Diablo® III

ZC - Zombie Bear Basics and Techniques

Hello all. I imagine most of you have figured these out already, but for the new WDs floating around I wanted to make you aware of the various "techniques" that you can use with Zombie Bears, as well as their practical applications, to maximize the potential and damage of the skill. If you have found a good one that I missed, please let me know. Note that these are not any sort of official names, but rather rough translations of local weather phenomena from various Umbaru tribes in the Teganze region, and I felt they provided a good visual for how the bears would function in that technique.

Basics

Quote From Skywalkerfx
It's important to remind new bear users to click or tap the bear button and to not mash it down. You have much more control over your bear release this way and you can easily change the direction they are running in.

I usually pick a target at the back of a mob and click on it so my bear stream heads right towards the target and gets his buddies on the way. To have them run a different way, click on a new target.

If you move after you start a bear stream going the bears will move along with you and go further than if you were just standing still.

Also note that Bears travel at the default+24% movement speed. Even so, so don't bother firing them after fast enemies like Moloks, Fallen, or Leapers if they happen to run away.

Gearing

Before beginning, I would strongly recommend that you get a weapon with at least 2.5% Life Steal. Bears puts you in and around melee range, so you are going to need to be able to facetank mobs to get the most out of this skill. Trust me when I tell you that you will be taking quite a few hits, and it is paramount you be able to heal faster than you are being damaged. Obviously you won't be able to get enough LS and EHP to just stand there through anything, as WDs aren't Barbs.

This is my personal opinion, but I feel that Zombie Charger benefits most from lesser amounts of IAS and filling in those slots on your rings and amulet with Average damage. If you are using a 1H and Mojo, you likely have plenty of Attack Speed. The reason for this is that the faster you attack, the faster you are draining your mana, so find a happy middle ground. Personally, I have 1.62 attacks per second, and I find that is perfect for me. Results may vary, so I can only speak from my experience. If you like to rock a 2H, then some extra attack speed won't hurt to compensate from the inherent slowness of 2Hs. I am not saying that no WD should ever stack IAS. For really any build other than one that relies on ZC-ZB, IAS works great. With a Spirit Barrage build, for example, the passive Rush of Essence helps to compensate for greater mana expenditure, and therefore stacking IAS will not hurt your offensive output.

Quote by Skywalkerfx
One thing I will add is that bears and Skorns work quite well together. I only use 1 AS item with my Skorn and I am really happy with its performance. I really like the LS and mana conservation of a slow weapon used with bears. So it really all boils down to the play style you prefer.


Quote by Brahm
01/25/2013 11:03 PMPosted by Brahm
better off using a slow 1h, with some ias items to get back up to the 1.4-1.6 range so the damage you do is bigger taking more advantage of ls. Bear reduction items help out more then MR in most cases if you are attacking at greater then 1 AS so running a SOJ+Mojo with bear reduction can net you over 20 per cast if you are casting @ 1.5 per second that's 30 mps savings..which would require 2-3 items w/MR to make up for. (used in conjunction works even better). because bears are a "mid" range attack they work very well with GI/GF allowing you to get a good mana return if you have some PUR items to support it which will allow you to spam at a much higher rate.


Your preferred offensive stats are (excluding the obvious primary) are CC, CD, and Avg Damage. I would get them on everything you can. I you have to skimp on something, don't let it be CC. CC increases how often your bears will crit. CD raises the numbers of those crits. Avg Damage boosts all your actual damage numbers and plays very nicely with + elemental damage, as Avg Damage is always considered Physical. If you are going the 2H route, then be sure to mix in another bonus to IAS somewhere, like gloves, rings, and/or amulet, in addition to the 2 IAS bonuses you will get from Witching Hour belt, Lacuni's bracers, and/or Inna's pants.. 1.5 Attacks per Second seems to be the agreed upon standard, so somewhere around there should be sufficient.

You will want to get Max Mana and/or Mana Regen on as many pieces of your gear as possible, as Bears is an incredibly fast resource drain. I have seen some WDs forgo CC on their Zuni Vision so that they can have both MM and MR on this one piece. typically though, either or both affixes can roll on Ceremonial Knives, Voodoo Masks, and Mojos. I will leave where to get them up to you, but I cannot enough the importance of not ignoring your gear options for buffing your resource. Even if you are taking the 2H route, which limits casting speed so as to conserve resource, some extra resource management never hurts.

