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How to Build my Paladin

I’m at the point in the game where i need to make some major decisions concerning my Hammer Throw Paladin. Since i’m completely new to this game there are many things I don’t know and where I would appreciate some advice. What kind of damage, what defenses to focus on and how to do that are my main concerns

  1. With Hammer Throw there seems to be a lot of different options for damage to focus on. I was planning to just go straight Physical dmg, but are there better options or damage that i should be focusing in addition to physical. Bleed, poison and conversion to elemental all seem like viable options. Anyone of these preferable to pure physical? If physical is fine on it’s own, should i spec in lots of crit (and what skill nodes, passives and items are key for crit?) When it comes to shredding, is armor shredding enough, or do i need to get phys resistance shredding as well?

  2. Lots of defensive options for this build looks like. If i go for maxing health pool, armor and max out my resistances (75%), except physical, (looks very easy on is this enough or should i get additional defense, and if so, what kind?

2a. Paladin seems to be one of the best classes for health regen, and i really like hp regen as strategy, in arpgs, when combined with adequate defenses. Can i build up enough health regen, with a combination of flat and percentage regen, so that it significantly increases my survivability. What items, passives and skills are considered to be exceptionally good when it comes to this? What would be useful to know is if the increased healing effectiveness stat benefits this (life gain on hit, block or when being hit too for that matter). On a related note, are there healing skills or stuff that procs healing that are especially good, and should i invest in heal effectiveness? Is Life gain on hit, block or when being hit good choices as well?

2b. If other defenses are recommended, then what does paladin excel at compared to others? Block looks like it’s easy make a good defense for paladin, but i would rather not spend points on it unless it’s especially good for paladin, as i see already that i would need to sacrifice other defenses or damage to choose this defense. Appreciate any advice.

2c. Also wonder if there are other defenses that are especially good, recommended or necessary for this build: Physical resistance (which i’m not sure is necessary or even any good if i have lots of armor), prevent crits, converting hits too glancing blows, less damage taken, or stuff that indirectly protects me like stun, slow, chill, freeze or other similar effects or anything i haven’t thought of here?

2d. Is getting Holy Aura to auto-cast a good choice?

  1. What skills should i use? I’m pretty sure i’m gonna use hammer throw, holy aura and sigils of hope as i like passive (or semi-passive) stats/buffs. Lunge looks like it would be the best movement skill choice for me, but i wouldn’t mind being told if there are other movement skills (like shield rush) that are as good or even better. As for other skills, Smite and Volatile Reversal look especially good. Would you recommend any of the skills mentioned here or others i haven’t thought of?

These are the things i’m curious about atm, tho more stuff is bound to crop up. Would love to hear your opinions on these things or other things, in general, relating to this build that you feel i should know or is good advice.

Hey there, Welcome to the forums…

Hammer Throw Paladin is, like most of the throwing skills in Sentinel, a fairly fun build but it suffers from a damage ceiling once you start getting into the end game & harder content. If you do a search here or on Dammits website (Builds using Hammer Throw skill - Last Epoch Builds) you will generally see that Hammer Throw is used to proc a secondary skill - Smite - to really do the damage required for monoliths & high tier Dungeons…

All throwing damage, while absolutely fine in the campaign, normal monoliths & low tier dungeons, usually begins to blunt later on so you end up being very tanky but taking far too long to kill bosses/clear - making it unpleasant to play.

So far imho, the only throwing build that seems viable ON ITS OWN is electrify Javelin based - but even that can benefit from Smite too…

Keeping this in mind as you go forward (dont know where you are level wise or campaign)…

  1. Damage… eventually you will reach a point where damage begins to fall off and you will have to consider alternative methods of damage. Regarding DoTs (damage over time)… unfortunately ignite isnt as good as bleed generally… There are interactions with VK skills & Forge guard that tend to be better for DoT type builds but those dont neccessarily use throwing… DoT builds work best if you can rapidly apply the DoTs with very fast attack speeds & multiple stacks per hit… Crit & DoT dont really go well together because DoTs dont crit - so best to chose a route and go with it. Shredding is good as it is a more damage modifier but be sure to get decent FLAT damage so that all the more modifiers actually make a difference…

  2. Defence… Armour is easy for Sentinels. All your resistances need to be capped for end-game content - again very easy to do if you chose the most valuable affix slots and blessings appropriately (and dont forget certain gear that has implicit resistances)… One you didnt mention is Crit Avoidance - this is probably the one thing that will save you from one-shots so be sure to get this up to the cap of 100%… Health is always good - for sentinel, passives and idols can help but you will see a lot of people staking healthflat+health% affixes… Block/Endurance are also very useful… Just remember that certain defences DONT block DoT hits so you may be tanky against direct damage, but die from standing too long in a poison pool. You can use Effective Hit Points calculator to figure out how much each defensive layer is worth and adjust accordingly.

