Diablo® III

Strafe: The paragon speed build

On lunch I did some quick testing. I can tell you that a Cold SoJ works with Drifting Shadow, Stinging Steel and Demolition. As it appears, it does not work with Rocket Storm since it does damage as Fire (could be wrong but appears this way). Reason I did this was I'm trying Cull The Weak. And let me tell you, it's a WOW. Best cold snare I've ever seen because of amount of hits per target. Went up to MP6 and found the scorpions, just destroyed them.

While I can agree that Demolition appears to do more damage, there's no way total damage is higher than Rocket Storm and Stinging Steel. Demolition only deals prolly 1/3 as many projectiles per second as other runes, the grenades just give higher crit numbers is all. D3up.com shows Stinging Steel being the highest damage rune.

All in all, I guess it's just preference, I like Rocket Storm the best but if it's not going to snare with cold soj then I'll just use Stinging Steel

Edit: Just checked, d3up and it says Rocket Storm doesn't deal as Elemental, so I'll have to retry.
Edited by Radelon#1292 on 12/6/2012 11:44 AM PST
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Awesome thread, will be trying some of these builds when I get home. Didn't even think about using some of the mentioned skills!
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Well, I tried a pletora of skill and gear varitatons yesterday and found a couple workable builds for MP2, but nothing really any higher. And on that note, I seem to move through MP5 with my build as fast as I can in MP2 with a Strafe build.

That said, one skill combo I found particularly useful was Caltrops JS with Custom Engineering. You can drop Caltrops mid strafe without stopping.
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Posts: 1,244
If you drop shadow glide, you'll get much faster runs. I love shadow glide because of its laziness, but it only improves strafe as a troll build

But if you want an optimal build, you really do need to use only vault/tumble for movespeed

I do 70M+ exp/hr but I think that's because I have legacy nats... without a legacy nats set you could probably do about 80M+ or so (because you can have both leoric signet + hellfire at the same time)

of course the route is still the old alkhaizer route
- arreat core
- damned tower 1
- arreat crater 2
- rakkis crossing
- field of slaughter
- keep depths 2
- (keep 1, 3, or skycrown battlements if you have a good shrine at the end of keep 2)

hmm, I do this run in about 8-9 minutes (depending if I do extra maps and shrine luck) , not sure how to improve it further (besides dropping legacy nats & getting strafe-specific gear)
Edited by MysticaL#1298 on 12/7/2012 7:07 AM PST
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Rocket Storm works with Cold SoJ!!!!

Also I'm back up to a damage range where I'm gonna need to raise eHP as reflect is overpowering. I think I was right around 200k dps after I configured the new build. I sacrificed my 2-piece Nats with +7 CC bonus and +8 CC to strafe. But overall, this build is killin'. At just under 50% CC and +7% to Strafe, I can almost perma-strafe. I've been wanting a Tal Rasha's armor for a while now due to increased attack speed. Also now have +22% Elemental Damage, which is helping from a pure damage standpoint.

Lost a little eHP but with max dps build I'm over 300k dps now, nice feat for a Windforce DH.
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On lunch I did some quick testing. I can tell you that a Cold SoJ works with Drifting Shadow, Stinging Steel and Demolition. As it appears, it does not work with Rocket Storm since it does damage as Fire (could be wrong but appears this way). Reason I did this was I'm trying Cull The Weak. And let me tell you, it's a WOW. Best cold snare I've ever seen because of amount of hits per target. Went up to MP6 and found the scorpions, just destroyed them.

While I can agree that Demolition appears to do more damage, there's no way total damage is higher than Rocket Storm and Stinging Steel. Demolition only deals prolly 1/3 as many projectiles per second as other runes, the grenades just give higher crit numbers is all. D3up.com shows Stinging Steel being the highest damage rune.

All in all, I guess it's just preference, I like Rocket Storm the best but if it's not going to snare with cold soj then I'll just use Stinging Steel

Edit: Just checked, d3up and it says Rocket Storm doesn't deal as Elemental, so I'll have to retry.


