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Herald of Zakarum

From Diablo 2 Wiki

Herald of Zakarum is an exceptional Unique Paladin Shield with an item level of 50 and a Character Level requirement of 42.

The Herald of Zakarum is a very useful item, one of the best shields in the game for a Paladin, easily good enough to use in Hell/Act 5. Only a Stormshield is better, depending on your other equipment, and how much you need the reduced damage that it has, and the Herald doesn't. Though only an exceptional item, it's pretty hard to find, as Gilded Shields are in a very crowded Treasure Class Armor 51, and class specific items drop at 1/3 the rate of normal items.


Shields are incredibly useful items in Diablo II. They work to block all physical and many types of elemental attacks, completely negating those attacks when successfully blocked. Shields are also an excellent source of resistance, when socketed with gems or various runes.

Class-specific items are much like other items. They have a variety of stats and types, can be found magical, Rare, Unique, and sometimes in Sets as well. The real difference is that these items can only be used by one character class, and they can have random bonuses to individual skills, much like the ones you see on wands/staves/scepters in Diablo II. This is in contrast with magic items possessing class-specific Skill Level and Paladin Skill Tree prefixes, which may be used by classes other than the Paladin without benefiting from the skill modifiers, and Scepters, which can possess inherent bonuses of +1-3 skill points to up to three Paladin skills from any of his skill trees.

Paladins get special shields for their class-specific items in the Expansion. These shields can have inherent bonuses to individual Paladin skills, just like scepters, and can also have +to skill trees or all Pal skills. In addition, paladin shields often have +to all resistances as an inherent property. This bonus can range from 5-45% resist all, and you can get resistance affixes and even socket diamonds on top of that.

  • In 1.10 of the Expansion the odds of gambling a Unique is 1 in 2000.
  • Exceptional Uniques are found only in the Diablo II Expansion, not in Diablo II Classic.

Blocking Basics

Main article: Blocking

Blocking % in Classic: Characters block at the % listed on the shield (when equipped) + any other bonuses. Total blocking is capped at 75%. A character can get more than this with a good shield + Twitchthroe, or a Paladin can use his Holy Shield skill, but no matter how high the display is, 75% is all that can be blocked. This is while standing still, running, walking, fighting, casting spells, etc.

Blocking % in the Expansion: The way blocking works is changed in the expansion. The new formula for blocking is:

Total Blocking % = [Blocking x (Dexterity – 15)] / (Character Level x 2)

This formula basically means that if you have less than half of your stat points into Dexterity, you will have a lower block rating than your shield displays, but if more than half of your stat points are in Dex, then you will have a higher blocking %. Blocking is capped at 5% minimum and 75% maximum and displays if you hover on your Defense in the Character window. Sorcs and Necros who do not devote considerable resources to raising their dexterity will find their blocking at a very low level above Clvl 50, so should pick shields based on their magical bonuses, not for the blocking percent.

  • Blocking is reduced to 33% of this value when running, but uses regular values when walking, standing still, or melee attacking.


  • Item Level: Chests and monsters must be at least this level to drop the item. Ilvl is used in gambling, sales and other calculations as well.
  • Clvl Req: Your character must be this level or higher to equip the item. No Uniques had Clvl requirements prior to v1.07 D2.
  • Listed Blocking: All shields vary in blocking percent by character. The Paladin's is always 5% higher than an Amazon/Assassin/Barbarian, and 10% higher than a Druid/Sorceress/Necromancer.
  • Weight: All shields are light, medium, or heavy. Light shields have no negative effects, medium have a -5% speed and -5% stamina regen rate, and heavy have -10% speed and -10% stamina regen.
  • Speed: A penalty governed by weight; 0 is no penalty, 5 is slightly slower running and stamina regen (but rounds to 0 anyway) and 10 is a bigger running speed and stamina regen penalty. % Faster Block Rate can lower this number to below zero.
  • Smite Damage: Only Paladins have the Smite skill, so only they see this damage. It's only of importance to other characters when considering a trade.

v1.09+ Stats

Image Name Properties Special Properties Shield Stats
Herald of Zakarum
Gilded Shield
362-507 Defense
50 Durability
89 Str Required
Item Level: 50
Clvl Req: 42
+2 To Paladin Skills
+2 To Combat Skills (Paladin Only)
+150-200% Enhanced Defense
30% Faster Block Rate
+30% Increased Chance of Blocking
+20 to Strength
+20 to Vitality
+20% Bonus to Attack Rating
All Resistances +50
Blocking: 82%
Weight: Light
Speed: -30
20-28 Smite Damage

Prior Stats

  • v1.08: Had +2 To Paladin Skills, +1 To Combat Skills (Paladin Only), 50% Faster Block Rate, Cannot be Frozen, +2 Damage Against Undead per Clvl, +2.5 to Attack Rating Vs. Undead per Clvl, +15% Increased Chance of Blocking, +50% Enhanced Defense.