Minion Mastery

The new update has dropped and so has my unannounced lengthy hiatus. Hopefully I’ve not lost my touch on writing the blog posts. 🙂

Besides the many features that have been introduced, let’s cover the minion mastery first since it’s probably going to impact everyone the most. This post will cover the basics of minion mastery and what would we expect out from this new feature.

For this post, credit goes to Aqve, Book, Josh for screenshots and the prompt information. And also Eclogite for spotting a minor error in the post.

Minion Mastery

Just like the Gear Mastery, Minion mastery is designed to boost the strength of minions and this is likely to be the savior for our crippling stronghold defences. This can be seen to be in response to the high stats many top-tier players are getting from gear mastery and the now available T6 trinkets released in this same update.

Essentially, minion mastery is now an approach to increase minion bonuses by a significant percentage without the use of stones and SF boosters. It is to make use of the duplicate minions which many have procured over the years and perhaps we can finally defend against a 20k+ stat user with our very own 20k+ stat stronghold.

TL;DR: With minion mastery, we might now be able to finally defend

What is Increased

Mastering a minion increases its stats, namely HP, Attack and Defence. These are raised by an overall of +8% per mastered tier, to a total of +48% for a fully M6 minion.

This 8% bonus performs like a multiplier, similar to workshop and trap room bonuses. Unlike the other multiplier bonuses, Mastery multiplies directly upon the base stat, trap room bonuses, workshop bonuses and stat increments from SF points. This means that whatever net total stats you have currently, you’ll get a further top-up enhancement.

Mastery multiplies the net stat by 8% per tier for stats

A mathematical formulation of this mastery multiplier would be as follows:

Overall minion bonus =
(Base Minion bonus + Workshop & Trap bonus + SF points bonus)* [100+(8 * Mastery tier)]%

Furthermore, Superfusion (SF) point capacity is increased by +15 SF points per mastered tier which translates to a net total of +240 SF at M6. This means that there’s a higher growth potential for minion stats since SF provides stat bonuses per point.

SF capacity increases per Mastered star (Credit: Josh)

Perhaps another property of lesser importance would be the increase of Gold and Quartz production rates. This means you get more of such resources at a faster rate, also with the increase of about +10% per mastered tier.

On the flip side, generated Gold and Quartz storage capacity is still capped. So you’ll probably need to log in earlier to ensure that it doesn’t max out since there’s no generating past the limit. (But that’s probably less of a concern for the richer and/or long-term players. :))

Unfortunately, unlike gear mastery, there are no additional abilities gained for mastering minions. This means that you won’t see a strike chance/resist-like ability on minions when they are mastered.

Moreover, there are no changes to numerical bonuses in existing passive and active abilities, such as innate movement speed, damage reflection, Armor shred or Shield aura buffs. This means that a 25% armor shred will still remain as 25% regardless of how many tiers have been mastered.

TL;DR: Minion mastery increases HP, Atk, Def, Gold & Quartz production rates and SF point capacity. No increments to abilities nor are there new abilities added when mastered.

What is Required

Just like Mastery of gears, two different types of materials (I’ll name them shards here) are required for mastery. These two types of shards have to be obtained from: (a) Transmutation of minions; (b) Purchased from Guild Shop. These materials are distinctly different from the gear mastery variants and feature a purplish-blue hue instead of orange and green.

Transmutation of Minions

Similar to the transmutation of gears, the type and number of materials are influenced by the following parameters:

  • Tier – Different tiers of minions give different tiers of materials
  • Level – Higher the level, the more materials given
  • Class – Different minion classes give different amounts of materials

This means that transmuting a higher level T6 minion will give more of the same shards than a lower level T6 minion. And champions will yield a higher number of materials compared to a Melee Striker or Defender. Event minions are not special and will give the same number of shards.

The different tiers of mastery shards from transmutation are:

T1 minionDalomene
T2 minion – Rhundene
T3 minionQuestarene
T4 minion – Ekenene
T5 minionYdamene
T6 minionGaloxene

The mastery tier for minions requires the corresponding tier of this type of mastery shards (ie. M1 requires T1 shards, M5 requires T5 shards). And this makes it tough for getting T6 since you’ll need to sacrifice existing T6 minions for the mastery.

As mentioned in my Mastery 101 post, my favourite mission to rush is mission 58 on normal difficulty. It’s still applicable in this case since it drops both T1, T2 gears and minions. This is accompanied with an additional guaranteed T5 trinket crafting ingredient per run.

Transmutation for Minions works the same way as Gears

Guild Shop Materials

I hope you’ve saved your guild seals/scrolls prior to this update because the Guild shop is where you’ll be purchasing the other type of shards. These are similar to the mastery shards that are rewarded from Arena, and they come in 2 variants, T3 and T6.


