Diablo® III

First time Hell 54 WD looking for tips

Hey guys,

I've read through a few WD posts on here. But I was looking for some specific tips and tricks to do in act 2 through 4 hell to get myself to inferno. Most of the stuff I've read deals with being 60 and in inferno.

My current build:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#aZQdUh!ZTV!acaZab
M1: Psn Dart (Splinters)
M2: Grasp of Dead (Rain of Corpses)
B1: Big Voodoo (Jungle Drums)
B2: Soul Harvest (Siphon)
B3: Spirit Walk (Jaunt)
B4: Firebomb (Fire pit)
P1: Jungle Remedy
P2: Grave Injustice
P3: Spirit Vessel

I just got past A1 Butcher and I'm working up some gold to make some upgrades before venturing into A2 Hell. On Imprisoned Angel quest I feel like I'm doing fine, but on the Butcher fight himself I felt very weak and doing no dmg (build was slightly modified) didn't come close to dieing but it took way longer than I thought it would.

Stats:
Life 28752
Int: 677
Vit: 861
Armor: 2200
AR: 90ish
Block: 26% (bone shield tho, so 820-947 block amount)

Dps: 2250 (I feel this is currently really low, but when I have 4-5 stacks of harvest I do ok)
Crit: 16%
Attacks per second: 1.58 with a Ceremonial Knife (13% speed from armor, none on weapon)

No current LoH or Lifesteal

225 Life regen with templar

10% move speed
8 yrd bonus Globe Radius (for injustice, I didn't aim for this stat but I do think if i can up it a bit this build will be even easier to do)

Strategy and experience so far A1 Hell: (skip if u don't care ;P )
My main strategy for champ packs in A1 Imprisoned Angel quest (which i'm farming) is to gather a few zombies or cultists nearby and leave them alive while I fight the champs. Use Big Bad Voodoo and Harvest. Position them well and then leave them with a Spirit Walk to the other side of the Voodoo. And then kill whatever I can with a combination of darts, fire bombs, and constant dead bodies falling from the sky.

I like the extra mobs because obviously with injustice it helps lower my cds and I can spirit walk more, siphon health more, get voodoo up sooner, and grasp pretty often. This works great for A1 Hell at the moment and I've only had 1 close call (my first ever Spirit Vessel proc) where I had 2 champ packs with troublesome affixes (especially waller on one) and was just kinda freaking out a bit before I calmed down and killed em.

My questions:
What should I aim for first in order to proceed somewhat safely into A2? (LoH, more res, armor, dps?) [specifically for my current build or something similar]
I've heard I should get to 60 in the middle of A2 specifically before Maghda at that area, thoughts?
If you were to switch some things on my build for A2 without destroying it, what would those be?
If you would completely destroy my build what would you run?

I didn't really think I would come to the forums for help. But this is my first WD ever (no prior deaths) and I'd really like to reach 60 with him in HC my first playthrough.

I have played Barb softcore in A3 inferno and Monk Hardcore to 50 (RIP).

Appreciate any and all input! Thanks guys.
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I've always had better luck with Fetish Army than Big Bad Voodoo because Fetish Army will hold a fair amount of aggro for you and do a significant amount of damage.

It does seem that you use BBV quite well, though, and so perhaps you're able to get more out of it than I did.
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I've always had better luck with Fetish Army than Big Bad Voodoo because Fetish Army will hold a fair amount of aggro for you and do a significant amount of damage.

It does seem that you use BBV quite well, though, and so perhaps you're able to get more out of it than I did.


Thanks for the input. I'll probably experiment with the little dudes (army) to see how they help. Quick question, can they be killed before 20seconds? I have noticed before that they can hold a little aggro or at least get in the way of mobs. But i didn't experiment with if they have HP or not.
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Hail brother, I have a few criticisms of your build that i feel will help you out immensely.
First of all, why increase the duration of BBV? Most of the time when i use it either everything is dead before its done or the mobs will run away from me. The second issue is the rain of bodies, i really dont like this one for a simple reason. Using some theory craft we can see that its really not that great.

