Giga's 1.11 Ladder Hammerdin Guide!


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Giga's 1.11 Ladder Hammerdin Guide!

~Giga’s 1.11 Ladder Hammerdin Guide Version 1.0~

Table of Contents
0) Introduction
1) Skill Layout
2) Stats
3) Your Equipment
4) Mercenary
5) Mercenary’s Equipment
6) Faster Cast Rate
7) Faster Hit Recovery
8) Faster Block Rate
9) Aiming the Hammers
10) PvM
11) PvP
12) End Game
13) Conclusion
14) Credit
15) Disclaimer
16) History
17) Contact
18) About Me

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~0) Introduction~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hammerdins really don’t need any introduction. The original guide I wrote only needed one because it was written roughly four years ago where everyone AND their mother did NOT have a hammerdin. (The original guide is incredibly outdated now by the way, hence, this one.) However, if you were living under a rock, allow me to introduce you to them:

Icy Veins Hammerdin Build

Hammerdins are paladins that specialize in the skill “Blessed Hammer” on left click along with its main aura “Concentration” on the right. This build is incredibly viable and in my opinion (and others), the BEST PvM build out there! Why is that you might be wondering? Simpe, because Blessed Hammer deals MASSIVE magical damage, and unlike other builds who only specialize in one element, most monsters in the game aren’t immune to magic…not even those that are “Immune to Magic.” There are only a handful of monsters immune to hammers, and those are only found in Act 3…however, why you would ever need to fight them after you finished the quests (partied hopefully) is beyond me.

With its unblockable damage, it’s pretty much one of the few classes who can solo hell ALONE…and it’s not really a stretch to say this: It can solo hell ALONE in an EIGHT PLAYER game! All the bots you see running Baal today are hammerdins, and THAT is why! If I only had one build in the whole entire game, it would be this one, no doubt in my mind.

Also, please don’t let the fact that I talk so much of its PvM abilities lead you into thinking it’s not capable in PvP…in fact, it’s very capable…more on that later.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~1) Skill Layout~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

First off, I am capping the build at level 90. The reason is simple, at level 90, the build is pretty much maxed out on its capabilities, and any further leveling not only takes a lot of time, but the additional skill points do not help out much (the stat points on the other hand, are different.)

Defensive Auras
1 Prayer
1 Cleansing
1 Defiance
1 Redemption*
1 Salvation*
20 Vigor

Offensive Auras
1 Might
20 Blessed Aim
20 Concentration

Combat Skills
1 Holy Bolt
1 Smite
1 Charge
12 Holy Shield**
20 Blessed Hammer

* Optional though highly recommended.
**After level 90, it comes to personal preference. First, it should be noted that you should aim for Holy Shield level 16 AT THE LEAST, that’s where you hit +36% blocking, any points after level 16 and diminishing returns start to come into play. It requires you to get to level 20 only to get +1 more % of blocking, where as previously, it only took 1-2 point to increase it. After level 90, your points can either go into Holy Shield or whatever else you see fit, I never take my characters pass 90, but if you do, feel free to drop points here and there.

Explanation for each skill:

Defensive Auras
1 Prayer
- This skill is only here as a prerequisite.
1 Cleansing
- This skill is also a prerequisite, however, it IS fairly useful…Very useful in baal runs, gubering, or when PvPing vs. anything with poison or curses (I’m looking at you Necros!)
1 Defiance
- Prereq, not terribly useful, but I guess it’s ok to put it on when someone else has Concentration on?
1 Redemption
- Completely option although it gets a recommendation from me. After you slaughter a mob, put this on to quickly regenerate your health and mana! If you’re going pure PvP hammer, this skill is useless.
1 Salvation
- Also optional but VERY useful! In PvM, having this during baal or gubering is a godsend. You can also use it in PvP versus FoH and other builds with –resist.
20 Vigor
- Synergy and also very useful. Vigor in town is amazing, and Vigor + Charge (for Desynching…more on that later) would make you INCREDIBLY fast.

Offensive Auras
1 Might
- This skill is only here as a prereq.
20 Blessed Aim
- Synergy, otherwise, not much use.
20 Concentration
- Here’s your main aura, you’re not much without it! This aura increases your hammer damage by ALOT (though 50% of what it would increase to melee…) and you’re mercenary also benefits from it. People in party generally value your high Concentration level.

Combat Skills
1 Holy Bolt
- Prereq and totally useless. You could kill the second group of minions during a Baal run with it but eh…
1 Smite
- Very useful skill to have, though also a prereq. Theoretically, you could solo ubers with one point into smite, however…you’ll have to read another guide for that.
1 Charge
- Another prereq that is super useful. Used for desynching and moving around in STYLE. Also to get close to someone in PvP, and could downright kill poorly built casters :p
12 Holy Shield*
- This skill should be on at ALL times! It increases your chance to block, your defense, and all that shenaz. Because of this skill, you don’t have to invest massive points into dex, and ALSO, it increases your faster block rate by a lot (more on that later.)
20 Blessed Hammer
- If you don’t know why this skill should be maxed then…then…

-Order to get skills-

Remember that 110 skill points is available to you. In addition to the 98 points you get from going level 1-99, 3 from Den, 3 from Radament, and 6 from Izzy.

