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How to improve merc for my zealer?

Discussion in 'Paladin' started by SnickerSnack, Feb 24, 2008.

  1. SnickerSnack

    SnickerSnack Diabloii.Net Member

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    How to improve merc for my zealer?

    Okay so I have been using a Tomb Reaver on a Frost Merc for a long time, since before I rebuilt my zealer to be a 1 point smiter. I have a lot more wealth now, so I think it's time to upgrade. Here's my zealer's gear

    Grief Phase Blade
    Fortitude Dusk Shroud
    PDiamond'ed Herald of Zakarum
    Guillame's Face
    String of Ears
    Dracul's Grasp
    Gore Riders
    str/life/res ammy
    lifesteal/res ring
    Raven Frost
    11/20 dtorch

    What would complement this build? My main trouble is with physical immunes and iron maiden (I'm considering going back to a Act 1 merc). I can solo anything in the game, but have to work slowly in a few areas (CS especially). Would a Reaper's Toll be the best route?

    The main reason that I want to upgrade is that it seems like my current merc doens't really help me much. If he dies, I just keep going. It's a little slower/harder, but because of the loss of Holy Freeze mostly.

    I appreciate any input.
     
  2. RequiemDeath

    RequiemDeath Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: How to improve merc for my zealer?

    Well, I prefer the Act 1 merc for this build myself... Works quite well, doesn't get hit with IM, and with the right weapon, they can hurt PI's... I've heard tell that Ice is a good weapon for one, but I haven't tried it myself... Mine uses Windforce, and does quite well...

    *Requiem_Death
     
  3. sorcguy

    sorcguy Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: How to improve merc for my zealer?

    I zeal with gimmershread against physical immunes and I can throw it too for IM's. I have a merc with windforce. She helps when going up against ironmaiden, but it's still slow going.
     
  4. SnickerSnack

    SnickerSnack Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: How to improve merc for my zealer?

    Ok, thanks. Looking at the runewords available, Harmony looks like it's just what I need:

    Level 10 Vigor Aura When Equipped
    +200-275% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    +9 To Minimum Damage
    +9 To Maximum Damage
    Adds 55-160 Lightning Damage
    Adds 55-160 Fire Damage
    Adds 55-160 Cold Damage
    +2-6 To Valkyrie (varies)
    +10 To Dexterity
    Regenerate Mana 20%
    +2 To Mana After Each Kill
    +2 To Light Radius
    Level 20 Revive (25 Charges)

    That should work well against the PIs. Can anyone say whether the rogue will use valkyrie? (Or the guided arrow on a widowmaker?) I would assume not. I have all the runes to make it right now. I think I'll try this out within a week or two and report back on how it goes.

    Requiem: Ice looks really good (that holy freeze is nice), but I'm going to try something cheap, like Harmony, first.

    Sorcguy: I use a Demon Arch balrog spear for PIs, but it's kinda slow. I need some help with them. And my biggest problem is IM.

    Edit: One more thing. I think I'm going to use a Great Bow b/c it has -10 base speed and gets 4 sockets maximum (can larzuk it for sockets). It doesn't do the most damage, but is the fast of the elite bows. Any reason I should use a different one? I'll probably get her +30% ias from other sources.
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2008
  5. sorcguy

    sorcguy Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: How to improve merc for my zealer?


    I think gimmershred will work better than demon arch. Bigger stack size too (even though it's not self repairing)

    My merc uses windforce. I wouldn't switch because:

    Adds 55-160 Lightning Damage
    Adds 55-160 Fire Damage
    Adds 55-160 Cold Damage

    is going to be crazy slow at killing PI's. There really isn't much damage there..

    I'll be interested in your report on how your merc does.



     
  6. SnickerSnack

    SnickerSnack Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: How to improve merc for my zealer?

    I must be confused about Windforce. How will it hurt PIs? Is the rogue's cold/fire damage based on the physical damage of the bow used? Windforce doesn't appear to do any non-physical damage on its own. Both of you have recommended Windforce, but I just don't see why it can hurt PIs.

    That's true. It's about ~325 elemental damage average per hit, and the rogues don't attack at high speed (I guess this is part of why Windforce is good, especially with an ias jewel in it). To be honest, the grief probably does comparable amounts of poison damage already. Normal PIs, like ghosts, take maybe ~7 zeals iirc, which is too slow when there are 10 of them beating on me - and without getting any life leech. A single PI is not a big deal, it's just a matter of time. I once spent 5+ minutes smiting hell Hephasto (that's about 20 blue pots).

    If I decide to go with Windforce, I'll still test out Harmony, since it's pretty inexpensive.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2008
  7. SnickerSnack

    SnickerSnack Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: How to improve merc for my zealer?

