Wake of Fire Assassin Guide

Wake of Fire Assassin

Introduction

Wake of Fire Assassin is a very chill and straight forward build. She has great mobility and clears density with ease.
The Wake of Fire / Death Sentry Assassin aka "Fire-Trapsin" lays down Traps that auto attack from a distance. It doesn't get much easier than that! Her massive Fire Damage Skills are supported by high Physical Damage, making Immunes easier to deal with. Death Sentry's Corpse Explosion ability makes more corpses for it to target, causing a domino effect. This allows the Assassin to clear things like The Secret Cow Level effectively. The only requirement is killing the first few enemies to set this off. Burst of Speed and Teleport provide high mobility that makes the Fire-Trapsin a real joy to play.

Ideal Standard Setup
Wake of Fire
Death Sentry
Teleport
Burst of Speed

This build guide assumes you have a Character at Level 75 before transitioning to it. Check out our Assassin Leveling Guide and our General Leveling Strategies to reach Level 75.

Very Tanky ✔
High Mobility ✔
Low Complexity ✔

Beginner Friendly ✔
Low Entry Budget Option ✔

❌ Fire Immunities
Best in Slot Is Expensive
Slow Build Up For Damage
Bad Act Boss Farmer Early On
Requires Infinity For High Damage



Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Fade
2. Cloak of Shadows
3. Mindblast
4. Dragon Flight
5. Shadow Master

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Wake of Fire
2. Death Sentry
3. Wake of Inferno
4. Fireblast
5. Burst of Speed

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Damage

Wake of Fire* is the primary Damage Skill of this build. The Assassin lays down a Trap that shoots a piercing Fire Wave in the direction of its closest target, dealing Fire 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 Wake of Fire by using Corpse Explosion, which causes nearby corpses to explode for Fire and Physical Damage. If there are no bodies to target, it fires off a weak Lightning bolt if it’s close enough to a target.

Wake of Inferno* lays down a Trap that has high single target damage. Since the Trap’s missile is very slow moving, this is only used on targets that won’t move around a lot.

Fire Blast* deals Fire Damage in an area around the projectile when it lands. Use this to supplement your damage while your traps are deployed.

* Increased Attack Speed Skills (IAS)
* Skills that do NOT utilize either FCR or IAS

Utility

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

Mindblast* stuns your enemies in a small squared shape 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* makes the area around the Assassin become extremely dark and Blinds enemies. This drastically decreases their aggro range and their Defense. Incredibly useful in dangerous Areas with large amounts of ranged monsters.

Weapon Block* provides an alternative way to Block attacks when dual-wielding Claws.

Shadow Master* summons another Assassin that randomly uses Skills from the Assassin Skill Tree, even if you don’t put Skill Points into those Skills. The Summon’s Skill level benefits from allocated Skill Points, increasing its damage output.

Fade* provides you with a massive Resistance, Damage Reduction, and Curse Duration Reduction buff. Each Soft Point grants 1% Damage Reduction. (Soft Points include + Skills from gear and buffs)

Teleport* lets you cover large distances over almost any gap and wall on the map when cast. Your Character gets relocated to your cursor in any unoccupied target location on your screen.

* 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.

Gear/Base Notes: Any Items with specialized or niche uses have a superscript that refers here.
1) These claws ideally have low requirements. Greater Talons and Greater Claws are the best.
2) Weapon Block requires you to dual wield Claws.

SlotItem OptionsDesirable Stats
WeaponCunning Greater Talons of Quickness1
Heart of the Oak Flail
Wizardspike
Bartuc's Cut-Throat
Suicide Branch
Spirit Crystal Sword
+x to All Skills
+x to Trap Skills [Assassin Only]
+ to Assassin Skills

+x% Increased Attack Speed
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x to Wake of fire [Assassin Only]
+x to Death Sentry[Assassin Only]
+x to Weapon Block [Assassin Only]2
All Resistances +x
Socketed [x]
Off-HandCunning Greater Talons of Quickness1
Spirit Monarch
Stormshield
Rhyme Bone Shield
Lidless Wall
+x to All Skills
+x to Trap Skills [Assassin Only]
+ to Assassin Skills

