The Avenger is a Diablo 2 Paladin build that focuses on dealing a wide range of elemental damage. This way, he can deal with every kind of immune monsters. The build’s primary skills are Vengeance and Conviction.
Avenger Build Skills
The Avenger build doesn’t offer any flexibility regarding the skill points. It has four synergies that you have to max out in order to unlock the full potential of the build.
You have to invest 20 points in each of the following primary skills:
- Conviction: The main Aura of the build. It increases the damage by lowering enemy defense rating and resistances. Most of the time you will have this Aura active as it costs no mana as well. It’s useful also for PvP fights, especially when the opponent doesn’t deal high elemental damage.
- Vengeance: This is your main attack. It adds elemental damage to your melee attacks with each successful strike. It’s essential to max out this skill along with its synergies.
- Salvation: It provides synergy to Vengeance and it’s a useful defensive Aura as it increases your resistances. It’s more helpful to a dual weapon wielder because shields boost further the elemental resistances.
- Elemental Resistance Auras: These Auras are very helpful if you know what kind of damage your enemies deal. Also, it provides a hidden bonus (1% for each point) to maximum resistances for all party members.
- Fanaticism: Some players prefer to invest in Fanaticism instead of Conviction. This is because it increases attack speed and physical damage, so it works better with some specific items. However, it doesn’t break enemies’ immunities, nor does it boost elemental damage.
The following skills are optional but still quite helpful.
- Holy Shield: It’s a very useful skill in Nightmare and Hell difficulties as it boosts a shield’s block chance, overall defense rating and smite
- Smite: Just a point in this skill is enough to provide great assistance in Boss fights and duels. If you have equipment with crushing blow, open wounds or knockback, you can use smite until you activate the effects and then switch back to Vengeance.
- Meditation: It’s useful if you don’t use an Insight Runeword on your hireling. It also counters for Mana Drain monsters.
- Redemption: You can use this skill to clean up the corpses in an area in order to restore your Mana and Health Points. It’s a helpful 1-point-wonder.
Avenger Build Equipment
There are two primary ways to play as an Avenger:
- The first one uses one-handed weapons and a shield. It’s the recommended method as Vengeance deals great amounts of damage even in Hell mode. Further, the shield’s advantages will offer you much sustainability.
- The second way utilizes two-handed weapons. It’s not recommended, but still, this playstyle is viable. However, building resistances and physical damage reduction are similar to all melee builds, the Crushing Blow and “Cannot Be Frozen” attributes are vital for the Avenger.
Weapon: The ideal Avenger’s weapon is one that has fast attack rating and high base damage. Vengeance’s damage is calculated off your weapon’s base damage. You can use some easier-to-find items such as upgraded exceptional uniques or higher end uniques.
Items for Avenger
- Demon Limb
- An upgraded The Atlantean: Decent damage, +2 to Paladin skills and stat bonuses.
- An Upgraded Headstriker: It increases your maximum damage and has Deadly Strike effect.
- Voice of Reason: For the “Cannot Be Frozen” effect and extra cold damage.
- Beast: The Fanaticism aura doesn’t increase your Vengeance damage, but the extra life, +skills, increased movement and attack speed are very nice bonuses.
- Breath of the Dying
- Last Wish: The Might Aura doesn’t increase your Vengeance damage. It offers a very high boost to damage and Life Tap for leeching though.
- Hand of Justice: Its Holy Fire aura works well with the Conviction Aura that can break the fire immunity of many enemies in Hell Difficulty.
- Call To Arms: In combination with a Spirit Shield.
- Dream: For Level 15 Holy Shock Aura, Chance to cast Confuse when Struck, and +2- to resistances.
- Crown of Ages: Physical Damage Reduction, +1 to skills, sockets and additional resistances.
- Andariel’s Visage: A popular choice due to nice bonuses and the +2 to skills.
- Vampire Gaze: Dual leeching and physical resistance.
- Tal Rasha’s Horadric Crest: Dual leeching, extra life, and mana, additional resistances.
- Guillaume’s Face: 35% Crushing Blow and 15% critical strike.
- Rockstopper: Physical damage reduction and bonus to resistances.
- Guardian Angel: + to all skills 15% to all maximum resistances.
- Enigma: +2 All skills, great attribute boost, ability to Teleport.
- Chains of Honor: +2 All skills, decent resistance bonuses and Life Leeching.
- Duriel’s Shell: Cannot be Frozen effect, additional resistances, and Life bonus.
- The Ward
- Stormshield: Extra Resistances, physical damage reduction, high block rate
- Herald of Zakarum: + to Skills, Resistances and blocking bonuses.
- Ancient’s Pledge: Added to a Paladin Shield with high bonuses to resistances.
- Exile: Life Tap and bonus to your offensive Auras.
- Spirit: An excellent choice for the earlier stages.
- Soul Drainer
- Dracul’s Grasp: The Life Tap ability is very useful if you don’t use Last Wish or Exile.
- Lava Gout: Additional fire damage and decent bonuses.
- Verdungo’s Hearty Cord: Physical damage reduction and life bonus.
- String of Ears: A decent alternative to Verdungo’s.
- Arachnid Mesh: + skills, slowing enemies.
- War Traveler: The best option for the Avenger Build.
- Gore Rider
- Goblin Toe
- Crescent Moon: Dual leeching and Magic Damage Reduction.
- Highlord’s Wrath: Speed bonus and +1 to skills.
- Mara’s Kaleidoscope: The best option for this build as it offers +2 to skills and many other powerful bonuses.
- Bul-Kathos’ Wedding Band
- Stone of Jordan
- Manald Heal
- Raven Frost
Avenger Build Stats
Strength: Your Strength doesn’t affect Vengeance’s damage, so invest only enough points to equip your best items.
Dexterity: You have two options. The most popular and recommended one is to use a shield and spend enough points for a max (75%) block chance. The second option is to use a two-handed weapon, so spend points until you can equip your weapons.
Vitality: This is the most important attribute. Invest the majority of your points here.
Energy: Don’t waste any points here. If you have mana issues at the earlier stages of the game, try to find some items that grant mana leech or mana points per kill.