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Best Consistent Sacrifice WD Ever!!!

Discussion in 'Witch Doctor' started by FizzyBubbly, Mar 26, 2012. | Replies: 77 | Views: 15424

  1. FizzyBubbly

    FizzyBubbly IncGamers Member

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    Best Consistent Sacrifice WD Ever!!!

    After seeing sacrifice I knew i wanted to create a build based on the ability, but it is obvious that the're are inherent short comings with an ability that leaves you without your pets... So how do we make a build where we can make the best use of Sacrifice while not gimping our damage output while summon zombie dogs is on CD?

    Build Link: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#aSYVjT!adZ!aacZZY

    List of Skills:

    Poison Dart-Splinters
    Locust Swarm-Pestilence
    Summon Zombie Dogs-Leeching Beast
    Sacrifice- Next of Kin
    Gargantuan-Big Stinker

    Passive Skills
    Circle of Life-Zombie Handler-Jungle Fortitude


    The first issue we need to address is to be able to spawn zombie dogs without hard casting "Summon Zombie Dogs" one of the key skills for this is "Confusion" with the Devolution rune. This rune allows for a 50% chance to spawn a zombie dog upon death while enemy is confused, this is the highest % chance to spawn a zombie dog from any single skill. We compound this with Sacrifice runed with Next of Kin for an additional 35% chance and finished of with the circle of life passive for another 5%. This leads to a total 90% chance to spawn a zombie dog when confusion is active and sacrifice has been used and killed an enemy.

    With that taken care of we want to keep our DPS consistent and for me consistent DPS means DOTs and for the WD that's poison dmg. Normally we would be tempted to use "Grasp of the Dead" to keep enemy's grouped and at bay while acting as a DOT. However Confusion is our CC ability so instead of adding another CC we look to Locust Swarm runed with Pestilence. Why not Haunt, its awsome and does more DOT dmg right?.. Um.. No.. locus swarm immediately moves to other enemies and with pestilence you will do 320% of weapon dmg over only 8 seconds to 3 enemies rather then 575% over 15 seconds to only 1. Per Second locust Swarm deals more dmg then Haunt and will do it in less time to more enemies. Lets do the math.

    Locust Swarm-Pestilence
    320% dmg over 8 sec to 3 enemies (320/8 = 40% wdps to 3 enemies)

    Haunt
    575% dmg over 15 sec to 1 enemy (575/15 = 38.3% wdps to 1 enemy)

    Now after Locust swarm we still want something to take the attention off our WD and that's a Big Stinky Gargantuan!!

    Why Big stinky and not Humongoid for the cleave? For cleave to be effective enemies need to be in front of the Gargantuan and the cleave will take more then a second per attack, with big stinky runed our gargantuan will do 15% weapon dmg per second to all surrounding enemies, not just the ones in front. Remember DoTs are a warlocks... I mean WD best friend :) and a big hulking walking dot is even better.

    In the end I believe you will be able to run pack to pack and use sacrifice in your rotation on a very consistent basis. This WD will always be damaging enemies either directly or indirectly making for a very consistent and high DPS curve.

    I would greatly appreciate any and all input and constructive criticism from the community.
    Best wishes and can't wait to be able to test when the game is finally released.
  2. z00t

    z00t IncGamers Member

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    Re: Best Consistent Sacrifice WD Ever!!!

    I think it's a really cool build :p.

    Your analysis of Haunt vs Locust Swarm is a bit unfair though, because there's nothing stopping you from casting Haunt onto 3 different targets, and it's even cheaper than using Locust Swarm vs 3 targets :p. When runed with Resentful Spirit, Haunt will even do a LOT more damage (287% weapon damage over 3 seconds with Resentful Spirit).

    The only downside to Haunt in the above situation is the time it takes to cast Haunt on each target.

    Locust Swarm is really good for LOTS of targets, like a horde of enemies. I agree that Locust Swarm is probably better for your build - all I'm saying is that the example you used to justify it may not have been the best :p.

    Locust Swarm works really well in your build because you can hit many more targets with it than Haunt, and you're all about that big AoE damage from Sacrifice.

    In case you weren't aware, the Boogie Man rune for Big Bad Voodoo also gives slain enemies in the area a 50% chance to spawn a Zombie Dog, but if you had to choose only one of either Big Bad Voodoo or Mass Confusion, Mass Confusion's definitely better I reckon, since you have no other CC :p.

    I actually really WOULD like to see one more CC spell besides Mass Confusion, because sometimes raw damage isn't enough, and relying solely on Mass Confusion could be risky with its minute-long cooldown, unless you just take your time with each monster pack, which would be cool, too.

