Purples, Blues, Yellows. They were everywhere.
Welcome to my first (and hopefully not the last) guide for Diablo III: Reaper of Souls. The build I’m going to introduce here focuses on Unity, one of the new passive skills in RoS.
The core skills of this build are:
- Mystic Ally: Fire Ally
- Mantra of Conviction: Collateral Damage
All of the new monk passives buff your DPS. Among them, Unity is the most straightforward. It works as long as you have a group with you. I find Momentum to be too gimmicky and Mythic Rhythm too conditional.
How does Unity work?
As you can see, it buffs your DPS by 5% per ally while also raising their damage by the same amount.
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls was released earlier this week and I’ve been clawing my way through it with my monk. I’m saying clawing because it feels like I’m fighting for every bit of DPS that I can get, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
When I started going through the expansion content I found myself humbled. I was getting my ass kicked by regular monsters because I was using the same difficulty that I’ve grown accustomed to in vanilla D3. I took things down a notch and things generally became more manageable. I was still having trouble with certain bosses and fight mechanics but at least I wasn’t racking up a huge repair bill.
Similar to the past FFXIII games, you still do the most damage when your target is staggered. To do this, the general rule is to hit them with physical attacks to extend stagger time then follow-up with magic attacks to actually stagger them. By the time you run out of ATB for your spells, your opponent should be staggered. If not, then nearly so.
You can tell the stagger status by the pulsing wave that appears on their health bars. The more violent the oscillation, the closer the target is to staggering.
If you’re having a tough time dealing with a particular monster, hitting R2 or RT will bring up Libra, which will give you info about your target. Stagger information is at the bottom of that screen.
Since you’re always working against the clock, NPCs and quests that are bound to specific times can be difficult to keep track of. You can use map markers to solve this problem. I usually mark the NPC or quest location, then name it using the time I’m supposed to be there. Now if only it had an alarm of sorts.
The game does not follow traditional leveling. Lightning does not level up nor does she gain experience points. She powers up by getting stat bonuses from doing quests, so get as many as you can and accomplish them. Aside from the main story, there are two other ways to get quests: taking quests from Chocolina and by talking to NPCs. Chocolina is always near the train stations, marked by a yellow box in your map. NPCs that have quests have stars next to their names, with the number of stars indicating the difficulty of the quest.
Make sure you have a full stock of potions at the beginning of the game. As if the clock isn’t enough of an indication, Lightning Returns can be unforgiving at times. You don’t want to end up spending precious time just to use Escape to get away from combat too often.
Preparing for the Fight
Assuming that you’ve leveled mostly as a Sorcerer, then you should be able to take on the offline Ur-Dragon once you get to level 50. The Holy exploit is an effective tactic to use against it, making the fight less of a challenge and more of an exercise in patience.
Bring the following:
- 8 Demon’s Periapts – For buffing Magick. Purchased from Fournival.
- 1 Veteran’s Periapt – To boost your XP gains. Ditto, but only if your affinity with Fournival’s high enough.
- 1-2 Wakestones – In case you die.
The Fight Itself
You know where he lands, right?. Stand as close as you can in front of him, use 4 Demon’s Periapts to get max Magick boost and then attack. The Holy bolts are capable of piercing through the initial hit, so when you attack from the front you’re maximizing the number of hits that you can get. This will cause the dragon to stagger, so don’t worry too much about him attacking you. You can use this tactic repeatedly until he’s past half his health. If your buff runs out before that then use your remaining periapts.
Create a Mage, Level a Sorcerer
The damage of your ranged attacks is based on magick, so you’ll want your magick stat to be as high as possible. At +5 per level, the Sorcerer vocation offers the highest Magick growth from levels 10-100, as you can see in the table below.
|HP||Stamina||Attack||Defense||Magick Attack||Magick Defense|
Staff Attacks + Holy = Profit!
Charged staff attacks (AKA Focused Bolt and Magick Agent) buffed with Holy Boon or Holy Affinity are effective against almost all of the enemies in vanilla DD. Take advantage of this exploit to plow through your foes. The only monsters that you’ll have to look out for are Grigori, who is weak to Dark, and Magick-immune golems.
Note that the Holy exploit does not work very well in Bitterblack Isle.