Guide:Palazon Battlemaid v1.10, by Sokar Rostau - Diablo Wiki

Guide:Palazon Battlemaid v1.10, by Sokar Rostau

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A Palazon is a Tankazon that uses a Paladin skill as her main attack. Either Zeal or Vengeance, or both, obtained from runewords. She is an almost indestructible melee fighter who can kill any enemy in the game, though her killing speed isn't as fast as some builds. This build requires extremely high level equipment.


Diablo II Strategy Guide Info:


The Battlemaids of Athulua[edit]

To be totally effective any army must be comprised of a variety of units each with specialised abilities and tasks. The Armies of Athulua are no different.

Those that have been fortunate enough to survive a misguided assault on the islands of Philios, Skovos or Lycander have brought back to their countrymen reports of fantastic volleys of arrows cutting down dozens at a time. Some recall men shattering like glass and others that have been reduced to ashes by mysterious pyres that erupt from the very ground at their feet. Yet others have returned with stories that tell of a sudden crash of thunder followed by a flash of lightning that leaves entire platoons a smoking mass of mangled corpses on the crackling battlefield. Reports are also made of vast clouds of noxious gases weakening men such that the tiniest scratch from a bramble is fatal.

But these are the reports of survivors.

Could they but speak, the ghosts of those that never returned would have other tales to tell. These are the, often valiant, heroes that have survived the outer defences and artillery barrages and, through good fortune or no, penetrated the, mostly arboreal, citadels of the Amazons. It is this very act of bravery, on their part, that has deprived great nations of their mightiest heroes, for once they have passed through the hell that is the Amazons ranged fury, there is no turning back, there is no surviving those terrible barrages a second time. These are those heroes humbled by the mighty Battlemaids of Athulua.

The Battlemaids make up the ranks of Infantry in Athulua's Armies, they also form the majority of Ceremonial Guards in the various Temples and Citadels to be found on those Islands.

Some may scoff that the Amazons are skilled only with sharpened sticks but they could not be more wrong. The ranks of the Battlemaids are filled with a dizzying array of weapons of all types and sizes...


The Palazon[edit]

The Palazon is a PvM build capable, when fully equipped, of killing every single enemy in the game, and killing most without ever taking damage. This is not a cookie-cutter build that will mow down hordes of enemies in seconds, this is a build for those that savour the fight and enjoy killing things. This is also not a build that should be rushed, despite the temptation to get to your end-game gears, the power of this build comes out when it is given the chance to prove itself in a variety of combat situations, many of which would make most melee based builds pale at the thought of entering into battle (gloams, dolls, Oblivion Knights). There have been a number of times when my Palazons have been able to allow my party to pass areas filled with monsters that even a Sorc could not Teleport past. Before you have your final equipment killing is slow but never in doubt (except in the case of Cows and certain other Animal class enemies. Don't even waste your time killing Cows until you have your final equipment...basically because in the time it takes to clear the Moo Moo Farm you could probably find the Lo you need for your armour), this is because of the low damage output and is the reason for the choice of every single piece of equipment. Don't let this put you off though, you don't need to be doing massive damage to finish the game. This is a build that requires battle tactics to be effective and once these tactics are mastered nothing can stop you from killing your target.

What is a Palazon?[edit]

In previous patches the term Palazon usually referred to a Tankazon that wielded a sword or a sceptre. With the introduction of oSkills in 1.10, the term has taken on a specific meaning. Simply put, a Palazon is a Tankazon that uses a Paladin skill as her main attack. This is achieved by using the runewords Passion (Zeal and Berserk) or Kingslayer (Vengeance). This makes 3 possible builds that come under the heading of Palazon – Palazon Zealot (aka the Zealot Berserker), Palazon Avenger (aka the Kingslayer) and the general Palazon that uses both runewords (and is really only a slight variation to the Zealot). Of the three, the most viable is the Palazon Zealot, for reasons I will get to later, so I will concentrate on this build. I have never been totally comfortable with the term Palazon, because there is a unique Dark Stalker in Act 3 called Sarina Battlemaid that wields a sword and shield. The term Palazon is appropriate to an Amazon that uses Paladin skills but it’s not as sexy as Battlemaid, a term I now use to describe most other Tankazons that do not use Paladin skills (of which there are many).

