Paladin Overview



The Paladin has a deep spiritual connection, so deep, in fact, that he is capable of unleashing heavenly powers upon his enemies. With a set of Defensive and Offensive Auras, the Paladin brings large amounts of utility to himself and his allies.

In the early game, Holy Fire is the go-to Aura that allows the Paladin to crush his enemies until Act 4 Normal. At this point it starts falling off, if he doesn't have access to decent gear.

This is where the all mighty Blessed Hammer and concentration combo comes into play. This combination clears the campaign with ease, requiring little to no gear to do so.

The Paladin also has Smite, the ultimate ability for killing the Ubers. It makes him capable of killing them using as little as 2 easily accessible items (Black and a Wand of Life Tap). Every other item slot is simply filled up with Resistances.

His biggest weakness is the lack of variety in strong early game builds, which he makes up with incredibly strong melee builds in the late game. These builds require a lot of gear to succeed, though!


Every Character has the Attributes Strength, Dexterity, Vitality and Energy. At maximum Level, y Character has access to 505 Stat Points, which can be allocated into the Attributes. While Vitality only affects the Life pool and Energy only affects the Mana pool of your Character, Strength and Dexterity have additional uses:

Generally, Stat Points are only allocated to this Attribute to wear your gear, however, Strength has an additional use: it increases the Physical Damage portion of melee attacks.

Generally, Stat Points are only allocated to this Attribute to wear your gear, however, Dexterity has 4 additional uses:

  • It increases the % Chance to Block up to 75 while using a Shield.
  • The Attack Rating of every attack is increased, improving the Chance to hit your target.
  • Every 4th Stat Point into Dexterity increases the base Defense of the Character by 1.
  • On ranged builds, Dexterity increased the Physical Damage portion of your attacks.

Starting Attributes of the Paladin

Baseper Levelper Stat Point
Life55+2+3 per Vitality
Stamina89+1+1 per Vitality
Mana15+1.+1.5 per Energy


Breakpoints are an integral way to improve your Character's performance. For in-depth explanations on them, please check out our article on Breakpoints.

Attack Rate

Due to his Skill set, Attack Speed is a Breakpoint the Paladin cares about in certain builds. Due to the complexity, Attack Speed would go beyond the scope of this post. Check out the d2planner to simulate your Breakpoints.

Block Rate

When using a Shield, the Paladin has a % Chance to Block. When successfully blocking, he enters a block animation. Increasing your +% Faster Block Rate decreases the time your Paladin needs to execute it.

Without Holy Shield:

Faster Block Rate0133286
Block Frames5432

With Holy Shield:

Faster Block Rate086
Block Frames21

Cast Rate

The Paladin's Cast Rate determines the rate at which he can use spells. Increasing your +% Faster Cast Rate decreases the time required for a cast. The Action Flag determines at which Frame the used Skill is actually triggered.

Faster Cast Rate0915183039487586125
Cast Frames1514131211109
Action Flags9876

Hit Recovery Rate

When being hit, there is a chance that you get stunned. Increasing your +% Faster Hit Recovery decreases the time your Paladin needs to recover from this stun.

Spears and Staves:

Faster Hit Recovery0371320324875129280
Hit Recovery Frames13121110987654

Other Weapons:

Faster Hit Recovery0715274886200
Hit Recovery Frames9876543

Skill Trees

Every Character has 3 Skill Trees to allocate their Skill Points into. Each Skill Tree consists of a total of 10 Skills, and you can assign a maximum of 20 points per Skill. These Skills are placed into 6 rows, which represent the 6 Skill tiers. While tier 1 is available at Character Level (clvl) 1, the other tiers become available at clvl 6, 12, 18, 24, and 30.

Skill Points
Every Character gains access to 110 Skill Points (98 from Levels and 12 from quests).

Not every Skill is available right away. The arrows on the Skill Tree show the prerequisites needed to obtain skills further down the Tree.
Example: You have to put a Skill Point into Prayer and Cleansing to gain access to Meditation.

A lot of Skills have Synergies, which are Skills that passively boost the strength of another Skill. The main Skill shows how much a Synergy increases its power per Skill Point allocated into it.
Example: The base Magic Damage of Blessed Hammer is increased by a summed up multiplier which increases by 14% for each Skill Point allocated into Blessed Aim, and Vigor.

Build Guides

The Paladin has a variety of builds to choose from:

Griswold's Legacy

Griswold's Legacy is the Elite Set, which was exclusively designed for the Paladin. This Set mostly aims at melee combat. The Weapon, Helmet and Shield are all very rare, making the Set the hardest to collect. Long term, this Set becomes obsoleted by setups that focus on a combination of Uniques and Runewords.

Character Specific Gear

Every Character has exclusive items that only it can use. For the Paladin, these are Auric Shields. They can spawn with All Resistances +5-45 or with 10-65% Enhanced Damage and +15-121 to Attack Rating, depending on their Affix Level. In addition to the Auric Shields, the Paladin benefits from Staff mods on the non Character specific Weapon type "Scepters".

