What armors/weapons to look for when runewording


Diabloii.Net Member
Hello everyone! I absolutely love this game but it's pretty hard to get into.

I'm playing a Javason and I'm currently level 75 on act V hell. I'm playing with a friend who rolls a skellymancer.
We're level 75~ish and we have absolute trash gear for our level. We got stuck in the frozen river and died over and over again.

We have quite a few runes stacked in our inventory but we don't know a single thing about crafting good runewords. By that I mean, what do you really look for in an armor? Is high defense what makes an armor good? For a weapon I guess it's very fast attack speed and decent damage? I don't even know what decent damage is on a weapon. What to look for on a wand etc? Since necromancers aren't hitting anything with it, do the stats really matter? So many questions...

I have watched Dbrunski's videos on youtube and I have learned a lot. I watched his budget armor runeword list and want to create some good runewords but I'm lost because I don't know what to look for in an armor/headpiece.

Also, are there any particular areas for increasing the chances of finding some good armor/weapons in the game?
Anyone on the EU servers that want to play? :)

Thanks in advance!
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Diabloii.Net Member
Quite some questions :).

Generally defense doesn't matter too much in D2, except for some builds that go all the way with it (Concentrate Barb for example) and maybe mercs. So people usually pick a certain armor base because of it's strength requirement (e.g. not too high) and looks. For mercs, you want an ethereal one, as they don't loose durability on a merc and get higher defense. Don't sweat it though if you don't find a good ethereal base for your merc, as in most cases the same applies to them, and defense doesn't matter that much. Exception being if you take a Defiance act 2 merc and / or have defense boosting abilities on their gear (Fortitude's for example) or as a skill yourself (Shout for example).

For headgear the same applies, unless you are a Druid and get class specific items in this slot. There you are mainly looking +skills to your mainskills if you are a caster. If you aren't, there are usually better options, but still it depends.

For weapons damage only matters if you are swinging / shooting / stabbing with it and use a skill that adds % physical damage. For example Frenzy, Zeal, Strafe, ... For other skills it depends, but it's mostly increased attack speed and +skills you are looking for. For casters, you are mainly looking for +skills and faster cast rate. There are breakpoints for both attack speed and casting speed, which vary by class, items used, ... but I won't bother you with that (yet).

You mention you guys were dying a lot in the Frozen River. First, resistances are key in Hell, especially Lightning and Fire. So make sure you get those max or close to max. Second, try to put as many points as you can in Vitality. You mainly want enough strength and dex for gear, nothing in Intelligence. Third, level 75 isn't bad, but a bit too low for Hell Act 5. Try to level up in other areas in the first acts first.

Which brings me to your next question: where to farm for good armors / weapons. A combo of a Necro and a Javazon should do well in the Pits in Act 1. So I'd run that for a while to gain xp and hopefully get some good drops. Just start from the Outer Cloister waypoint and work your way back to the previous area following the road there. It will split up, one going to the area before that, and the other going to the Pit.

For a Necro, I'd aim for a Spirit sword (cheap runes, take any normal sword (like a Long Sword or Crystal Sword) with 4 sockets, since they have low strength requirements), Lore helm (any helm with low str reqs), splendor or Rhyme in a necro head with good +skills, or in any shield or necro head if you don't have a necro head with good +skills. For armor Smoke (Nef Lum) is incredibly good to get your resists up, until he finds something better like Skin of the Vipermagi. Rest of the gear should be focused on getting more resists and life.

For the Javazon, assuming it's one concentrating on Lightning Fury and Charged Strike (which you should, they are by far the easiest to begin with, and one of the strongest builds in the game), you can use any javelins as weapons, but ideally they have +skills and replenish quantity. Also Lore as helm to begin with and Smoke for armor if you need more resists. Otherwise Peace (Shael Thul Amn) is a very good, very cheap option. For a shield I'd go for Rhyme, since it has cannot be frozen, resists and some magic find.

There's probably more to tell. But for now this hopefully helps :).

O yes, I'm playing in a group game on Euro HC. But beyond that, I'm strictly single player. So thanks for the offer, but no.


Diabloii.Net Member
Wow, incredibly useful information! I'm getting the hang of d2 now. I should really focus on those cheap runewords you mentioned. I've started to play on a sorceress on single player now too with PlugY installed. It's a blast! Thanks again for the very detailed post! Awesome!