List of Most Useful Mercenary Runewords

LIST OF MOST USEFUL MERCENARY RUNEWORDS

Discover what runewords will keep your mercenary alive

Runewords for a mercenary are usually picked to improve survivability or to provide a supporting function to the player. The best runewords that improve survivability are Treachery, Fortitude, and Chains of Honor. The most popular runewords that support the player passively are Insight, Infinity, and Faith. These runewords provide very useful auras that can normally only be obtained by a Paladin.

Use the advanced search to find specific runewords based on its properties. Use the runeword calculator to find out which runewords you can make with the runes you own.

  1. 1. Infinity

    A Diablo 2 mercenary using the Infinity runeword to provide a conviction aura.

    Infinity is a Diablo 2 Resurrected runeword created by combining ber + mal + ber + ist into a 4 socket polearm or spear. It requires at least level 63 to equip.

    Infinity takes a top spot as overpowered runeword because it is the best mercenary runeword for characters that deal elemental damage. The Conviction Aura granted by this aura runeword reduces enemy defenses and lowers enemy cold, fire, and lightning resistances.

    Even though the runeword provides additional reduced Enemy Lightning Resistance, this only applies for the wielder of the polearm. So when using this for your mercenary, this will only boost the Chain Lightning procs from the runeword. When using Infinity for a mercenary, the best base is an ethereal (Giant) Thresher.

    The high cost of 2 Ber runes makes this a very rare runeword.

    Patch 2.4: Infinity, Obedience, and Pride can now be made in Spears and Amazon Spears.

    Conviction level breakdown
    Conviction level
    8910111213141516
    defense −%777980828385868688
    maximum resist −%65707580859095100105

    Infinity

    'BerMalBerIst'required level: 63gear type: polearm | spear
    • 50% Chance To Cast Level 20 Chain Lightning When You Kill An Enemy
    • Level 12 Conviction Aura When Equipped
    • +35% Faster Run/Walk
    • +255-325% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    • -45-55% To Enemy Lightning Resistance (varies)
    • 40% Chance of Crushing Blow
    • Prevent Monster Heal
    • +(0.5*Clvl) To Vitality (Based on Character Level)
    • 30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
    • Level 21 Cyclone Armor (30 Charges)
    • socketed (4)

  2. 2. Insight

    A Diablo 2 mercenary using the Insight runeword to provide a meditation aura.

    Insight is a Diablo 2 Resurrected runeword created by combining ral + tir + tal + sol into a 4 socket polearm, staff or missile weapon. It requires at least level 27 to equip.

    Insight is mainly used for its Meditation Aura, providing nearly unlimited mana for casters. 'This aura runeword is almost exclusvely used as act 2 mercenary runeword, but can also be consumed by Necromancer\s Iron Golem, both will activate the Meditation Aura for the team.'

    The most common mistake people make when making Insight, is using a spear instead of a polearm, causing the runeword to not work. It is easy to mistake some spears for polearms, but only the bases listed below, qualify for the Insight runeword.

    Patch 2.4: Insight can now be made in Bows and Crossbows.

    Meditation level breakdown
    Meditation level
    10111213141516171819
    radius19.320.62223.324.62627.328.63031.3
    mana recovery525550575600625650675700725750

    Insight grants a maximum of +6 to Critical Strike. Critical Strike has a chance to double all physical damage of an attack. Critical Strike is in essence the same as Deadly Strike, but they don't stack. If either one triggers double damage, the other one is ignored.

