Fire Blast Assassin Guide

Introduction

When you have the sudden urge to throw firecrackers at your enemies in real life (don't do that) the Fire Blast Assassin is here to be your outlet.

This Level 1 Skill can be a powerful tool to snipe Elite monsters and allows for a great amount of Magic Find on low player counts! It also destroys The Secret Cow Level nearly as fast as a fully geared Lightning Fury Amazon.

Fire Blast is unique because it gains synergy bonuses from both Lightning and Fire Damage Skills despite only being Fire Damage itself. This grants a lot of flexibility in the Skill choices. After 1 Skill Point in death sentry you can fill out any synergy to increase the Fire Blast damage! lightning sentry is a great choice to deal with Immune to Fire monsters.

Ideal Standard Setup
Fire Blast
Burst of Speed
Teleport
Death Sentry

This build guide assumes you have a Character at Level 75 before transitioning to it. It follows the progression of our Assassin Leveling Guide and our General Leveling Strategies to reach Level 75.

Very Flexible ✔
Beginner Friendly ✔
Engaging Playstyle ✔
Immunities Are Not A Problem ✔

❌ Not A Starter Build
❌ Relies On High Tier Items
❌ Not A Great Act Boss Farmer

❌ Weak Against High Life Targets



Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Burst of Speed
2. Cloak of Shadows
3. Mind Blast
4. Death Sentry

Optional 1 Skill Point use:
1. Shadow Warrior
2. Shadow Master

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Fire Blast
2. Lightning Sentry
3. Charged Bolt Sentry
4. Shock Web
5. Wake of Fire
6. Wake of Inferno (Remaining Skill Points)

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Damage

Fire Blast* is the primary Damage Skill of this build. It deals Fire Damage in an area around the projectile when it lands.

Lightning Sentry* is the secondary Damage Skill of this build. The Assassin lays a Trap that shoots a piercing Lightning Bolt in the direction of its closest target, dealing Lightning Damage to every monster in its path. You can have a total of 5 Traps active at a time.

Death Sentry* complements the damage of Fire Blast by using Corpse Explosion, which causes nearby corpses to explode and deal Fire and Physical Damage.

* Increased Attack Speed Skills (IAS)

Utility

Burst of Speed* provides a massive movement speed and Attack Speed buff. This increases your mobility and the rate you lay Traps.

Mindblast* stuns enemies in a small square area around your cursor and has a % chance to convert enemies hit. Converted enemies fight alongside you for a short period of time.

Cloak of Shadows* can be a real lifesaver. For a period of time, the area around the Assassin becomes extremely dark and blinds enemies. This drastically decreases their aggro range and Defense.

Shadow Master* randomly uses Skills (even those unallocated by your Character) from the Assassin's Skill Tree. Warning: The Shadow Master shares your limit of 5 active Traps and can replace your own traps with weaker ones.

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

* Faster Cast Rate Skills (FCR)


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

Don't allocate any Stat Points into Energy. This build gets enough Mana from gear, buffs, Charms, and Mana Potions.


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) Claws are used for dual wielding. Using fade to cap out your Resistances requires you to add 2 Shael Runes to reach the highest Trap laying speed.

