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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 4

Build notes:

April 27, 2021
-Build created

January 04, 2022
-Build updated for Season 4


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. 

This build's main source of Damage is lightning-based Traps 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). Despite this, it is a solid S-Tier Build according to our PD2 Tier List for Season 2 that can be found here

Season 4 note: Because of the Chain Lightning Sentry synergy changes (Death Sentry changed to Lightning Sentry as synergy) the build has lost some of its versatility, however, it's still capable of dealing high damage and remains a solid choice for end-game farming/mapping. 


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 
 Good for Diablo Clone attempts   After the Traps synergy changes, it no longer specializes in dealing multiple types of damage 
 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). For this build, we focus on Chain Lightning Sentry and its synergies to maximize our lightning damage output. 


  1. Fire Blast [1/20] - Prerequisite. 
  2. Shock Web [20/20] - Throws a web of lightning to shock your enemies. This is a synergy skill that boosts our Chain Lightning Sentry. Moreover, it is also great for dealing single-target damage which makes it perfect for fighting bosses. 
  3. Charged Bolt Sentry [20/20] - A synergy skill that makes our Chain Lightning Sentry much stronger. Also, this deals extremely high single-target damage which makes it useful against bosses. 
  4. Lightning Sentry [20/20] - This is weaker overall than the Chain Lightning, so it's not worth focusing on. This synergizes with your Chain Lightning Sentry so you should max it out. 
  5. 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. 


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 [1/20]  - 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 your defenses substantially.
  4. Fade [X/20]  - This increases all your elemental resistances for a period of time. Putting your remaining points here will allow you to be more liberal with gear choices and help you with end-game farming. 

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] 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) 
    • +40% Increased Attack Speed 


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 150-250 (varies)

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 


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 
    • Level 1 Blink* (5/5 Charges)
      Replenish 1 Charge in 3 Seconds
    • +500-775 Defense (varies) 
    • +[0-74] to Strength (+[0.5-0.75] per Character Level) (varies)
    • Increase Maximum Life 5%
    • Damage Reduced By 4%
    • 15% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
    • [0-74]% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items ([0.5-0.75]% per Character Level) (varies)

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 +50-60 (varies) 
    • Physical Damage reduced by 4% 
    • 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items 

Ormus' Robes (Dusk Shroud) - An interesting Armor choice that can boost your Lightning Damage by up to 15% and eliminate your mana-related problems, but not much else. 

Ormus' Robes

  • Defense: 361-467 
  • Required Strength: 77
  • Required Level: 75
    • +20% Faster Cast Rate 
    • +[10-15]% to Fire Skill Damage (varies) 
    • +[10-15]% to Lightning Skill Damage (varies) 
    • +[10-15]% to Cold Skill Damage (varies) 
    • +3 to [Random Sorceress Skill*] (Sorceress Only) 
    • +[10-20] Defense (varies) 
    • Regenerate Mana [10-15]% (varies) 


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 

Nature's Peace - A solid defensive choice and a must-have for Diablo Clone attempts. 

Nature's Peace

  • Required Level: 69
    • Prevent Monster Heal 
    • Slain Monsters Rest in Peace 
    • +[3-5] to Oak Sage (varies) 
    • +[2-3]% to Maximum Poison Resist (varies) 
    • +[2-3]% to Maximum Cold Resist (varies) 
    • +[2-3]% to Maximum Lightning Resist (varies) 
    • +[2-3]% to Maximum Fire Resist (varies) 

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) 


Magefist (Light Gauntlets) - The best choice if you're after Damage. They grant a bonus to Skills and Lightning Damage which makes them extremely powerful in this Item slot. 


  • Defense: 24 - 25 
  • Required Level: 23
  • Required Strength: - 45
  • Durability: 18
    • +1 to [Fire, Lightning, Cold, or Poison] Skills 
    • +20% Faster Cast Rate 
    • Adds 6-36 Fire Damage or Adds 1-45 Lightning Damage or Adds 10-18 Cold Damage or +60 Poison Damage over 3 Seconds
    • +[20-30]% Enhanced Defense (varies) 
    • +10 Defense 
    • Regenerate Mana [10-25]% (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 

Lava Gout (Battle Gauntlets) - These powerful gloves will be the best choice if you want to farm Diablo Clone with this build, as they provide up to +5% to max Fire Resistance and up to +36% Fire Resistance. Moreover, they give 20% Increased Attack Speed, which is massive for your breakpoints. 

Lava Gout

  • Defense: 120-144 
  • Required Level: 42
  • Required Strength: 88 
  • Durability: 38
    • 2% Chance to Cast Level 10 Enchant Fire on Striking 
    • +20% Increased Attack Speed 
    • Adds 26-92 Fire Damage 
    • +[150-200]% Enhanced Defense (varies) 
    • Fire Resist +[24-36]% (varies) 
    • Half Freeze Duration 
    • +20 Durability 
    • +[2-5]% to Maximum Fire Resist (varies) 


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. 

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