Fire Druid Introduction
The fire druid is the alternative elemental damage druid build to the “Wind Druid”. The build uses multiple skills to inflict significant amounts of damage to enemies, and not only fire damage but physical damage too. The build is considered the strongest PvM build for the Druid once you obtain all the required items, however is very expensive to reach full strength and achieve its potential.
The build focuses primarily on the Elemental skill tree, utilising four (yes, four!) damage dealing spells – Armageddon, Volcano, Fissure and Molten Boulder. Each of these skills have a cooldown, and it is possible to cast Firestorm in between if you are fast enough! Armageddon is a duration-based skill that surrounds the Druid in a meteor shower, damaging all monsters around him. This damage is supplemented by simultaneously casting the other skills mentioned above – the combination of which deals huge area damage whilst also single target damage.
I would describe the playstyle as “trigger heavy” and what I mean by this is that you cast A LOT of spells! The end game build is very expensive and requires a lot of high D2R Runewords to complete, however the journey is worth it and once you get there nothing can stand in your way.
Pros and Cons
- Very strong and fast early game through Normal and Nightmare.
- Exceptional clear speed and AOE damage.
- Viable in hardcore with small tweaks
- Viable to kill Diablo Clone.
- End game build is among the most expensive.
- Hell difficulty play through is slow and requires patience.
- Requires switching between a number of skills to maximise damage output.
- Slow at farming early game.
- Not viable for Ubers.
- Firestorm (20)
- Molten Boulder (20)
- Fissure (20)
- Volcano (20)
- Armageddon (20)
- Arctic Blast (1)
- Cyclone Armor (1)
- Raven (1)
- Oak Sage (1-4)
- Summon Spirit Wolf (1)
- Summon Dire Wolf (1)
- Summon Grizzly (1)
Playing through Normal and Nightmare difficulties on a fire Druid is very fast, meaning you can obtain level 50 – 60 in a very quick timeframe. We can go straight into the fire druid build from level 2 and start putting points into firestorm, keep doing this until you are able to put skill points into Fissure and from this point onwards put points into Fissure whenever you level up. Fissure will carry you through both Normal and Nightmare difficulties, for a low-level spell it deals a lot of damage! The damage from Fissure is triggered by movement of the monsters on top of it, so remember to cast and keep moving to make monsters chase you and take maximum damage. A good trick that speed runners use is to cast Fissure below yourself and simply carry on running, monsters will chase you over the Fissures and take damage – keep doing this and you will run through the game very quickly, whilst also gaining experience.
Hell difficulty is where the build begins to struggle with early D2R Ladder Items, there are a lot of monsters that are Fire Immune in the game and whilst Molten Boulder deals some physical damage it is a slow process to kill them all (you can also invest in a high damage weapon for your mercenary). A common technique for Druid is to reset your skill and stat points mid-way through Nightmare difficulty and follow a Wind Druid build until you can afford some of the end game items for the Fire Druid. If you are struggling, I would recommend doing this.
This section is intended to showcase an item build that is achievable after completing the game and you are ready to start farming. Some of the runes may require repeat farming of Normal and / or Nightmare Countess, however this is normally achieved within a short timeframe.
Helm: “Lore” Runeword (Ort Sol) / Peasant Crown
Amulet: +X to Elemental Skills / Life + All Resistances
Weapon: “Spirit” Runeword (Tal Thul Ort Amn)
Armor: “Stealth” Runeword (Tal Eth) / “Smoke” Runeword (Nef Lum)
Shield: “Ancient’s Pledge” Runeword (Ral Ort Tal)
Gloves: Trang-Oul’s Claws / Magefists
Rings: Utility Rings
Belt: Utility Belt / Crafted Caster Belt
Boots: Faster Run Walk with Resistances / Aldur’s Advance
Inventory: Life / Resistance Charms
Mercenary: Act 2 Desert Mercenary with “Might” Aura and “Insight” Runeword (Ral Tir Tal Sol)
At this stage of our build we have no way of breaking fire immunity and need to find areas that have little to no monsters that are Immune to Fire. The Secret Cow Level is the obvious choice here as the majority of monsters will not be immune, and we would just need to watch out for elite packs with immunity. There are other options available to use, my personal preference as an alternative to cows would be Stony Tomb (tomb beneath Dry Hills in Act 2). Stony Tomb is Area Level 85, meaning champion and elite packs can drop every item in the game. My recommendation would be to focus on farming the cow level with the following method.
Before fighting packs of cows ensure you summon ravens, wolves, oak sage and your bear to shield you from incoming damage – you can then cast Armageddon and begin hunting cows. I mentioned earlier that this build deals good area damage and a good tactic is to round up big packs of cows to maximise efficient. Once you have a pack ready, cast Fissure beneath them and try to keep them moving, cast Volcano in the middle of the pack and Molten Boulders into them. If it is safe, or you have a smaller pack that needs finishing off, get a little closer and spam Firestorm to put down additional damage. This isn’t the easiest build for early game farming, but it does work and you will eventually gain enough currency to start putting your end game build together.
