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Fire Claws Druid Guide

Fire Claws Druid

Introduction

The Fire Claws Druid is able to shape-shift into a powerful Werewolf. In this form, he mauls down enemies with mighty claws. And he is not limited to dealing Physical Damage! Fire Claws call upon nature's elements to imbue his claws with massive Fire Damage to annihilate anything that crosses the Druid's path.

With a massive Life pool and access to redemption from phoenix, this build has incredible sustain and rarely finds itself in dangerous situations.

Armageddon provides very strong AOE Fire and Physical Damage that helps our clear speed. The increase in monster Level to Stony Tomb, makes it the perfect place for this mighty Druid. He can clear this area very quickly, even on a high player count.

Ideal Standard Setup
Fire Claws
Armageddon
Werewolf
Teleport

This build guide assumes you have a Character at Level 75 before transitioning to it. Check out our Druid Leveling Guide and our General Leveling Strategies to reach Level 75.

Very Tanky ✔
Many Farming Options ✔
High Single Target Damage ✔
We Get To Be An Awesome Wolf ✔

❌ Bad Season Starter
❌ Clunky And Slow Mobility
Single Target Melee Attacks
❌ High-End Gear Requirements



Sunder Charm Setup

Patch 2.5 introduces a new way of breaking Immunities: Sunder Charms. Any enemy that would be Immune to your damage type is insted reduced to 95% Resistance, before any other Resistance reductions apply. (e.g. Conviction, Lower Resist) The Charm also reduces YOUR Resistance against the sundered damage type! Check out our post on Sunder Charms to learn more about these new Charms. The following setup usesFlame Rift, allowing you to farm anywhere you want.

Sunder Charm Setup

Gear Changes

To optimize this Sunder Charm we need as much -% Enemy Fire Resistance as possible. Equip Hand of Justice Phase Blade, Flickering Flame Pelt, and Phoenix Monarch for a total of -63% Enemy Fire Resistance!

Flickering Flame Pelt counteracts the negative effect of Flame Rift easily.


Terror Zones

The new Terror Zone mechanic combined with Sunder Charms open up a wide range of farmable areas. The following list highlights the best and worst Terror Zones for this build on the Budget setup. With the Sunder Charm Setup, more Terror Zones become accessible. Learn more about Terror Zones here and see how they stack up in our Terror Zone Tier List.

Best

Nihlathak's Temple - Quick Access, Boss, JUST KILL Pindleskin
Frigid Highlands - Quick Access, Boss, JUST KILL Eldritch the Rectifier
Far Oasis - Quick Access, Boss, No Immunities
Stony Tomb - Many Elite Groups, No Immunities, Kill Elite Groups in Rocky Waste!
Tal Rasha's Tombs - High Density, SKIP TOMBS WITH Burning Dead!

Worst

Chaos Sanctuary - Immunities
Worldstone Keep + Throne of Destruction - Immunities, Tanky enemies, High Elemental Damage
Cathedral + Catacombs - Immunities, Trash Mobility
River of Flame + City of the Damned - Immunities, Tanky enemies
Outer Steppes + Plains of Despair - Immunities, Tanky enemies, High Elemental Damage


Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Heart of Wolverine
2. lycanthropy
3. fury

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Fire Claws
2. Molten Boulder
3. Firestorm
4. Armageddon
5. Volcano

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Damage

Fire Claw* is your main Damage Skill. The Druid slaps his enemies one by one with his claws and deals massive Fire Damage. Must be in Werebear or Werewolf form.

Armageddon* is your secondary Damage Skill. The Druid calls up nature to let Fire rain from the sky. This Skill moves around with your Character, dealing damage to monsters hit by the small projectiles. Cast it whenever it runs out to gain AoE-Damage.

Fury* makes 5 Physical Damage attacks on a single target or five hits on five separate targets. It is used to kill Immune to Fire monsters.

