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  #251  
Old 09-19-2018, 07:42 PM
ya_ ya_ is online now
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Originally Posted by sigatrev View Post
I don't think I've use Cataclysm's Eye on a Cabalist build, but it's my off-hand of choice for every other Occultist subclass. Cabalists get more useful skill bonuses out of Stormbringer of Malmouth than other classes, and are also more likely to use Witching Hour.
Thanks. Have you ever tried reviving/tweaking this build to the current state of updates, nerfs and buffs? I mean lighting pet cabalist with Stormbringer of Malmouth (maybe with double familiars as they would surely benefit from the lighting bonuses, or would't they...?)
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  #252  
Old 09-20-2018, 05:33 AM
sigatrev sigatrev is offline
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Originally Posted by ya_ View Post
Thanks. Have you ever tried reviving/tweaking this build to the current state of updates, nerfs and buffs? I mean lighting pet cabalist with Stormbringer of Malmouth (maybe with double familiars as they would surely benefit from the lighting bonuses, or would't they...?)
If I was going to build a lightning-skeleton Necro, it'd look something like this, except that I wouldn't because I don't use double-rare MIs, but you could swap one of the rings for a Wendigo Conjurer Seal and use any old medal of Caged Souls - it wouldn't be as good but it'd be okay.

I just tested that and cleared Gladiator in 9:10, although I'm a little rusty so it could probably be a little faster. In the end, it plays like a Familiar build with mediocre RR that has Skeletons some of the time.

While it's not fair to compare builds across very different patches, but I vehemently disagree with a lot of DaShiv's general build theory.
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  #253  
Old 09-20-2018, 06:01 AM
ya_ ya_ is online now
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Originally Posted by sigatrev View Post
While it's not fair to compare builds across very different patches, but I vehemently disagree with a lot of DaShiv's general build theory.
This is super interesting. Mind to elaborate?

I’m asking because this build was super popular back in the day just like yours are now. (I admit to crafting them plaguebearers myself for a while). I would really like to hear out your discussing DaShiv’s theory if you don’t mind sharing a few thoughts.
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  #254  
Old 09-20-2018, 01:59 PM
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xtoastx xtoastx is offline
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Originally Posted by ya_ View Post
This is super interesting. Mind to elaborate?

I’m asking because this build was super popular back in the day just like yours are now. (I admit to crafting them plaguebearers myself for a while). I would really like to hear out your discussing DaShiv’s theory if you don’t mind sharing a few thoughts.
I second this. I thought DaShiv's spreadsheets were proof of max dps, even though all of his builds got obselete after 1.0.2.1. Maybe even before that time because DaShiv faced 3x Benn'jahr while being high on 4 crucible buildings and 4 blessings in his gladiator video (not even taking extra spawns), which can be done by any random build.

Also lightning pets cabalist sounds extremely ineffective to me because of WotC and MoD (the conversion hurts your skeleton lightning damage), so GJ on getting a 9:10 minutes cleartime.

Last edited by xtoastx; 09-20-2018 at 02:07 PM.
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  #255  
Old 09-21-2018, 03:17 AM
sigatrev sigatrev is offline
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Originally Posted by xtoastx View Post
Also lightning pets cabalist sounds extremely ineffective to me because of WotC and MoD (the conversion hurts your skeleton lightning damage), so GJ on getting a 9:10 minutes cleartime.
This build I linked has 50% physical to lightning conversion and 100% vitality to lightning, so the 25% physical to vitality from MoD doesn't interfere with the physical to lightning. The WotC conversion is applied first and reduces the amount of physical gets converted to lightning by about 20 while adding 36 vitality which is entirely converted to lightning, and adding a ton of % elemental damage. It will net more lightning damage that not using WotC. As I said though, it plays like a Familiar build so 9 minutes is a pretty normal clear time.

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Originally Posted by xtoastx View Post
I second this. I thought DaShiv's spreadsheets were proof of max dps
An extremely important point is that maximum damage per hit on a pet does not necessarily translate into peak DPS. There is somewhat of a correlation for burst damage, but things change very quickly once you cross the 5-10 seconds threshold. The sustained damage is critical in the crucible, but also for a lot of the AoM bosses/nemesis.

Okay, I'll go into some of the points that I think are flat out wrong. I want to reiterate that DaShiv wrote all of this back in 1.0.2.1 when things were very different so his assessments may not have been wrong at the time, but either way, very little of it translates into the 1.0.6.1 landscape.

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Originally Posted by DaShiv View Post
Flat Damage is Best Damage
This is not incorrect, but I'm going to talk about it anyway because a lot of people misinterpret this to think they should prioritize items and skills that give flat damage bonuses over points in pet base skills or items that give +pet/all skills or % damage bonuses, and there are very few cases I can think of where that is true. In almost all cases the damage bonuses you're going to get from + base pet skills completely dwarfs everything else, and the other available flat bonuses are almost never worth itemizing for, including both flat damage bonuses from items and + to specific flat damage aura skills.

There are some items that give flat damage bonuses that are worth using, but it's always for the other bonuses. Voidwhisper Band and Glyph of Kelphat'Zoth are useful for the damage conversion + other bonuses FAR more than the flat bonuses. The Witching Hour bonuses to skills, speed, RR, and % damage are far more important than it's flat damage.