Interesting ideas, thanks for sharing your testing results. My immediate reaction to using Cull + Cold SoJ is this: you need to hit the mob twice to get the effect (in most cases the 2nd hit kills them anyway?) and you use a coveted passive slot. I think if I could make room for another passive it would be Archery, as I have similar CC as you (69.5% w/ Strafe), so that 50% CD would seem more useful overall. I'm just not sure how I could go without TA, Nightstalker and Veng. This build is very resource dependent (especially w/out Legacy Nats), and to get the most out of it you need to be pushing your resources to their max without running out. I feel that dropping NS or Veng would slow down my clear time considerably.

After even more testing last night I have decided to leave Demolition behind and never go back. Just not consistent enough, and with enough DPS Rocket Storm outperforms in every way. I have NOT tried Stinging Steel yet though, and am definitely excited to try it out this afternoon. If it shoots the same number of shots (minus the wimpy rocket), it may just be the way to go with high CC. Question though, does it have the same range as Rocket Storm? That may be a deciding factor, as will any potential delay from firing to hitting the target. Excited to test it nonetheless!

If you drop shadow glide, you'll get much faster runs. I love shadow glide because of its laziness, but it only improves strafe as a troll build

But if you want an optimal build, you need to remove shadow glide, and then it becomes much faster than ball lightning runs


Not sure what you mean by this? Do you mean that if you are using Shadow Glide as your means of movement speed increase that you are using too much discipline for a skill that doesnt effectively increase your clear time? I've been on the fence with Shadow Glide myself, as i never seem to use it for the movement speed aspect. I only use Shadow Power against RD anyway, and use Vault/TA as my way to run through the zones. I have been telling myself that I haven't been using Shadow Glide to its full advantage, but perhaps my frugal casting of it is ideal. The question then becomes, which Shadow Power rune to use? OR (just thinking out loud here) with enough Pickup Radius could we drop SP entirely and go to SS: Choking Gas just for elites? SS then FoK would kill them while avoiding RD, plus it has synergy with TA... I would think you would need 3-4 Pickup Radius items to test this first, or LS on your weapon.

In looking at gear for this build, i have two goals:
1) It must be a universal upgrade that I would use in any build at any MP
OR
2) Cheap (relatively speaking) that addresses specific needs of the build but doesn't decrease DPS/eHP (or minimal loss). For example, gaining more Pickup Radius.
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I wish I trolled the forums more so I could've discovered this thread at the early stages of my plvling farming (but gear has improved over those past weeks so I guess it still works out and i was busy playing). I really enjoy this build. I normally go with mp1 to do my xp farming with this build. I had to tell myself to gloom before strafing on RD mobs, killed myself a few times by not paying attention and kept spamming strafe. I do agree that strafe with demo run works best with lower dps. I bought a cheap Nat chest with hatred regen to use during these runs, normally i wear a 10disc nat chest.
Edited by shoebox#1716 on 12/7/2012 7:15 AM PST
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Posts: 1,244

If you drop shadow glide, you'll get much faster runs. I love shadow glide because of its laziness, but it only improves strafe as a troll build

But if you want an optimal build, you need to remove shadow glide, and then it becomes much faster than ball lightning runs


Not sure what you mean by this? Do you mean that if you are using Shadow Glide as your means of movement speed increase that you are using too much discipline for a skill that doesnt effectively increase your clear time?


yes, vault/tumble is way more discipline efficient for movement

and for reflect damage you need to be a bit more careful, but with good pickup radius (14+), good DPS (150k+), and about 400 AR/50K HP, health globes are enough to take care of reflect damage elites... but I think you might need pretty good gear for these stats though

strafe needs as much AOE as possible to accommodate it... which basically means that having all 3 ROV + chakram + FOV improves your run speed a lot
Edited by MysticaL#1298 on 12/7/2012 7:21 AM PST
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Been running a similar build for a while.

