5 Unusual Char Builds to Start With

Just to bring up some other topics on this forums, I’d like to discuss some viable starting builds, other than blizzard sorc and hammerdin. I love the sorc. But I don’t like to farm those areas, where the sorc stands out the most. Mainly because I don’t like to teleport around for minutes, searching for the entrance in durance of hate or the catacombs. I prefer fixed map layouts like the cs or an area with hints that indicate the right direction.

The following builds focus mainly on one of those areas and are highly specialized in finding certain tradable items. Trading is almost required if you want to gear up as quickly as a blizzard sorc, who farms mainly Andariel and Mephisto. Instead of finding the sought-after items yourself, you exchange tradable items in for those.

Trap Assassin
There is a bug which prevents elite packs from spawning, once the assassin starts to lay traps. Given the bug stays in the game, this is an excellent advantage to clear the cows to find elite bases, charms, runes and jewels. The fewer boss packs, the faster the runs. Works best with zero mf to increase the chance for white/grey base items.

But even with the bug fixed (which would overall be more desirable for an mf focused char), the assassin still is one of the easiest mf chars early on and could also run Pindle / Eldritch / Schenk.

Fire Sorc
A fire sorc makes an excellent key farmer and focusses on countess, summoner and nilathak. There are almost no fire immunes except countess, who is an easy target for any merc. Nilathak can be rough, but one or two meteors on him will do it. The tower map and the way to nilathak are easy to maneuver through, good luck finding the summoner in arcane sanctuary though.

Key sets (3x3) are worth a good amount (keys of destruction being worth the most) and can easily be traded for stuff like shako, viper, occulus and more.

Zerker Barb
Thanks to battlenet 2.0, we don’t have to suffer from realm downs any longer. We can create as many games per hour as we want and kill pindle over and over again.

Grab a harmony bow with vigor aura for your 2nd slot while in town, run through the red portal (don’t ever get the Halls of Pain waypoint!), howl pindles minions away and zerk him down. Works best with cheap runeword Oath (ShaelPulMalLum), which can be assembled on day 1 with a lucky drop from hellforge quest. An ethereal balrog blade, highland blade or small crescent isn’t hard to find either. Hork pindles corpse (find item) and move on to the next game. Repeat until your fingers start bleeding.

If you are more intrigued to play with friends or in publics, spending BO, running behind, plundering corpses and picking up left overs isn’t bad either if thats your thing!

Pit Necro
A bonemancer makes for a great pit runner with zero mf. Similar to the trap assassin we aim for white/grey bases like monarchs, eth elite polearms and socketed armors. Dim vision takes care of those nasty archers, while you shoot bonespears into the packs and finish them up with corpse explosion. Start from the outer cloister wp and follow the path to the pits in tamo highlands, preferably with a harmony bow in the 2nd slot (vigor aura).

Later on, with better items (3 parts trang ouls), we can switch to poison nova and speed up the runs immensely.

Budget Smiter
A budget smiter with the runeword black in a flail, treachery to precast fade and a life tap wand is probably one of the best builds, if you want to accumulate wealth early on. But it requires a lot of work and might not be the best char to start with, if you don’t have a friends list to rely on. I see this more as a group task for 2-3 players, but it could totally be done solo. Together you buy key sets (3x3), smite ubers and sell torches. A sorc from your friends list who looks out for Lillith, Duriel and Izual and a barb spending BO makes everything smoother.

Try your luck and identify those torches yourself or sell them unidentified (recommended). A torch is worth a fortune in week 1, not so much later on.

What are your unconventional build ideas to start with?


i wouldn’t necessarily call them unusual , especially fire sorc which is very often made at the very least for early leveling up thanks to the leaf Runewords

Not really unusual either , but i like to start with wind druid personally.


With how easy it is to respec why play any subpar low level build at all at start?

No one who’s concerned with efficiency starts as anything except a fire sorc. Leaf is too useful and gets you through nightmare. Once you hit late nightmare/hell, you change over to cold.

Otherwise, I like the idea behind your thread.


Currently working on a Plague Javazon for release.


proceed to list popular builds lol

to be honest unusual builds would be

  • Summon sorc (best boss mfer in the game)

  • CTC winddruid

  • Poison jav

  • daggermancer

  • throw barb

  • vengeance pally


How exactly do those builds keep up with a blizzard sorc in regards of gearing up early on? Never heard of an efficient farming strategy with a daggermancer, especially low on gear to start with.

Maybe this topics title should have been more clear, my apologies. My previous title reached the 60 characters limit, so I had to shorten it. It should have been:
5 Unusual Char Builds to Start With (that can compete with an mf sorc)

I totally would love to hear your strategies though. :slight_smile:

With starting char I don’t literally mean a solo selffound char from 1-70, I mean an efficient build that you could start farming with, once you reached hell and/or a certain level. Maybe I assumed too much from my own experience that everyone would make the conclusion from context, again I apologize.