This is assuming you’re not rushed and actually playing through PvM, otherwise, it doesn’t really matter:

During the early levels, start by putting points into prereqs, then eventually get a point into Hammer, Concentration, and Vigor. From there, max out Concentration, Vigor, and Blessed aim before the actual Blessed Hammer skill because the damage increase is roughly the same, but however, putting points into hammer increases the mana cost, and mana tends to be a huge problem at low-mid levels. In between, place a point or two into Holy Shield, and get Redemption/Salvation last if you are going to get them (but before dumping pts into Holy Shield of course.) Holy Shield will be the last skill you work on after all the synergies and main skills are maxed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~2) Stats~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Strength: Depends on wealth and preference.
Dexterity: Enough for Max Block (75%)
Vitality: Everything else.
Energy: None added.

Notice how none of the stats above have a set number. This should be the case for most builds because every ones character will vary depending on the items and charms.
Strength* – This is generally enough to wear your equipment based on your wealth. The end game armor you will be using: Enigma, which provides massive strength (0.75 per level, so at level 90, +67.5 or 67 strength.) Using which Enigma, however, is up to personal preference. Popular choices are Breast Plate, Mage Plate, Dusk Shroud, and Archon Plate. They require 30/55/77/103 strength respectively. With a perfect Annihilus and perfect Hellfire Torch, that’s +40 strength in addition to the base 25 so enough to use Mage Plate, but not quite the rest yet (besides BP, if you can’t afford a torch but have an anni…) Using others will require you to drop points into strength (or using items/charms with strength, but keep in mind you might switch out…) which of course means less points into vitality, which OF COURSE, means least health. A point into vitality for Paladins has very good returns because 1 vit = 3 health. After Battle Orders and such, those few points could end up being!
hundreds of health points! Using the other armors besides BP/MP yields more defense, which isn’t terribly important in my opinion when you teleport and have 75% block, but some prefer it. Archon Plate was what I used on my original hammerdin, but only because of personal preference. It was STYLISH and looks nice :D

Dexterity – Enough for max block, aka when your chance to block is 75%, no less, and no more since that’s not possible.
The formula for blocking is as follows:

Total Blocking = (Blocking * (Dexterity - 15)) / (Character Level * 2)

Total Blocking = 75
Blocking = Blocking of your shield.

The amount of dex you need will vary depending on level, your level of Holy Shield, and what shield you’re using. Figure this one out on your own using the formula seeing as your items will not be the same as mines. (Don’t forget to factor in Holy Shield, in reality, with it, you only need enough dex for about 35% block.)

Vitality – As mentioned before, Paladins have very good return on the points placed here. One point nets you 3 HP, which is very nice! With little strength, dex, and no energy required, you will have a lot of HP. A lot of HP of course means you survive longer, and that obviously, is a good thing.

Energy – At one point, I recommended putting some points here, however, as of 1.11, I recommend no Energy at all! You will struggle through the beginning and mid if you walk PvM, but it will pay off in the end. Once your mercenary get Insight, mana will never be a problem anymore.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~3) Your Equipment~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For everything, I generally list the end game item, the item for the average player, and alternatives for poor or new.


1. 2/20/2 Paladin Circlet – These are what you want to shoot for in the end. The numbers mean a circlet (which includes Coronet, Tiara, etc.) that has +2 Paladin Skill, 20 Faster Cast Rate, and 2 Open Sockets. This is more or less a no brainer, the +2 skills is of course nice (will give more of a boost than +3 combat I believe.), the 20 FCR helps you hit the last breakpoint (you can hit it easily without, but nice to have when you swap equips) and the 2 open sockets is used for whatever you’re lacking in stats. The ultimate item to socket it with is probably some 7/15 Jewels (7 Faster Hit Recovery 15 Resist All), if not, 2 Shaels for FHR or 2 Ums for Resist is OK too. Alternative to this is a 2/20/1, rare or magic; it could potentially be better and have more mods, but less flexibility due to having one socket.

Ridiculously expensive, not just the circlet, but the jewels too!

2. Harlequin Crest – Three seasons ago (Season 1), this was the helm to have. It WAS expensive, but today, they are practically everywhere and can be had for cheap. + Skills, life, mana, dr, and mf, its got it all. Socket it with a PTopaz for MF, or again, Um, Shael, jewels, or other high runes to help with whatever you’re lacking. This is possibly better than the above circlet if you don’t need the 20 FCR.

Not too expensive, on USEast Ladder, its Pul and under currently. Still though, it’s costly if you’re new.

3. Tarnhelm, Peasant Crown, Lore (OrtSol) – These three are grouped together because they all serve the same purpose. Placeholders until you’re either rich enough or high enough level to wear one of the above. All these have +1 skill as well as other useful mods and are dirt cheap.

Dirt cheap; can be had for PGems. Lore can be made on a 2 socket helm with Ort+Sol which you can obtain from Countess runs.

4. Crown of Ages – This is one hell of a helm. It has +1 skill, 2 open sockets, faster hit recovery, resist, and damage reduce as well as nice defense. The only problem is…it has an insanely high strength requirement of 174. If you can afford a good one, and possibly went Archon AND don’t need that 20 FCR from the 2/20/2, get one of these. For the 2 sockets, same as before, whatever you need. You might be able to hit the 200% FHR breakpoint with this :)

Ridiculously expensive.


1. Enigma (JahIthBer) – This is the armor you will be using, no question or doubt about it. The armor you will make it on is up to you, but the MAIN reason you use this armor is for Teleport. It is THE skill you use next to Concentration on the right, and uh, it’s pretty much the most useful skill in the game :) It also has other mods too, not as important as Teleport, but nice nevertheless. The +strength is one of them, which saves you from placing points into the stat yourself, giving you more life. +Skills, max life, DR, MF, are bonuses.

