SirBoneselot's "You Can’t Run" Witch DoctorCategory: Diablo BlogMay-14-2015 2:00 PM PDT (9 years ago) Go to Blizzard blog

Witch Doctors have a bevy of pets at their disposal, and no set makes them shine more brightly than Zunimassa’s Haunt. However, fire-and-forget pet builds don’t appeal to every player. Sometimes you just need to stay a bit more active. In today’s Play Your Way feature, SirBoneselot#1182 takes a less passive twist on the traditional pet build.

About the Build:

When it comes to Greater Rifts, every player approaches the game differently. Some are content playing the “meta” style by rolling whatever works as it gets popularized on the leaderboards.  Others build around the Legendaries they find, letting their resources dictate which skills they select. Then there are players like SirBoneselot#1182 who land somewhere in between.

You won't be going anywhere, little Gem Hoarder. They're all coming for you!

While he has his eye on that rare Starmetal Kukri that so many Witch Doctors crave, in his own words, he tries “to steer clear of the meta and make something similar but more fun for me to play.” Growing tired of the tried-and-true Plague of Toads builds, he turned toward a versatile ability he enjoys using—Spirit Barrage. As a Hardcore player, he’s focused on a mix of crowd control, massive survivability, and mobility for a mixed-style pet build that’s chock-full of murder and downright fun. 

The Skills:

There are some staple abilities in SirBoneselot’s pet build, though the elemental orientation toward Fire is a less common find. 

Active Skills:

  • Spirit Barrage (Well of Souls)
    • Versatile direct damage that keeps you more active while your pets are mauling enemies
    • Well of Souls rune changes this skill’s damage to Fire to help unify your gearing options
  • Haunt (Poisoned Spirit)
    • Provides a bonus 20% damage for everyone
  • Spirit Walk (Jaunt)
    • A bread and butter survival skill for any Witch Doctor
  • Horrify (Frightening Aspect)
    • Strong crowd control that can be used both offensively and defensively
    • Provides a nice, beefy boost to Armor that’s especially welcome in Hardcore mode
  • Summon Zombie Dogs (Burning Dogs)
    • Adds a few more meat shields to keep yourself protected
    • Burning Dogs rune changes this skill’s damage to Fire to help unify your gearing options
  • Fetish Army (Tiki Torchers)
    • These tiny terrors are necessary to take advantage of the powerful Zunimassa’s Haunt set
    • Tiki Torchers rune changes this skill’s damage to Fire to help unify your gearing options

Passive Skills:

Alternative Skills:

  • Big Bad Voodoo (Slam Dance)
    • Replaces Haunt (Poisoned Spirit)
    • An ideal option after acquiring a Starmetal Kukri, vastly increases damage output for everyone (including your pets)
  • Bad Medicine
    • Replaces Rush of Essence
    • If you aren’t finding Mana a problem, swap this passive in for additional group utility and enemy debuffing from Haunt
    • Note: Don’t swap this in if you’re also swapping out Haunt for Big Bad Voodoo!

The Items:

Zunimassa’s Haunt is the clear necessity in this build and you’ll find most of the other recommended items first and foremost support your pets.

Nearly every last piece has fallen into place for SirBoneselot's build!

Recommended Items:

Complementary Items:

Recommended Legendary Gems:

  • Bane of the Trapped
    • Bonus damage is activated by Horrify
    • Rank 25 offers a slow to keep your enemies at bay while your pets wreck face
  • Enforcer
    • Significantly boosts the damage of all your pets
    • Rank 25 offers survivability for your pets as well, enhancing their already substantial tankiness
  • Taeguk
    • With the ability to constantly Spirit Barrage, it’s easy to benefit from the damage boost this gem provides
    • Rank 25 opens up a plethora of bonus Armor to keep you in the fight 

Recommended Stats:

  • Offensive stats like Attack Speed and Critical Hit Damage are the best stats to improve your pets damage output
  • With a unified elemental type across most of your skills, you’ll naturally want to stack +% Bonus to Fire Damage
  • Toughness, toughness, toughness! As a Hardcore build, this is the last stat you should toss to the wayside

Recommended Difficulty and Game Mode:

This is a strong build with ample room to grow. It’s flexible enough for any situation, from Rifts to Bounties and everything in between. SirBoneselot plays on Hardcore mode, generally running in Torment VI and between Greater Rift levels 30 and 35 using this build. 

Why We Like This Build:

SirBonesalot evolved this build out of a couple of circumstances. It stands as an interim option as he quests for his Starmetal Kukri while taking a common build and mixing it up a little. He needed to scratch the itch of playing it his way, and what results is an engaging take on some serious minion madness. The variations folks can come up with are always great to see, regardless of the reason behind them. It’s even better when it features a satisfying and engaging skill like Spirit Barrage!

Taking screenshots while playing can be lag-inducing and terrifying — kudos to SirBoneselot for braving this on Hardcore!

Tell Us What You Think!

What kind of voodoo is your Witch Doctor rocking? Are you a Zunimassa’s kind of person, or is there another combination of gear you’re focusing on? Have you taken a cookie-cutter build and molded it to your own liking? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to send in your build so we can check it out for ourselves! 

Next week, join me as we recite our Mantras and revisit the Monk class. Until next time!

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