the a2 nightmare def merc with holy freeze is an excellent option for a2 mercs...the holy freeze has a huge range at high levels, providing more control for mobs which can really help, especially in hell where your slow effect of hurricane is drastically reduced, and nil on cold immunes.
I use an Act 1 cold merc with an Ice Bow, Gaze, and Fortitude. She's really sturdy, deals reasonable elemental damage, and gives me a very useful Holy Freeze aura. This lets me run Chaos Sanctuary easily. To deal with those Physical/Cold immunes, I use a 1-point Fury/1-point Feral Rage wielding something like an Azurewrath or Stormlash. Throw in a pair of Gores and a Ber and you have good crushing blow for bosses.
For skills I maxed the 4 wind skills, got a 1-pt bear, a carrion vine, and a 1-pt heart of wolverine (it's useful at times). I still have 16 points I can put into Oak Sage (18 if I don't want vines). In 8-players hell I find myself using the wolf form about as frequently as I use wind, and having a fully-synergized Cyclone Armor and Hurricane going as I Fury is nice.
I haven't tried running ubers with this. Does anyone know if it would work? I can see problems with the low Lycanthropy (less life and less shift duration), and possibly AR problems since I'm not maxing Werewolf, Feral Rage, or Fury. Any thoughts on this? Also, PvP applications? Would the weak Fury wolf form be useful against any of a Windy's bad matchups?
How about with dual Ravenfrosts + Metalgrid or as a last resort Angelics. Throw on a Cerberus's Bite with a good AR% bonus (really iffy and not sure if it would give more AR than the +skills from Jalal's anyway), and some sharp small charms. I think the AR problem can be fixed with some effort.
What really worries me though is the shift duration. If you use prebuff gear you can get around a level 18 Lycanthropy, and higher if you throw in some SS grand charms (these also help your AR). That's 420 seconds of wolf + 20 more seconds for each SS GC you use. Would 7-9 minutes with a Ribcracker be enough time to take down Uber Meph?
Yes, but then you lose the AR charms and thus your chance to hit.
The problem is that pure Uber Wolves have maxed WW, Dual Ravens, Metalgrid, AR charms, and still barely clear 80% chance to hit with Feral Rage. So you WILL have a hard time hitting with one point WW, which will delay LT proccing which, with your low life (Oak won't last more than two seconds) will put you in grave danger.
For windies i'm also kinda partial to act 2 defensive merc (hf aura), because:
1) can wield reaper's toll
2) decent level of crowd control vs. most monsters
3) slowed monsters are easier to hit with nados
@ MrPipes. if your not using anything on switch (which i seriously doubt, cta comes to mind) you could use an insight non-elite staff or normal polearm, leaving the merc weapon slot open for reaper's toll.