Guide:PvP C/C WW Shadow Assassin v1.10, by Voide

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This guide details the equipment, skills, and stats of a PvP Assassin who uses Whirlwind from the Chaos runeword.

Diablo II Strategy Guide Info:

  • Patch: v1.10
  • Gametype: PvP
  • Class: Assassin
  • Author: Voide
      Please note that strategy guides from v1.10 have vastly different skill and item stats, thus may not be applicable to the latest version of the game.


What is a C/C WW Shadow Assassin?[edit]

  • A dual claw PvP Assassin who uses the Whirlwind skill and focuses on the Shadow Disciplines' skills tree.

Primary source of damage with this build will come from:

  • Open Wounds
  • Venom

Secondary source of damage with this build will come from:

  • Physical Damage
  • Deadly Strike
  • Critical Strike

Skill Point Allocation Target[edit]

  • Max Claw Mastery
  • Max Weapon Block
  • Max Fade
  • Max Venom
  • 1 pt Wake of Fire
  • 1 pt Blade Fury
  • 1 pt Blades of Shield
  • 1 pt Dragon Flight
  • 1 pt Mind Blast
  • 1 pt Prerequisites
  • rest to Shadow Master

Why Max Claw Mastery?[edit]

  • Better Whirlwind physical damage
  • Better Critical Strike percentage

Why Max Weapon Block?[edit]

  • Better block percentage.
  • Weapon Block can block melee attacks and most elemental and magical attacks, including Bone Spirits, Hammers, FOH, Traps, Cold Orbs, Fireballs, and etc.
  • You can't equip a shield when wielding dual claws therefore utilizing Weapon Block makes sense.

Why Max Fade?[edit]

  • Adds huge resist to all elements.
  • High curse reduction length. Curses, such as Life Tap and Lower Resist, will expire quickly. Opponents using such curses will be wasting their opportunity against you.
  • Partially or fully negates the effect of elemental resistance reduction skills such as Conviction, Cold Mastery, Lower Resist.
  • Passive Physical Damage Reduction: 1% PDR per point invested. Level 35 Fade, which is quite normal in this build, provides 35% Physical Damage Reduction.

Why Not Max Burst of Speed?[edit]

  • BoS only needs 1pt since your +skills items will boost it. Typically, your BoS will be at level 15 from +skills.
  • Dual +3 Shadow Disciplines katars can easily boost your BoS by +6 levels.

Why Max Venom?[edit]

  • Venom reacts fast! Its poison is quickly consumed in 0.4 second. In other words, it's the fastest poison source in D2.
  • Not everyone has max poison resist.
  • Not everyone has poison length reduction modifier.
  • Increases your overall damage.

Why Max Shadow Master?[edit]

  • Shadow Masters confuse opponents in PvP, especially when you Dragon Flight towards them.
  • Zeal pallies lock on Shadow Masters.
  • Shadow Masters are good tanks and decoys.
  • Higher level means better tank and better resist.
  • Shadow Masters, if ignored by your opponent, can deal a good/decent damage.

Why 1pt in Dragon Flight?[edit]

  • Dragon Flight is only needed to get close to your opponent
  • Max Dragon Flight and 1pt Dragon Flight has the same chance of missing against max block (75%)
  • Max Dragon Flight and 1pt Dragon Flight can hit equally well against casters
  • Against melee, you will not need to Flight often. Usually, they will come towards you.

Why a pt in Wake of Fire?[edit]

  • Amazons that often remain stationary usually possess max dodge skill and max block; therefore, they are difficult to hit. Wake of Fire forces their dodge skill to trigger, and in every successful dodge, a delay exist before the next dodge can be triggered, and in every successful dodge, the Amazon cannot attack. If a successful block is performed, a delay also exist before the next block can be triggered. Dodge delay + Block delay + Amazon that cannot attack = lots of chances for you to hit.
  • Same principle applies against Claw Block Assassins.