Can't say for sure, but it feels like demolition has higher proc rate with night stalker than stinging steel or rocket storm. Steel is much better damage for higher MP, but homing rockets help clean up stray trash while you run to the next pack.

SoJ seems like a downgrade, I dropped from 175k - 140kDPS, but the runs are still faster because of the extra disc, one shotting elites with FoK and extra strafe crits.

If you're one shotting the trash and elites, extra DPS means nothing.

For vault/tumble, I think it's overhyped.
The problem is that it eats up a passive slot to increase move speed.
Shadow glide uses one skill slot, and lasts 5 seconds instead of 2.
While strafing as much as possible, the duration is important.
Elites don't have time to CC, so breaking root is irrelevant.
Legacy Nat's users can make good use of the Vault and Shadow Glide combo, but it's too discipline heavy otherwise.
Edited by Icaros#1396 on 12/7/2012 7:33 AM PST
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Has anyone tried Stinging Steel with Strife. It might work well for some with over 50% CC.. ?
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12/07/2012 07:42 AMPosted by Spokoman
Has anyone tried Stinging Steel with Strife. It might work well for some with over 50% CC.. ?


It does the most "Total" damage output. On low MP though, Grenades will act the best because the explosions can 1 shot trash whereas Stinging Steel does more direct damage. The higher the MP you go, the more Stinging Steel takes the top spot, although, Rocket Storm does gain ground here.

Best proc rate for NightStalker is Demolition, then Rocket Storm, then Stinging Steel. The first 2 have AoE damage. Regardless, with my setup, I rarely run out of hatred just spamming Strafe.

Cold Damage SoJ info Tips/Tricks:
1. Cold damage will snare therefore allowing Cull the Weak passive. Which is a great passive to have because with Strafe you are in close combat negating Steady Aim benefits.
2. Benefits include +Discipline and +CC% to Strafe
3. Any skill that is NOT elemental in nature will snare. But this is where it gets tricky. All Strafe will snare even Rocket Storm. Emberstrafe and Rocket Storm both have secondary elemental not primary. What this does is allow for the snare to trigger CtW. Oddly enough, another awesome trick is Bola Shot. All runes, except Acid Bola, will snare because their initial hit is non-elemental, it's not til explosion that they become elemental.

I know a lot of you like to have the TA, Vengeance, NS route, or some other non dps configuration. But in higher MP, you need the damage, because speed will get you nowhere.

Rocket Storm is best of both worlds because it maintains the same amount of normal hits as Stinging Steel, but Rockets also are shot which adds AoE. Against Elites, Bosses, Ubers, Warden's, anything without a mob, Rocket Storm will do the most damage. This is because the rockets are directed to the Single Target, therefore adding to the total damage.
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Great insights in these posts, just wanted to add SP night bane is a great option to keep the hatred flow steady in this build. Also, if you have disc mgmt issues, you can add in prep backup plan. In this case you'd prob give up FoK, and keep chakram, as you'll have more than enough disc to keep up SP for getting in close to mobs (which in turn fuels more hatred) and a healthy amount of vaults. I've especially found this helpful during mp2 runs.
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I tried variations of this build, and while it's effective, ball lightning delivers the most efficient runs (for me). Just vault, BL, vault, keep disc up with passives. It destroys everything; I don't even need Prep and can replace it with a hatred spender like Loaded for Bear (178k DPS usually one shots packs). Because of pickup radius, health globes and Night Stalker, I almost never run out of disc, even with 30 (default).

Don't get me wrong, it's still a fun/interesting build, and I'd love to hear more variations. :)
Edited by Surfinn#1296 on 12/7/2012 8:37 AM PST
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@ Radelon

Thank for the advice. I gonna hit the AH for something with cold dmg. I probably can't afford SoJ, but I'd like to try Cull the Weak.

