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 Post subject: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:30 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:48 am
Posts: 118
I'm totally stumped on this, my a2 merc gets his ass handed to him against anything with Extra Strong and Slow Aura (?).

Here's what he's using (level 85)
Eth Superior Voulge Insight - Need to get a Cryptic Axe
Shaftstop - SS Diamond
Tal's Mask - 3x P.Skulls
Death's Hand
SoEars
Waterwalks (for lack of better shoes)
Elemental Set for Jewelery.

That gives him 0% resists in hell and 45% DR.
Perhaps I should change the P.Skulls into Diamonds? Would that help much?


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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:39 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:09 am
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go one handed with the weapon and then slap a shield on him. if you absolutely need the meditation aura, give him a purity runeworded shield (it has a nice medi aura along with some life and other mods). if not, stay away from insight and such. he needs good life, sorbs, res, dr%


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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:47 pm 
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change the skulls in the helm for res jewels or diamonds (better than perf) that will help him more against trash. Glassglare armour is great for 50% all res 10% all absorb and 10% dr. For soloing i find dracs gloves alot better (change when playing with a team with curses). Tripple res rare boots (30+ res).

I like to have 2 setups for tank mercs depending on what im coming up against. If there is alot of elemental damage around then use all resist/absorb equip. For areas with heavy phys damage (wyrms etc) cap his dr% and get PDR to keep the heat off him. I find the main pain in the ass with act 2 mercs is poison damage so using a whisp ring for SoB is always the best way to counter that. Having interchangeable equip for him is the best way to keep him as strong as possible against any eventuality.

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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 9:51 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:09 am
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PureRage-DoD wrote:
Having interchangeable equip for him is the best way to keep him as strong as possible against any eventuality.


while it may be true, its such a pain in the ass thing to deal with. its very easy to acquire absorbs, resists, and DR in high quantities on any character. who wants to sit there to change gear upon every new situation that arises, especially when monsters vary every couple of screens?


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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:50 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:48 am
Posts: 118
Wait, a2 mercs can use shields? :o

or are you guys suggesting an a5 merc?


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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:56 pm 
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act 5 caves etc you want cold absorbs. open areas you want more dr%.

act 4 rof you want fire and light res/sorb city you want light absorb and more dr.

having 2 armours and 2 helms takes up next to no space. A dr helm and an absorb helm (steelshade etc) and 2 armours (shaft or glassglare) that covers you for high ele damage of any kind or high phys damage of any kind. They only take up 10 slots in the cube. My old nova sorcs merc had 2 full sets of equip. I always carried insight in the cube and used infinity on him. If the ele damage was destroying my energy shield to much i would switch to insight. same thing with his armour and helm. If he was lacking fire res in a heavy fire damage area (RoF) i would switch his equip around a little.

While enemys vary, the major damage type wont change so much. Eg. there is alot of light damage in RoF but the light attacks are weak in comparison to volcano from marilyths so I would prefer to have him with maxed fire rs and lower light res to balance it out. You dont need to make changes at every new area but think about what the major source of damage in each act will be. In act 5 its physical and cold mainly so a basic setup to cope with that will see you through most of the act.

Yes act 2 mercs can use shields but then you cant use insight. You need to use a javelin type weapon on an act 2 merc to free up the shield spot, meaning you lose insight. If you chose an act 5 merc you can make insight in a flail/knout etc and get the medi aura and a shield but then there is no prayer to add a healing bonus to medi. Did you hire him in norm difficulty btw? If you did then get one from nm or hell so he has conversion to help him tank. Converts generaly last longer than a merc would and will keep the heat off him most of the time. Dont be afraid to feed him a juv or 2 if needed too. Shift + 1,2,3 or 4 will feed him one from your belt instantly incase you don't know.

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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 11:41 pm 
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*sigh* suppose I'll get flack for this, but Heaven's set hat is very nice for tanking. Weaken curse is very effective when combined with max dr% and absorbs. It's only useful for soloing though, since you'll get a lot of complaints from party members who are only concerned about maxing their damage output.

It's a hard hat to trade for though, since most people avoid it like the plague.


