Shock Wave Druid Guide

Shock Wave Druid

Introduction

Are you a fan of having over 13,000 Life with maximum Resistances, maximum Chance to Block and Damage Reduction? You are in for a treat with the Shock Wave Druid who can achieve this.

Combined with his ability to Stun everything in a cone-shaped area in front of him, this makes the Shock Wave Druid arguably the tankiest build to roam Sanctuary.

While this build’s damage output is seriously lacking, it makes up for it by being among the top 2 of Support options! Parties you join love you for your Crowd Control (CC) and the incredible Life boost provided by Oak Sage.

The Shock Wave Druid is mainly played at the start of a Ladder. With increased damage outputs from everyone, the ability to Stun gets less relevant. Druid builds that deal damage and provide an Oak Sage are then preferred.

Ideal Standard Setup
Shock Wave
Werebear
Oak Sage
Summon Grizzly

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

Very Tanky ✔
Beginner Friendly ✔
Easy to Understand ✔
Top Tier Support Build ✔
Team Oriented Gameplay ✔

❌ Only Viable In Groups
❌ Close To Zero Damage
❌ Extremely Low Mobility

❌ Relies On Team To Deal Damage
❌ Needs Rejuvenation Potions For Sustainability


Skills

Put 1 Point into the following Skill:
1. Summon Grizzly

Max out the following Skills in the following order:
1. Shock Wave
2. Oak Sage
3. Lycantrophy
4. Maul
5. Werebear

Remaining Skill Points from Level 94 onwards are put into Summon Dire Wolf.

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Damage

Shock Wave* is the only Skill capable of dealing damage. Its main use comes from its cone-shaped Stun effect. By moving the cursor closer to the Character, the spread of this effect becomes wider.

* Faster Cast Rate Skills (FCR)

Utility

Oak Sage* is a minion that flies around randomly, giving you and your party a massive Life boost.

Werebear* allows you to cast Shock Wave as it is restricted to this form. Additionally, it provides you with a huge buff for your Defense Rating.

Lycanthropy* provides you a massive Life boost while shape shifted.

Summon Grizzly* can act as another front line tank, taking some hits for you or your party.

* 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

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.

SlotItem OptionsDesirable Stats
WeaponHeart of the Oak Flail
Islestrike
Suicide Branch
+x to All Skills
+x to Druid Skills

+x% Faster Cast Rate
All Resistances +x
Off-HandSpirit Monarch
Lidless Wall
Stormshield
Rhyme
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
x% Increased Chance of Blocking
+x to Vitality
+x to all Attributes
+x Life
+x Mana
Damage Reduced by x%
All Resistances +x
Weapon-SwapCall to Arms Crystal Sword+x to All Skills
+x to battlecommand
+x to battleorders
Off-Hand-SwapSpirit Monarch+x to All Skills
HelmetsRare Pelt/d2planner-item]
[d2planner-item profile=gl01063b id=18]Magic Pelt

Jalal's Mane
Cerebus' Bite
Spirit Keeper
+x to All Skills
+x to Druid Skills
+x to Oak Sage

+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x to Life
X Resist +x%
Body ArmorArkaine's Valor
Skin of the Vipermagi
Leviathan
Stealth
Rain
+x to All Skills
+x to Druid Skills

+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
All Resistances +x
GlovesTrang-Oul's Claws
Magefist
+x% Faster Cast Rate
X Resist +x%
BeltsArachnid Mesh
String of Ears
Verdungo's Hearty Cord
Loath Cord Vampirefang Belt
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
X Resist +x%
Reduced Damage by x%
BootsAldur's Advance
Waterwalk
+x% Faster Run/Walk
+x to Life
X Resist +x%
AmuletsCrafted Caster Amulet
Mara's Kaleidoscope
Magic Amulet
+x to All Skills
+x to Druid Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
All Resistances +x
RingsRare Ring
Bul-Kathos' Wedding Band
The Stone of Jordan
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
All Resistances +x
X Resist +x%
CharmsGrand Charm
Large Charm
Small Charm
+ Summoning Skills (Druid) Grand Charm
+x to Life
+xx% Faster Hit Recovery
+xx % Faster Run / Walk
Elemental Resist +xx%
+x to Attribute
Unique CharmsGheed's Fortune
Annihilus
Hellfiretorch
+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 well suited for this build to farm efficiently. While this build can also farm other areas, we’ve e 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.
This Build is not meant for farming anything efficiently. These are the options that you can farm while you are waiting for your friends to come online.

Act 5

AreaStarterRewards
Eldritch the Rectifier -Gearing
Gold
Leveling
Shenk the Overseer -Gearing
Gold
Leveling
Pindleskin -Gearing
Gold
Leveling

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.

Holy Freeze Insight

Insight, Holy Freeze

We recommend using the Holy Use a Desert Mercenary with [d2planner-skill]Holy Freeze Aura for its powerful Crowd Control. A Mercenary with Might Aura isn’t used, since we don’t rely on his damage or benefit from the Physical Damage increase.
Equip him with Insight for the high Mana Regeneration provided by Meditation Aura.

