As indicated by its name, Flickering Flame supports classes that play with Fire. With reductions to the enemy, Fire resistance, bonuses to Fire skills, an emanating Resist Fire aura, and other defensive abilities, it's a strong choice for both Fire classes and their Mercenaries.

Flickering Flame Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths of the Flickering Flame Runeword:

Decreased Enemy Fire Resistance stacks with Conviction and/or Lower Resist

Bonus to Fire Skills is not class specific

Other good properties such as reducing freeze and poison durations, enhanced defenses, and emanating Resist Fire, an important resist in Hell and Ubers

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Weaknesses of the Flickering Flame Runeword:

Vex rune is expensive with a lot of competition from other Runewords, particularly Heart of the Oak and Breath of the Dying

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Resist Fire aura does not synergize with Holy Fire

Flickering Flame adds +5 to Maximum Fire Resist, no matter what class wears it. All player resistances cap at 95%, which may not be needed depending on other equipment.

The Resist Fire aura from Flickering Flames offers no additional damage synergy to Holy Fire, even when worn by a Paladin with hard points in both. It will stack with a Resist Fire aura for fire resistance, but not for damage synergy.

The -(10-15%) to enemy Fire resistance does stack with both Conviction and Lower Resist, and can be a great benefit to Fire Casters dealing with tough Fire Immunes in Hell whose immunities cannot be overcome by Conviction or Lower Resist alone.

Flickering Flame Recommendations

Runewords vary on their suitability for different classes and specs and utility for the various Mercenaries. This next section will discuss what classes and specs can make the most out of Flickering Flame, whether you should consider using Flickering Flame with your Mercenary follower, what base items to consider, and where to acquire Runes.

Best Classes and Specs for the Flickering Flame Runeword

This is meant for fire casters or mercenaries that run with them. Fire-based Amazons, Druids, Paladins, and Sorceresses in particular will be interested either in wearing this helm or at least equipping this on a Mercenary. It's great for these classes to wear themselves for the +3 bonus to Fire Skills, fire defense reduction, and halved Poison and Freeze durations (particularly if you don't wear an item that gives you Cannot Be Frozen). Even running with a Mercenary or Paladin running Conviction and/or Lower Resist, you'll have an easier time with the 10-15% reduced Enemy Fire Resist.

Paladins do not get more benefits with the Resist Fire aura on themselves than they would on their Mercenaries, so other than the +Fire skills, it doesn't help there.