So, this nether...

Ive enjoyed using the Skeleton Mortarman’s ability Mortar Combat on my Brim Smith, which does 40-60% of the attack damage to all, instead of 100% on one target. Now, as I was creating my nether, I decided I wanted to try and make it a speed based damage dealer with this ability.

I was lucky enough that my 28-10 pure topaz egg even turned out to be a nether demon (used up a demon dust though). So today I thought I would see what I could make this badass do.

Now, my impression of the ability Mortar Combat was that it checks what your attack would have dealt in damage, but I realized a little too late that this does not include any buffs to increased damage, only to stats (as opposed to how minions and splash work). It only does base damage to all enemies since it seems that all bonuses are only included when an attack lands on a target. This now leaves my “not so badass anymore” Skeleton Mortarman with very limited amount of damage increasing options. (the only damage increase I have seen do anything with this skill is when critical procs)

So are there any hope of getting some use out of this creature? The only thing I can see him being useful for is getting off a Crawl Through Knives early on, and just go with one extra party buffing ability. Other than that I can see no way I can make this creature do any sort of damage at all. I know it bypasses certain defences, but with 0 damage that wont help much in my case.

On the skill itself, is it competitive with splash (which you can get as a buff from another creature)? I ask since it does not include increased damage bonuses, in addition to occupying an ability slot that could have been used to increase damage further. The only abilities that bring anything to this are the ones that increases your attack stat.

Quick illustration comparing the aoe effect of SoTW with splash and the mortar combat ability:
Mortar Combat: 0.5 * base
Splash + SoTW: base * (1 + 2.4) * 0.25 = 0.85 * base

The difference only increases if you add more abilities since nothing boosts the damage from mortar combat, in addition to the one making use of splash dealing 4 times the aoe damage on a single target.

What a total failure.

(._.)

Better do more testing next time I guess, and make it a Skeleton Triggerman or something instead…

Use the Tainted Devil ability that counts 50% of Luck as Attack. Alternatively, the Mutated Pulse Bat deals 50% of its Speed to the target directly.

The tainted devil ability could work, then combine it with the amaranth one that gives you more hp and luck equal to your speed. At least that way the attack would be boosted to the same as speed, but its still really low damage for 3 abilities total. This would result in a creature with the same hp, attack and speed and double the luck compared to the other stats. It could perhaps contribute something at lower realms, but Im afraid even though it has more of all stats than my brim smith, that the brim smith will still be more useful with its 200% artifact bonus. This also assumes Id be willing to spend all those exalted emblems on rerolls for the ability in the first place, which I do not think likely. :stuck_out_tongue:

The Mutated pulse bat will not work i think, since it activates after an attack, and the mortar combat ability never actually completes the attack on the target. Havent tested this though.

Yeah, it’s an additional damage ability, so it wouldn’t synergize with Kombat. I was just thinking of abilities that synergized with Speed. To be fair, it would still do an extreme chunk of damage.

You may also consider going Nature Mage and dumping points in Ferocity, which increases Speed Scaling to around half, I believe.

Does the Mortar Kombat ability count as “additional” damage and pierce through effects like Holy Defiance? I’ve actually swapped to Chaos Mage to try to utilize their “crit” perk on top of my splash damage setup, but I was curious about that ability; I’m not sure if it is like Splash on all enemies, or more like initiating a weaker attack on all six opponents.

It pierces holy defiances, yes, also before the patch enemies reflected 0 damage back, since the “attack” itself never hits, so there is nothing to reflect. However poison was applied from the necropolis counter ability. It rolls a hit / miss / absorb vs shell on the target chosen, if it is a hit, it deals 40-60% of the pure stat based damage to all target as ability damage. So it does not apply many smaller attacks, but works more similar to the splash damage itself.

I would argue that the ability does low damage with speed as base, and that having good speed and good attack at the same time helps little, since you get so much more value out of attack if you stack it, rather than having a good amount, and likewise that speed shines when stacking % damage bonuses, which arent availabe to this skill.

Yeah the nature mage talent could increase the damage potential, but you would still only get about 25-30% of speed in damage dealt to all, which might make it not too far away from my current (badly made) nether Brim Smith, but even just a decent (non-demon) nether attacker would probably put this speed based nether demon Skeleton Mortarman to shame.

I will however level him up, and try to se what I can do with him, just so I can see how it fares when its around the same level as my Brim Smith. I will not be expecting much though tbh.

Edit:
Just realised one thing that might make it a little better (even though no butchery might hurt it badly later on and it will still require a lot of rerolling), the party wide buffs that increase attack and luck by 30% and 45 % will work with 200% efficiency, since it will have double the luck, and gain 50% of that as attack. So those two buffs alone will boost attack by 60% and 90%. I guess Ill just have to see how it preforms vs my bad Brim Smith I guess. I will at least update on the results when I get more data from testing on higher levels.

The mutant bonescraper had the ability to ignore 50% of an enemies defense, which will allow the mortarman to deal significantly more damage of he gets that ability. Also, either frostfire efreets ability or the pit wraith ability. One increases attack based on how low your own health is and the other increases your attack based on how low your enemies health is. Having either one or both in your party will benefit him.

Pit Wrath ability is a % damage increase, it doees not work with mortar combat (tested and confirmed by me earlier today), ignore defence does nothing for a speed build since I need to use 2 ability slots for it to get “competitive” attack in the first place. The frostfire + everything is gone (65% hp) would probably work very well though combined with the enclave amaranth (that was its name!) ability.

Yeah, I’d have to agree that speed want really the way to go for him, but mortarmen are beastly in general, so it’s not really a total loss.

Yeah, when you facus on one stat to deal damage, but end up having to use all the tricks in the book to make that stat boost another stat for it to get any damage boost whatsoever, I guess you can say that it wasnt really the way to go, lol xD

I think a mortarman with butchery build around attack is probably the best bet, then if you get it as a demon you could either make it get 30% attack from left and right creature or just go 200% bonus from artifact or something ^^