Helltooth Zombie Bears Witch Doctor BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points

Last updated on Apr 14, 2022 at 09:00 by Deadset 3 comments

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 2.7.3 and Season 26.

1.

Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives

This build incorporates the complete Helltooth set bonuses, taking five of the six available pieces and cubing a Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur. Rolls-wise, this spender-heavy playstyle makes good use of skill bonuses and Area Damage across gear. Zombie Charger Zombie Charger % is the perfect fourth primary on the Helltooth Greaves Helltooth Greaves and Helltooth Mask Helltooth Mask, while Area Damage is desired on both Helltooth Mantle Helltooth Mantle and Helltooth Gauntlets Helltooth Gauntlets. 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 Swampland Attunement weaknesses with Lightning or Arcane Resists in your secondaries.

Armor set-wise, you will also be crafting and equipping two of the three pieces of the Captain Crimson set (Captain Crimson's Silk Girdle Captain Crimson's Silk Girdle, and either Captain Crimson's Thrust Captain Crimson's Thrust or Captain Crimson's Waders Captain Crimson's Waders). You will complete their full bonus via Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur in the Cube. This set provides CDR as well as RCR bonuses, and then scales your damage dealt and damage reduced according to both stats, respectively — bringing a massive boon to the build.

The ability to store Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur in the Cube to obtain the full Helltooth set bonus allows you to split between offense and defense in the worn jewelry slots. One of the 2.4 reworks, the Endless Walk set — The Compass Rose The Compass Rose ring and The Traveler's Pledge 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 aggro into static Zombie Charger Zombie Charger Zombie Bears Zombie Bears channeling (see this build's skills page for more information).

The Ring of Emptiness 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 either Haunt Haunt or Locust Swarm Locust Swarm.

Lakumba's Ornament Lakumba's Ornament will reduce incoming damage by 60% per Soul Harvest Soul Harvest as baseline (with some variance — aim for the lowest, 1 harvested enemy requirement roll), plus additional 2% damage reduction for each stack.

The reworked Scrimshaw Scrimshaw legendary spear has been tailored for Zombie Charger Zombie Charger builds, eclipsing any potential competition with a naturally high skill damage multiplier and a massive skill-specific resource cost reduction value. The situation is similarly locked in the offhand, where the dedicated Zombie Charger Zombie Charger Zombie Bears Zombie Bears mojo Ursua's Trodden Effigy Ursua's Trodden Effigy will assist you with both a damage multiplier and a skill-enhancing effect. Note that your offhand is interchangeable with Shukrani's Triumph Shukrani's Triumph, which makes Spirit Walk Spirit Walk last until you attack 3 times, or an elite is within 20 yards of you — resulting in outstanding mobility right until you decide to engage in a fight, putting you in a very advantageous position. It also offers a damage multiplier while you are in Spirit Walk Spirit Walk; and while you will lose this form when you attack, you still get a grace period as if you just popped the skill on its own (2 seconds with base Spirit Walk Spirit Walk, 3 seconds with Jaunt Jaunt), giving you another short period of damage multiplication. Simply wear your best rolled mojo between those two, and cube the other.

1.1.

Desired Stats, Breakpoints and Other Notes

For Offense stats, try to obtain Zombie Charger % bonus on the Helm, Boots and Off-hand (maximum of 45%), Poison elemental damage on the amulet and wrists (maximum of 40%), Crit Chance and Crit Damage within a 1:10 ratio (ideally over 60% and 450%, respectively), and Area Damage of 130%+ (everywhere on gear you can reasonably get it — both Rings, Shoulders, Gloves and Off-hand). While Attack Speed is a helpful stat, especially in single target situations (i.e., Rift Guardians), it is not a stat worth pursuing in this build outside of baseline gains from Paragons, a fully stacked Gogok of Swiftness Gogok of Swiftness, and the Enchantress Focused Mind Focused Mind attack speed buff.

For Defense stats, aim for a life pool of 800k-900k; dropping as much as you can for offense as you grow accustomed to the build. You will mostly sustain through the Life per Hit, with at least one roll of it on gear (i.e., the bracers).

All augmentations on gear should be done with your main stat, Intelligence.

