Can someone please explain locust swarm.

Witch Doctor
Or link to a thread that does...

So, I just dinged 60 in a2 hell, threw on my twink gear, cranked it up to MP10, came up with a build, and started facerolling.

When I cast locust swarm on an enemy, it jumps to one other enemy. But then that one can jump to another enemy and so on. When this happens, from the damage numbers, it looks like all the DoTs are dealing roughly the same damage.

Is my 468% weapon damage distributed over all affected mobs? (It seems like no, they all take the full effect.)

Let's say I cast locust swarm on a mob and then two seconds later, it jumps to another mob. Intuitively, mob #1 still has 6 more seconds of locust love before the DoT ends. What about mob #2? Does he get 6 or 8 more seconds?

Is there ever a reason to spam locust swarm into a group of tightly packed enemies? i.e. How many mobs can one locust swarm affect?

It seems as though the locusts can jump from target to target at a greater distance than I can cast them onto a target. Is this right?

Unrelated: Does my physical body take damage from reflect damage while in spirit walk?

Thank for reading, I appreciate any and all help.
1. It does 468% Weapon damage to every enemy affected.
2. Every enemy is affected for 8 seconds.
3. Casting Locust swarm on the same mob will refresh the duration. But casting on two different enemy's will allow it to spread faster. Pestilence rune is better for spreading faster.
4. Yes it can jump further than the distance that you cast them on the target. As long as enemy's are within a certain distance when you cast Locust swarm it will spread to them.
wow that's awesome, thanks a lot
02/11/2013 07:10 AMPosted by ChangBooster
Is there ever a reason to spam locust swarm into a group of tightly packed enemies?

Some players spam Devouring Swarm in large packs to get lots of mana back.

I'm personally not a huge fan of Locust Swarm. If the damage stacked I would use it.
Think my DoT Doctor is inferno viable? It's all based around hard hitting, long duration DoTs and spamming ghost bomb. Dogs + manitou, while not technically DoT damage, they both strike for a whole bunch of smaller hits throughout the fight. Thinking about switching GotD to groping eels...30% damage is nothing to sneeze at, but I'm thinking unbreakable grasp might actually hit harder because mobs will spend more time in the AOE. Pierce the veil is a given since all the damage dealers don't need a lot of refreshing and I'm just spamming ghost bomb. Didn't really know what to do with the other passives. Not interested in on-kill or globe bonus skills because they are useless against bosses/nasty elites, so I went with the toughness that JF provides. Don't forsee a lot of mana issues and I have no life steal, so I figured a 4th leeching beast would be the way to go for the 3rd passive. Plus, I would like my dogs to be borderline unkillable on low MP and ZH helps with that too.
Sure, it's viable if you have the patience for anything less than hard hitting bear spam. I've played with DoTs alot and prefer the fire and forget playstyle.

There are plenty of threads on locust swarm:

I'd try the following for your build:

Add GoTD. Very powerful Dot with CC damage I like rain of corpses b/c it has the highest overall DPS. Many runes are useful.

Add Acid Rain or Rain of Toads, or both - both Tecnically DoT spells with huge survival benefit of allowing you to work with LoH for health return. Much cheaper than Life steal. (Life steal works very well if you can afford it with DoTs like Locust though since you are getting a constant 8 second life return) The combo of these skills would be much more hard hitting than just Ghost bomb and Locust. I like slow-burn rune for best DoT feeling effect.

Poision dogs, if you want for fun. They use a DoT and are the highest damage single target dog attack.

Haunt is generally pretty weak Imo but if you want a boss killing Dot (read Ubers) it can be subbed for locust swarm. Has some utility runes.

General Dot Tips:
Generally keep in mind all the poision DoT spels refresh bad medicine per tick so it's the best way to take advantage of that passive.

Get a Skorn or other high base damage 2-H weapon. Slower, higher damage weapon is better since Locust/GoTD are based off "Weapon Damge" not your modified DPS. Bigger based weapon damage is better (not based on CC/CD unless you get lucky on the cast and it crits) If you must keep 1H/Mojo get a slow Mace/Spear with higher base damage as the next best thing.

Try these builds out for fun:

Mouse 1 Rain of Toads
Mouse 2 AR/Slow burn (Switch to Acid Rain when extra LoH is needed or in really low MP to one-hit mobs)
GoTD, your choice of rune or Locust, your chice of rune (pestilence if using Bad medicine)
Spirit Walk, your choice
Poision Dogs if you like the Dot theme (or your choice of dogs)
Garg, your choice

PTV/BM your choice as per situation
BR - for countering the PTV+Acid Rain mana usage


Mouse 1 RoT
Mouse 2 GoTD, death is life
Locust, your choice
Spirit Walk, your choice
Poision Dogs if you like the Dot theme (or your choice of dogs)
Garg, your choice

JF or BM
Gruesome Feast, synergizes with Death is life to buff Damage along with PTV (since you are using a low mana Primary+Dot build

Each build utilizes 3 Dot Spells, 4 if you count the dogs. These builds are viable at least up to MP6. The first one is basically Blackjack/skywalkers high MP proc build. You can just add your choice of GotD or Locust as you like. It works really well with CC effects to to lock mobs in to place while you slowly tick away at their health.

