Zealot Paladin Build for Diablo 2 Resurrected
The Zealot Paladin is a classic fast-hitting melee build with good survivability and Physical damage but limited area of effect. With a few key items, particularly those that provide Chance of Crushing Blow, the Zealot can take down bosses and single monsters extremely quickly. Overall, it is still one of the stronger melee builds in the game.
The Zealot revolves around using Zeal and Fanaticism to reach one of the highest attack speed in the game. With on-hit effects such as Chance of Crushing Blow, the Zealot can kill individual targets extremely quickly while ensuring his survival through Life Leech. The most glaring weakness of the build is a lack of area of effect damage, making it unsuitable for farming dense areas.
You can check the viability of this build in PvM by consulting our PvM Tier List.
Zealot Paladin Skill Build
The following section shows the core skills for the Zealot. For a detailed breakdown of all core and optional skills as well as the recommended order for allocating skill points, refer to the Skills page of this guide.
- 1 point to all prerequisites
- 20 points to Zeal — Main damage dealing skill, required
- 20 points to Sacrifice — Damage synergy for Zeal, required
- 20 points to Holy Shield — Improves Chance to Block and Defense, required
- 20 points to Fanaticism — Main Aura, increases attack speed and damage significantly, required
Zealot Paladin Stat Points and Attributes
|Enough for gear; around 150 total||Enough for max Block; around 150 total||Everything else||None|
You can read more details about the Stats and Attribute requirements for this build on our Skills page.
Zealot Paladin Gear
The following section shows some of the most important items for the Zealot. For a detailed per-slot breakdown of all Zealot items and alternative builds, refer to the Gear page of this guide.
- Weapon: Grief Phase Blade
- Weapon Swap: Call to Arms and Spirit
- Shield: Ethereal Exile
- Body Armor: Fortitude
- Helm: Guillaume's Face
- Gloves: Steelrend
- Boots: Gore Rider
- Belt: Verdungo's Hearty Cord
- Ring 1: Raven Frost
- Ring 2: Raven Frost or Rare ring with % Life and Mana Leech per Hit
- Amulet: Highlord's Wrath
- Charm 1: Paladin Hellfire Torch
- Charm 2: Annihilus
- Charm 3: Small Charms with Maximum Damage, Attack Rating, and Life (such Charms are commonly known as 3/20/20s)
- Charm 4: Small Charms with enough Resistances and Faster Hit Recovery to hit important breakpoints, depending on needs
MrLlamaSC's Zealot Paladin Video Guide
We also have a video guide that goes over the build, if you prefer that instead of or in addition to our written guide.
Zealot Paladin Breakpoints
In Diablo 2, stats that affect action speed (known as frames) for attacking, casting, blocking, and recovering from a hit can almost never be taken literally. For example, gaining 10% Increased Attack Speed from an item will not necessarily translate into 10% faster attacks. To achieve faster actions, certain breakpoints must be reached, which vary for every class. The tables below list how much of a given stat is required to actually improve the action speed of the class for the stated action.
Faster Hit Recovery Breakpoints
|Faster Hit Recovery Breakpoints (1-Handed Weapons)|
|Frames to perform action||9||8||7||6||5||4||3|
|Faster Hit Recovery required to reach frame||0%||7%||15%||27%||48%||86%||200%|
Faster Cast Rate Breakpoints
|Faster Cast Rate Breakpoints|
|Frames to perform action||15||14||13||12||11||10||9|
|Faster Cast Rate required to reach frame||0%||9%||18%||30%||48%||75%||125%|
Faster Block Rate Breakpoints
|Faster Block Rate Breakpoints (No Holy Shield)|
|Frames to perform action||5||4||3||2|
|Faster Block Rate required to reach frame||0%||13%||32%||86%|
Faster Block Rate Breakpoints (With Holy Shield)
|Faster Block Rate Breakpoints (With Holy Shield)|
|Frames to perform action||2||1|
|Faster Block Rate required to reach frame||0%||86%|
Zealot Paladin Mercenary
You can either hire a Defensive (Holy Freeze) or Offensive (Might) Desert Guard Mercenary in Act 2, Nightmare difficulty, depending on whether you want to slow monsters for added safety or improve your overall damage as well as that of your Mercenary.
- Weapon: Ethereal Pride, Breath of the Dying, or The Reaper's Toll
- Body Armor: Ethereal Fortitude
- Helm: Andariel's Visage socketed with a Ral Rune
Zealot Paladin Early Leveling
The following section features a generic Holy Fire Paladin skill point progression.
- 1 point to Might
- 1 point to Sacrifice
- 3 points to Resist Fire until level 6
- 6 points to Holy Fire between level 6 and 11
- 1 point to Zeal at level 12
- All remaining Points to Holy Fire
- Respec to your Zealot build at level 30, when Fanaticism becomes available
For more comprehensive leveling advice, please refer to our Paladin Fastest Leveling Build.
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