Guide:Javazon v1.09, by Flux, Part II
This v1.09 guide describes how to build and play a Magic Find Javazon who uses Lightning Fury with Guided Arrow to kill bosses. Much of the information herein is obsolete in v1.10+, due to skill, item, and monster changes in the patch.
Diablo II Strategy Guide Info:
- Patch: v1.09
- Gametype: PvE/PvM
- Class: Amazon
- Specialisation: Lightning Fury Javazon
- Author: Flux
- Pages: One, two, three
- 1 Equipment
- 1.1 Socketing and Charms
- 1.2 Javelins
- 1.3 Shield
- 1.4 Weapon Switch Weapons
- 1.5 Body Armor
- 1.6 Headgear
- 1.7 Gloves
- 1.8 Boots
- 1.9 Belts
- 1.10 Rings
- 1.11 Amulets
- 1.12 My Javazon
- 2 Navigation
A Javazon is not very equipment-dependent. It really helps to have Titan's Revenge, the unique Amazon javelins, but you could theoretically clear the Hell Cows with plain javelins and a naked character, since your damage is almost entirely from the Lightning Fury bolts. You'd just need to go back to town a lot for mana refills and to buy more javelins, and with no blocking and low hit points you'd be very vulnerable to any cow hits. The point is you can play a successful Javazon with even the worst of equipment, since you kill mostly with a skill, though obviously equipment makes things easier and more profitable.
I recommend as much magic find and gold find as you can assemble. Besides blocking % and a good weapon with some mana leech, the rest of your equipment can add to whatever you want. You can look for huge hit points, tons of +skills to kill faster, lots of MF/GF to profit, or anywhere in between.
Increased Attack Speed makes you throw faster, as well as adding to your stabbing with Jab, and your arrow firing rate. However adding to your IAS to use with LF isn't really recommended, since it makes a very small difference. The throwing motion is relatively slow, and you need to add a lot of IAS to increase it noticeably. You are much better off adding to your skill points if you want to kill faster.
One complication comes with the frequent weapon switching you'll be doing. Titans has +20 Str/Dex, and often you'll have enough Str with Titans to put on heavier armor, belt, boots, etc, but not enough once you switch to Bow mode. When this happens you won't drop the item, but you don't get any of the benefits of it until you switch back to Titans.
I've played with enough strength for my armor when I had Titans active, but not enough when the bow was active, and it didn't make any real difference, other than giving me extra incentive to switch to Titans/Rhyme so Skullder's would be active when I got the kill on any bosses. If you had something like Smoke or Lionheart on, the loss in resistance might be a problem, and especially if you had low requirements for everything, and had to suit up piece by piece, using the bonuses on one item to enable the others. Losing 20 from Titans might render you nearly naked, so be careful. And add some more Strength next level up.
Long term, for the Hell cows you don't need all that much resistance, but you want as many hit points and as much blocking % as possible. Ideally you'll get to 1100+ hit points with 75% blocking. You also need 8% or so mana leech, though you can survive with 6 or 7%, if you drink some potions, or switch to your bow to leech with Guided from time to time. Max resistances are admirable, but Cows have no elemental attacks, other than properties on the boss cows. You'll need some lightning to survive any LE cows (the King is always LE) though you can avoid those almost entirely, and use Slow Missile. Fire and Cold resistance are mostly needed to take LEFE or LECE boss sparks, and you don't need poison resistance at all for the Cows.
So if all you are doing is the Cow level, you can go with virtually no resistance, perhaps 25% lightning -25% fire, and -70% cold and poison, and be fine. If you took 4 or 5 sparks from an LE while you have Conviction on you, you'd drop dead, but you just have to be careful of LE cows. If you were wearing Thundergod's Vigor for a belt, you could have even lower Lightning Resistance, with the absorb on it.
I've played a high-level Javazon with around with 40% lightning, 10% fire, nothing to cold or poison other than the 25% on Rhyme, and had no real problems surviving, even doing Meph and A5 SU runs. I do have 1300 hps, so lots of margin for error, but I wouldn't set foot in the River of Flame or Chaos Sanctuary with that gear on.
More resistance makes things easier, but it's not essential, especially in the Cows.
Socketing and Charms
Generally speaking, you want to fit your sockets to the item type. Try to look at your equipment on the whole, add the biggest bonus you can in an item, and then switch other things around to cover any deficiencies. For example, if you are low on Fire Resistance, but have enough Cold and Lightning, don't socket a Ruby into your shield's one remaining socket. It's much better to add a perfect diamond, which gives you more total resistance, and more equipment flexibility. When you later find an amulet with great stats but 25% less lightning Res than the one you are wearing, you'll be glad you added more Res to all on your shield so you can switch amulets easily.
You can't socket throwing weapons, so you have much less complexity than most characters do in their socketing strategies. Runewords can't be socketed either, so if you are wearing Wealth, Rhyme, and Titans, you've only got a helmet to socket.
Use Charms to fill gaps in your stats that other items leave. It's easiest to get mana, hps, and single resistances on charms, along with small amounts of magic find. The most possible MF is 7% per inv space, and that's only with small charms. You can't get more than 4% per space with large or grands. So if you are weighing a perfect ruby vs. a perfect topaz in your armor, consider that you can make up the 38 hps with 2 small charms, but 24% MF would require four 6% small charms, which are much harder to come by.
