Pet Conjurer Devotion & Ancestor Vs. Savage?

Hey guys, just picked up my pet Conjurer back up to finish leveling (currently 71 finishing Elite). Not having any problems - all my resists are above 50, 8.5k hp, 600% pet damage, but wondering a few things.

First, I’ve nearly maxed my original devotion procs (mostly tier 1) so would like to switch soon. I currently have the following:

Maxed Hellhound + Eldritch Fire
Maxed Briarthorn + Scorpion Sting
Revenant + Flame Torrent
1pt Raven + Elemental Storm
1pt Primal Spirit, no proc

Rest of my devotion is base stats for pets, some offense some defense. For example I have Bysmiel’s Bonds and Shepherd’s Crook all the way except for the last point, so I’m only casting CoF during battles and running around picking up loot the rest of the time. Feels awkward using Vines or DEE to proc either of those. Currently working on Panther for the OA/crit/dmg. As I said not having any problems surviving. EDIT: just added Vines on ‘2’ with Shepherd’s Crook, it’s not too disruptive.

So the first question is are there any really good devotion procs or does it not really matter? Eventually I will get Howl of Mogdrogen, but that’s probably the only high tier one I’ll go for.

The second question is whether I should stick to Ancestor relic or switch to Savage and get a Stormhound + another tier 1 devotion proc (maybe Tsunami). IIRC Ancestor got nerfed a bit and the main thing is +1 Shaman skills and +100% elemental, but since I’m already past 600% total (and not all pets do elemental), I’m wondering if having that extra pet wouldn’t be better.

EDIT2: Also just found Primal Instinct plan. Seems pretty strong, but have no experience with it.


Bloody Pox, Entangling vines and devouring swarm are pretty good to proc most of your pet-devotion skills (like shepherd’s crook, mogdrogen’s howl and bysmiel’s bond) because they’re near 100% proc as they spread or tick many times. Note that either of these skills work best when there are a lot of enemies around though (the proc is not so high against single targets).

Regarding which devotion skills you link to your pets, I think it doesn’t matter that much as long as you grab most of the pet passive buffs. Assassin’s mark works well on the primal spirit (because of piercing damage), I like to use guardian’s gaze on the briarthorn because he uses AOE and sometimes procs a lot of eyes which do decent aoe damage.

I’ve used elemental storm for a long time, tried acid spray, whirlpool, falcon swoop, twin fangs, pretty much anything. In my opinion the skills that work best are the ones that debuff mobs (scorpion sting, eldritch fire, acid spray, assassin’s mark) because all of your summons benefit from it. The main source of damage after all is your pets, so it’s probably better to “optimize” them rather than add some extra raw damage on top of their damage.

The nerf to ancestor is pretty bad actually; I’m still using it because I can’t use another pet (not enough skill slots or devotion points) but it’s definitely not as good as before.

Primal Instinct is very powerful. It took two consecutive builds worth of buffs to reach this point, but the change from proc on crit to proc on attack really pushed it over the edge. The patchnotes indicate that damage was nerfed, though in actuality it was actually buffed, just spread a little more evenly between physical and fire (and since you can convert the physical, that’s actually a good thing). As long as you have any kind of vaguely spammable or multi-tick AoE (Grasping Vines, Sigil of Consumption etc.), keeping 5-6 little swarmlings out at all times is a given.

I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw all summoner builds transition into using Primal Instinct as their endgame relic. Bysmiel’s Domination still needs more to make it competitive, previously it played second fiddle to Ancestor and now it will be passed over for a reliable 5-6 extra pets every encounter.

I agree with you. Primal instinct is probably the best relic for endgame summoners. The swarmlings deal good damage and stay up for a decent amount of time. If you play shaman / occultist, you probably use CoF / vines / Bloody Pox so you get the extra pets most of the time. I think the stormhound isn’t a bad idea either because you can link a devotion skill to it as well. The pet in itself is a little squishy but if you have +%HP (bonds of bysmiel) and some resistances he’s not so bad.

