Whirlwind Assassin Guide – 2.4 D2R

Table of contents

WW Assa Build Introduction

The WW Sin is a super fun build if you enjoy melee characters. Their playstyle is very similar to WW Barbarians, but they are much more versatile. To gain access to Whirlwind, you will need to wear a Chaos Claw, so even the base build will cost you an Ohm rune. Due to this, you won’t be able to play the build right from a ladder start. Unlike WW barbs, you are able to deal a variety of damages ranging from Physical to Crushing Blows, Open Wounds and Poison. Soloing the game will not be a problem, but the 8player damage output is not that immense, and the build is not amongst the best boss killers.

Uber Diablo and Uber Tristam will be problematic, as the build’s survivability is not as good as some other melee build’s. If you want a stress-free hardcore experience, this one is probably not your best choice. With Whirlwind, you will be able to move through any obstacle, and movement can be super quick by utilizing Burst of Speed. If you are wealthy enough, an Enigma can be used for teleportation. In High-end gear, the solo clearspeed is very fast, and you have plenty of room for customizing your character and use a variety of skills and gear according to your goals. The build is not considered to be one of the best MFing ones, but with an inventory stacked with 7%MF Small Charms and a Gheed’s Fortune it will perform fairly well. A solo Chaos or Baal run in high-end gear will take you around 4-5 minutes.

Table of contents


Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A super fun and versatile build!
  • Awesome run speed and mobility, can get past any obstacles
  • Decent run speed and can get past any obstacles
  • Can quickly solo the whole game in top tier items.
  • Super fun and relaxing to play with for players who enjoy melee builds.
  • Solo Baal or Chaos runs are doable within 4-5 minutes in top-tier gear.

Cons

  • Not a good fit for Hardcore as it’s survivability is not amongst the best.
  • Not fit for a ladder start, not a cheap build.
  • Uber Diablo and Uber Tristram are problematic
  • Not one of the most efficient builds for Magic Find.

Suggestions

Playing solo: The build is a great fit for soloing the game. Make sure you have decent survivability, a Call to Arms can help you immensely. As you deal damage from multiple sources, killing any immune monster should not be a problem.

Playing in a party: A WW Sin will not bring great boosts to parties, but they can still benefit from your Merc’s Auras. Using nightmare act2 merc with a Pride or Doom Runeword will provide you and the party with Might and Concentration or Holy freeze auras.

Survivability, Hardcore: I wouldn’t suggest the build for hardcore, but it can have decent survivability. Reaching 4k life is doable, and by using Fade and having a high level Weapon Block you will be tough to kill.

Damage output: Whirlwind’s damage output is limited, but as you can deal damage from multiple sources, they can add up. In top-tier gear you will be able to one-hit many monsters, but killing bosses will still be somewhat time consuming. Dual-wielding is always preferred, and you have many choices for secondary weapons.

Where to farm: Anywhere! WW Sins are best fit to farm areas with high monster density, but you can use it for Boss farming in case you have high enough damage output.

Magic Find: This build is generally not considered a good fit for magic find, however with 7% Magic Find Small Charms and a Gheed MFing is doable.

Budget: You will only be able to use the Whirlwind skill once you wear a Chaos weapon, so initial investment is required and you won’t be able to start your ladder season with a WW assa.

Mana/Life: Use mana potions as long as you don’t have % Mana Stolen per hit on your gear. If you don’t want to bother with potions, you can have an act2 merc with an Insight runeword equipped. Life% stolen per hit will help your survivability a lot, aim to have jewelry that has life leech.

Movement/Mobility: The movement speed and mobility can be amazing with Burst of Speed combined with Whirlwind. You will get past any obstacles and get to your destination very quickly. An Enigma can still be used if you prefer Teleportation.

Ubers: WW Sins are not efficient against Ubers. If you insist to do them, use survivability gear, have high crushing blow % and aim for high attack rating. Have a secondary weapon with Life Tap charges, so you can cast the curse on the Ubers.

Skill panel: You can spam any skills by holding down the shift button and clicking simultaneously. For the left skill panel, i suggest using Whirlwind (F1). For the right skill panel, i suggest using Burst of Speed (F2), Venom (F3), Fade (F4), Shadow Master (F5), Battle Command -cast it twice (F6), Battle Orders (F7), Town portal (F8).

Mercenary: Use Nightmare Act2 Offensive Merc to increase your damage via Might Aura.


Leveling

During leveling, our aim is to maximize damage output for quick progression, have decent survivability so you won’t die frequently, and have decent movement speed.

Skills: As you will only gain Whirlwind once you wear a Chaos weapon, WW as an attacking skill will not be available during leveling. Use any of the secondary attacking skills you wish to utilize later in order to progress. Make sure to put a point on each Shadow and Discipline skill, and have Burst of Speed and Venom up at all times.

Stats: Have enough strength and dexterity to be able to wear useful gear. Put all the remaining stat points on Vitality.

Useful Gear: Lore helm (Ort+Sol), Myth Runeword Body Armor (Hel-Amn-Nef),  Treachery Body Armor (Shael+Thul+Lem), Duress Armor (Shael-Um-Thul), Boots with % Movement Speed


Important breakpoints

How it works: Each second in the game consists of 24 frames or “ticks”. Your breakpoints decide how many frames it will take until you can attack/cast a skill/recover from a hit/ block a new hit.

