So bleeding pets got pushed into viability, but they fall just barely short of what I feel like they should have right now.
The key note for this is Primal Spirit. Primal Spirit is the big carry of bleed pet builds. So when it’s down, the build feels really rough for the time that it is down, and if you use beastcaller’s set, you’re just short of having the downtime be acceptable. Simply adding a 4% CDR roll to Heart of the Sand King (as well as the Mythical variant) will make this feel substantially better, 6% if feeling generous but i think 4% should be all it needs. Alternatively, returning the Bound Spirit offhand to be +duration to Primal Spirit instead of flat CDR, since +duration results in better returns compared to flat CDR.
On top of this, the amount of weapons for pet build users that have CDR is quite low. Adding it to a few more would be nice. I could come up with a few examples later, but a few that came to mind were blightstone invoker, black hand of sanarsiin, and salazar’s.
On another note: Nosferratis. This belt feels very… weird. I think the stun res is pretty unnecessary and would rather see it replaced with other things. The only places I’ve seen Mind Control be a concern is Bolvar Fordragon and Loghorrean so far, there might be more though. And unfortunately, this belt is substantially worse than Shadowfiend Cord in all other situations. The pierce/vit res is way too important, and the damage feels just worse. There’s other ways to address this, but I think it doesn’t have to be entirely addressed on the belt itself. Adding some %all damage on Nosferratis would help, then maybe looking at other external sources of Pierce/Vit/Bleed res additions to pets would be helpful to reduce reliance on Shadowfiend Cord for pet builds that aren’t Cabalist. Just thinking about it. I don’t have a 100% set in stone solution right now, all I know is it feels weak – weak enough to make me not want to use it, but I feel the need to put it on when I need it (like if i run into bolvar in SR or something).
Also on the note of Mind Control. This shit was fucking obnoxious to deal with while leveling pets when I had to fight Loghorrean and he mind controlled my pets. Briarthorn would instantly die to my other pets and its just like … ugh why. Bolvar is also obnoxious with this, I had him mind control my bird and my bird lightning striked me to stun me, which is hilarious looking back on it, but kinda annoying cause it also hurt a bit. Would like to see this addressed in the lower difficulties at least, when you have NO way to deal with the mind control. Unless I’m missing something?
Briarthorn Ground Slam feels like it could be a little better. Adding a bit of %passthrough to enemies would help. I kinda want to say 100% but it’s probably safer just making it faster and going from there. I think most of us playing pets can agree ground slam feels like a weak point right now though.
EDIT: Sigatrev had the suggestion to change the Internal Trauma on Briarthorn to Bleeding damage, as there is absolutely no gear support for Internal Trauma on pets. I agree with this.
On top of this, I feel that Beastcaller’s set seriously lacks +briarthorn skills. I think it deserves +3 Summon Briarthorn on the 3 set bonus, just like most of the new sets having +3 to a skill on their 3 set.
I’m very hesitant to suggest too many buffs to pet builds at this point though, especially ones that could help familiars which clearly don’t need the help. The heart of the sand king suggestion would help so much though.