The Town Dump Werebear

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The Town Dump Werebear

Post by Admin on Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:34 am

By: safetypro
Taken From:
Date: 3/13/2016

Build Guide - The Town Dump WereBear

Hiya folks,
There's been a few questions lately regarding WereBear builds so I decided to make this guide for a build that I am remaking this ladder. It absolutely rocked last ladder so who am I to argue with success?
This is my first attempt at making a build guide so there are bound to be a couple errors and/or omissions. Please bear with me (no pun intended).:wink: 

So you’re looking for an inexpensive build that absolutely rocks; then this is the build for you. I’m going to name this build the Town Dump Werebear because it’s based around a “Towner” (Summon) build, its inexpensive cost and the fact that some of the nastiest and most persistent Bears often hang around the town garbage dump. This is a gear dependent build however, I promise you that you’ll find most of the gear choices not only easy to find but also very affordable to acquire.

I’d like to acknowledge SSoG for this build because it is derived from his “Mighty Kodiak”. The Mighty Kodiak is one of several excellent build guides that SSoG has developed and published. This build takes the Kodiak base build and with some equipment additions and skill choices, takes the Werebear build to an even higher level of proficiency.

The build is based around the Shapeshift and Summon trees. You’ll be fighting along with your summons so you’ll be part of the action when it happens. You’ll cut through Immune to Physical (IP) monsters like butter and you’ll have a perfect safe strategy to deal with Iron Maiden (IM) casting Oblivion Knights. Unlike certain caster builds and many melee builds, there really is no weakness in this build.

Another point in favor of this build is that it can be completed by the early level 80s so you can be at your peak effectiveness while you are leveling in Hell. OK, enough preamble, let’s cut to the chase.

Shapeshift Tree
+1 Werewolf (prerequisite and useful early on)
+20 Lycanthropy (gives werebear duration and extra life)
+1 Werebear (your main SS form)
+1 Feral Rage (prerequisite)
5+ Maul (one of your main skills)
+1 Fire Claws (prerequisite)
+1 Hunger (one of your main skills)
+1 Shockwave (one of your main skills)

Summon Tree
+1 Raven (prerequisite and useful throughout game)
+1 Oak Sage (prerequisite and useful early on)
+1 Summon Spirit Wolf (prerequisite)
+20 Heart of Wolverine (your main spirit)
+20 Summon Dire Wolf (your main summon)
+20 Summon Grizzly (your summon for bosses)
= 94 skill points, done lvl 83

With the gear and charm selection listed below you can add another +15 to your main attack skills (Maul, Hunger and Shockwave). You’ll also be adding +18 to your Summon skills, and +20 to your Werebear form and Lycanthropy when you cast them.

Heart of the Wolverine vs. Oak Sage
Many will argue the benefits of the additional life from Oak Sage over the additional damage and Attack Rating (AR) afforded by Heart of the Wolverine (HoW). I’m not going to weigh in about the positives or negatives of either except to say that I found HoW more beneficial for this build. The Werebear form and Lycanthropy naturally give the Druid massive additional life. Since this build does not invest heavily in attack skills which increase AR or damage, the HoW is invaluable. This build subscribes to the motto that the “Best Defense is a Good Offense”.

Attribute Allocation
110+ to Strength (based on plus strength items, druid torch and annihilus, you’ll need 225 total strength to equip the Immortal King (IK) Stone Crusher Maul)
0 to Dexterity (supplemented by gear and charms to equip items only)
Rest to Vitality
0 to Energy (like most other builds)

Gear Options
There will be a few gear switches during the game en-route to the endgame gear swap. Early gear will be used from around level 9 through level 31. Believe it or not, at level 31 we will be starting to equip some of the gear that we will use the rest of the game. Midlevel gear will be used from level 31 with Endgame gear switches along the way until level 76. By level 76 you will have all the gear you need to enter and defeat hell.

Endgame Gear
You’ll notice I placed the endgame gear before the early and mid game gear. This is important as you will need to plan out how many attribute points you will need to spend to equip some of your gear. I was able to do it with the minimum 110 points spent in strength because of gear choices and charms. That leaves a whole bunch of attribute points to allocate to vitality.

You may be asking why 110 strength is the minimum. You need 110 strength by level 30 to equip the IK gloves. There just aren’t any viable and lasting gear options pre-level 30 which can supplement your need for the 110 and ultimately 225 strength requirement. Since you’re not investing any points into dexterity or energy, that’s not a bad amount to allocate to strength. You’ll have lots of points left to pump into vitality as the game goes on. We’ll also be investing a few points into Lycanthropy right off the bat so early game vitality will not be an issue.