SlotItem OptionsDesirable Stats
WeaponCunning Greater Claws of Quickness (2x Rainbow Facet)1
Heart of the Oak
Suicide Branch
Spirit Crystal Sword
Plague Greater Talons
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
All Resistances +x
Off-HandCunning Greater Claws of Quickness(2x Shael Rune)1
Phoenix Monarch
Spirit Monarch
rhyme
Stormshield
Monarch (4x Rainbow Facet)
Plague Greater Talons
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
X Resist +x%
Weapon-SwapCall to Arms+x to All Skills
+x to battlecommand
+x to battleorders
+x to battlecry
Off-Hand-SwapSpirit Monarch+x to All Skills
HelmetsFlickering Flame
Harlequin Crest (Rainbow Facet Jewel)
Tarnhelm
Crown of Ages
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Socketed (x)
Body ArmorEnigma Mage Plate
treachery
Chains of Honor
+x to All Skills
+x to Teleport
GlovesMagefist
Trang-Oul's Claws
+x to Fire Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
BeltsArachnid Mesh
Goldwrap
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
BootsWar Traveler
Waterwalk
Aldur's Advance
Rare Boots
+x% Faster Run/Walk
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x to Life
X Resist +x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
AmuletsCaster Crafted Amulet
Mara's Kaleidoscope
Magic Amulet
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
X Resist +x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
RingsRare Ring
The Stone of Jordan
Bul-Kathos' Wedding Band
Nagelring
Raven Frost
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
X Resist +x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
CharmsGrand Charm
Large Charm
Small Charm
+x to All Assassin Skills
+x to All Attribute
All Resistances +x
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Unique CharmsGheed's Fortune
Hellfire Torch (Assassin)
Annihilus
+x to Assassin 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.

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

Act 1

AreaStarterRewards
Mausoleum-All Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
The Pit-All Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
AndarielUniques
Sets
Jewelry
The Secret Cow LevelRunes
Runeword Bases
Charms / Gems / Jewels

Act 2

AreaStarterRewards
Stony TombsAll Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Ancient Tunnels-All Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Maggot Lair-All Item Types
Max Area Level
Arcane Sanctuary
(Specters/Super Chests)
Runes
Charms / Gems / Jewels
Jewelry
SummonerKey of Hate

Act 5

AreaStarterRewards
Eldritch the RectifierGearing
Gold
Leveling
Shenk the OverseerGearing
Gold
Leveling
PindleskinGearing
Gold
Leveling
Nihlathak-Key of Destruction
Leveling
(Level 97-99)
Icy Cellar-All Item Types
Max Area Level

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

  • Buff yourself with Burst of Speed at the start of your farming runs and summon your Shadow Warrior or Shadow Master if you opted into them.

Elite Hunting

  • Get to your farming location and start looking for Elite Groups. Target the boss with Fire Blast and see them evaporate. Rinse and repeat until you have killed all Elite Groups in the area.
  • Use Cloak of Shadows against high damage ranged enemies to render them harmless.
  • Convert/Stun fast melee enemies with Mind Blast before they overwhelm you. Snipe the Boss with Fire Blast and continue to the next pack.

Density Farming

  • Use Death Sentry for supplemental damage. This Skill causes collateral damage to enemies, increasing the item drops. They are especially powerful in high density areas like The Secret Cow Level.

Immunities

  • Immunities should not be a problem for this build in general. Infinity breaks most of them in the recommended farming locations. Use Lightning Sentry against any remaining Immune to Fire boss monster. Position the Mercenary close to your targets to apply Conviction Aura.
  • Bosses which are Immune to Fire and Immune to Lightning can be killed by the Corpse Explosion of your Death Sentry or by your Mercenary. Prioritize killing the minions, to create bodies for your Trap to target.

Late-Game

  • Cast Battle Command twice and [/d2planner-skill]Battle Orders[/d2planner-skill] in your Weapon Swap before engaging in combat. Refresh these buffs as soon as they run out.
  • Use Teleport to quickly get from place to place.

Hardcore

For all Hardcore gameplay, your primary concern 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 can become Hardcore viable with key changes to the Skills, Stat Point allocation, and items. Review the changes below before building this character, as they may differ significantly from the normal build.

Stat Point Changes

Skill Point Changes

  • A Skill Point into Shadow Warrior / Shadow Master adds a meat shield to protect your Fire Blast Assassin.

Item Changes

  • We only switch the Shield from Phoenix Monarch to Stormshield Monarch for % Damage Reduction and Chance to Block.