Note that the stat suggestions below portray an ideally rolled item with stats listed in relative order of importance. The first four of them are main stats, and the latter two — secondary stats. If your item lacks and is unable to be rerolled into the primary stats outlined below, especially for a stat higher on the list, strongly consider its replacement. Perfecting Secondary stats is mostly a case of hyper-optimization and is not a case for discarding an item, except where noted.

Slot Pieces Stat Priority
Head
  1. Intelligence
  2. Socket
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Zombie Charger % Damage
  5. Physical or Lightning Resistance (Secondary Stat)
  6. Pickup Radius (Secondary Stat)
Shoulders
  1. Intelligence
  2. Area Damage
  3. Cooldown Reduction
  4. Resource Cost Reduction
  5. Physical or Lightning Resistance (Secondary Stat)
  6. Health Globe Healing Bonus (Secondary Stat)
Torso
  1. Intelligence
  2. 3 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. Armor
  5. Physical or Lightning Resistance (Secondary Stat)
  6. Melee or Missile Damage Reduction (Secondary Stat)
Wrists
  1. Intelligence
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Poison % Damage
  4. Life on Hit
  5. Reduced Damage Melee Attacks (Secondary stat)
Hands
  1. Intelligence (or Resource Cost Reduction at high Paragon)
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Area Damage
  5. Physical or Lightning Resistance (Secondary Stat)
Waist
  1. Intelligence
  2. Vitality
  3. Life %
  4. Armor
  5. Physical or Lightning Resistance (Secondary Stat)
  6. Life per Kill (Secondary Stat)
Legs
  1. Intelligence
  2. 2 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. Armor
  5. Pickup Radius (Secondary Stat)
  6. Physical or Lightning Resistance (Secondary Stat)
Feet
  1. Intelligence
  2. Zombie Charger % Damage
  3. Vitality
  4. Armor
  5. Pickup Radius (Secondary Stat)
  6. Health Globe Healing Bonus (Secondary Stat)
Amulet
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Poison % Damage
  5. Physical or Lightning Resistance (Secondary Stat)
  6. Melee or Missile Damage Reduction (Secondary Stat)
Ring #1
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Area Damage or Average Damage
  5. Physical or Lightning Resistance (Secondary Stat)
  6. Life per Kill (Secondary Stat)
Ring #2
  1. Socket
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Area Damage or Average Damage
  5. Physical or Lightning Resistance (Secondary Stat)
  6. Life per Kill (Secondary Stat)
Weapon
  1. High Weapon Damage
  2. Socket (preferably from Ramaladni's Gift Ramaladni's Gift)
  3. Zombie Charger Cost Reduction
  4. Zombie Charger % Damage
  5. Intelligence (or % Damage at high Paragons)
  6. Area Damage
Off-hand
  1. High Damage Range
  2. Intelligence
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Zombie Charger % Damage
  5. Area Damage

To help you with farming the gear you need for your builds, we have two very useful guides that you can access by clicking the links below: a Salvage Guide to help you quickly check whether or not you can safely salvage a piece of gear and a Legendary Farming Guide to help you efficiently farm legendaries and set items.

2.

Paragon Points

In the Core section, max out Movement Speed to the 25% cap. Normally this is done by dumping the first 50 Core Paragon points into Movement Speed, but if your boots have an imperfect roll with Movement Speed as a stat that you cannot replace, adjust the necessary point investment accordingly by simply subtracting your roll from the 25% max. After that, dump as much as you comfortably can into Intelligence, but feel free to invest into Maximum Mana if you want to ease your Zombie Bears Zombie Bears spam, and Vitality if you feel yourself lacking.

In the Offense section, max out Attack Speed, Crit Damage, Crit Chance and Cooldown Reduction in that order. In Defense, prioritize Armor, then Life %, then All Resistance, and finish off with Life Regeneration. In Utility, build up Area Damage and Resource Cost Reduction first, then finish off with Globe Radius and Life on Hit.

Slot Paragon Points
Core
  1. Movement Speed up to 25% cap
  2. Intelligence
  3. Maximum Mana (up to personal preference)
  4. Vitality (up to personal preference)
Offense
  1. Attack Speed
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Cooldown Reduction
Defense
  1. Armor
  2. Life %
  3. All Resistance
  4. Life Regeneration
Utility
  1. Area Damage
  2. Resource Cost Reduction
  3. Globe Radius
  4. Life on Hit
3.

