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Minion Mechanics

Last Updated: September 25th 2023

SS2 - The City of Aeterna

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Minion mechanics in Torchlight Infinite can be very confusing. This guide teaches you about different Minion types, how to increase Minion quantity, which Heroes specialize in using Minion skills, and the best ways to scale Minion damage.

Synthetic Troops

First up we have the Synthetic Troops used by many summoner builds. Currently there are three Minion Skills with the Synthetic Troop tag: Summon Machine Guard, Summon Spider Tank and Summon Grim Phantom.

Thanks to the Summon tag they can be supported by; Servant Damage, Servant Life, Servant Speed and Assault Command. All Synthetic Troops have 40% Elemental and 20% Erosion Resistance.

Note: the words "Minion" and "Servant" are often used interchangeably within the game.

Summon Machine Guard

Summon Machine Guard summons melee Minions that charge towards enemies using Onslaught Punch. They use Overpower to deal area damage. Each point of Command increases their Skill Area by 0.5%.

Overpower has the Melee, Physical, Area and Attack tags so it can be supported by; Tendonslicer, Multistrike, Recklessness, Precision Strike and Steamroll.

Machine Guard

Summon Spider Tank

Summon Spider Tank summons ranged Minions that use Aimed Shot to shoot projectiles in front of them. They shoot 1 base projectile with each attack but depending on your Command level they get additional bonuses. At 30 Command they get Projectiles always penetrate all enemies and at 50 Command +2 Projectiles Quantity.

Summon Spider Tanks gain 6% additional damage per Spider Tank summoned by the Skill, up to 36% at 6 Spider Tanks.

Aimed Shot has the Projectile, Physical, and Attack tags so it can be supported by; Tendonslicer, Multistrike, Recklessness and Slow Projectile.

Spider Tank

Summon Grim Phantom

Summon Grim Phantom summons ranged Spell casting Minions that use High Energy Beam to deal damage.

These minions are summoned automatically and 1s after dying they are resummoned again. You can use the Summon Grim Phantom Skill to force them to cast Destructive Light Cannon at your target, this has an 8s cooldown.

Both Destructive Light Cannon and High Energy Beam have the Spell, Physical, Area and Beam tags so they can be supported by; Focused Beam, Spell Concentration and Tendonslicer.

Summon Grim Phantom gains 5% additional damage and +10% Skill Area every 20 points of Command you have. On top of that while you have at least 50 points of Command High Energy Beam gains +20% Skill Area and deals +20% additional damage every 5 casts of the Skill.

Grim Phantom

Length of Beams fired by Destructive Light Cannon and High Energy Beam cannot be modified. Beams fired by Destructive Light Cannon cannot gain additional quantity or refraction.

All damage dealt by Summon Grim Phantom even through Self-Destruct Protocol gets 100% converted to Lightning. Thanks to this effect they can also be supported by Elemental Fusion and Lightning Penetration.

Spirit Magus

The second type of Minion is Spirit Magus. Currently there are 3 Minions with the Spirit Magus tag: Summon Flame Spirit, Summon Frost Spirit and Summon Thunder Spirit. Thanks to the Summon tag they can be supported by; Servant Damage, Servant Life, Servant Speed and Assault Command. Spirit Magi cannot die, instead they trigger Reconjuring when their Life reaches 0. Reconjuring prevents them from using Skills or being targeted until they fully heal. Each Spirit Magus has 60% Elemental and 20% Erosion Resistance.

These Skills reserve a portion of your Mana to summon a Minion so remember to activate them just like Auras. In return they buff the caster with powerful Origin Spells such as Origin of Fire, Origin of Thunder and Origin of Ice so these Minions are useful even for non-Summoner builds. Normally you can only have 2 different Spirit Magi active at the same time, however you can support them with Elemental Duo to summon two Spirit Magi of the same type. Remember that it does NOT duplicate the effect of Origin buff and you are still limited to 2 Spirit Magus Minions.

