keeping my merc alive


Diabloii.Net Member
keeping my merc alive

My level 61 Frost Zealot is doing just fine in NM; I'm playing softcore at /P5 (was /P8 in normal) and haven't died yet.

My Blessed Aim merc on the other hand... :rolleyes: He drinks probably 5 times as many potions as me and still I could have bought Lut Gholein with the gold I've spent resurrecting him. It's not a level difference problem since he's also 61. It's not a lack of life, he's got 1080 to my 677. It's not a lack of resists (I think); Atma reports him at 117 (though what that actually means in terms of fire/lightning/cold/poison resist I'm not sure). Of course he has no blocking, but there's no cure for that.

Part of it of course is he has no sense of when to make a strategic retreat. Part of it is I'm watching my health much closer than his, and am reluctant to burn all my potions on him during a hard fight in case I can't get out myself.

I wonder if I'm missing something though. Is there anything in particular I should look for gear-wise to help him out? Right now he's got a high fire damage polearm, splint mail with 75% poison length reduction (since poison was for a while his #1 cause of death), and a Nadir helm just 'cause I don't have anything that seems more useful to him.

I'm seriously thinking about pumping my dex and maxing Zeal just for AR and then either letting him stay dead, or hiring an act 3 fire merc and getting him as much block as possible. Or running with no merc at all so I can back off and play a little more tactically, rather than rushing in to save the merc's sorry butt time and again...

Freezing Rain

Diabloii.Net Member
IMHO, i never used a merc on my frost zealot, strategy was run into the middle of monsters, and pray dracs/exile would trigger life tap.


Diabloii.Net Member
Errr i think the main problem with your merc is the lack of life leech, low armour rating and somewhat not very effective weapon. Elemental damage isn't really needed on a merc if you use elemental damage yourself. Monsters shoulnd't really even be harming him since you have holy freeze on. do you always fight near your merc? Are the monsters that he's fighting slowed by your aura?



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The two biggest things I can think of are:

2. Shaftstop or other PDR armor if you have it.

Since you can solve the AR issue other ways (charms, demon limb, angelic jewelry, etc.) you also may want to try a defiance merc. Since you're slowing everything, an act 3 cold merc isn't too useful, and the fire/lightning don't do much damage and (I think) don't survive all that well anyway. If you don't like any of those options, I'm sure someone will have some advice I haven't thought of for you. Good luck.


edit: vampire gaze helm has both pdr and leach, and is one of the top choices for a merc helm. tal's helm is also popular; if you don't have one already i've got tons sitting around in atma, post and I'll send you one.


Diabloii.Net Member
Hmmnnn ... there are a couple of things to make your merc (act 2) more hardy:

- lots of life leech and a high damage weapon. Those go hand in hand. If you have a Reaper's Toll give it to your merc!

- lots of IAS on your merc's weapon, helm and armor (if possible - usually only weapon and helm) plus the use of socketing jewels or shael runes. The faster he attacks, the more damage is given, the more life he leeches, the faster the monster dies and the less chance he will take damage.

- FHR, having more faster hit recovery on your merc will help him dish out more damage faster and prevent death from being stun-locked. Great armors that have FHR the the Stone runeword are very merc-friendly.

- try another merc possibly. Might is a good choice because the more damage is done the more life is leeched and the faster a monster dies thus preventing damage done to your merc and to you.

Holy Freeze is good too since it slows down monsters around your merc, enough probably to make a big difference. For a non-frost zealot of course.

Defiance is good because the less your merc gets hit the less hit recovery and stun lock he will go through and the more damage and leech he will dish out.

Blessed Aim is alright albeit a less popular choice for the most part.

- if you still have problems then liberal use of red potions (shift click the number in your belt slot to give to your merc) while he's fighting a tough crowd. The constant replenish will help.

- keep resists up.

- play smart, don't run straight into three boss packs with beautiful mods like cursed, might, extra-fast etc ... try to pick them apart if possible. If you are having a tough time having teleport on switch and then a town portal to heal is a perfectly viable tactic. You can't always slug it out.


Diabloii.Net Member
You could put some points to blessed aim yourself, it provides passive ar bonus(5%/lvl)

As for the merc, lifeleech is priority, then dr, resistances.


Diabloii.Net Member
Thanks folks. I don't have ideal gear for him (only polearm in my stash is Soul Harvest and a couple rares) but I switched him to Arcanna's Flesh (for PDR), Wormskull (for leech) and a blue poleaxe with 40%IAS and 42%ED. Will keep my eyes peeled for better stuff, but it's helping him a bit already.


Diabloii.Net Member
Oh, run NM Meph over and over again until he drops a Hone Sundan/Spire of Honor/etc.

Better yet, find an ethereal Lance with 5 sockets and slap in the Honor runeword. You'll get ~ 130-460 damage with 7% life leech useable on your merc at ~ level 28 or so. The ultimate mid-game weapon for your act 2 merc.

Don't forget to participate in the giveaway thread as many generous members give away nice gear for free, if you don't mind their generosity.


Diabloii.Net Member
an easy way to get a more damaging weapon is the diamond(any type) + staff + kris + belt cube recipe, to get a savage polearm


Diabloii.Net Member
Raeff said:
an easy way to get a more damaging weapon is the diamond(any type) + staff + kris + belt cube recipe, to get a savage polearm
Probably a bit too far into the game for this weapon to be a effective (although a Savage Partizan can last well into NM).

Better to gamble a rare with nice +ED and upgrade it to ecxceptional. Some of the normal uniques also make for great NM merc weapons when upgraded (especially if they are ethereal).

Since your merc doesn´t know when to make a strategic retreat, then you must do it for him. Pull him back, regroup and heal him if it gets too hot.