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Hardcore Witchdoctors unite!

Discussion in 'Witch Doctor' started by Xanth, Sep 24, 2011.

  1. Xanth

    Xanth Diablo: IncGamers Columnist<br>Clan Officer - US N

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    Hardcore Witchdoctors unite!

    What do you think will be the must take active and passive skills for hardcore and why?
     
  2. Muggs

    Muggs Clan Officer - US West Hardcore

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    Re: Hardcore Witchdoctors unite!

    I think a summon WD in HC will be a necessity. Also adding ruins that add to life which there will be a lot of will also be a necessity.

    For instance summon zombie dogs with the Alabaster ruin returns 65% of damage as life for you and your pets add the passive Zombie handler and you have 4x 32.5% returning life to the hero.

    I also think having spirit walk with the alabaster ruin will be imperative to survival which gives 16% of your life for every second spirit walk is active.

    I can see where a WD has so much healing available as a return you can actually over heal yourself and gimp yourself damage wise. The WD is my 1st character and 1st HC character so it will definitely be a juggling act of dmg vs healing.

    Below is my HC build for the WD. This of course is subject to change depending on how certain spells feel and playout. And I am torn between big bad voodoo and gargantuan.

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#bfUSgQ!Xbf!aZaZZa
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  3. smurphys

    smurphys IncGamers Member

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    Re: Hardcore Witchdoctors unite!

    Between health globes, potions and the whole concept of don't get attacked... I don't think healing from skills is particularly important. I am not advocating everyone always taking absolutely none, but I am saying that powers that give self-healing are not a requirement and not a mainstay of a majority of Hardcore Witch Doctors.

    Similarly, Sorcerers and Necromancers in Diablo 2 did not focus on self-healing skills. Avoidance of damage altogether was most important.
     
  4. Muggs

    Muggs Clan Officer - US West Hardcore

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    Re: Hardcore Witchdoctors unite!

    Yes but in D2 we had health pot spam. There was more than once with my HC necro I had was hitting my health pots frantically while running away. And we don't know what the drop rate of health globes will be in Inferno.

    If I do find that I am able to stay alive with my HC WD I will probably drop the healing effect from the zombie dogs and replace it with crimson, which is my desired effect for them, but I do think the one with spirit walk is a double win. It is an escape tool and it heals you while you run.


     
  5. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Hardcore Witchdoctors unite!

    Only half of that 65% will heal you and it's unclear if your pets get the other half or the full 65% themselves. It remains to be seen how effective these Leeching Beasts will be in the long-term, since I think that without damage runes your dogs won't deal too much damage.

    For HC would go with something like this: http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#bThjci!XYW!baccZY

    I really like this build, because (thanks to Zombie Handler) you have 5 permanent and strong summons to keep your enemies busy.

    Your main, multi-target attack is Spirit Barrage with Well of Souls, while Haunt should be used as a life stealing attack if you get damaged in small increments. Since the most used abilities in this build's arsenal is two spirit skills I chose Rush of Essence for mana management, which may not be necessary and could be swapped out for more defense or damage if needed.

    Mass confusion is awesome when you encounter dangerous elite monster packs, since it gives them even more dummies to hit and with Mass Hallucination it also deals extra damage to them.

    Now, the really interesting part is that Sacrifice is set up to resurrect some of your dogs. This can be used offensively by chain-sacrificing or even defensively, since thanks to Final Gift when dogs die, they have a good chance to drop health orbs. By doing this you can heal yourself between battles, without using your potions and activating their cooldown, so potions can be reserved for true emergencies. Oh, did I say that health orbs will also boost your damage? Gruesome Feast is awesome, and with this build it can be used to pre-buff yourself before a battle.

    The way I see it this build has amazing staying power and it's damage should be more than adequate to clear areas.


     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  6. Muggs

    Muggs Clan Officer - US West Hardcore

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    Re: Hardcore Witchdoctors unite!

    If I find that Zombie Dogs heals are lackluster I noted in my 2nd post I would replace alabaster with crimson for some firedogs. I did modify my 1st post to reflect the proper information thanks for pointing that out.

