Diablo® III

S&B Firebat Witch Doctor Build (/w video)

This is a thread talks about WD tank builds using a sword and a shield to farm in high MP games.

Here are some videos showing how my firebat build solo farm in mp 10:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aexP4EBK7x4&feature=youtu.be
http://youtu.be/9KSwFDoEQXg

Reason why use a shield:
1. fun...you die less. With a shield, my WD can survive through explosion from act3 Fallen Maniac and elite death explosions in mp 10.

I HAVE NEVER FELT MY WD BEING SO TOUGH BEFORE

while he can still clean up mobs at good speed. CoB can really make the dream come true.

2. It kills fast with firebat cloud. Why? Because of the 501% weapon dmg and it ramp up to 1002% if you can stay there long enough! However, your WD has to be tough enough to tank that long. The longer you stand, the longer you can sustain the max. dmg of firebat cloud (so have a higher average output dmg.) Carrying a shield may lower your paper dps, but if you can stand and sustain longer in the mob, you can kill as fast....if not faster. (you kill faster if you have a higher average dmg; if you kite with firebat cloud, your dmg will be jumpy and average dmg will be worse)
3. you play and face tank a lot like a 0dog build with less lag. You will love to see a big monster crowd and just walk into them. It's fun to tank with other WW barbs in the game.
4. you don't need to switch gear for PVP anymore. Almost the same set of gear works for both mp 10 and pvp.

If you can't find a good shield, here are the alternative gear you can use for firebat build:
1. a LS skorn - you tank with extra lifesteal
2. a Manajuma's Carving Knife and mojo set (plus bad medicine passive)

Here is my build suggestion for farming (for patch 1.08):
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#ceUdYV!cTZ!ccZbbb

And this one for uber:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#cidVYU!bce!cZabbZ

Basic Gear requirement:
1. Full Zuni Set with Helm, chest, pox ring and boots. (a must have)
2. a life-steal Sword. A 3% life-steal 1-hand weapon with INT and Vital is highly preferred.
3. a good rare shield with INT, Vital, crit. chance, all resist ( with %life will be the best).

Other build suggestion:
1. armor close to 5000
2. HP close to 100k
3. Dps over 100k
4. all resist over 700 (stack as much INT as possible will help)

Optional gear:
1. Undaunted ring
2. Unity
3. Stone of Jordan ring (SoJ).
Firebat SoJ will help. However, other SoJ like haunted, spider, even Dog SoJ will help too. Try to get one with 6% and 30% elite dmg bonus is highly recommended.
4. Blackthrone Pants.
5. Gear with pick-up radius and health globe bonus.
6. melee dmg reduction gear:
IK gloves can roll high INT and melee dmg reduction (and good dps too).
Bracers can also have roll with melee dmg reduction (MDR). You can craft a shoulder with high INT, Vital, all resist and MDR these days (but it takes time). I highly recommend getting a cheap StrongArm w/ MDR. That gives much better ehp (armor, int, life%) than Lacuni.

7. a freezing witching Hour belt, blackthrone belt or a rare belt with high vital and INT.
8. Tal Rasha ammy and belt:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/tal-rashas-allegiance
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/tal-rashas-brace
Using both together, you get extra fire dmg bonus and elite dmg bonus (3% fire, 4% elite dmg bonus) However, witching hour belt has crit dmg and that seems to a better way to go.

How it works for farming:
1. summon the dog. Walk into the mobs, click on soul harvest to get dps/all resist buff (and also slow down the mob around); then hold the firebat button...THAT'S IT..
The more monsters you have around you, the better it works. All the melee killed will give you extra mana from Zuni set.
2. when you do run out of mana, click the dog sacrifice button and you will have your mana refilled in full.
3. Dogs will be generated because of the passive "circle of life" also. Anytime you see the sacrifice button enabled, you can always blow them up to refill mana.

For über:
1. use spirit walk and soul harvest in turns for mana gen.
2. Try to keep the life-link dogs around. Sacrifice them only for emergency mana.
3. use CoB to butcher the ubers.

