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Damage Efficiency

Discuss pet battles, strategy and theorycrafting.
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Damage Efficiency

Postby Virgilioar » May 18th, 2015, 2:39 am

Experience leads to a change of scope. That's to say, the more fighting you do, the more your perception of the battle changes. PVP and PVE experts alike will tell you that their first match and their most recent does not compare. The quick answer that comes to mind here is muscle memory, or motor learning: "a form of procedural memory that involves consolidating a specific motor task into memory through repetition." (Wikipedia) While this remains a passive consequence of practise, there exists an additional intuitive process' commonly referred to as habit. 5000 wins later I have this eerie feeling that the Fiendish Imp (S/S) is the most underrated battle pet in the game (and quite possibly the most damage effective). Now, everything can be countered and buffed, so for the purposes of this post we assume no critical strikes and no Super Effective or Less Effective abilities unless pertaining to an example.

Damage Efficiency relates to when and how an attack is used. The obvious example of this would be using a powerful ability right before an opponent uses 50% damage reduction. This may seem inefficient at first, but consider the possibility that the opponent's health is reduced and the blow will kill him nonetheless. Here, this can be considered efficient until I reveal that there is a pet in the back who is at full health. Questions arise... Are there any weak abilities you can use to kill the current pet through the 50% damage reduction so you can use the big ability on the second pet? Is the current pet mechanical or undead? etc... The point is ANY ATTACK can be efficient at any given time... INCLUDING "passing" (i.e.: skipping a turn when the opponent's dodge is up and your abilities have cool downs).

But wait, this post's title is "Damage Efficiency". What the hell does the Fiendish Imp (S/S) [Herein referred to as "IMP" cause typing (S/S) overtime sucks] have to do with damage efficiency? (The arguments assume the IMP is the faster of the pets in combat with 333 speed)

1) Immolation
-Round 1: Immolation Up - 700 damage taken
-Round 2: Swap out Imp - 300 damage taken
-Rounds 3-10: 300 damage done - 300 damage taken
-> How much damage have you taken? Most are inclined to say 3400. The actual answer is (700)+(300*9)-(300*8)-(54*10)-(70*10)= negative 240 damage taken. The key is to consider that the IMP in the background will not only fully heal, but will deal damage in addition to the active pet. This seems obvious enough, the key is to understand that the IMP has the capability to do this damage from the background without considering its other abilities. Hence, it can be Damage Efficiency to the point of making up for 1240 (Immolation DoT + Heal OR Round 1 + Round 2 - Total Damage Taken) damage points that are taken while setting up DoT and swapping. Basically, so long as a pet does not have more than 270 damage per round capability, the IMP could get the Trainer an early advantage of up to 700 damage points and 540 healing points.

2) Nether Gate
-The ability to swap out an enemy pet (and the speed to do it before most pets can get off an attack) grants the IMP the capability to controlling the start of a battle and deal with multiple enemies at will. That's to say, if at the start of a match an IMP faces an Undead while a Mechanical is in the background, the IMP can simply push out the Undead and attack the Mechanical at which point every Burn will hit harder since it is more effective against Mechanicals increasing Damage Efficiency per round. Clearly, the other trainer may immediately swap back to the Undead, which is why I normally recommend 100% uptime on Immolation meaning that you will deal 280 damage from the Nether Gate + (70*2) 140 damage from the Immolation = 420 damage and still have the IMP at 100%. At this point, even if you decide to swap, the enemy pet would have to do more than 420 damage to catch up, not to mention the 700 damage from the Immolation active in the back ground.

Another example has the IMP swapping to a pet that you can better counter with another of your pets. This can be calculated since the IMP ALWAYS swaps to the top pet on the enemy frame. This combination of abilities and the 5% Humanoid Heal give the IMP ideal traits for control and damage efficiency management.

