Beginner Zealer Paladin Guide

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Before people discovered the strengths of Hammerdins, Paladins were mostly played as melee characters, foremost as Convictionist or Zealer Paladin. This guide informs about the latter, the Zealer, more precisely the Fanazealer. Fanazealers use the combination of the attack skill zeal with the damage bonus of the aura fanatism.

At level 90 we do have 101 skill points to spend:
20 Zeal
20 Sacrifice (synergy for zeal)
20 Fanatism 
20 Holy Shield
1 Vigor
1 Redemption
1 Salvation
8 Passage skills
Rest into skills of your choice

Our main skill is zeal, but we do not max this skill first, only put 4 points into it. First, we start maxing sacrifice until level 30, then we start maximizing fanatism. Secondly, we max sacrifice and lastly, we start maxing zeal.
Why do we start maximizing sacrifice before we start maximizing zeal?
Sacrifice is a synergy to zeal and grants +12% extra damage per hard-set point, while every extra point into zeal only gets you half of that damage; thus, we maximize sacrifice first.
Extra points can be spent however you need them, for example: If you feel like you’re lacking attack rating put some points into blessed aim! Every hard-set point grants you 5% extra attack rating. Every 2 hard-set point into resistance vs cold / fire / lightning you gain +1 max resistance.

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

What kind of items do we need? Everything with the following stats:
+ Damage
+ Attack Speed
+ Lifeleech & Manaleech
+ Deadly Strike
+ Crushing Blow
+ Resistances
+ Strength
+ Life
+ Mana
+ Dexterity
+ Faster Hit Recovery

Budget Build:
• Gulliaume’s Face set Helmet (Orphan’s Call)
• 3 socketed armor with Lionheart runeword – Hel Lum Fal
• Lightsabre Phaseblade or Baranar’s Star or Astreon’s Iron Ward
• 3 socketed paladin shield with ed/ar automod + Sanctuary runeword Ko Ko Mal
• String of ears Belt
• Highlord’s wraith amulet
• Raven Frost ring
• Rare ring with stats you’re missing (Lifeleech / Ar / Str / Res / whatever you can get)
• Tearhaunch boots
• Laying of Hands gloves from the The Disciple set

This build is super cheap, but it will do the trick! You get everything you need from this build! With the Lightsabre Phaseblade you reach max attack speed with of 4 FPA (Frames per attack). The game splits every second of the game into 25 frames. With zeal you will attack 5 times, which will divide into 4/4/4/4/8 frames each, which is the fastest attack speed you can get with your fanazealer. If you’re on a really tight budget you can start off the with Honor runeword (Amn El Ith Tir Sol), which is a great beginners weapon and available at level 27!

Mid Tier Build:
• Gulliaume’s Face set Helmet (Orphan’s Call)
• 3 socketed armor with duress runeword – Shael Um Thul
• Oath runeword (Shael Pul Mal Lum) in eth elite sword / axe / mace
• Herald of Zakarum Shield
• String of ears Belt
• Highlord’s wraith amulet
• Dracul’s Grasp gloves
• Herald of Zakarum or Spirit Elite Pala Shield 40@+ (try to get a 30fcr+ one)
• Bul-Kathos’ Wedding Band 3-4% Lifeleech
• Raven Frost ring with 20Dex / 200+ Ar
• Gore Rider Boots
• Call to Arms runeword (Amn Ral Mal Ist Ohm) + Bo Spirit (Tal Thul Ort Amn)
• Paladin Torch

This build is solid enough to lead a few people though hell difficulty by yourself already! If you’re facing a physical immune monster – which are actually pretty rare – ignore it and let your merc with his holy freeze aura get the kill, depending on his equipment he will kill them pretty easily. Add Call to Arms + Bo Spirit, which will help you kill your enemies way safer and faster.

High Tier Build:
• Crown of Ages with 2x 15max 40enhanced damage jewels
• Breath of the Dying runeword (Vex Hel El Eld Zod Eth) in eth Berserker Axe
• Fortitude runeword (El Sol Do Lo) in 4 socketed elite armor
• Highlord’s wraith amulet
• Verdungo’s Hearty Cord 40 Vitality, 15 Damage Reduction, and 13 Liferep
• Steelrend gloves 20 Str 60ed
• Exile runeword (Vex Ohm Ist Dol) in 4 socketed eth Vortex Shield with 45 all resistances 
• Bul-Kathos’ Wedding Band with 5% Lifeleech
• Raven Frost ring 20dex / 250ar
• Gore Rider boots upgraded
• Call to Arms 6/6/4 runeword (Amn Ral Mal Ist Ohm) + Bo Spirit (Tal Thul Ort Amn)
• Paladin Torch 20/20/5
• Annihilius 20/20/10
• As many 3 Max Dmg / 20 Ar / 20 Life or 20Life / 5res small charms as you can afford!

This build will add up everything you can dream of! Tons of Damage, 4FPA attacks, max resisistances, tons of Crushing Blow and Deadly Strike! There won’t be many enemies left to challenge your with this build! It’s very expensive but absolutely worth every penny!


Budget Build:
Get an act 2 nightmare difficulty defensive mercenary and equip him with anything you find along the way! Rather upgrade your gear before you think about upgrading your merc! If you have trouble with AR you can switch you merc for an act 2 normal difficulty offensive merc with the blessed aim aura. If you want to equip him, I’ll suggest gear as close to yours as possible. Equip him with non-ethereal Bonehew or Reaper’s Toll weapon.

Mid-Tier Build:
Act 2 nightmare defensive mercenary
Ethereal Vampire Gaze
Treachery (Shael Thul Lem) in an ethereal 3 socketed elite armor
Ethereal Bonehew or Reaper’s Toll

High-Tier Build:
Act 2 nightmare offensive mercenary
Ethereal Andariels Visage with a 15ias / 30 fire res jewel
Pride runeword (Cham Sur Io Lo) in ethereal 4 socketed Colossus Voulge
Fortitude (El Sol Do Lo) in ethereal armor

There is only one thing you have to do: Click on the enemies!! Depending on your build you will just melt throw them like a hot knife through butter! There are some more items you can consider adding or switching in your build, foremost weapons: Last Wish in Phaseblade (Jah Mal Jah Sur Jah Ber) or Grief (Eth Tir Lo Mal Ral). Both are excellent options you should consider if you don’t want to use Breath of the Dying.
There are also armors you can consider switching in: Chains of Honor (Dol Um Ber Ist) for better resistances or Enigma (Jah Ith Ber) if you want your Fanazealer to be able to take advantage of teleport!

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