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Guide:Throwsmiter by v1.09, Oldman

From Diablo 2 Wiki

This guide covers a fairly unique character build, a Paladin who specialized in throwing weapons, along with Smite.

It was written during v1.09, but remains accurate in v1.13+.

Diablo II Strategy Guide Info:

  • Patch: v1.09
  • Gametype: PvE/PvM
  • Class: Paladin
  • Specialisation: Throwing/Smite Paladin
  • Author: Oldman
      Please note that strategy guides from v1.09 have vastly different skill and item stats, thus may not be applicable to the latest version of the game.


I am having great fun with my new Paladin build. I was in a hell game, dropping quite a few evil beasties when an Assassin asks, 'So you gunna help fight?'

The assassin was not used to a Paladin with a shield, not in the fray. The Barbarian answered for me, 'he's killed twice as much as you, and that's ignoring his auras you're leaning on, of course he's only killing half as much as me'. Barbs, well anyway.

Throwsmiters (Paladins that use throwing weapons and have smite as a backup), get no respect from build-by-the-mold types, the assassin wanted to see a paladin that charged in and smashed with his shield or used Fist of Heavens and Blessed Hammer. If that's all you think Paladins can do, then you might find this interesting. If you want everything to die before they come on screen, play a sorceress, or get a burritazon. Everyone else, follow me.

(Actually there was an old build some called a Dragoon, that apparently nobody has documented, and I'm not sure that it used Smite. So here is my attempt, completely from scratch, with help from the Paladin Strategy forum)

I looked at the guides for Paladin and two really good ones were PvP Smiter by Weeber and The Ranger by Scorch but the Straight Smiter had minimal PvM or Ranged ability and the Ranger couldn't kill bosses or PvP (without a Buriza). However, I noted they both had extra skill points so I combined them and created a Paladin that throws Daggers or Axes using Holy shock with a ranged weapon was the main idea. This way you get a shield, so you can block, or Smite. After much debate, I have decided to call this build a Throwsmiter.

This is mostly a PvM Build. However, there is a section later about PvP. Aside from a few tough bosses especially Diablo, you may never need to Smite. Smiting bosses is great, they get stun locked and die. Hell is no issue, just use Holy Shock on Physical Immunes (Lightning/Physical Immunes I have trouble with, but elemental charms help, my mercenary does mostly fire damage). Don't forget to flash Holy Freeze, slower targets are easier to hit, take longer to reach you, and hit slower. Also, keep Holy Shield active for extra defense.

Most of the time you use Holy Shock when throwing, and Fanaticism when Smiting. You might find that in later levels, Fanaticism works better on some hard to hit (or Lightning Immune) monsters when throwing. Never use Holy shock when a LEB/MSLEB is around. That pidly aura damage sets the bolts a-flying.

Later in your career, you get a decent charge as well. This is used to deal huge damage as you transition from throwing to Smiting. And you end with Salvation, to help those less fortunate than you.

Definitely read the 2 guides I referenced first. Also look for updates, IAS tables and more in the Paladin Strategy Forum. It is overall, a very fun type to play.


Mercenary choice is interesting, but always use Act II mercenaries, people love when you join and add auras (Fanaticism is a bit selfish, 1/2 to party with small radius, this makes up for it):

  • Normal: Defiance - no time to build Vitality, so extra defence helps.
  • Nightmare: Holy Freeze - Its just fun to watch everything go slow.
  • Hell - It gets hard to hit, so Blessed Aim helps -- to get the best mercenary, use Blessed Aim Mercenary from the start.

A good alternative is the Might Mercenary.


Axes/Daggers vs. Javelins

Axes Daggers have bigger stacks and are faster. Javelins have very small stacks, but there are much higher damage javelins available, and they allow you to poke more effectively. They also seem to have more range.

I personally think that using one makes you look like an Amazon wannabe, definitely a lower form of expression. But, javelins do seem to be preferred in PvP. This guide focuses more on PvM so I will assume Axes/Daggers.

