gearing up a rogue


Diabloii.Net Member
gearing up a rogue

My bear druid is running with a cold-archer at the moment (they're both lev52 or so) and i really enjoy it as a backup, even knowing that a might merc would be probably somewhat more help. I never really had a rogue merc before though, so i have a hard time figuring the right gear. For nightmare it doesn't matter anyhow, so i just put a Witchwild, a Rattlecage and some life leech helmet on her in a hurry.
The best suggestion i read is giving her a Delirium helmet, which would indeed be a great help but than it is way out of range for me (i have exactly zero Ist runes).
I do like the idea of her having % to cast nasty spell items, but runewords mostly i can't afford. Witchwild casts AD which is awesomeness for a melee char, but on the other hand it happens once in a blue moon (2%). Still a nice bow, but not sure what to socket into it if i chose it as her final weapon (shael or ED is the question)
I have Koku as well, which is nice against PIs that my char cant really hurt (well, he can with the IK maul actually just not too well), and I have M'avina's , but rogues can't use that iirc.
For the armor part i am even more clueless. I guess damage reduction is not such a great help for her, so i should be looking for crushing blow and leech.
Anyways, I appreciate "elite" suggestions (for the distant future), but also would like to hear some more affordable ones.


Diabloii.Net Member
Didn't like the Reaper's:)

If you choose the Witchwild I'd recommend 2 shaels...That should leave her at 12 frames..

0 % 15
9 % 14
19 % 13
32 % 12
54 % 11
86 % 10
152 % 9

Enhanced damage jewels won't really do much unless you upgrade the Witchwild and even then Shaels are probably better, since you don't get much bang for your buck with enhanced damage & bows.

Also Crushing Blow and Open Wounds are less effective when triggered by a ranged attack, so they aren't quite as good as usual, so not a must. Twitchthroe/Crow Caw could be considered, so she could reach the next breakpoint, and add a little dex for some more damage. Rattlecage could also be nice with the CB and the %chance to flee for some added crowd control.

Howltusk could be a nice little helm, it has knockback and monster flee for even more crowd control. Otherwise Andariels Visage could be very nice, as well as Stealskull for a little MF or Tal Rashas for some survivability.

Doesn't seem like there's any %chance to cast items that would suit a rogue but maybe I've just missed them.


Diabloii.Net Member
Rogues work fine for shifters. If you use any pets with your Werebear your Rogue is even safer in Hell since if you need to retreat she still has a bear/wolves as her line of defense. If you don't have pets she'll be your sacraficial lamb when you try to escape. No worries about IronMaiden for her either, the #1killer for my Act2Mercs. She should be easier to keep alive since she's ranged, except against Hell Ancients, some ActBosses and Glooms.

You want that AmpDmg (and maybe CrushingBlow) going off as often as possible in Hell - which means IAS & let her shoot like a machine gun. If she gets AmpDmg on Baal you're now doing 3x the damage. My L87 HC Werewolf's Merc uses a 190%ED elite rare with 5%Amp and the difference is huge when it goes off and often removes PI too, it's fast too so it's not rare. Since you mentioned PIs I'm guessing you're a Mauler not FireClawer. I read at the ABasin forum the rogue only gets the graphics of Kuko's ExplosiveArrows to work, not the explosion damage, nevertheless the fire damage on the initial target should still be nice, but later I think you'll prefer WWS for the AmpDmg and MagicDmg. Skystrike has your CtC Meteor which looks incredible, but it's not worthy enough for Hell.

If you want something other than WWS' CtC AmpDmg consider Coif of Glory with BlindTarget and LightningResist. There are a couple items with %chance to flee when striking, but I think you would find constantly chasing down enemies annoying (if you're happy with Rattlecage then maybe not). IceBlink has FreezesTarget and wouldn't override AmpDmg, Confuse, or whatever curse is out. Andariel's Visage does have -fire resist, but a Ral or fire resist jewel can handle that and with IAS, life leech and +skills (convert a higher% of her cold arrows) it is definitely worthy to consider, has a CtC when struck for you too.

See how well she survives first with Twitchtoe. If that works fine you could customize a Jeweler's Colossus/Squid/Whale to your liking for her (IAS, resists, life, etc), if you don't have that SpiritForge offers 2sockets(30IAS or 15IAS+resists), FireDmg and Life/lvl. Try for lighter armors since she does have a nervous habit of pacing instead of shooting sometimes, you don't want her walking trips to be any slower. My SC Werewolf's rogue uses Goldstrike, StealSkull and PTopaz Armor (my SC characters are poor, but realize the value of speed).


Diabloii.Net Member
I use a WWS with 2 shaels, and the damage is still pretty respectable in hell. If you have the runes, upgrade it, but I got through hell without upgrading mine (no Pul rune :( ) and there were certainly times I depended on the Rogue for a kill. (I won't lie, she did a lot of the heavy lifting with the Hell Ancients.) With the increased speed from the Shaels, you will notice Amp going off more often. I also had a Blackhorns face (for the slow) and a Shaftstop on her. That setup worked nicely for my scythe enchantress and I am now using the same setup for my MF sorc's Rogue. Without the ability to TP her into position however, FR/W might be a good idea. (Stealth armor would be nice here if she survives well enough with it: dirt cheap, FHR, FR/W, and faster cast for her inner sight. I'm currently using it on my AQT tourney rogue merc.)

Edit: Jiansonz's addendum to the merc guide is useful for equipment suggestions and strategies. It's a pity the full version didn't make it into the final guide:


Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks for the good suggestions, and also that link which seems to be a little more comprehensive than the merc guide on the website.
As for Reaper's: I like it as everyone, and that is what i use for most of my chars (except for my sorc's merc who wields Kelpie often for the slow effect), but we are playing the "Now it is time for something compeletely different" game here :p
I like the idea of Andariel's Visage...i dont have one yet, but i am a diligent mf-er and it is not something impossible to get.
As for now, you convinced me that a double shael WW would be nice, and Twichtoe/Tal's mask will go with it, than i'll see how it works out. (coif of glory would be even better, but that too i have yet to find) As for upping...well...if i find a Pul, I will up my druid's 292 ed ribcracker first i guess:)
(time to get some more countess runs rolling too)
Hit causes monsters to flee is not all that annoying since i pretty much shockwave down everything. and if something is not stunned than i am happier with it fleeing than beating on my poor-poor fluffy little bear.
I have just championed my druid btw, and as for nightmare the archer did very well. she kills a lot on her own, and levelled nicely in an mp game. Of course the real test only comes now...