A2 merc optimisation for AT runs


Diabloii.Net Member
Additionally, +2 skills from andariel's and BC should (at least that's what I've read on another forum) boost the CS to level 9 (54% chance to crit).
For AT runs, and indeed most MF runs, BC can be left off. It saves the frames of casting it, but it also saves changing skills on your CtA switch, which makes running much more comfortable and removes a possible frustration. Your numbers are right, so it's up to you whether you value 54% (lvl 9 CS) enough more than 51% (lvl 8). By comparison, with just the Insight the merc is at 46% CS.

I think the merc is doing better against CIs even without the cham in andariel's (any reason to cham a non eth one, btw?)
Andariel's Visage
Defense: 313
Durability: 20 of 20
Required Strength: 102
Required Level: 83
Item Version: 1.10+ Expansion
Item Level: **
Fingerprint: 0x37978aca
+30 to Strength
+102% Enhanced Defense
Fire Resist -30%
Poison Resist +70%
+10% to Maximum Poison Resist
10% Life stolen per hit
20% Increased Attack Speed
+2 to All Skill Levels
Cannot Be Frozen
15% Chance to cast Level 15 Poison Nova when struck
Level 3 Venom (20/20 Charges)
Socketed (1: 1 used)
I'm a big proponent of looking at versatility when making high-end items. I might decide on a character that wants to use a Chamed Andy's, so even though I made the decision to make a merc hat instead of a char hat with my Cham, I left the door open for other options because Chams don't grow on trees and I have plans for a large number of them, if I were to find more.

I don't have an infinity or the runes to make it so I can't try that setup, it does look interesting if you have a FCR/preferably 07 MPK ring.
I did another 50 runs testing with a 1.07 MPK/fcr ring, and it does make running out of mana outside of mana burn much less of an issue. As in, almost forget you don't have Insight less. My runtimes weren't any better with the ring, but again, small samples and that's a lot of running for my rusty old man hands.
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Diabloii.Net Member
Probably Cham is the best socket option for the purposes discussed here, as we're talking about sniping CIs. :p Just something to bear in mind is that overall RJoF in Andy's is super strong, hitting the next attack speed BP (be it either for Jab or his standard attack or both depending on WSM) and providing higher overall damage. Could also be worthwhile to consider using an Insight in a faster base (Thresher/Giant Thresher) when using a Cham'ed one.

I'd think both eth or non-eth is fine to use. For the Merc the extra defense doesn't make much of a difference, as opposed to Fortitude or weapons where the eth (bugged) bonus has a huge impact. On the other hand, I don't know if I'd ever get to use Andy's on a character again. :) But yeah, indeed you never know...


Diabloii.Net Member
@krischan Yes, it's a blizz sorc, managed to drop that part from my OP. Agreed on all accounts, but I wouldn't use a HF merc. The chill effect would make it more difficult to quickly identify bosses. Since defensive mods aren't necessary, I just defaulted to might. If it does light up, he will dispose of CIs faster and if it doesn't it's not a big deal. But I think it does trigger more often / sooner with the new setup.

Really doubt I'll ever use a chamed andariel's on a char, but I went for a non eth one in the end, just in case :) I've got an eth one from before with a mediocre RJoF if I go that route since the thresher/GT do hit that extra BP at 75+ IAS.

Attaching an image with breakpoints, for reference.



Diabloii.Net Member
Back in the day froz and I created a simple merc dmg calculator:

Might help if you want to play a bit with the numbers.
Hey, @nulio. It's good to see you are still around!

Thanks for sharing the spreadsheet - spent the whole evening trying to answer questions that sprang up from it.

1) The listed FPAs do not agree with the speed calculator. It took me a while to realise why: it takes into account the breaks in merc's attacking. The important number here is the frequency (attacks per second) which does agree with the calculator. I hope this might save some time to any "theory noobs" reading this.

By the way, could anyone provide a link to the formula used for attack speed calculations? I've tried this page, but had no success recreating the correct values. I suspect I am missing some variables in that formula. I guess there must be a reason everyone simply points to the german calculator.

2) Can we attempt to actually calculate merc's damage or at least the main part of it (disregard fire, poison dmg from Insight, Venom from Treachery)? I couldn't find these calculations anywhere (against which to check my own). I have been able to determine that the formula given on AS does not correspond to the one displayed in-game. The displayed one seems to be calculated via:
hireling min = [(weapon min + base min) * (1 + (str+off-weapon-ED)/100)] + elemental dmg
i.e. the "base min" (hireling bonus dmg dependent on their lvl and type, link) is added to the weapon minimum before off-weapon ED is applied.

Is the displayed value actually accurate?

(To check: elemental dmg would be +5 Fire, 75 Poison in the case of Insight, Might slvl can be found at the link above; don't have Fortitude, but I did take off Treachery because CtC Venom complicates things.)

3) Is the chance to activate merc's Might aura given by
(Aura freq) / (Attack freq + Jab freq + Aura freq)
as this very insightful post would suggest? E.g. for a lvl 95 Might merc, this would be ~4.7%.
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Diabloii.Net Member
I'd like to point out that it would be quite relevant to find an answer to question 2) above. If merc's damage is indeed calculated by the above formula, this would mean an even greater gap between Fortitude and Treachery.

@zemaj, great to see you as well! You gave me such a warm welcome to SPF all those years ago.
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