List of Builds for all classes, best builds and how to choose your next one
For over 20 years, players have traveled across four or five acts and slaughtered the Prime Evils and their minions over and over again to find, sell, and trade loot. Most of the returning players have forgotten more about the game than they realize. New players most likely have no idea how to build their characters from scratch. If you fall into either category, this guide for Diablo 2 Resurrected will serve you as a refresher.
Below, we’ll briefly cover all seven classes of D2R and their different builds. After reading this introductory guide, you should have a pretty good idea of which class to start your adventure into and through Hell with and what build to follow, as well as which unique items, set items, runes or runewords you should be using alongside.
As a returning or a brand-new player, it’s important to note that there’s no wrong or right class to start your adventures into Hell with. Please feel free to choose any of the seven classes you think offers the most entertaining style of combat. If you grow uncomfortable with one class or master one after countless hours of playing, you can move on to another class and see whether it fits your style.
From the get-go, you should focus on statting and gearing your character based on a specific build. Doing so will allow you to maximize damage potential as you reach the end game, whereas choosing skills without a clear goal in sight might only help you get through Normal and halfway through Nightmare difficulties. The great thing about Diablo 2 Resurrected is that you can always change builds midway by completing the Den of Evil quest and speaking to Akara or buying/trading for a Token of Absolution.
The Amazon is a female warrior who uses a bow, spear, or javelin to take down mobs. The most commonly used weapons are the bows and javelins. She’s as agile as she is prone to death in close quarters, which makes wielding bulky spears a huge risk to new players. Find a good selection of Amazon Builds below:
Bowazon is an umbrella term that describes any Amazon character that uses bows or crossbows to primarily deal physical, fire, ice, and/or magic damage. In general, Bowazons use the skill Multiple Shot for crowd control and Guided Arrow to take down bosses.
Javazon is an umbrella term used to describe any Amazon character that relies primarily on javelins and skills in the Javelins and Spear Skills tree.
The Assassin has two distinct methods of combat. A physical-damage-dealing Assassin utilizes the Martial Arts skill tree, which allows your character to charge her attacks up to three times before delivering a devastating—oftentimes fatal—blow to single targets. Alternatively, players can customize their character to toss elemental and physical traps to take down large groups of enemies. No matter which one of the Assassin Builds you choose, the following list should give a you a solid starting point:
Trapper/Trapsin is an umbrella term that describes an Assassin that focuses on the Traps skill tree.
Melee Assassin is a general phrase used to describe an Assassin that primarily focuses on the Martial Arts skill tree. All of the following sub-builds of the Melee Assassin may also use Traps.
The Bowasin is semi-commonly used PvP build where the character uses the bow Widowmaker to gain the oskill Guided Arrow from the Amazon’s Bow and Crossbow Skills tree. Bowasins can either use Venom to boost damage or Burst of Speed (both from the Shadow Disciplines skill tree) to increase attack and movement speed.
Most new players tend to gravitate to the Necromancer, a class that specializes in using the dead to do his bidding. Necromancers are arguably the most versatile of the seven classes, offering multiple builds to easily solo the game from Normal to Hell mode. These are the Necromancer Builds we picked:
Summonmancer is a general term used to describe any Necromancer that primarily invests their skills in the Summoning Spells skill tree.
The Barbarian can dish out the most damage to single and groups of monsters with physical and/or magic damage. He also has a very specific skill tree that offers passive buffs depending on what type of weapon your Barbarian wields. Have a look at these Barbarian Builds:
The Paladin uses the power of divine strength to take down large groups of enemies while receiving little to no damage in return. This melee class excels in hand-to-hand combat and lightning or magic-based ranged attacks.
Any Paladin build that uses one of the elemental-based damage-dealing auras found in the Offensive Auras skill tree can be considered an Auradin.
The Sorceress uses one or a combination of three elemental attacks—fire, ice, and lightning—to take down entire groups of monsters on her own. However, in exchange for unrivaled crowd control and the ability to teleport, your Sorceress can and will most likely die from one or two strikes from high-leveled enemies. Find a list of Sorceress Builds below:
Fire-based sorceress builds focus primarily on the Fire Spells skill tree, which is arguably the weakest of the three in the late game. However, there are certain areas of the game where Fire Sorceresses excel.
