Helltooth Zombie Bears Witch Doctor BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your Helltooth Zombie Bears Witch Doctor in Diablo 3 and why. We also list your paragon points and Kanai's Cube items. Updated for patch 2.6.4 and Season 16.
1. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
This build incorporates the complete Helltooth set, taking all six available pieces and opening the jewelry for the damage multiplication of the Endless Walk set. Rolls-wise, this spender-heavy playstyle makes good use of skill bonuses across gear. Wall of Death % bonus is sought after on the Helltooth Tunic, alongside Toughness stats; on the Helltooth Mantle, it is ideally paired with Area Damage. Zombie Charger % is the perfect fourth primary on the Helltooth Greaves, and can be considered on the Helltooth Mask — but it is unlikely that you can spare the Vitality loss. The Helltooth Leg Guards are strictly a source of protection, and the Helltooth Gauntlets are best taken with a hefty Vitality roll alongside the usual Intelligence and double Crit stats. With the current class design, secondary stats have become quite important for Witch Doctors, and Helltooth builds are no exception: try to offset your Swampland Attunement weaknesses with Lightning or Arcane Resists in your secondaries. Another thing to note if you opt for Henri's Perquisition (discussed below) is that pickup radius becomes an important secondary stat — and it is recommended you get a total of at least 10, spread across several pieces.
For Season 16 adjustments, please refer to our dedicated section below.
Not skipping on any of the six available set pieces to obtain the full Helltooth set bonus allows you to split between offense and defense in the jewelry slots. One of the 2.4 reworks, the Endless Walk set — The Compass Rose ring and The Traveler's Pledge amulet — adds a unique mechanic that slowly increases your damage by up to a 100% if you remain stationary, and drains it away and increases your damage reduction while moving. This mirrors the Zombie Bears playstyle, which goes from extended periods of drawing agro with Corpse Spiders spam into static Zombie Charger Zombie Bears channeling.
The Ring of Emptiness will occupy your second ring slot; while seemingly an odd addition to the set, this ring dramatically increases your damage against enemies affected by both Haunt and Locust Swarm. You will be applying the former manually, while the latter will be spread by the cubed Wormwood.
This is by no means a pet build, but the Belt of Transcendence is still adopted to give you a better Fetish Sycophants passive at the cost of a gear slot. With its guaranteed trigger, this belt will quickly take you to the cap of 15 summons that act as a solid meat shield and distraction for your enemies.
Undeniably best-in-slot for the build, Jeram's Bracers increase the damage of Wall of Death by up to a 100%. As if that was not enough, they also enable the use of Wall of Death thrice within one cooldown period, allowing you to cover an entire room in incinerating flames. Stat-wise, seek Intelligence, Crit Chance and Fire damage.
The reworked Scrimshaw legendary spear has been tailored for Zombie Charger builds, eclipsing any potential competition with a natural skill bonus roll of up to 80%, along with a unique resource cost reduction property of up to 50%. Notice the large roll ranges of both stats and aim to obtain as close to the maximum values as you can, along with high damage range, damage %, Intelligence and Area Damage.
The offhand slot remains open for a mojo of your choice; your best option is Henri's Perquisition, offering a significant source of upfront damage reduction and crowd control. Alternatively, you can wield a Thing of the Deep, whose uniquely large pickup radius property will maximize the benefits of Swampland Attunement and Grave Injustice. Regardless of your choice, aim for high damage range, Intelligence, Vitality, Crit Chance and Wall of Death skill roll.
1.1. Season 16 Adjustments
During Season 16 (and in seasonal play only), you will be getting the benefits of Ring of Royal Grandeur passively, without the need to wear it. For the Zombie Bears WD builds, this allows you to greatly increase the build's damage potential.
With the addition of a free RoRG effect, you are now able to drop a single core Helltooth piece while still retaining the set's full bonuses. Your best option in this case is to increase the build's damage output by replacing Helltooth Gauntlets with Swamp Land Waders. While the legendary property of these pants will not be used in this setup, their unique ability to roll elemental damage — specifically, Poison in this case — makes them a highly desirable DPS increase.
2. Paragon Points
Bane of the Trapped is a potent source of additional damage, as it is its own multiplier in your total damage calculation. The gem procs itself with its level 25 property when in range, and is otherwise triggered by Languish and the Wall of Death necrosis effect from the Helltooth set.
Esoteric Alteration is the strongest mitigation gem available, and its impact is noticeable in this close range caster build. Improving your elemental resistances with every gem level and adding an emergency toughness spike through the level 25 property, Esoteric Alteration ensures that enemies will have a hard time bursting you down in higher Greater Rifts.
Introduced in Season 4, Bane of the Stricken occupies the third and final jewelry socket. Building up your damage multiplicatively in prolonged fights and with a level 25 bonus specifically targeting Rift Guardians, this gem is designed to assist AoE heavy builds in their struggle against single target, high HP enemies. While Zombie Bears WDs do well in 1v1 combat, it is a testament to the quality of the gem that it still comes out as the biggest damage increase for the setup.
|Torso and Pants||
4. Kanai's Cube
While greatly efficient at it, automatically spreading a generic Locust Swarm with a cubed Wormwood might seem an odd choice. However the combination of Haunt on your skill bar and Locust Swarm in the Cube unlocks the potential of Ring of Emptiness multiplication, which is far too high to ignore.
The Grin Reaper has been consistently buffed, casting almost the entirety of your skill selection at an improved rate and range. The mimics will also benefit from the Helltooth 6 piece bonuses, turning into a significant, independent source of damage for the build.
For more information regarding followers, we advise you to read our Follower Guide, which contains detailed advice for choosing the skills and the gear of your follower.
- 18 Jan. 2019: Added suggestions for the baseline Ring of Royal Grandeur for Seasonal characters.
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