is my merc the best he can be?


Diabloii.Net Member
is my merc the best he can be?

i've been playing a hell frozen orb/meteor sorceress mostly, a nightmare hydra/fireball sorceress (she sucks), and a hell zeal fanatic paladin. All of them have an act 2 merc, the wizards use defense aura and the paladin uses holy freeze. other than that, i've been giving them the same equipment. Can anyone help me find out which of the ones i've been alternating is the best all-around? my big problems are balancing resists versus him killing fast enough to not die by physical attacks. i run baal, andariel, pindleskin, mephisto, and level 87 areas usuallys. have trouble with the council's fire spells, andariel's poison, last 2 baal minions physical attacks, and pindleskin physical attacks.

* means currently using


guillame's face -- crushing blow and deadly strike are both awesome
*andariel's visage -- 25 to stength lets him use reaper's toll. makes him stop dying to poison but he sucks against fire now
blackhorn's face, ethereal - prevents heal, good def, slows enemeys


honor runeword, ethereal mancatcher - good damage, life steal, deadly strike
*the repae'rs toll - deadly strike, ignore damage, life steal, and decrepify
tomb reaver - best damage, resists, life steal, but makes enemies come back


*gladiator's bane - high defense, no freezing, but no resists
duriel's shell -- good resists
guardian angel -- good def


Moderator Single Player, D2 Assassin, Barbarian
I'm a cheapskate, I use:
Tal Rashas Helm/Vamp Gaze and Rockfleece/Duriels Shell/Levathian

I try to avoid Act 2 mercs, but my light sorc uses vamp, rockfleece and meatscraper my assassin has tal rashers, duriels and bonehew.

On Act 5 mercs, I try to get more LL as they actually tend to hit things more aggressively. Tal Rashas/Leviathan and a yellow sword.

Have a read of this


Diabloii.Net Member
Baal runs best is imo Guardian angel, coa with resists all jewels/kiras guardian and eth kelpie/reapers toll.For pits and pindle moron should have as much pdr as he can(50%). For meph Kelpie,shaftstop and blackhorns face are good.

Edit:U probably should not use a def merc with sorcs, because they cant get a decent defense rate anyway so a holy freeze one is alot better.


Diabloii.Net Member
huangfusong said:
tomb reaver - best damage, resists, life steal, but makes enemies come back
yes, they come back - to fight for you. This is actually a good mod (although mostly useless except as another meatshield).

Generally, I choose which merc and his equipment based upon my build and the area I'm running. Sorc's are almost always Holy-Freeze mercs, and since Zeal is a physical attack, I'd go with a Might merc for the paladin (although I haven't played a zealot yet, so I don't really know what I'm talking about there).

As for equipment - since you're running everywhere, I'd probably setup something like:

Reaper's Toll - the best crowd-control weapon there is for a merc (IMO).
VampGaze - No CB/OW from Guillaume's, but the DR and leech make up for it - 20%+ LL from these two combined will go along way on surviving almost every attack.

Of what you listed, I'd pick Duriel's with those two, but if you have access to the runewords, I like Duress (CB/OW, decent resists, FHR) or Smoke (great resists, FHR) better.

... also, in high-elemental areas like the WSK, I almost always go Reapers/Kira's Guardian/Guardian Angel - 90 resist all and CBF is sweet, and the occasional red-pot is all that's need to keep the merc alive in Gloam-areas.

Edit: Unless it's been fixed in 1.11, I'm pretty sure that Prevent Monster Heal (from Blackhorns, or any other source) does not work on a merc.


Diabloii.Net Member
thanks for the help everyone, i'll try and respond in order:

thyiad: i'm going to trade for vampire's gaze today and see how it is :)

naab: would holy freeze be worth it for a cold sorceress? it would only freeze cold immune, which wouldn't really be that helpful. maybe i should give her an act 5 merc? I have guardian angel, but it has to be upgraded before i can put a rune in it, and i don't have those runes yet.

sirpoops: i didn't know that about tomb reaver -- never actually used it because it looked like it had a big drawback. What do you think I should rocket the reaper's toll with? It has life leech, so a 30+% damage jewel? No runes for duress or smoke... i got excited because i thought duress was shael/AMN/thul and that didn't work :(


Diabloii.Net Member
to answer for Naab, yes, Holy Freeze is worth it - the aura chills/slows almost every monster in the game - even Cold Immune ones (except Frenzytaur's, IIRC). Also, Guardian Angel's are quite useful - even when they're not upgraded.

I'd say that a +damage% jewel is good. If you can't get a VampGaze, I'd also consider an Amn - more life leech never hurts.


Diabloii.Net Member
actually defiance mercs can be useful for a sorc. my blizz sorc's merc uses a Gloom RW sacred armor with 3600 def. with his aura, he has over 20k def making him nearly unhittable. he can flat-out tank lister, meph, and baal easily. i love him...much better than HF imho, but to each his own ;)