  3. Health Regen… yes… its easier for a sentinel… key with this is the flat health regen affix… if you dont stack those in as many places as you can, then Health regen (and all the more multipliers) can be very lacklustre… Health leech is usually easier to get as its based on damage but regen is much more predicatable. flat Health on hit & block etc are usually also pretty good, but it depends on how you build it… e.g. if your block chance is 100% (with say a Bastion shield) then health on block is a very good affix to have…

  4. Paladin excels at armour & block… It is really easy to get 80% armour and well over 50% block effectiveness (i.e. damage mitigation) if using a shield… Due to passives in the Sentinel tree, its also very easy to max out resistances etc… Endurance when capped is a 60% reduction in ALL damage including Dots so its worth it if you can get your threshold up - but it requires a lot of investment to do so… sometimes too much…

  5. Holy Aura on auto-cast… if you can handle the mana drain, then by all means… depending on your chosen nodes it can temporarily boost either defence or offence very well - but even if you dont use autocast, it can give you a “free” level of defence/offence to make it easier to spec your gear into other things like offence…

Imho, any build in any class can make it through all the normal content without any issues - so my recommendation is to play, have fun and once you finish the campaign and start monos, then consider viewing other builds etc…

And dont forget, other than the Mastery Choice, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from totally respec’ing your build later… it just takes gold & you have to re-earn skill points via experience (very quick to do at higher levels)… So other than being a Paladin, there is no reason you have to stick with whatever build you are using…


Thanks for the long and detailed answer :slight_smile:

Vapour’s reply gets downvoted for the egregious typo…

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Everything @vapourfire sais :laughing:

And I want to add:

Sentinel is very different compared to other classes. While on other classes your mastery choice very strongly affects and restricts the type of build you can do, with the Sentinel it’s very different.

In very many cases you can commit to the skill you want to build around first and then choose a mastery, while on other classes you will choose your mastery first to determine the build you play.

You can play Warpath as Pala or Voidknight, same goes for Hammerthrow or Shield Throw.

Builds can be very similar in playstyle but very different in terms of how to build.

For example you can play smite as a main skill. It works nicely for a Paladin with fire/lightning and you would probably choose to go with a shield since you get great spelldamage support. Or you could choose the Void Knight and convert Smite to Void damage, scaling it with vitality, maybe even use a staff for that build.

I haven’t played Forge Fuard for a while, since I can’t get the identity of that mastery. Most builds are easier to play as Pala and VK (i.e. despite the throwing support in the FG tree I’d always prefer Pala or VK for a throwing build). Theres some crazy stuff you can do with the Manifest Armor, but else I don’t know any builds that excel when played as FG (but maybe I’m outdated…).

My advice would be you just play the skills you like the most from first impression and you choose the mastery depending on the style you like the most.

If you the hit a wall at some point you can look up a guide for your favourite skill (I’m sure you will find one) and/ or ask here for help.

If throwing is your thing, the only recommendation/ restriction I’d say is that Javelin is best used as Pala. For hammer or Shiel Throw you can choose either VK or Pala. And if you what to get smite on board VK or Pala also is viable for both masteries.

My personal opinion also is that leech > regen. Its scaling g harder and so way easier to achieve than a really good hp regen.

Max res on everything for endgame (easy to achieve once you get mono blessings and high tier rolls on items).

But Vapour already gave you very good arguments. HP is something you also want to stack. The end goal would be to have 3k+ at the end.


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Adding on to what RawSuicide says, I would also add that Sent’s can become very mana-needy quickly depending on what skills you take and how you spec them. Be mindful of your skill’s mana costs, character mana regen, and +mana as you go.

I posted my bleed FG I am running right now. Tanky as all hell due to skill selections and can bomb bosses HP with Abyssal Echoes popping all the bleeds on the target.

Warpath Ignite FG is also a thing I lvld to 100. Epoch Builds has a great guide for it on his youtube. Ignite doesnt get enough love, and rightly so, but I felt getting legendaries pushed its dps easier than electrify and nearing poison range…tho those 2 have either built in shred or an easily accessible one.

Some neat tricks are that throwing node in sentinel can be used in the FG tree to shred fire/physical res for free and it’s out all the damn time.

I am going to be messing around with a Vengeance (Rampage/Bastion combo) with forge strike for clearing. Throwing is a mistake I feel with FG as the best nodes either increase mana cost or make you take more damage. Bread and butter are ailments (bleed/ignite) or a pure crit/phys build (kinda out of favor now). With Warpath, for instance, you can convert all your bleed to Ignite. And there are 2 BIG NODES in the FG tree that adds both bleed and ignite per point, effectively letting you double dip and get stupid Ignite stacks up.

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this This THIS

BUT Devotion says Hi babe, you up? I personally don’t like it because I hate to have to manage my mana (i.e. keep it near 0 but not at 0 so you can get the most dps but still put out dps). Also, stacking mana isn’t fun to me.


thanks a lot for the answers everone :slight_smile: