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 2.7.5 and Season 28.
|Corpse Spiders Widowmakers Locust Swarm Cloud of Insects 1 Big Bad Voodoo Slam Dance 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. 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. When you have settled on a particular fight, use Big Bad Voodoo if it is available, pull enemies in with Piranhas Piranhado and apply Locust Swarm on the targets. This will trigger the damage multiplication of Ring of Emptiness, so you can spam supremely empowered Corpse Spiders all over the battlefield.
What is important to keep in mind about this build is the effect the Arachyr set itself exerts over your playstyle. Note the tethering mechanic between yourself and the Spider Queen from the 2-piece bonus, and try to form the biggest possible pull that your survivability can handle. After that, infest them by commanding the Spider Queen all across the pull; you can keep track via the small black particle effect at the base of infested monsters. Make sure to keep the infestation active via the webbing the Spider Queen leaves behind. While it has a generous 15-second duration, it will provide the basis of both your AoE DPS as well as your own survivability, so you cannot afford to neglect it. Remember that you can only leave the web in short, 4 second sprints, as that is the maximum duration of the damage reduction afforded by the Arachyr set 4-piece bonus.
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 Araneae. Since Depth Diggers no longer require using resource generating skills for its damage multiplication, you are free to use the hard-hitting Widowmakers rune.
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.
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. 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.
Two skills are dedicated exclusively to buffing up 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. The final buff is adaptable to your preferences; the default recommendation is Big Bad Voodoo, which provides a tremendous combat advantage whenever it is active; note that you will have to account for its long cooldown and time its use more carefully with big, important fights. Two runes are very comparable contenders; you can use Ghost Trance early on when you are getting used to the build for more survivability, and transition to Slam Dance when you grow confident and seek to push your damage to its upper limits. Another option that is easier to play with (considering the massive downtime of BBV) is to use Horrify Frightening Aspect, which will bring considerable survivability to the build on demand, with duration that overlaps the downtime even with the basic Paragon CDR investment.
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. 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 Locust Swarm 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. You will get the most damage out of Pierce the Veil, 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. We recommend that you start on Swampland Attunement and adjust from there.
- 22 Feb. 2023: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 28.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 27.
- 14 Apr. 2022: Guide reviewed for Season 26.
- 06 Dec. 2021: Guide revised according to the latest changes to the Arachyr set.
- 07 Nov. 2021: Guide added.
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