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Rabies Poison Druid Build for Diablo 2 Resurrected

Rabies Poison Druid Build for Diablo 2 Resurrected

Complete Build Guide on Rabies Druid - one of the coolest Cow farming builds in D2R

Rabies Poison
Druid Build

For Diablo 2 Resurrected
 

Build notes:
September 09, 2021
-Build created

 

Build Overview

Rabies is one of the most unusual melee skills in Diablo 2 Resurrected. It inflicts a spreading Poison when you hit an enemy, which can spread to nearby enemies even if they are immune to Poison (keep in mind that the effect can spread, but it will deal no Poison damage over the duration). When farming higher density zones, like for example the Secret Cow Level, you will be able to fully utilize the "hit and run" strategy that this build has to offer and watch enemies die all around you when you are already on your way to the next pack. This build is in no way a Boss-killing machine, but when it comes to Cow Level farming, it's one of the best options in the game. It's also a great choice if you want to try out different playstyles, or simply something of the meta. 

In the following Guide, we will focus on maximizing your Poison DoT effect, but you should understand that this build is often played as a hybrid melee/poison where you apply your Rabies DoT and switch to Fury to finish off your enemies with strong melee/physical hits. 

You can also check our other  Diablo 2 Resurrected Builds

 

 Pros  Cons
 Unique playstyle with good clear speed on certain areas with high monster density  Lacks single-target DPS 
 One of the most potent DoTs in the game   Outclassed by tons of builds in most of the in-game aspects
 Tons of build variations and Item flexibility allows you to customize this build based on your personal preferences   
 One of the best Cow Level farmers Diablo 2 Resurrected has to offer  
 Solid defenses with high life pool and kiting capabilities  

 

Skills

ATTRIBUTES
  1. Strength - just enough Strength to equip all the necessary equipment. In most cases, that's going to be 156 Strength for a Monarch (whether it's a white one with 4 Sockets or a Spirit)
  2. Dexterity - You only need enough Dexterity to meet gear requirements
  3. Vitality - the primary stat in this build. Spend all the remaining points in Vitality to boost your maximum Life
  4. Energy - do not spend a single point in Energy, it's a total waste
SHAPE SHIFTING SKILLS

This is the core Skill Tree of this Build. From it, you'll get the ability to assume the form of a Werewolf and shred your enemies with vicious Fury. Thanks to Lycantrophy, you will also become very tanky, even without investing any points into Vitality. 

Skills:

  1. Werewolf [20/20] - transforms your character into Werewolf which is the primary form for this build. It boosts your Maximum Life, Attack Speed, and Attack Rating. Not to mention it's required to unlock the Rabies skill that this build is based on
  2. Lycanthropy [20/20] - Increases your Max Life when in shifted form (percentage-wise) and increases shifted form's duration
  3. Feral Rage [1/20] - a duration skill that increases your damage, attack rating and grants life steal. You can use it if you need additional physical damage 
  4. Rabies [20/20] - the core ability used in this build. It applies a deadly DoT effect on enemies, which spreads very quickly, allowing you to attack a single enemy once to see all groups affected by its Poison within seconds. Rabies offers "hit and run" type of playstyles, where you hit a single from a pack, and run around it to inflict it on additional packs while the initial pack dies trying to reach you
  5. Fury [X/20] - Fury can be used for additional DPS, mainly when you want to have some fun in the melee range. The following setup is oriented mainly on maximizing the Poison DoT, but with Fury, you will be able to kill individual enemies much faster

SUMMONING SKILLS

Druid's summoning tree is a great source of utility and we want just that. You are mainly interested in Oak Sage, Grizzly, and Heart of the Wolverine, which should be resummoned when slain for their amazing bonuses

Skills:

  1. Poison Creeper [20/20] - a mandatory 20 points here. Not that you are going to use the Creeper in actual gameplay, but it is Rabies' synergy skill that directly boosts its damage
  2. Raven [1/20] - Prerequisite. Summon Ravens to peck out the eyes of your enemies. 
  3. Oak Sage [1/20] - Summons a spirit that increases your party's health. This is a powerful utility skill that increases the Health of everyone in your group, including mercenaries and summons. With it, your survivability simply skyrockets. Make sure to keep Oak Sage up at all times
  4. Summon Spirit Wolf [1/20] - summons a Spirit Wolf to attack your enemies
  5. Summon Dire Wolf [1/20] - summons a Dire Wolf to attack your enemies
  6. Summon Grizzly [1/20] - Summons a Grizzly bear to attack your enemies. Even with just 1 point, Grizzly is very effective at tanking. It will help you stay alive by soaking up damage so you should resummon it whenever killed
  7. Heart of Wolverine [X/20] - one of the best Summons in the Druid's arsenal. It boosts your DPS and Attack Rating. In most cases, that's where you want to put all your excess points into after you have picked up all the other listed abilities
ELEMENTAL SKILLS

You don't need any Elemental Skills. 

