Diablo® III

Underused Skills/Passives : Your two cents

After taking a look at diabloprogress.com top skills, I was surprised at the limited variety of used skills/passives. Now granted this is a small group and doesn't represent the community but I suspect it trends similarly. So here's the deal, I'm going to post some of these underused skill. What I would like is feedback on...

1. Why you personally do not use these skills?

2. If you do use these skills, why do you use them?

Lets try to stay constructive and specific ("Zombie Bears pawns all" or "Bc they all suck" doesn't tell us anything we don't already know).

There are a lot so if you want to just focus on one skill/passive go ahead

Skill/Runes

    Darts
  • Numbing Dart
  • Spined Dart
  • Flaming Dart
  • Snake to the Face


    Corpse Spiders
  • Spider Queen
  • Medusa Spiders
  • Blazing Spiders


    Plague of Toads
  • Explosive Toads
  • Toad of Hugeness
  • Addling Toads
  • Toad Affinity


    Firebomb
  • Roll the Bones
  • Fire Pit
  • Pyrogeist


    Grasp of the Dead
  • Death is Life
  • Groping Eels
  • Desperate Grasp
  • Rain of Corpses


    Firebats
  • Vampire Bats
  • Plague Bats
  • Hungry Bats
  • Cloud of Bats


    Haunt
  • Consuming Spirit
  • Lingering Spirit
  • Grasping Spirit
  • Draining Spirit


    Locust Swarm
  • Pestilence
  • Devouring Swarm
  • Cloud of Insects
  • Diseased Swarm
  • Searing Locusts


    Zombie Dogs
  • Rabid Dogs
  • Final Gift
  • Burning Dogs


    Horrify
  • Phobia
  • Face of Death
  • Ruthless Terror


    Spirit Walk
  • Umbral Shock
  • Severance


    Hex
  • Hedge Magic
  • Angry Chicken
  • Painful Transformation
  • Unstable Form


    Soul Harvest
  • Swallow Your Soul
  • Languish


    Sacrifice
  • Black Blood
  • Next of Kin
  • For the Master
  • Provoke the Pack


    Mass Confusion
  • Unstable Realm
  • Devolution
  • Mass Hysteria
  • Mass Hallucination


    Zombie Charger
  • Leperous Zombie
  • Undeath
  • Wave of Zombies
  • Explosive Beast


    Spirit Barrage
  • The Spirit is Willing
  • Phantasm
  • Phlebotomize
  • Manitou


    Acid Cloud
  • Lob Blob Bomb
  • Slow Burn
  • Kiss of Death
  • Corpse Bomb


    Zombie Wall
  • Barricade
  • Unrelenting Grip
  • Creepers
  • Pile On
  • Dead Rush


    Gargantuan
  • Wrathful Protector
  • Big Stinker


    Big Bad Voodoo
  • Jungle Drums
  • Ghost Trance
  • Boogie Man


    Fetish Army
  • Fetish Ambush
  • Devoted Following
  • Legion of Daggers
  • Tiki Torchers
  • Head Hunters


Passives

  • Bad Medicine
  • Vision Quest
  • Rush of Essenence
  • Circle of Life
  • Zombie Handler
  • Fierce Loyalty
  • Fetish Sycophants
  • Tribal Rites
Edited by Muertdogg#1376 on 2/6/2013 6:13 PM PST
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Because they are pretty much worthless and there are much more important runes that MUST be used unless you're just messing around on low MP

I use vision quest though and I think it's used by many people
Edited by danitefox#1989 on 2/6/2013 5:52 PM PST
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Was looking for specifics...

Of course there "useless" otherwise they wouldn't be underused. But why do you specifically think they are underused. If you want just focus on one skill
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It's kinda pointless to pick one out and explain why it sucks. The game's been out for a while, we've figured out what's weak and what doesn't synergise well with others, hence your list.

