Optimal Fury Druid Build (Not Reaper Wolf) - Updated after recent patches

(Updated with patches)

For any of you that have seen Dbrunski’s video on the Reaper Wolf saying that’s the best version of the fury druid, well, I’m here to dispute that.

The Runeword Metamorphisis was added, so now you have 90% crushing blow, 90% deadly strike, and even faster attack speed than before. This build could probably kill ubers faster than a smiter now, if teleport wasn’t an option.

I retested this build in single player and it tears through players 8 like it’s nothing. You’ll slow down a little at times with enemies like death lords and physical immunes, but if you want to destroy Baals minions quickly and solo kill players 8 Baal in about 4 seconds this is the build for you.

This build uses the rune word Death in an Ethereal Decapitator. What’s great about this axe is that it has the highest average damage of any two handed axe and it rolls with 5 max sockets, so if you find a eth one you can just take it to larzuk for max sockets.

Death only requires a vex and a gul as the highest runes, which aren’t the worst things to trade for. You get 50% crushing blow, 49% Deadly strike, insane ED, and mana leach, but no increased attack speed. However, with the changes to the werewolf, you can attack at insane speeds with this weapon now. Honestly, this is easier to come by than an Ethereal Reaper’s Toll.

Expensive Optimal Version (I usually just play single player anyway):

Weapon: Ethereal Death Decapitator (for style points, use an ethereal glorious axe)

Off hand: Lacerator for Amp damage, and Spirit. Keep Call to arms in cube.

Amulet: Highlord’s - Best option - This is required for the Deadly strike and attack speed boost.

Ring #1: BK - extra skill point and life leech. With cannot be frozen on Metamorphosis, Raven frost is no longer necessary.

Ring#2: Anything works here. Another BK would be optimal.

Boots: Gore Rider’s: best option.

Armor: Fortitude is the best option here.

Helm: Metamorphosis. If you can get a Cham rune and a pelt with +3 Fury and 3 open sockets you’re good to go. Any other skill is a bonus.

Gloves: Laying of Hands - this is required with the huge damage to demons and the 20% IAS.

Belt - Nosforatu’s coil is pretty nice for some more attack speed, but at this point is not necessary for the attack speed breakpoint. Arach’s is the best option for another skill point.

Charms: Torch and Anni if you can get. Shapeshifter GC’s also aren’t that expensive, so get these where you can. Shapeshifting GC’s are preferable to max damage small charms. The two hander benefits more from the %ED than the single handed weapon due to the higher base damage.


• 20 to Werewolf

• 1 to Werebear (for Metamorphosis activation)

• 20 to Lycanthropy

• 20 to Fury

• 20 to Heart of Wolverine

• The rest is up to you. I put the rest into grizzly for the meat shield. The grizzly will also do some decent damage at this level.

If you can get some summon gear, you can start a game wearing that and summon a buffed up grizzly, then switch to your other gear. Summons are locked in at the gear you used to summon them with, as long as the skill itself does not disappear when gear swapping. The grizzly will likely stay alive the duration of the game.

Stats - I usually put in a little extra strength and dexterity if I’m struggling to hit something. Rest into Vitality.

Mercenary: Act 1 Cold Rogue with Faith Bow - this is critical to reach the breakpoint needed. With Metamorphosis, you can reach an even higher attack speed breakpoint than previously. Act 2 might mercenary also works very well, you’ll still attack pretty fast just not as fast as with the Act 1 merc.

Merc gear:

Weapon - Faith - other stats don’t matter too much, get as high a fanaticism aura as possible.

Armor - Treachery is pretty solid here for the attack speed and fade proc. If you’re rich, chains of honor for the life steal.

Helm - Cure is recommended with the cleansing aura. Curses wear off quickly so you don’t have to worry about your Heart of the Wolverine dying as much. If you don’t have life steal on armor, you probably want to go with vamp gaze or Andy’s helm.


Summon grizzly and heart of the wolverine and buff with call to arms from cube. Swap out CTA with lacerator. Shapeshift to wear bear, attack, and back to wolf to get Metamorphosis bonus.

I usually have the fury skill attached to the lacerator weapon. With high attack speed, you can proc amp damage on several enemies at once if needed. Usually you’ll be killing so quickly you won’t need it most of the time.

Uber strategy - this is a work in progress, more to come. Not being able to teleport sucks, but once you start attacking, ubers go down very quickly. I’m messing with soloing players 8 Ubers for the hell of it right now to see how feasible it is.

Edited 8/5/23 with previous patch notes


here fixed that for you.