You can buy 3 each every day for the price of 50 and 150 seals respectively (without discount). After purchase, these have a recharge cooldown rate to whenever the Guild shop resets regardless of the time of purchase. The time of reset is normally when Guild Wars ends (on Sunday afternoon or night depending on where you live). In short, you can only purchase 3 of each shard type daily if you are in a Guild and have participated in a guild war.

Mastery materials are made available from the Guild Shop

The good thing is that the T3 shard is available to all regardless of your war ranking status, so there’s less pressure to be in a guild that scores well if you’re mastering M1-M4 minions.

T6 shard, however, is only available for those in guilds ranked between 1-50 in GW. These are only required for the higher end of mastery (M5 and M6) and are most likely intended to be reserved for stronger guilds/players.

Fortunately, these prices are further reduced by ranking discounts, so the better your guild does during the war, the less you’ll need to pay for the mastery shards.

Additionally, we can see that the rate of mastery is directly tied to the rate of procurement of shards from the Guild shop. That means that we won’t be seeing a M6 champion anytime soon within the first few weeks since that the daily recharge limits the number of shards you can get at a time.

Mastery Requirements

While I don’t have the full recipe list of mastery materials per tier yet, it is clear that different minion classes require different amounts of shards (of both (a) and (b)) to master. From looking at the first mastery tier, Champions require the most and Melee Strikers the least.

Reviewing the first tier of mastery across the different minion class shows:

  • Melee Strikers8 Dalomene & 1 Hexamene
  • Defenders, Ranged Strikers, Support10 Dalomene & 1 Hexamene
  • Champions18 Dalomene & 2 Hexamene
Champions require the most materials to master

You also need a duplicate minion for every tier of mastery which is NOT currently equipped in your stronghold, only then will it show up in the Mastery panel. Thus, to achieve a M6 minion you need a total of 7 of the same minion. We also wouldn’t see fully mastered event minions that soon either unless there is a change in this mechanic to obtain ‘duplicates‘ through other means.

Moreover, mastering a minion does not transfer the duplicate minion’s SF to the existing minion. So if you have 120SF on the minion to be mastered and 120SF on the minion used as a duplicate, the final minion will still stick to 120SF.

TL;DR: Minions require transmuted minion shards and shards from Guild Shop

What can we expect

Much Stronger Minions

While the bonuses do not seem large at the start, an extra +48% multiplier to the net stats for HP, Atk, Def does have the potential to significantly improve the offense and defense of all minions.

As for which minions will be good, I believe that these will probably be the same minions which have posed issues to players in the past before they were nerfed in some form or another.

A list of these potentially good non-champion minions to master, and to look out for, are:

* Kindly take this list with a grain of salt at the moment since I’ve yet to experience how these mastered minions perform in actual combat

  • Ravager – Puke attack with high DOT
  • Monkey – Increased damage output by Brawler trait, better defence
  • Specter/Witch – Teleportation upon receiving a hit (especially in Nightmare Pits)
  • Ranger – Higher DOT (proportional to attack stat)
  • Ogurin – Higher HP means more overall damage can be reflected
  • Gelid Voror – Higher def of minions benefit from % def buff
  • Druid – Better survive-ability means more healing

The same concept applies for Champions, and possibly good ones are:

  • Assassin – Increased DOT (proportional to attack stat)
  • Dominator – More HP means more overall damage can be reflected
  • Spirius – Higher HP means more recovery from percentage healing (meros)
  • Gatekeeper – Higher boosted defence from Totem
  • Mezzogian – High speed and more HP allows more slowing and freezing
  • Corvus – Good evasion with high attack, has atk boost to nearby allies
  • Wicker Beast – Stronger and meatier
  • Mossback – Immense breath attacks, Healing and Armor buff

Also, if you’re new to DH5, you can also find the entire list of minion abilities here to be familiarised with their skillsets.

Minion mastery benefits all classes of minions of non-Champs and Champions alike. Support minions have the potential to live longer and perform their support/buff skills more often. Melee and Ranged strikers get better at surviving with their increased HP and defence stat, and they can get in more hits during the battle. Defenders might get more robust in terms of actually defending with higher armor stat and this could allow them to release their active abilities more often (eg. Yulong’s silence).

And for champions, let’s just say that the ones which will benefit the most from Mastery since they’re the hardest to procure out of the other minion classes. Thankfully, a fully mastered Mossback won’t appear too soon as this is limited by the availability of duplicates and the purchasing rate of mastery materials from the Guild shop. However, it’s certain that these fully mastered champions will be a force to be reckoned with in time to come.

