Diablo® III

Under the Hood: Mystic Ally

Actually taking into account spamming its not that surprising that Fire Ally can match Overawe in a single player game. I just don't find it very valuable for me since I hate playing by myself.

I'm most interested in the EDPS comparison between BW and MA since these will ultimately be the two skills vying for a position on my action bar if I keep Serenity off it. Although theres also arguments to be made for DS and its low spirit cost for vastly increased movement speed. (thinking of it in terms of a speed standpoint compared to using it for defensive purposes [since I don't think its that great for that])
Edited by gotaplanstan#1369 on 12/20/2012 8:06 PM PST
Reply Quote
Pass the Blunt Lord.... come on man!!!!

:)
Reply Quote
I've updated post #3, which takes a closer look at each ally:

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7392649912?page=1#3
Edited by Vrkhyz#1472 on 12/22/2012 1:56 PM PST
Reply Quote
yaaaaaaay Vrkhyz!

i'll get the ally up and running again too i think. haven't really used him since i hit inferno.

Vrkhyz, which one is your personal favourite? i'm leaning towards air ally.
Reply Quote
12/22/2012 02:08 PMPosted by MrMojoRisin
Vrkhyz, which one is your personal favourite? i'm leaning towards air ally.

Unruned Ally, of course ;-)

No, in all seriousness, I've worked mostly with the Fire Ally because of the spamming benefit. For me, Mystic Ally competes for that slot on my toolbar with Faith in the Light and Blazing Wrath, so DPS is most important. In terms of tanking ability, the Earth Ally is at once the best and the worst choice, and the rest are essentially equivalent, which is why I've favored the Fire Ally.

But I'm currently playing above my pay grade on MP6, and my ally has started disappearing with alarming frequency. One option is to switch to the Water Ally, whose long-distance special attack should subject him to less pounding because he moves so far so fast. Another option is to switch to the Eternal Ally, although I'm reluctant to do so because you're almost forced to resummon him if you notice he's missing, which limits his main benefit. And I could try the Air Ally, whose paper-champ DPS and ability to scale with a few nearby mobs makes him more attractive than the Fire Ally in some respects.

When I was leveling, I used Mystic Ally a lot, and my favorites were the Eternal Ally (spirit constraints) and the Air Ally (AOE). I didn't know the special-attack mechanics and didn't bother learning about them, either. The Air Ally benefits from snap-shotting, but I don't have any snapshot skills on my toolbar if I use that rune, so I'm in a bit of a bad spot at the moment in regard to this skill.

Looking at your profile, I imagine Fulminating Onslaught is the skill you'd replace, assuming you'd keep everything else the same. Air Ally looks like a solid eyeball-test choice, assuming it can survive whatever MP level you're considering. Let's look at the two skills a little more closely.
Fulminating Onslaught:
  • 254% weapon damage per explosion (technically 1777% divided over 7 hits, with each rounded)
  • 30-second cooldown in the absence of Beacon of Ytar
  • Ability to scale damage because of explosions
  • Explosions alternate between weapons
  • Does not scale with weapon speed
  • Works well with burst buffs like Faith in the Light

Air Ally:
  • 50% weapon damage per second
  • No cooldown
  • Limited ability to scale damage with multiple targets
  • Uses average weapon damage
  • Scales with weapon speed
  • Static +50% CHD
  • Responds in real-time to buffs like Faith in the Light, but vortex damage is based on snapshot

For ease of comparison, let's start with a single-target scenario. I'll assume that you always activate Faith in the Light before you use Seven-Sided Strike, that you use it as soon as it comes off cooldown, that you end up activating it 50% of the time with each weapon active, and that you have the full bonuses from Blazing Fists (+0.15 APS) and Combination Strike (+16% damage) and Overawe (+48% damage) up and running.

