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 2.6.6 and Season 18.
|Wall of Death Communing with Spirits Piranhas Piranhado 1 Soul Harvest Languish 2 Spirit Walk Jaunt 3 Gargantuan Restless Giant 4 Summon Zombie Dogs Leeching Beasts|
The build starts runs with an activation of both your pets, Gargantuan and Summon Zombie Dogs; 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 respectively halves incoming damage and makes affected enemies more susceptible to Gargantuan damage. 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.
Skills, Runes and Passives
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. With the passive cleave coming from the rune Humongoid (provided by the 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.
The other half of your pets come in the form of Summon Zombie Dogs. You can take several approaches when picking out the rune, but the general recommendation is to keep the dogs as a utility skill to complement the build — Leeching Beasts will provide some welcome sustain into a build that struggles for healing.
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 weaken enemies to your damage, reduce your own damage taken by 50%, 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 reduces incoming damage in half, solidifying its place in this mid-range playstyle. The naturally overlapping duration simply sweetens the deal.
The mobility staple of the Witch Doctor toolbox, Spirit Walk finds its place in yet another build. Its moderate cooldown is compensated by its versatility: it renders you invulnerable, removes enemy collision and increases your movement speed by 50% — all for the generous 3 seconds of Jaunt. If you value mobility over a lengthier invulnerability window, you can freely alternate into the Severance rune — especially preferred in speedruns.
With respect to the Area Damage fixes in 2.4 (working properly with skills and pets), Piranhas is taken for the solitary grouping tool of Witch Doctors — the vortex effect of the Piranhado rune. It is hard to argue with the addition of a pull in a build that benefits so much from clumped up enemies, and is a major reason to include Grave Injustice for faster Piranhado cooldown resets.
This concludes the overview of the active skills, now let us look through the passives.
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.
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. If you are not confident in your survivability, you can safely 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 (should you choose Swampland Attunement, of course).
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.
- 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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