    It's hard to see a skill slot which could be used to make room for another CC/escape spell, since you've done a good job making sure everything here really works toward your build. I'm tempted to say swapping out Gargantuan for Spirit Walk, just because even though you're blowing up your dogs a lot, if you play patiently (waiting for Mass Confusion to reset before each fight), I think you'll be able to maintain a fairly steady flow of dogs to tank for you, so maybe you don't need the Gargantuan as much as a true panic button.
  3. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Best Consistent Sacrifice WD Ever!!!

    I really like the idea behind your build as I'm a huge fan of Sacrifice as well. However, I would go about doing something like this in a different way. First of all let me say, that Summon Zombie Dogs, Sacrifice with Next of Kin, Grave injustice and either Circle of Life or Zombie Handler is absolutely needed for the core of a build like this.

    Here's my proposed build: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#cZYjVd!aYT!.cZZZ

    Let's start with the passives.

    Circle of Life is an obvious choice, although not necessarily a good one. My experience is that its chance to trigger is too small and ideally you'll have much better ways to summon dogs. It's probably better for builds, where you want to use the dogs as a passive defense, but you don't want to use their active skill. It could and probably should be switched to Zombie Handler.

    Grave Injustice is amazing with skills that have a long cooldown, like Summon Zombie Dogs and Mass Confusion. It should be complemented by increased pickup radius on your gear.

    Gruesome Feast should be a beast of a damage and resist boost in the endgame. Since you'll have a large pickup radius it should be easy to keep its stack high. It also helps your mana management.

    Now, the active skills and why I chose them.

    In my experience, Firebats is an amazing skill to clear crowds. It's easily my favorite offensive skill in the beta at the moment. It's short range will help you to stay in range of Circle of Life and Grave Injustice. The mana cost shouldn't be a problem with Gruesome Feast and/or with some mana boosting items. Rune choice is completely up to the player.

    Grasp of the Dead provides another good CC ability beside Mass Confusion, one that should be almost spammable with Grave Injustice. It's rune effect was chosen to provide more fuel for Gruesome Feast.

    Summon Zombie Dogs is a must of course. I switched its rune from Leeching Beast, because I don't think you can rely on your dogs leeching too much when you constantly blow them up. Final Gift provides another good source of Health Globes for Gruesome Feast and of course it helps with healing as well. Also, the cooldown of Zombie Dogs should be much reduced by Grave Injustice.

    Sacrifice, Next of Kin. Mandatory for this build for obvious reasons.

    Mass Confusion, Devotion. The best source of Zombie Dogs outside of the skill itself. Should be used when Zombie Dogs are on cooldown and all your dogs are dead. Again, Grave Injustice will really help with its long cooldown. If the extra CC isn't needed I would consider switching it to Big Bad Voodoo, Boogie Man.

    Soul Harvest, another amazing damage boost. Rune can be chosen based on personal preference.

    The was I see it, healing should be taken care of with all the extra Health Globes, Gruesome Feast provides mana management and for defense you have one spammable and one strong CC and all your dogs. With all the damage boosts Firebats should be more than enough to kill the stragglers left after the sacrifice of you dogs took place.
  4. z00t

    z00t IncGamers Member

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    Re: Best Consistent Sacrifice WD Ever!!!

    A very cool take on the original idea, Hardrock!

    I was initially surprised to see a lack of primary attack, but with all those ways to get Health Globes and the Gruesome Feast passive, you might actually be able to get away without one :p.

    It's not uncommon to see people use Grave Injustice in builds where it doesn't offer any real synergy, but it's put to very good use here.

    With both Circle of Life and Grave Injustice, you even have unique item choices, since you'd have a little more incentive to itemise gold-pickup-radius items more than other builds.


    Both your build and Fizzy's are very cool, but I don't think one is necessarily better than the other. Hardrock's build, I feel, has a much stronger theme and clarity of purpose, but Fizzy's build is 'safer' and more reliable. Hardrock's build makes Health Globe drops a fair bit more likely, but it's still not a guarantee and it'll feel horrible to get screwed just because you got unlucky in one fight :(.
  5. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Best Consistent Sacrifice WD Ever!!!

    I intend to use Firebats liberally with this build as you don't really have anything else to spend your mana pool on.


  6. FizzyBubbly

    FizzyBubbly IncGamers Member

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    Re: Best Consistent Sacrifice WD Ever!!!

