Diablo 2 Hammerdin Build Guide
Hammerdins are paladins that have become the staple of Diablo 2. These characters are so powerful and can clear Hell difficulty extremely easily. They are always a good choice to make when you want a GODLY character in D2.
Basic Hammerdin Info:
Hammerdins specialize in the skill Blessed Hammer with Concentration being the main aura. Like I said earlier this build is THE BEST build in Diablo 2 if you want a GODLY PvM paladin. This is possible due to the MASSIVE magical damage that Blessed Hammer can dish out. Why is magical damage so important? It is because very few monsters in the game are actually immune. Promise me one thing, if this is your first Hammerdin that you practice A LOT using Blessed Hammer. It can be kind of strange to get used to but once you do you will be good to go. Now that your mouth is watering let’s jump into the build.
The very first thing I want to cover is the paladin stats and where you should put your points. Keep in mind that what gear you have will also be a huge part in this section as well. It’s always good to get a good feel for what gear you want on this character at the later levels. Don’t worry though, we will cover gear later in this guide. As with most of the builds, I am considering this hammerdin to be maxed at level 90. Once at level 90 and beyond you will have some extra points for places that you can see fit.
Strength: This will highly depend on how much wealth you have available in the game as well as personal preference. The main thing to remember with Strength is just to have enough to be able to wear your equipment.
Dexterity: You want to have enough dexterity to be able to have max block (75% block chance).
Formula To Calculate Blocking
Total Blocking = (Blocking * (Dexterity - 15)) / (Character Level * 2)
Total Blocking = amount of blocking you are trying to achieve (75% max)
Blocking = Blocking of your shield + Holy Shield bonus
Vitality: EVERYTHING ELSE GOES HERE! This is extremely important because you will get hit alot in Hell and think of Vitality like your safety net.
Energy: Absolutely nothing goes here. Do not waste even a single point here!
For a hammerdin the skill selection is pretty cut and dry. I’ve split it up by each different tree.
|Defensive Auras||Offensive Auras||Combat Skills|
|1 - Prayer||1 - Might||1 - Holy Bolt|
|1 - Cleansing||20 - Blessed Aim||1 - Smite|
|1 - Defiance||20 - Concentration||1 - Charge|
|1 - Redemption||12 - Holy Shield|
|1 - Salvation||20 - Blessed Hammer|
|20 - Vigor|
The main thing to remember here is to have your Blessed Hammer on your left click and, for the most part, have Concentration on your right click. The Concentration actually helps your multiply your hammer damage. Also it’s good to remember to keep Holy Shield up at all times since it increases your block chance. Vigor is extremely nice to have in town since it makes you run faster, but besides that we max it out because it helps increase the Blessed Hammer damage.
It’s good to remember to max out Concentration, Vigor, and Blessed Aim before maxing out Blessed Hammer. You will see roughly the same amount of damage increase but it won’t increase the mana cost of Blessed Hammer (that’s why you should leave it to last). At the early levels it’s good to get all the prerequisite skills out of the way and don’t worry about Blessed Hammer until you are at least level 40.
Now we get to the fun part of the build. As you probably already know your equipment can make or break your build. Luckily since Hammerdins are so powerful they can still do quite well in Hell difficulty without extremely expensive equipment. Below I have outlined not only the best stuff but some affordable items as well.
- 2/20/2 Paladin Circlet - This is what you want to shoot for. The numbers mean a circlet (which includes Coronet, Tiara, etc.) that has +2 Paladin Skill, 20 Faster Cast Rate, and 2 Open Sockets. This is the best in the end but extremely expensive!
- Harlequin Crest - Great helm to have. You must get one of these if you can’t afford the above helm. It’s got great stats on it and isn’t very expensive anymore.
- Tarnhelm, Peasant Crown, Lore - Good helms and are listed here only to serve one purpose…that purpose is to be a placeholder until you are able to get either a Shako or the Circlet. Extremely cheap and extremely easy to get as well.
- Enigma - Need I say more. This armor is the best armor you can get as a Hammerdin. If you are even remotely thinking about doing any kind of runs this is what you will have to have. Why is that? Simple one word answer: Teleport!
- Chains of Honor - This is the only other armor I could recommend for a Hammerdin. This is a bit more expensive to make but you still get +2 to skills, nice resistances, and a lot of other good mods.
- Skin of the Vipermagi - Great placeholder armor until you can get one of the two listed above. Pretty easy to get.
- Magefist - One of the best to get since it is pretty cheap, has faster cast rate, and gives a lot to your mana pool.
- Trang-Oul’s Claws aka Trang Gloves - Great for the faster cast rate it gives. It’s really either these or Magefist.
- Sandstorm Trek - Great boots for the bonus to strength, dexterity, and faster hit recovery. Not super expensive unless you try to get a perfect Eth pair.
- Waterwalk - These boots give a lot of life but not as good as the treks.
