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 Sherrif's Fire Claw Druid Guide.

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Sheriff
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Join date : 2010-08-11
Age : 30
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PostSubject: Sherrif's Fire Claw Druid Guide.   Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:31 am

Fire Druid [PvP]

Contents:

x. Abbreviations Dictionary
xx. Paladin Names
I. Introduction
Ia. Version History
II. Why a Fire Druid?
III. Formulas and Breakpoints
IIIa. Quick fcr Discussion
IV. Where We All Start
V. Skill Choices
VI. Stat Choices
VII. Equipment Choices
VIII. Leveling
IX. Strategies
IXa. Basic Strategies
IXb. Skill Timers and Basics
IXc. Approaching an Enemy Using Teleport
IXd. Specific Character Strategies
X. FAQ
XI. Hot Keys
XII. FWI
XIII. Magical Fissure!
XIV. Special Thanks
XV. Conclusion and Closing Notes

x. Abbreviations Dictionary:

anni = annihilus charm
bm = bad mannered
bk = bul kathos
clvl = character level
coh = chains of honor
cr = cold resist
def = defense
dex = dexterity
dmg = damage
dr = damage reduction
ed = enhanced damage
ene = energy
fbr = faster block rate
fhr = faster hit recovery
fcr = faster cast rate
fps = frames per second
fr = fire resist
frw = faster run/walk
geddon = armageddon
icb = increased chance of blocking
lore = ravenlore
lr = lightning resist
plr = poison length reduce
pr = poison resist
pvm = player vs. monster
pvp = player vs. player
slvl = skill level
soj = stone of jordan
ss = stormshield
str = strength
tele = teleport
vit[a] = vitality

xx. Paladin Names:
(For those who don't know)
(All credit given to Professor [Brian] for the paladin information here)

Avenger = Vengence + Conviction
Avenger, Fanatic = Vengence + Fanticism
Bezerk-a-din = Runeword Passion + Offensive Aura (or other)
C/T/R = Crusader + Templar + Ranger = Charge + Foh + Bow
C/V = Crusader + Vindicator = Charge + Smite
Champions = Lance/Polearm Charge + Vigor + Damage Aura
Cleric = Healing Paladin = holybolt + prayer +clensing +med
Cleric 2 = Zealots with Full Holybolt to heal party members.
Crusader = Pure Charge
Dragoon = Throwing paladin
Dragon = Paladin Using new Runewords for Holyfire Damage. + Conviction
Hammerdin = Pure Hammer
Judicator = Foh + Smite + Hammers
Knight = Zeal + Charge + Smite
Legionaire = Conversion + Zeal + Holybolt(makes minions, heals them)
Liberator = Charge + Hammer
Mage = Foh + Hammers
Martyr = sacrifce paladin
Missionary = Conversion paladin with Thorns usually.
Missionary 2 = Hammers + Healing
Ranger = Bow weilding paladins
Ranger, Frost = Bow weilding paladin that uses HF
Ranger, Tesla = Bow weilding paladin that uses HS
Ranger, Storm = Bow weidling paladin that uses HF + HS
Smealot = Smite + Zeal
Templar = Pure Foh
Tesla = Zealot using HS
T/V = Templar + Vindicator = Foh + Smite
Undead Hunter = Sanctuary paladin
V/T = Vindicator + Templar = Smite + Foh
Vanquisher = Smite + Hammer
Vigordin = Classic build with Charge + Vigor as main aura
Vindicator = Pure Smite
Zealot = Pure Zeal
Zealot, Elemental = Zealot with alot of Cold / Fire / Light Damage
Zealot, Frost = Zealot using HF
Zealot, Power = Zeal + Concentraion

I. Introduction

I've been dueling with a fire druid in both private and public dueling on USWest SC NL for about 14 months in versions 1.10 and 1.11. This build is demanding when it comes to budget, mainly because unless you have great items, you are going to have some problems killing much anything with how low blizzard made a druid's fire damage. For the most part, this build is a build for people who are sick and tired of being one of 5 other trappers, or another commonly seen character. This character is a hell load of fun to make, play, and most importantly duel with. And I know you are wondering... "Can a fire druid kill ANYTHING?" If you haven't been proven this already, let me tell you that it is definitely possible. I found my fire druid actually to kill almost every single character I duel... period. It just isn't easy to get there. If you are on my realm, maybe you have seen my fire druid, [currently] clvl 94 "FWI" floating around on dueling games. Don't be fooled by people who have attempted to copy me [FVVI is a common mis-conseption name on west, even though he was a friend of mine who thought it would be cool to look like me when he dueled with me]. Well bear with me and read ahead if this character sounds right for you... If you are still unsure as to whether or not you feel compelled to make a fire druid, please read on to the "II. Why a Fire Druid?" Section before leaving this guide. All in all... I guarantee you won't regret spending the time to make one.

