Zeal Paladin Build Guide from Budget to Best Gear - D2R 2.6
Zeal Paladin Build - D2R 2.6
The Zeal Paladin, also known as Zealot or Zealer is one of the strongest melee builds in D2R. It has high damage both against single targets and monster mobs. This build is able to deliver 6 attacks in a second, making it a great choice for Boss killing, and also for farming Uber Tristram. It's a great ladder starter as viable budget options are available, great for soloing, but is also welcome at parties for it's Fanaticism aura, has a beginner friendly playstyle, very decent survivability, and can be utilized for Dia or Baal runs as well.
Mercenary Guide | Magic Find Guide | Charms Guide | Quest Rewards Guide | Hardcore Guide | Levelling Guide | Secret Cow Level Guide | Restating and Skilling Guide | Item Upgrade Guide | Cube Recipe Guide |
Attacking skills: As the name suggests, Zeal is our primary attacking skill. It deals a great amount of single target damage, and if you have Crushing Blow % on your gear you will quickly be able to reduce any enemy monster's life. Zeal attacks the monsters surrounding you, so you can quickly take care of bigger mobs too. There are very few physical immune monsters in the game, and as Zeal's damage is physical, you should switch to Vengeance for attacking such monsters. The playstyle of the Zealot is very simple, just click click and click.
Movement: A big benefit of any Paladin build is the Vigor aura, that helps your running speed immensely. Use it if you quickly want to run to Bosses or move inside the Town. In case you get stuck at an obstacle, use the Charge skill to get past it.
Survivability: In decent gear your survivability will be great. Holy Shield provides a huge amount of defense, by wearing Dracul's Grasp you can quickly cast Life Tap on enemy monsters healing you immediately, and with a Call to Arms switch weapon and 75% all resistance, you will have high enough life and awesome survivability, making the build viable for farming any Hardcore Hell content. A high defense Exile runeword shield further boosts your chances of casting life tap, and also grants you Defiance aura that increases your defense. Having % life stolen per hit also helps healing, so crafted Blood items can come handy. Make sure to wear a Raven Frost ring to avoid getting frozen. % Damage Reduction on your gear is also a high priority due to the melee attacking style, so a Crown of Ages helm can be useful if you aren't satisfied with your survival chances. Switching to Salvation or Redemption aura can also help you out in dangerous situations.
Party and Solo play: Zeal paladins can solo the entire game, as there are very few physical immune monsters, and even those can be dealt with by using Vengeance. Whether you want to do Baal, Diablo, Cow, Mephisto, Andariel or any other boss runs, or just farm through the entire game, you will be able to do it with this build with ease. Your aura for attacking will be Fanaticism, which your party members will be very thankful for, as it increases attack speed and physical damage.
Magic Find: Some of the standard Zealer gear can be switched to Magic Find items that does not deteriorate farming performance significantly, but if you want to use it mainly as a magic find character you should fill your inventory with a Gheed's Fortune and 7% magic find small charms.
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 it.
Energy: Don't put any points on it
Best option for soloing:
- 20 points on Sacrifice and Zeal
- 1 point on Holy Shield's prerequisites
- 20 points on Holy Shield
- 20 points on Fanaticism, +1 point on prerequisite skills
- 1 point on each Defensive Aura (mainly so you can utilize them at party play and in dangerous situations)
- Put your remaining points on Defiance
- If you still have any remaining points, put it on Resist Lightning.
Breakpoints - Check out our Paladin Breakpoints guide.
The listed items are organized by slots.
- The usefulness rating of an item is based on how good it is for farming.
- The price rating reflects the cost of the item (cheaper ones are available after ladder starts as budget options) higher price ratings reflect exponentially higher cost for an item.
- Magic Find ratings are added to items that are good options for MFing.
Adding sockets and improving your items
- If you complete the act5 quest Siege on Harrogath, Larzuk will grant extra socket/sockets to your items. Use the quest to add sockets to your gear and put useful jewels, runes or gems in your item sockets.
- You can also upgrade your unique items from normal to exceptional quality and from exceptional to elite by using Horadric Cube recipes. After upgrading, your armor pieces will have more defense, and your weapon pieces will have more damage. The downside of upgrading is the increased strength/dexterity requirements.