    Thanks all for the input and the ideas :thumbsup:

    I like the build Hardrock suggested and actually had thought of a very similar set up. However the spell that everyone's talking about is the one i am very apprehensive of... Soul Harvest... Yes in beta its a bomb and you can easily get 5 stacks on a whim, however i think this will all change in the higher difficulties where I'm positive that the last thing you would want to do is run into a pack of enemies to try and get 5 stacks of soul harvest when the pack you are trying to run into could potentially 2 shot you. I think the beta has given a false sense of security when looking to use Soul Harvest.

    My other concern is that of grave injustice starting at 8yrds i feel even with extended pick up on items you are still looking at a very small ingame area. I also would want my items to have more preferable attributes on them rather then being forced to have extended pick up range on them.

    Also the reason i am picking leeching beast rune for summon zombie dogs is because if i am reading the spells correctly the damage from sacrifice is done by the zombie dog and if the zombie dog is runed with leeching beast I am anticipating sacrifice comboing with the dogs by also giving you a very nice heal. Additionally I want my dogs to be more useful and have survive-ability when I do not want to blow them up.

    I do like the build you suggested and will be testing anything and everything due launch :nod:
  7. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Best Consistent Sacrifice WD Ever!!!

    According to the current list of datamined affixes, on endgame armors we can expect to see +7 yards per armor slot. That means that the absolute max you can get is +49 yards. That's about two thirds of the whole visible screen if you play in a resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

    If Leeching Beast works that way, then I'm sold. :)


  8. jfreezy

    jfreezy IncGamers Member

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    Re: Best Consistent Sacrifice WD Ever!!!

    I don't mean to rain on anyone's parade, as I was also considering a sacrifice build myself. However, http://diablonut.incgamers.com/skill/witchdoctor/sacrifice says that only summoned zombie dogs can be sacrificed. I assume these means sacrifice only applies to dogs that are hard cast with the spell. The official site does not say this, so it may only apply to the beta.
  9. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Best Consistent Sacrifice WD Ever!!!

    You can sacrifice dogs summoned by Circle of Life. I've tried this in the beta with patch 14. I'll try in the current patch tonight, just to be sure.

    EDIT: Yep, Sacrifice works with Circle of Life.
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2012
  10. FizzyBubbly

    FizzyBubbly IncGamers Member

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    Re: Best Consistent Sacrifice WD Ever!!!

    Ya i went and checked as well, and Circle of life says that it has a 5% chance that a zombie dog will "emerge". I think the language of "only summoned zombie dogs can be sacrificed" may be in reference to a zombie dog enemy, if there are zombie dog enemies in the game then you wouldn't be able to sacrifice them to get an insta-kill. Just a thought. With it working with circle of life i can only assume at this point that it will work with the other dog spawning abilities.


  11. jfreezy

    jfreezy IncGamers Member

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    Re: Best Consistent Sacrifice WD Ever!!!

    That's very useful information. Appreciate that guys.
  12. Musashi

    Musashi IncGamers Member

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    Re: Best Consistent Sacrifice WD Ever!!!

    My limited experience with the dogs is that if I rune with the 5% chance passive and get a dog or two or three, the instant I cast the summon dog skill, the 5% chance acquired ones dissipate. So you cannot get more than 3 or 4 if you're using zombie handler no matter what source they come from. The non skill acquired dogs did in fact explode when used with Sacrifice.

    What I'm confused about is why even take the summon dog skill if the runes and passives can give you enough dog to blow up. This would be even more important if I'm right and you cannot have summon skill dogs out and other sources of dogs out at the same time. In the beta this is the way it works and it makes sense it will stay that way. Otherwise you'd have ten dogs out.
  13. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Best Consistent Sacrifice WD Ever!!!

    The reasons are control and rune effects.

    You can't get dogs at will any other way and if you don't have the summon skill with you, your raised dogs will be standard ones, with no rune effects.


  14. Musashi

    Musashi IncGamers Member

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    Re: Best Consistent Sacrifice WD Ever!!!

    I was very interested in finding a pack of dogs that really went boom! I mean a zombie dog nuke right? The fun would be in trying to position them together, use a rune that adds damage at the cost of mana but.......to use a summon skill just to get a runed version of something you get using passives and one rune effect seems too expensive. My point was that you would have to do one or the other. You EITHER take summon skill or you generate dogs with passive and mass confusion rune. There is no point in doing both since the summon skill will kill the other dogs and you're limited to four dogs anyway.

    I really wanted to like this but I just can't get on board now, at least with the information we have. The main way I could see doing this still would be to choose the passive and run dog generation method and alternate two basic build goals....use Mass Confusion. The one minute cool down time can be used to then herd your dogs that it generated, plus the passive dog or dogs to blow something up....then when Mass Confusion is back up rinse and repeat.