Ia. Version History

v1.0: 6.18.05: Original guide

v1.1: 6.25.05: Added: Version History, Why a Fire Druid, FCR Discussion, and the FWI section.

v1.2: 7.27.05: Many many edits. Points of views changed in multiple categories... Also edited a lot of strategies, FWI, the contents section, some errors etc. More reader friendly and better information.

v1.3: 8.22.05: v1.11 came out and ladder reset. In the mean time, my opinions changed on some dueling strategies, breakpoints for fcr/fhr, and a few item selections. My most recent change to FWI has been the introduction of descent fhr breakpoints. For some reason I neglected fhr for all this time [this after stressing its importance in all my previous characters]. Two major changes to my build at the current moment, aside from the introduction of my Hellfire Large Charm, were a new socket in my ravenlore and new boots. Temporarily, I have a shael'ed ravenlore. Temporarily/Permanently I compensated life for fhr by switching from waterwalks to etheral sandstorm treks. With the implication of more fhr, even with about 150+ less life, my duels have become easier to move around [obviously]. For those of you who followed this guide and let me know [whats up], Check around the guide for other changes... It may help you.

II. Why a Fire Druid?

The first reason as to why I chose to sell to make a fire druid, was because I wanted to be fairly unique. I am positive you haven't seen a handful of fire druids going in out of games like you would a fire sorc or a lightning trapper. Often times, people have to sacrifice pretty much all pvp viability to be original. Luckily - with fire druids - you can still clear public pk games and control groups who are partied against you while still maintaining that sence of uniqueness which you will be complimented for. Although a fire sorc can get more than 20K damage, I tend to kill every single fire sorceress I face. Main reason? They don't have physical damage as well as fire coming out of a volcano that stuns better than Wake of Fire for characters who don't have fhr. Don't be fooled by numbers - a fire druid is a killing machine. Although expensive, if you plan right and spend a load of time learning how to duel with one - a fire druid is a great dueler. Personally, I have been dueling with one for more than a year on and off and I am getting better and better dealing with skill timers and all the perks that come with dueling with fire druids. So if you want to wow both your enemies and your friends with under-estimated fire damage - go ahead and take a swing at a fire druid. Every single person who has made one by themselves, with my personal help, or simply following this guide - found fire druids to be one of - or their favorite character to duel with out of all other choices.

III. Formulas and Breakpoints

Max Block formula:

%to block=(%block on shield+bonus from skill)*(dex-15)/(clvl*2)

Faster Cast Rate:

18 Frames-0% 1.39 Casts/sec
17 Frames-4% 1.47 Casts/sec
16 Frames-10% 1.67 Casts/sec
15 Frames-19% 1.79 Casts/sec
14 Frames-30% 1.92 Casts/sec
13 Frames-46% 2.08 Casts/sec
12 Frames-68% 2.27 Casts/sec
11 Frames-99% 2.50 Casts/sec
10 Frames-163% 2.78 Casts/sec

Human Faster Hit Recovery vs. 2-Handed Weapons

13 Frames-0%
12 Frames-5%
11 Frames-10%
10 Frames-16%
09 Frames-26%
08 Frames-39%
07 Frames-56%
06 Frames-86%
05 Frames-152%
04 Frames-377%

Human Faster Hit Recovery vs. 1-Handed Weapons

13 Frames-3%
12 Frames-7%
11 Frames-13%
10 Frames-19%
09 Frames-29%
08 Frames-42%
07 Frames-63%
06 Frames-99%
05 Frames-174%
04 Frames-456%

Human Faster Block Rate

11 Frames-0%
10 Frames-6%
09 Frames-13%
08 Frames-20%
07 Frames-32%
06 Frames-52%
05 Frames-86%
04 Frames-174%
03 Frames-600%

IIIa. Quick fcr Discussion

In the Strategy Section [IX] - Under 'Skill Timers and Basics' - I discuss the long skill timers fire skills give you. I originally neglected fast cast rate to some extent, because I believed that since my skills are on timers, I would only need fcr for teleport, which wasn't important. Well I was wrong. Yeah you will only notice a real difference in teleport and not your regular skills - but you will notice an enormous difference in how easy your duels are with that 'extra breakpoint'. For quite some time, I dueled with 60% fcr. This was only 8% under the next breakpoint and well over the breakpoint I fell under. I ended up permanently changing a bul kathos [+1 all skills and about 100+ life after bo/sage] for a caster ring with 10% fcr, minimal stats, and 29% cold resist. Once I gave up that life and damage for the fcr mainly - I noticed it was much easier to duel. Because of this, I reccomend going the extra mile for fcr. Just watch yourself... Don't go the extra miles. You still need good life and +skills, so don't go crazy and hit the 10 Frame breakpoint just because you can.

IV. Where We All Start

This is where your character will start. Whether you are starting your fire druid, or using a druid class as a mule... this is what he will look like and what will happen to him when you level and effect his attributes:

Starting Numbers:

Strength: 15
Dexterity: 20
Vitality: 25
Energy: 20

Hit Points: 55
Stamina: 84
Mana: 20

Each Character Level

Life +1.5
Stamina +1
Mana +2

Attribute Point Effect

1 Vitality point gives 2 Life
1 Vitality point gives 1 Stamina
1 Energy point gives 2 Mana

V. Skill Choices

-Armageddon: One of three main attacks. Maxing this is a must
-Fissure: Another of three main attacks. Maxing this is also a must
-Volcano: Last of three main attacks. Maxing this is a must.
-Oak Sage: Base. Put one skill here, no more.
-Molten Boulder: Synergy – max this skill
-Firestorm: Last skill to max. You should be done with maxing this skill at clvl 95
-Prereqs: Notice the most annoying thing about Armageddon – the use of the entire tree to get there. You are going to need one point in all wind related skills to get to Armageddon.

