Heart of the Oak Rune Word Guide in Diablo II Resurrected
This page covers the Rune Word Heart of the Oak in Diablo 2 and provides information on the Runes needed, Bonuses it gives, Base Items to use, and Builds to use it with.
Heart of the Oak - Runes Required
The Rune Word Heart of the Oak requires four runes, Ko Rune, Vex Rune, Pul Rune and Thul Rune placed in that order. Vex is the highest level rune required, making this Rune Word usable by Players from Level 55.
4-socket Staves / Maces
Required Level: 55Individual Rune Bonuses
+10 to Dexterity (Ko Rune)
7% Mana stolen per hit (Vex Rune)
+100 to Attack Rating against Demons (Pul Rune)
+75% Damage to Demons (Pul Rune)
Adds (Thul Rune)Rune Word Bonuses
+40% Faster Cast Rate
Level 4 Oak Sage (25/25 Charges)
Increase Maximum Mana 15%
+3 to All Skills
Replenish Life +20
All Resistances +(30-40)
Level 14 Raven (60/60 Charges)
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.
- Ko - Act 2 Nightmare, Nightmare & Hell Hellforge, Countess in Hell;
- Vex - Act 1 Hell;
- Pul - Act 4 Nightmare, Nightmare & Hell Hellforge, Countess in Hell;
- Thul - Act 4 Normal, Normal Hellforge,Countess in Nightmare & Hell.
Vex runes cannot drop from the Hellforge quest in Hell, as the highest rune it can give is 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 Ko or Pul rune (with a 1 in 11 chance of each) in both Nightmare and Hell difficulty, and the chance of a Gul rune makes the Hellforge quest very useful for getting the runes for Heart of the Oak.
For more information about finding and farming Runes, you can refer to our Rune Finding guide using the link below.
Heart of the Oak - Bonuses
Like all Rune Words, Lore gives additional bonuses to the ones granted by the Runes used to make it. These are all the bonuses Heart of the Oak gives.
- +3 to All Skills - Great bonus for any build, but especially for spell casting and summoning focused builds, where higher skill levels increase damage output. +3 is the highest value possible for All skills in a one handed item;
- +40% Faster Cast Rate - Good bonus for all spell casting builds, one of the higher possible values in a single item;
- +75% Damage to Demons - Extra Melee damage to Demons. Does not effect spells, so not important for this Rune Word;
- +100 to Attack Rating against Demons - Spells do not use Attack Rating, so not important for this Rune Word;
- Adds 3-14 cold damage - Added to Melee damage only, so not important for this Rune Word;
- 7% Mana stolen per hit - Does not work for Spells or Summoned Minions, so not important for this Rune Word;
- +10 to Dexterity - Increases Defense and Block Chance a small amount. Not very important for this Rune Word, although could help meet requirements for items;
- Replenish Life +20 - Helpful bonus which stacks with other skills and items with this property. Can Provide a small amount of constant health recovery, and offset the effects of poison damage;
- Increase Maximum Mana 15% - Increases Mana toal and regeneration rate, especially useful for spell casting builds;
- All Resistances +30 - +40 - Very strong defensive bonus, reducing damage taken from Fire, Cold, Lightning and Poison damage. Does not effect magic or physical damage. Each Heart of the Oak is given Random value from 30 to 40, fixed when the Runeword is created;
- Level 4 Oak Sage [Maximum 25 charges] - Gives the ability to Summon a Level 4 Oak Sage as the Druid Skill. The Level of the Oak Sage is not effected by +Skills items or other skills;
- Level 14 Raven [Maximum 60 charges] - Gives the ability to Summon up to 5 Raven at Level 14, as the Druid Skill. The Level of the Ravens is not effected by +Skills items or other skills;
The most important bonuses are the + All Skills, Faster Cast Rate, and All Resistances, all of which are high priority for any Spell Casting build. The Increased Maximum Mana is helpful, and can be combined with other items that have this bonus, for example Frostburn or Silkweave.
Oak Sage, which increases maximum life may be of some help, but due to the low level, and the Oak Sage not having good defensive behavior, it will be destroyed often. Its low number of charges mean you will have to repair or recharge often if this is used. Similarly, Raven is of limited use, but does have a higher number of charges.