Skills:

  1. none. 

 

Items

While this is a melee build, our recommended setup revolves mainly around increasing the Poison DoT you deal, so Attack Rating/Attack Speed stats are much less relevant than you would normally expect from a Shapeshifting Druid. There are plenty of different options for this build, and it all depends on how much physical damage you want to deal with attacks, or if you are just going to farm Cows without bothering about any higher Tier content. As usual, you to maximize the level of all Druid Skills, with the Shapeshifting skills being your top priority here, and reach the 86% Faster Hit Recovery breakpoint - it's easily obtainable with just Jalal's Mane, Bramble, and two Small Chars with FHR bonus

HELMETS

Jalal's Mane (Totemic Mask) - all-around best Helmet for this build. It offers all the important stats for your Druid and tons of defensive stats that you won't find anywhere else

Jalal's Mane

Defense: 247-297
Required Level: 42
Required Strength: 65
Durability: 20
(Druid Only)

  • +150-200% Enhanced Defense
  • 30% Faster Hit Recovery
  • 20% Bonus To Attack Rating
  • +2 To Druid Skill Levels
  • All Resistances +30
  • +5 To Mana After Each Kill
  • +20 To Strength
  • +20 To Energy
  • +2 To Shape Shifting Skills (Druid Only)

Cerebus' Bite (Blood Spirit) - another decent option if you roll it with +4 to Shape Shifting Skills and if you are looking to play around as a melee a bit more

Cerebus' Bite

Defense: 335-350
Required Level: 63
Required Strength: 86
Durability: 20
(Druid Only)

  • +130-140% Enhanced Defense
  • 60-120% Bonus to Attack Rating
  • 7-10% Life Stolen Per Hit
  • 33% Chance of Open Wounds
  • +2-4 To Shape Shifting Skills (Druid Only)
  • +1-2 To Feral Rage (Druid Only)

WEAPONS

Grief (Runeword) - one of the best weapon options for this build. It offers the best balance between your Poison DoT damage and Physical Damage you deal with Fury

Grief

  • Damage:  Depends on base Weapon
  • Required Level: 59
  • Required Dexterity: Depends on base Weapon
  • Required Strength: Depends on base Weapon
  • Durability: Depends on base Weapon 
  • Eth + Tier + Lo + Mal + Ral  
    • 35% Chance To Cast Level 15 Venom On Striking
    • +30-40% Increased Attack Speed
    • Damage +340-400
    • Ignore Target's Defense
    • -25% Target Defense
    • +(1.875 per character level) 1.875-185.625% Damage To Demons (Based on Character Level)
    • Adds 5-30 Fire Damage
    • -20-25% To Enemy Poison Resist
    • 20% Deadly Strike
    • Prevent Monster Heal
    • +2 To Mana After Each Kill
    • +10-15 Life After Each Kill

Death's Web (Unearthed Wand) - if you are solely relying on your Rabies damage over time effect, Death's Web will offer the highest possible DPS bonus out of all items in the game, but you will simply look pathetic as a melee character

Death's Web

One-Hand Damage: 22 To 28
Required Level: 66
Required Strength: 25
Durability: 18
Staff Class - Fast Attack Speed
  • +50% Damage to Undead
  • -40-50% To Enemy Poison Resistance
  • +7-12 To Mana After Each Kill
  • +7-12 Life After Each Kill
  • +2 To All Skills
  • +1-2 To Poison and Bone Spells (Necromancer Only)
SHIELD

4 Socket Monarch - with 4 Poison Facets. Most likely the best possible Shield in terms of Raw DPS that can grant up to 20% Increased Poison Skill Damage, and reduce enemy Poison Resistance by up to 20% as well

Monarch

Defense: 133-148
Level Requirement: 54
Strength Requirement: 156
Chance to Block: 52% (Paladin) / 47% (Amazon, Assassin, Barbarian) / 42% (Druid, Necromancer, Sorceress)
Durability: 86
Sockets: 4

Head Hunter's Glory (Troll's Nest) - can roll up to 3 Sockets, so with 3 Poison Facets, you end up with tons of extra Poison DPS and additional defensive utility when compared to a fully Jeweled Monarch