Cold-Based Sorceress builds are much more versatile than fire-based builds. They can clear far more areas of the game but can still struggle to clear high-level areas without the use of a hard-hitting mercenary.
Lightning-based builds are objectively the best of the single-element builds for this class. With an Act 2 mercenary wielding the Infinity runeword, which breaks most lightning immunities in monster packs, lightning-focused Sorceress builds can solo the entire game in Hell mode.
Melee builds aren’t the most commonly used in this class, but they can deliver devastating blows that can take down single targets in one or two quick strikes.
Hybrid builds make use of two or even all three of the Sorceress’ skill trees. They can be super interesting to play, so check out the following:
The Druid is arguably the most technical class of them all. As you progress in the game, you’ll discover that relying solely on one skill tree will be insufficient for efficiently clearing mobs. The three skill trees available to this class are Elemental, Shape Shifting, and Summoning—where the key to surviving Hell mode is can be mixing and matching when needed. Have a look at these Druid Builds
The Bear Druid shapeshifts into a Werebear while using the hard-hitting skills it can cast while in Werebear form.
The Wolf Druid shapeshifts into a Werewolf while using the quick-striking skills it can cast while in Werewolf form.
The Elemental Druid invests skills in the Elemental skill tree that can take down groups of monsters and single targets.
The Summon Druid will invest most of their skills in the Summoning skill. There are four creature types that a Summon Druid can summon at any time: Spirits, Ravens, Wolves or a Grizzly, and Vines.
In Diablo 2, there are many fun and powerful builds but not all of them are resilient enough to survive Hell difficulty. If you’re familiar with Diablo 2’s Hell mode, you will already know that the things you have to worry about the most are:
Below there are some top performing builds that are able not only to beat Hell difficulty, but also to Magic Find almost in any area:
Despite its high Strength requirement, the Immortal King set provides everything you need to dominate in the highest difficulty of the game.
This set offers a huge amount of defense and very high elemental Resistances. In addition, the Stone Crusher (the Weapon of the set) deals all the five different types of damage. Thus, you don’t have to worry about the immune monsters.
Last but not least, the Immortal King set provides a decent amount of Magic Finding.
The Summonmancer is an excellent choice for both solo and multiplayer games. Your army of skeletons can protect you and your party for receiving damage, while taking down enemies at the same times. Also, your curses are very useful for your party members as they can lower the resists of the enemies, resulting in much faster runs.
For dealing with monsters’ immunities, you can take advantage of your Corpse Explosion skill (half Physical and half Fire Damage). Further, your Skeletal Mages deal Poison, Cold, Fire and Lightning Damage. This build’s damage isn’t very high, but it offers a lot of sustainability in exchange.
In terms of items, the Skelemancer needs some items that boost his Summoning skills in order for the skeletons to survive in Hell difficulty. Despite this fact, you can use some items with Magic Finding as well because this build is not so gear-dependant.
This kind of Sorceress doesn’t have the highest damage output in comparison with other Sorceress builds. However, it can deal with immune monsters as it relies on both Fire (Meteor, Fire Ball) and Cold Spells (Frozen Orb). The monsters that are immune to both Fire and Cold Spells are not common.
Another great skill of your arsenal is Teleport. You can use it to quickly escape if you are in danger, or utilize it for traveling faster. For instance, you can make very fast Andariel or Mephisto runs, without exploring entire rooms in order to reach the Act Bosses.
Also, with the proper items you can combine your killing power with some great amount of Magic Finding. It’s a popular strategy to start the game with a Magic-Finder Meteorb Sorceress, so you gear her up or your other characters.
This is one of the most powerful builds overall in Diablo 2. It’s strong both in fighting versus monsters and in PvP fights. We included this build over other strong Paladin builds because of its ability to Magic Find, without losing much of its killing power or its sustainability.
The main skill of the build, the Blessed Hammer deals extreme amounts of Magic Damage. The Magic immunity is very rare in the game, so you will not have many issues in Hell difficulty. Further, the Holy Shield skill provides a lot of protection to your character.
You should be able to go through all difficulties of the game using a Hammerdin, without facing many problems. However, for fighting versus other players you will need some really hard-to-find items that you can’t find simply by beating the game’s Hell difficulty.
This Amazon’s build can make some of the fastest runs in the game. Its arsenal includes some Physical and Lightning skills (Charged Strike, Lightning Strike, Lightning Fury) that deal extreme amounts of damage.
