Diablo® III

CoB End-game Progression Guide

07/07/2013 05:26 PMPosted by DethAxe
I'd really appreciate a quick peek at my setup and let me know if I'm missing something; I just got back into WD a week ago and I've been studying pretty hard!


You're using your Monk's weapon, which may not be ideal for the WD due to mana consumption, but it's "free" in that sense you didn't need to buy a WD weapon. Your SoS has 2 mana stats, you have 3 pieces of IAS, but you're not using BR passive. My guess is you're mana negative and some areas will give you problems. You probably OOM during every Uber fight.

Topic (4) gives you the full range of 1H weapons and shows you how you can test your IAS gear limit. After that, you can plan your "end-game" gear, and just play the builds that you like best.

Overall, your WD looks great, maybe just practise a bit on the different techniques and casting sequence [Topic (2)].
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07/07/2013 04:47 PMPosted by Bankai
- Dealing with knockbacks - there is this blue guy with a hammer that jumps and hits the ground


The fallen masters have further melee range than our CoB. You have to be aggressive with them and walk right next to them. Then use SW and Hex to deal with them. An interesting point about them is, when you get a critical tick, they will be in pain and it interrupts their action. Crit more often and they basically don't perform the animation to jump and knockback. Another way is to SW from a few yards away, and begin channel slightly between your spirit form and them. They will walk into your CoB towards your spirit form, then the 2 secs is up and you're right inside the group to continue your channel, drop Hex.

Words are rather lengthy to describe. I'll make a video in a few days and get back to you.

07/07/2013 04:47 PMPosted by Bankai
- BLAZING GUARDIANS - these guys hurt bad! Esp for COB where you sit still, you end up sitting in piles of fire which is really bad, plus they keep moving around so u gotta reposition.


The weakness of CoB is nightmarish, knockback, vortex, and frozen. I use SW, Hex, MC, FA, and I use them depending on the situation. It helps a lot, but there will surely be tough moments. I'll make a video on this also.

07/07/2013 04:47 PMPosted by Bankai
- 1H vs 2H - am I correct in saying your conclusion out of Topic 4 is that for COB builds, Skorn is the safest and cost-effective approach, while overall a 1H spear/mace setup (assuming no budget constraint) is the optimal performance setup?


To clarify, Topic (4) has no conclusion. Skorn is recommended to new players and new WDs as the safest path coming into Inferno MP0. For MP10, Skorn is indeed the cheaper path, the 1H path needs to buy 2 end-game items from AH.

For DPS, 1H Spear or 1H Mace or 1H Axe has higher potential, they can stack 7 pieces of IAS gear, while Skorn can stack 5-6 only (because Skorn is not the slowest 2H weapon possible). However, if you gear up all 7 pieces of IAS, then your eHP/mitigation may be adversely affected. If you only decide to stack 5 pieces of IAS, then I still say the Skorn path is better due to the double LS. The high lifesteal makes the MP10 requirement for eHP/mitigation easier, and thus cheaper gear set up too.

If I had Billions in my budget, I'd still choose to go with the advanced gearing for Skorn [Topic (3)], use a -10FB SoJ and stack up to 5-6 pieces of IAS. The DPS against elites will be >300k. That's why forum folks know me as a Skorn supporter :)
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Ok, thanks - now I got that aps tick idea for COB.

P.S. Isn't it easier to get >300k dps with 1h? I just checked I actually have more than 300k vs elites with spear(+10% as on it)+soj and two pieces with +8 and +9 aps. So nah, skorn does not win me here)) I see also that skorn on AH is more expensive that spear+mojo I use... So topic 4 continues )) I still see %LS as only major skorn advantage over 1h
Edited by KyKaH#2425 on 7/8/2013 1:38 AM PDT
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@Kykah, it's not the DPS that makes me enjoy using the Skorn. It's the lazy way of playing, the tanking and high life steal!

