Introduction

Hi, Iím MatriX(SR) on USEast, MooMoo on the forums. I have a pvp paladin named Aura, previously MooMoo-IV. I wrote this guide to share some of my thoughts and strategies used with the pvp paladin. My first pvp pal, MooMoo-II, was pretty successful pvp, especially against other paladins, which is this buildís specialty. He often could win vs the decent paladins on the realm. When I remade him into MooMoo-IV, I changed his gear around, his skills around, his stats around, and I got some better gear for him. He has so far been a very successful paladin in duels, both public and private. So, what kind of paladin is MooMoo-IV, that I have gotten many weeks of success with himónot to mention many weeks of fun? He is a vindicator/templar, a pally that specializes in smite and foh. He is currently tipping in at:

2503 Life
Max DR (damage reduced)
Max Block
around 425+ Stacked lightning resist
max Resist all on hell
lvl 37 smite/foh

What makes the vind/temp a good choice?
A vindi/temp, who uses smite and foh as his main skill with fanaticism/conviction as his main auras, has the potential to become a very versatile and deadly fighter. Smite is one of the strongest melee attacks in the game: it is ITD and ITB--it cannot be defended against. Coupled with good damage and knockback, it is definitely an attack to be feared. But of course, you cant beat the best with just a melee attack alone. Fist of Heavens is a ranged attack that does huge lightning dmg, and can lock on a target for up to 3 screens away. simply click and hold. With conviction to lower the targets resist, this can pack some serious whoopass.

How does this build do overall vs all classes? Well.. to basically sum it up (and sorry for the generalizations, Iíll explain more in the strategy section):
Sorceress: With the right gear and fast reflexes (to catch those quick-teleporting sorcs) you can often beat even a very good sorceress. You have to be careful and be very very quick vs good sorcs, but its definitely possible to win vs even the best.
Amazon: These ones are tough. A good bowazon will almost always beat a very good vind/temp. This type of paladin just lacks the necessary skills to kill a really good zon. I recommend making a Frost Crusader, a pally specializing in charge/holy freeze (in order to catch the zon), if your main interest is killing those pesky amazons.
Barbarian: Being quick, making good use of skills like holy freeze and vigor to stop them from catching you, and being patient in staying away from barbs can end in a win for you. The key to barbs is caution and not letting them near you. This can sometimes be hard, but a good pal will probably be able to beat a good barb.
Necromancer: a good necro will be able to win vs even the best paladins. There isnít much a pally can do vs a necro that knows what heís doing. Necs just have too many skills at their disposal that can damage pallies.
Assassin: There are some really good asns out there that will always be tough for a pally. Neverending stunlock can be tough on a pally, even with good hit recovery. Martial Arts asns shouldnít be too hard though.
Druids: Druids should not really be too much of a problem. Vs good ones its much like playing a barb, but you just have to get their minions behind them in order to foh em. Can be annoying, but if youíre really patient and care to use a lot of strategy, you can win. The average druid, however, will often not stand much of a chance.

Common Terms:
Vind/Temp or Vindicator/Templar: the smite/foh hybrid pally that this strategy guide is about.
-Vindicator: A pally using smite
-Templar: A pally using foh
FoH: Fist of the Heavens.
HF: Holy Freeze.
BH: Blessed Hammer.
FHR: Faster hit recovery. This can be gained from items and is helpful vs asn traps, melee attacks, and bone spirit, to name a few things.
ITD: Ignore Target Defense (ITB=Ignore Target Blocking)
IAS: Increased attack speed. Necessary for smite.
LR: Lightning resist
HoZ: Herald of Zakarum. Class specific pally shield
SS: Stormshield. Unique monarch
SPB: Silence Phase Blade. Dol Eld Hel Ist Tir Vex. Runeword.
GA: Guardian angel. Unique templar coat.

Skills:
Combat Tree:
20 Smite
20 Holy Shield
20 FoH

Offensive Auras Tree:
20 Fanaticism
1 Holy Freeze
The rest of your points here should go into conviction. You can max this if you want and put 10 less in smite or foh, but I wouldnít recommend it. Iíll explain why below.

Defensive Auras Tree:
1 Vigor
1 Lightning Resist

Explanation:
the 20 smite, holy shield, and fanaticism will give you the strongest smite you can have, and this I felt is necessary, because many duels end in a smite duel, or end in a win because of the smite dmg I deal.

