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Werewolf Druid by Zhar

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Werewolf Druid
Werewolf (Diablo II).gif
Game Diablo II
Class Druid
Primary Attack Fury
PvM/PvP PvM
Can Solo Hell? Yes
Creator Zhar (Forum Profile)
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Contents

[edit] The Fury Druid - Overview

This build, in essence, is a Tank build. This means that when using it, you will often find yourself slugging it out in heavy melee combat, drawing the majority of attention from monsters while your ranged comrades hit them from afar.

However, this does not mean that it is confined to the role of a tank. Often, tanks rarely do much damage. This is not the case with the Fury Druid. This is because the build relies on pure life leech to stay alive, which requires a lot of damage to take full advantage of. Fury and a large amount of life leech make for a deadly combination.

When using it, just remember to let the monsters come to you: don't get over-confident and rush in.

[edit] Where to Put Your Points

[edit] The Skills

  • Fury - 20
  • Werewolf - 20
  • Lycanthropy - 20
  • Heart of Wolverine - 20

These 4 skills are the only ones you should go out of your way to max, as they will serve this build extremely well.

  • Fury is a given; the build is centered around the use of this skill. At the moment, my Druid has it at level 28, and it adds a whopping 559% to damage, and 239% to attack rating. With these stats, basically any weapon can become a killing force.
  • Werewolf is also a given, as the build needs this form to use Fury. Maxing it will add extra attack speed and attack rating. At the moment, mine adds 455% attack rating. When coupled with the AR given by Fury, it means that I can go through nearly any defense.
  • Lycanthropy is an absolute must. The extra life given by it is essential, and the extra duration is even more helpful. I can't count how many times my werewolf form duration ran out in the middle of combat when I didn't have it maxed. Maxing this skill should be of the highest priority.
  • Heart of Wolverine is another way to add more killing power to your character. At the moment, mine adds over 180% to both damage and attack rating, further increasing my overall damage output, as well as the chance to hit. This skill is not as high on the priority list, but it should not be neglected.

Now, as you can see, you'll have quite a few skill points left over. Pour them into any utility skills you need. Several suggestions I have are:

  • Feral Rage is an incredibly helpful form of attack for the Fury druid. Even putting several points into it will add movement speed and life steal to your other attacks.
  • Summon Grizzly Simply put, this skill is a great meat shield. With several points, you can have a meaty ally that will soak up tons of damage and be able to deal out a fair amount himself.
  • Hunger If you're having trouble keeping up mana or life, put 1 into this skill. Even at level 1, this skill can heal a considerable amount of health and mana. Keep it as a utility skill, not a primary skill.

[edit] The Stats

As with most builds, the general rule applies: just enough Strength and Dexterity to use your equipment, and put the rest into Vitality. This approach requires a fair amount of planning to pull off, but it is the most commonly used method of stat distrubiton.

It is also very effective when using this build, as the extra life percentage granted by Lycanthropy will multiply the bonus added by each point of Vitality.

At lower levels, you will generally want to pour points into either Strength or Dexterity to use some good equipment to start you off. Alternate between adding into Strength, and adding into Vitality to keep the two relatively balanced as you gain levels.

[edit] The Equipment

  • Helm

At lower levels, a Vampire Gaze is strongly recommended. This helm adds DR (damage reduction), and extra leech. They also come fairly cheap, so pick one up.

As you gain experience and wealth, you can either go for a shako, or a Cerebus Bite (albeit a near perfect one). A shako is easier to find than a good Cerebus bite, so it makes a good substitute while you wait for one. However, as soon as you find a good cerebus, I STRONGLY recommend switching to it. The AR, skills, and leech is extremely useful. Also, socket this one with an Um Rune if you can.

  • Torso

At low levels, Sigons plate is always a good item to fall back upon if nothing else is available.

A cheap and effective runeword to use until you wait for the better items, is a Duress. My Druid STILL uses this item, and it has served me extremely well.

Once you're ready to get rid of this one though, get yourself a Fortitude armor. Possibly even an Enigma if you want the Teleport, and the bonuses it provides.

  • Amulet

Any old amulet will do for the early levels, one that I always liked was the Cats Eye amulet. Once you get high enough though, get yourself a Highlords Wrath. The IAS (Increased attack speed) and +skills afforded by it is essential for this build.

  • Rings

For the lower levels, simply get yourself 2 Cathans Seal rings. They're dirt cheap, and will help you stay alive while you wait for bigger and better things. Later on, you can either get a Raven Frost (the cannot be frozen is extrememly helpful), or possibly even a Stone of Jordan.

