Diablo II 1.11x Blizzard/Orb Sorceress Walkthrough Author: itoilet9 Last updated 6/20/08 v1.0QF ---LADDER UPDATE!--- From some friends I have, I have gotten word that the ladder has reset and that *maybe* there is a new Diablo II patch with it. I'm awaiting info, as, unfortunately, I am on a MacBook right now, and no way to play Diablo II. I am attempting to copy my hacked up* version of Diablo II from my old PC over via thumbdrive, so once that's complete, I'll give the new stuff a whirl. Oh, and once I have Windows installed. *= No, I'm not pirating. I just use a copy of D2Loader to enable the game to play without the CD because the game seems to have a problem with my Play Disc. But no fear, it seems there is a new update, and it fixes that problem. We'll see. Table of Contents ***************** I. Update logs (D1.1) -Guide- 1. Introduction (D2.1) 2. Objective of this guide (D2.12) 3. FAQs (D2.13) -Not complete- 2. Skill/Stat spread (D2.2) 2.1: Leveling Walkthrough (D2.21) 3. Recommended Setups (D2.3) 4. Zen and the art of dueling (D2.4) 5. Magic Find and you (D2.5) 6. Legal mumbo-jumbo (D2.6) 7. Contact (CT1) Note: Type Command+F or Crtl+F and enter the find code (The Dx.x in parenthesis) to jump to a certain section. D1.1 ---Update Logs--- *v1.0qf -The version you are reading now. The qf stands for quick fix, and I'm sort of releasing it halfway through my cleanup because of some glaring issues in the guide that somehow escaped my eyes. *v1.2 -Rolled the reader insight into the guide, eliminating clutter. *v1.1 -In-house version- -Added some info about the new ladder and possible update. -All around cleanup of the guide, plus added some additional insight by Mr. Patrick Gilsdorf. Thanks! It always helps to have a second opinion. -As such, I have added (To the sections that needed it) a reader insight section. If you wish for a second opinion or an alternate way of doing things, look there. I'll integrate it with the guide in version 1.2 maybe, but not right now. *v1.0: -Complete rewrite. Some stuff C&P'd over, but a lot rewritten. -Find codes implemented. -The annoying bug that caused all ' characters to be changed to question marks has been fixed. Rejoice. D2.1 ---Introduction--- So you have chosen or are interested in crafting your own blizzard sorceress. Maybe you've seen one in action before, dueled against one, or what have you. Nonetheless, you are likely reading this guide because you have some interest in building one. Either way, welcome to the guide. Before I begin, I'd like to mention that this guide will not help you one iota if you happen to play Expansion. Why is this? Let me explain a few points: 1. Expansion has a ton of mana-boosting unique items so that putting points into Energy is useless. 2. A lot of Classic rare equipment (90% of our sorceress's gear) is rendered totally useless in Expansion. 3. A lot of stat-boosting items, making any stat other than Vitality pretty much useless. There are others, but not much more has to be said that this guide won't help you in Expansion. If you wanted to try for an Expansion sorceress, you could go here: http://www.gamefaqs.com/computer/doswin/game/370600.html Now, the blizzard sorceress can deal insane amounts of damage. However, there is one drawback you may or may not be aware of, which is the fact that the blizzard sorceress can of course only do one element, which is cold. The only other attack you will likely have at your disposal is Static Field, which can shave off 25% of the enemy's HP per hit, but cannot kill. In dueling, the blizzard sorceress packs a punch. But needless to say, you'll need some help in PvM in Hell mode and even some parts of Nightmare. If you still feel like building one of these powerhouses despite the obvious drawbacks, feel free to keep on reading. On the other hand, if you wish to build a Frozen Orb sorceress, I provide little blurbs here and there on what steps you need to follow, because for the most part, things are the same. D2.12 +++Objective of the guide+++ The objective of this guide is quite simple, which is to help you make yourself a lean, mean, blizzard-slinging machine. If for some reason you follow this guide down to the last step and don't have such a sorceress as the result, feel free to email me and complain, but I ask one thing: If you want to complain, please provide constructive criticism to help me improve the guide. And lastly, thank you for