Duo Paladin Guide - Summon Paladin into Holy Caster Paladin

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Igneus
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Summon Paladin & Holy Caster Paladin


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Foreword



Paladins in Median XL offer a strong chassis to build on. The base class is very sturdy; it offers good health and mana scaling, and a few of the skills available to it boost its survivability very well.

Summon Paladin is arguably the best early game build for paladin. Regardless of where you end up, running a Summon Paladin will get you through the early game quickly and efficiently.
That said, Summon Paladin hits a wall hard. At Lv120, or earlier, you may find yourself wanting to remove your eyes with a spoon. That's not unusual, Summon Paladin has simply outlived its usefulness.

At that point it's time to swap out of Summon Paladin. Enter the Holy Caster, a boss hunting spec. It does not have good clear speed, and leveling as a Holy Caster is a dismal experience to say the least. What it does is kill bosses and clear the Labyrinth. It does both of these things very well, and it does these things on a good budget.

If you want a solid guide for leveling a paladin quickly, Summon Paladin is for you.
If you want a solid guide for a boss-hunting paladin spec, Holy Caster is for you.

This is a guide for both.



Quick Links


WIP


Basic Information



Useful Links



Grab the 'D2Stats Reader' tool from the 'Tools' link above if you don't already have it.
It is both a loot filter and a great way to accurately read the statistics of your character.

Paladin Base Stats

STR 25
DEX 20
VIT 25 (75 starting life)
ENE 15 (15 starting mana)

+35 life, +10 mana per character level
Gains +3 life per point in Vitality
Gains +3 mana per point in Energy

Breakpoints

For those who don't know, in Diablo II actions such as completing an attack, casting a spell, or blocking an enemy's strike require a certain number of frames to complete their animation. This is referred to as 'frames per action' (FPA).
When an item or skill boosts the speed of a certain action (e.g. faster cast rate) the game will determine if you have enough of a boost to reduce the FPA necessary for that action; the numbers required for the game to lower your FPA are referred to as breakpoints.

The table below lists a few of the relevant breakpoints we will consider when building a Paladin. To check these yourself, you can use the Speed Calculator found here: https://dev.median-xl.com/speedcalc

For clarity, here are the acronyms used to refer to breakpoints:

FPA: Frames Per Action

IAS: Increased Attack Speed
FCR: Faster Cast Rate

FHR: Faster Hit Recovery
FBR: Faster Block Recovery


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Holy Caster cares about the breakpoint entries marked in red.
Summon Paladin cares about anything higher than the default breakpoints.

Entries for Paladin's Block Rate have not been included; you will not have a high enough block chance for them to matter.


Mercenary


I don't like mercenaries; they steal kills and die inglorious deaths.
If you want to use one, then each guide (Summon & Holy Caster) will provide a short section on gearing an appropriate mercenary to meet your needs.


Introduction to Paladin Skills


This section will provide a brief description of the Paladin skills from the perspective of both Summon Paladin, and Holy Caster.
► Show Spoiler



Crafting Tiered Uniques


This section is for players who are new to Median XL, and don't know about crafting Tiered Uniques.
► Show Spoiler


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Early Game - Summon Paladin


This section will cover how to prepare a Summon Paladin, which will take you from level 1 to 120.
Attributes
► Show Spoiler


Skill Trees
► Show Spoiler


Minion Resistances
This section is aimed towards new players. If you already know how Minion Resistances work, move onto the next section.
► Show Spoiler


Gear: Level 1 - 100
► Show Spoiler


Progression Guide
This section contains important information if you are a new player.
► Show Spoiler


Honorific Items - Basics
This section is aimed towards new players. If you already know how Honorific Items work, move onto the next section.
► Show Spoiler


Shrine Crafting - Basics
This section is aimed towards new players. If you already know how Shrine Crafting works, move onto the next section.
► Show Spoiler


Shrine Crafting - Summon Paladin
► Show Spoiler


Gear: Level 100+
► Show Spoiler


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End Game - Holy Caster


This section will cover how to prepare a Holy Caster Paladin and when to transition. It will take you from roughly level 120 onwards.

Attributes
► Show Spoiler


Skill Trees
► Show Spoiler


Gear: Level 120+
► Show Spoiler


Progression Guide - Not Updated Yet
► Show Spoiler





Sine Qua Non


Many thanks to everyone in the MXL Discord who helped me in putting this guide together.
Ben-, Seekers, Cube, and Trognar all helped a lot in putting together this guide.
Thanks also to KissofAries, and mortimer_85 for some extra gearing suggestions.

If you'd like to get in touch with me, best bet is through the MXL Discord: @Igneus#0749
Edited by Igneus 1 week.
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DonkeyNeutron
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Orr
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why u are using rapture instead of euphoria ? , atleast euphoria provides free pierce
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Igneus
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Running Euphoria also means less points for Dragonheart.
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Dreamhunter
Grubber
335 | 11
Nice one mate (:
Kepy11
Stone Warrior
34 | -1
Im currently building one of these. I really like
Dux Infernum
Dux Infernum
War Axe (Sacred)

One-Hand Damage: (115 - 128) to (140 - 156)
Required Level: 100
Required Strength: 581
Item Level: 120
Strength Damage Bonus: (0.11 per Strength)%
You Cannot Summon Jinns Directly
15% Chance to cast level 60 Jinn on Melee Attack
+(4 to 5) to All Skills
+(150 to 180)% Enhanced Damage
Adds 500-1000 fire damage
0.5% to Fire Spell Damage (Based on Character Level)
+1 to Jinn
+200% to Summoned Minion Life
Maximum Cold Resist -2%
+200 Life on Attack
Socketed (6)
and
Celestial Barrier
Celestial Barrier
Spiked Shield (Sacred)

