defense: 80-99 (varies)(Base Defense: 59-69)
Required Level: 57
Required Strength: 151
+20-30% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+10 Defense
+1 To Fire Skills
+20% Faster Cast Rate
Regenerate Mana 25%
Adds 1-6 Fire Damage
(Ladder Only)

Note: What is Upping?
      Upping an item is when you make the base item of a unique a quality 
      higher. Example. Magefist are Light Gauntlets and therefore look exactly
      like Crusader Gauntlets and Battle Gauntlets graphicwise. Upping the
      gloves to exceptional will turn them into battle gauntlets giving them
      more base defense but also higher lvl and str requirements. UPPING TO
      ELITE IS LADDER ONLY!!!!! Upping to Exceptional is both ladder and non
      ladder. Both work in singleplayer also.

      To up any Armor items to exceptional you use the horadric cube recipe:
      1 Tal Rune + 1 Shael Rune+1 Perfect Diamond + Normal Unique Armor
      
      To up any Armor items to elite you use the horadric cube recipe:
      1 Ko Rune + 1 Lem Rune + 1 Perfect Diamond + Exceptional Unique Armor
      
Value: Normal Magefist is quite cheap and so is upping to exceptional
       Upping to elite will cost you two semi good runes but they aren't so
       hard to get.

==========
 Jewelery 
==========
The jewelery suggested is very expensive and could take as much as half of the
HRs need so far.

========
 Amulet
========
No doubt about it the best choice is:

"Mara's Kaleidoscope" Amulet
Required Level: 67
+2 To All Skills
All Resistances +20-30 (varies)
+5 To All Attributes

But this works also: 

"Seraph's Hymn" Amulet
Required Level: 65
+2 To All Skills
+1-2 To Defensive Auras (Paladin Only) (varies)
+20-50% Damage To Demons (varies)
+150-250 To Attack Rating Against Demons (varies)
+20-50% Damage To Undead (varies)
+150-250 To Attack Rating Against Undead (varies)
+2 To Light Radius
(Ladder Only)

Notes: For Mara's get a high res one and for Seraph's get a low dmg, low
       AR, and 1 to def. auras for lower worth requirements. 
Value: Mara's is worth 4 HRs for the lowest and maybe 8? HRs for a perfect
       Seraph's is 2 HRs for a low one and like 4 for a perfect.

=======
 Rings
=======
The best ring for casters is one of the most popular rings, The SoJ.

"Stone of Jordan" Ring  X2
Required Level: 29
+1 To All Skills
Increase Maximum Mana 25%
Adds 1-12 Lightning Damage
+20 To Mana

Notes: Good for the mana and +skills.
Value: 1 SoJ is worth 3 HRs.



B. "Decent" Equipment
The decent equipment is for either midlevel Druids that have leeter items or 
poorer players that can't afford the best items. In other words this equipment
mediocre to average.

==========
 Weapon 1
==========
One of the few low level items that is of any use is the "Spirit" Runeword in
swords. Adds a lot of FCR, mana, and life. "Suicide Branch", the cheapest of
the options, is hard to find cuz nobody uses it, but has some pretty nice mods

"Spirit" (4 Socket Swords) Tal + Thul + Ort + Amn (Req Lvl. 25 in Broad or
+2 To All Skills                                   crystal swords)
+25-35% Faster Cast Rate
+55% Faster Hit Recovery
Adds 1-50 Lightning Damage
Adds 3-14 Cold Damage 3 Second Duration 
+75 Poison Damage Over 5 Seconds
7% Life Stolen Per Hit
+250 Defense Vs. Missile
+22 To Vitality
+89-112 To Mana 
+3-8 Magic Absorb

"Suicide Branch" Burnt Wand
+50% Damage To Undead
+1 To All Skills
50% Faster Cast Rate
Increase Maximum Mana 10%
All Resistances +10
+40 To Life
Attacker Takes Damage of 25

Notes: Make spirit out of a Crystal or Broad Sword to make it less 
       requirements. Spirit Sword is easier to make than a Spirit Shield.
Value: Spirit sword is cheap to get on ladder. Off ladder its at least 2 HRs
       and gets higher depending on the variable mods. Suicide Branch is worth
       an attribute rune. I have a spare if any one is interested ;P 

==========
 Weapon 2
==========
CtA is the best weapon to add pre-buffs which really help out a lot.

