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Helltooth Acid Cloud Witch Doctor Skills and Runes

Last updated on Jun 29, 2017 at 13:39 by Deadset

Table of Contents

General Information

Below, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Helltooth Acid Cloud Witch Doctor in Diablo 3. Updated for patch 2.6 and Season 11.

The other pages of our Helltooth Acid Cloud Witch Doctor guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Poison Dart Icon Poison Dart Spined Dart Spined Dart Right Mouse Button Acid Cloud Icon Acid Cloud Slow Burn Slow Burn 1 Wall of Death Icon Wall of Death Fire Wall Fire Wall 2 Spirit Walk Icon Spirit Walk Jaunt Jaunt 3 Piranhas Icon Piranhas Piranhado Piranhado 4 Haunt Icon Haunt Poisoned Spirit Poisoned Spirit
Passive Skills

1. Rotation

The build takes advantage of the potent Helltooth set buffs of Acid Cloud Acid Cloud and Wall of Death Wall of Death — both of which are wide area of effect, damage over time spells. Your main focus is on dropping as many Slow Burn Slow Burn and Fire Wall Fire Wall effects as you can, kiting the monsters through their AoE. You will be using a Mana-generating primary not only to restore resources, but to also proc your Focus Focus and Restraint Restraint rings — so weave it regularly into your spender spam. To maximize the effect of your offensive spells, group and debuff monsters with Piranhas Piranhas Piranhado Piranhado and Haunt Haunt Poisoned Spirit Poisoned Spirit. Finally, as Witch Doctors traditionally suffer against bursty elite affixes, their staple mobility skill is taken yet again: Spirit Walk Spirit Walk Jaunt Jaunt.

2. Skills, Runes and Passives

The first half of your major damage output, Acid Cloud Acid Cloud takes on the unusual cold element through the Slow Burn Slow Burn rune. While its AoE is surpassed by Acid Rain Acid Rain and its upfront burst by Corpse Bomb Corpse Bomb, Slow Burn Slow Burn compensates with the best damage over time and the stacking nature of its DoT. Considering the slow from the Helltooth 2-piece bonus, keeping monsters under the effect of Slow Burn Slow Burn becomes trivial, and its overall DPS reigns superior among its peers.

The other half is found in the opposite element, through the Wall of Death Wall of Death Fire Wall Fire Wall rune. While it seemingly clashes with Slow Burn Slow Burn, Fire Wall Fire Wall shares a common trait by being a stacking DoT, and its short length guarantees solid numbers for every tick. The potential of the skill is reinforced by its damage buffs coming from both the Helltooth 6-piece bonus and Jeram's Bracers Jeram's Bracers.

With its emphasis on Mana-intensive spellcasting, the build needs to include a generator. While the general recommendation is the straightforward, bursty Mana gain from Poison Dart Poison Dart Spined Dart Spined Dart, pretty much all the primary generators available to Witch Doctors can fulfill the same purpose (Corpse Spiders Corpse Spiders Blazing Spiders Blazing Spiders, Plague of Toads Plague of Toads Toad Affinity Toad Affinity). Generators solidify their place in the build by proccing the primary skill requirement half of the Focus Focus and Restraint Restraint bonus.

While seeming out of place in a non-Jade Harvester setup, Haunt Haunt is included in the build mostly as a trigger to the damage multiplication of the cubed Ring of Emptiness Ring of Emptiness, along with a cubed Wormwood Wormwood. Even so, you gain a minor active benefit in the form of the Poisoned Spirit Poisoned Spirit debuff, adding to your overall damage.

The only Witch Doctor ability to offer mobility, invulnerability and free passage through enemies, Spirit Walk Spirit Walk is a staple in most builds. While its cooldown is not the lowest among its peers for other classes, it makes up with the solid 3-second duration of the Jaunt Jaunt rune. If you value mobility over a lengthier invulnerability window, you can freely alternate into the Severance Severance rune — especially preferred in speedruns.

While it can be considered part of the spenders affected by Helltooth or a trigger to Bastions of Will, the reason to take Piranhas Piranhas lies in the grouping capabilities of Piranhado Piranhado. As the build relies heavily on enemy positioning within the Slow Burn Slow Burn AoE, the benefits from a pulling ability are undeniable — and Piranhado Piranhado is a standout in the field.

This concludes the overview of the active skills, now let us look through the passives.

Swampland Attunement Swampland Attunement is a play on the selective resistance mechanic (also observed on the Tal Rasha set), and offers considerable defenses — but only against elements Witch Doctors can use. Protecting within a starting radius of 20 yards and extendable by Pickup Radius on gear, this passive is yet another reason to pay close attention to secondary stats. Note the absence of Lightning or Arcane Resistance, and strive to obtain it wherever you can on gear.

Spirit Vessel Spirit Vessel is considered mandatory when pushing Greater Rifts as a Witch Doctor, similarly to other cheat death passives for other classes. On top of the second life proc, it heals you to 50% of your maximum health and triggers a Spirit Walk Spirit Walk-like effect, allowing you to escape danger.

Among the most dynamic and interesting passives in the game, Grave Injustice Grave Injustice is a Cooldown Reduction engine that fuels the damage output and survivability of the build. It delivers a neat package of CDR, health and Mana regeneration upon killing an enemy within a starting radius of 20 yards, extendable by Pickup Radius on gear.

Confidence Ritual Confidence Ritual is another straightforward addition, increasing your damage by 25% against enemies within 20 yards — arguably a dangerous bonus to keep up, but relatively easier to maintain due to your constant close proximity to the enemy.

About the Author

This build is presented to you by Deadset, one of the very few professional Diablo 3 players. Deadset regularly publishes video guides on Youtube and streams on Twitch, where you can see how this and other builds play out in practice.

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