+x% Increased Attack Speed
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x to Wake of Fire [Assassin Only]
+x to Death Sentry[Assassin Only]
+x to Weapon Block [Assassin Only]2
Elemental Resist +x%
All Resistances +x
Damage Reduced by x%
Cannot Be Frozen
Socketed [x]
Weapon-SwapCall to Arms Crystal Sword
Bone Wand of Lower Resistance
Battle Staff of Teleportation
+x to All Skills
+x to battlecommand
+x to battleorders
Level x Lower Resist [x/x Charges]
Level x Teleport [x/x Charges]
Off-Hand-SwapSpirit Monarch+x to All Skills
HelmetsCunning Circlet of the Magus
Rare Circlet
Rare Circlet
Harlequin Crest
Crown of Ages
Lore Cap
Tarnhelm
Peasant Crown
Rockstopper
+x to All Skills
+x to Trap Skills [Assassin Only]
+x to Assassin Skills

+x% Faster Run/Walk
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x to Strength
+x to Dexterity
+x Life
Elemental Resist +x%
All Resistances +x
Damage Reduced by x%
Socketed [x]
Body ArmorEnigma Mage Plate
Treachery
Smoke Studded Leather
Skin of the Vipermagi
Skullder's Ire
Stealth
+x to All Skills
+x to Assassin Skills

+x% Faster Run/Walk
+x% Increased Attack Speed
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x to Strength
+x Life
Elemental Resist +x%
All Resistances +x
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Socketed [x]
GlovesMagefist
Trang-Oul's Claws
Chance Guards
Cobalt Heavy Gloves of Alacrity
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x% Increased Attack Speed
Elemental Resist +x%
All Resistances +x
BeltsArachnid Mesh
Goldwrap
String of Ears
Verdungo's Hearty Cord
Garnet Belt of the Squid
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x% Increased Attack Speed
+x Life
Damage Reduced by x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
BootsAldur's Advance
War Traveler
Waterwalk
Natalya's Soul
Sandstorm Trek
+x% Faster Run/Walk
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x Life
Elemental Resist +x%
AmuletsMara's Kaleidoscope
Cunning Amulet of the Whale
Cunning Amulet of the Apprentice
Caster Crafted Amulet
Rare Amulet
+x to All Skills
+x to Trap Skills [Assassin Only]
+x to Assassin Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x to Strength
+x to Dexterity
+x Life
Elemental Resist +x%
All Resistances +x
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
RingsThe Stone of Jordan
Bul-Kathos' Wedding Band
Nagelring
Fortuitous Ring of Fortune
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x to Strength
+x to Dexterity
+x Life
Elemental Resist +x%
All Resistances +x
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
CharmsGrand Charm
Large Charm
Small Charm
+1 to Traps (Assassin) Grand Charm
+ Life
+ xx% Faster Hit Recovery
+ xx % Faster Run / Walk
+ Maximum Damage
Elemental Resist +xx%
+x to Attribute
Unique CharmsAnnihilus
Hellfiretorch (Assassin)
+xx to all Attributes
All Resistances +xx

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
AndarielUniques
Sets
Jewelry
The Secret Cow LevelRunes
Runeword Bases
Charms / Gems / Jewels

Act 2

AreaStarterRewards
Ancient Tunnels-All Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Summoner-Key of Hate

Act 3

AreaStarterRewards
Lower KurastRunes
Runeword Bases
Charms / Gems / Jewels
Jewelry
MephistoUniques
Sets

Act 5

AreaStarterRewards
Eldritch the RectifierGearing
Gold
Leveling
Shenk the OverseerGearing
Gold
Leveling
PindleskinGearing
Gold
Leveling
Thresh Socket-Gearing
Gold
Drifter Cavern-All Item Types
Nihlathak-Key of Destruction
Leveling
(Level 97-99)

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

  • Cast Burst of Speed and run to the farming location of your choice. Keep it up at all times!
  • If you skilled into Shadow Master summon it whenever it drops. It acts as a meat shield and uses random Skills from the Assassin's Skill Tree. Alternatively, you can summon it as a decoy to get out of scary situations.

