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Amazon | Assassin | Barbarian | Druid | Necromancer | Paladin | Sorceress
Faster Block Rate | Faster Cast Rate | Faster Hit Recovery

Martial Arts: Claw/claw Pvp Assassin


This guide has been made by me to help players build a viable PvP Assassin in 1.10. Information in this guide is based solely on my experience with assassins and general knowledge about the class. I recommend finding what you like and building off of it.


Advantages of Claw/Claw:

1. C/C sins can easily reach 2k-3k life, and with the proper gear you can also reach 4k, because of the fact that they do not need excessive points in Dexterity to reach max block with a shield. Rather they put points into Claw Block.
2. C/C sins attack faster then C/S sins. With Dragon Claw being your main attack you will shoot for 5fps/claw attack speed. The fastest you can achieve (10fps total Dragon Claw speed).
3. C/C sins now have an added block feature; they are able to block almost every elemental spell. That makes them the biggest threat to casters.
4. C/C sins have a better chance of blocking when running then C/S sins. The max block you achieve with weapon block will stay the same, it is not affected by the 1/3 running penalty.

Disadvantages of Claw/Claw:

1. C/C has slightly lower block then a C/S when walking or standing still. But keep in mind that Claw Block is the only skill in the game that can block elemental skills. Shields cannot block elemental spells so this is where Claw Block comes out on top.
2. With C/C you receive slightly less resist then a C/S sin would. But 1.10 has added new items with more resists that reduce this problem. By doing your Anya quests and wearing the proper gear you can easily overcome this minor problem.
3. C/C sins in 1.09 generally had problems with obtaining max DR. But in 1.10 the damage reduce cap has been lowered to 50% instead of 75%. This is still a disadvantage because of the fact that C/C sins are limited to what they can use. In 1.10 the new items have more +DR% to them and BER runes are more easily obtainable then in the past.

Notice that most of the disadvantages of Claw/Claw are very minor. C/C Sins should NOT be underestimated.


Assassin hit recovery frame rates:

9 Frame – 0 FHR
8 Frame – 7 FHR
7 Frame – 15 FHR
6 Frame – 27 FHR
5 Frame – 48 FHR
4 Frame – 86 FHR
3 Frame – 200 FHR

Note: Your goal is to shoot for 86 FHR (4 frame recovery) at the very LEAST. In 1.10 more items with +FHR have been made, so a 3 frame hit recovery (200 FHR) is obtainable.


I will not be going in-depth to all the skills, but providing a good explanation about the skills you will be using. These skills are based solely on a high lvl assassin (Level 75-90). You can decide how far up you want to lvl, but you will have to make major/minor changes accordingly.

Note: Don’t forget to do your quests!!! Reward quests from Den of Evil, Radament and Izual add up to 12 skill points (4 from each difficulty).

Remember that you will need 1 point in all prerequisites to the skills listed below. Skills are precious, take your time in allocating them or you may mess up and wish to remake your assassin.

Martial Arts Skill Tree:

20 – Dragon Claw (DC). Required Level – 4.

This will be your main attack/skill. It has no diminishing returns and it boasts a HUGE attack rating bonus. This skill packs quite a punch, you MUST max this skill.

1 – Dragon Flight (DF). Required Level – 24. Cast Delay – 2 Seconds.

While being one of the most valued skills for a Martial Arts sin in PvP, DF needs no more then 1 point to be effective. In 1.10 it has acquired a casting delay which may cripple you in combat. Check the armor section in “EQUIPMENT” for how you can overcome this.

Shadow Disciplines Skill Tree:

20 – Claw Mastery (CM). Required Level – 1.

CM is no longer bugged in 1.10, so it is not as strong as it once was. You can invest as many skill points as you’d like in it. It has no diminishing returns to it so there is no “downside” except the mere fact that you will have less skill points for other skills. At lvl 20 it will add 220+% to your AR, 111+% damage, and 21x% chance of critical strike. With all that said, I myself maxed it, and you should too.

1 to 5 – Burst of Speed (BoS). Required Level – 5.

Indisputably the assassins most valued skill. Without the speed of the assassin they would not be the great killers they are today. Depending on the choice of your claw, you may need more points into this. Let + skill items bring it up more. It is generally a good idea to put 1 point in BoS and use Shadow Claws to boost it up higher. Check Fuzzbox’s IAS tables found on the link at the end of this guide to find out what speed your claw is and how much IAS you need to achieve maximum attack speed.

20 - Weapon Block (WB). Required Level – 12.

