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A Hel rune is a low-mid rune which can be socketed into equipment in Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. Hel runes are often as valuable as higher mid runes, due to their use in unsocketing. This allows, for example, rerolling rune words like Insight and Spirit without having to find a new base item, just replacement low runes.


Equipment type Effects
Weapon Requirements −20%
Body armor or helm Requirements −15%
Shield Requirements −15%

Socketing an item with a Hel rune decreases the item's strength and dexterity requirements, if any. However, Hel runes do not change items' level requirements.


The Countess's extra rune drops on nightmare or hell difficulty can include Hel runes.

The Hellforge on nightmare or hell difficulty has a 1 in 11 chance to drop a Hel rune as part of its quest reward.

The Act 1 (N) Good treasure class has a chance to drop a Hel rune, as do higher Good treasure classes.

In single-player, open or ladder games only, the Horadric Cube can transmute three Dol runes and one chipped emerald into one Hel rune.

Rune Words

Hel runes are used in these rune words:


Hel runes are used in two Horadric Cube recipes.

  • Transmute three Hel runes and a chipped diamond to create one Io rune. (single-player, open or ladder only)
  • Transmute a socketed item, a Hel rune, and a Scroll of Town Portal to unsocket the socketed item. This deletes the gems, jewels or runes that were socketed in the item, but opens the item's sockets so that new gems, jewels or runes can be inserted.