Build Variants

Starter

Setup

This setup consists of easily farmable or shoppable items. Prioritizing +x to Skills is important to increase your damage output as much as possible. lore and Spirit Crystal Sword do the trick early on. You can also shop for some +x to Traps Claws at Anya in Act 5 Nightmare or Hell.
Shop for +20% Increased Attack Speed Gloves to reach a decent Trap laying speed in combination with burst of speed.
Rhyme provides some quality of life with the Cannot Be Frozen stat. Fill up your remaining gear with Resistances. A Belt and Boots can be shopped in Nightmare and smoke is easy to farm from the Countess.

Mercenary

The Mercenary deals with enemies Immune to your damage sources. Equip him with Resistances, Life, and an Insight Partizan to make him fairly durable and increase your Mana Regeneration.

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Burst of Speed
2. Cloak of Shadows
3. Mind Blast
4. Death Sentry

Optional 1 Skill Point use:
1. Shadow Warrior
2. Shadow Master

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Fire Blast
2. Lightning Sentry
3. Charged Bolt Sentry
4. Shock Web

Attributes

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

Standard

Setup

The Fire Blast Assassin achieves a fine balance between high mobility, damage and high Magic Find.

A Crafted Caster Amulet with 12+% Faster Cast Rate allows us to use The Stone of Jordan in one of our Ring slots. Use a Rare Ring if you don't have access to that Crafted Caster Amulet. It is important to reach the 102% Faster Cast Rate Breakpoint.

The new Runeword Flickering Flame is a massive boost to your damage.

Phoenix Monarch is not absolutely necessary. A Spirit Monarch does the trick and allows for more customization in the Ring slots, Nagelrings become an option here.

Mercenary

An Act 2 Mercenary equipped with Infinity Thresher is essential for the success of this build. Andariel's Visage and Fortitude Sacred Armor make the Mercenary is virtually immortal and provide him with significant Physical Damage.

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Burst of Speed
2. Cloak of Shadows
3. Mind Blast
4. Death Sentry

Optional 1 Skill Point use:
1. Shadow Warrior
2. Shadow Master

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Fire Blast
2. Lightning Sentry
3. Charged Bolt Sentry
4. Shock Web
5. Wake of Fire
6. Wake of Inferno (Remaining Skill Points)

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.

Damage

Setup

The Fire Blast Assassin can achieve incredible amounts of damage - if you don't know what to do with your currency / time anymore. At its peak, this variant can keep up with the Lightning Fury Amazon in The Secret Cow Level on /players 8!
Equip 2 Claws with +6 to fire blast and high +x% Increased Attack Speed instead of heart of the oak. Ideally, they are in a superfast base. This reduces the achievable Cast Rate Breakpoint from 102% to 65% (+1 Frame per cast). Depending on your Claw Bases you need Shael Runes in them to keep up the maximum Trap Laying Speed. Any remaining slot is filled with Rainbow Facet.

Use Fade to cap out your Resistances and fill your inventory with Entrapping Grand Charm of Vita to maximize your damage.

Mercenary

An Act 2 Mercenary equipped with Infinity Thresher is essential for the success of this build. Andariel's Visage and Fortitude Sacred Armor make the Mercenary is virtually immortal and provide him with significant Physical Damage.

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Fade
2. Cloak of Shadows
3. Mind Blast
4. Death Sentry

Optional 1 Skill Point use:
1. Shadow Warrior
2. Shadow Master
3. Weapon Block (If Claws don't have it)

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Fire Blast
2. Lightning Sentry
3. Charged Bolt Sentry
4. Shock Web
5. Wake of Fire
6. Wake of Inferno (Remaining Skill Points)

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.

Hardcore

Setup

The only difference in the Hardcore variant is the Shield and increase to our Dexterity. We exchange Phoenix Monarch for Stormshield Monarch to gain % Damage Reduction and Chance to Block.

Mercenary

An Act 2 Mercenary equipped with Infinity Thresher is essential for the success of this build. Andariel's Visage and Fortitude Sacred Armor make the Mercenary is virtually immortal and provide him with significant Physical Damage.

