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Old Amazon Skills

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Amazon skills coverage from D2C. Stats and some functions were changed in v1.09 and later.


Javelin & Spear[edit]

All the skills in this tree work with javelins, either throwing them or using them for melee. When using spears, only the melee skills will work, since spears can not be thrown. All of the elemental type attacks in this tree are lightning or poison, there are no fire or cold attacks in this tree.

Javelins: There are many types of javelins to be found or purchased in Diablo II, but none are ever magical, unique, rare, or Set items. Just low quality, normal, and superior. In the expansion throwing weapons are much improved, and there are magical and rare javelins, as well as two (as of v1.11b) unique Amazon javelins, Titan's Revenge and Thunderstrokes. Javelins can be used for melee, but they are intended to be thrown, and will always do higher damage as a projectile (with the exception of the Hyperion Javelin and Balrog Spear in the expansion, which have a higher max damage when used in melee - they have a higher average damage when thrown, however). In addition there are various skills that only work with thrown javelins. The melee spear skills work with javelins or spears.

Javelins aren't a bad melee weapon; they have a quick attack rate when used with Jab, and all have a range of 3, better than a lot of one-handed melee weapons. You should use a shield with your javelin, check the various Amazon strategy guides for equipment appraisals.

Spears: All spears are two-handed, meaning you can never use a shield with one. Though spears have a slow attack speed for most characters, Amazons aren't too bad with them, especially with Jab and Fend adding to your attack rate. Spearazons are much less popular (and powerful, as of v1.11b) than Bowazons or Javazons, but can be very strong through Nightmare, and are still viable and fun to play in Hell. One annoying aspect of spears, including the Amazon class-specific types, is their generally low durability, so get used to needing repairs pretty regularly. Also, beware the Fend bug - when using the skill Fend, if something triggers your amazon's dodge/avoid/evade skills, all Fend attacks after that will miss, but you will continue the Fend until the attack completes.

Bear in mind that her passive skills in the aptly-named 'Passive & Magic' tree will further benefit the chosen skills in this tree.

As of v1.11b, the fastest way to kill a single target for a Javazon or Spearazon is to use Jab, combined with a large amount of crushing blow, to bring the enemy's hit points down by a percentage with each strike, or use the Charged Strike skill to hit with multiple charged bolts, for a large amount of damage per bolt. This is a dangerous thing to attempt, however, since it means you will be in melee range while you bring them down.

Damage bonuses are something to consider with javelins, or the Amazon class-specific spears. Regular javelins add .75% damage per point of each stat, while Amazon class-specific javelins and spears add 80% from strength, and 50% from dex. Most other melee weapons are 1% damage per point of strength, with no damage bonus from dex at all. This means that you can add bonus damage by adding both to your Spearazons strength or dexterity, but each individual stat point will add less damage than you'll get with a normal spear, such as a Pike or Lance. Dexterity is more useful to add than strength, generally speaking, since it increases your Attack Rating, Defense, and blocking, while strength just boosts damage (and helps you meet item requirements).


Level references are the character level your Amazon must be before she may place a point in that skill.

Prerequisites - Before you may place a point in a skill, you must have at least one skill point in all prerequisite skills, and have reached the required character level. The numbers in parenthesis are character levels, not the number of points you have to add to that skill.

Jab[edit]

Jab-icon.jpg

Prerequisites:

  • None

Casting Delay:

  • None

Synergy Bonuses:

  • None

Description:

"Rapid attacks with a thrusting weapon". Delivering three rapid stabs to a single target, this early level skill is an effective melee attack. It can only be used with spears or javelins, not with swords or hammers or any other type of weapon. This was by far the best Spearazon skill in D2C, giving a very fast attack with any type of weapon. In D2X this skill is less powerful, since the weapon speed is now factored in.

The attack always has three hits, though the graphic may look like just two. This has been tested and confirmed in PvP and PvM.

Jab has been nerfed several times by Blizzard during game development. Pre-release it started with a bonus to damage, and increased 5% per point, and even had a flat 2 mana cost. Then during D2C it had no weapon speed check, so was always very fast. It's still considered overpowered by some players, so future changes aren't out of the question.

Jab use is easy early on, where you just target a monster and dice it up. With a decent spear a Spearazon can easily go through much of Normal with just this skill. Later in the game you'll probably want to use Fend more often, but Jab is still useful for hitting a single target repeatedly, especially if it's in a crowd of monsters. You might want to run in and kill a shaman quickly, to stop him resurrecting his warriors.

This is a mandatory skill for any Spearazon, as a pre-req for Impale and Fend at the very least. Whether you plan on putting a load of points into it or not is up to you; it's a good killer of single targets, though Fend does more damage and can be used on single targets effectively, with a little trick (see Fend for more details).

Power Strike[edit]

Power-strike-icon.gif

Prerequisites:

  • Jab

Casting Delay:

  • None

Synergy Bonuses:

  • Lightning Bolt: +10% Lightning Damage Per Level
  • Charged Strike: +10% Lightning Damage Per Level
  • Lightning Strike: +10% Lightning Damage Per Level
  • Lightning Fury: +10% Lightning Damage Per Level

Description:

"Adds lightning damage to javelin and spear weapon attacks". Another melee-only attack skill, Power Strike adds a bit to your Attack Rating, and some lightning damage on top of your normal spear attack damage.

Power Strike's mana cost and Attack Rating increases are identical to Jab, but it is a very slow attack, and the overall effectiveness is far less than Jab. Points in Power Strike add just to your Attack Rating and the added lightning damage, there isn't any benefit to the base spear or javelin damage. The only reason you would want to place 20 points into this is for synergy benefits to other lightning skills.

Poison Javelin[edit]

Poison-javelin-icon.jpg

Prerequisites:

  • None

Casting Delay:

  • 0.5 seconds

Synergy Bonuses:

  • Plague Javelin: +12% Poison Damage Per Level

Description:

"Throws a javelin enhanced by poison, which leaves a trail of poison clouds". Great looking animation for this one; it leaves a green trail of expanding poison clouds behind. The javelin will poison anything it strikes, as will the vapor trail poison anything that walks through it. The listed poison damage can be deceptively high, since it's spread over a long period of time, but it is effective early in the game, when monsters have low hit points and no poison resistance.

Poison Javelin is best aimed in front of a pack of approaching monsters, rather than at them, since you want them to walk through the vapor trail to poison the largest possible number of them at once. It can of course be aimed at monsters as well, and it's good there to kill things that won't walk into the trail, such as Fallen Shaman.

This is an "always hits" skill, and will always hit the target if you aim it correctly, regardless of your AR.

Poison Javelin is replaced by the higher damage Plague Javelin, so just one point in this one is advised.

Impale[edit]

Impale-icon.jpg

Prerequisites:

  • Jab

Casting Delay:

  • None

Synergy Bonuses:

  • None

Description:

"Increases attack damage but degrades the weapon". This skill adds substantial damage and accuracy to the Amazon's melee spear attack, but there is a much increased chance that your weapon will lose durability. The Impale attack is slow and accompanied with a cute little grunt.

