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Chain Lightning Sentry Assassin PD2 Build

Chain Lightning Sentry Assassin PD2 Build

Solid S-Tier Assassin build that is based on one of the most powerful Lightning abilities in the game

Chain Lightning Sentry
Assassin Build

Updated for Season 2

Build notes:
April 27, 2021
-Build created


Build Overview

Trap-based Assassins are among the strongest Season 2 Project Diablo 2 builds. They shine in all types of content and can achieve unbelievable clearing speeds. While everybody knows the Wake of Fire Trap Assassin, its brother - the Chain Lightning Sentry Assassin is much less popular, despite being more versatile and, in some cases, much stronger. 

Unlike the Wake of Fire Trap Assassin, this build does not rely on a single element - it utilizes three types of damage (Lightning, Physical, and Fire). This makes it extremely versatile and capable of dealing with immunities with relative ease. However, its main source of Damage is lightning which means that it will be less effective in zones that are dominated by enemies resistant to this element (this weakness is not that big and can be overcome with strong gear). This is a solid S-Tier Build according to our PD2 Tier List for Season 2 that can be found here.


You can also check our other Best Project Diablo 2 Builds


 Pros  Cons
 Extremely strong in solo PvE   Less mobility than its main competitor build - Chain Lightning Sorceress 
 Can easily deal with most monster immunities   Except for lightning which makes the build less effective in some areas (like Travincal) 
 Excellent Cow Level clearer   
 Very versatile and fun to play   



  1. Strength - All you want, in terms of Strength, is enough of it to equip everything you will want to use on your character. 
  2. Dexterity - If you're not going for max block, you only need enough Dexterity to meet gear requirements. If you do go for max block, you will have to spend enough points here to achieve it (don't do that without proper gear). 
  3. Vitality - You should put all your remaining points here - main stat. 
  4. Energy - Adding points to Energy is an extreme waste - don't do it. 


This skill tree is the main focus of this build. The abilities we take are extremely powerful and have some incredible properties (for example, they deal high AoE damage and "aim" themselves at approaching enemies). Unlike the Wake of Fire Assassin, we don't focus on a single damage type here but get three instead (Lightning, Physical, and Fire). 


  1. Fire Blast [X/20] - Prerequisite. You can spend your remaining points here. Doing this will boost your Shock Web and Death Sentry, which is the best bang for your buck. 
  2. Wake of Fire [1/20] - Prerequisite. 
  3. Shock Web [20/20] - Throws a web of lightning to shock your enemies. This is mainly a synergy skill that boosts our Chain Lightning Sentry. However, it is also great for dealing single-target damage. 
  4. Charged Bolt Sentry [20/20] - A synergy skill that makes our Chain Lightning Sentry much stronger. 
  5. Lightning Sentry [1/20] - Prerequisite. This is weaker overall than the Chain Lightning, so it's not worth focusing on. 
  6. Wake of Inferno [X/20] - Prerequisite. If you'd like to have a skill that deals high fire damage as backup, you can consider spending your remaining points here. 
  7. Chain Lightning Sentry [20/20] - This build's main offensive ability. It is a trap that shoots chain lightning at passing enemies, dealing massive amounts of damage to multiple monsters at a time. Skills that boost Chain Lightning Sentry include Shock Web, Charged Bolt Sentry, and Death Sentry. 
  8. Death Sentry [20/20] - This Trap deals some fire damage in addition to high physical damage (corpse explosions) which comes in handy for dealing with lightning-immune enemies. It serves as the build's secondary damage source that nicely complements the Chain Lightning Sentry (and it also synergizes with it). 


Shadow Disciplines allow us to improve our mobility and survivability in combat. 


  1. Claw and Dagger Mastery [1/20] - Prerequisite. 
  2. Burst of Speed [X/20] - This is our main utility skill. It gives a high boost to movement and attack speed for a period of time. The Burst of Speed provides an extremely solid mobility boost - you should have it active at all times. Put enough points here to get to the highest Attack Speed breakpoint (if you have enough high-end gear to make it, that is). 
  3. Weapon Block [X/20]  - Optional - only consider this one if you prefer dual-wielding claws over equipping a Shield. A passive skill that gives you an increased chance to block when you're dual-wielding claws. This increases our defenses substantially; you should put all your remaining points here. 
  4. Fade [1/20]  - Optional. This increases all your elemental resistances for a period of time. Only take it if you struggle to get enough elemental resistances from gear. 

The only skill from the martial arts tree we're interested in is the Dragon Flight. It's very useful, so you might have to invest some points into the tree to get it. If you have the Enigma runeword in your Chestplate, you can skip this Skill tree entirely. 


