[Build] Spirit Bears with IAS + infinite mana

Witch Doctor
Repost from EU http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/6635004964

Everyone that has played WD for long enough must have figured out that IAS is the last stat you stack for a WD due to mana constraints. Recently I decided to try and make IAS work for high MP farming. And to my surprise, after you have enough IAS, it actually starts to work for regular farm runs, but not ubers.

  • High mana regen (minimum 90 per second: 2 items + zuni bonus)
  • Fast attack speed (1.8aps+)
  • Reduced cost on zombie charger
  • Life leech weapon (recommended for high mp)

  • Doesn't rely on GF or GI to feed you mana
  • Doesn't rely on pickup radius
  • Can be used with CM wiz gear
  • Strong AoE (bears) and good single target (WoS)
  • Makes IAS work (sort of)

  • Terrible for ubers and boss fights (you end up spamming WoS most of the time)
  • I found a use for haunt (my previous stance was this is a pointless skill)

Why does this work?
Key here is Haunt and the regen it provides. Alone Haunt is not that impressive. 98 mana in exchange for 122 mana over 6 seconds or 20.4 MpS (mana per second) is not that great and doesn't really deserve a spot on the skill bar. However with Blood Ritual and Rush of Essence the numbers start to look better: 83 mana in exchange for 171 mana over 6 seconds or 25 MpS with additional 5 MpS for 4 seconds after haunt stops (RoE takes 10 seconds to tick).

So how does this work again?
Every mob hit by haunt gives you 25 MpS for 6 seconds. High attack speed is what makes this viable. With high attack speed you can quickly mark several mobs such as all elites in a pack very quick. After you haunt them your mana regen will spike from 90-104 MpS up to 200-300 MpS at least and it holds there for a good while. You can then proceed to use your massive regen to unleash a torrent of bears and sustain them for a while.

Because your attack speed is so great you only take 1-3 seconds to tag some mobs with haunt, something that doesn't work with low attack speed. After your 3 second tagging you then have about 7 seconds of uninterrupted bear spam (mileage may vary depending on IAS and -cost on bears).

This use of bears is nothing new, what are you selling here?
Usually when you can't sustain bears your mana runs dry and you are forced to either wait or spam primary that does no damage while your mana recovers. With this build you can recast haunt as soon as you see your mana start running low and then you are back to full dps again. You don't rely on globes to feed you should the pack not die. Because of attack speed it's quick to recast and this is what makes it work.

As you walk spam a few haunts before you unleash bears. Usually not a problem for trash unless you are carrying people. On elite packs mark everything then proceed to nuke with bears. When you start running dry just haunt again and keep on nuking. 1-3 seconds to cast 4-7 haunts doesn't really feel like a chore and is easily managed. You don't loose out on dps and it works great in a party.

Anything that attempts to run or is not at optimal for bears gets hosed down with some WoS. WoS works great for teleporters, wallers, goblins, little tiny jumping annoying things, wasps in A2 and everything else you don't wanna get close to with bears. WoS also has huge range so if you find the floor is green and burning and freezing and there is lightsaber disco all over the place just retreat to a safer distance and let them have it. WoS can be powered forever with this build as long as you have 90+ regen (up to 2.4 aps, higher if you factor in haunt).

Well of Souls and Rush of Essence mana stats
Attack Speed
1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8
WoS mana cost per second with BR
129 138 147 156 165 174 184 193 202 211 220 230 239 248 257
Peak regen from RoE
'69 '74 '78 '83 '88 '93 '98 103 108 113 118 123 127 132 137
WoS cost per second after RoE
'60 '64 '68 '73 '77 '81 '86 '90 '94 '98 103 107 111 116 120

Zombie Bears Mana cost
Attack Speed
1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8
Zombie Bears + BR
167 179 190 202 214 226 238 250 262 274 286 298 309 321 333
Zombie Bears + BR with -10 on ZB
153 164 174 185 196 207 218 229 240 251 262 273 283 294 305
Zombie Bears + BR with -20 on ZB
139 149 158 168 178 188 198 208 218 228 238 248 257 267 277

Other Skill Choises
This build leaves 2 active skills and 1 passive open, those extra skills don't affect the functionality of this build. Here are some other good choices if you don't know them already.

Ye, but gets so darn expensive!

I've been at this point, playing with RoE for a couple months, seems like the way to go, but I always end up switching to widowmakers/Vision Quest instead.

For me, mana returns end up seeming about the same, just depends on how you wanna play it.
I just acquired a zuni pox with some ias that has put me over about 1.70 attacks per second, and I've decided to give this a go.
I ended up using all 3 mana passives, but overall this is pretty fun, and I really enjoy it. Thanks for sharing!
If you don't want to use RoE, Haunt. Then a simpler method is to use Locust Swarm/Devouring Swarm. Doesn't require a passive and can be spammed against different group members and the mana return will stack.
To me the method pointed out by the author is too involved (more IAS?) and too skill intensive for less mana.

But I pointed this out to him in his original post and he didn't want to hear it, so you make up your own mind.
skywalkerfx is right.

But this build pays off with High IAS and not standar attack speed.

Also OP you failed to note that Huant jumps from one target to the next if the first target is killed with in that 6 sec of time.

It has higher dps then spiders/VQ and higher mana reg and faster mana recovery then spiders. Spiders do's have higher single target dps only if you dont factor in the fire and forget nature of Huant that frees you up to cast other spells.

And Huant covers the one and only down side of Devouring Swarm. When there is only one target Huant is going to net you more mana and dps then Swarm.

Though Swarm is awsome and frees up passives.

I like both builds.
i used a very very similar build since 1.07 works well even though i have minor attack speed boosts, never really run into mana issues

+1 to get this guide in the sticky guide thread
Makes me wish for a ring or ammy with some more IAS im only up to 1.55 attacks a sec atm... always been a fan of the Spirit Doctor though...
Great post, great build.
I'd like to add my adapted build:

This works very well for me and my mediocre gear (100k dps, ~60 mana regen, 1.9 aps).

MP5 was a breeze, I am sure I could do 6 or 7 almost as easily. I prefer dogs + gargantuan for their distraction/tankability, and the added dps (slight in the case of the dogs, but not to be underestimated on the gargantuan's cleave).
Playstyle is easy, almost lazy. Walk up to monsters and your pets will distract them. Fire off a pestilence, shoot anywhere between 0-5 haunts randomly into the crowd, and hold down well of souls. Rinse, repeat. Jaunt just to get around faster, tank hits, or escape.

If you have better gear than me, you won't need as much stuff propping up your mana - for example, ditch blood ritual or spiritual attunement for whatever you need. Jungle fortitude or bad medicine for pet tanking, spirit vessel for those oopsies moments, or gruesome feast/grave injustice if that's your thing.
Nice change up!!
Thanks for the write up...

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