This skill can be useful against Lightning Enchanted monsters, since you do big damage, and land fewer hits than Jab and therefore take fewer Charged Bolts in return, but it has no other benefits. More than one point in Impale doesn't make much sense, since the damage bonus is 300% with just one point, and while additional points only add 25% each, it's usefuleness is too limited to make that worthwhile. Weapons lose durability about 10% of the time ordinarily, so 25% at Slvl 20 Impale isn't that much worse. An indestructible spear would be very good with this skill, though the attack rate is still so slow that it's best used in special situations. If you can land 3 Fend hits in the time of 1 Impale, and Fend is doing +250% damage, it's obviously a far better option.

Lightning Bolt[edit]

Lightning-bolt-icon.jpg

Prerequisites:

  • Poison Javelin

Casting Delay:

  • None

Synergy Bonuses:

  • Power Strike: +3% Lightning Damage Per Level
  • Charged Strike: +3% Lightning Damage Per Level
  • Lightning Strike: +3% Lightning Damage Per Level
  • Lightning Fury: +3% Lightning Damage Per Level

Description:

"Changes a thrown javelin into lightning". A nifty graphic and sound effect accompany this skill, which turns a normal javelin into a sizzling bolt of lightning.

The baby brother of Lightning Fury, this skill looks nifty and can be useful early on, but is in every way improved upon by Lightning Fury at Clvl 30.

This is an "always hits" skill, and will always hit the target if you aim it correctly, regardless of your AR. It reduces the physical damage of your thrown javelin by 25%, and converts 100% of the remaining damage into lightning damage, making it useful not only as a synergy, but for use by physical javazons as a physical immune killer.

Charged Strike[edit]

Charged-strike-icon.jpg

Prerequisites:

  • Jab
  • Power Strike
  • Poison Javelin
  • Lightning Bolt

Casting Delay:

  • None

Synergy Bonuses:

  • Power Strike: +10% Lightning Damage Per Level
  • Lightning Bolt: +10% Lightning Damage Per Level
  • Lightning Strike: +10% Lightning Damage Per Level
  • Lightning Fury: +10% Lightning Damage Per Level

Description:

"Enchants thrusting weapon with charged bolts". This skill imbues a spear or javelin melee attack with added lightning damage, as well as emitting Charged Bolts through the target, where they will scatter off and perhaps damage other nearby monsters.

A step up from Power Strike, this skill adds more lightning damage, but has no bonus to Attack Rating, and a steeper mana cost. Regardless of it's lack of attack rating, however, it is still effective, as even if you miss, it will trigger the charged bolts. It looks cool and can be sort of fun, as you can get multiple charged bolts to strike a single enemy, stacking a few thousand lightning damage per bolt several times over. It begins firing three bolts, and gains one more bolt every five levels.

This skill is highly popular as of 1.11b, as you can get a large amount of damage with it, making it an excellent boss killing skill for lightning-based javazons, as well as a frightening opponent in PvP play. There is also a trick that can be used to farcast it, making it be treated as a ranged attack, though it requires a great deal of skill and timing to manage it - it involves switching rapidly between the Throw and Charged Strike skills while making your attack, causing the game to initiate the throw attack, but having switched back to charged strike by the time the game attempts to determine what affect your attack will have. This is not an easy stunt to pull off, but it does give a javazon an edge in PvP play.

Plague Javelin[edit]

Plague-javelin-icon.jpg

Prerequisites:

  • Poison Javelin
  • Lightning Bolt

Casting Delay:

  • 4 seconds

Synergy Bonuses:

  • Poison Javelin: +10% Poison Damage Per Level

Description:

"Enchants javelin with poison explosions". A more powerful version of Poison Javelin, Plague looks identical in flight, but upon impact it bursts into a poison nova that has a larger radius with every added skill point.

This skill is impressive, and can be very useful for crowd control, as you can nail dozens of monsters with one shot. The thrown javelin deals your normal javelin damage, including the physical, and adds the poison damage on top of that. Your poison damage from charms and equipment is added to monsters you actually hit with the javelin (might be several of them, with Pierce) but not to the actual poison cloud, which is what hits most monsters.

This skill is most useful with large packs of monsters, where you want to have all of them dropping hit points at the same time. One point here can be useful to prevent huge packs from healing over time, as long as you keep the pack poisoned.

This skill isn't really enough damage without excellent gear to be used successfully as your main attack past Nightmare, especially not in a big game, unless you really crank up the skill points. Players have reported success in smaller Hell games with lvl 30 or 35 Plague Javelin. Most Javazons will use one point as a prereq only, on the way up to Lightning Fury.

Fend[edit]

Fend-icon.jpg

Prerequisites:

  • Jab
  • Impale

Casting Delay:

  • None

Synergy Bonuses:

  • None

Description:

"Attack all adjacent targets" {up to 12}. The Amazon can use this skill to strike at multiple targets much faster than she could stab each target individually with her normal Attack. There is also a bonus to Attack Rating and Damage.

This skill was much improved in D2X, where it deals bigger damage and hits faster if you have IAS equipment, but it has one major bug. When Fending, if a monster triggers one of your dodge/avoid/evade skills (and they usually will, when you're in melee range), every Fend attack in that volley following the hit will miss, but you will be forced to execute the animation anyway. The only known way to fix this bug currently is to simply not put any points into dodge, evade, or avoid. Fend doesn't have a fixed maximum number of hits, unlike Zeal, and if you have 20 monsters swarming you, all in range to stab at, that's how many stabs you'll do.

This and jab are the best skills for physical Spearazons, and one or the other (or both) should be maxed out, just keep in mind Fend's inherent bugginess.

Lightning Strike[edit]

Lightning-strike-icon.gif

Prerequisites:

  • Jab
  • Power Strike
  • Poison Javelin
  • Lightning Bolt
  • Charged Strike

Casting Delay:

  • None

Synergy Bonuses:

  • Power Strike: +8% Lightning Damage Per Level
  • Lightning Bolt: +8% Lightning Damage Per Level
  • Charged Strike: +8% Lightning Damage Per Level
  • Lightning Fury: +8% Lightning Damage Per Level

Description:

"Enchants thrusting weapons with chain lightning". One of the more powerful of the Amazon's lightning enhanced melee attacks, Lightning Strike emits bolts of Chain Lightning from the targeted monster towards all nearby monsters. Like the Sorceress' Chain Lightning, these bolts will bounce from monster to monster, potentially hitting each demon with many individual bolts.

Note that this is not a melee version of Lightning Fury (unfortunately). The Chain Lightning is much less effective then the blizzard of lightning bolts a Javazon gets with Lightning Fury, and players who have tested this are sure the actual damage dealt is much lower than the skill lists, most likely due to the fact that the range is from 1 to max damage, leaving the average at about half the listed max. Compared with lightning fury and charged strike, this skill is less useful more often than not.

This is an "always hits" skill, and will always hit the target with the Lightning bonus attack, if you aim it correctly, regardless of your AR. Your actual physical spear attack does check AR though.

If you are going to try an elemental Spearazon, this will not likely be your main skill, but you'll probably want to max it, as a synergy to Charged Strike and Lightning Fury, and for use in those situations where it can be more useful than either of those.

