Big pet feedback and data thread

Enjoying the changes to pet builds last patches. Buffs to health regen and bird heal improvement really gave summoners some sustain options. Aoe is better. Build diversity and devo paths are more open than before. Pet single target damage is through the roof right now however so i’ll post some overperforming builds. Primal spirit with bound wraith and stacking flat sources with skeletons seems to be the recipe for success. Cabalist and Ritualist are a lot squisher than conjurer so I think its fair they’ve got the damage to show for it.

Mogdrogen’s ardor is the best relic for every build. +1 skills, res and massive flat dmg. I suggest lowering the flat dmg.
Bound wraith needs the total dmg mod toned down. Maybe the other total dmg mods as well.
Skeletons are not automatically a solution to single target damage, so i dont think a nerf to the base skill is needed, but they scale very quickly with enough flat damage sources.
Raven is insane for a T1 devo. Flat dmg, %OA and 160% lightning damage.

Last top 20 single target dps nightblades clocks in at around 37-45sec Ravager kills as a reference point.

Vitality Ritualist abusing both Primal Spirit and Skeletons, with total dmg Briar on top. Skeletons are a bit squishy as Ritualist but with strong RR and flat, the damage is insane. 16sec Ravager

Lost Souls Cabalist 25sec Ravager

Vitality Cabalist stacking Hellhound total dmg mods inspired by @NavLord 29sec Ravager

Ghol Ritualist. I think its in a good spot and will get toned down with global nerfs 35sec Ravager

Fire Skeleton Cabalist. Witching Hour is back, stacking flat on Skeletons. 26sec Ravager

Bysmiel Conjurer. Allround a very strong build, with very good single target damage. 29sec Ravager

Bysmiel Cabalist. A bit squishy but even more damage than conjurer 22sec Ravager

Vitality Beastcaller Conjurer. Beastcaller is in a decent spot. With nerfs to bound wraith and other global nerfs it shouldnt be an overperformer. Set could use some +Briar points actually since its hard to cap the main skill of the set. 31sec Ravager

Fire Beastcaller Conjurer 31sec Ravager

Lets get the discussion going and i’ll return with more feedback


Issue with relying on Ravager as a metric is that the boss fares poorly vs pets in general and allows one to stack damage with little regard for anything else.

A big stationary target with very little AoE = you get performances that are unrealistic where you just stand and watch the fight in relative safety for the most part, essentially making it a bigger version of the training dummy.

No need to worry about resummoning pets, nor any delay in getting to their targets, stationary dots become more prominent, etc


I agree that we shouldn’t nerfy solely based on Ravager timers and pets usually does well vs him. But I think it shows that pet single target dps i overtuned. These are not really glass cannon builds made for breaking target dummy records though and they should work in all content, i dont have the time or motivation to test everything however.

Some have been tested in SR, @banana_peel has a lot of SR videos on his youtube channel. Pets are doing really good overall right now.

While I do not disagree that pets are strong atm (and rightfully due for a dps nerf in the upcoming ptr build), I do have to disagree on the comment that these are all not glass cannon builds.

The one with the 16 second Ravager for example is the epitome of being glass without crossing the line to completely gimping the build.

I completely disgaree with the tankiness evaluation. I just did several SR runs with the build and they were easy. Then i did naked EX, the hardest challenge in the farmable range, three times in a row and it was also easy. The build has Giant, Ishtak and Dryad, I would even say it’s overinvesting into caster defences for farming purposes. This is one of naked runs, caster was in no danger at any time despite very reckless gameplay and pets cosntantly dying.


naked cruci is easy though :thinking:
with pets, you can simply stand in the center and not die in most cases.

Giant is not on a circuit breaker with 100% proc.
Ishtak is not sustain.
Dryad is pretty much the only relevant one.

I did several pet builds this pt. Tried all sets in different confugurations, for me the most notable builds were vitality Lost Souls Cabalist, elemental + lightning Bysmiel Conjurer and Ghol Ritualist. All of them pretty much outperform recently published top20 builds. Bysmiel in particular seems to be the strongest build in the game all around.

