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Not every build benefits most from SV, even in HC. I know I am an outlier (and Wabbit even more so) when I keep saying that it is not mandatory. Am I currently using it? Yes. Will I be once I finish gearing towards my goals? Uncertain.
I tend to prefer SV when using a Bears based build due to the inherent increase in reisk Bears brings over an Acid Cloud (or other) based builds, would I benefit more from Blood Ritual, Circle of Life (and freeing an active) or Spiritual Attunement. Uncertain but I will try different things out and see how it is.
SV is not critical, that si my only point, allow yourself to think outside the SV box.
My main WD (low-mana use PTV build):
Corpse Spiders - Leaping Spiders is a boring-looking skill that you get early, but IMHO the best primary skill for any class in the game, because (i) it can often snipe-kill elite mobs without them going aggro, (ii) it goes around corners for kiting against vortex, and (iii) it hits nearly all the time even if you're scrambling and throwing wildly.
Plague of Toads - Addling Toads: reduces the number of hits you take in close quarters, and also helps keep enemies grouped together for a burst of bears
Zombie Charger - Zombie Bears: On this low-mana intensity build, fully spamming bears is always available whenever you manage to get the right position on a mob.
Spirit Walk -Jaunt: Duh.
Horrify - Frightening Aspect: What is merely a nice safety skill for a low defense WD with a mojo becomes virtual invulnerability for 8 seconds with high base armor and a good shield. Rotate with SW in a tough fight.
Gargantuan - several: Usually play with Restless Giant, But since getting a +poison% Tal Rasha's amulet, I gave Big Stinker a try and he does nicely.
Pierce the Veil is kinda essential to the build.
Gruesome Feast: With a shield and Frightening Aspect, you get more than tough enough to do a kind of back-and-forth kiting, running through the enemy AOEs to grab globes and then quickly blasting bears or throwing spiders while the buff is on.
This is basically a build that can snipe, kite and tank, so it doesn't become dependent on one set of skills having the right timing.
Edited by JiJin#3245 on 12/7/2012 5:24 PM PST
A new build I have been working on is based on infinite bears and spirit barrages.
This build is heavily dependent on Rush of Essence, what this passive does is give you mana regen each time you cast either Haunt, Horrify, Mass Confusion, Soul Harvest, Spirit Barrage and Spirit walk. When looking at this build I utilize 4/6 of the required skills for rush of essence. The best part of this build is that you simply need to cast these spells, without even having a target the mana regen will still kick in.
Spirit Barrage - Well of Souls is a great skill that can do a lot of damage. The base of this build relies on spamming this skill, for the purpose of using the passive rush of essence. This passives stacks the mana regen on top of what you already have so technically the more AS you have the higher you can get your mana regen. The 3 extra spells that do 65% of your damage, these will not overwrite each other. For example if you cast 2 Spirit Barrages very quickly 6 bursts of damage will fly out.
Zombie Charger - Zombie Bears is obviously one of the if not the most powerful WD skill, the only real issue is mana consumption but with this build there is no issue with mana.
Soul Harvest - Soul To Waste I use this skill for a more permanent damage buff, it also procs Rush of Essence.
Spirit Walk - Jaunt is my personal favorite skill and has saved me in a lot of BAD situations, this also procs Rush of Essence.
Haunt - Consuming Spirit This skill is the one you can play with, I prefer using it to gain life against reflect damage mobs so my bears don't crush me. It also procs Rush of Essence
(Other ideas for this slot)
Mass Confusion - (any) Just a good skill, when you're in high MP's it can be a life saver. It also procs Rush of Essence
Horrify - (any) is also very good for fighting elites, even if they run off screen Spirit Barrage can snipe them very easily. It also procs Rush of Essence
Gargantuan - Humongoid is my favorite Garg because of his sustained DPS and cleaving abilities. In this build it can easily be swapped out for Zombie Dogs - (any).
Rush of Essence is the entire build, this fantastic mana regen ability stacks each time you cast one of the spells specific to this skill. AS scales very well with this... LETS DO SOME MATH. Rush of Essence increases regen by 49 for 10 seconds this means its giving you a base regen of 4.9 per second per cast.