Other favors of the build:
1. Blood Ritual (BR) can be replace with Glusome Feast(GF) for more damage from health globes. 1.08 patch buff the life gen of BR so we better take advantage of that. If 0 dog is in the group, put in a Grusome Feast instead.
2. If you find yourself not tanky enough, use Jungle Fortitude passive to replace Blood Ritual.
3. Haunt (draining spirit) can be replaced by Locust swarm (devouring swarm rune) or spider widow for mana gen. Haunt is better when the number of monsters are low. With a large number of monsters, Locust swarm is better. I prefer Haunt because I only run low of mana when only elites around (but nothing else)

I can solo mp 10 games without problem. The killing speed is very good using CoB!

P.S.
1. This is the most efficient build I tested so far with a shield. Other builds I tested with shield: bear, 0 pileon, spirit barrage... none of them come close to this. However, if you find any a better shield build, please post it out!

2. I have other toons playing with a shield also and there are other shield build post on other forum as well.
For example, I have my cm wiz do ubers with a shield before. My CM wiz, although not carrying a shield, she is already like a human Stormshield with over 5k armor and 7% elite dmg reduction from chantodo set bonus. (adding a shield on her I have to get IAS somwhere else and will lower her ehp...)

Others like:
Barb with stormshield:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/8518301774

Monk:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7593581209

and guess what, even with Demon Hunters:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/7924372772#1

3. All these are just suggestions. Please feel free to make modification of the builds to fit your needs. Everyone is welcomed to share your experience and make comments here.

Most importantly, enjoy and have fun with Witch Doctors!
Edited by Luffy#1946 on 5/14/2013 1:20 PM PDT
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good build, except swap out grave injustice for spiritual attunement, and swap widowmakers for BBV slam dance or rain dance. then it's mp10 capable.
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I only used soul harvest and I killed in mp 10 in very fast speed!
BBV is good to have but not needed to kill in mp10.

However in current patch 1.07 the dmg from bats is too little that it won't give enough life steal to sustain in among the mobs.

I prefer blood ritual more than spiritual attunement because of the life gen. And, they buff that in the new patch too. I wonder why....(maybe because it works well with the new firebat you think???)
Edited by Luffy#1946 on 4/28/2013 7:28 PM PDT
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just added some more info. about the build.
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Having a good 0dogger as your companion never hurts either :)
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04/29/2013 01:39 PMPosted by Addicted
Having a good 0dogger as your companion never hurts either :)


It definitely hurts...the monsters... so much
you freaking buffed my shield build over 400k dps last night!
Can't wait to play with u in next patch...
my dmg will be doubled ! )
Edited by Luffy#1946 on 4/29/2013 3:37 PM PDT
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04/29/2013 03:36 PMPosted by Luffy
Having a good 0dogger as your companion never hurts either :)


It definitely hurts...the monsters... so much
you freaking buffed my shield build over 400k dps last night!
Can't wait to play with u in next patch...
my dmg will be doubled ! )


Haha, always good to run w/you bro! We gotta do some more testing on that last build we tried on me before I called it quits. Like I kept saying, it strangely worked as well as the old gearing when it obviously shouldn't.
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I change the final gift rune of dog summon to life link:

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#hcUdYV!cTZ!ZcZcbb

It works far better when my WD was on plague/molten.
Edited by Luffy#1946 on 4/30/2013 1:19 PM PDT
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How about using that burning axe which add 25% fire dmg
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I thought about that.
"fight thro the pain" is so fun!

However, somehow I lost my burning axe
(it was one with >950 dps and with socket!!! :( )

But then, it only has LoH.
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/the-burning-axe-of-sankis

There is only 1 magic property available there.
If it does come with LS, it will not have a socket.
Since lifesteal is the only life source of this build...
either way, it's bad.

on the other hand, I wish I have these gloves at lvl 63:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/magefist

If you really interested in getting more fire damage from gear, here is a real practical way:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/tal-rashas-allegiance
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/tal-rashas-brace

I guess everyone should be familar with the tal ammy.
How about using the belt together and get the 3% fire dmg bonus???
And also.... "Damage Against Elites by 3–4%" from the belt...that's 7% right there!
Witching hour is good for your dps in one way... the IAS is not desirable for mana consumption. For firebat cloud build, tal belt is actually the best friend!