Same comparison, Um in armor or P Topaz in armor. Um is 15% res all, Topaz is 24% MF. Four 6% MF charms are hard to find, and quite valuable, but that's what you'd need to replace the perfect Topaz. To replace the Um is much easier, that just takes 3 10% res small charms, and cover fire/lightning/cold there, and one left over for whatever your weakest resistance is. Or add 20% to fire and lightning with the 4 small charms, since cold and poison are generally unimportant, and you are actually better off with that than with the Um, in fewer Inv spaces than it would take to replace with near-perfect (and very valuable) MF charms.
Basically, you want to consider your equipment as a whole, knowing what is easiest to make up with stats or charms, and what is hardest to add on equipment, and add what's hard to come by with other types of items. Also look at the long view on sockets; you can add hps, Dex, or Str every level up, but you can't add MF or resistance from level ups, only from equipment.
Javazons generally need more mana than Bowazons; around 200 or 250 at least, if you don't want to be nearly out every time you cast a couple of Valkyries or throw at a single target. Charms are a very easy way to add more, since you can often find grand charms with up to 60 mana, or small or large ones with around 15 per inv space. Charms with hps and mana are common also, and can be very helpful items. Especially when you first begin throwing LF, from Clvl 30-40 you'll not have that much mana or damage, and will need to throw several times to kill things. Running out of mana is very common at that point.
It's nice to have at least one type of cold damage to slow monsters you are shooting. If you don't get this from equipment then one cold charm is enough, though more help for the duration of chill. You also want some sort of poison damage to stop monsters from healing (especially bosses you are slowly killing with your Guided Arrow). Go for the longer duration with your poison charm; monsters have so many hit points in big hell games that the poison damage is nothing, you just want to keep them from healing, and throwing LF into huge mobs you might not hit the same target that often. The Poison and Cold damage don't transfer to your Lightning Bolts from LF, just the actual javelin, or arrows/bolts you fire.
You can not socket throwing weapons, so you miss out on the added damage, leech, MF, etc that a socket can provide. Sorrow.
One cool fact about every self-replenishing throwing weapon is that they always have a repair cost of 1, no matter how many you've thrown. This includes Titan's Revenge, and saves you money in the long run.
Titan's Revenge: Find one, borrow one, trade for one. The most important stats on your javelins are damage, increased stack size, +spear skills, replenishes quantity, and mana/life leech. Titan's has all of these but mana leech, and adds big bonuses to stats and even 30% faster run (which gives you more options on boots) so it's almost impossible to beat.
You can get bigger physical damage, since Titan's is only a Ceremonial Javelin, the Exceptional kind. An Elite Matriarchal Javelin, or one of the non-Amazon Elites like a Winged Harpoon could do far more physical damage than Titans, but the main damage is from Lightning Fury. Titan's has the +2 to all skills and another +2 to spear skills, so with the other mods on it it's nearly a perfect item.
Rare Javelins: If you can't find a Titans, you can still do well with a Rare Javelin. Javazons are one of the few characters where a rare weapon beats a magical one, since top damage isn't the priority. You'll be using these from Clvl 30-41, before you can use Titan's, so you should save some up if you find any decent ones. Ceremonial javelins are good imbues also, for the 30-41 time. You want decent damage, big stack size, and +spear skills on these. Other stats are a bonus. I have a rare Ceremonial Javelin stack with about 90 max throwing damage, 190 stack size, and +4 to all spear skills, and they are great to use until Titans.
Rare Amazon class-specific javelins are better than normal javelins since the Amazon ones will have +1-2 spear skills inherently. Magical ones can get up to +3, and if you get +spear skills as a mod on the item, they'll stack. LF is much more powerful at Slvl 10 than Slvl 5, for example, so really work on getting it up quickly with equipment.
On your shield, you want as much blocking % as possible, along with resistances. A huge resistance shield helps a lot on freeing up your other equipment for other mods. Huge blocking % helps since you'll need fewer points in Dexterity, and can add more to Vitality. Add Magic Find or +skills or +mana if possible. These shields are listed in order of preference, but you should balance them with your other equipment and your overall needs.
Rhyme: This Runeword is relatively easily made (Shael Eth) and has great stats. Lots of blocking, 15% mana regeneration, 25% resist all, 25% Magic Find, 50% Gold Find, and even Can Not Be Frozen. This helps a lot since a chilled Javazon throws and runs very slowly. Try to find a Grim Shield for it, they have very good blocking % (Rhyme Grim Shield beats Moser's on blocking %) better than any other Exceptional shield but a Pavise, are light so don't slow your running, and don't have a very high Strength requirement (58). Plus they look cool. ;)
Moser's Blessed Circle: The Unique Round Shield, Moser's isn't that hard to find, and has good defense, 25% to all with two sockets (giving it 63% all with 2 perfect diamonds), and lots of blocking %. Moser's with 2 Ists socketed would be 50% MF and good blocking and resistance, but as rare as Ists are for just 25% more MF than a Rhyme this isn't a real good strategy.
Lidless Wall: The Unique Grim Shield is a nice option, giving +1 to all, 3-5 mana per kill, and bonuses to mana and energy. It's 10% less blocking than a Moser's though, and has no inherent resistances, though you could always socket it with a diamond for 19%.
Wall of the Eyeless: A good shield to use when you first start throwing at Clvl 30, with this you get +5 mana per kill and 3% mana leech, though no resistance or MF or blocking bonuses which limits the long term use of it.
Stormshield: This is the best shield you could use to stay alive in the cows, with its good blocking and huge 35% physical damage reduction, as well as some resistances. It requires a ton of Strength though (156), far more than you should have on a Javazon, and is very hard to find.