Very safe builds when played right.
Thanks zuggles, I am using GotD currently, I am gonna have to try out that corpse rain rune. Just going to have to play around with skills tonight before the patch launches!
Sure. Send me an invite, would be fun to play together I bet. Zuggles #1174

At one point I used some + Locust dmg gear on Helm. I think you could get a Maras ammy, skull grasp, and maybe a mojo with it as well if you were really committed to Locust damage.

All that stuff is really cheap since no one gives a crap about Locust swarm.

I eventually opted for just standard damage modifiers (INT, higher damage weapon) instead. Relying more on an AC/Rain CC build. but I use Locust instead of GoTD sometimes for fun. Still my all around favorite skill just purely based on design.

My eventual plan is to get back to a Life steal weapon so I can use locust for life regen again.
K, added you. I feel like I don't even need a LS weapon, I know I'm only on hell, but I am playing MP10 and I am essentially taking no damage from RD. I do have decent mitigation for a new lvl 60 wearing all self-found gear (except the boots, I spent a lot of gold on those for my wiz once upon a time). Small amount of LoH, regen, LoK, and leeching beasts seems to be helping a lot.
Oooh, just thought of one more locust swarm question.

Let's say I cast LS on one enemy on some high MP level. It travels to another and another and so on. Eventually, after 8 seconds, it wears off on the initial monster but the swarms from that same cast are still fluttering around out there. Can it jump back to a monster who has already has that same swarm on him or is he now immune to that same swarm? I know I can simply hit him with another one, that's not what I'm asking. I can't tell on hell because everything dies too fast.
I enjoy the DoT setup, I did have Spirit Barrage but with some elite packs you just can't close to them without risking dying, such as against Arcane Orb packs. I use Corpse Spiders with the Spider Queen Rune as a sort of fire and forget ability. Burning dogs and Big Stinker for Zombie dogs and Gargantuan respectively for more DoT. Haunt is my elite pack/champ/boss nuker that I can use at any distance.

I might get a Skorn later to effect the DoT abilities even more so.
I wrote a whole build thread once about locust. Um.. it turned really ugly. Anyways for a bear locust spec that works great in all mp, check out my char feel free to ask me any questions you like. Once you get to the point you can't kill things quick enough for GI/GF swap it out for SV/BR/SA, SV/BR/JF, SV/SA/JF (if you have multiple max mana items), or if you are on cusp and SV/BR/GI to get the cooldown reduction on normal mobs.

(edit was showing somebody how to vq so my spec is off)

It's Dogs (Hex, or Garg), Jaunt, Locust devouring swarm, Soul Harvest, Grasp, Bears
GI/GF/SA (or BR if you don't have multiple max mana)
Update! Finished hell MP10 (complete faceroll--only time dogs died was at azmo) and jumped right into inferno MP2 using the gear and skills you see in my profile. Cleared ponyland without much issue. Played up to the cemetery on MP2.

Reflect hurts a lot! But that is about to be a thing of the past. The only death was when I ran into a horde/RD pack in the den of the fallen. We all know minions and healthlink RD mobs are getting "bug fixed"! I was able to deal with non-bugged RD mobs pretty well by going easy on the ghost bombs, spirit walks, pots, health globes (or health cupcakes, as it were). The on/off RD aura is going to make it so much easier to strategically use spirit walk and scoop up globes.

I switched over to pub games from cemetery-spider queen. I was lucky enough to get 3 plvl0 wearing mostly hell gear and a couple cheapo legendaries who had like 8k-15k DPS in my game (not being sarcastic, wanted weak players with me). It was complete lol rofl faceroll.

I did some numbers on mana usage for my WD only.

Mana costs with PTV
gotd 159.9
locusts 254.8
manitou 140.4
ghost bomb 13

And then I chose a hypothetical fight with a duration of 40 seconds because it is the least common denominator of 8 (gotd, locusts) and 20 (manitou) to check mana usage and damage output.

