Uber Smiter Build - D2R 2.7
D2R Builds , Diablo 2: Resurrected , Game Guides
Smite is a single target ability that cannot be blocked, will always hit and does huge single target damage as well as applying some attack modifiers like Crushing Blow and Open Wounds (but not Deadly Strike). Life leech does not work with Smite, but % cast abilities like Lifetap do, meaning Smiters have special gear considerations which should be accounted for. The Uber Smiter is built to deal with Uber Tristram, with or without a Merc, has high elemental resistances, Life Tap, Max Block, and High Crushing Blow (The most important attack modifier for Boss-killing). Open wounds is also helpful given the high regeneration of Uber Bosses, however, a high OW % is unnecessary given your kill-speed (Bosses will not out regenerate smite damage). Smiters are adept Uber specialists even with budget gear, making them fantastic ladder starters for Torch farming, or for offering Uber services. This guide will provide you with gear options for all budgets, as well as an in-depth look at optimization routes.
Optimizing your Smiter
Weapon Speed and Smite
The IAS formula is somewhat complex, involving calculating your weapon IAS (Base weapon speed and added IAS), and the IAS from Fanaticism (contingent on level of ability), and IAS from other sources in your gear slots. Here is a calculator which can help your optimize your smite speed, it is recommended you use a Phase Blade base for your runewords for the highest possible Weapon Speed.
Shield Type and Smite Damage:
The base damage of all elite Paladin Shields for smite are relatively similar, with Sacred Rondache slightly edging the rest in terms of average damage. However, Sacred Targe offers the highest block % meaning you can invest more points into Vitality while maintaining max block. Opt into one of the two bases if you are using a runeword like Exile, Phoenix or Spirit.
Optimizing for Uber Tristram:
Effectiveness and survival doing Ubers is contingent on several factors, including:
Damage is one of the primary variables which dictate clearspeed, but is not the #1 priority. Ensure you have no trouble with survival before optimizing for damage. Smites unblockable damage will mean that even budget or mid-range Smiters will have good boss-killing speeds.
Having capped, or overcapped resistances is integral for Ubers, given the high elemental damage sources you will find from Uber bosses and their minions. Light and Fire are particularly important. Use charms to help mitigate deficiencies if your core gear is insufficient.
Lifetap is a Smiter’s core regeneration mechanic, allowing you to heal large chunks of life with each smite (once the curse is activated). Lifesteal is ineffective for Smite, and relying on potions can be dangerous, inconsistent and tedious. It is recommended you obtain lifetap from some source to greatly increase your survivability for runs.
Crushing blow is a particularly strong attack modifier for Uber, offering 12.5% of the remaining target’s life as magic damage when proc’d. Note this works on the remaining and not total or starting lifepool of the monster, meaning it has diminishing returns on lower HP targets. Crushing Blow enables you to quickly shred Uber Boss HP bars due to the speed and unblockability of Smite, adding significant damage to your already powerful Smite.
Maxblock is easily attainable on Paladin’s due to the huge boost to block chance Holy Shield grants. Additionally MB is excellent for additional survivability during Ubers (or general PvM farming). Holy Shield also greatly improves your Smite damage, so is considered a core skill.
Sufficient life pool
Your total lifepool is another important consideration, and should be your final focus once you have achieved sufficient percentages on the other mods mentioned above.
Strength: Put just enough points on it to be able to wear your items.
Dexterity: Put just enough points on it to have 75% chance to block with Holy Shield casted.
Vitality: Put all the rest of your available points on this.
Core (Smite, Holy Shield and Aura):
Max Holy Shield (1 to prerequisites: Charge)
Max Fanaticism (1 to prerequisites: Might, Blessed Aim, Concentration)
Other useful skills (Ancillary):
Salvation (1 point)
Vigor (1 point)
Redemption (1 point)
Cleansing (1 point)
Resist Lightning (up to 20 points)
Resist Fire (up to 20 points)
Ancillary Skill prerequisites:
Zeal (and synergies) as a secondary AoE damage ability for less tedious mob killing.
FoH/Conviction (for an additional Elemental damage type - Not recommended for PvM as this is another Inferior single target ability). Holy bolts do offer some utility in high Undead density areas.