When your Sky Splitter is active:

Base Sky Splitter damage (incl. jewelry): 544.5–1103.5 = 824
FitL bonus: 824 x 0.3 x (1.443 + 0.39) x 1.45 = 657
Total average hit: 1481
CHC/CHD: 1481 x (1 + 0.33 x 2.32) = 2,615
DEX: 2615 x (1 + 2063/100) = 56,559
Overawe/Combi-Strike: 56,559 x (1 + 0.16 + 0.48) = 92,757
Four strikes: 92757 x 17.77 ÷ 7 x 4 = 941,883

Base Echoing Fury damage (incl. jewelry): 659.06–1070.08 = 865
FitL bonus (from above): 657
Total average hit: 1522
CHD/CHD: 1522 x (1 + 0.33 x 2.32) = 2,687
DEX: 2,687 x (1 + 2063/100) = 58,125
Overawe/Combi-Strike: 58,125 x (1 + 0.16 + 0.48) = 95,325
Three strikes: 95,325 x 17.77 ÷ 7 x 3 = 725,969

Total: 941,883 + 725,969 = 1,667,852
Damage per second: 1,667,852 ÷ 30 = 55,595 DPS

Okay, you know what? That was an awful lot of work to figure out just half of it. Let's just agree . . . actually, I did most of the hard work above, I suppose I can finish this.

When your Echoing Fury is active:

Base Echoing Fury damage (incl. jewelry): 659.06–1070.08 = 865
FitL bonus: 865 x 0.3 x (1.44 + 0.15) x 1.45 = 598
Total average hit: 1,463
CHD/CHD: 1,463 x (1 + 0.33 x 2.32) = 2,583
DEX: 2,583 x (1 + 2063/100) = 55,872
Overawe/Combi-Strike: 55,872 x (1 + 0.16 + 0.48) = 91,630
Four strikes: 91,630 x 17.77 ÷ 7 x 4 = 930,435

Base Sky Splitter damage (incl. jewelry): 544.5–1103.5 = 824
FitL bonus (from above): 598
Total average hit: 1,422
CHC/CHD: 1,422 x (1 + 0.33 x 2.32) = 2,511
DEX: 2,511 x (1 + 2063/100) = 54,306
Overawe/Combi-Strike: 54,306 x (1 + 0.16 + 0.48) = 89,062
Three strikes: 89,062 x 17.77 ÷ 7 x 3 = 678,270

Total: 930,435+ 678,270 = 1,608,705
Damage per second: 1,608,705 ÷ 30 = 53,624 DPS

Average DPS: 55,595 + 53,624 ÷ 2 = 54,610

So, to match that single-target figure, your ally has to do at least 54,610 damage per second.

Now, rather than go through the full formula and all that jazz—as I said, it's more complicated for the Air Ally—let's just make some simple assumptions:

1. You have FitL up 20% of the time, both for the ally's base damage and the vortex.
2. Each weapon is active half the time when FitL is active.

When FitL is active:

FitL bonus: 598 + 657 ÷ 2 = 628
Paper DPS (based on percentage increase to base weapon damage): 97,667
Divided by your CHF: 97,667 ÷ (1 + 0.33 x 2.32) = 55,317
Multiplied by ally's CHF: 55,317 x (1 + 0.33 x 0.50) = 64,444
Multiplied by ally's DOT value: 64,444 x 0.50 = 32,222

When FitL isn't active:

Paper DPS: 72,570.8
Divided by your CHF: 41,102
Multiplied by ally's CHF: 47,885
Multiplied by ally's DOT value: 23,942

Overall effect:

80% of non-FitL value: 23,942 x 0.80 = 19,154
20% of FitL value: 32,222 x 0.20 = 6,444
Total value: 25,588

If I've got all that right—and I did it in a hurry, and I'm leaving now, so maybe I messed up somewhere—it looks like you're giving up 30K real DPS to add the ally. But there are three very big caveats:

1. The ally can be spammed during combat; Fulminating Onslaught requires you to stop using Thunderclap. This means that FO's combination is less than that 55K value because you have to subtract all the Thunderclap damage you could have been doing.

2. This is single-target damage. FO can explode for a lot of extra damage, although the radius of each explosion is relatively small.

3. Your real DPS is very high, so a 30K difference isn't as large as it looks compared to your paper DPS. This is rather important, as you're essentially trading that 30K DPS for the extra aggro pull the ally has.

Anyway, it's time to go home :)
Reply Quote
wow!!! thank you for all the calculations!!!

perfect spot on the skill i would swap out too. sss is exactly where he would go.

also, the air ally is out doing his job while the sss is on cool down.
Reply Quote
i didn't realize sss worked like that! the hits alternate between hands? is this correct, or am i totally missing what the calc's above are???

hmmm if the ally's crit damage is stuck at 50%, then the gap in dps difference will expand once i re-up my gems in my weapons again, won't it? making sss pull into the lead again?

i sold all my gems to buy my new amulet... now poor again and will re-build the gems again. was totally worth it.
Edited by MrMojoRisin#6850 on 12/22/2012 4:43 PM PST
Reply Quote
I just want to point out that the air allies' personal "mini-SW" does indeed snapshot your gear, seemingly in a very similar manner to Sweeping Winds in regards to what it does and does not snapshot. However it only lasts for the 11 seconds until he casts it again, and then a new snapshot is taken.

