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D2R Merc Auras (Level & Stack) Guide | Best Act 2 Mercency Auras For Your Build in Diablo 2 Resurrected
6/28/2022 3:12:30 PM

In Diablo 2 Resurrected Act 2 Desert Mercenary has been the most often recommended mercenary type in the 2.4 patches and ladder season since it acts as a super tank and offers very useful auras to the player. So it will be necessary to choose which one to recruit according to the desired aura for your build. 

Diablo 2 Resurrected Act 2 Merc Auras

In Diablo 2 Resurrected, the Auras make the Act 2 Mercenaries the most popular companions in the game. 

There are a total of 6 different auras. Three of them can be mastered by mercenaries from the Normal and Hell difficulty levels, three more are only available to mercenaries from the Nightmare difficulty level. We present all the Act 2 Mercenary Auras by ranking the from best to the worst:

D2R Act 2 Merc Auras Tier List (Stats)

  • 1. Holy Freeze (Defence / Nightmare) - Slows Monsters

  • 2. Might (Offence / Nightmare) - Increases Melee Damage

  • 3. Prayer (Combat / Normal or Hell) - Regens Life

  • 4. Blessed Aim (Offence / Normal and Hell) - Increases AR

  • 5. Defiance (Defence / Normal or Hell) - Increases Armor Class

  • 6. Thorns (Combat / Nightmare) - Deals damage back to attacker

How To Active Act 2 Merc Aura in Diablo 2 Resurrected?

Diablo 2 merc aura not activating? In essence, the Act II merc won't use his aura unless he needs to choose an assault. At level 90 and above, the likelihood of using his aura drops by about 2.5 percent with each level. The aura won't go off if your character kills everyone else before the merc has a chance to glance around.

There are times when a hired merc's aura just won't turn on, or at the absolute least, turn on very slowly. It can be a little more involved than what was said above. Such issues should typically be resolved by just returning to town and then having your mercenary kill additional creatures.

Diablo 2 Resurrected Merc Auras Stack

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 higher aura would override.

Different auras can always stack though - Two of the same can stack if they're both from items. If one's from items and the other is from the character/merc itself, only the higher level of the two will apply.

Diablo 2 Resurrected Merc Aura Levels

What Lvl Auras Are Act 2 Mercs? 

Normal Difficulty

Combat Prayer (hlvl 9 = alvl 3, max. alvl = 18)

Defensive Defiance (hlvl 9 = alvl 3, max. alvl = 18)

Offensive Blessed Aim (hlvl 9 = alvl 3, max. alvl = 18)

Nightmare Difficulty

Combat Thorns (hlvl 31 = alvl 9, max. alvl = 17)

Defensive Holy Freeze (hlvl 31 = alvl 9, max. alvl = 17)

Offensive Might (hlvl 31 = alvl 8, There is no cap on Might level )

Hell Difficulty

Combat Prayer (hlvl 55 = alvl 18, max. alvl = 16)*

Defensive Defiance (hlvl 55 = alvl 18, max. alvl = 16)*

Offensive Blessed Aim (hlvl 55 = alvl 18, max. alvl = 15)*

Basically, you should know that the auras of the mercenaries change depending on the level of difficulty. But this is only the case if you also hire a mercenary of the appropriate level of difficulty. If you take the mercenary from Normal to Nightmare instead, its aura does not change.

What Character Level to Get What Aura Level?

We have attached a text file that is taken from the hireling.txt file contained in Diablo's mpqs. It shows that if you want an HF/Thorn/Might mercenary, you have to hire him in Nightmare mode. In addition, when there are several lines, the mercenary jumps from the line when his level exceeds/equals that indicated, this shows that a normal mercenary in level 55 will surely have a defiance aura 18 while the Hell mercenary will only have 16 (so, it is better to hire your mercenary as soon as possible, without going into details, life and resistances are also better). The last column indicates the level up, we don't know if the value is used and its meaning, but it would indicate that some mercenaries never level up the aura, this should be checked.

Desert MercenaryComb-Normal9Prayer310
Desert MercenaryComb-Normal31Prayer1010
Desert MercenaryComb-Normal55Prayer180
Desert MercenaryDef-Normal9Defiance310
Desert MercenaryDef-Normal31Defiance1010
Desert MercenaryDef-Normal55Defiance180
Desert MercenaryOff-Normal9Blessed Aim310
Desert MercenaryOff-Normal31Blessed Aim1010
Desert MercenaryOff-Normal55Blessed Aim180
Desert MercenaryComb-Nightmare31Thorns910
Desert MercenaryComb-Nightmare55Thorns170
Desert MercenaryDef-Nightmare31Holy Freeze910
Desert MercenaryDef-Nightmare55Holy Freeze170
Desert MercenaryOff-Nightmare31Might810
Desert MercenaryOff-Nightmare55Might1610
Desert MercenaryComb-Hell55Prayer160
Desert MercenaryDef-Hell55Defiance160
Desert MercenaryOff-Hell55Blessed Aim150

Best D2R Merc Auras To Use In Each Difficulty Mode

The choice of a mercenary variant is not overly important for other types of mercenaries. And since Act 2's Desert Merc is by far the most popular, we're going to detail a bit about the best auras available for each difficulty setting. Auras not listed may be useful with specific builds, but these are very specific cases.


Prayer: Gives life regeneration, which can be useful for spellcasters as well as summoning Necromancers, since they have no Lifesteal on spells or their creatures.

Defiance: A popular choice, available from Normal mode, which is a big plus. This will provide excellent survivability for the Mercenary, as well as your character, even in Hell mode if both of you are well equipped. It's a favored choice in Hardcore mode, but you might still get a nasty surprise from time to time with enemies ignoring defense.

Blessed Aim: Improves the chance of hitting your target with an attack. Normally, your character should have enough if you equip yourself correctly. Very hard to hit targets like big bosses will tend to slaughter your mercenary, which will also deprive you of the bonus. So that doesn't make it a very popular choice outside of a few builds.


Might: Another very popular choice, since it simply gives bonus damage, which makes it very useful as long as you are not attacking directly with elemental spells. The Mercenary will also become a war machine once well equipped. It will also transform the troops of a summoning Necromancer into a veritable horde of the apocalypse.

Blessed Aim: One of the other most popular auras, it will inflict damage, boost attacks, and above all greatly slow down enemies. This will nearly immobilize the majority of enemies, or even prevent them from teleporting, allowing you to take them down easily. The survivability and control offered by this aura make it a popular choice in Hardcore too.


Auras are the same as the Normal mode versions. Unless you don't feel like leveling up your mercenary, then it's better to recruit those from Normal mode, who will have better stats and higher-level skills when they catch up.

Best D2R Act 2 Merc Aura for Your Build

Might - Ideal for a variety of builds especially Necromancer, Physical damage dealers and elemental damage dealers, since it provides a substantial bonus to physical damage dealt

Holy Freeze - Mainly useful for characters like the Hammerdin who stand to benefit more from slowing enemies than gaining an alternate source of damage

Prayer - Excellent for well-equipped late-game cold sorceresses and other Insight merc users that want some health regeneration but don't need the crowd control of Holy Freeze

Blessed Aim - Useful for melee build in specific situations and niche mercenary builds


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