Rocket Storm is best of both worlds because it maintains the same amount of normal hits as Stinging Steel, but Rockets also are shot which adds AoE. Against Elites, Bosses, Ubers, Warden's, anything without a mob, Rocket Storm will do the most damage. This is because the rockets are directed to the Single Target, therefore adding to the total damage.

I am not so sure about Rocket storm doing more dmg to single target. If I'm not mistaken, all Grenades are directed to 1 target as well IF you're close enough.
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@ Radelon

Thank for the advice. I gonna hit the AH for something with cold dmg. I probably can't afford SoJ, but I'd like to try Cull the Weak.

Rocket Storm is best of both worlds because it maintains the same amount of normal hits as Stinging Steel, but Rockets also are shot which adds AoE. Against Elites, Bosses, Ubers, Warden's, anything without a mob, Rocket Storm will do the most damage. This is because the rockets are directed to the Single Target, therefore adding to the total damage.

I am not so sure about Rocket storm doing more dmg to single target. If I'm not mistaken, all Grenades are directed to 1 target as well IF you're close enough.


The grenades can miss and so I'm not sure if you are correct here.

Cold SoJ with Strafe can be had cheap as long as you aren't going for max 6/10/30/7 stats.
Edited by Radelon#1292 on 12/7/2012 9:12 AM PST
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@Lazer: Thanks for the helpful post bro! =D

Its a pretty good setup. Just to break away the monotony of Ball lightning. What i did take away from this build tho is FOK. I never really bothered using it til i saw its synergy with low MP farming by using it with strafe.

Without my +2 disc from Leg Nats due to the use of a leroic signet and HF ring felt like my elite kill time slowed down. With FOK i was able to drop bat companion as its hatred usage is minimal. FOK reduced my elite kill time by a good 30%-50% and doesnt leave me hatred starved at all. Thanks to fan of knives my ALkhaizer runs are now back to 7.5-10 mins from 10-12mins. On average i get about 13m xp per run. So yah xp gains wud be arnd 78/hr to 97.5m/hr(w/o vendor times of course) if im not sipping on old tennessee w/ coke. hehe!
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12/07/2012 09:19 AMPosted by chinkjuice
So yah xp gains wud be arnd 78/hr to 97.5m/hr(w/o vendor times of course) if im not sipping on old tennessee w/ coke. hehe!


really? 97.5?
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@ Radelon

Thank for the advice. I gonna hit the AH for something with cold dmg. I probably can't afford SoJ, but I'd like to try Cull the Weak.

I am not so sure about Rocket storm doing more dmg to single target. If I'm not mistaken, all Grenades are directed to 1 target as well IF you're close enough.


The grenades can miss and so I'm not sure if you are correct here.

Cold SoJ with Strafe can be had cheap as long as you aren't going for max 6/10/30/7 stats.

I'm pretty sure it works as long as you are close. That is what a noticed, but have not tested it thoroughly.
As for SoJ, you were right. It took a lot of looking but I got 6/9/21/9 (9 on grenades) for 2.7m. It's awesome. On paper I do less dps, but my criticals hit for about 2.5k more dmg :)
Edited by Spokoman#1433 on 12/7/2012 10:24 AM PST
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Tagged for later viewing. :)
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@mystical- yes arnd 78mil/hr to 97.5mil/hr xp. HF ring, Leoric sig, HF ring on follower, Ruby on helm. Incoming FAIL MATH: (w/o vendor times @ MP10) LOL!

Consistent 10 minute clear :

13mil exp per run times 6 runs = 78mil per hour

Consistent 8 minute clear :

60min divided by 8 minute runs = 7.5 runs/hr
7.5 runs/hr X 13mil exp per run = 97.5 mil exp/hr

So if 8-10min were the clear times:

(78mil exp/hr + 97.5mil exp/hr) divided by 2 =

87.75 mil exp/hr would be a rough average w/o vendor times if clear times on alkhaizer runs were 8-10 mins at best.

If any good peeps would care to rectify my napkin fail math. Please do so hehe!

=D
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