This is the only way C/C assassins can block. There is NO other alternative to blocking. So any points in this skill are well spent. It does have diminishing returns, so keep in mind that maxing it is not always necessary. Let + skills boost this up more. As a C/C PvP sin, you should have no less then 60% block. You can achieve higher then 60% but it requires HUGE gear sacrifices which are not worth the added +1-3%. This skill is the biggest threat to casters in 1.10. It is now able to block elemental skills, which gives you the edge you need to take them down.

1-20 – Mind Blast (MB). Required Level – 24.

You will rely much on this skill to stun your opponents. Anyone that attacks faster then you or runs from you deserves a hit from this. The more points invested into it, the longer a chance you have to stun someone. It starts at 2 seconds and gains 0.2 seconds per level. If you put 1 point into it, it’s highly suggested you have a lot of + skill items.

1- 20 – Shadow Master (SM). Required Level – 30.

Most assassins max this skill, but after dueling in countless private/public duels I have found that with my + skill items she is still strong enough to take hits without sacrificing valuable skill points in what could go into Mind Blast or Venom. My C/C assassin has +9 skill points just from items, so keep that in mind. Depending on your gear, you may have to put more points into yours. I recommend leveling her as high as you can she is without a doubt THE best minion in the game.

1 to 20 – Venom. Required Level – 30.

This skill will help you a lot against opponents in PvP. At level 20 it adds 425-445 damage over 0.4 seconds to your claw. It is recommended any remaining skill points are put in this, as it should be the last skill you invest in. Most players do not have the proper resistance verse poison to even challenge this skill.

Trap Skill Tree:

1 – Wake of Fire (WoF). Required Level – 12.

This skill is used in conjunction with Mind Blast to stun your opponent. Some MA assassins use Lightning Sentry (also known as LS) instead because it can “trap” running opponents better. I use WoF for the amount of area it can hit at once. Put a point in WoF and/or LS, it all depends on your playing style.


While going the route of Claw/Claw there are 2 main ways you can go about distributing your stats. The first one is usually the more popular one, and for good reason.

Strength (STR) – Enough strength to hold your items.
Dexterity (DEX – Enough dexterity to hold your items.
Vitality (VIT) – All remaining points go here.
Energy (NRG) – None.

Strength (STR) – Enough strength to hold your items.
Dexterity (DEX) – Approximately 200-300.
Vitality (VIT) – All remaining points go here.
Energy (NRG) – None.


Most of the gear listed below is quite expensive, and most players will not be able to afford the “best” gear. So I have written information on the top choices and some moderately cheap gear so you can decide which route you would like to take. Keep in mind that you must reach 50% DR to reach the maximum damage reduce cap.

The equipment I feel is the best you can possible get, I put a ( *** ) next to. But remember your assassin is your assassin; feel free to use what you like.

***Ethereal Bartuc’s Cutthroat – (Regular Bartuc’s may be used in place of ethereal ones if you can’t afford them) There’s no real debate as to why these gorgeous claws are your number one choice. With +4 to all skills, +2 martial arts, +80 stats and a nice added AR% bonus you can’t get any better. Some people have upgraded ones on ladder, but when you upgrade it raises the STR and DEX levels so you lose stat points that can go into life. I find that the little bit of extra damage upgraded ones have is not worth the price of the runes required to upgrade the claw.

Chaos Runeword Claw (Fal’Ohm’Um) – These claws definitely pack a punch. With 216-471 magic damage and a +1 to whirlwind for an added attraction, these claws are one of the top. If you decide to make a Chaos then try and make it in a Feral Claw or Runic Talon, for that added speed. These claws will never top Ethereal Bartucs but they come pretty close. When dueling Barbs or Smiters it is a good idea to have one in your stash, because the +1 to WW will save your ass.

Weapon Switch:
There are two main choices that I see fit to put in the weapon switch. They can be swapped out at any time to provide you with what you need.

Switch number 1:
Call to Arms Runeword (Amn’Ral’Mal’Ist’Ohm) – Call to Arms has + skills to Battle Command, Battle Orders, and Battle Cry which quite possibly can be the deciding factor of you winning your duel. If you can afford the runes for it … MAKE ONE!

Switch number 2:
Two +3 to shadow discipline claws – These are used to cast your BoS and/or Shadow Master, so you can achieve a higher skill level with them. I find that Bartucs alone is good enough, but some people like the extra 2 points.

***Crown of Ages - Although it doesn’t look great on an assassin, the Crown of Ages is the best choice for a C/C assassin. It makes up everything “godly” about a PvP helm. With 300+ defense, +1 to skills, damage reduce, resists, FHR, and open sockets you can’t get any better. Its high strength requirement is the only drawback to this amazing helm, so it would be best to use 2 Bartucs or Enigma Runeword armor with it. (Socket it with BER if you’re low on DR, UM if you’re low on resist, or ED/MAX jewels if you need extra damage.) Take note that these helms are NOT cheap, especially perfect 15%DR ones with +2 sockets. If your poor, go for a helm listed below.

