For some reason even I can not rationalize myself, I dislike playing characters with a merc, so I was wondering what would be the least merc dependent (in the sense it can actually play without one) character is. Would love to hear some opinions
My fana-zealots never use a merc. He would get a bit off-weapon %ed from their might aura, but he can kill well enough without him. I use him in solo Baal, organ and Uber runs, where a merc dies rather quickly anyway.
A zon can use a valk instead which costs just a few mana points to resummon instead of 50k gold for resurrecting a merc, but if you don't like mercs because they are morons, valks aren't less stupid. However, you can summon them at exectly the spot where you need a distraction.... and a decoy in addition.
Almost any build can go mercless....the only ones that require a merc are Infinity sorcs/javazons, and realistically Insight on most other sorcs.
However, there's no build that doesnt benefit noticeably from having a merc. And, at only 50k a pop, cheap to equip, and rarely die at level ~85+, there's really little reason not to use one, except if you're solely an Uber runner where they wouldnt survive anyway - but in that case, you'd already know what build you wanted
Second bowzon for least merc-reliant, since Valk serves the "meatshield" portion, just not the "aura-granting" portion. Summon nec is also not too merc-reliant, but they benefit a lot more from an aura-merc since it boosts all your summons.
Thanks a lot for the answers so far, would you also be kind enough to elaborate a bit on your answers? WW/Frenzy barbs or java/bowzons (whichever you deem suitable) and a few hints on gear/builds would also be very welcome
I would say paladin as well, but I"d have to go a step further and say smiter/zealer pallys are good without a merc. Hammerdins are very mana intensive so a merc with insight helps alot. A decent geared smite/zealer can blow through mobs really fast and not use alot of mana since both zeal and smite, even at max skill, only take 2 mana per use. If you happen to have dracs gloves which give lifetap, you'll rarely need to chug a healthpot.