PvP section: Continued.
Blizzard Sorceress: Until Grief came out, I would have called the various forms of a Blizzard Sorceress the most common pub room dueler [this is due to people bringing in their Magic Find Sorcs]. However, a well-built Blizzard Sorc can be a pain in the ass. They don't necessarily have high defense/life, but they do pack on a heavy amount of damage, and can 1-2 KO many characters. Understand how Blizzard works, and pay attention to the habits of your opponent, and you'll breeze by this duel.
Gear to wear: Arreats Face, Enigma, Highlords Wrath, RavenFrost x2, Arachnid Mesh, Wraith Brands, Grief + Beast. On Switch: Doom x2
Gear she probably has: 2\20%\str\res\2Shael circ or 3 cold 20fcr shael x2 circ or high Nightwings w/shael or facet, Blizzard ormus w/ 5\-5 cold facet, WizardSpike gloves, Arachnid Mesh [Arach can be swapped out for a +str + life + mana/Resist FCR belt], Deaths Fathom w/ 5\-5 cold facet, Soj x2, Wraith Collar, Stormshield or 20\-20 monarch or Spirit[unlikely] as main shield, and Wizspike/HotO. On switch, CtA + Spirit.
Using this gear set up, you're able to tank several blizzards. This is quite fair - You don't get 1-2 hit killed by the buggy blizzard, and it won't take 30+ blizzards to kill you. It gives you both a fair chance, so this is what I recommend.
Unless the Blizzard Sorc has Max block, it is more than likely they will run as soon as they see you head in their direction. Without max block or a strong Energy Shield, Blizzard Sorcs tend to die very quickly against Triwhirls. If the sorc has max block and a strong Eshield, then the duel becomes more difficult. If she's able to tank you, there is no way in hell you're going to be able to get off more than 1 Triwhirl without being seriously hurt, especially if she already had a blizzard over her head before you started.
If she can tank you and still fire off blizzards, then it's time for a change of tactics. Do not NL triwhirl her, you'll take heavy ass damage and tip the scale in her favor. Instead, teleport next to her and do long WW's that move away from her, usually up. For some reason it seems that if you WW up, even if there is a blizzard out already, you seem to be hit less or possibly not at all. If she begins to run and try to lure you into Blizzards, predict where she'll be next and tele + desynch whirl, or simply whirl long towards that area.
IF you have good enough gear to survive getting killed quickly, then you might try Triwhirling her.
A possible switch to have instead of the Doom x2 can be a Widowmaker. Firing a few shots to force the Sorc to change positions has its uses, especially if it brings even part of her sprite on screen. Fire a few shots, switch back and leap a couple times in place. This assures you that if she makes the mistake of teleporting in your screen to fire a blizzard off, that you'll stun her and be able to end the match.
Bad Mannered Solution: Use two 'Um' Wizardspikes, Blood Loops x2, Wraith Brands, Arachnid Mesh, Highlords and and thawing pot prebuffs. You can even use a 3 socket Thul helm if you need it. You're now able to tank an immense amount of blizzards, while you only need 3-4 touches to kill her. Your total Cold resist: 150 [Wizardspikes x2] + 56 [Nat res] + 48 [Wraith Brands] + 128 [Blood Loops x2] + 90 [3 Thul Helm] + 40 [Anni + hellfire] = 512 Cold resist. 512 - 100 [Hell Penalty] - 250 [Cold Mastery] - 35 [5 Facets] = 127 Cold resist. That's max Cold Mastery AND 7 Facets. If you wanted to, you could get a 3 Ohm helm and get 90% Cold resist, all you'd need would be some Thawing pots.
This set-up also gives you a ton of FCR, you pass the 8 frame FCR breakpoint easily, which should allow you to catch her with even less effort. WW her, let her bleed for a little bit, WW her again, let her bleed and she should be down to very little life at this point. Switch to dooms and tele by her, or even in the same general vicinity and the Dooms should kill her if you bled her enough.
Bow Amazon: Usually known as Bowzons, the good ones you run into will remind you of the Buriza/pierce days, but are far, far less overpowering. Most Bowzons will be using Faith, which increases their damage by a significant amount [this is also due to the fact that they don't need as much IAS from gear anymore, due to the Fanaticism aura] and will feature Guided Arrow and knockback.
Gear to wear: Crown of Ages, Enigma, Eagle Turn x2, Highlords, Draculs Grasp, Gore Riders, Arachnid Mesh, Grief + Beast. On switch: Doom x2.
