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    1.11 Holy Shock Paladin Guide by AUNAO

    Version: 1.10 | Updated: 01/21/06 | Printable Version | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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    (                                                 
                                                      Lord of Destruction
    
    1.11 Holy Shock Paladin Guide
    Version 1.10
    
    ***************************************************************************
    
    Written by: AUNAO
    
    
    
    
    Table of Contents
    --------------------------------
    I. Version History
    II. Introduction
    III. Skills
                   a) Defensive Auras
                   b) Offensive Auras
                   c) Combat Skills
    IV. Recommended Skill Allocation
    V. Recommended Stat Distribution
    VI. Equipment
    VII. General Strategies
    VIII. Boss Strategies
    IX. Mercenary Info
    X. Recognition
    XI. Contact Information
    
    
    
    
    I. Version History
    
    v. 1.00 - 09/22/2005 - Initial Information
    v. 1.10 - 01/21/2006 - ASCII title added
    
    
    
    
    II. Introduction
    
    The Holy Shock Paladin is an extremely fun build.
    
    We've all thought about making one at one point or another,
    at least I know I have. However, we'll usually end up making
    some other kind of Paladin that is a little more secure in 
    Hell.
    
    Well, this Guide is here to hopefully stir your mind towards
    taking your initial idea and actually making that Holy Shock
    Paladin. With some time and effort, and knowing when to fight
    and when to bail out, he'll make it through Hell and back.
    
    Even if you don't, you will be the absolute KING of Normal
    and Nightmare.
    
    And that's something special.
    
    
    
    
    III. Skills 
    
    The three skill trees of the Paladin are Defensive Auras,
    Offensive Auras, and Combat Skills.
    
    The Holy Shock Paladin borrows from each tree.
    
    While this guide will outline a specific build, it should
    not restrict YOUR Paladin. Feel free to break away if you
    feel so inclined.
    
    
    
    
    a) Defensive Auras
    
    These Auras, as their name implies, give different defensive
    and support bonuses to you and your party.
    
    
    
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Prayer
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 1
    Description:
    
    This aura gradually heals a small amount of health at the
    expense of some of your mana.
    
    There are builds that utilize this skill, but it isn't
    much use to our Holy Shock Paladin.
    
    Final Decision: Zero points. Add one as a prerequisite if you
    are planning to use Vigor or Redemption.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Resist Fire
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 1
    Description:
    
    Final Decision:
    
    Gives a large Fire resist bonus to you and your party.
    
    As more points are put into it, you'll also receive a 
    small static increase to your overall Fire resistance.
    
    As we're specializing in Holy Shock, we have no need for
    this aura.
    
    Final Decision: Zero points.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Defiance
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 6
    Description:
    
    When active, you'll get a fairly nice bonus to your overall
    Defense rating.
    
    It's also a synergy for Holy Shield, giving it a 15% boost
    with each point.
    
    Final Decision: When your four main skills are maxed, you
    may want to put several points into this skill to boost
    your Holy Shield. If you aren't interested in the defense
    boost, zero points.
    
    Also, if you're planning on using Vigor or Redemption, 
    you'll need at least one point in this skill for a
    prerequisite.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Resist Cold
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 6
    Description:
    
    Similar to Resist Fire, only it adds to your Cold resistance.
    
    It also gives the small passive boost to your overall 
    Cold resistance with more points into it.
    
    Final Decision: Zero points.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Cleansing
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 12
    Description:
    
    Shortens the duration of both poisons and curses for you
    and your party.
    
    Essentially useless, although it is a prerequisite for
    Vigor and Redemption.
    
    Final Decision: Zero points, or one as a prerequisite.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Resist Lightning
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 12
    Description:
    
    Again, akin to Resist Fire and Cold.
    
    Howver, with each point into this skill, Holy Shock's 
    lightning damage is increased by 14%.
    
    Essential to our Paladin.
    
    Final Decision: Max it.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Vigor
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 18
    Description:
    
    Increases your stamina and movement speed. 
    
    If you're not the kind of person who gets rushed often, you
    may want to invest in this skill to get around a little more
    quickly.
    
    The only downside is that it'll take four skill points away
    just to get this skill, which some people may not want to
    invest in the long run.
    
    Final Decision: Zero points, or one if you're lazy.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Meditation
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 24
    Description:
    
    Increases the rate of mana recovery.
    