taking the time to read this guide. Let's begin. D2.13 +++FAQs+++ -Section in progress, will add questions as time goes on- D2.2 ---Skill/Stat Spread--- NOTE: I will only list the skills you are putting points into. If it isn't listed, don't bother with it. -Skill Tree: Lightning- Skill---------------Points Charged Bolt 1 Lightning 1 Telekinesis 1 Teleport 1 Energy Shield 1 -Cold- Skill---------------Points IceBolt Max Frozen Armor 1 Frost Nova 1 Ice Blast Max Glacial Spike Max Blizzard Max Shiver Armor 1 Mastery Max Notes: You are putting points into the lightning tree for Teleport and energy shield mostly, Teleport for it's ability to move you quickly in duels, and Energy shield so you can take an increased number of hits. The ones that need to be maxed in the cold tree are synergies of Blizzard and thus increase its power. Mastery will cut your opponent's cold resists, enhancing damage. Orb Sorc notes: In this case, you only want to max your Cold Mastery, Orb, and Ice Bolt. On the lightning side of things, this build can go two ways: Max Teleport so that it will only take 1 Mana per cast (And thus, your mana will recharge AS you teleport, pretty good), OR you could max Energy Shield (And be a fast-moving tank, but have LOTS of Mana potions on hand for this build). It all depends on what you want. -Stat Point Spread- The most typical stat spread for Blizzard sorceresses: Strength: As high as needed, but keep as low as possible. If you can get away with keeping it around 40-50, that'll be excellent. Dexterity: Like strength. Keep it as low as possible. 51 is good, as it allows use of the Spectral Shard, the main weapon of choice for Duelists. Vitality: Every point that isn't going into anything else should be put into Vitality. By around Level 70, you should be edging close to 1,000 Life (With +life equipment). Energy: Try not to put ANY points whatsoever into this stat. AuralFire and Anticitizen (Orb and Blizzard sorcs, respectively) both have 50-70 into Energy because I think that's a pretty good comfort zone. It really depends on where you are comfortable, but a common rule is no more than 70 at the most. Orb sorceresses can follow this same stat spread. Nothing different between the builds, though you *might* want to nudge the energy up a bit if you decide on maxing Energy shield. D2.21 ++Leveling Walkthrough++ All the planning in the world won't get you past the one, classic element that is in every RPG known to man: The level grind. Fortunately in Diablo II grinding isn't too hard--that is, if you have some help out. There are different ways you can go about this. 1. You can grab a friend's sorceress with maxed Enchant, buy a Bow, and just shoot down enemies in difficult places for massive XP. 2. Once at level 20, just find a good friend with a powerhouse Orb sorceress and run the cow level with them. Once at 25, up the ante to Nightmare cows. 3. Do Hell Chaos Sanctuary runs. Be aware that a Barbarian with Battle Orders, and a Paladin with Blessed Hammer are pretty much required for these. Pretty much following those in order will get you to the high levels just fine. However, I'll give some more detail into following these steps. -1 to 20- You'll either be flying solo or having the assistance of a chanter for this one. If you have a chanter assisting you, skip to Stony Field. Otherwise, you'll be alone with Fire Bolt and not much in the way of firepower. What you'll probably want to do is gain about 5 levels in Blood Moor, then move to Cold Plains until Level 10, Then keep moving on until you get to the Stony Field. Chanted people joining us at this point should have a bow of sorts and a newly-cast enchant. At this point, you can kill things in this area, slowly working through Act I until you get to Level 20. You can also get a rush through Act I and level in Act 2, making it easier on you. Either way works fine, but if you insist on sticking with Act 1, level in the Catacombs. Anything before that and you'll be moving backwards. By the time you hit 20, you should have an Ice Bolt that is pretty well leveled, with one point each into Blizzard's prerequisites. -20 to 50- At this point, you'll want to join a Cow game--that is, someone running the cow level. Here are some tips on joining a good cow game: 1. Find one that has a number attached to it. This means it's been running for a while and is most likely a good run. 2. Pay attention to the game times. If