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Beastmaster 0.7.6 - some builds, thoughts and observations

I wanted to see how ‘pure minion’ builds went with the new primalist rework. I do not grind mindlessly to endgame, so be aware these comments are about monolith 20, arena wave 50, and no effort put into crafting on gear.

Build 1 - Bleed tank 5 minion
Focus solely on scaling bleed and survivability for yourself and minions. You just stay out of the way and cast spells which heal yourself and minions (thanks to call of the pack)
I worked hard to not put any poison in the build, but probably better builds would use poison hybrid, or a melee skill to get aspect of the boar, viper, shark.

Items

  • Doublet of Onos Tul - for the double bleed duration and bleed chance
  • Eterra’s path - for the movespeed

Sabretooth - Your best skill. Massive bleed scaling, attack speed and single target dps
Raptor - In theory this guy synergises really well, as the double speed bleeds should be amazing. In reality I don’t notice him do much work. I’m running the attack speed and damage when health is low nodes, but they seem to suck. Raptor also loses a lot of good nodes if you ignore the poison ones. Probably better to take the slow and rampage duration nodes for a utility raptor. (I have no idea what 150% chance to slow does vs 100% chance!)
Wolf - Just level this tree for the howl buffs and the extra companion. Last points I put into chill on hit, because defences.
Bear - Just a really sucky tree. The taunt might be useful later to stay safe, but 99% of the time the bear is too slow to reach enemies, swipe has such a small area of effect a normal attack is preferable, claw totems are trash, and there is not enough attack speed to scale bleed well.
Scorpion - This would be a good choice if the baby scorpions scaled with anything, but with a bit of testing, it seems they don’t get any benefits from the scorpion tree, your items or your passive tree. A real shame, so I dropped it for:
Spriggan - 80% increased damage for other minions, a heal spell, healing aura and surprisingly good bleed single target damage. You just need some idols with minions bleed on hit, then take the faster casting nodes bottom left. By the spriggan’s 4th round of spells she ramps up a lot of bleeds to be your best boss killer. It’s also nice to have a minion which can stay near you.

Summary

A pretty painful build overall. Slow clear speeds, but respectable boss killing for a tank. Bleeds always need time to ramp up, so even killing small enemies takes some time. By far the worst thing is your companions all swarming on one enemy, overkilling it, then pausing, retargetting, running, then overkilling again. A bone cairn spawning a single skeleton can absorb all your DPS for 3 seconds, by which time it has spawned another, and so on. If you are tempted to suggest using the “A” key here, I’d like to remind you what a clusterf#@k the screen is at any given time, and how slow/laggy this game often is. Pushing A on anything smaller than half a screen size is not happening. If you can get all your beasts on one enemy, it dies to exponential bleed stacks, but any enemy/area with glancing blows, physical resistance or dodge chance makes this painstaking.

The raptor can accelerate bleeds, but there are no real synergies here aside from healing with companion abilities. There is no good way of shredding armour, and armour shred is probably still poor vs high armour.

Yes you are tanky - It’s easy to cap glancing blow and to get nice life regen, but this game has an inordinate amount of enemy skills that leave circles of death on the floor. In other words, 400HP or 1400HP makes no difference: if you stand in a circle, you die. You need to be standing in the right spot to live, hence, there is almost no reward for building defences. The movement speed on Eterra’s path boots alone is worth more than 30 passives worth of health. (Please devs halve the number of delayed area blasts, then halve them again. Then reduce the AOE on them all. It is simply not fun to be moving your toon half a screen to the left, right, back forward every second of every encounter). To finish on a positive, the rework means investment into beast survivability pays off, and they almost never die.

Build 2 - Raw damage 4 companions and frenzy totem (WIP)

Just invest in as much flat damage and multipliers as you can. This has worked so much better than the bleed tank. This game rewards dps and punishes investment into defences like no other. Clearspeed is double the tanky version, with much worse gear. Survivability goes way up because up front damage means enemies don’t always get their assault off, meaning you take way less damage as a glass cannon than you do as a tank.

Wolf - I took the extra companion, the howl increased melee damage and the frozen fangs. Finish with extra movespeed and attack speed. The wolf seems pretty useful this way, as it has some AOE, can hit harder than before, and buffs allies well.
Sabretooth - Icetiger for flat damage, frenzy for attack speed, then head to the crit nodes bottom left
Raptor - I’m liking the slow aura, so after flat damage, taste for flesh, adaptation, I’m buffing the rampage to slow and fear.
Bear - There really is no choice here. Take all the damage nodes at the top, then grab claw totems last.

Summary (WIP)

Maybe it won’t scale well, but this is way more fun to play. Lynx is a better looking aspect too, as it does not need any melee hit. Very versatile with gear, and kinda fun to balance which offensive companion ability to cast next.

Thanks LE team.

Discussions from last patch

https://forum.lastepochgame.com/t/beast-master-companions-pros-and-cons-not-a-guide-just-a-run-down-of-each-companion/16513
https://forum.lastepochgame.com/t/trees-rewrite-of-primalist-companion-skills/17034/4

Just a few things do add. There are several pure minion builds that do extremely well and have very very fast clear speeds. Like most builds that do well you will need to optimize gear. Also your pure minion build didnt take advantage of artors legacy. You shpuld be running 6 companions not 5. I also disagree about there being no point investing in defence and there being no differemce between 400 and 1400 up. Having 1400hp over 400 is about a 100 max wave differemce in arena. 5 builds I recommend you trying. 1. Take the ice bite node top left on wolf tree
This is a huge aoe and damage boost this will speed up your clear speeds tremedoualy as wolves will anniliate trash packs. 2. Build a poison build. Its better tham bleed. 3. Incorporate entangling roots with frenzy totem. Entangling roots will heal you ypur minions and give bleed poison on hit benefits. 4. Try your bear as a retaliate build not a damafe dealer. 5. Try put the scorpion amd her little babies.

Ive played a few types of BM, mainly Serpent Strike with pets and pure Pets focusing on DoTs, prior to Idols

The minions need more splash damage, AI is exactly as described they all group a single mob, Wolves have the best splash with Ice fang never bothered trying the Panther with Ice Nova and Dots

Serpent Strike had the best clear as I personally cleared the smaller packs with a couple of stabs while the minions did whatever and Bleeding Heart amulet seemed to take care of my defence as it leechs all damage ie from Poison

BM spec’d to pure dots with a couple of Idols adding poison chance just deletes bosses in moments

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