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Dreg(OD)

The Holy Fire Zealer: Kickstart Build

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   Every time I make a new paladin and there's no immediate grush/chant+Ravenclaw to expect, or I'm playing paladin on single player, or it's a fresh new ladder, I use this build to kickstart. Okay, so I basically start every pally this way lol. This is also an extremely good way to make a fast bumper as well.

Why? Well, I'm going to be honest, I think the Hammerdin is overall the best character to start out with. They're the jack of all trades and master of rushing once you get Enigma. They may not have the ideal amount of Magic Find, but they don't have to deal with immunes and aren't squishy like the Sorceress.

What's this have to do with a Holy Fire Zealer? Just because you're making a Hammerdin, doesn't mean you have to start out as one to get to the ideal level to respec. That's why I'm calling it a kickstart build.

So, why Holy Fire? Well, the low level paladins main weakness is that it only has single-target skills to work with. So hacking away monsters 1 by 1 can be both inefficient and ineffective. This means that the overall effectiveness in PvM is heavily dependent on the damage of their weapon. This poses a problem, because no one wants their characters progress stunted because they're having too much trouble finding a good weapon. This is where Holy Fire comes in. After you get just 3 points into it, you can rely on it entirely for your damage and focus on just using the fastest attack weapon possible. The amount of Fire Damage seems low, but when you put enough focus on attack speed, the DPS outshines what looks like lackluster damage.

When you start, the first goal is to gather enough gold to buy a Scepter from Akara asap. The Scepter is hands-down the highest DPS weapon in Act 1 and all you need is 350-700 gold.

Level 2: 1 point into Might
Level 3: 1 point into Sacrifice
Level 4: Save your point
Level 5: Save your point
Level 6: 1 point into Holy Fire (2 unspent)
Level 7: 1 point into Holy Fire (2 unspent)
Level 8: 1 point into Holy Fire (2 unspent)
Level 9: 1 point into Holy Fire (2 unspent)
Level 10: 1 point into Holy Fire (2 unspent)
Level 11: 1 point into Holy Fire (2 unspent)
Level 12: 1 point into Holy Fire and 1 of your saved point into Zeal
Level 13: 1 point into Holy Fire and your last saved point into Zeal

Now that you're level 13, this is where this build REALLY starts to shine. Because now you can use Steel and soon Bone Shield of Deflection (Highest block %/Rate and easily shop-able from Drognan) once you get to Act 2. You can also shop your 2 socket Flail from Fara in Act 2. Then you can farm Countess for Tir El and that shouldn't take too long. A Steel Flail on this build is incredible and there's absolutely no other weapon at this level that comes even close to it until Act 3's War Hammers are an option (And even then, Steel is still better). This is because the flail already has decent high-end damage and has the fastest attack speed of all weapons in the entire game, and Steel enhances both of those qualities with the added bonus of Open Wounds, lots of attack rating, and mana-on-kill to maintain Zeal.

Steelrw.png
Steelflail.png

Other items of interest to get the most out of this build are
Twitchthroe: 25% Attack Speed, block %, dex to enhance it further (As well as attack rating)
Sigon Helm + Sigon Gloves: 30% Attack Speed, lots of attack rating and a much needed 30 mana
Angelic Amulet + Angelic Rings: Lots of life and more attack rating than you could ever need

This build peaks at about levels 18-25 and hits its limit of viability at about level 35. I recommend respec'ing to whatever long-term build you were aiming for between 30 and 35. Not only is this (In my opinion) the fastest way to get to 30-35 on a din without outside help, but zealing your enemies into ashes with lightning fast attacks is satisfying and never seems to get old.
 

Edited by Dreg(OD)
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Sure do like the stuff you are posting.  Somebody will be able to use this and find it helpful!

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10 hours ago, Ray(OD) said:

I'd rather use Holy Freeze for the slow.

1. Holy Freeze is level 18
2. The damage on Holy Freeze is too low for the purpose of this build, which is to supplant weapon damage with aura damage at low levels

 

 

11 hours ago, HeartBound(OD) said:

I'd say to stop using holy fire in act 4, whatever level you are when you get there, unless you're running with a party

 

True, I mean you could respec at various milestones. I've respec'd as early as level 24. I was just saying that 30-35 would be the latest, as that's when Holy Fire's damage starts to really suck.

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I know the level req for Holy Freeze is 18. Usually when I walk a new Paladin I'll add one point into Holy Fire and most into Zeal and Sacrifice. Oh and I'll also toss a point into Blessed Aim for the passive AR bonus. This way attack rating becomes less of an issue and it will be easier to hit things. When I do start adding points into Holy Freeze not only will I get to slow monsters, but I can also shatter them too which is very useful on monsters that can be resummoned. 

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