I wouldn’t suggest farming bosses in the early game, our single target damage is fairly low at this point and would not be an efficient method of gaining currency. Without enigma we would also need to walk through areas before reaching the boss, which again is not efficient use of time.
The full end game build is very expensive with a lot of Runewords requiring multiple high runes. Our mercenary is the key to unlocking the full damage of this build, and the target item should be “Infinity” to provide Conviction aura, quickly followed by “Enigma” to give us teleport and increased mobility. Once you have these two pieces, you will see a significant increase in farming efficiency. The build does not reach the maximum Faster Cast Rate breakpoint for the Druid as this is not possible with the required items, instead we drop to 99% Faster Cast Rate. This is not a problem for the Fire Druid as the majority of our skills have a cooldown attached to them, so we are unable to spam them with a high cast rate.
Helm: “Flickering Flame” Runeword (Nef Pul Vex)
The ideal base for this Runeword will be a Druid pelt with +3 to one or two of your main skills.
Amulet: +2 Druid Skills / 20 Faster Cast Rate
Weapon: “Heart of the Oak” Runeword (Ko Vex Pul Thul)
Weapon Swap: “Call to Arms” Runeword (Amn Ral Mal Ist Ohm) and “Spirit” Shield
Armor: “Enigma” Runeword (Jah Ith Ber)
Shield: “Phoenix” Runeword (Vex Vex Lo Jah)
Gloves: Trang-Oul’s Claws
Rings: 2x Stone of Jordan / Bul Kathos Wedding Band
Belt: Arachnid’s Mesh
Boots: Aldur’s Advance Battle Boots
Inventory: 1x Flame Rift Sunder Charm
7x Grand Charms with +1 Elemental Skills and + Life (as much as possible)
8x + Life / + Resistance Small Charms.
Druid Hellfire Torch Large Charm.
Annihilus Small Charm.
Mercenary: Act 2 Desert Mercenary with “Might” Aura and “Infinity” Runeword (Ber Mal Ber Ist), ethereal “Fortitude” (El Sol Dol Lo) and Andariel’s Visage with an Increased Attack Speed and Fire Resistance Jewel.
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Strength: Enough to wear your gear
Vitality: As much as possible
This build is viable in Hardcore with a few small tweaks. Survivability is key in Hardcore mode and I would recommend achieving 75% Chance to Block (max block) with our shield, this is not viable with “Phoenix” Runeword. I recommend changing the shield to Stormshield and socketing this with an “Um” rune to boost your resistances.
The loss of “Phoenix” means we no longer have Redemption aura and will need to manage our mana through using potions. It also reduces are damage output as “Phoenix” reduces enemies fire resistance by 28% – you will not see a direct reduction in your damage numbers, however you will notice the difference when you play.
Our stat allocation also changes, we need to add points into Dexterity to achieve max block. The amount will vary depending on your gear but is usually around 200. We do lose a lot of life as a result of this, but it is worth it to block 75% of attacks and with Oak Sage we still reach a high value.
The first step with any PvM Druid build is to summon your animals, make sure you have all your Ravens, Wolves, Oak Sage and Bear ready before fighting as these act as your meat shield.
Once your summons are ready, switch weapons and cast Battle Command and Battle Orders – remember to do it in this order as the +1 Skills from Battle Command will then also apply to Battle Orders. Cast Armageddon and we’re ready to begin hunting!
Teleport around the map until you find a pack of monsters, for maximum damage output you will need to get close enough to the pack for the meteors from Armageddon to hit. Cast Fissure and Volcano on the centre of the pack and kite around the edge to keep them moving (remember, damage from fissure is triggered from movement!). You can also cast Firestorm on smaller groups or single monster to finish them off. As you kill monsters the Redemption aura from our “Phoenix” shield will go to work and help sustain our life and mana.
Killing bosses with this build is feasible however not as efficient as other builds. You can follow the same method as described above for packs, however I would suggest teleporting close to or on top of the boss and casting Firestorm as much as you can in between Fissure and Volcano. Your mercenary will also do work on bosses with the chance to provide Crushing Blow from “Infinity” weapon.
Diablo Clone / Ubers
Killing Diablo Clone is possible with this build, it can be a little slow, but it is doable. You will need to take care of your mercenary throughout the fight and feed him potions (both healing and rejuvenation) to keep him alive, he will do a lot of damage with Crushing Blow and this also means Conviction aura stays applied to the Diablo Cone to increase the damage from our fire skills.
It is not possible to solo Ubers with this build and I would not recommend trying it! If you want to experience the Uber fight you can support a more conventional killer (e.g. Smiter) by killing the summoned minions and make their fight a bit easier.
Article From: Fire Druid Build Guide