We will start by listing some outfits for your character according to the style you might play. Following that will be some descriptions of the items listed in the outfits. These are ideal outfits, you will have a difficult time finding several items, especially the jewelry and the Emerald Bow of the Heavens.
|Artilery Mage||Armored Mage|
|Thinking Cap||Royal Circlet|
|Naj's Plate||Awesome full plate of Sorcery|
|Arch-Angels Staff of Wizardry||Kings Sword Of Titans|
|No Shield||Emerald Tower shield|
|Dragons Ring of Wizardry||Dragons Ring of Zodiac|
|Dragons Ring of Wizardry||Dragons Ring of Wizardry|
|Obsidian Amulet of Wizardry||Obsidian Amulet of Wizardry|
|16 Mage||18 Mage|
|Royal Circlet||Thinking Cap|
|Awesome full plate of Giants||Awesome full plate of Giants|
|Dragons Ring of Zodiac||Dragons Ring of Zodiac|
|Obsidian Ring of Wizardry||Obsidian Ring of Wizardry|
|Obsidian Amulet of Wizardry||Obsidian Amulet of Wizardry|
|Meat Rogue||Mana Rogue|
|Obsidian Helm of the Lion||Royal Circlet|
|Awesome full plate of the Lion||Awesome full plate of Sorcery|
|Emerald Bow of the Heavens||Emerald Bow of the Heavens|
|Dragons Ring of Lion||Dragons Ring of Zodiac|
|Dragons Ring of Zodiac||Dragons Ring of Wizardry|
|Dragons Amulet of Lion||Obsidian Amulet of Wizardry|
|Speed Warrior||Damage Warrior|
|Obsidian Helm of the Lion||Royal Circlet|
|Awesome full plate of the Lion||Awesome full plate of Giants|
|Kings Sword of Haste||Kings Sword of Slaughter|
|Emerald Shield of Lion||Godly Shield|
|Dragons Ring of Lion||Dragons Ring of Titans|
|Dragons Ring of Lion||Obsidian Ring of Titans|
|Dragons Amulet of Lion||Obsidian Amulet of Titans|
|Vampire Warrior||Blood Warrior|
|Royal Circlet||Helm of Spirits|
|Awesome full plate of the Sorcery||Awesome full plate of Lion|
|Kings Sword of Vampires||Kings Sword of Blood|
|Emerald Shield of ?||Godly Shield of the Lion|
|Dragons Ring of Zodiac||Dragons Ring of Lion|
|Obsidian Ring of Wizardry||Obsidian Ring of Lion|
|Dragons Amulet of Wizardry||Obsidian Amulet of Lion|
|Backup/Reader Gear||Reading/Retrieval Strategy|
|Helm of Sorcery||Reading:
Warrior/Rogue must bring magic up to 212 to read all but the highest levels.
After that, shrine them up and read the spell that decreased.
Gear Retrieval: Telekinesis and Infravision are the key, and sneaking down, if possible. Prefixes: add to AC, resis, and mana. Splint mail or Breast plate so you can wear w/o str boost. Dark, to avoid monsters. Harmony to avoid stunlock. A mage can usually sneak down naked and T/K items back into his inventory. The key is to avoid contact w/ monsters, just grab your gear and run.
|Splint Mail of Sorcery|
|Dreamflange/Sword of Sorcery|
|Shield of Brilliance|
|Ring of Wizardry|
|Ring of Wizardry|
|Amulet of Wizardry|
|Ring of the Dark|
|Ring of Harmony|
Please note: the above equipment are the ideals (IMO). The reasoning will be or is on the mage, rogue or warrior pages, along with some other sub-strategies. If you cannot find the equipment listed, use the closest you can get to what is listed.
For headgear, a modifier that influences AC is not as essential as it is for armor. Consider that a Godly Great Helm that has base AC 15 and a modifier of +200% will result in a helm of AC 45. Compared to the increase gained for armor: an Awesome Full Plate, base AC 75 & +150%, results in an AC of 188, and increase of 113 AC! Compare that to the increase of 30 AC for the Helmet with the best modifier possible on the highest base AC. A helm that increases Resistance might be a better choice, especially if the base AC of the piece is relatively low. As for suffixes, pieces that increase Hit Points, Mana or all of your character's statistics (e.g., "of the Stars") are quite beneficial. If you do choose to use mana shield, then increasing your Magic/Mana is a priority. Otherwise, go for increases to Vitality/Life or to all characteristics.