the game's been running any longer than 5-10 minutes, wait for them to start another game or find another run. 3. Try to stay in private games with tons of friends. More people = more XP. Private runs work better because you don't have to worry about some bozo wasting the cow king and ruining your character. Once you get to 30-ish, you'll want to complete Normal and head for Nightmare cow runs. After that, when you are around 45-50, Nightmare Chaos Sanctuary is a good place to do some solo leveling. By now, you should have a decently leveled Orb/Blizzard which should be more than enough to carry you through easily. Just don't take too many hits. -50 to 70- You should do Nightmare Chaos runs until around 60 or so. When you get there, get to Hell Act 2 and run through the desert killing things (In full games, preferably). You should be able to hit 70 easy doing this. -70+- Once you hit 70, it's pretty straightforward from here. Just do Hell Chaos runs until you hit your desired level. I stopped at 80, though it certainly is possible to go further. May luck be with you. The "Sora": I figure I should cover this, since you are likely to be doing it a LOT, especially if you happen to be the only sorceress and/or the highest level sorceress of the Chaos run you happen to be in. It's a technique called the "Sora", and what it means is to teleport very rapidly to the center of Chaos Sanctuary, cast a Town Portal, and duck and cover while your team clears the area. Obviously, you'll want to keep some things in mind. 1. ALWAYS, ALWAYS make sure you have a MAXED tome of Town Portal on you. I cannot count on two hands how many times I teleported, and lo and behold, no town portals. Worst. Feeling. Ever. 2. Always have full rejuvenations on hand, if possible. If not, keep a healthy dose of Mana/Health potions. Slots 1, 2 should be health, 3, 4 being mana. 3. Most importantly, have a barbarian cast Battle Orders on you before you begin. You'll get a skill boost, HP/MP boost, and Stamina boost. You can certainly attempt to sora without, but it's very risky. Orbers: Do the same thing as your blizzard brethren. D2.3 ---Recommended Setups--- Obviously the skills and stats were the least of our problems. Now we have to figure out what kind of equipment we are going to use. The good news is that you'll likely get this stuff from some caring people as you build up your levels. Don't trip too hard on this stuff until you get to level 70-ish. Equipment note: "Priz" is the term used by many b.net players for an item that has multiple resistances. Such items are usually purple in color, and are worth a LOT in trades. Note on armors: The same armor should be used across both builds (MF and Duel) Also, on any rare stuff, you should try to keep the strength/dexterity requirements as low as possible. Remember the golden rule of the Sorc: DEFENSE DOESN'T MATTER. Because if some Barbarian Whirlwinds you, you are dead, weather you like it or not. +Magic Find Gear+ Helm: Tarnhelm Defense: 8-11 Required Level: 15 Required Strength: 15 Durability: 18 +1 To All Skill Levels 25-50% Better Chance of Getting Magic Item 75% Extra Gold From Monsters NOTE: You'll want a 50% Tarnhelm, preferably. Armor: Rare 10-24% Faster Hit Recovery Cold Resists 9%+ Fire Resists 9%+ 24-60 to Life Shield: Priz* 20-30 to Cold, Fire, and Lightning resists Faster Block Rate Enhanced block rate Weapon: Gull One-Hand Damage: 2 To 19 Required Level: 4 Durability: 16 Adds 1-15 damage 100% Better Chance of Getting Magic Item -5 to Mana Gloves: Chance Guard Defense: 27-28 Required Level: 15 Required Strength: 25 Durability: 16 +20-30% Enhanced Defense +15 Defense +25 To Attack Rating 25-40% Better Chance of Getting Magic Item 200% Extra Gold From Monsters +2 To Light Radius Boots: Rare % to Magic Find (Varies greatly) % to Cold Resist and Fire resist 30% Faster Run/Walk Belt: Goldwrap Defense: 34-36 Required Level: 27 Required Strength: 45 Durability: 18 12 Boxes +40-60% Enhanced Defense +25 Defense 10% Increased Attack Speed 30% Better Chance Of Getting Magic Items 50-80% Extra Gold From Monsters +2 To Light Radius Rings: 2x Nagelring Magic Damage Reduced By 3 +50-75 To Attack Rating Attacker Takes Damage of 3 15-30% Better Chance Of Getting Magic Items Amulet: Rare % Magic Find % to Cold and Fire resists + Life and Mana (Not needed but preferred) ---Dueling Build--- Helm: Rare helm 10% or 20 faster hit recovery 20+ to Life