The Winter King items -- do they need improvement for pets?

Man I butchered this title.

The main items being talked about here:

Mythical Bane of the Winter King:

Mythical Crown of the Winter King:


I have a few goals here with my suggestions:

  1. Improve the pet side of things, especially the helmet
  2. Raise the potential of an attack/pet hybrid build
  3. Add necromancer support to the items

I have not played with these on the non-pet side of things. However, I’ve tried to make sure that these suggested changes aren’t detrimental to the people using these items outside of a pet build, and even moreso tried to improve the idea of a hybrid pet/attack build. This goes alongside my suggestion of making Pneumatic Burst an AoE heal seen here:

The build I have messed around with these items on was a Ghol’s Ritualist which also used Reap Spirits. It wasn’t terrible, but wasn’t amazing in terms of performance. The biggest downside is that it played far too clunky to feel nice at all. My suggested changes might push this in a better direction. Build for reference:

I’d like to see this set be extended to support 3 classes. The reason for this is because not only does Necromancer have the only pet directly from a mastery that has cold damage baseline, but it also has Soul Harvest – an ability that not only gives the player bonus damage for a bit, but also gives pets bonus damage, which fits perfectly with a hybrid pet/attack build. Especially considering part of the damage given to the player is cold. Similar could be said about Master of Death. On top of this, nightblade’s Veil of Shadows and Rumor both debuff acid on top of cold, so Blight Fiends end up synergizing naturally in a Reaper build.

The suggestions here aim to improve things for all parties involved – those only using this for pets, those only using this for the granted skill/weapon, and those that want to try to make a hybrid pet/attacker build.

So the first point I want to make: The weapon desperately needs CDR nowadays I feel. Between it helping you resummon pets, using wind devils more, improving devotion cooldowns, and the absolute biggest: Primal Spirit cooldown… it’s far too big to ignore. This also would help with reap spirit support, as reap spirits are annoying to consistently keep 3 of at a time right now.

On the note of Reap Spirits, some bonuses to necromancer would be nice. Something like Soul Harvest bonuses not only helps pets, but pushes the idea of a hybrid pet/attack build. Perhaps +1 Necromancer on the weapon, or even just +3 to Reap Spirit?

45% Vitality damage converted to Cold damage on the weapon for the player would also support Reaper/Ritualist cold based stuff. This enables full vitality to cold scaling with Gargoyle Waistguard for the player, resulting in a frostburn dot from Reap Spirit/Bone Harvest Dread, benefits from Wendigo Totem, and more. Adding it for the pets as well could be interesting, as with the weapon + a medal you’d be able to full convert vitality to other things, although not pure cold. This could also be put on the granted skill instead and made static at 50%.

Another thing is changing the cold resistance on the weapon skill. Cold resistance on it’s own doesn’t hold all that much value for both players and pets. I’m currently thinking either pierce, bleed, or poison resistance. The main thing here is that there’s not a lot of pierce resistance available for pets, and pierce resistance holds far more value than cold resistance on it’s own does – this applies to both players and pets. Pierce resistance also helps open up Voidmancer’s Cord as an option for the belt. Bleed resistance is something they don’t really have a baseline to, though, but there are components to help this. Both of these things are also provided by shaman, so poison resistance might also be a better option, too. So I’m not really sure what I’d go for overall here – but changing this would make this weapon hold a bit more value. Even vitality resistance might be a better thing to put here…

Switching focus to the helmet: This is the one place where I think some more major changes should happen. There’s so many awkward things about the helmet overall. For pet builds in particular, it’s quite hard to justify it when the helmet competes with Necrolord’s Gaze, Circlet of the Great Serpent, Beastcaller’s Cowl, and a couple others.

But firstly: The +2 Primal Bond bonus should probably be changed to +1 shaman. Overall this is just a straight out buff, but I think this just makes more sense for a few reasons:

  1. Pet builds often end up scrapping for point efficiency however they can. This is even more important when you’re hybrid.
  2. For pure attack builds, stormcaller’s pact actually supports cold damage, and the granted skill doesn’t have any base physical damage anyways, so you’re probably not worried about the conversion. Stormcaller’s Pact likely ends up being the exclusive taken here, as Primal Bond for those builds only offers defensive benefits.
  3. This helmet, in my opinion, needs more reason to use it over the other pet helmet options.