By the way, I use these skills:

Chillmane Yeti - Acid spray (manticore)
Briarthorn - Scorpion sting (akeron’s scorpion)
Primal spirit - Assassin’s mark (assassin’s blade)
Hellhound - Eldritch fire (solael’s witchblade)
Revenant - Flame torrent (Fiend)
Raven - No skill
Salazar’s Harbinger - no skill

I was previously playing with the sovereign ruby of domination amulet because the bonuses are near perfect but the yeti + acid spray seem to be efficient as well. The black scourge weapon doesn’t seem to work properly (minions proc when YOU kill stuff and not when your minions kill stuff); The black hand of Sanar’Siin would probably be worth using if the minions were proc on hit and not proc on being hit (they almost never spawn).

I’m curious to know what pet/skill combination you guys use as well as what weapon you think is best. I’ve been using Salazar’s blade since lv24; the sword is pretty good because it can be farmed for good stats and the pet has a low cooldown on the top lvl sword (75 sec).

I got a Dracarris drop the other day (which I still haven’t tried) which has a bunch of demolitionist stats sadly but also good pet bonuses:

What do you guys think?

Thanks, I’m thinking I’ll start by switching to Savage and maybe doing another tier 1 proc like Tsunami while I’m getting mats for Primal Instinct.

Not really sold on adding in Bloody Pox into the rotation for Bysmiel’s Command, though I am doing well with Shepherd’s Crook. My basic rotation is:

CoF (RMB), Grasping Vines (Shepherd’s Crook), Primal Spirit (if it’s up), Blood of Dreeg (when facing champions or need a heal, or sometimes just for the 10% attack speed). I’m assuming Vines will proc Primal Instinct quite frequently yes?

Anyway, here’s something else I’m wondering about:

Currently on Hellhound I have Ember Claw maxed. It does a lot of damage and is used frequently, but I’m wondering if I shouldn’t drop it to 1 point (like Ground Slam) and max CoF/Vulnerability instead.

Does anyone know if the increased threat scales with skill rank or it’s stuck at base? I noticed this build the aggro is much better on the pets.

Hellfire also looks a lot more attractive now as it adds flat chaos damage (for all your pets). Still not sold on Infernal Breath though, last I played with it months ago it was a DPS loss due to long cast animation. Still the case?

Thoughts anyone?

defintely max CoF!

-xy% to ennemy resistance is the single best debuff in the game to actually do damage in ultimate…
as you know it’s the only kind of the 3 ways to reduce mob resistance that actually stack!

-Eldritch Fire on the Hellhound seems like a waste. It’s a pretty powerful DoT/chaos, fire and movement debuff but it doesn’t stack with itself. It should be on an AoE like vines or Bloody Pox. Considering the Hellhound’s attack speed, you should give it a proc that at least has a component that scales with that. Flame Torrent comes to mind.
-Blood of Dreeg no longer has an attack speed boost.
-As a pet conjurer, quantity matters. Unless you plan to go hybrid you’ll be stacking a lot of +pet damage mods, so you can’t really afford to drop a lot of points into skills like Ember Claw. You need to focus on pet support skills (CoF/Primal Bond/Blood of Dreeg/etc) - preferably ones that also affect you defensively - and finding out ways to have more pets out in the field/keep them there.
-The stormhound is only as good as your ability to keep it alive.
-Assuming no typos Acid Spray is now flat resist reduction, instead of %resist. If you’re also using something like Noxious Poison Bomb (and you should be, 6 constellation points vs 1 off-hand component) they no longer stack.

With what you’re suggesting, how many things do you actually spam? By the time I hit 4 buttons (max) the fight is over already or I just repeat the rotation.

Why would I assign a damage devotion proc to any of my skills? Pets are doing all the damage and I’m stacking pet damage gear, so the proc will be much stronger on the pet than on me.

