The Ultimate Zealot Paladin Guide for Diablo 2 Resurrected

This build guide is made for Diablo 2 Lord of Destruction’s Expansion (LOD) for the 1.14d patch and for Diablo 2 resurrected.

Introduction: The Zealer is a Paladin build using Zeal as it’s primary attacking skill. Zealers are popular builds for PVM as few of the melee builds are as effective in D2 as them. Their single target damage is very high, and they can quickly take care of bigger mob packs without survivability being an issue. They are super easy to play with, and are fairly good ladder starters as even on budget gear they can be fairly efficient. Parties like them, as they can provide useful auras in Baal and Chaos runs, like Fanaticism or Conviction, but when survivability boosts are needed, they can switch to Salvation or Defiance auras.

Zeal attacks are super fast, in proper gear you will be able to deal 6 attacks each second. Optimally you should deal damage both from crushing blows and physical damage, making your character a great boss killer and a great mob killer as well. Uber Diablo and Uber Tristram won’t cause you any trouble, and neither will Soloing the whole game. For fast movement, Vigor aura and Charge skills can be used to pass any obstacles, and if you are wealthy enough, an Enigma can be utilized for Teleportation. 

The build is probably not the best fit for magic find, although you can stack your inventory with 7% Magic find small charms and a Gheed’s Fortune and use your character for MF purposes. Zealers are ideal for hardcore, as their survivability is great. In high-end gear, a solo Baal or Chaos run won’t take you longer than 4 minutes.

Table of contents


Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A great build for Uber Tristram or Uber Diablo.
  • A very useful character in parties that can be utilized for defense, offense or boss-killing
  • Has great survivability, one of the best melee builds for Hardcore
  • Decent run speed and can get past any obstacles
  • Mob clearspeed is fast due to the super quick attacks, you can deal up to 6 attacks per second.
  • Relatively budget-friendly, and a good ladder starter.
  • Can quickly solo the whole game in top tier items.
  • Very relaxing to play with for players who enjoy melee builds.
  • Solo Baal or Chaos runs are doable within 4 minutes in top-tier gear.

Cons

  • Not the best build for Magic Find.

Suggestions

Playing solo: In high-end gear you can quickly solo the game. Both bosses and mobs can be killed with ease. The build is Uber Diablo and Uber Tristram viable even on a budget, no monsters will cause you trouble.

Playing in a party: In parties, members can take advantage of your auras. Fanaticism can be used to boost melee offensive damage. Switch to Conviction if your party relies on characters dealing elemental damage. A variety of defensive auras can be utilized when needed, the main ones are Salvation for increased party resistances, Defiance if melee survivability boost is needed, and Redemption if you need to recover life. Meditation can be used for mana recovery, and Vigor for run speed. In addition, if you wear an Exile, your party members can also benefit from it’s Life Tap.

Survivability, Hardcore: Depending on your gear setup, you can become almost immortal on the expense of your damage output. It’s one of the best builds for hardcore! Aim for 75 all resists and a 75% block rate when Holy Shield is used. Use a Raven Frost ring if you want to avoid being frozen. Make sure to walk instead of running to avoid block chance penalties.

Damage output: Single target damage output is great if you have a high crushing blow chance. You will not be able to one-hit all the monsters, but as you attack super quick they can be dealt with in no time. Grief and Last Wish are the best weapons of choice, by using them you will be able to deal a high amount of physical damage as well. 

Where to farm: The build is great for Uber Diablo and Uber Tristram farming, but can clear any area and can solo the whole game. Solo Chaos or Baal runs will be perfectly fine.

Magic Find: Zealots are not considered to be popular magic find characters, however with 7% Magic Find Small Charms and a Gheed MFing is doable.

Budget: The build can work effectively on a budget, but if you want to maximize it’s performance it will be very expensive. It’s an okay ladder starter.

Mana/Life: Having Full rejuvenation potions always comes handy, but once you have an Exile for shield, the Life Tap on it will solve all your healing issues. Additionally, you can use Redemption aura to heal yourself. If you don’t want to rely on potions for Mana, you can use Meditation or Redemption aura, or a Merc with Insight runeword.

Movement/Mobility: The character has good movement speed due to the Vigor Aura. With Charge you can easily move through obstacles. If you are looking for fast running ability, having 7% Faster Run and Walk on your +skill grand charms can be very useful, but nothing will beat an Enigma runeword and it’s Teleportation ability.