3) A little bit of luck (Burn)
-Here is where we get silly. Consider two scenarios: (Note I am using Average IMP Burn damage = 280 while Average Enemy Pet damage = 300 to simplify the math and get the point across)

A) Two enemy pets at about 50% health and the IMP at about 10% health. The math is rough, so I will briefly explain how this is possible. The IMP opens with Immolation, Burn, Nether Gate (free heal from Humanoid Trait), Burn, Burn... The damage done depends on the RNG of Burn, but you get the picture. The IMP has been hit 5 times for an average of 300 damage (1359-1200=159 about 11.6%) and has done (70*2)+(280+280)=700 damage to the first pet and (70*3)+(280+280)=770 damage to the second pet.

B) One enemy pet at 10% and the IMP at 10%. Basically, the IMP starts with Immolation and proceeds with Burn while the other pet counters. Remember since no Nether Gate was used, the IMP does (280+70)=350 less damage since he does not "skip" a turn by swapping out the enemy pet. We assume they burn each other down over five rounds where the IMP takes (300*5)=1200 damage and does (280*4)+(70*5)=1470 damage and that the enemy pet has a little more health than the IMP which has a below average health pool.

You could argue that B is a better scenario since you could finish off the enemy pet and Nether Gate the incumbent only to swap IMP and have him heal in the back ground. However, option A provides a useful strategic advantage. I propose that by having two enemy pets at about 50% and an IMP that will heal in the background at 10% you have increased your damage efficiency more than in the former scenario. This becomes the case when you swap in a fresh pet at 100% health. Regardless of the initial hit taken by the pet you bring in, assuming that damage is on par with enemy pet (hopefully you have a pet to swap in that is either more effective or more resilient), you can deliver a killing blow before the enemy responds giving you the capability to increase your damage by forcing the swap to a pet which you can counter. That's too say either you swap in a faster pet and deliver the killing blow meaning he skips that turn since his pet dies before he attacks OR swap in a class that is more effective and either kills the enemy pet or forces the swap once again *stealing a round*. The idea here is that while IMP heals in the background, you have two full health pets going up against a full health pet and 2 50% health pets. If either of the full health pets in your team counter the 50% pets on the opposite team (whether through Class or Breed-Speed being the most Important for the purposes of this argument) then you have an immediate advantage and again, your IMP is healing and damaging in the background further widening the gap.

-The point is that some hits count more and the IMP allows you to better control the battle while providing versatile long term damage and healing unknown to any other pet. No pet I have found can heal and damage for nine rounds while being able to force swaps. Now, to get away from the IMP for a second, it is important to take home the idea of Damage Efficiency as making your hits count more than his. That's to say if you just landed a 700 damage hit and are about to get hit by a 2 round 700 damage hit with the option to swap to a pet who will only be hit for 462, you should swap even though it may be counterintuitive to "give up" a round.

I must now confess that the actual title of this forum should have been "Damage Efficiency & the Fiendish Imp"...

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Re: Damage Efficiency

Postby Tekulve2012 » May 20th, 2015, 5:47 pm

Nice thorough presentation. The s/s imp is surely useful in pvp but immolation has to do damage for the imp to be healed..

Sandstorm and certain shielding effects negate the damage so the imp heals for nada. We cant forget Darkness as well.

The bone serpent is gaining in pvp popularity especially the h/h breed since it is tanky and maims humanoids with bone barrage

There is presently a nice balance in a point..but undead AoE damage threatens this with possibly OP Graves on the way

just my 2 cents

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Re: Damage Efficiency

Postby Myon » May 20th, 2015, 9:52 pm

The imp can be a force to be reckoned with if the conditions are right. That said, I feel like being a humanoid pet is always going to be a liability as long as undeads are dominant in the metagame - enough of a liability to keep a pet like the imp in check. It's still a great pet, just not head and shoulders above everything else to me.

We might see more bonestorm action next month too with Graves becoming accessible once Heroes of the Storm launches. WoD also brought out some new tools, in particular the S/S Ore Eater which at 341 speed dethrones the imp as fastest humanoid. It has a counter moveset to boot, shielding and can do its own form of backline healing with its Acid Touch 5 round DoT.

