Physical Zealot

DwayneGAnd

Diabloii.Net Member
I just beat Normal Baal with a physical zealot. This style of melee fighting was quicker and more damaging than a Concentrator. I easily and quickly took down Diablo and Baal when using a Strength runeword on both myself and my hireling, they never stood a chance!

Currently he is at level 47. At the start, I pumped zeal, getting all the necessary prerequisite skills to get the important skills later. When Holy Shield became available, I put five points into it and continued pumping zeal until fanaticism became available. Then I pull all further points into it.

I have found that with a high level fanaticism aura, weapons with slow attack speeds such as war hammers swing decently fast to make them reliable methods of dealing damage. Also, due to Holy Shield, Paladin's don't need as much dexterity to reach maximum block chance as other characters.

Here are his planned endgame equipment:

Helmet: Guillaume's Face (crushing blow and deadly strike)
Amulet: Atma's Scarab (chance to cast amplify damage, solving my PI problems)
Armor: Fortitude Archon Plate (increased damage and resistances)
Weapon: Breath of the Dying Ethereal Berserker Axe (increased damage, attack speed, dual leech, start boosts)
Swap Weapon: Call to Arms Flail (debuff purposes with Battle Orders and Battle Command)
Shield: Herald of Zakarum (increased resistances, skill levels, strength, vitality, and block chance)
Swap Shield: Spirit Paladin Shield (increased skill levels for debuff skills)
Ring 1: Raven Frost (cannot be frozen)
Ring 2: Bul-Katho's Wedding Band (life leech and skill level)
Belt: Verdungo's Hearty Coil (increased vitality and physical damage resistance)
Boots: Gore Rider (crushing blow and deadly strike)
Gloves: Laying of Hands (increased damage against demons)

Originally I had planned for him to use Highlord's Wrath, but taking a tip from my previous build thread, the physical bowazon, I decided that Atma's Scarab is a better choice due to Zeal being a fast repetitive attack so it would have higher chance of activating Amplify Damage than a hireling with The Reaper's Toll.

Here is my planned Hireling setup:

Act 2 Nightmare Offensive

Andariel's Visage (increased skill level for might aura and life leech)
Treachery (chance to case fade to increase resistance to damage and the elements)
Obedience Cryptic Axe (crushing blow)

Originally, I planned him to use Guillaume's Face, The Reaper's Toll, and Fortitude. But again I took a tip from my previous build thread.

Obviously, Zeal is the primary attack that needs to be maxed. Sacrifice is a damage synergy which also needs to be maxed. Fanaticism is the aura of choice. Holy Shield will increase defence and maximum chance to block. All four skills need the full twenty point investment.

I didn't bother getting Vengeance due to the fact that you need to max it, heavily invest in its synergies, and get conviction in order for it to be effective at killing physical immunes, but that's another build for another time.

According to my notes, I'll have 23 skill points left over once those skills are maxed. However, I've already spent two points get Cleansing. Cleansing is good because it reduces curse duration and that of poisons, which saved me the need to carry antidote potions, allowing me to carry more useful stuff in my belt. So that means I'll have 21 skill points left over.

I've been thinking of maxing Defiance as a defense synergy for Holy Shield. What does everyone else think? What should I do with those left over skill points? How does my equipment and hireling setup look?
 

Namtar

Diabloii.Net Member
Points into Defiance don't really help Holy Shield that much. On the other hand, you really only need to max Zeal, Sacrifice, Fanaticism, and Holy Shield. There aren't really other good point sinks to compete with Defiance. Some of the defensive auras are decent utility and I'd pick them up even if it's just one point in each. Cleansing gets rid of poison and curses, Meditation refills your blue bubble if you got hit by a mana burn pack, Vigor is a great travel tool, Redemption is great for healing and for clearing monster corpses in areas where that's helpful, and Salvation can protect you from elemental bombardment in corner-case situations if you switch to it fast enough (I found that those situations are rare enough that I usually don't remember to switch to it). But other than that, yeah, it's generally Defiance as a Holy Shield synergy.
 

