Diablo II: Lord of Destruction PvP Paladin Guide Version 2 This document Copyright 2003 Acelyte Any questions, suggestions, corrections, or submissions? E-Mail them to: email@example.com If I put up your submission up, I'll also give you credit, of course. _______________________________________________________________________ Table of Contents: 1. Legal Copyright Protection 2. Introduction to Diablo II: Lord of Destruction 3. Introduction to this FAQ 4. Raising Your Paladin 5. Builds, Stats, and General Strats 5a. Zealot (6 types) 5b. Smiter (1 type so far) 5c. Avenger (1 type) 5d. Charger (2 types) 5e. Fistadin (2 types) 6. Class-Specific Strategies 6a. Amazon 6b. Barbarian 6c. Assassin 6d. Druid 6e. Necromancer 6f. Sorceress 6g. Paladin 7. Versions 8. Credits _______________________________________________________________________ 1. Legal Copyright Protection This document cannot be reproduced in any way without my permission, unless for private use. If I do give you permission, you MUST give credit. It cannot be sold. It definitely CANNOT be altered in any way. It's as simple as that... _______________________________________________________________________ 2. Introduction of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction If you've played Diablo I, the sequel is WAY better. Instead of one set of skills for every class, you have different sets for each. Also, your stats and skills are limited to 110 skill points and 505 stat points, which means you won't be able to max every stat since their caps are not at 100 or so. Anyway, there are also new types of items, such as Rare and Set Items, etc. And the best part: YOU CAN ACTUALLY REGENERATE MANA! The improvements are too many for me to list, so on with the FAQ. _______________________________________________________________________ 3. Introduction to this FAQ First of all, this FAQ is only meant for someone with substantial experience in Diablo II, knows his terminology, and plans to be a long- term dueler (Is that even a word?). Sorry if the previous intro, which was intended for newbies to Diablo II, misled anyone. ^_^ Anyway, Some of the builds I list might not be PvM-friendly, because they are especially made for duels (or PKing). To me, Diablo II gets very boring in PvM when you reach level 99. And as a result, I would want a bigger challenge; that's right--PvP! For now, Hardcore PvP can wait (which I think is the biggest challenge of them all). So if you're like me, you'll want to make the best PvP build you can make. And that might be frustrating for the not-so-PvM-friendly builds, but patience is a virtue. _______________________________________________________________________ 4. Raising Your Paladin First of all, this is assuming you don't have a friend whose characters are at a high level to rush you from Act I Normal to Act 5 Hell. The purpose of this is to level up and progress through the game faster than single-player style, and maybe have some of the high-level players give you decent items. That's why you start pumping up your Strength initially and occasionally later on when you level up, so that you can wear them. Speaking of items, you should be collecting items with the mod "__ % Better Chance of Getting Magic Items" as you play. You'll need them later on. You start at level 1 with no skills. When you decide on whether to create a game or join an existing one, join a Normal-difficulty game that says something like "act 1 rush," "act 1 andy," "act 1 normal," or "kill andy." Afterwards, get everyone in your party, preferably with someone at a high enough level for that difficulty. Make sure everyone is focused on killing Andariel, the first super-unique boss; forget the previous quests for now. Someone should have the Catacombs Level 2 Waypoint, so when he opens a Town Portal from the Waypoint, enter the portal and add it to your destination routes. That way, if for some reason, your party is unable to kill Andariel, (like the high-level ally leaving suddenly or whatever), you will still have the waypoint for the next game you will join when you exit. Once your party kills her, go to Act II. The party should be getting the ingredients for the Horadric Staff to open the chamber to Duriel, the second super-unique boss. Because of that, this act can be a rather time-consuming one, so pray you don't get disconnected or timed out in the middle of this. Anyway, once they get them all, they should have the Canyon of the Magi Waypoint (Otherwise, they will have to do some more quests, so be patient; you're still going to level up quite a bit from all the fighting, anyway). Once they get all the items, they will open the Town Portal from that waypoint. And of course, you should add that one too. If one of them has a maphack (and usually they do), they will know where the real Tal Rasha Tomb is; if not, you'll level up some more. Once they reach the real tomb, they will fight through to the Orifice, where the Horadric Staff should be placed. Once a hole is blasted through a wall, let the others go first and then enter. By now, you should have leveled up at least once, so if you have invested in any auras, take this rare opportunity to help your team out by using them. Once Duriel is killed, go to Act III. Someone should have the Durance of Hate Level 3 Waypoint. If not, leave, because there's a task similar to the Horadric Staff in this act; and it takes WAY too long because of the vast jungle environment. Anyway, once you get to the Durance of Hate Level 2 Waypoint, add it. When you get to Level 3, let the others go first, and then follow them from a distance. When they've reached Mephisto, keep away from him. Once he dies, search the area around him for some decent items (not good items, because your teammates most likely took them all) and then go through the red portal to Act IV. Once again, either get the River of Flame Waypoint or leave. Unfortunately, this act will also take a long time. No, not because of an ingredient quest again; it's because the Chaos Sanctuary is so large and that you must unlock 5 Seals, which are spread out, to summon Diablo. At this point, you should have a substantial amount of points in Vitality if you plan to