Lightning Fury[edit]

Zeus-bolt-icon.gif

Prerequisites:

  • Poison Javelin
  • Lightning Bolt
  • Plague Javelin

Casting Delay:

  • None

Synergy Bonuses:

  • Power Strike: +1% Lightning Damage Per Level
  • Lightning Bolt: +1% Lightning Damage Per Level
  • Charged Strike: +1% Lightning Damage Per Level
  • Lightning Strike: +1% Lightning Damage Per Level

Description:

"A lightning bolt that splits on impact". Formerly called 'Zeus Bolt', this skill imbues a thrown javelin with a powerful thunderbolt attack, and adds lightning damage to the normal javelin damage. The real damage boost is from the streams of Lightning that are emitted towards every monster in range.

The thrown javelin hits a target, and shoots out a lightning bolt (not Chain Lightning) towards every monster in range. The number of bolts increase with more points in the skill, but it only shoots one at each target; you don't shoot 10 at one target if you only have two monsters on the screen and Slvl 9 in the skill. The real key is that with Pierce you can hit multiple targets with each throw, and each hit will send more lightning bolts out. A good throw that has say 20 monsters in a pack, and hits 4 of them, would send out nearly 80 bolts, with each bolt dealing 1-580 damage (completely unsynergized, this can easily double and increase from extra skills) at Slvl 20. That's over 23,000 average damage with one throw!

Pierce is very useful with LF for the following reason. The percentages listed are the chances of Pierce working on a given target. The first target is the % listed on the skill info in the game. The second target is the % chance of Pierce working two times in a row: (.71 x .71 = .5041 at Slvl 10). The chance of it peircing any individual target is always the same as what's shown on your screen, these are simply the cumulative chances of peircing multiple enemies.


Target Slvl 10 Slvl 12 Slvl 14 Slvl 16 Slvl 18 Slvl 20 Slvl 25
1st 71% 75% 79% 82% 83% 85% 90%
2nd 50% 56% 62% 67% 69% 75% 81%
3rd 36% 42% 49% 55% 57% 61% 73%
4th 25% 32% 39% 45% 47% 52% 65%
5th 18% 24% 31% 37% 39% 44% 59%


As you can see your odds for hitting the first target increase a little, but the odds of getting 3 or 4 or 5 hits increase much more with higher levels in Pierce, making them very worth it if you're doing huge mob areas, such as the Secret Cow Level.

The javelin will emit bolts when it hits a wall also, so this works well if the target is near a wall, since if Pierce activates there will be target damage, and then bolts coming back from the wall as well. If you have a stubborn single target, maneuver the boss so that he's right next to a wall, column, rock, tree, cottage, etc. Anything that you can throw through the monster into the wall, for the Piercing bonus.

Lightning Fury is one the very best skills in the game for any character, especially when used on mobs. You want to try and gather up as many monsters in the same area as possible, and this has given rise to the popular cow level tactic of "herding". It can be used in many other areas of the game as well, and is the key to success with Lightning Fury.

This is an "always hits" skill, and will always hit the target if you aim it correctly, regardless of your AR.

This skill is it for a Javazon; most will want to max it out for the fastest killing speed possible. If you are using other skills as well, you might just put 10 or so points into this, which is enough to be quite effective, and will save you points for other skills.

Passive & Magic[edit]

This tree was originally called 'Healing, Movement and Repair' but as the skills changed, Blizzard changed the name to better reflect the collection of skills and spells in it.

There are six passive skills in this tree, most of which are highly-recommended for every type of Amazon play. The three defensive skills, Dodge, Avoid, and Evade are all great for being hit less often, and are especially useful as Bowazons and Spearazons have no shield to help with blocking attacks. For dealing damage, Critical Strike {Clvl 1} and Penetrate {Clvl 18} are both very useful for all types of Amazons, adding to damage and accuracy, and Pierce {Clvl 30} is essential to boost for any projectile-launching Amazon, whether javelins or arrows/bolts are the projectiles of choice.

Although the Necromancer rules the summoning and control areas of the game, the Amazon possesses two minion skills as well. Decoy {Clvl 24} and Valkyrie {Clvl 30}. Both will take some heat off the Amazon, but only Valkyrie can inflict damage on her foes, and is mobile and longer-lasting.

Most of the skills in this tree have "diminishing returns", which means they increase quickly with the first few points you put in, and then add much less bonus at higher and higher levels. Despite this, some of them are still well worth multiple points, since with some skills adding just another percent or two is very useful.

Inner Sight[edit]

Eye-of-zeus-icon.jpg

Prerequisites:

  • None

Casting Delay:

  • None

Synergy Bonuses:

  • None

Description:

"Lights up nearby enemy monsters making it easier for you & party members to hit." This skill works much like a Curse, striking the monsters within the radius and adding a penalty to their defense that lasts for some seconds, as well as putting a little light over their shoulder, making them easier to see.

The uses are both better visibility, and lowered monster defense. The defense penalty is very useful through normal, but becomes less so by nightmare, and does very little by hell difficulty. If you are only using Inner Sight for the illumination, it's better to use Slow Missiles; they have the same radius but Slow lasts longer.

Casting Inner Sight is a spell, you will do it faster if you have fast cast equipment, and you can be interrupted if hit while casting it. You will also be interrupted if you Dodge or Avoid while casting. The animation will complete, but the monsters will not light up.

In D2C Inner Sight could be aimed, and the 13.3 yards radius would extend from wherever you clicked. This is no longer the case, and after v1.08 the center of the radius is always your character. You might need to run up closer to the target to be sure the spell effects it.

Multiple castings of Inner Sight won't stack. The more recently-cast simply replaces the earlier one, whether the same Amazon casts it or another Amazon. Inner Sight does stack with Slow Missiles though, monsters or players can be effected by both of them at once. More points in Inner Sight can be useful if added by equipment, but it's not worth multiple skill points, since the bonus to -Defense is very small, and you can duplicate the time increase just by recasting it.

Hiring a rogue merc early in the game is helpful even if you don't need the bow damage she adds, since she'll cast this skill constantly, for free.

Critical Sight[edit]

Critical-strike-icon.jpg

Prerequisites:

  • None

Casting Delay:

  • Passive skill

Synergy Bonuses:

  • None

Description:

"A chance that your attacks will do double damage". This passive skill increases the percent chance of your total physical damage being doubled. When it's successful you'll see a small flash of light on the target.

This double damage is calculated after all other bonuses, but does not include elemental damage. If you have a Deadly Strike item, you will roll for one, and if that fails you will roll the other, but never get both at the same time; no quadruple damage bonuses.

This is the first skill point for most Amazons, and it remains very useful for the entire game for most characters. Most players raise this one to the point of diminishing returns, which is around 50% and Slvl 8. The added damage is great for killing faster, leeching more from the bigger damage, stunning with a powerful hit, etc. More points than 8 or 10 are up to you, and depend on your character type.

