The Dual Paladin Build
The Dual Dream Paladin is one of the most powerful and versatile builds in the game that can take out any kind of enemy. But the catch of dual dream is that it's extremely difficult to acquire the necessary runes. At the time of this writing, I have not been lucky enough to get a single Jah rune drop. Because of that, I'm forced to finish hell difficulty using my non-dream Tesladin, which is what this article is all about.
The Importance of Leveling Up
Although it's difficult, you can still finish the hell difficulty by only relying on lightning damage from Holy Shock and physical damage from Zeal. All it takes is a proper build, tactical positioning, knowing when to retreat, and to out-level your enemies. Item drops are never certain, but leveling up is always certain. That's why another important factor that you should never underestimate is the advantage of leveling up your character. With a higher level, you'll have better chances to hit your enemies, and there will be fewer chances they can hit your character.
During hell difficulty, whenever I find the area too difficult to finish, I create a new game and go back to previous areas to both farm items and level up. I also do pit runs to get high-level loot and a better experience.
In case you're curious, my budget Tesladin was level 84 when I finished hell difficulty. At the time of this writing, I'm playing the game on Nintendo Switch.
- Strength: Put enough points here to equip the necessary gear. In my case, I put 109 to strength. This will contribute to your Zeal's physical damage.
- Dexterity: I placed 136 points here to meet the necessary requirement for Phase Blade (the best weapon for fast attackers). Dexterity also contributes well to attack rating. It also raises the chance to block.
- Vitality: Put the majority of your points here to increase your life. The more life your character has, the more likely you will survive encounters with difficult enemies.
- Energy: Do not waste any points here.
- Holy Shock (20 points): The main single and AOE damage dealer for the build.
- Resist Lightning (20 points): Increases the damage of Holy Shock by 12% per point.
- Salvation (20 points): Increase the damage of Holy Shock by 4% per point.
- Zeal (20 points): The main attack that triggers Holy Shock single target damage. Maxing Zeal after Holy Shock ensures that you have a higher attack rating to hit enemies often.
- Sacrifice (20 points): Increases the physical damage dealt by Zeal.
- Charge (1 point): Gap closer skill.
- Holy Shield (1 point): An amazing one-point wonder that makes it easy for your character to reach max block. It also increases defense. Your +skill items will take care of the rest.
- Resist Fire (1 point): A one-point wonder to passively increase some fire resistance. Your +skill items will take care of the rest.
- Resist Cold (1 point): A one-point wonder to passively increase some cold resistance. Your +skill items will take care of the rest.
1 Skill Point Prerequisites
- Holy Fire
- Holy Freeze
- Holy Bolt
- Blessed Hammer
In this section, I'll show my current gear and some previously used gear from the first time I finished hell difficulty.
Crescent Moon Phase Blade
An easy to construct but powerful runeword. Crescent Moon's main attribute is the 35% reduction in enemy lightning resistance. This makes your powerful Holy Shock more devastating. Ignore Target's Defense is also very useful since it lets you hit more often. The ability to cast static field is very useful since it can quickly finish bosses. The runeword is best put on Phase Blade since it allows you to attack at lightning speed.
Voice of Reason Phase Blade
I use Voice of Reason when it requires me to clear an area filled with lightning-immune enemies. The main attribute of this runeword is the chance to cast frozen orb. It may not be as powerful as the one from sorceress class, but this one allows you to fill up the screen with frozen orbs thanks to the build's fast attack speed. The other main attributes to take note of is the resistance to being frozen, the chance to cast ice blast, and the 24% reduction in enemy cold resistance.
If you're planning to use Voice of Reason as your primary weapon, I suggest that you increase your attack speed (that's why I attach the runes on Phase Blade) and attack rating to increase the chance of frozen orb proc.
Crescent Moon vs. Voice of Reason
You might be wondering which of the two runewords is better for the build. The answer is the Crescent Moon since your primary damage is lightning from Holy Shock. The attack speed of Crescent Moon is also faster and ignores defense. This lets you hit more often. I tested it a lot of times, and mobs die in the blink of an eye with Crescent Moon.