Each Spirit Magus uses 4 Skills: Base, Empower, Enhanced and Ultimate. By default, a Spirit Magi deals damage using their Base Skill, and uses their Empower Skill on cooldown. Modifiers granting % chance to use Enhanced Skill gives them a chance to use an Enhanced Skill instead of a Base Skill. At 100% chance to use Enhanced Skill they will always use an Enhanced Skill instead of the Base one. The Forsaken Iris's Growing Breeze hero trait Amazing Friends lets Spirit Magi enter the Full Bloom state. This unlocks their Ultimate Skill.

Note: Ultimate Skill are exclusive to The Forsaken Iris, Growing Breeze

Summon Flame Spirit

Summon Flame Spirit uses Spells to deal Fire damage in an Area. It specializes in buffing and dealing Critical Strikes.

Origin of Fire passively grants Attack and Spell Critical Strike Rating to the Summoner. This effect scales with the level of your Summon Flame Spirit Skill starting with +45 at level 1.

Base Skill: Blazing Dance - Deals Fire, Area, Spell damage in a small frontal cone equal to 80% of the Minion's base damage.

Empower Skill: Blazing Spin - Has a 10s cooldown, and grants a buff that lasts 6s. Blazing Spin increases the Spirit Magus Critical Strike Rating by 435% and deals Persistent Fire damage equal to 99% of the Minion's base damage per second. While the Spirit Magus is at Stage 4 or higher during the duration of the buff, hitting an enemy grants 9% Critical Strike Damage for 2s stacking up to 15 times.

Enhanced Skill: Blazing Incineration - Deals Fire, Area, Spell damage in a circular area around the target equal to 203% of the Minion's base damage. This Skill deals 10% additional damage if it dealt Critical Strike recently. When the Spirit reaches Stage 3 it deals 30% additional damage, and gains +15% Skill Area for 2s on Critical Strike stacking up to 225%.

Flame Spirit

Ultimate Skill: Molten Rising - Has an 8s cooldown. Summons 4 flame pillars in a cone in front of the caster each dealing 466% of the Minion's base damage as Spell, Fire, Area damage. This Skill gains 1% additional damage per 1% Cast Speed and 1% additional Cast Speed of the Skill.

Summon Thunder Spirit

Summon Thunder Spirit is the only Spirit Magus that uses Attacks instead of Spells. Every ability of the Thunder Spirit Magi deals Physical damage but it converts all of it into Lightning. Thunder Spirit's specialization is Attack and Cast Speed.

Origin of Thunder passively gives Attack and Cast Speed to the Summoner. This effect scales with Summon Thunder Spirit Skill Level starting at 16% at level 1.

Base Skill: Lightning Star - Is a Projectile Attack that deals Physical damage (converted to Lightning) equal to 169% of the Minion's base damage.

Empower Skill: Thundercloud Surge - Has a 10s cooldown, and grants a buff that lasts for 2s. Thundercloud Surge increases the casters Attack Speed by 28% and gives 15% chance to trigger Chain of Lightning when hitting an enemy which deals 107% of the Minion's base damage as Physical damage (converted to Lightning). Chain of Lightning does not receive bonuses from Support Skills. While the Thunder Spirit Magi is at Stage 4 or higher it also deals 25% additional damage during the duration of the buff.

Enhanced Skill: Thunderlight Arrow - Is a Projectile Attack that deals Physical damage (converted to Lightning) equal to 160% of the Minion's base damage. By default, it shoots 1 Projectile but, at Stage 3 or higher it shoots 3 instead. Multiple Projectiles fired by this Skill can hit the same target and they always Penetrate, but any additional Projectile Quantity bonuses instead of increasing Projectile Quantity provide 5% additional damage per additional Projectile.

Thunder Spirit

Ultimate Skill: Lightning Surge - Has an 8s cooldown. Fires a Ball of Lightning that shoots Chain of Lightning every 0.25s at up to 8 nearby enemies which deals 220% of the Minion's base Attack Physical damage (converted to Lightning). Projectile Quantity bonuses instead of increasing Projectile Quantity increase the number of enemies targeted by Chain of Lightning. This Skill gains 1% additional damage per 1% Cast Speed, and 1% additional Cast Speed of the Skill.

