Patriarch Spongebob: A Zeal-Abbot with some bite


Diabloii.Net Member
Patriarch Spongebob: A Zeal-Abbot with some bite

My pet-project (of the last few months) has killed Baal. My plans started out as relatively simple, but I figured that since I'm pretty rich, I wanted to try to make his attack something decent (preferably better than decent) - and still have SSoG's mantra healthily covered (+skills, PDR, resists... +skills, PDR, resists...). Speaking of SSoG and his mantra, his guide isn't linkable here (it's on a "competing site", so linking is against forum rules), but if you haven't read it, it's a very solid-from-top-to-bottom build guide. The one omission seems to be it focuses on three "viable" attacks: Hammers, Charge, and Vengeance - but omits Zeal.

That's enough of a challenge for me, and I seldom follow build guides to the letter - I usually like to "add my own twist", so Zeal it was (though there have been a few other Zeal-Abbot posted here already, so I can't claim too much uniqueness or originality - except possibly in my choice main weapon).

But enough of the rambling details and on to the good details:

Patriarch Spongebob
(I couldn't think of a better name - but at least an Abbot can "soak up some damage", and everybody loves Spongebob, so...:p)
Level82, Zeal-Abbot

Base Stats (with equipment / weapon switch):
Str: 50 (107 / 112)
Dex: 118 (141 / 146)
Vit: 322 (322 / 327)
Ene: 15 (15 / 20)

Life: 2306
Mana: 307
Resists: 80F / 75C / 87L / 75P (switch: 54f / 45c / 59l / 47p)

* all damage stats according to the LCS *
Zeal Damage: 1486 - 1833 (with Fanat from the merc)
Zeal Damage: 1644 - 2023 (with Fanat & Might) <-- most of the time
Zeal Damage: 1731 - 2134 (with Fanat & Might & Enchant)

Weapon-Switch Damage: 2778 - 4498 Vengeance (with Fanat & Conviction) <-- most of the time
Weapon-Switch Damage: 2865 - 4609 Vengeance (with Fanat & Conviction & Enchant)

<used the weapon switch for fighting PI monsters>

20 Sacrifice
20 Zeal
1 Vengeance
+1 Holy Shield (granted by the weapon)
+7 skills from equipment

1 Conviction, prereq's
+7 skills from equipment

20 Prayer
1 Cleansing
15+ Resist Lightning (next)
10+ Resist Fire (last)
+13 skills from equipment

+14 Battle Cry
+14 Battle Orders
+23 Battle Command

Equipment: (this is the good stuff)
Weapon: Beta-CtA Caduceus (readout below)
Shield: Jewelers Sacred Targe of Blocking (4x Sol, 31 Resists Automod)
Helm: rare (below)
Amulet: Priest's Amulet of Life Everlasting (2/23)
Armour: 'Fortitude' Archon Plate (29 / 1.5)
Gloves: crafted 'Blood' gloves (below)
Belt: rare (below)
Boots: GoreRider's
Ring1: Ravenfrost (20 / 204)
Ring2: Nature's Peace (11 / 26)

Switch: 'Insight' Shillelagh (235% ED)
Stash: Demon Limb (socketed with a Hel)

6x Preserver's GC (+26 Life, 7 FRW, 12% FHR, +3 Dex)
4x Cold/Lightning resist small charms of Balance (20 FHR, 11 lightning, 28 cold)
3x Shimmering/Cold resist charms (20 resistall, 11 resist cold, +31 life, +2 str)
2x Fine small charms (3/19, 3/17)

<a few readouts>

Call to Arms
One-Hand Damage: 144 to 167
Durability: 70 of 70
Required Dexterity: 70
Required Strength: 97
Required Level: 66
Mace Class - Fastest Attack Speed
Item Version: Expansion
Item Level: 87
Fingerprint: 0x8a49c1d
GUID: 0x16f76d67 0x8a71f93 0x0
+290% Enhanced Damage
Adds 5-30 fire damage
7% Life stolen per hit
Replenish Life +12
30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
40% Increased Attack Speed
+11 to Battle Orders
+11 to Battle Cry
+20 to Battle Command
+1 to Holy Shield (Paladin Only)
+1 to Redemption (Paladin Only)
Prevent Monster Heal
150% Damage to Undead
+2 to All Skill Levels
Socketed (5: 5 used)