Thus it is not practically possibly to have a constantly buffed air ally.
Reply Quote
You're welcome for the calcs. I'm not done yet, believe it or not. My hope, of course, is that you'll be so distracted that you forget about that helm you accidentally vendored :(

As for SSS: yes, it alternates strikes. Ready two weapons with different APSs (like the ones you have), open your Details tab, activate the skill, and watch the Attacks per Second line.
Reply Quote
also worth noting this is my speed farming set-up. usual higher MP set has different bracers, STI, and guardian's path. i swap overawe for backlash too, and drop blazing fists for serenity.

the sss spot is my joker card. i change it out to try different stuff. for users, i find sss pandemonium is awesome. i really want to put dashing strike in there more often, but the glitch thing makes it unusable. will now throw in an ally and try him out for awhile!

still sad about my old helm. i know it wasn't exceptionally special, but it was to me... there is never anything on the AH with those rolls... never...
Reply Quote
I just want to point out that the air allies' personal "mini-SW" does indeed snapshot your gear, seemingly in a very similar manner to Sweeping Winds in regards to what it does and does not snapshot. However it only lasts for the 11 seconds until he casts it again, and then a new snapshot is taken.

Thus it is not practically possibly to have a constantly buffed air ally.

Nice one, Timmy! I hadn't tested this yet with anything more than changing attack speed mid-sequence, but I just took a peek, and you're absolutely correct: the vortex takes a new snapshot every time. I'll be sure to add this to the Air Ally's description.

A constantly buffed ally isn't possible for FitL, but it should be possible for nearly all the other big DPS boosts: Combination Strike, Blazing Wrath, Foresight. From what I've seen, allies react to Overawe in real time (probably because it's supposed to be a mob debuff, although the bonus is additive like other DPS buffs), so I'd guess this is unaffected.

Timmy, is there anything else you can share about Mystic Ally? If so, I'd love to hear it.
Reply Quote
also worth noting this is my speed farming set-up. usual higher MP set has different bracers, STI, and guardian's path. i swap overawe for backlash too, and drop blazing fists for serenity.

the sss spot is my joker card. i change it out to try different stuff. for users, i find sss pandemonium is awesome. i really want to put dashing strike in there more often, but the glitch thing makes it unusable. will now throw in an ally and try him out for awhile!

Well, as you can see, the factors involved are quite complicated on the spreadsheet side. So your last note—trying him out for a while—is very, very important. I'm just trying to give you a good framework for gauging the ally's relative DPS worth.

So, here are some extra notes about SSS vs. Air Ally for you in that gear:
  • As Timmy pointed out, the Air Ally's vortex won't be constantly buffed. But it should be reasonably close for you in that gear because I simply assumed he'd be fully buffed 20% of the time, which should be close to the real number.
  • I was able to use my gorgeous spreadsheet to put your paper DPS at 72,570.81, which is a match for the 72,570.8 posted on your profile. Which means that I can trust it to generate your real DPS figure, accounting for buffed tornadoes and cyclones and the like. And, if I've accounted for everything correctly, your real DPS, with Overawe and Combination Strike and all that jazz up all the time and FitL up only 20% of the time, is nearly 600K.
  • To keep things simple, let's just assume the SSS animation is 1.5 seconds, or 5% of a 30-second cycle. This means that you're giving up 900K Thunderclone damage to trigger 1,665K SSS damage. The net gain is 771K damage (no round-to-five numbers), which amounts to 25,700 DPS.
  • Suddenly, Air Ally's 25,600 DPS looks like a push in that slot.
  • Also, it's probably better than that from a DPS standpoint. When you use SSS after FitL, you're giving up some of your best Thunderclone damage in exchange for a massive bump to your SSS damage. If I had to wager, I'd say SSS is doing less single-target damage for you than an Air Ally would.
  • Oh, and did I mention that the Air Ally pulls aggro duty?

Fulminating Onslaught still has explosions and temporary invulnerability in its favor, and Air Ally still has its kind-of-scales vortex, and yadda yadda yadda. The point is, the DPS value is close—probably a lot closer than most players would guess—which means the Air Ally has a lot of value because it allows you to focus on killing a divided pack of mobs.

