Diablo 2 : Lord of Destruction Whirly-Sin guide (1.11)
-V1.0 (7/17/07)
-By AceOfSpadezz


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 Assassin
IV.     Skills*
    A. Martial Arts
    B. Shadow Disciplines
    C. Traps 
    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 an Assassin that uses the 
skill Whirlwind. 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 very hard to build and control.
Use this build to totally rape everyone in dueling.


III.    Overview of the Assassin
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Assassin is one of the best characters in Diablo 2. She is very, very,
cheap and most kinds of Assassins own everything in dueling. She is also
very balanced character that can specialize in melee or casting type skills.
The Trapper is a very overpowered character when it is correctly built. The 
Martial Artist is not as overpowered as the Trapper but can deal with any type
of monster because they can do all kinds of elemental damages. The Kick-Sin
uses the skill Dragon Talon which kicks a billion times and does a lot of 
damage. The Kick-Sins are a type of melee Assassin that shares a lot in common
with the Whirly-Sin. They both rely heavily on the Shadow Disciplines skill
tree. For all the noobs who are asking themselves "How do you use Whirlwind
as a Sin?" This build's weapon adds +1 to WW.

Pros: Fade, one of the skills you must max, adds a lot of resists and damage
      reduction so its hard for anyhing to kill you.

      Whirly-Sins use an item that adds a thorns so you reflect damage onto
      your opponents.

      You are practically invincible when you use the Dragon Flight-Whirlwind
      combination.

      Weapon Block has a fixed block always.(Shield blocking percent gets 
      reduced every difficulty level)

Cons: This Sin build doesn't use shields so you don't have any extra defense.

      The Dragon Flight-Whirlwind combo is hard to pull off.
  
      Venom, your main buff skill, does awesome damage. How is this a con? You  
      ask yourself. Poison Damage is done over seconds and venom does it over
      0.4 seconds. Poison damage needs at least 1 full second to do all of its
      damage. 0.4 damage only lets you do a little less than half of that
      damage venom says it adds.

IV. Skills
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Most of your maxed out skills will come from your Shadow Disciplines but 1 
maxed skill will come out of your Martial Arts. You will be maxing out mainly
buff skills that add bonuses to you. Venom will be one of your main sources of 
damage besides your weapon. At first the damage will seem to little bit or 
even when it's maxed out it will seem like too little. But you will have items
that give +X% to poison skill damage which will give venom tons of damage 
making it worthy of maxing out.

The first sentence in the description may just be a metaphor in some skills
so don't be dissapointed when dragon flight doesn't really give you dragon 
like my description says.


                             +=+=+=+=+=+=+=+
                             A. Martial Arts
                             +=+=+=+=+=+=+=+
You will be using only one skill from this tree, Dragon Flight. This is a very
nice skill because it is the kick skill that does the most damage of all. And 
the teleporting lets you attack from far away and it is auto aim when clicked 
randomly. You will have to waste a couple of skills into the many skills that
serve as pre-reqisites for it.

++++++++++++
Dragon Talon
++++++++++++
Required Level: 1
Effect: Deliver many kicks at an incredible speed. Kicks many times with the
click of a button. Resembles the Paladin's Zeal attack but only attacks one
target. Many Sins specialize in this skill but not you. In my experiences 
with this skill I have found that this skill can deal a lot of damage but most
of the kicks miss even when you have max % to hit.

1 point as a pre-requisite.

++++++++++++
Tiger Strike
++++++++++++
Required Lvl: 1
Effect: Use the might of the tiger to charge up energies to add damage to your
attacks. This skill really sucks so don't use it at all. Use it as a skill
for a pre-requisite for cobra strike. This skill is optional because you don't
need to get cobra strike. I suggest you get this skill so you can get cobra
strike.
0 points or
1 point as a pre-requisite

+++++++++++
Dragon Claw
+++++++++++
Required Lvl: 6
Effect: Finish the foe with a power full double claw attack. This is the skill
that does the most damage of all of the finishing attacks but it has a crappy
effect, none. Just releases all charges and does damage. Never use this skill
except for a pre-requisite.

++++++++++++
Cobra Strike
++++++++++++
Required Lvl: 12
Effect: Use the fangs of the cobra to steal mana and life from your enemy.
Steals massive amounts of mana and life tat could save you when you're dying 
or help you recover from the high mana cost of whirlwind. If you don't want
to waste precious skills on this skill don't but you'll be sorry when you're
running out of mana or life.