Cold Resist 20%+ Fire Resist 20%+ Armor1: Hawkmail (For dueling Cold-based Sorceress) Defense: 109-122 Required Level: 15 Required Strength: 44 Durability: 36 +80-100% Enhanced Defense 10% Faster Run/Walk 15% To Max Cold Resist Cold Resist +15% Cannot Be Frozen Armor2: Rare (For everything else) 24% Faster Hit Recovery Cold Resist 20% Fire Resist 20% 50+ to Life Shield: Priz* 20-30 to Cold, Fire, and Lightning resists Faster Block Rate Enhanced block rate Weapon: Spectral Shard +10 to All Resistances 50 to Mana 50% Faster Cast Rate 55% to Attack Rating Gloves: Frostburn +10-20% Enhanced Defense +30 Defense +5% Enhanced Damage Increase Maximum Mana 40% Adds 1-6 Cold Damage Boots: Rare 30% Faster Run/Walk 10% faster hit recovery +20 to Mana Cold resist and Fire resist Belt: Rare 10% Faster Hit Recovery 30+ to Life Cold Resist Fire Resist Rings: 10% Faster Cast Rate Cold resists and Fire resists +Mana or +Life Amulet: Rare +1 or 2 to Sorceress Skill Levels 10-20% to all resists +Life or +Mana The reason I suggest two armors on hand for duel build is because the vast majority of Sorceresses out there are cold elemental. If you have Energy shield plus a Hawkmail, Frozen Orb sorceresses won't be able to even touch you while Blizzard sorceresses can't OHKO you unless you stand in their blizzards. D2.4 ---Zen and the art of Dueling--- Of course, once your build is near complete, you are going to want to make yourself known on battle.net. Quick way to do that is to win duels. As far as the sorceress goes, you have one key skill in duels. Teleport. Never duel without it. A sorceress without teleport is a dead one. Another note I'd like to add: It helps TREMENDOUSLY if you remap your skill keys to other keys on your keyboard. For example, I have my F1-F4 keys mapped to Q, W, E, and R, so I can switch skills quickly, while having my mana potions just a key away. The F-keys are the worst possible skill keys for the sorceress. Try dueling with them once, and you?ll see how cumbersome it is to quickly switch between blizzard and teleport. You can also download a hack that will put blizzard on your left-click. But if you do that, it makes you a cheating scum, and if you did stuff like that, you probably wouldn't be reading this guide. Thus, I will NOT be posting the instructions on how to install or get this hack. My rambling aside, let's get this done. -Sorceress vs. Hammer-Paladin- This will be a tough fight. You'll have to stay as far away from the 'din as possible, since his hammers may not be in range, but he can be stepping on your heels in a matter of seconds. Hammerdins also make use of a glitch commonly known as sync, which will cause you to lag for a few seconds, giving him the perfect window of opportunity. Staying far away from him is a good way to avoid falling victim to this technique. Also, it should be known that those hammers do about 9,000 damage per hammer, so two will probably kill you if not one. As far as offense, you'll just have to drop random blizzards and hope he walks into one. Getting close enough to drop a blizzard right on him might be too risky, unless he's reloading on mana. Note: It would seem that having Diablo II in Direct3D mode will totally nerf the synch glitch. At least for me it did. If someone could confirm this, it would be helpful. See contact. -Sorceress vs. Fist Of The Heavens- Another variant of the paladin, this one attacks with a lightning bolt which homes in from the sky, making it nigh unavoidable. I myself would just avoid all fights with FoH dins. If you must, however, equip yourself with MAXIMUM lightning resists. FoH dins have Conviction, which weaken your resists quite a bit. You can try and stay away from the din, but his FoH is a surefire hit. Once he casts it, you are going to get hit, like it or not. To kill it, you'll have to go kamikaze. His FoH has quite a range, so you'll have to kill him before he kills you. -Sorceress vs. Barbarian- Very easy if the opponent has no Hawkmail. If he does, this is going to be a really long fight. Most BvS types have a Hawkmail, some points in Natural Resistance, and are really speedy to catch up with you. Your most effective weapon against these types is already neutralized (freezing). So it's normally an uphill battle. What you need to hope for is that the barbarian does something called a "WW lock". This means that the Barbarian is stuck in a whirlwind going towards you. This will