First draft: comments and constructive criticism welcomed.
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i've seen a lot of threads lately asking about 2h Charge pallys for PvP, so i decided to write this mini-guide instead of answering the same questions again and again (and again and again.....).
Synopsis: This is a guide designed for paladins choosing to invest almost exclusivly in the Charge skill and who want to use 2h weapons. I'll include a small section on wep/shield builds.
For anyone who's been playing D2 for any length of time, you could well find you have most of the gear to put one of these together just lieing around on mules. Except for the weapon, I threw mine together from scraps.
PvP Viability: The 2h charger relies on doing massive damage in order to get their wins. they are reasonably viable against most opponents. The only truly impossible duels for this build are Bowazons and any Whirlwind user. Just about everything else can be defeated by charge.
That said: not everything can consistently be beaten by a charger. Chargers are a One Trick Pony. if you connect, you should kill any opponent in, at most, two hits. If your charge gets interupted, or shield blocked, chances are you will die. horribly.
So, don't make this build as a "main duelling toon", it probably won't be too successful. Make one purely for fun, however, and you will have a grand old time, even if you spend a lot of time collecting your corpse.
One think chargers are very good for is taking out hack’tard hammerdins. If your damage is enough, you can one-hit-kill them, preventing their boring auto-tp or auto-juve from saving them. You might die a couple of times before you finally nail them, but nail them you will.
so, onto Tha Build:
3k+ Life (enough to eat at least one Hammer is mandatory)
10k+ AR without resorting to Angelic Ring/Amulet combo
A 100% Deadly Strike option
Some kind of basic resist-stack option.
Around 40k+ Max Damage with deadly strike.
86% FHR Breakpoint.
Max Charge and both of it's synergies (Might and Vigor). That's a given.
One Point Wonders: Holy Freeze, Salvation, Zeal, Vengeance.
next, you'll want to choose a main Aura. Fanatacism is a popular choice for the added damage and AR. Blessed Aim is another option for the passive boost to AR and the massive AR boost when flipped on. Either works.
A quiet word about off-weapon %ED: Once fully synergised, Charge itself is providing well over +1,000% skill-based %ed. The damage output difference on my Charger between running Blessed Aim and Fanatacism is about ~2k max damage, not a lot when you consider i'm running at ~26k max damage (before deadly strike) anyways. Being adrift on such a vast ocean of off-weapon %ed means that more from gear (eg: %ed jewels or a Fort armour) don't provide the huge boost to damage that they would on a build with less skill-based %ed. for this reason, Titan Build chargers (eg: maxxing strength for more damage) really don't get a terribly good return on their stat-point investment.
The basic 1.10+ spend applies here.
Strength: Enough for your heaviest piece of gear (usually your weapon)
Dex: Just enough for gear (usually Base). We don't have a shield, so we don't need to pump dex for %block. Pumping dex for AR is almost as silly as pumping Strength for damage.
Energy: zip, zilch, nada.
Vitality: as much as you can get.
Gear Options (i'll list these as Offensive/Defensive/Other)
Guillaumes Face: 35% Crushing Blow, 15% Deadly Strike a nice splash of FHR and some useful Strength to help us pick up our weapon. Overall, this is the hardest hitting helm you can get. Pure Offensive.
Crafted Blood Helm: if you manage to get a 2sox/visionary/+life/etc craft with 10% Deadly Strike, you may wish to consider such a helm. Personally, if I had such a thing, i'd use it on a BvB and use a Guillaumes for my cherge'din. Offensive helm.
Crown Of Ages: With up to 15%DR, 30%Res, 30%FHR and an always handy +1 skill, this is a purely defensive helm with a beast of a strength requirement. Personally, i rekon save your CoA for a smiter or some other build.
Shako: the good old standby hat. +2 skills, life and a splash of %DR make for an allround solid option. On the plus side, except for the first couple of weeks of a ladder season, these things are very cheap. Defensive helm.
Kira's Guardian: Massive resistances can help against elemental users. generally this is a switch helm. Pure Defense.
Highlords Wrath: +1 Skills, some handy Lit res, 20% IAS is useful if you have to zeal and most importantly: +%DS/Lvl. This should always be your main amulet. you should only really consider taking this off when you feel the need for silly amounts of AR from Angelics.
Angelic Amulet: Combined with the rings, this gives a massive bonus to AR.
Mara's: nice res and +2 skills means it's purely a defensive ammy.
Metalgrid: nice AR, nice Res, handy Iron Golem charges for nuking morons who drop their gear, the +Def is next to useless, purely a defensive amulet.
Ravenfrost: at least one of these should be part of your gear, generally you'll use two of them (along with a highlords ammy) as they have the most +AR available on rings.
Angelic Rings: see Angelic Amulet above. use for mass AR.
Rare Rings: look for +AR, +Life, +%AR and maybe resists.
Sorb Rings: stock Dwarfstars, Wisps and the like if you don't mind sorbing people. generally, you shouldn't need these.
Verdungos Hearty Cord: some %dr, handy 10%FHR and a modest life boost make a decent combination against physical-damage based opponents.