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Burst of Speed
2. Cloak of Shadows
3. Mind Blast
4. Death Sentry

Optional 1 Skill Point use:
1. Shadow Warrior
2. Shadow Master

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Fire Blast
2. Lightning Sentry
3. Charged Bolt Sentry
4. Shock Web
5. Wake of Fire
6. Wake of Inferno (Remaining Skill Points)

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength to wear your gear and Dexterity to reach 75% Chance to Block. Put remaining points into Vitality.


Mechanics

Death Sentry

Death Sentry uniquely combines 2 Skills, (Lightning Sentry and Corpse Explosion). Death Sentry has a maximum attack count, which means that a Death Sentry with a maximum of 7 Shots can use, for example, 5 x Lightning and 2x Corpse Explosion.

  • Base amount of available shots is 5, which can be increased by putting Skill Points into Fire Blast. Every 3rd Skill Point, Death Sentry gains +1 shot to a maximum of 11 (with Fire Blast Base Skill Level 18).

The Lightning Sentry part will only be used if there are no corpses in the sentries' awareness range (10 2/3 yards).

  • The lightning beam behaves exactly as Lightning Sentry:
    • Monsters are pierced.
    • Travels in a straight line.
    • Every monster on the travel path takes Lightning Damage.
  • Death Sentry shoots at a rate of 31 Frames per cast (Every 1.24 seconds) before they expire. This rate cannot be influenced.

The Corpse Explosion is used when there are corpses within its Awareness Range (10 2/3 yards) with the following mechanics:

  • Death Sentry shoots at a rate of 31 Frames per cast (Every 1.24 seconds) before they expire. This rate cannot be influenced.
  • The Corpse Explosion is weaker than its Necromancer counterpart, dealing only 40 - 80% of the monster's regular base Life.
  • Damage does not increase with higher player count.
  • Its damage is split into 50% Physical Damage and 50% Fire Damage.
  • When the corpse's Monster Level > Character Level the damage is multiplied by Character Level / Monster Level.
  • Within the Area of Effect, the damage is always afflicted. It cannot be blocked by any means.

Teleport

  • Teleport instantly moves you to a selected square on the visible screen in which you can stand. The game tries to place you within a small radius around your cursor even if it would be impeded normally.
  • Teleport is not obstructed by walls or other impediments but can fail if your cursor is not completely passed those impediments when cast. Your Mercenary and Minions are teleported with you, Traps do not.
  • Certain Minions in large quantities can become “stuck” in position after teleporting. Move away from that position to give them the chance to spread out.
  • You can “extend” the visible screen by opening UI-windows like the Inventory or the Character screen. Continuously cast Teleport and drag your mouse to the edge of your screen.
  • The Mana cost of Teleport decreases with additional Skill Levels down to 1 Mana per cast.
  • You can use “ESC” to open the menu in single player to pause the game after a Teleport to determine if you are safe.

Summary

  • Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength and Dexterity to equip your gear. Put remaining points into Vitality.
  • Blow up boss monsters with Fire Blast and use Death Sentry for collateral damage. Lightning Sentry deals with Immune to Fire monsters.
  • Position your Mercenary close to enemies you are fighting to apply his Conviction Aura.
  • Pre-Buff yourself in this order: 2xBattle Command, Battle Orders and Burst of Speed, orFade
  • Make sure to refresh your buffs whenever they run out!

The Fire Blast Assassin is a unique take for a Trapsin. Making use of a Skill you can aim yourself feels very rewarding when executed well. Enjoy this engaging Magic Find build!


Credits

Written by Teo1904
Reviewed by Lexyu, MacroBioBoi

Changelog

Apr 12th 2022
Updated to Patch 2.4 - Added Starter + Damage variant - Change Skill Trees to only use 1 point in Death Sentry - Added Flickering Flame as primary Helmet - Added more gear options - Changed Mercenary to Might Aura to not shatter corpses - Changed Introduction - Added a few lines to playstyle