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Frost Zealot Ladder PvM Guide, version 3.0

Discussion in 'Paladin' started by Kitriara, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. Kitriara

    Kitriara IncGamers Member

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    Frost Zealot Ladder PvM Guide, version 3.0

    I would like to thank everyone who helped me refine this guide - your input has been invaluable! I was overwhelmed by the number of people who ran out and tried Frost Zealots, and completely amazed to see the 2.0 guide hit about 6,000 views. I wish I could edit that initial post, but alas, I cannot.

    And so, without further ado... the Frost Zealot PvM Guide, version 3.0!

    :thanks:
     
  2. Kitriara

    Kitriara IncGamers Member

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    The Guide, v3.0

    1.10 Frost Zealot Ladder-Running Guide, PvM v3.0
    Posted March 16, 2004


    CONTENTS
    1. Introduction
    2. Why use this build?
    3. Stat points allocation
    4. Skill point allocation
    - Cold
    - Physical
    - Balance
    - Defense
    - Offense
    5. Equipment
    - Weapon
    - Armor
    - Helm
    - Shield
    - Gloves
    - Boots
    - Belt
    - Rings
    - Amulet
    - Charms
    6. Mercenary
    7. Helpful hints for gameplay
    8. Dealing with dual immunes
    9. Some damage numbers
    10. Final notes
    11. Skkra's Story



    [ INTRODUCTION ]

    Opening note: I wrote this guide with people playing the hardcore ladder in mind, but of course this can apply to anyone. A million thanks to all of the players out there who went and made Frost Zealots - your feedback has helped me fine tune this guide far better than I couldve alone. I was honestly amazed at how many people have messaged me! Special thanks to the 2.0 thread "regulars" who kept coming back and helping me fine tune this!!!

    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>

    3.0 note: I refuse to list items like Enigma or BotD that most players shouldnt have. Obviously if you legitly get the runes power to you, but I'm being realistic. Also of note is the fact that due to their usefulness perfect gems have become a decent trade item. Even shortly after a ladder reset, you should be able to use perfect gems to aquire a bunch of very respectable items - which is great.


    [ 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 Notes about IM: 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.

    Also of definate note was this recommendation by Loboleal:
    "I realized that speed and AR with your fists were a serious problem.
    I found a solution for those issues: Bone Wand of Piercing.
    3-7 Physical damage, ITD and fast attack. Better than your naked fists."

    Amishamigo throws in his two cents, noting a Buzzing Cutlass would do well, too!

    I thought about this and also came up with another plus... ever notice that wands spawn all the time with massive elemental damage that seems all but useless? Put em to use on your switch!


    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.
    ** THIS IS MY RECOMMENDED BUILD, AS I PREFER RELIANCE ON COLD DAMAGE INSTEAD OF PHYSICAL**


    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. If you anticipate getting a nice damage weapon and are going to use a might merc, this is a decent avenue.


    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 as well: 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% - 75% is a great, balanced 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, theoretically, it would take a handful more than 45 hits to kill hell baal in a full game. Thats 9 quick Zeals... considering your huge cold (physical too for some!) damage on top of it, it wont take much more than that if you're using an optimal setup.

    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. You could shoot for damage reduction, but I personally never actively go after DR and never have a problem - after all, you have 75% block and the enemies move super slowly!

    Now that we're in version 3.0 here, I'd like to note something I didnt stress enough before - make sure to put on as many +skills as you can. The cold damage REALLY jumps with as little as 5, and if you manage to get higher it just gets insane. I list some numbers down near the bottom.

    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.

    3.0 note: I've added a lot to the equipment area, since besides skills its pretty much what the game revolves around! Since your weapon is possibly the most important item you'll have, extra attention is given to it.


    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... 1-2 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. If you're really boss you could throw in a nice cold rainbow facet...
    Others: Stormlash, Stonecrusher, Nords (more cold, VERY fast, huge AR bonus, easy to find)

    Great: Zakarum's Hand - +2 Holy Freeze and ITD with 30% IAS. Excellent midgame weapon.
    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 since it triggers so much. He also notes that a Kingslayer has great mods that would work well with this build.
    Frenzied Bovine notes that a Fleshripper has many of our coveted mods and is very fast. It also has Slows Target 50%... I've tested it, and monsters are so slowed that its like watching a slideshow when they move or attack. You can pretty much walk out of the way of their attacks.

    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.

    gvandale also recommends an (upgraded) Headstriker, which is certainly a solid choice.

