Frost Zealot Ladder PvM Guide, version 2.0

Kitriara

Diabloii.Net Member
Frost Zealot Ladder PvM Guide, version 2.0

Everything you need to know about Holy Freeze Zealots from a guy who has made quite a few of em!
 

Kitriara

Diabloii.Net Member
The Guide

1.10 Freezealot Ladder-Running Guide, PvM v2.0

Opening note: I wrote this guide with people playing the hardcore ladder in mind, but of course this can apply to anyone. I would also like to thank everyone who helped make this revision!!!

The paladin, with the advent of 1.10, now has what is possibly the highest
number of viable builds for any character class. Having played this game
since the day it came, there remain only two real fun points that keep me
playing: working with lesser-seen builds and, now, running the ladder. I,
like many of you, am anxiously awaiting the next ladder reset and trying to
plan a character who is capable of getting to the top. Well, look no
further!

A paladin who uses Holy Freeze as his main aura and Zeal as his main attack
has so many advantages, its amazing everyone isn't using them! In addition,
there are several different ways to slightly customize your Freezealot based
on your preferences and skill choices, and I'll go over them as well.
Lastly, this build is NOT very equipment dependant despite the fact that
you're a meleer! Unfathomable! Plus, I hate build guides that set up the
build with EVERY point spent. This guide assumes you'll make it to 80 or so
and thus doesn't set up builds with insane amounts of skill points...
luckily, we wont be sacrificing effectiveness at all.

As a note, I myself find MFing boring as hell, and never do it. Maybe
you're like me, and shake your head when you see people posting "Hey, I
found my 8th SS of the day!" Thus, while in my equipment recommendations
I'll of course note the optimal setup, I'll also make a list of items
attainable to people like myself, who like to play through the game and use
what they can find. Plus, if you're making a ladder bid, you wont have time
to level up a magic finder - in the time that takes, you'll have lost your
position. That said, on we go. </rant>


Why use this build?

With this build, you will end up with two major damage types - physical and
cold - at the same time. Additionally, thanks to holy shield you'll have 75% blocking... its like 75% resist physical (and hell, even some magic missles)! Third, your resists will be excellent with a very high cold resist in particular.
Lastly, all enemies will be slowed over 50 percent! 50 percent!!!! They
move half as fast, attack half as fast, or shoot half as fast, the whole
time taking periodic cold damage from an aura with huge range. Very few enemies are immune to Holy Freeze.


Stat Point Allocation

The standard stuff here...
Str: as much as is needed for gear
Dex: as much as is needed for max blocking
Vit: everything else
Nrg: do I really have to say it... not a point


Skill Points

There are a few different ways you can go about doing this, depending about
how you want to tailor your character. I'll give the main points and let
you decide how you want to do the rest! All of these builds assume that
you'll need pretty high attacking rating as you enter hell difficulty and
thus they max Zeal... plus, the new damage bonus doesnt hurt.

General Note: If you deal massive physical damage and are worried about Iron Maiden, keep your fists with Zeal/Holy Freeze on weapon switch! This way you can eliminate the casters without worrying about returning a lot of physical damage! Thanks to Squix.

1. Emphasis on cold damage
- 20 Zeal
- 20 Holy Freeze
- 20 Resist Cold
- 20 Salvation
- 5 or more in Holy Shield

Order: Pump Resist Cold until you get Zeal. Once you get Zeal, pump it
until you get Holy Freeze. Pump Holy Freeze until you get Holy Shield, and
sink those 5 points into it so you're all set. Your blocking and duration
should now be at respectable levels. I suggest finishing Holy Freeze and
getting at least 10-15 into Zeal before you pump Resist Cold. Personally, I
max both of those before I finish Resist Cold. At this point you'll be
around 60 or so, and will be dealing about 750 cold damage per hit! Once
you max out salvation, you'll be doing roughly 1000+ cold damage per hit,
plus the physical from Zeal. After you've "finished" this build around 80,
you can pump Holy Shield for the defense, or pump Sacrifice to increase your
physical damage.


