Diablo® III

Under the Hood: Mystic Ally

Pass the Blunt Lord.... come on man!!!!


yo dawg,
sorry I'm late. Here's the blunt. >:P

hey, cool thread. >;D
Edited by LordRaahl#1733 on 12/31/2012 2:14 PM PST
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This sounds like fun. I'll run some tests with Air Ally in my snapshot swap setup and see if I can isolate anything.

Edit: hmm, never mind, if it re-casts and overwrites every 11 seconds, that explains a lot.
Edited by Raticus79#1110 on 12/31/2012 2:25 PM PST
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I added a few new parts to post #5, which will probably break the server by the time I'm done with it :)
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Thanks for continuing to add to this. The new stuff in post #5 doesn't seem very relevant to most monks though since Fire Ally is probably only worth using when playing solo. Otherwise Overawe contributes more (and for less spirit) I would think right? So probably Air Ally vs BW/FS comparisons would be more helpful.
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01/01/2013 12:17 AMPosted by gotaplanstan
Thanks for continuing to add to this. The new stuff in post #5 doesn't seem very relevant to most monks though since Fire Ally is probably only worth using when playing solo. Otherwise Overawe contributes more (and for less spirit) I would think right? So probably Air Ally vs BW/FS comparisons would be more helpful.

You're welcome. I'll keep solo/group in mind. I don't consider Overawe on its own a good comparison because the choice is almost always Overawe vs. Hard Target or another mantra, not Overawe vs. Fire Ally or another skill. I'll be sure to include stats for Air Ally, though, as it seems to be popular among those who try MA.

I considered Foresight as a comparison, but it's not really a contest on the DPS side because almost everyone runs it with Combination Strike. (If you're using it without the passive, Foresight is relatively close to Blazing Wrath, given that the lack of a buff icon forces you to surrender more Thunderclap attacks than you ought to in order to enure that the buff is active.) Trading Foresight for Mystic Ally is gong to cost you double in that scenario. It's all about aggro vs. DPS in that case, and that's something you need to compare in-game, not on paper.
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To add to my last post: Overall, I consider MA very much a single-player skill designed to provide additional DPS while pulling mobs off you. If your role is to buff yourself and the party in group play, your best bet is probably a combination like Blazing Wrath, Guiding Light, and Overawe.
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Just kind of semi-afk messing around ingame right now and it just hit me...

Since regearing and trying to find an amble replacement for Serenity I seem to spend the most time using Blazing Wrath or Air Ally.

But I also find myself spending A LOT more time playing these days, in groups with other monks. This lets me use Guiding Light (paired with TON) since I dropped OWE too. The downside is (I think its somewhat fair to say) that nothing else really compares to spamming Overawe in terms of spirit dumps, at least in a group situation. Sure I can spam MoH for a larger AOE on Guiding Light (which is precisely what I do), but unless I'm doing mp9 or 10, it hardly seems like the 3s Shield of Protection is really necessary or needed for group success.

This leaves me with excess spirit, obviously. Especially considering BW and Air Ally are cast so infrequently.

So I'm sitting in New Tristram and it dawned on me... I remembered this thread and all the great work you did with showing just how much edps Fire Ally is worth! So. Next time I'm playing whether its later tonight, tomorrow, or whenever, I'm going to try out TON+GL paired with Fire Ally spam and see how it feels. Really optimistic though based on all the proof you've already given us here :)
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any thoughts on Allies being used for pvp?

It seems to me that Air Ally would be very effective at generating spirit, given that your opponent doesn't want to waste time on hitting your ally. It could be very good for kiting purposes when spirit is low. If they DO focus on your ally, you're able to dish out dps or stall until your cooldowns have gone.
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Ok I got a chance to try out Fire Ally spamming yesterday briefly in mp8 and 10. It definitely seems viable, and I COULD notice the spike damage vs. elites even on that high of mp levels.

The variables (3 and 4 player games) were a little more than I'd like, I think when I get a chance I'll test the feel on BW vs. FA in a solo game.

I suppose in most cases of multiplayer games though, Flesh is Weak will still out perform Fire Ally spam depending on allies' damage output right?
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I have little doubt that EP is capable of outperforming a spammed Mystic Ally in a group situation. In single-player games, its DPS value will depend, in part, on how fast you can apply it to multiple targets. Exploding Palm is a very hard skill to calculate in multi-mob scenarios. It scales well, but does it scale better than Faith in the Light? Probably not, when you include the blind factor. Does it scale better than Fire Ally? Probably. But many champ packs involve single- or double-mob combat. And EP's explosion makes its value highly MP-dependent. For a player like me, taking on MP7 with a sub-42K paper DPS, the explosion is worth a lot.
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In testing Eternal Ally and Earth Ally yesterday, I came up with a way to turn Earth Ally into an offensive skill. I'll provide details after lunch, but the general idea is this:

1. You have amethysts in your chest or pants, or a high-VIT item that you can replace with a more DPS-oriented item.

2. You fire up Earth Ally and replace amethysts with emeralds so that you have the same EL but increased EDPS.

End result: Same effective single-target EDPS, but you have the advantage of spamming Earth Ally for e special attack. You also force the single target to fit the Earth Ally. And your EDPS is higher naturally, so you get a bigger boost when fighting multiple targets. Win!

