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"Diablo 2": Non-Dream Tesladin Build Guide

Arc is a self-help author/speaker and AI thinker. He also make apps as a side hustle.

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Dual Dream Paladin is one of the most powerful and versatile builds in the game that can take out any kind of enemies. But the catch of dual dream is that it's extremely difficult to acquire the necessary runes. At the time of this writing, I'm also one of those unlucky majority who still can't get a single Jah rune drop. Because of that, I'm forced to finish hell difficulty using my non-dream Tesladin, which what this article is all about.

Although it's difficult, you can still finish the hell difficulty by only relying on lightning damage from Holy Shock and physical damage from Zeal. All it takes is a proper build, tactical positioning, knowing when to retreat, and to out level your enemies. Items drops has no certainty, but leveling up is certain. That's why another important factor that you should never underestimate is the advantage of leveling up your character. The higher the level, the better chance that you can hit your enemies and less likely for them to hit your character.

During hell difficulty, whenever I find the area difficult to finish, I create new game and go back to previous areas to both farm items and level-up. I also do pit runs to get high level loots and better experience.

In case you're curious, my budget tesladin is level 84 when I finished hell difficulty. Also, at the time of this writing, I'm playing the game on Nintendo Switch.


Attributes

  • Strength: Enough to equip the necessary gear. In my case, I put 109 to strength. All points that is placed here won't be wasted since it will contribute to your Zeal's physical damage.
  • Dexterity: I place 136 to meet the necessary requirement for Phase Blade (the best weapon for fast attackers). Dexterity also contributes well to attack rating and chance to block.
  • Vitality: Put the majority of your points here to increase your life. The more life your character has, the better the chance to survive on difficulty enemies.
  • Energy: Do not waste any points here.


Skills

  • Holy Shock (20 points): The main single and aoe damage dealer for the build.
  • Resist Lightning (20 points): Increases the damage of Holy Shock by 12% per point.
  • Salvation (20 points): Increase the damage of Holy Shock by 4% per point.
  • Zeal (20 points): The main attack that triggers Holy Shock single target damage. Maxing Zeal after Holy Shock ensures that you have more attack rating to hit enemies often.
  • Sacrifice (20 points): Increases the physical damage dealt by Zeal.
  • Charge (1 point): Gap closer skill.
  • Holy Shield (1 point): An amazing 1 point wonder that makes it easy for your character to reach max block. It also increases defense. Your +skill items will take care of the rest.
  • Resist Fire (1 point): 1 point wonder to passively increase some fire resistance. Your +skill items will take care of the rest.
  • Resist Cold (1 point): 1 point wonder to passive increase some cold resistance. Your +skill items will take care of the rest.

1 skill point prerequisites

  • Might
  • Holy Fire
  • Holy Freeze
  • Holy Bolt
  • Blessed Hammer
  • Smite


Equipment

In this section, I'll show my current gear and some previously used gear the first time I finished hell difficulty.

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Crescent Moon Phase Blade

An easy to construct but powerful runeword. Crescent Moon's main attributes is the -35% to enemy lightning resist that makes your already powerful Holy Shock more devastating. Ignore Target's Defense is also very useful since it let's you hit more often. Then the chance to cast static field is very useful to quickly finish bosses. The runeword is best put on Phase Blade that allows you to attack at lightning speed.


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Voice of Reason Phase Blade

I use Voice of Reason when it requires me to clear an area filled with lightning immune enemies. The main attribute of this runeword is the chance to cast frozen orb. It may not be as powerful as the one from sorceress class but this one allows you to spam and fill-up the screen with frozen orbs, thanks to the build's fast attack speed. The other main attribute to take note of is the cannot be frozen, chance to cast ice blast, and -24% to cold resistance.

If you're planning to use Voice of Reason as primary weapon, I suggest that you stuck up increase attack speed (that's why I attach the runes on Phase Blade) and attack rating to increase the chance of frozen orb proc.


Crescent Moon vs Voice of Reason

In situations wherein you don't have issues with immunity. Or your choosing what to prioritize because of limited runes available. Then you're wondering which of the two runewords is better for the build. Well the answer is still crescent moon since your primary damage is lightning from Holy Shock. The attack speed of crescent moon is also faster and ignore defense lets you hit often. I tested it a lot of times and mobs die in a blink of an eye with crescent moon.

