LLD18 Build Guides


Staff member
Dec 24, 2019
Mebd's Guide to Little Shiny Blue Men (Level 18 Defiance/Smite Paladin)
Originally posted by Queen Mebd, Apr 29, 2007

Note: This guide was originally written for BNet. Please bear in mind it may recommend items not found or permitted in Single Player.

Guide to Little Shiny Blue Men: Level 18 Defiance/Smite Paladin
1st post

Table of Contents:
1. Introduction
2. Stat point allocation
3. Skill point allocation
4. Equipment
5. Strategies
6. Appendices
7. Notes
8. Thanks

1. Introduction
I've recently put together a level 18 defiance-based smite paladin. I can't claim any more motivation to do so other than having some of the gear lying around mules and though it'd be something new and interesting to try. This is my first foray into the world of low level dueling, yet I've been impressed by the little blue 'din, so I'd like to share it as a guide. What has been equally impressive has been how relatively inexpensive the gear has been (it has been gotten for a handfull of pgems). Since this is the first post of the guide, and as this is my first attempt at a Lld build, any feedback and critiques would be much appreciated. Now on to the good stuff.

2. Stat Point Allocation
Strength: Enough for gear has become like a mantra, heed it well. Your heaviest piece of equipment will most likely be ancient armour of one time or another. Socketed with a -15 requirement jewel or hel rune this becomes a more manageable 85 required strength. Another 25 strength may be achieved with the primary gear set.

Dexterity: Just enough to achieve maximum blocking. At level 18 this will translate to 60 for a Swordback Hold spiked shield, and slightly more for a crown shield. Blocking can be calculated via the following formula: Total Blocking = (Blocking * (Dexterity - 15)) / (Character Level * 2).

Vitality: The remainder goes here.

Energy: None.

3. Skill Point Allocation
Defensive Auras Tree:
Prayer - 1 point
Definace - effectively maxing, 13 points at level 18
Cleansing - 1 point

Combat Skills Tree:
Smite - all the rest, 6 points at level 18

Note on Skills
Defiance is your primary aura that is used vs. ar dependent opponents like zeaots, kickers, etc. Cleansing synergized with prayer is for use vs. other smiters to stem the health lost from open wounds. Should you decide to get rushed through hell for the additional skill quests, putting more points into smite would be advisable.

4. Equipment
There are two effective setups for this build; the defiant setup vs. ar dependent opponents & the reduction setup for other smiters:

4a. The Defiant Setup
Helm: Milabrega's Diadem Crown = 15 life and mana never hurt, nor does the 40% cold resistance when paired with another piece from the set. It's really used for the set bonus for the armor. Socket with a pruby for the life, pemerald for extra dexterity to put towards blocking, an ith for the damage taken goes to mana could be helpful as well.

Armor: Milabrega's Robe Ancient Armor = Damage reduced by 2 and attacker takes damage of 3 are neglible, however the 100% enhanced defense when paired with another piece of the set really makes this armor shine with defiance. My smiter achieves over 2k defense using this setup. Socket with a hel rune or -15 requirements jewel, a -req and damage taken goes to mana jewel would be ideal. This armor is also a nice shiny blue, hence the name of the guide.

for the patient and/or lucky: A nice alternative could be an ethereal self-repairing ancient armor with enhanced defense if Charsi is kind enough imbue one.

Belt: Sigon's Wrap Plated Belt = 20 life, 20 fire resistance, and 2 defense added per level as a set bonus. With three pieces of the Sigon's set there is an additional +100 defense bonus which is wonderful for a defiance build. Keep a Death's sash around if you opponent has a source of cold damage (you'll lose about 300 defense swapping out Sigon's Wrap here).

Boots: Sigon's Sabot Greaves = 20% faster run/walk and 40% percent cold resistance help, unfortunately there are no other useful set bonuses.

Gloves: Sigon's Gage Gauntlets = 10 strength saves a few more hard points, the 30 ias with another set piece is key.

Jewelry: Angelic Halo Rings & Wings Amulet = the 20% damage taken goes to mana on the amulet is key to keeping your mana reserves up. The 75 life on the amulet and 20 per ring make for a nice boost, as does the 6 replenish life on each ring. The 10 dexterity set bonus is icing on the cake. An alternative for one ring could possibly be a rare with stats or life and pdr.

Weapon: Crushflange Mace = Knockback, 50% fire resistance, 15 strength saves a lot of hard points, 33% crushing blow really shines with an auto-hit attack.

Shield: Swordback Hold Spiked Shield = 20% increased chance of blocking, enhanced defense, +10 defense, attacker takes damage of 10, but 50% open wounds is the best mod on this gem. A pamethyst would be the wise socketing option for the defiance setup. Another alternative that I would like to try would be using a crown shield socketed with four perfect amethysts for the 120 extra defense, yielding somewhere around 160 on the shield.

