Preferred merc for BlizzBaller?

Campaigner

Diabloii.Net Member
Preferred merc for BlizzBaller?

I know I've created quite a few threads in a short time but that's my posting style ^^ Instead of spreading them out over a period of time I tend to post intensely in a short period of time. Well atleast I'm active ^^

Since a Blizzballer focuses on longrange attacks I've been thinking about a ranged merc but they can't take damage and got poor life. Though that can be helped by generous teleporting and Blizzarding it feels a bit unsafe since they still can take little damage....

If melee then it's between the Act 2 HF and Act 5 Barbarian. And here's a thing I don't know. It says on the Blizzards D2 site that monsters got a "chill effectiveness". How exactly does this work?

If the HF merc doesn't chill according to his aura lvl (lvl 1 = 30%, lvl 2 = 34%) then I think the Barbarian is a better choice thanks to his 400% faster life regen, better resistances, better damage and better life.

I'll try to play without mods.
 

Smips

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Preferred merc for BlizzBaller?

If you're just worried about taking damage, an Act2 defiance merc wouldn't be a bad idea. Slap an armor with really high defense on him (I use Leviathan) and he can tank just about anything. In hell, usually the only problems he has is with cursed boss pack that have a couple other rough mods.

I would highly advise against a ranged merc though; they die easy and monsters still tend to target you a lot.
 

Neksja

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Preferred merc for BlizzBaller?

My blizzballer uses act2 Might merc, for better physical damage and better leech. What level you/your merc is? At lower levels, I find merc is very fragile, but the higher lvl he is, he's stronger (no way sherlock?). I mean, you could actually see it with your own eyes.

Life leech, it can save your merc from many situations. If you use Insight (I think you are), then slap Andy's/Vamp Gaze on merc so he can leech even a little bit. If you're interested, here's the gear of my bliizzballer's merc (lvl95):

  • Ethereal Vampire Gaze (Ias jewel)
    Insight Giant Thresher (1.07 base)
    Fortitude AP

I reckon that those might be a tooo expensive for you, but non-eth Gaze, any elite eth Insight and perhaps Duress armor will do very well also.

PS: Blizzballers GOGO

edit. Jae, I've only built pure Blizz and Blizzballer (and both are lvl95, weird?) so I'll say gogo blizzlighter after I make one :)
 
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Jaedhann

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Preferred merc for BlizzBaller?

I have either a defiance or might merc on my blizzies. You either want them to tank a few shots or to kill cold immunes. I dub them both equal, one is just a tad more defensive then the other. If you have a fort, go defiance, if not, might will help him damage/leech more effectively. It's really a close call though.

And Neksja, gogo blizzlighters :tongue:
 

Belcarl

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Preferred merc for BlizzBaller?

My Blizzballer uses an act 2 defiance merc with:

Tal rasha helm
Insight Tresher
Leviathan
 

TheSupercrab

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Preferred merc for BlizzBaller?

I use a defiance merc and he can survive hell p8 baals easily enough with potions of course. The only annoying thing is the poisen from wave 2, but antidotes solve this easily enough.

Defiance Merc:
Vamps Gaze - Sol
Shaft - Sol
Insight

His def is ~7k which isent great but it seems to do the trick.
 

Jaago

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Preferred merc for BlizzBaller?

I use either Might or Prayer mercs almost exclusively. Prayer + Meditation gives a very good life regen so you don't need to be quaffing reds all the time.
 

bassen

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Preferred merc for BlizzBaller?

I use

Andariels Visage
Eth uppgraded Duriels Shell (before yesterday, when I recieved this from Nagisa I used Gladiators Bane)
Reapers Toll

But thats also my "all around". I use this build for all my chars who are enough high level to wear them
 

Jingizu

Banned
Re: Preferred merc for BlizzBaller?

It really depends on what are you going to do with your sorc. Generally speaking, act2 merc is the most usefull merc, because it helps not only as a tank, but also has aura and can wear usefull weapon.

As for auras, I prefer holy freeze, slow monsters = good monsters. On the other hand, higher defense or better life leech (advanced by might aura) are good too, but for me, they grant nothing special for a blizzballer. If you play without mods, you will not use insight, I suppose, but there are still plenty of weapons with usefull mods. Merc setup depends on several things, for example you don't need life leech for Meph running, resist are not crucial when running bosses in tunnels etc.

