100 CS runs with solo self found Druid

I decided to try 100 CS runs with my lvl 91 wind druid, my first time attempting this kind of project. I am playing single player without mods of any kind, so no ladder runewords, shared stash, etc. A real "live off the land" character who uses only what he finds.

For most runs I had ~150mf for clearing the river and sanctuary (Suicide Branch; Vipermagi; Lidless Wall; Delirium Pelt; Chance Guards; mf/mana rings; Mara's; crafted belt; Aldurs boots), then swapped gear for ~350mf for killing Diablo (Wealth; P-topaz Tarnhelm (later Shako); Ali Baba's; Rhyme). Might merc initially rolled with Vampire Gaze, Gladiator's Bane, and Tomb Reaver, and later Reaper's Toll when I found that.

Items in bold represented gear improvement for the character. I also picked up flawless gems for crafting as I went, but nothing useful there.


4 – Ko rune

5 – Naj's Light Plate

8 – IK Forge

13 – Carrion Wind

14 – Trang ouls armor; Tearhaunch

15 – Gheed's Fortune (37 mf)

16 – Tal Rasha mask

19 – The Reaper's Toll; Steelskull

20 – Thundergods Vigor

22 – Jade Talon

23 – Wizardspike

24 – Natalya's armor

28 – Ethereal 4 socket Balrog Skin

32 – Infernostride

37 – Frostburn

38 – Arkaine's Valor (+2 skills); Ormus' Robes (+3 energy shield)

39 – Shako

48 – Lo rune

51 – Homonculus

52 – Wilhelm's Pride; Nagelring

53 – Ondal's Almighty; Lycander's Aim

57 – Manald Heal; Sanders gloves

59 – Saracen's chance

62 – Venomgrip

64 – Goblintoe

74 – Que Hegan's Wisdom

83 – Gheed's Fortune (39 mf)

91 – Guardian Angel

93 – Naj's Puzzler

94 – Hellmouth

95 – Shadow Dancer; The Rising Sun

99 – Manald Heal

100 – Shako


Overall, I was pretty happy with this project, both in terms of final results and in-process play. The CS is probably my favorite place to grind with this wind druid — challenging enough to be interesting but quick enough to feel reasonably efficient. I could have sped things up a bit by teleporting past the river of flame with a staff or amulet, but I found it annoying to constantly pay for recharges on those items and in the end preferred to just clear the river on foot.

As a live-off-the-land character, finding useful items always feels significant. The single most useful item find for me by far was the Reaper's Toll, which greatly improved the effectiveness of my druid in the CS (particularly since Infector of Souls seemed to often spawn with physical immunity). The Gheeds and Shako were also nice upgrades to my magic-find setup. The +2 Arkaine's Valor is something I am going to keep for now, since I would love to find a way to wear it. Though I expect it will be tricky to find the right gear with enough +str to equip it while not losing too much in terms of FCR and resistances. Rune-wise the Lo is nice, but honestly not that immediately useful for me. It was a bit disappointing to make virtually no progress towards a Heart of the Oak or Call to Arms, so still lots of work to do.

Gear-wise I played around with a few different setups, e.g. wearing Shako instead of Delirium, Que Hegans instead of Vipermagi, Wizardspike instead of Suicide Branch. The differences felt pretty marginal. I decided to stay with Suicide Branch and Delirium because the + skills did make an appreciable difference in kill speed, and I found that the delirium proc was triggered so rarely that it didn't bother me much.

Thanks for reading, and happy grinding!


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