Charms = Stout Small Charms of Life would probably be best for this build. I believe they can spawn with 8 defense and 15 life at level 18. With really nice charms I'd bet this build could hit upwards of 3k defense (don't quote me on this). A few life/mana charms could also be used to supplement your mana reserves. These are the one part of the build that you probably won't be able to get for mere pgems.

4b. The Reduction Setup
Helm: Duskdeep Full Helm = the damage reduced by 7 would go a long way towards reducing your opponents smite damage. Socket with a perfect skull for the life replenishing. A crown or mask with three sockets full of perfect skulls might be an option if you want to go for sheer regeneration.

Armor: Twitchthroe Studded Leather = The 20ias could be useful to smite faster than your opponent. Again a perfect skull would make a good socket for the life replenishing.

Belt: Sigon's Wrap Plated Belt = as above.

Boots: Sigon's Sabot Greaves = as above.

Gloves: Sigon's Gage Gauntlets = as above.

Jewelry: Angelic Halo Rings & Wings Amulet = as above.

Weapon: Crushflange Mace = as above.

Shield: Swordback Hold Spiked Shield = as above.

Switch: War Scepter with + zeal = This could be useful to finish duels when crushing blow and open wounds are no longer effectively doing their full potential as your opponents life approaches zero. Larzuk will gladly punch five sockets in a white scepter and ith's would make for a cheap source of max damage. Max damage jewels would be another slightly more expensive option.

4c. Setup Examples

Defiant Setup:
Milabrega's Diadem Crown
Milabrega's Robe Ancient Armor, with a hel or -req jewel
Sigon's Wrap Plated Belt
Sigon's Sabot Greaves
Sigon's Gage Gauntlets
Angelic Rings & Amulet
Crushflange Mace
Swordback Hold Spike Sheild or crown shield with four amethysts

Reduction Setup:
Duskdeep Full Helm with perfect skull
Twitchthroe Studded Leather, with perfect skull
Sigon's Wrap Plated Belt
Sigon's Sabot Greaves
Sigon's Gage Gauntlets
Angelic Rings & Amulet
Crushflange Mace
Swordback Hold Spike Sheild
Plus zeal war sceptor on switch, with five ith's

5. Strategies
Bear with this section being a bit Spartan at the moment:

5a. Melee
This includes zealots, kickers, jabbers, and any others Use the defiant setup with defiance going. Walk, never run in melee duels. Use your auto-hit, knockback attack to your advantage - if open wounds triggers, maneuver a bit and let it drain some health. The zeal scepter on switch could also be useful here to add some quick and unsuspected damage when your opponent's health is low.

5b. Smiters
You needn't worry about using defiance as smite is an auto-hit attack. Grab the reduction setup and toggle on cleansing. This ought to give you a speed and slight damage negating edge over your opponent. Try to land the first hit and smite away. If they land the hit, move away and try to reposition to get the first in the next exchange. Once their life drops between half and a third, try zealing with the scepter on switch. This may be needed to overcome regeneration if they also have solid damage reduction, as cb will lose effectiveness as they lose life and open wounds won't kill.

5c. Ranged Opponents
Throwing barbs and bowazons are the few that come to mind here. Use the defiant setup here with defiance as your primary aura. Mix running and walking up as you approach. With guided arrows, run to the side of the amazon (not directly at) as to let the arrows fly past you and not acquire a lock immediately. With throwers, approach as best you can in random patterns. These are interesting duels (I've already encountered a few), as you can walk and tank the ar dependent attacks especially, but will never catch your opponent. If they play defensively and don't engage, toggle on cleansing for the regeneration when you get the chance. If you can catch them between yourself and an obstacle like a puddle or tree or wall, this will be a big help.

5d. Casters
The defiant setup will yield strong cold and lightning resistances. Using Death's gloves and belt also gives a resistance bonus. Run and do your best to catch them while avoiding spells. Catching them between obstacles like ranged attacks holds true here. You might as well turn on cleansing for the regeneration while chasing them.

6. Appendices
figure 1: Things That Work & Don't Work with Smite
[B]Things that work with smite:[/B]

Crushing blow
Chance to cast something on striking
Hit blinds target
Hit freezes target
Open Wounds
Enhanced Damage
Prevent Monster Heal
+Damage modifier on the Redeemer and Astreon's Iron Ward
Curses such as Life Tap, Amplify Damage...

