Trying to pick a tank merc.


Diabloii.Net Member
Trying to pick a tank merc.

I'm a level 77 Lighting Sorc, and I'm considering switching my act 2 defiance Merc with an act 5 Barb merc. The merc would primarily be a tank, mainly on Mephisto and Baal (MF character), but his secondary function would be to kill lighting immune mobs. My act 2 merc does fine right now, doesn't really get hit too much. But I'm wondering if taking the act 5 merc might be better, for an increase in damage, and things like stun and bash.

So basicly wanting to know the advantages of one over the other, can the act 5 merc keep up tank wise with the act 2 one, and will what I gain make up for that loss if not?

I'm aware theres no 100% better than the other one here, I'm looking for peoples opinions, as I've read though the FAQ's and can't come to a conclusion :grin: .


Diabloii.Net Member
I'm biased towards the Act 2 mercs for their auras. Especially with using them with sorcs, who can teleport their mercs with them, thereby giving you more control over what the mercs do.

Act 5 mercs are great tanks with insane life regeneration, but they can only target one monster at a time. Bash and stun are not so good when the Act 5 merc is being swarmed.

Imo, the best Act 2 merc for a lightning sorc is a NM Defensive Holy Freeze merc. The Holy Freeze aura spans the entire screen, making it a lot safer for you and him, and although he can't attack more than one enemy at a time, that doesn't matter too much, since all the monsters are Holy Frozen.

As a light sorc, you'll be decimating all non-LIs anyway, and since most LIs generally have lower hitpoints compared to other monsters, a well-equipped HF merc will have no problems dealing with them.


Diabloii.Net Member
I've recently switched from the trusty old Act II moron to the barbarian equivalent and I am impressed. I'm not sure how well he'll do later on (I intend to stick with him through Nightmare and Hell), but he's got reasonable crowd control at the moment.

My only suggestion would be, if you're going for another Merc with more power, why not replace the Defiance Merc (which is practically useless), with a Might Merc? You've already got the equipment sorted out and you won't even need to find him a new weapon.


Diabloii.Net Member
You could just try it out, you know, at least if you're patched up. No leveling required in 1.11.

I haven't tried the barbs myself, I find Holy freeze and Meditation too much of a convenience to give up. :hide:


Diabloii.Net Member
Now thats something I never knew, it covers the whole screen. Hmm now thats something, that plus a slowing weapon means that it should make up for any lost defense on bosses, and it'll rule for mob killing, especially as I'm fighting flayers just now, I think I'll go with that.

Thanks Frost


Diabloii.Net Member
I agree with the HF merc idea definitly a safe and very practical merc for your build


Moderator Single Player, D2 Assassin, Barbarian
Pushin is my (93) fire/cold sorc using an act 5 merc. Shein (80) is my light sorc using an act 2 merc.

I prefer act 5 mercs. They move quicker, they fight sooner, they have better hp stats. (Just insert any of my previous I hate act 2 merc posts here.)

So (I want my mummy) does Shein use an act 2 merc? Because she is single tree I was looking for two things in my moron.
- give some protection from (not necessarily kill) light immunes
- make it easier to run (IE teleport to) Baal

My theory was for tanking you cannot beat an act 5 merc; I would rather have his suicidal tendancies with a sorcy who can tele him out of danger than an act 2's dawdling over to danger leaving my sorcy to get frelled.

However, I thought Holy Freeze was good protection for teleing. If they're frozen and I have 117% fcr I am off before they hit me. So that gives me three options: Doom (which I can't afford), Ice (which I can't afford) and an Act 2 HF merc.

Difficult choice don't you think? And if I am stuck with the Act 2 merc, he might as well do something useful and hold Insight as the light tree seems a bit mana-intensive. Or I spam it quicker, who knows?

It's certainly easier to hit the non LI's if they have been bored into submission by Mr "who needs shoes" Act 2 merc.

I am not married to insight polearms and frankly when I gave one to Pushkin, it got her into more trouble than it was worth; Wulfgar the barb will remain by her side. But it works for Shein.

I can only suggest try one and see what *you think*. And expect the mercs to die until they hit level 80 or so - particularly the Act 5's; don't use that as a guide. I'd rather the merc died than I did.