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Locust swarm pestilence farming build.

Discussion in 'Witch Doctor' started by aerial, Nov 7, 2012. | Replies: 23 | Views: 34834

  1. aerial

    aerial IncGamers Member

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    I was tired of acid cloud, so came up for nice farming/exping build.


    [​IMG]


    Idea: Build around locust swarm, that focuses on killing all trash with 1 hit of the skill, at low monster power (1 or 2), at 100% success rate. Eliminate dependance of crit chance, for long duration dot skill.


    Now, the problem of all dot skills is, as they are usually very powerful damage but in one hit, is being dependent on crit chance. These skills either crit and kill targets fast, or not crit and don't kill anything at all.
    The reason why this is happening is low base damage of our weapons. If you use ceremonial knife + mojo combo, minimal base damage if it is around 400 for knife, 100 for mojo, not counting bonuses from jewelery. But if you hit dot with that, and it rolls low minimal damage and doesn't crit.. it deals very little damage, and most likely doesn't kill anything.
    If we use 2h, it gets better. But we don't really want to use skorn as it is 1.00 speed and that weapon has not best base damage. It has crit bonus, and with 2h we end up having around 30% crit chance. Do we care if 30% of targets hit by locust swarm die instantly? No. The point is to make sure everything that didn't get hit by crit dies relatively fast (within 8s duration of skill at least).
    So best way is to use 2h 0.9 speed mace with as high as possible minimal damage, preferably life steal and high inteligence.
    What increases damage of "white" hits? Primary stat, bonus damage to skill, skill enhanced damage. So ideal weapon is mace with high base damage and high inteligence.
    Skill bonuses come from helm, ring(s), amulet. Helm can roll up to 14% locust swarm, rings soj and skull grasp 12%, maras 12%. But we don't really want to use skull grasp at point of leveling paragon, so I suggest using only soj and hellfire ring.
    At low monster power, we don't need crit chance and crit bonus for this build. If our weakes non crit hit kills any trash monster in the game, with minimal damage roll, crit doesn't really matter. We will not kill faster with it. Elites die to bears at mp1/2 in 2-3 seconds, and trash dies to 1 hit of locust, regardless if it is crit or not.


    Priorities:
    - highest minimal base damage weapon
    - inteligence
    - locust swarm damage bonus (helm, ring, amulet)
    - enhanced damage skills (pierce the veil and provoke the pack)


    [​IMG]


    For example locust swarm damage with items:
    360% over 8s base. 14% helm, 12% soj, 12% mara = 38%. After bonus it is 497% over 8s.
    Rune of choice is pestilence, It seems to be way more effective than last rune that deals most damage. Fact that pestilence spreads nearly instantly, makes up for lower damage. Last rune spreads so slowly in big crowds, we often end up goign too far from monster pack and it stops spreading if character is too far.


    Skill setup:
    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#VUXdfh!ZWY!cZZYca


    provoke pack - extra 15% damage one of very few ways to increase locust damage
    spirit walk honored guest - mana regen source, locust + ptv cost ton of mana, need full mana for bears before elites
    horrify stalker - 20% movement
    soul harvest 60s rune - keep 5 stacks as much as possible
    locust swarm pestilence - our main move
    bears - skill vs elites
    circle of life - source of dogs
    pierce the veil - 20% damage
    gruesome feast - mana regen and tons of damage on a high int build


    Gameplay of this build is about casting locust swarm once in a while, and watching it spreads. Monitoring minimap for legendary alerts. Don't wait till enemies die to swarm, just look for new monsters as fast as possible. Locust often goes even through walls so no need to visit all rooms in depth keeps for example. Vs elites use zombie bears. Recast and sacrifice dogs when they are up for additional 15% extra damage. Make sure 5 stacks of soul harvest are up all the time, since you need max damage output to be sure everything always dies to 1 hit of locust swarm.
    This build uses spirit walk and horrify stalker for increased movement. Due to nature of locust skill, and fact most stuff dies out of out pickup range, there is no point to use grave injustice as kills will usually not count, unless you had pickup range reaching far beyond screen. However build is still fast because we are constantly moving, as we waste very little time on casting skills, swarm spreads through several screens on its own. It becomes really effective at farming, I find it faster than acid rain build that kills stuff in one hit, just because we don't have to spam any ability that often, which is essentially waste of time. Another advantage of it is, that it is relatively cheap. Gear without crit is cheap, weapon is matter of few hundred k.
  2. Dethklok

