For example, the item Tal Rasha's Adjudication randomly has one of the following stats:

  • Adds 5-6% to Arcane Damage
  • Adds 5-6% to Poison Damage
  • Adds 5-6% to Lightning Damage
  • Adds 5-6% to Holy Damage
  • Adds 5-6% to Cold Damage
  • Adds 5-6% to Fire Damage

In the case of, say, poison: does the item give me +6% of my weapon damage (or total damage) as poison? Or does it only add +6% to my current poison damage (meaning if I have no poison damage, it does nothing)?

If it's the latter-case, does +20 poison damage on my weapon affect this?


According to the test done in this post, "Adds X% to [Element] Damage" actually means "Adds X% to Total Damage as [Element]".

  • 2
    This is incorrect. "Adds x% to [Element] Damage" does not add to total damage. It only adds to base weapon damage, and ignores other elemental damage sources. Here are more details, including a link to an archived copy of the Blizzard post on the subject. – Beofett Nov 15 '12 at 16:42

+x% elemental damage (whether cold, poison, fire, etc. it is all the same) is calculated as an increase to your base, non-elemental weapon damage (sometimes called "black weapon damage").

This base damage is a combination of rings, orbs, mojos, amulets, etc. that add damage, and your weapon damage before any elemental damage on your weapon is added.

This means that a 1000 DPS weapon with "black" damage (non-elemental) will benefit far more from +x% cold damage affixes than a 1000 DPS weapon that has elemental damage (whether fire, cold, poison, holy, etc.).

Here are more details, including a link to an archived copy of the Blizzard post on the subject.


Look at your spell as a Witch Doctor. For example, zombie bears and plague of toads "deal X% damage as Poison". So you do 100k damage with toads as poison, that 6% mod on the item would make the toads do 106k.


Edit: This seems to be the correct answer based on empirical testing.

  • 1
    If you have no source, is this just a guess, or have you tested this? You could test it by, say, equipping a weapon that does at least +40 poison damage, and see if a +2-3% poison damage amulet increases your damage stat by currentDamageStat * 0.025 (which would mean it applies to your current overall damage) or if it just increases it by (currentPoisonDamage*0.025)*attackSpeed * (1 + critChance*critDamage) (which would mean it only applies to your current poison damage) – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Jun 23 '12 at 16:00
  • @BlueRaja-DannyPflughoeft No, I couldn't test it yet. I'll update my answer as soon as I got fitting items for testing. – speakr Jun 24 '12 at 13:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.