Does +percent damage-type increase a percentage of your weapon-damage, or only damage of that type?

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)?

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  • 4 Solutions collect form web for “Does +percent damage-type increase a percentage of your weapon-damage, or only damage of that type?”

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

    +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.

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