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Originally Posted by DaShiv View Post
The Best Defense is a Good Offense
pet cabalists should follow the same ethos of prioritizing pet offense above any other pet stats
Resummon is the New Heal
This is almost correct, if you completely ignore AoM and the Crucible. AoM areas, bosses, and particularly AoM nemeses have tons of AoE damage, and can easily wipe out all of your skeletons at once. If your skeletons are only going to die one at a time it is fine to neglect their defenses, you'll always be able to summon them as fast as they die. Once they start dying in bulk, you cannot keep your army alive unless you invest heavily in Raise Skeleton CDR items which comes at a greater offensive sacrifice than defensive items do. Aspect of the Guardian is on par with Manipulation in terms of importance.

One of the biggest problems with skeletons, the main reason I hate skeleton builds, is that they have incredibly steep roll-overs at the point where you can no longer kill things within a couple of a seconds. If something lives long enough to kill your skeletons, your DPS drops dramatically and things suddently go from very fast to very slow. With any other pet build, the time it takes to kill something scales much more linearly with it's defenses.

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Originally Posted by DaShiv View Post
Case Study: Offensive Bonuses from Pet Relics
Skeleton builds are the one place where Primal Instinct is usually the wrong choice of relic. On almost every other pet build I recommend that relic, especially on any Shaman based build, but not for skeletons. Because the swarmlings are temporary and have defenses similar to Skeletons, they're going to provide extra DPS when you don't need it, and provided very little when you do need it.

His relic analysis also ignores the fact that the +1 all skills from Mogdrogen's Ardor allows you to save a ton of skill points on skills that don't scale well into ultimate ranks (CoF + Vuln, Manipulation, AotG, etc) which is in itself very valuable.

The pet from Dirge of Akrovia looks good on paper, but in practice is worthless to skeleton builds. He is not enough to carry you when the skeletons are dead, and he's damage contribution is negligible when they are alive.

The stats on Bysmiel's Domination look great on paper, but I've never played a build where it performed anywhere near as well as Primal Instict or Mogdrogen's Ardor, it's not even close. (although Bysmiel's Domination is probably better when fighting Ravager)

It should also be noted that he's chosen to use a Primal Instinct/Bysmiel's Domination + Mythical Clairvoyant's Hat over Mogdrogen's Ardor + Mythical Beastcaller's Cowl, the latter of which is a better combination on any pet build. The only time a pet build should ever use a Helmet for +1 skills is when you REALLY have no other options for the +1. Relic, Amulet and Weapon all come first.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaShiv View Post
this is one of the most active builds in Grim Dawn. (The stereotypical “lazy” pet builds are almost always some combination of low DPS, and/or poorly optimized; top-tier pet builds tend to be very active.)

The key is to avoid trying to "manage aggro" by holding back - "aggro management" reduces DPS and significantly increases risk by increasing battle length and allowing enemies (especially bosses) to switch aggro to you unpredictably. High DPS + smart play >>>>>> low DPS + aggro management.
Grab as much aggro as possible so that enemy movements are predictable.
This is insanely wrong, possibly the worst pet advice I have ever heard.

It's fine to draw aggro against trash mobs that your pets are going to vaporise anyway, and doing so will often speed things up, but no one needs advice for fighting trash mobs. For any single enemy that you cannot 100% face tank, you do not want to be the target, EVER. It's okay to take a few hits, but that should never be your goal. If you have to kite, the enemy will chase you, and your pets will be attacking a moving target. The highest sheet DPS in the world drops to near-nothing because your pets barely ever land an attack.

If there is one thing you take away from my post it should be this: When the thing you want to kill is attacking your pets, your pets are going to land every hit because they are attacking a stationary target. That has a much bigger impact on DPS than almost anything else you can do as a pilot.

A good case in point is Sneaky Parrot's video of Gladiator 161-170 where the final wave takes 5:30 by itself. It shows that he is an amazing pilot as he does it without crucible buffs, but he is using Witching Hour and Wrath of the Beast tinctures, he somehow manages to keep his pets alive most of the time, and he does much less to draw agro to himself than DaShiv suggests, and yet it still takes a very very long time because of the kiting. My 2 x Hellhound Lost Souls Witch Hunter took less time than that (admittedly with crucible buffs, but it's one of the least powerful pet builds I've ever played).

Last edited by sigatrev; 09-21-2018 at 03:36 AM.
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  #256  
Old 09-23-2018, 04:58 AM
ya_ ya_ is online now
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@Sigatrev

This is huge. Very informative. Thanks.

I’d like to add that focus on cdr and resummoning might be the wrong way crucible-wise unless one decides to try no-blessings.

Unstable Anomaly is also IMO hugely underwhelming in a skeleton build as BF requires targeted summoning, his wind-up takes about 3 seconds plus one second till he starts dealing damage - having 2 BFs (Blight Fiends not boyfriends) sometimes doesn’t make up for these cons IMO as their taunt is not reliable enough for them to serve as damage sponges. Maybe with Nature’s Guardian...? Mind to comment?

I also find that spamming Ravenous Earth for damage reduction kind of contradicts your philosophy of staying out of aggro for the sake of DPS. I tend to hold back on RE when fighting Iron Maiden or Fabius (sometimes even hold back on CoF just to be safe). Is it the right strategy?
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