Patriarch Lawrence - Arabian Knight


Diabloii.Net Member
Patriarch Lawrence - Arabian Knight

Patriarch Lawrence

Night in Aranoch, sometime after midnight.

Trails of streaking magic arch across the battlefield, briefly illuminating a figure moving quickly in soot-darkened armor. He is the one known by the enemy as The Desert Ghost. A lone sabre cat makes the mistake of standing up against the sky, silhouetting its body starkly against the fires in the distance. Quickly, the figure moves, a dull thudding sound and the cat falls leadenly to the ground. A brief enchantment and the trap is set, one of many corpses he had rigged for the enemy that night.


The Planning Stage

Lawrence was born when I combined 2 bits of thought that I had gleaned from the AB.

Thought 1: A use for the CE charges on Corpsemourn. In the original post, one of the posters posited that a paladin was best equipped to maximize CE damage by running Conviction. I decided to test this on a retired smiter but was disappointed when I realized both CE and Conviction are right button skills. Conviction does "stick" but it's for such a short period of time that it's effectively worthless. Nevertheless, I knew from experience with Death Sentry that even a little bit of CE is deadly at P1 in Hell difficulty.

Thought 2: Lacerator's ctc Amp Dmg was best maximized by smite. The weapon's ctc Monster Flee was effectively minimized by smite, since smite always hits > smite always stuns > stun overwrites monster flee > monsters never run away. What's also nice is that while the monster you're hitting will generally keep cycling between Monster Flee and Amp Dmg, his buddies standing around him only get hit with Amp Dmg (Monster Flee only affects one target.)

It seemed to make sense to combine the two because the physical half of CE was boosted by Amp Dmg (not to mention my smite dmg). CE also helped cover for the lack of an AOE attack when using smite, an age-old weakness for your standard smiter.

I still needed a name for my new paladin. Proper names are something I can wrestle with for hours. I can never start a character with any old name. In my mind's eye I had visualized this guy as something of a scout or a special ops, dodging explosions and setting up traps while running in and out of trenches. He was a guerrilla warrior. A slow browse through Wikipedia brought me to a list of famous guerilla's and the name of TE Lawrence popped out. Now there's a guy with a sense of adventure. His heroic image fit in pretty well with what I wanted out of my character. So, Lawrence it was.

Leveling and Observations

And so, I started my journey through Sanctuary. Initially I melee'd with just plain ol' normal attack till about the middle of NM. Smite was too weak until then and my mana pool was too low to support it. After the middle of NM I had finished maxing Smite and Fanat and was working on Holy Shield. My smite damage was starting to get respectable when I put on my trusty HoZ.

At lvl 68, near the end of NM, I was finally able to equip Lacerator, an upgraded HoZ, a bunch of life/mana charms, and the rest of my end-game gear. Now, my build took shape. I was initially a little underwhelmed with CE's performance before I realized I was still in NM diff, and hence, still on players 8. With that in mind, I focused on just smashing everything with an Amp'd smite. Now, as most people know, standard smiters are great against big bad bosses. Well this guy? Lawrence was even better. Turns out, bosses can't proc Monster Flee, so they were Amp'd for the entire time, that plus the fact that they can't get knocked back meant they were demolished very quickly.

Once into Hell, I ratcheted down to players 1 and really started to refine my tactics by bringing CE into the picture. I realized early on that the radius of a lvl 5 CE was quite low, maybe only 3 goatmen wide. Luckily smite is perfect for herding monsters into a tight clump. Generally I rushed in, prioritized a/the monster with a lot of HP, killed him and then blew him up. It didn't always kill but it softened up the other monsters nicely. PI ghosts were particularly fun to dispatch as I usually shoved them over a fresh corpse and then blew them up.

I suppose some of you are wondering what I'd been doing with the rest of my points by now (if you're still reading this essay). I needed some way to deal with particularly hard PI's, and well as Oblivion Knights. Initially I thought about using a demon machine and holy fire on switch but that had a couple strikes against it. Number 1: Holy fire rangers are best at killing crowds, I only needed to kill one guy to start the CE chain. Number 2: OK's are always with a pack of FI doom knights, negating fire's advantage. Number 3: Arrow for arrow, holy fire was weaker then the other 2 holy damage auras. Holy freeze wasn't an option since it would shatter corpses. Holy shock ended up making the most sense. But wait, my gear was slanted towards smite, the auto-hitter. My AR was ~900 in Hell. Solution: The ITD bow Widowmaker.

The ancients were a breeze, and Baal actually dropped me a Mara's!

