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Beginner Hammerdin Build and Strategy Guide

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Introduction:
This beginner hammerdin build and strategy guide aims to inform beginners about possible starting gear and builds for a magic find Hammerdin to get starting in Diablo 2 Lord of Destruction. But what are Hammerdins?
Hammerdins are one of the strongest, if not the strongest, characters in the game. The Hammerdin is a Paladin who uses the skill blessed hammer along with the concentration aura to boost his hammer damage.

Skills:
At level 90 we do have 101 skill points to spend:
20 Blessed Hammer
20 Concentration
20 Blessed Aim (synergy for blessed hammer)
20 Vigor (synergy for blessed hammer)
1 Fanatism
1 Redemption
1 Salvation
7 Passage skills
Rest into Holy Shield or Holy Bolt 

Our main skill is blessed hammer; thus, we max this skill first. Then we max its synergies vigor and blessed aim, afterwards we max concentration for maximum damage!
What do I max last? Holy Shield or Holy Bolt?
That depends on your playstyle! If you want to be able to do baalruns quickly, I would suggest maxing Holy Bolt in order to defeat the 2nd baalwave. These minions are immune to magic and can only be defeated by your merc or holy bolt.
If you do not plan to do a lot of baalruns or want to play hardcore, I suggest you max holy shield in order to be able to spend more points into vitality and strengthen your defense!
Put one extra point into Salvation as well as Fanatism to boost your merc whenever you’re fighting vs magic immune monsters. Also, this will enable you to do the Hellfire quest! More about that in another guide!

Stats:
Strength: Enough to wear our gear
Dexterity: Enough to reach 75% block (maximum block chance)
Vitality: Rest
Energy: None, you’ll learn the drill…

Items:
What kind of items do we need? Everything with the following stats:
+ Skills
+ Faster Cast Rate
+ Resistances
+ Life
+ Mana
+ Dexterity
+ Strength

Budget Build:
• 2 socketed helmet with Lore runeword – Ort Sol
• 2 socketed armor with Stealth runeword – Tal Eth
• 4 socketed sword with spirit runeword (try to get 35% FCR)
• 4 socketed spirit shield with 20@ + (try to get 35% FCR)
• Trang- Ouls belt
• Amulet with +skills / all resistances / magic find > anything will do at the start
• 10 FCR ring + adds > anything will do at the start
• Magic find ring / Nagel ring 20mf+
• Tearhaunch boots
• Trang- Ouls or Magefist gloves

This build is super cheap, but it will do the trick! You get everything you need from this build! You will either reach 75% or up to 125% FCR, which is fast enough to kill massive hords of all enemies super quick! If youre missing anything, pick up charms along the way with everything you might need (resistances / life / magic find / etc). If youre short on mana get frostburn gloves (+40% maximum mana) instead and only aim for 75% FCR.

Mid Tier Build:
• Peasant Crown
• Skin of the Vipermagi
• Wizardspike / Suicide Branch / Spirit Sword (try to get 35% FCR)
• Trang- Ouls Belt 
• Seraph’s Hymn / Rare amulett with + skills / resistances / magic find 
• Trang Oul / Magefist gloves or Chance Guards
• Herald of Zakarum or Spirit Elite Pala Shield 40@+ (try to get a 30fcr+ one)
• Nagel Ring (The highest MF you can find / afford)
• 10 FCR rare ring with adds like resistances / life / strength / dex / magic find
• War Traveler / Any magic find % boots
• Paladin Torch

This build uses many +skills items which results in more damage and therefore way more clearspeed. You can pretty much solo the entire game with this build already! If you’re going for 125% FCR try to get a nice paladin shield-based spirit with 35% FCR. If you can’t get your hand on a decent one, you should be aiming for 75% FCR, which is absolutely enough at this point! Use Herald of Zakarum instead of Spirit as your main shield, this will even increase your screendamage! Mana shouldn’t be a problem at this point, your mercenary will help you if you keep struggling > See the chapter Merc for more information
For the switch you can either add more MF and switch right before you kill bosses or add Call to Arms + Bo Spirit, which will help you farm way safer and faster.

High Tier Build:
• Shako Ist’d
• Heart of the Oak runeword (Ko Vex Pul Thul) in a 4 socketed flail
• Enigma runeword (Jah Ith Ber) in 3 socketed mageplate / dusk / archon plate
• Mara’s Kaleidoscope amulet
• Arachnid Mesh belt
• Chance Guards gloves 40% MF
• Spirit Sacred Targe with 45 all resistances automod and 35% FCR
• 10% FCR rare ring with adds like strength / life / resistances / magic find
• War Traveler boots 50% MF
• Gheeds grand charm 40% MF
• 7% MF small charms (as much as you want)
• Call to Arms runeword + Bo Spirit
• Paladin Torch
• Annihilius

This build will add up everything you can dream of! 125% FCR with over 11000 damage, maximum resistances and over 350% magic find. And most importantly: Enigma grants you the best skill in the game: Teleport! Nothing will be able to stop you at this point, not even in a 8 players game in hell difficulty. You will mow down every enemy that crosses your path. To boost your damage even further you can add Paladin Combat skillers into your inventory and boost your damage even further!! Add more 7% MF small charms to boost your magic find in order to find even more rare and unique items!! 
You have have one of the fastest clear speeds with the highest magic find possible in the game. 

Mercenary:

Budget Build:
Get an act 2 nightmare difficulty defensive mercenary and equip him with anything you find along the way! The only item I suggest is the runeword Insight (Ral Tir Tal Sol in a 4 socketed polearm, you can find the runes quite easily at nightmare countess!). Insight equips your mercenary with a level 12-17 mediation aura which will help you to reduce your need for mana potions. Don’t waste trading items on him besides Insight, rather upgrade your gear!

Mid-Tier Build:
Act 2 nightmare defensive mercenary
Ethereal Vampire Gaze
Treachery (Shael Thul Lem) in an ethereal 3 socketed elite armor
Insight ethereal elite polearm

High-Tier Build:
Act 2 nightmare offensive mercenary
Ethereal Andariels Visage with a 15ias / 30 fire res jewel
Breath of the Dying in ethereal War Pike
Fortitude (El Sol Do Lo) in ethereal armor

Gameplay:
You want to maximize your drop chances; therefore, you try to farm as efficient as possible. Start by faming at the Mausoleum beneath the Burial Grounds in act 1. It’s a level 85 Area with of 4-5 Boss groups which can drop every item in the game. Next stop is The Pit which you find easily by following the path in the Tamoe Highland starting at the Outer Cloister. It can be tricky to clear at first, but since you’re a hybrid sorceress, you should be fine. Level 1 and 2 will spawn between 8 to 11 Boss Packs with the same drop chances as the mausoleum. Continue with Andariel. Once you feel strong enough you can add the chaos sanctuary in Act 4 to your list and continue with act 5. Start hunting Shenk & Eldritch as well as Pindleskin. Once you obtain at least the Mid-Tier Build you can farm Nihlathak as well. But be prepared, Nihlatak is one of the strongest enemies you will face! He uses corpse explosion and might be able to kill you easily! In order to avoid this, switch your Aura from Concentration to Redemption, which will clear all dead bodies and deny Nihlathak the corpse explosion! 
Always end your runs with the biggest level 85: Worldstone Keep Level 1, 2 and 3 as well as the Throne and Baal himself. Try to keep your resistances maxed and a strong merc for those few magic immune monsters at the second baalwave, which you can also defeat by using Holy Bolt instead of Blessed Hammer. 
Good luck finding your desired items!!

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