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Wind Druid by Nadenitza
Wind Druid is a druid that specializes in "Tornado" and hurricane spells. These two abilities are your main attacks, however, you will need some backup later in game and that's where the Grizzly and Oak Sage come in.
Stat points placement
You may have heard the usual saying when you ask "How many points do I need to put here and there?" and the answer will be :
Strength - enough for gear [+str gear for max efficiency]
Dexterity - enough for max block [or choose vita instead and disregard max block]
Vitality - all the rest
Energy - nothing
While the above is great base guide, you must also determine some of your path for yourself. Your most valuable stat is Vitality, though early in game you will not have access to massive +str, +dex, +mana, +etc equipment, so spending extra points in str, dex or nrg is inevitable. [remember, you have respec from Akara, so don't worry should you make a mistake]
Good bases for stats are rare items or socket items, even some blues or some early runewords and uniques. If you find some rare with sockets its a good booster for your stats. Ideally it will give you sore resistance and you can put a gem, rune or a jewel in it to cover your stat needs.
Good sources are gems and they are easy to obtain. A Perfect Amethyst will net you 10 str bonus.
From runes, there's Fal rune. Not a good choice, since it gives you 10, same as a P amethyst, and is somewhat difficult to find and better used for runewords. Speaking of runewords, there's the Strength runeword, easy to make and gives you easy 20. Where Fal shines is the Lionheart runeword - whooping 25 str and other goodies. Another runeword with Fal rune is Gloom, a 10 str but godly resist bonus. Stone runeword is not bad either. Your ultimate source of strength are Enigma runeword, Hellfire Torch and Annihilus unique charms, though they are not easy to obtain.
Charms are a somewhat basic choice but still may provide you with some help. Only one worth keeping are the Large Charms - 2 inventory squares for 5 str bonus and some good prefix will be ideal, but most of the time you'll stumble across plain ones... good prefixes are : Serpent's [mana bonus]; Stalwart [defense bonus]; Shimmering, Sapphire, Ruby, Amber, Emerald [resistance bonus].
Rare or crafted multi-stat rings and amulets are a good source too, although they are hard to get.
If I need to shoot for a number, I would say putting around 100-110 in the form of stat points would be good to start. You will be able to access high defense armor which will provide you more safety. Should it be a rare piece or unique, all the better.
Putting anything here depends on one thing and one thing only - either you want to have max block or you don't. It's that simple. Pros for max block are that 3/4 of the physical [notice I say physical] attacks you take have a chance to do nothing at you, or simply said - you block them. Cons are that magical attacks [everything elemental and in any form of spells and shit] will still cause you high damage. Another thing is the life pool - more points in dex = less points in vitality [life], so it's really up to you to decide ; ). In softcore it will not make much of a difference, but in hardcore it could save your life.
A way to escape massive investment in dexterity is to accumulate a good amount of Faster Hit Recovery [FHR] from your gear. You could have a low block chance but good situation control, not to mention you cast spells so getting in melee range is not your goal, but it may happen regardless. With low FHR and high block chance you are more likely to become "block locked" which is a bad thing, so FHR is vital, if not better than insane blocking chance.
Assuming you take the max block route - you need a good shield. What you should look for is shield with good base % block chance. Here are all normal, exceptional and elite shields with their respective base % block chances for each class. Keep an eye on the type of the shield you are choosing [light, medium or heavy] heavier shield = slower run/walking. Here is a good block calculator that can help you with dexterity allocation. Why you need a good base % block chance, you ask? Problem with chance to block is that it varies constantly - when you level up, your block chance drops and you need to add more dex. That's why you need shield with good base % block, so you can save points or put them in vita instead.
Here are all normal unique, exceptional unique and elite unique shields - a vast variety of them. Crucial mods to look for on a shield are: increased chance of blocking, faster block rate, resists, +life/mana, sockets, absorbs, skills, faster hit recovery, damage reduce, half freeze duration/cannot be frozen, faster cast rate [a.k.a Spirit monarch] - the more of these the better. And don't forget - aim for good % to block and lighter shield type. Rare shields fall in the same mod lookout category, though good rare shields are... rare? You will be better of with set, uniques and runewords but early in game a rare shield will be you best bet, even a very basic one.
Good source of dex is the Perfect Emerald gem. Easy to find and nets you 10 points of dex.
Crafting a Safety Amulet could yield a good result, but your ultimate goal for crafting amulets is crafting a Caster Amulet. You need to make up your mind what is more important to you - faster cast rate or increased chance to block?
Again as in "About Strength" section - charms, rare rings and amulets could still do the job for a dex booster. Torch and Anni charms will help you a lot, though not easy to obtain.
All in all, I personally think you don't need all 75% of blocking. Yes it's good thing to have, but the means to achieve it are not easy. You can have around 45-50 % block chance and with good amount of FHR you'll still have a good survivability. Shooting for a concrete number here would be like throwing knives at a mosquito, blindfolded upside-down on a rope and spinning anti-clockwise, while being lowered into a swimming pool full of sharks and... well maybe not that hard but still, it's not something can be stated absolutely. It really depends on your shield and the text above, so keep track of your block chance and raise it as long as you see fit! And use the block calc! To maintain that good survivability you need to aim for around 150 - 150+.