    I put together a Harmony about half an hour ago, and I have some test results - they are very interesting. First, I geared her as follows (cold rogue):

    Harmony Great Bow (low damage roll, +220%)
    eth shaftstop (~900 def)
    guillame's face

    There was a problem with her resists though, as they were all 42. So, how to boost res? Well, I have this treachery dusk shroud that I use for a prebuff before ubers. So I put that on her. Here's treachery:

    5% Chance To Cast Level 15 Fade When Struck
    25% Chance To Cast level 15 Venom On Striking
    +2 To Assassin Skills
    +45% Increased Attack Speed
    +20% Faster Hit Recovery
    Cold Resist +30%
    50% Extra Gold From Monsters

    So, she gets max res, and tops out at 107 (137 for cold), so a low level conviction aura won't hurt her too much. I had to give up the 30 dr on the shaftstop, but fade will give 15 dr, so not a total loss there. I might just put a shako on her to make that up. Now, the interesting part. She gets a level 15 venom, so against PIs, she'll do fire/cold/light/poison (and a nice amount of poison too). Add the +45% ias and she attacks often too. Gold Find doesn't hurt any, though I'm not sure if fhr will help her at all.

    She killed an Act 1 Unique PI/CI in about 5 seconds. I'd like more speed, so maybe a Windforce would be better, but this works pretty well. She was a bit slow with poison immune undead, but that's to be expected. Her total damage on the character screen is 900-1900, with my fanaticism and with venom on.

    I like having level 10 vigor on all the time, plus, I liked grabbing the bow off of her to revive some cronies. The valk is useless at level 6 though.

    Now I'll test her out in other areas and see if this initial success continues.

    Edit: In Act 5, she can kill regular monsters just fine, 2-5 arrows, depending. She killed eldritch by herself while I killed maybe half the mob. Haven't found an Act 5 PI yet. And, there's one problem. It's a real pain to get her fade to turn on since she mostly stays out of the way. So she gets waxed by trav unless I spend a few minutes prebuffing her fade. Act 1 shamans' fireballs don't seem to hurt/hit her, so it's only a problem in an area where she's guaranteed to get by a lot of elemental damage early on. I could replace her helm for one with resists.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2008
  8. RequiemDeath

    RequiemDeath Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: How to improve merc for my zealer?

    Duriel's Shell works well with this merc... Low defense though... Um runes could help a great deal here... Perhaps Fort if you have the wealth to spare...

    *Requiem_Death
     
  9. Cruciarius

    Cruciarius Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: How to improve merc for my zealer?

    up the Duriel's Shell and it'd be an awesome defensive armor.

    Do A1 mercs get bonuses from + skill gear, like A2 and A3 mercs do? If they do, maybe get a CoH. It's got nice resists, +2 skills and other nice mods.

    I recommend finding a nice no socket eth armor and cubing it, to get sockets for a CoH. Eth armor + socket recipe = +% def and sockets. Could possibly get a 1k def armor and that's without even making it into anything yet. Would make a sweet merc CoH.:thumbsup:



     
  10. SnickerSnack

    SnickerSnack Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: How to improve merc for my zealer?

    Here's how my merc is geared now:

    Harmony Great Bow
    Treachery Dusk Shroud
    Rockstopper

    I added the Rockstopper because the fade on the treachery takes so long to turn on, and some elemental attacks kill her with 2-3 hits. The 10% damage reduction and the +15 vitality are also very nice. Once fade turns on, she'll have 25% damage reduction. With fade her resists are stacked to something like 156f 179c 135l 107p; they are 91/80/71/42 without fade.

    At this point Treachery is crucial because of the level 15 venom (which turns on after 1-5 attacks) and the +45% ias. CoH really won't help her much aside from the high defense. +2 skill is nice, but inner sight and cold arrow don't need a high level to be effective. Against PIs, the +damages are useless, but against Oblivion Knights the +200% damage would be nice - 1 point for CoH. The life leech is a waste since normal mobs will get life tapped, and obviously it is wasted on PIs. The +65 resist all is very nice, but she has 42 base resists, so Rockstopper is enough. Fade, when it finally turns on, gives 15% dr, and I'm willing to wait a few minutes to get 15 rather than have 8 all the time. In short, while CoH is very nice armor, treachery does more for the merc given that I only need her for PIs and for when I get IMed. Most of the time, I just want her to not die.

    Duriel's Shell doesn't do anything for her attack, which is what I need. I need her to hit hard with non-physical damage.

