Mercenary guide for Diablo 2 Resurrected Patch 2.6
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A mercenary rebalance is going to be introduced in the upcoming 2.6 patch in Diablo II Resurrected. Act1, Act3 and Act4 mercenaries are all going to receive boosts to match the previously overused Act2 mercenary’s abilities. D2R's first ladder season will start as the new patch goes live. Keep an eye on Rpgstash's ladder item selection, we will already have ladder runes, ladder rune packs, ladder runewords and ladder charms available on the first day of the new season in our D2R Store!
Mercenaries now will be on the same level as your character, and the randomised level difference is going to be removed. Levelling up mercenaries from Normal or Nightmare difficulties gave them higher stat/skill gains over Hell difficulty mercenaries. This will also be changed with the new patch, there will be no disadvantage of hiring from an easier difficulty, or levelling up instead of buying one at a higher level.
Act1 Rogue Archers: The Act1 rogues will receive an area damage boost. Cold Arrow Rogues now will be able to use the Freezing Arrow skill, and Fire Arrow ones will be able to use Explosion Arrow.
Previously, Rogues were used mainly to provide Fanaticism Aura to all of the party via the Faith Runeword, or to boost movement speed via the Harmony runeword’s Vigor Aura. New Runewords are going to be available in the 2.4 patch, providing several new opportunities to make Rogues an advantageous merc of choice.
The Insight Runeword, which has been known as being the best ladder starter mercenary weapon, and often a great end-game choice as well, will now also be accessible in Bows and Crossbows, and can be used by the Act1 Rogues. The 2.4 Mist Runeword is also worth a notice, as it will be accessible in bows and crossbows exclusively, and will provide a level 8-12 Concentration Aura besides a great survivability and damage boosts to your act1 mercenary.
Act2 Desert Mercenaries: The main change that will be introduced in 2.4 is that all 6 auras provided by desert mercenaries will be accessible on Nightmare and Hell difficulty. Normal difficulty will remain unchanged. Thorns aura mercenaries are going to get a boost, the level scaling will be increased and the level cap will be removed.
Act3 Iron Wolves: Iron Wolves will receive a big survivability boost by a 25% increase in baseline life, a 40% increase in baseline defense, and a 20% increase in resistance baseline and scaling, making it the mercenary with the highest resistances.
Cold Iron wolves will cast Glacial Spike more frequently, and their Glacial Spike and Frozen Armor skill level scaling will be increased. Fire ones will get the Fire Bolt skill, while their Inferno skill will be removed. They too will cast Fire Balls more frequently, and will also be able to cast Enchant on himself, you and your party. Lightning Iron wolves will receive the Static field skill, Charged Bolt level scaling will be increased, and they too will cast Lightning more often.
Act5 Barbarians: Barbarian mercenaries will receive the Battle Cry skill. They will be getting an increase in life baseline scaling (making them the mercenaries with the most life), increase in defense baseline scaling which is reduced at higher levels (making them the highest defense mercenaries), and both their Bash and Stun skill’s scaling will be increased and will no longer be capped at level 80.
The new runeword Unbending Will, which requires runes that can be accessed early in the season, will be an interesting weapon of choice for a Barbarian merc, as it has an 18% chance to cast level 18 Taunt on striking besides having plenty of great damage dealing features. With it, the barbarians will be a great option for a ladder starter mercenary.
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