Arachyr Angry Chicken Witch Doctor Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Arachyr Angry Chicken Witch Doctor in Diablo 3. Updated for Patch 2.7.7 and Season 30.
|Locust Swarm Cloud of Insects Spirit Barrage Phantasm 1 Hex Angry Chicken 2 Piranhas Piranhado 3 Spirit Walk Jaunt 4 Soul Harvest Languish
Start out runs by popping your ghostly Spirit Walk form; its temporary invulnerability allows you to dive into a nearby group of enemies fearlessly, and the lack of collision with monsters lets you position right in the middle of the pack for the maximum possible stacks of Soul Harvest possible. It should go without saying, but Soul Harvest needs to stay up throughout the run, so re-apply it accordingly in-between your chicken transformations.
Then, prepare as large of a monster pull as you can handle, using Spirit Barrage and Locust Swarm; the former is especially useful for Bane of the Stricken stacks on the Rift Guardian, while the latter will also apply the damage multiplication of Ring of Emptiness in preparation for your big burst. Both Mana spenders will trigger the Fetish Sycophants passive, securing ample Fetish summons to be swapped into Chickens by Cluckeye.
Once the Poison cycle of Convention of Elements rolls around, use Hex Angry Chicken and kamikaze into the thick of monsters, hopefully decimating everything in your poultry path. Any remnants from the initial detonation should be grouped up again with Piranhas Piranhado (after a judgment call if they're worth your time, of course) — ideally on top of an Oculus Ring proc — and blown up again with Angry Chicken. Once the battlefield clears up, move on with Spirit Walk and begin the cycle anew.
Skills and Runes
Your main damage dealer and namesake of the build is Hex Angry Chicken, whose once meme-tacular damage is amplified to endgame proportions with the powers of the Manajuma set ( Manajuma's Carving Knife and Manajuma's Gory Fetch), the WD-specific Cluckeye bow, and various other Witch Doctor self-buffs.
In order to clump up enemies together and counter the relatively small, 12-yard radius of the Angry Chicken explosion, you will be using Piranhas Piranhado — the solitary pulling tool of Witch Doctors, but a strong one, being able to stack enemies on top of each other (the so-called "pixel pull") to the tremendous benefit of your Area Damage stat.
Spirit Barrage Phantasm serves a twofold purpose; first and foremost, it is a reliable Mana spending tool to proc the Fetish Sycophants passive, quickly amassing you a Fetish army to be turned into Chickens by the Cluckeye. Second, it is used as a stacking tool for Bane of the Stricken during the Rift Guardian fight — since Chickens will not work for the purpose, and none of your other spells will work quite as reliably.
The build dedicates one skill slot to trigger the crucial damage multiplication bonuses of Ring of Emptiness. Your best candidate for the slot is the spreading effect of Locust Swarm, either with the protective Cloud of Insects or with the improved spread and Mana efficiency of the Pestilence rune (the latter is especially useful for GR speed farming in lower difficulties). Locust Swarm will also proc Fetish Sycophants, which is a nice bonus on top!
A grouping skill is never amiss in a Greater Rift progression build, and even more so in a build relying on a 12-yard Chicken detonation radius — thus, you will take Piranhas with the Piranhado rune. Try to time your grouping skill just prior to your burst window as described in the Rotation above, as Piranhado has a fairly long base cooldown. Note that Piranhado is one of the few pulls in the game that can stack enemies in a collision-overwriting manner, making the tightest possible clumps (the so-called "pixelpulling"). To make the most of its pull, aim at a spot free of enemies; casting on top of an occupied spot will deprive you of the pixelpull. Spots with an Oculus Ring procs are also great targets for Piranhado. An alternative for this slot — or even your Spirit Walk, if you're feeling brave — is Wall of Death Wall of Zombies, which is able to shift around bigger packs, but requires more precision and planning!
One of the strongest utility cooldowns of Witch Doctors, Soul Harvest is a great addition to the build. It acts as a damage buff by default, increasing your Intelligence by up to 15% for the modest requirement of 5 harvested enemies. With the Languish rune and Lakumba's Ornament bracers, it attains additional crowd control and toughness buff properties, solidifying its place in this melee-range playstyle. The naturally overlapping duration simply sweetens the deal.
Spirit Walk is another Witch Doctor staple, and its moderate cooldown is compensated by its versatility: it renders you invulnerable, removes enemy collision and increases your movement speed by 50%. You have some freedom in your rune of choice. With the default recommendation of Jaunt, you have a lengthier period of safety. An alternative for the slot is the rune Severance, whose 100% additional movement speed will allow you to reposition more easily and skip entire unfavorable GR floors with ease.
In order to gain some advantage of the restrictive close-and-personal range of Angry Chicken explosions you will take the Confidence Ritual passive, which enhances your damage by 25% for enemies in a 20-yard radius.
Arachyr Doctors take Creeping Death during Greater Rift progression to extend the effect of Locust Swarm on their targets for the duration of the entire fight, removing the necessity to re-apply Locust Swarm for the Ring of Emptiness benefits every couple of seconds. Because of this passive, it needs to be cast just once per engagement (and potentially less, as Locust Swarm can jump to the next fight over).
A well-rounded DPS increase for Greater Rifting, Pierce the Veil provides a guaranteed 20% additive damage bonus at the cost of a 30% increase in Mana costs. The drawback is hardly noticeable in this build, as it is mostly cooldown-centric and your chosen Mana spenders are cheap and effective. For additional survivability — whether due to your personal preference, or when playing Hardcore — you should swap this passive out for the Spirit Vessel cheat death.
Fetish Sycophants is a signature passive of the build, spawning additional Fetishes as you naturally go through your rotations. Capping at an impressive 15, this ability solidifies the meat shield in front of you and provides a massive burst of damage through the Cluckeye transformation when you go in for the kill.
- 10 Jan. 2024: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 30.
- 13 Sep. 2023: Guide added.
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