Base Items



  • Scepter
  • Grand Scepter
  • War Scepter


  • Rune Scepter
  • Holy Water Sprinkler
  • Divine Scepter


  • Mighty Scepter
  • Seraph Rod
  • Caduceus

Auric Shields


  • Targe
  • Rondache
  • Heraldic Shield
  • Aerin Shield
  • Crown Shield


  • Akaran Targe
  • Akaran Rondache
  • Protector Shield
  • Gilded Shield
  • Royal Shield


  • Sacred Targe
  • Sacred Rondache
  • Kurast Shield
  • Zakarum Shield
  • Vortex Shield

Set and Unique Items



  • Knell Striker
  • Rusthandle
  • Stormeye
  • Civerb's Cudgel
  • Milabrega's Rod


  • Zakarum's Hand
  • The Fetid Sprinkler
  • Hand of the Blessed Light


  • The Redeemer
  • Heaven's Light
  • Astreon's Iron Ward
  • Griswold's Redemption

Auric Shields


  • Herald of Zakarum


  • Alma Negra
  • Dragonscale
  • Griswold's Honor

Lore & In-Game dialogue

In this section you will find the lore of the Paladin as well as the in-game dialogue he uses while travelling through Sanctuary.


During the mid-twelfth century, after the Church of Zakarum had gained prominence in the East, the Church decreed that the visions of Akarat would be spread throughout the known world in order to redeem the masses. Thus, the Church selected a group of its most charismatic and devoted priests and sent them on a mission to proselytize the people of the West.
Unfortunately, the Church had not prepared these men for the rigors of travel nor the hazards of the world. The priests who survived their missions recounted tales of harsh weather, inadequate supplies, attacks from bandits and even encounters with horrible monsters. To ensure the success of future missions, the Church set about training holy warriors, Paladins, to accompany and safeguard their missionaries. In practice, these "Protectors of the Word" proved to be more successful at converting the native peoples than the Priests that they were assigned to defend. Impressing the locals with daring deeds, powerful weapons, and martial prowess was far more convincing than the condemnations of a soft-spoken monk. However, once the Word had been spread to every major city of the West, the "Protectors of the Word" faded from public view.
Some decades later, Paladins were again called into service. During the height of the Time of Troubles, the Church commenced a second campaign of conversion. This time, however, the inconvincible were deemed evil. The Zakarum Inquisition spread through the lands like a tempest, laying waste to all suspected of demonic possession or corruption. Leading this crusade was a new generation of Paladins, known as the "Hand of Zakarum." These cavaliers of righteousness swept through the lands, expunging the taint of demonic contamination wherever they found it.
In the midst of this bloody crusade, a rebellion arose within the ranks of the Paladins of Zakarum. The rebels condemned the methods of the Inquisition, proclaiming that the new Order of Paladins should protect the innocent, and that the evil corruption was rooted in their forebear's failure. They resolved to fight the true source of corruption, the Three Prime Evils - Diablo, Baal and Mephisto. And so, these rebellious Paladins left their Zakarum brethren and ventured west.

Act 1

Blood Moor (Entering)
Den of Evil (Entering)
Den of Evil (All monsters killed)
Burial Grounds (Entering)
Blood Raven (After Kill)
Cairn Stones (Clicking one)
Tree of Inifuss (Clicking it)
Tristram (Entering)
Deckard Cain (Saving in Tristram)
Forgotten Tower (Entering)
The Countess (After Kill)
Monastery Gate (Entering)
Horadric Malus (Picking up)
Jail (Entering)
Catacombs (Entering)
Andariel (After Kill)

"I will cleanse this wilderness."
"Evil dwells within this cave."
"My duty here is done."
"This holy place has been desecrated."
"Sisters, there was no other way."
"Maybe Akara could dispel the mystery of these stones."
"This tree bristles with magic."
"What a tragic end to Tristram."
"Deckard Cain, leave quickly!"
"This tower shall be cleansed of evil."
"I've earned the right to this abandoned trove."
"Even the Light cannot pierce this gloom."
"This will help the Sisters turn the tide against evil."
"This is no place for a warrior to die."
"There is great evil here."
"My work here is finished."

Act 2

Lut Gholein Sewers (Entering)
Radament (After Kill)
Claw Viper Temple (Entering)
Tainted Sun Altar (Clicking it)
Arcane Sanctuary (Entering)
The Summoner (After Kill)
Tyrael (After talking to him)

"The foul stench of evil assails me."
"I pray that Atma will rest easy now."
"Light, guide my way in this accursed place."
"The Light can never be extinguished by evil."
"This surely is the product of a twisted mind."
"Rest in peace, tortured soul."
"I shall honor Tal Rasha's sacrifice by destroying all the Prime Evils."

Act 3

Jade Figurine (After picking up)
The Gidbinn (After picking up)
Lam Esen's Tome (complete quest)
High Council of Zakarum (After Kill)
Mephisto (After Kill)

"Perhaps I could trade this for something more valuable."
"This blade shall pierce the heart of evil."
"May the Black Book deliver us from evil."
"The temple shall shine anew with the Light."
"The Lord of Hatred shall darken the world no longer."

Act 4

Izual (After Kill)
Diablo (After Kill)

"How can one, who was once so holy, fall so far from righteousness?"
"Let Diablo's death end the reign of the three."

Act 5

Bloody Foothills (Entering)
Shenk the Overseer (After Kill)
Frigid Highlands (Saved Soldiers)
Nihlathak's Temple (Entering)
Nihlathak (After Kill)
Arreat Summit (Entering)
Worldstone Chamber (Entering)
Baal (After Kill)

"Baal, I'm coming for you."
"Harrogath is free of your kind, demon."
"Follow me."
"By the Light, what is this place?"
"Nihlathak, what led you to this end?"
"The Summit, the Barbarian holy ground."
"The Worldstone. Praise the Light."
"Baal, you shall no longer taint this mortal realm."


Written by Teo1904
Reviewed by Facefoot


Sep 21st 2022
Fixed formatting issues