Phoenix Shield for Zealot Paladin

Darkthrone

Diabloii.Net Member
I'm in the process of building a zealot. I have a Herald of Zakarum waiting (terrible defence roll, but it's the only one I have), but after reading some posts on the build, I learned that this build can be less defensive-minded by applying the rule of "A good defence is a good offence". With that in mind, there doesn't seem to be a better choice than Phoenix. I mean where else can one get ~400% enhanced damage with the shield slot? I don't think it's possible on any other item. And combined with a Grief + Enigma with a mercenary equipped with a Reaper's Toll, and you basically have a portable nuke.

But there's always a but...

But in my research about the runeword I have read discussions about the Firestorm proc, and that while it cannot interrupt the zeal attack itself, if the timing works out, it can proc on the last frame of the zeal attack, thus delaying the next zeal attack. Those discussions though were about a decade old and were concerned with multiplayer. I'd like a modern, single player take on the subject. I'd rather not invest the runes if I'm just going to be annoyed with the item. I have been burned before without doing my research (I made a Pride with the intention of using it with my skellymancer but had no idea that Hit Blinds Target overrode Amplify Damage).

Some of the discussions had people who enjoyed the item, though. Apparently you just have to "get used to it", but I'm not sure that's what I'd be looking for considering the runes required (almost have all of them).

The only alternative would be an Exile, but I'm not even close to having a decent base for it, or a Herald of Zakarum, which I currently do have.

I was hoping to maybe use this for my Phoenix, but unsure if the low defence would be a problem (but the possible enhanced damage...):

Code:
Protector Shield
Defense: 147
Chance to Block: 0
Durability: 27 of 40
Required Level: 34
Required Strength: 69
Fingerprint: 0x27aa9595
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
56% Enhanced Damage
+116 to Attack Rating 4 Sockets (0 used)

Would love to hear everyone's thoughts.

Thanks!
 

Naturallog

Diabloii.Net Member
99% of the time, the shields with +resistances are best for runewords. I would look for a 40+ all res sacred targe or sacred rondache personally. Throwing four high runes into a less than optimal shield seems like a waste.

As for if you should use it or not, it does make for a rather potent shield. I don't use it (looking for an Exile base currently) so I can't comment on the Firestorm cast, but there's only one way to find out if it bothers you or not, and that's to try it out.
 

Burgomaster3

Diabloii.Net Member
I would advice against making Phoenix in Paladin shield, unless you are swimming in runes. Phoenix has great usage for fire casters like Fissure Druids or Fireball Sorcs, due to the -28 enemy fire res and redemption aura. In fact, I'd argue it's the main usage for the shield. The Ctc Firestorm is pain in the ass for most melee builds. I felt obligated to at least try my Phoenix on some melee builds, since it managed to roll perfect 400%ed, but yeah, it just doesn't work. I've tried it at least with Furysin, Kicker, Fury Druid, Wolfbarb and Javazon, and they all are better off without Phoenix. At best, the Firestorm is just annoying. At worst, it's just downright dangerous.

That being said, Zealot might be exception. I did few tests in Travincal, and the annoyance from the Firestorm was surprisingly minimal. It still can be felt (it's really hard to explain), but on the other hand, so can the extra damage. But the difference between Phoenix and HoZ is very minimal overall, so I'd argue it's probably not worth of 2xVex, Lo and Jah just for Zealot use alone.

I made a small video demonstrating Phoenix in action. I swicth to HoZ at 3:00 just to show the (lack of) difference:
Of course, I use pretty high end gear, so with less damage from the other gear, the %ed from Phoenix might have larger impact. Then again, so might the Ctc Thunderstorm. One thing about the Thunderstorm is, that it's occasional interruptions are evident when fighting Physical Immune Ismail. Against him, you just want non-stop applying of Crushing Blow, and the Firestorm just gets in the way. Especially if you prefer using Smite instead of Zeal in those occasions. I'd imagine this would be a big problem against Baal and potentially deadly against physical immune Lister.