Post-Patch 1.07 Note: Much is being said at this point of the benefits of a Ruby in your weapon (which adds Min/Max damage) VS an Emerald (which adds Critical Damage). Plug both of an equal tier into a damage calculator and see which gives you higher DPS. As your change your gear, periodically check the results of a weapon gem swap too, just to make sure you are getting the most DPS possible out of your gear. For example, I made the swap from Marquise Emerald to Marquise Ruby on day one of the patch, and I gained 5600dps over the emerald. In short, test both.

Quote by Ofgortens
The calculation with ruby and emerald depend on a number of things... not simply attack speed. crit chance / crit damage / and % damage modifier on weapon seem to be the highest contributors. Also, items with elemental damage modifiers will play a roll since the ruby will work with those modifiers. The easiest way to would be to plug it into a correct calculator.


Techniques

1) "Crushing Flood" - The most basic Bear attack. Stand in the middle of an open area, and cast. You will notice the one bear fires straight ahead, and the other two a few yards off the right and left of your character. In addition, the bears spawn a few yards behind you. Notice also the stagger between each bear spawn, as you aren't going to fire out all 3 at the same moment.
- Useful when surrounded, as the spread of the bears forms a "shell" around you that will hit everthing in the area, and enemies farther in front.
- Useful for close range combat with enemies that are big enough to be hit by all three bears at the same time: Most bosses, Golgors, Unburied, etc.
- Shortest range of the 4 techniques.

2) "Bursting Dam" - Advanced technique, as environmental surroundings must constantly be considered when re-positioning. Put your back up against a wall, or any other solid obstacle, and cast. You will notice the bears come out in an almost straight line, with Bear 2 and 3 being ever so slightly off from the middle. In addition, the bears now spawn just in front of you instead of behind, and will go much farther away from you before "dying." This might be just me, but I feel like the bears spawn much more quickly than "Crushing Flood."
- Useful when fighting small groups of tightly knit enemies, like your typical elite pack, as the spread reduction ensures all 3 bears still hit the targets.
- Useful against small and medium size targets, like most enemies and elites in the game, as the spread reduction keeps all bears on target.
- Useful against single targets for reasons explained above.
- Useful in long, narrow chokepoints (like hallways) that funnel enemies into tightly knit mobs.
- Longest range of the 4 techniques.
Demands constant re-positioning as the battle situation changes (arcane coming at you, freeze globes, etc.)

3) "Raging Hurricane" - Essentially the same as "Crushing Flood," except you are constantly on the move, circling or strafing your target(s). Think of it like "stutter-stepping:" move, cast, move, cast, very quickly.
- Useful against enemies that move around a lot, such as Succubi and Treasure Goblins.
- Useful against elites that have "floor" affixes (molten, descecrate, plagued) as the constant movement ensure you aren't in one.
- Useful against Fire Chain, as they can't wrap you (the AI loves to pull this) if you keep moving.
- Useful keeping yourself from being surrounded by mobs.
- Useful against enemies that scatter, like the majority of ranged attackers do. Keeps your damage constant while also keeping them from keeping a bead on you. Especially helpful against Mortar enemies, as the AI tends to fan out and keep you in the crossfire.
- Similar range as "Crushing Flood"

01/28/2013 11:54 AMPosted by MikeHoncho
Try to stay directly on top of the target, and if anything slightly in front with your back to them. Constantly micro to stay on top of them while firing bears. The reason for this is when you aren't backed up against a wall your bears will start behind you, and often all 3 will spawn in the same spot and then split up. By staying on top/slightly in front of the target, you can get all 3 bears to hit the target right when they come out of the ground. This also works very well against goblins and ranged elites when you have them wedged against a wall and don't want to let them escape.


4) "Rain in the Wind" - Essentially the same as "Bursting Dam", except you aren't holding your pointer over one particular enemy. Instead, you are tapping your mouse at the back of and edge of a mob, and sweeping your pointer steadily from one side to the other (or back and forth as the situation warrants), tapping the bear button all the while. This will create an "arc" effect. Note: this technique works with the others listed above.
- Useful in the same situations as "Bursting Dam" when the tightly knit group you had targeted begins to spread out, or more mobs join the fun.

