Helltooth Zombie Bears Witch Doctor Skills and Runes

Last updated on Nov 19, 2020 at 09:00 by Deadset 3 comments

On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Helltooth Zombie Bears Witch Doctor in Diablo 3. Updated for patch 2.6.10 and Season 22.

Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Soul Harvest Icon Soul Harvest Languish Languish Right Mouse Button Zombie Charger Icon Zombie Charger Zombie Bears Zombie Bears 1 Summon Zombie Dogs Icon Summon Zombie Dogs Leeching Beasts Leeching Beasts 2 Spirit Walk Icon Spirit Walk Severance Severance 3 Wall of Death Icon Wall of Death Wall of Zombies Wall of Zombies 4 Locust Swarm Icon Locust Swarm Pestilence Pestilence
Passive Skills
1.

Rotation

This potent AoE build squeezes maximum advantage of the Helltooth set buffs of Zombie Charger Zombie Charger and Wall of Death Wall of Death, weaving their alternating use into a landscape of AoE destruction. Your primary goal is to lure as many monsters as you can into your line-shaped DPS output, optimizing the damage potential of Zombie Bears Zombie Bears whilst gaining massive Toughness benefits from Swampland Attunement Swampland Attunement. Locust Swarm Locust Swarm should be used sparingly at the start of an engagement, in order to proc the damage bonuses of Ring of Emptiness Ring of Emptiness, but be careful not to over-spam and drop the Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass bonus. Summon Zombie Dogs Summon Zombie Dogs should only be summoned at the start of the rift and when their numbers need to restored; they are simply there for the health sustain of the Leeching Beasts Leeching Beasts rune. Another mainstay, Spirit Walk Spirit Walk Severance Severance, is necessarily adopted for mobility and escapes. It can also be used to reap a better Soul Harvest Soul Harvest, diving into the enemy to maximize the Languish Languish benefits.

2.

Skills and Runes

The main damage dealer and the namesake of the build, Zombie Charger Zombie Charger Zombie Bears Zombie Bears, is a hard-hitting poison skill that gets amplified by the Helltooth set, the Scrimshaw Scrimshaw spear, Ursua's Trodden Effigy Ursua's Trodden Effigy mojo and various skill percentage rolls on your gear (see this build's gear page for more information). Note that Zombie Bears Zombie Bears heavily rewards positioning: if cast in the open, the skill splits into triple lanes with low range (although remedied somewhat by Ursua's Trodden Effigy Ursua's Trodden Effigy); if cast with your back against a wall however, it travels in a focused, longer reaching line.

The key that unlocks the build's damage potential is found in the Helltooth set centerpiece, Wall of Death Wall of Death. You have some freedom of choice with your rune; you can either go for Wall of Zombies Wall of Zombies, whose monster-grouping powers can help your Area Damage procs, or the Communing with Spirits Communing with Spirits rune for the reduced damage taken from affected enemies.

While seeming out of place in a non-Jade Harvester setup, Locust Swarm Locust Swarm is included strictly as a trigger to the damage multiplication of Ring of Emptiness Ring of Emptiness — it is indeed that valuable. You should take the rune Pestilence Pestilence for the extra spread, helping manage your Mana better and not overspend resources (which would endanger the protection provided by the cubed Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass). Another non-traditional inclusion can be found Summon Zombie Dogs Summon Zombie Dogs, whose Leeching Beasts Leeching Beasts rune will provide some much needed sustain to the build.

One of the strongest utility cooldowns of Witch Doctors, Soul Harvest Soul Harvest is almost universally a great addition — but especially in builds that take advantage of Sacred Harvester Sacred Harvester, doubling the number of possible stacks. Soul Harvest 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 Languish rune and the worn Lakumba's Ornament 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.

Spirit Walk Spirit Walk is the final Witch Doctor staple included in the build, and its moderate cooldown is compensated by its versatility: it renders you invulnerable, removes enemy collision and increases your movement speed by 50%. The recommended rune is Severance Severance, whose 100% additional movement speed will allow you to reposition in the blink of an eye.

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

3.

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.

Blood Ritual Blood Ritual will be included in the build for its resource cost reduction benefits, assisting nicely with this resource-intensive build. It will help you stay above the 90% resource cutoff line for the protection of Aquila Cuirass Aquila Cuirass, and will synergize with the Cpt. Crimson set bonuses for additional damage reduction.

Spirit Vessel 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 Spirit Walk-like state, allowing you to quickly reposition.

A straightforward addition to the build, Confidence Ritual Confidence Ritual increases your damage by 25% against enemies within 20 yards. Relatively matching the fighting range of the build, especially with Zombie Bears Zombie Bears in mind, this passive will be up most of the time.

4.

Changelog

  • 19 Nov. 2020: Revision of skill, rune and passive recommendations.
  • 01 Jul. 2020: No changes required for Season 21.
  • 14 Mar. 2020: Skill 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: Information was reviewed and approved for Season 16 with no changes required.
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