The Tao of Avatars

Crusader
I started to use the Petsader build ever since 2.1 and have loved every minute of it. Even more so when I saw SpongeBob's post and dropped 6 piece Akkhans for Hexing. After getting some other people started up on the build, I noticed that I could not answer the question of "How much damage do the Baleful Avatars do?" A quick search will get you the answer of 100% weapon damage, but it's just plain wrong. That may have been their damage before the Baleful was reworked to only have 10 avatars instead of 30. Also, with simple observation, you can see that they do about double the damage of the Bowmen per hit. If Bowmen do around 200% weapon damage, Baleful Avatars can't be doing double damage at 100%, right? Anyway, that is what started me down my quest of understanding just how these avatars worked. After a few days of recording and counting frames, I have come to some very interesting results.

Phalanx - Bodyguard
Works as intended and follows normal APS breakpoints outlined by Dialysis.

Falling Sword - Rise Brothers
These guys follow normal APS breakpoints. They do not appear to gain % Phalanx damage bonuses. You kill the Hexing pants buff when you cast it and the spawned avatars can potentially gimp your damage against single targets. Can be useful if you don't have a Baleful and need some extra avatars.

Baleful Remnant Avatars
Ok, so the APS breakpoints are much different as they are much slower and seem to cap out at 36 frames. Going all the way up to 3 APS, their attacks did not get any faster and their damage did not increase any further. Interesting side note, Baleful Avatars update in real time and do not snapshot.

1.995 aps - 42 frames
2.01 aps - 36 frames

Baleful Remnant Avatars do 560% weapon damage a piece, but do not benefit from % Phalanx damage bonuses. (Thanks, Razorphilia ;D)

Phalanx - Bowmen
These guys follow the breakpoints outlined by Dialysis. They do not exceed 18f attacks, so 3.15 APS is the highest you're going to want to go. I had an incorrect conclusion here about how Bowmen functioned. What I thought I was observing was Bowmen scaling the amount of arrows to the amount of APS. However, after reviewing old footage and footage from this year, I found out why I was getting a false positive on my hypothesis. It happened to be that in my recordings when I first posted this, the increases and decreases in APS correlated with the amount of arrows. I was set up to do so little DPS, that any variance was extremely negligible. This was my error, not checking actual DPS amounts. So why do the Bowmen alternate between different frame times? Is it aesthetic or functional? With maxed APS, they all fire at the same time, so I'm wondering why they wouldn't fire at the same time at a lower BP. I might look more into it later; I'm done counting arrows and health at the moment.

tl;dr
Baleful Remnant Avatars are awesome damage dealers. Get at least 2.40001 APS for the second highest BP for Bowmen and go wreck some face.

Edit: Removed harsh treatment of Falling Sword and added Baleful Avatar damage. ;D
Edit 2/18/16: Fixed Bowmen conclusions.
Great reading jab.

( This is seen form single player )
the main goal would be to reach that 2,61 APS then.
as i see it most my damage on anything comes from bowmen and there insane high attack speed ( curestly at 2.4 BP acording to old records) and dots from gems.
you prity much just run past whites and blues to apply dots form bowmen and they die and the faster attack speed you have the more dps you get from bowmen in that sec or 2 you stay near them as the balefull avatars dont do much on the run and prity much only get to attack for a few sec on yellow mobs and guardians before they are dead

There is realy no need to get the strongarm buff as most yellows and guardians are immune to knockback and wont benefit from the debuff it gives thats why i see nightmare steed as a better choice as it burns them ( for area damage ) and can apply the dots you have from gems ( do ramming steed apply dots ?? )

About the falling sword.
if you havent been able to get a usefull balefull and have heart slaughter instead.
falling sword can be usefull only as a movement spell to spawn the avatars and then keep running.

also if you do go stongarm and go for the knockback effect why not go trapped gem instead og toxin or pain enhancer gem ? thats way more damage for you then.

looking forward to see the post goes on with different oponions :)
Impressive, Jab. This would make gearing for pet a lot easier.
I tested the difference between avatars and bowmen and found that avatars' basic aps is a lot lower than bowmen to begin with. Applying TnT, they attack slower than bowmen, as a result.
However, it is piss easy to get 2.01 aps with TnT and so the problem lies with whether avatars are worth the extra damage rolls that could have been ias to buff bowmen. Avatars deal about the same amount of damage as bowmen if you factor in the lower aps. They also can't apply DOT. Right now, in a conventional setup (lol), we have belt, 2 rings, chest and bracers that can roll ias and so these pieces get affected the most by your tests. I found that with CDR on Baleful you will hit 47% CDR without any CDR on these pieces and that, in my opinion, is the lowest CDR you can afford to play with in a Baleful spec.
Belt: this piece is made easier as switching between Harrington and WH doesn't require any other gear or skill change to maintain bp
2 rings: definitely put CHD/CC on these instead of ias as they offer more raw power and buff avatars as well.
Chest + Bracers:
3 piece Aughild: buffs damage against elite by about 11%, 0% against white + some defense
Lacuni/Steady + Tal: buff bowmen damage against elites/white by about 8%, no added defense
Lacuni/Steady + Akkhan 2 piece: buff bowmen damage against elites/whites by 4% via ias, buff bowmen/avatars against elites/whites by 5.5% via Str, tiny bit of defense.
Strongarm is tricky as there's no way to direct all your fire to the knockbacked target so its efficiency is greatly decreased. If it's on par with Nightmare in clearing path though, it doesn't hurt to give it a try.
Thanks for responding, guys. ;D I just tested Ramming Speed and it does apply both gem effects. It also applies firestarter comparably to Nightmare if you can twirl around the mob well enough. Some additional reasoning for my choice to go strongarms is that I primarily play with at least one other person, most of the time with a full group. Even though it doesn't get the yellows, it really helps the team plow through a rift overall. Lastly, kind of a silly reason, I like knocking stuff aside as I lead the charge in a group. ;p
anyone every tried to go beyond 18f as breakpoint? i wanna know how much i need to reach 12 or even faster... it seems like no1 has any information about it
Xeath, as I indicated in the post, I went all the way up to 4.15 APS and still no increase. Even if the Bowmen sped up at 5 APS, you would be sacrificing so many other stats that the increase in attack speed would not be worth it.
Wow sorry i just reread it and found it, was too tired when i first checked it... thanks alot! you did a really great job testing this.

