Mercenary Information

General Mercenary Facts
  • - The mod: Prevent Monster Heal does not work on mercenaries. It has no effect at all.
  • - Most other mods (Crushing Blow, Open Wounds, Chance to Cast on Striking, Faster Cast Rate, Faster Hit Recovery, Increased Attack Speed, etc.) do work for mercs. There are some other specific instances that I'll cover in later sections.
  • - Mercs hired in normal difficulty have better stats than those hired in Nightmare, and those are both better than those hired in Hell. The exception is the Nightmare Act 2 mercs, which cannot be hired in Normal (or Hell). The actual "character" level that you hire the merc at is irrelevant, only the difficulty you hire them in matters.
  • - The highest level a merc can be is 98.
  • - "Act 5 mercs regenerate their health fully in 16.4 seconds, whereas all other mercs require 41 seconds." - Zath
  • - Poison can kill your merc, even if you are in town.
  • - Mercs benefit from +all skills items. They do not benefit from +class skills or +skill tabs.
  • - Mercs skills do synergize each other when applicable. As an example, an Act 3 Sorceress Merc's Ice Blast will synergize it's Glacial Spike.
  • - Related to the above, mercs are NOT affected by the charge synergy bug ("Marrowwalk bug").
  • - When mercs levels up, their current life is set to their new base maximum life. So, if a merc is under life bonuses from Battle Orders, Oak Sage, or equipment, you will see thier life drop. Don't be alarmed when this happens, your merc isn't about to bite the dust.
  • - You can use healing potions or rejuvination potions on your mercenary by selecting a potion and dropping it on their portrait in the top left corner of the screen. Another way to do this is to hold Shift and press 1,2,3, or 4 - which correspond to your belt slots. Yet another way is holding Shift and right-clicking on a potion in your belt.
  • - Similar to giving a merc a potion using the portrait: you can give your mercenary equipment via the portrait. If they can use the item, it will work. If they are already wearing this type of item, it will be exchanged for the new one.
  • - Mercenaries do not have a mana pool, so mana potions do not work on them. If you try to shift + 1 method to feed your merc a mana pot, he/she will thank you, although you yourself will drink the potion. They are simply granted "infinite" mana to cast spells. So, mana burn monsters will also not affect them.
  • - If your merc is wearing either Gold Find or Magic Find gear, you will receive those respective bonuses to your drops when the merc makes a kill. Example, 100% MF on char, 125% MF on merc. If you make the kill, 100% MF is in effect. If the merc makes the kill, 225% MF is in effect.
  • - Ethereal items will not lose durability when equipped on a mercenary.
  • - The price of resurrecting your merc is capped at 50000 gold.
+Skills Stuff

Mercs will benefit from:

  • - +all skills
  • - +fire skills (when applicable)
  • - +specific skills (if they already have the skills (e.g. an act 3 merc will benefit from an Ormus Robes' skill if he posseses that skill already, even though it says (Sorceress Only)))

Mercs will not benefit from:

  • - +class skills (not even barbarian mercs with +all barbarian skills gear)
  • - +skilltabs
Mercenary Hireling Levels

This is a list of the merc levels you will have to pick from based on Act and Difficulty Level (Expansion Only). Note that you can't buy a merc whose level is higher than your own:

Normal Nightmare Hell
Act 1: 3-7 36-40 67-71
Act 2: 9-13 43-47 75-79
Act 3: 15-19 49-53 79-83
Act 5: 28-32 58-62 80-84

Mercenary Damage Modifiers

Attacking Modifier Notes
Players 17% (So, a mercenary attacking a player only does 17% of its normal damage)
Hirelings 25%
Golems 100% (no modification)
Monsters 100% (no modification)
Minions* 100% (no modification)
Normal Act Boss 50%
Nightmare Act Boss 35%
Hell Act Boss 25%

*A minion is any creature a player controls, except a hireling or a golem.

When defending, hirelings take 100% from all sources except other Hirelings, which is 25%.

Mercenary Survival Tips
  • - You can use healing potions or rejuvination potions on your mercenary by selecting a potion and dropping it on their portrait in the top left corner of the screen. Another way to do this is to hold Shift and press 1,2,3, or 4 - which correspond to your belt slots. Yet another way is holding Shift and right-clicking on a potion in your belt.
  • - Put life leech on them! Give them a weapon with decent damage, coupled with life leech. Put Amn runes in their weapons. Use hats and armors with built in leech.
  • - Use a Wand of Lifetap on switch for really tough and/or unleechable monsters.
  • - Keep them close to your level and don't fight monsters that are too far above your level.
Act 1 Amazon Merc
  • - You can hire these from Kashya either 1) after completing the Blood Raven quest or 2) after reaching character level 8.
  • - Note, they are Rogues, not Amazons. As such, +Amazon skill items will not work. Also, they cannot wield (Amazon-Only) bows.
  • - It's "Rogue", not "Rouge".
  • - They can only equip bows. Crossbows are not allowed.
  • - Cast either Fire Arrow or Cold Arrow
  • - Cast Inner Sight
  • - The mods Fires Explosive Arrows or Bolts and Fires Magic Arrow are quirky. The Explosive arrows do not work. There is a graphical bug so that you see the explosion, but no damage is dealt and the Rogue does not get the Attack Rating bonus associated with the Exploding Arrow skill. Fires Magic Arrow does deliver magic damage, but the Rogue's still do not receive an AR bonus.
  • - They can now give you a Vigor aura via Harmony, Thorns via Edge, and Fanatacism via Faith.
Rogue Equipment:

They tend to stay out of harm's way reasonably well, so life leech isn't mandotory, but a little bit certainly helps. Increased Attack Speed can help (check speed calculator). These mercs are good at activating Chance to Cast mods without being in the thick of the battle. Blinding, fleeing, amplify damage, etc.

Act 2 Paladin Merc
  • - Share an aura with you and your party members. They're very popular for this reason.
  • - Can use Spear, Javelin, and Polearm class weapons, except not the Amazon-only spears. They won't ever throw the Javelins.
  • - Their Jab has 2 hits.
Paladin Merc Equipment

Get him a big damage polearm. Mods to look for are: Crushing Blow, life leech, +life, resistances, Faster Hit Recovery, Chance to Cast amp damage or decrepify, Slows Target (especially on Holy Freeze merc).

Available Auras
Combat Prayer
Defensive Defiance
Offensive Blessed Aim
Combat Thorns
Defensive Holy Freeze
Offensive Might
Combat Prayer
Defensive Defiance
Offensive Blessed Aim

Act 3 Sorceress Merc
  • - Do not have blocking animations. "This means they do not getting blocking check at all. The Shield will just be there for the non-blocking attributes such as defense and any other magical properties that it has such as resisitances, fast cast, skills, etc." - Ruvanal
  • - +Glacial Spike, +FireBall, etc. will help these mercs. The only places to get these are from Ormus' Robes or two pieces of the Trang's set. Note that the +Fireball bonus from Trang's will be capped at +3.
  • - Anything that is +sorceress skills, for example: +2 Fire Skills (Sorceress Only) will not work, but the +3 Fire Skills of Hexfire would.
  • - Items that lower enemy resistance (such as the Crescent Moon runeword, facets, etc.) will benefit these mercs.
  • - Can complete the Isenhart set (for whatever that's worth)
Sorceress Merc Equipment

You want +skills and Faster Cast Rate. Everything else is secondary because they tend to survive fairly well on their own unless you let them get swarmed. The new Spirit runeword is good for their weapon. You would need +strength on your helm/armor to let them use a Spirit shield since the lowest strength requirement on a 4 socket shield is 156 on a Monarch (146 if ethereal). They top out at 153 str at level 98 and have 137 str at level 85, just to give you an idea.

Fire: Inferno and FireBall
Cold: Glacial Spike, Ice Blast, and Frozen Armor
Lightning: Charged Bolt and Lightning

Sorceress Merc Spell Damage

This chart assumes they were hired in Normal difficulty. These numbers now reflect the synergy bonuses when applicable.

Fire Merc Cold Merc Lightning Merc
Merc Lvl Fireball Inferno* Ice Blast Glacial Spike Charged Bolt** Lightning
Level 30: 35-40 58-75 85-93 45-58 6-9(8) 1-130
Level 60: 195-224 73-79 253-266 130-153 14-18(13) 1-398
Level 85: 334-372 108-115 463-480 280-312 22-27(17) 1-871
Level 98: 415-457 128-136 651-672 371-408 27-32(19) 1-1217

*Inferno is bugged to do half the listed damage.
**The number in parentheses is the number of bolts.

Act 5 Barbarian
  • - These mercs possess the skills Stun and Bash.
  • - These are the only mercs who can use class-specific items (the barb helms).
  • - "The act 5 mercanaries have a 5% chance of doing critical hits, the other mercanaries do not." - Ruvanal
  • - Regenerate their health fully in 16.4 seconds. - Zath
  • - These mercs can complete the Sazabi Set.
  • - They do not have or benefit from +sword mastery such as on Bloodletter.
  • - "Act 5 mercs receive a 70% bonus to their poison resistance in all difficulties." - Zath
  • - "The Act 5 merc's normal attack has 2 hits." - Zath
Barbarian Merc Equipment

Get a big 2-handed sword. They do the listed damage for both 1 hand and 2 hand swords, so the 2 handers will almost always win out. Life leech, FHR, resistances, etc are also good. They're about the same as A2 mercs except for the weapon differences.