Vampire Gaze - The infamous Vampire Gaze is one of the top helms in PvP today. Although it doesn’t have the amazing mods of Crown of Ages, and its leech is pretty much useless nowadays, the gaze is cheap and easy to find for the “poor” players to reach their max DR percent.

Harlequin Crest Shako – The famous Shako is famous for a reason. With +2 to skills/stats, + to mana/life per level and 10% DR this helm is fairly easy to get if you can’t afford a Crown of Ages or Vampire Gaze. If you can’t afford this helm or any listed above, throw on some MF and hunt one down.

Rockstopper – With 10% DR, 30% FHR, +15 vitality, and huge resist bonuses, the Rockstopper is the “cheap mans Crown of Ages” If you can’t afford Crown or any others listed above, this is the way to go.

There are many armor choices to choose from in the armor section. Try and make your armor choice based around your other gear and on your style of play. With that said, here are the top choices:

***Enigma Runeword Armor – With its excellent defense, + to skills, small DR and + to strength mod, this sexy armor is definitely one of the top choices. If you decide to go this route, I suggest you make it in a Dusk Shroud or other light armor with a low STR requirement, so you can enjoy the bountiful supply of Enigma’s + to strength. I can’t stress enough how important this armors +1 to teleport is. When you’ve been dueling a while sometimes you’ll notice that your DFlight casting delay is holding you back from making that final kill or blow. Hotkey teleport and you won’t have to worry about it. In fact, if you decide to only use this armor, then you won’t need a point into Dragon Tail or Dragon Flight.

160 ED/60 Max armor – With the lowering of the DR cap to 50%, you may find this armor to your liking. If you need a good damage boost added this is the way to go. Look for + to life or + FHR second mods.

Arkaine’s Valor – Whether .08, .09 or 1.10, this armor has + to skills, high defense, a nice life boost and 30% FHR. They are getting cheaper and cheaper everyday. .08’s are practically extinct if not totally deleted, so if you acquire one, don’t let it go!

4 Socket ‘JAH’ Armor – If feel you don’t have enough life, and don’t find Arkaine’s to your liking … 20% to life is a good way to make it happen. Socket it in an armor with a good second mod, like +life, +FHR, etc.

Shaftstop – Quite possibly the most popular armor in the game since LoD’s release, its 30% DR is a sure fire way for any “poor” assassin to get his DR up without having to pay for godly items. If you happen to find one on the ladder, don’t forget to upgrade it for that added defense.

***Crafted Gloves – If you can get your hands on some godly 20 IAS / +2 to Martial skills / + stat / + resist gloves / +life, then these are your best choice for gloves. It is very hard to find a decent pair, but with a little work collecting crafting items you can make your own.

Dracul’s Grasp – These sporty new elites are quite the glove. With +15 STR, Open Wounds and Life Tap, these gloves have a lot to show.

Immortal Kings Forge – If you have decided you want more damage/attack rating, then IK’s gloves will deliver. +20 STR / DEX is just plain godly. Besides Bloodfists, these are probably the best cheap glove you can find.

Bloodfists – The poor mans glove. With FHR, IAS and a little added bonus to damage, these gloves boast mods better then most elite unique gloves. If you choose these, don’t forget to upgrade them!

***Crafted Boots – If you can get a hold of some crafted boots with +R/W, dual stats, FHR, and some nice resists … those are the best. It’s very hard to find a good pair, but its well worth it.

Gore Riders – Known as the Ultimate Kicker Boot, with Open Wounds, Crushing Blow and Deadly Strike these lovely boots do more damage then meets the eye.

Shadow Dancer – The new boots of 1.10, these babies have a lot to offer. If you’re on core you’ll have to wait til the ladder season is over for you to get a pair. With + skills to shadow disciplines, 30% FHR, and + dex, these boots got some mods to boast. But they are in no way greater then the boots listed above.

Duped Rares – Imp Shanks, Hob Nails, etc, if you’re not into dupes then go for another boot listed. These babies have been duped for a reason. + Stats, R/W, High resists … what more could you ask for? Most of them can be upgraded.

War Travelers – These boots are one of the top for a reason. With + to stats and a nice damage boost that can add 100-300 damage, you can’t go wrong. A very nice boot for the poor.

Sander’s Riprap – If you are so poor you can’t afford the boots listed above, these little purple boots are VERY underestimated. With +40% R/W, +100 AR, +10 DEX and +5 Strength, these boots are the cream of the poor mans crop.

