Can I call a Zeal/Hammerdin a Zealerdin? Master Yap or Zap (I forget) would probably like to comment on that one, but this is all besides the main point of my post.
I can now make either Honor in a 5 os Scourge (non-eth bugged) or Black in any 3os club, hammer or mace (these all seem relatively easy to come by so it is probably a matter of one or two games before I find one). My primary mode of attack is to use my Hammers, but those pesky archers are quick and sometimes I have to run after them and kill them. I am using Holy Thunder atm, which in Hell is useless, so I need an upgrade. Before I invest my hard earned runes I was wondering that you out there thought.
A couple of notes: my rune supply is low, so a suggestion of some crazy expensive rune word (while undoubtedly an amazing choice) is not feasible for me right now; also, I am using Silks of the Victor armor (507 def, mostly for the +1 skills) and Signons Helm, boots, and belt with Spirit on an Akaran Targe (122 def) and a Wizard spike for the FCR and resistances. On Switch (which would be the zealing weapon and the focus here -- which makes me wonder why I added the previous info.... I guess I just want to be thorough) I have Holy Thunder and Rhyme (86 def). Ammy and rings are nothing special, gloves are kinda nice, I forget the name but 120 def, with MF and some poison res.
Merc is Act 2 def. (NM) for the Holy Freeze, but I am not attached, although I am going to be making him some Stone armor on a 669 base def Eth, Ornate plate (so he doesn't die every 5 minutes). He is of course using Insight and the Helm is a 2 socketed Shako 122 def with two PTopaz's in it (I have to find my future runes somehow right?).
As of this point I haven't really dared to go beyond the Outer Cloister in Hell because I can't consistently run the countess yet, but everywhere else he is a killing machine with those hammers (~3000 dmg) which for me at this point seem quite formidable, although I am aware some of you have got up to the 9-12K level (which really impresses me). Oh, I am also level 73 with max BH, BA, 16 - 18 Conc, 5 Zeal, 2 or 3 in HS, 1 Conv., I forget how many in Vigor, but the rest are there with the exception of the pre-reqs.
So, I think that is enough info, to decide between Honor or Black ;-)
either are really great options, honor only has 160ed iirc and black ed is even lower but some crushing blow. you need to catch archers that run away from you right? i say trade a few pgems for a elite unique 2hander for charging. for example doombringer sword or hellslayer axe, for one handed theres stuff like barana's star etc. if you already have the runes for honoor the amn and sol runes will cover the cost. as for your other pieces of gear try trading for peasant crown, viper magi, and trang gloves all traded from pgems as well.
sry just noticed you skilled one in conviction? then something like barana's already mentioned or gimmershred would probably go nicely with that.
3000 damage seems kind of low on your hammers, you have Conc active as your right skill, and hammers as your left click skill right?
Without Engima/Teleport a Zeal/Hammerdin is a little limited, as almonds mentioned a high damage 2 hander with Charge would take care of them pretty quick, at least close the gap so you could switch to Zeal. With a few more +skills Conviction could start to shine and Gimmers would become a very nice option, cheap and loaded with elemental damage, also they are throwable allowing you to stand put and toss them if you wish.
Yep, left is BH and right is Conc. I also thought 3K was low for a Level 73 Hammerdin, so I am glad it was not just me thinking that. With equip I have +3 to all skills, making it: BH 23, BA 21, Conc. 21, Vigor 7 (I thought I had more there), HS 6. On switch I have: Zeal 7, Charge 4, Smite 4, Convic. 4.
So is the general consensus then to drop the whole Honor/Black idea and try and trade for a Barana's Star or Gimmershead instead? I also like having the Rhyme shield because then on switch I can get a little bit more MF, before I open chests and when I am in the final leg of killing certain monsters. However, if a two-hander will increase my survivability then I would probably be happier in the long run. I have Trangs sitting in my Fishy's stash I'll bring them over to my Hammedin (they can have tea together). I will also keep my eyes open for a peasant crown and Viper magi. I just traded all my pgems for an Um and Pul (for the Stone for my Merc) so it may be a little while, but I have hope.
Thanks for your input. If anyone else has other suggestions, I am always eager to learn.