Final Thoughts: Above all, keep an eye on your bears. The basic rule is that you want as many bears on your target(s) as possible. Move around, put yourself in the best position to make that happen while also avoiding damage. If you notice a bear getting "stuck" on something in the environment, move so it is free. Thank you for you time, and fill me in on any cool tricks I might have missed.
Edited by EddardStark#1833 on 2/27/2013 8:17 AM PST
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you've got nice gear
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Thank you, Fab.
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It's important to remind new bear users to click or tap the bear button and to not mash it down. You have much more control over your bear release this way and you can easily change the direction they are running in.

I usually pick a target at the back of a mob and click on it so my bear stream heads right towards the target and gets his buddies on the way. To have them run a different way, click on a new target.

If you move after you start a bear stream going the bears will move along with you and go further than if you were just standing still.
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@ Sky:

I know you are the guru of WD knowledge around here. Any critiques or further revisions you would like to see made?
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01/25/2013 08:18 AMPosted by EddardStark
Useful against enemies that move around a lot, such as Succubi

Hex/Jinx has pretty much a permanent spot on my bar, and is good for enemies that move around a lot (especially those fat guys in A3 that cast shields on other mobs). Hex will root them in place so you can blast away with Bears (e.g. with "assault rifle" technique described above).
Edited by BigRed#1100 on 1/25/2013 11:39 AM PST
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Hex/Jinx has pretty much a permanent spot on my bar, and is good for enemies that move around a lot (especially those fat guys in A3 that cast shields on other mobs). Hex will root them in place so you can blast away with Bears (e.g. with "assault rifle" technique described above).


Indeed. I love Hex as well, particularly for those enemy types you describe, and because it plays so nicely with Bears.
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@ Sky:

I know you are the guru of WD knowledge around here. Any critiques or further revisions you would like to see made?


I'm not the guru, I'm just a scribe. There are much better WDs than me running around here.

One thing I will add is that bears and Skorns work quite well together. I only use 1 AS item with my Skorn and I am really happy with its performance. I really like the LS and mana conservation of a slow weapon used with bears. So it really all boils down to the play style you prefer.

I'll post up your guide sometime tomorrow in the Index to Witch Doctor Builds and Guides
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7350275486
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better off using a slow 1h, with some ias items to get back up to the 1.4-1.6 range so the damage you do is bigger taking more advantage of ls. Bear reduction items help out more then MR in most cases if you are attacking at greater then 1 AS so running a SOJ+Mojo with bear reduction can net you over 20 per cast if you are casting @ 1.5 per second that's 30 mps savings..which would require 2-3 items w/MR to make up for. (used in conjunction works even better). because bears are a "mid" range attack they work very well with GI/GF allowing you to get a good mana return if you have some PUR items to support it which will allow you to spam at a much higher rate.

Using grasp also works well with bears and annoying packs that run around, it helps root them and gives you time to spirit walk and run them down.
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Posted you Guide up in Other Guides in the now stickied Index.
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I've never posted here before but there is one more thing I'd like to add for any new WDs:

Turn 'n Burn
Since the bears naturally spawn behind you in open areas, you can often catch quick enemies before they run away by getting next to them but instead of clicking on them, click directly opposite them (so your back will now be facing the enemy). This means that the bears will spawn on top of them, dealing their damage and then running away instead just hoping the bears can close the distance after starting behind you.

This technique is most useful for clearing white enemies with low hp since you can kill them in 1 or 2 bears. Usually I use this against Fallen, Moloks, and those fireshield shaman guys.

As for the 1h vs 2h debate, I've always preferred the 1h+mojo combination but this is probably do to the fact that I can't afford crit chance on any other gear so that extra 8-10% is very helpful. That being said, I can only clear MP5-6 quickly and safely.
Edited by nikt#1914 on 5/16/2013 3:26 PM PDT
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01/26/2013 09:04 AMPosted by nikt
As for the 1h vs 2h debate


It's preference really. Some WDs have made great arguments for 2H, and I don't disagree with those people. I prefer the greater frequency of Crits with a 1H/Mojo, plus the broader range of stats that comes with it. I don't like SoJ, as again, I prefer a broader range of stats. Others like SoJ for the (from what I've heard) number crunching that proves a top end SoJ with Bear Reduction gives superior damage over a period of X time. My advice: try em' both, see what you like before you start investing in serious upgrades.
Edited by EddardStark#1833 on 1/27/2013 12:04 PM PST
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01/26/2013 09:04 AMPosted by nikt
you can often catch quick enemies before they run away by getting next to them but instead of clicking on them, click directly opposite them (so your back will now be facing the enemy). This means that the bears will spawn on top of them, dealing their damage and then running away instead just hoping the bears can close the distance after starting behind you.