String Of Ears: some %DR, mDR and lifesteal can be handy against physical-damage based opponents.
Rare Belt: I use a 24fhr/+strength/+life/2x resists rare belt i found. to get the most out of it, you'll need to build in any stats on the belt.
Thundergods Vigor: +20 strength can be handy, the +10% max lit res is only of use if you're planning to have the res-stack needed to make it worthwhile (i don't). The +20 integer Light Absorb does nasty things to Charged Strike and Traps if you also have 85% res. a poor main belt choice imho.
Hsaru's Belt (along with the Hsaru's set) boots give a tasty boost to AR.
Bloodfists: 30%FHR, 10%IAS some +damage and a juicy +40 life make these a top notch choice.
Draculs Grasp: the Strength can be handy, the lifetap rarely makes much of a difference to a charger, ditto the Open Wounds. I only use these with a Kira's to make up the strength I lose from my Guillaumes Face helm. A very poor main choice of glove for the build.
Other Gloves: look for resists, life, stats and maybe some life-leach.
Gore Riders: first choice of the choosy. it's mostly the 15% Deadly Strike we fancy here, the FRW is a bonus.
Hsaru's Boots: combine with Hsaru's Belt for a nice AR boost.
Other Boots: Waterwalks (nice +life), Aldurs Boots (nice fire res and +life) or some kind of rare resists boots might find a home on your charger.
Fortitude is a nice all-round option offering a modest damage boost (a couple thousand at the top end) along with some handy resists and a splash of life. not the greatest option, but not the worst either (i use one of these)
Chains Of Honor: personally, i don't have one of these and most likely never will, the attraction here is the +2 skills which will add to your BO and the 65% resists, 8% DR is gravy.
Smoke (Nef+Lum): 50% resists and CHEAP! a fine choice.
Skin Of The Vipermagi: +1 skill, up to 35% res-all and a splash of mDR make for a serviceable armour, also very cheap.
Lionheart: +stats, +res, cheap, cheerful and a fine choice.
Leviathan and Shaftstop: Good for %DR against wind druids and Smiters, useless against most other Physical Based opponents (eg: WW barbs and Bowazons who will cream you anyway).
Robo-Armour: aka: 4sox/100 life armour socketed with some kind of godly jewels. If your going this route, i'd suggest socketing it with 4x +30 Max Damage jewels. This is quite possibly the hardest hitting armour a charger can pick up, I don't know, I don't have one (but I’d like to get one and find out).
Death Runeword in a thumping great etheral 2h weapon. This is the best option IMHO. The massive +DS/lvl along with 50%CB and good %ED make this a beast of a weapon. Be it in a Colossus Sword, a Decapitator (like mine) or a Glorious Axe, e-Death is the highest average damage weapon you can get.
Breath Of The Dieing: on paper, it looks like the hardest hitting weapon going, in practise: it isn't. the complete lack of Deadly Strike in the runeword makes for pretty meh average damage when compared to an e-Death. On the upside, the -25% Target Defence is a useful mod to have, 60 stats is always nice and the IAS makes it a half decent zealing weapon.
Grief: Only mentioned because as a 2h weapon, it's pure trash and the damage just isn't there.
Rare Weapon: Look for good %ed, maybe the Fools Mod (+ar/lvl and +max/lvl) and most importantly: it must be etheral (otherwise the damage just won't be there).
Eth Uniques: any decent damage, eth unique weapon with no use for a Merc can be used on a charger. either Zod it if you like the weapon, or just use it until it breaks then toss it.
A Torch and an Anni almost go without saying, but neither are mandatory on a charger.
For the rest, load up with +AR, +Life and enough +FHR to make sure you hit the 86% FHR break. res/lifers might be worthwhile if you think you need them otherwise just load up on plain +life charms of whatever size and quality you happen to possess.
Personally, I rekon look for +Min/+Max Damage and/or +AR for sockets in Offensive gear (so a 100ar/+15 Min damage jool in a Guilly Face), but socket defensive jewels in Defensive gear (so socket that Kira's with a Thul, Ort, Um, some +Max Resists rune or some jewel with resists/AR etc).
The Weapon/Shield option:
Ok, this is a far more capable all-round pub dueller than the 2h build, but, imho, not as much fun.
If your going this route, my suggestion is to build a straight-up PvP smiter and give him a strong minor in charge (maybe max Smite, Fanat, Holy Shield, Charge and spares to a charge synergy?) as opposed to maxing out Defiance or Resist Lightning. Check out Camden's Final Smiter Guide in the PvP forum stickies for the best Smite guide i've yet seen.
Going with Fort armour, Phoenix Shield and e-Death Zerker is, i rekon, a pretty dumb idea. there's almost no-one you can beat with that build that you can't beat with a 2h build and the builds the 2 hander is weak against, the wep/shield charger is also weak against.
Charge around a lot, desynch a lot and hit people. Try and hit them while they are running towards you. Approach hammerdins from the south or south-west. Never be afraid to break off an attacking run, this build is about the quality of the hit, not the quantity of hits.