  1. Dragon Talon [1/20] - Prerequisite. 
  2. Dragon Claw [1/20] - Prerequisite. 
  3. Dragon Tail [1/20] - Prerequisite. 
  4. Dragon Flight [1/20] - Allows you to teleport to enemies and kick them. The teleport part is what we're interested in - it increases our mobility and allows us to simply teleport out of trouble. 



As per usual with PD2 Builds, you want to get as many Skill levels (Assassin/Traps in this case) as possible to increase the build's overall power level. Your other focus should be maxing out Block. Resistances are also important, but they should never come before the offensive power. A faster cast rate is not necessary and should be avoided if possible. Defensive stats, like faster hit recovery, are a nice addition but you should not choose gear for them specifically. 


Harlequin Crest (Shako) - You can never go wrong with this one. It gives you everything you might want - +2 to all skills, damage reduction, magic find, and some attributes. 

Harlequin Crest

  • Defense: 98 to 141 
  • Required Level: 62
  • Required Strength: 50
  • Durability: 20
    • +2 to All Skills 
    • +1-99 to Life(1 per character level) 
    • +1-99 to Mana(1 per character level) 
    • Damage Reduced By 3-5% (varies) 
    • 50% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items 
    • +2 to All Attributes 

Griffon's Eye (Diadem) - A very good offensive choice that increases our Lightning Damage AND decreases enemy lightning resistance. It also gives +1 to all Skills which is nice. Its main downside is a complete lack of defensive stats (except for raw defense). 

Griffon's Eye

  • Defense: 150 - 260
  • Required Level: 76
  • Durability: 20  
    • +100-200 Defense (varies) 
    • +1 to All Skills 
    • 25% Faster Cast Rate 
    • -(15-20)% to Enemy Lightning Resistance (varies) 
    • +(10-15)% to Lightning Skill Damage (varies) 


Plague (Runeword) - A great choice that provides a solid offensive boost (including skill increases) and some utility. If you put it in good Claws, the results will be astonishing (we recommend Greater Talons). You can dual wield these if you feel like you don't need to run a Shield. 


  • Damage:  Depends on base Weapon
  • Required Level: 67
  • Required Dexterity: Depends on base Weapon
  • Required Strength: Depends on base Weapon
  • Durability: Depends on base Weapon 
  • Cham + Fal + um  
    • 25% Chance To Cast Level 15 Poison Nova On Striking 
    • 20% Chance To Cast Level 12 Lower Resist When Struck 
    • +1-2 All Skills 
    • +260-380% Damage To Demons (varies)
    • -23% To Enemy Poison Resistance 
    • 0.3% (0-29.7) Deadly Strike (Based On Character Level) 
    • Adds 5-30 Fire Damage 
    • 25% Chance Of Open Wounds 
    • Freezes Target +3 
    • +10 To Strength 

[Alternative/Budget] Magic Claws with +3 to Traps. These can be purchased in Act V from Anya. Claws like this are enough for the early ladder and provide a nice early power boost. 


  • Damage:  Depends on the Weapon
  • Required Level: Varies
  • Required Dexterity: Depends on the Weapon
  • Required Strength: Depends on the Weapon
  • Durability: Depends on the Weapon 
    • +3 To Traps (Assassin Only) 


[BiS] Stormshield (Monarch) - A BiS defensive option that will allow you to achieve Max Block. Pick it if you prefer a defensive playstyle. 


  • Defense: 136-519 (Depends on your level)
  • Required Level: 73
  • Required Strength: 156
  • Durability: Indestructible
    • +3-371 Defense (+3.75/level) 
    • 25% Increased Chance of Blocking 
    • 35% Faster Block Rate
    • 20-30% Physical Damage Taken Reduction 
    • +40-50% Cold Resist 
    • +25% Lightning Resist 
    • +20-30 Strength 
    • Indestructible 
    • Attacker Takes Lightning Damage of 800-1400 

Call to Arms (Rune Word) - This powerful Runeword will allow you to pre-buff yourself up with Warcries (buffs persist through weapon swap). 

Call to Arms

  • Defense: Depends on base Weapon 
  • Required Level: 57
  • Required Strength: Depends on base Weapon ​​​​​
  • Durability: Depends on base Weapon 
  • Amn • Ral • Mal • Ist
    • +1 to All Skills 
    • +40% Increased Attack Speed 
    • +250-290% Enhanced Damage 
    • Adds 5-30 Fire Damage 
    • 7% Life Stolen Per Hit 
    • +2-6 To Battle Command 
    • +1-6 To Battle Orders 
    • +1-4 To Battle Cry 
    • Prevent Monster Heal 
    • Replenish Life +12 
    • 30% Better Chance Of Getting Magic Items 

Lidless Wall (Grim Shield) - A very powerful Shield that grants up to +2 Skills and high FCR. Good to have on swap for that additional Skill Levels. 