TL;DR: Minions will live longer and hit harder, making them much more dangerous than they originally were.

Skill Properties

Thankfully, the fixing of the numerical values of minion abilities means that we’re not going to see excessively OP minions.

The Ogurin is one such example with their damage reflection skilla concern which was highlighted to me previously. The fixed 10% damage reflected does not increase with every mastered level.

On the bright side, a mastered Ogurin has a greater armor buff and this translates to lowered damage received, resulting in lesser damage being reflected back. This means less chance of one being self-maimed by one’s own damage.

However, this does not change the way one would have to deal with them. Preventive strategies like not attacking them in a crowd, not attacking them with bloodrage activated or not dropping Immortal Justice still need to be observed. High amounts of concentrated damage, once reflected, still has the potential to near-fatally or fatally injure the attacker.

Deal with Ogurins as per normal by splitting them up and casting Ice/Water skills

Despite the fact that skills do not receive a buff in terms of percentage, let’s not forget that certain buffs work with percentage multiplier which are consequentially boosted by higher stats. Some of these boosts make minions much more dangerous than before. This is inclusive of attack buffs (Corvus), DOT (Ranger), Critical Hits (Assassin), Brawler damage (monkey), and defence buffs (Mossback, Gelid).

Certain trap rooms are further made dangerous because of their ability to buff offensive parameters, such as Ruby Temple. This also applies to rooms where minions inflict additional damage if the raider is stuck in a condition (eg. Stockade: knockdown, Forge: burning, Nettle: Poison etc.)

Gelid defence buff, Assassin’s DOT gain and Corvus’ attack buff are made even tougher now with mastery bonus

HP recovery is also another trait which often heals a percentage of a minion’s HP (druids, spirius, nightmare pit). A higher HP stat translates to more recovered HP per instance of healing and this means that its more crucial to take out the healers fast.

TL;DR: Abilities that are buffed based on stats are particularly dangerous on Mastered minions. HP recovery should also be watched due to increased HP regen.

In summary, we might not be able to see a M6 minion so soon but when these come, players need to be more cautious now when around these mastered minions especially when going in for a blind unopened raid in GW. Fortunately, you can subsequently identify them from the SH preview prior to fighting them.

Visible minions mastery from SH preview (Credit: Book/ Aqve)

On a less related note, another interesting observation was made about how the base values of HPH have been increased. And this might be speculated that the true strength of a stronghold decked out with 5 fully M6 minions might pose a serious threat to any raider.

Hmmm….100 HPH now

Good luck! And let’s hope for defences to roll in. 🙂


36 thoughts on “Minion Mastery

  1. Hi Zung
    I already mastered 2 of my minions: one is Ice Colossus (Mastered to M1) and the other is Gelid Voror (Mastered to M2). I found that My stronghold is weaker (not stronger) than before. I can beat my stronghold with full health left but before my health is decreased almost half. I don’t know why. I use Seashore retreat and my set up is: Ice colossus in the middle, Mezzogian and Assassin in the front, and Gelid voror and Kringle in the back. My average defense is 11,137 and my average attack is 11,098. So I wonder that mastering minions will really make them stronger or not. I have one corvus but I choose not to put it in my set up because it is weak. I have 4 witches and I plan to master it to m3 and put it in my setup but I am not sure that it is worth or not.


    1. Check to see if you have any gear with HPH. As mentioned in the post, HPH is right now highly boosted so that could be one of the reasons why you clear with full HP.

      Moreover, this increase in HPH could also be a sign that M6 minions would be possibly strong in the future.


  2. One more question. I have 2 Lord of the eve and 3 dread voror. Among Lord, Dread voror and witch, which one should I master if I want to put it in Seashore?


    1. I’m not a fan of either of these though, esp since they’re out of their element. Corvus would be a better choice and I would suggest saving your materials till you get multiple corvus for your shore.


  3. Hi Zung,

    My ruby temple options are as follows- can master fire colossus to M1 or keep 2. Can master corvus to M1 or keep 2. Have ice colossus, dominator, gatekeeper, mezzogian, mossback all around 75 SF points. Have 250 SF points available. One fire colossus has 150 SF points. Neither Corvus has any extra (yet). Right now I have all 3 colossi, the mossback, and the gatekeeper in my stronghold. It’s extremely lethal in guild wars but seems to do lousy on regular raiding. My main question is would you master the fire colossus and Corvus? If I master them both, who would you replace with the mastered Corvus? I am assuming if I did I should put 165 SF points on both mastered minions? Thanks for any guidance!


