Top 9 Budget Runewords

TOP 9 BUDGET RUNEWORDS

Best budget runewords you can make for less then a Mal rune

A lot of runewords are well known for being real powerhouses, but most of the popular runeword come with a hefty rune cost. This guide lists really good runewords that can be made for less than a Mal rune. Some of these runewords are often overlooked, but are definitely worth a try.

With the first ladder season in sight, these runewords can put you at a huge advantage to other players, without having to empty your pockets. All runes for the following runewords can be farmed from Nightmare or Hell Countess.

Use the advanced search to find specific runewords based on its properties. Use the runeword calculator to find out which runewords you can make with the runes you own.

  1. 1. Treachery

    Fade on mercenary proced by the Treachery runeword.

    Treachery is a Diablo 2 Resurrected runeword created by combining shael + thul + lem into a 3 socket body armor. It requires at least level 43 to equip.

    Even though Treachery was originally intended for Assassins, any class can benefit from the chance to proc Fade and high bonus to Increased Attack Speed and Faster Hit Recovery.

    Because of its cheap cost and high boost to survivability , it is one of the best armors for mercenaries when created in an ethereal elite armor.

    Treachery has a 5% chance to cast a level 15 Fade when struck. Fade is a great way to increase survivability of any character, as it increases both elemental and physical resistances, and reduces curse duration.

    Fade level breakdown
    Fade level
    111213141516171819
    curse duration reduction %757677787980808181
    all resistance +%565758606062626363
    duration (s)240252264276288300312324336
    physical resistance +%111213141516171819

    Treachery increases your Hit Recovery Speed by 20%.  Faster hit recovery reduces the "hit stun" animation time, which is triggered when a hit takes more than 1/12th of your total life. 

    faster hit recovery breakpoints
    faster hit recovery frames
    1514131211109876543
    paladin0715274886200
    assassin0715274886200
    barbarian0715274886200
    amazon061320325286174600
    necromancer05101626395686152377
    druid05101626395686152377
    sorceress059142030426086142280
    desert mercenary059142030426086142280

    Treachery

    'ShaelThulLem'required level: 43gear type: body armor
    • 5% Chance To Cast Level 15 Fade When Struck
    • 25% Chance To Cast level 15 Venom On Striking
    • +2 To Assassin Skills
    • +45% Increased Attack Speed
    • +20% Faster Hit Recovery
    • Cold Resist +30%
    • 50% Extra Gold From Monsters
    • socketed (3)

  2. 2. Unbending Will

    Unbending Wll procs Taunt for act 5 mercenary.

    Unbending Will is a Diablo 2 Resurrected runeword created by combining fal + io + ith + eld + el + hel into a 6 socket sword. It requires at least level 41 to equip.

    The Unbending Will runeword is a mid level sword runeword released in patch 2.4. It is a great mid level and budget melee weapon that offers a huge boost to Enhanced Damage.

    It is comparable to other melee runewords like Black, Death, and Oath. It looks like this runeword will fit as a runeword specifically for the Act 5 mercenary after the mercenary balance changes.

    With a relatively high chance to proc Taunt, you will have a consistent way of debuffing your enemies. Keep in mind that Taunt is a single target war cry. When used on an Act 5 mercenary, he will only cast Taunt on the enemies he is already targeting.

    Taunt level breakdown
    Taunt level
    1011121314151617181920
    decreased damage23%25%27%29%31%33%35%37%39%41%43%
    decreased attack rating23%25%27%29%31%33%35%37%39%41%43%

    Unbending Will

    'FalIoIthEldElHel'required level: 41gear type: sword
    • 18% Chance To Cast Level 18 Taunt On Striking
    • +3 to Combat Skills (Barbarian Only)
    • +20-30% Increased Attack Speed (varies)
    • +300-350% Enhanced Damage
    • +9 to Maximum Damage
    • +50 to Attack Rating
    • +75 Damage to Undead
    • +50 to Attack Rating Against Undead
    • 8-10% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies)
    • Prevent Monster Heal
    • +10 to Strength
    • +10 to Vitality
    • Damage Reduced By 8
    • +1 to Light Radius
    • Requirements -20%
    • socketed (6)

  3. 3. Obedience

    Obedience is a Diablo 2 Resurrected runeword created by combining hel + ko + thul + eth + fal into a 5 socket polearm or spear. It requires at least level 41 to equip.

