Diablo 2 Installation Guide

Today we are going to be installing Diablo 2 in 2021! This process should be really quick and easy but Blizzard has definitely made it complicated. With this guide though, you will be playing Diablo 2 on Windows 10 in no time at all!

Installation Guide

Time needed: 30 minutes.

Lets walk through the steps to install Diablo 2 Lord of Destruction.

  1. Purchase the game if you don’t own it already.

    If you don’t already own the game head over to https://shop.battle.net and purchase the game. You need to click Games and then Diablo II: Resurrected. On the Resurrected page you can find the Diablo 2 & Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction for around $10 each.

  2. Download the Installers

    Head over to https://account.battle.net and click Games & Subscriptions. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find Classic Games. Here you will see your CD Keys as well as links to download both of the installers. Download both installers and continue to the next step.

  3. Install Diablo 2

    Next we need to click on the Diablo 2 installer that we downloaded. Once it opens up, you will need to put in your name and license key to continue. After that it should download and install just fine. There are some javascript errors that will pop up but those can be ignored.

  4. Install Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction

    Once you have Diablo 2 installed, it’s time to install the expansion. Close out the Diablo 2 installer after it has finished and open up the Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction installer. A popup will appear asking for your Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction CD Key. Once you fill that in and continue, the install should be pretty quick.

  5. Play the game!

    Once the Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction installer finishes, you should be able to just open “Diablo II.exe”. I hope this guide was helpful and I really hope you have a good time playing Diablo 2!


Can you install Diablo 2 through the Battle.Net Launcher?

Currently you cannot install Diablo 2 using the Battle.Net Launcher.

Where can I download Diablo 2?

You will need to use Blizzard’s https://Battle.Net website to download Diablo 2 and Diablo 2 Lord of Destruction.

How much does Diablo 2 and Diablo 2 Lord of Destruction cost?

Currently, both Diablo 2 and Diablo 2 Lord of Destruction cost around $10 each.

Can you install Diablo 2 on Windows 10

Yes! Diablo 2 can easily be installed on windows 10

Do you need Diablo 2 to play Diablo 2 Lord of Destruction

Yes, you need Diablo 2 installed to install the Lord of Destruction expansion.

Diablo 2 Horadric Cube Recipes

Upgrade Runes

The Horadric Cube can be used to upgrade runes! If you have, 3 Tir runes, you can place them into your Horadric Cube and click transmute. After your transmutation is complete, you will have 1 Nef rune in your Horadric Cube.

This can be very useful when you are only missing a specific rune.

Low Tier Runes

Low runes are very common drops and are used in many Runeword recipes.

  • Eld = 3 EL
  • Tir = 3 Eld
  • Nef = 3 Tir
  • Eth = 3 Nef
  • Tal = 3 Ith
  • Ral = 3 Tal
  • Ort = 3 Ral
  • Thul = 3 Ort
  • Amn = 3 Thul + Chipped Topaz
  • Sol = 3 Amn + Chipped Amethyst
  • Shael = 3 Sol + Chipped Sapphire
  • Dol = 3 Shael + Chipped Ruby

Mid Tier Runes

These runes drop less frequently than low runes but are used in many powerful Runewords.

  • Hel = 3 Dol + Chipped Emerald
  • Lum = 3 IO + Flawed Topaz
  • Ko = 3 Lum + Flawed Amethyst
  • Fal = 3 Ko + Flawed Sapphire
  • Lem = 3 Fal + Flawed Ruby
  • Pul = 3 Lem + Flawed Emerald
  • Um = 3 Pul + Flawed Diamond

High Tier Runes

These are very rare runes that only drop in hell difficulty. These runes are used to complete the most powerful Runewords in the game!

  • Mal = 2 Um + Topaz
  • Ist = 2 Mal + Amethyst
  • Gul = 2 Ist + Sapphire
  • Vex = 2 Gul + Ruby
  • Ohm = 2 Vex + Emerald
  • Lo = 2x Ohm + Diamond
  • Sur = 2 Lo + Flawless Topaz
  • Ber = 2 Sur + Flawless Amethyst
  • Jah = 2 Ber + Flawless Sapphhire
  • Cham = 2 Jah + Flawless Ruby
  • Zod = 2 Cham + Flawless Emerald

Secret Cow Level

The Secret Cow Level, which can also be known as the Moo Moo Farm, is a hidden level in Diablo II. To access the Secret Cow Level, you will need to create a portal in town using the following Horadric Cube recipe.