    Critical Strike level breakdown
    Critical Strike level
    123456789101112
    crit chance %162532384246495154565859

    Insight increases your Cast Rate by a hefty 35%. Faster cast rate reduces the cast animation time of all spells. It does not have any affect on cast delays though. 

    faster cast rate breakpoints
    faster cast rate frames
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    barbarian09203763105200
    necromancer0918304875125
    paladin0918304875125
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    druid04101930466899163
    sorceress (lightning)071523355278117194
    amazon07142232486899152

    Insight

    'RalTirTalSol'required level: 27gear type: polearm | staff | missile weapon
    • Level 12-17 Meditation Aura When Equipped (varies)
    • +35% Faster Cast Rate
    • +200-260% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    • +9 To Minimum Damage
    • 180-250% Bonus to Attack Rating (varies)
    • Adds 5-30 Fire Damage
    • +75 Poison Damage Over 5 Seconds
    • +1-6 To Critical Strike (varies)
    • +5 To All Attributes
    • +2 To Mana After Each Kill
    • 23% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
    • socketed (4)

  3. 3. Treachery

    Fade on mercenary proced by the Treachery runeword.

    Treachery is a Diablo 2 Resurrected runeword created by combining shael + thul + lem into a 3 socket body armor. It requires at least level 43 to equip.

    Even though Treachery was originally intended for Assassins, any class can benefit from the chance to proc Fade and high bonus to Increased Attack Speed and Faster Hit Recovery.

    Because of its cheap cost and high boost to survivability , it is one of the best armors for mercenaries when created in an ethereal elite armor.

    Treachery has a 5% chance to cast a level 15 Fade when struck. Fade is a great way to increase survivability of any character, as it increases both elemental and physical resistances, and reduces curse duration.

    Fade level breakdown
    Fade level
    111213141516171819
    curse duration reduction %757677787980808181
    all resistance +%565758606062626363
    duration (s)240252264276288300312324336
    physical resistance +%111213141516171819

    Treachery increases your Hit Recovery Speed by 20%.  Faster hit recovery reduces the "hit stun" animation time, which is triggered when a hit takes more than 1/12th of your total life. 

    faster hit recovery breakpoints
    faster hit recovery frames
    1514131211109876543
    paladin0715274886200
    assassin0715274886200
    barbarian0715274886200
    amazon061320325286174600
    necromancer05101626395686152377
    druid05101626395686152377
    sorceress059142030426086142280
    desert mercenary059142030426086142280

    Treachery

    'ShaelThulLem'required level: 43gear type: body armor
    • 5% Chance To Cast Level 15 Fade When Struck
    • 25% Chance To Cast level 15 Venom On Striking
    • +2 To Assassin Skills
    • +45% Increased Attack Speed
    • +20% Faster Hit Recovery
    • Cold Resist +30%
    • 50% Extra Gold From Monsters
    • socketed (3)

  4. 4. Chains of Honor

    Chains of Honor is a Diablo 2 Resurrected runeword created by combining dol + um + ber + ist into a 4 socket body armor. It requires at least level 63 to equip.

    Chains of Honor is the best all-purpose choice for nearly any build. Even though its Life Leach gears it slightly towards physical builds, the +2 to All Skills and massive bonus to All Resistances makes it a great choice for all typess of builds.

    The best base for Chains of Honor is an elite light armor (Dusk Shroud, Wyrmhide, Scarab Husk, Wire Fleece, Great Hauberk and Archon Plate). A Dusk Shroud requires the lowest strength, while an Archon Plate has the highest defense.

    The required Ber rune makes it an expensive armor, albeit much less expensive than Enigma

    Chains of Honor

    'DolUmBerIst'required level: 63gear type: body armor
    • +2 To All Skills
    • +200% Damage To Demons
    • +100% Damage To Undead
    • 8% Life Stolen Per Hit
    • +70% Enhanced Defense
    • +20 To Strength
    • Replenish Life +7
    • All Resistances +65
    • Damage Reduced By 8%
    • 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
    • socketed (4)

  5. 5. Fortitude

    Fortitude Procing Chilling Armor when Hit by Projectile..

    Fortitude is a Diablo 2 Resurrected runeword created by combining el + sol + dol + lo into a 4 socket weapon or body armor. It requires at least level 59 to equip.