Three Diamond: Any old 3DS will work decently, with the 57% resistance to all, though the blocking percentage wouldn't be very good, and you'd have zero other bonuses.
Four Socket Shield: If you had the strength (which you shouldn't) you could use an Elite shield, and the Monarch, Aegis, or Ward can have four sockets. The Monarch is the lightest, at 156 Str, and you could get 76% resist all, or 100% MF with 4 Ists, if you had such rare Runes.
Rare Shield: Look for one with resistances, and blocking bonuses, along with other useful stats.
Weapon Switch Weapons
What to have on your weapon switch is an interesting issue. The options are a bow/xbow, a spear, or a second stack of javelins.
I recommend a bow. Put some points into Guided Arrow, and this is the best boss killing option a Bowazon has. If you have something big like a Buriza, you can mow down any boss quite easily, and if the bow has elemental damage, and you have a lot of points in Guided, the mana cost will be low enough you can kill PI bosses without drinking any mana or rejuv potions.
Some players use a Spear for their weapon switch, and with some points in Jab or Fend this can be useful on bosses or LI monsters. However it's dangerous going to melee range, and the damage is less than a bow, when you factor in attack rate and piercing on Guided Arrows. Also you are mostly using the switch on monsters with Lightning resistance, and the most common types of those are LE bosses, which hurt a lot to melee. Bow you can Slow them and stay out of the range of their sparks.
The other option is a second stack of javelins. Two piles of Titans for example, will let you easily clear the entire Cow level solo in an eight player game with no trips back to town to repair. You'll have to skip some bosses without a bow to kill them, since it takes forever to kill a boss with just LF and no other targets around. You can try to lead the boss into huge packs of monsters and let the LF crossfire kill them, but that would slow you down, and the whole point in using two jav stacks is to go faster. In any event, you can just as easily carry your second stack of Javs in your Inv or Cube, and still have the bow in your weapon switch. Also, it takes like 10 seconds to portal and run to Charsi for a repair, so you aren't really saving that much time.
Carrying two or three stacks of javelins is a good idea when you first start throwing, at Clvl 30. You'll run out of javelins quickly, since you probably will be in Act Five and not cows, and your LF is weak, so it takes more throws to kill monsters. It's quicker to switch to another stack than it is to run back to town and get a repair every minute.
I don't recommend using these. The Unique Amazon spear Lycander's Flank has big bonuses to stats, life leech, +skills, a fast attack, and decent damage. If you can afford the big 115 Strength, it's probably your best all around choice. There are much higher damage Elite spears, but they all require a lot of strength.
Bows and Crossbows
Buriza-Do Kyanon: This Unique Ballista is the biggest damage bow/xbow other than Windforce, and more useful for a Javazon, with 24 less Str required, much lower Clvl requirement, and big cold damage, so you can use it to kill PIs as well. Also you actually have a chance to find this one short of 6 weeks of Pindleskin runs, or trade for it, short of throwing in your hot little sister. The only problem is the 110 Str req, which is more than you have if you've done a normal MF Javazon. I tend to max out my Str around 70, far lower than the 88 Str that even a Hel'ed Buriza requires.
You need to add 15% IAS on top of the 80% on the bow, to get a frame faster, and that can be a pain. Steal skull + Goldwrap work, or 20 IAS gloves, but if you don't have those you might want to Shael it, or use a 15% IAS jewel, if you have one with other nice mods. Being one frame slower isn't that big a deal anyway, since you are only using the bow occasionally.
Other socket options are enhanced damage, leech, or lower requirements. I have a Hel'ed one on my Javazon. Hel takes it from 110 to 88 Str Req, and 22 stat points are worth 66 hps or 9% blocking. I wouldn't recommend +elemental damage, since you can pretty easily on charms, and Buriza has so much already.
Kuko Shakuro: 40-180 fire damage, 100% piercing, +3 to all bow skills, with just 53 Str and Clvl 33 required makes this a very nice option. You must have a point in Guided to use this, but as soon as you have one point there you're at Slvl 4 Guided (or more from other equipment), with the +3 to Bow Skills. I like this one for Hell, to be able to kill the PILI bosses that you can't scratch with LF. The damage is sort of lacking for killing bosses, and if you get a PIFE cow in a big game, you can pretty much forget about it. I've done Hell Meph runs in 2 minutes with this bow, it's enough damage for that, at least in a solo game.
Shael it, or possibly add a big elemental damage jewel. 1-100 lightning would let you work on PIFI or PIFE monsters, making nothing unkillable, since there is never a PILIFI. Or you could add a fire damage jewel to make it more effective on PILIs, and use LF for PIFIs. It's very good on a merc also, so they can kill PIs with their big MF gear on.
Magewrath: Unique Rune Bow, this one has +1 to all skills, +3 to Guided Arrow, 15% mana steal, +10 Dex, and more. Possibly the best bow to use early on, and much easier to obtain than a Buriza, with lower Str requirements. You can equip this one and fire Slvl 4 (or higher, with other + equipment) Guided Arrow before you even put a point into the Bow tree. You could use this bow forever and never put any points into bow skills, if need be, though your Slvl of Guided would be lacking. It's also great for the mana leech; you can fill your mana bulb with 2 or 3 Guided Arrows from this bow, so if your Javelin damage or leech is lacking, switching off for a second on this one is nearly as fast as drinking a rejuvenation potion. The Clvl 43 req is the only real drawback, but you should go from 30 to 43 very quickly using LF. Shael it.