Death Visor
Defense: 26
Durability: 35 of 35
Required Level: 67
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 92
Fingerprint: 0xfb988b1b
+29 to Strength
Damage Reduced by 6
Fire Resist +28%
Lightning Resist +15%
Cold Resist +15%
Poison Resist +24%
+21 poison damage over 4 seconds
+2 to Paladin Skill Levels
15% Increased Attack Speed
Socketed (1: 1 used)           ---> socketed with:

Garnet Jewel of Fervor
Required Level: 31
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 79
Fingerprint: 0x75f64fa0
Fire Resist +13%
15% Increased Attack Speed

Viper Touch
Vampirebone Gloves
Defense: 62
Durability: 12 of 14
Required Strength: 50
Required Level: 49
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 87
Fingerprint: 0xc0bb61ed
+12 to Life
Fire Resist +24%
Lightning Resist +24%
Poison Resist +18%
1% Life stolen per hit
3% Mana stolen per hit
10% Chance of Crushing Blow

Dread Clasp
Vampirefang Belt
Defense: 62
Durability: 14 of 14
Required Strength: 50
Required Level: 63
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: 86
Fingerprint: 0xa5f8a151
+26 to Strength
+18 to Life
Fire Resist +23%
Lightning Resist +30%
Cold Resist +12%
Repairs 1 durability in 33 seconds
Misc. Results:
74 PDR + level 14 BattleCry (-38% Damage / -76% Defense)
level 33 Prayer / 31 Prayer + Meditation
75% Blocking
6/8 frame hit recovery
8/4 Zeal
25% Crushing Blow
15% Deadly Strike and 10% Open Wounds (from Goreriders)

Liene, Fire Rogue (level82)
'Faith' Crusader Bow (worst roll possible)
'Treachery' eth Archon Plate
Vampire Gaze (10% resist all jewel)

Noteable Finds:
Ko/Mal Hellforge = :smiley:
Head Hunter's Glory (3os)
Kelpie Snare
Trainer's skiller/GC
Thundergod's Vigor
Ravenfrost (15/241)
rare Light Belt: 17 FHR, 30 Cold resist, 22 Lightning resist, +5 Life
rare Ring: 11 resist all, 9% MF
Io Rune (NM Act2, iirc)
Ruby Small Charm of Fortune (11 / 4)
rare gloves: 20 IAS, 3 ManaLeech, 22 Lightning resist, 18 Poison Resist

1. He still didn't have quite enough "bite" for my tastes, but at least he wasn't miserably slow. His progress was consistently "medium" after Act1 Hell. I've got some thoughts on how to give the build a more powerful attack (without resorting to making a hammerdin-abbot :p).

2. I hope you don't mind if I take a second to pat myself on the back for choosing a CtA as my main weapon. Of course the +BattleOrders is often the main focus of a CtA, but in this case the +BattleCry was even more valuable (in addition to boosting my effective PDR significantly, my AR sucked - so BattleCry provided two very nice benefits at once). Also, the runeword comes with a decent amount of enhanced damage and speed (and Prevent Monster Heal never hurts either, though I was getting that from my Nature's Peace ring too). All in all, it's an excellent weapon for a Zeal-Abbot.

(Jaedhann deserves a pat on the back too for offering to make the CtA in beta instead of the 'plain' old v1.11b CtA I had planned).

*pats backs*

3. Speaking of that ring, the RIP mod was a blessing and a curse. My CtA has +Redemption on it, but I couldn't use it because of the RIP (foiling my hopes of making it entirely through Hell without drinking a single potion for myself) - but it was nice when the 2nd Baal wave spawned and the Oblivion Knights and Burning Souls I'd already killed in the throneroom were left laying on the ground. That's the first I've used that one, but I might try to sneak it onto my Baal runner.