Not that important really for PvM, This makes for a good MF character. This is an easy poor man's build. As a challenge, try playing with only the equipment you find, no trading, and no donations from your other chars or your friends.

Obviously, if you have great equipment, the build is much stronger, and this is definitely needed for PvP. But the main point is that the build works with even easy to find equipment (the true test of a build).


Speed is the most important stat on your throwing weapon, get one with IAS, this means more shocks or more smites. Currently, there are no Unique Elite Throwing weapons. Hopefully they will be added, Until then Rare elites or good Magical elites are the best choice. The Winged Axe is the only Very Fast Paladin Throwing Elite Weapon. Note: the Refills stack enhancement is a joke, it's way too slow, this should not influence your weapon selection. Enhance Stack Size on the other hand is very convenient.


Shields should be paladin shields with high Smite damage and resists A quad Diamond, elite paladin shield with + to resists would be perfect. + to offensive auras or combat help as well. Herald of Zakarum obviously would be very good. But it only does 20-28 smite damage. You might want a rare elite Paladin shield as a weapon switch for smiting. Stormshield only does a pitiful 12-34 smite damage, and the DR isn't that critical since the whole idea is not to get hit.


Fast Run, other mods are nice, but you have to get fast run.


  • + to Offensive Aura (+to Combat only helps Smite, but if you have the room, it won't hurt)
  • + Poison Dam -- Ranged weapons seem to do extra poison, very effective in PvM and public PvP/PK, severely restricted in PvP
  • + Fire/Cold Dam -- Helps vs. Phys Immunes
  • + Lightning Dam -- redundant so a waste of space
  • + ED -- helps
  • + Resists, you shouldn't need this (see shield)
  • + MF -- always good in PvM, doesn't help much in PvP
  • + Run/Walk -- helps in maneuvering out of harms way


High defense isn't super critical in PvM, you shouldn't be getting hit much, look for good extras, or sockets (see charms). Mods are still more important in PvP since Smite and other ITD (Ignore target defense) attacks are common. Damage reduction helps a lot in PvP.


A cheap helm is a Tri Perfect Topaz for extra MF. On the expensive side is Harlequin Crest. The best bet is a rare Circlet.


+3 to offensive auras would be good, see charms for other ideas. The Eye of Eye of Etlich or Highlord's Wrath are good choices.


Look for Life leach. Bul Kathos Wedding Band is obviously the best but very expensive. Think about Raven Frost if you PvP.


A relatively cheap set that leaves weapon, shield and helm free is the Disciple. The gauntlets are awesome, the boots aren't bad, and you get +3 to all skills. The +poison is nice as is the 1/2 freeze and added resists and mana (for smiting). **** The poison from the set seems to work with smite!

Equipment Notes

IAS not on your weapon - still good + to Paladin (or + Offensive Aura) - Always good DR - not super critical in PvM, more important for PvP Slows target - kind of rude, but if you need an edge in PvM or public PvP/PK it is easier to hit slow Holy Frozen beasties. This is almost universally not allowed in PvP

Increased Attack Speed [IAS]

I am not including tables here because you actually attack at four different speeds:

  • Throw/Holy Shock
  • Throw/Fanaticism
  • Smite/Fanaticism
  • Charge

So I will leave IAS as an exercise for the reader.

One drawback of IAS is more frequent trips back to town. This by the way gets to be a bit annoying, Bows/Xbows have bigger stacks and have refills just lying about. Throwing weapons should have much bigger stacks.



Maybe 100 to 150, enough for equipment requirements plus a little extra to adds to smite and throw damage.


Maybe 150, keep at 75% block, with Holy Shield, it helps attack, dodge, block and throw damage.


Extra points go here, even in Softcore, dying is no fun. You should end up at lvl99 with around 300 Vitality for about 1000 life, base.


15, even smiting requires only a blue potion here and again, leave it at base, most of the time you use none.

Keep in mind that throwing weapons are 50% Dexterity, 50% Strength. Every 2 points in Dexterity or Strength adds 1% to your damage. There also seems to be a display bug and adding Strength should add to your actual Smite Damage.

