Guide:TS/DTailer Hybrid v1.09 by Rene

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This guide describes the build and play of a dual claw hybrid trapper/martial arts assassin. The guide was written for v1.09, but it's viable in v1.10 also, though the equipment section is out of date. (Source.)

Diablo II Strategy Guide Info:

  • Patch: v1.09
  • Gametype: PvE/PvM
  • Class: Assassin
  • Author: Rene
      Please note that strategy guides from v1.09 have vastly different skill and item stats, thus may not be applicable to the latest version of the game.


The assassin to me is a char with the most variety. They can handle every part of the game, both pvm and pvp. But this guide will be made with duel claw in mind. And also pvm only. This guide will be made on my own experience , so you don't have to follow it to the point.


  • Sin Assassin
  • c/c Claw / Claw
  • c/s Claw / Shield

  • TS Tiger Strike
  • CS Cobra Strike
  • FoF Fists of Fire
  • BoI Blades of Ice
  • CoT Claws of thunder
  • PS Phoenix Strike

  • Dtail Dragon Tail
  • DF Dragon Flight

  • WoI Wake of Inferno
  • WoF Wake Of Fire
  • LS Lightning Sentry
  • DS Death Sentry

  • CM Claw Mastery
  • BoS Burst of Speed
  • MB Mind Blast
  • WB Weapon Block
  • SM Shadow Master
  • CoS Cloak of Shadows

  • Str Strenght
  • Dex Dexterity
  • Vit Vitality
  • Nrg Energy

Why make a hybrid assassin?[edit]

Why would someone want to make a hybrid assassin , if you can make a trapper or a Martial arts assassin too. Well , hybrids have the ability to play throughout the whole game , without the help of anyone else. MA sins tend to have alittle more killing power then a hybrid , but a hybrid solves this with her variety. Trappers on the other hand can also take on just about everything in the game , but they lack the killing power you have with a hybrid.

C/C sins have some advantages over C/S , as well as disadvantages. Here are the pros and cons of both.

C/C vs C/S[edit]


1) C/C gives you more dmg with TS/Dtail. Thnx to the big boost in stat points and +skills.

2) WB gives you a kind of block that stays the same , even if you're running. Shield block gets 1/3 of 75% when you run.

3) C/C attacks are uninteruptable. Which means as long as you're in attack range , you won't be interupted when attacking.

4) C/C sins can have alot more life then C/S sins do. Since C/C sins don't need DEX for block.

5) C/C attacks (FoF , BoI , CoT and DC) are faster then the C/S attacks (TS / CS / PS)


1) C/C gives you less block then C/S when standing still or walking.

2) C/C gives you less resis then with C/S. Shields can boost your resis alot.

3) C/C usually have less dmg reduction then C/S sins do , which means they are more fragile.

4) C/C attacks require more IAS to get the fastest attack.


There are different skills you can use on a hybrid , but I wanted to stick to the theme. So this is what I used.

Max TS.

TS might not be a C/C skill , but it has gives you a really nice phys dmg source. It's also 1 of the main attacks you're going to use.

Max Dtail.

Combine this skill with TS , and you have yourself a really good attack which can hit multiple targets. This is the second part of my main attack.

Max CoT.

I used this skill , since at higher lvls it gives you pretty good lightning dmg. And since the 3rd charge also releases 16 bolts , you can hit multiple targets with this. Not to forget this is a C/C attack. So it fits the theme perfectly. This was my secondary attack.

Max WoI.

I picked this trap over LS , since this does more dmg to smaller groups. And I already have a lightning based attack. Combine with TS and CoT , I have 3 types of elemental dmg. Which makes sure you can kill just about everything you encounter.

1 CM.

I only put 1 point in this , to get alittle AR / dmg bonus. And since CM is bugged in 1.09 , it also gives you 100% critical strike. Which doubles you physical dmg you do with your claw. But it doesn't give you 100% crit strike to your kicks , so this isn't the most important skill for you.

1-9 BoS.

Well this really depends on your equip. But since you really need 2 bartucs , you need a lvl 9 BoS in total. If you can get it to lvl 9 with +skills with only 1 point into this skill , Only put the single point into it. Otherwise put a few more points in this skill until you get it up to lvl 9.

10 WB

Get WB up to lvl 10 , which is 50% block. Normally this is 2 to 4 points. But this also depends on your +skills. Anymore isn't really needed , but your spare points can go into this skill if you find that 50% is to low.

1 DF.

This is more a move around kind of skill , not 1 of your main finishers. But it can come in handy if you need to teleport to monsters. So it deserves 1 point.

1 CoS.

This skill will save your butt plenty of times when you get swarmed. Although some people find it anoying that just about your whole screen turns black , but it has it's uses. Also , the -%def will make sure you hit alittle more. Not to much more though.

