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The Ultimate Throwers Handbook v1.01

Introduction

It was another cold and windy day on Mount Arreat; Madawc sat and twirled his axe in his hand as Korlic practiced his leap attack over the great stone pillars. "Another boring day on the mountain, I wonder who we will be able to slay today?" Madawc stated. "Doesn't look like you will have to wonder much longer", replied Korlic. As they looked up and saw the gate from the Ancients Way open, a Barbarian entered the summit dressed in a loin cloth, boots, a shiny silver Slayer Guard that glistened in the mid day sun, and two transparent throwing axes. "Ahh Madawc, this one's yours" stated Korlic. At this Madawc cast his shout to boost his defense and readied his throwing axes, "this should be easy", he spoke under his breath. Just as his last word was spoken, the intruding Barbarian jumped in about 3 feet away from Madawc and released a volley of throwing axes. Stunned and thrown back, Madawc was down to about half life before he was even able to throw anything, but then the amplify damage kicked in. Madawc was defeated seconds late by the deadly Lacerators, his blood staining the pure white snow in a maccabe display from his jagged wounds. In seeing this Korlic became so frightened that he jumped right off the side of the mountain. As the victorious Barb stood in awe of his devastating slaughter, he thought to himself, "Well that was almost too easy, time to find a real challenge." He entered the Worldstone Keep, axes in hand with a fire burning deep inside, not of passion, but fueled by rage in the destruction of his homeland.

Dedicated to the "Great Throwzini" himself, Scott Gracia. Knife throwing in real life and in Diablo 2 are hobbies I have a passion for. This guide is an Encyclopedia of all I have experienced, learned and stumbled upon in my career with Throw Barbs. Thanks for taking the time to read this and I hope this guide will be helpful to you and will encourage you to try something other than the boring "run of the mill" character setups.

**WARNING**: If you are looking for a cookie-cutter build then read no further, this build is made for a more challenging aspect of a barb and will not be owning everything left and right. It is made for a more enjoyable and challenging style to PvM and PvP with, so with that in mind please do not complain or be rude posting like "throwing barbs suxor" or anything, if you don’t like it, then don’t play or read it. Thank you. -Penguin-

Hello fellow throw barbs! It’s been a while but i'm back now with an all new guide for Diablo 2 Expansion v1.11! With the release of the new patch there have been some neat new items to have at our disposal as a throw barb, the Hellfire Torch in particular which we will cover more of in the items section. In addition to the new items I have refined my guide and added almost everything I could think of that is needed, I know the guide is LONG, but I wanted to make sure everything was in here so please bear with me. Thank you all for your tips and support in this project, now let’s get down to the good stuff smile.gif

1.) What exactly is a throw barb?
2.) Skills discussion
3.) Stats discussion
4.) IAS + FHR breakpoints
5.) Weapons discussion
6.) Items + Charms discussion
7.) Build Setups
8.) PvP strategies
9.) Epilogue
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1.) What exactly is a throw barb?

A throw barb is a barbarian that uses throwing weapons to attack and kill things. These weapons range from javelins, to throwing axes, to even throwing potions (although throwing potions are pretty much useless after act 2 normal :-P). Anyhow, this barb is not your traditional hack -and- slash barb build in that it doesn't use a fixed weapon. More of a javazon in comparison but you on the other hand can throw two weapons at once which puts you at a greater advantage, or disadvantage depending on the situation. Now let’s take a look at how this barbarian is going to work and see what kind of skills you are going to be using.

2.) Skills Discussion.
The core of every character always comes down to their skill placement. Here is where all of our attacks, passive and active bonuses come from. I’m going to go over four basic build types. The Pure Thrower (my personal favorite), PvP throw barb (Caster Killer), PvP throw barb (Melee Oriented), and the Thrower Hybrid. Ok here are some suggestions for skill distribution depending on the build you want to go.

