Smiter by Lebannen
This guide is for the casual gamer and has been created in consideration of those who lack the resources and time to obtain the more expensive items of Diablo II: Lords of Destruction.
A Little About Me
With Paladin being my favorite class, I sought to experiment with all kinds of Paladin builds. I've played as the oh-so-popular Hammerdin to Kitriara’s Frost Zealot. But it is safe for me to say that Smiter has been my favorite build so far, as it is self-reliant, powerful, and notably the only class that can solo Diablo Clone.
A Little About the Smiter
This build is a sturdy class capable of handling monsters, other players, and Bosses. Contrary to the phrase "A good offense is a good defense," a Smiter's defense has a direct influence on its attack power. With that in mind, let's read on.
Stat Point Allocation
Template:Build Attributes (Diablo II) Strength: As much as you need to wear all of your current gear. Dexterity: As much as you need to achieve Max Block (75%). Vitality: All other stat points should go here. Energy: Don't spend a single drop here. Smite only uses 2 MP per use.
Something to Aim For
20 Holy Shield (top priority) 1 Holy Bolt 1 Blessed Hammer 1 Charge 20 Smite (put points here after Holy Shield is maxed) 20 Fanaticism (put points here after maxing out Holy Shield and Smite) 1 Might 1 Blessed Aim 1 Concentration
A Fork in the Road
As you can see, the above suggested skill choices can be completed when you are of mid-level. I now leave you with the option to decide on how you would like to use the remaining skill points. I’ll list a few recommendations. 5-15 Resist Fire (provides passive Fire resistance) 5-15 Resist Cold (provides passive Cold resistance) 5-15 Resist Lightning (provides passive Lightning resistance) 1 Prayer (not very effective at higher levels) 1 Cleansing (useful for Andy runs at lower levels) 1 Meditation (an Act II Mercenary with the Insight runeword could take care of this; not very useful as Smite only uses 2 MP per use) 1 Salvation (provides high elemental bonuses when active but provides no passive bonuses) 1 Redemption (alternative way of healing as opposed to using HP Potions; prevents monster resurrection) 1 Defiance (good for those sticky situations, however, the number of monsters that ignore target defense increase in Hell)
A fellow Smiter of mine would also like to point out that while Fanaticism grants God-like speed, Concentration offers more Smite damage. Food for thought.
A Little Note
Before your character has access to Holy Shield, things are going to be very tough for your little Smiter. He will be unable to target multiple enemies and probably won’t have enough Increased Attack Speed (IAS) to make up for it. Nor will he have the elemental resistance he needs. With that being said, I recommend first going with a Zealer build of sorts and then reallocating your stat points with Akara (from Act I; this option will be available to you after you cleanse the Den of Evil) once you are of more appropriate level and have better equipment. Also, Smiter’s dish out purely Physical damage. This makes them unable to damage Physical Immune monsters. You have a few options when going against PIs: Get a weapon with +Magic Damage and/or +Elemental Damage. Sure, you won’t be able to kill them off as quickly, but it works. Get help from other party members. Shouldn’t be a problem in games with 2 or more persons. Let your Mercenary take care of it. Shouldn’t be a problem unless your Mercenary is also purely Physical. Run away, if possible. Better than dying in vain.
Dressing For Battle
As a Smiter, your focus should be on the following modifiers: Increased Attack Speed (IAS) - Even though you will be attacking with your shield, IAS from any of your equipment will affect how quickly you can smite your opponents. This is very helpful as it makes up for the Smiter’s inability to target multiple targets at once. Crushing Blow (CB) - This is a total Boss killer. Removes a percentage of the enemy’s HP. What’s best about it is that Crushing Blow is that it is added onto your Smite attack, unlike Deadly Strike and Open Wounds. +# to Skills - This is very helpful for obvious reasons. It will improve the damage of your Smite, the effectiveness of your Holy Shield, and the potency of your auras. Increased Block Rate/Chance - When going head-to-head with Bosses of sorts, Blocking is a life-saver, especially when you’re up against “Ignore Target Defense” monsters. +Magic/Elemental Damage - This will be your only hope of defeating Physical Immunes (PIs). *shudders* Cannot be Frozen - What’s more annoying than being slowed down by the Cold, laying waste to all that IAS you’ve built up?
What to Wear?