Secret Cow Level = Wirt’s Leg + Tome of Town Portal

Wirt’s Leg will have to be picked up from Tristram by clicking on Wirt’s body.

Diablo 2 Runes

ElWeapons: +50 To Attack Rating, +1 to Light Radius
Armor: +15 Defense, +1 to Light Radius
Helms: +15 Defense, +1 to Light Radius
Shields: +15 Defense, +1 to Light Radius
EldWeapons: +75% Damage To Undead, +50 Attack Rating Against Undead
Armor: 15% Slower Stamina Drain
Helms: 15% Slower Stamina Drain
Shields: 7% Increased Chance of Blocking
TirWeapons: +2 To Mana After Each Kill
Armor: +2 To Mana After Each Kill
Helms: +2 To Mana After Each Kill
Shields: +2 To Mana After Each Kill
NefWeapons: Knockback
Armor: +30 Defense Vs. Missile
Helms: +30 Defense Vs. Missile
Shields: +30 Defense Vs. Missile
EthWeapons: -25% To Target Defense
Armor: Regenerate Mana 15%
Helms: Regenerate Mana 15%
Shields: Regenerate Mana 15%
IthWeapons: +9 To Maximum Damage
Armor: 15% Damage Taken Goes to Mana
Helms: 15% Damage Taken Goes to Mana
Shields: 15% Damage Taken Goes to Mana
TalWeapons: +75 Poison Damage Over 5 Seconds
Armor: Poison Resist 30%
Helms: Poison Resist 30%
Shields: Poison Resist 35%
RalWeapons: Adds 5-30 Fire Damage
Armor: Fire Resist 30%
Helms: Fire Resist 30%
Shields: Fire Resist 35%
OrtWeapons: Adds 5-30 Fire Damage
Armor: Fire Resist 30%
Helms: Fire Resist 30%
Shields: Fire Resist 35%
ThulWeapons: Adds 3-14 Cold Damage – 3 Second Duration
Armor: Cold Resist 30%
Helms: Cold Resist 30%
Shields: Cold Resist 35%
AmnWeapons: 7% Life Stolen Per Hit
Armor: Attacker Takes Damage of 14
Helms: Attacker Takes Damage of 14
Shields: Attacker Takes Damage of 14
SolWeapons: +9 To Minimum Damage
Armor: Damage Reduced By 7
Helms: Damage Reduced By 7
Shields: Damage Reduced By 7
ShaelWeapons: 20% Increased Attack Speed
Armor: 20% Faster Hit Recovery
Helms: 20% Faster Hit Recovery
Shields: 20% Faster Block Rate
DolWeapons: Hit Causes Monster To Flee 25%
Armor: Replenish Life +7
Helms: Replenish Life +7
Shields: Replenish Life +7
HelWeapons: Requirements -20%
Armor: Requirements -15%
Helms: Requirements -15%
Shields: Requirements -15%
IoWeapons: +10 To Vitality
Armor: +10 To Vitality
Helms: +10 To Vitality
Shields: +10 To Vitality
LumWeapons: +10 To Energy
Armor: +10 To Energy
Helms: +10 To Energy
Shields: +10 To Energy
KoWeapons: +10 To Dexterity
Armor: +10 To Dexterity
Helms: +10 To Dexterity
Shields: +10 To Dexterity
FalWeapons: +10 To Strength
Armor: +10 To Strength
Helms: +10 To Strength
Shields: +10 To Strength
LemWeapons: 75% Extra Gold From Monsters
Armor: 50% Extra Gold From Monsters
Helms: 50% Extra Gold From Monsters
Shields: 50% Extra Gold From Monsters
PulWeapons: +75% Damage To Demons, +100 Attack Rating Against Demons
Armor: +30% Enhanced Defense
Helms: +30% Enhanced Defense
Shields: +30% Enhanced Defense
UmWeapons: 25% Chance of Open Wounds
Armor: All Resistances +15
Helms: All Resistances +15
Shields: All Resistances +22
MalWeapons: Prevent Monster Heal
Armor: Magic Damage Reduced By 7
Helms: Magic Damage Reduced By 7
Shields: Magic Damage Reduced By 7
IstWeapons: 30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Armor: 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Helms: 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Shields: 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
GulWeapons: 20% Bonus To Attack Rating
Armor: 5% To Maximum Poison Resist
Helms: 5% To Maximum Poison Resist
Shields: 5% To Maximum Poison Resist
VexWeapons: 7% Mana Stolen Per Hit
Armor: 5% To Maximum Fire Resist
Helms: 5% To Maximum Fire Resist
Shields: 5% To Maximum Fire Resist
OhmWeapons: +50% Enhanced Damage
Armor: 5% To Maximum Cold Resist
Helms: 5% To Maximum Cold Resist
Shields: 5% To Maximum Cold Resist
LoWeapons: 20% Deadly Strike
Armor: 5% To Maximum Lightning Resist
Helms: 5% To Maximum Lightning Resist
Shields: 5% To Maximum Lightning Resist
SurWeapons: Hit Blinds Target
Armor: Maximum Mana 5%
Helms: Maximum Mana 5%
Shields: +50 To Mana
BerWeapons: 20% Chance of Crushing Blow
Armor: Damage Reduced by 8%
Helms: Damage Reduced by 8%
Shields: Damage Reduced by 8%
JahWeapons: Ignore Target’s Defense
Armor: Increase Maximum Life 5%
Helms: Increase Maximum Life 5%
Shields: +50 Life
ChamWeapons: Freeze Target +3
Armor: Cannot Be Frozen
Helms: Cannot Be Frozen
Shields: Cannot Be Frozen
ZodWeapons: Indestructible
Armor: Indestructible
Helms: Indestructible
Shields: Indestructible

