So, I’ve searched the web for a PvM Auradin guide, but, alas, nobody seems to care enough. This completely befuddles me because once you try it out you see just how amazingly swift this guy runs through Hell in a player 8 game. So, I’ve charged myself with the duty of supplying the world with a guide to the PvM Auradin and to dispel some of the skepticism and ignorance about its viability. I apologize in advance for my long-windedness.
VI. Ice/Faith Comparison
The Auradin is a new kind of build built directly off of the newer ladder runewords of the 1.10 patch. Although, every paladin uses an aura, and, indeed, almost every character nowadays, the Auradin receives his name because he employs at least five auras at a time to render a particularly vicious result that is capable of melting enemies without even touching them. I think that if you try this build yourself, you will see that it is one of the most fun of all of the Paladin, melee, PvM builds. The Auradin’s strength is that he a well-rounded combatant. He has a well-rounded attack, a well-rounded defense, and, accordingly, he needs a well-rounded strategy to reach his maximal potential.
Essentially, the Auradin gains his strength from his gear. For this reason he is be particularly in need of assistance until level 63 when you can don your Dragon Armor. The gear consists of the runewords: Dream helm, Dream shield, Hand of Justice weapon, and the previously mentioned Dragon armor. All other gear is auxiliary. The Dual Dreams provide two level 15 Holy Shock auras and the Hand of Justice/Dragon supply a level 16 and a level 14 Holy Fire aura. He uses a level 25 Conviction for -150% enemy resistances and his main attack is Zeal. In this guide there are two separate directions to take the Auradin: Do you want Life Tap or do you want independence from your merc for a faster swing?
The mechanics, being the way there are, effectively add together the levels of aura-when-equipped from gear on characters using multiple supplies of the same aura. This, however, is not affected by your character’s chosen skill; in that case the stronger of the two will take dominance. What this essentially is saying is that your character will have a level 30 Holy Shock and a level 30 Holy Fire aura at all times. Fully synergized (max Resist Fire & Lightning, and Salvation), your attack will have 1-7005 from lightning and 1513-1583 from fire; or 5,051 average elemental damage. Additionally, your aura will pulse. That means that just about anything on screen will feel a shocking, burning sensation about every two and a half seconds. Fully synergized, you will do 4-1167 Lightning Pulse Damage and 252-264 Fire Pulse Damage; or 844 average pulse damage. Pulses hit about every two and a half seconds to basically everyone visible on your screen.
Keep in mind that those numbers are purely display and assume 0 monster resistances. Conviction, your main aura, offers -150% Enemy Resists and HoJ provides an extra -20% resist fire. There is a lower limit to this; no monster’s resists can drop below -100%. This means that any monster with <70% resist fire and <50% resist lightning will have -100% resists—most monster’s resists don’t get that high unless they’re immune. However, if a monster is immune (resists>100%) the lower resist works at a 1/5 efficiency. So you will lower fire by 34% and lightning by 30%; that is enough to break most immunities so your attack will work. And since you have a two pronged attack, most likely, when you are confronted with the rare lightning & fire immune monster, you should be able to break at least one of their immunities. Factored in from above, with Conviction against most non-immune monsters your weapon damage will now be 10,102 on average and your pulse will do 1,687 on average to everyone.
Reference http://forums.diabloii.net/showthread.php?t=544931 for Conviction’s effect on elemental damage.
d. Zealot Comparison
If you like, you can compare that to the ~9,000 average damage a decked out Grief wielding Fanatic Zealot does, but that doesn’t count his Crushing Blow, Deadly Strike, or the 33% average monster physical resists. Additionally, that zealot won’t have pulse damage the Auradin does.
e. Plan Ahead
As I said before, you don’t get your main gear until your character levels in the 60’s. You don’t want to find yourself there being weak and powerless because you wanted strength for your temporary gear or you wanted some points in Fanaticism so you could do some killing on your own. My Auradin still has base strength and he’s decked out. Do yourself a favor a get a rush or team-play because, otherwise, your character will suffer in the long run. See the Strategy section for more info.
f. Dispelling Myths
A lot of people had some misconceptions about what Auradins are capable of. The biggest misconception is that the Auradin is a glass-cannon build (a highly offensive build that’s lack of defense makes it very fragile). I’m here to tell you that this is an absolute farce; built correctly, he is nearly as effective as any Zealot with Life Tap for some very distinct reasons that I cover below.
In Masterazn’s Pvp Auradin guide he makes that following claim:
- “PvM Disadvantages
-Unable to kill dual resistance monsters (Fire and Lightning).
-Slow killing speed compared to most other builds.
-Inability to defeat the Ancients in Hell Mode.
-Inability to lead experience runs (the Auradin levels mainly by leeching).
-Inability to complete all quests alone.
-Inability to defeat Diablo Clone.
-Inability to complete Uber Tristram quest.”
These are all untrue or at least misguided. Here’s why:
- “Unable to kill dual resistance monsters (Fire and Lightning).” These are rare and even in their existence, a good Auradin is quite capable of taking them down. An Auradin has -30 resist lightning and -34 resist fire against Immunes. That will break almost all immunities, and I guarantee that if it will not break one it will break the other.
- “Slow killing speed compared to most other builds.” This is one of the fastest killing Paladins I’ve ever seen. As I showed above, the Auradin can at the very least keep up with a Zealot. He does 10.5k damage @ 4 frames per attack to non-immunes plus pulse damage (did I mention the CtC Hydra and Firestorm, yet?). Single immunes are still disposed of quickly and dual immunes will usually have at least one immunity broken. Compare this to the ever popular Fanatic Zealot dealing ~9k damage before DS, CB, and (on the flip side) enemies’ physical resistance. He lacks pulse damage. However, Smiters and himself, are very effective against bosses. The Auradin is wholly capable himself, but not quite as fast. But, then again, what’s 7 seconds vs. 15 seconds when you’re only killing one dude? Also, you can swim right through the phys immunes that slow down the Zealot, and stand back and laugh when he screams like a little girl from one hit with Iron Maiden.
- “Inability to defeat the Ancients in Hell Mode.” Ancients are a piece of cake. A lot of people can kill one or two and struggle with the third due to some attribute that plays off their weakness, but the Auradin is so eclectic that each one is laughable. I have no idea where Masterazn got this idea.