The veil of shadow mod is probably fine as is right now. I was thinking about moving it to Wind Devils, but I would rather see Nightblade have that better pet support and have this mod still on Veil of Shadow to give a bit more reason to have Reaper/Trickster pet builds. I will say I’m not exactly sure why the physical resistance mod is still there, but I suppose it could lead to some weird/interesting stuff outside of this build.

+2 Soul Harvest would be nice on the helmet. +6 second duration to reap spirit might be good here too.

Changing the specific cold damage to be All Damage also would be a step in the right direction to make it competitive with other pet helmets – but might be too much overall. If it stays as Cold Damage, I think it should at least get Frostburn Damage as well – especially with a lot of devotion options for pets having frostburn damage.

The last thing for the helmet is something I really am having trouble coming to a conclusion on how I feel about it. Changing the helmet to be 100% physical damage converted to cold and removing the 50% physical damage converted to cold from the weapon might help make this helmet competitive on it’s own with other options for people looking for a pure pet build without requiring it to rely on the weapon. The weapon should still be good alongside it, especially with the vit to cold conversion – but this is pretty dangerous, as it might make the other options for weapons and/or offhands too good in comparison, and also might make the weapon hard to balance – unless you undo the conversion change, i suppose.

One last thing to support potential pet builds using Necromancer
Moving the 25% physical damage converted to vitality from Master of Death to a Spectral Binding transmuter would also improve support for the possibility of a Reaper build, as well as improving other non-vitality based pet builds which use necromancer. There’s been a lot of them recently, though, so this is something that would obviously need to be tested with a few builds to make sure that it doesn’t make other builds utilizing necromancer pets too crazy – which would mostly be Cabalists.



  1. Add CDR to the weapon. 13-19% would work fine here.
  2. Some form of necromancer bonus would be good (+1 necro skills or +3 reap spirit?)
  3. 50% Vitality damage converted to cold would be very useful/interesting for the player and the pets both if necromancer bonuses get added, as well as a slight bonus for shamans.
  4. Potentially change the cold resistance to something more useful for both the pets and the player (pierce or bleed resistance maybe? potentially even poison resistance?)


  1. +2 Primal Bond should be changed to +1 shaman skills as it gives better support to everything involved and makes the helmet far more attractive overall.
  2. +2 Soul Harvest would be a nice bonus for Ritualists and Reapers both and fits the theme of a hybrid build.
  3. +6 second duration to Reap Spirit to help Necromancer’s keep Reap Spirits up.
  4. 120% cold damage to pets changed to % all damage, or just add frostburn damage alongside the cold damage.
  5. Possibly raising the conversion to 100% physical to cold and removing the phys to cold from the weapon?? (I don’t know about this one, could be dangerous)

This is just the first iteration of changes I’m suggesting so far. I haven’t talked about this with others much yet, so I’m curious what people think about this.

If I am to be completely honest, I don’t like hybrids in this game. Either going full pets or ignoring pets completely seems to be a better option in general.

So, I personally would rather prefer if they changed all the hybrid gear into either player focused or pet focused instead. Same goes for all the pet stuff with “on death” procs that for some reason is intended to only proc when the enemies are killed by the player.

Hell, I am even willing to sacrifice Fwuffy to be an invincible player scaled pet and the 3 items be made to a set (weap, helm & Amu).

I don’t disagree, I think the possibility of a hybrid ever being… well, high tier, isn’t that good. But I mean, making a few suggestions that fit that style is good, and not everything in the game needs to be high tier.

In the end I think most of my suggestions here are primarily improvements for pet builds – just that necromancer support has been added, and can be used on the player side of things as well. The trickster side of things really doesn’t see much change out of what I’ve suggested – at least as far as I can tell. That would be moreso affected by Nightblade’s Pneumatic Burst becoming an AoE, which I’ve already suggested in another thread. That change is more likely to make a hybrid build out of these items a thing than anything I suggested here, honestly.

On the player’s side of things, justifying a reaper/ritualist for a cold build over a trickster when you have the choice is a hard one. But I realized that Necromancer really supports this idea well, and there are good cold builds using necromancer (Chillwhisper Cold DE comes to mind) so I said hey, let’s expand on this, it fits the theme after all, and clearly a cold damage based build using necromancer can work.

I did have the thought at some point that basically just said “fuck it, can we get different items” but I decided I’d rather keep this because if nothing else, better to keep the possibility as a meme build. And really, I wouldn’t mind trying it at all personally – it’s something I’ve made work in other games in the past.