Voice of Reason excels when you have already out-leveled your enemies since your attacks will rarely miss. It will also allow multiple frozen orb procs, which can clean up mobs for crowd control.
Spirit Sacred Rondache With +37% to All Resistance
The main attribute that I need from Spirit is the +2 to all skills, +35% to cold resistance, lightning resistance, and poison resistance, and the +22 to vitality.
I'm lucky enough to get a Sacred Rondache with +37% to all resistance. This gave me a powerful resistance boost shield with +2 to all skills, as shown in the above screenshot.
Smoke Great Hauberk
I previously resorted to the Smoke runeword back when I had difficulty increasing my all resistance. It was effective enough that I finished hell Baal for the first time wearing this body armor.
I used a superior Great Hauberk with more defense. This is the cheapest way to boost all resistance.
Guardian Angel increases the maximum allowed resistance of my Paladin. As a result, most of the gear I wear increases my all resistance.
The +1 to all Paladin skills is also very helpful.
Kira's Guardian Tiara
I equipped Kira's Guardian to accommodate the lost resistances when I gave up Smoke for Guardian Angel. It allows me to achieve around 90%-95% for all resistance.
Guillaume's Face Winged Helm
This is the helm that I previously wore. It offers pretty powerful offensive bonuses. I finished hell Baal for the first time wearing this.
Mara's Kaleidoscope Amulet
This is a very powerful and versatile amulet.
I was lucky that this item dropped, but not lucky enough to get a good roll on its attributes (I'm not complaining). I was previously using a crafted +1 to Paladin skills amulet.
Dracul's Grasp Vampirebone Gloves
These are the best gloves for life sustainability. The gloves also give generous offensive capabilities.
I was previously using crafted gloves with life stolen per hit and a chance of crushing blow. I wore this until my first time defeating hell Baal.
Thundergod's Vigor War Belt
Thundergod's Vigor combined with my 95% lightning resistance allows me to just stand still and let enemies shoot their lightning. It actually heals my character.
Another good thing about this belt is the +20 to Strength and Vitality.
Gore Rider War Boots
My Paladin was lucky enough to get this item on act 3 of nightmare. These are the best all-around offensive boots for a melee Zealer. It also allows your character to run faster.
Raven's Frost Ring
Raven Frost's most important attribute is resistance to being frozen and the cold absorption. It also offers 90% cold resistance.
Believe it or not, my first Raven Frost also dropped during nightmare difficulty in act 3. This was the same run where my Gore Rider Boots dropped as well.
Dwarf Star Ring
This is a good defensive ring that gives +40 to life and reduces any magic damage that you take. More importantly, it has 15% fire absorb, which adds to my 90% fire resistance.
Lion Branded Grand Charm of Dexterity and Captain's Grand Charm of the Icicle
Unfortunately, I only have two grand charms with + to all skills so far. I hope I can get more in the future. I'm still not lucky enough to get Torch for my Paladin on ubers.
My Paladin has some assistance from a well-equipped act 2 Mercenary. I'll cover the current equipment of my Mercenary.
Obedience Ethereal Thresher
Obedience is an excellent runeword that is end-game viable. The requirements to build this runeword are also obtainable.
Treachery Sharktooth Armor
I've been using this armor for my Mercenary since the early levels in hell difficulty. The best thing about this armor is the tremendous +45% increase in attack speed, which works well with life stolen per hit for better survival. It also has the fade proc to boost resistances and venom proc to add damage.
Andariel's Visage Demonhead
The most important attributes here that work well for an act 2 Mercenary are the attack speed, life stolen per hit, and increased poison resistance.
The catch is that this helm decreases the fire resistance of the wearer. Fortunately, the Obedience runeword and the fade proc from Treachery runeword can cover for that.
Previously, my Mercenary was wearing Tal Rasha's Horadric Crest.
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