Blood and unidentifiable bits of gore stain the ancient dungeon walls surrounding Templar. All is silent as he warily advances. He knows that the evil which he seeks is close. Its malevolence permeates his very bones. The Templar unconsciously hefts his shield, reassured by the ancient oak.
Out of the darkness comes the sound of soft cloth rustling on stone. The Templar feels the tell-tale tingle in his spine that signals magic is being prepared. Instinctively he drops to one knee and raises his shield to the ready. The next instant his world is consumed in molten brilliance as a fireball smashes into his shield. With the light created by the magic the Templar catches a glimpse of his foe. A skeletal figure wearing an ancient and tattered robe. Charms created from the flesh of unfortunate souls hang around his neck. Around him stand a troop of reanimated corpses. A necromancer.
The Templar mutters a blessing and the air around him takes on a turquoise sheen. Thus protected by the divine blessing of his order he bellows a war cry and charges forward.
In five steps he is upon the lead minion. Without breaking stride the Templar smashes his shield into the corpse, turning his shoulder into the charge and bringing to bear the force of a knight in full-plate. As his target falls back the Templar swings his iron mace toward the head of another reanimated corpse. As the mace connects divine energy is released and a torrent of lightning explodes through the corpse’s head and travels onward- striking the necromancer and setting his robes ablaze…
Lightning Strike Templar Playstyle
The playstyle of a lightning strike Templar is in a word, AWESOME. If you like using big shields, being up in the face of the enemy, and smashing everything in sight you’re going to love being a LS mace/shield Templar. Nothing fancy. Just lots of lightning and death.
Templar’s have easy access to nodes which improve the effectiveness of shields, maces, and elemental damage. Combined these nodes lead to a tanky high hit point Templar which can dish out great AOE lightning damage.
30 Point Build
Take the 40% mana regeneration node first. That regen is very helpful in the early game. Next take the 12% melee damage node and keep taking the melee damage nodes and health nodes until you have lightning strike. From there it’s really up to you how you proceed. There is no right way to do it. It all depends on what kind of gear you find. Don’t be stuck in the mindset of having to use a shield/mace in the early game. Use whatever you find that gives you the best DPS. The mace/shield only becomes optimal later on as you take the skill points.
If you are having mana issues then fill out the mage nodes first. If you’re having survivability problems definitely take the health and armor nodes first(I picked these first because my Templar was in HC).
Past 30 points it’s again up to your discretion which direction you want to build first. If you’re a new player reading this and feel overwhelmed, don’t worry. Once you get 30 skill points you’re going to have a much better understanding of the game mechanics which will give you a more clear direction to take your build.
I recommend taking the Resolute Technique keystone before level 40. It increased my DPS from about 350 to 500+ with that one skill node. Getting rid of a 20-30% miss rate is very satisfying.
Past that I recommend just grabbing a healthy mix of health, armor, shield, and mace nodes. Always try to shore up your weaknesses in defenses before going after offensive stats.
Made by Ganrao, if geared correctly with good accuracy and critical hit items then this build will have far superior DPS to the above build. A little less tanky, but overall a good tradeoff in defense/health for DPS. Especially for softcore.
Look for weapons with high +% physical damage. Added elemental damage is great as well. Basically, highest physical + elemental damage wins out.
Before you hit cruel difficulty you can use any weapon type that you find. Staffs, swords, hammers. One hand, two hand. It’s all good. Use whatever you can find that gives you the most DPS output. Once you hit cruel difficulty start looking into finding a good one hander and a shield. The shield’s extra armor and resists are critical to survivability with this build in cruel and merciless difficulties. It’s not necessary to get a mace until you actually start investing points in the mace skill nodes.
Ideally you want armor that give both armor and energy shield- because you’ll be taking lots of skill nodes that give +% armor and energy shield. But as you level it’s fine to use armor that’s pure armor. Again equip the things with the best stats even if they’re not perfect for the build. Avoid pure energy shield and evasion items.
Try to get +health on every piece that you can. +health is a fantastic stat because of all the skill nodes that increase health as a percentage.
Run-speed on boots will help you level and clear faster.
Armor with increased damage of any type scales to your DPS well. For example + 2-7 lightning damage will then get the boosts from your +% elemental damage skill nodes.
Rings and Amulets
Your first priority with rings is to fill in gaps in your resistances. If you only have 20% resist to fire it is better to give up some DPS and health on a ring to gain 25% fire resist. After that just look for all the normal stats, +health, +damage, +attack speed. This build calls for resolute technique so ignore accuracy and critical hit.
