I've done an Izual run on Normal about 15 times now and he hasn't dropped it yet.

What is the Staff of Herding plan's drop rate?

  • I've tried it about 30 times too, and no luck either. Not sure if there's an official drop rate for it yet. May 28, 2012 at 20:36
  • Didn't realize how uncommon the recipe drop was. I've killed Izual about 7 times, and 3 of those times he dropped plans.
    – Kotsu
    May 28, 2012 at 20:44
  • @Kotsu, do you have much magic find boost? I'm wondering if it's possible there is a minimal threshold I don't have.
    – Ben Lee
    May 28, 2012 at 20:47
  • 1
    The first time I killed Izual, actually, he dropped the plans. This was on A4 Normal when I had 0 magic find.
    – Kotsu
    May 28, 2012 at 20:59
  • Hmm... Okay, time for me to get back to Izual hunting then!
    – Ben Lee
    May 28, 2012 at 21:06

5 Answers 5


I have read quite a few similar questions on other forums, and according to the majority of the answers it seems that many people get it after 20 tries and most get it after 40 tries. I think the drop rate is somewhere between 2% and 5% (without MF).

Here is an important Note: The "Plan: Staff of Herding" is a legendary item and thus it is affected by Magic Find. If you have a very high MF > 300 % you will get the Plan very often. I tried it 3 times for test purposes and got it 3 times, might be luck though.

Here are some tips for your run:

  • Get level 60 and do it on normal difficulty with MP10
  • Get +% Movement Speed on your boots. You can buy very cheap ones for 1-5k as you are way overpowered for Normal.
  • Use abilities for faster movement and adjust your build for maximum speed. Teleport, Valut, Smoke Screen etc.
  • Kill all champions you find on your way for the +MF.
  • Put on your highest MF gear just before killing Izual.
  • It shouldn't be affected by MF; but the plan shows as a legendary item since 1.0.3
    – Alok
    Jul 13, 2012 at 22:34
  • I will test if it is affected by MF.
    – ayckoster
    Jul 13, 2012 at 23:22
  • @Alok: You are right. It is affected by MF and this has increased the drop chances considerably.
    – ayckoster
    Jul 13, 2012 at 23:40
  • What?! This is good news, but I never expected it for some reason - oh well, nice for those still looking for the drop.
    – Alok
    Jul 13, 2012 at 23:43
  • in a comment by anonymous: Go on mp10 since is on normal dificulty.
    – Michel
    Jan 10, 2013 at 16:02

Drop rates aren't known yet. I and many others were "lucky" and got it on our first try. The game is still relatively new and it seems even if Blizzard wanted a specific probability for the drop rate of this item that the real life experience would not be the same.

Thus far it seems Blizzard is experimenting with their drop-rate formula/code. Best answer: Random between 1 and 200+ runs. Though that answer sucks, it's 100% accurate and I don't know how someone can be more accurate (as of right now).

If you want a tip on speeding up the process:

  1. Work with a friend to get to Izzy.
  2. One of you leave when you get there
  3. Other kills Izzy

This way the person who left can keep starting a new game to keep letting their friend in to kill Izzy.

There's a helpful guide here.

It's possible that you're getting the drop, but not seeing it. The plans are a common, white item that gets ignored when most people only pick up blues or better. The plans now drop as legendary (brown) as of patch 1.3, which should be easy to pick out.

  • Thanks. Unfortunately, my IRL friends are all very reasonable about their time spent playing Diablo, and thus are all in the early stages of Normal mode, whereas I am already at the beginning of Hell mode... After another 30 runs with no luck, I've decided it's got to be bugged for me. I'm going to try in Nightmare a few runs (several reports in that forum thread you listed were from people who had no luck with hours of runs in Normal but got it after a few tries in Nightmare). If that still doesn't work, I'll try it with another Hero while still in Normal mode (I've already started that one).
    – Ben Lee
    May 29, 2012 at 15:11
  • 1
    @BenLee unlucky, I got mine on the first kill as well on release night. Just stick at it, you will probably find all the materials to make the base staff first time as compensation or something :)
    – kalina
    Jun 13, 2012 at 7:48
  • @ickleislands, I actually got the plans eventually (see my comment in on the question above to see the trick I used). And I actually did get all the other ingredients fairly quickly, somewhat lucky for most of them. Besides the plans, only the Liquid Rainbow was a pain, but got it after about 30 runs (a lot less than the number of times I tried Izual though).
    – Ben Lee
    Jun 13, 2012 at 15:53
  • @BenLee nice - I got all except the gemstone quickly, took me about 70 runs to get that.
    – kalina
    Jun 13, 2012 at 16:41
  • @victoroux: Please don't take my comment attached my bounty as a jab at you. The point of the bounty is to Make the Internet Better(TM) by making more information available. With enough data, a 95% confidence interval can be calculated right now for the drop rate, which is all I really want. Remember, we're encouraged to do science, which is what this bounty is really for: rewarding someone who does the stats work.
    – MBraedley
    Jun 14, 2012 at 14:46

Unfortunately, Blizzard doesn't publish drop-rates for D3, and mods aren't allowed, so that's out too.

The good news is that the plans will drop in normal mode (which is how I got mine, after about 10 kills), so it's not too painful to grind. My guess would be that it's around the 10% range, judging from what I've read in all the "Damn you Izual!" forum threads.

The bad news is that if you've kill Izual 15 times, the drop rate is still around 10%. Good luck! At least you're not trying for the Wheel Of Misfortune achievement :p


As far as I am aware the plan can just as well be bought (I bought it) from the merchant in your base in act IV (the one near the priest). He might not have it all the time but logging in / out should fix that and be faster than fighting the boss 383 times though that is an obvious exageration, more like 40 times and got REALLY frustrated :P

  • Please see the comments on the answer by Shallow. The recipe that shows up on the Quartermaster is the upgrade for the Staff, allowing you to create a Nightmare Staff of Herding from your regular Staff of Herding, Hell Staff of Herding from your Nightmare Staff of Herding, etc.. The upgrade appears on the quartermaster starting with the last questline in Act IV, on any difficulty that you do not already have the staff for (or possibly just any difficulty beyond Normal). AFAIK, the base plans cannot be purchased.
    – Beofett
    Jun 13, 2012 at 18:06

You can just buy the recipy at the vendor you night ? he dosn't sell all the time, but just make game until he sells it. Its the vendor next to the brother in act 3-4

  • 5
    He sells the Nightmarish and greater version plans. You still have to find the normal plan. Which is used for every difficulty above that.
    – Frank
    May 29, 2012 at 15:48
  • I've read quite a bit about this and everything I'm reading agrees with @fbueckert -- the only way to originally get the plans is through an Izual drop. Once you have gotten them, then you can buy plan upgrades from that vendor.
    – Ben Lee
    May 29, 2012 at 16:01
  • As @fbueckert said, its only for upgrades. Also, he sells the plan after beating Izual in that difficulty (or specifically, starting a quest after it also works; i.e. if you get Prime Evil quest then he will have the plan)
    – Alok
    Jun 15, 2012 at 0:26

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