Ubers: You will be able to deal with them just fine!

Skill panel: You can spam any skills by holding down the shift button and clicking simultaneously. For the left skill panel, i suggest using Zeal (F1) and Charge (F2). For the right skill panel, i suggest using Fanaticism (F3), Redemption (F4), Vigor (F5), Battle Ordersrs (F6), Battle Command (F7), Holy Shield (F8)

Mercenary: Use Nightmare Act2 Offensive Merc to gain it’s 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: Use Sacrifice as your attack skill until Zeal becomes available. Put a point on Smite, then Charge, then Holy Shield once it’s available and use it at all times. Use Might, then Concentration, then Fanaticism as your primary aura. When level requirements are met, put a skill point on Vigor and use it for running. Put a point on Salvation and Redemption auras as well, they will come handy! Max out Zeal, Sacrifice and Fanaticism during leveling.

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), Smoke Armor (Nef+Lum), Lionheart Armor (Hel-Lum-Fal), Gloom Armor (Fal-Um-Pul), Principle Armor (Ral+Gul+Eld), Passion weapon (Dol-Ort-Eld-Lem), Oath weapon (Shael-Pul-Mal-Lum),  Ancient’s Pledge Shield (Ral-Ort-Tal), Rhyme Shield (Shael-Eth), Boots with % Movement Speed. Laying of Hands gloves and Credendum, Angelic rings and Amu, Nightsmoke belt, Goblin Toe boots, Steelclash shield can also be used.


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 with Holy Shield
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 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

The build can Solo the whole game, so there is little need for modifications. If you want to be able to deal with Physical Immune monsters you should put some skill points on Vengeance and use it.


Survivability and Hardcore tips

Survivability can be boosted by using defensive auras for various situations.

Useful skills: Holy shield is your most important survivability skill, so always have it on! Redemption and Salvation auras can be used whenever necessary. If you find yourself in the middle of a mob, use Charge to exit the situation. Make sure to use walk instead of run in hardcore, so you have better chances of avoiding being hit by monsters.

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 for shield can be used for increased block rate and physical damage reduction alongside a Verdungo belt, or Herald of Zakarum for resistances. If you want to further improve your survivability, an Exile Shield with high base allresist % can be used to cast Life Tap on your enemies. Harlequin Crest Shako or Crown of Ages can be utilized as well for survivability boosting. If you want to make yourself almost immune to elemental damage, use Guardian Angel armor 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,Shako with Um rune, Herald of Zakarum with Um rune, Chains of Honor Armor, Mara’s Kaleidoscope, 5 Allres Small Charms,  15 Allres Grand Charms
  • Dexterity is useful for having higher Chance to Block. Aim for 75% block chance when Holy Shield is on.
  • If your Character is Hardcore, having 50% Physical damage reduction is a must, and 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 stacked with Full Rejuvenation potions.

 

Skills

Necessary / Useful skill tree points

Combat skills

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

 

Offensive Auras

  • Might (1 point)
  • Blessed aim (1 point)
  • Concentration (1 point)
Defensive Auras

  • Prayer (1 point)
  • Defiance (1 point)
  • Cleansing (1 point)
  • Vigor (1 point)
  • Meditation (1 point, optional)
  • Redemtion (1 point)
  • Salvation (1 point)

Attacking Skills

Zeal (20 point)

 This is our primary attacking skill both in PVE and PVP.

Vengeance (optional)

This is our optional secondary attacking skill. You can combine it with Conviction Aura.

Used Auras

Fanaticism (20 point Use it as your main attacking aura Redemption (1 point) Use it for Health/Mana recovery when needed

Salvation (1 point) 

Use it when survivability is needed

Synergy Skills

Sacrifice (20 points)

Other Active Skills

Holy Shield (20 points)
Always use it to increase your Defense and your Block Chances.
Teleport In case you are geared with an Enigma, use Teleportation for movement purposes.

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 and stats on other items you might not even have to put stat points on it.

Dexterity ► Just enough to wear your gear. Consider putting extra points on it if you aim for better survivability and Block Chance.