  • Faster Cast Rate Faster Hit Recovery Faster Block Rate
    0% – 16 Frames 0% – 9 Frames 0% – 5 Frames
    8% – 15 Frames 7% – 8 Frames 13% – 4 Frames
    16% – 14 Frames 15% – 7 Frames 32% – 3 Frames
    27% – 13 Frames 27% – 6 Frames 86% – 2 Frames
    42% – 12 Frames 48% – 5 Frames 600% – 1 Frames
    65% – 11 Frames 86% – 4 Frames
    102% – 10 Frames 200% – 3 Frames
    174% – 9 Frames

    Aim for high Increased Attack Speed for more frequent attack with Whirlwind. 

Build versatility and modifications

WW sins are very versatile because you only need to spend a limited amount of skill points to reach proper WW speed and damage. You can use Martial Arts skills or Trap skills depending on what secondary attacking skill you want to have on your character.


Survivability and Hardcore tips

Survivability can be boosted by using a variety of items for difficult situations. In a proper setup, your character can become almost immortal.

Useful skills: Having many skill points Fade will improve your survivability. Have a point on Weapon Block and use Shadow Master to increase your survival chances. In hardcore make sure to use walk instead of run, so you have better chances of avoiding being hit by monsters.

Useful items: Call to arms is the obvious secondary weapon of choice due to it’s Battle Orders and Battle Command skills, which can increase your life tremendously. Having close to the 50% physical damage reduction cap can be achieved by using  Crown of Ages helm and Verdungo belt, or by wearing Stormshield and a Verdungo belt or String of Ears. % Life stolen per hit on your rings, amulets or other items can also help boost your survivability. Guardian Angel armor can be used to increase your maximum resistances, and for elemental damage absorption, The rising sun amulet (fire absorption), Dwarf star ring (Fire absorption), Hellmouth gloves (fire absorption), Wisp projector ring (lightning absorption), Thungergod’s Vigor belt (lightning absorption) or Raven Frost ring (cold absorption) are your options.

Defensive requirements:

To have high survivability, i suggest the following:

  • Have at least 75 allresist on Hell. Items that can help are Annihilus, Hellfire Torch, Um rune socketed in Helm/Shield for Allresist, Mara’s Kaleidoscope,  5 Allres Small Charms,  15 Allres Grand Charm
  • Have enough Dexterity to have 75% Chance to Block.
  • If your Character is Hardcore, Have 50% Physical damage reduction and also wear elemental damage absorption items. Wearing Guardian Angel Armor for 90% allresist is suggested, upgrade as many unique items as possible for higher defense, reaching the 86% FHR breakpoint also helps. Have your belt full with Full Rejuvenation potions.

Skills

 

Necessary / Useful skill tree points

Shadow disciplines

  • Claw Mastery (1 point)
  • Psychic Hammer (1 point)
  • Cloak of Shadows (1 point)
  • Burst of Speed (1 point)
  • Weapon Block (1 point)
  • Shadow Warrior (1 point)
  • Shadow Master (1 point)

Attacking Skills

Whirlwind

This is our primary attacking skill both in PVE and PVP.

Optional secondary attacking skills:

  • Death Sentry + synergies
  • Wake of Inferno + synergies
  • Lightning Sentry + synergies
  • Phoenix Strike + synergies

Other Active skills

Venom (20 points)Using it to deal huge amounts of poison damage.

Shadow Master (1 point)– 

Burst of speed (1 point)– It will help your attack speed and movement speed immensely.

Fade (20 points)– Unfortunately you cannot use Fade together with Burst of Speed. When survivability is necessary, use Fade instead

Other Active Skills

Battle command (CTA) – Always use it if you have a CTA. Make sure to cast it twice.

Battle orders (CTA) – Always use it if you have a CTA. It provides immense Life and Mana boosts.

Teleport
In case you wear an enigma

 

As you can see, there is plenty of unused skill points that you can utilize in several ways. You can either make your build a Hybrid by putting points on Fire Trap skills (Wake of Inferno as primary skill + synergies), put points on Death Sentry and it’s synergies, Lightning Sentry and it’s synergies, or the Phoenix Strike Martial Arts skill and it’s synergies.


Stats

Strength Just enough to be able to wear your items. With Hellfire Torch, Annihilus and other items equipped, many points can be spared.

Dexterity Just enough to have 75% Chance to Block.

Vitality Spend all your remaining points on it.

Energy Don’t spend any points on it.

You can re-stat your character by the quest reward of Akara’s Act1 Den of Evil Quest, or by using Token of Absolution


Item setups

Generic Setup

Able to solo the game

Requires initial investment (Chaos runeword) 

Helm: Guillame’s Face

Amu: Highlord’s Wrath

Weapon: Chaos in elite claw

Switch Weapon:  Call to Arms

2nd Weapon (Dual wield setup): Fury in elite claw / Shadow Killer socketed with Shael

Switch Shield: Spirit

Body Armor: Fortitude Archon Plate / Duress Archon Plate

Belt: Verdungo / String of Ears

Rings: Bul Katho’s rings / Raven Frost / Rare or Crafted rings with % life and mana stolen per hit with other useful stats (Strength, Dexterity, +resists, +life)

Gloves: Dracul’s Grasp / Trang Oul’s Gloves

Boots: Shadow Dancer / Gore rider (Upgrade it if you have enough Strength)

 

Charms: Annihilus, Hellfire torch, Magic Small Charms (with +all resistances, +life, +max damage, + attack rating, +poison damage)

 

Mercenary Type: Nightmare Difficulty, From Act 2, Offensive (Might Aura)

Helm: Andariel’s Visage / Guillaume’s Face / Tal Rasha’s Horadric Crest / Vampire Gaze (Ethereal bases, socketed with Um rune are preferred)

Body Armor: Fortitude (Eth bugged armor base preferred)

Weapon: Pride (in an elite two-handed ethereal Polearm, preferably cryptic axe)


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