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

+++++++++++
Dragon Tail
+++++++++++
Required Lvl: 18
Effect: Kick your foe with a strong kick from the dragon that causes a small
explosion. This kick would easily be one of the best kicks because the small
explosion could kill nearby enemies. But this is not the best kick because
it has a relatively low damage.

1 point as a pre-requisite.

++++++++++++++
Draagon Flight
++++++++++++++
Required Lvl: 24
Effect: Use the wings of the dragon to fly toward your enemy and deliver a 
fierce kick. Teleports you to your enemy and kicks them. Works like any other
finishing skill that releases any charged skills. Good to use in conjunction
with whirlwind. First use this skill and while your enemy recovers from the
kick you use whirlwind.

20 points; Max it!


                             *^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*
                             B. Shadow Disciplines
                             *^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*^*
Trained to use stealthy manuevers to give her an edge the Assassin gets even 
more powerful when these are maxed out. These are like the Paladin's Auras,
and the Amazon's Passive and magic skills. The aura-like skills are Fade
and Burst of speed which make an aura like figure appear under your feet.
The passive-like skills add damage and let the Assassin block while having two
claw class weapons. The magic-like skills summon shadows and lower defenses of
monsters. Some Shadow skills will be left out because they will not be needed.

************
Claw Mastery
************
Required Lvl: 1
Effect: Train yourself to weild claw class weapons. Adds AR and damage to all 
of your attacks with a claw type weapon. Since you will be hitting people 
with claw you will need this skill really bad.

20 points; Max it!

**************
Burst of Speed
**************
Required Lvl: 6
Effect: Focus your energy into your stealth and increase your run and attack
speed. This skill adds IAS and faster run speed; very appealing to a melee 
character but not needed. This skill is nice to have on a melee character but
you will need fade. Cannot be used while fade is on.

1 point as a pre-requisite.

**************
Psychic Hammer
**************
Required Lvl: 6
Effect: Use your mental energies to knockback the targeted monster. Crappy ass
skill that should never be used as a real skill.

1 point as a pre-requisite.

****************
Cloak of Shadows
****************
Required Lvl: 12
Effect: Use your stealth and sneak up on your enemies for a surprise attack.
Lowers enemies light radius all the way, lowers their defense, and gives you
a defense bonus. This skill is a must have for any melee Sin. Use this skill
before fighting an army of monsters and you'll find that they will be very 
easily defeated.

1 point and let your +skills do the rest.

************
Weapon Block
************
Required Lvl: 12
Effect: Use dual claws in the same way you would use a shield to block. A very
good skill to have considering you will not be using a shield to block. Put
in all your extra skill points into this skill so you won't have to worry 
about dying as often.

XX points in this and +skills will help out a lot.

****
Fade
****
Required Lvl: 18
Effect: Turn yourself into a shadow so elemental and physical damages have 
less of an effect on you. Also reduces curse duration. This skill adds massive
resists and it also has a hidden effect. It has a "Damage reduced by X%" on it
but the skill itself doesn't list it. Every level into fade will give one more
percent of damage reduction with a cap of 50%. Max this because you will need
all the damage reduction and resists you can get. Also good for getting rid
of annoying ass Iron Maiden and Decrepify. Cannot be used at same time as 
burst of speed. Also reduces shrine duration = to -curse duration.

20 points; Max it!

**************
Shadow Warrior
**************
Required Lvl: 18
Effect: Summon your own shadow to do your bidding. Summon a warrior that looks
almost exactly like you. Gets defense every level and always does what skills
you have on your buttons. Pretty good skill but shadow master is better.
Completly optional but it's good to have because when enemies try to kill it
they will be hurt from your thorns aura you give to it. 6 second cast delay.

0 points or
1 point as a pre-requisite.

*****
Venom
*****
Required Lvl: 30
Effect: Coat your weapons with poisonous fluids to add more poison damage.
Nice skill to have for the damage. The +x% to poison skill damage on your
items will make it even more powerful.

20 points; Max it!

*************
Shadow Master
*************
Required Lvl: 30
Effect: Summon your own shadow to do your bidding but this time her advanced
shadow training gives her access to all of the Assassin skills, even ones you 
don't even have yet. This shadow gains resists per level instead of defense.
This should be the shadow of your choice because it casts all buff skills:
Blade shield, venom and fade or burst of speed. Completly optional but it's 
good to have because when enemies try to kill it they will be hurt from your 
thorns aura you give to it. 6 second cast delay.


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


                             ~`~`~`~`~
                             C. Traps
                             ~`~`~`~`~
Forget these exist.

