Hammerdin

DwayneGAnd

Diabloii.Net Member
Ah, the good old Hammerdin. We all know about it. It is the most played build in the game and one of the most powerful. Even if Blessed Hammer is difficult to aim. And is useless in tight corridors. And depending on where your enemies are standing, they may not get hit at all. For these reasons, this is my least favorite Paladin build.

Magic is probably the least effective damage type for you to build your character around due to the fact that you cannot reduce the magic resistance of your enemies. Which doesn't seem fair because you can't even raise your own!

First off, I got the important prerequisites for the skills that would be necessary and useful. When Blessed Hammer and Concentration became available, I pumped both until I ran out of skill points. Then I finished maxing Blessed Hammer before finishing Concentration. Blessed Aim and Vigor also need to be maxed because they are damage synergies. Holy Shield is another must max skill for all paladins. The rest of my points can be put into Redemption. Though I got Meditation, I'll need to respec to get rid of it due to my hireling's endgame having that aura.

Here is my planned endgame hireling setup and equipment:

Act 2 Nightmare Defensive

Andariel's Visage (increased attack speed, skills, life leech)
Treachery (chance to cast fade, increased attack speed)
Insight (meditation aura)

Helmet: Harlequin Crest (increased skill levels, life, mana)
Amulet: Mara's Kaleidoscope (increased resistances and skill levels)
Armor: Enigma Archon Plate (increased skill levels, teleport, life per kill)
Weapon: Heart of the Oak Flail (increased skill levels, cast speed, resistances)
Swap Weapon: Call to Arms Flail (prebuff purposes)
Shields: Spirit Sacred Targe (primary shield has highest block chance. Also used for casting speed, skill levels, both primary and prebuffing)
Rings: 2 Stone of Jordans (increased skills mana pool)
Belt: Arachnid Mesh (increased mana pool, cast rate, skills)
Boots: Silkweave (increased mana pool, mana per kill)
Gloves: Magefist (increased cast speed)
 

Namtar

Diabloii.Net Member
Ah, the good old Hammerdin. We all know about it. It is the most played build in the game and one of the most powerful. Even if Blessed Hammer is difficult to aim. And is useless in tight corridors. And depending on where your enemies are standing, they may not get hit at all. For these reasons, this is my least favorite Paladin build.
Kind of weird for you to write up a build you dislike so much, especially since it's cookie-cutter old news anyway, but at least we know where you're coming from. I'd only say that with Teleport from Enigma armor, Blessed Hammer tends to have excellent coverage of areas. I found it a bit tedious prior to making Enigma, but that oskill is such a massive QOL improvement for Hammerdins.

Your complaint about tight corridors, though, I would not dispute. Tight corridors are a weakness for Hammerdins.

Magic is probably the least effective damage type for you to build your character around due to the fact that you cannot reduce the magic resistance of your enemies.
With the caveat that my own Hammerdin /players8 playthrough took place in 1.11 and 1.12, back when Blessed Hammer ignored positive Magic Resistance against undead and demons, I've done some informal testing and playing around with the build in more recent years and it still works fine. Magic Resistance is 0 for most monsters and with Concentration up, a synergized Blessed Hammer hits hard. Even the monsters with 50% Magic Resistance are easily destroyed by Blessed Hammer. Everyone's mileage varies to some extent, but I find the notion that magic damage of such a caliber is ineffective to be silly. So what if you can't lower resistances? You don't need to! You're fighting the least prolific resistance in the game.

Which doesn't seem fair because you can't even raise your own!
You can get Magic Resistance of up to 10% from a crafted Safety shield. While that's the only way (AFAIK) to get true Magic Resistance on a player character, you can also use the more practical integer "Magic Damaged Reduced" gear. I know it's a bit different from true Magic Resistance, but a lot of the time it's better anyway and it has been such a large selling point of the String of Ears belt on so many builds that I'm a bit surprised it didn't come to mind (you might enjoy it more if you ever do an Immortal King set barbarian). Anyway, for what it's worth, even though you can't raise your Magic Resistance to the same extent that you can raise your elemental resistances, monsters don't have any way of lowering your Magic Resistance either.