4. I didn't use the Enchant charges on the Demon Limb very often. Once or twice per act, but mostly I was too lazy.

5. My plan kindof evolved during his progress. I started off using Cleansing most of the time, but 95+% of that, it was unnecessary. So, I ended up making Might my main aura most of the time. Looking back on it after the fact, that makes it kindof pointless to be generating the Might aura myself and relying on the merc for the Fanaticism aura - a cheaper arrangement can definitely be found for a zealadin :rolleyes:.

6. That said, I love my new Faith/Rogue setup. She rocks entirely. *bye-bye Act2 mercs for a (hopefully) long time*.

7. The one problem with the rogue is their AI. Usually it's nice to have a merc stick close, but when the swarms got big that usually meant she ran back and forth between monsters trying futilely to escape, and did nothing. My abbot has no problems tanking swarms (obviously - that's what abbots are designed to do), but the rogue... she was sturdy but not a fantastic tank.

8. Sorry for the lack of screenshot-tanking-pwnage. My current D2 computer can't network (with anything), and I didn't feel like going to the trouble to copy the jpg's to a flash card, transferring, then uploading them.

So, how'd this abbot's bid for invincibility turn out?
- 74 PDR and Battlecry took care of 95-96% of the monster's damage on their own. That left me free to run my Might aura (instead of Cleansing) almost full time. 8% Leeching (from my attack) and Cleansing pretty much took care of the other ~4.5% of monsters.

So, that left a very small number of monsters that were able to really do damage:
-I didn't encounter any Convicted Gloam bosses, but I'm certain they'd still suck.

- a large number of Gloams (no absorb, so running Resist Lightning still meant I received some damage, and if there were enough around, they could out-damage my Cleansing reneneration). Overall though, Spongebob still received damage too slowly (and had too much life) to be in serious danger in these cases.

- High elemental-damage bosses. My one serious NDE came from Infector of Souls (ExtraFast, FE, LE, Spectral Hit, Conviction aura... there aren't really many builds that'll tank that spawn very well though). Liene did most of the heavy lifting on that one. Otherwise, a red potion or two usually made up the difference.

- Cursed + ExtraStrong and/or Might bosses. If it didn't have at least two of those though, it was rare to be hurt at all. And it was even more rare that I couldn't out-regenerate that with Cleansing.

- large packs of Horadrim Ancients + skeletons. I couldn't leech the countless skeletons, and the HA's have a pretty solid ranged attack, so I had to pay attention to these battles.

- Oblivion Knights & Iron Maiden... enough said.

- Archer's and Succubi were complete non-entities, even when cursed. In fact, because of their low-life, I actually enjoyed when they spawned because they died fast. That was a pleasant change from many other characters. The same was true for the Ancient's and Baal's minion waves (at least the "non-entity" bit, though I'll admit the spawn wasn't too dangerous to begin with).

Death Scores:
Monsters: 0, Spongebob: ~5-10k
... and ...
Iron Maiden: ~10, Spongebob: 2 (a couple times I didn't cast BattleCry, and with my low AR and high life, I 'whiffed' just enough to survive :tongue:)

Overall Conclusion:
He did what he was designed to do (read: tank) and he did that very well. His attack was just solid enough to keep the progress flowing. But overall, I'd have to say the almost complete lack of encountered danger withdraws from the excitement... so, as I've always suspected:

Why would you want to live forever? Immortality's boring.
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Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Patriarch Spongebob: A Zeal-Abbot with some bite


I think you have more-or-less summed up why I'll never play this build. Great tank, but not enough killing power/speed. The fact that I dislike paladins doesn't hurt, either.

But still...that's a good accomplishment, and some awesome gear. :thumbsup: gib gloves?


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Patriarch Spongebob: A Zeal-Abbot with some bite

It might be my newbishness with atma, but why does your CTA have +11 to BO?