    A decent skill, but considering everyone and their brother
    uses an Insight as a cheap Mercenary weapon, I wouldn't
    bother with it.
    
    Final Decision: Zero points.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Redemption
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 30
    Description:
    
    Uses slain enemies to recharge your health and mana.
    
    This is a really cool aura, as it both acts like a Rejuvenation
    potion, and gets rid of corpses so they can't be revived
    or exploded.
    
    If you're willing to give up a few points for the prerequisites,
    go for it.
    
    If not, move on.
    
    Final Decision: One or none. Your call.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Salvation
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 30
    Description:
    
    Raises the Fire, Cold, and Lightning resists of you and your
    party.
    
    It's also a synergy for Holy Shock, adding 4% more Lightning 
    damage with each point.
    
    It's a fairly paltry amount, so I'd recommend only putting 
    more points into this skill after your four main ones are
    maxed out.
    
    Final Decision: One point into it when it becomes available.
    Later on, you may want to add more points once your build
    is complete.
    
    
    
    
    b) Offensive Auras
    
    As the name implies, these auras offer offensive bonuses
    to you and your party. Our main aura, Holy Shock, is
    located within this tree.
    
    
    
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Might
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 1
    Description:
    
    Raises your damage by a small amount.
    
    This will be your main aura at the beginning of the game, until
    you reach level six.
    
    Final Decision: One point.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Holy Fire
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 6
    Description:
    
    Adds fire damage to your main attack, as well as periodically
    damaging all enemies in a certain range with fire.
    
    A neat skill, this will be your main aura until you reach
    level eighteen.
    
    Final Decision: One point.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Thorns
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 6
    Description:
    
    When this aura is active, any melee attacker will receive
    the damage they inflict back at them, at a much higher 
    percentage.
    
    It sounds good on paper, but this is a fairly worthless skill.
    
    Final Decision: Zero points.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Blessed Aim
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 12
    Description:
    
    Increases the attack rating of you and your party.
    
    This aura is of no use to our Paladin.
    
    Final Decision: Zero points.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Concentration
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 18
    Description:
    
    Adds damage to your attack, as well as giving it a chance
    to be uninterruptable by other enemies attacking you.
    
    Essential to some builds, and a great overall skill, but
    we have no need for it.
    
    Final Decision: Zero points.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Holy Freeze
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 18
    Description:
    
    Similar to Holy Fire, it adds cold damage to your attack, and
    periodically does cold damage to all enemies in a certain range.
    
    It also slows all enemies, regardless of immunities.
    
    This will be your main aura until you can use Holy Shock.
    
    Final Decision: One point.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Holy Shock
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 24
    Description:
    
    Adds Lightning damage to your attack, as well as periodically
    damaging all enemies with lightning in a certain range.
    
    Obviously, this will be our main skill. 
    
    At high levels, it will add an enormous amount of lightning
    damage to your attack, and even the periodic bursts will
    do a decent amount.
    
    Final Decision: Max it.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Sanctuary
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 24
    Description:
    
    Damages and knocks back all Undead type monsters in a certain
    range.
    
    It's kind of cool, and easily the prettiest Paladin aura
    when active out of town, but not useful for our Paladin.
    
    Final Decision: Zero points.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Fanaticism
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 30
    Description:
    
    Increases damage, attack rating, and attack speed.
    
    A fantastic skill, but we have no need for it.
    
    Save it for the Zealots and the Smiters. =[
    
    Final Decision: Zero points.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Conviction
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 30
    Description:
    
    Lowers the defenses and resistances of nearby enemies.
    
    A great skill, but we'll be using our old pal Infinity.
    
    Final Decision: Zero points.
    
    
    
    
    c) Combat Skills
    
    The Paladin's practical skills, used in conjunction with
    his auras. Two of our main skills are in this tree.
    
    
    
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Sacrifice
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 1
    Description:
    
    Does a large amount of damage at the expensive of 8% of the
    damage going back to you.
    
    A neat trick, but we only need it as a prerequisite.
    
    
    Final Decision: One point.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Smite
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 1
    Description:
    
    Attacks an enemy with your shield, stunning and knocking them
    back.
    
    A fantastic skill, recently come to the limelight as the King
    of Chaos Tristram town, but we only need it as a prerequisite.
    
    Final Decision: One point.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Holy Bolt
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 6
    Description:
    
    Launches a bolt of energy that damages the undead and
    heals friendly characters.
    
