Diablo 2 : Lord of Destruction Bear Druid guide (1.11)
-V1.0 (7/8/07)
-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 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 (7/08/07) Newly released.





II.     Purpose of the Guide
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The purpose of this guide is to help readers build a Bear 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."

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 anyhing. The Bear Druid isn't exactly the best
melee based character in the game but that doesn't mean that it should be 
considered inferior to all of the rest. The Bear Druid is although the best
one of the best tanking characters in the game.

Pros: Very good at taking melee hits.
    
      One of the best tanks in the game.

      Gets massive amounts of life, damage, and defense from Werebear and
      Lycanthropy.

Cons: Aren't as good as thier Wolfey counterparts at attack speed and accuracy
      
      It takes a while for them to travel places due to their slow run speed.

      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
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This section describes the skills that will be necessary as a pre-requisite,
a skill to max out, and a few optional skills. If a skill is totally not
needed at all it will not be put in.
                               -=-=-=-=-=-=-
                               A. Elemental 
                               -=-=-=-=-=-=-
From calling upon windy storms to opening volcanic vents the Druid has a wide
range of casting abilities. This will be the most useless of the three skill
trees for a Bear Druid. If you desire you could put in a couple of points into
Cyclone Armor for more Elemental resistances. I personally didn't waste those
skills because Cyclone Armor is only good when it has synergies to back it up.

============
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.

=============
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 untill 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; let your +skills do the rest.


                               *~*~*~*~*~*~*
                               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 Bear Druid are Spirits, Bears, and Vines. Spirit
summons give the Druid and his party an aura. Vines can do many differnt tasks
such as helping with damage or eating corpses for life. 

The Bear Druid needs to no matter what use spirit summons. Summon Grizzly Bear
is also strongly recommended. Vines are totally optional but I will put them
in just for those people who will use them.

*****
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.

1 point 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 is
an awesome skill but be carful because this skill has a relatively low
HP number compared to the other spirits. As good as this spirit is forget it
because you will be using another spirit. In Nightmare and Hell all spirits
gain the attributes: "Immune to Poison" and "Immune to Physical".

1 point as a pre-requisite. 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.

1 point as a pre-requisite.

************
Carrion Vine
************
Required Lvl: 12
Effect: Summon a vine that eats corpes 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 Bear Druid should completely max
this skill. You will need it because it add damage and AR. It gives an aura 
similar to the Pally's Fanaticism but doesn't add attack speed :(

20 points; Max it!

****************
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.

1 point as a pre-requisite.

**************
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.

1 point and let +skills do the rest. Put in all extra points after you max out
the other main skills



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

Druidic warriors may have the wonderous 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.

This will make up about 3/4ths of the whole build. You will be maxing out 3
skills in this tree. I will only be listing the skills that Bears can do I
will not be listing the skills that are wolf only such as Fury.

++++++++
Werewolf
++++++++
Required Lvl: 1
Effect: Morph into a frenzied beast that increases accuracy, attack speed, and
faster run/walk %. This is an awesome skill for your wolf brethern but not for
you. Use this skill while you wait for Werebear. Adds a bit of stamina and 
life also but not as much as the Weerbear skill. Cast delay of 1 second.
Armageddon is castable while in werewolf form.

1 point as a pre-requisite

+++++++++++
Lycanthropy
+++++++++++
Required Lvl: 1
Effect: Enlightens the Druid so he can remain in his beast form longer and 
gives more life percentage. Adds 5% every lvl and 20 seconds of increased 
duration. Give the passive bonus to both Werewolf and Werebear. This skill
is one of the most important skills for any shapeshifter and should be
the first skill to max.

20 points; Max it!

++++++++
Werebear
++++++++
Required Lvl: 6
Effect: Morph into an massive bear the gains massive amounts of strength and
defense. The skill that is the most necessary for this build. You can't be
a Bear Druid without knowing Werebear can you? Adds 5% defense and 7% damage
evrey level. Adds a decent life bonus by itself but with Lycanthropy it adds
a lot of life. This skill turns you into a tank and most melee character won't
even scratch you.

20 points; Max it!

++++
Maul
++++
Required Lvl: 12
Effect: Charge up a ball of energy that adds damage, AR, and stuns your 
enemies. This wil be your main attack skill. This skill is confusing to some 
people but it is a very simple skill. This skill has a damage range that 
co-incides with the size of the orb. Every time you hit the orb gets bigger, 
after a few hits it will be at its max size and will be at its max damage. At 
its smallest size it will do the least damage stated on the skill button.