    Low Level: Halcyon noted that the Strength runeword has 25% crushing blow and plenty of other good low level mods. This is great for starting out, especially if you cant find a Crushflange (though you'd be surprised how much they drop, or how easy it is to trade for one!)


    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 barely match it pound for pound. Of course, socket it with an UM for the resistances if you need em - and you certainly may.

    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. Vipermagi has resists and that lovely skill point. Pick something that complements your other gear and you're off and running.

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

    Low Level: Sigons is easy enough to find and works well with its other pieces. Honestly I tend to stick with rares (or Tal+Eth) until I find an exceptional unique.



    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. However, there is also...
    ...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, and nightmare Baal will drop it a bunch. If you dont have Guillaume's Face, or even if you do and dont mind 65-75% crushing blow, use this! The mods on it are second to none for this build.

    Great: Face of Horror, Lore runeword

    Other: Rares, baby.

    Low level: Honestly, I'd say mostly rares. I once used a rare skull cap until late nightmare when I found Iratha's Helm (nice resists).


    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 sick 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: The "Rhyme" runeword, Shael + Eth, is awesome. Every bonus on it rocks and makes it perfect to put in a paladin shield! I suggest finding a shield that has a high resist automod to start - theres no reason not to!

    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. An ancients pledge can really bolster sagging resists. Holy Shield can help make up for poor blocking. A sacred targe has amazing blocking, if you can hold off on your imbues long enough to find them.

    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!!!

    Low Level: Its hard to beat the ancients pledge in a paladin shield for low to mid levels.


    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. This is actually your best bet for this build, since crafting some gloves with IAS, resists and crushing blow would be absolutely perfect.

    Other:
    Laying of Hands is decent thanks to its IAS and Fire Res, and Sanders isnt the worst either.


    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. Charms could make up for it if you find enough faster run charms.

    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.

    Low Level: Sigons or Hsarus are great for their resists and speed. Heck, even Sanders.



    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.

    Low Level: Rares, without a doubt. I actually have used a Bladebuckle in hell to good effect.



    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.

    Low Level: Magic rings, really. Getting a magic ring with a giant bonus to one resist can help a lot and last a long time!


    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!

    Low Level: A prismatic magic ammy works wonders.


    Charms

    I dont have much to say about charms... usually 1/2 my inventory is full of them. Having one small with a cold damage mod will additionally slow enemies when you hit them, even if its just 1-2 damage. Pretty much charms 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! As I mentioned before, points in Holy Freeze over 20 make a huge difference.


    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.



    [ MERCENARY ]

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

    3.0 note: After having talked with several people and done a recent playthrough, I would recommend getting a Blessed Aim merc if you're having problems hitting. He makes a huge difference in how well you hit, especially in hell. If you're able to give him decent gear, he can also make up for low physical damage on your part if you go mostly all cold.

    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.



    [ HELPFUL HINTS FOR GAMEPLAY ]

    I realized that while I went over most aspects of this character in 2.0, I never actually gave hints for playing him! Here are things that have helped my Frost Zealot survive.

    1. Know your aura size
    When maxxed out, the range of Holy Freeze is gigantic, giving you a radius pretty much equal to and sometimes greater than the size of the screen and "pings" very often! This means that you can hear monsters ahead of you being frozen before you even get into range!!! The difference this makes when venturing into areas with archers could save your life.

    2. Balance dexterity and vitality
    You need high dexterity to keep blocking at 75%, but at higher levels those precious points could be spent in vitality. Be sure to take note of times you could save on dexterity through items. The IK gloves adds 20, Ravenfrost adds a ton, and oft times rare amulets will spawn with a decent +dex mod. If you know you have some dex coming your way, try to spend your points in vitality instead.

    3. Charge
    Since you need a point in charge to get to Holy Shield, make sure you use it! I use charge all the time. You can attack a point on the ground with it and charge to simply move very fast - I can beat some BoS assassins and teleport sorcs in a race! I also use it to charge into packs of archers to get right into the battle and take them out faster.

    4. Slow em even more
    The more sources of cold damage you have, the better your freezing ability. By keeping one small charm with cold damage on it in my inventory, monsters are slowed even more when you hit them. This is especially useful for charging into a pack of archers and slowing their fire to a crawl once they're hit.