Quite expensive, but it’s also one of the main piece of the puzzle; get it.

2. Chains of Honor (DolUmBerIst) – If for whatever reason you decide that you DON’T want Teleport (what is wrong with you?!), then this works too. The runes are more expensive than Enigma’s when combined, but eh, it grants you +2 skills, mass resistance, as well as other mods.

Runes are more expensive than Enigma’s…

3. Skin of the Vipermagi/Que-Hegan’s Wisdom – Both are roughly the same. They aren’t expensive, give you +skill, and fcr/res or fcr/fhr. Quite nice for what it is if you are poor.

Pretty cheap, especially for a low one. Can be had for pgems from trades, definitely worth it if you can’t get Enigma.

4. Guardian Angel – If you don’t have Enigma but somehow got one of these, use it. It’s useful with Salvation to bring all your resists up, but unless you’re using it in PvP with absorb, it isn’t terribly amazing.

Pretty cheap.

5. Stealth (TalEth) – You super poor? Use this. Faster R/W, CR, AND HR!

MEGA ULTRA cheap! 2 socket armor + runes that drop off NORMAL countess.



1. Heart of the Oak (KoVexPulThul) – Well, before Spirit came out, this was THE weapon to have. +3 skills and FCR as well as mass mana increase. It’s still great as it adds a lot of damage; you will switch between this and Wizardspike depending on which breakpoint you want to hit.

Expensive, but manageable, get later if you have Wizzy and decide that you need it.

2. Wizardspike – HoTo gives mass mana, but this actually gives more! It also gives an insane 75 resistance boost as well as 50 faster cast rate. Very useful, especially in hell. Will be primary along side HoTo. Also used to hit last FCR breakpoint! Socket with 7/15 if you’re rich.

Not expensive at all, can be had for pgems or a low-mid rune. This is what you want to shoot for if you’re poor.

3. Spirit (TalThulOrtAmn) – Make on a Crystal Sword or something. Has potential high FCR, insane FHR, and even resist! Also +skills to boot.

Cheap, use over HoTo if you can’t afford it but don’t need to hit the last breakpoint.

4. Any of the +skill unique Paladin scepters – They are dirt cheap because no one uses them. Useful until you get Wizzy or HoTo.

Dirt cheap if you can actually find them…


1. Call to Arms (AmnRalMalIstOhm) – Your main weapon on switch. It gives you Battle Order, a skill normally on Barbarians. This skill gives you a boost to health and mana…a must have if you can afford it. Also Battle Command which increases your skill levels temporarily.

Very expensive but not necessary if you’re poor. Not essential to the build.

2. Anything – Really, anything. If it’s not CTA, get creative. Throw on a heavy dmg melee weapon for charging, or have the element of surprise by using a FoH stick…whatever works for you, not crucial to the build. Archon Staff BoTd anyone?

Varies I guess?



1. Herald of Zakarum – Great shield. Increases your damage by quite a bit and also adds a crap load of resistance. Also high chance to block. Socket with Um or PDiamond or a fancy jewel. Can be upped for added defense. This or Spirit depending on which breakpoint.


2. Spirit (TalThulOrtAmn) – This is an incredible shield made from such low runes. It will also be one of your main! Will give you less of a damage boost than HoZ, however, MASSIVE FHR and a potential 35 FCR more than makes up for it. This is a must if you want to hit 125 FCR. Best made on a Sacred Targe with base 45 resist, but that is super expensive to get. Roll it on whatever you can afford.

Runes expensive, base shield will cost you for a good one. Super cheap if made on a low shield. Get one!

3. Lidless Wall/Splendor (EthLum) – Spirit overshadows these. They have all the mods a caster would want, but eh…use only if you can’t get a Spirit for some reason. Splendor also have MF.

Cheap, but no reason to get.

4. Rhyme (ShaelEth) – Again, Spirit overshadows this. It’s got 5% more MF than Splendor and has some nice mods to it. Cheap and will last if you don’t have the others.


5. Sigon’s Guard – This is worthy of a mention only because I love the Sigon set. +1 skill and a nice block rate.

Cheap and free majority of the time in public games o.0


1. Spirit (TalThulOrtAmn) – Use it with CTA to give +2 to Battle Command/Order.

Cheap, FCR don’t matter here so a low one is fine.

2. Lidless Wall/Splendor (EthLum) – Like above, for +skill to CTA.

If you can afford a CTA, you can afford a freaking Spirit.

3. Exile (VexOhmIstDol) – Hey, if you want to get creative and feel like smiting but don’t want to use the CTA/Spirit combo, you can smite with this bad boy. Make it on an eth shield, goes good with some nice melee runeword. You can uber with this :)

It’s expensive; use it if you got wealth to throw around.


1. Magefist – Cheap, faster caste rate, nice mana boosting mods. Double up for more defense.


2. Trang Gloves – It’s either this or Magefist. Both serve the same purpose, FCR. The difference is one provide mana while the other provide resist. It’s up to you and depends on what you need.


3. Frostburn – Mass increase in mana. Use if you don’t have the above. While it gives more mana, there’s no FCR, which is very important to a hammerdin.

Dirt Cheap

4. Chance Guards – Use this for magic finding :p (which is something a hammerdin can do very well by the way.)

Cheap to Expensive for perfect.


1. Sandstorm Trek – My boot of choice for its strength, dex, and faster hit recovery. Get a perfect eth pair if possible :) The strength can help you towards your equip and the dex towards equip/block.

Mid price to Expensive to Super expensive for low/high/eth respectively.