Lets assume that a mob can walk across the area of grasp in one second, if we reduce a mobs speed by 60% they would ave a movement speed of 0.4 therefore it would take 2.5 seconds for them to cross the area affect by our spell, since the spell does 80% wep damage a second you get a total of 200% wep damage. Now my fave rune is the unbreakable grasp because as you see in a moment the dps is not much worse but the CC is invaluable, you are able to lock down the area for a much longer duration and thats a game changer in HC as you are well aware. so lets jump into it. If we reduce a mobs movement speed by 80% they would have a moment speed of 0.2 and it would take them 5 seconds to cross the plagued area therefore taking a total of 100% but getting locked down for twice the time. These calculations are assuming a mob can walk the diamater of the spell in one second normally.

Going on to your other questions i am firm believer that act 2 is trash your goal is to get to act 3 and farm it. dont waste time redoing quests in act 2 just get out of it asap and get into act 3 so you can farm. You dont need LoH for hell at all ever i did it with out LoH and im sure so did many others. I would suggest just getting a few pieces of AR i love AR cuz it helps our pets alot too, i would say as long as your fire and poison are higher close to 200 you should be fine. and your DPS problem will be fixed easy with just getting a good high lvl item with maybe some lvl reduction but thats not even necessary, just make sure every lvl you go to AH and get the best and cheapest wep you can for your lvl

As for your spec, honestly i feel like everyone should run VQ bears for hell. With some AR hell doesnt hurt you that much and the damage from VQ bears is statically higher than ANY OTHER SPEC OR BUILD ! you just cant beat the bears no matter what you do.

if you wanted to switch it up use something like this
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#fQUXP!ZUV!cZZYZ
the last spot is empty for you w/e you want. I used garg cuz i wanted more tanks and with VQ my bears were up enough for me not to worry but i could understand if you wanted something to spam.

Hope this helps
Edited by Omee#1617 on 7/12/2012 7:56 AM PDT
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I've always had better luck with Fetish Army than Big Bad Voodoo because Fetish Army will hold a fair amount of aggro for you and do a significant amount of damage.

It does seem that you use BBV quite well, though, and so perhaps you're able to get more out of it than I did.


Thanks for the input. I'll probably experiment with the little dudes (army) to see how they help. Quick question, can they be killed before 20seconds? I have noticed before that they can hold a little aggro or at least get in the way of mobs. But i didn't experiment with if they have HP or not.
They seem unkillable for the full 20 seconds; at least, I've never seen one die.

There are two runes that I particularly like for Fetish Army. One is the shorter cooldown rune (down to 90 seconds), as then you can have Fetish Army up for between 20% to 25% of all the time you spend adventuring. The other is the "ambush" rune, which is helpful against vortex mobs and lunatic fallen swarms, and also while surrounded.

On that note, the one other issue I noticed with your build is that you currently have no way of dealing with being surrounded, other than spirit walk. If you die while surrounded, then spirit vessel will proc. But, you won't be able to move anywhere unless spirit walk comes off cooldown before spirit vessel finishes up its 3 seconds. I lost a level 50 WD in exactly that kind of situation, so I can vouch for it potentially being an issue.

Good luck with your WD, however you decide to go forward.
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Thanks Omee. Really appreciate the input!

I don't know if you've tried the rain of corpses, but it actually works different then you described (for better or worse). It applies a "buff" to you that drops bodies (1 at a time) onto nearby enemies. I believe 20% dmg per body and 4 bodies over the 8seconds it lasts. So this really isn't that great for AoE damage but has been useful to me for small additional dmg to nearby mobs and it also seems to proc things like the stun on my weapon.

Generally I have this buff up 90% of the time and so it's free dmg (i don't know for sure but believe Grasp still does 20% dmg over time on the ground in addition to the bodies, will have to check and update)

But anyways, I do really like Unbreakable Grasp and don't disagree that it may be better. But just informing people Rain of Corpses works a bit strangely (not what you'd expect at first) but is pretty cool though maybe not powerful.