    We're using it as a prerequisite for Holy Shield.
    
    Final Decision: One point.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Zeal
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 12
    Description:
    
    Quickly attacks all enemies surrounding you, at a maximum
    of five hits.
    
    This will be our main skill, used in conjunction with
    Holy Shock.
    
    Final Decision: Max it.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Charge
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 12
    Description:
    
    Final Decision: One point.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Vengeance
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 18
    Description:
    
    Adds fire, lightning, and cold damage to your attack, as well
    as raising your attack rating.
    
    Another cool skill.
    
    Put one point into it, on the off chance you run into a
    Lightning/Physical immune in Hell.
    
    Final Decision: One point.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Blessed Hammer
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 18
    Description:
    
    Yeah, yeah, yeah, we all know how great it is.
    
    One point as a prerequisite for Holy Shield.
    
    Final Decision: One point.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Conversion
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 24
    Description:
    
    Converts monsters to fight with you for a short amount
    of time.
    
    Fun to play with, but wholly useless for us.
    
    Final Decision: Zero points.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Holy Shield
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 24
    Description:
    
    Gives a large defense bonus and adds to your chance to 
    block. An invaluable skill for almost any Paladin.
    
    It also adds to Smite damage, but we aren't concerned with that.
    
    Final Decision: Max it.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Fist of the Heavens
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Required Level: 30
    Description:
    
    Sends a thunder bolt from the sky to damage a single enemy
    with lightning, afterwich it sends out numerous Holy Bolts
    in all directions.
    
    A cool PvP skill, but useless for us.
    
    Final Decision: Zero points.
    
    
    
    
    IV. Recommended Skill Allocation
    
    Personally, I believe there are four skills that absolutely
    must be maxed for this build's survival. However, this is only
    a guide, and not anything set in stone. Modify the build in
    any way you see fit.
    
    What I personally recommend:
    
    20 Zeal
    20 Holy Shield
    20 Resist Lightning
    20 Holy Shock
    
    When these skills are maxed, you can either add points into
    Defiance, to boost your Holy Shield's defense bonus, or add
    them into Salvation, to improve your Holy Shock's damage.
    
    It depends on the type of player you are.
    
    
    
    
    V. Recommended Stat Distribution
    
    The Holy Shock Paladin has a fairly simple layout for stats.
    
    Strength should be just high enough to use your planned
    equipment. This really depends on how well off you are,
    but I wouldn't recommend going higher than 100 if you can
    help it.
    
    Dexterity should suffice at about 100. As we'll be maxing
    Holy Shield, so long as you have a decent shield, Herald
    of Zakarum would be ideal, you shouldn't have to worry
    much about achieving Max Block.
    
    Attack rating is a bit of a worry, but there are solutions 
    around that problem that don't involve you pumping Dex.
    
    Vitality should receive every remaining point you can spare.
    
    Energy should be ignored entirely.
    
    
    
    
    VI. Equipment.
    
    As a Holy Shock Paladin, which is primarily a build for fun,
    your weapon isn't really important. You'll be relying HEAVILY
    on the elemental damage, and less on the physical damage your
    weapon and Zeal will add.
    
    Weapon:
    
    A six-socketed Phase Blade can be a nice choice, socketed with
    any combination of Shael runes for Increased Attack Speed, and
    Lightning Facets, to improve your Lightning damage and lower 
    the resistance of your foes.
    
    The 'Crescent Moon' runeword, best made in a Phase Blade, would
    also be a nice choice, as it lowers enemy lightning resistance,
    as well as giving a bit of IAS and a chance to cast Static Field
    upon striking.
    
    Lightsabre is a cheap choice that can help out against Physical +
    Lightning immunes, as it adds a bit of Magic damage.
    
    Shield:
    
    Herald of Zakarum would be your best bet, preferably socketed with
    an Um.
    
    However, a very cheap but very effective alternative would be a
    'Spirit' runeword made in a Paladin shield with high resists.
    
    It's cheap to make, offers high resistances, +2 skills, and
    a fairly nice boost to your life and mana.
    
    Helm:
    
    Griffon's Eye would be ideal.
    
    Gives +1 skills, and increases your lightning damage by a large
    amount, while lowering enemy lightning resistances by a similar
    amount.
    
    This may be out of reach for some people, though.
    