help your team out with any auras. Why? Because his "Flame Nova," which has a radius of about 40 yards or so, can kill you in one hit if you don't. If not, stay far back from the pentagram, but stay in the Chaos Sanctuary. Once Diablo is dead, go back to the Pandemonium Fortress and then into the red portal to Act V. Get to the Worldstone Keep Level 2 Waypoint and add it; then leave. No, not the game--the keep. You see, Baal likes to occasionally hit you with elemental spells coming from out of NOWHERE but where you're standing (and they will kill you in one hit if it's not a poison cloud) when you haven't reached the Throne of Destruction yet; therefore, don't try dodging them because you can't. When someone reaches the Throne of Destruction, tell him to open a Town Portal for you. Once they clear all the monsters in their nearby area, they will see the message and open one for you; in the Throne of Destruction, I think you're safe from Baal's sneak attacks. When they reach Baal and his minions, stay at a safe spot. Then once you see everyone go through the red portal at the throne, follow them. Once you're inside, stay at a safe spot again. Once they kill Baal, search the area around him for good items and then start over again in Nightmare mode. After that, do the same thing in Hell mode. Now here is where you level up like CRAZY. Create or join a cow run in Hell mode; it's better to join a cow run so that way, you won't have everyone expecting you to get Wirt's leg in Tristram. Why a cow run? Because they are the most sought after type of run online, so therefore, they are the most common. Once you're in, party up. If they need someone to create the portal, say that you can and create. By the way, if you don't have the Horadric Cube, go back to Act II in Normal difficulty and fight your way through the Halls of the Dead to get it; it's useful for things other than creating cow portals. If you don't how to create the portal, use the cube to transmute the leg and a Tome of Town Portal and a red portal will appear right next to you. Once you're in the Secret Cow Level, you can either choose to support your team with your auras or search through the corpses of cows to find anything good (and you will find lots of them). Either way, you will level up every 3 minutes or so. This is a great way to raise your Paladin because not only do you level up quickly, but you can also get great items from the many corpses. And as for the Cow King, many people say that anyone who kills the Cow King causes everyone in that game to lose their ability to create cow portals. This is not 100% true--in fact, someone proved to me that only if someone kills the Cow King for the first time, then everyone loses the privilege. Nevertheless, there's no surefire way of knowing who has killed him before and who hasn't. What you can do though, is find the Cow King and then WALK around in circles. Why walk? Because if you run, you will drain your stamina. And the cows' running speed adjusts to your speed, so the slower you are, the slower they become. That way, if someone starts killing the Cow King, you can alert the others and then exit if he continues to do so. An even better way to monitor the Cow King's condition is to use a maphack. Continue your usual routine and then check every now and then for anyone going near the Cow King. If he's actually killing it, you know what to do. As a side note, necromancers can be useful party members in cow runs because they can cast Bone Prison to trap the Cow King and guard it without having to walk in circles; that way, they can do this tedious job. Of course, if you don't care at all, disregard this advice. Anyway, keep doing cow runs until you level up to around 80. Now it's time to put any Magic Find items you've collected to use. Create a Nightmare or Hell (if you can handle it) game in which the limit is 1 player. Now you have the choice of killing Andariel, Mephisto, or Baal. You can kill all three if you want to; however, you'll have to level up some more if you want to kill Baal. Once they're dead, exit, create the same game, and do this over and over again. Many people call this a run, like a "meph run" or "baal run" you see on the list of games. I just call it "adfsdafas"; I don't care what the hell I name the game because no one else can join it. ^_^ Bad joke, I know... Anyway, if you don't want your defenses lowered for the sake of Magic Finding, create a Magic Finding Sorceress. Now what do you do with all this extra Magic Find equipment? What you do is create a Normal game with a password that can't be guessed easily. Then exit quickly and select your Sorceress to enter that same game. You have to be quick because in about a minute, that game will be erased if there's no one in it. And there's that small chance you might get disconnected at that time. It's still a risk I'm willing to take, though. Anyway, once your Sorceress is in, equip whatever items you can at level 1. Then do the same rushing routine I mentioned until you get to about level 30 or 40. As you level up, invest in Static Field, Firewall, and Teleport. What's good about the Sorceress is that she can kill Mephisto very easily in Hell mode at a level this low with these skills. I've seen many people go to the Durance of Hate Level 2 Waypoint, teleport to the level 3 entrance, lure Mephisto towards the red portal in the center and then teleport to the other side of the lava. While Mephisto walks back and forth, trying to get them, they cast Static Field and Firewall, which will drain his life rather quickly. Therefore, using this same routine will effortlessly get you the items you want, but it might take a while. That's why Meph and Pindlebots exist. You could also use a MF Barbarian with his Find Item skill, but you'd have to go melee, which requires the need for a higher level than the Sorceress. You can also trade for good items, but you still have to get your own good items worthy of trading too. And there's no sure way that the items the other guy has aren't duped or hacked or whatever. Therefore, you should find all your items on your own. I don't know where you can level after you get all your items. Some say that the