For High Density farming:

  • Cast up to 5 Wake of Fire Traps spread out to maximize the attack's surface area. As soon as the first enemies are dead, cast 1-2 Death Sentrys for their Corpse Explosion.
  • If you get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of enemies, you can use Mindblast to Stun and convert the closest monsters to redirect aggro. Against ranged monsters, lead with Cloak of Shadows which Blinds every enemy in range and stops their ranged attacks.

For Single Target farming:

  • Cast 5 Wake of Inferno Traps on top of your target. Creating a minimal distance between your Traps and the monster leads to a higher chance to hit the monster when it moves around.
  • Add Fire Blast to provide additional damage.

Quick note for Baal Waves:

  • Only cast 4 Wake of Fire Traps spread around the position in which the waves spawn and 1 Death Sentry far enough away, so it doesn't use its Lightning Skill. This way the 4 Wake of Fire Traps can target down monsters from the waves and Death Sentry starts casting Corpse Explosion right away.

Immunities

  • Before you have access to Infinity you rely on Lower Resist from your Bone Wand of Lower Resistance to break some monsters that are Immune to Fire or deal additional damage to tanky targets.

Late-Game

  • Start your runs by buffing yourself with Battle Command 2 times and afterwards with Battle Orders from Call to Arms.
  • Switch to the Weapon Swap with the most +x to Skills for Burst of Speed and cast it.
  • Get your Mercenary’s conviction Aura to be in range to maximize damage output from your Traps.

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 65% FCR Breakpoint. Note: FCR only controls the animation speed of the Character, and not any internal or global Cooldowns spells have.

Frames161514131211109
FCR0816274265102174

Increased Attack Speed (IAS)

This build relies solely on Increased Attack Speed (IAS) from Burst of Speed for faster attack and Trap setting animations using Weapons with a Weapon Speed Modifier of -20 / -30. Consult the d2planner for breakpoints with IAS on gear and/or different bases.

Faster Hit Recovery (FHR)

Faster Hit Recovery (FHR) increases survivability. Aim for at least the 48% FHR Breakpoint.

Frames9876543
FHR0715274886200

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 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

  • Put enough Stat Points into Dexterity to reach 75% Chance to Block.

Skill Point Changes

  • Allocate points into Fade rather than Burst of Speed. It's used to tank up for combat situations.

Item Changes

  • Equip a Stormshield with an Eld Rune for maximum Chance to Block and Reduced Damage by x%.
  • Hit +65% Faster Cast Rate with Magefist, Arachnid Mesh, a +20% Faster Cast Rare Circlet, and a +10% Faster Cast Rate Amulet or Ring.
  • Use Heart of the Oak Flail instead to reach the Breakpoint at +102% Faster Cast Rate, if you don’t have the recommended BIS Claws.

Build Variants

Starter

Setup

The Starter Variant of the Wake of Fire Assassin relies heavily on +x to Skills to deal damage. Lore, Stealth, Spirit Crystal Sword, and Ancients' Pledge Kite Shield are easily obtainable sources of Life, Resistances, and Faster Hit Recovery. You can also shop Anya in Act 5 for Cunning Greater Talons.

Mercenary

Equip your Mercenary with a Body Armor and Helmet that provides Resistances and Life. Insight is an easy Runeword to make that gives a great amount of damage and Quality of Life with Meditation. Hire the Might Aura Mercenary for extra damage against Fire Immunes.

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Burst of Speed
2. Cloak of Shadows
3. Mindblast
4. Fade

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Wake of Fire
2. Death Sentry
3. Wake of Inferno
4. Fireblast

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

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

Standard

Setup

The Standard Wake of Fire Assassin is well-rounded in clear speed and Utility. Important Breakpoints: 102% FCR and 48% FHR. Items used to reach these Breakpoints include Spirit Monarch, Heart of the Oak Flail, Magefist, and Arachnid Mesh. Equip a Cunning Amulet of Luck and 2 The Stone of Jordans for additional damage.