The skills laid out for people who have problems reading:

20 Armageddon
20 Fissure
20 Volcano
20 Molten Boulder
x-20 Firestorm [maxed last, at clvl 95]
1 Oak Sage
1 Arctic Blast
1 Cyclone Armor
1 Twister
1 Tornado
1 Hurricane

If you go above clvl 95, You have a few choices as to where you want to go. First of all, you can put the rest into Oak Sage [up to 4 more at lvl 99]. Second, you can chose to put one into ravens [prereq] and then one into Wolves for more distractions. I am currently clvl 94 and so far I think I am going to go with all Oak Sage, although clvl 96 is at least 500 million away right now.

VI. Stat Choices

Strength: Just enough to use the item with most strength required. Make sure to factor all the +str you get from the items before it – to achieve maximum vitality. [Ex: Plan around a low str enigma]
Dexterity: It is your choice whether or not you should max blocking or not. You can use the formula given to get the 75% blocking rate, or you can keep this low and go for all life. For the record, I chose to go all life with the surprising number of casters over melee nowadays.
Vitality: Everything else. Everything
Energy: Absolutely Nothing.

VII. Equipment Choices:

Helms:

Ravenlore Sky Spirit [103-155 defense]

+120-150% Enhanced Defense
+15-25 All Resist
+3 Elemental Skills
+20-30 Energy
-(10-20) Enemy Fire Resist
+7 Ravens

This is by far the ultimate helm for a fire druid. With +3 elemental skills, resist, and up to -20% enemy fire resists [the equivalent of 4 perfect facets (negative resist at least)] – this is a great helm.

Jalal’s Mane [184-297 defense]

+2 To Druid Skills
+2 To Shape-Shifting Skills
+150-200% Enhanced Defense
30% Faster Hit Recovery
+20% Bonus to Attack Rating
+20 to Strength
+20 to Energy
+5 Mana After Each Kill
+30% Resistance To All

Great secondary to a ravenlore. With the +2 skills you get, the fhr, the str, and the resist – this is also a good helm.

Harlequin Crest Shako [98-144 defense]

+2 to All Skills
+1.5 Life per clvl
+1.5 Mana per clvl
+50% Better chance of getting magical item
Physical Damage Taken Reduced by 10%
+2 to Strength
+2 to Dexterity
+2 to Vitality
+2 to Energy

No originality – but this is still a great helm. With the huge life/mana boosts, the attributes, and the +2 all skills – this is another great secondary.

Peasant Crown War Hat [92-108 defense]

+20 to Energy
+20 to Vitality
+1 to All Skills
15% Faster Run/Walk
+6-12 Replenish Life
+100% Enhanced Defense

This would be your cheap alternative. With 1 all skills, some frw, and some vita/ene – this is a nice and very cheap helm.

Armor:

Enigma RUNEWORD [jah+ith+ber]

+2 all skills
+45% frw
+1 Teleport [this is not a charge - it acts as a skill for all classes]
+757 defense
+0.75 strength per clvl
+Increased maximum life by 5%
+Damage reduced by 8%
+14 life after each kill
+15% damage taken goes to mana [ does not effect life ]
+1% magic find per clvl

Definitely a huge #1 for the fire druid. With the amazingly long skill timers on your main attacks you will need to be very agile. A fast teleport is exactly what this character needs. With +2 skills, frw, TELE, defense, str, +max% life, and dr – this is an amazing armor.

Guardian Angel Templar Coat [707-825 defense]

+1 Paladin skills
+4 Light radius
+180%-200% enhanced defense
+30% Faster Blocking
+15% Maximum resists to all
+5 attack rating against demons per clvl
+20% chance to block

The GA [most common abbreviation for the guardian angel] is mostly used for the +15% max resists - giving you a possibility of 90 resists to all. With good + max resists, this is the next best from an enigma.

Chains of Honor RUNEWORD [dol+um+ber+ist]

+2 all skills
+200% damage to demons
+100% damage to undead
+8% life stolen per hit
+70% enhanced defense
+20 strength
Replenish life +7
+65 all resists
Damage reduced by 8%
25% magic find

With two skills this is a nice armor. This is an alternative from the enigma armor, if you really need that 65 resists. Very good mods, and same worth as enigma on most realms. I still recommend enigma. This is what I would use if you are in a dueling league that does not allow enigma/tele.

Orumus' Robes Dusk Shroud [361-467 defense]

+10-20 defense
+20% faster cast rate
+(10-15)% to Fire skill damage
+(10-15)% to Cold skill damage
+(10-15)% to Lightning skill damage
+3 Random sorc skill

This armour is another alternative since the possibility of +15% more fire damage is available. Some people prefer it - I don’t.

Cheaper alternatives:

Anything with plus skills will do if you have a very small budget. Ill give a list of some armors that add skills that are cheap.