The imp has always enjoyed the advantage that most pets faster than it are flying (due to the racial of course) and are thus weak to Nether Gate - so you tend to be able to begin the battle with the initiative no matter what your opponent's lineup is, very convenient for the imp user. Either your opponent opens with a slower pet and cedes the advantage, or opens with the bird and tries to juke it but risks eating super effective damage. Not so much the case now with the Ore Eater around!
Last edited by Myon on May 21st, 2015, 11:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Damage Efficiency

Postby Yetimilk » May 21st, 2015, 1:12 am

imp is countered by flyers which are popular, natures ward, also popular, undeads, very popular, call darkness, the meta, and people with half a brain (predicting nether gate and swapping). it used to be OP but times are changing and Graves will be the nail in its coffin.

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Re: Damage Efficiency

Postby Virgilioar » May 17th, 2016, 1:23 am

Yetimilk wrote:imp is countered by flyers which are popular, natures ward, also popular, undeads, very popular, call darkness, the meta, and people with half a brain (predicting nether gate and swapping). it used to be OP but times are changing and Graves will be the nail in its coffin.

I think you were a little hard on the Fiendish Imp and a bit broad with your references.

1) I disagree that Flying Type pets counter the Fiendish Imp, specifically because of Nether Gate and the fact that at 50% Flying Type reassume regular speeds allowing for the Fiendish Imp to gain an extra hit (assuming the base speed of the opponent is lower) on the execute.

2) Name a pet that has both Nature's Ward and Call Darkness. You will only get one of those counters at a time UNLESS Nightshade Sproutling or any other Elemental Type pets with Nature's Ward is involved. Note that the self heal changes damage taken but NOT Type bonus'.

3) Regardless of who is or is not brain dead, bluffs exist. You catch on to my Nether Gate but I catch on to you catching on. This becomes the sweetest part of the match in my opinion and I look forward to guessing and out maneuvering.

4) If by popular you meant that at the time you replied there was a tendency towards Darkness Weather and Undead Type pets, I agree since it coincides with the peak of the Bone Serpent popularity. However, the winds have changed and AoE has taken sail with pets like Graves and Mechanical Pandered Hatchling.

4) Which leads me to Graves and the loose nail in the Fiendish Imp's coffin! First, you have to understand that if you are healing with Fiendish Imp you are healing at a rate of 4% (54 hp with the S/S) per round. This seems like very little but consider that a full AOE Damage rotation at MAX damage for Graves implies 6 rounds:

Round 1:
Grave Destruction (5 Round Cool Down) - 332
Bone storm (3 Round Cool Down) - 375
Null Round if Fiendish Imp is not in battle
Null Round if Fiendish Imp is not in battle
Bonestorm - 375
Grave Destruction - 332

Over this period the Fiendish Imp heals for 54 * 6 = 324 hp and can at any moment gain 2 rounds by forcing out Graves (assuming opponent does not bluff and swaps out Graves only to have me swap him back in assuming now that Graves is in the top position). This is a total of 8 rounds for a nearly complete 432 hp cycle. This means:

Graves' Damage - Fiendish Imp's heal = Not enough damage to kill Fiendish Imp
1414 - 432 = 982 hp

Where does this leave us? Kill Graves as fast as possible. That's too say in the 6 rounds it takes the Graves to kill the Fiendish Imp, which we will assume is 4 rounds if I opened with the Fiendish Imp, used Immolation, and swapped to a pet with Critter Type abilities, you have to kill Graves.

Now, sometimes you want Graves to kill your Fiendish Imp, but that's an entirely different topic. Check out my other forum where I try my best to keep a catalog of my teams scores versus other players in the Battle Pet PVP queue to get a better idea of how it can be done!

Killing Graves - The Redemption Story of a Fiendish Imp

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