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Scaling Flat Damage for Totems Questions

I’ve been running a Thorn Totem build, and I’d like to post my efforts, but before I do, I’d like to make sure I have a handle on how scaling works with the totems. There are sources of flat spell damage for totems, but since the scaling is <100% (40% for Thorn Totem, 50% for Storm Totem), I am not entirely sure how the damage numbers seen in the passives and skills translate to actual damage in gameplay.

As I see it, there are 3 sources of flat damage that a player can incorporate for Thorn Totems:

  1. Flat Damage that exists within the Thorn Totem tree
  2. Flat Damage in the rare prefix “Adaptive Spell Damage for Totems”
  3. Flat Spell Damage for minions

Is it so that all of the flat damage sources are combined together and then adjusted by the 40%, or is there some sort of order that makes it so that flat damage from one source is more important than flat damage from another source? If you run a build so that you get 8 spell damage from the Thorn Totem skill tree and a T5 adaptive spell damage so that you have 20 adaptive spell damage, does that mean that each Totem does 8 damage (20 * 0.4 scaling)? Is the 0.4 scaling there to limit the potential for damage stacking for each totem since the totems are shooting X amount of projectiles that hit in a circular AoE?

That should be pretty much it, for shamans the most reliable source is coming from the passive tree for sure. (21 if I remember correctly)

Nope, all sources of any flat base damage are just additive.

Theoretical possible damage increases within the skill trees do not get a 60% (or whatever) malus.
Basically only the stuff from outside an ability.

Yes they do, any flat added damage for any skill regardless of where that comes from (skill nodes, passive nodes, items) are modified by the skill’s added damage effectiveness. The only flat damage that isn’t is the skill’s base damage which for thorn totems is 8 & 9 for storm totems. Not sure what it is for claw totems but I’d assume a similar number.