    Obedience is a powerful but cheap runeword that perfectly fits the act 2 mercenary. It boasts a huge damage boost with 370% Enhanced Damage, 40% Crushing Blow, and a chance to cast level 21 Enchant when killing an enemy.

    Besides its offensive bonuses, it also provides great defensive stats like up to +30 to All Resistances and up to 300 Defense.

    Patch 2.4: Infinity, Obedience, and Pride can now be made in Spears and Amazon Spears.

    Obedience has a 30% chance to cast a level 21 Enchant when you kill an enemy.

    Enchant level breakdown
    Enchant level
    1718192021
    bonus damage56-7662-8368-9074-9780-104
    bonus attack rating %164173182191200
    duration (s)528552576600624

    Obedience increases your Hit Recovery Speed by a decent 40%.  Faster hit recovery reduces the "hit stun" animation time, which is triggered when a hit takes more than 1/12th of your total life. Most classes will already jump a few breakpoints with this bonus alone.

    faster hit recovery breakpoints
    faster hit recovery frames
    1514131211109876543
    paladin0715274886200
    assassin0715274886200
    barbarian0715274886200
    amazon061320325286174600
    necromancer05101626395686152377
    druid05101626395686152377
    sorceress059142030426086142280
    desert mercenary059142030426086142280

    Obedience

    'HelKoThulEthFal'required level: 41gear type: polearm | spear
    • 30% Chance To Cast Level 21 Enchant When You Kill An Enemy
    • +40% Faster Hit Recovery
    • +370% Enhanced Damage
    • -25% Target Defense
    • Adds 3-14 Cold Damage
    • -25% To Enemy Fire Resistance
    • 40% Chance of Crushing Blow
    • +200-300 Defense (varies)
    • +10 To Strength
    • +10 To Dexterity
    • All Resistances +20-30 (varies)
    • Requirements -20%
    • socketed (5)

  4. 4. White

    White is a Diablo 2 Resurrected runeword created by combining dol + io into a 2 socket wand. It requires at least level 35 to equip.

    Wands can have up to 3 auto mods specific to Necromancers spells ranging between +1 and +3 to skill level. Therefore, you should look for a 2 socket wand with at least some +skills that your build uses. An easy way to quickly find a good wands is to shop with Drognan in act 2. You can reset his shop by exiting and re-entering town.

    White increases your Cast Rate by 20%. Faster cast rate reduces the cast animation time of all spells. It does not have any affect on cast delays though. 

    faster cast rate breakpoints
    faster cast rate frames
    1514131211109
    necromancer0918304875125

    White

    'DolIo'required level: 35gear type: wand
    • +3 to Poison and Bone Skills (Necromancer Only)
    • +20% Faster Cast Rate
    • +2 to Bone Spear (Necromancer Only)
    • +4 to Skeleton Mastery (Necromancer Only)
    • +3 to Bone Armor (Necromancer Only)
    • Hit causes monster to flee 25%
    • +10 to vitality
    • +13 to mana
    • Magic Damage Reduced by 4
    • socketed (2)

  5. 5. Rhyme

    Rhyme is a Diablo 2 Resurrected runeword created by combining shael + eth into a 2 socket shield. It requires at least level 29 to equip.

    Rhyme is a popular shield runeword due to its Cannot be Frozen mod. It is one of the only budget ways to this bonus reliably, as other uniques rely heavily on luck to obtain. Cannot be Frozen is almost a necessity for most melee characters, so this runeword is an easy choice for low level players.

    Rhyme increases your Block Rate by a whopping 40%.  An increased block rate will reduce the time it takes for the blocking animation to finish. This is enough for all classes to significantly increase their block rate.

    faster block rate breakpoints
    faster block rate frames
    1110987654321
    amazon0133286600
    assassin0133286600
    paladin0133286600
    barbarian09204286280
    sorceress0715274886200
    druid061320325286174600
    necromancer061320325286174600

    Rhyme

    'ShaelEth'required level: 29gear type: shield
    • +40% Faster Block Rate
    • 20% Increased Chance of Blocking
    • Regenerate Mana 15%
    • All Resistances +25
    • Cannot be Frozen
    • 50% Extra Gold from Monsters
    • 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
    • socketed (2)

  6. 6. Duress

    Duress is a Diablo 2 Resurrected runeword created by combining shael + um + thul into a 3 socket body armor. It requires at least level 47 to equip.