Javazons deal most of their damage with Lightning Fury, and don't get as much of a boost from this, though it will still help them leech enough mana back when the actual javelin hits. Bowazons, however, really benefit from more in this, especially if they are using Multishot a lot. If you are shooting 20 arrows every MS, and most of them are hitting (say in the Secret Cow Level), in just one quiver that's 350 x 20, or 7000 arrows. Just 1% more Critical would give you around 70 more double damages, and if you're doing 1000 damage, that's 70,000 more damage from just 1% more Critical Strike, on just one quiver of arrows. You'll fire a lot more than that every single game.

Dodge[edit]

Dodge-icon.jpg

Prerequisites:

  • None

Casting Delay:

  • Passive skill

Synergy Bonuses:

  • None

Description:

Passive. "A chance that you will dodge a melee attack when standing or attacking". Dodge will avoid hand-to-hand attacks while you are stationary, either standing still or attacking. Works while attacking with a spear or javelin or bow, as long as you are standing still.

A very useful skill, this one lets the Amazon take fewer hits from melee attackers. Great for Bow or Spearazons, since they have no shield and would be hit by almost everything otherwise. Javazons like it as well, since the Dodge is checked only on hits that aren't blocked, and with a good blocking % shield, this can cut the hits you take way way down. If you block 75%, and then Dodge 50% after that, you're only taking damage from 12.5% of successful attacks.

Dodge works all the time, usually without any sound or animation, which fools some into thinking it's not working that often. When you aren't doing anything else, the animation will often trigger, and it is nice, the Amazon ducks in a side-step sort of move, and makes a "Yip!" sound effect.

Points in this one are almost mandatory, how many should be balanced by your needs. If you feel you are being hit too often, then more points would help. Bowazons stay back from the action and don't get into melee range that often, so they can go with less in this skill. Most Amazons go with at least 35 or 40% here, and 50% at Slvl 12 is a common rule of thumb.

Slow Missiles[edit]

Hand-of-athena-icon.jpg

Prerequisites:

  • Inner Sight

Casting Delay:

  • Passive skill

Synergy Bonuses:

  • None

Description:

"Slows the ranged attacks of nearby enemies and makes them easier to dodge". This skill will substantially slow all ranged attacks, including arrows, javelins, quills, and many spells: meteors, Frozen Orbs, all bolt or ball type spells, Charged Bolts, and many more. Does not work on nova type spells, nor on the projectiles from Andariel, Mephisto, or Diablo.

Slow Missiles works just like Inner Sight in many ways. It can't stack with multiple castings, but it does work on players or monsters, and can stack with Inner Sight, though you only see the glowing star once, even if both are in effect. If you are using this one to help you see monsters in a dark area more easily, use this, rather than Inner Sight, since Slow Missiles has a longer duration.

In D2C this skill was targetable, but after v1.08 and in D2X it is not; your character is always the center of the radius, so you'll often have to run up to be sure you are in range before you cast it.

Multiple points in this aren't a common choice, but it's very helpful to have at least level 3 or 4, for the longer duration, especially if you are using it to stay alive when battling MSLE bosses. You might need 20 or 30 seconds to kill the monster, and you don't want to have to run back up mid-battle to try and refresh the timer. A few +skills points are very helpful here.

Avoid[edit]

Avoid-icon.jpg

Prerequisites:

  • Dodge

Casting Delay:

  • Passive skill

Synergy Bonuses:

  • None

Description:

"A chance that you will elude a missile attack when standing or attacking". This passive skill is very useful in some areas, but the ultimate utility depends on your playing style. Bowazons often find it more useful than Dodge, since they are being shot at more than hit in melee. However missile attacks aren't as dangerous since you can usually use your minions to draw enemy missiles away, and projectiles tend to do a lot less damage than melee hits. Avoid doesn't help against LE monster sparks.

It works just like Dodge, always helping you, while you only see the animation or hear the sound effect occasionally, when nothing else takes priority. The animation and sound effects are identical to Dodge.

How many points to add is up to each character. Like most of the Amazon's passive skills, this one goes up quickly, but hits diminishing returns hard around level 6. 50% at Slvl 7 is a common rule of thumb. If you are only doing melee areas or areas where the melee attacks are so weak you can just ignore them (Secret Cow level, Halls lvl 2, WorldStone lvl 2, etc) you might only put one into Avoid as a pre-req.

Penetrate[edit]

Penetrate-icon.jpg

Prerequisites:

  • Critical Strike

Casting Delay:

  • Passive skill

Synergy Bonuses:

  • None

Description:

Passive. "Additional chance to hit for ranged attacks". This skill adds substantially to the Amazon's Attack Rating with either ranged or melee attacks. Prior to v1.09 this skill only gave half the listed bonus to melee attacks, but that nerf was removed, and you get the full bonus with missile or melee now.

Most amazons put a point or two into this one immediately at lvl 18. How many points to put in eventually depends on other factors. More points in dexterity, either stat points or from equipment, will mean you need less in Penetrate, since Penetrate is a % based skill. Most higher level Bowazons like to be upwards of 80% to/hit for their level, and how much penetrate you need to get to that depends on your dexterity and other item bonuses.

If you are going with lower dexterity and putting the points info vitality (Hardcore or dueling) then you'll generally need more Penetrate. Spearazons tend to need more vitality and strength, and therefore have less dexterity, so may need more Penetrate to make up the AR difference. Bowazons can do less Penetrate, depending on their weapon and skill choices. Numerous arrow attacks hit every time without an AR check, so if you are using Guided, Fire Arrow, and Freezing Arrow only, you don't actually need any Penetrate at all. A Bowazon should evaluate Penetrate based on her Multishot and Strafe needs.

Decoy[edit]

Fist-of-ares-icon.jpg

Prerequisites:

  • Inner Sight
  • Slow Missiles

Casting Delay:

  • Passive skill

Synergy Bonuses:

  • Dodge
  • Avoid

Description:

"Create a duplicate decoy". Creates a mirror image of the Amazon, exactly duplicating her armor and weaponry, at the spot you target when you click. The Decoy even changes weapons when you do, matching your current appearance exactly. This skill was originally called "Dopplezon", a name everyone seems to like better, so of course Blizzard changed it.

Monsters will attack the Decoy just as they would you or another player or a Valkyrie, so it's very useful to draw their fire or attention away from you. It can be used similarly in PvP, possibly confusing your attacker. You may only have one Decoy at a time; casting another one makes the first vanish, and you can only cast them in valid locations that you have a clear line of sight to.

Decoys don't move or attack, but they can share in auras and Warcries, and do damage if they have the Thorns aura (but not if you have any thorns equipment on, they don't share that), or if monsters have Iron Maiden on them when they hit the Decoy. Decoys will occasionally appear to walk if they are knocked back repeatedly, such as by Urdurs in Act Four.

One helpful change in D2X is that Decoys and all other minions can be walked through. It was possible to become trapped behind a Decoy in earlier versions of D2C, and they were even used by sneaky PKs to trap party members next to dangerous monsters, or block doorways.

