Fire Claws Druid Guide

Fire Claws Druid

Introduction

The Fire Claws Druid is able to shape-shift into a powerful Werebear or Werewolf. In these forms, 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.

His high Life pool combined with his ability to stun In shape-shifted form, the Druid has a MASSIVE Life Pool and access to the powerful Crowd Control Skill Shock Wave. This combination of survivability and CC allows the Druid to safely handle most situations.

This build is limited in Area of Effect clear due to the single target nature of Fire Claws. Fissure can provide some AoE clear but requires you to cancel your transformation, which feels clunky.

Ideal Standard Setup
Fire Claws
Werebear
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 Bear ✔

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



Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Oak Sage
2. Summon Grizzly
3. Lycanthropy
4. Werebear
5. Shock Wave
6. Raven

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

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.

Fissure* is your Secondary Damage Skill. It opens volcanic vents beneath a section of ground that deal Fire Damage to monsters as they move through the affected area. Stationary monsters only take periodic damage. Use it against groups of enemies before transforming into a Werebear or Werewolf.

* Increased Attack Speed Skills (IAS)

Utility

Werebear* transforms the Druid into a powerful bear which is required to use Fire Claw. It also provides a buff to your Physical Damage and Defense.

d2planner-skill]Werewolf[/d2planner-skill]* transforms the Druid into a swift wolf which is required to use Fire Claw. It also provides Attack Speed and Attack Rating.

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

Shock Wave* provides a cone-shaped Stun effect. Move your cursor close to your Character model to create the widest cone possible.

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

Oak Sage* summons a spirit that provides an Aura that buffs your team’s Life total. It flies around your Character and frequently dies. Keep re-summoning it!

Raven* summons untargetable ravens that pick out your enemies eyes, applying a blinding effect to them. They despawn after attacking a set amount of times(Scales with Skill Levels).

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) Phase Blade is the Weapon with the best Weapon Speed Modifier (WSM) which is crucial for Shape Shifting Druid's!
2) Use a Kite Shield to have the lowest Chance to Block. We want to avoid the block animations as much as possible!
3) The Caster Crafted Amulet should have at least 13% Faster Cast Rate to hit the Breakpoint at 63% FCR.
4) Angelic Wings and Angelic Halo are always used in combination with each other.

SlotItem OptionsDesirable Stats
WeaponGemmed Phase Blade1
Ribcracker (upgraded)
+x% Increased Attack Speed
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
x% Chance of Crushing Blow
X Resist +x%
Socketed [x]
Off-HandPhoenix Monarch
Spirit Monarch
Sanctuary Kite Shield2
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+x to All Skills
+x to battlecommand
+x to battleorders
+x to battlecry
Off-Hand-SwapSpirit Monarch+x to All Skills
HelmetsJalal's Mane
Ravenlore
Rare Pelt
Guillaume's Face
Cerebus' Bite
+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
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
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
+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 Amulet3
Angelic Wings4
Mara's Kaleidoscope
+x to All Skills
+x to Druid Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate

X Resist +x%
All Resistances +x
RingsRaven Frost
Rare Ring
Angelic Halo
+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 CharmsGheed's Fortune
Hellfiretorch (Druid)
Annihilus
+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.

Anything that has a in the "Starter" column can be farmed with the Starter 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
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
(Level 97-99)

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 Oak Sage and use [d2planner-skiil]Summon Grizzly[/d2planner-skill] before you leave town. Keep Oak Sage up at all times - It is one of your lifelines!
  • Ravens are a nice increase in Crowd Control by blinding enemies on attack but they need to be recast very frequently.

Werebear-Version:

  • Pre-Enigma: Transform into the Werewolf-form to travel to your farming spot. Hit some monsters with Feral Rage to increase your movement speed. When you reach your first desired target, transform back to human form.
  • Cast Fissure into high density areas. Then transform into Werebear-form and jump into battle.
  • Use Shock Wave to Stun enemies with high damage and slap them down with Fire Claws.
  • Use Summon Grizzly as a meat shield in strategic locations. He can soak up a decent amount of damage, allowing you to safely close the gap to your enemies.

Werewolf-Version:

  • 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 approaching high density, switch to human-form and cast fissure to apply Area of Effect damage. Return to Werewolf-form and smack your enemies down with Fire Claws.

Immunities

  • The Fire Claw Druid is very limited in his ways of dealing with Immunities because he almost exclusively deals Fire Damage. Avoid areas with monsters Immune to Fire until you have access to Infinity.
  • In some cases, you can switch to human-form to use Molten Boulder and Volcano. They deal Physical Damage but are rather weak due to our focus on Shape Shifting Skills.

