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The best Diablo 2 Resurrected Paladin build

The skills, stats, and equipment you need to make the Hammerdin build

A paladin appears in the Diablo 2: Resurrected character selection screen.

Want to know what the best Paladin build is in Diablo 2 Resurrected? As one of the seven Diablo 2 Resurrected classes, the Paladin is a defensive class that can buff himself with auras. These auras can grant resistances to enemy blows, improve his attacks, and even heal or buff allies or hirelings in the party.

You may be coming back to Diablo 2 after many years, so to catch up on the basics, take a look at our Diablo 2 Resurrected beginner’s guide. By the time you’re thinking about making the best Paladin build, you will have some ideas about how the equipment works. The Paladin has the highest health pool and strength stats of all the classes, but you can improve him further by speccing his attribute and skill points in a way that compliments the gear you can put on him.

We will break down everything you need to create the best Paladin build, from your skill points and stats to all the essential items you need. We’ll also explain everything you need to know about why this setup is so good for the Paladin class and explore more complicated details, such as Ethereal gear and equipping runes to make rune words.

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Diablo 2 Resurrected Paladin ‘Hammerdin’ build

The main idea behind this build is to smite your enemies with Blessed Hammer. It’s buffed massively by Vigor, Blessed Aim, and Concentration so that he can hit opponents for 15,000 damage per Blessed Hammer use. This damage output makes it one of the most popular builds in Diablo 2 Resurrected. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most expensive and difficult builds to create, thanks to the unique equipment and many rune words you need. However, it’s all worth doing. For example, the Enigma rune word allows the Paladin to teleport into a large mob of foes before smiting them with multiple Blessed Hammers.

The Hammerdin build is handy for getting friends through all the difficulty modes due to his high damage output. However, this build is also helpful for any Magic Find runs, which can help farm the right equipment for other Diablo 2 Resurrected builds.

In Magic Find runs, you equip items with a ‘% Better Chance Of Getting Magic Items’ perk to help your chances of getting new equipment. If you want to spec your build in this way, you can equip the Gheed’s Fortune charm, War Traveler boots, and any other items that give you better chances to get magic items. You can also insert the Ist rune into Wizardspike and a perfect topaz into a Shako for the weapons. It’s far easier to transfer equipment between characters in Diablo 2 Resurrected, so you no longer need a second person for Magic Find runs.

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Hammerdin stats

For this build, we only spend enough points in Strength to use the gear and enough points in Dexterity to reach the 75% chance to block. The rest of your stat points should go into vitality, and none should ever go into Energy.

Hammerdin skills

Here are all of the skills you need to level up for the Diablo 2 Resurrected Hammerdin build:

  • Blessed Hammer – 20
  • Vigor – 20
  • Blessed Aim – 20
  • Concentration – 20
  • Holy Shield – 20

Lightning is emerging from the Paladin's sword as he attacks the surrounding enemies in Diablo 2 Resurrected

Hammerdin equipment

You have a few options when it comes to setting up the gear. However, it’s worth noting a couple of things before we go into the equipment itself. First, you may have noticed that a lot of these items have sockets. Imbuing equipment with socketed items such as gems or runes is as easy as clicking on the gem or rune to move it in your inventory. Once you’ve picked it up, place it on top of the item you wish to socket. It is possible to remove gems and runes from weapons, but using the Diablo 2 Resurrected Horadric Cube recipe will destroy all of the socketed items at once.

Whenever a build asks you to create a rune word, this means you need to insert the runes into the item sockets in order. So, for example, to give an item the ‘Enigma’ rune word, you need to insert, in order, the Jan, Ith, and Ber runes into the item’s sockets. Doing so grants the teleport skill to the character the item is equipped to.

Finally, a lot of the equipment here has the Ethereal item flag. Ethereal grants a bonus to damage or defence, depending on whether it’s on a weapon or armour, and a ten-point reduction to any strength or dexterity requirements. However, the critical detail is that these items are self-repairing. If it breaks, the item will stay broken, with its durability remaining at zero. Unfortunately, ethereal items also have half the original durability, and their sale value is reduced by at least 75%.

Hammerdin max damage setup

  • Weapon – a decent flail with the Heart of the Oak rune word (Ko, Vex, Pul, Thul)
  • Shield – an upgraded Herald of Zakarum (Gilded shield). You can insert Um or Ber runes to the base version. Ethereal versions should have the Zod rune socketed, and if you invest no points in Holy Shield you can socket the Shael rune

Hammerdin fast cast rate setup

  • Weapon – Wizardspike or the Heart of the Oak Rune Word on a Faster Cast Rate ring.
  • Shield – an elite paladin shield with the All Resistance attribute, equipped with the Spirit rune word (Tal, Thul, Ort, and Amn)

Here are all the armor pieces you can equip to complete the Hammerdin build:

  • Helm – Harlequin Crest (Shako) with Um rune, Ber rune, or Perfect Topaz
  • Armor – Archon Plate, Dusk Shroud, or Mage Plate. Whichever one you go for, fill the sockets with the Enigma rune word (Jan, Ith, Ber)
  • Belt – Arachnid Mesh or Spiderweb Sash
  • Rings – Two Stone of Jordan or two Bul-Kathos’ Wedding Band or a mix of the two.
  • Amulet – Mara’s Kaleidoscope, or any amulet with Faster Cast Rate, +Paladin Skills, and +All Resistance perks
  • Gloves – Magefist or Chance Guards. If you’re going for a 125% faster cast rate setup, try Trang-Oul’s Claws
  • Boots – Ethereal Sandstorm Trek (Scarabshell boots), War Traveler (battle boots), or Waterwalk (Sharkskin boots)
  • Charms – Hellfire Torch and Annihilus

Hammerdin hireling

Your best bet for a hireling is the mercenary you can recruit in act two on Nightmare difficulty. Try to get the Holy Freeze aura as it periodically slows enemies nearby and deals cold damage. You should equip the following items onto this hireling:

  • Weapon – Ethereal Colossus Voluge (elite polearm) with Insight rune word (Ral, Tir, Tal, and Sol)
  • Armor – Ethereal armor with the Fortitude rune word (El, Sol, Dol, and Lo)
  • Helm – Ethereal Andarel’s Visage (Demonhead) with a Ral rune

The Colossus Voluge is primarily here for the four rune slots for the Insight rune word. Insight gives your hireling the Meditation perk that gives bonus mana recovery for all party members. Andarel’s Visage, on the other hand, is the best helm for a hireling in the game. It gives them additional strength, skills, life drain per hit, and attacking speed. By putting the Ral rune in this weapon, you’ll also give your hireling more fire damage and fire resistance.

That’s all of the equipment, stats, and skills you need to create the Hammerdin – the best Paladin build in Diablo 2 Resurrected. Of course, there are plenty of others, not just for the best Diablo 2 Resurrected Sorceress build, but for the other five classes too. We’ve got build guides for the Necromancer and the Barbarian too, and we’ll have builds for the rest of the classes soon.