Diablo2Resurgence Wikia
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This build is taken from aohexer's post on Reddit.

Note: At the time of transcribing this build from Reddit, it was 6 months old.[]

Summary:[]

The build utilizes the dragon talon kick move and ALL poison nova chance to cast options (when striking, when attack, when struck, on kill). The reason it’s dubbed “exploding viper kick” is because ctc striking/attacking/struck start the initial kills, and the poison nova on kill creates a devastating ripple effect, triggering a lot of poison nova’s to further bring down packs of enemies. Combined with Spike Thorn shield and the Viper assassin valor (30% poison damage, -30% enemy poison resist, 100 life per hit, 100 mana per hit), this allows for multiple upon multiple numbers of poison nova’s to proc which reaches high damage output as well as high survivability.

Stat Allocation:[]

Strength: 185 after gear

Dexterity: 118 after gear (to use elite claws)

Vitality: Majority of points

Energy: 0

Skills:[]

Dragon Talon: 20

Dragon Flight: 1

Venom: 20

*Fade: 20 *This build was designed with Fade>Burst of Speed because it did not have Eon Band for curse immunity and struggled to reach max elemental resists. More about gear options below.

Blade Shield: 20 - This is a 1 point wonder, but had little options to put my points elsewhere

Rationale about skills:[]

Very straight forward. Dragon talon and Blade Shield help trigger poison nova ctc, Venom adds poison damage on kicks (splashing to multiple targets) to help bring down enemies to trigger more novas, Fade for survivability (high curse reduction (80%), elemental resists (60s), and Physical resist (20s). Dragon Flight helps with moving in and out of packs of enemies.

Gear:[]

Link to Gear <- containing the important pieces

Helmet: Andarial’s Visage[]

Reason: Attack Speed (20%) and Life Leech (8-10%) are very important considering the lack of these stats in the other pieces used. In addition, the Level 25 Poison Nova when struck is quite nice to have to add to the other Poison Nova triggers, especially when the build acts as a meat shield where being struck happens regularly. Another important note, Andarial's is a non-runeword helmet which is important in order to put in a Poison Nova on Attack facet, which you can guess is very good for this build. +Max poison resist is also very good.[]

Body Armor: Saintly Plate “Bramble” Runeword (Ral + Ohm + Sur + Eth)[]

Reason: 40-50% Increase poison damage. Enough said. A giant boost to poison damage output. The high level Thorns aura is also a nice compliment for the meat shield approach to the build. Saintly Plate is preferred for the magic resist bonus. 50% hit recovery is also a healthy amount.[]

Weapon: Elite Claw “Shadow” Runeword (Gul + Mal + Gul)[]

Reason: There was debate between this runeword or “Plague”. My reason for this runeword is it has both + poison % damage and – enemy poison resist, 10% life leech, Ignore’s Target Defense which is extremely important for landing kicks and procing ctc’s, and the level 28 Poison Nova on kill. While Plague has higher –enemy poison resist, the Lower Resist ctc, and +3 to all skills, the Poison Nova on kill is highly effective and much more satisfying (hence what makes the "exploding viper kick" possible). The Plague’s deadly strike stat does not effect kicks, so that ends up being a waste, the +3 to all skills is not essential for this build, and the level 15 poison nova on attack is a much weaker nova compared to the level 25-44 Nova’s the build is capable of proccing regularly.[]

Shield: Spike Thorn - Blade Barrier[]

Reason: I think for anyone who is aware of this shield can likely already tell that this is just bread and butter for a ctc sin. The splash when attacked helps trigger poison nova’s and is incredibly important for helping trigger the +100 life per hit stat on the Viper Valor. This shield essentially doubles the survivability of the build, adding in the two socket bonus for resist gems/runes (this build starves for resists) and the physical resists. This combined with Fade, allows the Assassin to become a meat shield, allowing for the on struck effects such as Andarial’s, Thorns from Bramble, and the ‘striking’ effect of Blade Shield to emit more and more damage.[]