- “Inability to lead experience runs (the Auradin levels mainly by leeching).” At the low-level, okay mid-level, too, the Auradin isn’t a tour de force. This is because his skill contribution to offense is all in defensive synergies. Once he hits level ~63 he gets Dragon armor, then @ 65 Dreams, and then @ 67 HoJ, he can take the reins with ease and his Conviction is always a welcome tool for sorcs. But as far as teleing goes, yes, you might want someone else. Or you could just keep an Enimga in your inventory.
- “Inability to complete all quests alone.” It is possible, but difficult if you really want to be powerful in the later levels. As I said above, his throng of power doesn’t come until the 60’s but once he’s there…watch out!
- “Inability to defeat Diablo Clone./ Inability to complete Uber Tristram quest.” Madness! He is more than capable. Everyone these days has an Uber/Crushing Blow/Smite-centered perception of what they think every build should be. It’s kind of ridiculous. The Auradin is perfectly capable of taking these big boys down. His Conviction aura cancels Mephisto’s and bring their immunities well within the realm of vulnerability. If you like, you can follow the same concept as the one point Smiter, but it is hardly necessary. Give it a shot, and you’ll laugh at how easy it is. My merc might agree with Masterazn, but I certainly don’t.
g. Pro’s and Con’s
These are very important. It shows you just why everyone should love to play the Auradin. However, you cannot truly appreciate this unless you try yourself.
- Three-pronged attack (Fire, Lightning, and Physical)
12% CtC level 15 Hydra on Striking (With Conviction, this is surprisingly useful)
Pulse Damage (1,687 on average vs. non-immunes!)
4 frames per attack
~500 average physical damage (enough to leech, enough to contribute against immunes, enough to not be obliterated by Iron Maiden)
Conviction (you’ll love it and so will your team)
Act 1 Merc can supply extra damage and remain safe behind the front lines
Hit Blinds Target
Hit Freezes Target
Ignore Target’s Defense
- Holy Shield
85F/75I/90L/75P Resists (non-convictable)
20% CtC level 15 Confuse when struck (extremely useful, especially in tight places)
High Life (Auradin can use Call to Arms, where as other zealots need a PI/IM switch)
One Point Wonders (Redemption, Vigor, Holy Freeze, Sanctuary, Cleansing, Vengeance, and Zeal are all not just useful, but essential)
Holy Freeze (for the non-Drac’s variant)
- Very fun to play
Makes you a hotkey master
Strong in PvP and PvM
Can handle any situation
Great for Hardcore
No need to worry about offense (The 4 major pieces of equipment make your offense and the rest can be devoted towards defense)
Easy gear decisions (Your weapon, shield, helm, and armor are already picked out, devote the rest to defenses)
Great rusher considering your pulse alone will annihilate anything in normal and nightmare
Can take a hands-free approach (Sit back and let your pulse, merc, and hydra’s do the killing)
Gets better and better each level (Most builds can top off once they get into the 80’s, this guys potency increases noticeably with each level up.)
At times, requires tactics, not sink or swim
- Fragile and Weak until level 63
Can rely on Merc for 4 fpa
Can be tricky to refill life bubble sometimes
If you’re are killing things in one or two hits, it might be hard to take advantage of Life Tap
You’re casting Hydras, Firstorm, Curses, and swinging away all the while being inside an army of enemies, it can make it hard to see if you are cursed or poisoned.
Can’t teleport without a gear change
Can be a bit costy (7 High Runes in main gear)
At times, requires tactics, not sink or swim
This character is amazing at PvP and really only finds trouble against opponents with stacked resists or a higher Conviction, but I’ll leave that to the PvP guides. This character has no impending, instant death weaknesses; by that I mean if you are going to die, the way you are going, you will know it quite a few seconds in advance and you can act accordingly. That’s why he would make a great Hardcore character.
h. Two Paths
“Two path diverged in a wood, and I- I raped and pillaged everything along one and then used a waypoint, went back, and did the other.” –Clervis
There are two basic routes you can go with the auxiliary gear of this build. One, rely on an Act 1 Faith merc with Fanaticism for your IAS for 4 fpa. Two, supply it yourself with your supplementary gear.
The Faith Merc will only give you 4 fpa when she is alive and around. Additionally, sometimes it takes a while for the aura to activate. On the upside, you can use Mara’s for you amulet and Drac’s for your gloves, which is very useful.
The alternative is supplying the IAS yourself. This will give you 4 fpa almost all of the time, but you’ll need to sacrifice your amulet and gloves. Your amulet will either have to be Highlord’s or the Cat’s Eye and your gloves will need to give you 20 IAS and thus they can’t give you Life Tap. This will make you more fragile but your merc can aid you more defensively. There are a million ways to go with this considering your Merc need not be a Faith merc. My preference in an Act I merc with Ice for a bow, the Holy Freeze cramps everyone’s style and makes you take much less damage. Other mercs are available and they are covered later. This direction requires more focus on life leech. You’ll be using Redemption more often, as well as, potions, and Sanctuary to leech from undead. You life bubble will drop a lot slower, but it will be harder to refill it.
My personal preference is the latter of the two, but both are very close in overall viability.
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Thread: Clerv's PvM Auradin Guide
22-04-2007, 02:15 #1
- Join Date
- Dec 2006
Clerv's PvM Auradin Guide
22-04-2007, 02:16 #2
- Join Date
- Dec 2006
Strength: Enough for gear.
Dexterity: Enough for max block.
Vitality: All the rest.
Magic: has AIDS.
My Auradin has base strength, because with his gear he can supply himself with enough strength to wear the rest. Max block is 75%, it changes based on your level, dexterity, and Holy Shield level, so youíll have to check it every time you level up to make sure you still have 75%. Donít forget that Battle Command from CtA raises your Holy Shield one level, so youíll have to account for that. My Auradin has about 3.5k life, not too shabby.
Your basic skill appropriation should start with the one point wonders and then move into your synergies. Put about 6 or 7 into Holy Shield then max your synergies and then go back and put the rest into Holy Shield. As I said, youíre going to be quite useless until the 60ís so donít consider whatís appropriate at the time unless it will help you most in the end.
Holy Bolt: 1óPre-req
Blessed Hammer: 1óPre-req
Smite: 1óPre-req. Can be used against bosses if you are absolutely that lame. Smite is completely unnecessary and it doesnít get the elemental damage from your auras.