Lidless Wall

  • Defense: 271 - 347
  • Required Level: 41
  • Required Strength: 58
  • Durability: 70
    • +80-130% Enhanced Defense (varies) 
    • +1-2 to All Skills (varies) 
    • Increase Maximum Mana 10% 
    • 20% Faster Cast Rate 
    • +4-6 to Mana After Each Kill (varies) 
    • +10 to Energy 
    • +1 to Light Radius 


Mara's Kaleidoscope - A great combination of offensive (+2 to all skills) and defensive (+20-30 to all resistances) properties. This is one of the best Amulets in PD2 overall and it fits most of the builds, which makes it a good investment. 

Mara's Kaleidoscope

  • Required Level: 67
    • +2 To All Skills 
    • All Resistances +20-30 (varies) 
    • +5 To All Attributes 

[Alternative] Rare/Magic Amulets with + Assassin/Traps Skills are great budget choices and solid fillers before you are able to get Mara's Kaleidoscope. 

Amulet Amulet

  • Required Level: varies. 
  • In Magic Amulets, look for:
    • +3 to Traps. 
  • In Rare Amulets, look for:
    • +2 Assassin Skills 
    • Magic Find 
    • Resistances 
    • Attributes 


[BiS] Enigma (Runeword) - You simply can't get a better chest piece than this one. It provides everything you might want from an item, including 3 charges of Blink that make taking Dragon Flight unnecessary (they recharge quite quickly which makes them extremely useful to have). 


  • Defense: Depends on base Armor 
  • Required Level: 65 
  • Required Strength: Depends on base Armor 
  • Durability: Depends on base Armor 
  • Jah + Ith + Ber  
    • +2 To All Skills 
    • +25% Faster Run/Walk 
    • Blink Charges 3/3 [Recharges 1 per 6 sec]
    • +500-775 Defense (varies) 
    • +(0.5*Clvl)-(0.75*Clvl) (varies) To Strength (Based On Character Level)
    • Increase Maximum Life 5%
    • Damage Reduced By 4%
    • 15% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
    • +(0.5*Clvl)-(0.75*Clvl) % (varies) Better Chance of Getting Magic Items (Based On Character Level) 

Chains of Honor (Runeword) - Very strong runeword that mixes solid defenses (resistances, leech, and enhanced def) with a nice +2 bonus to all Skills. 

Chains of Honor

  • Defense: Depends on base Armor 
  • Required Level: 65 
  • Required Strength: Depends on base Armor 
  • Durability: Depends on base Armor 
  • Dol + Um + Ber + ist 
    • +2 To All Skills 
    • +200% Damage to Demons 
    • +100% Damage to Undead 
    • 8% Life stolen per hit 
    • +70% Enhanced Defense 
    • +20 Strength 
    • Replenish Life +10 
    • All Resistances +40-60 (varies) 
    • Damage reduced by 4% 
    • 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items 


[BIS] Raven Frost - This ring provides Freeze immunity which is extremely important to have. If you have freeze immunity from another item, you can choose a different ring. 

Raven Frost

  • Required Level: 76
    • +150-250 Attack Rating (varies) 
    • 15-45 Cold Damage 
    • +15-20 Dexterity (varies) 
    • +40 Mana 
    • Cold Absorb 5-10% (varies) 
    • Cannot be Frozen 

Bul-Kathos Wedding Band - A  great ring that adds +1 to Skills. It also increases stamina and gives some nice life steal. 

Bul-Kathos Wedding Band

  • Required Level: 58
    • +1 To All Skills 
    • + (0.5 Per Character Level) 0-49 To Life) 
    • 3-5% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies) 
    • +50 Maximum Stamina 

The Stone of Jordan - One of the most iconic items in Diablo 2, which increases the level of all your Skills and your max Mana. A solid offensive choice. 

The Stone of Jordan 

  • Required Level: 29
    • +1 to All Skills
    • Maximum Mana to 15-20% 
    • Adds 1-120 Lightning Damage 
    • +20-40 to Mana (varies) 


Dracul's Grasp (Vampirebone Gloves) - A good all-around choice that increases your attack speed and gives you some extra survivability. These also give a high strength bonus which is very convenient for choosing equipment for other gear slots. 

Dracul's Grasp

  • Defense: 125 - 145
  • Required Level: 76
  • Required Strength: - 50
  • Durability: 14
    • +90-120% Enhanced Defense (varies) 
    • +10-15 to Strength (varies) 
    • +5-10 Life After Each Kill (varies) 
    • 25% Chance of Open Wounds 
    • 7-10% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies) 
    • 20% Increased Attack Speed 

Bloodfist (Heavy Gloves) - A solid defensively focused choice. Alternatively, you can use gloves with magic find - we prefer to go for these ones as they give +30% faster hit recovery which is often life-saving. 


