I've seen comments in the forums that minions like the Zombie Dogs will scale with gear, allowing them to be competitive.

I certainly hope this is the case, however I was not able to find any details of how this scaling would work.

Do we know what influences WD minions health, aside from the obvious effect of skills such as Zombie Handler?

  • 1
    Every place I looked they said that'll scale like they did in the end of D2 and also with Hunter's pet in wow. But I didn't found any good source to about it.
    – Michel
    Commented May 3, 2012 at 17:32

3 Answers 3


This has been completely changed for the 1.04 patch on 8/21/2012.

For Zombie Dogs:

  • They get a base amount based on the level of the witch doctor (10,000 for level 60)

  • They get an additional 35% of the witch doctor's health

  • They have an inherent effect that limits the max damage they can take in a single hit to 10,000 * the % of damage that is not prevented by the witch doctor's armor and resistance

For Gargantuan:

  • Gets a base amount based on the level of the witch doctor (exact value is unknown)

  • Gets an additional 35% of the witch doctor's health

  • At level 60, gets an additional 50% of the witch doctor's health (for a total of 85%?)

  • Has the same max damage effect as mentioned for Zombie Dogs

Here is an example of the new system from Blizzard

Let's set up an example using a level 60 witch doctor. Let’s say this witch doctor has 32,000 Life, 45% mitigation from Armor, and 30% mitigation from Resistances. (For clarity, this means that 55% of incoming damage gets past the player’s Armor, and 70% of the incoming damage gets past Resistances.)

  • The base Life of a level 60 Zombie Dog is 10,000 Life
  • With scaling, each Zombie Dog will have 21,200 Life (10,000 [base] + 32,000 * 35% [scaling])
  • The maximum damage the Zombie Dog can take in a single hit will be 3850 Life (10,000 [base] * 55% [damage not mitigated by armor] * 70% [damage not mitigated by Resistances])
  • Ignoring passive Life regeneration, this means each Zombie Dog will always be able to take at least 5.5 hits (21,200 [Life] / 3850 [damage])
  • Where did you get the information that the Gargantuan receives 35% as well? Reading the patch notes it only lists this change for Zombie Dogs. The patch notes are a little confusing, but I think what they meant by: At level 60, the Gargantuan will receive an additional 50% of the player’s Maximum Life Is that the Gargantuan only receives the bonus at level 60. Commented Aug 24, 2012 at 11:32
  • @TheGate It is certainly possible, the article wasn't clear and it isn't very obvious from playing the game. All I know is that it is quite rare for my Gargantuan to die now.
    – bwarner
    Commented Aug 27, 2012 at 2:03
  • Yep, that's all that matters XD Commented Aug 27, 2012 at 10:34

User Peter has done some testing and research and posted his results on the official forums.

Surprisingly, it seems that Vitality does not impact minion health! Instead, strength and intelligence provide the primary means of survival to your minions:

I am testing my Gargantuan against a Walking Corpse (fat zombie) in nightmare mode, Act 1. I try to use gear that has only one stat, strength/dexterity/vitality/intellect. So if I test Strength, I will have 500+ Strength, and the rest of the stats will be at 40 (base) unless otherwise specified.

Acronyms DR = Damage Reduction from Armor PR = Physical damage reduction form Physical Resistance

Test Results No gear Gargantuan dies in 4 hits.

Strength test (Strength increases armor) 545 Strength 1729 Armor (51.17% DR) 11 Physical Resistance (6.03% PR)

Gargantuan dies in 10 hits.

Dexterity test 535 Dexterity 1135 Armor (40.75% DR) 11 Physical Resistance (6.03% PR)

Gargantuan dies in 8 hits.

Vitality test 574 Vitality 39.78% DR 11 Physical Resistance (6.03% PR)

Gargantuan dies in 8 hits.

Intellect test (Intellect increases physical resistance.) 566 Intellect 1164 Armor (41.28% DR) 57 Physical Resistance (25.60% PR)

Gargantuan dies in 10 hits.

Physical Resist test 173 Intellect (from my weapon, I cannot find weapon with PR stat) 1105 Armor (40.11% DR) 141 Physical Resistance (46.12% PR)

Gargantuan dies in 17 hits.

Summary Gargantuan benefits from armor (strength) and physical resistance (intellect). The damage reduction was very noticeable. Vitality and Dexterity do not benefit pets. My tests show the gargantuan taking 8 hits to die only because of the extra armor from the gear, not from the stats.

Update: Lylirra, Community Manager for Blizzard, has indicated that they are looking at pet durability, and they are considering changing minion health to scale off of vitality.

  • That test does not prove that Vit and Dex have no effect. If anything it proves that they do because it shows more survivability with Vit or Dex gear then without. That said the information in not complete. He doesn't tell you how much armor was on the Vit gear. Nor is there any information about critical hits.
    – lmickh
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 19:14
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    Read the thread. The extra survivability on the Vit and Dex tests were because he could not add these stats without increasing armor. The armor lets them survive longer, not the Vit or Dex. He is missing the actual armor value from the Vit test, but does include the DR (39.78% DR), which puts it at just shy of 1100. While the info could be more complete, it is pretty clear, and pretty clearly indicates that the effects of +Vit are negligible, if any.
    – Beofett
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 19:39

Minion health is related to your Vit. Gather up some +vit gear and you can easily see the difference. The exact percentage they gain for every +1 vit is not known at the moment as far as I have been able to tell.

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    This appears to be completely incorrect. See my answer below.
    – Beofett
    Commented May 24, 2012 at 15:30

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