Diablo 2: Resurrected — Best Amazon build for beginners and ladder resets
A proper Amazon build can decimate the battlefield in seconds. Here's what you need to know.
Diablo 2: Resurrected has launched, and though we've yet to see an official ladder season, plenty of people are jumping into Sanctuary to slay demons. One of the best starter builds for new and returning players is the Amazon. She can deal a ton of damage to single monsters and mobs, and her ability to farm the Secret Cow Level with extreme efficiency can often lead to quick riches. This Amazon beginner build guide will walk you through the leveling process, gear choices, where to magic find, and more to get you off on the right foot.
Early game and respec'ing your Amazon in Diablo 2: Resurrected
The Amazon is a powerful starting character that can deal a ton of damage without a lot of high-end gear. This makes her ideal for farming cows for items, runes, charms, and gems, many of which will propel you on your way to vast riches. While the Amazon isn't quite as versatile as the Sorceress or Paladin — check out my Diablo 2: Resurrected Paladin build guide for more information — she does have the benefit of being able to source key gear for cheaper.
I'm focusing on the Javazon build in this guide, which focuses on Charged Strike and Lightning Fury to get you through Hell. However, these end-game skills aren't immediately available. At the start of the game it's recommended that you use Power Strike and Poison Javelin skills for best effect.
Don't worry too much about wasting points on early skills that you won't be using later in the game. Diablo 2: Resurrected offers one free "respec" per difficulty when you complete the Den of Evil quest in Act 1. You must talk to Akara to receive your optional respec; choosing to do so resets all your attributes and skill points to be reassigned. These free respecs are valuable, so use them only when absolutely necessary.
The first 34 levels or so that your Amazon sees will look something like this:
- Level 2: Jab
- Level 3-5: Do not spend
- Level 6-9: Power Strike and Poison Javelin
- Level 10-14: Poison Javelin
- Level 15: Lightning Bolt
- Level 16-17: Poison Javelin
- Level 18-22: Charged Strike
- Level 23-28: Charged Strike
- Level 29: Plague Javelin
- Level 30-34: Lightning Fury
You will also receive a bunch of extra skill points from quests completed as you work your way through the game. Feel free to sink these into whatever skills you feel are doing the most damage.
At level 35, many people will respec and go purely into the Amazon's most powerful skills. If you're doing enough damage to move efficiently through the game, keep up with your beginner skills and continue pumping points into Charged Strike, Lightning Fury, Lightning Bolt, Lightning Strike, and Power Strike. There's no pressure to respec.
Once you do respec, focus on those same five skills, as these are all synergies of each other. I play with Charged Strike on left-click and Lightning Fury on right-click when playing on PC. Be sure to also sink a point into the Pierce skill, as well as one point into Dodge, Avoid, and Evade. If you'd like to summon a Valkyrie companion, that can also take one point.
Key stats for your Amazon in Diablo 2: Resurrected
Diablo 2: Resurrected is filled with terms and stats, but not all are as crucial to the Amazon as others. Increased attack speed, Faster Hit Recovery, Faster Run/Walk, resistances, Dexterity, and Vitality are extra important here.
Having more life means you'll stay alive longer in battle. No surprise here. Put just enough points into Strength and Dexterity to wear your gear, then put the rest into Vitality.
You don't have to worry as much about pumping Dexterity for Attack Rating (AR) due to how Lightning Fury and Charged Strike work. While the physical portion of the attacks do look to AR, the lightning portion does not. Add enough to equip your gear of choice; javelins can require a significant amount. If you're going for max block using something like the unique Stormshield shield, you will need more points into Dexterity.
The Amazon doesn't naturally have access to the Teleport skill, so adding Faster Run/Walk (FRW) via gear and charms is required. The more the better here.
Faster Hit Recovery
Faster Hit Recovery (FHR) relies on "breakpoints" to calculate how many frames it takes to recover from being struck. Instead of improving with each gained percentage point, there are these breakpoints at which you'll see an actual difference. Here are the Amazon's specific FHD breakpoints.
The 174% breakpoint will be hard to hit; shoot for 52% or 86% for best results.
