Paladin: Frost Zealot in Hell, advice wanted

veryfakename

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Paladin: Frost Zealot in Hell, advice wanted

Hey there. Looking for some help with my frost zealot. Sorry for the ludicrous length but people are going to ask what my skills and stats and gear are eventually, so I'd rather get it all out of the way here. Not sure if I should post here or the Paladin forums but I figure there they'll just tell me I should soooo obviously be using ::insert item I would never find in 100k hours of playing::. I'd rather stick with the single player forums.

So far it's been quite fun to play. *Most* cold immunes haven't proven to be a big issue, though if they've got some nasty mods in a boss pack I can run into trouble. I have grown to hate HF + Mana Burn so much. I swear half of boss packs spawn with the latter.

I'm in Hell, Act V. Single player, so no partying/trading. Just ATMA.

Semi-twinked, I guess. I don't have a lot of great uniques as I've never beaten Hell with an LoD char. This Paladin is the closest I've come; I abandoned a Summon Necro (lvl 84) around the Frozen River, and a Cold sorc (lvl 77) in Act I Hell. So I've had very limited time to find nice gear to bestow on new characters.

He's more "twinked" than my previous characters though. The most significant things he's been given are a Lightsabre, String of Ears, Infernostride, Duriel's and Gheed's. He's found or gambled everything else.

The Lightsabre (Necro got it off Hell Diablo I think) is easily the most significant hand-me-down, and I do feel a little sad to think that I probably would not have made it this far without it. I'm still not used to the idea of a character getting "help" (even from my own other chars!) so I need to get over the nagging feeling that I haven't "earned" my modest success so far with this character...

Level 83

Stats (without items/with items)
Str - 130/139
Dex - 143/143
Vit - 202/217
Eng - 35/35 [base]

20 stat points unused

Resists (varies with gear somewhat)
Fire/Cold - 85%
Lit/Poison - 75%

Skills (base; add +1 from gear)
Zeal - 20
Holy Freeze - 20
Resist Cold - 20
Holy Shield - 5
Salvation - 2
Prereqs - 7

20 skill points unused

Gear
Armor - Depends; Duriel's Shell w/Ral (hand-me-down) or upgraded Iceblink. I know, it's lame, but the freezing effect, even so brief, is really useful so the IB has been my main armor since Act II Nightmare when I found it. I just don't feel as satisfied with anything else. It was a hell of a lot more useful back in NM though where it made sure nothing moved, ever. I usually give my merc Duriel's as she needs the res more, but I'll take it back if I get a lower res shield. Keep a Rattlecage in stash for act boss CB. Don't wear it normally b/c 1) no res and 2) holy crap I hate Hit Causes Monster to Flee. Ok, it's good for survivability but it is the absolute most frustrating mod to play with, ever. Doesn't work against the stuff that's likely to kill me anyway (uniques, bosses).
Helm - Rockstopper w/Ort. Weak roll - 169% ED, Cold 22%, Lit 28/58%, Fire 43%; found another recently, was even worse. Nonetheless, I haven't found anything that compares for a Zealot yet. Gambling for Guillame's, but not holding my breath.
Weapon - Lightsabre. The added non-cold damage has been great and it's damn fast. I'm scared that switching to an non-ITD weapon is going to be a jarring change so I'm reluctant to use anything else.
Shield - 61% Enhanced damage superior Crown Shield with 4 perfect Diamonds (76% res all). I know I'm bypassing a lot of great uniques but 1) that's moot since I've never found any of them! and 2) I really, really need those resists. I do hope to find a 4 socket elite Paladin shield to help with def though, the 35 on this ain't cutting it.
Gloves - Crafted Blood, 9% CB, 3% life leech. No IAS but Lightsabre is already 5fps attack without any help and getting to 4fps is highly impractical even with it.
Boots - Infernostride. Love the boost to max fire res but I'm looking for better.
Belt - String of Ears. 7% life leech, 14 MDR, 10% PDR. I will never be replacing this.
Rings - Dwarf Star for the absorb and MDR; Rare 6% l-leech, 30% cold res, 1/2 freeze dur, minor other mods.
Amulet - Highlords Wrath, my only +skill unfortunately. Also possibly the only unique I've ever gambled in LoD.
Switch - Edge in a Spider Bow, more for gambling and picking off occasional enemies than anything else.
Charms - I don't want to list them all, suffice to say they total to Gheeds + topping off res (esp. poison), +128hp, +13-22 fire dmg, +1-9 lit dmg, +406 poison dmg.