Having said that, the list is a bit wonk. RoE and VQ are well used, and show me a 0Dog that doesn't use Tribal Rites. Plus, there are a few skills/runes there that are heavily used for Ubers or PvP, but are crap for farming - and I'll bet pounds to peanuts that list is culled from farming specs. Wait til the next patch hits, and I dare say the list will change quite dramatically...
Edited by manvan#1853 on 2/6/2013 6:31 PM PST
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100 Human Warlock
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Posts: 6,137
I'll just touch on the ones I use, and why.
02/06/2013 05:46 PMPosted by Muertdogg
Flaming Dart

Strongly dislike all the other cheap-mana DPS skills other than Dart. Of the Darts, I used Spined for a while, but I've switched to Flaming for more oomph when fighting things that I can't comfortably keep in range of Bears.

02/06/2013 05:46 PMPosted by Muertdogg
Rain of Corpses

I love Grasp of the Dead for kiting; Rain of Corpses helps give me a bit more damage while running around.

02/06/2013 05:46 PMPosted by Muertdogg
Face of Death

Make sure I catch the targets I want in the fear.

02/06/2013 05:46 PMPosted by Muertdogg
Unrelenting Grip

I use Wall to get breathing room, or to block enemies in a small group for a Zombie Bear stream. The snare helps keep them where I want them.

02/06/2013 05:46 PMPosted by Muertdogg
Vision Quest

More mana regen? I'm not sure why this is underused, except people outgrowing it maybe.
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It's kinda pointless to pick one out and explain why it sucks. The game's been out for a while, we've figured out what's weak and what doesn't synergise well with others, hence your list.

Having said that, the list is a bit wonk. RoE and VQ are well used, and show me a 0Dog that doesn't use Tribal Rites. Plus, there are a few skills/runes there that are heavily used for Ubers or PvP, but are crap for farming - and I'll bet pounds to peanuts that list is culled from farming specs. Wait til the next patch hits, and I dare say the list will change quite dramatically...


There are two points to this thread. One is to further understand why some skills aren't being chosen. Two to realize that some of these skills when combined could be more useful than previously thought. I do agree with you that picking one out of context with other skills that synergize better may not be ideal, but it is extensive and some people don't like writing a wall of text.

I really want to stimulate debate. I think this skill sucks but wait so and so uses it with this or for a specific reason that I might not have realized. I really wish there was statistics on the entire player base so we could get a more accurate view. Anyway thanks for your post and while you seemed to think it was unnecessary you still gave an example with Tribal Rites and 0Dogs so thank you :)

Posted by Muertdogg
Vision Quest

More mana regen? I'm not sure why this is underused, except people outgrowing it maybe.


Thank you for the helpful post Serinicas!

Personally I think Spiritual Attunement is better since it ups your mana and if youve invested enough into max mana give you decent mana regen anyway.
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because most people just copy the popular specs and don't experiment. I've pretty much at this point found a use for the majority of skills and runes.. Some are just duplicates and interchangeable however, and a few just are clear winners.

PVP makes a lot of the usless PVE skills useful again depending on how you want to play.
Edited by Brahm#1943 on 2/6/2013 10:33 PM PST
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I think the majority of Witch Doctor moves/runes have some interesting usages. There are only a small handful that just seem flat out worthless. Perhaps the most noticeable of all the moves is the Plague of Toads primary. Aside from Rain, the rest of the runes are pretty dumb. Plain and simple. It's just a bad skill design, and if RoT didn't have the proc rate that it has, very few would bother with that also. Addling Toads has some interesting cc potential, but why even bother when you can just incinerate mobs with bears or do an AC cc proc build with much more dmg? The skill simply needs a huge redesign. The same goes for every single Zombie Charger rune aside from bears.

Some of the runes on Fire Bomb are silly as well. Why two different runes dedicated to various forms of bouncing? Fire Pit is awful too. Glad Pyrogeist is seeing some light in pvp though.

