Those who love Diablo 2 don’t have a quiet or subtle voice — nor should they. Ever since the release of the game, players have been searching for the next big dungeon-crawler to try and top it. And so far, for the most ardent fans, nothing has come close. That’s likely why a re-release of Diablo 2 is on the horizon for Blizzard Entertainment.
As such, veterans and rookies alike are dusting off old strategy guides and trying to uncover builds for their favorite classes. The Paladin is a popular choice among these fanatics as it has several builds that can downright break the game. Don’t believe it? Give these builds a shot and it will change your mind.
10 – Ranger
Dropping your shield and sword in favor of a crossbow or bow feels downright sacrilegious considering the way a classic Paladin is traditionally conveyed. But if you like to keep enemies off of your back, this is the Paladin build for you.
By using the appropriate aura, like Fanaticism, in conjunction with abilities that boost your attack power, you can turn the Paladin into a ranged attacker that also wears the thickest armor in the game.
9 – Mage
While the Sorceress is the semi-undisputed champion of elemental damage casting, the Paladin does a decent job of taking the same role and supplanting fire and ice with holy and divine damage.
The biggest obstacle is finding the right pieces of gear to make the build work. Once your inventory is collected, your Vigor, Conviction, and Blessed Hammer abilities truly become top-tier damage selections.
8 – Smiter
One of the things people miss about Diablo 2 isn’t the balance; it’s actually the imbalance that makes the game so much fun to play. This build takes a lot of experience, but once you’ve leveled up, you can kill anything in one hit.
And “anything” means legitimately anything. Bosses, elites, even Diablo himself are all subject to one-hit deaths once your Smite, Holy Shield, and Fanaticism have all been maximized.
7 – Fist of the Heavens
The “FoHer” is a particularly terrifying build because of who is in its sights. It’s average against demons and monsters, but the point is to use it in PvP. Once in combat, it’s wise for enemy players to head for the hills.
Fist of the Heavens itself is a point-and-zap ability that minimizes the worry about missing your targets. Afterward, the ground nearby has electrified bolts that travel in random directions. It’s not even safe to be on the same screen with a Paladin that has this build.
6 – Avenger
The biggest issue with elemental attacks is that you will run into a target that is immune to the element. This poses a serious problem for casters but not for Paladins that consider themselves Avengers.
The right combination of Vengeance, Conviction, and Salvation come together to form a veritable Bermuda Triangle of death for enemy units. It is particularly effective against some of the more difficult elite enemies.
5 – Hammerdin
The Hammerdin is the bane against clusters of enemy targets. The investment is huge as it requires double-digit points in Blessed Hammer, Vigor, Blessed Aim, Concentration, and Holy Shield.
But once you have reached that stratosphere, it’s as simple as getting into the middle of the enemy, tossing a bunch of hammers, and watching them go to work. For groups of enemies, this one is the most fatal build.
4 – Zealot
The main attack of a Paladin is often underestimated due to the limitation of one-handed weapons when a shield is equipped. It’s a fair criticism of the class until you consider how the Zealot build completely negates this disadvantage.
This build option is quite cost-effective. By getting points into Zeal and Fanaticism early on, you’ll be set to take on any enemy in the game with a powerful main attack that can be spammed so quickly that the screen blurs.
3 – Cleric
If you’re in a group of players working together, the Cleric can be easily mistaken as making the party invincible for as long as it’s alive. The healing output essentially means that if an enemy can’t kill your friends in a single hit, they can’t kill them at all.
It’s expensive as it needs points in Holy Bolt, Prayer, Cleansing, Meditation, and Salvation. But once you’ve got about halfway into each, you’ll be prepared to lead even the most inept of allies through the depths of hell and keep them alive.
2 – Charger
There will necessarily be mixed feelings about the Charger. It’s not great at crowd control and enemies with thick armor and resistances won’t be phased. But it has to be this high on the list because of the tales of those who the technique has killed.
By using Charge with Fanaticism and then dropping Holy Freeze, Shock, and Shield, you’ll be able to kill any caster in the game. This includes player class units who will effectively die the instant the Paladin clicks the Charge button.
1 – Auradin
This is a very predictable choice for anybody who remembers Diablo 2 at its peak. The Thorns Aura became synonymous with an overpowered and broken mechanic in gaming. That happens when you return 1,210% of the melee damage you take. So after melee enemies (especially bosses) kill themselves in one-hit, you have to deal with the ranged enemies.
There’s an aura to deal with every type of ranged unit effectively. Is it easy? Yes. Is it fun? Also yes. There are videos of people beating the game without ever attacking as an Auradin. Doesn’t that say everything that you need to know?
NEXT: 10 Games To Play If You Like Diablo 2
- Diablo 2
Hodey Johns is a writer for Game Rant based out of the Rocky Mountains in North Ogden, Utah. He’s had a passion for video games and literature since he was a child growing up along the beach in San Diego, California. As a graduate of Theology from Liberty University, he puts his experience with religion, philosophy, and debate into his work. His other interests include sports, bike riding, and good old-fashioned barbecue.
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