Skills[edit]

This is the best skill set-up and is the one I use. This is not complete until level 99 but after about level 90 (if not earlier) it is just icing on the cake. The variations possible lessen your survivability (because you must sacrifice D/A/E) and require some different equipment choices. The two main variations are maxed Inner Sight and Critical Strike. I will not be going into these variations in much detail.

Inner Sight (level 1)[edit]

For use in Hell this is an all or nothing skill. If you decide to max it, you will require FCR equipment, which is a sacrifice in other, more important, mods on your equipment. If you max this skill you will be incapable of maxing the others. Even at level 9, which is the approximate level you will achieve with +skill items, it can be of some, limited, use in some situations. Hotkey it just in case.

  • 1 point (Den of Evil Quest reward).

Critical Strike (level 1)[edit]

While you may be tempted to invest a lot here (especially at early levels), by the time you reach Hell, your equipment should cover it. I put five points here, but you can get away with only one depending on your equipment early on. Remember that you can save 2 points until Act 4 where you get 2 "free" points for killing Izual, meaning you can save 2 points to put into Dodge earlier.

  • 1-5 points (as early as possible)

Dodge (level 6)[edit]

This is what it’s all about. Max this, despite diminishing returns (and you will see the difference), but not right away. What you need to do early on is balance your D/A/E so they have a similar % to kick in. If you saved points until Izual in CS put them here so you get to level 7 (42%) as soon as possible. Once all three skills on your Dodge tree are at a similar % alternate points between them, but max Dodge first and leave Evade until very last.

  • 20 points

Slow Missiles (level 12)[edit]

This one point wonder is an invaluable skill and you will use it whenever you come into contact with ranged attackers. Definitely have this one hotkeyed. Use the Radament Quest here as you won't really need it until Act 2.

  • 1 point (Radament Quest reward)

Avoid (level 12)[edit]

Much like Dodge, this will be maxed but not straight away. Take it to level 4 or 5 (41% - 45%) then move on to Penetrate. This is potentially the most troublesome of the three Dodge skills, if there are ranged attackers in the area you MUST cast Decoy followed by Slow Missiles.

  • 20 points

Penetrate (level 18)[edit]

By the time you reach level 18 you will start to see your chance to hit drop, for this reason this is the first skill you must max but save some points for your last three skills.

  • 20 points

Decoy (level 24)[edit]

Another essential skill for the build that needs to be hotkeyed for frequent use, put 5 points here. The reason you need those 5 points is that you need your decoy to have a decent lifespan for her to do her job. At level 5 she has a duration of 30 seconds and 50% more life than you do. Especially make use of this skill in conjunction with Slow Missiles for dealing with ranged attackers. As with the other skills you do not max, your equipment will make up for the lack of hard skills later in the game.

  • 5 points

Evade (level 24)[edit]

This is the last skill you should max, but is one of the most useful ones you have. Given the aggressive nature of the build Evade is not used for fleeing (shame on you!) but for extracting oneself from sticky situations and getting around skeletons and the like to the bosses that keep resurrecting them. Evade lets you perform feats of daring that would make a teleporter tremble at the knees. Depending on how far you wish to go you can leave this at level 15, only maxing it at level 99.

  • 15-20 points

Valkyrie (level 30)[edit]

Unlike other builds (except the Blondiezon, or whatever you want to call her, that maxes Critical Strike), the Palazon’s Valkyrie is about as close to being fully synergised as you can get, so you may as well make the most of her. Max this brutal babe and by the time you are doing Baalruns she will be killing Minions of Destruction on her own (albeit slowly). It really is up to you when to max her, but she needs to be maxed by Hell Act 2 at the latest. I take mine to level 5 before maxing Penetrate, then put two points into Valk for every one in D/A/E, making sure she gets there first (one point before Dodge). You can leave her at level 17 if you wish.

  • 17-20 points

Due to the diminishing returns inherent in the build and the difference between the percent to dodge missiles and melee at similar levels (level 10 Avoid is 55% whilst Dodge does not reach this until level 18), you need to balance the percentages, not the skill levels otherwise you will leave yourself open to one type of attack or the other. Some people refuse to see the benefits of maxing any Dodge skills because of the diminishing returns, but you will be well rewarded when you have enough +skills items to grant you 60% or more chance to Dodge. The best part of this is the ability to make WW Barbarians and Hammerdins cry because they cannot hit you .