PvP in general brought a lot of underused moves/runes into frequent usage like Haunt, Plague Bats, Corpse Bomb, etc which is really cool. I'd still like to see a huge dmg buff on "Fetish Army" - it's a fun move but is just too weak to really use in any sort of high mp play. I do love jaunting in and popping "Fetish Ambush" to one shot a lot of weaker mobs in low mp farming though. ^^
Edited by RPRNoNsum#1561 on 2/6/2013 10:47 PM PST
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I use Circle of Life in combination with Sacrifice: Provoke the pack for the 15 percent damage boost, as well as some extra burst damage on elites. Grants 5 percent less damage than pierce the veil (unless you use zombie handler passive as well, in which case it gives the same 20 percent bonus) without increasing the mana cost of skills.
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I mention some of them here in my thread, you know the ones I think need serious work. I state the problem then provide solutions. Look at the comments and you can see further discussion and more suggestions.
Spirit Barrage, Horrify, Fetish Skills, Zombie Charger, Plague of Toads, Cloud of Bats, Dead Rush, Wrathful Protector
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7593582072

Though your list is inaccurate IMO. Like Manvan said wait till the next patch. It will change quite a bit.
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100 Human Warlock
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Posts: 6,137
02/06/2013 08:10 PMPosted by Muertdogg
Personally I think Spiritual Attunement is better since it ups your mana and if youve invested enough into max mana give you decent mana regen anyway.

Yeah, I assume it is. I try to avoid buying upgrades, and when I do I usually just AH snipe dirt cheap pieces though, so my max mana isn't spectacular. Vision Quest also seems to play well with Spirit Walk(Honoured Guest), but I can't confirm that for sure.

02/06/2013 10:32 PMPosted by Brahm
because most people just copy the popular specs and don't experiment. I've pretty much at this point found a use for the majority of skills and runes.. Some are just duplicates and interchangeable however, and a few just are clear winners.

This is really a problem in most online games, but yeah, this is probably a factor too. There's also the issue that once people have settled on a "farming" build, everything else is useless. Will I use Wall of Zombies when I'm not trying to do MPs that challenge my gear level? Doubt it. Doesn't make it useless though.
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Posts: 2,261
All the classes have the same or similar issue in that some skills are basically superior versions of other skills. Those skills then usually have one rune that is the clear winner.

For example; wave of zombies and zombie bears are very similar, but wave of zombies does 115% damage with each zombie and zombie bears does 236% damage with every bear, and hits a larger area.

Who would use wave of zombies?
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It's very limited as to what is useful on any class. A huge majority of the skills are useless. It's almost like the devs just threw a bunch of stuff together and called it good.
Edited by BornRed#1122 on 2/7/2013 1:27 PM PST
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I think the majority of Witch Doctor moves/runes have some interesting usages. There are only a small handful that just seem flat out worthless. Perhaps the most noticeable of all the moves is the Plague of Toads primary. Aside from Rain, the rest of the runes are pretty dumb. Plain and simple. It's just a bad skill design, and if RoT didn't have the proc rate that it has, very few would bother with that also. Addling Toads has some interesting cc potential, but why even bother when you can just incinerate mobs with bears or do an AC cc proc build with much more dmg? The skill simply needs a huge redesign. The same goes for every single Zombie Charger rune aside from bears.



Toad of hugness works well in pvp. Addling toads actually work in upper MP w/attack speed in a group environment against hordes of melle. The thing to remember is sometimes it's fun to just play a CC, pet, support build not every skill needs to be max damage.
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All the classes have the same or similar issue in that some skills are basically superior versions of other skills. Those skills then usually have one rune that is the clear winner.

For example; wave of zombies and zombie bears are very similar, but wave of zombies does 115% damage with each zombie and zombie bears does 236% damage with every bear, and hits a larger area.

Who would use wave of zombies?


Wave of zombies is something I use in PVP. Zombie bears are just to quick once you deploy them. I've found wave of zombies however to be some what of a defensive spell. You can use it to create a wall of sorts to deter incoming attacks or to trap opponents from fleeing. However you do need to ramp up your attack speed some to reduce the cast animation otherwise the deployment is just to slow. It's not going to help you with the super EHP players unless they are already weakend but when playing in a fast paced high damage game it can be a lot of fun.
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02/07/2013 01:25 PMPosted by BornRed
It's very limited as to what is useful on any class. A huge majority of the skills are useless. It's almost like the devs just threw a bunch of stuff together and called it good.


That is how I used to feel, but the more you spend time trying to use the other skills the more you realize most have their place. Sure some can use some tweaking, and yes a few are just totally uselessly, but they aren't as far off as most would have you think. As I said above most people really just stick to a single routine they so they tend to miss out on the fun stuff if your only goal is to farm as quickly as possible, or show off how big your winky is in pvp.
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I'm using an ulta-troll build right now with crap gear I've found, and it's pretty successful. Blazing spiders do MAD damage, talking 60k a crit, and omg does that add up with my attack speed and CC.