Near the endgame however, you'll have access to rings such as Natures Peace, and a Bul Kathos Wedding Band ring. These 2 are the ones I currently use, and unless you have other preferences, these are the 2 that I would most recommend.

  • Boots

Gore Riders, and nothing but gore riders. They are simply amazing, and will help this build immensely in both killing power and movement speed.

While you're waiting to use them though, Sigons boots are always a good bet.

  • Belt

Sigons belt is always a good bet while you're waiting for other belts to become available.

As you level, other more powerful belts will become available, two of which being a String of Ears, and a Verdungos Hearty Cord.

The String of Ears if often a midway between Sigons and Verdungos, and will serve you well while you wait for Verdungos.

And, as you have guessed, use Verdungos when it becomes available. This belt is all about survivability in heavy melee combat, which is where you'll be spending all your time. This item adds vitality, faster hit recovery, and damage reduction. Overall, a must have for your Druid.

  • Gloves

This is one of the more "open ended" of equipment choices. You can go with several options here. Draculs Grasp gloves are a safe bet, but if you chose to take the Reaper's Toll weapon route (will be explained later), then these are not a good idea. If you're using any other weapon though, then these gloves are simply the best. Soul Drainers are another good item, providing extra leech for your character.

If you're willing to craft some gloves, then this route is yet another possibility. I ended up making myself a pair of gloves with 20% IAS, life leech, crushing blow, and dexterity. I still use these, as I use a reaper's toll.

  • Weapon

Ah, the weapons. So many avenues to take here. Starting off, a Cranium Basher is often your best bet, as well as a steeldriver. the latter of which I ended up upgrading to exceptional, and using it through much of nightmare difficulty.

Once bigger and better items become available however, more avenues open up. If you're too poor to afford the higher runewords, or simply cannot find the time to collect them, then your best bet, is a Reaper's Toll thresher.

This item is an often neglected weapon, but it is EXTREMELY (and I mean extremely) effective with this build. It has very good damage (well over 400 max), life leech, deadly strike, and it ignores target defence. These stats however, may make it seem like a run-of-the-mill weapon. However, the best is saved for last. This weapon casts decrepify. This is the best asset of all, it lets you tackle physical immune creatures (it amplifies damage), slows down enemies, and overall makes them easier to deal with. When socketed with a shael, it makes it all the more deadly.

Now, as you know, earlier I mentioned not using Drac's gloves when using a Reaper's toll. This is because both cast different curses. And, a monster cannot have more than 1 curse on it.

Anywho, near the endgame, you'll probably want to ditch your Reaper's Toll for bigger and better things. An EBOTD zerker axe is probably your best bet. Tried and true, this weapon makes any build a killing machine. It takes considerable wealth to get one though, so save up.

  • Shields

Honestly, I've never used one for this build. I stuck with my Reaper's Toll. However, a spirit shield works wonders, and is very cheap to make.

If you're not satisfied with the spirit shield though, go for a storm shield. This shield adds more damage reduction, and makes your character even harder to kill.

  • Charms

Aside from the obligatory Torch and Anni, get yourself health charms (when coupled with the 150 or so percent extra life added by Lycanthopy, you get over double the bang for your buck). Max damage and AR charms are also highly recommended, as are all res charms.

[edit] Mercenary

I cannot stress how effective the Act 2 defensive mercenary is. With this mercenary, you will gain a Holy Freeze aura, which will freeze all nearby monsters. This allows you to hit them with less chance of being interrupted, and makes it so they do not hit you as much.

[edit] Tactics

Simply put, rush in and lay down the beatdowns. Summon up anything that was killed in the last skirmish, and start at it again.

Often, you'll find yourself in very heavy melee situations, this is where Feral Rage comes in. When kept as a left click skill, this lets you quickly steal some life, and keep the bonuses running (as it only lasts several seconds from your last hit with it). Keep Fury on right click, fury several times, get in some hits with feral rage, rinse, and repeat.

Hit and run is also very effective with this build, as it has insane movement speed. Chip away slowly at those monsters that are giving you a hard time, you have all the speed in the world to get it done.

[edit] Capabilities

Key running is one of the best things to do with this build. It is easy, quick due to the movement speed, and simple. Organ runs are also very possible with this build. I don't have the optimal equipment yet, and I've managed to solo all 3 of the organ levels.

Uber trist however, may be a bit of a hassle. The crushing blow provided with this build may be enough to take it down, but I don't recommend trying until you'be gotten the best equipment possible.