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Paladin Leveling Guide

Paladin Leveling

Introduction

The Paladin Leveling Guide provides you with all the necessary information to get your favorite Character started!
Not every Skill is suitable to be used during early leveling for three reasons:

  • Only a number of Skills work well without any previously farmed gear.
  • A lot of builds lack damage during the leveling phase. It can become a big struggle or even straight up impossible to progress, starting with an end game build.
  • Some builds have a hard time transitioning into hell due to Immunities.

We provide you with step by step Skill trees and easily accessible items that help you in your play through. Additionally, you get tips and insights on how to deal with Immunities and the more difficult fights.

Gear used in this guide
Holy Fire
Blessed Hammer
Concentration
Charge

At the end of this guide you'll have a Level 75 Paladin that used 1 out of the 3 respecs the game provides. You can use these to transition into your build of choice.
If you like the build at the end of this guide, check out the Blessed Hammer Paladin Guide, which continues it to the end game.


Progression

Act 1 N<br>(Up to LVL 13)
Use the Slider for visual Skill Progression

Skill Point Allocation

Level 2: Might
Level 3: Sacrifice
Den of Evil: Resist Fire
Level 4-5: Resist Fire
Level 6-9: Holy Fire
Level 10: Smite
Level 11: Save Skill Point!
Level 12: Charge + Zeal
Level 13: Holy Fire

Attribute Allocation

Level 2-5: All into Vitality
Level 6: 1 into Dexterity, rest Vitality
Level 7-11: All into Vitality
Level 12-13: All into Energy


Playstyle & Progression

  • Clear out the Den of Evil and pick up items to sell, like Rings, Amulets, Charms, etc. Start using Might at Level 2 and Sacrifice against tanky monsters at Level 3.
  • Return to town, sell the items to Charsi and purchase a Scepter and equip it. Buy some Life, and Stamina Potions. Add both the Tome of Town Portal, and the Tome of Identify if possible.
  • Important: Pick up every Chipped Gem you come across and put them into your Stash. You need them to re-roll Magic Scepters later. Also check all Rings and Amulets for +10% Faster Cast Rate.
  • Pick up Paladin Shields and check them for 3 Sockets and Resistances.
  • From this point onwards, Elite Groups are your primary focus when it comes to killing monsters. Don't waste your time with individual monsters. They grant far less Experience!
  • At Level 6, equip Strangling Gas Potions into your second Weapon-Swap and throw before you engage Elite Groups. Activate Holy Fire and equip a scimitar in the main Weapon Swap.
  • Fight your way to the Black Marsh. Find the Waypoint and start farming The Countess inside the Forgotten Tower for the Runes listed in Gear Checklist. Put the Runes into your Stash for storage.
    Check Charsi for the 2 Socketed Body Armor, and 2 Socketed Helmet at the start of each run. Also look for a 2 Socketed Scimitar to create Steel at Level 13. This optional Runeword increases your damage output until the respec, but the el rune is fairly rare, even from The Countess.
  • At Level 12 you gain access to zeal and Charge. zeal becomes your primary attack while Charge is used for mobility. Be ready for the high Mana cost of Charge by filling up your inventory with Potions.
  • After acquiring all Runes, make your way to the Catacombs Level 4, where you face the first Act boss, Andariel - Maiden of Anguish.

