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Hireling Gear

Discussion in 'Single Player Forum' started by Excalibur, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. Excalibur

    Excalibur Diabloii.Net Member

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    Hey,

    Just wondering what kind of gear do you prefer on your Hireling as a Melee character and what kind of gear as a Caster?
    Also, since Holy freeze is the most popular mercenary do you still pick him when you have a Cold oriented build?
    For example what kind of hireling do you pick as a Blizzard Sorcy?

    I have plenty characters and in most of them I have neglected the hireling's gear. My basic concept is to make a damage-wise hireling as a melee character and a tank-wise hireling as a caster. Just wondering if there are some combination which I haven't though of.

    Thanks.
     
  2. LongingForDeath

    LongingForDeath Diabloii.Net Member

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    Really depends on your build and what you're running. For an AT running Blizzard Sorc, for example, I usually go with a might merc wearing Andariel's Visage, Fortitude and Obedience. My Meph running Blizzard Sorc on the other hand has a might merc with Rockstopper, Gladiator's Bane and Reaper's Toll. The merc of my Council running WW Barb will wear Kira's Guardian, Guardian Angel and Reaper's Toll.

    You need to ask yourself what you want from your merc and what he needs. Is he meant to be a tank? Does he need to kill stuff? Will he take more physical or more elemental damage in the area you're running? Are his main enemies regular monsters (like cows), super uniques (like Pindle), boss packs (in level 85 areas) or act bosses?
     
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  3. Gripphon

    Gripphon Diabloii.Net Member

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    Merc can awlays be geared for damage since most useful weapon options also tend to offer high damage output. It is also the most straightforward approach for any type of a merc because:

    more damage = more leech = better survivability

    Idea of tanky merc is to give him some life leech and big hurty stick so he can keep himself alive while helping you kill stuff at the same time. Win-win.

    Damage sticks:


    Insight for damage output (Obedience is also alternative choice, though Insight may be more damaging due to critical strike bonus)
    Infinity for aura
    Reaper's for physical damage builds who need curse for more damage
    Other sticks are optional: BotD, Pride...

    Aura:

    Might - following the same logic, more damage = higher survivability = more kills. All in one package

    Holy Freeze - optional choice for certain areas like Chaos Sanctuary if you need an edge for overall survivability for you and merc. If you can run the area comfortably with might merc then might merc is perhaps better option.

    Defiance - not exactly great option, but could work okay if you have high armor on your character

    Prayer - cool option if healing is needed. Not sure when to use this though
     
  4. ffs

    ffs Diabloii.Net Member

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    Excalibur likes this.
  5. Maltatai

    Maltatai Diabloii.Net Member

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    I always prioritize crippling effects, primarily slowing and open wounds to deal with immune enemies. Open wounds also allows the hireling to do hit-and-run engagements with powerful foes, particularly if they guard a sorceress that can teleport them away. After that comes damage reduction and resistances, and curses if you don't have one yourself.

    Barbarians benefit from a quick weapon rather than a powerful slow one if you have to choose between them, since it allows them to apply stunning and bashing more often.

    Rogues will usually have offensive gear but some characters, like chargers, benefit from a rogue that can hold out and act as a more stable distraction while you move around. Damage reduction is a priority int hat case along with resistances.

    Iron wolves will almost always have defensive gear to hold out as long as possible. They can be decent since their AI makes them retreat gradually. I don't care much for faster cast rate since the damage is low anyway but it's certainly nice to have, and very good early on. Cold mages do of course become notably more effective when they freeze enemies faster.
     
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  6. Excalibur

    Excalibur Diabloii.Net Member

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    I have an upgraded eth Shaftstop and an eth Vampire Gaze in one of my hirelings and he still dies quite often and what mostly surprises me is that he dies from physical attacks quite fast despite the DR items. That's why I would 100% agree life leech is indeed the key to keep your hireling alive.

    I've also noticed that with my Zealot's merc. He has pure damage gear and along with all the buffs he barely dies. I knew life steal was helping him a lot but never realized that it was 100% due to lifesteal that he was doing so great until he faced a mob with physical immunity and died in seconds from nearby monsters. They are fragile, that's for sure.

    I've never though of having a might merc on a caster build to be honest but it really makes sense and I guess I was stuck with the idea of a Holy Freezer.

    I generally farm in many areas with my MF characters that's why I was trying to find a perfect fit for every possible situation.
     
  7. ioupainmax

    ioupainmax Diabloii.Net Member

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    Nobody mentioned Treachery?

    Eth bugged Treachery in an Elite base armour for an Act 2 merc has a lot going for it:
    • Fade provides resists and damage reduction and my merc is almost always faded since he wades in to the melee
    • IAS helps him attack faster and therefore leech more life as well as trigger crushing blow or other effects
    • Venom proc adds some damage to take out immune monsters
    • Curse duration is reduced, thus helping him deal with nasty curses quickly
    EDIT: it's also a very cheap option and can be reasonable to expect when playing untwinked.
     
  8. smloeffelholz

    smloeffelholz Diabloii.Net Member

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    I agree with everything in this post. Treachery is a great low cost option that tics a lot of boxes.
     
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  9. T72on1

    T72on1 Diabloii.Net Member

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    Agreed. I use Treachery on all my mercs until they can wear Fortitude or CoH. But Treachery all the way would still work great.
     