AC 40, +10 to All Attributes, +40 Mana, +10% Light Radius
The Circlet is, in effect, a Godly Great Helm of the Stars, with an additional bonus of 40 Mana and only a small negative effect (the increased light radius will wake up more monsters). It also appears to be one of the rarest pieces in the game. If you find it, cherish it! (Search Hell for it).
AC 60, +20 to All Attributes, -4 Damage from Enemies, -40% Light Radius, 0%
This one is great, except for the huge drawback of 0% resistance to all. The decreased light radius makes your more stealthy (won't wake as many monsters as quickly), and the -4 Damage from Enemies is insignificant. The real question is whether the +20 to all attributes is outweighed by the complete lack of resistance.
If you find this item, you may not want to ID it (you can tell it is the Gotterdamerung by the 60 AC and, well, look at the picture ;). The 60 AC is the highest you can get from a Helm, and you might want to keep it unidentified just for that (you won't get any of the bonuses or drawbacks with an unidentified item). Or, identify it and only wear it when you do not need resistance.
Oh, and some people have wondered whether you could circumvent the 0% resist all by wearing a Constricting Ring (which gives maximum resistance--75%--to all). The Helm wins. 8-(
Helm of Spirits:
to 6 AC; Steals 5% life.
Pros: The 5% life steal is incredibly fun. This helm basically adds the suffix "of blood" to any weapon you're carrying. (No, a sword of blood plus a Helm of Sprits does NOT equal 10% life steal.) In my experience, this makes Nightmare/Hell, and, in fact, anything but Hell/Hell much easier. With this helm, you could stay down almost indefinitely as long as you're not taking damage faster than you're stealing life. Really high level characters (45+) should wear this all the time, as their need for AC lessens - and the life stealing effect is simply awesome when combined with great equipment, high damage, and high character level. The most important thing to do when wearing this item is to use a sword of speed or haste; that way you steal life quickly.
Cons: PITIFUL AC. No other bonuses other than the life steal. This helm just cripples your AC and makes you a target for melee monsters. If you're wearing this and it drops you under 230 AC against melee monsters, you'll probably have some troubles. It greatly depends on your character level and where you're fighting. Notes: This helm is very rare. You can only find it in the church, levels 2-3, in Nightmare or Hell difficulties, from a boss. I recommend doing repeated level 2 Nightmare difficulty runs to find one of these.
Thinking Cap: This little cap is perhaps the most interesting item in the game. For one, it is extremely powerful, yet can be found in levels as low as the church and catacombs. Second, it has 1 durability point. You might have to go through some trouble to actually make it useable, but it is worth it. To bring up the durability, look for Hidden Shrines. When you find one, put on some dungeon equipment and your Thinking Cap, and then use it. The Thinking Cap will not be destroyed if it has 1 durability. The reason people go through this trouble to use it is mainly because it gives +2 spell levels. This cap is required if you want to have Lvl. 20 spells. But, the Thinking Cap also has some more to offer. It gives 30 mana, a nice little boost, and it gives +20% resist all, also a nice little bonus.
Helm of the Whale Stats: Base AC of around 10-15 AC; +171% to +200% AC;
+81 to +100 hit points.
Pros: High AC, possibly up to 45. Massive addition of hit points.
Cons: Doesn't add to statistical attributes or provide anything in the way of increased mana.
Notes: Only buyable from Wirt and not findable in the dungeons, this is a rare helm. Hit points are a hot commodity for warriors, and this helm can pack a punch.
Helm of the Suffix Stats: Base AC of around 10-15; +31% to +40% resistance
to all; Depends on suffix
Pros: Gives resistance so that you free up a jewelry slot for a good prefixed jewel.
Cons: Low AC. The Helm is not a good slot for resistance, in my opinion, when the unique helms out there offer you SO much more in terms of AC and/or special magical bonuses. If you want resistance in an item other than jewelry, you'd best be looking for a shield.
Bows and Staves will be covered on the Rogue and Mage pages, respectively.
King's Sword of Haste/Speed - Haste/Speed, quite simply, rocks. You'll swing much faster than the normal rate. Swinging faster means killing faster. It makes it easy to prevent a melee monster from recovering long enough to strike back, and thus cuts down on the number of times you get hit. It makes it tougher for an enemy who likes to run away from you to do so. And, best of all, it keeps the dreaded Advocates in stun lock (it also keeps Illusion Weavers stunned, which no other weapon does). Use the life stealing effect of the Helm of Sprits with this sword and you have one mean combination. Note that, due to a flaw in design, Speed is just as good as Haste in terms of frames used per swing, and is cheaper to repair!