    Thanks for your comments, they made me realize that I need to remake treachery in an ebugged armor for her. Her current one has 461 defense - not enough. Someone suggested fort, well my zealer uses a fort dusk shroud, so maybe I can just swap out armors until she gets chilling armor and then swap back. It would be cumbersome though. And also not a good idea to swap runeword armor in the field in public games, so I'd have to tp back to town to switch. My merc has 136 strength, and there are several elite armors with less than that, so I shouldn't have too much trouble making her some armor with 1100+ defense. I'm going to wait to see if it's really necessary though, since she is a rogue, and doesn't get by physical attacks often.

    In earlier posts, Windforce was suggested, bit I still don't see why it will be useful against PIs. Can someone clue me in?
     
  11. Cruciarius

    Cruciarius Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: How to improve merc for my zealer?

    I'm unsure why people recommend Windforce as well. Knockback maybe? Though I don't think that'd dmg a PI.

    Here's a few items you may consider, to help with PI.

    Helms:

    Dream

    10% Chance To Cast Level 15 Confuse When Struck
    Level 15 Holy Shock Aura When Equipped
    +20-30% Faster Hit Recovery (varies)
    +30% Enhanced Defense
    +150-220 Defense (varies)
    +10 To Vitality
    Increase Maximum Life 5% (Helms Only)
    +50 To Life (Shields Only)
    +0.625-61.875 To Mana (Based On Character Level)
    All Resistances +5-20 (varies)
    12-25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items (varies)

    lvl 15 holy shock isn't much for an aura, but that also adds lightning dmg to attacks. fhr and all resists are nice too. +vit doesn't help mercs, sadly.

    Blackhorn's Face

    +180-220% Enhanced Defense (varies)
    Slows Target By 20%
    Attacker Takes Lightning Damage of 25
    Prevent Monster Heal
    +20 Lightning Absorb
    Lightning Resist +15%

    Slow Target, PMH are nice. Probably not an ideal helm though.

    Vampire's Gaze

    +100% Enhanced Defense
    Adds 6-22 Cold Damage - 4 Second Duration
    15% Slower Stamina Drain
    6-8% Life Stolen Per Hit (varies)
    6-8% Mana Stolen Per Hit (varies)
    Damage Reduced By 15-20% (varies)
    Magic Damage Reduced By 10-15 (varies)

    A little bit of cold dmg, life leech and dr.

    Armor:

    Duress

    +40% Faster Hit Recovery
    +10-20% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    Adds 37-133 Cold Damage 2 sec. Duration (Normal)
    15% Chance of Crushing Blow
    33% Chance of Open Wounds
    +150-200% Enhanced Defense (varies)
    -20% Slower Stamina Drain
    Cold Resist +45%
    Lightning Resist +15%
    Fire Resist +15%
    Poison Resist +15%

    fhr, added cold dmg, cb, ow and some resists. With the gear you listed, it doesn't look like she has any cb.

    Dragon

    20% Chance to Cast Level 18 Venom When Struck
    12% Chance To Cast Level 15 Hydra On Striking
    Level 14 Holy Fire Aura When Equipped
    +360 Defense
    +230 Defense Vs. Missile
    +3-5 To All Attributes (varies)
    +0.375-37.125 To Strength (Based on Character Level)
    Increase Maximum Mana 5% (Armor Only)
    +50 To Mana (Shields Only)
    +5% To Maximum Lightning Resist
    Damage Reduced by 7

    Chance for hydras isn't high, but is she's attacking fast, may get a lot of them. Holy fire would add fire dmg to her attacks. Adds lots of str. I'm not sure, but does str = more dmg with A1 mercs?

    Weapons:

    Hand of Justice

    100% Chance To Cast Level 36 Blaze When You Level-Up
    100% Chance To Cast Level 48 Meteor When You Die
    Level 16 Holy Fire Aura When Equipped
    +33% Increased Attack Speed
    +280-330% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    Ignore Target's Defense
    7% Life Stolen Per Hit
    -20% To Enemy Fire Resistance
    20% Deadly Strike
    Hit Blinds Target
    Freezes Target +3

    The chances to cast blaze and meteor aren't bad. Holy fire aura isn't high, but it'll add fire dmg. ias, itd, life leech, ds, hit blinds target and freezes target. May not be high in ele dmg, but it seems like it'll stop monsters in their tracks (freezing them). If they're cold immune, it'll at least blind them.

    Brand

    35% Chance To Cast Level 14 Amplify Damage When Struck
    100% Chance To Cast Level 18 Bone Spear On Striking
    +260-340% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    Ignore Target's Defense
    20% Bonus to Attack Rating
    +280-330% Damage To Demons (varies)
    20% Deadly Strike
    Prevent Monster Heal
    Knockback
    Fires Explosive Arrows or Bolts (15)

    Yeah, amp when struck may suck, if you need tap. BS though is magic dmg, which may help. itd, ds, pmh and knockback may also be useful.