    The problem for me is that with a LOT of other skill choices why cripple yourself by waiting for these timers to be successful? There are so many build variations it just doesn't seem worth it. If the dogs exploded for more damage or you could get more than 4 dogs I could see it. I'd like to see a build where you could choose summon skill AND the passive and run affects and have like 12 dogs running around. I find the overall explosion the way the beta is built not sufficent for the timing, skill and passive choices that are required to produce that level of damage.
  15. emiliorf

    emiliorf IncGamers Member

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    Re: Best Consistent Sacrifice WD Ever!!!

    Adressing Musashi's comments I see that sacrifice can not be regarded as the sole reason for the build. But as a very good tool in the bag. I believe that 800% AoE damage that is "Mana Free" is nothing to ignore.

    The way I see this build playing, and I even have another thread on this, is that dogs are not meant to get exploded in the first second of battle. They shall be sacrificed in the moment the first one is on risk of dying, due to damage. The tools to keep dogs coming back are all nice aditions to keep the build going, but most of all, they are good on their own.

    Big Bad Voodoo and Mass confusion are already nice. With Grave injustice adjusting their cooldown, plus the cooldown on summon dogs, that's the second sacrifice valve. As you time your cooldowns, you can use the sacrifice to speed up clean through packs nicely, again, without hindering your mana.

    Now, my concerns for this playstyle are :

    - I still think that it might have issues against single target, where the respawn of mass confusion and big bad voodoo fails. If the single target is able to wipe the dogs rather quick, which kills our control, then the build will be in a tough situation.

    - Dog durability. If at inferno the dogs do poor at staying alive, this build will likely not work, as to survive you'll need to put slot in flee mechanisms like horrify or spirit walk.

    Anyway, that's the same playstyle i'll try first when may 15th arrives
  16. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Best Consistent Sacrifice WD Ever!!!

    Look at the build I posted, if you didn't already. Final Gift isn't a bad choice for a Sacrifice build, especially if one of your passives is Gruesome Feast.


  17. Musashi

    Musashi IncGamers Member

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    Re: Best Consistent Sacrifice WD Ever!!!

    Yes, Emiliorf...that was more my point. I like theme builds or "extreme builds" if you'd prefer which go all out in one direction. I love that you can go All poison Hero with WD. You can go All spirit...in fact I'm inclined to go with an all spirit build....but that's another story....

    You can theoretically go all pet, if not summons...if you consider Toad of Hugeness and Spider Queen a pet anyway.

    But you can't really focus on dogs that go boom. Well, I suppose you can, but of these theme builds, I do expect to get to inferno with them. So there's that caveat. To make Dogs that go boom strong enough takes too many resources and there are heavy game restrictions.

    Essentially what I want to do it put a square peg in a round hole with the zombie dogs. My beef with dogs that go boom is if I can't go all out with it, I need to spend two skills slots to just make them blow up at all. One to summon then and sacrifice. I could use the passives and runes, but for the damage the dogs do after all that trickery, I could have just applied some direct attacks.

    Also, speaking of spirit spells. I think Horrify is super and with some runes to increase duration or range, it's an excellent oh chit skill. It helps your whole party theoretically, but spirit walk only helps you. Again depends on how much you plan on being in a group.
  18. The Vortex

    The Vortex IncGamers Member

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    Re: Best Consistent Sacrifice WD Ever!!!

    Zombie Charger with Explosive Beast rune summons Zombie Dog instead of Zombie Charger but I don't know if the sacrifice of this Zombie Dog counts for a chance of respawn since that Zombie Dog sacrifices itself.
  19. HardRock

    HardRock IncGamers Member

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    Re: Best Consistent Sacrifice WD Ever!!!

    I think Explosive Beast's zombie dog will be basically a projectile, just like the zombie is in the base skill.
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  20. FizzyBubbly

    FizzyBubbly IncGamers Member

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    Re: Best Consistent Sacrifice WD Ever!!!

    I understand that a build that uses sacrifice may be considered extreme, yet that's why my build, the original build posted in this thread seen here : http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#aSYVjT!adZ!aacZZY , is meant as a cohesive series of spells.

    The main issue i see with many people trying to use sacrifice is the builds rely heavily on the dogs being able to practically 1 shot everything. My build uses the dogs as a large nuke yet does not sacrifice the utility of the pet build.

    In reality this IS a pet build that incorporates sacrifice in a way that doesn't hinder your forward progression through an area. This build also revolves around having a very consistent dmg curve utilizing the poison dmg from the gargantuan, locusts, and darts.


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