2. Emphasis on physical damage
- 20 Zeal
- 20 Sacrifice
- 20 Resist Cold
- 20 Holy Freeze
- 5 or more in Holy Shield

Order: This build is exactly like the above one except instead of Salvation,
you pump up Sacrifice to increase your physical damage. Set up your skills
with Zeal, then Holy Freeze, then Resist Cold with Sacrifice last... after
all, this is a cold build! Cold comes first, damn it! Of course once
you're done you can always sink points into Salvation, or Holy Shield if
thats your thing.


3. Balance
- 20 Zeal
- 20 Holy Freeze
- 20 Resist Cold
- 10 Sacrifice
- 10 Salvation
- 5 or more in Holy Shield
Order: I'm sure you can figure this out, but if you're having trouble
deciding what kind of damage to specialize in, it cant hurt to make a spread
between both!

4. Very Defensive
- 20 Zeal
- 20 Holy Freeze
- 20 Resist Cold
- 20 Holy Shield
Order: You know the drill by now... maxing Holy Shield comes last after
you've sunk those first 5 points into it. The big advantage here is you get
a massive 300+ percent defense bonus! If you're able to come by high
defense gear or anticipate that you will, this isn't a bad build despite the
fact that you sacrifice some damage output. Once you're done with the main
build, you can pump either Salvation or Sacrifice depending on your damage
plans, or go for the defense and max defiance to get some insane d.


5. Very Offensive
- 20 Zeal
- 20 Sacrifice
- 20 Holy Freeze
- 20 Cold Resist
- 20 Salvation
Order: You can choose, with a build like this! This will take you closer to level 90 to achieve, but Any1 pointed this out to me as a possible build that he has tested. Oh, the damage!!!


Equipment

General Notes: The Freezealot is based on cold damage, yes. However, the
optimal setup is based around something else: crushing blow. Not enough people seem to put emphasis on this awesome attribute. Achieving at least 50% crushing blow is a HUGE bonus... having near or at 100% - which you should make your goal - turns you into a MACHINE that will wow everyone who sees you in action. An example: you deal 1/4 damage to normal monsters, 1/10 to bosses. With max monster increases, monsters are 4.5 times stronger. Thus, maximum, it would take 45 hits to kill hell baal in a full game. Thats 9 quick Zeals, but considering your huge cold/physical damage on top of it, you should solo him much, much quicker! Its that good.

Your goals should be, in general, to max your resists, have a shield with
high blocking, and get a fast weapon to rapidly deliver that cold damage. Other pursuits should be getting some +skills on your gear and LASTLY, maybe some damage reduction. I personally never actively go after DR and never have a problem - after all, you have 75% block and the enemies move super slowly!

Lastly, while I list tons of sets and uniques below, please dont be an elitist tool and ID ALL RARES! Especially when you're in hell and normal items can spawn with insane mods, you might miss something amazing! Since they can always be upgraded, please god dont pass them up. A good rare has the potential to replace 95% of items people normally use, plus you can feel cool when you show off your equipment and its not what everyone else uses.


Weapon

Your goal here is something fast with good physical damage if you're going
that route... and of course, something that has crushing blow. If you're
worried solely about cold, get something fast with other nice mods.

Ultimate: Heaven's Light - Amazing damage, great speed, +2-3 skills, 33% target defense AND!... 33% crushing blow! Now the best part... 1-3 sockets. Throw an ETH in one of them and you have a weapon with 58% target defense - really makes your job easier. You could also throw in some runes to increase your crushing blow if you're rich, otherwise its up to you: I went eth eth shael and it was awesome as heck. If you're really boss you could throw in a nice cold rainbow facet...
Others: Stormlash, Stonecrusher
Note: People are telling me different things about Heavens Light... some say it can only have 2 sockets max, some say it can have 3. I have personally had a 3 socket, but now there is question to if it was hacked/bugged, since it was given to me. Any knowledge appreciated!

