Skills and Builds for the Paladin in D2R

When the first missionaries left the Church of Zakarum, they were unprepared for the harsh weather and dangerous landscape that greeted them. In response, the church began training holy warriors named Paladins to defend their charges. They were named ‘Protectors of the Word’ and were revered by those they visited thanks to their fighting prowess and great stories. With the word spread to the major cities of the west, the Paladins retired back to the church. They were called up again a few decades later for a second campaign, however those they were unable to convert were deemed evil, suspected of being possessed or corrupted. A rebellion against this way of thinking arose within the Paladin ranks, who believed that the Three Prime Evils were the true source of corruption. With their new mission, the rebels left their brethren behind and travelled west. The player is a member of this faction.

Diablo 2 Paladin
Art by Dennis Fröhlich

The Paladin uses his faith as his shield, and will stand up for what is right and wrong. Because of this, many believe the Paladin is merely a battle-ready zealot, though others will appreciate his value and trustworthiness as a party member. The Paladin will not succumb to worldly temptations in case they are deceptions. Originally trained as a protector, the Paladins skills are suited to melee fighting. As part of this, he has the ability to cast auras, which can extend over others.

Paladin Skills

The Paladin’s skills fall into two main categories; auras and combat skills. Without the use of special equipment, the Paladin is only able to activate one aura at a time, however they are still an invaluable skill. In addition to strengthening his party, some auras will weaken the enemy. Due to the number of different auras he is able to cast, these are further separated as follows.


  • Level 1
  • Level 6
  • Level 12
  • Level 18
  • Level 24
  • Level 30

Defensive Auras

  • Prayer, Resist Fire
  • Defiance, Resist Cold
  • Cleansing, Resist Lightning
  • Vigor
  • Meditation
  • Redemption, Salvation

Offensive Auras

  • Might
  • Holy Fire, Thorns
  • Blessed Aim
  • Holy Freeze, Concentration
  • Holy Shock, Sanctuary
  • Fanaticism, Conviction

Combat Skills

  • Sacrifice, Smite
  • Holy Bolt
  • Zeal, Charge
  • Vengeance, Blessed Hammer
  • Conversion, Holy Shield
  • Fist of the Heavens

Paladin Builds

  • Auradin: Runewords that strengthen auras
  • Hammerdin: The most popular Paladin build in Diablo II. As the Paladin thrives in close combat fighting, this build can teleport into a large group of enemies and use the ‘Blessed Hammer’ to inflict a lot of damage.
  • Smiter: The skill ‘Smite’. Also normally has expensive gear like Exile Shield.
  • Zealot: The skill ‘Zeal’. Can be complemented by ‘Fanatacism’ for a speedy and effective series of hits.
  • Dragon Paladin: The skill ‘Holy Fire’ paired with the right equipment.
  • Charger  Paladin Build
  • Avenger  Paladin Build
  • Pindlesdin Build
  • Cleric Build
  • FoH – Fists of Heaven Build
  • Ranger Paladin Build
  • Mage Paladin Build

Trivia about the Paladin in D2R

  • The character has no passive skills.
  • While a Paladin can only use one aura at a time, multiple Paladins within a party can use different auras to stack them atop one another.
  • The Paladin in Diablo II is voiced by Larry B. Scott, who has also appeared in Seinfeld.
  • Check out our Paladin vs. Sorceress Face-Off