So anyway, whatever you decide, unless you're 100% sure you're not gonna use Phoenix on any other character than Zealot, I would highly recommend making it in Monarch, so others can play with it too :)
 

T72on1

Diabloii.Net Member
I agree with @Burgomaster3 about not making it in a Paladin Shield. It could be good for other characters as well. I particularly recall having played over TCP/IP with a fellow AB and SPF member's Fury Werewolf, who had synergized the Phoenix Firestorm proc on Phoenix, and it was a sight to behold. He also didn't seem to have any issues with the proc.

Admittedly, he was also using a Doom runeword, so also had synergized procs there, but still ...
 

ffs

Diabloii.Net Member
I would advice against making Phoenix in Paladin shield, unless you are swimming in runes. Phoenix has great usage for fire casters like Fissure Druids or Fireball Sorcs, due to the -28 enemy fire res and redemption aura. In fact, I'd argue it's the main usage for the shield. The Ctc Firestorm is pain in the ass for most melee builds. I felt obligated to at least try my Phoenix on some melee builds, since it managed to roll perfect 400%ed, but yeah, it just doesn't work. I've tried it at least with Furysin, Kicker, Fury Druid, Wolfbarb and Javazon, and they all are better off without Phoenix. At best, the Firestorm is just annoying. At worst, it's just downright dangerous.

That being said, Zealot might be exception. I did few tests in Travincal, and the annoyance from the Firestorm was surprisingly minimal. It still can be felt (it's really hard to explain), but on the other hand, so can the extra damage. But the difference between Phoenix and HoZ is very minimal overall, so I'd argue it's probably not worth of 2xVex, Lo and Jah just for Zealot use alone.

I made a small video demonstrating Phoenix in action. I swicth to HoZ at 3:00 just to show the (lack of) difference:
Of course, I use pretty high end gear, so with less damage from the other gear, the %ed from Phoenix might have larger impact. Then again, so might the Ctc Thunderstorm. One thing about the Thunderstorm is, that it's occasional interruptions are evident when fighting Physical Immune Ismail. Against him, you just want non-stop applying of Crushing Blow, and the Firestorm just gets in the way. Especially if you prefer using Smite instead of Zeal in those occasions. I'd imagine this would be a big problem against Baal and potentially deadly against physical immune Lister.

So anyway, whatever you decide, unless you're 100% sure you're not gonna use Phoenix on any other character than Zealot, I would highly recommend making it in Monarch, so others can play with it too :)
Interesting discussion, since I am also contemplating making Phoenix. Just need one more Sur so basically 10 minutes LK: ;)

To me it always seemed like a Zeal Paladin would actually be the only character where it could really be considered better than other options. I thought making it in a Monarch and give it to casters or Java or have some other fun with it, but I figured it's probably never "best in slot" unless for Pala. And I just love Zeal Pala anyway.

So thanks for the gameplay showing the comparison to HoZ, now I'm probably going to put those runes to other use. I did want that Faith after all. :)
 

Darkthrone

Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks everyone for the replies! This is exactly the discussion I was looking for.

99% of the time, the shields with +resistances are best for runewords. I would look for a 40+ all res sacred targe or sacred rondache personally. Throwing four high runes into a less than optimal shield seems like a waste.
At first I was concerned about resists but I can make up 40+ all resists pretty easily in charms; I'm not that concerned.

I would advice against making Phoenix in Paladin shield, unless you are swimming in runes. Phoenix has great usage for fire casters like Fissure Druids or Fireball Sorcs, due to the -28 enemy fire res and redemption aura. In fact, I'd argue it's the main usage for the shield. The Ctc Firestorm is pain in the ass for most melee builds. I felt obligated to at least try my Phoenix on some melee builds, since it managed to roll perfect 400%ed, but yeah, it just doesn't work. I've tried it at least with Furysin, Kicker, Fury Druid, Wolfbarb and Javazon, and they all are better off without Phoenix. At best, the Firestorm is just annoying. At worst, it's just downright dangerous.

That being said, Zealot might be exception. I did few tests in Travincal, and the annoyance from the Firestorm was surprisingly minimal. It still can be felt (it's really hard to explain), but on the other hand, so can the extra damage. But the difference between Phoenix and HoZ is very minimal overall, so I'd argue it's probably not worth of 2xVex, Lo and Jah just for Zealot use alone.