2. Waterwalk – Very nice boots. It gives a lot of life, but not as good as Trek. Second choice.

Cheapish to Decent for a good pair.

3. Silkweave – For mana, that’s about it.

Decently cheap.

4. War Traveler – For MFing because the boots aren’t terribly important. Also gives strength, which is a bonus.

Cheap to Expensive for low to high.

5. Tearhaunch – Strength/dex/vigor and even resist! Not big boosts, but these are cheap!



1. Arachnid Mesh – No competition. +1 skill, 20 FCR (big help to hit bp), and mana.


2. Anything – Arach is the belt to get so there are no substitutes but pretty much anything else works. String of Ears is nice, TGods/Snowclash for sorb, Glooms, Trangs, etc.

Varies, but seriously, use whatever. Go String of Ears if anything, which is cheapish.


1. Crafted Amulets – You have to be super lucky or super rich to get one of these. +2 Paladin/10-20 FCR with other mods is of course the best, but seriously, these are hard to come by.

A lot…a freaking lot. OR really cheap if you’re really lucky.

2. Mara’s Kaleidoscope – +2 Skill, + Resistance, + Attribs, this is the next best thing that’s not crafted.

Expensive to Super Expensive for a high one.

3. Rare Amulets – Like crafted, except these don’t go above 10 FCR. A nice 10 FCR one will burn your wallet though.

Varies a lot, dirt cheap to mega expensive.

4. Highlord’s/Seraphs Hymn – For the +skills, but not really worth it to get them…

Cheap/expensive depending on who you get it from.

5. Magic Amulets - If you can’t get a Mara’s, just use any amulet really. +2 Paladin/Resist, +Combat, Mana, Life, it’s all good. Just get the +skills for damage.

Cheap, find them your damn self.


1. Stone of Jordans – The famed SoJ, +1 skill, a crapload of mana, and duped to hell. Use em if you don’t want to/need to hit the next FCR breakpoint.

Expensive on ladder, not terribly expensive on non-ladder.

2. Rare Rings – Main thing to look for is 10FCR with strength/dex/life/mana/resist. They go for a lot if nice. Remember, +strength/+dex on your jewelery = more points for you to put into vitality.

Worthless to Mega Ultra Expensive

3. Scintillating Ring of Apprentice – My PERSONAL favorite. Magic ring 10 FCR 15 Resist All. Very nice ^^ For hitting FCR breakpoint in addition to stacked resist.

Hard to place a value on these because no one has/keeps them.

4. Bul-Kathos' Wedding-Band – It’s like SoJ except life instead of mana. Use em if you don’t want to use SoJ?



1. Annihilus – Staple #1. You need this, skill, res, and attribute. A must if you want to go base strength.

Expensive to insanity for perfect.

2. Hellfire Torch – Staple #2. These weren’t around a few seasons ago. Better than anni, +3 skill, then res and attrib. Get this! Even if you can’t get a Paladin one, get any until you can.

Paladin ones are super expensive, SUPER insanity for perfect. Low torches of other classes (besides Sorc) aren’t too expensive though…in fact, they are really cheap (like Assassin, Barb, etc.)

3. Lion Branded Grand Charm - +1 Paladin Combat GCs. Increases your hammer and Holy Shield. Get them, preferably with FHR or life.

Expensive for plain, crazy expensive for fhr/lifers.

4. Captain’s Grand Charm - +1 Paladin Offensive GCs. Not as good as PCombat, but it increases Concentration, which increases dmg nevertheless. Look for FHR and life again.

Not terribly expensive for plain, expensive for fhr and lifers.

5. Godly Small Charms – Here is where you fill your inventory with whatever else you need. 20 life, 5 res all, 7 mf, 5 fhr. Get those single modded for cheap or sc with 2 of those mods if your wealthy.

Cheapish to Super Expensive.

6. Grand/Small Charm of Balance – Yeah, it’s mentioned above but I feel that it deserves another mention. Make sure you hit at least the 86% breakpoint. Get plain charms to hit it if you must.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4) Mercenary~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

In PvM, a mercenary will be very useful to the build. The mercenary of choice is without a doubt the Act 2 Defensive one from Nightmare. That would be the one with Holy Freeze!

Holy Freeze will save you in tight spots, it slows down everything around you so you get hit less, thus, take less damage. It’s especially useful when fighting cows or Baal’s last group of minion.

Gone are the days where you have to hire and level a mercenary yourself. With the latest patch, mercenaries will be around your level when you hire them, so it’s best to rehire when you are going to stop leveling. After that, just take it to a few Baal runs and it will catch up with you in no time!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~5) Mercenary’s Equipment ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

First and foremost, it should be noted that items with the Ethereal attribute does NOT lose durability on a mercenary. Use this to your advantage. Ethereal armor/helms will have more defense, and Ethereal weapon will have a higher damage output.


1. Anything with life leach – Really, your mercenary need’s leech to stay alive, so give it something with nice leech. From expensive to cheap, you can go: Andarial’s Visage (Ral’d), Vampire Gaze, Crown of Thieves, etc. Socket them with IAS jewels or ED jewels…or a jewel with both on it :p Best if Ethereal.(If you don’t want leech on the helm, you can always opt to have some on the weapon and place a nicer helm here… however, higher leech never hurt.)

Varies, can be expensive or cheap.


1. Anything with high defense – I hate to be vague, but defense is what a mercenary needs. If your rich, an Ethereal Chains of Honor/Fortitude would work, if not you can opt for any of the exceptional/elite unique armors like Duriel’s Shell, Black Hades, Shaftstop, etc. Socket it with whatever your mercenary is lacking, such as resist, strength, etc. Best if Ethereal. If you can’t afford any of those armors, anything you find in hell with >1000 defense is ok…for the time being.

