Sorry for the intrusion, but could someone compare for sure the H/H and P/S breeds of [pet]Bone Serpent[/pet]?
Maybe it's just a Murphy's Law paranoia but I can't get rid of a feeling that the additional round of the former one has no direct damage anyway and can provide only some indirect soaking.
I spent a bit longer than I should looking into it, but here are my findings...
is right in that, in most situations, the HH will last 1 round longer
- and this is almost universally a guarantee of more damage (there's one exceptional case, though, will show it below!)
This is just theoretical, but let's translate Health into "rounds", based on incoming damage. I'll call it TTL (time-to-live). Since the Serpent is Undead, its minimum TTL is always 2 even if it gets one-shot (not dying + Damned).
TTL is shown below. The image is kinda cropped on the side, but you don't miss much (after all, it's the "instant death" zone of 1200+ damage) but you can inspect it with right click if you want :p
Probably hard to see anything I guess... There are 3 bars, one for each breed, and a "ruler" of sorts on top that measures incoming average damage. Knowing which enemy you face, and baring crits, you will be able to estimate how long your Bone Serpent will live, and the rotation to apply.
While this includes up to 10 rounds of TTL, such situations are highly unlikely. A reasonable estimate is between 5 and 7 rounds.
It is obvious that in most cases, at same incoming damage, the HH will invariably get an extra round over the PS - but there are a handful of incoming damage thresholds where its TTL is the same, making PS immediately superior. These thresholds are shaded in grey, with red numbers on their boundaries.
The first one is an average of exactly
329 damage per round (unlikely to ever happen), but the 411-439 incoming damage threshold is a reasonable and plausible situation. Further thresholds (548-639 and 822-1318) are unlikely, except maybe against PvE bosses with OP abilities.
Anyway, that aside, based on your pet's TTL, you can also adjust the damage rotation to maximize DPS
. This is a way of speaking, since Pet Battles aren't (or shouldn't be) DPS races - but yeah, it's the way to dish out the most raw damage anyway. Most of the time, this involves "weaving" Barrages instead of spamming everything on cooldown and getting locked out. The Max-DPS rotations (based on rounds alive) are displayed below:
Purple-shaded cells are rounds where Darkness is up, green border means Bone Barrage DoT is up. While it is tempting to just unleash [ability]Call Darkness[/ability] + [ability]Nocturnal Strike[/ability], opening with [ability]Bone Barrage[/ability] delays the ever dreadful idle round where everything is locked out.
Also, note that this is a theoretical max, that includes "lingering" bone barrage damage even after the pet is dead, and assumes everything hits (which may not be the case with 70% hit chance...). Still, it proves that Bone Serpents do indeed deal a lot of damage!
Again, as said above, it's fairly clear that the HH is better whenever it gets an extra round, with one exception - and that is when PS gets a TTL of 5 - as the extra 6th round the HH gets is an idle one, being only good for soaking
. This is important, because it means that the PS will deal more damage than the HH if the incoming damage is between 330 and 439
, and this includes the 411-439 damage threshold where their TTL is actually the same (and in which case the HH wouldn't even get a "soak" round).
In short? If the average incoming damage is between 330 and 439, the P/S deals more damage; otherwise, the H/H does (outside of the same TTL thresholds, which require massive damage income).
What about the BB, and the SS? I've left them out of the argument because they don't make a lot of sense.
The B/B just falls in between the HH and the PS both in damage and durability, there will be thresholds where it will live 1 round longer and some where it won't. With mediocre speed as well, this should be taken on a per-case basis (such as PvE encounters where you can predict the incoming and outgoing DPS).
As for the SS, it has the same TTL as the PS, with the damage of the HH - so gets the worst of both worlds. The only advantage is that, if it is faster than the enemy and can kill it before the enemy does, its TTL increases by 1 - and this is cumulative, for each pet that it can kill, it gets an extra round of life. However, since it doesn't hit very hard, is relatively frail, and slower than most "fast" pets, it's hardly a good choice. Might still be useful with a [ability]Lift-Off[/ability] build I guess.