Diablo® III

High MP (Petless) Build

Hello WD community.

Let me start off by saying, that I am new to the WD community. I have been playing a wizard for quite a while, and I must say that the wiz community has spoiled me. There are so many quality forum contributors that we even have our own user created build compendium. So, when I decided to take a break from the wizard world and give a WD a shot, I was very disappointing to find out that there are not a lot of build information for the WD, which, btw, is a good thing. It means build diversity is still alive and well (unlike the rest of the classes).

I have a good build for MP0 farm runs, but I do not have a set build for high MP keys and ubers. I have been experimenting with a few things and found that I do not like using pets that much. I, of course, will use them if they are the only option, but I have been trying my best to avoid them. This lead me to my build idea (if it doesnt suck I will need to give it a cleaver name):

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#RfUegi!Xbc!acZccZ

Basic idea is to use Zombie bears as the main damage source. Coupled with Minitou and hex, the damage is remarkable, despite my less than stellar gear. Basic game play (against elites) goes as follows:

1. Drop one acid rain (for group debuff)
2. Pop Minitou
3. Drop Hex buddy
4. Haunt each blue elite (or the single gold elite)
5. Acid rain
7. BEARS, BEARS, BEARS, BEARS (until you are out of mana)
8. Use spirit walk for more mana
9. See step one

I really could use some community feedback on (most importantly) why I am wrong and why this will never work. I have used in in MP7 Act II group key runs with relatively good success. Obviously, these are group runs which means I have no real idea what I was contributing, other than the fact that I was surviving situation the rest of my group was not. The passives are currently up in the air, since I do not have a strong understanding of which ones are weak and which one are good. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.
Edited by EigenVector#1828 on 11/27/2012 2:15 PM PST
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If your mana runs out try Blood Ritual, that gives you cheap Bear costs and more life regen.

Try Grave injustice as well, you should be able to stand there spamming Bears hardcore.
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If your mana runs out try Blood Ritual, that gives you cheap Bear costs and more life regen.

Try Grave injustice as well, you should be able to stand there spamming Bears hardcore.


I dont really have mana issues. The only problem I have so far is damage, but I dont know if that is a result of my sub par gear or the skills I have chosen
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As a new WD im interested in petless builds and what others think of this build
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http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#WRdfTi!Uce!.a.ccZ

Use this for mid level ubers 6/7 ubers and farming groups.

Can Hex/Tank with Garg stunning Kulle, stay alive with RoT or Acid Cloud depending on your mana situation.

For Ghom fight just put your back against a wall and spam Zombie Bears using RoT sparingly to proc VQ if you need it, can even hit both bosses at the same time.

Magda/SK usually end up spamming Acid Cloud/RoT or Zombie Bear spam if you can get into a safe spot against a wall.

Sool Harvest for killing trash faster while getting stacks, you can put whatever you want here really.

Works well for me, helps too have good CM Wiz friends too =p
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That could work. I have a lot of petless builds I use, but if I'm soloing higher MP levels (7 is about right for me for key farming), I like to roll with Zombie Dogs (though you will need decent EHP to keep them alive).

You might look at Corpse Spiders/Widowmakers as well. When you go OOM from Bears, this skill will help bring it back very fast.
Edited by BigRed#1100 on 11/28/2012 11:36 AM PST
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I've really tried to use Manitou, but I always find myself getting annoyed with it after about 10 minutes and swapping out. If you're going to make frequent usage of Spirit Walk, Spirit Barrage, and Haunt, then you might find the "Rush of Essence" passive more to your liking. I've never been a fan of RoE moves really, but this could work. It's tough to give up Leeching Beasts in upper mp though. The life return, though seemingly small, goes a long way.

Welcome, by the way. I was a former Wizard myself and I actually like the WD community better to be honest. Lots of Butthurt going on in those Wiz threads from what I recall.
Edited by RPRNoNsum#1561 on 11/28/2012 11:54 AM PST
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You might look at Corpse Spiders/Widowmakers as well. When you go OOM from Bears, this skill will help bring it back very fast.


