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Holy Bolt Paladin Build Guide for PD2

Holy Bolt Paladin Build Guide for PD2

One of the best Paladin setups based on the Holy Bolt which deals high Magic Damage

Holy Light
Paladin Build

Updated for Season 4

Build notes:

April 13, 2021
-Build created

January 12, 2022
-Build updated for Season 4 


Build Overview

Holy Light has been the most powerful and popular Paladin Skill in Season 1. It was slightly nerfed in Season 2, it does not deal (and heal) as much damage as it previously did, but it's still one of the strongest abilities in Paladin's arsenal. It lets you farm most of the content, including taking down Ubers solo. Holy Bolt has tons of synergies available and deals Magic Damage which is extremely convenient on Hell difficulty where most monsters have some form of resistances or immunities and just a few of them have Magic Immunity. The build itself also offers very smooth leveling, thanks to the wide variety of Auras you can choose and very high Holy Bolt damage. Combined, those can easily make up for the lack of gear on lower levels and help you progress faster through the campaign. You can also use Holy Nova - which you max out anyway because it increases the damage of your Holy Bolt directly. Holy Nova offers very good AoE and can help you with clearing more spread-out packs of enemies. Overall, this is a very versatile and well-balanced build that excels in most aspects.

The following Holy Bolt Paladin build is great for playing solo, but it truly shines in team play. You can deal tons of damage with Holy Bolt, offer extra healing with Holy Bolt/Holy Light. Depending on your team composition, you can greatly boost the DPS of all your allies by using Salvation Aura. Having a solid Life pool, maximum Block Chance, and Holy Shield, you should be running quite comfortably around high Tier Maps and Hell in general.

Season 4 Note: Holy Bolt Paladin felt a bit lackluster after the nerfs introduced in Season 3 (Holy Bolt synergies were cut by half...). Luckily, Season 4 brought a slight buff which helped the build by quite a lot. Moreover, Fist of Heavens was completely reworked and now supplements Holy Bolt extremely well. 

You can also check our other Best Project Diablo 2 Builds


 Pros  Cons
 Very high Magic Damage which is the most convenient form of damage any character can deal in Diablo 2  Recent nerfs caused Holy Bolt to have lower damage and healing effectiveness
 Amazing team utility from Auras and extra healing  Can run into Mana issues with budget gear
 A well-geared Mercenary becomes immortal with your heals and can deal substantially higher damage  
 Smooth leveling makes it a good Starter build  




  1. Strength - just enough to equip all the required equipment
  2. Dexterity - you want to have max Block Chance (75%). Just pop your Holy Shield and add Dexterity until you see the 75% in your stats window
  3. Vitality - you are looking to spend all the remaining Points in Vitality
  4. Energy - do not allocate any Points to Energy


The only mandatory Skill from this Passive Tree is Salvation Aura. Salvation Aura is the one you will most likely use when playing in teams, which simply grants massive DPS bonuses for Elemental DPS characters and a bonus to All Resistances. Optionally you can pick level 1 Redemption, but it requires you to spend 3 extra Points in its' prerequisites so it all depends on your actual gear and how comfortable you feel without the extra Mana Regen it provides


  1. Salvation [1/20] - one of the best Paladin's Auras. If you play in a team that deals mainly Elemental Damage it's also the best way to boost the DPS output of your team 

Optional Skills:

  1. Prayer [1/20] - Prerequisite.
  2. Defiance [1/20] - Prerequisite. 
  3. Vigor [1/20] - Prerequisite. 
  4. Redemption [1/20] - a useful Aura if you run out of Mana constantly. It allows you to "drain" Mana from slain enemies


You don't need any Skills from the Offensive Aura Tree. In some rare cases, you may want to add Conviction Aura to your party, but most likely Salvation Aura will simply be better and it doesn't require you to spend so many Points in useless Prerequisite Skills


This is your core Passive Tree where the majority of Points will be allocated on your Holy Bolt and all of its synergies. It's also mandatory to pick Holy Shield as your primary defense Paladin Skill which also allows you to pick up Holy Nova. Basically, you want to max out Holy Bolt, Holy Light, Fist of the Heaves, and Holy Nova, and all excess Points can be spent on Holy Shield


  1. Sacrifice [1/20] - Prerequisite. 
  2. Zeal [1/20] - Prerequisite. 
  3. Holy Bolt [20/20] - the core ability used in this build that deals Magic Damage to your targets or heals allies. It's one of the best Paladin's Skills currently with three synergy Skills that boosts its' damage and can be used to heal your Mercenary when he gets to Low Life. This should now be used as your primary Single Target skill. 
  4. Holy Light [20/20] - mainly for Holy Bolt's synergy but it can be also used for more potent ranged healing
  5. Blessed Hammer [1/20] - Prerequisite. 
  6. Vengeance [1/20] - Prerequisite. 
  7. Smite [1/20] - Prerequisite. 
  8. Charge [1/20] - prerequisite and a mobility skill that lets your travel faster
  9. Conversion [1/20] - Prerequisite. 
  10. Joust [1/20] - Teleport to your enemies and destroy them with a dangerous strike, gaining increased movement speed upon landing. A very solid mobility skill that allows us to rapidly engage dispersed enemies and generally move much faster. 
  11. Fist of the Heaves [20/20] - Holy Bolt's synergy, another mandatory 20 Points goes here. After the rework, Fist of Heavens is actually more powerful than the Holy Bolt and should be used as the build's primary skill for AoE purposes/Mapping 
  12. Holy Shield [X/20] - a mandatory defensive Spell for all Paladins. You need at least 1 Point spent here as soon as possible, and after you pick up all Holy Bolt synergy skills, you can spend all excess Points in Holy Shield for extra Defense rating and Block Chance
  13. Holy Nova [20/20] - another Holy Bolt's synergy which boosts its damage. It can be also used to deal damage to spread out enemies because of its' solid damage and good AoE



As always, Holy Bolt Paladin being a spell caster build should prioritize + to All Skills and Faster Cast Rate. Optimally you should aim for 125% or if that appears to be out of your reach, just stick to 65% on your FCR stat. Obviously, you want Faster Hit Recovery as well to be able to play comfortably and maxed out Block Chance and Resistances 


[BIS] Harlequin Crest (Shako) - the most popular choice. It grants bonuses to all Skills and tons of Life/Mana and a very high bonus Magic Find (which is always very useful, even if you don't exactly focus on that stat)


  • 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 

Steel Shade (Armet) - another great option that offers higher defensive utility and bonuses to your Block. It also appears to be a perfect option against Fire damage dealers including the Clone of Diablo thanks to the Fire Absorb

Steel Shade

  • Defense: 300 to 345 
  • Required Level: 62
  • Required Strength: 109
  • Durability: 24
    • [4-8]% Mana Stolen per Hit (varies) 
    • +[100-130]% Enhanced Defense (varies) 
    • Replenish Life +[30-48] (varies) 
    • +[5-11] Fire Absorb (varies) 
    • +[1-2] to All Skills (varies) 
    • +30% Faster Block Rate 
    • 30% Increased Chance of Blocking 
    • [60-80]% Extra Gold from Monsters (varies) 


[BIS] Heart of the Oak (Runeword) - obtained by socketing Ko • Vex • Pul • Thul in a 4 socket Flail for the lowest attribute requirements. It offers +3 to All Skills, high FCR, and All Resistances on top of all the other valuable Bonuses. Replenish Life is also a great addition to your survivability as you can't Life Steal when playing this Pala


  • Damage:  Depends on base Weapon
  • Required Level: 55
  • Required Dexterity: Depends on base Weapon
  • Required Strength: Depends on base Weapon
  • Durability: Depends on base Weapon 
  • Ko + Vex + Pul + Thul 
    • +3 To All Skills 
    • +30% Faster Cast Rate 
    • +75% Damage To Demons 
    • +100 To Attack Rating Against Demons 
    • Adds 3-14 Cold Damage, 3 sec. Duration (Normal) 
    • 7% Mana Stolen Per Hit 
    • +10 To Dexterity 
    • Replenish Life +20 
    • Increase Maximum Mana 15% 
    • All Resistances +20-30 (varies) 
    • Level 14 Raven (60 Charges) 

Hand of Blessed Light (Divine Scepter) - adds a ton of Skill points to all your core Skills but has no FCR making it a slightly weaker option than a HotO

Hanf of Blessed Light

  • One-Hand-Damage: (66-72) To (155-169)
  • Required Strength: 103
  • Durability: 70
  • Required Level: 42
  • Base Weapon Speed: -10
  • Range: 2
    • +130-160% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    • Adds 20-45 Damage
    • +50% Damage To Undead
    • +2 To Paladin Skill Levels
    • 100% Bonus To Attack Rating
    • Regenerate Mana 15%
    • +2 To Fist Of The Heavens (Paladin Only)
    • +2-4 Holy Bolt (Paladin Only) (varies)
    • +4 To Light Radius
    • +2-4 Holy Light (Paladin Only) (varies)
    • +2 Holy Nova (Paladin Only)


[BIS] Herald of Zakarum (Gilded Shield) - a Paladin only shield that adds very high bonuses to all your core Skills and the highest defensive utility. Sadly, it doesn't grant any FCR bonus so you may need to alter other item choices or just forget about reaching higher breakpoints and having to rely on the longer cast animation

Herald of Zakarum

  • Defense: 422 to 507 
  • Required Level: 42 
  • Required Strength: 89 ​​​​​ 
    • +[1-2] to Combat Skills (Paladin Only) (varies) 
    • +2 to All Skills 
    • +30% Faster Block Rate 
    • 30% Increased Chance of Blocking 
    • 30% Bonus to Attack Rating 
    • +[150-200]% Enhanced Defense (varies) 
    • +[15-30] to Strength (varies) 
    • +[15-30] to Vitality (varies) 
    • All Resistances +50 

Spirit (Runeword) - a good rolled; close to 35% FCR Spirit is a great option for this build. It's also an inexpensive Rune Word as it requires no higher level runes, but only Tal • Thul • Ort • Amn. As a Paladin, you can socket them in a Paladin's Vortex Shield with extra Resistances for the best result


  • Defense: Depends on base Shield 
  • Required Level: 25
  • Required Strength: Depends on base Shield ​​​​​
  • Durability: Depends on base Shield 
    • +1 to All Skills 
    • +25% Faster Hit Recovery 
    • +250 Defense versus Missile 
    • +11-22 Vitality 
    • +59-82 Mana 
    • +35% Cold Resistance
    • +35% Poison Resistance
    • +35 Lightning Resistance 
    • +3-8 Magic Absorb 
    • Attacker Takes Damage of 14 
    • -25% Requirements 


Mara's Kaleidoscope - one of the best Amulets in Project Diablo 2. It grants massive bonuses to Skills, Resistances, and Attributes


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

Seraph's Hymn - another powerful +2 Amulet that also increases your damage against Demons and Undead, with a small bonus to your Defensive Auras


  • Required Level: 65
    • +2 to All Skills
    • +1-2 to Defensive Auras (Paladin Only) (varies)
    • 50-80% Damage vs. Demons (varies)
    • +150-250 to Attack Rating Against Demons (varies)
    • 50-80% Damage vs. Undead (varies)
    • +150-250 to Attack Rating Against Undead (varies)
    • +2 to Light Radius

Rare +2 Skill/FCR Amulet - possibly the Best in Slot option, but with all the necessary stats it will be extremely rare to find (or simply very expensive). You will also benefit from Life and Resistances on it


  • Recommended affixes:
    • +2 to All Skills
    • Faster Cast Rate
  • Optional affixes:
    • Life
    • Resistances
    • Paladin Combat Skills


Enigma (Runeword) - the best all-around Armor for this build. It grants +2 to All Skills and Teleport Skill which greatly boosts your mobility. It requires Jah, Ith, and Ber Runes that makes it a quite expensive option


  • 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)

Skin of the Vipermagi (Serpentskin Armor) - greatly helps in capping resistances and getting to the 125% Cast Rate breakpoint. Other than that it offers way less defensive/utility bonuses. It's still a decent pick, and a much cheaper one when compared to Enigma 

Skin of the Vipermagi

  • Defense: 279
  • Required Strength: 43
  • Durability: 24
  • Required Level: 29
    • +120% Defense
    • +1 to All Skills
    • 30% Faster Cast Rate
    • Magic Damaged Reduced by 5-8 (varies)
    • All Resistances +20-30 (varies)

Principle (Runeword) - A cheap and relatively powerful Runeword you can use in mid-game. It will boost your damage quite nicely and give you a very fitting proc. 