* Increased Attack Speed Skills (IAS)
* Faster Cast Rate Skills (FCR)

Utility

Werewolf* transforms the Druid into a swift wolf which is required to use Fire Claws. It also provides Attack Speed and Attack Rating.

feral rage* increases your movement speed and grants additional Life Stolen per hit. This improves your overall clear speed and your survivability.

Lycanthropy* increases the duration of your Werewolf-form and provides a massive boost to your Life pool.

Summon Grizzly* summons a bear to fight by your side. He is a great distraction for your enemies!

Heart of Wolverine* summons a spirit that provides an Aura that buffs your team’s Attack Rating and Physical Damage.

Teleport* relocates you to an available space centered at your cursor, crossing over any gaps or walls. It can be used to travel long distances quickly.

* Faster Cast Rate Skills (FCR)
* Skills that do NOT utilize either FCR or IAS


Attributes

Note: This section provides you with the standard Stat Point allocation. Build Variants can require a different allocation!

Strength

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength to equip all of your gear. Take into account how much Strength your gear provides when equipped.

Dexterity

Allocate enough Stat Points into Dexterity to equip all of your gear. Take into account how much Dexterity your gear provides when equipped.

Vitality

Allocate any remaining Stat Points into Vitality after meeting Strength, Dexterity and Energy requirements.

Energy

Do not allocate any Stat Points into Energy. Mana costs are covered by “x% Mana Stolen per Hit” or “+x Mana after each Kill” on gear.


Essentials

Gear Options

While every Stat in the Desirable Stats column is useful for this build, we highlighted the Priority Stats in Teal so you can easily identify the Most Important Stats on them.

Hover over any Item to see a pop-out with the full Item description.

Gear/Base Notes: Any Items with specialized or niche uses have a superscript that refers here.
1) The Caster Crafted Amulet should have at least 13% Faster Cast Rate to hit the Breakpoint at 63% FCR.
2) Angelic Wings and Angelic Halo are always used in combination with each other.

SlotItem OptionsDesirable Stats
Weapon
Ribcracker (upgraded)
Grief Phase Blade
Oath Phase Blade
Oath Berserker Axe
Hexfire Elegant Blade (shael Rune)
+x to All Skills
+x to Fire Skills
+x% Increased Attack Speed
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
x% Chance of Crushing Blow
X Resist +x%
Socketed [x]
Off-HandPhoenix Monarch
Spirit Monarch
Stormshield
Level x Redemption Aura When Equipped
+x to All Skills
-x% to Enemy Fire Resistances

+x% to Maximum Lightning Resist
+x% to Maximum Fire Resist
X Resist +x%
All Resistances +x
Weapon-SwapCall to Arms Crystal Sword
Staff of Teleportation
Wand of Lower Resistance
spellsteel
+x to All Skills
+x to battlecommand
+x to battleorders

Level x Lower Resist [x/x Charges]
Level x Teleport [x/x Charges]
Off-Hand-SwapSpirit Monarch+x to All Skills
HelmetsJalal's Mane
Ravenlore
Rare Pelt
Guillaume's Face
Cerebus' Bite
Flickering Flame Primal Helm
+x to Druid Skills
+x to Fire Claws
+x to Heart of Wolverine

+x to Oak Sage
+x to Summon Grizzly
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
x% Bonus to Attack Rating
x% Bonus to Attack Rating (Based on Character Level)
-x% to Enemy Fire Resistance
x% Chance of Crushing Blow
x% Deadly Strike
+x to Life
X Resist +x%
All Resistances +x
Socketed [x]
Body ArmorEnigma Mage Plate
Duress Dusk Shroud
Chains of Honor Dusk Shroud
Smoke Mage Plate
Treachery Mage Plate
guardian Angel
x% Chance to cast Level 15 Fade when struck
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Run/Walk
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
x% Chance of Crushing Blow
x% Chance of Open Wounds
+x to Teleport
All Resistance +x
GlovesMagefist
Dracul's Grasp
Blood Crafted Gloves
laying of hands
x% Chance to cast Level 10 Life Tap on striking
+x to Fire Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
x% Bonus to Attack Rating
x% Chance of Crushing Blow
x% Chance of Open Wounds
BeltsArachnid Mesh
String of Ears
Verdungo's Hearty Cord
Thundergod's Vigor
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate

+x% Faster Hit Recovery
Damage Reduced by x%
+x to Vitality
+x% to Maximum Lightning Resist
+x Lightning Absorb
BootsRare Boots
Aldur's Advance
Sandstorm Trek
Gore Rider
waterwalk
Natalya's Soul
+x% Faster Run/Walk
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x to Strength
x% Chance of Crushing Blow
x% Deadly Strike
x% Chance of Open Wounds
X Resist +x%
AmuletsCaster Crafted Amulet1
Angelic Wings2
Caster Crafted Amulet
Mara's Kaleidoscope
The Rising Sun
+x to All Skills
+x to Druid Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate

X Resist +x%
All Resistances +x
RingsRaven Frost
Rare Ring
Angelic Halo
the stone of jordan
Bul-Kathos' Wedding Band
+x to Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x to Attack Rating
+x to Strength
+x to Life
X Resist +x%
All Resistances +x
Cold Absorb x%
Cannot Be Frozen
CharmsGrand Charm
Large Charm
Small Charm
+x to Shape Shifting Skills (Druid Only)
+x% Faster Run / Walk
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x to Attack Rating
+x to Attribute
+ Life
X Resist +x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Unique CharmsFlame Rift
Gheed's Fortune
Hellfiretorch (Druid)
Annihilus
Monster Fire Immunity is Sundered
+x to Druid Skill Levels
+x to all Attributes
All Resistances +xx%
Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Reduces all Vendor Prices x%

Farming Spots

The areas below are efficient farming locations that make use of the build’s strengths. Other farming spots might not be as effective due to immunities or bad layouts. These areas are strong without a Sunder Charm.

Anything that has a in the "Starter" column can be farmed with the Starter or Budget Variant.

Act 1

AreaStarterRewards
MausoleumAll Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
The Pit-All Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
AndarielUniques
Sets
Jewelry

Act 2

AreaStarterRewards
Stony TombAll Item Types
Max Area Level
Ancient Tunnels-All Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling

Act 3

AreaStarterRewards
Travincal-Gearing
Runes
Charms / Gems / Jewels
Gold

Act 5

AreaStarterRewards
Eldritch the RectifierGearing
Gold
Leveling
Shenk the OverseerGearing
Gold
Leveling
PindleskinGearing
Gold
Leveling
Nihlathak-Key of Destruction
Leveling
Icy Cellar-All Item Types
Max Area Level
Worldstone Keep / Throne of Destruction-All Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Baal / Waves-Uniques
Sets
Max Area Level
Leveling

Ubers

AreaRewards
LilithDiablo's Horn
DurielBaal's Eye
Izual Mephisto's Brain
Mephisto, Diablo, BaalHellfire Torch

Mercenary

Your Mercenary serves an incredibly important role to the overall success of your build. They can be a front line tank, provide a pivotal Aura, and/or deal Physical Damage to kill enemies with Immunity to your Skill set.

Act 2 Desert Mercenary

The Act 2 Desert Mercenary is hired from Greiz.
He can be equipped with a Spear or a Polearm, a Body Armor and a Helmet. 
Every Act 2 Mercenary has access to an Aura and uses Jab as his base Attack. The Aura activates once the Mercenary has engaged in combat and remains active between traveling to and from town. The Auras available are based on what difficulty you hire the Mercenary from.

Might Infinity

Infinity, Might

Use a Desert Mercenary with Might Aura to deal with enemies that are immune to your main damage source.
Equip him with Infinity to reduce enemy Resistances and Defense with Conviction Aura, drastically boosting damage.