For dealing with enemies’ immunities, a Javazon can utilize the Jab skill (Physical Damage) or even the Poison Javelin or Plague Javelin for some Poison Damage.
Regarding your sustainability, you can sacrifice some portion of your damage in order to invest points in your Valkyrie. Finally, you can use some items that boost your Magic Finding chance. This way, you can make some fast and efficient MF runs even in the hardest difficulty of the game.
If you aren’t sure yet what class and build you should play for the new ladder reset, why don’t you take a look at our list of 11 most popular builds?
If you like the builds below, you can find more information on our builds guides.
The Blizzard Sorc is probably the most famous build at the begging of every new ladder. One of the main reasons is her ability to Teleport. It allows her to move around fast, pass through walls, skip boring enemies, and even tricking Mephisto.
Further, she has a great damage output and crowd control versus large groups of enemies, without the need for powerful or expensive items. You can use Items that boosts Magic Finding instead. This is making the Blizzard Sorceress the ideal build to start the new ladder with success.
The Blessed Hammer along with the Concentration Aura provides a great amount of damage to monsters. In addition, these skills in combination with Holy Shield result in a paladin build that is completely unstoppable. It’s one of the most played builds, as it’s not uncommon for a Blessed Hammer to deal more than 20,000 damage. However, it’s also one of the most expensive builds to create it perfectly, because there are too many Hammerdins in the game.
Paladins are not a very effective choice for common Magic Finding and Baal runs. They are extremely popular due to how effective they are against the Prime Evils in Uber Tristram. It’s the only known class that can kill almost all Uber Bosses even solo.
The only enemies a Smiter cannot slay are those with physical immunity because Smite is a melee skill. It’s not a very effective choice against large groups of monsters though.
The Sorceress has always been one of the most popular classes in the game. Over the years spells like Frozen Orb and Nova became less effective. When Lord of Destruction was released, the Chain Lightning Sorceress became a popular build choice. The ability to combine Chain Lightning with a different elemental spell, resulting in a build that is very effective versus every kind of enemy regardless of their resistances.
You can use an Infinity Runeword on your mercenary, so the monsters would no longer be immune to your Lightning damage.
The Elemental Druid provides a massive amount of AoE (Area of Effect) damage versus big groups of monsters. The Hurricane in combination with the Tornado spell results in large amounts of elemental damage output. The Wind Druid can take advantage of Oak Sage summon as well, to boost the entire party health pool.
The Summonmancer is one of the most special and fun builds in Diablo 2. The ability to summon a huge skeleton army and revive Diablo’s minions to fight at your side makes this build one of a kind. This kind of Necromancer is an ideal choice for a party as well, thanks to his curses that allow him to weaken his enemies. The Corpse Explosion is an excellent source of damage too.
The Javazon provides a large amount of wide AoE damage, making the build very effective for PvM. Also, the Charged Strike skill deals a massive amount of single target damage. It’s very useful against difficult Bosses. With the proper build, you can even kill Baal in a matter of seconds.
Frenzy Barbarians are popular due to their extremely fast single target damage and the Run Speed bonus. Although this build is very underrated among the community, it proves to be one of the most effective builds in the game.
The WW Barb was one of the most popular and effective builds in classic Diablo 2. With the release of Lord of Destruction though, more effective builds became viable. The Whirlwind Barbarian doesn’t provide a large amount of damage, but it has a great combination of support damage and survivability. Thus, it can act as a tank and it’s a recommended choice when playing with a party.
This type of Sorceress was arguably the most popular class build in Diablo 2. Frozen Orb provided excessive amounts of damage in the early days of the game. However, the skill’s damage was reduced after a patch. As a result, the players started to use Blizzard instead which is still the most effective Cold spell.
However, you can use Frozen Orb as a secondary skill, or to use this as a primary skill in combination with a skill from a different element. This way, you can counter enemies with every kind of immunity.
It’s one of the many forgotten builds in Diablo 2 that used to be extremely effective in the early days. Bowazons are still fun and effective in the game’s current state but with overpowered Runewords being added to the game this build became less popular.
The class is very versatile in terms of items and skills though and you can create your own combination. Thus, it remains a very interesting option.
