Attack Speed vs Mana Usage (Bears Example)

Witch Doctor
I started this as an answer to a post, but thought it would be best as it's own post. Anyway.

The basic rule is if you can support a higher attack speed with mana, then you have increased your DPS. If you have a higher attack speed without mana support, you do the same damage in less time -- so total DPS has not improved.

But the real question is not, "Do I have more real DPS?" The question you really need to ask is, "Can my build support additional attack speed with mana?"

So a real life example of bears and attack speed on MP8.

With my current gear:

My Skorn has 1.0 base attack speed. My mana modifiers from gear include one Zuni helm with max mana and the 4 set item Zuni bonus of 20 mana per sec.

My Active mana skill modifier is Widowmaker Spiders (4 mana per spider hit).

My Passive mana skill modifier is Spiritual Attunement. (20% added to mana total, +1% regen rate).

I also use the Passive skill GF which provides burst damage and mana from health globes, but this type of mana is situational, and I do not rely on it.

My attack speed gear:

Witching Hour Belt - 9% IAS.

Theo and Tasker Gloves - 9% IAS.

Total attack speed 1.18%

Mana break point vs. Attack Speed

I also have a pair of Lacuni bracers with 9% IAS. If I equip these I have 1.27% total attack speed.

For my play style, with my current mana skills and gear, I consider the additional 9% from the Lacuni bracers to "break" my build e.g. to add too much attack speed.

Why would 9% additional attack speed "break" my build?

Because I would either have to choose another mana passive (BR or VQ) instead of GF, or I would have to throw more spiders (which in my opinion is gimping my bear damage) to make my bear attack last as long as it did before adding the additional attack speed.

How do you know for sure you are breaking your build?

Because to have life steal or life on hit you need mana. With bear builds, running out of mana is instant death on high MPs (unless you have a high rate of primary spam, or you use Rain of Toads).

So if you add attack speed items and your find yourself running out of mana (OOM) faster, or you are noticing you are dying more, more than likely you broke your build with attack speed.

So you have to either remove IAS items, or adjust your gear and/or skills to cover the higher mana usage requirement.

This is how it works for me. Your mileage may vary. --------------
Very sound thread. Makes a lot of sense. Hope you don't get people to argue with you lol.. It's kinda hard to argue with common sense.
I don't think any of the big dogs will jump this, it's more for the mid to newbie crowd.

But don't worry, if I made a mistake they will correct me. ;)
So if I understand you, your test is this:
1. Go to the highest MP you can survive with your build.
2. Do you run OOM at your current attack speed?
3. If not, add some more attack speed and repeat steps 1 and 2.
4. Alternatively, try something such as SOJ with reduced zombie charger cost and see if you can support the higher attack speed.
5. Also, try out one of the following mana skills one at a time: SA, BR, or VQ and see how you do by timing it and also ensuring you do not go OOM.

Of course if you die a lot either lower the MP or consider changing the build to better suit your gear (assumes reasonable knowledge of the game)
12/12/2012 12:52 PMPosted by MCP
4. Alternatively, try something such as SOJ with reduced zombie charger cost and see if you can support the higher attack speed.

This is what I am currently using and when I take off the soj I can tell the diffrence on my mana.. the soj helps a lot. I don't need to use devouring swarm on higher mp anymore.


1. I run on MP8 all the time. I don't go to a higher MP until I want to run there.

2. At 1.18 AS I do go OOM, however it is manageable with spiders and GF.

3. You could add more speed until you break your build, that's up to you. However, I think what usually happens is the AS is added, then mana problems are developed, and people tend to not suspect the AS broke their mana stream.

4. Sure, anything that increases your total mana, and reduces bear cost is a good thing.

5. Yes try the mana skills if you are having mana problems. You can also use 2 or all 3. But do you want to do that?

6. If you die too much because of OOM, dump AS, use more mana gear, or use more mana skills. Giving up an MP level is not an option to me.
I agree 100% with this post. This is the same criteria I use to gage my ias needs/mana regen skill needs.

One thing to add is that although having mana issues is bad, in high MP levels there is an advantage to being able to empty your mana bar quickly. You have to move alot in the high MP levels even using a LS Skorn. IAS allows you to cast and run without losing as much actual dps.

I.E. 1.0 atk spd you cast 1 bear and have to move out of desecration/arcane. 2.0 atk spd you cast 2 bears and have to move out of the same desecration/arcane.

Even though the 2.0 atk spd will definately run you oom extremely quickly the benefit is that you can hit and run more effectively.

Other than that you hit the nail on the head with your post.
@ Gorim -

Yes the advantage to AS is to deliver damage quicker, that's why AS is a good thing.