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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:19 am 
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breven, always bringing knowledge

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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:36 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:48 am
Posts: 118
Yea, I have an a2 merc.
I'll keep that stuff in mind, many thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:12 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:09 am
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again... the meditation shield (purity or purify) means he wont lose the insight. the shield combo is almost always a better option anyways, especially considering insight's damage is absolute crap and it adds next to nothing in terms of tanking for a merc. just dont use insight at all unless you absolutely need it (mana potions work perfectly fine). you can get about the same damage on a nice 1handed javelin with better tanking mods like leech and good damage mods like crushing blow over insight while keeping meditation from the shield.

a big preference of mind on mercs is a shield called spirit ward (unique ward shield). it gives absorbs, resists, has 3 open slots for either more res/sorb/dr%, and has fade, which is a great boost for more dr%, res, and curse reduction. depending on your build, you can also opt for some more offensive things like medusa's gaze for elemental caster type builds (it has a ctc lower resist when struck and provides slow on monsters too).

there are a ton of options out there. just look for a nice balance between resists, dr%, sorbs, and leech and usually theyll last pretty well.

edit: part of our help we can provide comes from knowing exactly what character you are using. then we can determine better how to allocate gear towards a merc.


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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:44 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:48 am
Posts: 118
If character information is required I can provide that.

Merc i'm gearing for is a nova sorc currently using disc set and a thunder sky.
+1 skill/10% fcr rings with 2 resists, I've yet to craft better ><


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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 5:24 am 
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Ok, need to step in here I see.

Purity can only be made in paladin only shields. Unless this was changed the last patch?

A5 mercs can't weild flails/knouts/scourges.

And try to give him alot of life leech.


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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:47 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:09 am
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Utter wrote:
Ok, need to step in here I see.

Purity can only be made in paladin only shields. Unless this was changed the last patch? - didnt notice this, thanks for catching my mistake. wouldve been great on a merc if he needed the meditation, but too bad mercs cant wear paladin only shields :/

A5 mercs can't weild flails/knouts/scourges. - this is true. theres a list of what mercs can and cannot wear on blues site i think.

And try to give him alot of life leech. - yep, get at least 30% as long as its not hampering the rest of your gear.


sumimi, is the meditation from insight necessary? in terms of tanking, insight offers no good damage and no life leech and no sockets, so it renders a merc with a lot to desire. consider the 1 handed javelin and shield combo i think, they usually come out a lot better. the shield (im looking at spirit ward here) can be stacked with topaz/sapphire/ruby for a good amount of both resists and absorbs. then you can focus on something like shaftstop or leviathan for the damage reduce %. then you can sport a nice life leech helmet. skulls in a helmet wont do a merc any good really... the replenish and open wounds does nothing for him. the 1 handed weapon can have the life leech though if you get one with a few sockets and stack skulls in there. they can reach 30% or more life leech that way easily.


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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 10:57 am 
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if the sorc uses energy shield then insight is a nice choice. Especialy if he is using a prayer merc to double the healing output of the merc for party play. there is nothing wrong with an insight for a weapon. I have a merc sporting 12k damage with an eth cryptic axe insight. Its alot more user friendly when its used on a prayer merc to double his healing. If you are a sorceress then just teleport back a bit and dont let him take any hits. Let him convert stuff for you and kep him as an aurabitch only. That's what i do with them anyway. converts always last longer than the merc tanking wise. Converts can tank bosses like sszak and sarina with ease too whare a merc would really struggle without the ver best gear.

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A5 mercs can't weild flails/knouts/scourges. - this is true. theres a list of what mercs can and cannot wear on blues site i think.

nope its not true, i've used flails on act 5 mercs for tons of reasons (horazons etc for the big slow mainly.
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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 11:42 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:48 am
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K I switched the skulls to SS Diamonds on the tal's helm (for lack of better helm and the 20% ll/25% res)

Still looking out for that eth cryptic axe.

And yea, Insight's (right now) more or less a must. My mana goes down horrendously fast. I guess breaking the last FCR breakpoint does that.


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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:15 pm 
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Look at that, the flails on a5 mercs must have been a recent change then?? I know I've tried to put a lawbringer knout on one and failed anyway. Having to make it in a battle hammer instead.


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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 12:41 pm 
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not sure how recent dude, i know i had an eth insight knout on my lightzons a5 merc last season.

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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:45 pm 
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Yea, I haven't tried it in ages. Maybe 3-4 seasons ago :)


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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 2:56 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:48 am
Posts: 118
So I went a little further and geared the merc a little better...also found out that I don't need insight anymore (3k mana unbuffed, I pumped a little into energy :P).

The new problem I have is the resists, they aren't maxed with glassglare.
Should I just put an um rune in it or something? XD

Updated Merc Equip
Eth Dragoonwrath
Dream Helm
Glassglare (MS Diamond)/Shaftstop (SS Diamond)
Death's Gloves/Crafted Death Gloves (2 Resists, 29% IAS)
Strings (6/16%)
Crafted NM Vigor Shoes (2 Resists)
Ele set, 8/9/10% absorbs.