King's Sword of Vampires - Steals 5% mana per hit. This sword allows you to stay down almost totally indefinitely, as by recharging your mana you can use mana to heal yourself. This is a major advantage over Haste/Speed. However, it lacks the fast swing, so you can't stun lock Advocates, and you'll kill enemies much more slowly. The real key of this sword is that it cuts down on potion usage - I've heard of warriors clearing Hell/Hell without using a single potion thanks to this sword.
King's Sword of Blood - Steals 5% life per hit. This is along the same concept as a Helm of Sprits or a King's Sword of Vampires, as it will let you stay down much longer without using potions. However, I consider this to be less efficient than a King's Sword of Vampires for that goal. Retrieving 5% of a hit to mana will have a bigger impact than 5% of a hit to hit points, and you'll be swinging slower than a haste/speed sword.
King's Sword of Carnage/Slaughter - Adds points of damage. Used to really brutalize your enemies, this sword can pack a wallop. However, without the features of the three swords above, I consider this sword to be the least useful of the King's line. Considering how a Haste/Speed suffix will do less damage, but do it faster, this sword would do less damage per unit of time than a King's Sword of Haste/Speed. Note that a perfect King's Bastard Sword of Slaughter is not possible to obtain legitimately.
King's Sword of the Heavens - Having +to all attributes on your weapon can give an overall improvement which is impressive. More hit points, more mana, and more dexterity, adding even MORE to your to-hit%. You'll do more damage. All in all, a fine sword to have.
Strange Swords of Any Suffix - Strange is a prefix that adds 101% to 150% to-hit to your warrior. Only buyable at Wirt, this powerful prefix can be hard to come by. Don't pass it up if Wirt is selling one - this prefix may be necessary for you to reach the high to-hit% values needed against monsters in Hell/Hell. Remember, at a high character level, most of a warrior's damage is coming from his extremely high strength stat, not his sword. Even a Strange Short Sword of Haste can be better than a King's Bastard Sword of Haste in Hell/Hell if you need to raise your to-hit%. Generally, if you have good equipment and a decent dexterity, a King's prefix is all you'll need. However, if you're not getting to 180% to-hit% and a Strange sword can get you to 200%, you may want to use the Strange prefix in Hell/Hell.
Grandfather Stats: +5 to all attributes; +20 life; +20% to-hit; +70% damage;
One-handed Great Sword
Notes: Great for lower-level warriors, this difficult-to-find sword packs a lot of damage and adds a modest amount of to-hit. As time goes on, however, you'll probably want to go for a King's Sword over this fine weapon - it does not have enough of a to-hit% bonus to be effective.
Axes - Don't bother. Yes, axes pack a huge amount of damage, but they have one massive drawback: they prevent you from using a shield. This simply kills you in any game against melee monsters. Plus, even an Axe of Haste/Speed isn't fast enough to keep an Advocate in stun- lock; they'll keep getting away from you and you'll wind up doing the old chase-the-Advocate game. Only use axes when you're playing in a game or location of easier difficulty, one where you can get away with the lack of AC and blocking that a shield provides. It can help against magical monster levels to dispatch witches more quickly.
Cudgel Stats: -2 to Magic; -5 to Dexterity; +200% Damage vs. Demons.
Notes: A unique mace that, at first glance, looks useless. So what if it does +200% damage vs. demons? That only adds up to 3-32 damage. However, this fascinating weapon doesn't add the damage to the weapon - it adds it to your OVERALL damage. So, take a look at your damage in the character information screen, and triple it when using this weapon against the demons of Diablo. I recommend you check Jarulf's Guide for data on which monsters are considered as "demons;" a link to this fantastic resource is on the Links page. As you can imagine, it's easy to do over 300 points of damage with this weapon (as a warrior or 150 for a mage), which allows for quick and deadly dispatching of your foes. However, this extreme damage comes at a cost - you have no to-hit% boost. The lack of to-hit% makes this weapon unusable in Hell/Hell for a warrior, but useful for mages and rogues.
Sword of the Suffix Stats: +41% to +50% resistance to All, Depends on suffix.
Pros: Frees up a jewel slot, as you won't need two jewels for resistances.