Mercenary

Hire a Might Aura Mercenary for extra damage against Single Target and Fire Immunes. Infinity Giant Thresher pierces Resistances and even breaks some Fire Immunities. Andariel's Visage, and Fortitude provide the remaining damage and survivability needed.

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Fade
2. Cloak of Shadows
3. Mindblast
4. Dragon Flight
5. Shadow Master

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Wake of Fire
2. Death Sentry
3. Wake of Inferno
4. Fireblast
5. Burst of Speed

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

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

Damage

Setup

The Damage variant of the Wake of Fire Assassin is very expensive, but showcases the full potential of possible gear. Important Breakpoints: 65% FCR and 48% FHR. The main changes to this setup are the two Cunning Greater Talons of Quickness, with Cunning Diadem of the Magus granting A TON of damage and FCR.

Mercenary

Hire a Might Aura Mercenary for extra damage against Single Target and Fire Immunes. Infinity Giant Thresher pierces Resistances and even breaks some Fire Immunities. Andariel's Visage, and Fortitude provide the remaining damage and survivability needed.

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Fade
2. Cloak of Shadows
3. Mindblast
4. Dragon Flight
5. Shadow Master

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Wake of Fire
2. Death Sentry
3. Wake of Inferno
4. Fireblast
5. Burst of Speed or Weapon Block

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

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

Hardcore

Setup

The Hardcore Wake of Fire Assassin provides you with the maximum survivability while sacrificing as little damage as possible. Important Breakpoints: 65% FCR and 48% FHR. Stormshield with an Eld Rune gives us easy access to the maximum Chance to Block and Damage Reduced by 50%.
If you want to reach the Breakpoint at +102% Faster Cast Rate, or you don't have access to the +6 to Traps Claws, you can exchange them for Heart of the Oak Flail. This variation decreases damage, but increases safety with even more Resistances.

Mercenary

Hire a Might Aura Mercenary for extra damage against Single Target and Fire Immunes. Infinity Giant Thresher pierces Resistances and even breaks some Fire Immunities. Andariel's Visage, and Fortitude provide the remaining damage and survivability needed.

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Burst of Speed
2. Cloak of Shadows
3. Mindblast
4. Dragon Flight
5. Shadow Master

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Wake of Fire
2. Death Sentry
3. Wake of Inferno
4. Fireblast
5. Fade

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

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


Mechanics

Death Sentry

Death Sentry is in the unique situation, in which in combines 2 Skills (Lightning Sentry and Corpse Explosion). Both Skill effects have certain conditions in which they occur and use up remaining shots from the maximum shot count. This 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 gain +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.

Burst of Speed

  • Cannot be active together with Fade
  • If cast a second time, the second instance always overwrites the initial buff, even if it is a lower Skill Level at the second cast.
  • The 3 variables (Duration, +% Walk/Run Speed and +xx% Increased Attack Speed) scale with the Skill Level (slvl).
  • Duration = (12 * slvl) + 108
    Example slvl 10: Duration = (12 * 10) +108 = 228 seconds

Teleport

  • Teleport instantly moves you to a selected square on the visible screen in which you can stand. The game tries to 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

  • Spread out your 5 Wake of Fire Traps to maximize your damage’s surface area.
  • Place 1-2 Death Sentrys after the first monster dies to blow up the surrounding mobs with Corpse Explosion.
  • Keep your Mercenary close to enemies for the Conviction Aura.
  • Use Fire Blast to increase damage output after your Traps are deployed.
  • Keep up Burst of Speed at all times on Softcore Characters.
  • Use Fade instead of Burst of Speed if you want to cap your Resistances and Physical Damage Reduction.
  • Cloak of Shadows and Mindblast are great sources of Crowd Control.

Wake of Fire is one of the coolest looking Skills in the game and is incredibly satisfying to pilot when combined with Death Sentry. The easy access to powerful Crowd Control and high damage output rewards a highly mobile playstyle.

Good luck!


Credits

Written by BTNeandertha1
Reviewed by MacroBioBoi