Mercenary
Act 1, Fire. I... have a complex relationship with her. It's nice that I have to revive her slightly less than a melee merc but good god the AI on these mercs is atrocious. Atrocious! She charges straight into boss packs and tries to melee them with her bow, and that's if I'm lucky. Otherwise she'll just stroll around through mobs without doing anything but getting murdered. I want to absolutely strangle her sometimes. (Seriously,why do Necro skeletons have vastly better AI than a merc?) I've been sorely tempted to replace her but the idea of leveling up a new merc is off-putting, and I've gotten so close to the end already. I've used Act 2 mercs before but I can't keep them alive in Hell because I can't find the insane uniques/runewords everyone puts on their mercs as if it's the most typical thing in the world.

Mercenary Gear:
Helm - Rare circlet, mostly for some half decent elemental damage and fire res. I've been gambling to replace it but no luck so far.
Armor - As mentioned above, Duriel's w/Ral. When I need that for the Cannot be Frozen, she temporarily gets the Iceblink or whatever.
Bow - Widowmaker unique Ward Bow. Only useful for high damage output, no nice auras or anything. I know she needs leech but I'm highly skeptical that it'll do her any good since her deaths come al of a sudden, from getting herself swarmed despite my best efforts to keep her away. 1380+HP to dead before she can get three shots off.

Her res is 75/75/61/61 f/c/l/p with Duriel's. Helm is the best path to improvement but I'd need to find something.

Okay, all that aside, here's a little recap and some thoughts on the future.

27 MDR (integer); 23% PDR. Absorb 25% lit, 15% fire. Leech 16% life, 6% mana. +1 to skills.
2600 AR (low but ITD = hit a lot anyway and merc sometimes adds Inner Sight)
1736 Def with HS (it's been hard to raise this, hence HS might get those unspent skill points)
62% chance to block with HS
1043 HP, 157 MP
1639-2115 zeal damage with HF on

I have had phenomenally *awful* luck getting any decent runes, so just assume I don't have anything needed to make good runewords and never ever will. Except that Hell HF dropped an Um. I want to make Duress if I can find the right armor (3s Archon Plate, where are you? Or at least a cracked one I can cube to ilvl1 and socket quest.)

What I seem to need most is:
+skills - very hard to get without sacrificing res, leech, etc. I have a Steelclash in ATMA but +1 skills doesn't make up for massive loss of resists.

CB - 9% doesn't cut it, and Rattlecage sucks for other reasons. Duress will add 15% when I find the right armor but that's still only 24%. Want to make a Black runeword on switch when I find a suitable weapon, but no 3s or socketable items are coming my way.

Merc to not be retarded - not much I can do about this.

Spend those 20 stat points - Well, Vit is logical but I like to have some points in reserve in case I find some sexy item just out of reach of my stats. I was caught totally off guard by the huge phase blase dex req and don't want that to happen again. As I've been leveling (very, very slowly...) I've been upping Vit but these 20 are a reserve I don't want to touch until I have to. "Just find high +str small charms to make up for it" is easy to say, but hard to do.

Spend those 20 skill points - I haven't used any since my early 60's. I just can't decide where to go. I've considered getting a backup attack but...
Vengeance: Don't like it, and it would restrict me to high damage weapons. And it'd be hard to synergize it with only 20pts. I don't see where it would help me muc.
Holy Shock/Fire: are not adequate without synergies. Again, I need 40 points (or at least like 30) to really move that along, not 20. I'm also not comfortable going HF-less, even momentarily.
Salvation: I think my cold damage is adequate, this would only add a couple hundred more. If I were rolling in +skills maybe I'd care more, but I never will be.
Sacrifice: I calculated what maxing this would do and wasn't overly impressed.

So that leaves... Holy shield, I guess. My blocking is not maxxed with this shield unfortunately but it's 62% with HS. Maxing would get me to 71% block. Max HS would also be a nice def boost, though I need to actually find high def items to benefit from that. I could get a Defiance Merc if I'm really desperate I guess.