[B]Things that won’t work with smite:[/B]

Life or Mana leech
Deadly Strike
Elemental Damage
+Max/Min Damage
(Source: Ragnarod, 1.10 Paladin FAQ)

figure 2: Smite Damage/Skill Level with Swordback
Smite  Damage
1      10-18
2      10-19
3      11-20
4      12-22
5      13-23
6      13-24
7      14-26
8      15-27
9      16-28
10     16-30
11     17-31
12     18-32
13     19-34
14     19-35
15     20-36
16     21-38
17     22-39
18     22-40

figure 3: Defense Rating/Defiance Skill Level*
Defiance  Defense
1         1068
2         1162
3         1227
4         1292
5         1356
6         1421
7         1485
8         1550
9         1615
10        1744
11        1744
12        1808
13        1873
*These were taken in single player with Death's Gloves & Belt + Cow Kings Boots, not the three Sigon's pieces, hence the disparity between the tables and the shown 2k defense.

figure 4: Open Wounds Calculations
Open Wounds will drain a certain amount of life for 8 seconds...

Level=1-15: (9*Level+31)/256
Level=16-30: (18*Level-64)/256
Level=31-45: (27*Level-374)/256
Level=46-60: (36*Level-779)/256
Level=61-99: (45*Level-1319)/256
(Source: Ragnarod, 1.10 Paladin FAQ)

7. Notes
Things that I'd like to include in the next post of the guide include but are not limited to (1) updated defense tables, (2) smite ias tables, (3) anything deemed necessary per suggestion or feedback.

8. Thanks
Crawlingdeadman, for the duels letting me test this guy out against some serious competition and for some of the gear suggestions
Ragnarod, the 1.10 Paladin FAQ is an excellent resource, especially for someone who has played maybe four paladins to date
Xombie, your pvp bone necro guide made for an excellent template for this guide
Anyone who spends the time to give this a read and leave any feedback


Staff member
Dec 24, 2019
The Level 18 Cleg Zealot
Originally posted by crawlingdeadman, May 20, 2008

Note: This guide was originally written for BNet. Please bear in mind it may recommend items not found or permitted in Single Player.

Table of Contents:
1. Introduction
2. Stats
3. Skill point allocation
4. Equipment
5. Strategies
6. My Zealot
7. Thanks

1. Introduction

at level 18 in duels there is one build that dominates the public dueling games. that build is the 18 zealot. there are of course variations to the build, but the standard 18 zealot is a powerhouse that is fairly cheap (to start) and really tough to beat. very little varies between zealots and equally matched (gear wise) ones will duel all day with the only difference being who gets the deadly strikes and who doesnt.

there are casters around at level 18, but they are less common than at lvl 30. levels 9-18 are a predominately melee weight class. there are several viable ranger builds, but when i think of level 18 dueling, standing still and holding left click is what comes to mind.

2. Stats
Strength: your highest req item should be 55 (clegclaw's sword). you'll be getting 10 from twitch and start with 25 so you'll be needing 20 more strength.

Dexterity: the dexterity you require for max block (using any rlvl 18 shield) will be granted by gear so you dont need a single point here.

Vitality: the rest.

3. Skill point allocation
i highly recomend getting hell rushed. this build doesnt need to be, but 40 life, 10 stats, and 8 more skills are welcome. you wont really care about resists, but there's 20 more of them too. with hell rush and 18 levels you will have 29 skills to play with. there are various ways to go skill wise.

first, some skill basics; sacrifice gives you 12%ed synergy bonus per level to zeal, while zeal only gives you 6%ed per level (only with 5 skills or more invested). zeal does however give you 10%ar bonus per level. after the first skill point invested, both aura options only give you 10%ed per level so only put more into them after maxing sacrifice. after maxing sac, getting an aura, and putting the needed 4 into zeal the options arent much different raw data wise. i see a lot of people using concentration, but from a numbers standpoint might makes more sense. the chance of uninterruptible from conc isnt going to do anything for you as zeal is already uninterruptible.

Conc Build:
18 sacrifice
7 zeal
1 might
2 blessed aim
1 concentration

the extra point into blessed aim is there because there's nowhere better to put it. you can only put one into conc and both sacrifice and zeal are maxed for their levels. with this skill allocation, you get 294% ed and 80% ar.

Might Build (variant 1):
18 sacrifice
7 zeal
4 might

this skill allocation is the one i'm using now. it gives a total of 304%ed and 70%ar. i thought originally that this good mix of ed% and ar% would be useful but after doing the research for this guide, i think that with a good charmset (to make up for the ar loss) that the "best" build would be:

Might Build (variant 2):
18 sacrifice
4 zeal
7 might

i've not used this one, but raw ed% numbers look good at the cost of a big chunk of ar%. 316% ed 40% ar.

No Rush Build:
16 sacrifice
4 zeal
1 might

there is no better skill allocation for the non rushed build (baring use of a good scepter). this will give you 228%ed, 40% ar. because of the really low ed% per level of zeal, only go up to skill level 4 for the 5 hits. after that it's better to put as much into sac as you can for more ed%.

for any of the above, i do not recommend wasting the two points to get charge, you can get a scepter with it or javs to use vs rangers/casters. i highly recomend using javs as charge is very mana intensive and you get zilch from your gear for it. the typical zealot will have less than 50 mana.