Ancients on Mount Arreat give good experience, while others say the Bloody Foothills, both of which are in Act V. Anyone know for sure? _______________________________________________________________________ 5. Builds, Stats, and General Strats This section will list all of the Paladin builds suitable for PvP and rate how well they measure up. For every build, however, it is best if you equipped a 1-handed weapon and shield as one weapon set and then a 2-handed melee weapon as another; use the shield when you must fend off an attack and the 2-handed weapon when using Vengeance or Charge. And there are actually many variations of the Paladin that are very effective in PvP because of his auras. The main strategy he uses is to use an aura that affects his opponent (like Conviction) and then switch to an aura that boosts his own attacking ability (like Fanaticism) because auras that affect the opponent still stay on the opponent for a few seconds after being switched off. Then when Conviction is about to wear off, he switches back to it for a couple of seconds to keep it on his opponent, and then switches back to Fanaticism. By doing this, he can make use of two auras at once. Hence the name, "aura flashing." This is a must-learn skill; if you're up against anyone good, you will die if you don't. By the way, the stats and skill point distribution can differ greatly from other people's opinion on how the build should be made because again, it's only meant for PvP. For example, every build I will list has a maxed Fist of the Heavens! Why should every Paladin have this, you ask? Because of this one skill of the Sorceress--Teleport! It's because of this that every other method of attack is rendered useless! Run up to her to Zeal, Vengeance, or Smite, she'll teleport! Charge from out of nowhere and she'll teleport! Sure you can use Holy Shock and damage her that way, but most likely, she'll have a maxed Thunderstorm and Lightning Mastery, which surpasses your Holy Shock, even when aided with Conviction! But with the automatic tracking of Fist of the Heavens, you can even the playing field against her, especially with Conviction! Fist of the Heavens is also used as a last-ditch effort to kill a Necromancer who trapped you with Bone Prison and cursed you with Iron Maiden (more on this later). As for Holy Shield, it can help you withstand a Barbarian who uses Whirlwind; this is important for melee-type Paladins. Yes, all this trouble just to defend against 3 classes, but remember: these builds are meant to help you win against ANY class! ======================================================================= 5a. Zealot Obviously, this sub-class uses Zeal as the main attack. The best thing about Zeal is that it only needs 4 points invested in it, as opposed to 20 for usual skills you would want to specialize in, because 1 point invested in it gives you an automatic 100% increased attack speed! And the 3 extra points is to add the number the hits you do per Zeal, which can be obtained by + __ to All/Paladin/Combat Skills. The purpose of the Zealot in PvP is to keep your opponent in hit/blockstun until he dies, so accuracy and attack speed are the main things you should improve on; you can also use certain weapons to improve your range too, but those types of weapons usually have slow attack speed (usually, not always). It is still effective even if your opponent has fast enough hit recovery. However, keep in mind that hit/blockstunning is what the Zealot is all about, so my advice is to use a weapon with very fast attack speed. So what if it's weak? That's why Fanaticism, Conviction, and Holy Shock are used to up the damage and Holy Freeze to screw over his hit recovery. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Type 1 (Fanaticism & Conviction) Stat Distribution: Strength: 150+ Dexterity: 175+ Vitality: 150+ Energy: 15 Skill Distribution: Zeal: 4 Fanaticism: 20 Conviction: 20 Fist of the Heavens: 20 Holy Shield: 20 Vigor: 9 Might: 1 Holy Fire: 1 Blessed Aim: 1 Thorns: 1 Sanctuary: 1 Holy Freeze: 1 Sacrifice: 1 Smite: 1 Holy Bolt: 1 Charge: 1 Blessed Hammer: 1 Concentration: 1 Vengeance: 1 Conversion: 1 Prayer: 1 Cleansing: 1 Defiance: 1 Fanaticism and Zeal contributes to the increased attack speed, while contributing to accuracy at the same time along with the high Dexterity (I think Conviction is a factor too.). First, cast Holy Shield before battle. When you approach the opponent, have the Conviction aura on. Once he is affected by it, go up to him, switch to Fanaticism and Zeal away, while flashing Conviction every few seconds to keep its effects on him. If he decides to run, keep hitting him with a Fist of the Heavens; with it and Conviction maxed out, it will hurt like crazy. Then switch to Vigor and chase after him. Make sure you flash Conviction every few seconds. If you want raw power, this build is for you. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Type 2 (Fanaticism & Holy Freeze) Stat Distribution: Strength: 175+ Dexterity: 150+ Vitality: 150+ Energy: 15 Skill Distribution: Zeal: 4 Fanaticism: 20 Holy Freeze: 20 Fist of the Heavens: 20 Charge: 20 Holy Shield: 16 Sacrifice: 1 Smite: 1 Holy Bolt: 1 Blessed Hammer: 1 Vengeance: 1 Conversion: 1 Might: 1 Blessed Aim: 1 Concentration: 1 Holy Fire: 1 Again, Fanaticism and Zeal contributes to the increased attack speed and accuracy. Don't forget about Holy Shield. First, slow your opponent down with Holy Freeze and then Zeal away again. This time, you won't be doing as much damage or be as accurate as you would with the previous build. However, the points diverted to Strength and less chance to escape Zeal range because of Holy Freeze makes up for that. If he runs, cast Fist of the Heavens again and then Charge him; usually, you should not miss the Charge because of the AR bonus and the fact that he cannot dodge it when slowed. You won't get as much damage from this either, but Holy Freeze helps protect you from retaliation (since you cannot move before the lightning hits your opponent) and helps you catch up to him. This build has a little bit of defense in it (the Holy Freeze) so that you won't get perpetually hit/blockstunned by your opponent and makes up for offense with slowing the opponent's running speed. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Type 3 (Blessed Aim & Conviction) Stat Distribution: Strength: 175+ Dexterity: 125+ Vitality: 175+ Energy: 15 Skill Distribution: Zeal: 4 Blessed Aim: 20 Conviction: 20 Fist of the Heavens: 20 Holy Shield: 20 Vigor: 13 Might: 1 Holy Fire: 1 Thorns: 1 Sanctuary: 1 Holy Freeze: 1 Sacrifice: 1 Holy Bolt: 1 Blessed Hammer: 1 Vengeance: 1 Conversion: 1 Prayer: 1 Cleansing: 1 Defiance: 1 Blessed Aim adds twice as much AR as Fanaticism; that's the whole point of this build. And the spare points for Strength help compensate for the damage lost by not having Fanaticism. Weaken with Conviction, switch on Blessed Aim, Zeal away, flash Conviction, repeat. Fist of the Heavens and Vigor is your backup if they run. Another build for good offense. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Type 4 (Blessed Aim & Holy Freeze) Stat Distribution: Strength: 175+ Dexterity: 125+ Vitality: 175+ Energy: 15 Skill Distribution: Zeal: 4 Blessed Aim: 20 Holy Freeze: 20 Fist of the Heavens: 20 Charge: 20 Holy Shield: 18 Sacrifice: 1 Might: 1 Holy Fire: 1 Holy Bolt: 1 Vengeance: 1 Blessed Hammer: 1 Conversion: 1 Smite: 1 Again, the extra AR. Do the exact same thing as you would with Blessed Aim/Conviction. The problem is you won't do as much damage without Conviction, so you must switch to a fast 2-handed weapon (since you'll have enough strength for it) for even more damage. Hell, instead of Fist of the Heavens, Charge with the weapon if they run! And since you're wielding a 2-handed weapon, you have added range in addition to the high accuracy and the drop in your opponent's speed--another method of hit/blockstunning. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Type 5 (Holy Shock & Conviction) Stat Distribution: Strength: 125+ Dexterity: 175+ Vitality: 175+ Energy: 15 Skill Distribution: Zeal: 4 Holy Shock: 20 Conviction: 20 Fist of the Heavens: 20 Holy Shield: 20 Vigor: 11 Sacrifice: 1 Might: 1 Holy Fire: 1 Holy Freeze: 1 Thorns: 1 Sanctuary: 1 Holy Bolt: 1 Vengeance: 1 Blessed Hammer: 1 Conversion: 1 Smite: 1 Charge: 1 Prayer: 1 Cleansing: 1 Defiance: 1 By now, you should realize that any build that has Conviction in it is geared towards offense. Conviction, then Holy Shock, then Zeal, you know the drill. That's not important; the fact that you will deal on average of 350 lightning damage per hit is (You also have a nerfed version of Thunderstorm.). So wield a fast weapon (Again, it doesn't matter if it's weak.) so you can do tons of lightning damage in a short amount of time. If you check the stats, your Strength is rather low, because it's used to up your Dexterity to hit/blockstun them with accuracy. I don't need to explain Fist of the Heavens, do I? ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Type 6 (Holy Shock & Holy Freeze) Stat Distribution: Strength: 125+ Dexterity: 200+ Vitality: 150+ Energy: 15 Skill Distribution: Zeal: 4 Holy Shock: 20 Holy Freeze: 20 Fist of the Heavens: 20 Holy Shield: 20 Vigor: 14 Might: 1 Holy Fire: 1 Sacrifice: 1 Holy Bolt: 1 Vengeance: 1 Blessed Hammer: 1 Concentration: 1 Smite: 1 Prayer: 1 Cleansing: 1 Defiance: 1 Because you have no aura to boost your AR, you must up your Dexterity by a lot. But you can also skimp on Strength (and only use it for armor) and opt for the fastest attack weapon you can find regardless of damage; again, that's what Holy Shock is for. Even with Holy Freeze, you must use Vigor to catch up to him if he runs; fast attacking weapons don't usually have a lot of range. ======================================================================= 5b. Smiter The purpose of the Smiter is to stunlock his opponent to death with his Smite attack. Since Smite speed is dependent upon your weapon's speed, use the fastest one you can find; I don't care if it does 1-4 damage because you won't be using it (But if you do find a fast weapon with mods that does not require you to hit with it to work, like + __ to Life or + __ to Smite/Combat/Paladin Skills, then use it.). It's the shield that's important--the damage it does and it's mods (like + __ to Smite/Combat/Paladin Skills) to up the stun duration. The good thing about Smite builds is that you can skimp on Strength (only if you want good armor) and especially Dexterity (since Smite always hits) to build up your Vitality, because Smite does NOT miss! Sure, you can't block for crap, even with Holy Shield, but if he's going to fight you head- on, that's still a good thing for a Smiter like you. Beware of Amazons. Now for some bad news: you cannot life or mana leech with Smite. Even worse, if your opponent has fast enough hit recovery, he can easily escape it, rendering the stunlocking part of Smite useless! Nevertheless, the 100% accuracy is still appealing, don't you think? ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Type 1 (Fanaticism & Holy Freeze) Stat Distribution: Strength: 100+ Dexterity: 20 Vitality: 350+ Energy: 15 Skill Distribution: Smite: 20 Holy Shield: 20 Fanaticism: 20 Holy Freeze: 20 Fist of the Heavens: 19 Holy Bolt: 1 Charge: 1 Blessed Hammer: 1 Might: 1 Blessed Aim: 1 Concentration: 1 Holy Fire: 1 Sacrifice: 1 Zeal: 1 Vengeance: 1 Conversion: 1 Holy Freeze is a big help to the Smiter because it cuts their hit recovery rate in half, which definitely helps you stunlock. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Type 2: Holy Shock & Holy Freeze Can anyone confirm if Holy Shock works with Smite? ======================================================================= 5c. Avenger The Vengeance with Conviction combination is very damaging. Therefore, the purpose of the Avenger is raw power. And again, with Conviction, Vengeance can be as damaging as a Charge! And while the Zealot attacks his opponent's defense, the Avenger attacks his elemental resistances also; very useful if someone challenges you in Hell mode, where this will most likely happen. With this added power, you can divert some of your stat points into Dexterity or Vitality. And if they try to run, they'll have to take an amplified Fist of the Heavens! However, this PvM-friendly build isn't effective in PvP without incorporating the speed of the Zealot to hit/blockstun and wielding a long-range 2-handed weapon to keep him stunned and hurting. Furthermore, you cannot use Holy Freeze as your weakening aura; otherwise, that would defeat the whole purpose of the Avenger builds. And without Holy Freeze, you cannot slow their hit recovery or whatever they do; a trade-off from the added damage. Therefore, you cannot afford to be defending against your opponent because Conviction alone is useless. It's up to you whether you want the speedy Zealot or the powerful Avenger. Type 1 (Fanaticism & Conviction) Stat Distribution: Strength: 125+ Dexterity: 175+ Vitality: 175+ Energy: 15 Skill Distribution: Vengeance: 20 Conviction: 20 Fanaticism: 20 Holy Shield: 15 Fist of the Heavens: 20 Sacrifice: 1 Zeal: 1 Might: 1 Thorns: 1 Holy Fire: 1 Holy Freeze: 1 Sanctuary: 1 Might: 1 Blessed Aim: 1 Concentration: 1 Holy Bolt: 1 Blessed Hammer: 1 Conversion: 1 Charge: 1 Smite: 1 Same thing as always. ======================================================================= 5d. Charger With the astronomical bonuses in attack rating (No need for Blessed Aim!) and damage, you can easily kill around half of the classes in one hit, especially if you use a damaging 2-handed weapon! And with Fanaticism and Conviction...ouch. And the best thing is, you can use this from a distance and it will usually hit because you get extra running speed as you charge! No Holy Shock here--the lightning damage bonus can't compare. And one last thing you should know about--keep in mind that your chance to hit is capped at 95% and that your opponent's blocking can go as high as 75%, so if you somehow miss, have it blocked, or do not knock them back, Smite them back once to interrupt and knock them back and then Charge again (you'll be at enough of a distance from the knockback); problem solved. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Type 1 (Fanaticism & Conviction) Stat Distribution: Strength: 200+ Dexterity: 125+ Vitality: 150+ Energy: 15 Skill Distribution: Charge: 20 Conviction: 20 Fanaticism: 20 Holy Shield: 16 Fist of the Heavens: 20 Smite: 1 Might: 1 Thorns: 1 Holy Fire: 1 Holy Freeze: 1 Sanctuary: 1 Blessed Aim: 1 Concentration: 1 Holy Bolt: 1 Blessed Hammer: 1 Sacrifice: 1 Zeal: 1 Vengeance: 1 Conversion: 1 This is the build that will do the highest damage in one hit. Enough said. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Type 2 (Fanaticism & Holy Freeze) Stat Distribution: Strength: 200+ Dexterity: 125+ Vitality: 150+ Energy: 15 Skill Distribution: Charge: 20 Holy Freeze: 20 Fanaticism: 20 Holy Shield: 19 Fist of the Heavens: 20 Smite: 1 Might: 1 Holy Fire: 1 Blessed Aim: 1 Concentration: 1 Holy Bolt: 1 Blessed Hammer: 1 Sacrifice: 1 Zeal: 1 Vengeance: 1 Conversion: 1 Less powerful than the previous build, but the Holy Freeze does have its perks. It not only slows attack and running speed, but also casting speed too (very useful against Teleports used to dodge your Charge!). In fact it slows everything your opponent does! It's up to you--Conviction for damage or Holy Freeze for all-around offense and defense. By the way, this is the build I use. ======================================================================= 5e. Fistadin A completely different build from the previous ones (somewhat), this Paladin specializes in the Fist of the Heavens for its 700 lightning damage and its automatic tracking. But because of the fact that it cost 35 mana points per bolt, you will need lots of mana. Fortunately, the Meditation aura negates this need to put points into Energy. "Don't you still need some time to regenerate your mana?" you ask. Well, most likely, usually no one will fight at range with a Fistadin (except for Amazons and Sorceresses) so they'll run towards you to go melee. Usually, you should run away, hitting them periodically. In the time between bolts when running, it's enough time to recover most, if not, all of the mana you lost (the casting timer doesn't allow you to use it in quick succession anyway). Even if you are facing an Amazon or Sorceress, you should have the common sense to try and dodge those Guided Arrows and Frozen Orbs. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Type 1 (Meditation & Holy Freeze) Stat Distribution: Strength: 100+ Dexterity: 20 Vitality: 375+ Energy: 15 Skill Distribution: Fist of the Heavens: 20 Holy Freeze: 20 Holy Shield: 17 Meditation: 20 Vigor: 20 Sacrifice: 1 Holy Bolt: 1 Zeal: 1 Vengeance: 1 Blessed Hammer: 1 Conversion: 1 Might: 1 Holy Fire: 1 Smite: 1 Charge: 1 Prayer: 1 Cleansing: 1 Defiance: 1 This build is built for pure run-away tactics. Only pump up Strength to wear good armor. Forget about the weapon. The point is you'll have plenty more Vitality out of all the other builds; useful if you get caught within melee range (you shouldn't in ANY circumstance with this build). And you will need Meditation since you still won't invest in Energy. The maxed out Vigor is to run away when you have to; the maxed out Holy Freeze is there to help you too. If for some reason, your opponent is still able to catch up to you even with Vigor and Holy Freeze, Smite him away from you, but don't try and stunlock with a Level 1 Smite! Anyway, what you do is hold down the Shift key and have Fist of the Heavens as your left-click skill and then hold it to move towards your opponent; if your opponent is within 2 casting yards of your cursor, you will cast it on him. This is a great way to aim and not miss and make you run TOWARDS your opponent. Let go of the Shift key and run away with Vigor when necessary and flash Holy Freeze every couple of seconds. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Type 2 (Meditation & Conviction) Stat Distribution: Strength: 100+ Dexterity: 20 Vitality: 375+ Energy: 15 Skill Distribution: Fist of the Heavens: 20 Conviction: 20 Holy Shield: 20 Meditation: 16 Smite: 20 Sacrifice: 1 Holy Bolt: 1 Zeal: 1 Vengeance: 1 Blessed Hammer: 1 Conversion: 1 Charge: 1 Might: 1 Thorns: 1 Holy Fire: 1 Holy Freeze: 1 Sanctuary: 1 Prayer: 1 Cleansing: 1 This build provides all-around offense and defense. With Conviction, Fist of the Heavens will hurt a lot more, of course. However, you do not have the safety of Vigor and Holy Freeze as with the previous build, so what do you do when your opponent gets within melee range? Well, that's what the maxed Smite is for; aside from not needing any Dexterity, it's good for knocking him back and potentially stunlocking him to death! Even if he does have fast enough hit recovery, you'll still do considerable damage from Smite being maxed, Holy Shield, and along with Conviction, of course! However, this is not meant for you to duel so that your main objective to stunlock him like the Smiter builds. You see, some of your skill points are being invested in the Meditation aura, instead of, like, Fanaticism (otherwise, it would be exactly like that Smiter build) so that is why Smite in this build is for defensive purposes ONLY. But like I said, if you Smite him when he gets too close and you manage to hit him again before he recovers (it's worth a try), then stunlock away! Otherwise, just settle for a Fist of the Heavens; it's much more damaging than a Smite without Fanaticism. _______________________________________________________________________ 6. Class-Specific Strategies This section will list the specific strategies you should use against certain classes. Just like the Paladin, there are also many sub- classes for the others. Some of my builds have strengths against some, and weaknesses to others. It's up to you what classes you want to be strong and weak against. At any rate, I consider a win to be when your opponent goes back to town without killing you first, either by foot or Town Portal; keep that in mind--if you're out for his ear or gold, you might have some trouble getting those rewards if you use my strategies. ======================================================================= 6a. Amazon In general, you must have max blocking (unless you're a Smiter), max DR, and max hit recovery. The only sub-class I'm going to focus on is the Bowazon who uses Guided Arrow and/or Multiple Shot; the others are nowhere as effective. Oh and beware of the Amazon's passive dodging skills! Against the Burizon, an Amazon who uses Guided Arrow along with the Buriza Do Kyanon ballista, one arrow hit can mean death right there because it will pierce through you again and again along with other arrows; it's just like hit/blockstunning with the Zealot, only from a distance! If you're hit, but have enough hit recovery, run away to the side, not straight away because the arrow that pierced through you will get you again. Again, her dodging skills make her all the more harder to hit. Even worse, it will be much harder to stun her with all of this in her arsenal, especially with a hail of arrows after you (maybe even impossible!). Your best bet is to get as much "__ % Faster Run/Walk" and "__ % Faster Cast Rate" items to quickly cast Fist of the Heavens before the arrows get you and to outrun them; forget defense-- your objective is to not get hit. And then there's the Amazon with Multiple Shot and a Windforce. I've seen many of them on Hell cow runs, taking down a whole herd of cows and not one of them can recover fast enough from the Windforce's knockback effect, let alone retaliate; imagine her using this against you! If you're hit, you will constantly get knocked back and get hit by arrow after arrow if you don't have fast enough hit recovery! And obviously, it's extremely hard to dodge a hail of arrows covering an entire area (Although you can outrun them by running back, you are not doing anything in terms of offense.). And once again, her passive dodging skills will be discouraging any physical attacks. Your best chance is to use the same strategy as before; get faster running and casting and spiral towards your opponent. When you are close enough for a Fist of the Heavens, use it and run away from the hail of arrows she will shoot at you (they will disappear if they travel a distance of a few screens). And one more thing: Multiple Shot is least effective when you're up-close (because that is where the arrows cover the least area), so if you're a Smiter and you managed to get close enough, you can attempt to hit her with Smite, since it never misses (You should get her in a stunlock since Amazons don't usually need Hit Recovery items.)! In any case, remember: the Amazon's power is limited to her quantity of arrows, so if she runs out (it will take a while), you technically win, even though you didn't kill her and get her ear or gold. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 6b. Barbarian Very annoying to take down. Not only does he have tons of HP from Battle Orders, but he can specialize in either melee attacks, or ranged, or both! And the high Strength to allow him to wear the best armor is what makes him THE tank. Against Whirlwind Barbarians, have good blocking, defense, or even better, Damage Reduction (but most importantly, the blocking, unless you're a Smiter, in which case you should concentrate on defense and DR), when they come close enough to use Whirlwind. You should be able to survive it if you do. Afterwards, Zeal away with your Zealot (good life leech technique), whack him with Vengeance (you should do more damage after he finishes his Whirlwind and leech more than he can), or Charge him to death (Smite to distance yourself if you need to; the high damage is also good for leech). All of these attacks can be dealt AT LEAST 3 times for every time he Whirlwinds you (even more if you use Holy Freeze!). For Smiters, you might have some problems if you cannot get him in a stunlock. If this is the case, (and this also applies to the Fistadins) use Fist of the Heavens and avoid the Whirlwinds as much as possible; you cannot leech with Smite, you know. Nevertheless, if you are still dying from one Whirlwind even though you have, like, 75% DR, the best armor there is for defense, and tons of HP, there might be a chance that your opponent has hacked items. Against a hacked-item user, use Fist of the Heavens, have max block, and avoid his Whirlwinds at all costs; cheat or if you have your own hacked items, use them if he admits to this. Against Throwing Barbarians, just have the common sense to dodge whatever he throws at you. Like Amazons, if the Barbarian runs out of his throwing weapons, you technically win (although he is nowhere as dangerous). And unlike Amazons with Guided Arrow, the Barbarian's projectiles cannot track, which is a big plus; just go melee on him and he should die quicker than the Whirlwind Barbarian. Against Whirlwind and Throwing Hybrids, employ the strategy your build would warrant. This type is the easiest out of all of them because he cannot master either style. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 6c. Assassin There are basically two types of Assassins: the Trap-Assassin and the Martial Arts Assassin. For both types, watch out for the Burst of Speed, which makes her move and attack faster, and Venom, which adds 400 poison damage per hit. And Dragon Flight too; I don't know if you can use your Charge to dodge it, but I've heard that you can run downwards to screw with its targeting in the GameFAQs Message boards. The Trap-Assassin obviously specializes in Traps, which mostly do elemental damage. Although it's like having minions that can't be killed, the traps are obviously stationary and weak, even the Wake of Inferno. You won't need any special strategies here; however, if she uses Psychic Hammer to knock you back so that you can't get close, hit her with a Fist of the Heavens to flush her out. If she doesn't use Psychic Hammer, but instead lets you approach her, beware of the two skills mentioned earlier. She might try to hit/blockstun you so that her traps slowly chip away your life, as well as her Venom, and any attacks you try to hit her with, she'll leech back with Cobra Strike (it's a must have for all assassins even though it's part of the martial arts tree). In this case, it's usually better to flush her out. As for the Martial Arts Assassin, it suddenly gets a lot harder. Burst of Speed and Venom now become her staple skills, as well as Phoenix Strike, Claws of Thunder, and Cobra Strike. Phoenix Strike has Frozen Orb in it, so get some "Cannot be Frozen" items; the cold will leave you open for much more dangerous follow-ups. Since she specializes in melee attacks, you will have a hell of a time taking her down. You must stun her and not let her get a hit in. Otherwise, her Cobra Strike will leech all the life she lost back; this is the reason she's a lot more dangerous than Barbarians. Fistadins will have the most trouble since they will either do a LOT of running to lose her or do a LOT of Smiting. She's one of the hardest opponents you'll ever face. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 6d. Druid In general, watch out for a white spirit following him; it's the Spirit of Barbs, which grants him and his summons (except for that spirit itself) an effect similar to your Thorns aura, only his did not get nerfed in PvP! For every build, except the Fistadin, kill it first before attacking him directly. If he casts the same spirit again before you can get a hit in, just kill him with Fist of the Heavens. Your next target is his Oak Sage; if you kill this one, you'll cut his HP and mana in half. If he tries to recast it, that is your chance to strike. For Fistadins, keep him away while casting Fist of the Heavens if he's a shapeshifter. With the other builds, you shouldn't have many problems. If he uses summoning skills, just kill him by any normal means, depending your build. The trick is to do it quickly before his spells do some real damage. And get faster hit recovery because he does have stunning attacks. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 6e. Necromancer If he uses summons, you should have a somewhat easy duel. Ignore the skeletons and Golems (unless it's a Blood Golem; in that case, damage it and you'll do the same to the Necromancer) and go straight for the Necromancer himself (Zealots will have the most problems since they cannot stunlock without taking heavy damage from the summons or be cursed with Iron Maiden; and if there are Golems attacking too, some of the blows will be deflected towards them.). Avengers do not have to worry as much, since most of their damage is elemental. Smiters will have just as many problems as Zealots because of Iron Maiden. Fortunately, Chargers can stay out of Iron Maiden range (about half a screen's length away) and Charge the Necromancer to death before he can cast it. For the Zealots and Smiters, I recommend Fist of the Heavens against this curse, which means Fistadins have a relative easy time against this type. At any rate, a good way to piss your opponent off is to kill his Iron Golem (if he uses one) with Vengeance or even better, Fist of the Heavens. If he uses Bone Prison, Iron Maiden, and Bone Spirit though, you are in for a world of hurt. For the Zealots, Avengers, Smiters, and Fistadins, it's not much harder than the previous type (but still isn't that good), but for the Chargers, it suddenly gets a lot harder. First, he will cast Bone Prison to trap you, then Iron Maiden so that every time you hit the Bone Prison, you will take more than twice the damage you deal to it. And even if you do break down the Bone Prison, he can just set up another one, while you take damage from his Bone Spirits and Poison Nova and damage yourself again by hitting the Bone Prison. So don't stop moving unless you're attacking him (because he can trap you if you do) and stay more than half a screen's length away from him if you're not attacking him (That way, you'll be too far away for him to curse you with Iron Maiden). And if he shoots his Bone Spirits, have enough + __ % to Run/Walk Speed items to not only outrun them, but to also retaliate. In any case, every time he tries to cast ANYTHING, hit him with Fist of the Heavens (which you should support with "__ % Faster Cast Rate" items). If he does trap you, only attack the Bone Prison if you're not cursed with it; if you are, you have no choice but to keep hitting him with Fist of the Heavens and hope that his Bone Spirits and Poison Nova don't kill you first. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 6f. Sorceress Nova Sorceresses are the easiest type you'll battle, no matter what type of build you have because the build requires her to get rather close to you to deal damage. For Zealots, hit/blockstun her, for Avengers, keep swinging, for Smiters, well, keep Smiting, and for Chargers, Charge (Smite her back if she's too close for one, of course.)