Diablo 2 Ultimate Mercenary Guide

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.) work on mercenaries.
  • Mercenaries hired in normal difficulty have better final stats than those hired in Nightmare or Hell, and NM Mercs are better than those hired in Hell. The exception being the Nightmare Act 2 mercenaries, 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.
  • The highest level a merc can be is 98. Mercs skills have been downgraded slightly in 1.10 compared to 1.09 , with the exception of the Act 1 Rogue which will no do more damage.
  • Act 5 mercenaries regenerate their health fully in 16.4 seconds, all other mercenaries require 41 seconds.
  • Poison can absolutely kill your mercenary, even while in town. You on the other hand cannot die from poison in town.
  • Mercenaries benefit from items with +all skills. However, They do not benefit from +class skills or +skill tabs. This was removed in 1.10.

    Mercs will benefit from:

    +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)
    + skills to Bash or Stun for the Barbarian as found on some items.
  • Synergies. Some mercs skills synergize – An example of this is the Barbarians Stun and Bash skills which synergize. Act3 Mercs skills also synergize. ( i.e. Glacial spike with Ice Blast for the cold sorc)
  • 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 rejuvenation 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 depending on the potions location in your belt. 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 mercenary caps out at 50,000 gold.
  • Your Mercenary’s damage is penalized against certain things:

    Attacking Penalty
    Players 17%
    Hirelings 25%
    Golems 100%
    Monsters 100%
    Minions 100%
    Norm Act Boss 50%
    NM Act Boss 35%
    Hell Act Boss 25%

    They receive 100% damage from everything , except other players hirelings which will only do 25% of the listed damage to your Merc.
    They receive 200% damage for Bosses – that is why they can die fairly quickly.
  • Mercs cannot leach of Hell Bosses such as Mephi and Baal, and there is a bug when facing the council in Act III, Hydra’s will do a lot more damage than they should, there is no real way to negate this except to take your mercs resistances up above 75% with Guardian Angel.
  • Mercs donot receive any life from + to vitality items, this is another minor bug, so only equip your merc with items that give actual + to life.
  • Levelling – Mercs only get experience in 2 ways – firstly if YOU make the kill they get normal experience, if they make the kill they get normal experience plus bonus experience – calculated at roughly 2x. They receive no experience if you are in a party with other players and the other players make the kill.
  • They receive the most experience in an 8 player game when you are not partied and they make the kill. As a quick reference, the following table may be of some assistance for leveling.