                             -.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.
                             D. Skill Placement
                             -.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.
In all you get 110 skills; 98 from leveling, 12 from quests. Here is my way
of building this character

20 points into Fade
20 points into Claw Mastery
20 points into Venom
20 points into Dragon Flight
3  points into Pre-reqs for Dragon Flight
1  point  into Burst of Speed

Plus my recommended optional skills:
1 point into Cloak of Shadows
1 point into Psychic Hammer
1 point into Shadow Warrior
1 point into Shadow Master
1 point into Tiger Strike (pre-req)
1 point into Cobra Strike

The 20 leftover skills go into Weapon Block

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Here is how to do it without optional skills:
20 points into Fade
20 points into Claw Mastery
20 points into Venom
20 points into Dragon Flight
3  points into Pre-reqs for Dragon Flight
1  point  into Burst of Speed
20 points from leftovers to Weapon Block

6 points left over for anything you want.


A lot of people tell me "Your stupid for maxing out Dragon Flight first and 
not weapon block." I max out Dragon Flight first because the % of blocking 
that weapon block gives starts dropping at around level 8. It will eventually
take 2-3 skill points in it to make it go up even 1% of blocking.
 

V. Attributes
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Strength- Just have enough strength to wear your items. Strength should be 
kept at a base of 130-145 for you to be able to wear your boots. Strength can
also be added to add a bit of damage.

Dexterity- You will need a bit more dexterity than strength for you to be able
to hit people. Have around 130-145 Dexterity for pretty good AR. Dexterity
adds damage just like strength does.

Vitality- Dump all of you extra points into this cuz your gonna have kinda low
defense and block%. 

Energy- If you really need to put in at the most 10 points into this. Mana 
will be an issue due to the high mana cost of Whirlwind. Don't waste to many
points here thats why they invented pots and Cobra Strike for.


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. The weapon 1 part will
have dual weapons on it.


A. "Elite" Equipment
=====================
Weapons on switch one
=====================
You will be using two runeword weapons at the same time. You will be using 
"Chaos" for the whirlwind but it also has some IAS, a lot of damage, and
open wounds.

"Chaos"
3 Socket Claws
Fal + Ohm + Um

 9% Chance To Cast Level 11 Frozen Orb On Striking
11% Chance To Cast Level 9 Charged Bolt On Striking
+35% Increased Attack Speed
+290-340% Enhanced Damage (varies)
Adds 216-471 Magic Damage
25% Chance of Open Wounds
+1 To Whirlwind
+10 To Strength
+15 Life After Each Demon Kill

And you will be using "Fury" for more a shit load of open wounds and deadly
strike. The IAS makes the Whirlwind on the Chaos faster and the Ignore 
Target's defense is very nice to have on melee characters.

"Fury"
3 Socket Melee Weapons
Jah + Gul + Eth

+209% Enhanced Damage
40% Increased Attack Speed
Prevent Monster Heal
66% Chance Of Open Wounds
33% Deadly Strike
Ignore Target's Defense
-25% Target Defense
20% Bonus To Attack Rating
6% Life Stolen Per Hit
+5 To Frenzy (Barbarian Only)

Notes: Frenzy on Fury does not let Assassins use Frenzy. Make both of these 
       in:

"Superior Suwayyah"
Required Level: 44
Required Strength: 99
Required Dexterity: 99
+5-15 Enhanced Damage
+1-3 to any Assassin skill
+1-3 to any Assassin skill
(Go with skills that will benefit you such as Dragon Flight, Venom, Fade, or
Weapon Block)

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

"Call To Arms"
5 Socket Weapons
Amn + Ral + Mal + Ist + Ohm

 +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

==========
 Shield 1
==========
You're using dual claws you can't wear a shield.

==========
 Shield 2
==========
Use this to add +skills to the warcries on the CtA:

"Spirit"
4 Socket Shields
Tal + Thul + Ort + Amn

+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
(Ladder Only)

Notes: Make out of a Monarch(133-148 Def, Lvl 54 Req, 156 Str Req)

==========
Body Armor
==========
To add damage to your venom use "Bramble" because it adds +X% to poison skill
damage. It also gives decent defense, FHR and the thorns are also nice.

"Bramble"
4 Socket Body Armor
Ral + Ohm + Sur + Eth

Level 15-21 Thorns Aura When Equipped (varies)
+50% Faster Hit Recovery
+25-50% To Poison Skill Damage (varies)
+300 Defense
Increase Maximum Mana 5%
Regenerate Mana 15%
+5% To Maximum Cold Resist
Fire Resist +30%
Poison Resist +100%
+13 Life After Each Kill
Level 13 Spirit of Barbs (33 Charges)

Notes: Make out of a:

"Superior Archon Plate"
Required Level: 63
Required Strength: 103
+5-15% Enhanced Defense
+x-xx Durability

======
Helmet
======
The best choice for helmet would be "Dream". It's perfect for a melee build
because it adds resists, FHR, and a Holy Shock aura for damage.