"Call To Arms" (5 Socket Weapons) Amn + Ral + Mal + Ist + Ohm (Req Lvl. 57)
+1 To All Skills					     
+40% Increased Attack Speed                                   
+250-290% Enhanced Damage (varies)
Adds 5-30 Fire Damage
7% Life Stolen Per Hit
+2-6 To Battle Command (varies)
+1-6 To Battle Orders (varies)
+1-4 To Battle Cry (varies)
Prevent Monster Heal
Replenish Life +12
30% Magic Find

Notes: Since this is the poor section go with a 1 BO CtA.
Value: 1-6 HRs depending on the level of BO.

================
 Sheild 1 and 2
================
The cheapest good sheild is the "Lidless Wall" just called "Lidless" on the 
realms. One of the best shields for a caster cuz it adds mana, FCR, and
+skills. This shield has better defense than spirit but doesn't have any 
resists :(

"Lidless Wall" Grim Shield
+80-130% Enhanced Defense
+1 To All Skills
Increase Maximum Mana 10%
20% Faster Cast Rate
+3-5 To Mana After Each Kill
+10 To Energy
+1 To Light Radius
            
            or

"Splendor" 2 Socket Shields (Eth + Lum) (Req Lvl. 37)
+1 To All Skills
+10% Faster Cast Rate
+20% Faster Block Rate
+60-100% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+10 To Energy
Regenerate Mana 15%
50% Extra Gold From Monsters
20% Magic Find
+3 To Light Radius

Notes: Make Splendor out of a Grim Shield(50-151 def, req lvl 25, req str 58)
       If you can afford it socket Lidless and put either:

Scintillating Jewel (Magical)
+15 Resistances

Um Rune
+22 Resistances in shields

Value: Lidless is worth up to 1 HR. Jewel is ? HRs. Um is 1 HR
       (someone plz email me the value of this jewel)

============
 Body Armor
============
The best low armor for the caster is the "Skin of the Vipermagi" called 
"Vipermagi" on the realms. Nice for the resists and FCR.

Defense: 246-279 (Base Defense: 111-126)
Required Level: 29
Required Strength: 43
+120% Enhanced Defense
+1 To All Skills
30% Faster Cast Rate
Magic Damage Reduced By 9-13 (varies)
All Resistances +20-35 (varies)

Another good candidate is the "Que-Hegans Wisdom":

"Que-Hegan's Wisdom" Mage Plate
Defense: 628-681 (varies)(Base Defense: 225-261)
Required Level: 51
Required Strength: 55
+140-160% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+1 To All Skill Levels
+3 To Mana After Each Kill
20% Faster Cast Rate
20% Faster Hit Recovery
Magic Damage Reduced By 6-10 (varies)
+15 To Energy

Socket them with:
Scintillating Jewel(Magical)
+15 Resistances

Um Rune
+15 Resistances

Notes: Both are good for FCR. Que-Hegan's is better Def and energy but the
       Vipermagi is better for Resists and FCR.
Value: Vipermagi is 1 HR. I'll have to look up the value of the Mage Plate.

========
 Helmet
========
The best Helmet for a low caster is the "Peasant Crown":

"Peasant Crown" War Hat
Defense: 108 (Base Defense: 45-53)
Required Level: 28
Required Strength: 20
+100% Enhanced Defense
+1 To All Skills
15% Faster Run/Walk
Replenish Life +6-12 (varies)
+20 To Energy
+20 To Vitality

Another decent helmet is the "Lore" Runeword:

Lore (2 Socket Helms) Ort + Sol  Required Level 27
+1 To All Skill Levels
+10 To Energy
+2 To Mana After Each Kill
Lightning Resist +30%
Damage Reduced By 7
+2 To Light Radius

Notes: Lore is best made in a Grim Helm (Def 60-125, lvl Req 25, 58 str Req)
Value: Both of these are worth very little. Lore is easy to get except for a
       decent defense Grim Helm. Once you find one use the 1st quest in act V
       to socket the helm with 2 sockets.

======
 Belt
======
A very good belt for a low level caster is the "Gloom's Trap":

"Gloom's Trap" Mesh Belt
Defense: 90-102 (varies)(Base Defense: 35-40)
Required Level: 36
Required Strength: 58
16 Boxes
+120-150% Enhanced Defense (varies)
5% Mana Stolen Per Hit
Increase Maximum Mana 15%
Regenerate Mana 15%
+15 To Vitality
-3 To Light Radius

Another good candidate is:

"String of Ears" Demonhide Sash
Defense: 102-113 (varies)(Base Defense: 29-34)
Required Level: 29
Required Strength: 20
16 Boxes
+150-180% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+15 Defense
6-8% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies)
Damage Reduced By 10-15% (varies)
Magic Damage Reduced 10-15 (varies)