-Vipermagi [+1]
-Spirit shroud [+1 - very easy to find while magic finding]
-Skullders [+1 - has good magic find as well]
-Que-Heagans [+1]
-Silks of the Victor [+1]

Weapons:

Heart of the Oak RUNEWORD [ko+vex+pul+thul]

+3 all skills
+40% faster cast rate
+75% Damage to demons
+100 attack rating against demons
+3-14 cold damage
+7% mana stolen per hit
+1 blizzard [sorc only]
+10 dexterity
+replenish life +20
+Increased maximum mana +15%
+all resists +30-40% [varies]
Level 4 Oak Sage [25 charges]
Level 14 raven [60 charges]
+50% damage to undead

This is the best choice for a fire druid. With +3 skills, 40% fcr, dex, and resist – this is my personal favorite for the fire druid.

Wizard Spike Bone Knife

+2 mana per clvl
+15% mana regeneration
+15% max mana
+75% all resists
Indestructable
+50% faster cast rate

Wiz spike is a great way to get max resist, but doesn’t give you the versatility that HOTO gives you.

NOTE: A wizard spike is Very easy to get so its either that or HOTO - no more options explained.


Shield:

Head Hunter’s Glory [478-593 defense]

+(320-420) Defense
+(300-350) Defense vs. Missiles
Poison Resist +(30-40)%
Socketed ((1-3))
Fire Resist +(20-30)%
+(5-7) Life After Each Kill

This my favorite item on my character. I got myself one of these with three sockets, and put three um runes in there. If you don’t have the funds for um runes, Perfect Diamonds are only sacrificing +3 (x3) = 9 resist. I love this shield for fire druids, because it’s very hard to get great resist out of a character. My HHG has a resist of 66,66,96,106 - which helps me achieve my high stacked resist.

Spirit RUNEWORD [tal+thul+ort+amn]
warning: cannot be made on non-ladder

+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

This item which just crossed over from ladder into non-ladder is a great choice. +2 to skills, very high fcr, an amazing 55 fhr, 22 vita, and good resist. This shield has me thinking about changing my character to fit its needs. Not convincing enough yet though.

Phoenix RUNEWORD [vex+vex+lo+jah]
warning: cannot be made on non-ladder

100% Chance To Cast level 40 Blaze When You Level-up
40% Chance To Cast Level 22 Firestorm On Striking
Level 13 Redemption Aura When Equipped
-28% To Enemy Fire Resistance
+350-400 Defense Vs. Missile (varies)
+50 To Life
+5% To Maximum Lightning Resist
+10% To Maximum Fire Resist
+15-21 Fire Absorb (varies)

Obviously one thing looks like major fire druid money. Look at the negative enemy fire resistance mod. Doesn't it look just... sexy? Check it out and see if it's for you. Again, notice this also had to have been made on ladder only.

Sanctuary RUNEWORD [ko+ko+mal]

+20% Faster Hit Recovery
+20% Faster Block Rate
20% Increased Chance of Blocking
+130-160% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+250 Defense vs. Missile
+20 To Dexterity
All Resistances +50-70 (varies)
Magic Damage Reduced By 7
Level 12 Slow Missiles (60 Charges)

Hey look - it's a 3xUm'ed HHG with fhr and fbr! Yea, this makes me almost want to get a 68+ resist troll nest of this baby. Who knows... for now I like my HHG.

Lidless Wall [271-347 defense]

+80-130% Enhanced Defense (varies)
+1 To All Skills
Increase Maximum Mana 10%
20% Faster Cast Rate
+3-5 To Mana After Each Kill (varies)
+10 To Energy
+1 To Light Radius

This makes a nice secondary for the HHG. One huge problem you will get using this will be resist, but it has nice +1 skills and fcr.

Storm Shield [94-144 defense]

+3.75 defense per clvl
Physical damage reduced by 35%
+30 strength
+35% faster blocking
+25% lightning resist
+25% chance to block
+60% cold resist
Attacker takes 10 lightning damage

Always was, and still is a great shield. Although it has a high str req, this shield gives you nice resist as well as the loved 35% dr. I keep one in my stash for 1v1 melee opponents this would help me on. For example, I don't mind slapping this on for 50% max capped dr against a good charger or a ww barb.

Belts:

Verdungo's Hearty Cord [108-153 defense]

+(90-140)% enhanced defense
+(30-40) vitality
+(100-120) maximum stamina
10% faster hit recovery
Damage reduced by (10-15)%
Replenish life +(10-13)

This, after much testing, ended up being my belt I use 99% of the time. With the huge life boost, the fhr and the dr – this helps even out your character who will likely have terrible blocking.

Arachnid Mesh [106-138 defense]

+(90-120)% enhanced defense
+20% faster cast rate
Level 13 venom (11 charges)
+1 all skills
Slows target by 10%
+5% maximum mana

This is a great other alternative. This was the other belt that I tested. Although I found the life/dr/fhr more effective from the verdungos, this belt gives you the unmistakable +1 skills and 20 fcr.

