Those who love Diablo 2 don't have a quiet or subtle voice -- nor should they. Ever since the release of the game, players have been searching for the next big dungeon-crawler to try and top it. And so far, for the most ardent fans, nothing has come close. That's likely why a re-release of Diablo 2 is on the horizon for Blizzard Entertainment.
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As such, veterans and rookies alike are dusting off old strategy guides and trying to uncover builds for their favorite classes. The Paladin is a popular choice among these fanatics as it has several builds that can downright break the game. Don't believe it? Give these builds a shot and it will change your mind.
Updated on June 11th, 2021 by Hodey Johns: Diablo 2 is only gaining in popularity with the upcoming Diablo 2: Resurrected on the horizon. Readers are turning to this guide more than ever before, but many were curious about how to alter a Paladin build. A section has been added to give them some pointers. Additionally, each section has been highlighted to call attention to what makes each build so strong.
Making Your Own Build
Diablo 2 Paladin Kneeling In Game Artwork
The Paladin is a favorite class to customize because of its diversity. With access to all armors, weapons, and elements, there's nothing it can't do. However, there are some things that the Paladin can't do well unless the build is spot on.
Planning is critical in Diablo 2. Players are given lots of gear and they'll pass on items that aren't great for their current build, but perhaps great for their ideal build. You should know exactly what your endgame skills should be and not alter them to match a lucky drop.
Pick three skills and max them out. Players can get to level 99 in Diablo 2, meaning they will be able to heavily invest in three and only three skills. Splitting this up among more skills will make the character more balanced, but take a lot of the shine off of what makes your build the best Paladin build.
10 - Ranger
Diablo 2 Zephyr Bow Description In Inventory
Dropping your shield and sword in favor of a crossbow or bow feels downright sacrilegious considering the way a classic Paladin is traditionally conveyed. But if you like to keep enemies off of your back, this is the Paladin build for you.
By using the appropriate aura, like Fanaticism, in conjunction with abilities that boost your attack power, you can turn the Paladin into a ranged attacker that also wears the thickest armor in the game.
9 - Mage
Diablo 2 Paladin With Paige As An Ally
While the Sorceress is the semi-undisputed champion of elemental damage casting, the Paladin does a decent job of taking the same role and supplanting fire and ice with holy and divine damage.
The biggest obstacle is finding the right pieces of gear to make the build work. Once your inventory is collected, your Vigor, Conviction, and Blessed Hammer abilities truly become top-tier damage selections.
8 - Smiter
Diablo 2 Paladin With Stacked Vitality
One of the things people miss about Diablo 2 isn't the balance; it's actually the imbalance that makes the game so much fun to play. This build takes a lot of experience, but once you've leveled up, you can kill anything in one hit.
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And "anything" means legitimately anything. Bosses, elites, even Diablo himself are all subject to one-hit deaths once your Smite, Holy Shield, and Fanaticism have all been maximized.
7 - Fist of the Heavens
Diablo 2 Paladin Using Fist Of The Heavens
The "FoHer" is a particularly terrifying build because of who is in its sights. It's average against demons and monsters, but the point is to use it in PvP. Once in combat, it's wise for enemy players to head for the hills.
Fist of the Heavens itself is a point-and-zap ability that minimizes the worry about missing your targets. Afterward, the ground nearby has electrified bolts that travel in random directions. It's not even safe to be on the same screen with a Paladin that has this build.
6 - Avenger
Diablo 2 Paladin Using Redemption
The biggest issue with elemental attacks is that you will run into a target that is immune to the element. This poses a serious problem for casters but not for Paladins that consider themselves Avengers.
The right combination of Vengeance, Conviction, and Salvation come together to form a veritable Bermuda Triangle of death for enemy units. It is particularly effective against some of the more difficult elite enemies.
5 - Hammerdin
Diablo 2 Paladin Taking On Gore Bang
The Hammerdin is the bane against clusters of enemy targets. The investment is huge as it requires double-digit points in Blessed Hammer, Vigor, Blessed Aim, Concentration, and Holy Shield.
But once you have reached that stratosphere, it's as simple as getting into the middle of the enemy, tossing a bunch of hammers, and watching them go to work. For groups of enemies, this one is the most fatal build.
4 - Zealot
Diablo 2 Paladin With Vengeance Aura Active
The main attack of a Paladin is often underestimated due to the limitation of one-handed weapons when a shield is equipped. It's a fair criticism of the class until you consider how the Zealot build completely negates this disadvantage.
This build option is quite cost-effective. By getting points into Zeal and Fanaticism early on, you'll be set to take on any enemy in the game with a powerful main attack that can be spammed so quickly that the screen blurs.
3 - Cleric
Diablo 2 Paladin With A Doom Necklace
If you're in a group of players working together, the Cleric can be easily mistaken as making the party invincible for as long as it's alive. The healing output essentially means that if an enemy can't kill your friends in a single hit, they can't kill them at all.
