Since the community believes that Hammerdins and Sorcs will dominate the game, I'm here to prove you wrong. This is very telling to me that many people didn't explore Diablo 2 very much. (Builds in Bold are builds I consider top tier)
Disclaimer: There are probably more builds than I've listed, let me know what ones I missed!
- Hammerdin (OP? Yea pretty OP)
- Pure Zeal
- Zeal/Holy shock
- Smiter (Ubers/Bossing)
- Fist of Heavens (Kind of a meme build)
- Fire (Fireball, Meteor)
- Cold (Blizzard)
- Light (Godly)
- Meteorb (Frozen Orb/Meteor)
- Bear Sorc
- Zeal sorc
- Bow sorc (Using unique Whichwild bow)
- Crossbow/firewall Sorc (Niche but its been done)
Now here's all the builds that some of the community thinks can't compete
- Hurricane/Twister druid (Very good Magic finder)
- Fire (Fissure, Armageddon, Volcano, etc)
- Rabies? (Not great)
- Fury (Viable for all content, not as expensive as other melee builds)
- Bear (The stun god, generally not as good as wolf though)
- Summon (Bear, mostly for PvP)
- Pure summoner (With the right gear these can melt Baal runs)
- Fishymancer (Skele + Corpse Explosion)
- Bone (I'm not familiar w/ this build but it can be good)
- Poison Nova (Can farm pit very fast)
- Trapsin (Insanely good)
- Kick/Trap hybrids
- Riftsin (rift runeword)
- Kick/Trap hybrids
- Martial arts (Generally not the best IMO)
- Whirlwind (PvP)
- Javazon (Incredible, arguably the fastest Baal runner in D2)
- Strafe/Multishot (Not the strongest)
- Ice bowa (Can do baal runs)
- Throw barb (Niche but cool)
- Wolf barb
- Frenzy (Ubers!)
- Goldfind/Find item (Massive gold, Merc dependent)
- Sing barb (War cry)
- Support barb (Max BO/BC/Shout, etc)
In conclusion, will you see a lot of paladins and sorcs? Yes. Are they the only viable characters? No. Are there going to be 8 paladin lobbies like the community memes about? No. Additionally, paladin/sorc torches and skill grand charms are EXTREMLEY expensive compared to the other classes, so that's one reason not to go for these classes.
You will likely see mostly pala/sorc in the first week while people farm gear for their other chars, but after the first week or so the game will be diverse with an variety of classes and builds. The other characters are sometimes more expensive to gear than a sorc, but that makes it so much cooler when you have a decked out summon necro. These characters are the endgame, no one cares that you have a blizz sorc or a hammerdin… But you have a godly trapsin? Or a javazon clearing baal faster than the Hammerdin bots? Thats cool.
*IMO the barbarian simply is one of the weaker PVM classes. His melee is massively gear dependent, and his kit fits more of a support role in group settings. This said, WW/Frenzy/Zerk barbs can do all content, just slow. The barbarian can do quick pit runs and other MF routes well, but thats about it.
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