A slight modification to the traditonal VD Pen setup gives about 33% more damage?

If you play Volatile Dead Poet's pen, you probably know there is a free socket on the Unearth pen, since we actually only need Unearth + GMP for the build to function. Some people use Body Swap for this gem slot, others might use Culling Strike/ Immortal Call / Empower. These are fine choice but strictly damage speaking, Culling Strike means 10% more multiplier, Empower maybe equivalent to 15%, while Body Swap doesn't always hit.

While trying to think of a way to exploit this socket more, I analyze that: for each attack cycle, Unearth creates 5 corpses, of which 3 are used up by Voltile Dead, the other 2 corpses are wasted. So if we: main Detonate Dead in the right pen ( Since it only consumes one corpse), and link Volatile Dead in the other pen, so that the gem links are:

Left pen: Unearth-GMP-VD
Right pen: DD-Damge Support gem-Damage Support gem

then the cycle would be:

1 First attack: Unearth creates 5 corpse, DD use 1 corpse, 4 corpses remaining
2. Second attack: DD and Volatile Dead use up the remaining 4 corpses.
3. Third attack: Unearth online again, complete the cycle.

So essentially we could fit an entire more spell with this setup, which means about 33% damage increase, assuming VD and DD deals around the same damage. The only downside( or is it? ) is the damage distribution: we focus on Detonate Dead more, while VD acts as secondary damage source.

Nevertheless I don't quite see anybody playing around with this setup. What do you think?
Last edited by xpmrz on Nov 5, 2018, 5:45:27 PM
Last bumped on Nov 11, 2018, 7:25:11 AM
A more accurate calculation, again, assume all other factors equal and base damage before factoring in gem links of VD=DD=y

Let all support gems have 50% more damage multiplier. Then with the usual setup, the total damage would be y*1.5*1.5=2.25y. Including one more DD means another y, this means total more damage multiplier would be: 3.25y/2.25y -1 = 44.4% more multiplier. So this damage increase is actually significantly more than 33%.

Even if we assume the damage output of DD =0.7 that of VD ( which is an rather extreme assumption), this would still means a 15% more damage increase, which is more modest but definitely better than Empower / Culling Strike I think.
Last edited by xpmrz on Nov 4, 2018, 8:34:30 PM
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Completed 14 Challengesxpmrz wrote:


1 First attack: Unearth creates 5 corpse, DD use 1 corpse, 4 corpses remaining
2. Second attack: DD and Volatile Dead use up the remaining 4 corpses.
3. Third attack: Unearth online again, complete the cycle.

Poet's Pen dont work this way, i think.
you dont cast 2 spells from the same PP on a single attack, it cycles

what you are actualy doing is something like:

1 First attack: Unearth and VD trigger simultaneously, creating 5 corpse and VD Fails to cast
2. Second attack: DD and VD use up the corpses.
Repeat

What happens when you simple take out the second skill from unearth PP is something like this:

1. First attack: Unearth and VD trigger simultaneously creates 5 corpse and VD Fails to cast
2. Second attack: VD uses 4 corpses from unearth and unearth is casted again creating 5 more corpses, this creates a loop and every cast from now on will work like this, because unearth can have up to 10 corpses total.


On map clearing it dont matter, because you explode corpses from the map itself, so every cast you are exploding corpses from 1 PP ou another, but on single target boss it makes a huge difference.

ps: sry for any english mistakes
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Completed 13 ChallengesMlvado wrote:
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Completed 14 Challengesxpmrz wrote:


1 First attack: Unearth creates 5 corpse, DD use 1 corpse, 4 corpses remaining
2. Second attack: DD and Volatile Dead use up the remaining 4 corpses.
3. Third attack: Unearth online again, complete the cycle.

