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Best Companions in Diablo 2

Embarking on a quest through the dark, monster-infested world of Diablo 2 is no easy feat. The treacherous lands of Sanctuary are rife with demons, undead, and all manner of eldritch abominations itching to send unprepared adventurers to an early grave. In such a hostile environment, having a trusty companion by your side isn’t just comforting—it’s essential for survival. Whether you’re a seasoned dungeon crawler or a neophyte to the realm of action role-playing games, understanding the nuances of companions in Diablo 2 can significantly tip the scales in your favor.

Finding Companions#

In the grim world of Diablo 2, companions, or mercenaries as they’re officially known, can be enlisted to fight by your side against the hordes of the Burning Hells. These stalwart warriors come from all walks of life, each bringing their unique talents to the fray. But where does one find such fearless allies?

Companions can be hired from specific NPCs in the game, with each act offering different types of mercenaries. For example, in Act I, players meet Kashya, a Rogue captain who, after completing the quest “Sisters’ Burial Grounds,” allows the hire of Rogue Scouts. These ranged companions employ bows to deal damage and can even imbue their arrows with fire or ice magic, provided they possess the right equipment.

As adventurers dive deeper into Sanctuary’s corrupted lands, they’ll encounter other mercenaries like the Desert Warriors of Lut Gholein in Act II, who are known for their prowess in melee or magical combat. The Iron Wolves, adept at wielding elemental sorceries, can be hired from Greiz post-completion of the “Radament’s Lair” quest.

In the frigid expanses of Harrogath (Act V), players can hire Barbarian Warriors from Qual-Kehk once they’ve liberated his comrades. These mighty fighters excel in hand-to-hand combat and are invaluable in the thick of battle.

Companion Abilities#

Each type of companion comes with their own set of abilities, making them uniquely suited for different combat scenarios. For example, the Rogue Scouts of Act I can not only attack from a distance but can also scout ahead, providing invaluable reconnaissance. Their ability to shoot fire or cold arrows adds an elemental twist to their attacks, enabling them to exploit the vulnerabilities of different enemies.

The Desert Warriors of Act II are versatile mercenaries capable of filling both melee and caster roles. The ones equipped with spears or polearms excel at keeping enemies at bay, while the magi, depending on their elemental alignment (Fire, Cold, Lightning), unleash devastating spells on foes.

Act III’s Iron Wolves are elemental sorcerers that can either torch enemies with Fireball and Inferno, freeze them with Glacial Spike and Ice Blast, or zap them with Lightning and Charged Bolt spells. Their magical prowess makes them ideal for dealing with groups of enemies or focusing down single targets with high health pools.

The Barbarian Warriors from Act V are the tanks of the companion world. With their high health pools and powerful melee attacks, they can withstand punishing amounts of damage while dishing out their own.

Best Companions for Each Class#

Choosing the right companion often boils down to the class you’re playing and your build. Some general guidelines include:

  • Sorceress and Necromancer: These classes tend to keep their distance, making a melee-oriented companion like the Desert Warrior or Barbarian Warrior an excellent choice to keep enemies at bay.
  • Barbarian and Paladin: Melee fighters through and through, these classes can greatly benefit from having a Rogue Scout or an Iron Wolf, supplementing their close-quarters combat with ranged or elemental attacks.
  • Amazon and Assassin: Versatile and capable of handling both melee and ranged combat, Amazons and Assassins can tailor their companion choice to their specific build. A Desert Warrior can complement a ranged build, while a Rogue Scout can add firepower to a melee-centric approach.
  • Druid: Depending on the build (summoner, elemental, or shape-shifting), Druids can choose companions that either bolster their offensive capabilities or help control the battlefield. An Iron Wolf can augment an elemental Druid’s damage output, while a Barbarian Warrior can provide much-needed distraction for a shape-shifter.

Managing Companions#

Successfully commandeering companions in Diablo 2 isn’t just about picking the right one—it’s also about managing them effectively. This includes gearing them up properly, healing them during and after battles, and resurrecting them when they fall.

Equipping your companions is crucial to maximizing their effectiveness. While they can’t utilize the full range of gear that players can, certain items can significantly enhance their abilities. For instance, giving your Rogue Scout armor with +Dexterity or a bow with elemental damage can increase their damage output significantly. Similarly, equipping your Desert Warrior with a high-damage spear or a helmet with life steal can make them more formidable in combat.

Companions can be healed using potions directly from your inventory—simply drag the potion over their portrait. They’ll also gradually recover health over time, so keeping them alive is often a matter of strategic retreat and potion management.

Should your faithful ally fall in battle, fear not—they can be resurrected. Simply visit the mercenary’s corresponding NPC in town, and for a fee, your companion will be back by your side, ready to face the forces of evil once more.

Companions and the Storyline#

Not just hired swords (or bows or spells), the mercenaries of Diablo 2 are woven into the fabric of Sanctuary’s story. Their backgrounds, the quests that introduce them, and their comments on the environment and events add layers to the game’s rich narrative. For instance, the Rogue Scouts, remnants of the once-proud Sisters of the Sightless Eye, lend a personal stake to the fight against Andariel in Act I. Similarly, the Iron Wolves’ involvement in the conflict against Mephisto in Act III highlights the widespread impact of the Prime Evils’ return.

While companions may not have the most lines or the most intricate backstories, they add a human (or barbaric, or sorcerous) touch to the struggle against the darkness, reminding players that they’re not alone in their quest to save Sanctuary.

In the end, the companions of Diablo 2 are more than mere hirelings; they’re essential allies in the battle against the Prime Evils. Whether you favor the swift arrows of the Rogue Scout, the brute force of the Barbarian Warrior, the elemental might of the Iron Wolf, or the versatile arms of the Desert Warrior, choosing and managing your companions wisely can make the difference between victory and defeat in the demon-infested world of Sanctuary. So gear them up, keep them close, and remember: in the dark corners of Diablo 2, it pays to have a friend.

Best Companions in Diablo 2
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