The Pure Thrower
Throwing Mastery: 20
Double Swing: 20
Double Throw: 20
Battle Orders: 20
Leap: 20
Prereq’s

PvP Thrower (Caster Killer)
Throwing Mastery: 20
Double Swing: 20
Battle Orders: 20
Leap: 20
Double Throw: 1
Natural Resists: 1-20
Prereq’s

PvP Thrower (Melee Oriented)
Throwing Mastery: 20
Double Swing: 1-20
Iron Skin or Shout: 20-40 (Depending if you want to max one or both, for maxing both use one point in double swing)
Battle Orders: 20
Double Throw: 20
Prereq’s

The Thrower Hybrid
Throwing Mastery: 20
Other Weapon Mastery: 20
Battle Orders: 20
Double Swing: 20
Double throw: 1
Other Attack Skill ( IE: Whirlwind, Frenzy, Berserk): 20
Prereq’s

As you can see there are many different routes to take, these are only examples and are not set in stone. As you can see most of them require 100+ skill points, which means you will not be finished till level 90 or so and with all skill quests, my suggestion is to level your least beneficial skill last so that you can do the most damage early on. As far as the builds go the first two are pretty self exclamatory, for the Melee thrower build you can max either shout, iron skin or both, if you max both however you will not have enough skill points and will have to only use one point in double swing, you could only use one point in double throw but I believe attack ratting is more important than the extra damage verses high defense characters. As far as the Thrower Hybrid, Frenzy receives the most benefits due to the synergy from double swing, plus you can frenzy and then have a lightning fast throw attack for 6 seconds. Whirlwind is also viable and berserk can be a fun alternative for a VERY unique build.

3.) Stats Discussion
Strength: Base-118 – Strength is a great stat in that it raises your damage and allows you to wear heavier pieces of equipment. Although not as good as dexterity for a thrower, strength is not useless. Leave it base if you are going to be using enigma and charms, otherwise raise it to however much you need to wear your heaviest piece of equipment. I listed 118 strength because that is how much is needed to wear Arreats Face, the best helm for any barb J so aim for 118 with all of your gear on.

Dexterity: 100-200 – Dexterity is a throw barbs best friend! It increases your damage and attack rating, which makes it a lot more useful than strength. I suggest to put at least 100-200 points into this. Aim for around 200 with all your gear on, more if you want more damage.

Vitality: 200+ - This effect’s your overall maximum life and stamina. As you could guess more life is always better so points spent here can never go wrong. If you want more life throw more points into here, pretty plain and simple.

Energy: NONE! If you throw any points in here you don’t deserve to be a barbarian! lol.

4.) IAS + FHR Breakpoints

Ok here are the tables for all you statistic junkies.

Faster Hit Recovery Breakpoints

Frame 9 8 7 6 5 4 3

FHR 0% 7% 15% 27% 48% 86% 200%
Needed

86% is the best easily attainable faster hit recovery breakpoint to reach.


Increased Attack Speed Breakpoints

Since every weapon is different I’m not going to sit here and list all the breakpoints for every possible throwing weapon. Here is a site which allows you to figure out your frames per attack very easily. But just as a reference, Lacerators when used with double throw hit the 6fpa breakpoint, and 33% off weapon ias is needed to reach the 5 fpa break point. (Off weapon ias refers to ias from armor, gloves, jewels exc.)

Here’s the site with a great weapon speed calculator.

http://diablo2.ingame.de/tips/calcs/weaponspeed.php?lang=english

and another site with all the damage modifiers (crushing blow, exc)

http://wirsz.phpwebhosting.com/General.htm

and the Barbarian breakpoints with FHR and the like (props to pvpwest.com for the info)

http://wirsz.phpwebhosting.com/Barbarian.htm

Entering the Worldstone Keep, the shadowy barb cast his warcries to prepare for the perils which lie ahead in this dark fortress. Blazing through the Hell Spawn with his axes, he made it to level two of the Worldstone. An Abyss Knight approached him, casting his bone armor and readying his curses. The Knight laughed under his breath at the sight of this barbarian, and quickly cast iron maiden on him because he knew that would take him down. Little did he know this barbarian was no normal one, but a barbarian with a nasty set of throwing knives. The Abyss Knight was shocked to see white knives suddenly flying in his direction with lightning fast speed, the novas casting on strike shocking the knight while the knives left bloody gashes in his fresh. Falling backwards in a heap on the floor, a half a dozen Warshrikes sticking out of his chest, the knight lay void of life. The barbarian continued on effortlessly through level two and three until he got to the Throne of Destruction, where he met someone he was not prepared for…