    A cheaper but effective alternative would be our pal Shako,
    preferably socketed with an Um. This would give +2 skills, some 
    Damage reduction, a boost to our life and mana, and a bit of 
    resists from the Um.
    
    Armor:
    
    Lots of options.
    
    Enigma or Chains of Honor are always favorites, but things
    like Guardian Angel, and runewords like Duress, Gloom, even
    Smoke can be effective, as resistances are very important.
    
    Belt:
    
    Verdungo's Hearty Coil.
    
    Nice boost to Vitality, while offering a fair bit of Damage
    Redution and Faster Hit Recovery.
    
    The set belt Credendum is an option if you're strapped for
    resists, and if you're simply looking to increase your damage
    output, Arachnid's Mesh will help with its +1 skills.
    
    Boots:
    
    Gore Riders are a simple to obtain, effective choice.
    
    Alternatives would include Tearhaunch, which offers a nice
    bit of resists, as well as giving you +2 to Vigor, meaning
    you won't have to invest points into Vigor's prerequisites.
    
    A pair of Rare boots with Resists, FRW, and what have you are
    also an option.
    
    Rings:
    
    Bul-Kathos' Wedding Band + Raven Frost would be the ideal combo.
    
    Substitute something cheap like Dwarf Star if you can't get your
    hands on either.
    
    If you're finding it hard to hit enemies in Hell, you may want to
    use one or even two Angelic rings combined with the Angelic amulet.
    
    Amulet:
    
    Angelic Amulet with Angelic ring(s) if you need AR.
    
    If not, Mara's Kaleidoscope should be your first choice.
    
    Cheaper alternatives like Saracen's Chance and Highlord's Wrath
    can also be considered.
    
    
    
    
    VII. General Strategies.
    
    You'll have a lot of fun with the Holy Shock Paladin, even
    early on.
    
    You'll rely on Might at the beginning, until you get Holy Fire.
    
    Holy Fire, even at level 1, will let you coast through Acts 1
    and 2.
    
    You can then Tomb run until you're a high enough level to use
    Holy Shock. Once you get it, Normal difficulty will be no
    match for you.
    
    Nightmare will be equally easy, as by then you can have a maxed
    Holy Shock, synergized with a Maxed Resist Lightning. Most enemies
    in Nightmare will simply succumb to the periodic bursts of Lightning
    damage provided by your aura.
    
    Hell is where things get hectic, as even with a good Mercenary, you
    may need to pick your battles and flee from large groups of Lightning
    immune monsters. However, provided you are able to creep past such
    horrors, you'll have no problem defeating the Act bosses.
    
    When you're forced to confront such Immunes, a combination of your
    trusty Mercenary along with your Vengeance should be able to bring them
    down in time.
    
    A Wand with charges of Amplify Damage / Lower Resist can help out, but
    you won't want to rely on this.
    
    
    
    
    VIII. Boss Strategies
    
    The name says it all.
    
    We'll describe how to take on each boss with our Dragoon,
    with tips for each difficulty.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Act 1 - Andariel
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Andariel is a cake walk on your first encounter.
    
    Simply pound at her with your Normal attack with Holy Fire on,
    and she'll go down in seconds.
    
    If you're Level 12+ and have zeal, it will be even quicker.
    
    Higher difficulties will be a little more interesting.
    
    On Nightmare, her minions will succumb to Holy Shock's 
    frequent bursts, and provided her poison doesn't get the 
    jump on you, you'll slice her to bits with Zeal without
    too much trouble.
    
    Hell will be a little harder, but that's only because one
    or more Unique Afflicted monsters can spawn near her, which
    have a powerful ranged attack and are Lightning immune.
    
    Provided you can get past them if they spawn or not, Andariel
    won't be able to stand up to your Zeal/Holy Shock combination.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Act 2 - Duriel
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Duriel is such a puppy dog, especially for our Holy Shock
    Paladin.
    
    You'll murk the poor guy on every encounter.
    
    You'll be around Level 18-24 when you first reach him, but
    the fight will go down the same either way.
    
    If you're low level, use a combination of Zeal + Holy Freeze.
    It'll slow him down the way he slowed you, only you'll have
    Zeal to even things out.
    
    If you're a higher level, just hack away with Zeal, and let
    Holy Shock do the rest.
    
    Higher difficulty encounters will be even easier, especially
    when your Holy Shield is maxed. You'll be able to tank him
    while you mince him up with your powerful lightning-infused
    Zeal attack.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Act 3 - The High Council
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Right...
    
