October 7th, 2023 at 10:22 #47591JimmyParticipant
The Assassin class is extremely useful for beginner players, thanks to its easy-to-gasp skills and spam-friendly abilities, but also for the more seasoned players among us, thanks to its insane versatility. This makes the class a great pick for D2R Ladder Season 5, but with the new updates coming, there is something you need to take into consideration.
The most recent patch notes for the game delve into what we can expect for Season 5, and while there won’t be much content added, there will be a massive change made to the No Hit Delay or NHD system. As a short TL;DR, the developers have given many skills in the game a set “delay value”, and when enemies are hit with one of these attacks, they will become impervious to other sources of damage for the time reflected in the attack’s “delay value.” This affects a few of the Assassin’s abilities for this build specifically, but don’t fret as we’ll point these abilities out and provide you with a solution that can alleviate the issue.
Best Martial Arts Phoenix Strike Build
For this build, we’ve gone with a mainline combo using Fists of Fire, Claws of Thunder, and Blades of Ice which all synergize and all have charge states. Then we have the hallmark of the build, Phoenix strike, which grants you insane damage elemental damage with finishing moves and is the main damage skill for the build.
Now it should be noted that Claws of Thunder and Phoenix Strike are both affected by the new NHD system, which means you’ll need to move around some skills points to get the most out of them due to their delays. You could also swap them out for other abilities, but it would ultimately weaken the build. So to stick with it, below is the full showcase of the skills used in this build and with the best configuration of skill points to account for the NHD system patch and its delay drawbacks.
Which Mercenary To Use
Mercenaries are a vital aspect of your build as well since they can draw aggro, debuff enemies, and even buff your characters or heal them. In Act 2 of Nightmare difficulty, you have the option to recruit a Desert Guard Mercenary who can either specialize in defense (Holy Freeze) or offense (Might). This choice will determine whether you want to slow down monsters to increase your safety or enhance your Mercenary’s overall damage.
Regardless of your choice, the best gear we’ve found to work with this mercenary build is listed below:
Weapon: Ethereal Infinity
Body Armor: Ethereal Fortitude
Helm: Ethereal Andariel’s Visage socketed with a Ral Rune
If your Mercenary dies during battle, you can bring them back to life by speaking with a Mercenary NPC in any Act. But remember that the cost of reviving them increases each time they die, and if they die too frequently, the cost can be as high as 50,000 gold.
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