5.) Weapons Discussion
Here is where the fun begins, this is what makes the whole build, mainly your weapons, but all of your gear in general is driven toward becoming a better throw barb. Let’s take a look at some of the cool items Diablo II has to offer to us.

**Please Read** As far as throwing weapons go, axes and knives have a shorter range compared to javelins and spears. Axes and knives travel about to your screens edge while javelins will actually go off screen about 5 yards. Always take this into consideration when PvPing so you can hit your targets because otherwise you might be too far away and they will not get hit. Also with double throw there is a bug that your stacks will decrease unevenly when you throw real fast. As far as the pros and cons between them, axes and knives have higher quantities than javelins so they are better suited for hunting. Yet you have a shorter throwing range with axes and knives. Javelins have lower quantity stacks but can travel farther than axes and knives. The best thing to look for are rare elite javelins with increased stack size, these can be your best friend.

(The overall preferred items will be marked with an *)

*Rare Throwing Weapons - Rare throwing weapons (axes, knives + javelins) can have some of the best mods in the game on them. Find an ethereal one with high ed, ias and replenish quantity and you have a god send of a weapon. Look for weapons that have increased attack speed, bonuses to attack rating, high damage, ethereal with replenish quantity, increased stack size (great for winged harpoons) the fool's mod, and plus to max damage.
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-Axes and Knives-

*Ethereal Lacerator - This is by far one of the best throwing weapons in the game hands down. With nice damage, 30% ias, 33% chance of open wounds and best of all, 33% chance to cast level 3 Amplify damage on striking. With the amp skill you will no longer have to worry about physical immunes on monsters because it removes the immunity, and in PvP it will double your damage! Although the hit causes’ monster to flee can be annoying, it does help if you get swarmed to keep a few monsters off your back. All around the benefits outweigh the downfalls of this axe, a defendant A+ for this item. Try all you can to get a pair of decent ethereal Lacerators, non ethereal ones are really easy to get but the ethereal ones can be far and few between.

The Scalper - The ethereal versions of these can get higher damage than an ethereal Lacerator, but the scalper lacks the amplify damage. Scalpers are a bit slower also. The ethereal ones are the best and can be upgraded to flying axes. I would not recommend going out of your way to buy these things, if you come across them go ahead and use them but you would be better off putting your time into finding a Lacerator instead. In all a decent weapons with 20 ias, 33% open wounds and the 25% bonus to attack rating is good.

Gimmershred - These throwing axes are very nice for killing monsters. With a stack size of 240, you won’t have to go to town to repair as much. They have a nice 30% increased attack speed and massive fire, cold and lightning damage. Great axe for killing but I still think Lacerators are better.

*Ethereal Warshrike - Warshrikes are VERY VERY fast! These guys can hit some insane speeds and are the fastest of all the unique throwing weapons. The damage is not too impressive unless you can find some ethereal ones. These knives are ladder only too, so if you are on non ladder they will be harder to get. These knives have a piercing attack at a 33% chance which means they knife will penetrate your target and pass through hitting anything behind it, they also have 50% deadly strike which doubles your damage and 30% increased attack speed. My favorite thing about Warshrikes is that they have a 25% chance to cast nova on hit, which looks really cool :-). I do not recommend these unless you have the ethereal versions, but use the non eth ones till you get eth ones. A Lacerator and a Warshrike work very well when used together with double throw.

Deathbit - These knives are great for lower levels when you are in nightmare with your throw barb. They offer 40% deadly strike, a bonus to attack rating and mana + life leech. The ethereal versions are by far the best and you can upgrade them to flying knives if you are on ladder. The recipe to upgrade to an elite unique weapon is Pul rune + Lum rune and a perfect emerald. I only suggest upgrading ethereal ones otherwise the damage is too low. Even though these knives lack ias, their base speed is decent.