  • Defense: Depends on base Armor 
  • Required Level: 65 
  • Required Strength: Depends on base Armor 
  • Durability: Depends on base Armor 
  • Ral + Gul + Eld  
    • 50% Chance to Cast Level 25 Holy Bolt on Striking 
    • +2 to Paladin Skill Levels 
    • +[50-80]% Damage to Demons (varies) 
    • +[50-80]% Damage to Undead (varies) 
    • +[50-100] to Life (varies) 
    • 15% Slower Stamina Drain 
    • +4% to Maximum Poison Resist 
    • Fire Resist +30% 


Rare FCR Rings - the BiS option if they get you to the 125% FCR Breakpoint. They should also grant extra Life/Resistances/Attributes

Wisp Projector

  • Recommended affix:
    • 10% Faster Cast Rate
    • Life
    • Resistances
  • Optional affixes:
    • Attributes
    • Magic Find

Raven Frost - the easiest way to obtain Freeze Immunity. When you are able to socket your equipment, we would recommend however getting a rare FCR Ring and socketing Cham Rune in your Helmet or Herald of Zakarum Shield

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 - another great option that adds +1 to Skills and extra Life

Wisp Projector

  • 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


[BIS] Trang-Oul's Claws (Heavy Bracers) - this pair offers the highest possible FCR on Gloves which makes it the best option for this build

Trang Oul Claws

  • Defense: 67-74 (varies)
  • Required Strength: 58
  • Durability: 16
  • Required Level: 45
    • +20% Faster Cast Rate
    • Cold Resist +30%
    • +30 Defense
    • +10-15% Poison Skill Damage (varies)
    • +2 To Curses (Necromancer Only)
    • +20 to Meteor (4 Items


War Traveler's (Battle Boots) - the best all-around pair for this build. This pair grants decent stats and high MF making it an optimal choice for plenty of builds

War Traveler's

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

Itherael's Path (Mirrored Boots) - These versatile boots will not only boost your attributes, defense, and hit recovery, but also increase your running speed and casting rate. A solid option for the build. 

Itherael's Path

  • Defense: 99-128
  • Required Level: 85
  • Required Strength: 163
  • Kick Damage: 59-68
  • Durability: 18
    • +20% Faster Run/Walk 
    • +20% Faster Cast Rate 
    • +20% Faster Hit Recovery 
    • +[40-60] Defense (varies) 
    • +[10-20] to Dexterity (varies) 
    • +[10-20] to Vitality (varies) 


[BIS] Arachnid Mesh (Spiderweb Sash) - in terms of damage, this is the only viable end-game option. It is second to none thanks to the increase to all Skills and FCR. 

Arachnid Mesh

  • Defense: 119 to 138
  • Potion Slots: 16
  • Required Strength: 50
  • Durability: 12
  • Required Level: 80
    • +90-120% Enhanced Defense (varies)
    • Slows Target by 20%
    • +1 To All Skills
    • +10-20% Faster Cast Rate (varies)
    • Maximum Mana 5-10% (varies)
    • Level 3 Venom (31 Charges


  1. Gheed's Fortune - it's always good to have a high rolled Gheed's to increase your loot yield
  2. Hellfire Torch - alongside Annihilus, one of the two best possible charms you can get any character in the game. Grants +1 to All Class Skills and other valuable bonuses 
  3. Annihilus - same as above, pretty much mandatory for any character
  4. Grand Charms - you want Grand Charms with Paladin Combat Skills and either FCR, FHR, or Life
  5. Small Charms - first prioritize Resistances if you don't have them all capped at 75, then look for FHR, Life, or Magic Find


We recommend picking up Act 2 Defiance Mercenary for extra physical damage mitigation it offers. Mercenary is a very important addition to this build and you should aim to gear him properly. You should end up with nearly immortal Merc with tons of Damage if you have all the gear listed below

  1. Breath of the Dying Rune Word in high DPS Ethereal War Pike or Ghost Spear. This can be pretty pricy, but the DPS output of your Mercenary will outclass plenty of regular characters
  2. Fortitude Rune Word in Ethereal high defense Armor simply for the highest possible defensive utility
  3. Dracul's Grasp Gloves - for high IAS and Life Steal
  4. Andariel's Visage - the BiS Helmet for your Merc which grants IAS and Life Steal
  5. String of Ears - very high damage reduction bonuses make it an amazing Belt. You could also use Verdungo's Hearty Cord for a similar result
  6. Gore Rider Boots - which offer the highest DPS bonus, and with the items listed above and your potential healing, he shouldn't need any extra defensive bonuses here



We have just started making guides for Project Diablo 2 so we will appreciate any feedback (or criticism as well). We would like to provide the highest quality content on our website, so if you would like us to add some other type of information, like Leveling Tips & Gear, more alternative equipment options, recommended farming areas, and such, please let us know in the comments below! 

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