"Dream"
3 Socket Helms
Io + Jah + Pul

10% Chance To Cast Level 15 Confuse When Struck
Level 15 Holy Shock Aura When Equipped
+20-30% Faster Hit Recovery (varies)
+30% Enhanced Defense
+150-220 Defense (varies)
+10 To Vitality
Increase Maximum Life 5% (Helms Only)
+0.625-61.875 To Mana (BCL)
All Resistances +5-20 (varies)
12-25% Magic Find (varies)

Notes: Make in a:

"Superior Bone Visage"
Required Level: 63
Required Strength: 103
+5-15% Enhanced defense
+x-xx durability

======
 Belt
======
The best choice for the melee characters  is "Dungo's". Good for the Super 
nice vita bonus, FHR, and damage reduction.

"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)

Notes: None

=====
Boots
=====
Every build of Assassin needs to have "Shadow Dancer". You will definitely use
these because your main skills come from the shadow disciplines. Also the
dexterity on these add a bit of damage to your claw attacks. These are also
the boots that do the most kick damage in the whole game. It can't hurt to
have more FHR also.

"Shadow Dancer" Myrmidon Greaves
Defense: 122-144 (varies)(Base Defense 62-71)
Required Level: 71
Required Strength: 167
Assassin Kick Damage: 83-149
+70-100% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+1-2 To Shadow Disciplines (Assassin Only) (varies)
+30% Faster Run/Walk
+30% Faster Hit Recovery
+15-25 To Dexterity (varies)
Requirements -20%
(Ladder Only)

======
Gloves
======
There are three choices of gloves for a Whirly-Sin. "Drac's" are the clearly 
the better choice because they add open wounds, strength, and cast life taps. 
"Soul Drainer" is in a way better because you will need the mana leech because
you have no other items that leech. Both options add life leech so you won't
have to worry about dying as often.

NOTE!!!: If you want to add more damage to venom so you can have more poison
damage go with "Trang Gloves" because they add +25% to poison skill damage.

"Trang-Oul's Claws" Heavy Bracers (Part of Trang-Oul's Avatar set)
Defense: 67-74 (varies)(Base Defense: 37-44)
Required Level: 45
Required Strength: 58
+20% Faster Cast Rate
Cold Resist +30%
+30 Defense
+25% Poison Skill Damage
+2 To Curses (Necromancer Only)


"Dracul's Grasp" Vampirebone Gloves
Defense: 125-145 (Base Defense: 56-65)
Required Level: 76
Required Strength: 50
+90-120% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+10-15 To Strength (varies)
+5-10 Life After Each Kill (varies)
25% Chance of Open Wounds
7-10% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies)
5% Chance To Cast Level 10 Life Tap On Striking

"Soul Drainer" Vambraces
Defense: 129-149 (Base Defense: 59-67)
Required Level: 74
Required Strength: 106
+90-120% Enhanced Defense (varies)
4-7% Mana Stolen Per Hit (varies)
4-7% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies)
-50 To Monster Defense Per Hit
8% Chance To Cast Level 3 Weaken On Striking

==========
 Jewelery 
==========
The jewelery suggested is very expensive and could take a lot of HRs to get.

========
 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. For Seraph's get a 1 to def. auras for 
lower worth requirements. 


=======
 Rings
=======
The best ring for Melee characters is one of the most popular rings, "BK Ring"

"Bul-Kathos' Wedding Band" Ring X2
Required Level: 58
+1 To All Skills
+ (0.5 Per Character Level) 0-49 To Life (Based On Character Level)
3-5% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies)
+50 Maximum Stamina

Notes: Good for the leech and +skills.


B. "Decent" Equipment
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This build requires all of the above items and cannot be done without them.
All you poor(In the game) people out there reading this guide, unless you can
cough up a whole lot of HRs then don't even bother making this build of Sin.


VII. Charms
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Charms are a very helpful source of skills and attribute points. In order to
make your character perfectly 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 a limit
of 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)



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 Attributes (varies)
All Resistances +10-20 (varies)
+8 to light radius
Level 30 Hydra (10 charges)

Notes: Of course get a torch that adds to Assassin skills, duh.


Having at least 1 of these Grand Charms make any character more powerful. 
Modded charms are more expensive than plain ones.  Richer players should have
a full inventory of "Shadow GCs".

