1.05b Baron Ludzi (Leap Barb)

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1.05b Baron Ludzi (Leap Barb)

Post by aytosy »

I wanted to try patch 1.05b for some time. With Singling, leveling is much easier, yet it can still be challenging for untwinked playthrough. I decided to start with off-meta build: Leap Barb. While researching older patches of Diablo 2, I stumbled upon two tidbits:
  • Supposedly Weapon Masteries work as multiplicative modifiers, when it comes to damage (compared to it being additive later on).
  • Leap Attack is presumably always hitting.
After beating Hell Diablo, I have doubts about both of those claims. Leap Attack seems to be calculating +Enhanced Damage% in additive manner. On the other hand Attack Rating on Leap Attack seems to work in mysterious ways. It probably hits way more than it should, especially noticeable on act bosses like Andariel, where every single hit landed. Then it misses on smaller monsters more than it should - this could be related to shield blocking and range checking.

Anyway, Leap Attack still has some other nice properties, mainly huge +ED% bonus and fact that it ignores Iron Maiden curse. For the most part it can be slow, but it is a reliable attack and with right weapon it can one shot monsters, even in Hell. I decided to go with 2 handed swords and a shield. Those swords have great range, even when equipped in single hand and that helps greatly with range checking, where leaping is often inaccurate. In Classic, max block is almost free and it helps to mitigate some damage you take, while Leaping (you can be hit by monsters while in air). I used Leap Attack on right mouse button, combined with Alt: highlighting loot disables targeting/name locking, meaning you can do much shorter leaps than normally.

In Normal first nice 2h swords can be shopped in Act 3. In Nightmare I gambled for Flamberge with fat damage and in Hell I used all Charsi quests for imbuing Zweihanders. I spend some time farming Sewers in Act 2 (both in Nightmare and Hell) for XP in order to gain enough stats to equip those weapons. When it comes to skills progression, I just started with Sword Mastery, then switched to leveling Leap Attack as soon it become available, grabbing other one point wonders on my way. I even started leveling Whirlwind, but never used it much.

When it comes to other gear, I had luck with shields. First I got Bone Shield of Deflecting and soon after that lucky drop provided Sigon's Guard. I collected all rings and amulets and rerolled everything via cubing, which came handy. I got nice helmet/boots via shopping, sadly didn't have much luck with gloves (I even gambled for them in Hell). Below is collage showing all gear, stats and skills.

When it comes to challenging parts, Arcane Sanctuary and Flayer Jungle were two worst locations for this build. Stacked Ghosts or swarming Flayers doesn't really work for Leap Attack - it is just too slow of an attack. On the other hand, all fights against act boss were trivial - I didn't use any rejuv if I recall. Bosses have hard time rotating, while you leap over their heads. Speed of Leap Attack is also unaffected by slowing effects like chilling (looking at you Duriel).

If someone is looking for nice off-meta build, I can safely recommend Leap Barb in 1.05b if you have patience for it. Mana wasn't too much of an issue, I didn't spend any points in Energy, just some mana leech is enough.
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Re: 1.05b Baron Ludzi (Leap Barb)

Post by fearedbliss »

Hey @aytosy, welcome to the forum.

When I make a barb in 1.05b (or any version at this point lol), I put at least 5 points in Leap. That gave me a very good jumping range which in essence became my primarily mobility skill to get over any blocking obstacles. This means that flayer jungle becomes much easier since I can just jump over most of the forests. It's also good for A4 and also allows you to MF meph very comfortably since you can just find a good map and run straight to meph (jumping over the small dividers). You'll need a weapon that deals enough damage so it doesn't take as long. In prelod versions, CB doesn't work against super uniques so that won't help you kill meph faster. So that particular technique works better in 1.07+. Bosses also don't drop the best loot in prelod, loot just drops throughout the game world from my understanding. In a way this is better since it prevents people from just focusing on boss runs, and technically makes the entire world a place you want to explore.
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