    12-18——- A2
    19-23——- A3
    24-31——- A4
    32-36——- A5
    37-43——- Ni1
    44-48——- Ni2
    49-52——- Ni3
    53-62——- Ni4
    63-73——- He1
    74-80——- He2
    81-83——- He3
    83-94——- He4
    95-99——- He5
  • Mercs are all hired at different Levels , their ranges very from :

			Normal	 NM	 Hell
Rogue Scout: 3-7 37-40 67-71
Desert Warrior: 9-13 44-47 75-79
Eastern Sorceror: 15-19 49-53 79-83
Barbarian: 28-32 59-62 80-84
  • Mercs Naturally have very high resistances, so, therefore, equip them with damage reduction gear instead of resistance gear.
  • Mercs can now equip the following auras:
    Holy Freeze: found on ‘Doom‘ Runeword for polearms (Act II mercs only)
    Holy Fire: found on ‘Hand of Justice‘ Runeword for all weapons.
    Thorns: found on ‘Bramble‘ Runeword for Armours.
    Sanctuary: found on Azurewrath, unique phase blade. (act III/VI mercs only)

Act 1 Rogue Mercenaries

(Two Types – Cold and Fire)

Note, they are Rogues, not Amazons. As such, +Amazon skill items will not work. Also, they cannot wield (Amazon-Only) bows.

– > They can only equip bows. Crossbows are not allowed.
– > Cast either Fire Arrow or Cold Arrow
– > Cast Inner Sight

Note : 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.

Note : Fires Magic Arrow does deliver magic damage, but the Rogue’s still do not receive an AR bonus.

– > Act1 Mercs 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.

Hit Recovery Speeds

Frames- FHR%
11—– 0
10—– 6
9—— 13
8—— 20
7—— 32
6—— 52
5—— 86
4—— 174
3—— 600


Fire / Cold Arrow (If hired from Normal – Note that these stats will all be lower in NM and HELL if hired from there. With the exception of attack frequency which increases at 2% per difficulty.


Fire Arrow—Fire Damage — AR Bonus
15———-36 -39 ———–136%
20———-63 -70 ———–181%

Cold Arrow—Cold Damage — AR Bonus
15———-34 -35 ————-136%
20———-53-56 ————-181%

Cold Arrow does a fraction less damage, however at level 35 ( Level 98 Merc with +6 All skills ) You could freeze a monster in Hell for almost 10 seconds, that’s impressive

Act 2 Desert Mercenaries

( 6 Types – 3 Available in Normal and Hell, and 3 Avaialable in NM )

  • A2 Town Guards are the most popular as they share an aura with not only your Character but with the entire Party. Sometimes the aura will not activate, if this happens then simply return to town then go back out.
  • The Same Auras do not stack – For example if you are a Paladin using might and your Merc is using might these will not add up, the game will simply cycle between the two.
  • Can use Spear, Javelin, and Polearm class weapons, except not the Amazon-only spears. They won’t ever throw the Javelins.


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).

For Armor always go for Ethereal with useful mods , the Runeword Stone is very useful and popular as well. Any Armor with plus skills is also very useful as these will boost their skills.

Helms – Tal Rashas mask is good at the start with its 10% Life Leach, when you find one upgrade to an Ethereal Crown of Theives. An Ethereal Shako wouldn’t go amiss either although you will need to socket this with some form of Life leach.

Keep in mind that you cant leach off all monsters – for example the undead.

Auras Available


  • Combat = Prayer
  • Defensive = Defiance
  • Offensive = Blessed Aim


  • Combat = Thorns
  • Defensive = Holy Freeze
  • Offensive = Might


  • Combat = Prayer
  • Defensive = Defiance
  • Offensive = Blessed Aim

Prayer – regens life , Defiance – Increases Armor Class, Blessed Aim – Increases AR , Thorns – deals damage back to attacker , Holy Freeze – Slows Monsters , Might – Increases Melee Damage.



10——-Might—–130% damage
20——-Might—–230% damage
30——-Might—–330% damage

10——-Thorns—-610% damage returned
17——-Thorns—-890% damage returned
20——-Thorns—-1010% dam. returned

10——-H/Freeze—slow 48%
17——-H/Freeze—slow 53%
20——-H/Freeze—slow 54%

11——-Prayer—-Heals 12+
18——-Prayer—-Heals 21+
21——-Prayer—-Heals 27+

11——-Defiance—170% def
18——-Defiance—240% def
21——-Defiance—270% def

11——B/Aim—-225% to AR
18——B/Aim—-330% to AR
21——B/Aim—-375% to AR


11——Jab—–AR +100% Dam+15%
16——Jab—–AR +145% Dam+30%
17——Jab—–AR +154% Dam+34%
20——Jab—–AR +181% Dam+42%

Hit Recovery Speeds

Frames– FHR%
15—– 0
14—– 5
13—– 9
12—– 14
11—– 20
10—– 30
9—– 42
8—– 60
7—– 86
6—– 142
5—– 280

This is an excellent narration from Alter Ego and I have placed it here for your reference :

Offensive – Blessed Aim

Not the most popular aura for many characters, as most of the melee characters have sufficient skills to raise their AR and the Sorceress doesn’t really need much AR as she hits with her magicical attacks. However for variant builds such as the Melee Sorc, Ranger (bow/crossbow Paladin) and Meleemancer (melee Necro) where AR is of critical importance, the blessed aim merc can be very useful. This merc can also be very helpful to Werebears who also suffer from AR problems. With the introduction of several new uniques items which grant AR (eh. Charges of enchant, zeal etc) in 1.10 though, the actual usefulness of such mercs has been somewhat diminished.

