[guide] Zero Pile On Build (with video)

Witch Doctor
Many of you may know there are Wall of Zombies - Pile On builds, but there are no full guides in the forum since the 1.04 patch. So I made this thread.

My Budgeted Build:

Gameplay Video in MP8
In this video you can see perma knock back on elite, due with reflect damage and fast mobs, take advantage of the environment, kill gobins, etc.

How it Work
It is simple. Spamming the 550% weapon damage Pile On by reducing the skill cooldown from 10 to 0-1 second. You may have other skill combinations you like.

To run a Zero Pile On build, you need 4 pieces to reduce the Pile On cooldown to 0.
Each of the below can provide a maximum of 3 sec cooldown:
Mara’s Kaleidoscope
Skull Grasp
Stone of Jordon
Offhand Mojos/ 2-hand bows
(2-hand bows are not recommended as they are no way to out dps 1-hand weapon with Mojo.)

If you are going 1s Pile On build and would like to spam this skill, the optimal choice is to get a 2-hand mace with 0.9 attack speed since Skull Grasp has built-in increase attack speed 6-7%. Any other weapons higher than 0.9 attack speed will make your total attack speed exceed 1.00 which waste your dps. You can only cast 1 Pile On per second anyway. However, 1s Pile On is even harder to gear as you need 3 pieces of jewel with 3 sec cooldown reduction and a good 2-hand mace with lifesteal, socket, 100+ critical damage.

You may also go a hybrid build that use primary skills such as frog and spider as main attack. You will free up the amulet slot by having Mojo and 2 rings to reach -9 cooldown. Then you can stack attack speed or even PtV passive and no need to care about mana.

Other than the cooldown reduction, you need some source of mana regen on gears as Pile On is costing 103 mana. Of course you can always manage your mana by skills.

Pile On animation does scale with attack speed once you reach 0 cooldown. The pile drop on ground around 1.5 to 2 seconds after it is cast. So with a ceremonial knife you may have 3 piles up before the first one drop down. The faster your attack speed, the faster you go out of mana. As mentioned, the delay damage dealt upon casting may be a treat as you are not getting LoH and lifesteal continuously. So once you can sustain your mana, it is always good to have some attack speed.

Like most WD builds, you need much CC and CD. Mara’s Kaleidoscope and Skull Grasp can roll CC and CD, but they are just too hard to appear or cost you a lot. So you need to maximize CC and CD on other slots. Weapon and gloves are your only sources of CD other than Mara’s and Skull Grasp. Thus, don’t expect to have very high paper dps. 100k sheet dps will be the comfortable point at MP8 or above. With 100k sheet dps and the 30% elite bonus from SoJ, you are doing over 1mil AoE damage on critical hit and around 40k on normal hit.

Lifesteal on weapon is mandatory. The high critical AoE damage can always cause fully heal. LoH is a nice add-on with the 50% proc coefficient of Pile On but not necessary unless you are using other high proc rate skills. Pile On itself does not attack that fast to benefit a lot from LoH. Everyone need armor and resist. But Pile On doctor can accept less EHP than typical bear builds. A lot of time you are attacking at long range behind pets. The knock back also prevent you from getting hit. Bear builds are in different play style that require you to stand in the middle of mobs to attack and tank some hits.
“I cannot stand for the slow animation which make this skill really hard to target.”,
“I hate the knockback effect. This skill suck!”,
“I cannot hit any fast running mobs. I will stick back to bears.”,
someone who tried Pile On said.
Well, it may takes some time to familiar with this skill. First of all, I will say you should not place your cursor targeting mobs and cast Pile On. Set Pile On as right click or hold the shift key to cast it. The reason is this skill actually has a small casting range (see the screenshot below). If you targeting mobs with cursor, the pile will properly cast at max range away from you and it will be spawn slightly behind your target. So when mobs approach and smash you, they will pass through your pile before it falls down and you will never hit them. But if you point at your character and cast Pile On right in front of your foot, it is different. The pile will always be spawn in front of your target and that is how you hit close enemies. Slightly adjust your cursor at your character will greatly change the direction of where the pile hits. With this method you are able to predict enemies movement and aim at the right area. In fact, you just need to spam it right in front of you most of the time.