How does it compare to botd in archon staff or other good base I haven’t tried it

I’ve tried eth repears and Grief/ss/spirit /whatever else. So good.

Edit : looks like fanatcisim is required to get to any functional attack speed.
I hate relying on those cheese heads lol

A bit of a late reply, sorry…

So far as I can tell, eDeath Decap + Faith merc is the absolute highest DPS build there is for a Fury Druid and isn’t any less safe than any other 2-hand weapon. I checked all eBotD bases (bows/xbows can’t be eth sadly), Grief PB, Eth Tomb Reaver, and Eth Reaper’s.

I’m running an eDeath Decap fury druid, and even without Faith, Might, and Pride (so only HoW), he kills most non-act bosses/phys immunes in 1-2 hits, 3 if you’re unlucky and roll near min damage repeatedly. He also has a 240% eth Zod Reaper, and that definitely is slower to kill. While, yes, on paper Reaper does more dps against a 50% phys res monster than eDeath Decap, in practice it’s slower. If Reaper can kill before it procs Decrep, eDeath Decap will kill faster. Reaper + Might + Pride is 20 frame fury and eDeath Decap + Faith is 19. If Reaper kills on next hit after proccing Decrep, then at best that’s 2 hits or on average 4 hits (33% proc chance). eDeath Decap will kill nearly every P1 non-boss/act boss in 1-2 hits. If it is a boss/act boss, eDeath Decap has Reaper/Lacerator on swap, so Reaper alone has no benefit over eDeath Decap. This isn’t even mentioning the significantly higher CB/s (Crushing Blows per second) eDeath offers over everything else. Just to give an idea, 19 frame fury eDeath build is 4.25 CB/s and 24 frame eDeath is 3.38 CB/s. 20 frame Reaper is 0.93 CB/s and 18 frame Reaper is 1.03 CB/s.

Even without any merc, eDeath Decap does a lot of dps (130K+) and kills plenty fast. Obviously not as fast as adding in Might + Pride or Faith, but extremely respectable. Really, any good eBotD, eDeath, eth Reaper’s, eth Tomb Reaver will do extremely well. eDeath is notable for only needing Vex Gul, having a convenient 5os max base that is also its highest dps base, having the highest dps overall (if you really care), and having incredibly high CB. Adding in Faith does add Ohm Jah, and Pride adds Cham Sur Lo, but almost every fury build wants one of them in the end. Those that don’t will ask for nice eth Reaper which isn’t cheap.

Rough dps numbers, using same near perfect gear + perfect ED/IAS rolls + lvl 91
Grief PB + Stormshield + 30max jewel = ~87K
Grief PB + Phoenix = ~101K
eBotD Archon = ~101K
eBotD GThresh = ~111K
eTomb Reaver ZodLoLo = ~113K (beats Zod+80/30, ZodLoOhm, and ZodOhmOhm)
eBotD Tmaul = ~117K
eDeath S-E Axe = ~117K
eBotD GPA = ~118K
eBotD Archon + Faith = ~128K
eDeath Decap = ~135K
eReaper + Faith = ~152K*
eReaper + Might + Pride = ~165K*
eDeath Decap + Might + Pride = ~170K
eDeath S-E Axe + Faith = ~171K
eBotD Tmaul + Faith = ~173K
eDeath Decap + Faith = ~179K

*Assumes decrep is active and adds 50% to the final dps number. In reality, it would add more depending on the monster’s phys res, but for reasons mentioned above I left this at 50% for simplicity since it ultimately doesn’t matter enough to get specific.


This is an awesome breakdown. Just recently leveled my first D2R druid and was torn between a non Eth Reaper’s Toll with Shael, vs a non Eth Tomb Reaver with 2x shael and 40% dmg increase.

Looks like I need to start hunting for an Eth Death base now…

What about a colossus sword vs decapitator?

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Even though both the colossus sword and decapitator have the same base speed, the weapon type also affects the attack speed. Druids usually have a faster attack speed with axes and polearms. This is no different.
The colossus sword attack speed for a druid is normal while the decapitator is fast.

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Colossus Sword and Blade are rather slow on a druid. They both top out at 5/4/7 (24 Frames per fury). Their base damage isn’t as high as a Decap either. 400ED Death on Eth base weapon damage…

CS: 405 - 955 (680 average) and max FpF of 24
CB: 435 - 860 (647.5 average) and max FpF of 24
Decap: 365 - 1025 (695 average) and max FpF of 18 (19 more realistically)

Decap just hits harder and faster, so there’s no contest really.