  4. One other question- is there any place to go to find out what minions/weapons will have a boosted drop rate in the future? I am anxiously waiting on a pillar of agony to become available again. Have around 15 legendary chests to open when it does so far… 🙂
    Also would love to see the assassin come up. I could imagine some serious spending of my 3k gems then…


  5. Thinking about my situation a little further I could simply place the mastered Corvus where the second fire colossus was. However, would you rather have a maxed out mezzogian or a maxed out ice colossus? I know the gatekeeper is of critical importance to fend off ice players, correct? I almost always play death when raiding (have Daemon Tun Ward and Pillar of Agony maxed out- POA at M1 so only don’t use them in nature rooms). What minions should I look for to further improve?


  6. Just got lucky with stronghold chests last night and now have an assassin to throw into the mix! Have wanted one of those since the first time one killed me in someone’s stronghold!


  7. Hi Zung, I finally settled on this after much debate: mastered both and added both. Added the assassin. So now have gatekeeper, assassin, mastered Corvus and mastered fire colossus and mossback. Working on fusing in all my points now. Very happy… would love to get another assassin or two. Or five. LOL. If you think the mossback should be replaced with a mezzo or ice colossus let me know. 🙂


    1. Woah….sorry was a little busy the past few days and looks like you’ve been as well 🙂
      Assassins are great, especially with their crit chance, armor shred and crit chance, which work great against potential dark raiders.

      The setup sounds great actually knowing that you have the SF points factored in, but I think you might benefit from having the ice colossus/ mezzo in place of the mossback for stalling the raider. Nature dmg is settled by the assassin. I do prefer mezzo since he has more mobility compared to the col, which enables him to stick to the raider most of the time.


  8. Hi Zung,

    I had a feeling you would probably say that. The issue is, my mezzo doesn’t feel like he does a lot of damage when he is in there. I think I need to build up ice bonuses some more and perhaps get a couple/few more mezzos. They ARE really good when strong. Any other suggestions? Because I use a dark character primarily, it feels like mossbacks do a TON of damage with that breath weapon. Any other element would probably be more concerned with the mezzo and all the speed from the various minions. Are there any better minions for Ruby temple?


    1. You could go with an extra assassin actually, especially since the drop rates are pretty decent if you have the gems to spare. Dual assassin combination does take out unprepared dark users from high critical and DOT.


  9. HI Zung,

    Can you pass on to developers that the new hunter’s chests and all that are a blatant money grab and complete garbage? I’m so unhappy about it for the first time in over a year i am not even playing something offered. The prizes are lousy. I looked in the chest contents and basically laughed. The way they previously had it set up with Wanted challenges was much better- though I never tried to get in the top 100 in those either. I did get a couple of pieces of decent equipment from them once in a while. THere isn’t anything worthwhile to bother with now. Why would they make it so much worse?

    Matt B


  10. Oh, and as an update I was trying to get another assassin and got another ice colossus randomly instead so I mastered him and he ended up back in the room instead of the mossback. I will try playing the different combos and see which feels strongest. Right now I have a bunch of super fusion points tied up on the sidelines so I want to fuse what I am not going to use…tough decision, really…do you know what the assassin drop rate is right now?


    1. For the Legendary hunts, I’ve already feedback to the devs about the issues before the community started flaming them. There are more underlying issues which are also present but I won’t go into detail about them here (as I’m currently writing a post about it). Thus, I sincerely think they have a pretty clear idea on how its performing.

      No idea about the assassin, I’m not too sure what the drop rate currently is but it certainly is more than usual. However, chest RNG is entirely luck based so I can’t say for certain (eg. some of my friends reported 1 out of 30 chests, while others are getting 3 out of 10).

      Grats on the extra Ice Colossus! A word of caution though: With the HPH in place, melee players can quickly recover their HP by hitting a colossus in artillery mode, which is why I suggested the more mobile Mezzo.


  11. Hi Zung,

    Thanks for the tip on colossi. I was not aware of that! I am going to dump all but my fire one that is mastered and around 20k/side in the room. Will have an extra 50 or so points to put into my mezzo. Or do you think HPH will ever be modified to when you actually do 1 point of damage minimum?


  12. Hi Zung,

    I also have a question about Trinkets… is attack speed and bloodrage more common for certain elements? I have been trying to get either of them on 5 star death trinkets at least 15 times over already to no avail…I seem to have less issues with fire and other elements. Any idea if that might be true?


    1. Hi Matt,

      No idea about HPH change. It has been feedback though, but no confirmation about any changes so far.

      For trinkets, there’s no common properties which are dependent on element-type. The only thing that affects the appearance of these properties would mainly be rank (ie the higher the rank, the more common these properties will appear when crafted).