Langer Briser: Another Exceptional Unique Crossbow, the Langer isn't very good for damage, though it does have 1-212 lightning damage, making it viable on PIs. The main benefit is the 30-60% MF, so a good seed on this would be a nice killer for you. It doesn't have the 100% piercing though, or that much physical damage, and fires slowly, so it's not much of a boss killer. Rhyme is the best option for a Javazon shield, and that's 25% MF, so it's better to whittle them with a bow and kill with LF, unless you get a high % MF on this xbow and have the patience to use it. An Ist in this is what you want, if you are using it. Get one that's a very high MF% to socket, 58% or more. Shael it otherwise.
SkyStrike: This Unique Edge Bow is the lowest of the Exceptional bows, but not bad for a switch. It's got decent damage low requirements, and a fast firing rate, along with 1-250 lightning damage and +1 to all skills. The problem is that the elemental damage is lightning, and you generally want damage in Cold or Fire, to contrast your lighting javelin damage.
You can use a lot of other exceptional bows, Goldstrike, Cliffkiller +2 to all skills, Witchwild String (safety with resistance), Lycander's Aim (best damage and bonuses, hardest of the exceptionals to find), or any magical or Rare one you might meet the requirements of. If all you need is physical damage, as a boss killer, all are fine. I like Kuko or Buriza so I can kill PIs with them as well.
There is a huge variety of possible body armor. I like Wealth, for the MF/GF, as well as bonus Dex and mana per kill, but this isn't an aid in survival. You can use just about any unique armor, you want resistance, +skills, hit points, defense, mana, leech, etc. Lionheart and Smoke are great Runewords also, and you can even go for a plain 4T (four topaz) armor for the 96% MF, if you can't afford the LemKoTir for Wealth or find a Skullders. I'll list the top few armors here, but virtually any armor you find can be useful, depending on your needs.
Magic Find Armors
Skullder's Ire: This is probably the best bet, for the big +1.25 magic find per Clvl, the biggest on any armor (100 + 24 at Clvl 80 with a topaz), and the +1 skills. It requires 97 Str and Clvl 42 to equip it. It also has good defense, lots of durability, and it's self-repairing, which will save you some money in the long run. The +1 is nice for your LF/Pierce, and by Clvl 80 this one is giving you a lot more MF than a Wealth. Becomes an even better option the higher your level goes, with 147% MF at Clvl 99.
Wealth: This Runeword (LemKoTir) gives 100% MF, 300% GF, +10 Dex, and +2 mana per kill. All these are very nice bonuses for a Javazon; 10 Dex is worth 4% blocking (and 30 hps with the saved points going to Vit), and even the +2 mana per kill is helpful, when you're killing hundreds of cows in a few minutes. If you can get to 600% or more gold find (which isn't hard with 300% Wealth, 200% Chance Guards, and 50% Rhyme), you'll be averaging 2500 per gold stack, and with about every third cow dropping gold, you can easily pick up 400k per Cow run, in a big game.
Use a good, light armor to make the Wealth in. Archon Plate is very nice, at around 480 average defense and 103 Str, but you have to be Clvl 63 to equip it. Mageplate is probably the best bet with the Clvl 25 req and 55 Strength/220ish defense. You want light armors for the running speed, the light Elites are less than 100 Str, and can be over 450 defense, so keep an eye out for Dusk Shroud, Wyrmhide, or Scarab Husk.
- Wealth vs. Skullder's: Skullder's is worth more than Wealth's 100% MF at Clvl 81, or Clvl 62 with a socketed Topaz. At Clvl 90 with a socket it's worth 136% MF, substantially more than Wealth. The +1 to all skills is nice, but it's unlikely you'd be able to tell the difference when playing with 26 LF/23 Pierce or 27 LF/24 Pierce. The bigger defense is nice, but not much of a factor if you have elite Wealth. Skullders also required 97 Strength, which is more than you'd normally have.
- Wealth is much easier to come by, for one thing. If you only have one Skullder's put it on your MF Barb or Sorcy and use the Wealth on your Javazon. Wealth will make you richer, 300% gold find can be worth 100k or more a game in gold pick up. It saves you 10 Dex for your blocking, which is worth 30 hit points if you put it all into Vit, which is worth two small hps charms, which you can replace with MF charms, getting potentially 14% of the MF back, or 20% lightning res, freeing you to wear MF boots instead of res boots, etc. Also, you find tons of gold every game, guaranteed. Adding to that is a perpetual benefit (whether you get lucky on gambling is another story;).
- Playing style determines the winner. If you have no other Gold Find stuff, you probably won't care about the stacks going from 300 to 1200, not enough to pick them up, anyway. If you have 300% GF on other equipment, adding Wealth makes the stacks go from 1200 to 2500, and they are suddenly worth taking a few seconds to pick up.
- If you are Clvl 95 then you'll get 42% more MF from Topazed Skullder's, and it's probably worth it then. Also, if you are playing very fast cow runs, (such as in public games), picking up no gold, then Wealth is just a glorified 4T armor.
- Doesn't the 30 or 40% more MF make a big difference? Maybe. You very, very, very seldom find a good item from Cows, and probably 95% of the time you'd get the same quality of it if you have 300% MF, or 330% MF, for example. Long term you'll probably find 1 or 2 more items Unique, instead of Set or Rare, by having 30% more MF, but whether those items are sashes or Hydra bows is unknown. If the "what if" thought assails you ever time you see a Rare Shako or Crusader Bow drop, then you'll want the most MF possible, for your peace of mind if nothing else.