I'm missing a Jah rune for the infinity, but the infinity won't give resists anyway so it won't bother my current situation at all.

btw, he tanks great (specially when his current weapon gives him ~6k melee damage, 6% ll is interesting)


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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:33 am 
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Instead of Infinity, consider an Emerald-craft javelin (4 socketable) with Medusa shield (maybe toss in an Emerald if your pois res is still low). Both of those items come with res-all, and the weapon will have some gloabal-%EDef (should be noticeably effective).

The shield's 25% slow will stack with the 20% on "Dream" and has 10% on struck lvl6 LRes (-55%). There's also 33% on struck level 33 GSpike, which freezes things for about 1.5s in Hell (should noticeably help him tank freezable-critters).

The weapon could be quad-socketed with Skulls, so that the lower damage is offset by the drastically higher leach (48%), and you don't lose out on Dragoon's 50% DeadlyStrike (On mercs, a DeadlyStrike doubles the physical and elemental damage on their attack). Crafted stuff can't be eth last I heard, and the base rollable %EDamage is only 180-260, so you will see a noticeable drop in his damage untill you craft something with a decent +%ED mod. For the bonus to Defence, Res, and dr/mdr, I think emerald craft is the way to go.


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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:15 am 

Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:48 am
Posts: 118
Brevan wrote:
Instead of Infinity, consider an Emerald-craft javelin (4 socketable) with Medusa shield (maybe toss in an Emerald if your pois res is still low). Both of those items come with res-all, and the weapon will have some gloabal-%EDef (should be noticeably effective).

The shield's 25% slow will stack with the 20% on "Dream" and has 10% on struck lvl6 LRes (-55%). There's also 33% on struck level 33 GSpike, which freezes things for about 1.5s in Hell (should noticeably help him tank freezable-critters).

The weapon could be quad-socketed with Skulls, so that the lower damage is offset by the drastically higher leach (48%), and you don't lose out on Dragoon's 50% DeadlyStrike (On mercs, a DeadlyStrike doubles the physical and elemental damage on their attack). Crafted stuff can't be eth last I heard, and the base rollable %EDamage is only 180-260, so you will see a noticeable drop in his damage untill you craft something with a decent +%ED mod. For the bonus to Defence, Res, and dr/mdr, I think emerald craft is the way to go.


I'll do that, many thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:21 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:48 am
Posts: 118
'Reviving' this thread cuz it's highly relevant to what I'm about to ask.

Since my sorc only needs lite GCs now (which no one likes to trade...), I was thinking of finishing my Merc in terms of gear.

What, in your opinions, would be the best possible end-game gear I could use on the merc? I was thinking somewhere along the lines of this (thanks to holy's suggestions)

2 Con Rings
Highlord's Ammy < No Familiars here, my merc can't really kill

Infinity on Eth 15% ED Cryptic Axe
Dream Helm
War
Steelrends
Immortal Flesh

Con Rings and Highloards would be pushing +230% Resists, so that maxes out.
Deadly Strike: 50% from Highlords, 25% from Rends
Damage Reduction: 18% from War, 5% from Rends
I picked Immortal Flesh over WSG for the +18 to Prayer (which some people believe actually works), the 10% LL and Extra Life.

Guess he wouldn't be doing much damage, would he :D


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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 1:37 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 2:09 am
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i doubt youll need 2 con rings... theyre only really useful for mercs for the resists, the stats can be gained by crafts or rares. with war, dream and one con ring and highlords, youll have 183% all resists. unless you really want to gear him with stacked resists for lower resists or monster conviction situations, youll only be putting a fraction of the resists from con ring to use. he will need some leech to survive on the bigger things that you will want him around for (bosses), which instead of the con ring you can gain from a blood craft ring, as well as a nice boost to life.

war now gives 20% DR i think, because of the change to ber runes from 8% to 10%DR in armors.

if you want more DR%, go with shadowdancers as boots.

on tanking aspect, though, infinity has none besides a small boost to life based on char level. no leech, no attack speed, not overly high damage (400% ed is easily beat by other items). if you want the conviction aura from him, you will need to gear him real tankish on the rest of gear, which usually means not as much damage. otherwise, there are better 2 hander options or very good 1hand/shield options for tanking.


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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:39 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 23, 2009 9:48 am
Posts: 118
Nah, he wouldn't be for tanking anymore.

I rarely fight bosses with Bili anymore anyway.

Tanking wise it'd be slightly different, the above set-up is for general trash ownage.


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 Post subject: Re: Gearing a Merc Tank
PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 3:02 pm 

Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:39 am
Posts: 61
i only read the first page so excuse me if you have one already, but i got an eth cryptic insight if youd like.


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