Equipment[edit]

With the most recent batch of 23 Ladder-Only Runewords, the choice of Battlemaid equipment expanded in a big way, there are now literally dozens of variations, but the following equipment is the best set-up for a Palazon. Bare in mind your level requirements, you cannot equip an elite Passion until the early 60's, so you have to choose equipment that will get you to that point. Listed below are end-game equipment choices with some suggestions, based on what I used, for before you can get there.

Helm[edit]

Kira's Guardian, Tiara

  • Defense: 90-170 (varies)(Base Defense: 40-50)
  • Required Level: 77
  • Durability: 25
  • +50-120 Defense (varies)
  • +20% Faster Hit Recovery
  • Cannot Be Frozen
  • All Resistances +50-70 (varies)
  • (Ladder Only)

This is a much under-rated helm, put a Shael in it unless you can get that FHR from charms (you WILL miss that FHR if you don't get it elsewhere), in which case put a godly Rare 30%ed Jewel with +Strength, +AR in or a 40/15. Ideally you should be wearing Rockstopper before you get this.

Shield[edit]

Stormshield, Monarch

  • Defense: (136-504) - (151-519) (varies)(Base Defense: 133-148)
  • Required Level: 73
  • Required Strength: 156
  • Chance to Block: Pal: 77%, Ama/Asn/Bar: 72%, Dru/Nec/Sor: 67%
  • Paladin Smite Damage: 12 To 34
  • + (3.75 Per Character Level) 3-371 Defense (Based On Character Level)
  • +25% Increased Chance Of Blocking
  • 35% Faster Block Rate
  • Damage Reduced By 35%
  • Cold Resist +60%
  • Lightning Resist +25%
  • +30 To Strength
  • Attacker Takes Lightning Damage of 10
  • Indestructible

Old Faithful. Put an Um or Perfect Diamond in it. If you use Chains of Honour in combination with Kira's Guardian you can take a slightly different route and use this:

Shield[edit]

Phoenix, 4 Socket Shield

  • Vex + Vex + Lo + Jah
  • 100% Chance To Cast level 40 Blaze When You Level-up
  • 40% Chance To Cast Level 22 Firestorm On Striking
  • Level 13 Redemption Aura When Equipped
  • +350-400% Enhanced Damage (varies)
  • -28% To Enemy Fire Resistance
  • +350-400 Defense Vs. Missile (varies)
  • +50 To Life
  • +5% To Maximum Lightning Resist
  • +10% To Maximum Fire Resist
  • +15-21 Fire Absorb (varies)

The reasons for using Phoenix should be quite clear. Besides the huge damage boost you also get a Redemption Aura and an extremely high CtC Firestorm which makes for a lot of fireworks in combination with Zeal. Phoenix is also the basis of a variant build called the Acolyte of Hephaetrus (the Amazon God of Fire), where the Battlemaid equips all the Trang parts she can, Phoenix and Wizardspike. I won't go into it here, but this is the only true caster build possible for an Amazon, with max+ resists in hell and a devastating melee attack from her 400%ed Wizardspike.

Before you equip either Storm or Phoenix try and get a shield with FHR and good resists.

Weapon Switch[edit]

On switch you should use:

Medusa's Gaze, Aegis

  • Defense: 405-453 (varies)(Base Defense: 145-161)
  • Required Level: 76
  • Required Strength: 219
  • Chance to Block: Pal: 54%, Ama/Asn/Bar: 49%, Dru/Nec/Sor: 44%
  • Durability: 92
  • Paladin Smite Damage: 18 To 28
  • +150-180% Enhanced Defense (varies)
  • 5-9% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies)
  • Slows Target By 20%
  • Cold Resist +40-80% (varies)
  • 10% Chance To Cast Level 7 Lower Resist When Struck
  • 100% Chance To Cast Level 44 Nova When You Die

Medusa's Gaze is used in conjunction with your back-up attack, unfortunately you won't get hit often enough for the CtC Lower Resist to kick in but it does happen occasionally. The main reason to use this shield is the Slow Target and the Life Leech (80% Cold Resist doesn't hurt either when you go pvp vs a Cold Sorc). Medusa is used in conjunction with:

Gimmershred, Flying Axe

  • Throw Damage: (39-46) To (171-204) (105-125 Avg)
  • One-Hand Damage: (44-52) To (169-201) (106.5-126.5 Avg)
  • Required Level: 70
  • Required Strength: 88
  • Required Dexterity: 108
  • Base Weapon Speed: [10]
  • Max Stack: (240)
  • +160-210% Enhanced Damage (varies)
  • Adds 218-483 Fire Damage
  • Adds 29-501 Lightning Damage
  • Adds 176-397 Cold Damage, 4 sec. Duration (Normal)
  • +30% Increased Attack Speed
  • Increased Stack Size [60]

Why Gimmershred? Well, a Palazon fears nothing but she also is not as stupid as a Barbarian. The Gimmershred was originally chosen to deal with the presence of Oblivion Knights, there is no better way to deal with being under the effects of Iron Maiden than to switch to a throwing weapon. I later found out that Berzerk makes you immune to the effects of Iron Maiden so the Gimmers nearly became redundant. However, they did not and have remained essential equipment. The Palazon requires little to no mana (if you run out of mana it is usually sufficient to pick up a pot dropped by a nearby recently slain beastie), unfortunately some things that deserve to be Berzerked are also mana burners (don't ever try to Berserk a Mana Burning Unique Oblivion Knight), such as ghosts and the only way to deal with them is a high elemental thrown weapon. Gimmer also makes for an effective pvp weapon as it will usually do slightly more damage than Passion.

Amulet[edit]

For an amulet you basically have two choices:

Highlord's Wrath

  • Required Level: 65
  • +1 To All Skill Levels
  • 20% Increased Attack Speed
  • + (0.375 Per Character Level) 0-37 % Deadly Strike (Based On Character Level)
  • Lightning Resist +35%
  • Adds 1-30 Lightning Damage
  • Attacker Takes Lightning Damage Of 15

IAS is not necessary to this build, but I know some people can't live without it and it is nice to have if you can fit it in somewhere. This is probably the best amulet to use if you are going to wear Duress (which has become a rather redundant, though still cheap in comparison, armour when compared to Fortitude) and not put points into Critical Strike. You will, however, need to make up +1 All Skills from elsewhere which is why the best choice of amulet is:

Seraph's Hymn

  • Required Level: 65
  • +2 To All Skill Levels
  • +1-2 To Defensive Auras (Paladin Only) (varies)
  • +20-50% Damage To Demons (varies)
  • +150-250 To Attack Rating Against Demons (varies)
  • +20-50% Damage To Undead (varies)
  • +150-250 To Attack Rating Against Undead (varies)
  • +2 To Light Radius
  • (Ladder Only)

This is the ideal amulet for this build and because you don't need the +2 Defensive Auras you can usually get a near perfect damage/AR one for pretty cheap. Highlord's can potentially add more damage but it is inconsistent and only has +1 All Skills (which you need to maximise your Zeal and Berzerk), besides it doesn't have the essential AR bonuses. Which brings us to rings. The biggest problem with the Palazon is getting a high AR (which is why you may want to max Inner Sight, which effectively increases your AR, at a sacrifice of D/A/E...up to you) and the usual solution to this problem is to equip at least one Ravenfrost, but there are a number of problems with this. The first problem is that Ravenfrost adds up to +20 Dexterity, which increases your chance to block which, in turn, can cause block recovery issues (they are not as bad as some would have you believe but can be slightly annoying at times). The second problem is that Ravenfrost gives you CBF and you already have a source of that from Kira. The third problem is that you MUST have +All Skills from a number of sources, a level 1 Zeal or Berzerk is next to useless.

Rings[edit]

Bul-Kathos' Wedding Band

  • Required Level: 58
  • +1 To All Skill Levels
  • + (0.5 Per Character Level) 0-49 To Life (Based On Character Level)
  • 3-5% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies)
  • +50 Maximum Stamina

Pretty simple. You could wear two of these if you have sufficient charms to max your poison resist, but a better solution to this is:

Carrion Wind

  • Required Level: 60
  • 10% Chance To Cast Level 10 Poison Nova When Struck
  • 8% Chance To Cast Level 13 Twister On Striking
  • 6-9% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies)
  • +100-160 Defense Vs. Missile (varies)
  • Poison Resist +55%
  • 10% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
  • Level 21 Poison Creeper (15 Charges)

This is a very good ring for a Palazon for a number of reasons. The first, already mentioned, is to enable you to max your Poison Resist (the only resist lacking on Stormshield). Second, it has great Life Leech which is good for the odd occasion when you do take a hit and essential for fighting Stygian Dolls. The procing skills (which kick in frequently with Zeal and when you are surrounded) add to your offence and the +Def vs Missiles helps with pesky archers which can cause problems until you get Fortitude. The Poison Creeper is also a bit of fun, enabling you to have four minions including Valk and Merc, but doesn't do a whole hell of a lot in Hell other than provide a brief distraction.

