For other meanings, see Sanctuary and Sanctuary Rune Word.
Sanctuary (Skill)

Class: Paladin
Required Level: 24
Skill Tree: Offensive Auras
Requires: Might, Thorns, Holy Fire,, Holy Freeze
Active / Passive

Damages and does knockback to the Undead.

Damage Type: Magic
Synergies: Cleansing
Other Stats: Only one Aura can be active at a time; Only damages Undead enemies; Does not harm allies; Also removes Physical Immunity and Resistance from affected enemies

Sanctuary is a Paladin Skill in Diablo II.


This aura causes the Paladin to shine with an inner, holy light. This light is an anathema to the undead, summoned as they are through the machinations of the Prime Evils. The aura carries with it the essence of life and the strength and purity of the Paladin's convictions.

General InformationEdit

Sanctuary knockback

Sanctuary knockback / damage graphic

Effectively an area of effect Holy Bolt, Sanctuary passively damages all Undead (and only Undead) enemies around the Paladin. It does not affect minions of the player or allies such as Necromancers.


Sanctuary as seen in game

This skill also completely removes Physical Resistances and Immunities of any Undead monsters, so they are always guaranteed to suffer full damage from all Physical attacks of the Paladin and his allies. As Undead foes in general tend to have high physical resistance (and some, such as Ghosts, are flat out immune on Hell difficulty), this is an extremely powerful, though situational, tool against Undead.

In addition to damage and vulnerability, it is also knocking Undead back from the caster. This is especially effective on slower undead foes such as zombies.

Several weapons such as the rune word Lawbringer or the unique sword Azurewrath automatically causes their wielder to project this aura, and thus can become a good backup weapon for any attackers causing physical damage (this extends to characters who cast spells that cause physical damage too, such as Windy Druids).

This skill works on Super Unique Undead monsters (including Griswold and Radament), but not on bosses.

Steal Life/Steal Mana items work well with Sanctuary against Physical Immune monsters, as long as they have positive drain effectiveness.


Depending on game version, damage bonus of this Aura may be bugged (applied mistakenly not to the projector of the aura, but its targets, effectively, it gives all Undead monsters in the vicinity enhanced damage against Undead).


  • Receives Synergy from:
    • Cleansing: +7% Magic Damage Per Level to knockback effect only
  • Gives Synergy to:
    • None

Skill ProgressionEdit

Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Radius(yards) 3.3 4 4.6 5.3 6 6.6 7.3 8 8.6 9.3
Magic Damage 8–16 12–20 16–24 20–28 24–32 28–36 32–40 36–44 40–49 44–54
+X% To Melee Attacks vs Undead
150 180 210 240 270 300 330 360 390 420
Level 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 25
Radius(yards) 10 10.6 11.3 12 12.6 13.3 14 14.6 15.3 16 19.3
Magic Damage 48–59 52–64 56–69 60–74 64–79 68–84 73–90 78–96 83–102 88–108 ?
+X% To Melee Attacks vs Undead
450 480 510 540 570 600 630 660 690 710 860
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