Comprehensive All-Content Bowazon Guide

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Written by: Kizari

Last Updated: 6 December 2020


This guide is a comprehensive resource for building a physical Bowazon (in softcore) that can farm any content in the game, including maps and ubers.


Skill allocation is highly debated among Bowazons, so the aim with this section is to inform you of the different choices and the advantages of each. Multiple Shot is the main clearing skill, Guided Arrow is the single target skill (currently bugged and doesn't convert to magic damage as the description says), and Magic Arrow is used for killing Physical Immunes. Valkyrie is maxed as she is an incredibly useful tank for maps and ubers, especially in situations where your mercenary can't handle the load.

  • 20 Multiple Shot
  • 20 Guided Arrow
  • 20 Magic Arrow
  • 20 Valkyrie
  • 1 to All Passive Skills
  • X Pierce (should add up to 100% with the pierce on your gear)
  • X Critical Strike (all remaining points)

Many Bowazons suggest fewer than 20 points in multiple shot. This is because the arrow count caps at 24 at level 22, so some Bowazons will reach this with +skills from equipment before 20 points invested. Others will still put the extra points in anyway, since the 1-2 extra physical damage per point is multiplied by this build's 800%+ enhanced damage. The attack rating is mostly unimportant since you should have capped hitchance on any non-boss mobs long before 20 points anyway. I personally prefer to max this skill.

There is an argument to only put 1 point in Guided Arrow and Magic Arrow, especially if your primary objective is to farm maps. While this will significantly reduce your single target damage, it allows for more points into Critical Strike and other quality of life skills to boost your mapping clearspeed. You can also remove the extra points from Magic Arrow if you have another way to deal with physical immunes, such as a source of Amplify Damage (see Gear and Mercenary sections) or other party members.


Strength: 134 including all gear and charms, enough for Windforce

Dexterity: Everything else - each point in Dex is 1% increased physical damage for us

Vitality: Up for debate - some Bowazons don't put any here, others get their vitality to 80-100 hard points for survivability

Energy: None

Self-found Gear

I will only be listing here things that don't rely on luck to obtain (outside of mid runes, since they can be target farmed at countess). This section is mostly for people playing SP, that don't really like trading, that are just starting and have no currency, or just like playing self-found.


White/Blue/Yellow Bow - When starting out, just grab what you can find. Even a socketed bow with some chipped gems will do

Edge - Great early game bow that should carry you into early-mid nightmare. Any base will do, even if you just grab a socketed white from Charsi

Zephyr - Also a decent early game bow, prefer this one if you get the runes for it before the runes for Edge

??? - There's a bit of a gap to bridge between mid nightmare and your first Ko rune. Hopefully you'll be able to find a unique bow or crossbow to fill this gap, but if not, just make a new Edge in an exceptional base and push on. Your Valkyries and Mercenary can solo the game at this point for you anyway if you fall too far behind

Harmony - This bow is surprisingly good and you can complete the campaign with it. Prefer an elite base (such as Great Bow)


Lore - Cheap Runeword with +skills

3os Helm with 3 PTopaz - Useful for early MFing such as pit runs


Stealth - Nerfed in PD2, but dirt cheap and has some FRW so it's nice

Smoke - Decent mid-game body armour that is cheap

Treachery - 45% IAS makes it much easier to hit your IAS breakpoints

Duress - Decent and reasonably cheap Runeword for damage and survivability

Lionheart - Very cheap for what is effectively a mini version of one of our BiS body armours

3-4os Body with PTopaz - Useful for early MFing, especially if you don't have the runes for one of the above


Blue/Yellow gloves with 20% IAS - Attack speed is always nice

Blood craft gloves with 20% IAS - Possibly not worth the time and resources, but these are decent if you really need something here

2/20 Yellow or 3/20 Blue gloves - The +skills here (should be Passive and Magic) can help, especially earlier on


Yellows - FRW, Resists, MF, Life


Yellows - Any belt with 4 rows and stats that are useful to you (Life, Resists, Dex, Strength)


Leech Rings - Grab Life Leech and Mana Leech here if you don't have it elsewhere

MF Rings - MF rings, and/or rings with stats (Life, Resists, Dex, Strength)


Skills Amulet - + Amazon skills or + Passive and Magic skills are the most useful here

MF Amulet - MF is always nice for early game farming

Stats amulet - Life, Resists, Dex, Strength


Whatever you can find that will give you damage or utility, but prefer +Max charms, Life/Resist charms, and MF small charms.

Budget Gear

This section serves as the gear to wear when transitioning to the full build, or to wear if you simply don't want to sink currency into it.


M'avina's is a really solid option, and at the time of writing the full set can be picked up for around Vex. It can be used either as a full set, or as a partial set. A build with pieces from Budget Gear and Best Gear will start to overtake M'avina's, so consider moving on when you get to that point.


Upped Witchwild String - This bow is hideously underrated. While it looks really bad on paper, the near 100% critical chance, 2 sockets, and very high level amplify damage are killer. The 40 all resists are just an added bonus. I personally think this bow is about as good as it gets for budget gear, but other option may start to outshine it if you're heading into the final build.

Upped Goldstrike Arch - This bow is really strong for Chaos Sanctuary especially thanks to its Demon and Undead damage. Probably the best bow pre-WF, especially if your gear is good enough to make it outperform Witchwild String

Eaglehorn - Poor man's Windforce, not bad

Upped Lycander's Aim - Also really decent, can compete well with all of the above

Upped Buriza - Disgustingly good +max damage, but suffers from being a crossbow. Very slow attack speed, but hits like a truck


Stealskull - Leech and MF, it's alright. If you corrupt some sockets, can have even more MF


Treachery - Use this if you really need help hitting your IAS breakpoints

Lionheart - Use this if you can hit your IAS breakpoints



Marrowalk - Cheap source of Cannot Be Frozen

Rite of Passage - Alternative cheap source of Cannot Be Frozen

Goblin Toe - Enhanced Damage and Crushing Blow, very decent



Nagelring - Some AR and MF



Gheed's Fortune - Worth having for the high MF alone

Grand Charm - Look for +Max charms

Small Charm - Look for Resists here (preferably also with Life)

Magic Find Gear

While attack based builds typically can't hit really high magic find values without sacrificing a lot of clearspeed like casters, it is still viable to run MF gear with a Bowazon. Even just 100% is a significant improvement in loot with little to no compromise.


Pick one from one of the other sections, there are no bows worth running with MF on them.


Stealskull - Leech and MF, can socket and add PTopaz

Corrupted Unique - You can really run any unique you want here if you puzzlebox or corrupt it for PTopaz sockets

3os White Helmet - If you don't have anything better, this can help you in the meantime

Giant Skull - You still want 100% pierce, so consider this if you don't have it in another slot


Skullder's Ire - +Skills and good MF. Can puzzlebox or corrupt to add more MF

3-4os White Body - If you don't have better, this can help in the meantime

Non-MF Body - Sometimes it's not worth the sacrifice and you'd get better loot clearing quicker. Consider running Lionheart or Fortitude instead

Crow Caw - You still want 100% pierce, so consider this if you don't have it in another slot


Chance Guards - They have great MF, but lack anything else useful (and no IAS!)

Yellows - 20% IAS with MF and extras are good here

Laying of Hands - May be worth simply running the extra damage instead to clear faster

Soul Drainer - You still want 100% pierce, so if you don't have it in another slot, consider it here (no IAS on these though)


War Traveller's - These boots are just too good

Yellows - Prefer FRW, MF, and good stats

Treads of C'Thon - You still want 100% pierce, so consider this if you don't have it in another slot


Goldwrap - IAS and MF, the only good MF option here really

Razortail - You still want 100% pierce, so if you can't get it in another slot, use this instead of Goldwrap


Nagelring - Best MF you can get on rings

Yellows - Can get decent rings with MF as well, a leech+MF ring could be very nice if you don't have leech elsewhere

Raven Frost - You still need Cannot Be Frozen, so use one of these if needed


Yellow - +Skills, MF, stats preferably

Unique - Prefer one of the other options like Cat's Eye or Atma's Scarab if you would prefer the speed


Gheed's Fortune - Best MF charm in the game by far

Torch/Anni - Too efficient to give up, even in a MF build

MF Small Charms - Can get up to 7% each, fill up on these if you really want MF

+Max Charms - MF is no good if you kill too slow, consider still running damage charms instead

Best Gear


Windforce - With the nerfs to Faith and the buffs to Windforce, there's really no competition. Ultimately you'd want an Enhanced Damage (preferably with another affix) corruption and 4os from the puzzlebox, socketed with 40/15s


Giant Skull - High pierce chance, Crushing Blow, Enhanced Damage, and high Strength - amazing helmet

Andariel's Visage - +2 Skills, 20% IAS, 10% Lifesteal, 30 strength, max poison resist + high poison resists - brilliant helmet, especially if you need the IAS and leech

Veil of Steel - Enhanced Damage, +1 Skills, up to 40 All Resistances, Vitality, Strength - incredible option if you don't need the specialties the other helmets offer

Valkyrie Wing - +2 Amazon Skills, 40% Enhanced Damage, 30% Faster Run/Walk - not the best option here, but if you have the damage to need to move faster, this helmet can really shine. Also great for things like key farming where moving fast is, well, key


Fortitude - 200% Enhanced Damage, up to +150 life, up to 30 all resists, 4% max light res, 25% FCR (not great, but gives a few breakpoints for tele staff)

Chains of Honor - +2 Skills, 200% Damage to Demons, 100% Damage to Undead, 8% Lifesteal, 20 strength, 65 all resists, damage reduced by 4%, 25MF - a little better than Fortitude defensively, but ultimately more expensive for something a bit worse for this build

Tyrael's Might - 45% FRW, 30 strength, 30 all resists, Cannot Be Frozen, 160% Damage to Demons, 160% Damage to Undead - This thing would be simply disgusting with corruption/sockets. That FRW would be godly. Frees up Raven Frost for potentially better ring. Incredibly expensive and hard to get though

Crow Caw - 15% IAS, 30% Pierce, 15 Dex - this one is a little interesting as it is very different. With some corruption/socketing and the right jewels, this could be very strong


Laying of Hands - 20% IAS, High Damage to Demons, High Fire Resists - since demons are typically the monsters with the largest hp pools, these are very very good


War Traveller's - 15-25 damage (which is scaled massively by our gear and dex), FRW, MF - can't really beat these


Razortail - 33% pierce, 10 max damage, 15 dex - use this if not using Giant Skull

Upped Goldwrap - only need to up once for the extra row - 20% IAS, 40% MF - use this if using Giant Skull

Nosferatu's Coil - 6% lifesteal, 20% IAS, 15 strength, 10% deadly strike - a better Goldwrap if you don't care for MF


Raven Frost - Needed if you don't have Cannot Be Frozen elsewhere

Wisp Projector - light absorb, MF, Heart of Wolverine (buffs your damage), +1 skills - this ring is really great all around

Yellow - can use this to fill gaps in the build such as leech, resists, damage, etc. Can also corrupt these for extras


The Cat's Eye - 30 FRW, 20 IAS, 25 Dex - Very very hard to beat this amulet

Atma's Scarab - 7% Chance to Cast Level 8 Amplify Damage on Striking, 60% poison resist - this can break most phys immunes, and will give -26% physical resistance to enemies (which is huge for our damage), prefer this over Cat's Eye if you're struggling for damage or didn't take 20 Magic Arrow


Annihilus - +1 skills, resists, life on a small charm, no brainer

Hellfire Torch - +1 skills, resists, life on a large charm, no brainer

Gheed's Fortune - I personally think this is worth the slot even on the final build, 40% MF is very nice

Max Damage Charms - +10 Max GCs, preferably with life

Resist Small Charms - Great for filling out the rest of your resistances, preferably with life


Act 1 Rogue

This is typically the preferred option, as she can provide Vigor on top of Fanaticism and Might. She also stays back more than the other Mercs so she doesn't really tend to ever die. The "Fire" mercenary is the one you want.

  • Faith Great Bow - you ideally want Fanatacism 13-15 so you can get the highest Windforce IAS breakpoint with 95 IAS. Fanatacism 12 means you will need 100 IAS which can really mess with your build
  • Templar's Might - this will provide the Might aura to boost your physical damage further. You need to apply at least 1 socket to this, and either socket Hel runs, or jewels with -15% requirements and other goodies. This is because the strength requirement is too high for the Act 1 merc

Act 5 Barbarian

This option has slightly higher damage, but doesn't provide the Vigor aura. With the Fanaticism on Beast being lower, it may also affect your gear choices slightly, since the IAS needed will be a tiny bit higher.

  • Beast Ethereal Silver-Edged Axe - provides Fanaticism
  • Any defensive chest, Duriel's shell may be a nice option for Cannot Be Frozen if you don't take it elsewhere


The goal with mercenaries is to keep them alive. Below is my preferred gear, but feel free to put on whatever you like, it doesn't really matter.

  • Vampire Gaze - 20% physical damage reduction, good leech
  • Thundergod's Vigor - max light res, since it is the most dangerous element in the game
  • Infernostrides - max fire res, since it is the second most dangerous element in the game
  • IAS Gloves - plenty of options here, fill in your mercs weaknesses I guess


This build can absolutely do ubers. Just make sure you have a source of crushing blow (Giant Skull and/or Gore Rider or Goblin Toe are great options). Valkyries are you best friend, especially against Lilith. You may need to spam them against her and just get in hits when you can, she is rather vicious. Obviously prefer good resists and a decent health pool for doing this, but I have successfully done uber tristram (albeit with several deaths) with negative resists and ~700 life.

Diablo Clone

Since the announced "fix" to "cheese strats," the viability of this build for DClone is unknown. Will update this section when we know more.