Bow Marauder (The Shocker (tm))

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THIS BUILD IS OUTDATED; YOU CAN FIND THE NEW VERSION AT:
The Shocker



Alright, I was very interested in using Lightning Arrow, yet I wanted to maintain very high tankiness, paired with constant, solid DPS output. It is very hard to achieve all of that, but I believe I'm getting really close here.

My main choice was using a build that revolves around HP. Therefore, I decided to go for Blood Magic and high HP regeneration.

My build kinda wraps around the whole tree, and grabs all the major nodes I wanted to utilize. There are several +30 attribute nodes right near the path, so whenever more attributes are needed, one of those can be popped. It is also very close to more major life nodes (2 Fitness nodes especially).

An important thing for me when I was creating this build was for it to be resistant to reflect mobs, and that I achieved through minimizing DPS - the damage output compared to the health will definitely not instaslap me. There is not a single damage node taken, all the DPS is gained through items and multiplied with Strength bonus. In case more damage is needed, Shock stacks will provide a huge damage increase. More damage can be achieved using curses (Elemental Weakness, Vulnerability).



Click me for a lvl65ish build -> The Shocker (tm) - revised


Click me for a lvl75ish build -> The Shocker (tm) - revised
Spoiler
A suggestion posted by another gamer can be found in this post, located on page 4 of this thread. It is an optional path for those who prefer it over mine.


Major node explanations:
Spoiler
Resolute Technique:
intentionally taken to solve two problems:
- controlled damage reflected back from mobs, because if I crit I may get in a dangerous situation
- the build needs several points just to reach the main survivability nodes, I can't afford investing in too much accuracy, this way I have 100% accuracy

Blood Magic:
considering I do not want to waste points to increase my mana pool and mana regeneration, and I already have a giant health pool and health regeneration, it was the obvious choice

Iron Grip:
the build ends up with well over 400 strength, which means +80% physical damage output, and considering this is a bow based build, it would be a huge waste not to get Iron Grip

Unwavering Stance:
definitely want to stay constantly mobile and shooting things, getting stunned is very bad mojo, and after I secured myself there, I follow up with...

Iron Reflexes:
...in order to utilize all that nice Evasion rating which would otherwise be wasted (not to mention being able to fully (ab)use Grace)


Skills to be used with this build:
Spoiler
Lightning Arrow - unlike most other people, I level it up. I can sustain the cost with life leech and blood magic on a HP based build.
Elemental Hit - the single target slap delivery.
Grace - more armour.
Wrath - more lightning damage.
Anger - feel free to use anger for some additional fire damage.
Phase Run - just awesome all around.
Decoy Totem - incredibly useful, anywhere, anytime.
Warlords Mark - bonus life leech, bonus flask charges, some extra endurance charges - worth having, even if you aren't going to use it non stop.

Of course, there are several more useful skills to use on nearly every character, I won't list all of it now, this is enough to give you a general idea.

Early game progress made easy (making Default-Cruel-Ruthless run a breeze!):
Spoiler
This section is being added here to help all the fresh-starting marauders, it pretty much works for every HP based build, and makes great use of the free refund points from quest rewards.

For the early game, you start up by building HP. Get a few flat HP items (Coral Ring x2, Leather Belt - each one with around 25 HP will make the whole early game a breeze), and get a two handed mace. All the other items are situational depending on what you find, but it will be really easy if you pick the ones with flat HP bonus.

Passive tree wise, Marauders probably have the easiest early game of all classes when built like this. Start up by making your way to Resolute Technique - click here.

Your main skill should be Heavy Strike, it should be able to one-hit everything in the way even without really big items. You want to get Sweep/Ground Slam as soon as possible (whichever you prefer more - Sweep in my case). The best support gems for early game are Melee Damage and Life Gain on Hit - put Melee Damage on Heavy Strike, Life Gain on Hit on Sweep/Ground Slam, and you will have no trouble at all tanking groups of mobs of any size. (Life Leech is better a bit later when your DPS makes it give more life gain than Life Gain on Hit!)

Next on the passive tree, you should start heading south, making your way towards Blood Magic - click here. Notice the Blood Drinker and the two more big increased HP % nodes, those are very important to grab. You should start using Endurance Charges - you can use Warlords Mark, but Enduring Cry will give far better results for now.

