What makes a good Amulet in Diablo 2
Mara's Kaleidoscope is the best in slot Amulet for many classes/builds in Diablo 2.
Amulets are pretty straight forward when it comes to determing what ones are good and which aren't. For the first half of the game (Normal - Nightmare) you want an Amulet with any good stats, + Skills, All Resist, Life, Mana, Mana Regeneration, Faster Cast Rate are all things that would be good on an amulet.
Once you make it to Hell and you start getting top end items what makes a good amulet starts to change. High ilvl Amulets have a chance to roll +2 to Skills on them and this is the best rule of thumb for how you can determine a good amulet from a bad one at a high level.
For the most part if you find a rare amulet and it doesn't have +1 Skills or +2 Skills it's garbage and you can throw it out. I realize there are exceptions to the rule but I believe this is a good rule of thumb that is applicable in the overwhelming majority of situations. Some unique amulets, like The Cat's Eye and Crescent Moon are examples of the exception.
Amulet Looting Rule of Thumbs
- (Levels 1 - 50) + Skills, All Resist, Life, Mana, Mana Regeneration, Faster Cast Rate are all examples of stuff worth keeping. For this level range you basically want a good combination of stats for either Melee or Casters.
- (Levels 51 - 99) If it doesn't have + Skills throw it out; if it does check the other stats to see if they are beneficial to the class of the + Skills
Below you'll find a list of many different builds and classes along with the sorts of amulets that are good for them. You may notice a theme with all of the items, casters typically want Faster Cast Rate along with +2 to Skills and Melee want Increased Attack Speed along with +2 to Skills.
Remembering this theme will help you easily determine which items are worth keeping and which are vendor trash.
Req: + 2 Paladin Skills
Req: Faster Cast Rate
Rec: Life, Mana, Strength or Dexterity, All Resistance, Single Resistance, Life Replenish, Max Mana
Hammerdins will not benefit from Life Leech or Mana Leech. These affix's only work on physical attacks. Almost all Paladin builds that deal melee damage want Life Leech on their amulets. Life Replenish works differently and counts for spells.
Req: + 2 Sorceress Skills (Or +2 Fire, Lightning, Cold Skills)
Req: + 10 Faster Cast Rate
Rec: Life, Mana, Life Replenish, All Resistance, Single Resistance (Fire or Lightning), Max Life, Damage goes to Mana
Life Leech and Mana Leech are useless for a Sorceress since they only work on physical attacks.
This is an 'ok' Necromancer Amulet. If it was a higher level requirement than 30 I would consider it not nearly as good.
Req: + 2 Necromancer Skills (Or +2 Poison and Bone Skills)
Req: + 10 Faster Cast Rate
Rec: All Resistance, Life, Mana, Life Replenish, Dexterity (Block), Single Resistances
Life Leech and Mana Leech are useless for a Necromancer since they only work on physical attacks and don't count for pets. Additionally the Attack Rating on the screenshotted amulet is useless for a Necromancer too as it only works on physical attacks.
Req: + 2 Assassin Skills (Or Martial/Trap Skills)
Req: Faster Cast Rate (If Trap Amulet); Increased Attack Speed (If Martial)
Rec: Life or Mana, Life Replenish, Strength or Dexterity, Single Resistance and All Resistance
Martial Assassins deal physical damage and will want Life Leech and Improved Attack Speed (IAS) on their amulets. Trap Assassins deal damage with spells and instead of IAS want Faster Cast Rate (FCR) along with Life Replenish or Mana Replenish. Life Leech and Mana Leech do not work on spell damage.
Req: + 2 Amazon Skills
Rec: Improved Attack Speed
Rec: Life or Mana, Life Replenish, Dexterity or Strength, All Resistance, Single Resistance, Teleport Charges, Life Leech and Mana Leech
For Amazons of every build Improved Attack Speed (IAS) as well as +Skills on an amulet are the most important things. It's important to remember that Life Stolen Per Hit as well as Mana will only work on physical attacks. If your build doesn't use primarily a physical attack then these aren't useful for you.
Req: + 2 Druid Skills (Or Shape Shifting, Elemental)
Req: Faster Cast Rate (Elemental); Increased Attack Speed (Shape Shifting)
Rec: Strength or Dexterity (Shape Shift), Life Leech (Shape Shift), Life, Mana, Life Replenish, All Resistance, Single Resistance, Teleport Charges
If you are a Shape Shifting Druid you will want Increased Attack Speed (IAS) on an amulet along with +Skills; Life Leech is very useful for a Shape Shifter too. Elemental Druids will want Faster Cast Rate (FCR) instead of Attack Speed and then Mana Replenish, Resists or Life and Mana.
Req: + 2 Barbarian Skills
Req: Increased Attack Speed
Rec: Gold Find, Mana, Life Replenish, Strength or Dexterity, Life, Single Resistance (Fire Resistance), All Resistance, Magic Find, Bonus to Max/Min Damage