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It's expensive as it needs points in Holy Bolt, Prayer, Cleansing, Meditation, and Salvation. But once you've got about halfway into each, you'll be prepared to lead even the most inept of allies through the depths of hell and keep them alive.
2 - Charger
There will necessarily be mixed feelings about the Charger. It's not great at crowd control and enemies with thick armor and resistances won't be phased. But it has to be this high on the list because of the tales of those who the technique has killed.
By using Charge with Fanaticism and then dropping Holy Freeze, Shock, and Shield, you'll be able to kill any caster in the game. This includes player class units that will effectively die the instant the Paladin clicks the Charge button.
1 - Auradin
Diablo 2 Resurrected Early Look At The Paladin
This is a very predictable choice for anybody who remembers Diablo 2 at its peak. The Thorns Aura became synonymous with an overpowered and broken mechanic in gaming. That happens when you return 1,210% of the melee damage you take. So after melee enemies (especially bosses) kill themselves in one hit, you have to deal with the ranged enemies.
There's an aura to deal with every type of ranged unit effectively. Is it easy? Yes. Is it fun? Also yes. There are videos of people beating the game without ever attacking as an Auradin. Doesn't that say everything that you need to know?
NEXT: Diablo 2: The Best Rune Words, Ranked
What is the most powerful Paladin build in Diablo 2? ›
What Is the Best Paladin Build? As it stands, the Hammerdin is widely recognised as one of the most powerful builds in Diablo 2 due to its high magic damage output that is rarely resisted by monsters. The Smiter is also notable for its ability to take on the hardest bosses in the game with very little gear.What is the best Paladin build? ›
- Auradin: using auras to kill.
- Avenger: uses Vengeance as his main attack to add elemental damage.
- Charger: attacks well and can beat casters in one hit (most of the time).
- Cleric: focuses on healing skills.
- FoHer (Fist of the Heavens): using Conviction aura and "FoH" to kill his enemies.
Key stats for your Paladin in Diablo 2: Resurrected
Faster Cast Rate (FCR), Faster Hit Recovery (FHR), Resistances, Vitality, Dexterity, and Faster Run/Walk are all keys to a strong build.
Fortitude is probably the best melee paladin armor runeword, as it adds the most amount of damage (300% Enhanced damage), a great deal of defense (200% Enhanced defense + Level 15 Chilling Armor), while also boosting your life and all resistance.How do you make an overpowered Paladin? ›
- 1 Multi-Classing: Bard. If you want even more spells, then a Bard is the way to go.
- 2 Multi-Classing: Warlock. ...
- 3 Feat: Sentinel. ...
- 4 Feat: Polearm Master. ...
- 5 Feat: Dragon Fear. ...
- 6 Fighting Style: Great Weapon Fighting. ...
- 7 Background: Sailor. ...
- 8 Background: Solider. ...
- 8 Drogoz.
- 7 Octavia.
- 6 Bomb King.
- 5 Saati.
- 4 Tiberius.
- 3 Tyra.
- 2 Lian.
- 1 Cassie.
Androxus: Androxus tops the Paladins tier list most of the time due to his ability to be an excellent flank. He has fantastic mobility and great damage output.What is the most powerful Paladin subclass? ›
- 8 Redemption.
- 7 Glory.
- 6 Oathbreaker.
- 5 Watchers.
- 4 Conquest.
- 3 Vengeance.
- 2 Devotion.
- 1 Ancients.
The Oath of Vengeance excels at the paladin's strongest suit: dealing big damage against a single target. It comes with a stellar spell list and has great options from the very beginning.Which spec is best for Paladin? ›
Best Leveling Spec for Paladin in Dragonflight
Both Retribution and Protection are viable leveling specs. As Holy will lack damage, you will want to stay away from it. Protection will allow you to be nearly invincible when pulling enemies.
What is the most overpowered class in Diablo 2? ›
The Paladin is the most powerful out of all playable Diablo 2: Resurrected classes. He has access to a variety of magical and melee skills. On top of that, he is also adept at using ranged weapons and spells. The most popular Paladin build by far is the Hammerdin.What is the best Paladin spec? ›
For a total beginner to the class, although each specialization has strengths and weaknesses, we recommend Protection as the best Paladin leveling spec.Why is Hammerdin the best? ›
A Hammerdin is useful for Magic Find runs and to run a party through all difficulties, due to its high damage output. Use Gheed's Fortune, 7% better chance of getting magic items small charms and War Traveler boots to increase your chances of getting magic items.What is Phoenix Runeword good for? ›
Phoenix is the only way to get enhanced damage on a shield (aside from +x% enhanced damage jewels), and the Redemption aura is very helpful in keeping the character alive. The -28% fire resist is also useful for characters who specialize in fire damage.Is Paladin's hammer good? ›
The infinite piercing of Paladin's Hammer makes it very effective against multi-segmented enemies, which it can strike multiple times in one pass. It is similarly effective against enemies that fire destructible projectiles, because the hammer can destroy the projectile and damage the caster in one swing.What are Paladin weaknesses? ›
The Paladin has robust armor and is brutally strong, but is weak against poison.What is the best paladin class? ›
Out of the available archetypes, paladins who take oaths of vengeance or of the ancients are the best of the best. Vengeance paladins are perfect as strikers in the party; they shouldn't be relied on to hold off a horde, but by targeting a single enemy they'll shine.Who is the most famous Paladin? ›
Perhaps the most famous paladin was Roland, the nephew of Charlemagne and main character in the Chanson de Roland.Who is best Paladin player? ›
|Player ID||% of Game|
- 1 Sword Of Zariel. via: dndbeyond.