Thundergod's Vigor [109-159 defense]

5% chance of casting a lvl 7 FOH on struck
+1-50 lightning damage [melee only]
+10% maximum lightning resist
Absorbs +20 lightning damage
+160-200% enhanced defense
+20 vitality
+20 strength
+3 Lightning strike [amazon only]
+3 Lightning fury [amazon only]

This is a cheaper alternative and gives you the likable vita/str, +10% max light, and the light absorb.

Gloves:

Magefists [24-25 defense]

+20% Faster Cast Rate
Regenerate Mana 25%
+1 to All Fire Skills (All Chars)
Adds 1-6 Fire Damage
+10 Defense
+20-30% Enhanced Defense

This is a very cheap set of gloves that are perfect for the fire druid. With +1 fire skills and fcr, this is perfect for you. Yes… the +1 fire skills will help your fire skills [geddon/fissure/volc]. No… it wont help synergies.

Bloodfists [17-18 defense]

+5 to Minimum Damage
+40 to Life
+30% Faster Hit Recovery
+10 Defense
+10-20% Enhanced Defense
+10% Increased Attack Speed

These are my favorite pair of gloves in the game. Easy to find, and you can use them anywhere. If you can sacrifice the +1 skill from mages as well as the fcr, this could help you maximize fhr. Also, who wouldn't want +40 life?

Boots:

Sandstorm Trek [56-65 defense]

+(140-170)% Enhanced Defense
20% Faster Run/Walk
20% Faster Hit Recovery
+0 to Maximum Stamina per clvl
50% Slower Stamina Drain
Poison Resist +(40-70)%
Repairs 1 durability in 20 seconds
+(10-15) to Strength
+(10-15) to Vitality

I bolded the stat that is the reason why people usually don't bother buying non etheral treks. It repairs itself. If you can afford these etheral, get em etheral. It's a tad more defense and just looks cooler. These are my new boots for my fire druid. I mainly went here because of the fhr, but picked up more poison resist [I know... I have freaking 106 from my shield already...] and some str/vita on the way.

Waterwalk [94-123 defense]

+100 defense to missles
+20% faster run/walk
+15 dexterity
+180-210% enhanced defense
+45-65 life
+40 stamina
+5% maximum fire resist
+50% stamina regeneration

These are my other favorite boots for the fire druid. Life, dexterity, and +max fire resist are very sexy.

Note: If you want to go for legit rares or duped rares, more power to you.

Rings:

Bul Kathos Wedding Band

+0.5 life per clvl
+1 all skills
+3-5% life stolen per hit
+50 stamina

I use one of these on my fire druid. With the +1 skills and the life you get, this is much better than an soj – because you wont need the mana. For the record, the other ring I use is a legit rare I found with great resist. If you want to use rares with fcr/resist, more power to you.

The Stone of Jordan

+20 mana
+25% maximum mana
+1-12 lightning damage
+1 all skills

Pointless option here because if you can afford an soj, you can afford a bk. The life you get from bk is better than the mana you get here.

Other options: Check out some rare caster rings. +10% fcr, life, mana, str, dex, resist - are all things to look for. Mine even has 25% plr.

Cheaper alternatives: The best thing I can think of here is just any rings with fcr or resist.

Amulets:

Mara's Kaleidoscope

+2 all skills
+20-30% resists all
+5 all attributes

This is definitely the best option here… nowadays they are very expensive but if you can get one – its definitely worth it. Every mod on this is usefull and self-explanitory... I love it.

Cheaper alternatives: Any amulet with +druid skills on it is fine. Also look for fcr and resist.

Charms:

To be effective in PvP, you’re going to have to find a way to get elemental skill gcs. It makes a HUGE difference in your damage. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a reason to not make a fire druid if you cant get them, but you will notice a huge difference if you get them. Obviously, the best you could get would be elemental gcs with either fhr or life as a second mod. You are going to want to end up with 9 +elemental skill gcs. You’re also going to want to get an annihilus small charmand a hellfire large charm. For the other 10 slots, get life/resist scs. If you can’t afford two mods on one charm, get max resists then get some life scs [max solo resist mod on a sc is 11 and max life on a sc is 20].

VIII. Leveling Tips:

This is considering you have a friend help you through the game for faster results. [rushed]

1-12: Tristram runs work nicely
12-20: Andarial runs / Countess Runs
20: Ancients Quest
20-25: Cows
25-40: Normal Baal
40-60: Nightmare Baal
60-9x: Hell Baal

IX. Strategies

IXa: Basic Strategies:

Before you begin your duel, you are going to need to cast some pre-casts to get you ready. If you have a Call to Arms weapon [which gives you Battle Command and Battle Orders which raise your life/skill], this is the time to cast those. You are also going to cast oak sage and ravens [if you use ravenlore]. This is also a time to cast your base Cyclone Armor. Although this is a very low level, the absorb damage will help slightly, and Will help you win a close elemental duel. Finally, this is the time to cast your Armageddon. With the proper skill levels and synergies, this skill should run 50 seconds long without you needing to recast. If you are having trouble dealing with about 7 seconds worth of precasts before you are ready in a duel – because there are idiots in your game who don’t give enough respect for you to get ready - go farther out and use the map to your advantage. 90 degree angles in the walls give you a perfect block from all ranged attacks.