Charge: 1óPre-req. Can be a good way to get around. Can also be used in PvP.
Holy Shield: ~10-20óHoly Shield is a great source of physical defense and increased block. However, its block benefit diminishes the more points it receives. Thus, you should put points in this as soon as possible, I suggest around 6 or 7, your +skill gear will boost it after that to a nice level. After youíve maxed Resist Fire, Resist Lightning, and Salvation, you can move back into Holy Shield and put the remainder of what you get into here.
Zeal: 1óThis is your main attack. It needs to be level 4 or more after +skills. Its function is that it delivers 5 rapid hits in succession. However, after level 4 you receive no more fast hits and your physical damage starts getting boosted. We want to minimize physical damage so that we wonít die from Iron Maiden, but we also want to have enough physical damage for leech. If you hit a monster with Zeal while under Iron Maiden, you will loose life. Your average physical damage should be about 500, which means the life you loose will be small, probably around 1/20th of your orb, but still significant enough to kill you if you donít stop.
With Zeal and a HoJ Phase Blade you will hit 5 frames per attack. Your goal is 4 frames per attack. In order to accomplish this you must do one of two things. Either, get an Act 1 Merc with Faith (level 12-15 Fanaticism), or supply yourself with an additional 40 IAS from your other gear. Either option will give you a 4 frames per attack Zeal and a 8 frames per attack Vengeance.
Vengeance: 1óThis is useful because it is synergized for big damage. It will deal an extra 1.3k elemental damage, but it is much slower than Zeal (8 fpa vs. 4 fpa). This, however, is very useful when you get IMíed. It slows down you attack and makes it even more elemental, less physical, and more tractable. This way you can carefully delegate your double-sided attacks and make sure you only hit those bastards that gave you IM in the first place.
Prayer: 1óPre-req (Cleansing Synergy)
Defiance: 1óPre-req (Holy Shield Synergy)
Meditation: 1ó(Optional) For those situations where you have an empty orb and need Holy Shield or BO. I donít use it. The rare use of mana potions is sufficient.
Cleansing: 1ó(Optional) Pre-req. Can be used to get rid of IM so you can get back to work, or for Achmelís annoying poison.
Vigor: 1ó(Optional) In the great words of the Beach Boys "Round, Round, Get around, I get around." This is my preferred way of getting from one place to another.
Redemption: 1ó(Optional) This is a great way of healing after a battle, or when you really need a boost. Your +skill gear should take this to a suitable level, but if you donít have Dracís life tap, you may need it a little more for life/mana recovery.
Resist Fire: MaxóThis is your Holy Fire synergy. It adds 18% per point to your Holy Fire aura. By the time you get your gear it should be maxed.
Resist Lightning: MaxóDitto. This is your Holy Shock synergy. It adds 12% per point to your Holy Shock aura. By the time you get your gear it should be maxed as well.
Salvation: 10-20óThe last of your skill points should either be going here or to Holy Shield. Even at level 99 you are still going to only have 35 points to distribute between Salvation and Holy Shield (provided you follow my other recommendations). I think by level 14 Holy Shield mainly only helps with defense. So, I say go with Salvation and let your attack prosper.
Holy Fire: 1óPre-req, this will most like be the aura that you use when you donít have your gear yet. Boost the Resist Fire synergy and that will be your best bet as far as producing something that could be considered an attack. However, if youíre team playing with other elemental characters do them a favor and use Conviction when you get it. This is not to be used as a main aura, later. Only put one point in it! The Holy Fire aura you want comes from HoJ and Dragon.
Holy Freeze: 1óPre-req. It can also be used to slow down Abyss Knights if youíre trying to get around them to kill the Oblivion Knights. Switch to it quickly and once the pulse damage freezes them, switch back to Conviction. It is merely a means of controlling the crowd while you work your way around them. It can also be used in a similar way for PvP.
Sanctuary: 1óPre-req. Just like Holy Freeze, the pulse from Sanctuary can help with Abyss Knight crowd control. Unlike Holy Freeze, instead of slowing them it knocks them back. If you donít have Dracís or Life Tap, this is also very useful for refilling your life bubble. Once the undead are under sanctuary, their physical resistance is reduced by 100% and it enables you to use your regular life leech on them. Just switch over to it when your bubble is getting low.
Conviction: 15-20óThis is your main aura. It reduces enemy resistances. It is capped at -150% enemy resists at level 25. This is what you want have; no more, no less. Level 25 shall be the level your Conviction and the level your Conviction shall be is 25. This takes a bit of foresight and planning, because you have to take into account all your +skill gear and your Battle Command from Call to Arms if you have it. My Auradin has 18 points in Conviction because he has +7 skills after Battle Command. Level 24 will give you -145% and level 26 will give you -150%; therefore, strive for 25.
The Auradin is not a good starting character. In order to play him, you need to acquire some bit of wealth and you need to have all of his items present before you build him. This is because your stats and your skill points are going to depend on the gear you have. You must count your gear requirements and subtract your +stats from gear from those requirements. Also, an Auradin uses HoJ, Dragon, and Dual Dreams. Anything else for those four choices is a different build. Dreamers only use dual Dreams and Torchadins use HoJ and Dual Dragons. Thus, no other recommendations can be made for Armor, Helm, Weapon, and Shield.
As previously mentioned, there are two basic directions I suggest you take your Auradin and it is all based on the merc you choose.
1. Faith Merc-- With the Faith Merc you hit 4 frames per attack when she is around. At level 15 Fanaticism, the aura has a radius of 16.6 yards, which is bigger than the screen. So if you can see her, youíll get her aura. Unfortunately, it is not immediately activated. Sometimes you need a second or two for the aura to activate. This can be quite annoying. Plus, if she dies youíll be sluggish, but that doesnít happen too often. But since you rely on her for the Fanaticism, youíre enabled to not worry about IAS and you can use Dracís for life tap and Maraís for resists.