Cheap to Expensive


1. Insight (RalTirTalSol) – Hey, what do you know? Something that’s set in stone! Normally, before this runeword came out, I would have recommended something like an Ethereal Bonehew or some other elite unique polearm/spears, but the introduction of this runeword, it’s a must! Firstly, I want to point out that this weapon is “broken.” By broken, I mean that it is incredibly powerful and gamebreaking, to say the least. Insight gives you the Meditation aura. Without having to explain what this aura’s full effect is, it basically gives you INFINITE mana! Yep, with this, you will be teleporting and hammering without ever having to chug a mana potion. Best made on an Ethreal elite polearm like a Colossus Voulge, but anything will do. Rolling the meditation level doesn’t matter that much, all you need to do is have it.

(Note: Sometimes when you revive your mercenary, you might have to take Insight off and put it back on before the aura activates…it’s a stupid bug that could use some fixing.)

Cheap for a low polearm, but expensive for a high elite one.

2. Ethreal Polearms – Well, I already said that Insight is amazing, but if you decide that you want to use mana pots, you can have your mercenary do higher damage. Any of the elite ethereal polearm works here, such as Bonehew, Tomb Reaver, Arioc…etc. Also, runewords made on eth elite polearms work too.

Cheap to super expensive.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~6) Faster Cast Rate~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Faster Cast Rate breakpoints are as follow:

0% fcr - 15 frames
9% fcr - 14 frames
18% fcr - 13 frames
30% fcr - 12 frames
48% fcr - 11 frames
75% fcr - 10 frames
125% fcr - 9 frames

Basically what these numbers mean is that the lower the frames (i.e. the higher the cast rate), your spells will cast out faster. As oppose to the frame before, you will be able to output more hammers/teleport (which is why you need FCR by the way) in a shorter period of time.

The ONLY breakpoint you MUST hit is either 75% or 125%. Any slower and you’d be…really slow.

Faster Cast Rate is not something you should really worry about if your poor because chances are, you won’t have Enigma for teleport.

To hit 75% is quite simple: Heart of the Oak + Magefist/Trang’s Glove + Arach will put you at 80%. In place of Heart of the Oak, you could use Wizardspike or Spirit, which will all bring you right at the breakpoint. With 75%, you can keep your Herald of Zakarum on, which will help you do more damage as well as survive better against melee attacks. Strive for this at least, works well for PvM (Going through the game and MFing.)

To hit 125%: Wizardspike + Magefist/Trang’s Glove + Arach + Perfect Spirit is the general set-up, and it works quite well. You will be sacrificing a few thousand damage, but as a result, you cast hammers faster AND you teleport super fast. Absolutely critical in PvP to chase and run. The other way to hit 125% without using Wizzy is to use HoTo + one FCR ring/amulet. You will deal more damage, but less the resistance by Wizardspike. The best way for 125% would probably be HoTo + Mage/Trang’s + Arach + Spirit + +skill/FCR/resist amulet. (You can fit a 2/20/2 in there too if you want.) You can ALSO try to fit in the HoZ, but if you do, you would have to use both FCR rings and FCR amulet…it’s up to your personal preference.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~7) Faster Hit Recovery~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Faster Hit Recovery breakpoints are as follow:

0% fhr - 9 frames
7% fhr - 8 frames
15% fhr - 7 frames
27% fhr - 6 frames
48% fhr - 5 frames
86% fhr - 4 frames
200% fhr - 3 frames

If you’re wielding a spear or stave (WHICH YOU WONT!):

0% fhr - 13 frames
3% fhr - 12 frames
7% fhr - 11 frames
13% fhr - 10 frames
20% fhr - 9 frames
32% fhr - 8 frames
48% fhr - 7 frames
75% fhr - 6 frames
120% fhr - 5 frames
280% fhr - 4 frames

The only breakpoint you want to hit here is 86%. 200% might be viable but that would require sacrifices (FHR charms as oppose to lifers). Hitting the breakpoint is a must because the less the frames you need to recover, the quicker you can get in and get out, alive. In PvP, this alone can make or break your character.

For FHR, a pair of treks gives you 20%, Spirit gives you 55% (!!!), so that brings ypu to 75%. From there, one Paladin Combat GC with FHR (or just plain) OR a Shael’d helm will bring us to the breakpoint. If you choose to go for HoZ instead of Spirit, the rest of your FHR will have to come from your charms in your inventory (or jewels.)

By the way, don’t wield a spear or a stave as your main!
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~8) Faster Block Rate~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Without Holy Shield:

0% fbr - 5 frames
13% fbr - 4 frames
32% fbr - 3 frames
86% fbr - 2 frames
600% fbr - 1 frame

With Holy Shield:

0% fbr - 2 frames
86% fbr - 1 frame

Notice the huge difference after Holy Shield is on. Holy Shield itself will take care of your faster block rate. I’m not sure how you can go about hitting 86%, so just leave it at whatever you got. Faster Block Rate isn’t as important as FCR and FHR, but the faster you block, the faster you get out…similar to FHR. You basically want to have fast EVERYTHING!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~9) Aiming the Hammers~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Aiming them at first can be a complicated, but easy to get use to after time. Hammers start out ON you before it moves out North, then spins 3 complete loops before it disappears…thus, allowing you to hit multiple enemies. Without Teleport, always move below a target before you unleash the fury of your hammers!