Helm - Jalal’s Mane
+2 to Druid skills and +2 to Shapeshift (SS) skills, 30% Faster Hit Recovery (FHR), 20% bonus to Attack Rating (AR), 30 to all resistances, +20 strength and +20 energy. Really it’s the best and only option for this build. Socket Jalal’s with a Jewel of Fervor (15% Increased Attack Speed) to reach the Maul 7 frame breakpoint.

Armor - Chains of Honor (CoH) runeword (Dol + Um + Ber + Ist)
This is the only expensive gear option in the build. Definitely one of the best armors in the game with +2 skills, +65 all resists, +20 strength, 8% life leech, 8% damage reduction and more. If you can’t afford CoH then Smoke runeword (Nef + Lum) can be used for the +50 all resists however, you’ll miss the plus skills and other goodies that CoH has to offer.

Another option - IK Armor.
Doesn't look like much by itself until you start to count the mods from wearing multiple IK set items. IK armor has 50% poison resist, +25% Faster Hit Recovery (2 Items), 40% cold resist (3 Items), 40% fire resist (4 Items) and 40% lightning resist (5 Items). In addition to the resists on the armor the Maul will gain +204 Poison Damage Over 6 Seconds, the belt will gain Damage Reduced By 20%, the gloves will gain 10% Mana Stolen Per Hit, and the boots will gain Half Freeze Duration.

All in all IK armor is a very nice choice for the 7 more strength that you'll require over and above the IK Maul. 

Gloves – Immortal King’s (IK) Forge
Big defense, +20 strength, +20 dexterity and +25% Increased Attack Speed (IAS) and 10% life leech bonus for using with other IK parts. Show me any other gloves with this much going for them.

Boots - Immortal King’s (IK) Pillar
Big defense, 40% faster run/walk (best in game), +110 to AR, +44 life and 25% MF bonus when used with other IK parts. Another good choice.

Belt - Immortal King’s (IK) Detail
Big defense, big lightning and fire resistance, another +25 strength and +25% FHR when used with other IK parts. Noticing a trend here?

Weapon - Immortal King’s (IK) Stone Crusher Maul
This is where it gets really interesting. The IK Maul is already one of the best physical damage weapons in the game and can reach a 6 frame attack in Werebear form. Combine that with 40% IAS (use shael runes with the 2 open sockets to make 80% IAS), 35-40% Crushing Blow (CB) and get this, used with other IK Parts…+211-397 fire damage, +7-477 lightning damage and 127-364 cold damage. This is an extremely fast, extremely deadly weapon.

On Switch – Heart of the Oak (HOTO) runeword (Ko + Vex + Pul + Thul) and Spirit runeword (Tal + Thul + Ort + Amn) Monarch
All we really care about here is the +skills as we’re going to use the switch to prebuff our Summons and Werebear. This means that we will keep +skill items here and will use the switch whenever we summon or wereform in order to take advantage of a higher +skills level. The Spirit Monarch is cheap and easy to make however, the HOTO requires a Vex and Pul rune which may be costly. Since you only use the switch for prebuff, the resists found on HOTO are of no consequence. A low resistances HOTO can be purchased or traded for fairly cheaply. Substitute HOTO with a Spirit runeword sword or a Dark Clan Crusher to get and additional +2 skills instead of +3. Whether +4 or +5 total skills, the switch will dramatically improve the effectiveness of your summons and the duration and hit points of your wereform due to the increased level of Lycanthropy.

Rings – Ravenfrost and Carrion Wind
Ravenfrost has +15-20 dexterity, 150-250 AR, 40 mana, +cold damage, absorb cold damage and the all important cannot be frozen (CBF). Since dexterity is a non-factor for this build, try and find a less expensive AR favored ring. Carrion Wind has a 10% chance to cast (CTC) level 10 poison nova when struck, 8% CTC lvl 13 twister on striking, 6-9% life leech, +defense vs. missile, +55 poison resistance, 10% damage taken goes to mana and a very nice 15 charges of level 21 poison creeper. Poison Creeper is a Druid Summon and with this ring you get a high level skill without having to invest a single point in that skill. Both rings are relatively inexpensive and can be acquired for pgems.

Amulet – Mara’s Kaleidoscope or Rare Druid Skills Amulet
You have a little flexibility here. Mara’s is a great amulet with +2 all skills, 20-30% all resistances and +5 to all attributes but, is expensive and not absolutely necessary. A good rare with +2 Druid Skills and + resists is easy to obtain and just as effective for this build as the Mara’s. I found when doing the math that the only resist I needed from my amulet was cold resistance since the IK Belt gave fire and lightning resistances and the Carrion Wind ring gave poison resistance.