Note that I've got a bit of a throat infection, so some of my math could be wonkier than usual ;-)
Edited by Vrkhyz#1472 on 12/22/2012 5:37 PM PST
Reply Quote
BTW there is an easy way to measure health of npc/pet in general.

Get your DH friend to drop a aid station turret near your pet. It will heal the pet for 1% of health per sec. I used that test how much health npc/ wd pet have. you can just back calculate the total health from the healing number.

Apparently leah has over 500k health.
Reply Quote
BTW there is an easy way to measure health of npc/pet in general.

Get your DH friend to drop a aid station turret near your pet. It will heal the pet for 1% of health per sec. I used that test how much health npc/ wd pet have. you can just back calculate the total health from the healing number.

Apparently leah has over 500k health.

Thanks for the tip. I'll have to try that. I've never seen healing numbers for the allies, unfortunately, but maybe the turret will produce the numbers instead.

Do any of you monks have a WD alt who can donate a few minutes?
Reply Quote
Thanks once again Vrk for the great info. I hadn't used the ally since hitting Inferno I think, so took the lil guy out for a spin just now. Only did a short run getting 4 NV before was called to join others, so not sure how he'll do for me. My interest would be more for EHP / tanking purposes, as from what you said I will likely lose DPS. I'm particularly interested to see how he helps me with reflect minions (or some other bugged reflect, or reflect w molten) or maniacs as at higher MPs they can still kill me even when I'm paying attention

Anyway, happy to volunteer my DH for your testing, or even WD if you really did mean him
Reply Quote
Ever since you first brought up the viability of Mystic Ally I've been playing with it. I've almost entirely used the Air rune and it seems to be a nice source of utility.

For reference, MA replaced Ascension on my action bar. Even up on mp10 I haven't noticed much drop in survivability. This just reinforces what other people have also been saying about Serenity and how its being used more as a crutch than actually being worth the skill slot. Its pretty overrated in my eyes. I suppose part of the reason I feel this way, is because of how much I use Foresight for positioning. The only real reason (as I've said in other threads) Serenity has stayed on my bar so long, is to combat Frozen. But even that isn't as big of a problem anymore since they dumbed the game down and added visual cues for all the hazardous affixes.

I'm not sure what I can add that hasn't already been said about Mystic Ally other than saying it feels more useful than Blazing Wrath because of it's utility. BW was one of the other skills I've been playing around with to replace Serenity. The others were Blazing Fists and Quicksilver. The former was too much of a hassle to constantly be refreshing, and the latter seemed somewhat redundant with TC already having a movement property. Mystic Ally on the other hand, provides both offense and defense (part of why FitL is such a good rune).
Reply Quote
tried out the air ally in MP4 and 5 last night. he survived better than i expected! decent all around skill. sort of a set it and forget it type of thing. although, i'm finding with my build that i'm always full on spirit. maybe i should use a spirit spender in this slot... gonna try out exploding palm next!
Reply Quote
Thanks for the feedback, gents. I find the ally a great tank, as long as he can hold up against the mobs generally. At MP6, I find the ally dying all the time in the more difficult areas, so I've gone back to Blazing Wrath for a bit. He might have more survivability in the tower and the crater than he did in the open field.

@Mojo: You can turn the ally into a spirit spender by using Fire Ally or Water Ally. That said, Exploding Palm is a lot of fun.

@stan: Um, yes, DH. I saw "pet" and immediately thought WD. Derp!
Reply Quote
I have updated post #4, which outlines some pros and cons of each ally and identifies situations in which you might prefer one over the others.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7392649912?page=1#4

Cheers!
Edited by Vrkhyz#1472 on 12/29/2012 10:22 AM PST
Reply Quote
I have updated post #5, which will compare Fire Ally to several skills, most notably Faith in the Light and Blazing Wrath. It is not yet finished, but it currently illustrates how to calculate real single-target DPS for an unbuffed Thunderclap/Cyclone build.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7392649912?page=1#5
Reply Quote

Please report any Code of Conduct violations, including:

Threats of violence. We take these seriously and will alert the proper authorities.

Posts containing personal information about other players. This includes physical addresses, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and inappropriate photos and/or videos.

Harassing or discriminatory language. This will not be tolerated.

Forums Code of Conduct

Report Post # written by

Reason
Explain (256 characters max)
Submit Cancel

Reported!

[Close]