-Javelins and Spears-

Demon Archs - These spears have great speed with elemental damage and life leech. The only downside to javelins is their stack size is so low at 80. The ethereal Demon Archs are impressive its just it sucks having to wait around for them to repair because you will run out very quickly.

Gargoyles Bite – These spears are really sweet when they are ethereal, providing over 300 max damage. Even with no weapon ias these spears have a nice base speed, but again the quantity of 80 is their downfall, but still a fun weapon to use in duels while they last.

Wraith Flights – Nice damage but way to slow to be used for anything. Only use these if you have NOTHING else to use.

6.) Items + Charms Discussion
Ok first off I’m going to cover shields. Obviously you can’t use a shield with double throw, but if you are making a Melee oriented PvP Thrower you might want to have a shield for some extra defense. You will have high dexterity already so blocking will not be an issue, Stormshield is obviously you best choice against Melee characters with its 35% damage reduction and fast block. The 156 strength can be a bit high, but throw a Hel rune or -15% req jewel in your SS and the requirements will drop down to 136 which is more attainable. You could also use the Phoenix runeword in a monarch for the high 350-400% enhanced damage and redemption aura, a fun shield but again very expensive, and if I were you I would rather spend runes looking for the ethereal throwing weapons.

-Helmet-

*Arreats face- By far the best helm available for a barbarian, with +2 barb skills, 20% bonus to attack rating, +20 str and dex, +2 combat skills and 3-6% life leech +30 all resists and 30% faster hit recovery. There is really nothing better than this helm. Socket it with a Ber rune if you want damage reduction or a 15% ias jewel or damage jewel works nice too.

Crown of Ages- Great helm with +1 skills, 30% fhr, +20-30 all resists, +10-15 damage reduction, and 1-2 sockets. A very good helm but the 174 strength can be a bummer to reach.

Vampire Gaze- Nice helm with duel leech, damage reduction and magic damage reduce, although does not come close to Arreats, if you have this throw it on your
mercenary tongue.gif

Guillaume’s Face- Helm with 30% fhr, 15% deadly strike (double damage) 35% chance of crushing blow, and +15 strength.

Andarials Visage- Thrower friendly helm with +2 skills, 20% increased attack speed and life leech. If you can afford this than you can get an Arreats, so just stick with Arreats.

-Armor-

*Fortitude- By far my favorite armor for any situation, 300% enhanced damage, 25-30% all resists, +life per character level and casts level 15 chilling armor when struck. Can’t go wrong here.

Duress- Cheaper alternative to Fortitude, 40% fhr, ed, 15% crushing blow, 33% open wounds and resists. My second choice if you can’t afford a Fortitude.

Stone- High defense armor with 60% fhr and resists, great for dueling melee characters.

Enigma- Ahh the old ball and chain Enigma, so long have we barbs leaned on this pillar of faith for out teleportation needs. Nice armor with increase to strength per character level, +2 skills, 45% faster run/walk, increase to life and magic find, 8% damage reduce and of course teleport. Very good if you want to go with base strength, but than again I would rather throw a few points into strength and wear fortitude.

Treachery- Armor made for an assassin but has some really cool thrower mods. 45% ias, 20% fhr cold resist, and the coolest part, chance to cast venom on striking and fade when struck. Venom will give you some nice poison damage while fade makes you look ethereal and gives you resists, damage reduction and curse length reduce. All around a very nice armor for a cheap price.

-Belt-

*Razor Tail- Great belt offering piercing attack (33% chance to pierce), +10 max damage,+15 dexterity.

*Noferatu's Coil - Awesome belt with 10% ias, +15 str, life leech and slows target by 10%( this is a lot of times considered bad manners in PvP, but most of the time people won’t notice it).

*Verdungo's Hearty Cord- Great belt which is better for Melee thrower with 10-15% damage reduction, 10% faster hit recovery and a massive +30-40 to vitality.

