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1) Max out personal tree 2) Get "Blood magic: 1 more mana per HP" staff, belt, neck, rings 3) Pump Con 4) ???? 5) Lol, blood mage that gets 7 mana per HP and has a massive AoE stun with huge damage.
For extra lulz, use her enemy pull to gather enemies up, then her AoE stun to keep them all in place and get them low on health, then Walking Bomb (Virulent for turbolulz) one of the tougher mooks and focus-fire to finish it off.
You can have a warrior cause staggers constantly on enemies. Merril can use upgraded chain lightning or crushing prison to get good results. Also, the entropy tree is very useful against tough opponents. Make sure Merrril takes some sustainable magic spells if she's using blood magic.
If you have a warrior or rogue with talents that attack brittle enemies, a fully upgraded elemental tree can be quite nice (a bit hard to use on Nightmare, though.) Her personal tree is good, but I've only been using blood magic from it, and getting lots of good talents elsewhere. Feel free to experiment a bit.