Early Merc Gear, And Where to Start MFing?


Diabloii.Net Member
Hey all.

So I got a single player HC fireball-orb sorceress up to 78, and she's at the end of act two in hell now. I could probably beat it just fine, but have gone back to kill andariel a lot in the hopes of finding some gear that's not completely terrible. I can kill her pretty well... but I'm just doing it on players3 to keep it fairly safe. I'm tired of my characters dropping like flies.

First question: Is this the best approach to early magic finding, or would I do better running p7 baal in NM or something? I feel like baal is a bit of a time sink with the minions, and he seemed to have a lot of HP (especially on high player settings), although I can probably kill him a bit better now than when I left NM.

Andariel seems ok on p3, and is dropping items, but she gets my merc killed 95% of the time. Not a huge deal, but it's annoying, as it costs 50k to bring him back, so eventually I'll have to stop magic finding to farm up a merc-revive fund if I stick with this.

Everyone says how great hell mephisto is to mf, but the durance terrifies me. I'm positive I'd get popped on my way to him during one run or another. I'm being cautious this time, so I want to find some better teleporting gear or +hp stuff before I try that at all.

Second question: Merc gear (defiance merc). I don't really have anything special for him. He has an insight polearm I love, and will probably keep until I find a nice ethereal one I can replace it with. For now he's got rockstopper on his head and some -10% dmg armor that's been upped to exceptional so it has ~550 defense.

I'm thinking that the -10% damage is better than putting on corpsemourn, or something with ~1200 defense? I can't tell how much the extra aura-buffed defense would reduce the hit rate of stuff against him. I sort of feel like it wouldn't be greater than 10% though....?

Or would I be better off (if I stick with andariel) replacing his armor with something that has huge poison resists? Right now he has good resists except for poison, which is at 45%. I don't think it's physical hits that are killing him anyways, I'm pretty sure it's just the poison. There's usually some lightning enchanted guy on the way to andariel though, so I'm not sure I really should just drop his other stats to buff poison anyways....

Interesting high level runewords are pretty much a no go for now. If i could do those, I'd snag one for me before my merc! I could put together smoke for him though, and up his resists (probably to cap) at the expense of that 10% damage reduction. I only don't want to do this because most of the +resists from smoke (besides poison) would be largely wasted. Then again, I guess it's poison that I really need...


Diabloii.Net Member
I think youll be fine with a higher def armor. Coupled with 1-2 antidote potions for your merc. (Which will temporarily increase poison res!)

If I were you, I would try running The Pit along with Mausoleum and Andariel.

Once you feel confident enough for Travincal/Mephisto, head onwards.