LoD Spirit Barrage Witch Doctor Speed Farming Variation
The Spirit Barrage LoD build is a capable speed farming build — only suffering on unfavorable long distance layouts or bounties, where a Manajuma-based build is able to outrun it to the destination. 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.
|Spirit Barrage Manitou Locust Swarm Pestilence 1 Horrify Stalker 2 Spirit Walk Severance 3 Summon Zombie Dogs Leeching Beasts 4 Soul Harvest Soul to Waste|
When you are speed farming regular rifts, parts of your playstyle will adapt to the lowered challenge and focus more on speed and utility.
When beginning a run, start with a Phantasm spawn to empower your Manitou; then, Spirit Walk into enemies, pop Big Bad Voodoo into Soul Harvest into Horrify to get their respective buffs up and redo the Spirit Barrage assault. This will implode nearby enemies, resetting your cooldowns via Grave Injustice and In-geom, and you will be ready to start the cycle anew. Cast Locust Swarm on tougher enemies, like Elites and Rift Guardians, to proc the Ring of Emptiness buff. Make sure to recast your buffs regularly, especially Big Bad Voodoo when you change levels — since it does not follow you to the next map.
Adapting Skills and Passives
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.
- Naturally, you will keep Spirit Barrage as your main damage dealer, along with the extra damage rune Manitou. Keep Locust Swarm Pestilence around to proc the effects of Ring of Emptiness whenever you face sturdier enemies like Elites and Guardians. Another piece from the GR solo build that you will keep is Spirit Walk with Severance for the incomparable movement speed it provides.
- Soul Harvest will be kept from the progression spec, but you can alter the defense-oriented Languish rune to the pure movement speed buff of Soul to Waste.
- Enemy grouping from Piranhas Piranhado will not be necessary in the one-shot territories of speed farming, so it is recommended that you swap this slot out for Summon Zombie Dogs Leeching Beasts. The summons will be paired with Fierce Loyalty in your passives for extra speed.
- Depending on your build preferences from the progression spec, you will either swap out Big Bad Voodoo, or keep Horrify in its place. The excessive defense of Frightening Aspect however should be replaced by the speed boost from Stalker.
- Our passive lineup recommendation is Rush of Essence (for resource management), Gruesome Feast (for the massive damage bonuses when killing large groups of enemies quickly), Grave Injustice (for the staple Cooldown Reduction), and Fierce Loyalty (for the movement speed buff from the active summons).
The basics principles of constructing your gear remains intact from the GR progression setup. This is still a Legacy of Dreams build, so you run legendary items instead of set pieces and obtain the necessary damage amplification and reduction associated with the traditional 6-piece sets. This will cost a legendary gem slot, but will net you all the jewelry slots for powerful jewelry options. Your weapon and offhand slots remain fixed to The Barber and Gazing Demise,which enable Spirit Barrage builds in the first place. Other gear slots however will have a more optimal, speed-oriented item fit for the purpose of T16s.
Andariel's Visage is preferred in GR progression as it provides the most damage in the slot; its alternative, Leoric's Crown, is preferable in standard rifts and bounties instead, as it provides a consistent source of Cooldown Reduction that is not reliant on procs like In-geom.
You can consider altering Blackthorne's Jousting Mail to Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan, which will provide both a solid damage bonus as well as improve resource management; their only requirement is that you stay constantly on the move, and will penalize you for not doing so. In T16s however, this is trivial considering the overall kill speed of the build.
The combo of Stone Gauntlets plus Ice Climbers should be dropped entirely, as it is way too defensive for farming difficulties. Replace it with St. Archew's Gage, which offers an upfront shield for the (admittedly trivial) challenge of Elite encounters, and use the Act II bounty cache-specific Illusory Boots for unrestricted mobility.
As a side note on the glove slot, you might remember that the base GR build uses either Stone Gauntlets or Frostburn depending on your better rolled item. Frostburn should be dropped from the T16 setup as well, as its Cold damage buff is unnecessary overkill. Use up the Cube slot for extra flexibility in your belts. Both Goldwrap and Krelm's Buff Belt are supremely useful in standard rift farming and bounties. Goldwrap will provide you with near-infinite toughness via its interaction with Avarice Band and Boon of the Hoarder. Krelm's Buff Belt offers excellent mobility, which you will feel especially useful for bounties. Simply wear your better rolled belt between the two, and cube the other.
Pauldrons of the Skeleton King remain relatively useful, as there is no competing legendary shoulder for the slot for solo play. Homing Pads, which are mandatory during farming as they allow you uninterruptible teleporting back to town, can be worn by your Follower, who will "Emanate" them 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 Homing Pads yourself, since you cannot have a Follower in parties.
During standard rift speed farming, the cyclical damage bonuses of Convention of Elements and the damage reduction of Unity are greatly diminished in usefulness. In their place, wear a Squirt's Necklace and either Rechel's Ring of Larceny (in solo play), or Avarice Band (in groups). Ring of Emptiness remains a universally useful damage amplification item, but should be stored in the Cube; in its place, wear a Cold damage Stone of Jordan for the consistent elemental and elite damage amplification.
- Avarice Band is an Act III bounty cache legendary ring that increases your gold and health globe pickup radius as you pick up gold — stacking to the massive, half-screen circle of 30 yards for a generous 10 second duration. Its legendary power will greatly assist you in maintaining the movement speed bonuses from both a socketed Boon of the Hoarder and the near-invulnerability from Goldwrap. In solo play, you can equip your Follower with the Avarice Band and it will "Emanate" to you (meaning you gain the benefits of the item as if you wore it yourself), opening the slot for Rechel's. In group play, you have to wear the Avarice Band yourself.
