Runeword Questions


Diabloii.Net Member
Hi guys,

Long story short, LK has been very good to me the tune of 2xBer and 2xLo.

So, do I make:

A) Infinity (no Eth base) and 2xGrief (phase blades).

B) Infinity (no Eth Base), Grief (phase blade) and Fortitude (Eth bugged Helforge plate)

C) Save runes, hope for another Ber, and make Enigma.

D) 2x Chains of Honour and some combination of griefs/fortitude

E) other good runewords im not considering

Is Infinity even worth it in a non Eth Elite Polearm? Should I wait for a better fortitude base?

Advice much appreciated:)


Diabloii.Net Member
Infinity. How I see it, there are two options. Either Ethereal Elite base for your Merc to equip or Non-eth low requirement base for you to equip. Personally, I'd go with Ethereal Elite base first, since the number of builds equipping the Infinity themself are very limited, especially when compared to the number of builds who benefit from Infinity on a Merc.

If you ask me, I'd choose option F) where you save the runes until you find an elite ethereal base for Infinity, and then weigh in what other runes you've found while hunting for that elusive polearm. It might take you three Pit runs or 300 runs, so might as well wait until you are at that point and figure rest of it out. Who knows, maybe you've found a Zod and a Jah at that point and you want to make Grief, BotD and Faith for A1 Merc and make some crazy ass WW-Barbarian (no idea if those three RWs are even useful for barb :p)

Do you have any specific builds planned or built already that would specifically benefit from any of the above runewords? For example, I'd only make 2x Grief if you are planning/have a barb who you intend to have Dual Griefs, otherwise, one should suffice for now and then make a Fortitude (non-eth or eth, depending on your characters/plans).

Don't count out Beast. Never had one, but plenty of people say it's a good runeword and with +1 Werebear, you can make tons of fun builds like Bearsorc. On my "to-make" -list of runewords, but just haven't pulled the trigger yet.


Diabloii.Net Member
If you plan on putting some hours into running cows for RFL round 3, then I wouldn't rush to make anything just yet since you might likely farm some more.

What runewords are more profitable to make depends on:
- what characters are you looking forward to play
- what areas are you gonna run with more dedication in the future
- weighting the benefit of every single runeword individually

While I can't answer the first two points, I can help with a third point.

2x Grief - like Neksja say, if you really look forward to play barb, make two of those. If not, then second is pretty much a waste if you don't have Fortitude yet. This is easily decided since only you know will you play barb more in the future or not really.

Eth Fortitude - ONLY if you have non-eth first, this is general rule for every eth armor out there. First make one for your character, then make something that will make merc 2% stronger (which eth variant exactly does, its not like you will feel ANY difference with it).

Infinity (non-eth base) - since cows are ahead, chances are you will find eth base there for Infinity, so why waste runes before it? Rather nail cows first (javazon does not need Infinity to do it efficiently), and then see did you find something or not.

2x CoH - first non-eth CoH I can understand, but making 2 of them before having Infinity or Enigma is a HUGE waste of a Ber rune. For what, for merc to have that extra 2k defense you won't even feel difference about? Either make 1x CoH now and save second Ber rune for much more useful runewords, or don't make CoH at all now. Remember, CoH is only a temporary solution and is not a game changer for any character out there. It makes difference only if it is made among first things. If you will make Fortitude or already have it, making CoH is pretty meaningless solution alltogether since it profits literally no character except travincal sorc, and for her Vipermagi is just as good as CoH is. In fact for her you want Infinity.

Enigma - since you are only a Ber rune away, I'd seriously consider to make this first. Hey, you can nail LK for those 2 Sur runes to make runeword that will make so many characters viable and efficient I don't even have to start to describe. This is endgame solution and no other runeword changes the game as much as Enigma does. In LK at average it takes around 1300 runs to either get Ber or cube it from Sur runes. I think that is worth the time to make such OP runeword instead of using runes on something like CoH that will just postpone this real game changer.