The idea of throwing is to be where the monsters aren't. If there are monsters close enough to hit you, you are doing something wrong. High life is mainly a hedge against lag or for PvP. Using items/charms to reach your Dexterity/Strength requirements allows you to put more in Vitality for more Life. I would advise using only charms to reach your minimum Strength requirements, otherwise you run the risk of corpse popping (the game won't re-equip you in the special sequence needed to load all your gear, so your best stuff will pop to the floor when you click your corpse). Also loading in order gets tedious. The same goes for Dexterity, but your requirements for 75% block should be higher than your equipment needs.


Combat (62)

  • *** Smite(1) -- 20
  • Holy Bolt(6) -- 1 (prerequisite)
  • Charge(12) -- 20 (Late in Game)
  • Blessed Hammer(18) -- 1 (prerequisite/PvP)
  • *** Holy Shield(24) -- 20

Offensive (48)

  • Might(1) -- 1 (prerequisite)
  • Holy Fire(6) -- 1 (prerequisite)
  • Blessed Aim(12) -- 1 (prerequisite)
  • Concentration(18) -- 1
  • Holy Freeze(18) -- 1 (flash)
  • *** Holy Shock(24) -- 20
  • *** Fanaticism(30) -- 20
  • Thorns(6) -1 (at end of game)
  • Sanctuary(24) -1 (at end of game)
  • Conviction(30) -1 (at end of game)

Defensive (1)

  • Salvation(30) -- 1 (Last points spent)

Skill Walkthrough

Shows how to max 2 main skills by level 49.

(Hold all your quest bonus skills till level 24)

  • 2-5: Might - 1 (main aura) | Smite - 3
  • 6-11: Holy Fire - 1 | Holy Bolt - 1 | Smite - (add 4) 7
  • 12-17: Charge - 1 | Blessed Aim - 1 (** save 4)
  • 18-23: Concentration - 1 (main aura) | Holy Freeze - 1 | Blessed Hammer - 1 (** save 4)
  • 24-29: Holy Shock - 1 (main aura with Concentration) | Holy Shield - 1 | Holy Shock - (use 1 saved) 6
  • 30: Fanaticism - 1 (main aura with Holy Shock) | Holy Shock - (** use 1 save) 7
  • 36: (** use saved) Fanaticism - (add 6) 7 | Holy Shock - (add 6) 13
  • 43: Fanaticism - 14 (if you have 7 quest points) | Holy Shock - 20 (MAXED)
  • 49: Fanaticism - 20 (MAXED) (you should have 7 quest points)
  • 55: Holy Shield - 7
  • 76: Alternate Smite and Holy Shield (assuming all 12 quest points) Smite 20 (MAXED) | Holy Shield (MAXED)
  • 77-95: Charge - 20 (MAXED)
  • 96-99: Thorns -1 | Sanctuary -1 | Conviction -1 | Salvation - 1

Hotkey Suggestions

on Right Side unless listed as (left):

  • F1: Throw (left)
  • F2: Holy Shock
  • F3: Blessed Hammer(left)
  • F4: Charge (left)
  • F5: Holy Freeze
  • F6: Holy Shield
  • F7: Holy Bolt (left)(to heal merc)
  • F8: Tome Town Portal
  • F9: Might->Concentrate->Fanaticism
  • F10: Smite (left)
  • F11: <FREE>
  • F12: <FREE>

(F9) will be your damage aura, upgrade it as you go through the tree Notice this puts throw and Holy Shock together, Damage Aura near smite, and Blessed Hammer near Charge, and makes Holy Freeze easy to find.

(F8) Always town portal from book, it is a good idea to always have town portal on the same hotkey for all characters, when you really need it fast, you can trust (F8)

Many people have found it faster to use left hand letters (A, S, D, F. Q. W, E, R, Z, X, C, V, etc..) Find what is the most comfortable and fastest for you.

