Suggested changes to buff Shaman vs Occultist for Pets

Dear Devs

As someone whose favorite playstyle is pet oriented, I find that there are quite a number of differences between Occultist and Shaman masteries that puts the Shaman class at a significant disadvantage when choosing between the two to partner with another class for a pet build (Example, Demolitionist or Arcanist).


Lets see what the occultist mastery has to offer ( Hotfix One) that is used in current meta for pets


  1. Curse of Frailty + Vulnerability: Slow target movement, Physical and Elemental resist reduction that match the damage types done by Raven and Hellhound
  2. Bloody Pox + Wasting: DA Debuff on enemies


  1. Blood of Dreeg: Insta Heal + OA Buff for Pets
  2. Dual Auras (Storm Spirit + Hellfire) - Elemental Resistance +Flat Damage + Dmg type boost that match the damage types for Raven and Hellhound
  3. Bonds of Bysmiel + Manipulation: HP Boost + Total Speed Boost for Pets

Now, Lets see what the Shaman mastery have to offer:


  1. Devouring Swarm: Resist reduction for bleeding and vitality, which is not the damage type that the briarthorn does, only a part of damage done by primal spirit (time limited summon)
  2. Grasping + Entangling Vines: Slow movement and attack speed + % chance to immobilize


  1. Mogdrogen Pact Line: HP regen + HP% Boost + Armour + Pierce Resistance
  2. Emboldening Roar: A time limited pet cast that adds to damage, OA, physical, bleeding and retaliation
  3. Primal Bond: damage and health
  4. Wendigo Totem + Blood Pact: Heal + AdctH

The Shaman is significantly at a disadvantage here.

  1. No Flat dmg boosts
  2. Emboldening Roar is inconsistent due to not being an aura vs Storm Spirit and Hellfire. OA Buff of Emboldening Roar is even less than Blood of Dreeg (A healing skill) at equivalent levels
  3. Resist reduction of Shaman is out of sync with the majority of damage types that is done by the two pets
  4. Healing with Blood of Dreeg is much more effective than HP regen
  5. No DA Debuff
  6. Primal Bond (An exclusive skill)is pitiful vs Bonds of Bysmiel + Manipulation with the same no of skill points) + This frees up the occultist to take another elusive skill (either possession or from another mastery) to further improve the character
  7. Wendigo Totem is significantly much more tricky to use in conjunction with pets during mass fights

The Shaman mastery is significantly weaker than Occultist as a Pet mastery to pair up and this will become worse with the upcoming release of the necromancer.

With that much said, I suggest the below buffs to the Shaman Class to make it more competitive

  1. Pet damage types: The Briarthorn to have its pierce damage component changed to vitality (or vit + bleeding) - values can be amended for balance.
  2. Emboldening Roar: To be changed to an aura type (Similar to storm spirit changes) + Flat OA buff values per level to be increased (5 per level is really pitiful, hoping for numbers closer to Flame touched or at least Field command)
  3. Mogdrogen’s Pact Base Skill: To add a +%OA buff (values can be tweaked to prevent skill from becoming OP) - I would rather this be placed here instead of Primal Bond as this will not just help Pet Based Shaman combinations but also other Shaman Mastery combinations that potentially have OA issues (Example: Trickster, Druid - Both meme worthy class combinations)
    Point three can be scaled such that it does not become OP
  4. Primal Bond: +% Pet Crit Damage and +% Pet Total Speed (combination of values to be tweaked to prevent it from becoming OP). Can even be compensated through elimination of +%Pet Damage - Needs to be a more pet focused exclusive skill.
    I dont think this is OP, considering that Shaman does not have dual flat damage auras vs occultists (again values can vary)
  5. Grasping/Entangling vines should have a DA debuff component (again values can be adjusted by devs for balance)
  6. Bonus suggestion: As per the torrent of feedback provided by the community to make skeleton summons permanent, please make an attempt to improve conjure primal spirit (it is a fairly underwhelming time limited summon at lvl 50 - not even comparing to what we know so far about the necromancer equivalent time limited summon skill) - we could make it into a permanent summon with adjusted stats, or increase no of summon limits with skill points (also with adjusted stats if it shows to be too OP)


  1. Added the Wendigo totem + Blood Pact into comparison
  2. Added suggestions to Pet damage type for Briarthorn, Primal Bond

While I don’t necessarily think it covers the gap led by Blood of Dreeg, you are ignoring the healing/ADCtH/damage offered from Wendigo Totem/Blood Rite. It’s not an inconsiderable addition to a pet build’s arsenal.

I like the idea to turn Embodiment Roar intro aura.

3 become OP with any value. Bad idea.
4 become OP with +crit, without it will be ok

Emboldening Roar’s cooldown is or seems to be effected by CDR. There’s not much of a downtime between a 12 second buff with a 15-16 second cooldown so it being a permanent aura doesn’t make much difference either way.

