Why darts over spirit barrage?

Witch Doctor
With the mana return rune if you run a very low mana build wouldn't this be a higher single target DPS ability?
Slighty...

But there's better things to use mana for
I'm considering a spirit heavy build using spirit barrage as main nuke. Still on the fence what to use as AOE?

Anyone has a good solid build and viable Hell+ I can reference? Preferably without Soul Harvest or pets. (SH provides little return and too dangerous at higher diff. levels IMO)
I think SH is vital, even in hell. It's the strongest and quickest healing ability WD has. And no matter what your build is, you're always going to end up standing around a bunch of mobs. It's better to be able to heal when you're surrounded by mobs than dying.

Also the damageboost you get from SH is just silly. I kind of hope they nerf it because it's too vital for almost any WD spec right now...
best aoe ability in the game is locust swarm with the mana rune
05/21/2012 02:25 AMPosted by Armies
best aoe ability in the game is locust swarm with the mana rune


You sure? What about acid rain? The aoe range with rune is huge.
I've been using Spirit Barrage because it has a higher damage output. But I might start switching back to darts again beacuse I've had some issues with mana, even with the mana return rune.
05/21/2012 02:25 AMPosted by Armies
best aoe ability in the game is locust swarm with the mana rune


I actually really like all forms of locust swarm, it feels like I could get mana swarm up and use bears for AOE even in inferno.

I replace it for haunt on bosses but I am not even sure that is worth it.
I'm considering a spirit heavy build using spirit barrage as main nuke. Still on the fence what to use as AOE?

Anyone has a good solid build and viable Hell+ I can reference? Preferably without Soul Harvest or pets. (SH provides little return and too dangerous at higher diff. levels IMO)


I've been using this build in Hell: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#SgUPTj!WfU!cbaacY

It's kind of glass cannoniy since I've been partying with a monk, and I'm sure it would be much better with SH, but you could probably replace the long cooldowns with Grasp or Wall or whatever. Rush of Essence and Vision Quest combine to refund 120% of the cost of Spirit Barrage so you can literally spam it forever.
I'm considering a spirit heavy build using spirit barrage as main nuke. Still on the fence what to use as AOE?Anyone has a good solid build and viable Hell+ I can reference? Preferably without Soul Harvest or pets. (SH provides little return and too dangerous at higher diff. levels IMO)


I'm just going to copy > paste this whenever someone asks about Spirit Barrage, as I've already said what needs to be said.

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#gZUkRX!XUf!Zaaaab

This is the build I've been using to solo inferno. The only difference between it and the build I used to solo hell and some of Nightmare is that it gives up the Garg for horrify because, as you said, the guy gets pretty much insta-gibbed by white mobs.

With that said, there's one major point I want to address.

The DPS spells are dumb. You have an obvious Dart spell that costs like 10 mana and does 180% weapon damage per animation. Why do we even have a Spirit Barrage in the game? who thought of that? if you want to spend 1/4th - 1/6th of your mana which is your only juice besides auto-attacking, on a single target nuke, I'd rather it did A LOT more than +10% more damage. Up it to a 300% weapon damage nuke and it still would BARELY be worth it's mana and skill slot over a 288%/575% haunt in single target DPS depending on the need to burst badly. Yes poison, fire and physical damage are different but this is dumb, sorry.


You're looking at spirit barrage wrong. Primarily because the benefit of the spell isn't about the % damage it deals, but about the safety it brings.

Spirit Barrage has a long enough range that you can shoot it off the screen, though not -quite- as far as dart; which makes it better than most AoE nukes which people are training.

It's also fairly mana efficient with the build I use, and I can cast it while kiting elites without having to much worry about my mana, as my build is built to handle it (plus Blood Ritual gives you a ton of extra survival). With this build I can sit there, spam spirit barrage with my abilities up to about half mana, quickly use all my abilities, and then continue to spam it as a nuke whilst gaining mana fairly quickly. Never having to worry about mana is a -huge- boon.

Anyway, Spirit Barrage's strength is that it ignores terrain. With Spirit Barrage you can kite -anything- very easily, especially with my build. Jailors, Vortex, Mortar, Waller, all of these specials get broken by LoS; which Barrage ignores. My WD friend and I, who are both soloing inferno, agree that the ability to DPS from out of LoS as to be immune to most of a rare's mechanics (and you can -stay- out of LoS fairly easily with Wall, Grasp, and Horrify) is stupid good. Dart may be more mana efficient, bats my AoE better, and bears may do more damage, but those all require you to expose yourself to the ravages of special abilities.

Additionally, as icing on the cake, when you're kiting melee mobs, Well of Souls can hit the same target. I.E. when I'm kiting a nasty melee elite, turn to cast a single spirit bolt, and then start running again, the creep takes a slightly staggered 280% weapon damage.



EDIT: I've soloed everything upto act 2 inferno, and am currently just farming act 1 for gear to use and sell. The -only- things which give my problems are super fast elite packs and invulnerable minions (I.E. elite leaping burrowers or imps can be a real PITA or impossible depending on what they get, but that's it.
I hate having to rely on vision quest though, it feels so gimmicky
05/21/2012 02:56 AMPosted by Esoterik
I hate having to rely on vision quest though, it feels so gimmicky


Well then you're basically SoL. Witch Doctors are the only mana using class, where as most other classes use some variation of Rage or Energy from WoW.

As such we've got the largest resource pool, but it's the hardest to regen. Without Vision Quest your options with regards to nukes are very limited, and you're going to find yourself in some sticky situations where you can't do the AoE, snaring, CC, and everything which is required of you because your regen is to low.
Dart has the range of an ICBM, use it to your advantage

oh and it snares too


How does dart snare? not using splinters?
Dart has the range of an ICBM, use it to your advantage

oh and it snares too

How does dart snare? not using splinters?


If you use Numbing Dart it applies a 60% snare.

It, however, requires 2 seconds to tick in order to do the 180% damage that splinters does, and said dot does not stack... It also can't shoot over walls, around corners, and through terrain pieces like a certain spell. >_>


How does dart snare? not using splinters?


Nope, numbing dart. Splinters is a marginal dps gain (and not always, because all 3 things won't always hit) plus you don't really get much chances to cast dart over and over in most situations so you can make near-full use of the dot



If you use Numbing Dart it applies a 60% snare.

It, however, requires 2 seconds to tick in order to do the 180% damage that splinters does, and said dot does not stack... It also can't shoot over walls, around corners, and through terrain pieces like a certain spell. >_>


Indeed, which is the best thing that Spirit barrage has going for it. It's not a bad skill but your build generally needs to cater to it alot more. Dart is just my preference.


Yea I can't really play without darts, the other skills I like don't work with spirit barrage sadly. So you think numbing is > splinters?
When you say you're soloing, does that mean not even using a follower?

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