IXb: Skill Timers and Basics:

Skill Timers are definitely the most annoying thing about a fire druid. By far a fire druid is one of or [in my strong opinion, is] the hardest character to learn how to duel with. Period. A timer is a 'cool down period' blizzard introduced for skills that would otherwise be too powerful. It basically means that you will have to wait for a given amount of time before casting certain spells. In this case, you will find you will not be able to cast any of your three main attacks in between timers. Your main 'between timer' skill will be teleport. Think of casting volcanoes though - at the speed of a fire baal sorceress with 200% fcr. That would be too sick. Armageddon has a six second timer [meaning you have to wait six full seconds before you can cast your other two offensive skills]. Volcano has a four second timer, and fissure has a two second timer. Because of this – you are going to have to be very precise on where you aim your volcano. Fissure on the other hand is your favorite when it comes to how fast you can cast it. Although it has the lowest timer out of your three main skills, you will notice it takes a split second to start up the vents. Because of this, if there is a very fast paced duel and you need to land a direct hit – casting a volcano works best because it comes up from the ground instantaniously and stuns your opponent. Fissure is a great skill to cast on top of yourself for characters [such as name-lock happy hammerdins or wind druids]. If you have fissure(s) going on top of yourself while you are stationary and a character teles on top of you, simply walk away a small bit while fissure pelts them and Armageddon takes a few hits of its own on the way out.

IXc: Approaching an Enemy Using Teleport:

The zig-zag tele:

A zig-zag tele is something I do all the time when I approach a character that needs to aim. This applies to all teleing characters as well – not just fire druids. A perfect example would be a spear nec or a fireball sorc. If you tele towards them in random zigzags they usually freak out and don’t land a hit on you.

The semi-circle tele:

This is basically teleing out too far and making basically half a circle. I use this on some ranged chars. Its another form of teleing towards a char that isn’t teleing around very quickly. Many times with this technique you catch chars off guard. It makes an almost defensive offensive attack.

IXd: Specific Character Strategies:

Amazons:

Bowazons: Often times these little rats have a good load of ias and tend to do descent damage on you. Because of that – you have to be swift. Guided Arrows don’t miss [for the most part] so you have to get a hit in there fast. Often times you will see me doing the semi-circle tele [because they are usually stationary and firing arrows]. I will semi-circle tele and volcano them from the behind. Not only does volcano stun on its own, their dodge/evade and all that fun stuff will make them lock up like hell. Often times one volcano will do the trick. You will find few amazons who have the fhr to get out of your volcano, but if you do – try fissure, because it hits them many times when they run out. If you find a pack of partied bowazons – get in there and plant a fissure in the middle. This is a wide attack and is quite hilarious when you can take out 5 close-together bowazons with one click.

Javazons: Most melee amazons nowadays are lightning. Not that this matters. Armageddon and fissure are your friends with these amazons. Because they have to be right in front of you to hit you, they are already running the risk of being pelted by up to about 16K of Armageddon... hell. In the mean time you can be casting fissures both on top of yourself and in between you and the melee amazon. When they chose to run after you, they will be forced to run through multiple fissures and get hit many many times – and if they even get through that – they have to not be hit by Armageddon when they get to you. If they tele, play defensively and let them come to you. Cast fissures on yourself and the second you see them tele, walk away and let Fissure/Armageddon do the work. If they chose to throw something at you from afar because of your fissure's, simply cast a volcano on them. The versatility of your fire druid has no limits.

Assassins:

Trappers: Much like dueling all character types, this character will take some time getting used to. Especially for a fire druid. Often times you will be forced to rely on instincts. Don’t get stuck in mind blasts, and use all three of your attacks to your advantage. Often time you will see me playing unusually offensively and teleing on the assassin – and using fissure, while armagedden hits her once in a while. If you find the assassin overwhelmed and playing defensively, play defensively yourself and use more volcanoes to stun them. You can also plant random fissures here and there where you think they will run. Some random fissure is the last thing a character thinks when he is under pressure.

All other melee assassins: Kickers and Whirlwinders alike, you will find yourself using the same skills and strats. You will need to be very defensive and let them come to you. Cast fissures on yourself and make sure geddon is still going with plenty of time on the timer. The second you see their tele animation kick in, walk away and let them be hit by fissure and geddon. Fissure stuns and does nice damage while if geddon hits they are going to have some problems. If they are standing away from you baffled as to when to attack because they see the fire they will have to hit, simply throw a volcano on them. Because they are not moving, it will stun them nicely... also often kill them.

Barbarians:

Whirlwind: Often times you will find barbarians to hate you when you duel them. If you duel them right, you can kill them without being touched, and doing little work. Once again, you have to master the art of casting fissures on yourself and letting them come to you. The second you see the tele, walk or tele away. Get used to each ww and figure out which way to walk or tele. If you play this right, Armageddon and fissure will hurt a lot on their part. Notice how many times fissure hits a barbarian that whirlwinds through one. Unless they have a lot of fire resist and/or some absorb, they are going to take a few too many hard hits.

Conc, Frenzy, Beserk, etc Barbarians: Treat these the same was as the javazon.