2. Other Merc-This idea is that you supply yourself with 40 additional IAS from your amulet and gloves. Unfortunately, this means you canít use Dracís and thus no life tap (unless you use a wand) and youíll also have to use an Amulet without the resists of Maraís. On the plus side, you can use an Ice Merc or a Holy Freeze Merc to slow them suckers down and make it dang hard for the enemy to overwhelm you. This works surprisingly well, and all of the sudden the Life Tap doesnít seem so important because you really donít get hit that often. Youíll most likely have to use Redemption and lots of life leech to make up for the lack of Life Tap, but it is doable. Plus, you get the satisfaction of nailing them with all three Holy Auras. Of course, you can choose any Merc you like with this option. I suggest: Act 1 merc w/ Ice. Act 2 prayer/defiance/holy freeze w/ Doom/Insight/Reaperís Toll or some other nice polearm. Act 3 Ice merc with Azurewrath or Lawbringer will really get those Oblivion Knightsí panties in a twist, plus they donít die from IM. I saved the Merc options for the end of this section.
Dragon Archon Plate-Archon Plate is your best bet because of the low strength requirement; however, you may wish to use a Dusk Shroud or something similar because the strength requirement is even lower and you can use the +~35 strength from dragon to wear your heaviest gear. Since Dragon adds +360 it isnít imperative that you have a high base defense, so youíre only sacrificing ~60 defense between Archon and Dusk. Dragon is awesome because it provides you with a level 14 Holy Fire aura. It also has Chance to Cast level 15 Hydra, which is surprisingly useful despite the fact that their fire bolts only have ~100 damage (before Conviction). It has Chance to Cast level 18 Venom which provides around ~1,000 damage per second which can also be useful even though itís not aided by Conviction.
Hand of Justice Phase Blade-Phase Blade really is your best option here because of its superior speed even though it may be hard to find one with 4 sockets. However, if you happen to come across a 4 socket Divine Scepter with +3 Conviction, Holy Shield, and Redemption, you could give it consideration. With the phase blade you will hit 4 frames per attack with either Faith Mercís Fanaticism or 40 additional IAS. Hand of Justice is awesome with its mods. Level 16 Holy Fire! 33 IAS! Nice Enhanced Damage! ITD! Life leech! -20 Enemy Fire Resists! 20 DS! Hit Blinds Target! Hit Freezes Target! I need to change my pants! It truly is awesome.
Dream Pally Shield-The best option here is an elite Paladin shield with resists. Just like Dragon, its +150-220 defense means you donít necessarily need a big base defense. Thatís different from Exile, which can get enormous defense from a good base item. Thus, you should aim for the lighter pally shields because of the lower strength requirement and the higher block rate. It can potentially save you up to 80 stat points while costing you about 90 defense. But the major thing you want out of your Dream shield is resists. Resists are crucial for this build because you lack gear options to give you the best resists. Therefore, I suggest getting an elite Pally shield with ~40 resist all. Also, Dream comes with +5-20 resist all. If you have a nice pally shield and then you find that Dream only gives you around the 5 resist all, Iíd reroll it. That is, use the cube recipe Hel rune, Scroll of Town Portal, and Dream. This will waste the Io Jah Pul but you can potentially get 15 more resist all and youíll save your base item from defamation. Other mods for Dream are a nice life bonus, some mf, faster hit recovery, mana, and most importantly 10% Chance to Cast level 15 Confuse when Struck, this is particularly useful when youíre stuck in a bad situation. It gets all the monsters fighting themselves and takes the heat off of you and your Merc. Itís also great to single out them pesky Oblivion Knights.
Dream Helm-The base helm should probably be something with a low strength requirement, preferably a Demonhead or a Bone Visage, but keep in mind that the helm is the most distinguishing ascetic feature of the Paladin (I think he looks like he has down syndrome when he wears caps). I use Bone Visage because I need 77 for my Dragon which takes me to 115 strength and Bone Visage looks cool. The mods are the same as the shield. But donít reroll if you get a bad resistance. Base helms arenít hard to find at all. Rather trade your Dream helm for some runes and make a new one. The mods on Dream helm are pretty much the same as the shield.
Verdungoís Hearty Cord: This is your best option. Because your main gear is already used, you donít have any other source of damage reduction but your belt. This gives you 10-15, the higher the better. It also gives you some life.
Arachnid Mesh: This gives you +1 skills. What does that amount to? One point saved from Conviction that can go into your Holy Shield, one more point into Zeal for more physical damage, a little higher Redemption, and not that much else. It slows target by 10% which can be nice in some situations. But Dungoís is still much better.
String of Ears: Like Dungoís this provides 10-15 damage reduction, but instead of life it offers magic damage reduced by 10-15 and 6-8% life steal. This might be an even better option if you donít have Dracís.
Gore Riders: I was originally skeptical about this. These are typically boots reserved for high physical damage characters. But the key to this is that Crushing Blow is not reflected in Iron Maiden. Thus, you gain the niceties of Crushing Blow (boss destroyer), without the violent IM repercussions. The Deadly Strike brings up your physical damage a little bit, but not so much that IM becomes a much bigger threat.
Waterwalk/War Traveler/Sandstorm Trek/IK Boots/Aldurís Boots: These all have nice stat bonuses that if you plan right your character will end up adding to your life. They also have some little extra bonuses of their own: Max Fire Resist, MF, Poison Resist, etc; but nothing worth a diaper change.
Ravenfrost: This is a necessity on the basis that it provides Cannot Be Frozen, which is invaluable. It offers some other nice goodies, too, like: Dexterity, Mana, Cold Absorb, and Cold Damage.
Dual Leech Rare Ring: You are going to need life leech whether you have Dracís or not, because a lot of the time youíre killing things so fast Life Tap doesnít have a chance to cast before theyíre dead. You should have one source of Mana Leech, but itís really not that big of a deal. Other mods to look out for are: resists, life, dexterity, and strength.
Bul-Kathosí Wedding Band: You decide whether you want to be Bul or Kathos, but the ring will provide you with +1 skills, which is nice but not awesome. Its life leech and life bonus are both beneficial, too.
Call to Arms: The base item doesnít matter; just make sure it doesnít have outrageous prerequisites. The higher the BO the better! This is essential to this build because it turns you into a major tank. My auradin has 3.5k life and doesnít take damage very often. Also, the Battle Command takes him to level 25 Conviction so itís necessary for his maximum damage. You will notice when it runs out because all of the sudden you are dying a lot faster. Nine times out of ten, when I die I smack myself in the head because I forgot to recast BO.
Wand of Life Tap: These are not necessary. They are probably more of an inconvenience than anything, but if you must, you can keep one in your inventory or cube for low-life-bubble situations.
Spirit: Itís cheap. Itís only for a switch. And it gives you +2 skills. Nothing beats that.