The range away from you (it states "nearby enemies") seems to be almost the full screen.

I probably will try some different builds soon, I've been avoiding heavy mana builds recently as I like my passives currently and would have to switch out the CD reduction for VQ or another mana passive.

Getting close to 55 and then going to start early Act 2 stuff.
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Yeah being surrounded has been a problem, especially with Waller. I rely a bit too much on CD reduction of killing little mobs in order to spirit walk more. I'll look into it. Thanks candlelight.

P.S. Candle i LOVED your "A “life vs death” death race for 2 HC WDs" post. Very awesome haha.
Edited by jcmagics#1216 on 7/12/2012 8:08 AM PDT
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07/12/2012 08:00 AMPosted by candlelight
On that note, the one other issue I noticed with your build is that you currently have no way of dealing with being surrounded, other than spirit walk. If you die while surrounded, then spirit vessel will proc. But, you won't be able to move anywhere unless spirit walk comes off cooldown before spirit vessel finishes up its 3 seconds. I lost a level 50 WD in exactly that kind of situation, so I can vouch for it potentially being an issue.


i dont know if you saw the build i provided for you but i run fear and spirit walk. Gotta half both. With VQ it encourages you to keep them on CD but if you fill that last spot with another CD adn run 5 CD's it can allow you to keep one of fear or Spirit walk up for an o sh*t moment. Fear + the Armor rune adds alot to your EHP
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i dont know if you saw the build i provided for you but i run fear and spirit walk. Gotta half both. With VQ it encourages you to keep them on CD but if you fill that last spot with another CD adn run 5 CD's it can allow you to keep one of fear or Spirit walk up for an o sh*t moment. Fear + the Armor rune adds alot to your EHP


I think I'm definitely going to have to start running Horrify + Armor rune. Thanks for bringing that up.
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07/12/2012 08:05 AMPosted by jcmagics
I don't know if you've tried the rain of corpses, but it actually works different then you described (for better or worse). It applies a "buff" to you that drops bodies (1 at a time) onto nearby enemies. I believe 20% dmg per body and 4 bodies over the 8seconds it lasts. So this really isn't that great for AoE damage but has been useful to me for small additional dmg to nearby mobs and it also seems to proc things like the stun on my weapon.


i did the theorycraft plus try it out, i just dont like hahah its too chancy and not as reliable, the unbreakable grasp has actually saved my life probably 2 or 3 times in hell when i ran it.

07/12/2012 08:05 AMPosted by jcmagics
I probably will try some different builds soon, I've been avoiding heavy mana builds recently as I like my passives currently and would have to switch out the CD reduction for VQ or another mana passive.


i dont like grave injustice much cuz it encourages you to be close to your foes to get the reduce cd, imho if your going to be close to the mobs to get this buff you might as well put some bears in their face too and just kill them way faster

again i feel that WD has many options atm so my opinions are not as critical to survival, i am merely providing you with the way i did it on my wd :)
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Honestly I hadn't tried Zombie Bears yet, since i was happy with what I was doing and pretty much just attained that rune.

Just tried them a bit, and yeah the dmg is freaking amazing compared to anything else i've used so far as a consistent dmg base lol. Not wonder there's so much hype about em.

Thanks for you're suggestions Omee. I'm sure i'll develop my own playstyle and change it up as I go but this is the dmg boost and a bit more survival tactics I needed I think for my current progression.

I'm running ur spec posted with Harvest + Siphon as the last ability. Testing it now and probably change a bit (not sure about the army guys or which rune yet).

Thanks again.
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not a problem added you in game too just now
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http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#cZRUXk!ZUV!aaZZZa

By far the strongest spec I've played on my WD. Keep four abilities on cooldown at all times. Kite and own with bats. However 2h weapon is highly recommended over 1h/shield. It works a lot better with bats and negates 90% of mana issues. Can also swap jungle fortitude for spiritual attunement if you feel like your gear is strong enough.

You have a tonne of control with this build and can get out of just about any situation. Also dps is super high
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