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The 1pt smiter guide to Uber Tristram v 1.0. 

So you want to solo the uber three and heard that a smiter can do the job but you have never bothered with paladins and have no idea how to build one, or you think the gear that is needed for the job is too expensive. Well things are more simple than you think. 

Now you will read in this guide that a pure smiter is actually not what you really need for ubers. And neither is a build that maxes both Zeal and Smite, known as zmiter etc.

Smite will be the skill of choice for us again, but I will argue that the ideal build is the well known fanatic zealot that will face the ubers with his 1pt smite. I don’t claim this idea as mine whatsoever. I was just one of the guys that early on this ladder pointed/noticed that zeal/smite hybrids are pointless because 1pt in smite is more than enough to do the job. It is a well known fact for zealot fans from the begging of time. On these forums,AnimeCraze seems to share the same opinion long time now (correct me if wrong). Therefore, this build is familiar to most already, and neither has a fancy name nor the author claims any fame. I call zealots that do uber tristram, Dragonslayers, but that’s just me.

Skill distribution (identical to a pure Fanatic Zealot, that’s what you really are).

Max Zeal (main skill, used vs all monsters in the game besides bosses and for crowd control in tristram)
Max Sacrifice (Zeal damage synergy)
Max Fanaticism (main aura, provides ias, attack rating bonus and great damage)
Max Holy Shield (great defense, block and smite damage boost).
1pt in prerequisites. Remaining skill points can go to either defiance for defense bonus or blessed aim. 1pt in salvation is a good idea as well. 

Strength enough for gear, dexterity enough for max block, vitality the rest,energy nothing. You have read the exact words a thousand times by now I’m sure.

Before I go to the gear suggestion part I will first try to explain why I favor the use of 1pt smite zealots over pure smiters or zeal/smite hybrids even for uber tristram itself.

Why only 1pt in Smite?

All paladins that use holy shield have at least one point in smite as prerequisite. 
Smite damage roughly depends on active damage auras (might,concentration,fanaticism), skill points invested and totally skill level of smite and holy shield,( since smite has no synergy), type of shield used (every shield has a certain base smite damage), enhanced damage % from the gear (eg. ed%jewels,fortitude etc) EXCEPT from the main weapon itself, total strength of char and last but not least +damage modifier from weapon.

The skill qualities of smite (ignores ubers' defense, uninterruptible, stun/knockback etc) are the same whether we talk about 1 or maxed. Same goes for crushing blow and open wounds effect.

As we can see the only actual difference between a build that has only 1pt in smite and one that has maxed it ,is only this, the level of smite itself. At this point we can guess that a maxed smite build will naturally have bigger smite damage in the end, with the same gear used, but we don't know the exact difference.

Test gear. I'll try to keep it as simple as possible. 

Char with lvl 20 fanaticism,20 lvl holy shield,1pt smite.
Gear. Zakarum shield, shael phase blade (max smite speed, doesn't really matter but just asuming), fortitude armor, 150 strength.

His total damage is 966-994.

The same exactly char/gear with maxed smite this time will be dealing 1259-1296 smite damage. 

If the zakarum shield is an upgraded herald of zakarum and the weapon is now a double shael heaven's light 3+ skills the damage will be like this.

1pt smite=1392-1424

A bit less than 400 average damage per hit. In my book this difference may be significant for pvp but insignificant for ubers. The chars have the same amount of crushing blow so they will reach at the last sliver of uber life simoultaneously and the maxed smiter will probably just be few seconds faster.

Let's see what happens when we use an average redeemer (+90 dmg) in our 1pt smite friend. He will automatically lose one skill level of those he had from heaven's light and an amount of crushing blow. (He does have ed% to demons, though, I’m ignoring this here).

1pt smite damage=2274-2305 A bit less than 500 smite damage in favor of the 1pt smite zealot. I argue (from my experience) that the redeemer user will reach the final stage of ubers' life a bit slower, but he will make up this time in the end, by dealing more damage when crushing blow stops to be effective.

You can try by yourselves doing ubers with 50% and 90+% crushing blow. I personally noticed small difference timewise. 
My conclusion is that since a maxed smite offers a very small damage advantage over 1pt in that, I say it is a waste maxing it. Maxing zeal and sacrifice instead provides you with a solid pvm build that can run nihlathak for keys very fast and beat the game with much more ease than a smiter, while it can be as effective as a pure smiter vs ubers. Much more fun to level as well.

To the last point now.