    The biggest issue for me is whether the dogs will be viable tanking pets for inferno. With Gargantuan on a 2min CD it is not a reliable tank for all situations. I can see a situation where I don't use pets at all and rely on slowing and escape skills to keep me alive.


     
  7. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Hardcore Witchdoctors unite!

    I think by default they will be good tanks against normal enemies, but when you'll find yourself facing an elite pack with especially nasty modifiers, then I bet Zombie Handler will be required to keep your dogs alive.


     
  8. Muggs

    Muggs Clan Officer - US West Hardcore

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    Re: Hardcore Witchdoctors unite!

    I agree I have zombie handler in my build too. It almost seems a must have if you plan on being a summoner WD. I just remember running hell baal with my summonancer and watching my summons being decimated in a matter of seconds. I hope that is not the case with WD and I think we can safely assume it won't be and at least it doesn't require corpses.


     
  9. pcguy

    pcguy IncGamers Member

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    Re: Hardcore Witchdoctors unite!

    Shouldn't we examine what the WD will be wearing before we examine what skills the WD will be using?

    If you are stacking defense, then your damage reduction will be high enough that you won't need as many summons or survival skills. For instance, if you had extremely high resists and Damage Reduction, you might just choose to go offensive with all of your skills and use a single skill slot on a skill such as Soul Harvest - Siphon when your health is getting low.

    Conversely, if you choose to ignore defensive items in favor of more damage, you would probably be focusing a lot more on minions, crowd control, and escape abilities. This seems a lot more risky for a hardcore character.
     
  10. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Hardcore Witchdoctors unite!

    Of course items matter, but personally I treat the whole item database as a placeholder until the game gets released or the CM's say that it's more or less final.

    Besides, I reckon that most of the time you will choose your skillset first and your items second, since your playstyle is dictated by your skills and you can swap them around easily. Items are random and because of that I think you will usually equip them when they complement your skills. Although if you get a really cool item, it may change your skill priority, but I don't think that will happen too often.

    The problem is that whatever you do, you will get disconnected from time to time and when it happens summons are your best bet for surviving until the server realizes that you are gone and kicks you out of the game, which may take half a minute.

    I seriously considered Soul Harvest's Siphon effect, but the problem is that I would have to run up to 5 enemies to get a big heal and I don't want to do that when I'm on low health, no matter how much damage reduction I'll have.

    Like I said, I ignored items altogether for now, but I can guarantee you that for Hardcore I would consider using defensive items, even with a defensive skillset.


     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
  11. Muggs

    Muggs Clan Officer - US West Hardcore

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    Re: Hardcore Witchdoctors unite!

    I think spirit walk with the alabaster rune will probably be your best "Oh ****" heal for a WD in HC. You can escape and heal yourself which is double win.


    As far as stacking defense that remains to be seen. With my HC classes I definitely stacked more health and defense if possible but there is also the argument that the best defense is a good offense. If you can kill faster you should in theory be hit much less. Except maybe those annoying hydra spawns.


     
  12. RexCogitans

    RexCogitans IncGamers Member

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    Re: Hardcore Witchdoctors unite!

    Ok, so I've been trying to make a decent Hardcore build for a while. Instead of posting the build first, I think its more insightful if I walk you through my build step by step.

    • Summon Zombie Dogs (A) - Its great to have some meat between you and the horde, as long as we can make it sustainable. (A) improves their survival and is a reliable source of healing (not really bursty, but thats what pots are for).
    • Zombie Handler - Makes the entire difference between having meat between you and the horde and not.
    • Gargantuan (A) - Great synergy with Zombie Handler to keep something alive besides you when **** really hits the fan. Having a source of stun's is very handy.
    • Sacrifice (C) - When we already have 4 dogs, lets take maximum advantage of that. 180% more damage, at all times. The cost: having to cast Summon Zombie Dogs every 60 seconds. Side-benefit: we are guaranteed our dogs are back at full health once every minute.
    • Grasp of the Dead (O) - My favorite active Hardcore skill, helps with zoning the mobs, giving us time to run or our pets to catch up.
    • Horrify (I) - Our final holy crap skill. Only keep use this when you are in serious trouble, we don't want it on cooldown when we are about to die.
    • Haunt (A) - Our damage / spamming active skill. Advantages: Light on mana, does not require standing still, in fact gives us some room to move around without messing with our damage output.
    • Pierce the Veil - The mana drains of this build are very limited. Dogs once a minute minute doesn't cost much, grasp is dirt cheap and Haunt is the cheapest damage spell in the Witch Doctor arsenal.
    • Death Trance - You'd have to have some extraordinary reasons for not picking this in a hardcore build.

