Melee classes in Diablo II: Resurrected can benefit early in Act 1 from crafting a Malice Rune Word weapon. All you need is to farm the Countess boss in the Forgotten Tower Level 5. You can find the tower in the Black March (found beyond the Passage Way in Dark Wood).
The countess has a % chance to drop Ith, El and Eth Runes. These are required to craft the Malice Rune Word. Just leave the game after you kill the Countess, and enter a new game to kill the Countess again and again until you loot all three runes from her.
From top-to-bottom: the order in which you must place the runes are Ith, El and Eth.
Once you obtain these, you can socket them into a sword or flail with 3-sockets. Mostly, gray-colored text weapons have these sockets. These drop from monsters, jars or treasure chests.
Paladins benefit more from a flail due to its base attributes, but if you are in a rush, imbue a crystal sword or superior crystal sword with 3-sockets.
Every few hours, you might also find 3-socket weapons from Charsi (in Act 1) or from Fara (in Act 2). This Malice weapon makes a huge difference when fighting bosses in Act 1 and 2, and those tough monsters in between. Especially useful to kill Duriel around level 21.
Keep in mind that Crystal Sword requires Strength 43 and Level 15.
Doomscream tweeted he gives a Malice weapon to his Mercenary, because the Drain Life doesn’t affect mercenaries. However, only Act 3 and Act 5 Mercenaries can wield a one-handed sword.
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