Gear Checklist

ItemWhereNote
ScepterShop at Akara
after the Den of Evil
-
2 Socketed ScimitarShop at Charsi
or drop from monsters
A 2 Socketed Scimitar is used for steel
Make sure that it is NOT a Magic Item.
Chipped GemsDrop from monsters / chestsUsed for re-rolling Magic Scepters later.
Rings and AmuletsDrop from monsters / chestsCheck them for +10% Faster Cast Rate.
Strangling Gas PotionsDrop from monsters / chestsTip: Their Quantity can be restored to maximum by selling and repurchasing them from a Vendor.
Paladin ShieldsDrop from monsters / chestsThis Shield is used for Ancient's Pledge.
2 2 Socketed HelmetShop at Charsi
or drop from monsters
The first Helmet is used to put Ral Runes into. The second one is used for the Runeword Lore later on.
Make sure that one of them is NOT a Magic Item for the latter.
Any
2 Socketed Body Armor
Shop at Charsi
or drop from monsters
This Body Armor is used for the Runeword Stealth later on. Make sure that it is NOT a Magic Item.
Steel ScimitarCreate from Stash / InventoryCreate Steel if you acquired the Runes.
Mandatory:
1 Tal Rune
1 Eth Rune
Farm at The CountessThese Runes are used later for:
- Stealth
Optional:
1-2 Ral Runes
1 Tir Rune
1 El Rune
Farm at The CountessIf acquired, these Runes are used for:
- Gemmed Cap
- Steel
Act 2 - 3 N<br>(Up to LVL 19)
Use the Slider for visual Skill Progression

Skill Point Allocation

Level 14-15: Holy Fire
Radament: Resist Fire
Level 16-19: Holy Fire

Attribute Allocation

Level 14-19: All into Vitality


Playstyle & Progression

  • Enter Lut Gholein and pick up a Belt from Farah.
  • Kill Radament and make your progress through Act 2. Continue to use Charge to move around and zeal to kill monsters.
  • After picking up the Horadric Cube, use it to re-roll Magic Scepters. Go back to Act 1 and buy them for 750 or less Gold. Put 1 Magic Scepter and 3 Chipped Gems into the cube and hit "Transmute". Don't re-roll it multiple times unless it doesn't receive any +x to Skills!
  • The main target is +x to Blessed Hammer. If you don't hit it, sell them for Gold and purchase a Scepter with it.
  • Create Stealth at Level 17 and put the Ral Runes into your Helmet at Level 19.
  • The Holy Fire Aura works really well until the end of Act 3. Afterwards, it drops of quite a bit due to the high Fire Resistances of monsters. Use your respec (see next tab) before you kill Mephisto. The fight is a lot easier with Blessed Hammer because you can avoid his spells, and you are unaffected by the chill you receive when hit by his ice-ball.

Gear Checklist

What?Where?Note
StealthCreate from Stash / InventoryCreate this Armor at Level 17 and equip it.
Gemmed CapCreate from Stash / InventoryPut Ral Runes into your Helmet for Fire Resistances.
Scepter
or
Scepter
Re-Roll with Gems.
Purchase from Drognan
Use the horadric cube to re-roll Scepters. If you don't hit +x to blessed hammer, shop for it at Drognan.
Act 4 - Act 1 NM<br>(Respec to LVL 35)
Use the Slider for visual Skill Progression

Respec

Combat

Blessed Hammer - 2 Skill Points
Charge - 1 Skill Point

Offensive Auras

Concentration - 2 Skill Points
Blessed Aim - 8 Skill Point

Defensive Auras

Vigor - 2 Skill Points

Skill Point Allocation

Level 20-36: Blessed Hammer
Izual: Vigor + Blessed Aim

Attribute Allocation

Allocate 18 Stat Points into Strength. Put remaining Stat Points into Vitality. You may need more Strength, if you are using a Broadsword for Spirit.


Playstyle & Progression

  • Using Blessed Hammer takes some getting used to. Always activate concentration before you cast the first hammers. When you are faced with high density or dangerous enemies, cast some hammers and drag your enemies into the created "hammer field".
  • Continue through the campaign by killing Izual and Diablo in Act 4. Complete all Quests apart from Nihlathak (Quest 4) in Act 5. Keep the Socket reward for later.
  • When you reach Level 20, go to Act 3 and shop for a Staff of Teleportation at Ormus. Use a Waypoint you pick up along the way and re-enter Kurast Docks through a Town Portal to reset his inventory. You only need to check Staves with a red background because the Level required for it is 24, meaning you can't equip it right now.
  • After killing Baal, open up The Secret Cow Level and look for a Crystal Sword or Broad Sword while Leveling up to 25. Equip the Battle Staff of Teleportation when you hit Level 24. Once you have a Sword Base for Spirit, use your Act 5 Quest 1 reward to socket it. Then kill the Waves in the Throne of Destruction to reach Level 26 before entering Nightmare difficulty.
  • Start looking for Paladin Shields in Nightmare and keep the one with the highest Resistances you can find. It is used for a Spirit in Act 5 Nightmare.
  • Clear the Den of Evil and make your way to the Black Marsh. Farm the Runes listed in the Gear Checklist. Create Lore for your helmet and Spirit as soon as possible. Keep an additional set of Runes for Spirit to create as soon as possible.
  • Kill Andariel to get to Act 2.