Why a pt in Blades of Fury?[edit]

  • BoF needs only 1pt. Adding more pts to doesn't increase its physical damage dramatically; besides, adding more points makes it more mana costly.
  • BoF only works against low to medium def characters, i.e 5k def and below.
  • BoF transfers Venom and Open Wounds! Your BoF damage will rely on Venom and Open Wounds!
  • BoF works better in conjunction with Cloak of Shadows as this makes the blades partially undetectable.
  • BoF works better when used in range; i.e a screen distance range.
  • non-Enigma Elemental Druids are prone to BoF. They are easily hit and often stay in range with their Tornadoes. If they remain stationary, throw BoF and they die. If they run towards you, continue throwing BoF and when they are really close, your WW will easily kill them. On one hand, you can skip BoF. Just Dragon Flight towards them and WW them to death. On the other hand, BoF makes the game much easier for you and fun!

Why a pt in Blades of Shield?[edit]

  • BoSd needs only 1pt. Adding more pts to doesn't increase its physical damage dramatically; besides, adding more points makes it more mana costly. True, 1pt BoSd has a very short duration, more than enough time for you to decimate your opponent (that is if your opponent doesn't chicken out and run).
  • BoSd only works against low to medium def characters, i.e 5k def and below.
  • BoSd transfers Venom and Open Wounds! Your BoSd damage will rely on Venom and Open Wounds!
  • At close range, WW + BoSd gives better chances to hit than WW alone.

AR Issues[edit]

  • Theoretically, 6K AR WW can hit really well versus 10K def and below. 15K-20K and above, you will hit really bad.
  • Theoretically, 12K AR WW can hit really well versus 20K def and below. 25K-30K and above, you will hit really bad.
  • Practically, 6K AR can hit really well all classes except high def Paladins and Barbarians.
  • Practically, 6K-7K AR seems to be the normal AR for most WW Assassins.

Stat Point Allocation Target[edit]

  • STR: enough to equip your gear
  • DEX: enough to equip your katars
  • ENERGY: base
  • VITA: all remaining stat points should go here


  • Your Assassin will rely on her gear to boost her STR/DEX.
  • As a melee character, VITA is very important.
  • Whirlwind can quickly drain your mana. Your Assassin will rely on MANA pots to replenish mana.

Optimal Items[edit]


  • Primary Claw: Chaos
  • Secondary best Claw: Chaos, Fury, Jade.
  • Secondary good Claw: Malice, Nat's, Bartucs, Firelizards, Rare Claws, etc.


  • Jade adds huge resists to all elements. It is good against casters, specially when you need the extra resist, ie. against FOH + Conviction
  • Malice (runeword) grants 100% chance of Open Wounds. Other than this mod, it sucks.
  • Either Suwayyah or Scissors Suwayyah are good socketable katars. They have the same average damage and same average speed. Suwayyah has 1pt lower min damage but 1pt higher max damage versus Scissors Suwayyah.

Chaos and Fury Table[edit]

  • The 33% Deadly Strike + 66% Open Wounds in Fury almost outweighs the extra physical and magic damage in Chaos. Don't forget the PvP penalty.
  • Chaos + Fury + Draculs grants an overkill of 100%+ Open Wounds -- very devastating!
  • Theoretically, Chaos + Fury offers the best damage. Again, mods, i.e Deadly Strike, are preferable to pure Physical Damage.
Weapons Open Wounds Deadly Strike Min Physical Damage Magic Damage AR Bonus Str Bonus
Chaos + Fury 91% 33% 290% + 209% 300 avg 0% + 20% 10 + 0
Chaos + Chaos 50% 0% 290% + 290% 600 avg 0% 20


  • Offensive and Defensive: Crown of Ages
  • Defensive: Kira's Guardian
  • Offensive: Orphan's Helm (Guillame's Face)
  • Other: Shako


  • Crown of Ages: +1 skills, 30% FHR, 10-15% PDR, 20-30 resists, inherent 1-2 sockets, and good def.
  • Kira's Guardian: 70% resist, if perfect, and 20% FHR.
  • Shako: +2 skills, avg 100 life/mana, and 10% Physical Damage Reduction.
  • Guillame's Face: 30% FHR, 35% Crushing Blow, 15% Deadly Strike, and good def.

  • Crown of Ages is the best offensive and defensive helm, though acquiring one is difficult. Its stats are self-explanatory.
  • Kira's Guardian is a good defensive helm, that I myself are fond of using. Kira's can easily fully or partially negate Conviction and other lower resist skills. Socket this helm with a 15% Jewel or UM to achieve an even higher resist (85% if perfect).
  • Shako is a good helm but not the best for a WW PvP Assassin. It doesn't fit well the build. The extra +1 skill in it is almost negligible. Moreover, it doesn't provide +resists; in PvP, +resists is much desirable than a 100 extra life.
  • Guillame's Face is a good offensive helm and it's cheap! The mods are awesome if use against melee characters and Bone Necros! Against other casters, this helm sucks. Socket this helm with Shael to further increase its FHR.