    5. Get items by helping others
    This is by no means a magic finding build. However, as all builds get more item-geared when you get to hell, you'll need a way to get better stuff. I recommend doing baal runs with friends... this way you can split the drops well and not worry about grabbers. If you cant do that, try helping others gain experience - in the cow level! Once you're in your mid 40s, you should probably be able to handle the Normal Cow Level. Create a game called "I cow for you" or some such and wait for the low levels to join. They'll be able to sit behind you and leech experience while you're on the front line to get all the drops. A few of these will net you decent experience and decent gear - or at least trade fodder. Read Skkra's Story at the bottom to see how this helped me.

    6. Speed up your Zeal... if you can
    I've never been a big fan of running the numbers to find zeal framerates. However, its not overly difficult to find a fair amount of IAs in your gear. Since enemies are already so slowed from your aura, I wouldnt worry about getting a 4 frame zeal. 5 frames is definately acceptable; honestly, I never calculate my frame rate - I simply play with what I can get and I've never had a speed problem.

    7. Enchant yourself
    Its fairly easy to find or shop a weapon with charges of enchant on it. I often keep one on my switch to enchant myself with. It's a nice little way to get a boost to your attack rating without dropping points in Blessed Aim for the hidden passive bonus. Better yet, if you can find a Demon Limb to keep on switch, you're more than set, especially since it has massive fire damage to deal with cold/physical immunes!

    8. Curse them
    Instead of a wand with enchant, why not get one with Lower Resist? This is great to have on switch... even level 1 is -31 to their cold... thats a massive damage boost for you if your Holy Freeze is at a decent level, especially if you're fighting bosses with a ton of hit points in hell.


    [ DEALING WITH DUAL IMMUNES ]

    There are those rare occasions when you run into a dual cold/physical immune. When this happens, it seems your choices boil down to the following:

    1. Have a high elemental damage weapon on switch
    This can be a unique, any of the new runewords, or, as was mentioned earlier, a wand with a bunch of elemental damage on it - these come up all the time!

    2. Have a merc that deals a third damage type
    Act 1 fire, act 3 fire or lightning

    3. Let your party handle it
    If you play in a party, dual immunes shouldnt be an issue

    4. Run
    It happens. Cant win em all!



    [ THE DAMAGE NUMBERS ]

    Here are the kind of numbers you can expect your Holy Freeze zealot to achieve. I added this so people can see the base numbers they'll get as well as the importantance of +skills if possible.

    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, +1 shield, +1 offensive aura ammy. Remember syngergy skills dont count above 20!

    25 Holy Freeze: 275 - 280
    + 20 Resist Cold: 1100 - 1120
    + 20 Salvation: 1485 - 1511


    Now THAT sure is a nice amount of cold damage to add PER HIT of a Zeal! But could we go higher? What if we had a nice, yet fairly attainable, "elite" setup? +3 Heavens Light, +2 rare circlet, +2 rare shield, +2 rare amulet, +1 Guardian Angel and a +1 unique belt with battle command +1 from the barb in your party! I'm not going to consider 2 SOJs (unpractical for this build) or a +3 amulet (only spawns on magic). Get ready...

    32 Holy Freeze: 435 - 440
    + 20 Resist Cold: 1740 - 1760
    + 20 Salvation: 2348 - 2375
    (with 469 - 475 periodic aura damage and 57% slow!)

    Yes... it can get that sick. Plus, just for my own sick satisfaction, here are the numbers if you managed to get, say, 6 Offensive Aura grand charms to bring the total up to level 38...

    38 Holy Freeze: 585 - 590
    + 20 Resist Cold: 2340 - 2360
    + 20 Salvation: 3158 - 3185
    (with 631 - 637 periodic aura damage and 58% slow!)

    So keep rerolling those grand charms (act III nightmare, Great Marsh-Kurast grand charms are best - they can get +skills but have the least chance of getting other junk) because, my god, those numbers are disgusting!



    [ 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. Of course, in hell you will all but need to have more decent gear if you want to do well, but really, who doesnt.

    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 below is the story of my current (as of 3/16/04) Frost Zealot, who I made to better revise this guide! I have been incredibly pleased that everyone has enjoyed this guide - I honestly thought it may just fade into oblivion, yet the guide has hit ~6,000 views. Thank you everyone!

    Feel free to come game with me... *Kitriara on USEast hardcore ladder.



    [ SKKRA'S STORY ]

    Here is the story, so far, of Skkra, the little Frost Zealot that could. He started out completely untwinked and has played his way up to Act II hell, where he is as of this posting. I'll update this thread as he kills Hell Baal (since I wont be able to update the guide!)

    NORMAL
    Skkra quickly assembled whatever gear he could get his hands on. In Act I he found Death's Gloves and a nice rare skull cap. He was 18 when he killed Andariel which was nice since she got to taste the cold!