I made a small video demonstrating Phoenix in action. I swicth to HoZ at 3:00 just to show the (lack of) difference:
Of course, I use pretty high end gear, so with less damage from the other gear, the %ed from Phoenix might have larger impact. Then again, so might the Ctc Thunderstorm. One thing about the Thunderstorm is, that it's occasional interruptions are evident when fighting Physical Immune Ismail. Against him, you just want non-stop applying of Crushing Blow, and the Firestorm just gets in the way. Especially if you prefer using Smite instead of Zeal in those occasions. I'd imagine this would be a big problem against Baal and potentially deadly against physical immune Lister.

So anyway, whatever you decide, unless you're 100% sure you're not gonna use Phoenix on any other character than Zealot, I would highly recommend making it in Monarch, so others can play with it too :)
I'm not swimming in runes but I have created mostly everything I've wanted so far. I don't really have anything else (at the moment) that I'm looking to make. Maybe another Enigma, because the current one I have is in an archon plate, so maybe a breast plate or something, but it's not urgent.

Regarding using the runeword for another class... it's possible, but to be honest I have zero desire to ever play a Druid or Assassin. A fireball sorceress maybe, but not anytime soon. I have a Javazon but had no intention of ever using Phoenix with her. I have two Griefs, so I wouldn't really bother with a shield for a barbarian. And honestly, if I had to rerun Lower Kurast (or even Council) to gather the runes again, so be it. Besides, a Zealot isn't so bad at Council runs (though my barbarian may be better).

Thanks for the video, by the way! I have only had a chance to watch it once on my laptop, but once the work day is done I plan on watching it again properly. I have similar gear, but I think you're using time traveling items, which I do not have, but I'm fine with that.

I agree with @Burgomaster3 about not making it in a Paladin Shield. It could be good for other characters as well. I particularly recall having played over TCP/IP with a fellow AB and SPF member's Fury Werewolf, who had synergized the Phoenix Firestorm proc on Phoenix, and it was a sight to behold. He also didn't seem to have any issues with the proc.

Admittedly, he was also using a Doom runeword, so also had synergized procs there, but still ...
For the time being I don't plan on using it with any other character.
 

Burgomaster3

Diabloii.Net Member
@Darkthrone Fair enough. My philosophy with runewords is, that if it makes you want to play more, then do it. If you feel you get enough mileage from pally shield Phoenix, you should do it. It might help you get that next Jah after all.

If you decide to go with the paladin shield, I would at least go with elite base. Sacred Targe is probably the standard, with reasonable strength requirement and good block. My choice would base with resists. The %ed from shield really doesn't add that much more to the Phoenix's massive %ed, and if you're already using Grief your damage will already be so high the extra percents will bring very diminishing returns. You'd be better off getting easy resists from the shield and getting damage/AR from charms. At least I think so. Maybe someone with math prowess can prove me right/wrong?

And np for the video, I already meant to do some tests with Zealot at Travincal and this gave me good reason to try a bit different gear. The map is pretty terrible and I haven't played with the Zealot in a while so a lot of improvements could be made. And yeah, there are some 1.07 hax in that video :D I just basically loaded him stuff from my pretty optimized WW Barb. I was considering of using Phase Blade Grief and 1.13 Charms & LoH but didn't really have time to set that up. I might try it later though. The gameplay is similar anyway, only few seconds slower or so.

@ffs Glad you got something out of the video. I'd probably rate Faith and Phoenix pretty much the same in terms of usefulness, it just depends on what builds you prefer, since both have kinda limited usage after all. So far I've personally gotten more mileage out of Phoenix, but I just enjoy fire builds for some reason. Bow builds, not so much. But both are useful to have imo. Like I said before, whatever makes you want to play more :)
 