Decoys are excellent scouting tools, and should be used frequently when you are advancing in dangerous areas, especially when there are ranged attackers, such as Oblivion Knights and Black Souls. You can also use them to keep yourself from being cursed by Succubi or Oblivion Knights, preserving your Shrine bonus, and they are great to attract charging explosive minions, which will blow up on a Decoy while dealing her no damage at all.

Decoys have the same hit points as the Amazon who casts then, and if you have a lot of hit points they can be more durable than a low level Amazon, in small Normal diff games. They last as long as the skill level duration allows, but will vanish sooner if they take enough damage to drop them. It can be scary to cast a Decoy into a mob and see it vanish in an instant, and think how long you'd last. Your Decoy can potentially be more durable than you are, as it gains the ability to Dodge and Avoid as though it had as many points invested as you do, as well as gaining 4% resist all per level (maxing out at 85), and at higher levels can have significantly more life than you do, as it gains 10% additional life per level. If you have a high level decoy and it dies in an instant after being cast, be very careful, as your Amazon wouldn't last much longer.

Decoy is also a useful back up; if your Valk is fighting a very nasty monster (like a Might boss, or Duriel) you should cast a Decoy between you and the boss, ideally off to the side somewhat. As long as the Decoy is closer to the boss than you are, the monster will go for the Decoy rather than you, which should give you time to cast another Valkyrie.

Most players just do place point in Decoy. It's nice to have the longer duration, but this isn't a benefit many players want badly enough to add more skill points, if they can't wear +skills gear to get it.

Evade[edit]

Evade-icon.jpg

Prerequisites:

  • Dodge
  • Avoid

Casting Delay:

  • Passive skill

Synergy Bonuses:

  • None

Description:

"Grants a chance to escape any attack while moving". This passive skill allows the Amazon to not be hit by ranged or melee attacks. This is basically Dodge and Avoid in one, but it only works when you are moving, either walking or running.

There were problems with "Evade lock" in earlier versions of Diablo II, where sometimes when you ran and tried to Evade (such as passing through a firewall or especially Diablo's PLBoD) your character would stop moving and get stuck in the Evade animation, leading to a quick death. This problem seems to have been eliminated with v1.08 and later.

How you play should determine your Evade needs. If you are a careful Bowazon, always advancing behind a Valk and Decoy, not prone to running through monster packs, then you don't really need any Evade at all, other than the one pre-req point for Valkyrie. On the other hand a Javazon who is doing a lot of Cow herding will want a lot in Evade, both to stay alive and also to not to be slowed down by hit recovery as she's trying to slalom stray cows around the perimeter of a huge herd.

Valkyrie[edit]

Valkyrie-icon.jpg

Prerequisites:

  • Inner Sight
  • Dodge
  • Slow Missiles
  • Avoid
  • Decoy

Casting Delay:

  • 6 seconds

Synergy Bonuses:

  • Critical Strike
  • Dodge
  • Evade
  • Avoid
  • Penetrate +40 attack rating per level
  • Decoy +20% life per level


Description:

"Summons a powerful Valkyrie to fight by your side". The Amazon's version of a Golem spell, Valkyries look like an Amazon in plate mail with no helmet. They are always armed with a spear, and appear in a flash of light, walking around and battling any mob of demons fearlessly. They are excellent tanks and shields, but aren't very good at killing things, due to slow attack speed.

One nice change in v1.08 was the random equipment on a Valkyrie. Each time you cast one they are generated with magical armor and weapon, with random stats. You can get Valkyries that emit Charged Bolts or even Frost Novas when hit, ones that strike with cold damage or even Amplify Damage bonuses on their weapons, and more. Occasionally you'll summon one with such useful bonuses that you might want to return to town when she's low to get a heal from the NPC.

Valkyrie is an extremely useful skill, and 99% of Amazons have one summoned all the time. She's your tank, let the monsters attack her while you kill then from a distance, or run up next to them for your melee attacks, then retreat before you get swarmed.

Valks are very durable; their hps scale up in Nightmare and Hell, as well as in any game with more players joining; just like monster hit points do. In a big hell game, even a level 1 Valk is like a walking brick wall, able to absorb enormous damage before dying.

You should use your Valkyrie wisely, cast her where she'll do the most good. You don't need to wait around for her to walk into the action, just cast another one right where you want it. Keep an eye on her hit points in her profile image to the top left of the screen. You can't feed her potions, but you want to know if she's about to die, especially if she's all that's between you and some big nasty beastie. In very tough fights you'll be casting Valks constantly, as they get killed off by a Might boss pack, or Duriel, etc. Learn the continuous skill system, where you hold down the right mouse button and switch hotkeys as needed. No clicking, and it's faster; in a big fight you might go MS, MS, Valk, Freezing Arrow, MS, Valk, MS, Freezing, Guided, Valk, etc, in that order. Cranking out a new Valk every few seconds while only shooting other skills long enough to leech back the Valk' cost is scary, but necessary at times.

How many points to put into Valk is open to debate. If you are only in Hell games with lots of players, 1 is probably enough. If you are doing solo runs or are in small games and have very low hit points, or lag a lot, or are Hardcore and nervous, you'll want more points in Valk to be safe, and should probably recast her every time she's anywhere near low. Higher level Valks also have a wider pool of potential mods on their random equipment, and can spawn better base gear, but since you don't know what their mods are unless they have something visible graphically, this isn't a real big bonus. The mana cost can get expensive if you keep adding to Valk, so consider your mana pool and how fast you can leech it back if you're getting your Valk up to high levels.


It's also worth noting that higher level valkyries have higher resistances. A valkyrie gains 2% resistance per level, and is synergized by Decoy (in addition to it's help with the valk's life) by increasing it's resistances another 2% per hard point placed into decoy. Each level a valkyrie has also gives it 12 additional dexterity, which increases her defense and attack rating appropriately (though this isn't shown in the skill description. The valkyrie's level also determines which gear she spawns with, as follows :


Level 1 : Rare full plate mail and spear

Level 2 : Add magic heavy gloves

Level 4 : Add magic heavy boots

Level 5 : Add magic heavy belt

Level 7 : Upgrade rare full plate mail to rare chaos armor

Level 8 : Upgrade rare spear to rare lance

Level 10 : Upgrade magic heavy gloves to magic war gauntlets

Level 11 : Upgrade magic heavy boots to magic war boots

Level 12 : Upgrade magic heavy belt to magic war belt

Level 13 : Add magic amulet

Level 14 : Add magic circlet

Level 16 : Replace rare chaos armor with rare sacred armor

Level 17 : Replace rare lance with rare war pike

Level 19 : Upgrade magic war gauntlets to rare crusader gauntlets

Level 21 : Upgrade magic war boots to rare mirrored boots

Level 23 : Upgrade magic war belt to rare colossus girdle

Level 25 : Upgrade magic amulet to rare amulet

Level 27 : Upgrade magic circlet to rare tiara


These changes are, of course, cumulative - most amazons choose one of four options. Use no valkyrie, invest one point in it, get it to level 17 after bonus skills, or max it. Each choice has it's benefits and downfalls; Not getting a valkyrie leaves you with one less meat sheild, while getting one point into it gives you a relatively weak one. Getting your valkyrie up to level 17 provides you with one that is packing potentially awesome armor and weapon, while maxing it ensures she has rare gear in every slot except rings, and lots of hit points.