Defensive – Defiance

A high level Merc with this aura, and good equip, is very hard to hit, even in Hell diff. So a character who has hired such a merc is equally difficult to hit. The advantages of this are straightforward to any character, you’ll get hit less often, therefore be less likely to die. This aura has a pronounced effect on the longevity of a Necro’s minions, even when the Merc is of a low level. This aura is often a “must-have” for characters aiming to have a huge defence stat i.e. Ironman barbarians or for hardcore players. Just bear in mind that several of the monsters in 1.10 now have attacks that completely ignore defense.

Combat – Prayer

The life regeneration that this aura provides is probably only of use to most characters as a way to ignore the effects of poison or of life draining items (Malice runeword for example). However to characters with life steal and high resists, this aura is going to prove to be of little use, and if the merc himself has a life stealing weapon, then the aura won’t be of too much use to him. It is probably best used for characters with no form of life leech(ie. casters). Still, it is probably better to just drink a potion.

This aura is of some limited use to the Necromancer and his minions as the continual life replenish will help keep them alive for much longer. In 1.10, the minions actually heal by themselves. I

Offensive – Might

A very popular aura for almost any character, as additional damage is always useful. The Merc himself will be doing a godly amount of damage at higher levels and quite happily tank for himself and for those who think that “the best defense is a good offense” this is the way to go.

This aura is probably of least use to a Sorceress as it does not add any benefit to her magical attacks, but should she run low of mana and be caught in a corner with only a melee weapon then, this aura will give her a chance of fighting her way free.

The effect of this aura on a Necro’s minions can create a virtual wall of death to descend upon the ranks of diablo minions. A few revived Frenzytaurs or raised skeletal warriors with a might aura on them can easily sway the tide of battle in the favour of the Necromancer.

A point to note is that even if you have a might merc whose lvl is sufficient to provide 100% extra damage this won’t automatically double the damage of your character. The formula below from Nikodemous from the Paladin forum explains how your might mercs aura factors into your damage.

Lets say your weapon does 100 points of average damage. (that being the average of the minimum and maximum shown directly on the weapon). You have +100% damage from WW

200 str = +200% damage

and the might merc has lvl 7 might, which gives (40+6*10) 100% bonus.

Total damage is:

(100 * (100 [base] + 200 [str] + 100 [ww] + 100 [might]))/100 = 500 average damage

All elemental damage is added to the total, with no % bonuses on top.

Combat – Thorns

The essential problem with Thorns is that you have to be hit for it to take effect, though admittedly the effect at high levels can kill many normal monsters outright. In 1.10, with the high ratio of monster HP as compared to the damage they do, thorns is more or less reduced to a novelty aura. It is nice to have around but not entirely useful.

The Necromancer Overlord is the character build that can make best use of this aura. With many minions running around the map all effected by thorns and with the possibility of an Amp Damage curse as well, this can create havoc for boss monsters that use phycial attacks i.e Hephasto the Armourer, Duriel and the Ancients. By wading through the thorns-aura’d minions to get to the player character, these boss monsters will take an awful lot of damage.

Defensive – Holy Freeze

Another very useful for aura for any player character, more so for the slowing effect on monsters than any damage done. The only other choice besides defiance for hardcore player, this aura, at high levels, will bring many enemies to a near stop. Demon Imps stop teleporting all of the place, flayers slow right down and explody-headed Slayers are easily avoided. For characters using thrown weapons, bows or magic, the slowed monsters make ideal targets.

The Necromancer Overlord (or a Corpse Explosion Necro) is the class most disadvantaged by this aura, as the increased number of bodies that shatter upon death greatly reduces the Necro’s potential revive, summon or corpse explosion fodder.

On Hell difficulty, cold immune monsters will still be slowed by this aura.