Skill points placement
There are two ways to go early in game - either max damage or life/survivability tuning [which i'll call l/s for short]. Eventually you'll end up with both. With max damage your goal is only concentrated in the Elemental Tree - maxing Cyclone Armor, Twister, Tornado, and Hurricane. Only after raising those will you start thinking about survivability. On the other hand, with the l/s tuning your goal is separated in two trees - Elemental and Summoning.
Now you may ask, "What is that 'life/survivability' and why should I consider it"? It's pretty simple - the usage of Oak Sage. Meat shields like wolves [early in game] and Grizzly [later in game], vines and ravens will make your life somewhat easier and your game experience - more enjoyable. If you play softcore it won't make that much of a difference which way you choose to go, however, for hardcore is recommended you take precautions.
So, your most valuable summon is the Oak Sage [life boost for you and your party] and is recommended maxing it but at a steady pace. Ravens are good for their blinding effect early in game [even later in game], will provide you with some damage and cripple range attackers so 5 points for max summon is good. Vines are good in the beginning too, you can 1 point in every vine and use them as you need [some poison dmg, short of life, short of mana]. For wolves early in game I recommend 5 in Spirit and 3 in Dire, so you get max number of summons and give them some life boost. When you get Grizzly [or hit lvl 30] you can respec and put these points from Spirit and Dire, Vines and Ravens in some of your wind spells or boost your Sage, or even do both. Keep in mind that later in game, when you get your hands on some good gear with +skills, even 1 point at a skill can make said skill valuable.
For wind spells - your most valuable spells are Tornado [main attack], Hurricane [back up attack/synergy] and Cyclone Armor [good elemental damage soaking mob/synergy]. The only good thing about Twister is the synergy bonus, so I recommend maxing it after you've got good survivability, unless you are looking for max damage asap.
Early game setup [till lvl 30]
1-5 in Raven
5 in Spirit Wolf
3 in Dire Wolf
Vine of your choice
! Oak Sage - you are looking to max it anyway so you can decide how much life you need in your current situation
! Heart of the Wolverine - now early in game this will help your summons with damage and attack, few points will give you extra damage but you must decide what you need in current situation - life or dmg? So you can go with even 1 point but I think 3 to 5 will keep you in good stand till lvl 30
The problem with the wind druid is that he needs quite a few levels to access the spells he need to stand by his name - as you can see even the first spell [Arctic Blast - prerequisite] needs lvl 6 to be active, Cyclone Armor lvl 12* and Tornado - lvl 24! So during that time you either want to pile your points and swing a sword to take down mobs, or look for a alternative to keep you viable and interested. That's why I recommend you go with the summons. After you hit lvl 24 you'll access Tornado and it's a good idea to put points there every level after that.
- Cyclone Armor - putting points in this skill early in game depends a lot on the mode you play - softcore or hardcore. If you venture in SC you can max it later, but for HC you'll need to put a few points for safety sake.
Later game setup [after lvl 30]
You may want to respec when you hit 30, because wolves will start to lose their power, while at the same time, you become more powerful and find yourself needing some decent meat shields.
1 to Raven
1 to Spirit Wolf
1 to Dire Wolf ! Vines will only be effective if you have good +skills gear which at lvl 30 is not very likely. So you can slip away with no vines at the moment ! You can place the same point allotment in Oak Sage from earlier or you can boost them further - it's your call [remember you are looking to max it] ! Heart of the Wolverine will be only good for your merc and bear from now on but it won't make that much of a difference so you can slip away with no points here too ! Grizzly - here's the momma bear! 1 point here will give you a decent meat shield, +skills gear will take care of the rest...
Here comes the tricky part - you hit lvl 30 which is good because now you can access Hurricane. Now you need to make a decision which skill to max out first, Tornado or Hurricane? You can go with Tornado first then Hurricane, or Hurricane first then Tornado, or disturb the points evenly. It doesn't matter really, though Tornado will have a head start, because it's available early in game. Whatever you do, you need to max those skills anyway. Don't forget about Oak Sage, though - keep a lookout on your health.
After you max Tornado and Hurricane comes another tricky part - what to max next, Oak Sage or Cyclone Armor? One gives you more health and the other more damage, elemental shield, and cool looking shards that fly around you. It's up to you to decide. But as I said before - if you venture in hardcore it's recommended you play it safe and put a moderate amount in these skills before, during and after you max your main targets. What I believe you should leave last to max out is Twister.
Keep in mind that this build requires you to use every possible skillpoint available to you. You will, more than likely, not be able to max out or obtain every suggested skill. I personally recommend you save maxing oak sage for last, as damage output from your hurricane/tornado combo is essential for cutting through Hell packs.
Ultimate skill placement [or what you should aim for]
1 Spirit Wolf
1 Dire Wolf
20 Oak Sage
- optional - 1 in Heart of the Wolverine, 1 in Spirit of Barbs, 1 in Poison Creeper, 1 in Carrion Vine, 1 in Solar Creeper
1 in Arctic Blast
20 in Cyclone Armor
20 in Twister
20 in Tornado
20 In Hurricane
Stuff with horns on it! P.s. wearing a goat head on your head is a plus...goodluck druids.
|Elemental Druid by ReBjorn • Elementalist by lMarcusl • Mauler by emilemil1|
Werewolf Druid by Zhar • Wind Druid by Nadenitza