    Fortitude can be made in both weapons and armor. Because of the high cost of a Lo rune, and many better alternatives in the weapon slot for that price, Fortitude is usually only made in the armor slot. The best armor to make Fortitude in is a high-defense Archon Plate. For a mercenary, the best armor should be ethereal and ideally be superior. If you have a low level mercenary, it's best to also go for an Archon Plate. If you have a high level mercenary (lvl 90+), you can opt for a Sacred Armor, given the high strength requirement.

    Because of its high Enhanced Damage, Fortitude is most useful for physical damage characters like Smiter Paladin, Bowazon, Kicksin, or Frenzy Barb. When created in an ethereal base, this is also a perfect armor for any physical damage mercenary.

    Enhanced Damage on an armor does in fact work and increases physical damage. First all weapon damage modifiers are applied, secondly all offhand damage modifiers are applied. This means that if you have f.e. +200% Enhanced Damage (damage x 3) on your weapon and +300% Enhanced Damage (damage x 4) from Fortitude, you will multiply your damage by 12 in total.

    On top of this ability to massively enhance physical damage, it also provides many benefits to survivability like Enhanced Defense and All Resistances. However you should be careful when selecting this armor for defensive purposes, as Chains of Honor could be a better alternative in some cases.

    Fortitude has a 20% chance to cast a level 15 Chilling Armor when struck. Chilling armor increases the defense of the caster, and (only) retaliates with an Ice Bolt when hit by projectiles.

    Chilling Armor level breakdown
    Chilling Armor level
    111213141516171819
    defense +%95100105110115120125130135
    damage19-2721-3022-3326-3528-3830-4134-4537-4941-53
    duration (s)224230236242248254260266272

    Fortitude increases your Cast Rate by 25%. Faster cast rate reduces the cast animation time of all spells. It does not have any affect on cast delays though. 

    faster cast rate breakpoints
    faster cast rate frames
    19181716151413121110987
    sorceress09203763105200
    barbarian09203763105200
    necromancer0918304875125
    paladin0918304875125
    assassin0816274265102174
    druid04101930466899163
    sorceress (lightning)071523355278117194
    amazon07142232486899152

    Fortitude

    'ElSolDolLo'required level: 59gear type: weapon | body armor
    • 20% Chance To Cast Level 15 Chilling Armor when Struck
    • +25% Faster Cast Rate
    • +300% Enhanced Damage
    • +200% Enhanced Defense
    • +((8-12)*0.125*Clvl) To Life (Based on Character Level) (varies)
    • All Resistances +25-30 (varies)
    • 12% Damage Taken Goes To Mana
    • +1 To Light Radius
    • Weapons
    • +9 To Minimum Damage
    • +50 To Attack Rating
    • 20% Deadly Strike
    • Hit Causes Monster To Flee 25%
    • Armor
    • +15 Defense
    • Replenish Life +7
    • +5% To Maximum Lightning Resist
    • Damage Reduced By 7
    • socketed (4)

  6. 6. Faith

    Act 1 mercenary using Faith to grant Fanaticism aura.

    Faith is a Diablo 2 Resurrected runeword created by combining ohm + jah + lem + eld into a 4 socket missile weapon. It requires at least level 65 to equip.

    Faith is one of the most physically damaging missile weapons in the game. Along with Beast, it is the only runeword granting the Fanaticism aura to its user. When used on an act 1 mercenary, it will grant this aura to you and your team without having to sacrifice an item slot on your main character.

    When an enemy is killed by this weapon, there is a 10% chance it will return as an allied Returned skeleton.

    Fanaticism level breakdown
    Fanaticism level
    1011121314151617
    radius13.31414.615.31616.617.318
    party damage +%101110118127135144152161
    your damage +%203220237254271288305322
    attack speed +%3031313233333434
    attack rating +%859095100105110115120

    Faith

    'OhmJahLemEld'required level: 65gear type: missile weapon
    • Level 12-15 Fanaticism Aura When Equipped (varies)
    • +1-2 To All Skills (varies)
    • +330% Enhanced Damage
    • Ignore Target's Defense
    • 300% Bonus To Attack Rating
    • +75% Damage To Undead
    • +50 To Attack Rating Against Undead
    • +120 Fire Damage
    • All Resistances +15
    • 10% Reanimate As: Returned
    • 75% Extra Gold From Monsters
    • socketed (4)

  7. 7. Duress

    Duress is a Diablo 2 Resurrected runeword created by combining shael + um + thul into a 3 socket body armor. It requires at least level 47 to equip.