*Crafted Blood Belt- These belts always get open wounds on them, other mods to look for are + strength, faster hit recovery, resists and life.

*Thundergods Vigor- Belt with max light resist and light absorb, +20str and vit, great for those pesky trappers.

The reason I have all the belts * is because they are all good and I use all of them.

-Gloves-

Draculs Grasp -Great gloves with chance to cast life tap, 7-10% life leech, 25% chance of open wounds, +10-15 to strength and +to life after each kill.

Bloodfists - Awesome gloves for any level, 10% ias, 30% faster hit recovery, +5 min dam, +40 life

*Crafted Knockback Gloves – Knock back is an awesome mod to get, craft these gloves till you get some with 20% ias and you have some sick gloves. If they happen to spawn with high +strength or dex, or even both you have made some of the best gloves in the game.

*Crafted Blood Gloves- Craft these until you get some with 20%ias, 10% crushing blow is the highest, plus you can also get str and dex on them and resists. If you are able to make some 20% ias ones with 10% crushing blow I would suggest you use those indefinitely.

-Boots-

Gore Riders- By far the best boots for a throw barb, 30% faster run, 10% open wounds, 15% deadly strike and 15% crushing blow.

Sandstorm Treks - Nice boots with 20%faster run, 20% fhr, +10-15 str and vit, and high poison resist. Gore Riders are still better in my opinion.

Waterwalks- Great boots with life, dexterity, faster run and max fire resists.

Hotspurs- These come in handy when fighting fire using opponents with the high fire resists and increase to maximum fire resist.

-Rings and Amulets-

*Angelic Combo- The Angelic amulet and two rings are the best combination to be used for PvP. This will give you a hell of a lot of attack rating which you will need for hitting high defense characters. If you need cannot be frozen use a Raven Frost with one ring and the angelic amulet.

*Raven Frost- Great ring with +150-250 attack rating, cold damage, +15-20 dexterity +40 mana, 20% cold absorb (great for sorcs) and most importantly CANNOT BE FROZEN!.

Wisp Projector and Dwarf Star- try and get two of each of these for fighting fire and lightning sorcs/trapasins/foher.

Maras Kaleidoscope- Nice amulet with +2 skills, +5 all stats and +20-30 all reists. (great against casters.)

*Highlords Wrath- Amulet with +1 skills, 20% ias, lightning resist and deadly strike per character lvl.

Cats Eye- Cool amulet with 20% ias, 30% faster run, +100 defense and +25 dexterity.

Rare Rings + Amulets- Keep any eye out for rare rings with dual leech, +attack rating, +damage, +str and dex, and for amulets with +barb skills, leech, +str and dex, Prismatic (all resists) mod and poison length reduction.

-Charms-

Mods to look for in charms would be grand charms with +1 barb masteries, +life, small/large charms with +max damage and attack rating, strength or dex mods, or even Warcry grand charms if you want a higher battle orders.

*Annihilus- Try and get one of these, Uber Diablo drops this: +1 skills, +10-20 all stats, +10-20 all resistances, +5-10% experience gained.

*Hellfire Torch- Do whatever you can to get a hold of a Barbarian one, this charm offers +3 skills, +10-20 all stats and resists, and 25% chance to cast Diablo’s firestorm on attack, which looks awesome with throwing weapons and does decent fire damage.

-Build Setups-
Now that we have seen some of the items available for our throw barbs, let’s take a look at some suggested setups for each specific build.