Having Briarthorn do Vitality would be nice but with Necromancer’s skeletons already doing Vitality (and Necromancer as a whole being big on Vitality and pets), i think it’ll either make Ritualist a bit too powerful with Devouring Swarms big debuff and mean Briarthorn/Skeletons become a bit too similar in damage.

Necromancer’s Master of Death converts Pet Physical to Vitality so you technically could still have that Vitality Briarthorn but you have to choose the class combo for and focus on it.

The only issue i really have with Shaman for pet builds is Primal Bond. The measly amount of Pet Damage it offers isn’t doing much when you have 500+ % passively and procs/abilities push this up to ~1500 % or more towards endgame.

Emboldening Roar’s cooldown is or seems to be effected by CDR. There’s not much of a downtime between a 12 second buff with a 15-16 second cooldown so it being a permanent aura doesn’t make much difference either way.

Whait. Pet skills are affected by player CDR 0_o .
Anyway its more QoL for Shaman affected hybrid builds. I doubt I would use it on non-pet build due to constant resumoning pita.

The only issue i really have with Shaman for pet builds is Primal Bond. The measly amount of Pet Damage it offers isn’t doing much when you have 500+ % passively and procs/abilities push this up to ~1500 % or more towards endgame.

Well , it give you DMG absorbtion and racial dmg reduction, minor pet bonuses came as cherry on top :roll:

Also dont forget timed summon primal spirit. Hell of a pet with a huge c*ck dps compared to others

Just checked the tooltip ingame - player CDR dosent affect pet ability CDR. Well, it make sense =)

18 * (1-0.14) = 15.48, ~15.5.

Not sure if there are any other pet abilities CDR effects but then again, most don’t have a visible cooldown timer on their skill tooltip.

It’s a bug, player CDR doesn’t affect pets.

IMO, the tooltip is just there so you can know the base cooldown.

Well i’ve been fooled :rolleyes:. My remarks on Emboldening Roar above can be ignored then, it could do with being made into a permanent aura.

Hm. youre right. I checked blank skill =( If I put some points in Embodiment Roar, my CDR do affect tooltip CD 0_o.
Still I do think it should be turned intro aura :roll:

I think that the reason why Shaman is “lackluster” in comparison to Occultist when it comes to pets is because I think Crate designed it to be a “jack-of-all-trades” mastery. Every mastery can cover more than one type of build, but Shaman is the one that I feel tries to cover more than the others: It have 2H melee, can be a potential tank, casting, lightining, physical, bleeding, vitality, healing, and (of course) pets.

Don’t saying OP is totally wrong though, I can welcome some changes to improve pet situation in general. And speaking of Primal Bond, I decided to dig some old Misadventures threads about the the Shaman (links: and and I noticed something interesting:

Primal Bond is a 8 point Passive Skill in this screenshot rather than a 12 point Exclusive Skill. I do wonder why they changed it? If it gave the same stats as it gives today then I can agree that it was OP, but if it gave only pet benefits I think there was no reason for the change. Also, Primal Bond being a passive explains to me why Glyph of Kelpha’Zoth even exists.


Sorry for the off topic, but a lot of interesting stuff about Shaman there.

Devouring Swarm having a transmuter and a modifier. Whatever that skill in the bottom middle and the one next to Primal Bond are. No Grasping Vines.

Were Wendigo and Storm Totem a single skill at one point? Because that’s sounds awesome.

Edit: Searched through the game updates section and found nothing on those skills or that Devouring Swarm transmuter and modifier.

It never released in this manner. You could access it before the Shaman was officially announced via Grim Dawn Trained Hard or other 3rd party tools, because some template skills were in the game files but not publicly implemented.

As I understand it, as this was before my time, it existed in that manner in playtesting but feedback created what we have now.

The Misadventure were I found this screenshot pre-dates the game’s release. I guess this is why you can’t find information in the updates section.

On Devouring Swarm, Grim Misadventure #75 has the info you want:

Thanks all for the feedback

@Ceno. Thanks for the point about wendigo totem + Blood Pact. Have added it in, though healing wise its tricker and less consistent to use due to the need to be in its radius when pets are involved.

@Evil Baka. Numbers can be tweaked for the damage component damage change for Briarthorn. It can even be Piercing -> Vit and Bleeding. This would make the Briarthorn unique.

@Safarel. I can see where you are coming from but the numbers can be tweaked. Just like how manipulation is scaled if it is something along the likes of +1% OA per every 2, 3 or even 4 levels it wont be. There are items that can give +5 to 6% pet OA alone, same for player OA bonus items. This gives another reason for people to put points into this skill.

The same +% scaling applies for the suggestion to +% crit damage. To give more a sense of difference, the total speed modifier can be less than that provided by manipulation with +%pet crit damage added in. Also, +% Pet damage can be reduced/removed for balance.

After i posted that, i looked through some videos on the beta where Shaman was released and yeah, Shaman was never officially released with the template it had in those two grim misadventures.

The fumble chance modifier (the description makes it sound like it) for Devouring Swarm sounds pretty great though. I really want to know what that skill with the Inner Focus icon and the one left of Primal Bond are though, but i guess we’ll never know.