Ritualist, Level 100 (GD - Grim Dawn Build Calculator (remade into more budget, performs pretty much the same)


Overall the dmg on pets is overwhelming. AoE feels more or less fine but solo dmg is devastating on pretty much any farming-optimized build.


  • Reduce added tdms across the board. Maybe shift some of that raw tdm powercreep into special effects for pets if possible, like cc, enemy oa reduction
  • Shift some of the new devotion %dmg powercreep into pet resists, armor, da and especially hp. Some builds feel very constraint by the lack of bleed, poison and elemental resists, freeze res, slow res
  • Look into reducing %crit across all sources. Too easily a pet build can get into 150% crit territory

nakedEx is easy, SR75-76 speed farm is easy, SR90 way within timer is easy

Then what is hard? If you expect developers to balance the game around Callagadra and SR120 you more than anyone esle know how it will go.

If high uptime 25% absorb and enemy taunt is not caster sustain idk what is. Any build i tried this pt with Mog instead of Ishtak is immediately two times squishier. And giant gives good regen for summoner even outside of proc.


I did not say 75-76 speed farming is easy.

Regarding naked Ex cruci and sr 90, if it feels jarring to hear someone calling them easy, you need to account for the fact that it has been a reality to pet builds since AoM/FG

That they listen and balance the game around them as well, just like they have multiple times?

Cally just recently got nerfed vs pets for example and pet builds were balanced in such a way that their dep sr performance wouldn’t be hurt. So, not sure why you are acting like parts of the game are suddenly irrelevant.

Also, if a single superboss timing is relevant because it is convenient enough, then the rest dont get to be ignored for being a hassle.

I have seen no real difference in the metrics being tested against, in terms of whether a pet build has Ishtak/giant or not :person_shrugging:

For most pet builds Callagadra is not hard to kill as she gets very distracted by pets and lost on pathing sometimes. But pets get demolished by her “envoronmental” attacks. Personally don’t see any relevance of this fight to the farming range and SR in particular. It poses very low danger to the summoner compared to SR and very high danger to pets comapred to SR.

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That is Cally though.

We don’t say “environmental blood pools drained my mana” when talking about red ravager’s mana drain :rofl:

Recorded two deep SR videos to show that these builds still keep this crawling niche at heart even if tuned for dmg:


now i wonder why vit pets are so good compared to vit player builds :thinking:

I’ve got to agree on the overtuning. A lot of builds I’ve tried can do sub-4 minute crucible, and the builds I am playing are generally less creative than a lot of the builds in this thread.

Many of these builds are suboptimal, I’m not using stashed gear here and was mostly just trying to get a feel for things. None of them are glassy though, I only even came close to death a couple of times out of dozens of runs.

Class Build Link CR Best CR Typical
Cabalist Acid Ghol WH GrimTools 3:25 3:35
Cabalist Chaos Lost Souls GrimTools 3:35 3:50
Cabalist Vitality Lost Souls GrimTools 3:40 3:55
Ritualist Acid Ghol GrimTools 3:50 4:00
Conjurer Lightning Trinkets GrimTools 3:40 4:00
Conjurer Lightning Trinkets 2 GrimTools 3:45 4:00
Conjurer Cold Trinkets GrimTools 3:50 4:10
Conjurer Cold Beastcaller GrimTools 4:40 5:10
Conjurer Elemental Beastcaller GrimTools 4:40 5:10

My takeaways are similar to others.

  • Skeletons are too strong
  • Primal Spirit is probably too strong
  • Blight Fiends feel really good
  • Familiars feel really good
  • Hellhounds feel really good
  • Briarthorns feel a bit weak compared to other mastery pets.

I love that pet skills (i.e. Ember Claws, Lightning Strike) are all now worth investing in.

I think the shift from speed to damage is a good one overall (even if the damage still needs some tweaking), but I do miss the movement speed pets used to get as a result of all the total speed boosts.


from Chinese community

Vit Hound Conjurer, SR90-91 3:57

Vit Cabalist, SR75-76 2:54


Thanks for the detailed feedback.


It was fun while it lasted. Goodbye, quadruple total damage modified hound, you were a good boy.


Molten Corgi 2

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True dude. Many builds cannot compare to a single dog now. That’s crazy.

On the other hand, some pet sets are really weakened too much, comparing to some spare equipments.