1 MB.

This skill is also one that can save you in tight situations. Just cast it once or twice on a large groups , and you have yourself a few instant tanks. Be sure not to forget the timer. Otherwise you might be swarmed again. If you haven't killed the whole group yet that is.

1-5 SM.

Having a minion that can tank is always nice to have. 1 point is enough , since you only need this minion to have a tank. Combine this skill with MB and CoS , and you have yourself pretty good crowd control. You can put a few more points into this skill if you feel like having a minion with alittle more life. But don't go overboard with it.

1 DS.

This trap also deserves 1 point. More points only increase the radius of Corpse Explosion. But with your +skills from your equip , 1 point gives you a high enough radius to finish of the stranglers you haven't killed with your traps and your melee attacks yet.

You can put the rest of the points either in CM , SM or WB. All 3 things work fine. These are the skills I used on my C/C hybrid , but you can use some other skills as well.


When using this skill , and having it up in the lvl 30 or higher , it can prove to be pretty usefull too. Although it's weaker then CoT when it comes to dmg , it has 1 big advantage over CoT. That is that you can use 3 elements with PS , while CoT only gives you 1. Also , PR doesn't really fit the C/C theme , so I didn't use it.


This trap can also come in handy. It has a higher range then WoI has , but it's dmg per shot is alittle lower. If you don't have an lightning dmg source yet , this trap might be very usefull as an extra source of dmg.


This trap needs to have lots of +skills to be effective. But it's dmg is higher against larger groups then LS or WoI. Since you'll hit alot more monsters with WoF , then you do with LS or WoI. So this trap could have it's uses. You do need to recast it very often.


I wouldn't use this 'aura' on a C/C sin. Since you'll have no real benefit from using Venom with a C/C sin then you have with a C/S sin. Not to mention you need the IAS you get from BoS too get max speed.


Although I didn't use this aura at all , it can prove usefull in some situations. Like the chaos sanctuary for instance. It's still a 1 point wonder.

FoF / BoI.

Although these 2 types of attacks are C/C attacks , they don't have much use. There dmg is really low , and they're bugged. If you use any of these 2 attacks , you can't use CS or TS with it. Since it nullifies these 2 attacks at all. So I wouldn't use any of these 2 skills yet. Perhaps 1.10 will make these 2 attacks more usefull.


Now to get to the equipment part. This isn't something you should use to the point if you want too. A little variation is possible too.



I used this helmet for the really big boost in life and mana it gives you. It also gives you +2 skills , which will boost your Dtail dmg. And it has 10% DR , which always comes in handy. I didn't use gaze at all , although if you want alittle more leech , this helmet is the way to go. Rockstopper is a really underrated helmet. it gives you a really nice boost in resis. It also gives you 10% DR and 30% FHR.

For the not so rich look for something with LL or +skills. Talrasha's mask , stealskull or crown of thieves can be nice for the leech. Or something like peasant crown , or even a lore if you're not rich at all.


Highlord's / Mara's / crafted +2 sin amu

I used highlord's on my sin , since deadly strike does work with kicks.

If you like having alittle higher +skills , either mara's or a nice crafted +2 sin amu is the way to go. For crafted amu's , look for +2 sin , LL , stat points and resis.

For the less rich there's also something like cat's eye , since you need 20% IAS from somewhere. Or crescent moon if you don't have a ML source at all. And this amu also gives you some more LL too. Which is always nice to have. Another really underrated amu is saracen's chance. It gives you a really nice stat boost and all resis.


2 bartucs.

There's no real substitute for these claws. They come pretty cheap , so there shouldn't be any problem getting 2 of these on the realms. These claws give you a massive boost in stat points , give you +4 sin and +6 MA skills , which means alot more dmg with Dtail. They also give you 60% FHR , which means you can get 63% FHR (4 fps hit recovery) pretty easy.

To get the max speed with all C/C attacks , you need a lvl 9 BoS + 20% IAS. So for your weapon switch you can always use 2 +3 shadow skill claws. These claws make sure you can leave BoS at lvl 1 most of the times.


Lionheart / shaft / arcaine's.

I would say go for lionheart. It's a really good allround armor which boosts your Dtail dmg , gives you all resis and lots of life.

Shaft is good for you if you die alot , and need alittle more Phys resis. Although I didn't need it at all. And arcaine's is also a nice armor. The life , 30% FHR and +2 skills are all nice mods to have.

For the less rich you could use something like duriels shell too. Although Lionheart isn't expensive at all.


IK gloves / Laying of hands.

The choice of gloves really depends on the rest of your equip. If you can get 20% IAS from anywhere else then , then use IK gloves. These gloves add to your Dtail dmg.

