Strafezon Amazon D2R Build Guide
Welcome to the Strafezon Guide for D2R. This guide is designed to help you understand the basics of a Strafezon build, a powerful ranged Amazon that focuses on the Strafe skill, a skill buffed in recent patches. We'll discuss gear, skills, breakpoints, and general gameplay tips to make sure you’re ready to tackle Hell’s minions.
I. Skills Breakdown
Primary Skill - Strafe
- Put 20 points in Strafe, as this is your main damage-dealing skill. Strafe shoots multiple arrows at a rapid pace, hitting multiple targets in a line.
- Put 20 points in Multishot, as this is the strongest damage synergizer to strafe, and provides you a wide damage radius ability, useful for areas like the Cow Level.
- Put 20 points in Guided Arrow, as this is another damage synergizer. You will not be using this very often in PvM content due to Strafe and Multishot being your primary skills.
- Valkyrie (Up to 20 points): A powerful tanking companion that distracts enemies and helps with crowd control. Valkyries become powerful, offering another damage soaker alongside your merc.
- Pierce (10-15 points): A passive skill that increases the chance of your arrows passing through enemies, dealing damage to multiple targets. 100% pierce should be easily attainable for bowazons, with the right gear choices. Aim for this.
- Critical Strike (10-15 points): Another passive skill that increases the chance of dealing double damage with your attacks.
- Decoy (1 point): A dummy that distracts enemies, useful in tough situations or as an additional frontline shield.
- Inner Sight (1 point): Lowers enemy defense, helping you to hit them more reliably. An optional ability given you start dealing damage offscreen and don’t require close range damage buffs.
- Slow Missiles (1 point): Slows enemy projectiles, offering some protection against ranged attacks. Useful if you are having survivability problems.
- Dodge / Avoid / Evade, Any extra skill points should be used on these three fantastic defensive utility skills, further buffering your evasiveness. This is important given you’re very fragile, even with perfect items.
II. Gear Breakdown
- Weapon: Windforce (Unique Hydra Bow) if you are using a Faith merc, or Faith (Rune Word) in a high damage, fast bow base. Grand Matron Bow, Matriarchal and Shadow bow bases are excellent choices. Faith grants Fanaticism aura, boosting your overall DPS and is required to optimize this build.
- Armor: Fortitude (Rune Word) or Chains of Honor (Rune Word). Fortitude offers more damage and resistances, while Chains of Honor provides additional resistances, life, and +2 to all skills. Fortitude can be considered the more widely chosen option given your relative safety at range.
- Helmet: Andariel's Visage (Unique Demonhead) or Giant Skull (Unique Bone Visage).
Andariel's Visage offers increased attack speed, life steal, and +2 to all skills, while Giant Skull grants knockback and strength, as well as 2 sockets for IAS/Damage jewels. Knockback is a key mod for bowazons, as the animation when hitting minions gives you extra leeway and time. A more expensive option is a magic circlet with FRW or leech mod and 3 sockets. Use 3 Enhanced Damage and IAS jewels for the best damage choice.
- Gloves: Laying of Hands (Set Bramble Mitts) or IAS (Increased Attack Speed) Rare gloves with resistances. Laying of Hands provides a massive damage boost against demons, while IAS gloves can help you reach the next breakpoint. This is a fantastic option given demons make up a huge chunk of the overall monster types. Use this ideally with knockback from Giant Skull. Alternatively, You can use a set of 20ias knockback gloves with additional mods if you can find a pair.
- Belt: Razortail (Unique Sharkskin Belt) or Nosferatu's Coil (Unique Vampirefang Belt).
Razortail grants 33% (very high) Pierce, helping you reach 100% pierce chance with fewer skill points. Nosferatu's Coil provides additional attack speed and life leech but misses the powerful pierce mod.
- Boots: Gore Rider (Unique War Boots) or War Traveler (Unique Battle Boots).
Gore Rider offers crushing blow, deadly strike, and open wounds, while War Traveler provides extra damage, magic find, and vitality. War Travelers are a fantastic general purpose boot, while Gores is better for boss-killing.
- Amulet: Atma’s Scarab, Highlord's Wrath (Unique Serpent Lord) or Cat's Eye (Unique Amulet).
Atma’s scarab can be considered our top choice for the amplify damage procs and boost to your attack rating. It does however lack IAS, making it more difficult to reach top breakpoints. Highlord's Wrath grants increased attack speed, deadly strike, and +1 to all skills, while Cat's Eye offers attack speed, faster run/walk, and dexterity. Cat's eye is my preferred option for balanced damage and speed, but the high DS from Highlords is hard to overlook.
- Rings: Raven Frost (Unique Ring) for Cannot be Frozen and a Dual Leech or Attack Rating ring. This is the ideal setup to ensure you have enough life and mana leech for self-sustaining. A ravenfrost provides a whole host of useful mods for a Bowazon, and one should always be used. High AR and Dex are particularly useful to this build.
- Charms: Sharp Grand Charms of Vita (for added damage and life), Fine Small Charms of Inertia (for added damage, attack rating, and faster run/walk), and an Annihilus and Hellfire Torch for additional skills, attributes, and resistances. Really, any combination of Max damage, AR, FRW, Life, Resistances, or FHR will work for your charm slots. An optional Gheeds should be used, and a physical sunder charm can be used (although is not recommended if you are using Atma’s scarab which will remove physical immunity with Amplify Damage procs.
Increased Attack Speed (IAS) Breakpoints:
Strafezon relies on high attackspeed to deal damage quickly. To optimize your Strafezon, you need to reach certain Increased Attack Speed (IAS) breakpoints, which are specific values that provide faster attack animations. The breakpoint values depend on your bow's base speed and any additional IAS from gear or auras.
For example, with a Windforce bow (-10 base speed) and Highlord's Wrath amulet, you need 89 IAS to reach the 9 frame per attack breakpoint. Here's a simplified breakdown of IAS breakpoints for Windforce:
- 0% IAS: 13 frames
- 9% IAS: 12 frames
- 37% IAS: 11 frames
- 63% IAS: 10 frames
- 89% IAS: 9 frames
The breakpoints for Faith will be different due to the Fanaticism aura. You can use a breakpoint calculator to find your exact needs.
IV. Gameplay Tips
- Positioning: Strafezon excels at ranged combat, so make sure to maintain your distance from enemies. Utilize Decoy and Valkyrie to draw aggro away from you.
- Crowd Control: While you lack crowd control, your knockback will act as one, use strafe and multishot to push enemies further away from you and freeze their animation.
- Mercenary: Act 2 Nightmare Defensive (Holy Freeze) or Offensive (Might) mercenaries are popular choices for a Strafezon. Equip them with gear that provides life leech, resistances, and auras to support your Amazon further. A pride merc will grant an additional high level concentration aura which will further amplify your damage output. Remember that you still need Fanatacism from some source to hit an optimal ias breakpoint, so self-using Faith will be necessary.
- Kiting: If you find yourself in a dangerous situation, don't hesitate to run, reposition, and continue attacking. Strafezon's mobility is an essential part of her survivability.
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The Strafezon build is a powerful and versatile Amazon setup that can excel in both PvE and PvP content. By understanding the gear, skills, and breakpoints, you can optimize your character for the best performance in Diablo 2 Resurrected. Remember to practice good positioning and crowd control tactics, and you'll be well on your way to conquering the challenges that Diablo and his minions have to offer. Good luck!