Now that I'm (foolishly) attempting the Xmax hardcore challenge with the Spear-Sportin' Spartan Corsair, I need to figure out which artifacts I will be using along the way. The build is defense-based and heavy on the Defense mastery, so I feel probaly some offense from this slot is needed more than safety... however in HC play, we can`t be too safe!
I do not have final gear figured, since playing untwinked sometimes you never can always tell what you will get, but for Artifacts it is one thing that we have to be ready for when/if the formulae drop.
I narrowed the inital 15 or so down to the following 5... well 6 if you consider that I already have a Shroud of Eternal Night. The SoEN is the go-to artifact for almost every one of my toons in the first act, and I laugh at it`s name because I always think "...and one Artifact to rule them all, and in the darkness, bind them". No? OK, the other 5:
Lionheart - 15% Pierce Resistance, 20% Poison Resistance, 13.0% Chance of 50% Damage Reflected, +1 to all skills in Defense Mastery
--Grants Skill: Lion's Roar (Activated upon taking melee damage). Let loose a mighty roar, greatly bolstering the combat skills of the player and nearby allies for a short time.
-----10.0 Second Duration, 10.0 Meter Radius, +50% Total Damage, +100.0 Health Regeneration per second, 150 Defensive Ability, +50% Attack Speed, 50 Armor
Knot of Isis - +30% Poison Damage, 40% Poison Resistance, +150% Health Regeneration, +20% Chance to Avoid Projectiles, -10% Energy Cost
--Grants Skill: Healing Cascade (Activated on low health). Restores the player and all nearby allies to full health.
-----1.0 Second Duration, 15.0 Meter Radius, +10000.0 Health Restored
Glorybringer - 8% Elemental Resistance, -21% Dexterity Requirement for all Weapons, -21% Dexterity Requirement for Armor, +7% Increased Experience, +1 to all Skills, +28% Less Damage from Undead, +28% Less Damage from Demons
Symbol of the Polymath - +15% Damage, +15% Elemental Damage, +15% Strength, +15% Intelligence, +15% Dexterity, +15% Total Speed
Star of Ishtar - 5.0% Chance of 70% Slowed for 3.0 Seconds, 15% Damage Resistance, 25% Elemental Resistance, +20% Strength, +20% Dexterity
--Grants Skill: Scimitar Spirits (Activated on low health). Summons an invisible spirit armed with scimitars to fight for the player.
-----Scimitar Spirit Attributes: Life Time 30.0 Seconds, 1183 Health, 551 Energy, Scimitar Spirit Abilites: 406 ~ 431 Damage
I am happy that Lionheart drops in Epic act 1, hopefully it will not take too long to get this as it was actually the end-game artifact for my very first toon (Templar). I will probably use it well into Legendary, and possibly to the end of the game depending on how the drops go. The major downfall with it is the low resists and only +1 Defence, leaving me short on Rogue skills (with Legendary SBC's).
Knot of Isis - Easily the end-game artifact decision, if I needed defence. But, that is not primarily what I need - although the Cascade is so tempting, it could be a decent swap-out for the latter half of act 4's, when the archer packs get annoying.
Glorybringer - Skills, and protection from most of act 4, with experience sprinkles on top? I may be at a loss for the 4th skill point, so this one made the final cut.
Symbol of the Polymath - great bonuses, all offensive, and is what I was planning on until I started looking around at all the choices.
Star of Ishtar - it comes so late (Legendary act 4), I kept it in mostly as a joke; but 15% DR and company look real good. And then the crappy ability makes me giggle again - the 30s lifetime blows huge chunks. Make that 2 or 3 min, then it`s worth not potioning until the DONG. Gimme something worth risking my life!
Did I miss something? One of the main weaknesses I forsee will be projectiles, which make the Machae pubic enemy number 1. I hate those peckerwoods I feel that Lionheart into Symbol (if it drops) is the way to go, until Legendary ToJ or so, when I need to ensure that I don`t get pincusioned to death.
In theory, Star of Ishtar will give 15% "less damage from Machae", Knot of Isis would be 20%, and Glorybringer 28%... in roundabout ways. Other Damage Resistance and CTaP will reduce those figures impact on the overall defence, but it is a decent way to compare those artifacts, IMO.
One thing I have not really explored yet is 100% block, which needs -recharge. So I suppose Talisman of the Jade Emperor would fit in perfectly for that equation... but a Hunter's Helm is kina easier to procure.
These were the last 4 contenders I eliminated: Demeter's Bounty, Tyrant's Fist, Crimson Viper, Soul Shiver. I think the Star of Ishtar is the next to be added, it really does too little, too late. Looking at getting the other 4 together is not too bad of a task, in Xmax anyway. The Talisman I am on the fence with... but needs minimal items from Normal so I have time yet to figure if I want it or not.
What d'y'all think?