Hammerdin Guide – D2R 2.4

Table of contents

Hammer Paladin Build Introduction

The Holy Hammer Paladin have been the most popular and efficient build for farming and magic find in Diablo 2 for the past years. Hammerdins use Blessed Hammer as their primary attacking skill combined with Concentration Aura. This build is probably the most overpowered in the whole game, has the potential to deal 20k magic damage per hammer, has the ability to move fast with Enigma’s Teleport skill or by using the Vigor Aura, has great survivability, can achieve 75 All Resistances, 15k Defense, 75% Block Chance and 4k Life on Hell Difficulty, meanwhile it can reach up to 650% Magic Find if you are willing to compromise some of your damage output.

In high-end gear, you can quickly solo the entire game even in a 8 player party. A Chaos or Baal run won’t take you any longer than 3 minutes, and parties will welcome you due to your immense damage output. There are very few magic immune monsters in the game, but you can quickly deal with those by using Holy Bolt as your attacking skill. The build is definitely hardcore viable.


Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Indisputably the best magic find build in the game, has a high simultaneous MF and clearspeed potential
  • The damage output is super high (10-20k damage per hammer depending on your build)
  • Survivability is good, your character will rarely die (Life potential is 4k+)
  • Can kill any monster, including bosses
  • Great for fast clearing
  • Moves fast with either Teleport or Vigor
  • Can solo the whole game on hell in a 8 player party
  • Parties welcome you due to your high damage output
  • Hardcore-viable

Cons

  • Not the most efficient build for Uber Diablo or Uber Tristram (But can do it, Salvation Aura will probably be necessary)
  • Some monsters, like Baal’s second wave of monsters are immune to magic damage, however these still can be killed with holy bolt or via the mercenary
  • Uses a lot of mana, so need Insight on merc for Meditation aura or mana potions

Suggestions

Playing solo: There are very few magic immune monsters, and those can be dealt with by using Holy Bolt as your attacking skill, or having your Mercenary kill them. Hammers can often miss their target, in such instances i suggest teleporting on monsters if you have an enigma to make sure every casted blessed hammer hits the target. In high-end gear you will be able to quickly solo the whole game even in a 8 player party.

Playing in a party: In parties, especially Baal and Chaos runs Hammerdins are very welcome due to their immense damage output. They can also be used as rushers for lower level characters, and Melee characters also benefit from their Concentration aura.

Survivability, Hardcore: Depending on your gear setup, you can become almost immortal at the expense of your damage output. 4k life, 75% all resistances (or 90 in Guardian Angel), 50% Physical Damage Reduction, 75% Block Rate, up to 30k Defense and additional elemental damage absorptions are available. A Raven Frost ring can be useful to have Freeze Immunity.

Damage output: Blessed Hammer with Concentration aura has probably the highest area damage output amongst any build. You will also be able to kill Bosses within seconds, however killing Uber Bosses will take some time.

Where to farm: Anywhere! A great benefit of hammerdins is that they can farm any area efficiently, except maybe for Uber Tristram.

 Magic Find: Hammer Paladins are considered to be the best builds for magic find. While their MF % can’t get as high as some of the sorceress builds, you can still get up to 650% MF and farm super efficiently.

Budget: The build can work fairly effectively on a tight budget, but your mob clearspeed will be much slower due to lower damage and slower movement. High-tier setups are quite expensive at ladder starts, but easily affordable later in the season. The build is viable at a ladder start, but you will need to quickly get some useful items in order to be effective on hell.

Mana/Life: As long as you don’t have an Insight on your Mercenary, you will always need mana potions. Redemption Aura can be used for life recovery, but you should have life or rejuv potions in your belt as a precaution.

Movement/Mobility: The character has awesome movement speed with Vigor aura. If you have an Enigma, teleportation will always be faster than running.  Have 125% Faster Casting Rate if you want to max out your teleportation speed.

Ubers: While Ubers are doable by using just Blessed Hammer, I suggest using a Smite setup with crushing blow gear.

Skill panel: You can spam any skills by holding down the shift button and clicking simultaneously. For skill hotkeys, I suggest using Blessed Hammer(F1) and Holy Bolt(F2) on the left panel. For the right skill panel, I suggest using Teleport(F3), Concentration Aura(F4), Redemption Aura(F5), Vigor Aura(F6), Battle Command(F7) and Battle Orders (F8). When needed, you can cast Holy Shield or Townportal manually.

Mercenary: Use Nightmare Act2 Offensive Merc to increase your Blessed Hammer’s damage via Might Aura.


Leveling

During leveling, our aim is to maximize damage output for quick progression, have decent survivability so you won’t die frequently, and have decent movement speed.