Summon Frost Spirit

Summon Frost Spirit uses Spells to deal Cold damage in an Area. It specializes in applying Frostbite to the enemies.

Origin of Ice passively restores Mana to the Summoner. This effect scales with Summon Frost Spirit Skill Level starting at 0.4% per second at level 1.

Base Skill: Glacier Ripples - Deals Cold, Area, Spell damage in a small frontal cone equal to 80% of the Minion's base damage.

Empower Skill: Frost Release - Deals Spell, Cold damage in an Area around the caster equal to 52% of the Minion's base damage, this inflicts Frostbite and 30 Frostbite Rating if Spirit Magus is at Stage 4 or higher. Has a 10s cooldown, and grants a buff that lasts for 6s which provides additional damage to the next 3 uses of other Skills during the buff's duration.

Enhanced Skill: Permafrost Cast - Deals Cold, Area, Spell damage in a circle area around the caster equal to 203% of the Minion's base damage. This Skill deals 10% additional damage against Frostbitten enemies. When Spirit reaches Stage 3 this Skill has +50% chance to inflict Frostbite. If an enemy has at least 10 Frostbite Rating or is Frozen this Skill deals 50% additional damage and removes 10 of their Frostbite Rating.

Frost Spirit

Ultimate Skill: Ice Earthshaker - Has an 8s cooldown. Deals 1507% of the Minion's base damage as Cold damage in a huge cone in front of the caster. Inflicts Frostbite and 100 Frostbite Rating. This Skill gains 1% additional damage per 1% Cast Speed and 1% additional Cast Speed of the Skill.

Synthetic Troops Minions Limit

There are 2 different limits that determine how many Synthetic Troops you can summon.

  • Hard cap - Maximum Synthetic Troops you can summon with all Skills at the same time
  • Soft cap - Maximum Synthetic Troops you can summon with one Skill type (example Summon Machine Guard)

The base Synthetic Troop hard cap is 6. Currently only Order Calling Commander Moto can increase that limit by equipping the Hero Relic Separate Control Center which increases both soft and hard cap by 1.

The base Synthetic Troop soft cap is determined by Skill Level, meaning if your soft cap limit is 3 you can use 2 Different Minion Skills (for example one copy of Summon Machine Guard and one copy of Summon Spider Tank) to reach hard cap of 6. For all Synthetic Troops soft cap limit is the same and you can find it in the table below:

Skill LevelMinion Limit
12
93
184

Use the Max Synthetic Troop Minion Quantity +1 modifier to increase your Minion soft cap. Some ways to do this include; the Support Skill Maniacal Army, the Major Talent Boss from the Machinist talent tree, and Legendary items like Decayed Mind.

Mechanical Modification is a powerful Support Skill that increases Minions' damage by more than double with the downside of reducing your hard cap limit by half.

6 Total Minions summoned by 2 Skills that have a soft cap limit of 4.

Hero Traits

Commander Moto is a Hero that specializes in summoning Synthetic Troops. During Hero creation Commander Moto presents you with a choice of two Hero Traits: Order Calling and Charge Calling.

Order Calling

Order Calling enables a powerful buff, Overload which is granted to all of your Minions after casting any Summon Skill. It grants them 5% additional Attack and Cast Speed and 15% additional damage. On top of that while minions are under the effect of Overload they gain +30% Attack and Cast Speed (this doesn't scale with increased Overload effect).

You can increase the effect of Overload by specializing into Unite as One and All In or increase it's duration with Charge Forward and Rest & Ready.

Last Stand makes your Minions immortal as long as they are affected by Overload which lets you take advantage of Go for Broke without killing them.

Order Calling Commander Moto

Charge Calling

Charge Calling lets you summon 2 Minions with each cast instead of 1 and enables a powerful buff Overload, which is granted to all of your Minions after casting any Summon Skill. It grants them +30% additional damage.

Surprise Force detonates your Synthetic Troops at the end of the Overload buff's duration by triggering Self-Destruct Protocol and Quick Battle makes it trigger at the start of the duration instead. On top of that it increases Self-Destruct Protocol damage by a portion of the detonated Minion's Life.