Hellfire Torch: Resists are more important than stats, but get the best one you can. Also, the CtC Firestorm does noticeable damage with your Conviction Aura.
Annihilus Charm: Again, resists are more important than stats, but get the best one you can.
Resist Charms: This is where you make it up if you couldnít get it from your gear.
Life Charms: This is the only other thing youíll want.
NO! Skillers/FHR/Mana/Damage/AR: These are all for the most part useless. Skillers take up 3 spaces, are expensive, and have minimal benefit: Combats increase HS but give more physical damage from Zeal, bah; Offensive just save you one skill point for conviction, bah; Defensive help Vigor, Cleansing, and Redemption marginally, bah. Donít bother. The Faster Hit recovery break points are 48 for 5, 86 for 4. But youíll have so much life, it will be rare that someone does over 1/12th your life. Plus, you get 50-70 FHR from your gear. Your mana bubble is hardly used and already big for your purposes. Get some max damage charms and IM will start kicking your butt. AR? You have Ignore Target Defense from HoJ, silly.
22-04-2007, 02:18 #3
- Join Date
- Dec 2006
Note: I saved the Amulet, Gloves, and Merc Gear for last because these are the two that need to change depending on the direction you go. Using a Faith merc will be denoted by 1. and using another merc will be denoted by 2.
1. a. Mara’s: This is where you can get some nice resists and +skills.
b. Rare Amulet: There are some nice ones out there, but they’re mostly dupes. Look for +2 Pally skills, Resists, Strength, Dexterity, Life, and Life Leech.
2. a. Highlord’s: You want this mainly for the 20% IAS and +1 skills. The Deadly Strike is only going to make it more deadly to you when you get IM’ed and the other mods aren’t that great.
b. The Cat’s Eye: It supplies you with the necessary 20% IAS and some dexterity and go-fasters. Not much else. Highlord’s and the The Cat’s Meow are the only two amulets that provide you with IAS, so take your pick.
1. Dracul’s Grasp: These provide you with Life Tap. Unfortunately, unless you are fighting in a players 4+ game, the monster are going to mostly die in one or two hits and Life Tap becomes much less effective. Also, keep in mind, one hit with Life Tap doesn’t mean instead full health like it does for a lot of Zealots; it will take a little bit considering your physical damage is low. Drac’s also provides some other very useful mods like: Life Leech, Strength, and Open Wounds.
2. a. Rare/Crafted Gloves: These are your best bet, but only if you can get your hands on some really nice ones. 20 IAS is the only necessary thing, but there are tons of little goodies you can get. Look for (in order of importance): IAS, Life leech, Crushing Blow, Resists, Dexterity, Strength, and Life. The ideal pair are the Blood Crafted gloves with 20 IAS, 10% CB, 6% Life Leech, and resists.
b. Unique/Set Gloves: Laying of the Hands, Lava Gout, Magnus Skins, Sander’s Taboo, or IK gloves. They all provide 20 IAS and some other nice mods. They are listed in order of preference (to me). The IK gloves need you to either use IK boots or IK belt in addition.
1. Act 1 Ice Mercenary (hire in Normal difficulty)
Faith Great Bow: Which bow you use as a base bow does not matter that much. Great Bow is probably your best bet since it has a maximum of 4 sockets and it’s the fastest. It does a little less damage per second, but lets her get enemies frozen faster. Diamond Bow does the most damage per second but the difference is marginal. It doesn’t matter whether the Fanaticism aura is 12 or 15, you’ll hit 4 frames per attack either way. It doesn’t really matter if it’s +1 or +2 skills, the difference is insignificant. Notable mods are: +15 resist all, ITD, damage, +skills, and 10% chance that a little skeleton guy will join you in the fight. He can be useful, but they get lost easily. With a Great Bow she’ll hit 10 frames per attack with 10 IAS and 9 frames per attack at 30-35 IAS depending on the Fanaticism aura.
Ethereal Guardian Angel (Um/Resist All & IAS): Most of the attacks coming at her are going to be ranged and elemental; that is where she has taken the most damage from my experience anyway, not melee. This armor will give her +15% max resist all which will make her super durable. Do not up it unless you can provide her with some means of getting around 50 strength to where it, or hel it for and still need 20. But this will boost it from around 800 to 1350.
Eth Fortitude Archon Plate: If you can get a bugged one, I still consider it a waste. The mods are awesome: +300% Enhanced Damage, +20-30 resist all, HUGE DEFENSE (3k+, plus Chilling Armor), and life. But, again, from my experience she survives a lot better with Guardian Angel and 90% resist all. The 300% enhanced damage really doesn’t make an enormous difference in how fast the two of you kill things.
Eth Vampire Gaze (Um/IAS jewel & Resists): This is great defensively. It gives you Damage Reduction, Life leech, Cold Damage, and Magic Damage Reduction, which is quite good. You can stick whatever you like in it. Some more resists if you’d like.
Ethereal Andariel’s Visage(Ral/Resist Fire & IAS): This gives you +2 skills, Life leech, IAS, Strength, and Maximum Poison Resist. What else could a girl ask for? It’s pretty nice, but if it takes you below max fire resists, don’t bother.
Crown of Ages (IAS jewels): This gives you +1 skills, +20-30 Resists, +10-15 Damage Reduction, other stuff, and up to two sockets. And if you put this thing on a merc you should be smacked.
Any other helm: There are lots of good ones out there, but not a lot of great ones. They’ll work well for her, but don’t forget that you are the powerhouse, she’s along for the ride.
- Act 1 Ice Merc w/ Ice (my personal favorite)
- Act 2 Holy Freeze Merc
- Act 2 Prayer Merc
- Act 2 Defiance Merc
- Act 3 Cold Merc
- Act 5 Merc
(A1) Ice Great Bow: This is my personal favorite because it just slows them all down so that you and your merc don’t receive near the amount of damage you would otherwise. It puts a wrench in the gear of Oblivion Knight packs. The defensive benefits of this are unparalleled except by a Holy Freeze Act 2 merc or an Act 2 merc w/ Doom. However, those guys bite the dust with Iron Maiden on and they don’t have her particular secret: 25% CtC Frost Nova! This doesn’t cast around her, but around her target. So when she aims at a pack, the whole thing can get frost bit, even if they are out of the range of the Holy Freeze! The bow also has mods that will boost her cold damage (plus your own Conviction) and Life leech, ITD, and 20% DS. Try this, you’ll be pleasantly surprised even if you have to give up your beloved Drac’s. Keep in mind that this will also shatter a lot of the dead monsters; less Redemption .
