Flickering Flame Rune Word Guide in Diablo II Resurrected

Last updated on Mar 07, 2022 at 15:26 by Azariah 10 comments

This page covers the Rune Word Flickering Flame in Diablo 2 Resurrected and provides information on the Runes needed, Bonuses it gives, Base Items to use, and Builds to use it with. It requires Patch 2.4 or later.


Flickering Flame - Runes Required

The Rune Word Flickering Flame requires three runes, Nef Rune Nef Rune, Pul Rune Pul Rune, and Vex Rune Vex Rune placed in that order. Vex is the highest level rune required, making this Rune Word usable by Players from Level 55.

Flickering Flame
Nef Rune Icon Nef
Pul Rune Icon Pul
Vex Rune Icon Vex

3-socket Helms

Required Level: 55

Individual Rune Bonuses

+30 Defense vs. Missile (Nef Rune)

+30% Enhanced Defense (Pul Rune)

+5% to Maximum Fire Resist (Vex Rune)

Rune Word Bonuses

+3 to Fire Skills

Level (4-8) Resist Fire Aura When Equipped

-(10-15)% to Enemy Fire Resistance

+(50-75) to Mana

Half Freeze Duration

Poison Length Reduced by 50%


Finding the Runes

The table below shows which area the required runes start dropping from normal monsters and containers, any quests, and the Countess Rune drop. The Countess is found on Level 5 of the Forgotten Tower in the Black Marsh.

  • Nef - Act 2 Normal, Normal Hellforge, Countess in all difficulties;
  • Pul - Act 4 Nightmare, Nightmare & Hell Hellforge, Countess in Hell;
  • Vex - Act 1 Hell.

Vex runes cannot drop from the Hellforge quest in Hell, as the highest rune it can give is Gul Rune Gul Rune with a 1 in 11 chance. Two Gul runes can be upgraded to the required Vex Rune using the Horadric Cube. Being able to drop a Pul rune (with a 1 in 11 chance) in both Nightmare and Hell difficulty, and the chance of a Gul rune makes the Hellforge quest very useful for getting the runes for Flickering Flame.

For more information about finding and farming Runes, you can refer to our Rune Finding guide using the link below.


MrLlamaSC's Flickering Flame Rune Word Video

We have a video created by MrLlamaSC discussing the new Rune Word Flickering Flame.


Flickering Flame - Bonuses

Like all Rune Words, Flickering Flame gives additional bonuses to the ones granted by the Runes used to make it. These are all the bonuses Flickering Flame gives.

  • Level 8 Resist Fire Resist Fire Aura When Equipped - This bonus gives +106% Fire Resist to the player, and all party members and pets. Currently does not appear to grant the +8% to Maximum Fire Resist that this Skill gives a Paladin using it;
  • +3 to Fire Skills - Works for Fire Skills of any Class, giving a big boost to any Fire Skills;
  • -13% to Enemy Fire Resistance - Makes monsters take additional damage from Fire. Only effects Fire damage done by the wearer, not allies, pets, or traps, although does work with Hydra Hydra. Does not work on Fire Immune monsters, but if the immunity is broken by another effect like Conviction Conviction or Lower Resist Lower Resist, then it will reduce the resistance further;
  • +%30 Enhanced Defense - Increases the Defense value of the base item. Not a large increase, but still helpful;
  • +30 Defense vs Missile - Small increase to Defense against missles, not really important;
  • +88 Mana - Increases Mana total and regeneration rate, especially useful when using skills with high mana costs;
  • +5% to Maximum Fire Resist - Can increase Fire Resistance above the normal 75% limit, but cannot increase it beyond 95%. Stacks with the same bonus from other Skills or Items;
  • Half Freeze Duration - Good defensive bonus, halving the time of slowing effects of cold damage to the wearer;
  • Poison Length Reduced to 50% - Halves the time poison effects last. As it does not change the rate poison damage is applied, it also halves the total damage applied by the poison attack. For example 100 poison damage over 4 seconds would be modified to 50 damage over 2 seconds.

The most important bonuses on this Rune Word are +3 Fire Skills and -13% Enemy Fire Resistance. Both provide a significant damage boost to Fire based skills. The +5% to Maximum Fire Resist is a very strong defensive bonus and there are only a few options for increasing maximum resistance. Reaching the 95% Fire Resist limit can make even the strongest fire attacks easy to survive.

The huge fire resist is very helpful, and party friendly. The Rune Word Spirit made in a shield is a good choice for many Spell casting builds, and has good resists, but no Fire Resist, making this particularly useful for builds using a Spirit shield.


Flickering Flame - Base Items

Flickering Flame can be made in any grey 3 socket Helm, including Barbarian Helms and Druid Pelts. As it provides only a small Enhanced Defense Bonus, the defense value of the Helm used is not very important.

Barbarian Helms and Druid Pelts can have a +1-3 bonus to up to 3 different skills, making them a good option if used with those Classes. Checking Barbarian Helms and Druid Pelts that drop for useful skills is recommended.

If a white Barbarian Helm or Druid Pelt drops that has useful skills but no sockets, the Horadric Cube recipe Ral Rune Ral Rune + Thul Rune Thul Rune + Perfect Sapphire can be used to add 1-3 sockets, and has a 4 in 6 chance of giving the 3 sockets required. Using the quest reward from Larzuk in Act 5 for completing Siege on Harrogath will also give 3 sockets for Druid Pelts found in Act4 Normal Difficulty and later.


Flickering Flame - Levels and Builds

Flickering Flame is usable from Level 55. For builds focusing on Fire damage, it is recommended up to the highest character Levels. The combination of good damage boost and strong defensive bonuses make it a good choice for many builds. Builds who are less focused on Fire Damage may wish to consider a Helm that gives +2 to All skills, giving a slightly weaker Fire damage in return for stronger alternative skills.

The Fire Druid is a build that can get the most from Flickering Flame. A Druid Pelt with +3 to the skill Fissure and Volcano would make a very effective helm, giving +6 to the main skills of this build. Along with the enemy resistance reduction this will give a huge damage increase. Highly recommended.

The Fireball Sorceress Build or Meteor / Frozen Orb Sorceress (Meteor) Build will both do very well with this Helm. A Ranged Enchantress would get a large increase to fire damage with Flickering Flame. The Enchantress Sorceress could get good use from it, but should switch to Dream when available.

Flickering Flame could be a good option for an Amazon build using Exploding Arrow Exploding Arrow or Immolation Arrow Immolation Arrow. Paladins using the Holy Fire Holy Fire Aura would also find this helm effective, but melee damage bonus Helms like Guillaume's Face Guillaume's Face would be more effective, and much easier to get.

Although Fire Trap Assassins would not get benefit from the Enemy Fire Resist reduction for the Wake of Fire or Wake of Inferno traps, it would apply to the Fire Blast skill, and all of these skills would benefit from the +3 Fire Skills.

Act 1 Rogue Scout Mercenaries using Fire Skills could find Flickering Flame helpful, giving a good damage increase. Act 3 Iron Wolf Mercenaries using Fire Skills would also get a good damage increase from Flickering Flame. Both these Mercenaries are not often recommended, as they are usually less effective than the Aura giving Act 2 Mercenaries. It is not recommended to using a Vex Rune for this, but could be an option if you already have a Flickering Flame not in use.



  • 07 Mar. 2022: Guide added.
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