Infinity vs Enigma - it completely depends on what characters are you gonna play a lot. Infinity is for elemental builds obviously to make them more powerful (say, by 20% approximately), while Enigma makes plenty of characters two times as powerful and fast. So, Enigma offers much higher upgrade than Infinity ever could, but if you don't plan on playing characters who do profit most from Enigma, then Infinity is the way to go. Only you can answer this since only you know what characters you prefer to play. It also depends on a playing style. There are players who are annoyed by teleporting playing style and don't appreciate Enigma (while most really do).


Diabloii.Net Member
Well….I must answer with questions

1. You prefer melee or casters?

2. You plan to use infinity yourself in the near future?

3. You would like to enter PvP games in the near future?

4. Have you any non-eth versions/other bases already?

I personally would go for diversity and make infinity, grief and fortitude to open options for different build to keep my interest in the game.

If you going for 2xGrief swords, consider making one in a 2-h sword for future usage as act5 merc weapon.


Diabloii.Net Member

Not exactly sure why is question number 3) about Enigma so related to PvP. While it is godly PvP armor, it is also the same kind of armor for PvM for plenty of builds - without which you cannot ever hope to come close to what some builds using Enigma can accomplish. It is true for pretty much all the barbs, all non-shifter druids, hammerdin (I would add zealer too) and all the necromancer variants. I would add plenty of assassin variants as well even if they do have BoS, having teleport to position yourself AND merc is just too good to skip even for them.


Diabloii.Net Member
Make Grief+Forti with your Lo runes, save Bers for Enigma. Infinity is nice, but unless you only play sorcs not worth it before Enigma. Eth base for Infinity. By the time you're going to make those obscure builds that use it rather then mercs you'll have plenty of Bers to spare.


Diabloii.Net Member
Just to be clear, you absolutely don't want make Infinity in non-eth base before making it in an eth one.

Regarding Infinity vs Enigma, Gripphon basically said it all regarding which to make first. Personally I actually made Infinity first, because I just love Java and Sorcs. But after making Enigma afterwards, and how suddenly makes soooo many different classes and builds viable and effective, I think I'd recommend making Enigma first in hindsight.


Diabloii.Net Member
If you play sorcs a lot = Infinity
If you play other chars more = Enigma
If MF is more important than RF = Enigma

Overall Enigma > Infinity IMO.


Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks for all the advice, everyone :)

Still not decided for sure but I'm leaning towards:

Infinity, non eth Fortitude, 2-hander Grief.

When I get another Lo, I'll make a second Grief in a Phase blade.

Enigma sounds awesome but i've not got any builds that I REALLY want to try it out on just yet. Maybe when I get my fishymancer/Windy/Barb up a few levels I can plonk Enigma on them and have fun, but for now Infinity will really help me run cows with my Javazon for RFL Round 3. I'm still missing a few top end S/U items as i'm on Grail -140, I'd need these to make certain characters viable even with Enigma.


Europe Trade Moderator
2-hander Grief.
I would definitely not make Grief in a two-hander! Make the first in a phase blade!

For a two-hander, you will deal more damage with a good Oath roll, a runeword which involves just a Mal rune. OK, you will have no ITD, but you are usually fighting bosses to get the good stuff and ITD doesn't work against them anyway. Oath also has 10-20% more IAS.

When I get another Lo, I'll make a second Grief in a Phase blade.
I suggest to make it in a phase blade as well ;). There are several builds with Grief at the top end of their wish list.

Enigma sounds awesome but i've not got any builds that I REALLY want to try it out on just yet.
Enigma might become useful if you have the gear for a non-sorceress which would be better than a blizzard sorc in the Tunnels or versus Pindleskin while wearing at least the same amount of MF gear. It's not all about effectivity, however.

Edit: Typo
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Diabloii.Net Member
I agree, making Grief in 2 hander is a bad idea. It actually rather cancels out the sick (absolute) addition to weapon damage, any high ed% is much better on 2h weapons.