The 1H vs 2H path is really a matter of choice. If budget is unlimited, the DPS will not be very much different either. From the IAS limits in Topic (4), the 1H spear/mace/axe can go to 7 IAS pieces whereas the Skorn can only go to 5-6 IAS pieces. That's why the 1H path has higher DPS, but lower LS.
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Lol, you answered while I was editing my post to note that %LS is the thing that favors the skorn. I actually started using skorn as replacement for some (fast and controlling) reflect elites (if I don't forget to change) - it's just easier to deal with them with no hussle. And it's pretty cheap about 30 mil and lowers my dps only for about 15%. Yet still high-end skorns are pricey. they easily can exceed 1hand+mojo price
Edited by KyKaH#2425 on 7/8/2013 1:45 AM PDT
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07/06/2013 11:56 AMPosted by PaulNg
I also found it odd you did not include RoE in your build especially when you seemed to be running WoS. But I guess you explained that with WoS = occasionally used skill. But if that was the case, maybe changing WoS to something else that you can use more often might be better? just a thought.


Nowadays in groups, I don't even have other damage skills, only CoB. I put SW, SH, Hex, MC, Horrify to support the group play. Friends are so much better than the AI follower.

Did you see the Uber team play? Nothing much planned except for the 108% DPS buff, our first time grouping (Amiar didn't even know the other 2 players). Our timing for all 3 Ubers was less than 8:45 minutes.

So you can say I haven't used WoS in quite a while.


Just watched it. very impressive timing. I have soloed ubers 3 times total and struggled most against magda+SK. For some reason they always kill me once per try. The wonders of having a team. Makes things so much easier!

Also I re-read your tips on Act 4 Silver Spire and they are very good tips. Shows you do indeed have good experience and knowledge of the dos and don'ts when running there =D

Some extra tips that I can share from my own experiences and what others have advised me:

Mallet Lords that are accompanied by Nightmarishes are extremely dangerous. Nightmarish debuffs don't always show on your screen or shows too late for you to react and one hit from a Mallet Lord can kill you even if you don't usually die. So disengage asap and kill the Nightmarish first.

NEVER be afraid to cast Horrify even if it means disengaging a large group of mob in the middle of your CoB channeling especially when your spirit walk is on CD. It usually is the difference between survival and death. There will be enough mobs outside the range of your Horrify who will get to you immediately after those affected by Horrify scatter. Also it helps survive against morlu meteors and Mallet slams which usually accompanies the large packs you will encounter which I affectionately call the 'death ball of doom'.

Also there will be times when you engage 2 elite packs at the same time. Disengage and lure a few at a time to kill. If luring fails, the best way is to get them up close and scatter them in different directions with horrify. Chasing after one side usually leaves you with a smaller group to deal with and gives the same end result as luring. I just fought a double elite myself of morlu incinerators and corrupted angels. Did the disengage + lure method then threw in a horrify for good measure and managed to get the morlu incinerators separated from the corrupted angels. Killed both packs one after another with not much problems.

Seems like it is all about disengaging lol. The final lesson for all WDs learnt in Act 4, don't be afraid to run XD
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@Bankai,

Here are the videos I promised:
1) Oasis part 1 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sE4HAA6uraQ&feature=youtu.be
2) Oasis part 2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77CtcoMSIhs
3) VotA - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqRuxYydXBQ&feature=youtu.be

The first thing you'll notice is the graphics become very sluggish and I seem to be going in slow motion. That's what I put up with quite often.

For Oasis part 2, timer 2:51 the Fallen Masters did a chain-knock tossing me around. The way to deal with that is in Topic (2) the tips when clearing Act 4.

For the VotA video, the Blazing Guardian pack was at timer 6:40. I wanted to use the aggressive FA and Hex combo, but each time I started doing good damage, I got nightmare. Apart from the 4 affixes I warn about (Nightmarish, Knockback, Vortex, Frozen), add a 5th one for kiting elites - Illusionist. This is because CoB AOE is really small, when the kiters are all over the screen, things get really tough if they also come with a combination of the 4 anti-CoB affixes.

I've looked through your profile again, and I have grounds to suspect that you lack the confidence to tank. Get up close with all the enemies, tank them. Every time you reposition, you go back to half damage. The main reason to use a Skorn is to stay there and deliver maximum damage. I looked at your gear, you're not getting the life sustain I get because you're too far off from the 50% CHC mark. You're simply not ready to use an SoJ and do advanced IAS gearing on your Skorn. You can only use an SoJ, when you have enough attack speed to maintain the 1 critical tick per sec, and when you have that sort of attack speed, you need the SoJ for mana management. Details in Topic (3).