Like all one handed pallies, this guy was pretty safe. I died 4 times in total. Once to a tagteam of Cursed blood hawks and Might-enchanted thorn hulks in A3, to IM in A4 and A5, and finally to a gloam in the Throne. Overall, this guy was a blast (groan...) to play.

Lvl 82
Smite damage: 1398-1431
Smite damage w/ might: 1639-1678
Life: 1573 | Mana: 485
Resists: 75/75/77/75
Def: 9895

Str: 89
Dex: 104
Vit: 297
Nrg: 15

20 Smite
20 Fana
20 Holy Shield
20 Holy Shock
5 Resist Light

My Gear
Plague Crest Tiara 'resist all/fhr jewel'*
Blood Torc amulet*
Corpsemourn 'poison resist/-reqs jewel'
Up'd HoZ 'pdiamond'
Dire Fist gloves*
Bone Lock belt*
Goblin Toe
Raven Frost
Grim Coil ring*
Widowmaker on switch

Life/Mana charms

Plague Crest
Defense: 42
Durability: 25 of 25
Required Level: 67
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 90
Fingerprint: 0x800b3bc1
+24 to Strength
+86 to Mana
All Resistances +29
+2 to Paladin Skill Levels
30% Faster Run/Walk
7% Faster Hit Recovery
Repairs 1 durability in 20 seconds
Socketed (1: 1 used)

Blood Torc
Required Level: 35
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 86
Fingerprint: 0xbac4bc12
+15 to Strength
+13 to Dexterity
+32 to Mana
Fire Resist +19%
Lightning Resist +25%
Cold Resist +19%
Poison Resist +19%
40% Extra Gold from Monsters

Dire Fist
Vampirebone Gloves
Defense: 61
Durability: 14 of 14
Required Strength: 50
Required Level: 57
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 85
Fingerprint: 0x65168330
+10 to Life
+18 to Attack Rating
3% Life stolen per hit
25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
20% Increased Attack Speed
10% Chance of Crushing Blow
Repairs 1 durability in 20 seconds

Bone Lock
Demonhide Sash
Defense: 43
Durability: 12 of 12
Required Strength: 20
Required Level: 28
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 87
Fingerprint: 0xec3fca9b
+54 to Life
+24% Enhanced Defense
Cold Resist +28%
Poison Resist +10%
24% Faster Hit Recovery
14% Chance to cast Level 5 Nova when struck

Grim Coil
Required Level: 47
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 86
Fingerprint: 0x8efc39ff
+12 to Strength
+9 to Dexterity
+19 to Mana
Lightning Resist +24%
Cold Resist +6%
Crown of Thieves
Eth Obedience Thresher


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Patriarch Lawrence - Arabian Knight

Whoa. Style, substance, a good name, and a semi-power house? Awesome stuff, man!

I might have to "draw inspiration" from this guy soon, as I've wanted to do a variant/theme smiter for a while now.


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Patriarch Lawrence - Arabian Knight

Well done! Many style points for sure. Can't wait to see what you come up with next. How long did it take to come up with this one? o_O.

But seriously... Corpsemourn!? Someone's gone off the deep end. ;).


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Patriarch Lawrence - Arabian Knight

Wow, this is a wildly creative build THC! We all know what you were smoking when you thought this one up...just when I thought I had seen all the viable builds out there, you come up with this one! :thumbup:


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Patriarch Lawrence - Arabian Knight

I'm sure many of us have looked at that oh-so-tasty 33% ctc Amp Dmg on Lacerator and drooled...and then retched when we saw the 50% monster flee on it as well. I kept racking my brain on a way to use it until I came upon that post on the Basin.

*Side note: The Basin's archives are a great resource of information. A lot of their posters are code-savvy enough to mod singleplayer games to back up theories. The only drawback is that people post at a much lower volume then on here. You might see 7 new posts in a day on all their forums. That's about what we average every 2 hours on the SPF alone.

Post-pat wrapup

40 charges of CE on Corpsemourn. It's a good amount. Less then that and I'd hoard the charges and never use them. More then that and I'd never use smite. I can spam it if need be (like in the A2 Tombs when I have a serious door jam of skellies and mummies) and still have enough left over to finish an area. Used smartly, it can last for a 1/3 of an act.

The black full armor look of looking but not exactly Lawrence of Arabia's flowing white robes. Ah well, maybe in D3.

FoH + Conviction might have been a better PI/OK solution in retrospect but a bow fit in so much better with the lore I had created for the character.

Eric Xanthu

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Patriarch Lawrence - Arabian Knight

Props on the oddball. I've also always wondered how to put Corpsemourn to work, and I think you've got a pretty neat angle. Personally I've always wondered if a zon could get it to work well.