Toad of Hugeness is pretty good for eliminating a champ or elite for a bit while you grind on the others, it's mainly for protection, or that's how I justify it since it does like 3k damage when it swallows :l

I've always tried to make Spirit walk rune Severance work, but it just doesn't tick enough and for enough
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Most skills that go unused are neglected because some other skill does their job better.

Poison Dart runes: Kite builds were once popular because it was pretty much necessary to stay alive in Inferno. Now, with lower monster damage and better equipped players, kiting is usually a waste of time. And even if we wanted to kite, Numbing Dart isn't the best skill for it. Grasp of the Dead is a much better ranged snare. If we want a mana regen primary, Widowmakers is generally superior to Spinded Dart. If we want to rune Poison Dart for increased DPS, Splinters is better than Flaming Dart. Snake to the Face is an unreliable chance to stun a single target. That's simply not valuable in a game like Diablo 3.

Corpse Spiders runes: Spider Queen is somewhat useful when combined with Vision Quest since it provides low-maintenance uptime on the mana regen buff. Medusa Spiders is another kiting skill, which is unpopular gameplay type and doesn't work as well as Grasp of the Dead anyway. Blazing Spiders is another pretty useful skill. It does fairly high single target damage and has an extremely low mana cost.

Plague of Toads runes: This skill is difficult to use and produces mediocre results even under optimal conditions. It's just not efficient. Rain of Toads is the only really useful rune for this skill because it completely changes the targeting mechanics. Blizzard would have to boost the damage up to the level of most secondary skills to get players to seriously try using this.

Firebomb runes: all the firebomb runes basically do the same thing: AoE damage for low cost. If you're farming low MP with good gear, you can kill most things in 1 or 2 hits anyway, so coverage becomes more important than damage. Ghost Bomb has the best coverage of the Fire Bomb runes, so if you're going to use Fire Bomb at all you may as well use Ghost Bomb because it best accentuates what you want Fire Bomb to do.

Grasp of the Dead runes: the main use of Grasp of the Dead is for kiting, which is less popular now than it used to be. If you're using it to kite, you want to rune it for either increased snare or increased damage. The other runes are irrelevant because you wouldn't use the skill at all for anything else.

Firebats runes: Firebats is basically a cheaper but less powerful version of Zombie Charger. If you want to use a short-range AoE skill you're generally better off going for the amount of mana regen you need to use Zombie Charger (by which I mean Zombie Bears, of course) instead. Plague Bats is a pretty decent skill, though.

Haunt runes: Haunt is a single target skill that deals damage over time in a game that's all about killing whole packs of monsters as fast as possible. It's just an inherently bad skill for a game like D3 and will never be popular for general play. This skill will just never be seen much outside of uber bosses and PvP.

Locust Swarm runes: Locust Swarm is just like Ghost Bomb. It has excellent coverage but poor damage. It's great for low MP farming where you kill most things in one hit anyway so your main concern is just hitting them fast. I have no idea why you listed all five runes as largely unused because I thought a lot of people used Pestilence for low MP farming. (And it they don't, they should. It's a very good skill for that.) Devouring Swarm is a pretty good mana regen skill for higher MP's, too. The other 3 runes aren't used because they're just worse versions of Pestilence.

Zombie Dogs runes: The game classifies Zombie Dogs as a defensive skill and that's what most players use it for. Leaching Beasts and Life Link are defensive skills that help keep you alive. Rabid Dogs and Burning Dogs just add negligible amounts of damage to a skill that you don't slot for damage purposes anyway. Final Gift does have some use for players who use cooldown reductions to spam Zombie Dogs for Sacrifice builds, though.

Horrify runes: Horrify is not widely used at all because it's not a very good defensive skill. It scatters enemies around, making them less convenient to AoE and the cooldown is too long to really protect you from something dangerous. If you're going to use it as an actual defensive skill, Frightening Aspect gives the most reliable boost. The only other use for the skill is as a mobility booster, which is why Stalker is used.