Poet's Pen dont work this way, i think.
you dont cast 2 spells from the same PP on a single attack, it cycles

what you are actualy doing is something like:

1 First attack: Unearth and VD trigger simultaneously, creating 5 corpse and VD Fails to cast
2. Second attack: DD and VD use up the corpses.
Repeat

What happens when you simple take out the second skill from unearth PP is something like this:

1. First attack: Unearth and VD trigger simultaneously creates 5 corpse and VD Fails to cast
2. Second attack: VD uses 4 corpses from unearth and unearth is casted again creating 5 more corpses, this creates a loop and every cast from now on will work like this, because unearth can have up to 10 corpses total.


On map clearing it dont matter, because you explode corpses from the map itself, so every cast you are exploding corpses from 1 PP ou another, but on single target boss it makes a huge difference.

ps: sry for any english mistakes


A closer look at while testing in the hide out actually confirms this: we miss one DD spell on the first attack, while there is no corpse. But you forgot that VD only consumes 3 corpses, so it actually goes like this ( note that this is tested) :

1. First attack, no corpse, Unearth Pen creates 5 corpses. Other spells fail to cast.
2. Second attack: VD uses 3 corpse, DD uses 1 corpse, we have one corpse left
3. Third attack: Left hand Pen cycles back to unearth, creating 5 more corpses, DD uses the corpse left from the last attack. We have again 5 corpses.
4. Fourth attack: VD and DD use 4 corpse, one corpse left.
3. Fifth attack: like 3, so on and so forth.

So it actually doesn't change anything except we miss the first cast while there is no corpse arround. After that, we don't miss any spells. Compared to the traditional PP, we also miss first cast, and from there on we waste 2 corpses per cast.

And no worry about your English, I'm not native speaker either ^^. Just be confident in yourself, if someone doesn't understand you, they will tell and wouldn't make a fuss of that.
Last edited by xpmrz on Nov 5, 2018, 11:58:03 AM
There is a valid reason for current traditional VD PP setup not having DD though, or rather, two reasons:

1. Mobility
You can move around while still attacking, which makes it very good for both clear and boss fights

2. VD helmet enchant
With the VD helmet enchant, it consumes 4 corpses, leaving only 1, which is then used for bodyswap.

The convenience offered by built-in mobility usually far outweighs the extra damage.
I make dumb builds, therefore I am.
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Completed 14 Challengesxpmrz wrote:
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Completed 13 ChallengesMlvado wrote:
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Completed 14 Challengesxpmrz wrote:


1 First attack: Unearth creates 5 corpse, DD use 1 corpse, 4 corpses remaining
2. Second attack: DD and Volatile Dead use up the remaining 4 corpses.
3. Third attack: Unearth online again, complete the cycle.

Poet's Pen dont work this way, i think.
you dont cast 2 spells from the same PP on a single attack, it cycles

what you are actualy doing is something like:

1 First attack: Unearth and VD trigger simultaneously, creating 5 corpse and VD Fails to cast
2. Second attack: DD and VD use up the corpses.
Repeat

What happens when you simple take out the second skill from unearth PP is something like this:

1. First attack: Unearth and VD trigger simultaneously creates 5 corpse and VD Fails to cast
2. Second attack: VD uses 4 corpses from unearth and unearth is casted again creating 5 more corpses, this creates a loop and every cast from now on will work like this, because unearth can have up to 10 corpses total.


On map clearing it dont matter, because you explode corpses from the map itself, so every cast you are exploding corpses from 1 PP ou another, but on single target boss it makes a huge difference.

ps: sry for any english mistakes


3. Third attack: Left hand Pen cycles back to unearth, creating 5 more corpses, DD uses the corpse left from the last attack. We have again 5 corpses.


one very important thing i think you are missing, PP only cast 1 Spell slotted on it per Attack, so you ll never cast unearth AND DD on the same attack because they are both on the same PP, it will be always be unearth/VD then DD/VD.

it goes like this:

1. First attack, no corpse, Unearth Pen creates 5 corpses. Other spell fail to cast.
2. Second attack: VD uses 3 corpse, DD uses 1 corpse, we have one corpse left
3. Third attack: Left hand Pen cycles back to unearth, creating 5 more corpses and VD activating the one corpse left, after that unearth creates new 5 corpses
4. Fourth attack: VD and DD use 4 corpse, one corpse left.
5. Repeat 3

and thank you for the kind words, i ll try my best o/

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Completed 7 ChallengesFCK42 wrote:

The convenience offered by built-in mobility usually far outweighs the extra damage.

i agree when you are mapping, its huge the speed diference with and without Bodyswap, for bosses its very hard to use it, a lot of times your unearth are not on rotation, and you cast the bodyswap to go one place and you get teleported to a random corpse, its very hard to manage, and the DPS is litery halved, because you fail to cast half the VD on your right PP
Just putting this here for the sake of completion:

If you manage to fire 9 projectiles with Unearth, you have enough for DD or Bodyswap in the last slot.

If you have Dying Sun as a Pathfinder for instance, this might not be impossible. It's certainly not necessarily for clearing though and doesn't provide a significant dps bonus on single target either (8 VD hits with 2 supports vs 1 DD hit without suppprts).
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Completed 13 ChallengesMlvado wrote:


one very important thing i think you are missing, PP only cast 1 Spell slotted on it per Attack, so you ll never cast unearth AND DD on the same attack because they are both on the same PP, it will be always be unearth/VD then DD/VD.



Maybe I didn't clarify it enough. The gem links are:

Left pen: Unearth-GMP-VD
Right pen: DD-Damge Support gem-Damage Support gem

You misunderstood that I put DD in the same link with Unearth. I assure you it works, because I tested it. It's just a question of should we sacrifice Body Swap for about 40% more damage or not, which I will discuss below.

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Just putting this here for the sake of completion:

If you manage to fire 9 projectiles with Unearth, you have enough for DD or Bodyswap in the last slot.

If you have Dying Sun as a Pathfinder for instance, this might not be impossible. It's certainly not necessarily for clearing though and doesn't provide a significant dps bonus on single target either (8 VD hits with 2 supports vs 1 DD hit without suppprts).


VD's hit for each ball (3 total) is balanced ( or at least should be balanced ) to equal/ almost equal to 1/3 DD's single hit.

With that in mind, I did the math in my second post, it could be up to 44% more damage with my setup. So it is significant by all measures, as it means you spend almost half time killing bosses.

I don't consider the VD Helm enchant because most Pen's builds nowadays use Indigon, and Indigon with VD enchant's price is absurdly high. If you can afford that, consider it out of this thread's discussion.
Last edited by xpmrz on Nov 5, 2018, 6:12:44 PM
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Completed 7 ChallengesFCK42 wrote:
There is a valid reason for current traditional VD PP setup not having DD though, or rather, two reasons:

1. Mobility
You can move around while still attacking, which makes it very good for both clear and boss fights

2. VD helmet enchant
With the VD helmet enchant, it consumes 4 corpses, leaving only 1, which is then used for bodyswap.

The convenience offered by built-in mobility usually far outweighs the extra damage.


I updated the original post for the exact links I'm using. I main DD, and VD linked with Unearth, I guess many people have misunderstood me.

Indigon with VD enchant is out of reach for most people, so I don't consider it here, but I reckon a Dying Sun could fix that, not tested as I'm too lazy, but it should work.

Okay now onto the main point: the loss of bodyswap. I'm sure many people love this aspect, but also many people despise it (Even Mathil, for example)

I personally don't even use body swap even without this setup, because I prefer the precise control of movement and MS flasks for me is enough anyway.

I find it only worths it with lightning warp + arc, because in that case you don't have to wait 1 attack ( for unearth) before casting another movement skill.

I'm posting this thread here for people like me who don't play with body swap anyway to know about this setup because it is a large damage boost.

I'm happy if anyone could show me anything wrong with my calculation, damagewise.

If bodyswap is absolutely essential for you, then you can skip this thread.
Last edited by xpmrz on Nov 5, 2018, 6:09:01 PM

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