give you speed advantage so you can blizzard him to death. However, even if you manage to reduce his life to zero, he'll still be spinning towards you. Be careful--he can still damage you. Just run until he stops and dies. UPDATE: There is a glitch I discovered that would allow the Barbarian to "teleport", for lack of a better term, right onto your heels, causing you some pretty good damage. If you built your sorceress well though, you should be able to survive it and teleport safely away. If he doesn't lock you, just use the houses and rocks in Blood Moor to try to slow him down a bit, dropping blizzards in the middle of these obstructions. He'll likely take some damage one way or another. -Sorceress vs. Amazon (Bow)/Necromancer- I group the Necromancer and Bow Amazon because they are almost exactly alike. Both use attacks that will home in on your position, and you'll need to evade effectively while getting a good shot in. You have to avoid their projectiles while trying to score a hit. Unfortunately, this isn't easy at all. You have to get right next to them, and hopefully drop a blizzard on them. Meanwhile, the Necromancer/Amazon is probably taking this window of opportunity to pump you full of Bone Spirits/Guided Arrows. If you are REALLY good, you can teleport; quickly hotkey to blizzard, cast it, and quickly switch back to teleport and run for it before you take too much damage. And for dueling these types, FASTER HIT RECOVERY IS A MUST. Both attacks, when they connect, will cause you to flinch for a second, allowing a full army of arrows/spirits to bombard you, thus killing you. The trick here is to WALK AWAY from being hit, not TELEPORTING. Teleporting takes a fraction of a second to do, and in that small window of time, another arrow or spirit can connect, causing you to flinch again...and again...and again until you are dead. -Sorceress Vs. Javelin Amazon- NOTE: See the Hackers section of the dueling chapter for some important info on dueling Javelin Amazons. If, after checking that part out, you are SURE its OK, then read on. First thing's first. Put a LOT of distance between you and the Zon. Because once that Javelin connects with your sorceress, I can guarantee an instant death, since like Bow Amazons, those javelins cause a massive flinch when they hit. And since Javelin Amazons have immense attack speed, your chances of survival are close to nothing--unless, of course, you have a 3-topaz shield and a Sparkling Mail. Now most duelists aren't stupid. They know you are a blizzard sorceress, and they aren't going to run directly at you. Therefore, you are going to have to predict where they are going to be, and drop a blizzard and hope they run right into it. Another strategy, if you are the kamikaze type, is run right up to her, blizzard her before she can jab you, then as she recovers, pump her full of ice blasts, and hope she dies. This assumes she has crappy hit recovery and has no Hawkmail on, of course. -Sorceress vs. Sorceress- This one has nothing to it, really. SvS mostly consists of teleporting around like mad trying to avoid getting hit. This warning deserves to be repeated twice--have LOTS of mana potions on hand. Make sure you activate Energy Shield, and have a full belt of mana potions. This is going to be a long fight. Mainly the thing to do is to teleport madly around the map and drop blizzards everywhere at random. Hope the sorceress manages to teleport right into one. This is pretty much your only hope against other blizzard sorceresses. Another thing to keep in mind with blizzard sorceresses is that you should ALWAYS stay away from any blizzards; even you think they are your own. The opposing sorceress may have dropped one in the EXACT same location. Fire sorceresses are a different story. Keep away from their fireballs, as those are highly lethal. Teleport right past, drop a blizzard, run. Rinse and repeat as necessary. Also, those fireballs have splash damage. If they even come CLOSE to you, you'll be severely injured, if not killed. So be careful. Frozen Orb sorceresses are easy. If your sorceress is buff enough, you can take a load of frozen orbs before you actually come close to dying. Just run right into it, blizzard the hell out of her, and be done with it. Lastly, Lightning. This should be really easy for sorceresses with energy shield. Just have tons of mana on hand. Energy Shield absorbs 100% lightning damage; so all