Helltooth Gargantuan Witch Doctor Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Helltooth Gargantuan Witch Doctor in Diablo 3. Updated for Patch 2.7.3 and Season 26.
|Wall of Death Communing with Spirits Piranhas Piranhado 1 Soul Harvest Languish 2 Spirit Walk Jaunt 3 Gargantuan Restless Giant 4 Locust Swarm Pestilence|
The build starts runs with an activation of Gargantuan; keep them up throughout the rift and do not hesitate to resummon if their numbers dwindle. You might also find it beneficial to reapply the pets if you get a good pack of enemies, but the pet AI refuses to cooperate and gets stuck somewhere to the side or behind — using the ability resummons them right at your side, so they can focus on the important targets. As a pet-centric spec, you will be expecting the majority of your damage to come from Gargantuan, and you will focus on buffing yourself, debuffing the enemy and creating density with Piranhas Piranhado.
A vital part of your defense and offense comes from constantly capturing enemies within a Wall of Death circle, whose interaction with the 4- and 6-piece set bonuses of Helltooth halves incoming damage and makes affected enemies more susceptible to Gargantuan damage respectively. The remainder of your protection will be split between regular Soul Harvests of the enemy for the armor buffs of Languish, and evading spikes of damage with the temporary invulnerability of Spirit Walk. In fights, position yourself relatively close to the pull in order to trigger the bonuses of Confidence Ritual, preferably inside an Oculus Ring proc from your Follower, and weave in regular casts of Locust Swarm to apply the damage bonuses of Ring of Emptiness. Against Guardians, use Piranhado, Locust Swarm and Wall of Death on the boss regularly to stack Bane of the Stricken faster.
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. Make sure you have the pull prepared to maximize the length of the damage bonus from the mojo.
Skills and Runes
The driving force behind the build is Gargantuan, with the number of summons and each individual's damage multiplied by The Short Man's Finger and Mask of Jeram. With the passive cleave coming from the rune Humongoid (provided by the worn or cubed Spite), you should pick the rune Restless Giant for its superior single-target damage potential. With your reliance on Gargantuan in mind, keep close track of your active Gargantuans and promptly resummon them if one or more fall in combat, or get sidetracked from the main battle.
Since the massive damage multiplication of Ring of Emptiness now applies to non-Fetish summons, you can viably choose between implementing Haunt or Locust Swarm in your build in order to trigger the ring; our default recommendation is Locust Swarm, for the superior spread with Pestilence.
A vital cog in the Helltooth machine comes with the inclusion of Wall of Death; while it will not be providing the majority of the DPS in this build, it is still mandatory to spread the Necrosis debuff. Interacting with all three set bonuses, the Wall of Death-induced Necrosis will slow down and damage your enemies over time, reduce your own damage taken by 60%, and skyrocket the DPS of your summons. You will be cementing your safety with the cold rune Communing with Spirits, decreasing the damage potential of affected enemies by a quarter for 3 seconds.
One of the strongest utility cooldowns of Witch Doctors, Soul Harvest is almost universally a great addition — but especially in builds that take advantage of Sacred Harvester, doubling the number of possible stacks. Soul Harvest acts as a damage buff by default, increasing your Intelligence by up to 30% for the reasonable requirement of 10 harvested enemies. With the Languish rune and the worn Lakumba's Ornament bracers, it nets you additional crowd control and damage reduction properties, solidifying its place in this mid-range playstyle. The naturally overlapping duration simply sweetens the deal.
The place for a movement skill in any endgame build is practically uncontested, and Witch Doctors make no exception with the inclusion of Spirit Walk. The skill is on the upper end of mobility cooldown lengths, but compensates by packing utility: briefly rendering you invulnerable, removing enemy collision and increasing 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.
Ever since the Area Damage mechanics revision that enabled it for pets, enemy grouping skills grew tremendously in value. Witch Doctors' take on that type of utility is found in the Piranhas skill, using the vortex effect of the Piranhado rune. Considering the great damage increase Gargantuans get from cleaving down closely grouped monsters, Piranhado is almost an automatic inclusion and greatly incentivizes taking Grave Injustice as well, in order to reset the vortex cooldown faster.
Midnight Feast supplements the summoner part of the build, enhancing overall pet damage by 50%.
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 easy to maintain due to your close proximity behind the Gargantuan frontline.
Grave Injustice is an elegant source of Cooldown Reduction, synergizing with the mid-range playstyle of the Helltooth Gargantuan 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 (see this build's gear page for more information).
Spirit Vessel is a mainstay for Greater Rift pushing, being the Witch Doctor cheat death passive. It saves you from the death screen once every minute, healing you back to 50% of your maximum Life and puts you in a Spirit Walk-like state, allowing you to quickly reposition. A glassy alternative for this slot is Pierce the Veil, which ramps up your damage. If you are not confident in your survivability, you can also deviate into Swampland Attunement; this passive 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.
- 14 Apr. 2022: Guide reviewed for Season 26.
- 06 Dec. 2021: Revised skill and passive recommendations.
- 22 Jul. 2021: No changes required for Season 24.
- 01 Apr. 2021: No changes required for Season 23.
- 19 Nov. 2020: No changes required for Season 22.
- 01 Jul. 2020: No changes required for Season 21.
- 12 Mar. 2020: No changes necessary for Season 20.
- 22 Nov. 2019: Reviewed for Season 19.
- 23 Aug. 2019: Skill recommendations have been revised for Season 18.
- 17 May 2019: Guide was reviewed and approved for Season 17.
- 18 Jan. 2019: Information was reviewed and approved for Season 16 with no changes required.
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