You will notice that I did not use FA for most of the videos, because I seldom meet the type of mobs that need additional tanking. All the techniques used in these videos are the same techniques and casting sequences described in Topic (2). You can use these techniques throughout all the Acts.

Then I began to wonder if you went through the first part of Topic (1) - the "stress" tests to see which MP level is the most suitable for your current set of gears. Maybe you can try to face tank Belial's poison explosions, to get the necessary confidence to get really close and tank.

@every new WD reading this,
This guide is intended to help you make step by step progress towards end-game MP10. You can't expect to clear the end by skipping the front.

The guide is written in this format so that any new player can go through the following steps:
1) Test the suitable MP level (get the confidence from gear-build check)
2) Get familiar with the various mobs (all 4 Acts, Bosses, and Ubers), their special abilities, their animation and what comes after that
3) Use the techniques and casting sequences to deal with the various situations
4) Plan for gear upgrades, understand the balanced approach, know about mana management
5) Get familiar with the whole range of weapons and gear, explore and choose your preference
6) Push up the MP level, return to Point (1) and make progress
7) After clearing MP10, experiment with advanced gear and build concepts, gear-build synergy
8) Return to Point (1) to re-affirm your experiments.
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07/08/2013 12:43 AMPosted by PaulNg
practise a bit on the different techniques and casting sequence


You are dead-on on this; I've been holding back on SW too much frankly -- with GF reducing C/D constantly it can be used outside of simply escaping imminent death :-)

yeah, I'm cash starved until a few pieces sell, but I need to consider a new MH sometime :/

I'm really having no huge issues in MP10 with setting up devouring properly... and PRACTICE!

I'm only on this build for about 2 weeks now, so long way to go!

Thanks Paul!
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07/08/2013 05:57 PMPosted by DethAxe
I've been holding back on SW too much frankly -- with GF reducing C/D constantly


Typo there, GI is the passive that reduces cooldown.
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Paul, love this guide, I am using all the skills you had suggested in here. helps a lot with the survivability on MP10.
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Added an SoJ test on Belial in Topic (3). advanced gearing for Skorn path.

Here's a video on Belial 38 secs,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vc7colH2iXM&feature=youtu.be

187k DPS unbuffed, 4M average critical tick damage.

and for Ghom... 25 secs.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSIQbZa6E98&feature=youtu.be
Edited by PaulNg#6869 on 7/10/2013 3:13 PM PDT
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and for Ghom... 25 secs.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSIQbZa6E98&feature=youtu.be


Paul, if you kill Ghom without stacks for the sake of speed using PtV, why not switch spirit walk for paranoia?
Edited by KyKaH#2425 on 7/11/2013 1:39 AM PDT
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Paul, if you kill Ghom without for the sake of speed using PtV, why not switch spirit walk for paranoia?


To be honest, Ghom fight ends so quickly, the casting animation and human delays actually affect the fight by some seconds.

MC is a monster debuff, hence it is a real-time variable (only last 12 secs)
SW, I needed it to replenish mana.
PTV was to "replace" MC, and eliminate the casting animation (time). Also PTV buff goes into the character sheet (snapshot).

I could do more damage by using MC and taking out SH, I tried that. After all the clumsy pressing of keys and mouse clicks, and finally set up channel, I wasted precious few seconds, end up still the same 25s to 26s. If someone with smooth execution did the same thing, maybe they can clock in 2 secs faster than me with the exact same character sheet.

The Video is not to race or challenge, it's to expand my Topic (3) on advanced gearing for Skorn path (using SoJ and %IAS gears). For this concept, I do not have the additional 2-3 pieces of IAS gears as written, this lack of APS has negative impact in terms of frequency of critical ticks. The SoJ path must be accompanied with IAS gears to maintain the crit frequency, at the same time, the IAS gear needs the SoJ for mana management. They go hand in hand.

Ideally, the video I want to show (when I have the gold), is without using PTV, but having the same kill efficiency (due to higher APS) + better mana management + high frequency of critical ticks. Working hard on crafting and saving gold.
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Paul - I wanted to get your thoughts on 24MS for WD. Mandatory? Optional?
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07/11/2013 06:23 PMPosted by MisoHoney
Paul - I wanted to get your thoughts on 24MS for WD. Mandatory? Optional?