Great: Zakarum's Hand - +2 Holy Freeze and ITD with 30% IAS.
Others: General's Tan Do Li Ga (you'll be hitting VERY fast...
and the monsters get VERY slow, they barely move), Atlantean
Sicarius_J recommends a Crescent Moon Phase Blade, and its a good idea. VERY fast, and since it can trigger static, it can add to or make up for crushing blow you have. It's very fast, so it triggers a lot.

Other: Crushflange! Yes, with 33% crushing blow you'll
still be taking names. In fact, I was mocked several times while in hell
for STILL hanging onto my crushflange... but once they saw me ripping with
my massive cold damage aided by the crushing blow, they shut up.
Also: "Black" - Thul Io Nef. You can definately find these runes...
whatever you get from your nightmare hellforge should be suitable to get an Io with, which is the hardest thing to find here. Put this is a flail of some
sort since they're lightning fast. This has 40% crushing blow on a one hander! In fact, once I can use this, I do... all the way until I get a Heaven's Light. Yes, its thats good.


Armor

Ultimate: There is only one armor paladins should shoot for endgame...
Guardian Angel. With bonuses on it for everything paladins hold dear, even
the best runewords dont match it pound for pound. Of course, socket it with
an UM for the resistances if you need em.

Great: There are so many good unique and set armors, I could seriously list half of them. Rattlecage is nice for the 25% crushing blow, plus you could upgrade it for more defense. Duriel's shell is always great as well. Pick something that complements your other gear and you're off and running.

Other: Smoke runeword, Lionheart runeword... rares, anything!



Helm

Ultimate: Guillaume's Face, the set helm from the Orphans Call set. All
great mods, but we really want it for the 35% crushing blow it has! Socket
it with shael for faster recovery or um of course for the resistance.
Others: Seriously, many of exceptional or elites will do for this build.

Great: Rockstopper, my personal favorite! Every paladin I've ever made used one as soon as I could trade for it! Huge resists, damage reduction and more! My personal favorite.
Others: Face of Horror, Lore runeword

Other: Rares, baby.


Shield

Ultimate: There is only one, and you already know what it is: The Herald of Zakarum, the greatest shield ever conceived. You could upgrade it for a liiiiittle more defense but until you're at that point where you're just
trying to make your gear perfect, dont bother. This shield is kinda hard to
get a hold of though, so you'll probably be using something else for a long
time.
Others: Any of the unique paladin shields are decent overall.

Great: So many good shields out there... Steelclash is of course a standard, and easy to find. Orphan's Call set shield is VERY nice as well.

Other: There's the one time that you'll be more than happy to use a rare. Save your imbues for shields and identify EVERY RARE! You can always
upgrade it, and there are some damn nice shields to be found. Also, save
shields with nice automods to make runewords in... shael + eth is easy and
great, or an ancients pledge to really bolster your resists. Holy Shield
can help make up for poor blocking.

Please dont forget rares here... I've more than once in normal play found +2 paladin skill prismatic shields with plenty of other great mods!!!



Gloves

Ultimate: This is the one place where I'm TOTALLY undecided. Steelrend, the elite unique Orge Gauntlets, have 10% crushing blow and other nice mods. However, things like the immortal king gloves or even upgraded bloodfist are fine choices. If you go IK (with huge str and dex), you will probably want the IK belt too. Any1 noted that together they give you +50 AR, +106 defense and +25% IAS! What a combo considering those items are great to begin with.

Great: Hey! I said I was undecided, didnt I?!?! My recommendation would be to craft some gloves with crushing blow on them. With any luck you'll get some nice resists and maybe even leech, as well. Any crushing blow of 7ish or more is nice in my book.

Other: OK, we're done here.


Boots

Ultimate: Really, Gore Riders are probably your best choice here, since they have 15% crushing blow and an all-important 30% faster run. If you've done a good job getting all the crushing blow gear together, you'd have:
15 (boots) + 35 (helm) + 40 ("black") + 7% (lets say some crafted gloves) =
97% alright! We did it, good as 100 for all intents.
Of course, using Heaven's Light we drop down to 90%, but its such a good weapon its worth it. However, look below...