Belt[edit]

For belts you have two choices:

String of Ears, Demonhide Sash

  • Defense: 102-113 (varies)(Base Defense: 29-34)
  • Required Level: 29
  • Required Strength: 20
  • Durability: 22
  • 16 Boxes
  • +150-180% Enhanced Defense (varies)
  • +15 Defense
  • 6-8% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies)
  • Damage Reduced By 10-15% (varies)
  • Magic Damage Reduced 10-15 (varies)

I keep one of these in my stash for fighting Dolls, the extra life leech makes a big difference in surviveability, but my usual belt is:

Verdungo's Hearty Cord, Mithril Coil

  • Defense: 125-158 (Defense: 58-65)
  • Required Level: 63
  • Required Strength: 106
  • Durability: 16
  • 16 Boxes
  • +90-140% Enhanced Defense (varies)
  • 10% Faster Hit Recovery
  • +30-40 To Vitality (varies)
  • Replenish Life +10-13 (varies)
  • +100-120 Maximum Stamina (varies)
  • Damage Reduced By 10-15% (varies)

Verdungo wins in the end because of it's FHR and Vitality, in most situations the Life Replenish mod takes care of any damage you take and don't leech back from ring sources. If, for any reason, you can't get either of these belts use Nosferatu's Coil. It has Life Leech and the Slows Target is useful, as is the +15 Strength which adds to your damage.

Boots[edit]

Gore Rider, War Boots

  • Defense: 140-162 (varies)(Base Defense: 43-53)
  • Required Level: 47
  • Required Strength: 94
  • Durability: 34
  • Assassin Kick Damage: 39-80
  • +160-200% Enhanced Defense (varies)
  • 30% Faster Run/Walk
  • 10% Chance Of Open Wounds
  • 15% Chance Of Crushing Blow
  • 15% Deadly Strike
  • Requirements -25%
  • +20 Maximum Stamina

Again, Old Faithful. This is what I use but you could also make full use of:

War Traveler, Battle Boots

  • Defense: 120-139 (varies)(Base Defense: 39-47)
  • Required Level: 42
  • Required Strength: 95
  • Durability: 48
  • Assassin Kick Damage: 37-64
  • +150-190% Enhanced Defense (varies)
  • 25% Faster Run/Walk
  • +10 To Vitality
  • +10 To Strength
  • Adds 15-25 Damage
  • 40% Slower Stamina Drain
  • Attacker Takes Damage Of 5-10 (varies)
  • 30-50% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items(varies)

War Travellers are good because they increase your damage via Strength and directly via the Adds Damage mod which equals 45-75 when wearing Fortitude. Besides, a small amount of MF never hurt anyone. I still prefer to use the Gores though because of the Crushing Blow and Open Wounds.

Gloves[edit]

You have a few main choices in gloves as well as rare +Passive or Crafted Blood Gloves. You would want to have some incredibly godly Rare or crafted gloves to pass up the following though:

Laying of Hands, Bramble Mitts

  • Defense: 79-87 (varies)(Base Defense: 54-62)
  • Required Level: 63
  • Required Strength: 50
  • Durability: 12
  • +25 Defense
  • +20% Increased Attack Speed
  • +350% Damage To Demons
  • Fire Resist +50%
  • 10% Chance To Cast Level 3 Holy Bolt On Striking

Without a doubt the best gloves you could use, the +350%ed to Demons is noticeable as soon as you equip them. The IAS and Fire Resist don't hurt either. The CtC Holy Bolt comes in handy in tombs etc but for areas heavily populated by the Undead use:

Gravepalm, Sharkskin Gloves

  • Defense: 96-112 (varies) (Base Defense: 33-39)
  • Required Level: 32
  • Required Strength: 20
  • Durability: 14
  • +140-180% Enhanced Defense (varies)
  • +100-200% Damage To Undead (varies)
  • +100-200 To Attack Rating Against Undead(varies)

+10 To Energy +10 To Strength

Ghoulhide could also serve this purpose but does not offer +Strength, has lower (scaling) damage to Undead and you have no need for Mana Leech. I actually never bother swapping gloves and always use the LoH.