Gear Checklist

What?Where?Note
Crystal SwordDrop from
The Secret Cow Level
Create Crystal Sword with your Socket Quest reward.
Garnet Belt of the ColossusShop at Charsi or Gheed
in Nightmare
Shop for a Belt with Resistances.
Lightning and Fire are your priority.
Life can be a nice bonus.
Garnet Heavy GlovesShop at Charsi or Gheed
in Nightmare
Shop for Gloves with Resistances.
Lightning and Fire are your priority.
Ocher Heavy Boots of HasteShop at Charsi or Gheed
in Nightmare
Shop for Boots with +x% Faster Run/Walk.
Resistances are a nice bonus.
Lightning and Fire are your priority.
LoreCreate from Stash / InventoryCreate and equip as soon as the Runes are acquired.
SpiritCreate from Stash / InventoryCreate and equip as soon as the Runes are acquired.
Akaran TargeDrop from monsters / Chests in NightmareUsed to create Spirit later. Add Sockets with the Nightmare reward in Act 5 if necessary.
Staff of TeleportationShop from OrmusShop this Staff between Level 20 and 23. This reduces the amount of Staves you need to check down to those with a red background.
Mandatory:
2 Tal Runes
2 Thul Runes
3 Ort Runes
2 Amn Runes
1 Sol Rune
Farm at The Countess
in Nightmare
These Runes are used for:
- Spirit
- Spirit
- Lore
Act 2 NM - Act 5 H<br>(Up to LVL 76)
Use the Slider for visual Skill Progression

Skill Point Allocation

Level 36-37: blessed hammer
Radament: Vigor
Level 38-43: Vigor
Izual: Concentration + Vigor

Level 44-76 including Skill Quests:
Alternate between Concentration and Vigor until Vigor is maxed out. Then alternate between Concentration and blessed aim. Max out blessed aim after Concentration is maxed out.

Note: After maxing out Blessed Hammer the goal is to have the sum of Skill Points put into Synergies 12 higher than the total Skill Level of Concentration including items. While alternating, put the Skill Points into the Synergy first.

Attribute Allocation

Allocate Stat Points into Strength if you need it for your Spirit. Put remaining Stat Points into Vitality.


Playstyle & Progression

  • Use teleport to get through the Maggot Lair. Blessed Hammer is hard to use in narrow areas with walls.
  • Everywhere else, continue to use the strategy of casting blessed hammer with concentration active.
  • Progress through Nightmare and create your Spirit Targe as soon as you completed Quest 1 in Act 5. You are done with your gear at this point and guaranteed to reach the 75% Faster Cast Rate (FCR) Breakpoint. With 2 Rings of the Apprentice, an Amulet of the Apprentice and both Spirits rolled with 35% Faster Cast Rate, you can even reach the next Breakpoint at 125% FCR. Use the Ring and Amulet slot for Resistances / +x to Skills if you don't reach that value.
  • blessed hammer only faces 1 monster that is Immune to Magic that we need to kill. Wave 2 in the Throne of Destruction spawns Unravelers. Patch 2.4 removed the best way to deal with them, as holy bolt has lost its synergy from blessed hammer. Lure away the Skeleton mages and kill them out of revive-range of the Unravelers. Then move behind the Unravelers and use charge to knock them out of the room. If you target the Boss Achmel first, then his minions might follow him out of the Throne.