Important Note on Holy Freeze:

It seems that not all monsters are affected by this aura. Blood Lords, Moon Lords and Death Lords of act 5 seem resistant to its slowing effects. The Frenzytaurs are immune to freezing. So do not rely on your merc to slow these monsters down. Also its good to take into account the relatively small range of holy freeze eg. archers shooting.

Act 3 Iron Wolf

( Casters, Fire, Cold , Lightning )

Lightning is damage bugged, so only choose Fire or Cold Mercs.

These Mercs can be equiped with the most MF gear, around 300%.

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.”

They have 3 types of attacks – Their primary low level spell , their secondary high level spell, and using their sword.

They will only use their sword in melee when they get swarmed. (sometimes)

The damage listed in their character info screen is only for their sword damage, and has no impact at all on their magic damage – their character info screen does not display their actual magic damage anywhere.

+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)


Spirit = Tal + Thul + Ort + Amn ( 4 Socket Shield or Sword)

Spirit Shield ( Ladder Only)
Spirit Sword ( Ladder Only )
Ormus Robes with + 3 to Fireball or Glacial Spike

With This Setup
70%-80% Fast Cast ( 18 frames to 13 frames)
+6 All Skills
+3 To FB or GS

Your Merc would then have :

50% FC ( 18 to 14 frames )
+6 All Skills

50% FC
+4 All Skills

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 it can only be made in a Monarch, which requires 156 strength (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. You’ll need some +strength stuff to equip this shield at an earlier level.


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

Act 3 Mercenary Spells in Detail

The following commentary from Zath is accurate as of 1.10.


– Level 32 Inferno: 356 damage/second. 60% chance to cast this spell
– Level 30 Fireball: 383 damage/shot. 30% chance to cast this spell.


– Level 28 Frozen Armor: +165% defense, lasts 444 seconds, freezes enemy upon being hit for 111 frames in normal (4.44 seconds).
– Level 14 Glacial Spike: 150 damage/shot, freezes for 89 frames in normal (3.56 seconds). 19% chance to cast this spell after Frozen Armor is active (60/310).
– Level 32 Ice Blast: 613 damage/shot, freezes for 230 frames in normal (9.2 seconds). 77% chance to cast this spell after Frozen Armor is active (240/310).


– Level 17 Charged Bolt: 11.5 damage/bolt, 19 bolts total for 218.5 potential damage/cast. 60% chance to cast this spell.
– Level 29 Lightning: 258 damage/shot. 30% chance to cast this spell.

The lightning mercs are clearly lacking in damage output. Fire and cold mercs will deal significantly more damage, although the fire merc will have to hit multiple targets with each spell to reach his full potential. Overall, the cold merc may be the best choice with his Frozen Armor and Ice Blast.

Faster Cast Rate Breakpoints

Frames FCR%
18—– 0
17—– 10
16—– 15
15—– 30
14—– 40
13—– 60
12—– 90

Hit Recovery Speeds

Frames FHR%
17—– 0
16—– 5
15—– 8
14—– 13
13—– 18
12—– 24
11—– 32
10—– 46
9—– 63
8—– 86
7—– 133
6—– 232
5—– 600

Act 5 Barbarian Mercenaries

(Only one type)

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
  • 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 Mercenary Equipment

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.

Armor – always go for Ethereal with useful mods , the Runeword Stone is very useful and popular as well.

Helms – Tal Rashas mask is good at the start with its 10% Life Leach, when you find one upgrade to an Ethereal Crown of Theives. An Ethereal Shako wouldn’t go amiss either although you will need to socket this with some form of leach.

These Mercs should really have a minimum of 11-15% Life Leach to ensure they stay alive, as they are very zealous and tend to run off the screen to engage everything in sight.

Keep in mind that you cant leach off all monsters – for example the undead.

Damage Comparison (synergies)

Stun – the 1.2s = stunned for 1.2 second

Level------Bash Damage -----------Stun Damage
1----------AR 20%,  Dam 55%------AR 15%, Dam 8% 1.2s
30--------AR 30%,  Dam 80%------AR 30%, Dam 24% 1.8s
50---------AR 60%,  Dam 145 ------AR 65%, Dam 72% 3.2s
75--------AR 95%,  Dam 225 -------AR 110 , Dam 128%4.5s
75 & 
+3 skills---AR 110, Dam 225 –------AR 125, Dam 152% 4.7s

Act 5 Barbarian Mercenary Hit Recovery Breakpoints

Frames FHR%
9—– 0
8—– 7
7—– 15
6—– 27
5—– 48
4—– 86
3—– 200