damage goes to mana. Isn't that nice? -Hackers- You may come across some characters that are doing things not humanly possible. Such things include Sorceresses dropping blizzards at an alarming rate, some who have blizzards that drop automatically each time the sorceress teleports, and sometimes, when you are about to kill someone, their life refills automatically. These can sometimes be attributed to hacks, or in the case of the latter, Rejuvenation potions. One hack I described earlier is probably responsible for the fast casting of spells. Someone puts Blizzard on their left click and Teleport on their right. There isn't an easy to tell who's abusing this dirty trick; you'll have to be observant. The next one is the chicken module, which has someone both open a portal and return to town when hostility is expressed, life gets too low, or some other condition. Instead of returning to town, the user can also choose to exit the game. This is clearly a way of the person covering their behind from a dueling loss. I would avoid dueling in this case. Another one that I have seen in action is known as TMC/FC. FC stands for "far cast". I have no idea what TMC stands for. What these hacks do is grant the user max cast speed and max hit recovery, in the case of TMC. In the case of FC (Which is used by almost all javelin amazons in hell), the user gets a far-ranged attack, even with close-range weapons. All the person needs is for your little blip to show up on the automap, and you are vulnerable to this hack. What I'd do is refuse to duel with any javelin amazons. Most, if not all, exploit this trick. Another trick I've seen takes advantage of Energy Shield. I've noticed that in town, sometimes, my energy shield will make that arcing effect that indicates you are taking damage. In effect, my mana would begin dropping at an alarming rate and not recover. My life, however, remained untouched. I don't see this one in widespread use yet, but if it does become used widely, beware. Yet another one that i've seen, and even been accused of using is the aimer. This allows you to blizzard people two screens away, not even in your field of vision. There's a legitimate technique that looks like aimer, so you'll have to be observant. Said technique is called the name lock. Try mousing over someone who's hostile to you. You notice how their life bar shows? Well, if you hold down the right mouse button (command-click for your Mac users out there), you'll lock them, or your blizzards, as long as you hold down the button, will continually cast over the person you locked until they move far away. its hard to explain it, but it exists, and it is a legitimate technique that is sometimes pegged as cheating. Don't get me wrong, there ARE actually aimer programs which require no effort to use. The last and dirtiest trick I know of is the Baal Hack. This hack allows those who have Expansion installed (But choose to play Classic characters) to go to Act 5. This cannot be used directly against you, but it helps people get to unfair levels. Therefore, dueling in Hell is highly discouraged. -Parties- Sometimes you may find yourself in a partied duel. These can get hairy pretty quick as there are usually two or even three sets of enemies against each other. Sometimes, two people may declare one person on your side to be dangerous, and focus all their efforts on one person. Sometimes, more than you'd like, that unlucky soul is you. As far as putting together a good duel party, you will always want a barbarian on your side with Battle Orders. This will boost your health/mana, skills, and defense. I can't predict what characters are in your roster, or the opponent's, so I will just offer some general tips on team duels. -If things get too crazy for you to handle (Two people ganging up on you), try to lure them toward a teammate for them to take down. Or if you don't have any teammates alive, then try using the structures in Blood Moor to your advantage. An example is to use a house to take down a paladin in a Necro-Paladin vs. Sorc-Barbarian setup. The house will shield you from the hordes of bone spirits while you work on the paladin. Only when the Necro decides to move around a bit will he have a clear bead on you. -An opportune time to grab a kill is when your opponent gets confused. Say your opponent just dodged your teammate's whirlwind. There will be some confusion on the opponent's part--a