Gear Progression

Early-GameMid-GameEnd-Game
Insight
(any Polearm)
Insight
(Elite Polearm)
Infinity Thresher
Smoke
(Any Body Armor)
Treachery
(Any Body Armor)
Fortitude
(Body Armor, 700++ Base Defense)
Any Helmet
with Resistance / Life
Tal Rasha's Horadric CrestAndariel’s Visage
(Ethereal)

The Mercenary is hard to keep alive until you have the minimum gear recommended in this guide. Remember you can drag Healing Potions onto the portrait, or shift + 1/2/3/4 to directly feed them a Healing Potion from your Belt. The Mercenary also gains bonus Resistances from Thawing Potions and Antidote Potions.

If your Mercenary dies in battle, you can revive them from any of the Mercenary NPCs in each Act. This does come with an increasing cost, capping at 50,000 Gold. Keep that in mind and decide if the Mercenary is currently worth the cost.

Playstyle

General

  • Summon Heart of Wolverine before you leave town. Keep it up at all times - It increases your damage output by adding Attack Rating and Physical Damage.
  • Transform into the Werewolf-form to travel to your farming spot. Hit monsters with Feral Rage to increase your movement speed. Keep this buff up at all times!
  • When entering your desired farming spot, cast Armageddon and start mauling down your enemies with Fire Claws.

Immunities

  • When facing an Immune to Fire monster, switch to fury to attack it. This skill works best if no other monsters are in attack range, as you want to hit them with all 5 hits.
  • If a monster is Immune to both Fire and Physical Damage, simply move on to the next enemies, you can't deal with this combination if it isn't broken by infinity.
  • Flame Rift sets the Fire Resistance of Immune to Fire monsters to 95%. With some -x% Enemy Fire Resistance, you can easily melt them.

Late-Game

  • Use Teleport from Enigma to travel to your farming spot and jump between Elite Groups. This requires you to switch in and out of your shape-shifting forms because you can't use Teleport while transformed.
  • Keep your Mercenary on a short leash to make use of his Conviction Aura.
  • Cast Battle Command twice and Battle Orders in your Weapon Swap before engaging in combat. Refresh these buffs as soon as they run out. Buffing Heart of Wolverine this way will increase the strength of their aura, but it often dies quickly, so don't worry about buffing it every time.

Ubers

Pre-Buffing

  • Equip Treachery and go to the River of Flame Waypoint. To the east, you find a pillar with a small fire that "attacks" you if you stand inside it. Place yourself inside to proc Fade before anything else. If you hear your Character taking damage, you know it’s working.
  • Cast Battle Command twice and Battle Orders on your Weapon Swap before engaging in combat. Refresh these buffs as soon as they run out.
  • Summon Heart of Wolverine on the Weapon-Swap with higher +x to Skill Levels. Cast Battle Command and Battle Orders again to buff your spirit.

Fights

  • Enter the red Portals and use Teleport to find the Mini Ubers (Lilith, Duriel, Izual). Transform into Werewolf-form and clear out the area before you engage them in battle.
  • Fight the Ubers one by one! Swap your Belt to Thundergod's Vigor against Uber Mephisto and keep up your armageddon to kill minions spawned by the Ubers.

Breakpoints

Breakpoints in Diablo 2 are the minimum values required to reduce the frames of an action. Below are the important breakpoints considered for this build. For more information on the mechanics involved, check out our in-depth Resource: Breakpoints.

Faster Cast Rate (FCR)

Faster Cast Rate (FCR) speeds up your casting animation for spells. Aim for at least the 68% FCR Breakpoint. Note: FCR only controls the animation speed of the Character, and not any internal Cooldowns spells have.

Human-Form

Frames181716151413121110
FCR04101930466899163

Increased Attack Speed (IAS)

Increased Attack Speed (IAS) speeds up your attack animations. Weapon bases have different IAS breakpoints. Values for recommended weapon options provided below. Consult the d2planner for other bases.