I chose not to max convic because in many duels with top paladins, max conviction wont even matter. The points that would be wasted there would better be used in smite or in foh.

Not many people use the Resist Lightning aura, but it has saved me many times from the conviction with other pallyís foh. I think it is definitely DEFINITELY worth the 1 point you spend in it.

Vigor is a very useful aura, arguably the most overall useful aura a pally has. It is not only good for escaping from classes like barbs, but also in getting where youíre going quicker. Although this doesnít really affect your pvp game when you run to akara or go to get your body, it is a very very nice thing to have. Definitely worth the point. I made my first pally without vigor and I regretted it.

I only put 1 point in holy freeze. Many people put more, up to 15 or sometimes maxed, but the +skills made this already a very useful skill, and I thought the other points would be a waste when they could be used in better skills.

Equipment:
I use different equipment vs different classes. The stuff listed is what I think is best, and some can be switched with others depending on class.

Weapon: Silence phaseblade. Gives you the speed necessary to use smite well, and the mods are very useful. With the Ė30 speed of a phaseblade and the 20% IAS from silence, *smite speed is already maxed with fanaticism*.

Shield: Stormshield / Herald of Zakarum. Many people say stormshield is bad for smite because of the relatively low dmg it deals. However, I disagree with this. Even if you socketed your items with bers and got max dr with herald, you are wasting sockets that can be used for jahs for up to +200 life, or orts that can give you the LR needed to win a pal vs pal duel, or Lo runes to give you the +max resist lightning to make you immune to foh. Not to mention youíll be losing the tgods for string, and this belt is key in helping vs foh. Also, many people say that a +2 elite pally shield (note: all elite pally shields have the same average smite dmg) with good mods beats herald OR storm. I disagree, as do almost all if not all of the top paladin players. The +4 combat skills (total) on herald coupled with the high resists, high +stats, and other mods cannot be beaten

Helm: Shako. Not many people disagree with this. +2 skills, huge +life/mana, 10% DRóall very useful mods and cannot be beaten.

Armor: Shaftstop / Guardian Angel. Shaftstop has DR and +60 life, guardian angel has the +max resist all for sorcs. Nuff said. Oh and the +skills is nice on GA (guardian angel) too

Gloves: Bloodfists / IK Gauntlets / Dual stat gloves with low requirements and good resists. My pally uses bloodfists because of the +40 life, and the 30% FHR that with silence, gives me the 32 fhr breakpoint that I feel is necessary for this build. You can use ik gauntlets and a +1 combat skills, 12% FHR grandcharm with silence to achieve 32% FHR, rather than bloodfistsóbut I donít recommend it. Hereís the math: You would lose (lets say 30) life from the charm and 40 life from bloodfists, so 70 life total. However from ik gaunts I would gain 3 str overall (cause tgods gives you 20 str and the max you need is 133 for this build) = 9 life, and then 20 dex which is another 60 life. You can have 69 life from using these rather than around 70 from bloodfists/pally combat charm with life. Very close, but bloodfists win in this case by 1 hp. And both gloves cost nothing. I would give them to you for free. So, overall--either one is good. if your charms arent great then use IK gaunts, but if you have (or are planning to have) 10x pally combat charms with 30+ life, use bloodfists cause they'll end up being better.

Boots: Waterwalks / Dual stat boots with good resists and frw. I use waterwalks because of the +65 life they have, and +15 dex which is like another +45 life. +110 life and 20% FRW is hard to beat on boots. Not to mention the +5% max fire resist.

Belt: Thundergodís Vigor. 20 lightning absorb is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY to deal with foh. The +max LR is also extremely helpful. Not to mention the +120 life total you get from the +stats on it. A very very nice belt.

Rings: I recommend one bul kathos wedding band and one perfect (dex) ravenfrost. The raven will give you the cannot be frozen mod that is very useful vs many classes and the 20 dex which = 60 life for max block. The only exceptions to these two I would use would be 2 ravens vs a sorc (dual ravens for pallies is allowed by the usual rules so nobody should complain). I would also use 2 bul kathos vs a judicator (a pally that uses smite/foh/blessed hammer) or a mage (a pally that uses foh/blessed hammer) or a necro, because you donít need block OR cannot be frozen, which are the two things you would use raven for. Also note that the life leech on a bul kathos does not matter because smite doesnít leech, so I would go for a 3% bul kathos because itís cheapest. Also note that holy freeze cannot be canceled out with cannot be frozen.

Amulet: Maraís / Dual stat and/or +life ammy with +skills and resists. +skills are good, +stats/+life are very good (yes im obsessed about life on a pally, so sue me :-P). The only exception I would make for either of these are vs sorcs, when you should have max resists anyway and I take off my maras and put on a +2 pally skills, +99 life ammy. If you have something like that or can get something like that, use it over the maras vs sorcs. You wont need the +str on maras to get to the str for storm, you donít need the dex on it for block, and the +99 beats the +15 life you get from +5 vit on maras.

Weapon Switch:
My weapon switch is now:
6 socket phaseblade with a shael and 5 lightning resist jewels. This gives me 109 lightning resist and the same speed of a silence phaseblade. This is a very good idea and Iím surprised more people donít use it (as far as I know). Lightsabre is also a good choice but people will yell at you for using dual absorb *cough*
202% Resist all, 4ptopaz sacred targe. Get a 4 socket elite pally shield and put ptopazes in it for foh resist. The more inherent resist all you get on the regular shield before you put ptopazes in, the better.

Note that I really only use my weap switch vs foh. When I see people are casting it, I hit weap switch. I always have lightning resist on my righthand skill on my weap switch and usually have foh on my lefthand skill because if im smiting I would be on my other switch. The flaws of this is that I am sometimes slow hitting weap switch to smite, and if they catch me on my other switch with foh and convic, it hurts a lot.

Sockets:
Helm: I Jah my shako. Um or Ort it if you a) donít have enough resist all for sorcs or b) donít have enough resist lightning for pallies.
Armor: My shaftstop currently has an Um in it. However, when I get my hands on a new jah, I will put that in it. Once again, Iím obsessed with life :-P and I donít need the Um anymore. For guardian angel definitely Um it, although I guess you could jah it if you have enough resist all for sorcs on nm anyway and you really wanna kill those sorcs :P. Just seems like a waste of sojs to me, but thatís just meóeveryoneís different :P.
Weapon: Silence has no sockets. Neither does the weap switch weapon :P
Shield: Stormshield I would put a hel rune, or (ideally) a jewel with good lightning resist and Ė15 requirements. Herald should get an Um because I would only usually use it vs sorcs.

Charms:
10x pally combat skills charms with life, fhr, or rw. I have 10 of them with high +life.
10x small charms with frw, +life, or lightning resist. I use 9 of them with +20 life, and one with +17 life and 9% lightning resist (I am so in love with that charm I just had to mention it sorry :P).. but basically I donít think the frw is necessary. Only use 11% lightning resist ones if you donít have enough to survive max conviction without it.

Strategy:
Amazons
- Use walk. Donít run. Walking will let you block arrows while moving.
- I usually charge with vigor and walk to get close to them and maybe stun them/knock them back. After this I try to get an foh off before they start moving, or if Iím in a good position to, start smiting away. Many zons will have low resists, especially with conviction if you can get it to lock onto them.
- Be careful against blocklock. This happens when the amazon is shooting quickly and you are trying to attack, orómost oftenócast foh. Do not try to cast foh when an amazonís arrows are hitting you. You will not be able to complete the casting due to blocklock.
- If she has a valkyrie out, you will have to get her to be between you and the valkyrie in order to foh her. FoH autotargets monsters or minions, even when you have your cursor over the zon. There is also a tactic that can be used call charge-lock. This involves engaging your target in charge, then hitting the foh hotkey while still holding down leftclick. This is hard to get the hang of and I often donít even bother with it, but itís still very useful sometimes.

Barbarians
- If they are melee barbs, make use of holy freeze and vigor. Keep them away from you.
- Pretend they are bulls, and you are the dude with the wavy thing. Let them start a ww directed at you, and be quick and dodge out of their way. When they are in the middle of the ww and you are a safe distance away, foh them in mid-ww. Repeat as needed.
- To duel them, I usually start out by Freezing them, switching to conviction, lock onto them with conviction, use the bull tactic, and foh them in mid-ww.
- If they use berserk, you can usually just smite them to death. If not, then either run from them and foh em when youíre a safe distance away, or switch to zeal and try to get them into blocklock if youíre fast and they have max block. Thatís sort of risky though, and you will often not do much dmg. That could be a good time to escape or to hit them with a few smites when they are blocklocked.
- Donít smite a wwíing barb unless they arenít very good :-\. This should be common sense.
- If they use a weapon with a big range like a pike or voulge, be especially sure to get out of their way. Heh. Sometimes it can seem like they wont hit you with ww, but they do. Those things can hit you from like a mile away =\ and smite/foh pallies have no real advantage over them except for the DR they lose from not using stormóthe block doesnít matter vs foh or smite, so these could be better vs vind/temps than s/s barbs, although no one really thinks about it that way :-\.
- Throw barbs can be a pain in the neck. Walking with vigor can work to dodge/block the javs, or running with vigor works too, and if you see something about to hit you, quickly hit R to go back to walk and block it. You can try and wait till they run out of javs, foh them if they run away, or just foh them while running around like a monkey.

Sorceresses:
- Vs orb sorcs, the most common kind, be sure to dodge the main orb of FO. This thing can deal huge dmgólike 400-600 or so, if you donít get out of its way.
- I usually stand still at the beginning with conviction on and let them come to me. When they teleport around me try and lock on with foh and hit em with one. However, I do NOT recommend locking onto them and following them with foh lock (where you hold left click down on them and you can still hit them with foh even after they left your screen. It works for around 3-4 screens) because you will be a sitting duck for foh bolts as you stand still fohing them. Foh them once if you can and run away from the orb.
Ė if a sorc decides to tank you, run up to her or charge up to her and smite her, then run back to get out of the way of any incoming spell.
- if itís a fire sorc, you shouldnít really have much trouble. Hydra bolts are really easy to avoid and donít do that much dmg with 95% resist fire (GA and waterwalks). And come to think of it, this really works for all fire spells :-\.
- Lightning shouldnít do much dmg to you. With the 20 lightning absorb from tgods, and 95% resist lightning, nova and ts (thunderstorm) should barely hurt you. The driveby ts pk sorcs that think theyíre good but are actually newbies should be no problem for you.

Necromancers:
Not to be negative, but a really good necro will own any paladin. They just have too much that can be used vs pallies to get in their way or kill them. However, I can give you what tips I have for them.
- Charge with vigor to get close to em. Staying close and offensive is key. Just watch out for bone spirits.
- Cleansing! An aura not commonly used, but it should be hotkeyed always against necros. It can reduce the curse duration dramatically.
- be quick with your attacks. Itís hard to get fohís off cause of bone walls or golems but a few quick smites and then running away is a good offensive tactic for necros.
- Use lots of frw to escape bone spirits.
- Watch out for ibsís (invisible bone spirits). When a necro is off your minimap and shoots bone spirits, they can still hit you but will be invisible on your screen. Once again, staying close to the necro is a good thing.
- The stealth armor is very good vs necros. You wont need the DR on shaft or the resists on GA, and this has FRW which is very useful and mana regen which can be nice to have if yer using foh.
- Vs golems, use the valkyrie strat. Keep it behind the necro, or chargelock the nec.
Assassins:
- vs martial arts asns, they will probably DF (dragon flight) you to get close to you. When they do this, just start smiting. You should be able to block most of their attacks, and even if they use WoF (wake of fire) or mind blast to stun you before they DF over.
- vs trappers, try to run away from their traps. If they have you perpetually stunned and theres nothing you can do about it, its over. This WILL happen vs good asns. Just run a lot. Take off DR equipment for RW equipment vs trappers. Like the necro, maybe change shaft for stealth.
- 32 fhr helps a lot vs asns with traps. If you wanna try it out, go get 152 fhr, the next breakpoint, and see how it works vs a good trapper, with all the equipment you have to sacrifice. Tell me the results I havent actually tried it and maybe it would be helpful :P
Ė for fohing an asn with a shadow master out, read the valkyrie section of the amazon tips.