Interesting that you bring that up. I "upgraded" my dagger to a manaj, with no LOH, bit 3% LS. This made the above build kinda useless, since I lost almost 1000 LOH. Here is the new version:

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#fbUegi!WUX!cbZacZ

The passive plauge cloud from the manaj set works well with bad medicine, and the combination of spiders and VQ makes spamming bears pretty easy. Same basic idea as before:

1. Throw some spiders (two or three)
2. Pop Minitaou
3. Pop Hex
4. Haunt elites
5. BEARS, BEARS, BEARS..... http://i.imgur.com/qrLEV.gif
6. Spirit walk for more mana
7. See step one

Note sure if I like the Consuming spirit rune on haunt (in fact not sure of I like the skill at all, would really LOVE some community input on its viability) or if draining spirit is better. I also would love some of the big name WD guide writers to vet these ideas (*cough* soundb *cough*), and let me know if I am on the right track.
Edited by EigenVector#1828 on 11/28/2012 12:01 PM PST
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I believe Haunt is the least used WD skill (according to Diabloprogress), but that doesn't necessarily mean it can't work as part of a viable build. As far as consuming spirit rune goes though, 155 life per second is not very impactful. You'd probably be better off saving the mana you spend on Haunt for more Bears. Maybe look at BBV skill if you are still going petless.

Pierce the Veil is also questionable for a high MP Bears build (especially if you go in expecting to go OOM frequently as it seems from your list above). I would recommend replacing PtV with Blood Ritual. This would make Bears cost 35% less mana-wise and give you decent health regen as well (for you 389 life per second). You will probably get more real DPS by being able to cast 45% more Bears than with the 20% damage boost.

PtV is a great choice though for builds that are not mana-intensive, or for low MP play where mana isn't nearly as much of an issue. Basically if you can use it and still rarely go OOM, then it is a good choice.
Edited by BigRed#1100 on 11/28/2012 12:29 PM PST
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11/28/2012 11:51 AMPosted by RPRNoNsum
If you're going to make frequent usage of Spirit Walk, Spirit Barrage, and Haunt, then you might find the "Rush of Essence" passive more to your liking.


I thought about this, but again I am new here and don't know how effective it is as a passive. I am use to the wizard world were a lot of passive are well known to be very weak. I havent ascertained yet if all WD passives are viable.

From my research I have found that for group play in high MP you really want bad medicine for the group debuff. I am also assuming that since my damage is still pretty low I should use PTV, which only gives me one extra spot for a mana regen skill. I am sure at a certain DPS level you can ditch PTV, but from what I can tell, I am not there yet. This means I need to choose the optimal passive, which could be RoE.
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11/28/2012 12:01 PMPosted by EigenVector
You might look at Corpse Spiders/Widowmakers as well. When you go OOM from Bears, this skill will help bring it back very fast.


Interesting that you bring that up. I "upgraded" my dagger to a manaj, with no LOH, bit 3% LS. This made the above build kinda useless, since I lost almost 1000 LOH. Here is the new version:

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#fbUegi!WUX!cbZacZ

The passive plauge cloud from the manaj set works well with bad medicine, and the combination of spiders and VQ makes spamming bears pretty easy. Same basic idea as before:

1. Throw some spiders (two or three)
2. Pop Minitaou
3. Pop Hex
4. Haunt elites
5. BEARS, BEARS, BEARS..... http://i.imgur.com/qrLEV.gif
6. Spirit walk for more mana
7. See step one

Note sure if I like the Consuming spirit rune on haunt (in fact not sure of I like the skill at all, would really LOVE some community input on its viability) or if draining spirit is better. I also would love some of the big name WD guide writers to vet these ideas (*cough* soundb *cough*), and let me know if I am on the right track.


The move is viable, but I don't like it at all. As your gear improves and you likely pick up a bit of attack speed (that's a whole different devil - debate usefulness of attack speed at your own risk on here) I strongly recommend switching to the mana return Haunt and Rush of Essence Passive.

Not sure if we have any real big name "build writers" lol. Most WD discover quickly enough on their own that Bears/Acid Cloud do crazy damage and they adjust their mana for them accordingly.

Here is a simple write up to save you a lot of hassle for which mana passives work best:

If you have 2 or more items that increase your max mana pool (most popular offhands, stone of jordan, Zuni helm): Spiritual Attunement helps most.

If you focus more on fast regeneration of your mana pool (TotD offhand, rare ceremoninal knife, visuage of giyua, etc): Vision Quest is insane.

Blood Ritual is good for either focus and will give you life regen. As stated, RoE is simply the best for those who make extensive use of spirit spells.

Edit: Upon hitting about 85-100k unbuffed, I'd drop PtV in a heartbeat. The mana cost increase is just murder. You'll quickly find that Mana = dps on your WD and it is crucial to find a comfortable setup to sustain your most powerful attacks for an extended period of time. For example, I'd much rather run with a WD doing 85k unbuffed with no mana problems than one with 120k unbuffed who could only fight for half as long as the former. And almost all of our passives are awesome, by the way. I'd recommend playing around with any of em to be honest, though I'm not huge on Fierce Loyalty or Fetish Sycophants haha.
Edited by RPRNoNsum#1561 on 11/28/2012 12:36 PM PST
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11/28/2012 12:22 PMPosted by BigRed
As far as consuming spirit rune goes though, 155 life per second is not very impactful.