  • Defense: 17-18
  • Required Level: 9
  • Required Strength: -
  • Durability: 14
    • +10-20% Enhanced Defense 
    • +10 Defense 
    • +10% Increased Attack Speed 
    • +30% Faster Hit Recovery 
    • +40 To Life 
    • +5-10 to Maximum Damage 


[BiS] Waterwalk (Sharkskin Boots) - These boots are a top pick if you're using a Shield, especially. They also provide a solid boost to Run/Walk Speed and Stamina. 


  • Defense: 112-124
  • Required Level: 32
  • Required Strength: 47
  • Kick Damage: 28-50
  • Durability: 14  
    • +180-210% Enhanced Defense (varies) 
    • 40% Faster Run/Walk 
    • 20% Faster Block Rate 
    • +15 to Dexterity 
    • +5% to Maximum Fire Resist 
    • Heal Stamina Plus 50% 
    • +40 to Maximum Stamina 
    • +45-65 to Life (varies) 

War Traveler's (Battle Boots) - The best pair if you want to increases your Loot by boosting MF stat. They also provide decent Movement Speed and extra STR/VIT. 

War Traveler's

  • Defense: 120-139 
  • Required Level: 42
  • Required Strength: 95
  • Kick Damage: 37-64 
  • Durability: 48
    • +150-190% Enhanced Defense 
    • 25% Faster Run/Walk 
    • +10 to Vitality 
    • +10 to Strength 
    • Adds 15-25 Damage 
    • +40% Slower Stamina Drain 
    • Attacker Takes Damage Of 5-10 
    • 30-50% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items 


Goldwrap (Heavy Belt) - An interesting choice for this build; it grants quite a lot of Attack Speed, some defense, and high Magic Find which is great for farming. 


  • Defense: 34-36 
  • Potion Slots: 12 
  • Required Level: 27
  • Required Strength: 45
  • Durability: 18
    • +40-60% Enhanced Defense (varies) 
    • +25 Defense 
    • 20% Increased Attack Speed 
    • 20-40% Better Chance Of Getting Magic Items (varies) 
    • 50-80% Extra Gold From Monsters (varies) 
    • +2 To Light Radius  

Thundergod's Vigor (War Belt) - A top-level defensive option that provides a lot of resistance against Lightning, which is very important in the end-game. 

Thundergod's Vigor 

  • Defense: 137-159
  • Potion Slots: 16 
  • Required Level: 47
  • Required Strength: 110
  • Durability: 24
    • +160-200% Enhanced Defense 
    • 1-(150-250) Lightning Damage 
    • 5% Chance to Cast Level 17 Fist of the Heavens When Struck 
    • +5-10 Lightning Absorb 
    • 5% to Maximum Lightning Resist 
    • +10-15 to Strength 
    • +10-15 to Vitality 
    • +2 to Lightning Fury (Amazon Only) 
    • +2 to Lightning Strike (Amazon Only) 
    • +1 to Lightning Skills 


  1. Annihilus - This fabled Charm boosts your Skills, Stats, and Resistances. It's the best Unique Small Charm, and it's limited to just 1 in your equipment. 
  2. Gheed's Fortune - The secret to Gheed's wealth and prosperity. Pretty much a must-have if you're after the best available charms. It adds 80-160% extra gold from monsters, reduces vendor prices by up to 15%, and gives up to 40% better magic find. 
  3. Hellfire Torch - The BiS Unique Large Charm that increases your Vitality, Skills, and more. 
  4. Grand Charms - These should have +Traps. 
  5. Small Charms - With these, you should get your desired Resistances, bonuses to Life, or bonuses to Magic Find - whatever suits your needs, basically. 


We recommend picking up Act 2 Defiance Mercenary for extra damage mitigation bonuses. He should be equipped with: 

  1. Infinity Rune Word in Ethereal Spear - This provides Conviction Aura, which reduces the defenses and resistances of nearby enemies and offers very high bonus damage. A top (and expensive) choice for any Act2 merc build. 
  2. Fortitude Rune Word in Armor - This will ensure that your merc doesn't die (it will make him almost immortal). 
  3. Steelrend Gloves - For massive damage bonus and Crushing Blow. 
  4. Andariel's Visage - An extremely solid and versatile headgear that will make your merc better in all respects. 
  5. String of Ears - Very high damage reduction and excellent survivability boost. 
  6. Goblin Toe - For extra damage and the chance for a crushing blow. 



This is our premiere Project Diablo 2 build where we tried to include all of the important information on how to set up this character while keeping the guide as compact as possible. If we've missed something of importance, please let us know! 

If you have any Build requests, please post them in the Comments section below. We will be happy to cover your most requested builds in the future! Also, we hope that you have found this guide useful and informative. Also, we will be happy to receive constructive criticism that will help us improve our future work, so don't hesitate to give us your feedback. 

Pictures used in this article are the intellectual property of Blizzard Entertainment.