D2R Gameplay Guides , Diablo 2: Resurrected , Game Guides
What is Pre-Buffing?
Pre-buffing is the practice of casting skills on yourself, your mercenary, and/or your party members at the beginning of a game before starting to attack monsters. It can provide immense Offensive and Defensive boosts to every character and mercenary that’s affected.
Some items in the game are designed for pre-buffing purposes, while some builds are made specifically for this purpose. In Hardcore, usually there is no gameply without having a barbarian that provides a high level Shout and Battle Orders due to the risk of permanent death.
Party pre-buffing skills
Battle Orders: Battle Orders or BO in short is a barbarian skill, and is probably the most useful for prebuffing in the game. It gives an immense life and mana boost to you, your mercenary and your party members. Call to Arms runeword is especially designed to provide the Battle Orders skill to non-barbarian characters, however even with several +skill items, casting it has to be repeated from time to time as its duration will be due within 2-3 minutes.
A CTA (call to arms) provided Battle Orders increases life and mana by about 60%. In comparison, a Barbarian that’s made specifically to provide Warcry skills to the party can almost triple the life and mana of those who are affected, and the duration will be around 10 minutes.
Battle Command: This is another Barbarian warcry skill which boosts all skills by +1 for everyone who is affected. CTA (call to arms) runeword also provides this skill, but the same can be said about it, the duration only lasts 2-3 minutes, while a Warcry Barb’s battle command will have a duration of about 10 minutes.
Shout: It's another Barbarian skill which gives an immense defense boost to party members. The skill is only accessible for Barbs and no items provide it for any other character class. A warcry Barb’s shout boosts party defense by 400-500%, making most characters almost immune to physical attacks due to the low chance of being hit for roughly 10 minutes after casting.
Enchant: Another amazing pre-buffing skill, Enchant gives a huge attack rating and some fire damage boost. It can be casted individually on yourself, your party members, the mercenaries, and some of the summoned monsters. The skill is available for any character due to the item Demon Limb, which has Level23 Enchant charges. A pre-buff with Demon Limb will give +227% attack rating, and will last for over 10 minutes. Enchant is a Sorceress skill, and some fire sorcs are made specifically for attacking with it and casting it for party members. An Enchant Sorc’s melee attacks have 30k+ fire damage per hit, and for party members it gives a 5k damage fire damage boost per hit. Enchant provided by an Enchant Sorc build will give a 400%+ attack rating boost.
Self pre-buffing skills
The following skills are class-specific, and can only be casted on your own character, but not on party members of mercenaries.
Amazon Skills: There aren’t any Amazon skills that’s usable for pre-buffing.
Burst of Speed provides immense speed bonuses. At level 20 your Assassin will gain 52% attack speed bonus and +61% walk and run speed over a 6 minute duration. Needless to say, this is an immense boost for your character.
Fade is just as useful as Burst of Speed, but for survivability. At level 20 it also has a 6 minute duration, and provides 64% to all resistances, 82% curse duration reduction and 20% Physical resistance. Treachery and Last Wish runewords have a chance to cast Fade on you when struck. By switching to these items temporarily, you can buff yourself with Fade.
Venom at level 20 provides 420-440 poison damage on hit over a 0.4 second duration. It’s mainly useful for Whirlwind Assassin builds.
The above mentioned skills, namely Battle Orders, Battle Command and Shout
Druid Skills: There aren’t any Druid skills that’s usable for pre-buffing.
Bone Armor is the only Necromancer skill that could be casted at the beginning of every game as a pre-buff, as it absorbs 100% of incoming damage. The downside of the skill is that it has to be re-casted very frequently, and it’s only effective enough if you max the skill and its synergies out + have several added skills to poison and bone skills on your equipment. However, over level 40 with max synergies, it can absorb 2k damage and can be effectively used in combination with the Corpse Explosion skill.
Holy Shield should always be casted at the beginning of each game if you play a Paladin. It provides a lot of defensive abilities against physical damage dealing melee and missile attacks. At level 10, it adds 160% defense, +30% chance to block, and lowers your base faster hit recovery breakpoint from 5 to 2 frames, allowing you to not get stunned and stuck if a big monster pack surrounds you.
Energy Shield should always be casted at the beginning of each game if you play a sorceress. At level 20, it absorbs 75% of the damage taken to mana instead of life, and has a 20 minute duration. Make sure to re-cast the skill if you run out of mana, as that will remove the skill from being active.
Frozen Armor / Shiver Armor / Chilling Armor - one of the three skills should always be casted on your sorceress. My suggestion is to use Frozen Armor, as not only does it boost defense, but it also freezes enemies that hit you. At level 20 it provides +140% defense, has a 3.4 second freeze length, and a cast lasts for over 6 minutes.
Enchant should be casted on yourself at the beginning of a game only if you play an enchant sorc. The benefits of having a high level enchant on your character are mentioned above.
If you decide not to farm for hundreds of hours, you can quickly buy runes from our D2R Store.