Gear Checklist

What?Where?Note
Spirit TargeCreate from Stash / InventoryPick up Paladin Shields and use the Act 5 Quest 1 reward to add 4 Sockets to the Shield with the highest Resistances.

Essentials

Hardcore

All of our Leveling Guides are viable for Hardcore.
Changes to consider:

  • Over Level before you enter Nightmare / Hell. Suggested Target Levels are ~38-40 for Nightmare and 65+ for Hell.
  • Make sure to have your Cold, Fire, and Lightning Resistances capped at 75% when you enter Nightmare and Hell. The easy way to check this is to enter the difficulty you want to play and open your Character screen.
    • We recommend farming Flayer Jungle or The Secret Cow Level in Nightmare for Charms. They make it easy to cap your Resistances.

Gear Options

With a shared stash now available and the fact that this might not be your first Character we want to give you some gear options that can improve your Leveling experience a lot!

Until Level 18:

  • Blood Crescent Scimitar can be an alternative to Steel early on.
  • Death's Hand + Death's Guard provides you with 30% Increased Attack Speed, All Resistances +15%, and Cannot be Frozen. These are incredible Stats while physically attacking.
  • Bloodfist is a great option for the entire leveling procress, providing +40 to Life, +10% Increased Attack Speed, and +30% Faster Hit Recovery.

After Level 18 respec:

  • Spectral Shard, and Suicide Branch are great alternatives to Spirit Crystal Sword.
  • Skin of the Vipermagi is the best Body Armor you can equip on any caster for Leveling.
  • Magefist gives you 20% Faster Cast Rate which helps improving your Cast Rate for Blessed Hammer, if a Breakpoint is achieved.
  • A rare Amulet with +x to Paladin Skills or +x to Combat Skills (Paladin Only) is very powerful. Unique options for the Amulet are The Eye of Etlich and later a Maras Kaleidoscope.
  • Hsarus' Iron Heel and Sander's Riprap are strong options for the Boots slot. Both provide you with Faster Run/Walk and are very common drops.
  • The Stone of Jordan provides you with +1 to All Skills, which scales our damage up significantly. It's a rather expensive option, but if you have one, put it on!

Farming Spots at Level 75+

The areas below are efficient farming locations that make use of the build’s strengths. Other farming spots might not be as effective due to immunities or bad layouts.

Act 1

AreaRewards
The CountessRunes
Key of Terror
The PitAll Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
AndarielUniques
Sets
Jewelry
The Secret Cow LevelRunes
Runeword Bases
Charms / Gems / Jewels

Act 2

AreaRewards
Arcane Sanctuary
(Specters/Super Chests)
Runes
Charms / Gems / Jewels
Jewelry
SummonerKey of Hate

Act 3

AreaRewards
TravincalGearing
Runes
Charms / Gems / Jewels
Gold
MephistoUniques
Sets

Act 4

AreaRewards
Chaos SanctuaryAll Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
DiabloUniques
Sets
Leveling

Act 5

AreaRewards
Eldritch the RectifierGearing
Gold
Leveling
Shenk the OverseerGearing
Gold
Leveling
PindleskinGearing
Gold
Leveling
Worldstone Keep / Throne of DestructionAll Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Baal / WavesUniques
Sets
Max Area Level
Leveling

Video


Summary

  • Use a Scimitar for its high Attack Speed while using Holy Fire.
  • Cast Blessed Hammer only while you have Concentration active.
  • Pick up all Paladin Shields to check them for high All Resistances, 3 Sockets (in Normal) and 4 Sockets (in Nightmare)!
  • Farm The Countess in Normal and Nightmare for the key Runewords. Be careful with the item bases you buy from the vendors. Runewords do NOT work in Magic Items!
  • Buy a Staff of Teleportation before Level 24.

We hope the Paladin Guide helps you to get to your endgame build of choice. As soon as you get access to Blessed Hammer, there is basically no enemy that can stay alive for long!

Good luck!


Credits

Written by Teo1904
Reviewed by MacroBioBoi


Changelog

Sep 25th 2022
Fixed formatting issues

Mar 19th 2022
Overhauled and Updated to Patch 2.4