My favourite merc setups are:

for all-around playing:
upped Shaftstop/all resist jewel
Vampire gaze/all resist jewel
Insight/Obedience/reapers (depends on char)

for Baalruns:
upped Um'ed Guardian Angel
Andariels Visage/Ral
upped Shael'ed Kelpie Snare
 

Campaigner

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Preferred merc for BlizzBaller?

Very surprised that not everybody got a HF merc. I thought Barbarians were a wee bit more popular though.

I'm not planning to use mods. And you don't have to list your merc items. Never seen them and will probably get one of'em.

I'm gonna do everything with her :p Play til NM act 5 then do lots and lots of mfing. (Mephisto moattrick don't work like I saw on youtube though....) shoots my merc to hell with skull missiles and lightning....almost die myself...and we're talking normal Mephisto here....

But I still don't know exactly how Holy Freeze works. Didn't find anything in the wiki either. If a monsters chill effectiveness is 30% then what does that mean? He gets 30% slowed out of the the HFs % or is it just chill lenght when the monster leaves the aura?

Think that HF is the best one since I teleport through everything in Normal now so I can get to NM.
 

pharaoh

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Preferred merc for BlizzBaller?

Campaigner said:
Very surprised that not everybody got a HF merc. I thought Barbarians were a wee bit more popular though.
Naww, the barb mercs are far less useful in general. There are three main reasons people use them. First is simply to be different, since 'everyone' uses Act II mercs. Second is if they have a really great merc sword, but no good polearms, spears, or javelins for an Act II merc. This really isn't commonplace these days, with the plethora of powerful polearm runewords (particularly for b.net or RWM players). Lastly, if you get zero benefit from the available merc auras, you might opt for a barb merc, as they're somewhat more aggressive.
Campaigner said:
I'm not planning to use mods.
I recommend looking over the runeword list and reconsidering RWM. There are a lot of juicy ones there (Insight is wonderful). Also, if you want to MP with people here, there's a larger group of MPers using RWM than not. That said, it's totally up to you. :)
Campaigner said:
And you don't have to list your merc items. Never seen them and will probably get one of'em.
This really depends on how often you play, and over how long of a period. I own many high-end items that I never thought I'd find, but if you do regular MF runs, it's reasonable to expect that all but the most rare items will come to you in time. For those most rare ones, you still need a good deal of luck.
Campaigner said:
But I still don't know exactly how Holy Freeze works. Didn't find anything in the wiki either. If a monsters chill effectiveness is 30% then what does that mean? He gets 30% slowed out of the the HFs % or is it just chill lenght when the monster leaves the aura?
Regular cold damage will slow anything that a) is not cold immune, and b) has a chill effectiveness stat that's greater than zero. In this case, it chills for the listed duration, multiplied by the chill effectiveness, divided by 100. For Holy Freeze, my observations indicate that the only factor that matters is the chill effectiveness stat. If it's zero, HF will not slow the monster (though it may or may not deal damage, depending on the monster's resistance to cold). If it's nonzero, HF will chill at full effectiveness. There also seems to be a special exception for act bosses in that the HF 'pulse' doesn't slow them, but they are still slowed by other cold damage (including hitting them with HF active).
Campaigner said:
Think that HF is the best one since I teleport through everything in Normal now so I can get to NM.
Remember that HF takes a second or two to effect monsters, so if you're quickly Teleporting through an area, it often won't provide much benefit. More to the point, HF on mercs isn't available in Normal, so you can't use it to help you get through.

On the other hand, if you meant you race through Normal in order to be able to get the HF merc in Act II Nightmare, then that's different. They certainly are one of the more useful mercs, but if you deal area-based cold damage, another merc type is often better for you.
 

Crazy Runner Guy

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Preferred merc for BlizzBaller?

Use an HF merc - you need something to slow down cold immunes.

I run baal, and I use an eth Kelpie /w amn, a guardian angel and a Kira's. Both pieces of armor are socketed with 15% IAS jewels. No other set up has allowed my merc to survive the third wave, even with 75% res all.
 

Eric Xanthu

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Preferred merc for BlizzBaller?

Use an HF merc - you need something to slow down cold immunes.

I run baal, and I use an eth Kelpie /w amn, a guardian angel and a Kira's. Both pieces of armor are socketed with 15% IAS jewels. No other set up has allowed my merc to survive the third wave, even with 75% res all.
Yeah, at 75 res the merc needs you to tank the hydras--not hard to do, but also not fool-proof.

