Diablo 2 - Single player hardcore builds which cleared Hell (all heroes)
Last updated on June 4, 2018, 22:23 by Sebastian Mihai
This is a short overview of my Diablo 2 single player hardcore "campaign" whereas I took each of the seven heroes through Normal, Nightmare, and Hell without dying, using only self-found items.

After the famous 1.10 patch - which introduces synergies, but greatly increased Nightmare and Hell difficulty levels - it became much easier to "get stuck". That is, to reach a point where your character was no longer viable. I saw it as a good challenge to beat Hell with only self-found items (no shared stash) in single player. I mainly play hardcore in Diablo 2 and 3. Softcore just doesn't captivate me as much.

Additionally, I wanted to prove to myself that with enough research and patience (read: Nightmare Mephisto runs), I could kill Hell Baal by myself.


My game version was 1.14d. Getting all seven heroes to Guardian took several months, with significant time spent on Nightmare Mephisto runs, gathering items to ensure Hell viability. Other than the Amazon (first died to Normal Mephisto, second died to Stygian Doll explosions) and Sorceress (I can't remember how first died, second teleported into Gloams and Succubi), there were no deaths.

I've laid out my builds, gear, stats, and thoughts for each. I've also included interesting and/or humorous screenshots of my travels.

But first, here are very brief summaries on each hero type/build, from my own experience:


Amazon (Freezing Arrow) - slow, item dependent; the hardest to get to Guardian

Assassin (Lightning Trapper) - fast killer, very low item dependence; very safe in Hell

Barbarian (Concentrate with shield) - slow until a good weapon is found; Hell was very safe, but needs good items

Druid (Tornado/Hurricane) - has decent tank, hard to aim tornadoes, good damage, decently safe in Hell

Necromancer (Summoner) - decent killing speed, least item dependent; safest in Hell due to having many tanks

Paladin (Hammerdin) - good killing speed, aiming takes some skill; needs a bit of block/physical damage reduction in Hell

Sorceress (Frozen Orb/Fireball) - easy to aim, direct damage; highly mobile, but not very safe in Hell


My play style is very conservative, due to death being very expensive to me: all items belonging to that character are gone, and must be found again upon character re-creation.

Now it's time for the more in-depth information on each of my Guardian heroes. Some info is missing due to those heroes no longer existing. The character level is from the moment Baal died.



Barbarian level 82 (Concentrate with shield)
all stats below with merc's might, full warcries, charms, items

concentrate damage: 920-2299
concentrate attack rating: 6415
defence: 10972

life: 2576
strength: 183
dexterity: 169
vitality: 221
energy: 20

fire resistance: 75%
cold resistance: 42%
lightning resistance: 75%
poison resistance: 37%

block chance: 75%
life leech: 18%
mana leech: 10%
physical damage reduction: 45%
ias: 40%
deadly strike: 100%+ (headstriker)
crushing blow: 25% (goblin toe)
notable items: headstriker (upg, shael), shaftstop (upg), whitstan's, ravenfrost, string of ears, lava gout, goblin toe

skills (base): shout(20), battle orders(20), concentrate(20), battle command(1), battle cry(1), iron skin(1), natural resistance(5), increased speed(1), sword mastery(13), mace mastery(1), axe mastery(1), berserk(1), leap attack(1).
all other skill tree prerequisites at 1.

merc: might
merc items: hone sundan yari (amn shael shael), guillaume's face, eth duriel's shell

normal: slow, no weapons, mana issues, grind act 5 eldritch for xp, grind mephisto for a few uniques
nightmare: a bit faster, reach act 5 as quick as possible, make strength rune word as soon as possible, grind eldritch for xp, grind mephisto for 2 weeks, by the end nothing really hits you anymore, upgrade weapon and armor to elite
hell: almost boring, enemies rarely hit you and you leech back a lot, good damage from elite weapon, tanked cursed/conviction ancients only once dropping to 60% life, tanked minions of destruction without dropping under 90% life



Assassin level 81 (Lightning Trapper)
all stats below with charms, items, fade

lightning sentry damage: 1-3277

life: 1918
strength: 72
dexterity: 59
vitality: 453
energy: 55

fire resistance: 75%
cold resistance: 75%
lightning resistance: 75%
poison resistance: 54%

block chance: 47% (claws)
notable items: peasant crown (um), stone of jordan, 2x +2 assassin claws, lionheart armour, ravenfrost, natalya's boots

skills (base): 1 points in all shadow disciplines tree skills except venom, death sentry(20), lightning sentry(20), charged bolt sentry(20), shock web(3), fire blast(20)
all other skill tree prerequisites at 1.

all skills: +7

merc: holy freeze
merc items: hone sundan yari (amn shael shael), vampire gaze, duriel's shell

normal: a bit slow until lightning sentry, grind act 5 eldritch for xp
nightmare: high damage destroys everything, grind act 5 eldritch for xp, shopbot for +2 assassin skill claws, grind mephisto
hell: death sentry's scaling damage is very useful, 3 life/vit point, high block, and resistances make things safe, lightning-immunes go down quickly due to merc+death sentry and lower resist wand on switch