***Verdungo’s Coil – This is THE best choice for a C/C assassin by far. No other belt can beat its FHR, + to vitality and DR. This is definitely the new “String of 1.10” The perfect ones are NOT cheap, so if you want one but don’t want to fork over some runes, your better off getting a low-end one.

String of Ears – While the String of Ears was the belt of 1.09, there’s still good reason it’s a “top” belt. The DR is a must for any C/C assassin and it’s very cheap to get for those who can’t afford a Verdungo.

Thundergod’s Vigor – If you have enough DR and don’t need a Verdungo or String, this belt might be for you. With a generous + stats and lightning resist/absorb, you won’t have to worry as much about TS Sorcs or LS Trappers.

Bladebuckle – Yep, you heard me right. If you can’t afford a belt listed above then this is the belt for you. It’s easy to find and/or cheap to get. It’s got some decent mods like +FHR and dual stats.

***Raven Frost – With the downfall of leech in 1.10, raven frosts are your new best friend. With a HUGE + to Dex/AR, cold absorb and the ever so popular ‘cannot be frozen’ mod. Two of these are the best choice for a C/C sin by far.

Crafted Ring – If you can get your hands on a +AR / Dual Stat / Resist ring, then it is a good second choice. It may be better for you to have 1 Raven Frost and 1 Crafted Ring depending on your equipment setup.

Rare Dupe – Raven Spiral, Bitter Hold … These rings have some nice mods. If you don’t like them just pass them up. They are generally easier to get then +20 Ravens. With dual stats, AR and resists, these have a lot to show.

***Mara’s Kaleidoscope – Meet your new best friend. +2 Skills, +5 to all stats, and a generous + to resist amulet that will leave you breathless. Not really, but this amulet is definitely your best choice for a C/C assassin. With the loss of a shield this amulet will help you keep your resists in the plus.

***Crafted Amulet – Getting a hold of a good one of these is VERY hard. Try and find one with +2 skills, dual stats, and high resists. If you can find a prismatic one, chances are you should use that instead of Mara’s.

Mahim-Oak Curio – Quite possibly THE most under-rated amulet in the Diablo world. If you can’t afford the best, then this amulet is the best for you. With +% AR, Defense, + Resists, + Stats, it doesn’t get any sweeter for the poor.

***Annihilus Small Charm – The most sought after item in the game. With +1 to skills, + stats/resists this charm can’t be beat. Remember you can only carry one at a time.

***Dam/AR/Life – If you can get a hold of some of these you’ll receive a nice boost to your most vital parts to stay alive and dish out the damage.

***Life/Resist – Being a C/C sin has its perks. The only downside is lower resists then using a shield. These charms will play a big role in your survival.


Note that these strategies were made from my own experience while dueling for many years in public/private games. You will eventually develop your own strategies for each character class. The more you play the more experience you will get. So get out there and get some practice!

Abbreviations used in this guide:

Asn/Sin = Assassin
C/C = Claw/Claw
C/S = Claw/Shield
MA = Martial Artist
PvP = Player Verse Player
DR = Damage Reduce
AR = Attack Rating
IAS = Increased Attack Speed
R/W = Run/Walk
Dam = Damage
Def = Defense
FHR = Faster Hit Recovery
FBR = Faster Block Rate
LVL = Level
CM = Claw Mastery
BoS = Burst Of Speed
WB = Weapon Block
SM = Shadow Master
DC = Dragon Claw
DF = Dragon Flight
MB = Mind Blast
WoF = Wake Of Fire
LS = Lightning Sentry
TS = Thunder Storm
WW = Whirlwind
STR = Strength
DEX = Dexterity
VIT = Vitality
NRG = Energy
MF = Magic Find
IK = Immortal King
Tucs = Bartuc’s Cutthroat

Thanks to everyone who helped me out.

Xenozip – For your C/S PvP Guide, that made my sin interest grow.
Hydis – Without you man I wouldn’t be where I am today. Glad you’re still around.
Terdwanker – For countless duels, and your friendship
Googietee – For rushing 100+ Assassins for me, and being a great friend.
Weenis – For numerous duels and paving the way for Hybrids.
ZAP – For a number of duels, and public PK.
Naliworld – Thanks for helping me compile this guide and for catching my mistakes.

Sorry if I’ve missed anyone.

I hope everyone enjoyed the guide, and hopefully I’ve convinced someone to build a C/C assassin.

Suggestions/Comments can be sent to me at [email protected]
Or you can message me online at *HellBoundMidget

“So dark … perfect.”

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