Range of Pile On:

However, there are some mobs that will walk around you in circle, such as elites with fire chain or molten affix. To hit them, you either need to have good prediction or need the assistant from other crowd control skill. Namely, Hex, Grasp of the Dead and other stun/ slow skills. I think Hex is needed in this build to keep a target completely stable while others are optional. Besides, pets are needed in solo play. They make mobs busy and you can aim much easier.

Take advantage of the environment is the key of this build. Walls, doors, corridors, stairs, holes on the grounds, all are your friends. Instead of complaining the knock back effect, you should make use of it. Continuous Pile On Chain can stun lock elites at walls. And once you familiar with the aims, you can try to push mobs to the direction you like, obviously to the walls. Also, Pile On does not affected by ground objects and height differences. For example, standing at 2nd floor and cast on 1st floor, standing behind holes on the ground and let the piles hit opposite side, standing outside a door and cast inside the room.

-pile on
main attacks
-honored guest
spirit walk is mandatory. I found the mana regen is needed for high MP. But you can always choose other runes depending on gears.
it is needed for this build as the hexed target will stay stable. Every fast moving thing will become easy to aim at.

- Most of the primaries, namely, widowmakers, rain of toads, snake to the face, pyrogeist.
- Pets such as life link zombie dogs and bruiser gargantuan. You need something to tank in front of you to make your aim easier. Can be taken out while in groups.
- Unbreakable Grasp. Slow down mobs and you are not going to miss with the delayed pile on.
- Buff skills such as soul harvest, big bad voodoo, frightening aspect and paranoia. More damage and defense is always better.
Hi twinbuster. Could you please include a link to the build you suggest in your post? I know you have the jpeg picture but the skill runes cannot be seen. Can you copy your skill link from your profile and include it in the post?

And what is the highest MP you think the build could be used at - MP10?

Also, I watched your video and it looks like it is killing pretty slow. Why do you think it is as good or better than other skills we have?
Your video reminded me why I gave up on that build. I'm pretty sure you could just spam rain of toads with the same effectiveness and not use 4 pieces of skill specific gear.
I'm not sure how you live through reflects damage.

A high end crit on elites can two shot me. I'm not sure how comparable our Damage Reduction is but it seems close, as is our damage. Maybe I just do more damage on a crit.

I have enough LoH so I use RoT and Acid Rain for those situations.

For my attack speed, with 1.2 aps 1-h spear, with skull grasp, witching hour, and lacuni prowlers, I found out to cast it infinitely, I needed the full zuni set and mana regen on the zuni helmet, Vision Quest, and Blood Ritual. I tried a crit zuni helmet and I was successful in managing my mana during MP8, but I would have to switch to RoT+Acid Rain to regain mana from time to time.
This much mana regen also gave me the side benefit of being able to alternate RoT and acid rain for reflects damage or other dangerous enemies.
The other answer might be to replace lacunis or witching hour to lower attack speed.

But back to casting Pile On, it's annoying, a big pain in the !@#, and it really is a fun time build. Against some enemies I am working REALLY hard just so I can land one or two pile ons. It's great when I can perma-knockback, but it really takes a long time and I can usually only knockback one of the elites at a time. There also has to be a wall near by.

I am constantly casting it and running forward towards the knocked-back enemies. In big open areas though, this is a problem as one can get surrounded. So I basically have to stand back and let the swarm gather up again before dropping a pile on them.

But, it is fun

I'm not going to defense this build is better than other builds. It is all about viability and there are always optimal builds suitable for certain MPs.

I will say that it is safer as I am attack in medium to long range with knockback. I will not be in melee range and take hits very often like the bear build.

You can see I was using 4 defensive skills: honored guest, frightening aspect, jinx and life link. (Actually 5 as Spider Queen is for procing LoH and Vision Quest). I used the full defensive skill setup as my gears are not good enough. Thus, I was killing a bit slow. But you can go aggressive setup with all the dps buff and Dot damage skills once you get better gears to survive.
I just noticed that you had 99K DPS, so I guess I can see why you were killing so slow on MP8. You should have used MP6 for your video because that's where you would play more efficiently.

Posted your guide under - Combination Builds in the stickied Index.
this is the ultimate troll build
Best part will be is looking reducing zombie wall item at AH.... Because you can't find the skill, have to go thru every mara, skull grasp, stone of jordan... LOL
does this work with other runes? spam blocking the mobs sounds fun too
Hi, just because you suggested it, I just now tried it on MP8 act 1.
I used WoZ barricade, zombie dogs, garg, WoS, Acid Rain.

