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In Act IV Hell difficulty, I found a pack of champion Vampiric (something else) (something else) Corrupted Angels. My attacks were only hitting them for 1500-2000 when normally my hits are in the 5000-6000 range. I was using a physical-only weapon.

After several tries I realized that I could not kill them, no matter what I tried. The vampiric healing was more than enough to outdo my wimpy hits.

I started paying attention and noticed that the normal Corrupted Angels were only taking about one third of the normal damage as well. I don't think it was a debuff, since I alternated hits against an Angel and then a different mob and could clearly see the difference: 2000, 6000, 2000, 6000, etc.

In a later run I didn't see this behavior at all. I noticed I had changed to a fire-based weapon.

Is there some sort of hidden physical damage resistance that corrupted angels have?

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Did they have by chance the Health Link affix? –  Kappei May 30 '12 at 13:10
    
@Kappei No, they were negligible affixes for the purpose of this question, something like Fast and Plagued. Also I saw it with normal non-champion Corrupted Angels. –  dpatchery May 30 '12 at 13:11
    
Plagued. Plague patches allow the Vampiric to gain health from them. –  Frank May 30 '12 at 13:15
    
@fbueckert He's also saying that he noticed the same behavior in normal Angels –  Kappei May 30 '12 at 13:21

3 Answers 3

up vote 13 down vote accepted

I finally noticed a pattern with the corrupted angels that explains the damage reduction I was seeing.

When a corrupted angel first takes damage, it gains a shield that reduces all damage of that type by ~66%

In the screenshot below, you can see one angel has a reddish shield. The shield was not there until I attacked it with a fire-based attack. The other is a little harder to see but it has a shield tinged with blue. I hit that angel with a lightning attack.

My additional fire attacks on the red-shielded angel did about one third of normal damage, but the lightning hit for a normal amount. However, the blue-shielded angel took roughly one third of the lightning damage, but took the full force from the fire attack.

Corrupted Angels

So if you are progressing through Act 4 and having a tough time on these creatures (especially champions), the answer is to hit them once with a secondary attack that deals a different element than your primary damage dealing attack. They'll shield against it, and your normal attacks will deal full damage.

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Very interesting observation. I hate how mobs have hidden features such as knockback and stun. On Inferno that always catches me off guard. –  Emerica. Jun 7 '12 at 20:35

Corrupted angels are indeed resistant to physical damage, both elite and non-elite. Elite angels can be very frustrating to barbarians, as some affixes make them nearly invulnerable since the only non-physical ability in your repertoire is earthquake (and Whirlwind with the last rune).

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Great, thanks for the confirmation. If what I observed was accurate, then barbarians/monks should be able to get around this by using a weapon with +damage of any element (fire, arcane, etc). For me it seemed my full damage was dealt when using a fire weapon, not just the extra +100-200 or whatever. –  dpatchery May 30 '12 at 13:49
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@Kuki do you a source to confirm this? –  Pants May 30 '12 at 14:15
    
@dpatchery My understanding is that an attack does only 1 type of damage - physical if there is no +dmg, specific +dmg type like fire etc., or a particular type if overridden by a spell (e.g. Bola Shot will do fire damage even from a +cold dmg weapon, and you won't get the chance to slow/chill) –  Alok May 30 '12 at 23:36

Can't you see the black shield around them? When they cast that on themselves they take less damage, it's not just "physical", but all around damage reduction buff they put on themselves.

It's the same graphic as the "shielding" affix, just black.

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Actually, it's possible it's physical only, but I have weapons with holy and fire and I'm still hitting for a lot less than usual on them. –  Glowyrm May 31 '12 at 1:09

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