Gems

Bane of the Trapped 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 Languish and the Wall of Death Wall of Death necrosis effect from the Helltooth set.

Gogok of Swiftness Gogok of Swiftness indirectly provides you with more damage and survivability by increasing Cooldown Reduction for Spirit Walk Spirit Walk, Attack Speed for faster Zombie Bears Zombie Bears output, as well as scaling Dodge chance.

Introduced in Season 4, Bane of the Stricken 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.

When it comes to gear gems, you will start out progression by slotting the highest available level of Topazes in the chest and pants sockets. Ideally, these will all be Flawless Royal Topaz Flawless Royal Topazes as soon as possible. As you grow in Paragon (bulking up Intelligence in the Core section) and aim for higher tier and more dangerous GRs, you will transition those gems into the defensive Flawless Royal Ruby Flawless Royal Ruby, scaling the lacking Armor of an Intelligence-based character (Intelligence scales Resistances). There is no specific breakpoint where you do that; the rule of thumb is to make the change as soon as you feel the lack of toughness impede your progress. Since this build is very heavy on resource spending, you should slot a Flawless Royal Topaz Flawless Royal Topaz in your helm. In your weapon, use a Flawless Royal Emerald Flawless Royal Emerald for the Crit Damage boost.

Slot Gems
Jewelry
Helm
Torso and Pants
Weapon

For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.

4.

Kanai's Cube

As previously mentioned, you will wear your better roll between Ursua's Trodden Effigy Ursua's Trodden Effigy and Shukrani's Triumph Shukrani's Triumph, and store the legendary power of your worse rolled item in the Cube.

You have two viable options for the armor slot of the Cube. Belt of Transcendence Belt of Transcendence is the default recommendation, as the Fetish spawns provide an indirect survivability increase with their sheer number, and the "meat wall" they distract your enemies with; this option is easier to play with, since it does not require resource management. A comparable, but harder to maintain defensive bonus can come from Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass, but you need to be extremely careful with your Mana management to not drop below the 90% baseline for the damage reduction effect.

In the Helltooth / Captain Crimson mixture, you will need a Ring of Royal Grandeur Ring of Royal Grandeur, a cache legendary ring from Act I bounties, to tie the two sets together. The ability to run with one full 6-piece set bonus and an additional 3-piece bonus, dodging the undesirable guaranteed stats on the Grandeur by cubing its power, is a tremendous boost to the build.

The Kanai's Cube can be used for much more than simply extracting Legendary powers from items. Please refer to our Kanai's Cube guide for more information.

5.

Follower

The recommended follower for this build during solo GR progression is the Enchantress due to her cooldown reduction buff from Prophetic Harmony Prophetic Harmony, as well as the Focused Mind Focused Mind attack speed buff.

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.

6.

Legendary Potion

The preferred potions for this build are Bottomless Potion of Kulle-Aid Bottomless Potion of Kulle-Aid (allowing you to break down Waller affixes that impede your positioning) and Bottomless Potion of the Tower Bottomless Potion of the Tower (whose Armor-increasing properties complement the naturally high All Resistances stat of Witch Doctors). Pick whichever you feel helps you out the most.

7.

Changelog

  • 14 Apr. 2022: Guide reviewed for Season 26.
  • 06 Dec. 2021: Enriched the guide and added Season 25 Soul Shard recommendations.
  • 22 Jul. 2021: Added S24 Ethereal recommendation.
  • 01 Apr. 2021: Added follower recommendation.
  • 19 Nov. 2020: Revision of item and legendary gem recommendations, alongside advice for Season 22 changes.
  • 01 Jul. 2020: No changes required for Season 21.
  • 14 Mar. 2020: Item recommendations adjusted to reflect the changes to Ring of Emptiness.
  • 22 Nov. 2019: Reviewed for Season 19.
  • 23 Aug. 2019: Reviewed and approved for Season 18.
  • 17 May 2019: Guide was reviewed and approved for Season 17.
  • 18 Jan. 2019: Added suggestions for the baseline Ring of Royal Grandeur for Seasonal characters.
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