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

Coloring:

◆  Magic items as blue ◆  Rare items as yellow ◆  Set items as green

Unique items as brownRunewords as gold ◆  Crafted as orange

Ladder starter setup

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

Helm: Lore / Peasant Crown / Any helm with good survivability or +paladin skills

Amu: Any amulet with +skill, +stats, +resists, +life / Saracen’s Chance / Atma’s Scarab

Weapon:Black weapon / Kingslayer weapon / Passion weapon / Oath weapon / Azurewrath / Lightsabre / Stormlash / Horizon’s Tornado

Switch Weapon: Magic Wand with Life Tap Charges

Shield: Rhyme  / Ancient’s pledge

Switch Shield: none

Body Armor: Principle/ Guardian Angel / Duress

Belt: String of Ears /   Crafted Blood Belt

Rings: Any ring with useful stats like resists, life, etc.

Gloves: Venom Grip / Any glove with 20% Ias and other useful stats like resists, life, etc

Boots: 30% FRW boots with additional resist/resists

 

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 / Obedience


Griswold’s set setup

Cost-effective build to progress at a new ladder season ◆

Helm: Griswold’s Valor

Amu: Highlord’s Wrath  / The Rising Sun / Seraph’s Hymn

Weapon: Griswold’s Redemption

Switch Weapon: Magic Wand with Life Tap Charges

Shield: Griswold’s Honor

Switch Shield: none

Body Armor: Griswold’s Heart

Belt: String of Ears / Crafted Blood Belt

Rings: 2* Bul Katho’s rings / one  Raven Frost

Gloves: Dracul’s Grasp

Boots: Goblin Toe / Gore Rider / Rare 30% frw +multiple resists or FHR boots

 

Charms: Annihilus, Hellfire torch, Gheed’s Fortune, Magic Grand Charms (+1 to pala combat skills), Magic Small Charms (with +resists, +life or +FHR)

 

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) / Eth The Reaper’s Toll  / Obedience


Beginner setup

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

Helm: Harlequin Crest Shako (Socket it with Um rune) / Guillame’s Face (Socket it with Um rune)

Amu: Mara’s Kaleidoscope / Highlord’s Wrath

Weapon: Grief phase blade

Switch Weapon: Call to Arms / Magic Wand with Life Tap Charges

Shield: Herald of Zakarum socketed with perfect Diamond

Switch Shield: Spirit

Body Armor: Fortitude Archon plate

Belt: String of Ears / Crafted Blood Belt with other useful stats like resists, life, etc

Rings: 2* Bul Katho’s rings / one  Raven Frost

Gloves: Crafted Blood Gloves with other useful stats like resists, life, etc

Boots: Goblin Toe / Gore Rider

 

Charms: Annihilus, Hellfire torch, Gheed’s Fortune, Magic Grand Charms (+1 to pala combat skills), Magic Small Charms (with +resists, +life or +FHR)

 

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

Helm:  Guillaume’s Face (Ethereal base, socketed with Um rune are preferred)

Body Armor: Treachery (Eth bugged armor base preferred)

Weapon: Eth The Reaper’s Toll / Pride in an elite two-handed ethereal Polearm


Advanced setup

High damage and fast clearspeed

Helm: Guillame’s Face (Socket it with Um rune)

Amu: Highlord’s Wrath / Atma’s Scarab

Weapon: Grief phase blade / Last Wish phase blade

Switch Weapon: Call to Arms with 6 to Battle Orders and 6 to Battle Command preferably in a +3 to Holy Shield scepter

Shield: Exile in a +allresist base elite pala shield

Switch Shield: Spirit

Body Armor: Fortitude Archon plate

Belt: String of Ears / Crafted Blood Belt with other useful stats like resists, life, etc

Rings: 2* Bul Katho’s rings / one  Raven Frost

Gloves: Crafted Blood Gloves with other useful stats like resists, life, etc

Boots: Goblin Toe / Gore Rider (upgrade them if you have enough Strength)

 

Charms: Annihilus, Hellfire torch, 9*Magic Grand Charms (+1 to pala combat with +life or +FHR), 10*Magic Small Charms (+to all resists and + to life)

 

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

Helm:  Guillaume’s Face (Ethereal base, socketed with Um rune are preferred)

Body Armor: Treachery (Eth bugged armor base preferred)

Weapon: Pride in an elite two-handed ethereal Polearm


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