Preparation lets you Summon 3 Minions with each cast and grants them a chance to drop Mechanical Part after triggering Self-Destruct Protocol which reduces the cooldown of Overload on pick up.

Guerilla Tactics and Meaningful Death increase the potential of Mechanical Parts by triggering your Main Synthetic Troop Skill on pick up and by increasing the damage of Self-Destruct Protocol per recently picked up Mechanical Part.

Charge Calling Commander Moto

Forsaken Iris is the second summoner type Hero which specializes in summoning Spirit Magi. As of Season 4 there is only one Hero Trait available for this Hero called Growing Breeze.

Growing Breeze

Growing Breeze allows you to put Spirit Magi Skills in Active Skill Slots which lets you press them to activate the Hero Trait ability on a 5s cooldown. Upon activation, all of your Spirit Magi get 4 stacks of Nourishment up to maximum of 12 stacks. Each stack provides +15% additional damage to the Magi but each time they use a Skill there is a chance that a stack is going to be removed. That chance is increased by 8% per stack of Nourishment.

Friends We Are disables Origin of Spirit Magus buffs provided by Spirit Magi to the summoner. In return each stack of Nourishment on top of providing +15% additional damage to Spirit Magi grants +15 Growth stacks up to 150.

Struggle Free reduces Sealed Mana for Spirit Magus by -40% which combined with Alchemist Major Talent Source you only need an additional -10% Sealed Mana to cast Spirit Magi Skills without any Sealed Mana cost.

Amazing Friends allows you to unlock the full potential of Spirit Magi by unlocking their Ultimate ability at the cost of -1 Maximum Spirit Magi Quantity. Alternatively, Socialite lets you build a larger army by increasing that number by 1 instead.

Growing Breeze Forsaken Iris

Minions Scaling

When it comes to scaling Minion's damage a good rule of thumb to follow is: if the affix doesn't have the word "Minion," it probably doesn't scale their damage. This means that modifiers on items that scale Minions damage are:

  • Minion Damage
  • Minion Attack and Cast Speed
  • Minion Critical Strike damage
  • Minion Critical Strike Rating
  • Chance for Minions To Deal Double Damage
  • + Minion/Spell/Synthetic Troop/Active/Main Skill Level

There are also other modifiers that scale Minions damage only in specific circumstances. For example, Minion Life increases damage dealt by Self-Destruct Protocol when you use the Hero Trait Quick Battle or support your Minion Skill with Recklessness. There are also special Minion mechanics that allow you to scale your damage further.

Command

Command is a special buff that applies to you when you equip any Synthetic Troop Skill. It increases damage done by all of your Minions by 2% per every stack of Command.

There are many ways to generate Command like allocating the talent Burning Aggression, or equipping Rings, Divinity Slates, Hero Memories and Relics with modifier +X Command per second or by using Dark Gate Skill.

You can have between 0 and 100 Command and you lose it every second. This drain is exponentially faster the closer you are to 100. Some Minions gain additional benefits when you have a certain amount of Command. Read more about that in the Minion specific sections.

Growth

Growth is a special buff that can be applied only to Spirit Magi. Per every 5 points of Growth they gain 1% Physique and 5% Skill Area. Every 100 Growth Spirit Magi have, they reach the next Stage. This grants them additional bonuses depending on the Stage up to Stage 5.

  • Stage 2: +30% chance to use Enhanced Skill
  • Stage 3: Enhanced Skills gain special bonuses depending on the type of Spirit Magus
  • Stage 4: Empower Skills gain special bonuses depending on the type of Spirit Magus
  • Stage 5: +25% additional damage, +10% additional Skill Area, increased Movement Speed and Tracking Area

Maximum Growth level is 1000 and the most accessible way to generate it is through Empower Skill Nourishment of Life, Support Skill Savage Growth and Forbidden Iris Hero Trait Friends We Are.

Warden's Breastpin

Warden's Breastpin is an amazing item that scales your Minion's damage further by allowing modifiers to your own Critical Strike Damage and Critical Strike Rating to apply to Minions as well.

