Wind Druids (alternatively known as Windruids or Windys) focus on the right side of the Elemental skill tab. The damage skills do either cold or physical damage, and because they synergize each other, a character has two main elements of attack: Physical and cold damage that build on one another's synergies rather than having to diversify or avoid many enemies who are immune to cold or physical damage.
Strength: High enough to wear desired gear
Dexterity: High enough to wear desired gear
Vitality: The remainder of the player's point would go here
Energy: None should be required once the character reaches level 50, therefore one should avoid having too many points allocated to this stat, if at all. Until then, perfect sapphires in armor or helms, items that give mana per kill. mana leech or items that regenerate mana will help.
A player can diversify a bit and add a few summons if they feel they want to keep the mobs at bay a little more, especially with skill bonus items:
- Oak Sage for life boost. Most prefer dumping all their spare points in this.
- Heart of Wolverine if it is desirable to boost attack rating, especially in groups.
- Ravens can blind opponents and is a prerequisite for the bigger summons.
- Wolves and Grizzly. By spending a single point in these, coupled with +skill items can make fairly formidable summons, or at least a good distraction.
- The Carrion Vine and Solar Creeper are not very effective for regaining mana and health, but can be used to clean up corpses in situations where corpses pose a threat. The Horadric Ancients who can raise Bone Fetishes or a group of Fallen Ones with their Shamans close by are two such examples.
- Peasant Crown: The poor man's Harlequin Crest. +1 skill boost, boost to Energy and Vitality.
- Ravenlore: The best of the unique Druid pelts for elemental druids.
- Harlequin Crest: +2 Skill boost, nice magic find.
- Jalal's Mane: +2 To Druid Skills, All Resist +30, +5 Mana after kill. This helm takes a close 3rd.
- Skullder's Ire: Skill boost, level dependent magic find.
- Skin of the Vipermagi: Faster cast rate, +1 skills, bonus to resistances.
- Que-Hegan's Wisdom: Caster related bonuses, +1 skills*
- Enigma: +2 skills, level dependent magic find, massive attribute boost, and of course: Teleport!
- Chains of Honor: +2 skills, large resistance boost.
- Magefist: Preferred because of their properties relevant to casters.
- Frostburn: Nice addition to mana and easier to obtain than Magefists.
- Trang-Oul's Claws: 20% FCR and cold resistance.
- Aldur's Advance: Life boost, fire resistance, and Vulpine attribute.
- Silkweave: Caster related attributes.
- Waterwalk: Increased Run/Walk speed, HP boost, +5% Max fire res.
- Sandstorm Trek: Faster Hit Recovery, Strength and Vitality bonuses, Poison Resist, Increased Run/Walk speed.
- Mara's Kaleidoscope: +2 all skills, +20-30% resistances.
- +3 Elemental Skill amulet.
- +2 Druid Skills would also be a choice to help boost the summons as well as the elemental attacks. Would also be fairly easy to obtain.
- Stone of Jordan: For its +1 skills and caster related attributes.
- Bul-Kathos' Wedding Band: +1 skills and bonus to life.
Faster cast rare rings: To reach FCR breakpoints
- Spirit Rune Word: +2 all skills, added FCR.
- Heart of the Oak Flail: +3 Skills, FCR, Resistance, +Max Mana, Dex.
- Earthshaker: +3 elemental skills.
- Earth Shifter socketed with -15% requirement jewels or Hel runes. Massive+7 bonus to elemental skills, but massive strength requirements.
- Call to Arms Runeword: An expensive runeword, but it gives the druid the ability to use the popular warcries such as Battle Orders and Battle Command.
Creatures which are both cold and physical immune are not very common, but it does happen enough to be a nuisance. If Infinity is considered a problem to construct because it is expensive, items which produce Amplify Damage or Lower Resist effects might be worth looking into for either the druid or the mercenary. Wands can have Lower Resistance charges, Items like The Vile Husk and Pus Spitter can have those effects as procs. There would still be a matter of having those effects activate in a timely manner, however.
- Sigon's Guard: +1 all skills, very easy to obtain.
- Lidless Wall: +1 all skills, Added FCR.
- Spirit Rune Word: +2 all skills, added FCR.
- The Ward or Tiamat's Rebuke with a Perfect Diamond if resistances are a concern.
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 Barbarian Warriors 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 Archers 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.
- 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 easy runeword to construct. Has a Decrepify proc.
- Breath of the Dying, Grief, Death are also options, albeit difficult ones considering the runes required.
The usual tactic is summon any minions you have, activate Cyclone Armor and combine Tornado and Twister if the monsters are immune to Cold. Tornado and Twister are difficult to aim, and you may want to be quite close to your foe when firing them off. If the monsters are immune to Physical, combine Hurricane and Artic Blast for addition damage. For other monsters, combine Hurricane and Tornado for massive damage.
A common tactic for PvP to use is Teleport to jump on top of your opponent and shred them with the Hurricane and Tornadoes/Twisters (Twisters is preferable for PvP as they have a stun effect, and Naj's Puzzler, Steelspell or an amulet with Teleport charges if Enigma should be out of reach), the slow from the Holy Freeze aura and the lowered resistances from Infinity. Mileage will vary.