Diablo® III

Damage output: Sentry vs Bait vs MfD (Maths)

The increase in popularity of RF has also made Bait the trap more popular as it gives you an increase to CC as long as you remain stationery on the trap. But does it really give you more damage vs. the alternatives???

The following calcs compare the damage output of Bait vs. MfD vs. Sentry against a single target.

Assume 50% CC. Assume 400% CD. Assume 2 aps. Assume 2500 Dex. Manticore user using bombardment rune.

DMG = ((1+CDxCC)x(APS)x(DEx/100+1))*Skill modifier.

Standard damage: The player would normally do (1+4*0.5)x2x(2500/100+1)*414 = 3x2x26x414 = 64584 times weapon dmg.

Sentry: 1 sentry would add (cannot crit): 2x(2500/100+1)*175 = 9100 times weapon damage

1 Sentry has hence increased damage output by (9100+64584)/64584 = 14.1%

Bait the trap: The player would do (1+4*0.6)x2x(2500/1100+1)*414 = 3.4x2x26x414 = 73195

Bait has increased damage output by (73195/64584) = 13.3%

Both of the above would outperform MfD which adds an additional 12% damage to one marked enemy.

Other factors:

Sentry: I have assumed one sentry noting that due to cooldown most fights you will not be have both up. Having both up gives you 28% more damage output. Please note that I am assuming a Xbow user and that a bow user who has stacked APS/DEX would weigh results more in sentry's favour. Sentries also continue to pump out damage even when you are moving around and not attacking. For a RF user, Guardian Turret would normally be the most appropriate.

Bait the trap: A key factor here is I have assumed single target. As Bait applies the benefit to you, if you are using an AOE attack like bombardment then the increased damage output also is AOE compared to Sentry/mfD which normally affects one mob. If you have a spare passive, Bait can even give you more damage with CtW.

MfD: This is the weakest one in my view for solo play. A lot of the runes are single target in nature and it loses out to sentry in single target damage output. Valley of Death has the highest damage output for AOE attacks but this is still worse than Bait.

Overall Winner: Sentry

Bait is best from a pure damage view point (if you are using a AOE attack). If you are not using an AOE attack then Sentry>Bait>MfD. On the face of it I will choose sentry as it delivers similar damage and continues to provide damage output even if you move around as opposed to just standing in a small area. Bait only provides damage with snare being largely irrelevant except for procing CtW. The Fuardian rune for sentry can provide both eHP and eDPS.
Edited by Alagos#3786 on 6/15/2013 5:17 AM PDT
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Thanks for the data. Good read.

Bait allows you cast it while channeling, the other 2 does not.
I could try guardian turret instead of smoke screen thou.
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I'll agree with you for that particular setup.
However, I'll disagree that it is "the best overall solution for all cases".

M4D is better for group runs since everybody benefits.
The benefits of "bait the trap" are highly related to your current build. (ie CC/CD and DML bonus,etc.)
Your spec uses a Manticore. But, if you're not running a manitcore and don't have the underlying black damage, sentries become almost useless at higher MP levels.

In short:
The best choice really depends on what you are wearing and who you're rolling with.
Something tells me this may only be true for the DH class.

PS - nice write up.
Edited by DogBone#1354 on 6/15/2013 6:02 AM PDT
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You can cast Sentries while Channeling RF but the problem is the HATRED consumption it has, its 30, that's some seconds of RF channeling..

If you'd use Punishment however, it'll be a nice addition.

If you want, you can do something like..

Cast MfD-Valley on yourself
Cast Bait
Cast SP
Channel RF
Pop Sentry

Can be done in 2-3 seconds. That leaves Bat Companion. The problem with this is you don't have any way to recover Hatred or Disc in emergency cases.
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Both sentry and Bait doesn't interrupt channelling.

Yes. Sentry is a drain on hatred. But I can equally say that bait is a drain on disc. Against knockback, vortex or arcane elites forcing you to reposition recasting Gloom and Bait is a real drain on disc especially as the same DH will use SS to mitigate damage for uninterrupted channelling. As Sentry is ranged there is usually no need to recast if you reposition, the sentries will keep attacking.

Having said this. Sentry is not appropriate for RF builds that do not use a generator.

MfD Grim is prob the most resource efficient at only 3 disc per cast and tags the mob hence no need to recast if you need to reposition.

I did the calcs to show that Sentry damage is very respectable even for standard CD/CC Manticore setups. You do not have to specifically gear your DH to get good damage from sentries.
Edited by Alagos#3786 on 6/15/2013 7:40 AM PDT
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If you want a "free" source of LS in the midst of getting CCed and your Channel canceled, a single Chain of Torment might save your hides when you snapshot it with Shadow Power..

Grim Reaper is nice, but so would Valley of Death.. Contagion seems to be cool too since you are using an AoE to kill stuff, it may jump from enemies to enemies..