- Lore runeword -usefulness 4/10, price 1/10
- Peasant Crown unique helm - usefulness 5/10, price 2/10
- Harlequin Crest Shako - Usefulness 8/10, price 6/10, Magic Find - 10/10
- Crown of Ages unique helm - Usefulness 10/10, price 6/10
- Guillame's face set helm - usefulness 10/10, price 4/10
- Any amulet with +1-2 to paladin skills, or +1-3 to combat skills - usefulness 4/10, price 1/10
- Saracen's Chance unique amulet - usefulness 5/10, price 2/10
- Atma's Scarab unique amulet - usefulness 7/10, price 3/10
- Mara's Kaleidoscope unique amulet - usefulness 8/10, price 7/10
- Highlord's Wrath unique amulet - usefulness 10/10, price 6/10
- Black runeword - usefulness 5/10, price 2/10
- Kingslayer runeword - usefulness 6/10, price 6/10
- Oath runeword - usefulness 6/10, price 5/10
- Azurewrath unique weapon - usefulness 5/10, price 5/10
- Stormlash unique weapon - usefulness 6/10, price 5/10
- Grief Phase Blade - usefulness 10/10, price 7/10
- Last Wish runeword - usefulness 10/10, price 10/10
- Rhyme runeword - usefulness 4/10, price 2/10
- Ancient's Pledge runeword - usefulness 4/10, price 2/10
- Herald of Zakarum unique shield - usefulness 8/10, price 6/10
- Exile Ethereal Vortex Shield, preferably with @allresist -usefulness 10/10, price 7/10
- Magic wand with Life Tap curse charges - usefulness 5/10, price - 1/10
- Call to Arms Crystal Sword - usefulness 10/10, price 7/10
- Spirit Monarch -usefulness 10/10, price 2/10
- Principle runeword - usefulness 5/10, price 6/10
- Guardian Angel unique armor - usefulness 5/10, price 4/10
- Duress Archon Plate -usefulness 9/10, price 5/10
- Fortitude Archon Plate - usefulness 10/10, price 7/10
- String of Ears unique belt - usefulness 10/10, price 4/10
- Bul Katho's Wedding Band unique ring - usefulness 9/10, price 6/10
- Raven Frost unique ring - usefulness 9/10, price 4/10
- Venom Grip unique gloves - usefulness 5/10, price 2/10
- Dracul's Grasp unique gloves - usefulness 10/10 , price 5/10
- Goblin Toe unique boots - usefulness 8/10, price 2/10
- Gore Rider unique oots - usefulness 10/10, price 5/10
- Any charm with +skill, life, faster hit recovery or faster run and walk - usefulness 4/10, price 1/10
- Annihilus unique small charm - usefulness 10/10, price 8/10
- Hellfire Torch unique large charm - usefulness 10/10, price 6/10
- Magic grand charms with +1 to paladin combat skills - usefulness 7/10, price 5/10
- Magic grand charms with +1 to paladin combat skills and +life, +faster hit recovery or +faster run and walk - usefulness 8 to 10/10, price 6 to 10/10
- Magic small charms with resistances and life - usefulness 8 to 10/10, price 6 to 9/10
- 7% to magic find magic small charms - magic find 10/10, price 3/10
- Gheed's fortune unique grand charm - magic find 10/10, price 4/10
Have a Nightmare Act2 Offensive Mercenary to provide you with Might aura.
Ethereal items don't lose durability if your mercenary wears them, so having ethereal item bases for each gear slot is preferred due to their increased defense on armor items and increased damage on weapons. In many instances ethereal items that are great for mercenaries will be much more expensive than non-ethereal ones.
- Any 3 socketed helm with 3 perfect diamond to increase mercenary resistances and survivability - usefulness 5/10, price 1/10
- Tal Rasha's set helm - usefulness 6/10, price 3/10
- Vampire Gaze unique helm - usefulness 7/10, price 4/10
- Guillaume's face set helm - usefulness 8/10, price 4/10
- Andariel's Visage unique helm - usefulness 10/10, price 5/10
- Insight Ethereal Cryptic Axe - usefulness 6/10, price 3/10
- Obedience runeword preferably in elite base - usefulness 6/10, price 4/10
- Ethereal The Reaper's Toll unique weapon - usefulness 9/10, price 6/10
- Pride runeword in elite base - usefulness 10/10, price 8/10
- Treachery Ethereal Archon Plate - usefulness 9/10, price 5/10
- Fortitude Ethereal Archon Plate - usefulness 10/10, price 7/10
Rpgstash.com will have D2R items in its Ladder selection already on day 1. We will be doing our best to let you buy 2.4 ladder items right at the beginning of the season including the new runewords, so you can climb the ladder rankings as fast as possible!