Cons: Poor to-hit% and no damage bonus, although damage isn't what you're going for here. This would be a great sword for item recoveries, but I wouldn't use it as my main weapon.
Dreamflange: this mace shows that the Battle Mage is indeed a sorcerer. It gives 30 magic and 50 mana, but if you add the mana the 30 magic gives, you come up with a grand total of 110 mana. It also gives +1 all spell levels, allowing the you to have more than Level 15 spells. The +50% resist magic is also a nice bonus. Also a great reader for warriors and rogues. Useful in item recovery, too.
Determining the best armor is a less difficult endeavor than picking a good weapon. For the prefix, aim for armor that increases AC. Finding or buying Blessed, Saintly or Awesome Plate shouldn't be too difficult. If your AC is lower than 225, Hell/Hell will be very difficult. Note that AC becomes a little less important as you go up in level--a 45th level character needs less AC than a 40th level character. When evaluating the suffix of a piece of magical armor, go for one that increases a statistic that you feel needs improvement. If you use mana shield (which is a good idea for rogues or mages, since the 1.07 patch), a suffix that increases your magic statistic ("of the stars" or "of sorcery") will work well.
Finding a good full plate with a prefix and suffix is very difficult. I have found or bought three good ones ("Saintly full plate of vigor/giants/tiger"). I have found (not bought) three Awesome full plates, but have never found one with a suffix. So, what if you have to choose between a great Awesome Full Plate of Nothing and a Saintly Full Plate of Something? First, what is the AC difference? If you don't get at least a 5-10 AC bump by going with the Awesome Plate, stick with Saintly. If you gain 10-20 AC from the Awesome plate, you'll really have to look at the suffix. "Of the stars" is so beneficial to all classes, I'd probably forego the extra 20 AC. I would go with the Awesome plate if the suffix on the Saintly plate were, for example, "of Vigor".
The highest prefix legitimately available for armor in Full Plates is Awesome, so that's what you're looking for. Awesome adds 131% to 150% AC to your plate. Awesome Full Plates with a suffix are extremely rare, so you'll usually wind up taking what you can find. If you do happen to get a chance to actually pick which suffix you want, I'd recommend a Mammal (for warriors) suffix to add to your hit points. "Of Stars" is also very useful to have, but that's even MORE rare. Don't overlook the Harmony suffix, as it would be a great addition to an Awesome plate. Sorcery is a great suffix for mages or rogues increasing mana.
Here's an interesting tidbit. Say you have a strength of 75, and you want to wear a full plate of the giants, +20 to strength.. You have an amulet of Titans, +25 to Strength, that will allow you to wear the plate, but it would mean giving up your Dragon's Amulet of Wizardry for it. Try this: put on the amulet of titans and then put on the full plate. Now take off the amulet of Titans. You can still wear the plate because your strength is over the minimum of 90! In other words, if you have a plate that increases strength, you can use that bonus to wear the plate as long as you can use some other item to put the plate on in the first place. A little fact I was made aware of when I played a puny sorcerer. :)
Naj's Light Plate: Here's another good unique. First, it has no strength requirement, so Artillery Mages don't have to mess with jewelry -Of The Titans. This is also required for Lvl. 20 spells, as it gives +1 to all spell levels. Other nice bonuses are the +20 mana and +5 magic and the +20% resist all. With the Thinking Cap and Naj's Light Plate, you automatically have 40% resist all, like a perfect Obsidian prefix.
Stats: 40 AC; +4 Damage from Enemies; +10 to Strength; Fast Block; Indestructible.
Pros: Nice AC, +10 to Strength adds a few points to damage or helps a mage wear full plate. Indestructibility reduces repair costs, although money really isn't a factor for a high level character.
Cons: +4 damage from enemies makes it easier for them to stun you, and you'll take additional damage from ranged attacks (not too big of a factor).
Notes: Not a bad shield, but you'll want to find something better than this, a few of which are listed below. Fast Block is pointless for warriors (but great for a mage) who already have a built-in, natural fast block. The Fast Block cuts a mages blocking time by 3 times as less than Normal Block.
Shield of the Mammal Stats: 35-50 AC; +30 to +50 hit points, depending on
Pros: Hopefully, better AC than a Stormshield, and a large hit point boost. Compared to a Stormshield, you'll do less damage, but have more hit points, more AC, and less chance of stun.
Cons: Pretty much none; this is a great shield to have.