What changes? Ive been away for awhile, care to elaborate?

Werewolf attack speed is less agnostic to IAS from your gear. Druid WW and WB Attack Speed Changes

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yah but they dont sound as good as that sweet sweet eth upped Ribcracker. It’s like Amouranth asmr and it’s almost as good as eth death decap

Just found this again. Been running an eth cs with death in it and have been steamrolling everything. I am at 8.4k dps with fury non buffed from feral rage, so I’m pretty stoked.

Not top end gear, but I have a Duress, Jalal’s, not even using LoH right now and just cheesing through everything. Only problem I was having was on my Chains of Honor I was taking a lot of physical damage because of the base I used. That is mitigated with the Duress being in a heavier base.

Just wanted to say thank you, I found this thread about a year ago and it planted the seed to try Death to begin with. So good, I don’t play on p8 much, so it’s really as good as it needs to be, given I mostly solo.

Thanks again,


Been re-reading this thread for a while now, and, finally found an eth Decapitator.
it’s Plain Jane, so, no modifiers… notably no ED%.
I’m a Summons build (Hunter, I run a Faith Bow, with act1 Merc) that has a few points in Werewolf (with and eth Reapers) for Baal, DClone… and hopefully Ubers… have not gotten the courage for Ubers just yet.
i typically Summon with Mara’s, then swap to Atma’s…
I could easily swap my Faith (lvl15) bow to my merc when going to WW…
I have the Runes, I have 1 socket quest remaining…
Should I?

I rolled it, came out 357% ED, so it 333-936.
My Druid is lvl92, so deadly strike is 46%.
When to Chaos and ran them back to back…
Don’t need a stop watch to see it is faster than my eth Reapers (215% ED 56-664).
I wore my Mara’s for the resist’s… with Bone Break in inventory PI’s were not an issue with the Death Decap… I mean I noticed them,and it took a second, but needed the Mara’s… with Atma’s just was not enough resists, and it showed in the pot chugging.
For grins, I tried my eBOTD in 'zerker axe with Storm Shield. That was wayyy safer, health barely ever dipp’d, never needed a pot… but much slower (PI’s took forever)… even Diablo chuckled at that combo, but eventually went down.
Doing the runs (4, 2 with Death, 1 with reapers, 1 with eBOTD) netted me a Jalal’s, a B-King ring, a Hellslayer and a Boneslayer.
That is the most luck I have ever experienced.

@ Sasquatch-1309 thanks for sharing your knowledge.

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thanks… I truly appreciate the dialog… I’ll keep an eye out for an eth Decapitator…
guessing you saw @ Profile - Sasquatch-1309 - Diablo 2 Resurrected Forums thread?

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Does the Pohenix Shield is usefull for the ED ? Thank you

Sorry, been a way for a while. I’m updating this thread especially with Metamorphosis rune word added. I’ll talk about single handers and such. Probably wouldn’t recommend phoenix, as the two hander gets the benefit of being pure base damage and benefiting from all the damage % increase.

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No problen, and thank you for the answer, finally I am using grief with pohenix, and i like it. Other option is the rib cracker but i prefere the first.

I got some questions about this specifically regarding Ubers. I have read many guides about Fury Druid but most of them are deviating into general gear suggestions not really tailored to Ubers.
Im really looking for some more indepth info and considerations for Uber Tristram.
For example you say Laying of Hand is suggested for gloves? Is it really a good idea to use it over Draculs? Is it really viable to fight Ubers without life tap?
Or when talking Jewellery is there really an alternative to Angelic Combo? I mean Highlords is nice, but you need to hit the boss to do damage. And Angelic Combo literally doubles my Attack Rating and then its still not enough…
Feral Rage is not mentioned, is it not used for the buff?

Then lets talk about Pets and Merc. Is it really worth to invest anything into any of them? I made the experience that they just die in Tristram.
Maybe its better to put points into any Cyclone Armor and its Synergies?

Feral Rage is a core component of the Fury WW build imo. If a build guide you’re looking at doesn’t talk about it, you’re probably looking at the wrong guide.

WW druid doesn’t deviate much from the shapeshift tree except for either +life or +attack depending on the spirit you use.

Also, without a barb or cota to buff you, Meph hurts regardless of what you wear. Then you start thinking about whether or not you need a pally with maxed conviction to override meph, etc etc.

Ubers are a lot more thought provoking than you might think. The info isn’t always there… But you might want to post on reddit or throw a new post in general on here to see if someone will answer.