Not sure yet how it compares to Fire Ally, but I'll look more closely later,
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Alright, so here's how you can actually turn Earth Ally into an offensive weapon even though it's the weakest DPS contributor among the advanced allies (i.e., those with real runes). The first thing you need is a way to swap VIT for DEX. This can be either of the following:

1. A non-weapon, non-helm piece with one or two amethysts in place of emeralds
2. A high-VIT, medium-DEX piece that you can replace with a high-DEX, medium-VIT piece.

For purposes of this demonstration, I'm going to use my monk. I was running around with Eternal Ally a couple days ago, plus a pair of amethysts in my pants sockets. Here how my monk looked:

  • Effective life (affixes): 551,935
  • Effective life (melee, non-mantra spam): 1,100,196
  • Effective DPS (not counting the ally): 242,626

So I switched to Earth Ally, which gives an extra 10% life (like any +X% Life affix). I felt my life pool was already in a good spot, so I started fiddling with the gems. Why not swap an amethyst for an emerald and see whether I'd get the same EL? Maybe even two. So, after switching two, here's what I had, given that I had just swapped 92 VIT for 92 DEX:

  • Effective life (affixes): 548,641 (-3K and change, or -0.6%)
  • Effective life (melee, non-mantra spam): 1,110,947 (+10K and change, or +1.0%)
  • Effective DPS (not counting the ally): 252,781 (+10K and change, or +4.2%)

Not bad, right?

"Okay," you say, "but Eternal Ally does 60% of your weapon damage per swing, and Earth Ally only does 40% except for the special, which is 60% but has an 8-second countdown. So now what?"

Well, the good news about boosting my own DPS is that I boost the value of Earth Ally's swings. Here are the figures for both allies, after adjusting for the differing DEX values:

  • Eternal Ally (60% damage per swing): 38,752
  • Earth Ally (60% damage for one swing, followed by 40% damage for 11 swings): 28,037

Eternal Ally is still better, but it leads by less than it would if we didn't switch gems. The real picture emerges when you add these numbers to the monk's EDPS:

  • Single-target EDPS with Eternal Ally: 281,378
  • Single-target EDPS with Earth Ally: 280,828

They're practically identical. But wait! As you add more targets, Earth Ally is worth more. Why? Because we boosted our own EDPS by nearly 5% when we switched the amethysts to emeralds. Also, you can spam Earth Ally for a constant 60% damage per swing, which gives it a decided edge over Eternal Ally.

Now, most players aren't going to consider Mystic Ally very seriously; even among those who do, Earth Ally would seem appealing only for pulling aggro and boosting your life (which probably makes it a good skill for ubers, if they'll attack the ally rather than you). But, with a little creative thinking, you can actually get a DPS boost out of this skill and still keep all the benefits, assuming you have some amethysts in your gear or some DPS-focused items you would love to try if not for the drop in life.

Fire Ally is still the best DPS winner, and Eternal Ally still has the singular advantage of never "winking out" for long when you're occupied with whatever elite pack is chewing scenery, but Earth Ally doesn't have to be pigenholed into a "MOAR VIT AND LIFE" niche.

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Can you update your post for patch 1.07 ?

- cool down for special attack was 8s, but you use 11s on your original post ?


Patch 1.07:
Mystic Ally

The amount of damage a Mystic Ally can take from a single hit is now capped

The cap scales with the player's level, and is further reduced by the player's Armor and Resistance

Skill Rune – Eternal Ally

Weapon Damage increased from 40% to 60%
The Eternal Ally now has a 100% chance to be reborn after 3 seconds (up from 50% and down from 5 seconds)

Skill Rune – Fire Ally

The cooldown of the Fire Ally’s special attack has been reduced from 8 seconds to 4 seconds

Skill Rune – Water Ally

The Water Ally’s special attack now reduces enemy movement speed by 60% (up from 30%)
The cooldown of the Water Ally’s special attack has been reduced from 8 seconds to 4 seconds
Edited by huanAK#6843 on 4/10/2013 2:54 AM PDT
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I'll see if I can find some time next week.
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