In Diablo 2, players can choose whether to start a character in Hardcore mode or in Softcore. You do this by checking or unchecking the Hardcore box in the “Create New Character” Screen. We highly advise newbies play Softcore (unchecked) before trying their hand at Hardcore.
In Softcore, when your character dies, they return to town without their gear (naked), and you’re forced to either retrieve your corpse where it was slain or exit and remake a game, which brings your corpse to town. In Nightmare mode, you lose 5% of your current level’s experience, and in Hell mode, you lose 10%. However, you can recover 75% of the lost experience by retrieving your corpse. If you exit and make a new game, you don’t gain back any of the lost experience.
As for Hardcore, if your character dies, they’re dead for good. Thankfully, you can give permission to other players to “loot” your corpse when you die, and they can help transfer it to a new Hardcore character. Even some players who have been around since day-one of Diablo 2’s launch in 2000 stay away from Hardcore mode at all costs.
While you can choose any build from the list above, minus perhaps the PvP builds since when you die in Hardcore mode, there’s (almost) no coming back. That said, we’ll gloss over the safest builds for each class and important points of consideration to maximize survivability.
The Trapsin has excellent crowd control when setting down Lightning and Death Sentries. Giving your mercenary an Infinity runeword can help tremendously by breaking enemy lightning immunities. While Trapsins usually wear a Spirit shield runeword for the +2 to All Skills bonus, you should consider swapping it out for a Stormshield to reduce physical damage and its high block rate. In addition, Hardcore Trapsins should use the skill Fade to further reduce physical damage and boost all resistances. Having a Shadow Warrior or Shadow Master by your side can help draw attention away from your character.
Barbarians are the tankiest class and, as such, can take quite a bit of punishment. The Whirlwind Barb is an especially good choice for Hardcore mode. Maxing the skill Battle Orders will significantly boost your health pool, while the passive Iron Skin skill will increase your defense rating. As for your gear setup, consider using a single Grief runeword and a Stormshield. It will take longer for your character to strike down opponents, but he can block physical attacks while performing the Whirlwind skill.
If you have the guts to venture into Hardcore mode without a shield, then try giving the Frenzy Barb build a try. Dual Grief runewords will take down monsters more quickly, and the increased run/walk bonus from Frenzy can help you get out of sticky situations. Consider using the skill Leap to push enemies back before engaging, as well as hopping out of danger.
Since Paladins can use the skill Holy Shield, which increases your character’s defense and chance to block, it can take a lot for monsters to strike your Hammerdin down. Even teleporting into the middle of mob groups with the Enigma runeword won’t pose much of a problem since your character can block 75% of attacks, even without a Stormshield.
The Zealot can take down multiple monsters with the skill Zeal. At the same time, he will steal life and mana from your opponents, improving his survivability by a lot, even when surrounded by Diablo’s minions. As long as you invest heavily in Holy Shield and put spare points into Defiance, you should have enough defense to tank damage for your team or run the game solo.
As we stated earlier, the Smiter is typically used to take down Uber bosses. However, Smiters can also solo the game by using a hard-hitting weapon like Grief and spamming Zeal to take care of monster groups. An item with a chance to cast Life Tap can be of tremendous help, especially since your character can’t normally leech life from his opponents without it.
A Blizzard Sorceress can dish out huge amounts of damage and freeze enemies in their tracks while keeping their distance. This is what makes this build ideal for Sorceress players. Invest enough points into the Cold Mastery skill to reduce your enemies’ cold resistance by 100% and cast Static Field to swiftly take down cold-immune monsters’ health points to 50% before letting your mercenary finish them off. Again, Stormshield is your best friend to survive Hardcore mode.
If you’re fortunate enough to find the high runes needed to make an Infinity runeword for your mercenary, then switch from Blizzard Sorceress to Lightning/Chain Lightning Sorceress. Lightning-based attacks can take down monsters more quickly than fire and cold-based skills, and lightning-immune monsters usually lose their immunity when exposed to the level-12 Conviction aura from your mercenary’s Infinity.
The Werebear Fireclaw build is the safest Druid build to run in Hardcore mode. Fire Claws dishes out huge amounts of physical and fire damage, depending on your gear setup. Instead of using Oak Sage to boost your health pool, invest heavily in the Lycanthorpy skill and summon a Heart of the Wolverine for added attack rating and damage. Druids can block in Werebear (and Werewolf) form, so, again, find a Stormshield as soon as possible.