    By the end of Act II he had found (surprise!) Isenharts Sword which was nice since it's so fast. My rings jewelry was magic at this point, the rest of my equipment rare.

    Things went fine all the way to Act V. At this point Baal Runs rapidly leveled me up and let me finish maxing Holy Freeze. I managed to grab a few better pieces of gear and was saving up lots of gems to trade with.

    Once I finished normal, I spent a bunch of games doing cow runs. This gave me a bunch of decent resist charms and jewels. I sold everything else that dropped - especially any armor - for money. With this I gambled as much as possible and better outfit myself.

    NIGHTMARE
    Nightmare went off without a hitch. I made my way through each act, doing plenty of gambling along the way. I gambled a lovely amulet: +1 sorc skills, 10% faster cast, +10 strength with 19% prismatic, 42% lightning! I traded this for an equivalent paladin amulet: +1 paladin skills, +20 dex, 18% prismatic with high cold.

    Nightmare hellforge gave me a Shael. Ah well... I'm holding onto it until I find a good sacred targe to make Rhyme in. A little bit ago I had traded some gems for the Hand of Zakarum which did nice by me.

    Anya actually decided to be nice with my shield and gave me a rare with good resists! I kept this until I found a rare +1 paladin 14% prismatic one. My rings are both gambled rares at this point too.

    I killed Baal my first nightmare run so that I'd always be safe to make the games. Killing Baal each time as I went from my 50s to 70s was excellent, and helped me outfit my paladin the way he is now. Meanwhile, I used the trading forums to unload all of my chipped gems for "junk" that people find left and right - some of these even fell in my games, I just wasnt fast enough to get it!

    In my mid 70s I did a few nightmare cow runs to find more stuff, get experience and raise money for gambling.

    I just played through Act I hell last night, and finally purchased an act 2 blessed aim merc who is helping a LOT - he adds about 2300 AR!

    My current gear is now:
    - My rare paladin amulet (traded a gamble)
    - Rare rings (both gambled)
    - Bladebuckle (traded)
    - 29% Vipermagi (traded)
    - Laying of Hands (found nm baal)
    - Sigons Boots (found nm somewhere)
    - Rockstopper (found nm baal)
    - Rare shield (found nm somewhere)
    - Nords (aquired with perfect gems)

    My merc has:
    - Hwanins Helm (found nm baal)
    - Hwanins Weapon (found nm somewhere)
    - Toothrow (found nm baal)

    This guide has honestly reached a level I never imagined in terms of content! Keep making those Frost Zealots, and I'll see you on bnet!

    - Kit
     
  3. Cod

    Cod IncGamers Member

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    excellent point about trading for items using perfect gems. i have a character that uses essentially the same equipment as suggested but uses holy shock instead that can solo hell baal (slowly, but it works) and the only item that i use that i might not have been able to trade for is gore riders (found on hell armorer of all people). everything else cost between 10-25 perfect gems, so cube, cube away :)
     
  4. knuckle_sammich

    knuckle_sammich IncGamers Member

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    Just wanted to add my 2 cents worth. This is, imho, by far the best guide written to date. My pally is now lvl 85 and beats Baal like a red-headed stepchild!!

    20 holyfreeze
    20 res cold
    20 salvation
    20 holy shield (still workin on this one)

    Guillaume's Face (15ias)
    highlords
    g-angel (15ias)
    string
    lava gouts
    ravenfrost
    wedding band
    gore riders
    schaeffers (eth rune)
    HoZ (pdiamond)

    gimmershreds on switch for iron maiden casters and monsters out of reach.

    90 lightning resists w/this build in hell (just need a res charm for 95).
    btw dont forget to do the res quests in act 5!!!
    only time i switch auras (holy freeze to salvation) is for the venom lords to crank up the fire res then back to holy freeze for remainder on Hell Baal runs.

    btw, wasn't this guide sticked earlier? if not, it should be.

    once again, good job Kitriara!! :winner: :worship: :clap:

    lol sorry just felt a need to repost this on the 3.0 version
     
  5. Evanta

    Evanta IncGamers Member

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    To add to weapons selection, I shall mention Nord's and Frostwind's Freeze Target ability.

    Why? 'cuz the more cold sources you have, the longer they are frozen, with holy freeze and a few charms, and multiple hits, all the monsters do is just stand there frozen. Nord's and Frostwind do quite a lot of cold damage too, perfect theme weapon for a frost zealot. They can swing fast enough to hit 5 fpa w/o needing excessive IAS too.

