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Diablo 2 Resurrected starting classes and best character builds

Diablo 2's skill points are precious. Spend them wisely.

Diablo 2 Resurrected classes are the soul of the game.

The right build can help you dominate the demonic hordes, even if you’re playing on nightmare. It’s tough knowing how to spend those skill points, but our class build guide is here to point you in the right direction.

What's more, even though Diablo 2 is more than 20 years old at this point, this remaster is bringing the game to a brand new audience. As well as peak end-game builds, we'll also discuss the finer points of building the best class, as well as picking the best starting character for your playstyle.

Diablo 2 Resurrected skill points and stat points explained

Diablo 2 doesn't tell you much about how skills and stat points work, but punishes you for not understanding. Skill and Stat resets are incredibly rare — you get one reset for free and have to grind the end-game to get more — so think carefully before investing your points.

What does strength do in Diablo 2?

Strength is what decides how much damage you deal and what kind of armor you can wear, which makes it a bit tricky. Melee-focused characters naturally need plenty of strength for their DPS role, but you'll need to add some strength for mages and ranged characters too. Otherwise, higher-level armor will remain out of reach.

What does dexterity do in Diablo 2?

Dexterity is slightly more vague. It primarily determines your accuracy, but ranged characters need higher dexterity to equip certain weapons, while it also decides the likelihood shield users can block incoming attacks.

What does vitality do in Diablo 2?

Vitality is your HP, essentially. It's an attribute worth investing in for any class, whether it's a bulky DPS or squishy mage.

What does energy do in Diablo 2?

Energy raises your character's mana, or MP if you're used to traditional RPGs. Spellcasters use this the most, so energy is vital for them. However, casting any ability uses mana as well. Don't completely neglect it for your DPS classes either.

Diablo 2 Resurrected best starting class

We recommend the Druid, Sorceress, or Barbarian as your starter class. The Druid is a solid all-around class that gives you the tools necessary for understanding how combat works. Sorceress is a powerhouse that doesn’t require too much thought to maintain - and who doesn't love pew-pewing elemental spells at bad guys? while the Barbarian is a good intermediate melee class if you want to tinker with something slightly more complex.

Diablo 2 Resurrected classes | Diablo 2 Druid build

The two best Druid builds revolve around wind and fire.

Druid wind build

The wind build is a good mix of offense and support.

Skill Points
Cyclone Armor 20
Oak Sage 20
Twister 20
Tornado 20
Hurricane 20

Cycline Armor boosts your defense, while Oak Sage increases health for both you and the rest of the party. The other three skills are potent AoE attacks that deal hefty damage without you getting too close.

Vitality should be your main attribute focus, outside whatever is necessary to equip your best gear. Equip items that increase elemental damage as well, such as Ravenlore.

Druid fire build

Fire Druid is more of a DPS character, so your skill points should focus on building out their best elemental attacks.

Skill Points
Firestorm 20
Volcano 20
Armageddon 20
Molten Boudler 20
Fissure 20
Most of these require wind skills as prerequisites. That’s a good thing, and you may want to put some skills into one of those. Most fire attacks are ground-based and leave you vulnerable to flying enemies.

Diablo 2 Resurrected classes | Diablo 2 Paladin build

The Paladin’s two best builds maximize the class’ potential for heavy damage and solid defense.

Paladin Hammer build

The hammer build is more offensive than the Smiter build, and its top skills reflect that.

Skill Points
Blessed Hammer 20
Blessed Aim 20
Vigor 20
Concentration 20
Holy Shield 20

Enigma is a fantastic rune for this build, since it lets you add points to Dexterity — which improves shield block chances — instead of Strength. Make sure to still target strength as well, however, so you can equip the best weapons.

Paladin Smiter build

This build blends offense and defense.

Skill Points
Fist of the Heavens 20
Holy Bolt 20
Holy Shock 20
Holy Shield 10
Conviction 10
Smite 1

The first three are your main offensive skills. These deal AoE lightning damage, though Holy Bolt also heals allies. Holy Shield increases defense, while Conviction decreases enemy resistances.

Diablo 2 Resurrected classes | Diablo 2 Barbarian build

The Barbarian is a bit less flexible than most, and you’ll find almost every build has overlapping skills outside the primary one.

Barbarian Frenzy build

The Frenzy build lets you wield and strike with two weapons at once, making it a good choice for those who just want to smash things.

Skill Points
Frenzy 20
Sword Mastery 20
Battle Orders 20
Double Swing 20
Taunt 20
Increased Speed 1 Battle Command 1

Battle Orders keeps everyone alive longer, while Taunt makes enemies more predictable. Strength and Dexterity should be your two primary stats for this build, so the Barbarian can equip the best weapons and increase the likelihood of landing more hits.

Barbarian Whirlwind build

The Whirlwind Barbarian is a more cautious Barbarian suited for tank-style play.