WITH Teleport however, you can teleport ON to your enemy, with such, since the hammers come out on you before they move up and out, the hammers will get a hit in.

That’s all there is to it, text won’t help you aim them, so just go out and use them!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~10) PvM~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PvM (Player vs Monster) is where Hammerdin’s excel at. Assuming you are walking through the game, the strategy is the same as any other build. Start off by whacking monsters with a stick in normal, then, when you synergize your hammers enough, use those for the rest of the game. Hammers are one of the few builds that have very little trouble in PvM, so…yeah.

If you aren’t walking through the game, and are getting rushed/grushed (glitch rushed, i.e. getting to hell at an incredibly low level doing minimal quests) then I suggest you do guber runs (you can find them on forums, people charge you to get in most of the time) and you will hit level 90 in no time. Baal runs are of course the other option and the option most players use. If you were rushed, then go back for the skill and stat quests at the end (Golden Bird, Izzy, Rada, Den, Anya, etc. etc. etc.)

For MFing, you can do most areas with ease. Use a PTopaz’d Shako, Engima, Travs, dual Nagels, whatever. Most MF runs require minimal FHR, but FCR is always nice to tele fast. Areas I’d recommend is Andy, Meph and Trav!

Something that most hammerdins don’t do is GFing (gold finding) but it works quite well IMO. I GF at Trav with ease and get ~300k a run under a minute per run (Lem’d Wizzy, Lem’d Crown of Thieves, GF Belt, GF Boots, GF Ammy, Chance Guards, dual Dwarf Stars, and a spirit of course. Inventory is all GF charms.) Try it!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~11) PvP~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I personally don’t do much PvP (Player vs Player) with a hammerdin, but it can be done.

First, I will teach you a little something called “desynching” (though you probably already know about it). Desynching is where you move so fast that the game ends up not fully comprehending your current location, which means that to an enemy, you appear to be at one spot at one point of time, then right next to them the next and they won’t even see it coming!

It’s done by using Charge + Vigor (I said you fly with this before, didn’t I?), in general, to catch an enemy off guard, you VigorCharge AROUND your enemy and then move in from below, which is the best spot to use hammers.

The best hammer PvPers are those who put desynching to good use alongside Teleport, both as a mean of transportation.
-Class Specific Strategies-

I’m listing builds that are commonly found in pub duel games as those are the ones I’ve seen and played against most often.


Light Javazon – These little buggers deal massive damage…you can always be BM (bad mannered) and put on Wisp/TGods and possibly Salvation but trying to tank these builds are pointless. If you can somehow get them to chase you off screen, then lay a hammer path and let them walk into it. They’re hard to kill, getting close to them is suicide, and getting far away will result in a stalemate. Depends on how much they want to kill you I suppose…

Bowazon – Since this is physical damage, teleport/charge up to them and just let out hammers. Your 75% block should help you survive, and even if it doesn’t, being far away won’t help because they can still hit you. Best is to go face to face. FHR is crucial here.


Trapper – This is one of those few classes that I completely despise. They are extremely hard to kill and are really cheap in my opinion. It’s also the only class along with FoHers that I consider BM as a whole :p (my opinion, don’t hate.) If they lay traps there and hide behind them, there’s not much you can do. Try to make them follow and hopefully they will hit a hammer. If you want to go in on them, have good FHR, nice resist, hopefully some sorb, and hammer. If they Mind Blast, well, gg.

Whirlwind – These have to actually be next to you to hit, so you automatically have the upper hand…though it’s the same with all melee builds. Hammer, move, hammer, move.

Trapper/WW Hybrid – These are slightly less dangerous than pure trappers because they deal less damage. They again, still have to be near you to hit so move around, hammer, move. If you got high resistance and absorb, just move in and hammer.


Bone Necro – Probably one of the best PvP builds. Normally versus a caster, you would desynch/teleport and hammer, but Bone Necros are always on the move (if they’re good anyway) and use Bone Spirit since it homes. When you get close, they Bone Spear, which deals a crapload of damage and is incredibly fast. Hard to beat, definitely have 125% FCR and DON’T get caught off guard by Bone Prison when your charging. Thankfully, it’s easy to outrun Spirits and tele dodge Spears. If you can manage to get on top of them, you’re golden.

Poison Necro – One of my favorite builds, heh. Poison Necro has to get close to you in order to hit you with a Nova, or they hope that you get close to them. Stack resist so their Lower Resist won’t bring you into negatives is one way to negate a lot of their damage. Move close to them but not super close, when they nova, teleport on top of them (because the center of the Poison Nova is empty) and hammer. If they multiple Nova, remember that it takes one Poison Nova can only bring you to one. Another is needed to kill you, all you have to do is be on them when they Nova. Their Fire Golem or other summons will probably get killed in between. (Note: Don’t get angered by their Bone Spirit/Spear/Teeth and make stupid moves, a pure Poison Necro’s bone spells does very low damage.)

Hybrids – Hybrids are generally either Poison OR Bone with Summon or Bone and Poison together. The summon hybrids aren’t too dangerous because they sacrifice a lot of damage for the Summon tree, and the summons usually get wiped out by hammers fast. Poison Bone on the other hand, you have to watch out for. They will Nova you first and then spam Bone spells that actually HURT. They are always on the move and so should you, try to get ahead of them and let them teleport onto you is your only chance.


Melee Barb – I’m putting all Barbs into one section because they are all mostly melee. They try to get close to you and Whirldwind, Frenzy, whatever…let them chase you, (they have no other choice) and hammer away. Hit the FHR breakpoint of course.