(A1) Wrath Great Bow: This gives her a 5% CtC Life Tap, one of the only other sources in the game. Additionally, it gives her CtC Decrepify, but only level 1 so it will only affect a couple of baddies. Other mods worth mentioning are: 20 CB, Magic/Lightning Damage, and CBF.
(A2) Ethereal Doom: This will provide you with a level 12 Holy Freeze, not quite as nice as Ice’s 18 but it’ll do the trick since he’s in there with ya. Again, Holy Freeze, is the way to go with a Merc because it improves your defense innumerably. I suggest it for both Prayer and Defiance mercs for this reason.
(A2) Ethereal Insight: This is a weapon used in tandem with a Prayer Merc. The way the synergies are allows you to feel his Prayer aura twice, one from his main aura, and one synergized through Meditation. This is a nice way to gain back life since you don’t have Drac’s, but I still think you’re better off with some form of Holy Freeze.
(A2) Ethereal Reaper’s Toll: This is useful for the sole reason that it provides a 33% chance to cast a level 1 Decrepify. Because it’s only level 1, only the close monsters will get it, but it will occur 1 out of 3 hits so it’ll happen often. Decrepify will slow the monster down, reduce his attack damage, and reduce his physical resists by 50%. Not bad!
(A2) Rift: My new favorite!!! You’ve probably heard of a Riftadin. This is the same thing but with a merc. You supply the Conviction, he’ll supply the Frozen Orbs, which is practically as good as Holy Freeze, but it takes more damage. You could use a Prayer or Defiance as his aura. The best base weapon is Thresher or Giant Thresher. Try it. The words “Sweet Sassy Molassy” come to mind.
(A2) Destruction: Very much the same as Rift but this one deals more physical damage and a little less elemental. It doesn’t have Frozen Orb’s cold effect but it makes your merc a powerhouse. Inferior in my mind because it doesn’t help your Auradin much, but it’s still pretty sweet. 20 CB and ITD, too!
(A3) Lawbringer/Azurewrath: If you have come to hate Oblivion Knights as much as I have, you’ll appreciate these two. They both have Sanctuary when equipped, which means that that Oblivion Knight and all his cronies will get a Holy B****slap every couple of seconds. This is pretty awesome, but I personally prefer to just have the aura on hotkey so that I can just switch whenever I need it. Otherwise, this weapon is pretty useless. And the merc himself is pretty useless except for his freezing Ice Bolts.
(A5) Last Wish Phase Blade: Besides Drac’s, Wrath, or Wand charges, this is the only other possible source of Life Tap. It won’t be as efficient as having it on gloves, but stick next to the guy and you’ll benefit. It provides a Might aura as well, which will raise your physical damage by roughly 30%, but if you get IM’ed he’ll die and you won’t have to worry about it. Sweet! With this set-up your Barb will not need resists at all so focus on damage enhancement and damage reduction….uh…yea. Keep in mind, the level 11 Fade gives him 56% resist all and a hidden 11% damage reduction.
(A5) Destruction: As mentioned for the Act 2 merc, this one can do some heavy damage both physical and elemental. This will make your little Barb into a little Barb powerhouse. Sometimes you might just want to stop, watch, and try to hold back the tears welling up when you think about just how far that little squirt has come.
Ethereal Guardian Angel(Um): These are pretty much the same as for the Faith merc. Use it for the Act 1 Ice merc or the A3 merc, in particular.
Ethereal Fortitude: This is an awesome armor for Act 2 mercs because it gives them obnoxiously high defense, resists, and a nice damage boost. It can be used for the other two mercs, as well, but they are not as reliant on the high defense.
Ethereal/Upgraded Shaftstop: This is primarily for the Act 5 merc, or if you are having problems with melee survival. It gives him 30% damage reduction and some life.
Vampire Gaze/Andariel’s Visage/Crown of Ages/Harlequin Crest/Guillame’s Face: These are all very nice helms. Leave it up to your personal preference. Act 2 and 5 mercs will need damage reduction (Gaze, CoA, Shako) the most, but they will also benefit from Guillame’s CB and DS. The Act 1 Ice merc will benefit from 15% more IAS. Just make sure your merc has maxed resists, that is the most essential thing to their survival. And if you are using an Act 2 or 5 merc, he will die from IM, there is nothing you can do about it.
a. General Tactics
As I mentioned before, the Auradin is a very fun build, particularly because of its use of a ton of different auras. On my key board I have the entire left side all devoted to a specific purpose, except the numbers, ~, Ctrl, Alt, and Caps Lock. That is the keys: q,w,e,r,t,y,a,s,d,f,g,h,j,z,x,c,v,b,n,m,[tab],[shift],[space]. Woo! And I know them all like the back of my hand.
My typical monster run consists of this: Leave town, switch, cast Battle Command, cast Battle Orders, cast Holy Shield, Un-equip then re-equip Merc’s weapon to make sure that aura works. I then use Vigor to get to where I want to be. Use Conviction when you are approaching monsters as it takes a second or two to activate. Then you swing away at the big ones. If you let the little guys enjoy your pulse and they might be done before you get around to them. After the battle, switch to Redemption really quick and get a nice life/mana bump. If you are poisoned significantly you can switch to cleansing to get rid of that in a jiffy. Make sure you cast BC/BO regularly as you will be significantly weaker without it. When my life bubble gets low (because I don’t use Life Tap), I sometimes switch to Sanctuary on undead enemies. This keeps the damage you take low, but sanctuary also enables you to leech from undead.
b. Boss Tactics
Move your clicker over him and then click and hold it.
Bosses are simple, even the Ubers. Uber-Mephisto’s dreaded Conviction is nothing next to yours. Your Conviction actually cancels out his so you don’t have to worry about resists. It is also strong enough to reduce his resistance to a significant vulnerability. Just ignore his minions and he is cake. If you use an Act 1 merc with Ice, she is actually quite capable of surviving Uber Tristram. The other two are easy, just be sure to spawn them one at a time.
