Helltooth Zombie Bears Witch Doctor Speed Farming Variation
The Zombie Bears Witch Doctor deals with regular Rift farming decently all the way through the highest Torments, making it a viable build for the task. We have solo speed GR rankings and solo speed T16 rankings if you want to know more about which builds are best for speed farming.
Within the limited scope of regular difficulties, the necessary damage and toughness to triumph over the enemy is significantly smaller. Thus, your best course of action is to improve utility and speed.
|Soul Harvest Soul to Waste Zombie Charger Zombie Bears 1 Summon Zombie Dogs Life Link 2 Spirit Walk Severance 3 Horrify Stalker 4 Wall of Death Surrounded by Death|
When you are speed farming regular rifts, parts of your playstyle will adapt to the lowered challenge and focus more on speed and utility.
Before you begin the runs, spawn Summon Zombie Dogs to proc the movement speed buff of Fierce Loyalty. Similarly to the GR progression build, you will start runs by proccing the Helltooth 4-piece damage reduction bonus by hitting something with Wall of Death or Zombie Bears as soon as possible. You will add to it the Soul Harvest buff, but unlike the GR variant where we use it for protection, here you aim for the Soul to Waste movement speed bump. Horrify is also used as a movement speed buff via the rune Stalker. Refresh all three buffs regularly and never let them fall off.
You will have near-limitless mobility via the Spirit Walk cooldown resets from Grave Injustice, which allows you to zip through Rifts with the Severance rune. Locust Swarm will be automatically spread via Wormwood, so you only need to care about aiming Zombie Bears in the right direction.
Parts of the skill and passive selection will overlap with the base Greater Rift progression build, but others will have to change according to the task at hand. Ability to cross over great distances faster and more efficiently take precedence.
- Zombie Charger is still your main damage dealer, taken with the build namesake rune Zombie Bears.
- Wall of Death is still mandatory in the build, but you can swap the overly defensive Communing with Spirits rune for the CC-oriented Surrounded by Death.
- Locust Swarm is still valuable to the build for the Ring of Emptiness damage amplification, but you will attain the skill for free from a cubed Wormwood. You can use the freed up skill slot for the extra movement speed of Horrify Stalker.
- You should exchange the unnecessarily tanky Languish rune of Soul Harvest for the boost of speed coming from Soul to Waste.
- You can keep some crowd control in the build with Piranhas Piranhado, but pulling enemies can be overkill for T16 runs; consider using Summon Zombie Dogs instead for the movement speed proc with Fierce Loyalty. Get some extra toughness via the rune Life Link.
- In your passives, replace the progression-oriented Blood Ritual and Swampland Attunement for a cheat death failsafe from Spirit Vessel and a speed bump from Fierce Loyalty. Replace Confidence Ritual with Gruesome Feast, as it undeniably offers the strongest damage increase among its peers, provided you can keep it stacked with health globes — an easy task when farming. Keep Grave Injustice for the cooldown reduction utility.
The basics of your gear setup remain the same; you still run 5 of the 6 Helltooth set pieces, plus 2 Cpt. Crimson pieces and a Ring of Royal Grandeur to attain the full bonuses of both sets. Your weapon and offhand are also fixed to Zombie Bears-specific items with Scrimshaw and Ursua's Trodden Effigy. The actual adaptation happens in your remaining gear pieces.
The buildup mechanics of the Endless Walk set are too slow to be of any use during speed farming; in their stead, use Rechel's Ring of Larceny (whose movement speed bonus will be triggered constantly via Horrify), and the consistent damage multiplier from Squirt's Necklace (its downside will be negated by the relative invulnerability imposed by the stacked Goldwrap bonuses). You will keep Ring of Emptiness from the GR progression build, as it provides a time- and pacing-agnostic damage bonus at the mere cost of including Locust Swarm in the build, attained via the cubed Wormwood.
It should be noted that Avarice Band is a supremely useful legendary item that, in conjunction with Goldwrap and Boon of the Hoarder, will form a gold triumvirate that keeps you safe and showered in gold as you farm up T16s. When you are farming solo however, this ring can be equipped on your Follower, and its power will "Emanate" to you (meaning you gain the benefits of the item as if you wore it yourself). That being said, in group farming you will need to wear the Avarice Band yourself, replacing Rechel's, since you cannot have a Follower in parties.
Early on in character progression, you can keep Lakumba's Ornament for the immense damage reduction it provides to the build. When you have progressed your character and are comfortable with Goldwrap mechanics and relying on procs to survive, you can swap Lakumba's Ornament out for Warzechian Armguards, which provide you with an additional speed boost based on environmental destruction. The former favorite for the slot, Nemesis Bracers, are still quite valuable to the build; when soloing, they should be equipped on the follower however, since their power can be transferred to you via the Emanate mechanic.
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.
Season 28: Altar of Rites
Season 28 comes with the theme of the Altar of Rites — a powerful new account-wide and Season-specific progression system that brings tremendous offensive and defensive buffs to every seasonal character. For virtually all builds and players of all skill levels — from casual to advanced — we recommend progressing through the Altar tree using the path outlined below. The suggested path is geared towards maximum quality of life first, then amplifying damage, and then mopping up the tree with defensive and edge case utility nodes.
Note that while they require reaching them with a Seal, Legendary Potion Powers are not part of the Seal cost system; Potions unlock with a separate resource called Primordial Ashes, obtained from salvaging Legendary or Set items of Primal (red bordered) quality. Upgrade them as soon as possible, and in the order shown below (courtesy of Caleko's Altar of Rites planner).
You can read more on the Altar of Rites, Seals and Legendary Potion Powers in our dedicated Altar of Rites Mechanics guide.
When doing regular Rifts, the utility provided by Gogok of Swiftness will be overshadowed by the near-invulnerability courtesy of the interaction between Boon of the Hoarder with Goldwrap. Bane of the Stricken should give way to Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard, whose shielding mechanics will safeguard your Squirt's Necklace damage bonus. Bane of the Trapped remains a universally useful damage amplification gem.
|Torso and Pants||
For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.
Adapting Kanai's Cube
In regular Rift runs, the progression-oriented damage multiplier from Shukrani's Triumph will not be necessary, and is best replaced by the convenience of the self-casting proc for Ring of Emptiness found in Wormwood. As discussed above, Goldwrap trumps any other sources of protection during standard rifts, including the GR recommendation Aquila Cuirass. Ring of Royal Grandeur is still necessary to tie the Helltooth and Cpt. Crimson sets together.
The recommended follower for this build during standard rift farming for keys is the Enchantress due to her numerous utility bonuses, allowing you to smooth out your speed runs even further.
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.
Your recommended potion is Bottomless Potion of the Tower, whose Armor-increasing properties complement the naturally high All Resistances stat of Witch Doctors (due to Intelligence scaling Resistances) for optimal survivability.
- 22 Feb. 2023: Added Season 28 Altar of Rites recommendations.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Added Season 27 Angelic Crucible recommendations.
- 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: Minor gear revision and added follower recommendation.
- 19 Nov. 2020: Revision of item, skill and passive recommendations, alongside advice for Season 22 changes.
- 01 Jul. 2020: No changes required for Season 21.
- 14 Mar. 2020: Guide adjusted to reflect the changes to Ring of Emptiness.
- 22 Nov. 2019: Reviewed for Season 19.
- 23 Aug. 2019: Flavor of Time is now the recommended amulet.
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