    Haunt isn't the most damaging spell the WD has, but its decent and with 200% more damage from Veil+Sacrifice it should give us sufficient killing speed. The pets damage isn't over the top either, but again tripling the damage should help.

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#bhTYec!Xdf!aaZcYa

    Not picking:
    • Fetish Army (G) & Tribal Rites - too many skills for a non-permanent buffer.
    • Spirit Walk - seems too fragile to me. I'd hate to rely on it in scary situations.
    • Soul Harvest - going into the fray, rather than staying back, does not do well on my nerves.
    • Mass Confusion (G) - could replace Horrify, but doesn't seem as reliable.

    Concern: AoE
    • Sacrifice does big AoE every 60 sec, but by casting it on every cooldown, it will likely not be available at need.
    • Could swap out the rune in Gargantuan to indigo for cleave, but that is a very limited area still. We could swap it for obsidian, but that seems weak.
    • Locust Swarm (I) or Acid Cloud (A) seem like good choices provided we don't use them too often (due to cost), but they don't fit as well into the build as the other elements. Whatever they would replace would be a loss to the build.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2011
  13. acroteras

    acroteras IncGamers Member

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    Re: Hardcore Witchdoctors unite!

    This build is so close to one I made a few days ago, I think I went with Indigo on Gargantuan (for a strong cleave) and Golden on Mass Confusion to make it semi-spammable.

    I didn't have HC in mind at the time, though, so I didn't have the haunt glyph either but I can see why you chose it :)

    With 2 or 3 changes to Runes, your build is basically going to be the build I will be using in HC aswell (Never tried HC in D2, but going to try it out in D3!)


     
  14. JoppE

    JoppE IncGamers Member

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    Re: Hardcore Witchdoctors unite!

    Ok here is my build. It will rely on high HP and HP regen gear, and second attack+resistance.
    http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#bhZdYi!cfX!YaabZZ

    The build works around HP regen and thats why i have the passive "Blood Ritual" that makes me pay spells with 50% of my HP and regen 2% hp/second, death trance that will reduce my dmg with 20% when i below 50%
    The zombiedog will act as tanks for me and with the Life link they will abosorb 70% of damage taken, and i assume it will take 70% of my 50% casting damage.

    So the higher HP i'll have the more HP/s i will regen, and with my dmg absorbs the self dmg wount be that high.


    Gargantaun will act like a dmg dealer/tank. Nothing special with him except that he will help a bit whit the crowd control.

    Plague toads will work as my no:1 dmg dealing spell, it's pretty cheap and do good aoe dmg.

    Hex will work as my personal healer.

    GotD , obisdian rune, ( Unbreakable Grasp), or
    GotD , Crimson rune, (Groping Eels)
    Im not sure of which one really, depends if i will need to improve my dmg or not. But it's for AoE crowdcontrol basicly.

    Spirit Barrage with Crimson. Return 40% dmg as healing. This will be my single focus target spell and it will help me stay alive during bossbattles. And with my ability to passivly regen HP it will be a good strategy for me to kite and hide behind my pets.

    I've already talked about most of my passives but the last on is the WD favourit one, Zombie Handler! A must when summons are include with the build.

    The only thing im not sure about is Toads and Spirit barrage, i could swap em to diffrent dmg spells depends how they work.

    What do you guys think?
     
  15. pcguy

    pcguy IncGamers Member

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    Re: Hardcore Witchdoctors unite!

    I think using Hex as a heal is slightly risky here, as it will heal a friendly target. This means it can heal your dogs or gargantuan as well as you. The random nature of the heal makes it somewhat unreliable.