Tal Rasha's Guardianship: Set lacquered plate, with 40% to Cold/Fire/Lightning, 88% (112% with Topaz) MF, -15 magic damage, 84 Str and Clvl 71 required. This is probably the best possible Magic Find armor, especially for a HC character, but it's colossally difficult to find, which is why it's listed below Wealth or Skullders. Tal's Armor is worth less than a Skullders at higher levels, but the big resistance frees up your other equipment slots to optimize MF on, so you'd probably end up with more total MF and more resistance. Good luck finding one, Hell Mephisto can't drop it, and players do 600% MF Pindleskin runs for weeks looking for these.
- Tal's Partial Set Bonus: The best thing to do with this armor is to wear it with two other items in the same set, since wearing any three items in this set gives a 65% MF bonus. The Belt has 10-15% MF, 20 Dex, 30 mana, and 37% damage to mana, not at all bad stats. You can choose from the helm or amulet, since the 5th item is an Orb, which only a Sorceress can equip. The Helm is the obvious choice, since it's one of the better items in the entire game, while the Amulet has some lightning resistance, but is mostly a sorceress bonus item. The helm, a Set Death Mask, has no MF on it, unless you socket a topaz, but comes with 10% dual leech, 15% resistance to all, and even 60 hps and 30 mana. Tal's Armor (112%) + Belt (15%) + Helm (24%) +65% bonus = 216%. Compare to Wealth (100%) + Goldwrap (30%) + Tarnhelm (70%) = 200% with no leech at all, or resistances, and that assumes a very good MF% Tarnhelm. You get no bonus gold though, so Tal's set is for item finding, not general riches.
Four Topaz Armor: Obviously this is to be used only if you can't find any of the Magic Find armors, for the 96% MF, and possibly decent defense. There are Jeweler's Armors of _______, which have four sockets and whatever suffix you'd like. Of the Whale would be nice, 100 hps there possibly, so you might check the armor for sale at the NPCs when you visit.
Lionheart: This Runeword has 30% res to all, +50 hps, and massive bonuses to all four stats, as well as lowered requirements and even bonus damage. This is worth 110 hps to an Amazon, (not even counting the additional 30 or more Vit you could add by the saved points to Dex and Str) and the Runes in it (HelLumFal) aren't all that hard to find. The armor type selection is the same as for Wealth or Smoke, look for high defense/low Str req armors, like the lighter Elites.
Smoke: This Runeword is great for survival, with a ton of defense against missiles, and 50% resistance to all. However if at all possibly use Lionheart instead, since it's close to the same resistance, and adds tons of other bonuses, hps, stats, etc.
Shaftstop: The Unique Mesh Armor, Shaftstop adds 60 hit points, good defense, and most importantly, -30% physical damage. This is probably the best survival armor for the hard-hitting cows, due to the big 30% damage reduction. Wearing this with String of Ears, Vampire Gaze/Rockstopper, and a Stormshield, along with a good blocking % and Dodge would make you virtually immune to the cows. Ideal socket is probably Ber or Um, or a resistance jewel. You are wearing this for the defense, not for a little bit of added Magic Find, so I wouldn't put a Topaz in it.
Arkaine's Valor: This Elite Unique Balrog's Skin has +1-2 to all skills, huge defense, 10-15 damage reduction, 30% FHR, and a huge bonus to hps. The Str requirement is too high though, at 156, it's very hard to find, and the Clvl 85 requirement is pretty steep also.
There are lots of other good unique armors, such as Duriel's Shell or Guardian Angel, and you can even find good Rares with resistances, +hps or mana, FHR, etc. I recommend Magic Find, since Javazons are powerful enough to survive with poor defensive armor, but survival is always a good thing.
Low Level Armor
The priority at lower levels is damage adding, and some defense. You generally don't need to add much in the way of resistance or hit points right at the start. I like to go with Twitchthroe for the 20 IAS and +10 Str/Dex. Wearing this with Sigon's Gloves and Boots, gives you 50% IAS, and can make even a normal Pike fast enough to be effective as you try to get to Clvl 30.
Once you hit Clvl 30 and can start to use LF, you want to have as many +skills items on as possible, to boost your LF and Pierce to immediately useful levels. Silks of the Victor, the Unique Ancient Armor is useful, with +1 to all skills and 5% mana leech. It's heavy though. Both Spirit Shroud and Skins of the Vipermagi are nice choices, lighter than Silks, and both have +1 to all skills, with nice resistance on Vipermagi.
There are a ton of very good helms in D2X, sets and uniques mostly, but also rare circlets with awesome stats. Here you can get a lot of Magic Find, almost as much as on your armor, and nice bonuses to other things. Try to cover your resistances, mana leech, or +skills here, as well as Magic Find.
Harlequin Crest: The Unique Shako is the most often found Elite Unique, and a very useful item. It has the most MF found on any helm (74% with a Topaz), as well as +2 to all. There are no resistances, but it also has 10% damage reduction, +2 to all stats, and +1.5hps/mana per Clvl. At Clvl 80 this is 120 mana and hps, a massive bonus. Wearing this really helps with your mana pool, and removes any need for mana charms.
Stealskull: The Unique Casque has good MF, 30-50%, though it depends a lot on luck to get a good % on it. You should add a Topaz, so a perfect one can match the 74% MF on a Harlequin. Steal skull also provides dual leech, 5% to both life and mana, as well as a lot of defense, 10% IAS, and FHR. This isn't quite enough mana leech unfortunately, unless you really have big damage or a big mana pool, so you'll probably need another 5% or so from something else.