    Duress is a budget runeword and a decent option for melee characters. It's biggest selling point is its high Chance of Open Wounds and moderate Chance of Crushing Blow. Besides its offensive bonuses, it also provides a decent defense and resistance boost.

    Duress increases your Hit Recovery Speed by a decent 40%.  Faster hit recovery reduces the "hit stun" animation time, which is triggered when a hit takes more than 1/12th of your total life. Most classes will already jump a few breakpoints with this bonus alone.

    faster hit recovery breakpoints
    faster hit recovery frames
    1514131211109876543
    paladin0715274886200
    assassin0715274886200
    barbarian0715274886200
    amazon061320325286174600
    necromancer05101626395686152377
    druid05101626395686152377
    sorceress059142030426086142280
    desert mercenary059142030426086142280

    Duress

    'ShaelUmThul'required level: 47gear type: body armor
    • +40% faster hit Recovery
    • +10-20% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    • Adds 37-133 Cold Damage
    • 15% Chance of Crushing Blow
    • 33% Chance of Open Wounds
    • +150-200% Enhanced Defense (varies)
    • -20% Slower Stamina Drain
    • Cold Resist +45%
    • Lightning Resist +15%
    • Fire Resist +15%
    • Poison Resist +15%
    • socketed (3)

  7. 7. Insight

    A Diablo 2 mercenary using the Insight runeword to provide a meditation aura.

    Insight is a Diablo 2 Resurrected runeword created by combining ral + tir + tal + sol into a 4 socket polearm, staff or missile weapon. It requires at least level 27 to equip.

    Insight is mainly used for its Meditation Aura, providing nearly unlimited mana for casters. 'This aura runeword is almost exclusvely used as act 2 mercenary runeword, but can also be consumed by Necromancer\s Iron Golem, both will activate the Meditation Aura for the team.'

    The most common mistake people make when making Insight, is using a spear instead of a polearm, causing the runeword to not work. It is easy to mistake some spears for polearms, but only the bases listed below, qualify for the Insight runeword.

    Patch 2.4: Insight can now be made in Bows and Crossbows.

    Meditation level breakdown
    Meditation level
    10111213141516171819
    radius19.320.62223.324.62627.328.63031.3
    mana recovery525550575600625650675700725750

    Insight grants a maximum of +6 to Critical Strike. Critical Strike has a chance to double all physical damage of an attack. Critical Strike is in essence the same as Deadly Strike, but they don't stack. If either one triggers double damage, the other one is ignored.

    Critical Strike level breakdown
    Critical Strike level
    123456789101112
    crit chance %162532384246495154565859

    Insight increases your Cast Rate by a hefty 35%. Faster cast rate reduces the cast animation time of all spells. It does not have any affect on cast delays though. 

    faster cast rate breakpoints
    faster cast rate frames
    19181716151413121110987
    sorceress09203763105200
    barbarian09203763105200
    necromancer0918304875125
    paladin0918304875125
    assassin0816274265102174
    druid04101930466899163
    sorceress (lightning)071523355278117194
    amazon07142232486899152

    Insight

    'RalTirTalSol'required level: 27gear type: polearm | staff | missile weapon
    • Level 12-17 Meditation Aura When Equipped (varies)
    • +35% Faster Cast Rate
    • +200-260% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    • +9 To Minimum Damage
    • 180-250% Bonus to Attack Rating (varies)
    • Adds 5-30 Fire Damage
    • +75 Poison Damage Over 5 Seconds
    • +1-6 To Critical Strike (varies)
    • +5 To All Attributes
    • +2 To Mana After Each Kill
    • 23% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
    • socketed (4)

  8. 8. Spirit

    Spirit is a Diablo 2 Resurrected runeword created by combining tal + thul + ort + amn into a 4 socket shield or sword. It requires at least level 25 to equip.