Gloves: Steelrend - Ogre Gauntlets[]

Reason: Melee splash, high strength stat (50), and the added crushing blow. Kicks and crushing blow destroys bosses, and melee splash allows your 5 kicks to splash its Venom damage to a cluster of enemies, at the same time increasing the chances of triggering the on attack and on striking Poison Nova’s.[]

Belt: Unconquerable - colossal girdle[]

Reason: Cannot be Frozen, more physical resist, +10 max cold resist, and crushing blow. Some key stats that help with survivability and damage. 25% crushing blow combined with the 10% from Steelrends supplies a comfortable 35% that works nicely with kicks and shredding bosses.[]

Boots: The Plasmatic - Dark Slippers[]

Reason: A top choice for a flex piece of the build. The above gear is likely your best in slot pieces. Here, these boots add to your damage output which is hard to argue against. The ctc Lightning Nova procs extremely well with all the triggers already, and the +Lightning damage based on dex bonus supplies a nice punch to your kicks. This also adds a bit of variation to your damage; although not a lot, it’s enough to make a difference when clearing through maps. Also, the +5 max Lightning resist adds another to your max resist list.[]

Amulets/Rings: This varies[]

Explanation: This is where some variation is allowed. I did not put images of what I am currently using but I have described what are some good choices. These are flex pieces to the build and can be swapped out for something else.The crafted amulet (in images) is a solid piece here to help with resists, magic resists, and the +3 Shadow Discipline is nice considering Venom and Fade are in this tree. The Apex ring is a cool bonus for the Attack Speed, the chunk of lightning damage that pairs well with The Plasmatic (boots), and the +5% max Lightning resist to bring your lightning resists to 85 along with 85 Cold and Poison. The crafted ring is here, again to help with resists and magic resist. An Eon Band would drastically improve the build and might consider switching out of Fade for Burst of Speed. Previously for rings, I was using Carnage Heart and Raven Frost. This is before I had attained Steelrend and Unconquerable which now help with Melee Splash and Cannot be Frozen respectively. I was using Trang-Oul's Gloves for the Poison Damage, and even Dracul’s for the Life Tap and Life Leech. The resists from Akarat Belt was helpful to make sure I was maxed out on resists. These still worked fine, but Steelrend and Unconquerable is a lot better and enables the use of stronger rings.[]

Charms: Assassin Torch !!!!![]

Other charms: +Skill components aren’t a huge priority. Magic resist, life, attack speed, a couple of elemental resist help fill in the gaps where it’s needed. Tertiary Chance to cast Confuse is very powerful for this build and its another reason why I prefer Shadow over Plague since Plague has the Lower Resist curse which would override Confuse. The added crowd control with Confuse helps with Killing Fields tremendously and would consider it invaluable for a successful clear.

Playstyle:[]

The key point is you want to be surrounded to take advantage of the Spike Thorn helping procc Poison Nova as well as the Life Per Hit from the Valor. Pick your target and start laying in kicks to spread Venom around. At this point, Venom, the splashing kicks + crushing blow, proccing on attack, striking, and on struck Poison Novas and Lighting Novas will quickly bring down enemies around you which will then “explode” more Poison Nova’s On Kill. Watch the Poison Nova’s ripple and clear the screen. Rinse and Repeat. Extremely satisfying to watch. Your life will likely be topped up from the Life Per Hit and Life Leech from multiple enemies (except sometimes the Champion Revenant packs in Killing Fields that shoot a hundred ground slams).

Mercenary:[]

Hard to talk about them when this build is in end game maps and mercenaries die within the first few minutes. One thing to mention, however, is a mercenary with the Toxic Crown that gives Level 3 Pestilence Aura. This acts as your “conviction aura” for poison and has a noticeable difference is bringing down groups. I have not been able to find a way to keep my merc alive long enough. There was some considering for using the Toxic Crown over Andarial’s. While it may be an option, I still prefer Andarial’s additional stats.

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