Voice of Reason excels when you already out level your enemies since your attacks will rarely missed allowing multiple frozen orb procs, which can cleanup mobs better and does better in crowd control.


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Spirit Sacred Rondache with +37% to All Resistance

The main attribute that I need from Spirit is the +2 to all skills, +35% to cold resistance, lightning resistance, and poison resistance, and the +22 to vitality.

I'm lucky enough to get a sacred rondache with +37% to all resistance. This gave me a powerful resistance boost shield with +2 to all skills, as shown on above screenshot.


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Smoke Great Hauberk (Previously)

I previously resorted to smoke runeword back when I have difficulty increasing my all resistance. It was effective enough that I finished hell Baal for the first time wearing this body armor.

I used a superior great hauberk with more defense.

This is the cheapest way to boost all resistance.


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Guardian Angel

Guardian Angel increases the maximum allowed resistance of my paladin. So most of the gear I put increases my all resistance.

The +1 to all paladin skill is also very helpful.


The build's current resistances, plus the absorb allows my character to tank almost any kind of enemies.

The build's current resistances, plus the absorb allows my character to tank almost any kind of enemies.

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Kira's Guardian Tiara

I equipped kira's guardian to accommodate the lost resistances when I gave up smoke for guardian angel. It allows me to achieve the 90% - 95% all resistance.


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Guillaume's Face Winged Helm (Previously)

This is the helm that I'm previously wearing and offers pretty powerful offensive bonuses. I finished hell Baal for the first time wearing this.


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Mara's Kaleidoscope Amulet

A very powerful and versatile amulet.

I'm lucky that this item drops, but not lucky enough to get a good rolls on its attributes (still I'm not complaining). Before, I'm only using a crafted +1 to paladin skills amulet.


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Dracul's Grasp Vampirebone Gloves

The best gloves for life sustainability. The gloves also gives generous offensive capabilities.

Before, I'm only using a crafted gloves with life stolen per hit and chance of crushing blow which I wore until my first time defeating hell Baal.


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Thundergod's Vigor War Belt

Thundergod's vigor combined with my max 95% lightning resistance allows me to just stand and let enemies shoot their lightning. Actually it heals my character instead.

Another good thing about this belt is the +20 to Strength and Vitality.


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Gore Rider War Boots

My paladin is lucky enough to get this item on act 3 nightmare. This is the best all around offensive boots for melee zealer. It also allows your character to run faster.


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Raven frost's most important attribute is the cannot be frozen and the cold absorb. Then I also have 90% cold resistance.

Believe it or not, my first raven frost also drop during nightmare difficulty on act 3. The same run when my gore rider boots drop as well.


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A good defensive ring giving +40 to life and some reduced magic damage taken. More importantly, it has 15% fire absorb, which adds to my already 90% fire resistance.


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Unfortunately for me, I only have 2 grand charms with + to all skills so far. Hoping I can get more in the future. I'm still not lucky enough to get torch for my paladin on ubers.


Mercenary equipment

My paladin also owe it to the assistance of a well equipped act 2 mercenary. On this part I'll show the current equipment of my mercenary.


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Obedience Ethereal Thresher

Obedience is an excellent runeword that is end-game viable. The requirements to build this runeword is also obtainable.


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Treachery Sharktooth Armor

Been using this armor for my mercenary since my character's early level in hell difficulty. The best thing about this armor is the tremendous +45% increase attack speed, which works well with life stolen per hit for better survival. Then it also has the fade proc which boost resistances and venom proc that adds to damage.


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Andariel's Visage Demon Helm

The most important attributes here that works well for act 2 mercenary are the attack speed, life stolen per hit, and increase poison resistance.

The catch is that it decreases the fire resistance of the wearer. Good thing the obedience runeword and the fade proc from treachery runeword can cover for that.

Previously, my mercenary is wearing tal rasha's horadric crest.


The search goes on

I'm not yet abandoning my hopes that someday, I can build a dual dream paladin. But for now, this setup works and I'm enjoying it so far.


© 2021 Arc Sosangyo

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