"Mentalist's Grand Charm" X9
+1 To Bow and Crossbow Skills(Assassin Only)



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)

"Fine Small Charm of Balance"
+10-20 To Attack Rating
+1-3 To Maximum Damage
+5% FHR

"Pestilent Small Charm of Anthrax"
+225 Poison Damage over 6 seconds

VIII. Mercenary
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The ideal mercenary for this build is the Act 2 Desert Mercenary. They give
you auras which benefit you a lot. Go with the Nightmare Offensive mercenary
because the give you a might aura that will give you more damage. Also his 
weapon will allow him to have a concentration aura which also improves your
damage but also gives a 20% chance of uninteruptible attacks. 
======
Weapon
======
Use the "Pride" for the concentration aura that gives you more damage. Warning
don't rely on your merc for kills because this weapon gives your merc a very
low damage because it adds no enhanced damage, only the damage from the aura.

"Pride"
4 Socket Polearms
Cham + Sur + Io + Lo

25% Chance To Cast Level 17 Fire Wall When Struck
Level 16-20 Concentration Aura When Equipped (varies)
260-300% Bonus To Attack Rating (varies)
+1-99% Damage To Demons (BCL)
Adds 50-280 Lightning Damage
20% Deadly Strike
Hit Blinds Target
Freezes Target +3
+10 To Vitality
Replenish Life +8
1.875-185.625% Extra Gold From Monsters (BCL)
(Ladder Only)

If Pride is to expensive for you go with "Insight". It will definitely help
you out with the high mana cost of Whirlwind.

"Insight"
4 Socket Polearms
Ral + Tir + Tal + Sol

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
(Ladder Only)

Notes: Make Insight in any exceptional or elite polearm. Make Pride ONLY in:
       (If you can't get a superior then go with a normal one)

"Superior Cryptic Axe"
Required Level: 59
Required Strength: 165
Required Dexterity: 103
+5-15% Enhanced Damage
+10-50 AR? (I can't recall the exact amount but who cares)

============
 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

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) (1 per Lvl) (1-99)
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
(Ladder Only)

Poorer Players 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, lvl req 63) Up the uniques if 
       possible (See FAQ's for details) 
========
 Helmet
========
There are three choices for merc helms if you're rich: "Andy Helm", "CoA",
and the "Dream" Runeword.

"Dream"
3 Socket Helms
Io + Jah + Pul

10% Chance To Cast Level 15 Confuse When Struck
Level 15 Holy Shock Aura When Equipped
+20-30% Faster Hit Recovery (varies)
+30% Enhanced Defense
+150-220 Defense (varies)
+10 To Vitality
Increase Maximum Life 5% 
+0.625-61.875 To Mana (BCL)
All Resistances +5-20 (varies)
12-25% Magic Find (varies)
(Ladder Only)


"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 Players should give thier 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. Up the
       Gaze if possible(See FAQ's for details)make Dream out of a Bone Visage
       (100-157 def, req lvl. 63, req str. 103) Socket Gaze and put an Um rune
       in it.

IX.FAQ's
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
None yet since this is my first version 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 isn't in any common good runewords.
  Also some people consider the Um Rune as an HR sometimes. HRs are the main 
  currency on the realms and most people use these to trade for items.


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, FCR, IAS, and AR?
A:FHR is Faster Hit Recovery, FCR is Faster Cast Rate, IAS is Increased Attack
  Speed, and AR is Attack Rating.

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. 

Q:What is Upping?
A: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 recipie:
      1 Tal Rune + 1 Shael Rune +1 Perfect Diamond + Normal Unique Armor
      
      To up any Armor items to elite you use the horadric cube recipie:
      1 Ko Rune + 1 Lem Rune + 1 Perfect Diamond + Exceptional Unique Armor

      To up any weapon items to exceptional you use the horadric cupe recipe:
      1 Ral Rune + 1 Sol Rune + 1 Perfect Emerald + Normal Unique Weapon 

      To up any weapon items to elite you use the horadric cube recipe:
      1 Lum Rune + 1 Pul Rune + 1 Perfect Emerald + Exceptional Unique Weapon 

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. If you will be sending me suggestions or info please give me a name 
you would like to be called for me to add in the credits.

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. Any emails with no subject will be DELETED!!!!

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

(Insert Blizzard staff credits here) for creating the game.

FrostyDragon and for introducing 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 recipes
, normal item info, character info, and charms info.

You for reading the FAQ and possibly emailing suggestions

CNET and GameFAQ's for Hosting the site.

(C)2007 AceOfSpadezz