- Rechel's Ring of Larceny brings a massive movement speed buff any time you fear your enemies, which you will do quite often with Horrify.
- Squirt's Necklace brings a massive multiplicative damage increase, but comes with an "increased damage taken" drawback. You can use it almost without repercussion however, due to the Goldwrap armor bonuses stacking your toughness sky-high as you farm.
During low tier GRs or normal rift speedruns, an optimized character can avoid the overkill of toughness in the bracer slot by swapping to Warzechian Armguards, whose environment destruction-based speed boosts will greatly improve your rift clear speeds. The former favorites for the slot, Nemesis Bracers, are still quite useful in the build, but during solo farming they can be equipped on your follower, and their power will carry over to your character 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 29: Paragon Cap
Season 29 introduces a season-specific cap to stat benefits from Paragon levels, all while updating how Paragon point distribution is handled. For the duration of this Season, you can only assign 800 Paragon stat points to your character, removing the long-standing practice of main-stat stacking (with some gearing implications — see below) after you reach Paragon 800.
On top of that, you could only allocate 50 Paragon stat points to each of the four stats in a given Paragon category (Core, Offense, Defense, and Utility). In Season 29, you can allocate up to the full 200 points per category into any attribute, allowing you to more easily reach necessary build breakpoints (as outlined in the Gear page of the guide) for Cooldown Reduction, Resource Cost Reduction, etc.
With the changes to Paragon in mind, we recommend using the following Paragon distribution for this build:
- Core: Movement Speed: 200 points.
- Offense: Attack Speed and Critical Hit Damage: Allocate enough points to reach the 2.27 Attack Speed breakpoint as displayed in your Character Details sheet, which puts you at the desirable 21 Frames-per-Animation breakpoint for Spirit Barrage. Spend the rest on Crit Damage.
- Defense: Life and All Resistance: Allocate points to maximize survivability; for Witch Doctors, this is usually achieved by evenly splitting 100 points into Life (directly increasing your Health pool) and Armor (to complement the naturally high All Resistance stat of Intelligence-based characters).
- Utility: Resource Cost Reduction: 200 points.
Season 29: Gearing Considerations
In terms of gear, keeping the Paragon cap in mind is paramount, as it stymies the traditional endless supply of main stat after Paragon 800. This means re-rolling mainstat off your gear is no longer desirable, and full equipment augmentation with your main stat is even more critical. Additionally, you should take a careful look at your build and consider if you can fit the following changes to strengthen your damage and survivability:
- Guardian's Jeopardy: This is a craftable armor set, and the recipe for its creation drops from Bounty farming. Guardian's 2-piece provides a decent damage reduction bonus, but the true powerhouse of the set is the 3-piece bonus, which nets you an additional 100% of your main stats from equipped items. This is a tremendous benefit in an 800 Paragon capped Season. If the Guardian set can fit into the build with minimal sacrifices (other craftable sets, tertiary damage multipliers, etc.), consider its implementation. The available pieces are Guardian's Aversion (Wrists), Guardian's Case (Waist), and Guardian's Gaze (Head). Of course, you can wear 2 pieces of the set and complete the full 3-piece bonus with a Ring of Royal Grandeur (found from Act I bounty caches).
- Endless Walk:This is a jewelry set consisting of The Traveler's Pledge (Amulet) and The Compass Rose (Ring), and is randomly found through farming, gambling Blood Shards, and/or Kanai's Cube recipes. The Endless Walk set is a nice compromise between damage bonuses (building up while stationary) and defensive bonuses (building up while moving). It can replace glass cannon choices like the Bastions of Will set ( Focus and Restraint) and Squirt's Necklace with acceptable losses to DPS.
- Unity: A character wearing this ring, along with another Unity on their follower plus an immortality relic for them (i.e., Enchanting Favor), will reduce their damage taken by 50%. Unity can roll excellent offense-oriented stats and has an innate Extra Damage to Elites roll, which somewhat offsets losing all-out offense jewelry.
In speed runs, taking down Champions and Rift Guardians no longer requires chewing through a near-insurmountable wall of health like in high Greater Rift progression. Thus, you can take off Bane of the Stricken for Boon of the Hoarder, which increases both your gold income (necessary for empowering GRs), as well as your movement speed and survivability (through its interaction with Goldwrap).
|Torso and Pants||
For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.
Adapting Kanai's Cube
In lower tier difficulties, chaining elite kills in the matter of seconds will not be uncommon. As such, In-geom will provide the biggest boon in your weapon Cube slot by practically nullifying all your vital cooldowns ( Spirit Walk, Piranhado).
If you choose to slot Boon of the Hoarder in your sockets while running regular Rifts, your biggest source of survivability easily becomes Goldwrap. This belt renders you practically invulnerable as long as you maintain your killing streak and pick up the streaks of gold from the gem. In lower tier GRs, simply swap this slot back to Lakumba's Ornament.
As previously discussed, you will either have Ring of Emptiness or Rechel's Ring of Larceny (in solo play) / Avarice Band (in groups) in this slot. Wear your better rolled ring between the two, and cube the weaker.
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.
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.
- 13 Sep. 2023: Added Season 29 Paragon Cap and Gearing recommendations.
- 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: Added Cube recommendations for Season 22.
- 01 Jul. 2020: Guide revised to reflect the changes in pet damage calculation.
- 14 Mar. 2020: Guide adjusted to reflect the changes to Ring of Emptiness.
- 22 Nov. 2019: Reviewed for Season 19.
- 23 Aug. 2019: Item recommendations are revised for Season 18.
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