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  10. TedDeeBoy

    TedDeeBoy Diabloii.Net Member

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    Add to that list the FHR from the Shael

    I used Treachery on Blizz Sorc merc. The key elements that work well if the runs take some time or if you are questing, and that merc is the focus of all monster attacks, fade continually stays on so with another source of [email protected] he tanks Conviction, CE, LE which would usually pwn him in one second.

    On the Necro Summoner merc, fade rarely procs so Treachery is not as effective in that scenario. The IAS is invaluable though. After looking at @Owlie Merc guide, it puts Treachery close the best all round armour because it allows the Merc it hit those attack speed breakpoints.
     
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  11. Excalibur

    Excalibur Diabloii.Net Member

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    How important is the defense on the merc?
     
  12. ioupainmax

    ioupainmax Diabloii.Net Member

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    Not very important, unless you have other defensive skills going:
    • Shout
    • Defiance
    • Chilling Armour from Fortitude
    But even though it isn't that important, you may as well maximise it by Eth Bugging armours whenever you can.

    The best defence is a good offence, especially for a merc.
     
  13. Gripphon

    Gripphon Diabloii.Net Member

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    Potentially it is useful, however easy to work around with Angelic's combo which provides all AR character might need. Or belt+boots combo for AR, don't recall the name. Also some popular weapons have ignore target's defence (Grief...) mode minimalizing the need for additional AR entirely.
     
  14. GooberGrape

    GooberGrape Diabloii.Net Member

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    My setups are:
    Hammerdin: A2 Prayer - Treachery, Andy's, Insight
    Blizz sorc: A2 Might - Fort, Andy's, Insight
    Singer: A2 Might - Glad Bane, Andy's, Insight
    Council: A2 Might - Guardian angel, Kira's, Reaper's

    I almost never use Holy Freeze or Blessed Aim.
    I do use Defiance with Kelpie Snare in early levels, locks down Baal good.
    I have on occasion used Vamp Gaze, works almost as well as Andy's.
    Fortitude is overrated, Treachery adds ias and Fade.
    1.07 eth Insight CV is probably best damage stick in the game.
     
  15. srrw

    srrw Diabloii.Net Member

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    If the merc wears Insight, Prayer is a must in my book. I only use Might on physical damage characters who have leech and don't benefit from the healing. Holy Freeze is useless to me (and I play HC...).

    Setups highly depend on build and running targets as stated above but there are a few good all-around setups:

    Prayer: Insight; eBugged Forti; VGaze (Cham'd if you have a spare one)
    Prayer: Insight; eBugged Treachery; VGaze (Great for twinking!)
    Prayer: Insight; Gladiator's Bane; VGaze/Andy (AT Blizzsorc cheap setup)
    Might: The Reaper's Toll (Shael/IAS Jewel); eBugged Forti; Helm to fill CBF/IAS needs (Physical damage character)

    In the case of Infinity: Prayer > Might. Other setups stay the same :)

    Or you could always swap Forti for CoH for the leech and use non leeching helmet: 45IAS/Kira's/etc.

    Edit: I actually re-read the thread, so I'll add some specific setups that have worked well for me:

    CS Hammerdin: Prayer; eth Insight Thresher; eBugged Forti; VGaze+IAS Jewel
    Travincal Zealot: Might; eth Reaper's (Shael); eth Guardian Angel; Kira's+IAS Jewel IIRC
    General questing setup: eth Insight Partizan -> Thresher (at lvl53); eBugged Threachery; VGaze
    AT Blizzard: eth Insight Thresher; eBugged Forti; Andy's (Cham)
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
  16. Gripphon

    Gripphon Diabloii.Net Member

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    Armor choice is actually not so important (outside Travincal at least). Difference between Treachery/CoH/Fortitude is in many cases not felt while playing. Things that do matter include having hurty stick, enough resistances (if target is Travincal) and some leech.

    Treachery is the cheapest option, CoH provides lifeleech which means you don't need it anywhere else, and Fortitude can offer big defense boost to merc as well as providing highest damage output per hit (not necessarily highest dps). I'd say CoH is the most convenient option overall, however costs Ber rune and is quite useless outside merc.

    So... Treachery can be used nicely while CoH and Fortitude are rather fancy options for players who have them, especially if eth.


    Defense - is it important? Not really, but it will help merc with his terrible hit recovery frames making him hit more and do more damage.
     
  17. T72on1

    T72on1 Diabloii.Net Member

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    I love Holy Freeze on my HC Hammerdin's merc actually. Made a big difference. Although the Prayer / Insight combo indeed gives very high life regen, it just won't cut it for whatever big damage spikes that tend to kill my characters in the end.
     
  18. galtwish

    galtwish Diabloii.Net Member

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    For A2 merc, I tend to use:
    Melee/Summoner: Delirium, Treachery, Reaper's
    Elemental ranged caster: Vamp Gaze, Treachery, Insight
    Close range caster/trapper: Delirium, Greyform (no other leech armor yet), Insight
    Necro summoner: Tal's, Treachery, Obedience
    Archer: Guillame's, Treachery, Insight/Reaper's
    Blizzard AT/Meph sorc: Rockstopper, Gladiator's Bane, Insight (nothing to leech)

    A5 mercs
    Melee: Vamp Gaze, eth 1.07 Duress, eth 1.07 Crescent Moon Balrog Blade
     
  19. srrw

    srrw Diabloii.Net Member

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    Hammerdins do not die. :p

    Unless you don't have Enigma in which case you shouldn't be playing one anyway :D
     

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