As far as the exact order goes, maybe some recent lessons learned from my side will help, since I've only built all that stuff in the last 5-6 months and made a few mistakes as well. ;)

Regarding Lo I think it's pretty straight forward :) no regrets here: Grief PB -> Fortitude (non-eth) -> Grief PB #2 (WW Barb) -> ebug Fortitude. After that it's whatever.

Another important question is also when to go for CtA if considering cubing. I think I made that after the first Fortitude (didn't cube any Ohm/Lo though IIRC, but just to keep in mind).

Regarding Ber (and Jah) I went Infinity -> CoH -> Enigma -> other stuff like Faith and Beast. I didn't regret making Infinity first, since it's the single most drastic damage amplification for quite a few builds. But I did regret making CoH before Enigma, in hindsight that is just so lol... And I had to wait quite some time for that Jah to make Enigma after. I was just playing a lot of Sorcs at that point in time so CoH looked good, but it's just a "slightly better Viper's", whereas Enigma turns Diablo 2 into an entirely new game. Impossible to overstate this! Bad thing is merely it makes so many builds good and fun to play, you've got your work cut out for you to gear all these. ;) Anyway I'd make Enigma first if I had to start over.


Europe Trade Moderator
Regarding Lo I think it's pretty straight forward :) no regrets here: Grief PB -> Fortitude (non-eth) -> Grief PB #2 (WW Barb) -> ebug Fortitude. After that it's whatever.
That's the order in which I did it. I think I made another noneth Fortitude before, but when I got 4 sockets into a pretty good ethereal sacred armor via the cube recipe, it was due :)

Another important question is also when to go for CtA if considering cubing. I think I made that after the first Fortitude (didn't cube any Ohm/Lo though IIRC, but just to keep in mind).
In my opinion, CtA isn't really needed for item finding, except it's about hardcore. It's useful if you want to reach a very high level, so you won't lose that many XP from dying. Otherwise, you can simply endure a certain amount of these unfortunate events, it won't affect your income.

On the other hand, it's more satisfying if your characters die less and getting the CtA runes isn't that hard as well. If the second weapon slot is free, why not?


Diabloii.Net Member
Wew, lots of replies!

Regarding CtA, I've already got one :) It's working wonders on my Blizzy and Javazon, no regrets there.

Ah, okay so putting grief in a Colossus Blade isn't worth it? Hmmmm. No harm done. I've been super lucky with 5os phase blades recently. I've got 4 now. 3 dropped within a few days of each other. Still no eth 4os polearm base.

I'll probably go for 1x Grief phase blade and a non-eth fortitude just now. If I find another Ber or a Jah before I find an Infinity base, I'll make Enigma but otherwise I'm pretty keen to get that hurty stick!


Diabloii.Net Member
I would for sure make the Grief in a Phase Blade. Back when I made a Frenzy Barb the plan was to have dual Grief Phase Blades, but I made a Lawbringer for the other side and just stuck with it because of the Sanctuary Aura and CTC Decrepify came in very handy.

Crazy Runner Guy

Diabloii.Net Member
From my old post on a similar subject:

Agreed as someone who used CoH to get to 98 and then swapped on v1.07 Arkaine's.

Here's the deal /w CoH: it's the best default endgame armor in the game for basically every character, as there is rarely, if ever, a character which it won't help. Outside of specialty cases where you need something else (Treachery for IAS, e.g.) its bonuses are huge: +2 skills (for BO!), 65% res, 8% PDR, 200% damage to demons/undead, etc. It's also relatively easy to make in v1.13 - all you need is a single Ber. I made mine a long, long time ago and used it on almost every character since.