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 [/d2planner-skill]Battle Orders[/d2planner-skill] in your Weapon Swap before engaging in combat. Refresh these buffs as soon as they run out.

Ubers

Pre-Buffing

  • Equip Treachery[/d2planner-skill] and go to the River of Flame Waypoint. To the east you find a pillar with a small fire  that counts as attacking you if you stand inside it. Place yourself inside to proc [d2planner-skill]Fade[/d2planner-skill] before anything else. If you hear your Character taking damage, you know it’s working.
  • Cast [d2planner-skill]Battle Command[/d2planner-skill] twice and [/d2planner-skill]Battle Orders[/d2planner-skill] on your Weapon Swap before engaging in combat. Refresh these buffs as soon as they run out.
  • Summon [d2planner-skill]Heart of Wolverine[/d2planner-skill] and [d2planner-skill]Summon Grizzly[/d2planner-skill] on the Weapon-Swap with higher +x to Skill Levels. Cast [d2planner-skill]Battle Command[/d2planner-skill] and [/d2planner-skill]Battle Orders[/d2planner-skill] again to buff your summons.

Fights

  • Enter the red Portals and use [d2planner-skill]Teleport[/d2planner-skill] to find the Mini Ubers (Lilith, Duriel, Izual). Transform into [d2planner-skill]Werebear[/d2planner-skill]-form and clear out the area before you engage them in battle. Your Life recovery from [d2planner-skill]Life Tap[/d2planner-skill] is not sufficient to tank a lot of enemies because the Fire Claw Druid doesn't deal great amounts of Physical Damage due to the Weapon choice.
  • Fight the Ubers one by one! Swap your Belt to [d2planner-item]Thundergod's Vigor against Uber Mephisto and use Shock Wave once in a while to Stun monsters spawned by the Ubers. This is especially important against Baal because of the Mana Burning monsters.

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 or global 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.

[d2planner-item]Phase Blade[/d2planner-item]

Frames13121110987654
Weapon IAS026151829446182108

Faster Hit Recovery (FHR)

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

werebear-Form

Frames13121110987654
FHR05101624375486152460

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

Budgetr

Setup

A Phaseblade with 115% Increased Attack Speed brings you to the highest possible Attack Speed Breakpoint which is essential for the Fire Claw Druid. Equip Jalal's Mane, Magefist, and Spirit Monarch for as many Skill Points as possible.

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. Oak Sage
2. Summon Grizzly
3. Lycanthropy
4. Werebear
5. Shock Wave
6. Raven

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

Note: Skip Shock Wave if you only want to play in Werewolf form.

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.

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 Phaseblade with 115% Increased Attack Speed brings you to the highest possible Attack Speed Breakpoint which is essential for the Fire Claw Druid.

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. Oak Sage
2. Summon Grizzly
3. Lycanthropy
4. Werebear
5. Shock Wave
6. Raven

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

Note: Skip Shock Wave if you only want to play in Werewolf form.

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. Oak Sage
2. Summon Grizzly
3. Lycanthropy
4. Werebear
5. Shock Wave
6. Raven

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

Note: Skip Shock Wave if you only want to play in Werewolf form.

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.

Ubers

Setup

To fight the Ubers successfully, you need to add Crushing Blow to your damage mix. Use Enigma Mage Plate while travelling to the lesser evils (Lilith, Uber Duriel and Uber Izual) and switch to Duress Dusk Shroud to fight them. Guillaume's Face Winged Helm adds additional Crushing Blow while Dracul's Grasp provides us with much-needed survivability through Life Tap.

The Angelic Halo Ring + Angelic Wings Amulet combination is crucial to increase your Hit Chance.

Resistances can be a problem when you face Mephisto. Prebuff yourself with Fade from a Treachery Mage Plate and use Sanctuary Kite Shield to further boost them. Switch the Belt to Thundergod's Vigor and you are good to go.

Mercenary

Infinity decreases the Defense of all monsters affected by Conviction. It is extremely hard to keep a Mercenary alive while fighting the Ubers. He holds your Treachery for prebuffing and Andariel's Visage makes him rather durable.

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Oak Sage
2. Summon Grizzly
3. Lycanthropy
4. Werebear
5. Shock Wave
6. Raven
7. Heart of Wolverine

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

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.


Summary

  • Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength and Dexterity to wear your gear. Put remaining points into Vitality.
  • Use a Gemmed Phase Blade with 115% or 120% Increased Attack Speed for the highest Breakpoint!
  • Summon Oak Sage or 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.
  • Utilize the Stun effect of Shock Wave in Werebear-form.
  • Focus your efforts on Elite Group bosses as Fire Claws is a single-target ability. You can switch out of your shape-shift-form to cast Fissure to add Area of Effect damage.

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