Charms – Druid Torch, Annihulus and 0-6 Shapeshift and Summon Skill Grand Charms
The Torch and Anni will be needed to give you +skills, attributes and resists. The good news is that the Druid Torch is one of the cheaper torches to acquire. The Skiller Grand Charms are niceties and if you can get them will supplement an already well rounded build. Skiller Grand Charms can also have excellent, useful second mods such as life, FHR, AR and elemental damage. Add resist, FHR, fine (+to max/AR) or + elemental damage small charms to taste.

Note: You’ll notice that with the top gear choices, you can have +85 strength. Obviously that will change if you opt for Smoke instead of Chains of Honor. From the base 110 strength to get to the 225 strength you need for the IK Maul, you just need another +30 points in attributes from your torch and annihilus which is roughly +15 each (or 16/14…whatever floats your boat). This is another important consideration as high attribute torches and annihilus charms are the highest priced. As you can see here, you can purchase middle attribute charms and look for the cheaper resistance favored charms instead.

Early Game Gear
You have lots of choices here. Some people opt for the Sigon set which gives you lots of AR, IAS, LL, decent defense and MF. Another good option is to use Isenhart’s full set with Sigon’s gloves, belt and boots. That set up will allow you to switch to Millabrega’s set at level 18 and continue to use the Sigon gloves, belt and boots with all of their benefits until your mid-game switch.

Your most important consideration early on is choosing a very fast weapon. The werebear is slow to begin with and your kill speed will be almost unbearable with a slower weapon. A couple of early weapons I found good are the Skewer of Krintiz Sabre at level 10 and the General’s Tan Do Li Ga Flail at level 21. The Skewer of Krintiz adds 10 strength which will allow you to equip Sigon’s parts a couple of levels earlier.

Supplement your gear with charms which will give you resists, gold find, strength and other useful attributes.

Mid Game Gear
Level 31
Equip your IK gloves, belt and boots. A double PDiamond Moser’s Blessed Circle will give you lots of resists which will allow you to focus on other gear options which will provide you with extra skills and other attributes useful to your build. Silks of the Victor armor will give you +1 to all skills and good defense. Use your imbue quests with higher level characters to have Charsi make you a Druid Pelt that gives you plus skills which you use in the build. Look for a pelt that has +Lycanthopy, +Summon Dire Wolf or Grizzly and/or +Heart of the Wolverine. A nice amulet with +summon or shapeshift skills with some resists will also be very beneficial. Get life leech from your ring slots. Weapon choice is again crucial at this point. Coldsteel Eye Cultass is perfect for its speed, deadly strike, slows target and mana leech.

Levels 42-45
At level 42 is another gear change which will dramatically improve your damage and kill speed. Start with Jalal’s Mane. Add Duriel’s shell, Tiamat’s Rebuke shield and a Fleshrender club socketed with a Shael rune. This is also the time you can add skiller grand charms to your inventory to take advantage of additional plus skills. On switch, equip a Dark Clan Crusher or Spirit (Tal + Thul + Ort + Amn) sword and either Lidless Wall or a Splendor (Eth + Lum) shield. Start pre-buffing your werebear and summons by using your switch to cast them. Equip a Ravenfrost ring at level 45 though this step is not entirely crucial as you will be getting your cannot be frozen mod from the Duriel’s Shell armor.

Levels 55-75
Level 55 is when you can change out your switch gear for HOTO and a Spirit Monarch. Put on your Carrion Wind ring at level 60 and at level 65 change Duriel’s for the Chains of Honor armor. If you haven’t already done so, ensure you have your Ravenfrost on your other ring finger. Finally, don your Mara’s Kaleidoscope at level 67. Level 70 is the time to add the Annihilus charm to your inventory and last but not least, your Druid Torch and IK Maul at level 75 and 76. Make sure your IK maul is socketed with 2 Shael runes. You are now Hell ready. 

Mercenary and Mercenary Gear
In normal, select an act 2 Blessed Aim mercenary to provide additional AR to you and your summons. Switch to a Might Mercenary once you get to act 2 in Nightmare. The might merc will add damage to both you and your summons attack.