ffs

Diabloii.Net Member
@ffs Glad you got something out of the video. I'd probably rate Faith and Phoenix pretty much the same in terms of usefulness, it just depends on what builds you prefer, since both have kinda limited usage after all. So far I've personally gotten more mileage out of Phoenix, but I just enjoy fire builds for some reason. Bow builds, not so much. But both are useful to have imo. Like I said before, whatever makes you want to play more :)
I agree, those items are not used by the most efficient builds in the game. But I do have fun with basically every character, including Bowie. :) My situation is, by now I've completed the "essential" high-end runewords used by the most efficient/powerful builds (as in Enigma, Infinity, 2 Grief PBs, CoH, Fortititude, ebug Fortitude, as well as some other stuff). Instead of rolling those again for minor possible upgrades it seems to make a lot more sense to build new stuff which can considerably improve other characters, and in this regard I think Faith and Phoenix are actually pretty high up on this "second tier" list. Maybe Death as well, but I can't quite see myself dropping even a single Grief.

Of course, if I'm missing something here and am about to make a huge mistake, please feel free to let me know hehe.. :)
 

Darkthrone

Diabloii.Net Member
@Burgomaster3
So upon watching your video a couple times I'll admit the killing speed of Phoenix isn't really noticeable; however, such a small sample size can't really be taken as fact. In the meantime I do have a Herald of Zakarum (154% enhanced defence roll... ugh) that I'll be using while I hunt for a couple more runes.

Looking through my stashes I have these two candidate shields (with resistances):

Code:
Sacred Targe
Defense: 130
Chance to Block: 0
Durability: 33 of 45
Required Level: 47
Required Strength: 86
Fingerprint: 0xe345a377
Item Level: 81
Version: Expansion 1.10+
All Resistances +29
4 Sockets (0 used)
Code:
Royal Shield
Defense: 179
Chance to Block: 0
Durability: 34 of 60
Required Level: 41
Required Strength: 114
Fingerprint: 0x5c6dd0f8
Item Level: 81
Version: Expansion 1.10+
All Resistances +41
4 Sockets (0 used)
I kinda like the royal shield for the additional resists, even if it is an exceptional base. The vortex shield has a lower chance to block from what I can find out online. In any case, I don't have to make it immediately (don't have all the runes now anyhow) so I can still look around for something I like more.
 

Darkthrone

Diabloii.Net Member
Any suggestions on what to socket the Herald of Zakarum with? I thought about keeping it relatively simple and just putting an Um rune in it to boost the resistances even more.
 

T72on1

Diabloii.Net Member
Depends on your other stats I think. Um if you need resists. If not Sol for DR, Ist for mf, Ber for DR% (although I'd prefer Sol in that case), Shael if you need faster block (but you probably won't), ... ED% jewel, ...
 

Darkthrone

Diabloii.Net Member
@T72on1
Maybe my understanding of the way damage reduction works is wrong, but isn't the -INT amount just a straight amount? Sol in a shield is -7, but monsters will be doing hundreds, maybe even thousands, of damage per hit. Wouldn't Ber be better? I have a feeling I am not understanding this correctly.
 

T72on1

Diabloii.Net Member
Yes, it's straight damage reduction. More info on the subject can be found here. Whether Ber is better or Sol depends on the rest of your gear, I'd think. The 7 DR from Sol isn't as insignificant as it looks though. Monsters don't do hundreds or thousands of physical damage in one hit. As you can read in the wiki I pointed to, DR of 50 can almost negate any physical damage of normal monsters. 7 doesn't, but it's a good first layer of protection. DR% might be better, but to be honest, I never really noticed for example the DR% on CoH.

I've seen various posts of people in the Basin who used a high DR setup and absolutely loved the safety. To be honest though, I never tried it myself, and there might be no significant difference in using a Sol in situations when it really matters: when you are fighting champs / bosses and / or when Amp, Fanatism, ... is around. Then again, Ber's DR% might not make a difference in that case either, and a Sol still is quite a lot cheaper than a Ber, hence my reasoning of prefering Sol over Ber.
 

Burgomaster3

Diabloii.Net Member
I just put Perfect Diamond in mine, since I was a bit low on Ums at the time, and couldn't come up with anything more useful than resists. Pdiamond isn't bad option since it's really cheap, so if the situation calls for something different, you can Hel it out, no problem.

