#ThisBuildSUCKS Challenge aka pick an underestimated skill and finish the game on Hardcore.


Diabloii.Net Member
Happy Father's Day everyone! :)

First things first it's been a long time since I've posted any updates about Headora, THE P8 ONLY GEARLESS AMAZON. She's made it up to Ancient Tunnels. Then out of a sudden, an Invander managed to get to me and he took my Amazon down with a single blow. With -80 Fire Resistance the damage she got must have been huge. Still didn't expect I could get a one-shot kill with approx. 1 500 HP. :rolleyes:

My next challenge is something quite different. Over the years I got a ton of crazy builds ideas I never properly tested. However with the current COVID situation I got stuck at home for quite a while and managed to reach Guardian title with all my current characters.

So I guess finally this is the right time to give my build ideas a shot and see how far will they make it. So ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce my new...

#ThisBuildSucks Challenge

The basic idea of this challenge is to pick a skill that is underestimated or overlooked by most of the players for any reason: it might be bugged or simply not commonly used due to being weak or totally useless. This skill has to be used throughout the entire game as the primary source of the damage. Mercenaries might assist obviously but they should not be knowingly used to deal with enemies while I'm pretending I'm busy with something else.

The goal is to make the game harder than usual and see how much or how little potential is there in the skills most of us consider useless. Also this is not meant as a sadomasochistic self-torture but as a way of experiencing the walkthrough in a slightly different way.

  • HC untwinked characters only
  • No extended / shared stash of any kind
  • /players 1 only all the way through
I've made up the rules intentionaly so I could play the game again clean and completely unmodified in any way. Having ladder runewords restricted will hopefuly make a better use of uniqe / rare / crafted items I'll find or make along the way. Personaly I find using Spirit & Insight quite boring after all those years.

As I write this there are already two characters with a Destroyer title waiting to enter Nightmare. I might add a thirds or fourth one soon but I think for now I will stick with these two chaps.

NameMain Skill & ClassLevelStatusCurrent Position
CarmagArctic Blast Druid35DestroyerLut Gholein (NM)
Gerard_WaySacrifice Paladin33DestroyerOuter Cloister (NM)

This is a first part of the walkthrough. I'll be uploading second part on next Friday 26th at 22:30 EST.

I've made Sacrifice Paladin not because of lacking the damage. With maxed Fanaticism & Redemption the numbers look pretty neat. There's another reason: with Sacrifice, the Paladin suffer's 8 % of all physical damage inflicted. Meaning if I strike for 1 000, I'll get -80 HP. Doesn't sound like much but trust me... the lifepool can disappear very quickly, especialy when surounded by monsters like Frenzy Minotaurs.

The strategy formula I use prooved to be pretty safe in most fight no matter how annoying it looks on a first sight. It's something like:

For Normal I decided to go for the strongest, longest range and slowest weapon possible: the Pike (gamled one from Alkor at lvl 20). And for two reasons:
  1. Paladin with Pike simply looks sick.

  2. Slow weapon speed helps me preventing from hitting too frequently, meaning loosing my HP too quickly.
A huge help in this so far has been the A3 Cold Iron Wolf. He serves as a very valuable source of crowd control. While I'm stabbing, he freezes the enemies around me (it's up to 8 seconds in Normal I believe) reducing the damage I take quite immensely.

What helped me aswell were some lucky drops. First one was from Duriel: Hawkmail with CBF. There's no better starting armor for HC melee char.


A second drop came from Baal at the end of Normal: Zakarum's Hand. I've never used this one but I really like the idea of castin Blizzard every now and then. Plus Ignore Tartget's Defense might make a huge difference in how I'm able to hit enemies (at A5 it started to really suck).

zakarum hand.png


Sorry for having to post all parts but I couldn't figure out how to display a single playlist video. :rolleyes:

For the Arctic Blast Druid nevertheless: the motivation to start playing him in the first place was that I'm a huge fan of Sorceres's Inferno spell. When synergized and used properly it can be pretty effective. So I was wondering if Arctic Blast can work like that as well.

