Diablo® III

Witch Doctor Spirit Barrage any good?

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Is Spirit Barrage a good skill for a viable Witch Doctor build?
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This should be in the WD forums, but no matter.

In a word: No. Probably one of the worst skills they have. They buffed it slightly but at the end of the day it's still a mediocre-damage, single-target (for the most part) skill. It has a rune that lets it hit three targets I think but that's not nearly enough to make it usable. Basically Zombie Bears and Acid Rain are your main skills at end game (or Exploding Dogs, if you get enough cooldown gear for it).

Bummer, I know :( All the spirit skills for WD are basically useless except for Spirit Walk (which is essential). That being said, WD is probably the class that's most fun to play for me, the only class with DoTs and mana.
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Um, I heard spirit barrage was a pretty good complement to Zombie Bear.
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i love it, because it can hit over walls....
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Even with the soul well rune and all 3 extra souls hitting the same target for an extra 180% damage, it still doesn't feel nearly as damaging as Zombie bears.
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02/19/2013 03:21 PMPosted by Broseidon
Even with the soul well rune and all 3 extra souls hitting the same target for an extra 180% damage, it still doesn't feel nearly as damaging as Zombie bears.


Zombie bear is good against crowds and large targets... but not so good against lone and mobile enemy. That's where Spirit barrage comes in.
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I don't use Zombie Bears so I can't comment on their synergy, but I know Zombie Bears basically takes up all your mana and time keeping it pressed down so I just dunno how Spirit Barrage would factor in. Or why you'd bother, since ZB does so much burst damage. SB just doesn't seem to fit with WD in that most of his skills are based around hitting as many targets at once as possible.

Personally I wish Carrion Swarm (or is it Plague? Can't remember now) had gotten buffed. That skill is !@#$ing sweet.
Edited by Dayman526#1219 on 2/19/2013 3:28 PM PST
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I've been using it with the Well of Souls rune for a while, and it works quite well. It doesn't have the raw destructive power of Zombie Bears, but in my experience, it's still pretty effective. You don't need to be so close to use it (making it a little safer), and you have way more control over where the spirits go as opposed to the bears. The range and homing ability also makes it easier to deal with enemies that love to run away, and the spirits can even fly over waller barriers.

The WoS rune also got a little buff in 1.07 too. It used to be that the secondary missiles would often ignore your main target if it was the one on the screen, but now they'll almost always seek it out if it's in range. I say "almost always" because they can still go after destructible objects :(

I won't deny that Zombie Bears is more powerful, but I got soooooo tired of chasing occultists all over the map so I could get close enough for the bears to hit. The fact that the bears would start from BEHIND me half the time didn't help either.
Edited by Nexus83#1127 on 2/19/2013 3:33 PM PST
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This is one of the best skills for PvP (because it auto targets and hits players on the move). Others use it for uber runs (long range single target for decent damage).

Personally, I use it for PvP, but don't think it is a good "Bears replacement". Could you make it work? Sure, but it wouldn't be optimal. You could definitely use it with Bears or other AoE skill(s), but not as your primary damage dealer (my opinion).

In summary: great for PvP, viable for ubers, supplementary skill elsewhere
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It'll never replace the Rain build :)

Death from above! and frogs! and acid!
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02/19/2013 03:24 PMPosted by DoomBringer
Zombie bear is good against crowds and large targets... but not so good against lone and mobile enemy. That's where Spirit barrage comes in.


homing bat missiles are better for that type of enemies the dmg is superior when picking 1 target at a time, also hits over walls, the only downside is the short locking range and the enviromental breakables that can atract some hits.
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I recommend Acid Rain (or whatever the skill is actually called, I don't pay all that much attention to names half the time) to everyone. Looks good, strong initial damage with solid DoT, doesn't cost overly much. Combined with Grasp of the Dead or any other stun/slow/freeze items and pets to keep them in place.....probably my favorite skill in the game for any class. Just really well designed and executed.
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For what it's worth, I use Spirit Barrage - Well of Souls on my Hardcore Witch Doctor (who just killed Diablo in Inferno, yay). I like the fact that it goes over walls, can be quite effective at burning down single targets, and rocks at mopping up damaged monsters after a single cast of Acid Cloud - Acid Rain.
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Must be cold day in hell
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I dont see why no one has mentioned using rush of essence+ blood ritual passives because you can use spirit barrage with the well of souls rune to be your mana generator , it also wrecks single targets.
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I was running Poison Darts/ Acid Rain and recently got 4 piece Zuni bonus and tried switching Poison Darts out for Well of Souls. Grimiku pretty much summed it up nicely, avoids walls and can burn down single elites quickly (goblins too!). I know zombie bears is a strong spell, but I just never liked it much. Hate the short range and look of it.

The only thing I'm not liking about Spirit Barrage? I wish it would target doors a little faster :D
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Ok it takes some geting use to for targeting.

But it's got some very good things going for it.

1.) It's the strongest single target dmg spell. Inless you can get all 3 bears on single target 90% of the time.

2.)RoE+4pc set will not dmg your mana pool so you will be close to top with strong mana reg if you switch up to bears for Point Blank AOE.

3.) It replaces Acid Rain in a build something like this one. http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#bfUdgT!Ufe!bcZcZc
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02/19/2013 03:17 PMPosted by Dayman526
( All the spirit skills for WD are basically useless except for Spirit Walk (which is essential).


-Soul Harvest gives a very nice buff and all the runes are good
-Spirit barrage well of souls tracks and goes beyond walls etc.
-Haunt draining spirit gives 20 mana per second e.g -20 cost to bears
-Combine those with RoE and you´ve unlimited mana e.g endless bears + dot + solid ranged attack
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At first I thought this was a very old post getting necro'ed from the depths of history.

Then I realised it is a recent thread, and I'm baffled why players will think badly of Spirit Barrage after Patch 1.07.

I thought the sticky thread on guides and builds was obvious, being right on top on the first page of the forums. I was wrong.

I thought SB-WoS has become the "new normal", the "new primary skill" to generate mana at high MPs, from which you will spam your selected high damage skill. This statement of course, is for generic gear and not considering niche gear (eg, 0 dogs, Bear cost reduction, AC % crit, etc).

@Cruzoik, SB is a good skill, especially for MP9-10. At MP4 or lower, you're looking to 1-shot most mobs, so the massive AOE skills like AC and Bears are dominant, and mana regeneration is not important. Most of the WD skills are good, and they each have their methods of usage (even Haunt for PvP). You will have a lot of fun trying out different experiments
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It really must be a cold day in hell. A blue posting on our forum? :-)
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