    Normal and Nightmare Council will be no problem.
    
    So long as your resists are high, they won't be able to get
    the drop on you.
    
    I don't remember if any of the Unique Hell Council members 
    can spawn as Lightning immune. Even if so, you and your merc
    SHOULD be able to pull a win, provided you're cautious
    and keep your resists high.
    
    If not, you may need to enlist the help of a friend.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Act 3 - Mephisto
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Easy every time, and just gets easier the higher you go.
    
    Mephisto has a lot of powerful ranged attacks, but once you 
    close the distance, you'll be able to tank him and cut him to
    ribbons with ease.
    
    The only possible problem that can arise comes from his radial
    poison attack, which can easily be remedied by having one or 
    more Antidote potions at hand.
    
    Once that is taken into consideration, you only need to avoid
    the Ghosts that can arise and stun you, letting Mephisto
    take advantage of it and strike you down.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Act 4 - Diablo
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Your strategy will be the same on each difficulty.
    
    Make sure you have Holy Shield on at all times.
    
    When he first appears, close the distance and start hacking
    away with Zeal. Combined with the lightning damage Holy Shock
    adds, this should do a fair amount of damage. You'll only
    really have two things to look out for.
    
    When Diablo gestures he's about to use his Lightning Inferno,
    just get the Hell out of there and you'll be fine. When he 
    stops, just get right back into the fray.
    
    You may want to step out of the way of his Firestorm at earlier
    difficulties as well, though later on it shouldn't damage you
    much.
    
    Simply ignore his Fire Nova, as it's kind of a joke attack
    to everything but Necromancer Skeletons anyway.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Act 5 - Baal
          
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    
    Baal is defensive as ever, but won't cause too much 
    difficulty for you.
    
    For NM and Hell, the hardest part will be GETTING to Baal,
    but the battle itself will be a breeze.
    
    Provided your equipment is decent and your resists are high,
    you'll be able to tank the poor guy into oblivion, all the
    while hacking at his health until he falls.
    
    His Cold Wave attack dealie might bother you a bit, so
    try to have at least something that will give you the
    'Cannot be Frozen' mod.
    
    Concentrate on getting back to him when he knocks you away, and
    be sure not to bother with the 'Fake' Baal he casts to distract
    you from attacking him.
    
    Keep all this in mind, and you'll have no problem defeating him.
    
    
    
    
    IX. Mercenary Info
    
    There's really no question about this.
    
    You'll want an Act 2 Defensive Merc from Nightmare.
    
    His Holy Freeze will work excellently with your Holy Shock,
    slowing down enemies making them prime targets for you or your
    passive damage to take out with relative ease.
    
    Equipment is fairly simple.
    
    Note that you'll want your Merc's equipment to be, for the
    most part, Ethereal, as they can receive the bonuses Eth
    items have without losing any durability.
    
    Weapon:
    
    An 'Infinity' rune word made in an ethereal Cryptic Axe would 
    be what you want as your top choice.
    
    This would give your Mercenary a level 12 Conviction aura,
    greatly raising the damage your Lightning based attack
    would do.
    
    However, this is fairly expensive, so there are cheaper 
    alternatives to use.
    
    The ever-popular 'Insight' would be viabla, as it is VERY
    cheap to make, offers a nice Mediation aura to keep your
    mana high, as well decent damage modifiers
    
    An 'Obedience' polearm would be a better choice if you're
    simply looking for a cheap way for your merc to do a 
    large amount of damage.
    
    Armor:
    
    Basically anything that offers high defense and resists
    will do nicely here.
    
    Duriel's Shell, Shaftstop, runewords like Stone, Gloom,
    even Lionheart can do nicely.
    
    Helm:
    
    Andariel's Visage, Vampire Gaze, anything that offers
    helpful bonuses like Damage Reduction, Life Leech, and
    what have you, anything that will help your Merc
    stay alive for awhile.
    
    
    
    
    X. Recognition
    
    - El Sabotender, he is my favorite friend
    
    - Diamond Angel99, love of my life
    
    - TT & TMF, you know why...!
    
    - Super Saiyan Bowser & 01asada, my greatest supporters
    
    - Blizzard, because they probably made this game
    
    
    
    
    XI. Contact Information
    
    If you find any errors, or have something to say, let me know at:
       AUNAOyo@gmail.com