From my current testing I am pretty sure that the damage from haunt and the rune debuffs stack. That means that u get 155 per sec over the total duration of 6 sec. (930 Hp total). In theory, with decent attack speed, if you got 6 haunts off (two per elite in a pack of three) that would be 5580 hp over the next 6 sec., which is some what significant.

Please let me know if the debuff does not stack, because if it doesnt this skill is useless.
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11/28/2012 12:27 PMPosted by RPRNoNsum
The move is viable, but I don't like it at all. As your gear improves and you likely pick up a bit of attack speed (that's a whole different devil - debate usefulness of attack speed at your own risk on here) I strongly recommend switching to the mana return Haunt and Rush of Essence Passive.


So what do u think about something like this:

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#feUgij!WfX!ccZcZY

This, btw, is pure theory crafting; I have not tested this at all, but I ran across one of the better WD profiles out there (bicen #1974). He was using mass confusion with the increased damage rune, and I really liked it. Granted I am pretty sure he uses it in conjunction with max pick up range and grave injustice to reduce the cool down, but I still think it is viable in a group high MP/ uber setting.
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Haunt doesn't stack. For me (50.5k life), Blood Ritual is returning 505 life per second without me doing anything (for comparison)... and this is gravy, the real reason to take BR is mana cost reduction.
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The move is viable, but I don't like it at all. As your gear improves and you likely pick up a bit of attack speed (that's a whole different devil - debate usefulness of attack speed at your own risk on here) I strongly recommend switching to the mana return Haunt and Rush of Essence Passive.


So what do u think about something like this:

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#feUgij!WfX!ccZcZY

This, btw, is pure theory crafting; I have not tested this at all, but I ran across one of the better WD profiles out there (bicen #1974). He was using mass confusion with the increased damage rune, and I really liked it. Granted I am pretty sure he uses it in conjunction with max pick up range and grave injustice to reduce the cool down, but I still think it is viable in a group high MP/ uber setting.


Couple small adjustments -

Drop pierce the veil and give either Spiritual Attunement or Blood Ritual a try. Then, switch out Hex (or Manitou - whichever you don't like quite as much) for Soul Harvest. You'll make up that damage easily with the 5 stack bonus so long as you're diligent with it and all the runes on it are great. Use whichever you think sounds more tempting. It will buff your dps, resistances, and it will also proc your Rush of Essence Passive. Plus, your mana longevity will increase quite a bit. Then I think you'd have a solid build sir. On Harvest, you can use the mana return if you find it is lacking; the life one if you feel squishy; the slowed cc one to keep enemies in range of your bears for longer; the increased duration if you have trouble keeping up with your stacks; and of course the dmg one is nice to accelerate killing trash mobs. Jaunt into mobs, pop your soul harvest when 5 enemies are near, and run out. Enjoy the awesome buff.
Edited by RPRNoNsum#1561 on 11/28/2012 12:50 PM PST
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11/28/2012 12:46 PMPosted by BigRed
Haunt doesn't stack


The damage, life/mana regen, or both?
If it is both then man that skill sucks.

Couple small adjustments -

Drop pierce the veil and give either Spiritual Attunement or Blood Ritual a try. Then, switch out Hex (or Manitou - whichever you don't like quite as much) for Soul Harvest. You'll make up that damage easily with the 5 stack bonus so long as you're diligent with it and all the runes on it are great. Use whichever you think sounds more tempting. It will buff your dps, resistances, and it will also proc your Rush of Essence Passive. Plus, your mana longevity will increase quite a bit. Then I think you'd have a solid build sir. On Harvest, you can use the mana return if you find it is lacking; the life one if you feel squishy; the slowed cc one to keep enemies in range of your bears for longer; the increased duration if you have trouble keeping up with your stacks; and of course the dmg one is nice to accelerate killing trash mobs. Jaunt into mobs, pop your soul harvest when 5 enemies are near, and run out. Enjoy the awesome buff.


I definitely like you adjustments for key farming/ farming high MP. Soul harvest (IMO) is the WD's signature and probably best skill. BUT.... It is useless for ubers, and this build is built slightly more toward uber runs, which includes getting 5 stacks and doing pony land, which means it needs to have a decent balance of AEO and single target damage, which is why I have avoided using soul harvest.

That being said, if BigRed is correct and haunt does not stack with itself, then I will need to fill that hole and am open for suggestions.
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11/28/2012 11:34 AMPosted by BigRed
I like to roll with Zombie Dogs (though you will need decent EHP to keep them alive).


I can't kill'em off fast enough lol
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