One last advantage of a valkyrie is that she can become immune to elemental attacks. After adding up her resistance bonuses from valkyrie and decoy, if she spawns gear that gives her resistances, they add to that base. If this total goes above 100% resistance, she will be immune to that element.

Pierce[edit]

Pierce-icon.jpg

Prerequisites:

  • Critical Strike
  • Penetrate

Casting Delay:

  • Passive skill

Synergy Bonuses:

  • None

Description:

"A chance that your missile will continue through its victim". This passive skill works only with ranged attacks, but is very useful there, allowing any projectile the Amazon throws or fires to pass through up to four targets, potentially hitting five monsters. This skill was much improved from the initial version of it upon game release, where a rather serious bug kept any elemental attacks from triggering if they Pierced. So a Freezing or Immolation Arrow, or Plague Javelin, would not activate if Pierce did. This was especially bad with Ice or Freezing Arrow, since those were shot to stop the target, and if Pierce worked, the monster would turn blue for an instant, but would not freeze. Since this was fixed Pierce has become a very valuable skill.

Pierce is great with all bow skills, allowing multiple monsters to be struck by each arrow, and putting fire or cold on anything it hits, if one of those skills are used. It also boosts javelin attacks, especially Lightning Fury.

This table shows the odds of multiple Piercings as you increase your skill points in it. The percentages listed are the chances of Pierce working on a given target. The first target is the % listed on the skill info in the game. The second target is the % chance of Pierce working two times in a row: (.71 x .71 = .5041 at Slvl 10).


Target Slvl 10 Slvl 12 Slvl 14 Slvl 16 Slvl 18 Slvl 20 Slvl 25
1st 71% 75% 79% 82% 83% 85% 90%
2nd 50% 56% 62% 67% 69% 75% 81%
3rd 36% 42% 49% 55% 57% 61% 73%
4th 25% 32% 39% 45% 47% 52% 65%
5th 18% 24% 31% 37% 39% 44% 59%


As you can see your odds for hitting the first target increase a little, but the odds of getting 3 or 4 or 5 hits increase much more with higher levels in Pierce, making them very worth it if you're doing huge mob areas, such as the Secret Cow Level.

How much Pierce a Bowazon wants varies, depending on her skill choices and weapon. Some bows give a bonus to Piercing, so you need fewer points in the skill. Testing has shown that Piercing doesn't work 100% of the time, regardless of your bow or other bonuses (+piercing is found on some unique items) but is capped somewhere around 95%, but that's not going to effect your play too much.

At least 70% is a good rule of thumb, and if you are counting on Guided for your boss killing, you'll want it higher, probably 80% or more. Pierce helps a lot with Freezing, Immolation, and Strafe as well as Multishot when dealing with huge mobs. For smaller mobs you don't need Pierce with Multishot, since you'll have more arrows than monsters anyway.

Bow & Crossbow[edit]

The Bow is the weapon of choice for Rogue players from Diablo I, and there are a lot more options and techniques to using a bow in Diablo II than there were in Diablo. Long gone are the days of shooting nothing but a steady stream of normal arrows, in Diablo II there are ten bow skills to boost your attacks, which are also assisted by several skills from the Passive and Magic skill tree. There are also a number of types of bows and crossbows in Diablo II, all of them with varying damage, firing rates, and strength/dexterity requirements. See the Bows and Crossbows page in our Items Database for full info.

Prior to v1.04, all bows were bugged, and the damage from any sort of +%damage modifier, such as Kings, Merciless, etc did not work. A 10-50 gothic bow with +100% damage would list as 20-100, but would actually do 11-51. Since this problem has been fixed, Bowazons have become a lot more effective, and they are among the best characters in D2X.

All bow skills require some mana to use, (Two exceptions, Magic Arrow at Slvl 13+ is free and Guided Arrow at Slvl 33+.) which makes some sort of mana steal equipment mandatory for any successful Bowazon. At lower levels it's usually hard to keep enough mana, but as your bow damage goes up, boosted by better bows and more points in dexterity, you'll find it easier to steal enough mana to keep up a steady attack of bow skills, rather than having to alternate normal attacks with the more damaging bow skills. When using a low damage bow, or shooting monsters that have very few hit points, it's actually more beneficial to have +mana per kill bonuses than mana leech.

Though two of the early skills, "Magic" and "Multi-shot" Arrow allow (as well as Strafe later on), help on arrow economy, one by creating an arrow from mana and the other by splitting one arrow into many, this isn't a real benefit since there is seldom a shortage of arrows, and in any event they are cheap and plentiful to purchase from an NPC in any act.

Bear in mind that her passive skills in the aptly-named 'Passive & Magic' tree will further benefit the chosen skills in this tree, as will two other, non-passive skills: "Decoy", which creates an immobile decoy, and "Valkyrie", which creates an ally, a minion much like the Necromancer's, to fight for you or just distract monsters, giving you free shots at them.

Socketed bows can be very useful at early levels, especially with sapphires for cold damage and skulls for mana and life steal. They aren't the super low level weapon they were in D2C anymore, since Clvl requirements have been added to gems, but early on you can probably do a lot better with a bow that has 2 or 3 chipped or flawed gems in it than with any other bow you'll find at that point.

Bow Damage = [(Bow Damage + ED from bow) +min/max damage from equipment] x [(Dex + ED from equipment other than bow + ED from skills]/100 + 1)

In simplest terms, your bow + equipment damage is multiplied by your dexterity. If you are doing 50-200 with your bow and other equipment, and you have 200 Dex, you'll deal about triple your bow damage to targets. Critical Strike will then double this total damage, if successful.

In addition to increasing damage, each point of Dexterity also adds to your Attack Rating and Defense.

The Paladin's +% damage Auras (Might, Concentration, Fanaticism) are of tremendous help to a Bowazon, since they up her physical damage substantially. Many Bowazons consider a Might merc mandatory in D2X, but this depends on how fast you want to go, how much damage your bow does, and where you are playing. Might mercs are certainly the most popular hirelings for Bowazons.

Every skill in this tree works the same with bow and arrows, or crossbow and bolts.

Magic Arrow[edit]

Magic-arrow-icon.gif

Prerequisites:

  • None

Casting Delay:

  • None

Synergy Bonuses:

  • None

Description:

"Creates a magical arrow". Icon was previously for a skill called "Safe Shot", way back in the early development days before "friendly fire" was removed from the game.

This skill allows the Amazon to fire a bolt or arrow without using one from her quiver, creating the arrow/bolt from pure magic. More points in this skill lower the mana cost and raise the damage. The damage dealt at base is the same as a normal arrow/bolt from your bow/crossbow, and even at Slvl 1 it should be easy to steal enough mana per shot to keep using this skill indefinitely.

Just one point is recommended in this skill, for emergency use. The most frequent use of this skill is to take advantage of the fact that it converts 1% of your physical damage per level into magical damage, bypassing the physical immune problem.