Assuming that you're level 73, have lvl20 base Concentration, lvl4 base Zeal, lvl1 base Conviction, 125 strength, 150 dexterity, an additional +1 skills from Silks, and the lowest possible rolls on all weapons mentioned:
Zeal damage using Conviction:
Gimmershred: ~1550 avg damage
Chance to hit a Dark Stalker using Concentration:
Black Scourge: ~53%
Honor Scourge: ~56%
Baranar's Star: ~70%
The Redeemer: ~61%
Chance to hit using Conviction:
Attack Speed using Zeal:
Black Scourge: 7fpa
Honor Scourge: 7fpa
Baranar's Star: 6fpa
The Redeemer: 7fpa
Black Scourge: ~1050 dmg/second + Crushing Blow
Honor Scourge: ~1850 dmg/second
Lightsaber: ~3325 dmg/second
Baranar's Star: ~3500 dmg/second
Headstriker: ~2150 dmg/second
The Redeemer: ~3100 dmg/second
Gimmershred: ~4050 dmg/second
So Gimmershreds + Conviction are your best bet if you can secure a set of them. In my experience, Voice of Reason is not a good choice for Hell mode: the damage is just not high enough (incalculable, of course, but still not high enough). And 2Handers? Maybe, but you would be giving up a lot of defense, many have ridiculous stat requirements, and the attack speeds are generally pretty slow once you start Zealing.
And if you haven't made the Stone armor yet, don't. The defense is nice, but that's really all it has going for it, and defense alone will not keep your merc alive. High damage, life leech and damage reduction will. A Shaftstop, high-damage Insight, and Life leech helm (Tal Rasha Mask, Crown of Thieves, etc) will make him much tougher than a Stone, and for a much lower cost. If you're on the Realms, you can probably trade the Um+Pul for a Lo and make a Fortitude, which will give your merc a ton of extra damage and ultimately higher defense thanks to the Chilling Armor effect.
Other suggestions: Until you can afford Arachnid Mesh or Mara's Kaleidoscope, crafted Caster gear can work pretty well (if you're not already using it).
Voice of Reason will get you through Act II, but not much further - the cold damage is just not enough, even with high Conviction (I used it once on a conv zealer doing his hell Izual quest. I spent a solid half an hour zealing Izzy and his mob, and only survived because I had a tgods and was surrounded by hordes of lightning wisps).
And without high Conviction you won't be able to hit anything, mind you. Again, watch your attack rating.
Zeal/hdin is a difficult choice to gear, and even harder to gear cheaply, really. Maybe Dragonscale/'EthEth' Djinn Slayer? You should be able to get these cheap via trading, nobody else uses them.
Since you have an Um, you really should make a Crescent Moon imo. It's a great Zealot weapon.
To improve your merc's survivability give him some life leech. A tal mask is cheap and does the trick nicely.
Also: MF doesn't affect rune drop, and only hard points (points you actually spend) matter on synergies (BA, Vigor).
I will definitely work on getting my merc some more life leech, however, I just made Stone today (hanging head in shame). I did get 2475 def out of it, which I thought was pretty sweet, and my merc only died once and I went all the way through Act 1 to the outer cloister. So, I was happy. I will definitely find more life leech for him though.
A question about the expenditure of "hard points" only mattering for synergies; does this mean that the best way to increase my hammers dmg is to put more points into vigor rather than maxing Conc.?
To LordC: Thank-you so much for the effort to put all of that together for me. You are very cool and I really appreciate it. I will try and get a Gimmershreds set, I need to find out what it is first, but the numbers don't lie. It is too bad I made Stone already, or I would go for Fortitude. Ah well, a few more Countess runs can't hurt. Well, actually at the level I am at they can hurt, but I will find a way.
To Ronya: Thank-you as well for your input. I will scratch Voice of Reason off of my list an keep my eye out for Dragonscale and EthEth DJinn slayer. I have read about these before, but never really checked them out, so now I will.
Thank-you Sweetalmonds (I really like chocolate covered almonds) I will look for Gimmers.
And to BAMFspecial ops, I have had Enigma in mind for a while and it is on my list once I can afford it. I think teleport is very necessary, but I think of it as a really good run-away option ;-)
P.S. I noticed that no one mention Passion. Is this used much?