That’s up to you, I’m simply pointing out the facts. If you think the change is not worth the gain then no one’s forcing you to do it. You have all of ultimate to test your setup with.

Eldritch Fire is both a debuff and a DoT. I prefer to use it as a debuff, which means I want it on as many mobs as possible ASAP. It also doesn’t stack with itself, which is why even if I wanted to use it as a damage skill on a pet it wouldn’t be on the hellhound.

I don’t think Eldritch fire on the hellhound is a total waste. The pet has a fire aura and aoe skills; surely it must trigger often enough, no? In my opinion, all of the DoT / multiple proc spells like devouring swarm, Pox and vines are better used on Shepherd’s crook, mogdrogen’s howl and bonds of bysmiel which are much better skills for summoners overall as they affect all of your pets (Is eldritch fire’s debuff that good when maxed? It does like -20% resists?). Besides, while the skill doesn’t stack with itself, there is no cooldown and enemies don’t usually live long enough anyway. (CoF, scorpion, assassin’s blade + item debuffs; does that all even stack? >,<)

Overall, I think the best way to deal damage is to have as many active pets as possible with linked devotion skills. I have tried many different combinations but it seems that if you have more pets and each has a tier 1 or 2 skill linked to it then it does more damage than say having fewer pets with tier 2 or 3 skills linked to them. (But maybe it really depends on your gear or what skills you link to your pets).

I agree with you though; if you’re playing a conjurer, chances are that you’re gonna go 50/50 in each mastery for the exclusive and pet skills, which means that you won’t have many leftover points to play with. if I had more points, I would invest a few extra into emboldening roar from the briarthorn and hellfire from the hellhound because they boost all pets. I currently use the raven for the healing / elemental resistance because I’m still missing gear and my resists are low but I’ve noticed that if your pets have a lot of +%elemental damage, the raven’s thunderbolt seems to do quite a lot of damage actually (has anyone tried to max it out?).

Other than that, what materia do you guys use on weapon + off-hand?
I currently use lightning aura (off-hand) because the stun is nice and fire aura because both hellhound and revenant are using fire skills and because that dracarris weapon gives a huge fire / chaos boost on pets. The pets from the Primal instinct relic also do fire based damage so this is actually quite nice; If that weapon had +1 in hellhound or shaman / Occ skills it would be perfect.

BTW, I also hate spamming too many skills. My rotation is usually CoF, vines and Pox and then I get bored or everything is dead. I wouldn’t go around spamming poison bombs or devouring swarm because it would just annoy me so much but that’s just me. I’m one point away from mogdrogen’s howl again and I’m really not sure what skill to link it to tbh as I only have 2 active skills atm (pretty sad that you can’t link ANYTHING to curse of frailty or mogdrogen’s to one of your pets :().

Can’t imagine adding Pox on top of everything else. Sometimes in chaotic fights I even miss the Vines rotations.

I’m using fire aura on weapon, aether-ward aura on offhand since my aether resists are pretty low. I have another Grimoire with chaos-ward I can swap to as needed. Might add lightning aura if I get stormhound though.

So does anyone know if additional points in Ember Claw/Ground Slam increases threat generation or is it only damage?

Also do you max Vulnerability as well (or attempt to) or just max CoF?

I guess it depends on your rotation. I usually set all pets to aggressive, engage with CoF and then spam vines, pox and then repeat. I hate devouring swarm.

To answer your question, yes, as a summoner, CoF is your number one skill.
It brings you survivability and DPS. You should max both CoF and vulnerability as all of your pets will benefit from it (either directly from their innate skills or through auras or devotion skills).

I am not sure about the threat generation from the two skills you mentioned. I always assumed that the higher damage you do, the more aggro you draw from mobs but GD’s pet AI behavior has been a little bit weird in previous builds so I would say no. In my opinion, it is not worth investing a lot of points in them (I have 3/4 in each from passives but I wouldn’t go higher).

You’re better off investing in CoF, blood of dreg, manipulation, primal bond, heart of the wild.