First off, I got the important prerequisites for the skills that would be necessary and useful. When Blessed Hammer and Concentration became available, I pumped both until I ran out of skill points. Then I finished maxing Blessed Hammer before finishing Concentration. Blessed Aim and Vigor also need to be maxed because they are damage synergies. Holy Shield is another must max skill for all paladins. The rest of my points can be put into Redemption. Though I got Meditation, I'll need to respec to get rid of it due to my hireling's endgame having that aura.
Looks about right. I think I kept a single point in Meditation on my hammerdin. Although I almost never use it, sometimes I'd refill my blue orb after being hit by a mana burn enemy. The majority of the time, the aura from a merc's Insight weapon is sufficient, but it's not a bad aura for those corner-cases. My guess is that you probably wouldn't miss Meditation.

Here is my planned endgame hireling setup and equipment:

Act 2 Nightmare Defensive

Andariel's Visage (increased attack speed, skills, life leech)
Treachery (chance to cast fade, increased attack speed)
Insight (meditation aura)

Helmet: Harlequin Crest (increased skill levels, life, mana)
Amulet: Mara's Kaleidoscope (increased resistances and skill levels)
Armor: Enigma Archon Plate (increased skill levels, teleport, life per kill)
Weapon: Heart of the Oak Flail (increased skill levels, cast speed, resistances)
Swap Weapon: Call to Arms Flail (prebuff purposes)
Shields: Spirit Sacred Targe (primary shield has highest block chance. Also used for casting speed, skill levels, both primary and prebuffing)
Rings: 2 Stone of Jordans (increased skills mana pool)
Belt: Arachnid Mesh (increased mana pool, cast rate, skills)
Boots: Silkweave (increased mana pool, mana per kill)
Gloves: Magefist (increased cast speed)
Not too much to say about this one. It's all pretty standard and my own Hammerdin playthrough was a while back, so at this point I can't remember if the gear differences I had were due to preference or just because I didn't have some of those items. The one bit that does stick out is that my switch weapon was a Grief runeword phaseblade (I forget what my switch shield was, but it'd probably be an Exile runeword if I had my pick now). A paladin with gear along the lines of what you've indicated has solid defenses already and doesn't really need Call to Arms. The warcry buffs are nice, but you can live without them. I was using this even in 1.12, and I think that it's become an even better option now that Blessed Hammer no longer ignores the magic immunities of undead.

I get the impression that a lot of players just never try this and assume that Zeal/Smite are only viable options when used with Fanatacism. I can attest from experience that even unsynergized, and even with mostly-mage gear, a Concentration-using, Grief-wielding paladin can use Zeal to tear right through monsters considerably faster than the endgame setups of most of my non-paladin builds. And against single targets where the AR deficiency is too much, Smite gets the job done just as easily. Concentration is just that good. Or rather, Grief is just that good. Both, really.

Pros:
-Laugh at magic immunities.
-Punch through lines of monsters in narrow corridors without needing to angle Blessed Hammer properly.
-Shred right through every magic-immune pack in the game.
-If you're bored, you can do a full gear switch and play a Concentration Zealot. Hilarious.
-Magic immunities ain't nothing.
-If you're playing with friends, have another paladin use Fanaticism while you're using Concentration. Stack those auras.
-Achmel the Cursed never bothered me anyway!

Cons:
-If you want your robust, versatile, constantly-teleporting, rapid-fire caster build to also be a super-tank for some reason, I guess you'd have to carry a Call to Arms flail in your inventory, which might be mildly inconvenient.
 

Ultimatium

Diabloii.Net Member
I would probably swap a stone of jordan with a faster cast rate ring, to see if you could get one more breakpoint. Also, get a fortitude instead of treachery if you can afford it, it's a bit more expensive but it's worth it.
 
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