04/30/2013 05:27 PMPosted by Cybergu
How about using that burning axe which add 25% fire dmg
Edited by Luffy#1946 on 4/30/2013 5:53 PM PDT
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just added the tal ammy and belt as optional gear for the build.
oh my god....I can't believe i am leaking this out in public...
Edited by Luffy#1946 on 4/30/2013 5:51 PM PDT
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very good build. might just work in the new patch! although the lack of a range skill/hex for fast moving range elites might make it very difficult for you when you fight them.

I myself started with a shield build for CoB but dropped it eventually as the damage was just too low for me to progress up the MP levels.
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To get to high dps for this S&B, a good shield is very important.
therefore, Crit chance > 8 and with high int and vital...

There are other possible good build for firebat cloud:
1. a LS skorn - you tank with extra lifesteal
2. a Manajuma's Carving Knife and mojo set (plus bad medicine passive)

The no. 2 is quite interesting. The poison keep you alive in mobs while you spam firebats!
and then it has extra "mana per kill" on top of what zuni can provide.

I love shield for extra ehp... I survive manic explosion and elite explosion...

very good build. might just work in the new patch! although the lack of a range skill/hex for fast moving range elites might make it very difficult for you when you fight them.

I myself started with a shield build for CoB but dropped it eventually as the damage was just too low for me to progress up the MP levels.
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I hate to see those fast moving mobs too.
I am thinking to test the build with "Grasp of the Dead"... see how it goes.

very good build. might just work in the new patch! although the lack of a range skill/hex for fast moving range elites might make it very difficult for you when you fight them.

I myself started with a shield build for CoB but dropped it eventually as the damage was just too low for me to progress up the MP levels.
Edited by Luffy#1946 on 4/30/2013 6:28 PM PDT
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i tried grasp. even with the max reduction in MS rune, doesn't work =D they just sprint out of range like the skill didn't exist.
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I have been working on similar build with PvP in mind. First off here is the build

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#ecYiUX!eca!cbbZcY

I literally have every piece of gear you listed already. Down to Freeze proc BT and Witching Hour.

With PvP in mind I would run

Helm - Visage w/ Firebat reduction and CC%
Blackthorne Chest, Pants, and Boots are a must. (Want the 4 piece set bonus of elite reduction and elite reduction on the boots)
Either Witching Hour and Duncraig Cross or BT Belt and best Amulet.
Rare Gloves - I use some with high stun %.
FireBat SOJ and Litany with 7% elite and either 12% life or 40%+ CD
Bracers and Shoulders is nice to spot to get Health Globe bonus
A good shield is the hardest part of the gear to find.

Weapon is a difficult choice. Because you have such good reduction you want some with high IAS but decent dmg. EF is a good PvP weapon but is terrible with Cloud of Bats.

Skills
Haunt - Does decent dmg against non-Barbs will give a moderate mana regen. Great skill vs Monks/DH
Plague Bats - Plague bats DOT dmg is already pretty damn strong in PvP in 1.07. Cloud of Bat's is clunky. Plague bat's DOT dmg makes it far superior to Cloud of Bats in PvP.
Life Link - 15% dmg reduction helps a lot
Hex - Jinx: Best CC ability of any class in PvP.
Healing Journey - Once you are near 100K HP with good resists. Gives you ton of EHP
Frightening Aspect - Decent CC and 100% armor boost is huge with a shield

Passives
Spirit Vessel is a must
Blood Ritual is amazing in that you get 2% HP regen and reduce mana cost
Jungle Fortitude is great for additional reduction when you already have it

Still looking for some new gear but my current profile gives you an idea about the gear