Heart of the Oak - Base Items
Heart of the Oak can be made in any grey 4-socket mace or staff. 1-handed and 2-handed hammers do not count as maces for making this Rune Word. As most maces have a maximum of 3 sockets, only Flails, Knouts, and Scourges can be used to make a 1-handed Heart of the Oak. There are no 1-handed staves.
As Heart of the Oak is not suitable for a Melee weapon, the recommended base item is a 4-socket Flail. The Knout and Sourge have higher Strength and Dexterity requirements, and offer no benefit compared to a Flail.
If a white Flail (no sockets) drops from Act 4 and before The Worldstone Keep on Normal Difficulty, the quest reward from Larzuk in Act 5 for completing Siege on Harrogath can be used to put 4 sockets in it. The Horadric Cube recipe Ral Rune + Amn Rune + Perfect Amethyst can be also be used to add 1-4 sockets, with a 3 in 6 chance of giving the 4 sockets required. Flails that drop later in the game will be given 5 sockets by Larzuk, but the Horadric Cube recipe can be used, but will now only have a 1 in 6 chance of giving the required 4 sockets.
Although Heart of the Oak can be made in a staff. It is not recommended. A Sorceress could get up to 3 additional bonuses of 1-3 to individual Sorceress Skills from a staff, but using a shield like Spirit or Lidless Wall will be better, due to additional bonuses like All Skills, Faster Cast Rate and Resistances.
Heart of the Oak - Levels and Builds
Heart of the Oak is usable from Level 55, and for Spell Casters and Summoners should be used as soon as it is available. As one of the strongest one handed caster items in the game, and a good choice at the highest levels of play.
Heart of the Oak can be useful for any character that is using Teleport from Enigma. The combination of +3 All Skills (lowering the cost of teleport) and +40% Faster Cast Rate (speeding up casting) makes teleporting quicker, easier and safer.
The Summoner Druid and Summoner Necromancercan also use Heart of the Oak while Summoning. Once summoned, the levels of minions are set until they are re-summoned, so switching to an alternative like Beast is recommended. Both Summoners may also want to consider Call to Arms as an alternative to Heart of the Oak, which gives less + All Skills, but gives the Battle Orders and Battle Command skills in return, to boost the character, summoned minions and any allies.
The Lightning / Death Sentry Assassin will benefit from the bonuses on Heart of the Oak, especially if they are using non-trap skills (like Teleport from Enigma) which the +3 All Skills will increase, and the Faster Cast Rate will speed up.
An easier to find alternative for a pure Trap Assassin is to use two claw class weapons with the "Cunning" magic prefix, which provide +3 to Traps, and potentially additional bonuses to individual Assassin skills. The Assassin can use one of these claws in each hand, giving a higher skill boost to traps than Heart of the Oak and Spirit gives. It also allows the use of the skill Weapon Block. Trap laying speed is not lost, as it depends on Attack Speed, not Faster Cast Rate.
Spell Casting Paladins like the Blessed Hammer Paladin, or Fist of the Heavens / Holy Bolt Paladins will find Heart of the Oak very effective, especially combined with Herald of Zakarum or a Spirit made in a Paladin Shield.
Amazons have the least use for Heart of the Oak, other than for improving Teleport, as all their damaging skills are based on using a bow, crossbow, spear or javelin.
The War Cry Barbarian (Singer) can use a Heart of the Oak in each hand, giving +6 to All Skills, 80% Faster Cast Rate, and up to 80 to All Resists. As Barbarians get low returns for Stat points spent in Energy, the 30% Increase to Maximum Mana from two Heart of the Oaks is very helpful. This is the strongest option for this build. Highly recommended.
For the Sorceress, any casting build can use Heart of the Oak effectively. If combined with a Spirit shield, you gain +5 to All Skills, up to 75% Faster Cast Rate, and high elemental resistances. Because of the big boost to the these important bonuses, Heart of the Oak is recommended for any Caster Sorceress.
An Alternative for Magic Find focussed Sorceresses is The Oculus, which gives less Faster Case Rate and All Resistances, in return for higher Magic Find and a possible socket, for additional Magic Find with an Ist Rune, or a damage increase from a Rainbow Facet.
An alternative for Cold Skills Sorceress like the Blizzard Sorceress Build is Death's Fathom for a big increase to Cold Skill Damage, but less Faster Cast Rate and Elemental Resistances. Death's Fathom is also a very rare item, and not usable until Level 73.
- 15 Feb. 2022: Guide added.
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