Notes: It is possible to get a better shield - a Holy Shield of the Mammal. This is very difficult, however, since due to the method Diablo uses to determine what can be sold at what character level, a Holy Shield of the Mammal can only be purchased when your character is levels 18-21, from Wirt. This makes this shield VERY rare, since Wirt is your only source for this item.
Shield of the Mammal Stats: +31% to +50% resistance to all; +30 to +50 hit
points, depending on suffix.
Pros: The idea with this shield is to sacrifice AC for resistances, so that only one jewel will be needed to max you out. This can be handy when there's no melee monsters, so you can use a prefix such as Dragon's instead on a jewel to get more mana. Also, extremely high level warriors, who need less AC, can get away with wearing one of these and still battle melee monsters very well.
Cons: Weakens your AC, of course. Can make it tough to break 250 AC.
Shield of the Ages Stats: 45-60 AC; Indestructible.
Pros: Great AC! Not much else to say here. If you can get one with an of Ages suffix, it helps reduce repair costs. Cons: "of Ages" is the only real suffix possible on this shield. You won't find any hit point adders, etc, since a Godly shield can only be purchased at Wirt and any suffix other than Ages would cause the shield to be too expensive to buy.
Having 40% resist all is just fine in Normal/Nightmare difficulty levels. In Hell difficulty, 70%-MAX resistances are recommended.
The suffixes can be Sorcery/Wizardry or Heavens/Zodiac. The Sorcery/Wizardry add more magic(and therefore, mana) while the Heavens/Zodiac add points to all attributes(also gives mana because they add points to magic). I would recommend using Sorcery/Wizardry more, but if you come across a Dragon's Ring of the Zodiac, WEAR IT!
The most important possible feature of jewelry is probably resistance. Finding rings and amulets that boost your resistance means that you can seek damage modifiers for weapons and AC modifiers for armor. When considering prefixes, give the greatest weight to those that increase resistance. While jade and obsidian items, which increase resistance to all forms of magical attack, are very nice, items that increase resistance to a single magical realm can be better, if you have a variety of them. You rarely deal with more than two types of magic at the same time.
POINTS - Jewels of the Tiger, the Lion, or of Life greatly help a warrior.
Hit points are obviously necessary for survival, and the more you have, the
longer you'll live. Note however that a perfect Zodiac suffix still gives you
+40 hit points, so I'd recommend a Heavens/Zodiac suffix over an "of Life"
suffix any day. You'll get somewhat less hit points but better stats all the
MANA - You're looking for a prefix here. Dragon's, hopefully - which will add 51 to 60 crucial mana points. Having a Wizardry suffix can only add up to 30 mana on a warrior, so leave them for your sorcerer or rogue friends.
DEXTERITY - Dexterity is key for warriors, because of the three classes they have the least. Dexterity affects your AC, your to-hit%, and most importantly, your ability to block. The higher your dexterity, the greater the chance you'll block a hit that gets past your armor. Look for either Heavens/Zodiac suffixes or Dexterity suffixes such as Perfection.
RESISTANCE - If you're not using an Emerald/Obsidian shield, you'll need two jewels to maximize your resistance. Naturally, you're looking for two Obsidian jewels. The Constricting Ring, which maxes out all your resistances, can be nice - but I'd move to a somewhat better combination of two jewels when I find one. Side note: a Gotterdamerung cancels out a Constricting Ring's maximum resistance effect.
With Jewelry, the key is to find the best combination with the jewels you find. This would be easy if we all found Dragon's Zodiac and Obsidian Zodiac jewels, but naturally that doesn't happen. :-)
The best combination, and probably easiest to achieve, is one ring/amulet that provides resistance to all and then a combination of other rings/amulets that provide high resistance to a single realm of magic. When you find a ring or amulet with very high resistance value, hold onto it and use it when you need that resistance. Each takes up only one spot in the inventory and can be a life saver in the right situation.
In other words, try to devote more than two jewelry prefixes to resistance. If you have two obsidian pieces of jewelry, you'll be right around maximum resistance (i.e., 75%), and will have a free spot for a mana boosting prefix. However, if you have only two moderate level jade rings, you would need a third jade ring to max your resistance. You'd probably be better off by using one jade ring and switching in a diamond/garnet/sapphire ring to max your resistance to one magic type when necessary. Of course this depends on the suffixes as well.
The other jewelry prefix increases your mana level (e.g., "Dragon's"). Increasing your mana by 50 points can have quite an impact on your ability as a spell caster. A high level rogue can have close to 400 mana points while still being well balanced in terms of AC, Damage, Resistance, etc.
