Last night I finally scrounged up enough cash to buy a good weapon. I'd found I couldn't beat Butcher on my own with my current setup and had tried lots of different things to try to help. I'd been built pretty defensively so I tried buying some new gear focused on int instead of on vit/armor. It made me squishier for sure, and made me do more damage, but it wasn't enough. So I saved up and bought a 1200DPS weapon for 450k. It let me beat him pretty easily and I decided to give act 2 a shot.
Now, I'd thrown away a lot of my health earlier trying to get better to beat Butcher and was only around 22k. The guys at the start were jumping down from above and 1-shotting me if I didn't have diamond skin up. Of course I murdered them almost as fast so I took to running in with my teleport clones up and hoped they'd get jumped on first! Eventually I got out into the open and was able to properly murder everything in sight as it tried to walk up to me. Elite packs I was able to kill by kiting them and only fighting when diamond skin and teleport were off cooldown. I found myself wanting a better way to kite them and thought maybe I should try switching blizzard back in. With a .9 speed weapon I have tons of arcane power and it should actually hit reasonably hard since blizzard keys off weapon damage and not weapon DPS.
I did some browsing around, keeping in mind most things are hitting me for almost my full health bar, and noticed a couple of interesting runes that might combo very well together...
Familiar - Ancient Guardian - While you are below 35% health the familiar will completely block one attack every 6 seconds.
Energy Armor - Force Armor - Incoming attacks that would deal more than 35% of your max health instead do 35% of your max health.
If these interact the way it sounds like they interact then it'll take at least 4 hits to kill me from full. Even if those hits are for 50k into my 22k health pool! The first knocks me to 65%, the second to 30%, the third will be blocked by the familiar, and the fourth will kill me. Unless I've managed to regen 6% of my health pool since the first attack!
How does this interact with diamond skin? It can get big enough to grant almost a 22k shield. If I take off all my health gear so that I have, say, 14k max health... Will the force armor reduce all incoming attacks down to 5k? Will diamond skin then suck up 4 full hits no matter how big they'd actually be? A healing potion would also be a full heal instead of a third of a bar if I get my max health down that low. Assuming I have time to react to the incoming hits and can drink the potion I could quite feasibly take 11 hits of any size before I die. And that's assuming no regen! With a really small health pool even a relatively small amount of life steal, life on hit, of life over time could be enough to add on extra swings. Last long enough and the familiar will block extra hits, too!
I'm excited! I really want to test something like this out...
Assuming the skills combo like I think they do defensive stats (except dodge) will be completely irrelevant. Glass cannon becomes sheer awesomeness. Without needing teleport to escape I can get away with stacking both familiar and magic weapon for huge bonus damage. I can get extra regen from magic weapon and from the galvanizing ward passive.
My gear isn't well set up for this since pretty much every item I have has bonus armor, resist all, or both. Vitality actually becomes a bad stat to have on gear! All it serves to accomplish is making healing potions and diamond skin worse. Finding total glass cannon gear shouldn't be too hard, though. All I'd care about is int, magic find, and gold find. Attack speed/movement speed/dex too, I guess, but not as much as the first group.