    Duress is a budget runeword and a decent option for melee characters. It's biggest selling point is its high Chance of Open Wounds and moderate Chance of Crushing Blow. Besides its offensive bonuses, it also provides a decent defense and resistance boost.

    Duress increases your Hit Recovery Speed by a decent 40%.  Faster hit recovery reduces the "hit stun" animation time, which is triggered when a hit takes more than 1/12th of your total life. Most classes will already jump a few breakpoints with this bonus alone.

    faster hit recovery breakpoints
    faster hit recovery frames
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    assassin0715274886200
    barbarian0715274886200
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    sorceress059142030426086142280
    desert mercenary059142030426086142280

    Duress

    'ShaelUmThul'required level: 47gear type: body armor
    • +40% faster hit Recovery
    • +10-20% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    • Adds 37-133 Cold Damage
    • 15% Chance of Crushing Blow
    • 33% Chance of Open Wounds
    • +150-200% Enhanced Defense (varies)
    • -20% Slower Stamina Drain
    • Cold Resist +45%
    • Lightning Resist +15%
    • Fire Resist +15%
    • Poison Resist +15%
    • socketed (3)

  8. 8. Obedience

    Obedience is a Diablo 2 Resurrected runeword created by combining hel + ko + thul + eth + fal into a 5 socket polearm or spear. It requires at least level 41 to equip.

    Obedience is a powerful but cheap runeword that perfectly fits the act 2 mercenary. It boasts a huge damage boost with 370% Enhanced Damage, 40% Crushing Blow, and a chance to cast level 21 Enchant when killing an enemy.

    Besides its offensive bonuses, it also provides great defensive stats like up to +30 to All Resistances and up to 300 Defense.

    Patch 2.4: Infinity, Obedience, and Pride can now be made in Spears and Amazon Spears.

    Obedience has a 30% chance to cast a level 21 Enchant when you kill an enemy.

    Enchant level breakdown
    Enchant level
    1718192021
    bonus damage56-7662-8368-9074-9780-104
    bonus attack rating %164173182191200
    duration (s)528552576600624

    Obedience increases your Hit Recovery Speed by a decent 40%.  Faster hit recovery reduces the "hit stun" animation time, which is triggered when a hit takes more than 1/12th of your total life. Most classes will already jump a few breakpoints with this bonus alone.

    faster hit recovery breakpoints
    faster hit recovery frames
    1514131211109876543
    paladin0715274886200
    assassin0715274886200
    barbarian0715274886200
    amazon061320325286174600
    necromancer05101626395686152377
    druid05101626395686152377
    sorceress059142030426086142280
    desert mercenary059142030426086142280

    Obedience

    'HelKoThulEthFal'required level: 41gear type: polearm | spear
    • 30% Chance To Cast Level 21 Enchant When You Kill An Enemy
    • +40% Faster Hit Recovery
    • +370% Enhanced Damage
    • -25% Target Defense
    • Adds 3-14 Cold Damage
    • -25% To Enemy Fire Resistance
    • 40% Chance of Crushing Blow
    • +200-300 Defense (varies)
    • +10 To Strength
    • +10 To Dexterity
    • All Resistances +20-30 (varies)
    • Requirements -20%
    • socketed (5)

What do you think is the strongest mercenary runeword?