. When considering suffixes, most players choose jewelry that boosts all statistics (e.g., "of heavens"). Alternatively, choose jewelry that boosts the statistic that needs the most aid. For example, if you are not strong enough to wear Full Plate, a ring of Titans is a wonderful thing to have. At lower character levels, considering boosting Dexterity if you can already wear your armor, since it influences AC, To Hit and Damage. However, hold onto rings/amulets of Wizardry. Consider that three pieces of jewelry with the Wizardry component can raise your Magic statistic as high as 90 points. Use the boost to read spell books you couldn't normally read. Even after you can no longer read spell books (even with every possible magic bonus), hold onto them. When you find an Enchanted Shrine that lowers a spell (almost always Chain Lightning, unfortunately), you will probably be able to read a book to bring the unfortunate spell back up a level. At higher levels (e.g., above 40th), when your dexterity is already close to 300 points, consider wearing an item of Wizardy instead of an item of Perfection. While an additional 30 points of dexterity won't help a high level Rogue that much, 30 more points of magic yield 45 more mana and greater accuracy for targeted (can you say "fireball?" ;-).
Probably the most sought after (and, therefore, most duped) jewelry have the prefix "Obsidian" and the suffix "Zodiac." Finding even a Jade amulet of the Heavens is cause for celebration.
Since the 1.07 patch, the suffix "of Harmony" actually is effective. This suffix decreases the amount of time you spend in "hit recovery" when you are stunned by a monster. This means that you could walk away from a Pit Beast and not be stun locked. For lower level Rogues, this can be very helpful. The higher your level and AC, the less effective harmony will be for you (since you will be hit and stunned less frequently). It isn't a bad "just in case" item, though, and can save you in a tight situation. If you run across an Obsidian jewel of Harmony or a Drake's jewel of Harmony, I would hold onto it! At least you can use it in item recovery when your AC is almost certain to be lower....
Pickings are very slim for Unique jewelry. Two rings you may come across are the Ring of Engagement and the Constricting Ring. The former is worthless, except for very low level characters: it reduces damage taken by -1 (or -2 on the rare version of the item), causes 1-3 points of damage to your attacker and damages attackers' armor. None of these is a great boon unless you're dealing with Skeleton-level creatures. The Constricting Ring has two attributes: it increases your resistance to the maximum (75%) for all realms of magic and it causes you to constantly lose hit points, at the rate of about 1 per second. That drawback may seem terrible, but is actually not that harmful to higher level characters. A Rogue with 300 hit points will barely notice the drop. If you find the ring, hold onto it. One of my characters uses it whenever she needs resistance by swapping in for one of her other rings. A level full of Soul Burners and Counselors will be much easier if you wear it. Just be sure to take it off when you finish the level.
However, there is an upper level on how high you need your AC to be. Monsters' ability to hit you depends on 1) your AC and 2) your character level. The higher your level, the harder it is for monsters to hit you. Also, monsters have an "auto-hit" percentage so that they will hit you around 5-8% of the time no matter how high your AC and character level is. If you are around character level 40, you shouldn't need more than around 250 AC. Once your AC reaches this level, worry more about increasing hit points and mana.
. Nightmare/Hell and Hell/Hell require very high levels of resistance, or life becomes tenuous and painful. It is difficult to have maximum resistance to all forms of attack (magic, fire and lightning). Typically, you may have maximum resistance to one and low or no resistance to the others. This might bother you, but don't let it. You typically do not need to have resistance to all forms of magical attacks . The solution is to carry multiple items (usually jewelry) that grant different forms of resistance. For example, I have a Diamond Ring of the Zodiac and a Garnet Ring of the Heavens. If I'm on a level with no fire-based monsters (e.g., Lava Lords or Advocates), then I wear the Diamond Ring (since it grants +17 to all instead of +14 to all). As soon as I see that there are fire throwing bad guys, time to switch rings. Ditto for lightning resistance. Just be prepared to shift your resistance based on what you face on a particular level. You will never need lightning resistance on level 16, for example.
Do not downplay resistance! To see how much of a difference it makes, have someone hit you with a medium level fireball when you have resistance to fire and when you do not. When facing swarms of Succubi, a high magic resistance is a must. (Note that resistance to Magic will protect you from the Blood Stars of succubi and from the Flash spell of Advocates, Cabalists, etc. If you're not fighting Succubi, Magic resistance is almost completely worthless.)