I love the buff to Veil of Shadow the Mythical crown gives. Along with Mythical Gravetouch thats another 20% cold resist redux on top of the 38% 18/10 Night’s Chill.

These two are tailored for Mythical Heart of the Mountain.
I don’t have much of a say in this as I never try pet build.
Pet bonus barely helps for melee characters, Chillmane get destoryed real quick in Crucible.
GD only offers a few weapons for melee 2-handed cold build.
A good Soulrend is hard to get, better roll on Alkamos’ Scythe & Warsword is also difficult to farm.
This leave us only Bane of the Winter King, so sad.
Crate either make this combo a 100% melee cold build, 100% pet, or create other items supporting cold pet.
Hybrid is odd on this case and benefits neither.

My two cents on what could be improved for a hybrid cold set to work with the Winter King set:

  • Since on paper it is best for a nightblade + shaman, nightblade mastery needs to have better pet support (This has already been touched on in another thread stated by Theuberelite)
  • Agree with some necromancer support. A potential item effect could be giving some pet/ally bonuses (example: the reduced amt of health drained also applied to allies in a radius) when using drain essence with grave chill mutator. A hybrid would need to restore health more actively since it is also engaging directly in combat. Making changes to Bone harvest with Harvester of Death mutator seems to be a bit similar with Winter King’s Might skill .
    another potential skill modifier could be changing reap spirit to deal cold damage instead of aether.
  • Devotion improvements: I’ll digress a little, but Murmur constellation will likely to be chosen for the Cold RR in rumor proc, but it is lacking in pet support. Some degree of additional pet stats in the various stars of this constellation will help. This also applies for some other potential choice of devotions such as Yugol, Amatok or Leviathian. In general, constellations that have proc effects should add some degree of pet stat bonus.

+1 to most of this.

The lack of CDR when using Bane of the Winter King means you can’t have a 4th Blight Fiend when using Ghol + Unstable Anomaly, and it makes it harder to use Primal Spirit under any circumstances.

Vitality to cold conversion would be pretty cool too.

The helm is hard to justify currently under any circumstances on a pet build.

Now, if anything was going to better support Ritualists, I’d rather see it in places that don’t relate to Ghol which already works, but seeing some boosts that improve the variety that Ghol Ritualists can pull of would still be nice. Ghol Csbalists can do a million different things where as the Ritualists can do only a handful.

That was part of the ghol here.

I’m sorry.

I did think about a way to make it for cold/vitality ritualist pets, but I ultimately decided against it. You can kinda do that now, but it’s not gonna be good and certainly isn’t going to help the situation against kubacabra with his 105 vit 98 cold res. And these items are sort of centric to nightblade (thus the modifiers to nightblade skills), so cold acid just makes sense.

Technically Cold Bleed could work there with Mark of Bloody Ends. Though I’m really not a fan of that medal’s stats in comparison to other medals available, I haven’t tried it yet.

For reference a non pet one…

Annnnnnnnd it’s an infiltrator, as expected…

This is the other thing I was thinking of, because I know people that have played this style of build, and infiltrator was better. I wanted to improve Trickster substantially for the build all around, which is why the helmet suggestion to change Primal Bond -> +1 shaman was made.

Perhaps it needs more in that regard, though. Perhaps the change should be made to the base class.

In that regard, adding +% Damage to Beasts on Mogdrogen’s Pact has been something I’ve been thinking about for a while. This would help with cold and lightning builds in general that are going shaman, as theres a few beasts that are particularly problematic for these damage types (cold especially so, since Kubacabra has 98 cold resistance or so). Maybe on Brute Force instead, though I think adding some OA or DA there might be a better plan.

%Damage to Beasts on Mogdrogen’s Pact also has the bonus of making Ghol Ritualists more attractive, as many beasts have quite a bit of acid resistance.

I’ll probably make a thread about this individually.

RE: Maya, you wouldn’t believe this but that was actually a typo. And then I realized what I did and had to leave the room. Came back and decided I might as well share it.

So… I tried to make a pet Trickster with the Sword given the bonuses to NB and Shaman.

Maybe I was building it wrong and someone else has figured out the secret, but currently I can’t see any reason to pick it over a weapon + Off-hand on pet builds.

Even if you want to make a Cold pet build, Bysmiel’s Grasp + Beastcaller’s seem to work better…