So, I’ve searched the web for a PvM Auradin guide, but, alas, nobody seems to care enough. This completely befuddles me because once you try it out you see just how amazingly swift this guy runs through Hell in a player 8 game. So, I’ve charged myself with the duty of supplying the world with a guide to the PvM Auradin and to dispel some of the skepticism and ignorance about its viability. I apologize in advance for my long-windedness. I. Overview II. Stats III. Skills IV. Equipment V. Strategy VI. Ice/Faith Comparison VII. Conclusion I. Overview a.Intro The Auradin is a new kind of build built directly off of the newer ladder runewords of the 1.10 patch. Although, every paladin uses an aura, and, indeed, almost every character nowadays, the Auradin receives his name because he employs at least five auras at a time to render a particularly vicious result that is capable of melting enemies without even touching them. I think that if you try this build yourself, you will see that it is one of the most fun of all of the Paladin, melee, PvM builds. The Auradin’s strength is that he a well-rounded combatant. He has a well-rounded attack, a well-rounded defense, and, accordingly, he needs a well-rounded strategy to reach his maximal potential. b. Breakdown Essentially, the Auradin gains his strength from his gear. For this reason he is be particularly in need of assistance until level 63 when you can don your Dragon Armor. The gear consists of the runewords: Dream helm, Dream shield, Hand of Justice weapon, and the previously mentioned Dragon armor. All other gear is auxiliary. The Dual Dreams provide two level 15 Holy Shock auras and the Hand of Justice/Dragon supply a level 16 and a level 14 Holy Fire aura. He uses a level 25 Conviction for -150% enemy resistances and his main attack is Zeal. In this guide there are two separate directions to take the Auradin: Do you want Life Tap or do you want independence from your merc for a faster swing? c. Mechanics The mechanics, being the way there are, effectively add together the levels of aura-when-equipped from gear on characters using multiple supplies of the same aura. This, however, is not affected by your character’s chosen skill; in that case the stronger of the two will take dominance. What this essentially is saying is that your character will have a level 30 Holy Shock and a level 30 Holy Fire aura at all times. Fully synergized (max Resist Fire & Lightning, and Salvation), your attack will have 1-7005 from lightning and 1513-1583 from fire; or 5,051 average elemental damage. Additionally, your aura will pulse. That means that just about anything on screen will feel a shocking, burning sensation about every two and a half seconds. Fully synergized, you will do 4-1167 Lightning Pulse Damage and 252-264 Fire Pulse Damage; or 844 average pulse damage. Pulses hit about every two and a half seconds to basically everyone visible on your screen. Keep in mind that those numbers are purely display and assume 0 monster resistances. Conviction, your main aura, offers -150% Enemy Resists and HoJ provides an extra -20% resist fire. There is a lower limit to this; no monster’s resists can drop below -100%. This means that any monster with <70% resist fire and <50% resist lightning will have -100% resists—most monster’s resists don’t get that high unless they’re immune. However, if a monster is immune (resists>100%) the lower resist works at a 1/5 efficiency. So you will lower fire by 34% and lightning by 30%; that is enough to break most immunities so your attack will work. And since you have a two pronged attack, most likely, when you are confronted with the rare lightning & fire immune monster, you should be able to break at least one of their immunities. Factored in from above, with Conviction against most non-immune monsters your weapon damage will now be 10,102 on average and your pulse will do 1,687 on average to everyone. Reference http://forums.diabloii.net/showthread.php?t=544931 for Conviction’s effect on elemental damage. d. Zealot Comparison If you like, you can compare that to the ~9,000 average damage a decked out Grief wielding Fanatic Zealot does, but that doesn’t count his Crushing Blow, Deadly Strike, or the 33% average monster physical resists. Additionally, that zealot won’t have pulse damage the Auradin does. e. Plan Ahead As I said before, you don’t get your main gear until your character levels in the 60’s. You don’t want to find yourself there being weak and powerless because you wanted strength for your temporary gear or you wanted some points in Fanaticism so you could do some killing on your own. My Auradin still has base strength and he’s decked out. Do yourself a favor a get a rush or team-play because, otherwise, your character will suffer in the long run. See the Strategy section for more info. f. Dispelling Myths A lot of people had some misconceptions about what Auradins are capable of. The biggest misconception is that the Auradin is a glass-cannon build (a highly offensive build that’s lack of defense makes it very fragile). I’m here to tell you that this is an absolute farce; built correctly, he is nearly as effective as any Zealot with Life Tap for some very distinct reasons that I cover below. In Masterazn’s Pvp Auradin guide he makes that following claim: “PvM Disadvantages -Unable to kill dual resistance monsters (Fire and Lightning). -Slow killing speed compared to most other builds. -Inability to defeat the Ancients in Hell Mode. -Inability to lead experience runs (the Auradin levels mainly by leeching). -Inability to complete all quests alone. -Inability to defeat Diablo Clone. -Inability to complete Uber Tristram quest.” These are all untrue or at least misguided. Here’s why: “Unable to kill dual resistance monsters (Fire and Lightning).” These are rare and even in their existence, a good Auradin is quite capable of taking them down. An Auradin has -30 resist lightning and -34 resist fire against Immunes. That will break almost all immunities, and I guarantee that if it will not break one it will break the other. “Slow killing speed compared to most other builds.” This is one of the fastest killing Paladins I’ve ever seen. As I showed above, the Auradin can at the very least keep up with a Zealot. He does 10.5k damage @ 4 frames per attack to non-immunes plus pulse damage (did I mention the CtC Hydra and Firestorm, yet?). Single immunes are still disposed of quickly and dual immunes will usually have at least one immunity broken. Compare this to the