Gear she'll probably have: GMB Faith, Fortitude or 4 socket +100 life Armor, 3 socket 30% FRW helm, +2 Bow/Crossbow skill, 20% IAS, + Strength, knockbak, + resist gloves, Raven Frost, Bone Nails, Highlords/CatsEye [unsure about amulet], Razortail.
There are two types of Bowzons that you'll encounter. The run of the mill stand-still-and-fire-till-your-GA-gets-something pub Zons, or the players that will make use of one of the Zons greatest strengths: Desynch.
First off, the pub zons are what you'll encounter most of the time. They'll stand in some open spot [or a house..] and continually launch GA. Sometimes they'll move a little, then fire more GA. These are very easy. Simply show yourself to them on their minimap, then get off their map. It's easy to tell if the Bowzon can see you on their map; if you can see them, they can see you.
After doing that, make a wide circle around them. The reason for that is because most likely they'll be launch GA towards the spot in which they saw you. Some Zons will run backwards a little while firing - if you aren't careful, the Zon will see you on her map while you're trying to get behind and then it's back to square one. Make it wide enough, and she won't be able to see you on the map, even if she runs backwards at an odd angle. After you do that, simply teleport on her and IMMEDIATELY WW. Immediately. If you hesitate and teleport on top of her while she's firing, some GA will make their way back and hit you. That's not a problem, since you can WW straight through even while being hit by GA. The problem is if you get hit by GA and she's able to run off. This also means you have to have good control over your Triwhirls. If she gets away and your WW is really long, she'll launch a crapload of GA and you're in trouble. But in actual duels, crap Zons like that die very easily. Just circle, teleport and kill her. Also, why would you teleport and hesistate? If you do that, you need to practice more. Teleport -> WW. Teleport -> WW. Next.
The more difficult Zons will be the ones that desynch. Zons can desynch by doing one simple thing: Run. Heavy amounts of FRW and running arround in irregular patterns is enough to cause the server to desynch during your duel, which is the only difficult thing about the match. To solve this, if she starts running in one direction, teleport there and whirl long [desynch WW] in the place where she'll be heading. More often than not, she'll run into you [since you're both desynching it's a little difficult to plan out a safe direction]. Instead of using long WWs aimed ahead of the zon, you can WW long in the same direction she was running i.e. kind of chase her with long WWs. If she stops running and you're desynching your way to her, there is a very good chance she'll be in your way while you're spinning around.
If you're being chased by GA, never, ever try to teleport away. You will almost always get hit by the trailing GA, which leads to the rest coming in and taking a chunk out of your life. If you're being chased, WW behind a nearby rock or tree, or leap behind a rock/tree/wall. Terrain is important. If you are dueling in a rock/tree/wall-heavy area, keep that in mind. Hiding behind one of them can save you a lot of HP. You can also leap away from the trailing GA, then teleport if you don't see any in your immediately vicinity.
Practice with desynch WWs against Zons. After a while, you can sort of get a feel if they're going to run a different way, and thus WW long in that area instead.
Bad Mannered Solution: Doom. Doom. Doom. Doom. Doom. Doom. .... Doom. A Bowzons strength is her speed [pretty much desynch] and mobility. Doom takes that away. If you really want to end the match quickly, equip Doom + Grief. Get the Zon on-screen and Leap a few times once she gets frozen by the aura. Once she goes into dodge animation, it's over. Teleport over while she's stuck in a very long dodge animation and Triwhirl her. She'll get dodge locked and the most she can do is to Save -> Exit. Seriously. It's that hopeless. Only time I'd do this is if the Bowzon was TGing and NKing.
Lightning Trapper: Generally regarded as one of the more annoying characters to duel against [TGing/NKing with traps is the stupidest thing ever, it's just asking for a sorbing for life]. However, a well played trapper can be a threat, especially if they're able to dupe you a few times into WWing the wrong direction, all the while you're getting hit by traps and the trapper is Mind Blasting you. There are two main set-ups for trappers; HotO + Shield, and Dual Claw trappers [CC from now on]. While I'll be breaking both builds down individually, I feel that CC trappers are the overall better dueler.
Gear to wear: Arreats Face [if you find out that the trapper has an ungodly Mind Blast level, I'd suggest to then equip a Crown of Ages, but this is ultra rare], Highlords Wrath, Grief + Beast, Draculs Grasp, Wraith Brands, 2x Eagle Turns, Arachnid Mesh, Enigma, 2x Doom on switch.