Other Barbs – There are…lets see here…Throwers and Singer Barbs. They are rare to come by, and in my opinion, not too much of a problem. High FCR to catch throwers, high FHR to escape War Cry, hammer when they follow, etc.


Casters – All the three elements (Fire/Light/Ice) are here because they all function the same way. They teleport away, spam Fireball/Lightning/Ice Blasts at you (and Blizzard/Frozen Orb of course.) The hardest parts of these battles are to actually catch them, and that’s where desynching comes into play. In general, the only way to get them is to get below them with Charge/Vigor and hope that you can get a hammer in. Without high resist and absorb, any hit from them is fatal. If they are expecting you and spam below themselves, then well, good luck. I find that Sorcs are the hardest class to beat for any Hammerdin so…If you think about it, for casters, switching to a strong melee weapon and charging might be a better choice. (Don’t charge/tele onto a Blizzard :p)

Melee Builds – I don’t find these builds very effective. I use to have an Enchantress, and unless you have mass luck, you can’t get close enough to kill a hammerdin. As with any other melee enemy, move in and hammer.


Windy – These builds are dangerous…very very dangerous in fact. They have millions of ways to put you into Hit Recovery animation and they deal massive amounts of damage. The only thing though, is that they have to be on you to kill you, so, again, pretty much like everything else, hammer and run. Let them play catch.

Melee Builds – Spam and move…see the pattern here?


Melee Builds – Smite, Charge, or Zeal, it’s the same concept. Spam and move, don’t let them touch you, and make them chase.

Hammerdins – Your mirror. They will do the same thing you do, Hammer and teleport, so in the end, it comes down to who gets careless and gets hit first. Stay below them, don’t let them get below you; that’s it.

FoH – I hate them, without sorb and resist, they are super cheap, and super hard to kill. Same as any other matchups, move away and let them chase, be a few screens away because they can hit you from a screen away >_< If you have mass resist to counter the Conviction and sorb then I guess you can just be right next to them…that is super bad mannered though…

Auradins – Resist and absorb are your friend. An inventory full of 5 all resist small charms will work really well, but of course expensive…(then again, PvP is partly about gear.) If you got resist, go in, if you don’t, move out. If they do the stacking glitch (where they have like a level two billionty nine Holy Shock/Fire due to a glitch), type in caps “U NOOB U SUXOR GO DIE” and leave.

Hybrids – Any hybrids with a combination of the above requires the same tactics. If you’ve noticed, there aren’t many variations in the techniques you use, it’s either move in and spam or move away and spam…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~12) End Game~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Here’s what you should look like end game (not tweaked for PvP):

Helm: 2/20/2 socketed with 2x 7/15 (or Shako or CoA)
Armor: Enigma
Weapon: Heart of the Oak 40 Resist
Shield: Perfect 35 FCR 45 base resist Spirit Sacred Targe (or HoZ)
Gloves: Magefist/Trang’s Gloves (or anything with 2/20/2)
Boots: Sandstorm Treks 15/15 Eth
Belt: Arachnid Mesh
Amulet: Crafted +2 Paladin/20FCR/Strength/Dex/Resist Amulet (or Maras)
Rings: 2x Stone of Jordans
Charms: Perfect Annihilus, Perfect Hellfire Torch, 9x PCombat 45 Life, 10x 20 Life/5 Resist All Small Charms
Switch: Call to Arms 6 BO with Spirit

125 FCR BP, 86 FHR BP
+27-28 Blessed Hammer +27-28 Holy Shield +18-21 Concentration after Battle Command
MASS Resist MASS Damage MASS Life MASS Win

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~13) Conclusion~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

If you don’t have one, make one. Everyone will eventually. It’s cheesy, it’s cookie cutter, it’s been done before, BUT, it plain WORKS.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~14) Credit~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I would like to thank my mother and my fa…ah screw it. I thank everyone! Can’t miss anyone now, can I?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~15) Disclaimer~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As of today, January 25, 2008, this guide has ONLY been submitted to No other site may use this guide without my permission. Doing so is against the law and legal actions can be taken.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~16) History~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

01/25/08 – The original guide was scrapped and this was written. Version 1.0 released to the public.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~17) Contact~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Email: PM me

Feel free to ask me questions, comment on the guide, give suggestions and point out typos. Feedback is ALWAYS welcome!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~18) About Me~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Season 1 – My first hammerdin “HammerIII” made in 2004. I use to play this game non-stop for a good whole summer.
Season 2 – I think I made another hammerdin but don’t really remember. Quit after a month or so in.
Season 3 – Didn’t play. Loss interest after all my original accounts expired.
Season 4 – Started at the beginning of 2008 during college break. Quitting as of the end of January in order to focus on the new college semester. Current hammerdin is named “GigaII”.
Season 12 - It's been 9 years and I'm still playing this damn game.
Last edited:


Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks, Giga. That's a really nice guide. I've never tried a Hammerdin before, but thanks to this guide, I'm going to try one out! :thumbsup: (I have been living under a rock--so thanks for the update! )


Diabloii.Net Member
If I recall there's not a shortage of hammerdin guides, though I will say it is very well put together. Just seems like there's a hammerdin guide put out every week and they're all the same.


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Giga's 1.11 Ladder Hammerdin Guide!

I liked this guide (even though I hate hammerdins), very well written and has everything one needs to know to make a kickass hammerdin.