- Arachnid Mesh - Best belt you can get as a Hammerdin but very expensive.
- Pretty much anything else will work here. There isn’t a second best in my opinion but you can decide on what you want depending on how expensive they can be. String of Ears is pretty cheap and Thundergod’s is pretty nice as well. Just depends on what you want.
- Super rare crafted amulets - +2 skills, faster cast rate, and any other mods is the best to get. They are pretty rare and cost a whole lot so you might want to do what I did and skipped down to number 2.
- Mara’s Kaleidoscope - Best thing to get besides a crafted amulet. It gives +skils, +resistances, +attributes, very nice to have and can be expensive to get, especially for the good one.
- Any +skills or faster cast rate amulet will do if you don’t have one of the two listed above. Really it doesn’t matter a whole lot just keep an eye out.
- Stone of Jordan - This is the most famous ring in Diablo 2 due to it being heavily duped. It gives +skills, and a lot of mana. Great to use if you don’t need any more faster cast rate.
- Rare rings - Any good rare ring that you might want to use will have 10 faster cast rate along with other stats.
- Bul-Kathos’ Wedding-Band - Good ring that compares to the Stone of Jordan but gives a lot of life instead of mana.
- Heart of the Oak - This is probably THE weapon for a Hammerdin. It can be quite expensive to get but the stats on it are amazing. +3 skills, FCR as well as mass mana increase.
- Wizardspike - Great weapon to have if you don’t have a Heart of the Oak. It actually gives more mana than HoTo as well as 75 resistance boost and a 50% faster cast rate. It’s also a lot cheaper than HoTo so getting this isn’t very bad at all.
- Call to Arms - This is the only weapon that I have ever used on the weapon switch slot. I mainly use it for buffing due to the Battle Command and Battle Orders which increase your skill levels, health and mana temporarily. It is pretty expensive to get and also keep in mind it doesn’t make or break the build. It’s just a nice bonus to have.
- Herald of Zakarum - Overall great shield. It has high block rate, increases your damage, and has a lot of resistances as well. For your main shield it’s either this one or Spirit, it really comes down to personal preference.
- Spirit - Overall great shield and the runes to make it are pretty cheap to get. You will see less damage on this than on the HoZ but it makes up for it with faster hit recovery and also faster cast rating. The best base shield to make it with is a 4os Sacred Targe with a base 45 resist, but good luck getting that. Since the runes to make it are super cheap you can put this into any shield you prefer.
- Spirit - Best shield for this due to the +skills it gives that boost your Battle Command and Battle Orders from CTA.
- Annihilus Charm - This is a must-have charm for any build that you do regardless of class. The experience bonus on it is nice to have as well as +attributes, +skills, +resistances. (small charm)
- Hellfire Torch - This is the other must-have charm for your Hammerdin. It gives +3 skills, +attributes, +resistances as well. These are super expensive for a paladin but you can get a different class one for fairly cheap. Don’t feel weird about using a different class one until you can get a paladin one. These things are too good to pass up. (large charm)
- +Paladin Combat skills Grand Charms (Pcomb) - Great grand charms to have since it increases your Blessed Hammer damage and Holy Shield. The really expensive ones give other stats as well, especially +life and faster hit recovery.
- +Paladin Offensive skills Grand Charms - Not as good as the Pcomb but still good since it helps give an increase to Blessed Hammer damage as well. Faster hit recovery and +life are the ones to especially look out for.
- Small Charms - Really anything else that you may need. There are plenty of ones to look out for especially +life, +resistances, +mf, faster hit recovery.
There is really only one type of merc that I use for my Hammerdin. I prefer to use the Holy Freeze merc which you can get from Act 2 NM Defensive merc.
Holy Freeze really helps out a lot when you have a ton of monsters coming at you. It slows them down so they take more Blessed Hammer damage before they can actually get to you.
Get one when you can and don’t worry about leveling them up. You no longer have to slave away for hours trying to get your merc leveled up. You can now just rehire the same kind of merc and he will be around your level. Even at higher levels it is really easy for mercs to level, it’s almost a joke compared to the way it used to be.
Let’s talk a little bit about gearing your merc…
- Life leech is what you want. Anything with life leech is great: Andarial’s Visage (w/ Ral rune), Vampire Gaze, Crown of Thieves, Tal Rasha’s Helm, etc.
- High defense is the name of the game for armor. Mercs get hit A LOT so if you want them to live get high defense armor.
- Insight - This is the best weapon for your merc due to the fact it will help your mana pool due to Meditation aura on it.
It’s also good to note that Ethereal gear is the absolute best gear you can get for your merc since it won’t take any durability loss. That can get expensive for you as well but still totally up to you. Also when using Insight there is a slight bug that you have to re-equip it when your merc dies in order to re-activate the Meditation aura.
That pretty much wraps up this Hammerdin build guide. Like I said at the beginning, if you haven’t played a Hammerdin before do yourself a favor and try it out, I promise you will like it!