  • Offensive: Nat's Armor socketed with 3 Poison Facets
  • Defensive: Guardian Angel
  • Offensive: Toothrow
  • Offensive: Crow Caw
  • Offensive: Bramble
  • Defensive and somewhat Offensive: Lionheart


  • Enigma is good but not the best armor for WW Assassin, besides it's expensive.
  • Shaft is worthless. You won't need the DR from it. Other mods from this armor are worthless.
  • Guardian Angel is an indispensable armor. It will help you achieve 90%+ resist to all elements - good against Fire and Cold Sorcs. You'll do better with 90% resist with low absorb than 75% resist with high absorb.
  • Toothrow is a good cheap armor. It offers one good mod: 40% Open Wounds. Interestingly, in PvP, this 40% OW acts as if it's 95% OW; it's always triggered!
  • Crowcaw is a better version of Toothrow. It has 35% Open Wounds, 15% IAS, 15% FHR, +15 DEX. All its mods are very useful, though lower def than Toothrow.
  • Nat's Armor socketed with 3 Poison Facets is the best armor for this build. It fits the overall structure of the character. Nat's has an inherent +2 Shadow Disciplines, +life, +75% Poison Length reduction mod, and decent armor def. With three Poison Facets, you have easily increased and made effective your Venom skill.
  • Lionheart is another viable armor. Cheap runes and the runeword itself gives good bonuses.
  • Bramble is a good armor but too expensive for its worth. The 50% (if perfect) Poison damage increase is equivalent to at least +24 levels of Venom. IMO, Nat's armor with 3 Poison Facets is better.


  • Tgods
  • Verdungos
  • Strings
  • Arachnid's Mesh


  • Tgods offers 20 STR/VITA bonus, 10% to max light resist, and 20 light absorb. Good well-rounded mods. This would be your best belt against FOH/Trappers
  • Verdungos offers 30-40 VITA and 10-15% physical damage reduction. Huge VITA! This would be your best belt against melee opponents.
  • Strings offers 10-15% physical damage reduction. The life leech is negligible in PvP. Verdungos are far superior than Strings.
  • Some WW Assassins use Arachnid's Mesh for the +1 skill. This is not advisable if you can get Tgods or Verdungos instead. Moreover, Arachnid's Mesh has a 20% slow mod which is considered cheap in PvP.


  • Dracul's Grasp
  • Steelrend
  • Trang's Gloves


  • Dracul's Grasp: 25% Open Wounds, 10-15% STR, 6-10% life leech.
  • Steelrend: good source of enhaced physical damage, though it has a steep STR req.
  • Ignore the life leech in Draculs because it doesn't leech good enough in PvP.
  • Ignore Life Tap since it rarely triggers for WW Assassins, as oppose to Zeal Paladins and Kicksins.
  • Instead, for Draculs, try to get a perfect +15 STR. The 25% Open Wounds is the real point for this item.
  • Trang's Gloves is good in conjunction with Bramble. The 25% Poison damage increase is equivalent to at least +12 levels of Venom


  • Shadow Dancers
  • Goreriders


  • Shadow Dancers are highly preferrable for a C/C WW Shadow Assassin: 30% FHR, +1-2 Shadow Disciplines, and huge +15-25 DEX boost. Everything in this item are desirable. Beware this item has a steep STR requirement.versus Goreriders.
  • The 10% Open Wounds in Goreriders are rarely triggered with WW, though the 15% Deadly Strike in Goreriders is interesting.


  • Offensive: Highlords
  • Defensive: Mara's


  • Mara's offers +2 skills; whereas Highlord's offers +1 skill. The level difference between Level 27 skill and Level 26 skill are almost negligible. So there's no issue here regarding the +skills.
  • Mara's offer a good all-around resist; whereas Highlord's offers a fix but huge lightning resist. With Max Fade, resists aren't that an issue, so there's no comparison here regarding resists.
  • Mara's do not offer any offensive mod; whereas Highlord's offer a huge Deadly Strike bonus. Therefore, Highlord's are preferrable than Mara's.