Phase Blade

Frames13121110987654
Weapon IAS026151829446182108

Faster Hit Recovery (FHR)

Faster Hit Recovery (FHR) increases survivability. Aim for the 86% FHR Breakpoint.

werewolf-Form

Frames765432
FHR09204286280

Hardcore

For all Hardcore gameplay, your primary focus is increasing your Resistances, Damage Reduction, Chance to Block and Maximum Life. This can mean sacrificing overall power level for a more secure playstyle.

This build is Hardcore viable. If you are unaccustomed to this playstyle, we recommend trying this build on Softcore to gain experience on how to successfully pilot it.


Build Variants

Budget

Setup

A hexfire socketed with a shael rune adds +3 to Fire Skills with decent Attack Speed. Equip any +20% Increased Attack Speed gloves to get the highest Attack Speed Breakpoint possible. Equip Jalal's Mane, Magefist, and Spirit Monarch for as many +to Skills as possible. This increases your damage significantly!

Raven Frost and the Angelic Ring + Amulet combination grant Cannot Be Frozen and a huge amount of required Attack Rating.

Mercenary

Equip your Mercenary with an Insight, Tal Rasha's Horadric Crest and Treachery Mage Plate. His Holy Freeze brings a great amount of Crowd Control to help keep us safe.

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Heart of Wolverine
2. lycanthropy
3. fury

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Fire Claws
2. Molten Boulder
3. Firestorm
4. Armageddon

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength and Dexterity to wear your gear. Put remaining points into Vitality.

Standard

Setup

The main variant of this build combines high mobility outside the shape-shifted form with as much damage as possible. With Magefist, Arachnid Mesh and Faster Cast Rate on the Caster Crafted Amulet (13+% FCR) and a Rare Ring we achieve a decent Cast Rate Breakpoint for Enigma's Teleport.

Raven Frost provides Cannot Be Frozen which is crucial for any Attack Build. A Grief Phase Blade combines a high Attack Speed, which is crucial for this build, with high Physical Damage to deal with monsters Immune to Fire.

High damage values are achieved with as many +x to Skills as possible. Phoenix Monarch reduces enemies Fire Resistances to round out the build.

Mercenary

Infinity opens up a lot of farming spots for the Fire Claw Druid. Fortitude and Andariel's Visage make him very durable.

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Heart of Wolverine
2. lycanthropy
3. fury

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Fire Claws
2. Molten Boulder
3. Firestorm
4. Armageddon
5. Volcano

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength and Dexterity to wear your gear. Put remaining points into Vitality.

Magic Find

Setup

The Magic Find variant simply replaces Spiritual Grand Charm of Vita with Steel Small Charm of Good Luck or Shimmering Small Charm of Good Luck. With enough Resistances on those Charms you can replace the Rare Boots with War Traveler.

Be careful to not reduce your damage too much!

Mercenary

Infinity opens up a lot of farming spots for the Fire Claw Druid. Fortitude and Andariel's Visage make him very durable.

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Heart of Wolverine
2. lycanthropy
3. fury

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Fire Claws
2. Molten Boulder
3. Firestorm
4. Armageddon
5. Volcano

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength and Dexterity to wear your gear. Put remaining points into Vitality.


Summary

  • Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength and Dexterity to wear your gear. Put remaining points into Vitality.
  • Summon Heart of Wolverine and keep the spirit up at all times.
  • Use Feral Rage in Werewolf to increase movement speed until you have access to Enigma.
  • Focus your efforts on Elite Group bosses as Fire Claws is a single-target ability. Cast armageddon for some AoE-clear.

The Fire Claws Druid is a powerhouse when it comes to single-target damage. With some practice, you can utilize the synergies to add AoE-damage and increase your efficiency, which feels very rewarding!

Good luck!


Credits

Written by Teo1904
Reviewed by MacroBioBoi


Changelog

Sep 19th 2022
Updated to Patch 2.5 - Added Sunder Charms and Terror Zones

Feb 16th 2022
Updated to Patch 2.4 - Basically a full rewrite