To Buff Martial Arts Assassin, Remove NHD and Enable LC for Elemental Charge First of All

I was glad to see the Rureword like Mosaic! And it mentioned that “buff MA Sin”.
However, Phoenix Strike would gain few improvements even if dual Mosaic could have 100% chance not consume charge ball in the Finish Moves due to NHD (Next Hit Delay).
Fortunately, we have more choice which cost few to help MA sin!

Let’s see the pain points for MA sin:

  1. Next Hit Delay. Especially for Phoenix Strike (layer2&3 charge and Plague CTC poison nove and Claw of Thunder layer2&3 Nova&charged bolt are sharing 4F NHD).
  2. If a charge move is blocked by enemy, the charge level will not up.
  3. Phoenix Strike cannot get any damage bonus from + % (Cold/Fire/Lightning Skill Damage).

If we resolve the above 3 pain points, I suggest turning down the % chance of Mosaic’s legendary effect.

Let me explain them in detail:

  1. Next Hit Delay.
    “Phoenix Strike” layer 2&3 Arc lightning bolts & chaos ice bolts, “Claws of Thunder” layer 2&3 Nova, Runeword “Plague”'s chance to cast “Poison Nova” have the 4 Frames sharing NHD.
    In v2.4 or v2.5, if Assassin release full charged phoenix strike with Dragon talon, the major target often only takes 2.5K cold damage and a low level poison nova, the most powerful arc lightning bolts damage is eaten by the 4F sharing NHD!
    If you tried to charge Claws of Thunder and Phoenix Strike – it would be NHD eaten damage nightmare.

So will Mosaic save the Phoenix Strike Sin?
Let’s see what will happen with Max chance Mosaic.
Assume that dual Mosaic Claw have 100% chance not consume charge ball.
Now you charge 3rd layers of Lv45 Phoenix Strike and release it with lv 26 Dragon Talon (5hits). it costs 7f x3 + 3Fx4+7F = 40Frames
What will happen?
Yes, there would be countless chaos ice bolts filling up your screen and even jamming your computer.
What about the damage? Only 3 ice bolts would cause damage to the main target!
Lv45 Phoenix Strike (max on Blade of Ice): 2.5K cold damage. the main target got 7.5K cold damage.
In 40Frames, Nova sor can cause: 8K x 5 = 40K lightning damage!

The same thing happens on Phoenix Strike 2 layer charge:
Lv 45 Phoenix Strike (Max on Claw of Thunder): 1-10K lightning damage. average 5K.
in the same scenario, the damage major target would be only 5Kx3 = 15K.
Since in D2R, not as same as traditional D2 game: the layer2 charge Lightning bolt is NOT chained lightning, but an arc lightning bolt with 2 types of fixed path.
I agree that chained lightning should have 4F NHD, but lightning bolt should not have NHD but enable “last collide” mechanism.

That’s the major reason that Phoenix Strike Martial Arts Sin is so weak.

If we remove the NHD for 2nd and 3rd layer, even if without Mosaic:
the ice bolts damage to major target would be: 2.5kx16= 40K, in 40Frames.
the lightning bolts damage to major target would be: 5kx6= 30K, in 33Frames.
Phoenix Strike, can be got at Level 30, has the chance to compete with Sor Nova!

  1. The charge moves could be blocked by some enemy (Baal, Diablo). Then ASN cannot get any charge ball.
    However, we have no idea for the blocking system.
    Even if the charge moves have 95% hit chance, Baal can still block 50% of the hit chance.
    Therefore, expected hit rate is only 47.5%.
    It means, the MA sin has only 47.5% chance to get a charge ball in each charge move.
    For melee physical damage build like Zeal, the drop in damage is easy to expected.
    However, for MA sin, the effect was scaled larger - The difficulty of controlling the charge layers increases exponentially!
    e.g. I always want to cast Layer 2 Phoenix strike - it would be so hard, if the charge move was blocked.

  1. Phoenix Strike cannot get any damage bonus from + % (Cold/Fire/Lightning Skill Damage).
    Actaully, it should be a Fire SKill / lightning skill / cold skill. but in Diablo 2, it is not…

Just make the charge ups always hit instead of the finisher when charged. It would make charge way smoother and much more reliable and have minimal impact on the finishers since they have way higher AR than charge ups and hit way faster. It’s much more annoying missing one of your charges compared to one kick in a chain of 5.


It’s not as easy as jusy removing it totally, that would lead to a bunch of problems with missiles applying full damage every frame. I can sorta see how they’ve not solved it yet, it’s only been a problem since 2.4 after all.

That said, it needs to be fixed somehow and now is a as good time as any.

Or, give us some more attack rating on charge ups and let them hit or miss but we still get a charge. That alone would make the rhythm of martial arts be more consistent.

Yeah, gaining a charge even if you miss is not a bad idea. You can actually precharge before you engage making it much safer to engage mobs if you can unload your damage right away.

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Yes, exactly.

Not only could you get into a good muscle rhythm, but you could strategically charge up swinging at air or at weak mobs and turn and unleash the finisher on the boss.

For builds like Phoenix strike, who really want specific charge counts, it would make the build far less clunky.

For all martial builds, there would be far less wasted charges or finishers unleashed with no charges.


Running into Lord De Seis pack with fanaticism active and needing to charge-up PS still gives me nightmares.

What’s a material art sin?


You know, they work in clays, wood, marble, metals, really a whole variety of materials, … to kill people.

To the thread topic:

I’m not personally a fan of removing NHD altogether. But NHD needs to be recoded to apply to individual skill functions per cast, not as a global condition across a category of skills per monster.

I do agree charge-up skills should get the code copied over from finishing moves currently so that they auto-hit as long as you have at least one charge. My suggested changes are pretty extensive (but easy to implement), here:

And, yeah, the +% elemental damage issue should also be fixed.


Sorry, typo, it should be Martial Arts Assassin.

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Yeah I actually like the idea of gaining charges even if you miss the most. It makes charging less annoying and allows you to pre charge. It really solves the issue during group play where the mobs are dying before you even charge up by front loading your damage. It also gives you the option of playing hit and run with dangerous mobs by not forcing you to stay in order to charge up.

It’s a really small charge that does not change skills mechanics at all. It’s still charge and release but just much easier to do. If preserving playstyle is what the devs are concerned about. If not then another option could be having the charge ups give you a charge automatically every 3 seconds in addition to regular charging, achieves the same effect but much more fluid than having to swing in the air eveytime before you hit a group.

Yeah I’ll admit the idea is growing on me, particularly with the group play aspect.
Gaining charges from missing might even allow the MA sin to appear in pvp.

I don’t think timed charges works, completely changes the character.

I think extending the time on how long charges last for will help in combination with gaining charges from missing.


Extend the charge lasting time is an option for the new Rune word.

But the priority of these buff should be much lower than removing NHD from Phoenix Strike.

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Phoenix Strike seem to need more improvements, too.

In PTR, Assassin geared Fortitude and GoreRider, from exchanging Druid.
But, in hell, it was stagnate, though i operation frequency.