Diablo 2 Paladin 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 Paladin in Diablo 2. It will let you have a cheap and smooth start.

Holy Freeze Zeal Paladin (Frost Zealot)

Why is this build good? In addition to excellent damage (with two major damage types – physical and cold), this Zealot has excellent survivability even on Hell Difficulty. High resists, maximum block (75% blocking chance), and most importantly – Holy Freeze aura. It slows down monsters by 50%, making their attacks and movement speed much slower. Few of the monsters are immune to Holy Freeze.


  • Primary Skills: Zeal and Holy Freeze.
  • Useful Skills: Holy Shield, Charge and Auras.
  • All Skills:
    • Defensive Auras: Resist Cold (20), Salvation (20).
    • Offensive Auras: Holy Freeze (20), Might (1), Holy Fire (1).
    • Combat Skills: Zeal (20), Holy Shield (5), Charge (1), Smite (1), Holy Bolt (1), Blessed Hammer (1), Sacrifice (1).

The gameplay for Zealot Paladin is as simple as possible – put Zeal and Holy Freeze on the active skill bar and destroy the demons. The main thing is not to forget to reactivate the Holy Shield in order to have the maximum defence and block indicators. One of the useful skills is Charge and Paladin’s Auras, which will be useful in various situations (for example, Might against Cold Immune monsters).

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: Might, Sacrifice, Smite.
  • Level 6: Resist Cold, Holy Fire, Holy Bolt.
  • Level 12: Zeal, Charge.
  • Level 18: Holy Freeze, Blessed Hammer.
  • Level 24: Holy Shield.
  • Level 30: Salvation.
  • Order of Maxing Skills: Holy Freeze, Zeal, Resist Cold.
  • Rest Points: Salvation, Holy Shield.


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: 100+ (blocking is important so try to get 75% chance to Block)
  • Vitality: 250+ (all remaining points)
  • Energy: None
  • Progression: At low levels put points in Strength to be able to use better equipment. Later in the game you can put some points in Dexterity for reaching high chance to Block. 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.

  • Recommended Stats: Increased Defense and Damage, Attack Rating, Attack Speed, +X to Skills, Life, Resistances, Faster Hit Recovery, Faster Run/Walk. Great offensive modifiers: Crushing Blow and Deadly Strike.
  • Weapon and Shield: Weapons with high base Damage, +X% to Enhanced Damage, Attack Rating, Attack Speed and Crushing Blow/Deadly Strike.
  • Armor: High Defense stat, Life, Resistances and modifiers such Crushing Blow and Attack Speed. +to All Skills will be great. Paladin shields – +X to Paladin Skills with high Block Chance and Resistances. For Boots Faster Walk/Run is a good bonus.
  • Jewelry: Amulets with +X to All Skills (or +X to Paladin Skills) with Life, Resistances or Attack Rating. For rings – Life or Resistances. Recommended to have at least one piece of equipment (jewelry or armor) with Life Leech.
  • Charms: Grand Charms with +1 to Offensive Auras, other Charms with Life, Attack Rating, increased Damage (Min or Max), Resistances or Attributes (if you need more Strength/Dexterity).
  • 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: Guillaume’s Face (Helm), Laying of Hands (Gloves), String of Ears (Belt), Gore Rider (Boots), Raven Frost and Dwarf Star (Rings).

Recommended Runewords: Strength (Melee Weapons), Rhyme (Shields) and Lore (Helms). Full Starter Runewords list here.


Optimal for this build would be Act 2 Offense Mercenary (Blessed Aim). He can be recruited in the city in Act 2 (Difficulty Normal). 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.

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) or Toothrow
Helm example: Vampire Gaze

With this Diablo 2 Paladin 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 Paladin Builds.

Leave a Comment

Watch our authors’ Streams