The thing that prompted this whole long post is... Hell Ancients. I've run into problems before, Act II Hell was bad for example, but these guys are a brick wall. I've already lost about 12 million exp to them and don't want to go back until right after I level (and thus can't lose any exp) although it'll take many hours to get to 84.

The WW Ancient is just horrible. He goes through me twice and the fight is over. My merc is useless here, they eat her alive. Because I can't TP out I can't restock on potions, and even if I filled my belt with 16 full rejuvs (I've got about 100 stashed away in ATMA I can draw on), I'd have to hit one after every WW and I'd still run out. Maybe I should fill my whole inventory as well... geh.

Well, general build advice for this endgame phase would be appreciated. So too advice on how to handle the Ancients. Do I just need vastly higher def, and to hope WW misses a lot? I'm also a bit worried about how I'll handle Baal and his minions, but if I have Duress and maybe a Black on switch by then I'm thinking he'll go down quite nicely. I was shocked and amused how fast Diablo fell apart. A couple Oblivion Knights are much more frightening.
 
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Re: Paladin: Frost Zealot in Hell, advice wanted

Okay, I haven't finished, but I have some comments already.

1. what version are you playing? You say you don't want to level a merc, but that isn't needed in the current version (1.12a)

2. Your skills and items look decent. It shouldn't be too hard to finish. I guess I need to finish reading your post.

3. In Single Player, you can trade and do multiplayer. We have a subforum devoted to each. Be sure to read all of the rules before posting in those forums.

I'll add more as I finish reading.

4. if you have ITD, then inner sight does you no good. As you probably already know, 2600 AR is horribly low in hell.

5. you need max block (75%) - spend the stat (or skill) points to get it.

6. "(3s Archon Plate, where are you? Or at least a cracked one I can cube to ilvl1 and socket quest.)" Oh, you've done your homework. Well, Duress does have a good +defense mod, so you should hold out for a decent armor, but it needn't be an archon plate. If you have something with at least 450 defense, make it now.

7. It's a close call, but I think that Lightsabre will be better for you than Black. The runes are cheap, so go ahead and make it, but I think you'll probably go back to Lightsabre.

8. "The WW Ancient is just horrible. He goes through me twice and the fight is over. My merc is useless here, they eat her alive. Because I can't TP out I can't restock on potions, and even if I filled my belt with 16 full rejuvs (I've got about 100 stashed away in ATMA I can draw on), I'd have to hit one after every WW and I'd still run out. Maybe I should fill my whole inventory as well..." Potions aren't a problem. Cover the floor with pots before the battle.

9. You can shop for a wand with lifetap charges. That mostly makes it unloseable (is that word?).
 
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Re: Paladin: Frost Zealot in Hell, advice wanted

I'm a fan of maxxing Sacrifice for elemental zealots. I know the overall damage increase doesn't look impressive, but it gives you a much needed boost against CIs and it provides you an important defensive benefit--more physical damage = more hp returned from life leech. And it's always active, unlike a backup aura.

I would ditch the rogue merc for a Blessed Aim Act II merc. You may think that's silly when you have ITD, but ITD does not work against uniques, champions, bosses, or Ancients.

IMO those two things will help you kill faster, and the extra life leech will provide you a much better defensive benefit than maxxing Holy Shield.

I like SnickerSnack's idea of shopping a life tap wand for an immediate solution for dealing with the ancients. What I usually do, with melee characters, is put one of the unique weapons with a big % slow target (Blackbog's Sharp and General Tan Do Li have 50%, Kelpie Snare has 75%) on switch. Switch to % slow weapon, tap each Ancient with it, then switch back to primary weapon and just kill them (with life leech healing me much faster than they can damage me). That makes the Ancients fight (not to mention all the bosses, including Baal) pretty trivial for melee characters.

So take your pick between shopping for the life tap wand, or trying to get one of the weapons I mentioned (by running NM Meph with your cold sorc, perhaps).
 
Re: Paladin: Frost Zealot in Hell, advice wanted

1. what version are you playing? You say you don't want to level a merc, but that isn't needed in the current version (1.12a)
Newest version, so 1.12 yes. Huh... I've never actually replaced a merc later than Act 2 Nightmare, so I had no idea the mercs they offered went up in level as I did. Sheesh, talk about missing something obvious. I suppose the best reason to keep a merc from early on is that they get slightly higher stats at 'x' level than a merc hired outright at that level, right? Something like that anyway, don't remember where I read it.