Kitteh

Diabloii.Net Site Pal
Points into Defiance don't really help Holy Shield that much. On the other hand, you really only need to max Zeal, Sacrifice, Fanaticism, and Holy Shield. There aren't really other good point sinks to compete with Defiance. Some of the defensive auras are decent utility and I'd pick them up even if it's just one point in each. Cleansing gets rid of poison and curses, Meditation refills your blue bubble if you got hit by a mana burn pack, Vigor is a great travel tool, Redemption is great for healing and for clearing monster corpses in areas where that's helpful, and Salvation can protect you from elemental bombardment in corner-case situations if you switch to it fast enough (I found that those situations are rare enough that I usually don't remember to switch to it). But other than that, yeah, it's generally Defiance as a Holy Shield synergy.
I agree that redemption is worthwhile having around if you need it, but leech should be plenty enough on a zealot, so it shouldn't be needed. Defiance can be worth it for the extra defence %, but only if you are getting high defence equipment in the first place, which you are. However, give the resist auras another consideration; +1% max res for every 2 hard points. Consider where you will be using the zealot and your current equipment (for example, Fortitude already gives +5% max lightning), and then allocate according to the resists that you could use some extra margin for.
 

Jamie

Diabloii.Net Member
This is something that I am currently dealing with and I think I am going to invest them into charge and possibly 1 to vigor and the prerequisites. I use charge a lot to travel.. which level doesn't matter.. but I also use it a lot to chase down monsters that run and casters and I think the higher damage will be the best usage I can get out of the extra skills.

@Kitteh I didn't think about getting the extra +max resists. I plan on using my zealdin mainly for Pits, Trav, CS, Pindle/Shenk/Eldritch runs... so the extra fire resist could be more useful than the charge.
 

Kitteh

Diabloii.Net Site Pal
This is something that I am currently dealing with and I think I am going to invest them into charge and possibly 1 to vigor and the prerequisites. I use charge a lot to travel.. which level doesn't matter.. but I also use it a lot to chase down monsters that run and casters and I think the higher damage will be the best usage I can get out of the extra skills.

@Kitteh I didn't think about getting the extra +max resists. I plan on using my zealdin mainly for Pits, Trav, CS, Pindle/Shenk/Eldritch runs... so the extra fire resist could be more useful than the charge.
Quite possibly. Personally, I’ve always found archers to be the main issue, in which case I guess the defence would be better. However, I mainly play ranged builds (except zealots actually, which are among my favourite builds), so things like FE etc are rarely a concern for me. However, if I was going to run Baal then I might opt for the max light. You can always just respec and change the res points depending on what you move the character onto next.
 

Zylo

Diabloii.Net Member
What should I do with those left over skill points? How does my equipment and hireling setup look?
Blessed aim will give you a +5% AR bonus per hard point invested. I'm not sure how your charms look, but this could possibly be an option.

As far as gear, it looks good - though maybe not the most optimal. If you're fine with that, then you can disregard this next section, and go with whatever gear option makes you happy.
Grief > BotD hands down, but maybe you're sick of using Grief, and BotD is a fun(still good) option. I'll give you a pass on that. Death is also a fun, not as common RW, that a fanat zealot can make work.

I don't understand using Atma's however. CtC is pretty low, you'll typically be killing monsters before it procs. Or on physical immunes, you'll be there doing nothing(no leeching) until it does. Instead I would rely on merc with Reaper's to break physical immunes. I know you said zeal being a faster attack would proc faster then reapers, but depending on how you gear the merc - you're not going to be hitting much more then him, and 33% > 5%. Let's pretend they are equal, you'd be giving up Highlord's to use it, and with that you're missing out on a juicy 30+% chance to do double damage. I can't give up HLW on about any of my melee characters, it's too good.

BKWB you don't really need plus skills on a physical zealot. I think a fun rare ring would be a better fit.

I prefer SoE over dungo's, but both work.

Overall I think your build would easily get you through hell, but these are just a few things I'd tweak if it were me. Anyway, enjoy your zealot!

What's FE?
Fire Enchanted.
 

Jamie

Diabloii.Net Member
Blessed aim will give you a +5% AR bonus per hard point invested. I'm not sure how your charms look, but this could possibly be an option.