The only problem is that with the resist setup, Lister can shred the merc if he has bad mods (even just one bad mod if you don't use HF). I still am not happy with my merc setup--I figure I'll finally figure it out by the time I hit 98 or 99. :p



 

Crazy Runner Guy

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Preferred merc for BlizzBaller?

Yeah, at 75 res the merc needs you to tank the hydras--not hard to do, but also not fool-proof.

The only problem is that with the resist setup, Lister can shred the merc if he has bad mods (even just one bad mod if you don't use HF). I still am not happy with my merc setup--I figure I'll finally figure it out by the time I hit 98 or 99. :p
With Lister, the trick is to glacial spike the pack. When Lister himself comes to try and smoke your merc, it will a 1v1 fight and Kelpie's slow will win. Or you'll realize your merc is getting killed, and you're hit Lister with some telekinesis. This will allow your merc some breathing room to hit Lister and activate Kelpie's slow.

I don't remember the last time my merc died during the waves when it wasn't caused by wave 3.

---

Along the same lines, I have a gold find barb that runs Travincal. He needs to use GA and Kira's just to stay alive. (Weapon is Reaper's to break PI's and help with damage via decrep).



 

zerth

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Preferred merc for BlizzBaller?

I also favor HF merc. It is nothing to write home about, since you will chill most monsters anyway (and more potently than HF), but in dark places like AT it really helps to spot the monster packs and slow them enough to tele away if you tele too close.

I hope that made sense. Need coffee...

As far as equipment goes, previous posters have pretty much covered it. Insight to never worry about mana is the best option. It's not like you expect the merc to kill anyway... On this line of thought Shaft + Vamp Gaze (up to 50% DR and some ll) are a good combo.
 

DarkChaos

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Preferred merc for BlizzBaller?

HF for general play, your choice of might or HF (or even Defiance I suppose) for Baal runs. I used the resist route on merc for my first 99er but I think it's unnecessary on a sorc now. For hydras you don't even have to tank them, just teleport to dodge the bolts until the hydras are gone, this is the easiest method.

Might will give your merc more physical damage and therefore more leech - which is nice vs. Lister, but unnecessary as you can just stair trap lister and glacial spike - he will be the only one attacking, and he will be chilled anyways. Never tried Defiance as I find defense a bit useless, especially on a cold-based sorc, but I suppose it could work.
 

Eric Xanthu

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Preferred merc for BlizzBaller?

Never tried Defiance as I find defense a bit useless, especially on a cold-based sorc, but I suppose it could work.
Defiance is not seriously helpful, although my merc is more or less unhittable until wave 5. I'm debating if it is worth the bother of trading in my Defiance merc for a HF. I can't see it helping enough to be worth the trip back to NM, scrapping a fantastic map set.



 

pharaoh

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Preferred merc for BlizzBaller?

Crazy Runner Guy said:
Use an HF merc - you need something to slow down cold immunes.
This is open to debate. My boltress uses FBall as backup, which means she has zero cold skills. The merc is a Prayer merc (a legacy from when he used Insight) with Infinity GPA, Andy's Visage, and Treachery eth mage plate. This means he lacks CBF as well as dealing no cold damage either. Even when he used Insight, he seldom died except to Iron Maiden (and even then, I could often keep him alive with judicious use of Teleport, coupled with coaxing Baal to overwrite the IM with Decrepify).

The moral of the story is this: if you can kill the baddies fast enough, and/or use Teleport with finesse, chilling enemies is a luxury rather than a necessity.
Crazy Runner Guy said:
I run baal, and I use an eth Kelpie /w amn, a guardian angel and a Kira's. Both pieces of armor are socketed with 15% IAS jewels. No other set up has allowed my merc to survive the third wave, even with 75% res all.
One suggestion: Steel Shade. If the merc has leech from elsewhere (as yours does), and strong resists (leveling him helps), this can be a viable option. It will greatly take the edge off the Hydras from wave three and the Infernos from wave four. Granted, that's about all it has to recommend it, but if the Hydras are consistently roasting the merc, it's something to try. If you don't have one, I expect you could get one for free, or pgems at the most.

Personally, I find it easier to just tank the Hydras, or Teleport out of range until they expire. :)
 
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