20 points; Max it!

++++++++++
Feral Rage
++++++++++Required Lvl: 12
Effect: I'm not explanin' this skill cuz it is only a pre-requisite for Fire 
Claws. I strongly suggest you not waste a skill here but if you want you can.

0 or 1 point as a pre-requisite.

++++++++++
Fire Claws
++++++++++
Required Lvl: 18
Effect: Using the Druid's link to the natural forces he coats the beast's paws 
with fire to incinerate his foes. A decent skill but not necessary. Very good
when all synergies are maxed but kinda crappy by itself. If you wish you may 
put in all leftover skills into this skill. However doing so will leave your
Grizzly at a weaker level.

0(Recommended) or all leftover skills

+++++++++
ShockWave
+++++++++
Required Lvl: 24
Effect: With his enormous strength the Werebear pounds the air causing a wave
to stun his enemies. A good skill to use before you engage in melee combat.
Stun your enemied beforehand so you can strike without fear of retaliation.
Not necessary but it's recommend you use it.

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

++++++
Hunger
++++++
Required Lvl: 24
Effect: Using his control of nature the Druid steals the life energy for his
victims and converts it into life and mana. This skill leeches a lot of mana
and life but lowers your damage by 75%. You will not need this skill of you
will be using BotD as it will already leech.

0(recommended) or 1 point
 
                               ~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`~`
                               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 use Fire Claws and
Hunger: (not recommended)

20 points into Werebear
20 points into Lycanthropy
20 points into Maul
20 points into Heart of Wolverine
20 points into Fire Claws
1  point  into Werewolf
1  point  into Feral Rage
1  point  into Hunger
1  point  into Shockwave
6  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:

20 points into Werebear
20 points into Lycanthropy
20 points into Maul
20 points into Heart of Wolverine
xx points into Grizzly Bear*
1  point  into Werewolf
1  point  into Shockwave
1  point  into Raven
1  point  into Spirit Wolves
1  point  into Dire Wolves
1  point  into Oak Sage

*xx is amount of leftover extra points

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 Fire Claws. It will only add like 200 dmg 
if you max out Fire Claws. At around Lvl. 85 you will have 96 skills.



V. Attributes
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Strength- This build requires a lot of strength. The weapon requires 200+ str
and so does the armor. Keep the base Strength as 150-180 and let your +str
do the rest.  

Dexterity- Dex is necessary on melee characters. You'll need it for AR. Try
to keep the base dex at around 120-150 and let your skills add more AR.
Or you could add more if you are going with the shield but it's better with a 
two-handed weapon.

Vitality- Dump ALL of your extra points into this one. Bear Druids are
incredibly good at tanking and you will lov the fact that you cant die.  

Energy- Forget this Attribute don't waste any skills cuz you will not be 
casting and your weapon should be the leeching chioce.


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. 


A. "Elite" Equipment 
==========
 Weapon 1
==========
The best choice here it the "Breath of the Dying" Runeword or commonly 
abbreviated BotD on the realms but "Beast" will do fine.

"Breath of the Dying"
6 Socket Weapons
Vex + Hel + El + Eld + Zod + Eth

50% Chance To Cast Level 20 Poison Nova on kill
Indestructible
+60% Increased Attack Speed
+350-400% Enhanced Damage (varies)
+200% Damage To Undead
-25% Target Defense
+50 To Attack Rating
+50 To Attack Rating Against Undead
7% Mana Stolen Per Hit
12-15% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies)
Prevent Monster Heal
+30 To All Attributes
+1 To Light Radius
Requirements -20%
       
             or

"Beast"
5 Socket Axes/Scepters/Hammers
Ber + Tir + Um + Mal + Lum

 Level 9 Fanaticism Aura When Equipped
+40% Increased Attack Speed
+240-270% Enhanced Damage (varies)
20% Chance of Crushing Blow
25% Chance of Open Wounds
+3 To Werebear
+3 To Lycanthropy
Prevent Monster Heal
+25-40 To Strength (varies)
+10 To Energy
+2 To Mana After Each Kill
Level 13 Summon Grizzly (5 Charges)


Notes: Use a Ogre Mauls for the most possible damage if you want to
       go two-handed which you should do, but use Beserker Axes for 1-handed
       Use etheral weapons when making BotD