As far as gear, it looks good - though maybe not the most optimal. If you're fine with that, then you can disregard this next section, and go with whatever gear option makes you happy.
Grief > BotD hands down, but maybe you're sick of using Grief, and BotD is a fun(still good) option. I'll give you a pass on that. Death is also a fun, not as common RW, that a fanat zealot can make work.

I don't understand using Atma's however. CtC is pretty low, you'll typically be killing monsters before it procs. Or on physical immunes, you'll be there doing nothing(no leeching) until it does. Instead I would rely on merc with Reaper's to break physical immunes. I know you said zeal being a faster attack would proc faster then reapers, but depending on how you gear the merc - you're not going to be hitting much more then him, and 33% > 5%. Let's pretend they are equal, you'd be giving up Highlord's to use it, and with that you're missing out on a juicy 30+% chance to do double damage. I can't give up HLW on about any of my melee characters, it's too good.

BKWB you don't really need plus skills on a physical zealot. I think a fun rare ring would be a better fit.

I prefer SoE over dungo's, but both work.

Overall I think your build would easily get you through hell, but these are just a few things I'd tweak if it were me. Anyway, enjoy your zealot!



Fire Enchanted.

I have been using Atma's and I love it, the extra damage output and the slaying of PIs, especially when I was going through act 2 and then again in act 5. It actually procs a lot because of Zeal being so extremely fast with a Grief. I must point out that I have NOT found a highlord's yet, so I don't have that option yet anyway. But it does proc a lot more than you would think, and it can make the zeal slice through huge packs like butter and no worries on PIs. I understand the extra deadly strike on the Highlord's, but the Amp that casts quite often from Atma's also accomplishes the same goal for every shot after it procs, which is often.

On my might merc I use an Eth Thresher Obedience(had to cube socket several GPA, CA and Thresher to get 5 lol, Durial's Shell (will maybe make another Fortitude when I am richer, or Treachery) and Andy's Visage. The damage output on him his over 8k with auras intact and his self proc Enchant. I only have one Reaper's Toll and it's an eth one on my Blizz Sorc Merc. So I went for the super high damage merc, with might and on the Blizz Sorc I needed a merc who can survive up front better and the decrep I prefer on her along with the high life leach. Both routes seem like good ideas though. Maybe if I had more to chose from I would go the route you suggest.

I thought about the BK ring I had, but I went for a LL, Tri resist Ring to hit my max resists. Which are now 77 Fire/75 Cold/80 Lit/75 PSN. Then use a 230/20 Raven Frost for other slot for mainly CBF.

Also agree on the SoE, although I would like to find me a higher one. I have 2 low Dungo's, but chose the SoE for the life leech and magic damage reduced it has.


@DwayneGAnd and to the OP. My Zealer is now level **, with 2 skills left. But initially after reading this, I had in the 7-8/9 range of skills left. I decided to add 4 to resist fire, to get my max fire resist to 77 (77/75/80/75 is current resist now) and then I put a few on Defiance and got a nice defense boost for putting roughly 4. I have 2 skills left over right now and I'm kind of looking at what I want in future gear and if I want to boost my Fire or Lightning resist even more. Luckily I have not respec'd once on him, so I can always go back and change it if I decide to do all day Travincle runs or something and make his max fire resist very high.

I decided to avoid the charge, although as I am still leveling on finishing Act 5, I could see where charge could come in huge handy against the ranged knights in CS, the runners in Worldstone Keep and Baal's minions. Also in places like pits against archers, it might be helpeful to have a high level charge that can take them down fast with one or two. I actually kind of thought about at some point going back and maxing charge or even smite and having a hybrid pally. a 2 handed charger sounds fun to go along with Zeal setup on weapon swap!

Fixed holy fire to resist fire. Thanks @DwayneGAnd
 
Last edited:

Namtar

Diabloii.Net Member
BKWB you don't really need plus skills on a physical zealot. I think a fun rare ring would be a better fit.
I concur. But...

Crafted rings rings (thinking both Blood and Safety) can be really good too. Like, it might take a lot of trial and error to get ones that are worth using over decent rares, but if you keep making them, you hit paydirt and have an all-around great ring to throw on almost any melee character.
 

Kitteh

Diabloii.Net Site Pal
Blood rings can be fantastic for sure. My crafting stash is just full of them waiting to be crafted...
 
Top