ever popular Fanatic Zealot dealing ~9k damage before DS, CB, and (on the flip side) enemies’ physical resistance. He lacks pulse damage. However, Smiters and himself, are very effective against bosses. The Auradin is wholly capable himself, but not quite as fast. But, then again, what’s 7 seconds vs. 15 seconds when you’re only killing one dude? Also, you can swim right through the phys immunes that slow down the Zealot, and stand back and laugh when he screams like a little girl from one hit with Iron Maiden. “Inability to defeat the Ancients in Hell Mode.” Ancients are a piece of cake. A lot of people can kill one or two and struggle with the third due to some attribute that plays off their weakness, but the Auradin is so eclectic that each one is laughable. I have no idea where Masterazn got this idea. “Inability to lead experience runs (the Auradin levels mainly by leeching).” At the low-level, okay mid-level, too, the Auradin isn’t a tour de force. This is because his skill contribution to offense is all in defensive synergies. Once he hits level ~63 he gets Dragon armor, then @ 65 Dreams, and then @ 67 HoJ, he can take the reins with ease and his Conviction is always a welcome tool for sorcs. But as far as teleing goes, yes, you might want someone else. Or you could just keep an Enimga in your inventory. “Inability to complete all quests alone.” It is possible, but difficult if you really want to be powerful in the later levels. As I said above, his throng of power doesn’t come until the 60’s but once he’s there…watch out! “Inability to defeat Diablo Clone./ Inability to complete Uber Tristram quest.” Madness! He is more than capable. Everyone these days has an Uber/Crushing Blow/Smite-centered perception of what they think every build should be. It’s kind of ridiculous. The Auradin is perfectly capable of taking these big boys down. His Conviction aura cancels Mephisto’s and bring their immunities well within the realm of vulnerability. If you like, you can follow the same concept as the one point Smiter, but it is hardly necessary. Give it a shot, and you’ll laugh at how easy it is. My merc might agree with Masterazn, but I certainly don’t. g. Pro’s and Con’s These are very important. It shows you just why everyone should love to play the Auradin. However, you cannot truly appreciate this unless you try yourself. Pro’s Offensive Highlights Three-pronged attack (Fire, Lightning, and Physical) 12% CtC level 15 Hydra on Striking (With Conviction, this is surprisingly useful) Pulse Damage (1,687 on average vs. non-immunes!) 4 frames per attack ~500 average physical damage (enough to leech, enough to contribute against immunes, enough to not be obliterated by Iron Maiden) Conviction (you’ll love it and so will your team) Act 1 Merc can supply extra damage and remain safe behind the front lines Hit Blinds Target Hit Freezes Target Ignore Target’s Defense Defensive Highlights Holy Shield 85F/75I/90L/75P Resists (non-convictable) 20% CtC level 15 Confuse when struck (extremely useful, especially in tight places) High Life (Auradin can use Call to Arms, where as other zealots need a PI/IM switch) One Point Wonders (Redemption, Vigor, Holy Freeze, Sanctuary, Cleansing, Vengeance, and Zeal are all not just useful, but essential) Life Tap Holy Freeze (for the non-Drac’s variant) General Pro’s Very fun to play Makes you a hotkey master Strong in PvP and PvM Can handle any situation Great for Hardcore No need to worry about offense (The 4 major pieces of equipment make your offense and the rest can be devoted towards defense) Easy gear decisions (Your weapon, shield, helm, and armor are already picked out, devote the rest to defenses) Great rusher considering your pulse alone will annihilate anything in normal and nightmare Can take a hands-free approach (Sit back and let your pulse, merc, and hydra’s do the killing) Gets better and better each level (Most builds can top off once they get into the 80’s, this guys potency increases noticeably with each level up.) At times, requires tactics, not sink or swim Con’s Fragile and Weak until level 63 Can rely on Merc for 4 fpa Can be tricky to refill life bubble sometimes If you’re are killing things in one or two hits, it might be hard to take advantage of Life Tap You’re casting Hydras, Firstorm, Curses, and swinging away all the while being inside an army of enemies, it can make it hard to see if you are cursed or poisoned. Can’t teleport without a gear change Can be a bit costy (7 High Runes in main gear) At times, requires tactics, not sink or swim This character is amazing at PvP and really only finds trouble against opponents with stacked resists or a higher Conviction, but I’ll leave that to the PvP guides. This character has no impending, instant death weaknesses; by that I mean if you are going to die, the way you are going, you will know it quite a few seconds in advance and you can act accordingly. That’s why he would make a great Hardcore character. h. Two Paths “Two path diverged in a wood, and I- I raped and pillaged everything along one and then used a waypoint, went back, and did the other.” –Clervis There are two basic routes you can go with the auxiliary gear of this build. One, rely on an Act 1 Faith merc with Fanaticism for your IAS for 4 fpa. Two, supply it yourself with your supplementary gear. The Faith Merc will only give you 4 fpa when she is alive and around. Additionally, sometimes it takes a while for the aura to activate. On the upside, you can use Mara’s for you amulet and Drac’s for your gloves, which is very useful. The alternative is supplying the IAS yourself. This will give you 4 fpa almost all of the time, but you’ll need to sacrifice your amulet and gloves. Your amulet will either have to be Highlord’s or the Cat’s Eye and your gloves will need to give you 20 IAS and thus they can’t give you Life Tap. This will make you more fragile but your merc can aid you more defensively. There are a million ways to go with this considering your Merc need not be a Faith merc. My preference in an Act I merc with Ice for a bow, the Holy Freeze cramps everyone’s style and makes you take much less damage. Other mercs are available and they are covered later. This direction requires more focus on life leech. You’ll be using Redemption more often, as well as, potions, and Sanctuary to leech from undead. You life bubble will drop a lot slower, but it will be harder to refill it. My personal preference is the latter of the two, but both are very close in overall viability.