I think Ber in HoZ is a bit much. %DR loses some of it's appeal when you start to think how often you are Amped/Decrepified when the really dangerous situations happen. But I guess it really depends on what your other gear is. Same goes with Sol. I doubt one Sol would do much, but if you stack DR it might be useful.

Other things that come to mind are: some really nice jewel with res/stats/ed, Ral/Ort(Tal/Thul) if you need to stack single resist, IAS jewel if you use some other aura than Fanaticism etc.
 

helvete

Diabloii.Net Member
Actually, Sol runes gives integer pdr, which is deducted *before* amp is applied, but it really only becomes an option if your other gear also has integer pdr.

I'd look into what the HoZ is being used for. If it's a hammerdin, you'll want to either go with 75%FCR breakpoint (HotO, TO gloves, Arach) or the much more advanced 125%FCR breakpoint ones (options vary a great deal here, but absolute optimal would probably be 25% 1.08 greater caster craft ammy with +2 pala skills or +3 combat skills [can't remember what applies], 40% HotO, 20% Arach, 20% TO gloves, 20% rare circlet with +2 pala, 2sox etc etc......

Depending a LOT on gear availability. No 1.08 ammy = use 37mpk/10fcr ring instead etc.

If beta CtA, then just go with the pdiamond, as you'll appreciate the resists for more pc skillers.

If 1.07 shako and 75%FCR breakpoint, use a JAH for the +50 life.

If 1.07 valk wing, then go for a 45%@ spirit and you're all good on FCR....

There are so many options. Probably even some involving a BerBer CoA. Haven't really gotten that far myself =)
 

Darkthrone

Diabloii.Net Member
Gear is as follows:

Helm: Guillaume's Face (also can socket this with something...)
Weapon: +391 Grief phase blade
Armour: Fortitude but will be Enigma once I reach the appropriate level
Shield: Herald of Zakarum
Amulet: Highlord's Wrath (when I reach the appropriate level - currently Cat's Eye because I'm running a lot)
Ring 1: Ravenfrost (19/245)
Ring 2: Rare, 3% mana leech, +17 strength, cold resist +13%, lightning resist +30%, fire resist +27% (borrowed from my Council barbarian)
Boots: Gorerider (currently Tearhaunch since I'm running a lot so I can use Vigor)

Mercenary:
Ethereal Reaper's Toll + Shael
Andariel's Visage + Ral
Duriel's Shell (will be the aforementioned Fortitude once I start wearing Enigma) -- considering making a Chains of Honor for the +2 skills

I will probably end up with a really nice jewel, but in the meantime I have no problem dumping an Um into it.

@helvete
It's a zealot, so no hammerdin. Also I don't time travel so all items would be sourced in 1.13.
 

Crazy Runner Guy

Diabloii.Net Member
A couple of notes here, target dependent - you're going to essentially need ~117% IAS /w a Phase Blade to hit max frames under Baal's decrep. That means for me, with a dream of a clvl 99 Zealot:

Grief PB, +388/40% IAS
CoA, 2x (plain) fervor jewels
Enigma BP -> Fort AP for Throne
LoH
Nos's Coil
HW
RF, 244/20
Dual leech ring
Phoenix (44% res Sacred Rondache; 367% ED - it has no added blocking and requires four high runes, so wait until you get an elite shield)
Gores
CtA/35% spirit Switch

Merc:
Eth Reapers, Ber'd
GF, cham'd
Treachery

The alternative to the above set-up is to go GF/HoZ (essentially for Baal b/c of CB; you don't gain too much with the added 15% DS), each IAS'd, but then you lose some res. You can't Cham the GF and get enough IAS for max zeal speed, unfortunately.

I haven't played him too much - clvl 96 and he's my original pally from v1.10 that I still have - but the Firestorm is slightly annoying at times but my gut prefers that to the HoZ set-up.
 

Darkthrone

Diabloii.Net Member
@Crazy Runner Guy
I haven't really noticed any ill effects from Baal's decrepify when running him. The only time there's a noticeable affect is if a pack spawns with holy freeze and Baal casts it, but I'm pretty well positioned to take out the boss from each pack right away so the effect is short-lived.
 
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