    I also do not yet know if casting spells with the Blood Ritual Passive Skill counts as damage for the purposes of damage absorb by Life Linked dogs and damage reduction from the Death Trance Passive Skill. If Life Linked dogs and Death Trance reduce the damage done to you by casting spells it means:
    1. You will be casting spells at 50% mana and only 15% health, the other 35% of health loss from Blood Ritual will occur in your four dogs, for 8.75% damage to each dog. This will make your spells extremely cheap and spammable.
    2. Your dogs will deteriorate as you cast spells.
    3. If you are at 50% life, spells will cost 50% mana and 40% health. You are looking at spells costing 50% mana and 12% health if Life Link is also active at this time.

    I think a great modification to your skill roster would be to switch Addling Toads to Toad Affinity, as the skill will go from costing 211 mana to 62 mana from the rune modification. This will be further reduced to 31 mana and 31 health from Blood Ritual. The 31 health will then be distributed amongst your Dogs for only 9.3 damage due to Life Link. The 9.3 damage will be then distributed amongst three dogs for only 2.325 damage to each dog per cast! This is extremely negligible damage.

    However, it is possible that damage as described in Life Link and Death Trance only includes "damage taken from enemies". In which case, everything I just typed is null, and you will be using 31 health per cast.


     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
  16. dontpanic

    dontpanic IncGamers Member

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    Re: Hardcore Witchdoctors unite!

    OK this was my first attempt for a HC WD. Basically a standard summoner stay away and kill things from a distance style of play.

    1) Poison Dart (Indigo): Ranged good single monster/boss killer, hopefully it scales well with level so it does not matter that is the first skill available.

    2) Summon zombie dogs (Alabaster): Meat shields with leach.

    3) Grasp of the dead (Obsidian): Basic crowd control.

    4) Firebomb (Crimson): Spammable area of effect attack to kill things.

    5) Spirit walk (Indigo): Just to get out of tough situations.

    6) Sacrifice (Alabaster): High DPS/AOE skill if situation allows with a chance of keeping some of the dogs afterwords.

    Passive 1) Zombie Handler: This one seems a must have.

    Passive 2) Fierce Loyalty: Pets get 100% benefit of thorns and life regeneration items. I am not 100% sure on this one though.

    Passive 3) Death Trance: This also seems like a must have for a HC WD.​

    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#abYfUT!XVf!YacZYa

    Of course there are still so many unknowns that at this point this is all guesswork. By the way, I only played one HC character in D2 but I am really excited to play mostly HC for D3. I don't know, after thinking about it, softcore just seems so pointless.
     
  17. JoppE

    JoppE IncGamers Member

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    Re: Hardcore Witchdoctors unite!

    Thanx for the math, im to lazy to work with numbers like that.

    Yea if the dmg absorbotion skills dosent work like a synergi with bloodritual the whole purpose with the build is lost.
    But i cant deny that i like blood ritual cus the passive HP regen can be really powerfull even if u take dmg when casting spells.
    Another thing to build around is to have the summons and a few hardhitting unspamable spells. Im to tierd to build it in the calc tho, but as long as the HP amount is high it wont hurt to much. Ex if my WD have 10k hp i will gain 200hp/s.
    But then we are there agin, its hard to predict how the end game spells will work in and how your much HP you will have etc.


     
  18. Sulle

    Sulle IncGamers Member

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    Re: Hardcore Witchdoctors unite!

    Yes his survivability is really great. If I am gonna play HC, which i´ll probably do after softcore, then i´ll definitely go with a witch doctor, but the most important reason is, that i love zombies ;)


     
  19. Sulle

    Sulle IncGamers Member

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    Last edited: Oct 12, 2011
  20. demasked

    demasked IncGamers Member

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    Re: Hardcore Witchdoctors unite!

    This also would depend on if you are soloing in Hard Core or whether you are in a team and which kind of builds/characters are in that team.

    As it is, bosses and elites will pose a problem and having a few summoned minions will definitely help. It will also depend if crowd control skills (horrify, confusion) will work against all elites and some bosses.

    Either you are going to "tank" (with summons) or just be a ranged spell caster like Wizard or even Demon Hunter.

    So I guess it depends how you want to play and who you play with that will be the deciding factor.
     

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