Gear she'll probably be wearing: 08 Valk [socketed w/ 15 resist all + 7% FHR jewel] or a decent circlet 2/20/str/res/2socks, +2 20% FCR, +life/str/mana/resist ammy, Enigma, Arachnid Mesh, 2x FCR rings, Imp Shanks or Wraith Brands, Wizgloves, 2 skill/3 LS/2 OS Greater Talons x2, socketed with different types of Jewels [after reading Barcas guide, they may be Skull Whorls], CtA + Spirit on switch.
As for playstyles, there are vastly different kinds you may duel against. Most of the pub goers you'll find are Hoto + Spirit users, that like to sit in their trap fields in the hopes of catching someone with a MB so that the traps can stunlock them further. The more difficult ones you will face will never run or walk, which makes it difficult for you to catch them. These will also use bogs to screw up your WWs, either by blocking you completely or forcing the WW to go in some awkward direction, and all the time you'll be hit by traps/MB.
As for the pub goers, they're pretty simple. Many of them will not have max block [or if they do, they'll have terrible HP since Spirit is horrible for blocking]. Most of them will sit in their traps and try to MB you. Recall that WW allows you to break out of stun locks, regardless of FHR. If they just sit there and MB, just get within rage of the traps so that they start firing. If the trapper is stupid, she'll let you exhaust them but stay there anyway while recasting. As soon as you see her recasting, just tele -> WW and kill her. Easy.
If at any time you see stun swirls over your head, teleport off screen and loop around her, then teleport in and triwhirl her to death. Alternatively, if you have maxed res or absorb, just teleport in and kill her.
Eventually you'll meet trappers that, while they cast a field like the pub-goers [this one is also a pub-goer] but they won't stay in it - they'll stay near it, however. These are basically the same duelers. Leap a few times to get her attention; most of the time they'll move forward and try MBing you. As soon as they do that, tele -> WW. Others will move away from you, putting the traps between you and them. However, these defensive players won't start off behind the traps, which means you can get somewhat close, and leap a few times to force them back. Once they start moving back, teleport towards them, leap once, then teleport behind them [they're running back at this point] and triwhirl. Or you can just skip the whole 2nd leap and teleport behind to kill. Up to you.
Then you'll meet some of the more difficult CC trappers. These duelers will generally be Faded, and try to lure you into their fields by taking bits of damage off of you with MB. They will always have a Shadow out and will alternatly run and teleport at times. Trappers that run will have more problems than trappers that solely teleport. If they run they're far more vulnerable to Leap lock and desynch WWs. Another important thing of note is that they won't have the minion stack the Shadow gives them when they tele. When they run, try to teleport next to them and WW in the same direction - short. If you WW long you either have terrible AR and are hoping that the Sin will just run alongside you till you get a hit, or you're retarded. Doing a short WW allows you to see if you hit the trapper, and if you do it gives you the perfect opportunity to turn the initial WW into a tri-whirl. You do have a choice if you hit with the initial short WW. If you feel that you've made the WW slightly too long, don't do a second WW; just leap. If the trapper is doing anything but teleporting away at that point, they'll get caught and then you can end the match. However, if the WW is just right, then just triwhirl.
The most difficult CC trappers are a pain. Their damage and their durability are also better than the others, but it will be their playing style that will be the biggest challenge. They will rarely, if ever, run. Most likely, they will never run. This means they will have full weapon block AND a minion stack to protect them in case you land a successful tele -> WW on them.
These trappers are very tricky; they will lead you into multiple instances where you take several shots of bolts + MB, and by them time you're able to tele -> WW them, they're gone. If you find yourself locked up by multiple sentries and MB, WW and Leap are two skills that will let you get out [you'll take damage, but you won't be stuck]. Play by a corner, if possible. If you get locked up, Leap or WW out, then continue to WW/Leap at angles until you're behind the corner, away from the traps.
Realize that if their MB level is high enough you won't be able to ignore it. It will be taking off rather significant chunks of life from you every hit. If you panic and chase them blindly, however, you're going to be screwing yourself.