If you're AS is about 1.5(mine) that means in 10 seconds you can cast spirit barrage 15 times not including haunts.
BASIC MATH BUT YOU GET THE PICTURE I HOPE
Blood Ritual is also very good for this build not only giving you 1% HP regen but reducing the cost of your spells by 15%, this allows for a lot more casts meaning a lot more mana.
Spirit Vessel im pretty sure any bear spec should have this.
hmmm might have to try fetish sycophants, thanks for the idea (moar pets!). i prefer acid versus bats just because i can be farther away when i cast them.
but thats just me, im sure bats works just as well if not better for most
I'm having fun with this build:
Just saw this response and I feel now I have to retort.
1. Elites drop health globes when they reach half life. So you are still getting globes during elite battles.
2. I don't have any LOH, so I prefer the instant death of corpse bomb to the slightly slower death of the other runes. Also please note the 8% crit chance to acid cloud on my visage ^_^ Sadly that won't transfer to my dogs.
3. Grave Injustice is a huge survival skill and no one ever seems to realize it. With SV spirit walk has a 13 second CD. Jaunt makes that 10s of downtime. Now most mobs (and really all mobs in Act III where I farm) spawn next to trash minions. Even if they don't, killing illusions activites grave. Jaunt is nearly always there, which is great. But you know what IS always there? That would be grasp of the dead with its tiny 8s CD. Now it lasts for 8s but with CD reduction I can keep moving it around as needed, keeping those elites held down. And finally, grave reduces the CD of soul harvest, which is up whenever I have a spirit walk up. With vengeful spirit that is an extra 230% explosion every 7-10 seconds.
Btw soul harvest is my main trash mob killer. Combined with spirit walk it lets me decimate charging fast minions with no risk, since there death reduces my cooldowns.
Honestly I'd give up spirit vessel before I'd give up grave injustice.
You lose Bear-casting time spamming spirit barrage.
Also, I don't really see how it is that beneficial (note that I haven't tried this build, feel free to clue me in where I'm not understanding correctly). Spirit Barrage is 108 mana. You get 49 mana in return. With a net loss of 61 mana, it just looks like, due to specialization, you come out less efficient.
^On the bear build, a better option may be to use spider queen with vision quest. Since spider queen is constantly doing damage you get a constant 30% increase in mana regen. And happily you only have to recast every 15 seconds.
So drop rush of essence for vision quest and get rid of haunt... since it is awful. And if the idea is spamming bears why are you spamming spirit barrage? Change it to manitou to wipe out any mobs that get around your bears, or alternatively switch to dogs for added protection and to hold down those elites. Now it is a bear spawn build!
I actually will probably make another WD just to run this...
Damnit. I'll try and keep it in mind. I have so many possible builds to try out. I've always like spirit barrage and can hopefully get to this soon.
Primarily, do you cast, say, spirit barrage 5 or more times. Mixed with the other spells, you then spam bears. So, by the time you run out of mana, the group of monsters is dead.
I used to use Pyrogeist instead of spider queen for the VQ proc. That was fun.
I see all your points and there is no better or worse build in my opinion. Spirit barrage and Zombie bears is the best of both worlds. Spirit barrage can go over walls, locks on to elites and even go right across the screen giving you optimal range. Zombie bears is a great way to just mow everything down and still have full mana doing it. There is a reason I made this build and it works for me.
Edited by Holyoke#1327 on 12/11/2012 2:32 PM PST
Just tested this. It DOES stack! Thanks for pointing that out, Holyoke.
get rid of haunt... since it is awful... Change [spirit barrage] to manitou to wipe out any mobs that get around your bears
As someone who uses both haunt and manitou, this is funny. I find haunt way more useful than manitou, and it's stronger. Manitou is great for opening barrels and crates without any effort, but it's not particularly useful for anything else. It sure as hell won't wipe out any mobs. :)
All of these builds are tested and true, I wouldn't intentionally post crappy builds so my fellow HC WD's die.
Thanks for the recognition.
Edited by Holyoke#1327 on 12/11/2012 2:34 PM PST
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