Amulets are a real toss-up. Just find the best amulets you can that give you the biggest boosts to health and DPS. If you run into mana issues amulets with +% mana regeneration can be very helpful, especially when coupled with the skill clarity.
Resists are a must and should be stacked whenever possible. The biggest mistake I see from people posting on the forums is that they completely neglect elemental resists. If you have 25% resist to fire, adding an additional 25% resist to fire cuts the damage you take from fire in HALF. That’s HUGE and should not be overlooked. It is well worth sacrificing DPS and health to boost resistances. Strive to keep all of your resistances aside from Chaos) above 60%.
Always have at least two health flasks. If you can manage to get a combination of clarity and mana regen items to keep your mana full without flasks then that is ideal. Otherwise I run two mana flasks as well and my third flask slot I use a Granite Flask. The +4,000 to armor on a Granite Flask will save your ass in a dangerous situation and will allow you to tank through damage.
You can kill all the bandits for a extra skill point. Skill points are always useful. Another great option is to take the +40 hp option. End-game you’re going to have a massive amount of +% life, so that 40 hit points will scale into something like 80-200 extra hitpoints(I haven’t actually done the math, but that sounds right haha).
This section is ongoing and will be updated frequently as I keep leveling my Templar.
Lightning Strike – You can pick this up from a quest around level 10. It is an attack skill so it bases its damage on your melee stats(your physical weapon, % to hit, attacks per second stats). It converts a percentage of your physical damage to lightning damage. When the skill lands it shoots out three lightning arcs which are guaranteed to hit any mobs they come across(this means the separate lightning strikes don’t have separate rolls to see whether they land or hit, they will always hit as long as your primary strike landed as a hit).
Support gem options for lightning strike.
- Weapon Elemental Damage - Will generally increase your DPS the most out of all the support gems.
- Reduced Mana - Very useful. Especially if you run more than one aura(ex. Tempest Shield + Wrath, or Wrath + Clarity)
- Chain – Great for increasing your AOE effectiveness
- Faster Attacks – Always a good option for any attack skill.
- Melee Physical Damage – Doesn’t give as big of a DPS boost as Weapon Elemental Damage, but can be stacked with Weapon Elemental Damage as long as you can handle the mana costs.
Don’t stress if you can’t find all the right support gems. Use what you come across, try different combinations out, there is not one set of support gems that are superior to the rest, it really comes down to your equipment build and personal preferences.
Tempest Shield – This makes you do lightning damage to attackers anytime you block with a shield. On my first play-through right now I’m level 33 and still haven’t found the Tempest Shield skill. So don’t worry too much if you don’t find the skill right away. You probably won’t start using mace/shields exclusively until you’re 40+ anyways.
- While farming I like to keep Tempest shield off. The biggest benefit of Tempest shield is the increased % to block. The DPS it adds to you is less then that of Wrath, and it becomes mana prohibitive to run both Wrath and Tempest Shield so I like to run Wrath most of the time and then Tempest shield when I go against bosses or higher level maps.
- Added Lightning Damage is a good support gem for Tempest Shield. Reduced Mana is also useful.
Wrath – This is an aura that adds lightning damage to your attacks(and anyone else in your party). It’s a good boost of DPS and can be picked up from a quest in Act 2.
- Wrath is the primary aura I run. The added DPS helps your overall leveling and farming efficiency greatly. The only time you don’t want to run Wrath is when you’re running Tempest Shield and can’t spare the mana. Ideally if you can run both and still have mana to function that’s the best option.
- Keep an eye out on the int requirements as you level Wrath. You’ll want to stop at level 7(60 in required) until you’ve picked up enough Int nodes to cover the increasing intelligence costs.
Decoy Totem - This totem can be picked up in Act 1 from a quest and is very useful when you’re leveling. I’ve found it to be very useful in fighting tough rare/boss mobs. You can run around, drop the totem, and then get three to four good hits in on the mob before it kills your totem. Then just run away and repeat the process.
Heavy Strike – Good skill for single target DPS that you can pick up early on while leveling. Depending on the layout of your support gems this may or may not do more DPS than your lightning strike later on in the game. But if it does do more DPS then use it over lightning strike when fighting single opponents.
Clarity – Can be a useful aura to run if you have mana issues. If used in conjunction with Tempest Shield or Wrath it can leave you with a very small working mana pool, but with a few +% mana regeneration items that small mana pool can be totally sufficient for your skills. If that is the case it will free up some mana flasks for more health or utility flasks.
- Be careful when leveling Clarity. Each level of clarity increases the mana reserved by 20(it starts out with a mana reserve of 60). For a Templar I don’t think it’s worth leveling Clarity beyond level four or five.