3. In Single Player, you can trade and do multiplayer. We have a subforum devoted to each. Be sure to read all of the rules before posting in those forums.
Well, true, I can. It's just that I never really have made the leap. I tried getting a friend into the game once, but he doesn't like it. As for trading, maybe, but I guess I never felt comfortable with it. And don't have much of value to trade.

4. if you have ITD, then inner sight does you no good. As you probably already know, 2600 AR is horribly low in hell.
Yeah, low it is. Hence I know I'm in trouble if I lose that ITD. With it, I'm fine, I will very often land all 5 strikes of a Zeal no problem. I'm just not sure what good options I have for raising the AR without getting a Blessed Aim merc. Zeal is already maxxed and it has no +AR synergies. Guess it's just a gear problem, and not one I can fix easily. Boy I really would be sunk as a build without that Lightsabre...

5. you need max block (75%) - spend the stat (or skill) points to get it.
Using all 20 remaining stat points in Dex would probably only net me a few % points in block which leaves bumping HS, which will still leave me short. Most guides I see say in the 140's is fine endgame dex for a Paladin... but like most guides that's probably working under the assumption that I have huge +dex mods elsewhere I guess. If I do max HS, then I might as well go all 15 points to max that, put the remaining 5 in Defiance, and get a Defiance merc... My killing speed satisfies me (but this is on /players 1, I'd probably hit a wall around /p3...) so I guess focusing on survivability is the way to go.

Well, Duress does have a good +defense mod, so you should hold out for a decent armor, but it needn't be an archon plate. If you have something with at least 450 defense, make it now.
I wish I'd started saving white and socketed items a long time ago... I can only imagine I've ignored or sold off plenty of usable Wyrmhides, Hauberks, etc. Wish I hadn't used a superior great Hauberk to make Wealth for my Necro. What a waste! And I've never found another Lem or Ko so unsocketing it and destroying them isn't a good option. Er, if I even have the items needed for unsocketing.

7. It's a close call, but I think that Lightsabre will be better for you than Black. The runes are cheap, so go ahead and make it, but I think you'll probably go back to Lightsabre.
Heh, I have only ever found Io twice... My rune luck is really bad. If I had a Sorc that was viable in hell (maybe that'll be my next project, cookie cutter for rune/mf) I'd do LK or Hell Countess runs but it's too tedious for anyone without a fast casting teleport. Running around sucks... Anyway, yeah, if I can find a Scourge or something with 3s I'll make one for act bosses, although the AR problems may sink that.

Edit:
Potions aren't a problem. Cover the floor with pots before the battle.
Yeah... hadn't thought of that actually. I just need to make sure the WW one stops killing me as soon as he touches me.

9. You can shop for a wand with lifetap charges. That mostly makes it unloseable (is that word?).
I actually have a kris or something with 90 LT charges I found a couple days ago. I'll try that.

Thanks for the advice!


 
Re: Paladin: Frost Zealot in Hell, advice wanted

I would ditch the rogue merc for a Blessed Aim Act II merc. You may think that's silly when you have ITD, but ITD does not work against uniques, champions, bosses, or Ancients.
Did not know that about ITD. Surprised I didn't have a lot more trouble with previous bosses given my low AR then. I guess CB made it seem to go fast anyway. Hm, I'm still undecided on if I want a merc that will only be of major benefit in a few situations (that I've gotten by okay in so far) but it's something to consider.

So is the leech angle for preferring Sacrifice over HS. 16% leech and a good damage weapon has been a huge help so far.

What I usually do, with melee characters, is put one of the unique weapons with a big % slow target (Blackbog's Sharp and General Tan Do Li have 50%, Kelpie Snare has 75%) on switch.
The Tan Do Li was my main weapon for much of the early game, so I could grab that again. I do miss that slow effect... Does the slow effect last as long as the fight or only a set amount of time? Early on enemies didn't stick around long enough for me to take notice.

I guess I need to figure out how high I can realistically get def with a nice armor, max HS, some defiance, and a defiance merc. If it's not enough to result in a dramatic decrease in enemy % to hit me, then I guess it's not worth it. I mean, from like 70% to 55% isn't going to revolutionize anything, but if they were down around 25% instead, then maybe.


 
Re: Paladin: Frost Zealot in Hell, advice wanted

As others said, 75% block for the win. You don't _have_ to max other resists than lightning, although it is nice. +skills are good, but not vital. I'd rather get gear to cover the basic melee abilities.

For the numbers, I made these graphs. The level difference will mean only a little (+/- 5%):
Monster chance to hit vs Def
The morale of this graph is that unless you get well past 5000 def, it really does not matter. This means a lot of Holy Shield, and a good armor. Otherwise you're better of with Twitchtroe for the increased chance to block.

Chance to hit vs Monster def.
The defence range is representative of D2 hell difficulty, and since we are talking bosses, the defence is a tad better than a Minion of Destruction. Again, 5000 is pretty much the turning point. Less than that, and CtH is just to low. Above graphs is not to say that you need both numbers, just that if you only can get one of these numbers to around 2500, you should not make sacrifices to do so but rather work in another direction, like ITD and max Block.

The Um rune you have could be spend in several different ways to increase your fighting abilities.

Duress is a solid choice. It offers a lot of juicy mods in small amounts. However, if you are going for defence, a Stone easily gives just under 2000 def, and Gloom gives both better defence than Duress and +45 res all. This frees up a lot of other equipment. Any 3 socket armor will do. If you get a Duress, a Spirit shield will give some skills and resistance, or a Rhyme for Increased Block and Cannot be Frozen.

I tried Black on a Zealot. The knockback is a definite no-go, unless you really have nothing else.

On the weapon side, the most cost-effective choice for Um would be Crescent Moon, in a Phase Blade. I'd even go as far as running areas like early act V until I've got it, also to make up for the XP. It will not help a lot against the Ancients, but it offers a large Static Field, effectivly halving all monsters HP before you have to deal with them.

For the Ancients, I have on occasion beat them by getting a bow, a ton of arrows, and shooting them while running like a madman. It is cowardly, takes an hour (literally) and prone to fail, but it gets the job done when nothing else works. Actually, that is how my frost zealot came through. Running areas until you are at level 84 is a good idea, and you might consider running Mephisto instead, you might get a lucky break.

If you a desperate, Pindle is a solid source of XP and items. This assumes the red portal still is open.

After the Ancients, another area of Oblivion Knights await in the Worldstone Keep. I have tried to kill them with a wand with ITD and high elemental damage. It takes patience and potions. Otherwise, you can S&E and hope for better monster rolls. You do not have to fight the Ancients again after defeating them, just pass the area.

Hope this helps you, although it might just be as wall of text.
 
Re: Paladin: Frost Zealot in Hell, advice wanted

I think with your current gear what I'd do would be to use something with Life Tap charges as Snicker suggested, grab that General Tan Do Li, put on the Rattlecage, invest your skill points into Holy Shield and Smite them to oblivion. The main benefit of Smite is that it always hits (regardless of your AR), it'll carry the CB nicely and with Holy Shield maxed you'll deal enough physical damage to not have to worry about life loss.

Besides that another suggestion is to walk at all times when fighting them! When running your block is reduced to 1/3 and monster's attacks bypass the to-hit calculation (so they'll always hit you unless they're blocked), if Talic catches you running and whirls you'll be gone in no time. If you see you're going to die don't be afraid of using a TP (have it hotkeyed if you want) to reset the fight, the level of difficulty varies a lot depending on their mods and the roll they have on their gear (it's randomly generated every time, so if you're unlucky and they get Cruel weapons it's going to hurt).

Good luck with them!
 
Re: Paladin: Frost Zealot in Hell, advice wanted

Some excellent suggestions above. One thing to know about the "throw potions on the ground" is that after a while (a pretty long time, actually) they can disappear. You can "refresh" them by picking them up and dropping them. So if you have a long set up period before the Ancients battle you might want to be aware of that. Another idea for a tricky melee Ancients battle is to go hunting for a combat shrine before facing them- there may be one near a WP in A1 or anywhere in the game, and if you are used to having ITD, the AR boost from that can help plug that hole. And it will increase damage as well.

Another alternative for bosses besides a life tap wand/dagger is a lower resist dagger, since so much of your damage is from cold. Generally, cold immunes don't get broken by LR but for a boss which has a significant cold resists, LR is a huge help. Duriel for example!
 