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I was new once and played blizzard sorc, then I realized how limiting it is and moved on to other builds. Farming Ancient Tunnels and Meph all day is just boring, and unless you’re offline you’ll get r/d unless you add more to your run time, and there’s not much else you can do with blizz sorc until you get infinity. There are literally dozens of efficient builds you can start farming with that keep up with blizz sorc and can also mf places blizz sorc cannot.

As far as the list of unusual char builds to start with, those are all pretty common.

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Imo, every class has an end-game budget mf’ing build available to them for different content.

You did miss windy druid (I don’t play it often but it’s really easy to play)

Describe more, please. I like this concept, but it is extremely weak and gold expensive last time I tried. I’ve summoned lvl 17 Valkyrie from amazon armor and some monsters from harmony bow - not good at all, even with maximum enchant.

Don’t forget mausoleum, andariel, and lower kurast :slight_smile:

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At least 80% will start the game with a blizzard sorc and run Andariel / Mephisto / Tunnels, as you have stated. A good chunk of hammerdins fill out the remaining 20%. There are not many common starter builds left. Again, I just wanted to list some unusual builds to begin farming with, which manage to farm certain areas with high or the highest efficiency. Those are neither exotic builds of any kind nor uncommon overall, but they are uncommon to start with.

Even the fire sorc isn’t the go to mf build for most of the sorcs early on, but not really uncommon at all, I agree.

I’m gonna have to hard disagree on these numbers. I think about 40% actually start the game as sorc with maybe 35% paladin and 25% other. I’m basing this off what I’ve seen on the ladder boards first few days after resets.

I’m confused now because these are 2 different things. I was under the impression by your OP that you were talking about building a character to farm with that was comparable to a blizz sorc or hammerdin. If you were meaning to actually start the game with then neither of these builds would even works until you are in hell and have gear.

I always thought a throw barb would be fun.

I also like the idea of a point blank sorc.

Neither are optimal.

I want whatever this guy is having… Never heard of anything better than a Blizzard Sorceress.

I love the melee soso (bows included). It’s hard to get the gear though, so you probably won’t be doing it at first. But there’s a low level runeword for swords that gives you zeal or something (I forget) which can be fun at first. Although it’s not super op like some of the builds.

well , to be fair Lightning sorc can be better due to infinity.
and Hammerdin is more confortable to solo kill heavy bosses like diablo or baal due to how tanky he is usually while not caring about fire , lightning and cold immunity.
Though yea blizzard sorc comes close to them especially with death’s fathom and a good mf weapon + shield on switch) and is better than lightning sorc without infinity.

but yea summoner sorc is kinda bad, fun , but bad for Mfing , he keep saying that it’s the best mfing in multiple topic by summoning viper etc… with revive and enchanting them is the way to go.

but for mfing it’s pretty bad.
it’s very non efficient gold wise (due to how heavy charge repair is) , it’s very non efficient time wise (revives don’t live for long and you have to set it up and then enchant them) and it’s meh compared to any kind of powerful AOE even when set up. (while being non reliable against physical immune and due to revives dying 3 minutes later)

by the time you do all that you could have made a ton of mephisto / pindle farm.

at that point , Mf wise an actual summoning necro with enigma is probably better (due to the various curses he can put without relying on charge) or simply a mf wind druid. (compared to summoning sorc i mean)

I agree a Hammerdin and Light Sorceress could “technically” be better than a Blizzard Sorceress but for time efficiency and raw power, Blizzard is the way to go. It hits its target immediately, has wide-ish spread and does quite a substantial amount of damage and is very kite friendly as well as off-screen targeting friendly. Blizzard also has the added benefit of slowing monsters down.

Hammerdins have janky hit boxes and require you to be on top of your target which can be lethal to the player, but deal tons of damage, and magic damage of which most nothing is immune to.

Lightning Sorceresses are very reliant on their target not moving and Lightning is very slow to reach its target, comparatively speaking with the aforementioned skills… but does devastating damage…

So it’s really all about how efficient you want to be.

You are completely wrong it is way overpowered, just not very well known.

Well as I said I value those 3 build as rather equal personally.

Each have their flaw.
Cold is the best way to go at low and mid gear.
At high gear I usually prefer lightning personally.
Blizzard is great but i’am not a huge fan of its hit box, sometime monsters right in the middle of the blizzard don’t get hit at all.

As for hammerdin it’s a range skill but I consider it close combat personally due to how weird it’s hitbox are as well.

I’d say the three are great
Poison necro is pretty great too.

Efficiency wise though, personally I think the pitzerker come out on top.
But I wouldn’t play it for long, very efficient but… Not a fan of it xD