Two other gloves that deserve attention are:

Dracul's Grasp, Vampirebone Gloves

  • Defense: 125-145 (Base Defense: 56-65)
  • Required Level: 76
  • Required Strength: 50
  • +90-120% Enhanced Defense (varies)
  • +10-15 To Strength (varies)
  • +5-10 Life After Each Kill (varies)
  • 25% Chance of Open Wounds
  • 7-10% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies)
  • 5% Chance To Cast Level 10 Life Tap On Striking

Steelrend, Ogre Gauntlets

  • Defense: 232-281 (Base Defense: 62-71)
  • Required Level: 70
  • Required Strength: 185
  • Durability: 24
  • +170-210 Defense (varies)
  • +30-60% Enhanced Damage(varies)
  • 10% Chance of Crushing Blow
  • +15-20 To Strength (varies)

Both offer a hefty damage boost via +Strength bonuses and both offer a different offensive mod in the form of Open Wounds or Crushing Blow. Steelrend are obviously better than Dracul's for the 30-60%ed. The various life mods on Dracul's Grasp are not necessary, however welcome, though the Life Tap may come in handy for keeping your Merc alive if he is weak. Neither of these gloves can really compare, in a PvM environment, with the 350% Damage to Demons offered by LoH, but they do play a part in variant builds (Dracul's is used by a Bloodmaid, which specialises in Open Wounds while Steelrend is used by the high damage/armour/life Tankazon).

Armor[edit]

As for Armour there are several choices available, all of which are viable end-game alternatives. Far and away the most outstanding armour you can choose is:

Fortitude, 4 Socket Body Armor
El + Sol + Dol + Lo

  • 20% Chance To Cast Level 15 Chilling Armor when Struck
  • +25% Faster Cast Rate
  • +300% Enhanced Damage
  • +200% Enhanced Defense
  • +15 Defense
  • +(1-1.5)-(99-148.5) To Life (Based on Character Level)
  • Replenish Life +7
  • +5% To Maximum Lightning Resist
  • All Resistances +25-30 (varies)
  • Damage Reduced By 7
  • 12% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
  • +1 To Light Radius

The reason for choosing this armour is quite obvious, but the 300%ed is not the only reason. Fortitude gives an extra 7% Life Replenish which is good combined with Verdungo. All Resists are always useful but in this case they are just there for stacking in case something or someone has a Conviction Aura on you. The +5% Maximum Lightning Resist is welcome for going toe-to-toe with those unique Gloams. Aside from the 300%ed the best reason to choose this armour is the CtC Chilling Armour. One of the problems with Avoid is the fact that if you are ambushed by Archers in Act 5 you will spend all your time Avoiding arrows and not being able to cast a Decoy until you move. Chilling Armour solves this problem by adding a layer of armour that is calculated before your chance to Avoid or Block. Since equipping Fortitude I have cast Decoy and Slow Missiles half as often as formerly. Put your Fortitude, or other runeword armour, in a Balrog Skin for a Sexyzon . Second choice to Fortitude is:

Chains of Honor
4 Socket Body Armor <br< Dol + Um + Ber + Ist

  • +2 To All Skills
  • +200% Damage To Demons
  • +100% Damage To Undead
  • 8% Life Stolen Per Hit
  • +70% Enhanced Defense
  • +20 To Strength
  • Replenish Life +7
  • All Resistances +65
  • Damage Reduced By 8%
  • 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Before Fortitude came along this was the perfect Palazon armour, is is still a damn fine armour for any melee build but Fortitude does 300%ed to ALL enemies (including animals and other players). This is, however, the armour you should use if you deviate from my setup and don't wear Kira. It has a nice +20 Strength which becomes a decent damage bonus and the always useful Life Replenish and Leech mods. The Damage reduction is only useful if you are using a Phoenix Shield and therefore don't have max (50%) DR. Again, this armour is a part of one of the major Battlemaid variants possible with all the new runewords.