But that said, Enigma is so much superior for everything that isn't a sorceress that it pales in comparison. Mine gets used mostly on mercs now, as its life leach on an armor is great when you don't get it on weapon (Infinity, Pride) or helm (Delerium, G-Face).

v1.07 Arkaine's is amazing for sorceresses because it is worth so much life. At clvl 98, that's 247 vita (494 life) and 196 life - it's enough to make going max block with SS/Whitstans/etc. viable. Too bad it's not BO-able (it used to be in v1.09, which is when v1.07 Arkaine's/SoE/SS/v1.07 Vamp Gaze was KING for PvP S/S Tweaker barbs). The problem is that it's so hard to find. I got mine as a give from Lord Vega when he quit - good luck trying to trade for it.

End result: I would make it again, but I'd make Enigma before it. And then I would likely not make it. View is probably tainted because of the vast wealth difference between when I made it and now, but still. If I was starting over again, I would probably do what those in the untwinked to 99 thread did - sorceress, MF enough stuff to make a decent LK runner, and then run LK for high runes.

I always saw CoH as a "poor man's" armor. Yes I know it has a Ber, let me explain.

1. Most "poor" characters don't have multiple high runes. This armor only takes one lucky drop to make. If you're a casual player this is the logical use for your first Ber rune.

2. It has +65 all resists. That's the equivalent of 13 perfect shimmering small charms. Most "poor" characters are lucky to have one shimmering small charm, let alone 13 perfect ones.

3. It has life leech. When you're poor you can't rely on dual leech rings and perfect Arreat's to save your rear. Sometimes you're lucky to have an Amn socketed into your weapon. This frees up your equipment slots.

4. It has +2 all skills. That's like wearing two stones of jordan. Any poor players have two stones of jordan?

5. Magic Find. Helps you find better stuff, which poor players desperately need.

6. Damage to demons/undead. That's most of the bad guys in this game, including Mephisto and Pindleskin. Those two fellows also happen to be the best MF targets in the game. That's handy for a poor character.

Yes I agree that Enigma is a better armor, and Fortitude does a little more damage. But for a poor player that is missing a lot of key items and just happens to get a lucky Ber drop, CoH is a valid choice. If they ever outgrow it, they can always put it on the merc for a really great merc armor.
Said it much better than I did, and basically hits the nail on the head, particularly #'s 2-4, for the reasons I made it.


Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks everyone!
For those of you who care, this is what I (or Rather @Neksja) rolled :)

Phase Blade
One Hand Damage: 31 - 35
Required Level: 59
Required Strength: 25
Required Dexterity: 136
Fingerprint: 0x26e36268
Item Level: 85
Version: Expansion 1.10+
35% Chance to cast level 15 Venom on striking
+40% Increased Attack Speed
Damage +376
Ignore Target's Defense
-25% Target Defense
+140% Damage to Demons (Based on Character Level)
Adds 5 - 30 Fire Damage
-22% to Enemy Poison Resistance
20% Deadly Strike
Prevent Monster Heal
+2 to Mana after each Kill
+11 Life after each Kill
5 Sockets (5 used)
Socketed: Eth Rune
Socketed: Tir Rune
Socketed: Lo Rune
Socketed: Mal Rune
Socketed: Ral Rune

Balrog Skin
Defense: 1521
Durability: 25 of 30
Required Level: 59
Required Strength: 165
Fingerprint: 0x848e8d3c
Item Level: 86
Version: Expansion 1.10+
20% Chance to cast level 15 Chilling Armor when struck
+25% Faster Cast Rate
300% Enhanced Damage
+200% Enhanced Defense
+15 Defense
+136 to Life (Based on Character Level)
Replenish Life +7
+5% to Maximum Lightning Resist
All Resistances +27
Damage Reduced by 7
12% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
+1 to Light Radius
4 Sockets (4 used)
Socketed: El Rune
Socketed: Sol Rune
Socketed: Dol Rune
Socketed: Lo Rune

Very happy with the Grief...Fortitude could have been in a better base but i'm still happy as larry!

The search for the perfect Infinity base/Jah or Ber continues!