Defense: (2525 - 2828) to (3012 - 3374)
Chance to Block: 1% + Class%
Required Level: 100
Required Dexterity: 550
Item Level: 120
+(4 to 5) to All Skills
30% Cast Speed
-50% Attack Speed
1% Base Block Chance
-(20 to 25)% to Enemy Elemental Resistances
+(150 to 180)% Enhanced Defense
Total Character Defense 50%
(0 to 2)% Reanimate as: Burning Titan
(0 to 2)% Reanimate as: Cruel Titan
(0 to 2)% Reanimate as: Frostborn Titan
Socketed (6)
combo. I also use Euphoria so I can get gear with more spell damage, like using
Elemental Disciple
Elemental Disciple
Light Plate (Sacred)

Defense: (6034 - 7131) to (7246 - 8564)
Required Level: 80
Required Strength: 602
Item Level: 105
+(1 to 4) to Druid Skill Levels
+(1 to 4) to Assassin Skill Levels
+(1 to 4) to Paladin Skill Levels
1% Base Block Chance
+(15 to 35)% to Fire Spell Damage
+(15 to 35)% to Lightning Spell Damage
-5% to Enemy Fire Resistance
-5% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
+(120 to 160)% Enhanced Defense
Regenerate Mana +30%
20% Gold Find
Socketed (6)
,
Lorekeeper
Lorekeeper
Light Gauntlets (Sacred)

Defense: (1018 - 1179) to (1159 - 1342)
Required Level: 80
Required Strength:
272
Item Level: 120
+3 to All Skills
20% Combat Speeds
+(5 to 10) to Firedance
+(90 to 120)% Enhanced Defense
Regenerate Mana +(40 to 60)%
Requirements -50%
Socketed (4)
and
Veil of the Tainted Sun
Veil of the Tainted Sun
Blackguard Helm (Sacred)

Defense: (3042 - 3434) to (3680 - 4093)
(Paladin Only)
Required Level: 100
Required Dexterity: 387
Item Level: 120
+150 Spell Focus
+(3 to 4) to Paladin Skill Levels
+(25 to 30)% to Fire Spell Damage
-(20 to 25)% to Enemy Fire Resistance
+(35 to 40)% to Physical/Magic Spell Damage
+(10 to 15) to Cataclysm
+(160 to 200)% Enhanced Defense
+(500 to 1000) Defense
Physical Resist -6%
1% Reanimate as: Howling Spirit
Socketed (4)
. Personally Ive found regen mana an issue without the above 3 items

Also I use 2x
Ras Algethi
Ras Algethi
Ring

Required Level: 100
Item Level: 105
+(40 to 50) Spell Focus
2% Chance to cast level 44 Magic Missiles on Melee Attack
+(15 to 20)% to Fire Spell Damage
-10% to Enemy Fire Resistance
+(15 to 20)% to Physical/Magic Spell Damage
Physical Resist -2%
and a +3
The Tesseract
The Tesseract
Amulet

Required Level: 100
Item Level: 105
+2 to All Skills
25% Cast Speed
+(1 to 30)% to Fire Spell Damage
+(1 to 30)% to Lightning Spell Damage
+(1 to 30)% to Cold Spell Damage
+(1 to 30)% to Poison Spell Damage
-(1 to 20)% to Enemy Fire Resistance
-(1 to 20)% to Enemy Lightning Resistance
-(1 to 20)% to Enemy Cold Resistance
-(1 to 20)% to Enemy Poison Resistance
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Igneus
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Forgot that I'm using Ras Algethis, ty. I've had terrible luck with all my Tesseracts so far. I'll add them in any case.

If you're able to get decent pierce off gear then I think it's much better to run Light Influence for Rapture and Sacred Armour; it's much easier to hit breakpoints with Rapture. Hoplites are actually useful in rifts, they're a bit more sturdy than Scourge and they're less mana/time intensive to resummon.

There are definitely merits to both Influence paths, but I think Light edges out Shadow with proper gear.

I don't have any struggles with mana usage in late game to be honest, regen from jewellery helps enough. Casting all Wyrms shouldn't drain your mana completely, and the other spells you actively cast aren't nearly as expensive as that.

One thing I'd like to do soon is calculate perfect % rolls for Crafts, but that will probably come next ladder cause I'm pretty burnt out on playing at the moment.
Necrofeelyah
Prowler
15 | 0
So I’m not much for caster’s in general, but if I were to run one this would be it. Super well written guide. Very clean and clearly detailed. GG bro
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Igneus
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Thanks homie, I appreciate it!


I changed some gear suggestions and added a table that lists out ideal crafting affixes innate to equipment, if anyone finds any mistakes in the table please let me know and I'll fix them.

I also added a link to mortimer_85's spell damage guide, helps to understand the relationship between spell damage and energy factor.
mortimer_85
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I know that affix list in the docs may be out of date, but here some notes on your crafting affixes.

Boots: never saw EF innately on Boots, it is also not in the affix ist in the docs
Paladin Blunt: According to docs at least Bonebreakers can roll up to 21-30 EF.
Weapon in general: can roll 31-40 all attr so Paladin Blunt and War Scepter can
Scepters: can roll up to 51-75 energy according to docs

Also note that affix from the same group cannot roll at the same time: (all attr + energy for example)