    Faith

    Level 12-15 Fanaticism Aura When Equipped (varies)
    +1-2 To All Skills (varies)
    +330% Enhanced Damage
    Ignore Target's Defense
    300% Bonus To Attack Rating
    +75% Damage To Undead
    +50 To Attack Rating Against Undead
    +120 Fire Damage
    All Resistances +15
    10% Reanimate As: Returned
    75% Extra Gold From Monsters

    Fanat, ed, itd, fire dmg, all resists and "10% Reanimate As: Returned". This might give you an army to fight with you. Depending on what gets returned, you could deal with PI easier.

    You also may want to keep an eye out for nice rares. They may give you nice ele dmg you need to deal with PI.

    The fade on treachery is nice, if you need a boost to resists and dr, but having it only activate when hit, isn't great, since it's not on a melee character. You don't want her toe to toe with enemies.
     
  12. SnickerSnack

    SnickerSnack Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: How to improve merc for my zealer?

    Thanks for your suggestions. Dragon + Hand of Justice would be a very nice combination, but many PIs have other immunities, and I think that fire is the most common. The 20% ctc venom when struck is pretty nice too.

    You mention duress for crushing blow. Yes that would be very useful in most cases (I had guillame's face on her originally), but I don't think it works on PIs. I could be wrong. She doesn't need anymore resists unless I change her helm.

    I like her current setup because it does fire/cold/lightning/poison, so she can hurt any PI. She does

    55-160 Lightning Damage
    55-160 Fire Damage
    55-160 Cold Damage (not including Cold Arrow)
    305-325 Poison Damage (over 10 frames, she attacks every 11 frames)

    So while some other combinations do more damage in one element, she does 470-805 nonphysical damage, which I think is a lot. Level 30 Holy Fire does something like 260-270 fire damage (used a 1.10 skill calculator), before the -20% enemy fire resist. Her level 27 cold arrow does 101-107 cold damage and also converts 55% of her physical damage to elemental damage (this is why windforce can hurt PIs, although she doesn't always use cold arrow). I'm too lazy to calculate her physical damage right now, but it suffices to say she does considerably more than 640 average elemental damage if we include cold arrow.

    Now that I understand how cold arrow works, it's apparent that windforce may work just fine, but I'll have to work out how much damage it will do for her.

    I think I've pretty much settled on Harmony for now, though I'll probably test out Windforce too (and there are other more expensive runewords to try). I'll also consider changing armor; I'll at least make a new treachery in eth armor - I'm pretty attached to the +45% ias. Thanks for all the suggestions, they are very much appreciated even if I am mostly sticking with my original plan.
     
  13. liquid_mage

    liquid_mage Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: How to improve merc for my zealer?

    My zealot/1pt smiter is level 80. I built him for ubers but I want to play him in other areas. I figured I have two options.

    1. Put a point in Vengeance. But there are too many cons:
    -I don't have a lot of plus to skills, so the damage might be low.
    -If you have a low damage weapon you i will have poor vengeance damage.
    -I will attack fairly slow, no zeal.
    -Vengeance is not that mana efficient
    -IM will still smoke you.

    2. Gimmershred/Tiamat's Rebuke on switch. I like the pros:
    -Gimmershred and Tiamat's Rebuke are cheap and easy to get.
    -You still attack fast because of zeal/fanatacism.
    -You can throw Gimmershred when you have IM.
    -Combined you do 253-578 Fire, 30-621 Lightning, 203-450 Cold.

    For me i'm going Gimmershred/Tiatam's Rebuke. Plus I may throw in 2-3 100dmg poison SC.

    As for my Merc i'm going to try an Act 1 Cold Merc with Harmony.
     
  14. MikeAR

    MikeAR Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: How to improve merc for my zealer?

    The reason Windforce is used afaik is that it fires lvl 11 magic arrows (11% damage converted to magical), and i think i've never seen a physical immune that's also magical immune, so it makes sense. (Too bad act 5 mercs don't use Berserk cause then both PI and IM casters wouldn't be of any concern).
     
  15. synx

    synx Diablo: IncGamers Member

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    Re: How to improve merc for my zealer?

    Act 2 Might Merc:

    Eth Obedience Thresher
    Guil
    Fort

    For phys immunes, I just start wailing away with vengeance... for IM I bust out the widowmaker, and rape faces as a ranger.
     
  16. SnickerSnack

    SnickerSnack Diabloii.Net Member

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    Re: How to improve merc for my zealer?

    I'm using gimmershred/tiamat on switch. Between that and my rogue (harmony, treachery, rockstopper), PIs and OKs are no longer a problem.

    A might merc was tempting - it would make my damage even more ridiculous, but all my other characters need tanks. This is the only one that doesn't, so I've opted for the rogue.
     

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