Increased Attack Speed
Unlike Faster Cast Rate, which has set breakpoints that must be hit no matter the gear you're using, Increased Attack Speed (IAS) is much more difficult to calculate. It all depends on the type of weapon you're using and whether or not you're throwing or stabbing. Your best bet here is to employ a Diablo 2 IAS calculator to figure out how much IAS you need. The faster you attack, the more damage you do.
Diablo 2: Resurrected Javazon skills
The Javazon's end-game skills can do a ton of single-target damage as well as AoE damage. Once you've decided to respec you will have a bunch of skill points to use. Here's a breakdown of what your skill trees will look like.
|Javelin and Spear||Point|
Any extra points you have left over can go into Power Strike.
|Passive and Magic||Points|
If you'd rather not use a summoned Valkyrie, you can ignore the Inner Sight, Slow Missiles, Decoy, and Valkyrie itself. These skill points can be used elsewhere. And depending on your gear (like Razortail belt) and +Skills level, you might want more points in Pierce.
No points go into the Bow and Crossbow skill tree.
Best Amazon gear for Lightning Fury build
Starting out always involves a ton of junk gear that gets swapped out for the next best thing. Use whatever works best, but also keep your eye out for crucial gear that boosts resistances, attack speed, Run/Walk, life, and resistances. Gear with +Skills is never a bad thing either.
Since your damage depends on attack speed, at least one piece of your gear should have the "Cannot be frozen" modifier.
Early runewords for your Amazon
Runes and runewords in Diablo 2: Resurrected are crucial to a good start. Your first runeword will generally provide a huge boost to your new Amazon, and they're relatively cheap to make as long as you don't mind grinding a bit for the runes and runeword base weapons or armor.
- Rhyme (Shael + Eth) — This is made in a two-socket shield. It provides the crucial "Cannot be frozen" modifier, as well as Magic Find (MF), resistances, block rate, and extra gold from monsters.
- Stealth (Tal + Eth) — This is made in a two-socket body armor. These runes are extremely easy to find despite how many buffs this runeword offers. Get FCR, FHR, FRW, poison resist, and Dexterity.
- Spirit (Tal + Thul + Ort + Amn) — This is made in a four-socket shield. If you can get the "Cannot be frozen" mod from a different piece of gear, a Spirit shield can work wonders. It offers a ton of resistances, FHR, FCR, and vitality.
- Lore (Ort + Sol) — This is made in a two-socket helm. It adds +1 to all skills, as well as lightning resist and energy.
- Peace (Shael + Thul + Amn) — This is made in a three-socket body armor. The runes are a bit harder to find, but this is a huge upgrade. It adds +2 to all Amazon skills, FHR, cold resist, and more.
- Insight (Ral + Tir + Tal + Sol) — This is made in a four-socket stave or polearm and is generally handed off to an Act 2 mercenary. The runeword offers some extra damage, but the real attraction here is the Meditation aura that is shared between you and the merc. If you're finding mana to be a real problem, this will solve it.
Mid- and end-game gear for your Amazon
Diablo 2: Resurrected is all about gear, with so many options out there that new players might have a hard time figuring out what's good and what's not so good. Most character wardrobes are going to look different during the start of a run, narrowing out as they approach the end game.
Unlike the Diablo 2: Resurrected Necromancer, which doesn't need any special gear at all to make it through Hell, the Javazon is certainly more gear dependent. Here are some things to look out for.
- Harlequin Crest shako helm — The Shako (as it's usually called) is one of the best items in the game. You get +2 to all skills, MF, a ton of life and mana, and more.
- Griffon's Eye diadem — If you're going for a pure lightning damage build, this is what you want. It costs a lot, but it provides an enormous boost to damage by adding to your own lightning output and decreasing enemy resistances.
- Titan's Revenge ceremonial javelin — This is the weapon you want for your Javazon. A ton of damage, a ton of +Skills, FRW, Strength, Dexterity, and more. Try to get them Ethereal for the added damage, as the "Replenishes quantity" mod means you won't have to repair them.
- Razortail sharkskin belt — This is where a lot of your Amazon's piercing attack comes from. Combined with her Pierce skill, this belt should put you over the desired 100% mark.
- Sandstorm Trek scarabshell boots — These are great boots for many characters, including the Javazon. FRW, Strength, Vitality, FHR, and a ton of poison resist. Get them Ethereal if possible for the extra defense; the "Repair 1 durability every 20 seconds" modifier will take care of the rest.