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Patriarch Spongebob: A Zeal-Abbot with some bite

It might be my newbishness with atma, but why does your CTA have +11 to BO?
because it was made in version 1.10s (the "beta" version), and it had different stats in that version. I think the possible range was:
+5-15 for BO
+10-13 for BCry
+5-20 for BCommand

(NagisaFurukawa's got a few posts with accurate details around - I'll see if I can find one)...
...Edit: found one. (and fixed my details).

@Swiller, true enough. I'm thinking of rebuilding (to reuse some the gear that I literally spent months acquiring), except going with a Gimmershred's / Conviction / Ele-zealot to see if the speed can be improved significantly. As it was, this build on /players1 was about the same as my powerhouse Fanazealot (Maynard) on /players8...



Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Patriarch Spongebob: A Zeal-Abbot with some bite

That's a pretty slick build. Congrats!

Zeal is one of my all-time favorite skills but I've never tried pairing it with anything but damage-dealing auras. Any plans for him in the future?
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Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Patriarch Spongebob: A Zeal-Abbot with some bite

Any plans for him in the future?
retirement. :grin:

I don't MP often (and not at all these days), but I might hop into a few Baal runs with him someday. Of course, I've got a singer barb that would probably be just as welcome in Baal runs too (lower damage, but better BO and crowd control), so who knows if either will ever make it out of retirement.

But overall Spongebob's a little too slow at killing things to make an effective runner on his own (and I've got a full-bore fanazealot if I wanted to try runs with that general build).



Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Patriarch Spongebob: A Zeal-Abbot with some bite

Gratz on the Pat! *pats 'poops back*

It must have been a pain in the *** not being able to deal pwnage, but your patience and persistence did pay off. :thumbsup:

Pretty unconventional.
L33T gears, too.
I almost peed my pants seeing that gloves...wait, I actually did. :grin:


Skinhead On The MBTA

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Patriarch Spongebob: A Zeal-Abbot with some bite

Congrats on the nice Pat - one thing though:
[quote='poops]Patriarch Spongebob
(I couldn't think of a better name - but at least an Abbot can "soak up some damage", and everybody loves Spongebob, so...:p)[/quote]
I hate Spongebob :wink3:


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Patriarch Spongebob: A Zeal-Abbot with some bite

Congrats! Must get tedious always using Battle Cry. Also looks like you optimized your stats. No troubles getting up to 63 I take it? =P.

Absorbent and yellow and porous is he. Name fits quite nicely to be honest. Well done, poops. Well done.


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Patriarch Spongebob: A Zeal-Abbot with some bite

No troubles getting up to 63 I take it? =P.
Nothing too bad. His attack was a little wimpy all through, but I managed to keep up /players8 until Hell. My skill progression was roughly: 5 Zeal, then max Sacrifice then Prayer, then 10 each into the two Resists Auras before finishing Zeal off and switching back to Resist Lightning. Not having Fanaticism until the merc made level65 was probably what made it most tedious (though the lack of investment into Zeal didn't help either).

He was played as more of a standard zealot using a Jewels of Lightning CrownShield + Fleshrender (I like that weapon a lot for the level required & stats). I think I used a 6xOrt Crystal Sword before that at level21. For the rest of the gear, I actually used full Iratha's set from level15 forward (I love the FRW boost for normal & nightmare) and Cathan's rings and an Eye of Elitch for leech, and Sander's boots for the FRW and +stats. Charms mostly boosted strength (so I could equip a couple of things) and AR/damage. I didn't feel like twinking him every ~5 levels, so although his damage wasn't 'optimal', he rolled along quite quickly.

And BattleCry wasn't too bad. It's got a 40 second duration at level14, and I killed everything within reach long before that was finished. The FCR on the Fortitude was actually good for a couple of breakpoints too (actually, a lot of the mods on that armour fit very well with this build). The most annoying part was when my shield-blocking would interrupt a casting of BCry, but with the (lack of) damage he received, it wasn't like it was critical if I had to wait a couple of extra seconds to cast it - I enjoyed it for the lowered enemy defense as much as anything, and it pretty much saved me a lot of time because of it.

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