- 2 Conquering Maul. ...
- 3 Holy Avenger. ...
- 4 Mace Of Disruption. ...
- 5 Oathsunder. ...
- 6 Sun Blade. ...
- 7 Defender. ...
- 8 Sword Of The Paruns. ...
Is Paladin tank or DPS? ›
As a Protection Paladin, you can expect to perform the role of a solid and reliable tank.What race is best for Paladin? ›
- Blood Elf.
- Zandalari Troll.
Paladins are one of the most powerful combat classes in Dungeons and Dragons, and their subclasses each have something different to offer. Since the earliest editions of Dungeons and Dragons, paladins have been a premier combat class that combines weapons with some divine spellcasting.Is an Oathbreaker Paladin evil? ›
The Oathbreaker,sometimes referred to as a fallen paladin, is intended as a villainous option for Players and NPCs. An Oathbreaker is a paladin who breaks his or her sacred oaths to pursue some dark ambition or serve an evil power.Does a Paladin have to serve a god? ›
A Paladin does not need to have any faith whatsoever in 5e. In older editions they did, but in 5e they swear an Oath to the universe so powerful that they are granted special powers. That Oath can de to a specific deity, but doesn't have to.What is the best solo build in Diablo 2? ›
The best three characters to use for solo plays are the Necromancer, the Paladin, and the Sorceress. Each of these classes also has a top build that should be utilized by solo players. Diablo 2's Summoner Necromancer is arguably the best class and build in the game.What is the easiest character to use in Diablo 2? ›
At a glance, these are the seven classes available:
- Summoner Druid.
- Blizzard Sorceress.
- Frozen Orb Sorceress.
- Lightning Trap Assassin.
How Much Dexterity Does a Hammerdin Need? Holy Shield, 130 Dexterity should be enough. Note that the total Dexterity needed to reach a 75% chance to block depends on your character level, gear, and Holy Shield level.What armor is best for Hammerdin? ›
Skin of the Vipermagi is a fantastic Hammerdin Body Armor, offering +All Skills, Faster Cast Rate, and a ton of Resistances. It is basically your best Chest piece, if Enigma didn't exist.
What aura is best for Hammerdin? ›
The ideal partner of a Hammerdin is an offensive Act 2 (Nightmare) hireling. Its Might Aura will increase your damage output even more. An alternative option is the defensive version of the Act 2 hireling. It allows for a more defensive setup as its Holy Freeze Aura slows your enemies.What sword should I use for Spirit Runeword? ›
To make the Spirit Runeword, players will need to acquire a Tal, Thul, Ort, and Amn Rune, then insert them into a 4-socket piece of equipment while their character is Level 25 or above. While the Spirit Sword is good for some early builds, Spirit is used after finding a 4-socket Spirit Shield in Diablo 2: Resurrected.What Runeword uses Zod? ›
Zod runes are used in these rune words: Breath of the Dying 'VexHelElEldZodEth' weapon.Is Beast Runeword good? ›
Best Classes and Specs for the Beast Runeword
Beast is a Best in Slot (BiS) weapon for Frenzy Barb, built as a 2-handed weapon. It's also a top pick for Summoner Druid and Summonmancer, since the Fanaticism aura does wonders for their summoned minions.
Maldamba : One of the top tier healers. If played by a pro can be lethal. You need a lot of practice to be good at damba. Since he has 2 abilities that can heal mending spirits and gourd.Does Hammerdin weapon damage matter? ›
Weapons that increase skill levels will help with the damage, but the weapon damage and bonuses to weapon damage will not. The Concentration aura will affect Blessed Hammer's damage, as will points in the synergy skills.How rare is Paladins shield? ›
In Expert Mode, a Paladin has a chance of 49/11250 (0.44%) to drop two Paladin's Shields at a time, and a chance of 7/1125 (0.62%) to drop both a Paladin's Shield and a Paladin's Hammer.Who is the strongest Paladin in Paladins? ›
Androxus: Androxus tops the Paladins tier list most of the time due to his ability to be an excellent flank. He has fantastic mobility and great damage output. It's everything you could want.