Duress
3 Socket Body Armour
Shael + Um + Thul

  • +40% Faster Hit Recovery
  • +10-20% Enhanced Damage (varies)
  • Adds 37-133 Cold Damage
  • 15% Chance of Crushing Blow
  • 33% Chance of Open Wounds
  • +150-200% Enchanced Defense (varies)
  • -20% Slower Stamina Drain
  • Cold Resist +45%
  • Lightning Resist +15%
  • Fire Resist +15%
  • Poison Resist +15%

Essentially, now, Duress is the poor man's version of CoH and Fortitude, but this by no means makes it a bad armour. My Season 1 Palazon used this armour to great effect simply because I couldn't afford a CoH. Of particular importance here, of course, are the damage mods, but also the 40% FHR and the resists which become stacked. This is the armour worn by Bloodmaids.

If you can't afford a runeword the best Unique Armours are:

Arkaine's Valor, Balrog Skin

  • Defense: 1295-1450 (varies)(Base Defense: 410-517)
  • Required Level: 85
  • Required Strength: 165
  • Durability: 30
  • +150-180% Enhanced Defense (varies)
  • +1-2 To All Skills* (varies)
  • + (0.5 Per Character Level) 0-49 To Vitality (Based On Character Level)
  • 30% Faster Hit Recovery
  • Damage Reduced By 10-15 (varies)

I always use a +2 Valour before I can get a Runeword, Season 2 I was lucky enough to have found my Valour early on and a 15% All Resist Jewel to put in it, which my MFTrapsin now wears. Another armour of particular note is:

Leviathan, Kraken Shell

  • Defense: 1514-1722 (varies)(Base Defense: 417-523)
  • Required Level: 65
  • Required Strength: 174
  • +170-200% Enhanced Defense (varies)
  • +100-150 Defense (varies)
  • +40-50 To Strength (varies)
  • Damage Reduced By 15-25% (varies)
  • Indestructible
  • (Ladder Only)

Here you are more concerned with getting max +Strength than DR, because you should already have max DR from Storm and Verdungo. Templar's and Tyrael's Might are also options. Personally I prefer to have a Zon that has style as well as substance so I don't go past a Balrog Skin.

Before the elites become available there are some other armours that deserve special mention:

Spirit Forge, Linked Mail

  • Defense: 380-449 (varies)(Base Defense: 158-172)
  • Required Level: 35
  • Required Strength: 74
  • Durability: 26
  • +120-160% Enhanced Defense (varies)
  • + (1.25 Per Character Level) 1-123 Life (Based On Character Level)
  • Fire Resist +5%
  • Adds 20-65 Fire Damage
  • +15 To Strength
  • Sockets (2)
  • +4 To Light Radius

Black Hades, Chaos Armor

  • Defense: 823-1029 (varies)(Base Defense: 315-342)
  • Required Level: 53
  • Required Strength: 140
  • Durability: 70
  • +140-200% Enhanced Defense (varies)
  • +30-60% Damage To Demons (varies)
  • +200-250 To Attack Rating Against Demons (varies)
  • Half Freeze Duration
  • Gem Socket (3)
  • -2 To Light Radius

Rare +15-25% jewels are fairly common and are a suitable level to go into either of these armours. Note that both of these provide damage mods from Strength and Fire in Spirit Forge and %ed/AR in Black Hades. But far and away the most useful low level armour I found to use was this:

Rattlecage, Gothic Plate

  • Defense: 328-335 (varies)(Base Defense: 128-135)
  • Required Level: 29
  • Required Strength: 70
  • Durability: 55
  • +200 Defense
  • 25% Chance of Crushing Blow
  • Hit Causes Monster To Flee 40%
  • +45 To Attack Rating

Now, don't laugh. I made it through most of Hell wearing an ETH Rattlecage which didn't end up breaking until around about Baalrun 200. I swapped to Crow Caw, Toothrow, Spirit Forge, Black Hades and a couple of Rares but I came back to the lowly Rattlecage. The reason for this is primarily the Crushing Blow but also the Hit causes Monster to Flee, a mod that is essential to learn to use if you want to wield Passion. After giving up my Rattlecage, which I had been using with Passion for quite a while, I actually missed the superb crowd control that Rattlecage offers. This is where your thrown switch weapon comes in. Before I could equip Gimmershreds or even Passion, I used Deathbit for those times I didn't want to get too close (like Holy Freeze or Iron Maiden situations) and for those that are fleeing. With enough Open Wounds and poison the monsters that flee rarely return and a swiftly thrown dagger or axe in the back makes it doubly sure. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THIS MOD. You may think that Zeal is your main form of crowd control, it is not. When you are surrounded by 20 Flayers Zeal will not help you. Hit Causes Monster to Flee thins out any crowd, but you have to learn to use it properly and I will get to this later. The biggest drawback to wearing Rattlecage is the fact it turns you into a Fuglyzon, especially if you're also wearing Rockstopper, but have no fear because a Palazon is like the Ugly Duckling, when she grows up she's the sexiest babe on the realms.