There has been a debate about which weapon is better vs ubers, Death runeword or Grief. From the smite side of things, death has all the crushing blow a trist runner needs on its own,while grief has none of it. But trist runners don't go naked in tristram. A grief user can get the 50% crushing blow easily from rest of gear without sacrificing anything (guil face and gores again). A death user can have maxed crushing blow but can't get the +damage mod. I will compare a 20 points death smite vs a 1pt Grief one, rest of gear as before (forti/uped hoz)

Death ,1550-1589 smite damage.

Grief (+370 dmg,an average one) 4978-5008 smite damage

3.4k damage difference per smite, is what kills ubers so fast in the end.

A Death user can retain fortitude and have maxed cb% (100%) by using guil face and gore riders. If 50% crushing blow with grief is too low for his/her taste, Duress can be used instead for an extra 15%. The 300% ed bonus of forti will be sacrificed and replaced by eg 15% on duress. So a 65% crushing blow should be enough for more demanding players.

Grief +duress=3584-3606. Grief user has still a 2k clear damage advantage.

Uberwise, from the zeal point of view, things are much more clear. A grief 1pt smite fanatic zealot will enjoy a more brutal weapon in terms of raw damage,that is faster and itd ,and will have the zeal synergy (sacrifice) maxed. Death user will only enjoy the superior crushing blow. But his weapon is not itd ,so in normal conditions it will hit less often than grief, therefore the crushing blow advantage is reduced again.

Gear Selection

Here I will suggest some setups that I have personally tried, from almost free to very expensive. The things that one has to keep in mind is that uber tristram requires a gear setup with presence of crushing blow , some source of life tap, overstacked resists (lightning/cold/fire, with that priority, ignore poison) . Contrary to what people think, maxing crushing blow won’t provide any groundbraking advantage, just use as much as you think it is necessary, I personally go with 48%-60%. Crushing Blow is not king, just an important factor.

Low level entry. For the very poor.

Helm: A crown socketed with ort and thul runes for light/cold resists.
Armor. Smoke (nef+lum) for the 50% all res.
Shield. Any simple socketable elite paladin shield with as high base resists as possible socketed with 4xperfect diamonds, for the resists.
Gloves. Blood crafted. The recipe is pdiamond,jewel,nef + heavy/sharskin/vampirebone gloves. The mods that we want are decent crushing blow and resists if possible. Dexterity,strength,life are all welcome of course.
Ravenfrost ring, crappy ones should be almost free and we only want it for the cannot be frozen mod and the handy cold absorb.
Resists amulet, resists second ring.
Resists belt. Make a blood crafted one that offers both resists and open wounds ,to confront the life regeneration of the Three.
Boots: Goblin toe. 25% crushing blow, this is a normal unique item, 1 perfect gem should be enough for it, if it is not for free.
Weapon: A 4xshael crystal sword/dimensional blade/phase blade. or a shaeled lightsabre. With the 4xshael option you can smite at max speed without the need of fanaticism. This will come handy vs mephi because you can have your salvation aura on against him to negate his conviction. A shaeled lightsabre will allow you to smite at one breakpoint slower, but it grants a very handy lightning absorb and it ignores target’s defense when you zeal with it, so you can hit the minions with that and deliver loads of crushing blows quickly if needed.
Weapon switch: Life tap wand. This one is tricky, I don’t suggest going into tristram without a renewable source of life tap while smiting, but if you can’t afford dracul’s grasp gloves, this is the only way. I strongly recommend dracul’s though.

Inventory filled with light/cold/fire resist charms and lifers.

The technique is always the same. Spawn one uber boss at time, (preferable mephi first), life tap with wand or be ready to drink full rejuvenation potions until life tap from dracs triggers, and namelock him with your smite. Vs mephi use salvation, vs Diablo and Baal use fanaticism. Keep some mana potions vs Baal, mana burn is annoying and will interrupt your smiting.

Really Recommended Setups. I will offer here setups for the poor, middle class and rich in pairs, one for those who want excessive crushing blow and one for those who favor moderate cb and +damage mod on weapon (like myself).

Gear for the poor


Weapon. 2 sock heaven’s light. Ignore the +skills on it,it has to have 2 sockets so with the addition of 2xshael it will hit max smite/zeal speed with the use of fanaticism. Get the cheapest you can since you are poor. Low ed% and +2 skills will work fine, don’t worry.
Helm/boots/gloves. Here I suggest the combo that I call the Backbone of tristram runners.

Guillaume’s face helm, 
gore rider boots, 
dracul’s grasp gloves.

