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The Dragoon, Leap Attack Barb or simply Leaper is a build that centers around the skills Leap and Leap Attack. As a PvP build, it is not recommended as the attacks are considered too slow to be effective. As a PvM build, however, it shines as a unique and effective build. If played right, the chill effect from cold attacks can be ignored as long as the attack isn't made while stationary, which only happens when standing right next to a foe.
Stock stat point placement will do here.
Strength: Enough to equip gear.
Dexterity: Enough to equip gear. Or if using a shield, enough to get a 75% chance to block.
Vitality: The rest of your points should go here.
Energy: Should be left at base. It will be difficult in the beginning, but later on, given sufficient levels, the mana level should only be a problem with monsters that feature Mana Burn as an attribute. As an alternative, the player could choose to use potions often, drop perfect sapphires in their helm or armor or utilize a single point skill such as Concentrate or Berserk until Leap Attack is usable full-time. Another such option might be constructing or trading for an Insight weapon, either with an Act 2 Hireling or perhaps even using it as a main or backup weapon.
20 points should go into these:
Leap Attack: Main skill. Has the perk of being able to avoid damage from missiles while airborne. There is also a feature that even under a chill effect, the attack is not slowed down unless the character is standing right next to his opponent and did not have any leap animation
Leap: Leap Attack's synergy. While initially not as effective as Leap Attack, it does have the added perk of knocking back opponents when you land.
Battle Orders: The staple skill of all barbarian builds. There is an unwritten rule that every barbarian must have 20 points in Battle Orders, regardless of what kind of barbarian is being built. It also extends the duration of other warcries and does not have diminishing returns, so putting 20 points in it is generally a good idea.
Weapon Mastery: This is often a fairly easy call if some very powerful weapon is obtained or the relevant runes to construct a powerful runeword. Otherwise, it can be a good reason to take advantage of the respecialization feature that was implemented in patch 1.13.
Combat Skills TabEdit
Bash: One point as a prerequisite for other skills
Stun: One point as a prerequisite for other skills
Concentrate: One point as a prerequisite for other skills. It is not a bad skill on its own, but it does not grant the effective perks that other combat skills would. Often used as a backup skill when mana is low.
Berserk: One point to handle physical immunes, although it may be desired to add a few more points to boost damage. Can be a backup skill when mana is low, but remember that defense is reduced to zero and it is not possible to leech because the damage is entirely magic.
Howl: One point as a prerequisite for other skills.
Taunt: One point as a prerequisite for other skills. Also handy for getting camping ranged attackers into melee range.
Shout: At least one point. Can add more later if defense is a concern.
Battle Cry: One point as a handy debuff.
Battle Command: One point. Boosts all your skills by one, the only thing that changes is the duration. Added points and synergies only add to the duration of the skill.
Find Potion: One point as a prerequisite for other skills. Can also choose not to allocate any.
Find Item: One point as a prerequisite for other skills. + skills may make this fairly viable for searching lootable boss monsters like champion and unique monsters. Can also choose not to allocate any.
Grim Ward: One point or none. This skill has some tactical perks.
Iron Skin: At least one point.
Natural Resistance: 1 to 3 points. It has steep diminishing returns, so it may be better not to drop too many points into it.
Increased Stamina: 1 point as a prerequisite for Increased Speed. Or none at all.
Increased Speed: 1 point and allow the +skills from gear can grant a decent boost to walk/run speed. Or none at all.
Arreat's Face would be a preferred choice.
Harlequin Crest: for its +2 all skills and Magic Find. The big brother to the Peasant Crown.
Rockstopper: resistances and physical damage reduction
Guillaume's Face: If more crushing blow is desired, this would be the helmet of choice.
Crown of Ages: There are plenty of reasons why this item is popular.
Chains of Honor: +2 all skills, +65 all resistances
Enigma: If only to have the +2 all skills and the level dependent Magic Find.
Leviathan: Physical Damage reduction modifier. Shaftstop's big brother.
Fortitude: 300% enhanced damage.
Duriel's Shell: Cannot be Frozen, resistance bonuses and vitality bonus.
Verdungo's Hearty Cord: Faster Hit Recovery, significant Vitality bonus, physical damage reduction.
String of Ears: Similar to Verdungoes except for the Vitality bonus and features life leech.
Arachnid Mesh: Only belt to feature +skills. Also slows opponent.
One could choose a two hander like Bonehew or a high Steeldriver or Bonesnap. Or great one handers like Grief, Last Wish or Breath of the Dying. Or look into cheaper alternatives like the Bloodtree Stump, Fleshrender (in spite of it being a druid weapon, it has plenty of perks for any melee character), Bloodletter or Headstriker (and upgrading those when your character has the capacity to equip them).
If a 1 handed weapon is chosen, Stormshield would be a top choice. There are others, however, that might be worth looking into such as the Phoenix Runeword or Tiamat's Rebuke (upgraded to a monarch). Perhaps even The Ward (upgraded or double upgraded) with a Perfect Diamond or even Ancient's Pledge, if resistances are a concern.
Raven Frost: Cannot be Frozen is an essential attribute for any melee character. Although Leap Attack does permit more mobility than other builds when under the influence of chilling, the effect is still felt if attacking while standing next to a foe..
Bul-Kathos' Wedding Band: Skill boost and life related bonuses.
Stone of Jordan: More popular with casters, the +1 to all skills is still a perk. Mana leech is also a helpful attribute when mana burn monsters are in the area. Another consideration for a mana-related item would be the Manald Heal ring.
In a pinch, Cathan's Seal provided 6% life leech at level 11.
This is a build that has a number of sets that are especially beneficial to it.
- comes with a +5 to Masteries and Warcries and +7 to Combat Skills when complete
- +90 to all resistances when complete.
- 35-40% crushing blow from the Stone Crusher.
- a speedy +40% walk/run bonus
- an adequate bonus to magic find.
- a 150 point bonus to Life.
- 2 sockets in the helm and two sockets on the hammer make it quite flexible.
This set has a few downsides:
- The armor is a difficult item to obtain.
- The armor also has a strength requirement of 232.
- The Stone Crusher also has a high strength requirement: 225
- It takes up a lot of equipment slots.
- Guillaume's Face has some great attibutes for this build. 35% crushing blow as well as 15% to Deadly Strike.
- The belt features dual leech.
- Whistian's Guard has excellent blocking bonuses.
- The complete set has 80% magic find.
- The set has only 4 pieces, leaving plenty of room for other gear.
- 35% crushing blow.
- +2 to all skills.
- +200% damage to demons and undead, which covers about 75% of monsters.
- Two pieces
- +3 to all skills when complete.
- a hefty bonus to all resistances, but also an excellent boost to poison resistance.
- +350% damage to Demons.
Although many players solo with their characters, Hirelings can certainly increase the survivability of any character if maintained properly. Typically, most choose the Act 2 Defensive Mercenary in Nightmare Difficulty (the "Holy Freeze Merc") or the Offensive version (the "Might Merc"), but the others have plenty of potential if geared properly. The Helmet and Armor are standard choices, the only thing that would vary are the weapons. Act 3 Hirelings with cold attacks used to be popular, but are rare now due to many monsters being immune to their attacks. Although Barbarians are quite rugged, they can be overcome by large mobs. On the other hand, properly equipped, he can definitely play a major factor in increasing the character's survivability. And the Rogue Archer should not be counted out either, although without particular gear her ability to assist in later stages of the game diminishes by quite a bit. Although the weapons vary, the armor and helmet choices are mostly stock, with some variance in regards to armor.
Guillaume's Face: Crushing Blow and Deadly Strike.
Tal Rasha's Horadric Crest: Mostly for the 10 percent life leech and +15 to Resistances. Vampire Gaze, Crown of Thieves and Stealskull are also popular choices for their ease of finding and life leech.
Kira's Guardian or Darksight Helm: The reason for choosing either helmet is the Cannot Be Frozen attribute.
Fortitude Runeword: 300% Enhanced damage against everything.
Duress Runeword: Features 15% chance of Crushing Blow.
Gladiator's Bane: Cannot be Frozen and integer damage reduction at a level that actually makes a difference.
Hwanin's Refuge: Static Field proc. Still useful even if lightning immunes aren't affected by it in Hell Difficulty.
Treachery: may be of more benefit to a Rogue for the Increased Attack Speed.
Skin of the Vipermagi. Iron Wolves can make better use of the Faster Cast Rate as they usually attack from range.
Duriel's Shell: For Hirelings, this armor is prized much for being relatively easy to find, its Cannot be Frozen attribute and Vitality bonus.
Rogue (Act 1)Edit
Faith: The Fanaticism aura and obscene damage are the big perks of this bow.
Ice: The chief reason for this selection is the Holy Freeze Aura.
Witchwild String: Amplify Damage proc and two sockets to customize it with.
Riphook: Slows opponent and Open Wounds.
Desert Mercenary (Act 2)Edit
Hone Sundan: Crushing Blow and three sockets.
Reaper's Toll: Decrepify Proc.
Obedience: Crushing Blow and an Enchant Proc.
Infinity: Boasts a Conviction aura. A very popular runeword for those specialized in elemental attacks as it will break many elemental immunities. However, unless the player plans to have a main aura other than Conviction, this item is a waste of time for an Avenger's Mercenary.
Insight: Has a Meditation Aura that will help alleviate mana demands.
Once could also add Breath of the Dying, Last Wish, Death or Doom as well, as these are very powerful. They are also equally difficult to create.
Iron Wolf (Act 3)Edit
Spirit Sword and Spirit Shield: This combination will give the hireling excellent resistance bonuses as well as a total +4 to their skill levels.
Lidless Wall: Has +1 to all skills and a Faster Cast Rate bonus.
Rhyme: Has Cannot Be Frozen and Faster Hit Recovery.
Barbarians (Act 5)Edit
There are numerous swords that a Barbarian can use that listing them all would be impractical. Here are four uniques and four runewords particularly beneficial to them:
Bloodletter: Fast, and has life leech. The sword will likely be obsolete by early Hell, however.
Headstriker: Level dependent Deadly Strike as well as level dependent maximum damage.
Azurewrath: The base damage is a bit low, but the added damage makes this blade frightening once it can be equipped
The Grandfather: Very high damage and Attack Rating bonus.
Lawbringer: a relatively cheap runeword with a Decrepify proc.
Breath of the Dying, Grief, Death are also options, albeit difficult ones considering the runes required.