    However, fighting act bosses would require a weapon switch, those 2 aren't gonna do enough damage.
     
  6. Aerath

    Aerath IncGamers Member

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    Quick Merc Lvl up tip -

    Normal Cow Runs. The cows go Moo - then another Moo and 20 cows drop dead. Your Merc will be leveling like crazy.

    Once he's caught up with you, you can just take him along. He'll level perfectly well in Baal Runs alongside you, and once you'll head into NM/Hell for real he'll be there right beside you :)
     
  7. Kitriara

    Kitriara IncGamers Member

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    I didnt think to use that to level up your merc... nice idea! I did note though that your "ping" aura damage is enough to kill normal cows in one hit, though usually it gets them down to a sliver and takes a second little tap. Its fun to clear the whole cow level by just walking around though!

    Oh, by the way, Skkra killed Hell Baal last night!

    I managed to find an imbuable Sacred Targe (best blocking) in the Chaos Sanctuary which I imbued... +1 offensive auras, faster/higher block and prismatic... good enough for me!

    As for Baal: admittedly, it was fairly difficult as I have no crushing blow right now - something I will remedy shortly. I did the ancients while in a party but I'm thinking of trying to do another one solo to see how I fair. I'll post more about him once a refine his gear a little further (cmon, Heavens Light...)
     
  8. gvandale

    gvandale IncGamers Member

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    ok going through a couple of things, there may be a couple items you left out of the mix:

    Shield: Stormshield. Admittedly, it is missing many godly mods of HOZ, but is actually cheaper (on useast sc ladder at least)

    Gloves: Dracul's Grasp. CTC life tap, 25ow, LL. Pretty damn nice. You did mention Steelrends. The best IHMO

    Belts: Verdungo's. IHMO better then string. vit boost + dr = sexxy rexxy. Snowclash (exceptional battle belt) adds cold dmg.
     
  9. Antiochous_3

    Antiochous_3 IncGamers Member

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    Kitriara, major kudos on a great guide.
    I am glad that you are one of the few that realises the awsome killing power of CB. I have so many people call me a rich noob because i use a 4 ber 1.10 griswald Caddy off ladder on one of my zealots. Btw, i have tried this wep on my off ladder frost zealot and it works wonders. However, i dont really see any point in posting it as a suggested wep since 4 bers is next to impossible to get on ladder and would be a waist neway, imo.

    Thanks for a great guide and best of luck in the new ladder season. (If it ever comes.)

    Anti
     
  10. kryo

    kryo IncGamers Member

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    I just want to add a couple notes based on my frost zealot experience.

    Nord's isn't just good for the extra damage, but (at least in my experience) when combined with holy freeze it results in nearly every non-cold immune non-unique monster you kill shattering to bits (pisses off the necros but it's great vs. ressurecting mosnters).

    Also, Lava Gouts can be considered as a glove too. They have the 20 IAS on them, decent fire resist, and with zeal the enchant will go off often enough to keep you pretty much perpetually enchanted for a hefty AR boost and a little fire damage to boot. I use these on my pally even though I have draculs since I need that IAS to make 5 fpa zeal (and I don't want to waste my sockets on IAS jewels ;) ).
     
  11. Aerath

    Aerath IncGamers Member

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    On a sidenote.. @ lvl 65 (I think :)) I am still using Steelclash. For lack of anything better I just upgraded it.
     
  12. corby000

    corby000 IncGamers Member

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    I'm thinking ahead to using this pally type for Hell (mine's currently at lvl 26).
    Is the physical zeal damage adequate enough to kill cold immunes quickly? What has been your experience with this build in Hell?
    Is the blessed aim merc the best for this build?

    Thanks, and props to the great guide. It's got me back into pallies again!
     
  13. Kitriara

    Kitriara IncGamers Member

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    Corby: Killing cold immunes in Hell would mean...

    1) You went with maxing Zeal + Sacrifice for the damage
    2) Your merc can handle them
    3) It'll take a while

    Personally, my Frost Zealot (almost 80) went with all cold synergies with only max Zeal. Using my Nords I can beat down creatures in act 4 decently fast, but it definately takes a good handful of zeals per monster. It goes much quicker when I let my (blessed aim) merc handle it.

    Going with a Blessed Aim merc is a really nice way to make up for attack rating. If you have or make an ITD weapon, you're totally set and dont need to worry. If not, make use of ETH runes so you'll hit more often.