Druids:
Druids are not very popular in pvp, so I donít know much about dueling them. - Much like the barbs, use holy freeze and vigor to keep them away from you and foh themóa good druid will probably beat you melee vs melee.
- If they use dire wolves to keep foh away from em, youíll have to rely on the valkyrie tactics to foh them.
- Also note that HBT (hit blinds target) (inherent in the silence runeword, or a Sur rune for your weapon if you use a different weap but feel that HBT is necessary, which I donít recommend) works on the druidís minions. Blind them and go for the druid if they arent quick recasting them (or if they run out of mana, thatís good :P)
- All the druidís elemental attacksí damage can easily be reduced with resists (use guardian angel)
Paladins:
Ahhh.. Paladins.
Vs. Vind/Temps: Your clones. Start the dual off with your weap switch, because they will often begin with foh. If they charge at you to get close (this is if you're using the same exact build/switch i recommended), hit w and smite them, knock them back. Sometimes this will turn into a smite duel, in which case you can and often will win because of the power, life, and dr you have. in other cases you may want to meet their charge with your charge--you can often take them off guard and follow up with smite, or it will sometimes make them run away, in which case they're sitting ducks for foh.
Vs. Zealots: Vind/Temps have a one up on zealots. Smite vs zeal will often end in the smiter as the winner. There are very very few zealots that I have dueled on east that can actually beat me with zeal, and none that can consistently beat me with it. And that isnít even all out. Using holy freeze and foh and smite together will result in a quick loss for most any zealot, as they usually have low resists. However I usually donít use those vs zealots as they are most often found in public pally duel games where theyÖ frown upon foh/hf and/or think its cheap. With max block and max dr this should be a piece of cake. Hereís the breakdown of zeal vs smite:
Zeal: Can leech. Can do more dmg than smite. Can be blocked and defended against. Hits 5x. It is AR dependant, or you can use eth if you wish to exploit what is arguably a bug.

Smite: Cannot leech. It is ITD so it always hits. It knocks the target back. (note that the stun the player gets from smite does not actually do anything in pvp)

Vs. Mages:
Mages are paladins that use FoH and BH. These often will, and should should should become an foh duel. Do not, do not EVER run into their hammers. Duels with these guys may be boring if you avoid bh, as foh may not do much dmg to either of you, but at least you wont lose as quickly :-P. I would put on a OrtOrtLoLo (+10% max lightning resist, +70% Resist lightning) armor of the whale for them, or OrtOrtOrtOrt (+120% Resist Lightning) armor for them. Or maybe a JahJahJahJah armor of the whale if you wanna be spendy :P.
Vs. Judicators: Judicators are a pally variant who use BH/FoH/Smite. These guys are very versatile and just OWN in pal vs pal (however they arent as good as a vind/temp vs most other classes because they usually have a skill distribution of like 20 bh, 20 conc, 20 foh, 20 holy shield, and 10 smite.. also a couple points in convic. They have weaker smite, slower cause of no fanat, and less conviction.) but ya. These can be very tough. Try to treat them the same as a mage, and if they become offensive and try to smite you, be CAREFUL of them casting hammers because it will surely follow an attack of smite. Smite them if they come near you and run away and keep fohing. A very good judicator will just beat any vind/temp unless you get lucky. Thatís the way it works pretty much.

Basic PvP Rules:
These are the rules that legit, as it were, duelers play by. Public games will usually not have any rules, but if you are serious about dueling or wish to duel with rules, here they are: (thnx heendawg)

No Slow Items (e.g.. Nosferatuís Coil)
No Knockback (from items, smite or charge kb is game)
No Bugged/Hacked Items or items that shouldnít exist
Max 200 psn cap
1 absorb per element
No items with charges
No % to cast stuff like amp dmg
No .08 Valor / .08 Shako or any other overpowered .08 items
No recent overpowered dupes
All Paladin Skills are legal
Nightmare is the standard mode to duel on. However if both players agree you may play on normal/hell.
No Shrines / Potions / Wells during the duels
No Leeching off monsters during the duels
No stacking life regen and running away to heal Ė I think the max is like 14 replenish life? Not sure here
No going back to town once duel starts unless there is an interruption or emergency
Start dueling after both players agree to

Thanks
Thanks to all the paladins I respect, enjoy, and/or have learned from: realm dread hida blade crypticinc concept ian(EC) heen shadow maraxus turk melkor negative moolium and all the othersóyou know who you are.

And thanks to YOU for reading o.o!