Cool trick. Thanks for sharing.
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As for the 1h vs 2h debate


It's preference really. Brahm makes a great argument for 2H, and I don't disagree with him.


I said a slow 1h not a 2h. This way you get both the damage and the crit frequency which is compounded when you add attack speed back in to give you more attacks that crit more often.

(but a big enough 2h will work just fine I prefer to keep mobile though and don't like just standing in one place hoping the monster will all come to me.)
Edited by Brahm#1943 on 1/27/2013 11:30 AM PST
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@ Brahm:

My fault man. I misread. Edited that reply.
Edited by EddardStark#1833 on 1/27/2013 12:05 PM PST
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Nice. Requested Sticky.
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I said a slow 1h not a 2h. This way you get both the damage and the crit frequency which is compounded when you add attack speed back in to give you more attacks that crit more often.

(but a big enough 2h will work just fine I prefer to keep mobile though and don't like just standing in one place hoping the monster will all come to me.)


Or you can use a 2H/Skorn and add AS to your gear, to do in effect what Brahm is talking about "add attack speed back in to give you more attacks that crit more often".

So if Brahm has a 1.20 Black spear with .15 AS from two gear items = 1.35 total AS

My Skorn has 1.0 base AS plus .09 AS from Witching Hour = 1.09 AS
If I put on my Tasker and Theo gloves (.09 AS) and Lacuni Bracers (.09 AS), I would then have a total AS of 1.27.
Of course I would have to the use 2 mana passives or other skill combinations to support the higher AS.

Point is it's very easy to speed up a 2H if some one wants the play style of a lower AS 1H weapon.
Edited by skywalkerfx#1247 on 1/28/2013 5:48 AM PST
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What should be the low-mana-consuming skill near Zombie Bears?
Toads or Spiders or Dart?
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Using shift-click instead of trying to select a specific monster will give you greater accuracy aiming your bears.

@Togyar: Corpse spider/Widowmakers with VQ is a very good combination with bears and one of my favorites. If you have decent LOH Rain of Toads works very well, especially with high max life and blood ritual. I also love that it is not blocked by waller.

I personally haven't used darts for anything in a long time, I believe that there's an attack speed breakpoint where flaming dart is outshined by splinters as AS increases.

If you are running low MP, you may wish to forego a low mana skill and rely on gruesome feast and grave injustice. You can add in acid cloud/acid rain for rapidly clearing whites or getting pesky running/ranged mobs.
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Quote by Toygar
What should be the low-mana-consuming skill near Zombie Bears?
Toads or Spiders or Dart?


It depends on what you want to do. I prefer Corpse Spiders -Widow Makers. My reasoning: CS is the lowest mana consuming primary, which means that your Mana will regen more quickly while you attack. The Spiders act independently from you, which means that they are still dealing damage while you are doing something else, like casting Bears, leading to a nice sustained damage boost. Widowmaker Spiders return Mana to you per hit, which further increases mana regen, and allows you to cast more bears, more often. Finally. Spiders pairs very well with the passive Vision Quest, as each spider hit procs the increased regen; as spiders live for around 3 seconds per jar, you are looking at a total of 8 seconds of Vision Quest before it need be refreshed. However, spiders are also the lowest damage Primary, which gives them the least return for Life Steal, and they do not proc Life on Hit ver well. In addition, you have limited control over what the spiders attack (though throwing the jar on a specific enemy will likely lead to them attacking it), and they do not "stagger" enemies on critical hits.

If you are stacking Life on Hit, you will want to use Plague of Toads - Rain of Toads, as it has the best proc rate for Life on Hit. Plus, the damage is arguably the highest amongst our Primaries.

If you are farming low Monster Power, but you have high DPS, then Fire Bomb - Ghost Bomb is good choice, as you can clear white trash very quickly with the huge AoE from Ghost Bomb.

If you want a long-range, high single target damage skill, then Poison Dart - Splinters is the way to go, particularly if your CC and CD is on the higher end (50+ CC, 400+ CD).
Edited by EddardStark#1833 on 1/28/2013 7:32 AM PST
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