This Justiciar Paladin Guide is for V1.12+ Diablo 2/LOD.
Justiciar Paladin Guide Foreword
Paladins. No matter what combination of skills you use for a paladin, tradition dictates that it must have a title such as Templar, Vindicator, Avenger, Zealot and so on.
So, in keeping in line with this age-old tradition, I introduce to you the Justiciar. A Justiciar essentially is an individual who hunts down wrongdoers and dispenses swift and immediate Vengeance upon them. Judge, Jury, and Executioner as it were.
Quite a fitting title for a Paladin really. The skills that the Justiciar utilizes then I hear you ask?
Fanatism represents speed, the essense of swift. That’s easy. Justice depends on your personal point of view. Some people quite often liken Justice to Revenge or Vengeance upon the perpetrator. Yes, The Justiciar blends the skills Vengeance and Fanatism together. Far better name than a Fanatic Avenger, isn’t it?
In the past, Avengers have traditionally used Conviction in hand with the elemental damage of Vengeance and rightly so too. Few have tried Vengeance and Fanatism together. Most people will tell them that it is the wrong combination, that they should change and use Conviction instead. For years it has been like this and I for one has been one of those very people telling others that Vengeance and Conviction are the best combination.
Well, here in this guide, I’m going to tell you otherwise. Sit down, grab some munchies, beverage and enjoy.
The Avenger compared to the Justiciar
Time to break out some facts and figures and crunch some numbers. For this comparison, we will assume a standard Paladin set up, being;
- 150 for strength.
- 300% enhanced damage Cadacaus weapon.
- Level 25 Vengeance and Conviction.
- 10 skill points into each Vengeance synergy.
For our Justiciar, we change Conviction for Fanatism at the same level.
The damages for our two example characters will be;
- 1741-2023 for the Avenger.
- 2418-2810 for the Justiciar
According to the character screens respectively.
Now we need a target to test our two builds against. A typical monster which I will call a MoD for this comparison which may or may not stand for a Minion of Destruction, or not. Anyway, this target has 50% resistance to Physical and cold damage, Immunity to Fire (assume it can’t be broken) and 0% resistance to Lightning damage.
Right, versus the MoD, adjusting the damage to the various resistances, our two paladins fare thusly;
- The Avenger will do a total of 2013-2339 to our example MoD target. (2176 average)
- The Justiciar will do a total of 1208-1404 to our example MoD target. (1306 average)
No comparison right? Well, there is more to the story than just damage and that is how fast you do the listed damage or attack speed. Now let’s say, for example, our two paladins have an attack speed of 8 frames. This requires 110% IAS for the Avenger and only 30% IAS for the Justiciar.
Hmmm. You know, with that much IAS, our Justiciar could use a Legendry mallet instead of a Cadacaus, which has a higher base damage and only requires 90% IAS with level 25 Fanatism. That would leave us with a socket free of IAS, so let’s chuck in a 20 to maximum damage jewel into that free slot instead of an IAS jewel.
While we are at it, let’s also add in some Deadly Strike as well to both Paladins, 30% in total (Highlords at level 80).
Now let’s see what we get;
- Now the Avenger will do a total of 2105 – 2447 to our example MoD target. (2276 average)
- Now the Justiciar will do a total of 1921- 2534 to our example MoD target. (2227 average)
How about that. With a couple of changes, our Justiciar’s damage is nearly equal to our Avenger’s damage versus our example MoD target.
So let’s continue comparing the two builds. We will assume that the Avenger continues using the cadacaus weapon and that the Justicar continues using the Legendry Mallet with a socketed 20 maximum damage jewel. Both will continue using 30% Deadly Strike.
The second target monster to test both builds against has an across the board 50% resistance to everything. We will call this monster a PD, which may or may not be a Putrid Defiler, possibly.
- The Avenger will do a total of 2742 – 3401 to our example PD target. (3071 average)
- The Justiciar will do a total of 1650 – 2010 to our example MoD target. (1830 average)
Our third and final example target monster is a more typical monster encountered in Hell difficulty, with a twist. This monster has 90% physical damage instead of the normal 50%, and immunity to one element. All other resistances are 0%. This one we will call a BL which may stand for a Blood Lord, maybe.
- The Avenger will do a total of 1865 – 2167 to our example BL target. (2016 average)
- The Justiciar will do a total of 1380 – 1682 to our example BL target. (1531 average)
It gets worse for the Justiciar. Every now and again, you will encounter a boss pack with their own Conviction aura to reduce your character’s resistances. Not so for the Avenger as when two Conviction aura’s come together, the higher level wins and negates the lower level. So the Avenger maintains his resistances whereas the Justiciar is affected by the monster’s Conviction aura.
The Avenger can add more elemental damage from many different sources. Direct elemental damage from items and charms, items that cast various skills on attack, on being hit such as Frozen Orb, Volcano, Charged bolt etc.
Where things get interesting are the runewords that have Paladin aura skills such as;
- Doom – Level 12 Holy Freeze aura
- Dragon – Level 14 Holy Fire aura
- Dream – Level 15 Holy Shoke aura
- Ice – Level 18 Holy Freeze aura
- Pride – Level 16-20 Concentration aura
So we can add fire, lightning, and cold damage from the Paladin’s relevant aura skills into the mix by equipping them either on our character or via our faithful mercenary while running the conviction aura from the Avenger.
There are, however, three rune words of particular interest to the Justiciar;
- Beast – Level 9 Fanatism aura
- Faith – Level 12-15 Fanatism aura
Wait a minute. So, does that mean I can make a Justiciar with Vengeance and Fanatism and gain the Conviction aura from an item? Yep, the third rune word is;
- Infinity – Level 12 Conviction aura
We essentially have two Justiciar builds.
The Traditional Avenger-based brings the best reduction of targets resistances via the highest level of Conviction with a moderate increase in enhanced damage and attack speed from a lower level of Fanatism.
The Fanatism-based Avenger brings the highest base damage from Vengeance via higher enhanced damage from the higher level of Fanatism and faster attack speed, but lower reduction of targets resistances thanks to a reduced level of Conviction.
Here is where the true Justiciar is revealed. The Justiciar is not simply Swift justice via Vengeance and Fanatism. He also brings Conviction as well to the wicked and dispenses upon them swift vengeance with conviction.