  • 2 Raven Frosts
  • 2 Dwarf Stars
  • 2 Wisp Projectors


  • Raven Frosts for cold absorb, AR bonus, and mana.
  • Dwarf Stars for fire absorb.
  • Wisp Projectors for light absorb.
  • You can neglect all other rings but never Raven Frosts rings!


  • 10 Shadow Charms (with + Life/AR/Resist)
  • Annihilus


  • Shadow Charms will quickly boost your Shadow Disciplines skills.
  • Shadow Charms can easily be traded. They are cheaper than Trap/Martial Arts Charms.
  • Try getting a +skill charm with +life mod.

Extra Items[edit]

  • Call To Arms: to boost your LIFE.
  • Nature's Peace or Wisp Projector: to boost your LIFE.
  • dual +3 Shadow Disciplines katars: to boost skills.


  • Dual +3 Shadow Disciplines katars can be shopped at Hell Anya. These will easily increase your Shadow Disciplines skill by +6 levels: boosting Venom, Shadow Master, Fade, Burst of Speed, and Cloak!
  • Weapon Block and Claw Mastery does not benefit from these katars.
  • Place the dual +3 Shadow Disciplines katars on your weapon switch.

Leveling Notes[edit]

  • Leveling this build is difficult! You will rely on party runs to level and on exp leeching until you are able enough to equip a Chaos claw
  • This build is almost impractical for PvM. At lower-mid levels, when you don't have your Chaos, it's hard to get a kill. At higher levels, when you have your Chaos, it's also difficult to get a kill without doing costly repairs.
  • PvM is only advisable against bosses.

Leveling Skill Point Allocation[edit]

  • A good rule of thumb is to put a point in a skill whenever it's readily available. For example, Venom becomes available at level 30. Once you reach level 30, put a point on it.
  • With 10 Shadow Charms and +skills (i.e dual +3 Shadow Disciplines katars), more than 10 points in Weapon Block is unnecessary. At level 26, you reach 60% Block. Increasing levels gives diminishing bonus block returns. You should max this skill later.
  • Max Claw Mastery first, followed by Venom. In between, put points on Fade and Shadow Master.
  • You should max Fade before Shadow Master
  • Level 25 Shadow Master is already a good tank (10 pts in Shadow Master & 10 Shadow Charms & dual +3 Shadow Disciplines katars)

PvP Tactics[edit]


  • WW Away: This means you Whirlwind away from your opponent (as opposed to going towards your opponent)
  • Short WW: You WW at a shorter range.
  • Long WW: You WW at a farther range.

General Tips:[edit]

  • Fade or Burst of Speed whenever appropriate.
  • Always put your opponent on the move so that Whirlwind hits better.
  • Stormshield equipped opponents are more difficult to hit than most shields.

Class Specific PvP Tips[edit]


  • Defensively, appropriate absorbs and good resists are the key.
  • Against fast teleporting sorcs, precise and proper timing of Dragon Flight is vital.
  • Against fast teleporting sorcs with good FHR, short WW is a must.


  • Against Chargedins, always WW Away. 99.99% of the time you will hit. Practically, WW Away appears to be an ITD mod (Ignore Target's Defense).
  • Against Hammerdins, never follow them from behind or WW them from their behinds; they will easily hit you. Use short WWs. Long WWs will leave you open from their circling hammers.
  • Against Enigma Hammerdins, same principle applies against normal Hammerdins. Most Enigma Hammerdins will teleport right to your spot. Always do short WWs on your spot so that when they tele on to you, you will hit them.
  • Against FOH Pallies, appropriate light absorbs and resist are the key. Try having max light resist even with max Conviction on. Always summon a Shadow Master out so that your summon will take the FOH.
  • Against FOH Pallies with high defense, same principle applies against normal FOH Pallies. Lay Wake of Fire traps to interrupt the Pally's FOHs. Read my note about "Why a pt in Wake of Fire?".