Smite, Holy Shield and Fanaticism represent our core damage spells and synergies, with HS offering additional defensive utility. The low skill investment required to maximize our smite skill means there are plenty of leftover points for either a secondary damage ability, or to further boost your resistances / and resistances caps which will greatly enhance your survivability, particularly in Uber Tristram. If you are opting into a specialist Uber build, then a resistance build is recommended as your mob clearing needs are minimal (smite is also an underrated mob killing tool, despite being single target due to the consistent speed and unblockability). If you are venturing into other areas, and would like to have an AoE damage tool on hand, Zeal is a fantastic option, especially if you are wielding a powerful mainhand weapon like Grief. FOH is considered a PvP secondary, used as a ranged damage spell in conjunction with Smite as your primary damage.
Breakpoints - Check out our Paladin Breakpoints guide.
For detailed breakpoints, check out this guide.
Gear Options & Build Guide
Our Gear Build recommendation is based on optimizing the above Smiter and Uber considerations, and will be split into the following categories:
Best in Slot
Best Budget option
If applicable, other alternatives which may be considered
BiS: Crown of Ages (Recommended for Ubers)
COA is a powerful defensive option, perfect for Ubers. With up to 30 to all resistances, 15% physical damage reduction and 2 sockets, COA provides a versatile and sound defensive option that can be socketed with Ber (more DR), Um (more resistances), Jewels (IAS, Resistances, FHR, stats or -15 requirements). The downside of COA is the high strength requirement, so ideally only use when paired with Enigma as it offers a huge boost to strength based on your character level.
Best Alternative: Harlequin Crest Shako (Not recommended for Ubers)
Shako is a fantastic well rounded helmet that lacks some of the core utility for Uber Tristram that the other options offer, as such it’s not recommended for Uber specialist builds. Shako is more commonly seen in PvP where the +skills, high life, 8% damage reduction and low requirement, make it a go-to helmet choice.
Best Budget, Highest Damage: Guillame’s face (Recommended for Ubers)
GFace is a powerful offensive helmet that offers a huge (35%) boost to Crushing Blow. Open Wounds (15%) is wasted for a Smiter. 30FHR is also useful but this helmet lacks notable Uber defensive mods like damage reduction or resistances. Use this over Kiras on budget builds only where you can ensure your survival. Gface would be used in end-game builds for highest clear speed. This should be socketed with defensive runes like Ber or Um to help offset the lack of defenses it provides, Lo for a higher light resistance cap, or useful jewels which can offer a whole host of useful mods.
Good Budget, Defensive Alternative: Kira’s Guardian (Recommended for Ubers)
A very powerful defensive option for Ubers, Kiras offers Cannot be Frozen, 20FHR and up to 70 to all resistances. This is a powerful resistance capping helm that can be socketed with Um or even a perfect gem early game to allow you to survive Uber Tristram with minimal gear cost (perfect for early Ladder). The cannot be frozen mod frees up an additional ring slot typically used for Ravenfrost, so you can focus on buffing your other resistances or absorb with additional Dwarfstar or Wisp Projector.
BiS: Mara's Kaleidoscope
Maras grants +2 to all skills, the highest possible in the amulet slot, as well as minor attribute increases and a significant resistance boost (20-30). These stats are ideal for the Uber Smiter for increasing damage and resilience.
Best Alternative: Rare or Crafted Paladin Amulet
Rare or crafted amulets can offer useful FCR which may be preferred for Enigma wearers for maintaining desired teleport speeds. Rare are capped at 10%FCR while crafted can go up to 20%. Rare’s however, can spawn with significantly higher secondary mods like high stats and resistances. High end versions can far exceed the cost of Maras.
Budget Alternative: Highlord's Wrath unique amulet
Highlords is an inferior version of Maras as the huge boost to deadly strike is not utilized by a Smiter (unless using Zeal secondary, as such this is recommended for hybrid Zeal/Smite builds). +1 Skills and a huge boost to lightning resistances mean this is still a good Uber amulet.
BiS: Grief Phase Blade
Grief in a Phase Blade base offers the highest possible weapon speed and base (-30WSM for Phase Blades and 30-40IAS from the weapon itself) meaning it is easiest to hit the highest IAS frames with minimal additional IAS gear investment. Grief also offers an interesting +damage mod that is added directly to your damage source (Comparatively, other weapons generally use enhanced damage calculations which are not included in your smite damage calculations). +350-400 from Grief is added directly to Smite making this the highest DPS and IAS option.
