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.
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.
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.
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 minion – Dalomene
T2 minion – Rhundene
T3 minion – Questarene
T4 minion – Ekenene
T5 minion – Ydamene
T6 minion – Galoxene
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.
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.
T3 – Hexamene
T6 – Decanene
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.
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.
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 Strikers – 8 Dalomene & 1 Hexamene
- Defenders, Ranged Strikers, Support – 10 Dalomene & 1 Hexamene
- Champions – 18 Dalomene & 2 Hexamene
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.
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 skill – a 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.
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.)
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.
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.
Good luck! And let’s hope for defences to roll in. 🙂