AR Notes:
i fiddled around with a chance to hit calculator to help you determine which skill set you'd be better off with. i used my guy's stats as a basis in a zeal vs zeal situation (basically figuring out how much of a chance to hit himself he has). with only gear and charm AR and AR% additions i came out with a 85% chance to hit. with an additional 80%ar (conc build above) it came out to a 90% chance to hit. with only 40% more ar (might build variant 2 above) it came out as a 88% chance to hit. bear in mind your mileage may vary and i also did not figure in blocking. also keep conc barbs in mind. they will be much much tougher to hit.

4. Equipment
~ 3os crown (15% superior prefered)
~ angelic ammy
~ clegclaws sword
~ twitchthroe (60 def is perfect)
~ 60%+ ed/110+ ar 4os shield (aerin is prefered, but as long as it's not putting in more strength than the rest of the listed gear any will do)
~ deaths gloves
~ angelic rings
~ deaths belt
~ cow king's boots

you need the 50 ias from twitch and deaths partial set to hit the best zeal break point at this level so there are no other options for those 3 slots. you could use partial sig for it's 30% ias, but it's a far weaker option as you'd lose out somewhere in the rest of your gear to make up for it.

~ eth/repair war javelins or 5os scepter with + charge on it
~ 60%+ ed/110+ ar 4os shield

the only charms available at this level that will help you increase your damage are fine grand charms (i lied, large charms also can have max damage/ar/life, but on a per space basis, grand charms are better). when looking for charms the best for this level would be a 6max damage/48 ar/20 life grand charm. if you're having a hard time finding these grand charms you can start out with all 15 lifer small charms. this dramatically increases your life. an alternative to both is to use 5x grand charms and then fill the rest of your space with plain 15 lifers (this is what i do). it's a fairly good balance between all out damage and max life.

normally for duelers (at any level) you dont want to have stats on charms. this is because you can get more life on a charm than you can stats that would be saved to put into life. as an example, you can have 2 str (i'll use strength as the example as we dont need dex at all) on a small charm which in turn translates to 6 life (3 life per vitality on a paladin) in that same space you could have a 15 lifer. as you can see 15 > 6 so you'll put those 2 hard points into str and get yourself a 15 lifer. the exception to this is if you're having a hard time finding grand charms with 19-20 life (if you're using them that is). in this case you can use 3x 6max/ar/6str grand charms. these charms are the equivalent of an 18 life grand charm (6 saved stats = 18 life for a pally). in other words you should use 6max/ar/6 strength or 6max/ar/19life (or more) grands. anything less than 19 life would you actually would be better off with strength over life (until you hit your gear reqs then you're back to life being better even if it is lower than 18).

~ 45 res 4os sheild with a 1 pdiamond and 3xmax jewels (i usually use this on my switch so that i avoid going to stash vs elemental damage dealers)
~ another pair of eth/repair javs or a non eth pair of repair javs so you dont have to wait while your main ones repair
~ duskdeep (for smiters/kickers if you want. i have one, but never use it as they dont really pose a problem)
~ 15 max/xx ar socketed cleg for when you feel you need a bit more ar
~ amethyst socketed cleg for when you really need some more ar (this is where the conc build would be better than the might build. if you are really not able to hit the opponent, you can switch to using blessed aim for a very large ar boost)

jewels start out at 15 max (you can use less, but you'll replace them with pretty easy to find 15's so just start there instead). fill every socket with them (9 of them not counting switch gear). replace them as you can with jewels up to 20 max damage.

5. Strategies
Vs. Melee
1) say "go" wait for oponent to say "go"
2) left click on them with zeal while having the aura of your choice up
3) when one of you dies say "gd"

Vs. Caster/Ranger
run around trying to not get hit (walk if vs charger) throw javs from range. if you get close enough switch to zeal (with cleg) real fast and hit them.

6. My Zealot
this isnt about bragging, i know that my dude isnt even near the best, but i wanted to show people what i had and what to shoot for.

Screen shot:
here's a collage of Lock-Ree's stats and the important gear.

life: 904
attack rating: 2160 (2460 with amethyst cleg)
damage: 40-1016 (40-932 with amethyst cleg)

thanks goes especially to ATOMICMAN for his cleg zealot guide as that's what i started with. also to chrono trigger and elusive for the great duels last ladder. thanks also to queen mebd and the other members of the Low Level Dueling group for taking a look at my rough draft. thank you U_M for your mod skills lastly a very special thanks to all the pubs i've smashed over the years. without you dying horribly i'd have been bored with losing to my betters within minutes.

now go out there and make something other than this build 👍 no really, please.