You follow up by getting more HP and HP regeneration, in the HP ring on the right side from Blood Magic - click here. That is the next major step in developing your build - note that Berserking will dramatically increase your DPS. After that you can choose whether to work on getting more Endurance Charges and their bonuses (like this - a very cheap investment of 4 points which will make you much more resilient), or start picking up other nodes leading to completing the build.

By now you should be able to see what you need the most, so head in that direction (you should be around lvl45 at this point).

Note: later on, refund the points you no longer need. I recommend going melee all the way up to Merciless difficulty, it is my preferred method.



Now please, let the comments rain, I really want to improve this build!


EDIT - I messed up the first link, it is now fixed.
EDIT 2 - added the early game progression section in order to help the people who are only just starting out and are puzzled on how to work their way through the game to complete the build.
EDIT 3 - minor changes to the build which shown to perform better as pointed out by Nugiyen on Page 3 of this thread, I also took the chance to add a few of my own observations into the passive tree, most notably taking quite a few points in the Templar side of the tree, and improving the HP pool quite nicely (by about 40-50%). The damage output is now quite a bit nicer as well, having taken +70% elemental damage. I removed the old Shock nodes, hence I also removed the explanation of it below.
EDIT 4 - thanks to arzumata, added a user suggestion at the second passive skill tree build, in a separate spoiler tag.
Life is tough... but it is tougher if you're stupid.
Last edited by VenatorPoE on January 30, 2013 5:00 PM
Since the forum is shutting down in less than 2 mins I haven't got quite time to write something decent... build looks good overall and you should definitely take a look at the chain support gem works incredibly well with lightning arrow.
Cleaned up the main post a little, and added the Early game progression "guide". I think a lot of people who only just started playing the game will find that useful...

Constructive criticism is welcome!
Life is tough... but it is tougher if you're stupid.
A really well thought out guide here mate, good job! I appreciate that you explain what skills you are using and why. That extra part for the newbies is HUGE, so many people completely forget about early game, which for me at least, has been the hardest part about the game so far.

As for the spec, it looks very interesting! I've not tried any kind of bow build my self yet, but i have thought about this spec on a templar. Might give this a try after i try my DW marauder.
how do you get dex points to use green gems and bow (+levels)? thank you
Last edited by dinostaRR on December 29, 2012 7:03 PM
If you quickly need extra DEX, you have two options. Get a +Dex necklace, or rush a +30 Dex node in the passive tree. The closest one is near Blood Magic, only 1 point away from the path. If you need more, there is one right above the starting place, it also only goes 1 point away from the path.

Later on you can either get an item with Dex, or you can get another +30 Dex node on the top of the tree, below Static Blows.


Personally I go for a melee build to start with, and switch to bow usage at 60ish, by then I can easily invest a point or two in it. When the build is finished you have 134 Dex from passive tree, and you can get another node near Iron Grip, for 164 base Dex.
Life is tough... but it is tougher if you're stupid.
This build looked like so much fun, i decided to put my DW mara on hold and try this. And 1-30 was SO much fun this way! I'll admit, i spoiled my little twink a little, i got my hands on a 4L 2H Mace and just went to town with Heavy Strike and Sweep.

Around what level did you make the switch to bow and BM, Venator?
I switched to Blood Magic by lvl30 already, it was lvl27 or so. The build can actually sustain blood magic incredibly well.

Switch to bow done when you finish this setup on the passive tree: here. Switching before that was kind of annoying, without Iron Grip, the big +30 Dex nodes and Static Blows improvements I was a bit annoyed with bows.
Life is tough... but it is tougher if you're stupid.
"
Completed 1 ChallengeVenatorPoE wrote:
I switched to Blood Magic by lvl30 already, it was lvl27 or so. The build can actually sustain blood magic incredibly well.

Switch to bow done when you finish this setup on the passive tree: here. Switching before that was kind of annoying, without Iron Grip, the big +30 Dex nodes and Static Blows improvements I was a bit annoyed with bows.


Good point, Iron Grip will be a necessity.
Does the skill "Faster Attacks" work also while shooting projectiles? And what about using magic?, let's say a fireball: Would it affect also its casting speed?

I'm currently leveling a Mara, and I'm using your build right now. I find it pretty nice. :)

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