Optimizing Winter King Cold Pets

I finally got my second character to level 100. It’s a Pet Trickster that uses the Mythical Bane of the Winter King as the central focus. The gameplay focus around going into the fight with the pets and debuff/disable enemies with Veil of Shadow/Gavel of Justice. I wanted to make a Pet build that was capable of dishing out some serious pain without depending exclusively on the Pets. It is doing great in that regard and survival has been pretty okay as well. The original intention was to use the Crown and the Heart of the Mountain amulet but double Briars are really good and the resistance on the Yeti amulet is pretty bad. Here is the Grim Tools.

Now, i need to optimize it if i want to test the build on any of the end game content but things are looking a little rough. My pets don’t have great Aether and Chaos resistance and my own resistances are hanging by a thread. I have hit a roadblock in this regard. I need to use Sylvarria’s Essence to patch my Poison/Acid resistance (the OA is really nice as well) and it is also important for the pets as they have 0 without it. I could use one Mender’s Powder to balance things a little but i’m not sure if it is worth it.

I still need to find a replacement for the Empowered Crimsonbriar Band and the belt. The logical approach would be the Mythical version but i was also considering the Wildpact Emerald as it could open some other possibilities for the augments. I thought about a second Bysmiel Chilling Seal (i bought two) but my elemental resistances are going to suffer a little and i don’t need any more Pierce res. I’m also not sure about the belt. The one i’m using is serviceable (lightning bonuses are not wasted and +1 to Shaman skills is really good) but a good pet belt could help with the resistance issue a lot. The Mythical versions of Nosferattis, Spiritseeker Cord and Voidmancer Cord are the ones i’m considering but their resistances to my character are simply not good so it’s kinda tough given the playstyle that involves me getting into the middle of the fights instead of avoiding them like other Pet builds.

My devotion path allowed me to get all the relevant resistance reduction procs (Rumor, Elemental Storm, Viper, Rend and Bysmiel’s Command) and still get Chariot (OA, resistances, defensive proc), Shepherd’s Crook and Mogdrogen. I was left without anything for those good defensive options like Empty Throne and Typhos. I don’t think there’s much i can do about it.

Well, that was a lot. If anyone has any suggestions or tips on how i could make this better, i would appreciate a lot.

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I haven’t been able to make even a single winter king pet build to my satisfaction, so curious on this as well.

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I managed to find a way to balance things out without losing much. The only hit i took was the loss of a bit of OA but this is okay. I got my armor absorption to 100% (it was 98% before) and balanced all my resistances while making the resistances on my pets a little better. They could still use a bit of bleed and pierce res but i don’t think i can do much about it without hurting myself in other areas. Here is the current status of the build (Grim Tools).

This is the maximum height of my own DPS when all temporary buffs are active (Call of the Beast, Howl of Mogdrogen, Pneumatic Burst). This is a pretty decent number for a single point in savagery and its nodes. The +4 to Shaman skills (2 from the sword, 1 from the amulet and 1 from the belt) is what makes the difference.

Have you tried switching to Upheaval or Feral Hunger as the activator for Rumor? When your PS is on cooldown you’re not getting those -cold% procs, unless I’m missing something.

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I haven’t tried. I thought it would be better if it was guaranteed to be applied when tied to a Pet. I’m not using Primal Spirit as much as i should, tbh. I tend to be a bit too greedy with it and only activate it when fighting bosses, totems and very large packs of mobs.

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Another idea is that you once you get your remaining skill points from quests, take those points and pull some from Oak Skin & HotW and push to one point in Blade Spirits. You’d have two of them for 1 skill point and you could put Elemental Storm on them, and switch Rumor to Briarthorn.

Just a thought unless you planned on putting those extra points in Savagery or something.

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Well,the winter King suit is really unsatisfactory. I used to use the Trickster to achieve the integration of human and pet,too.But I couldn’t balance the attack and defense ability of characters and pets in any case. Even if a number of rare equipment and affixes are used,he actual combat also made me sad.My ideal building is just like a good-looking panel.Yes,It’s not powerful at all.
In the end, I cannot but gave up this stupid behavior.

My approach is very different. I’m playing full aggro and ignoring most of the defensive options available. This build needs to get in the middle of the fight and stay there so going full defense might make more sense but sometimes the best defense is a great offense. I’m using the combination of the flat RR shred from Bysmiel’s Command + the bleed RR from Rend to greatly increase DoT damage and kill enemies a lot faster.

The skill from the Relic i’m using provides a good deal of CC, DR and can deal a ton of damage while being safe to use due to its long range (16 meters). I always start fights by stunning enemies from a long range before engaging. If the enemies can’t be stunned, they will suffer a 20% damage reduction penalty for 4 seconds.

I also managed to achieve a good balance of resists, OA and DA for me and the Pets. Now, i’m going to keep playing and attempt some of the late game challenges. I’ll post the results once i’m done.


An update. I have made all the way to Fort Ikon and i’m going to the Necropolis next. Everything is going really well. The build is incredibly sturdy. I beat Rashalga without any problems and even facetanked Alkamos. I made a video showing the Alkamos fight and some others but i forgot to press record when i fought Mad Queen. I’ll keep pressing forward and finish all the other acts and record the important fights.

so you want 30% chance to cast rumor on a skill that has ~20% chance to be used (feral hunger)? …

Rumor is like curse that spreads to nearby targets. You can use a long cd ability to get high chance to cast it, then the rumor will spread and keep debuffing stuff.

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The Loghorrean has been defeated and the fight was recorded. I didn’t know the Loghorrean was able to just devour my pets but that seems to be the case. They were just vanishing instantly after the tongue attack. I was able to keep fighting on my own instead of having to run around helplessly waiting to be able to resummon stuff though so it wasn’t a big deal. I will wait and record some more before making another video.

