Runewords are special combinations of runes that, when placed into a piece of Diablo 2: Resurrected gear in the right order, grant the user additional bonuses. Attaching a Runeword to an item comes with a few caveats: For starters, Runewords can only be used on non-magic, grey-text (Normal, Exceptional, or Elite), socketed gear, and only chest, helms, shields, and (most) weapons can have sockets. The Runeword must match the exact number of sockets on the gear piece, so a three-part Runeword can only be placed into a three-socket item. Runewords must also be placed in a specific order to spell the desired word, or else the item will simply be a piece of gear with three individual runes.
The beginner’s runewords
Steel (Tir + El) – This runeword is used for weapons like swords, axes, and maces. It increases damage and attack speed, while also giving a 50% chance to Open Wounds, an effect that makes the enemy bleed more. Suiting classes like the Barbarian, Druid, and Paladin, Steel is a great way to buff any early battle master.
Nadir (Nef + Tir) – Nadir buffs the defenses of all classes, but it does have particular relevance to the Assassin’s Cloak of Shadows, so they particularly should use this in their helms (especially when building pro-cloak builds like the Dragon Talon Kicksin build). Nadir also boosts strength, gold, and mana.
Malice (Ith + El + Eth) – Used in melee weapons, Malice is a particularly brutal early runeword. Like Steel, it buffs damage and applies the Open Wounds effect. However, it also decreases an enemy’s defense, drains life, and prevents a monster from healing. Melee classes like the Assassin, Barbarian, Amazon, Paladin, and Druid all benefit from Malice. However, in the rare cases that your Sorceress or Necromancer has a melee weapon, it can work for them, too.
Stealth (Tal + Eth) – Fitting for its name, Stealth is a great runeword for Assassins in particular, but any class can benefit from its life-saving boosts. The player puts it in body armor and it helps make the character faster with walking and mana/life regeneration, as well as increased resistance.
Leaf (Tir + Ral) – While many of these runewords are pro-melee, Leaf is the best runeword for low-level mages. Despite its name, it buffs cold resist, mana leeching, and most importantly, fire skills. Every young, fire Sorceress Build should build this easy, two-part rune into their staves.
Holy Thunder (Eth + Ral + Ort + Tal) – Just like the name suggests, this is an early Paladin’s bread and butter. It buffs defense and damage, as well as applies a host of different damage types to the enemy. This includes fire, lightning, poison, and Holy Shock damage. While it helps boost lightning resistance, it also gives the user Level 7 Chain Lightning, making one powerful scepter.
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