- Chains of Honor (Dol + Um + Ber + Ist) — This is a great end-game option made in four-socket armor. Extra damage, +2 to all skills, life steal, Strength, resistances, damage reduction, MF, and more.
The best gloves you find for your Javazon will likely be magic or rare. Blue gloves with +3 to Javelin and Spear skills with 20% IAS can drop. Rare gloves with similar stats as well as other modifiers can also drop.
For rings you'll want to check out Raven Frost for its Dexterity and "Cannot be frozen" modifier. On the other hand, The Stone of Jordan or Bul-Kathos' Wedding Band should be end-game options. Until then just use what's best for you. For an amulet, check out either The Cat's Eye or Highlord's Wrath.
If you'd like to buff your Amazon before going out into battle, the Call to Arms runeword (Amn + Ral + Mal + Ist + Ohm) built into a crystal sword or flail is key. It's expensive, but it grants you access to Barbarian buff skills.
For charms in your inventory, look out for resistances, FHR, life, mana, and MF. Gheed's Fortune unique grand charm will boost MF. The Annihilus small charm (often called Anni) and Hellfire Torch are both end-game items that will take a lot of work to gain but will boost your stats considerably.
Best mercenary setup for your Amazon
Keeping a mercenary hired to aid your Amazon is never a bad idea. As with most characters and builds, the Act 2 mercenary is the best option. If you'd like some extra defense, an Act 2 Nightmare Defensive mercenary will work thanks to his Holy Freeze aura. And if you'd like extra damage instead, the Act 2 Nightmare Offensive mercenary with Might will be a better choice.
Once you're rich enough to afford it, the Infinity (Ber + Mal + Ber + Ist) built into a polearm is the best possible weapon. Its Conviction aura (which is cast by the mercenary) breaks enemy lightning resistances, allowing you to breeze through the game without worrying about immune monsters. Until you reach this level of wealth, use the Insight (Ral + Tir + Tal + Sol) runeword to keep your mana pool full, or the Obedience (Hel + Ko + Thul + Eth + Fal) runeword for pure damage.
Treachery (Shael + Thul + Lem) built into a three-socket ethereal armor is an excellent choice. It adds increased attack speed (IAS), cold resist, and a chance to cast the Fade skill which reduces damage dealt to the merc and raises his resistances. Later you can move into other armors, like an ethereal Shaftstop or the Fortitude (El + Sol + Dol + Lo) runeword.
Finally, the helms you should look out for are Guillaume's Face, Vampire Gaze, or Andariel's Visage. In the meantime, look for anything that boosts damage, resistances, or life steal. Tal Rasha's set helm is a relatively cheap option with 10% life steal.
Where to magic find with your Amazon
The Javazon build relies heavily on lightning damage, and running through Hell difficulty can cause issues due to monster immunities. At least until you make an Infinity runeword for your mercenary. The Javazon isn't the best for magic finding — check out our Diablo 2: Resurrected Sorceress build guide if you want to go pure MF — but her ability to stomp huge groups quickly makes for efficient farming.
If you're just starting out, the Secret Cow Level will be your best option. There are hardly any lightning immunes here, and the density means you have a good chance of finding runes, charms, gems, armor and weapon bases for runewords, and more.
Eldritch the Rectifier and Shenk the Overseer, both located just seconds from the first Act 5 waypoint, are both great targets that can be run extremely quickly. Once you've rescued Anya, you can also take the red portal to Pindleskin. He can drop high-level items, and you might just get lucky.
For more help when starting out, be sure to have a look at our collection of 15 Diablo 2: Resurrected beginner tips and tricks. And if your PC isn't quite up to handling the shiny new graphics, check out our collection of the best pre-built PCs for playing Diablo 2: Resurrected.
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More than a fresh coat of paint
Diablo 2: Resurrected includes the original game and the Lord of Destruction expansion pack, with all-new improvements and better graphical quality. It's available now on all platforms.
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Cale Hunt is formerly a Senior Editor at Windows Central. He focuses mainly on laptop reviews, news, and accessory coverage. He's been reviewing laptops and accessories full-time since 2016, with hundreds of reviews published for Windows Central. He is an avid PC gamer and multi-platform user, and spends most of his time either tinkering with or writing about tech.