Best Alternative: Last Wish Phase Blade
Last Wish boasts an expensive rune requirement but has a host of powerful defensive mods, as well as massive crushing blow % which offsets the lack of inherent smite damage. This can be considered ideal for Uber setups and would be recommended over Grief for that specialized purpose. The Fade proc it offers can help further enhance resistances and ED, and the high life tap% allows you to consider other gear options in other slots as it can meet your lifetap needs as a standalone. A high level Might aura also further enhances your own and merc damage. The one drawback is the lack of IAS.
Best Budget: Azurewrath
Azurewrath is a fantastic budget option with good damage mods, ias, stat mods, +1 Skills and a useful Sanctuary aura which helps you easily dispatch Undead summons in Uber Tristram.
Oath is a low cost runeword using only low to mid runes up to a Mal. While it lacks some of the key offerings that the other weapons in the list bring, it can be a suitable mid-game Smite/Zeal weapon.
Shield (Smiter Weapon)
BiS: Exile runeword
The exile runeword can be made in an Ethereal base with up to 45 to all resistances and high block % (Sacred Targe being the highest). Exile is great for Uber as it increases your max cap by 5% for fire and cold resistances, as well as a significant 15% lifetap proc chance, and a high level Defiance aura which will boost your defenses significantly, alongside Holy Shield. Target freeze, +2 to offensive auras, and the resistances offered by the base shield are other helpful mods.
Best Alternative: Herald of Zakarum
HOZ is a fantastic well rounded Smiter shield that offers good damage (when Upgraded), good resistances and block mods, big boosts to stats, skills and an extra socket for additional versatility. These are typically socketed with an Um or Ber rune for extra sustainability.
Spirit is a good budget option that can be made in any 4 socket Paladin shield. Elite bases offer similar damage so opt into a sacred targe where possible for highest block %, and look for resistances up to +45. Spirit offers useful skill boosts, additional resistances and FCR which may be helpful to teleporters. The huge boost to FHR can also help you maintain steady damage with less impact from your hit recovery animations.
Phoenix boasts the highest damage of the options listed here, at the expense of some defensive stats. These can be made in high resistance bases, or Knights mod bases (ED + AR) which can further boost DPS. Unlike weapon ED, Shield ED is calculated in your smite damage, although is vastly inferior to direct damage boosts like Griefs offering.
Chains of Honor
Chains of honor offers the best defensive mods including the largest resistances boost from any armor. Skills, damage to undead and demons, and damage reduction are either great mods for tackling Uber Tristram.
Enigma is a popular end-game armor due to the mobility, and thus clear speed advantage you gain from teleport. However, the tradeoffs in defensive stats for increased mobility is not ideal for Ubers. Enigma lacks resistances which may be difficult to compensate for. However this runeword can be considered if survivability is not an issue.
Guardian Angel is a fantastic budget option that boosts all your resistance caps, grants Paladin skill, high defense, and even increases your block chance (a rare armor mod) which enables you to invest less points into dexterity. When using this armor, ensure you reach the new cap on your resistances, to best optimize this slot.
Fortitude offers the highest DPS with low to mid tier defensive stats (25 all resistances and a helpful chilling armor). 300 enhanced damage is calculated given it is not weapon ed, meaning this boosts smite damage significantly. Additional life and faster cast rate are also helpful mods.
Thundergods offers considerable lightning resistances, in the form of of 20 absorb (negating 20% of total lightning damage received), as well as an increase to your max lightning cap and a good chunk of stats. If you are using wisp projector(s), and find you have sufficient lightning resistances/absorb, you may consider using Verdungo’s instead.
Verdungos is the best physical damage reduction belt, offering a good vitality boost (up to 40), and 10-15 DR. Where more resistances are not required in the belt slot, Verdungo’s is the best choice.
String of ears
A cheaper version of Verdungo’s that lacks the vitality boost of Verdungo’s. A good temp for its 15% DR though the other mods are underwhelming for a Smiter.
A good option for Enigma builds. Arach can help you hit your desired FCR and provides a useful +1 to all skills. Consider this a mobility optimization option for teleporters.
One Ravenfrost is typically used for the cannot be frozen mod, with the additional dexterity and cold absorb being useful additional mods. If you are using a cham rune for cannot be frozen in one of your other item slots, you may consider substituting this for one of our other ring options as cold absorb is not a priority for Uber Tristram.
Wisp is a powerful lightning absorb ring (at least one lightning absorb source should be used). While not providing much else, lightning absorb is crucial to uber success. Heart of the oak charges are impossible to keep alive in Tristram.