! For Fistadins, stay out of Nova range or tank them if it's the only way to get a hit in, then run. If she gets smart, she will realize that Nova is too weak to measure up even with maxed Lightning Mastery against your Lightning Resist and Teleport away. If this happens, wait for her to Teleport back to you (she'll have to sooner or later) and that's when you set Fist of the Heavens as your left-click skill, swing the cursor back and forth in the direction she might come from while holding the Shift key and left-click down, and get a free hit. A Teleporting Sorceress with Thunderstorm is harder because she can just keep Teleporting around you, letting Thunderstorm do its work and as I mentioned before, almost all of your attacks are useless against it! Fortunately, you can keep hitting her with Fist of the Heavens with its auto-aim tracking (have it as your left-click and just make sure you actually aim to some extent) so that you'll be the one doing more damage. The trick is to swing your cursor around the edges of the action screen (which does not include the toolbar at the bottom) while holding down the Shift key and it will get her. Exclusively for Chargers, make sure you have a "Cannot be Frozen" item, because at some point, she'll have no choice but to hit you with something more potent, like Frozen Orb. That is when you Charge right through it, take it like a man, and kill her in one hit (if you're a Charger, that is)! Even with her fast casting rate, she cannot Teleport out of the way in time because of Holy Freeze. Remember, if it misses or gets blocked by a Blocking Sorceress, Smite her back to interrupt and Charge again. If you're not a Charger, see below: Speaking of Frozen Orb, it is dangerous if she has Cold Mastery to support it (and she will). Your best defense against this is to use items with "Cannot be Frozen" once more, Cold Absorb, and tons of Cold Resistance, so that Cold Mastery won't reduce your resist to almost nothing (but if she puts enough points into Cold Master, your Cold Resist will still be reduced enough to make it hurt). And because Frozen Orb's damage is more from quantity than quality, you will take the least amount of damage when you're up close to her (that way, you'll only get hit with the initial bolts, which are not that many compared to other places) or, even better, far away (when the orb explodes, so that only one of the bolts should hit you). Therefore, the trick is to not be in the wrong place at the wrong time when she casts this; if you're caught right in the middle (as the orb is still moving), you're in for a world of hurt (and most likely be taken out of this one). Many sorceresses like to teleport to this right location near you, which is around 5 casting yards, and then hit you with the orb, so think fast. If she does get it right or lands right next to you, go up to her and kill her (No matter how fast her casting rate is, she cannot teleport to you, shoot a Frozen Orb, and then teleport away with impunity. If she runs afterwards instead and you miss, hit her with a Fist of the Heavens.); do NOT run away in the same direction as the orb if you're caught! If she lands too far away, do not approach her; by the time you get halfway, you'll be in that perfect spot where the orb does the most damage. Instead, hit her with a Fist of the Heavens and run. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 6g. Paladin I hate mirror matches. In general, up your resists against Vengeance and Conviction, of course, but pay special attention to Lightning Resist because of Holy Shock and Fist of the Heavens. Against Zealots, if you're being hit/blockstunned and you can't seem to retaliate, use the Concentration aura and Smite to knock him out of Zeal. If you're not a Charger and you don't have Concentration, stay away from them, unless you want to invest a point in Concentration. Same thing goes against Avengers. Against Smiters, definitely have hit recovery and up your attack speed so that you'll hit him before he hits you; or simply stay away from him. Against Chargers, have max blocking, defense, and DR because this can easily kill you in one hit; I don't know if you can use your own Charge to dodge his (can anyone confirm this?). _______________________________________________________________________ 7. Versions Version 2 (5/1/03)-- 1. Took out the Smiter build with Conviction, when someone asked me about the purpose of that aura in those builds. He made me realize that it went against the stunlocking principle of a Smiter build, so I took out Conviction. 2. Also corrected the base Dexterity in the Smiter and Fistadin builds to 20 (you don't start with 10 Dexterity as a Paladin). 3. Changed "feet" to "casting yards" to signify that a "casting yard" (the distance of a spell's range in its description) is very different from an actual yard (obviously). 4. Improved the vs. Druid section. 5. Improved the vs. Sorceress section. 6. Improved the vs. Amazon section; also included strategies against Amazons with Multiple Shot. 7. Corrected the vs. Paladin section slightly. 8. Improved the vs. Necromancer section slightly. 9. Erased the Blessed Aim/Conviction combo of the Avenger since Vengeance adds enough AR and damage and because it also needs the added attack speed of Fanaticism. Sorry if anyone was making one; it's not as effective as Fanaticism/Conviction. 10. Drastically changed the Avenger builds so that there's only one, upon realizing that the Avenger is not PvP worthy without incorporating the speed of the Zealot in it. 11. Included info on the vs. Assassin section! 12. Some minor changes that are too insignificant to be mentioned. Version 1 (4/12/03)--first one. _______________________________________________________________________ 8. Credits http://www.battle.net/diablo2exp for most of the skill-wise info here. Effects of a certain skill, radius of effect, etc. And therefore, some of my strategies come from this info. That someone for making me take out the Smiter with Conviction build. CJayC for posting this FAQ.