About Smite

Credit to Nikodemus222 for posting the following on Smite (with some of my own minor editing)

Smite - How damage is calculated

  • Minimum : (shield base minimum + holy shield min bonus) * ((100 + %Enhanced Damage)/100)
  • Maximum : (shield base maximum + holy shield max bonus) * ((100 + %Enhanced Damage)/100)
  • %Enhanced Damage = [+% damage from aura(s) (Fanaticism, Concentration, Might)] + [+% damage from Smite] + Strength mod.

Note: the total number calculated will be higher than what is displayed on the character screen. That is because strength is factored in, but the bonus is not displayed.

The following things work with smite

  • +skills (increase damage a LOT)
  • crushing blow
  • weapon range
  • weapon speed (see below)
  • life tap (charges can be found on wands and daggers, save this for tough spots)

The following things do not

  • Leech (life/mana)
  • Deadly strike
  • Open wounds
  • Freezes target
  • Knockback (apart from the standard knockback on the skill)
  • Elemental + damage from equipment or charms

Smite speed is dependant on

  • Base weapon speed (odd but true).
  • % EIAS from fanaticism
  • IAS in gear. Use the following table
  • 6 frame Smite is the fastest possible

Possible Weapon Switches

For PvM - PI especially LIPI

with Fanaticism set or Holy Shock if not Lightning Immune (or Conviction if you get it on an item).


  • A high cold or fire damage throw weapon
  • S scepter with +Vengeance and +Conviction maybe with +cold/fire damage (kinda cheating on the theme but Lightning Immune Physical Immune Boss's can ruin your day)
  • Baranar's (also deviating from the theme)
  • Any other fast, one handed, high elemental damage weapon


  • Tiamat's Rebuke
  • An Ancients Elite Paladin shield (% dam to mana, great if has + to Vengeance to avoid spending 3 skills for it)
  • Any other Elite Paladin shield.
  • Or, if you have/find an awesome high elemental bow/xbow, keep it as a weapon switch, i.e. for immunes. (this seems to stay in the theme a bit more)

For Bosses and PvP

  • Have Charge and Fanaticism set.


  • A large two handed, high damage weapon
  • Cruel
  • Crafted
  • Honor/Silence
  • Many of the commonly used expensive uniques: Immortal King's Stone Crusher, Hellslayer, Messerschmidt's Reaver, The Cranium Basher, Stormspire, Doombringer, The Grandfather, etc..

While you are Charging, you have full defense rating and full block. It is not lowered as it is when you are running.

It is not unreasonable to do an average of 300 damage, +1000% Charge damage +600% Fanaticism aura, that's over 5000 damage, plus knockback, and probably stun. It is possible to get this even higher.

This is your transition attack from throwing to smiting, and a great way to move around. Do not keep this weapon choice open for long since you have no shield.

A lower damage but much safer alternative is to use a high damage, one handed weapon and a good defensive shield, HoZ (Herald of Zakarum) or Stormshield are expensive ways to do this (remember you won't smite with this, so smite damage is not important). Schaefer's Hammer is a great choice for this.

Baranar's Star works for both PI and Charge, that's one reason why it's so popular and expensive.

Player Vs. Player

Use Fanaticism as Aura with Throw weapon. Have the highest damage 2 handed weapon with Fanaticism and Charge ready as the hot keys on your weapon switch (see above).


  • Put on Holy Shield (repeat as needed)
  • Throw as long as you can, flashing Holy freeze
  • When you need/want to get close hit hotkey and do Blessed Hammer [BH] (distraction mostly) They may even charge you at this point.
  • Hit hotkey for smite, to setup Flash Holy Freeze
  • Hit <weapon switch>
  • Charge. If you connect they should feel it and might not realize your BH is a distraction so you can do it again. In any case they should be knocked back.
  • Hit <weapon switch>
  • (Smite is already set) Smitelock as long as you can
  • Throw, BH-Charge-Smite as needed
  • Occasionally BH without charging, or Charge without BH or they will figure this out real quick.
  • Obviously stay away from melee builds, and stay really close to ranged or magic builds.