Great: Goblin Toe, of course! 25% crushing blow can definately bring you to 100%, but it lacks the faster movement that make the Gores so great.

Other: Pretty much anything works here... rares, crafted, Immortal King, Aldurs, or any unique you find. Infernostride is a nice choice I've used in the past.


Belt

Ultimate: This is a tough call. Any of the elite uniques are awesome.
String of Ears of course is a nice standard, as is Thundergod's Vigor for
its all-around statistical greatness.

Great: Immortal Kings (see gloves); upgraded Bladebuckle are both fine. Rares and crafts will get you by too, as long as they have 4 slots and some resists. Faster hit recovery isnt hard to get either. You can always try and imbue.


Rings

Ultimate: Well, its standard, but its true: having a ravenfrost is super
helpful. The cannot be frozen is godly, and it really saves you with its
huge attack rating and dex bonuses for blocking. Aside from having at least
1, the other choice should be whatever compliments your equipment at the time.

Great: Dwarf Star is more than decent, and really most if not all of the
unique rings are great.

Other: I honestly end up using rares most of the time - gamble gamble
gamble! You can land some huge AR + resist rings.


Amulet

Ultimate: Who ISNT going to say Maras here. However, theBlackKnight points out that Seraphs Hymn or Highlords are also great choices, since they have very useful mods and you can make up for resistances with charms.

Great: We arent all likely to have a Maras, so your best bet is to find
something that compliments your build and fills in the gaps. I usually go
for a rare with +skills and resists... again, gamble and trade. Usually you
can trade that +1 amazon ammy you got for something equal with pally skills
you can use.

Other: You can craft an amulet with increased chance of blocking... that aint bad!


Charms

I dont have much to say about charms... usually 1/2 my inventory is full of them. Having one with a cold damage mod will additionally slow enemies when you hit them, even if its just 1-2 damage. Pretty much they are great to add a little life or make up for lagging resistances. If you can get any +paladin skill charms of course, hang on to them!


That about sums it up for equipment. Like I said, shoot for huge max resists, max block and the highest crushing blow you can get. That will take you all the way through hell. While your crushing blow is cutting enemies down left and right, your massive cold damage will do the rest of the job. Just wait til they see you burn through hell baal in an 8 player game in about 15 seconds.


Merc

Ahhh, you thought I forgot, didnt you? This is a personal preference thing,
but here are some recommendations.

If you're going to aim for high physical damage via the sacrifice synergy,
you should probably get an act2 might merc.
If you want to be cool and unique, hire an act 1 fire arrow mercenary and
equip her well... she can actually rock!
Hire an act3 cold merc and be the ultimate cold machine. Because not only
can he hold the most equipment out of anyone in the game, but he wont just
slow enemies, he'll freeze em! I've used this in the past and he's great
fun.

However, if you're really looking for something to compliment your build, go
for something that does a damage type you dont do - which probably means an act3 lightning/fire or act1 fire merc. The act 1 archers really get underestimated, but they really help dish it with a half-decent bow.


Final Notes

I've personally taken this build all the way through hell baal twice, untwinked, in preparation for the ladder run I want to make next season. It is quite viable and very capable of handling any area in the game thanks to two main damage types.

Like I said, I'm not rich. However, I was still able to achieve most of my "ultimate" items. Your best bet is to do baal runs with some friends. This way no one grabs and everyone can get the great drops that they need, or get the items they can trade for what they need.

The guide officially ends here, but you can read below for a little bonus story if you'd like. I hope to see more Freezealots popping up! Feel free to come game with me, I'm currently doing my third and final untwinked run of the game... *Kitriara on USEast hardcore ladder.



Xoll's Story

Xoll was the man. He was my little experiment that could and exceeded all of my expectations. I was finishing the last of my nightmare baal runs in order to get to level 80, which seems to be a safe entry level for hell.

