Claws of Thunder (Diablo II)

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Claws of Thunder Icon.png Claws of Thunder
Charge-up Skill: Using her weapon's metal blades as conductors, an Assassin charges the ions surrounding her and delivers a devastating lightning attack to any who dare challenge her.

(Requires equipped Claw-class weapon.)

Class: Assassin
Skill Tree: Martial Arts
Required Level: 18
Damage Type: Lightning
Cast Delay:
Active
Prerequisites: Fists of Fire (6)
Skill progression
Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Mana Cost 4
Damage {{{Damage1}}} {{{Damage2}}} {{{Damage3}}} {{{Damage4}}} {{{Damage5}}} {{{Damage6}}} {{{Damage7}}} {{{Damage8}}} {{{Damage9}}} {{{Damage10}}}
Attack Rating +% 15 22 29 36 43 50 57 64 71 78
Charge 1: Lightning Damage 1-80 1-100 1-120 1-140 1-160 1-180 1-200 1-220 1-260 1-300
Charge 2: Nova Damage 1-30 1-45 1-60 1-75 1-90 1-105 1-120 1-135 1-160 1-185
{{{Variable D}}} {{{D1}}} {{{D2}}} {{{D3}}} {{{D4}}} {{{D5}}} {{{D6}}} {{{D7}}} {{{D8}}} {{{D9}}} {{{D10}}}
Charge 3: Charged Bolt Damage 1-40 1-60 1-80 1-100 1-120 1-140 1-160 1-180 1-220 1-260
 
Level 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
Mana Cost
Damage {{{Damage11}}} {{{Damage12}}} {{{Damage13}}} {{{Damage14}}} {{{Damage15}}} {{{Damage16}}} {{{Damage17}}} {{{Damage18}}} {{{Damage19}}} {{{Damage20}}}
Attack Rating +% 85 92 99 106 113 120 127 134 141 148
Charge 1: Lightning Damage 1-340 1-380 1-420 1-460 1-500 1-540 1-600 1-660 1-720 1-780
Charge 2: Nova Damage 1-210 1-235 1-260 1-285 1-310 1-335 1-370 1-405 1-440 1-475
{{{Variable D}}} {{{D11}}} {{{D12}}} {{{D13}}} {{{D14}}} {{{D15}}} {{{D16}}} {{{D17}}} {{{D18}}} {{{D19}}} {{{D20}}}
Charge 3: Charged Bolt Damage 1-300 1-340 1-380 1-420 1-460 1-500 1-560 1-620 1-660 1-740
Synergies
Phoenix Strike +8% Lightning Damage Per Level
{{{Synergy2}}} {{{Synergy Effect2}}}
{{{Synergy3}}} {{{Synergy Effect3}}}
{{{Synergy4}}} {{{Synergy Effect4}}}
{{{Synergy5}}} {{{Synergy Effect5}}}
{{{Synergy6}}} {{{Synergy Effect6}}}

Description

Lightning is perhaps the most powerful element in Hell mode both because of its high damage and because most lightning resistance can be removed with runeword infinity equipped on a merc. This being the case, Claws of Thunder can be an amazing skill at high skill level, synergized, and using infinity.

Releasing one charge of Claws of Thunder produces lightning damage delivered to a single target. Releasing two charges of Claws of Thunder Produces a nova that will damage all targets within about a ~5m radius of the target that the charges were released on. Releasing three charges of Claws of thunder produces the same nova as with 2 charges as well as ~14 charged bolts that radiate out from the target that the charges were released on.

There is also the issue of next-delay. Some skills have a property called Next Delay that causes mobs to be invulnerable to attack for a period after the skill is used. Charges two and three of Claws of Thunder trigger a 4-Frame Delay. After either 2 charges or 3 charges are released, there will be a period of (4 Frames) 0.16 seconds where nothing can damage the mobs that were previously damaged. What this means is that mobs that are struck by the nova released with three charges will not be damaged by the charged bolts unless the bolts took more than .16 seconds to travel to them. Using knockback can help knock single targets back into bolts that otherwise would not have damaged them. Without knockback, 2 and 3 charges are best when used on groups rather than single targets.

The +% lightning damage of lightning facets work for only one charge of Claws of Thunder. The nova or bolts released from 2 or 3 charges will not be affected by the +% damage of lightning facets. The -% enemy lightning resist of lightning facets will work for all three charges.

Claws of Thunder + Tiger Strike + Dtail is a powerful and fun build. The knockback on Dtail helps to counter the Next Delay issue, Fire+Lightning Damage helps to limit immunity problems, and Dtail can get amazing damage with Claws of Thunder +Tiger Strike charges.

Phoenix Strike builds also commonly max 2 of the three elemental charge ups, and Claws of Thunder is a popular choice.