    Dethklok IncGamers Member

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    I'm a demon hunter expert, not a WD expert, but based off what I know abough high-speed farming it seems like this guy has all the right ideas. Keenly aware of movement speed, choosing skill based on white-killing and dedicating to it big-time, separate plan for elites, focus on damage/swing instead of damage/sec.

    Maybe he should have underlined the 5.9% life leech on the weapon; I think if you want to farm without having too many issues with Reflects Damage getting at or near 6% (with some good armor and resists) is required.

    I'd try to get Spirit Vessel in there for the decreased cooldown on Spirit Walk. More movement is good.
  3. aerial

    aerial IncGamers Member

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    Life steal helps, but amount of health globes popping up all over the screen makes it less important. Wd usually stack ton of pickup radius (or use legendary offhand with 20y). Same goes for elites. Low hp elite vs bears, they spawn health globes in split seconds that outheals reflect. For higher mp you need life steal though.

    One thing that I would suggest to improve this build bit further is maybe stack ton more pickup range and use grave incustice. Reset of spirit walk + horrify stalker combo really speeds up run, bonus movement is very useful.
    That is only thing that holds this build from beating popular acid rain farmer, that has all grave injustice and spirit vessel for maximum reduction of cooldowns (also spirit walk jaunt, which lasts 1s longer). While you need spam acid rain which takes time, you get more frequent movement speed boost from grave injustice that makes up for it.
  4. Dogbert

    Dogbert IncGamers Member

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    Looks good. Interesting idea for sure.
  5. Doctor Clock

    Doctor Clock IncGamers Member

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    Started using this approach on MP1 and I really like it. I only have a helm with Locust Swarm damage, but it kills mosts trash in one hit. Allows for huge massacre bonuses in places like Arreat Crater and Keeps Depths. My build is slightly different that yours as I have both Acid Cloud and Bears along with Grave Injustice. If SW and Horrify are on cooldown, I just drop an Acid Cloud on a nearby trash pack, and its back to super sonic speed.
  6. VagrantKing

    VagrantKing IncGamers Member

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    I've tried this build out and liked it. But I did prefer my usual 1h+mojo over 2h because the cast-rate with a 2h is terribad. Feels like the matrix when casting lol.
  7. voj

    voj IncGamers Member

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    I timed 3 runs using acid rain and 3 using locust swarm (mp0). The locust swarm runs were roughly 5% faster, in my case about a minute or less (sometimes there was no difference). I ran the locust swarm build just like an acid rain build, with grave injustice, spirit walk, horrify, and 28 yards of pickup radius (with skorn). Both builds get faster with more pickup. Most of the time the locust swarm is following me or me following it as it eats through the screen, refresh

    Concerning spamming acid rain being time consuming, I find that spamming both skills takes about the same amount of time. You still need to stop and apply locust swarm if there's a gap in the group, which happens often. The strength of acid rain is that it can be dropped on a group at the edge of your screen, eliminating the time it takes to walk to it. Or you can hit a large group with locust swarm once and move on to another group, knowing that it's being 'taken care of.'

    Right now I just need to get more pick up radius because I'm having trouble grabbing health globes to refill mana (running past everything that's in the process of dying).
  8. Dogbert

    Dogbert IncGamers Member

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    Even though acid rain might be more effective this is atleast a good alternate build. One that adds to variety in game. Also good that you don't need to look for crit gear.
  9. voj

    voj IncGamers Member

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    This build grew on me after a few days of farming. Going back to acid spam just seems like so much work compared to wiping out groups of any size with 1 click. So far I can manage 13 minutes in act 3 mp0 core of arreat > skycrown battlements > keep2 > rakkis crossing > fields of slaughter > arreat crater lv2 in a mix of mf and dps gear (180k dps, 275 mf unbuffed).