Skills: At the beginning use any attacking skill with Might Aura, then switch to Blessed Aim, then to Concentration. Once you reach level 18, start using Blessed Hammer and put a skill point on Vigor for faster runspeed. Also put a skill point on Holy Shield and keep using it at all times. Put the rest of the skill stats to Blessed Hammer, its synergies, and Concentration Aura. At level 30, put a point on Redemption Aura.

Stats: Have enough strength and dexterity to be able to wear useful gear. Put all the remaining stat points on Vitality.

 Useful Gear: Lore Helm (Ort-Sol), Stealth Armor (Tal-Eth), Spirit Sword, Spirit Shield, Trang Oul’s Belt, 10% Faster cast rate Rings and Amulet, Magefist or Trang Oul’s gloves, Boots with % Movement Speed


Important breakpoints

How it works: Each second in the game consists of 24 frames or “ticks”. Your breakpoints decide how many frames it will take until you can attack/cast a skill/recover from a hit/ block a new hit.

Faster Cast Rate

Faster Hit Recovery

Faster Block Rate

0% FCR – 15frames

0% FHR – 12 frames

0% FBR – 2 frames

9% FCR – 14 frames

7% FHR – 11 frames

86% FBR -1 frame

18% FCR – 13 frames

15% FHR – 10 frames

 

30% FCR – 12 frames

27% FHR – 9 frames

 

48% FCR – 11 frames

48% FHR – 8 frames

 

75% FCR – 10 frames

86% FHR – 7 frames

 

125% FCR – 9 frames

200% FHR – 6 frames

 
  • Aim for 125% FCR, as teleportation also benefits from it. Your overall damage output might be somewhat lower, but your clearspeed, movement speed and overall performance will improve.
  • Aim for 48 or 86% FHR
  • Always have Holy shield up, otherwise your FBR performance will deteriorate very significantly. There is no need to aim for 86% FBR.

Build versatility and modifications

As the hammerdin is able to solo almost the entire game in high-end gear, build modifications only make sense if you either farm Uber Tristram or Uber Diablo, or don’t have good enough gear to kill stronger bosses. For such cases, putting a skill point on Fanaticism Aura, using Smite as the primary attacking skill and having a Smiter setup built around crushing blow can be used.


Survivability and Hardcore tips

Survivability can be boosted by using defensive auras and a variety of items to help you survive difficult situations. In a proper setup, your character can become almost immortal.

Useful skills: Having many skill points on Holy Shield helps immensely with melee defense. Make sure to use walk instead of running, so you have better chances of avoiding being hit by monsters. Use Redemption Aura when life recovery is needed, and use Salvation Aura if your resistances are not high enough.

Useful items: Call to arms is the obvious secondary weapon of choice due to it’s Battle Orders and Battle Command skills, which can increase your life tremendously. Stormshield as shield, Crown of Ages helm and Verdungo belt are optional items in case you want to reduce melee damage taken. If you want to make yourself almost immune to elemental damages, Guardian Angel armor can be used to increase your maximum resistances, and for elemental damage absorption, The rising sun amulet (fire absorption), Dwarf star ring (Fire absorption), Hellmouth gloves (fire absorption), Wisp projector ring (lightning absorption), Thungergod’s Vigor belt (lightning absorption) or Raven Frost ring (cold absorption) can be used.

Defensive requirements:

To have high survivability, i suggest the following:

  • Have 75 allresist on Hell. Items that can help are Annihilus, Hellfire Torch, Heart of the Oak Flail, Herald of Zakarum instead of Spirit is an option, Um rune socketed in Helm/Shield for Allresist, Mara’s Kaleidoscope, Spirit Pala Shield with base Allresist, 5 Allres Small Charms, 15 Allres Grand Charms
  • Have enough Dexterity to have 75% Chance to Block when Holy Shield is on

If your Character is Hardcore, Have 50% Physical damage reduction, wear elemental damage absorption items, wearing Guardian Angel Armor for 90% allresist is suggested, upgrade as many unique items as possible for higher defense, reaching the 86% FHR breakpoint is also suggested. Have your belt full with Full Rejuvenation potion


Skills

Necessary / Useful skill tree points

Combat skills

  • Smite (1 point)
  • Holy Bolt (1 point)
Charge (1 point)

Offensive auras

  • Might (1 point)
  • Blessed aim (1 point)

Defensive auras

  • Prayer (1 point)
  • Defiance (1 point)

Attacking Skills

Blessed Hammer (20 point) – This is our primary attacking skill both in PVE and PVP.

