Diablo 2 Assassin Starter Build

Diablo 2 Resurrected is a coming back to good old classics. You will need to play much to achieve meaningful results. Some of the best Diablo 2 builds are described in our post here. As for this post, you will find the best starter build for Assassin in Diablo 2. It will let you have a cheap and smooth start.

Lightning Traps Assassin (Trapsin)

Trapsin has unique gameplay in Diablo 2. She is a master at deadly traps that can kill demons at a safe distance from you. At the same time, they have fairly high damage and kill fast both bosses and packs of monsters. As for Immune monsters, Assassin has a special trap in her arsenal – Death Sentry. She explodes corpses, allowing you to cope with Lightning immune monsters (though not without the help of your mercenary, who will kill the first mob in the pack). She also has various useful skills that will greatly facilitate your game.


  • Primary Skills: Lightning Sentry and Death Sentry.
  • Useful Skills: Fade, Shadow Warrior and Mind Blast.
  • All Skills:
    • Martial Arts: None.
    • Shadow Disciplines: Fade (1), Burst of Speed (1), Shadow Warrior (1), Mind Blast (1), Cloak of Shadows (1), Claw Mastery (1) Weapon Block (1), Psychic Hammer (1).
    • Traps: Lightning Sentry (20), Death Sentry (20), Charged Bolt Sentry (20), Shock Web (20), Fire Blast (20).

In order to quickly and effectively kill demons, you need to put 2 types of traps at the same time – Lightning Sentry and Death Sentry. Lightning Sentry will be the main source of damage, which will create corpses for the third trap – Death Sentry, which will very quickly deal with other opponents. Therefore, try to put 3-4 Lightning Sentry and 1-2 Death Sentry to maximize your damage (only 5 traps can be active at a time).

Use Fade to increase Resistances (it is important to keep it active at all times and use it again when it ends). Burst of Speed ​​increases the running speed, allowing you to quickly move across locations (however, only one buff can be active at a time, so Fade will stop working). Mind Blast allows you to stun and temporarily lure monsters to your side, which will be very useful against immune monsters, allowing your mercenary to deal with them. Cloak of Shadows is a very useful skill that hides the Assassin from all ranged attackers for a short time.

As for the Shadow Warrior. Unlike the Shadow Master, which can use skills you haven’t learned, Shadow Warrior uses the skills you have selected (on your left and right bars). Therefore, it is not recommended to use Shadow Master, otherwise, she will be able to place low-level traps that you do not need.

There is an alternative levelling, a combination of Lightning and Fire traps. Instead of Charged Bolt Sentry and Shock Web, you level up Wake of Fire and Wake of Inferno. The main Fire trap will be Wake of Inferno, which you use in conjunction with Lightning Sentry and Death Sentry.

Skills Progression

New skills are unlocked at 1, 6,12,18, 24 and 30 levels. Invest one point at a time in the skills recommended below as they become available, and then max out the primary skills. After the basic build is completed, the remaining points can be distributed in any skills you like.

  • Level 1: Fire Blast, Claw Mastery, Psychic Hammer.
  • Level 6: Shock Web, Burst of Speed.
  • Level 12: Charged Bolt Sentry, Weapon Block, Cloak of Shadows.
  • Level 18: Fade, Shadow Warrior.
  • Level 24: Lightning Sentry, Mind Blast.
  • Level 30: Death Sentry.
  • Order of Maxing Skills: Lightning Sentry, Charged Bolt Sentry, Death Sentry.
  • Rest Points: Shock Web, Fire Blast.


Most players level up Strength and Dexterity in order to be able to wear suitable equipment. Energy is ignored (at high levels due to equipment and the increase in mana per level, there are no problems with mana), and the remaining points are invested in Vitality to increase the maximum amount of health.

  • Strength: 100-125 (depends on your equipment)
  • Dexterity: 50-75 (depends on your equipment)
  • Vitality: 250+ (all remaining points)
  • Energy: 50-75 (putting some points early in the game helps with mana)
  • Progression: At low levels put points in Strength and in Dexterity to be able to use better equipment and claws. Get some points in Energy (if you have mana problems). Remaining points put in Vitality.


Considering that this is a starter build, it is implied that the player will not have any good items or Uniques/Runewords, but only equipment that was obtained during levelling. Therefore, there will be only recommendations on what will be most useful for this build.

Important! Faster Cast Rate is useless for traps. You cannot modify traps fire rate. As for the attack speed, it influences only trap-laying speed. You can only modify their damage with +to skills modifiers. But Modifiers such as +to Lightning Skill Damage does not work for traps. On the other hand, debuffing enemy with Curse (Lower Resist) or with aura (Conviction) increases their damage.

  • Recommended Stats: + to Skills, Life, Mana and Mana Regeneration, Resistances, Faster Run/Walk.
  • Weapon and Shield: Claws with +X to Assassin Skill or +X to traps (Lightning Sentry). For Shield slot optimal will be Unique Shield with +to Skills and Mana bonuses (Spirit Runeword is great choice).
  • Armor: High Defense stat, Life, Resistances and Mana. +to All Skills will be great. For Boots Faster Walk/Run is a good bonus.
  • Jewelry: Amulets with +1-3 to Trap Skills (or +1-2 to Assassin Skills) and other good stats. For rings – Life, Mana and Resistances.
  • Charms: Grand Charms with +1 to Trap Skills, other Charms with Life, Mana, Resistances or Attributes (if you need more Strength).
  • Magic Find: X% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items (MF) on items would be a nice bonus. This will help you get good Rare or Unique equipment faster.

Recommended Uniques: Bartuc’s Cut-Throat (Katar), Lidless Wall (Shield), Harlequin Crest (Helm), Skin of the Vipermagi (Body Armor), Frostburn (Gloves), Arachnid Mesh (Belt).

Recommended Runewords: Spirit (Weapon/Shield), Stealth (Body Armor), Lore (Helm). Full Starter Runewords list here.


Optimal for this build would be Act 2 Defense Mercenary (Holy Freeze). He can be recruited in the city in Act 2 (Difficulty Nightmare). Try to equip your mercenary as you level up, so he does not die so often and be useful. Another important feature is that the equipment your mercenary uses does not break, so ethereal items will be perfect.

Recommended for casters: Insight Runeword (Ral + Tir + Tal + Sol) Polearm. Cheap RW, provides Meditation aura that greatly boosts mana regeneration at low-mid levels.

Good stats for mercenary equipment: damage, life leech, high defense, resistances and damage reduction.
Weapon example: Steel Pillar or Tomb Reaver
Armor example: Stone Runeword (Shael + Um + Pul + Lum)
Helm example: Vampire Gaze

With this Diablo 2 Assassin Starter Build you will have a chance to complete the game. If you want to see more complicated and better builds read Diablo 2 Resurrected Classes’ Builds or check directly Diablo 2 Assassin Builds.

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