Fire Arrow[edit]

Fire-arrow-icon.gif

Prerequisites:

  • None

Casting Delay:

  • None

Synergy Bonuses:

  • Exploding Arrow : 12% fire damage per level

Description:

"Enchants arrow with flame". This skill adds a small amount of fire damage to your arrow or bolt attack, and can be helpful as a small light source as well.Until V1.09 this skill was nothing more than a prerequisite for the later fire damage bow skills. This changed greatly in v1.09 though, when a new, undocumented feature was implemented. Now when using Fire Arrow your total physical damage is calculated, and half of that is converted to fire damage, while half still counts as physical (which lets you leech as well). So if you are doing 1000 damage, 500 becomes fire, and 500 stays physical. If you get Critical Strike to work that shot, you'll do 2000 damage, which goes 1000 fire and 1000 physical. Now, in 1.11b, that has changed again - at slvl 1, Fire Arrow converts 3% of your physical damage to fire, with an additional 2% per level beyond that.

The "convert damage to fire" calculation is completed after all other bonus damage, including Critical Strike, and it also includes the +damage to Undead or Demons you find on some items. Try some Laying of Hands set gloves with Fire Arrow on PI demons, and you'll be amazed.

Fire Arrow always hits; there is no AR checked. If you shoot the monster, it will be hit and take damage. You can combine this with guaranteed piercing (such as on a Buriza) and make Fire Arrow a very useful skill. Try it when you have multiple monsters in a straight line, especially if your AR isn't very high; it can be great to kill either type of monster in the Bloody Foothills.

Keep in mind that monsters may resist or be immune to Fire Damage, and use it wisely.

Cold Arrow[edit]

Cold-arrow-icon.gif

Prerequisites:

  • None

Casting Delay:

  • None

Synergy Bonuses:

  • Ice Arrow : 12% cold damage per level

Description:

"Enchants arrow to slow targets". The weakest of the cold-based arrows, this skill adds cold damage to each arrow, and chills (not freezes) the monster it strikes. While less powerful than Ice or Freezing Arrow, with some skill points the chill can last a very long time, and the mana cost for this skill is quite low. Chilled monsters have a 20% chance of shattering upon death. (Frozen monsters have a 100% chance of shattering.) The arrow hits for physical damage as well as the added cold damage, so you can leech with this skill.

Right now, in 1.11b, Cold Arrow also has another, added effect - it converts a portion of your physical damage into cold damage. This is 3% at level one, with an additional 2% per level beyond that. The damage calculation is made after all modifiers have been added to your attack, including damage to demons, extra damage on gear, and enhanced damage from dexterity or gear. If you were to get it to 50% conversion, and you fire an arrow that would do 1,000 damage, Cold Arrow would make 500 of that physical, and 500 cold. If you were to land a critical hit with that same arrow, it would be 2,000 damage, of which 1,000 would be physical, and 1,000 would be cold.

Multi-Shot[edit]

Multishot-arrow-icon.gif

Prerequisites:

  • Magic Arrow

Casting Delay:

  • None

Synergy Bonuses:

  • None

Description:

"Fires multiple arrows". Perhaps the most useful of all the bow skills, Multi-Shot splits one arrow into many, each arrow doing 75% of your normal full damage. (They did 100% damage in D2C prior to v1.08.) More points in this skill increase the number of arrows and mana cost, but never add to the damage or accuracy. The spread of the arrows is controllable, but you can never hit any individual monster with more than one arrow per Multi-shot. Even if you fire 10 arrows right into a monster, it will only take damage from one of them, with the other nine continuing on (possibly hitting other targets). This makes this skill great for doing minor damage to every monster in a large group at once, but useless for doing big damage to any individual monster; you'd do bigger damage to a single target with your basic Attack skill.

There are many other benefits from "MS". The arrows continue well off of your visible screen, so you can use it for scouting, or even to kill things that aren't yet visible. It's also great to slow the advance of a mob, if you have some sort of cold damage on your arrows.

Multi-shot can be used with precision; the spread of the arrows is variable, depending on where you point when you click to use the skill. Briefly, if you target something right next to your Amazon, the arrows spread widely, while if you point at the edge of the screen your arrows will stay much more tightly-clustered. You can even target a particular monster, and if it moves off your screen, you'll continue shooting at it, possibly sending out your arrows in a much tighter bunch than otherwise possible.

This skill combines well with Pierce, since once you have that skill fewer arrows from Multi-shot are enough to hit more targets. Conversely, more points in Multi-shot can somewhat mimic the effect of Pierce, since only one arrow will hit each target, with the others continuing on to hit monsters behind them.

Around 8-10 points in Multi-shot is sufficient for most areas of the game. If you're firing more arrows than you have targets, you are basically wasting shots, after all. However if there are more targets than shots, you're wasting time, so strike a balance. The Cow level is the biggest exception to the normal MS needs, since if you gather up a big herd, you really can't have too many arrows going out.

Exploding Arrow[edit]

Exploding-arrow-icon.gif

Prerequisites:

  • Magic Arrow
  • Fire Arrow
  • Multi-Shot

Casting Delay:

  • None

Synergy Bonuses:

  • Fire arrow : 12% fire damage per level

Description:

"Enchants arrows to explode". A more powerful version of Fire Arrow, minus the "always hits target" bonus. As the name suggests, this skill enchants an arrow to explode into flame upon impact with a target, either a monster, or even a tree or a wall, if you miss a monster. The impact is an explosion that can damage nearby monsters as well.

The actual area of explosive fire doesn't increase with added skill points, but as you can see from the screenshot it's large enough for one shot to cover a reasonably sized group of foes.

The damage from this skill is fire, and physical damage from a single arrow (as if fired using basic attack). Also, any +fire damage you have on your equipment (or charms) is added to the explosion, which helps the damage, but it's still far weaker than Fire or Immolation Arrow. It does have the advantage, however, that it isn't on a timer.

Ice Arrow[edit]

Ice-arrow-icon.gif

Prerequisites:

  • Cold Arrow

Casting Delay:

  • None

Synergy Bonuses:

  • Cold Arrow : 8% cold damage per level
  • Freezing arrow : 5% cold length per level

Description:

"Enchants arrows to freeze enemies". A more powerful version of Cold Arrow, this skill adds ice damage to your arrow, and will freeze a target solid, rather than just chilling it. The damage isn't much more, and the freeze time is much shorter than the chill time of Cold Arrow, but every monster that dies to an Ice Arrow, or while frozen from it, will shatter. This is most useful with minions, since then their Shamans can't resurrect them.

The added cold damage isn't very high, and if you want to do cold damage you should be waiting to put points into Freezing Arrow. One way to use this is to map it to your left click, rather than normal attack. In fact, there is no reason to put more than one point into this skill, since Freezing Arrow does more damage, and while Ice Arrow does give benefits to Freezing Arrow, those benefits are meager at best.

The arrow hits for physical damage as well as the added cold damage, so you can leech with this skill.