The best time to go on the offensive is when the trapper is recasting her traps. You won't have a free tele -> WW; traps will still be out and the Shadow will be blasting you as well. Once you figure that the traps are about to fire their last few shots, stay close if possible. A good trapper will know when their traps are about to expire - they'll be constantly renewing their field if you let them. What you can do is chase them around their field, forcing her to continue moving and be unable to renew her field while her original traps exhaust themselves. To do this you have to have good control and namelocking skills. If she gets away for even a second, chances are that you'll lose her completely and she'll reset the field.
The main point of the duel is to force her to move when she doesn't want to - i.e. when her traps are disappearing. She has no real way to damage you if the traps are gone and she's being chased. Keep the pressure up, but don't continually chase through sentry fields - you'll get owned. Get a NL -> tele -> WW and you can end the duel within 2 triwhirls, unless she has high life [4k+] and her claw block saves her for several hits.
Bad Mannered Solution: 3 Lo helm with life, Wisps, Tgods, and high enough DR should completely negate a trapper. Some trappers have fire traps as a back up, but those are somewhat rare. Just NL and WW.
PvP section: Continued
Fire Sorceress: These come in two main variants: Vita and ES. I feel ES will cause you more problems, since they're able to tank you pretty well if they have a very high ES and mana level.
Gear to wear: Arreats Face, Enigma, Highlords Wrath, Grief + Beast, Eagle Turn x2, Draculs Grasp, Arachnid Mesh, Wraith Brands. On switch: Doom x2.
Gear she'll probably be wearing [Vita build]: 3/20/2 with 2 shaels or 2/20/str/res/2soc with 2 shaels, 2 skill/20 FCR/str/life/mana/res ammy, Wiz Armor or Viper Magi socketed with either a Facet or various jewels, 3/25% Fire Eschutas, Wizgloves, Treks, Spirit Monarch [or SS/upgraded Viscertuant possibly], fcr/str/life/mana rings.
Hammerdins [and Hammerdin hybrids]: A very difficult duel. Even if your opponent is the dumbest dueler in the world, his hammers are still unresistable. Mess up too much against them, and you'll be playing catch up against a dueler that is perfectly suited to being completely defensive. I'll be breaking these down by sub-categories.
Pure hammerdin: These guys are in my opinion, the weakest of all hammerdins types. All they basically do is just hammers. No charge, no FoH, no smite. Just hammers. Against hammerdins that teleport on you and try to hammer you to death immediately, it's very easy. As soon as he blinks on you, WW to your right, then your left, then down. This assures you instant damage on the Hdin [if it passes his block], and pretty much no danger to you. If you feel your reflexes aren't that quick, just WW down when he teleports on you. Same result, just slightly less damage. If you're feeling really confident, then you can triwhirl him right when he teleports on you. I don't recommend this, seeing if you screw up you'll be caught in his hammer loop.
The other way they can kill you is by desynching. Charging around enough will desynch them from your screen, rendering them invisible to you until they're in your face and hammering. Most of the hdins you meet will suck at this. They'll try to desynch in a semi-circle around you, never coming close and hoping you'll try to tele -> WW them. Just leap. Leap continuously. Mix the leaping up with WW's that travel away from where you saw the hdin last. If you see the hdin charging along a straight path, teleport in front of where he's going and WW, thus making a + kind of sign. NEVER try to WW alongside the hdin, that requires extremely strict timing in order to get it right. If you try that and screw up the timing, you're going to get hurt, guaranteed. He'll be charging below your WW and casting hammers, while you're WWing into his hammers the entire time.
The better duelers won't allow you to cut them off. They'll desynch in extremely random patterns and if you try to randomly WW, you run the risk of running into invisible hammers. This is where I use a Widowmaker. The GA itself doesn't do too much damage; it's the OW that will force the hdin to play a little more aggressively. Most likely you'll be pure vit, meaning you'll be using Enigma + Widow.. In that case, you have much more mobility, but less damage than the fort set-up. You're able to teleport away, fire a few GA, then switch back to your axes. With that setup, you want to get some distance from the hdin, then fire some GA off. If you're not near any bogs/rocks/trees or anything that will disrupt your WW, then WW long and random away from the Hdin. If the opportunity presents itself, teleport in front of him and cut him off with a WW. Be very careful when you have your bow out. It's very easy to believe that he's no where near you while you're firing GA, only to find yourself getting teleported on and killed. If you see the hdin charging away from you, feel free to fire a few more shots than you normally do. If you do not see the hdin on your map/screen, fire 1 or 2, never more. Any more than 1-2 shots will allow a desynching hdin [who was actually on your map but you couldn't see him] to stop desynching and tele -> hammer you.