I had my first RIP today. I got too cocky and ended up dying in the Bastion of Chaos. The build has been so resilient that i thought “I can sit there in the middle of all these Obsidian Crystals and tank all these Obsidian dudes at the same time!”. Nope. Got blown up. My own fault. I should have played like i always do and baited the enemies away from the crystals or just waited for the crystals to vanish. Oh well… I’ll go back in and fight Shar’zul later and then head to Port Valbury afterwards.


Or Upheaval which is 100% on crit. Just saying it might be worth testing to see how reliably it applies compared to the longish cooldown of the primal. But yeah, feral hunger is probably too low of a chance to bother with.

Upheaval is even worse, because not only do you need to crit with savagery, you also need to NOT PROC feral hunger. Say 25% crit chance (which I doubt this build will get against hard bosses) and 22% chance for feral hunger. Chance to cast upheval is (1-0,22)*0,25 = 19,5%

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It’s pretty hard for me to tell when Rumor is applied or not. I can recognize Rend because of the big symbol that appear over the enemies head but Rumor doesn’t seem to have such thing. I’ll stick it to the Pet and let it guarantee that it gets applied during important fights.

Ah ok, gotcha. I didn’t realize it was that low. The last time I ever used it was on a Warder and I never paid much attention to how often it was actually triggering.

Rumor has like blue-green bubbles. Try on dummy and you will see it.

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I made several changes to the build. I had 19 points in Heart of the Wild and i believe it’s a waste of points as a softcap already provides enough extra health. So, i swapped 7 points out of the skill. I placed 4 of them into Shadow Dance to get more DA and improve the dodge chance to 14%.

The other 3 points went into Ring of Steel. I took Ring of Frost for the conversion but the important part is Circle of Slaughter. I have a +2 to all Nightblade skills from the weapon and CoS has a 20% fumble debuff at just 3 points which adds another layer of defense to the build and helps both me and my pets. RoS is also a much more reliable way of applying Rumor to enemies. I still have the option of taking 2 extra points from HotW but i decided to keep them where they are for now as i lost quite a bit of health with the changes i made to my equipment. Here is the current Grim Tools link.

I’m finally done with Ugdenbog and heading towards Malmouth. I beat Gargabol, Kubacabra (this one was one hell of a struggle) and Kra’vall. All the fights were recorded. I also beat Benn’Jahrr during a farming session but i forgot to record. I’ll record it in another opportunity but i can say that he was incredibly easy. Sorry if i’m taking too long to finish this character and post the results into an actual guide. I just can’t keep playing the same character for too much time as i become bored. Sometimes, i just don’t want to take a break from the game. I’m really slow but i’ll try to put an end to this soon.

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I have made the final adjustments to the build. I discovered a devotion path that allowed me to incorporate the Falcon devotion to the build without losing any of the other procs. I decided to take it because i needed a nuke, a high damage burst skill to help with damage issues. The falcon proc (or Briar Shotgun, as i like to call it) was one of the most successful things in my first character and it adds a big source of bleed damage which is the secondary damage type of this build.

The lack of full conversion from physical to cold is causing a few problems when facing enemies that are highly resistant to cold. The reason is simple. I have a ton of cold RR (Rumor + Veil of Shadow = 60%) and a good amount of elemental RR (Viper, Elemental Storm) that can be improved further with Wind Devil (Raging Tempest will add another 15% at level 5). The only source of Physical RR that i have is Bysmiel’s Command and only flat. So, even against monsters with tons of cold resistance, the build should deal more damage with full conversion. However, i can’t drop the Beastcaller helm because that causes another major loss of dps (the second Briarthorn). Nothing i can do here without changes to the items i’m using. I already made suggestions in the discussion thread. Edit: Grim Tools here.

Theodin Marcell and Lokarr were defeated today and i recorded the fights. Lokarr wasn’t pleasant to deal with but i made several mistakes throughout and before the fight.

First, i panicked when my health dropped too low which caused my brain to enter “must survive at all costs” mode which caused me to forget that i needed to stay a little closer to apply the RR and OA debuff from Veil of Shadow during many moments in the fight but i stayed relatively close throughout most of the fight. However, i forgot to bind Rumor to Primal Spirit to ensure it would be applied consistently whenever Kitty (as i call the spirit) was available. Instead, i kept it linked to Feral Hunger and, since i was panicked and mostly dodging, that means no Rumor throughout the fight. That’s 23% cold RR and an OA debuff out of the picture. To top it off, Lokarr got another 15% elemental resistance from the mod in the dungeon. I also drank a lot of potions as a precaution before the fight and i’m sure those were very important for my survival.

I didn’t apply the flat RR from Elemental Storm consistently because it was linked to Ring of Steel so it was a very good thing that i had another source of flat RR available (the Eldritch Hound from Bysmiel’s Command). Lokarr isn’t dumb and he kept moving out of the range of the Wendigo Totem but the Totem was still an absolute MvP. It healed the Briarthorns a lot and allowed them to sustain themselves through life steal. Both Briars endured and survived the fight because of that.

Overall, after analysing the video, i think i didn’t play all that badly but it didn’t feel all that good either. But it was miles better than my previous character which had to run for her life throughout the entire fight because Lokarr ignored the Pets completely. I’ll edit a video with the most recent fights later. Now, i’ll move on towards Korvaak and Morgoneth and then it will be time for the Shattered Realm.

As promised in the previous post, here is the video with all the most recent boss fights.

out of pure curiosity, what is the sheet DPS on savagery? 80k?