    As for experiences in Hell, he is there right now and doing quite well. He is killing at medium effiency but as I work more towards my ideal gear (got a HoZ recently go me) his killing power is getting MUCH better. Plus, I dont have a drop of crushing blow on him right now, which will help a lot.

    Anyone who wants to see him in action can whisper *Kitriara on East HCL.
     
  14. wsimian

    wsimian IncGamers Member

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    This is my first post, and I will admit that I am practically a complete noob. (Please don't throw tomatoes!) I have 3 stalled characters thanks to my faulty point allocation ... a 77 dual claw assassin, an 82 elemental druid, and finally my ** Avenger.

    I thought I was doing well with the avenger, until I realized I overmaxed synergies and placed way too many points in salvation, and absolutely nothing in holy shield. I try to plug away (thud thud) and do my share, but the only reason I level is because parties love me for the conviction and salvation swaps on baal runs.

    So after reading this I decided to switch over to this type of pally since I had many of the points ... just to test the waters. I toggled on zeal and holy freeze.

    My equipment (thanks to a friend who left the game for a while and gave it to me) is pretty decent, but I'm sure it needs changes. Some of it I found myself but I'm sure you can tell the ones I didn't "find". LOL

    Shako
    Hoz
    Enigma
    Heaven's Light
    Soul Drainer Gloves
    IK Belt
    Infernostride Boots
    Raven Frost Ring
    Carrion Wind Ring
    Seraph's
    All charms are resist charms, and one anni.

    Currently my levels (toggled for the change) are:

    Zeal - 16
    Holy Freeze -12
    Cold Resist - 23
    Salvation - 26
    Holy Shield - Big Fat Goose Egg

    I'm also running with an act 2 Defiance Merc.

    A bunch of my points were placed elsewhere ... some out of stupidity ... others because I use vengeance and convicition.

    BUT, when I switched over to the Zeal and the Holy freeze I was rather shocked. My character can make it alone as far as Izzy, until he flops. And he still holds his own in baal runs (being helpful - not standing in the back of the room cringing in fear LOL)

    So considering all this I have to say I really want to try this build. I can definitely say I've learned something from this. Thank you so much.
     
  15. Aerath

    Aerath IncGamers Member

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    Kitriara - can I get a clean stat point allocation for you (for whatever level you are at currently) ?
     
  16. smokey[dead]

    smokey[dead] Banned

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    I got a couple of Q's for this faq,

    1. is redeemer ok for the zealot? Im non-ladder so i dont have access to a heaven of light
    2. What do you do for yoru ar? what's your max dex and str at?
     
  17. Kitriara

    Kitriara IncGamers Member

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    Smokey: If you dont have access to Heavens Light, dont worry about it. Any of the guide recommendations are fine... basically you want speed and some kind of crushing blow/itd/-defense modifier. If you can any of that, you should be good to go.

    As for my stats now, I'm level 78, and my stats are:

    Base (with equip)

    Str: 91 (121)
    Dex: 93 (126)
    Vit: 276 (311)
    Nrg: Base (Base)

    I make up faster run walk, faster hit recovery, and some resists with charms I've found.


    Also, a quick update: finally, a heavens light! Skkra is really a machine at point, blowing his way through mostly anything in hell thats not dual cold/physical immune.
     
  18. fiercex

    fiercex IncGamers Member

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    Could you post your current gear please?
     
  19. Kitriara

    Kitriara IncGamers Member

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    Skkra's Current Gear (shouldve just included it in my last post):

    +2 Heaven's Light (eth eth for -83% defense!)
    Herald of Zakarum
    Vipermagi
    Laying of Hands
    Goblin Toe
    Guilliames/Rockstopper
    Bladebuckle
    Rare rings/amulet

    This setup gives him 26 in Holy Freeze and 93% crushing blow (100% if I change to my 8% crafted gloves). I can solo any boss in the game in a few moments with this setup, its almost comical! Now to find that clone...
     
  20. Lothos

    Lothos IncGamers Member

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    This is my first pally and he is 23 right now. I'm loving it. Playing for the most part untwinked and bringing an act 3 lightning merc along for the ride. I realize the AR benefit of the BA merc, but my hunch is the lightning merc may make the dual immunes drop a bit faster when I get there. He clears the screen now of all the low hp mobs right now at 17. My question is is it better to go the sacrifice/salvation route for the dual immunes and have an elemental on switch or does it not matter? Otherwise I'd just go the Holy shield route and let my merc whack them.
     

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