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Strength: Enough to wear desired gear
Dexterity: Enough to wear desired gear
Vitality: everything else in here
Weapon Block: (1-10) This skill has diminishing returns, but ten points will give you a 50% chance to block any incoming attack if dual wielding claws will be a staple of the character.
Dragon Flight: (1 point) Limited Teleport, destination has to be an enemy. It is useful, however, for eliminating specific enemies and rallying minions
Burst of Speed: Boosts movement speed and attack speed. It has some steep diminishing returns, but a single point in this can make quite a difference.
Fade: Boosts resistances, also features a 1% per point physical resistance.
Death Sentry: Like the other secondary skills, it is an optional choice, but features fire and physical damage based on a corpse's previous hit points as well as some lightning damage at lower levels.
Psychic Hammer/Mind Blast: These skills can be useful as they stun opponents. Usually, however, these skills are used more in PvP.
Cloak of Shadows: If a player plans to avoid combat at certain times, this skill will render a character nearly invisible to monsters for its duration. Unless a character is within melee range of a monster, it will act as if they are unaware of the Assassin's existence.
- Guillaume's Face: Crushing Blow, Deadly Strike Bonuses.
- Crown of Ages: Resistance bonuses and +1 to all skills.
- Chains of Honor: Skill Bonus, Resistance Bonuses, Damage Bonuses
- Fortitude: 300% enhanced damage.
- Enigma: +2 to all skills and Teleport
- Chaos runeword: Player can elect to use two claws or just one. Bartuc's Cut-Throat or Jade Talon are also options, if the player is going to opt for using two claws.
- A player could elect to use some other weapon in their switch such as Stormlash or Fleshripper and then swap back to the Chaos claw once their opponent has their hit points pared down to a good level.
- Phoenix: Mostly due to the enhanced damage offered by the runeword, although there are some other perks offered as well.
- Spirit: To boost the Whirlwind skill.
- Shadow Dancer: the maximum damage boot
- Gore Riders: Crushing Blow, Deadly Strike and Open Wounds modifiers.
- Dracul Grasp: Chosen mostly for their Life Tap proc
- Soul Drainers: Dual Leech and -50 to Monster Defense per hit
- Arachnid Mesh: The only belt to offer +skills.
- Verdungo's Hearty Cord: Physical Damage Reduction and life-related bonuses. String of Ears' big brother.
- Stone of Jordan: Mana-related bonuses and +1 to all skills
- Raven Frost: If the character has no other source of Cannot Be Frozen, this would be a good choice.
- Bul-Kathos' Wedding Band: Life-related bonuses and +1 to all skills
- Highlord's Wrath: Deadly Strike and +1 to all skills.
- Mara's Kaleidoscope: +2 to all skills and resistance bonus
Although many players solo with their characters, Hirelings can certainly increase the survivability of any character if maintained properly. Typically, most choose the Act 2 Defensive Mercenary in Nightmare Difficulty (the "Holy Freeze Merc") or the Offensive version (the "Might Merc"), but the others have plenty of potential if geared properly. The Helmet and Armor are standard choices, the only thing that would vary are the weapons. Act 3 Hirelings with cold attacks used to be popular, but are rare now due to many monsters being immune to their attacks. Although Barbarians are quite rugged, they can be overcome by large mobs. On the other hand, properly equipped, he can definitely play a major factor in increasing the character's survivability. And the Rogue should not be counted out either, although without particular gear her ability to assist in later stages of the game diminishes by quite a bit. Although the weapons vary, the armor and helmet choices are mostly stock, with some variance in regards to armor.
Guillaume's Face: Crushing Blow and Deadly Strike.
Tal Rasha's Horadric Crest: Mostly for the 10 percent life leech and +15 to Resistances. Vampire Gaze, Crown of Thieves and Stealskull are also popular choices for their ease of finding and life leech.
Kira's Guardian or Darksight Helm: The reason for choosing either helmet is the Cannot Be Frozen attribute.
Fortitude Runeword: 300% Enhanced damage against everything.
Duress Runeword: Features 15% chance of Crushing Blow.
Gladiator's Bane: Cannot be Frozen and integer damage reduction at a level that actually makes a difference.
Hwanin's Refuge: Static Field proc. Still useful even if lightning immunes aren't affected by it in Hell Difficulty.
Treachery: may be of more benefit to a Rogue for the Increased Attack Speed.
Skin of the Vipermagi. Iron Wolves can make better use of the Faster Cast Rate as they usually attack from range.
Duriel's Shell: For Hirelings, this armor is prized much for being relatively easy to find, its Cannot be Frozen attribute and Vitality bonus.
Rogue (Act 1)Edit
Faith: The Fanaticism aura and obscene damage are the big perks of this bow.
Ice: The chief reason for this selection is the Holy Freeze Aura.
Witchwild String: Amplify Damage proc and two sockets to customize it with.
Riphook: Slows opponent and Open Wounds.
Desert Mercenary (Act 2)Edit
Hone Sundan: Crushing Blow and three sockets.
Reaper's Toll: Decrepify Proc.
Obedience: Crushing Blow and an Enchant Proc.
Infinity: Boasts a Conviction aura. A very popular runeword for those specialized in elemental attacks as it will break many elemental immunities.
Insight: Has a Meditation Aura that will help alleviate mana demands.
Once could also add Breath of the Dying, Last Wish, Death or Doom as well, as these are very powerful. They are also equally difficult to create.
Iron Wolf (Act 3)Edit
Spirit Sword and Spirit Shield: This combination will give the hireling excellent resistance bonuses as well as a total +4 to their skill levels.
Lidless Wall: Has +1 to all skills and a Faster Cast Rate bonus.
Rhyme: Has Cannot Be Frozen and Faster Hit Recovery.
Barbarians (Act 5)Edit
There are numerous swords that a Barbarian can use that listing them all would be impractical. Here are four uniques particularly beneficial to them:
Bloodletter: Fast, and has life leech. The sword will likely be obsolete by early Hell, however.
Headstriker: Level dependent Deadly Strike as well as level dependent maximum damage.
Azurewrath: The base damage is a bit low, but the added damage makes this blade frightening once it can be equipped
The Grandfather: Very high damage and Attack Rating bonus.
Lawbringer: a relatively cheap runeword with a Decrepify proc.
Breath of the Dying, Grief, Death are also options, albeit difficult ones considering the runes required.