Tele -> hammer can be very effective, if you let it be. Don't get careless and spam GA like a bowzon.
If you have a Fort, then it's a lot different. You don't have NEARLY the same mobility as an enigma user has [lack of teleport and 45% FRW]. You have to rely on your massive GA damage and WW long and completely random as hell to desynch yourself as your defense. If he desynchs you with charge, you can desynch him with WW. You have to leap a bit more using Fort, since you can't teleport yourself out of a corner if you get trapped. The upside is that your GA will hurt, a lot. It can still be blocked, but if it gets through, you have 300% more ED on that arrow, in addition to OW. Nice. Note: The Fort set-up is only for people that have str/dex invested into their build. I feel that base vit sacrifices a bit too much AR [2x Ravenfrosts instead of angelics, in order to use the Widow] for the Fort option. Also, it takes a lot more patience to understand what you need to do, using a Fort. It's very cumbersome, and you'll die a lot if you're not careful or experienced with it.
Bad Mannered Solution: There is none. Lol. They're hammerdins, what can you BM them with as a Barb? The most you can do is pot, and attack him while he's BOing, if you're trying to BM. :]
Mage: In my opinion, Mages are very strong. When built properly, a Mage is very well rounded, having a strong FoH and an equally strong Hammer skill. However, if you're prepared against a Mage, basically it's like fighting a slightly weaker Hdin.
A very important thing to remember in this duel is that you need lightning resistance. If you don't, you'll get chipped to death by a desyching FoH that will prove very difficult to pin down [especially if you panic when you see that you're dying]. If you're a pure vit build, you can swap out your helm for a Kiras w/ an Um or a high light res jewel. Add in the Wbrands, the Anni + torch and your nat resists and you'll be able to reduce his FoH to something you can ignore. From that point on it becomes another Barb vs Hdin match, albeit with him zapping off like 50 health every so often with his FoH.
If you use the Fort build, then you have the added resist Fort will give. You can keep your Arreats in that case; the ED and the IAS is useful for your Widowmaker. Use a Tgods if you want [I don't care what you say, the absorb on Tgods is nothing. NOTHING.], this will help you out against his FoH. Again, this turns into a Barb vs Hdin match, with him having an extremely weak FoH to poke you with. Any time his aura comes on, or a lightning bolt comes down to hit you, you can fire a few shots off with your Widowmaker.
Even though you negated his FoH, it will still be doing damage. Don't think that you'll be able to be completely defensive if you run into hammers that knock you down to around 500 life. He can zap you until you die, especially if you have that low life and use the Fort set-up.
Liberator: Quite probably the strongest of the Hammerdin Hybrids. It combines Hammers plus a very strong charge back up [Grief]. This gives the Paladin two types of attacks that cannot be negated, thus slightly edging the build over the Mage in most peoples opinions.
Basically, fighting a Liberator is fighting a Hammerdin who still retains very high damage Hammers, but also will be able to pop you hard if you pull out your Widowmaker, almost immediately. Simply put, this is one duel where you have to play smart and drag out the match. He has to either 1) Catch you in a Hammer loop, 2)Catch you with invisible hammers or 3) Charge you to death if you don't have high enough FHR [or just charge and kill you if you're damaged enough]. You, on the other hand can only kill him realistically with WW. GA will help whittle him down, but the best Liberators have around 4k health and max block, so don't think you can kill him with GA alone.
The Widowmaker is your best tool in this fight. Recall that I had just said you can't rely on it to kill him? That's not what you're going to use it for. You're going to get your OW as high as possible, and bleed the Liberator whenever it gets past his block. The problem is you have to be extra careful with using the Widow. Pulling it out at the wrong time will give your opponent a clear charge shot at you, probably locking you up until you die [which, if he's using a Grief, won't be long]. Make completely sure you can see him on your map [map, not screen], and even then only fire a few shots. You have 300+ arrows, don't worry if you miss several times, the point is to get him to play more offensively. If you can force him to go on the offensive, then you can duel him like a normal Hdin, i.e. trying to cut him off if he's desyching in long charge paths, and randomly desyching your own WW from time to time.
Always keep in mind that the room for error against a Liberator while using your Widowmaker is much smaller than a normal Hdin. Pull out your Widow while he's desyching in your screen? Charge -> Charge -> Charge -> Dead. However, with some patience and experience, you can hold your own.