Head Hunter's Glory

Defense: 478-593
Required Level: 75
Required Strength: 106
Durability: 74
Chance to Block: Paladin: 50%; Amazon/Assassin/Barbarian: 45%; Druid/Necromancer/Sorceress: 40%

  • +320-420 Defense
  • +300-350 Defense vs. Missile
  • Fire Resist +20-30%
  • Poison Resist +30-40%
  • +5-7 Life After Each Kill
  • Socketed (1-3)

Spirit (Runeword) - one of the best Shields thanks to its high Skill bonus and just massive defensive utility

Spirit

Defense: varies
Required level: 25
Required Strength: 156 (if using Monarch)
Runes: Tal + Thul + Ort + Amn
  • +2 To All Skills
  • +25-35% Faster Cast Rate (varies)
  • +55% Faster Hit Recovery
  • +250 Defense vs. Missiles
  • +22 To Vitality
  • +89-112 To Mana (varies)
  • Cold Resist +35%
  • Lightning Resist +35%
  • Poison Resist +35%
  • +3-8 Magic Absorb (varies)
  • Attacker Takes Damage of 14
WEAPON SWAP

Call to Arms (Runeword) - This powerful Runeword will allow you to buff yourself with Barbarian's Warcries

Call to Arms

Defense: Depends on base Weapon 
Required Level: 57
Required Strength: Depends on base Weapon ​​​​​
Durability: Depends on base Weapon
Requires: Amn • Ral • Mal • Ist • Ohm

  • +1 to All Skills 
  • +40% Increased Attack Speed 
  • +250-290% Enhanced Damage 
  • Adds 5-30 Fire Damage 
  • 7% Life Stolen Per Hit 
  • +2-6 To Battle Command 
  • +1-6 To Battle Orders 
  • +1-4 To Battle Cry 
  • Prevent Monster Heal 
  • Replenish Life +12 
  • 30% Better Chance Of Getting Magic Items 

Spirit (Runeword) - the same Runeword can be used on your weapon swap as well to boost the level of all the Warcries and grant an extra FCR bonus

Spirit

Defense: varies
Required level: 25
Required Strength: 156 (if using Monarch)
Runes: Tal + Thul + Ort + Amn
  • +2 To All Skills
  • +25-35% Faster Cast Rate (varies)
  • +55% Faster Hit Recovery
  • +250 Defense vs. Missiles
  • +22 To Vitality
  • +89-112 To Mana (varies)
  • Cold Resist +35%
  • Lightning Resist +35%
  • Poison Resist +35%
  • +3-8 Magic Absorb (varies)
  • Attacker Takes Damage of 14

AMULETS

The Eye of Etlich - another interesting Amulet that grants a bonus to all your Skills but also additional Life Steal which can come in handy if you use Fury regularly

Eye of Etlich

  • Required Level: 15
    • +1-5 To Light Radius
    • +1 To All Skills
    • 3-7% Life Stolen Per Hit
    • Adds (1-2) to (3-5) Cold Damage
    • Cold Duration: 2-10 Seconds
    • +10-40 Defense vs. Missiles

Highlord's Wrath - a solid choice, mainly for the bonus to All Skills though, the other bonuses are less relevant if you are solely relying on the DoT effects

Highlord's Wrath

  • Required Level: 65
    • +1 to All Skills 
    • 20% Increased Attack Speed 
    • +0-37% Deadly Strike (+0.375 per Character Level) 
    • Lightning Resist +35% 
    • Adds 1-30 Lightning Damage 
    • Attacker Takes Lightning Damage of 15 

Mara's Kaleidoscope - one of the best Amulets in the game. It may be a bit overpriced for a Rabies Druid, but you may as well have this piece lying around somewhere from another character

Mara's Kaleidoscope

  • Required Level: 67
    • +2 To All Skills 
    • All Resistances +20-30 (varies) 
    • +5 To All Attributes 

Magic or Rare Amulet - obviously, with +to All Druid Skills or Shape Shifting Skills. You can also get some extra Resistances, Life, Attributes, or Leech if you don't have it anywhere else

Mara's Kaleidoscope

  • Required Level: varies
  • Stats to look for:
    • +2 To All Skills / + 3 to Shape Shifting Skills
    • Faster Run/Walk
    • Life Steal
    • Resistances
    • Attributes

ARMORS

Bramble (Runeword) - the best body armor you can use on Rabies Druid when it comes to maximizing your Poison DoT.  It also grants massive Poison resistance and Faster Hit Recovery, basically fulfilling your needs for these two important stats

Bramble

  • Defense: Depends on base Armor 
  • Required Level: 61
  • Required Strength: Depends on base Armor 
  • Durability: Depends on base Armor 
  • Jah + Ohm + Sur + Eth  
    • Level 15-21 Thorns Aura When Equipped
    • +50% Faster Hit Recovery
    • +25-50% To Poison Skill Damage
    • +300 Defense
    • Increase Maximum Mana 5%
    • Regenerate Mana 15%
    • +5% To Maximum Cold Resist
    • Fire Resist +30%
    • Poison Resist +100%
    • +13 Life After Each Kill
    • Level 13 Spirit of Barbs (33 Charges)

Fortitude (Runeword) - the best option if you want to go a bit more into hybrid/melee build and fight in close proximity of your enemies (instead of tagging enemies and running away)

Fortitude

  • Defense: Depends on base Armor 
  • Required Level: 59 
  • Required Strength: Depends on base Armor 
  • Durability: Depends on base Armor 
  • El + Sol + Dol + Lo   
    • 20% Chance To Cast Level 15 Chilling Armor when Struck 
    • +25% Faster Cast Rate 
    • +300% Enhanced Damage 
    • +200% Enhanced Defense 
    • +15 Defense 
    • +[1-148] To Life (Based on Character Level, [1-1.5] per Level) 
    • Replenish Life +7 
    • +5% To Maximum Lightning Resist 
    • All Resistances +[25-30] (varies) 
    • Physical Damage Taken Reduced by 7 
    • 12% Damage Taken Gained as Mana when Hit 
    • +1 To Light Radius 

RINGS

Raven Frost - playing a Rabies Druid while frozen is nearly impossible as you need to run between packs to quickly apply your Poison. Raven Frost renders you immune to Freeze which basically is a must-have for this build

Raven Frost

  • Required Level: 45
    • +150-250 Attack Rating (varies) 
    • 15-45 Cold Damage 
    • +15-20 Dexterity (varies) 
    • +40 Mana 
    • Cold Absorb 20%
    • Cannot be Frozen 

The Stone of Jordan - mainly for the bonus to All Skills. All around solid option

The Stone of Jordan 

  • Required Level: 29
    • +1 to All Skills
    • Increase Maximum Mana by 25% 
    • Adds 1-12 Lightning Damage 
    • +20 to Mana

Bul-Kathos Wedding Band - another great ring for this build. It grants a bonus to all skills, Life Steal, and maximum Life - all exceptionally valuable stats for Rabies Druid

Bul-Kathos Wedding Band

  • Required Level: 58
    • +1 To All Skills 
    • + (0.5 Per Character Level) 0-49 To Life) 
    • 3-5% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies) 
    • +50 Maximum Stamina 

GLOVES

Trang'Oul's Claws (Heavy Bracers) - when it comes to boosting the Poison part of your damage, this is the best pair you can possibly choose for this Rabies Druid build

Trang'Oul's Claws

Defense: 67-74
Required Level: 45
Required Strength: 58
Durability: 16

  • +20% Faster Cast Rate
  • Cold Resist +30%
  • +30 Defense
  • +25% Poison Skill Damage
  • +2 To Curses (Necromancer Only)

Soul Drainer (Vambraces) - this pair of Gloves are great for their double leech, and additional bonuses applied on melee hits like reduced defense and Weaken debuff

Soul Drainer

  • Defense: 129 - 149 
  • Required Level: 74
  • Required Strength: 50 
  • Durability: 16
    • +90-120% Enhanced Defense (varies) 
    • 4-7% Mana Stolen Per Hit (varies) 
    • 4-7% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies) 
    • -50 to Monster Defense per Hit 
    • 8% Chance to Cast Level 3 Weaken on Striking 

Dracul's Grasp (Vampirebone Gloves) - A good all-around choice that increases your attack speed and gives you some extra survivability. These gloves also give a high strength bonus and a 25% Chance of Open Wounds

Dracul's Grasp

 

  • Defense: 125 - 145
  • Required Level: 76
  • Required Strength: - 50
  • Durability: 14
    • +90-120% Enhanced Defense (varies) 
    • +10-15 to Strength (varies) 
    • +5-10 Life After Each Kill (varies) 
    • 25% Chance of Open Wounds 
    • 7-10% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies) 
    • 5% Chance to Cast Level 10 Life Tap on Striking
    • 20% Increased Attack Speed 

BOOTS

Gore Rider (War Boots) - a top choice for any physical damage-based build. These extremely powerful boots provide amazing offensive bonuses and a solid 30% Increased Run/Walk Speed

Gore Rider

  • Defense: 140 - 162 
  • Required Level: 47
  • Required Strength: 94
  • Kick Damage: 39-80
  • Durability: 34 
    • +160-200% Enhanced Defense (varies) 
    • 30% Faster Run/Walk 
    • 10% Chance Of Open Wounds 
    • 15% Chance Of Crushing Blow 
    • 15% Deadly Strike 
    • Requirements -25% 
    • Attacker Takes Damage Of 5-10 (varies)  
    • +20 Maximum Stamina 

War Traveler (Battle Boots) - this pair is notable for providing a  high Magic Find bonus in addition to other useful bonuses. An interesting choice for sure. 