Vampire Gaze: This probably the best of the non-MF helms, with dual leech 6-8% each, 15-20% Physical Resistance, 10-15 less magical damage taken, good defense, and even cold damage. It's basically steal skull with more leech, and the very nice damage resistance, but no resistances or bonus stats at all. You can add 24% MF with a socketed Topaz, or Um or Resistance Jewel it. This can be used for your only mana leech, if you get a good % on it and have good damage/mana pool.
Tal Rasha's Horadric Crest: This Exceptional Set Death Mask is not usually too hard to find, and has ridiculous bonuses, though you must be Clvl 66 to equip it. 10% dual leech, 15% resistance to all, +60 hps, +30 mana, and good defense. There isn't any magic find on it, or damage reduction/resistance, like Vampire Gaze. You can add 15% resistance to Gaze, but there's no way to add more than 8% damage reduction to Tal's mask, and it's easy to make up the hps and mana with charms, which is why Gaze is a better item. Either one is very good though, and if you can get ahold of Tal's set armor, wear it with the belt and helm for 3 of the best MF items possible, when added together.
Rare Circlet: You can find a Rare Circlet with amazingly good stats, and these are great imbue items, as well as gambles. Rare Circlets can be found with 8% dual leech, +2 to all skills of a given character or skill tree, big resistance, bonuses to hps and mana, and more. Of course the trick is to find one with all of those on it, and you'll probably need to gamble and imbue quite a few to get lucky. You can get up to 50% MF on a magical Circlet, but since they only get one socket, they can't exceed the 74% with a Topaz that you can get on a Tarnhelm/Harlequin/Stealskull. Rare Amulets can get up to 10% from a prefix and/or 25% from a suffix, so imagine the best one possible with 25% MF and 2 free prefixes and suffixes, and that would probably beat almost any helm in the game.
I used a Tiara with 14% res all, 27% lightning res, +2 Amazon skills, +18 Strength, +24% MF, and several other mods for a long time, until finally replacing it with a Harlequins.
Low Level Helms
Tarnhelm: The Unique Skull Cap, this item was very popular in D2, and is still useful in D2X, though it's overshadowed by most of the Excep and Elite helms now. It has +1 to all skills, 25-50% MF (possibly 74% socketed, with a lucky % seed), and 75% more gold. This item has a low Clvl req, so it's useful to put on at Clvl 30 for the bonus skill.
Lore: This Runeword helm is useful at Clvl 30 for the +1 to all skills, as well as +2 mana per kill and some defensive bonuses also.
Peasant Crown: The Unique War Hat, this one has +1 to all, +20 to Energy and Vitality, 15% Faster Run, and other small bonuses. Useful at Clvl 30 for the bonus skill and movement speed bonuses.
Rare Helms: You can find many with resistances and other useful bonuses. Circlets can have leech, resistance, and +1 to all a character's skills with a Clvl 27 requirement, but the only Amazon skill tree bonuses on them are to her Passive skills, so no +spears tab.
Gloves vary a lot from one Javazon to another. I've always been partial to a good % MF Chance Guard (35% or more), for the 200% gold also, but Rares with +2 spear skills, resistance, MF, and IAS would be a very nice option as well. There aren't many Unique or Set gloves of use at higher levels, at least not for a Javazon. None of the Exceptional Unique gloves are much good, and there aren't any Elite Unique gloves. Laying of Hands are great Set Elite gloves, but not of much use to a Javazon.
Chance Guards: These are the biggest MF gloves, up to 40%, with 200% GF on all of them. There aren't any other bonuses of note, so use them for MF if you can, otherwise look for Rares.
Rare Gloves: Gloves have some very nice bonuses in D2X. You can get good MF, +1 or 2 (Clvl 30 req) to skill trees, 3% to mana or life leech, and nice resistances. Getting several of those on the same glove is the hard part. IAS is a very popular glove mod, but not of as much use to the Javazon. You can get mana leech on Ghoulhide, the unique Heavy Bracers.
Low Level Gloves
Hand of Broc: Helpful early on, for the 3% dual leech. Possibly wear at Clvl 30 for the bonus leech, but you'd do better with +skills.
Bloodfist: The best starter glove for any melee character, for the IAS, big hps bonus, and damage bonus.
Frostburns: Not much use long term, since their only real bonus is +mana and cold damage. But can be useful around Clvl 30 if you are really hurting for mana (which is quite common).
Sigon's Gloves: Worn with any other item in the set you get a 30% IAS bonus on the gloves, and 10% partial set bonus. Not needed after Clvl 30, but can be very useful before then, when you are in melee mode.
Death's gloves worn with the belt gives you 15% res all and 30 IAS bonuses.
Boots are one of the potentially best items in the game. You can get Rares with 3 resistances over 40%, MF, FHR, and of course faster run. These are a nice gamble item until Clvl 80 or higher, when they get too expensive, but you'll need to gamble tons of them to get ones with all the good stats. Many characters in MF mode use their boots to make up 30% or more to fire and lightning, while still getting around 20% MF. Fast run isn't a real necessity for a Javazon who has the 30% on Titans. Faster is better, but if you have much better boots with no fast run, wear them.
There is only one Unique Boot with any sort of Magic Find, and no Elite Unique boots at all. The new Exceptional Unique Boots are pretty disappointing, along with gloves they are the least useful of the new Uniques, as a class.