==========
 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

 +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 and 2
================
For one-Handed users use the "Storm Shield":

"Storm Shield" Monarch
Defense: (136-504) - (151-519) (varies)(Base Defense: 133-148)
Required Level: 73
Required Strength: 156
Chance to Block: 67%
+ (3.75 Per Character Level) 3-371 Defense (Based On Character Level)
+25% Increased Chance Of Blocking
35% Faster Block Rate
Damage Reduced By 35%
Cold Resist +60%
Lightning Resist +25%
+30 To Strength
Attacker Takes Lightning Damage of 10
Indestructible

The most common CtA helping shield is the "Spirit" runeword put in 4 socketed 
shields and most commonly put in a "Monarch". Because it gives +skills needed
to up 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 Shield(133-148 Def, Lvl 54 Req, 156 Str Req) 
       Socket Stormshield with a Ber Rune for more damage reduction.

============
 Body Armor
============
The best choice of armor for this build is the "Fortitude" Runeword. Gives a 
lot of damage and some resists also.

"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)



Notes: Make out of a Sacred Armor for cuz it gives the best defense of any
       armor(487-600 def, lvl 66 req, 232 Str req)
       for lower strength requirements.

========
 Helmet
========
There are two choices for the Bear druid in the helms department. "Jalal's"
gives a little bit of everything but has lower defense and "Cerebrus" gives
open wounds and bonus AR% and more defense. They both give 4 to shapeshift
skills but go with the "Jalal's" so it also helps out the summons.

"Jalal's Mane" Totemic Mask
Defense: 247-297 (varies)(Base Defense: 73-98)
Required Level: 42
Required Strength: 65
(Druid Only)
+150-200% Enhanced Defense (varies)
30% Faster Hit Recovery
20% Bonus To Attack Rating
+2 To Druid Skill Levels
All Resistances +30
+5 To Mana After Each Kill
+20 To Strength
+20 To Energy
+2 To Shape Shifting Skills (Druid Only)
               
               OR

"Cerebrus' Bite" Blood Spirit
Defense: 335-350 (varies)(Base Defense: 101-145)
Required Level: 63
Required Strength: 86
(Druid Only)
+130-140% Enhanced Defense (varies)
60-120% Bonus to Attack Rating (varies)
7-10% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies)
33% Chance of Open Wounds
+2-4 To Shape Shifting Skills (Druid Only) (varies)
+1-2 To Feral Rage (Druid Only) (varies)
(Ladder Only)

Socket With:

"Ruby Jewel of Fervor" (Magical)
+15% IAS
+40% Enhanced Damage
            OR
"Um Rune"
25% Chance of Open Wounds(Weapons)	
All Resistances +15(Armor/Helms) 
All Resistances +22(Shields)
 
Notes: Socket With jewel for Damage and if your low on resistances use an
       Um Rune. Up Jalal's if you can. (See FAQ's for details)

======
 Belt
======
The best choice for the melee characters and especially the tank 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
=======
For Bear druids some of the most important things to have are crushing blow,
open wounds, and deadly strike; so go with the "Gores" option for your boots.
Another good pair of boots around are "Treks". These give some strength, 
vitality, FHR, and a hell-load of poison resistance.

"Gore Rider" War Boots
Defense: 140-162 (varies)(Base Defense: 43-53)
Required Level: 47
Required Strength: 94
+160-200% Enhanced Defense (varies)
30% Faster Run/Walk
10% Chance Of Open Wounds
15% Chance Of Crushing Blow
15% Deadly Strike
Requirements -25%
+20 Maximum Stamina

         OR

"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: Treks are better when thay are etheral and they repair so don't worry 
       about them breaking. Up the Gores if you can.(See FAQ's for details)


========
 Gloves
========
For this build "Rends" are second to none. But if you feel like you need IAS
use "Lavagout"

"Steelrend" Ogre Gauntlets
Defense: 232-281 (Base Defense: 62-71)
Required Level: 70
Required Strength: 185
+170-210 Defense (varies)
+30-60% Enhanced Damage (varies)
10% Chance of Crushing Blow
+15-20 To Strength (varies)

         OR

"Lavagout" Battle Gauntlets
Defense: 120-144 (varies)(Base Defense: 39-47)
Required Level: 42
Required Strength: 88
+150-200% Enhanced Defense (varies)
2% Chance To Cast Level 10 Enchant On Striking
Half Freeze Duration
Adds 13-46 Fire Damage
+20% Increased Attack Speed
Fire Resist +24%


Notes: Up Lavagout if you will be using them. (See FAQ's for details)

==========
 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. 