EDIT: Will try the above stated build I posted.. let's see how it fares.
Edited by Chrizzle#1390 on 6/15/2013 8:26 AM PDT
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So I tried Valley of Death, the problem with it is that.. it's another click. LOL

Maybe I should just get try and get used to it too ^_^

EDIT: Kinda hard to do it since it uses Discipline also.. and has to be re-casted again and again if you can't kill the mobs within 15seconds.. you'd lose that bonus.

Contagion seems plausible since you'd put it on a trashmob and just let it lose.. EDIT: Tried Contagion, its "better" in many ways if you're feeling lazy. LOL

Put in a trash mab > kill it > spreads to 2 other monsters > rinse-repeat. It can even not end if you have a sizable amount of mobs with you until all aren't dead.
Edited by Chrizzle#1390 on 6/15/2013 9:07 AM PDT
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My sense is that there is no reason to use MfD in solo games as the CC bonus from Bait (per the calcs) above is generally more effective (even if you do not use CtW)

The only argument you can make is Mortal enemy or Grim Reaper.

ME- If you have hatred issues.
Grim- If you have disc. issues. Bait is actually quite costly at 6 Disc per cast. Consider that you might come across elite affixes which may require you to frequently reposition i.e. recast Gloom, Bait and this becomes a real drain on disc. Grim tags the elite for 3 disc. and stays with the elite for 30 seconds no need for recast.

Valley- In group play this is cool. In solo play, use Bait. This has the same weakness as Bait of targeting an area and requiring recast which can drain disc. But it is cheaper at 3 disc per cast.
Contagion- This is great vs white mobs. It isn't very useful against elites which is what people typically need help with. Bait is better DPS wise and allow you to proc nightstalker more.

I hope with the maths above tho. That I have shown that sentry can contend with Bait and MfD. If people don't look for it to do massive damage and see it for what it is...supplementary 14% damage on the side per sentry...then I think we will start to see that it actually compares well to the other damage buff skills that we have. A standard Manticore CC/CD build can be worthwhile with sentry.
Edited by Alagos#3786 on 6/15/2013 12:53 PM PDT
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against a single target.


This part right here is why sentries are generally terrible.
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I disagree, though I don't play solo that often, I use MFD - valley of death quite often. IMO it's a great skill for kiting. Plant and step backwards, all the mobs chasing after you get hit.
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06/15/2013 12:56 PMPosted by Otaking
This part right here is why sentries are generally terrible.


A few comments from me noting that this post is assuming players use a RF build:

1) Unless you use bombardment. Then the increased CC from Bait or any damage from MfD will also be applicable to a single target only. As your attack is single target in nature.

2) If you use bombardment then agree that Bait and Valley greatly outperform sentry as per attack you are hitting more than one mob and all the mobs caught in AOE will take incrementally more damage.

3) With the exception of valley all the MfD runes effectively only increases damage taken for a single target even if you use a AOE skill. Grim takes an additional 12% and spreads it to an area but this is pretty small damage.
Edited by Alagos#3786 on 6/15/2013 1:14 PM PDT
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Nice post. Thanks for the numbers. It's nice to know my Sentry does well with some numbers to back it up. I do like to have both going when time allows it.
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A few comments from me noting that this post is assuming players use a RF build:

1) Unless you use bombardment. Then the increased CC from Bait or any damage from MfD will also be applicable to a single target only. As your attack is single target in nature.

2) If you use bombardment then agree that Bait and Valley greatly outperform sentry as per attack you are hitting more than one mob and all the mobs caught in AOE will take incrementally more damage.

3) With the exception of valley all the MfD runes effectively only increases damage taken for a single target even if you use a AOE skill. Grim takes an additional 12% and spreads it to an area but this is pretty small damage.


The math is interesting and I appreciate you taking the time to do it.

I would love to use sentries more, as they are one of our only good eDPS sources because they can be dropped while we channel other damage.

However I can't find a slot for them in high MP. MFD: Valley is going to beat them in every practical situation for 3 disc. Running gloom, bat, prep with heal means I have a hate gen attack slot and a hate spender and a third which is MFD: Valley for me right now. The 30 hate cost on sent does screw up RF flow also. There are screens and screens full of white mobs between every single target elite, and even the elites frequent have minions....

The reason I don't use Bait is I don't like the feeling of being locked down, which is also why I main Bola. RF:FS is my tanking and cleanup fire, and I spend most of my time firing Bola.

That said, I am currently contemplating trying to put LS into my build and get away from gloom altogether, just to do something different. This could free up both gloom and prep.

I would put in Sentry and RoV:Flying strike if survivability was no longer an issue to raise eDPS. Maybe mines instead of RoV:FS
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Depending on the build I'm running, Chain of Torment is a staple whenever I do my Melee build.

Also when I use my WF.. 3x CoT + Windforce. Goodluck getting hit XD
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