First, this convinces me the default cooldown should be -5s from what it is now. This way one could get 3s~5s with 4 pieces of gear and pile on would be zero cooldown with two pieces of gear.

The reason is now, I have -11s cooldown and that means I can cast once every 9 seconds. But WoZ only lasts 5 seconds. Kind of sucks that I can't keep it up all the time. There is also some skill in casting it correctly, so it's not going to just keep enemies stuck in place with being able to cast over-lapping WoZ.

Sometimes it was like an extra pet keeping enemies at bay. Sometimes it does some damage if I can cast it on a big group of whites like a DoT. One of the best uses I found was to cast it behind a group of enemies so my Scoundrel can knock them back into it. Sometimes if an enemy is knocked back on top of the WoZ, they teleport off screen. Echoing fury fear might work here too, unless the enemies just run around.

In some cases, some elites literally would just run around the WoZ. I think the fire chains AI does this on purpose to try to get you with it, while also ignoring my pets.

But the fun test came in the Cursed Hold (act 1 jailer) where I found an enlightened shrine. This means I can cast WoZ once every 5 seconds, or WoZ can be up all the time. I ran into a double elite right away, both teleporter and molten. Although teleporter seems like the WoZ counter, I would just wait until two of them teleported to me, step back, cast WoZ between us, and then continue WoS/Acid Rain until the next group teleported to me.

If WoZ was default 15s cooldown I could consider making this a high MP build, but otherwise... *shrug*

Ended up killing the Butcher. I think the WoZ helped a little bit for keeping him in place, or maybe I just got lucky. Usually the Butcher is the the hardest act boss fight for me, except for the shadow clones which instant kill me.
thx for trying it out
I'm not sure how you live through reflects damage.

frightening aspect with 10k armor buffed
spirit walk when armor buff on cooldown
shorten the cycle with spirit vessel passive

but it will kill you anyway when you do 1mil crit damage on two or more RD mobs
My crit range is 121,176.19 - 234,403.51, therefore 5x that:
605k to 1.17 million.

Eek. No wonder I just die to RD if I use Pile on.
My crit range is 121,176.19 - 234,403.51, therefore 5x that:
605k to 1.17 million.

Eek. No wonder I just die to RD if I use Pile on.

From d3up.com, my setup can do:
Wall of Zombies - Pile On
Average Hit 678616.83
Damage Range 236093 - 438861
Critical Hit 927847 - 1724725

and I think it is not yet counted the 30% elite bonus from SoJ and 20% bonus from jinx.
Therefore I will get killed by RD anyway no matter how high is my damage reduction.

So are there anyway to do pvp with this build?
I mean spirit walk into the target, hex, then 1 shot the pig with 1.5-2.0 mil critical damage
I've been using a 1 second cooldown set on my 0 Paragon WD with a twist. My theory for the build is to get to 2 aps and alternate between widowmakers and WoZ pile-on. You only need 1 piece of gear that is a "DPS Sacrifice" either a mara's or a skull grasp, and you can cast WoZ every second and also get lots of mana regen from the spiders and VQ.

Tried it out on MP8 in group play and it's loads of fun with cm wizards. Spirit walk is mandatory against reflect packs. Time it so you can heal during the 3 seconds and get armor buffs from horrify/frightening aspect to reduce the reflect just after spirit walk turns off.
twinsbuster good job with the guide.
The only thing you missed: a shield can have wall CD also. You can get a white shield roll with Wall CD and crit. chance.

The biggest problem with the build is that there is no ">3% lifesteal" 2h weapon with wall CD reduction. The 2h bow only gives 3% life steal, that blows the deal.

I have 0 pileon build.
My CM wiz buddy didn't like it much because of the (100% chance) knockback.
I have mana gen mojo and helm (VoG) I still have mana problem (I needed spirit walk for mana refill).
Good thing is... most of the pieces are cheap. However, the wall CD bifecta/trifecta mara can be very pricy. I got one (my barb is wearing it tho).

I remember that I could survive mp10 better with SB build or bear build. Wall build..not so much.

Anyone can add me and I can do some pileon key run, just for fun.
I've been using this for a while. It's fun and decently strong, though it's not going to be as powerful as bears or acid.
Good thread- I'll keep my 0 Pile pieces set aside, for when I'm bored. It could be great. Thanks for the posts.

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