merc mst b teh r0><X0rz!!1!one

krzyhobo

Diabloii.Net Member
merc mst b teh r0><X0rz!!1!one

Sorry about the title :D flame retardent clothing has been donned

My question is simple, though the answer may not be. I'm building a hardcore pure blizzard sorceress - still in act 3 normal for the time being. I need to decide between picking up an act 5 mercenary or holding off for an act 2 might mercenary.

Which of the two is more capable of fighting the CIs entirely on his own? As I understand it the might mercenary will likely do more damage, but with lower survivability. Since I'm playing untwinked (read: very little life leech/PDR, etc. available) does it make more sense to pick the barbarian?

edit: I should mention that I have already read the merc guide. This question is answered by two brief, ambiguous statements.
 

Hrus

Diabloii.Net Member
I have hired a barbarian for my Blizzy sorc. I did spent 1 point in Firewall and Fire mastery and with some +skill, it did some damage to CI. But the barbarian bashed the monsters from my Firewall all the time... I hired an Act2 merc later.
I think that the jab of Desert warrior lands hits more often. And I think that there are more nice polearms/spears than swords for mercenaries. And that might aura...
 

sunbearie

Diabloii.Net Member
I've used both. What Hrus said is true, if you're using meteor/firewall etc, anything you need the monster to keep still in, you'll absolutely hate the Act V barb merc. I'm not sure if it matters as much for Blizzard but if so, then take the Act II merc.

Would survivability matter as much to you as damage for PIs?
 

Chimaira

Diabloii.Net Member
I'd definitely go with an act 2 merc...the aura makes all the difference:) Also as Hrus said there are a lot of very good weapons available for an act 2 merc.
 

Lucky_Seven

Diabloii.Net Member
Chimaira said:
I'd definitely go with an act 2 merc...the aura makes all the difference:) Also as Hrus said there are a lot of very good weapons available for an act 2 merc.

HF Act2 Merc, the slow motion is very good.
 

Slartibartfast

Diabloii.Net Member
Hard choice, i'd definately go for and act 2 merc, the question is which one...

As you said might can dish out the most damage against cold immunes.. the problem is that the might aura won't do a whole lot for his survivability which he'll need when playing untwinked.

Defiance is of course nice because the aura will help him survive and will increase your defence, the problem is that untwinked it will be very tough to get good gear with good defence for him and for you, and without good defence gear the defiance aura won't do a lot of good.

For pure survivability Holy Freeze can't be beaten when playing untwinked imo, the holy freeze aura will slow down even cold immunes thus helping out your merc but more importantly in hc also helping your sorc survive.
If you plan to invest a few points in fire skills, (which i can really recommend having played pure and two hybrids) i'd go for holy freeze.

If it's really going to be pure blizzard as you intended i think i would be in doubt between might and holy freeze..
 

isengart

Diabloii.Net Member
I'd use an act 2 merc for sure. my former blizz sorc on bnet went with a holy freeze guy and she had no big problems. but well bnet is party play so I can't say if this will apply to sp as well.

I'd choose between defiance and holy freece actually and I think to get gear for a defiance merc is not too hard- even untwinked... shaftstops are not too hard to find and Lem and Ko should be findable as well to upgrade the shaft.
with the help of staticfield, you won't need that extradamage of the might aura. tanking capabilities are more important. a wand with charges to lower resist on switch will help you with some CIs.

for the weapon you can be lucky at vendors and a tal's mask as headgear will fit perfectly, which is not too hard to find either.

I can't tell you about act 5 mercs as I have never used them in 1.10 so far...

good luck with your build anyways
 
An act 5 merc isnt much better at tanking than an act 2 merc, and doesnt have an aura, so ignore them.
As for which act 2 merc, you really have 3 options. Defiance, HF and might.
Defiance will help both you and your merc survive longer, whcih is a good thing, but until you get very high defence armour etc then the effects are not huge.
HF is a great option for all untwinked builds. Slowing down all monsters (bar a few in late hell) and adding a fair amount of cold damage to your merc's attack. you probably wont notice this added damage much though, since your a blizz sorc doing much more cold damage, and your merc will not get the CM effect you do, even if attacking the same monster.
Might will be a good choice if you intend to do full clears, and refuse to TP past tough monsters. There are a large amount of CI's out there, and even though your merc will be able to kill most of them anyway, giving him the might aura will make things quicker. However it doesnt benefit you in any way, and as with defiance, until you get the big hurty stick, the effects will be small.
So IMO i recommend the defiance merc, simply because he serves a use at all times for both you and himself, and the effect will become more and more noticable later into the game. And lets not forget, you can hire him in normal, so he should be up to your level by late normal or sooner, and wont take ages to catch up like a nm merc can do.
 

Shagsbeard

Diabloii.Net Member
I just shelved a HC untwinked Blizsorc in act I hell. My strategy was to SF the cold imunes to 1/2 life and let my HF merc finish the job at his own pace.