The Pure Thrower
Helm: Arreats Face
Armor: Fortitude
Belt: Noferatu’s Coil
Boots: Gore Riders
Gloves: Crafted Blood Gloves
Amulet: Highlords
Rings: Raven Frosts
Weapons: Set of 2 Eth Lacerators and set of 2 Eth Warshrikes

PvP Thrower (Caster Killer)
Helm: Arreats Face, Kiras Guardian
Armor: Fortitude, Treachory, or Enigma
Belt: Crafted Blood Belt with resists
Gloves: Crafted Blood Gloves
Boots: Gore Riders, Hotspurs, or Sandstorm Treks
Amulet: Maras
Rings: Raven Frosts, Wisps, or Dwarf Stars(depending which element)
Weapons: Set of 2 Eth Lacerators and set of 2 Eth Warshrikes

PvP Thrower (Melee Oriented)
Helm: Arreats Face or Crown of Ages
Armor: Fortitude or Stone
Belt: Verdungo's Hearty Cord
Gloves: Crafted Blood Gloves
Boots: Gore Riders
Amulet: Angelics
Rings: Angelics
Weapons: Set of 2 Eth Lacerators

The Thrower Hybrid
Helm: Arreats Face
Armor: Fortitude or Enigma
Belt: Verdungo's Hearty Cord
Gloves: Bloodfists or Crafted Blood Gloves
Boots: Gore Riders
Amulet: Angelics or Highlords
Rings: Angelics or Ravens
Weapons: (Throw) Set of 2 Eth Lacerators or Eth Warshrikes (Second Attack) Any weapon you see fit for using with Whirlwind/Bezerk/Frenzy.

If you go with axe mastery for your attack you can use Lacerators with your second attack but the attack range for them is 1.


8.) PvP Strategies
This is where it really takes a lot of practice to get good at dueling. There will always be builds out there stronger than you, but the satisfaction you get when you kill someone with your thrower will be very well earned, because it is very challenging to kill many cookie cutter builds, but it is not impossible.

Vs. Melee Characters: These can be some of the hardest fights in the game, mainly against WW barbs and Smiters. Smiters are near impossible to kill, you best bet is to keep running and throwing. Leap really shines in PvP with its knock back so experiment with it and use it to your advantage. If you are a thrower hybrid you might be able to take out WW barbs or Smiters a little easier, it all depends on their setup. Just remember when fighting melee opponents, that distance is your best friend.

Vs. Casters: Casters can be a very fun duel for you. Use the appropriate resist absorb gear for the type of caster you are fighting. Use leap to your advantage as most casters have low block and faster hit recovery, stun them with leap and throw like mad. If you have teleport it may be easier but you will not have very much mana to teleport very far, or as fast as the caster.

Vs. Bow/Javazons: Get in close right away and try to stun them with leap, throw leap, rinse and repeat until they are dead.

Vs. Other Throw Barbs: This is where the most fun is, it all comes down to who does higher damage and better skills. Use all your thrower knowledge to outsmart them and grind `em down.

9.) Epilogue
As the barbarian entered the Throne a shadowy figure approached him, “It is too late for you my child,” the figure said in a dark haunting voice. The barb looked at him with a shroud of disbelief, suddenly, Madawc emerged from the cloak and stabbed the barbarian in the chest with his newly found Winged Harpoon. The spears point penetrated the Barbarians armor and stuck out his back like a blood covered stake, and he fell backwards, Lacerators clinking as they hit the ground. Madawc laughed as the blood pooled on the ground next to the barbarians body. “Mess with the best, Die like the rest,” he said to himself as he patted the Flayer Shaman on the head for reviving him.


Thanks to everyone who made this guide possible, friends, family, everyone on the forums and of course, Madawc

This post was edited by BruteForce on Oct 19 2007 03:15am
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Oct 19 2007 05:58am
Sounds nice. wink.gif

Think i will try this sometime. ;<
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Oct 19 2007 06:03am
damn gfg thx ive been looking for a throw barb guide xD
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Oct 19 2007 12:47pm
np guys, i hope u found this useful!
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Oct 19 2007 06:26pm
Feedback is much appreciated! smile.gif

This post was edited by BruteForce on Oct 19 2007 06:26pm
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Oct 19 2007 06:40pm
Woah haven't made a throw barb yet! But you have given it hope!

nice smile.gif Might try it out!
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Oct 19 2007 06:47pm
Should deffininty put this at the top sexy stuff right here
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Oct 20 2007 01:08am
ty
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Oct 20 2007 01:18am
thanks i think im gona make one of these =P nice guide btw how much life and dmg does yours do?
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