All Venomancers specialize in two things: battle pets and debuffs. Their pets allow them to solo kill with ease, while their damage-over-time spells and curse debuffs benefit any squad. According to Perfect World lore, they are said to have evolved from foxes and other wily creatures; thus, they still possess the ears and tails of their ancestors. All venos also have the ability to transform into foxes, and have a special array of skills only usable in fox form. Most of these Fox form abilities are melee combat skills, so some Venomancers actually make the decision to reduce the damage of their magic and maximize their defense and melee damage by sacrificing magic points to gain strength points, and wear Heavy Armor instead of the usual Arcane armor.
Venos or Venoms, as they are often called, are casters, so many players opt for an arcane armor build. Arcane venos are weak to physical attacks and rely on their pets to be their meatshields. However, the lack of physical defense can be made up for by imbuing physical defense gems into armor. A small number of players prefer the light armor route--a balance of magical and physical defense. An even smaller but devoted fraction of Venomancers, wear heavy armor or a mix of arcane and heavy armor. Because changing to fox form and back is instantaneous, making the best use of the class means utilizing fox form to cast Amplify Damage or other debuffs on a boss. Like most other spell-casters, a Venomancer's weapons of choice are wands, patakas, magic swords, and glaives.
No Veno is complete without her pets. From the common Magmite type (e.g. Glacial Walker, found at Camp Wave Breaker-teleport from City of Raging Tides)--used for its high physical defense--to the apeish Eldergoth Marksman to the legendary Hercules and Phoenix (herc and nix), pets come in all types and serve various purposes. Pets are the key to Veno luring, a method by which monsters can be safely drawn out of a crowd one at a time.
A Veno's debuff capabilities are no less important. Human-form spells such as Ironwood Scarab (which decreases physical defense) or Noxious Gas (damage over time) and the fox-form skill Amplify Damage all help squads kill bosses faster. In PvP, fox-form Venos can use Purge to dispel beneficial buffs off enemy players. Their main element is wood.
Venomancers are a versatile class; facing enemies that are near her level, she performs the tasks of tank, healer, and direct damage, all in one; if the Venomancer is high enough level, she can do so against boss enemies as well. As with all support classes, a Venomancer perform functions that can enhance a team; Amplify Damage and Lending Hand in particular.
Venomancer pet skills can be turned on and off by right clicking on their icons on the pet skill bar. Turning off all skills lets ranged attackers such as the Eldergoths attack at range only. When facing an enemy of the same Element as the pet's magical skills, turning them off will restrict the pet to physical attacks.
One of the faster characters in PvE due to the Summer Sprint skill and the fact that it lasts 5 minutes, rather than being a sprint skill; +25% movement speed (7.3 m/s) at level 2, and +35% (7.7) at level 3
- See Venomancer Pet
The rule with pets until the Eclipse expansion was that the lowest level member of a group, such as the level 5 Riptide and Shallowhirl Tortoises, would always be superior to higher level members when each were at the same level. This necessitated a great deal of time spent leveling them. Until the release of the Genie character allies and the '? level enemies' and the 'mice' in the Cube of Fate, it was not even possible to keep more than two pets at the Venomancer's own level. But there are some shortcuts. After Eclipse, pets such as the Petite Sawfly had their starting level altered, while their suitability as pets was unaffected. In the case of the Sawfly, this was a radical change, from level 8 to level 83
The major one relies on two principles: one, that there are relatively few underwater quests, and two, that there are large gaps in the level progression of water enemies. Thus, the amount of extra time it takes to complete water quests with a slightly deficient pet is small, and the amount of time it takes to level a water pet on too-low or too-high enemies is large. Players may find it preferable to tame new water pets near their own level, and Revert the old pets to eggs at the Pet Skill or other Pet NPC.
The other is the '? level enemies and 'mice'. The 'mice', which resemble tombstones, can be found in room four of the Cube of Fate.
Flying ?? enemies called Staunch Worms (part of the Goshiki Quest Chain) are to the west of the Tideborn capitol, the City of Raging Tides, at roughly 642 119. The will-o-the-wisp-like flying Worms there have extremely high armor, but only 3000 hit points, and never attack, but only fly away trying to escape. Their extremely high level ensures that flying pets always get the maximum amount of xp per kill.
The other is to the east of Archosaur, a small island to the north of the Nameless Isle. ? level spiders there will fight back against ground pets, but only do tiny damage, and give 10 or so xp (out of a max of 15) to pets.
The third way to equalize the level gain of a Venomancer and more than two pets is to divert the Veno's XP to Genies. The Venomancer gains XP no faster, or even less faster, than they would killing ? Level Enemies, but at least the XP goes to good use and the regular enemies give drops of coin and items. Spirit is in shorter supply than XP, so this helps keep skills at a high level with respect to character level, also.
Finally, a short list of the attributes which are desirable in pets.
- Tanks (high Hit Points & Physical Defense. Example: L17 Crystalline Magmite (largely replaced by the L19 Glacial Walker)
- Innate, and therefore free skills such as Bash, Pierce, Roar, Flesh Ream, etc.
- Range (example: Eldergoth pets, or the rare Kowlin)
- Flight (example:Level 8 Petite Sawfly Wasps, or the Tideborn Manta, or the level 60 Foxwing Supreme)
- Swimming (example:Level 5 Tortoises, Undines (generally weak as tanks), Tortoise Everlasting, Celestial & Asgard Plumpfishes)
- Magical Defense (rare Frogling, rare Shaodu Cub, Armored Bear)
- Damage Output (one of the very first pets available has the highest pet damage output in game: the Varicose Scorpion. However, the Venomancer herself far outdamages any pet, and the Scorpion's low HP will necessitate more in-battle healing than other pets on average)
- Movement speed-Kowlin and Varicose Scorpion
For starting players or canny ones, the benefits from a Loyal pet (at Loyalty level 500, it gains 150% XP, up to a maximum of 15 per kill) must be weighed against concerns of coin. The pet will become hungry every five minutes or so. It is cheaper to feed it Distilled Water than Peanut Oil (already more expensive, note that Peanut Oil and Sesame Oil also give 10 less Loyalty than is shown in the description). It will be Loyal quite soon and maxed not long after that. Thereafter, feeding it when it becomes Green hunger (and almost turning yellow) is the most efficient way, as it keeps it well fed for only one food per 9-10 minutes. Yellow hunger and below can never be more efficient than one food per five minutes
Heavy Armor Edit
Venomancer is the only class whose skill tree is geared towards two different Armor builds. Blademasters can get away with using Light Armor to an extent, but their skill tree is about different weapons, not different armor
Generally, the Arcane Armor path is preferred, and Heavy Armor is definitely more difficult to play and assign points for correctly. What makes Heavy Veno work better than Light Veno, or trying to put Arcane on a Blademaster or some such, is that there are Strength points already required as a secondary armor attribute, which reduces the additional expenditure somewhat. Additionally, the Str points go towards melee damage.