Holy Bolt (1 point)

This is our secondary attacking skill against monsters with Magic Immunity

Auras

Concentration (20 point)

Use it as your main attacking aura.
Salvation – optional (1 point) – Use it at Hardcore, or at Uber Diablo and Uber Tristram if needed

Redemption (1 point)

Use it for Health/Mana recovery when needed

Fanaticism – optional (1 point) – Use it if you want to farm ubers with Smite in crushing blow % gear.

Synergy Skills

Blessed Aim (20 point)
This synergy provides 14% enhanced Blessed Hammer damage per level
Vigor (20 point)
This synergy provides 14% enhanced Blessed Hammer damage per level. It can also be used for mobility/running.

Other Active Skills

Holy shield (remaining points) – Always use it to drastically improve your survivability  

Call to Arms Skills

Battle command (CTA) – Always use it if you have a CTA. Make sure to cast it twice. Battle orders (CTA) – Always use it if you have a CTA. It provides immense Life and Mana boosts.

 


Stats

Strength ► Just enough to be able to wear your items. With Hellfire Torch, Annihilus, Enigma and stats on other items you might not even have to put stat points on it.

Dexterity ► Just enough to have 75% Chance to Block with Holy Shield activated.

Vitality ► Spend all your remaining points on it.

Energy ► Don’t spend any points on it.

You can re-stat your character by the quest reward of Akara’s Act1 Den of Evil Quest, or by using Token of Absolution


Item setups

Ladder starter setup

Cost-effective build to start out at a new ladder season

Helm: Lore / Peasant Crown

Amu: Any amulet with +skill ot + all resistances

Weapon: Spirit / Wizardspike

Switch Weapon: none

Shield: Spirit, try to get a pala shield with 20+ all resistances as base item  

Switch Shield: none

Body Armor: Stealth / Vipermagi

Belt: Trang Oul’s belt

Rings: Any ring with 10% FCR and other useful stats like allresist, life, magic find, etc.

Gloves: Magefist / Trang Oul’s gloves

Boots: Tearhaunch

 

Charms: Any charm with +skill, life, resist or FHR will help

 

Mercenary Type: Nightmare Difficulty, From Act 2, Offensive (Might Aura)

Helm: Tal Rasha’s helm

Body Armor: Treachery (Eth bugged armor base preferred)

Weapon: Insight in an elite two-handed ethereal Polearm


Beginner setup

Decent dps and clear speed, one of the best starter builds

Helm: Harlequin Crest Shako (Socket it with Um rune)

Amu: Mara’s Kaleidoscope / Rare amulet with +2 to Paladin skills

Weapon: Wizardspike

Switch Weapon: Call to Arms

Shield: Spirit, try to get a pala shield with 20+ all resistances as base item / Herald of Zakarum  (Socket it with Um rune, upgrade it if you have enough strength)

Switch Shield: Spirit

Body Armor: Enigma Mage Plate / Dusk Shroud/ Archon plate / Vipermagi (Upgrade it if you have enough strength)

Belt: Arachnid Mesh / Verdungo / Thundergod’s Vigor / String of Ears

Rings: 2*Stone of Jordan / Bul Katho’s rings / Rare rings (10% faster cast rate, possibly with life and resists) / Raven Frost / Wisp Projector

Gloves: Magefist (Upgrade it if you have enough strength)

Boots: Sandstorm Trek / War Traveler / Waterwalk (Upgrade them if you have enough Strength)

 

Charms: Annihilus, Hellfire torch, Magic Grand Charms (+1 to pala combat skills), Magic Small Charms (with +all resistances, or +life)

 

Mercenary Type: Nightmare Difficulty, From Act 2, Offensive (Might Aura)

Helm: Andariel’s Visage / Guillaume’s Face / Tal Rasha’s Horadric Crest / Vampire Gaze (Ethereal bases, socketed with Um rune are preferred)

Body Armor: Treachery (Eth bugged armor base preferred)

Weapon: Insight (in an elite two-handed ethereal Polearm, preferably cryptic axe)


Advanced setup

Decent dps and clear speed, one of the best overall builds

Helm: Harlequin Crest Shako (Socket it with Um rune)

Amu: Mara’s Kaleidoscope

Weapon: Heart of the Oak Flail

Switch Weapon: Call to Arms

Shield: Spirit with 35% Faster Cast Rate and 30+ all resist from the base pala shield

Switch Shield: Spirit

Body Armor: Enigma Mage Plate / Dusk Shroud/ Archon plate

Belt: Arachnid Mesh

Rings: 1*Stone of Jordan +  1*Rare ring (10% Faster Cast Rate, life, resists)

Gloves: Magefist (Upgrade it if you have enough strength)

Boots: Ethereal Sandstorm Trek

 

Charms: Annihilus, Hellfire torch, 9*Magic Grand Charms (+1 to pala combat skills), Magic Small Charms (with +all resistances, or +life)