Skill Point
Whirlwind 20
Sword Mastery 20
Shout 20
Battle Orders 20
Natural Resistance 5
Increased Speed 5
Iron Skin 5
Berserk 1
Battle Command 1

Natural Resistance and Iron Skin are the key skills here outside Whirlwind. These boost your resistance to afflictions and enhance defense. Berserk increases attack power at the expense of defense, so adjust the point totals as necessary depending on how much more attack power you need.

Diablo 2 Resurrected classes | Diablo 2 Amazon build

The Amazon is sort of a one-trick character. However you build yours, they excel at doing just one thing. Fortunately, they do it pretty well.

Amazon Archer build

This is the standard and probably best Amazon build to go with. It offers a wider variety of skills and methods of damage dealing than some elemental builds.

Skill Points
Strafe 20
Multiple Shot 20
Valkyrie 20
Penetrate 5
Critical Strike 5
Pierce 5
Avoid 5
Evade 5
Dodge 5

The skills from Penetrate onward have some flexibility in how you build them. You can drop some of the evasion skills to focus on boosted attack power, for example, or leave off Penetrate and make your Amazon an evasion tank.

Either way, Dexterity is key here. An archer is only as good as their aim, after all.

Amazon Lightning Javelin build

This is a more offensive Amazon with strong elemental damage potential.

Skill Points
Charged Strike 20
Lightning Strike 20
Lightning Fury 20
Power Strike 20
Critical Strike 5
Avoid 5
Pierce 5
Evade 5
Dodge 5

The primary difference here is making spear your Amazon’s primary weapon and, obviously, they’re imbued with lightning. These make the Amazon slightly more offensive thanks to the extra damage lightning deals after the base attack’s damage.

Diablo 2 Resurrected classes | Diablo 2 Necromancer build

The Necromancer is a flexible class you can build into a passive DPS character or a full-on damage dealer.

Necromancer Summoner build

This one capitalizes on the Necromancer’s unique ability to make the dead work for them. It’s fairly passive, though, so keep that in mind.

Skill Points
Raise Skeleton 20
Corpse Explosion 20
Raise Skeletal Mage 20
Golem Mastery 20
Dim Vision 3
Lower Resist 1
Amplify Damage 1

Magic is the Necromancer’s stat of choice, along with Vitality. Getting enough skeletons to do your bidding is the primary goal in this build, but corpse explosion is handy for dealing heavy damage. Either way, make sure your Necromancer is at a safe enough distance since they’re rather fragile.

Necromancer Bone Spell build

This is a good DPS build if you want to be more involved in the Necromancer’s fights.

Skill Points
Bone Spear 20
Teeth 20
Bone Wall 20
Bone Spirit 20
Bone Prison 20
Clay Golem 1
Amplify Damage 1
Bone Armor 1
Revive 1

This is a fairly straightforward build. Bone spells seek targets and deliver high damage, while some, including Bone Prison, keep them from moving. You might want to invest more in Bone Armor if you find you’re taking too much damage though.

Diablo 2 Resurrected classes | Diablo 2 Sorceress build

The Sorceress is a powerful class built, as you’d expect, entirely around magic. There’s still some flexibility in how you can tailor her spells, though.

Sorceress Frozen Orb build
Skill Points
Frozen Orb 20
Ice Blast 20
Cold Mastery 20
Ice Bolt 20
Warmth 10
Teleport 1
Energy Shield 1

The Frozen Orb is a purely DPS build. Warmth and Cold Mastery are its cornerstone skills that keep the Sorceress’ mana replenished and bolsters the damage she can deal. The Magic and Vitality stats should be your priority for the Sorceress.

Sorceress Fire Meteorb build
Skill Points
Fire Bolt 1
Fire Ball 20
Meteor 20
Fire Mastery 20
Frozen Orb 20
Cold Mastery 5
Teleport 1
Frozen Armor 1
This mixed build slightly increases the Sorceress’ defensive capabilities and gives her better versatility for dealing with threats beyond just those weak to ice.

Diablo 2 Resurrected classes | Diablo 2 Assassin build

The Assassin isn’t the strongest class, but if you like tricks and traps, it’s the one for you.

Assassin Trapper build

Skill Point
Death Sentry 20
Wake of Fire 20
Lightning Sentry 20
Lightning Blast 20
Wake of Inferno 20

The name pretty much says it all here. Most of these skills deal fairly high damage without the Assassin having to be nearby, which is good since they’re frail.

Assassin Chaos Runeward build

Skill Points
Shadow Master 20
Venom 20
Fade 20
Claw Mastery 20
Burst of Speed 1
Dragon Flight 1
Weapon Block 1
Blade Sentinel 1

This is a middle-of-the-road build that moderately enhances both attack and defense while adding some tricky afflictions to the mix.

Make sure to plan your Diablo 2 Resurrected skills wisely. Skill resets don’t come cheap, though you should be set for some of the early challenges, such as the Monastery and Cairn Stones, whatever you pick.

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Josh Broadwell