Spirit Walk damage runes: Spirit Walk is our primary defensive skill and is slotted for that purpose. We don't want to be consuming an important defensive cooldown just to deal a minor amount of damage when we have so many other skills that are much better for that purpose.

Hex runes: Hex, like Haunt, is just not a skill that is well suited for this type of game. It's a single-target crowd control skill that we can't even aim in a game where we are almost always fighting multiple targets at once. The only real use for the skill is against champion packs in high MP, and even then it's not very impressive. This skill will never be popular without major changes.

Soul Harvest runes: Most people don't use Languish because it's just another kiting tool we don't really need and Grasp of the Dead is better for that anyway. We have much better mana regen tools than Swallow Your Soul too, especially because we usually want to use Soul Harvest at the beginning of a fight, when we tend to be full on mana anyway. Also, Vengeful Spirit is just so powerful for general play that it overshadows all other rune options for this skill.

Mass Confusion runes: Mass Confusion is not used because it has too long a cooldown, we don't need crowd control skills for the kind of low MP farming that most of us spend our time doing and it's not very reliable anyway. We just have better options.

Zombie Charger runes: Zombie Bears is so much more powerful than every other Zombie Charger runes it's not even funny. I have no idea what Blizzard was thinking when they set the numbers for this skill.

Spirit Barrage runes: Spirit Barrage is a somewhat slow projectile that only modestly outdamages primary skills like Poison Dart and Corpse Spiders. It's got some uses, especially for piercing walls, but it's just a mediocre skill and won't ever be very popular unless Blizzard buffs the damage again. That's why the only popular rune is Well of Souls.

Acid Cloud runes: like Locust Swarm and Fire Bomb, Acid Cloud is used to get good coverage for rapidly AoE'ing packs of monsters in low MP situations. That means the increased area rune is inherently the most useful for supporting that playstyle. Kiss of Death and Corpse Bomb significantly alter the mechanics of the skill, but not in a way that actually supports its primary role. Lob Blob Bomb is good for tanking higher MPs, though.

Wall of Zombies runes: Wall of Zombies is not used much because it's a kiting skill and that playstyle isn't popular/necessary anymore, and the cooldown has always been too long to boot.

Gargantuan Wrathful Protector: Just read the tooltip. It looks terrible. This is another of those, "How did they think this would be useful with those numbers?" kind of skills. The Big Stinker rune gives some nice sustained damage even when the thing is wandering around without swinging, though, and works just fine.

Big Bad Voodoo runes: This is another skill with a cooldown that's really too long for what it does. Also the fundamental design on the three unused runes just sucks. It's already hard to stay in the radius for the full duration so the increased duration rune is unappealing. The cooldown makes it a terrible way to generate Zombie Dogs (whether you're using Sacrifice or not) so Boogie Man is unappealing. Ghost Trance is a bad way to try and heal yourself because it forces you to stay in the radius.

Fetish Army: this skill is not used because its cooldown is way too long for the effect it has.
Edited by Vaidency#1113 on 2/12/2013 11:36 AM PST
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They need to do to WD's what they did for monks this last patch and we'll be good. Just a matter of increasing damage percentage.
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I think the majority of Witch Doctor moves/runes have some interesting usages. There are only a small handful that just seem flat out worthless. Perhaps the most noticeable of all the moves is the Plague of Toads primary. Aside from Rain, the rest of the runes are pretty dumb. Plain and simple. It's just a bad skill design, and if RoT didn't have the proc rate that it has, very few would bother with that also. Addling Toads has some interesting cc potential, but why even bother when you can just incinerate mobs with bears or do an AC cc proc build with much more dmg? The skill simply needs a huge redesign. The same goes for every single Zombie Charger rune aside from bears.



Toad of hugness works well in pvp. Addling toads actually work in upper MP w/attack speed in a group environment against hordes of melle. The thing to remember is sometimes it's fun to just play a CC, pet, support build not every skill needs to be max damage.


Nice I'm glade I'm not the only one that do's this. :)
Was starting to think mybe I was just weird using Addling toads I love thoughs things. And when they do hit and crit the crit supprizes me. It's always been much more then I would expect.
Edited by Umbra#1460 on 2/12/2013 12:21 PM PST
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