    A Spirit sword is a massively overpowered starter runeword, given its low level requirement and cheap rune cost.A spirit shield on the other hand is an great end-game caster runeword. The exceptional +2 to All Skills bonus, up to +35% Faster Cast Rate, and massive up to 112 Mana increase, makes it a dream for any starter character and endgame caster build.

    A Spirit shield is almost exclusively made in a Monarch, because it is the shield with the lowest strength requirement (still high for casters) that can still get 4 sockets. Because of the cheap runes, it can be recreated many times, to get the +35% Faster Cast Rate, which is required ror many builds to reach an FCR breakpoint.

    The Spirit shield is also a popular item to use on switch alongside Call to Arms, as it is the only shield to grant +2 to All Skills. This way CTA's Battle Orders are boosted by another two levels, increasing the life and mana boost it provides.

    The first non-Paladin shield that can roll 4 sockets is the elite Monarch shield. This shield can only drop in Hell difficulty. So even though the Spirit runeword has a level requirement of 25, you'll only be able to wear a Spirit shield from level 54. Paladin shields on the other hand can always roll (drop depends on the monster level) 4 sockets. So a Paladin can benefit from a Spirit shield early on.

    Spirit increases your Cast Rate by a hefty 35%. Faster cast rate reduces the cast animation time of all spells. It does not have any affect on cast delays though. 

    faster cast rate breakpoints
    faster cast rate frames
    19181716151413121110987
    sorceress09203763105200
    barbarian09203763105200
    necromancer0918304875125
    paladin0918304875125
    assassin0816274265102174
    druid04101930466899163
    sorceress (lightning)071523355278117194
    amazon07142232486899152

    Spirit also increases your Hit Recovery Speed by a hefty 55%.  Faster hit recovery reduces the "hit stun" animation time, which is triggered when a hit takes more than 1/12th of your total life. For melee classes, this already puts you in one of the highest frame rates realistically achievable.

    faster hit recovery breakpoints
    faster hit recovery frames
    1514131211109876543
    paladin0715274886200
    assassin0715274886200
    barbarian0715274886200
    amazon061320325286174600
    necromancer05101626395686152377
    druid05101626395686152377
    sorceress059142030426086142280
    desert mercenary059142030426086142280

    Spirit

    'TalThulOrtAmn'required level: 25gear type: shield | sword
    • +2 To All Skills
    • +25-35% Faster Cast Rate (varies)
    • +55% Faster Hit Recovery
    • +250 Defense Vs. Missile
    • +22 To Vitality
    • +89-112 To Mana (varies)
    • +3-8 Magic Absorb (varies)
    • Shields
    • Cold Resist +35%
    • Lightning Resist +35%
    • Poison Resist +35%
    • Attacker Takes Damage of 14
    • Swords
    • Adds 1-50 Lightning Damage
    • Adds 3-14 Cold Damage
    • +75 Poison Damage Over 5 Seconds
    • 7% Life Stolen Per Hit
    • socketed (4)

  9. 9. Melody

    Melody is a Diablo 2 Resurrected runeword created by combining shael + ko + nef into a 3 socket missile weapon. It requires at least level 39 to equip.

    Even though Melody doesn't add much enhanced damage, it does give +3 to Bow and Crossbow Skills, which can be increased to +6 when made in an Amazon bow with auto mods. For the low rune requirements, it is a great budget option for starting Bowazons.

    Another overlooked mod on this runeword is Knockback, as a ranged based character you actually want to knock enemies away from you, so you have to spend less time kiting.

    Melody

    'ShaelKoNef'required level: 39gear type: missile weapon
    • +3 To Bow and Crossbow Skills (Amazon Only)
    • +20% Increased Attack Speed
    • +50% Enhanced Damage
    • +300% Damage To Undead
    • +3 To Slow Missiles (Amazon Only)
    • +3 To Dodge (Amazon Only)
    • +3 To Critical Strike (Amazon Only)
    • Knockback
    • +10 To Dexterity
    • socketed (3)