These items provide you with all the crushing blow, open wounds and life tap that you’ll need. This setup offers 83% crushing blow.
Armor. Smoke still works fine, duriel’s shell socketed with a resist rune works fine as well, Griswold armor isn’t bad either.
Shield. Depends on prices on your realm or whether you are ladder or not. The 4 socketed elite paladin shield with perfect diamonds will work nicely here as well,a griswold shield with 3xpdiamons is great choice for the block it offers and it should be cheap if you are non ladder.
Belt: Ik or credendum work nicely and they are inexpensive.
Resists amulet,resists ring and ravenfrost or 2x resists ring if you can get cbf from duriel’s.


Weapon: Redeemer. It is cheap, get one with the highest +damage possible,it will make a difference. Shael it,and you’ll be needing an extra 20% ias from rest of the gear for max zeal/smite bp. I suggest a goldwrap belt and a 15%ias jewel on helm.

Guillaume's Face (+15 ias jewel)
Gore Rider
Dracul’s grasp

Armor. Smoke, duriel’s shell socketed with a resist rune , Griswold.
Shield. Same as above, 4 socket or Griswolds.
Belt should be goldwrap for ias or nosferatu for the same reason if you can afford it.
Resists amulet,resists ring and ravenfrost or 2x resists ring if you can get cbf from duriel’s.

Fill your inventory with resists chars in both cases. Here you can use the treachery prebuff trick if you can afford a lem. Put treachery armor one, and go get hit by a monster so Fade will trigger. It will give you for a few minutes resists and 15% damage reduction. From now on this procedure won’t be repeated, it works as an add-on to your resists no matter how rich you are.

Gear for the Middle Class

From now on tristram becomes rather a walk in the park.


Weapon: The fabulous Stormlash. Fantastic unique, with that speed, crushing blow and static field.Socket it with 15% ias jewel for max smite/zeal.

Guillaume’s face helm, 
gore rider boots, 
dracul’s grasp gloves. 

Armor: Here Duress is introduced. For the price of an um we get defense,crushing blow,resists and open wounds. Some cold damage for our zealing as well. 98% cb in total.
Shield. Here the best choice is Sanctuary (ko ko mal) made in a paladin only elite base shield with all res as base mod. Alternative is again Griswold shield with 3xpiamonds.
Belt. T-gods, ik, credendum etc, pick what you like or need.
Amulet: A metalgrid would work nicely here. Rare paladin amulet with skills/stats/resists is a great option too. Ravenfrost and resist ring are fine, whisp projector or dwarf star are second ring can be considered.

+ Damage

The only thing that could change here is the weapon and belt. Astreon’s is my choice in this price range,and the important mod is once again +damage. If a good one is expensive,a low one should be much more affordable. Use a 15% ias jewel in it and nosferatu belt for max zeal/smite speed. In this case actually our crushing blow is at 98% again, so one of duress/guil face/gore riders can be replaced. I recommend to use a different armor, because guil face and gores offer deadly strike for our zeal. Prudence would be a nice option, among others.

Gear for the Rich

Well here the possibilities are endless but I will list a few of my favorite setups.


Weapon. Death runeword. Loads of crushing blow. Ideal would surprisingly be in an ethereal dimensional blade or in a phase blade. Pitiful zeal damage in that case but you can hit max smite speed with a 15% ias jewel somewhere,or 20ias gloves as I suggest, and the raw smite damage is the same whether it is in a zerker or a phase blade(lower than even a heaven's light that is). If you use a berserker axe as base, then an extra 60% ias is needed. If you want to do more than uber tristram use Berserker axe.

Guillaume’s face helm (+15% ias jewel with zerk)
gore rider boots. 
Loh/other 20 ias gloves. No dracul’s here.

Armor: Chains of honor. Huge resists,damage mods.
Shield. Exile in an elite shield with all res base mods.
Amulet. Metalgrid/rare/mara with a blade Death, highlord’s with Zerk Death.
Belt: Nosferatu again with Zerk, tgods/ik/credendum with phase blade.

+ Damage- This is my favorite set up.

Weapon: Grief phase blade. The absolute king of melee. Sick damage both for zeal and smite. Stats are irrelevant, all grief phase blades hit max speed and even the lowest roll will be devastating.

Guillaume’s face helm, 
gore rider boots, 
dracul’s grasp gloves. 

Armor: Fortitude. Damage, defense, life, resists. All the wanted mods in one item.
Belt could be t-gods/credendum/ik etc.
Shield. Sanctuary , a good roll here, 100+ all res, in a nice elite paladin shield.
Amulet. Metalgrid (or rare with resists,or mara’s)
Ravenfrost+ a rare with resists/leech etc.

You are rich, throw an anni in here.

Of course there are plenty of great alternatives as weapons,like Last Wish, Beast, Doom etc but since Fanatic zealots are flexible with their weapons unlike barbs (because of mastery), test and choose your own favorite. Feedback is welcome.

Happy tristrunning.