22-04-2007, 02:19 #4
- Join Date
- Dec 2006
c. Anti-Iron Maiden Tactics
This is where it gets interesting. The Auradin can take these guys on with ease. It just takes a little strategy and caution to avoid being overwhelmed. Hardcore characters should be most affective as this approach. And you’ll probably need at least 4 other people in the game to make it challenging.
If the pack is small, you can run right up and swing them to Oblivion…heh. But if it is either bigger or if you get IM’ed right off the bat, take any the following actions:
1. Switch to Sanctuary. This will knock them back. This is particularly useful if you’re surrounded. It also makes it easy to just walk right around the crowd and get to those curse-casting jerks in the back.
2. Switch to Vengeance. This is a slower, less physical, more elemental attack that will prevent you from doing 5 quick hits to death. It’s slower so it is easier to control and it will only hit the target you specify.
3. If you chose you can switch to Holy Freeze really quick to slow them down, but Sanctuary is more effective.
4. Make your away around the crowd and get back over to those casters.
5. Depending on your proximity to the crowd you can switch back to Conviction for more damage, or just use Vengeance against the OK’s while everyone is still being knocked around.
6. You are often re-cursed in this process, so if you get un-IM’ed you can just go back to what you were doing….
7. Once the OK’s are gone, switch back to Zeal and Conviction and destroy.
This is actually easier than it might sound. In fact, you can just run up to most packs and start flailing no matter how many players. If you get cursed you can just step back and let them take a couple of swing until Confuse sets in. Or you can run around and kill the casters. Or you can use Cleansing to get rid of the curse. Or you can just wait until they cast a different curse. Just keep an out; don’t get totally surrounded so that you can step back as needed. It’s easy!
d. Leveling Tactics
As I have said, this build is on the verge of useless until you get into the 60’s. For this reason, you will need the assistance of others until you are capable of standing on your own. Now considering your main attack will only have one skill point and your damage dealing auras are not available to you yet, you are going to have to make do with sub-par alternatives.
The first skill you should get is Sacrifice, followed by Might. From there you want to boost Resist Fire until you get to level 6 and you can switch to Holy Fire as your main aura. This is going to be your aura until level 30. Just keep boosting Resist Fire, but do not, I repeat, do not put more than 1 point into Holy Fire, it will be useless in the end. Just rely on the synergies. As you move along put points into your tree to get yourself some benefits. You’ll need to get Zeal at level 12 and then Vengeance at level 18. Vengeance will be your main attack until you get your gear. When they come up, get Holy Shield’s pre-req’s and then Holy Shield at level 24. Plan ahead so you can get Conviction at level 30. Since you will be assisting others most of the time, Conviction makes a great complement to all of those Sorcs and heavy elemental powerhouses. You can max this if it helps. Also, you can put one point into the wonders for some good results: Vigor to get around, Prayer for a little healing, Redemption, Salvation, etc. But as far as increasing damage goes, your only real option is to boost synergies for Holy Fire and Vengeance.
Make sure you plan which stats to boost based on your end game gear. My Auradin has base strength but after all his gear he is at 157 Strength which makes him capable of holding all of his gear (he only need 106). Keep in mind that Dragon gives you +strength based on level. This makes it particularly difficult to account for, but just pick your preferred level by which you want to be fully capable and calculate from there. If you choose to max Holy Shield last, like I did, it presents a problem of calculating max block as you’ll be increasing your HS +chance to block each level. Yes, this is all going to be confusing, but in the end it will yield you a tremendous amount of life.
Since you need to be rich before even starting this build, it’s safe to assume you should be able to supply this guy with good gear from the get-go. Sigon’s is the way to go. The shield’s +1 skills is amazingly helpful and the defense and other mods are great, and it supplies more fire damage. As far as weapons go, if you can find yourself a unique scepter you’ve got it made. Some of these provide you with +specific skills which can be very useful. Zakarum’s Hand and Storm Eye provide Holy Shock, which surpasses Holy Fire drastically. Since Vengeance is based off of weapon damage, you can also just look for a heavy hitter like anybody else. With Sigon’s and a buddies help, you should be set until you get your super gear.
As far as actual leveling goes, hang out with other guys and let them do the bulk of the attack. Supply what aid you can, but once you get past level 8 you’ll be taking a back seat. See WhiteAlien’s guide here to make sure you’re in the right spot http://forums.diabloii.net/showthrea...leveling+guide . Also, your best bet is to get a buddy to help you, but there are lots of generous people out there so you can get what you want.
e. Ice/non-Drac’s Set-up Tactics
With this set-up you don’t have Drac’s Life Tap, which has some serious implications. First, it will be much harder to refill your life bubble. Second, you will need much more life leech (mine has 29%). Third, you will depend more on basic life steel, potions, and redemption for regeneration. And, unfortunately, you and your merc will be crushing enough ice cubes to make Hell freeze over and this means Redemption is less effective.
On the up side, you will take considerably less damage. Between your Merc Holy Freeze Aura, her chance to cast Frost Nova, and your Hit Freezes Target, you’ll be chillin’ like a villain and nobody will stand a chance to cramp your style. Additionally, this boosted defense helps out your merc even more. Rarely will she die, but usually it is caused from you circling around behind OK packs which leaves her nervous and confused, but she’s usually okay. Perhaps the second best bonus is that you don’t have to depend on her for attack speed. This is great because sometimes Faith’s Fanat takes a bit to activate. Also, this still makes you just as deadly when she’s not around (just a little more fragile).
As I said, it is much harder to fill your life bubble back up without Life Tap. Here are some suggestions:
- Use Redemption after each monster pack.
- Stress Life Leech in your gear.
- Temporarily switch to Sanctuary against the undead so you can leech off of them.
- Use potions!
This route is a lot of fun; it just requires a little more attention. Big physical attacks will be the biggest worry; watch out for those dang Snakes. But altogether this path is great because it provides you with an awesome defense alternative, makes your merc survive more, increases the effectiveness of Dream’s Confuse cast, and it is possibly the most effective way to deliver the Paladin’s three elemental auras all at once.
VI. Ice/Faith Comparison
Here’s a comparison between the two major recommendations; that is, go Faith merc and use Drac’s or go Ice merc and use Highlord’s and 20 IAS Gloves
Life Tap helps keep your bubble going
Relies on Merc being around for the Fanaticism
Must wait for aura to activate when she does come around
Slows everybody to a crawl
Merc is more durable
Receive less damage
4 frames per attack all the time! (small exclusions apply)
Triple elemental threat!