    Aerial, how much dmg does your locust swarm do per tick with the gear you outlined? I'm using crit gear, but if I can get locust swarm to do like 50k dmg per tick by switching gear (12-19k currently depending on soul harvest stacks, ~90k if it crits), elites will likely drop with 1 application of locust swarm.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  10. aerial

    aerial IncGamers Member

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    I don't remember exact numbers.
    Found that it is faster to run this with my normal gear spec (manajuma knife + offhand, no extra locust damage gear, leoric signet + hellfire ring). I use locust for trash and bears vs elites, + bears vs large groups.
    The advantage of locust swarm in this variant is, you don't need pay attention of everything dies, it finishes pretty much everything not killed/touched by bears. With fast attack speed and good gear (good mana regen, reduced bear cost ect), it is really nice and smooth gameplay.
    Problem with slow 2h to maximize locust hit is, that weapon is very slow and you lose time on that animation. Bears also very slow to cast with this weapon. And it doesn't really matter if you kill stuff with locust in 2s or 4s, they die anyway. So i found that switching to faster spec works better for me. Having near 2.0 speed bears with 200k unbuffed gear, and on top of that 90 mana regen allows for really fast runs, you don't even need to rely on globes for mana, they are mostly for damage bonus.
  11. voj

    voj IncGamers Member

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    I was wondering if getting enough gear to boost locust swarm dmg to the point of killing elites with 1 cast was possible so I bought the gear. The answer is no. I ended up with a 1413 min dmg hammer, 3100 int, 34% locust swarm dmg, 32% bonus elite dmg (searing locusts rune was too slow to spread to the entire group, so it wasn't used). The result was a minimum tick of around 31k dmg with 5 stacks of soul harvest (80k would probably be enough). Another flaw of this pure lw build was long cooldowns on mobility skills because all mobs died screens away.
  12. Dogbert

    Dogbert IncGamers Member

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    Is there a reason you are only doing those areas?
  13. voj

    voj IncGamers Member

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    core of arreat is very short and gets you started on nv stacks, skycrown to complete 5 nv stacks and for the medium-high mob density, the rest for the high mob density.
  14. aerial

    aerial IncGamers Member

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    Build served me well, was doing most of my runs past 90, with locust swarm.

    [​IMG]
  15. Dethklok

    Dethklok IncGamers Member

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    Mass Confusion?
  16. aerial

    aerial IncGamers Member

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    Yeah, to catch elites to kill them with bears. When they don't run away - much easier to kill annoying elite types.
  17. Dogbert

    Dogbert IncGamers Member

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    Congratulations to lvl 100 aerial.
  18. VagrantKing

    VagrantKing IncGamers Member

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    Grats :jig:

    I still have a ways to go
  19. aerial

    aerial IncGamers Member

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    Thanks.
    After hitting level 100, motivation to play kind of goes away btw.
    I tried to play wizard with my wd gear (and different weapon, helm). Result is very high end wizard, but playing without mf, leveling paragons all over again sucks, there is significant difference in drop if you dont go with mf.
  20. Karth

    Karth IncGamers Member

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    Thanks for getting me started using Locust Swarm! I'm making my WD my second farming/paragon character now that I've played around with this a bit. My barb's plvl 90 but I want something different to play with too, and Locust Swarm is it. Also serves to give me a different style of play; my WD is beautiful for mp0, while my barb does mp3+.

    I'm using these skills, with a 1k average damage 1h weapon + thing of the deep for a total of 54 yards of pickup radius to make gruesome feast and grave injustice work with locust swarm's huge range. I'm still playing around with the dogs/my 6th skill to see what else works nicely there, and some of my gear doesn't make me happy, but I'm able to get around 1m experience/minute my setup.

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