If I had better gear for the merc, it would probably fly, but untwinked it was just painful having to pump potion after potion into the poor guy. You could probably make it through, but I just found it not very fun.
 

Vargas

Diabloii.Net Member
I've played with both mercs, and the act 2 merc IS better in-game... But my personal choice was the act 5 barb, for a question of taste (remember me Rashemen and the Hatran, does anyone know Forgotten Realms here ?:wink2: ).
 

NSXdreamer

Diabloii.Net Member
I'd use might just because they can kill CI faster, and act 2 merc can use more weapon type than act 5 if you go untwinked.
 

jiansonz

Diabloii.Net Member
NSXdreamer said:
I'd use might just because they can kill CI faster, and act 2 merc can use more weapon type than act 5 if you go untwinked.
That is true, but only if you count the javelins!

Each of the Normal/Exceptional/Elite item categories has 14 swords (8 one-handed and 6 two-handed)
They also have 5 spears, 6 polearms and 5 javelins.


But all those 11 elite spear/polearm types do good damage, but not so many of the swords.
 

Chimaira

Diabloii.Net Member
jiansonz said:
That is true, but only if you count the javelins!

Each of the Normal/Exceptional/Elite item categories has 14 swords (8 one-handed and 6 two-handed)
They also have 5 spears, 6 polearms and 5 javelins.


But all those 11 elite spear/polearm types do good damage, but not so many of the swords.
I was thinking more about uniques...Kelpie Snare, Hone Sundan, Bonehew, Reaper's Toll, Tomb Reaver...There are a lot of unique kick ass polearms/spears, while the unique sword selection is so so for a merc. I know you don't play twinked, but if you do twink, the selection of good weapons is just larger for an act 2 mercenary...I think NSXdreamer was thinking about uniques too.
 

Fafner

Diabloii.Net Member
I went with the HF Act 2 merc, might takes too much management. In HC you probably need to spend even more time assessing threats to your own life than bother with Haseen the beserker.

I wasn't untwinked but my solution to CI's was. I have a +3 fireskills/+2 Meteor staff on switch (when not MFing). I invested 1 pt in FM and that with my skills gives a 600 ish meteor. Not much, but the burning piles help and it is easily spammed on stubborn but not dangerous CI's (Act 2 Tombs and Viper Temple).

I think you could potentially find a +3/+3 Firewall staff which would be pretty nice.
 

jiansonz

Diabloii.Net Member
Chimaira said:
I was thinking more about uniques...Kelpie Snare, Hone Sundan, Bonehew, Reaper's Toll, Tomb Reaver...There are a lot of unique kick ass polearms/spears, while the unique sword selection is so so for a merc.
My point was that all the elite spear/polearm types have good damage potential, be they magical, rare, crafted (Safety spears!) unique or runeworded.

NSXdreamer was talking about untwinked, but the fact that there are more good unique act 2 merc weapons is a factor in that situation, too. I have found Hone Sundan before act 5 NM with three different untwinked characters that used act 2 mercs...
 

Chimaira

Diabloii.Net Member
jiansonz said:
My point was that all the elite spear/polearm types have good damage potential, be they magical, rare, crafted (Safety spears!) unique or runeworded.
So do swords...weapons with the same base speed do almost exactly the same damage even when they're from different weapon categories...so a magical sword is pretty much the same as a magical spear/polearm. Unless I'm completely mistaken.

But doesn't a Barbarian mercenary only wield the sword 1-handed...I think he does and that will seriously limit his damage potential, and so also his staying alive potential.
 
Chimaira said:
So do swords...weapons with the same base speed do almost exactly the same damage even when they're from different weapon categories...so a magical sword is pretty much the same as a magical spear/polearm. Unless I'm completely mistaken.

But doesn't a Barbarian mercenary only wield the sword 1-handed...I think he does and that will seriously limit his damage potential, and so also his staying alive potential.
The act 5 merc can hold a 1-handed sword, or a 2 handed sword, but may not duel weild or carry a shield, so generally 2 handed swords are better, unless they are significantly slower than your 1 handed options.
 

krzyhobo

Diabloii.Net Member
Well, looks like the vote is unanimous across the board to go with an act two merc. I hate holy freeze mercenaries - in my experience their aura constantly aggravates ever single nearby enemy immediately causing an obscene number of deaths.

I hadn't really thought about keeping my defiance merc but Farting Bob made a fairly good point. Even if it's a minimal bonus, my characters survivability should be my main priority I suppose.

Anyone have more advice on this given my distate for HF mercs? :D
 

LitmusDragon

Diabloii.Net Member
Second the recommend for the Defiance merc. Thinking long-term, might isn't going to do a lot for you versus Mephisto, where the Merc can't leech anyways ... but Defiance will make your merc much more survivable against him.

I'm assuming here that you plan to be doing some magic find runs.
 
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