Just a small correction: with base strength (25 for paladins) plus a perfect anni (20) and a perfect torch (20) you're more than capable of using a mage plate nigma (55 str required). In fact, you could use a 15 str torc/anni and still be able to use it, so I really dont understand what could possibly lead people to use a breast plate enigma other than "I don't have anni or torch" When torches weren't available, I could see why people would choose BP nigmas. Now I really don't see any advantages of the BP over the MP (of course, assuming that you have a decent to good anni/torch).


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Giga's 1.11 Ladder Hammerdin Guide!

Norrit - that's the change I have to make actually. I realize that shortly after I posted but have no way of editing the guide :)

I'll pm a mod.


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Giga's 1.11 Ladder Hammerdin Guide!

edited done ^^
You bolded the wrong part XD

It should be like this:

Strength: Depends on wealth and preference.
Dexterity: Enough for Max Block (75%)
Vitality: Everything else.
Energy: None added.

Notice how none of the stats above have a set number. This should be the case for most builds because every ones character will vary depending on the items and charms

Strength – This is generally enough to wear your equipment based on your wealth. The end game armor you will be using: Enigma, which provides massive strength (0.75 per level, so at level 90, +67.5 or 67 strength.) Using which Enigma, however, is up to personal preference. Popular choices are Breast Plate, Mage Plate, Dusk Shroud, and Archon Plate. They require 30/55/77/103 strength respectively. With a perfect Annihilus and perfect Hellfire Torch, that’s +40 strength in addition to the base 25 so enough to use Mage Plate, but not quite the rest yet (besides BP, if you can’t afford a torch but have an anni…) Using others will require you to drop points into strength (or using items/charms with strength, but keep in mind you might switch out…) which of course means less points into vitality, which OF COURSE, means least health. A point into vitality for Paladins has very good returns because 1 vit = 3 health. After Battle Orders and such, those few points could end up being!
hundreds of health points! Using the other armors besides BP/MP yields more defense, which isn’t terribly important in my opinion when you teleport and have 75% block, but some prefer it. Archon Plate was what I used on my original hammerdin, but only because of personal preference. It was STYLISH and looks nice :D
Regardless, as long as the right info gets across...

Thanks for the edit, you = my hero :)



Re: Giga's 1.11 Ladder Hammerdin Guide!

ey im lvl 78 and i have 22 skills in concentration and 22 in blessed hammer my dmg is only 3.5k wuts the deal?


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Giga's 1.11 Ladder Hammerdin Guide!

max concentration/blessed hammer/vigor/blessed aim. Put the hammer skill on left click and concentration aura on right click. put some decent +skills gear. you'll be dealing 10k damage at least in no time.


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Giga's 1.11 Ladder Hammerdin Guide!

Two minor comments on a very nice guide.

HoZ... "Can be upped for added defense". True, but that would be a bad idea since the strength requirement skyrockets.

Belt options could include crafted caster belts as a low cost option.


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Giga's 1.11 Ladder Hammerdin Guide!

Two minor comments on a very nice guide.

HoZ... "Can be upped for added defense". True, but that would be a bad idea since the strength requirement skyrockets.

Belt options could include crafted caster belts as a low cost option.
Crafted belts are a decent option, but they are really expensive for a good one, in which case, might as well stick to a low unique/set :)



Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Giga's 1.11 Ladder Hammerdin Guide!

Hey, nice guide you have here. I just wanted to say if you make a pvp build towards more elemental characters you could put points in resist fire/lightning intstead of holy shield. Also hotspurs, wisp, raven, and kira's guardian are nice to have in stash. It's like most melee won't do so good vs hammerdins already so getting higher maximum resist helps vs characters that aren't melee(for example the trappers you hate so much :p).


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Giga's 1.11 Ladder Hammerdin Guide!

Trapper – This is one of those few classes that I completely despise. They are extremely hard to kill and are really cheap in my opinion.
Had to laugh at this in a hammerdin guide.

Excellent guide though - solid, informative, and easy to read.



Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Giga's 1.11 Ladder Hammerdin Guide!

For the mid-level weapon, or the poor man, the Spectral Shard might be to consider. It gives 50 fcr, like wizzy, don't have resist, but can be used early.


D2 PvP Moderator
Re: Giga's 1.11 Ladder Hammerdin Guide!

For the mid-level weapon, or the poor man, the Spectral Shard might be to consider. It gives 50 fcr, like wizzy, don't have resist, but can be used early.
From lvl 33 you can use suicide branch which looks like a much better choice.



Diablo: IncGamers Member
Re: Giga's 1.11 Ladder Hammerdin Guide!

Pretty good. Offers some good gear choices, and includes relevant breakpoints.

The only nit pick part is where you hint at boosting synergies before blessed hammer. There's a guide somewhere on this forum in which it gives the highest damage output per skill points spent.
I think it would be important to include that
As for mana, throw on Stealth and keep sticking sapphires into your helm early on, everyone is low on mana at that level. :)


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Giga's 1.11 Ladder Hammerdin Guide!

Great guide, thank you for posting.

I must be doing something wrong. My Hdin is only doing 4k damage at level 77 and he has +18 skills (in addition to having all the relevant skills maxed). I have concentration on, am casting blessed hammer.. What am I doing wrong? I thought I should be at atleast 10k damage at this point?


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Giga's 1.11 Ladder Hammerdin Guide!

Wow, great guide for sure man. Was a little bit worried when i first looked at your post count since i see so many people just post dribble about being the #1 L33T35T GIUDE DAT PNW NUB5 H4RD!! lol...

Congrats man, seriously good stuff.

-BLoke :smug: