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Slow-n-Glow: The Slowing Phantasm build (A1 Inferno)

Discussion in 'Witch Doctor' started by Phillter, Jun 5, 2012. | Replies: 30 | Views: 10669

  1. Phillter

    Phillter Member

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    I was experimenting with builds in A1 Inferno last night (really tired of the Zombie Bears/Vision Quest and Splinters/CC builds), and I found a good one that kills quickly and safely. Here is the build:

    Poison Dart - Splinters
    Soul Barrage - Phantasm
    Grasp of the Dead - Unbreakable Grasp
    Zombie Wall - Unrelenting Grip
    Fetish Army - Head Hunters
    Spirit Walk - Jaunt

    Blood Ritual
    Spiritual Attunement
    Spirit Vessel

    Alternatives for Passives:
    Gruesome Feast (+ gold radius gear helps here, as does health from globes).
    Grave Injustice may do nicely to give shorter Wall CDs, given that you have some +radius gear.
    Jungle Fortitude if you feel you are dying too quickly.

    Concept of the build is to keep enemies from reaching you, while making them trudge through several stacks of Phantasm. That is the main trick that lets this build work: Phantasm can stack on itself when cast on the same spot! Depending on your cast speed, you can get 6ish Phantasms in the same spot, stacking for 45% * 6 = 270% weapon damage per second. Combat usually opens with a Zombie Wall, followed by a Grasp and a few Phantasms. After this just watch the health melt off of all the poor souls caught on the other side of that wall. Elite/Champion packs are pretty easily dealt with by throwing down the Wall and Grasp with Phantasms, then (if you can't kill the pack before the wall expires) using Fetish Army to keep the pack distracted while you throw down a few more Phantasms and burn them down with Splinters.

    The only mod I've had trouble dealing with (did a few Butcher runs last night) was Mortar. It fires over the wall, and the champs are not slowed much by the Grasp, and it is a build that uses range to its advantage. However, that is what Spirit Walk is thrown in there for: getting the #$%^ out of dodge when you meet a rough pack.

    Phantasm does great damage if enemies stay in it, and even if they don't, it isn't a terrible kiting skill. Throw some down while running away in front of you, then lead the pack in circles, refreshing the Phantasms along your path.

    One thing I am trying to find a solution for is that there are no direct mana/life regen skills in this build as it stands. This can be troubling for kiting, and relying on health globes isn't really my style. I tried using the health and mana regen Spirit Walk runes, but found that the 2 second duration is just a little too short to get good distance while kiting. Gruesome Feast worked quite well, but again that is depending on Health Globes to drop to be useful.

    Let me know your thoughts and suggestions! :nod:
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012
  2. LucianDK

    LucianDK IncGamers Member

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    Now thats an interesting build that isnt a VQ Bears build. Spirit barrage phantasm is obscenely powerful if you can keep enemies in it.
     
  3. yxalitis

    yxalitis IncGamers Member

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    Hmm, I used this too, except I switched to Haunt with Grasping Spirit.
    Same principle, but more damage for less mana, try it and see.

    Maybe replace Jaunt with mana regen as SB drains mana fast, or HP regen. You shouldn't need jaunt, if 2 seconds isn't enough, 3 isn't either!

    And I use Fetish Ambush for that inevitably moment when you are suddenly surrounded by 100 enemies!
    One click, and BOOM! they are all dead, AND you have 20 seconds of Fetish entertainment.
     
  4. LucianDK

    LucianDK IncGamers Member

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    Thats my own experience from spamming spirit barrage - phantasm it WILL eat your mana, jaunt is pretty much a waste and works better with honored guest to recover it

    And I think you dont understand the Haunt spell. It does about 48% weapon damage per second to a single target and cannot be stacked. Whereas Spirit Barrage - Phantasm can be stacked and hits multiple targets, giving it the boss pack melter feature if you can keep foes within the effect.


     
  5. yxalitis

    yxalitis IncGamers Member

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    I do understand the Haunt spell thaks very much, it does 48% damage for 12 seconds, no way you're killing Elites in less time on Hell and up difficulty anyway, and with Haunt I can cast a few at specific elites, and run away off screen, content in the knowledge that the damage is being done. I use so little mana I can use PtV to boost damage, you can't do that with SB.
    Yes, Phantasm stacks, but 10 yards is a pretty small AOE, and Elite mobs are VERY MOBILE. I found the Phantasm was always just left sitting on it's own, keeping some bugs entertained, while the mob I was aiming for are ALREADY ON ME.
    Yes Grasp and WoZ, I know, but Elites have this amazing ability to seemingly ignore those, particularly those b@stard desert lob bombers!


     
  6. moreno

    moreno IncGamers Member

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    I used the same build in A1 Inferno with great success (with Mana Rune for Spirit Walk). Currently I'm in Act 3 and i changed Fetish Army for Hex. Act 3 elites killed fetishes very quickly so with its 120 sec cooldown spell became useless. You can cast hex each 15 sec with shaman lasting 12 sec per each cast, and it works great for constantly disturbing and immobilizing elites in Act 3.
     
  7. Phillter

    Phillter Member

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    I was under the impression that the fetishes that are summoned from that skill and Fetish Syncophants were immortal but lasted for a certain length of time? If that isn't the case then I can certainly see how Hex would be beneficial. Do you use the +20% damage rune or the healing one?


     
  8. Xoxie

    Xoxie IncGamers Member

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    They definitely die :(
     
  9. moreno

    moreno IncGamers Member

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    They die, and in ACT 3 they die very quickly. Yea I'm using 20% dmg rune.


     
  10. NovemberSnow

    NovemberSnow IncGamers Member

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    I think this build is ideal for Act 1 where half your enemies are slow moving zombies and skeletons. But how does this build fare beyond Act 1? With the increasing number of naturally fast enemies and ambushes from odd angles, I don't think the slow spells can keep enemies in Phantasm stack long enough.
     
  11. Phillter

    Phillter Member

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    I have not tried this build in A2, but I was planning on moving in there tonight. Yes, those are my fears as well, that the naturally faster enemies will rip this build apart. I'll give a report tonight or tomorrow on my findings in A2, unless someone else wants to try it :p
     
  12. Santosvella

    Santosvella IncGamers Member

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    You can never have more than 3 Phantasms out simultaneously, no matter your attack speed.


     
  13. sacridoc

    sacridoc IncGamers Member

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    They probably will... and it's not just fast enemies. As said previously, when you fight in open spaces, enemies will come at you from odd angles making it difficult to use Phantasm.

    You could get CC items, which should work well with Phantasm and Grasp, and would help keep enemies where you want.

    Also, you might try using Snake to the Face. If you have a fast attack speed you can probably get a lot of stuns off and Phantasm is good enough vs bosses that maybe you don't need Splinters. Also, you can only have 3 up at a time in one area so you have to be casting something else.

    Then you could get really crazy and drop SW + FA for Zombie Dogs and Sacrifice: Black Blood. Not that this would be good lol, obviously SW is our best defensive ability. But it would give you a 3rd AoE slow.

    And you could possibly get GI + GF as well for that build. Though I doubt that would work well lol...


     
  14. thefutile

    thefutile IncGamers Member

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    This has been my build since late nightmare. I call it the 'Soul Well' build but thats just me :p. Earlier on I used the mana regen dart, but now that I have decent mana regen on mask/knife/mojo my mana is fine with just using Rush of Essence and mana regen spirit walk.

    I definitely like the DPS increase of Splinters over Snake to the Face. One thing that has been really helpful/cool is stacking Chance to Fear on Hit, which comes on all the witch doctor specific gear. I have about 10% chance to fear on hit. This also works with AoE/DoT/pets, you name it. So throw down Grasp>Phantasm>Darts and a Zombie wall if your in a tight spot. Watch the mobs run in fear while melting.

    As far as only having 3 phantasms out at a time... just seems to be wrong. I can put at least 8 out with about 2.2 attacks per second; however, I think only 3 stacks of the actual DoT can damage an enemy at a time. But you can easily cast more... They last 5 seconds, so if you cast 2.2 every second, you should be getting close to 10 phantasms on the screen.

    Heres my build I've been using in Act 2 Inferno.
    http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#agZUdk!WfV!abaZZa

    The faster enemies have been causing some problems, but I mostly just kite kite kite and spirit walk. Sometimes phantasm wont work out, which is why Splinters + Pierce the Veil is in this build.

    On a side note, with the chance to fear on hit working with pets, and the pet buff coming 1.0.3 or 1.1, you could make an awesome Pet(2-3cd)/VQ/Bear build...

    Just another thought, I'm gonna try this when I get home! Swap Phantasm for Locust Swarm. Swap Rush of Essence for Fetish Sycophants. This would eliminate enemies having to stand in the stack. You would lose some single target burst, because I think a stack of phantasm surpasses the damage of locust swarm, but thats only if you can cc/kite them in a small circle. Not sure how 1 tick of phantasm compares to 1 tick of locust swarm.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2012
  15. Phillter

    Phillter Member

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    I went in to A2 last night, and hit that Wall that everyone is talking about. 10 deaths before clearing the cultist's ritual sites...HOWEVER! I think this is due to my gear, so I'm doing more gold runs to afford a better weapon and/or finding one myself. Currently at ~16k-ish DPS and 33k HP with 350ish resists. That DPS number needs to go up for this build to work in A2, the cats jumping everywhere was a real drag. This build will do great in the Oasis, the sewers (narrow corridors), Kulle's Archives (fallen die soooo quickly to this build), and Belial should fall pretty easily (won't be hard to keep 3 phantasms on him in phase 2 while just running around avoiding the slams).

    The CC stats on gear is a very interesting/intriguing option. I never seem to take gear stats into account when making a build. Maybe when prices go down a little for anything that is worth picking up then I will experiment with the CC stuff more.
     
  16. teamshrink

    teamshrink IncGamers Member

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    I have a tough time matching gear to spec. What gear matches this one?
     
  17. Phillter

    Phillter Member

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    I would say standard gear works fine (dagger/mojo, int/vit). It was mentioned that some gear with CC procs could help (and I agree). However, it is hard to put together a gear set with any noticeable amount of those CC proc stats as far as I can tell.
     
  18. Bruja

    Bruja IncGamers Member

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    From what I just tested, you can only have 3 phantasms at once. Cast them on a circle around yourself to try this.
     
  19. kingmaker

    kingmaker IncGamers Member

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    I have a build very similar to this, but I'm only in Hell Act 2 (can't say it'll be viable in Inferno). No AH for me, so I'm stuck with crappy gear. I have 35K health, 4.5k dps

    Here's my build: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/witch-doctor#gekZUd!ZfU!bYZacZ

    Left mouse: Spirit Barrage: Phatasm (awesome AOE, stackable)
    Right mouse: Haunt: Grasping Spirit (60% slow, DoT)

    #1: Wall of Zombies: Unrelenting Grip (60% slow, keeps monsters in the AOE)
    #2: Grasp of the Dead: Unbreakable Grasp (80% slow, cooldown is the same as spell time)
    #3: Spirit Walk: Healing Journey (heal 7% max health per second)
    #4: Soul Harvest: Siphon (heal 10k health for 5 enemies)

    Passive #1: Jungle Fortitute (helps tanking Mortar packs)
    Passive #2: Rush of Essence
    Passive #3: Vision Quest (300% Mana regen FTW!)

    I find myself casting skills #1 to #4 all the time to keep Vision Quest active. 300% Mana regen means I can spam Spirit Barrage and Haunt, while staying mobile. Repeat and rinse for slowing the packs and healing the WD throughout.
     
  20. thefutile

    thefutile IncGamers Member

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    How many attacks per second do you have? Phantasm lasts for 5 seconds. If you have 1 attack per second, yes you might only get 3 out. Stacking attack speed with a dagger (1.4 aps base) you can easily get over 2 attacks per second, which easily lets you cast more than 3... Not sure why you're have problems otherwise.

    Definitely hit a wall in inferno Act 2. It's doable, but I dont want to kite elite packs for 10 minutes and then if I die a few times they regen back to full. Just not worth the time/effort currently. Hopefully 1.0.3 arrives soon.

    Although, they hotfixed the +15% monster damage per player in inferno so now monsters do not get a damage increase when teaming up. So having a tank barb/monk will make Act 2 much more viable now.


     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2012

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