perfect time to pump a Blizzard/Orb into them. -If you have a Necromancer on your team, have him use his bone walls to choke up your opponents. Have him prison the other team and make them lambs to the slaughter for everyone else on your team. D2.5 ---Magic find and You--- Assuming you have your Magic find gear, we can go magic finding. This is the act of repeatedly killing bosses for Rare/unique items. The bosses you can kill are the big four: Andariel, Mephisto, Duriel and Diablo. Many only go for Andariel and Mephisto. In Nightmare and Normal, you are more than capable of taking Diablo as well. In my experience, however, I notice that in Hell difficulties, Andariel gives significantly better finds than Mephisto does. Maybe its just me, but that's what i've seen. Before we begin seriously MF-ing, there are some critical points that need to be taken into account: 1. Teleportation. When you Teleport, be careful of packs of enemies. Whenever you teleport into an enemy, walk away a bit, THEN Teleport. Otherwise they will continually hit you, causing you to flinch, and thus, die before you get a single teleport off. 2. Because of reason 1, I'd invest a point into shiver armor. This will causes enemies to flinch from hitting you instead of you flinching from being hit. 3. If you go to a populated game, I'd recommend staying unpartied and not using town portals. Why? Some people hate MF-ers and will hunt them down if they are discovered ruining their game. 4. In Populated games, difficulties are significantly higher because the more people in a game, the higher the monster difficulty. Be careful. Just because you could handle Diablo in your private game DOES NOT mean you can in a public game. 5. Have lots of patience and self-control. The first few times, you will likely botch the run and die. It happens. Sooner or later, it becomes natural, and you'll be magic finding like a pro. 6. It should go without saying, but be courteous. don't kill Andariel when someone else needs the quest as well. Only kill bosses if everyone is past that point, or its a dueling game. 7. This should also go without saying, but more people = better drops. 8. There's a myth going around that says if you get Baron/Baroness status, you will get lesser drops. Don't know if this is true, but it wouldn't hurt to exercise caution. Let's begin with the individual strategies for the bosses. (These can also be applied somewhat to quest games, however, this guide assumes you are flying solo when you do this.) -Andariel- In Normal and Nightmare, Andariel isn't much of a threat. She can be slowed with cold, giving you even more of an advantage. Her poison shouldn't hurt too badly, just be sure to stay out of her melee range. Beware, however. The two poison attacks she has can stack, so you'll have two spells of poison, which will drag your life down pretty quick. (In hell, Andariel cannot be frozen, and her poison hurts immensely. I'd recommend, as crappy as the item may be, holding on to a Venom Ward (Unique Breast plate) for Andariel runs.) Before you run up and get Andariel to begin giving chase, however, I'd take care of all the riffraff in the area; The Dark Ones, Zombies, and Misshappen's (The latter can really ruin your day). When Andariel is chasing you, the best thing to do is run away while spamming blizzards in her direction. You can also teleport around her so she stays in one place trying to draw a bead on you, thus taking more damage from your blizzard. Orbers can exploit this trick for some MASSIVE damage. In Normal, Andariel doesn't drop very good items. In Nightmare and Hell, it depends. Some days she drops a lot of rare/unique items, and some days she doesn't drop anything but gold. NOTE: There's a new type of MF out there on battle.net that I should cover called the "virgin Andariel killer". In a nutshell, this build is rushed to Act 1 Hell, joins games that already have Andariel done, and kills her. The effect is that Andariel's quest is never done. People believe that if you don't do Andariel's quest and kill her, she drops 5 rare items on a constant basis. I haven't tested this, but that's what I'm hearing. -Duriel- Most people skip Duriel. On good days, though, Duriel drops some decent stuff. I've gotten a Spectral Shard and Frostburns off of him once. Best way to tackle him is to keep a distance. His cold aura will drain your mana quick if you are using energy shield. If you aren't using a Hawkmail, you'll also have to deal with the effects of cold, so running by foot may not be an option. Use teleport when you can.