If you intend to play solo, 24% MS is mandatory. If you play in groups mostly, 24% MS is optional.

When solo, all the bosses and mobs target you. There will be frost explosions, tree poisons, SK swipes. When in groups, we're always behind the barbs and monks (even at 24% MS) so we'd need to spirit walk. By the time we get to the frontline, the battle is already in progress and the mobs are clumped together for us to begin channel.

I do not place priority on MS, but I have always moved around at 24% movement. This is due to my gearing philosophy in Topic (3). Topic (4) also shows all the 1H and 2H weapon IAS limits, where getting some pieces will probably involve a Lacuni Bracer. It's not compulsory, but as you upgrade your gears, you will definitely reach a stage of gearing where you will consider some IAS gear. For the bracer slot, Lacuni is the only one that has IAS, and the MS comes along with it by default.

Some players go for Inna's pant, and some even go for both Inna's pants and Lacuni bracer. Since 4-piece Zuni is highly recommended, many of us are at 24% MS.

I will suggest that you have a strong foundation in gearing, whatever your MS, just go with it. As you upgrade your gears or plan for future upgrades, that's where the extra 12% MS (optional) can surface, not because you want the MS, but because you want the IAS.
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07/08/2013 01:08 AMPosted by PaulNg
[quote="94223954227"]- Dealing with knockbacks - there is this blue guy with a hammer that jumps and hits the ground


An interesting point about them is, when you get a critical tick, they will be in pain and it interrupts their action. Crit more often and they basically don't perform the animation to jump and knockback. Another way is to SW from a few yards away, and begin channel slightly between your spirit form and them. They will walk into your CoB towards your spirit form, then the 2 secs is up and you're right inside the group to continue your channel, drop Hex.

Switching to Hysteria can help make this more workable, especially with a big 2 handed weapon. I had a hard time interrupting big hitters on MP10 with my DPS. Hysteria when I crit inflicts quite a lot more damage, which generally produces a stun where I wouldn't have had one before. I suspect at 180k DPS or so it wouldn't matter for me but it makes a difference at 157k.
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07/11/2013 09:48 PMPosted by PaulNg
Paul - I wanted to get your thoughts on 24MS for WD. Mandatory? Optional?


If you intend to play solo, 24% MS is mandatory. If you play in groups mostly, 24% MS is optional.



I strongly disagree. I play solo 90% of the time and don't consider 24% remotely worth what you have to give up to get it. Remember not only are you giving up a ton of EHP, but you are also essentially trading INT for Attack speed on the DPS side. That's a really crappy trade for a CoB WD.

+12% move is nice, but not terribly important considering you have to stand still to kills stuff. Frozen can usually be better handled with well timed spirit walks than running slightly faster away.
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I just turned 60 and I've just started playing again after more than a year. Any suggestions on gear progression? I only have 2m to spend though :(
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very nice post, but you are missing the two, absolutely most efficient build for high-end (MP10) solo play:

DE farming in VOTA:
http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#ciUdjQ!eYT!cZacYb

Farming high density mobs area (fields of misery etc):
http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#chUdjX!eYT!caacYY

regards from EU
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+12% move is nice, but not terribly important considering you have to stand still to kills stuff. Frozen can usually be better handled with well timed spirit walks than running slightly faster away.


Perhaps 12% MS is just as effective for your style of play. I just prefer 24% MS, especially in Act 4, I need to reposition upon getting tossed, and SW is part of my toolkit for fighting, that's where the additional 12% MS helps a lot.

Do not forget, from my perspective, I'm writing a guide for new WDs to clear the game at MP10, and that will have to include Act 4, Ubers, and the various other bosses. If you find your style better, that's fine, do it your way. I am recommending what I think is the most stable for new players.

Another reason is stated in Topic (3), about 2 pieces of IAS gear being good for Skorn. It falls nicely into the 1.16 APS breakpoint, not too sluggish in casting animation, and comfortable for mana management. If the CHC of the new player is somewhere around 44% or higher, that APS will help him achieve 1 critical tick every sec, and that will help a lot in survival. After farming and getting more experience, they can plan their gear upgrades, and go for more aggresive builds.
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