Druids:

Fire druids: Wow are these duels interesting. There is so much going on, it is extremely hard to know who’s what is who’s. You will see fissures and volcanos and Armageddon rocks everywhere but you wont know if it is yours or if it is his. To the one fire druid who actually put up a fight to me, FVVI – often times if he came close to beating me, it would be a close match because I would walk through a fissure that looked like mine. These duels are very fun, take very long, and are very defensive. The duel is determined not only by who has the best setup, but by who can handle theirs the best. Have fun finding other fire druids. If you get to that point, it's awesome. Who knows maybe you’ll inspire a few.

Wind druids: To me, the best kill is killing a good wind druid. If your build is strong enough, and you spend enough time getting used to how to kill them – yes… a fire druid can kill a great wind druid - anytime. Most of the time you will find that casting fissures on yourself and walking upon tele is the best option. Most of the time a wind druid will simply tele on you and spam tornadoes. The second he tele’s, run away just a small amount of space. The trick is to let fissure kill the cyclone armour while letting Armageddon take the kill. The same principle works with volcano. It can sometimes work better if you know for a fact they will teleport right on top of you, because it will hit immeadiately and stun them in place so geddon can do its thing. If you have a friend with a wind druid, talk some **** so you can get a lot of practice on him – making you ready for the rest of them. The cool thing about these duels, is you can win without being hit at all... the impact of all the armageddon with the fissure eating the cyclone armor can kill the wind druid almost instantaneously.

Melee druids: Because most melee druids tend to run very fast, locking a volcano on them tends to be very hard. Fissure and Armageddon are your friends. Treat them like you would any other non ww’ing or charging melee character. Use fissure to your advantage – casting it both upon yourself and in between you and your opponent. If they stand motionless, cast a fissure on them. They will [by default] attempt to walk out. This will cause them to be hit a great number of times by fissure and in turn be stunned.

Necromancers:

Bonemancers: Up to this point, I haven’t said all too much about volcano as a main skill for attacking [at least in the individual builds strat section]. Volcano will be your favorite with bone necromancers. Often times they tend to have terrible fhr, which helps volcano lock them up even more. If you get a good hit, it will keep them motionless until the last hit of volcano. About 75% of the time, one volcano will do the trick. Play from a distance and if they are tele happy, do the same. Often times bonemancers are simple minded and are easy to find a pattern in how they cast offensively. In this case, you will find it easy to dodge spears, teeth, and spirits. Be careful with spirits, because they tend to add up and form a large clump that follow you. If you stop at a bad time, you will get a lot of magic damage that will definitely take a large chunk of life, or kill you. Use the map again to your advantage and let solid objects get in the way of you and the spirit.

Poison: You will see few poison necromancers when you duel. If you do see one, use volcano if they simply stand and cast. If they have a bonemancers mentality if they tele very randomly and rapidly] – treat them the same as a bonemancer. If you have any items with pdr or plr, use them.


Paladins:

Templars [FOH]: Unless you get a lot of lightning resist, these will be an annoyance to you. For me, my 3 ort helm with 39 life is my friend. Nothing beats one item that gives you 90 lightning resist. Because you will need to be so defensive with them, you will want to lock some volcanos and get them to walk through some strategically placed fissures. Also, use the 'minion stack bug' to your advantage. For those who don't know, the minion stack bug --- for example : in relation with the templar --- will cause the templar's FOH to hit your family of minions before it hits you, when you are teleporting. If you do this right, you can not be hit by a templar [recast oak sage, tele, repeat].

Melee paladins [zealots, crusaders, vindicators, etc]: Fissure and Armageddon are your friend once again. Cast fissures in between you and your opponent and upon yourself. Fissure by far is best used [of all characters] with a crusader [charger]. Because fissure stuns and hits more often the faster someone goes through it on foot – a charger going through fissures are asking for trouble. All you need to do for melee paladins is place strategic fissures and let them and Armageddon do the work.

Hammerdins: There are two types of hammerdins… ones who name-lock tele and spam, and ones who walk and spam to create large areas of hammers [desynch]. For name-lock spammers, use the fissure yourself/walk technique already explained. You can also try volcano'ing yourself. If they land on you clean they will obtain the full stun effect of the volcano. If you find a hammerdin spamming randomly, use volcano on your opponent and sometimes fissure. Often times volcano will stun him long enough to either kill him or make him run into town [often times annoying desynchers will have that mentality anyways. Also check their life bar to see if they are healing]

Sorceress:

Fire: These duels are almost a carbon copy of dueling a necromancer who uses bone spear. The zig-zag tele approach is the way to go here. Often times fire sorcs are so freaking stupid – that they will cast a straight line of fire balls. In this case, go ahead and semi circle tele/volcano them. If they aim to you – use a more strategic zig-zag tele. Tele in between fire balls until you get to the sorc and then land a solid volcano hit. Often times sorceresses have terrible fhr and one volcano with its combination of physical and fire damage will do the trick. If not, all that will change is the duratio of the duel. They still can't hit you and you only need one or two more volcanoes. If they are stunned, dont be afraid to teleport in and do what I call a 'walk-by' and let armageddon hit them 1-3 times by simply walking by while they are stunned.