Wherever possible, and affordable, you should upgrade all your equipment to the Elite version.

Weapons[edit]

Now we come to the business end of the Palazon's equipment:

Passion
4 Socket Weapons
Dol + Ort + Eld + Lem

  • +25% Increased Attack Speed
  • +160-210% Enhanced Damage
  • 50-80% Bonus To Attack Rating (varies)
  • +75% Damage To Undead
  • +50 To Attack Rating Against Undead
  • Adds 1-50 Lightning Damage
  • +1 To Berserk
  • +1 To Zeal
  • Hit Blinds Target +10
  • Hit Causes Monster To Flee 25%
  • 75% Extra Gold From Monsters
  • Level 3 Heart of Wolverine (12 Charges)

Take careful note of all the mods on this runeword. One could be forgiven for thinking it was designed specifically with the Amazon in mind, no other character can take full advantage of this weapon like an Amazon can (in the same way that no other character can make full use of Kingslayer like a Sorc). Certainly, it is not a high damage weapon but this is the reason the Palazon's gear has so much %damage to Demons/Undead and other damage enhancing mods. As well as your obvious offensive mods in the form of oSkills and Heart of Wolverine (which isn't very strong but is a helpful boost), you also get some useful defensive mods from Blind Target and Hit Causes Monster to Flee. In order to make the most of this weapon you must have +All Skills items from rings, amulets and armour (as well as an Annihilus) because neither Zeal nor Berzerk are very useful below level 5. You have six choices of one hand weapons to make Passion in:

  • Conquest Sword
  • Phaseblade
  • Cryptic Sword
  • Scourge
  • Legendary Mallet
  • Berzerker Axe

The Phase Blade is usually someone's first choice, but it is actually not that good, a Phase Blade's maximum damage is less than the average damage of all other choices and around half their maximums, it's also pretty ugly. A Conquest sword is as fast as a Berzerker Axe with a slightly lower average damage but it doesn't look as good as a Cryptic Sword. The Legendary Mallet has the highest average damage but is incredibly slow which lessens it's effectiveness, it doesn't look too bad though. My choice is the Cryptic Sword, it is as fast as a Scourge with a similar average damage to one and a slightly lower average than a Berzerker Axe, besides, in the style department it absolutely cannot be beaten. In the damage department a Berzerker Axe is second only to the Legendary Mallet, but it is also the (equal) second slowest and looks really, really stupid in the hands of any class, especially a Zon (and you already have that graphic on switch). The absolute best weapon to make Passion in is a Scourge. It is nicely balanced being fast with a decent average damage but the best reason is the innate 50% Damage to Undead, invaluable for this build.

Charms[edit]

As far as charms are concerned, aside from Annihilus try and get some Passive/FHR charms and then whatever other dual mod Passive GC's you want but leave room for some good dual mod Bloody (+3 Min) and Sharp (+49-76 AR/+7-10 Max) GC's. If you don't require resists in the form of charms this leaves you open to fill up the rest of your inventory with a good mix of assorted elemental damage SC's, the best being poison (you should aim for around 500 poison damage to be effective in Hell) and cold (each cold sc adds 1 second chill to your target so it is defensive as well as offensive). When looking for dual mod charms of any size always take Attack Rating over anything else but be sure to have as many assorted damage charms as you can as well as a few FHR charms.


My Equipment[edit]

So there are your choices and this is what I use:

Sera Braveblade
Level 97

  • Shael'd 70% Kira's Guardian
  • Seraph's Hymn
  • Passion Cryptic Sword
  • Fortitude (Superior ed) Balrog Skin
  • PDiamond Stormshield
  • Laying of Hands
  • Bul-Kathos' Wedding Band
  • Verdungo's Hearty Cord
  • Carrion Wind
  • Goreriders
  • Gimmershreds
  • Medusa's Gaze
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