Gear Progression

Early-GameMid-GameEnd-Game
Insight
(any Polearm)
Insight
(Elite Polearm)
Insight 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 your Oak Sage and Summon Grizzly on the Weapon-Swap that has the highest + to Skills. Oak Sage is a rather brittle little thing. Be aware of this and re-summon it as soon as it gets killed.
  • Activate Wearbear-form. Now you are ready to Stun everything in range with Shock Wave. Play around with your cursor-placement to find the optimal spread of Shock Wave in each situation.
  • Be aware that Super Health Potions have a very low effect compared to your total Life. Rejuvenation Potions become your best friends.

Late-Game

  • Only if you don't have a Barbarian with you:
    Start every run by buffing yourself twice with Battle Command and once with Battle Orders. When these buffs run out, deactivate your Wearbear-form to cast them again.
  • To Min-Max, re-summon Oak Sage and Summon Grizzly and repeat Battle Command and Battle Orders one more time to boost their Level and Life totals.

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 63% FCR Breakpoint. Note: FCR only controls the animation speed of the Character, and not any internal or global Cooldowns spells have.

Frames161514131211109
Bear FCR071526406399163

Faster Hit Recovery (FHR)

Faster Hit Recovery (FHR) increases survivability. Aim for at least the X% FHR Breakpoint.

Frames13121110987654
FHR05101624375486152460

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

  • Add enough Strength do wear your gear.
  • Put enough into Dexterity to achieve maximum Chance to Block (75%)
  • Put remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Item changes

  • Equip a Stormshield socketed with an Eld Rune for maximum Chance to Block and Reduced Damage by x%.
  • Equip Skin of the Vipermagi socketed with a Jah Rune to make up for the loss of Faster Cast Rate.

Build Variants

Starter

Setup

Early on, the goal is to cap your Resistances. Use all item slots to achieve this purpose. Items that grant +x to All Skills are a secondary objective as they provide you and your party members with additional Life through Oak Sage. Faster Cast Rate is another objective to have an easier time to stun your enemies, however, with a Stun duration of 10 seconds, this shouldn't be a big problem.

Mercenary

Equip Insight on your Mercenary. The Shock Wave Druid has a very low Mana Cost that are easily be covered with it. Equip him with gear that provides Resistances, Life stolen per hit, and Life. Smoke and Undead Crown are examples of easily obtained sources.

Skills

Put 1 Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Summon Grizzly

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Shock Wave
2. Oak Sage
3. Lycanthropy
4. Maul

Attributes

Add enough Stat Points into Strength to wear your gear. Put remaining points into Vitality.

Standard

Setup

In this variant we achieve the maximum damage on Shock Wave. While it has almost no impact on any group dynamic, it can allow you to farm low Life bosses like Eldritch the Rectifier and Shenk the Overseer.
Note: This Character is NOT designed to farm anything by itself. The mentioned bosses are options when you don't have other Characters to farm with while your friends are offline.
99% Faster Cast Rate allows us to comfortably stun everything that comes within range. This allows us to focus purely on increasing our Life pool as long as our Resistances are capped.

Mercenary

With Holy Freeze as well as Insight, the Mercenary brings a lot of utility to our party. With the addition of a Fortitude and Anariel's Visage he is capable of killing individual monsters with ease, while you are stunning them.

Skills

Put 1 Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Summon Grizzly

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Shock Wave
2. Oak Sage
3. Lycanthropy
4. Maul
5. Werebear

Remaining Skill Points from Level 94 onwards are put into Summon Dire Wolf.

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

Add enough Stat Points into Strength to wear your gear. Put remaining points into Vitality.

Hardcore

Setup

The gear changes made for Hardcore are limited to equipping a Stormshield, socketed with an Eld Rune and a Skin of the Vipermagi, socketed with a Jah Rune. This combination of items allow you to reach the maximum Chance to Block, maximum Reduced Damage by x%, while keeping 99% Faster Cast Rate. With these 2 additional layers of Defense as well as 12,000+ Life, this build basically becomes immortal as long as you have Full Rejuvenation Potions in your Belt.

Mercenary

With Holy Freeze as well as Insight, the Mercenary brings a lot of utility to our party. With the addition of a Fortitude and Anariel's Visage he is capable of killing individual monsters with ease, while you are stunning them.

Skills

Put 1 Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Summon Grizzly

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Shock Wave
2. Oak Sage
3. Lycanthropy
4. Maul
5. Werebear

Remaining Skill Points from Level 94 onwards are put into Summon Dire Wolf.

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.


Summary

  • Stay in the front lines and stun as much as possible, while your party is destroying the monsters that you rendered harmless.
  • Keep your Oak Sage up at all times to buff your team!
  • This build is not really viable for solo gameplay. Even with maxed out gear the damage is negligible.
  • One of the best Support builds in the game.

Support builds in Diablo 2 are rather rare. This build mostly aims at the very start of a Ladder Reset, when nobody has any gear, providing everyone with a massive boost in their survivability! We hope you enjoy stunning everything that comes into your path!

Good luck!


Credits

Written by Teo1904
Reviewed by MacroBioBoi