I’ll list a few items for each category. Items are listed in no particular order. Bolded items are Unique. Italics indicate Set items.
Heaven’s Light (offers +2-3 to all Paladin skills, 33% Crushing Blow, and is a fast weapon by default) Lightsabre or Azurewrath (has large bonuses to Magic Damage and Lighting/Cold damage; also known to be VERY fast) Spirit [Runeword] (offers +2 to all skills) Flails (very fast and easily socketable; found most commonly at Fara in Act II)
Guardian Angel (offers +1 to all Paladin skills, significant blocking bonuses, other modifiers) Twitchthroe (offers 20% IAS, 25% increased chance to block, other modifiers) Silks of the Victor (+1 to all skills with other modifiers) Treachery [Runeword] (offers 40% IAS as well as a chance to activate Venom, helpful against PIs, and Fade, which offers a sizable resistance boost) The Spirit Shroud (+1 to all skills, Cannot be Frozen, includes other modifiers) Skin of the Vipermagi (+1 to all skills, +20-35 Resistances, and other modifiers) Arkaine’s Valor (+1-2 to all skills and other modifiers)
Herald of Zakarum (+50 Resistances, +2 to Paladin skills, +2 Paladin Combat skills, and other modifiers) Alma Negra (+1-2 Paladin skills, significant bonuses to blocking, and other modifiers) Spiked Shields (offers higher Smite damage; found usually at Drognan in Act II) Paladin Shields (usually with nice modifiers and other bonuses)
Andariel’s Visage (+2 to all skills, 20% IAS, very high Poison resistance, but lowers your Fire resistance by 30, includes other modifiers) Guillaume's Face (has Crushing Blow and other modifiers) Lore [Runeword] (+1 to all skills and other modifiers) Tarnhelm (+1 to all skills and other modifiers) Peasant Crown (+1 to all skills, 15% Increased Walk/Run Speed, and other modifiers) Harlequin Crest (+2 to all skills and other modifiers) Nightwing’s Veil (+2 to all skills, Half Freeze Duration, and other modifiers) Crown of Ages (+1 to all skills, +20-30 Resistances, and other modifiers)
Lava Gout (20% IAS with other modifiers) Sander’s Taboo (20% IAS with other modifiers) Bloodfist (10% IAS with other modifiers)
Goblin Toe (25% Crushing Blow and other modifiers) Gore Rider (15% Crushing Blow, 30% Increased Walk/Run Speed, and other modifiers)
Goldwrap (10% IAS with other modifiers) Arachnid Mesh (+1 to all skills with other modifiers) Nosferatu’s Coil (10% IAS with other modifiers)
Mara’s Kaleidoscope (+2 to all skills, bonuses to Resistance, and other modifiers) Highlord’s Wrath (+1 to all skills, 20% IAS, and other modifiers) The Eye of Etlich (+1 to all skills with other modifiers) The Cat’s Eye (20% IAS, 30% Increased Walk/Run Speed) Seraph’s Hymn (+2 to all skills, +1-2 to Defensive Paladin Auras, and other modifiers)
Stone of Jordan (+1 to all skills with other modifiers) Raven Frost (Cannot be Frozen with other modifiers) Bul-Kathos’ Wedding Band (+1 to all skills with other modifiers)
Battle Tips 101
Smiters are generally built for 1 on 1 battles, such as Boss battles and PvPing. And, in that sense, they are highly effective. But what about PvM? Here’s a little something for you: Smite has both Stun and Knockback. The Stun is generally very useful, as you’ll be pounding away at a target who has no chance to react in between hits. Knockback is a double-edged sword for a Smiter. With each Smite, the target is pushed backwards, something that may or may not be beneficial. When you want to get rid of an enemy fast, the knockback will force you as the Smiter to run up to the opponent each and every single time. On the contrary, when swarmed with a bunch of monsters, knocking back a bunch of monsters could, in fact, save your life. It allows breathing room for both you, the Smiter, and your target.
To prevent being forced to run after your smited opponents, I usually team up with a Necromancer who has Bone Prison. The Necromancer would cast Bone Prison on the monster when I, the Smiter, is head-to-head with it. It provides a cage match scenario, where I would pin the monster upon the Bone Prison and pound away. Of course, not always would you find a Necromancer so willing and patient, so I would recommend attacking a monster from an angle so that eventually it’d be pinned up onto a wall or barrier.