War Traveler: These are the biggest Magic Find boots, and the only Unique boot with any Magic Find at all. They go from 30-50% MF, with +10 Vitality and Strength, 25% faster run, +15-25 Damage, and very slow stamina drain, so you can run virtually forever in these. Their lack is resistance, having none at all, when usually boots are a huge source of resistance, so you'll have to cover that with other equipment. They require 95 Strength also, which is a lot for a Javazon, and might vanish when you switch to bow mode and lose the +20 Str on Titans.
Rare Boots: These are a very good gamble item, as you can get enormous bonuses on them. Mostly to Resistance, 40% or more to fire/lightning/cold is possible, with around 20% MF, Faster run, and more.
Low Level Boots
Sigon's Boots: These aren't of that much use on their own, but when worn with one other item from the set they give +50 AR, and with two others you get a 50% MF bonus. Wear with Sigon's Gloves (30% IAS) and possibly the shield, for the best early combo. Any Two items from the set gives you 10% life steal as a bonus also.
Goldwrap: 30% MF and 40-80% GF, along with SIAS are the bonuses here. There aren't any other Unique Belts with any MF, and MF can't be found on magical or rare belts, so this is about it for your greed needs.
Thundergod's Vigor: +3 to LF, +20 Str/Vit (60 hps), big defense, 1-50 lightning damage, and this is great for resistance also, with +10% to your maximum lightning resistance, and 20 lightning absorb. There isn't any MF, but you have to compare the 30% you are missing from Goldwrap to the huge lightning resistance and skill bonuses. You could switch some other item from resistance to MF and make up much of the lost 30%, while improving your killing speed.
The 110 Str req is steep, you are probably going to stop around 60-70 otherwise, so you have to consider 40-50 Vit going to Str, that costs you 120-150 hps as another factor. My current Javazon is has 63 Str, but if I do another one (God forbid) I plan on going to 110 Str to use Thundergod's and a Buriza, and I bet the long term increase in killing speed would be worth the lost hps and MF.
Tal Rasha's Fine Spun Cloth: This set mesh belt has 10-15% MF, +20 Dex, +30 mana, and 37% of damage to mana. Not bad stats, but you're unlikely to wear it unless you have Tal's Armor and Helm on as well. Check the Armor section of this guide for more details on the partial set bonus.
Other Belts. Razortail is popular for the +33% Pierce on it. You can get 99% Pierce with this at just Slvl 8, which is a nice headstart. You could wear this belt long term and save a lot of skill points by not needing them in Pierce, but this isn't all that wise, since you tend to have skill points to spare, and there are many better belts.
Gloom's Strap is useful, with 5% mana leech and some other nice bonuses. String of Ears is the one to pick if you are trying to survive through pain, for the life leech and physical damage resistance on it. The Credendum has the biggest bonuses to stats and resistance on any belt. Wilhelm's Pride has 5% dual leech, and some cold resistance.
Rare Belts can have great mods, big resistance is possible, as well as big bonuses to Str or Dex, but no MF or leech can be found on them.
A good dual leech or mana leech ring is what you want. These are no longer possible though, in D2 or D2X, but if you have some left over from D2 pre v1.07 they are great to use here. One 7% will cover almost all of your mana leech needs, with other stats on it hopefully. Rings are great to gamble at higher levels, since they are always 50k, while by Clvl 80+, everything else is 70k or more.
Naglering: This is useful for one reason, the 15-30% MF. Ones with big MF are quite nice. My Javazons have both worn a 30% Naglering for much of their lives.
The Stone of Jordan: This is a great ring for a Javazon, with +1 to all skills and big bonuses to mana. Wear one or two of these at Clvl 30 when you first get LF going, and you'll enjoy it. Long term they are still useful, and almost mandatory if you are going the fastest kill/most +skill possible route. I've always switched to Nagle or Rare rings for MF, leech, etc past Clvl 50 or so, but it depends on what you have and what your goals are. In my opinion, once you get your LF to 20 or more, 1 more point won't make much of a difference really, and I've had enough mana from my other equipment.
Manald Heal: Not a very good ring, but if you don't have mana leech rings left from D2C, it's the only way to get mana leech on a ring now. Can have from 4-7% mana leech, as well as 20% faster mana regeneration, +20 hps, and 5-8 health regeneration.
Bul Katho's Wedding Band: This would be excellent, with a big hps bonus, +1 to all, and life leech. Unfortunately it's virtually unfindable.
Rare Rings: These are very hard to find with quality mods on them, but good ones are the best things to slip onto your fingers.. Gamble, gamble, gamble. Mana leech is what you'd most want, but you can't get that on rings in D2X. If you have any decent mana leech rings left from D2C they are very helpful now. Life leech, resistance (this is hard to find in quantity on rings), MF, +stats, +hps and mana, are all nice properties. You can't get any sort of +skill bonus on rings, other than some Uniques.
Magical MF Rings: You can get up to 40% MF on a magical ring, hitting both prefix and suffix. These are as good or better than Naglerings, since the non-MF bonuses on a Nagle are hardly worth noticing. If you are after MF, gamble and gamble some more, and you can get one of these. I have a 36% one on my Javazon now, and you can get up to 25% with a suffix to spare.
Amulets can have absolutely amazing stats in D2X. You could get a +2 Amazon skills, 20% resist all, 8% mana leech, 35% MF, +60 hps amulet. Of course the odds of gambling that are in the billions to one, so you'd better get started.
The big 4 stats on an amulet are MF, +skills, resistance (prismatic ideally), and mana leech. One with three of these is terribly precious, worth multiple SoJs in a trade, and all four would be almost priceless.