First thing we have to realize is that Arctic Blast does only 50 % damage displayed.

Meaning if you put 20 points into the skill and all its synergies, according to skill description you should do approx. 1 000 DPS.

In reality however you max DPS would be only ~ 500. :mad:

This raised a question whether to attempt this in the first place. Fortunately I've had my old Wind Druid saves, so I decided to respec him, put on some gamled gear and try how he would be able to handle Hell. The experiment went better than anticipated. So I started right from level 1.

Gotta admit I really love the graphics & sound effect of the spell.

On the other hand I really hated fighting with Diablo. It took about 25 minutes before I managed to take him down. The blast didn't do much damage as I was unable to stay long at one place. So the only thing I could do was to run around, occasionaly start casting, interrupting and letting my level 1 Poison Creeper and level 3 Ravens do the job. I know it sounds silly but if it wasn't for them I don't think I'd be able to kill him.

Baal went down easy due to finding Amn Rune and crafting Strength Poleaxe.

After beating him I decided for an unorthodox step and hire Fire Iron Wolf instead of Dessert Mercenary. Never tried him before plus I've found
Hexfire in the Frozen River which would come useful. I did a testrun with my new mercenary in Cow Level and he was not bad at all. With Lower Resist Wand on switch and Bear in the front I think this will be a fun combo.

Speaking of fun, this is a drop from Cow King. Guess we've been short of Bardiches or something o_O

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Diabloii.Net Member
The progress through A1 Nightmare with Sacrifice Paladin so far hasn't been short of difficult fights and near-death situations. What I lack most at the moment, is the Lifesteal & AR (I have about 63 % chance to hit Fallen).

My ❄ Cold & Fire Resistances are slightly negative which also doesn't improve my survivability very much. Thank god for having CBF from Hawkmail, although just that doesn't assure anything at all.

I put most of my skill points into Fanaticism and most of my stat points into Dexterity. The AR slowly rises, which is a good thing. On the other hand, it comes at the expense of being slightly low on HP (approx. 370 + at level 32). With that in mind, I'm moving forward extra cautiously ready to turn back and run away in case I've encountered Cursed / Might / Extra Strong Archer boss pack.


I'll be uploading the last part of the Normal walkthrough on Friday 3rd July approximately at 22:30 EST. If you wish to see how I handled Baal and get some overall insight on pitfalls of the Sacrifice Pala gameplay (and maybe get inspired to try this challenge yourself with the same/different character / build) go ahead and feel free to subscribe & turn notifications on.

P. S. As for Arctic Blast Druid, he's sitting at the start of A2 NM, waiting to move onwards once Gerard defeats Andariel. There is a ton of material to cut ️ just from the first act, plenty of tough fights and stuff. Can't wait for you to see.


Diabloii.Net Member
Cool project. I did a Sacrifice paladin once, I think it would have ended up being pretty fun, but he got killed by normal Diablo, not very long after finally getting all of his available skills. I was disappointed because I hadn't been killed in normal in years, and I didn't have the desire to try again. I hope you go all the way! Salvation should be a good panic switch aura, and a high level redemption should quickly absorb enemy corpses and keep the red bulb filled up.


Diabloii.Net Member
I didn't put any point into Salvation yet and it almost killed me (fought a Ghoul boss with Conviction :eek:), so I'll be fixing it as soon as I level up. Btw. I totally understand Diablo was the killer in your case. I was lucky to find Hawkmail so I didn't get frozen and was always able to dodge his Lightning Hose just in time. But the only way how I could fight him safely was to equip Malice Flail, strike once, run away, strike again, run away, etc. It was the bleeding that killed him. I lacked the guts to stay in his melee range longer than absolutely necessary. If it wasn't for that lucky drop and Malice, I'd be dead too.