Yes yes I know it doesn’t exist, but for interest’s sake I thought I would knock together a piercing pets build to see how far it goes.
Short version: slap Serrated Spike / Vicious Spikes on your weapons and there you go, piercing pet build
OK, good start, but I wanted to give it a bit more thought
The only mastery which has a pet with out-of-the-box pierce damage is Shaman, with the Primal Spirit. At one point in the past the Briarthorn had it as well, as retaliation damage, but not any more.
(OK maybe not the only mastery … do the Necromancer’s ranged skeletons do pierce damage? I’m not sure, maybe someone can confirm.)
The only mastery which can provide a specific pierce damage bonus to pets is Inquisitor, with the Aura of Conviction. (Don’t know why I didn’t include Inquisitor in pet builds sooner because actually there are quite a few pet-friendly skills there including Inquisitor Seal and Word of Renewal.)
So, let’s go with Vindicator then.
Where else can we find pets that deal pierce damage?
I can only find two items. One is the Nemesis relic. But it’s a player scaled pet and the relic is more suited to Nightblade build so not sure how strong that would be here. I’ll try it anyway, but if it’s not so great then the good old Primal Instinct will do.
The other one is, strangely, the Blightshard Amulet. The Blighted Rift Scourge which it summons does a mixture of Acid and Pierce damage. So for amulet, Blightshard it is. Also it’s interesting that the pet has an area attack which has a 75% weapon damage component (more I think after the new patch). Am I right in thinking that % weapon damage on a pet will benefit from the flat +damage from radius skills like Aura of Conviction and Word of Renewal? If so, Vindicator is making more sense.
As for weapon, anything which is pet-friendly of course. Two handed would fit slightly better with Shaman. And as an added bonus if it is ranged and does pierce damage then it will give the toon something to do as well. Long story short, Mythical Silverbolt, you’re coming with me
Anything that converts to pierce damage for pets? No. Pity. So we are back at Beastcaller, for the extra Briarthorn. Nothing wrong with that.
Anything that can add pierce damage to a pet. So Blades of Wrath and Shifting Sands it is then. And the approach I’ll take here is, “if you don’t have pierce damage, I give you pierce damage”. (I’m talking to my pets here. Don’t you talk to your pets?) The Briarthorn doesn’t have any pierce damage, so we’ll give it Blades of Wrath.
Shifting Sands can go on the Rift Scourge. I thought of putting it on the Primal Spirit but it’s not up all the time and the CD is even longer after the new patch.
And of course I would be a bit thick if I didn’t get Assassin’s Mark along the way, for the pierce resist debuff. This is also helpful as it debuffs physical resist as well, and the pets also do some physical damage (secondary).
Honestly I thought the Rift Scourge would die all the time but surprisingly it lasts pretty well. Even in swarm situations like Monster Totems. It normally just sits there firing it’s poison/pierce artillery but also does the area attack from time to time and, I don’t know the details, but the mobs get cleared. On a few occasions the Briathorn got wiped off the map quickly but the Rift Scourge was still standing.
So, as of now, Mr. Vin Quillpet has just reached level 94 and equipped Mythical Beastcaller. I was eager to get 2x Briarthorns running around going bonkers, but was pleasantly surprised to see that the Mythical Blightshard lets you summon 2x Rift Scourges as well. Oh what fun I say.
See https://www.grimtools.com/calc/YNn8RrwV for the build. Sorry it’s not quite completed, didn’t add Augments/Components.
At one stage I was wondering if this is actually a good build, or if it’s a shitty build which is just being carried by +skills. Either way, still going strong.
Your comments/advice will be much appreciated.
Thanks as always to Crate for an outstanding game in which we can plan, build, and have fun, repeatedly. And thanks to Dammitt for the grimtools site which is a massive help (and massive fun itself!).