If you can't get 20% IAS from anywhere else , the gloves have to make up for this. Laying of hands are really good gloves for pvm. the 50% fire resis , 20% IAS and 350% demon ED are all very usefull. Laying isn't expensive at all , so there shouldn't be any problem getting such gloves.


Strings / Wilhelm's pride.

I would say go for strings on this one. DR and LL is really nice to have.

If you don't have any ML at all from anywhere on your equip , wilhelm's pride is the way to go for belt. 5% duel leech is really nice to have. And the 10% cold resis never hurts either.


Waterwalk / Gorerider.

Waterwalk give you a really nice boost in life. The 15 dex is always nice to have too.

I didn't use waterwalk on my build , but I used gorerider. the 15% deadly strike boosted my Dtail dmg. And crushing blow and open wounds are ok mods to have too. But both boots can be used.

For the less rich I would suggest using sander's riprap. These boots add 40% run , 100 AR , 5 str and 10 dex. Again , nice mods. But I would rather go with any of the first 2 boots.


Raven / bul kathos / manald / rare or crafted LL ring. 1 ring should be a raven. The dex / AR boost is really good to have. And the Cannot Be Frozen is needed throughout the whole game. So try getting this ring if you don't have it already.

The other ring depends on the rest of the equip. Manald heal if you don't have ML already. Otherwise go with something with LL. Bul Kathos Wedding band also gives you +1 skills , which boosts your Dtail dmg alittle more. But Rare/crafted LL rings can get more LL. But all these rings can get the job done.


Str is needed to wear your equipment. It also boosts your Dtail dmg.

Either have enough str until you can wear your highest str req equipment. This is only if you're really afraid of body popping. Another option is getting just enough str to equip your items that give you +str (bartucs , IK gloves , etc). Then make sure with all +str you get enough str to equip your final piece of equipment.

1 thing you should look out for when doing the last thing is that your weapon switch also contains as much str as your normal weapons. Otherwise you can body pop if you die in your weapon switch mode.

Dex is needed to equip claws , as well getting more AR and Def. For Dtail it also boosts your dmg.

This is debateble. You can either go for enough dex so you can equip your claws. Which is 79 with bartucs. Or you could boost this alittle more for Dtail. I did the last thing. This will make your sin alittle more fragile , but you do get a higher dmg. So I won't recomment this if it's your first sin.

Vit is needed to get a more life.

Again , this depends on what you want with dex. If you go for low dex , put all spare points in Vit. More life means you will survive alittle easier.

My C/C sin used 150 base vit , which gave her alittle more then 1000 life with lvl 85. She also have 100 life from charms. I wouldn't do this if you're not familiar with sins.

Energy is needed to get more mana.

Don't ever put a point into nrg. At first it might seem you're running low on mana if you use a few traps. But when you lvl alittle more , and get better equip to put on you won't ever need more mana. So any point in here is wasted.


Although you don't need a merc for this build , he can come in handy from time to time.There are a few types of mercs that can be pretty good for this build.

Act1 merc[edit]

This merc won't run into a group and let her get killed. She also uses fire arrow , which can come in handy against phys immunes. If you give this merc +3 ama/all skills , she will shoot a lightning hose. This will do some pretty good dmg , but she needs to get alittle closer to the action , since the range isn't that great.

Act2 mercs[edit]

These mers are pretty good tanks , if you equip them well. They also have aura's , which will aid you and your merc. There are only 2 types of aura's that you should use though. That's either defiance or holy freeze.

The reason for this is that you're going to use MB alot , which converts monsters too. And converted monsters get the aura from your merc too. And after they unconvert , they will keep this aura for another 3 sec.

Defiance is nice if you have an ok base def already.You can get this merc in normal and hell. But I wouldn't recomment getting 1 from hell. They have lesser stats , and there aura is 2 lvls lower. You could also pick a holy freeze merc. This merc chills monsters all on your screen when he's high enough. This merc needs to be bought in Nightmare. And both mercs are defense types.

Act5 mercs[edit]

These mercs have 3 advantages over act2 mercs.

  1. They have more life then the act2 mercs.
  2. They're the only type of merc that can use class specific items. For baba that is.
  3. They often do more dmg then the act2 mercs.

The downside of these mercs is that they don't have an aura to support you. So these mercs are more tanks , then a real support char for you.

I didn't mention act3 mercs , since there dmg is somewhat low. Not to mention they tend to die faster then with the other mercs. Since these mercs don't leech life back at all.


These strats can be used if you play single. If you play with a team , you can rely on them alittle more , as well as they can rely on you.