  13. Hi Zung,

    I took 30 th place in that hunter challenge and got a 6 star death trinket. Of course, when I made it , it ended up only being D quality again. No attack speed or bloodrage- both of which would be really helpful. It did have critical hit chance at least which is also very helpful given my current death build.


    1. Nice going with the win! Congrats! 🙂

      Unfortunately, trinkets are still kinda meh nowadays with the RNG at play. I’m holding on to my T5 trinkets at the moment until something is done about the randomness.


  14. Hi Zung,

    Is it true that if your attack is 18k and your critical hit damage is 264% and your critical hit chance is 62% your real, modified attack is 18000*2.64 *.62 which is effectively 29,462? If so, I am very happy with that… what would my exact attack then be if I have my pillar of agony staff mastered to M1? If I got several more levels of mastery? Just trying to demonstrate the value of critical hits and mastery with real numbers…


    1. Hi Matt,

      Hmm…the calculations here are extremely non-trivial since you need to factor in RNG (due to the triggering chances) and is definitely not a straight up multiplication.

      For one, I’m assuming that 18k is probably your global attack and this is NOT purely indicative of the amount of raw damage you’ll deal to your opponent. Global attack is a combination of ‘base attack’ and ‘damage multipliers’. As mentioned in my previous posts, ‘base attack’ holds a higher value in what your damage output is, more so than the ‘multipliers’ so you probably need to look at that first.

      The value itself is reduced by the opponent’s armor value and other skills (eg. def boosts) so it can’t be taken straight up either.

      Critical hit chance is also difficult to quantify as its RNG based. And it’ll probably be more (slightly) accurate if you did something like ‘over 10 hits’ instead of just multiplying 62% into the equation.

      Subsequently, also remember to take into account the type of weapon you are wielding as this determines the distribution of damage per hit and the special ‘power’ attack it deals.

      Elemental advantage/disadvantage comes into place as the second last step of the equation with the 2*/1*/0.5* multiplier to your overall damage.

      Lastly, if you are factoring in strike chance (extra 0.9* damage, with an ‘x’% chance to trigger). This involves another round of RNG and don’t forget that this can be resisted by strike resist.

      Of course, this is a super condensed version of damage calculation in theory (with a lot of things left out) and I don’t think its possible to simplify it further. Additionally, I really don’t have the exact formulas to back any of these up so it’s based on experience + experimentation + existing player testimonials.


    1. RNG refers to Random Number Generator. This is an automatic mechanism built into RPG-based game systems (ever since the era of Dungeons and Dragons) and is responsible for determining the chance based actions in the game (eg. critical hit chance, strike chance).

      In terms of trinkets, this determines what magical properties and the corresponding value you’ll get whenever you craft them.


  15. Hi Zung,

    Also~ what are these underlying issues you were talking about? Is your post coming soon? The Legendary hunts are such an obvious cash grab I didn’t even play the last one. The stuff in the chests is ridiculous. They need to do a better job rewarding people for playing, not spending. Otherwise I will eventually lose interest. Have been sitting on 15 Legendary chests in hope that the pillar of agony will show up again. I hope it’s soon!



    1. Underlying issues are mainly about the drop rate for the Master and Hunter chests, and as it has been demonstrated, there is a much higher chance you’re going to get loot like stones or gold/quartz more often than the other featured items inside.

      As for the post, I’m still determining the right tone to put it across, least players twist my words to justify their own agendas (yes, it has happened quite a number of times). There are benefits to the way LH is structured but this caters to ease expenditure which were actually in response to player feedback.


  16. Hi Zung,

    I have a suggestion… why don’t they speed up a little how quickly the items with higher drop rates shift? It’s not like they are long enough to mass up a large number of Legendary chests without spending, so why not make them shorter for variety’s sake? Have been waiting for seemingly ages for the pillar of agony to come back up. What do you think? I recently (embarrassingly) reached the highest VIP level and sure would have preferred to pick a creature for my stronghold too.. Even if there were just a few choices…
    Matt B.


  17. Hi Zung,

    The pillar finally came up and I am happy to say I got it all the way to M6! Wow, the game is a lot easier now at just under 22K attack. 🙂
    Any new articles in the works? I see you have something about the trial of elements up. I have another suggestion- they should have weapon and armor “sets” like they have in Diablo with additional bonuses. That would definitely be a cool idea for all those collectors out there….


    1. Hi Matt,

      I’m currently working on a guardhouse revisited article to update the older trap room post.

      As for the suggestion about the ‘sets’, I think this has been brought up before but let me suggest that again. 🙂


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