so 3.15790 18f is the way to go i guess or what is it about 2.61 APS? i didnt get that part ...
Somewhere a little above 2.61 seems to be the max before the Bowmen cap out. Maybe at some point in the future I'll go back and really find out where the limit is, but 2.61 was reached using Taskers, Witching Hour, Steady Strikers, and Tal's chest. I didn't think many would be using any more IAS gear than that, and I was more than done counting frames and arrows by that point. ;D
Thanks a lot, JAB. This is an amazing guide. If you don't mind, I've added it to the Crusader sticky.
I just want to chime in to say thanks for doing the research and posting the info! Great work!
Somewhere a little above 2.61 seems to be the max before the Bowmen cap out. Maybe at some point in the future I'll go back and really find out where the limit is, but 2.61 was reached using Taskers, Witching Hour, Steady Strikers, and Tal's chest. I didn't think many would be using any more IAS gear than that, and I was more than done counting frames and arrows by that point. ;D


You won't be able to reach 2,61 with using just that and a 2h :)

You need 52% haste with 1.15 weapon and 50% taskers
10 paragon + 7 belt + 7 TandT + 7 chest + 7 braver = 38% haste leaving you to have 14% haste on other gear :) or skills.

EDIT!!!!
made the mistake of writing 48% when its 38% haste. and 14% missing instead of 4%
Then you have as your say laws of valor that adds another 8% but that still leaves out 6% missing you need on rings or as spongebob sayd enchanter
Its easy, you still have 2 ring slots and an enchantress.
Don't forget Laws of Valor, Vulvanheim. ;D
Got me there :)

Made a edit to my other post with correct numbers i think :D
01/19/2015 10:57 PMPosted by SpongeBob
Its easy, you still have 2 ring slots and an enchantress.


The enchanter buff is only 40 yeards... and with the speed you move at i would not count on that buff :)

you would need rolled gear and then a ring with 6% haste to reach the BP
Don't forget the active effect of Laws of Valor gives you another 7%; 8% passive, 15% active. There's the last 6% for ya, Vulvanheim. ;)
"How much damage do the Baleful Avatars do?" A quick search will get you the answer of 100% weapon damage, but it's just plain wrong.

Thanks so much for this part! Google told me they did 100%, which made me think that Baleful was completely useless to me. After reading this thread I decided to test it out for myself. The Baleful avatars are actually the exact same as the Bodyguard avatars, except they don't benefit from +% Phalanx damage. So to be clear, they do 560% weapon damage a piece. The downside is that +% Phalanx gear actually multiplies with the other bonuses for the pet runes, so bodyguard ends up doing 65% more damage than the Baleful guys. (Or 924% weapon damage.)

So Baleful can actually slow you down if you're using a bodyguard build, but it's actually really good on its own.

Increased Attack Speed Math

Also remember that Laws of Valor hits your pets too! It works like Big Bad Voodoo does where it double dips the Attack Speed. So you would add the 15% to Tasker's 50% and then multiply that by your character sheet APS.

EDIT; I did some more testing on Baleful and my "The Baleful avatars are actually the exact same as the Bodyguard avatars, except they don't benefit from +% Phalanx damage." is inaccurate. The Baleful guys attack slower than Bodyguards and they flinch when they get hit. Their damage per hit is the same though.
So Baleful can actually slow you down if you're using a bodyguard build, but it's actually really good on its own.

Mind elaborating on this? How can a weapon slow you down? Compared to what?
Mind elaborating on this? How can a weapon slow you down? Compared to what?

Baleful creates avatars that don't benefit from +%Phalanx, so their damage is less than Bodyguard. If you're using Bodyguard, then it's possible the Baleful guys will get between your Bodyguards and the enemy, and your DPS will go down in that situation.

If the avatars could bunch up closer together then Baleful would be great even with Bodyguard. Baleful + Bowmen just looks so awesome, but Bodyguards by themselves have some pretty great damage too. With Taskers they do 3000% weapon damage a second if you can get all 4 of them attacking at the same time. And you don't need the phalanx shield to get 4 of them, so you can use them with condemn.
You do need UP to get 4 bodyguards out of the same time. If you use Bodyguard then BR is the only weapon that will make it work. 4 bodyguards cannot make anything happen. Power alone is not enough, you also need number.
It's understandable for novice Petsader to think that bodyguards + avatars will get stuck. Illusory boots change that, however.
The problems with bodyguards:
Being melee makes them slower than Bowmen in speed farming
Being worse at spreading DOT due to lower in number
Easily aggro-ed by mobs so they don't stand their position when you want them to tank/block

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