Act1. To get through the first few lvls get whatever claws you can get. And use TS and CS alot.With these 2 skills you can finish act 1 with around lvl 15 or so

Act2. You should get your first point in Dtail. Which will make your life alot easier. Since Dtail isn't depended on your claw dmg , you can use just about any claw you can find. use TS + Dtail from now on. And use CS when your life / mana is getting low. You should be around lvl 20 when you finish act2.

Act 3. This act can be alittle hard in the beginning. use your Shadow warrior and CoS to make sure you won't get swarmed with frayers. And if you don't rush into large groups , act3 isn't that hard either. The counsil can cause a problem too. Just make sure to kill them 1 at a time. You should be over lvl 24 when you finished act 3.

Act4. Well act4 is going to be hard. Since your resis aren't going to be top notch. Don't rush into large groups , you're still to fragile. Again , make use of CoS and your shadow. These 3 skills should be your friend throughout the whole game. Also , you shoueld have a point into MB by now. Use this for crowd control. By this time you also have a point into WoI or LS. The use all all these skills is going to be needed here.

Dia can be a problem too , so stack lots of potions. His block and your lower chance to hit are your main problems. Next to your lower resis ofcourse. Use TS + CS + normal attack to kill him. This can take some time though.

Act5. If you can get a friend who can help you do the ancients , do that. Otherwise get some lvl ups in the bloodhills first. If you're around lvl 30 you should been able to do the quests from act5. After that lvl up to around lvl 42 to 45 before going into nightmare. With lvl 42 you can wear your bartucs , so I would suggest going to 42 at least.

Baal isn't going to be much of a problem when you can wear your bartucs. Perhaps lister can still be problem. But with the right use of MB and your shadow , you can take them out 1 by 1.


When you hit nightmare you should have a high lvl TS and a base lvl Dtail. 1 or a few points in CoT/PS , 1 point in DS. And 1 or a few points in FoI / LS.

With all these skills it shouldn't be much of a problem to get to the first 3 acts. Just make alot of use of MB , CoS and your shadow.

Act4 is still pretty hard. Since C/C sins tend to have lower resis. So the use of Fade can prove usefull here. Although your attack speed will be lower with this. Just fight your way through up to diablo. Dia in NM shouldn't be such a problem as he was in normal , but he's still far from easy. Make sure you won't stand in his firewave at short range , and you can survive dia. This also applies for normal and hell ofcourse.

Once you hit act5 , do the same as you did in normal. So either get a friend to do the ancients , or else get a few more lvls , so you can do it yourself along with the other quests. You should hit hell when you're around lvl 65 up to 70. It can be done with lvl 60 , but alittle higher is always nice.

For hell you should have a maxed TS. Then either CoT/PS or WoI/LS pretty high. Since in hell you'll encounter phys immunes. Which you can't take out with TS/Dtail. Dtail can be maxed as last , since it doesn't add as much dmg to your Dtail as TS does.


Kinda the same like Nightmare , although you need to rely on CoT/PS and your trap alot more. But with at least 3 types of dmg (physical and elemental) you can kill just about every monster you encounter.

Act1 and 2 shouldn't pose much of a problem.

Act3 on the other hand has lots of lightning immunes. So you can't rely on LS / CoT there. Or the 2nd charge of PS for that matter. And again , the counsil can be pretty bad if they spawn with PI and LI/FI.

Act4 isn't going to be easy either. Since it's filled with fire / cold / lightning immunes. Your best bet is using CoT or LS alot here , since lightning immunes spawn the least. You should also heavy rely on MB + CoS. And your shadow ofcourse. Since those oblivion knights do some nasty elemental dmg.

By the time you hit act5 you should be around lvl 70 to 75. And you should been able to do all the quests with that lvl. Again , heavy use of CoS + MB and your shadow is advised.

As for the ancients , they can spawn with really nasty mods. So if they have lots of those mods , just open a portal , and reactivate them until you can handle them.

And for baal's minions you can't use TS/Dtail for colenzo and his pack (the 1st) nor for lister and his pack (the 5th). Since these 2 packs are fire immunes , and they don't take dmg from Dtail. Only the monster that gets hit by Dtail will get alittle dmg , but this is physical.


The C/C hybrid / Dtailer assassin is a fun, effective character to play. It is also one of the best-balanced classes in the game. It takes practice and a good strategy to use the character effectively. She is not overpowered like a hybrid amazon , or sorceress, yet she still has enough killing power to kill on her own. A well-played C/C hybrid assassin is a versatile character that can take care of herself anywhere in the game. I hope this guide helps you to do that. As always, enjoy!

PS. This build is quite viable for 1.1 too. You do need a little tweaking when it comes to phys immunes. Some synergies + lightning sentry , or CoT + Synergies work fine enough.