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One of the classes that received a lot of love in Diablo 3‘s patch 2.3 is the Witch Doctor. While the Dagger of Darts build reigned supreme for the past couple of patches, a new contender has entered the arena in the form of the revised Helltooth set. Once useless, the set has been updated to now be competitive with the Darts build, and we present here a Helltooth build that focuses on firing off Zombie Bears. We’ll give a rundown on the skills, gear, and paragon points you want to use to optimize this build.
Zombie Charger – Zombie Bears: This will be our main attack skill. Our choice of weapon – Scrimshaw – is what makes this skill shine, but more on that later.
Corpse Spiders – Blazing Spiders: We want to spam our zombie bears as much as possible, and that means we’ll need mana. Blazing spiders will help us out with that.
Hex – Jinx: This skill applies a huge crowd-control effect and damage buff on a fairly short cooldown.
Wall of Death – Fire Wall: The image shows Communing with Spirits as the rune to take, but upon further reflection, Fire Wall is the superior choice. The Wall of Death runes that create rings instead of lines are more difficult to aim, because the spot on which you cast the spell – the center of the ring – is unaffected. Enemies need to touch the ring itself, not be within it. Further, Fire Wall dishes out a ton of damage, and Wall of Death is central to this build.
Spirit Walk – Jaunt: You hardly see a Witch Doctor build without this skill. It is both an escape and a mobility skill, and since we’ll be in the thick of things with this build, the ability to escape if you get overwhelmed is critical.
Soul Harvest – Languish: It buffs your damage, it buffs your toughness, it crowd controls your enemies, it allows for 100% uptime… is there anything this skill doesn’t do?
Passive Abilities: Confidence Ritual, Swampland Attunement, Spirit Vessel, Pierce the Veil, and if you have a 5th passive thanks to a Hellfire Amulet, Gruesome Feast. Spirit Vessel can be dropped if dying isn’t a major concern to you. With this being a close-range build, Confidence Ritual and Swampland Attunement are essential.
The crux of this build is, obviously, the Helltooth set. You’ll need the six-piece set bonus in order to benefit from the huge damage boost you’ll get after casting Wall of Death. The only other required gear for this build is Scrimshaw, which makes Zombie Bears a viable skill by reducing its mana cost and increasing its damage.
The other gear pieces are what make this build even better and capable of completing Greater Rifts in the 60s. The Focus and Restraint rings give you a huge damage boost, Jeram’s Bracers make Wall of Death a significant damage source for you, and The Thing of the Deep expands your pickup radius which, thanks to the Swampland Attunement passive, results in a massive toughness boost whenever enemies are on-screen. The Hellfire Amulet is your best-in-slot amulet, but any amulet will suffice. As for the Belt of Transcendence, this item is selected simply because there is no alternative that is better, but any belt can work.
The items you want to cube include The Furnace in order to take down guardians and elites quicker; the convention of elements for elemental damage buffs; and the Grin Reaper in order to spawn clones that will cast your spells alongside you, making you even more effective.
Legendary Gems: Bane of the Trapped, because you will be hitting enemies near you and they will be under the influence of this gem’s level 25 effect; Molten Wildebeest’s Gizzard and Esoteric Alteration for the extra survivability.
- Core: Get your total move speed up to 25%, then dump all the rest all into Intelligence.
- Offense: Crit damage, crit chance, attack speed.
- Defense: Life, armor, all resist.
- Utility: Resource cost reduction, area damage, life on hit.