Harder to fill life bubble
More reliant on regular leech
Takes more physical damage
Relies more on potions
The biggest thing I want any reader to realize is that if you like Zealots, this is possibly one of the most fun to play. He’s versatile, flashy, and requires tact. He’s one expensive bugger, but he loves to show off and people love him too, especially the elemental casters. Did I mention that when I do Baal runs I make sure to stand where Lister’s pack will spawn just for fun? Give him a shot and you’ll wonder how he could be considered foremost for PvP when he’s so amazing in PvM.
For your reference, I’ve included some threads that are particularly applicable.
Gaza0469’s Ultimate Merc Guide V3.0
My Crushing Blow/Conviction Guide
Masterazn’s PvP Auradin Guide
Pougee’s PvP Auradin Guide
Google “Weapon Speed Calculator” & “Skill Calculator” the first links are vital to me.
22-04-2007, 06:00 #5
Excellent guide! A vote for a sticky from me!
The Auradin has mostly been advertised as a PvP build, and a lot of PvM players are reluctant to try to accumulate the wealth to buid one.
My experiences in editored SP pretty much reflect yours - its killing speed is as fast as a Grief weilding Zealot, and it has far fewer problems with immunities. It can't quite tank as hard due to having less leech.
I had a slightly different strategy with Iron Maiden however... I just ran around and pulsed the OK's to death.
Now's the hard part - to try to accumulate the wealth on BNet to buid one properly.
22-04-2007, 15:42 #6
- Join Date
- Dec 2006
As far as tanking goes, if you build him right you can actually tank very well, not quite as good as a zealot but very close. I built mine with an Ice merc and if I got surrounded first they'd all get Holy Freezed then my merc would hit them all with a Frost Nova, and then I'd hit them with HoJ hit freezes target and by then everybody would be moving in slow mow so I wouldn't take anywhere near the damage a Zealot would, but if they did hit me the CtC Confuse casts one out of five hits and then they're all to busy killing each other. As I said, I like to stand in the middle of where Lister spawns in an 8 player game. Last night I did it with a Fire Immune & Lightning Immune Lister and I had no problem whatsoever.
As far as OK's go, your strategy works well, too. I'm afraid made it look like the OKs were harder than they actually are, but I like to test characters from an 8 player game to see just how well they hold up. And the Auradin is more than capable of doing 8 player Chaos runs on his own.
As far as affording it goes, phew!, I'm going to take a shot in the dark and say it would cost you around the equivalent of 35 high runes to perfectly deck this guy out. Happy hunting!
24-04-2007, 07:14 #7
- Join Date
- Apr 2007
oh yeah, that`s what i `v been lookin` for... clervis u roxXx.. but i was wondering if fire/light resists sp are still vialbel in 1.11b, since i dont c there any clues that would indicate that they boost my holy fire/shock aura...
so the point is shall i spned points in fire/light resists in 1.11 b ??
24-04-2007, 12:22 #8
- Join Date
- Dec 2006
Now, unfortunately, as I mentioned this build is very expensive. Those four main pieces of gear have 7 high runes, and 5 mid runes. So this build is dependent on the high rune flow available in muliplayer (mainly from dupes). So, in single player it is near impossible unless you use some kind of editor. Regardless, I hope you enjoy it.
14-05-2007, 19:18 #9
very nice guide and I wholly agree with your points
I've played a few varients of this char and it's become my fav. Nothing is ever immune. All fall to this pvm monster
In chaos sanctuary I just swap out my sword for gimmershed and throw them for huge damage from dream helm and shield...
“Inability to defeat Diablo Clone./ Inability to complete Uber Tristram quest.” Madness! He is more than capable. Everyone these days has an Uber/Crushing Blow/Smite-centered perception of what they think every build should be. It’s kind of ridiculous. The Auradin is perfectly capable of taking these big boys down. His Conviction aura cancels Mephisto’s and bring their immunities well within the realm of vulnerability. If you like, you can follow the same concept as the one point Smiter, but it is hardly necessary. Give it a shot, and you’ll laugh at how easy it is. My merc might agree with Masterazn, but I certainly don’t.
here is a screenshot of me proving it's doable, on Hardcore no less
and my write up.. Sure it's not the fastest killer, but it doesnt take long either and you dont have to worry about mephs conviction since yours is higher
After extensive gear collecting and careful building , Withabat[eF] (Sean, Captain of the HC Squad) and I put our "DEEDS" at stake to attempt the hardest thing in D2 , Uber Tristram. With the goodly BO/SHOUT from Jake's Barb , Krull. A prebluff Fade for both our characters and suiting up we went out to take on the 3 prime evils.
Upon entering the trist portal , we headed stright up and then over in the attempt to lure the Ubers out 1 at a time.. However , My pally has Dream helm (gives holyshock aura). This of course managed to piss off all 3 ubers and they charged us to the top of the map. blocking us in. My blood was pumping in a way that only a fellow HC player could understand.. With both Sean and I using Lastwish , myself zeal and him Smite, we had tap right off the bat! and to my suprise we were crushing the ubers in record time! I cant speak for Sean , but I dont think one of us had to use even a single Full rej for the fight.. TANKAGE!!
I ditch the dragon shield for SS for the ubers for the Dr , alot unbreakable light immunes so no loss here.
Barb +3 , +20 attributes, 12 all res torch.
Pefect timing since I'm building a wolfbarb now (level 63 atm)
Gear for Ubers on Protectorate_eF
Helm: Dream Grand Crown
Armor: COH Dusk Shroud
Shield in Fight: Storm Shield Monarch
Wep: Lastwish Phase Blade
Rings: 1 RavenFrost , 1 Dwarf Star
Gloves: Laying of Hands 350% damage to demons! 50 more fire res
Inventory full of Res/life Charms
Merc A1, Faith Blade Bow , level 15 Fanatism
Tal Rashas Helm Sockted with 39% enhanced Damage jewel
14-05-2007, 19:58 #10
- Join Date
- Dec 2006
I'm really glad to hear some approval out of the HC crowd. I never play HC for fear of heartbreak, but, as I said, the Auradin would make an excellent character for those who are careful to show moderate restraint. I'm also glad to hear you were so succesful with the Ubers, even though the aura got them all steamed. Thanks for your contribution!