The Carnival - A Guide to Pets

Pdf guide updated in preparation for 1.2 release

…and a surprise patch changed things further and for the worse…

Consider all of my endgame pet builds to be in limbo since none of them are performing to my standards anymore in 1.2, with the latest round of Pet nerfs.

Pets are still great for leveling with and Budget setups don’t require much in terms of investment. But their endgame performance, atleast from my perspective has dropped to the point I cannot recommend them anymore.

If you just want to pretend to be commanding a horde of minions, go for player scaled pets.

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Maya, have you considered building around Wind Devils as damage source? Using full Cyclone and Arcanist/Oathkeeper/Demolitionist as support? Do Wind Devils hold aggro against Superbosses?

Wind Devils are player scaled pets like Guardian of Empyrion, Blade Spirit, etc.
They can’t hold aggro or tank at all since enemies ignore them.

I have infact tried playing player scaled pets however. I like this one - Nocturne – "Pet" Conjurer

pdf guide updated.

note - don’t use it for Hardcore.
note II - guide is for starting in Normal, then going to Elite and then to Ultimate. If you wish to skip difficulties or wish to start in Veteran, I cannot guarantee performance.

I read the 1.2 changelog and in my casual layman’s understanding of the game I was under the impression that pets had overall been buffed despite some health related nerfs.

It’s a pity since I was looking forward to play your build once the new expansion arrives but seeing that even your builds are struggling so much has made my hype die down quite a bit.

Issue is that the pet buffs are all to their damage, while the nerfs were to their survivability.

And since enemies got buffed as well as the inclusion of sunder, pets die by the dozen now. I am ok with taking longer to kill stuff, but having to babysit your pets or run around waiting for their cooldown to refresh so that you can summon them again, only to watch them die in the next few seconds, is not fun for me :frowning:

Zantai wants to promote a more “active” gameplay, but I have always considered the reason to go for a pet build to be their more laidback and casual style. I rather play non pet builds if I am forced to the more active style since non-pets have better tools suited to that.


Would it be worth building around cooldown reduction for pet builds, do you think? Or making a point to include additional healing for pets or something?

Personally, I would prefer cooldown reduction over additional healing since it is quite easy to have the pets die before you can react.

I suppose you could go for tanky pets, where you might take things like Menhir’s Bastion or Stone Form and a bunch of healing, regen or attack damage converted to health etc… Did I also read that Mend Flesh might get a buff to it’s heal radius, and is meant to be better at continuing to heal pets and so on, too?

If pets ever get to the point of needing those, might as well delete them from the game :smile:

It is amazing in theory, but in practice you summon Familiar > it dies the next second > you wait like 15 seconds for its CD to refresh while all the points you invested into it does nothing for you.

Only reliable pet healing options atm are Blood of Dreeg and Wendigo Totem.
Legit considering building with Bonescythe for its +1 summon limit to Totem :neutral_face:


A somewhat controversial idea regarding the whole “Pets are Lazy and the game should be less lazy and more active” design paradigm that seems to be going on -

Make all pets like Reap Spirit, practically immortal but poor at tanking. That way, you still get the player to move around, be careful and all that without the frustration of having to deal with constant re-summoning.

But given the balance changes that would require + hate it would most likely get from players, I doubt it is going to happen.

Could also just let go of the “Game must be Active and no Lazy playstyles allowed” notion and let players enjoy what they want. Nerfing Pets can be done without messing with the playstyle or changing what draws people to them in the first place.

I guess time to just wait and see how other pet players and builders respond to the changes and how Zantai decides to proceed.


I noticed you can get BoD down to a 3s cooldown now, not including % cooldown reduction… :smiley:

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Killed Calla (finally bothered to, while is still valid) with this one (thanks for the devotion setup, by the way!):

Don’t have Mythical Nosferatis yet, unfo.
Pets holded aggro very well, though i had to resummon them all the time.
Two extra pets - Primal Spirit and Harbinger - did a great job of tanking while Briarthorns and Hellhound were on occasional cooldown.
The fight took about three minutes, i think, had to kite once or twice only. Overall very safe fight, no real danger for the player.
Crate fight, in comparison, was considerably more difficult/annoying and this (Crate fight) is something i am not looking to repeat at all.

Looking forward to see how it this will handle once 1.2 kicks in.

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Fluffy Squishy survived 1.2 and is back for more laziness, atleast for the time being :yum:


Are you planning to have a 1.2 revised Cabalist build?

Highly unlikely :frowning:

Ritualist, I have an idea for, using Bonescythe to get extra Totem.
Not sure how to salvage Cabalist.

Your “Skull & Bones” build isn’t up to the task anymore? I’m trying to find a 1.2 pet necro build.


I can no longer safely pilot it vs superbosses, but it is great for Crucible and pretty decent in SR 75-76 farming.