Sorceress level 87 (Frozen Orb/Fireball)
all stats below with charms, items

frozen orb damage: 401-423
fireball damage: 1400-1572
faster cast rate: +70%

life: 1347
strength: 99
dexterity: 32
vitality: 386
energy: 45

fire resistance: 75%
cold resistance: 75%
lightning resistance: 75%
poison resistance: 48%

physical damage reduction: 44%
notable items: shaftstop (um), lidless wall, kira's guardian, string of ears, aldur's advance boots, suicide branch, +1/17str/19all amulet

skills (base): frozen orb(20), cold mastery(12), static field(1), teleport(1), warmth(1), firebolt(20), fireball(20), fire mastery(1)
all other skill tree prerequisites at 1.

all skills: +3

merc: holy freeze
merc items: hone sundan yari (amn shael shael), tal rasha's mask, eth upg shaftstop

normal: fireball then blizzard at 24, orb from 30 on, grind act 5 eldritch for xp
nightmare: orb kills quickly and controls packs safely, grind act 5 eldritch for xp, grind mephisto for good physical damage resistance items
hell: respec to pure blizzard and run mephisto for items and ancient tunnels for xp, respec back to orb/fireball for ancients and baal, good fcr made evading ancients easy



Druid level 85 (Tornado/Hurricane)
all stats below with charms, items

tornado damage: 2003-2156
faster cast rate: +100%

life: 1484
strength: 65
dexterity: 75
vitality: 374
energy: 20

fire resistance: 71%
cold resistance: 75%
lightning resistance: 75%
poison resistance: 21%

notable items: skin of the vipermagi (pruby), 2x dwarf star, rhyme grim shield, string of ears, suicide branch, natalya's boots, 24%fhr/57life/14str/13%lr belt

skills (base): summon grizzly(1), oak sage(11), cyclone armor(20), twister(20), tornado(20), hurricane(20)
all other skill tree prerequisites at 1.

all skills: +2

merc: holy freeze
merc items: hone sundan yari (amn shael shael), guillaume's face, upg duriel's shell

normal: very slow, rely on merc and melee to kill until tornado, mana issues, grind act 5 eldritch for xp
nightmare: tornado and hurricane high level enough to kill quickly, grind act 5 eldritch for xp, grind mephisto
hell: cold/physical immunes are rare, so no unkillable enemies, hard to stay away while keeping packs of monsters inside hurricane, tornado hard to aim


I've written an in-depth article on my Amazon here

Amazon level 83 (Freezing Arrow)
all stats below with charms, items

freezing arrow damage: 1122-1156

life: 1377
strength: 110
dexterity: 117
vitality: 280
energy: 22

fire resistance: 74%
cold resistance: 65%
lightning resistance: 64%
poison resistance: -1%

notable items: witchwild string short siege bow (shael shael), 20frw/40%lr/40%fr boots, skin of the vipermagi,

skills (base): summon valkyrie(20), dodge(2), avoid(2), evade(4), penetrate(6), pierce(4), cold arrow(20), ice arrow(2), freezing arrow(20), strafe(7)
all other skill tree prerequisites at 1.

merc: holy freeze
merc items: cruel lance (100-425 damage), guillaume's face, boneflesh

normal: slow until freezing arrow, easy after that, grind act 5 eldritch for xp
nightmare: very high damage of freezing arrow makes for easy progress, grind act 5 eldritch for xp, made the mistake of not grinding mephisto enough
hell: cold immunes are very tricky due to low physical damage, overall very slow due to poor items, slowest progress of all heroes



Paladin level ?? (Hammerdin) (I no longer have this character - its details are unavailable)

skills (base): concentration(20), blessed aim(20), vigor(20), blessed hammer(20), salvation(1), holy shield(remainder)
all other skill tree prerequisites at 1.

merc: holy freeze

normal: auras helped merc kill for me, +sacrifice sceptres were great (otherwise basic attack until level 18)
nightmare: very easy due to high damage, find as many faster cast items as possible, grind act 5 eldritch for xp, grind mephisto for physical damage reduction items
hell: not too difficult, great damage, still had to pay attention to fast/aura groups since I was always in melee range



Necromancer level ?? (Summoner) (I no longer have this character - its details are unavailable)

skills (base): raise skeleton(20), skeleton mastery(20), raise skeleton mage(few), summon resist(1), revive(1), amplify damage(few), decrepify(1), bone armor(few), corpse explosion(many), bone wall(1)
all other skill tree prerequisites at 1.

notable items: stone of jordan

merc: might

normal: use mainly amplify damage, diablo was the only hard fight, decrepify/clay golem slows bosses greatly
nightmare: trivial, nothing gets to you, but your skeletons destroy everything, raise skeletons from nihlathak's temple entrance then kill pindleskin, then kill eldritch for xp, didn't really need to grind mephisto because item dependence is so low
hell: very easy, only have to mind ranged monsters (if you invest a point in dim vision, they become trivial), summon necromancer is the least item-dependent build for single player, careful to not get hit by the highly mobile ancients

Screenshots



Two strong tanks help with Hell ancients

A good harvest

Much like his quest reward rings

She knows...

Leave it to crazy Ormus to cheer you up

My lightning trapper did benefit greatly from this SoJ

A generous Countess

Another good harvest

All "Seethe Drool" monsters I've encountered











If you use the materials on this page, or any other page on this web site, you do so at your own risk. They are provided "as is". No warranty is provided or implied. I neither guarantee that the materials will work, nor that they will not be harmful in any way.

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