Arachyr Corpse Spiders Witch Doctor Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Arachyr Corpse Spiders Witch Doctor in Diablo 3. Updated for Patch 2.7.2 and Season 25.
|Corpse Spiders Blazing Spiders Locust Swarm Pestilence 1 Horrify Frightening Aspect 2 Spirit Walk Jaunt 3 Soul Harvest Languish 4 Piranhas Piranhado|
Apply Soul Harvest for the invaluable damage reduction of Lakumba's Ornament, and try your best to strengthen it by casting the skill on a pack of monsters, rather than singular stragglers. This will maximize your protective stacks. For additional protection, apply Horrify Frightening Aspect as soon as it is off cooldown — but ideally as you dive into an enemy pack, to enjoy the crowd control effects of the base skill effect. Due to the powers of Shukrani's Triumph, you have near limitless mobility and safety in your Spirit Walk state, so you can pick and choose where and when to fight. Even better, you gain a damage multiplier while you are in Spirit Walk form. While you will exit the form when you attack or approach an elite (as per the offhand legendary power), you have an additional grace period that will be as long as your default cast of Spirit Walk, which we can lengthen via the Jaunt rune. Halfway into the Cold cycle of Convention of Elements, pull enemies in with Piranhas Piranhado and apply Locust Swarm on the target; the swarm will spread on its own via Pestilence. This will trigger the damage multiplication of Ring of Emptiness just as you enter the Fire cycle of your Convention of Elements rotation, so you can spam supremely empowered Corpse Spiders for almost the entire cycle.
Skills and Runes
Corpse Spiders is the main damage dealer of the build, propped up by the powers of the Arachyr set and dedicated legendaries like The Spider Queen's Grasp and Brood of Aranae. In order to proc the damage multiplication effect of Depth Diggers, we will be using the mana-generating rune Blazing Spiders.
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, with the ease and Mana efficiency of the Pestilence rune. Make a habit of applying Locust Swarm as the Cold cycle of CoE ends, just before your burst cycle during Fire.
A grouping skill is never amiss in a Greater Rift progression build, and Witch Doctors have a single skill for the purpose — 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.
Two skills are dedicated exclusively to the protection of the Witch Doctor as he spreads his webs of death and carnage. Soul Harvest empowered by a worn or cubed Sacred Harvester is a staple of the class, as it buffs you up with a 30% Intelligence increase for a reasonable 10 enemy Harvest, and also doubles your Armor via the Languish rune and reduces incoming damage by up to 80% through Lakumba's Ornament. You will strengthen your defenses even further with Horrify, whose base crowd control aspects are augmented by the 50% Armor buff of Frightening Aspect. Even with basic Paragon investment into Cooldown Reduction, the rune duration will match the skill's cooldown, giving you the opportunity to overlap the protective effect.
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 and extra damage from your Shukrani's Triumph power, covering almost the entirety of your burst cycle. 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.
While Corpse Spiders can be tossed at a long range, other factors — like the point-blank Locust Swarm or the Bane of the Trapped radius — force you into short-to-mid range at best. To gain something for that restriction, 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 Pestilence can jump to the next fight over).
Grave Injustice is an elegant source of Cooldown Reduction, synergizing with the mid-range playstyle of the Corpse Spiders build. For each enemy killed in a 20-yard radius of the Witch Doctor, it not only reduces your cooldowns by a second, but also replenishes your health and mana reserves by 1%. Take notice of the pickup radius synergy and try to obtain that stat in the secondaries of your gear.
You have some room for choice in your last passive slot. Our base recommendation is Pierce the Veil for the additional damage, as it is basically a free buff on a build that is so cheap on Mana. If you are playing Hardcore however, or simply dislike a glassy setup like this, you can safely alter to the WD cheat death passive Spirit Vessel, or the resistance enhancement of Swampland Attunement, which matches the fighting range of the build.
- 07 Nov. 2021: Guide added.
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