=======
 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
The decent quipment 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
==========
There are three good choices for Bear Weapons. The better chice is "Black cuz"
you can put it in two handed hammers. The other two better for one-handed 
weapon users.

"Black"
3 Socket Clubs/Hammers/Maces
Thul + Io + Nef

+120% Enhanced Damage
40% Chance Of Crushing Blow
+200 To Attack Rating
Adds 3-14 Cold Damage - Cold Duration 3 Seconds
+10 To Vitality
15% Increased Attack Speed
Knockback
Magic Damage Reduced By 2
Level 4 Corpse Explosion (12 Charges)


"Voice of Reason"
4 Socket Swords/Maces
Lem + Ko + El + Eld

15% Chance To Cast Level 13 Frozen Orb On Striking
18% Chance To Cast Level 20 Ice Blast On Striking
+50 To Attack Rating
+220-350% Damage To Demons
+355-375% Damage To Undead (varies)
+50 To Attack Rating Against Undead
Adds 100-220 Cold Damage
-24% To Enemy Cold Resistance
+10 To Dexterity
Cannot Be Frozen
75% Extra Gold From Monsters
+1 To Light Radius
(Ladder Only)

"Passion"
4 Socket Weapons
Dol + Ort + Eld + Lem

+25% Increased Attack Speed
+160-210% Enhanced Damage
50-80% Bonus To Attack Rating (varies)
+75% Damage To Undead
+50 To Attack Rating Against Undead
Adds 1-50 Lightning Damage
+1 To Berserk
+1 To Zeal
Hit Blinds Target +10
Hit Causes Monster To Flee 25%
75% Extra Gold From Monsters
Level 3 Heart of Wolverine (12 Charges

Notes:Make Black in a war club or ogre maul. Make the other two in a Phase
      Blade, Dimensional Blade, War Axe, or Berserker Axe

==========
 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

 +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.

================
 Sheild 1 and 2
================
Shield 1: For your main sheild a good choice would be the "Tiamat's Rebuke"
shield.
Shield 2: This will be the shield that adds skills for your CtA

"Tiamat's Rebuke" Dragon Shield
Defense: 163-204 (varies)(Base Defense: 59-67)
Required Level: 38
Required Strength: 91
Chance to Block: 38%
+140-200% Enhanced Defense (varies)
Adds 27-53 Cold Damage - 6 Second Duration
Adds 35-95 Fire Damage
Adds 1-120 Lightning Damage
3% Chance To Cast Level 6 Hydra When Struck
5% Chance To Cast Level 7 Nova When Struck
5% Chance To Cast Level 9 Frost Nova When Struck
All Resistances +25-35% (varies)

"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

+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: Up the uniqued if you can. (See FAQ's for details)Make Splendor out of
a Grim Shield(50-151 def, req lvl 25, req str 58) and socket "Tiamat's Rebuke"
with a:

Pul Rune
+30% Enhanced Defense
        OR
Perfect Amethyst
Perfect Diamond


============
 Body Armor
============
There are a couple of good candidates for an armor and some are a little 
expensive. 

"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

"Duriel's Shell" Cuirass
Defense: (528-650) - (610-732) (varies)(Base Defense: 188-202)
Required Level: 41
Required Strength: 65
+160-200% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+ (1.25 Per Character Level) 1-123 Defense (Based On Character Level)
+ (1 Per Character Level) 1-99 To Life (Based On Character Level)
Resist Fire +20%
Resist Lightning +20%
Resist Poison +20%
Resist Cold +50%
Cannot Be Frozen
+15 To Strength

"Skullder's Ire" Russet Armor
Defense: 634-732 (varies)(Base Defense: 225-243)
Required Level: 42
Required Strength: 97
+160-200% Enhanced Defense (varies)
Repairs 1 Durability In 5 Seconds
+ (1.25 Per Character Level) 1-123 % Better Chance Of Getting Magic Items 
(Based On Character Level)
+1 To All Skill Levels
Magic Damage Reduced By 10

"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: Up these if you can.(See FAQ's for details)

========
 Helmet
========
Use any of these options:

"Rockstopper" Sallet
Defense: 163-201 (varies)(Base Defense: 52-62)
Required Level: 31
Required Strength: 43
+160-220% Enhanced Defense (varies)
Damage Reduced By 10%
30% Faster Hit Recovery
Cold Resist +20-40% (varies)
Fire Resist +20-50% (varies)
Lightning Resist +20-40% (varies)
+15 To Vitality

"Crown of Theives" Grand Crown
Defense: 296-342 (varies)(Base Defense: 78-113)
Required Level: 49
Required Strength: 103
+160-200% Enhanced Defense (varies)
9-12% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies)
Fire Resist +33%
+35 To Mana
+50 To Life
+25 To Dexterity
80-100% Extra Gold From Monsters (varies)

"Aldur's Stony Gaze" Hunter's Guise (Aldur's Watchtower set)
Defense: 157-171 (varies) (Base Defense: 67-81)
Required Level: 36
Required Strength: 56
(Druid Only)
+90 Defense
25% Faster Hit Recovery
Regenerate Mana 17%
Cold Resist +40-50% (varies)
Socketed (2)
+5 To Light Radius
+15 To Energy (2 Item)
+15 To Energy (3 Items)
+15 To Energy (Completed Set) 



Notes: Use Aldur's Helm if you want to get a bonus from the boots that you can
       wear. Up the uniques if possible. (See FAQ's for details)

======
 Belt
======
The best belt for a low melee character 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: Nice for the leech and the damage reduction. Up this if possible
       (See FAQ's for details)

=======
 Boots
=======
A good choice of boots depends on what you think you should wear:

"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)
       OR
"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 unique if you can. (See FAQ's for details)

========
 Gloves
========
"Venom Grip" is the best choice for low melee characters. It adds poison dmg,
leech and a bit of crushing blow.

"Venom Grip" Demonhide Gloves
Defense: 97-118 (varies)(Base Defense: 28-35)
Required Level: 29
Required Strength: 20
+130-160% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+15-25 Defense (varies)
5% Chance of Crushing Blow
+60 Poison Damage Over 4 Seconds
5% Life Stolen Per Hit
5% To Maximum Poison Resist
Poison Resist +30%

Notes: Up these if you can.(See FAQ's for details)

==========
 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)

Notes: Go with the Eye so you can have more leech.

=======
 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%

Notes: The unique rings are good for dueling against cold or fire based chars.
       Raven helps with problems dealing with AR


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)



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)

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 "Shapeshift GCs" on the 
realms. Richer players should have X9 of these. 

"Spiritual Grand Charm"
+1 To Shapeshifting Skills(Druid 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:

"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

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

VIII. Mercenary
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The ideal mercenary for the Bear Druid is the Act 1 Rogue Mercenary. They 
are ranged fighters and can back you up from behind while you damage your 
enemies. Also the weapon the should wear will give you a Fanaticism Aura that
adds AR, IAS, and damage.

========
 Weapon
========
For any slow attacking character the ideal weapon for their merc is:

"Faith"
4 Socket Missile Weapons
Ohm + Jah + Lem + Eld

Level 12-15 Fanaticism Aura When Equipped (varies)
+1-2 To All Skills (varies)
+330% Enhanced Damage
Ignore Target's Defense
300% Bonus To Attack Rating
+75% Damage To Undead
+50 To Attack Rating Against Undead
+120 Fire Damage
All Resistances +15
10% Reanimate As: Returned
75% Extra Gold From Monsters
(Ladder Only)

Poorer Druids could use:

"Harmony"
4 Socket Missile Weapons
Tir + Ith + Sol + Ko

Level 10 Vigor Aura When Equipped
+200-275% Enhanced Damage (varies)
+9 To Minimum Damage
+9 To Maximum Damage
Adds 55-160 Lightning Damage
Adds 55-160 Fire Damage
Adds 55-160 Cold Damage
+2-6 To Valkyrie (varies)
+10 To Dexterity
Regenerate Mana 20%
+2 To Mana After Each Kill
+2 To Light Radius
Level 20 Revive (25 Charges)
(Ladder Only)

Notes: Make out Faith out of a Hydra Bow. Make Harmony out of a Gothic Bow or
       Hydra Bow.
 
============
 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 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, lvl req 63) Up the uniques
       (See FAQ's for details) 

========
 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 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 (See FAQ's for details)

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