zeal/holy shock: 21 unused skill points

acceleration turkey

Diabloii.Net Member
zeal/holy shock: 21 unused skill points

I have a level 75 paladin who uses holy shock/zeal. the "problem" is that i have 21 unused skill points and im not sure where i want to place them.

so far:

20 holy shock
20 resist lightning (synergy @ +12% dam)
15 zeal
1 might
1 holy freeze
1 holy fire
1 holy shield
1 sacrifice
1 holy bolt
1 smite
1 charge
1 blessed hammer

-rockstopper (about 30% res fire/cold/light)(will probably wear kira's guardian, +59% res all)
-guardian angel
-mosers with 2 perfect diamonds (+63 res all)(still looking for zakarum, i play single player/lan)
-credendum (for strength/dex and +15 res all)(may wear string of ears -15% dam)
-waterwalk (for dex/life)
-IK gloves (for strength/dex bonus)(will eventually wear draculs grasp i think, or laying of hands for 50% fire res)
-dual ravenfrost (may wear a bul kathos if i feel like it)
-maras +22%
-crescent moon berserker axe (just made it, awesome)
-weapon switch: charges of level 2 lower resist wand (-37% res all)

about 1300 life and 2500 defense. 75% chance to block. +3 to all skills

hell resists are about 65/35/90/35. my equipment would allow up to 95/90/95/90 if i could fill them up.

naked stats/equiped stats:
85/145 strength
25/116 dex (base)
315/345 vit
15/20 energy (base)

zeal damage: 270-4630, of which 270-800 is physical. 2500 AR.

by the time i reach level 85, i will have 10 more points + 2 from tyriel, making 33 total, so i can afford to max 1.5 skills. i also have 25 unused stats. i know that i need more life and defense, but those are mostly equipment issues.

here are ideas:

1. max holy shield, put other points in smite for stun/defense. does holy shield's defense bonus increase all my defense, or just my shield's? i am thinking of upgrading guardian angel to hellforge if i can find a way to get more strength, but only if holy shield will multiply the defense. does anyone think that it would be worth putting points in strength to wear hellforge plate guardian angel? would require 196 strength (167 with hel rune) and would have about 1500 def, versus current 775 def and 118 strength.

2. max sacrifice and finish maxing zeal for more physical damage. this is pretty self-explanatory...more physical damage on top of my lighting, and faster killing of lightning immunes. would make me more vulnerable to iron maiden.

3. max salvation. it seems like such a waste because the returns are so poor (+4% damage) but there isnt another option for tweaking my lightning damage. current holy shock damage is 1-3800. maxing salvation would increase it to 1-4700. not exactly a huge gain for 20 points.

4. max fist of heavens and put extra points in conviction. between my maxed holy shock, crescent moon's -35% lighting, my lower resist charges, and conviction, im thinking that FoH would do some good damage. the problem is that i dont have mana/regen incorporated into my gear so id have to drink a potion per monster in act 5 hell. seems like a good way to deal with undead flayers though, killing from a safe distance, etc.

maxed fist + maxed holy shock = about 2000 damage per hit of fist. when you include:
-35% crescent moon
-37% lower resist
-100% level 15 conviction
cutting resistance of demons and undead (those monsters start at 0% resist)
= -172% lightning resist
= about 5500 lightning damage
seems appealing, but its possible i dont know how to calculate the damage, or i misunderstood the demon/undead function. i posted weeks ago about the demon/undead function and got ZERO reponses.

5. max fanaticism and put some points in zeal or sacrifice. occassionally crescent moon and lower resist arent enough to crack lightning immunes, at which point im on my own to do physical damage, so theres no point in having holy shock activated. fanaticism would also help my merc dish out physical damage faster to deal quickly with the lightning immunes, more quickly than option #2 (maxing zeal/sacrifice), but it wouldnt help me unless i had it activated (unlike option 2, which would always help).

6. max vengeance with some points in conviction. this could be another way of dealing with lightning immunes. this is far safer considering iron maiden is pretty scary for zeal. plus, the toughest lightning immune, the gloam/black soul, is also 90% resistant to physical, so getting zeal/sacrifice/fanaticism wouldnt help much there. the diverse damage of vengeance is very appealing.

im currently in act 2 hell but ive been playing a lot of the game with a buddy of mine who uses vengeance/conviction, so its been really easy. now that i have crescent moon ive been playing more without him, and im wondering what people think would serve me best in act 5 hell. im not at all worried about magic find (i have magic find characters) and so im looking exclusively for raw killing power in the pit, ancient's way, baal's minions, etc. think of the toughest monster groups in the game and think of what would serve me best against them. thanks!


As I see it there are two choices:

The Defensive approach:

10 --> Holy Shield (Max eventually, to get max blocking and good dfense)
5 --> Zeal (to max out)
6 --> Salvation (any remaining point after HS)
Get Defiance mercenary for very decent DR.

The Offensive approach:

5 --> Zeal (to max out)
16 --> Sacrifice (max eventually, to boost physical damage)
Rest--> Salvation
Get Might mercenary to further boost physical damage.
Get a shield of "defelecting" with Guaradian Angel armor for max blocking.

A couple of points:

1. You don't need Vengeance, Conviction, FoH, etc. to complete this build. It will stand on its own just fine.

2. Don't discount the synergy from salvation it can be significant. It is also one of the best party auras ever, especailly when running Baal in ACT-5 Hell (or retrieving your body).

Good luck.


Diabloii.Net Member
place the points in sacrifice to up its damage and maybe one or two more like no more than 5 in holy shield


Diabloii.Net Member
If you want to use vengance, one point in fine. Then put a few in conviction and the rest in res fire and res cold. Maxing vengance will destroy your mana pool. It works much better (I find) using the synergies to keep the mana cost down. Plus res fire and cold increase your max resist witch is always good.

If you want to take the physical route, I'd go for fanat first then the rest in sacrifice (gives more extra damage than zeal and assuming your AR is ok)


Diabloii.Net Member
One more thing - the more +holy shock you have, the more damage salvation adds - just something to bear in mind if you plan on getting lots of +skills

acceleration turkey

Diabloii.Net Member
DistortedRiff said:
Try to get some offensive aura+ charms if you don't have any, even a couple points makes a huge difference.

i cant get them, i play single player/lan. i know what kind of equipment would help, so i was wondering about point allocation.