What are the best runewords?
Looking at endgame items, with the introduction of runewords, a number of runewords have taken the spot of best in slot item. Some are even so good and unbalanced that we can call them overpowered.
Grief is the best melee runeword without a doubt. The main reason why Grief outclasses all other weapons is because of its flat damage boost. This damage boost is not visible in the character screen or on the weapon itself, so your damage wll be much higher in reality. This allows you to make Grief in a very fast but low damage weapon, like a phase blade. This damage boost is also one of the only modifiers that work with a Paladin's Smite attack.
On top of that, it provides a significant boost to increased attack speed, makes you ignore target's defenses and has 20% chance of deadly strike. Besides all its overpowering abilities, it's not even super expensive, with the highest and only high rune required being the Lo rune. This puts Grief in the top 1 spot of overpowered runewords.
- Damage +340-400
- +30-40% Increased Attack Speed
- Ignore Target's Defense
- 20% Deadly Strike
Enigma is most popular for its ability to grant +1 to Teleport to any class. Besides Teleport, this armor also provides huge amounts of Better Chance of Getting Magic Items and a massive Strength bonus allowing more points to be allocated to other Stats like Vitality.
Enigma is most often created in an exceptional or elite version of light armor (Dusk Shroud, Wyrmhhide, Scarab Husk, Wire Fleece, Great Hauberk, and Archon Plate), the most popular choice is a Superior Archon Plate. However it should be noted that a Mage Plate might be the better option if you don't need high Strength. ALL these armors don't affect run speed and have a low Strength requirement.
- +1 To Teleport
- +2 To All Skills
- +49-74 To Strength (Based On Character Level)
- 65-99% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items (Based On Character Level)
Infinity takes a top spot as overpowered runeword because it is the best mercenary runeword for characters that deal elemental damage. The Conviction Aura granted by this aura runeword reduces enemy defenses and lowers enemy cold, fire, and lightning resistances.
Even though the runeword provides additional reduced Enemy Lightning Resistance, this only applies for the wielder of the polearm. So when using this for your mercenary, this will only boost the Chain Lightning procs from the runeword. When using Infinity for a mercenary, the best base is an ethereal (Giant) Thresher.
The high cost of 2 Ber runes makes this a very rare runeword.
- Level 12 Conviction Aura When Equipped
- +255-325% Enhanced Damage
- 40% Chance of Crushing Blow
Chains of Honor is the best all-purpose choice for nearly any build. Even though its Life Leach gears it slightly towards physical builds, the +2 to All Skills and massive bonus to All Resistances makes it a great choice for all typess of builds.
The best base for Chains of Honor is an elite light armor (Dusk Shroud, Wyrmhide, Scarab Husk, Wire Fleece, Great Hauberk and Archon Plate). A Dusk Shroud requires the lowest strength, while an Archon Plate has the highest defense.
- +2 To All Skills
- All Resistances +65
- 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Often abbreviated as HOTO, this runeword is the most obvious choice for almost any caster build.
It is most often used by caster builds because of its +3 to All Skills, high bonus to Faster Cast Rate, and All Resistances.
It is a relatively cheap endgame option, because it only requires a vex rune, the cheapest high-rune.
- +3 To All Skills
- +40% Faster Cast Rate
- All Resistances +30-40
- Increase Maximum Mana 15%
Call to Arms is most popular for allowing any character to cast Battle Orders and Battle Command. The Battle Orders and Battle Commands levels are boosted by + to all skills gear. This runeword is great for boosting any character's life, mana, and skills.
This runeword is exclusively used as a weapon switch combined with a Spirit shield to use these Warcries and buff the character and their team.
- +2-6 To Battle Command
- +1-6 To Battle Orders
- +1 To All Skills
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 Necromancers 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.
- Level 12-17 Meditation Aura When Equipped
- +200-260% Enhanced Damage
A Spirit sword is a massively overpowered starter runeword, and a spirit shield is even for many builds the best in slot shield. The exceptional +2 to All Skills, up to +35% Faster Cast Rate, and massive up to 112 Mana increase, makes it a dream for any starter build and endgame caster build.
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.
- +2 To All Skills
- +25-35% Faster Cast Rate
- +89-112 To Mana
- +22 To Vitality