What you want on your Amulet depends on your other equipment. Magic find (possibly 50% on a Fortuitous of Luck magical amulet), mana leech, resistance, +skills, etc. It depends on what your other equipment covers. Generally mana leech and resistance are sought, with MF and +skills if possible.
Amulets are good to gamble, since they are always 63k, no matter what your level. You need to be Clvl 83 to have a 10% chance of gambling an amulet with +2 Amazon skills, and Clvl 92 to be guaranteed a chance at +2 skills on one. Of course this doesn't mean you will get one, I've gambled hundreds of amulets with Clvl 90+ characters and gotten about 3 useful +2's ever, but the chance is always there.
I wore a 7% mana leech, 18% Res all, 22% MF amulet for a long time, but lately I've been going with a magical 45% MF amulet as I've really optimized for MF, getting up around 480%. I have a 35% MF/14% Res all magical on my MF barbarian, but I'm thinking about switching them, since he doesn't really need the resistance as much. The point is: you shouldn't assume you must use Unique or Rare amulets, since you can get bigger MF on magical ones, and 2 great mods on a magical beat 6 good mods on a rare.
Unique Amulets: There aren't any that are really up a Javazon's alley. Crescent Moon could help for the huge mana leech and small life leech, along with other defensive bonuses. Cat's Eye you'll move faster and enjoy the big dexterity bonus and IAS. Saracen's Chance is nice for the stats and resistance, and Mara's Kaleidoscope has great all around stats.
None of these, however, have any MF, and the ones with good stats have no mana leech, which is why a good Rare is better than any Unique Amulet, for a Javazon at least.
Low Level Amulets: The Eye of Etlich is nice for the +1 skill and life leech, at Clvl 30. Mahim-Oak Curio is very good now also, with Clvl 25 required, and big bonuses to all of your stats and some resistance, though no skill bonus. You can also equip amulets with +2 to spear skills, or +1 to all Amazon skills at Clvl 30, so if you find one with those stats it'll be helpful as you start off throwing.
A number of readers wanted to know what my actual Javazon had for equipment and stats.
She's Clvl 98 now, and has been retired and stripped of equipment for about a month, since the Clvl 99 hacking was really going strong. She may yet live again though.
- 198% Titans
- Rhyme Grim Ward
- 187% Buriza, w/ Hel (not enough Str to use it otherwise)
- Harlequin Crest w/ Topaz
- Wealth or Skullders (usually Wealth)
- 39% Chance Guards
- Rare boots with 24% mf, 39% res light/fire. (118 Str required, so they vanish in bow mode.)
- Ring: 34% MF, magical.
- Ring: Rare, 7% mana leech, 15% mf, 14% light res, +10 Str. (transferred from D2C.)
- Amulet: 47% MF, magical.
- 5 10-11% lightning res smalls, 3 11% fire res smalls, all with another stat (hps, mana, cold damage, MF, etc).
- One 100 over 5 sec poison small charm.
- The rest are MF charms, mostly smalls at 6 or 7% with other mods, several 5% with other mods, and a 12% grand with faster run.
Current stats with equip bonuses are 98 Str, 230ish Dex, 270ish Vit, base Energy. This works out to about 1300 hps, 320 mana, 7% mana leech, life leech on titans, 75% blocking, 50% Dodge and Evade, Slvl 26 LF/24 Pierce.
Resistances are found only on my boots, charms, and shield, and I have -70% Cold and Poison res in bow mode (as in nothing to them, just the +30% from Anya quest 3x). With shield my Fire is about 18% and my Lightning is around 50%, and I'm able to do Meph runs, or A5 SU runs with no problem, I just have to be careful around FECE bosses (Pindleskin, often) in bow mode, since the Frost Nova self destruct can top 800 damage easily.
The real keys to a successful Javazon are mana leech, 1000+ hps, 250+ mana, 75% blocking, and good Dodge/Evade. Resistances are not that important.
My total MF is around 460%, with about 650% GF, and this character makes gold at an incredible rate, enabling tons of gambling. You should see my amulet mule, dozens of uber Rares, since amulets are what I gamble almost exclusively. I've gambled a Tal's amulet in v1.09.
The main problem with the character is that I had 60ish Str, and didn't decide to go up to a Buriza (from a Kuko) until Clvl 90 or so. I've added all Str the last 8 levels, but I'm still much too low to equip an non-Hel Buriza, which costs me a frame not being able to Shael or IAS Jewel it. I have zero +mana charms or equipment, and very little +hps equipment or charms, other than the Harlequin, and still have more of both than I need, so I'd gladly trade 30 Vit for Str. I just thought of that 6 levels too late. I had to switch amulet and ring around to get the +Str ring just to be able to equip Skullder's in bow mode, though I usually wear Wealth, since I only have 2 Skullder's and my boss-running MF Sorc and Barb get more benefit from it than my cow-running Javazon would. I sometimes switch to Skullders if I'm going to do a bunch of A5SU runs, for the 45% MF bonus, which takes me up over 500%, and nearly to 700% with my Clvl 98 Rogue merc getting the kill.
If I do another Javazon in the future, I'll probably try out the full power variety, and get to 110 Str early on, so I can do a full req req Buriza and Thundergod's, as well as going with other kill-faster gear like +2 spear gloves, +2 to all mana leech amulet, dual SoJs, +spear charms, etc, just to see what that's like. I imagine I'd get sick of killing 15% faster but scoring zero loot pretty quickly though, I'm much too addicted to MF'ing.
This very long guide is spread over 3 pages.