  • Against WW Barbs with high defense, always try to WW when they are moving but not attacking. Avoid hitting them while they WW or when they are standing still. Standing gives them better block, and if your blocked, their WW counter can easily devastate you. Read my note "Why 1pt in Dragon Flight?".
  • Against WW Barbs with high defense and BOTD user, 90% of the time you will lose.
  • Against Frenzy Barbs, WW Away.
  • Against Concentrate Barbs, WW Away.
  • Against Warcry Barbs, always go in WW animation before they can initiate their Warcries so that you will not be trapped on their stunlock-warcry combo. 99.99% of the time you will beat these barbs.


  • Against Trappers, appropriate absorbs and resists are the key. Always WW to escape the stunlock.
  • Against WW Assassins, same tips as for WW Barbs. Your winning and losing chances should be equal theoretically.
  • Against other melee Assassins, 99.99% you will win. No skills needed.


  • Always enable Burst of Speed, since Fade won't help you anyway.
  • Bone Spears are deadlier than Bone Spirits. Watch out!
  • When Bone prisoned, always WW to escape.
  • Use short WWs. Bone Necros will spam you with his Bone Spirits when you Long WW.
  • Against Enigma Necro with fast teleporting, good bone absorb, max block, Call to Arms and Marrowalk bug user, your chances of losing is 99.99%.
  • Against Poison Nova Necros, always enable Fade. This will negate partially the effects of Poison. Your Venom + WW is much deadlier than their Novas.


  • Against Bowazons, Dragon Flight then WW.
  • Against Javazons, light absorbs and resists are the key. Most Javazons use Fury skill or similar lightning melee attack. Read my note about "Why a pt in Wake of Fire?".
  • Put them on the move so that your WW hits more effectively. Standing gives them better block.


  • Against Elemental Druids, cold absorbs and resists are the key. Read my note about "Why a pt in Blades of Fury?".
  • Against Melee Druids, 99.99% you will win.

PvP Winning Chances[edit]

This is a subjective analysis of your winning chances with this build (based on my experience):


  • All builds: 90%


  • Chargedins: 99%
  • Hammerdins: 50-70%
  • Enigma Hammerdins: 30-60%
  • FOH Pallies: 70-90%
  • FOH Pallies with high defense: 50-70%


  • Against WW Barbs with high defense: 40%-50%
  • Against WW Barbs with high defense and BOTD user: 10%
  • Against Frenzy Barbs: 20%-80%
  • Against Concentrate Barbs: 20%-80%
  • Against Warcry Barbs: 99%


  • Trappers: 90%-99%
  • WW Assassins: 50%-90%
  • Other melee Assassins, 99%


  • Bone Necros: 40%-90%
  • Enigma Necro: 10%-50%.
  • Poison Nova Necros: 40%-90%


  • Bowazons: 90%
  • Javazons: 70%-90%


  • Elemental Druids: 70%-90%
  • Melee Druids: 99%

My Current C/C WW Shadow Assassin on USEast Ladder[edit]

Skill Points Allocation[edit]

  • Max Claw Mastery
  • Max Weapon Block (61-62% Block)
  • Max Fade (83+ Curse Reduction Length. 70+ Resists)
  • Max Venom (1K poison +-)
  • 1 pt WoF
  • 1 pt Blades of Shield
  • 1 pt Blades of Fury
  • Level 25 Shadow Master (not maxed) (1.7K life +-)
  • Level 4 Dragon Flight (1pt base)
  • Level 5 WW

Stat Points Allocation[edit]

  • STR: 187 (120 base)
  • DEX: 180 (99 base)
  • VITA: 322 (1354 life) (2K+ life with Call To Arms. 2.4K+ life with Wisp.)
  • ENERGY: 41 (25 base) (260 mana)


  • Whirlwind Physical Damage: 1216-1930 and 1270-2000
  • Whirlwind Physical Damage with 1K Venom: 2164-2889 and 2217-2958
  • WW AR: 6.2K (with dual Ravens)
  • WW AR: 4.6K (with single Raven)
  • Dragon Flight AR: 2.9K (with dual Ravens)
  • Dragon Flight DMG: 650-1059


(Hell, without FADE and Jade Talon)

  • Fire: 9
  • Cold: 9
  • Light: 85
  • Poison: 20

(Hell, with FADE and Guardian Angel)[edit]

  • Fire: 90
  • Cold: 90
  • Light: 95
  • Poison: 90


  • Shown above are at level 35 skills for maxed skills.
  • With Weapon Switch (dual +3 Shadow Disciplines claws), all her maxed skills become level 41.