The down side to AS is, you miss a lot faster also, which uses up your mana.

It really comes down to play style. I'm sure there are people that could play my exact character with more AS than I do, and be happy with it.

However, when the AS impacts your play style negatively and causes your character to die more from OOM, then it's time to readjust.
What is OOM?
Out Of Mana
OOM - Out of Mana

AS - Attack Speed

IAS - Increased Attack Speed

GF - Gruesome Feast (Passive skill)
Its really a simple fix.... Dont use bears. I rarely run out of mana.
great OP.. very informative and a great explanation of how AS can effect a build
I've been a WD only for a relatively short time, and I totally agree with skywalkerfx and ImpKing, regarding AS and Bears.

I run 1h+mojo, and I have to say that at 1.74 attacks per second, I am comfortable juggling Widowmakers with Bears on MP7-8.

With PtV, I rarely OoM, but I feel that I micro, aim, and stutter-step more effectively. When I drop PtV for a mitigation or mana passive, I figured that I turn careless sometimes because of the temptation to just keep casting Bears. But I've recently gotten the hang of it taking advantage of the consistency of the Bear attacks.

I'm rarin' to try the progression suggestions in this thread for higher MPs, once I gear up for 'em better. Very informative thread!
@ImpKing - I feel the same way as you do about low MP. I just can't do that anymore, besides the drops are marginally better at higher MPs, although we probably average a lot less drops than low-level farmers.

@Lagunamajor - You bring up a good point about PtV. PtV (Pierce the Veil passive) provides 20% more damage at an increased casting cost of 30%.

So the best way to think about PtV is it is like a double negative Blood Ritual (BR) passive. As BR uses 15% of the spell cost from your health to cast spells.

So if BR saves you 15% mana cost, and PtV costs you 30%, you still have a 15% casting cost penalty to make up for. So it will cost you one Zuni set bonus, or another mana passive, or you can dump-off AS items to try and balance out your mana usage.

PtV is a very expensive waster of mana, and it is best used by those spamming primaries, or by those that use Well of Souls/Spirit Barrage, or by those that have very low amounts of attack speed, on high MP.
Agree with u. It seems that u don't have problem with 2 handed. With 1 handed wpn there might be a problem.
Another thing, ias is really good with widowmakers coz we can throw more jars to gain mana.
12/13/2012 04:31 AMPosted by tiok82
Another thing, ias is really good with widowmakers coz we can throw more jars to gain mana.

Yes a 1 hander can throw spiders faster, so if you are using Widowmaker spiders to replenish mana, this certainly is an advantage over a 2H.

One handed weapons being faster than a 2H, can have more problems with AS quicker than a 2H.
However a 1H ceremonial knife can have max mana and mana regen, as can mojos. So that is 4 additional mana modifiers a 1H + mojo can have that a 2H cannot.
This is why it is very important to select a weapon + mojo combination capable of producing mana. Otherwise, you might as well use an LS, or LoH Skorn.
12/13/2012 05:56 AMPosted by skywalkerfx
However a 1H ceremonial knife can have max mana and mana regen, as can mojos.

Not to mention mana cost reduction rolls on mojos for things like Zombie Charger :P
I also am newer to WD. Went from DH to my Monk which I still love yet the grinding got boring so after saving lots of items and gears made a WD for the fun of the build. I do not play low MP lvls I always try to play MP 5 to farm since leveling is not on the top of my list but the fun in playing the build and getting better. I ran into the same mana issue with bears as everyone else I guess and had to back off the IAS. I even had trouble with 1.78 and put my godly ias ring back on my monk and purchased a 10 mill ring with LOH and had to go back to 1.65 attack speed since I am not that great yet with spidy's. I build my builds around ehp and tank builds for pvp and what I am somewhat confused with in the WD build is the LOH procs. If I go with only black's pants with 475 LOH its like the LOH is useless where if I go with 900ish I notice an improvement. I am just used to a monk I guess and Attack speed makes or breaks LOH with thunderclap yet when I run a SOJ for the additional damage (30%) I do not notice the huge damage boost yet I do notice the lack of LOH I just lost off my ring. Maybe I am just to new to the build yet 3 percent LS does not seem like just enough on a stand alone to save you at medium and higher lvl MP's unless you have some LOH tied in in the build and I have yet to find a breakeven number thus I still run burning zombie dogs over garg's for any additional help. I, however, found out the IAS issue pretty fast and for my play style and ability I am good at 1.65 or lower yet there is a lot for me to learn on this build befor PVP comes out. I also like this forum better then the others since people are much more helpful. I still love my monk it rocks and is less finger/mouse work then my WD yet thats for another story for us odlies that get lazy haha.

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