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 Post subject: More Necro questions! (Mercs)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 4:40 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:13 pm
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I've got both a psn and bone necro going because i'm trying to figure out which build i like more. So far it's the bone... Why? The poison guy just doesn't seem to do any damage, and always has to run up and smack things with poison strike. The bone guy can just hammer spears away and destroy all the trash on the screen. Against bosses, my poison guy dies way to fast to make me want to run into melee range... leave that for the tanks (FYI, doing the multiplayer). I've heard the poison nerco gets better... just how long do I need to put up with being squishy?

Second, best merc? I ran around with the A1 physical merc... was a little too easy. The a2 merc I went with for a while, how well do (I'm assuming might merc) synergize with a psn or bone necro? Is it worth picking up an A3 psn merc for a psn necro to benefit from the lower psn resist aura?

Anyone know the -% resist and level progression for the A3's?

Or would it be better to pick up a cold or lightening merc to avoid depending all on one damage type? (Also, why does no one consider the A3 fire merc)?

Long story short, my first necro play through was a bit of a jack of all trades, master of none. As a result, I have no idea how well the different types of merc synergise with a devoted poison or bone necro.

Last note, I know the A3 psn merc is usually downplayed due to lacking a mastery skill, and their primary attack (bone spear, teeth) not benefiting from their -%resist aurs. That said, just how viable are they? bone spear and teeth do fantastic at trash killing, esp. when boosted with fcr and skills...

Any thoughts are appreciated!


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 Post subject: Re: More Necro questions! (Mercs)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:21 pm 
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1) Poison Necros don't have large-area effect skills until level 36, so yes you will kill slowly without a trash-clearing merc. It's pretty typical for characters to clear trash slowly while they're still young.

2) Best trash clearing merc is A1 phys (and possibly A3 P&Bone for normal), and maybe by Hell the NM Lightning or Cold A3 mercs can keep up with an A1 phys merc (since the phys merc suffers from the global 50% phys res). A poison necro likes using LRes, so the A3 mercs do quite a bit more than their full-damage. Any nec can put 1 point into Amp and decrep though, so the A1 merc will do a little more than full-damage in Hell.

3) The auras of A3 mercs should lower res by 20%. The A3 P&Bone mercs do extrememly little poison damage (wasting about 1/4 of their casts), so only the Teeth and BSpear work effectively (don't hire A3 P&Bone after norm since they only gain PNova). In Normal these mercs work out pretty well, especially with the easy to get +7 AllSkills in Hsaru set Angelic set, tarn, and Magefist. FCRate doesn't make a big impact, but it technically helps. Since A3 P&Bone get BoneArmor they are relatively durable without Oak or BO. By NM their damage is fairly modest, and by Hell their damage is low (they face low magic res, but they can't pierce it much either). I'd say that these guys are pretty decent for a Poizon, or possibly a Rabies druid.

4) Since you should have effective Golem Tanks for trash, I see nothing wrong with you getting an A3 Lit or Cold merc if you want. Most necros go with A1 mercs since teleport oSkill is easy to find (safely positioning merc while gathering your golem-tanks to you), and with Amp the merc dominates trash clearing (until a corpse is available for CExplosion). No one goes with A3 Fire because their skills do not work well (Blaze requires movement and close range, FStorm requires melee range, only FBall and Meteor synergize).


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 Post subject: Re: More Necro questions! (Mercs)
PostPosted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 5:42 pm 
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Another option to consider for a psn necro is a "boss tamer". This is what I utilize on my rabies druid (which does play a bit different). You can take advantage of %slows target to make it a lot easier to get in there and stab the big bad guy. There are a number of items throughout the game that have this effect, stack as much as feasible and when combined with decrep you may find that your necro stands a better chance of running in and making a stab.

The real question is whether you can keep a merc alive though. For my druid, I have oak and SoB to keep my A5 merc lively in most every situation, but you have a slightly different situation. Teleport is probably your biggest friend, but even that can cause problems. It may just depend on how strong you can build your merc to be. You can also go A1 cold merc if you want something a little different. Sszak's string has a whopping 33% slow on it and is im ny opinion a rather nice bow. Don't worry about the %ctc rabies, it doesn't work.

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 Post subject: Re: More Necro questions! (Mercs)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:14 am 

Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:13 pm
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Thanks for the advice! What about merc's for a bone necro over a poison necro?
Any thoughts on A2 merc's in conjunction with either a bone or poison necro?

If i were to drop the bone merc i've got, would lightening or cold be better? Is the ice merc better due to shiver armor helping keep him alive and slowing/freezing enemies, or the lightening merc courtesy of nova?

I know that the survivability granted by shiver armor and bone armor becomes lessened with hsarus's, but i ran into the issue of merc's (apparently) being limited to "casting" a max of two aura's. The LR aura they have is one, meditation via insight is #2.... Apparently if you put hsarus's and insight onto an A3 merc, insight's meditation gets dropped in place of hasrus's defiance... Currently i'm plannign on running meditation on the merc. To help with spamming teeth and spear (on the bone necro).

For a while I had an A2 merc with an insight polearm, but I realized that with a ton of golems, i didn't need another melee minion, and that he had a habit of running blindly into crowds and getting killed, or getting promptly killed by bosses (life steal not being enough, and not being able to leech some bosses).

Thoughts? Thanks again!


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 Post subject: Re: More Necro questions! (Mercs)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:52 am 
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A3 Fire mercenaries have Fire Bolt instead of blaze - Blue's site is wrong. Perhaps it changes in NM, but Normal ones have fire bolt, that is for sure.


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 Post subject: Re: More Necro questions! (Mercs)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 8:59 am 
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there is just a bug with full set auras. Those are the only ones that will run in to problems.

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 Post subject: Re: More Necro questions! (Mercs)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:53 am 
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Just checked the text files for mercs. A3 Fire have FBolt instead of Blaze for all difficulties, and A3 P&Bone gain BSpirit in NM/Hell instead of PNova. It's nice to see that things changed last patch, but I'm surprised I don't remember reading about it. Perhaps Soulmancer just forgot to document the change.


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 Post subject: Re: More Necro questions! (Mercs)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 11:19 am 
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That changes a lot of things. If they have all 3 bone skills to synergise with each other, perhaps P&B are a bit more useful now?


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 Post subject: Re: More Necro questions! (Mercs)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 08, 2010 1:36 pm 

Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 2:13 pm
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I personally found the bone merc awesome. The bone armor makes them less squishy if they find themselves in melee range. Teeth and Spear hit multiple enemies at a time, so they kill trash very quickly. The issues are that (a) they don't benefit from LR, and (b) if you're a bone necro, all your damage, and all your mercs damage, is magic... so if you run into a magic immune you're screwed -especially since you have no way to break the immunity. If you have another A3 merc, they benefit from LR, and through their aura and LR will always be able to do damage to guys that are elemental immune, while hurting the monsters you can't.

For my poison necro i'm planning on picking up a p&b a3 merc.

The issue remains the bone necro. I think i'm going to have to drop the p&b merc he's got for some added versatility in damage types. The A1 phys merc was just a little boring I found, and an A2 merc with prayer and insight became fodder in A4 and 5 when he got stuck on ledges and killed.

So of the A3 merc's other than P&B... thoughts? The consensus seems to be either cold or lightening, though with the change the fire merc went through perhaps he's a little more viable? Is the cold merc a little counter-productive if you loose corpses for CE and DK? Or does he just slow and not freeze most of the time? Is the damage from the lightening merc reliable? i've heard charged bolt clears trash amazingly... what about their impact on bosses?


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