As with other act 2 mercenary builds, ensure you mercenary has ample life leech, defense and resists. Early merc gear could include Sigon’s armor and helm as soon as your merc can equip them and Bloodthief Brandistock at level 17. The Battlebranch is a good merc weapon available at level 25. A good armor and helm combination for your merc is Goldskin armor and either the Wormskull or Undead Crown all available by level 29. At level 42, equip your merc with Duriel’s shell and a Vampire Gaze helm. Blackleach Blade Bill is also available at that time.

There are a few differing opinions on merc endgame gear. Some like the damage reduction afforded from armor such as Shaftstop or Leviathan however, I have always been a fan of Fortitude runeword (El + Sol + Dol + Lo) made in ethereal elite armor. The huge defense, resists, chilling armor, life per level and enhanced damage go a long way towards ensuring survival for your mercenary. Endgame helm choices include Vampire Gaze, Crown of Thieves and Andariels Visage. The best weapon choice is somewhat less subjective. Here the hands down best choice should be the Reaper’s Toll Thresher. Reaper’s Toll not only has excellent damage and life leech, it also has a chance to cast decrepify which is one of only 2 curses capable of breaking physical immunity. Decrepify also reduces monster’s physical damage output and slows them which aids in crowd control. The decrepify will prove invaluable to your mercenary and summons. You of course will not fear physical immune monsters due to the massive elemental damage you will be doing with the IK Maul.

Skill Point Progression
Place points into the prerequisites and then focus on Lycanthropy until you have about 10 points in it for improved duration and life. Next, focus on the Summon tree getting a few points into Dire Wolves and HoW. Hit the main skills when they become available such as Maul, Hunger and Shockwave and of course drop a point on Summon Grizzly at lvl 30.
Continue to place points into the Summon Tree until mid Nightmare of so. You can now focus a little more on your Lycanthropy until it is maxed. Go back to finish the Summon Tree and lastly start to put extra points into Maul. If you find your kill speed lacking, place a couple points into Maul earlier. When finished the main build, you can add more points to Maul or if you wish, Shockwave or Hunger.

Strategy and Game Play Tips
Always cast your Dire Wolves and Heart of the Wolverine using your switch prebuff as soon as it becomes available. Ravens are effective early on and then again later when plus skills make them more viable at higher levels. Cast them when you are facing crowds as a distraction and when facing projectile launching monsters to blind them and save damage to you and your group. Your poison creeper will become available at level 60 when you don the Carrion Wind ring. It will be effective for the rest of NM however, will die quickly in Hell. You can still use the poison creeper in Hell to aid in crowd control. One more minion is one more weapon to distract and occupy your enemies. Lastly cast your grizzly when facing bosses and super-uniques.

Use your Maul as you main attack skill as soon as you can at level 12. Place Maul on left click and leave it there for the remainder of the game. Maul will increase your damage output from the first to third hit. You will notice a green ball circling your character. When the ball is its biggest and brightest, you will be doing the most damage. This attack skill can be used throughout the game. It is surprising effective with just a single point invested. A few extra points and plus skills available at higher levels will increase the Maul’s effectiveness towards endgame.

Hunger is another skill you will be able to use from level 24. Hunger leeches massive life and mana back from your enemy however, its damage suffers a 75% reduction. Keep this skill on your right click to quickly replenish life and/or mana when you are suffering from loss. With a good weapon you can hold down the right click button and your werebear will continue to attack all enemies in sight. You can use this as your main attack skill if you wish however, it will take much longer due to the damage reduction. I prefer to use both Maul and Hunger together. You’ll be getting lots of life leech from your gear which will be more than adequate for the most part when using maul however, for those few times when you need it, a simple right click instead of left will refresh your life and mana in seconds.

Finally, Shockwave (lvl 24) has been dubbed the Best Werebear Skill by many seasoned Druid veterans including my friend SSoG. Shockwave damages your enemy and stuns them for a prolonged period. This makes Shockwave an extremely viable crowd control skill which will stop monsters in their tracks and render them useless to formulate a retaliatory attack. Simply cast the shockwave and you and your group will be able to pick them off like ducks in a shooting gallery. This effect makes shockwave a viable skill to use against Iron Maiden casting Oblivion Knights. When in the Chaos Sanctuary, simply cast shockwave over and over while your Mercenary and Wolves clean house. You can even take advantage of the extra +5 skills on your switch to have an even larger impact.

Whenever I make a new build, I ask myself how that build will deal with elemental or physical immunities and whether it can handle the dreaded Iron Maiden. This build can do all that. This build is fun to play, powerful and relatively inexpensive to build. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my guide. I hope you like it and I invite any constructive criticism and additional ideas or strategies that can improve the build and make it even more viable for other players to try.

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