Summary of the top 8 mercenary runewords

List of the most useful mercenary runewords
Runeword
Sockets
Allowed BasesRuneword Recipe
Level
Stats
Infinity4 socketspolearmspear
ber runeber + mal runemal + ber runeber + ist runeist
63
50% Chance To Cast Level 20 Chain Lightning When You Kill An EnemyLevel 12 Conviction Aura When Equipped+35% Faster Run/Walk+255-325% Enhanced Damage (varies)-45-55% To Enemy Lightning Resistance (varies)40% Chance of Crushing Blow (ber)Prevent Monster Heal (mal)+(0.5*Clvl) To Vitality (Based on Character Level)30% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items (ist)Level 21 Cyclone Armor (30 Charges)
Insight4 socketspolearmstaffmissile weapon
ral runeral + tir runetir + tal runetal + sol runesol
27
Level 12-17 Meditation Aura When Equipped (varies)+35% Faster Cast Rate+200-260% Enhanced Damage (varies)+9 To Minimum Damage (sol)180-250% Bonus to Attack Rating (varies)Adds 5-30 Fire Damage (ral)+75 Poison Damage Over 5 Seconds (tal)+1-6 To Critical Strike (varies)+5 To All Attributes+2 To Mana After Each Kill (tir)23% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Treachery3 socketsbody armor
shael runeshael + thul runethul + lem runelem
43
5% Chance To Cast Level 15 Fade When Struck25% Chance To Cast level 15 Venom On Striking+2 To Assassin Skills+45% Increased Attack Speed+20% Faster Hit Recovery (shael)Cold Resist +30% (thul)50% Extra Gold From Monsters (lem)
Chains of Honor4 socketsbody armor
dol runedol + um runeum + ber runeber + ist runeist
63
+2 To All Skills+200% Damage To Demons+100% Damage To Undead8% Life Stolen Per Hit+70% Enhanced Defense+20 To StrengthReplenish Life +7 (dol)All Resistances +65 (um)Damage Reduced By 8% (ber)25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items (ist)
Fortitude4 socketsweaponbody armor
el runeel + sol runesol + dol runedol + lo runelo
59
20% Chance To Cast Level 15 Chilling Armor when Struck+25% Faster Cast Rate+300% Enhanced Damage+200% Enhanced Defense+((8-12)*0.125*Clvl) To Life (Based on Character Level) (varies)All Resistances +25-30 (varies)12% Damage Taken Goes To Mana+1 To Light Radius (el)Weapons+9 To Minimum Damage (sol)+50 To Attack Rating (el)20% Deadly Strike (lo)Hit Causes Monster To Flee 25% (dol)Armor+15 Defense (el)Replenish Life +7 (dol)+5% To Maximum Lightning Resist (lo)Damage Reduced By 7 (sol)
Faith4 socketsmissile weapon
ohm runeohm + jah runejah + lem runelem + eld runeeld
65
Level 12-15 Fanaticism Aura When Equipped (varies)+1-2 To All Skills (varies)+330% Enhanced Damage (ohm)Ignore Target's Defense (jah)300% Bonus To Attack Rating+75% Damage To Undead (eld)+50 To Attack Rating Against Undead (eld)+120 Fire DamageAll Resistances +1510% Reanimate As: Returned75% Extra Gold From Monsters (lem)
Duress3 socketsbody armor
shael runeshael + um runeum + thul runethul
47
+40% faster hit Recovery (shael)+10-20% Enhanced Damage (varies)Adds 37-133 Cold Damage15% Chance of Crushing Blow33% Chance of Open Wounds+150-200% Enhanced Defense (varies)-20% Slower Stamina DrainCold Resist +45% (thul)Lightning Resist +15%Fire Resist +15%Poison Resist +15%
Obedience5 socketspolearmspear
hel runehel + ko runeko + thul runethul + eth runeeth + fal runefal
41
30% Chance To Cast Level 21 Enchant When You Kill An Enemy+40% Faster Hit Recovery+370% Enhanced Damage-25% Target Defense (eth)Adds 3-14 Cold Damage (thul)-25% To Enemy Fire Resistance40% Chance of Crushing Blow+200-300 Defense (varies)+10 To Strength (fal)+10 To Dexterity (ko)All Resistances +20-30 (varies)Requirements -20% (hel)

Did I miss any important runewords for the mercenary? What runeword would you add to this list?

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