With Warden's Breastpin equipped, your Minions are buffed by the Origin of Fire your Summon Flame Spirit provides to you. The Fearless Aura also affects them twice by affecting both your Minions and you!

Remember that Warden's Breastpin allows your Minions to deal only Physical damage. The corroded version allows them to deal any damage except for Physical.

Isomorphic Arms

Isomorphic Arms is a Main Talent you can get by specializing into God of Machines talent tree or by equipping Pedigree of Gods Divinity Slate.

This talent allows you to scale your Minions damage further by applying your Main Hand weapon to your Minions. If you equip a weapon with +X% Critical Strike Damage it applies to your Minions and if you also equip Warden's Breastpin it applies to them twice!

On top of applying Main Hand weapon modifiers to your Minions it changes their base attack speed to the base attack speed of the weapon. If you are using a very slow weapon it may result in a DPS loss!

Machine Lord

Machine Lord is a helmet that lets you play Minion builds in a completely different way. This helmet limits you to 1 Synthetic Troop Minion (or 2 with the Corroded version) regardless of your normal limit, in exchange for powerful modifiers.

It provides you easy Command generation by granting your minions a chance to generate Command on hit.

The Machine Lord Helmet massively increases the damage of Synthetic Troops by adding special bonuses to their damage depending on your Command level:

  • 40 Command - Adds 100% of Physical damage to Fire, Cold and Lightning damage
  • 60 Command - 50% additional Physical damage
  • 80 Command - 1% Elemental Resistance Penetration for every 5% Elemental Resistance

Iron Nest

With the Iron Nest amulet you turn Synthetic Troops into turrets. It makes Command decrease every second instead of increasing. With negative level of Command your Synthetic Troops no longer have infinite duration so you will have to resummon them from time to time. They also are no longer able to move so using Dark Gate is key to move them towards your target.

The Iron Nest massively increases the damage of Synthetic Troops by adding special bonuses to their damage depending on your negative Command level:

  • -20 Command - +5 to Synthetic Troop Horizontal Projectile Jumps. For every -1 Command gain -2% Aura Area and +1.5% Aura Effect.
  • -40 Command - +35% additional Projectile damage which decreases with distance traveled by the Projectile. Minions' Horizontal Projectiles cannot Penetrate.
  • -60 Command - +30% to Physique, +200% Multistrike chance, +50% Multistrikes' damage increment for Synthetic Troops.

Summary

Here are the most important things you need to know about Minion mechanics in Torchlight Infinite:

  • Synthetic Troops such as Summon Machine Guard, Summon Spider Tank and Summon Grim Phantom are core Minions used by many summoner builds.
  • Spirit Magi such as Summon Flame Spirit, Summon Frost Spirit and Summon Thunder Spirit can be both used as a support-type Minion that Seals a portion of your Mana in exchange for powerful buffs, or become offensive damage dealers that utilize Growth and Nourishment to increase their damage.
  • There are 2 types of Synthetic Troop quantity limit. First, your soft cap determines how many Synthetic Troops you can summon with 1 Skill and your hard cap determines how many total different Synthetic Troops you can summon with all Skills together. The hard cap by default is 6 and can by increased only by equipping Hero Relic Separate Control Center
  • There are Hero Traits that support Minion Skills:
    • Order Calling Commander Moto - Supports regular Minion Build playstyles by increasing Minion damage with powerful Overload buff.
    • Charge Calling Commander Moto - Detonates your Minions with Self-Destruct Protocol thanks to Surprise Force and Quick Battle Hero Traits.
    • Growing Breeze Forsaken Iris - Greatly increases potential of Spirit Magi by buffing them with Nourishment and allows them to enter Full Bloom form which unlocks their Ultimate ability.
  • To scale your Minion's damage use items with modifiers that specify "Minion".
  • Warden's Breastpin, Isomorphic Arms and Machine Lord allow you to scale your Minions damage further, each in a very unique way.

Credits

Written by Zen_M
Reviewed by Tenkiei

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