Re: Paladin: Frost Zealot in Hell, advice wanted

Newest version, so 1.12 yes. Huh... I've never actually replaced a merc later than Act 2 Nightmare, so I had no idea the mercs they offered went up in level as I did. Sheesh, talk about missing something obvious. I suppose the best reason to keep a merc from early on is that they get slightly higher stats at 'x' level than a merc hired outright at that level, right? Something like that anyway, don't remember where I read it.

Mercs hired on higher level (NM, Hell) do get lower stats. So if you want act 1, 3 or 5 merc go to Normal and never hire act 2 merc in Hell. This for long time companions.

You can rehire any merc that is suitable for the situation. Got CIFI stoneskin boss: go and hire act 3 lighning sorc to kill it. For utility merc it doesn't matter where you hire them.

You might want to search the forums for Jiansonz' great guide to act 1 mercs. It tells you how to manage them so that they don't die so often.

Ulla


 
Re: Paladin: Frost Zealot in Hell, advice wanted

The Tan Do Li was my main weapon for much of the early game, so I could grab that again. I do miss that slow effect... Does the slow effect last as long as the fight or only a set amount of time?

The slow effect lasts for a certain length of time. I don't remember how long it is, but it's fairly long--like 20 or 30 seconds.

Your rune luck isn't all that bad. Hel and higher just plain drop very rarely during questing... people who have a decent number of those runes have them from running Countess, LK, etc.

The dex you have is normally more than enough for a paladin to have max block, because the unique shields that are good for paladins (e.g. Herald of Zakarum) have a bonus to blocking %. Generally, people don't go for max block without a shield that has such a bonus, because of the ridiculous dex that would be required (mitigated a bit by Holy Shield for a pally, but I'd still rather max Sacrifice than Holy Shield).

I'd like to hear how your fight with the Ancients goes when you show up with either (or both?) your Tan Do Li or Lifetap charges. :D


 
Re: Paladin: Frost Zealot in Hell, advice wanted

I'd like to hear how your fight with the Ancients goes when you show up with either (or both?) your Tan Do Li or Lifetap charges. :D
Short reply:

I just got back from this, and while it was utterly nerve-wracking and death was far too close for comfort, I got them this time. Used the Tan Do Li + potion carpet method. Thanks very much to everyone who contributed advice.

Longer:

Before I started on them I ran various uniques (Mephisto, Hephasto, Pindle, Eldritch, Travincal, in no particular order). I didn't bother hiring a merc for any of this because I'm starting to think I'm better off without one. 50,000g every few minutes and a lot of worrying and wasted potions when I can get by on my own? I think I'll only be hiring a merc in specific situations from now on, or if I find some godly items I think might actually keep them alive.

Didn't find anything for my Paladin, but some uniques dropped:
Jade Talons, maybe good for an Asn if I ever try one. Found another earlier today, so I could dual wield them I guess.
Que-Hegan's Wisdom, looks nice for a caster.
Valkyrie Wing, not impressed. If they wanted to drop special Winged Helms I'd have totally preferred Guillame's...
Stormspike, has some crazy + to max resist damage. If it works like I assume it does, that'd be neat for a damage reduction focused Paladin build if I ever had the patience. Not sure if it'd be viable as a long term weapon but 47-90 dmg + 1-120 lit isn't awful if physical damage isn't the build's focus.
Assorted garbage uniques, seriously, how many Skull Splitters does one person need? [Hint: 0.]

Anyway, nothing that this character is going to use, *except*... a cracked Wire Fleece, that I promptly fixed up to normal and socketed for Duress. It actually has better def than the Archon Plate I'm holding onto and only 8 or 9 str higher req, and the final Duress came to 1356 def. For once, for once in my life, I got a good roll on the variable mods. 14% (max 15%) enhanced damage and 193% (max 200%) enhanced defense. Thank goodness.

I swapped my 9% CB crafted gloves for Laying of Hands. Somehow, it put me at what must be the 4fps level, which I thought I had calculated wouldn't happen - I must have used the speed calc wrong though, because I was most certainly attacking noticeably faster than I was with just Lightsabre and Highlord's. The extra 20% on LoH must have hit a breakpoint. The extra speed and huge +dmg to Demons really seems to make up for the lost CB, at least now that I had 15% on Duress to make up for it.