* (*- I should mention that while you are getting pummeled by the cold aura, Teleport is totally broken. don't try it if you are too close.) Handle Duriel like you handled Andariel. Just don't get too close, as that aura is painful. By the way, Duriel has no ranged attacks. So keep your distance, and it'll be hard for him to hit you. -Mephisto- This fight is easy. That is, once the Council is out of the way. First off, you'll want to go around to the left or right of the area. Take out all the council members in the area. If you decide to take the right path, beware, as that council member has mana burn. Once that's done, here's what you do. You know that bloody river that separates you from the red portal in this room? You get Mephisto to give chase, and then you teleport to the other side of the bloody river. If you do it right, Mephisto will be struggling to get to you. However, he still has ranged attacks. Move away until you can barely see him in the corner of your screen. At this point, he should just squirm in position, and cannot attack you or get you at all. From here on, it's an easy, safe kill. Orbers have it tough. You guys actually have to get in there and dance with Mephisto if you wish to kill him. Best of luck to you. -Diablo- Before you get to fight Diablo, you have to deal with his three little buddies: The Grand Vizier of Chaos, Lord De Seis, and Infector of Souls. It goes without saying, but that's because I'm saying it: Don't attempt Diablo in Hell without a Paladin partied with you. Lord De Seis should be your main worry. There's a chance in every game that he will be immune to cold, thus screwing you up. Unless you have a friend that can take care of him, you'll have to make a new game. Once the Three are taken care of, Diablo pops out. Best way to pump some pre-emptive blizzards/orbs into him is to teleport back to the center of the arena once you activate the final seal. Keep spamming blizzards/orbs over the center and you'll get a few hits in before he's able to move away. Diablo has three ranged attacks: a lightning inferno (hurts a lot, even in Nightmare), a fire wall (weak) and lastly, sends a ton of flames creeping towards you (also weak). Get too close and he'll backhand you, which will slow you unless you have Hawkmail equipped. The rule of the thumb here is to just keep moving. You don't need to teleport. Just plain running should get you out of Diablo's ranged attacks. When you see a break in his pattern, stop and drop a blizzard/orb on him. The only reason you should get within melee range is to use static field on him. D2.6 ---Legal--- Okay, here's the deal. I don't mind if you use this guide on your website one iota. But I do ask that you at least email me and tell me where it is that it's going to be posted. That's all I ask. I do ask also that you do not take sections of this guide out and mash them together with other guides. If you want a section, just take the whole thing. And if you use this guide on your site, it is YOUR responsibility, not my own, to keep tabs on the updates. I will post my latest revision to GameFAQs, so that will be where you can get the latest and greatest. If I get complaints that a site is using an outdated version of my guide, I will just peg it on the Webmaster. Like I said, not my fault. And lastly, I believe in credit where credit's due, meaning do not say you wrote this guide when you didn't. I am the original writer--please respect that. CT1 ---Contact--- If you wish to contact me about updates, corrections or anything, please do so at the following: Email: email@example.com AIM: itoilet9 Diablo2: *kln.eleven on US West. Character names Anticitizen, AuralFire Blog at http://phorium.wordpress.com. Things I'd like to see are new dueling techniques I haven't discovered, weird glitches that should be exposed, or other tips of the sort. And I ask that you email me with somewhat good grammar. I don't want messages that look like "hey u liek teh game lolz". I appreciate a well-typed-out message very much. And I'd like to part with a nice thank you to you, the reader, for reading this guide, Death_Angel01, tiger_lotus, and a few others on battle.net for the experience it took to write this guide. Also: Thanks again to Patrick Gilsdorf for some additional insight.