Guided Arrow[edit]

Guided-arrow-icon.gif

Prerequisites:

  • Magic Arrow
  • Cold Arrow
  • Multi-Shot

Casting Delay:

  • None

Synergy Bonuses:

  • None

Description:

"Enchants arrows to seek enemies" Guided arrows have limited tracking ability, and if fired in the general direction of monsters will turn and home in on one of them. These arrows can't corner and pursue as tightly as Bone Spirits, but the arrows move much more quickly so are harder to avoid. There is a small 5% damage increase per skill point (the damage bonus did not work until v1.04 fixed it), and the mana cost decreases as well.Guided Arrow is the best PvP skill, since you can fire it in the general direction of an opponent, and let the homing aspect take over, since it works even off the Amazon's visible screen (though it won't change direction if it's very far off). It's also very useful to scout ahead, since you can fire Guideds off in the direction you are going, and if your leech blue or red swirl lights up, you know it has hit. The Guided will hit only one monster, which will then activate that monster to come towards you where you can easily kill it alone.

They are also very good for getting the kill on Shamans, Oblivion Knights, Corpse Spitters, Fetish, or anything else that runs away or dodges, including teleporting boss monsters. Also note that the mana cost decreases every point, so at higher levels you will begin to easily steal enough mana per shot to use the skill indefinitely, even if your bow damage is low.

In v1.09, this skill had become the most powerful Bow skill due to it working with Peirce. Prior to v1.09 Guided didn't pierce. While it did, it was by far the fastest single-target killing skill, since you get at least two hits with every single Guided, if there's room around the monster for it to pierce and hit again. This was changed in v1.10, and Peirce no longer works with Guided Arrow..

One oddity is that if you have knock back the monster will always be knocked away from you, even if you shoot the arrow past the monster, and it hits them coming back towards you.

Strafe[edit]

Strafing-arrow-icon.gif

Prerequisites:

  • Magic Arrow
  • Cold Arrow
  • Multi-Shot
  • Guided Arrow

Casting Delay:

  • None

Synergy Bonuses:

  • None

Description:

"Fire a volley of arrows to strike multiple enemies". A very powerful Bow skill, Strafe was the skill of choice for most high level Bowazons prior to v1.04 fixing the bow damage bug. Since then Multi-shot has become more popular and generally more effective, but Strafe still can be used to great effect, though it requires proper positioning. Strafe was nerfed in D2X by being capped at 10 arrows, no matter the skill level.Care must be taken when using this skill, since the Amazon is locked into place while firing her arrows, and if there are a lot of targets within range, monsters can close in on her while she's shooting. This isn't much of a danger in D2X, with just 10 shots, unless you're chilled or being effected by Holy Freeze (or both). As with Multi-shot, some form of cold damage to slow the monsters down is very useful with Strafe.

Strafe becomes most effective once you have a Valkyrie to attract the monsters, and a Decoy should be used also, to get the demons clustered in a tight pack. You should use it on stationary monsters, or ones coming right at you; strafing at a target moving to the side will usually miss. The main benefit of Strafe over Multi-shot is the damage bonus, and the possibility of hitting the same monster with more than one arrow. Proper positioning is essential to using this skill well, and the Amazon will often need to move around the pack of demons, while their attention is on her Valkyrie, to get the most shots hitting the demons from the best angle.

Prior to v1.09 and Piercing Guided, Strafe was the Amazon's best way to kill individual monsters. Now that we've made it to 1.11b, however, it is once again shining. Some people prefer guided, for it's homing abilities, but strafe is equally popular because it has the potential to do more damage over time than guided can. Strafe is best used now (if it's not your main skill) to clean up the last few monsters on a screen, especially if they are scattered all around. You can also use it in a battle on a "broken field" when there are targets in all directions, but not grouped well enough for you to get numerous hits with Multishot.

Strafe is useful with one point, if you're going to use it a lot you'll probably want to get it up to the maximum arrows, which comes at Slvl 10, or simply max it out for extra damage.

Immolation[edit]

Immolating-arrow-icon.gif

Prerequisites:

  • Magic Arrow
  • Fire Arrow
  • Mutli-shot
  • Exploding Arrow

Casting Delay:

  • 1 second

Synergy Bonuses:

  • Fire Arrow : +5% extra fire damage per second per level
  • Exploding Arrow : +10% extra fire damage per level

Description:

"Enchants arrows to burn enemies". A great-looking spell that adds fire damage and creates a mini-firewall under the feet of every target struck. (Multiple targets may be hit each shot if there are points in Pierce.) More points in Immolation Arrow up the initial fire damage and increase the damage per second a monster is in the fire, at the cost of more mana. Immo Arrow was the biggest damage per shot of any Bow skill in D2C, but it's been heavily nerfed in D2X with the addition of a casting delay, and the time cut on the firewall it creates. You can only shoot an Immo arrow every second now, and the mini-firewall they leave lasts just three seconds. Immolation is now popular mostly for the novelty and pretty graphics, or else by Magezons, who use mostly elemental damage, with a less-damaging bow. It can still stack pretty well, and alternating it with other arrow attacks (such as Freezing Arrow) is the typical elemental bow strategy.

The arrow hits for physical damage as well as the added fire damage, so you can leech with this skill, though it's hard to leech enough to keep firing it at higher levels, due to the heavy mana cost. The one-second firing delay is actually sort of handy there, since you can alternate with Guided or Strafe or Multishot to leech back the mana each Immo costs.

Freezing[edit]

Freezing-arrow-icon.gif

Prerequisites:

  • Cold Arrow
  • Ice Arrow

Casting Delay:

  • None

Synergy Bonuses:

  • Cold Arrow : +12% cold damage per level
  • Ice Arrow : +5% freeze length per level

Description:

"Enchants arrows to freeze multiple monsters". The only Clvl 30 skill in the Amazon's Bow Skill Tree, Freezing Arrow is much like Cold Arrow, but adds an impressive splash of freezing shrapnel that will freeze the target, and any other monsters nearby. The drawbacks are a high mana cost and a freezing time and blast radius that don't increase with more skill points.Freezing Arrow is a great defensive skill, able to stop entire packs in their tracks. This one is very useful to keep your merc or Valk alive, and also to shatter corpses if there are shaman about. A good % in Pierce is a great help with this skill, enabling you to cut right through any mob with freezing splashes.

Unless you are playing an elemental Bowazon like a Mageazon, you may only want one point in this skill, and want to use it just every now and then, to freeze mobs. It's very useful to control groups of monsters, keeping them from scattering when low on hps, healing themselves or others, being resurrected, or killing your merc. It can also help kill PI monsters, though the high mana cost makes this exceptionally difficult, even if you can get the cold damage high enough to be worthwhile against a single target.

Cold time (freezing or chilling) is 1/2 as long on Nightmare and 1/4 as long on Hell, so it helps a lot if you have other cold damage (such as from Buriza, Ravenfrost, or charms) since their cold times add to your Freezing Arrow time. With a Ravenfrost and a couple of charms you can get monsters to stay frozen for 3 or 4 Multishots. If you want them frozen, you should alternate, Freezing, MS, MS, MS, Freezing, MS, MS, MS, Freezing, etc. This deals the best damage while keeping monsters totally immobile.

The arrow hits for physical damage as well as the added cold damage, so you can leech with this skill.

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