An overview of the 9 best budget runewords

List of the best budget runewords
Runeword
Sockets
Allowed BasesRuneword Recipe
Level
Stats
Treachery3 socketsbody armor
shael runeshael + thul runethul + lem runelem
43
5% Chance To Cast Level 15 Fade When Struck25% Chance To Cast level 15 Venom On Striking+2 To Assassin Skills+45% Increased Attack Speed+20% Faster Hit Recovery (shael)Cold Resist +30% (thul)50% Extra Gold From Monsters (lem)
Unbending Will6 socketssword
fal runefal + io runeio + ith runeith + eld runeeld + el runeel + hel runehel
41
18% Chance To Cast Level 18 Taunt On Striking+3 to Combat Skills (Barbarian Only)+20-30% Increased Attack Speed (varies)+300-350% Enhanced Damage+9 to Maximum Damage (ith)+50 to Attack Rating (el)+75 Damage to Undead+50 to Attack Rating Against Undead (eld)8-10% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies)Prevent Monster Heal+10 to Strength (fal)+10 to Vitality (io)Damage Reduced By 8+1 to Light Radius (el)Requirements -20% (hel)
Obedience5 socketspolearmspear
hel runehel + ko runeko + thul runethul + eth runeeth + fal runefal
41
30% Chance To Cast Level 21 Enchant When You Kill An Enemy+40% Faster Hit Recovery+370% Enhanced Damage-25% Target Defense (eth)Adds 3-14 Cold Damage (thul)-25% To Enemy Fire Resistance40% Chance of Crushing Blow+200-300 Defense (varies)+10 To Strength (fal)+10 To Dexterity (ko)All Resistances +20-30 (varies)Requirements -20% (hel)
White2 socketswand
dol runedol + io runeio
35
+3 to Poison and Bone Skills (Necromancer Only)+20% Faster Cast Rate+2 to Bone Spear (Necromancer Only)+4 to Skeleton Mastery (Necromancer Only)+3 to Bone Armor (Necromancer Only)Hit causes monster to flee 25% (dol)+10 to vitality (io)+13 to manaMagic Damage Reduced by 4
Rhyme2 socketsshield29
+40% Faster Block Rate20% Increased Chance of Blocking (shael)Regenerate Mana 15% (eth)All Resistances +25Cannot be Frozen50% Extra Gold from Monsters25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Duress3 socketsbody armor
shael runeshael + um runeum + thul runethul
47
+40% faster hit Recovery (shael)+10-20% Enhanced Damage (varies)Adds 37-133 Cold Damage15% Chance of Crushing Blow33% Chance of Open Wounds+150-200% Enhanced Defense (varies)-20% Slower Stamina DrainCold Resist +45% (thul)Lightning Resist +15%Fire Resist +15%Poison Resist +15%
Insight4 socketspolearmstaffmissile weapon
ral runeral + tir runetir + tal runetal + sol runesol
27
Level 12-17 Meditation Aura When Equipped (varies)+35% Faster Cast Rate+200-260% Enhanced Damage (varies)+9 To Minimum Damage (sol)180-250% Bonus to Attack Rating (varies)Adds 5-30 Fire Damage (ral)+75 Poison Damage Over 5 Seconds (tal)+1-6 To Critical Strike (varies)+5 To All Attributes+2 To Mana After Each Kill (tir)23% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Spirit4 socketsshieldsword
tal runetal + thul runethul + ort runeort + amn runeamn
25
+2 To All Skills+25-35% Faster Cast Rate (varies)+55% Faster Hit Recovery+250 Defense Vs. Missile+22 To Vitality+89-112 To Mana (varies)+3-8 Magic Absorb (varies)ShieldsCold Resist +35% (thul)Lightning Resist +35% (ort)Poison Resist +35% (tal)Attacker Takes Damage of 14 (amn)SwordsAdds 1-50 Lightning Damage (ort)Adds 3-14 Cold Damage (thul)+75 Poison Damage Over 5 Seconds (tal)7% Life Stolen Per Hit (amn)
Melody3 socketsmissile weapon
shael runeshael + ko runeko + nef runenef
39
+3 To Bow and Crossbow Skills (Amazon Only)+20% Increased Attack Speed (shael)+50% Enhanced Damage+300% Damage To Undead+3 To Slow Missiles (Amazon Only)+3 To Dodge (Amazon Only)+3 To Critical Strike (Amazon Only)Knockback (nef)+10 To Dexterity (ko)
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