War Traveler's

  • Defense: 120-139 
  • Required Level: 42
  • Required Strength: 95
  • Kick Damage: 37-64 
  • Durability: 48
    • +150-190% Enhanced Defense 
    • 25% Faster Run/Walk 
    • +10 to Vitality 
    • +10 to Strength 
    • Adds 15-25 Damage 
    • +40% Slower Stamina Drain 
    • Attacker Takes Damage Of 5-10 
    • 30-50% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items 

Aldur's Advance (Battle Boots) - can be used for their massive Movement Speed and Life bonuses

Aldur's Advance

Defense: 39-47
Required Level: 45
Required Strength: 95

  • Indestructible
  • 40% Faster Run/Walk
  • +180 Maximum Stamina
  • 10% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
  • Heal Stamina Plus +32%
  • +50 To Life
  • Fire Resist +40-50%

BELTS

String of Ears (Demonhide Dash) - the best option if you want to stay in melee range and use Feral Rage/Fury to take down your enemies 

String of Ears

Defense: 102-113 (varies)(Base Defense: 29-34)
Required Level: 29
Required Strength: 20
Durability: 22
16 Potion Boxes

  • +150-180% Enhanced Defense
  • +15 Defense
  • 6-8% Life Stolen Per Hit
  • Damage Reduced By 10-15%
  • Magic Damage Reduced 10-15

Verdungo's Hearty Cord (Mithril Coil) - A very solid defensive option that offers a Faster Hit Recovery bonus, an insanely high boost to Vitality

Verdungo's Hearty Cord

  • Defense: 125-158
  • Potion Slots: 16 
  • Required Level: 63
  • Required Strength: 106
  • Durability: 16
    • +90-140% Enhanced Defense 
    • 10% Faster Hit Recovery  
    • +30-40 To Vitality 
    • Replenish Life +10-13 
    • +100-120 Maximum Stamina 
    • Damage Reduced By 10-15% 

CHARMS

  1. Annihilus - This fabled Charm boosts your Skills, Stats, and Resistances. It's the best Unique Small Charm, and it's limited to just 1 in your equipment
  2. Gheed's Fortune - petty much a must-have if you are after the best available Charms. It adds 80-160% extra gold from monsters, reduces vendor prices by up to 15%, and gives up to 40% Magic Find stat
  3. Hellfire Torch - The BiS Unique Large Charm that increases your Attributes, Skills, and Resistances. You should, of course, go for one that gives +1 to Druid Skills. 
  4. Grand Charms - These should have a combination of the following: +Shape-Shifting Skills and Max Life
  5. Small Charms -  just get extra Resistances here, and possibly FHR if you didn't reach the 86% breakpoint yet

MERCENARY

We recommend picking up Act 2 Might Mercenary for the highest possible DPS. Whether you want to use your Merc against Cows is up to you, but keep in mind that he will most likely die quite often when surrounded

  1. Reaper's Toll - mainly for the Decrepify debuff which will greatly help your Mercenary stay alive when surrounded by enemies. This weapon also offers very high base damage making it one of the best picks for a Mercenary
  2. Treachery Runeword in Armor - for its' simply massive IAS bonus that will greatly increase the effectiveness of his equipped weapon and apply Decrepify quickly
  3. Guillaume's Face - for the highest possible DPS  and high FHR bonus. The extra chance of Crushing Blow and Deadly Strike makes it one the core Helmet for Reaper's Toll Merc setup

 

ENDNOTE

This is our premiere Rabies Druid Build for Diablo 2 Resurrected where we tried to include all of the important information on how to set up this character while keeping the guide as compact as possible. If we've missed something of importance, please let us know! 

If you have any Build requests, please post them in the Comments section below. We will be happy to cover your most requested builds in the future! Also, we hope that you have found this guide useful and informative. Also, we will be happy to receive constructive criticism that will help us improve our future work, so don't hesitate to give us your feedback.