 

Mercenary Type: Nightmare Difficulty, From Act 2, Offensive (Might Aura)

Helm: Andariel’s Visage / Guillaume’s Face / Tal Rasha’s Horadric Crest / Vampire Gaze (Ethereal bases, socketed with Um rune are preferred)

Body Armor: Ethereal Fortitude Runeword in an eth bugged body armor

Weapon: Ethereal Insight in an elite two-handed ethereal Polearm (preferably Cryptic Axe)


Top tier damage setup

Extremely high dps and clearspeed

The build is super expensive and contains only the best-in-slot items

Helm: Rare Circlet (+2 to pala skills, 20% FCR, +all resistances, life, 2 sock)

Amu: Crafted Caster’s Amulet (+2 to pala skills, 20% FCR, + all resistances, life)

Weapon: Magic scepter (+3 to pala combat, +3 to blessed hammer, +3 to concentration (2 sock) / Magic scepter (+2 to pala skills, +3 to blessed hammer, +3 to concentration (2 sock) / Rare scepter (+2 to pala skills, 10% Faster cast rate, +3 to blessed hammer, +3 to concentration, 1 or 2 sock)

Switch Weapon: Call to Arms with 6 to Battle Orders and 6 to Battle Command

Shield: Spirit in 45 all resistances paladin shield

Switch Shield: Spirit

Body Armor: Enigma Mage Plate / Archon Plate / Dusk Shroud

Belt: Arachnid Mesh

Rings: 2*Stone of Jordan / 2*Rare ring (10% faster cast rate, life, resists)

Gloves: Upgraded Magefist

Boots: Ethereal Sandstorm Trek

 

Charms: Annihilus, Hellfire torch, 9*Magic Grand Charms (+1 to pala combat and up to 45 life), 10*Magic Small Charms (5 to all resists, up to 20 life)

 

Mercenary Type: Nightmare Difficulty, From Act 2, Offensive (Might Aura)

Helm: Ethereal Andariel’s Visage socketed with Um rune

Body Armor: Ethereal Fortitude Runeword in an eth bugged body armor

Weapon: Ethereal Insight in an elite two-handed Polearm (preferably Cryptic Axe)


Magic find setup with 125% FCR

Decent dps and clear speed

Clearly the best magic find build in the game

Helm: Harlequin Crest Shako (Socket it with Ist rune)

Amu: Mara’s Kaleidoscope or Magic amulet with 40-50% Magic Find

Weapon: Heart of the Oak Flail

Switch Weapon: Call to Arms

Shield: Spirit Runeword with 35% Faster Cast Rate

Switch Shield: Spirit

Body Armor: Enigma Mage Plate / Dusk Shroud/ Archon plate

Belt: Arachnid Mesh

Rings: 1*Stone of Jordan, 1*Rare ring (10% Faster Cast Rate, life, resists)

Gloves: Upgraded Magefist

Boots: Upgraded War Traveler

 

Charms: Annihilus, Hellfire torch, Gheed’s Fortune, Small Charms with 7% Magic find (and also @all resistances if possible)

 

Mercenary Type: Nightmare Difficulty, From Act 2, Offensive (Might Aura)

Helm: Andariel’s Visage socketed with Ist rune, or Guillaume’s Face with Ist rune

Body Armor: Ethereal Fortitude Runeword in an eth bugged body armor

Weapon: Ethereal Insight in an elite two-handed ethereal Polearm (preferably Cryptic Axe)


Magic find setup with 75% FCR

Decent dps and clear speed

Clearly the best magic find build in the game

Helm: Harlequin Crest Shako (Socket it with Ist rune)

Amu: Magic amulet with 40-50% Magic Find

Weapon: Heart of the Oak Flail

Switch Weapon: Call to Arms

Shield: Spirit Runeword with 35% Faster Cast Rate

Switch Shield: Spirit Runeword in low strength requirement shield

Body Armor: Enigma Mage Plate / Dusk Shroud/ Archon plate

Belt: Upgraded Goldwrap

Rings: 2*Stone of Jordan / 2*Nagelring

Gloves: Upgraded Chance Guard’s

Boots: Upgraded War Traveler

 

Charms: Annihilus, Hellfire torch, Gheed’s Fortune, Small Charms with 7% Magic find (and also @all resistances if possible)

 

Mercenary Type: Nightmare Difficulty, From Act 2, Offensive (Might Aura)

Helm: Andariel’s Visage socketed with Ist rune, or Guillaume’s Face with Ist rune

Body Armor: Ethereal Fortitude Runeword in an eth bugged body armor

Weapon: Ethereal Insight in an elite two-handed ethereal Polearm (preferably Cryptic Axe)


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