Lightning: Definitely use zig-zag tele here. Dodge the streams of electricity and land a volcano. The cool thing about lightning is they will be completely stationary and look constipated. This gives you plenty of time to land a good volcano hit to stun them. Usually a relatively easy duel, even if they are well equiped. If they have a teeth necro or an orb sorc's mentality [teleporting out, spamming at you after you chase them - which causes you to get hit on the way - and then running and repeating] --- then do a lot of semi-circle teleporting.

Cold: Gotta love cold mastery. Anyways… You really have to be on top of your game with these sorceresses. If they are blizzard --- Tele a lot and quickly, and land volcanos on them like they are trying to land blizzards on you. You can also plant some fissures here and there where they are about to tele or walk. The key here is not being hit. At all… Be very defensive and you’ll be fine. For orb --- you have to be twice as defensive because they will tend to run out, cast an orb in your direction - run out - and repeat. Because of this, if you make one mistake you will have an orb rip its best damage right through you. Be careful - use semi-circle teleporting, and land a solid volcano.

X. FAQ

Q: LMAO a fire druid

A: Shut up

Q: Can a fire druid actually kill anything in pk?

A: Absolutely… if you know how to duel with one.

Q: Do fire facets work with the druids fire skills?

A: Yes

Q: I hate templars… how much lightning resist do I need to negate them all together?

A: 100 [-100 base in hell difficulty] + 75 [max without +% max] + 150 [conviction] = 325 needed lightning resist.

Q: Why not molten boulder?

A: You try it on your own. A slug could do donuts around those things they are so slow.

Q: Why not firestorm?

A: It simply doesn’t cast fast enough once you tele on someone. In today’s fast paced duels, you will find yourself with a skill that is too slow and shoots three 2 inch snakes at someone who just teled across the whole screen.

Q: Why not any pets besides the ravens you get from a ravenlore?

A: Once again, you need all the synergies you can get. Yes, pets are a good way to deter enemy attacks from you – but if it means Your attacks wont do anything, you’re gonna have a problem. Check the skills section for whether or not you want pets after clvl 95.

Q: Would an Earth Shifter Thunder Maul be viable?

A: Because it is two handed and it has a hefty 253 strength requirement, this is not viable at all for you. It's cute and looks nice with its +7 elemental skills, but it won't cut it in a demanding pvp world.

XI. Hot Keys

It is completely up to you how you decide to set up your hot keys for dueling, but I figured I would give you my preference and you can pick and chose what you like.

F1: Teleport
F2: Volcano
F3: Armageddon
F4: Fissure
F5: Oak Sage
F6: Cyclone Armor
F7: Battle Command
F8: Battle Orders

XII. FWI

*Note: Numbers mean nothing. If I had 7000 life I could still be slayed easily if I didn't know what I was doing. This is just to compare if you make... not to be the deciding factor as to if you decide to make a Fire Druid. If you don't like the numbers and you are on USWest SC NL - let me show you the results.

With all-round gear on, here are a few stats:

39XX life
543 Vita
75,75,75,75 Resist with huge stack
16K Armageddon
4.4K Fissure
3.4K Volcano

Fcr and Fhr breakpoints I chose are bolded where the breakpoints are listed.

For equipment: I basically tell you what I use in the equipment section. Usually the first choice is what I use.

For charms: I use 9 Elemental Gcs, 10 life/resist scs, Anni, and my new 18/18 druid Hellfire.

XIII. Magical Fissure!

Fissure, like many 1.10 skills, has a bug of its own. Unlike the well known bugs of say, charge of a paladin – this odd bug can be and should be used to your advantage. First of all, if you cast fissure right outside of town, it will disappear for enemies yet still be active. Although I seriously don’t think you should Town Guard… pretty much ever – it’s a good thing to know. If you do cast the fissure outside of town, and a character runs out – there are in for a surprise. Yes it works kind of like hammers do when they disappear. Hand in hand with that aspect, often times vents are active for a short second(s) after the animation ceases [this goes for anywhere outside of town]. Although it mostly can not be planned, this can get you a few hits on a character that saw a fissure leave the screen. Test it, and have fun integrating it into your duels.

XIV. Special Thanks

To the forums I chose to post this on personally:

www.rpgforums.com
www.diabloforums.com
www.diabloii.net
www.pvpwest.com

To the websites who gave me information:

www.battle.net
www.diabloii.net
www.d2skills.net

And to the people who made FWI possible:
This list is new, so if you helped me in any way with my fire druid, FWI, LET ME KNOW! You will be added immeadiately.

-Brian
-Tj
-Ferro
-TeK
-RazieL
-Aura
-Voth
-Chobo
-Drizzt
-Wolfsbane


XV. Conclusion and Closing Notes

Until I get to clvl 99 [which will be in quite a bit] - this guide will have a few changes here and there. Also, as I duel, I realize things. As I realize things, I add them here. Feel completely free to let me know what I can change about my guide. If you have made a fire druid before and want to suggest something, let me know here or in a PM. If you want to make a fire druid and have questions that go outside the content of this guide, ask me it here or via PM, and who knows - I may add it to the FAQ. Have fun with your fire druid.

Enjoy.
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