DPS vs Elites: 97,914.91
EHP vs Elites: 1.65M
EHP vs Elites w/ Life Link: 1.87M
EHP vs Elites w/ Life Link and Frightening Aspect: 3M+

http://d3up.com/b/424456

Typically I run a rare gear set that I have never seen anyone else utilize. 4 Piece BT set(Boots, Pants, Belt, and Amulet) with a 4 piece Zuni set(Vision, Pox, String of Skulls, and Marrow). It is a well balanced set with great mana regen with Spirit Barrage and Rush of Essence.
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I hadn't thought about this yet, good idea. I could see it being extremely effective for ubers, but the only thing about using just cloud of bats for your damage is that it's really hard to chase down runners with it.
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I should have responded to this thread much earlier, but I just didn't have the time on my hands. :)

Once 1.0.8 rolls out, I'm going to go Cloud of Bats. In fact, some of the gearing suggestions you stated I already made ages ago. There's a lot of similarities in how this build has to gear for and a pet build, and I'm primarily a pet WD. Saved me a lot of effort!

I won't have 4 piece Zuni, but I keep Tal Rasha 2 piece. I supplement my mana with Honored Guest and Swallow Your Soul. Seemed to keep Cloud of Bats long enough on the PTR to kill elites, and that's good enough for me. 4 piece Zuni would be great, but I need life regen to keep my pets alive, and I can't roll crit% and life regen on a Zuni helm. :( That, and crit% Zuni helms cost a fortune.

You can definitely stack enough EHP and mitigation to facetank mobs with Cloud of Bats, but expect it to take some work. Unless there's some variation of item rolls that achieves better DPS to EHP ratio gains, I can only gain DPS from godly MCK, Gory Fetch, and Vile Ward rolls. I could probably switch out the Tal ammy and the gloves for something better, but I like the stats they provide.

Glad to see another tanky, future Cloud of Bats user. :)
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GamerObscura: I would not recommend getting Life Regen on any random rolls anymore. If you are using Blood Ritual you are much better off getting EHP than Life Regen. Zuni CC% is not that expensive. They look like they start at 300K for 3% CC.
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05/01/2013 01:31 PMPosted by Ender
GamerObscura: I would not recommend getting Life Regen on any random rolls anymore. If you are using Blood Ritual you are much better off getting EHP than Life Regen. Zuni CC% is not that expensive. They look like they start at 300K for 3% CC.


I'm going to use whatever means is required to keep my life regen at a certain level so I can free up the rest of my gear.

In some instances of gear that means getting vitality and life%, and in some instances that doesn't work as well. It's a case by case scenario. Chest and amulets give by far the most life regen, so, for example, if I wanted to keep the same amount of life regen that my chest, I'd have to gain over 25k life over my current setup to even come close to similar numbers. I'm at +98% life, and even if I gain 200 vitality on my chest, I only gain 280 life regen (around 7k health per 100, or 14k health per 200). I might honestly trade the health for the life regen, if given the choice, but I don't have a 838 armor, 270 vitality Zuni Marrow sitting in my stash. :)

The point of all this experimentation is finding the break point of life regen, health, and mitigation that enables my pets to have enough life regen to not die, even against elites, yet have enough health pool to survive through harder hitting mobs. I stack life regen on certain items because other items aren't conducive to stacking either health or life regain (I'd like some really nice tri-rolled Tasker and Theo's, for instance).

I will admit that I haven't personally found the right balance. When I do, I plan on writing a giant guide. But certain slots just do not justify dropping the life regen. The chest I'm still iffy on. I'd have to get a really good chest to flip. Rings, on the other hand, I don't tend to keep life regen on. The legendary ones usually only go up to 200, tops, and a good vitality and life% roll can nearly make up for that. I'd love to switch my Zuni Pox for something similar to my Oculus, but I haven't seen one pop up yet.

My point is, life regen is still more beneficial as a stat than vitality with Blood Ritual, and that's coming from a guy who has +98% life. The added benefit of stacking vitality is you gain life regen and life, but at a certain point one realistically does not need any more life, especially when stacking life regen. I'd almost rather have mitigation, as the higher one's mitigation, the better life regen becomes.

It's all about balance. And the only way I'm getting a Zuni Vision is if I can get a high Int/Vit one with 5% crit or higher, so yeah, expensive. :P It wouldn't be worth it for me to lose 100 Int just for some mana regen that I don't really need.
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