1.624 APS over 40 seconds = 64.96 attacks
# of casts / skill = total mana usage for skill over 40s
5 gotd = 799.5
5 locusts = 1274
2 manitou = 280.8
53 ghost bomb = 689
total spent = 3043.3
regen = 57/s * 40s = 2280 + 1007 base = 3287 total mana for 40s fight
3287 - 3043.3 = 243.7 left for spirit walks/dog resummons

This is, of course, the worst case scenario in terms of mana usage, standing in one spot, casting stuff constantly. I'm not gonna go around casting gotd every 8 seconds while plowing through trash mobs. Also, I'm not going to need to actually refresh locusts every 8 seconds against large packs of monsters because it'll jump to all of them and I'll let dogs, ghost bomb and manitou do all the rest of the work. But against a single target like a boss, this would be a pretty good model of mana usage when maximizing damage output is the goal and assuming you aren't doing anything stupid like moving.

Well, what about the damage? Let's say I am fighting a big fatty like ghom...
~84k DPS w/ scoundrel @ 1.624 APS = ~51.7k per 100% weapon damage normal attack
5 gotd @ 416% = 2080% weapon damage ~ 1,075,360 damage over 40s
5 locusts @ 468% = 2340% weapon damage ~ 1,209,780 damage over 40s
2 manitou @ 1667% = 3334% weapon damage ~ 1,723,678 damage over 40s
53 ghost bomb @ 140% = 7420% weapon damage ~ 3,836,140 damage over 40s

15174% weapon damage dealt which is 379.35% weapon damage/sec
7,844,958 total damage dealt = 196,124 real DPS
Sheet DPS multiplier of 2.33x
None of that includes your 4 dogs! They probably would take you up to about 2.5x sheet DPS.
It's not as impressive as VQ bear spam but hey, all you need is 1 mana regen item and 2 max mana items for 40s of sustained maximum damage output.
'Formidable eating machines'

statistics and numbers are boring and dull.

a picture speaks a thousand words.


hope it helps :)
Wow. that's a lot numbers.

One other thing to note about this type of build is that you don't have to avoid IAS. It wont buff your Dot damage but since you cast the dots every 8 seconds and spam a primary in between it helps your casting animation speeds and overall primary damage.
I was using devouring locusts for a bit. I didn't notice any change in damage like it stacking but for mana return I was casting every few seconds or so and would keep returning mana. It just didn't help in elite battles or fewer monsters. The down side was it can take a little more time to spread vs. AC that is AoE instantly.

One thing to watch for is how you gear. If you do an attack speed build your DoT are going to do crappy damage. If you skorn build the hit will be much harder and DoTs will do a lot more damage and especially if you crit when you cast it. Sometimes I'll cast a few times until I see that high damage hit and let it run out it's time.
Yah there definitely is a technique to use it when it comes to mana return. You can just run out and spray it everywhere or keep casting it or the cost will out weight the return, and yes it's not for all situations but if you have bonus vs elite gear you are going to reduce the time it takes to kill single elites you can also always drag stuff. I do it all the time with my barb, monk, and cm wiz to create bigger things to PROC loh, and LS against. We can do the same with to proc our locust into bigger groups if you find a pack alone. Typically though if you a soj, the time it takes to burn down elites will be reduced, the time it takes to kill non will be increased and when it's just the pack that's left you should be able to kill it with your remaining mana as you'll fill back up with GI & Zuni's. Swarm is more for front loading or in combat replenishment depending on the mob sizes.
Is this the build you are referring to Brahm?

I'd try it but I'd hate to get made fun of. Ha.
Is this the build you are referring to Brahm?

I'd try it but I'd hate to get made fun of. Ha.

That's it. Made fun of? It works really really well if you actually take the time to learn the nuances. I'd be happy to show you in game any time, just add me.

If you cut past the crap it's pretty much all there. There were a couple people that really derailed it but I'm sure by now (for anybody who cares) if you took a moment to view their posting history it's pretty clear what their MO was. One in particular seems to go out of his way whenever he graces us with his present to derail threads and has been doing so for a very long time.

This thread, and the other one that popped up recently about locust & devouring swarm show that a lot of people have been coming around. But hey If you are more concerned that some anonymous troll will pick on you stick to what you got.

It's a great working spec, everybody I play with has had nothing but good things to say about how quickly I kill things and just how many bears I can fire off non-stop. It's really allowed me to keep pace with those who have been able to keep re-gearing despite me not doing much in the world of gear since 1.0.4.

But hey it's no skin off my back if people use it or not.
Totally believe it will work. I've used Devouring with other skills and I'm a fan of locust in general.

I was just teasing about the responses and laughing inside a little bit about that thread. I'm well familiar with most of the personalities on the forum from lurking it since release.

In general it makes me happy to see you (who I consider a high powered player and very experienced player) give many of my favorite off-beat skills a decent chance at times. I'd be happy to send you an invite and just ride on the wake of your swath of distruction. But I'd probably just piss you off by stopping to open chests lol.

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