My equipment (lemme have my moment!)
- Rockstopper (never got G's Face =\)
- Gaurdian Angel (socketed with a 4/5 cold facet)
- eth eth shael Heaven's Light
- Herald of Zakarum
- Gore Riders
- String of Ears
- 10% crafted crushing blow gloves
- Raven Frost, Dwarf Star
- +1 paladin skills, prismatic, +strength amulet

I was playing through, following my rule of NEVER attacking when there are people who can cast Iron Maiden. Well, feeling useless, I decide, "Hell, I'll just take one swing!" Well, IM apparently was cast at that moment as I was far too powerful to take one of my own hits. Instant death, hadn't turned on loot. Thus it ended. Xoll 3.0 is being built as we speak =)

As a final note, recall I said I'm nowhere close to rich, but look at the equipment I managed to get. I think you can too! Thanks for reading.
 

Any1

Banned
Very good guide, and let me emphasize "guide" not a skill and equipment shopping list. All people trying to write a guide take note.

Ask Ragnarod whether he'll add it to the guide sticky.
 

Shadoway

Diabloii.Net Member
Well done! Certainly a refreshment after reading so many Enigma-this-BotD-that guides.

I am building a holy freeze charger right now. I am also concerned with IM. My conclusion is to use a passion sword on switch and berserk all the way. Passion is not too expensive since the top rune is Lem. What do you think?
 

amishamigo

Diabloii.Net Member
Shadoway said:
Well done! Certainly a refreshment after reading so many Enigma-this-BotD-that guides.
Amen! I hadn't even thought of using crushing blow on my testladin. Now i can pretty much blow off physical damage and have him become a holyshock/holyfreeze hybred.

Question, at level 20/20 holyfreeze/resistcold, about how much damage do you do? 1000 seems a little low for two synergy skills, but then again it is pure cold and you do get the slowing effect.

Anyone have a skill calculator x.x I can't find one for 1.10

And about the heaven's light, assuming it's on closed. Remember, the hackers won't make stupid hacked items. Adding one socket to a scepter that not many people will use anyway isn't on their agenda. I'm guessing it's not hacked :p
 

Seraph

Diabloii.Net Member
Nice

I've always been fairly biased to cold damage skills and spells and damage. Always loved the idea of holy freeze~

Do you have a freezealot already? May i enquire about his stats? Damage, Vitality, resistance (in hell), difficulty in dealin with some more harder to fight creatures like dolls or your "average-fanatic-champion-heavy-hitters"

What's a recommended merc? Might? Blessed Aim? Defiance? If i were to retain the original stuff of max holy freeze, resist cold etc and go smite? Since smite has stun and ITD :p
 

muteownz

Diabloii.Net Member
its an awesome build. i made one myself not to long ago. altho i kinda messed up on the stats. i put way to many points into dex and strengh. magical chars (sorc's) kept owning me. i deleted the char and made a new pally. the cold doesnt really effect them that much. also against cold immune... you do like NO damage. it takes like 20 seconds to kill a zombie in act one hell.. gets kinda frustrating.
 

Kitriara

Diabloii.Net Member
Shadoway: Your idea is definately solid. Maybe I'll even add it to the guide. Also, I totally agree with your 'BotD' sentiment... I get so angry when people base whole builds around it and stuff... cmon, if it werent for hackers not a single person here wouldve ever even SEEN a zod rune, nonetheless be tradin' em like they were cracked sashes!!! I actually enjoy a challenge, besides...


amishamigo:I went ahead and did some number crunching for you, too!

20 Holy Freeze: 185 - 190
+ 20 Resist Cold: 740 - 760
+ 20 Salvation: 998 - 1025

But now, to show the importance of a few +skills for this build, lets assume this quite attainable setup - many of these can just be magics! +2 on weapon, +1 Lore helm, +2 shield, +3 offensive aura ammy, +1 unique armor.

20 Holy Freeze: 360 - 365
+ 20 Resist Cold: 1440 - 1460
+ 20 Salvation: 1943 - 1970 :D

WOW! Factor in the aura bonus hits (391 avg), your physical damage and crushing blow, and you're really a machine.