Also spent a few million gp gambling unsuccessfully. I know the chances of gambling a Dracul's or Gore Rider is slim to none but what the heck, might as well try. It's a shame Goblin Toe has no FR/W, because that has a wonderful 25% CB. Not that I have one on hand anyway.

Right after getting to lvl84 (so there was no EXP for the ancients to steal if I died!) I ATMA'd up about 45 full rejuvs, filled my belt, and covered the ground all over. I had my meat shi... merc distract them for the ~4 seconds he lasted so I could hit them with the Tan Do Li. Then I got to work.

I suppose I got lucky on their mods. Only the axe thrower was cold immune. Unfortunately he was Cold Enchanted and mana burning, so I was chilled and mana-less the entire fight. Every time I hit a full rejuv my mana was gone 1 second later. When my initial 16 rejuvs ran out, picking up the others proved difficult - I was chilled so the bastards just followed me, leaping and WWing away. Damnit I want a Ravenfrost or something. I just barely made it, and wound up drinking almost every potion I'd bought. I wish I hadn't spread the potions quite so far apart, that was stupid, but a win is a win.

I think the huge defense boost (more than 900 over what I was using, doubling my total defense) made a huge difference. WW hit me far less often. I'd sunk all 20 of those stat points into dex, which raised block to 71%. Though I admit I put them in dex by accident... I didn't mean to save after doing so, but must have accidentally done so. Oh well, at least it's some AR. 163 dex on a paladin is probably ludicrous but that's my mistake. I don't consider it points totally wasted, but I'll be wishing I had more vit, especially if I ever get a nice shield that doesn't need the help to reach max.

I never actually spent the skill points, so now I have 21 of them waiting to be used. I see Blessed Aim has a passive 5%/level bonus but I'm not sure if that's a good way to spend points. I may just go Sacrifice after all since I have depended so much on life leech.

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To elaborate on the merc situation, I initially tried a defiance merc for the heck of it. He had Duriel's, along with Face of Horror for the +str, because I gave him a rare Ogre Axe that did 82-429 damage, with 1-164 lit, 6-38 cold and 50 poison. I socketed it and put in an Amn for 7% leech. It seemed like a good idea, but I soon found out that I'd wasted a socket quest because even leeching off that huge damage, the merc didn't last long in any remotely challenging mob. Clearly IAS and more leech were needed... yeah, not viable until I find some nice stuff. Argh! Mercs, how I hate them. So I then tried a BAim merc, and two act 3 mercs, and all died at the first sign of trouble. At that point, I washed my hands of them. Going it alone is better for my bank account and heart.

Once again, thanks all. WSK and Baal should be less of a problem than this was. I think.


 
Re: Paladin: Frost Zealot in Hell, advice wanted

Congratulations. Now the WSK should be doable, the Ancients are harder. Remember that if Baal creates a double early, you can go to town and wait it out. Best of luck, I hope to see a pat thread soon.
 
Re: Paladin: Frost Zealot in Hell, advice wanted

Good job getting past the Ancients! That's definitely the hardest fight in the game (for most builds, anyway), Baal will be easy in comparison. Use the Tan Do Li again on Baal--he usually doesn't teleport around or bring in his twin when he's tapped with the 50% slow.

Try to get yourself some mana leech if you can. You don't need a lot, with zeal, but even a little will help when you're getting mana burned. Vampire Gaze (PDR and dual leech) is one of my favorite helms for melee characters (and mercs, for that matter).
 
Re: Paladin: Frost Zealot in Hell, advice wanted

I'm glad you were able to manage the ancients! If you expect the merc to die, you may have found it more helpful to hire (temporarily) an A1 merc, as they cast Inner Sight. Inner Sight lasts after the merc is dead, unlike the Blessed Aim aura. Another thing that I should have mentioned is thawing potions- with your +10% passive bonus to max cold resist, you also get a +10% max from the potions, which would bring you to 95% cold resist, which would have been helpful. And there is the "temporary unfreeze" you get from that as well.
 
Re: Paladin: Frost Zealot in Hell, advice wanted

Have fun with Baal's minions. Personally, I always have enormous trouble with the second wave.
 
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