Wisp equivalent for Fire absorb, use to remedy any fire resistance issues in conjunction with Wisp projector, Ravenfrost and/or Thundergods.
Bul Katho's Wedding Band unique ring
Typically a PvP ring, BK can further enhance damage and life where further increases to resistances are not required in the ring slot. Lifesteal is not relevant for your build.
Dracs is a fantastic Uber glove due to the added Lifetap (5% proc chance), as well as useful strength a hefty chunk of open wounds (25%). Dracul’s alone can be enough lifetap % if you’re sufficiently geared.
Crafted Blood Gloves
Crafted Blood gloves are a powerful alternative that can help you reach higher IAS breakpoints. Other mods that can spawn include up to 10% crushing blow, life, mana, stats or resistances, giving Blood gloves a high optimization ceiling.
Laying of hands
Laying of Hands is a high value budget item ideal for Ubers. 20IAS will help you reach faster IAS breakpoints, while 50 to fire resistances greatly help in capping your fire res, and enabling more versatility in your other gear slots.
Goblin Toes are the highest crushing blow % boots in the game, offering a massive 25%. This alone makes this the highest damage option for Ubers.
Gore Rider unique boots
Gores while providing a whole host of useful melee mods is not ideal for a smiter given deadly strike is not usable and crushing blow is lessor to Gtoes. Open wounds can be helpful but not a requirement for an optimal Smite build.
War travellers are a unique choice that will offer some direct damage add to your Smite. While lacking the attack modifiers of the other boots listed here, War Travs are a great all round boot for a PvM Smiter.
Magic grand charms with +1 to paladin combat skills (Additional life desirable)
Gheed’s fortune (Optional)
Small charms with Life, and/or resistances, frw, FHR depending on needs.
Call to Arms runeword
CTA is our standard switch weapon if budget allows and greatly increases general survivability in Ubers or PvM.
Magic wand with Life Tap curse charges
Magic and rare wands with life tap curse charges can easily be gambled or bought from item vendors in game like Akara or Gheeds. Where there is no life tap source in your other gear, you may consider using a wand.
Spirit runeword - To Buff CTA BO level. This is a low cost runeword that should be easily attainable.
The optimal mercenary is the Act 2 Might merc which will further enhance your damage with his high level Might aura.
VGaze is the BiS merc helmet for Ubers due to the DR and life leech which are integral to merc survival. Merc survivability is difficult to maintain in Uber tristram so his gear should be optimized for survival.
Guillame’s face set helm
GFace is the highest DPS option for Uber Tristram if merc survival can be ensured. This is due to the large crushing blow buff that allows your mercs' damage to scale effectively against super bosses.
Andariel’s Visage unique helm
Andys is a good default merc helm given the high IAS and life leech offered making it a powerful DPS enhancer. However the negative fire resistances are suboptimal for Uber Tristram even when offset by Ral or a Jewel. As such consider this a general PvM choice.
Pride is the best damage enhancing runeword for your merc, to optimizez for your own Smite damage output. Level 20 Concentration aura stacks with the mercs might aura, as well as your own fanaticism to produce a powerful blend of damage auras, greatly enhancing clear speed.
Insight is typically used in Enigma builds to lessen the reliance on your relatively small mana pool and the mana intensive teleport spell. Insight offers little in the way of other utility for a Smiter but is low budget and has decent damage for your merc.
Ethereal the Reaper’s Toll
Reaper’s toll is sometimes used for decrepify proc which will reduce incoming damage, as well as enhance your own damage dealt by 50%. However, you should note that decrepify will override lifetap and vice versa.
Chains of Honor
Chains of honor offers the highest resistances in the armor slot, as well as DR and life leech which are integral to merc survival. COH is the BiS armor for Uber Tristram. Additionally, the extra damage to demons is particularly helpful for Uber bosses.
Fortitude is the high damage alternative offering a significant 300% ED as well as other useful mods.
Treachery is a fantastic low budget option great for merc survivability. Fade grants significant resistance and DR boosts, while Venom procs, IAS and the other mods can offer additional damage.
This guide should provide you a solid foundation for building your Uber Smiter, no matter your budget. Account for breakpoint considerations and balancing your damage with survivability. The budget build will provide you with gear choices sufficient to clear Ubers solo (with or without a merc), while our BiS suggestions will allow you to experiment to find the best possible Smite build for your playstyle. We hope you found this guide helpful.
No draculs on a smite?