Second Mastery for a Trapper
I love how Underlord has the traps as part of the hunting mastery and how pet jewelry applies to trap bolts so I am building a trapper.
My current build is 1Str:1Dex. I have a single point in wood lore, herbal remedy, and lay trap. I have maxed out rapid construction. All remaining points are in the hunting mastery. The character has +4 skills (some tweaking but all equipment is from normal, I only have 2 characters in epic and neither are very far or efficient farmers). I plan to max out the hunting mastery then Improved Firing Mechanism. After that I will probably put points into Study Prey & Flush Out and possibly also into the Art of the Hunt line.
I am using elemental pet damage jewelry because everything I have read on these forums suggests it is better than physical (without big % boost skills) or vitality (without large -resistance skills).
I am unsure which second mastery I should choose, several masteries have benefits to the build.
Storm: Increased caster speed makes spamming traps faster. Storm Wisp provides a big damage boost to elemental damage from pet jewelry. Would probably need to focus attributes more on intelligence to use other Storm skills to support traps. The extra energy would be beneficial when having to recast traps frequently.
Earth: Core Dweller should keep enemies away from traps allowing them to stay alive and continue doing damage. Earth enchantment would provide a buff to the traps, though I do not know how effective this would be between the small radius, only 1/3 of elemental damage being buffed, and that the burn damage from brimstone does not stack across multiple bolt hits. Does anyone know if Volatility would apply to the traps? I know it doesn't require Earth Enchantment to be active. I do not know if this makes it a personal range only ability or if it still gets the Earth Enchantment radius.
Dream: Trance of empathy would increase the damage of the traps while trance of convalescence would provide health regen to keep them alive and mana regen to allow greater trap spamming without having to invest as much in energy. Not my preferred choice, I already have a pet ritualist in Epic.
Occult: Stacking chance to avoid projectiles is a solid defense. Toxic Concoction fits with the trap theme. Provides some energy and all the important attributes (str, dex, health and a little int for mana regen).
I am currently leaning towards Earth or Storm and using a combination of piercing and elemental damage traps. Any thoughts and experience would be appreciated.
Side Note: There seems to be a bug with Rapid Construction. I have found on a previous attempt at this character that I lost that you cannot cast Lay Trap when your mana pool is below the base cost of Lay Trap even if you can afford the cost after the Rapid Construction reduction. IE lvl 16 Lay Trap costs 55 energy (according to Occultulator) and lvl 8 Rapid construction gives -40% energy cost making the trap cost 33 energy (0.6x55=33). You cannot cast Lay Trap until you have 55 energy even though it only drains 33 to cast.
I'd reccomend Earth even if going str/dex, Core dweller lets you invest heavily in pet gear without sacrificing defence, The burn damage from earth enchant would apply on a per trap basis and would boost your own physical damage from your bow. Plus stone form is pretty much the best emergency panic button in the game.