I found a 3 socket Aldur's Rhythm during my game play last night, and it is a vast improvement over the weapon I was using.

I am running a Zeal Paladin, on closed Battle.net, at Nightmare difficulty Act 3, and I am hoping that it will help me up to Hell difficulty. Based on those threads from players using this weapon in Hell I feel like I've gotten a great weapon earlier than normal.

I read suggestions about adding 3 Shael runes to make the increased attack speed as high as possible, however, the calculator I found showed my number of attacks (Zeal) would increase from 4.16-4.46 for the 3 rune upgrade. Gaining 1 attack every 3 seconds doesn't seem like a huge damage gain.

Others suggest adding Amn runes or 3 Perfect Skulls to bump the life/mana leech. At present potion guzzling is a bit of a problem, but I may only need to find one good armor to solve that problem for a while. This doesn't seem like the worst choice, however the weapon does already have 10% Life Stolen Per Hit and 5% Mana Stolen Per Hit.

Other thoughts I've had include using Eth for the -25% to target defense, Mal for prevent heal, and perhaps Dol for 25% monster flee.

Given these circumstances, what are solid options that will be useful through the Nightmare Acts 4,5 and into Hell?

  • Assuming this is single player - if you're on Battle.net you probably wouldn't use it for more than 5 levels, lol. Oct 19, 2011 at 14:11
  • @IanPugsley Are you figuring I'll find something better in that time?
    – Tharius
    Oct 19, 2011 at 14:19
  • are you playing on closed bnet/ladder or on open/singleplayer?
    – l I
    Oct 19, 2011 at 14:21
  • @Stephen - given the trading environment on Battle.net, spending some time in trade rooms and the trade channels will net you items much better than Aldur's pretty quickly. It might even be more time efficient to make an MF sorc or hammerdin and do MF runs (than to try to fight through Hell with that weapon...). Oct 19, 2011 at 14:34
  • Playing on closed bnet. Open/sp I'd just edit the player file.
    – Tharius
    Oct 19, 2011 at 14:39

3 Answers 3


First of all, realize that the complete Aldur's set is a druid only set, so whatever you use with it will become useless later on since you are a paladin.

Second, the weapon may be a vast improvement, but it is not worth spending a lot of mid-high runes on since its simply not that good.

Third, for zeal weapons, you want to consider the base weapon speed, the faster the better. Aldur's Rhythm with a base weapon speed of 10 is rather slow. A popular yet fairly easy to get zeal weapon would be something like Stormlash.

So given these, I would just avoid socketing the weapon altogether, or if you must, put in Ber runes (really expensive, and a huge waste imo), since crushing blow is very nice to have.

For cheaper solutions, just stick in some ptopaz for a little kick in the lightning damage department.

Oh, and if you do have a mal rune, I'd save it for the Grief runeword* its the ultimate weapon for a zeal pally.

Eth for the -25% to target defense, Mal for prevent heal perhaps Dol for 25% monster flee.

If you are having trouble hitting monsters, get yourself a piece of the angelic set the AR boost will solve all your hitting problems, a lot of people like to wear the amulet + 1 ring. And you ABSOLUTELY do not want monster flee, you are a melee style fighter, why do you want monsters to run away from you?

*Ladder Only

  • 1
    If he's playing on Battle.net, putting a Ber in Aldur's is the biggest tragedy - he could trade up to something much better, just by trading the Ber alone. Oct 19, 2011 at 14:35
  • Flee is useful for clearing out the swarms of little things that like to nibble me to death, but if I can kill them faster, so much the better.
    – Tharius
    Oct 19, 2011 at 14:38
  • Plus if you have swarm running at you, and the guys in the front are trying to flee, but can't get past the rear swarmers, it's like having them against a wall and you just mangle them.
    – Tharius
    Oct 19, 2011 at 14:55

Aldur's Rythm is certainly not an end-game item for a zeal pally. That said, I wouldn't invest anything higher than a Shael rune into it.

You said you're at 4.1 attacks per second which is the 6fpa (frames per attack) break point. With this in mind, you'll need to socket three Shael runes to hit the next fpa break point. This would actually give you closer to 0.9 attacks per second extra.

If you have three Shaels, I'd say that is your best bet. Otherwise, throw in a sapphire (for cold/freeze) and fill the rest with LL.

Here is a link to the calculator I used

  • I didn't take into account ias from fanaticism or any other items you're wearing. So you may have to use the calculator yourself to determine what gets you to a FPA break point.
    – tQuarella
    Oct 19, 2011 at 15:25

I would go with one Shael rune, and use a rune over the perfect topaz, as suggested above. Because Orr runes give 1-50 lightning, as opposed to 1-40 from the perfect topaz. I would also suggest a Thul rune for 3-14 cold damage or a Ral rune for 5-30 fire damage.

I recommend the runes because a quick countess run in nightmare will give you these runes quite often, and perfect gems are harder to come by.

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