Notes: It's better to use Gloom's Trap for the mana bonus but if you feel like
       you need the damage reduction then use the other belt.
Value: Both of these belts are worth a rune that give to attributes. e.g. Fal

=======
 Boots
=======
A good choice of boots depends on what you think you'll need the most. If you
need mana:

"Silkweave" Mesh Boots
Defense: 112-130 (varies)(Base Defense: 37-44)
Required Level: 36
Required Strength: 65
+150-190% Enhanced Defense (varies)
30% Faster Run/Walk
+5 To Mana After Each Kill
Increase Maximum Mana 10%
+200 Defense VS. Missile

If you need life:

"Waterwalk" Sharkskin Boots
Defense: 112-124 (varies)(Base Defense: 33-39)
Required Level: 32
Required Strength: 47
+180-210% Enhanced Defense (varies)
20% Faster Run/Walk
+100 Defense Vs. Missile
+15 To Dexterity
+5% Maximum Fire Resist
Heal Stamina Plus 50%
+40 Max Stamina
+45-65 To Life (varies)

Also a piece of Aldur's Watchtower does nicely:

"Aldur's Advance" Battle Boots (Aldur's Watchtower Set)
Defense: 39-47 (varies)
Required Level: 45
Required Strength: 95
Indestructible
40% Faster Run/Walk
+180 Maximum Stamina
10% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
Heal Stamina Plus +32%
+50 To Life
Fire Resist +40-50% (varies)
+15 To Dexterity (2 Item)
+15 To Dexterity (3 Items)
+15 To Dexterity (Completed Set) 


Notes: Up the uniques if you can.(See gloves under elite equip for details)
Value: Worth as much as the belts above. Aldur's ? (someone email me the value 
       plz)

========
 Gloves
========
No caster is complete without these:

"Magefist" Light Gauntlets
Defense: 24-25 (varies)(Base Defense: 9-11)
Required Level: 23
Required Strength: 45
+20-30% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+10 Defense
+1 To Fire Skills
+20% Faster Cast Rate
Regenerate Mana 25%
Adds 1-6 Fire Damage

Notes: Up these if you can.(See gloves under elite equipment for details)
Value: Normal Magefist is quite cheap but can be worth up to 1 HR possibly.


==========
 Jewelery
==========
Fairly easy items to obtain.

========
 Amulet
========
There are many choices to chose from but the cheapest is:

"Eye of Etlich" Amulet
Required Level: 15
+1-5 To Light Radius (varies)
+1 To All Skills
3-7% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies)
Adds (1-2) to (3-5) Cold Damage (varies)
Cold Duration: 2-10 Seconds (varies)
+10-40 Defense vs. Missile (varies)

Also:

"Telling of Beads" Amulet (Part of the Disciple Set)
Required Level: 30
+1 To All Skills
Poison Resist +35-50% (varies)
Cold Resist +18%
Attacker Takes Damage of 8-10 (varies)

Any other magical amulets that add FCR, Resists, +Druid or +Elemental Skills
will do.

Notes: A +3 to Elemental Skills amulet is the best magical amulet to use, but 
       is very expensive, 3 HRs
Value: Both of the above depend on the trader and offer.

=======
 Rings
=======
There are two main rings to choose from:

"Dwarf Star" Ring
Required Level: 45
Fire Absorb 15%
Heal Stamina Plus 15%
+40 Maximum Stamina
+40 to Life
100% Extra Gold From Monsters
Magic Damage Reduced By 12-15 (varies)

          or

"Ravenfrost" Ring
Required Level: 45
+150-250 To Attack Rating (varies)
Adds 15-45 Cold Damage, 4 sec. Duration (Normal)
Cannot Be Frozen
+15-20 To Dexterity (varies)
+40 To Mana
Cold Absorb 20%

          or

any other ring that adds resists or FCR.

Notes: The unique rings are good for dueling against cold or fire based chars.
Value: These rings are worth at least an attribute rune.


VII. Charms
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Charms are a very helpful source of skills and attribute points. In order to
unleash the Druid's full power you must have a full inventory of really good 
charms. These charms are very expensive and require many HRs.


The Annihilus is one of the best charms in the game so Blizzard made limited
1 per character. Nicknamed "Anni" on the realms.

"Annihilus" Small Charm
Required Level: 70
+1 To All Skills
+10-20 To All Attributes (varies)
All Resistances +10-20 (varies)
+5-10% To Experience Gained (varies)

Value: 4-8? HRs depending on the variable mods



The Hellfire Torch is another "uber charm" that is limited to one per 
character. It kicks ass and no character is complete without one. Called 
"torch" on the realms

"Hellfire Torch" Large Charm
Required Level: 75
25% Chance To Cast level 10 Firestorm On Striking
+3 to random character class skills (varies)
+10-20 To All Atributes (varies)
All Resistances +10-20 (varies)
+8 to light radius
Level 30 Hydra (10 charges)

Value: +3 Druid Torches are worth 2-4 HRs depending on the stats and resists.
Notes: Of course get a torch that adds to Druid skills, duh.


Having at least 1 of these Grand Charms makes a Druid more powerful. Modded
charms are more expensive than plain ones. Called "Elemental GCs" on the 
realms. Richer players should have X9 of these. 

Natural Grand Charm
+1 To Elemental Skills(Druid Only)

Value: 1-2 HRs; more if there is another mod on it.



Fill the rest of the space up with Small Charms. Its up to you what the mods 
are but the better(and more expensive) charms are:

Serpent's Small Charm of Vita
+13-17 Mana(varies)
+16-20 Life(Varies)

Shimmering Small Charm of Vita
+3-5% to All Resists
+16-20 Life(varies)

VIII. Mercenary
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The ideal mercenary for the Flaming Druid is the Act 2 Desert Mercenary.
They have an aura as soon as you get them which could benefit you and your 
party. Go with the Normal or Hell Defensive mercs so they give you a defiance 
aura. You could also go with the Nightmare combat or defensive to give you
either Thorns or Holy Freeze respectively.

========
 Weapon
========
For any Elemental Character there is no other weapon other than the Infinity
Runeword:

Infinity 4 Socket Polearms (Ber + Mal + Ber + Ist)  (Req Lvl. 63)
50% Chance To Cast Level 20 Chain Lightning on Kill
Level 12 Conviction Aura When Equipped
+35% Faster Run/Walk
+255-325% Enhanced Damage (varies)
-(45-55)% To Enemy Lightning Resistance (varies)
40% Chance of Crushing Blow
Prevent Monster Heal
0.5-49.5 To Vitality (BCL)
30% Magic Find
Level 21 Cyclone Armor (30 Charges
(Ladder Only)

Poorer Druids could use:

Insight 4 Socket Polearms/Staves (Ral + Tir + Tal + Sol)  (Req Lvl. 27)
Level 12-17 Meditation Aura When Equipped (varies)
+35% Faster Cast Rate
+200-260% Enhanced Damage (varies)
+9 To Minimum Damage
180-250% Bonus to Attack Rating (varies)
Adds 5-30 Fire Damage
+75 Poison Damage Over 5 Seconds
+1-6 To Critical Strike (varies)
+5 To All Attributes
+2 To Mana After Each Kill
23% Magic Find

Notes: Make either in a Cryptic Axe(Elite) or Partizan(Exceptional). Insight
       made in Crypic Axe is Lvl. 59 Req and in a Partizan Lvl. 27 Req
Value: Insight on ladder is incredibly easy to make but is 3 HRs or more off
       Ladder. Infinity is worth like 6-8? HRs on ladder, off it is worth 2x as
       much.

============
 Body Armor
============
For your trusty sidekick to have more damage you'll need a "Fort" as it is 
called on the realms.

Fortitude 4 Socket Body Armor (El + Sol + Dol + Lo)  (Req Lvl. 59)
20% Chance To Cast Level 15 Chilling Armor when Struck
+25% Faster Cast Rate
+300% Enhanced Damage
+200% Enhanced Defense
+15 Defense
+X To Life (BCL)
Replenish Life +7
+5% To Maximum Lightning Resist
All Resistances +20-30 (varies)
Damage Reduced By 7
12% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
+1 To Light Radius

Poorer Druids could use:

"Silks Of the Victor" Ancient Armor
Defense: 468-514 (varies)(Base Defense: 218-233)
Required Level: 28
Required Strength: 100
+100-120% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+1 To All Skills
5% Mana Stolen Per Hit
+2 To Light Radius

               or

"Guardian Angel" Templar Coat
Defense: 770-825 (varies)(Base Defense: 252-274)
Required Level: 45
Required Strength: 118
+180-200% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+20% Increased Chance Of Blocking
+30% Faster Block Rate
+ (2.5 Per Character Level) 2-247 To Attack Rating Against Demons 
(Based On Character Level)
+1 To Paladin Skill Levels
+4 To Light Radius
15% To Maximum Poison Resist
15% To Maximum Cold Resist
15% To Maximum Lightning Resist
15% To Maximum Fire Resist

Notes: Make Merc Forts out of Etheral items as they will not break. Use an
       Archon Plate(410-524 def, 103 str req, but makes lvl req 63 instead 
       of 59) 
Value: Fort is worth 2-3 HRs on Ladder and 4-7 off ladder. Silks is worth 
       about an attribute rune and Guardian Angel is about an HR.

========
 Helmet
========
There are two choices for merc helms if you're rich:

"Andariel's Visage" Demonhead
Defense: 310-387 (varies)(Base Defense: 101-154)
Required Level: 83
Required Strength: 102
+100-150% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+2 To All Skills
20% Increased Attack Speed
8-10% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies)
+25-30 To Strength (varies)
+10% To Maximum Poison Resist
Fire Resist -30%
Poison Resist +70%
15% Chance To Cast Level 15 Poison Nova When Struck
Level 3 Venom (20 charges)
(Ladder Only)

         or

"Crown of Ages" Corona
Defense: 349-399 (Base Defense: 111-165)
Required Level: 82
Required Strength: 174
+50% Enhanced Defense
+100-150 Defense (varies)
+1 To All Skills
Damage Reduced By 10-15% (varies)
All Resistances +20-30 (varies)
+30% Faster Hit Recovery
Socketed (1-2) (varies)
Indestructible

Poorer Druids should give their mercs:

"Vampiregaze" Grim Helm
Defense: 252 (Base Defense: 60-125)
Required Level: 41
Required Strength: 58
+100% Enhanced Defense
Adds 6-22 Cold Damage - 4 Second Duration
15% Slower Stamina Drain
6-8% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies)
6-8% Mana Stolen Per Hit (varies)
Damage Reduced By 15-20% (varies)
Magic Damage Reduced By 10-15 (varies)

Notes: Put in two Ber runes into the CoA to give 16% more dmg reduce.
Value: Andy Helm is 2 HRs, CoA is 2-5? HRs, and Gaze is about 1 HR

IX.FAQ's
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
None yet since this is my first guide and it is very recent but here are the 
FAQ's I think will arise:

Q:What is an HR?
A:HR is an abbreviation for High Rune. High Runes are these Mal, Ist, Gul, Vex
  Ohm, Lo, Sur, Ber, Jah, Cham, and Zod. Zod and Gul are questionable cuz in
  recent times people have started to not count these as HRs as they have no
  uses in any good runewords. Zod is in BotD (This is very good but hardly 
  anyone makes it) and Gul is in a crappy runeword called Principle. Also some
  people consider the Um Rune as an HR sometimes.

Q:What is an Attribute Rune:
A:They are runes that Give +10 to an attribute. They are in a lot of decent 
  Runewords so they are worth a bit.
  Io Rune     +10 to Vitality
  Ko Rune     +10 to Dexterity
  Lum Rune    +10 to Energy
  Fal Rune    +10 to Strength

Q:What is FHR and FCR?
A:FHR is Faster Hit Recovery and FCR is Faster Cast Rate.

Q:What is a pre-buff?
A:A pre-buff or sometimes just called buff is a skill that you cast before
  you go into battle that adds somthing like damage or life or something in
  that neiborhood. e.g. Enchant, Battle Orders, Battle Command, Etc. 

X. Contact Info.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My E-mail address is Enigma107@gmail.com
Feel free to comment on my guide and in the future even more guides. If you
have any suggestion regarding skill allocation, attrribute allocation, or  
if you think that another item should be put in the guide then plz call me.
Or email me if you have any other questions or suggestions regarding this 
guide.

I ask you that you don't send spam to my email; I already get enough of that.
Plz don't email me suggesting I spell better or use better grammar. And most
importantly don't email me asking me if you can get an item or if I can add
you as my friend cuz I won't do either. The only time you can ask me for an 
item is if I specifically said I had the item and it was up for grabs. And 
don't expect a freebie. I will want the Value listed or if you have an offer
tell me.

XI. Credits
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Me AceOfSpadezz for writing the guide; lol.

(Insert Blizzard credit names here) for creating the game.

FrostyDragon and Mr.Spic for intoducing me to the game.

All of the people who have previously written character FAQ's for helping me
figure out the overall layout of how to write the guide.

Blizzard's Diablo 2 Exp site at <http://www.battle.net/diablo2exp/> for 
providing skill info, set item info, unique item info, horadric cube recepies
, normal item info, and charms info.

You for reading the FAQ and possibly emailing suggestions

CNET and GameFAQ's for Hosting the site.

(C)2007 AceOfSpadezz