Also, that Heaven's Light was hardcore ladder east, which was my cause for concern.


Seraph: I'll give a stats listing sometime soon, I've been busy at work and with ze girlfriend lately. As for a merc, I personally go the route of the Cold Master and get an act 3 cold merc. The fact that they freeze people solid is such an additional help since monsters walking around their frozen breathren are slowed 54%... nothing ever gets to swing!

Hey... a cold smiter... personally I feel the power in this build is in fast delivery via Zeal, but hell - I'm the last guy to discourage new builds! Go for it!


Thanks to everyone for the props on this guide... I put a lot of time into it and its nice to see people appreciate it! Maybe now I wont be the only Freezer on East! :)
 

amishamigo

Diabloii.Net Member
Hmm, so I never thought about the plus skill factor. 1.4k is very decent and I won't have to be level 94 to achieve it. It looks like the best route for me is indeed to go holyfreeze/holyshock/crushing blow.

If you're on SC ladder east, is there any chance I could borrow that black scorge of yours? Noone keeps three socket scorges anymore x.x
 

Kitriara

Diabloii.Net Member
Seriously!... the best part of this build is that you can be crushing by 60ish and still stay strong, if not be stronger, by 80.

Sorry, I only play HCL East, plus the guy using said weapon bit it last week :xx:
 

Leto`

Diabloii.Net Member
O man, I love this guide ! I was looking for something not THAT leet-item dependend build, and I found one !
I was building a zealot, it was lvl 60 and became actually quite bored, and started again with help of this guide, and it really rocks :D
And everyone besides necromancers love you in the party :clap:

I'm only lvl 40 and can't wait till I'm around 60 and try hell :p

Great job !
 

iceball_aarf

Diabloii.Net Member
Hmm i can only say that the original poster wasn´t telling the truth abouth the end game weapon he had, no item can have more sockets than the max possible sockets of the base item type, and thus he could never had a 3 socket unique mighty scepter :p, nice try still, not even a hacked one could get 3 sockets :).... everything else seems just fine :)
 

steve2677

Diabloii.Net Member
Coool! Literally, i played the offensive sac/zeal build not too long ago before this went up... I rocked hell just my thoughts werent with crushing blow at that time. I used crescent mooon crescent axe (i know weird but i like the static) and went through hell pretty much unscathed. I am glad someone has written this guide i enjoy different builds that are awesome and ones i have personallly tried before the guide was written.

I used crescent moon, smoke armor, zak sheild, crown of theives, ravenfrost, rare boots with res, highlords ammy, upgraded goldwrap and lavagouts. i used a defiance merc but would have gone fire rogue.


P.S. i know this is off topic to this thread but has ne one tried a 1.10 martyr yet? ill be posting a new thread asking about it. Thnx
 

whathappen

Diabloii.Net Member
There is a unique bow, I had got it twice and sold it because of low damage *BUT* the bow decreases cold resistance by -34%. I forgot the name, but I imagine with this build to have the bow as a switch weapon. When fighting a boss mob, hit with the bow and switch back to your main weapon. I imagine doing substantialy more damage. In a cmpletely different character my lighting trapssin, I have a wand with lvl 2 lower resist charges (-34 resist to elemental). Whenever I am fighting a big boss I use the wand and then continue with the traps. The damage increase is noticable. I suspect you will get the same effect here too.
 

Vajar

Diabloii.Net Member
Just for sh**s and giggles:

The best weapon IMO would be Beast Beserker Axe.
-35% more IAS would get you a 4 frame zeal
-PMH
-20% Crushing Blow (giving you a good 80% with the right gear)
-25-40 strength (enough for upgraded GA with -req jewel)
-lvl 9 Fanatacism (186% ED, +80% AR)

Also, I'd suggest maxing holy shock last to deal with the few CI/PIs you'll run into (keeping crescent moon phase blade on weapon switch). If you don't waste points and only put 1 point into Holy Shield, you'll have the 20 points needed before you hit 99.
 
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